Disclaimer: the characters of Batwoman, the Question and related cast all belong to DC Comics, I'm just borrowing them for awhile.
Batwoman and Question: Alliance
Batwoman swung over Gotham City, Kate Kane smiling to herself slightly as the red and black clad heroine made a final sweep of the city. 'Just need to check by Beacon Hill and I'll head for home...' she mused.
A light flickered, then played across the clouds, a stylized black bat in a disk of yellow light. It shimmered on the clouds, bright against the darkness and a symbol of hope from the mny times it had shone from the Gotham City Police department.
Oddly, this beam was not coming from the Gotham police.
With a muttered curse Batwoman changed her course, feeling fairly certain who was shining that light. Swinging up to a park on the edge of Beacon Hill she was a newer model van waiting, a figure shrouded in strange mists standing nearby holding the powerful lamp. His clothes were a bulky trench coat and suit, a old fashioned hat just above a eerily faceless mask, all making up the man commonly called the Question.
'Just the Question? So where's ...?' Batwoman thought as she dropped down gracefully to the ground beside him. "What do you want," she demanded in her coldest, old money voice, "and where's Renee?"
"Right here," Question pressed a button on his large belt buckle, a different color gas sprayed out then he pulled free the faceless mask... to reveal a very familiar face.
"Renee?" Batwoman blinked at her in surprise, doing her best to avoid showing any of her confusion.
The black haired, dark skinned Renee Montoya smiled at her wryly as she tucked the unusual mask away in a pocket. "Still getting used to that," she murmured, "wonder how Charlie managed for so long?"
"What's going on?" Batwoman asked, feeling a mix of relief and annoyance at seeing Renee again. Of course she almost always felt mixed feelings around Renee, her ex-lover and the one that got away, so to speak.
"It's a long story," Renee sighed, "and not something we can go into now." She looked at Batwoman seriously, "Last night, you hit a drug operation run by the Shark. How did you find out about it?"
Batwoman frowned, wondering where this was going. "I shook down one of the Shark's goons," she said, "he spilled the beans."
"That's what I thought," Renee sighed. She met Batwoman's gaze, "The truth is the goon you questioned worked for Thorne... they used you to hit a rival drug dealer."
"What?" Batwoman scowled, "How do you know this?"
Renee shrugged as she reminded her, "I am a detective."
Batwoman clenched her fists as her thoughts raced, wishing that what Renee had told her wasn't true. Sadly, it all fit together too well, how easily the goon had broken, the detailed information he gave up to her... at the time it should have stank to high heavens, but she was just too eager to act.
Giving Renee a wary look Batwoman asked, "Why are you telling me this?"
Renee gave her a smile, the sort of one that had once caused Kate's heart to skip a beat. "I want to offer my help in exchange for yours," Renee explained, "I'll be your detective, and together we'll deal with bastards like Thorne."
Reluctantly Batwoman wrestled with the idea, but it did make a great deal of sense. "All right," she said reluctantly, "I'll do it."
"Good," Renee took something from the pocket of her overcoat and tossed it to Batwoman, "I'll contact you when I know more."
Catching the small radio Batwoman frowned, "What if I need to reach you?"
Renee touched a control on her belt and gas swirled out, blinding Batwoman as her voice said, "Well, that is... the Question."
Once the mist cleared Batwoman saw that Renee, the van and her improvised batsignal were gone, only the empty park left behind. With a scowl she took her grappling hook and line and sent herself flying between buildings, trying to see where Renee had disappeared to.
'So,' Batwoman mused as she reluctantly gave up the search and swung away from Beacon Hill a few minutes later, 'it looks like Renee and I will be partners again.' A slightly grim smile tugged at her lips, her long hair flowing in the breeze as she thought wryly, 'I hope this goes better than our last partnership.'
Once upon a time Kate and Renee had been lovers, a wild and dangerous affair that had gone on for months. In the end it had been both of their closets that had ended the relationship, though neither of them would have admitted it. Kate had gone on with her life, dating covertly and living the society life, but she had never forgotten Renee.
Swinging gracefully from one of the many gargoyles in the city Batwoman admitted to herself, 'I'm looking forward to being with her again.'
Meanwhile, Renee Montoya pulled the van to the side of the road, ducking into the back as she muttered, "This outfit is going to take some getting used to."
Shedding the garb of the Question helped restore her curves, the padded clothes that Renee wore in her other identity designed to make her gender ambiguous. Renee wanted people to be unsure if she was the first Question or not, using the reputation of the Question to her advantage as she sought answers to her own questions.
In regular pants and a buttoned white shirt Renee returned to the wheel, thinking a moment of the woman she had just left behind. She was less sure about working with Batwoman than she had acted, and Renee still felt a odd stirring in her chest when she and Kate talked. Their past hung between them like a kind of ghost, a mass of regrets and what might have beens.
'Speaking of regrets,' Renee thought, pulling up her van to the restaurant that she hadn't seen in months. She parked the van and got out, checking her watch as she took a breath of the morning air as she checked her watch, 'She should be here soon...'
Walking up the street in her cooks's uniform there was a spring to her step, a sense of simple happiness that the other woman carried. She was good looking though not beautiful in the traditional sense, but there was something about her that drew the eye.
"Daria," Renee called, standing nervously beside her van.
"Renee?" Daria looked startled, and to be honest Renee couldn't blame her. It had been nearly a year since they had seperated, Renee's drinking and guilt having driven them apart. Now the other woman looked at her searchingly, "Are you... all right?"
"Yeah," Renee felt more than a bit of guilt that she hadn't at least tried to contact Daria sooner. 'Of course,' she thought wryly, 'for the last few months I've been helping the Question fight Intergang, chasing down the Crime Bible around the world and generally living a odd life.' She smiled tentatively, "How are you?"
"Good, I'm good," Daria smiled a bit uncomfortably. She fiddled with her white uniform then asked, "Renee, what are you doing here?"
Renee sighed, knowing that this moment was coming and that she had to do it. Mustering her courage she met Daria's eyes and said, "I'm sorry."
"Huh?" Daria blinked in surprise.
"I really screwed up our relationship and I just wanted to say I'm sorry," Renee said. "I was a complete ass the last month we were together, and I can't blame you for leaving me, though I do hope you'll forgive me in time."
"I knew how much everything with Detective Allen hurt you," Daria said gently, "and I just wished I could have helped you more." A faint smile, "Not to be mean, but you've never been the apologizing type..."
Renee smiled back, "I'm in AA, have been for a few weeks. One of the steps is trying to make amends with those you hurt... but I'd have come seen you anyway, I think."
"I'm glad," Daria said. She hesitated, "I'm seeing someone, Renee."
"I know," Renee nodded.
Daria frowned suddenly, "How do you know that?"
"I asked around," a slight smile tugged at Renee's lips, "you know how the grapevine works, Dee."
Daria chuckled softly, "True."
Renee said quietly, "I've got to go, see you around?"
"I think I'd like that," Daria nodded as they parted.
Notes: This is based off events in DC Comics' books Gotham Central and 52, including the possibility that Renee is being trained as a new Question. The idea of partnering up Batwoman and Renee as crimefighters seems obvious, and I'm intrigued by their past relationship as lovers, too. In Gotham Central Renee left her lover Daria on bad terms, so I wanted to resolve that in some form. May be continued...