Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Bruce/Dick, Alfred Pennyworth, Barbara Gordon, Donna Troy
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: The morning after the Halloween Ball.
Date Of Completion: April 14, 2015
Date Of Posting: February 8, 2016
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1018
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Entered into my2015 DCU Fic/Art Dick Grayson Diamond Anniversary Challenge. The entire series can be found here.
"THE STAR OF ISIS STOLEN!"
The Gotham Gazette
November 1, 1907
Dick ruefully touched the back of his head, Alfred tut-tutting as he offered him a hot cup of tea on a tray.
“Thank you, Alfred.”
“Drink up, Master Dick. It will do you good.”
Dick was stretched out on the couch in the front parlor in his gold lame pajamas and yellow robe. A fire crackled in the fireplace.
Bruce entered the parlor. “How are you?”
“Still a bit of a headache.” Dick sipped his tea. “That thief packs quite a wallop.”
“Er, yes.” Bruce leaned over the couch. “Quite a bit of excitement.”
“No kidding, Sherlock.”
Alfred was looking steadily at Bruce. “Care for tea, sir?”
“Yes, thank you.”
The butler left the parlor and Bruce came around the couch and sat down. “I hate it that you got knocked cold.”
Dick grinned ruefully. “I’m not crazy about it myself.”
“What a night.”
“It’s such a shame that you got to the library too late. That burglar is one fast cat!”
“Yeah, as in ‘cat burglar’.”
Dick sipped more tea. “Are you all right?”
“Of course. I wasn’t the one who got knocked on the bean!”
“Don’t blame yourself.”
Bruce rubbed Dick’s thigh. “Some Raven I am.”
“Well, I wasn’t much of a Nightingale! I guess we’ll have to check on our friendly neighborhood fence.”
“I’ll do that.” Bruce accepted the teacup that Alfred proffered to him. “You just rest.”
Dick let out an exaggerated sigh. “Yes, sir.”
Bruce and Dick talked while Alfred returned to the kitchen. When they had exhausted the topic of the robbery, Dick asked, “Did you read my notes on the Abolitionist Society?”
“I did. Hard to believe that Ellery Townsend’s ancestors were members.”
“Yes, well, descendants are often different.”
“Mmm.” Dick set his teacup on a coaster on the coffee table. “Do you think the Gold Coast Burglar will strike again?”
“I think…he…will not be seen again.”
Barbara read the paper as she waited at The Taste Of Paris Café. She ate a buttery croissant while drinking a demitasse. It was too cold to sit at one of the sidewalk tables, and the owner would be putting them into storage soon, anyway.
It was a good breakfast crowd. Maybe she would order another croissant. The tiny bells over the door jingled.
“Sorry I’m late,” Donna apologized as she set her parasol against the wall and took the chair opposite Barbara.
“Perfectly all right. I know it’s early for a ballerina.”
Donna chuckled. “Try lead ballerina.”
“Yes, I’ve been reading the story. So Selina Kyle decided not to re-sign with the Gotham Ballet Company?”
“That’s right. Roy told me that she’d decided a few days ago.”
“She’s already signed with the Metropolis Ballet Company.”
“She must have gotten the offer before telling Jean-Paul she was done.”
The waiter came over and Barbara suggested, “Order the croissant.”
Donna took her advice. After the waiter had left, she leaned forward. “What have you got for me?”
“Bruce dumped Selina.”
“Hmm.” Donna leaned back. “I suppose it’s not unusual. Once a rich kid is done with a dancer or actress, he usually dumps her.”
“Selina the type to take getting dumped without protest?”
Donna smiled knowingly. “Not unless it served her purposes.”
Donna’s croissant and demitasse were brought. She thanked the waiter and asked Barbara, “I suppose it’s front-page news about the robbery at the Townsend Halloween Ball last night?”
“Banner headline.” Barbara showed Donna the paper.
“I’ll have to get the dope from poor Dick.”
“Yes, apparently the Burglar conked him on the head in the gardens.”
“Oh, dear! Is he all right?”
“Mr. Pennyworth assured me he’s fine when I called this morning. I’m going for a visit after rehearsal.”
“That thief is one bold gentleman.”
“I agree.” Donna skimmed the story. “He even took the priceless ebony cat statues!”
Barbara took a bite of her croissant. “He seems pretty thorough.”
Donna laughed. “Apparently.” She turned the page. “Ah, here’s a story on Dick. Nothing too detailed, just what Mr. Pennyworth told me.”
“Who’s Mr. Pennyworth?”
“Of course,” Barbara said dryly.
“Thank you for the information on Bruce and Selina.”
“I got it from a ballet publication. I had to do some digging as it was some years ago, but it was a glossy little publication that happily included gossip.”
“Ah, the lifeblood of the theater: the grapevine!”
Barbara chuckled. She took back the paper and read the item about Dick. “I wonder if we’ve seen the last of Miss Selina Kyle?”
“I would bet no.” Donna bit into her flaky croissant.
“What is it, Alfred?”
Bruce entered the kitchen as Alfred prepared lunch. The butler looked at him with a neutral expression.
“Did you let her go?”
Bruce automatically looked over his shoulder. Of course no one was there. Dick was still on the couch.
Bruce turned back to Alfred. He did not bother to ask who the woman was whom Alfred had referred to.
Alfred stifled a sigh. “A most dangerous move, sir.”
“Not one taken lightly.”
Alfred resumed chopping carrots. “What about Master Dick?”
Bruce looked guilty. “I can’t tell him.”
“About last night or 1903?”
Alfred paused in his chopping. “Master Bruce, if your young man ever finds out you kept all this from him…”
“I’m well aware of the consequences but you know it’s more than Selina knowing my…tastes. I could survive that scandal as rough as it would be, but the other secret she knows?” He shook his head. “I can’t tell him.”
“Very well, sir.”
Alfred’s tone indicated his disapproval. He could see the sadness in Bruce’s eyes, so restrained himself from further comment. Bruce left the kitchen to return to the parlor.
“I do hope you are correct in keeping this from Master Dick, sir, but I fear this will blow up in your face someday,” Alfred said quietly.
With a sigh, he resumed chopping the carrots for lunch.