whydowefall: (bruce me and my mask)
The trip to London had been successful. On both fronts--the Wayne Industries business dealings, which had been the cover story, and in locating the informant from whom Batman needed to collect evidence. Batman had come away with a hard drive full of incriminating documents that would bring down a weapons cartel using Gotham's ports; Wayne Industries--with Ianto's brilliant assistance in conducting some of the negotiations--came away poised to buy into some lucrative new biotech offerings.

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."

"It's fine."

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.

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Bruce Wayne

May 2014

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