Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Bruce/Dick, Jack Ellison, Marshall/Penelope
Genres: Challenge, Drama
Rating (this chapter): G
General Summary: Enemies of The Prince of Gotham and his Royal Consort storm the Castle!
Chapter Summary: While the paparazzi chase Dick, Penelope continues with her plans.
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Date Of Completion: January 31, 2009
Date Of Posting: February 15, 2009
Word Count: 714
Author’s Note: This story fits my 2009 DCU Fic/Art Tabloids Challenge.
The entire series can be found here.
BLOOD IN THE MOAT
“Paparazzi at ten o’clock!”
Dick took off at a run with Jack Ellison, one of his classmates. They ducked into Carruthers Hall.
“Whew, close one,” Dick said.
“They might follow us in.”
“Let’s get upstairs.”
Both boys pounded up the marble staircase, the upper hall empty. Jack’s shoulders and general build were broader than Dick’s, but he could be just as quick with his speed and footwork. Classes had begun for second period, but there was an empty classroom that they were able to duck into, closing the door behind them.
“Wow, ever since you and Bruce came out, the ‘razzis have been crazy.”
“It has been nutty.” Dick sat in a chair and stretched his legs out. “I guess it’ll take awhile for things to calm down.”
“Do you think it’ll ever calm down?”
“Maybe not.” Dick smiled lazily. “Bruce and I can handle this.”
“You’re sure of that?”
“We always do.”
Jack had to smile at the cocksure attitude, pushing back a lock of blond hair from his eyes. “So the Prince doesn’t mind the erosion of his royal authority?”
Dick laughed. “What?”
Jack sat on the teacher’s desk. “C’mon, man, the Crown doesn’t rest easy. The vassals smell blood in the moat and they’re surrounding the castle.”
“Ha, not if we raise the drawbridge. Besides, it’s mostly rabble outside the gates, not the vassals.”
“Yeah, well, the paparazzi are more honest about their sleaziness. Gotham High Society? They hide it behind their designer clothes and fancy jewels, but they’re just as sleazy.”
“Believe me, you’re preaching to the choir.”
“Good. Watch your back, young Knight. Those High Society types will cut your heart out with a rusty knife if they get the chance.”
The motorcycle roared up the quiet country road, Dick slowing down as he saw the gaggle of paparazzi hanging out around the Manor gates.
“Hey, Ty!” Dick rolled to a stop, smiling as flashes went off. “Aren’t you guys cold hanging out here?”
“Hey, gotta make a livin’!” Ty Wilson snapped a picture.
Dick stifled a sigh. He knew these guys had a job to do, and most of the time he didn’t mind, but there were out-of-towners and other new people on the gossip beat since their coming out, some of them overly aggressive. The regulars like Ty pretty much knew to keep their distance. He carefully ignored the shouts of the paparazzi he didn’t know.
“Yeah, well, nothing new to report.” He put his helmet back on, pressing a beeper that alerted Alfred to open the filigreed iron gates. Dick drove his ‘cycle through, murmuring, “Raise the drawbridge, Alfred!”
The gates closed behind him as the motorcycle sped up the driveway.
“Penelope, dearest, how goes the Cotillion planning?”
“Hello, Marshall.” Penelope pushed back a strand of hair from her brow.
Her husband walked into the living room, loosening his tie. He headed over to the bar and poured himself a bourbon.
He brought the glass over. A big, broad-shouldered man, he enjoyed his afternoon drink. Hazel eyes glanced at her list. “All the big names, I see.” He took a swig of bourbon.
“Yes.” Penelope tapped her pencil on the table. “Do you think we should go with shrimp this year?”
“Sounds good to me.” Marshall took another healthy swallow. “So, did Bruce get a separate invitation?”
He tapped the list with his finger. “I don’t see his name on the list. It’s usually right at the top.”
“He’s not invited.”
“Are you crazy, woman?”
“Don’t ‘woman’ me.” Penelope batted her husband’s hand away.
“Why on earth would you leave Bruce’s name off?”
“You have to ask?”
“Of course I do! What are you up to, Penny?”
Penelope smiled. “You’ll see, dear.”
“You better know what you’re doing.”
“Of course I do.”
“Do you want Bruce to arrive with his guttersnipe? The Winter Ball was one thing. No one could stop that shameful display, but this can be stopped.”
Marshall finished his drink. “Courting Bruce Wayne as an enemy is reckless.”
Penelope’s eyes glittered.
“When I’m through with him, the Prince will lose his Crown and be kicked out of the Castle.”