|Bruce Wainright has (onerule) wrote in doorslogs,|
@ 2012-03-21 20:58:00
|Entry tags:||batman, scarecrow|
Who: Alex and Luke, except not really, because a certain Bat's calling the shots
What: A warning.
Where: Turnberry Place.
When: Last night.
Warnings/Rating: Some violence, threats, and I think Alex swore somewhere.
Bruce Wayne was the sort of man who rarely made a move, significant or otherwise, without considering it first. He had plans. He was not impulsive, nor reckless, and despite whatever Selina Kyle might believe she knew about him he could not take her word and her word alone that Alexander Pierce had done something warranting his attention. That did not necessarily mean he believed she was lying; he didn’t. What he needed was something, however small and seemingly insignificant, which confirmed her suspicions. He hardly expected a criminal record, or even dropped charges from years ago. No, he was looking for something subtle, something most people would overlook. The best criminals were never caught. He considered allowing Luke to handle such a delicate matter, but he knew how the boy would react, and he knew it would end in nothing short of disaster. Selina might not care, but Bruce would have no bloodshed on his watch.
One might think that the door between Gotham and Las Vegas would put a halt to his plans. It was a hindrance, certainly, but a piece of wood with a knob was hardly enough to stop him. From the moment Luke first crossed through, Bruce had been strategizing, and when he learned there was a time limit he quickly adapted himself to splitting the hours evenly, in order to maximize his potential. Without Lucius to act as CEO, he was left shouldering a great deal of responsibility when it came to Wayne Enterprises, which meant that he was unable to dedicate as much time as he would have liked to the hours between sundown and sunup. Nevertheless, he managed, and upon learning that items could be passed from one side to the other he began the process of transferring specific parts of his equipment from Gotham to Las Vegas. It was tedious, slow work, done under the most cautious circumstances, utilizing every subtle method he knew. Bruce knew that, were Luke to suddenly experience a gross increase of wealth, it would be too suspicious, so he only brought over the necessary funds to find someplace to store his tech where no one would be the wiser.
All of this was done without Luke’s consent, and without his knowledge. Gaining control on the Vegas side required effort and concentration, but Bruce was trained whereas the boy was not, and it could be done. He didn’t take any pleasure from it, and in all truthfulness Bruce felt guilty about controlling the boy even if it was for his own good. Time passed first, of course, during which Bruce executed his background check on Alexander and attempted to keep Luke from discovering something was amiss.
To Bruce, hacking systems was child’s play. He was a billionaire, and knew all about security, and Luke’s own skills proved beneficial. As expected, Alexander Pierce had no criminal record. He was clear. Upon digging a little deeper, however, Bruce discovered that Alexander had a particularly strong focus in psychopharacology, as well as having participated in a number of studies concerning the effects of certain drugs on various aspects of human functions. What stood out the most, however, was the studies that focused on their effect on inhibitions. There was his red flag, what he needed to act; from there it was almost easy. Batman was very good at getting into places he was not meant to be. Letting himself into an apartment which was not his without the owner’s permission hardly deterred him from what needed to be done.
It was Luke who ‘let himself in’ to Alexander’s darkened apartment, and yet it was not. He may have been the boy in physical appearance, hidden beneath the black kevlar prototype suit from before Batman had even existed, but Bruce was the one who stood at the controls. Alexander Pierce might not have survived the night otherwise. Bruce could be very patient, and so he had meticulously disabled the security and ensured, as well as he could, that they would not be disturbed; at least not during the window of time he needed to go undetected. This was a warning, and he intended it to be effective.
It was late when Alexander finally got home, slightly buzzed and with a smile on his face. It had been a good night at the casinos. Sure, he had lost a bit of cash, but there was more where that came from, and the company had made all the difference. Laughing to himself at the stories he was sure his ‘date’ for the night would have for her friends the next morning, he unlocked the door and let himself in. His keys were thrown on the small table by the door as he shut it behind him, reaching up to the alarm panel to disable the alarm.
Fingers paused over the keypad, seeing that it was already disarmed, his brows knitting together in sudden alarm. He didn’t let it settle for long, though, punching in the code and faking that he hadn’t even noticed before he turned the lights on. Turning a slow circle, Alex looked around the expansive living room slowly, wary but attempting to keep his suspicions down. Something was wrong, he could feel it in the air.
Bruce (with just a dash of Luke) was aware of Alex’s approach before the door opened, which gave him ample time to position himself strategically out of sight. He expected the man to notice something was amiss. Truthfully, he would have been disappointed otherwise. Luke’s body was lighter than his own, more wiry muscle than bulk strength, and thus was more easily rendered silent as he moved. Other men would have brought weapons. Luke would have. He knew exactly what the boy would have done, and while in an objective way Bruce could acknowledge such methods as effective, he in no way condoned them, nor would he ever resort to them. It wasn’t who he was, and tonight, it wasn’t who Luke was either.
Perhaps someone less experienced would have been lulled into a false sense of security, assuming Alex was unaware of the presence of another, but not Bruce. Better to assume the worst, he’d learned. He circled around, through other rooms, the lenses over his eyes yet another piece of Wayne technology brought through the door; even in the dark, his vision was crystal clear. There were certain places on the human body, pressure points, that could be manipulated for optimal control. In Chinese martial arts there were was chin na, atemi in Japanese; regardless, Bruce had trained with a man who, despite his twisted morals, was well versed in countless forms of combat and martial arts. Luke, unfortunately, lacked this experience. He fought through sheer anger, strength, and weaponry.
“Alexander Pierce.” His voice was unrecognizable as Luke’s, and it sounded just over Alex’s shoulder a second before Bruce struck. His fingers dug into the skin just above his elbow joint, grinding into flesh and bone beneath, and without giving the other man time to truly realize the pain brought his other hand down in a forty-five degree angle, connecting with the middle of his arm, which was enough combined force and pain to drive Alex to his knees. It would be much easier to control him there.
There was only a heartbeat’s worth of time to react, not enough to do more than draw in a breath before the stranger struck. For a moment, he almost laughed in response, but then the pain radiated through his arm and the rest of his body, and he dropped to his knees hard, immediately attempting to twist, to shrug him off, though the position he was in gave him little leverage to struggle against. “If you want money, you can fucking have money,” Alex shot out, squinting at the floor as he let out a hard breath, shoulders flexing to no effect. He doubted money was what was wanted; thieves broke in, got what they wanted and left. Attackers broke in and laid wait in ambush. This man, whomever he was, was after him, and Alexander had a good idea where he had come from.
“That bitch from the journals. She sent you, didn’t she?” he asked with a barked laugh. “Doing other people’s dirty work?”
To Bruce, this was just as much a test for Alex as it was a way to restrain him. For the untrained and the inexperienced, a hold like this would be very difficult to break, and how the boy (Bruce had a tendency to think of anyone younger than himself as such, even if the age difference was only five or six years) struggled and attempted to break would be a clear indication of what he was capable of. Alex responded as he expected him to, which pleased him. This boy was no fighter. There were clues that hinted towards his true nature; his area of study, the apparent interest in inhibition-lowering drugs, and Selina’s implication that he was little better than a rapist. Bruce held a particular disdain for the kind of people he suspected Alex might be. He had no interest whatsoever in the boy’s money, of course, and so his only response was an increase in the pressure applied to his arm and a frown that was never seen. Perhaps his first assumption was that the unseen man who’d hidden and struck in silence was a run-of-the-mill thief, lured by wealth and the promise of a pretty profit, but if he had even a modicum of intelligence, he would soon realize that this was no robbery.
“No one sent me,” he said in the same grave tone, which gave no indication of the lie. “You know why I’m here, Mr. Pierce. Lying to me will do you no favors.” He utilized the same technique on Alex’s other arm, applied pressure combined with a carefully positioned blow, and forced him to lie flat, stomach-down, on the floor. Batman, despite what others might think, only had one firm rule upon which he would not yield: he did not kill. He wasn’t adverse to causing permanent damage, however. “Your wealth does not make you untouchable. I believe it’s about time you learned that,” he informed him. “How this ends is entirely dependant upon you.”
“Liar,” Alex shot back even as the intruder did that same thing to his other arm, grunting in discomfort as he was forced to the ground, the position giving him very little way to struggle back against him. Instead he turned towards him, cheek pressed against the hardwood floors, his gaze narrowed in disgust at the sliver of sight he had on the stranger. “No one sent you, my ass. That chick was looking for someone to go after someone here in Vegas. And judging by my conversation with her, she was gunning for me. A jilted lover that was pissed when I didn’t call the next day?” He tried to shift, to shrug his shoulders to gain any leverage he could. “Go on, tell me another one. Maybe about how you moonlight as the tooth fairy, or some such.”
The disgust was evident in his voice, the derision that lingered even in his prone position. Alex didn’t bow to anyone, and if the intruder wanted fear, Alex was going to be hard-pressed to provide. “Money can buy anything and anyone, if you know the price,” he said with a sneer. “You going to kill me, just because someone’s jealous I can do something they can’t? Nice. Nice.”
Perhaps once he might have been inclined towards mercy, but now Bruce felt nothing but disgust for the man-- no, the boy pinned beneath him. He’d known so many like this, ones who were arrogant enough to believe their lives, who would never confess to what they’d done nor show even a hint of regret for their actions. If Alexander dared any sort of retaliation towards the girl, Luke would kill him, and there would be very little Bruce could do to stop it should things progress that far. “I am no one’s pet,” he told the boy with the same icy flatness in his voice. “You know what you’ve done. No one sent me, boy, because no one needed to. You may have convinced others with your lies, and perhaps even yourself, but you’ll find I’m not so easily swayed.” The girl, Wren, was no jilted lover; Bruce knew that much. As wary as he was of Selina, there must have been something to want this boy to whimper in fear.
Yet fear would not come so easily with this one. Bruce had met men who could not be frightened, bullied, or otherwise forced into submission. In which case, he would need to leave a reminder of what would happen should the boy step out of line again. “No,” he said. “Your arrogance blinds you.” Money didn’t matter to someone like Batman. He was free to exist outside the law, and could not be bought as most could; as a symbol, he was incorruptible. “I’m not going to kill you. I will, however, give you an ultimatum.” Bruce placed a knee in the center of the boy’s back to keep him still, and pushed both of his arms inward against each other, threatening to dislocate both shoulders simultaneously. “You will not lay so much as a hand on another again, man or woman. Do you understand?”
There was a hiss of breath as his shoulders were pulled backwards, and the tone of the stranger’s voice only served to anger him more, to the point where pain was felt, but distantly, staring at the apartment ahead of him flatly. “They all agree to come home with me, you realise. I don’t rape. They take what I offer. It’s not my fault the sheep are so stupid as to not question anything that happens.” Another grunt escaped him as his shoulders began to feel the strain, hands flexing to try and relieve some of the pressure though no relief seemed to be offered.
“Or what? You’ll come after me again?” Alexander barked out a laugh, raspy and sharp, echoing in the sparsely decorated room. “You are not my keeper, nor my boss. I will touch who I want, and there is very little you can do to stop me. So if you’re done with the threats...” He trailed off, straining briefly. “You can see yourself out the same way you came.” And then he would up the security of his condo. This wouldn’t happen again, and he had the money to make every assurance of that.
“Under what circumstances do they agree?” Bruce’s voice had deepened from a flat, emotionless monotone to a dangerous growl, spoken close to Alex’s ear. “Do not presume to tell me that they are all capable of consenting, boy. I’ve met your kind before. You prey on the vulnerable and the unassuming, a cowardly endeavor, and now you dare to place the blame on them.” His anger was cold, controlled, whereas Luke’s burned like a wildfire, destructive and out of control. Even now he could feel the boy’s presence struggling to regain control, but fortunately it was a weak attempt, nothing he needed to concern himself with yet. There were times when even Bruce was tempted to kill, but he had never crossed that line, and he never would, however despicable the man beneath him might have been.
There is very little you can do to stop me. Oh, if only the boy knew who he was dealing with. Bruce increased the pressure of his weight against Alex’s back, intentionally making it more difficult for him to breath. Suffocation was a slow, painful death, and while he would not kill him, he could give him a taste of what it felt like. “If you refuse to agree to my terms, I will ensure that you never harm another myself. There is nowhere you can run that I won’t find you, and no amount of wealth or your inflated self-importance can protect you from me.” Each word was a promise. Bruce did not give threats lightly, and he meant everything he said. If the boy did not comply, then he would return, and the next time would not be as pleasant. There were non-lethal ways to deal with men like him. Suddenly, without warning, Bruce’s hold on the boy’s right arm became like iron and, with a sickening pop, he dislocated the shoulder with an ease that suggested practice; clearly, this was not his first time.
“Should I offer them signed disclosures next time?” Alex asked sarcastically, though his voice was tempered somewhat by the growl so close to his ear. He wasn’t ignorant, he could read people, their moods evident even without watching him. His breath was crushed from his lungs with the pressure that pressed against his back, and his thoughts stumbled and faltered as he struggled to draw in the next breath, hands clenching into fists as he listened and raged within.
It was a challenge, or at least that’s how the intruder’s words read to him. No where he could run. Nothing he could do. It was a challenge that he was willing to take up, and he was on the verge of telling him so when the pop of dislocation came. There had been no time to prepare, to steel himself against the pain that lanced through him like a white, hot knife. His struggled breath halted in his chest for a moment as he let out a soft, keening whine, every twitch and motion on his right side jarring the injured joint. “Fuck you,” Alex ground out, turning his face towards the floor, gritting his teeth.
Bruce had become well versed in the art of reading people, and he knew that Alex would not undergo a drastic change in personality as a result of this visit alone. Oh, there might very well be retaliation against Wren, but the boy would be sealing his fate by doing so. At the very least, he intended on giving him something to think about for the next little while. “There will be no next time,” he said coldly. “Pay attention, Mr. Pierce. I don’t like repeating myself.”
If a challenge was what the boy wanted, then a challenge would be given to him. Bruce was not entirely without mercy, but when pushed too far he was a force to be reckoned with, and he had faced far worse threats than an entitled child who enjoyed taking what he wanted with no regard for things like consent. From somewhere within him, Luke felt a rush of pleasure at Alex’s pained response, whereas Bruce felt very little. He said nothing, not even as he grasped Alex’s other wrist between his gloved hands and twisted, bone grinding painfully against bone, enough to cause irritation that would swell within a few hours. It was painful, but hardly permanent. “You know my terms. Think long and hard before you made your decision, Mr. Pierce.” Bruce pulled Alex’s head back, grabbing a fistful of hair for leverage, and brought it down against the cool floor; perhaps some time spent unconscious would give him new insight.
He was being left with reminders of the evening, which would serve to keep him from forgetting about what happened, but would also serve as a reminder of what was owed to the one that inflicted them. “I’ve paid more attention than you deserve, stranger,” Alex shot back, his own voice cold and sharp. Any other words he might have said were swallowed up with the gasp of discomfort that came with the grinding of bones against one another, his vision darkening for a brief moment before there was a moment of peace, of life without more pain being inflicted upon him.
As his head was pulled back, Alex strained to catch sight of him, his lips stretching in a grin before the world exploded in a brief burst of pain, white and stunning, and then all was black as the tension escaped the man, leaving him limp in the intruder’s hands.
The pain Bruce had inflicted tonight was merely a taste of what he was capable of. Alexander Pierce would do well to remember that. He would give the man a chance, and if he squandered it, well, another visit would be in order. Las Vegas was not Gotham, but this world was not quite as different as his own; there where places he could send the boy where no one would find him, and methods that not even money could combat. Alexander was a problem easily taken care of.
All the boy would see before unconsciousness took him was an expanse of black where a face should be, eyes covered by blue-tinted goggles, all but his mouth--set in a firm, hard line--visible. When Alex went limp in his grasp, Bruce removed his weight and stood, looking down at him with contempt and disgust. In the back of his mind, Luke's presence was becoming stronger, and it was only a matter of time before he regained control. It was time to leave.
Bruce departed as silently as he'd arrived, the only sign that he'd been there at all being the boy who lay unconscious on the floor. If he left anything else behind in his wake, perhaps to monitor Alex's actions in the future, well, one might very well need to know where to look to find anything at all.