Is it a date?

October 19, 2015:

Dick Grayson takes Harper Row out for dinner.

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NPCs: None.

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Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Dick Grayson arrives at Harper's place in a dark blue convertible, a vintage 60s Camaro. He has the top up, though, allowing for the weather, sliding out and approaching the door with a slight spring in his step. He's wearing a black turtleneck, jeans and boots, his dark hair brushed back and tucked behind his ear where it's grown out a bit.

He raps on the door a couple of times. He's not nervous, per se - nerves aren't really in the Grayson blood, part of the whole schtick is being fearless - but he's still shuffling on his feet a little bit. Unsure of what sort of reaction he's going to get. He'd asked her to grab a bite to eat, but did that count as a date to her? Was she just getting some free food - because, hey, who could blame her? After some of what she said about him the other night, he still wasn't exactly sure where he stood - but he always liked to press his luck.


Harper really wasn't expecting the call. She was just joking in the hospital room; no one would really give her a second look and she almost liked it that way. But.. the call came, and he was going to be there. Cullen pitched fits in hopes that at least Dick Grayson swung his way so that he could at least have a chance to date him but, if anyone was good for his sister, he claimed, it was Dick Grayson.

But the quick knock at the door had Cullen pushing her reluctantly towards it, the young man hiding behind it as Harper opens up the door, a bright smile upon her face and a slight little smile. "Hey.. Uh.."

Her purple hair was just a touch longer, streaks of black littering her locks, her piercings were changed for something more black and her lipstick was a dark maroon. The form fitting skaters dress she wore with black and grey plaid seemed to take her out of a retro magazine, her thin arms littered with spikes as well as the boots that lace up to her knees.

Was this a date? She wasn't sure. But she was damn sure getting free food out of it. Her dark eye-makeup was fitting at least, and as she steps outside and closes the door behind her, she looks on to the car, then gives a slight shake of her head. "Well I'll be damned. Richard Grayson has a bit of style." She teases.


Dick Grayson grins and shrugs, "A little bit, but don't worry, I'll wear a Hawaiian shirt out in public next week so that the rumors don't dig in too deep," he says. He waves to Cullen, but quickly moves to escort Harper away - he doesn't need a tagalong, thank you very much. He leads Harper out towards the car, hitting the alarm button and making the lights flash as he goes to open the door for her.

"Looking pretty damn good yourself, for the record, Miss Row," he says. "And, unfashionable though it may be, I prefer Dick to Richard. Let the jokes commence," he says, moving around to get in the driver's seat.


"Oh god no. Please don't. I don't think even you can pull that off, you're totes lacking the big pot belly and hairy beard, know what I'm saying?" She waves a hand over her face as she glances back towards Cullen, who's all wide eyed with a grin and waves all prettily to his sister. But as Dick leaders her from the porch, she gives one last look back towards the door, her smile fading as her eyes begin to wander.

It's typical that she does this, given where she lives, her body language seemingly distracted as she looks down the street to make sure that no unsightlies were waiting upon the corner. She also takes a look down the other street, and towards the sky, making sure the stolen drone was in place so that she could watch her neighborhood from above. Good.. everything was fine..

"Hmmm? Dick?" She totally missed everything he said, save for that word. "What?" She gives him a weird look, then flops into the front seat of the car, her hands immediately tugging her dress down as she shifts uncomfortably. "Oh! Your name. Right. Sure. We can do that. I could come up with a shit ton others but.. well, that'd be rude."


Dick Grayson grins, "I've heard them all, I promise. You live in a much rougher neighborhood, but Gotham private schools use their improved vocabularies to come up with a lot of colorful euphemisms," he says. He throws the car into gear, pulling out smoothly as he slides on a pair of sunglasses, reducing the glare from the setting sun as he takes them out into the street.

"I didn't figure you to be too crazy about the white tablecloth sort of place, but I'm also not so crass as to take a girl out for fast food. But I know a really good Thai place downtown, a little out of the way, but they give you giant portions. So long as you can handle spicy food. If not, we can definitely still get Big Macs," he grins roguishly.


"Oh.. as if living the highlife was soooo hard." Harper teases. And then they're off! "You know, the only thing that I'm really crazy about is getting something to eat. So we can go where ever you want. Nothing is too hot, too spicy for Harper Row." She laughs just a touch, looking back into the side mirror to watch her street become so much smaller .. it always shook her when she left that area, and the worry played in the back of her head time and time again..

"So.. I didn't get to say thank you for saving my life that day. And if I did say thank you, I was probably hopped up on a cocktail of drugs that.. well, would make Charlie Sheen jealous." She was healed for the most part, but there were days she could still feel the bullets passing through her back. Not to mention, the shot to her leg, which she tries to walk straight.. "So.. thanks and all of that."


Dick Grayson shakes his head, "Seriously, it's the least I could do. Gotham gets a bad rep, but being decent is a lot more common than people think. It's just the crazy people who make the headlines so the rest of us look bad," he says. "But you're very welcome."

"I actually met Charlie Sheen once. Seemed nice enough, although he definitely smelled a little funky. I don't think they make deodorant on whatever part of Mars he lives on these days," he says.


"The crazys.." Harper echoes, looking back into the rear-view mirror again. She was far from home now, and this causes her fingers to clench hard, almost as if she were riding her motorcycle. She retrieves her phone, tilting it away from Dick so that she could access the SRD placed over her street. Everything was well and quiet. And that was a good thing.

"You did what?" She asks with her eyes slightly widened, the intimdation was.. very high. He's met a true blue movie star.. his 'brother' is Bruce Wayne.. he's rich.. handsome.. why in the world was he indulging her like this? This was just… damn stupid. And it made her just a touch uncomfortable. "Maybe.. burgers doesn't sound like a bad thing.."


Dick Grayson raises an eyebrow. It was easy enough to see that she was uncomfortable, even if he wasn't a world class detective. Which he was. He smoothly turns and shakes his head, "I dunno, I think you'll like this place. Humor me," he says.

"Must be tough taking care of your brother on your own. I got lucky, I know, having Bruce take me in after my family died. But I would've given all that up if I could've had my big brother take care of me instead," he says. He doesn't think much about them anymore, or tries not to. Old wounds still burn.


Harper gives him a look, it wasn't a look that was angry or cutting. It was just one that held a bit of a thought.. then finally relaxing into something sort of a smile. "Yeah.. okay. I'll humor you." She laughs a little, her head shaking as she stares out into the street, her arms wrapping about herself as she looks out of her own window instead of his.

"I've done it all my life really. It's all he's ever known." She does glance back towards him now, thoughtful. "I think you did have your brother with you all along. But, I know you mean something completely different than that. Still.. my points better and it just.. sticks." She reaches out to lightly grasp his thigh, then looks back out to the window again, falling into silence.


Dick Grayson lets his hand slip from the wheel and lay on hers for a moment before he answers, "Not sure if I believe in all that stuff. I guess I should," he says. He's seen enough of the supernatural in his day, but the thought of his family with him…it should be comforting, but somehow it only makes him more angry. They should've been there in the flesh, not just spirits, wafting around behind him like steam from a sewer.

That anger probably shows in his face for just a moment before he smooths it away, "I don't really talk about them. It's like I had two lives, really. Sometimes it's like I died with them. Like who I am now isn't even the same person as that kid who used to ride elephants and steal cotton candy…"


"You gotta hang on to something to make sense of all this stuff, though.." Her hand turns just a little, her fingers draping around his, her thumb idly caressing his hand as she looks away again. She didn't see the anger, but she could probably feel it. Her own life was a disappointment, and for many purposes, it still is. She'll never be free from this place until her brother is far, far away from Gotham, on a track to become something great and very alive and happy. She's going to give it all up, just for him.

The thought causes her to squeeze Dick's hand, then slowly draws away to fold her arms about herself, nodding slightly to his words. "Yeah.." She murmurs softly, wanting to add in her own words but.. what could she say to comfort him? She had sympathy for him but not the words. "I get it.."


Dick Grayson nods quietly, 'I know you do," he said. It was one of the ties that tended to bind them all, even if he wasn't acknowledging that deeper connection, the connection that brought them to meet sometimes on rooftops behind masks. The parts of him that he had to hide.

"I know it seems like we're pretty different. But that's the thing - we're not. I've had some luck in my experiences, in where I landed, but that doesn't mean I…let me put it this way," he says, "I had a lot of things, but Bruce made pretty sure I wasn't spoiled." he says. If anything, of course, he was the opposite - not many other billionaire kids had to run suicide sprints or learn to withstand physical pain or deprivation the way Dick did.


She draws her hand away from his as she draws her feet upon the seat, knees bunching against her chest as her chin rests upon her kneecap.. She didn't know of their connection but this one? She could feel it. He was.. different. A lot more different than she could have ever imagined.

"You don't seem like it.." Harper confesses. "I'm pretty sure if you did grow up spoiled you wouldn't have.. you know.. saved me like you did. A total stranger. And, I just think it's really cool that we're doing this. I.. don't know what to call it but this, this is really nice." She desperately wanted to change the subject..

"So um.. did you hear about that police officer the other night? Does one of your cop buddies have any connection with that guy?"


Dick Grayson smiles and shakes his head, "I don't see any need to put a label on it. I like you, I wanted to spend time with you and spending time included getting food. The rest will work itself out," he says.

To the last question, he narrows his eyes, although he's partially amused. She might actually be working him for intel! "Nothing that wasn't in the papers already," he says. "The papers are having a field day with this…pig thing, but it's all tabloid scare stuff, no real investigation. Probably cause most of the actual investigative reporters in this town end up getting sawed in half by Two-Face…"


"I.. I like you too.. In a.. total.. not damsel in distress kind of way. But you're pretty cool." Hide the blush and look away, Harper Row. And she does so, staring out of the window. Though, his words cause her to frown. "I'm actually kind of glad I've never met the guy, only heard of him through reputation." She's a liar. She saw him, fought for him, and took his money and made the rent. And groceries for two months.

"That's it? I mean… what are the cops doing about this, if at all?" Harper was frustrated, she wants things to change but.. it was getting darker by the second. And.. it bothered her, visibly so, to the point a chill ran down her spine.


Dick Grayson finally finds a place to park, a parking garage a few blocks away from their destination. It's probably not helping the atmosphere, dark and a bit secluded, the kind of place people get mugged in Gotham all the time. It's a better neighborhood, but it still isn't exactly the Heights. Dick doesn't seem nervous but, well, Dick never does.

"Their best, as usual, but the city's resources are always stretched thin. Not enough budget, not enough hours, not enough cops. Kids in Gotham don't usually grow up wanting to be cops - they've seen too many of them get killed on the local news," he says, sliding the car into park and looking across at her. "They'll get the guy. One way or another. Either the cops will or…they will," he says, raising an eyebrow.


While any random person would mind the fact that they're parking somewhere far, and in the dark.. Harper didn't. In fact, she gets out of the car with ease as soon as it was shut off, her eyes upon the area with a lowered brow as if she were ready to haul off and smack the next person that spoke any ill word towards her. It also didn't help the fact that she was armed with a taser. Not that she didn't trust Dick but.. she grew up in the Narrows.

Clue right there.

"Them.. as in the infamous Bat-crew?" She seemed almost snarky saying that, but she had to. She had to keep who she was a secret, even if she wasn't widely known. "What do you think about them anyways? The Batman and Nightwing and Robin. Don't you think it's weird that the police aren't arresting them?"

Aww.. she's deflecting!


Dick Grayson knows the trick well, having indulged in it a time or two himself. Still, somebody's got to stick up for the honor of the squad. "Because a lot of the cops have had their lives saved by them. Notably including the Commissioner himself, more times than he can count," he says. Gordon was, of course, the Bats ace in the hole - Bruce, he knew, dreaded the day somebody else climbed up the food chain, if only because they would be far less reliable and possibly hostile.

"I think the city would be worse off without them, that's for sure," he says, moving over and taking her hand - for her safety, of course - as they walk through the garage.


So, he was good with the Bat-family hanging around, that was a plus in her book. "Wow.." Is all she could muster, turning around to strike a little grin, an ace in his book. If he respected Batman, then she respected him. Good! "I think so too.." She readily admits, her brow raising as he grabs her hand, her own curling around his fingers to follow him out of the parking lot. "I don't think you have to worry too much about your cop friend.. or anyone else for that matter. I think the Batman and his crew are going to fix everything and make it alright.."

She truly believes that, so much that she squeezes his hand, tugging him close to her as her shoulder bumps against his arm, close. "I.. well, if you were offered the chance.. would you do what they're doing? You know.. fighting crime behind a mask?"


Dick Grayson curls his fingers in hers when she bumps against him, although he raises an eyebrow at the comment. Hell, een he wasn't sure they would fix everything and make it all right. They would catch the guy, that much he felt certain of, especially after the clues that he and Harper had uncovered just the night before. But would everything be all right? Not for some of the victims, at least, not ever again.

At the question, he chuckles, "Well, I mean…maybe. I did become a cop, after all. Sort of the same deal, although the clothes aren't as fancy. They seem to get really nice cars, I'd definitely like that."


"I think you should go back to being a cop. If anything, they need more people like you in their corner. Someone who.. you know.." She squeezes his hand again, a light blush frosting her cheeks as she lets out a deep sigh. She.. really likes him. But.. what she did say to Nightwing the other night still hung over her head. This wasn't a date. No. They were just hanging out. As friends. Who were holding hands. And.. touching shoulders.

"So.. to change the subject, Mister Dick Grayson. It's quite obvious that you have a love of cars, what else do you like?"


Dick Grayson doesn't place the same limits, necessarily, on their relationship that she did. Largely because he had spent a while doing the same sort of thing when he starting out as a vigilante. it's a lot easier to swear off love when you're a thirteen year old in a yellow cape and green shorts, however. He'd learned that heart and mind didn't necessarily play along and you were better off not fighting such things. But you did have to try to accomodate them as safely as you could.

"Well, Thai food, obviously, although I have nothing against those burgers. Um…I like to travel, although I dont do it much. Go to movies, although I don't do it much. Basically I like to do a lot of things that I dont' get to do very often. Including take pretty girls out for spicy food."


"Thai food.. mmhmm.." Harper comments, yet.. he's called her pretty. She sort of shied away from that, uncurling her fingers from his to draw her arms upright to fold about her chest. Her eyes remain upon the ground, even as she still retained that closeness, bumping against him a touch of the way as she smiles just.. brightly. This felt good. She doesn't have a worry about a thing.

"Well obviously, we need to find a decent movie to see one day. Since.. we're hanging out and all." She even snaps her fingers just a touch. "Like.. BFF's or.. I don't know. You don't strike me as the 'Netflix and Chill' sort.. I mean.. not that I do that or anything.. you know.. Chill. I mean I Netflix but not.."

Cue even redder cheeks.


Dick Grayson smiles and grasps both her wrists, turning her to face him a bit. He watches her shuffle and blush and finds it almost shocking to see this same woman he's seen tase maniacs right in the balls now squirming like a schoolgirl in front of him. It was a bit flattering, actually.

"We will definitely have to do some Netflix. As for chilling, well, we'll figure that out when we get to it, huh? Which isn't to say I don't want to chill, because…well, I'm not crazy, I definitely want to chill with you. I've been thinking about ice cubes and the North Pole all day, I'm so into chilling."

"All of which will probably be less likely after a large dose of chicken pad thai. I'll try to keep portions under control," he says.


He could probably feel it, the slight tug of surprise when he grabs her. It wasn't a tug that a regular girl on a date would do, but one that a scrapper would do. One of his own. Batman's own. But she relaxes, her shoulders dropping, her brows raising as she puts on a nervous smile, her fingers pressing hard against the other as she looks up towards him and then away. "I.. what?" She manages to get out, breaking out into full on laughter, wretching herself from his grasp to slip an arm in between his to drag him along, her boots louder now with a bit of confidence.

"I don't want you to keep the portions under control, you hear? You line my plate up with as much food as you like goddamn it and if I get any less? We're going to do battle."


Dick Grayson holds up his hands as if he's about to be robbed, "I surrender. All the food belongs to you," he says, pushing his sunglasses up onto his forehead. "C'mon, it's just around the corner. I'll see about getting us a seat away from the kitchen. Sometimes the steam from the peppers'll make your eyes water if you're too close," he says.

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