1964-06-23 - A Gauntlet Thrown
Summary: Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor bump into one another at a charity event.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
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lex-luthor bruce-wayne 

Its evening at The Met, and that often means charity balls. Friday nights often have such high society sort of events. Men, often with women draped on their arms, speak regarding politics, business, or their particular favorite hobby all to help raise funds for the museum, or to show off newly acquired pieces of art.

This is the only sort of event one tends to see Alexandra Luthor in a dress. Always its elegant and lovely, something one of a kind and built just for her. Tonight is no different. Heels, a clutch (with a pistol inside, a girl has to protect herself after all.) as she stands quietly in front of some large painting, holding a glass of champagne.

Bruce Wayne is a regular sight among these high profile charity events, oftentimes attending and making some monetary donation before finding some reason or other to excuse himself early, whether that be due to some surprisingly urgent business matter or simply a beautiful woman brought to the event or else found at it.

This night finds Bruce arriving alone, stepping from the rear door of an expensive town car and walking inside of the Met while his driver pulls away to wait. Bruce navigates the crowd like a seasoned veteran, plucking a glass of champagne from a nearby serving platter and easing casually through the swirl of bodies. The piece he steps toward just so happens to be the one being admired by Lex, conveniently enough.

Lex quietly looks over as Bruce appears, smiling quietly. "Mister Wayne. What a pleasant surprise to see you here." she offers with a quiet lift of her glass. "Come to make a quick donation and then run off? That does seem to be your MO at most of these events." Very few things seem to get by Lex Luthor, its one reason why she's catapulted herself to the position she's in- one of the wealthiest people on the planet and CEO of LexCorp, a very powerful company in its own right. "Or, do you plan to actually stay through the entire party this time?" she wonders, a quiet half smile on her lips as she looks over towards Bruce.

Bruce glances to the side, his right brow lifting curiously as if he were surprised by Luther's statement or maybe even just trying to place the woman's identity. "It is Miss Luther, right?" Bruce says, not answering the quip outright, at least not at first, but certainly responding in what could be perceived as similar fashion if one were to take it as Bruce Wayne not finding Lex Luther as an equal worth remembering who she is! "Oh… I don't know yet. I suppose it would depend on if I find anyone at this party interesting enough to stick around for."

"Ms. Luthor." Lex corrects Bruce, as she takes a sip of her champagne. "Does that act often work for you, Mister Wayne? That whole false dismissive thing?" Lex laughs quietly, shaking her bald head with a wry grin. "Some women might find that a kind of challenge, I assure you, Mister Wayne that is not the case with me."

Lex takes a slow breath, sipping still at her champagne. "Do you like my painting?" she asks then, "Most of this wall is on loan from my private collection."

Bruce's eyes crinkle at the edges, revealing the years that have caused the light crow's feet to form when the man smiles or laughs. He shrugs his shoulders and says, "One of many tactics that I keep within my repertoire for occasions such as these." He takes a sip of his champagne before turning eyes toward the painting as the conversation is turned toward the artwork, or more appropriately Lex Luther's money. "Hmm, yes. It is a lovely piece, though perhaps a little too green for my personal tastes. How gracious of you to allow the Met such a loan… I hardly thought that your style Ms. Luther."

"Oh, I do quite a bit of charity work, Mister Wayne." Lex replies, and its not a lie. Her image is carefully crafted. "And really, art is to be enjoyed. It could be in my apartment with all the other rare and lovely things I've begun to collect." she remarks, off hand. " Anyways, its good for business. Surely, you can see the wisdom in that… appearances are everything, after all." Lex states, as if this should be a well known fact to someone like Bruce. "So, how's business anyways?"

As if Lex didn't know already. Perhaps she's just being polite.

"Mmm, yes. Finally something that we can agree on. Appearances are most certainly everything," Bruce agrees, turning away from the piece hung on the wall to face Lex directly. He raises his glass in toast to the woman and takes a drink, even as his dark eyes look her over. Swallowing, Bruce smiles and says, "Oh, as you know, Wayne Enterprises is doing wonderfully. Numbers are up higher than they have been in the last ten years. Hiring Ms. Potts was one of my better decisions. She is truly a shark, to the anger of my board members."

"Ah, yes. Pepper certainly is worth every penny. You did well snatching her up as you did." Lex offers simply as she turns to look towards Bruce. Another sip of her champagne. "You should be careful, though. I'm more than willing to poach her from you. She does seem the loyal type, though." Lex gives a quiet shrug, "Where did she work before Wayne Enterprises.. Stark Industries, wasn't it?" she wonders then, idly. "Or was it with Worthington? I honestly don't recall."

"She was with Stark, yes. As for poaching her, I doubt very seriously that you could accomplish that feat. Pepper Potts is quite happy with Wayne Enterprises. I can assure you that particular route is not a road you wish to travel down," Bruce says, his face remaining quite pleasant, though his voice takes on a hard edge, his tone revealing that he is quite serious.

Lex only smiles as she looks towards Bruce. That cat's smile. Wicked and distant and not at all happy. "Oh, you know I'll do whatever I want, Mister Wayne. Anyways, you'd be surprised how many women want to work for me. They know that in LexCorp they can rise to the highest levels of management, all based on their merit alone. A lot of extremely talented women would kill to work for me, or work with me." Lex says with that same grin- barely hidden as she takes another sip of champagne.

"Anyways, Mister Wayne. That's just business. Its not personal- I just want the best team." Lex says, almost sounding innocent. Almost. "I am surprised, though, that you'd be so…. tough… on letting her go."

"CFO of Wayne Enterprises is a position that I am confident Ms. Potts will be holding for quite some time. And I do not know what you think is going on there, but I can give testimony that Pepper holds that position based off of her business abilities alone. Tony Stark did not know what he had, her talents were wasted. I saw, and I gave her what she needed, and now we both prosper," Bruce says, taking another drink and draining his champagne.

His brow lifts at this last bit before he says, "Is that so surprising? You may /want/ the best team, but Ms. Luthor I already have it. And I intend to keep it. LexCorp does not want to go to war with Wayne Enterprises."

"Mister Wayne," Lex begins, still smiling quietly. "Wayne Enterprises and LexCorp are already in competition and have been since I set my eyes on the top. In a few short years I've taken a company from nothing to a billion dollar multinational. If you think that your company can compete, than you better bring the best you have. I've already left dozens of companies in ruins who came to face me- don't for a second think that I won't leave Wayne Enterprises a burnt out shell if it pleases me." Alexandra says with that quiet half smile, "It just doesn't suit my desires at this time. Should it, I will destroy your little family business within a year." Lex states, so casually- but that edge is there, she is deathly serious… and she knows she has the means. "It has been a pleasure, Mister Wayne. I suppose I'll see you on the battlefield." she chuckles quietly as she begins to stroll away.

Wayne does not back down, quite the contrary he smiles as Lex goes on her posturing, his eyes dancing with a certain light. Somewhere the flash of a camera goes off, but even that is not enough to make Bruce Wayne break that eye contact. "Indeed you will Ms. Luther," Bruce says, his voice low and dangerous as the woman turns and begins to move away. Bruce turns as well, and around several people who had been snooping quickly avert their eyes, turning toward one another as Wayne makes his way toward the bar.

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