Max Shreck (asgoodasmayor) wrote in gotham_lights,
Max Shreck
asgoodasmayor
gotham_lights

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December 1st - 2:50 AM



It was almost funny.

An hour and a half ago, Crane had been all for driving straight home and passing out on his bed for a well-deserved eight hour sleep. But after meeting Harvey Dent, hell, after all that had happened tonight, he was wide awake. Maybe not perfectly sane - everyone knew that sleep deprivation did funny things to the mind - but that probably explained why he'd talked to Dent in the first place. And why he was currently pulling his car into the parking lot of Max Shreck's apartment complex, instead of his own.

Max, he had decided mere seconds before the bypass split off to his own neck of the woods, needed the contract now. Max needed to hear about his meeting with Harvey Dent. Max needed ...

Ok, so maybe it wasn't all about Max's needs. Maybe he needed to share with someone. Someone who would tell him that everything that had happened - from torching Young's place to trading words with Two-Face - was perfectly sane. That he'd done what any person would have done when faced with his situation. And that the feelings of absoulte excitement that clung to him tighter than his straightjacket trenchcoat were normal.

And maybe he wanted his check, too. And maybe, just maybe, Max really did need that contract now, so that there was no chance that Crane would oversleep or forget or any number of things that would keep it from Shreck's hands.

So, there he was, parked in a spot that had been neatly marked visitor at nearly three in the morning. Without hesitation, he pulled down the sun visor in front of him, combing a hand through dark hair in an attempt to make himself presentable - despite the fact that the dark circles under his eyes made that damn near impossible. Then, with the same sense of purpose, he slid out of his car, shrugging the trenchcoat off as he went and grabbing the contract and his briefcase, then marched into the building.

Ten minutes later - 2:54 am, according to the glance he got at his watch when he knocked on the door - and he was knocking on the door. And only then did it occur to him that, perhaps, this was not the wisest idea.

"Max."

The tycoon grumbled, burrowing his head a little further into the pillow, holding tight.

"Max..."

"Hmh?" He shifted a little, not exactly keen on the ideas of waking up or moving.

Louder, clearer, somehow. More appropriate. "Mr. Shreck!"

His eyes snapped open, and he shook his head as he sat up. Something was odd here, and it didn't seem to be just the time. The odd feeling passed quickly, however, and he shuffled out of bed, grabbing his robe from the back of the bedroom door and throwing it around his shoulders as he made his way through the apartment to the front door. Running a hand through his hair to make it at least marginally presentable, he undid the latches and peered out blearily at whoever the hell had the nerve to wake him up in the middle of the night.

And as the door swung open and Crane caught sight of Max, he looked impossibly apologetic - an expression allowed to find his face due to the sole fact that his glasses had remained in his car.

"I woke you," he pointed out, frowning both at his statement of the obvious and the idea that he had, in fact, blasted Max out of bed. "I apologize." Another redundant statement and another grimace.

Max scrubbed a hand over his face. Oddly enough, Crane noted, he still wore his gloves, even at this hour. "Crane," he began, blandly. "I said, to come calling tomorrow. And though I am, indeed, well aware. Of the fact that it is, chronologically, three a.m, and thus, tomorrow.... I perfer to judge the gaps, between said days with actual, and rather lengthy may I add, periods, of sleep."

"As do I," he agreed, "but if we're judging days like that, then for me it's still Wednesday."

He paused here, eyebrows knitting themselves into something that resembled self-annoyance. Somehow, he doubted that Max cared that he hadn't slept in two days nor, he decided, was it his place to randomly spout these things at the one person who showed any interest in his project. But still, it had come out before he'd thought about it - probably said lack of sleep talking - and it was too late to take it back.

"I apologize," he repeated, trying to muster his usual facade of neutrality. And then, once he was sure he at least had a handle on said expression, he continued. "I was afraid, however, that I would over-sleep tomorrow morning and that all our work would go to waste."

Max heaved a sigh. "Well holy crap, Crane," he said, wearily, stepping away from the door. "You could've told me you hadn't slept. Look. Get in here, come on. Heat's on the fritz or something, but it's still warmer than outside."

"Thank you."

The briefest of hesistations followed, as Crane felt like an intruder somehow, but it was only briefly and then he was inside. And while, surely, it was warmer than being outside, the apartment was cold. It wasn't the same chill the had haunted the docks, however, and for that he was grateful. And speaking of the docks ...

"Tonight was, ah, interesting to say the least."

"I'm sure, it was," Max said, managing to eke out the words before a yawn followed closely behind. "Anything of tremendous portent I might need, to sleep on? Emphasis on the word sleep?"

"Depends," he shot back, fishing the contract out of his pocket to offer to Max. "Do you know Harvey Dent?"

"Know him? Please." Max chuckled. "He had my back for years when I opened the stores. Great guy. Very nice. Handsome fella."

"Not anymore." Apparently, Max didn't know, and somehow, that didn't surprise him.

"Didn't age well in a year, huh?" Max blinked, rubbing at his eyes again. Briefly, he considered coffee, so he might stay awake long enough to humor Crane. But, with his luck, coffee would keep him up past dawn, and then sleep was no longer an option for another fourteen hours or so.

Crane shook his head. "He was attacked in a court room a few years back." A pause, and then as if were some kind of huge secret, he spoke lowly, "Acid. The Batman tried to save him, if I recall correctly, but it ruined his mentality." Another pause. "He's a criminal now. Calls himself Two-Face."

Max blinked, mouth opening and closing once or twice fruitlessly. So much for needing that coffee. "... Geez. ... No kidding. Too bad."

"Mm, yes. And I ran into him this evening." And although he tried, he could not completely keep the elation at that idea from his tone.

Wait. Crane had run into a guy who was, now, apparently, a major criminal, and he sounded psyched? Something wasn't right there. Something really didn't jive. Max pursed his lips. "This good or bad for us, Dr. Crane?"

"At the moment? I'm not sure. We only spoke briefly, but ... " He stopped here, squinting in a way that would have given Bruce Wayne a run for his money. "I believe it could be good, in the long run. ... After all, he let me live, didn't he?"

"Sure looks like it to me," Max replied, eyes widening briefly in a strange equivalent to raising his eyebrows. "Now, look, I really do wanna hear all about this, all the gooey little details. But Crane. Kid. It's three in the fricking morning." He gestured down the hallway, tiredly. "I have a spare room. That-a-ways. Give a guy a break, and yourself, too, and go crash, huh?"

"Are you sure you wouldn't mind?" he asked, arching his own eyebrows. "I could always go home." Though considering how exhaustion had suddenly hit him again, he doubted he would make the drive.

"In a body bag, maybe. F'you drive this late. Mr. Sleep Deprivation, go." He pointed down the hall once more.

Nodding, he flashed Max a quick, grateful smile. "Thank you." And with that, he headed for the room his new employer had gestured towards.

"Arright, good. Yes. G'wan, off with you." Max shooed him down the hall, then moved to lock the front door once more. Then, finally, he staggered back toward his bedroom, shucking off his robe. Before his head hit the pillow, he had a brief moment to wonder if he'd be able to pick up on whatever dream he'd left behind - and then both the thought, and any other semblance of consciousness were gone.
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