[Casefile] RP for [livejournal.com profile] quite_so_sir.

Aug. 6th, 2008 07:48 pm
whydowefall: (alfred at shoulder)
[personal profile] whydowefall
Wayne Manor was still in the process of being rebuilt. Bruce couldn't risk being found out while that was going on, so while he was living in the penthouse atop Wayne Tower, he'd built a makeshift cave deep under a mostly-empty construction site not far away. The huge room was clean, and brightly-lit, a sharp contrast to the cavern under his estate. This room had a large workstation, outfitted with multiple computer and video screens, a state-of-the-art computer system, and a satellite feed.

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.

Date: 2008-08-07 03:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quite-so-sir.livejournal.com
When he found the penthouse apartment empty again, Alfred knew just where he needed to go. He packed up the breakfast he had made, grabbed the morning paper and brought it all with him to the Bentley.

By now he should know better than to hope Master Wayne came home after a night out. He longed for the days when his charge slept until three. Now, he had to commute to work, which he hadn't had to do in years.

The old construction sight and locked shipping container was also becoming familiar and the ride down into the underground bunker. "Your going to have to start paying me more." Alfred said when he could see Master Wayne sitting on the floor, "Gas prices are up again."

Date: 2008-08-07 04:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] why-dowefall.livejournal.com
"I cover your gas bill," Bruce shot back with mock reproach, the faintest little smile tugging at the corners of his mouth as he pretended to give Alfred a stern look. That made the ice pack he'd rigged together slide off his shoulder, and hit the floor with a damp smack.

"Good morning," he said, raising it to his shoulder again. "I take it it's that time of day again? Breakfast and my daily lecture?"

Date: 2008-08-07 04:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quite-so-sir.livejournal.com
"So you do. It should be even more of a reason for you to stay in the penthouse." Alfred countered. He raised an eyebrow at the ice pack, but didn't ask. Master Wayne was always bruised these days.

"Good morning, sir. If you had a window in here, you'd be able to tell when the sun rose." Alfred first took off his jacket, hat, gloves and scarf before he produced a lidded tray from a bag and set it down next to a stack of notes. Then he started to collect the pieces of armor scattered about. "There are windows in the penthouse."

Date: 2008-08-07 04:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] why-dowefall.livejournal.com
"The trust fund's hearty these days," Bruce teased back, good-naturedly. "And, yeah, I have noticed there are windows in the penthouse, Alfred. You can't help but notice the windows, as the place is apparently made of windows. Meaning somebody might notice Batman showing up, stripping off his armor, and taking a shower."

He set the ice pack down, and gave his shoulder an exploratory roll, wincing just a little. "Thank you for bringing breakfast. I might need--"

He glanced down as he lifted the lid off the tray, and stopped short. Nestled next to the toast were two tablets of extra-strength ibuprofen.

"You know, you're right, Alfred," he said, glancing up at the other man, half-smiling. "Whatever that boss of yours pays you? It isn't enough."

Date: 2008-08-07 12:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quite-so-sir.livejournal.com
"That's why there are curtains, sir." Alfred pointed out as he continued to put things away. He knew where everything went and he had been picking up after Master Wayne his whole life.

"I'm glad you finally see it my way." Alfred said smiling to himself. "What are you working on, sir?"

Date: 2008-08-08 02:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] why-dowefall.livejournal.com
"There you go being sensible again, Alfred."

He plucked the tablets off the plate and swallowed them dry, sitting up straighter, waving a hand at the papers and photos arranged around him. "All the reports on Jameson Grant's death. One of the board members at Wayne Enterprises, I'm sure you remember him. Something his wife said at the memorial service didn't seem right. So I'm looking into it. It's not adding up."

Date: 2008-08-08 03:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quite-so-sir.livejournal.com
"I know sir, it's a burden I must bear."

Alfred walked over and looked over Master Wayne's shoulder. He glanced over the notes and photos with a small frown. "There are detectives for those sorts of cases, you know. I believe they call it the Homicide unit." He said, "Now, eat your breakfast before it gets cold."

Date: 2008-08-08 03:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] why-dowefall.livejournal.com
"I know, I know," Bruce said, obediently picking up a piece of toast and taking a bite. "But I promised Alice Grant I'd look into it. Now, she thinks I'm yelling at insurance companies on her behalf, not, ah, borrowing police files on the matter, but what she doesn't know won't hurt her."

He scowled at a photograph. "I think someone killed him, Alfred. Deliberately. I need to find out why. What if it's something against Wayne Enterprises?"

Date: 2008-08-08 03:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quite-so-sir.livejournal.com
He sighed heavily. Stealing from the police again. Really, Alfred thought he taught the man better than that. At least he was eating breakfast this time. "You're always making promises sir."

He paused to think for a moment. "What if it's just greed, sir? Most of the time, it's spouses that kill their spouse isn't it?"

Date: 2008-08-09 03:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] why-dowefall.livejournal.com
By now Bruce had found the fork neatly set on the tray, and he stopped between mouthfuls of egg to blink up at Alfred. "You don't think... Alice?" He canted his head a bit, and sighed. "Stranger things have happened, I guess. I'll be sure to keep that in mind."

A faint grin flickered over his lips, and he added, "I can't help but make promises. Or keep them."

Date: 2008-08-09 04:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quite-so-sir.livejournal.com
"The simplest explanation is usually correct sir, but you're the one with all the files and rather gruesome photos." Alfred said standing behind Master Wayne. He looked down on over the pictures and files, just taking things in.

"You're the investigator, you'll figure it out." He said confidently, "Now, what happened to your shoulder?"

Date: 2008-08-09 05:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] why-dowefall.livejournal.com
Bruce smiled a bit at Alfred's faith in him. "Thanks. Here's hoping, anyway."

He gave his shoulder a baleful glance as he tried moving it again, clearly annoyed with himself. "I didn't quite stick an anchor point with the grappling gun. I..."

He sighed.

"I fell."

Date: 2008-08-09 11:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quite-so-sir.livejournal.com
Alfred smirked for just a second. He was concerned about Master Wayne, yes, but he had been expecting some sort involving a gang of nare-do-wells. Instead, it was a user error.

"That's a new one sir." He said, with his traditional composure. "Why do we fall? Because we can't use the grappling gun properly."

Date: 2008-08-10 07:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] why-dowefall.livejournal.com
"I couldn't see," Bruce said exasperatedly. "It was a warehouse, an abandoned one, at the docks. The roof beams were crumbling. I thought I had a good anchor point but it turns out I didn't."

He set the fork aside, picking up a photograph of the crime scene, frowning at it. "Live and learn, I guess. And be thankful no one was standing right there when the Batman fell on his ass. And his shoulder. Which is fine, by the way, you know, I'm not gonna die or anything, thanks for checking..."

The last was said with an affectionate, teasing note to Bruce's voice, and a faint smile on his lips.

Date: 2008-08-10 11:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quite-so-sir.livejournal.com
"Maybe you should find some way to see in the dark, sir." Alfred suggested. "That way you can see what you're anchoring too."

With a small smile, Alfred took a seat by the large bank of computers. He unfolded the newspaper and began to scan it, looking for articles on Master Wayne or Batman. "You survived a burning log falling on you, sir, I think a little fall."

Date: 2008-08-10 06:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] why-dowefall.livejournal.com
Bruce's gaze drifted slightly from the photograph, and he grinned ruefully. It was just as things had been growing up, just as Alfred had always treated him--which, in turn, had been how his parents treated him, too, before they were gone: loving and supportive, without a doubt, but also firm, reasonable, and without overindulgence or coddling. Even all these years later, Alfred was unfailingly consistent.

"Thank you, Alfred," Bruce said softly. He turned to look at the other man, raising his voice just a bit, straightening up. "And that's not a bad idea. Maybe I'll talk to Lucius about some solutions for that."

Date: 2008-08-11 02:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quite-so-sir.livejournal.com
Though he heard the thanks, Alfred just smiled. He didn't need thanks, he got all the thanks he needed from his work. He was keeping his promise taking care of Master Wayne, and the work was fulfilling.

"Mr. Fox probably has something already designed, sir." Alfred said, not looking up from his morning paper. "It's a matter of asking."

Date: 2008-08-11 04:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] why-dowefall.livejournal.com
"Mmm." Bruce set the photograph down, and rose to his feet, stretching, making a bit of a face as that sent another twinge through his sore shoulder. "He does seem to just about have something ready every time I go to him with some new idea. I'll be sure to ask."

He bent to grab the glass of orange juice sitting on the tray, and he grinned at Alfred as he straightened up. "Anything good?" he asked, canting his chin at the paper.

Date: 2008-08-11 04:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quite-so-sir.livejournal.com
"He likes to tinker a bit, I think, sir." Alfred casually turned the page like having breakfast with his employer/vigilante was an everyday occurrence like doing the laundry. Of course, in Alfred's world it was.

"I don't see anything about Batman's fall in here yet, sir. Then again, I'm only on page four." He tipped the top edge down to look at Master Wayne. "You may have gotten away with it."

Date: 2008-08-14 06:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] why-dowefall.livejournal.com
"Well, yeah," Bruce replied wryly. "One hopes the press isn't skulking around empty warehouses, waiting for the Batman to miscalcuate and fall from the heights."

He smiled, proud of himself. "I broke up a drug distribution ring, though. The mob's got one less set of smugglers to rely on."

Date: 2008-08-15 12:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quite-so-sir.livejournal.com
"You never know with the tabloids, sir. They could be lurking. They have no qualms about going through the trash, you know." Alfred turned another page.

"Very good work, sir."

Date: 2008-08-16 05:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] why-dowefall.livejournal.com
"Yeah, I remember the last ones you caught out in back of the Manor, digging in the bins," Bruce replied, amused. "And thanks. Speaking of good work--I had a meeting with the construction company yesterday afternoon. The rebuilding is coming along well. We might have the Manor back by Thanksgiving, at this rate."

Date: 2008-08-17 11:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quite-so-sir.livejournal.com
"You're a popular subject." Alfred bent the newspaper in half and held it out to Master Bruce with an article about the latest Wayne Enterprises venture. "We'll have to have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner to celebrate."

Date: 2008-08-18 01:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] why-dowefall.livejournal.com
Bruce took the paper, reading the article with great interest. "Mmm. That's good. That kind of press coverage I don't mind."

He looked up at Alfred, grinning. "I like the sound of that. We'll have all our friends and loved ones over to celebrate."

Date: 2008-08-18 03:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quite-so-sir.livejournal.com
"It does speak rather highly of your business sir." Alfred settled back into the chair, folding his hands together.

He smiled back, "You might not remember, but your parents would have big Thanksgiving celebrations, but then a private dinner for just you and them later. To be a real family, your father said."

Date: 2008-08-20 02:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] why-dowefall.livejournal.com
Bruce smiled, nodding gently. "No, I... I remember. I looked forward to those. Not that it wasn't nice to spend time with everyone else... but I treasured those family times."

His smile widened a bit. "Maybe we'll do that again. Let's host a large gathering, say, over lunch. And then let a few people linger for dinner."

Date: 2008-08-20 02:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quite-so-sir.livejournal.com
Alfred remembered those dinners fondly too. One of the great Wayne traditions. "Would you like me to get started on a quest list, sir? And the menu?"

He smiled back, "Or would you like to handle this one personally?"

Date: 2008-08-20 02:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] why-dowefall.livejournal.com
Bruce grinned. "Tell you what, Alfred. You take care of the big gathering. Let me handle the smaller one. I think I might enjoy dealing with that personally."

Date: 2008-08-20 02:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quite-so-sir.livejournal.com
"Of course, sir." The pride was obvious in Alfred's voice.

Date: 2008-08-20 02:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] why-dowefall.livejournal.com
Bruce nodded. "I also found us an antiques dealer online. She says she has contacts and connections all over. I'm putting her to work on refurnishing the Manor, the way it was. Or as close as we can come."

Date: 2008-08-20 02:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quite-so-sir.livejournal.com
"And how will you be decorating the cave sir?" Alfred asked, considering Master Wayne. "Or will we be keeping these facilities?"

Date: 2008-08-20 02:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] why-dowefall.livejournal.com
"Decorating? What, was something wrong with it last time?" Bruce asked, smirking. But the smile faded, and he shrugged thoughtfully.

"I've gone back and forth on the question, Alfred, to be honest. I like... this," he said, gesturing at their surroundings. "I like being right in the heart of the city. I like being close to everything. But we were also living right upstairs. I worry, if I kept this when we're back at the Manor, it's more likely I'd get found out. The cave... that afforded so much more privacy. Less visibility. I think, in the end, I'll be going back there. Though maybe we could still do something with this space, too."

Date: 2008-08-20 11:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quite-so-sir.livejournal.com
"It was a little damp, sir."

Alfred looked around the underground bunker. "It would be a shame to waste the space. Perhaps it could be a half-way home for Batman, sir."

Date: 2008-08-20 02:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] why-dowefall.livejournal.com
Bruce nodded thoughtfully. "That could work. Keep some things handy here, things I might need to get to quickly. It would also allow for a quick getaway if I needed it. I like that."

Date: 2008-08-21 06:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quite-so-sir.livejournal.com
"A very fancy pantry." Alfred said with a small smile. "You'll certainly get some use out of it, sir."

Date: 2008-08-22 04:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] why-dowefall.livejournal.com
"I hope so."

Bruce smiled faintly. "Thank you for breakfast. Now that I've eaten, I should see about hitting the penthouse for a few hours' sleep before I go tackling Bruce Wayne's agenda for the day."

Date: 2008-08-22 12:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quite-so-sir.livejournal.com
"I'll make sure you're up in time for your first meeting, sir." Alfred said, getting to his feet.

Date: 2008-08-24 05:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] why-dowefall.livejournal.com
"Thank you, Alfred."

Bruce smiled, and waited for Alfred to fall into step beside him as they headed for the lift.
Edited Date: 2008-08-24 05:32 am (UTC)

Date: 2008-08-24 11:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quite-so-sir.livejournal.com
"Of course, sir." Alfred returned the smile and as was traditional took up his place at Master Wayne's side.

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