artisticabandon: futuristic cityscape (bat intimidation)
[personal profile] artisticabandon
Title: Pookie
Characters: Bruce. Cameos by Alfred and Lucius.
Rating: G. Humor
Disclaimer: Uh, yeah. This is not mine, I swear. DC would probably have a heart attack if they saw this.
Summary: Um. Late offering for a challenge in a group I'm in: October 11 Take Your Teddy To Work Day, but with my own twist. A bit of crack in this one. Not my usual style.
Oh, and I wrote this under 15 minutes, all told, so, um, yeah. Definitely not beta'd. You read, you take ya chances.

Prompt: Sight


POOKIE

It was there, right there, at the foot of his bed when he woke up. Staring at him. He swore it was. And then he moved, and it vanished, even though he didn't hear any telltale 'thump' of anything hitting the floor. It puzzled him. Woke his brain right up. But then Alfred arrived to open the curtains, and it he thought no more about it. It was probably just an after-effect of his nightmares—dreams. It had happened before.

By the time he'd dismissed Alfred so he could get himself dressed, he'd convinced himself it was nothing.

But it was there again on the dashboard of the car Alfred used to ferry him to work this morning. It was. He saw it. But then he blinked, and it was gone. Again. He told himself he was just imagining it anyway. It didn't mean anything. It didn't.

The morning board meeting was...interesting. It keep poking its head up around chairs, around people, around furniture. But then he'd blink, shake his head, and it'd be gone. Until he shook his head at the wrong moment, and they took it as disagreement, and...

He preferred to forget about the rest of that board meeting.

It was with great relief he escaped to the paperwork on his desk. Not that paperwork was good, but anything was better than a board meeting. Especially that meeting. He'd been lucky to escape with his life, in his opinion.

Five minutes later he revised his opinion. Paperwork was boring. Absolutely, positively boring. Why on earth had he become a CEO in the first place?

Oh, right. Batman. And he needed the money. Drat.

Five minutes after that, he decided that paperwork was engrossing. It was back. With a vengeance. Every pen stroke became a work of art. Every piece of paper was a masterpiece. His sanity depended on it.

By lunchtime, he was mentally reviewing old cases, trying to recall if he'd had any contact with Scarecrow lately.

He hadn't.

He cut his lunch short and dove back into the paperwork.

The afternoon meeting with Lucius was, in short, a nightmare. To say he was twitchy was an understatement. The fact that it kept reappearing out of the corner of his eye -- and of course he'd quickly turn to confirm, and of course it wouldn't be there -- didn't help matters.

They didn't accomplish much. By the time it was over, Lucius was shaking his head, sure his boss wasn't quite there. Maybe that airhead playboy routine wasn't quite as much a sham as he'd thought. Lucius left quickly.

Bruce locked himself in his office.

By afternoon tea time, he was sure he was going insane. Except that he knew from experience that the insane didn't know they were mad. But he did.

So much for that theory.

Locking the office door hadn't helped though. Same with closing the blinds. And huddling under the desk. And even closing his eyes. Nothing he could think of worked. It didn't keep it out. It was there. It was here. In his office. With him. Alone. Together. Whatever.

Maybe insanity wouldn't be that bad.

By the time the work day ended, he was a mess. His hands wouldn't keep still, his suit was in shambles, and he had this little tic under his eye that wouldn't settle down. He took the concealed emergency lift from his office to the garage, barely retaining enough sense to know not to frighten his employees. Even so, that little bit of forethought didn't help Alfred, who barely recognised him when he stumbled out of the elevator.

"My word, Master Bruce! Are you all right? What happened to you?"

His mouth opened and closed, and he stared helplessly. Words failed him. That was too many questions to process on an already overloaded day.

"Oh, good heavens!" Reassuring hands grabbed his elbows and ushered him along. It was all he could do to keep upright. "Let's get you inside the car and out of the light, shall we?"

How he got inside the car, he never knew. He had the vague impression it consisted of a lot of shoving. The car ride wasn't much better. Of course, it probably hadn't helped that it was only when they arrived at the Manor that he realized he'd forgotten to buckle up. On the other hand, there'd been no it for the duration of the ride. Overall, he figured it balanced out. Bruises notwithstanding.

And since when did Alfred drive like that? Had – he shuddered at the thought – Alfred been affected by it too?

Or was it just him? Again?

Alfred emerged from the car and dusted himself off with a self-satisfied air. "Ah, sorry about that, Master Bruce. I'm afraid we had a spot of bother with some paparazzi. They shan't bother us again."

Ah, so it wasn't just him. That was a relief on so many levels, he couldn't begin to count them.

That was probably why he let Alfred get him out of the car and hustle him inside. It was just easier that way. Let the butler take over.

...Which was probably how he ended up in the bedroom wrapped up in a dressing gown with pyjamas underneath. Lying on the bed. Staring at the ceiling. And it wasn't even dinner-time. There was something strange and wrong with this picture. He lay there for a while, trying to figure out what it was.

He couldn't do it. His brain wasn't working. His thoughts had fragmented.

Brucesworld.exe had crashed. Someone please press the reboot switch.

Then Alfred reappeared, holding out it. He gripped the covers and struggled to hold on.

Wait. What was that? Alfred was talking.

"Ah, Master Bruce. I must apologise. I removed your 'Pookie' from his station to take him down for repairs last night and was remiss in returning him."

Then it was on the bed. With him.

He touched it. Nothing happened.

He held it close. Warm. Cuddly. Soft. Pookie.

Ahh. Sanity restored. All was right with his world.
 

Date: 2008-10-15 03:33 am (UTC)
bradygirl_12: (bat o'lantern 2)
From: [personal profile] bradygirl_12
Very cracky but very amusing! :)

*giggles*

Date: 2008-10-16 01:17 am (UTC)
bradygirl_12: (rubber duckie)
From: [personal profile] bradygirl_12
Very true! :)

*snuggles her Teddy bear* :)

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