Abrupt knocking made her pop out of her sleep and grumble; maybe it was a bad idea to have stayed on Watchtower, she groggily thought. To make things easier on herself (as well as not go through the nausea every time she teleported), Tabitha had made the decision to stay aboard Watchtower throughout her mandatory training. She told Ethan that she had to stay longer than expected in Tennessee and he understood completely; it hurt her heart that he was let down by the fact.
She stretched and slowly got out of bed; her latest training session with Diana had been grueling: she learned the hard way that she was really holding back the last time they sparred. Before she could even think about going towards the door, more knocking was heard.
“Oh… my, God; keep your shirt on: I’m coming!” she half yelled; for all she knew, it could’ve been J’onn: she didn’t want to seem too rude to him! She let the door slide open and rubbed her eyes at the sudden invasion of light, “… Bruce. What’s up?” she yawned; she had refrained from telling him how she really felt about having her nap interrupted. Not saying a word, he walked inside her room and gently grabbed her arm before she headed back to bed.
“… Ethan may be in trouble…” he decided to get straight to the point. She was fully awake, now.
“Wait… what? What happened?”
“A few days ago… he was taken hostage by Joker…”
“I managed to get to him but… he really messed with his mind when he had him.”
“You’re just now telling me all this?! Bruce…”
“I thought that everything was fine with him… until now. I didn’t want to worry you if everything had ended up fine.”
“That freak kidnapped my boyfriend and you didn’t want to tell me?!” she hunted down a t-shirt to wrap around her hair; she was going to Gotham to see him whether Bruce liked it or not.
“I knew how you were going to react; I couldn’t. You’re going to go see him, aren’t you?” he asked. She stopped and gave him a look.
“You gonna stop me…?”
“I can only ask for you not to… I can’t force you to stay.” he realized, “Yin told me that he’s been locked in his apartment ever since the incident.”
“Wait… his apartment? He’s supposed to be in mine…”
“Yeah; I’m definitely gonna go check on him, now…” she didn’t give him time to argue as she walked out the door. He couldn’t tell her the entire story: The Penguin had told Joker who Nikki Strykher really was; he was the only one around to have heard Bruce call her by her real name. To lure her out, Joker took Ethan hostage… and everything was caught on tape. Bruce was worried that it was too soon to expose Tabitha to that type of situation and decided to handle things himself; he knew that he was doing the right thing.
“I’m coming with you.” he sighed as the two made their way to the teleportation pads.
When they made their way into the City Hall District and saw Ethan’s car parked in front of the apartment building, Tabitha sighed; it looked as if it hadn’t moved in days. They went inside and Bruce knocked on his door.
“Ethan? Hey, buddy; you in there?” he tried. He attempted to turn the knob but found the door locked. He knocked yet again until the two heard a small commotion from the other side, “You okay in there?”
“Bruce? I’m just… not feeling too good…” Ethan’s voice was muffled and harsh. They both wondered why he wouldn’t open the door. Tabitha lightly knocked on the door, resting her head on it to see if she would be able to hear more.
“Detective… could you open the door, please?” she tried.
“Yeah. I missed you, babe.”
“… I missed you, too…”
“What happened with you moving in with me?”
“… I… couldn’t stay there… without you…”
“Well… I’m back, now.” she made the decision that she would move back immediately, “Ethan, open the door; I don’t care about catching no cold…” she was partly worried and frustrated that he hadn’t opened the door.
“… What? Don’t you want to see me…?” she was confused. The last time they had spoken, while he was let down that she would be gone longer, he was all the eager to see her.
“I…. don’t want to… see… anyone. Would you... just leave?!” he actually yelled. She was taken aback at his sudden outburst; not once had he ever raised his voice at her, let alone pushed her away. It was enough to make her eyes misty.
“But, Ethan… I love you…” she managed. She waited for him to respond but when he didn’t, her tears finally fell. Bruce grabbed her shoulders.
“Come on; let’s go. Let’s give him his space…”