In Barbara's fantasy, she visualizes that the royal page at the door is announcing their arrival,
"The Honorable Commissioner James P. Gordon and his daughter, Miss Barbara Gordon."
After that, her father escorts her down a striking staircase and all eyes turn to her, this is her moment.
She sees the golden boy of Gotham gazing at her, Bruce Wayne himself.
He looks incredible in his tuxedo, towering head and shoulders above her.
He extends his hand to her and asks her to dance.
"May I have the pleasure of this dance, Miss Gordon?" he asks.
Bruce usually doesn't even acknowledge her. This must be her, just daydreaming again.
But, no, she's wide awake this time. She smiles extends her hand to him and accepts.
The music begins as he takes her hand and holds her close promenading her across the dance floor.
"You look lovely tonight, Barbara. I couldn't help noticing as you entered. You should wear blue more often, it suits you."
He's being charming to her, it's a change from his alter-ego's usual disagreeable attitude.
But is this all just another mask he wears for the public?
"You don't need to flatter me tonight Bruce. I know how you ignore me when we're alone, why are you putting on an act, are you trying to make an old flame jealous?" she grumbled.
Bruce was surprised at her words, was that how he was making her feel, that he was using her?
"I'm sorry if you think I hurt you, I never meant to do that. I just want to act professionally when we work together, I'm sorry if I was overly harsh with you."
He brought her a little closer. "I meant what I said, you do look incredible tonight, I'm sorry for behaving like an ass, can I make it up to you?"
Barbara looked up into his face, he seemed to be sincere.
"You can buy me a drink, and maybe we can have a real conversation for a change," she said.
He took two flutes of champagne out to the terrace so they could speak in private.
Barbara took a sip while he gathered his thoughts.
"When we work together I try to put aside my feelings so they won't interfere with our duty. That doesn't mean they don't exist." He professed.
"You sure about that? It looks different to me, you always seem to avoid me even though I wear my feelings on my sleeve."
"There's a reason why I do that, if I paid you the attention that I preferred to, we'd never reach any crime scenes because I'd be powerless to stop myself from doing this---"
With that, he pulled her close for a long tender kiss.
She found herself kissing him back with enthusiasm.
"Now, do you understand?" he said, gently pushing her away from him.
"Do you know how many nights I've needed a cold shower after you were gone? You drive me crazy, Barbara, and the only way I know how to manage my excitement is to get you angry enough to leave, just so I don't ravish you like an animal," he confessed.
"How could I possibly ever know any of that? All of your feelings, all of your emotions are always so constipated!
"I don't think you've ever allowed yourself any optimistic feelings, all you seem to feel is lust or rage.
"And while they might get you through the day, or night, they don't do anything beneficial for you either.
"So which is the feeling that forces you to push me away like I'm nothing?
Is it lust or rage, Bruce?
Because whichever one it is, it hurts.
"Why do you purposely make me get angry at you?
Why push me away for something we both want?"
Her eyes were flaming, her face was flushed, and she was angry as hell.
She let him have it, and it felt good.
Bruce was stunned into silence.
Barbara was done putting up with his bullshit, she put down her glass and stormed off.
She tugged the nearest man by the hand to the dance floor to burn off some of her pain.
Bruce is so emotionally constipated, she thought, he needed an enema just to smile, she concluded.
Bruce couldn't believe that she told him off and walked away.
He thought she'd always accept what he offered without question.
Like a good soldier.
But... He's mistaken about that.
Tonight, though, her anger emerged, and he had rarely seen it except while they patrolled, but never as a civilian.
He wanted to follow her and fix this before he pushed her away forever.
He felt a strange twinge of discomfort when she left him, an empty hole inside shaped like her.
He realized he was a dumbass, a douche bag that never treated anyone right.