Occasionally, Grant likes to leave the pristine white of Battery City for the slums of the suburbs. There, the people are more colorful, both in appearance and behavior. One person in particular has captured Grant's attention.
Gerard Way is an artist. He wears the vibrant clothing of the lower class and works as a painter, both publicly and privately. His brilliant works have a significant proletariat following, while his public work can be found on buildings throughout the City. As much as Grant loves his privileged lifestyle with BLI and Battery City, the working class fascinates him. He's especially entranced by those like Gerard whose occupations are so frowned upon by the upper class, and will one day be forbidden in at least some parts of the City. Grant knows of the Industry's plans to clean up the Zones, which haven't yet been created. All in due time.
Today is the day Grant will finally approach the eccentric young artist, but first, he watches him work. Grant hangs back in the shadows while Gerard paints a mural on the side of the local public library, a delightfully whimsical scene that includes a dragon, a rainbow, and a unicorn. The naivete of the image makes Grant's lips curl up at the corners with the thought of all the things he could convince Gerard to do or believe.
"Fascinating work," he murmurs, stepping out of the shadows to reveal himself to the artist. Gerard's hand slips, smearing the wrong color of paint over a section of the mural. He turns around quickly, looking Grant up and down.
Grant stands firmly in the face of Gerard's scrutiny, well aware of what the boy is seeing: A noble stature, fine clothes, and no color except for the sky blue of the cord holding his ID card. Gerard is seeing a man who is no doubt his superior, and could, if he wanted to, make Gerard's life a living hell.
Grant brightens at the uncertainty in the boy's eyes, the way he shrinks back uncomfortably and runs a paint-stained hand through black-and-purple hair. Amazing that these common people still color their hair, some of them even coloring their bodies with permanent ink - but Gerard, as Grant knows from his surveillance of the boy, has a needle phobia, and therefore no piercings or tattoos. The opportunities for persuasion are simply endless with this one.
"Grant Morrison," he introduces himself, extending an elegant hand. Gerard regards him cautiously, a flicker of familiarity sparking in his eyes, probably wondering where he's seen Grant before. Grant is a well-known public figure, having made many speeches on the state of the City and appearing on the covers of dozens of business magazines. The thought of this mere artist consuming such a work of literature makes Grant chuckle. "And who might you be?"
Gerard finally slips his hand into Grant's, a soft grip that speaks of submission and no sense of confidence. Grant grins widely, slowly increasing the pressure on Gerard's hand. Oh, he could devour this boy like a snake would devour a mouse, winding around him and constricting until his bones are dust and his insides are jelly. And how tasty he would be, this colorful morsel of creativity.
"G... Gerard," he finally stutters out, tightening his grip on Grant's hand as if to hang on. Grant finally takes pity on him and relieves the pressure, watching Gerard pull his hand back and try not to wince. Grant hides a smile. Oh, this is going to be so fun. "I... the library hired me to paint this," he says in a rush, as if Grant is about to report him for defacing public property.
"I see." Grant gives the mural a critical once-over, as if he hasn't been watching its creation from the beginning. "Well, the library has chosen very capable hands for this venture. I can see that you are very talented."
The blush that stains Gerard's cheeks is the most endearing thing Grant has seen in ages. It is, no doubt, a reaction that Grant will coax from him many times over the next few years. For now, Grant is biding his time - slowly building a rapport, getting Gerard to trust and admire him. It's going to take a lot of subtle work on Grant's part, but he's more than ready to put in the effort.
His new project is going to pay off very soon.