The Bad One and the Archer

October 21, 2014: Robin (Damian) and Hawkeye (Kate) investigate a murder that seems related to a string of others. Things get chatty when they share a vegetarian dinner.


Gotham. Ew. Gross.



Mood Music:

<Insert RP Scene here.>

The scene is grotesque.

Her body lies in a pool of blood. A pool is putting it lightly. She-a pro-has been cut away and spread out over the entirety of the cheap hotel room in the middle of America's worst city.

The wooden floor is wet from a broken pipe that was never bothered to be fixed. As Robin walks across it, it creaks incessantly.

"Not sure if the bed was used," he says over his shoulders to Kate. "It certainly would not have been comfortable."

The way he goes about his work seems cold, for sure. But far colder that this is the fourth attack this year that has been rather similar in circumstances.

"Bladed weapon. Obviously. It was slow."

Kate doesn't seem to want to go into the room, though it's less from squeamishness and more from a basic understanding of how much she'd get bitched at if she disturbed a crime scene. All the same, she's lingering near the window fire escape, looking things over from there. "I know this isn't exactly my territory," she says slowly, "But don't you guys at least have a police department to call for this sort of thing?"

"We do. But they are inept. Inept and corrupt," Damian says offhandedly as he pulls a few devices from his utility belt. He crouches down and illuminates the room with a soft light. "She was continued to be cut post mortem." His hand points towards several spaters of blood. "It's lighter here. Again. It was slow."

Damian sighs and runs his gloved hand through his hair as he thinks. "Probably an idealist with no control over his life. Perhaps a conservative, religious zealot. Not sure we know more than we did before tonight."

"How inept and corrupt do you have to be not to-" Kate cuts herself off, sighing softly and finally climbing through the window. "So you said this isn't the first one. Anything in particular that ties these people together? I'm guessing they're all women," she says, moving toward the door to check for signs of tampering or a struggle.

"You don't want to know," Damian replies as he closes his eyes behind his domino mask, trying to think. He begins rattling off facts, more computer like than a young man. "Women, all black, cut from lower abdomen to throat. Organs removed and strewn. Each time the heart is taken. Previous investigation shows the women were all call girls. All transplants here to Gotham. No family. No one to care about them. Their pimps don't bother calling for obvious reasons."

"Less obvious if the police are that corrupt," Kate wrinkles her nose as she crouches by the door. "You'd think they'd want to protect their business. Which is pretty awful. Not that…Yeah. Awful all around, really." She lifts her shades onto the top of her head, getting a closer look at things. "Nothing special needed to pick up a call girl in Gotham. No special skills. Not even a type, I'd guess. Anything in the cuts suggest medical training?"

"No," Damian says with a shake of his head. "This is more a butcher job than surgical. A rudimentary knowledge, perhaps, but it doesn't take anyone skilled to do this. It's a hack job. It'd be easier if it was someone with medical training." He sighs. There's not much to go on. "I'll have to dust this for prints. I found some at the 2nd scene, but I was interrupted by your friends. The police."

"To be fair, the police are not my friends," Kate points out with a flicker of amusement. "SHIELD are my friends. And they're usually a bit better at what they do. But, you know, beside the point." She straightens, then starts to carefully quarter the room, looking for anything that might have been left behind. "What are you going to do with the prints once you have them? You have access to the databases?"

"I have all sorts of access, Just Kate," Damian says with a sarcastic smile as he begins to comb the floor. As Kate begins to get low and start looking, she comes across something that looks innocent enough: A hair. "Tell me more about this SHIELD. A funny name for a team. It is named after a defensive weapon of war, yes?"

"It's an acronym," Kate shrugs, shaking her head with a roll of her eyes. "But it's an international organization intended to maintain stability and protect against threats to world peace. Like the UN, but with, you know. Bigger sticks. Got something down here," she adds, nodding toward the stray hair. "Not that I think this place gets cleaned that much, but it might go somewhere."

"Sounds important," Damian says in reference to SHIELD. It becomes apparent to him that the lone person he could call a friend since he escaped from his grandfather a few months ago is in a far, far different world than he is. But you'd never know the realization from his face. He offers her a small vial, clearly for evidence. "What have you found?"

"A hair," Kate summarizes, taking the vial and patting her pockets down before looking back up with a flicker of a smile. "Got any tweezers or something? Don't want to contaminate the evidence. Clint'd have a heart attack just because I was in the room, honestly," she admits. "I'm sort of more of a fighter than an investigator."

"You should learn to be both. You've got the knack." He hands over a long pair of gunmetal black tweezers. "Tell me more about this "Clint" you speak of. Is he…how do you say in this language?…Is he your guyfriend?"

"Boyfriend," Kate corrects with a low, rueful laugh. "And no, he's not." She tucks her own hair behind her ear before she leans closer to gather up the piece of evidence, carefully inserting it into the tube. Even if her tongue sticks out of the corner of her mouth a bit as she does. "He's my mentor, sort of. I mean, he wasn't when I started. I started on my own. Actually, he was sort of believed dead at the time. But after things'd been underway, it turned out he wasn't, and then he sort of…helped me out. Some."

"You seem apprehensive and you are backing out of your statements. You're hedging. Why?" By now, Damian is back in another part of the room, checking out the splatter and hoping to find some sample. He takes a q-tip out of his belt and begins to swiping at the wall lightly.

Kate quirks a brow at the question, shrugging. "People always want to make it out like it's a sidekick thing, and it's not. We're both Hawkeye. And he's taught me some things, but I was mostly self-taught. We're more partners than original and sidekick, I guess," she explains.

"Tt," Damian says with a grin towards the wall. "I have a similar situation, though he is not my partner. He is essentially the bane of my existence, and a toolbox." He hopes he used that word correctly. "In any event, I am also a sidekick, but I don't consider it a put down."

Kate's brow arches further at that explanation, grin flashing despite their surroundings. "Wow. A toolbox," she echoes, then laughs. "Sorry. I mean, it's funny on the level of calling your mentor a toolbox, as in you're just using him for his things, but then it's also funny because toolbox…you know?"

"Not my mentor. My menter is a great man, able to defeat even the mightiest men with his mind or physique. It is the other one who goes at Robin who is a toolbox." Robin shrugs, "I mean to say that I do not have a high opinion of the other Robin."

"How many of you are there, again?" Kate asks. "Because I'm having some trouble keeping track. There's was-Robin who was a Titan along with Harper and the others, who now goes by Nightwing. There's Captain Awesome who's apparently dating Spoiler. And there's you. Any more? Because I'm starting to think that being Robin is Gotham's version of the boys and girls club," she teases, straightening and offering over the tube with the hair.

"If you're trying to chip away at my self confidence by implying I'm not important, you're going to have to try a lot harder than that," Damian says, raising an eyebrow of his own. "There are three. There were four, but he died some time ago."

"Just making a timeline," Kate admits, going back to her search of the area and pulling out her phone to snap some pictures of the spatter. "And trying to figure it out. I mostly stumbled into Clint and the whole crime-fighting thing. Curious how it works out for other people. You?"

"You wouldn't believe me if I told you. Which I can't." Damian looks back at her, his white lenses sort of lit up a bit. "Sorry." It may be the first time he's ever apologized. It doesn't happen often.

Kate shrugs, apparently unconcerned. "It's cool, I know not everyone's set up to share. People to protect. All that." There's a moment where she's more serious, as though considering that, before she shakes her head. "I kind of figure the bad guys can usually figure it out, though," she admits. "No one's perfect when it comes to keeping secrets and staying clear. No matter how hard you try."

"My mentor does not accept imperfection, Just Kate," Damian says soberly. He straightens and puts some of his evidence away. "Do you want to go have something to eat?"

Kate hesitates for a moment at the question, though it seems to be more in relation to deciding whether or not the crime scene has upset her stomach than the choice of company. "Yeah, I think I could eat," she finally says. "Just, you know. Something well done. Possibly vegetarian." Looking back, she smirks. "Might have to change, though. Or else we're looking at take out."

"I brought dinner," Damian says. "I'll meet you on top of the roof. I'm a vegetarian, so a lack of meat won't be an issue."

Kate quirks a brow, surprise and amusement mingling on her features, then nods. "Meet you up there, then," she agrees, stepping back and checking around herself to make sure she hasn't damaged any evidence. Except for what she took. Then she carefully steps back along her own footsteps to the fire escape to climb back up toward the roof.

It doesn't take Damian too long to return. He has a small black cooler that has an assortment of odd foods. There are grapes, a wrap made from brussel sprouts and cheese, several raw vegetables, some green shake thing, and small canisters of nuts. There's also pita and hummus. He takes a seat across from Kate without a word and begins to unpack things, placing them upon a black napkin he's using as a place setting.

Kate has enough manners not to make any snarky comments when Damian is being polite. Even if she's a little bit bemused by the full place setting. And the vegetarian fare. "You pack way better lunches than Clint does," she observes after a moment, leaning closer to get a look at the nuts. "Do you cook in your spare time or something?" A beat. "Do you actually have spare time?"

Damian chuckles and shakes his head as he curls his long hair behind his ears, "No, it's not that at all. In actuality, I have someone who does it for me. We have a…servant is a terrible term. We have someone who takes care of us in these sorts of things. I assure you, he was not happy to learn about my eating habits, but nevertheless he's been good to me and watches my cats while I'm here."

"We had one of those, growing up," Kate nods, as though it all makes perfect sense. "I don't at my place, though. I mean, it's just me, so it'd be sort of overkill. Besides, I'm usually out checking in on Clint half the time." She reaches out to pluck a grape, popping it into her mouth. "Cats, huh? I can see it. Sort of."

"There it is again. 'Sort of.' You hedge. Which one is it? You can see cats or cannot?" Damian nods towards the hummus and the brussel sprout wrap, "My butler is an excellent cook. I do not come from this country, so he's taken great care into preparing the sort of food I am used to." He takes the green shake and pours some into the cap for himself, leaving her the rest of the bottle.

"I can see you liking cats rather than dogs," Kate clarifies with a crooked smile. "Independent, you like your space. At the same time, I don't think I would have imagined you having cats at home if you hadn't said something. So both and neither." She reaches out to take one of the wraps, dunking it into the hummus before taking a bite. "Judging by the food and the not-Robin name you gave when we first ran into each other, I'm going to say where you came from is somewhere in the middle east."

"Very good, Just Kate. We'll make an investigator out of you yet. Not just a pretty face and a nice shot with the arrow." Damian nods, "Yes, I moved here from a the Middle East a few months ago. Right around the time I became Robin." Most Robin's have a long song and dance about how they became the sidekick. Damian? He just put on Jason Todd's outfit and decided for himself, not unlike when Napoleon crowned himself emporer.

"People are one thing," Kate replies, amused. "All the science and details are another. I get bored," she admits with a shrug, taking another bite. "What brought you from there to here? And why Gotham? I know some parts of the Middle East aren't in great shape, but I've got a hard time believing Gotham's much better."

For the first time, Damian seems at a loss for words. How does he explain without explaining? Perhaps the others were right: It was easier not to have friends. His father seemed to be the most steadfast to that ideal. The others cheated; they cheated all the time. "I was running. I was running to leave my old life behind. Gotham was where I had family."

Kate doesn't respond to that for a moment, though there's more understanding in her eyes. "Makes sense," she finally says with a small smile, not pressing any further. "So if you've only been here and been Robin for a few months, then I'm guessing you learned to fight back home. Katanas aren't really middle eastern, though. So…" She tilts her head, smile flashing. Whether or not she gets answers, she's clearly enjoying the guessing game. "Not from some obscure village, maybe. A city, where you'd have had access to a bigger variety of things. Including English instruction."

"Actually, I've only begun to learn English. I hope it is not too difficult to understand. I've read that Americans don't seem to enjoy it when foreigners cannot speak the language properly." Damian takes an inward sigh, "In truth, I traveled all over the world. Mostly in the Middle East and Eastern Asia."

"Americans have a reputation for being self-centered assholes," Kate laughs. "So I wouldn't worry too much. If this is you after just a few months, I'd say you're doing great, and I'm kind of jealous. I keep meaning to learn some more languages, but I never seem to actually get around to it until I'm traveling somewhere with SHIELD and everyone else knows what's going on while I'm staring around. I know ASL, though."

"Well, then," Damian says with a grin. "I suppose I could teach you Arabic. Sign language could prove really useful, indeed. My grandfather used to say that you're never really done learning in this world. You should learn another language."

"Like I said, I keep meaning to," Kate shrugs. "If you're willing to teach, I'd be glad to learn. Arabic should be useful for most of the places I end up. I think. I've got a feeling it's always the language you don't know that you end up needing. But the sign language's been useful, for sure. Hand signals are great and all, but sometimes you need a little more detail. And fewer people know it than you'd think."

"I'd be happy to teach," Damian admits as he eats a couple of grapes. "What words would you like to know?" He leans back on and rests his gloved hands upon the top of the building. "We could just start with the curse words and work from there."

Kate grins, laughing. "Right to the heart of it. Probably have more use for the usual basics, though. Hello, good bye, please, thank you, where is, I need, all that stuff."

"Hello is easy," Damian says with a grin. "Marhabahn. There are all sorts of different inflections depending what part of the world you're from. Just like English, I suppose."

"So what languages do you speak?" Kate asks, reaching for another grape with a curious look. "Arabic and English. There are so many dialects of everything in those parts of the world, though."

"Just two, I'm afraid," Damian admits. "In my old line of work we didn't have much use for words." He knows she'll probably be able to guess it from his description and demeanor.

"You were a ninja, weren't you?" Except Kate sounds like she's teasing, or joking. Mostly. There's still a hint of something that suggests she isn't entirely unaware.

"I was an assassin," Damian says in between bites of his half of the wrap. "And now you understand why I needed to leave that life." He might as well be discussing checkers, given his lack of emotion.

"Do you know…" Kate snaps her fingers, trying to remember. "Deathstroke. Or, hey. Can you still access any sort of…information? Deadpool. He and Domino took a hit that was on Clint a while back. I was trying to figure out who put it out in the first place, but I hit a dead end."

"Deathstroke…" The name rings a bell, but Damian himself is not intimately familiar. Even if he knew something, Damian was kept out of the loop on almost everything important dealing with his mother and grandfather. "I'm sorry, I don't know him. I would be willing to ask around, if you should consider it a favor."

"I'd appreciate it, but not if it's going to get you in any hot water," Kate replies. "No one's made another move, so hopefully whoever took the hit in the first place just didn't have the money to put out another one after we fished him out of the water off Madripoor."

"Just, Kate, you're really the only person in my life I call a friend. If you wish me to investigate this matter, I will of course investigate this matter. I will discuss it with some of my colleagues and will see what I can unearth." Damian sighs as he looks at his communicator. It's Batman. Shit. This is not going to be good. "I need to go."

"If I'm you're only friend, then we need to talk about your social life," Kate grins, leaning forward to start gathering up the food. "Go ahead, I'll get this packed up and put away where you can come back for it."

"I don't have one," Damian says honestly before he gets up and moves to the edge of the building. He gives an awkward wave and falls off the edge, going for his jumpline gun mid-leap. It will likely be the last time he is able to drive the Batmobile for some time. Hopefully he enjoyed it.

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