What's At Steak

February 25, 2017:

Batman comes back to the Tin Roof and wants information..

Tin Roof Club - Gotham

From the outside the Tin Roof Club resembles a factory, blending with the
rest of this area of East End, at least along the Eastern front, but from
the Tin Roof Club onward small venue's mottle the area, none as drawing as
the neon lights and the velvet rope banisters that wind their way towards
the large double doors.

The entry opens up to a large expanse of floor space, a few stairs leading
down to the main stretch, the tops of them lined with neon tubing, giving
that pale white floor a reflection and openness that casts reflections of
light further outward.

From neon bars to small round lights in the floors ledges and the sides of
booths, the darkness is only split by the careful placement of tubing and
small tinted bulbs in insets.

Spanning to the right is the Diamonds Bar and Lounge area, the back of the
bar behind the lines and rows of stocked bottles is mirrors, from shelf to
ceiling, cut in angles to resemble that of the head of diamonds. Stools rest
before the bar made of glass and mirrors, braced in metal and cushioned in
black and white to keep the look 'clean', what makes this spanse the lounge
is the benches that sprawl the area, circling tables or just in circles
together in comfortable clusters, spreading to the back where a drape covers
for further, yet, restricted access.

Spanning to the left are tables set for gambling and the more rowdy of
those that frequent the place, a great divide from one side to the other
formed by that of the dance floor and the runway of the stage. Where this
side lacks a bar lined with stools, the stools line that stage where a
closer view of the dancers and show can be had.

Hanging from the ceiling there are 'birdcages' sizeable enough for a
dancing body or two and on certain nights they tend to harbor the dancers,
just out of reach of those floor level but in view if they sit and recline
to enjoy the show.

Just enough shadows and barely enough light, this makes for the perfect
urban jungle keep.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: joker

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It's a weekday at the Club, and despite their rulings and personal endeavors, the Tin Roof closes within proper hours.

But "Close" is very much a figure of speech, with pay.

Catwoman resides at her booth, an arch surrounded by a cushioned bench for surrounding occupants, although it is empty. Her girls are busy, and Rodaga is off organizing for the weekend show with loud 'tsks' and sounds of apprehension.

A Glass resides before Catwoman, her goggles descending to fall around her neck as clawed fingertips drop a sugar cube into a glass of flaming green. The only light upon the floor of the Club aside from the backdrop. There are thoughts, but ones she will delve deeper into once the flame dwindles…

The lights flicker and dim. A brownout— a common problem in Gotham's poorer areas. Symptom of years of neglected infrastructure, where money earmarked for urban development ended up in corporate bank accounts instead of benefitting the people of the city. A common ailment of the corrupt city, where some of the worst villains wear suits and sit in board rooms.

They are off only for a few moments, guttering shadow becoming Catwoman's only friend. When they come back up— Batman stands in front of Catwoman's booth. Coweled, cloaked in shadow and fabric, he is a twisted gargoyle with little semblance of humanity about him. Something uneasy is on the air in his presence, that toys with nose and ear alike. Not quite alive. Not quite real, a phantasm stepping into reality for just a moment. Even his eyes mark him as inhuman, whites with no pupil or iris, just blind sclera that misses nothing at all.

That lone part of his humanity speaks, lips twisting. "Catwoman," Batman rasps, in greeting. "We have a problem," he states, bluntly. His cloak parts and a hand emerges, flickering a playing card across the gap between them. It slides to a stop right in front of Selina's spot.

A Joker.

The lights flicker and the whip lain lazily over her hip flicks. A slap upon the table behind perched derriere that comes as a crack on lacquered surface.

Catwoman seems unmoved as the card slides before her. A crack and clap upon surface while the other hand claims the glass and brings it to her lips. Eye close and that purr rolls forth over the taking of Absinthe after 'kissing' the flame away.

The card is held beneath a claw, though, and screeched back towards Batman while the drained glass is set aside, a claw drawing slowly along the base.

"You have a problem." Those words seem non-chalant, but the tension along that leather clad form shows otherwise.

Batman doesn't so much as move when the whip flickers around the table. He doesn't even blink.

"/We/ have a problem," he rasps, bluntly correcting Selina's tonal dismissal of the trouble at hand. He doesn't reach for the card, either.

"If it were Penguin, or Two-Face, I'd be content to let the three of you run yourself ragged playing one-upmanship. Joker doesn't play by the underground rules. He doesn't play by /anyone's/ rules," he reminds Selina, gruff and rasping.

"If Joker's on the field, there's only two people in Gotham: people he's hurt, and people he intends to hurt. Me. You," he points out. "Everyone. Short term, maybe you rob some gilded tombs as he kills off members of Gotham's upper crust. Long term, he eventually hits you with a faceful of Joker gas and you die grinning."

Catwoman watches, half-lidded as the card is drawn closer, and left to rest before her figure, overlain in shadow. She knows very weel what and who Joker is. Her recent run-in one that still has her avoidant of //cream/. Consider Kitty lactose intolerant. Her guard is up, and the fact that Batman is here without a herald of bullets is a world wonder.
But Selina does not scoff at it. Accepted.

"You are content with what you feel is acceptable to be so. You don;t even know…" Selena states with the push of the glass, sliding it to teeter, spin and drop off the edge of her table. The whip is silent now, but those unveiled eyes stare dead upon him.

"Over. My. Dead. Body." Deathwish, much? But her words do not waver.

"I will die on my terms. You," A waffle of hand, claws flashing. "You have been ready. Your terms there." But her words drop then… No more sarcasm, just a backdrop of sorrow.

"Joker has a way of renegotiating absolutes," Batman points out to Catwoman, bluntly. "Joker gas in your club's vents. A drop of poison in your liquor. Do you want to open shop tomorrow and find all your regulars giggling themselves to death?" he asks, his voice cold and emotionless.

"I know Joker is moving again. I also know that he has to hire help, same as anyone else. You hear a lot of things. Plenty of mercenaries and bruisers for hire come through the Club."

"Someone, here now, is working an angle for him. Maybe someone desperate enough or dumb enough. Flush with cash. Spending big money, talking about a new big heist or score. What have you heard?"

Any tender, and Alley Cat, any Entertainer… Gone.

A flick of wrist after the tender catches and refills her glass and the floor as well as Club is empty.

"Do not speak of threats here." Selena states, the sound of her voice bearing enough of a hiss to show the desire to rake those claws down..

Instead the glass' base now bears furrows as it is pulled in and prepped before the posture of her form, a flick of fingers and the flame ignites over a slotted spoon and a cube. Also illuminating scarred façade.

"That someone is me," Stated lowly as the blue flame bows beneath breath and lips on every syllable exasperated from lips that are as tired as eyes.

"I wont let them be hurt…"

"Working with Joker is like trying to charm a snake with a head on both ends," Batman tells Selina, his rasping tone blunt and to the point. "He'll bite you, just when you think you're getting a handle on things. And he won't do it because you've betrayed him, or because you've helped him."

"Joker will hurt you just because it would be /funny/."

Catwoman's eyes stare upon the blue-hewn flame hovering above her glass of green fairy. The slotted spoon edge teased by claw-tips, but not tipped as the sugar cube melts into the contents.

"Stop talking like that. We both know better." Selena states to Batman and his rasp, a sidelong glance given, but her goggles fall away and the "cowl" is peeled away to reveal the disheveled display of black shorn hair.

"Just as we both know how the Joker works. He will hurt what I have already hurt to protect," A pause as lips for the name of the cowl before her but do not speak it.

"We are simply screwed. Maybe." But her tone does not bode well.

"Maybe. Cooperating with Joker in any way is absolutely the more dangerous tactic," Batman says, unmoving— still a mass of cowl and shadow, his eyes little more that pupil-less lenses. There is a quality of the inhuman about him, akin to a gargoyle, looming and misshapen.

"What will it be, Catwoman? Deal with Joker and hope he gets to you last? Or tell me what I want

"Both are gambles." Catwoman states, remaining revealed while he does not despite their history.

"We are but Cattle, lined up for the steaks."

A statement made and she drags her glass across the table as she withdraws, bringing the cup to lips to blow out the flame that refracts against those eyes of sea-foam blue.

"I am tired, it has been a long night, best I learn how to sleep again, while I can." Her voice holds little faith and more solidarity then it had before. "Some of us do it for survival, not duty."

A kick-back of the glass and it rolls along its base in a clatter on the bartop's lacquered surface as she departs the main floor.

"Time to sleep when you're dead, Catwoman."

And in the interim between Selina rising from the table and her sashay off, Batman— a shadow— casts that aphorism at her back, and then is gone. Another shadow disappearing into the shadows, and then Batman leaves Catwoman to her bar— to the silence creeping over it, and the sure knowledge that another player has entered a dangerous game between her and Joker.

"I will leave a good smelling corpse." Selena states as she gets to her quarters above and settles before bottles and baubles of stolen "riches", but none of it matters…

Does it?

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