"Selina," Ivy said, snapping her out of her own head. "I know you like the whole 'strong and silent' vibe, but we need your input. You know Gerard best."
"There's only one entrance," Selina replied dully. She hadn't spoken since Gerard hung up the phone.
"We're going to get them back, Sel. Bet your life on it." Ivy put her hand over Selina's and she yanked it away. No, they weren't. Gerard wasn't stupid, and if the three of them busted in there, guns blazing, he'd kill Bruce and Harley for sure. If it was just Selina, he'd still probably kill them, but at least they'd have a fighting chance.
"Miss Selina, are you quite alright?" Alfred asked, looking concerned.
"Not really," Selina ground out. "The world kind of went to shit, or hadn't you noticed? Gerard's insane and he's got two of the only people in the world that can be used to blackmail Ivy and me." Alfred tried to lay his hand on her shoulder and Selina spun out of his grip. "Just give me a minute, will you?" she snapped. Alfred and Ivy didn't follow. Which was probably for the best because neither of them were going to forgive her.
She'd done the math. The only chance Bruce and Harley had was if she went alone. Gerard was insane, but he considered himself a gentleman. Unless he felt threatened, he would keep his word. Selina could get them out. It was their only shot, and it was a death sentence. Before she could change her mind, Selina hung a quick left, slipping into the room where Alfred has stashed her knives the last time she'd gone postal. No doubt Gerard would disarm her the minute she stepped through the door, but it made her feel safer for the time being. Forcing her breathing to remain even, Selina ran into the garage, swiping the keys to the Harley Davidson off of the wall and hitting the switch for the mechanic door.
"System override: Safekeep. Lockdown mode." Selina said, pressing the intercom button on the wall. Bruce taught her all of the security protocols months ago. She punched in the passcode and jumped on the bike, revving the engine and screaming out onto the driveway before the protocol locked the mansion down tight. She just made it onto the street before the gates sealed themselves closed. Within seconds her phone was vibrating in her pocket.
"What the fuck do you think you're doing?" Ivy demanded and Selina felt a sob building in her throat. "You get back here right now."
"He'll kill them," Selina said, weaving around traffic and barely avoiding a fire hydrant. "You know that if anyone else shows, he'll kill the both of them. This is the only way it works."
"He'll kill you," Ivy screeched, sounding seconds away from tears. Or blowing something to kingdom come. "Selina, please, come back. We'll figure something out."
"Ivy, I'm going to get Harley back for you. Just…tell Al to take care of Bruce for me, okay?"
"Selina, don't – " Ivy said desperately.
"Love you V," Selina said, dropping her phone onto the street. It shattered against the concrete, taking Ivy's voice with it. Selina ditched the bike a few streets away from the bar, making sure to toss the license plate in a dumpster. She didn't get within a block of the bar before two enormous guys stopped her, grinning like idiots.
"You're coming with us," one of them said. Selina rolled her eyes, making a show of it, and swallowed her fear.
"No shit," she snapped. "Feel free to walk behind but if either of you morons touches me, you'll lose a hand." The two guys looked at each other, confused. Clearly, Gerard had expected her to come quietly, or at least show some semblance of fear.
"You're…coming with us," the others said, sounding a little more unsure. He grabbed Selina shoulder and she sprang away from him, jerking her wrists to the right and stabbing clean through the meat of his hand. Not exactly clean off, but it was good enough. The man howled, blood gauntleting his arm when Selina ripped her knife away.
"Don't whine, it's not going to kill you," Selina said offhandedly. "I make no promises for next time. We clear? Good." Selina didn't wait for them and left the man bleeding in the street, striding into the bar like she owned it. It didn't take her long to assess the situation and realize how completely screwed she was. Gerard had Bruce and Harley tied up in plain sight with one of his goons behind both of them, holding guns to their heads. Wonderful. Selina didn't look at them for more than a moment, too afraid that her mask of cavalier indifference would slip. For his part, Gerard had two men flanking him and he stood with his arms crossed over his chest, smirking smugly.
"Ah my darling Selina," he said coolly. "You came more quickly than I expected. Where is Marco?"
"I told him not to touch me," Selina said, making sure her voice was unwavering. "He did. I think he'll be favoring his right for a while. Just a heads up."
"Oh, you never fail to disappoint me," Gerard said, smiling like a proud parent. An incredibly deranged parent, but proud.
"Let them go," Selina said, gesturing to Bruce and Harley without looking at them. Gerard's face fell.
"All business as usual."
"Cut the shit Gerry," Selina said and Gerard made a face at the nickname. "You got me here, just like you wanted. There's no one else coming. Now let them leave."
"I don't think I will," Gerard said and Selina clenched her jaw. "See, your Ivy is a valuable resource, and Miss Harley can be used to control her. And you…well you managed to nab the crown prince of Gotham. I didn't think you had it in you. Regardless, he's worth a significant sum of money and – " Selina didn't let him finish. She'd seen enough bad movies to know what happened when the villain stopped monologuing, Still one moment and moving the next, she hurled three of her knives at him as hard as she could. Without waiting to make sure they hit their targets, Selina threw herself across the room, barely dodging bullets from four different guns. She dove behind the bar, giving herself a moment to breathe before darting into the open again, stabbing the man holding Bruce in the leg and the neck and using his body as a shield as the other opened fire.
"Jesus shit I hate guns," Selina swore to herself, ripping the pistol out of her body shield's hand and firing over his shoulder. The man holding Harley screamed as a bullet tore into his chest and fell over, and then everything was silent. Selina stood slowly, the world tilting when she saw what she'd done. There was blood everywhere, blood and bodies. "Oh my God," she whispered, feeling bile creep up the back of her throat. Forcing herself not to hurl, Selina staggered over to Bruce, slicing the cord around his wrists before doing the same for Harley.
"You okay?" Bruce asked, ripping the gag out of his mouth. His eyes were dark and unreadable.
"That's my line," Selina said shakily. Blood pooled on the ground, soaking into her shoes. "I think I'm going to throw up."
"Hey hey, you're alright," Bruce said, catching her before she could tip over and fall. "You saved us."
"I killed them. Oh my God, I killed them," Selina said, her voice breaking. She buried her face in his chest before he could see the tears track down her cheeks.
"You didn't have a choice," Bruce said, stroking her curly hair. "He didn't give you a choice."
"I – move," Selina shrieked, looking up to see Gerard shakily stand and take aim. With all her strength, Selina shoved Bruce away from her, and then two things happened at the same time: The door burst open and something slammed into Selina's midsection, sending her staggering. Someone caught her before she could fall, and for a moment Selina thought it was Bruce before the cold metal of a gun muzzle was pressed against her temple.
"I didn't think you had it in you," Gerard hissed in her ear. Selina's head lolled, resting against his shoulder. It took her a moment to realize who'd broken down the door.
"Selina!" Ivy's voice sounded like it was coming from far away but her shock of red hair was unmistakable. Alfred stood beside her, his face creased and murderous. Harley all but dove behind Ivy, using her body as protection. Only Bruce stood alone. "Let her go, you son of a bitch!"
"Look who came to see you," Gerard said gleefully. "Let her go or what? In case you hadn't noticed, she's already dead." He dug his fingers into her stomach and Selina screamed, pain splintering her vision and bleaching the world of color.
"Stop it!" Ivy cried.
"Now here's what's going to happen," Gerard said calmly. "The rest of you will leave, or I kill her."
"You'll kill her anyway," Alfred spat, leveling his pistol at Gerard's head. Bruce stood beside him, white-lipped and furiously silent, his face completely drained of color.
"Yes, but this is the only way the rest of you have a chance. Come now, surely you see which is the right choice. One person for the rest of you. Be reasonable. Tell them, Selina."
"Go to hell," Selina snarled, biting her lip to keep from screaming when he pressed against the bullet wound again. Blood dribbled down her chin, adding to the red puddles already on the floor.
"After you, darling."
"I'll see you there," Selina ground out, twisting her wrist and spinning into Gerard's grip. In one smooth motion she plunged the knife into his chest and yanked it out again. Gerard stumbled away from her, clutching at the bloody wound staining through his white shirt. As he fell, Gerard raised his arm and fired, and then Selina's world went sideways.
"Selina? Selina!" She couldn't tell who was saying her name, but two faces crowded into her line of sight. Something wet fell on her face and it took her a moment to realize that it was a tear.
"Is he dead?" Selina demanded, her heart hammering against her chest and forcing blood out of her body even quicker. "Is he dead, V, is he going to hurt us anymore?"
"No, he's gone. He's never hurting us again." Selina managed a weak smile. Gerard was dead. Gerard was dead and he'd never hurt her people again.
"I got Harley for you," Selina murmured. "I got her."
"Yeah you did Selly," Ivy said, tears crowding on her lower lashes. Selina reached up and wiped one away, leaving a bloody handprint. "Thank you babe. You did good."
"I…love you Ivy," Selina gasped, feeling like someone was stepping on her chest. She couldn't breathe. Something pricked in her side and Selina winced, adding it to the rest of the pain shooting through her entire body. Everything was heightened, pulsing, hurting. She couldn't get away from any of it, no matter how much she tried. "Bruce…where's Bruce?"
"Hey, I'm here," he said. "You're going to be okay, Selina, you're going to be fine."
"No," Selina said, shaking her head and then winced at the pain that shattered down her spine. "This is bad, billionaire. This…this is really bad…" Her breath hiccupped in her throat and tears streamed down her face. "I don't want to go Bruce…I want to stay with you."
"Help is coming. Alfred called 911. You're going to stay right here with me. I'm not letting you go that easy," Bruce promised, his dark eyes glistening.
"I don't…I don't want to die Bruce." Spots crowded her vision, phasing in and out at random. Her hearing was starting to go as well and she'd already lost feeling in her legs.
"You're not going to die. I love you, Selina. I love you. I love you so much and you're not going to die." With the last of her strength, Selina pulled Bruce down, bringing his lips to hers. When she pulled away, they were painted a garish red.
"I love you too billionaire," she whispered, before her head fell back and then there was nothing.
Three hours later, despite the efforts of paramedics, Selina Kyle was pronounced dead. Three hours later, Bruce Wayne sat in the lobby of the hospital, too numb to feel anything. When he could finally move, Alfred drove him home and when Bruce was left alone in his office, he tore it apart. Nothing escaped and when everything was in pieces or ripped to shreds, Bruce finally collapsed on the couch, laid his head in his hands, and cried.
Nearly twelve hours later, a girl with red hair and an old man went into the hospital empty handed, and left with a body bag. Nearly twelve hours later, a Jane Doe was checked into a hospital across town and placed under twenty-four-hour watch. And when she was strong enough, the Jane Doe was airlifted out of the country.
Two months later, she woke from a medically-induced coma and found a fake ID and passport waiting for her, along with a neat, one-page letter. Two months later, the American Jane Doe disappeared into the London crowds and was never heard from again. And over the next five years, a thief began to rise to prominence in London's criminal underground. She stayed off the radar and was never caught, and authorities never had a photo of her to go on, just a codename: Catwoman. One day she just up and disappeared, and Scotland Yard was happy to be rid of her.
Five years after the death of Selina Kyle, Catwoman came home.
And that's all she wrote. Thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed, you all are the best readers a girl could ask for, and your comments and support made this fic so much fun for me. Best to you all.