A/N: On the "Ask the Squishykins" tumblr, Twinings and I are currently offering ourselves up for two full weeks of filling fic prompts for our readers, varying in length from a hundred to a thousand-plus words. The project has been dubbed the Free For All Fic For All—or FFAFFA for short. This is one of those stories—and this is the boilerplate author's note you'll see on all of 'em. The current round of FFAFFA runs until July 16th, so if you want a custom fic written to any particular specifications, drop by and ask for it!
Prompt: Mercy (Lex Luthor's bodyguard/chauffeur) and Lark (Penguin's bodyguard/chauffeur) run into each other after their shifts end.
Mercy Graves woke in her midtown Metropolis apartment in her customary fashion. The alarm ran once before she hit the button and sat up, instantly alert and awake. She went to the bathroom, took a shower, braided her hair, changed into her work clothes and entered the kitchen to get a cup of coffee.
Her roommate also awoke in her customary fashion, staggering into the kitchen in her pajamas and muttering about caffeine, her hair sticking up in all different directions.
"Morning," Mercy said conversationally, swallowing the last of her coffee and folding the newspaper.
"Mhumhrng," the groggy one replied. She shambled, zombie-like, over to the coffee maker and dumped some in a cup.
"I left the comics section for you," Mercy said, getting up from the bar stool at the kitchen counter.
Her roommate just flashed her a thumbs up; her face was too busy to reply properly, what with her head being tipped back as she chugged her coffee.
"See you at dinner."
The thumbs up became an OK sign.
Mercy tucked the newspaper under her arm and set off for work.
At eight-fifty-nine and fifty-nine seconds, Mercy swept into LexCorp's offices alongside her employer and a bevy of secretaries taking dictation. Lex Luthor could have easily afforded a hundred different digital recorders to capture his every thought, but the entourage stepping over themselves to do everything he wanted no matter how distasteful was his trademark.
"—and shares of WayneTech are down—"
"Your appointment with Mr. Queen is tomorrow at—"
"Mr. Luthor, for the charity banquet, did you want the Maine lobster or the wild Alaskan salmon with—"
Lex answered each assistant curtly in the pauses between dictating a letter to King Boris of…some European country or another and pressed on through the executive floor of LexCorp.
When he stepped through the door to his own office, only Mercy followed—the other employees knew their place was outside.
"Prepare the car, Mercy," he said sharply, stepping behind his desk and gathering up a few papers. "We're going to Gotham."
"Now see here, you unscrupulous fink," Oswald Cobblepot waughed around his cigarette holder, "you and I had an agreement—"
"Things change," Lex replied from across Cobblepot's desk. Mercy stood near the doorway. Cobblepot's bodyguards—Jay, Raven and Lark— stood behind him. All of them watched the action tensely.
"You have no idea who you're dealing with," Cobblepot slammed his fist down on his desk; Mercy felt a muscle in her leg twitch in anticipation of having to jump on him if it went any further than that, "I own Gotham—"
"Bruce Wayne owns Gotham," Lex said flatly. "You rent its underbelly—"
"You watch your mouth—"
"—until the next 'big' boss comes along and snatches it away from you," Lex finished, undeterred.
"You overgrown egghead in a cheap suit," Cobblepot stood, furiously poking Lex in the chest with the tip of his umbrella, "when I'm through with you—"
Lex snapped his fingers. Mercy was on the Penguin in a second flat. His henchgirls were on her a second after that. She more than held her own, but three on one was nothing to sneeze at, even with her superior training and physique.
By the end of things, Cobblepot and Luthor managed to make a mutually beneficial deal. Mercy had bruises peppering her body, but it wasn't the worst business meeting she'd been to.
When a cabbie in Metropolis flipped off Lex Luthor's limo, he instructed Mercy to follow the man. She did as she was told and, when he came to a stop at a red light, she put on the brakes, hopped out of the car and approached the yellow taxi in the middle of traffic.
With one gloved hand she tapped daintily on his window. If she'd been a man, he probably would have reached for the gun she saw in the passenger seat, but sexism breeds stupidity, so because she was a woman, he rolled the window down.
She punched him in the face, dusted off her gloves and returned to the limousine.
Mercy sat in the limo outside the Grande Holliday hotel while Lex conducted a…business meeting with Veronica Cale. As far as Mercy knew, she was Wonder Woman's new nemesis of the week, but not the kind who wore a costume.
She tapped on the wheel with her fingers in an unusual pattern, checking the clock. Soon…
"You'll pay for this, Lex," Veronica purred threateningly. Mercy tied the ropes a little tighter, mindful of Miss Cale's thousand dollar lingerie. Even if she had to tie her up, she didn't have to do any undue damage to the woman.
"Somehow I highly doubt that," Lex crossed his arms over his chest and regarded her with one raised eyebrow, "Now, about your dear little Doctor Psycho…"
Another seven o'clock on a Wednesday, another body disposal.
Mercy threw the quicklime over the body of the Tally Man, singing Tonight, You Belong to Me under her breath between grunts.
She spared his hat, though. She liked it.
Lex kept Mercy late that night, as he did most nights of the work week. When she arrived back home with Chinese take-out tucked under one arm—Mongolian Beef for her, Singapore Mei Fun for her roommate—she was dead on her feet.
The apartment door was open, which she would have to say something about, but she was too tired to bother. She slipped out of her shoes and padded into the living room to flop on the couch.
Mercy put her feet up on the coffee table and inspected the bruises ringing her ankles and dotting her calves. The Penguin's girls really did a number on her.
Her roommate entered with a large piece of steak plastered to her eye and sat down next to Mercy, holding out a family-sized bag crusted over with ice.
"Frozen peas?" she asked, offering them to Mercy.
Mercy took them and placed them on the worst of her injuries. "I got food."
"Oh my God, thank God, I'm starving," it all came out in a rush, each word barely distinguishable from the last. The other woman dove for the brown take-out bag and tore it open, snatching up chopsticks in the process. "By the way, nice right cross today."
"You deserve the very best," Mercy said, reaching awkwardly for her own container of dinner, "You almost broke my ankle. Good job. That hurt like hell."
"I'll teach you that one later," Lark replied, reaching for the remote. "Movie?"