There's a sincere, unbridled terror in the possibility of falling.
Half of the fun is in the adrenaline, and the other half is the certainty ringing through her skull—I can survive this, Selina reassures herself whenever she's balancing on a rooftop ledge or walking across a tightrope.
She's survived worse.
The envelope crushes between Selina's gloved fingers—pasted in newspaper clippings: "I do not like to hear from you/But you are pleased to meet me only when you need me/I am not happy to be working/When I do, I scream/You can reach me if you need me/Hope you still like me when you don't — Guess who?"
"Move!" she screams at the top of her lungs, rushing and shoving around paramedics outside of Gotham General. Nobody approaches the lone ambulance with its lights switched off. Or pays it any mind.
Selina throws open the ambulance's back-doors, her eyes squinting through the flood of bright, white lights.
A boy lies unresponsive to the various beeps and noises surrounding him. His cropped, dark hair sweat-heavy against his paling forehead. "Bruce! Bruce!" Selina yells, climbing inside with both palms pressing against the ambulance's roof, before it feels like her own stomach lurches up into her throat.
(But maybe not this.)
Bruce Wayne is a pest. He's a goodie two-shoes, awkward about their relationship when he's not brooding or acting like a kicked, confused puppy, and it doesn't help that Bruce sleeps like an angel.
Complicated doesn't begin to explain him, or what Selina feels about him. Bruce kisses like a gentle soul, like he's just waking up and she sometimes hates how precious and wonderful that feeling is. He'll never fully understand her, but Selina has him wrapped around her little finger, and always will.
He would die for her… just as much as she would kill for him.
"Let me see this sodding thing," Alfred curses, seizing Selina's envelope—warning—out of Jim Gordon's hands. His hands tremble, and it's stupid to try and guess whether it's Alfred's rage or his dread causing it.
She tunes them out, approaching the hospital bed. Her crimson, leather-gloved hands wrap around the side rails. Instead of the upper left-side of Bruce's chest, there's a opened, abyssal-colored hole filled with wires and tubes. Selina and the paramedics who heard her screeching for help found Bruce just like that—unconscious and cut wide open, strapped against the ambulance's stretcher, drenched in his own blood.
One of the nurses called it a cardiopulmonary machine—which Selina doesn't have to guess why. Bruce's heart has been surgically removed from his body, and has been missing for the past hour and a half.
She's seen him bruised, seen him beaten. Seen him electrocuted.
Heat builds up, up, out, trickling moisture from of the corners of her eyes. Selina exhales loudly, gazing over him, leaning herself to the hospital railing and pressing her lips against Bruce's cool, clammy forehead.
"Since they've leaving riddles, I'm thinking of looking into a Riddler copycat, since Edward Nygma is still frozen at the Iceberg Lounge." Jim Gordon's voice filters back into her hearing, gruff with concealed emotion. "It might be someone with a grudge against the Waynes. Or more specifically, against Bruce—"
"—No," Selina interrupts, turning around expressionlessly and facing them in the hallway. "They're after me."
Alfred stares, gobsmacked.
The dawning realization narrows Jim Gordon's eyes. He lowers his head sideways, rubbing his fingers over the bridge of his nose. "Someone knew how to hurt you, didn't they… …?"
Selina wipes under her eyes with a thumb, sniffling and jerking out of Jim Gordon's reach.
Her boots slap against the hallway tiles.
The orphanage never played games or taught her any word games.
Maria Kyle watches pleadingly from the rafters as her daughter becomes encircled by goons, her teeth sinking to her bottom lip. "Just do as he says, baby," she calls out. "And then we'll be gone for good. I swear."
"You wish," Cole Clemens mutters, leveling his revolver to Selina's eye-socket. "Fucking whiny bitch—"
She dodges out of his path, whipping around and kicking another man in the balls. Gunshots echo, their bullets embedding into concrete walls of the abandoned, darkened factory—and into flesh of Selina's attackers, ripping though, splattering fluid and blood. She wrenches out of the iron-grip of a bigger, muscular goon, picking up a thick, lead pipe and slamming an end under his jaw, breaking bones internally.
Three men severely injured, two of them bleeding, and Selina disarms Cole Clemens, pulling him backwards by forcing the blood-smeared pipe against his neck and wheezing the air out of him.
"Where is it?" she asks calmly.
He chokes when refusing to answer, his face reddening and veins prominent. "Fuck, fuck—!"
"Mom…" Selina peers up at her, deadpan. Her voice raising a little. "Where is it?"
As if understanding her question, Maria nods, lips down-turning. "Stored upstairs," her mother replies, empty-handed, staring fearfully at her furious, immobile boyfriend. "He's got the keys."
Selina roughly digs into his jacket pocket, unearthing the tiny, copper key.
"You and your gutter slut mommy are DEAD—!"
Cole Clemens yelps out the rest of his sentence, knocked onto the ground, landing on his back. He writhes, gagging out and smacking her as Selina's weapon crams into his mouth. The pipe burrows deeper, deeper in.
(I have just one, but with eight to spare. I am usually friendly, but I sometimes act like I don't care.)
Selina lifts her elbow, breathing heavily, jamming it against the exposed, blunt end of the pipe.
The Gotham City Police sweep the area, and by then, Selina's already vanished.
Her mother… she has no idea. Maria could have ran out of town, or been caught by the police. Either way, she better not show her face. Ever again. There's no more chances. And if Bruce doesn't make it…
"Surgery went by with no complications," Alfred informs her, straightening up and clasping his hands behind him. "Thankfully, Master Bruce is young and has a healthy heart. I suppose we have you to thank for this."
There's a hint of distrust in Alfred's tone. Selina doesn't blame him.
"… Can I get a minute?" she asks, not expecting miracles.
With a stiff, dutiful nod, Alfred heads out. Selina waits quietly, eyeing the hospital window-doors and his lingering, slow-moving shadow, before approaching Bruce's hospital bed and plopping down casually on the edge. Her weight disturbs its occupant, as Bruce groans softly and opens his eyes, blinking.
"Morning, sleepyhead," Selina announces, offering a half-grin and taking up his pudding cup. "Hope you don't mind me taking this." She strips off the lid, poking her finger in and scooping some vanilla into her mouth.
He says nothing at first.
Bruce's chest is still covered in wires and padded, ugly bandages, much to Selina's dismay. His brows gather together. He touches his forefinger over Selina's bruised, puffy lip, gently wandering to her chin.
It must be the drugs making him sound and act woozy, Bruce's voice slurring a little.
Clearing her throat, Selina nudges his hand away.
"I, uh… took care of some business. I got bored waiting in here." She forces a laugh. "You almost died, you know… if it weren't for me, they'd be cutting you up and selling your organs on the black market."
She knows she's lying badly, pretending to be unfazed, but her stomach rises violently again.
Bruce only shifts his head to the fluffed, sterile pillow, as if disagreeing with her.
"Can't…" His lips tug into a boyish smile. "Mn'yours."
Whether or not he whispered this, or shouted it from the rooftops, Selina discovers she's flushing all the way up to her ears. "You're delusional," she scoffs, dropping the pudding cup rudely and clattering onto the tray. "You better go back to sleep and recover before they lock you up with the rest of the loonies."
Selina pats off her hands mock-elegantly and tilts in, kissing Bruce's mouth hotly, carefully.
Maybe that's the real problem with falling…
It's so easy.
Gotham is not mine. Heyyyy so I think this is my first try with BatCat in general! Comics or show-verse or otherwise! This is so exciting! BATCAT IS MY SECOND FAVORITE OTP THAT EVER EXISTED. I'VE LOVED THEM SINCE I WAS AN ITTY BITTY. The plot I used for this was pretty much out of "Heart of Hush" which if you haven't read that or "Hush: Volume One" or "Hush: Volume Two" sooooooo please go read them if you love some Batcat.
Also, for the riddles: I had Maria Kyle be the one to teach them to Selina when she was five, and Selina remembers they would play together before she got abandoned at the orphanage. The first riddle's answer was obviously "an ambulance" and the second one was "a cat" surprise suprise bwahahaha.