A/N; This was just supposed to be a small ficlet for the live journal community comment_fic…it turned into a monster!
It had been at a Wayne Foundation gala that Tim Drake-Wayne decided to drop the façade of recovering gunshot victim. It had been nearly a year, long enough for Vicki Vale to concede that she was wrong in her deductions that he was one of Gotham's costumed vigilantes. Tam Fox had teased him mercilessly when he'd asked her to go with him to the gala; by suggesting that Vicki just might follow up on another favourite story involving him.
"I mean really," she teased. "Taking your personal assistant on a date?"
"How many 'dates' have we been on already…in the public eye no less?" he asked as he fixed his tie in the mirror.
"None where Vale's around to report about it," Tam reminded him, dusting an imaginary piece of fuzz from his shoulder.
"Well she's losing her touch then," Tim smirked, turning to face Tam.
His heart fluttered in his chest at the sight of her. She wore a simple lavender sheath that hugged her curves. She knew his secrets and that of his family, as he'd suspected, she had put two and two together, and came up with Wayne's equals Batclan. She had kept all their secrets and had proven to be invaluable while he was in the field. Tamara Fox had become one of them in a way. Working behind the scenes like Oracle. Watching her come into her own and adjust to his double life had caused him to fall for her and hard.
'Not tonight', he thought as Tam turned to fetch her clutch. Tim held his arm out for her and they left for the gala.
Tam was right. Vicki Vale may have dropped the idea that he was Red Robin, but she was definitely interested in the familiarity he showed with Tam. Tam had murmured something that only he could hear and Tim laughed. The tabloid vultures tried to find out what the private joke was, but Bruce had saved them, by escorting them to meet with a potential client. The music began playing and Tim was itching to have Tam to himself, if only for a moment. "Dance with me?" he suggested and Tam beamed.
"Should I be concerned that your brothers are over there, high fiving each other?" she asked as he led her around the floor.
"I hate the lot of them," he muttered and Tam laughed. He turned them so he could see what she was talking about and sure enough…Dick, Jason, and Damian were leering at him and Tam. He shot them a look that suggested he wanted nothing more than to put them into their graves, again in Jason's case. Jason responded by scratching at his temple with his middle finger. Jason's return to the fold had been rough and Tam hadn't run in fear of the madman he'd become. Yet another reason Tim had fallen so hard for her.
"Hey my siblings are probably doing the same thing." Tam reminded him and Tim groaned.
"Your Dad is probably considering who he can hire to take me out then," he said. Tam laughed.
"Doubt it," she said, sobering slightly. "Daddy likes you."
Tim knew that very well. He'd even gotten Lucius Fox's blessing for what he hoped to do soon. 'Next weekend,' he thought, as he looked down at Tam, smiling in delight. "You're happy," he pointed out suddenly.
"Since your 'supposed' injury, this is the first time we've been able to actually dance," Tam replied. "I'm loving it."
The gala had raised ridiculous amounts of money for the various charities the Foundation supported. Of that, Tim was glad. It was the being in public part and smiling for the cameras that he hated. He was grateful the following Thursday that Gotham's tabloid reporters didn't follow him on business trips. He and Tam had taken off for San Francisco to set up a Neon Knights charter in the City by the Bay. He'd alerted his teammates that he was coming in early and with Tam in tow. Bart and Connor had decided to meet him that afternoon for lunch, while Tam went shopping.
"Okay, you're nervous…what's up?" Connor asked.
"I might not be at the Tower tomorrow night," Tim replied. Bart snatched a breadstick from his plate and waited for the rest. "I'm hopefully going to take a step away from becoming like Bruce and Dick," Tim alluded.
"What step?" Bart asked. Tim dug into his breast pocket and removed a small box. He tossed it to Connor, who opened it and gaped.
"I don't want miss out on a chance of happiness like them," Tim continued as his friends stared at the pale green diamond ring. "I don't want to become too damaged and unable to be happy."
"Dude, I know the number's gonna kill me…but how much did this set you back?" Connor asked. Tim smirked.
"Seven grand. Three grand for the broach that the diamond was part of, and the rest to get the broach made into the ring and a necklace." Tim looked up and his friend's both raised questioning eyebrows. He chuckled. "When we were in Paris a couple of months back, I had gone to check out an estate sale. I found this antique broach with a dozen green diamonds and paid for it right there," he explained.
"They didn't know what they had, did they?" Bart asked.
"Not a clue," Tim replied. "They thought it was the gold that was the most valuable part of it. I practically stole the damn thing," he laughed.
"This is the number that's gonna kill me?" Connor suggested.
"Just over half a million in rare pale green diamonds," Tim whispered low to his friends.
"Holy shit!" Bart and Connor exclaimed together.
"I had the rest of the stones made into a matching necklace, that Tam is also getting tomorrow night," Tim added.
"You have got to let us know if she said yes, man," Connor said as he handed the ring box back to Tim.
"If you get a text that reads 'Greece', then you are officially sworn to secrecy," Tim chuckled. Bart and Connor both laughed, as they knew what Greece meant. Tim had told them after the Paris trip about a sleepy discussion he and Tam had had on their last night in the French capitol. Tim was fairly certain that Tam had dismissed the conversation as pillow talk after a slow round of lovemaking…their first.
"Hey, we gotta head back, Gar wants to run some drills," Connor said, checking his watch.
"Good luck Tim," Bart said as he whipped his wallet out to pay for their lunch.
"Thanks. And relax, I've got it," Tim said, waving Bart off. "Tomorrow just tell them that it's Wayne Enterprises business, if I don't show up," he added.
"We got your back, dude," Connor said, giving him a thumb's up.
The following afternoon, Tim and Tam had made their presentation to the city officials about what Neon Knights did and how in the long run, the program could benefit the city. They returned to their hotel suite with a hefty cheque and promises that the officials would tell their counterparts across California about the program. Tim had suggested dinner from room service and Tam grinned. He shook his head as she took off for the bathroom. She was predictable on these trips. If they got the deal, she would celebrate by taking a bath in the luxurious tubs their hotel rooms came with. It also meant that she wouldn't leave the tub until he called out that dinner had arrived. Room service brought up his order which included an empty plate with a cover. Tim tipped the waiter and said that he'd set the table himself.
Tam came out when he called for her and rubbed at her damp hair with a towel. "Smells good," she said reaching for the covered plate. Tim pretended to fiddle with his mobile as she stared at the diamond and platinum necklace surrounding a matching ring on the plate. "While very decadent, I don't think these will digest very well," she said with a smirk.
"Your dinner is that one," Tim said, indicating another covered plate.
"So what's this then?" Tam asked, taking a seat.
"I was just wondering if you'll marry me?" he asked nonchalantly. Tam set the cover down and picked up the ring. Tim hit send on his mobile and shut it off as she slid the ring onto her finger. Tam stood up and walked to where he was seated and straddled his lap. "I'll take that as a yes?" he murmured, placing his hands on her waist.
"I was thinking more along the lines of 'Hell yeah!', but yes works too," she said. Their dinner was cold when they finally got around to eating it.
Cassandra Sandsmark knew something was up. Bart and Connor were both looking anxiously at their mobiles every now and then. At around six in the evening, both mobiles buzzed and the two fumbled to read the incoming messages.
"Yeah!" Bart roared, throwing his arms up in celebration.
Connor grinned like a madman. "Timmy's not coming tonight! W.E. business thing!"
"Greece?" Cassie asked having taken Connor's mobile from him to read the message.
"Secret guy code…you'll find out soon enough," Bart said as he hugged her and kissed her cheek.
"Geeks," Cassie dismissed, shaking her head and leaving the two to celebrate.
Tim called the following morning to say that he was coming to the Tower with Tam. She'd met his teammates at various times when one or the other of them would swing by his home in Gotham. Cassie hugged Tam in welcome while Bart scrutinised her ring finger. There was no sign of the ring he'd seen the day before and he held up his left hand, wiggling his ring finger. Tim and Tam both smirked. Tam stepped back and reached into her top, pulling out a white gold chain. The ring dangled from it.
"Part of our scheme," Tam said as Cassie examined the ring.
"Is this…?" Cassie asked.
"Yup," Tim replied. Cassie hugged the pair of them enthusiastically as she congratulated them.
"Greece meant that she said yes," Bart added knowingly. Cassie looked confused for a second before remembering the cryptic text message from the night before.
"Which reminds me," Tim piped up and looked at Cassie. "I was kind of hoping for your blessing of sorts."
"Why?" Cassie shook her head in confusion.
"Well we're thinking the Greek islands for our wedding," Tam explained.
"And as you're a daughter of Zeus and all," Tim added.
Cassie laughed. "I'll get Dad and everyone else to give their blessing for this wedding!" Tim hugged and thanked her. "So what's this scheme you mentioned," she asked Tam. Tam rubbed her hands together in mischievous glee.
"We're gonna stick it to the Gotham tabloids," she said.
"They'll find out after the fact," Tim added with a smirk. "When they read about the wedding in the Daily Planet and Keystone Gazette."
"I support this plan a hundred and ten percent," Connor said as he entered the lounge. "I heard everything in the shower," he added, jerking a thumb towards his quarters.
"Grandma Iris is gonna flip when she finds out!" Bart laughed. "She hates the Gotham rags something fierce."
"She's not the only one," Cassie muttered. Tim had been dragged over the coals after his father's murder. Cassie had fought very hard, the urge to go to Gotham and release her rage at their heartless take on the story.
"I can't wait to see the look on Vicki Vale's face when she finds out," Tam smirked.
"The invitations are going to be very vague," Tim said seriously. "An invite to an exclusive Wayne Enterprises event. You three are sworn to secrecy," he added. "Don't tell anyone about this. Not Clark, Lois, or Iris," he said. "Or Linda, for that matter," he added as an afterthought, remembering that Bart's cousin in law was also a journalist.
Bart held his hand up. "I swear," he grinned.
"Ditto," Cassie and Connor added. The five of them spent the morning going into detail about the event as Tim and Tam had discussed months ago in a Parisian hotel room.
Iris Allen looked at the two embossed envelopes in confusion. One was addressed to her and Barry, and the other to Bart. They'd been sent from Wayne Enterprises in Gotham.
"What's that?" Barry asked, peeking over shoulder.
"An invitation for something I guess," Iris replied. "Bart got one too." Iris opened the one addressed to her and Barry and read it.
You are cordially invited to an exclusive Wayne Enterprises event to be held May 18th, 2012.
Meet at gate 27 at Gotham International Airport 6:00 pm on May 15th, 2012. Bring your passports.
RSVP by April 10th, 2012.
Barry and Iris both turned when they heard the front door open. "Bart honey, this came for you," Iris said, handing him the invitation addressed to him.
"Cool," he grinned, ripping it open and reading it. Barry asked him why he would get an invitation and Bart rolled his eyes. "Tim? Duh!"
"Sorry," Barry laughed. "I'm still getting the hang of all the changes."
The scene was repeated a couple hundred miles away in Smallville Kansas, when Martha Kent checked the mail. "Connor Dear, we just got an invitation from Wayne Enterprises," she told him.
Connor looked up from where he was doing his homework and smiled. "Your passport up to date?" he asked.
"I'd have to get one," Martha replied. "What's this about?"
"A really fancy shindig Bruce Wayne is hosting abroad," Connor replied. "I already know about it from Tim," he quickly added.
"That was very thoughtful of the Wayne family," Martha smiled. "I suppose I should call up Lois and find out what you'd wear to one of these things," she muttered reaching for the phone.
In Metropolis, it was Clark that answered the phone. "Ma!" he greeted warmly. "What can I do for you?"
"I was hoping Lois was around," Martha replied. "I need some advice on what to wear to high society events."
"High society events…did you get an invite from Bruce too?" Clark asked. His mother replied that she had. Clark narrowed his eyes suspiciously. "That's great Ma. Lois is out at the moment, but I can have her call you back," he added.
"That would be wonderful, dear. How are you doing?" she asked, changing the subject. They were still talking when Lois entered the apartment. Clark handed her the invitation and the phone.
"Ma got one too and wants your help," he told her. As his wife and mother conversed, he dialled Bruce on his mobile. "I can RSVP for four Kents," Clark said when Bruce answered.
"I figured as much," Bruce smirked over the phone. "Does Martha have a passport? If not I can take care of it," he offered.
"I'll find out and let you know." Clark replied. "So what's the deal?"
"You'll see in May," Bruce replied nonchalantly. "I want to have a nice intimate party without the vultures from the tabloids."
"You're not telling me a thing are you?"
"Not a chance in hell," Bruce chuckled. Bruce glanced out the window and saw a small green light in the distance. "Listen, we'll talk later. I have an appointment to keep," he said, ending the call.
"Fine. Talk to you later," Clark snorted, ending the call and shaking his head.
In Gotham, Bruce waited as the light he'd spotted landed nearby. Ten minutes later, his secretary informed him that a Hal Jordan was here to see him. Bruce told her to let Hal in.
"Hey Bruce," Hal greeted as he entered the office. Bruce waved him to take a seat and he did. Bruce sat opposite him at his desk. "So what's the emergency?"
"I need a pilot," Bruce replied. Hal raised an eyebrow. "One, who the press doesn't know about and therefore, can't be bribed."
"Sure. When?" Hal asked.
"May 15th, next year."
"Uh okay, that's a bit in the future, but you have yourself a pilot," Hal replied. Bruce handed over an envelope and Hal opened it and read the invitation. "Dick finally found the balls to ask Barbara to marry him?" Hal laughed and Bruce narrowed his eyes.
"This has nothing to do with Dick," Bruce stated. "This is an exclusive event that I need to keep quiet about."
"Gotcha," Hal said, raising his hands in defeat. "I know nothing other than that you need a pilot not employed by you."
"Thank you Hal, I appreciate it," Bruce replied, standing to shake hands with his old comrade.
On the fifteenth day of May, a private plane had flown the Allen/West clan from Keystone city to Gotham. "If I knew private planes were one of the perks, I'd have tried to land Bruce Wayne instead," Iris Allen teased.
"I'm kidding," Iris exclaimed. "Jeeze can't take a joke…either of them," she muttered under her breath.
"Well you might be kidding, but I'm not," Linda stated. "Irey honey, I know Damian Wayne is a pain in the butt, but see what you can do."
Irey West gave her mother a thumb's up. "You got it, Mom," she said, before returning to the book she was reading for school.
"Don't even joke about that Linda," Wally pleaded with his wife.
"Who said I was joking?" Linda asked. "I could get used to this," she added.
The pilot came on over the comm, to announce that they were beginning their descent into Gotham International Airport. He added that they would not need to change gates, as their next flight would leave from the same gate. Stepping into the waiting area of gate 27, Iris and Linda both spied Clark and Lois Kent. The two women turned to Bart and narrowed their eyes.
"Alright kid, spill," Linda demanded.
"I know the same thing you do," Bart shrugged and waved at Connor.
"I'll bet," Iris grumbled, not believing her grandson for one second.
Lois looked up when she heard the gate door open and spied Iris Allen and Linda Park-West interrogating Bart Allen. She narrowed her eyes and turned to face Connor Kent.
"Okay Connor, what's it gonna cost to get you to sing?" Lois asked and Connor laughed.
"Even if I knew anything, you couldn't meet my price," he laughed. Clark listened and noticed that Connor was controlling his vocal cords. He knew something and was keeping it to himself. Connor got up to go sit with Bart and talk in peace. Clark rose to his feet to shake hands with Barry Allen and Wally West. He indicated the two young friends talking to the side.
"They know what this is about…I'll bet you anything," Clark told the two speedsters.
"They probably do," Barry admitted. "But you have to give it to them in the loyalty department if they aren't sharing," he added.
"True," Clark admitted. "It's just that I'm a reporter…this is killing me." Barry and Wally both barked out laughs at his statement.
"We're married to reporters, Clark," Barry said. "I think we know what you're going through."
From her seat next to her father, Irey blew an exasperated breath from her pursed lips. "So what if they know?" she said.
"You'll find out soon enough," her brother Jai added.
"From the mouth of babes!" Bart exclaimed, pointing to Irey and Jai. "Here ya go kids," he added, slipping a twenty dollar bill to each twin.
"Pleasure doing business with ya," Jai replied as he thanked Bart for the money.
"Same here," Irey added, tucking the money away in her backpack.
"Oh Bruce is good," Lois said suddenly when she saw Hal Jordan walking towards them. "You flying?" she asked as he came over and greeted the two families.
"Yep, and I can't tell you where either," Hal laughed. "I won't know until we're airborne," he added.
"Lois," Martha Kent chided. ""Like the children pointed out, we'll know soon enough."
"I know," Lois whined. "But it's driving me nuts!"
"You're not the only one," Connor muttered. "Jesus."
"For real, dude," Bart snorted. Clark shot the two a glare which they returned.
"Nag him, if it's driving you nuts," Hal said, pointing to where Bruce and his sons were walking towards the gate.
"We tried," Iris snorted.
"Fat lot of good that did," Lois added, folding her arms across her chest. Hal saluted Bruce before leaving to board the plane and get it ready for takeoff.
Tim took the long way around the lounge to meet up with Bart and Connor. "Reporter issues?" he asked, as he flopped down next to Bart.
"Oh my God!" Bart exclaimed. "I love my grandma a lot, but I'm ready to strangle her!"
"Likewise," Connor said loud enough for Clark to hear. "Can we get this damn show on the road already?"
Tim scanned the lounge and did a quick headcount. "As soon as Tam and her family get here, we're gone."
The Fox family arrived a few minutes later and Tam wandered over to Tim and his friends. "You owe us big," Bart told her as he got up to give her a quick hug.
"I'm sure," she laughed.
Hal alerted Bruce that he was ready whenever Bruce was. Bruce announced to the gathered crowd that they could now board the plane and stood back as passengers began to file on. Once everyone was aboard, Bruce went up to the cockpit with Hal. Hal taxied to the runway and soon they were airborne. Tam waited until the plane had levelled off before rising to her feet and turning to face everyone in the plane.
"I know the invitations you all received were rather cryptic," she said, as she removed the chain from around her neck. "But it was necessary so the tabloids wouldn't find out about this," she added, slipping her engagement ring onto her finger. "You have all been invited to Tim's and my wedding." A loud cheer erupted as Tim got up to stand next to his fiancée.
"There are four reporters aboard, who are also guests, as they are family friends," he stated. "Those four get the exclusive right to break the story, after the wedding."
"You knew?" Clark asked Connor. Connor smirked.
"I saw the ring before Tam did," he admitted. "I'm part of the wedding party, so is Bart," he added loud enough for the Allen/West clan to hear.
"And we were sworn to secrecy, so there," Bart added. "Asshole," he muttered through clenched teeth, just loud enough for Connor to hear. Clark heard as well and chuckled. Connor just burst out laughing.
In the cockpit, Hal gave Bruce a curious look when they heard the cheering. "I'm assuming our guests know what is really going on now," he stated.
"Santorini is our destination. From there, we're taking a chartered yacht to my private island," Bruce explained. "And on Friday, Tim and Tamara get married."
"So it is one of your boys getting married," Hal laughed. "Congratulations."
The plane landed in the pre dawn hours on Santorini. After passing through customs, the guests were shuttled to the harbour where a private yacht waited to take them to a private island, Bruce Wayne owned nearby. The yacht was a small ship and would be the accommodations for most of the wedding guests. On the island, Cassandra Sandsmark and Donna Troy waited as the yacht pulled up to the dock.
"Diana will be joining us tonight," Donna told Bruce as he disembarked. He gave her a curt nod and stepped aside so Dick could greet her.
Cassie took one look at Bart and Connor and laughed. "They caught on?" she asked as Connor hugged and kissed her.
Bart let loose a litany of choice words as he took his turn at hugging Cassie. "God talk about pain in the ass!" Linda walked past him and smacked the back of his head. He glared at her. "I can see why Tim didn't want anyone to know," he grumbled. Linda had to laugh at that.
Alfred Pennyworth had assumed position as head of the household in the island's manor immediately. His attention to detail ensured that the wedding would be perfect. The guests spent the day relaxing and adjusting to the time difference. Bart was in charge of his kid cousins and along with Cassie and Connor; they went down to the beach to play in the surf. Tim and Tam joined them later in the afternoon, after spending some time alone on another secluded beach on the island.
That Friday afternoon, Tim stood at the front of an alter, with Dick at his side. Tam's brother Tim and Bart and Connor stood beside them, as they waited for the bride to appear. A string quartet began to play a beautiful melody and the guests all turned in their seats to see Lucius Fox, escorting his youngest child on his arm. Tim's heart almost stopped at the sight of her. Tam was wearing a simple white gown and veil. She wore the necklace Tim had given her when he proposed and looked stunning. Dick glanced at Barbara Gordon who gave him a sly wink, before returning his attention to his soon to be sister-in-law. The ceremony itself was simple and brief. The couple had written it themselves along with their vows. The minister pronounced them man and wife and the crowd erupted in cheers for the newlyweds as they kissed.
Dinner was served outdoors and Dick Grayson stood up to do his part as best man. "Ah Timmy," he said. Tim rolled his eyes and Dick smirked. "All I can say is, screw this up and we're going rounds, pal." The crowd laughed as Tim swatted as his eldest brother.
"I'm seconding that," Connor said.
"Thirding it," Bart and Tam's brother Tim both added.
"I hate you all," he muttered under his breath. Holding his hand up to his mouth he pointed at Dick and said louder that the guests should look for another cryptic invitation in the mail and soon. Tam leaned back in her seat and howled in laughter as Babs shook her head ruefully at Tim. Dinner concluded and party continued on a large patio overlooking the sea. Lucius Fox grinned broadly as he danced with his daughter. Tim politely interrupted them. "Dance with me?" he asked, taking her hand from Lucius.
A photo, Donna took while the newlyweds enjoyed their first dance together would grace the front page of the Daily Planet three days later. A similar photo accompanied the story Iris Allen wrote for the Keystone Gazette, in an issue released the same day as the Planet. Vicki Vale sat at her desk and was just getting ready to peruse her usual news sources when her editor came storming up to her.
"What the hell is this Vale?" he bellowed, slamming a copy of the Planet and Gazette on her desk. She snatched the Planet up and glanced at the picture and accompanying story.
"No way," she muttered, as she picked up the Keystone Gazette and saw the by line of Iris Allen. "That bastard!" she fumed, slamming both papers down. "They swindled us good," she told her editor.
Later in the day, a letter came priority to her desk and she ripped it open. It was from Bruce Wayne. In the letter he apologised for her not knowing about Tim and Tam's wedding, but added that the couple had wanted to keep the occasion as private as possible. That the Kent's and Iris got the story was chalked up to the fact that Tim considered them family friends. Bruce concluded the letter with an invitation to dinner the following evening.
Vicki almost considered calling him up to tell him where he could shove dinner, but reconsidered. She'd hear Bruce out. During dinner, Bruce bluntly told her what Tim thought of the Gotham press after the ordeal of his father's murder. Vicki bit her lip as she recalled how bad it had been. "Again I apologise, but it was Tim and Tamara's wish and I honoured that," he stated. She considered giving the couple their privacy. "I'll make it worth your while," Bruce added. He'd been given permission from Dick and Babs to hint at their upcoming nuptials. "Another one of my sons will be tying the knot soon." Bruce had Vicki Vale's undivided attention.