"Bruce," Arya Hart said, softly, as she walked down the steps from Wayne Manor into the Batcave, "You're taking on too much. Let me help," she offered for the millionth time that week.
She'd watched as Bruce and Alfred traveled the world looking for other heroes to join in a fight against something Lex Luthor warned was coming. Bruce had been going nonstop since the death of Superman.
He turned and glanced her way, briefly, "We've already had this discussion and I'm really not in the mood to go over it again. I don't want you mixed up in this and I'll rest once the threat is taken care of," he explained, his tone filled with exasperation.
Arya moved closer until she could sit on his lap and run her hands through his greying hair, "I'm sorry to keep bringing up the same thing but I'm worried about you. How can you expect me to ignore that fact that you have a heart condition every time you go out there?" she retorted.
Bruce wrapped his arm around her waist, pulling her closer, "I don't expect you to ignore it," he sympathized, "What I expect is for you to trust me and know that I wouldn't do anything if it risked me leaving you," he confessed in a rare moment of vulnerability for him.
"Just let me come with you," she pleaded once more, "I've been Batgirl for the past five years so there's no reason to think I can't handle myself. I'd feel so much better if I could be by your side while you're fighting all of these bad guys, like before…" she let the last part linger as she referenced the reason he had grounded her to begin with.
Six months earlier…
Arya woke in the batcave after a tough fight with the Joker to see Bruce staring down at her, his eyes filled with concern. "What happened?" she asked, finding her voice hoarse with no memory as to why.
Bruce didn't answer her but looked to Alfred instead, "Were you able to get all of it out?" he asked, his tone rushed.
"Yes, Master Wayne," Alfred replied, "Ms. Hart is going to make a full recovery. She'll be able to join you back on the streets in no time."
Bruce shook his head, "No, she won't. I will never risk her life like that again," he stated as if Arya wasn't there at all.
She was still confused but she didn't like the sound of his voice, "What happened and why are you saying I can never join you again?" her tone was more adamant this time.
Bruce looked down at her once more, his eyes locking onto hers, "You were shot tonight by Harley Quinn. She used some sort of bullet that splintered apart once it entered your shoulder making it nearly impossible to get each and every piece out," he began to explain, "I will never put you in that position again so from here on out, you're no longer Batgirl."
"You don't get to decide that for me," Arya began to argue but before she could continue, Alfred dosed her with a sedative to allow her body to rest causing her to fade away before she could plead her case.
Back in the present…
"I'll drop it for now, Bruce," Arya agreed, regretfully, "But whenever this big threat comes to knock on our door, I won't be so easily sidelined."
He shook his head, knowing he wouldn't be able to keep her out of the Batgirl suit forever as much as he might want to. He pulled her down closer to him so he could place his lips to hers.
She kissed back before pulling away, "Don't think you can distract me with sex anytime you think I might win an argument," she whispered before running her hand over the buttons of his shirt before she started undoing each one, slowly.