Blind Date

March 15, 2018:

(Backdated to Jan 14)

Alice meets Bruce in a blind date… and they both actually like one another.

Wayne Manor

Twelve miles outside of Gotham beyond the gates of Crest Hill past a lonely winding road that skirts along hills honeycombed with tunnels and caverns lies Wayne Manor atop a grassy mound surrounded by a large yard and walls covered in grassy vines. The original stately Wayne Manor was a ten bedroom mansion constructed by Jerome K van Derm in 1855. The man met an untimely end and the home was purchased in 1858 by the brothers Joshua and Solomon Wayne from there for it has never left the hands of a Wayne.

This glittering jewel and testament to Gotham high society and it's multitude of underground tunnels and caverns played a major role as part of the Underground Railroad.

Wayne Manor was later re-designed several times over and pre-Cataclysm it looked like a European castle with battlements and palisades.

Post-Cataclysm the manor was almost completely destroyed and the grounds beneath were exposed. Major renovations were required but the spirit of the manor was kept intact as such Wayne Manor still looks like a towering three and a half-story Gothic mansion with it's original castellated architecture. It is now even more eco-friendly and capable of generating it's own electricity; a veritable modern day fortress with a taste of the archaic.

Characters

NPCs: Alfred Pennyworth

Mentions: Nightwing, Red Robin

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Alice has arrived driving her own vehicle, a slim, silver Tesla. She is dressed in a pale blue cocktail dress. The skirt comes to her knees and her legs are sheathed in nude stockings with a pair of matching blue leather flats. The long blond hair is up in a sophisticated twist this evening, making her look a little older than her early twenties, but not by much. She wears a very nice black waistcoat to keep out the night's chill air. She smiles a little awkwardly at Alfred, but holds out her hand in greeting, "Lovely to meet you, Alfred, you can call me Alice," She says in a crisp, upper class British accent.
Blind dates are not a thing she is familiar with really. She has seen the movies and always heard the horror stories as well as the ones about soulmates. Alice only agreed because she had promised a favor to a friend and he had called it in. She wasn't sure if the joke was supposed to be on her or Bruce, but a promise was a promise.

*

Shortly after, another man in a dinner tux steps out from one of the side doors. His groomed black hair and impressive physique are plainly evident… with said hair framing handsome features. It's pretty clear why so many women have taken to being one of his conquests, despite his reputation. A man like that a billionaire?

Nonetheless, his charming next words blunt the reputation, "Good evening, Ms. Walker. I didn't realize our mutual friend had a sense of rumor, setting up neighbors." Bruce gives with a charming tone, before he offers a hand to take her own, attempting to kiss the back of it. "Alfred has dinner ready, already. Shall we go and dine, or did you have any ground rules to share, first?" Bruce asks, never once looking away from Alices eyes.

*

Alice's eyes turn from Alfred to her date and her smile turns friendly. She lets her hand be kissed, chuckling and shaking her head in amusement, eyes on Gotham's most eligible bachelor. "Such a gentleman," She says in that lovely accent as she retrieves her hand begins to pull the waistcoat off. She looks about the foyer and is apparently impressed before her eyes return to Bruce. "Well, he may have been trying to get me to go out more," She admits with a shrug of one well-muscled but now-bare shoulder. The straps of the dress leave her arms free but for the wristwatch, a Gucci, on one wrist and a cluster of cold jangle bracelets on the other. She is certainly shorter as she steps up beside him, following him to wherever the meal awaits. "Ground rules…ground rules…well, Bruce, how about us neighbors actually get to know each other outside of fundraisers and polite parties first?" She is a proper English lady after all.

*

"Deal." Bruce gives in response, without hesitation. "What better way to do that, than over dinner." Bruce then gestures to one of the other side doors, "If you'll follow me…" Bruce gives as he steps into the dining room… and the luxuriously built and decorated tables. The long table looks like it seats about twenty; more than enough for most extended family get togethers. The one to the side -the small four seater- has a whole candlelight dinner setup going on. Bruce steps over and pulls her seat out, before he heads to his own. "Please, don't wait on my account to get started. I'm still a bit exhausted from my exercise routine."

*

"It smells wonderful," Alice admits as she looks over the table and then to the elegant table setting. "Are those Tiffany candlesticks?" She asks as she sits, scooting in her chair slightly. With the manners matching her accent, that of a lady, she takes her napkin and spread it in her lap. "What is it?" She asks, glancing aside at Alfred with a much warmer smile. Despite acting the lady, she is a genuinely warm young woman, the kind that doesn't care about class, wealth, or station.
"Oh? What do you do? I prefer free weights and track myself. You wouldn't think so, but I'm very fleet of foot." She says as she helps herself to a roll and begins to butter it. The way she moves is dignified and elegant, but her smile that she gives Bruce across the table is the kind shared between neighbors in a small suburb.

*

"You know, I have no idea. Alfred picked them out for me while I was busy with a Wayne Enterprises matter today." Bruce informs Alice with an air of curiosity, his eyes going to the candles… before he shrugs with a bit of nonchalance, and looks back to her."I'm more of a generalist. I do a full body workout, if I do anything." Bruce declares as he starts to cut and start eating his streak, "You seem fairly well off yourself." Bruce notes with a fork casually pointing at her… before it goes back to steak, "My story has been all over the news for years, but you're new to me. Care to share?" Bruce waggles his eyebrows suggestively.

*

Alice smiles in amusement and chuckles softly. As Alfred pours wine she smiles and thanks him, picking it up and smelling the bouquet before sipping. "Mmmm, that's because my daughters and I have kept to ourselves. The old horse stable a few miles down the road? Back in the more country hills? We moved there about ten years ago from Britain. My husband was into computers," The smile turns a little sad and she takes a thoughtful sip before setting her glass down.
Her manners are near perfect and if there were more forks and spoons than fingers it probably would not be surprising she would know all their purposes. Now she slices a neat piece and eats it in an almost prim fashion. "George," The one who set this whole thing up, "Thought it was time I start meeting men again. He's a good guy, but thinks himself an old chinese grandma I would say," She says after swallowing. No talking with her mouth full! "Do you like kids?" One brow raises as she peers curiously across the table at her host.

*

There's a moment as Bruce watches Alice speak, before he blinks, "If I didn't like kids, I wouldn't have adopted Tim and Dick." Bruce notes, "Unless you mean biological?" He inquires, before taking another bite of steak.

*

Alice chews her own bite as she considers and then, after wiping her mouth neatly, she gives him a warm smile, "I wasn't really being specific, but I suppose younger than those two," She says with a bob of her head. "When did they join your family?" She asks as she cuts yet another bite, popping it into her mouth with obvious relish.

*

"Oh, that was a few years back. I try to help where I can, but making an impact in this city can be difficult if you don't know where to hit the pipe, you know?" Bruce shrugs, "the Wayne Foundation is a great organization, don't get me wrong… but there's this culture out there that just doesn't want to improve themselves. It can be disheartening." But Bruce continues to eat. Once he swallows, he looks back to Alice, "I wouldn't mind a child of my own, but my schedule simply doesn't allow it me too much time at home… so I'd need to find woman who could tolerate my business and my traveling." Bruce notes.

*

Alice raises a brow ever so slightly as she listens to her answer, obviously interested and engaged. "It is very disheartening. I know. I hate to admit it, but it is part of why we have kept to ourselves so much. Though now it seems that may have been a bad idea," A little ghost of recent events flickers across her face. "Schedules…heh…they can be very tricky at times hmmm? I'm lead researcher at Big Pharma so sometimes the hours are far too long. But I always find time for my girls, even if I'm falling asleep on my feet," She chuckles at some fond memory, leaning back and crossing her shapely legs. In this light her porcelain skin glows softly. "But the outside world will not be ignored, hmm? It demands our attention and by its terms or else…" Alice is finding herself enjoying the evening. Her shoulders have relaxed and her whole demeanor has opened up slightly. It's still a wonder she only looks twenty when she has teen daughters. Surgery probably.

*

"Yes, I've heard about that business with your daughter. I figured that you'd not want to bring it up during a dinner, though." Bruce points out, "If you'd like to discuss it…?" The offer is there, as Bruce takes another bite of steak, then a bite of carrot.

*

"No. It is always in the forefront of my mind these days. Sorry, I didn't mean to bring the tone down, I am having a lovely time. The best in awhile actually," Alice says and smiles a little sadly. She sips from the wine glass and then sets it down to begin eating once again. "May as well get the elephant out of the room. Not much new…I wish there was. Silence and nothing from the police. No leads, they've searched the alley top to bottom and all the buildings around, yada yada," She sighs as she pushes a carrot around on her plate in thought. Then she stabs it viciously and just as bites it from the fork. "That's the most frustrating part. That there is NOTHING."

*

"I'd help if I could, but my resources only go so far." Bruce reaches out over the table then, and puts a hand over Alices, "I believe she's okay. If she wasn't, most lunatics would have dumped her body somewhere by now." A beat, "Which alley was she taken from?"

*

Alice cringes a little bit, but nods at the same time. Every day she has to fight the worry that a body -will- be found, but she was the one who brought it up. His hand on hers brings a smile back to her face and she turns it to take his lightly in her petite one. "Small reassurance, but one none the less. My own resources have come up nil, but I admit it isn't something I've any experience with. No one should," She says and finishes off her glass. "Down the hill before Gotham proper in that little suburb. She was walking home, she loves walking, and something drew her into an alley. We're lucky there were traffic cams pointed near enough that they could tell she went in, but didn't come out," She gives the actual street name, and the cross street too, before reaching to refill her glass. "What would you do if Tim or Dick were taken?" She seems genuinely curious. Maybe there are avenues she could be missing.

*

"I'd ask the police to contact Batman. He seems to have a knack for searches, even if he is a lunatic." Bruce gives in reply, before he gives a squeeze to her hand, before going back to his own food. "They can take care of themselves, but with all the superpowered entities around these days? Someone could grab them off the street with superspeed or portals or something. There's all kinds of explanations for these sort of things lately." Bruce gives by way of assurance.

*

Alice raises a brow and gives a short chuckle before she nods slowly and sighs, returning the squeeze along with a thankful smile. "I'll give that a try. I've a follow up call in a few days with the detectives," She says and cuts up more of the steak. "This is really damned fine, I must say." The bite is eaten with relish and as she chews she considers Bruce across the table. There is a certain fondness forming in those green eyes. "So on to better things. Tell me more about Wayne Enterprises. What all is it that you do?"

*

"When I'm not being a reclusive jerk, I'm handling the affairs of Wayne Enterprises. We get into a lot of different fields. Aerospace in particular is booming these days, what with the reverse engineered technology out of alien work these days." Bruce notes, "I've been considering getting the Wayne Foundation more involved in helping people dealing with this dreadful winter storm. I'm convince it isn't natural, you know." Bruce declares, before he takes to eating with gusto.

*

Alice glances outside at the snow swirling about and seems to consider it thoughtfully. She too eats with gusto, enjoying the bit of silence until they actually finish their meal. "So…I think there is some sort of game you are supposed to play on a blind date," She says as she sits back with her third glass of Wayne's very find wine. Seeming much more relaxed she leans back in her chair, draping herself somewhat sensually in it now.

*

"I'll admit I've only been on… two blind dates? In my life. So I don't know much about the customs." Bruce offhandedly replies before he finishes his steak, "I prefer to at least know who I'm dating… but what's life without a bit of blind risk at times? I'm all ears, though."

*

"We're supposed to ask questions about likes and dislikes. Simple things apparently. That is what George said anyway," Alice says with a cheeky little smirk, shaking her head. "To be honest I've been only on one other myself. And it wasn't so much a date as a business meeting that turned into dinner that turned into…well…two girls and a wonderful if brief marriage," She says and then sips thoughtfully. "All right. So a question then…favorite movie of the 80s?"

*

"Back to the future, easily." Bruce replies, before he sips his wine… and looks to Alice with a warm smile, "You?"

*

Alice raises a brow at that and even grins a little. "Oh, interesting. Hmmm," She swirls the wine in her glass before taking a sip. "Legend," She replies with a bob of her head. "All right. Your turn to choose a question," The blond sits back in her seat, crossing her legs comfortably. Wine glass in one hand she gives Bruce her full attention.

*

"What's your favorite modern day song?" Bruce continues, shifting his posture to relax more as he gingerly sips and gives Alice a playful grin, "I can see why this is popular."

*

"Oh, a good one. Let me think," Alice says and her pale brows draw down slightly, eyes drifting to the ceiling. "So many to choose from. But I suppose Take Me to Church by Hozier. And you?" She sips from the wine, eyes once more on Bruce.

*

"Beautiful by Christina Aguilera. It reminds me that there are people out there who still don't know themselves, and have no confidence in their identity." Bruce replies, before he sips his wine again.. and finishes his dessert, "What's your favorite food?" Bruce continues.

*

Alice's lips spread into a sweeter kind of smile at the mention of that song. "Oh…I like that one a lot too. Top ten for sure," She agrees with a nod of her head. "Ohohoho. That is a -much- harder question. Did you know I have tasted most every cultures cuisines? WHoo…" Now she wrinkles her face and considers. "Why don't you tell me yours while I think. I may have to give you top three." A pause. "Unless tea counts?"

*

Finishing dessert, Bruce steeples his fingers… and smiles as he relaxes back into his chair. Alfred comes by silently to clean up the plates. "There's this lasagna that Alfred makes that I adore. it has something to do with the spices, but I don't want to ruin the mystery for myself."

*

Alice bites her lip as her mentions lasagna and nods her head, "Lasagna is pretty good," Her eyes fall on Alfred warmly. "I should like to try it sometime. Now…Hmmm…surprisingly favorite food is not chocolate. "Fish and chips," She finally decides with a definitive nod. "There is a place is Glasgow…ohhhh, the best I've had in my life." Which says something considering she's likely been eating them since they first became a fad.

*

"Sounds like I should take a trip to Glasgow." Bruce observes… before he looks at his watch, and tsks, "Well, look at that. The time I had alloted for this is a bit over now. The first blind date I've had that I actually liked!" Bruce grins, before he stands, and walks his way over to Alice… offering her a hand, "my dear, I would be happy to invite you to another date, sometime soon. If you're interested?" Bruce inquires warmly.

*

Alice gives his hand a squeeze in turn and smiles warmly up at Bruce. "Of course. You are a very busy man. I would love too. Maybe lasagna next time, hmm?" She offers and moves to stand. He of course towers over her.

*

"I look forward to it." Bruce takes her hand and kisses the top… ever the charmer. "How about…" Bruce makes a show of doing mental calculations in his head, "you know what? I'll get back to you. We have some schedule issues over at Wayne Enterprises lately, and I don't know if I can set a schedule for the next two weeks. I have your number… I'll call you." He smiles.

*

Alice gives his hand a squeeze in turn and smiles warmly up at Bruce. "Of course. You are a very busy man. I would love too. Maybe lasagna next time, hmm?" She offers and moves to stand. He of course towers over her and she cranes her head back a bit. "Sometimes I wish I was taller," She says with a chuckle.

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