... for you to solve
by Te
August 31, 2006

Disclaimers: Not mine.

Ratings Note: Mostly harmless.

Summary: She can be careful, when she chooses.

Notes: A toonverse snippet for Betty, meant to fit
sometime soon after the events of GOTHAM

"Moment of your time, gorgeous?"

She knows the voice, of course, and so she knows what this
is about (the diamonds and *perhaps* the gem-encrusted
statuette, but maybe not -- that one isn't in the papers), and
she's not surprised (the phrase 'bad penny' comes to mind),
but she's still a bit irritated --

"Aww, don't be like that, you know I got your best interests
at heart --"

-- because the expression she likes to use to express (with
no ambiguities, because those are problematic even with
*intelligent* men, sometimes) her displeasure and
impatience is rather too flirtatious for a man who dresses in
a manner *most* similar --

"You'll give yourself *wrinkles* if you keep that up, honey --"

-- to the patterns Isis occasionally feels the need to create
with her hairballs and the bathroom rug. "Cut to the chase,
Matches," she says, and turns to face him.

"Well, see now -- that's the thing," he says, and leans back
against an alley wall which -- to be fair -- can't possibly
make his jacket any worse.

Of, for the love of -- "*What's* the thing?"

"Maybe I gotta couple different chases in mind."

"Maybe," she says, raising one hand and flexing enough to
extend the claws, "I've got a couple of things I can imbed
in your testicles."

The whistle is piercing and more suited to calling police dogs
than anything else. "Well, if you're gonna be like *that* --"


For a moment, in the thin slash of expression visible above
the black of the man's omnipresent *shades*, there's a
flicker which isn't enough like fear for her tastes --

It just also isn't enough like laughter, either. It's more like...
surprise? It's strangely young, and hopeful, and --

Gone, when he hitches the glasses back up, and rolls the
match between his lips, and -- heaven preserve us from
fools and madmen -- actually attempts to *loom* over her.

Selina leaves a portion of the execrable jacket on the
ground between them. And the shirt, which has the bad
grace to catch enough of the light from the closest bit of
neon to *flash* a little as it falls.

There is no reason not to let her disgust show.

"Easy, easy, baby -- I'm just trying to look out for you."

Selina doesn't pinch the bridge of her nose -- this uniform
is far too well-suited for leading men's eyes from the point
of her chin to the thrust of her breasts when she does that.

The curl of Matches' mouth suggests the effort is, at least
to some extent, wasted.

"Matches, I don't *want* to leave your intestines on top of
the clothes I've cut off you -- though it would surely
improve the color -- but --"

"So you don't *want* to know which of your usual fences
the Bat has his eye on...? Because I *could* take my
information elsewhere."

And, of course, there are reasons why she tolerates this.
Selina -- she accepts the world for what it is, and if she
sometimes has to remind herself of this fact... well. The
nuns always *did* preach about the importance of
humility. Incessantly, even. She pinches the bridge of her
nose, dipping her chin...

"Mmm... tired, baby...?"

"How much?"

"For you...?"

She doesn't have to see the greasy little smile. She can
*feel* it. "How much *money*, Matches."

"Aw, honey, you know we don't have to --"

"A number, or I spend the evening washing you off my

He raises his hands like a good boy -- and grins a little
wider. "Anybody tell you there are *cures* for the kind of
cranky you're putting out right now...?"

Selina is an adult, and so there is only a *little* blood to be
considered. The bit of spray from his -- admittedly toned --
midriff spatters between them.

He -- coughs. And pulls a slip of folded paper from the
pocket of the jacket.

She reaches --

He snatches, of course. "Call it ten percent...?"

"Five," she says, and is careful not to show her displeasure
*here*. She can be careful, when she chooses --

"The *Bat*."

-- and she can be other things, when she chooses, as well.
"Ten percent," she says, and decides that Matches doesn't
even deserve a hint of a smile for knowing her tastes.

Everyone does, by now.

The paper fits neatly in the skillfully hidden -- if she does say
so herself -- hollow above her left hip, and she's fast enough
not to let Matches follow the gesture *especially*

It's a shame that she really does have to turn again in order
to let the whip-line out and leap -- he *doesn't* deserve the
view -- but, it has to be done.

It only takes a few moments before she's decidedly out of
*range*, at least.

And, even though Matches is one of those people whose
eyes you feel long after you should...

It's all right.

Even a resourceful girl sometimes has to sacrifice a little to
get herself a truly *worthwhile* date.