Fandom: Batman Begins/The Dark Knight
Characters: Bruce Wayne/Batman, Selina Kyle/Catwoman
Rating: M- non-explicit suggestive adult themes
Word Count: Around 4000
Summary: Bruce is a paranoid guy, but Selina is far more emotionally cautious, and I've tried to show the progression of their relationship as he recovers accordingly. Themes of fear, falling/getting up, darkness/light and control echo those in the films 'cause I'm a geek like that.
Bruce Wayne freely admitted he had abused his body over the years. Scars and worn out joints were the price for fighting for justice, and he'd paid them without complaint. He'd recovered, slowly and painfully from the broken back, which was a miracle in itself. But this second round in recovery sent a clear message. His fighting days were done.
The thing that amazed him was that he actually wanted to move on. The anger he'd held on to for so long had turned into a thirst for something else. Who would have guessed that being broken and thrown into that hole of a prison would be just the therapy he needed?
Time for me to live as a man at last, he thought, gingerly touching the gauze taped over his ribs.
And he knew exactly who he wanted to start that life with.
Which meant doing his utmost to recover again as quickly as possible- winning over the formidable Selina Kyle would require him at his best. Recalling that agile exit she'd made after their first meeting made his gut tighten with anticipation and strengthened his resolve. Sweat broke out on his brow as he forced himself upright and then awkwardly moved his legs to the side of the bed. The doctor had advised him to try to walk today, and he wanted to be on his feet before Selina arrived. He panted, waiting out the wave of pain and weakness before reaching for the knee braces.
Ironic really, that Alfred had joked about how compatible they'd be. Parallels between a thief and a billionaire were laughably unlikely until you looked below the surface. Both orphaned at a young age, both nursing a grudge against injustice and using a masked persona to combat it. What were the odds that they'd finally shed that anger at the same time? That they'd been integral to each other's release? He didn't believe in coincidence.
Add that lightning spark of attraction, the sheer fun of matching wits with her and he was all in.
He'd felt the grip of fate before- relished it when he'd been rudderless and lost. He wondered where this next adventure would take them.
One step at a time, he reflected, and slowly rose to his feet.
Self-control had never been one of Selina's fortes.
As a girl, taking what she wanted had been what landed her in trouble in the first place. Sure, it was just food and things they'd needed at first. But she'd soon discovered that stores press charges for shoplifting even cereal and toilet paper if you had a previous record. So she'd started taking other things she hungered for- why not grab the bigger prize if she was going to get in trouble regardless? After all, having what she wanted dangled within reach always made her want it even more.
She suspected Bruce knew that and was rather enjoying seeing her squirm.
If he weren't a cripple she would have just seduced him and damned the consequences. But she had to admit that a man doing coughing exercises to strengthen his lungs and wincing when he was breathing hard was not up to the wild, no-holds-barred sex she was fantasizing about. So they stuck to flirting outrageously as they traded tales and opinions during the walks the doctor had ordered, plotting a tentative path out of Gotham together. The lively banter and simmering sexual tension had her hooked- being there as he recovered was a lot more fun than she had imagined. She smugly suspected he was doing his utmost to charm her.
The only problem came when she helped change his wound dressing- touching him when he was half naked inevitably led to kissing and groping like teenagers.
She knew the desire was mutual- his wandering hands and the passion in his kisses made it obvious, and he could hardly disguise his physical response. But his ironclad self-control was maddening- time after time they would kiss to the point of explosion and he would pull back.
She was about ready to crawl out of her skin with frustration when he stopped her yet again.
"A girl can only take so much, Wayne," she snapped, pushing herself out of his arms and striding to the window, hating that sweet ache between her legs, how sensitive her nipples had become.
"I'm actually more worried about what I can take. The doctor -who could walk in at any time, I should mention- hasn't cleared me yet."
She flushed and glared at him.
"I didn't pin you as a prude. I don't mind doing most of the work as long as we can both get off."
He chuckled. "Selina, I don't want to just "get off". I want to blow your mind when we finally make love."
She rolled her eyes. "Pretty words for sex, Bruce. A basic biological need to mash our gonads together."
He frowned. "So you don't think it can be anything more?"
She pressed her lips together, staring out the window.
"I grew up in the Narrows. I've known a lot of hookers." She shrugged. "They paid the bills their way, I paid them mine. And from what I've seen, having feelings when you're screwing a guy usually means he's going to end up being your pimp. So yeah, I guess it can be something more. But girls that grow up in the Narrows don't usually get a happy ending from "making love"."
He regarded her soberly. "A grim outlook from somebody who worked her ass off for an escape route."
She sighed and hugged herself. At least the topic was dousing her raging hormones.
"We're a lot alike, but we come from different places, Bruce. I know it's different for people from your side of town. I've seen the shows, read the books and internet forums. I got me and Jen out because I wanted the chance for something more. And I know you're not like any guy I've ever met." She huffed a laugh. "Hell, you're not like anybody I've ever met. But you have to know that feeling anything like that- sort of scares me."
He nodded. "Fair enough. You should know that feeling anything like that sort of scares me too."
"Great. Maybe we should rethink this travel buddy thing."
He smiled and held a hand out to her. "Thing is, I'm not afraid to trust you again."
That made her smile, but she ignored the hand. "Anyone ever tell you you might have issues with thrill seeking behaviour?"
"I believe in facing my fears head on. Up to the challenge?"
Her eyes sparkled at the dare, and she sidled back over and helped him to his feet. "I told you- I'm adaptable. But you change your own dressing from now on, sexy. Baiting a cat is liable to get you scratched."
Ever vigilant, Bruce checked Alfred's credit card activity online several times a day. When it showed a flight booked on his fifth day in recovery, he asked to be discharged during his morning check up.
She looked at his chart and sighed. "Your recovery is actually proceeding perfectly or I would be reluctant. But you're off the IV antibiotics and oxygen and your breath sounds have been good for the last few checks. You've stated that post op pain is also much improved. I assume your girlfriend will be accompanying you?"
He laughed at the label, wondering what Selina would think of it now. "I am a lucky guy."
She gave him a quizzical look but didn't ask about the odd burst of humour. "I'll need to brief her on the signs and emergency treatment of a secondary pneumothorax and get you some more medication and an emergency oxygen tank... I will insist that you remain within access to a doctor or hospital for the next six weeks. As you are probably aware, Gotham is not the best place for medical care nowadays, so I would actually suggest you leave the city. You should also go on a follow-up visit to a doctor after that time for a detailed look at how your lungs and liver are healing. May I ask where you are going?"
"We'd discussed going to Europe."
She shook her head. "I'm afraid you need to avoid plane travel and scuba diving until your follow up visit."
"We were planning on leaving by ship. Most likely a ship with a sick bay."
She sighed. "I'm not familiar with ships, but a facility where they can do a needle aspiration with an X-ray would be ideal."
"How likely is a relapse?"
"Not terribly likely, but there is no need to take unnecessary risks."
He nodded. "We're not in a hurry to get to Europe. I'll let you know what we decide."
"I'll get your things prepared then. I have a few former colleagues in Canada and in neighbouring states if you would like a discreet referral."
"Thank you, doctor. Speaking of my… girlfriend. We've both been wondering about whether I'm well enough to…"
"Engage in sexual relations? Yes, within your comfort level. If it hurts, stop. No heavy lifting or anything too strenuous until your follow up, so you may prefer to try positions or techniques that are not as uh, familiar." She frowned, cheeks a little pink. "We had a pamphlet at the hospital for our post-op patients that I will try to find a copy of."
"Thank you," Bruce said quickly. "I have a final question about getting surgery on my knees and shoulders."
She looked at him sadly. It was likely his years as the Batman that were responsible- all those landings after jumping off buildings had to have been hell on the joints. Worn out cartilage was usually seen in much older patients or professional athletes, and it was heart breaking watching him suffer as he put on those braces each morning. "I truly wish I could help, but I would ask your physician at your follow up and then consult with an orthopaedic surgeon. Anaesthesia is hard on the lungs, so definitely not in the next six weeks."
He smiled at her reassuringly, tilting his head. "It was worth it to save people like you, doctor."
She shook her head ruefully. "Literally a pound of flesh and nary a thanks to show for it."
"I see the lives for which I lay down my life, peaceful, useful, prosperous and happy. I promise to go to that better rest, doctor. Thanks were never needed."
As the only artery left to the city, traffic at the tunnel during the day was heavy so they left at night. They used the vets' old minivan, slightly past its prime and unremarkable.
It annoyed her a bit- he should be getting a hero's send-off after all he'd done for the place. But he was as insistent on the appearance of normalcy as he was about beating Alfred back to the mansion.
"I'm not the Prince of Gotham or Batman anymore. Just a man needing to tie up some loose ends before starting fresh."
But he was unusually quiet in the passenger seat, watching the city go by as if he were memorizing the streets.
"You could always come back someday. Nobody looks twice at a tourist holding a camera."
Or a guy with a pretty wife and a couple of cute kids taking the spotlight. He smiled but kept that particular thought to himself. "It's a different feeling this time. Alfred and Rachel were here, my family's legacy. Now there really isn't anything to come back to."
She gave him a look. "What are you talking about? Your old butler is the whole reason we're sneaking out of Gotham tonight."
Bruce thought about that last fight, those painful revelations like scabs ripped off festering wounds. "Exactly. I've got to journey on and build a new life before I can face him again. I owe him that much."
"I can't believe I missed this," she said, studying the doorway and peering into the passageway beyond. "And I've found safes in all sorts of interesting places. You had these custom made?"
He grinned, watching her assess the door and piano with obvious relish. "Fox and I designed them, and Wayne Enterprises produced the… prototype units."
She shook her head, smirking, running a practiced hand over the seal. "Naturally. Well, I'm impressed. Most times a secret door gives itself away."
"Well, I'm glad this, at least passed muster. The safe I paid good money for was obviously less than worthy."
She smiled at him deviously. "Maybe you should have asked a pro. Shall we?"
He gave her a thoughtful look, as he gestured towards the opening for her to enter first.
"Have you thought about what you'll do now that you're…retiring?"
She was looking around avidly, not bothering to hide her curiosity. "I have enough put away to live on while I figure it out. Don't they mind you intruding on their habitat?"
He smiled up at the bats roosting together in thick patches on the cavern ceiling. "They're used to me now. They hibernate in winter, and sleep all day and hunt all night in temperate weather, so my presence doesn't bother them much. I try to stay out of the place at dusk and dawn when they're coming and going. The moving water keeps the guano from sticking, but I've been anointed a time or two."
She made a face. "Ugh. Let's just get this over with."
She carried the duffel down the path, glancing back at him when he took her arm.
"No, just-" She flinched when the platform rose up under them. "That."
She seemed amused by the dramatic appearance of the computer; water sluicing off its protective case before a single chair rose out of the platform before it and the case opened.
He huffed a laugh. "It wasn't always like this. Should make it easier for him to start out, though." He keyed in a set of commands and another part of the platform rose up, opening up to reveal a large, circular case. She set down the duffel and opened the case, inspecting its contents as he came up beside her.
"Thank you for taking this one last job for me."
She turned and smiled naughtily, deftly slipping into his personal space. "Well I'm not technically stealing anything from either place… And I could hardly turn down your offer," she purred, and he chuckled.
"I was joking."
"Nuh-uh. You're still broke. Besides, I thought I might try to face my fears."
"And you're horny."
She pouted prettily. "This jackass keeps winding me up. When a girl's desperate…"
"Well, I'm sure he's sorry to have kept you waiting," he murmured, and he kissed her until a chitter from above made her flinch. She pulled away with a growl, scanning the ceiling uneasily. "Stop distracting me or I'll have to do this in broad daylight."
Taking a steadying breath, she stepped back to the power tools, checking the charge on each before returning them to the case.
"Well, I'm going to miss all your toys," she sighed, snapping it shut and then hefting it lightly. "See you in a couple of hours, baby."
He couldn't help watching her hips sway as she sauntered out. She certainly did a number on his blood pressure. But he had tasks to accomplish too.
He sobered as he pulled the suit and cowl from the duffel, restoring them to the case with a certain reverence. The hole and bloodstains were not obvious, and he was grimly certain that Blake would choose to forgo using them until he had learned the lesson the hard way.
He was stubborn. Untrained in martial arts. And he seemed to think he was invincible.
But that stubbornness also meant he was an excellent detective. He had no moral code against using guns. And hopefully his luck would hold until the lessons sunk in- he was unharmed despite the foolhardiness he'd displayed over the last few months. He certainly kept throwing himself at the enemy with little thought to his personal safety. And that will to act and unquenchable anger were the most important things a new dark knight needed. With most of Blackgate's residents out on the streets again and the police force decimated by Bane's army, Gotham would need a new hero.
"Here's your clue, Blake. Let's see if this mantle can actually be passed."
He crouched and reached one last time into the case, retrieving a small, slim case from under a panel in the foundation.
And then he shut the door, feeling a certain lightness of spirit as he walked away.
Selina hadn't expected butterflies. Maybe if a consummation had happened earlier she wouldn't be this worked up about it. Seduction was a tool, one she was skilled at using. After all, men seemed to think with what was in their pants half the time, whether they were pimply street thugs or respected congressmen. The last time she'd gone in this starry eyed had been in her teens. She'd learned her lesson well: that armour of cynicism and selfishness had protected her beautifully ever since she'd limped away shamed and broken.
This welling up of emotion and desire was like a narcotic though- she felt like a moth dancing around a flame. Everything just felt so right- his smell, the way he made her laugh and think and feel. Who would have thought she'd fall for such an absolute do-gooder?
She knew Jen would be appalled. Hell, she would have mocked her own behaviour six months ago.
But there he was, sprawled asleep across his big bed, and she was standing there racked with indecision. He looked tired and terribly vulnerable- how had he made it up all those stairs? As badly as she wanted to just get laid, it was just another few hours. And sleep should kill those damn butterflies. So she stepped out of her heels and eased herself carefully onto the bed- they'd need to head out in a few hours anyway.
She was sure she'd hardly jarred the bed- it was a nice mattress, with fully insulated coils- but he stirred and came abruptly awake.
"Selina." His voice, deep and rough with sleep, sent a thrill through her. But she'd decided to be good.
"Hey. Just go back to sleep. You're such a bloody masochist- you know you're not supposed to do stairs."
"I took them a few at a time. And I knew I could take a breather here after. You were gone longer than expected." He rolled close and slid a hand over her hip, and her heart rate jumped up a notch. "From the light I'd guess it's almost dawn."
"I couldn't resist snooping around your hideout. You sure we have to leave all the cool toys?"
He chuckled and kissed her until she was breathless and pulsing all over. "We're retiring, remember? Taking a long vacation with minimal luggage."
"I know, but- oh! Bruce, stop… I meant to let you sleep."
"Well, I'm up now. In more ways than one. And I believe I owe you for services rendered."
God, his hands… "I just… I thought I'd… do the noble thing."
His grin was a flash in the dim light. "Well I'm not feeling particularly noble." He made an appreciative sound as he slid the zipper further down. "I'm glad you wore this tonight. I've had… fantasies."
She looked at him through heavy eyelids and smiled, arching to give him better access. "Typical. Maybe… you should have… saved… your suit and… I could have… shared… one of mine."
He was still chuckling when she peaked the first time. By the third, she thought she could die happily under his clever fingers and mouth- this was not the perfunctory foreplay she was used to. By the fifth though, she was starting to get annoyed by that goddamn self-control of his while she went to pieces again.
Well, two can play this game.
She rose over him before he could start winding her up again, pressing him back against the pillows.
"Nuh-uh. My turn," she purred, feeling an electric thrill as his eyes raked hotly over her body in the morning light; a surge of power when he gave a strangled moan, his hands clenched convulsively on her hips as she joined them as slowly and deliberately as possible.
"Stop," he gritted out, and she looked at him incredulously, appalled.
"You've got to be kidding me."
His voice was strained, every muscle rigid. "No- Just- don't move for a minute."
She smiled delightedly, giving him a little teasing squeeze and laughing at the helpless groan he gave.
"Losing your grip on that incredible self control?"
"Not- fair. Asked you- not to move."
"I haven't moved an inch," she protested innocently, and he laughed despite himself.
"You know what I mean," he growled, but he was smiling. Conversation was definitely helping. "You know, I've never woken up with a woman. I like seeing you like this."
She raised an eyebrow. She liked how the light burnished his skin too, making him look like a sculpted bronze. But there was no need to feed his ego.
"No need to play Prince Charming. You were tabloid fodder for years before you went all reclusive."
"I'm not saying I'm a virgin. But there's never been a woman in this bed- my bed. Until now."
That brought back the butterflies in a flash.
"Why do you say stuff like that? Like I'm…" she broke off and looked away, her eyes troubled.
He cupped her face in his hands, waiting until she met his eyes again.
"I told you- there's more to you than you think. You knocked me right off my feet when we met. Saved my life. And I want you to know how important you are to me. How special this is. Which… is why I didn't want this," he flexed and she gave a gasp of pleasure, "to end prematurely."
She smiled languorously. This, at least, she could handle, even if all those declarations made her feel oddly exposed and vulnerable.
"Way to sneak all that self control back."
"I can pretty much guarantee you're going to make me lose it anyway."
She laughed and rocked in a way that made him groan appreciatively. But she wanted to let him know, somehow, that she'd heard him. So she kissed him once, as gently and tenderly as she could.
He smiled and nodded once, understanding. And kissed her back in a way that made both their bodies and hearts start to race.
And in the fierce, breathless moments that followed, there was no more need for words.
They had to scramble to leave. Neither had been able to resist following the passionate consummation with another, and Alfred's plane touched down before they thought to check the time.
They both felt a certain euphoria as they hastily pulled on new clothes and stuffed their old ones in the bags, grinning at each other like naughty children.
"I was actually hoping you could keep the heels."
She laughed and curved her body to his, enjoying the lingering feeling of connection. "Kinky, huh?"
"Be a shame not to show you all the things I've been imagining."
"Sure, Wayne. I bet they all involve a bed."
"Most of them." He conceded with a grin. "The doctor did prescribe rest, after all."
Her eyes sparkled wickedly. " Guess I'll have to keep knocking you off your feet then."
He laughed, snagging her close. "Bet I get you to fall with me."
Author's note: This is my first time to venture into M territory and I would love any feedback.
Cheers if you can also figure out what Bruce asked Selina to do for him. ;)
I want to acknowledge using a line from Dicken's "A tale of two cities", which is also quoted in Bruce Wayne's eulogy in TDKR. I also want to send a thanks to my beta, Charlie_bz- you are awesome and I appreciate your thoroughness, especially given how busy you were with work! :D
So far this fic is shaping into 4 chapters and an epilogue, with a possible sequel. Can I just say again how awesome it is to be writing again? :D Much love for reading this far~