5539/A Tiny Case Of Remodeling

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A Tiny Case Of Remodeling
Date of Scene: 11 March 2021
Location: Kitchens - Wayne Manor
Synopsis: Bruce, Dick and Stephanie discuss some matters, villainous and otherwise.
Cast of Characters: Dick Grayson, Bruce Wayne, Stephanie Brown

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick is currently digging in one of the refrigerators, collecting something to drink for himself and Steph. He's in a T-shirt and sweats, with what looks like a new bandage wrapped around his forearm. He comes up with two bottles of apple juice and walks back over to where she is, sliding one of the bottles down the counter to here. "Here you go."

When Bruce comes in, he looks over and smiles, "Hi Bruce, how have you been? Haven't seen you in a little while." He glances over at Steph, then adds, "Perfect timing though, Steph wanted to ask you something."

Bruce Wayne has posed:
For all that Bruce seems to have little love for eating -- it is another necessity to keep his body operating but little more. Like so much in his life seemingly -- done because there is no good alternative. Yet. So as a general rule he doesn't have a whole lot of reason to be in the kitchen at all. Most of the time when he eats it is something that Alfred has brought down into the caverns below the Manor. Even then as often as not it goes forgotten until the gentleman butler cleans it away.

And yet, odd or not, the kitchen is one of his favorite rooms in the Manor. Perhaps because of all the time spent here with Alfred in the aftermath of his parents death. Or maybe the scents and smells that seem to be engrained into the darkly stained cabinets reminds him of better times in these halls. So it's not exactly a surprise that he runs into someone else here as well. It's just usually Alfred.

"I'm fine," comes the perhaps expected reply. He could be on fire, and he would likely assure the first of his partners that he was fine. It covers a lot of ground. Especially for someone who can be exactingly specific about other things. "What's up?" he asks, turning his attention to the young blonde woman.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie catches back up to Dick after having stayed behind a few more minutes to clean up the medical bay downstairs. She takes the elevator up to the library and then heads for the kitchen, getting there as Dick is setting the bottle down on the counter and sliding it over to her. "All cleaned up," she says, dusting off her hands as if to illustrate the point. And not because they actually had anything that needs clearing off.

She opens up the apple juice, sniffing the plastic lid while pretending at some kind of push, put on attitude like it were a cork on a bottle of wine she had to approve. "Not the Motts," she says with a mock sigh of disappointment before she flashes a grin towards Dick

She turns and sees Bruce, as Dick mentions that she had wanted to ask Bruce something. "Oh, yes, I did," she agrees. "So, short version. I had some childhood toys at my apartment, that my Mom had pulled out of the attic. I came home to find Cassandra playing with them. Some dolls and plastic dinosaurs and things," Stephanie says.

"So, right short version. I was thinking, if you were ok with it. Maybe we could get a really big awesome doll house. Put it in one of the rooms here in the mansion. Along with a bunch of dolls and toys. And, I could just kind of... wander into it with Cass some day. Oops, wrong room. But let her see it. And I just thought, she didn't really have a normal childhood. Maybe she'd sneak back in for a bit of make believe if such a place was there?"

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson just nods, adding, "Seemed like a good idea to me, so I told her to ask you about it. I figure the number of rooms we've got empty, we can probably spare one to give Cass the chance to have a little bit of normal in her life." He shrugs, "Heaven knows we all get little enough normal around here."

He takes a sip of his juice as well. "Oh, also, I met that Strix you have in the safehouse, we need to talk to her and work on making sure the Owls are gone, she's kinda getting stir crazy in there. I brought her a bunch of art supplies."

Bruce Wayne has posed:
Ah ha. It is going to be one of those kinds of discussions.

You would think that he would be a little more used to them. For someone who's never been married he's had a surprisingly number of youths residing in this Manor over the years. And while Cassandra might be on the older side of those individuals there is a radical difference in her life experiences to dayte

So he fights down that initial impulse to suggest that maybe they should leave well enough alone. That perhaps Cassandra is just fine as she is without them trying to impose their sense of a 'normal childhood' on her. But then judging by what they have to say, she's already chosen that. So his gaze turns between the two of them before he turns and retrieves a glass, tugging open the refridgerator and beginning to fill it from the jug of water within.

"It might do her some good," Bruce finally agrees, still facing away from the other two. "We certainly don't lack for space. So long as we're not trying to trick her into it. If she's interested, she's interested," he agrees.

Really, his approval isn't that hard to get. Outsiders might forget that they are first and foremost investigators. Part of that is understanding what makes people tick. And it involves being able to pass in a variety of different situations. Cassandra might read body language like few others. But there's a difference between reading and understanding.

"Besides space did you need anything else from me?"

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie takes a sip of her apple juice and leans against the counter while Bruce is considering the request. "Yes, it'll just be her doing, if she decides to make use of it," Stephanie says. "She's begun starting to talk. Just a couple of words so far, the last month or so. But, that's more than I'd ever heard from her before," the blond teen says. "That was it, just didn't want to do it without your ok," she tells Bruce.

A small nod is given about Strix. "Stir crazy is a good word for it," Stephanie agrees. Her arms go about herself as she gives a small frown. "I hope they aren't just laying low, for Strix's sake. If we have to root them out, we could be at this for awhile still," she says in a concerned voice. She's also likely remembering Barbara taking a sword for her, back before she'd had much training from the redhead who has turned into her mentor.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick nods in agreement, "Yeah, space was all. I can handle the rest." He's watching out for people in the family again, go figure. Kind of a habit for him, really. He looks to Bruce, "Did you want to interview Strix about the Court? I can do it and start poking into what she says if you're pressed for time. Your call, but now that I'm back in Gotham, I'd be happy to take on a few jobs if you need me to."

He looks to Steph, then back to Bruce, "She seems to really want to help, for whatever that's worth. Seems like a pretty good kid, once you get past the Talon part. Which reminds me, I have to swing by with her tablet and Poptarts."

Bruce Wayne has posed:
While Wayne Manor might be his ancestral family home they would have probably done well to just ask Alfred. He might have final say about what goes on beneath the surface of the Manor grounds, but when it comes to the house proper, Alfred is the real final authority. If he approves it is probably going to happen, one way or the other. Which might be another reason to just accept the inevitable, even embrace it and make the best out of it. This feels like something the distinguished old Brit would approve. Might as well get onboard earlier. "Check with Alfred then. He'll have an idea where's best. Probably somewhere in the East Wing. There's a degree of privacy there. She might be more inclined to endulge that side of herself if she is under the impression she's not likely to be observed," he suggests before finally turning away from the fridge, water in hand.

"I'm not sure whether we're going to be able to completely extra the Court from Gotham anytime soon," Bruce admits. For a moment he looks very little like the outgoing billionaire that the tabloids love, his tone very Batman-ish. "But perhaps she'll have some little bit of information that we can use against them," he agrees. Any organization that has remained hidden in the shadows this long is going to be well entrenched and cautious. From his early years as Batman, trying to break the five families in Gotham he knows quite well what a long and difficult process that can be. "But yes, she can't stay in that safehouse without poking her head out indefinitely. Lets see what she's capable of," he agrees with a nod for Dick's offer.

"But tread cautiously. I don't sense any deception from her. That doesn't mean that the Court isn't still using her," the dark-haired billionaire notes grimly.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
"I told her I'd stop by as well," Stephanie says, nodding. "I think Barbara still has the network available to try to map the Gotham underground using the pipes from the old steam systems to amplify her signal underground. We could also make another sweep and see if any new places show up since we shut down the old ones," she suggests.

Stephanie pats Dick's shoulder. "And try not to get stabbed again. I'll start to think you're shoeing in on my turf," she kids. Stephanie looks to Bruce. "I'm trying to work out some other ways I can help be effective if we run into Faust again. I had been working out for awhile the best ways I might be able to get to him, things he wouldn't be expecting. Now I'm afraid he'll be ready for them next time so I'm back to the drawing board there."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick nods, "I'll set up a camera link to the Bat Computer and interview her as soon as possible. Then we'll see what we can do about the Court. At least we can get started on it, anyway. It's not like we've had a heck of a lot of success so far, hopefully she'll have some info that can help us actually find them."

As is pretty typical for him, the minute he sees something to be done, he's throwing himself into it full-force. "Steph, I'll probably be in touch. I know Jason is around, I think Tim said something about a trip somewhere. And of course Damian needs something to do right now. Maybe we can connect Cass to Strix as a bodyguard-slash-watchdog until we can be a little more sure of her. Who else have we got in town that we can pull in on this?"

Bruce Wayne has posed:
It's a fair point. Their success in dealing with the Court has been... mixed thus far at past. More often then not that calls for a change in tactics. "Agreed," he says flatly, nodding Dick's way. He doesn't really like it, but he certainly believes in being as adaptable as possible. Will it be enough? It will have to be. And it always has been before.

Ahh yes, Faust. Can't forget that they have troubles that extend beyond Gotham as well. Though with the mad wizard having poked his nose into Batman's city twice now it is getting to be just a little bit personal. "We will try to touch base with Zatanna as we're able. Or," he begins, managing to suppress the sigh, "Constantine. We're not really geared to fight them directly, but knowing a little more might help us tactical wise," he agrees. "Not to mention that it certainly looks like Faust is gathering power. First the Demons Three, then Fortune, and now this Blackbriar Thorn creature. It might be time to start looking into who or what else he might be interested in adding to his collection," he muses thoughtfully.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie glances over at Dick and then back to Bruce. "I know I'm probably the least knowledgeable when it comes to, this sort of thing," she says, rather than invoking the M word directly. "So, if you'd like me to be the one to go deal with Constantine? Would give me a chance to get another leg up there." And Bruce wouldn't have to deal with the man directly that way.

"I agree though, we need to get ahead of him. He's already halfway to his objective before we know something is going on and can arrive," Stephanie says, frowning. She takes another sip of her apple juice and looks to Bruce to see what he thinks of her talking to one John Constantine.

Dick Grayson has posed:
He takes a sip of his juice, thinking through the list of people he can pull in on the Court thing. Hopefully the girl will give them something useful... finding empty owl themed rooms hasn't helped them much. Dick can focus on multiple jobs at once, but he's good with having a particular goal to work towards. "Let me know if you need my help with anything Faust related, but unless I hear different, I'll concentrate on Strix and the Court for now. Kind of annoys me they're so deeply entrenched in our city and we didn't know about it. I'm going to work on making them regret it."

Nodding to Steph's suggestion, he looks over to Bruce. "It might not be a bad idea. I can tell you she's getting her physical skills together, we just took down a bunch of Hand ninjas at the docks. Might not hurt to have one of us get some practical info on magic, all things considered. Hey, plus she can ask him if there's a way to help Charlie."

Bruce Wayne has posed:
When it comes to Gotham just about everything becomes a little personal to Bruce. Imagine that. But the Court of Owls is particularly galling. That they managed to hide for so long, right under their noses. It's hard to accept. And it can't help but cause a little worry. He has the sneaking suspicion that the Court very well might have fallen back into the shadows rather then risk ruin in a continued war with Gotham's vigilantes. But time will tell. "We'll see if he pokes his head into Gotham. It might be all hands on deck. But no, take point on the Court. Lets see if we can resolve that," he agrees with a nod for Dick's suggestion.

Glancing back towards Stephanie, he makes the slightest face. It's probably something that he wouldn't allow himself if the cowl was on, but it isn't. Truthfully, he's probably being just a little over the top in his reaction to the man. There's a reason why the League reaches out to him on matters like this, despite how exasperating he can be. "No, it's a good idea. We need information and on these matters we're not the experts," he agrees with a faint twist of his mouth. "Just remember to shower when you're done getting whatever information you can," he suggests. "Maybe several times." Definitely a little over the top, not something one can usually accuse Gotham's Dark Knight of. "I'll reach out to some of my non-League contacts as well," he notes. The magical community is a surprisingly large one, when one peels back the veil a little.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie Brown doesn't look towards Dick when he comments on her physical skills, but the corners of her lips turn up just slightly in a pleased way. The start of a smile is replaced by a more serious expression though as her blue-eyed gaze is lifted to Bruce. "Will do," she says, and then adds with a wry grin. "I'll use the soap we use after going down in the sewers after... you know, there's WAY too many villains who like to use the sewers," she says with a sigh.

After adding that bit of lighter hearted levity, Stephanie finishes off her juice, taking the container over to the proper recycle bin to dispose of. She wanders back and glances over to Dick. "Speaking of the Hand, I'll also start tracking the shipment back. We need to figure out what boat it was on, first. If Barbara has time to help, great, but I can get a start on it in the meantime."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick chuckles a little at Bruce's reaction to Constantine.. it's usually so hard to get anything out of him, it's actually refreshing to see him react, even if it is dislike. He's not going to say anything though, it's not the kind of thing you point out. Instead, he simply adds, "I've reached out to Raven of the Teen Titans, but she's on a trip to Themyscira at the moment, so it will be at least a few days." He takes another swig from his bottle, considering options, then nods.

"They do, don't they?" He agrees regarding the sewers, "Ok, I'll let you take point on that investigation. I'll concentrate on the Court. Deal with Faust stuff first though, a little smuggling can wait." He disposes of his bottle as well, then looks to Bruce, "We'll get to work. I'll upload reports when I get info to keep everyone in the loop. Is there anything else you need me to look into? If not, I'll get to work."

Bruce Wayne has posed:
"I do believe we have a plan of attack then. Check in regularly, keep everyone updated," he says, rather unnecessarily no doubt. Hopefully that advice goes for him as well, though again, he has worked at being a little bit better about that. That glass is raised to his lips once more and he drains the water rapidly before depositing the glass on the counter. He will no doubt be lectured by Alfred later about making sure that these things make it to the dishwasher. "And contact me at once if either of you learn anything essential. I'll make the time," he adds flatly. Both the Court and Faust are at the point that they can't afford to hesitate.

Seemingly said his piece, Bruce turns and strides out of the kitchen -- presumably for the den and then down to the Cave. At least he didn't just vanish on them without a word.