Part 719 – A Certain Problem

It wasn’t until they were half-way through the business district that a certain problem occurred to Raven.

“Robin. Wait.”

Robin looked back at him. “What?”

“There seems to be a significant problem.”

“Again, what?”

He glanced at Missy, who was still dressed up like an escaped patient. “She cannot very well live in that outfit all the time. It hardly counts as proper clothing.”

“Oh.” Robin scratched the back of his head. “Easy fix! We go into an army surplus store, slap together an outfit from this and that – kind of a mix and match —-”

“An army surplus store.”

“Yeah.”

“I beg your pardon, but I fail to see how that would help. We cannot very well wrap her up in rows of bullets and bayonets.”

Robin stared at him. “Okay. I know you’re behind the times, but you stupid or somethin’? They have clothes there! Like, you know, clothes!”

Raven shook his head.

“And they got more than just camouflage there. Just in case your brain was takin’ that stupid route.”

Raven shook his head again, which set his day exhaustion into tilt-a-whirl mode.

Missy caught him before he could fall.

He smiled at her. “No. She deserves something better than toss-me-downs.”

“The term is hand-me-downs.”

Raven ignored his correction. “Do you happen to have any money on hand?”

Robin scoffed. “Yeah. I grabbed my wallet just before we left. No. What about you?”

“I—” He rubbed his forehead. “Wallet…on dresser…”

“Of course, it is. Okay. So, here’s the plan. We go to the army surplus store, grab a bunch of clothes that look half-way decent together, and run for the hills.”

Raven bleared a look at him.

Robin sighed. “But I’m talkin’ to Mr. Pishity Posh Dainty White Hankie Vampire. Fine. What’s your idea?”

“Certainly not stealing.”

“You got a weird sense of morals. I wonder if you know that.”

Raven rubbed his forehead. “It is too warm out. Too tired. Cannot think.” He opened his eyes. “No. I…I do have an idea.”

***

Barbara typed the information in the computer, hit Save, and then Print. “All right. Yes. Yes, I have that all written down. I will put that into your mailbox. All right! Was there anything else you needed? Well, thank you! Have a great day!”

She hung up the phone.

Just as Missy walked through the front doors. She carried Raven over her shoulder and had Robin tucked in the crook of her arm like a football.

Barbara jumped out of her seat and ran over to her. “What happened?”

“Day exhaustion.”

Barbara uncorked Robin out of her grasp and guided him to a chair in the lobby.

He sighed and slid down into a slouch.

“What were they doing out and about this time of day?”

Missy helped Raven into his own seat. Her hands lingered on him longer than needed. “They were rescuing me from The Institute.”

“Oh. And you are…?”

Missy turned to face her. “I don’t really know my real name Antioch called me XQ and Raven calls me Missy I suppose I have a real name I’m pretty sure I do but I have no idea what it is so you can just call me Missy.”

Barbara giggled. “Well! That is a mouthful.” She noticed Missy’s interesting sartorial choices. “Ummm? Do you have a change of clothes?”

“Nope. We left The Institute in a big hurry so we didn’t even think about going and grabbing my clothes it never even crossed our minds well it never crossed my mind I don’t know if it crossed their minds but I assume it didn’t because I doubt that they would have let me go outside in just this if they had thought about it.”

“So you don’t have any clothes other than what you’re wearing?”

“Nothing at all. Not even underwear.”

Barbara was appalled. “I get off of work in about five hours. Will you be okay taking them home? Wait. Do you even know where they live?”

“I do. I’ve been there before.”

“Good. Umm, I guess just stay there. I’ll pick you up after work and take you clothes shopping.”

Missy’s face brightened with a smile. “Thank you!” She ran back to Raven.

He woke up and gave her a sleepy look of love.

Barbara smiled and returned to work.

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