Buffy never was good at making business deals, and Willow's not much help either. Visiting billion dollar companies does have it's perks, though.
Disclaimer: Same as usual, I don't own them and it's likely I never will. I make nada profit.
Buffy fidgeted as she waited in the way too over furnished seating area outside Bruce Wayne’s office door. Willow, beside her, smiled sympathetically and shrugged. "Well it can’t hurt giving it a shot."
"Yeah but I always say the wrong thing and he’s just going to think I totally suck and don’t know what I’m doing but I totally do remember the last three meetings we went to? I ended up talking about Mr Gordo and then-"
"Well, maybe you could start with talking about Mr Gordo, it might make a good ice breaker." Willow raised her eyebrows hopefully.
"Thanks Will, I’m sure he collects cuddly pigs. Buffy replied sarcastically.
"You never know." Willow paused thoughtfully. "We all thought Spike was the big bad and then he spent hours watching reruns of Happy Days when he was tied up in your house…"
Buffy smiled at the memory of Spike and shook her head. "You just promise not to freeze up on me again, Will,"
Before Willow could reply the door to Bruce Wayne’s offices swung open "Mr Wayne!’
The tall figure of the billionaire walked out followed by a series of important looking businessman wearing stiffly ironed suits. When the billionaire stopped abruptly Buffy could have sworn she saw him smirk briefly as the suck-ups behind him careened into each other. He paused to greet them. "What can I do for you two ladies?"
Willow opened her mouth a few times before frowning at her noiselessness whilst Buffy rolled her eyes and took a breath. "My Wayne-"
"Please, call me Bruce."
"Uh, Bruce, I’m Buffy Summers and this is Willow Rosenberg and we had an appointment-"
"I think I remember… the funding for a centre in Gotham, right?" Bruce interrupted and scratched his chin thoughtfully.
Buffy smiled genuinely at the ditzy billionaire, he was nothing like what she had expected. "Yeah, we were wondering if you could help us everyone else seemed to think that just because I talked about-" She looked around at Willow who had nudged her, knowing they were heading straight back towards bringing up Mr Gordo. "Right. Stick to the point. No Mr Gordo. Got it. Thanks Will." The witch nodded encouragingly at her friend and gave a happy wave at the executives still gathered and a small thumb up towards Buffy. Bruce only looked mildly amused at 'Mr Gordo' much to the Slayer's relief. "Anyway, we only need a little boost to get things going and we’d be grateful for the help."
"I don’t have a problem with it… you help shelter young women right?"
"Yep and help train them and stuff to look after themselves, you got the information Willow sent, right?" Buffy caught the red head rolling her eyes as Bruce chuckled.
"You’d probably want to see Lucius Fox, I think he’s been sorting out the details, I afraid that sort of thing passes over my head but I can drop in a note for you…" He said vaguely, however he looked up with interest as a new figure approached and gave a quick nod of acknowledgment. The two women noted he seemed to lose some of his air-headedness "Dick? What are you doing here?"
"Hey, Bruce." The young black haired man grinned at the billionaire who had raised an eyebrow. The younger man, still grinning, shrugged sheepishly and winked at Buffy and Willow who were watching with interest. Buffy turned pink whilst Wayne barely refrained from rolling his eyes. His gaze lingered briefly on Willow’s non-reaction before turning back to the newcomer "Not much, I was just passing by, but Barbara called- said she needed to talk to you."
Bruce frowned slightly. "anything important?"
"Usual stuff with the club, made some mess and need a clean up man- it helps to have a billionaire pay the bills." Dick’s tone was teasing and any new members of the gathered accountants, managers and lawyers that seemed to follow Bruce around whenever he entered the Wayne industries building dropped their jaws as Bruce merely sighed as the bright grin didn’t fade. The older ones looked on disapprovingly while the elders watched with affection as they had seen the young boy come into the Billionaire’s care grow into the confident gentlemen far removed from the philanthropist’s playboy image. Clearly Bruce had done something right.
"I can have Dick here show you up to Lucius’ office whilst I deal with the club," Bruce addressed Buffy and Willow before turning back to his surrogate son. "Buffy Summers and Willow Rosenberg are here to collect funding for the new shelter downtown."
Dick sighed and mumbled something about not shooting the messenger before flamboyantly sweeping an arm outwards and pointing towards the lift. He raised an eyebrow challengingly "shall we go, then?"
Bruce patted his adopted son on the shoulder on his way past to his office. Dick glared at him when he saw the faux playboy smirking knowingly. Sighing again, Dick greeted a few of the familiar managers before beckoning for Buffy and Willow to follow him in the lift. The two girls exchanged bemused glances before following.
"So… how do you know Bruce Wayne that well?"
"He took me when I was eight, after my parents died." Dick spoke easily although he felt a spike of ire as he gave the familiar reply to the all too familiar question.
"Oh." Buffy could kick herself. She muttered to herself. "Foot in mouth syndrome strikes again."
Dick seemed to appreciate her sincerity and laughed slightly. "Don't worry about it."
She sighed, unwilling to blow off the matter quite so easily. "It's just, I know saying I’m sorry won’t help, lost my Mum a few years ago. Dad wasn’t exactly around for me or Dawnie…" Buffy’s eyes met Dick’s in understanding. The young man tilted his head at her and looked at her with renewed, genuine, respect. So she wasn’t one of Bruce’s airheads used to uphold his image.
"Hey, is this the right floor?" Willow drew attention to herself nervously as the doors opened.
"Yeah, Lucius is just down the- oh God, not again." The last part was muttered so quietly under his breath, Buffy wouldn't have heard it had she not been the Slayer. However, the simple muttered words went straight out of her mind as she realised what lay on the other side of the elevator doors and the danger posed to her new- and quite handsome- civilian friend.
He was face to face with the barrel of a gun.
To her surprise though, he didn't even flinch and he raised an eyebrow at the balding middle aged man pointing it at him. "So what’s the plan, genius?"
"You’re coming with me, now hands up!"
‘Or…?’ Dick raised his hands slowly, but he still seemed relatively unconcerned by the risk.
"I shoot one of those two little ladies." Of course. It would figure. He could handle himself, but he needed to await the right opportunity to make his move.
"You know, that only works if we’re defenceless." Buffy smiled sweetly. Dick glanced at her in surprise before they shared a mutual grin that seemed to disturb not only the gunman but Willow slightly too. Someone with Buffy's reckless confidence in the face of danger? Whoo, boy.
Willow thought she had better put an end to this before things got really wacky.
"Look here buster," Willow stepped forward, hands on her hips. ‘I have this whole thing about people with guns threatening my friends and you are going to put that gun down before I get really mad.”
"I’d be very careful, she’s got her resolve face on!" Buffy said completely seriously as Willow pouted angrily at the balding man. Dick raised an eyebrow.
"Resolve face?" He inquired under his breath as Willow stepped forward, crossing her arms. She was in no danger yet as he, the closest to the doors, still had the fire arm square in his face.
"It's undefeated." Buffy whispered with a smirk.
"Shut up girl, I’m going to make a fortune with the Wayne brat!" the middle aged man, somewhat reminding the two Scooby gang members of principal Snyder, swung the gun around to face Buffy who appeared to be looking intently at her finger nails. About to make a witty remark, Buffy watched in astonishment as in a flurry of movement the slightly chubby Snyder look-a-like was disarmed and on the ground unconscious.
Dick stood above him, snorting. "Amateur."
"So I take it this happens a lot." Buffy remarked, impressed. She wasn’t getting any vibes and it was daylight, so this guy was a hundred percent human.
"When you’re the heir to a multinational corporation…" He mumbled before he pulled out his mobile. "Sorry about this, but I have to make a call."
"Hey, go ahead, I don't think he's objecting." Buffy prodded the assailant with her foot, he was going to be out for a while. This guy really knew his kung fu... as a Slayer, she just had a natural affinity for what worked best.
Willow too looked down at the man, battered and bruised at their feet almost dissappointed he was knocked out before she could do anything. And he really did seem familiar darn it...
"Hey Bruce... yeah I know, but it happened again... uh no, not that, the other thing... yeah, it’s taken care of... twelfth floor, looks like another disgruntled ex employee…" He quickly retrieved the culprit’s driving licence from his wallet "Eric Snyder…? Yep. Looks like an accountant..."
"Snyder?! Hey, Buffy! he could be a relative!’ Willow exclaimed excitedly as Buffy's eyebrows shot to her hairline.
"Old high school principal; he looked exactly the same except a bit scrawnier." The Slayer explained at the incredulous expression Dick was giving Willow, whilst still holding the phone to his ear.
"Um, er, sorry Bruce didn't get that, it's just a weird coincidence, Ms Summers and Ms Rosenberg said that the guy kind of looks like their old high school Principal and might be related" Dick winced in the long space of time that contained his former mentor's admonishment of the word coincidence. "I know what statistical probabilities mean..." He blushed slightly as Willow giggled into her hand and Buffy's grin widened all the more. "Ok, ok, thanks for the security team... Hey Bruce, do you know what Alfred's making tonight? Hey! I wasn't... no... come on... (sigh)... see you later."
"You know, you don't have to address us by our last names." Buffy crossed her arms as they finally moved out of the elevator as the security arrived and began to extract the criminal from the scene.
"I know, but after years living with Alfred, our butler, it kind of rubbed off." He rubbed his head sheepishly. "Well, Alf's lot more than a Butler."
"Ahh, is he English?" Buffy nodded in understanding.
"Yeah actually," Dick looked surprised at the guess.
"It's the same with Giles." Willow agreed. "He gets all flustered when we use improper grammar."
"He was our school librarian. But he was a lot more than a librarian too." Buffy had a pensive, almost grateful look on her face. It intrigued the young detective.
"He sounds like a great guy." Both Willow and Buffy nodded, but before they could say anything else they had reached the door to Lucius' office. "Lucius will get your funding sorted, but if you need any help with anything else or with the locals you can look me up in Bludhaven." He flicked Buffy a card and she caught it deftly. "Bruce does what he can, but he's busy a lot of the time."
She and Willow gaped at the "officer" prefix to Richard Grayson on his card. The blond shook her head in disbelief. "You're a cop? But-"
"Hey, don't hold it against me or anything." He grinned, blue eyes glinting. He began to walk away backwards, waving goodbye. "I am one of the good guys you know."
"Yeah," Buffy tilted her head in curiosity as he disappeared from sight. "I think you are."