|DC/Marvel: Age of Infinite Heroes|
The gym is closed for the entire weekend. It is a national holiday and Ted being a veteran doesn't skimp when it comes to the Fourth. Unlike most business men he won't try to mae money off it. He has Summer specials for that. With all the sudden influx of criminal activity he is busy going over a map of Midtown Island trying to figure out what to do next. The doors are locked the 'Closed' sign is lit and Ted is in full Wildcat regalia, just waiting for a little more darkness to gather before he heads out.
The upper windows were typically how Carrie would sneak in when the gym was closed, or if she were simply trying to avoid detection. They were the swing up type that older style buildings had, to help ventilate while at the same time ensuring that no water might come in from an unexpected rain. With a backpack on her back she arrived wearing her typical disguise in which she went by the name of Polly Kidd--A name bestowed on her by Ted himself if however unknowingly. Her hair was a mixture of blue and purple, she wore contacts instead of her glasses, and a few fake piercings were in as well: A nose stud, eyebrow piercing, and two snakebites at her lips. Her clothes were the subdued skinny jeans only someone as lanky as her could pull off easily along with a pair of Sketchers, and a rumpled t-shirt with some faded band name on it.
The familiar noises of someone slipping into the secret air duct could be heard. Quietly a figure dropped down, "Are you Ted Grant, former heavyweight champion?" he then asked. It's a man about average height. They're wearing a dark blue hoodie and black sweat pants. Both were baggy so it was hard to get a read of the person's build. Clearly they were male because their voice was just too deep to be a female, or she could have been a great voice actor.
When the obvious retort from Ted came the person replied, "I want a match. I've trained with the best across the world except -you-." Setting the bag down the figure moved to the ring like he owned the place, "I'll need some gloves." The person had come quickly and clearly had some experience in a ring because they leapt over the ropes with ease of a professional wrestler. The figure scanned the area and noted a young girl with blue and purple hair, "Can she be trusted?" Then his gaze went to Ted, "Can -you- be trusted?" both questions were serious and their words carried the utmost weight. If anything could be read about the man's body language it was one thing: they weren't leaving without this fight.
Wildcat looks up nonchalantly. "Maybe I don't want a fight, mister. Maybe you ain't worth my time. What's your handle?" He doesn't seem concerned about being founf in costume and being called by name because ... Wildcat. And yes, Ted is contrary enough to deny a fight to a challeneger however paradoxical that may me. He'll be very peaceful unless it's his idea to fight.
Of course picking a fight with Wildcat is easier than it sounds.
It sounds pretty easy usually.
Polly goes quiet rather suddenly as she realizes there's another here--someone challenging Ted to begin with. A small gesture is made behind her back to whomever SHE was with giving them fair warning before they might enter. Nothing smart or snappy is said though, not right now. "Trusted better'n you," is all she mutters in her vague New York accent.
It might not be as dark out as he usually likes for patrols, but Robin is hoping to get in a little Gotham time before driving back up to New York for a full patrol there. He made sure that his GOtham route was going to take him through a lot of the bad parts of the city to try and maximize his impact for the time he was devoting. So far, everything was seemingly quiet, and then he caught sight of a figure sneaking into the top window of Grant's Gym. Robin knows that Wildcat isn't exactly a stranger to having trouble find him, or being able to handle whatever trouble does come his way, but it never hurts to make sure that an ally has backup. So, Robin swings his way down to the roof of the gym, landing softly and silently. It doesn't take long for him to scramble inside the open window to get a peek at what's going on. But instead of dropping to the floor, like the person he followed inside did, Robin sticks to the rafters, moving silently up in the shadows and watching from above. So far, he doesn't recognize either of the two people conversing with Wildcat; either the man, nor the girl. Things seem like they're about to get interesting from what he's heard, but nothing that Ted can't deal with. So the Teen Wonder decides to wait and watch from above.
Moving to a corner the figure stretched out by gripping the ropes then moving up and down with the legs as if they were squatting. "I've been in a few fights. They're my qualifications and why it's worth your time, old man." Yes, the figure tries to goad the former champion in the ring. After the stretching the figure removed the hoodie to reveal a rock that was carved out of granite. Every muscle and their definition screamed that this man went to the gym religiously. Scars were riddled across the back too and some of the arms. It was easy to guess a good twenty to forty percent of their backside was some kind of scar tissue. Two people here could have recognized those scars anywhere. A hardline that went down his back came from Deathstroke's blade. A few red dots near the left shoulder was when Two-Face tried shooting him from behind. The list went on.
Slowly the figure turned and Bruce Wayne looked to Ted, "I'm not leaving without that match," his eyes were hard and unmoving. Clearly someone wasn't spending their free time in the arms of an entire Russian ballet while eating nothing but various filets and washing them all down with the finest of wines. All of those scars said there was a story. The front of Mr. Wayne as just as well-scupted as the front and similarly scarred. "You're one of the best boxers in the world. I've trained with the best...I want to see who's better," his voice held a hard edge that Carrie and Tim would have instantly recognized. This wasn't the public persona Bruce Wayne that was talking right now. The only thing missing was the costume.
Wildcat sighs and slowly pulls his mask down. That's the last thing he does slowly. His hands slam down on the counter in front of him as he rises in a handstand and does a cartwheel the length of the counter before leaping from it to the ring post which he perches upon on his tiptoes. He tilts his head a little. A small popping sound accompanies the movement. He looks over the scars. "I like your credentials Mr. Wayne. I believe I trained you a long time ago for a while. I am glad to see you put my training to good use. I'll give you your match. Gloves or bare knuckles?"
Polly, aka a disguised Carrie, sucks in a breath when the hooded man pushes it back to reveal who he is. It all clicks into place then for her as she stares wide-eyed with surprise. Any urge to blurt out the obvious is cut short however when Wildcat moves forward toward the ring to take up the offer of a match. Slowly exhaling she moves to the side, toward the bar area, where she slides off her backpack to place behind the counter all the while watching. This would be.. interesting.
Huh. There's something Robin doesn't see every day: Bruce Wayne looking to get into a fight with someone that recognizes him. Tim is wondering if he should be concerned here or not as he watches the scene below from his shadowed observation point in the rafters. Batman and Wildcat work together, and if Wildcat recognizes the same fighting style in Bruce Wayne, regardless of past teachings...Robin pulls out a couple of pellets from his utility belt, nervously rolling them between the fingers of his hand. he's really hoping that he doesn't have to try and evac Bruce quickly here. Hopefully, his mentor knows what he's doing and isn't under someone's control. There's worse people in Gotham that Bruce could inadvertently spill the Secret too, after all...
And then Robin turns his attention down to the girl below watching all of this. It takes him a while to recognize Carrie with all of the facial piercings she's wearing and the multi-color wig. Okay, one less person he has to worry about here. Still, this could get real bad, really fast. He reaches up to tap at his mask's radio system, whispering, "Robin to the Family. Everyone that can get down to Grant's Gym ASAP. We might have a situation here."
"Yes," comes from behind Robin in the rafters, the voice and lack of anything like warning being part of the game for her, Cassandra betrays her presence in the rafters to the boy wonder (tm) with a bit of amusement. Almost certain that the only person NOT here is Alfred, and not one hundred percent sure that Alfred isn't here someplace, she doesn't bother checking for anyone else.
Cassandra is in black sweats, no maks, and black shadows and looks like she's a part of one of them. It's no shame to have missed her. Either that or she followed him in, and she's not telling which it was.
The bag Bruce had set down just after arriving made a noise as Robin spoke. It was closed and Robin was speaking low, so the noise came out as a light muffle. If any bats in the room were paying attention it was safe to presume what was hiding in that gym bag wasn't a dress suit Bruce could change into when the fight was over.
Turning back to the corner Bruce resumed stretching. The stretches were a cover so he could casually look to the rafters. If he could catch Robin or Cassandra, there was the briefest of nods. A simple thing that said, "I'm okay." Bruce's blue eyes were hard though and read, "Stand down." Clearly the man was in control.
Once "stretched out" he looked back to Ted, "Gloves. Regulation rules. Polly can ring the bell when we're ready." Gone was all the banter and trash talk. He was here to fight a champion.
Placing on the gloves Bruce stood there in a pair of ring worth boots, that were mostly hidden by the black sweat pants that were loose on his legs. "I know the rules," both gloved hands were waiting to touch Ted's in a sign of readiness and respect, "Don't go easy on me," this was a phrase heard by the entire Bat-Family. Going soft on Bruce because he was your teacher just didn't happen. Every sparring match Bruce wanted people to be hard on him. To treat him no differently than they would have a mugger in the street because it recreated the real-life situations and expectations. Tonight he wanted a genuine match between two equals, nothing more, nothing less.
Wildcat does a flip off the ropes. His hands were already taped up for the night's activities. He pulls on a pair of gloves nearby and taps Bruce's gloves.
There is no pause between tapping the gloves. His first punch is his patented right hook.
Cut to a grainy B&W flashback. A younger darker haired Ted is telling his students: "Make your first shot fast! That often messes him up enough for you to make your second shot count!" Wham! Sparring partner goes down. "Slip him an extra fiver," Ted instructs Stretch.
The right hook does not connect though and Ted betrays no shock as he launches into a vicious combination of punches, trying to use his many blows as a shield to avoid any retaliation from Wayne.
Polly's gaze slides over to the bag, but her own made a mimicking sound that said she was, perhaps, not with her ears on at the moment. It didn't matter right now, did it? When she's tapped to man the bell she heads over toward it, tugging a stool along to sink down and sit. The appearance of Robin and Cassandra above them goes unnoticed, or unmentioned, as she's focused raptly on the situation at hand.
Robin nearly jumps off the rafters when Cassandra teleports in next to him. It has to be teleportation; no-one's that silent. "Jees, Cass...stealth much?" Robin smirks quietly at her, then turns his attention back to the scene bellow. When he sees the silent signs from his mentor, Robin nods in acknowledgement. This is something Bruce is choosing, for whatever reason he has. If he feels like sharing later, he will. Regardless, Robin pulls out a mini video camera from his utility belt and starts recording the fight. This is going to be good, and Dick and Terry are probably going to want to see this later.
Cassandra hunches on a rafter, balancing there with her knees spread and fingers resting softly on her toes. She looks like a gargoyle a little bit for a moment before simply stepping off of the rafter and falling to the ground below. She lands lightly enough, not bothering to go stealth mode on the action, and straightens to her feet. She wants a better view, walking up beside Carrie. She does try not to block Robin's shot though. <OOC> Cassandra Cain isn't the main show here, off you two go.
Ted's first blow was avoided. Years ago Bruce got that speech about making the first blow count. It was why he used a lot of velocity and force in aerial attacks that went first before taking people down. The attack always incapacitated the first and intimidated the rest.
He expected Ted to use the same tactic that was preached to every boxing student that went into Grant's Gym. So Bruce was waiting for that first powerhouse move. The follow ups were mostly blocked. A few body blows from Ted found their mark in Bruce's ribs and stomach.
All of the haymakers and jabs were dodged by weaving and moving quick. Ted had the power, Bruce had the speed. A flurry of quick attacks came from Bruce, but at certain points he was open. A few connected shots to the kisser sent Bruce back a bit. Each time he went back, Bruce went back on the defensive, waited for his moment and sent a flurry of quick blows. He wasn't tiring, but it was up to a veteran like Ted to find his moment and take it when it appeared.
Red marks were starting to appear on Bruce's side from the body blows, usually he side stepped or used his legs to counter. Side stepping like that would have left him too open for haymakers. Using your legs for blocking wasn't permitted. Simply put, these heavily relied on tools weren't available in a boxing match. Still, Bruce was swinging with trained punches as fast as he could.
Ted's strategy is slowly changing again. Wayne didn't succumb to his first attack. His full on offense was also not wearing him down nearly as fast as he expected. Several blows from Wayne were telling on the older fighter. Finally Ted breaks and takes a step back, watching the younger man carefully. He also notes the new arrivals. He's grinning ear to ear. It has been years since he actually boxed. Not brawled or used Eastern martial arts. Wayne was giving him a great fight.
Cue b&w Flashback. "Teddy everyone knows you're sharp as a bag of hammers," Socker Smith says helping his student up, "Ya don't gotta prove it every fucking round."
Ted smiles at his opponent and does a quick move whose significance should not be lost on Polly at least.
Carrie startles when Cassie lands beside her only to glance over toward the girl, reaching out to bump her arm with a closed fist lightly. Just a gentle quiet 'hi' before her attention turns back to watch with rapt attention. This was quite the fight, after all, and she knew that Ted was enjoying it. Was Bruce though? He was certainly getting his clock cleaned, so far. When Ted unmasks she sits up straighter and glances around out of habit. That wasn't something done lightly--not for any of them.
You paged Batman with 'No way I just beat you down. I'm going to be all in when I finish and just one step behind you. Hit me hard and piss me off. Bust me in the jaw.'
Cassandra Cain doesn't bump Carrie, but she does smile a little. The smile goes away fast though, her brain is in fight mode at the moment. Her eyes are narrowed and she's leaning forward as if wanting to be in the ring, not watching, and her eyes flicker all over to elbows, knees...she sees the moves not being done and slowly bites her lower lip. Unmasking does nothing at all to her attention. She didn't see the mask anyway. <OOC> Cassandra Cain says, "No worries Tim. I didn't leave you anyone to interact with, sorry."
Bruce didn't know what to expect when the mask came off. Parts of his body was sore but he was ready for more. "Tim drop down," Bruce said knowing that Robin was the only one in the rafters. He was too busy to notice the fist bump, but seeing Cassandra converse with someone, albeit briefly, was a good thing. Apparently Cassandra made it down to this gym too. If only Carrie, Dick, Stephanie and Terry were here.
Wildcat closes in. He's a little too fast and one punch tags him on the jaw. It barely phases him though or his body is on autopilot. His head rolls with the blow and comes under Bruce's fist and then he's inside Bruce's guard. The tag was the price he paid for his position. Now he makes his larger size count bearing Bruce back in a clench and getting two swollen ears and a cut on the scalp for his trouble. When they get to the ropes he lands a vicious combination of blows to the ribs, abdomen and sternum before Wayne manages to shove him back and clip his jaw on the other side. He's breathing heavy now. That rarely happens. He watches.
Polly continues to watch until Bruce calls from Tim to come down causing her head to snap upward staring at the tell-tale sight of Robin loitering along the ceiling. A snort comes from her, a small 'tt' that she'd picked up from a certain other Wayne, even as she cracks a grin. "Come on old man, give 'im what-for!" she calls out cheering on Ted of all people. Why? Because she knew Bruce could handle himself.
With the command given, Robin shoots out his grapnel line to catch on an overhead beam. Without lowering or turning of the video recorder, he swings down and lowers himself to the ground, holding the grapnel gun with only one hand. Tim keeps the camera on the action as he move over to another observation spot. He's not shouting out encouragement, knowing that neither men really need it. Both men are expert pugilist and Tim is happy to chronicle this fight for the Bat-Archives. This is definitely history in the making here.
Cassandra Cain isn't sure which old man is being referred to and doesn't really care. The grappling is making her sweat, and she actually breathes 'fuck' under her breath as the two push apart. That's it, you've taught her to cuss. Her head whips backward when Robin rappels down as if she honestly wasn't expecting him to be there and her right hand goes to her hip. She visibly flushes in her cheeks and turns back to the match, eyes narrowing in apparent annoyance.
Falling to the mat the blows caused pain to surge through Bruce's body. It was up to someone in the audience to count now. He stayed down for a few moments but slowly got up. Once up Bruce was slower. Every swing came with power but it was still taking a bit out of him.
Again it was easy for Ted to find his spot. A body blow to the left sent Bruce down a second time within two minutes after getting up. Rising a second time he was not willing to stay down. His blue eyes burned with a will that showed there was still fight left in him. Breathing out he was trying to connect more blows against Ted. Hopefully some would connect.
Sweat poured off of Bruce's body. The reddening showed he was going to have to explain away bruises in the morning, it was probably going to be hard to move his core too. None of that mattered right now though, not even Carrie's comment, which blew her cover and went unheard, all that mattered was the fight.
Wildcat is not finding the going terribly easy. He's shocked to see Bruce go down the second time and get up. sweats pouring from his body. One ear is red from the scalp cut. His ears are swelling up and one eye is blackening quickly. Neither man is going anywhere else tonight. "Fuck," he mutters as Bruce closes on him again.
For once Ted is feeling his age. Hitting Wayne was like hitting a brick wall and his arms are tired.
Cue b&w again. Socker's voice raging at a very young Ted sparring. "Last lesson kiddies. You fight for your life, because a fighter never quits, even when fate deals you a shitty hand. Even when your body is giving out."
Ted puts everything he has into one last punch.
When the final blow connected Bruce went down for the third time. Technical Knock Out. If a fighter got knocked down three times during a fight, regulation rules stated he was unfit to compete. Ted Grant had just beat Bruce Wayne in a boxing match.
Ted is in no shape to rejoice. He is standing though.
Though it had been a task appointed to her on the fly, without knowing who she was, Polly was taking the task of counting seriously. When Bruce goes down again she counts aloud. One. Two. Then he's already working his way up making it easier to fall silent to watch again as the fight continues and then Ted just... Finishes.
Ooooh...Robin winces in pain as Batman gets knocked down again. Not a good thing, although he's sure Bruse isn't going to feel any shame about this fight. The video recorder is turned off and Tim goes over to grab a towel and some water for his mentor. He hands them to the unmasked Batman and smiles. "Hey, for what it's worth...that was a Hell of a fight to see, regardless of who won."
Over in Cassandra's little corner of life, her annoyed face hasn't changed much. She does squeak a little as Batman goes down the second time, clenching her fists into the fabric of her sweat pants. A spot of blood appears under her lip, a sign she'd bitten harder than she was aware. Or didn't care. Either/or.
Mr Wayne dropping the third time, well, Cassandra starts actually talking a little. "Get up," she says. "Get up." It's quiet, but she's obviously not aware that the fight is over. She looks around the room in confusion, shutting up. At least she stops clenching her fingers then.
Breathing hard Bruce said nothing and slipped out of the ring. He looks at Cassandra to show her the only thing wounded was pride. Snagging his bag he went into the shadows. A few light pain laden noises escaped his lips. Eventually comes from the shadows fully dressed, "No one style is above the other. What you saw today was proof. All of you will be training with Ted. He taught me and no one is above learning new things. Not even me," this is today's lesson. Anyone that thought they were the best or a master at anything could lose. New tactics and tricks could have always been learned regardless of anyone's training level. "I've put my skills to good use," Bruce gave Ted a hard look as he was dressed in the complete Batman costume. Yes, there was a big sign of trust happening right now.
Wildcat swallows hard and tries to speak. Nothing comes out the first try. "My student ... my peer ... you honor me." Ted holds out a hand to Batman. "I always thought ... I knew you from somewhere." He finds his mask and pulls it back. Then he stands a little straighter.
Carrie glances toward Cassandra when she starts urging that he get up only to reach over and touch her arm lightly. "Not a real fight. Rules are three times down, and you lose." When Bruce leaves the ring to get dressed in his 'real' clothes she steps back over toward Tim to regard the camera with a raised eyebrow. "Planning on catching many people on camera tonight?" She asks, teasingly, before clearing her throat. Bruce had come back out with that declaration and she nods solemnly. It was Selina who had brought her here and asked Ted to teach her--but that didn't make it any less relevant.
Robin nods to Batman, finally taking off his own mask and tucking it into his belt. he understands the point that was made here, and he knows Carrie and Cass got it too. But Damien probably won't be happy with this and miss the point entirely. "Good to meet you, Mr. Grant," Tim says as he walks over to the old fighter. "I'm living in New York, now, but I'll make it a point to do training with you at least once a week." And Tim means that, even though he's starting to feel the weight of all his responsibilities. Carrie's remark gets a smirk from Tim and he shakes his head. "Nope. Just recorded for posterity and as a training too for future generations of Bats. Some of them are going to wonder why they have to train with Wildcat, and this is going to show them why."
Little Cassandra has gone for water for the two fighters. She is returning with one of the larger water bottles in her left hand, another under her left arm clasped to her side, and a bucket of water held in her right hand. She also has towels on her shoulders and looks like a walking dispensary with the first aid kit also hanging from her teeth. She just stands by the ring quietly without commenting in any other way, though her stance and her eyes speak volumes to anyone who can read it. Waiting for my patients. Now.
Batman shook Wildcat's hand, "The JSA started everything. Batman is just one of the new heroes taking that idea a little further. Nothing more," this was Wildcat's moment. He earned and deserved all the credit and more, for the fight, for past, present and future contributions.
Seeing Robin unmask made Batman proud. Nothing was said to the boy-wonder but it showed in Bruce's eyes for a split second. Going back into the ring he peeled off his suit. "Ribs," he responded to the waiting nurse. "Are you going to join patrols Wildcat? Always room for you on the team, not just as a mentor."
Wildcat pulls his mask back off and well Cassandra can see the damage done. "Call me Ted. I don't know. This is a lot to process ... especially after you knocked my brain around in my skull. I'll be glad to help with patrols but I think I should work mostly around this area unless you need me elsewhere. As for training the gym is always open. I've worked with your students some already They liked coming down here in dress up it seems. " He gives Polly and Cassandra a nod.
Polly holds up her hands in defense at the statement of coming here to train in dress up. "Hey, it was Selina who recommended I train with you. I was just making sure there wasn't a tie-in to the family without an OK from the Boss." Grinning she drops her hands again to plant on her hips letting her weight rock to one side cockily. "It was kind of hard getting Damian to come in costume to begin with. You know he has a friend named 'Adam'. Shows how creative he can be."
Cassandra Cain flips towels in the air, landing them on the top of both Batman and Wildcat's heads, then firmly places water bottles in their hands and starts on medical. Talk talk talk. Boys. Still, it was a good fight.