Author's Note: I know I haven't finished my first story, but I've been juggling with this alternate universe idea for some time now. Needed to get it out of my system. I have already made a rough outline how I want this to end so don't worry. I have every intention of finishing it.
In the meantime, read on and let me know what you think! Constructive comments and criticism are welcomed. Flames shall be pissed upon. I had asparagus for dinner. You have been warned.
For your benefit:
Garfield Mark Logan- Beastboy
DISCLAIMER: I don't own TT or jack squat for that matter.
Rachael walked across the plush office towards the large glass wall. 50 stories beneath her, life in Manhattan continued, seemingly unaware of her silent observation. She brought the glass of scotch to her lips, and let its familiar fiery warmth comfort her as it travelled down her throat. She closed her eyes, and leaned heavily against the glass, her dark blue eyes listless. She vaguely heard the phone messages playing in the background, one after the other.
So sorry for your loss…..
Call us is there's anything you need…
….our deepest condolences Ms. Roth.
….fourth message I left you. Why aren't you answering you cell?
Trivial words. Meaningless. No one really cared. They were only calling, because it was only polite. Going through the motions. Rachael couldn't care less for their gesture as she did for their words.
Suddenly, the intercom buzzed. Her trance broken, she went over and pushed the glowing button.
'I thought I said no interruptions Marris'
'I'm sorry ma'am. But I have Mr. Richard Grayson on line 2 for you. Would you still wa-'
'No that's alright' she interrupted. 'Put him through.'
Rachael cradled the phone against her chin and went to refill her empty glass with more scotch. The familiar voice of one of her oldest and closest friend was comforting.
'Hey Rachael.' His voice was much deeper than she expected.
'Hello Richard.' In spite of herself, Rachael smiled.
'I'm sorry I couldn't make it. How are you holding up?' The concern in Richard's voice touched her.
'I just got back from the wake. They wanted me to speak a few words, but I just couldn't bring myself to speak. Not that it matters. I was the only one there who actually gave a damn about her. And I don't need their approval.'
'That doesn't answer my question though.'
Rachael was silent. Just barely was the answer. She was never the emotional type to begin with, but this was…too much, even for her. For the first time in a long time, Rachael left a wave of emotion so strong, it hit like a wall. She choked on the phone, 'I miss her so much, Richard…'
'Hang in there. I'll fly over and be there by tonig-'
'No..don't. It's alright, I'll be fine. I'm flying back to London tomorrow. I only came here for the funeral.'
'I think the university won't begrudge you if you took another week off.'
'It's the final year. Exams are around the corner. I already took an extension. Besides, I need the distraction. She would have not wanted me to stay back too long anyway.'
'Aah. The stiff British upper lip' Richard teased gently. 'If you're sure.'
'I am. But thanks anyway.'
'Anytime. I wish I had been there today'
'Me too, but I understand. It's just so…unexpected.' She swallowed at this point to compose herself. 'She never let on, how much pain she was in. Or the fact that the medication was hardly helping. I shouldn't have listened to her. I should have made some sort-'
'Don't blame yourself. There was nothing you could have done, Rachael. It was beyond your control.'
'I'm tired of people saying that to me.'
'Hmm. Doesn't make it any less true.'
'I went over during winter break. I should have noticed right then. She had lost so much weight. But, she was so stubborn. Refusing to see any doctors. I was hoping…'
'Stop it, Rachael.'
'And now….' This time Rachael couldn't stop it any longer. Couldn't hold it back. Like a dam breaking, Rachael the feeling of guilt, remorse, and sorrow overwhelm her. She hated sobbing, had always found displays of emotions as a weakness, but here she was, weeping.
'She'll never get to see me in my robes, or walk to that podium. She's gone, Richard….I never got to say goodbye.'
'She was so proud of you. You know that.'
Suddenly, I knock on the door got her attention. She quickly composed herself, grabbing some tissues from the mahogany desk she was seated behind, to dab away the tears.
'I'm on the phone!'
'I apologize ma'am. But your limo is ready.' Marris' voice spoke from behind the closed office doors.
'I'll be down soon' Turing he attention back to the phone, 'Richard, I have to go now. I'll call you from London?'
'I'll be waiting. Have a safe flight tomorrow.'
'Thanks. Speak to you soon'
Rachael put the receiver down. She got up and smoothened the wrinkles from her black dress. Taking a look around the office, she grabbed her purse, and moved from the large desk. Her eyes flickered around until it settled on the portrait of her father. She stared back at the eyes that were the same colour as her own.
Travis Ignasius Roth. Son of Godrrick Barlow Roth, the founder of Roth Corporation. What a young Godrrick had started as a publishing company starting in the early 1940's post-World War II, had grown so much since then. He expanded it to shipping, textiles, petrochemicals, and mining. This laid the foundation stones for the soon to be conglomerate that would later go on to include steel mills, logging, financial services, construction, and pharmaceuticals, not to mention sizable shares in several IT companies. Much of the growth was due to the shrewd business sense, and cut-throat, calculating tactics by the ambitious Travis. Not satisfied alone with his father's legacy, he had aggressively pushed through many of the deals that now made Roth Corporation one of the biggest and most influential conglomerates in the global economy. And in the wake of such prosperity was left behind whispered rumours of blackmail, intimidation, and a few disappearances. With a presence in over 48 countries, and 5 continents, Roth Corp. may well soon overtake Wayne Industries. Unless of course, one considered several African mines, and weapons 'research and development' sectors of Roth Corporation.
But all Rachael saw beyond the arrogant smirk and chiselled features was the true man. A largely absent, verbally abusing father, and an even worse husband. After his death a few years back, the company executives braced themselves for any results of his numerous conquests to come forward. After all, out-of-court settlements could only go so far.
As the sole legitimate heir, now it was Rachael Roth's turn to take to the helm. Unlike her father, she had been unwilling to take on the leadership role, being content to let the company executives run the day-to-day decision making and other tasks. It's why she chose to study History with Modern Languages at Oxford University.
Yet here she was. Drinking the same expensive scotch, sitting minutes before in the same plush chair, and ordering the same secretary. Was she really not that different from him?
No. I'm nothing like him. At least I loved her.
Rachael swept out of the office, making a mental note to rid of that portrait for good.
SAME TIME. IN BALAD, IRAQ
Capt. Garfield Mark Logan was awakened by a searing pain in his leg. His eyes flashed open, as tried to get out of the hospital bed. How did he get here in the first place?
'Wooh there soldier boy. Take it nice and slow.'
That voice. Garfield focused on the face of the man in Navy uniform beside him. First confusion, then his brain recognized the face of the.
'Garth? What the hell are you doing here? Where the hell am I? What happened?'
'Again, I say, nice and slow, buddy. You're at the US military hospital in Balad. You took a bullet to the leg and a nasty hit to the head. How are you feeling?' Garth smiled at his friend.
Garfield relaxed and laid back down. He saw that his torso was covered in bandages where all his wounds had been. He was hooked up to a monitor and IV drip. All around him, military doctors and nurses bustled around, tending to the other patients. It seemed they were all giving him and Garth some space.
'How long have I been out?'
'About 2 and a half weeks. Give or take a day or two.'
'Ah you poor Marines. Such delicate creatures. One tap and its lights out for you. Never send in a Marine to do a Navy SEALs job I always say.'
'That's what she said.'
Garfield rolled his eyes. 'So, what's the deal? When can I get out of this place?'
'Well,' Garth hesitated. 'The docs say they got the bullet out of your leg. However had that rag wrapped around your leg probably saved your life. You had surgery and the doctors are confident the damage will heal over time. In fact,' he reached into his pocket and pulled out some papers. 'You'll be flying back to another hospital in Hawaii. You're going home buddy.'
'Hmmm,' Garfield sighed and closed his eyes to rest. He was already feeling this conversation had taken a toll of his wavering strength.
'Hussein' he murmured, his eyes feeling heavy.
'What? I didn't hear you.'
'Hussein….he's the one….tied the rag…..saved my life.'
'Get some rest. You've had a hell time. We'll catch up when you're better.'
But Garfield was already asleep.