|The Hollow Men
Author: Lia Felix PM
Caring only brings pain. She knows it better than anyone.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Angst - Bruce W./Batman & Selina K./Catwoman - Words: 1,516 - Reviews: 14 - Favs: 51 - Follows: 17 - Published: 07-31-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8378150
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper
– T.S. Elliot
"The Hollow Men"
There were very few things in the short span of Selina Kyle's life that she cares about. She wasn't shallow; she could safely say that to herself despite what others may think. Jewels and top-end designer clothing were small indulgences really, a by-product of a childhood that's best left forgotten at the back of one's mind and a weakness for beauty that she cultivated from a young age on the streets. And who could blame a girl for wanting to look and feel good?
No, there are very few things which she can honestly say she cares about. Three actually, if she's counting right.
And barely two hours ago, one of those things had gone and blown themselves up over the ocean in a stupid twisted form of martyrdom and gods she had almost forgotten how much she despises men and how much she hateshateshates him –
Caring only brings pain. She knows it better than anyone.
It is far better not to become too attached.
But that's what happened. She became attached. To the city, it's inhabitants, and the stupid fool of a man who believed that he was the only salvation this god forsaken place had.
In the gloom of her apartment, she continues throwing items into a battered suitcase. Bits and pieces of a life that she would rather leave behind (but let's face it, she isn't going anywhere without clothes or essentials and there's no power on earth that's going to make her leave those pearls behind).
She will not cry over spilt milk.
No point in it anyway.
Who would've thought it would be so easy? Just type in a name, date of birth, a social security number, and in less than an hour that person no longer existed.
Surely it was too good to be true.
And she hates him for giving her this chance.
(hates him because it's easier to live with herself if it's all his fault, not hers, his fault for being the good guy)
She arrives at the airport with a single bag in tow, her large brimmed hat covering the majority of her face, the pearls nestling snugly against her pale neck. She thinks she might be developing a slight complex with the damn necklace since her fingers refuse to stop touching them, but the truth probably is simply the fact that they are by far the most beautiful thing she's ever owned (stole).
There's no way in hell she'll admit to anything else.
She hands her passport over to the woman behind the counter – fake, obviously, the name 'Holly Robinson' printed in thick black ink on the inside – and turns to pull out her wallet. Risky to bring so much cash (Riskier still keeping the same alias that she's used for so long) but it's unavoidable. Credit cards and bank cards are all redundant now, and there's not much a bank left considering what happened.
Here she takes a shuddering breath and closes her eyes.
Don't dwell on the past.
"Your flight will be in two hours ma'am."
She stiffens slightly, her eyes snapping open before plastering a jovial smile onto her face.
The woman glances at her in confusion. "Your flight to Venice, ma'am?"
"You must be mistaken; I haven't brought a ticket yet."
Keys tap. A pause.
"No mistake. A ticket was payed for under your name before the siege."
She resists the urge to grit her teeth. No need to ask who paid for it then. She hides the bitterness in her smile and shakes her head in a show of confusion.
"I'm so sorry. After everything that's happened, I must have forgotten."
"Not a problem ma'am. Here's your boarding pass and ticket. The gates open an hour before take-off. Enjoy your flight."
She finds the note and the key card after checking every seam in her wallet. It held a single set of coordinates which she punches into her phone almost violently as soon as she lands.
One very long taxi ride later, she finds herself standing outside a gorgeous villa on the outskirts of the city. A swipe of the card allows her access through the metal gates, and she couldn't help but grin at the amount of security that littered the place.
She's not surprised that he has this stashed away. This, and probably a few other properties in other countries.
Of course the rich don't go poor like the rest of them.
This is only for a few days, she lies to herself as she steps through the front entrance.
She had never liked charity. Especially not from dead men.
He arrives on the doorstep three weeks later.
The sound of the doorbell causes her to freeze. Social calls aren't really her thing, and unless one of the neighbours is dying and desperately needs to use her phone or car or something, (and that doesn't seem likely because this house is as secluded as they come since it was his and he was far too paranoid) that didn't leave her with many options.
Doubts began to creep in.
She places the bowl shakily back into the soapy water of the sink along with the sponge, wipes her hand on the hand towel slowly and methodically before making her way to the door.
She steels herself, takes a deep breath, and opens it.
And standing there, as large as life itself, was the eccentric billionaire son-of-a-bitch who she owed all this (everything) to. For the first time in her life, Selina Kyle questions her sanity as she presses her hand against her mouth, trying to suppress the urge to giggle hysterically. After all, not even the Batman could escape that stupid blast, not one so large that you could freaking see it from the furthest edge of Gotham and they had a freaking funeral for him and how fucking dare he show up again as if nothing happened because she thought he had fucking died –
"Still fond of that necklace, I see."
Selina gives a shaky laugh and punches him square in the jaw.
She likes to think that she has a mean swing – at least, one enough to send the infamous Bruce Wayne to the floor – but in truth she was lucky that he seemed to be expecting anything but that as a welcome.
And then she just had to ruin her little moment of triumph because somehow, she's down next to him on the ground, screaming nonsense and abuse and trying so hard to hold back the tears that threatened to drown her.
Suddenly large arms pulls her in, and she finds herself cradled softly against his chest, as if she was something precious.
For the first time ever, Selina simply allows herself to cry.
He tastes like coffee and desperation, and while she had done drugs before in her teenage years, she thinks she finally understands what addiction feels like.
He has more scars on his body that she can count, and the bruises are still fading where he took the force from the blast (because let's face it, Batman is still human and Bruce Wayne was even more so) but she doesn't want gentle, and neither does he. There's too much pain, too much anger and denied satisfaction. There was a need to fill something, something deep within her that sounded awfully hollow when she tapped on it mentally and he fills it (fills her) in a way that causes her to gasp, arch her back and dig her nails into his skin from the sheer intensity of it.
Afterwards, tangled in the sweat-soaked sheets with his arm anchoring her firmly to this reality, she considers carefully the three words that she had never used before in her life. She knew she won't say it aloud today, or the day after, or maybe even years on, but she runs her fingers through his hair and pressed her lips softly to his throat, the three words running through her head like a mantra.
He tightens his grip around her and his sigh echoes through her body, and she closes her eyes.
No, she won't say it. It doesn't need saying.
He sometimes leaves for weeks without a warning, and she refuses to speak to him for days when she's pissed. He doesn't need her and she sure as hell doesn't need him. But they work together, better than she would've ever guessed, and even thought it takes a while for her to realise, she wouldn't trade this (whatever this is they have between them) for anything.