Wally was nervous. He had been to Wayne Manor before, but always with someone else. He was beginning to regret volunteering to do this, but it was so boring at the Watchtower this morning that he just had to get out and do something.
It was a warm, sunny spring day, so Wally had decided to go in civilian clothes to get the full affect. Unfortunately, that also meant he had to travel as a civilian. No one ever accused him of thinking ahead. So, at the moment, Wally was sitting in the back of a dingy Gotham City cab, trying to identify the smell that overwhelmed the car. The sleazy cab driver up front caught his eye in the mirror and smiled, showing ugly, broken, yellow teeth. And those were the ones he had. Awkwardly, Wally smiled back, and looked down at the package he had to deliver. It was just some papers Clark needed to get to Batman, but Wally had suggested that he do it himself, to get out of the stuffy tower. He loved the Justice League, but those people needed to lighten up some.
Looking out the window, Wally saw the house up ahead. It's like Cinderella's evil twin's castle. The idea of big scary Batman as an evil princess made Wally grin as the cab pulled up to the Manor.
Bruce had just gotten out of the shower. Running his fingers through his wet hair, he quickly put on a gray t-shirt, dark jeans, and socks, and headed down to the kitchen. It was unusual for him to home on a day like this, instead of at the Watchtower. He had been taking some time off so that his wrist could heal, which had been broken during a fight with the Joker. As it was, his wrist was wrapped up in a dark blue cast, so Batman was on vacation, because Batman just doesn't wear casts. It doesn't happen.
Making his way to the fridge, he heard voices in the foyer. He grabbed an apple and went towards the voices. Looking in the room, he saw Alfred, Wally, and an odd looking man speaking in the doorway.
"That's too much money! You can't expect me to pay that!" Wally said.
"Look, mister, it's a long drive. Most drivers wouldn't do it. I gave you a nice ride. I had air conditioning. I want my money!" the man said. Bruce was beginning to understand. He knew from experience that the drive was expensive by cab. Alfred was standing to the side, unsure what to do.
"Hey, it's wasn't any five-star cab ride. Okay? And here's a hint: get an air fresher! I don't know what's been going on in that car, and by the smell of it, I don't want to know!" Wally said.
"You insult my car after how nice I was to you? You-"the cab driver was interrupted when Bruce handed him a handful of money and politely pushed him out the door. He sent a questioning glance at Wally.
"You know, next time, just call. Someone will come get you," he said, walking into the parlor. Alfred followed, leaving Wally momentarily alone in the foyer.
"I didn't know he would charge that much! And I'm serious about that smell…" Wally said as he followed them into the room. Bruce, he noticed, had wet hair and a gray shirt on. Always gray. Jeez, maybe he's colorblind? Hm…
Bruce turned around to see Wally enter the room. He was wearing a green t-shirt and jeans, and his bright red hair was ruffled. He noted that the green of the shirt went well with his eyes. Pushing the thought aside, he sat down on his couch and turned his attention to the package in Wally's hand. "What's that?" Bruce asked.
"Um, Supes sent me with the paperwork you wanted."
"He sent you?"
"Well, okay, I volunteered. There's nothing to do up there! And it's a nice day and all so I decided that this couldn't be so bad right because sometimes you're a nice guy-well, semi-nice and then that cab driver was all sleazy and—" Bruce lifted his hand, cutting off the ramblings. Wally awkwardly stood there, and then seemed to realize he was holding the papers. "Oh, um… well, here!" He said, placing the papers on the coffee table in front of Bruce. Bruce lifted an eyebrow and took a bite of the apple. A silence took over the room, making Wally feel even more uncomfortable. Wally's eyes darted around the room, not knowing what to do. "So…"
"You can sit down, you know." Bruce said. Secretly, he was enjoying making Wally sweat. He knew he made the younger man nervous. He smirked slightly when Wally awkwardly sat down on the couch parallel from his, like if he would break it in two if he sat down too fast. Bruce continued eating his apple, almost through now, as he kept up the silence.
Alfred interrupted the tension as he burst into the room, almost running. "Master Wayne, you might want to hide. Miss Stoddard is here…" Bruce shot up from his seat, alarmed. He turned to leave the room as a woman entered.
"Brucie!" she said in a shrill voice, striking a pose in the doorframe. The woman had deeply tanned skin, and curly hair done in a pretty up-do, halfway covered by the huge sun hat she wore. She was wearing a skin-tight navy blue dress and wore bright red lipstick that perfectly framed her bright white smile was she giving now. To set off the outfit, she also had on long white gloves and navy blue pumps. In other words, she was hot. Bruce sighed as he threw away his apple core in a trash can in the corner of the room. Clapping his hands, he turned around.
"Arlene!" he said in false excitement. Wally watched curiously from his couch, and Alfred was looking at the scene with a grim smile on his face before leaving the room briskly. "What are you doing here?" Bruce asked, walking back to place his hands on the back of the couch. Wally, despite the awkwardness in the room, was enjoying the show, happy to have the positions switched. It was a weird day when Batman was nervous.
"Isn't it obvious, dear? I came to see you! Oh my, what happened to your wrist?" she was in front of him now, having walked over to him while she was talking. She seemed to be ignoring Wally. Reaching out, she grabbed his hand and put her hand on his cast. Bruce looked uncomfortable.
"Nothing, really. My temper got the worst of me and I punched a wall. Turns out, concrete is stronger than me." Pulling his hand away, he walked around the room towards Wally's couch, which he sat on the arm of. "So, is there anything I can help you with?" he asked. Wally was watching with a grin on his face, Bruce noticed.
Arlene sat down on the couch that Bruce previously was. "I just came to check up on my darling. I haven't heard from you, love."
"Arlene, I don't really know why you bother. You do realize that we aren't dating, right?" Bruce said. Wally's eyes were bouncing back and forth between the two. He noticed that her eyes slimmed at the comment.
"Not yet. But don't worry, baby. We will be together." She said this as she stood up, smoothing her skirt.
"Well, it'll sure be nice to have a future-teller in the family. But for now, I have company, you see…" Bruce said, standing up. She narrowed her eyes at Wally, the first time she had acknowledged him.
"Yes… And who is this, may I ask?" Wally stood up and reached out his hand.
"Wally West. Pleased to meet you," he said with a smile. She gave him a fake smile and ignored his hand.
"Are ya'll friends? Brucie, you never told me about him." She said. Bruce gave her a fake smile as well.
"Well maybe because we only went on one date and we aren't dating. At all."
"Like I said, not yet." Arlene was now standing in front of Bruce again, but this time she was a lot closer, jabbing a finger in his chest. "But I can change that, doll. Just give me time." She was leaning in even more, as Bruce was leaning back. He grabbed the hand that was poking him in the chest, and put it down.
"Arlene. I. Don't. Want. To. Date. You." He said this slowly, drawing out each word.
"Whatever you say, Brucie-poo." Wally winced at the pet name. He decided to save Batz. Standing up, he halfway raised his hand in the air.
"Actually," he started. The two both turned to him. Wally walked around to Bruce and put his arms around his waist. Arlene took a step back, confusion on her face. Bruce tensed at first, but relaxed when he figured out Wally's plan. "You might not get to be with him and all, since he's kinda gay." Wally said with a smile.
Arlene laughed, clapping her hands together. "You two? No way." She said, looking back and forth at them. When they looked at each other and shrugged, her eyes narrowed again. Bruce placed a hand on Wally's. "Prove it," she said.
"How?" Wally asked.