“Well, hot and holy darnation. Look at that!” Robin made a sweeping gesture at the cafeteria. “It’s actually still open.”
“And at this time of night.” Barbara smiled. “Who would have guessed they keep such late hours?”
“I’m gonna go sit down.” Robin snapped his fingers. “Ambrose, get me somethin’ good. No stupid hot water. Somethin’ good.”
“Well. I don’t think they serve alcohol in a hospital.” Ambrose said.
“Duh. Goes without sayin’.”
“What do you want?”
“I want a cup of tea.” Barbara said. “It doesn’t matter what kind.”
Robin thought it over. “Ehh, I guess a root beer will do.”
“You do realize that isn’t real beer, right?” Ambrose said.
Robin glared at Ambrose. “I ain’t stupid.” He grabbed Barbara’s hand. “Come with me.”
“Hey!” Ambrose extended his claws. “What’s the big idea?”
“Stupid. You think I’m gonna leave you twitterpated idiots alone? Huh? Get freakin’ real.”
“You don’t have to run off with her.”
Robin growled softly. “Stupid stupid. Like I’m really gonna steal your girl. We’re just gonna sit down. Put your hormones in a freezer and chill.” He led Barbara over to the seating area.
He scowled at the seating options: tables. Intimate tables designed for only two people to sit at, if even that.
They’ll be bumpin’ feet in no time flat.
Robin led Barbara to the middle of the room and rearranged things. He put three tables together end-to-end, shuffled two of the chairs right next to each other, and dragged a third chair over to the far end of the table train.
He stepped back and admired his handiwork. “Yep. That’ll do good.”
“Hm. Let me guess: Ambrose gets the time-out chair?”
“He isn’t going to like that.”
Robin sat down. “Tough. He wanted me to be his own personal love-blocker. I am gonna block him like crazy.”
Barbara giggled and sat next to him.
“Huh.” Robin glanced at her. “Sure feels weird sittin’ next to you like this. It’s like we’re on a date or somethin’.”
“Speaking of which, how are things going with you and Isellta?”
“I talked to him the other day.” Robin smiled as he remembered Isellta’s confession. “He loves me. ‘sellta loves me. He said so. He told me. I just don’t get why. Why me, Barb’ra? Of all the men and women out there in the world, why’d he choose me? Why’s he love me when I ain’t done a thing, not one blasted blamed thing, right? I don’t deserve him. I ain’t sure I ever will.”
“Don’t be so hard on yourself.”
“I can’t help it. I know all the stories about fey. How they love only beautiful stuff. I know ‘sellta. How he loves things that make sense. Lines that are all nice and straight.” He focused on the salt shaker. “That sure ain’t me. I’m all bristles and nonsense.”
He snapped the salt shaker. It shifted forward, but didn’t knock over. “I wish Missy hadn’t gone all pyromaniac on The Institute. I wish I could see him. Even if I ain’t able to hear his voice. Even if I’m just lookin’ at him on those monitors and playin’ guessin’ games about what he’s sayin’. I’d be able to see him. Him. His face. His innocent expression. The way he tilts his head and blinks real quick when he’s confused.”
He snapped the salt shaker harder. It dropped dead. “Why’s it gotta hurt like this, Barbara? Why can’t it be Sunday already?”
She gently laid her hand on his arm. “Sunday will come.”
“Yeah. Like in comatose slow motion.”
She giggled. “Tell me about it. But it will come. For you and Isellta. For Ambrose and me. It will come.”
“I wish it were now.”
She glanced over at Ambrose. “So do I.”