Title: Gotham Seven
A/N: This is the sequel I promised to Dark Knight in Denver. Hope you like it. . .
"How do you men feel about a road trip?" Asked Orin Travis.
"Where to?"asked Buck.
"Why?" Josiah wanted to know.
"I assume you've all noticed that the guns are no longer coming in from LA the way they used to?" Travis asked.
"Yeah. We'd gotten that impression from the guys we've questioned lately."
"With that crack down in LA a couple months ago they're using an indirect route, overland from Gotham," Chris noted.
"Yeah, but why are we going to Gotham? There are a lot of ATF offices closer than us," Nathan pointed out.
"Yes, but Commissioner Gordon specifically asked for Team 7," Travis explained. "My guess is that Bruce told the Commissioner about his trip here and that he'd met you. You'll be flying out this afternoon. Gordon's expecting you in his office tomorrow morning."
"How long will we be there?"
"At least one week. More likely two. They're already working on arrangements to set up a new ATF office in Gotham, but that will take time. Thankfully you won't have to stay until it's set up."
They all nodded in agreement. It could take months to get a new office really working.
A few hours later Team 7 was checking in at the airport. The booking agent smiled at Chris. "You've all been upgraded to First Class," she told him.
"How did that happen?" he asked. The ATF never flew them First Class.
"All I can tell you is that the upgrade was done through our Gotham City office," she replied after checking the computer.
"Two words for ya, Pard: Bruce Wayne," said Buck.
"That would seem the most logical explanation," agreed Ezra.
Once they'd arrived at the Gotham airport they were approached by a distinguished older gentleman in a butler's uniform. "Welcome to Gotham, Gentlemen. Alfred Pennyworth at your service. Mr. Wayne asked me to meet you and take you to your hotel. He wished to be here himself, but had a business meeting he was unable to reschedule."
When they climbed out of the limo half an hour later they were surprised to find themselves in front of the Gotham Ritz Hotel. "Master Bruce thought you would be more comfortable here. He called District Attorney Travis and cleared it, if that might be your concern," Alfred quickly informed them.
With a shrug they all headed into the hotel.
An hour later Chris's room phone rang. "Larabee."
"Chris, it's Bruce Wayne. Sorry I couldn't meet you all at the airport, but you know how it is. . ."
"Yeah. . . . . Thanks," Chris said, knowing that Bruce would understand that the thanks was for the flight and hotel upgrades.
"My pleasure. I was thinking we could all have dinner at the hotel's restaurant later?"
"I'll let the others know."
"I'll see you then."
There were several groups, besides Team 7, waiting to be seated at 6 'o clock that evening. Then Bruce walked up and joined them.
The maitre'de recognized Bruce immediately. "Mr. Wayne, how pleasant that you could join us this evening. We have the table waiting for you." With that they were led into the restaurant ahead of the other people waiting.
Once they were seated Vin looked over at Bruce. "I guess you're the one who had Commissioner Gordon request our Team from the ATF?"
"Let's not talk business tonight," Bruce dodged. He suspected that there would be questions once the Team realized that Batman, not Bruce Wayne, had talked to Commissioner Gordon. But Gordon would never have listened to the suggestion if it had come from Bruce Wayne, so he'd had to make the request as Batman. He was glad to see the waiter approaching to take their orders. "Here comes the waiter now," he said. As expected the conversation turned to what everyone was going to eat, and the subject of why Team 7 was in Gotham was dropped.
Once the waiter left Buck looked around and saw the small bar at one end of the restaurant. More importantly he saw a beautiful woman at the bar. Her dark hair contrasted to her light skin and stunning red dress. "Think I'll go get a drink," Buck said, standing up and walking from the table.
Busy talking with Ezra about a financial matter, Bruce didn't even look up. A few minutes later Bruce did look over at the bar, and only long habit kept him from swearing. The beautiful woman flirting with Buck was none other than Selina Kyle. "If you'll excuse me, I see an old friend," he told Ezra before walking to the bar.
Selena saw Bruce approaching them, but didn't give any sign of it.
"Buck. Selena, it's been. . ."
"Too long," she almost purred, purposely shifting closer to Buck. She and Bruce had a date scheduled the week before, but as usual he had canceled when the BatSignal had been lit. And Batman been avoiding her as Catwoman as well. It was time for a little payback- - - in the form of jealousy. "Do you know Buck? He was kind enough to buy me a drink and keep me company. You know how I hate to be left alone."
"I think I'll leave you two alone," Buck said, having easily picked up on the tension and connection between the couple. "It was nice to meet you, Selena."
She quickly put her hand on Buck's arm. "No. Please stay. I have enough men in my life who make a habit of walking away from me."
"They must be blind, and stupid," Buck replied.
"Blind as a Bat," Selena agreed, throwing a look at Bruce.
"Or not have any choice in the matter," Bruce defended himself. "We don't always get to do what we want to."
"True," she conceded after a beat. "And much as I'd love to stay and chat, I have to be going."
"Work?" Bruce asked.
"No. Play," she assured him, with a mischievous smile. "Walk me to the door, Buck?" she requested, looking up at him and smiling sweetly.
Never able to refuse a request from a beautiful woman, Buck smiled down at her. "Sure, Darlin'."
Bruce stood at the bar watching them walk away, and barely kept the scowl off his face. He was an expert at lip reading, but when they stopped by the door they stood so that he saw them both in profile, making any lip reading impossible. He suspected Selina had done that on purpose, since she knew he could lip read.
"I guess Bruce is the one who's been walking away from you?" Buck asked.
"Yes," she admitted. "Sorry I dragged you into it."
"Don't worry about it. You really want to make him jealous?"
"Hell yes," she said softly, looking up at him.
"Then how about a proper kiss good-bye?"
She gave a soft laugh before their lips merged for a moment.
"If I didn't already love Bruce. . ." she said once the kiss was over.
"And if I didn't have someone I can't wait to get back home to," Buck said, picturing Inez in his mind.
"Thanks Buck," she said, resting her hand on his cheek for a moment. "Whoever the woman is, she's very lucky."
"Wish someone would tell her that," he said with a grin, before turning serious again.
"Good luck," he said as she turned to leave.
"You too," she called before walking away.
Back at the table the rest of the Seven had watched the events with great interest. Josiah and Ezra, being best at reading body language, had each gotten a very accurate picture. Chris and Vin, who were both trained to read lips during their time in the military, were at an angle to see what Buck was saying, but not Selena, who's back was to them. They both found Buck's half of the conversation very enlightening.
Bruce returned to the table seconds before Buck did. "She has a talent for breaking hearts," Bruce commented once Buck was seated.
"She isn't the only one," Buck shot back.
"Speaking from personal experience?" Bruce asked in an arch tone.
Josiah spoke up, hoping to end things before an argument really began. "Women do tend to bring out the best, and worst, in men."
"I'll drink to that," Vin said, raising his glass.
The subject was dropped and they all relaxed and enjoyed the good food, and general conversation.
As they were finishing their desserts Bruce's cell phone rang. Looking at the Caller ID he excused himself from the table. Returning a few minutes later he was smiling, and this smile reached his eyes. "That was my son, Dick. He'll be home from college this weekend. Why don't you gentlemen join us Saturday afternoon and meet him? The Manor has a decent stable, we could all go riding and then have dinner," he suggested, remembering that Orin had mentioned that the Team spent a lot of time up at Chris's ranch, and were all good riders.
Ezra raised an eyebrow, and his expression became skeptical. He had no doubt that Wayne Manor's stable had some of the best horses in the region, and was far more than 'decent'.
They all quickly accepted the invitation.
A/N: Selina isn't going to be playing a major role in the story. She doesn't show up again until the epilogue. . . It's just that Buck demanded to meet her. . .