The Masterson Party

August 21, 2018:

Alan Masterson is throwing a large party at his estate. The who's who of Gotham and even surrounding cities are invited. Reporters are also welcome as Alan Masterson wants to show the world that he and his son are alive, well, and ready to get Masterson Inc. back on track to be the number one producer of firearms in the world.

Masterson Ballroom

The Masterons family estate was a lavish thing, sitting on nearly 100 acres
of both open land and forest, it was clear that the family has done well for
itself. The front acreage meant to show off and entertain, the back acreage
is for hunting. The mansion itself, a stretched 80,000 square feet could
accomodate not just the family but any number of guests they had along with
various ways to entertain. Many of the people who worked at the mansion
lived directly on site with their needs all provided for.

The ballroom, however, was Masteron's pride and joy. Decorated to give a
sense of the wild to go with the sense of decorum the room mixed equal parts
hunting expedition with upper class expectations. A large banquet area was
constantly attended by servants that were serving dishes from around the
world all focused on animals that the Mastersons have hunted in the past, a
small orchestra is playing music that is both elegant and yet offers a sense
of excitment along with seating areas to sit and enjoy the professionals
play. Many more areas are spread out throughout the ballroom to offer places
where one can sit and speak in semi-privacy, various plants (all real and
maintained) create areas that are both open and yet give a sense of

The central area is reserved for a place to dance where many can stand and
dance to the original score that Masterson himself paid for.

The left of the ballroom opens up to a patio overlooking the hunting area
below along with many placed telescopes and binoculars to allow guests to
observe the various animals that are allowed to roam freely in the back
area, only blocked off by an invisible electrical field and implants within
each animal to prevent them from roaming beyond their invisible enclosure.


NPCs: Alan Masterson, Alex Masterson - NPC'd by Scandal



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

The Masterons family estate was a lavish thing, sitting on nearly 100 acres of both open land and forest, it was clear that the family has done well for itself. The front acreage meant to show off and entertain, the back acreage is for hunting. The mansion itself, a stretched 80,000 square feet could accomodate not just the family but any number of guests they had along with various ways to entertain. Many of the people who worked at the mansion lived directly on site with their needs all provided for.

The ballroom, however, was Masteron's pride and joy. Decorated to give a sense of the wild to go with the sense of decorum the room mixed equal parts hunting expedition with upper class expectations. A large banquet area was constantly attended by servants that were serving dishes from around the world all focused on animals that the Mastersons have hunted in the past, a small orchestra is playing music that is both elegant and yet offers a sense of excitment along with seating areas to sit and enjoy the professionals play. Many more areas are spread out throughout the ballroom to offer places where one can sit and speak in semi-privacy, various plants (all real and maintained) create areas that are both open and yet give a sense of enclosure.

The central area is reserved for a place to dance where many can stand and dance to the original score that Masterson himself paid for.

The left of the ballroom opens up to a patio overlooking the hunting area below along with many placed telescopes and binoculars to allow guests to observe the various animals that are allowed to roam freely in the back area, only blocked off by an invisible electrical field and implants within each animal to prevent them from roaming beyond their invisible enclosure.

Already, guests are arriving. Each person is given a greeting by a staff member who caters to them (checking coats, bags, etc.) and guide them to the ballroom before moving on to greet other new arrivals. Once in the ballroom, things are already in full swing. Members of the upper crust of Gotham mingle along with many guests from even farther away. Each rubbing elbows with whomever they think will give them the most gain at the time.

Already talking with the Mayor is Alan Masterson, grinning as he regails him with a story about their latest hunting trip. Alex Masterson, his son, leans against the open bar, jaw revealing a bit of grinding teeth as the young adult downs what may already be his third drink while watching his father. The pale countenance he wears is only somewhat hidden by hastily applied make up that only just works to hide the onset of circles forming under the college age man's eyes.


All things considered this might not be the very best use of his time. He is still mystically branded afterall, and still apparently has some bizarre serial killer slash death deity interested in claiming him as the latest victim in the ongoing troubles Gotham is undergoing. So yeah, kind has a lot on his plate. But if his life has taught him anything thus far, it's that you can't just put everything on hold because some magical archer and wolf want to sink an arrow into you and rip out your throat. Yeah, Dick Grayson has lived something of an unusual life.

Even still, even with the need to get out there in something besides a kevlar costume this would not normally be his preferred sort of affair. He's never much cared for any of the Mastersons and upon occasion when patrolling the city he has spotted one of them out and about and considered tossing a wingding into one of their backsides to see how they'd like to be on the other end of things for a change. But Bruce would surely have glowered.

He might not overly want to be here, but he cleans up well enough, the tux suiting his athletic frame as he picks his way through the ballroom, hanging about the edges and keeping his eyes peeled for a familiar face or two. Anything that will keep him from having to give his reagards to their hosts.


Sal Frelingheysen, a by-blow of a political family in the north of the state, got invited. Why? He's probably got a connection with the Mastersons. Financial? Hunting? It's not clear. Either way, Sal is a very short man, built like a barrel, with a receding hairline and a very well tailored suit. He also has swagger, because —

— he doesn't know how it happened exactly, but there's a redhead on his arm.

The redhead is six inches taller than Sal, who is played by Danny DeVito. Pamela Isley is not instantly identifiable because she is only the tiniest hint of green right now, as well as having her hair up in a braided bun beneath a white organza hat with trailing mesh. Other than that it's a cream-white princess-cut cocktail dress and some matching pumps. Pamela probably just had this in her* closet and threw it on.

Sal doesn't care. 'So this is gonna be great, I'm gonna introduce you to everyone,' Sal says, beneath Ivy. "That's right," she says, "you are."


Yes. The guests are arriving. Most of them in limos. With drivers and assistants easing stately and beautiful vehicles into the valet parking. Yes, it is a quiet, refined affair.

For most.


But not quite all.

A bright silver car streaks in among the limos. Weaving though traffic as if it was driven by someone more familiar with a Formula 1 race than a street. The low profile and futuristic lines of the supercar mark it apart from other things on the road. Low profile, aggressive sharp lines, headlights that actually seem to be lines of lights down two angular fenders. And still will all its speed and mauvering…

…it hardly makes a sound.

Just that angry electric hum and the spin of its tires across the asphalt. Pulling into the valet the Vanda Dendrobium, a car which shouldn't actually exist yet, eases to a stop. The top of the car and both doors slowly open. Folding up from hidden hinges in the back to reveal two figures in said car.

Tony Stark and his young ward.

…I mean. Really. Who else could it be.

"Hey kid, its brand new. Don't scratch the paint." Stark drawls as he tosses the keyfob to an attendant and slips out of the car.

All smiles, Stark looks well. Like a million bucks. The bespoke suit in dapper blacks and grays. The mirrored sunglasses. Italian leather shoes. He went all out, which he usually does when he goes out.

Walking towards the doors he does glance down to his companion. "…just how did anyone get you to sit down long enough to get a suit?" He asks of the young man walking in with him, amusement obvious in his gaze. A beatpause. "So. What do you think? I'm giving this about a sixty percent chance something explodes here. Because. You know. That is what happens in Gotham. Or so I've heard."

A flash of a grin as he looks at the milling people around. "…try not to eat the entire buffet in the first hour?"


Bruce Wayne, it should be said, is almost always fashionably late. He is not the type to make a splashy entrance, but he also doesn't like to be the first one at the party, or even the second or hundredth. Seeing a party already in full swing means he is the one to decide where he'll go, who he wishes to talk right from the start.

As per usual, he is dressed in an impeccable tuxedo. And, like the lucky Sal DeVito, he also arrives with a red head. However, unlike Danny Frelingheysen, she is not on his arm so much as he is there in a chaperone capacity. It's unlikely Kate Kane would be able to get into this event on her own. Not after what happened at the last one.

Adjusting his cufflinks, he plucks two flutes of champagne off of a tray, barely even looking at the glasses themselves. Instead, he gives the waitress a wink and keeps moving, handing one absently to Kate. Once they're out of earshot, he warns, "That is for decoration only." The booze, that is. Glancing about the party, he quickly notes the crowd and mentally starts to categorize them into avoid, mingle and subtly interrogate. The Mastersons, as hosts, certainly will need some time at some point.

Immediately, he spots Dick and angles their way toward him. The arrival of Tony Stark is met with an exasperated sigh. "I see it was an extended guest list."


"Hey, how often do I get a chance to go to a fancy party in a super fancy place? Or ride an awesome car?" Bart grins as he steps out of the otherside of said car, tugging at the lapels of his black blazer. "…okay, so maybe I didn't figure I'd ever have to use it at the time but I guess it's a good thing Max dragged me out to get a good suit Just In Case." That day was torture, by the way. Bart considers it up there with the Worst Days of Training, but that goes without saying for most things that he has to sit or stand still for longer than two minutes with nothing to do.

His attire isn't anything to note but most suited for the venue, blacks over a white shirt, a red tie because he really wanted some kind of color, his shoes definitely not made for running but he's given them a wear test just to make sure he could get traction when need be. Brown hair is slicked back from his amber eyes with only a few strands stubbornly refusing to go with the flow, at least Bart looks like he belongs at a classy shindig like this.

"Really thinnk something'd explode?" he asks, eyeing Tony, but he supposes it can't be really impossible. Stuff happens in Gotham, man.

"I'll try not to, but I can't promise. I mean, don't they just serve tiny little bite-sized stuff? Wonder how many I can fit in my mou— Dude."

He has to stop and gape as he finally gets a close up view of the enormity of the place. Entering alongside Mister Stark, the young 'ward' tries not to stare too much as he looks around, trying to figure out where to even start with, well, anything.


A few years ago Nathaniel Richards was told not to go to Gotham. By Batman, through Spoiler. Something about not wanting powered-armor fights in his city. It was an odd request, but New York and Metropolis are nicer, anyway. Who needs Gotham?

But since the young man doesn't get invited to many high society parties he decided to come to this one. He left the armor home, wearing a tailored tux instead, and Batman territory are the dark, crime-ridden alleys downtown, right? He is unlikely to come here to complain about his presence.

He doesn't get invited to many high-society parties because he is a new rich and too young. But he is also an Avenger and somewhat famous, and he is carefully crafting a network of business contacts and deals. Which maybe is why he is here. There is also the 'anthropological studies' factor, of course. Fascinating stuff.

Nathaniel didn't know Tony Stark would come. Their last conversation with him, weeks ago, ended with Tony telling Nate he was thinking like a bad guy. That… stung. More than he expected. Harsh criticism from a childhood hero! He is trying to save the world!

So the older man arrival is watched with some wariness. And instead of moving directly to greet him he stays in his place, trying to figure out who is the young man with Tony.


Thor heads out to The Sound Stages.



"Honestly, sir, I just thought the two of you could use a break from all the glad-handing."

Katherine Rebecca Kane stalks comfortably through the spacious comforts of her loft with singular purpose. Sifting through racks of clothes, her red brows furrow as she listens to her father's voice over the clear crackle of her speaker overlays nestled throughout the building.

<"You really don't have to; your mom-">

"Step-mom," Kate corrects mildly as she pulls free a simple white dress shirt.

<"-and I weren't planning on making an appearance anyway. We were thinking of the opera-">

"'We,'" Kate echoes placidly as she eyes a pair of polished black shoes.

<"-and we were hoping you could join us.">

"Respectfully, a Kane ought to be in attendance, and you'd be liable to punch out Masterson. I'll at least restrain myself to punching him out with my words. Might as well just let me bear the cross, sir — don't worry, Bruce'll be there to keep me in line. Go enjoy Carmen."

There is a long pause almost as if inspired by the mention of 'Bruce.' Then: <"… Kate. You're really just going for appearances?">

"Why else would I be going?"

<"… Alright. Well. Let me know how it goes.">

<"And you should try the dress I got for you, Katie! The red one! It'll look so cute on you!"> pipes up Catherine Hamilton-Kane in the background. The (step-)mother. Kate's lips purse as she eyes a sliver of red nestled in a distant corner of her wardrobe.

"I'll think about it."


Kate thought about it.

Which is why she shows up to the Masterson party dressed in a three-piece tailcoat tuxedo.

She compromises, of course. The tuxedo jacket is very, very red.

A white, wing-tipped dress shirt complements red vest, black bowtie, and red slacks (and, of course, the fanciest of black dress shoes) as Katherine Rebecca Kane makes her way into the Masterson party. Green eyes roam the room in a slow sweep, lingering on the bar and its occupants like someone who's already thinking of wiling away their hours on the strongest scotch old money can buy. They flit briefly past Alex Masterson with only the faint furrow of brows, before side-eyeing her companion. And the presented champagne.

That is for decoration only.

Kate, studiously, plucks up the champagne glass from Bruce's hand. "Sure," she agrees. She might just be listening — "Might as well sell it a little, though." And then she drains a good half of it. See? Now no one will be suspicious.

"… You know, I feel like I've just walked into the world's most loving recreation of 'The Most Dangerous Game,'" she elects to observe by way of distraction, eyes flitting briefly Tony's way as they make their way towards the Wayne Ward. "Suddenly I'm regretting my wardrobe choice."

Not really, though.


"You would not believe the size of the bear if I didn't have it stuffed myself." He gestures to the corner where, indeed, a large bear is stuffed and rather than being in the typical hind legs, ready to pounce pose, it is standing atop a man-made rock looking regal and proud. It is somewhat hidden by some of the flora that is around the ballroom until one approaches the bar area and can see it to the side. Alan simply laughs a little even as he continues, "Took three shots to bring it down." He looks over to his son with some pride, "Alex, however, was the one to finish it."

For his part, Alex is still trying to stay away from the overall discussion. He can hear it but he has stayed at the bar, now working on his fourth drink. He still looks quite grumpy but the kind where he is trying to fight between being a grump and being civil. His father, however, is continuing to regail both the Mayor and what appears to be a General in the Army with his tale.

"Quite the prize." The large military man nods before turning his gaze back to Masterson and tilts his head, "What were you using when you brought that big beast down, Alan? Was it the Masterson Sharp?"

A chuckle and Alan shakes his head, "No, a new model. The Masterson Fullbore." He nods with a smile, "A special one I just had made, General Franks. It's a .450 and despite all its power has very little kick." He leans toward the Mayor and the General conspiratorially, "I have one for each of you. Serial 3 and 4. Obviously 1 and 2 are mine and Alex's." The men nod and chuckle. Alan appears to be about to continue when what appears to be a butler approaches him and whispers in his ear. Alan's eyes light up and he looks where the man is gesturing and then his eyes go wide and a grin grows.

"Gentlemen if you'll excuse me, I must attend my other guests. Do enjoy yourselves." With that Alan turns and walks through the party right toward a recent arrival, "Bruce Wayne!" He declares as he walks up. "As I live and breath, it is good to see you. Would you believe that you and Tony Stark arriving almost at the same time. One might think you two are competin' for the most fashionably late." He then turns, "And the lovely Katherine Kane." He looks her over, "I do hope you don't plan to cause too much trouble in my party." He laughs, "Who'm I kiddin', go wild." He winks at her.


Unlike the champagne flutes that are circulating throughout the room and appear to be the most popular of beverages choices, Dick has found himself something much more squat and filled with darker liquid. No alcohol here however. He definitely needs his wits about him, these days more than most. Still, he takes a sip now and then as he continues to circulate. He spots Bruce start to head his way and likewise spots him as he gets intercepted, a faint smirk sliding over his expression. He wouldn't wish the Masterson's on anyone. But better Bruce than himself.

Circulating past the elder Masterson and his hanger's on, the dark haired young man gives a little shake of his head, the self-congratulation a little much for him and he continues on his way until he finds himself at one of the large bay windows that looks out over the estate beyond, staring out over those grounds in apparent contemplation.


"Never been to a thing like this eh?" Stark grins widely as he notes Bart's reaction to the party. "Glad I could introduce ya ta all this…" Crap? "…mess. Come on though. I'll introduce you to people." A pause. "You wanna go by Allen or Stark? I'm gonna go with Allen just cause its easier to remember." He adds quietly as he yoinks a glass from a passing server.

He yoinks a drink for Bart too, just not champagne. The last thing he wants is a drunk speedster.

"But come on, I can introduce ya to the hosts. And to my opposite number. That Wayne guy."

Stark looks in that direction, raising his glass towards both Bruce and Kate before he angles in that direction.

Thats right Gothamites. He's comin for you.


Bart notes the glances from people, but he's not surprised at all that Tony Stark is the draw for attention. It's Tony. As the man begins to move along into the crowds to mingle, Bart trails after, grinning. "Eh, Allen's fine. Stark'd be kinda weird, don'tcha think? Oh, um. Is there a specific way people're supposed to talk around here?"

He takes the glass that he's passed along, peering at it before taking a small sip. At least he should be able to burn off any alcohol pretty quickly if he'd had any by accident, but he'd largely prefer a soda or something. Heh highly doubts they'll have Kool-Aid here.

"Opposite..? Oh."

He follows after as Tony heads for Bruce and his plus one, swiping an hors d'oeuvre from a tray in passing, eyes drifting towards the other man who's started on over to greet them as well, and Tony by the sound of it.


Pamela Isley is led around. She acquires a glass of champagne and a slice of tiny sausage on a stick as she is introduced to people who she examines briefly, smiles weakly, and otherwise completely ignores, even as Sal chatters in the background. She is scanning the horizon.

Why did I come here? she thinks.

This place is reasonably well landscaped but that's just another form of slavery, she thinks. Did I just come here to be reminded of what I hate the most?

Poison Ivy sips her drink as she looks at an animal that got killed and displayed. A bear, she recognizes belatedly. The taste of the grape on her tongue was stronger. She bites the flesh then, and continues to follow in the orbit of Sal. Words come out from others. Something about guns. That one she files away for later.

And then she sees it. Poison Ivy's eyes widen beneath her hat even as Sal says the obvious: "That's Tony Stark! See, Pam, I told'ja I'm high class. The highest."

"Do you know him?" Ivy murmurs.


"Well," she says, "go introduce yourself." She leans over and pecks his cheek, 'encouragingly.'

A moment later: Sal Frelinghuysen is on an intercept course for Tony Stark. "Mr. Stark! Hey, Mr. Stark!" he calls, already sweating. "Scuse me," he says to Bart, coming up along side the younger man.

"You his nephew or something? Introduce me to your uncle," the round man tells Bart. "I gotta ask him something."


Bruce makes his way to greet Dick and instead, he can see Alan Masterson arriving from the corner of his eye. Or, really, he heard him coming. Slowing his pursuit, he gives Dick a wry look as his old ward neatly circles but does not engage into the society greetings that are necessary in such an environment. With a warm smile, Bruce sticks a hand out for Alan to shake. It's a proper businessman's handshake: firm, but not crushing. Of course, he knew of Masterson's profession and hobbies. However, he cannot help but hear some of the boasting Alan does of the bear hunting he and his son accomplished. Eyes take in the bear, then flick to the son with hastily applied make up by the bar.

It all happens quickly and Bruce is quick to match Alan's enthusiasm. "Kismet, I am sure. We all men of business know the way of things. You have to make an entrance if you're to be noticed. It's the same in the market as it is at a party. I have been talking poor Kate's ear off about our newest acquisition. Isn't that right?" Too enthusiastically, Bruce elbows Kate right by her wrist, causing her glass to tumble right from her hand. Making a show of it, he attempts to grab the flute, but it crashes right onto the ground. "Clumsy," he shakes his head. "Kate, why don't you grab another drink. I'm sure they have something more interesting than champagne. I think I saw Dick somewhere around here, too, should grab a refreshment and then bring him by to say hello."

And that is that, he practically dismisses her to talk to Alan. "I couldn't help but overhear some of your latest hunt story. Please, I hadn't heard it yet." As Tony approaches with Bart, he gives a nod. "Mr. Stark. A pleasure. Our host was just about to tell us of his most thrilling latest hunt."


Even before the glass shatters on the ground, the staff of the party are on the move. One is swoooping in fast to clean up the mess. Alan simply smiles down at that and gestures, "Not a worry about it, these things happen. Now as people filter around to Alan Masterson the man almost seems to puff up like a big peacock, feathers all aplomb. He shakes the hand of Bruce and almost immediately turns his gaze to Tony as soon as the man approaches, "And there he is. I knew you'd make your way over eventually. Tony Stark. You are a sight as usual. I heard you pulled up in quite the fancy new car. You are gonna have to let me see it before ya leave. Not to mention you are gonna have to tell me who this fine lookin' young man is."

As if it were all a stage play, Alan turns his gaze to Bruce again and says, "Dick Grayson here? Well, now, I'll have to let Alex know that he has got a couple people around his age here after all. He's always worried that us old folks," Alan winks, "are all that are gonna be here. Tony why don't you let your friend go grab him some grub and head on over to find Alex and Dick now. I heard Kate is headin' that way."

And then he is looking past Tony and gestures, "Sal Frelinghuysen!" He declares, "Now you had best drag yourself front and center. Your daddy has provided some of the /best/ fish have ever seen." He looks to Tony and Bruce, "Sal's family owns one of the biggest fishing companies in the Northeast. I would buy from no other." He then looks to Sal, "And more importantly, Sal, who is that fine lookin' redhead you have wrapped around your finger? Wait hold that thought."

"Bruce Wayne you know I like talkin' about myself almost as much as Tony." He stands up taller and nods, "Now I will tell ya that we indeed did have quite the scare over in Europe huntin' ourselves some bear…"

Dick is still in earshot of the man telling his story even as other guests turn their attention to Alan Masterson. Some have already heard the story three times at this point but some newer arrivals either want to hear it or are just trying to make sure they look polite. Of course, Alex Masterson was there and he is sick of it. Sick of a lot of things. He walks up to the window roughly ten feet down from Dick and looks out at the woods. His glass is full again. Is that his sixth or seventh? Even Alex has lost count at this point. He sips it and looks to Dick before saying, "He's telling the story again." He slurs a little as he speaks, "He does love his story…" He then looks out the window, "Should have never gone on that trip…" He nods his head and speaks much more quietly than his father, "…fuckin' bastard." He swallows another bit of booze and then reaches up and rubs his shoulder, wincing a little. If Dick looks at where Alex's eyes are, they seem to stare unblinking at the canopy of trees in the distance, a slight twitch coming to his left eye.


A red eyesore fashion statement weaving through the crowds at her cousin's side, Kate seems more interested in her champagne glass than the festivities and guests themselves. The perfectly presentable socialite. Peripherals, however, are a wonderful thing. So is a keen ability to just listen and soak in the ambiance. It's surprising, the things you can find that way.

She doesn't even offer Bruce so much as a side glance as she watches the younger Masterson from the corner of her eye. She doesn't really have to. It's really just one of those unspoken things, between family.

Like the unspoken messages behind shattering champagne glasses.

And so is Kate about to give a greeting for Alan Masterson's most lively introduction; if the beginnings of a curtsy from someone wearing a tux seems incongruous, well, that's probably the point. Ruby lips part in a most winning smile. She begins to speak —

"Bruce really gets too enthusiastic about these things sometimes—"

Bump. Tumble. Crash.

Long pause. Kate's lips purse, slowly.

"-… as you can obviously see. Like a hyperactive puppy."

The Look Kate shoots Bruce is much too saccharine to be anything but an implicit threat upon his life for daring to ruin her champagne. The pat on his shoulder, like the touch of death.

"Of course, Mister Wayne," she utters, in her flattest voice. "Anything you say, Mister Wayne. Would you like me to maybe grab a mop and clean up your messes while I'm at it, Mister Wayne?"

Winning smile.

And so, with a, "Don't worry, it's a work in progress," in parting for Alan Masterson, Kate Kane casually steps over her drink on the way over to the bar, waving as she goes. "Be right back!" she promises.

And then promptly settles into a stool nearby the window young Alex Masterson makes his way towards, gets herself nice and comfortable.

And orders herself some whiskey.


He is telling the story again.

Now, if Alan Masterson had killed that bear with a knife or a spear, it would have been something to talk about. It would have been a story Nathaniel Richards would have enjoyed hearing (once!) but this. This is a bit silly.

Nathaniel moves to study the bear more closely, glancing at Ivy briefly. Not for the first time tonight he wishes he had his armor to make a scan and check if at least some of Masterson's story is true. Idly curiosity. Also, he has become too dependent of the armor, so it is better to learn to use his own senses.

Noticing Alex Masterson fleeing, he wanders to stand close to the young man. "I that this bear could tell better stories," he mutters after hearing him talk.


"Not really, the're all crazy rich and therefor think they can talk anyway they want." Stark replies airily towards Bart as he flashes a grin at the kid. "You want a soda or something? I'm guessing they have whatever you want here." The inventor replies towards the young man as they are strolling over.

"Wonderful. A hunt story. Never heard one of those before." He drawls out. "And of course there is a fancy new car. I always have a fancy new car. One for every day of the well, Allen." He says with a smirk towards the other man. "And this?" A glance towards Bart. "This would be Bart Allen, my new ward." As of like four hours ago when Red Robin asked him to go.

Paparatzi zero in on that word like a homing torpedo.

Tony doesn't seem to care.

"Bart, this is Bruce Wayne and Allen Masterson. My Gotham duplicate." A flash of a grin at Bruce. "And our host."

A beatpause.

"And no one likes talking about themselves more than me its true."

He /would/ introduce himself to Kate too but she instead salvos a full broadside of shots into Bruce's midsection before meandering off towards the bar.

There is a grin from Stark. "I like her."

Then again an interruption as someone starts calling him from about the height of his knees. "Hrmm?" A glance over. And he sees Ivy and lets a grin once more color his face. But his eyes skim down towards Sal after there and there is a chuckle. "Well yeah, I am Tony Stark. That is indeed me."


For the most part Dick is pretty good at avoiding the introspection — the cynical might call it broodiness — that tends to be so popular amongst his extended 'family'. What they do is important, even life and death much of the time. But they're well trained, phenomenally gifted and when you get right down to it, it's pretty exciting. Nothing wrong with having a bit of fun with it now and then. Just because it's important doesn't mean you can't laugh every now and then. He has held up pretty well even though he has a literal death mark on his shoulder. But it does wear at one.

That dark-eyed gaze sweeps the estate, but no matter how lost in his own thoughts he may appear to be, Dick is still very much who he was raised to be. He is an acrobat yes, but first and foremost they are all detectives. Observation is second nature so Alex's arrival hardly goes unnoticed. He just doesn't comment on it. Why bring attention to himself. Especially when there is something of much greater interest that has apparently caught his attention out there on the crowds. His expression darkens, jaw settling into a hard line. No, he isn't much prone to broodiness. But when he can't trust his own senses he does get a little grumpy.

Of course while he might not be inclined to engage the younger Masterson, Dick is not so fortunate in return. Or at least that is his initial reaction. But that tendancy towards observation can't miss how Alex stares out that the grounds, at the same point he was so interested in. He can't miss at the way he all but claws at his own shoulder and eyes narrow. "You know Alex, it occurs to me that we are frightfully far from the bar standing over here by the window like this. Why don't we go get another." The younger Masterson plainly doesn't need another, but if anything might lure him away, it might be the promise of more drinks.


Sal is called out. "Oh! Alan, thanks pal," he says, huffing as he gets nearer. He is then asked a question. "Oh - that's Pam. She uh - we met at the nursery… y'know, for landscaping… hah. Hey, Pam!" He raises a hand to wave at 'Pam,' who slides forwards graciously. (Alan would know full well that Sal is married and it is not to a redhead. Then again, this is probably totally unsurprising.)

'Pam' sweeps in closer and looks towards Tony Stark /just/ as Sal takes her hand and starts to pivot her towards others. She grimaces briefly, strives to meet eyes with the Iron Man for a moment, and then says to Alan and more or less everyone in the immediate vicinity: "Yes, charmed; yes; it's wonderful to meet you; yes, of course… Very impressive bear you have."

Save me, she says with her eyes, towards Tony Stark. Hopefully nobody around here is going to catch on.


Even before Sal comes to accost Bart about introducing him to his 'uncle', the speedster incognito glances back at the man calling after Tony Stark. And then Sal is there, and the young Titan finds himself hoping the man doesn't collapse from his earlier efforts. "Er, he's not—" Related, but it seems introductions by Bart are unnecessary as not only Tony notices the short man but their host apparent as well. "Well, there you go!" he grins, giving Sal an awkward pat on the shoulder.

"Nice to meet you Mister Wayne, Mister Masterson," Bart says as Tony dispenses with names, turning to face Bruce and Alan and offer and receive handshakes as appropriate. He doesn't seem too bothered by being referred to as Tony's ward. Somewhere in Alabama, Max Mercury is probably having a migraine.

He watches as Kate excuses herself, a glance cast back at Tony for his comment, although he wonders that the guy would have said such regardless of what she'd said or done. …right, Tony had mentioned soda? In a big ol' place like this, it'd be disappointing if they didn't serve everything!

If Alan had been hinting for him to go mingle with those more his age (which…to be fair, there probably wouldn't be, technically), then it naturally goes right over Bart's head, but the suggestion to get something to eat sure seems appealing, and that little snack he'd nabbed on the way over hadn't lasted very long that he barely remembers what it tasted like.

As Pamela comes over to rejoin her date (?), he looks over at her, and then at Tony, and back again. And then at the bear. Yeah, he can tell a long story's up and coming and he has a feeling he doesn't want to stick around for it.

"Hey Mister Stark, I'm gonna go check out the food. Want me to grab you a plate?" Yay or nay, he'll slip away to do just that, heading conveniently in the direction that Kate's made herself comfortable, eyes sweeping the room and the faces populating it.


A wide eyed look toward Kate and then a look to Bruce and Alan chuckles, "She's still a firecracker." He nods his head, "Best be careful, Mr. Wayne, sounds to me like you have something comin' your way and it ain't good." The host of the party grins wide at 'Pam' and then gestures over to Tony, "Yes, though where was I? Oh right." He clears his throat, "So, you likely heard about what the media reported on. Lost all contact, out in the woods. Guide found with a broken ankle saying that I forged on ahead." He nods his head, "All true mind you." Alan laughs and shakes his head.

"In a world with all this technology and wouldn't you know it both of our phones get busted up in a fall down a hill. He looks toward Alex a moment, his smile fading ever so slightly at the sight of his son brooding at the window before he clears his throat and continues, "Anyway, we are out there hunting a bear and we get lost. Well, I'm an old hand at setting up camp and findin' my way so I just take charge and Alex, being a former boyscout, falls right into line. We get ourselves a plan and we start lookin' for civiliation but I said, hey, we're here to hunt bear. No sense in not doin' both. A real roughin' it opportunity.

"Of course, you all want hear about the main event I imagine." He nods his head, "So, there we were tryin' to forge our way home when Alex spots a big ol' paw print on the ground. About the size of…" He gesturs over his shoulder at the bear and grins, "…so we decide that we are gonna get what we came for. Little did we know, that big fella over there was already watchin' us."

Even as Alan talks, Alex appears to be getting more agitated. Nathaniel doesn't help matters any as Alex looks at him and grins a nervous, agitated little grin and nods, "Yeah, that bear could…" He nods a little and then looks to Dick. He looks past Dick at his father and hten back to Grayson, "Yeah, this one…is about…empty…" And it is.

Alan continues, "We were followin' them prints and had no idea that the very bear we were trackin' was already followin' us off to our left. It wasn't till I heard the crack of a large branch that I looked over to see him. That bear saw me seein' him and he took off like a shot comin' right at us. A shot is what he got." He then gestures toward the bear and takes aim with an imaginary rifle, "One clean oone right in the side but that boy was either too hungry, too angry, or just too onery to go down to that. I opened again and he kept coming." He looks to Bruce as if trying to push the story, eyes going wide.

"I can't tell ya for sure if that third shot hit or not. I began to feel my heart pumpin'." And then he looks back at Alex with a wide, proud grin and then turns back to Tony, "And that's when my boy took the best sho-"

"SHUT THE HELL UP! JUST. SHUT. UP!!!" The yell halts even the music. The party goers all turning to look in the direction of Alex Masterson and incidentally at Nathaniel and Dick as well. The glass in Alex's hand slams into the ground as he throws it and then points at his dad, "Just stop it! I'm sick of it! SICK OF IT!" He yells and begins to shake with anger and something else. Fear perhaps?

"Now, Alex, you need to-" Alan tries to interrupt his son's tirade but is interrupted himself.

"I need to what dad? Just go with it?! Just be happy?! We're dead!" He yells out and throws his arms out, "Dead! Every seen dead men before people?! You're lookin' at them!" His drunken words slurred and definitely sounding more like a native of Gotham.

Even as Alex puts on a scene, Alan is directing traffic and damage control is swooping in to grab the boy, "Alex, you've probably had a bit much to drink why don't you head on out, boy." He nods his head and already two large men are grabbing at Alex to direct him out.

"Get off me…" He starts to shed a tear and looks at his dad in fear. There's a look in his eyes that shows true fear even as Alan looks at the boy in a quiet seething anger. It's only there a moment before Alan is pulling it all back in and repositioning that southern charm.

"Sorry about htat folks." He turns, "Seems Alex can't quite hold his liquor. What can I say?" He laughs a little and gestures for the band to get back to playing, which they do. He then clears his throat and looks to Bruce and Tony in turn, "I'll return shortly. I need to see to my son." His teeth grind a little when he says 'son' and then he turns swiftly away.


Kate is given the brightest smile when he gives her the flattest response to his suggestion. With a jerk of his thumb, he gives a shake of his head. "See, this is why she's such an asset to parties. Absolutely no filter. It's refreshing, isn't it? At the very least it's a story for the next party. Otherwise these things all tend to turn into a how are you, what's the bottom line, did you hear about the latest scandal sort of thing." Clearly amused, he takes a breath and laughs.

Sal and his date is given quite the look as he studies them. Despite that moment, he greets warmly. "Sal, welcome. I don't believe I've had the pleasure of meeting your friend." He allows introductions and then focuses his attention on Tony Stark. "Duplicates?" Bruce Wayne raises an eyebrow at the Manhattan industrialist. "I am not sure Wayne and Stark industries could truly be described as duplicates. Rivals, perhaps?" A smirk is given. "Though I tend to focus more on my business rather than on extracurriculars." A pointed - if untrue barb.

This is all meant as a distraction, a way to get Alan's story out of him and to keep Tony arguing with him as Dick and Kate find out other information. It all comes crashing down as Alex shouts. Unable to help himself, Bruce's head snaps toward the younger man, eyes narrowing. His mask of joviality and political intrigue slips for a moment.

Then, it is immediately back in place. "Of course, Alan," Bruce tells him. It's not exactly lightly, but he is politely absolving him of his social obligation. It's the proper thing to do in this situation. "I know how willful the younger generation can be." A look is spared to Dick and the Kate. It shouldn't need to be stated outloud, but someone should look into that.


Pfffft, the day he needs instructions again. The spotlight is not exactly an uncomfortable place for Dick to find himself. He's been there since he was a child afterall, as part of the Flying Graysons, as the ward of Bruce Wayne, even as Robin and Nightwing. Nor does the scene particularly bother him. It's actually something of a relief. He didn't particularly relish the idea of trying to keep the alcohol-soaked yuong man out of trouble and away from threats — if indeed the threat is real and not just a product of his own troubled senses. No, it's better this way.

Still, the outburst, the scene is a nice attention grabber. Because while everyone is staring at their hosts, Dick fixes his gaze on his mentor for a moment, gaze narrowed. He reaches up discretely and grabs at his own marked shoulder through the tuxedo jacket he wears and gives Gotham's Favorite Son a single nod, jerking his head towards Alex. He might not entirely be able to trust his senses, but he is almost positive that he isn't the only one in the room who has been marked for death. It would seem that the Lady and the Wolf have other prey as well.

As the younger Masterson is urged to retire for the evening, Dick once again falls in by his side, not so willing to let a clue slip through their fingers. Not if it means more victims on the street — even obnoxious ones like these. "What did you mean Alex? That you're dead?" he asks lowly.


"Go for it kid, try not to eat them out of house and home." Stark replies with a laugh towards Bart before he smirks slightly. Raising his glass slowly to cover the quiet subvocal com to Bart as he goes.

"Call if you get in trouble or find anything interesting." A beatpause. "And fair warning. You might get swarmed."

It isn't every day Tony Stark gets a ward.

Swarmed he is in fact. More like hunted. Girls his age slowing angling like sharks though the mass of people. I mean. He's /elegible/ now.

But then someone else is expressing interest to be saved. And Tony Stark is totally a hero enough to save a redhead. It is what he does. He's an Avenger after all.

"Totally impressive…" He drawls, eyes more interested in Pam than in the story. Obviously. 'Bored are you?' is the mouthed question towards her while Sal is distracted by the…

Well by the scene.

Because just at that moment there is defiantly a scene. His eyebrows raise slightly as Alex makes the drunken declaration.

"Well, isn't that interesting." He drawls softly. "Just what's gotten into him.

But Bruce is talking and he looks back in that direction. "Rivals? Naw. Frienemies at the worst. That's the word they use nowdays isn't it?" A beatpause. "And you do? I hadn't noticed."

A flash of a grin at that. He is defiantly being Stark.


"It's a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Wayne," says the redhead with Sal, smiling at him. There is less electricity there but it's certainly a warm voice. "It's such an honor to see a place like this without a spade in my hand."

"Ward! Jeez, that don't come up a lot, does it?" says Sal, looking at Bart as if some force is telling him to mind his own beeswax. "You going over there? Hell, young man, lead the way, I'll show you which ones came outta my dad's company if -"

Sal falters as Alex begins to speak. He seems concerned. Worried. Anxious, perhaps. He dabs at his own forehead with a hankerchief as he laughs, nervously, to himself. "Probably an ecology thing… My daughter's the same kind of way."

Pam meanwhile mouths 'yes' to Tony, along with a little air-kiss, before — well; whatever THAT is carries on. She half-turns, one hand raised upwards. She seems surprised, even at a loss. (This part isn't even fake.) Her brow furrows for a moment, arms coming to a loose fold in front of herself.

(Inwardly, Ivy's thoughts are along the lines of 'what are these idiots yelling about'. She is well on her way to forgetting about Sal Frelinghuysen entirely.)


A glass of whiskey, neat, swirls with the idle twist of Katherine Kane's wrist as she takes a look over the party. This time, this one is just for decoration. Easier to play disgruntled with a glass of alcohol in hand. Easier to play saucy disgruntled with a glass of alcohol in hand, demonstrated acutely in the way Kate Kane smiles her charming smile and tips her drink towards Bruce as if in toast to her utter lack of proper decorum the exact moment he chooses to bring it up.

Again. A cousin knows. It's just one of those unspoken things.

But while she may not be watching him directly, Alex stays always in her peripherals, always within earshot. Pale, jittery, drunk. She knows that look. It's the look of someone lost and afraid and finding consolation in the only way they know how: losing themselves.

Red brows stitch together; a mild frown tugs at the corners of her lips, easily mistaken as consternation over Bruce's attempts to boss her around. She watches, and listens, at Alex's increasing agitation the more his father tells that story…

… and only when it all blows over does she actually turn in Alex's direction, green eyes widened in apparent shock (play-acting can be the hardest part of all this; sometimes, Kate thinks Bruce might have had an amazing future in front of a camera) at the loud, panicked outburst.

There's a certain part of acute radiation poisoning — this is something you learn, when you're out trying to survive in the desert and the sun's pounding UV radiation is your only friend — where a person's bone marrow has essentially become so compromised that they are dead despite all evidence to the contrary. The walking ghost phase. It's the only thing Kate can really think of, when she stares at Alex in the seconds before his father tries to have him carted off. She slides off her seat, reaches towards him.

The hand on his shoulder is a consoling one, in the seconds before the Hired Goons come to take him away.

"Hey. It's going to be okay," is all she says, voice level. Bruce doesn't have to say a word to her, or Dick.

One of those unspoken things.


Nathaniel is suddenly much more alert when Alex begins ranting. Drunk or not, there are hints of a more interesting story in his words. His talk about 'being dead' could mean he fears retribution from something the Masterson did. To the bear? Maybe he should go looking for the place they killed the bear in the morning.

Probably an ecology thing.

He concentrates a moment parsing through the thousands of news reports he has read in the past month and memorized. Ah, the Mastersons went hunting to Northern Europe, and they got lost in Norway. Perhaps something to investigate later, for him the party is over. He does manage to nod and smile to Stark as greeting on his way out, though. It is only polite.


The party guests are all a buzz. Bart even gets a slight reprieve as some of those taking his picture are all now wondering about this shouting. As Alex is lead away, he doesn't struggle much but does seem upset. Even as Dick tries to ask him a question, Alex looks over at Dick and just swallows. He is about to say something, he even mouths it but his mouth seems dry. He's scared. Very scared. He is even more pale than he was a second ago. Kate's words seem to do nothing to ease his pain. Then as they are speaking to him, a familiar voice cuts through the moment, causing Alex's breath to catch.

"Now, Mr. Grayson I cannot believe that you are acting like such a friend to my boy in his time of need. And I really didn't realize you could be so empathetic, Miss Kane." Alan Masterson walks right up, taking the place of one of the goons by place a firm arm around his son's shoulders. The white knuckled grip that grasps Alex's arm causes him to wince and there's a soft popping of knuckles as Alan puts his on his best diplomatic face to hide the boiling happening beneath, "However, I do believe that my boy and I need to speak in private about his littel outburst. I'm sure the both of you understand the importance of propriety and respect at such an occasion."

He then gestures, "Do enjoy the party." He then gestures with his chin and one of the security guards moves to get between Dick, Kate, and the retreating Mastersons. The door shuts with a silent slam as he exits and the man simply stands in the doorway with a simple, polite smile that says 'I'm a nice guy but you aren't getting past me' like many high class security guards do.

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