On the outskirts of Gotham, past the rush of the slate grey river and the factory smoke, where the skyline softened from dark jagged buildings to squarer mansions, sat Wayne Manor. The house, once filled with business deals and cocktail parties, now sat almost empty, holding memories and painfully recent ghosts. The study, formerly favoured by the late Thomas Wayne, was now almost the only room still in regular use. The smooth wooden panelled walls, sturdy desks and worn leather sofas weren't exactly pain relief - more lacking in the memories that stifled the rest of the Manor. The irony, however, appeared to be lost on those currently pulling all-nighters to make a less than legal scheme a success.
"I don't mean to concern you, Master B, but I think we need some help here," Alfred Pennyworth said, concern cutting lines into his already weathered face. He looked up across the mass of blueprints covering the polished oak table and at the teenager staring out of the wall-length lattice window.
Bruce Wayne tore his gaze from the gloomy, rain-drenched skyline just visible past the neat rows of cul de sacs and stepped backwards towards the room. His dark hair appeared to be held up by determination alone and there were dark circles under his rough emerald eyes. The thin grey light filtering through the window silhouetted his dark sweater against the sky, making him look older than any sixteen year old had a right to be.
"What do you mean?" he asked, pacing back to the table. He bent over the plan Alfred pushed towards him, half-heartedly rubbing exhaustion from his eyes.
"Well, to put it simply, there's not enough of us," Alfred adjusted the rich red of his waistcoat, frustration gnawing at him.
Bruce absently picked up a china cup of coffee, failing to remember the last time it was used for something other than a paperweight, and took a sip - muffling his coughs as it turned out colder than a winter night.
Alfred let a quick smile cross his face as Bruce spluttered, before turning back to the spreadsheets at hand.
"The two of us can't be watching the corridors and fighting those Court of Owls freaks and holding that tightrope and walking it. And despite your best efforts, I think we both know you're not going to master that circus act in time."
Bruce sighed, grudgingly nodding. "Maybe Jim can help us. You know how he-"
"You want to bring the Commissioner of the GCPD...on a heist?" Alfred asked, criticism sharpening his tone.
"Of course not," Bruce scoffed, quickly backtracking. "I meant he can get us in touch with someone with this kind of...experience." He corrected, gesturing vaguely at the mess of notes taking up the study of Wayne Manor, some even scattered deliriously on the back of an old takeaway menu.
Alfred nodded slowly, his short hair salt and pepper in the weak afternoon light. "That's probably best, Master B. Right, I'll head down to the police headquarters, while you-"
"No, let me go," Bruce said, snagging a dark jacket from the back of a chair. "I have to get out of this house or I'll go insane."
"That's really not necessary-" Alfred attempted, sounding more like a parent than anyone had in years.
"Please." Bruce interrupted, shrugging on the jacket. "I got two hours of sleep last night. I'll manage."
Alfred smiled blearily as Bruce headed out of the manor, sweeping paper off of one of the leather sofas before collapsing onto it in the hopes of cashing in the three sleepless nights he was owed.
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You're My HeistFanfiction
Bruce Wayne needs to destroy the Court of Owls if he ever wants to save Gotham. But there are some things even a billionaire can't pull off alone - so Jim Gordon puts him in touch with the best in the business.