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alderwitch

Knight Errant, LTD.

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Robin ignored the trickle of sweat down her spine as she balanced, holding a sign aloft in her hands as she tried to make sure it was straight enough to install it. In the wake of the invasion, without school; she had to find SOMETHING to focus on. That something was the very ratty, very cheap office with apartment above that she'd reluctantly taken some of Fred's hard earned money to put together. She agreed, though, they couldn't make it work without someplace to take in clients... and Robin DID need somewhere to leave. Between the bionic arm that glinted dully metallic in the light and the strong cording of her muscles, there was no questioning the super human strength that let her hoist it aloft to set it into place. 

 

'Knight Errant Private Investigations'

 

It was a play on her last name, clearly, but Robin HAD gotten the certifications needed to legally open up the PI firm. It wasn't the most.... typical way to do superheroing but Robin couldn't join either the police or the military. This way, at least, they could try and help people, that's what Robin was trying to focus on. At least if she focused on that, she didn't have to look too closely at the wreck of her personal life. 

 

"How's that?" She wanted to know from her partner as she fished for the wrench dangling from her thin, worn jean loop. "Is it straight?"

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Standing at the far edge of the sidewalk and craning her neck upward Winifred considered. "I would call it... jaunty," she answered judiciously, head tilting slightly to one side. Her new tattoo spiralled down from the rolled up sleeve of her pale green dress shirt, a music staff that wrapped around her arm past the elbow. Rather than notes it was filled with chemical formula rendered like calligraphy. The ink itself was her own creation, brightly metallic as though spun wire had been inlayed into her skin and shifting in iridescent colour depending on how it caught the light. They'd never spoken about it outright but it hadn't escaped Robin's notice that the alchemist had chosen the same arm that she'd lost, having the initial linework done just after the bionic arm had been attached.

 

"A little up on the right side." Chrysopoeia Cosmetics was doing well for itself and she was close to adding the new tattoo inks to the products she offered but she'd been somewhat dismayed to find she wasn't satisfied spending all of her time in the lab anymore. Although she'd gained a modicum of control over her hulking alter-ego with her refined formula she found that the longer she went without transforming or at least blowing off some steam the harder it became to manage. She'd been more than happy to encourage Robin's business venture even through the arguments over funding. She gave a small smile as the sign was attached to the wall. "There. Perfect."

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Robin quickly fastened the bolts into place. The sign was probably the sturdiest thing about the building once she was done. Slipping the wrench back through the loop of her belt, Robin paused for a moment, perched on her toes on the ladder and swaying slightly in the breeze as if she'd forgotten her precarious footing for a moment. Of course, considering that she ran across roof ledges, there was no real risk of falling, or that she'd be hurt if she did. It allowed her to focus on the odd tightening in her chest at putting her name - their name now- on something concrete in the Fens. Her throat tightened around the words before she stepped backwards and dropped nimble to the ground. Rather than immediately take down the ladder and move on to the (many) cleaning tasks inside, she drew back by Fred. For all of her strength, the hand that touched Fred's shoulder was gentle as always.

 

"You know," Robin said, her voice a little hoarse. She still wasn't the most prone to sharing of emotions but she'd gotten better after their years at school, "I'll always be grateful to what I gained from Claremont but even with the dorms, I always felt a little adrift. Un-anchored. I know its not a lot to look at. It may never be a lot to look at, but it feels like coming home."

 

Which, really alone, was pretty big to share aloud. Robin's therapists would have been proud. She knew that she didn't have to explain to Fred just how big a deal a 'home' was to Robin. There was something, however, she felt the need to add with a light squeeze on Fred's shoulder before she pulled back her hand (the flesh one as she was still a little hesitant about using the bionic prosthetic), "It wouldn't feel like home, though, without you."

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"Don't be getting sentimental on me," Winifred replied, cuffing Robin lightly in the shoulder and blinking away some inexplicable moisture from the corners of her eyes. "You're a serious-minded career woman now. Have to keep up appearances for prospective clientele." She cleared her throat and reflexively looked up and down the street as if expecting someone to appear on cue. When no-one presented themselves she led the way to the office's front door. "Speaking of which, what comes next? I've become quite proficient in watching to lift heavy objects but I suspect I could be helpful even beyond that."

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"You know me and my reputation for sentimentality," Robin replied dryly as she well knew that among a class of stoics, Robin had stood out. With her usual economy of motion, a few short strides caught her up to Fred as they made their way to the still a little dusty interior that Robin had found furniture on craigslist or reclaimed from other environments. Eventually, it would probably have a rather shabby chic aesthetic but at the moment, it was just shabby. 

 

"Now, we try and get our name out there, really. Take a few free or nearly free cases to get some good PR. I mean, we have some ads online and in the paper but its the Fens." Robin said phlegmatically. These were her streets and she knew them intimately. Her years at Claremont hadn't changed that - not with all the moonlighting she put into it. "What would really help is if we can get a couple of pillars of the Fens mentioning us as problem solvers, you know, the clinics, the food pantries. Local churches. We just have to get people to start thinking of us when they hit that point of feeling like there's no one to turn to."

 

Robin's smile was brief and tinged with a bit of sadness, "It's a pretty common feeling around here."

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