Alexander Knox (beliefinbatmen) wrote in gotham_lights,
Alexander Knox
beliefinbatmen
gotham_lights

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Gotham Square - 9:45 am - December 1st

Not even ten in the morning, and already Knox's day was going badly.

Ok, so maybe badly wasn't exactly the word. It wasn't like someone'd called and told him his dog had gotten run over - or something to that effect since it occured to him that he didn't have a dog. But it definitely wasn't his ideal start to a day. Not when he'd stopped over at Globe HQ and found out that there were no real assignments for him - the last one (an electrical fire at some rich schmuck's house or something) had been snatched up just before he'd gotten in. And if that hadn't been irritating enough, someone had come tearing around the corner just as he was heading out, bouncing through a muddy puddle of water near the curb and drenching his trenchcoat in grime. Oh, yeah, and had he mentioned it was raining? Well, it was. Not hard, of course, but it didn't lighten his mood.

Truth be told, actually, the only thing that would make him feel better about the day thus far would be if the Batman dropped out of the sky to give him an exclusive interview. Or if Max Shreck - who he was still convinced was alive and well in the city - magically appeared in front of him. The plausibility of either, however, he severely doubted - no one would believe him if Batman decided to share all, and Shreck? If he was alive, Knox knew Max would be avoiding him.

Maybe hoping for a cup of hot coffee would be better and just as effective. And hey, hot coffee he could do without much fuss - there was a little coffee place down the street just a bit. And maybe he'd think of someone he could talk to or some kind of scoop he could get and the day wouldn't end up being as horrible as it had started.

Buoyed by the idea, the reporter pulled his muddied trenchcoat a little closer for protection against the needles of cold rain that fell and headed in the direction of the coffee shop, eyes on the signs of each shop he passed, not really paying attention to where he was going.



(Open to asgoodasmayor)
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And as luck may - or may not - have had it, Knox passed by the Gotham National Bank at the exact moment that Max Shreck stepped through its doors, tucking his scarf into the fur collar of his tweed coat before taking his hat from its place tucked in his arm, and settling it on his head. Reaching into the folds of his coat, he double-checked his breast pocket, making sure that the necessary paperwork he needed was still there. Satisfied, he cast his glance down and out over Gotham Square. True, there was a bit more neon once you got up past the second and third floors of the buildings, but the cathedral across the way was still just as austere and mildly foreboding, and the Town Hall still held the same air of business and decorum, the next block over.

Thank goodness for small comforts, Max mused. It was good to know that some things still hadn't changed in his absence. And as his eyes scanned the few Gothamites milling around the Square, collars, hats, and umbrellas turned against the inclement weather, he noticed one more thing that hadn't changed - Alexander Knox, with his collar up and his fedora dripping rain down the back of his trenchcoat. He'd lost that ridiculous caterpiller of a moustache he'd sported for a while - something Max slated as a change for the better.

And whereas most high socialites of Gotham or men of power would have gone running from Alex Knox the way cockroaches ran from light, there couldn't have been anyone Max would have been more pleased to see at the moment - Alexander Knox, Gotham's biggest editorial mouth. He who sided with the fantastic, the flashy of Gotham. The Big Headlines. Max could already feel flashbulbs in his eyes as he practically scurried down the steps, a smile spreading across his face.

"Why," he called out, congeniality in every lilt and syllable of his voice, "if it isn't Gotham's own Alexander Knox!"
Immediately, Knox froze.

Funny, that had almost sounded like Max Shreck, but it couldn't have been. Could it? After all, the things people were hoping for didn't just materialize out of thing air - or at least not in the city. So it had to be someone else - someone who probably wanted to bust his stones about one article he'd written or another - it had to.

Adamant belief in this or not, however, he couldn't help but turn in the direction of the voice. You know. Just in case. And suddenly, he was very glad he had. It was Max Shreck.

Putting on a grin that took no effort at all - Max Shreck was talking to him - he headed in the business man's general direction. "Good morning, Mister Shreck."
"How've you bean, Knox? Long time, no see." Max walked over to meet him, halfway, and held out a hand for a nice, firm handshake. "Gotta be easier to read your notes by, all this glitz, hah?"
Knox shrugged, grin still plastered on his face as he took Max's hand in his own. Max Shreck was alive and talking to him. It was any reporter's dream - especially since the guy had supposedly been dead. And if he could get a statement or something - anything?

Well, that's sure as hell show those non-believers back at the Globe.

Of course, he'd have to get said dirt first, and that meant playing his cards right. So, carefully yet still smiling, he offered, "It's true, things have changed a lot in a year."

Maybe that'd prompt Max to talk about what he'd been up to.
"That they have," Max replied, shrugging. "You want maybe we should get out of this, this rain we've got here?" He gestured up the street. "I could spot you a cup of joe."

Truth be told, Max was more than willing to give Knox the Exclusive Scoop he knew he'd be looking for ... however, he was sure neither of them wanted it taking place in the rain.
"I'd like that," Knox agreed.

Not that he was willing to let Max pay for his coffee, of course. Oh, sure, he had no doubts as to whether or not Max could afford it - 'dead' or not, the guy had to have some money, somewhere, still. But if he didn't at least attempt to cover his half of the bill, he'd feel like an idiot. He refrained from mentioning this to Shreck, however, for fear of loosing his interview - he'd just pull out his wallet when the time was right and that would be that.

Hopefully.

Either way, however, Knox didn't hesitate in leading them up the street towards the coffee shop, glancing over his shoulder every few steps just to make sure Max was behind him.
"I'm still here, Knox," Max chuckled, as his eyes wandered around the Square, still taking in every detail and comparing it to the one he'd left behind. "What, it isn't like, I'm some kind of ghost or what have you."
"Hey, you never know," the reporter shot back, with a small sheepish grin. "Stranger things have happened in this town."
"You're tellin' me," Shreck chuckled. Slowly, his smile faded, grew thoughtful. "Speakin' of. ... What's this I heard about Harvey Dent? You know anythin' about that?"
"As in District Attorney Harvey Dent?" he asked, as if there were some other Harvey Dent wandering the city.

A shrug, and then, "'Bout maybe nine months ago, Comissioner Gordon and Dent put Maroni - you know, the crime boss? - on trial. And when Dent was questioning him, the guy pulled a vial of acid outta no where and threw it at him. Batman and some of the cops tried to save him, but ..."

Knox paused here, frowning. He hadn't been there at the time - one of the other guys had been sent to cover it for the Globe - but he'd heard plenty. Apparently the acid had done more than just mess up Harvey's face, and it was damn shame, too - despite the fact that he and Dent didn't exactly get along, the guy had been a good one.

"Dent ended up in Arkham. ... Well, until he broke out." Another long moment of silence. "Ended up going after Batman with his partner, and eventually bit the big one in Gotham Harbor."
Max listened, quickening his pace to walk alongside Knox so that he could properly listen, rapt. Then, once it was evident that the reporter had reached the end of his yarn, he let out a long, slow sigh.

"Damn shame. Good guy. ... It was Maroni, y'said?" And here, Max's eyes darkened, his eyebrows edging minutely downward. "Why, am I not surprised. Guy made a mess of the Narrows." He shook his head slightly, then popped one shoulder in a shrug. "What's done's done, though, am I right?"

Slipping his gloved hands into his pockets, Max kept up his stride beside Knox, enjoying the conversation. It felt good to be walking his streets again, with someone he'd always unofficially considered one of his people, talking Town. It felt damned good.
"Yeah."

Whether this was in response to Max's statement that Dent had been a good man or to his observation that it was done and over was anyone's guess. Either way, however, he did not stop with this agreement, instead continuing to feed Max information, figuring the guy could use it.

"'Course I don't think Maroni's gonna mess up much more - I think Dent got to him. ... And if he didn't, someone else did."

asgoodasmayor

11 years ago

beliefinbatmen

11 years ago

asgoodasmayor

11 years ago

beliefinbatmen

11 years ago

asgoodasmayor

11 years ago

beliefinbatmen

11 years ago

asgoodasmayor

11 years ago

beliefinbatmen

11 years ago

asgoodasmayor

11 years ago

beliefinbatmen

11 years ago

asgoodasmayor

11 years ago

beliefinbatmen

11 years ago

asgoodasmayor

11 years ago

beliefinbatmen

11 years ago

asgoodasmayor

11 years ago

beliefinbatmen

11 years ago

"Like I said," Max shrugged. "No idea. Someone liked me, though. Either way, I was there until just recently. I guess I was a project and a half." He shuddered. "I don't remember much, but ... the electrical wiring, down there ... not good."
Knox cringed, lowering his eyes to his coffee. "I won't ask."

And he didn't, taking a sip of his drink before changing the subject. "So, what're you doing back in Gotham? ... I mean, I know you're probably just trying to get your footing back, but ... what do you want to tell the people?" He skipped a beat. "Assuming I can quote you on all this."
Max blinked. "Oh, of course you can! What's the use of telling you all this if I don't let you quote? I'd be wasting your precious time, wouldn't I." He sipped at his coffee, gingerly. Finding it still too hot, he blew on it once more. "As for Gotham?" He shrugged. "I can't stay away from it any more than monarchs from Mexico. Gotham's my city, Knox. I was born here, I was raised here, and I intend to die here. For real. After a very, extended, period of time."
The reporter smiled, both at the idea that Max would allow himself to be quoted and at his choice of words. His city - Knox could totally sympathize with that. Yeah, ok, maybe Gotham wasn't the best of places to live, but there was something charming about it. Something that Knox genuinely wouldn't leave either.

"Sounds good," he answered, finally and genuinely, before taking another sip of his coffee. "Anything else you wanna say while I've got the proverbial tape recorder in your face?"

And in that instant, he realized he hadn't touched his tape recorder at all during the meeting. Not that he'd probably need it - Max was one of those people who's quotes just stuck with you - but it was still something that struck him as odd. Anyone else would've gotten recorded right off the bat.
"Only proverbial, Knox. You wound me." Max sighed, before the joking light faded from his eyes and he sighed, slouching around his coffee. "But certainly, you could say my heart goes out to Mr. Young's family ... poor man. I didn't even know he'd been my rival in the running, truth be told, till I saw the papers this morning. But I know the devastation electrical accidents can wreak on a man's life ... you never do expect ..." He sighed again, sipping at his coffee. "Terrible, really."
"Young," Knox repeated, frowning thoughtfully. "Yeah, I heard about that on the news this morning ... didn't get to catch much, though, cause I was on my way out."

And really, all he'd managed to catch was that some rich guy's house had burnt down. And that was it. Or at least that was it if you didn't count what he'd gotten from work - which, now that he thought about it wasn't much more. Maybe it wasn't his story, but that didn't mean he'd hadn't been curious about it since the get-go. And Max had alleviated some of that curoisity.

"Yeah," he started again, finally, "real shame. Didn't know the guy, but ... I dunno. You just don't expect half the stuff you get in this city."
A brief, heavy silence fell over the table. "Yeah. S'a lot of things you don't expect. .... Knox? ..." He took another, long, drink of his coffee as a chill ran over his shoulders. "I never thanked you for that."
"Hey." He paused here, just long enough to shoot the other man a long, intense look. "That was none of their business. ... I'm just sorry I couldn't keep 'em from runnin' that stuff."
Max nodded, slowly. "You and I know what was true. And nothing came of it. That's what counts. ... But ... these things, they happen. And we move on." He paused. "Yeesh. They need to turn their heat up, or is it just me? .... Anyway, Knox. Anything else I can do you for?"
"S'kinda cold in here, yeah," he agreed, frown still firmly in place despite the other man's assurances that them knowing what had really happened concering Max and his dead wife was all that mattered.

Sighing, trying to dispel his annoyance, he took another sip of coffee. And then, "Unless you got anything else you wanna add, Mister Shreck, I'm all set."
"Not as such, no," Max shrugged, sipping at his coffee again. "Other than that I think it's time to put that winter lining in my coat. ... I appreciate your, taking the time to chat, Mr. Knox. Always a pleasure."
"Hey, no, thank you, Mister Shreck. I mean, c'mmon, you didn't have to talk to me or give me a statement or whatever." Standing, he offered his hand again, hefting the coffee in the other. "And thanks for the coffee, too."
Max took the offered hand, giving Knox another of his firmest handshakes as he got to his feet. "Hey, anytime. We men of Gotham gotta stick together, y'know? ... Which reminds me. F'I need any more fill-ins on while I was gone ... you mind, terribly, f'I give you a buzz?"

beliefinbatmen

11 years ago

asgoodasmayor

11 years ago

beliefinbatmen

11 years ago

asgoodasmayor

11 years ago