Feb. 13th, 2007

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Alex and Rapunzel left the Bar for Gotham on April 13, 1990. A Friday. For most of that Friday and good chunks of Saturday, they dove into the neglected mess that was Alex’ one-bedroom apartment in West Gotham Heights. To her credit, Rapunzel never once commented about the layers of debris, the empty pizza boxes and beer cans that have been a hallmark of bachelor living since time immemorial, or even the girlie magazines that would pop up every so often. To his credit, Alex helped as much as he could, let Rapunzel use her superior skills at organizing, and acted rather abashed at the state he let his place fall into. Though truth be told, he never minded it at all

When they weren’t cleaning, Alex would take Rapunzel for walks, showing her the working class neighborhood he called home. First stop was Barney’s, the men’s store of choice for men with money, where one finely tailored Armani suit was to be found. (They ran into a couple of Alex’s high school classmates, who couldn’t take their eyes off Rapunzel.) They stopped at a cheesy souvenir shop and got Makita a Gotham City Police t-shirt and Wayne Tower snowglobe. They got dinner from a Chinese takeout, lunch from McDonald’s – which she assured him was on her world as well – and videos from a local chain. (He offered to watch the Mets game with her Friday night but she politely and firmly passed on it.) And of course, they caught a moment or two of affection her and there.

Oh, and she also borrowed four Hawaiian shirts.

It had been years since anyone stayed in Knox’s cramped place. It was cozy and not unpleasant at all to have her around, but he looked forward to the move, and to having a place where there was room for guests. He promised himself he’d keep the new place clean, but knew deep down that unless Rapunzel made regular visits and insisted on him keeping it clean, he’d fall back on old habits.

Saturday arrived. Valentine’s Day at the Bar, just another windy April day in Gotham. But a day that would lead to the Top of the Nines, and to seeing just how old Gadfly would react to the Countess. As night fell, the cleaning ended, and Knox and Rapunzel showered and put on their best finery…

“How do I look?” he asks as he puts on his Armani suit jacket and then his gold watch.

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November 2011

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