Thursday, April 13, 2006

249. The omniscient narrator

It was sometime after 1 a.m. when Oliver drove past the address in the ad, then parked the car a block and a half away and the two men made their way toward the site of the mysterious upcoming "Houston Male" event. As they walked in silence, Robin thought about how much easier it had been to do this kind of investigation in Gotham City, where he and Batman knew the streets and where their beat tended to be more downtown than a mostly residential neighborhood like this one. It occured to him that the Green Arrow must have had a far harder time of it throughout his career, constantly on the road and thus constantly on unknown turf.

Dick felt a bit like a common burglar as he and his... partner? ... snuck through back yards and under hedges along their route. There were no rooftops to swing from, and that sort of thing didn't really seem like Ollie's style, either. He'd been wondering about the whole "Green Arrow" business, since although Ollie dressed like an archer--Robin Hood, to be precise, one of the same inspirations Dick himself had followed--he didn't seem to drag around any sort of actual bow or arrows.

Dick was aware, too, that he was out of shape for this sort of mission in more ways than one. He'd worked out whenever the journey of the last several months had allowed, but nothing on the order of the training Batman had put him through. Equally dubious was his grasp of his (re-)assumed alternate identity. He realized he'd been shifting back and forth from thinking of himself as Dick Grayson and Robin, doing the same with Oliver/Green Arrow, and he was well aware that such slippages could be disastrous in a time of crisis. He reminded himself of one of the first and most important lessons Batman had taught him: that as long as he was dressed as an invincible crimefighter ready for action, he had to be that person, come what may.

There was a time when he'd been good at remaining in character, performing his extraordinary job with a ferocity and confidence wholly unlike his daylight persona. But that was before he'd been --

--Best not to think of that horrible ordeal now. Best to focus solely on the present. They had reached their destination, and--for the first time in a full year--"Robin" was a reality once more, whether he liked it or not.