There's a Fine Line Between Love and Hate....And Your Walking it: Chapter One: The Simple Truth
"King me!" crowed Emily, beating Max at checkers for the fifth time in a row.
"I swear! You unhuman! Terry, how come she keeps winning?" pouted Max. There was a grunt from Terry. "Translation?"
"Ah...well, he's either mad, happy, unsure, doesn't care, isn't listening, or maybe he's hungry," Emily teased. "He's been like that all day," she said more seriously.
"Letter from Dana?" asked Max.
"Yup," said Emily, giving her cousin a worried glance. She shrugged this off quickly enough. She had wasted too much pity on him and herself.
"So where's Bruce?" asked Max. "You two should be out patrolling the city by now!"
"Some board meeting. The only reason Powers invites him to those things is out of common sense," (There was a murmur from Terry about what little he had) "And some of the people there who knew him would revolt if Powers left him out of it, and I think Powers want him to suffer from boredom with him."
"What? If your gonna die, take as many people with you as you can I always say!"
"You never say that!"
"Well it sounds cool! One more game! I'm feeling lucky!"
Despite what Emily thought, Bruce was far from bored. The meeting was a request for a donation from a college student for a program she was doing to help save the Siberian Tigers. What little of them were left.
Even though Bruce was trying to listen (he'd support the project anyway. It was a good project, and he liked getting under Powers' skin) he's brain kept shifting gears to the girl herself.
Her name was Kat. She had long black hair which was pulled into a pony tail, a slender frame, and a very pretty face. And despite his efforts he kept thinking of who she looked like to him.....Well, that had ended a long time a go.....It was best not to think about it now.....
When the presentation was over, most of the board members had filed out, probably, he mused, to get paid from Powers to vote no on the project. He pulled Kat aside, who was shaking like a leaf.
"It was a great presentation Ms....uuhh...."
"Kyle," she said. "I'm sorry Mr. Wayne, but would you mind if I sat down for a moment?" He nodded and she nearly collapsed into a chair, stuffing her face against her folded arms, trying to control her breathing.
"I...I thought I'd hyperventilate up there....I'm not very good at speeches," she said, blushing.
"You said your name was Kathryn Kyle?"
It couldn't be...It was impossible!
"Well, I suppose if you look at it technically, not really. My real last name is Anderson, but I've lived with my grandmother since I was eight, and she kept her maiden name. I've just always called myself Kat Kyle. I hate Kathryn," she said, wrinkling her nose.
"Your grandmother's name wouldn't happen to be Selina would it?"
She nodded. "How would you-"
"Tell her I said hi," he said, and he scooped up his jacket, and walked out of the room. He saw Powers in the hall giving him an evil glare, because chances were he'd round up supporters for the project, no matter how much Powers paid. A rare smile was across Bruce's face. He like beating Powers to the punch.
Selina stopped writing in her agenda book. She put down her pencil and picked up the framed picture that sat on her desk. She hated that picture. The only reason it was there was because Kat had found in a box (she could have sworn she'd burned that box) and took it out, putting it on the desk, saying that she liked knowing what her grandfather had looked like, and would always dig it out again if Selina stuffed it in a drawer.
It was picture of her, her husband, now twenty years dead, and of her son and daughter. She had the inclination to simply cut out the part with Bill in it, but Kat liked the picture, and that was enough of a reason to keep it.
Why had she married Bill? She had often asked herself that question. The answer was the same. With Bill she'd be financially secure for the rest of her natural life. This would be responded with "So? She had had that with Bruce Wayne, hadn't she?"
Ah, but Bruce was her friend, (as much as he had wanted to further the relationship) and she would have had no qualms about divorcing Bill in an instant. She had hated the man! And she could never hurt Bruce.....
Her fists would clench whenever she thought of Bill. Lord, she had hated him! But she had had to marry him!
She remembered every detail. The nights out, the proposal, the wedding. She didn't look back at it with former fondness, but with desperation.
She had had to marry Bill! With all the money he had, she wouldn't have to steal for funding for her wildlife programs! With Bill she wouldn't have a reason to be Catwoman! To go out every night, and deliberately make some stupid mistake so that Batman would catch her.
It was a few word sentences, a kiss occasionally, and "poof"! He'd be gone! She couldn't live like that Her heart wanted to, but she simply couldn't let herself! It was tearing her apart, and she couldn't stand it any longer!
And so it was. Marry Bill, be safe, divorce him later, and forget the past. But she hadn't counted on Angie and Luke.
They were twins. The only children she'd ever had, and divorce would have drove them insane. Not that the constant arguing between Selina and Bill wasn't bad enough. But Selina could never hurt them. Unlike her husband, mistake though they were, she didn't view them that way.
Bill was a cheater, a liar, a crook. Selina had stolen art. Art that didn't effect peoples lives. But Bill stole from people themselves. She had hated him, loved her children, and had to marry Bill!
Lord, she hated that picture!
"Grandmother! I'm home!" called out Kat, who was depositing her coat on the coat tree. She rubbed her face, flopping into a chair to relax.
"How did it go?" called Selina from the kitchen, who was drying dishes.
"Not so good....."
"I'm sorry dear. I'm sure someone must have voted for you!"
"I think someone did."
"Bruce Wayne," the steady sound of the whipping of cloth over porcelain in the kitchen had stopped. Kat had noticed it too.
"He...he told me to tell you hi for him."
There was the sound of a crash, and Kat rushed into the kitchen. Selina had a broom and was sweeping up the fallen plate.
"Clumsy me! I guess my age is catching up to me...."
"No it's not...." said Kat, worriedly. "Your healthier than most people half your age....the doctor said so!"
"Kat, can you hand me a dust pan?"
"Why would Bruce Wayne want to say hi to you Grandma?"
"Never mind, I'll get it."
"Your not listening! Your purposely avoiding the subject! You always do that! I hate it when you do that!" cried Kat. Selina put the broom down.
"Kat....there are a lot of things you don't know, and couldn't under-"
"How am I supposed to understand if you won't even tell me!"
The phone rang, ending there little spat. In a huff, Kat picked it up.
"Ms. Kyle? This is Mr. Powers. We have the results for your program funding."
"In this case, yes. It didn't pass Ms. Kyle. I'm sorry."
There was silence on the other line.
"Can you tell me the votes please?"
"It was one to ten. I'm sorry Ms. Kyle. Goodnight."
There was the sound of a dial tone, and Kat just stood there, looking devastated.
"Kat?" asked Selina, worried.
Kat rushed out of the room, not trusting herself to not cry. She submerged herself in the walk-in storage closet.
It wasn't fair! It all wasn't fair!
Kat got down her favorite box. The one with the pictures of her parents and all their things. The ruffled through it for an hour, tears streaming down her cheeks from fond memories, and her failure.
When she was about to put it back, she noticed a much smaller box way in the back. She pulled in out, blowing off the dust.
She remembered this box.....She remembered finding the picture of her grandfather at the very top. She remembered taking the picture out, not looking at the rest of the contents. She remembered when her grandmother had tried to burn it. But Kat liked the old, dusty, worn out box.....She had been just eight.....She had put the box back in the closet, hiding it, replacing it with an empty one...her grandmother had thought she had burned it....But Kat wouldn't let her.....
Kat presently pulled out the box, slowly opening it...Why would her grandmother have cause to burn it?
There was a small gaps from Kat as she saw what was in it.....
There were albums with photos in them. Some of Catwoman...Some of Batman....Some of both.....Others had pictures of her grandmother on trial.....
Kat's breathing was getting heavy....She picked up a picture frame....It was a picture of what was obviously a younger Selina, and by the look of it...a younger Bruce Wayne! His arm draped around her grandmother's shoulders...Was...was this why? Had they been friends? Maybe lovers.....
Kat was breathing raspily, but then she pulled out the final thing in the box.....
It was a suit, a cat cowl, and a whip......
Kat was hyperventilating...No! Her grandmother? Catwoman?
Kat burst into the kitchen, holding up the cowl and whip accusingly.
"Is this why old people greet you on the street? Is this why there's a picture of you at the Nature Protection Program Headquarters?"
"Kat, settle down!"
"I don't want to settle down! How could you not tell me?! This....all this! I saw the albums and the pictures and everything Grandma! How could you not tell me!"
Kat was sobbing as Selina forced her into a chair, her hands pressing down on her shoulders.
"You listen to me Kathryn Kyle! There is a history here that you could never understand!"
"You always say that! You always do!"
"And I'm always right! Can you understand any of this?!"
"So you...you were Catwoman! You stole all that art, you were on trial! You were in love with Batman! Why didn't you ever tell me any of this?"
"Because I was trying to forget it!"
The was nothing but the sound of the two's harsh breathing for a while.
"Tell me," demanded Kat.