Author's Note: Written for the livejournal batfic_contest prompt "Metropolis" in less than 500 words; first posted there on 30 October 2008.
"Puddin' I'm bored. I want to do something fun."
"Have you tried playing in traffic?"
"C'mon Mistah J! You've been cooped up workin' in here for weeks, Red's not around and this town has been deader than disco lately. There's nothin' to do. I've had more exciting months locked up at Arkham!"
"I'm busy, Harl."
"No Puddin'. I'm not buyin' that anymore. You need a break, I need a break. I want you to take me to Metropolis."
"You don't seem to be hearing me, Pooh. I said I'm… what was that?"
"I want you to take me to Metropolis."
"What on earth for?"
"I've never been! I want to go and do all the touristy shtick – see the view from the top of the Daily Planet building, go shoppin' on Fifth Avenue, share a midnight carriage ride in Centennial Park… it'd be so romantic!"
"We're not going to Metropolis. I've got four different schemes to bother Batsy underway, and I'm not dropping everything just to go on some hokey mini-break to the most sanitised, dull city this side of Disneyland."
"Oh please, Puddin'! Pretty please? Pretty, pretty, pretty please?"
"Can it, Harl!"
"Even if I said yes – and I'm not going to – who would look after Bud and Lou?"
"It's fine – I've already checked with this little old lady who pet-sits for folks with cats and budgies and stuff? She's short-sighted and a bit deaf, and I told her they were Canadian Laughing Chihuahuas. She'll even collect our mail and turn lights on at night so we don't get burgled!"
"Pooh, what sort of burglar would break into an abandoned toy factory?"
"Well I don't know! But she'll take care of the babies and we can have a relaxing few days seein' the sights and hearin' the sounds and smelling the smells…"
"I get it, I get it…"
"So whaddaya say Puddin'?"
"Hmm. Well I suppose it has been a while since I visited the ol' place. And Lexy does owe me $50 from that hockey game I fixed…"
"Hey! The idea was pleasure, not business!"
"Business is always a pleasure when you enjoy what you do, Harl. So there we have it. To Metropolis it is! And don't forget to pack my thicker socks – it gets pretty nippy there this time of year."
"Okay Mistah J."
"And some of my Smilex."
"Yes Mistah J."
"A few gas bombs."
"Yes Mistah J."
"And some plastic explosive and fuses."
"We're not gonna go on a midnight carriage ride, are we Mistah J?"
"That depends on whether the Big Blue Buffoon is in town, what the police response time is like and if you can find a horse that doesn't mind explosions."
"I'll look into it Mistah J…"