|What: A bit of good timing brings Lex Luthor, Selina Kyle and Justin Hammer together to discuss mutually beneficial business arrangements.|
Sometimes being tactful means spending money. While some people like to waste it on campaigns and cause to make them seem caring, involved, informed, likeable and a whole bunch of other emotions the person may or may not have been. These people would spend thousands sometimes even millions to do a simple image redesign. These people didn't truly understand that word of mouth works best. And the best thing about word of mouth, when done properly, is: it's cheap.
A long black stretch limo pulls up to second street, Stage Restaurant to be exact. When Lex was young his dad would bring him here because of some fondness the old man had for the place. Despite all of the hatred he held and still holds for his father, Lex is fond of the restaurant for the few good moments the Luthors spent together.
Stepping out of the Limo is a woman with short cropped hair. Her short black uniformed skirt and coat, with matching chauffer hat. She opens the door and Lex steps out.
"Hasn't changed. Tess park the car," his green money colored eyes examines the place. A few of the restaurant owners just stare at the site of the bald man in the black custom suit, with a gray vest and white tie. He waits for the woman to put the car away. Only when she's flanking his side does Lex actually go into the restaurant.
The doors swing open and the waitress greeting the customer pauses then goes through the routine, "How many?!"
"Two, but I'd like to be in a place for six. I do enjoy my space and I apologize," Lex's words are firm.
"For what?" the waitress tries not to fret at the warning. A smile pulls at his lips, "You'll see," he knows of the chaos that everyone is about to endure. After talking with some of the staff they clear out a table for Lex and Tess. The waitress guides Lex to his spot and halfway there the man stops, "FOR THE NEXT TWO HOURS. EVERY MEAL IS ON ME!" A glass shatters as shock runs through another waitress. Oh the checks needing to be redone would be horrendous not to mention all the additions to orders. At least with paying for a full price the automatic gratuity would be nice.
Clanging and banging noises of dropped forks and spoons scatter across customer's tables as they reach for menus and tickets. Word of mouth about Lex's presence and more importantly, his kindness, is just about to spread. Sure it would cost a few grand. Probably ten to twenty thousand easily but what would happen in these two hours would be worth more than any charity case.
Lex sits down at his table with Tess and takes a menu as if nothing has happened. Someone runs out and screams, "Free food for the next two hours!! It's on Lex Luthor's tab," fills the streets. Causes couldn't buy this kind of positive word of mouth.
One of the patrons already seated is Selina Kyle who is in this part of the city for a meeting that thankfully concluded swiftly and with a check for a donation securely kept within the locked briefcase she has set by her seat. Her meal has already arrived and been enjoyed for a moment just before Luthor entered and is in fact in mid-bite before his generous offer. Frowning slightly, she catches the attention of her waiter - a handsome young man who is probably working here to help pay for college - via a lift of a hand. "I will pay for my own meal, thank you."
The waiter nods and scoots off to help with the chaos that is still rippling throughout the establishment, leaving Selina to watch, first observing the others present as a whole and then Lex himself, her expression held in check.
More than one person with letters behind their names, and a couple without, had told the unlikely CEO hero to stay home for a while. Take a week off work, try and comprehend what happened Saturday night. But Justin Hammer had a hard enough time sitting still for one who day, so once Monday morning came around, he made good on the appointments he already had set. Finding it easier to keep his mind occupied with business deals than to mull over the weekend's events, he threw himself back into the swing of things.
Justin walks down Second, taking a brief respite before heading to his next meeting. He's hoping to hook in some buyers for a civilain project that has been sitting on the back burner for a while now, but he knows it will be a hard sell. The telecom market isn't his forte, and getting interest in the project isn't going to be easy. At the sound of a shout, Hammer pauses. Wait, did someone say free food? More importantly, did they mention Lexu Luthor? Arching a brow Justin turns and walks into the restaurant. If he heard wrong it's fine, he's hungry and should grab something to eat before his next meeting anyway. He walks into chaos, and finally manages to request a table for one. He not-so-subtly scans the setting to see if he can spot the other businessman. He doesn't have any interest in getting a free meal, he's more interested in potential business connections.
Lex feels the eyes on him. This is good. His green eyes look about and he suspects a woman is looking at him, but can't be so sure. She's being a little crafty about it, if she is. However the face that is making it more than apparent that he is indeed looking for Lex is easily noticed. A hand is gestured outward to the business man and then he scans looking to see if anyone else wants to talk to him more than enjoying a free meal with no limit on the order.
Selina shakes her head and sighs, her stony expression shifting, forming a slight frown as she thinks. Her briefcase is taken into hand and she rises from her lunch, swiftly. "Mister Luthor," she greets the gentleman. It doesn't dawn on her that he's already inviting someone to join him. "You know how to make an entrance, I see," she adds. The case is set down by her feet and then she holds out a hand. "Selina Kyle." He might know that already. Depends on if he keeps up with the socialites of Gotham or not.
Justin's seen from out of the corner of her eye then and she raises a brow, displeasure now amusement. "Seems like today's the day for the Fortune 500's biggest and brightest starts to be out and about."
The hostess misses Luthor's wave, but Justin doesn't. He smiles that trademark smile of his, the one that's not all that friendly and definitely not trustworthy. He tells the hostess he's going to sit at Luthor's table instead, and before she can protest he's headed to the table set out for six. He sees the woman sit down before he arrives, but doesn't catch what she says. She's familiar to him, but Hammer can't place a name with a face. Once he's close enough to the table to be heard without shouting, he greets the three occupants, most of his focus on Lex. "Hey, hey, what's this I hear on the street about you buying everyone's meals today?" he asks, setting his own briefcase on one of the empty chairs before sitting down next to Selina.
Rising to kiss the back of Miss Kyle's hand, Lex gives a smile to the name, "I'm aware of who you are Miss Kyle. Anyone aware of Gotham Ctiy knows of the woman that has caught the attention of Bruce Wayne. He and I don't speak much. However, one can respect what his company does," before he sits down Justin Hammer is making his way. "Giving back to the people, you of all people should know that. Without the people then everything about us would be stripped away into nothingness. Without them there's no Lexcorp or Hammer Inudstries." Of course Lex doesn't truly believe that. Private buyers would always exist and pay more than the masses. However, gestures like this would make more people inclined to be a Lex Box Infinity over a Playstation 4 and that meant more money for Lexcorp. "Thank you for the pleasure of both of your companies today. What can I do for each of you?" a friendly smile goes underneath as he expects something to be given back to him. Merger ideas, invention ideas, partnerships, something that would make this day a bit more interesting is bound to get offered.
Business often sours one's stomach but Selina doesn't seem to care as she's grabbing for her briefcase again, cheeks faintly flushed at the kiss to her knuckles. "I am glad you asked," she announces while pulling a small presentation-style folder out, it handed to their host and then, after giving Justin a look, he is given one as well. "I am out trying to gain donations for my foundation. Oh. I'm sorry." She sets the folder down before Hammer so she can free her hand, it held out to the other CEO. "Selina Kyle. Pleasure to meet you."
"Yes, we're men of the people," Justin replies, holding out his hand to Lex. After shaking hands with the man, should he accept, he turns his attention to Selina. Ah, yes, now he puts a face with a name. "Miss Kyle, the pleasure's mine," he replies, shaking her hand. He's nowhere near as suave as Luthor is, even on his best day. "Justin Hammer." He gives another one of those smiles that's just off a bit then looks back to Lex. He's not here for anything specific, so he sits back and lets Selina take the spotlight and talk about the foundation she's running.
"Tell me-," Lex pauses then corrects himself after looking at Justin, "Tell -us- more about it. My work with Mr. Wayne through our mutual friend Sebastian Shaw is limited. However through the pieces I know about him I can say I will support whatever causes he does." The words move between the trio as Lex lets the two others get all the details and hope they needed. "I never invest in anything blindly. So I will say this, sell me on your foundation." Both of his hands come together and he leans back in his booth seat as if it's a business chair and the table between them is just his office desk. Tess is trying to size up Selina as she isn't exactly thrilled about the kiss.
And this is where she begins to tread very, /very/ carefully. Giving each of the men that could melt the polar ice caps, Selina bats her lashes slightly, trying to be disarming as well as charming. "I'm sure neither of you gentlemen are guilty of this but as I am sure you are aware of, many corporations are guilty of deforestation. Taking down the jungles that many species of wild cats live in. I am working very hard to keep our precious big cats from becoming extinct." Her eyes lower slightly, clearly bothered by the mere thought of it. "I am trying to help by founding preserves and such but it is something I can not do alone. Would either of you gentlemen be willing to donate to a worthy cause." She looks at Lext in the eye as she adds, "It is one of Bruce's favorite charities to donate to," working with the fact that he did mention Bruce just seconds ago. For now, Tess is either ignored or just not noticed.
Justin leans back in his chair in an attempt to look relaxed. He doesn't pull it off like Lex does, and ends up looking more impatient than anything. He picks up the brocure and flips through it while Selina talks. Most all of his manufacturing is done stateside, given the fact that he works primarily on government contracts, but he makes a mental note to check on some of the civilian manufacturing partners he uses. At the question, Hammer raises a brow. "I think it's something I might be able to look at," he offers in a non-chalant tone. Wayne donates, Lex is pondering it, he should at least consider it. After all, he needs to work on his image.
"How about I do you one better? I will donate a small fee to the organization, but what if you were to hold an event here in metropolis. One of the best hotels in town is within the Lexcorp family. All of the space, catering would be provided for and up to your specifications. Proceeds would go to your cause. I can tell my associates which include the likes of Sebastian Shaw and Warren Worthington the Third, and they can tell their friends," his hands wave as if the cycle is going to continue like the "And so on," bit from Wayne's World. Beat that Wayne is Lex's inner reaction as the idea still forms.
"You bring a presentation as well to make sure -everyone- at the event is aware what the event is for. So many times these elitists events go on for the right reasons yet escape the point. I don't want that to happen at any event my name is attached to. That is all I want in return," he finishes laying it all out there for both of them to digest. "I'm sure Justin could donate as well plus it would be a prosperous opportunity for many business men because we would have even ground to network for other binding causes." Taking his glass of water, the one that came with the forks and spoons, "In other words it's a win-win for everyone at this table."
The waitress comes over just as the glass raises. She takes in everyone's order, Lex ordered steak and eggs, with the latter over easy, and some extra crispy hashbrowns with tabasco sauce. Green eyes scan over the other two people with him. He's trying to judge their reactions.
"I know how it's done, Mister Luthor. This won't be my first dog-and-pony show." Selina gives Lex a smile but the grin when her phone chirps and she looks at the screen. "I am sorry. I need to go. Something's come up." Must be something major to get her mood to shift so suddenly. She rises and takes the bill off of the table she previously occupied. "I will give you a call soon," she promises them both before disappearing.
Justin listens patiently, carefully taking mental notes on everything Lex says. When his name is mentioned, he nods. It sounds like a good plan, and he'd be more than willing to take part. It might even placate some of the liberal hippies who like to take pot-shots at his company. At the comment about it being a win-win for everyone, he nods and offers. "Yeah, yeah I think I can buy into this." He still seems pretty non-commital, trying to put on an air of still thinking it over. In reality, he's already decided. When Selina takes her leave he barely has time to offer her a goodbye before she's gone. Damn she's quick.
When the waitress shows up Justin straightens up and orders a cheeseburger with fries, and a piece of chocolate pie. The business of food now taken care of, his full attention goes back to Lex. "Pretty solid plan you've got set up there," he says in regards to the charity event. "Pretty good opportunity for all of us."
"Quite," Lex agrees with Justin about the set up. Green eyes take in Hammer, "You should really speak with my associate Mr. Shaw. He knows many individuals that would be at this party if you want to give them a full ear then use the party as a means of confirmation," his words come punctuated with the man reaching into his breast pocket and grabbing a business card. "Despite his dated attire and age, Shaw does have a few tricks up his sleeves and he is well connected. That much I will give the man," he eyes Hammer taking in body language. Anything that could be studied as Lex sits in the booth relaxed but with discerning eyes.
Justin is a hard man to read. His often pretentious outward nature generally masks what's going on in his mind. He actually has little outward reaction to the name Shaw, though he dos recognize the name. He's heard it mentioned before in certain high-brow circles, and knows that finding himself in Shaw's association would be a huge boon in networking. If the card is offered, he'll take it. "Can't hurt to build a few new associations," he says trying to cover an obvious interest in the networking opportunity. The sheer altruistic nature of Luthor's actions today to raise a bit of suspicion in Hammer. Buying everyone lunch, setting up a gala for the cat lady, and now offering Justin a potentially powerful set of connections? Worth thinking over later.
"Shaw helped me establish a very vital contact. Also, I think I've heard him speak of your name before with great interest. He's curious about various defense programs. A mutual partnership for my associate that can benefit you in the long run," he eyes Justin. Things go unsaid because Shaw would probably tell Lex of the small bits Justin is up to. Nothing specific but enough to paint a decent picture, "What is Hammer Industries up to these days, anyway?"
It sounds like a good deal, and Justin will get in contact with Shaw. It can't hurt, at any rate, and could be worth a lot in the long run. Being able to keep up with potential competition and forging partnerships is worth what litte risk there may be. At the slight change in topic, Hammer cracks a light grin. "A little of this, a little of that," he says with a flick of his hand. "We've got the usual defense work lined up, but I've also got some civilian projects in the pipeline. Going to be talking with some folks about a telecommunications project this afternoon. How about LexCorp?"
Smirking understanding what a little of this and a little of that truly means in business speak. Lex counters, "A little of this, a little of that. You know how non-disclosure agreements are. If you're curious the project will be on full display at Stark Expo. To put it simply and I know this may sound clich but what Lexcorp has been up to is very simple, 'It's been saving the world.'" Lex lets the full weight of those words wash over Justin Hammer.
There's little Justin can do to hide his reaction to that. Not only is there mention of the Stark Expo, but Lexcorp saving the world? That draws a dark tone into his expression. "Really? I'll make sure to check it out. I'm working on a few things that'll be in the Expo, one of which will a pretty large unveiling." He had been tossing around in his head whether or not he wanted to actually unveil the new and improved defense project at the Expo, but hearing Lex's words have cemented in in his mind. He's not going to be left out if Lexcorp is making that sort of boasts.
At that time the wait staff brings out the meals for the table, quickly and carefully setting everything out and asking if there's anything else that can be brought out. Justin shakes his head to the waitress and thanks her.
Smiling Lex just raises his water, "After everything is unveiled if Hammer Industries is willing to embark on some joint territory, I would be open to ideas." Waiting for Justin to raise his glass Lex says, "To the future," as a toast.
Now that draws a more sincere smile from the Hammer Industries CEO. Raising his glass of some sort of soda, Justin takes part in the toast. "To the future," he replies. Potential joint venture? It could seriously boost Hammer Industries' standing in the business world, and could very well hit Stark pretty lowly. Justin is game for that.