Nobody likes admitting they
screwed up. Nobody likes admitting
they need help. And nobody liked it
less than Dick Grayson. But some
screwups were too conspicuous to ignore.
His couch was puce.
He had bought a puce-colored couch. He remembered a little square of maroon fabric with bits of yellow,
but this was more of a brownish purple with streaks of yellowish green.
It looked like a bruise. A
bruise with throw pillows.
Tim had politely neglected to mention it.
Either that or he’d been struck with hysterical blindness on seeing
it. Dick offered him a soda and
they talked briefly about Tim’s returning to school and recent happenings
in the Gotham underworld. Finally
Dick got around to what he wanted to ask:
Tim’s seemingly malicious prank the night
of Jack Drake’s birthday party brought Bruce and Selina together at a time
when that was all they needed to reconcile after their first fight.
Did he have that in mind the whole time?
Or was it just dumb luck?
Tim admitted that he hadn’t really intended to
play matchmaker; he only wanted to unnerve Bruce a little.
“Not looking for a matchmaker, are ya
“Nah, not really. Well.
You know Babs and I have been dicey since the Helena thing.”
“You are! You’re looking
for a matchmaker to patch up you and Barbara.”
Dick and Barbara’s on-again/off-again
wasn’t the stuff of legend like Bruce and Selina, but they were a cute couple
and those that knew them knew, since the days when he was Robin and she was
Batgirl, they complimented and completed each other.
“Dr. Tim Drake, practicing yenta: Advice to the lovelorn, broken hearts mended, hamburgers and quick lube. The doctor is in. ”
“Give me a break, will ya. I’m in trouble. Can
we, y’know, ‘be men ?
“Dick, wasn’t it you that told Bruce,
‘you fight and you make it up ?
“Yes, and doesn’t it occur to anybody that
I said that ‘cause that’s, y’know, what I need to believe is going to happen
“Well I’m just spitballing here, but all
Bruce and Selina needed was an excuse to come together.
Can’t you, I dunno, concoct some reason to spend some time with
“Like a case?”
“No, not a case. Jeez, you’re worse than Bruce. Nothing remotely connected to bats or belfries or crime and punishment. A real life reason to get together.
Dick stared into space.
“You could ask her to help you pick a new
couch,” Tim suggested.
“You don’t like my couch?”
“It’s the most butt-ugly piece of furniture
I’ve ever seen in my life—and that includes the lime green futon in the
Riddler’s lair that’s covered in question marks.”
“You think if I tell her I screwed up she’d
help me… repair the damage.”
“I think if you word it just that way,
you’ve got a good shot.”
::But this way, I get your help.
You have good taste. Give me the platforms in order of
..:: What happened with the shots fired at
the docks? Was it Scarecrow?
How hideous? ::..
:: Was a driveby.
Cops had it locked down by the time I got there. It’s hideous, an
:: 11th Street, check.
Salesgirl said it wouldn’t stain. ::
..:: But it’s brown ::..
:: It’s more like puce.
I said least populated first.
There are apartments here got a clear view of the trains.
He wouldn’t risk being seen stashing the stuff. ::
..:: In that neighborhood, if they see
anything, they keep quiet. PUCE?
:: I thought it’d look good with the carpet.
Hey there’s something here, tied underneath—PAYDIRT!
Good idea starting near the river. ::
..:: Told ya. What color is your carpet
that you thought PUCE would be—oh never mind, pick me up Friday noon.
I’ll expect a nice lunch before, a good dinner after, and a declaration of
your eternal gratitude…
To be continued…