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Oh, Sister

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It was all so new. It was still hard for Sophie to get used to this. It hadn’t fully sunk in yet. That when Ryan turned that brilliant smile her way, it was meant for her. That it was because of her. And that Sophie didn’t need to suppress her own emotions.

That was the feeling that struck her all over again when she saw Ryan walking across the mostly empty cobbled paths of Gotham Park towards her. Her hair was half-up, pinned back, the curl of it more prominent than usual, like she’d just wet her hair that morning. Her jeans were far too tight for what was meant to be an outing in the park, but Sophie wasn’t going to make a comment against that. The dark brown jacket she was wearing had bounced between Ryan and Mary so much Sophie didn’t really know whose it was. But, (Mary sue her), she loved the way it fell over Ryan’s shoulders and cinched at the waist.

“Hi,” Ryan greeted as she stepped into Sophie’s space. One hand slid under Sophie’s jacket, coming to rest on Sophie’s lower back, while the other reached up to cup Sophie’s cheek as she rocked up onto her toes to add a kiss to her greeting.

Sophie smiled against her lips, her own hands moving to Ryan’s waist. “Hey,” She greeted when Ryan pulled back.

“Did I get here before Jordan?”

“Mmh-mm,” Sophie nodded.

There were a few places Jordan and Sophie liked to rotate through for their brunches. Today it was a food truck that usually set up in the park that Jordan swore up and down had the best hot dogs in Gotham. They were meeting near one of the park entrances. Sophie had posted up in the shade of a wall to wait for her girls.

“How was your morning?”

Sophie didn’t give an answer right away, even though a few jumped into her head right away.

‘Better now that I’ve seen your smile.’

‘I missed waking up to you.’

And maybe half a dozen others that all felt far too much, much too soon. Instead, she cupped Ryan’s cheek, her thumb brushing across her skin.

 “Been looking forward to brunch.”

And that was a safe answer. Where you could mistake her intent as wanting the food when really she’d been looking forward to seeing Ryan again. Never mind they’d said goodbye at almost 2 in the morning last night. But she wasn’t going to admit that out loud. She could just imagine the shit-eating grin on Ryan’s face if she did.

“So, tell me, should I be prepared to get the shovel talk today?” Ryan asked, her smile coming through, teasing and warm and bright.

Sophie laughed. Bracing her back against the wall, she slid down it slightly so she and Ryan were at equal height. With her hands around Ryan’s waist, she pulled her against her.

“Why? Are you worried?”

“Yes." She admitted with a laugh, "Your sister was able to dig up dirt that had a secret Gotham crime organization after her. I don’t want her wrath turned on me. I have done some stupid ass things no one needs to know about.”

“You mean like that time you got suspended in high school for hiding chili powder in the air vent system. Or are you forgetting I’ve read your records?” 

“Hey, that was a great prank. School had to close for two whole days and mid-terms were pushed. I was a hero. And believe it or not, I’ve done some even stupider things that didn’t end up in my official records. But I don’t put it past Jordan to be able to find it.”

“Like what?” Sophie asked, curiosity sparkling in her eyes.

Ryan shook her head, curling her fingers behind Sophie’s ear, “Nah. I need to at least keep up the appearance that I’ve always been this smooth.”

Sophie snorted through her nose and burst into laughter, “Oh, Ryan, it’s okay. You’ve never been smooth.”

Ryan pinched her side in retaliation for that comment, but it only drew another laugh from Sophie.

“Come on, what could have you possibly done that you won’t tell me.”

“Nope, you haven’t unlocked those stories yet.”

“Oh really?” Sophie arched a brow in challenge.

“Haven’t built up enough girlfriend points yet.”

Sophie couldn’t even pretend the way her stomach flipped at the word ‘girlfriend’ was because of anything other than pure happiness.

“And what do I have to do to earn more points then?” She against Ryan's lips, her voice dropped to that low sultry tone she knew affected Ryan. 

“If you don’t know that, that’s a you problem.”

Sophie grabbed Ryan by a spot just under her ribs that she’d discovered a few days ago was particularly ticklish on her. Laughing, Ryan squirmed out of her arms.

“Woman, don’t start,” Ryan warned, taking a few steps bad.

Sophie exhaled slowly, taking in the sight of Ryan. Radiant and her cheeks flushed. The way the wind swept those tresses of hair framing her face to the side. And that smile that stole Sophie's breath every time she saw it.

Sophie pushed off the wall. Ryan’s eyes widen just a fraction, realizing Sophie’s intent.

“Sophie!” She warned, but Sophie was already grabbing her around the sides, drawing more laughter from her. Sophie pressed a kiss to her cheek, even as Ryan tries to slap her arms away.

“I’m not going to be able to take y’all anywhere, am I?”

Ryan and Sophie looked up to see Jordan standing before them. Her arms were on her hips, but she was smirking. Sophie let Ryan go and they both straightened their clothes.

“Hey, Jay,” Sophie greeted, hoping her face wasn’t too flushed. There was something about being caught by her little sister like that that made heat rise to her cheeks.

“Hi,” Ryan said.

“S’up,” Jordan said, glancing between them both, “Sorry I kept you waiting so long you had to entertain yourselves.”

Ryan coughed and glanced away pointedly, but Sophie just snorted. Used to Jordan teasing her like this, it was easier for her to let the comment roll off her back.

“It’s all good. We made good use of our time.”

“Oh my god,” Jordan rolled her eyes, “I am your innocent little sister. I don’t need to know that.”

“What part of you is innocent?”

“All of this,” Jordan gestured to herself with a dramatic pose.

Sophie shoved her shoulder before pulling her into a hug, purposefully squashing her.

“You’re going to kill me with your giant limbs,” Jordan said like she wasn’t hugging her sister back. “Alright, alright,” She eventually pried herself away.

She turned to Ryan, the two of them clapping each other’s hand by the back of the hand twice, twisting their palms together, before finishing with a snap as their way of saying hello.

“I don’t know about you all, but I’m hungry. Let’s get food before we get down to business.” Jordan took the lead.

“Business?” Sophie asked.

She spun on her heels, walking backwards as she spoke, “We have things to discuss. Don’t think I’m let you two get away without giving me the low down.” She said in an authoritative voice before turning back around.

Ryan and Sophie looked at each other, sharing an amused grin. Sophie pulled Ryan by her sleeve, wrapping an arm around her shoulders as they followed Jordan.

“Jordan Moore!” One of the guys in the food truck called out as they approached, “Girl, it’s been too long. Give me some skin.” He leaned down to give her a fist bump.

“Hey Mekell,” Jordan greeted, “Jamie,” The guy standing at the grill in the truck raised his spatula in greeting. “How’s Auntie Kay?”

“Auntie is good. She’s doing good. Looking forward to the fair at the community center.”

“She and everyone else in the bridge club.”

Mekell chuckled, nodding in Sophie’s direction. She returned the gesture, raising her hand slightly too. It was just a little stiff though.

“So the usual for you ladies?”

“Only if you got-”

“Pickled peppers,” Jordan and Mekell said at the same time.

“Girl, who you think you talking to?” He laughed, “You know I got you. Two chorizo dogs, extra peppers. And what can I get for your friend?”

“Sophie’s new girlfriend,” Jordan said in a stage whisper.

“Jordan,” Sophie hissed.

“Well damn, good on you Sophie Moore. Congrats. My cuz going to be bummed to hear that’s why you haven’t returned her calls.”

“Oh my god, kill me,” Sophie muttered, looking up to the sky.

Ryan looked at Sophie with a sly grin.

“Don’t,” Sophie warned.

“I didn’t say a word.”

“I know what you’re thinking.”

“Let me guess she’s one of the girls from the Hold Up?”

“Oh yeah,” Jordan answered.

Sophie shot her another glare, but Jordan just tilted her head, unaffected.

“I’m Ryan.” She introduced herself.

“Nice to meet you. Anyone Jordan approves of is family around here. What can I get you?”

“You have to try the loaded sweet potato fries,” Jordan said, “To. Die. For. And 100% vegan.”

“I’m not going to argue with the lady.”

“Smart. Give us a few minutes.”

“And three of whatever juice back there is the freshest.”

“You got it Jordan.”

“I’m going to kill you,” Sophie hissed at Jordan.

“What?” Jordan gave an innocent little shrug.

Laughing, Ryan slipped an arm around Sophie’s waist, “Something wrong, Soph?”

“You’re enjoying this too much.”

“Every second,” She gave a kiss to the corner of Sophie’s lips and some of the fight left her.

“I’ll deal with you later,” She said, eying Jordan. Jordan scrunched her face at her sister.

It wasn’t long before Mekell handed them two hot dogs, loaded high with peppers, onions and an assortment of sauces. Ryan got sweet potato fries, piled with guacamole, beans, corn and vegan cheese.

“Hey, and I’m seeing you at the fair?” He asked Jordan.

“Duh.”

“It was good meeting you Ryan,”

“Likewise.”

“And hey, congrats on landing that one.” He pointed at Sophie, “I hear she’d got quite the reputation.”

Ryan burst out laughing.

“Ugh, I’m right here.” Jordan gagged.

“I hate you all. I’m skimping on your tip next time.” Sophie said. 

He made a ‘why me?’ gesture before chuckling.

“Come on,” Sophie hip-checked Jordan to get her moving and she tugged Ryan, still in the mists of her laughter, by the arm.

Jordan took a bite of her hot dog while they were still walking to the nearby tables.

“Girl, you couldn’t wait for the twenty-foot walk?” Sophie shook her head.

“I really couldn’t. It’s too good.” Jordan responded around her food.

“Not with your mouthful.”

Jordan rolled her eyes, looking at Ryan, “She like this with you too?”

“I think it’s cute. She likes to take care of people.”

“Good answer,” Sophie said.

“Really? I think she just likes nagging.”

Sophie stuck her tongue out at Jordan.

“So what’s this fair?” Ryan asked as they sat at the table.

Jordan swallowed, her eyes darting towards Sophie for a beat, “Just a little fundraiser thing we’re having at the community center.”

“How come I didn’t hear about this before?” Sophie asked.

Jordan shrugged, “It’s just a thing.”

“Just a thing?” Sophie echoed, one brow arching slowly.

“Yeah. Ryan, what do you think of the fries?” Jordan asked.

“Oh my god, they’re great.”

“Right? Mekell and Jamie, are wizards in the kitchen.”

“Jordan, when is the fair?”

“In two weekends. But don’t worry about it, if you’re busy.”

“I-” Sophie started but she was cut off by Jordan turning towards Ryan.

“I’ve got a bone to pick with you.”

“Me?”

“You keep canceling your classes at the center.”

“Oh,” Ryan looked at Sophie, grasping for words for a moment, “Life’s been really busy. I just haven’t had the time.”

Jordan looked at her expectantly, obviously looking for some kind of explanation.

Ryan looked at Sophie, silently asking for help. Jordan glanced between them.

“Don’t tell me she’s why you keep canceling. I don’t care what reputation she’s gotten, it can’t be that good.”

Sophie spat out her drink, “Jordan!”

Ryan snorted, dropped her head to hide her laughter in her arms.

“What? We’re all adults?” Jordan defended.

“Lord,” Sophie covered her eyes.

“That’s not it,” Ryan said, struggling to get her words out through her laughter, “I’ve just had a lot going on lately. It'd be best we table my classes for now.”

Jordan’s expression shifted, her eyes softened with concern, “Is everything good? Anything I can help with?”

Ryan shook her head, “I’m handling it.”

“It sounds like it’s a lot. Are you sure there’s nothing I can do?”

“Ah,” Ryan’s mouth hung open as she looked between Jordan and Sophie, “There’s been some drama. But we’re dealing.”

“Oh shit. I’m sorry there’s drama.”

“It is what it is.” Ryan felt Sophie’s hand on her lower back and gave her a small smile.

“Don’t think I didn’t notice you trying to change the topic,” Sophie said to Jordan, “Twice. What are you not telling me?”

“What?” Jordan took a big bite of her food, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“What is this fair really and why don’t you want to tell me about it?”

“It’s just a fundraiser.”

Sophie’s eyes narrowed, “And why didn’t you tell me?”

“I didn’t think you’d be interested.”

“You once threatened me at knifepoint to come to one of the center’s events and now you expect me to believe that?”

“What?” Ryan asked.

“I didn’t threaten her,” Jordan said, “We were making dinner at her place and I happened to have a knife in my hand.”

“Jordan, what are you not telling me?”

Jordan sighed, her figure slumping, “Mom’s going to be there.”

A wave of emotions flashed over Sophie’s face but, in an instant, she’d schooled her features, “Mom.”

“She’s going to be in Gotham that week.

“Oh,” Sophie said simply, “I see. How long have you known this?”

“Three weeks,” Jordan said, her shoulders rising up to her ears.

“Oh, okay. Good then.”

“Really?”

“Mom will get to see the work you’ve done with the center. She’ll be proud.”

“Sophie-”

“You didn’t have to keep it from me. Did you think her being there would mean I wouldn’t want to go?”

“Um, kinda?”

Sophie reached out, taking Jordan’s hand, “I’ll be going to support you and the center. Not her,” 

Jordan looked genuinely conflicted, caught in-between appreciation for her sister’s support and her own desire to be Sophie’s support.

“What’s happened between me and mom is between us. You don’t need to pick sides or try to protect either of us. You definitely don’t need to protect me. I’ve got seniority, I’m the one protecting you.”

“You don’t have to come if you don’t want to see her.”

“Jay, I’m a big girl. If I run into her, I’m sure we can manage pleasantries.” She gave Jordan’s hand a small squeeze before returning to her food.

Jordan looked at her sister, helpless.

Sensing they needed a segue, Ryan asked, “What are you having at the fair?”

Jordan was still looking at Sophie, who just gave an expectant ‘go on’ gesture. Jordan started talking about the plans for the days, and the more and more she talked about it, the more of her usual zeal came out.

“Jay, that sounds amazing,” Sophie said once she’d finished.

Ryan said, “With the little Moore at the helm I know it’s going to be great.”

“Hey, why am I the little Moore?”

“The obvious reasons?” Sophie snorted.

“It’s unfair. Not all of us can be born a giant.”

Sophie rolled her eyes, “Love you too, sister dearest.” 

Jordan threw a bundled-up napkin at Sophie, “Okay, I need to know. What finally got you to pull your head out of your ass about your feelings for Ryan?”

“Excuse me?” Sophie snorted.

“Come on, there were months there you refused to acknowledge them.”

“Since when are you omniscient about my feelings?”

“Since always.”

“Um, which set of months specifically?” Ryan asked.

Jordan opened her mouth, but suddenly gave a yell, hugging her knee towards her chest.

“Is violence necessary?” She hissed at Sophie.

“Very,” Sophie deadpanned.

“Oh come on,” Ryan pouted at her.

Sophie narrowed her eyes at her and shook her head, “Not enough girlfriend points. Sorry.” She tapped Ryan’s nose, making her scrunch it.

Jordan gagged. “I’m really happy for y’all, but that doesn’t mean I want to see all this.”

Ryan chuckled, “To answer your question, Sophie got her shit together before I did. I was the one trying to run from my feelings. But, I got there,” She looked at Sophie with a small smile, “Eventually.”

Sophie was wearing an identical smile and she leaned in to press a kiss to Ryan’s lips.

“Yep, can’t take you anywhere.”

Sophie broke away from the kiss, “You wanted this for me before I knew I did.”

“Yeah. And like I said, doesn’t mean I want to see it.”

“Close your eyes then,” Sophie pulled Ryan in for another kiss.

There was a string of gagging sounds from Jordan. Her phone rang and she said, “Thank god, saved by the bell.” She said, getting up to answer it.

Ryan pulled back, brushing her nose with Sophie’s. “Are you just kissing me to annoy your sister?”

“Absolutely,” Sophie said, “Want me to stop?”

“I didn’t say that.”

Ryan picked up one of her fries, offering it to Sophie. She took a bite out of it, giving a low hum. Ryan rested her chin on Sophie’s shoulder.

“Are you really okay with your mom visiting and not telling you?”

Sophie sighed, “No. But there’s no reason to ruin this for Jordan.”

“Do you want to see her?”

“No. Yes…” Sophie exhaled, “No. Not if she isn’t going to be civil,”

Ryan placed a hand on Sophie’s knee, “Then we’ll duck and weave all day at the fair.”

Sophie looked at Ryan with a grateful look. “You don-”

“If you’re about to say I don’t have to do that, you shut your mouth right now. That’s not how this works. I’m here for you. Whatever you need. If it means pulling secret agent stunts so you don’t have to see your mom. Or holding your hand if you do. Or punting her ass across Gotham if she tries to talk down to you.”

Sophie smiled, chuckling softly, “Probably not that last one.”

“I’ll still keep the grapple gun close. Just so we have options.”

Sophie laughed, the sound choked up with relief, frustration and joy all mixed up with each other. She tucked her head against Ryan’s neck, releasing a breath that shook her whole body.

“Jordan can’t know,” She whispered.

“Of course.”

Ryan ran her hand across Sophie’s back, tilting her head so she could kiss her temple. She tapped Sophie’s shoulder when it looked like Jordan was wrapping up her conversation on the phone, giving Sophie a few seconds to pull herself together. She straightened, brushing her hair back. She cupped Ryan’s cheek, her thanks shinning in her eyes. Ryan gave her a wink before turning her attention to Jordan again as she sat down.

“Are you done being gross yet?” She asked.

“Not a chance,” Ryan said, “You best get used to it little Moore.”