Sea and Sky:
Location: S&S - A Side Story
Archive: Ask please. (Except 'rith, who can have it if she wants it.)
Rated: G (Sorry about that.)
Ten at night, the top floor of Wayne towers. The day workers have left, and the cleaning staff has not yet appeared. A quiet time. The few who remain are indeed occupied with their own business.
A knock on the mahogany door of a corner office.
The door opens silently to reveal a tall blond man. His polite grey suit does nothing to disguise the military bearing, and the few touches of grey shading his buzz-cut hair hint more at experience then at age. Not your usual executive.
"Mr. Wayne." He acknowleges the man behind the desk.
The Gotham businessman motions his visitor to a seat. "Mr."
"Please." The visitor cuts him off. "No names. Even here." He glances at the chair, but does not sit. "I have the report, but I doubt you'll be happy...." The voice dies out.
"I seldom am."
"Well..." The blond man hands over a thick envelope, receiving a thinner one in exchange.
"Thank you." Wayne nods a polite dismissal. "You will be available via the usual contact?"
He is not a man used to dismissal, but for now the messenger accepts it and takes his leave. Wayne is a sometimes difficult client, but he pays very well. That excuses a bit of eccentricity.
At the closing click of the door, a tall woman eases from her concealing shadows. Inhumanly graceful, she pours herself over his back. With one long lavender nail she flicks the rough manilla of the envelope.
"News, Bruce?" Her purr makes it almost a question.
"Not likely." He hands her the envelope. One sharp nail slashes through the paper, spilling the contents over the polished surface of the desk.
"Family photos, Bruce?" She mockingly licks her lips at one rather revealing shot. Dick and Garth lounging at the end of a pier, the emerald mountains and turquoise sky setting off the perfect tan of marble and skin. A poster shot. Impressive if posed. Incredible for a covert operation.
She gives the other shots, almost as good, an approving inspection. "You do hire the best."
"Including you, Kitten?"
The claws on his neck tighten at that, but his voice was 'charming'. She decides to forgive. For now. "You could never afford me." A sharp bite on one ear - just as a reminder. "So you're lucky I'm free tonight."
One warm hand sliding up plum satin. Distraction. Perhaps later. Make that definitely. But for now..
"Bruce, darling... Why?"
A raised eyebrow that she would ignore. The 'playboy' gig was ten years out of date. At least. Selena knew this man. Otherwise she wouldn't be here.
"I know you're paranoid, but this?" She paused for the right words. "It's already your island. And Dick did tell you where they were going. And they are the *good guys*." Her tone mocked the last words, but did not deny them. Merely buried them in a laugh that almost missed the brief stiffening of the caressing hand.
"Bruce. Tempest *is* one of the good guys?" Now the voice was shaken, like a child who has just lost Santa. "Isn't he?" She pulled away from the hand, spinning around Bruce in order to face him. "What do you have against Tempest?"
"Tempest? Nothing." The voice was level, cold. "Orin? That's another story."
Aquaman. She considered that. Water was rarely welcome to a cat, so she seldom dealt with that 'hero', but...she reviewed what she knew from the press. Political. Harsh. No friend of the Bat.
"You think Aquaman engineered...." She left the accusation unspoken, but clearly heard.
"Engineered?" The dark voice loomed for a moment, then subsided. "Perhaps not. Probably not." Bruce granted, hesitant to allow even that much charity. " But that he will use it?" Again, a question that carried it's own answer.
"Tempest wouldn't let him." The satin-clad woman said, trying for more assurance then she felt.
"No?" The thought was considered, then discarded. "Garth may like Dick, but he's a monarchist. Orin and Atantis will always come first."
"Could destroy Dick." He rested his hand on hers, almost accepting comfort. "I know my son. His one; his only weakness is his loyalty."
Selena did not answer. Nothing there but the truth. Then, after a pause, "What will you do?"
"Find a lever." The voice was gentle, but the words were adamantium. "When the day comes -- and it will come -- that Orin tries to use Garth against Dick -- or me -- or the surface world -- I *will* have a power to use against him."