Selina pushed up her glasses once more, grasping the edge of the frame where the metal curved. To any observing, she was wearing a very stylish pair of Versace reading glasses that matched her black cocktail dress and heels sharply. Glasses that were perfectly appropriate to read the fine print on museum plaques, and Selina Kyle carefully read about and looked at each artifact present.
What was not so outwardly noticeable was that Selina Kyle had 20/20 vision. While some people wore glasses as a fashion accessory rather than a necessity (mainly to look more intelligent and respectable), for Selina they did perform an important function. Installed within the frame was a micro camera that sent images to her handheld computer. Perfect for reconstructing a layout.
She was careful to give each piece equal time, so that later no one would mention seeing her hanging about the cat's eye emeralds. She did pause at the final painting though, going over the plan in her mind. Later tonight, three should be late enough, she would return in a vastly different outfit. The security system was nothing she couldn't easily beat but still enough to provide an adequate rush of adrenaline until she had the actual emeralds. She smiled at her musings, not hearing the silent approach.
A slow night can be a good or a bad thing. To a restaurant owner a slow Saturday night signals the beginning of the end. While an ER doctor might be grateful and happy for a slow day. In many ways Batman felt this same pleasure on a slow night. A slow night for him meant a safe night for Gotham. Of course, he never saw it that way. A slow night was a night in which criminals were escaping him—either lying low to form some new grand scheme or, even worse, active but too low on the radar to gain his attention.
Some deep instinct drove him to make his way to the museum, knowing the chance that those new emeralds would prove too great a temptation for some criminal.
He was right.
A moving shadow was enough for him to enter. The moment he spent in darkness before the thief became aware of his presence was a productive one. He took in his opponent.
The first thing he noticed was that the thief was a woman. It was impossible not to. She was wearing dark, skin-tight leather, black maybe purple. She also had some kind of ears popping up from her head. They were similar to his own, but shorter and wider. He scowled displeased at the thought of yet another costumed criminal. Though this would be his first woman.
He observed her for another moment, eyes still lingering on her form. She was certainly athletic. Even from this distance he could see her curves were toned. A glance at her handiwork proved her aptitude for thievery as well, a fact that was supported by the lack of any alarm.
He decided to make his presence known as she bent over the panels connected to the jewels. A good offense may be the best defense against a woman, as he was loath to hurt her.
His growl penetrated the darkness. "Museum's closed."
She stiffened, but didn't jump at the surprise, and rose slowly. Before she turned her body just as slowly to face him she looked at him over shoulder as one may check out someone of interest for the first time. All of her movements were executed in the most enticing manner possible. When she faced him fully, her bright eyes gave him the same study as his previous one of her. Her lips curled into a cross between a smirk and a smile.
Selina shivered at the warm breath at her ear. Inwardly, it shook her core—it'd been years since anyone snuck up on her. She removed her glasses, finished using them anyway, to give whoever this was a proper look, most likely a glare. Her first impression was a broad chest in an expensive, well-tailored suit. Her eyes lifted to meet a smirking yet handsome face. She recognized him almost instantly as the Prince of Gotham himself, Bruce Wayne. She decided to play it off as though he was any other guy, which, ultimately, he was, "Excuse me?"
He leaned into her, too closely, with dark eyes sparkling. "The painting. It's beautiful."
A woman with Selina's looks was used to every arrogant, rich asshole hitting on her. Often times she relished the power it gave her, dates were great for a little theft action, but that's all they ever were to her, professional opportunities. Mr. Wayne was stirring emotions Selina wasn't quiet liking, so she was annoyed with him. Not bothering to play the clueless debutante, Selina let her intelligence show. "Beauty is found in symmetry—this mess is nothing but pain."
Bruce looked at the painting once more, but didn't move away from her ear, still whispering in what could be classified as a seductive manner, "There can be beauty in pain."
Selina repressed the second shiver, but it did cause a noticeable stiffening, which was met by light laughter, "Do I make you nervous?"
She turned to face him head-on, forcing him to move a step back. It pleased her. She could feel the control seeping back in, causing her to relax once more. "There is beauty in art, which can be forged from pain. Great, beautiful things can come from pain, but pain itself has no beauty of its own."
She caught Bruce Wayne's initial reaction to her words but it was masked too quickly for her to decipher what it was before he replaced it with an amused leer. "A masochist would disagree with you."
The words seemed the wrong reaction, but she went along with them, deciding to tease him a bit. Asshole or not, it was hard to pass up a billionaire. She let her voice take on a more alluring quality. "And are you a masochist, Mr. Wayne?"
He smiled. "So you do recognize me." Then took a step closer. "Not tonight."
She shared a smile with him, before taking a sip of the champagne she'd almost forgotten and walking away. She was not surprised he followed to the next painting. "So what do you think of this painting, Miss…"
He let the words trail off clearly fishing for a name. Selina let him have it, not taking her eyes off the painting before her. "Selina Kyle."
He smiled again. "Beautiful name for a beautiful woman."
Selina resisted the urge to roll her eyes at the clichéd response, but chose to ignore him. The silence stretched to an awkward place. Selina thought about the possible Wayne treasures. One bad line wasn't worth it. "What do you think of this painting, Bruce?"
He seemed pleased with the use of his first name, but sputtered at the question. "The painting? It's…uh…really blue."
Maybe the family jewels weren't worth so much. "This is an original Picasso and all you can say is it's really blue?"
She could see he was holding something back, but was still unimpressed by the words he released, "I don't know much about art."
Selina studied him for a moment. Something just wasn't quite right about him. She wasn't ready to give up on him. The sound of musical cords drifted in. She could see talking was getting them nowhere, so she went for a different approach. "How would you like to dance?"
He flashed a grin with too many teeth, "That's something I am far more familiar with."
He ushered her out to the dance floor and their dance began.
Batman didn't quite know what to make of this woman. Not only did she not seem to have any fear of him, she actually looked amused as she stood there and studied at him. This was new to him; usually there would be a chase by now, some cowering, anything familiar. At least the silence was familiar.
Until she broke that too. "I was starting to think you really were just an urban legend." Head to toe she gave him a predatory look that would make a hunger tiger looking at a steak proud, even licking her lips slightly. "You certainly don't disappoint."
Batman took a defensive stance. "I'm taking you down."
She actually wagged her finger at him as she sauntered around the emeralds she was obviously after. "Now, Bats this is only our first date. No need to get physical so fast. I am not that kind of girl."
He dropped out of his defense, not because of what she said, more because she actually had the audacity to say it. He doubled his guard to compensate, not liking how easily she was stripping his defenses as she let her fingers play with the display case. "That's far enough, Catwoman!"
If she'd been amused before she was absolutely delighted now. "Catwoman, how wonderful! I was thinking more Cat Burglar or Black Paw, but Batman and Catwoman, simple and to the point." She looked directly into his eyes. "I like it."
Batman didn't like how she automatically paired him with her. It was time to end this; he was surprised he allowed it to go for so long. "You're going to jail."
She must have caught a flash of the handcuff in his hand. "Handcuffs? How kinky. You got whipped cream in that belt too?"
He stopped dead in his tracks. Damnit, he tried to snap himself out of the shock. She's just a criminal like anyone else. As for the teasing, he'd been faced with worse at a thousand dull parties by greedy debutantes.
She continued her playing fingers moving with more purpose now. "Don't look so shocked Batman. Good girls wait for Santa to bring them presents." She was now toying with the emerald in her skilled fingers. "Girls like me see something they want, they take it."
He was upon her in seconds, and she was ready for him.
And so their dance began.
Selina was impressed. While his ability for conversation left something to desire, Bruce's prowess as he danced showed off a far more attractive, physical side. She never quite felt the thrill of dancing until he was spinning her.
Batman had been unprepared. She was good, another first. Well, not technically but he expected ninjas and big beefy guys to put up one hell of a fight. He wasn't expecting her to throw off his hold with such force, or the high kick to be so skillful.
A high heel to the face was a new experience for him as well.
They moved perfectly together in a dance as old as time. One moved in perfect choreography with the other. The intensity burned from eyes that never lost their connection to the other. She moved back just as he moved forward, they never lost the rhythm, slipping into it like a second skin. It felt natural and right and they both took what they would later consider an unnatural amount of enjoyment from it.
As the tempo increased so did they, moving faster. Until it ended.
Both were also surprised by how winded they found themselves when it was stopped.
Selina could feel the flush in her checks as she clapped for the band. Her eyes never left Bruce's and for the first time in a long time she thought about just going home with a man. No secret agenda or teasing, just trying out a normal relationship.
As soon as his eyes left hers, looking around the room, which she just remembered was full of other people; she dismissed the silly notion and admonished herself for it. She was not some romantic, silly girl. A grown woman with a lot to hide knew better than to get too close.
Then he leaned in again to kiss her check and she wondered what harm could come from one night. "Thank for the dance, Miss Kyle."
He walked away.
Selina stood for a moment, confused. That was not normal playboy behavior.
Then her eyes narrowed. That definitely was not normal playboy behavior.
Batman thought he'd had an advantage. Strike that, he did have an advantage, several in fact. He was bigger, stronger, and within a few minutes of refreshingly skilled sparring, no, fighting, discovered he was the more skilled fighter.
He somehow forgotten or neglected to calculate that she would not be so averse to using less than fair tactics to her advantage. Like not so innocent lingering touches and unnecessary breathy moans. He was losing his concentration and as soon as he realized she struck him with what felt like claws. As he grabbed his side, she sidestepped him and made for her escape route, the same rope she'd skimmed in from. He saw her blow him a kiss as she was hoisted up. He pursued.
Running across rooftops was not something he was really familiar with either. Sure he vaulted from them for ease of transport as well as knowing the advantages of being the one with a higher footing and sight. But he'd never really ran across them until now.
He lost her when she jumped onto a moving truck, giving him a coy wave as she sped away.
He couldn't remember the last time he felt such rage along with a begrudging respect.
As a sharp pain stabbed his side again, he didn't think he'd ever quite felt that way before.
Bruce Wayne was a mystery to her and a challenging one at that. Selina had been with enough playboys to spot one a mile away. Bruce Wayne, for all his reputation, was not one. A deep, locked away part of her was thrilled she'd found a man who could hold her attention for five minutes. It considered an interesting, rich man quite the steal. Who cared why? She vaguely remembered the tragedy of the Waynes, and how the boy was bond to be messed up. Still, the question nagged at her: Why was Bruce
Wayne pretending to be a playboy?
She brushed it off. She had two other little pretties to attend tonight, and they required her full attention. As she pulled on her suit and grabbed the necessary equipment she thought about the Batman she'd only heard about in whispers.
Perhaps, tonight would be the night she'd finally encounter the man who'd satisfy her curious mind.
Batman winced again or since the cowl was sitting beside him on the med table maybe it was Bruce who was blocking out the pain as he mentally broke down the night. Alfred was pressing for information in a subtle, butler way. "Explain this nights events again to me, sir."
Bruce wanted to sigh. He growled instead. "I underestimated her. A mistake that won't be made again."
Alfred gave a look of total disbelief, but said nothing until the wound was clean and the instruments put away. "You misjudged her ability because she was a woman?"
"Not exactly." Alfred stood with his arms folded, still looking at Bruce. He knew he would not be leaving until he said everything. "I was ready for it in theory. I was prepared for a villainess to use whatever means at her disposal as much as an equally skilled fighter. I just wasn't expecting both from the same woman. She's unexpected."
Alfred didn't flinch. "I thought you were supposed to be ready for anything."
Bruce stayed silent only scowling. Alfred still didn't change his appearance but his tone was as joking as Alfred got, "I think you may have finally met your match, sir."
Bruce didn't like it. He didn't like thinking about Catwoman and how easily she distracted him. How she got away. He knew he would get her next time, next time he'd be prepared, but still he just wanted to get his mind off of her. He would go mad if he didn't. He replaced one female distraction with another. "Alfred, prepare another place setting for Friday night. I'll be bringing someone home."
Alfred stiffened, as he always did when Bruce mentioned one of the bimbos. "Does this someone have a name, Master Bruce?"
Bruce could tell from his look that he fully expected Bruce not to know. "Selina Kyle, and she's not like that, Alfred."
"Very good, sir."
As Alfred left, Bruce thought about his upcoming date, that technically he had yet to arrange, but Selina had been very intriguing in the earlier hours of his night. The first intelligent woman he actually thought about seriously perusing. She intrigued him.
And what better way to get his mind off Catwoman then with Selina Kyle?
A/N. So this didn't turn out exactly as I wanted as it all stemmed from my desire to see an dance and fight scene between Batman and Catwoman merged together as they both require a great deal of choreography. But you have to go where the muses take you.