Two billionaires walk into an elevator…….
The doors open and Tony Stark is looking at a vaguely familiar, albeit, out of place, face. He steps in, interest piqued, and they both begin their descent of the Avengers Tower.
STARK: “Wayne, right?”
WAYNE: “Rufus, no. Not a fan.”
Tony chuckles. “A little of your ziparea code, huh?”
Bruce grins slyly. “Did you say zipa-?“
STARK: “Yeah. Just now. Just made it up.” (a beat) “I do that.”
WAYNE: “So I hear. And yes, I am a little out of my sphere of influence.”
STARK: “Feels like you’re in a different universe I bet.”
WAYNE: “You could say that.”
STARK: “So, what brings you here, you’re not buying the building are you?”
WAYNE: “Uh, tempting, but no. I have a tower as well.”
Tony holds up his hands. “Oh. Well. Didn’t mean to offend.”
WAYNE: “None taken. But since your exploits in New York with your team, I had come up with the beginnings of an idea of starting a similar league of gifted individuals.”
STARK: “Gifted, you say? Well, I think there’s a wheelchair bound, bald genius in Upstate New York that might have a few qualms with that, some trademark infringement type stuff. You’re using some litigious terminology, my friend.”
WAYNE: “I’ll keep that in mind.”
STARK: “So you met with Pepper, my CEO?”
WAYNE: “Ms. Potts, yes. I wanted to get some archival footage straight from the horse’s mouth, as it were.”
STARK: “Are you calling my Pepper an equine?”
The bottom floor chime bongs.
WAYNE: “NO, Mr. Stark. I wouldn’t dare.”
Bruce steps out, starts walking across the expansive foyer of the lobby.
Tony, a last word freak, follows.
STARK: “Well, that’s good, I appreciate that. Fella’s gotta look out for his lady.”
Bruce knew this all too well, but didn’t say as much.
WAYNE: “Especially if you put her at risk by announcing to the world you’re a superhero.”
STARK: “Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold up a sec. Risk?”
WAYNE: “Well, yes. I would think this previous incident with the Mandarin would’ve made that clear.”
Tony takes offense, squares up and gets in Bruce’s personal space.
STARK: “Are you kidding me, tell me yer kidding? You think laughable anonymity provides a safe harbor for your nocturnal dalliances? Anyone who took the time to dig hard enough could topple any half assed façade you threw up to throw off the scent.”
Both men have stopped just short of the door to the outside. Bruce looks clearly rattled.
WAYNE: “Really now?
Tony nods, smiling, clearly enjoying the moment.
STARK: “Oh yeah. Really, really.”
Bruce smiles at the floor and pushes his way out of the door.
WAYNE: “Well, thanks for that Shrek.”
Tony follows him out, hastily putting on his designer shades.
STARK: “Ha. Yeah, that’s funny, Shrek. We got our green guy, ya know?”
Bruce keeps walking briskly, not breaking his stride.
WAYNE: “Yes, I’m aware.” He gives Tony a side glance. “Nice shades.”
STARK: “Funny you mention that. I’m surprised you’re out here in the light. Shouldn’t you be upside down in a cave somewhere?”
Bruce stops on the steps, halfway to his waiting car and his butler, Alfred.
WAYNE: “Think you’re pretty smart, huh, Stark?”
STARK: “Smarter than most. Maybe even you.”
Bruce smirked. “Doubtful.”
STARK: “Practically MENSA certified. Bruce, let’s be fair. From what I’ve seen and heard, Mr. Fox is the real brains of your operation. You’re just his guinea pig. I design AND play with all my toys.”
WAYNE: “Well, ‘boys’, do indeed play with toys. Not grown men with real things to do and real problems to solve.”
Bruce starts walking again. Tony smile at the low blow and then catches up to him on the sidewalk.
STARK: “Good one. Touche’. But here’s the thing. Far as I can tell, ‘old man’, the problems you’ve dealt with are mostly Earth-bound, am I wrong? I have fought and defeated, for the world and planet—.“
WAYNE: “Same thing.”
STARK: “—Whatever, same diff. Celestial threats, man! I have took on demi-gods, mano a mano. Parallel dimensions, alternate universes, energy portals, etc, etc. I’m kind of a big deal.”
Bruce nods. “Indeed. I cant take that away from you.” Tony does a self-congratulatory arm pump. “So I guess you got me there and I need to step my proverbial game up?”
Bruce looks up, admiring the building.
WAYNE: “I admire you, Tony. You embrace it. I’ve never been able to do that. I have my own dark reasons for wearing the cape and cowl the way I do.”
Tony nods, remains silent for once.
WAYNE: “But I’m getting old. I’m ready to share the burden so I’m trying to assemble this team, I’m trying to—“
STARK: “–Uh, no, can’t do that.”
STARK: “Can’t assemble. There will be no assemblage. That’s our thing.”
STARK: (frowning) “I don’t know, convene. You could convene.”
Bruce grins. “Right.”
WAYNE: “Take care, Mr. Stark. Try not to level Metropolis again.”
Bruce shakes his head. “Never mind, forgot where I was.”
STARK: “Well if I do get the inkling, I’ll be sure to throw up my chiroptera gang sign in the sky for you.”
WAYNE: “I can’t wait.”
Bruce gets in the car, closes the door.
STARK: (tapping on the reinforced glass with a knuckle) “Get a green guy.”
Bruce powers down the window. “What?”
STARK: “Big green guy, get one. Every team needs one.”
WAYNE: “Working on it. He’s not big, but he’s green. He’s all about messing with your mind. And he takes me to that celestial plane, that next level you were talking about.”
STARK: “Mind control, huh? Well, that works, too. Alright, well, I bid you farewell and good luck in your endeavors.”
WAYNE: “Thanks. Keep that heartlight beating strong, ok?”
STARK: “Keep those nightmares at bay.”
The two billionaires shake hands. “Square deal.”
Up the window goes and away from the curb, the car goes.
Tony stands there for a moment, alone, hands in pocket, watching it merge and disappear into traffic.
Suddenly his eyes bulge and he snaps his finger. “League!”
STARK: “Some kind of league. That convenes. Often….to…..”
The fleeting idea or name escapes him. He shakes his head, dumbstruck.
“I got nothing.”