Disclaimer: Not mine. Please not to be suing.
Summary: Weird, semi-fluffy AU in which there are tigers and a cornfield and imminent doom. Though not, unfortunately, a cornfield of imminent doom. BatMan/Riddler/CatWoman
She's mixing drinks in the kitchen when the argument starts. They tend to spend time in her apartment because it's apparently " neutral ground" and she's closest to the fantastic Greek take-out place. The cats like the company once they've identified that both men are willing to sit and pet them for hours upon end without sudden movements or frustrating apathy. Selina had debated the neutrality of her apartment in the beginning --"I'm not a superhero, I just don't get a thrill out of shooting people in the back of the head"-- which had immediately sent Edward into a diatribe on how he never intentionally killed people and it only happened if his plans failed; Bruce promptly pointed out how very untrue that was and how Bruce himself had been victim of a great many murder attempts and everything had gone to hell in a hand basket. She stops bringing it up after the third performance, and lets the two of them think whatever they like.
The fact that they're fighting isn't unusual, though they commonly conduct themselves with increasingly false civility rather than the harsh tones currently coming from the living-room. She drops ice in two of the glasses. A tabby kitten zooms into the kitchen, pressing itself against her ankles.
"Would you shut up and listen to what I'm saying?!"
No matter how often she is blatantly not involved in their arguments – and she tells herself that this is because of her disinterest and has nothing to do with her inability to follow their freakish jumps in logic that only minds such as theirs are capable of—she refuses to identify herself as the middle ground. They have both assured her that her gray-area status makes her unpredictable. Alluring. Mysterious. An enigma, even (Eddie had clearly expected her to find this highly flattering). It does not help. She can theoretically go in there and make them handle this... whatever it is… like rational adults. She does not, because they are, in fact, adults, and therefore she should not have to baby-sit them. She is also not going to play interpreter for their rather different moral codes.
"Just give me ten seconds to explain what I'm talking about."
She fills the cats' food dishes, closes the curtains, flips off the lights. She then doddles for another five minutes, straightening a lovely painting of a calico that hangs above her stove. By the time she enters with the drinks Bruce and Eddie are curled up together -- or, at least, as close to curled up together as they are capable of being without looking too much like adorable kittens -- and she can't help but laugh under her breath.
"Are you two done playing 'mine's bigger'?" she asks sweetly, setting the glasses on the coffee table. They look at her with identical expressions that clearly convey 'we would never stoop to such caveman like pursuits'. She curls up against Bruce's other side. "Referring to brains, of course." She is teasing. It does not strike her as odd that they both look much more comfortable with this clarification.
"We need you to help us settle something," Bruce says, playboy in full charm as the honey melts off his words.
"We seem to have rather differing opinions on the subject of—"
"No." Eddie closes his mouth and looks at her. She glares back. "I am not playing referee just because you both seem to believe that I'm incapable of performing acts which are either completely criminal or completely heroic. Shut up, Bruce." She meets the gaze of the Siamese perched on the back of the sofa. It hisses. She smiles. "I couldn't agree more."
"We're going to die."
She glances into the rear view mirror and flinches at the purple vehicle coming up rapidly behind them, the Joker's madly grinning countenance in the driver's seat. "Possibly."
Eddie takes a corner on two wheels, white knuckled hands wrapped around the steering wheel. "I'm going to come back and haunt you, Selina. The next time you want to reassure yourself of your criminal prowess, you're doing it on your own and I will be somewhere far away. Laughing at you. Or at least I would be, if we were going to survive the next fifteen minutes. Which, if you hadn't noticed, we're not. I want you to know… We're running out of gas."
"I told you we should have taken the other car. It was pretty."
"Yes. Obviously, the limousine would have been far less conspicuous and allow much more maneuverability." Sarcasm drips from his words.
"I'm sorry. I should have known this bright green delivery truck, the one which is currently spelling out our doom by way of the gas gauge, was a better option. I bow to your great wisdom."
He just nods, which injects a healthy dose of irritation into her mortal fear. "I'd still like to know what the hell the Joker was doing there," she mutters. "They were tigers!"
Eddie looks at her in a way which epitomizes arrogance and disdain. "Circus tigers."
"Watch the road, Edward."
Something hits the back of the truck with enough force to send it skidding a few hundred feet. This wouldn't be so much of a problem if the road continued on straight for a few hundred feet instead of turning sharply to the left to make way for a cornfield straight out of Steven King's brain.
They come to a stop about thirty feet in. She doesn't have to be a genius to know that there is no hope in hell of the truck ever starting again.
They get out of the truck because they're not entirely suicidal. "None of this would've happened if you didn't blow up our car," she says as they plunge into the corn stalks.
"We needed a distraction so that your oh so subtle pals from the rescue agency could get the tigers out. Really, I thought you had experience doing this kind of thing."
"I need a car like Bruce's. One that fights back when people try to blow it up. A Batmobile. Just... Cat."
"In my dying moments, I will think upon how much of a difference my Catmobile would have made..."
"Selina," he says slowly, cutting her off. "Riddle me this. Who--"
"If Jonathan Crane is standing behind me I will not be held responsible for my actions."
"What did you do to the Joker?" BatMan asks (of course, from directly behind her). She glares silently at Eddie, who is affecting a casual lean against a row of corn. He gestures grandly for her to speak. She flips him off. Bruce shifts. She tilts her head, smiling.
"I was making a point. The Joker was an unfortunate side-effect."
"And what point would that be?"
She shakes her head, making a soft tsk sound. "You're a smart boy. You know exactly what I'm talking about. Does the word criminal ring any bells?"
Eddie clears his throat. "She saved tigers."
Bruce nods, as if this is totally expected. She can feel Eddie's smug little grin burrowing into the back of her skull. They may be the two most intelligent men in Gotham, but she's still going to have to kill them and hide the bodies. There is just no other choice. She can hear sirens wailing in the distance, rapidly growing closer.
"We might want to leave," Eddie suggests dryly.
"Not you," Selina snaps at Bruce before he can move.
"I'll stay and play hero," he agrees amicably, putting a little too much emphasis on the last word in a very unBatMan-like jibe at her. Selina walks away, Eddie's footsteps following behind her.
"So we're hotwiring the Batmobile," she says conversationally as soon as Bruce is out of earshot.
"It probably has defenses against that sort of thing." He pauses a moment, then adds: "Also most likely can't be blown up."
She does not claw his eyes out, which she considers impressive self-restraint.
Notes: This is my first BatMan fic and I'm sorry if the characterization was horrible. I tried as best as I could and I'd love it if you didn't hate me for ever and ever.
Also. Please don't review if all you're going to say is something demeaning about the polyamory aspect of the fic, or how 'omg this never happened/had the chance to happen in cannon.' I know. That's why it's AU. This is also my brain on sleep deprivation and too much caffeine and physics. So. You know.