|The Cold And Heartless
Author: theleague-ofshadows PM
Talia and Bane are separated when Talia is forced to escape from the Pit, but they are reunited when Ra's Al Ghul brings Bane out of the prison to join the League and train with Talia. As Talia and Bane become closer, Ra's Al Ghul doubts his decision and the consequences are not nearly as severe as the reality to come.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Adventure - Miranda T./Talia al Ghul & Bane - Chapters: 14 - Words: 114,569 - Reviews: 141 - Favs: 61 - Follows: 83 - Updated: 12-15-12 - Published: 08-06-12 - id: 8401718
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Hello faithful readers!
Another chapter is here and I have so much for you to read! I have created a tumblr for my fanfic updates and information. If you want to follow, it's theleague-ofshadows. there isn't much. But anyway, moving on...
A big thank you to all of my reviewers.
Lots of you were really surprised that I made Talia attempt to kill herself, but imagine yourself in the situation. What would you do?
Finaljoy: You were my favorite reviewer this week because I recieved three reviews from you but seriously, thank you! I am very thankful that you liked the religious aspects to my story. I believe the same that Talia has a mix of two different cultures as she transitions into Miranda and that she has a very large interest in all. I thank you for the praise of my scarecrow bit. What song were you listening to as you ended that chapter? And I am very happy that you are enjoying this story. Much love! xxx
Belle de Sainte Ange: BELLE! I am so very very happy that you liked the chapter. Please tell me what you think of this one (perhaps your favorite quotations so I know what to add more of?) Glad you enjoyed, enjoy this one as well!
Guest (hooked guest): I can't believe you loved it THAT much. I don't agree that others pale in comparison but you really made my day with that comment. To know that I am doing what I love and you are enjoying it as well makes me glow.
Clumsytonks: Glad to know it's feeding your addiction!
screamingoutalovesong: Thank you and I'm glad you liked that part. It was really easy to write!
NinjaNicky: I love you, your reviews are the best! thank you!
The rest of you I don't have time to mention because I have to go to work soon, but I really love you. Thank you!
Here's chapter eight.
The Cold And Heartless
written by theleague-ofshadows
"You shattered the knuckles of his third and fourth finger in his left hand, fractured his ribs, left him with internal bleeding and now he is under treatment of a concussion."
Ra's Al Ghul stared into the eyes of the warrior he had called to his drawing room. The recruit turned his gaze down at the dirt on his shoes.
"Bane, your skills have improved impressively."
The recruit turned his eyes back up to stare at Ra's in utter shock. When he was told he had to go in for a meeting with the head of the League of Shadows, he was sure that he would be neck deep in trouble. Because, honestly, he knew. He had nearly massacred the man in only a few minutes.
It had been what felt like months since she left. Bane counted each second of every day like it would go faster if he continued to count. And when the number of seconds became so high he was sure he would find his end, the only thing he could really do to ease the waiting was to train.
So that was what he did.
Every damn day.
The sting in his knuckles was barely noticed as he squeezed his damaged fingers together and looked at the man in front of him. Ra's Al Ghul nodded in appreciation before he turned and walked over to the table to set down his glass.
Bane looked around. The room was always so dark. The firelight barely provided enough glow to fully light up the entire room, so Bane had to struggle to look around him. Why did Ra's enjoy this room to be so gloomy? Did it reflect a mood? Or perhaps he just enjoyed the dark.
He didn't know what to do then. Bane never fully felt comfortable in the presence of anyone. He never had to prove himself or try. But living in the prison for so long, he had forgotten how to talk with anyone in a proper manner. Especially Talia's father. He couldn't begin to find a way to become comfortable. It wasn't the personalities of the person he conversed with, it was how to use his own to actually contribute. How could he pretend that he actually considered what they said? Did he even need to lie?
And in the end, annihilation and combat was all that he knew. Social aspects of the League were absent as the damn mask on his face cut all ties with opportunity. How could anyone actually look past that? What would Ra's do on missions? Send him with a marred face as such to converse with business men?
He doubted the CEO's of the world would not think him a monster.
Ra's was the worst of them all, however. The woman he called dearest thought the world of her father. Bane watched her talk about him and the way she would ooze respect like it was a gift. She would never disobey. And, though he respected the League's leader as well, he could never let down his guard. Not particularly with him alone, but he was a reason he kept it up.
The man with the black and grey beard and those killer blue eyes didn't mess around. Ra's proceeded to comment on his fighting skills with praise and Bane watched his face cautiously. Something about this man was off. He didn't trust him fully like a true member of the League should.
But could anyone blame him for feeling as such? The man he had spent years with after he had been pulled free of the Pit and to reality was like a slap of cold wind. All he cared about was his cause. Indeed, it was a very well plotted cause, but was it enough? Was it enough to keep secret that in fact his daughter did not die the trip home? That she had found her way across the desert in the raging heat in desperate attempts to find the one tie to her history she had left?
Was there a purpose in keeping him away?
Talia was a different matter. When she was brought back into his life, wide-eyed and just as beautiful, she had changed. Her innocence had faded quite remarkably and she was so constricted. She didn't know just how much she was. And that was what really ruined all aspects for him, because she was just as beautiful and wonderstruck but she didn't have an open heart.
But honestly, he didn't blame her. There was nothing to blame. It was just disappointing to see her so closed off.
Because the man in the mask knew, he had the very inkling the second he was reunited with her, that she would never be the same. She wasn't a child. She had grown up. And the loss of innocence was heartbreaking in a matter because she deserved to still be young. To not have to feel everything that surrounded him. Not to have to feel the world on her shoulders.
Yet she grew. He had to find a way to comprehend the growth, but she evolved with such haste. He knew that she was so much younger, but he considered her so much older. She was a girl beyond her years. A girl who had seen pain and misery. Yet, a girl who had known love. He knew, he made sure she felt it. Her mother made the same decision.
His bond to her was spirit bound. Something not of the physical, but of dreams. He was twenty-seven. Just a young man with so much potential. Yet, his emotional attachment to an eighteen-year-old was what kept him grounded. And how absurd the others assumed the bond had become. How could he possibly be so keen on a young woman, and in fact, the League heir? The fact that he was so much older would separate him from friendship? From everything they had shared in the past?
Honestly, couldn't people see? It wasn't romance, it was love.
A love so strong that it took every inch of pain and suffering inside and turned it into hope. A miracle of sorts that didn't stop giving. The years in the Pit were their past, a distant memory. And with every painful remembrance, the future was what they had. And they did. They had a long future that wouldn't change. He would never allow anything to take her away again.
That was why he was counting the seconds. Each grain of sand fell excruciatingly slow.
Bane looked back up at Ra's and wished to ask if the mission was complete, if they were finished and going to come home. But he didn't. He didn't utter a word on the subject. He continued to listen to Ra's talk until he grew quiet and Bane took that as a chance to leave.
He asked for dismissal and when he was granted it. But before he could leave, Ra's called out for him as he reached the door.
"Bane, I am going to need your talents soon. When the time comes, I will require you to do my bidding."
Bane turned around and looked at the man. He was going to be needed for missions. He was going to kill for this man. What did that mean to him? Bane nodded slightly and turned his back. He returned to his room with nothing to look forward to except sleep and even that wasn't so pleasant due to the coldness of the bed.
So, the woman had sent her men to massacre them.
The reason it was so easy to escape was because the woman wanted it that way. She would run them until they were surrounded like dogs. And really, what other reason was there? They could not escape that simply. Nothing was ever that easy.
So they ran.
Bane gripped Talia's hand and bolted. They were weak, they were tired, but overall they were not going back. Talia tried to move her legs faster as she turned her head and looked for an escape. Bane was pulling her and she was moving quickly, dodging trees and jumping over large stones.
This was bound to happen, she didn't know why she let herself hope. It was stupid to think that there would ever be more than an hour of solitude anymore. Not with the circumstances, not with her life. All she wanted was to be able to feel fragile and at peace with Bane. Couldn't she get that? She hadn't seen him in weeks, didn't she deserve at least an hours rest in his arms? If there was ever a time she felt like murdering, it was at its most extreme then.
But they just sprinted. No time to figure the options as they ran for their lives. They weren't even sure if the men were following them when they were confronted by more men as they entered a clearing. Bane halted and Talia tried her hardest to lessen her momentum to keep from bumping into him.
She looked around, wide-eyed and frigid. The men wore helmets and thick leather suits; they held no weapons which was odd. Talia gripped Bane's arm and resisted the urge to hide behind him as one of the men who was following them stepped forward.
"Well, Bane, was there really any need to run? If I didn't know you better, I would mistake you for a coward." The voice was muffled, unrecognizable.
Bane suddenly became rigid, as if he was somehow able to recognize the voice. After a long pause, he replied.
"Escaping is not the same thing as running away, Blanchet, though I'm sure you would know the difference."
Talia flicked her eyes upward in disbelief. Blanchet? As in Cassic Blanchet? A member of the League?
He took off his helmet and pulled down a scarf that was wrapped around his mouth. He had a particular smirk on his face.
Bane's stance was stoic as he looked at the man. Talia looked from Bane to the man and then around at the others. They weren't the woman's men. They were her men. Her father's men sent to rescue her.
"Why, I must say Miss Al Ghul, you look like you've seen a ghost."
Talia was seated in the hovercraft, her eyes growing wider with each second that passed. The previous encounter too much to comprehend. The future was too much. Just that afternoon she had absolutely no hope of returning to her home. Now she was in a hovercraft, on her way.
The man, Blanchet, was running the scarf he had worn around his mouth through his fingers, again and again. Talia kept looking around at each face in absolute disbelief. She knew only three of the faces of the eleven men that were in the hovercraft and that didn't even include the pilots. She knew Blanchet. He was one of her father's best, yet she though he'd retired. Or even died.
She never saw him at the facility anymore.
"You act so informally, my dear. Do you not remember that your father and I were very close friends?" She noticed how he used the past tense before she shifted in her seat, the buckle of the belt strapping her in was tight around her waist. Talia really wondered what happened to this man.
"It's been five years, Mr. Blanchet, surely you can excuse my informality." Talia resisted the urge to purse her lips as she replied. She didn't know the reason behind him coming or how he even returned to the League, all she knew was that he was taking her home.
The man across from her laughed. "Please call me Cassic, Talia, I may as well be your uncle." Talia turned her eyes down the cabin of the massive aircraft and locked eyes with Bane who was watching her closely. Blanchet had requested a talk with her as soon as they entered the aircraft which called for privacy. Bane didn't like that.
Talia didn't either.
However, she sat with her hands gripping one another as she tried to still her heartbeat. "I was barely thirteen the last time we met, and even then you weren't there very long. What was it? A year?
Talia dug her fingernails in her palms as she looked into the man's black eyes and waited for an answer. He grinned back at her.
"A year and a half, little one-"
"I'm eighteen." She shot back.
"Still a valid detail, Talia." He ran his fingers through his faded gray and black hair. "You are young."
Talia rolled her eyes. She wanted to thank him for saving her, but until she was in the walls of the facility, she would show no gratitude to anyone.
"So, you're back at the compound?" She asked as she ran her fingernails over the cold metal of her seat, letting them get caught in the grooves.
Blanchet resisted the urge to roll his eyes himself. "I owed your father a favor, now we're even. Besides, I don't plan on staying long."
Talia looked up to the top of the plane's cabin. "I didn't think so." She exhaled loudly and shifted her gaze back to his face and folded her arms across her chest. "Do you have anything left to say?"
"Are you going to want to listen?"
"I don't believe so." Talia muttered quickly. She stood up quickly and without another glance at Blanchet, she walked solemnly over to where Bane resided. She could feel Blanchet's eyes on her as she closed her eyes and turned her head to rest on Bane's forearm, but she didn't even pay attention to him.
What she didn't know was that he wasn't looking at her.
The aircraft had no windows or clocks so the estimated time it took the recruits to reach their destination relied on one's perspective. Yet, one particular young woman didn't spend much of the time awake. Her short hair tickled her nose and cheeks as something shook her shoulder gently which caused her to rouse.
She fought off the dreamless sleep and turned her head, frowning before she opened her eyes and noticed she was still on the hovercraft. She turned her head up and noticed Bane looking down at her with tired eyes. She pulled her head up from its position on his shoulder and wiped her eyes, trying to eliminate the dry feeling from under her lids.
She sat up and ran her fingers through what hair she had left and rubbed the bridge of her nose before she turned to look back at Bane.
"How long was I asleep?" She asked, scratching behind her ear as she turned in the uncomfortable seat a little more.
He looked back at her with blue eyes that looked dull and tired. "I'm not sure, I would say two hours at the most. I'm sure we have been flying almost three. There's a man that keeps coming up and down the aisle. I assume we will be landing shortly."
Talia nodded and yawned as she rubbed her neck and looked around at the other men who were either asleep as well or using their knives to carve fruit. Either way, she noticed that Blanchet was one of those sleeping. Arms crossed and head tilted back, she was sure he was unconscious.
She didn't know how he had found them or even how they knew that they were in need of being rescued. All that she knew was that she was on this plane and that she was god knows how long before she was back. Back to her home.
Then she remembered. She turned her head back to Bane.
"How do you know Blanchet?" How did he know Blanchet? When they encountered each other in the woods, Bane knew who the man was before even took off his helmet. How could he? He came to the League less than eight months prior. How could he know a man that Talia hadn't seen in five years?
Bane's eyes flickered over to the man who was resting across the aircraft. "Your father couldn't stay all the time to train with me."
Talia frowned. "So he was your mentor?"
The man next to her nodded, tightening his crossed arms as he turned his eyes away from Blanchet and over to the opposite side of the plane.
"Why is he back?" Bane asked.
Talia turned her eyes back to the Blanchet and bit her bottom lip. "He owed my father a favor."
The aircraft had landed. The descend from this flight was much more violent than that of the private jet she took to London. But soon, the body of the plane was completely still and Talia was able to stand. There was a platform that started to fall and created a way outside. She took a moment before she stood up and let her eyes wander over the people in the cabin. They were quickly standing up and repositioning their uniforms and grabbing their helmets. Talia stayed frozen for a second as she felt her stomach drop.
It was Bane who pulled her out of her nervous state. He put his hand on her shoulder causing her to look up at him. She was frightened, that was obvious. He couldn't imagine what for. He didn't trust these men as much as she did, but she was going to her father. What could make her so scared?
Bane got off of his seat and kneeled in front of hers. She lowered her head as he took his hand from her shoulder and placed it on her knee.
"What is the matter?"
She wouldn't look up at him as she spoke. "How can I face him?"
Bane frowned and he tried to look at her face better but her damn hair was shielding her eyes. "What are you saying?"
Talia was silent for a while. She didn't say anything. The only noises were coming from the men around them. The men were starting to clear out, leaving them and only a few others in the metal body of the plane. Bane looked down at his fingers resting on her knee. Shouldn't she be excited? He never imagined she would look as such. He couldn't explain why she felt like a child under his fingers.
He was going to suggest something before he heard her sharp inhale. He turned his eyes back to her face before he heard her sniffle.
"Thirteen others are dead, Bane…" She shook as the tremors in her chest took over. "I shouldn't have gotten... hurt. I shouldn't have… gotten treatment that morning." She finally let in to temptation and let her face fall into her hands as she cried. "They would be here with me."
"Silence, Talia." Bane commanded suddenly. "Look at me."
Talia pulled her hands away from her face and turned her chin upward as she tried to blink away the tears. Honestly, she needed to stop crying. She felt pathetic and feeble. How many times in the last six years did she show this much emotion? Never. Because she was stone then. Cold, hard stone.
The feeling of crumbling was the worst feeling she could ever imagine. And that was how it was. Every day. Pressured and ready to blow. She wasn't going to last with the amount of pain in each heartbeat.
Bane nudged her knee and indicated that she focus on him. She turned her eyes to his and he didn't smile, he didn't frown. He was perfectly still and kept his eyes on hers as he reached out and gripped one of her hands and kept it in his grasp. Talia felt the tears still wet on her face but she never moved an inch
Bane held her fingers strong and still as he looked into her eyes, reassuring her for only a few more seconds before he stood up and pulled her up with him. Talia lifted her other hand that was not being held to wipe away her tears. She looked ahead of her at the archway that lead down. Bane looked at her face and she turned her eyes up to his.
And in that moment, though he kept everything poise and as indifferent as humanly possible, she could swear he would be smiling at her if he could. As if, somehow, to reassure her.
As if the touch of his hand around hers wasn't enough.
"Miss Talia, what a pleasure it is to see you back."
Then she was wrapped in arms. The very ones that she had earned battle wounds from. Talia grew up with many partners to train with and one of them was this man. When her father was away on missions and trips, she would spend that time with Kingsley. Kingsley Evernot was her guiding light when she was fourteen. The child inside of her only adored everything he did. With time, Kingsley had to step down from the position as the young woman he was teaching needed a variety of partners, or so her father said. However, Kingsley still meant a great deal to her and she would meet with him from time to time and spar. Talia never wanted to let go of the feel of his arms around her.
But Kingsley pulled back and took a view of her face. Talia smiled kindly as she looked around at the men and women. These people she knew and cherished, so alive and free.
Bane stood behind her and looked around. She walked over to embrace another elderly woman named Usama who taught her literature throughout her six years at the League. The elderly woman mumbled something in Arabic and tugged Talia closer to herself. Usama brought her aged hands up to Talia's face to cradle and whispered a phrase of great gratitude which caused Talia to smile.
Talia turned her head to smile at everyone when she locked eyes with someone across the room.
His stare was just as intense as his daughter's.
The little chatter that was ended as soon as everyone around looked at Talia's frozen face. She did not even flinch or move forward. She just stared, wide-eyed and frozen to the core. She didn't know what to do and really, she couldn't move. All of those hours wishing that she was close again to her father were diminished as she feared his reaction to everything she had caused.
She loved her father and she knew he loved her, she just never knew when.
She didn't feel his arms, she didn't even remember seeing him move, but somehow he was holding her. Keeping her close and wrapping his arms around her tiny body. Talia was so shocked that he even embraced her at all. When was the last time he held her close? The day she found him? The day she told him of her mother? When? He never held her as such and the feeling was as foreign as ever.
She didn't respond at all.
Ra's pulled back and brought his hand up to frame her face just as Usama did. The young girl inside of her was warm with the gesture. She never was truly able to feel the adoration of a parental figure. She had her father who wasn't the supreme model for such, and her mother who had only been around the first few years of her life so honestly, she didn't remember. But she kept her estranged eyes on his blue orbs and just tried to gain a stable breathing cycle.
Ra's didn't utter a word as he pulled his hand from her cheek. He was as quiet as a mouse when she finally blinked. No words were said. He had said everything he needed to in his embrace.
Because Talia felt like she was finally allowed to breathe.
It had only been a few minutes of silence yet the time felt so agonizingly long. Talia curled her fingers as she grasped to his robe and instead of pulling away like she had intended to or at least let herself wish, she rested her forehead on his shoulder and let out every inch of air that she held back in her system.
There were, the nerves, leaving her system.
She had received the reaction she wanted, or more like hoped for. She didn't know what to expect from the man in her grip, but she would take this. She would always take this. Her father wrapped his hand around and placed his fingers delicately on the nape of her neck, brushing her short hair.
The men and women were either quiet or had started to clear out unnoticed because Talia was ignorant of those surrounding her. She didn't feel anything except her father's fingers in her hair and the warm pulse under her forehead. She had been living in a phase so tense she would never have thought that the release would be this sweet.
To finally feel weightless and free was such a heavenly feel. Talia only spent a few minutes in that position but it was enough. She had finally felt like the gesture was enough because she had gotten more than she had expected.
She turned her eyes up to her father's but he wasn't looking at her, he was looking past her. She tilted her head an inch to glance over her shoulder and saw that Bane was behind her. Her father turned his eyes to his forearm which was bare and scarred.
Talia tried her hardest to replay the previous encounter over in her head. The action was too unreal to seem eligible, but she had felt it. She pulled herself out of his arms and scratched her scalp as she tried to find something to say. The questions she wanted to ask and the answers she wanted to receive. Couldn't she be given that?
Then she decided that it could wait. It could always wait. She was literally exhausted and out of will power. She still felt weak from the intake of the toxin and nearly drowning along with the days of hysteria and absolute fear.
She was sure she would collapse.
Ra's noticed she was starting to grip her body and he started to step over to another recruit before he whispered something in their ear and the man ran off quickly. He turned back to his daughter and gave her the tiniest of smiles.
"Welcome home, Talia." He rubbed her forearm. "You have been so brave."
She looked down, the ice in her stomach. Only she hadn't. She couldn't remember the last courageous thing she did and that scared her. She had even tried to kill herself and the shame of the thought was overbearing. How many times would she relive that and regret it?
The man her father had just spoken to had come back into the room quickly with Doctor Sae close behind him. Ra's turned his head and caught a glimpse of them before he exclaimed. "Ah yes, Doctor Sae; please, come."
The doctor marched over to where Ra's stood, while Ra's tugged gently on Talia's elbow and waved for Bane to follow. "Please get these two medical attention."
The doctor looked over Talia's pale and hollow face and over to Bane's body and nodded. He indicated his hand towards the doorway and made sure they understood. Talia took one last look at her father and stepped away and over towards the door, Bane only a step behind.
The doctor was turning as well when Ra's pulled him aside and said low and heatedly. "Make sure they are in separate rooms, Doctor." Taking one last look at his daughter retreating out of the door, Ra's turned around and stalked out of an opposite exit.
Talia lay painfully on the hospital cot, trying desperately to find sleep. She was given no salvation what-so-ever and that made her restless.
After the hour treatment to her physical wounds and a check for diseases, she was told to lie down and breath through a mask that sent air laced with a treatment for her lungs. She didn't know how but it only made her feel worse. She was being cleansed. The air running through her made her drowsy but it wasn't chemically mixed with anything to make her tired. She remained alert, even through the night.
Bane was separated from her, forced to stay in a room down the hall. He needed to check the bullet wound for infections and was also tested for any diseases. But she didn't know if he was any luckier at finding sleep. She wondered if he was awake.
She turned over on the cot and tried to ease her body of the tension. Her father didn't come to visit her. He didn't even come to see how she was. She guessed she wasn't surprised. She was to rest and he was keeping his space. That was fine.
She wouldn't be able to do anything else. She just laid still and let her mind wander. So many things were to be said. So many things were left unacknowledged. She needed to know. She wanted to know. But she guessed it could wait until the morning. Or beyond. She didn't know when she would get answers. All she cared about was that she would get them.
She traced patterns in her sheets, trying to ease her troubled mind. She dragged her delicate fingers across the fabric before she stilled her digits and stared out into space; thinking.
She turned so that she was on her back and staring up at the ceiling. How much time would she actually spend in this bed? Then she sat up and pulled her legs over to dangle at the side of the bed, her toes just barely grazed the cold stone. She bowed her head and knew she probably shouldn't do this. But she slowly began to edge her body off of the bed and stepped towards the door of the room. She twisted the knob carefully, trying to keep any noise from being made. The hallway was bright and she had to squint, but she slipped her body past the door and gently let it latch. The outside of her door had a clipboard with scribbled writing hanging.
She turned her eyes around the hallway and found Doctor Sae sleeping in his secluded part of the corner. His arms were folded and he obviously didn't intend to fall asleep because no one gets comfortable enough in that position to sleep intentionally.
Talia slipped past him effortlessly, looking down the hall at the other rooms. She grew up in this part of the facility. The hospital wing was her- well, bittersweet playground. This was her childhood. If she didn't have a new bruise each week, she wasn't training correctly.
She made small steps, but she reached the other side of the hall in haste as she found the other room with a clipboard and knew that Bane would be inside. She hesitantly reached out to touch the cold metal knob before she twisted it and eased the door open.
Bane was lying with his back to her, most likely asleep. She watched as the bright light from the hallway illuminated the room and highlighted the details. Quickly slipping inside before anyone could see her, she carefully shut the door without making a sound. However, the light from the hallway was enough to alert Bane who wasn't asleep after all. He turned his head and glanced at the small woman in the door way. She crossed the room and made her way to the edge of the cot he was laying on and turned her head down to watch herself pick at the edges of her fingers. She didn't know why she came here.
Bane watched her without fully sitting up. The girl inside of her wanted to reach out and let him pull her in his arms, but she wasn't sure what to do.
She looked at the walls and then down and noticed the fixture of the rug on the floor, yet she never uttered a word of why she came or even what she wanted. She took enough courage in her system and used it to guide her body to the side of his bed. She sat with grace and shaking nerves and just plain exhaustion before Bane shifted his body closer to one side so she could slide in next to him. He was placed under the covers but she didn't wish to be encased in a sheet. She lay on top of the bundle of blankets on her side of his bed and brought her hands up to lay beneath her cheek.
She swallowed before she opened her mouth to say something then decided she better remain quiet.
"You have a lot on your mind." The man next to her mentioned. It was obvious and downright true. She wanted to talk to him. She wanted to just feel his chest vibrate against hers as each word he uttered sent a tremor through her. She wanted to calculate each heartbeat and each time he blinked. She just wanted to talk to him. She didn't know what she wanted to talk about but she knew that was all she ever wanted to do. Even when she was in the Pit. Especially then.
She opened her eyes to look at him and he looked back. That was routine. She would open her eyes, exactly at the moment he called out for her and she would find him staring back, his gaze unreadable. Talia could never understand why it mattered so much to her. She could never know why she wanted to feel that feeling each second of every passing moment.
It was the one occasion that Bane didn't pull Talia close in his arms, and that was okay. Talia was not in need of his affections through physical contact. She could feel him holding her close in his aura and that was enough. She didn't need anything other than that.
"I do." She inhaled sharply and nuzzled easier into the mattress. "Maybe that's why I can't sleep."
The room was so dark that she had to strain herself to look at him properly. Bane and Talia laid in the darkness for quite some time before either spoke a word.
"How did you find me?"
Talia was never one to be persistent with asking questions, and honestly hadn't she asked this already? But the knowledge had not yet come her way.
Bane turned his head a fragment of an inch. "There was a woman. We received a video of her speaking, claiming she wished for your father's intelligence. You were there. In the background. You looked so lifeless."
Talia flinched at the thought. Either the chloroform or the result of the tranquilizer, she had been knocked out twice since she was kidnapped.
"They claimed no harm would come to you." Bane's almost whisper was strangled. Even through the filter of his mask, he sounded strained.
Talia turned her body so that she could brush the hair from her eyes.
"They wanted others to join you. I volunteered." He continued. "But when I arrived there, I heard you screaming."
Talia nodded. That made sense. She was positive she was under the drugs then and it scared her that she couldn't tell if that was exactly the case. She didn't want to know any more about that.
"How did they find us after that? When we were in the woods?" She asked. She honestly didn't understand how the men dressed in black could have known where they were or even that they needed help.
Bane turned his eyes up to look at the ceiling. "Why do you think I couldn't sleep?"
The morning came not long after. Talia wanted to stay awake and talk with Bane for the rest of the night, but that wasn't possible because she had fought many battles, she didn't need to start one with her eyelids. And consequently, that was fine. Sleep was never a bad thing. Talia didn't feel cold, so she remained on top of the blankets, but she was close enough to touch Bane and that kept her warm.
Bane slept soundly for the first time in weeks. It was assumed that Talia would be the one having trouble finding dreams, but instead it was Bane. The reason, though assumed, was unknown.
The pair was sound asleep when another entered the room in silence. The intruder didn't even make a sound as he stared at the form of the young woman snug against the side of the man. The tiny figure against the mass of the other looked appalling and quite frankly, a sight that couldn't be erased from the mind.
Especially for a man protective of his daughter.
When Talia finally woke, Bane woke with her. Her eyelids fluttered and she tried to remember how she got here and why, but she didn't actually care. The mutual gaze sent shivers down Talia's spine. Bane looked at her and she looked back and there was nothing but time on their hands. Clocks were not present anymore. Time was endless. But, though time was endless, it was not eliminated and it still passed. After a good long wondrous gaze, she finally blinked and guessed it would be best to sit up. She slid off and paced around the room until she reached the edge of the side of the bed he resided on. Bane turned his body to face her and she let her fingers descend and reach his wrist, squeezing it gently and smiling attentively. Bane nodded slightly and she turned around. It was time for her to leave. She hoped no one noticed her absence.
The door knob was cold as she twisted it and made her way out of the room. Tip-toeing down the hallway, she eased inside of her room and sat on the edge of her cot before she eased her body down under the blankets and closed her eyes. There was really no point in staying awake, pacing. For god's sake, she wasn't that much of a wonderer.
After thirty minutes of secluded relaxing, she heard the door begin to open and Doctor Sae entered with a smile.
"Good morning, Talia." He stepped over to her bed side and put his hand to her forehead. "You don't seem to have a fever. That's good." He checked off something on his paper as Talia sat upright.
"I feel fine." She muttered, rubbing her eyes.
Doctor Sae looked at her and nodded. "Yes, well, it's only precaution that we treated you. You seem to have no diseases so I do believe you can go back to your normal everyday things today."
Talia just barely smiled when the doctor went to the cabinet on the wall and unlocked it to take out a pill and filled a glass of water. Bringing it back to her, he told her to swallow the pill and she would be able to leave.
The days turned and passed quicker than she imagined. She did not transition back into training until three days after she returned, and by then she felt rusty. But that wasn't horrible, she knew she would get used to it again. Bane was almost always near. He was a beautiful shadow, and sometimes, she was as well. It did not matter that he was separated from her half of the time. She still slept by his side. She still used that sacred time to talk and to feel and to just begin to cherish.
The days turned faster than wheels and she was convinced that between the training and meetings with her father and making the transition back into her life was enough. She had almost, not yet fully, but very nearly given herself time to forget about her traumatizing experiences. It had been a week since she returned and she was going to make the most of it. Of all the time she had here.
For less than ten minutes at least each day if not more, she would cry. It was not purposefully, she didn't want to feel as much as she did. But in the few minutes she let herself think, she cried sorrowfully. Because M'har wasn't there to practice darts with her. He wasn't there at all.
The time moved so slowly that she was amazed that a week had passed. It was a Sunday. The sun wasn't out, as if it ever was, yet the day still seemed bright. She did not see her father around and strangely enough, she couldn't find Bane. The morning dragged on as she left the practice room and went down to the hallway.
It was a normal day. Something opposed to the week before. Talia was finally starting to feel like things had turned normal.
But that was before she found out that Bane was assigned to a mission.
"Don't do this." She pleaded. Her father gave her a stern look as he turned around.
"Silence, Talia." He exhaled loudly as if he was annoyed. "I'm assigning him on a mission, not sending him to his death."
Talia felt her throat tighten as she just couldn't hold her posture a second longer. "Please." She whispered. She was in her father's drawing room, where a fire was lit and all other lights were not. She finally sat down for the first time in this room because she couldn't trust herself to stand.
Ra's turned his gaze to her and she tried to keep her face serious enough to persuade him. But she felt like dying. How could he do this? Bane was only back a week. He was only just adjusting. She was only just adjusting. The terrible absence that would follow would completely kill her and he must know.
"It was planned three days before you returned Talia. He was already supposed to be gone. I have given him time to recover and I cannot wait any longer. He is the one I need and as much as this pains you, I have to call upon him to service me." Ra's paced by the fireplace. Talia felt her face start to constrict as her eyebrows knitted together in an attempt to keep from crying.
"Then let me go with him. I want to be there."
Ra's had a terrible expression on his face then. It was disappointment. She couldn't see just how much he hated those words. "You are not needed. You will stay."
Talia stood up in quick haste brought a hand up to her forehead. "Send anyone else." She allowed herself to repeat. She needed to at least try and persuade him. "Please."
"It is done. He is going."
Talia swallowed the sorrow in her throat. She couldn't do anything now, she knew. She nodded and let the tears roll down her cheeks. She always felt shameful crying in front of her father but on this occasion she didn't care.
She turned around slowly and walked out of the door without asking for permission to leave, which was something she never did.
Bane turned his head to observe the room. Talia was nowhere to be seen. The lack of her presence was strange because she was always here at this exact time. She would one way or another find herself in his room and she would always lie next to him. He looked around the room and down the hall but she wasn't around.
He started to walk , turning his body down the hall and made his way out. He would walk. That was fine. He searched for her unconsciously as he passed the halls and around the facility. The sun was set and only a purple haze was left on the horizon. He searched the insides and when he couldn't find her there, he began to make his way outside. He was about to give up when he noticed her perched on the edge of the stone ledge before the mountain started to descend. She had her legs dangling over the edge and her hair was blowing softly with the cold wind.
She didn't hear him make his way toward her and as he got closer he accidently kicked a stone, letting it scrape across the floor. She flinched and turned her head sharply to look at him with wide eyes, ones that were petrified.
Her expression didn't shift as she continued to look at him and he knew exactly why.
Talia pulled her legs up and turned around. She set her feet carefully on the ground and turned to Bane. The little girl walked over to her protector and demanded she be held. The reasonable part of her brain was being ignored as she marched over to Bane and wrapped her arms around his waist. He knew. She knew he did.
"I want to protect you, Bane." She didn't cry like she felt. She spoke softly as she nuzzled her head close to his chest. "I want to keep you safe. Just like you have always kept me."
Bane froze around her. Talia gripped him softly and gave into whatever it was she felt. Sorrow? Pain? She couldn't pin point it. She just felt it. She was going to have to live without him again. She was going to have to endure the wait, just as he had with her. But this time it felt different, because she knew. She knew of the possible consequences.
Bane didn't pull back to look at her when he spoke. "You have kept me safe." Talia frowned and shook her head.
"Nonsense, I haven't done anything."
Bane tried his hardest to keep his fingers from squeezing her too hard. "You came into my life in the darkest point, Talia. You did save me. You pulled me out from that point. You were just a child with innocence and that was all. You have protected me for years, even when you were gone." He pulled back to look into her eyes. "Because even when you were gone, I never let myself go back there. To that point. I remembered your innocence and the impossible love. That kept me alive. It kept me strong."
Talia frowned, not sure how to comprehend his words. Bane brushed her hair out of her eyes and muttered. "Protection doesn't need to be physical all the time. It's not valid. You kept me safe with your trust."
Talia exhaled softly and pulled Bane back into an embrace. He wrapped his hands around her waist and gently squeezed her body. "You are so strong, Talia. You have always been brave. I will come back to you."
She inhaled sharply. "You don't get to promise me that." Bane whispered in her ear.
A/N: I know you all are really hating me right now, but I wanted to say something. I couldn't give Bane and Talia a good long time together because honestly, that wasn't realistic. Bane and Talia are not ordinary and definetely don't live normally. They are going to have moments like this where they are seperated and won't be around each other for long periods of time and the time they are with each other won't be long. But that's what makes it romantic. Because with what little they have, they make the most of it. I know so far everything is confusing, but I have a background story to it. Trust me. I'm not writing this with a confused story line. It will all make sense in time.
Anyway, enjoy this chapter and I will update soon.
And remember to REVIEW.