8025/The Birthday Party

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The Birthday Party
Date of Scene: 28 September 2021
Location: Ballroom - Wayne Manor
Synopsis: Everyone shows up to celebrate Bruce Wayne turning 43. Beware strangers bearing gifts in salmon pantsuits.
Cast of Characters: Bruce Wayne, Lonnie Machin, Vic Sage, Selina Kyle, Zatanna Zatara, Diana Prince, Tim Drake, Helena Bertinelli, Natasha Cranston, Harley Quinn, Lincoln March, Dick Grayson, Damian Wayne, Jason Todd, Charlotte Gage-Radcliffe, Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain, Helena Wayne, Barbara Gordon, Karen Starr, M'gann M'orzz

Bruce Wayne has posed:
It's a rare occasion that Wayne Manor is opened to the public. If Bruce takes interviews or photography sessions, both of which are few and far between, it's typically a penthouse apartment in the heart of Gotham that serves as the venue. The ancestral home of the Waynes is largely kept as a private sanctuary for him and his extended family, although - as Alfred is often ready to remind - an old stately home such as it was never designed to be a private refuge.

And so, Bruce's birthday seemed to be the perfect event to open the Manor to the public - at least partially. Much of the great building is roped off, including anything above or below the ground floor. But the gallery, the ballroom, and the great loggia that overlooks the moonlit Gotham City in the far distance are more than enough to leave ample room for the hundred or so guests in attendance.

A string quartet provide music from a bandstand erected in the corner. Hired staff in white coats and tails maneuver through the crowd, offering canapes and glasses of wine brought up from Wayne's own cellar.

As expected by those who know him in a social sense, the man of the hour has yet to make an appearance.

Lonnie Machin has posed:
"I hate this."
    It was a fight all the way to get Lonnie Machin into a suit. Really, Tim might've had to apply a nerve hold at least once to stop him from running away. "I hate these boots." Lonnie says, looking down at the designer chelsea boots he's wearing. "I hate these slacks and this jacket," He says, shifting uncomfortably in the exsquisitely-cut blue european-style suit tailored to flatter his towering height. "And I especially hate this- this - this *noose of the bourgeoisie." He says, tugging at the slim silk tie he's wearing.
    Still, he gamely has Tim's arm, as they arrive. "...Look at this place." Lonnie says, "What man needs this much house?" He drops his hand into Tim's, and squeezes his fingers. "...I'll make myself scarce before you have to do any disgusting elite things, like smile at crooked politicians or blood-sucking capitalist parasites. But if you really, REALLY want to introduce me to anybody... fine." See? Compromise! He's matured since the time he almost accidentally blew up a chunk of Gotham with an explosives-laden dirigible.

Vic Sage has posed:
Vic Sage is a prominent local reporter, albeit one with a rather mixed reputation. He's popular with the public, but his employers often find his maverick style and sarcastic tongue something of a detriment. He just returned a couple of weeks ago after a month's suspension for referring to Mayor March as a "motherf*cker" during a live broadcast of city council meetings.

He's invited Helena Bertinelli as his date, escorting her up from the car he's rented for the night. He's wearing the standard issue tux, offering his arm for her as he makes his way into the room and past the servants.

"Rich people make my skin crawl," he mutters under his breath. "They're all either corrupt scumbags or degenerate flakes. Wayne's probably a bit of both," he says, looking around at the decor. "The Catholic Church thinks this guy's decadent," he murmurs to Helena.

Selina Kyle has posed:
    How dare he.

    How DARE the man?

    How dare Bruce Wayne leave Selina Kyle looking THIS fabulous without the ability to make an entrance?

    Dating's for the birds. Regardless, Selina waits upstairs, arms crossed in her long black strapless dress, cut to reveal one leg while the other side hangs tastefully long; a pearl bracelet on her left wrist, a black choker around her neck, and a pair of high heeled closed black shoes. She's watching the hands on the old grandfather clock as much as she's eyeing the clock itself for movement, with an expression that's getting close to being done being bemused at Bruce's tardiness, and to start being irritated.

    "God help him if he's doing something exciting."

    Or... getting hurt. That too.

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
The tuxedo and fishnets have been replaced by a backless gown - a long sweep of black sequins, form-fitting with a plunging decollete that asks no one's forgiveness. Zee stands in the doorway, eyes moving over the crowd. With a package tucked under her arm, the dress train caught up by a bracelet on her opposite wrist, she moves with purpose toward her nephew, Tim.

Overhearing his date, Lonnie's last comment, the magician tilts her head, eyebrows raised in surprise, "Why Bruce does, of course. He inherited it." A statement having its own internal logic.

Diana Prince has posed:
Diana arrives via a silver sports car that she leaves with an attendee outside of the manor. She is dressed in a silver evening dress that sparkles in what ambient light shines upon it as she moves. Her dark hair tied back in to a bun on the back of her head with makeup accentuating her natural sculpted features. Dark red lipstick adorns her lips and she smiles to those who she speaks to on the way in to the party. Once inside, the Princess of Themyscira just quietly moves about the interior of the home as she takes in the surroundings of the place. She moves on the perimeter of the party goers, taking up a glass of champagne when its offered by a passing server.

Tim Drake has posed:
    Look, Tim is generally known to be pretty even-keeled. Which if you dig down deep is probably some sort of tenuous construct built on very shaky foundations revolving around guilt or duty or something, because he's a Bat. That's what they do. The point being, though, is that he's not known for being particularly temperamental.

    So he suffers through the complaining, the need to Vulcan nerve pinch, and the actual physical struggle necessary to get Lonnie, in a suit, through the front door of Wayne Manor. Not with a smile, because that's absolutely too much, but he manages.

    Until Lonnie calls his tie a noose of the bourgeoisie, and then Tim takes a deep breath, digs his fingertips against his eyes, and...

    Well Lonnie's probably the only one close enough to hear the way he muffles a scream in his throat.

    "Okay!" Tim says after, voice forcibly chipper. And then his hand snaps out, hooks into the knot of Lonnie's tie, and whips it off. The way Tim folds the length of silk into a little bundle before tucking it into his pocket is... uh, a little bit passive aggressive. He's just finishing that up when Zatanna approaches.

    The smile on his face shifts to something more genuine, and he doesn't have to put on a fake tone when he says, "Hey, Aunt Zee. You look amazing!"

Helena Bertinelli has posed:
Helena Bertinelli is a non-prominent local teacher, but she's with Vic Sage for this prominent party, and she's wearing a long, purple dress for the occassion. She's been downtown most of the evening kicking in teeth and breaking bones in her secret identity but rushed back in time to squeeze in the party.

"What'd you accept the &&447$#* invitation for then?" Helena asks Vic, "Are they letting you do editorials now?" she adds.

She gets out of Vic's car, then walks up to the house in her heels, and says, "Free cake at least," she comments dryly.

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    Everyone who knows Natasha knows she never turns down an opportunity to party and drink someone else's good champagne; it's therefore no surprise that she's turned up, looking the kind of impeccable that implies the effort of some highly paid makeup artists and a dress that may have cost more than a small car, and the first thing she does once she's crossed the treshold is snag a glass of champagne off of the nearest passing waiter's tray.

    Spotting Tim, she ambles toward him with the gait of someone who may already have started drinking before the party began. "Ahh, Mr. Drake. Such a lovely evening; you look a great deal better than last I saw you," she greets the young man, then tilts her head to look at Lonnie. "... You seem familiar as well. Have we met?"

Bruce Wayne has posed:
Upstairs, in the room where Selina (im)patiently waits to make her appearance, there's a slight click of stone against stone behind the fireplace. A moment later the edifice swings open, and Bruce ducks his head slightly to emerge from behind it. Yet another secretive passage up from the Batcave, hidden amongst the gilded age luxury of the largest home in North America.

He straightens the black bowtie he wears, wearing the custom-tailored Milano cut white tuxedo jacket as though he were poured into it. He reaches down to do up the last button, leaning down to look at himself in a mirror on the dresser. His hand instinctively raises to the reddening bruise just under his eye, touching the flesh gingerly before glancing over towards Selina.

"Sorry," he offers, "NKVDemon. Thought he'd retired. Apparently not. Might reconsider it now."

That said, he steps towards the door and offers a crooked elbow to her.

"Shall we?"

Harley Quinn has posed:
Why is Harley Quinn here? That's the kind of question one doesn't make. Or if one does, like the security at the gate she promptly waved her 'multipass', followed by a, "Yep, I have my invitation right heah!" and concluding with a 'pop' of bubblegum. Because nothing speaks High-Class better than bubblegum.

Yet bubblegum apart she at least dressed the part, a long flowing dress rather stylish in it's harlequin colors, half-red, half-black. A throwback to when she used to truly be the clown princess of crime. Because if you can't own up and accept who you used to be in the past while at an high end party when will you do so, amirite?

"Free champagne? Don't mind if I doooo.." she says to one of the servants, taking a flute from one to take a good swig. Ah, fresh and tasting expensive. Just like she enjoys it. She notes Diana nearby, because who doesn't and approaches, "Hey, Didi! What a surprise!" the clownette says, "Ready for some fuuun tonight?"

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
Zatanna is not above a little flutter and preen from receiving a compliment from her nephew. She raises her chin setting the large ruby necklace lying at the base of her throat shimmering and touches her dark hair. "Are you going to introduce me?" She nods with a mischievous smile toward the man that Tim had just unloosed from his noose and snags a glass of champagne from a passing server.

Lincoln March has posed:
     The Mayor of Gotham is a man of means himself. Dressed in a respectable charcoal suit and bright red tie. His flowing black hair has been combed into place. His entire outfit resting ontop of a pair of simple pointed black shoes.

     His arrival comes in a simple black 1961 Lincoln Continental limousine with pitch black tinted bullet resistant windows and a driver to open the door for him.

     He steps out with a confident stride and an award winning smile from one ear to the other as he intermingles with the guests towards the front doors of the building. He makes his way inside gathering a feel for the crowd as he offers polite bits of conversation to everyone he passes seamlessly swimming from one group to another to a third without any effort on his part.

     The muscular man is in his element and enjoying each and every moment of it.

Vic Sage has posed:
Vic Sage keeps his eyes flicking about the room, looking for patterns and reading the people around him. He's good at that, body language, that sort of thing. Seeing things other people don't want to be seen. Whispers betraying alliances, fingers lingering on silver with covetous intensity. The occasional Masonic sigil imprinted on the base of a silvered candle sconce.

"Because part of being a television journalist is being something of a local celebrity. The people that pay my checks want me to gladhand and show my face among the local snobbery so that they can feel like they're important and also to show me off as an acquisition since I moved here from Hub City," he says.

"Plus, yeah. Free cake," he says. "Don't worry. I dislike most everyone. It's rarely personal."

Dick Grayson has posed:
    Dick comes in with Stephanie on his arm, smiling at the scene of the Manor with actual people in it. His tux is exquisitely tailored to his form, a Van Dyne original, of course. A blue bow tie and cummerbund match Stephanie's dress. She's a vision in a blue mermaid dress that hugs every curve, rising to cover one shoulder, the other left bare.

    He's looking over the crowd, nodding to a person here and there. At the moment, he is mainly speaking quietly with Steph, who looks just the slightest bit nervous as they enter. They move into the room together, Dick stopping one of the servers for a moment so that he and Steph can both collect champagne. With a breath, his 'society' mindset is assumed, a slight smile and greetings for anyone who greets him.

Lonnie Machin has posed:
    Lonnie looks down as Tim takes his tie off - he undoes the top button of his shirt. "Better." He says, "Thank you." Then, as Natasha approaches, he gamely takes her hand and leans in in a short bow to brush his lips across the top of it. "I don't thinks so. Enchanted, ma'am. I'm Lonnie, Tim Drake's boyfriend." He pauses. "In true Wayne fashion, he's a scandalous ranconteur, so he's currently slumming it with me-"
    He straightens up and gives Tim a little smirk. "Not a drop of blue blood in my veins. Tim, baby, I'm going to go get you something to drink. What do you want? Ginger ale?"

Damian Wayne has posed:
    There was a party about Wayne Manor, not just any party, but the birthday of Gotham's favorite son. So, a son of that son should be at the party, right?

  At least Damian enjoyed any occasion to dress up. The youngest Wayne was dressed in a custom Tom Ford suit, French cuffed, with white gold W cuff links, white shirt, green silk tie, and black jacket. He came in from the residence hall, and quickly found one of his brothers. "Father is fashionably late...to a party at his own house." His eyes rolled at that, before one of the waitstaff had come over with a pot of steaming tea. "Oh, thank you." The cup of oolong was taken with a smile. At least Damian Wayne would have to play the part of even keeled teenager. "I don't suppose he's going to be dragging in the newest arm candy about." He asks Tim, before taking a sip of tea, he would not be trusting of any woman with his father...even his own mother.

Jason Todd has posed:
Jason's here okay, is everyone happy now? Jason doesn't look that happy, the black sheep of the extended Wayne brood lurks by the bar with a glass of bourbon in his hand. No suit or 'noose of the bourgeoisie' tonight, he's wearing a red button down with black dress pants and the only reason the shirt is tucked in is that Alfred had given him one of those 'I'm disapointed in you' looks when he'd tried to go with jeans and a tuxedo t-shirt. It also stopped him from putting on a name tag that read: Hello my name is the dead one.

So, Jason is there looming by the bar, blue eyes scanning the room after a swallow of his scotch. Seeing Tim, Lonnie and Zee he makes his way in that direction. "Having fun?" he asks the trio sardonically.

Diana Prince has posed:
Diana sips her drink as she walks around the bulk of the party in the main room its being held. She sweeps her eyes across the throngs of party-goers as they mingle and enjoy the music being played. In her opposite arm, Diana holds a birthday present wrapped in silver and gold that she walks toward a table that seems to be where other packages reside. She reaches it and deposits the small birthday present upon it before adjusting the ribbon with a light touch and the card tucked in to it with her hand written note for Bruce. She then steps back and takes another sip from her tall glass of bubbly.

Selina Kyle has posed:
    Some tension leaves Selina's shoulders when she hears that click, smirking a little as Bruce arrives and putting a hand on her hips, "And what kind of hour do you call this?" She chastises him teasingly before he goes to the mirror.

    She peeks over his shoulder as he stands in front of the mirror, her hands giving his shoulders a squeeze as she looks over him appraisingly with a slight purr. "Hmmmm, you look amazing. Very debonair, very-... hmmm." She frowns a little as she notices the burgeoning bruise on Bruce's face.

    "We'll be racing *that* then~" she says breezily, sneaking in front of Bruce and placing a soft kiss on the offended area. She links arms with him when offered, and purrs "Let's~"

Helena Bertinelli has posed:
Helena Bertinelli walks inside and mingles about with Vic Sage while listening to him complain, "I thought I was the negative one," she notes. She snatches a champagne before Harley can take and down it all but hands the long-stemmed glass over to Vic, "Here," she tells him, "Have a drink."

Meanwhile, she glances around at those at the party while looking for the cake, "Looks like a lot of names are here."

Charlotte Gage-Radcliffe has posed:

This is probably the absolute fanciest of parties that Charlie has ever been out in public in the middle of. She even has a very nice dress that Barbara helped her settle on, a blue Rori Smocked Mini Dress, perfect for a teenager at a nice function with rich well dressed and heeled adults.

That said just because is dressed nice doesn't mean she isn't sort of hugging a wall near a window and watching everyone with just a tad wide eyes like a tourist. Spotting Tim and Zatanna makes her feel a smidge better about this whole situation, even if she has seen Zatanna since, well, the court room incident. Oh good there is Dick and Stephanie. Thank some sort of heavens. At this point even Damian is a welcome addition. Though she is pretty sure they all know better than she does what to do at one of these parties.

She raises a hand and waves to Stephanie and Dick.

Lonnie Machin has posed:
    As Lonnie walks off, he turns back to glance at Zatanna and says, "Tim, did you just call the greatest stage magician of the 21st century your aunt? I saw her on 'Fool Us' with Penn & Teller and I'm convinced the only way she could've pulled off that trick with the python is to have used *actual* magic." He raises his eyebrows and then raises an eyebrow at Jason. "I feel the vibe, man. I'll bring you back some canapes." He lets the crowd swallow him up.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
With the beautiful blue dress and her hair having been seen to by no less than four women at the salon Dick took her to, one can't tell easily just how many butterflies are fluttering around in Stephanie Brown's stomach as they walked up to the Manor house. A house she knows well, but not for events like this.

The last time she was at anything similar to this... well actually that went far better than she would have even let herself dream. She looks over at the dark-haired Dick Grayson, her hands tightening slightly around his arm as the enter. At first she just sees a sea of people, but soon faces start to separate as Stephanie gets her nervousness under control. "Thank you," she tells Dick as he gets them the champagne. She takes a sip and then gives him a big, courageous smile as she turns to the room again. "There are your brothers," she says as she spots Jason and that leads her gaze towards Tim and the others. "Oh, and there's Diana Prince," she says. She should be over the fangirl thing by now when it comes to Wonder Woman.

Should be. But not.

Stephanie smiles as she spots Charlie, flashing a smile over to her and a gesture to join them.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
Bruce leads (or is led by, who can tell?) Selina down the carpeted hall of Wayne Manor's upstairs, down the grand staircase and through the gallery. The main, ornately decorated doors to the ballroom swing open and the quartet swiftly stop their rendition of 'Clair de Lune' and strike up a rousing rendition of 'For He's A Jolly Good Fellow'.

As they step through the door and the majority of the party's guests stop to turn, smile and call out to the man Bruce leans his head down to murmur into Selina's ear.

"If anyone asks, I took a tumble climbing Cerro Torre."

Then he raises his voice, clearing his throat a little and putting on that Bruce Wayne veneer that most of Gotham knows and either loathes or finds inoffensively charming.

"Well! Is this all for me?"

Damian Wayne has posed:
    Damian was half-tempted to attempt to steal away Jason's scotch glass. "Yes, fun. That's what you can call it."

  "You think anyone would stop me if I grabbed some of the Macallan?" He asks the Black Sheep of the Waynes. "I swear if Karen Starr attempts that...thing again, I might shank her." He says under his breath, hushed for only the people around him. "Is she even on the list? She would be."

  "You think Alfred would want to do this big of a thing if he knew my birthday?" Luckily, being born on Infinity Island didn't get him a legitimate birth certificate. "Oh, I thought it was my party!" He yells out, giving a smug smile to his own father, time for the facade to go up.

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
In light of the comments, she overheard from Lonnie, Zee doesn't expect a burble of happiness from him. "Of course! Lonnie! So nice to meet you, at last. Tim has had a lilt in his step lately and I lay it entirely at your door."

Turning to Jason,she ignores the undertone of sarcasm, "Of course! It's so rare that he opens his home to the public. It's a special treat to see how he has preserved the family heirlooms. Are you enjoying yourself?"

Vic Sage has posed:
Vic Sage spots Bruce Wayne's arrival and takes the drink from Helena, leading her to more fully mingle with the group. "What's negative about looking for the truth? The world is a dark and dangerous place, Helena, and always full of secrets," he says. He gestures towards Bruce with his drink, "I know a theorist online, for example, who claims that ten year old Bruce Wayne masterminded his parents assassination in order to ascend as heir. Sort of an antichrist situation, like in the Omen. Keep on the look out for little Damiens," he says with a raised eyebrow.

Cassandra Cain has posed:
A late arrival does just that, and while she's actually been here the entire time, Cassandra only just now shows herself. She wears a soft sea-green dress that alights to the ground with what appear to be little bells, and completely covers her from neck to fingers to toes. Slippers peek out as she walks, and she looks distinctly uncomfortable in the get-up.

She's nothing to say. She's nothing to do. This is why she took so long to come out. The lady tries not to look out of place, but she's doing it to herself.

Lonnie Machin has posed:
Lonnie might've winked at Zatanna before vanishing into the crowd. It's hard to tell. And to think, all Tim had to do to get him to turn on the charm was not make him wear a tie...

Selina Kyle has posed:
    One might predict that Bruce Wayne would show up with someone who looks like a supermodel on his arm, but despite years of tabloid gossip, it's never been Selina Kyle until now, coming down the staircase arm in arm with Bruce with a bright smile on her face, which doesn't break when she whispers back to Bruce, in kind: "If anyone asks, I laughed."

    Her appearance may be quite a surprise for the likes of, say, Jason, who knows who she really is.

    Bruce's joke gets an 'Oh, you!' sort of gentle slap on his upper arm. She's not quite playing at 'stupidly charmed', but there's an unusual - and sincere! - affection to the way she looks at him.

Tim Drake has posed:
    The breath Tim sucks in is steadying, and he accompanies it with a sweep of his hand through his hair and then a brief adjustment to his own tie, which is perfectly comfortable around his neck, thank you very much. He and Lonnie aren't matching, because Tim's in grey and also that was probably another point of contention between them getting here, but there's a little bit of the shade of blue Lonnie's wearing in his tie.

    A moment later and his Wayne public persona is in place. Both Natasha and Zatanna are asking for an introduction, so, "Of course, this is--" But Lonnie has no trouble introducing himself, and so Tim just kind of gestures towards him, with a perfectly placid expression upon his face.

    Well. Tim would say the cat's out of the bag, but Selina hasn't made her entrance yet. Badumtish!

    "Just water, please," Tim tells him, and then he blinks his eyes hard a couple of times, fighting off the urge to pinch the bridge of his nose. That's a Red Robin sort of gesture; Tim Wayne doesn't have Problems. He's too rich for that, now.

    He looks over at Damian and Jason as they approach. "Loads," he replies in his signature snarky deadpan, but then he shakes his head. "Give it a chance. I mean, no matter what happens, we've got the good seats for--."

    Well, speak of the devil. Or the Bat. Tim looks over, and then he rises up on his toes. His fingers slip into his mouth as he lets out a sharp whistle. "You don't look a day over fifty, Bruce!" Okay, sure, he was raised with money, but all those expensive manners go right out the door when you get a bunch of the Bat-kids together.

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    "What is magic but knowing one more trick than everyone else?" Natasha asks rhetorically, then looks on with mild disappointment as Lonnie has already walked off.

    Just then, Bruce finally makes his entrance, and Natasha gamely joins in the chorus of singers and birthday wishers, putting her glass down to applaud. Once the chatter dies back down a bit she turns back to Tim. "So, Gotham's second most eligible bachelor is off the market? I can hear the cries of despair already once that tidbit hits the tabloids..." She laughs at her own joke, then snags a fresh glass from a passing waiter and takes a sip, glancing from Tim to Zatanna to Jason, seemingly enjoying listening in to the banter.

Harley Quinn has posed:
Look! More familiar faces! Either from other high venues (because Harley is sooo high society now) or even certain football games. So Harley waves her hand to the gang of brothers and sisters over yonder, like Dick and Steph, who she seems to recognize. Big wide grin too. Her comment appears to go to Damian though. "Didn't you use to be yay big?" and she demonstrates by placing her hand by her hip but then nods her approval. "Sprouting up!"

Of course that whatever else she may be saying is paused when the 'birthday boy' comes down the stairs. She rotates and looks over towards Bruce and Selina, join the rest in the celebrations, even going as far as whistling loudly.

Diana Prince has posed:
Diana looks up to Bruce and Selina as they arrive and she pays them both a bright smile from across the distance of the room. She lets her smile turn in to a bit of a grin before she starts to walk slowly about the edge of the party. A look is sent in Stephanie's way along with a friendly wave of Diana's free hand... it's possible she has really good hearing you know...

Charlotte Gage-Radcliffe has posed:
Charlie starts to walk over towards Dick and Stephanie when Stephanie gives her that gesture to join them. She genuinely tries to not have a look like she is being rescued on her face, and fails absolutely utterly.

Definitely rescued.

Then Charlie notices Harley and sort of stops walking and watches as she interacts with the others. Well. This was definitely not what she expected or was briefed for by Babs on how these sort of rare parties at the manor goes. Well at least not on the guest list side. Okay. Adapt.

Charlie takes a breath and keeps heading over to Stephanie and Dick, shooting a wave to Tim... oh look a wild Cass has appeared. She waves.

Helena Bertinelli has posed:
Helena Bertinelli glances toward Bruce Wayne as Vic Sage motions to him, "Must be something to it if you read it online," she says dryly. She then looks over toward the other parts of the room, "I told my sister to meet us here. Hope you don't mind. I told her to sneak in with your invitation," she explains.

"What? Oh, The Omen takes place in Rome, you know. I like that movie," Helena explains after hearing Vic's comment.

Helena Wayne has posed:
    A new arrival makes her entrance, likely recognized by very few. Dark hair is worn up into a neat twist, blue eyes, a splash of freckles, and minimal makeup. The black velvet gown parts well up the right thigh, supported by a single strap on the same shoulder, accented by Jimmy Choos and a matching clutch. Pausing at the entrance to the ballroom, she catches one of the servers. "Excuse me. I'm looking for my sister, Helena Bertinelli. I'm a little late."

Diana Prince has posed:
Diana arrives beside Harley with a second glass of champagne that she extends to the other woman. A smile shows on her dark red hued lips. "Hello to you." She says in a friendly tone of her accented English. "Missed you earlier, my apologies." She states before sending her eyes around the party. She soon looks back to Miss Quinn and leans over to her to whisper something to her before leaning back and smiling again. "I am glad you made it out here tonight. Where is that room mate of yours? I never get to meet her." The Princess says before sipping her drink again.

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
Zatanna joins Tim's birthday wishes by murmuring a word backwards. A sparkler appears in her free hand which sizzles without heat emitting red, white stars in a cascading arc. She holds it up in the air until the birthday wishes come to an end and stops it with a word.

"Oh Natasha, so true. The tears will be copious when this news is out."

Cassandra Cain has posed:
Cassandra, having timed her entrance to the last possible second, is here for the Big Entrance. Thus she's completely invisible when she does! All eyes would be on B&S. Not that she'd ever do that on purpose. Social gatherings are fun, after all.

If you didn't catch her sarcasm, then the eyeroll she gives would be a hint.

There's a moment when some might possibly recognize her, but really in that dress? This is clearly not the lady caught punching trucks in the face late at night.

so when she spots Steph and wanders that direction, perhaps she'd be forgiven for not greeting Bruce and Selina. Besides, she's been in the back setting up a room.

Tim Drake has posed:
    "Well, I guess I need to get him an autograph from you before the evening's over," Tim says with an amused quirk of his mouth to Zatanna. Then he nods politely to Ms. Cranston. "I'm sure the model from Metropolis that I've never actually met will be so sorry to hear we've broken up. Same with the Princess of Wakanda." The persona is in place tight enough that he doesn't roll his eyes but it's apparently by the face he makes that Tim really, really wishes he could.

    He smiles at Aunt Z. "Not exactly the reaction I expected, bringing him here, but once he gets back... I'll...."

    The realization that he has let Lonnie Machin AKA Anarky loose without supervision in Wayne Manor hits Tim all at once, and his expression momentarily takes on a thousand yard stare before he gives himself a little shake. Control the controllables, Tim. He sighs. "I'm not getting that drink, am I," he asks no-one in particular, though he doesn't sound particularly bothered about it. Instead he joins in with Damian. "We should raise a glass to dear old dad, shouldn't we?" he asks, eyebrows raised nearly to his hairline. And then, "Jasonnnnn, go get us some drinks!" Because he's the oldest. Obviously.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie Brown turns to watch Bruce's entrance, giving a soft chuckle at his comment before looking back to the others around her as Charlie approaches them. "Hey Charlie, you look fantastic," she says in admiration of the Rori dress. "Wow, it's really, quite a thing isn't it?" she says to the younger woman as Stephanie's eyes go back to the party.

Diana Prince flashes that smile towards her, and Stephanie just lights up like the sun coming out from behind the clouds. Though perhaps a few of the clouds drift back in front as Stephanie spots Joker's former better half. Really the only good half, and that only if you're willing to call her good. And though Stephanie keeps her face composed, that's a benefit of the doubt she's been loathe to give so far.

The approach of Cassandra draws Stephanie's attention back though. "Cass," she says brightly. She turns to Dick to motion towards the approaching Asian girl. "Is there another glass of that champagne handy? Or, actually I don't know if she drinks champagne," Stephanie says.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
"Well," Bruce tells Selina, as a crush of well-wishes descends on them and he puts on his best public-facing smile, "Cat's out of the bag now." And indeed, already Twitter is on fire with '#BruceWayne' and '#OffTheMarket' hashtags. News travels incredibly fast, especially when it's been kept out of reach of the public for so long.

"Thank you!" Bruce takes a flute of Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame when it is offered to him.

His free hand departs its place on Selina's hip to reach out and shake an offered hand: "Don, you're alive! Last I saw you; you were knee-deep in sand on the fifth at Bethpage!"

Another smile, another shaken hand: "You're just going to have to read the society pages like everyone else, Dina."

"Excuse me," he offers politely, steering both himself and Selina away from the crowd and into slightly more open air. He takes the moment to surreptitiously tip a little bit of the ludicrously-priced wine out into an ice bucket set up on a nearby table before lowering it from his lips like he'd just taken a sip.

Jason Todd has posed:
Jason nods to Damian, "If you're good I'll grab you one," he teases about Damian getting a drink as they move towards Tim, Zee and Lonnie. "But you're a Wayne in your own home, nobody's going to snitch on you," he eyes the rich and powerful in the room. "Not in this crowd, 'it's not done'"

No shouts to Bruce when he appears with Selina on his arm just a nod and a shake of his head once his look of surprise is kept under control. "At your age, D, if he went big, he'd have whatever school kids go to before Brantwood and a real sized bouncy castle," he remarks to his youngest brother with a smile. "How'd T do birthdays?" he asks curiously.

Zee's question gets a nod to his drink, "Making do, how about yourself, it's been awhile," he asks the Mistress of Magic. Tim gets a nod, "Well sounds your misery could use some company Tim, fortunately Damian and I are in the same boat."

The request for booze gets a smile from Jason, "Be right back," he tells the others as he goes to flag down one of the waiters.

Vic Sage has posed:
Vic Sage smiles at Helena B., "I always thought Rome would be interesting. Speaking of places with long and sordid histories. Maybe we can go sometime and you can show me around the old ancestral playing field," he says.

Does he slide his phone out of his sleeve to sneak a few candid shots of the various players and personalities around? Well, he wouldn't be much of a journalist if he didn't.

"Wonder what kind of deals Wayne and his cronies are going to make around the old pool table after the hangers-on and the wannabes head home? Yes, I'm counting us in that crowd, I'm afraid, even if we don't really wanna be. Well. Maybe a little. Allow an orphan a little jealousy for others who landed more plush than he."

Harley Quinn has posed:
"Oooo, at this rhythm they will have ta be takin' me outta heah in an ambulance! I like it.." Harley says while accepting the second flute of champagne from Diana Prince. "This damn thing slides down like water, really." at least considering the rhythm at which she is drinking those. There's a wide grin at what Diana whispers at her, followed by a nod. "I loved it. All I imagined and moouh. And let me tell ya, I have quite the vivid imagination." yes, there's a wink afterwards, suggestive as heck.

As for Diana asking about her roommate there's a laugh from the clownette, "Come by Brooklyn sometime and you'll meet her! And the hyenas miss you too, Didi."

She downs her second flute of champagne in a go. Bottomless pit!

Zatanna Zatara has posed:
"He is hardly miserable," she calls to Jason's retreating back. "Are you nephew? Though you do look a bit concerned." With another glance around the knots of people, she says, lowering her voice, "The barriers are impassable for non-family if that is a concern?"

Damian Wayne has posed:
     Harley's approach to the group gains a bit of a wide-eyed look. "Umm, yeah. I...got my growth spurt." His face blushes before giving a soft smile.

  "Yes, let's." He responds for Tim. "Two fingers of whatever." He says with one of the biggest smiles he's ever given. "T? She...there were swords, and a tournament to the death for the glory of being my champion...and then I got that one sword from...Grandfather." It was a tradition for his bodyguard to have won that tournament. Back in the before times, Damian actually enjoyed watching the festivities...

Dick Grayson has posed:
    There's a grin that breaks the 'society' mask as his younger brothers greet Bruce's entry to the room, but he just raises his glass in greeting as Bruce and Selina enter. Switching his attention to Charlie as she approaches at Steph's beckoning, he greets her quietly with "Hi Charlie, you look great tonight. Don't stress about fitting in or anything, you belong here more than most of these folks." He gives her a smile, then continues, "You can head over to the bar for something non-alcoholic, I think the servers are all carrying champagne."

    When Steph calls his attention to Cass approaching he looks in her direction and raises a brow, then says "Cass, you look great. I don't think I've ever seen you really dressed up before." He turns his attention to Steph and asks her, "So, where shall would you like to claim as our little spot for now?"

Charlotte Gage-Radcliffe has posed:
Charlie is keeping an eye with Stephanie on Harley for a long moment there. This is kind of wild. Also Diana Prince seems to know Harley Quinn. That is a thing.

Finally the teenage redhead in the nice blue dress, proving that Charlie can clean up, looks back to Stephanie and Dick. "I have absolutely zero clue what I am doing herrrre... thanks though." a bright smile at the looking fantastic comment from Steph and the looking great from Dick. One can take the orphan out of the slum but not the .. wait not quite the right metaphor.

"Hey Cass, you look fantastic." she notes passing on the compliment, like it is a pass it forward campaign. Once Cass gets over to them that is.

Diana Prince has posed:
Diana releases a light lyrical laugh at Harley's words. "I am glad you enjoyed it." She tells the amusing woman back before offering her a light touch behind her shoulders. "I won't hold you up all evening. I will try to come by some time though, as I need a picture with those Hyenas of yours some day." The Princess says with a bright smile before she takes the empty glass for harley and turns to walk it toward one of the servers to cut down on the man's work for the night, even if just a little.

Helena Bertinelli has posed:
Helena Bertinelli smiles and nods to Vic's comments, "You're really ambitious, aren't you? Vic, do you see her? I wonder if she's coming," she wonders. As the server turns up his nose at the mention of 'Bertinelli', Helena is offering a wave to her sister, "Ah there she is, Vic," she tells him. She tugs his elbow and leads him over to this dark haired woman that looks a lot like her! "Helena, glad you made it. Hey Vic, this is my sister, Helena," she states factually.

Cassandra Cain has posed:
Dick and Steph get Cass to smile. It wasn't easy; seafoam green is not her usual motif. Still, if she thinks of it as camouflage to blend into this type of situation, she can get by.

Cass raises her right hand to her hair, as if she's checking to see if her skull's fallen off, when Dick compliments her. She nods almost confusedly, then looks up at Charlie. Her smile, when it appears, is hesitant and uncertain.

But she nods, then waves a little towards Stephanie. Coming close enough, she motions to the glass, then mimes tipping her head back with one of her own. Wow, this must be one hell of a big bunch of people if she's considering alcohol.

Even if it is champers.

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    Natasha listens to Bruce's extremely brief speech with a wry smile. "I stand corrected. The first and second most eligible bachelor in all of Gotham off the market in one evening. There may be riots. The bets coming due alone are going to bankrupt half the bookmakers in town. The aftershocks will keep sociology majors busy for years..."

    She gestures just a bit more widely with each new exaggeration, somehow barely managing to keep from spilling champagne over everyone in the vicinity. "But I suppose I really should congratulate the man - and the lady who caught him - myself, shouldn't I?"

    She saunters off in their direction without quite waiting for an answer, taking a sip from her glass before putting it down so as to be able to offer a handshake.

    "Mister Wayne, congratulations. Twice over, apparently. Miss... Kyle, wasn't it?" she asks, sounding only slightly uncertain. "Congratulations to you as well. Such a lovely party already..."

Selina Kyle has posed:
    "Oof." Selina grunts softly when they clear the crowd, saying "That was just about survivable." in cheerful hushed tones just for Bruce's ears before offering a bright smile and a wave as they pass someone who greets them.

    She looks back to Bruce just as he tips some champagne away, and laughs softly. "... Have you always been doing that?" Selina gently steals the flute from Bruce - as she's wont - and sips from it, "I'm gonna have to whip a taste for this stuff into you sooner or later~"

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Despite Stephanie's own bit of nervousness earlier, she is just as encouraging to Charlie as Dick is. "Yep, just own the room," Stephanie says with a grin. "you look great."

A sip of the champagne is taken by the blond college student. "Oh. Wow. I don't know how to pronounce it but I'm sure it translates to 'The Good Stuff'," she kids of the champagne. Her eyes go back to Dick.

"I don't know, should we wander over and see your brothers? Maybe we could dance later, this dress has no business moving as well as it does," she says, giving a small twirl to show that despite melding to her form through the torso, it does give her legs more freedom than it looks.

Stephanie waves down a waiter to help Cass get her own champagne flute. "Here you go," she tells her friend. A glance is given back to Bruce and Selina. "She looks good with him," she comments.

Helena Wayne has posed:
The server is trying to be helpful with all the sea of guests, but Helena W. cuts him off when a familiar sight catches her attention. Smiling brightly, she wades briskly into the crowd towards her sister. "So -this- is Vic, hmm? Nice to meet you." she replies. And yes, the two are definitely close enough to be sisters. Stepping up close, she gives the other Helena a cheek-kiss before continuing. "I found the house okay - are we in a separate county or something? - but I'd like to never have found the ballroom."

Tim Drake has posed:
    The question about birthdays makes Tim's mouth twist, somewhat. "Well, for my last one I ate an entire 12 inch pizza by myself and then I was sick all night. Kind of ruined it for me, honestly. It used to be a tradition. The, uh, eating pizza thing, not the being miserable in bed with a stomach ache thing."

    "You're a big kid now!" Tim announces to Damian, in the cadence of a certain commercial that some people might recognize. He doesn't pat the youngest Wayne brother on the head because Tim's pretty partial to his hands being attached, but he's smiling impishly.

    Which turns into an actual grin as Jason walks off to get them real drinks.

    Tim runs his hand through his hair and then shrugs one shoulder, loosely, at Zatanna. "I'm not miserable. Just, uh, worried Lonnie might get lost on the way to the bathroom?" What she says to him next just gets a little shake of his head. "No, it'll be fine. Probably."

    But he continues to look vaguely anxious, even as he calls out a, "I'm really not that important," to Natasha as she goes to greet the host. Then he blows out a breath. "Alfred will probably catch him." Who's he saying that to? Himself?

Bruce Wayne has posed:
"Sometimes," Bruce answers Selina in regard to the wine, "I used to take a tablet that negated the effects, but it dries out the skin something awful. This way is easier. Drinking's only for special occasions."

Since when is one's own birthday party not considered a special occasion?

"Let me know if it all gets too much. I've got slipping out of these things down to a science."

He leads the way from the table towards Diana and Harley, raising his glass to the pair as he approaches with Selina.

"Nice to see you," his voice is not quite the public Bruce Wayne persona, as they both know him better than that to varying degrees, "Hope you're getting your fill."

Jason Todd has posed:
"Sounds like T," Jason says of Damian's description of his past birthday festivities. "Remind me to have a couple Rogues fight to the death for you next birthday," he says wryly before slipping off to get the drinks and coming back in short order with doubles of scotch for all of them carried by a wait he'd shanghaied on his way across the party.

"Drink up," he says to D and Tim before looking at Bruce and his date. "So, how long has that been a thing?" he asks.

Barbara Gordon has posed:
    Better late than never, right? Oracle can't shift her social schedule around crime. When she does finally arrive she's dressed in a long dark blue gown and her hair is done up in an elegant but convenient bun. She smiles as she sees the fine people mingling about in the Ballroom.

    First stop, a drink. Champagne, why not. Her eyes search around for Bruce though and she's sure she'll run in to a lot of people on her way from there to here. Off in the distance she's pretty sure she just spotted her dad.

    It's not that she can't see Bruce almost any day of the week if she needs to.. except when he's on the moon or off in Washington or New York. Then again, she travels too and almost all of the time she can reach him via comms.. no, it's because it's his birthday bash and she wants to give him a hug.

Selina Kyle has posed:
    Selina arches an eyebrow at Bruce with a wry smile. "It's your birthday, you goof. You've earned something more pleasant than a concussion just once."

    Selina is just about to tip the glass forwards her lips when Natasha appears, drawing a soft 'Oop' as she diverts course and smiles. "Kyle, that's right. Thank you~" She replies kindly, giving Bruce a bit of a nudge. "Well, I shopped all around for better shoulders, and narrowed it down to the best. Took a little while, but~"

    As the greeting tour continues on, Selina sees... Diana Prince! The most gorgeous woman alive. Hmm. Well, that's fine, Selina's the most confident person alive, so she can roll with this with a smile. Then she looks at Harley Quinn, and her throat visibly clutches in a moment of shock and alarm. "Harley...!" she croaks very softly, then clears her throat. "... Quinn. You're. Harley Quinn. Hello! Nice to... meet you."

    Gotham City Sirens 4 Ever? She's PRETTY sure she never went maskless around those two, but it's all kind of a blur.

Diana Prince has posed:
Diana is walking back from the server with a fresh glass herself, only now she's moved on to a dark red wine. She spots Selina and Bruce now greeting Harley and it makes her smile a bit more lightly at the display. She's all too familar with at least SOME of that history, but she's been a big part of helping Harley come out of it.

After a sip of the wine, Diana places the base of the glass gently down upon her palm. "Bruce. Selina, yes?" She asks, as she only knows Selina from afar. "A lovely gathering tonight. Thank you for the invitation." She says in her naturally smoky voice. "I left a present for you on the table." Diana says to Bruce with a slight twitch of a grin. "I am sure it will make a splash." She adds before sipping her drink again and sweeping her eyes over the others here tonight.

Harley Quinn has posed:
With Diana moving on there's a twirl of fingertips from Harley in farewell. "Go on, go break hearts all over the party!" she tells the amazon. And while she may have taken her flute away she immediately fetches another from another servant. Really! Great service here! She will need to give glowing five stars later on her OnlyFans page...

"Ahhh, this truly is the life .." She even lets out a small sigh of satisfaction, casting another glance about her. "So, how did you guys turn out ta be so normal when livin' in such a big mansion..?" she casually comments to the adopted Waynes before she spots Bruce making her way over. Oh darn. She spits her bubblegum out and into her champagne flute. Nothing to see here!

"Hello there, Mr. Wayne! Great party, I was very surprised with the invitation so I made suwah ta bring the best gift too." a wink, "Ta open later." she tells the birthday-boy. A look to Selina and a grin, "I am! Selina Kyle so I heard?" she leaning in to ask in a teasing manner, "What's the secret ta havin' hooked up Gotham's eternal bachelah, mmm?"

There seems to be no recognition on Harley's face about Selina and her 'catty' persona!

Charlotte Gage-Radcliffe has posed:
Cass's smile is returned by Charlie. It's genuine and encouraging. Then her attention drifts back to Stephanie "Own the room... funny. I mean, that is like fake it til you make it right." she glances at a cute little wristwatch, whose screen shifts from mundane to a small smart screen. "Hope Barbara shows up soon tho." then she tilts her wrist back and looks back towards the boys.

"Who was that with Tim earlier?" she isn't sure Dick, Steph, or Cass even saw Lonnie before he vanished into the crowds.

Oh. Babs. Charlie pivots her attention that direction and waves to her. She doesn't try to wave her off her mission though. It looks like she is zeroing in on Bruce with.. Purpose. Glorious purpose perhaps.

Helena Bertinelli has posed:
Helena Bertinelli snatches another drink from that snooty server and gives it to Helena, "Glad you could make it, sis. A separate country? It's not that big, is it?" she chuckles, then grabs her own glass of champagne to annoy the server some more.

"Yes this is Vic, and this is the birthday party," Helena tells Helena, "We were just wandering around randomly. We didn't interrupt your night, did we?" Helena asks Helena.

Tim Drake has posed:
    When the glass is offered, Tim bites the inside of his cheek rather than letting himself grin, again, and he takes it from Jason with a quick "Thanks." He takes a small sip after, and apparently someone really ought to be keeping more of an eye on him and the bad influences in his life because he acts like he's totally used to the taste.

    Actually, Tim's just fighting through the urge to wince. That Bat willpower is pretty useful even out of costume!

    "Not sure, but I'd wager it's not as recent a development as they're going to spin it, probably," he says, voice dropping low to avoid people listening in. "She knows. I woke up with her still dressed up and sitting *in my bedroom* after I... came back from my trip abroad."

    To the hellscape of Apokolips. That was a fun trip. Tim brought home lots of souvenirs, if you count bruises and broken bones.

Karen Starr has posed:
    Can one be fashionably late if they're not even remotely fashionable? The world is about to find out. That is, if the world happens to consist of those currently attending Bruce Wayne's birthday party.

    It's the social equivalent of kicking down the door, an impractical /noise/ that erupts from the entrance into the ballroom, something that could charitably be called a 'voice' if one might be bending the definition, calling loudly enough that it freakishly /carries/ above the din of the party.


    A small legion of people in various states of fancy dress march quietly into the party, and begin calmly handing out small jewelry boxes. They seemingly have an endless amount of them, and the choices are abound: Specifically, one can choose from a rather excellent looking, classical watch, or a pair of earrings bearing marvelously cut amethysts.

    Strutting across the floor and flanked by her legion of present-giving cronies, Karen Starr cuts an incredible figure, zaftig as normal and sheathed in what has to be one of no less than ten identical salmon-pink pinstripe suits, she uses the distraction of handing out jewelry to cut her way to the birthday boy.

    "Sorry I'm late, I had to get all of this ready last minute. Who knew it'd take so long to put working cellular technology into watches and earrings, huh?" she offers, doing her best to slide alongside Bruce and give him an elbow or three that he didn't ask for, doesn't want, and will return immediately upon finding out which store she got them from.

    One hand idly adjusts the quarter-inch thick glasses she hides her eyes behind. "Havin' a good b-day, Brucey?"

Selina Kyle has posed:
    Selina can roll with this. Selina can roll with this. It was just a few heists. It barely meant anything! She was young!

    Selina's eyes flutter with surprise briefly when Harley asks her question, and she gives a wry little smile despite herself, "The secret? A bit of wit, a bit of charm, fitting into this dress..." Selina leans her head against Bruce's arm briefly, turning her eyes up towards him and adding, "... and a LOT of buildup."

    Karen makes her entrance, and Selina's confusion rapidly mounts to silent alarm "... ooohhhh my god she's comingthisway-" she stops talking very suddenly when Karen gets within hearing range and just... smiles tightly.

Barbara Gordon has posed:
    Babs spots her daughter in spirit, perhaps soon to be daughter on paper too. She waves back to her with a smile. Green eyes scan a path and she makes sure not to take the optimal one. It's important to remember these things when you're mingling with such a diverse species of citizen.

    Here she is Barbara Gordon, daughter of the Commissioner, Entrepreneur in the Green Energies sector, former Librarian, and friend of the Wayne's because of her father and just getting to know the over the years.

    Totally has nothing to do with Bat stuff at all. Nope, no bat stuff here. She slides on past a basketball player. She can tell because he's tall and she checked the dossiers of everyone attending the party a couple of nights ago. You can never be too careful or paranoid.

    Her mission to give Bruce a hug is nearly a close when suddenly there is a Karen. She turns and watches with amaze and slightly agape mouth. Who are all these extra people handing out gifts. So much for security. Ah to be Karen. She smiles with amusement and then realises she waltzed right over to the man of the hour.

    A small but amused smile creeps over her face and she slips past one of the Gotham Knights players to approach from the other side. She waits her turn. People are crowding him. How he handles this she'll never know... plan B is always an option - wait for him to slip away and find him down in the Batcave. But plan A is still in action.

Damian Wayne has posed:
     Damian accepted the drink from Jason and raised a glass to his brother before taking a sip. "Thanks, and yes, that would please me." Before long however, there was a shrill voice in the air. Suddenly his bright green eyes flare open and Damian stops in his tracks. "Fuck." Is the one thing he can say before he turns his head slowly and sees the rather boisterous woman going up to Bruce. "Hide me." he quickly says to all who are around him. "Please?"

Helena Wayne has posed:
Helena Wayne accepts the drink like it was the most natural thing in the world. Underage? Who's underage? She takes a sip of champagne, shallow enough to look like she's done it before. "All I know is there's nothing around for miles. NUH-THING." she replies to her 'sister' Helena."

The younger Helena shrugs a little at the question. "Plans? You know me, it was either come to the party or do my nails tonight." Or patrol one of Gotham's less-wholesome neighborhoods, of course.

Then the door bursts open and the Starr entourage flows into the party, dispensing gifts. Helena turns like everyone else in the room, then stops mid-sip. She almost does a spit-take, too, before leaning in to Helena B. to mutter softly. "Who the hell is that?"

Bruce Wayne has posed:
Bruce takes a deep breath at the voice calling out his name. He glances towards Selina and then, pointedly, takes a long drink from the wine glass he holds. Enough to finish the whole thing in a single swallow, depositing the empty on a passing silver tray. There's a very visible moment where the 'real' Bruce Wayne, solemn and withdrawn, steels himself and then throws on the charming white smile.

"Karen," he replies, "You sure know how to make an entrance. Don't you know it's customary to give me a birthday gift, not everyone else. Now I'm going to have to conjure up party favors."

Not that he's too worried about that, given that nobody outwits Alfred Pennyworth at a game of 'throw a big rich party for snobs'.

"You know, Damian's around here somewhere," he says, looking around like he's mislaid his car keys, "He's been dying to see 'Auntie Karen' again."

That's what you get for plotting to get into the liquor cabinet, you little gremlin. Batman hears all.

Dick Grayson has posed:
    Considering Steph's suggestions, Dick nods and heads for his brothers. He will get to congratulate Bruce later once the rush of people passes, so he ends up by his siblings. "Not used to so many people in the house, it seems a little strange, doesn't it?" He gestures around the room, "Quite the turnout, which isn't really a surprise. I bet absolutely everyone who got an invitation came, it's a good sized crowd." He sips from his glass, then chuckles at Damian and gestures at some of the sideboard tables. "Alfred has the long tablecloths on today, bet you could hide under one of those if you need to."

    Spoken quietly for only the immediate family, he adds, "Well, maybe we'll be able to stop trying to set him up, I'd call it a positive development."

Cassandra Cain has posed:
No such cussing from Cassandra. It's possible that she doesn't know any curses, so that's fair of her. Still. A nudge against Charlie's hip and she slides herself between Damian and danger, taking up a glass, and sipping at Champagne for the first time ever.

She tenses, her esophagus rebelling, and has to turn and try not to choke for a moment. She then peers at the bubbly little glass, uncertainty on her face, and looks up at the Main Couple.

You drink this shit?

Lincoln March has posed:
     Lincoln looks up from the midst of the conversation he's currently having with one of his constituents. He pauses for a long moment as the cavalcade of presents flows through into the great hall that is the ballroom.

     "Well that's unexpected" He offers tipping his glass back just an instant before he would allow the liquid contained within to touch his lips bringing it back into the glass proper. He wasn't about to drink at a party even if there were drinks to be had.

     He makes his way through the crowd towards the man of the hour holding a simple looking box in his hands. It's nothing much held within just a birthday card with 'thanks for securing my mayorship' and a very expensive but respectable watch held within.

     He's still conversing with groups as he passes from one to the next. Making his way with grace and poise towards The Bruce Wayne.

Tim Drake has posed:
    You'd be surprised how much living with a bunch of superpowered teens and young adults really prepared you to deal with just about anything life can throw at you. So while Tim's head does swivel towards the entrance of the ballroom when Karen arrives with her... posse, all he does is take a sip of his drink.

    And again, force down the urge to go blech. Nope. Gotta be cool.

    "Best seats in the house," Tim says from where they stand on the sidelines to witness this encounter between Bruce and Karen, and then when Damian asks--begs, maybe--to be hidden, Tim smoothly repositions himself to block Damian off from the rest of the party.

    No questions asked! Of course this probably means he's just thrown himself to the wolves in his little brother's place, given that Bruce is directing Karen over in this direction. "Oh--wait. Wait, no, hide *me*."

Helena Bertinelli has posed:
Helena Bertinelli lifts her chin and squints across the room as Helena signals the arrival of someone, "Who...?" she wonders. She looks back at Helena and adds, "I thought you broke all your nails on those crooks," she muses, of course teasing Helena.

She takes a long sip of champagne from her own glass, "We'll have to go back to the Home Country sometime," she tells her, "I'll show you around," she adds, thinking she'll need to do some ass-kicking too, for all those who still hate the Bertinellis. Oh merely showing up will be trouble, "Could be interesting," she says.

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    Natasha laughs brightly - possibly a bit more brightly than Selina's jest warranted - and deftly plucks a fresh glass of champagne off a passing tray to salute the woman with a wink and a sip before turning around and wandering off, looking for other people to happen to while the night's still young...

Barbara Gordon has posed:
    Babs pauses as she watches Selina on Bruce's arm. There's a torrent of mixed emotions inside her over this. Did he just want someone on his arm? if he did it wouldn't have been Selina. Are they.. no. May be? even since Helena Wayne showed up out of no where she's tried very hard to not pry in to what Bruce told her, asked of her. So far, vetting Helena has been going well.. but..

    Mission abort! she turns at the last moment and faces a tall window looking out over the gardens. A long sip of the champagne. This requires a re-think, a re-evaluation, re-lots of alcohol. An eyebrow is raised as she notices Helena Wayne is drinking.. it's a private party, but still. Her eyes search around for an out.. someone to talk to idly so she isn't staring pensively in to the darkness outside.

Jason Todd has posed:
Raising his glass to his brothers Jason says, "Cheers," before knocking back a healthy swallow of booze. "And huh, well always liked Selina, so not the worst thing ever."

He can't help but smile as Damian asks to be hidden. "Though unless Alfred's been lining them with lead it's not going to help you D. Run while you still can," he advises sagely through a grin.

Dick and Steph are given a nod, "Hey, join the party," he says to them as they join trio.

Charlotte Gage-Radcliffe has posed:
Charlie shoots Babs a grin and then turns the almost gets left behind when everyone else heads to join up with the boys near the bar. She is so busy staring at a loss at Karen Starr. What in the world.

Oh wait don't leave .... Charlie hurries after Cass, Dick, and Steph in time to get bumped by Cass as she sets herself up as Damian's defender with champagne. Through sheer force of will she manages to not laugh at the look Cass gives Dick and Steph. Though she returns a shrug of her own before looking to the people at the party now. "These are pretty good seats." she notes chipperly to Tim. "Wait... did Bruce aim that lady at Damian?" to which she looks to the party favor hander outers and makes grabby hands at one of them.

Maturity has fled. What's in the box.

Harley Quinn has posed:
"Ooo, good answer." Harley replies in that kind of knowing manner back to Selina and her answer to her awkward question, "Well, I will be rootin' for ya...! Just remembah, if he tries to run leather straps are a thing.." of course that whatever other suggestions she might offer get interrupted by Karen's glorious entrance. It brings a big, wide grin from Harley, amused but also happy. "Ahhh, so typical of her.."

Though with not wanting to be keeping up the line for longer she steps back, lifting a flute in a salute to the duo of Selina and Bruce but also to the approaching Karen. "Cheers."

She steps back to where she was earlier, noting Cass's uncertainty with the flute. "Ya just down it and then you get happier." she snaps her fingers, "Just like that..!" a pause, "Well, maybe not that fast but you know.." she shrugs.

Selina Kyle has posed:
    In the precious moment of ignorance before Karen's arrival, Selina smirks at Harley's suggestion and notes, "Oh, I'm *well* aware~"

Diana Prince has posed:
Diana had gone back to mingling with other people in attendance to the party this evening, but her eyes did take in Karen's rather impressively eye-catching entrance. It brings another warm smile to the Princess' lips as she offers a nod to the fellow Justice League member when and if they can make eye contact with one another. She then goes back to sipping her drink and enjoying the atmosphere of the evening.

Cassandra Cain has posed:
Taking a box from one of Karen's gift-givers, Cass pauses to check it for bombs. She doesn't mean to be doing that, but it's totally what she's doing. She blinks as she hears herself addressed, looking up, and looks between both Charlie and Harley, both.

Then she nods, looking entirely confused, as if she didn't catch a single word of what either one of them said. Which is entirely the case, she wasn't looking and doesn't -actually- speak English.

Helena Wayne has posed:
Helena Wayne is too polite to point, but she does a less-than-subtle nod in Karen Starr's direction. "Her. The boisterous blonde bombshell." Yeah, she can alliterate with the best of 'em. Although she does have to take another sip of champagne to smooth out the near-choking.

"The home country?" she echoes her 'sister', rolling the gift box she'd just been handed over and over like it was a ticking bomb. "Oh. Yes. You know, being raised by our New York parent I never had the pleasure. You'll definitely have to show me around sometime."

Karen Starr has posed:
    The Hyphen-Wayne Brothers might want to put up their plastics because they're in the /splash/ radius, but sadly, it might just be too late. Karen's arm hooks around Bruce for only a spare moment, as Karen seems ever so slightly lost- as if she'd heard something that she can't possibly have heard.

    "Oh, what, you don't think I got you a gift? I just left it /outside/, Brucey. Can't hardly drive the only Shelby Cobra Super Snake into the /ballroom/ now /can/ I?" Honestly, if ever there was a person that deserved a judo throw, it'd be this person, as she jostles the man of the hour.

    The boxes contain either a watch, or a pair of earrings- and each one when worn presents itself as a functioning smart phone that advertises various ways that they can interact with an AR interface, included as a pair of contact lenses alongside the accessories in the box. You know, the kind of thing that would cost a small fortune, handed out at this party like chiclets alongside, apparently, a contextually ludicrously rare automobile for Bruce himself. So, you know, that's pretty neato.

    "A widdle Damo's HERE? I didn't think he was the party sort, but I'll suss him out... In the meantime, gotta say hello to the rest of the kids!"

    Man if only there were a group of highly trained acrobatic individuals that were the targets of her attention, because they'd be able to escape when she releases Bruce and rounds on the set of current and former Robins, marching herself over.

    "DICKY! TIMMY! JAYBOY!" she doesn't even know them, she can't keep getting away with it- "Come get a hug, and tell me where Damian's hiding!"

    Christ why isn't the crowd keeping her away make it stop oh she's /there/ now and her arms are /wide/ and it seems as if the time for death has come.

Tim Drake has posed:
    Tim lifts his glass towards Jason but his own drink after is significantly smaller. He swallows it down with all the grace of someone who is trying really, really hard not to draw any attention to himself. Which means when he pats Cass's shoulder it's with true empathy, because he also hates the stuff.

    Oh. And then Karen rounds on him.

    He looks down into his glass for a second and then throws the rest of the whatever this alcohol is that Jason got him back. Swallow. Grimace. Then Tim braces himself.

    "I'm taking my buy-one, get-one orphan free coupon back, *this* is my gift to Bruce," he mutters to those in the immediate area before he straightens up, plastering on a pleasant smile. "Hello, Ms. Starr."

Helena Bertinelli has posed:
Helena Bertinelli smiles and nods to Helena, "Yes, Vic likes Rome. I'll show you both around. It'll be great. We'll dodge the families and screw with those guys. Run around, jump and dodge ugly looking morons. Fun times," she tells Helena.

Helena frowns and leans up again to look over at Karen and Bruce and others across the room, "What? Who are you staring at? I think that's Bruce over there," she explains.

Helena Wayne has posed:
Helena Wayne KNOWS what Bruce looks like. Even though this Bruce isn't HER Bruce, if you've seen one Bruce Wayne you've seen 'em all, right? She shifts her weight, easing a bit closer to her sister and lowering her voice just a tad. "The blonde. Did I just hear someone say 'Ms. Starr'?"

Her voice lowers a lot, then, almost to a whisper. "I knew someone a lot like her back home." she offers to the other Helena. "And by that I mean 'home-home'..." Brows waggle knowingly and she keeps a sidelong look aimed at Ms. Starr. In case she explodes or something.

Normal voice returning, she swirls the champagne and takes another small sip. "Vic likes Rome? Why is it everyone's been to Rome except me?"

Cassandra Cain has posed:
In the way of between Karen and Damian's death, Cassandra is still arguing with the merits of alcohol. She does look at the earrings, uncertainty joining uncertainty. Then she looks up at Karen, motioning confusion. She doesn't say much this one, but she does express herself. Apparently not certain what to do with the things.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
"Jesus Christ," Bruce mutters as Karen departs, uncharacteristically filching another glass of white wine from a passing tray, "Another car. Still, the Super Snake's one my father didn't have in his collection. Heard there were only a few left. Guess those smartphones are doing well for her."

Mental note. Get Lucius to put out feelers about a possible merger with Wayne Electronics.

The business thoughts are quickly dismissed, however, and Bruce maintains his position staked out alongside Selina and Diana.

"I know my etiquette, but someone remind me how long the host is expected to mingle before withdrawing?"

Damian Wayne has posed:
     Damian had been struggling to hide for a while, not as easy as when you used to be very small. As Cassandra and Tim block for the youngest of the Waynes, Damian downs the scotch in one go. No wince, just a shafts exhale before ditching the empty glass at the nearest table and crouching down to make a getaway...

Selina Kyle has posed:
    Selina stares ahead with a blank, vaguely haunted expression, stirring only to vaguely shake her head as Bruce speaks. "I... you..." She bites her lip for a second. "... You know what? I think you're working overtime right now? We could probably vanish..." She glances to the side, "... *whenever.*"

Helena Bertinelli has posed:
Helena Bertinelli hmms, "OH, that's Karen Starr over there with Bruce. She's in business," she tells Helena, then looks back at her, "What? Oh, he hasn't /been/ there. He saw it on TV in a horror movie and that makes it a cool place, I guess," she snickers, rolling her eyes. "There's much more to it than a cardboard backdrop from a horror movie," she explains. She takes another sip of her champagne.

Barbara Gordon has posed:
    Now is the best chance she'll get all night. The Selina question will have to wait. Exactly what that question is she's not sure yet. She's still working on the Helena question. Which does mean she has a question for Karen.. just not _this_ version of Karen.

    Under her breath she says very softly, "I need your help with a scientific problem PG, later, if you have the time." Because no one else in the room is going to hear that except her. There, that problem is queued up to solve the other problem which is likely linked to the first problem.. is it rude to think of Selina as a problem? yes.. okay, situation then. The Selina situation.

    She turns around and smiles to Bruce and Selina, "Ms. Kyle hiii." She offers her hand, before she gives Bruce a proper hug and a kiss on his cheek. "I'm not sure, but now that I've had my hug I think it's safe for you to withdraw... Happy Birthday Bruce." Or mentor, hero, second-dad, she has plenty of names for The Batman.

Lincoln March has posed:
     "Well this doesn't seem like such a well thought out present anymore." Lincoln offers while walking over towards bruce. He lobs the gift and the handwritten card underhand towards bruce. Seeing his one and only chance to really get that gift handed over to the big man. Still he makes a moment of it as he gives a friendly smile and a tip of the wineglass.

Charlotte Gage-Radcliffe has posed:
Charlie is actually distracted enough that she mostly misses Harley and her confusing Cass. I mean. Not totally .. because iti s Harley Quinn right there talking to Cass about Champagne. But.... stuff in a box.

She looks the watch over and then the contacts critically. "Okay. These are totes cool...." is whispered as she studies them a bit closer.

Her box investigating is derailed next by Karen approaching the lot of them. Thank some sort of new gods that she seems zeroed in on the boys. Also... Dicky Timmy Jayboy..... ... .. "Crackers..." she murmurs eyes a bit wider. A look to Cass and then she looks around trying to spot her mom. Where did Barbara get to. Oh wishing Bruce a happy birthday. Should they all do that. What is the protocol here.

"And... away..." she mutters abandoning Stephanie and Dick to start walking weaving through the crowd towards Babs.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
Bruce returns Barbara's hug in a friendly, warm way that may seem uncharacteristic of the man himself when he's not putting on a public front. He looks from her to Selina with a smile:

"Selina, this is Barbara Gordon. She knows you because I'm fairly sure Barbara knows just about anything there is to know - and I mean that wholistically. If you ever have a question, she can probably answer it."

He offers the pair a wink, as though there's some underlying context that the words themselves do not provide.

He moves with sudden and reflexive grace unexpected of a billionaire who allegedly spends most of his time falling off mountains. He snatches the gift from Lincoln out of the air even with his back partially turned to the man, turning around fluidly to hold it in both hands before him, looking up towards the source.

"Mister Mayor," he says with a tone of pleasant surprise, "I hope I'm not keeping you from any important matters of government. I'd mention the potholes out on Willow Parkway, but I don't think your constituency covers Crest Hill. I'll just start taking the chopper."

Karen Starr has posed:
    "Timmy!" she calls, as Robin 3: Red but Not That Red sacrifices himself to save the others. She wraps the young man up, pulling him in tight and giving him just this incredible -squeeze-. When she releases her grip, she pulls one of his cheeks into a pinch, giving it a shake for a moment.

    "Here, have an internship." Idly, she slips an envelope- that she got from /where/?- into his jacket pocket, giving it a couple of slaps. "You'll go /real/ far, and you won't have to work at Wayne Enterprises. Look forward to you coming in for your first day! Now..."

    Her head turns, and she scans near the ground for signs of Damian. "Where oh where is Damo, that tyke just /kills/ me. So adorable." Then, adjusting her glasses again- and, you know, spying the youngest Robin (Specifically Robin 4: Oh Dear God There's So Much Blood) as if she could somehow /see through people./ Sadly, Tim doesn't necessarily get /freed/ as much as he is likely to get /dragged/ lest he protest to her keeping an arm hooked around him, as she works her way towards Damian.

    "DAMIAN! I haven't seen you since the EXPO, how HAVE you BEEN?"

    Along the way, she hooks her head, urging for Cass to follow, and offering an explanation. "You wear them in your ears, and they're a phone. Super nifty, you'll love it, trust me. Just, you know- you might have to get 'em pierced."

Cassandra Cain has posed:
Cassandra does as asked, having not met Karen and apparently too innocent to be afraid. She touches her ears, then nods a gentle nod. Not a word, just a smile. Then, when Karen's attention is on Damian...
Then, without warning, Cassandra is gone. She just did a thing, moving when folks weren't watching, and slipped from her position to somewhere else.

A drapery moves, and what seems to be a window opened that was not a moment before. How someone in as frilly a dress as that moves so well is beyond.

Of course, she's also left the window open. Escape route!

Selina Kyle has posed:
    "Oh!" Selina seems surprised. "Ms. Gordon, hello! I'm glad you could make it out here." She says, pleasantly enough, albeit a little confused that Barbara and Bruce are on hugging terms. When, Bruce talks her up, she says "Wow, that's... really impressive." With a little laugh, genuine enough, if unsure of the meaning, at least until Bruce starts winking.

    ... Oh?


    Who does Selina know in her other circles with red hair? It's been a little while.

    She looks to Bruce and teases, "You have so many cute friends, I'm getting jealous."

    Catwoman's teased Batgirl about being 'cute' before; moreso in the early days, not always in a friendly context. It COULD be a coincidence! Technically!

Dick Grayson has posed:
    Dick and Steph are in the KIZ (Karen Impact Zone) when she heads their direction, so he takes another sip of champagne to take a little more of the edge off before she connects with Tim. As she collects Tim in her wake and goes searching for Damien, he takes the opportunity to back slowly into the crowd, taking Steph with him. If there was a hedge in here, he'd be a meme.

He heads towards the bar with Steph's hand still in his, looking for a safe place to lurk. He's not worried about getting time with Bruce at the moment, it's likely to be a long night.

Helena Wayne has posed:
"She's in business." Helena Wayne echoes, just lightly swirling her champagne flute for now. "Mm hmmmm." Okay, so she's not exactly -staring- at Karen Starr, but 'looking politely' just isn't a good explanation. "Definitely need to do some research, I think. Starr Industries? Enterprises? Corporation?" Yeah, she'll figure it out.

Something Helena B says sticks in her brain, just then, and she laughs. "Wait, really? Vic saw Rome in a cheesy horror flick and THAT's why he wants to go?" Smirk. "Definitely a keeper there, sis."

Damian Wayne has posed:
     Damian stops in his tracks as he can hear his name being called aloud...screamed almost. Giving in to Karen's...plans, he straightens up and faces the music. "Miss Starr. Hi." Yes, yes, it has been since the 'Expo' *cough**cough* more like months after when Damian attempted to murder her and he found out she was Power Girl. "How are you?" He asks, before slightly bracing himself to be a rag doll in the 'totally not a Kryptonian' arms.

Tim Drake has posed:
    If there's anyone close enough, they'll probably hear Tim let out a vaguely squeaky wheeze when he's enveloped in Karen's arms. Sort of like a dog toy that's been chewed on one too many times. When he's released, he's not even actually released, because Karen has his cheek between two fingers.

    When he's finally free(-ish) Tim's eye closes against its natural urge to tear up and he presses his palm to his cheek, rubbing lightly. He's being pulled along before he even realizes it, and he twists slightly in Karen's grip to look backwards.

    Well, his first instinct was to look towards Cass, because she's the most intimidating person he knows (sorry, Bruce). But she's gone. So, uh, actually hey Bruce *you're* the most intimidating person Tim knows! Little help here?


    He turns back around to make frantic eye contact with Damian in a way that fully communicates that Tim was *not* given the appropriate amount of information before he was asked to step in!

Lincoln March has posed:
     "Well it's a little outside my constituency but I could make an exception for the man who helped see me re-elected." He offers with a bright and friendly smile, a joking chuckle thrown under his breath. "Couldn't have done it without you Bruce." He tips up his glass towards the man. "And the great people of Gotham backing me."

     He raises his glass up to his lips about ready to take a sip before he hears that voice again lowering his glass as he shudders slightly at the sheer volume of the voice in question. It bothers his ears in a way he can't quite explain.

Helena Bertinelli has posed:
Helena Bertinelli eyes Helena with a smirk, "Shut up, sis," she says dryly, and then elbows her as her sis turns about to stare at this Karen Starr again, "I think she left! Stop staring. You completely missed her leaving. Why are you obsessed with her anyway?" she wonders. Helena tries to nudge Helena again to distracted her.

"You know, Rome can be attractive even in cardboard," she explains helpfully.

Helena Wayne has posed:
Helene Wayne keeps her voice at mutter-level volume and elbows her sister right back. "It's not what you think." she replies. "If she's who I -think- she is, then she was my best friend from 'back home'. And she saved my life on more than one occasion..."

Her voice trails off, then, but she turns her full attention back to her sister. A wry smile forms, too. "That may be the case, but I'm not going to accept some old cardboard mock-up. It's gotta be the real thing."

Barbara Gordon has posed:
    She can see those eyes searching over her. Babs has a feeling Selina may have just figured it out. Thanks to Bruce. This is Batgirl. Or was anyway. Batgirl disappeared after a while and then came back and now has blonde hair. Something strange went on there. Cute.. coincidence in choice of words or.. no such thing as a coincidence.

    "Have you met my father Ms Kyle? Commissioner Gordon." Yes, let's just go at it then, why not... "I'm sure he'd love to get to know you, he's around here somewhere..."

    Her head turns and her green eyes scan about but she's not _really_ looking for him. just giving some more context as to how Bruce knows Barbara Gordon. She can't help but play a game she knows she'd lose against Catwoman. Not when her leverage has been given away.

    "Bruce has donated so much to the GCPD over the years. Dad and I have visited the manor a lot," she adds to her cover story. A true cover story none the less. "But if there is anything you need help with," hey Bruce did say she could answer questions.. depending on how sensitive they are, "let me know."

    She takes out her business card from her pocket and offers it to Selina. Gordon Green Solutions. Green Technologies. Because if there was one thing Poison Ivy was right about, it's that humanity needs to change its ways to survive.

    She turns, with perfect timing, to wrap an arm about Charlie and give her a side snug, "And this is Charlie. My daughter," she says quite proudly. Not legally yet, but, well, that doesn't mean she can't gloat about having such an awesome person in her life.

    "Charlie, this is Ms. Selina Kyle. She's a philanthropist. You might have read about her in the newspaper from time to time", ahh double entendre, "she's donated to women's shelters and animal protection."

Karen Starr has posed:
    Trailing tim like a propeller caught in an underwater mine, Karen shuffles the poor man at her side as if she was some sort of Dear Family Friend, or Actual Legitimate Aunt. It's not that she seems physically stronger than she ought to be, it's more that arguing with her might involve physically objecting to her actions, which is a form of faux pas. She'd damn well even /cry./

    She doesn't have to kneel down to Damian anymore, but she still does, because why wouldn't she. He earned this. Climbed a building for it, even. Made his bed. Now he's gotta sleep in it. She untwines from Tim, but before the older Robin flees, she yanks Damian into a deep, squeeze of a hug of his own, holding it a second or two too long for it to be comfortable before letting him breathe again- oh and you'd /bet/ she's putting more into it than she ought to.

    Once released, there's a bit of praise! "You've gotten so TALL!" It's just coupled with her wrapping both of his cheeks up on that same grasp as she gave Tim, pinching and tugging and letting him wallow in the prize for his genuinely skillful attempted murder. "Must've turned twelve when I wasn't looking. I don't know whose idea it was to let you guys grow up!"

    If Tim hasn't booked it by now, there's a hand on his shoulder, and she actively uses him to pull herself back to a stand, as if she was some sort of cushy executive nerd and not a woman who bench-presses the moon. If he has left, then she uses Damian to stand.

    "Have you got your watch yet, Damian? You're gonna /love/ it."

Bruce Wayne has posed:
"Hi Charlie," Bruce says to Oracle's ward, bobbing down a little and putting on the air of a man who does not know how to deal with children despite having several of them himself, "Remember me?"

Then, because he's getting to that age, he reaches behind her ear and produces a silver dollar. He drops it down in her hand, musses her hair with one hand, and takes up his third glass of wine for the evening.

Nevermind Charlie is an adult. The perils of being short.

"I think I could use some fresh air," he announces, looping his arm through Selina's, "Diana, I want to show you the view. I think it might have that embassy garden of yours beat."

Selina Kyle has posed:
    Selina smiles brightly when the Comissioner is mentioned. "We've met once or twice. Lovely man. I hope he got the budget increase he needed, his old equipment was just falling apart, last I heard."

    There may or may not have been restraints involved in one of their encounters.

    She may or may not have slipped them with embarrassing ease.

    As Barbara introduces her, Selina chuckles, not unkindly. "You're making me blush. The tricky part is getting all of *these* guys to donate, too." She smiles. "Lovely to meet you, Charlie."

    Selina disguises her amusement at Bruce's antics by raising her glass in front of her lips, but takes Bruce's arm when offered. "That sounds lovely."

M'gann M'orzz has posed:
Better late than never, a late arrival slips in though without the fanfare of the more famous guests to this birthday of American royalty. The girl that enters however is not a green skinned red hair alien however, but a pale raven haired girl in her late teens. The actual invitation reads 'Nina Knight', unknown to most but it looks as legitimate and real as any other.

She slips through the gathered guests to get as close to Bruce as she is able in an attempt to convey her birthday wishes and give him the small wrapped box that contains her present. "Happy birthday." It is a short greeting to avoid taking up too much of the popular host's time.

Charlotte Gage-Radcliffe has posed:
Charlie aka Charlotte, not that anyone calls her that mind you, accepts the side snug and returns it then looks to Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle. Her eyes aren't nearly as critical and scoping as others might be, one might get the impression she is just happy to be here and happy to be away from the Karen blast zone over yonder.

The perils of being short indeed. Damn you Damian Wayne for getting a growth spurt and leaving her in the height impaired group now all alone. She catches the silver dollar quite nimbly though and helps Bruce keep his air of Billionair playboy. "Of course I do Mr. Wayne. I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday and say this is a very nice party." before he makes his escape.

To Selina she notes "A pleasure to meet you Ms. Kyle. I love animals, thanks for everything it sounds like you've done."

Once they step away though she gives Barbara a look then down to the coin in her hand.

Tim Drake has posed:
    Nope, sorry Damian. Maybe if you'd briefed Tim on the significant danger he was putting himself in for your sake, he would have stuck around!

    But Damian didn't. So Tim books it as soon as he can twist himself out of Karen's grip, and he makes his way immediately over to Bruce. Scuse me. Adopted son of guest of honor. Coming through. Ahem.

    "Happy birthday dad!" he says, cheerfully, and how has Tim managed to worm himself up into Bruce's space all of a sudden, on the opposite side of Selina. Who gets a, "Hey, Selina," just before Tim wraps his arms around Bruce.

    Of course this is all a ploy so that he can get close enough to stage-whisper "Oh my god take me with you please," to Bruce.

    Then he steps back, all smiles, even though his cheek is definitely sore. "Babs, Charlie!" Being as he's now the second-youngest here, he throws Charlie a bone with, "How's school going? Wait, did Bruce do the coin thing to you?"

Diana Prince has posed:
Diana is stepping back toward the others when she hears her name called out. She turns to face Bruce and Selina and then offers a big smile. "Speaking of that..." She says to them. "I want to offer you both a chance to come to a rather unique place." She says with a slight grin to her dark red painted lips. "So perhaps now is my chance." She says as she walks with them both. "How do you feel about a tropical island and a nice sandy beach vacation?" She asks as they walk together.

Damian Wayne has posed:
     Damian has grown a lot since last year...and even then, he cannot help but squeak as he is hugged tighter than William Shatner's Girdle. He strains to say anything before she lets him go, and starts to pinch his cheeks like the worlds most embarrassing aunt. "I...I'm thicksteen Mith Thtarr." He says, speech impeded by the giggling of his cheeks.

  It's over, and even Damian's light olive face skin is reddened by the stimulus. "N-not yet. But thank you." His voice still sounding like Damian Wayne, son of Bruce, not Robin. "I do like those watches."

Helena Bertinelli has posed:
Helena Bertinelli rolls her eyes, "Geezus, you guys. Like I can leave in the middle of a school year. We just started not too long ago---you guys have a one track mind. Can't you wait?" she comments.

"How about a movie about Rome? Oh I've heard that VR shit is pretty cool, how about that?" she asks, "Hey, aren't you in school?" she asks narrow-eyed.

Helena Wayne has posed:
Helena Wayne wrinkles her nose at that. "Bah! School is overrated." she quips back. Tossing back the last of her champagne, she looks for a passing tray to leave the glass and settles on a plant stand instead. "Seriously, though, don't think I'll forget anytime soon."

Blue eyes sweep the room, managing not to find another familiar face. "I'm going to step out for some air. Don't leave without me? I had to take a cab to get here."

Dick Grayson has posed:
    Cutting through the crowd now that he's got newfound freedom as Damian is caught, Dick and Steph manage to come out near Bruce. Heading over to Bruce, he offers a hand with a smile, knowing that his dad was not really the huggy type. "Happy birthday. Quite a crowd tonight, isn't it? Nice to see the place come to life now and then."

    After Steph also has the chance to greet Bruce and wish him happy birthday, the pair fade into the background and after a few minutes, are nowhere to be found.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
Although he seems to be moving out of the ballroom, Bruce is too polite to not stop when he's spoken to. Seeing M'gann approach, he reaches out to take her gift with a smile. He undoes the ribbon carefully and opens it, looking at what is inside for a moment. He closes it again without sharing the contents, the corner of his mouth tucked up into a half-smile.

"You better pack, then," he tells 'Nina Knight' quietly.

A glance towards Tim and his stage whisper, Bruce only grins and shakes his head. It's his party, after all.

Helena Bertinelli has posed:
Helena Bertinelli smiles at Helena, "Don't worry, Vic drove here. You just come find us. We'll be ready to leave in a little while. A few more glasses of champagne, I think," she explains. She then furrows her brow in worry as young Helena turns and leaves the room.

Barbara Gordon has posed:
    Babs looks at the Charlie.. at the coin.. back to Charlie... then to the coin. "He's a monster. You know this," she says playfully. The flute of champagne meets her lips and she says. "We'll talk about Ms. Starr's gift later," as in analyse it because everything that Karen makes is amazing and interesting but also needs to be handled with kit gloves and no where near Bat-stuff.

    Because even though Charlie was trying to avoid Karen, she instead wheels them both around to find Karen and her green eyes settle on the most impressive woman she knows - Karen Starr. "Ms. Starr thank you so much for the gifts. Have you met my daughter Charlie?"

    Because she's never not going to be proud of this. Between Stephanie and Charlie, Babs finally 'gets it' - with Bruce and his Robins. She can always add to her own collection of birds but in the end it's the ones you get to call family that get you right in the heart. Also she wanted to see Damian getting tortured by Karen up close and personal.

Charlotte Gage-Radcliffe has posed:
Tim gets a grin "He did." about the coin trick. Which is boggling but amusing and all sorts of other things. It is a thing. The question about homework though gets another answer "Algebra is kicking my butt." she says. "Numbers. Why numbers... ." then wait they are wheeling away from Tim and safety.

Why are they wheeling away from Tim and safety.

Oh cause Babs is proud of her and this whole thing. Okay. This is good. It really helps offset the whole being drawn back to Karen Starr whom she somehow managed to escape earlier because all the attention was on the boys. "Uh...." oh right real words. "Nice to meet you Ms. Starr"

Also Damian being tortured like this is interesting to see, to be fair.

Karen Starr has posed:
    As Tim has fled, Karen's only recourse is to finish some of what she came here to do. She's embarrassed Bruce, and Damian, and furthered the image of Karen Starr as some Auntie Nightmare, like a walking, talking, Awkwardness Elemental.

    She's got a hand on Damian's shoulder, leading him back to the party proper and handing him a jewelry box that, similarly to everything else she's handed people, she seems to have conjured from nowhere. "Make sure to wear the contact lenses with it, they're the AR element, and the interface is all there. They're great."

    Then, there's a Babs, and a Charlie. She looks between Babs, and Charlie, a few times, pondering the statement given to her for a few moments before pointing at Barbara: "Adopted! That's GREAT!" A casual declaration of someone being adopted is one of those things that can be a really, really bad move. It fits, though, considering Karen is... Karen.

    Further, there's a tone to it, as if she's actually /happy/ to hear that someone seems to have taken someone who needed a home and brought them into their family. She thinks that's pretty great.

    She shows it by handing Charlie a jewelry box that has a set of earrings in it, commenting: "Be sure to ask your mom if you can get your ears pierced." Then, a hand shoots up, and she's got Charlie by a cheek, because that's just the day various people at this party are having, and nothing seems capable of actually stopping it.

    "She's adorable. Did you use Brucey's guy or find your own?"

M'gann M'orzz has posed:
The raven haired girl nods her head when Bruce tells her to pack, an otherwise odd response to receiving a birthday present but she seems to know what it means. She then fades back into the assembled party goers letting Bruce proceed onward with Selina and Diana without further interruption.

She does give a small wave in Tim's direction as she makes her way over to the buffet to get a drink and some finger food, might as well enjoy it while she is here.

Tim Drake has posed:
    Well, you can't blame Tim for trying. He's left behind, and he only has enough time to call out "Don't forget SOH CAH TOA!" after Charlie when she's led away by Barbara. Then, on his lonesome, Tim is forced to retreat to the safety of the buffet. He also gets that water he wanted at the beginning of the party... because he went and asked for it himself. Don't mind him, also weren't there a tray of brownies on the table?

    ...huh. Tim chews sedately as he stares at his phone. He lifts his head slightly to glance over at M'gann in her secret disguise, and after a pause he smiles at her, before his attention returns to texting or whatever it is he's doing.

Barbara Gordon has posed:
    "Paperwork isn't there yet but.. adopting is the idea," she says with a proud smile to Karen and then an amused chuckle as Charlie gets cheek pinched. If she didn't know who Karen really was this'd be far more off putting. Instead, it's just amusing to watch all the Robin's and birds get confounded by 'Auntie Starr'.

    "Oh no guy needed no, just the right place at the right time to catch this one," she says and pats Charlie's shoulder, "Helps that I've got great taste in people."

M'gann M'orzz has posed:
Her main mission accomplished and h'or d'ourves consumed, the raven haired mystery girl in her black dress slips to the edge of things, before ultimately slipping out the same way she came with little fanfare.

Damian Wayne has posed:
     Damian accepts his gift, in a little box and everything. "AR? Schway. Thank you Miss Starr." He says with a smile, looking much like a kitten who's still dazed from being snugged by Elvira from Tiny Toons.

  "Oh, hi Charlie." He says, slightly slowly, still getting his bearings back from the...enthusiastic aunt-like love of Karen.

Charlotte Gage-Radcliffe has posed:
Tim genuinely confused the hell out of Charlie there with his mnemonic for trigonometry. But Charlie has bigger poroblems now.

Charlie at this point is thinking Karen Starr is some kind of force of nature. Wild. Untamed. A Tech CEO. This is all a thing. What this thing is she honestly has no idea.

There is enough of a resemblance, fit, red hair, short despite not being a kid anymore, that might actually trip someone up. Still Karen has the score and the tone seems to be a positive one. Cause well Charlie thinks it is pretty great too. So this is going well.

The second box, the first already tucked with the coin in a small purse she is glad she actually brought is looked over. She considers saying she already got one, but well these are the earrings she didn't get and would probably go with the watch from earlier too. "Thank you Ms. Starr..."

Which is when she gets taken by the cheek eyes going very wide. Honestly if she hadn't seen this deployed on Tim and Damian earlier she probably would have panic teleported right out of here right then and there.

The hand on her shoulder helps keep her planted as well. "Hi Damian" still wide eyed.