Disclaimer: I do not own Bruce Wayne, Alfred Pennyworth, Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, Barbara Gordon, Gotham City, Bludhaven, or the Bludhaven Police Department. :0) These are characters and locations in the DC Universe (DC Comics). I do not own the Walt Disney movie Oliver and Company (although I wish I had a copy... I do have the cd!) However, I borrowed the words to the song Good Company from that movie. I changed the last phrase "Good night, Oliver" to "Good night, Partner." I am not getting paid to write this story. Please, do not sue... you would not get a lot from a Louisiana schoolteacher anyway. :0)
Rated: G (There is one kiss and the phrase "Dang it!" is said a few
Summary: Bruce and Dick have a "disagreement" yet again. But Barbara knows just what will cure the hurt.
Dick Grayson knocked on the door and stood waiting nervously in the hallway. The door clicked opened and revealed a beautiful, redhead that occupied a wheelchair. She smiled sweetly up at him as he entered the apartment.
"Ready to go?" Dick asked as he bent and gave her a peck on the cheek.
"Yep, let me grab my purse," she turned and went into her bedroom.
"Babs? Can I ask you a question?" Dick asked.
"Sure. But correct answers aren't cheap," Barbara warned playfully as she returned to the living room area. Then she grew serious as she saw a hurt expression grow on Dick's face. "What's wrong?"
"Oh, it's probably something stupid. It's just that I stopped by to see Bruce before I came here... and well... I don't know..." Dick trailed off with a frustrated frown.
"What happened?" Barbara encouraged.
Dick did not talk for almost a full minute while Barbara sat patiently as he sorted through his thoughts and emotions. Finally, Dick asked, "Babs, do I really only come home or call when I need something... or want something? Am I that shallow? I mean, do I really need a specific reason to show up in Gotham besides missing my family?"
"Did you and Bruce have another fight?" Barbara was trying to understand Dick's sudden gloom.
"Disagreement, Babs... we had a disagreement," Dick muttered.
"Yep, you guys were fighting again. Let me guess, Bruce asked you what you were doing here in Gotham in that tone that says 'you must have something up your sleeve' and you popped back some smart guy remark. Am I close?"
"You hit it right in the keester. The only part you left out was Bruce telling me to go back to Bludhaven where I belong," Dick said bitterly.
"Bruce actually said that to you?" Barbara questioned.
"Not in so many words," Dick answered. "But he kept questioning me on why I was here. On and on, every time we were left alone in his office. Finally, I had enough and just flat out told him that he could never understand the concept of lonely or the need for companionship. Then he gave me that famous 'I'm hurt but I'm not going to admit it' look and practically told me to leave!"
"Bruce actually said, 'Dick, leave'?" Barbara narrowed her eyes at Dick.
"Well, no... it was more like 'Look Dick, I'm really busy. Can we discuss this later?' But he used that Voice with me. That Voice with the cold, hard edge..." Dick finished with a sigh.
"Oh... I wouldn't worry about it, Dick. You know how Bruce is. Plus, he's got a lot of stuff going on right now. Rebuilding Gotham, getting thrown out of the JLA, dealing with Hugo Strange, and dodging his so called body guard..." Barbara tried to explain.
"Yeah, you're probably right," Dick said in a very unconvincing tone.
"Hey, are you going to stay here and pout all day or are we going to catch that movie?" Barbara asked lightly.
"I guess I am being whiney... just a little bit," Dick said with a grin. "I've got a date with the hottest babe in Gotham! What right do I have to complain?"
Their tender kiss broke off slowly as the couple held each other close on the couch in Barbara's apartment. She looked into his deep blue eyes and whispered, "Do you really have to go?"
"I'm afraid so... I go on duty in two hours." Dick's face was serious. He saw the disappointment in Barbara's emerald depths. "I've got some free time this weekend though." Suddenly, the light came back into her eyes as she smiled brilliantly.
"Okay, I'll keep my end open too," Barbara said as they hugged goodbye.
As soon as she was sure Dick was gone and headed back to Bludhaven, Barbara went to her computer and logged on as Oracle. She then busied herself on preparing and sending an email message.
Bruce Wayne pulled up to the newly remodeled Wayne Manor. He sat in his car for a long time allowing his brain to rest a few minutes. Alfred was at Brentwood with Tim. With the older man's absence, Bruce would have to fix his own meal. He really missed Alfred. Except for a few years of his training abroad and a couple of months during his rehabilitation from his encounter with Bane, Bruce had never been without the company of the man who was a father to him in many ways. Alfred had always been there to confide in and draw strength from in the worst of times and to share the joys and victories in the best of times. Now Bruce felt alone. Truly alone.
But what about Dick? Bruce's conscience asked him. Dick came to see you today and you pushed him away. He was there to listen and be a friend. Why did you have to hurt him... again?
Then as if on cue, the little devil in him popped up. But Dick is always showing up without asking! Who wants an uninvited guest? He never calls to say when he's coming home. Just shows up. Serves him right. Maybe it will teach him a lesson!
Bruce mentally adjusted his halo and shot back, No! That's the point! Wayne Manor is his home. Who calls HOME to say they are coming HOME? In fact, Dick should have to call every night to say that his NOT coming home! That would solve the problem. Bruce smiled at this revelation. That's right! He should call in every night unless he's going to come home. If I don't get a phone call, then I know to expect him to show up!
Barbara reread the email message over again. She smiled at her ingenuity and gave a little giggle as she pressed the enter key to send the cyber-mail on its way.
Dick stood ironing his uniform in his boxers as he listened to the evening news. Early in the week, Dick had been told he would have to work Friday night because a senior officer was going to be out. The senior officer worked nights. Dick hated working the nightshift as a police officer, preferring to roam the rooftops dressed in his Nightwing uniform. But he had wanted to be a police officer, so he would have to take all the lumps that came with the job. Dick Grayson was not a "cop" out.
Laughing at his pun, Dick said, "Bruce may wear the pointy ears, Alfred may be the master of the kitchen, Tim's the brains, and Babs' the beauty queen, but I'm still the best punster around!" Then Dick looked around his empty apartment. "Then again, puns really aren't that much fun alone."
Suddenly, Dick heard his computer beep as it herald the arrival of an email. Quickly, he dashed to his computer to see who had sent him the email.
"Hmm... that's odd. No address listed..." Dick frowned and then brightened at the thought. "It's probably, Or-a-cle!" Dick sang as he opened the message. He stared at the screen as he watched it download.
At the same time in the Batcave, Bruce sat down in front of the large computer. His email icon began to flash and he clicked on it to see what he was receiving. Just as Dick had, Bruce noted that there was no address listed and immediately thought of Oracle. Opening the email, Bruce watched with great interest.
Both Dick and Bruce sat at their respective computers as pictures downloaded onto their screens. The pictures chronicled the two men's lives together. Dick's first birthday and Christmas at Wayne Manor along with a drawing of the Batmobile by Dick at age 10 were included among the many photographs. There were even news clippings of Batman and Robin.
Underneath the vast array of memories, a familiar song was included. Both men smiled at the memory of watching the movie Oliver and Company together. Dick had wanted to ask Bruce to take him to see the movie at the theater, but Alfred convinced him to wait until it came out on video and watch it at home. Bruce and Dick watched the movie on the big screen television at Wayne Manor with Alfred supplying them with popcorn and beverages. At the end of the evening, Bruce had asked Dick what had been his favorite part of the cartoon. Dick had told his surrogate father it was the song Good Company because it reminded him of their partnership as Batman and Robin.
Now at the same time while 70 miles apart, the men began to hum the tune of the song as they read the words on the email.
You and me together we'll be,
Forever you'll see,
We two can be good company,
You and me,
Yes, together we two,
Together that's you,
Forever with me,
We'll always be good company,
You and me,
Yes, together we'll be.
You and me,
Together we'll be,
Forever you'll see
We'll always be good company
You and me
Just wait and see.
Good night, Partner.
After reading the email, Dick grabbed for his phone and hit number one on memory. "Dang it!" he groaned as he listened to the busy signal.
"Dang it!" Bruce said listening to the busy tone. Bruce just had to talk to Dick... especially after that email! Hanging up the phone, Bruce sat sulking for a minute. Then he grabbed the receiver back up and hit the number one on the phone's memory again. "Dang it!" he exclaimed one more time in frustration.
"Dang it, Bruce! Get off the phone! I'm trying to apologize here!" Dick muttered. Then an idea beamed into his brain. Calling the police station, he mimicked a cough and sore throat coupled with a few sneezes as he told his superior officer that he was too sick to come into work. After hanging up the phone, Dick dressed in civvies and grabbed his keys. Soon he was northbound on the interstate.
Bruce walked into the vast garage and selected his newly remodeled, candy apple red, 1965 mustang convertible. He jumped in and drove out onto the highway. After a ten-minute drive, Bruce pulled onto the interstate heading south.
Dick pulled up the drive of Wayne Manor. Jumping two steps at a time, he reached to open the door only to slam into it. "Locked? Like anyone could get through the security gates!" Dick rolled his eyes as he searched for his key to the monstrous door. Stepping into the huge mansion, Dick walked swiftly to the study and the grandfather clock that led to the cave.
"Bruce? You down there?" Dick called into the dark recesses.
The only answer he received was the screeches of bats and then silence.
Bruce walked into the Bludhaven Police Department and up to a small reception desk.
"Yes?" a burly cop grumbled out.
"I'm here to see Officer Richard Grayson," Bruce answered in his most polite tone.
"Not here," another cop called over his shoulder. "Called in sick. Sounded pretty miserable, I might add."
Bruce muttered his thanks as he spun and exited the building.
"Babs, where is Batman?" Dick asked the beautiful redhead on the large computer in the Batcave.
"He's not transmitting any signal in the city... Hold on a second, Shortpants! Aren't you suppose to be at work?" Barbara demanded.
"I called in sick. Babs, I need to find Bruce. Have you heard from him?" Dick knew he sounded desperate, but he just did not care anymore.
"No... what's wrong and why are you in the Batcave?" Barbara questioned.
"Know-it-all," Dick muttered before he answered. "I just really need to talk to Bruce. It's about earlier today."
"Well, I'll see if I can find him. Just sit tight," Barbara pointed a finger at the young man on her computer screen.
Getting into the mustang, Bruce punched a panel. A hidden compartment opened up to reveal a small computer. Punching in a password, Bruce waited patiently. Finally an icon appeared on the screen and Bruce asked, "Barbara, do you know where Dick is?"
"Bruce? Where are you?" Barbara's voice suddenly barked out in irritation.
"Um... Bludhaven?" Bruce's tone sounded shocked and his location came out sounding as if he were questioning his attacker.
"You are in Bludhaven?" Barbara asked slowly.
"What, pray tell, are you doing in Bludhaven?"
"I came to see Dick... but he's not here," Bruce said in a sad voice.
"That's because he's sitting in the Batcave waiting for you to show up!" Barbara shook her head and groaned. "I swear! I have to do everything for you guys!"
"Dick's in Gotham?" Bruce sounded hopeful.
"Yes. If you hold on a minute, I can patch you through." Barbara sighed.
"Dick, you won't believe where I found him," Barbara started.
"Where? Is he okay?" Dick questioned.
"He's in Bludhaven," Barbara informed.
"What's he doing in Bludhaven?" Dick felt aggravated at Bruce going to his city without calling and asking.
"He went looking for you, Sherlock! Now get that scowl off of your face! It was that attitude that started this whole mess in the first place."
Looking a little abashed at Barbara's admonishment, Dick said, "Yeah, I guess you're right. Can you patch me through?"
"Already on it..." Barbara mumbled. "Okay guys, I'm going to disappear now. Why don't you two talk to each other?" With that being said, Barbara seemingly disconnected her line.
"Um... Bruce?" Dick asked uncertainly.
"Hi Dick. Feeling better?" Bruce questioned.
"Well, I went by the Police Department and they said you called in sick..." Bruce started.
"Oh! I faked a couple of coughs," Dick said with a little laugh.
"You're good at that. Always fooled me when you didn't want to go to school." Bruce smiled at the memory.
"But I could never fool Alfred!" Dick exclaimed.
Both men laughed and then fell silent. Finally, Bruce spoke up. "Dick, I'm sorry about today... I guess... Well, I just... Hmm... I don't know what was wrong with me."
"I'm sorry too. I shouldn't have lost my temper. I'm really sorry, Bruce." Dick sighed and then said, "So what do we do now? I'm in Gotham and you're in Bludhaven."
"Looks like we're both geniuses, huh?" Bruce added lightly. "Well, since you have the night off and both cities seem to be fairly quiet at the moment, what about renting a movie for old time's sake?"
"Sounds great! You head on back to the manor and I'll microwave the popcorn," Dick said.
"Alfred makes it on the stove," Bruce informed.
"I'm not Alfred. I microwave the stuff," Dick countered.
"Okay, I guess I won't complain too much..." Bruce mumbled.
"So what movie should we get?" Dick asked.
"How about Oliver and Company?"
"Great choice, Bruce! I love that movie!" Dick added with a smile.
"Well, you were the one who brought it up," Bruce commented.
"What do you mean?" Dick questioned.
"Well, I mean... that email you sent me... with that song," Bruce gave a quizzical look to Dick's image on the screen.
"I didn't send that email to you! You sent it to... waitaminute! If you didn't send me that email and I didn't send you that email, then who..." Dick trailed off.
Then both men shouted in chorus, "Oracle!"
Sitting in the clock tower, Barbara was listening in on the conversation between Dick and Bruce. When the men had finally pieced it all together, she allowed herself a broad smile as she sang out, "Oracle knows best!"
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