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I am not a friend, and I am not a servant. I am the Cat that walks by himself and I wish to come into your cave.
—Just So Stories, Rudyard Kipling
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… … … … : Batman's Log: 18, December : … … …
Catwoman again. Cartier's rooftop. I waited for her to actually emerge with the stolen items, then approached. It went… poorly…

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Damn. It went too far. I went too far. I know that now. Whatever ideas or intentions (hopes?) I had in my head at the time were simply rationalizations for my actions. It was weak, it was a lapse in judgment and it was wrong. She continues to do that to me - purposeful or not - and I'm not entirely certain how. How is it that this one woman can get so completely under my skin…

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It would never work. It can never work. She's a criminal, I'm a crimefighter. She's a thief, I am… so completely against it. Part of me wants to believe that this was a beginning, but the rest of me knows this is an end. She could never… WE could never…

Section Deleted

She left the jewels behind. I returned them to the vault and left. Why? Why leave them behind? Was it a gift? Was it her way of relenting? I'm not naive enough to believe that she's giving it all up for good, but she left the jewels and took off into the night. Why did she leave them?

And why did I let her?


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Engrossed in his reading, Batman didn't register the first faint clip-clips that signaled Selina's entrance into the cave. When he noticed, he hurriedly closed the old file before him and opened the current week's log.

She appeared not to notice anything amiss and busied herself heating cocoa over a small burner. He pulled the cowl back from his face, started typing, and waited.

ClipClip and the mug was set down next to him. Then the fingers worked the muscles at the back of his neck.

"How was your night?"



"Not yet. Soon. Ivy, Catman, Joker, Nigma, all about to be released from Arkham."

"Ah, well then, calm before the storm?"


The massage stopped and Selina leaned against the desk beside him where she could see his face. The sly catsmile telegraphed her mood right before she looked pointedly at the computer screen.

"Section deleted?"

She had seen it. Damn her.

"You've been thinking on it too," he said.

"Yes." She sounded so amused, what was so funny? "'Section deleted'? You're still a tightass."

Another grunt – not disapproval or even acknowledgement, but an ingrained response. After a pause he said "And you're still brazen and playful."

"Oh was that my billing? Here I thought I was 'section deleted.'"

"I rest my case. Playful. And Brazen."

She bent down and purred low in his ear, "You have no idea."

"So…… I take it the closet is clean?"

She looked at him strangely. It was… it was a look he'd seen a thousand times, a thousand nights as he lay in bed thinking about a moment - the look that came at him out of darkness during a strained pause on a long ago rooftop – the look that came right after 'how hard to you want it to get'…

"You're still a tightass," she said with amused affection, "and you still can't return a serve."

The corner of his mouth twitched slightly and he reached out, grabbing her arm and pulling her down into his lap. His fingertips touched her hair then stroked down the side of her face, slipped round her neck, and pulled her in for a long, tender kiss. Then he touched her face again, wonderingly, moving his fingers along the top of the cheek where the mask once began.

"Selina… did you find what you were looking for?"

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Charles Dickens's favorite feline companion was known simply as "The Master's Cat." When the hour grew late, and the cat determined Mr. Dickens had toiled long enough over Oliver Twist or David Copperfield, the little cat would snuff out with its paw the candle that lit the author's desk. Dickens acknowledged the hint and happily complied with a cuddle for his favorite cat.
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© 2003, Chris Dee

Next in Cat-Tales:
Making your way in Gotham today takes everything you got…
Sometime even rogues want to go where everybody knows their name.
An Iceberg Tale