Trouble with Names by Avery Weston

‘Feet off the coffee table, please, Dick.’

Reluctantly the Boy Wonder removed his shoes.

‘You’re not still sulking about your name, are you?’

‘N-o-o,’ he whined, sulkily.

‘Look,’ said Bruce. ‘We’ve been through this a hundred times. I was thinking of Robin Hood.’

‘Robin Hood! More like Robin-fucking-Red Breast! Anyway, it’s not just the name. It’s the whole set-up.’

Alfred poked his head around the door fearfully, whisked away Dick’s coffee mug and beat a hasty retreat.

Let’s be a team, you said. We’ll fight crime together, you said. We’ll be the Dynamic Duo. The Caped Crusaders.

‘And?’

‘Uhh. What do we drive – or, more precisely, what do you drive – when we’re on our crime fighting adventures?’

‘The Batmobile.’

‘And where do we park it?’

‘In the Bat Cave.’

‘That’s right. And how do we access the Bat Cave?

‘With my remote Bat Key or down the Bat Slide.’

‘Uh huh. And where do you keep the Bat Key?’

‘Dick, you know all this. On my Bat Belt.’

‘Do you not see a pattern emerging here, Batman?’

‘Well, we can hardly drive a Robin Reliant, can we?’

Dick sprang to his feet. ‘I never wanted to be Robin! I wanted to be Thor or Kick-Ass or Green Lantern.

Bruce stood toe-to-toe with the younger man. ‘But those names have all gone.’

‘They have now!’

‘Oh, come on. It’s not that bad.’

‘What? As always, you get to be the cool one. The bad motherfucker. The hip dude. I’m Ragged Robin. Round Robin.’

‘Look. I’ll let you drive the Bat … the car tonight. You can sit on my lap and work the steering wheel. Remember, you used to like that.’

Dick was frothing at the mouth now. ‘Don’t provoke me, Bruce. It’s not even just that. When I’m not Robin, what am I?’

‘Why, you’re Dick, Bruce Wayne’s young ward.’

‘Young? I’m thirty-fucking-two. I’ve been your ward for seventeen years! And do you know what ward sounds like? Do you know what Commissioner Gordon and Chief ‘Thick as a Brick House Door’ O’Hara are thinking when you say, “Oh, here’s Dick Grayson, my ward.”’

‘What?’

‘They’re thinking Oh, it’s Bruce’s Pillow Biter.’

‘What? That you’re my faggot?’

‘Holy LGBTQ, Bruce! You can’t say that shit these days.’

‘They think you’re my lover?’

‘Of course, they do. I’ve seen the bastards sniggering.’

‘Well, this is a dilemma, Dick, I’ll grant you. But we can’t argue about it now. We’ve got Catwoman hogtied downstairs in the … in the … thingy-cave. I need to interrogate her.’ He grasped a lever, pulled on it hard and the bookshelves revolved, revealing an entrance to the inner sanctum.

‘Well, I was thinking about that. What if I …?’

‘What? Had a bit of pussy action? Stroked the kitten’s fur? That would make everything alright?’

‘Well, it would help.’

Bruce chuckled. ‘Well, you truly are a Cock Robin. Go on then. Be my guest.’

A tear of gratitude rolled down Dick’s cheek.


Copyright © 2018 Avery Weston. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.

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