|A Night At The Museum|
|What: In an effort to get Roy to back off on his quest to find out why Kate does what she does, she invites Lain (and thus her father) to a museum fund raiser.|
It'd been a few weeks since the first 'Let's clean up the park and convince Hawkeye to share what's bothering her' incident. Yes, the first. The lack of forthcoming 'spill your guts' had Roy keep up the 'get to the scene of the crime things before Kate' for some time.
And then Kate discovered Roy's work schedule somehow, and then Roy worked his way around that...
At some point, the lack of actual -moving forward- in this dance led to a "you can't keep this up forever" "Yeah I can..." standoff that could only be resolved by one thing.
"Daddy, you -will- be nice, you will wear a tie, and you will not embarass me at the museum."
Apparently a neutral -ground- of just hanging out with Lian and Kate and Mia (if she'd ever show up!) at the museum on a nice simple outing was going to ... work out something. Though the logic of it escaped Roy. Just go with it, right? Better than letting Lian be manipulated by -that- woman against her father.
A museum. Be nice. Look nice.
Those are the where, and the rules for this, aren't they?
And they're rules that Kate Bishop isn't exactly happy about. Not as she ends up wandering into the museum for a special charity event in a 'don't ask how much it cost' designer dress, with matching shows and purse. Not to mention complimenting jewelry. Heck, odds are it all is worth more than the GDP of certain countries out there. Hence why she inwardly hates the outfit, even as she smiles and plays nice for the 'crowds'. After all, there are plenty of big shots here. Lots and lots of old money. And new money. And the just plain rich. And if this event goes off well, it could bring in a lot more than the cost of what she's wearing for the charity.
Not that she has to like it.
And of course if that didn't make things awkward enough, she just had to invite Roy. All right, so technically the invitation was sent to Lian Harper with a on it, but still...
Oh well, odds are Lian might get a kick out of this. Especially as certain exhibits in this museum are on display for one night only, tonight, before they go back into storage.
One such exhibit, which Kate is currently standing next to, is an egyptian statue from a Pharaohs tomb (and yes, said Pharaoh is here down the hall a way, on display).
For a method to cool it with the stubborn 'I'll get your criminal before you do' war, somehow, the notion that a -freaking fat cat charity event- was the place to do it smacked of someone trying to make sure that Roy and Kate were -going- to be on their best behavior. Surely being dressed up to the nines in a suit that looked both immaculate on Roy and somehow slovenly would convince Roy to -be nice-.
"Hey, Katiebug, lookin' good. How many silkworms didcha have to kill for that?"
... or at least his idea of nice.
The half-grin on Roy's face makes it clear that it -is- a nice dress, at least. Even if what's in it is a royal pain.
There's just the slightest pout at Roy, before Lian curls up her fist, and punches her father in the leg. "Daddy, be nice," she says, before executing a perfect princess curtesy at Kate. "Thank you for inviting us," she offers.
Roy rubs his leg a bit, eyeing Kate. "Yes, thank you." Right, neutral ground. Whoever put Kate up to this was diabolical.
There's a pause. A long pause as Kate hears that. A pause long enough that it's pretty clear that she's trying to remain calm and /NOT/ say or do anything that could be seen by anyone else at this even as 'wrong'.
"Agent Harper." is said through clenched teeth, even as an obviously forced smile crosses her face.
"Please don't call me that, and you know all to well that is a highly impolite question to ask."
Then though, there's actually a /real/ smile offered to Roys daughter.
"And you're welcome. I'm glad you could come Lian. As is I hope you like what you see here, since some things, such as the Pharaoh only go on display for things like this."
Oh, so she wanted to play it -that- way, did she? At first, Roy looked annoyed, but it shifts to a slowly growing grin as he bows, reaching out to take Kate's hand. "Miss Bishop," he offers. Just wait to see if she'll yank her hand back before he kisses the back of it.
Lian seems a bit more happy to see her father acting -properly- even if she missed the scam-look in his eyes. Giggling, Lian motions all around. "I want to see the Egyptians. And I got to dress up!" Twirling around to show off her fancy frilly pink dress and shoes, Lian motions at everything. "Daddy says I should get more culture, but then he doesn't take me anymore to these things. My posse does, but they're busy now. Thank you very much!" And once more she curtesys, before tugging on her father's hand. "Daddy, what're you doing? Let's go see the exhibit!"
"Absolutely, princess, but shouldn't we wait for Mia?"
"Mia's probably being fashionably late, Daddy," Lian retorts, tugging.
"Well... if you insist. Want to come, Ms. Bishop, or are you going to be busy...?" Roy responds. There's a challenging look that indicates that if she's going to be busy... so was he.
No, Kate doesn't flinch as her opera gloved hand is kissed. She doesn't pull it back. Nor does she slap Roy across the face. Instead, as Roy lets go, she tilts her head slightly and lets out a faint, but cold, "I'll go with, for a little bit." but even that has a bit of a tone like she's 'lowering herself' somehow and that this is a 'gift'.
Or at least it is towards Roy. Lian on the other hand does get an honest to goodness smile, yet again.
"And I figured Mia would be. But after some of the things she and a few others have been through as of late, she should be allowed to be as fashionably late as she wants."
Then though, she motions down the hall in the direction of the Pharaoh, which for the moment has barely anyone near it, even if this is such a ritzy party.
Brr. Yes, the cold war was going on, and apparently no way to get her to say -anything- about it. Whoever had the notion to do this apparently failed to take in account just how stubborn Kate could be. Or how stubborn Roy could be.
Bending over to offer his arm to Lian, Roy grins. "Ready to go, princess?"
"Ready to go! Arabian days, like arabian nights..." Lian starts singing, as she takes her father's arm. Laughing, Roy pulls her up to carry her in an arm, pausing briefly before offering Kate the other arm. Hey, put her on the spot and be prepared to smile at the cold glare. "Thank you, Ms. Bishop. I'm so -glad- you're deigning to grace us with your presence." Oh, yeah, Roy could be every bit as sarcastic.
The tone warms up a bit at the mention of Mia. "So is that why she's been busy lately? What kind of trouble did you get her wrapped up in?"
"Keep Lian close." is whispered as the group makes its way down the hallways. But as they walk, Kate goes from being cold, to openly worried.
"Mia and I, and a handful of other teen heroes have been dealing with an odd... Case the last few weeks. Someone called 'Granny Goodness' apparently hired a handful of costumed criminals, some with powers, to kidnap kids, especially ones with powers. She then brainwashed them into thugs and used them to kidnap more kids. So far we /think/ we've rescued all of them, with the possible exception of a handful of the most powerful, but this 'Granny' has eluded us."
There's a slight pause as a rich couple walks by, both of them openly smiling at Lian.
"I wonder if you or your contacts have heard anything about this... Or at least if SHIELD has."
"... kids?" Now Roy frowns.
"What's Granny Goodness, daddy?"
"I don't know, but I'll find out," Roy says softly. "You just remember what I said about talking to strangers. No, I haven't heard anything," Roy says softly as he puts Lian down. "Stay close, okay?" Turning to Kate as Lian watches the exhibit, Roy places his hands into his pockets. "I'm aware of some 'disappearances', but I'm not sure they're related." Pausing as he glances about, Roy rolls his eyes. "How come we never talk about work -at- work, anyway?" he asks, quirking an eyebrow at Kate.
"Because someone has gone off on a crusade to catch a person they don't know, who they don't know what they look like, or even what they did." is let out as Kate goes back to being as cold as ice as the trio walk towards the room the Pharaoh is in. In fact, she pauses at the doors, as if waiting for Roy to open them.
"If you want to talk about something besides work though, we can."
"... when you put it that way, you make me sound cuckoo," Roy mutters, as he opens the doors. Lian darts in, having already forgotten the warning to stick close, and Roy rolls his eyes after his daughter, before he looks back towards Kate. "'Course, if you'd just loosen up a bit, maybe then we might get somewhere towards fixing things."
Wait for it, wait for it...
"From your mouth to gods ears Roy." Kate mutters ever so faintly as she enters the room. Or at least she mutters that before she offers Roy a /LOOK/.
"And as for loosening up, I flat out told you that this is the /ONE/ thing I have to do for myself, and you keep butting in more and more. So if you want me to loosen up, you might want to just drop all of that."
of course said room isn't too big. Sure it's decorated nice, and has egyptian artifacts all over. Yes, we're talking the good stuff. Canopic jars. Statues. Scarabs. Some black and white pictures of various egyptologists from the early 20th century at excavation sites (all though for some odd reason one picture has a giant black circle being pulled up from the ground in the background). Jewelry. And more.
And smack dab in the center of the room, in a hermetically sealed chamber is a sarcophagus that is open to reveal the mummy inside of it.
Complete with "DO NOT TOUCH" signs about it.
"You know, I don't -believe- you could do it, not one bit," Roy returns as he glances at Kate in her dress. "You're just too much of a dilettante for it." Why yes, Roy -knows- fancy words! Kind of. Because it's a -word- he heard often enough growing up in millionaire playboy Oliver Queen's household. "I mean, I know why -I- do it. I know why -Mia- does it. God help me, I even get why the old man does it. You..." A shrug. "You're not a person who'll break rules."
And here's where Kate rolls her eyes. Or at least she does before she moves over and touches a couple of the scarabs one, right after another.
"Roy, you have all the clues that you need. Hell, those clues have had you running around doing things that I flat out asked you not too. But you just haven't put things together yet."
Then she moves over, extends a hand, and actually /leans against a statue for a little bit.
"And Lian, don't copy me." is said to the little girl, before the out of costume female archer shifts her focus back to the little girls father.
"If you want me to spell it out for you, I can. but I /won't/. Instead I'll just ask you to back off from what you're doing, and trust me that I have my reasons to do what I am doing, and that they're good ones."
There's just the briefest of eyebrow-raising as Kate so casually breaks the museum's 'do not touch' rule. Lian looks shocked, before she looks at her father, and gives -him- a look. "You're doing something bad, are you, Daddy? That's why she's mad at you."
Rather than answer Lian, Roy studies Kate's expression for a while, before approaching. Extending the same hand and reaching out to -lean- against the same statue, Roy lifts his chin in a bit of a stubborn stare back into Kate's eyes. "Fine. I'll put it together. And then if I do, and I agree with you, I'll back off."
And then Roy glances about, reaches down to the Pharoah's golden breechcloth, and rattles it, just to make a point that he -can- too break those rules. "Besides, what you're breaking? Small potatoes."
"Maybe. But my caoturing random muggers and dealers is small potatoes too." Kate says as she pushes herself away from the statue. Or at least that is before she moves over and kneels down so that she's eye level with Lian.
"And I don't know if your father is doing something bad. But he's not helping."
"You see Lian... There once was a brave woman, who traveled the world to help others. To try and make the world a better place for others. And then, one day, when she was coming back from a far away place where she had helped others, her plane crashed and she died. Thus her daughter, who loved her mother and missed her very much, tried to do the same, but only in the city. At least for now. But one day on her way home from helping others, she decided to go through a park, at night, by herself, where the 'Big Bad Wolf' hurt her. Because of that, she wasn't in a 'good place' for a while. But when she finally pulled herself together, she not only decided that she was going to try and continue her mothers work, but she was going to try and do what she could to protect others so that people like 'The Big Bad Wolf' could never hurt them either. But, at the same time, she made it a point to try and capture 'The Big bad Wolf' on her own, to prove to herself that she really was 'better'. Only then someone came along who wanted to help, and tried to do it for her, making her angry because this is something she feels that she needs to do herself to prove that she isn't a victim anymore..."
Lian works that through, before wrinkling her nose. "Daddy tried to help, but you don't want him to help?" she says. Right, fairy tales work up to a point, but after hearing variations of those themes from her father, it was getting easier to tell when Daddy was talking about himself. Like Kate was.
Roy, meanwhile, lets the loincloth fall, with a clatter. "... Uh..." Bringing his hand up to his head, the SHIELD agent sighs. "... Right. Big Bad Wolf. So... uh... he blew your house down, and... uh... you would rather build the house yourself and throw him in... uh, jail?"
Rubbing his chin for a moment, the young agent throws his hands up in disgust. "Fine. Have it your way."
"Yes. I want him in jail. If at all possible, I want to be the one to put him there. And if it's impossible to put him in jail, then I want to make sure that he's dealt with..." There's a pause after Kate says that, before she slowly starts to get up and looks directly at Roy again. "Without crossing /the line/."
Then she takes a deep breath, and lets it out slowly.
"But odds are that won't happen. Not only have I not seen him since then, but apparently he up and disappeared from the park all together not long after that."
"Well... I bet maybe he's disappeared because he's been arrested already," Roy rubs the back of his head. "You, um... you want to go through the records? I could probably pull some strings... and hey, where's Lian?"
Glancing around at Lian, who now seems to be touching the scarab exhibit, Roy rolls his eyes, and glances back at Kate, a half-growl. "You're a terrible influence on her."
"And who was it that told me to touch stuff!" is all but shouted back at Roy before she snaps a /look/ at the girl. "Lian, please don't touch. If you really want to touch a scarab like that, I'm pretty sure we can get you one one of your own from the gift shop."
And with that offer made, Roy gets another glance.
"And I've been searching them for it. I might not have the same access you do because of your job, but I am capable of having those records checked on."
"I didn't say -to- touch the exhibits!" Roy retorts, before rolling his eyes.
Lian draws back guiltily, but sticks her lower lip out. "You did it," she says, not caring one bit that Kate had warned her to not copy her.
There's a shrug, before Roy gets a look in his eyes, quirking an eyebrow. "You know, I've -always- wanted to go around touching the exhibits. Used to do it as a kid, and... well, haven't you lived a little?" Oh yes, that's a challenging look in his eyes.
"Yes. Yes I have lived a little." is said before Kate... Motions towards the corners of the room where various security cameras are in plain sight.
"But I also know I can pay off anything the museum wants to throw at me. And they know that I know. And they know that I've given them a lot of money, and that my family has given even more over the years to them and to other charities. So they might be willing to cut me a little slack."
Then her grin becomes almost wicked.
"Can you say that as well Mr. Loincloth?"
And then her gaze flickers to Lian, as she shakes her head.
"I know I did it. but I did it to teach your father something. Apparently it didn't take though."
Now Roy's lips quirk in a half-grin. "It figures. What -can- you do without money?" There's a nudge in Kate's side, followed by a pout. "So can you, like, make it so I can play drums on that turtle exhibit?"
Lian, meanwhile, crosses her arms. "Daddy's hardheaded. You can't convince him that way."
And here's where, yet again, Kate eyerolls at Roy.
"the metal one? The hollow metal one? That would be easy." is all Kate says about that exhibit, before she nods at Lian and grins.
"I learned that. Which is why if we're ever working together and we need to get a door open, I'll just have him run at it a few times with his head."
And if that doesn't work, we could use your head," Roy rejoins, offering Kate an arm. "So, are we gonna get to banging that turtle, or not?"
Picking up Lian with his other arm, Roy quirks a challenging grin. "So are we gonna have fun or what?"
There's a grin at that, before Kate turns to leave the room.
"I guess we are."
Of course what she /doesn't/ say is that said turtle probably has kids playing it like a drum all the time. After all, why spoil Roys fun?