Summary: A romantic evening is disrupted by a familiar face
Location: The Iceberg Lounge, Gotham City
Nighttime has fallen on Gotham. Typically that means that the Batman is patrolling the streets, cleaning up crooks and (these days) tracking down clues on the true identity of the Red Hood. Not tonight, however, as he has other responsibilities...or rather, Bruce Wayne does. "I've heard nothing but equisite things about this place," Bruce says in the back of his Rolls Royce, smiling as he looks over towards his date, admiring her for what seems about the tenth time for a relatively short car trip, though the ever watchul eye of the Pennyworth keeps him on his relatively best behavior. "Hopefully it lives up to the hype." For his part, Bruce is dressed to the nines, with a classic but expensive two-button Armani navy suit with a simple blue pattern tie and Italian leather dress shoes.
The car rolls to a stop at the resteraunt, as Alfred hops out of the front and comes to the side, opening the door to the Rolls and intoning in that slow English roll, "Your destination, sir and ma'dam." The destination? The Iceberg Lounge, currently under new membership after the imprisoning of one Oswald "The Penguin" Cobblepot, and one of Gotham's hottest (and elitist) night spots.
"I am sure it'll be wonderful, Bruce," Selina reassures, smiling as she does. She too is finely attired, her strapless black gown floor-length and deeply cut about the bossom, one of those dresses that a woman doesn't wear unless fully confident about her body. "Of course I'm more into the company I'find myself in than where it is we will be spending our evening." When the car pulls up and the door opens she finds herself going slightly agape, obviously impressed with Bruce's choice in venues. A hand is held out for Alfred to take when she slips out of the car, the slit that runs along one side of her gown's skirt aiding in the ease of how she exits the vehicle. Clutch purse in one hand and a matching black satin shawl draped about her shoulders, Selina waits for Bruce to get out of the car before moving anywhere else.
Some nights are dedicated to explosions. Some nights to killing, and some to crime. Tonight? Tonight is dedicated to watching and surveillance, and the target of this surveillance tonight? The Iceberg lounge. The Red Hood watches from a distance, using his scope to oserve the whole of the building, particularly the door. Hey, that....okay, it's very hard to -miss- the daper English fellow opening the door, let alone the people that left the car just now. "...That's -very- interesting. Looks like I may need to change some clothing...and perhaps visit a club." Poof, The Red hood is off to change.
Bruce watches Selina exit fully before making his own way out, straightening his jacket as he glances toward Alfred with a wide smile. "Thank you, Alfred," he says, professional and crisp. "I'll be calling when we're wrapping up, and let you know where else we might be retiring for the evening." He offers a passing glance to Selina, offering a wink before giving a few more instructions to Pennyworth. Then he turns and offers the crook of his arm to his date to lead her into the club itself.
The Iceberg is a two-story establishment, with the lower-level the resteraunt and bar that serves high-priced and high-quality culinary delights, while the above area is a pulse-pounding dance club, with people shaking and gyrating to the hottest DJs on the east coast. As Bruce and Selina enter, some of the clientele start to stare int heir direction and converse slightly, Bruce paying a handsome fee to the doorman so they don't have to wait in the long line that wraps outside the front of the club.
Being in such a public light as Selina is nothing new to her but even then she finds herself wanting to balk if only because of the sheer number of people both outside as well as just within the doors. Curling her fingers into Bruce's arm just a tiny bit more, she looks up into his eyes as if seeking some kind of comfort from him, some form of knowledge that everything will be alright. "I think we might have to relocate to a quieter location for...dessert after dinner," she says while affording him a coy smile, the playful seductress coming back to the surface now that her discomfort has had a chance to ebb. Hopefully he'll be in agreement to do so and won't get called away before dessert can be had.
It's a good bit later, but a nice car ends up shortly thereafter dropping off...yet another 'well to do' passenger. A young man dressed in a finely cut deep black italian suit. The shirt underneath is a deep crimson hue, almost that of blood, with an elegant black tie, matching that of his suit. Rather than wait in line though, this individual seems to address the bouncer, words are shared in a 'hush-hush' manner, and as is usual in many of these cases, someone new is 'on the list'. Not for the restaurant certainly, but for the bar at any rate. And so, Jason Todd, though he doesn't leave that 'name' on the roster, slips inside into the bar.
"Mmm, not a bad idea," Bruce says as he returns the coy smile. "How does my place sound?" He seems very calm, almost at home in the impressive surroundigs, seeming to either ignore or at least not notice the stares he and Selina are getting. He approaches the host of the resteraunt, who smiles widely at his approach. "Ahhhh, Mr. Wayne. You usual place." At that, Bruce smiles a bit sheepishly. "Um, that will be fine Clint," he says. The host collect menus while Bruce looks back to Selina. "So...maybe I've been here...a few times...during the preview nights after I purchased it from the previous owners." Actually, buying the Iceberg was mostly a pride thing; own a small part of one of his enemies empire, and run it better than he ever did. The host leads Selina and Bruce along towards the back of the dining area.
As he follows, Bruce hesittates for a second, thinking he sees...someone out of the corner of his eye. Frowning, he doesn't let himself look to see; not tonight, tonight is a Bruce night. At least for once.
Selina nods. "Your place sounds positively lovely," she says, agreeable to the end where that suggestion goes. "A few times? That doesn't surprise me, really. And I am sure that you had a pretty lady on your arm every time you came here." There might be a slightly jealous tone to her voice to go along with that quip but any further jokes or playful chiding is put on hold once they are shown where it is they shall be sitting. "This is perfect," Selina intones while reaching out, placing her hand on the arm of the man who lead them here. "Please be a doll and tell anyone who might happen to hunt Mister Wayne down via phone that his date said no calls."
The 'man' moves hrough the crowd, stopping at the bar and slipping some bills over to the bartender, a nice tip as well! And rather calmly, the man begins buying drinks, something rather nice, something very -simple-. The dark haired man moves his position at the bar a few times, watching the 'happy' couple go to their seats...and then, something slightly different happens, as he picks up a shot and drains it.
Bruce laughs, a bit sheepishly as he rubs the back of his head. "Well...maybe a few," he says before leaning in and adding a whisper amendment, "But none half at beautiful as you, Miss Kyle," his breathe brushing against her ear softly before he slides into the booth that the host led the couple to, slipping the Host a tip before saying, "A bottle of champagne, the '63 vintage please." He glances towards Selina. "Hope you like sparkling-" he starts, but frowning as he looks over her shoulder, clearly distracted, craning his neck slightly as he tries to look past a few tables at a man, sitting at the bar, who looks very familiar.
"I love many things that sparkle, Bruce. Wine is just one of those things." Seated close to Bruce as she is, Selina can't help but to desire to lean in against him more and especially so after he had whispered against her ear like he did, it getting her to just about melt where she sits. "And please, call me Selina..." she starts to remind him only to fall quiet when she notices how his attention is diverted elsewhere. "Bruce? What is it? Is it one of those women?" Figures that someone is here bothering him. "Shame on them. Should we have them removed from the premises?"
That man Bruce is trying so hard to see? The one who looks so familiar? Well, he has decided to change something up for his evening. Perhaps his plan. The man waves over to the barkeep, whispering something before sliding a bill over to the keep to cover for his tab. And with one more finisher, the man in black downs a shot, sliding the glass into one of the 'cleanup' bins as he stands and starts to walk towards the door.
The barkeep this man was speaking to however, approaches the corner with a small balancing tray, are the glasses and the bottle of champagne...however, it's not the one they ordered recently, but it is very similar, just a few years younger. "I understand that you have allready ordered a drink, however, a gentleman at the bar wanted to pay some respects to such a great charity worker as yourself, Ms. Kyle." The man goes about preparing the drinks, and if Bruce is looking around the waiter, he'd see the black suited man head out the door. "He paid for the bottle in full, so this will not be on your bill, Mr. Wayne." Ah yes, ever so polite. And once the glasses are poured and one is given to each, the bartender stands back. "Is there anything I can get for either of you, before I return to the bar?"
Bruce looks towards Selina and offers a sot smile, shaking his head. "Nothing serious, just...an old business partner," he says. "A chum, that I didn't think I'd see again..." He shakes his head and laughs, rubbing the back of his head. "I'm being silly, really, sorry." He reaches out and squeezes Selina's hands in his own. "This is our night, not for business, not for anyhthing el-"
That thought is cut off as the Barkeep approaches. Frowning, Bruce looks at the bottle, furrows his brow. He hesitates or a second. "Selina, wait here. I'll be right back," he says as he stands, apparently forgetting his promise from mere seconds before, attempting to push himself through the wait-staff and other general millers, keeping an eye om the man in the dark suit.
He starts to realize this is him. It has to be. And he's not going to have a better time to catch him. "Hood," he mutters to himself, eye narrowing, face scowlng as he pushes a busboy aside, sending dishes flying as he starts to break into a run.
It is fair to say that this is not Bruce's best date.
To say he's stunned is..well. An understatement. The Barkeep looks to the man who is quickly rushing through the crowd. ".....And I'm thinking I just lost my job, Ms. Kyle." The bartender shakes his head as he pours the glass, and places both in front of Ms. Kyle. "Enjoy the drinks, Ms. Kyle, it is paid for, after all." And the barkeep sets it down as he looks to her. "I should get back to my post..let me know if you need anything.." And he heads back to the bar, but makes a stop to pick up dishes from the busboy.
The man in Black has quite a head start, and he didn't have to fight the crowd to escape, where as Mr. Wayne most certainly does. But, assuming Wayne's dedication to finding him, the man in black looks over his shoulder to see...well, bull in a china shop coming towards the door of the restaurant. "Damn. It. Bruce." The man in black breaks past the 'entry' crowd fully, and moves into a full run, darting towards and through an alley.
Push, shove, push, shove. Is that Bruce Wayne? Is he coked out? What the hell is going on? Bruce hears it all and realizes, somewhere, that he's ruining the night, especially for Selina. But at the moment he can't bring himsel to care. He sees the man in black make a final dash, and he actually comes to a full stop, narrowing his eyes. He doesn't have his gear, and he isn't sure how well armed the man is. He's made it very clear he has no qualms about killing, and with no bullet-proof suit, Bruce is just as vulnerable as anyone else if he's packing. He has no option; for his own safety, he has to give up pursuit.
Pulling out his cell phone, he calls Alfred. "Turn back around. Yes, now, I'm going home. Need to get on the streets. Dammit, Alfred, don't lecture me. Not now." He hangs up before the butler has anymore quips or concerns, nearing his secluded table. "Sorry about this Selina, but we have to go," he says, straigthening his hair slightly, and certainly not giving anything in way of explanation.
Selina spitefully drinks her glass of champange before getting to her feet, her expression hurt. "At least it wasn't another woman who got your attention," she says in an attempt to make a joke but she just can't make it sound humorous. Her wrap and purse are gathered and then she leaves, moving so swiftly that Bruce will have to hurry to catch up with her.
From the shadows, that familiar set of eyes watches, crouched down on a rooftop. Apparently once he was sure Bruce had broken his chase, the man found a fire escape and doubled back. Jason watches from that rooftop, waiting for the car, which he expects to be inevitable. A quick shift in the shadows, and if Bruce starts to watch the roofs once he gets outside, he might see the shadowy figure moving away from the Iceberg....at a rapid pace.
Bruce would normally joke back, quip, be charming. As such, he says nothing, simply follows Selina's swift pace, looking left and right to glare at any who's staring too much or mumbling about his odd behavior. He does open the door for Selina, and it isn't too long until the Rolls returns, giving them a way back to their respective homes, seperately. He looks up just in time to see a figure jump away and narrows his eyes.
He's been in denial, dismissing the evidence, the testimony from Babs, the certainty of his youngest protege. But now he's seen with his own eyes, the man who has been making his life miserable, following his steps, haunting him, quite literally. He has seen the Red Hood, sans Red Hood.
And the Red Hood is Jason Todd.