Summary: It's just a jump to the left...
Genre: AU OC
Pairing: Desdemona/Johnathan Crane, Bruce Wayne/OFC
Disclaimer: If I owned them, I'd be too busy fucking to write my name...
Author Notes: Comments are love, bitches! I owe this one to vonnix
Robin followed Batman in to the small cloak room, leaving Matilda sitting on the table in the Batcave. She crossed her ankles, trying to behave as normally as she could given the circumstances. "I have a question." Batman broached, closing the door. "Have you lost you mind?" He looked at Robin, waiting for an actual response. "Did it never occur to you that this could be a trap?" Batman demanded, before shaking his head and viewing the survalence footage of Matilda. She sat, clutching her hands nervously. "Oh, yeah." Robin replied, "That's got arch villain written all over it." Batman shot a look at him, "Yeah, her mother looked innocent in the beginning, too." he huffed, "Victim, even." Robin took his point. "Still, she said she had information for you." Robin offered.
Batman walked to the door, "Put her in the holding cell." he ordered, "Make her confortable, but I want to observe her for a few days first. If she's telling the truth, then she's safe here." Batman went for the door. "Where are you going?" Robin asked. Batman stopped, "I'm going to lock up all the weapons." he answered, "Then, I have a flower delivery to make." Robin looked at him confused as he headed out without further explanation. Batman walked briskly past Matilda, saying nothing as he made his way to the vault. Robin followed moments later. "He's just the quiet type." He commented, showing her to the holding area.
"You can stay in here, as its not exactly the safest place for you on the streets." Robin explained, "I'm sure we can arrange to spruce the place up a bit. Plus, you'll have the run of the whole wing here." Matilda looked around the drab cell and sighed. "Better to look like a cell than to feel like one." she remarked, "Thank you." Matilda set her small bag on the bed and pulled out a few items, including a doll with several items missing and most of its hair burned off. Robin gave it a queer look, and Matilda replied, "My Uncle Joker." Robin lifted his eyebrows in understanding, "Well, I'll leave you to it then." he said, "Call if you need anything." He turned, leaving her there in the cell.
Crane looked over maps, directing the crowd of companions and coworkers who had turned up to help look for Matilda. Moroni sent reinforcements, and put the word out that anyone who molested her wouldn't live long enough to regret it. Crane directed the group, hoping to produce Matilda before Desi awoke from her drug-induced sleep. It was either that, or he'd have to answer for drugging her in the frst place.
All of the people filed out, each covering a specific area of town, and Crane rolled up his maps when he heard her stir overhead. Crane sighed, throwing the map onto his desk and heading upstairs as he rolled up his sleeves. Desi groaned as she rolled over, opening her eyes slowly. "Evening my darling." Crane said softly, crawling into bed and spooning with Desi. Desi sighed, closing her eyes as Crane wrapped his arm around her and pulled her to him. "How long was I asleep?" Desi asked. Crane rested hisn nose in her scattered hair, "Almost two days."
Desi lifted, startled at the news, "Any news?" There was a telling silence before Crane quietly replied, "There are whole crews scouring the city. As soon as there is information, we will have it." Crane grasped Desi's hands, patting them for emphasis. Desi sniffed, tears already forming in her eyes. "Do you remember our wedding day?" Crane asked. Desi sniffed, barely above a whisper, "Of course I do." Crane squeezed her to him, "No, I mean really remember. Every little detail, remember?" Crane whispered to her, "Remember how you made me ask you eight times before you finally said yes?" Desi emitted a sickened laugh as he continued, "Jesus Desi, I practically had to beg you." Crane joked.
"I seem to remember you being rather insistant." Desi commented. "Quiet darling, I'm telling this story." Crane said, kissing her neck. "Anyway, so you finally came to your senses," Crane started, as Desi huffed, "and we prepared to find a justice of the peace. My God, you were beautiful. You and Matilda had those matching dresses, and you put her hair in the pigtails." Desi smiled, remembering, "What is this, Johnathan? What's the point?" Desi rolled onto her back, looking at Crane. Crane brushed her hair from her face. "My point is this: you cried for days over the Joker's reaction to our being married. You were bereft when he stopped talking to you. I told you then that I would see to it that you were never that unhappy again."
Desi looked up at the ceiling as she listened. "I was right, too. Joker came around." Desi scoffed, "It took him six months." Crane waved a dismissive hand, "This is not the point. You were heartbroken, and I assured you that he'd be back. You survived." Desi looked at him, doubtful. "You'll survive this too. She'll be back." Crane leaned down, granting a kiss to Desi's cheek and she sighed. "I love you." Desi whispered, and hugged Crane close to her. "They'll find her." Crane assured as he held to her. Desi took a deep breath, "Don't think you're off the hook for drugging me." she replied laughingly.
Lily's morning may have been the best of her life. After a sound sleep, she spent the early morning carrying each vase of roses to a woman in the building, anonymously leaving them at the doorstep. After distributing all of them, she walked to the subway and made her way to work. She opened her stand in a great mood, and immediately set to work taking orders. "Starting late today?" A familiar voice asked. Lily smiled as she worked, "Well, I got a really embarrassing delievery of floers this morning, so I decided to share the wealth." Lily looked up as Bruce rolled on his heels. "The ladies of Sheffield Complex thank you." She handed him a cup of coffee, "On the house."
Bruce took it and nodded his thanks. He stepped back, letting the crowd of customers step up as Lily went to work. Bruce winked at her as he turned to the elevator, leaving Lily to her work. Lily worked happily, selling out and shutting down quickly. It seemed Bruce's plan paid off, as many new customers turned out after enjoying the cup they sampled the day before. "Mrs. Stormer?" a voice called as she shut down the stand. Lily turned to greet a young suited man with a notepad.
"I'm sorry, I'm closed for today." Lily said gleefully, "We'll be up tomorrow first thing." The young man smiled, opening his notebook. "Uh, no ma'am. I'm with Page Six, and I was hoping you might have a comment about your involvement with Bruce Wayne?" Lily looked stunned as the cocky young man stood waiting. "We're friends." she replied succinctly. He looked directly at her, "Is that all you wish to say at this time?" he asked pointedly. Lily's eyes narrowed, "That's all there is to say." A smug smile crept over his face, which eroded Lily's confidence. "I will say this." The man said as he turned away, "Poor women do seem smarter at least."
Lily stood dumbfounded as he coolly turned and left the lobby. All her confidence left her, and she sighed as she left the lobby and began walking downtown. She noticed a few looks from people, and stopped at a newsstand to observe the cover of the life and stye section of the Gotham paper. Splashed across the front was a picture of she and Bruce, with the title 'Prince and the Pauper' below it. Lily teared up, and paid for the paper before deciding to go home. She made her way to Crime Alley, wanting nothing more than her bed.
As she approached her building, she saw her bed, and many other things being loaded into a large truck parked in front of the building. Lily panicked, running to the landlord, who stood on the stoop in front of the building. "What is going on here?" Lily yelled to him, as the men continued to carry her possesions out of the building. "I'm only folloing orders." the landlord replied. Lily shook her head in disbelief, "Whose orders?" she demanded. Lily called helplessly to the movers, but they continued past her unaffected. The landlord studied her, "The new owners. The building was bought first thing this morning, and the orders were to open your apartment for the movers."
The landlord pulled forms from his coat and showed them to Lily. She shook with anger as she read the paperwork, and handed them back to the landlord. Lily looked down at the newspaper in her hand and focused on the picture of Bruce Wayne. She said nothing to the crowd that formed on the stoop as she turned and walked down the steps to the sidewalk. Unsure of exactly where she or her home were going, she continued to walk without direction. "Nothing like a walk on a pleasant day." Alfred said, walking up. Lily blankly looked over to him, too tired to question his presence. "Master Bruce sent me to pick you up." Alfred offer, "I thought this approach would be nicer. Sometimes he can come on a little stronger than he realizes."
Lily stopped, looking hard at him. "You want to take me to Bruce?" she asked. Alfred looked knowingly at her, "If you like Miss. I am at your employ today." Lily scoffed loudly, "Ok, first of all, I'm a Lily, not a Miss, a Madam, or a Mistress." Alfred smiled as Lily continued with her terms, "Second, I will only ride with you if I can sit with you. We're both working stiffs, and you're not in my employ today or anytime." Lily extended a hand, which Alfred shook. "So, Lily, where are we going?" Lily expression sharpened, "To see Bruce. I have a few words to say to him about property acquisition."
Part One Part Two Three