Note: Just for the record, if you see this at the meme, don't rat me out! I'm anon from shame for a few of my fills over there. That's the joy of anon, I can write with abandon and have no fear of being judged...
If you'd asked me what I'd be doing tonight I would have said something about staying home, reading a good book, maybe playing around down in the lab. Normal every day stuff. Being trapped inside a basement with Marcone and Billy the Boy Werewolf would not have been on the list. But here I was, nine o'clock at night, warded into a fairly cramped basement with Marcone against the far wall and Billy semi-naked beside me.
Marcone had handed Billy his suit jacket when he shifted back into human form so at least he was mostly covered. So there we were, safe enough behind the ward, but stuck until sunrise. Marcone was just sitting there, eyes closed. Hell, he might have even been asleep. I, on the other hand, was very much awake. And very much bored. We'd been here for an hour already and I was not going to fall asleep braced against the bare stone wall and the scratchy concrete floor. Billy didn't look like he was going to get any rest either.
"So. Wanna talk about baseball?" Billy shook his head and laughed.
"Hell no." There was another minute or so of silence. "Did you hear about the villains for the next Nolan Batman?"
"Right, right. No internet. So they've cast Anne Hathaway as Catwoman and Tom Hardy as Bane."
"Anne Hatha- isn't she that Princess Diaries chick? How'd she get cast as Catwoman?!?"
"Not a clue. I'm actually more concerned that you've seen the Princess Diaries right now. Look, she's a good actress. Did you see her in Brokeback Mountain? Or what about the new Alice in Wonderland? I don't think you're giving her enough credit here. Every actor starts out in less than Emmy worthy movies."
"Hey. I can't sit in a theater without blowing out the projectors. I have to take what I can get at the drive-in. And sure, she's a fine actress. But sexy? Not so much. Catwoman is a predator. She goes toe to toe with Batman and holds her own through sheer freaking attitude sometimes. I don't get that vibe off of Hathaway. And who the hell is Tom Hardy?"
"I think you'll be surprised with her. You've just got to trust Nolan on this one. Hardy was...uh...have you seen Inception?"
"No." I said it sullenly. Everyone was talking about it and then when they realized I hadn't seen it they'd shut up because they didn't want to 'ruin it' for me. "As soon as I can, I will. But I haven't had the chance."
"You are seriously deprived, man. Anyway. Hardy's in that, and he was in Nemesis way back. Oh! And Black Hawk Down."
"Don't know 'im." I could feel Billy roll his eyes even though I couldn't see it in the dim lighting.
"Right. Well, I'll find pictures for you sometime. He's good, though I wonder how they're going to do Bane with him. Bane's a huge guy in the comics."
"Didn't they already have Bane in the movies?"
"Schumacher." Billy could put a lot of scorn into just that one word and he added on a spitting sound, just for effect. "Those don't count. They're a travesty and an insult to the characters."
"Don't hold back, let us know how you really feel about it." I grinned, laughing. "What do you want to see in this one? It's gonna be Nolan's last, right?"
"That's what he says. I kind of hope not though. The man's done beautiful work. Oddly enough, I think I want to see them introduce Robin. They've had the major villains, or will have - Joker, Scarecrow, Two-Face, Ra's al Ghul..."
"Can he be a major villain if no one who's not a Batman geek knows who he is? Everyone knows the others even if they aren't fans, but al Ghul is sort of obscure."
"Hey, he's a major player in the comics, so he counts. Hell, he's taken on Superman and come out in one piece. Immortal, crazy, obsessed with fixing the world...hey! I think he might actually be one of your enemies!"
"So funny." I flipped him off good-naturedly. "But really, Robin? The kid in the short-shorts?"
"Robin's suit has had pants for at least twenty years." Billy's mouth had been open, but it wasn't him speaking. We both turned our heads to stare across the room at Marcone. He had opened his eyes and was leaning forward, just a bit.
"The short pants were last used by the second Robin, Jason Todd. His successor's suit was redesigned, adding in armour and greater weaponry. One of the changes was pants, similar to those on the Bat suit. If Nolan was to introduce a Robin character to his canon it would need to be an amalgamation of at least two of the comics canon Robins. I cannot picture the original Grayson Robin faring well in Mr. Nolan's darker world. Todd would fit with the violence and grittiness, but his popularity has always been questionable. I suppose that might not be an issue in the films given that he wouldn't be the replacement for Grayson. Drake would do nicely - he's unquestionably the smartest and arguably borderline sociopathic in addition, but his back story would have to be utterly altered given that his entry into the Batman mythos is predicated on Grayson's story.
"Brown wasn't Robin long enough to make an impression, though I suppose the allure of having the first female Robin on screen might make her a possibility. Damian is simply out of the question. His back story would require changes to the canon of the movies already established and a rather large leap forward in time to make it feasible. Given my choice I would have a version of Drake appear, but I suspect that they will stick with the name of Grayson and tweak the character to fit better in universe."
I couldn't even talk. I was just staring. Billy leaned forward, intent.
"How do you get 'borderline sociopathic' for Drake? He's brilliant, and intense, no question. But he's a good guy."
"He is a stalker. Why does everyone dismiss that particular fact? He focused on one person to the extent that that person took over his entire life. Everything he did from early child hood on up was designed to allow him to be close to the focus of his obsession. I'll grant you that he didn't turn violent, but Jason's death and Batman's decline prompted him into action, allowed him to actually be with the object of his desires during the earlier stages of puberty. There is no telling what twists he might have taken if left to his own devices. It's really rather good for the DC universe that he obsessed with Batman and Grayson rather than Luther or some other villain. His focus is laser tight - the Mission. Do you doubt that he would do anything that Batman asked, if it was for the good of the Mission? I don't. His morality is almost entirely tied up in what Batman has said is good and evil. Drake is the perfect successor for the mantle. He is also the perfect fail safe for Batman. Would Grayson have the strength of will to kill Wayne if it came to that?"
Billy paused. "No." It was admitted with great reluctance.
"So Drake it is. He would, if it was necessary, kill Wayne to spare the legacy and the Mission of the Bat. He would kill one of the few people on earth that he feels anything for because it would be what that man wanted. How is that not outside the realms of normal mental function?"
"Fine, fine. Drake's a ticking time bomb. But he's a weapon on the right side. The good guys would never let him go too far."
"Only because he's too dangerous to be left to chance. I would love to see his character done right in a film." Marcone was leaning his elbows on his thighs, intent on the conversation. I bit my lip, grinning. The look on his face was usually reserved for hostile takeovers - planning out attack and counter-measure.
"So, Johnny...how big is your geek room?" I tried to make my voice sound normal, to repress the unvoiced laughter, but it was impossible.
"I have-" Marcone stopped and his eyes cleared suddenly. I could hear his teeth clack together he shut his mouth so fast. I scooted forward a bit, so I could see him better. There was a faintly darker color creeping up his throat and his ears, coloring his cheeks. I couldn't help it. I laughed.
Billy shook his head as I flopped back onto the floor, smacking my head in the process and just let it roar out. Marcone huffed and stood, shoes scraping against the concrete.
"Really, Dresden. Am I not allowed to have hobbies?" And then he moved past me and pushed my legs out of his way to take my former space beside Billy. The two of them eyed me for a second and then bent their heads together, arguing point and counterpoint.