The texaswookie looks up to see the figure of the Batman standing before him. The dark vigilante didn’t say anything he merely grabbed the writer by the scruff of his jacket and hung him out over a building ledge. “You have a choice in this.” The caped crusader informed him. “You can either tell the world your disclaimer or we can see in what kind of shape you’ll be in after I drop you off the side of the building. I promise it won’t kill you but it will hurt and you’ll most likely have several broken if not shattered bones due to you landing. He stated calmly and if it wasn’t for the dark tone in his voice one would have thought that he wasn’t threatening someone’s life but it was. “After that I’ll bring you back up here again ask you again and we can continue with the process until you make the right choice in this matter.”
“Alright fine.” The writer gasps out as he looks down fearfully. “Just don’t drop me. Whatever you do don’t drop me.” He begged of the Dark Knight that was holding the writers life in his hands.
“Then do as you’re told already and you won’t have to worry about anything bad happening.” Batman growled to the writer. “You might want to hurry it up though before I lose my patience or my arm get tired and I let you fall all the way down by accident.” To emphasize the need for speed the vigilante let the writer drop a few inches before catching him again. “It’s an awfully long drop. He observed to the writer.
“All right.” The writer yelps out fearfully. “I the texaswookie, do declare myself to not be the owner of either the D.C comics universe characters particularly that of the Batman the Gotham police department, Batman’s Rogues Gallery, or any related characters. These characters are the creative and intellectual property of D.C comics. Nor do I lay any claims whatsoever to the character of Angel or any of the associated characters from Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or the various comic books. These items are the creations of Joss Whedon and I had nothing whatsoever to do with their portrayal or conception in anyway. “Can you please put me down somewhere safe now?” The writer questions the dark figure hopefully. Batman nods and dumps him onto the ground. By the time that the writer had untangled himself from the mess of he had been dumped into the Batman had already disappeared leaving no sign he had even been there moments before except for the scared writer who was left wondering how he was going to get down from where he now was. “Great,” the writer says as he feels his legs collapse beneath him as the fear finally gets to him over what had happened.
“Alright, let’s get out of here before something else comes up and we have to deal with it.” Gunn said as he began gathering the various files up so that they could get out as quickly as possible. As they were gathering their things Angel reached over and took the legal pad that Eve had been using all through the meeting. “I thought so.” He said as he finished skimming through it. Before turning to glare at Eve. “You want to explain this?” He asked her.
“What? You knew I was thinking about recruitment.” Eve argued at him in defiance not showing the least bit of fear of the vampire.
“What’s wrong Angel?” Fred questioned as she tried to stop the vampire from doing something that he may regret at a later time. Then again with it being Eve he might not.
“Eve here has been doing some investigating on people to hold positions out here.” Angel returned to the woman. “Take a look at the list we have here.” He said as he handed her the legal pad. Fred looked at Eve before turning to look at the list.Gotham City Branch of Wolfram & Hart
C.E.O-Ra’s al Ghul
Head of Legal Department-Two-Face
Head of Science Division-Mr. Freeze
Head of Research and Prophecies Department-Riddler
Head of Security-Bane
Head of Business Division-Penguin
“Do you have any idea what those beings could do if they were put in charge of a branch of Wolfram and Hart?” The vampire demanded of the woman. “If we’re lucky they would only drag the city down with them when they made everything implode. That’s not even counting the amount of attention that the place would be under if they knew that the place was being run by these people.”
“He has a point there sugar plum. You get these people to do their thing in a Wolfram & Hart place and you’ll likely have the law raining down on your head all the time.” Lorne pointed out to her. “You put a terrorist in charge and they’re not very likely to listen to whatever else it is that you have to say.”
“True but this is just a list of potential positions though.” Eve explained to them, trying to make it sound better.
“It’s asking for trouble.” Angel said darkly, his face cold. "Even if we do manage to get them off, do you actually think that people are just going to forget some of the things that they’ve done?”
“It’s our job to prove them innocent we don’t have to worry about any of the other things.” Eve returned being stubborn. Her eyes, normally so deviously passive, were now challenging Angel's authority.
Angel responded by ripping the paper up. “That’s what I think of you and your plans to have career criminals and psychotics performing legal duties.” Angel informed her before turning around, not even considering her a threat. It was a calculated insult that Angel knew she would pick up on.
Eve glared at the back of the vampire angrily. “So says the guy that stopped world peace from happening.” She retorted causing Angel to freeze in his tracks and glower back at her. "You try to act like your better than me, but all of you have sold your souls just the same as I did. The only real difference between us was that you had higher prices."
As the group were led out of the building they froze as they saw various members of law enforcement waiting for them outside. Standing at the front of the crowd was Commissioner James Gordon with two of his top detectives on either side of him . A small pretty Puerto Rican woman who had a hard glint in her dark eyes, and a heavy set man with broad shoulders and an intelligent yet lazy look in his eyes. The pair were some of Gotham’s most well known cops, Gordon's most trusted and loyal Detectives on a Police force full of corruption. The woman was Detective Montoya. She was a 'by the rules' cop with a few edges but she did her job efficiently and thoroughly. The man was Detective Bullock, a man who was known as one of the cops that you should watch out for. He was the one that took small bribes on the side but he was also the man that was insanely loyal to Gordon and never backed down on the big cases no matter how much was offered. No one was more loyal to the man then he was.
“Commissioner Gordon.” Angel greeted stoically, nodding respectfully as he faced off with the powerful lawman before him.
"Mr. Angel." Gordon greeted coolly, his face a mask of sternness. Bullock glared at Angel and company with his suspicious gray eyes, gnawing with determination at his toothpick while his partner merely kept her face stern and professional like the Commissioner.
"To what do we owe the pleasure of your company?" The Master Vampire, asked curiously as he watched the various officers for any sort of quick movement or hint of body language that could signal an attack or give some hint to their thoughts. He didn’t think that they wanted to attack them, but it wouldn’t be the first time he got into a fight with law enforcement either.
“We’re here to make sure that you get onto that fancy private jet of yours and don’t look back.” Bullock informed the man gruffly. “We wouldn’t want you getting lost in Gotham, it ain't always the friendliest places. Just wanna make sure that you don’t have something that holds you here.”
“Gotham does have an unfortunate habit of doing its best to hold onto you once you come into Gotham.” Gordon agreed with the man stonily. “It’s very hard to leave Gotham after you’ve been here. It’s like the place is always drawing in the darkness of people, making them want to stay. We’re here to make sure that you don’t have any accidents and decide to stay." The aging man told them bluntly, letting them know that he knew of their reputation for getting questionable people off the hook very well. "We have enough lawyers with questionable ethics when it comes to the likes of Two-Face. We don’t need or want to add Wolfram and Hart people to the list of people that we have to deal with.”
“That’s perfectly understandable.” Wesley returned to the man, his own poker face on. “However, I must say that comparing us to the people we defend is hardly a polite thing to do.” He admonished them.
“A person is judged by the company that they keep.” Montoya responded to the man, remembering the old saying he mother always told her when she brought over a few rough friends as girl. “And after listening to the list of people that you willingly went and saw can you blame us for being concerned that you weren’t somehow affected by one of the various people that you met with today? Anyone that could meet with all of those people and not be affected would probably be better off getting a room right alongside the people in here.” The Hispanic Detective shuddered as if she knew exactly what it was that she was talking about. The Wolfram & Hart people wondered how much interaction that she had with the Gotham crazies to react like that.
“Hear that Eve? These guys think that our clients are as disturbing and dangerous as the rest of us do.” Angel mocked the liaison, unable to resist rubbing her nose in it after her defiance earlier. Something he carried over from his years as Angelus. “It looks like they have more common sense than you do when it comes right down to it.” He looked the various cops over calculatingly, judging their worth. “I don't enjoy the fact that my firm agreed to defend these psychos. I know better than most anyone else that they belong in a deep dark pit where no one can ever touch be exposed to them ever again. However there are rules that we have set up that makes it impossible for us to not represent these guys.” He explained to them, barely keeping his face from revealing how his next sentence made him want to vomit. "The Senior Partners wanted this done, it had to be done.”
“A victim of the system and politics from on high then?” Gordon questioned and Angel gave a reluctant nod. "Sounds like it's a bit too familiar."
“More like from down below.” Eve stated, with an evil grin silently enjoying how much more knowledgeable about the world she was than the normal people who supposed to be powerful. It felt good to hint to the good guys about everything they didn't know. “We are evil after all.”
“Evil Lawyers what a surprise.” Bullock shot back at her, his voice as dry as New Mexico real estate. “I wouldn’t be surprised if you people had a connection with the devil itself.”
While the eyes of the various cops were still hard and offered no mercy, there was now a trace of understanding within them now as they looked at Angel. They had all been ordered off a case that should have been solved, been forced to let bad guys go who deserved to spend the rest of their lives rotting in Blackgate. They understood, but that didn't mean that they were lenient in the slightest.
“Fine, I don’t like it but fine. Now I want you out of the city before anything happens.” Gordon said finally after judging the situation, not wanting to get involved in whatever the vampire had going on. “I don’t need someone like you and your firm causing more troubles for our city this though. We have enough problems without you adding all of your legal tricks to them.” He informed the entire group while glaring at them.
“Really man what’s going to happen? You afraid we’ll meet the big bad Batman or something?” Gunn asked mockingly with a short fearless laugh. After growing up in the Bad Lands of Los Angeles, the lawyer wasn't afraid of some white boy in body armor. If he really did exist at all, which Gunn doubted. It sounded like a ploy cooked up by cops tired of endless corruption and crime. “I don’t know how exactly you’ve managed to keep that urban legend scam going in this city for so long but I have to admit I’m impressed that it’s lasted as long as it has.” He complimented, smiling at them all. "You’ve got all of the people in this place convinced that they were arrested by some sort of super ninja that dresses up like a bat of all things. How much work does it take to get all of that done anyways? Three guys, seven, more?”
Several of the cops stiffened at that and looked to Gordon for guidance on the move that they would have to make next. It was a rumor they had all heard one time or another, one that never failed to make more on the take cops uneasy around their brother officers.
“Get them in the car.” Gordon ordered, having gotten tired of conversation and the unwanted company of the possibly evil team of lawyers. He also wanted to reassure some of the, while not quite perfect, still good men he had with him, even if they had taken a bribe or two. “Let him keep thinking that there’s nothing to be afraid of. After that I want you to inspect everyone in there on the off chance that they managed to slip something out of the room without the guards being aware of it.” The various officers nodded their understanding of the orders as the group stepped into the night to obey their orders.
Angel paused as he felt something, it was almost like there was a presence out there that he could feel. It caused the hairs to prickle on the back of his neck, centuries of instinct told him that he was being watched by a predator. His eyes scanned the area around them, the roofs and shadowy corners. For the unlife of him Angel couldn’t see anything even with his vampiric vision but his gut was telling him that there was an enemy out there and he was more inclined to listen to his gut than a lot of other things. Particularly when it came to being watched or he thought that he was about to be attacked, it was one of the reasons that he was still alive after two and a half centuries in a hostile world full of hunters, Slayers, and vampire hating demons.
Angel’s arm shot out into the air and wrapped around the rope that had been falling toward him in reflex before withdrawing his arm from the knot. Glaring upward, the Master Vampire then leaped high into the air bouncing off window sills and stone corners a few times as he moved swiftly upward with the grace of a hunter. He came to the top of the building where a figure dressed all in black was waiting for him. At first, he didn't seem human and Angel thought he may have been one of the few gargoyles left in the world, but the gap in the cowl for his mouth gave the Batman's humanity away. Not even his scent told Angel anything, it was covered up by some peppery smell that made Angel's nose itch and his eyes water.
“What are you doing in my city?” The figure demanded of him with a voice that practically oozed dominance. A dark baritone that would intimidate most beings into spilling whatever was asked of them if only so that the voice would leave them alone. If that failed then the vengeful eyes, formidable reputation, and torturous interrogations would certainly ensure cooperation.
Angel, on the other hand, had faced off against some of the world’s most powerful and vile creatures, including some that were currently his clients. A voice wasn’t going to scare the vampire very easily.
“Who are you?” The vampire questioned in return, ignoring the other dark figure’s question.
“I’m Batman.” The figure said standing up to his full height as the cape blew in the breeze as they looked down at the figures below. Angel took a moment to examine the figure before him. He wore a dark light absorbing outfit and there was the outline of a bat on the chest. A voluminous black cape nearly swallowed his armored form and the cowl that gave him a bat like appearance was rather frightening. On his waist he wore some sort of dark golden belt that had all sorts of side compartments on it.
“So you're the Batman, huh?” He questioned as he looked the figure over, studying him intensely with his greater experience. “I was half expecting a gargoyle or something else like that personally.” He admitted as he eyed the figure looking for any weakness in him. For a human, he was very skilled in hiding any possible unguarded points without appearing on guard.
“What I am doesn't matter.” Batman returned, with a growl to his voice. “Now what do you think that you are doing in my city?” He repeated as he glared at the vampire that had dared to enter his city and tried to free the deadly occupants of Arkham. "Meeting with the most psychotic criminals in the city, if not the country, is not wise. It attracts dangerous attention."
“It's my job.” Angel defended, meeting the deadly stare with one of his own. "You have your job and I have mine. By the way, trying to yank me up from the street when I was just leaving is not a good way to spur my departure.”
“Stay out of Gotham. It is of no concern to you. " The Dark Knight demanded, his tone more ordering than asking and remaining as dangerous sounding as ever. "If you ever try to do anything other than offer legal counsel for the people here then I'll get involved. I'll attack you so many different ways that you'll wish you've never been born. In the end, everyone will know that to associate with you is to bring me down on them by your broken forms. Wolfram and Hart are not welcome. Spread the word.”
“Can't give any promises. You'll have to speak to the guys in charge, I just work here."Angel said, glaring at the arrogant human. After a second, a cocky and almost cruel gleam came to once Scourge of Europe's eyes. "I wonder if you even having any skill beneath all that tough talk and metal. You know, I've been sitting in a room with some of the depraved people I have ever met for the last eight hours so I'm feeling a little tense. How about a little spar?"
Batman seemed to hesitate for a moment before he launched himself forward, unable to resist the chance to put the cocky lawyer in his place. The two dark figures attacked as one. Batman came in high with a hay-maker while Angel went for the solar plexus, the two were a blur as they exchanged vicious blows. Batman was the more skilled fighter, but Angel was the more experienced one and far stronger and faster than his human opponent, though he held back the majority of his power. After a few moments, the two sprang apart and began circling one another calculatingly as they caught their breath.
'That armor's helpful,' Angel noted as he looked at the body armor again. Some of his blows he was sure would have been enough to put the other man out of the fight but the armor he wore seemed to absorb damage as easily as it did the surrounding light. If he wanted to affect the man he would have to use his super strength because nothing less was going to affect him. The Batman’s blows had actually hurt though. While none of the damage was serious each blow had felt extremely painful as he had used pressure points, attacks to the joints, and other such disabling techniques. Batman was watching him warily, evidently he was a lot better than the vigilante had been expecting.
"Your decent at Martial Arts." Batman acknowledged, his face grim but unworried. "But there's more than one way to fight and a large difference between skill and mastery." He then threw down some small pellets at the feet of the vampire. Each of the pellets then released some sort of smoke that hid the pair from each other. Angel stopped his body from breathing and was ready when the figure came flying in from above a re-breather attached to his face. The two continued fighting, an intricate and elaborate dance that grew riskier with every second that passed. Batman reached into his belt and pulled something else out that was hidden from sight by the folds of his cape. As Angel moved forward to attack before Batman could use whatever device he had grabbed, a flare activated between them and flashed brightly thus blinding the vampire. Batman, immediately taking advantage of his physically stronger foe's temporary weakness, moved forward and delivered a combination of powerful punches and crushing kicks to the vampire. One of the blows slammed him on the edge of the building and Angel had to flail around for a moment to regain his balance.
As he righted himself Angel growled at the vigilante and backhanded the man with vicious speed. The blow was hard enough that another vampire or demon would have been stunned and sent the man flying back. Angel shook his head in pain as his eyes adjusted to the small amounts of light. “That hurt.” Angel said, as he looked around for where his opponent had disappeared to.
“Then stay out of Gotham, or the next time we meet I won’t go as easy.” Batman’s voice returned from the darkness. Angel was still slightly disoriented and couldn’t focus as well as he would have liked on where the figure was. “Gotham is my city and I deal with the ones who try to hurt it in a very final way.” The voice said promising more pain if the vampire ever returned to his city.
“That goes both ways.” Angel returned to him. “I’ll know what to expect from you as well.” He tried to adjust his jacket but finally tossed it to the side as he saw the shape it was in. The jacket had several rips in it where the Bat's bladed gauntlets had ripped into it. The back was also slightly shredded from where he had been pushed into the ledge. He would have to get a new one before he could do anything else now. Looking down, he saw the line that had dragged him up. Picking it up he used it to rappel himself back down the side of the building.
“Angel!” The others said as they rushed to check on him. Eve ignored the drama and was continuing her stare off with the cops, looking for all the world like a territorial Siamese Cat. He landed a bit painfully and everyone looked up . If it had been a second sooner or later then they wouldn't have spotted the Batman standing on a rooftop surrounded by gargoyles high above them as his cape billowed around him dramatically.
“Huh, the Bat actually did something worthwhile for once.” Bullock said as he watched the group check the beaten CEO. "First for everything, I guess."
“Quiet Harvey.” Montoya snapped at her partner. She knew that lawyers could make a big deal out of this if they chose to and she didn’t want them to have any extra fuel if they chose to make something of it.
“We’re going.” The vampire said in annoyance as he painfully climbed up to his feet. He staggered for a second and winced, but limped to the group bruised and scratched.
“Lorne anything?” Fred questioned as she checked the vampire over for any serious injuries.
“Nothing that I want to talk about with anyone Freddykins.” The green skinned demon admitted as he looked up and shivered. “That one has a path as dark and confusing as our boy does. Tons of misplaced rage and obsession.” The demon explained to them. “Don’t ask me to explain anything more than that though.” He begged of them, shivering as he heard the psychic echo of two gunshots and the anguish scream of a little boy.
“You mean he’s real?” Gunn asked in disbelief as he followed the direction the demon was looking at and looked high up to the top of the building. At the very top with a flapping cape in the wind was the Batman looking back down on them from on high. "Huh, well fifty says he's a bored rich boy out for kicks.." He paused before adding in a much lower voice. "..or another champion trying to make things right."
“He's very real.” Gordon said, gazing up at the impressive spectacle. “Just because you didn’t want to believe in him doesn’t make what he is any less real.” Gordon said, nodding toward the figure high above them. "In fact, it might be better if you don't believe he's real."
“And just what exactly is he?” Wesley asked curiously as his eyes followed after the dark figure. There was an almost demonic quality to the figure that made even him pause. Gordon already had his back to the group and was walking away when that question came out. "Some sort of demon?"
“Demon? Some call him that. Some say that he's the devil or some sort of vampire, but there’s only one real way to describe him.” Gordon informed the group, chuckling a bit as he pulled out his pipe and stuffed it full of Wild Country tobacco.
“And what would that be?” Fred asked, curiously as she watched the cops begin to leave since their mission to see to it that the group left as quickly as possible was now done. Two cops remained behind, holding open the door to a car for the group to leave in. It was almost funny how eager they were for the former Angel Investigations to leave.
Gordon only had a few words to say to that particular question before he got in his car. It was all the statement that he needed to say when it came to that particular question. “He’s the Batman.”
Big thanks to thelaughingman for doing beta and detail work that made this chapter a lot better in my opinion. I’d say it doubled how good it was at the least. If I make another one of these I will have tobeg him to help me out again.