[The bar was a divey little joint that housed mostly barflies who had barely moved off their stools in ten years and thirty-somethings that craved a quiet place with sticky floors and a cheap whiskey and coke on a warm summer’s night. The bathrooms smelled like piss and regrets, and the booths were in a state of disrepair that the red duct tape could barely fix. Marty, the bartender nearing on sixty and missing a tooth or two, was handy with a draft and generous with the salty pretzels that soaked up the plethora of booze he sold to his customers. He was the Mayor of Church Street, which was a sketchy little stretch of Gotham not too far from where the corners of Old Gotham turned into the gentrification of mobsters and millennials, yet still had the character of a seedier, edgier block.
Stephanie sat towards the back of the dimly lit bar, near the jukebox that hummed some ditty about a woman named Jolene
. Back when she lived close to here, she’d come here now and then. Usually with her husband, sometimes not, mostly for cheap margaritas before they stumbled home to fool around. Marty had given her a cursory eye when she’d come in solo, and a screwed up mouth told him all he needed to know about the other
half of the expected couple. Ah, well. He’d seen that plenty
of times before. So, he’d just let her order her drink -- tequila and soda because she was not
fucking around tonight -- and settle into that secluded, worn table.
She was waiting for Bruce Wayne, and she knew that no one was going to bother either of them in the back of that dirty bar. Even if
he was Bruce Wayne and even if
someone recognized either of them. It was one of the things she liked about this place -- people minded their goddamn business. She had no fear that she and her surrogate father could commiserate in peace over the litany of problems that fell into their laps over the last couple of months. So, she sat, blonde hair pulled back, white tank and a mess of chains around her neck
, and she sipped from her tumbler, looking just as tired as she felt. Fingers drumming on the surface and swirling the drips of condensation left on cheap wood in alternating fashion as she waited slightly impatiently for the oldest Wayne’s arrival.]