Awkward Pauses is described as "a Cat-Tale and Two-Faced Tale told in parallel" and while there is nothing wrong with the Two-Face chapters written by Rob Pierce, the tone is quite different and the Gotham story focused on Batman and Catwoman might have been stronger without them.
When the story begins, Selina is still in Paris, sent away by Bruce to shield her from his Hell Month moods that took such a toll in Times Gone By. Neither is happy with the arrangement, and once they manage to admit it, she returns home. It's a touching episode, but only the beginning of the changes to come.
At the time this story was released, DC Comics had allowed Jeph Loeb to finally give the Post-Crisis Universe the giant step forward for the Bat/Cat relationship. Hush was a Batman/Catwoman romance in which more than one Cat-Tales readers saw details they believed to be shout outs. From the opera house to Selina's earrings resembling the Cartier cat pins, to Selina being Catty about Talia wearing Chanel No 5, there were plenty of moments to choose from for those inclined to see an homage. Cat-Tales returns the favor making a plot point of the splash page of Batman and Catwoman kissing. (After all, how long had it been since The Gotham Post did something right.) It's just a cameo/shout out here, but it will become a bigger plot point in The Highland Games.
On returning home, Selina discovers Bruce's self-destructive habits during Hell Month and the resulting conversation in the Batcave, while cathartic, brings a new level of intimacy she isn't prepared for. As always, when they get closer, there is a reaction.
They are together on the anniversary. In Times Gone By, we saw a visit to Crime Alley at night as Batman. This time, it is a visit to the graves in the daylight as Bruce. In the emotion of the day, he blurts out a quasi-invitation for her to move into the manor, which compounds the reaction to the heightened intimacy of the Batcave episode.
Later, he will reflect on a specific type of encounter with Catwoman and the patterns they followed. It is a rare episode in the Tales, seeing into Batman's mind and experiencing his POV.* An intense rooftop encounter follows that sets the table for the next phase of the relationship to begin in Book Three.
Like all Cat-Tales, Awkward Pauses can be read online on the Cat-Tales website or mobile mirror, and can be downloaded as an ebook or pdf, which is sized for printing at Cafe Press. It is collected in Cat-Tales Book 2.
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