Robin couldn’t wait for the fireworks, which was why he was surprised when Jay said he wasn’t coming.
“But, fireworks!” Robin protested. “It happens once a year. Right over the waterfront! Come with me!”
Jay shivered, shaking his head. “I’ll pass. I have work to do.”
“Oh no you don’t! You aren’t using work as an excuse to miss the festivities!”
Jay scowled. “I don’t like fireworks, Robin. Go. Do whatever you want with your time off, that’s your prerogative. As is mine.”
Robin sighed. “You can’t work during your time off all the time. We don’t have a case!”
“I have paperwork to file.”
That was always Jay’s excuse. Robin wasn’t even sure what all of the paperwork was. Still, Robin held back for a moment. “Of course. Well, I’ll bring you something back from the festival.”
Jay nodded, waving him off with an absent look in his eyes. Robin began to plan how he would get Jay down to the waterfront.
When he returned that evening though, the office was dark. Confused, Robin let himself in. “Jay?” He searched around and found Jay in a backroom, hands over his head. “Jay?”
Jay jumped, looking at Robin with bewilderment. “Music doesn’t drown it out, it just makes it more startling.” Jay’s voice wavered and it sounded as though he were about to ramble. “It pierces through everything, Robin, everything. I hate this. I can’t-”
The sound of another display from the bay sounded off and Jay bent over, placing his head between his knees.
Robin forgot what his plan had been. He walked over, sitting down in the chair next to Jay. “Next year, let’s take a trip,” he said. “Where have you wanted to go? I’ve heard that Kwall has this restaurant that’s renowned throughout-”
Jay laughed, a weak sound, but a relieved one nonetheless. “Thank you, Robin.”
It wasn’t as fun as if he had gone to the festival, but in Robin’s mind there was no decision to be made about where he should have been that night.