2019-12-22 - Why Do You Hide It?


In the aftermath of The Gorgon's announcement, the police benefit continues

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Dec 22 03:32:33 2019
Location: Clocktower

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Theme Song



With order restored to the ballroom, tables and chairs reset, injuries seen to, Captain Harris had conducted the rest of the official part of the evening as dinner was being laid out. People were asked to dig deep to help the Police and he mentioned several times, the auction that would be held towards the end of the evening.

With dinner finished, Babs sits at the table, smiling at people she knows as they pass, chatting to those who stop and introducing Ken as well.

Finally, there's a reprieve and Babs looks towards Ken. "I hope you're having a good evening, not withstanding what happened earlier." It's clearly bothering her, but what can she do?

The general sense of something being not right is all over the room and who can blame the police. There's definitely a problem brewing on the island and it has come home in a big way. The Gorgons had demonstrated their power viscerally.

Still, they're all here and determined to try to have a good time. Do what they came for. Support the police. Kenuichio looks a lot calmer than a lot of the people around. "I have had worse interruptions to parties, so yes. A good evening. And you, Barbara-san?"

"You have? Then it must have been spectacular." Barbara smiles, the worry clear behind green eyes. Her father isn't here, so it's likely he's at the Precinct managing the fallout. Babs has checked her phone and responded to a couple of messages throughout the evening. "Maybe you would regale me with the tale."

There's a band playing and people are dancing. At the moment it's a faster number and despite her disability, Babs has been tapping her hand along to it.

She's trying very hard not to bring the Gorgon up, but it's probably inevitable. "You were also very generous with your donation to the department."

"We were at a government… benefit would be the word you would use. A celebration. A formal party. This was when I was with the Six. It was interrupted by anti-government forces. There was something of a fight." When he says something of a fight he means there was a knock down, drag out brawl that nearly destroyed the building.

"It is the first time I have ever fenced with a broken half of a broomstick."

Which of course… he can. He could make it cut steel like a hot knife through better.

"Ah well, yes. It does not hurt to be on the good side of the police and they TRY to do good work."

The Six. Big Hero Six - Japans government sponsored super hero team. Japan treats their heroes very differently to America, Babs has noted. "I seem to remember reading something about it, it made International headlines though the details were sketchy. I confess I didn't connect the incident with your involvement."

Half a broom stick. Babs snorts softly. "One day, Kenuichio-san, I may just get you to show me all you can do." she murmurs. She's seen some of it of course. Must have read on it. "How did you discover you could … do what you do?"

There's a part of Babs that is fretting slightly that Ken saw more than he should have when that field went up. Her proficiency with the knife and her … balance. The first be explainable, the second not so much.

The band strikes up a slower song, causing Babs to glance to the dance floor a little longingly.

"One day, perhaps, I will show you. My skills are a product of a lifetime of study. But my power… that is not so easy to demonstrate safely. Or at least… inexpensively." Ken smiles a little bit. He can cut through just about anything while holding just about anything. It's a very simple power but it's applications are very… wide. Or they can be.

If Ken has put anything together from the repeated exposures to the transformation field he hasn't mentioned anything. But he might not mention it. Not here.

"I was quite young. My father may have had some inkling I was a mutant before I really did. He certainly did not seem surprised when I manifested them. I remember training to use my powers with a blade very early in my education. Bear in mind that my father was not a… good man. And his intention to train me as an enforcer was clear from the outset."

"I would like that." Babs teases Ken a little, head canting as he speaks. "My mind boggles, it really does." Not inexpensive. That's a lot of damage. Of course, as Batgirl, the redhead has seen more of Kens skills but Babs doesn't let on. Not at all.

Would Ken mention it all? There's no reason too, after all. He might use that information to his benefit.

The pair are sitting at one of the tables now that dinner is finished, conversing. Barbara is wearing an elegant gown of emerald green that almost matches her eyes and her hair is styled - outside of the customary ponytail she wears or simply leaving it down.

"I don't know much of your father, Kenuichio-san. I confess that I have not dug into background too much and when I was investigating Nagumo for you, though your father was mentioned, it didn't seem pertinent to folllow it." It's not a look of pity that Babs gives Ken, but it compassionate. "Your father expected you would manifest powers and was more than willing to use them. It must not have been easy for you. And yet, you threw all that off and here you are."

It's a subtle invitation to share what he will as the band plays on and couples glide by on the dance floor.

The car that pulls up to the benefit was late. But then again, when is Bruce Wayne ever on time for these things? Stepping out of the car, he starts to step around to the other side of the car, but pulls up short, as if realizing something. And that was the fact that he's alone tonight. Drawing in a breath, he turns, patting the roof of the car to have the driver pull away.

Stepping past some broken glass that was being cleaned up, Bruce's brow goes up in an arch as he enters the party that is just starting to get back to normal as he looks around. Noting the redhead, Bruce makes his way over to the table and looks slightly confused. "Did I miss something?" he asks, glancing to Barbara and Ken. "Ms. Gordon, good to see you again. I see you have met our newest business partner in Staten Island."

Bruce Wayne, danceblocker.

"If by threw all that off you mean I spent much of my youth as a Yakuza enforcer and had a brief stint as a HYDRA agent then… yes. I threw all that off with gusto." It does bear remembering that while Ken is a retired Avengers level hero (from Japan) he has also been a very bad guy. The reason he's not in prison is that the Japanese government saw fit to give him a chance to atone for his misdeeds.

"Mister Wayne. I should not be surprised to see you here." Ken offers his hand out with a smile. "You are familiar with Miss Gordon I see. Did you just arrive or were you here for the unfortunate interruption an hour or so ago?"

"Yes, that is exactly what I mean." For all that Ken sees himself as a bad guy, Babs seems set to redeem him. Or at least, get him redeem himself in his own eyes. That was the gist of the discussion they last had. He atoned for his deeds and as far as she can see, he still is.

"Mister Wayne." The redhead smiles at the business man as he arrives. "You're latest Business partner? I shouldn't be surprised that you two know each other and are already doing business. I consult with Mister Wayne, at times, Kenuicho-san." Consult. She *is* a PI after all and an acknowledged computer whiz. Perhaps it's computer forensics she's engaged for.

"Late again, Mister Wayne? Just a small incident involving someone naming themselves 'The Gorgon' and causing some trouble. It's the strangest thing, the bull on Wall Street seemed to come to life and here, something happened to transform us all into … fantasy beings, I suppose you might say."

Of course Barbara doesn't have much knowledge on any of this. Batgirl however. As the redhead talks, Oracle is already transferring the details to Batmans phone. He can catch up when he can.

Kenuichio gets a smile "Keniuchio-san was very helpful. I'm not sure if he has more knowledge than I do. But it was very disconcerting." Particularly when people started fighting. And, as both might notice, she hasn't said how she knows Ken.

There's a chuckle that arises from Bruce. "I swear, I had it in my personal assistant, and it just failed. I should just go back to the old pen and paper method. But even then…" he shrugs off-handedly as he accepts Ken's hand, giving it a warm shake before he nods to Barbara. "Miss Gordon is one of the many hidden gems that Wayne Enterprises is happy to take advantage of."

"But it sounds terribly dreadful." Bruce admits as he gets the details of the incident. "I am glad there was plenty of protection here to assist you." There's a smile offered to the pair of them. And then perhaps, he realizes something. "Was I interrupting?"

Mainly because he just noticed the people all dancing at the moment.

"No rather not. We were just attempting to enjoy what remains of the evening. Barbara-San was asking if the evening had been spoiled for me and I was assuring her that it would take more than a rampaging Wall Street Bull to spoil an evening for me." Or even being temporarily transformed into an actual Silver Samurai. Which is always rather disorienting.

"Tell me, Mister Wayne, Miss Gordon, in all your dealings here on Staten Island, have you ever had problems with organized crime trying to pressure their way into your companies? I am starting to suspect that one of the reasons these 'Gorgons' have such reach here is that they have managed to pressure otherwise legitimate companies into tolerating their presence within their operations in exchange for not having a string of unfortunate 'accidents'."

"Perhaps you should, Mister Wayne. Go back to pen and paper, that is. Please have a seat, if you like. I was gathering the courage to ask Keniuchio-san to dance with me. Or rather, take pity on me and help me hobble around the dance floor in a poor attempt to dance." The redhead flushes, as she usually does.

Bruce will have others he will want to see and, more importantly, who will want to be seen with him.

"Problems? I have seen it a little, of course. Being an investigator, it's not uncommon to find that some members of a company have given … leverage … to others." She's quiet as she thinks on Kens words, green eyes meeting Bruces blue ones, Ken is giving some good leads for the Bats to follow up.

"I can't say I've discovered such a thing within your organisation, Mister Wayne, but the approach … is similar to how the Mafia used to operate until the eighties, really."

"Oh no, don't let me keep you from your dance, Miss Gordon. Especially since you were so brave to ask." comes Bruce's gentle encouragement. Though his attention turns to Ken, and his nose scrunches a bit. "I admit, with my company as large as it is, there is always going to be that part of the business that will be threatened with crime, organized and not."

"However, I believe that most organzied crime bosses realize that I may be too big of a fish to threaten. That I could buy out any attempt they would make, or have the connections to cause more issues than it would be worth." Shrugging his shoulders, he gives a smile. "But such discussions are probably not held here. After all, this is a benefit for the men and women that keep that from being an issue in the first place, and I have a sizable donation to make."

"I would be happy to help you dance, Barbara-san." Or well. Try to dance. That's likely to be what it is. But there's a song that currently in the midst of playing and they will have to wait at least until it is done to try that, if not wait until a suitable song is selected by the band.

"Naturally, one who supports the police as much as you do would be making a donation and I am sure they will appreciate." Bruce's support for the police had come up when he had come to visit Ken with Helena a little while back and the Japanese businessman had taken notice.

"I was thinking, however, in the spirit of Christmas, that there might be more we can do than just donate. My companies were going to organize delivery of food and presents for the families of officers who had to be working on the actual day. It's all slightly last minute, but it does occur to me that such an above-and-beyond gesture might be appreciated. I was going to go out and help deliver them myself. Perhaps you both would like to help? And maybe young Helena as well?"

"The dance will wait. It's not like I have more than one, maybe two, in me. I maybe be walking but …" Babs smiles a little and glances at Ken. "Besides, it's not often I get the undivided attention of one man like either of yourselves, but two." She's teasing again, and gestures to the chair again.

"I'm not so sure, Mister Wayne, it's possible that they've subverted someone in middle level management or below. Got them believing their job is at risk if too accidents occur. Threaten to frame them as the ones who made it happen." Babs is thinking. She'll be doing some investigation to that effect. "Do you think your company may be similarly affected, Kennuichio-san."

Kens suggestion gets a smile though. "I would like to assist very much. Were you planning to do this on the day or before hand?" They do have an appointment for late lunch on Christmas Day after all and it's not KFC they'll be eating.

"I would like to see Helena again as well. It's been some time. And I suppose she's starting College now."

"If this is your way to convince me to boost your security programs, Miss Gordon, I'm gonna have to think on it." Bruce offers with a chuckle of amusement as he gives a shake of his head. "As far as your suggestions, Mister Kennuichio, I believe it's a good one. I will mention it to Helena and see if it is something she wants to work on while she's home from college." A confirmation of what Barbara has asked.

"She's decided to attend the Academy at SHIELD." he shakes his head slghtly. "Some people just feel the call to service."

"UN Service, I presume you mean. Noble enough." Ken is a bit more of a nationalist when it comes down to it which is why he served JAPAN and not the world at large. The world at large isn't worth it, but that's no an opinion he voices in this company.

"I was planning this for Christmas eve. And possibly a bit on Christmas day. The local staff from the Yashida group of companies is quite eager to 'give back'. Very American but very endearingly so if I may say." The values of actual east asians are a bit different. But not so different that he doesn't see the value and humanity in this.

"Our companies? I do not think they are compromised mostly because I have spent a great deal of effort ensuring that they are not. However a great many other Staten Island firms behave… strangely. In ways that make me suspect that there is something not entirely legitimate in their operations, though how high that goes is an open question."

"Not at all." Barbara just smiles broadly "My programs are second to none. It is *people* who are the weak link, Mister Wayne. My work does not require boosting." The redhead is very proud of her work and with good reason. She's also not wrong. People are often the weak link.

"It's better than carolling on Christmas Eve." Babs offers. She … doesn't sing. Likely for good reason. Can't be good at all things, after all. "If time permits, maybe you'll let me show you some of the sights." Because of course, Barbara will go with Ken.

"Are you sure they aren't behaving strangely because they're American, Kenuichio-san?" That's actually a serious question the redhead poses to the Samurai. "If you want me to investigate, I can. I'll have to becareful, there's only so much a PI can do without 'cause'." There's someone else that might be able to get in, for those things though.

"SHIELD? Well, Helena was always driven. Takes after her Mother, I believe. I think she'll do very well at the Academy. Will you pass my regards on to her?"

"She is very much like her mother." Bruce admits with a chuckle, "I will pass it on and also speak to her on this idea. As she will eventually be the CEO of Wayne Enterprises, she should find things that will help her get out there." he comments.

And he starts to say more, but there's someone waving him over, and Bruce gives a sigh and smiles weakly to the pair. "It seems that I've been found. I will have to hide better next time." And with that, he's moving to greet someone else, and start his circle of social meetings.

As Bruce heads off Ken watches him for a moment and then offers his hand to Barbara. "Well. I think they will start the next song soon and you had wanted to dance. Shall we?"

It will be… not exactly a Spanish tango. Not sweeping ballroom dancing. One needs to be a bit more mobile for that. But it should be enjoyable, yes?

Babs blushes as Ken offers his hand and rises carefully. "I did. I just couldn't get the courage up to ask you." Her green eyes sparkle mischievously though. The song is sufficiently slow enough that it won't require a lot of movement but not … romantically so, probably.

"You didn't answer my question, by the way. I'll take that as you eagerness to dance with me." she murmurs once they take the floor and start moving. "The businesses you've noticed, are you sure it's not just because they are American? And would you like me to look into them?" That's … two questions actually. Babs can count. Really.

"No. I am used to Americans and their business practices. This is strange even for you. If you wish to look into them I would not object."

Ken guides Babs over to the dance floor and when the music starts he begins to move. It is a slow dance and he keeps toward the outside of the dance floor so as not to be in anyone's way. Considerate. But it also enables he and Barbara to step off the floor if something happens and she starts to hurt.

"Hmmm. I might. there's only so much I can do in my investigation. You know that I might call on my contact again to do some leg work." Babs can do a lot but sometimes … a sneakier touch is needed.

Babs moves nicely, clearly compensating for her injury and perhaps using Ken to hold her up a little. She smiles when she realises that he's keeping them out of the way - it's a appreciated. "I didn't realise you had met Mister Wayne. I shouldn't be surprised, for all you say you're not fond of business you treat it very seriously and Wayne is one of the biggest on the Island."

She doesn't ask what they're partnering in, Bruce had said they were. That would be prying.

"He paid me a visit not too long ago. It was somewhat unexpected. I had not realized that businesses such as my family owns rated his attention. It was, or at least appeared to be, a social call. Perhaps feeling a potential ally out. I could not say. He is rather focused and intent. Which is rather at odds with the reputation I have heard."

Of course what Ken has heard is all the way from Japan so it may or may not be the reputation he has here.

"May I ask you a question, Barbara-San?"

"All business of a particular size warrants a visit. Your reputation isn't exactly hidden, Kenuichio-san and Mister Wayne, Wayne Enterprises, invests a lot into Staten. Do you blame him for being curious about you?"

"Ah, reputation? The billionaire playboy, I suppose you mean. I think you might say he has … mellowed … in his older years. However, I'm sure you can attest how some … labels … persist."

Frowning a little at Ken, Barbara nods. "Of course. Why would you think you have to ask?" Inside she trembles a little. Questions like that normally mean the request is something that will be uncomfortable. And Barbara has a rather large secret she keeps.

"Why is it that you feel the need to downplay your recovery?" At least the question is 'why are you hiding a secret identity' but between being in relatively close proximity to her and the incident just recently with the field he can tell that her legs and back are in better shape than she lets on.

It's a fairly big leap from that to suspecting her to be a vigilante, though, and he apparently hasn't made that leap.

Yeah, that's not a question Babs was expecting. Nor is it one she wants to answer. "I … " How on earth does she answer that? The one thing she knows is she doesn't want to lie. "I won't insult you by trying to deflect with another question."

There's a degree of resignation in Babs voice and sadness in her eyes.

"It's complicated really. I was injured for such a long time and my recovery hasn't been easy. There are days that my recovery isn't as good as you suspect, I think. Maybe I could say that your training has helped speed along…"

"I am sorry I have disappointed you, Kenuichio-san."

"You have not disappointed me. But I wonder why you might find the deception necessary. Is it because you wish to be underestimated? Or is there something else at play?" Clearly Ken is thinking this has something to do with her work as a PI and not anything else. There isn't any hint he's thinking beyond that.

Nor is there reproach in his voice. Just… curiosity.

Babs sighs, nearly stopping dancing as Ken presses the issue, glancing up to look at his face. He is tall. "That's part of it, being underestimated. It allows me to heal at my own pace, to regain my confidence so to speak, without having others look at me in pity if it fails." That's not entirely a lie, either.

"Besides, who ever thinks a woman with cane is any sort of danger. It's easier for me to do what I do. People sometimes even go out of their way to let me near, because I'm clearly in need of help."

It's a deception and she feels … sullied for lying to him.

"I see." Ken seems to think about that as they move -rather slowly. He is used to being lied to. He knows what it feels like. But he doesn't sense that here, probably because she is telling him the truth, just not all of it. But those are the best lies, are they not?

"Were you concerned that I would pity you?" It isn't lost on him that she invited him here. Or that she wanted to dance. Did she fear that look in his eyes. The one that says he sees her as somehow… less?

"Do you, Kenuichio-san?" See that is. Barbara lets out a long breath. The best lies are the ones that have the basis in truth. Though nothing Babs has said is really a lie. It's an ommission of the whole truth, so it's not surprising that Ken doesn't suspect it.

"Perhaps, Kenuichio-san. Not a lot, though. You have proven to be nothing but kind and fair with me in our dealings. It's quite … refreshing really." For all that he trains her hard, Ken doesn't put expectations on the redhead. "I didn't know you would when I first came to you though and by the time I did … " Here they are. "Six years in the chair taught me a lot about people. I guess I still have a lot to learn."

"Perhaps. People will surprise you but my experience is that they will disappoint you more often." She seems nervous. Ken can feel her shaking. He presumes it is this topic of discussion. It can't be pleasant for her. "What would you like to do for the rest of the evening then?"

Babs just laughs softly at Kens observation. It isn't comfortable because she doesn't want to lie to the man. She *will* but it's not something she *wants* to do. "Well, you seem to be the exception to that rule, Kenuichio-san."

How will this affect their … friendship? The training he's giving her? Barbara will find out, she supposes.

She's taken by surprise with the next question "Uh. I … had thought we would finish up here, see people we had to see and … " Go home. "… did you want to do something else? The lights are rather pretty and if you don't mind a drive, there's Central Park and the horse rides around it."

Oh lord. Did she just ask him out *again*?

"Although, perhaps I should go back and start on this research."

"Perhaps a ride through Central Park if you can take the cold?" It isn't something he has done before and Ken is actually somewhat eager to experience American culture. Not what tourists think is American culture but actual American culture. After all, he's here after all and these are all very nice people.

"I think the research will wait, but it's up to you. Now. I believe they are going to begin another song. Shall we do one more dance?"

"I'm sure the coaches have blankets and I have a warm coat that I wore here." Babs answers. "I'd like that. It's been a long time since I've done anything like it." Like … live. Live her life. And not just Oracles.

"The research can wait a few hours." Babs considers and nods slowly in answer to the question "If you don't mind it being slow and awkward." Does he realise how *good* her recovery really is?

When this song is done, they'll see the people they should and then make an exit.

He probably doesn't. Well. Babs can hope he doesn't. It may bear remembering that Ken is from a culture that is very much against embarrassing people. So even if he were to know just how good her recovery is, he might not let on. And she was rather exposed as someone who could move quite well.

"That sounds like a rather enjoyable evening. A very good prelude to a nice lunch later." Just in a couple days, after all, he has an appointment with Babs and her father.

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