96: “You could be stabbed at any time”

Dick moved at the end of August into his new apartment with his new roommate that he still had yet to meet. Miles, of course, was there to help him, as was Oscar, Ramsay, and Robin, who wasn’t happy about it. He brought Finch with him so that they could, as Robin put it, suffer together.

“Why do you want that for me?” Finch asked, one eyebrow raised. Miles had to admit that it was a fair question.

“I hate helping people move,” Robin whined in response.

“Sell your car then,” was the solution Oscar offered him. Robin glared at him until he walked away, though Miles wasn’t sure that was because Oscar had conceded or because he had just grown tired of standing around and doing nothing.

Willie wasn’t around while they were moving Dick out of the apartment, which was just as well because Miles didn’t really want to have anything to do with him. He found Willie unnerving and intimidating.

“Because you think being in his mere presence is going to get you addicted to meth?” Oscar checked when Miles admitted as much out loud. Miles frowned at him.

“Of course not,” he returned. “I just think there’s a higher chance of me being stabbed while he’s around.”

“Miles, Miles, Miles,” Robin said, shaking his head slowly, putting a hand on his shoulder. “You could be stabbed at any time. Especially you. You’re annoying.”

Miles elbowed him in the ribs, but Robin just stumbled off laughing, one hand held to his ribcage. Miles turned to Finch instead.

“Your boyfriend is the worst,” he told him flatly. Finch barked out a laugh that startled Miles. He didn’t think he’d ever seen Finch laugh before and he’d known him for a year and a half.

Dick had rented another car to help with the move so that they didn’t have to rely on Robin’s car alone. Dick had pre-booked the car, specifying that he wanted either a pickup truck or a SUV. He and Ramsay went to pick it up from the rental place. They returned to the apartment with a pea green hatchback. The trunk wasn’t even very large. Ramsay and Dick barely fit in the car together at the same time. Miles and Oscar met them downstairs with boxes to load into the car to be taken to the new apartment. When Dick and Ramsay pulled up to the curb in the hatchback, Oscar set his box down on the sidewalk.

“What the hell is this?” He asked, waving a hand at the car. Dick grimaced in response.

“They didn’t hold my reservation and this is the only car they had left,” he explained. “It was better than nothing.”

“I’m not sure that’s true,” Oscar returned immediately. “I think we’d be better off tying a wagon to the back of Miles’ bike and using that instead.”

“It’s not that bad,” Ramsay told Oscar, but he didn’t look like he believed it. Oscar opened his mouth, presumably to complain again, but Ramsay cuffed him on the back of the head so he kept his whining to himself.

Dick’s new apartment was only four blocks away, which was convenient. It was on the fifth floor of an apartment building. Dick’s new roommate had already moved in so he would be meeting him for the first time as they began to bring things over. The others followed Dick down the hall to his new apartment, carrying boxes. Fortunately, Dick didn’t own a lot of things. They were going to have a hell of time trying to get his mattress and box spring to his new place. Miles suspected they would be walking those over. Exposing one’s mattress to the streets was a bit questionable, but there was no chance it would fit inside, or even on top, of the hatchback Dick had rented by accident.

The front door of the new apartment opened up directly into the kitchen. His new roommate was in the kitchen, unpacking boxes of dishes. He smiled brightly when he saw them, which was already an improvement on Willie.

“Hey, guys!” He said cheerily, putting down the stack of dishes he’d been holding so that he could wave at them all enthusiastically. “I’m Christian.”

“Richard,” Dick said, shifting the box he was carrying to one hip so that he could shake Christian’s hand with his now free hand.

“Dick,” Oscar interjected helpfully from behind. Dick threw a glare his way over his shoulder.

“Welcome, welcome,” Christian ushered them further into the apartment. “So nice to meet you all!”

Christian was very nice. He was also very cheery. He seemed like a morning person. Miles didn’t foresee that mixing especially well with Dick’s personality, but, at the same time, Christian didn’t appear to be a meth dealer. That really helped keep things in perspective.

“I’ve started setting up in the living room,” Christian told Dick, pointing through a door on the other end of the kitchen. “Feel free to change anything you don’t like, though.”

“Thanks,” Dick nodded brusquely and led the way through the door and into the living room beyond. He stopped short just on the other side of the threshold so that Miles, who was directly behind him, walked into his back, thereby impaling himself on the corner of the box he was holding in the process.

“Uh! Son of a—!” He began to exclaim. He didn’t get any further than that because Dick clasped a hand over his mouth, his own box still resting on one hip. Miles was about to protest when he looked up fully at the living room for the first time. There was a gigantic crucifix hanging on the wall behind the TV. And it was truly enormous. There was a statue of Jesus sitting on top of the bookshelf beside the window. There were rosary beads hanging from a hook on the wall. Several framed Bible verses lined the walls. A literal Bible sat on the coffee table. The others came into the room and stared as well, even Finch who attended church every Sunday morning without fail.

“Uhhhhh…,” Oscar said in a low register.

“Uhhhhh…,” Miles said in a much higher register.

“So,” Robin said after a moment. “I guess Christian is pretty accurate, eh?”

“I wonder how he feels about gay porn,” Oscar mused a moment later. Dick groaned in despair so loudly that Christian poked his head into the room to check that everything was alright.

“He’s very nice,” Miles offered.

“Well yeah,” Oscar replied, gesturing to the room at large.

“On the plus side, it seems very, very unlikely that he sells drugs,” Robin offered with a smirk.

“Or this is a hell of a front,” Finch added. Robin snickered even louder.


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