Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Bruce/Dick (Bruce does not appear in this chapter), Jean-Paul Belliveau, Barbara Gordon
Genres: AU, Historical, Mystery, Romance
Rating (this chapter): G
Warnings (this chapter): None
General Summary: A series of daring robberies on Gotham City’s Gold Coast catches the attention of the Raven and the Nightingale.
Chapter Summary: After his audition, Dick discovers a Gotham treasure.
Date Of Completion: September 6, 2014
Date Of Posting: July 6, 2015
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1022
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Submitted to my 2015 DCU Fic/Art Dick Grayson Diamond Anniversary Challenge. The entire series can be found here.
In marble halls
Dick began his routine in the cavernous theater, keeping time in his head as he had no musical accompaniment. Jean-Paul Belliveau was his only audience, sitting stiffly in a chair in the sixth row. He tapped one knee impatiently with his cane.
Dick’s nervousness had melted away to a pure calmness. He knew that he was good. He had danced before the crowned heads of Europe. Surely he could make the cast of this American company!
He concentrated on his routine. No matter what the outcome, this is what he lived for. He knew Belliveau’s type: embittered, cutting, and envious.
Let him. I know how good I am.
He finally finished with a flourish, bowing as he met Belliveau’s eyes. He straightened and waited. Silence was his only answer.
Belliveau still said nothing. Dick knew the game. He crossed his arms and waited.
Finally Belliveau must have realized how ridiculous this was and grunted, “You are adequate. Report tomorrow at one o’clock.”
He levered himself up from the seat and clomped away. Dick was more amused than annoyed. He wiped himself down with a towel he had brought and changed into his street clothes, leaving the Savoy with a bouncy step and a small duffel bag.
Once outside he walked down the sidewalk with a smile, his yellow scarf a dashing accent around his neck. Admiring glances were thrown his way by women and covertly by a few men.
He wandered through the downtown area, curious about the city. He bought a newspaper and read it while he drank coffee in a small café. On the move again, he noted where there were clothing stores, restaurants, and business, coming to an impressive building that turned out to be a bank.
Another splendid building on a tree-shaded side street attracted his attention. Marble steps led up to a facade of Ionic columns and brass-paneled double doors. Letters etched over the entrance read GOTHAM PUBLIC LIBRARY. Dick went inside.
The quiet was soothing as Dick entered the foyer. The floor was polished to a high sheen and there were marble wall panels interspersed with regular wood. The ceiling held oblong globes for light and a marble desk with a gold-embossed sign read Information.
A prim, red-haired woman was busy checking a stack of books back in. Her hair was set in a pompadour and her dress was pale green with fashionable puffed sleeves. Pearl buttons reached from her collar to her waist.
“May I help you, sir?” asked the librarian.
“This is my first time here.”
“Ah, well, you’ll find the A-Z stacks down here in two rooms on the first floor, a reading room, and washroom facilities down that way.” She pointed to a small corridor next to the main staircase. “Upstairs is our collection of periodicals and newspapers.”
“Thank you, Miss…?”
Dick smiled at her and went into the room to the left, pleased at the multitude of windows that let in autumn light. Potted palms and ferns were placed around the room. Furniture included long tables, chairs, and overstuffed chairs with small tables by the windows. There were patrons scattered about, reading and smoking. A desk marked Reference was in one corner but no one was behind it. Shiny brass spittoons were set by the overstuffed chairs. The second room was much the same, and the reading room was cozier with the more comfortable chairs and small tables.
Upstairs the stacks were set by the long tables and straight-backed chairs. Dick put his soft bag on a table and perused the stacks. He found several newspapers on the date of his arrival with Bruce and Alfred in Gotham Harbor. He set the stack on the table, took a seat, and began to read.
He was amused by headlines that said Royal Return, Gotham’s Favorite Son Comes Home, and Bruce Wayne Back In Town. He chose the second headline written in The Gotham Gazette. The writer was Vicki Vale. He began to read.
Looking as regal as any royal, Bruce Wayne alighted on the dock from the Queen Mary in the company of his manservant, Mr. Alfred Pennyworth, and European ballet dancer Richard Grayson. Jovial and accommodating, Mr. Wayne answered reporters’ questions and expressed his joy in being back in America.
“I’m very glad to be back in the good ol’ U. S. of A. I plan to have a Porterhouse steak with a mess of hash browns and apple pie for dessert.” He was forthcoming with the following: “We stopped off in England on the way home and Alfred visited his family while Dick and I watched the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace and saw the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London.”
When questioned about his presence, Mr. Grayson said, “I have always wanted to visit the United States. There is much to see in your wonderful country.”
Dick was impressed with Miss Vale. She got all the quotes right! She painted a good picture of the hoopla at the docks. She wrote about Bruce’s Grand Tour itinerary and was not overly sensationalistic, though her writing kept the story interesting.
The picture accompanying the article was credited to Miss Vale. She’s a good photographer, too.
Dick read through the other papers, amused at all the fuss over his handsome lover. He refolded the papers and thought, The town’s socialite mothers must be dancing with glee now that Bruce is back.
He felt a twinge of jealousy. Would Bruce have to end up marrying one of their daughters? Where would that leave him?
He put the newspapers back in the stacks. He was being silly. Bruce was not tired of him yet! He picked up his bag and went downstairs with a light bounce in his step.
At the Information Desk he saw Miss Gordon. “Thank you for your help.”
“You’re welcome, sir.”
Dick smiled. He took note of the library’s hours from a bulletin board on the wall and knew he would return soon.