Chapter 4 –
A few months later, Gotham City, Wayne Manor–
Alfred Pennyworth the caretaker and father figure to the young Master Wayne, walked down the mahogany stairs of the grand Manor, towards its magnificent doors, to let in whoever rang its bell at this moment of the day.
If he was not concerned for the Wayne's reputation, which Bruce, the son of late Martha and Thomas Wayne, was spiralling down a drain pipe with his alleged actions as Gothams billionaire playboy, Alfred would have liked to gotten rid of this person outside the Manor. For he would rather let the young Master recover and gain a tad bit of sleep rather than be disturbed, but he knew too well even if he did so Bruce would still be awake and busy with his usual routine.
Alfred constantly wished that it was not a business associate or one of those member from this 'Justice League' as they are now known as. How he wished the young Richard Grayson, or Tim Drake to be still around about now, at least one way or another it kept him busy and preoccupied with his adopted sons be it training or just even interacting with them, rather than him scowling away, alone, trying to uncover the next move of Gothams nefarious underworld.
Alfred clutched his hands around the cold greyish golden handle of this magnificent door, as he opened it and gazed at the sight of the person, he was quite amazed and happy that it was him.
"Master Kent, what brings you here."
"Hi, Mr Pennyworth, and you know you can call me Clark."
"Of course, only if you call me Alfred."
"So is Bruce here."
"Yes, Master Bruce is-"
"In his lair" Clark said as he air quoted lair.
"I think the Master refers to it as his Batcave" Alfred followed Clark and placed air quotes with his fingers on the word Batcave.
"Dont worry, Il try and get him out of there or at least distract him for a while"
"Distract Master Bruce? Only one person has been able to do that"
"Ok, maybe that would be hard, unless Im a certain cat, but hey Il try, anyway I'm supposed to be interviewing him, or try to get one out of him"
"But that's not why you are here is it" Alfred knew this young man would never take the easy way or use his association with Master Bruce to get an interview for his Paper, that is one of the qualities that Alfred appreciated in the Young boy turned a man in front of his eyes, always saying it is better to feel satisfied by walking the harder path rather than accomplishing something by taking the easier path.
"Yeah that's not the reason why I am here, just here for a talk, wanted to see how he is and what his up to, between you and me he needs to get out more."
"Ah, but I do not think he is in the celebratory mood right now, his working on a case."
"Him and his cases, he needs a new hobby, so any news on when Tim and Rich might be coming down."
"The boys have taken after Master Bruce, working on their individual cases and patrolling their own cities, the Young Master Grayson as I have heard last has been spotted in Bludhaven and if I remember correctly Master Tim has also found a group to work alongside with, I believe they are calling themselves the 'Titans'."
Clark smiled, "Like Father like Sons"
"Exactly, sometimes I worry for them, that they may end up just like Master Bruce, he has trained and guided them a bit too well."
"Dont worry Alfred, I don't think anyone can be like Bruce".
Clark and Alfred walked through the secret Doorway leading into the Batcave. Down its many steps, that lead straight towards a gigantic computer screen, sitting in front of this screen was Bruce Wayne, doing what he did always, working on the next case, trying to prevent the event that happened to him 29 years ago. While working on his most recent case, a lead upon the False Face Soceity, the Batman has noticed an 'intruder' has entered his Manor through the front door.
"What do you want Kent" Bruce asked as he turned his metallic arm chair to face the two men who just walked down. The chair looked to have weathered tad bit, even due to his many resources and money Clark noticed how focused and controlled Bruce is on his mission. Even letting a few of his equipments fall prey to time.
"Well, no surprising the Batman eh Alfred, and hello to you to Bruce."
"No surprising the Batman at all Mast-Clark" Alfred agreed and corrected himself
"Just wanted to see how you are after this whole Apokolips invasion that we have survived, thank you by the way" Clark finally replied back
"Ok, so hows it like being part of a team and working during the daylight."
"Im sure your here for something other than that, Kent
Alfred, you may leave us"
Alfred left the two 'boys' to their own business.
"You didn't answer my question Bruce, how is it"
Bruce just glared at him for a little longer
"Ok, then what do you have planned for today?"
"What about today? Kent"
"Don't tell me you forgot...
No...You didn't, its Alfred birthday!"
For a moment Clark was able to see an emotion creep up his old friends face, for a slight moment, as if he just realised he let himself be so busy that he forgot one of the most important information about his life.
"You did, forget, how could you Bruce, its not like the great Batman to forget."
"I didn't forget I was just a bit preoccupied, that is all. I am sure Alfred doesn't require anything to begin with"
"Ok, if you say so...
Silence had fallen between the two men, as Bruce sat on his chair and Clark still stood where he was, before Alfred left the two.
Trying to break the awkward silence Clark said
...So you guys are calling yourself the Justice League"
"Yeah, Green Lantern and Flash finally agreed on a name. Told the Martian it sounded like a ball club."
"I kind of liked Super Seven" Clark said as he walked near and leaned himself against a wall near the computer.
Bruce shifted his glance at Clark with a raised eyebrow, portraying his annoyance, not taking his face away from the screen, "You of all people would.
"So what's the other reason you are here Kent"
"No other reason, just wanted to check up on Alfred birthday gift from you"
"Spill it out Kent, you always have a second motive to visit Gotham "
"Really, I have an ulterior motive" Clark paused for a while hoping Bruce would play along
or to just avoid the topic all together.
"OK, its about the Martian Manhunter, I think he may have been lying to the public." Giving up on playing and due to the time
constraints he has, before questions start arising from his fellow reporters about where did Clark Kent go.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, during one of his interviews Lois was able to manage, he said that his first visit to Earth was when Apokolips attacked, I don't believe that, hear me out, I think he may have been on Earth for quite some time, like before Metropolis had been attacked. I think I may have seen him during that attack."
"I doubt he has any connections to that attack, but I already did some research on the subject." Bruce replied; while he clicked open a file. Bring a few reports and images that he has collected for quite some time on individual claims of people spotting a being a few months before the Attack.
"I've had my suspicious for quite some time as well Clark, especially since the attack just stopped—"
"And you doubt that that the Army had anything to do with that attack. Same here, I highly doubt that army had anything to be able to prevent that attack".
"Especially after they had been out smarted and taken down so easily" Bruce said and if Clark wasn't wrong he could notice Bruces lips curl into a small smile.
Just as Bruce was about to bring out a few more files and reports he had collected on the attack, Clarks mobile phone went off.
"Sorry Bruce we'll continue this some other time, its Jimmy, reminding me to get ready for tonight's annual Mayors ball, held by Gothams favourite bachelor, Bruce Wayne, the League members are going to be there right, so Perry would kill a few of us if we don't try to get an interview at least. Sure its not my usual crowd and I try to avoid such events but this is for a good cause so see you tonight."
"I didn't invite you here."
Sorry for the huge delay, life just came in the way of me writing, even though I said I would try to not take so long, but I still did, sorry, this one has been lacking in content or moving with the story in anyway like the previous chapters, sorry. I'm calling Nightwind Richard or Rich, Dick just sounds weird nowadays. Hopefully I update sooner, and I will try to. Also sorry if it feels rushed as well. Just needed to write this idea out of my head.