2950/Court of Owls: Gotham Society Fall Gala

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Court of Owls: Gotham Society Fall Gala
Date of Scene: 16 August 2020
Location: Bristol Country Club, Bristol, Gotham, NJ
Synopsis: Drama and spilled drinks and rogues and fainting socialites, oh my
Cast of Characters: Tim Drake, Bruce Wayne, Nyssa al Ghul, Phoebe Beacon, Dick Grayson, Selina Kyle, Natasha Cranston, Rose Wilson, Meggan Puceanu

Tim Drake has posed:
The Bristol Country Club's main hall has been turned into an opulent Roman paradise. Faux marble columns have been set up along the walls, with swags of purple and red fabric hanging between them. Champagne and wine flows freely from the bar, as well as being hand-passed by serving staff dressed in sleeveless and knee-length faux togas. There are also finger foods being hand-passed as well suitable to the theme of the night.

A harpist plays in the corner of the room, filling the hall with gentle music. The hall is already fairly populated with various of the cream of Gotham and the surrounding cities, drinking and gathering in small knots to gossip and talk... which in truth, is what most of these sorts of events devolve into, even with the best of intentions.

The host this evening, the owner of the Bristol Country Club and one of the few remaining members of the Cobblepot family, Oswald Cobblepot, is making his way through the crowd, stopping at every knot of people he passes to greet those he recognizes by name and thank them for coming, and introduce himself to those he doesn't.

One of the larger knots of socialibility is centered around Roman Sionis, socialite and owner of Janus cosmetics; the amiable man in his late 30s is quite the life of the party, with near a dozen hangers-on laughing at his every mundane joke and jest.

There are others, almost all of Gotham high society is here: the Waynes (well, Bruce and some of his adoptive children), the Elliots (perhaps better to say, the Elliot... Thomas being the last of his family), the Cobblepots (Oswald's son Ethan is sulking in a corner looking bored), the Kanes, the Drakes (well, Tim), the Montes, the Falcones, the Powers, the Sionises, the Wycliffs, the Clarkes, the Foxes, the Reagans, the Davenports, the Earles... even the last couple surviving members of the Arkhams know to at least make an appearance tonight.

Tim Drake has posed:
Tim Drake is practiced at hiding the discomfort he feels in a tuxedo, even a custom tailored one like the midnight blue and rust orange Janet Van Dyne creation he's wearing tonight. On his arm is his date for the evening, and they've been roped into a conversation with Tim's boss, technically, Lucius Fox, and his wife, Tanya, for a bit. There's a part of Tim that feels little sorry for Rose... while he and Lucius are discussing a new phone prototype, Tanya's attempts to engage Rose in conversation about where she might be going to school (of course she's a student, right?) or what her plans are for after the schooling that Rose is definitely not attending sound as awkward to Tim as they must feel for her. He squeezes her arm lightly, prepared to deflect if need be, but trusting her to manage or to indicate she needs help if she can't.

Though he's paying attention to the discussion with Lucius, he's also watching the room, blue eyes seeking out those he knows, those he dislikes, and those he can trust. To his credit, he doesn't so much as twitch at the sight of Cobblepot or Sionis, nor any of the others who's secrets he's unfortunately well aware of.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
Bruce Wayne is often a coinflip as to whether or not he shows up to these particular galas, but tonight he is very much in attendance. He's paid his respects to the host (Thanks for the acting skills, Alfred!), hobnobbed a bit with Mayor March, spent some time with the Foxes and the Earles, said hello to Tommy Elliot, and endured J. Devlin Davenport, already well into his cups, trying to sell him on a joint real estate venture once the Narrows are renewed. Smile, nod, commit to nothing. Not that anyone will likely find that unusual from Bruce.

With a half-full flute of champagne that he's been nursing practically since he got here, Bruce finally manages to disengage from Davenport and get a moment of breathing space. He knows it won't last long so he inwardly steels himself for more of the routine. If it weren't for Lincoln, he likely wouldn't have come at all. He'd say it was letting the kids have fun without him but he knows these affairs aren't much more enjoyable for them as they are for him...but they are necessary, so may as well make the best of them. So, with a moment to scan the crowd, he moves back into the fray, uncertain of his destination, but he's fairly sure someone or another will catch up with him before long.

Nyssa al Ghul has posed:
The al Ghul family seems to have an unhealthy obsession with Gotham and some of its inhabitants. Generally speaking, Nyssa stays out of that. As far as she's concerned, her father was already losing his mind two hundred years ago and it's unlikely that he's improved in the intervening period. But not wanting to be a part of his schemes doesn't mean she doesn't want to be //aware// of them.

And people always talk at parties.

Rather than Roman attire, she seems to have embraced the image of the barbarian at the gates, in an ornate, high-necked gown of raw silk, leather, and furs that looks like it might have come off of the Mongolian steppe, with wide sleeves and thick embroidery. She's been making her way from grouping to grouping, though she seems to be finishing up with the Falcone's at the moment.

"Raatko Arts & Acquisitions, yes," she says with a smile as she passes along a card. "I've never know anyone with so much as a drop of Italian blood who could resist the allure of fine art."

Phoebe Beacon has posed:
    And in the middle of all those big names, a lonely Beacon.

    Her hair was done up in bantu knots, sectioned out carefully to keep it out of her way. She wore a dark gray dress tonight, contrasted with a silvery mantle tucked over one shoulder and stitched with matte gray laurel leaves along the hem, her little silver clutch held firmly as she listens into conversations around her, finding interesting tidbits here and there as she moved through the crowds, with a little more practice on her heels as she navigates between food trays, shying away from drinks, and taking it all in with a little grin.

    All and all, though, she rather thought the Themysciran gala was more interesting, if more intimidating.

    There's curiousity piqued in her eyes as she spies the barbarian coming away from the Falcones -- and who isn't familiar with that family? -- and purses her lips in appreciation of the costume.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
Lincoln March is a busy man, much more so in the midst of a tightly-contested re-election, but passing up another opportunity to be amongst Gotham's most deep-pocketed folks isn't something he really should ignore. It's not a fundraiser though, at least not for /him/, so he's less here to solicit and more to win over some of the folks that haven't thrown in behind the Narrows Restoration Project.

At the moment, that appears to be one Myra McConnell, who may seem an odd choice given her reputation as the "Black Widow" of Gotham. Two husbands down, and always on the lookout for number 3! Her teenage son is about, though mostly intent on seeking out people more his own age, which he seems to have had some moderate success with given there's a clutch of them talking off to one side, mostly looking sort of boredly amused with the whole affair.

Myra is all smiles, and certainly not hard on the eyes, though her beauty is more that of a marble statue than a sunrise...a bit on the cold side. If Lincoln is swayed by her charms, though, he doesn't give any outward sign of it...but neither does he seem inclined to quickly excuse himself. The conversation seems animated, if pleasant. Though the touch of condescension on Myra's features is hard to entirely mask.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Out of the Wayne kids, Dick is the socialite of the bunch, so his presence here was expected. He has donned his regular tuxedo, accented by the blue waistcoat and tie. He has since secured a flute for himself and has made an effort to already greet those with ties to his adoptive father, and those he occasionally has do deal with in his professional life at Wayne Enterprises' headquarters.

Dick has made a note of who is making a showing here, especially those known to him when he is out and about as Nightwing, though fortunately he is at least capable of being polite and even cordial, even if only superficially, to them. The eldest Wayneling nods to his adoptive father and brother when he sees them begins approaching, going towards Bruce as Tim is currently talking with Lucius. "Food is good," Dick notes, "Hopefully you are enjoying yourself?" He takes a sip from his flute, "So far I am, at least. Though it is a Who's Who in here."

Selina Kyle has posed:
    Selina Kyle, of course, is a common sight at these gatherings - some would say an attraction to get a cheap laugh from a crowd - making her usual rounds, gradually charming open a few wallets for wildlife charity, and... generally being supportive of the Lincoln Regime like a good Gothamite. She wears an elegant low cut dress slit up the side to expose one leg, colored a dark shade of purple; adorned with a few jeweled bracelets and dangerously high heeled shoes, as is her way.
    One could possibly mistake her for being relative on guard tonight, however, casting the occasional side-eyed glance at the Falcone contingent with a look somewhere between disapproval and 'building up courage'.

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    Natasha seems perfectly at ease; she hasn't been back in civilization all that long, but she certainly appears to have taken to the life of a wealthy socialite as if born for it; she smiles and exchanges greetings and slightly off-key jokes with everyone she encounters.

    A casual observer keeping count would have noticed that she's already on her fourth glass of champagne -- and it would take a much less casual observer to notice that she's abandoned each prior glass after just a sip before putting it down, walking up to the next person to meet and snagging a fresh flute off the nearest passing waiter.

     At the moment, she's talking with Sidonis, and perhaps laughing a bit harder at his attempts at telling amusing anecdotes than is entirely warranted...

Rose Wilson has posed:
Rose is very much not going to school for anything, as well Tim knows. But she doesn't have to let anyone else know that, so when Tanya starts pressing her on what she's going to school for, she starts in with some very elaborate, but carefully crafted, lies.

"I'm pursuing a poli-sci degree, with the hopes aimed at getting a job as a diplomatic attache some day. I know that the vetting process is years long, but I figure if I do well in school, and then start with ESL classes that while I'm waiting for the vetting process, I can go ahead and get experience living over seas." It's all smooth as silk. And an utter lie.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
Bruce glances sidelong to Dick as he approaches and speaks, a glimmer of wry humor touching his face at Dick's words. "You know me, I'm always happy to spend time with a few dozen of my nearest and dearest." There's probably some saying about friends, enemies, and how close you keep each that applies here, but that's certainly not something to be spoken aloud in such a gathering. Still, there's a certain morbid amusement in knowing that if he dropped into the midst of this gathering in costume and hurled a batarang in any given direction he'd probably have a better chance of striking a long-standing enemy or their hangers-on than an innocent. Almost feels like a real representation of what most people outside the city tend to think about Gotham. "But you're right, Oswald does always make sure he puts on a good spread. Even Alfred is usually complimentary of the menu."

Nyssa al Ghul has posed:
As she moves away from the Falcones, Nyssa's path takes her toward Selina, noting the other woman's attention in that direction. "If you wait for one more glass of champagne," she says as she approaches, smile wry, "I suspect you'll find them amenable to all sorts of donations for the low price of a little flattery."

Her smile broadens with feminine solidarity as she offers a hand. "It's Ms. Kyle, isn't it? Nyssa Raatko. New York may be full of bright lights, but Gotham always does have the most interesting events."

Tim Drake has posed:
"Political science? That's lovely!" Tanya says genuinely. "Are there any areas of the world you're particularly focused in, Miss Wilson?"

Tim glances over to Rose, not saying a damn word as she spins her tale. It's a hell of a lot less complex than the truth is, anyway. As he shifts his gaze, he spies the red-clad form of Maria Powers and her daughter dressed in a... wow, that's fairly low cut, and Tim immediately shifts his eyes back to Lucius instead of the lowcut teal dress on Claudette. His grip on Rose's arm tightens slightly in warning about the time the pair join the knot.

"Lucius, Tanya," Maria greets them both. "How are the kids? I don't see them here."

Lucius smiles mildly, but it's Tanya that takes over the conversation. "They didn't feel like coming, but you know how kids are..."

Maria clucks her tongue, then looks to Tim and Rose. "Timothy, you remember Claudette?" Yes, Rose, she is ignoring your existence.

However, Tim is slightly quick on the draw at this one. "Ah, Claudette, yeah. How //was// rehab?" he drawls in a bored tone, then pointedly, "In case you haven't met her, this is my girlfriend, Rose Wilson."

Bruce Wayne has posed:
Lucius Fox's eyebrows lift considerably at the offhand mention of rehab, and for a moment he averts his eyes and oh my isn't this champagne excellent, and that wall over there, so very interesting.

Meggan Puceanu has posed:
Not everyone hails from the highest orders of Gotham society. The hoi polloi need to make the occasional appearance to lend credibility or awe. Among those gilded names and sterling reputation, Meggan exists with a certain ease. She goes about her business peacefully, speaking with a few other guests in the process. An older man and a couple of comparable age, magnates to a shipping business in town, speak generously of her to their social set.

Their interest lies in something to do with a storm and a sinking boat a month or two back. The conversation flows into a question about Cape Carmine, education, and why there aren't more manned lights up and down the coast. Meg takes her leave thereabouts, leaving a startled second look following after the golden-haired lighthouse keeper.

A slender flute of something rests in her fingers, used as a prop. It saves her from the tables of morsels, food aplenty not attracting her attention. Her take on Rome itself is founded in neither gaunt low-life of the Suburra or peasant of the flames. Subtle veins of white race up the elegantly draped gown poured with filmy grace; there's a very peculiar addition of a silver mesh filet wrapped around her hair to prop just above her brow, the likeness to classical depictions of justice not exactly coincidental.

Sooner or later, she can thread the needle of seeking out one of the luminaries in a fine tuxedo. Dick is on her radar, and she moves with an effortless ease in those whisper-thin sandals.

Tim Drake has posed:
"...and that," Sionis finishes his story, "Is how I successfully bought out all of Plymouth Cosmetics just so I could have rights to 'Plumerious Purple'." Several of his hangers-on laugh. The short-haired, intense-looking man at his side (no one really asks, but everyone has always assumed him to be Roman's personal bodyguard) doesn't. But then again, he rarely does. "I can't tell war stories all night, though, surely, someone else has a tale to tell?" He lifts a fresh glass of red wine from a passing tray.

Rose Wilson has posed:
"Southeast Asia." Rose replies, offering Tanya a smile, although that smile is both forced and brief as Tim squeezes her arm. Then she turns her attention to the arriving pair, a smirk flicking across her lips.

Navigating high society is not Rose's thing, but there is one thing that she can do, "You might want to cover up, before someone mistakes you for someone's paid companion." She then glances at Lucius and Tanya, "Excuse us. Time to go find a drink."

Dick Grayson has posed:
\"Of course, it is such an onerous duty to have to rub elbows," Dick smirks and chuckles quietly, knowing full well what his father meant. "I have to agree, Oswald has yet to half-ass a buffet, and to miss one is to know regret." Dick says to Bruce with a nod. The goings on around March get a raised brow and a comment, "Well, that should be interesting," though Sionis' hangers-on also get noticed, "Seems that Sionis is also Mister Popular tonight, as he is most nights."

When Meggan is getting close, Dick notices her and gestures for her to join them. "Meggan, please join us." He turns to Bruce, "This is my father Bruce Wayne, and this," he nods towards Meggan, "Is Meggan Puccaneu, a good friend of mine." Dick takes a sip from the flute again. "My apologies for the sudden introductions."

Tim Drake has posed:
Tim gives one of those 'huh, what can you do?' sorts of shrugs and nods towards the Foxes. "I'll be in Wednesday, boss. Tanya, lovely to see you again, give my best to the kids." A pause. "Powers." And then he's happily escorting Rose off towards the bar, carrying himself in the sort of way that is the high society equivalent of flipping the double bird as he does.

He would never be so gauche. But the mental image is there. He slides his arm around Rose's waist as they walk away. And when they get tot he bar, he happily snags a glass of champagne, about the time that Cobblepot saunters up. "There you are! I didn't want to interrupt while Lucius had you, my boy, how have you been? Avoiding these affairs since your father passed, I know, which makes me so glad to see you."

Tim gives the host a wry look, though not an impolite one. "Mr. Cobblepot, I--"

""Oswald, Timothy. You can call me Oswald, you're an adult now."

It's really good the Bats are all trained in acting. Not a flicker shows on Tim's face.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
"Miss Puceanu. A pleasure to see you again." Bruce glances to Dick with a mild smile, "I'm happy to say I've already had the pleasure. We met at the fundraiser a couple months back." His attention shifts back to Meggan, and he inclines his head in greeting, still smiling amiably, "I hope you've been doing well? How did you and Dick happen to meet?" Maybe he already knows, maybe he doesn't, but he'll ask anyway. A brief glances is given towards Tim's extrication of Rose from the presence of the Powers. That's probably for the best. Miss Wilson had acquitted herself admirably enough at the last formal affair he saw her at, but given her...volatility...it was probably best not to press the issue.

The Powers might need a distraction. Even as he carries on his conversation with Meggan and Dick, he runs through a list of people he's spotted here tonight and who might make a suitable candidate to throw them off the trail for the evening. Several names are discarded out of hand. He's looking for a distraction, not someone likely to murder them. There's no sign of it on his face, but eventually he comes to a conclusion. Now to see if there's a graceful way he can manage it.

Phoebe Beacon has posed:
    Phoebe was hanging on to Sionis's story-telling group, to the outside, quiet and unobtrusive. She was watching the cosmetics magnate with some level of interest as she sips water, from a fancy glass. She has one arm crossed over her chest, dark matte lips pursed as if in thought, listening to the others speaking, her eyes stealing about the crowd to pick out faces she knows. She spots Tim and Rose making their way towards the bar. Dick's hard to miss, even after their brief meeting, and of course who doesn't know Bruce Wayne's face?

    So Phoebe listens, and then quietly pipes up with:

    "Do you know if the issues with the mid-level cosmetics for darker skins was resolved after the purchase of the formulas? There was a resin in some of the facial powders which was causing a significant amount of young women to have an allergic reaction, if I recall correctly."

    Of course, being a young woman with dark skin, that's a valid concern.

Meggan Puceanu has posed:
Plumerious purple; hearing that en route leaves Meggan casting a look aside to Sionis, then a smile. Vivid green eyes awash in opalescent powder tinted more distinctly than the veins painted discreetly over her flesh. Janus Cosmetics taken to a high art where she's involved, a walking canvas for them. However, before she can engage on that front, a pause in the conversation hooks her in. Roman will simply have to wait.

The heavy stylized golden waves barely held in check, she slips past another of the phalanx of fancy people ringing in Dick and Bruce. Carefully she murmurs a "Pardon me," with emphasis on her distinct English accent to cultivate a veneer of manners and regret.

"Mr. Wayne and Mr. Grayson." The lilt is there, but most definitely not Queen's English. Her smile teases up more, far more enthusiastic than a bored dilettante or conniving socialite, radiating balmy ease. "It's good to see you, Dick. Think nothing of it, introductions can be more painful when drawn out. An impressive evening so far?" There might be a trace of a joke in there, but too mild to comment in any way that would be construed as rude to the hosts. "We had the pleasure at the March campaign kickoff, and it has been a busy summer since keeping a check on bubbling issues. You have fared well in kind?" Her gaze follows out to others, a tightening shield against the compression of emotions stirring and settled. "Dick and I met over finding the best use of whiskey or gin."

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    Natasha's laugh seems perfectly sincere, if possibly a little air-headed. "Oh, I could listen to you all evening, Roman," she replies, snagging yet another fresh flute from the nearest waiter before giving him an apologetic half-wave.

    "For now, though, I still have some other people I need to introduce myself to. I can only hope they'll be half as interesting as you," she finishes with an air of perfect sincerity.

    She takes another sip as she walks away, closing her eyes briefly to savour it -- and as she opens them, for the briefest instant her gaze seems to flicker with a great deal more situational awareness than her apparent drinking habit may warrant, narrowing slightly at Cobblepot's body language before making a beeline for the bar.

    "Mister Cobblepot," she interrupts the shorter man's attempt with the joviality of the happily buzzed, leaving her mostly-full glass on the end of the table as she approaches. "May I compliment you on this lovely gala? I'd heard good rumors, but you seem to have outdone yourself this time -- and is that Mister Drake? Good heavens, the newspaper photos simply don't do you justice."

    She holds out her hand as her gaze shifts to Rose. To her credit, her smile doesn't even flicker at the eyepatch. "Might I be introduced to your charming young lady-friend?"

Rose Wilson has posed:
Tim gets abandoned to Cobblepot, and Rose slides away from the bar with a glass of champagne in hand. Her target? The Powers. Or maybe just that direction. It could be just some innocent thing that is taking her in the direction of the group from behind.

Dick Grayson has posed:
"Aha, well, that saves a little bit of time," Dick chuckles at the fact the two already know each other, already relaxed in his posture and mostly at home here, running a hand through his hair before taking a drink. "Though, yes, we met at Paradise Limelight. It turns out that whiskey tends to work well with a particular recipe of hers." He nods and turns to Meggan, "But yes, it has been a decent enough evening, so far. Though school certainly does not help the cause in terms of events." Among other things, but it is the way of the world, especially their world.

Dick catches Tim and Rose going towards Cobblepot, along with Beacon being over by Roman. "It certainly is an interesting group, tonight." His tone is actually intrigued, no acting skills there. It is an odd assortment, and he enjoys it. "I hope you, yourself are having a good evening?" He asks Meggan. When Rose begins moving towards the Powers, Dick raises a brow and keeps her in the periphery, having heard the previous remarks.

Tim Drake has posed:
Sionis, cocks his head, then peers over towards Pheobe with delight on his face, snapping his fingers. "You are right, Plymouth did have an issue with those lines, Miss...?" he pauses slightly for her name, and continues. "I believe there was an issue, and I do not know if it was corrected specifically-- however. Janus has never had that problem, as we take the comfort and wearability of our products seriously. My intention is to folds the Plymouth brands entirely into the Janus lines, using our formulas, and simply taking the color palattes from Plymouth we want." He looks at Pheobe with interest. "Have you tried Janus's Utter Perfection foundation, in..." he squints. "Dark Almond Macha...?" he says, the latter an air of guessing, but likely close to the mark on the tone. "Vegan, cruelty-free, and of course, completely breatheable and comfortable to wear all day. So many of the other foundations feel like wearing a //mask//, wouldn't you all agree?"

Everyone around him nods in agreement, some tittering with laughter and drink. (Except the stone faced bodyguard. He eyes Pheobe for a moment, and then smiles. It's not a pleasant expression.)

Tim looks up from where he has been cornered by Cobblepot as Natasha approaches. "Yes, Ms...?" he asks politely. And because he has yet to introduce his date to Oswald, either, he simply says, "Rose, this is Oswa--" And she's gone. He smiles back to both Natasha and Oswald. "Rose is a bit new to these sorts of things, and it can be overwhelming when you haven't grown up around them," he replies with a 'what can you do' shrug.

Nyssa al Ghul has posed:
There's no shade like Gotham shade. Nyssa caught Rose's comment to the Powers girl, hiding the faintest flicker of a smile behind a sip from her champagne. Some things never change when it comes to high-class parties. It's reassuring, really.

By the time Rose is actually headed back in that direction, she's wrapping up a brief exchange of words with Selina, following a few steps behind the young woman with the eye patch. Surely coincidentally. Clearing her throat, she takes a quicker step. "Pardon me, Miss?"

Phoebe Beacon has posed:
    "Phoebe, please, we're all among friends here, aren't we?" she replies coyly, giving a smile, and trying not to reveal she's not part of the 'in' crowd. She keeps her arm crossed. "That's from the Premium Tea inspirations line, isn't it? The macha tag would indicate that it would be for dark skin with greenish undertones, always thought that was somewhat awkward naming scheme, since it's for cool darks rather than neutral darks." she reflects thoughtfully, carrying the conversation as naturally as it could be when dealing with a very rich man and his unpleasantly smiling body guard.

    That can't be good news.

Tim Drake has posed:
Oswald smiles at Tim, waving off the sudden departure of Rose. "Ah, it's nothing to worry about, Timothy. But yes, yes, Ms. Cranston, I'd like you to meet Timothy Drake. Timothy, this is Natasha Cranston."

Tim nods, offering his hand to shake. "Nice to meet you, Ms. Cranston."

"Well, I should let you two get to know each other-- I see Lucius and Tanya aren't being bogarted at the moment, so I shall go bogart some of their time. Oh, and Timothy, I do think you and Ethan should consider getting in a round of golf or something. It's always good to start making ties with your generation as you're coming into your own, hmm?" Then the man waddles off towards the Foxes.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
"Drinking them?" Bruce opines with a mildly befuddled smile as to the best uses of whiskey and gin. It seems perfectly obvious to him! Or at least to the face he puts on for shindigs like this. He glances between Meggan and Dick and nods as Dick adds a bit more context. "Oh, a recipe?" He too notices Rose's march, and is right on the verge of intervening when it seems Nyssa makes a move to do so herself, whether she realizes it or not. That's...good.

So it's back to the conversation at hand, "Mmm, not entirely unusual for Oswald's parties. But I don't show up to these as often as some." Eyes back to Meggan, "So before you tell me about this recipe, let me stop being remiss and tell you you look lovely this evening, Miss Puceanu. I seem to recall your last dress was also very innovative."

Lincoln March has either won over Myra McConnell, or has given up on trying, as it appears he's moved on to chat with the Foxes in the absence of Tim and Rose and the Powers. They're soon joined by the Earles and Oswald, but it seems more simply small-talk than anything too serious. It may be noted however, that Mayor March has very clearly had minimal contact with the Falcones, pretty much to the point of outright snubbing. He's not altogether that much better with Oswald but he does chat with him enough to maintain proper courtesies, given he's the host. Sionis he hasn't avoided at all, but he has left the man to his carousing after a brief conversation early in the night.

Rose Wilson has posed:
The Miss could not possibly be meant for her, and thus Rose makes no move to stop at first. Not until she realizes that it was meant for her, and Nyssa is following her.

Then it's a few more steps, closer to the Powers, before she comes to a stop, turning her attention towards Nyssa, "Yes?" Nothing at all socially unacceptable about her continued walking, right?

Nyssa al Ghul has posed:
Nyssa reaches out to take a glass of red wine from a passing servant as she comes up alongside Rose, smiling faintly. One ringed hand passes over the top of the glass before she offers it over.

"In case you're on your way to...make amends with the lady," she offers. "To...smooth things over, remove any...barriers."

Relax, Bats, it's just a laxative!

Nobody said she was //entirely// good.

"Or to add some color to this little gathering," she adds, one shoulder rolling in a smooth shrug. "You seem like a young lady capable of making her own decisions." At which she takes a step back, dipping her chin politely and moving along.

Meggan Puceanu has posed:
The champagne flute pinched lightly between her fingertips keeps Meggan from employing both her hands as a physical element to the conversation. She doesn't quite lift it to her lips, engaged in conversation too much to distract herself with the liquor. Other people are another matter, however, and she follows Dick's line of sight briefly. "Nothing like iridescence on a wet night, futuristic decor, and the imminent threat of karaoke to forge a common bond." Paradise Limelight has a very particular look going on, after all. A smile blooms. "That's right. I mix up different drinks as a pastime, and sometimes earn a bit on the side. Nothing better to get to know other people in the city, though the confessional of the bar limits how much I can openly declaim." The smile's sparkling quality rises higher, marbled alabaster lips lifted a little more.

She tilts her head, a pair of thin bone clips buried in the locks straining to hold the heavy weight back. Somehow they manage. "Though it would be my pleasure to turn to common alchemy should you wish to try something special." Then, for an instant, champagne comes to her lips. It makes a bit easier to conceal the phosphorescent flare of her eyes, the golden smile scarce hidden in a glass wall. "Thank you. Gotham fetes hold a kind of legend around them, and Mr. Brinley-Crowne suggested something out of the ordinary. I brought along scales, just in case. Though no sword, all given." From Bruce to Dick, she offers that tiny shrug with amusement behind it. "I'll find one piercing a cherry should we need it for authenticity's sake. Being empty-handed fits the theme a bit better."

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    Natasha doesn't miss a beat as Rose makes her exit, shaking Tim's hand while her free hand picks up another wine glass. "Natasha, to my friends, always," she tells him, still smiling as Cobblepot makes his exit. "Do pass my sympathies to your friend; these sort of parties do take getting used to. On that note, I do hope you're enjoying yourself, at least?"

    She takes a sip from her glass, looking around the room briefly. "So many of the East Coast's rich and famous, all gathered in one place. Not something you get to see often, is it?"

Rose Wilson has posed:
"Thanks...." Rose takes the glass of wine, glancing down at it before she downs the glass of champagne. Then she passes the empty glass off before she goes back on to her mission.

Maybe it could be explained away by just some low-class kid not being able to walk in heels, but within steps of Claudette Powers there is some "wobbling" and then OOPS, Rose lurches forward, the contents of the glass flung in the direction of the annoying Powers girl.

Dick Grayson has posed:
"Well, good karaoke goes a long way, bad... is just bad," Dick jokes, "Though I do agree you are stunning this evening," he says kindly with a smile. "Though yes, the seal of the bartender confessional is indeed ironclad," he notes solemnly, though flashing a grin after. "Our parties tend to lean toward the different, though usually opulent." A tinge of sadness is in there, but he gives Meggan's last comment some thought, "Indeed, it is an interesting theme, though far better than a reenactment." Because who would want the place on fire? Well, somebody would, but that's not the point.

"I should probably make the rounds," Dick says, and turns to Meggan, "If you would care to join me and meet a few others?" He begins offering an arm to Meggan but then Rose trips forward, and Dick is aware of her capabilities. He rushes over and asks, "Is everyone all right?" Concern evident in his voice, some sincere, but deep down there is a worry that /something/ is not right, or similar.

Tim Drake has posed:
"If by not often," Tim replies to Natasha, smiling a bit over his glass, "You mean at least twice a year in Gotham, and god only knows how often at the Hellfire up in New York. I'm a member, but I don't go often-- not really my scene." He takes a sip of his drink, the first one of the evening (and likely the only until he gets back home), and nods. "I'll let her know, though I suspect she'll find her footing in these eventually," he sounds unconcerned. Which is a lie, because he's subtly keeping an eye on her wandering--

Claudette lets out a shriek as her dress is coated in rich red wine. "You... you.... underclass class //whore//!"
Shit. He weighs things... should he interfere, should he stay back and let her handle it herself... there's a glance to Bruce, his adoptive father, which is likely clear to his conversation partner, before he returns his attention to Ms. Cranston. "...you know, Ms. Van Dyne //did// warn me Rose should break in the Louboutins before tonight, and I suppose we should have taken her seriously." But thankfully... Dick has intervened.

Nyssa al Ghul has posed:
Damn. Nyssa clearly overestimated the known class level of Claudette Powers. Modern manners - they just ain't what they used to be.

Sighing softly to herself, she moves forward again, all solicitous concern. "Goodness, what a mess!" she exclaims as she approaches, whipping a napkin from the arm of a server and making to try to cover the 'poor' girl's ruined dress. "Here, let's just-"

She pats at the stain, and if Claudette isn't too distracted she might feel the //slightest// prick of the skin before the sedative takes effect. "Oh my."

Phoebe Beacon has posed:
    That scream ripped Phoebe's attention from however the makeup-man was going to reply, and she catches the red -- and Rose -- and she gives a soft gasp, her glass dropping as she goes, thinking the worst.

    ... but no. If Rose stabbed Claudette in the lungs, she wouldn't be able to scream. She stops short, looking to Rose with a questioning expression.

    "... damn the heels?" she inquires to the thorny Rose, then looks to Claudette.

    "Such language. Some white wine and seltzer water will take that /right/ out."

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    "... But apparently she hasn't found her footing quite yet," Natasha murmurs as she watches the drama take place, then takes another sip before placing the glass down on the table. "You should probably go and make sure she's all right..."

     Her voice lowers for just a moment. "... And to make sure she hasn't snuck one of the dessert forks into her pocket before she uses it to stab someone," she adds quietly enough that only Tim could overhear, before straightening up, offering him a wave and heading off to the nearest cluster of people, picking up a fresh glass as she goes.

Rose Wilson has posed:
"Fine. Everyone is fine..." Rose assures Dick, reaching down to tug her shoe off, because clearly that is the culprit. Just the shoe! Nevermind the fact she's holding onto the shoe like she's seriusly contemplating putting the heel to the test as a weapon.

Then she promptly ignores Claudette and her shouting, glancing at Phoebe before she nods, "Damn heels." She agrees, grabbing her other shoe so that she's barefoot, "Maybe I should sit down?" Right? Right. Those that are concerned and within range are ushered towards a table, somewhere away from Claudette and the chaos that Rose just started.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
It's not hard to imagine that a great deal of the attention in the room is directed towards the little kerfluffle between Rose and Claudette. Oswald excuses himself from his knot of conversation and heads in that direction. Sionis' "friend" and one of the Falcone party look particularly alert, though nobody from either group is on the move.

Bruce watches Dick be his usual helpful self and go to see if he can defuse the situation, a pensive frown on his face. But with Meggan left behind, he instead offers his arm to her, and inclines his head in the direction of the drama, "We should probably move if we don't want to get blocked out by the gawkers." He notes with a somewhat bemused smile. For Meggan though, the amusement is not really reflected beneath the surface. No anger or anything of the sort, but perhaps a mix of mild annoyance and genuine concern, whether for Rose, Tim, Claudette or otherwise.

Meggan Puceanu has posed:
"I am sure your parties are excellent. Do not declare so swiftly that different is a bad thing, Dick. Trust me, compared to the last court of manners I was trapped in, the company alone is heavenly." Her smile cannot quite reach its former brightness given the noise breaking out. Meg winces.

That rapturously loud statement falls as loudly as a dropped champagne flute. The Brit has the presence of mind to clutch hers a bit harder, her eyes involuntarily widening at the noise of Claudette Powers' indignation. Shoulders tense under the white gown, her body surreptitiously shifting to put her weight onto her back heel. Flat sandals that might as well be crepe rather than leather give an advantage for quick retreats or stepping away if the teal-clad debutante wants to make a fuss over Rose. Or Rose needs that escape. It may be less necessary. Dick is in the way to find a solution along with everyone else adding into their place.

"For wont of a nail," she hums, and slides her arm around Bruce's with a courtly elegance not out of keeping here. The lines between her brows fade, the empathic backlash from Claudette enough to throw her back on her proverbial heels. "Let's try to avoid being carried away off the bat, agreed. As you would?" She weighs less than meets the eye. Or balances so well that Bruce probably doesn't have a lot of trouble maneuvering as one might expect.

Tim Drake has posed:
Tim snorts at the quiet aside, but nods, "My apologies," before making his way over to the cluster around Rose about the time she's pulling off the heels that he had expressed to Jason he had concerns might go through someone's skull at some point. His arms go around her, and in a concerned tone (and yes, flatly ignoring the Powers, who are both livid and expressing such in increasing volumes, including several pointed demands of Cobblepot to throw Rose out of the soiree, Tim says quietly, "Hey. Air? We can go out on the balcony and get some air, sound good?"

And he's already gently guiding her that way, though if Dick or Phoebe follow he certainly won't stop them.

It's about THAT time that Claudette swoons and hits the ground in a faint.

Tim whirls to see what's happened, concern etched on his expression. Rose did JUST throw wine on her, right?

Phoebe Beacon has posed:
    "They can be such a bother." Phoebe replies to Rose with a slight smile, "Sitting down might be for the best air sounds even better, great idea Tim, just want to make sure you didn't hurt your an--" she pauses, and she hears the drop.

    "... should I?" she ventures, hesitantly, turning and looking to Tim in particular, though she turns to Rose as well, then back to Claudette. "... or just kinda leave it?"

Bruce Wayne has posed:
Oswald Cobblepot arrives just in time to see Claudette hit the floor, and where he had been /just/ about to play the gracious host, the sight causes him to roll his eyes and mutter, "Oh for the love of...THIS is why Ethan stopped seeing you! Honestly Maria. Spare me the histrionics. The girl's fine, she's just playing for attention like she always has." Oswald has definitely got a short fuse when it comes to his events being...disrupted, but perhaps fortunately he doesn't seem to be turning any of that ire towards Rose.

Nyssa al Ghul has posed:
As Claudette falls, Nyssa fades back into the crowd, reclaiming a fresh flute of champagne for herself. Nobody got stabbed, so it's a win in her book. She would've gone for the laxative, but she can't blame Rose for going with the color option either.

Now, for the next target...

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick looks to Rose and offers a hand to Rose, though he looks to Claudette, "I am sure it was not intentional, there is no need to throw insults or accusations." Keeping an even tone and cranking up his natural charisma to eleven if he has to. Time to be the peacemaker. He winces as Rose holds the shoe and says to the others, "Nobody got hurt, it will all be well." Then Claudette swoons and feints.

Dick is immediately worried and his training kicks in from the academy and he nearly begins checking vitals, though a quick check of the pulse is enough to determine, "Oswald is correct, she has only fainted. Though we should probably get her out of here to relax and recover in peace and quiet." His concern is evident, but it is dissipating, knowing that she is almost certainly perfectly fine.

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    Well, it would seem that socializing is officially done with for the time being, so Natasha inserts herself into one of the smaller clusters of people standing back to observe the drama, taking another sip from her glass. "This party has gotten a bit more interesting than I'd anticipated," she murmurs to the woman next to her -- Nyssa, as it happens.

Rose Wilson has posed:
"Leave it." Rose just takes Phoebe's arm to make sure that she doesn't run back to try and save Claudette. Then she's heading for this air thing that Tim was trying to usher her towards. If Phoebe doesn't want to go with them, she's ultimately not going to force her to go.

Nor is Rose sticking around for someone to decide to blame her for Claudette's fainting issue. Out. Out, damn Spot. Or something. Either way, Rose knows when and how to make a retreat.

Phoebe Beacon has posed:
    Nope, when a stabby member of your friendship team grabs your arm, you should probably go with them! Phoebe gives a slight squeak, nearly tripping on her own heels as Dick checks over the fainted girl, and Phoebe turns her attention towards the next action: Making the opposite of that infamous bloodstain from the Scottish Play, out!

Tim Drake has posed:
Tim snorts quietly, not amused. "Yeah, not a fan of that sort of drama," he mutters, though Rose can likely hear him. "She'll be fine, Phoebe," as they head towards the balcony doors. Once outside, he simply laughs quietly. "Well, this was the most eventful fall gala I've seen," he grins a bit at Rose, then kisses her forehead. "Probably not going to get an invite to the Powers Hotel Christmas ball this year, but is that really a loss?" He glances over to Phoebe. "Hey Pheebs. Didn't know you were coming. Glad to see you, but did //not// expect it to be like this."

Bruce Wayne has posed:
Meanwhile, Bruce guides Meggan through the crowd and right to the edge, and where Oswald is dismissive, well..Bruce isn't. He unfastens his coat and removes it, moving to place it over Claudette's shoulders because honestly with that dress and that collapse modesty may be dangerously close to an issue.

"It's all right, we've got her..." He notes, nodding to Dick, indicating he'll help get her moved. "Oswald, do you have a room, or is there someplace else you'd like us to take her, Maria?"

Oswald throws his hands in the air, "Of COURSE she's all right!" Though when Bruce addresses him, he takes a deep breath and calms himself considerably, "There's the lounge. Out the main ballroom doors, turn right, second door on the right. Plenty of couches and the like."

"No." Maria Powers is...almost eerily calm now. To the point that it's rather obvious it's very much a "forced" calm. "Thank you Oswald, but it won't be necessary. Bruce...Richard...I'll have the car brought around out front."

Meggan Puceanu has posed:
Meggan swivels through the crowd on Bruce's arm, which admittedly helps a great deal in finding her way through the flustered and ruffled guests, and those considerably less bothered by a spark of drama. Of course a Cobblepot event needs excitement; else it's just another night. Concern mirrored on her expression only grows upon seeing the fainted young woman. Claudette's unfortunate state of dress and situation earns a rather thorough look, and then measured regard between Dick or Bruce.

"I can help to move her, if she would be more comfortable that way," she chimes in quietly. No waifish model, her. "It wouldn't be the first time to bring someone to a more comfortable place, ma'am." This, to Maria, comes with all the assurance and deprecation the British are known for.

She swallows any curiosity, settled on serene, and drops the walls a little around herself to taste the air so to speak.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
Roman Sionis, having been watching the events with considerable curiosity, barks a short, rather derisive laugh and speaks just loudly enough for his entourage to hear. "After all these years Claudette finally gets not just one, but two Waynes to put their hands on her and she's not even going to remember it. Pity." Of course those around him can't help but snicker at a minimum.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick nods to Oswald, Meggan and Bruce, "Sounds feasible..." the former acrobat at least is not hurting as he stays near the ground ready to lift when instructed, but he rises to his feet and looks to Maria, "If you wish we can get her in there and spare the optics of moving her through the entire party." He tries to stay reassuring, and looks to Oswald, "Is there anything else we can do, Oswald?" Rose and Phoebe's retreat are noted, and he may as well keep the interested parties busy at the moment to avoid further trouble.

Nyssa al Ghul has posed:
With some vengeance delivered for needless insults, Nyssa seems content to let it all play out now, going back to her socializing. She does note the departure of the younger trio and the assistance of the Wayne's...even if she keeps any agreement with Sionis's comment to herself.

Phoebe Beacon has posed:
    "I am admittedly" Phoebe begins, holding a hand up before she releases a breath, and rubs the back of her neck "not supposed to be here..."

    The admission comes with a slight wince. "I go to school with someone who caddies here, aaand was kinda-sorta evesdropping at Roman Sionis..." she states. "... but, ah... Rose's is absolutely right. That girl's dress was cut totally wrong and it seemed like the was wearing it out of spite." Phoebe states, then she adds, quietly "... white wine would totally take the red out, though."

Nyssa al Ghul has posed:
Nyssa tilts her head toward Natasha's comment, a faint smile quirking. "Well, you know how girls can be, I'm sure," she shrugs smoothly. "At least it didn't escalate //too// far. And I doubt the Powers girl will find much room for reprisal as long as the other is under the Waynes' wings. Seems like a fair enough exchange of barbs to me."

She looks over more fully, smile crooked. "Nyssa," she introduces herself, offering a hand.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
"The car is fine. Thank you Richard, and Bruce, and you Miss...I'm afraid we haven't met, and forgive me if this doesn't seem the time for introductions." Maria Powers notes to Meggan.

Bruce glances to Meggan and notes, "If you're sure, it might be more...appropriate...if you get her shoulders?" He turns his attention to Maria, "I can clear a path, at least." And Bruce sets out to do just that. Thankfully the crowd is cooperative on that score. Maria marches along behind with her head held high, and her lips pressed in a thin line. Hopefully Claudette and Co are not far behind.

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    "Natasha," Natasha replies, taking the offered hand and shaking, her smile turning slightly pensive. "Nyssa... Lovely name, and one I believe I heard recently. I'm sorry, my memory's better when I haven't been drinking... Ah, yes. Raatko Acquisitions, wasn't it? Your people outbid mine on a genuine Sharam painting last month. Such a shame, it was a lovely piece too..."

Nyssa al Ghul has posed:
"Ah, yes, I do remember that one," Nyssa nods. "If it's any consolation, we had a buyer in the wings for that one, so it's gone to a very good and appreciative home." Unlike some of the lesser-known and less impressive pieces that are sold mostly for the purpose of laundering money.

"If anything changes, though, I'd be happy to give them your number. You know how these clients can be sometimes. They want it...until they have it, and then they're on to something new."

Meggan Puceanu has posed:
"Puceanu," Meggan offers the surname. It's undeniably 'not from around here,' and very much associated with that plucky activist who can shoot down executives using the digital equivalent of blowgun darts. A far cry to find her dressed like the icon of Roman justice, but even in the fallen West, the ideals remained. "Thank you, Mr. Wayne. Dick and I can get her up and perhaps secure your coat." No need for further accidents, otherwise. "I'll have her up in two shakes of a lamb's tail."

The trace of a smile carries a nudge of relaxation behind it, focused fully on Maria. Intent to help is genuine after all. Pulling up the draped skirt falling to her ankles, she can be grateful to the flattering fit rather than some immobilizing mermaid skirt to support sinking to her knees. Opposite of Dick, she waits on him before gently encircling her arms around the unconscious socialite in a practiced embrace that allows her to pull Bruce's coat a little tighter.

She has the moment to look around for the right path out, gauging who might be along the way. "On your lead," she tells Dick with a small smile. "We'll go smooth as Godiva on her horse."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick nods to Maria, "Understood." It is the way of things, but at least they can help preserve the woman's dignity. He does nod at Bruce's suggestion, "Seems wise. I will assist Miss Puceanu with the carrying. Though I do concur with her carrying the shoulders." Dick takes a breath and looks to Meggan and says, "Indeed, we got this." Then another nod, "On three. One, two, three, lift!" And with that, he gracefully helps lift Claudette and will follow Maria when the Powers' entourage begins stepping out.

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    "Oh, not to worry," Natasha replies. "Our procurer managed to get his hands on a lovely Gao Rong embroidery instead, so it all worked out for the best."

    She smiles. "That said, I'll definitely have to keep Raatko in mind the next time the board feels we need to spruce up our lobby a bit..." She snatches a fresh flute off the nearest waiter's platter and takes a sip.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
The quintet of "concerned onlookers, mother, and poor girl" makes their way outside easily enough, where a fine limousine awaits. Plenty of space to get Miss Powers safely ensconced. Maria is thankful, and insists the she be allowed to have Bruce's coat dry cleaned, which Bruce acquiesces to, having managed to retrieve his cell phone after he'd initially doffed it. And with the expected apologia and and farewells, the assisting trio is free to make their way back inside.

"Well...this has been eventful." Bruce notes, with just a touch of wry in his tone.

Nyssa al Ghul has posed:
"Please do," Nyssa smiles warmly to Natasha. "We're always happy to help. Now, if you'll excuse me..." She raises her glass in a polite salute as she takes a few steps away. "It's been a pleasure meeting you, Natasha."

Meggan Puceanu has posed:
Because of a simple act of grace, Meggan loses that drink and gains herself a fallen socialite. Miss Powers will probably never remember what happens, and all the better. She has particularly little difficulty helping to carry Maria's daughter to the limo or settling her in there, making it as simple and straightforward to tuck Claudette away safely. Preferably without any unpleasant shots for the paps, if there happen to be any hiding in the bushes.

Good luck hiding from her, but the thought counts. She turns her gaze to Dick and smiles. "All's well that ends well, I hope. Thank you for negotiating that, trying to walk backwards can be a bit difficult." A glance to Bruce and her smile breaks out. "And none the worse for wear, even if you had to surrender your coat. Rather makes me glad not to have come as the other dress idea I had. Easier to be a cracked statuette."

Dick Grayson has posed:
At least the journey out is uneventful as it can be to haul out an unconscious woman out of a fancy party. Dick helps get her put into the limo and nods to Maria, "Hopefully she rests comfortably." He then looks to Bruce and Meggan and says, "Understatement of the year," in response. He cracks a grin when the others are gone, "But it could have gone a /lot/ worse."

To Meggan, he says, "Not a problem, my balance is good, picked that up early." The joy of being an acrobat. Dick does raise a brow and has to ask, "So, that begs the question, what was your other costume idea?"