5506/Dinner at Stephanie's

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Dinner at Stephanie's
Date of Scene: 08 March 2021
Location: Stephanie Brown Apt - University Apartments
Synopsis: Stephanie's version of a four course meal is enjoyed. And, as I recall, I think, we both kind of liked it.
Cast of Characters: Stephanie Brown, Dick Grayson

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie made a bet and lost. And paying that bet off took a little preparation. But after a day or two, Stephanie had decided she had everything she needed on hand. The college student listens to the loud music playing in the next apartment over. One of the tribulations in living in an apartment building right across the street from campus. Though it's a good song, so she dances a bit as she stands in her kitchen, wearing shorts and a Gotham U t-shirt, and looking at a recipe.

"Ok, we got a plan. I don't know if it's a good plan. It might end up with food poisoning Bruce's oldest song. But! It's a plan," she tells herself.

She walks over to her couch and plops down on it, pulling out her phone and pulls up Dick Grayson's contact in it. She hits dial on his number, crossing her legs with her feet on the coffee table as she waits for him to pick up.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson is actually home for a change, on his couch and playing with his gaming system. Responsible adult indeed. When his phone rings he pauses his game and reaches over to grab it, answering, "Grayson."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie doesn't tell him who it is, though she sends enough texts about eating at Hot Dumplings or whatever else, that surely he has her in his phone by now that he can tell who it is. "So I've got to wonder if you ever looked up the history of your name. Was it just a guy named Gray who had a son? Or was it maybe some guy who turned prematurely gray-haired at the age of 20, and he had a son later?" Stephanie asks.

"Ok don't answer that. You can tell me at dinner. A bet's a bet. I was thinking maybe tomorrow evening if that's convenient for you?" she asks into the phone. "Maybe... oh, 7 o'clock?"

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson shakes his head even though she can't see it and chuckles, "Steph, always a pleasure being at the receiving end of one of your trains of thought. And one sec... tomorrow night... " He pulls up his appointment calender "Yeah, I'm free, so it sounds like a plan. I'll be there at 7. Should I bring anything?"

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The young woman's grin can be heard in her voice after Dick comments on her train of thought. "Nope, just your appetite. Oh, unless you want alcohol. If you want wine or beer or something with your meal then you'll have to bring it. Otherwise the best you get is sparkling grape juice," she tells him.

Stephanie hops up and goes over to the kitchen. "Apartment 807, up on the top floor. See you at seven then," she tells him.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick replies, "Got it, I'll see you tomorrow." and ends the call.

The next day, she can probably hear the rumble of his bike as it pulls into the building parking lot... she's on the 8th floor, but it's a V-10, and that's just loud. Several minutes later comes a knock on the door, which would open to reveal him dressed nicely in dark pants and a button down shirt, holding a bottle of sparkling apple juice with a little ribbon on it. "Hi Steph."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
As Dick came down the hallway, the sound of music could be heard coming from some of the doors. Just ahead of him a door opens up and a male of college age runs out into the hall, ducking to the side just as a water balloon flies out, bursting on the other wall in a watery splash. Thankfully none of it landing on Dick.

The guy in the hall ducks back in but not before, "Nice shirt, bro!" to Dick. The sounds of struggling for more water balloons can be heard as Dick continues on to Stephanie's room.

After he knocks, a few seconds later Stephanie opens the door. He manages to get out, "Hi Steph-" before she's suddenly slammed the door in his face. Through the door he can hear her yell, "Hang on!"

There's another dozen plus seconds that pass, and then she opens the door again. She's got on a fancy black jacket, and a hastily buttoned white shirt beneath it, the buttons misaligned in her haste to put it on. She also has on a fake black moustache. "Good evening sir," she says in what is meant to be a posh-sounding accent, and a man's voice. "Grayson? Party of two?" she asks, pulling out a clipboard and pretending to check it. "Please, sir, this way," she says, opening the door wider for him.

The apartment has been cleaned. He isn't there enough to know that, but it has been. The little kitchen table has a tablecloth thrown over it, and silverware is set out. A pair of tall white candles are on the table, but lacking proper candle holders they are sitting in two small glasses. The lights have shades over them to create more of a restaurant ambiance. "Shall I take monsieur's beverage?" she asks.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick blinks as the door closes in his face, but her call just has him chuckling and waiting. When she opens the door in full maitre'd mode, he laughs and steps inside, glancing around the apartment.

He just shakes his head and offers her the bottle, "Certainly, thanks. It looks like this table will be just fine, though I do hope my dinner companion isn't too fashionably late."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie Brown takes the bottle from Dick. "We made sure you'd have the finest table in the house," she assures him as she closes the door. Once he's inside it might be more apparently that Stephanie has tight black pants to go with the shirt and too-big jacket.

She leads the way to the small kitchen table, seeing Dick seated. Stephanie goes over and pulls out a dish towel from a drawer, wrapping it about the bottle and bringing it back over. She offers him the cork, or lid if it is a twist off, standing waiting for him to approve the bottle before she pours it into the two wineglasses on the table.

Over on the stove there is a pot with a little bit of steam coming out of it. "I'm sure your companion will be along shortly, she just went to powder her nose. A rather, beautiful, dare I say ravishing young woman. Sir is fortunate," she says, but can't quite make it through that about herself before her shoulders are shaking with laughter she barely contains. "If you'll excuse me, I'll check on your food," she tells him.

Stephanie disappears into the bedroom, coming back a dozen seconds later wearing tight black pants and a black top that leaves her arms bare, and has a black mesh covering the low-cut neckline. She walks over to the table. "I'm sorry I was running late," she says, the blond girl giving Dick a big smile of greeting.

And still wearing the fake moustache.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick follows her over to the table with the smile still on his face, "Yes, it looks it, I don't see another table that would be any better." Sitting down, he chuckles and sniffs the cap, then nods approval of the bottle.

As she jokingly compliments herself, he smiles and nods, then after she slips into the bedroom, quietly asks himself, "She actually is, isn't she?" He seems to think about that for the short time she's gone, then looks over at her return.

"Oh, heya Steph, glad you could make it. Think you forgot to shave though."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie takes a seat at the table across from Dick. "Thank you for inviting me," she says, beaming a smile at him which is made all the sillier by the moustache. "Shave?" she says, and starts to glance down at her legs, which are covered by the leggings. That's when she feels that little brush of the fake moustache against her lip.

"Oh!" she says, blue eyes lighting up with mirth. She grasps the moustache and then pulls it off. The widening her eyes shows that hurt a little more than she was expecting. But she's trying to not let that fact on too much.

"Oooo.. ah... yes. So, you're looking handsome today," she tells him, trying to rub her upper lip without it being too obvious behind her hand. "However did you find this place?" she asks as if it wasn't her crappy little college apartment.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson shrugs and waves a hand, "Oh, you know how it goes with us posh types, you hear things, word of mouth and all. I know the building doesn't look like much, but I have some hopes for the meal and company." He picks up his glass, offering her a toast before taking a sip.

"I see you already ordered for us, so what sort of culinary delights should I be expecting first?" He carefully doesn't chuckle or even crack a smile at the mustache situation.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie Brown touches her glass against Dick's and smiles at him as she takes a sip. "Thank you for bringing this," she says of the beverage after tasting the apple juice. "Mmm," she says, inclining her head slightly and eyes drifting to the side as if focusing on the beverage's taste. "I want to say... Mott's? 2021?"

She sets her glass back down. "I don't know but I'm famished. Hopefully something good," she tells him. She gives him a shy grin, her first real admission to how goofy she's being, and then gets up to go over to the stove. She brings the pot over and carefully spoons out the first course onto Dick's plate and then her own.

It looks like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Though the cheese sauce is fairly thick. Also there are little bits of bacon within it. "For the first course, we have a pasta with a three cheese powder blend, sautéed with bacon," she tells him.

Stephanie takes the pot back to the stove, setting it on a cool burner as she returns. If he looks over he might spot there are two opened boxes of Kraft on the corner of a counter. Apparently she took the cheese powder out of them triple up the cheese for Dick, leaving just unflavored macaroni for when those are consumed.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick chuckles, "Oh, quite welcome, only the best vintage, of course. We can't let the drink drag the mean down, after all, it must be all of a piece." He's happy to match her for a little silliness, given the tone of most of his waking hours.

"Ah, excellent, macaroni au fromage avec bacon. Very good choice for an appetizer, I would say." He waits for her to return to her seat before he picks up his fork and scoops up a bit, blowing over it lightly to cool enough to put in his mouth.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie takes her seat again, moving her napkin to her lap. Someone with Bruce's training on reading people and micro expressions, probably has an easy time in catching her she watches his reaction, and that slight bit of worry on what meager fare she considers it to be.

The girl looks down at her plate and a soft smile comes to her lips as Dick names the dish even better than she had. When the blue eyes lift again, there's a gentle look in them that is given along with the smile.

She begins eating as well, working around the edges where it has been able to cool a little more. "So how are you settling in now that you've been back for a day or two? Have you started up at GCPD yet? Or taking a few days off before you pick it back up?" she asks Dick.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick finishes the first bite, smiling reassuringly at her as she looks over at him. The change in her expression makes his own even a little sunnier, and he continues to eat.

In answer to her question, he says, "Oh, taking a few days, actually. Figured there was no special rush, all things considered. After all, even if I haven't reported in as an officer yet, I'm still here if anything goes wrong."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
With three boxes worth of cheese, it is certainly flavorful, with the bacon helping add something so it's not overpowering. There was also milk and butter that went into it, making the whole thing a little creamier than the usual results.

But that said? It's Kraft Mac and Cheese. Not a bad meal by any means, but not really the kind of thing one gets in the Wayne Manor. Stephanie watches as Dick eats it though and doesn't give her any outward signs of not liking it. She relaxes even more. "Good, you should enjoy yourself for a few days," she tells him. "Lord knows something will happen soon enough that there won't be time anymore."

She takes her time eating, but works her way through the course gradually. "Oh, I almost forgot," she says, getting up and going over to her laptop sitting on the coffee table. She hits a few buttons and some music starts playing. "Chez Stephanie goes to great lengths to create the right ambiance," she tells him with a smile. "Shall I get started on the next course?"

Dick Grayson has posed:
He's not in the least bothered by the Mac and Cheese.. Dick's been living solo in Bludhaven as a cop for a couple years now. A good number of his meals are hastily grabbed things, cold burritos eaten on stakeouts and the like. Alfred's food is to be enjoyed, but it's hardly his daily fare anymore. Besides, she's taken a number of steps that make Kraft more palatable.

Between bites, he answers, "Yeah, it does always seem that way, we really don't get much of a break in general." He looks at her with a slight smile and emphasis on the 'we', but anyone overhearing would probably assume he meant the police..

Finishing up the appetizer and nodding his appreciation of the musical choice, he tells her, "Seems like the place is doing a great job so far.. please do, I'm keen to see what's next."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie smiles to Dick, taking his plate and hers to the sink, and then going to the stove. There is a pan there, and another pot that has been sitting on a very low heat. She turns two burners up a little higher, and does her best to keep Dick from seeing what she's cooking as she adds things to the frying pan.

The sound of sizzling can be heard, and a pleasant aroma. Soon Stephanie is transferring something to a cutting board. She sets two bowls on plates, and ladels something out of the pot. Then places what she's been cutting and finally turns off the stove, bringing both plates over.

Each plate has a bowl of tomato soup, garnished with some parsley on top. And beside each bowl, she's placed little tiny triangular grilled cheese sandwiches. Each cut to be a single bite and placed on the plate in at least a semi artistic way. "Course two," she tells him, setting the plate down in front of Dick and moving over to take her seat again, her eyes again lifting to gauge his reaction.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson watches Steph over at the stove, taking a sip from his glass while she works on the next course. When the soup and grilled cheeses appear, he actually laughs a little. "Believe it or not, grilled cheese and tomato soup has always been one of my favorite meals. Excellent choice. Chez Stephanie is living up to the rumors."

He picks up one of the tiny sandwiches and dips it in the soup before eating it. "Yep, that's just about right." He smiles, "And to think, I was worried about this, but you seem to have it handled. And not a hint of ramen anywhere."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The young woman looks pleased when Dick mentions it is a favorite of his. "For me too. It was something I could make when I was pretty small. It was always good on a rainy day to make me feel better," she tells him. Stephanie picks up one of the grilled cheese wedges, dipping it and eating it. The comfort food gives her a warm smile.

Stephanie looks around her small apartment, with the entertainment center constructed of cinder blocks with wood across it. "It's maybe not quite the ambiance you deserve," she says. She does have some cloth draped over the lights to soften them a bit. And the playlist quietly puts out background music for them, the volume turned down enough that it won't interrupt conversation.

"I'm going to talk to Bruce, about setting up a room for Cass like we discussed," she tells Dick. "Unless you think he'd be more likely to say yes if it comes from you?"

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick nods in agreement, "Exactly, cold rainy day, nice warm soup and grilled cheese, nothing better." He dips another little sandwich and eats it. "I'll admit that I didn't have to make my own once Bruce took me in, but honestly, there's only so much you can do with a basic like this."

He looks around, then smiles, "Stop worrying about that Steph. I'm here for the company, not the decor. It's a college dorm room. No matter what you do to it, it'll be a college dorm room, and that's fine. I knew where I was coming to. As for the dollhouse, you can talk to Bruce about it, it's not going to make a difference if it comes from you or me. The minute you explain why, I can pretty much guarantee he'll tell you to pick a room and have Alfred buy the most ridiculous one he can find."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The smile and nods that result from Stephanie suggest she sees Dick is probably right about Bruce's reaction. Though she couldn't help but think of it how she did. For all she's seen Bruce's wealth, she still treats it like a dollar is as precious to him as it was to her growing up.

"I was thinking, maybe in addition to the house and the dolls, just have some other things in there. I mean not all beautiful and pristine. Some things that have been played with. I don't know if that would appeal to her more somehow. I kind of wonder if the fact they were my toys maybe meant something to her?" Stephanie says, looking thoughtful. "And, well I don't know. Maybe not. But maybe she felt... like they were more familiar to her because of knowing they were mine?" Stephanie makes one of her modestly goofy faces as she realizes she has no idea if there's anything to that or not.

She eats slowly, getting a few spoonfuls of soup as well before setting the spoon down, and eating the last of her grilled cheese bites. "Let me get the next course started," she tells him, taking a sip of her sparkling apple cider. She rises and tops off his glass, then goes to the fridge.

When she returns, she's carrying a tray with a pair of nice looking steaks on them. They wouldn't make into Alfred's kitchen, but they are nicer than a freshman college student normally buys. "Will just be a little bit," she says, going to the sliding glass door to her balcony and opening it. She takes the lid off a small kettle grill, the charcoal apparently having been lit a little before Dick arrived, as it is going and ready to cook. She puts the steaks on it and comes back inside.

Dick Grayson has posed:
He takes a sip from his glass, then finishes off the last little grilled cheese from his plate, considering Steph's words. "It could have had an effect, you are her best friend. I could see her being more comfortable playing with your old things than random ones. You could always put your old toys in there too, say that Bruce is letting you store it because you don't have much room here. It's the kind of thing he'd do."

Dick watches her collect the next course, "Well, very nice, not only steak, but flame grilled steak." He smiles at her as she comes back in, "Better and better Steph, you're doing a great job." He settles back a little, knowing the steaks will take a little cooking, "So how has your day been? Anything exciting beyond prepping dinner?"

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie Brown leans back against the sliding glass door. As Dick compliments her on the cooking steaks, she flashes him a soft smile. "I'm guessing you probably like yours rare or so?" she asks, keeping track in her head of how long the steaks have been on.

The young woman walks back over to the table. "I should have really had some breadsticks or something for between courses," she comments, a finger tapping on the table. "Oh, today was fairly good. I had a light class load. Managed to get my laundry done. And fixed my grapple gun. It took a hit the other night and wouldn't fire at all. Had to replace part of it that was bent," she tells Dick.

"Let me go turn the steaks," she says, heading back out to flip them over. It isn't too much longer then before they are ready. She puts them on a plate and brings them in, placing one on each plate. Then she hurries over to the oven, grabbing a towel and pulling out two foil-wrapped potatoes. She cuts a slit in them and brings them over, then a little plate with cheese, butter, sour cream, and chopped up bacon.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson nods, "Rare works, thanks. And I know how that is, all the gear is nice, but some of those things can be kind of sensitive. Last thing you need is the grapple not working when you need it." He takes a sip from his glass.

"Fighting anyone special, or just some of our garden variety talent? I'm guessing the latter, since I didn't hear any calls about Penguin or any of the others in the last few days." He turns slightly in his chair to watch her as they speak, glass held lightly in one hand.

As she brings the main course to the table, the glass goes back down and he collects his potato, adding a decent amount of the garnishings to it before mixing them in. He waits for Steph to be sitting and preparing her own food before he cuts and takes a bite of his steak.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Once the steaks and baked potatoes are situated on their plates, Stephanie retakes her seat. She looks to see if everything is taken care of with the food before looking up at Dick and smiling soft. "I don't cook a lot of steaks, so hopefully I got it rare," she says. She'd looked up how long to cook them to come out that way when she was preparing.

Stephanie begins adding toppings to her potato. "It was a group of Maggia trying to spread into Old Gotham down on Founder's Island," she says, confirming it was more run of the mill sorts. "Just a lucky hit. But it meant I was on foot running them down after. Three got out of the building, different directions. Oracle had eyes in the sky and guided me to them one after another. But by the time it was over I felt like I'd run a marathon," she tells him. "I don't know if you saw the message we were meeting up at The Munch Box for breakfast. Jason and Barbara made it. It was that night. I was famished."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson nods with a laugh, "Poor Steph, it's a bitch when the bad guys make you work for it. So much easier when they stick around to be beaten up in good order." He winks at her and cuts into the steak, taking a bite. "So have the Maggia been being a big problem lately, or was this more of an isolated problem?" A sip of his cider, followed by, "For that matter, who all have you seen as the biggest problems around town lately?"

Ok, it's not the best topic for dinner conversation, but he's still trying to fit back into Gotham. Work talk is going to happen. "And have you faced off against any of our more psychotic residents yet, or are you still more on the street level threats?"

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The younger woman doesn't seem to mind talking superhero shop while they eat. "There's a group, the Paw of the Beast that has been making a push the last two months. They hit a deal on the docks. And they assaulted one of the gang's strongholds. Fairly heavy weaponry. Rocket launchers and sniper riles," Stephanie tells him. Normal conversation around here. She cuts into her steak and finds she actually did a fair job with getting it rare. She adds a tiny bit of salt to just that bite and then savors the flavor.

"And," Stephanie tells him, gesturing with her fork, "They just hit Precinct 22 two weeks ago. Went in dressed as SWAT but also having some others go take hostages in the rest of the building to distract any response. They were trying to clean out the evidence cage of anything involved in prosecuting the ones we've taken down. Bruce and I and a few others were able to free the hostages, and stop their getaway," she says.

The young woman gets some baked potato, dripping with butter and cheese. "I'm taking on whoever is out there. I ran into Bane. Didn't know it was him behind an attempted jail break until I got there. Everyone else was already out dealing with other matters so no backup. I ended up hitting the emergency assist button in my costume. Call went out to the JLA and Supergirl showed up. Flew Bane up near to space until he passed out from lack of oxygen."

She eats the potatoes, then takes a sip. "The biggest threat right now is probably Felix Faust. He got some artifacts it turned out had been in the Museum of Natural History. Used them to summon, 'The Demons Three'. That was the fight I got hit by a demon's claws and it kept festering and wouldn't heal until Zatanna cured it."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick considers her words, mixing up the toppings in his potato. A forkful of the resulting goodness is consumed before he replies, "Sounds like we need to take more serious steps, that kind of weaponry in the streets is going to get civilians hurt. Not that I have to tell you that, and I'm sure Bruce is probably all over it already."

He shakes his head, "I came back at a good time, if they're actually attacking police precincts then things are getting more than a little out of control. Then again, you've also had that owl thing sucking up a lot of resources, so I imagine that didn't help. Which reminds me, I need to swing by the safehouse again and drop off the tablet and PopTarts Strix asked for." An eyebrow raises when you mention Bane, "Glad you were able to get a hand with him, he's bad news." One corner of his mouth curls into a grin, "Doesn't it sometimes feel like those guys are cheating? Here we bust our butts to fight the criminals, and they just pick them up in one hand and fly them away."

Looking over to you, he nods a couple times and says, "I heard about that, I'm just glad you're ok now. Given that sparring match, you seem no worse for wear. Just remember to dodge the claws next time, ok?"

Stephanie Brown has posed:
A small sigh is given about Bane, but after it Stephanie can't help but get one of her warm smiles. "Yeah. It's on a whole different level with that group. They came to help with Felix Faust at the museum. I mainly helped get the museum goers to safety while the little demons were trying to kill them off. I've been thinking about what to do if I have to face someone like him. I have a few things prepared, should he come back," she tells Dick.

She makes her way slowly through her steak, and then says, "Oh shoot, I never lit the candles." She gets up and goes out onto the balcony, coming back with the lighter she used for the grill. She lights them up, then sits back down to join him again.

"I do hope that this won't hurt your review of Chez Stephanie," she says with a grin towards Dick.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson says, "Yeah, you kind of have to pick your fights with that group. Some things we just can't handle, unfortunately. No point in punching a Kryptonian, for instance. Well, unless you have Adamantium studded brass knuckles." More of the potato, then another slice of steak vanishes.

He shakes his head as the candles are lit and replies, "I wouldn't worry too much about it, the food and conversation are more than good enough go keep the review very positive.""

Stephanie Brown has posed:
"Now I know you're being too kind," Stephanie says at the compliment. "But thank you. I know if you'd lost the bet, not that it was likely, I'd have gotten something really nice," the young woman tells him. Her gaze drops from his for a moment as she gives a small shrug. "I figured if nothing else, you deserved a nice night out of it," she tells Dick.

The young woman has gradually made her way through her steak and potato. They were smaller steaks, about 8 oz, and small potatoes as well given she knew they were having a few courses. "So, are you ready for the dessert?" she asks him, looking back up and her blue eyes flashing just a little bit.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick finishes off his steak and potato as well, then shakes his head with a smile, "Steph, I'm getting something really nice. Just because I happen to have more resources than you do doesn't mean I don't appreciate all the work you've done to make this a nice meal. Stop worrying about that, I'd rather be here than at another of those boring society functions with expensive food."

He nods at her, "Sure, let's see what you've got in store to finish off the evening at Chez Stephanie." He sits back and takes a sip from his glass, watching her.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
She rises and takes his plate, giving Dick a smile as she takes them to the kitchen. Which is all of about three steps. Small ones at that. She goes over to the fridge and takes a bag out, setting it on the counter. Something goes into the microwave without Stephanie letting Dick see what it is.

She gets a pair of large glasses on the counter, like someone might drink a blended drink out of. She takes whatever it is out of the microwave, and then gets in the freezer. She can't hide the vanilla ice cream form him as she moves it to the counter.

It takes a little bit longer then as she's adding ice cream and other things, using the glasses to hold the ice cream like a parfait. Finally she finishes, putting the ice cream back in the freezer and bringing the desserts over.

She's made hot fudge sundaes. Vanilla ice cream, layered in the glasses with hot fudge. On top are a number of cookies broken in half and stuck into the ice cream. Dick can see they are Thin Mints like the Girl Scouts sell. Something that Alfred used to put on his hot fudge sundaes sometimes. And a cherry on top of each dish. She sets it down, watching his face to gauge Dick's reaction as she takes her own seat again.

Dick Grayson has posed:
He sits at the table, not making an effort to see what she's doing, since Steph is obviously trying to keep it a surprise as much as possible. After the sundae building has concluded and she's headed for the table, he smiles warmly and says, "You talked to Alfred, didn't you? Looks like you did a good job, too. I doubt he could have done much better."

He picks up his spoon and collects a spoonful of the dessert, then raises it in salute before popping it into his mouth and nodding. "Perfect. That locks in the five star review, no question. It's the Thin Mints that really makes it."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie Brown affects an obviously sham air of such innocence about having talked to Alfred. "Why I'm not quite sure what you mean. Why, did I happen to choose well?" she says, sticking with the mock ignorance as to what Dick is referring to.

She breaks into an easier smile as she watches Dick start on the desert. "I haven't had them like this before," she confesses. "I'm not sure if I cut them small enough or if I should have gone quarters." She gets a bit of ice cream and hot fudge for the first small taste. But then goes back to get one of the cookies in the next bite.

The laptop playing music has one song end and another begin. "Hah, I didn't remember putting Wham! in there," she says as Careless Whisper starts up. "I was torn between a play list, or sounds of an actual restaurant," she confides.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson smiles at her, and plays her game, "Why yes, you guessed perfectly Steph! Don't know how you did it, but this is my favorite." He carefully spreads out the cookie pieces to that he only gets one at a time to make them last for as long as possible as he begins eating.

"I don't know that there's an exact way to do it, you kind of go with what feels right. Alfred usually quarters them because, well... it's Alfred, he's precise. I like breaking them up to scatter them as much as I can and get a taste with each spoonful. Either way, it's great."

He listens for a moment, then offers, "I think the playlist was the way to go, nicer than just background sounds." Another couple spoonfuls of sundae are consumed, then he smiles over at her, "You did great Steph, thank you. You can breathe now." He takes another spoonful of sundae.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The coed laughs warmly at his comment. "So, you've been living out in Bludhaven for a few years. Not that it's all that far away that you can't get over and see people pretty easily. But anyone that you're going to miss over there?" she asks him.

She gets some of the cookie on her spoon, and then some ice cream and hot fudge to go with it. "Want to tell me about your glamorous lifestyle there? Going to club openings and the hot spots? Jetting about with a supermodel on each arm and a glint of light on your white teeth," she asks, the girl's tone making light of those stereotypes. But at the same time, there's a note of interest on what his life was like in Bludhaven.

Dick Grayson has posed:
He shrugs, "Of course, you don't live and work somewhere for years without making some friends. Both in the precinct and in the city in general. And my partner Amy, of course. She was one of the few honest cops over there. The fact that she made lieutenant and has gathered a core group of honest cops is probably the only reason I felt comfortable coming back here."

He snorts, "As for glamorous, I spent more nights in a car drinking cold coffee and eating burritos on stakeouts than I spent at galas. I was a cop there, not Bruce Wayne's kid. Which is one of the reasons I went, to get out from under that and do my own thing." He looks over at her and teases, "I mean, not that I couldn't snap my fingers and summon supermodels out of thin air if I wanted, but they tend to be high-maintenance."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie takes a sip of her sparkling apple juice, setting down the glass before saying, "Hmm, I'd have thought 'maintenancing' them would have been the fun of having them around," she says, keeping her eyes down on her dessert to help her keep a somewhat straight face. Somewhat straight face meaning her cheeks get bit with her suppressed grin so it's obvious she's trying to fight it back.

The young woman gets another bite of the dessert and finally looks up. "Well, glad to have you back. I think everyone is. Though Barbara is going to give you a hard time I expect. Finally make your own way and then you come back," she says, not Stephanie teasing, but it's easy enough to predict Barbara will probably bring that up. Even if he hasn't heard her say she will, like Stephanie heard.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick affects an innocent look, "Why Steph, I have no idea what you mean. I'm as pure as the driven snow. What do you do with girls anyway?" He keeps a straight face better than she does. Probably all that time spent around Bruce and the glower.

He shrugs, "I'm glad to be back, though from the reports I've gotten, I could have come back a little sooner. I'll give Barbara her chance tonight, I'm going to go over and deliver one of Alfred's lasagnas to her and Charlie, see how they're doing." He smiles across the table, "Seriously Steph, thank you. This was a good night."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie Brown isn't always all smiles, though the people that have taken her into their family are more likely to draw them out of her than is the rest of the world. As she's thanked for the night she gave Dick, the younger girl looks down at her plate. How does one describe a smile from a person who knew little praise or gratitude, but then receives some from someone she cares about?

It's a beautiful thing, her eyes down on her plate as it grows across her lips. "You're welcome. I enjoyed it a lot too," she tells him, finally looking back up and over to the dark-haired man. "Doesn't mean next time I'm not going to win whatever it is we bet, though," she tells him, her smile taking on a little bit of her normal unsinkable attitude.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson smiles back and nods, "Well, better keep practicing then, or get sneakier, because I've got a few years headstart on you." He takes a sip of his cider, then adds, "Or find something besides sparring to bet on, of course." He winks at Stephanie, then says, "But seriously, we'll have to do this again, it's nice getting to spend some time together that doesn't involve training or patrolling. But for the moment, I have to go collect that lasagna and deliver it to Barbara, so I'm afraid I have to cut the evening short."

He stands, steps around the table and reaches down for her hand, raising it to his lips with a murmered "Enchante, mademoiselle."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The younger girl gives a soft grin about the next bet. "I enjoyed it," she tells him softly, rising as he does, intending to take the dessert glasses to the kitchen.

When Dick takes her hand and kisses it with that soft, beautifully spoken comment, the blond girl wasn't quite expecting it. It makes her break out in a grin, and a blush. And, did we mention a grin? "Ok, now I see how it is you've got your reputation," she tells Dick, wagging her other finger at him, but smiling the whole time.

"Thank you for a nice night," she tells him. The color doesn't quite leave her cheeks yet as she walks him to the door. "And tell Babs and Charlie I said hello," she says.