Bruce slipped out of Harvey's press conference. "This is ridiculous. What was I thinking. First of all, the Joker will not stop killing. Secondly, the repercussions to Alfred and Rachel?"
Bruce stopped walking. "Batman cannot endure this." His mind recalled the anger with which people addressed Batman in the press conference. Batman existed to help Gotham and he was getting all of their rage. Troublingly, even more than Joker. He paused and then thought quickly. "They want Batman arrested not Bruce Wayne."
"Back already, Master Wayne." Bruce found Alfred sitting with his head in his hands by the computer.
"Bruce comes and Batman leaves." Bruce quickly put on the Batsuit. "Make sure to get yourself out of the country!"
Batman flew to the press conference. He arrived just in time to hear Dent say. "So be it. Arrest the Batman."
Bruce took this as his cue. "Batman exists for Gotham's good. If you all think that arresting me is what Gotham needs then so. Be. It."
Bruce took courage that Harvey looked devastated. Maybe good sense would prevail. Dent truly was the hero that Gotham needed.
"Ladies and Gentlemen. I ask you to consider what Batman said and search your conscience."
"PULL HIS MASK OFF." A police officer from the back yelled.
"I have turned myself in on Gotham residents' request and to try and stop the killing. Pulling off my mask will expose my loved ones to unnecessary pain." Batman said to the officer by him.
Harvey took control. "There is no reason to penalize Batman's family and friends for his actions and his sacrifice for us."
Batman allowed the officers to take him out amidst the heckling and cat calls.
As Gordon led him into a cell in the MCU Bruce heard the headlines, "BATMAN did allow himself to be arrested. However, his identity still remains a mystery."
Bruce hoped that Alfred would follow his final instruction to get himself and Rachel out of Gotham. "That was a brave thing you did." Gordon said, walking into Batman's holding cell.
"No." Bruce said, believing it in his core. "I was weak." He added to himself. "The Joker will keep killing."
Gordon cocked an eyebrow. "I guess I can see that. But, your heart was in the right place. We can use this to draw the Joker out."
Bruce inclined his head. But before he could say anything, Detective Ramirez rapped on the window. "Batman has a visitor." Anna Ramirez said, hesitantly.
"Bring him or her in."
"The thing is; this person refuses to take off her mask."
Gordon gestured impatiently especially seeing that Batman's spirits seemed to rise. "Don't feel guilty.' He advised.
Batman chuckled. He would never underestimate Gordon again. Gordon knew that he was feeling guilty that this person, it would have to be Rachel, anyone else would visit him openly, was risking everything to visit him and lift is spirits. Even the Joker.
"Gordon." Batman said, an idea percolating in his head, "Spread the word that you are not sure if I am the real Batman."
Gordon knew better then to ask the Batman why and what he hoped to accomplish by doing that.
"Rachel, thanks for coming." Bruce said, without even looking.
"That was a courageous thing you did. Dumb but courageous."
snickered. "Thanks, Rachel. You need to get out of the
"I need to help. Yesterday, you were defeated. Today, you have turned defeat into a plan."
Bruce gave her an enigmatic smile. "You know me too well." He dropped his act and let Rachel see what was underneath. "Rach, this is going to be dangerous."
"You are not the only one who can sacrifice for Gotham." Rachel said, narrowing her eyes.
Bruce whispered what he needed from Rachel in her ear. "Dangerous plan." She said. "But aren't all of your plans."
Bruce did not say anything so Rachel sighed and got up to leave. Before she did, however, he grabbed her arm. "Get Alfred out. If something happens to me and I get unmasked, get Alfred out. He won't leave without someone forcing him to."
laughed a sorrowful laugh. "I don't know if I can."
"You must." Batman stared at the opposite wall, regrouping from his momentary weakness.
Rachel left swiftly. She found herself visiting Harvey. He was the only stable thing in her life right now. Luckily he was at his office. Well, not luck, the man was a workaholic.
"Rachel, you look like you have seen a ghost." Harvey said, looking up from his files.
Rachel tried to shake the look off. "Just… just scared that Gotham city will never recover. We imprisoned the man who cleaned up our streets. Batman took down Falcone and stopped Ra'as Al Ghul's plot!"
Her look of disgust was partly also for herself. "GET YOUR MIND OFF OF BRUCE WAYNE!" She berated herself.
Harvey's phone rang. "Harvey Dent."
Rachel watched as Harvey's expression turned to one of deep fury. "Well, that was not unexpected. Make sure this is released to the media."
"What." Rachel asked.
"The Joker killed again. He broke his word, surprise, surprise."
Rachel shook her head. "Someone needs to ask Gotham if they want Batman released."
Rachel acted as if she did not know that Bruce's plan depended on him still being incarcerated. "MCU is saying that they want to move Batman to County." Harvey's voice showed his surprise.
Gordon generally did not like to give up people to County. Especially Batman. Dent knew that Gordon truly liked Batman.
"Well, maybe Gordon wants to use Batman to clean up County." Rachel joked, again hoping that Harvey would not catch on to the fact that she was privy to Batman and Gordon's plan.
"Maybe." Harvey said, completely seriously. "Do you want to watch the transfer with me?"
"Well." Rachel said. "I have something else to do that night. But, I will watch the replay with you."
"You think it will be replay worthy?"
"It is Batman and Joker. It will most definitely be." Rachel said, flashing Harvey a smile.
"The rumor mill is saying that this guy might not be the real Batman. He and the real Batman may have made this plan. People are saying that this might be a reason he absolutely refuses to take off his mask."
"I also heard that Batman is actually a girl." Rachel said, flashing Harvey a smile. "I refuse to believe the rumor mill. But, yeah, how can we verify this guy is who he says it is."
"I guess all that really matters is what Joker thinks."
"Yeah." Rachel said, glad that Harvey's next appointment was in two minutes. She could go back to ADA mode and he DA. The ADA role was so much easier and less complicated. There was less risk. She just had to move based on what others expected of her.
Rachel idly wondered if Bruce ever felt this way, that Bruce was less complicated then Batman. All he had to do was play the role of the philandering trust fund baby. Rachel had heard rumors, and she believed them, that when in board meetings that were broader than just Lucius Bruce acted board and disinterested.
"Tonight is the big night." Harvey said, on the phone to Rachel.
"You have no idea." Rachel thought.
"I wish I could watch over you in person."
"You are sweet.' Rachel said, "but I am a big girl, Harvey Dent."
Harvey chuckled. "I know."
As Rachel raced to Wayne Enterprises she thought about that she had much more sympathy for Bruce now. The same thoughts were racing in her brain that must race in his, the fate of Gotham is on my hands. "Please don't screw up. Please don't screw up." She prayed.
"Miss Rachel?" Alfred asked, surprised.
"Didn't leave either, huh?" Rachel asked.
"I am Wayne Enterprises and Wayne Manor's shadow." Alfred's eyes misted over when he thought of the two wonderful people who had entrusted him with this position.
He then sallied, "Plus, if all goes wrong. I want to collect my due."
Rachel chuckled as she purposefullly walked to the Batmobile and punched in the code sequence that Bruce had told her. "What are you doing."
Rachel ignored Alfred. She would lose her courage too fast otherwise.
Her last vision of Wayne Enterprises' secret garage was Alfred looking as old as he had when Mr. and Mrs. Wayne had been murdered and glued to the television.
"For Alfred." Rachel told herself. "For Gotham…. For Bruce."
Rachel zoomed around the corner and went to where Bruce told her the caravan would likely be. He said wait at the entrance out of the tunnel and launch the Batmobile's weapons at anything that moved and did not say GPD on it.
Meanwhile, "Let me out." Bruce said to the frightened SWAT unit accompanying him when Joker pulled out a Bazooka.
The officer mutely opened the backdoor. "Stay back." Batman advised. "The tunnel is now your ally."
"But… sir, our job…"
Batman inclined his head, subconsciously taking a gesture from the Joker. "I can do this."
Batman flew out to confront the Joker firing from the 'Slaughter' truck. This battle was going to end tonight. Bruce knew that Rachel would not see him inside the truck and would fire. But that was his backup plan. If he died, so be it. So be it.
"Well well well." Joker said. "What have we here. When they need you," Joker shrugged in his odd way, "they let you out. You are so expendable."
"That is what Batman exists for." Batman said, truly not feeling sorry for this truth.
"You know. I expected you to make the hard decision. But, not as strong as we look are we."
Batman saw through Joker's deception. He was going for his stockpile for guns and explosives. Batman threw Joker over his shoulder. Bruce had been resting and planning while Joker had been exerting himself.
Bruce threw Joker again. He could have thrown Joker out of the truck, however they were not out of the tunnel yet. Bruce did not want to risk that Joker would launch an explosive to bring the tunnel around the GPD's heads.
Bruce winced as Joker managed to knife him in the shoulder. "Shouldn't have done that."
Bruce saw his chance. A rope lay behind the Joker. Bruce leapt forward, raised the rope, and tied Joker to the front of the car. "Oh hee hee. Hm haa haa."
Bruce rolled his eyes.
He was about to leap from the outside of the truck to the cab when a blast hit him. "Rachel!" He thought, panicked.
Rachel panicked as she realized that her panic shot had hit the truck and something black cartwheeled from the truck on fire.
"Oh no. Oh no. Oh no." Rachel chanted. It took her a few minutes to get the top of the Batmobile open. By that point some of the police officers had arrived at Batman.
The front of his mask had cracked. "Doesn't he look like…"
"Back away." Gordon barked. "Back AWAY from the Batman."
Gordon purposely did not look too hard at Batman.
"Ray- Ray." Bruce moaned.
Rachel realized that she needed to mask before she got out of the Batmobile. She wrapped her shawl around her face. "I can help." She and Gordon put Bruce into the Batmobile.
"I will get him to care-"
By that point Bruce stirred. "The Joker was tied to the front of the truck. Check for his body. But watch for bombs."
Gordon shook his head. Batman truly cared for Gotham before anything else. Gordon's cops eyes told him that this girl was a close second, but he put her in harms way to get rid of Joker. Oh Gordon was sure that the Batman was Bruce Wayne. He would never, however, confirm his suspicions.
But, who was the girl. Gordon fished through his memories, Rachel… Rachel Dawes.
"I am glad I am not Harvey Dent. I would not want Bruce Wayne and Batman for competition."