He rested his chin on his fist and sighed deeply. He did not mean to be so obvious to the beautiful woman sitting next to him, but he was already bored to tears with the play.
Bruce Wayne never liked the theater.
Since he was a boy he hated going to the theater, even when his parents were alive. Before it had been the dark of the wide yet seemingly inescapable place; the startling explosives of props, the loud music, and the truly horrible costumes that pranced themselves on the stage.
Now, it was simply pure boredom. He hated sitting here, wasting his time watching the antics of a few overzealous thespians act out something that was really very silly to him. He considered them all young, ego-ridden annoyances that had no concept of the real world that passed them by everyday. These so-called actors believed they didn't fit at all into this reality, so their only hope was to escape into this truly degrading world of forced tears and overacting.
But deep down beyond that however, there was something else he truly hated about going to the theater.
But that theater had long since shut down. It had rotted away just like the rest of Gotham City had in the years he'd been away. The city shut it down and used the pieces of the foundation and the entire building for scrap. The homeless in the streets simply used it as a place to sleep.
The new one was clear on the other side of town, where the rich and elite of Gotham were rebuilding their once broken city. This new theater was much larger, grander, and to Bruce's chagrin, much more gaudy than the last. The lobby alone rivaled the halls of Versailles itself. Corinthian columns painted in deep crimson jutted out from the pale ivory walls while rich velvet drapes stood in between every other two. Golden statues of Greek nymphs and cherubs floated above the doors dividing the rooms of the great lobby; some were placed at the base of the columns, some were resting above the velvet drapes, and some were gazing down from the high ceiling. The ones that were floating high above among the ceiling painted with scenes of Greek lore held massive chandeliers, and at least six of these were in one hall alone.
He only wanted to bring back the glory of the former Gotham, and he thought that maybe bringing a little culture back into the city would help rejuvenate that. He decided to fund a new theater for the city through various sponsors and of course, from his own pocket. He would be lying if he said that his reputation had nothing to do with it.
And now, thanks to the flamboyant opulence and pretension of the architects and decorators he hired, his theater had turned into a garish fairy-tale construction of extreme proportions. Bruce actually winced when he first walked in before it opened to the public, and saw the Grand Staircase – an exact replica of that in Paris. The stairs were decorated in marble and onyx, a true rendition of worldly endeavors paid by the one of the richest in the world, while the lobby was decorated with Venetian mosaics. The main foyer was of course draped with the velvet and the golden chandeliers. But the rotunda threw him off balance a bit. This area of the theater was adorned in rich colors and gilded luxury like the others, but held four large tapestries of gruesome creatures. Goblins. They all faced the center of the rotunda – a rich floor mosaic of the sun and moon gleaming in shards of silver and gold.
In the auditorium itself, one great chandelier illuminated the ornate ceiling of even more paintings and statues. Luminous, fluid figures surged forth from the corners and shadows, and contrasted greatly with the deep red and gold of the theatre itself.
This would be the first and last time he would ever commission a project on behalf of the arts. It would also be the last time he would ever come here. On opening night, it was mandatory that he come for the first performance, and Bruce Wayne would play the part well. He would arrive in his chauffeured car, make a speech, saunter inside with the rest, watch the play, and then leave. Of course, having a beautiful woman on your arm as a date was a must. But it was a small perk. The only thing he knew about her was that she was a gorgeous blonde, and her name was Shanna. That was all he needed to know for an occasion like this.
The play had only just started, and he was bored to death.
Shanna touched his arm ever so lightly, grazing her fingertips against the soft fabric of his black suit. Bruce blinked lazily and shifted in his seat at the sudden gesture. He glanced over at the beautiful woman sitting next to him. She gave him a coy half-smile, her golden locks hiding half of her perfect face. She continued to run her fingertips up and down his hand until they languidly slid down to his thigh. He started then, sitting up straighter. He reached for her hand, squeezed it gently, and brought it back to her own lap.
He regarded coolly as she pouted and tossed her back behind her shoulder at the silent denial of her advances. He sighed and turned his gaze back to the play. After they left the theater, he would take her straight back home. He had better things to do than try to entertain her any further as Bruce Wayne.
The lights dimmed, signaling only the end of the third act of 'Pygmalion'. The auditorium erupted into a pensive wave of applause. Bruce clapped his hands several times and sank back into his plush chair. A soft light hit the stage revealing a large parlor, or sitting room, Bruce really was not paying much attention. He knew that the musical 'My Fair Lady' was an adaptation of this play, but that was all he knew, or all he cared to know.
That all changed when the prop door on the stage opened.
The character was Eliza Doolittle, dressed in her finest. But it was not the character that caused Bruce to finally sit up in his seat. It was the actress.
She was radiant in the light, garbed in an opera cloak, a dazzling white evening dress clinging to her lithe form, and sparkling diamonds covering her arms and delicate throat. The audience seemed to hold their breath when she crossed the stage, she was a quite the vision to behold in her elegant array. She came to the hearth, and switched on the electric lights; every move carried with accurate grace. The lights illuminated her character's exhaustion; her pallor contrasting strongly with her dark eyes and hair; and her expression was almost tragic. She took off her cloak, put her fan and flowers on the piano, and sat down on the bench, brooding and silent.
Bruce was simply awestruck by the actress. She was Eliza Doolittle? The main character in this play? Impossible. Why had he not noticed her before? Was it the costume, perhaps? The magnificent way the light was washing over her, glittering and luminous?
He shifted in his seat again and leaned forward slightly, trying to get a better look at this stunningly beautiful woman on the stage. She turned her head downward and reached for something around her neck. Bruce blinked and tilted his head when a brilliant yet very brief glimmer of crystal white flashed before him. A diamond solitaire the size of an infant's fist fell back lightly on the actress' chest, its brilliant luster strangely fading away when she sighed audibly.
Her beauty took his breath away, but her palpable melancholy; her crushing bitterness nearly broke his heart. With that far away look on her beautifully tragic face, he could almost feel her heartache. That raw vulnerability she exuded all but broke him. He actually felt pity for her. Her manner was so real, so believable that he wished that she truly did not feel this; that she was merely playing her character.
His lips parted slightly, now suddenly entranced by the mystery woman on the stage that trapped her audience in her spell.
He watched her, studied her, and admired her as the play wore on. Now he never wanted the play to end. He would be content just watching her for the rest of the night if he had to. There was going to be a change of plans after the play was finished.
He was going to personally congratulate the cast for a job well done. Then he was going to introduce himself to this Sarah Williams.
AN: yea yea, I know, I'm still working on other stories. Please please please don't give me heat for starting another one without finishing another. I will get to them I swear, and this is the last story I have in mind. Anyone see 'Batman Begins'? This takes place afterward, and don't ask about the Joker, none of that going on here. However, remember the arrowhead in the movie? The element there will play a HUGE part in this story. And Christian Bale is such a freakin' hottie and the best Batman ever so he's in my mind ever so often as I write this. Enjoy, and as always - thank you to all reviewers!
Shalom y Amor