Pepper looked stunning. Reminds me of Mom.
Bruce had never really liked the idea of settling down, always afraid to let someone in. But Pepper was the closest thing to happy he had been in a while. She was confident enough to tell him when he was being wrong, and shy enough that she didn’t pry into him when he disappeared when Gotham needed him.
Tonight wasn’t about Bruce and Pepper though. Tonight was about charity. Tonight was about Bruce Wayne being Bruce Wayne, and not Batman.
Then Tony Stark glided his way through the room, straight to Bruce. Pepper had arrived at Bruce’s position only moments before Tony did. She gave Bruce a small kiss on the cheek and leaned into his ear.
“Be nice now.”
Bruce just flashed his playboy smile that told her he was going to behave himself.
“I would like you to meet my boss and CEO, Tony Stark.”
Bruce saw the smug look on Tony’s face and was immediately put on guard.
Tabloids said he was full of himself, but damn they don’t catch his essence.
Tony extended his hand and Bruce crushed it with his strength. He needed to get the point across that Pepper chose him over Tony, that tonight was about the Wayne Enterprises Academic Rise of Young Achievers.
“Tony Stark, nice to finally meet you. Pepper has said nothing but good things about you. My name is Bruce Wayne.” Their hands parted.
“Owner of Wayne Enterprises. So glad I get to finally grace yourself with my presence.”
“Well, Pepper told me you might show up. After all you seem to be a highly distracted man if the news does you justice.” They turned and headed towards the ball room. Pepper hanging on Bruce’s arm.
“While it is nice to hear you keep up on foreign affairs, how my country handles super humans isn’t any of your concern.” Tony’s eyes burned into Bruce’s.
Oh shove off. I could kick your ass any day of the week Iron Man.
“Plus, tonight isn’t about me. Tonight is about the future.”
“I’ll drink to that!” Pepper piped up, forcing the two men around her to put away their boyish ways of competition and focus on the evening at hand. They reached the ball room and where escorted to their seats. Pepper sat to the right of Bruce, who sat right next to the podium.
“Your right sweetie. So how much do you plan on donating to our cause Tony?”
Tony looked around the room, sizing everyone up.
“Nothing anyone here could imagine donating.”
Is this guy really that full of himself.
“Well how about his, when you come up with a number, Wayne Enterprises will match your donation.”
The lights dimmed and a spotlight illuminated the podium, cutting Tony off before he could come back with a witty retort. Bruce kissed Pepper on the cheek and stood up. The room instantly got quite.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you all for coming tonight. I understand that your time is limited and precious and I speak on behalf of the entire foundation when I say I am honored by your presence.”
“Tonight, however, isn’t about current events, or politics, or the left and the right arguing over tax cuts. Tonight, is about the future. This dinner is more than just a fancy meal. This dinner is a toast to the future.” Bruce raised a glass filled with a amber wine, the rest of the ball room doing the same. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed Tony didn’t have a glass raised.
What a prick.
“So please, enjoy this meal and take the time to make your way over to the donation table for the Wayne Enterprises Academic Rise of Young Achievers!”
Glasses tinged off each other and conversation slowly overtook the acoustics of the room. Bruce sat down next to Pepper, a smile reaching across his face. People were slapping him on the back and shaking his hand, Pepper confidently at his side.
“Good speech. You do have a skill of tongue.” Pepper teased him after the initial opening crowd dispersed to their tables, or more likely the cocktail bar in the back of the room.
They kissed. Bruce felt like dynamite every time their lips touched.
The wall to the left of the room exploded, men being pinned over forced out debris. Bruce instinctively covered Pepper from the shock, and then ran to the bathroom. Out of the corner of his eye he caught the person daft enough to ruin his evening.