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Something had to be done about this situation.

As the other line to the phone went dead, the shapely figure hidden in the laundry room perching with her bottom to the lid of the dryer hung onto her slim pink cell phone a little while longer. She worried, worried for her family alone in the outskirts of safe European cities. Some men out there were of the vicious type— sadists and rapists in nicely pressed suits. Years have passed since Kory had lived in her country...but gossip remained.

Mentally pressing out anymore negative thoughts stirring in her mind's contents about her previous homeland, she tried another number.

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Something had to be done about this situation.

He hated masquerades. He hated costumes. Halloween was on the top of his list to abolish once Richard Greyson ruled the damn world, seeing how he was conveniently within the lineage of Wayne….wasn't he correct in thinking he could pretty much make anything happen...?

Nightfall came swift upon the far end of Gotham; the ocean view from the craggy cliff where the prestigious Wayne Manor rooted proudly swallowed the rest of the scenery with black waters shimmering beneath velvet moon white. Just for a split second he was glad to let his senses devour the splendor.

The butler, to his absolute relief, was not donned in a ridiculous outfit and secretly, it seemed that the feeling was mutual as the graying man showed him in through the front entrance. Alfred was his favorite for a reason. As Richard handed him his motor keys for the evening— he sure as hell was getting wasted tonight— brown eyes wrinkled around the edges as he addressed the younger man, "Would there be a chance that you would like change before meeting Master Bruce?"

"Wait wh—?" A dried spot of blood on the pant leg over his calf seemed darker in color under the chandelier lights. "—oh. Whatever. It doesn't matter."

The butler made a disapproving noise before stepping aside. Light blue eyes scanned the crowds of bedazzling and ghastly guests before pinning down on his blood— no, not correct— money relation (thankfully not in costume) conversing with surely one of the more well-rounded company attending. A glimpse of a topaz dress and of large framing dark curls was all he saw before being blocked by someone else approaching with one of those 'pasted-on' smiles.

"Excuse me Diana(1)," he grunted at her before she could open her mouth, leaving her to stare after obviously offended by his lack of concern and decorum as he retreated without so much as a friendly glance.

By the time Richard had pushed himself through the multitude (which was in his way), earning himself plenty of irritation and obscenities from others less important, he discovered Bruce alone leaning the banister of the grand staircase; champagne in his left hand. The older man smiled calmly at his confusion, "Lost?"

"Funny, Bruce, I didn't think you had a sense of humor."

"Difficult to imagine one existed, isn't it? Who are you looking for exactly?" Coal black eyes held a mild stare-down with him. Richard exhaled loudly, raising a hand to scratch his scalp and taking another long look at the ballroom, "I'm….not sure."

The owner of Wayne Enterprises finished up his glass with a large swallow and nodded. "Do you want Alfred to get you some Madeira? You look like you need something to drink."

"I saw you with a woman, she was young and I felt…huh?"

Just as Alfred passed by on cue, Bruce snatched up an expensive bottle, pouring a hefty amount of tawny color wine into a second crystal goblet and held it out to him. "This should do it." Richard accepted the drink numbly and gave him a strange look before nursing his cup between his palms.

"Yes, you did indeed see me with a young woman. I met her coming in from Moscow, or so she said she hailed from. We started talking about the shipping problem from Columbia she knew almost extensively and I invited her to stay at the Manor." He poured his own glass with a satisfied smirk before placing the uncorked bottle on a small clothed table nearby. "She is quite beautiful. Get a good look at her and you'll see. There might be life in this fifty-something year old body yet."

His son made a pained face, muttering before choking down another mouthful of alcohol, "Dad, I don't need to know about your sex life."

Bruce made something of a boisterous laugh before holding up his drink. "To humor."

"To…" Richard hiccupped slightly, coughing it out embarrassed before adding lowly, "whatever, happy birthday."

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This sucked.

He was suppose to be plastered…out of his mind gone...and yet his thoughts were frustratingly clear to him! Even though his actions had gained a more ridiculously arrogant swagger and speech came out slower and deeper then standard— Richard felt as if he were still aware of his surroundings...ish. Sober up to a point fitted the phrase quite smoothly.

Somewhere on his way upstairs in the semi-dark hallway, Richard tripped before catching himself over the top of the second floor grand staircase. Through his glazed vision and one or two ceiling lights, he stared at a dark haired guest clutching the doorknob to a closed room and the other holding a wine glass. At first she stared back with a caught expression before slowly starting to smirk in relief, not letting go of the door.

"Had a little too much there?"

Richard squinted a moment confused before recognizing the bright shade of her green eyes beneath the heavy makeup. "Selin—?"

Holding up the flute-shaped glass to her face and leveling a lavender gloved index finger to her red lips, she said with a slight wink, "Irena Dubrovna(2), remember?"

"How the hell have you been?" He didn't like that he sounded so astonished and quickly shook his head, deciding when it was too late that it had been a terrible mistake as the blue eyed man threw his back against the wall, waiting for the spinning to stop. He turned his head towards her figure wearing a simple long sleeved black dress with a satin wrap as she loosened her grip on the antique brass knob. "You grew out your hair..."

"The boy cut was getting old. You look..." She paused a moment, watching as he heavily panted against the wall, struggling to keep himself flat up against it, "wasted...that's something new."

"I wish I felt wasted." Richard mourned for a moment. "Bruce is gonna be—" His mouth snapped shut on words badly interpreted such as excited or happy. "—surprised to see you here at his birthday party."

"This is not about him."

"But it is about the party right? It's a good opportunity for things not to be taken for granted in a public setting to go mysteriously missing overnight. Of course the rational thought is that it was left at home or lost on the way to the Mercedes-Benz." Gaining his balance, Richard sneered openly at her but not without amusement as one of her feminine black eyebrows quirked. "But it's not like the wealthy couldn't replace a 20K diamond bracelet the next day."

Her grin reminded him very much of a cat who swallowed a tasty canary. "Your mother must have been proud to have such an astute son."

"I'm sure if she was alive she'd have appreciated the comment." He shifted on his feet, smile lessening, "Speaking of kids, how is the little one doing? Got a good babysitter tonight as you go play professional thief?"

The green eyed woman tapped one of her blood red fingernails against the rim of her wineglass, replying monotonously, "She's with a better mother then I would ever be for her."

"Still not willing to give Bruce a chance?"

"I'm not the type to settle down. Never have been."

"Well then I guess you wouldn't care about Bruce's latest love interest. He met her in Moscow recently." Richard took another small sip of his golden alcohol. She flushed an angry red that couldn't have worked as fast on her blood vessels as the effect of the wine might have done.

"I really don't give a shit." She batted his sympathetic hand from her upper arm defensively.

"Listen, we both know that you love my old man..."

'Irena' shouldered the young man aside rudely, not caring if he could feel the precious weight of her wrap pinned on the inside with 'things not to take for granted'. "Bite me, junior."

As she made her way towards the staircase, he yelled at her retreating back, "You do know that the combination on the lock to the upstairs vault was rearranged, right?"

'...she hasn't changed at all. Bruce, you idiot."

After a minute or two of checking whether or not the room had been broken into— as well as thoroughly raided— the slightly drunken man wiped the sweat from his brow and gladly closed his eyes as a breeze from the third floor hit his warmed features.

Slipping the first two buttons of his dark blue collar shirt open and stumbling a bit where the third floor opened into an large balcony-like opening with a railing, he hazily stared at a few stray guests drinking quietly and leaning against the marble-and-steel balustrade. Directly across from him, one of his coworkers grinned lazily off to the side at Richard, giving him a thumbs up quickly before continuing to look at the lovely dark-haired woman leaning on the banister next to him on the right.

"So, sweetheart, I haven't seen you in this side of town before..."

The woman in the golden salsa dress adjusted the weight of her hips, leaning away from him, obviously not interested in the flirting. Richard's glazed eyes fell over how low the scoop back cut to nearly her tailbone. Her head turned— Richard saw a solemn expression from a heart-shaped white face with heavily lined eyes in black makeup. Her full lips caked with purplish black lipstick.

"I have just arrived for some business...and pleasantries..." The young red-haired man grinned wider at the last bit she had spoken.

"Then allow me the honor of showing you around. I know the best hot spots." It wasn't a lie. Roy Harper— ladies man extraordinaire this side of New York— had the most expensive nightclubs in town asking for him every weekend. A muscle in the woman's jaw clenched up as she smiled politely.

"I appreciate the rescue earlier this evening...but I am staying with the owner at this estate. I do not think he would be pleased with me if I ran off with another strange handsome man." Roy preened at the half-hearted compliment, running a hand through his short hair.

"Ahaha..." He grabbed her by the arm, pulling her close to him as she frowned suddenly, "Come on babydoll, you don't have to be so shy..."

The blue eyed man glanced down at his glass of alcohol before drinking the rest, kissing his chances at sobriety goodbye.

"There you are...Na-natasha!" Richard stumbled a little over to them, plastering on a convincingly stupid grin as he raised his empty wine glass. "Bruce has been looking for you everywhere! You should...go see him! Yeah. He's downstairs!" The red-haired man stared at him a bit sullen as the woman glanced at the blue eyed drunkard with a mixture of disbelief and skepticism. She nodded slowly at Richard before faking an apologetic smile to the other man.

Out of the corner of her lips, she hissed lowly, "Take my arm..." Complying silently, he smiled too at Roy before leading her out, hooking his arm around hers.

They walked out into the hallway and into the staircase where Bruce's new guest ripped her long arm from his, hurrying out the front door.

"Hey- wait!"

Alone on the concrete porch, she spun around in mid run and stared hard at him panting, her violet-blue colored eyes narrowing. "Does Bruce Wayne really need to see me or did you just want an excuse to get me away from him?"

Trying to blink the newly formed hazy edges out of his vision, he pointed at her shakily, "…is that your real…eye color or is it contacts?"

The golden figure in front of him shimmered for a moment before clearing. Her heart-shaped face pulled into a cynical smile. "You really are loaded, aren't you? I guess then I don't have to worry about you copping a feel. You don't seem like the type."

"Is that what you were talking…with Roy about?"

She crossed her bare pale arms, a dark thin elegant eyebrow raising as he wavered a bit on his flat feet. "A friend of yours? Well, the horny old men are nothing new."

"Sounds like you led an exciting life." The woman continued to stare at him with a reserved expression— it seemed to fit her— before saying, "That's not my name by the way."

"Huh?"

"You called me Natasha." Violet-blue slit to a fat colored contour against her black eyeliner, as he found himself shaded by the darkness of the maple trees near the porch, pressed against her with his back brushing the outside wall, his hands roaming gently across the skin of her back. "That's not my name."

"Then what is your name?"

"Raven." She let out a hot breath, burying her hands into the front of his shirt and clenching her fingers tighter into the expensive silk material. "What's yours?"

His hands found her hair as her lips touched the angle of his throat— he felt the line of the dark curly wig with plastic gold accents and for a delirious moment wished to know the real color, the real texture of her hair.

"Robin."

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TBC...


(1) First name of Wonder Woman. Justice League reference.

(2) Alias of Selina Kyle (Catwoman) from comic "One Year Later". Also all mentions of her daughter is from the same comic.

See bio for any new updates. Thank you Sylv for being so patient (GOMENGOMENGOMEN) as well as evilsangel (I missed talking to you) while my lazy ass worked on this! Updated just in time for C2's 20th birthday! HAPPY SURPRISE PRESENT CAKE-DEAR!! I LOVE YOU!