Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys

Summary:
August 1, 2014: Bruce Wayne takes a few minutes at a merger announcement to solve a case that Clark Kent had been working on for days.

Wayne Industries

The ball room and adjacent hallway at one of Wayne Industries's many Gotham towers.


Characters

NPCs


Mood Music:


Clark Kent has come to Gotham on assignment. It's the second time in as many weeks as he's had to visit that fair city. And already he feels a bit dirty. Somehow, the gothic architecture and art deco feel of Metropolis never seems as dark as it does in Gotham.

He finds himself at one of Wayne Industry's many buildings. They're supposed to be unveiling some big secret that would presumably revolutionise the industry, whatever industry that happens to be. Companies like these can be so secretive about such things.

Dressed in one of his nicer suits, Clark Kent has been mingling with the other reporters and the dignitaries who have come for the big unveil. He saw Lucius Fox, who judging by his body language, will probably be conducting the ceremonies today. There was a reporter from the Daily Bugle in New York, someone from Central City, Starling, Vancouver, Keystone, and even as far away as London and Tokyo. Whatever was up, it was big enough to demand an international audience.

Seeing someone he knows, he stops to talk shop, but neither he nor Kenuichio seem to have any idea what's going on.

*

Bruce Wayne is surprisingly present at one of the Wayne Industry announcements for once. Not the spotlight today, this is one of Fox's reveals. The man is rather proud of this. The man himself is off to the side, staying out of direct line of sight of any reporters or curious individuals. Something that works out quite well until a Kryptonian spots you.

"Clark Kent." The billionaire says with a calm, friendly tone that carries his voice. An equally warm smile worn by the broad shouldered businessman who looks rather stylish in his dark suit, overly bright red tie and highly expensive cologne. The smell is rather strong. No one will tell him that though. He's Bruce Wayne and ass kissing comes before the truth.

*

"Mister Wayne," Clark repeats in deference to his position. Although Bruce has told him to call him as such, Clark still insists on the proper etiquette when in public. "It's a pleasure as always," he offers his hand to shake. Then says, "Oh, where are my manners?"

Gesturing to his friend, he says, "Mister Wayne, may I present Tanaka Kenuichio of the Vancouver Sun." The other man may clearly have a Japanese name, but when he speaks, it is as a native English speaker, "It is an honour to meet you.” That would be Vancouver Canada, if the newspaper he works for and the accent is any indication.

Sensing that the two men know each other better than they play on, Kenuichio politely excuses himself after a moment, to let them speak. When they are alone, in a crowd, but alone all the same, Clark asks, "So, what brought you to one of these? I thought you hated unveilings?"

*

A hand extends and takes Clarks, Bruce then turns his attention to Tanaka the handshake offered there as well. "An honour to meet you as well, Mr. Tanaka." That smile remains on the man's face even as Kenuichio removes himself from the conversation, "Vancouver Sun? Have one of your people call me and I'll pencil you in." Once the man is out of earshot Bruce looks towards the Kryptonian and the smile fades, no more acting required, he looks tired, but then again he almost always looks tired. "I do. I'm trying to keep up images is all, it's a merger. Nothing big." A very massive merger that will make the stock market bounce. It's well known Batman doesn't much care about such things, though, not unless it impacts his night time activities.

*

Mr. Tanaka has one hell of a scoop. It's not every day that one gets the chances for an exclusive interview with the Bruce Wayne. He takes so few interviews, the playboy, but then, he's not part of the day to day running of Wayne Industries, that's more Lucius Fox's angle.

"You really should get more sleep. How long can you go on four hours a night?" There is concern in Clark’s voice, as he maintains the pretense whenever someone walks by, changing the subject to something about a merger, or what might have appeared on TMZ, or some other action that Bruce does to distance himself from suspicion.

"Last week I was undercover… undercover undercover," his tone suggesting that he was undercover as Clark Kent, "met a mercenary in a white catsuit with a large black circle around her left eye, as well as a werewolf near the pier. They were after a crate of technology. Anyone you know?"

*

"So I've been told." Daily by Alfred. The concern is ignored, as it always is, Bruce can't leap buildings, outrun speeding bullets and throw a tank from here to the Hudson.

"Oh? Mercenary with a circle over one eye? Could be any number. Joker has a hit on his head right now and he's sought refuge in Gotham. We're crawling with hitmen. A werewolf?" That almost makes Bruce smile a little.

"Actual werewolf or just a meta?" A pause and he motions behind him towards the glass door that leads further in to the building, "Lets walk." The hallway inside is empty aside from an intern who hurries by quickly, arms full of papers, she doesn't even try to look at Bruce or Clark just tucks her head lower and walks faster. "I'll need more information. The technology in the crate for example, what was it or do you know?"

*

While it's true that Bruce Wayne is human, he is as far from ordinary as its gets. He's remarkable. He does things that no one else could do. Sometimes, Clark wishes he had Bruce's constitution. He may be able to resist firearms, explosives, radiation, he's strong willed, he can be as stubborn as the rest of them, but Bruce is altogether different. He works at a higher level. He's Batman.

With a shrug, "Seemed like one to me. I didn't see him change, but he certainly looked the part. Smelt it too." He walks with Bruce, heading towards the hallway inside, away from all the people in the ball room. "The woman was around 5’8", wiry build, used a tranquiliser dart, black hair, probably around 30 years old, blue eyes, white catsuit, her skin matched. I'd say she was an albino, except her hair and eyes were normal. American accent, though I couldn’t place where."

Moving on to describe the Werewolf, "The Werewolf was around 6’8" and muscular. Dark brown fur, Romanian accent, but fluent in English. Strong, fast, seemed to have heightened senses. Everything you’d expect of a Werewolf. The technology seemed to be mostly computers. Nothing of note. I've been trying to track them back to the source, but," and he holds out a memory card, "here's everything I was able to find."

*

"I'll take your word for it." They exist. Batman long ago learned to release all preconceived notions of what reality is. The supernatural, aliens, mutants, gods, magic, it's a thing, a thing men like him have to learn to adapt to and focus down head on should it come to it.

While Clark talks Bruce is actually tapping a finger along his cellphone, a direct feed to the Batcomputer. "Just computers? That doesn't seem likely if more than just petty thieves were after it. I'll look in to it."

A pause and he holds up the phone, "Neena Thurman aka Domino. This her?" There is about a dozen 'suspected' werewolves or lunatics who claim to be such, none of the images Bruce is scrolling through match the man witnessed.

*

Looking at the woman, Clark nods, and rationalises, “It's just a hunch, but I don't think the goods really mattered. I think it was some kind of test, to see who could get the shipment. It's not much to go on, a lot of it assumptions and hearsay, but that's what I've been able to find out on my own. This is your turf and frankly, you're better on your worst day at this kind of subterfuge than I’ll ever be."

*

"Who was involved that they would be testing?" Bruce carries on. "Trying to draw someone out or simply a misfire on their part. Hrm." A pause at the end of the hallway and the elevator begins to chime on it's way down to them. "The Werewolf could pose a problem. Dealing with metas and supernaturals always ends up on the side of… tricky." Meaning they're usually underpowered for such things and have to improvise. "I'll sort this. I cross-referencing and searching right now." He is, the phone is displaying a lot of datascroll, Bruce's eyes can't keep up with it but Clark's can and it's all wharf side incidents of recent.

*

"Domino, this Werewolf, there were a few other people, but they didn't seem to be operating at the same level as Domino, the Werewolf, or my disguise, Joe Clark." He used an abbreviation of his middle name and his given name. Not exactly Patches Malone, but it was a decent first attempt. Clark watches the data scroll, keeping up with it. Nice that Bruce can make it move faster than he can personally perceive. “Wait a minute, scroll back 12 pages.” Yeah, it was going that fast, but by the time he spoke it had already moved on. "Third from the right, that's him."

*

A few ticks back and Bruce is tapping the screen with his thumb, enlarging and pulling up the image. "Hrm. Never seen or heard of this man before. No surprise." Another tap and he begins to scroll around again, the elevator opens to allow them entry, "Should you be covering the events below or do you care to go upstairs? I understand you have a paying job." Slight teasing at Clark. "I have enough information to get an idea of what they were after. It will take me actually going to the scene to find out more. How are things in Metropolis?" A topic hop. Bruce just added this Mercenary / Werewolf issue in to his very large to-do-list. Gotham has become a hotbed of crime and out of towner originating chaos of late

*

Clark would have liked to go in the elevator with Bruce. He always enjoys being seeing Bruce's command centres, all the toys he has. It's neat. He doesn't get toys. All he has is the Fortress of Solitude and that's more of a museum than a batcave. But at the mention of a paying job, Clark resigns himself to that, “Yeah, I should," the disappointment is obvious to Bruce, though most wouldn't pick up on it. Clark's good at hiding that kind of thing, but not perfect. “I’ll leave you to it, and see how much I missed of the announcement." He quickly checks that his glasses and tie are impeccable as ever, and turns, heading back towards the ball room to write about another merger, while Bruce, he gets to go have fun finding out what's going on at the pier.

*

A light half smile tilts up Bruce's lips, "See you around, Clark." A lift of his hand in a wave and he presses the button that will cause him to ascend towards his office suite. Once out of visual range the man begins to tap away at his phone again, new information, new criminals, new dangers to his city. It seems to be never-ending but he'll be there. He always is.


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