****Note from the author****
This is based from the Batman Begins/Dark Night worlds, but doesn't take much at all from either of the movies. Most of the characters are my own creation, those that aren't are owned by DC Comics.
That being said, this is a story I've rewritten a few times and just went through one last pass to polish a few things. If you like it *please* leave a review. The story is already finished and I'll be adding chapters daily or every other day.
Jade took a long glance at the Wayne Tower that lit up the skyline of Gotham City. She had to admit the city was quite beautiful at night, and where she was she couldn't hear police sirens.
"Ms. Walters, we're here."
She sighed, put on her picture perfect smile, and stepped out of the limo. 'Can't believe I got suckered into coming here. I have a dozen other things I could be doing right now and stepping in for my father isn't one of them,' she thought, reigning in her temper with perfect practice and keeping the smile on her face.
"Hey, baby, let's let them get a picture of us together." David said, taking her hand in his.
"What the hell are you doing here?" She asked through clenched teeth, her lips barely moving.
"Ruben said you'd be here. I put in a donation so I could join you. I still love you, Jade."
"I can't stand you, David." She said again, waving to the cameras and gently tugging her hand from his grip.
"We need to talk, baby."
"Not here, you moron," Jade said, her voice nearly a growl.
She was attending a fundraiser that was going to repairing a lot of recent damage the city had gone through, a fundraiser her father had donated a great deal of money to. Ruben Walters had been born and raised in Gotham, but moved to Hollywood where he made, and still does make, millions of dollars directing movies. Jade didn't see eye-to-eye with her father on nearly everything, but she loved him and when he asked her to go in his place to Gotham, a city she already planned on visiting for a while, she didn't hesitate to agree. Still, knowing that she had put herself on for this didn't make her any less irritated. And then the old bastard had talked her ex-boyfriend into flying across the country to…
"Champagne, lovely!" She said, taking a glass from a passing waiter. 'Twenty more of these and things won't look so bad,' she thought.
She had finished her second glass of champagne before the event even started. It would have been four or five but avoiding David caused her to miss several chances of grabbing a refill.
"Ms. Walters, so glad you could come."
Jade nodded quaintly, "Wouldn't miss it for the world, Senator. My dad has told me so many wonderful stories about growing up in Gotham, I've always wanted to visit. I'm glad I'm getting my chance now. I hope to open a new branch of my clothing company here if all goes well."
"We are glad to have you, Ms. Walters. Come with me, there are a few people I'd like you to meet."
Jade gave him an eager look, all the while thinking, 'Hurry, hurry, faster, faster, David is coming, David is coming.' "David!" Jade sighed.
David put his hands on her shoulders and leaned in to kiss her cheek. "Jade, dear, come with me, there are a few people I'd like you to meet."
Jade turned to the Senator, hoping and praying, he'd get her out of it. "Oh, go on, Ms. Walters, we'll meet up in a bit."
"Excuse me, Senator, thank you." Jade said with her perfect smile.
She let David put his arm around her, and whispered in his ear, "I swear to all that is holy if you don't leave me alone, once we get out of this I will make you hurt in places you didn't realize you had."
David laughed, "You are so cute when you are angry, Jade. Oh, we get along so well."
He gave her shoulders a little squeezed. "My god, can you be any denser?" She asked, finally letting her smile fade into the disgusted face she truly felt. "Excuse me, David, I'm going somewhere you can't follow me."
She ducked from beneath his arm, grabbed a new glass of champagne, and all but ran into the women's bathroom. She drained the glass in one swallow, and went to the sink. Her make-up and face were flawless, her California tan a bit faded. Her blonde hair done up and pinned to the top of her head with countless pins. Sighing deeply she made sure her gown was smooth, and flawless. 'Produce the perfect image, be polite, remember to smile, check your teeth,' she thought, grinning at the mirror to check her teeth quickly. Her grin faded, her eyes dark and sad, her look simply…depressed. "I hate this." She muttered, before pulling her image back together and left the comfort the bathroom had given her.
She took a look at the dozens of rich people conversing, mingling…networking. Jade felt positively sick, whether it was from stress or practically chugging the equivalent of a bottle of champagne in under an hour, she wasn't sure.
Jade leaned on the banister outside the door, closing her eyes and breathing in the cool air. She moved her lips silently as she recited a poem to calm her nerves. "It's not polite to stare." She said aloud, opening her eyes and glancing at another deserter who was enjoying the fresh air on the other side of the doors. Several feet away and in the shadows, but she had noticed him when she stepped out, and had felt his eyes on her the entire time.
"Sorry, didn't mean to. I'm trying to remember where I know you from." He took a few steps forward into the light.
Jade stood up straight and put on a relaxed smiled, a real smile, and held out her hand, "Jade Walters, I came in place of my father, Ruben."
He took her hand and shook it, "Ah, yes, that rings a bell." She took her hand back, and resumed leaning against the banister and looking out at the skyline of Gotham. He looked out at the city himself, "What were you saying to yourself, if I may ask?"
She snorted a laugh, "A poem to help calm me down a bit. Being at these things gets me a bit tense." She looked him over, "They do the same to you, too, don't they?"
"Yeah," he admitted with a nod. "But that's why they always serve free alcohol."
She laughed, and nodded, "That's a good point. A very good point."
"So what poem?"
He saw her cheeks flush a bit, and he grinned. How adorable was that, a woman accustomed to having her life in the public eye got embarrassed over a poem? "The spider and the fly." She finally answered. She looked at him, his eyes thoughtful as he probably tried to think if that was one he had heard or not. "Will you walk into my parlor? Said the spider to the fly. It's a fairly famous line."
"Yes." He nodded in acknowledgement. "I do remember now, but it's been a while since I've heard it."
"I always find it fitting for these types of things."
The door opened, "Ah, Mr. Wayne, there you are. They would like you inside." Jade straightened, looking at the man who had asked for Mr. Wayne, and the man she had just been having a casual and…actually nice conversation with.
"Okay, I'll be right in." He nodded, and turned back to Jade. "I guess I'll see you inside."
"You…You're Mr. Wayne?" Jade asked.
"Oh, sorry." He held out his hand again, "Yes. Call me Bruce."
Jade shook his hand, "Bruce. Good to meet you."
She watched him slip inside, and let her jaw unhinge. Bruce Wayne, huh? All this time she thought she was talking to some Senator's son…or…well anyone except the billionaire Bruce Wayne.
She sighed, "And now, dear little children, who may this story read. To idle, silly, flattering words, I pray you ne'er heed. Unto an evil counselor close heart, and ear, and eye. And take a lesson from this tale of the Spider and the Fly." With a final breath she turned, and went back into the spider's parlor.
Jade mingled when she had to, but mostly hid in the back trying to get a buzz from the champagne. Keeping an eye on David, and moving to evade him when he got too close. 'Three more hours of this…no problem,' she thought with a yawn.
At twenty-eight, she had had her share of bad boyfriends, but Xander topped the list. CEO of Tempest Pharmaceuticals he had bullied his way up the chain of command there for only five years before taking over. He was pushing forty, and had been friends with her father for several years. With her father's gentle, persistent…even nagging persuasion over the past seven years she had finally decided to go on a casual dinner date with David…and for the past six months she had been regretting it. The past three weeks she had been constantly telling him it was over. With David's success and large bank account he wouldn't have to work hard to get a young woman interested in him…plenty of gold diggers available in California, hell all of America…but he had his mind set on Jade and the thought of letting her go wasn't getting through to him.
Jade was waiting for her driver to pull around, her coat tightly wrapped around her as she watched the rain fall down. A hand landed on her backside, and as tightly wound as she was from the evening, she wasted no time turning around and elbowing the groper in the chest. David stumbled back a bit, his hand to his chest, "Ow."
Jade glanced around, there were only a few people left waiting for their rides to pull up and all of them were too busy building themselves up after the night of charity. "Don't do that." She said with a quiet, but angry voice.
David gave her a wolfish grin and shrugged, "Why not?"
"I would be forced to embarrass you in front of all your new upper-class friends," warned Jade.
"What's wrong, baby?" He asked, his eyes narrowing in what mimicked concern.
Jade clenched her jaw, "Don't call me that. Don't call me. Don't talk to me. And…stop following me around!"
"Baby…" David strode up to her with outstretched arms, positive that she wouldn't do anything loud and obnoxious in public.
"Ms. Walters, your ride has just arrived." Bruce Wayne said, slipping between her and David and offering her shelter under his umbrella. "I'll walk you to it."
"Thank you!" Jade said, relieved to have the umbrella, but more so for Bruce's interruption. "Please, call me Jade."
He smiled warmly as he opened her limo door for her, "You can relax now, Jade, you survived the spider's parlor."
She gave him a surprised smile, "Thank you, Bruce."
He closed the door, and waited at the curb for the next car to pull into position.