30/30 - Show Business
Disclaimers and other information in "Opening Credits"
"Thank you, Eel," J'onn said, picking up the coffee and taking a sip.
"De nada," Plasticman replied. "So what's on the date agenda tonight?"
"Broadway," J'onn revealed. "The revival of South Pacific opens tonight."
Eel's face shot up to J'onn's level, and the stretchy superhero dropped his jaw dramatically. "I LOVE South Pacific! How on earth did you get tickets?"
J'onn smiled and gestured toward the monitors. "Back to work, Eel. And Bruce gets invitations to Opening Nights all the time. He just never accepts them."
"Man, if they ever bring Damn Yankees through Chicago..."
"Woozy's choice, I'm guessing?"
Plas' face returned to offer a lewd grin. "Well, yeah, but I score tickets to that and I'll be-"
"Enough, Eel," J'onn said sternly.
Plasticman brought his hands up to lace under his chin, propping himself on his elbows on the upper platform. "C'mon, J'onn, how can I vicariously live a billionaire lifestyle if you don't use your new connections?"
J'onn raised an eyebrow. "A year is hardly 'new.'"
The buzz of the teleporter alert brought Eel to attention, and suddenly there was a WHOOSH as the Flash entered the Monitor Room. "HiJ'onnhiPlasIwaswonderingifmaybe-"
"Wallace," J'onn interrupted. "Slow down."
The Flash grimaced, but when he spoke again, he was intelligible. "I need to trade out monitor duty with someone for next Tuesday."
"No can do, Flasherooni," Eel said, assuming the shape of the scales of justice. "Court date."
Flash sighed and looked up toward J'onn. "J'onn? I know we ask you all the time and you've probably got date plans and maybe if you could just cover long enough for me to go to Linda's ultrasound appointment and-"
"Whoa, hold on there, Fleet Feet!" Plas interrupted. "Ultrasound? As in-" He morphed into a stork carrying a baby.
Wally's face split into a huge grin. "Yep!"
"WOO HOO!" Eel whooped. "Congratulations, Daddy to be!"
J'onn floated down from the platform above and clapped Wally's shoulder. "So Linda finally told you you could tell?" he asked with an amused smile.
"She made me wait three whole months! Can you believe that? But yeah, I'm going to be a papa!"
"You should tell the others," J'onn suggested. "And I can cover the daytime hours on your shift."
"ThanksJ'onnyou'rethebest!" Wally rattled, zipping back out of the monitor womb.
J'onn shook his head after the speedster, then turned back toward his other teammate. "Eel?"
A sigh escaped the League's funny man. "I should've been that excited, back when-"
J'onn rested a hand on Eel's shoulder reassuringly. "There's still time to get to know Luke, Patrick."
Eel turned rapidly, staring at J'onn. "Don't take this the wrong way, J'onn, but right there you reminded me of Sister Mary Xavier."
J'onn smiled enigmatically and shrugged. "I've been accused of worse. Just - don't let too much time go by. They grow fast."
"I know," Eel sighed. "Listen, shouldn't you be getting ready for your date? Hate to keep Brucie waiting."
"I don't think he minds being fashionably late," J'onn pointed out.
"Well, I mind," Eel retorted. "If you've got opening night tickets to South Pacific and miss a single moment-"
"Very well," J'onn conceded. "Have a good night, Eel."
"Uh huhn," Eel agreed absently, his eyes tracking something on one of the monitors.
J'onn waited a moment, then turned to leave. He smiled a little as he reached the door and heard Eel begin to hum, "Some Enchanted Evening." He'd have to tell Bruce to order a couple of tickets for the Chicago leg of the touring production.
"That girl of yours has a good set of pipes," remarked Syd Lyotard, handing Bruce another glass of champagne and settling back in next to his victim. The director was skilled at this evening's task; he had a deft and flattering touch and knew all the right things to say to cajole and coax well-heeled investors into investing in Broadway. He had obviously selected Bruce as the prize of the evening, a rare opportunity to get real money behind his next project, and had equally obviously figured Bruce for a hard sell. Bruce had been unable to lose him for more than a few minutes since he and Mona had joined the post-show party.
"Oh, Mona?" Bruce said carelessly, accepting the champagne and buying the director's moment of distraction to pour part of it into the drinking fountain at his elbow. "She did college theater or something in some school in the Midwest."
Lyotard raised an eyebrow. "An aspiring actress, hmm? Well, she and Bianca seem to be getting along famously."
Maybe too famously, Bruce conceded, as the two women launched into another show tune from the night's entertainment. Mona seemed genuinely awed to have caught the notice of the show's lead, her eyes bright and her color high with excitement and champagne. Bianca had become her bosom companion in the space of a little over an hour, and Bruce was not oblivious to the way that the actress was circling in like a shark. To Lyotard, he only said, "Mona's got a great spirit."
"Well, with her looks and that voice and a good personality, she could go far in this town. In fact," Lyotard swirled his half-finished champagne as if in thought rather than in calculation, "I think she may have the qualities I'm looking for in one of the parts in my next show."
There's the hook, Bruce noted as Lyotard took a deep swallow of champagne. Unfortunately for Lyotard, he had brought fishing tackle to try to hunt bear. "Oh yeah?" he asked blandly. "I'll have to mention that to her, tell her to watch for the casting call."
Across the room, Mona and Bianca garnered another round of applause and toasted their audience of blue-haired-but-wealthy theater patrons. Bianca whispered something to Mona that caused her to blush and giggle, and Bruce noticed that the small knot of men and women that had begun the evening with Mona and Bianca had gradually eroded. One man stubbornly remained to hand, whether in an effort to capture Mona or Bianca Bruce couldn't say. "You know," Lyotard was saying, bringing Bruce back into the conversation, "I'm sure she could get cast on her own merits, but I'm often able to ensure certain roles for the friends of producers and donors. And I'm sure Mona could appreciate something like that."
Bruce turned to look Lyotard full in the face, his expression a little incredulous, and he began to laugh. "You think - oh, no! I just brought Mona out as a favor to her father. Business stuff, you know. I'm just not that much into theatre." He kept his tone airy. "Besides, I don't think her father is that keen to have her get into this life. He's indulging her you know, but..."
Lyotard drained the last of his champagne to hide the scowl that crossed his face. "Wish someone asked me to do favors like that," he remarked bitterly.
"Hey, now, don't be like that," Bruce counseled. "It's business, you know. And-"
He broke off, distracted by a little shrieking laugh from across the room. He turned to see that Bianca had 'inadvertently' spilled a full glass of champagne down the front of Mona's dress and was trying ineffectually to blot away the liquid with her handkerchief. Or rather, she was appearing as if that was what she was trying to do; in reality she was rather effectively finding an excuse to touch Mona's exquisite breasts - now quite well presented in wet, clinging silk.
"Sorry, Syd, I'm afraid I have to go rescue my date."
Lyotard grumbled something as Bruce slipped away, but Bruce ignored whatever it was. He approached Mona and Bianca with a casual air, sliding in beside Mona and slipping an arm around her waist, forcing Bianca back a step. "Hello, darling. Looks like you had a bit of a spill."
Mona giggled. "Champagne," she explained. "Bianca was just helping-"
"Bianca! Already on a first name basis. I tell you, Ms. Stoller, Mona could not stop talking about seeing her idol Ms. Stoller all the way to the theater. I told you she would be lovely in person, didn't I, Mona?"
"Yes, you did," Mona agreed, tiptoeing to give Bruce a peck on the cheek. "And you were right. And where are my manners! Bianca, this is Bruce Wayne. He's my escort for the evening."
Bianca smiled a warmly artificial smile that didn't pretend to reach her eyes. "Yes, so you were telling me. And this is the famous Mr. Wayne. Pleased to meet you." Her tone said something more ambiguous.
Bruce took the hand she offered with a gracious smile and brought it to his lips. "The pleasure is mine. Your performance tonight was captivating."
"Wasn't it, though?" Mona bubbled. "I was just telling Bianca-"
"Hush, dear, you can tell me about it on the way home. Alfred's waiting."
"Oh, Brucie!" Mona pouted.
"Yes, c'mon, Brucie," Bianca added, moving in to rest her chin on Mona's shoulder and look up at Bruce with something more lascivious in her eyes than concern for Mona's disappointment.
As he looked down at the two of them, each beautiful in her own way, a little corner of his own mind added, "Go for it, Brucie." He forcefully suppressed the idle fantasy and made his face stern. "Now, Mona, it is getting late. There'll be other opening nights."
Mona looked about to protest again, then sighed. "Okay. Bianca, it was so nice to really meet you in person and everything."
Bianca leaned in for an air kiss - that caught a little more than air, Bruce noticed - and smiled at Mona. "Likewise, my dear. Do call me some day - we'll do lunch."
"Of course," Mona replied, eyes shining.
"Mr. Wayne," Bianca said more formally, holding out her hand and this time making it clear she would accept only a handshake.
"Ms. Stoller," Bruce acknowledged. "Come on, Mona, let's get our coats."
Finally she pulled back with a laugh. "That was so fun!" she exclaimed, her eyes dancing.
Bruce let his arms capture her in a loose circle, holding her on his lap. "You liked that, did you?" he asked with mild amusement. He was trying to figure out where the line between persona and Martian blurred. Mona had been practically skipping as they left the theatre, talking fast enough to give Wally a run for his money, stumbling a little on the curb and blaming the champagne as she pressed against him for balance.
Mona nodded, charmingly excited and awed. "I never imagined I would get to meet - and it was so cool!" she gushed. "You know, Bianca even said I have the talent to maybe get cast in one of these big shows. Wouldn't that be so exciting? I can picture it, my name on the marquee: Mona-"
She paused and frowned a little. "Bianca said I'd need to change my last name though."
Bruce ran a hand along Mona's upper thigh. "She doesn't like Olafsdorn?"
Mona wrinkled her nose. "She said it sounded too... country. The wrong kind of foreign. She said I needed a more glamorous name to fit my stage presence."
Bruce began kissing a line from Mona's ear to her collar bone, following the curve of her neck. "I think Bianca was just trying to get in your panties," he commented, his own hand sliding under the edge of Mona's skirt.
"Bru-uce," Mona objected, pushing his head back but letting his hand continue its exploration. "Help me think up a good stage name."
"Mmmm," Bruce considered, nudging her coat open in order to nuzzle the still champagne-damp silk over her breasts. "How about Mona Loverly?"
There was a faint gasp as Bruce's mouth thoroughly explored Mona's chest. "That - mmm - sounds too... too sexy..." she objected, shifting to allow Bruce to slide her dress further up her leg, planting small kisses on his hair.
Bruce raised his face as his fingers caught hold of Mona's thong. His lips met Mona's, and for a moment there was nothing said. Then, "I don't think a name can be too sexy for you," he breathed, his free hand helping her remove her coat.
Mona wriggled free of the coat, shifting so she straddled Bruce's lap. "Oooh," she sighed, pressing forward against his hand. "It shouldn't sound so... mmm... needs to be classier." She pushed his head back and loosened his tie, beginning to rock in his lap.
"Classier, hmmm?" Bruce repeated, letting his second hand travel down to Mona's hip. "I'll have to think about that."
Mona's teeth caught his earlobe as her fingers worked deftly down his shirt front. Her voice sounded throaty when she spoke again, her hands urging Ace away and unbuttoning Bruce's pants. "You liked that, the idea of Bianca..."
Bruce felt a flush increase through his body at the image J'onn projected into his mind. He tucked his lips next to Mona's ear. "You are all the women, all the anything... mmm... I'll ever need."
After that, there were no more words.