Being here in Chicago is the longest stretch of time that I've just been Bruce Wayne in the last two and a half years. Bruce Wayne. Not the Batman and not "Bruce Wayne". It's been nice, not having to pretend. People either don't know who I am, or already know everything about who I am, thanks to the films and comic books.
But doing what I was doing was such a part of me. It was me if I'm being honest. It gave me purpose and direction that I didn't have before.
I've tried. I've tried to go on living as an ordinary citizen but I've caught myself doing so much contrary to that. I take runs around the city to keep in shape and to learn the geography. I took the job at the junk shop so I could build things. I've been out testing my rift ability with the aim of using it.
I haven't been blind to the news or the events in this city either. I see so much that reminds me--in all the wrong ways--of Gotham. And now this crucifixion.
I can't turn away anymore.
I think I may need to find a way to go back to doing what I did before. I think the Batman needs to make a return. I guess that means I'll have to start over, start like I did two and a half years ago back in Gotham.
I figured I at least owed all of you a heads-up about it. And the opportunity to offer any advice, insights, or invective you may have on the matter.
I doubt I'll be talked out of it. Fair warning.
A kissing booth featuring Bruce and several of his friends may be found here. Standard disclaimers about metaness and the non-binding nature of kisses, etc. etc. :)
All in all, things had gone well.
Right up until they were walking across the tarmac at three in the morning, to the jet, to fly home. They'd been jumped--four men, exceptionally skilled in hand-to-hand in a manner that was all too familiar to Bruce. League of Shadows ninjas. Ra's al Ghul's men, a few stragglers still loyal to him after all this time and after their master's death.
It was unfortunate that Bruce wasn't alone, but he couldn't allow that fact to stop him defending himself, and his assistant, who was a mere innocent bystander in all of this. It was possibly even more unfortunate for their attackers than it was for Bruce; the fact that they'd dared to come after him while he had an uninvolved party in tow infuriated him.
He made quick work of half the attackers, though at one point in the scuffle, he felt a knife blade tear through his coat, jacket, and shirt sleeve, gouging into his arm. With two men down, he spun on his heel, prepared to deal with the remaining two.
...Only to find them laid out on the pavement, neatly dealt with, at the feet of his inscrutable personal assistant.
The two of them stood there for a few long moments, gaping at one another.
"We should go," Bruce finally said. "Before someone gets here and finds this. I'd like to... avoid difficult questions, if at all possible."
Though he was sure there was going to be no avoiding the questions Ianto would have. Ianto, however, already was tugging at the back of Bruce's coat, peeling it off. "You're injured, sir, I need to see."
Ianto stripped off Bruce's jacket and then tore the slash in his shirt sleeve open wider, to inspect the wound. "You need stitches, sir. But taking you to hospital... Well, sir, like you said--let's avoid difficult questions, shall we?"
Ianto stitched the gash himself, on the plane, in silence. He asked for no explanations, for which Bruce was grateful.
But he also offered none.
They'd both dozed off and on the rest of the way home, and endured an awkward drive back to the Tower in the back of the Bentley, neither of them sure what to say in front of Alfred. Or even what to say to one another.
Ianto hadn't asked for an explanation, but by now, Bruce felt he owed him one. And perhaps, he also held out the hope that if he offered one, Ianto might offer one in return. He at least needed to be sure he could rely on Ianto's discretion about what he'd seen, what the two of them had done.
Bruce had dismissed Alfred for the evening, and waited in the penthouse's living room, alone, ready to answer the door himself when Ianto arrived.
Troubled Billionaire Escorts Farm Animal to Veterinary Clinic
Former Child Pop Star Accompanies Playboy on Errand of Mercy
The ongoing saga of Gotham's favorite son took yet another strange turn in the wee hours of Sunday morning, when Wayne Enterprises owner Bruce Wayne arrived at an 24-hour animal hospital in Midtown, with a chicken and a late-'90s pop starlet in tow.
Wayne, 31, turned up at the United Emergency Animal Clinic on 52nd Avenue shortly after four o'clock this morning, in the company of former MTV teen star Clarissa Angel, 29. A patron in the waiting room witnessed Wayne enter the facility with the chicken under his arm, and demand that the animal be given any and all treatment necessary, as he feared he had struck the animal with his Lamborghini while driving in a rural area at the county's outskirts. Wayne further reported that he had struck a tree with his car in an effort to avoid the animal.
The same witness reported that while in the waiting room during the animal's examination, Wayne and Angel had a hushed but very heated discussion. Angel was overheard to say, "You woke me up for this?" and "I cannot believe you showed up at my place with a chicken in the car." Later, while Wayne was in an exam room being briefed on the chicken's condition, Angel reportedly complained at length to a staff member about Wayne's appearance at her apartment, an hour after telephoning to arrange a late-night date; he arrived dishevelled and agitated, and insisted he needed her assistance with a medical emergency.
The singer/dancer/reality show star called a cab soon after, abandoning Wayne at the clinic.
A source at the animal clinic, who spoke on condition of anonymity, related that the staff had concerns as to Wayne's condition and sobriety, and that an ambulance was quietly dispatched to the clinic at their request. Wayne submitted to both an examination and a field sobriety test, and was found to be completely sober, and uninjured. His 2008 Lamborghini--reportedly the third one he has purchased this calendar year, following incidents involving an icy suburban road this past January and a police SUV carrying Commissioner James Gordon this past July that left previous cars totalled--had suffered noticeable damage to the left front fender and hood.
The same source reported that the chicken was found to be completely unharmed, but is being kept for observation at Wayne's insistence and expense. There is no word yet on the eventual disposition of the chicken.
This latest incident follows on the heels of many colorful and inexplicable events in Wayne's life: his expulsion from Princeton University, his subsequent seven-year disappearance that led to his being declared legally dead, his erratic behavior at his thirtieth-birthday celebration eighteen months ago, and the fire that destroyed Wayne Manor that same night, rumored to be caused by an intoxicated Wayne himself. Wayne's supporters insist that the wealthy heir is merely a misunderstood man with his heart in the right place, highlighting his efforts and initiatives to improve the city since his return; detractors say incidents like these, coupled with Wayne's tabloid reputation, serve as a distraction from the real issues, and possibly even suggest Wayne has never recovered from the tragic loss of his parents twenty-three years ago.
Telephone calls to Wayne's offices at the Wayne Foundation and Wayne Enterprises seeking comment were not returned.
1. I'm gay.
2. I'm a raging alcoholic.
3. I'm a drug addict.
4. I'm not really Bruce Wayne, I'm just some guy Wayne Enterprises hired to play the part after the real Bruce Wayne died during my seven-year absence from Gotham.
5. I have a secret wife and/or children secreted someplace.
6. I lost a fortune when Wayne Manor burned down because I had money hidden in the floorboards.
7. I'm Alfred's biological son.
8. I'm a Scientologist.
9. I insulted Kate Moss by turning her down for a date.
10. I was gone for seven years because I was waiting for the statute of limitations for a crime to run out.
11. I have a psychiatrist on speed-dial to keep me fully and happily medicated.
12. I date as many women as I do and drive the cars that I do because I'm overcompensating for, ah, certain shortcomings.
13. I don't give a damn about my city.
Warning: By posting this you should be willing to seek out the same meme on your friends list and give them some music too!
01. How it works: Place this post in your journal.
02. Fellow friends list members [and their writers too] are to then in turn comment to your post with music that reminds them of you.
03. Said music is shared via an upload that you can download, or a link to lyrics for the connection challenged.
04. When you comment leave the song title and artist in the subject line so that if someone else thought of the same song they don't have to send it to you again. ;)
05. With enough people and enough variety of songs you should end up with a lovely playlist inspired by those that know you pretty well. (Or so you hope.)
06. Download and enjoy!
((OOC: Playlist-obsessed mun will get to everyone else's posts when she gets home this evening.))
But its owner was instead seated cross-legged on the floor, files and reports and photographs in neat piles, circling him. Bruce had shed Batman's armor, leaving a haphazard heap up on the workstation. The cape was carelessly tossed over a chair; the cowl perched in front of one of the screens. Bruce was in track pants and a black t-shirt, his hair a bit dishevelled, a pad of paper balanced on his knee. He was marking a passage in a report with a blue highlighter. A pen was in his other hand, and he was switching back and forth between the two of them, concentrating intently.
And he had a makeshift ice pack balanced on his left shoulder. It was a large Ziploc bag full of ice, wrapped in a bath towel. Every so often it shifted, and he had to reach up and reposition it.
This backup cave was reached by way of an elevated platform inside a dumpster at street level. Bruce heard it descending, but he didn't turn away from his work, instead shifting to reach for a photograph.
"It was a beautiful service, Alice," he said, gently touching the widow's shoulder. "Jameson was a good man, and served Wayne Enterprises well. I'm so sorry for your loss. If there's anything we can do for you—Wayne Enterprises as a whole, or me, personally, please don't hesitate to ask. It's yours."
Alice looked up at Bruce, offering a grateful but completely weary smile. "Thank you. We should be fine. Everyone's been just wonderful, Bruce. As much as anybody can say it about something like this, everything's gone off without a hitch. In fact, the only bit of aggravation's been— No, no. Never mind. In the grand scheme of things, it's just not important."
Bruce canted his head. "Alice, I meant it. Tell me what the problem is. I'll have it taken care of."
"How are you with insurance agents?" Alice asked with a mirthless laugh. "They won't write off Jameson's car. Like I said, it's a minor thing. But I want loose ends tied up."
"Of course I'll look into it. Have they said why they won't write you a check?"
"They will. They just won't total the car. They say it wasn't damaged enough, that it's fixable. As if we'd really want that car back, now…"
"But…" Bruce frowned dimly, even though now his mind was totally engaged, taking in and processing the turn this conversation had taken. "Sorry, but I thought he died in a car accident? How could a car that somebody died in not be damaged enough to be written off? You had to have a closed-casket service. That means things were pretty serious, right?"
Alice's brow knit. "That's just it. There wasn't a broken bone in his body. We didn't have to have the closed casket because of injuries, Bruce. It was because there was this strange discoloration to Jameson's mouth that the undertaker couldn't cover. It…"
The widow sighed, and blinked back a fresh round of tears. Bruce abandoned all further questioning at once, taking Alice by the elbow and offering a sympathetic smile.
"Forgive me. Tell you what. I promise I'll look into it for you, okay?"
One in the morning found the Batman standing at the front of a parking space in the GCPD impound lot, sharply illuminated by a slice of yellow light shining down from a streetlight behind him.
He was there to keep his promise to Alice Grant.
He could see where the insurance company would have balked at a payout, at writing the car off as totaled. Besides some damage to the right front side of the car, where it had clipped the building, the car appeared to be structurally sound. The airbag had deployed, and the windshield was spidered with cracks. But this… this little damage, the man should have survived—possibly with some internal injuries, but he should have lived, not been dead when the emergency crews arrived.
This didn't make any sense.
Batman scurried all over and around the car, documenting everything with a tiny digital camera he'd unclipped from the utility belt. Then it was off to the scene of the accident itself. A week later, there wasn't all that much left in the way of evidence. There was just the remaining damage to the corner of the building where Jameson's car had clipped it. The damage matched what Batman would have expected to find, based on the car.
What he didn't find were skid marks of any kind on the street or sidewalk, save a couple of dark scuffs where the car had mounted the curb.
This wasn't adding up. He made a mental note, as he tucked away his camera and headed back to where he'd parked, that he'd need the reports from the autopsy, and the crime scene investigation.
It might not have been what Jameson Grant's widow was expecting… but he was looking into the matter.
You are The Tower
Ambition, fighting, war, courage. Destruction, danger, fall, ruin.
The Tower represents war, destruction, but also spiritual renewal. Plans are disrupted. Your views and ideas will change as a result.
The Tower is a card about war, a war between the structures of lies and the lightning flash of truth. The Tower stands for "false concepts and institutions that we take for real." You have been shaken up; blinded by a shocking revelation. It sometimes takes that to see a truth that one refuses to see. Or to bring down beliefs that are so well constructed. What's most important to remember is that the tearing down of this structure, however painful, makes room for something new to be built.
What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.
...Now that doesn't sound like me at all.
[firmly locked, private observation]
I think I was a little too honest there. Need to remember, answer these things according to the public persona, not the true man behind it.