Jasmine pulled her new dress out of the closet and hung it on the door. She moved into the bathroom and took a shower. She used her wand to clear the steam and dry her hair before styling it. She manually applied her make-up before moving out to the bedroom to dress. She made her way back downstairs to find that Bruce was gone. Alfred pulled her aside.
"He has gone to protect Rachel as she has gone to the narrows he will be back shortly. I hope." he told her quietly
"I will try and keep the guests happy until he arrives." Jasmine said looking to the entrance where she could see people starting to appear.
For the next hour Jasmine was introduced to various people from the wealthy class of Gotham. She stuck close to people she knew like Mr. Fox, but made her way upstairs when Alfred nodded to her. Bruce was in the bedroom changing into his tux.
"When you told me your grand plan for saving Gotham…the only thing that stopped me from calling the men in white coats was when you said it wasn't about thrill-seeking." said Alfred
"What would you call that?" he said pointing at the television that was showing the highway chase Bruce had just been in.
"Damn good television." said Bruce tying his tie
"It's a miracle no one was killed."
"I didn't have time to observe the rules of the road, Alfred."
"You're getting lost in this monster of yours." he scoffed as Jasmine helped Bruce into his jacket
"I am using this monster to help other people, just like my father did."
"For Thomas Wayne, helping others wasn't about proving anything to anyone, including himself
"It's Rachel, Alfred. She was dying." Bruce said turning to look at Alfred, "She's downstairs, sedated. I need you to take her home."
"Well, we both care for Rachel sir, But what your doing has to be beyond that. It can't be personal, or your just a vigilante."
"Is Fox still here?"
"Yes he is." said Jasmine
"We need to send these people away now."
"Those are Bruce Wayne's guests. You have a name to maintain." said Alfred
"I don't care about my name." said Bruce
"It's not just your name, sir. It's your father's name." said Alfred choking up as Bruce turned back to look at him, "And it's all that's left of him. Don't destroy it." Alfred turned and went to the secret elevator as Bruce and Jasmine made their way to the party
"Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Bruce. Happy birthday to you." everyone sang as they walked into the room. Bruce grabbed two glasses of champagne as they were approached by Mr. Earle.
"Happy birthday, Bruce." he said
"Thank you." said Bruce shaking his hand, "How did the stock offering go?"
"Who was buying?"
"All kinds of funds and brokerages. It's a bit technical. The key thing is…our companies future is secure." said Mr. Earle
"Great." said Bruce nodding his head. He and Jasmine walked off into the numerous groups of people getting birthday wishes all the while. Bruce pulled her over to Mr. Fox
"Thank you for that item." he said
"Your welcome. I know you'll put it to good use." said Mr. Fox
"I already have. How long would it take to manufacture on a large scale?"
"Weeks. Why?" Mr. Fox asked as Jasmine looked on confused.
"Somebody's planning to disperse the toxin using the water supply." said Bruce
"The water supply won't help you disperse and inhalant." said Mr. Fox before pausing.
"Unless you have a microwave emitter powerful enough to vaporize all the water in the mains. A microwave emitter like the one Wayne Enterprises just misplaced."
"Misplaced?" said Bruce
"Earle just fired me for asking to many questions about it."
"I need you to go back to Wayne Enterprises right now and start making more of that antidote. I think the police are gonna need as much as they can get their hands on, ok."
"My security clearance has been revoked." he told Bruce
"That wouldn't stop a man like you, now would it?"
"I suppose not." he said before leaving.
"Bruce, Jasmine, there's somebody you simply must meet." said a woman walking up to them
"Not now Mrs. Delane." said Bruce as she grabbed onto them
"Now am I pronouncing this right…Mr. Ra's al Ghul?"
Bruce and Jasmine both looked sharply at the man who was facing away from them.
"Your not Ra's al Ghul." said Bruce as the man turned to face them. He was wearing a green velvet jacket and had the blue flower attached to the lapel. "I watched him die."
"But is Ra's al Ghul immortal?" came Ducard's voice from behind them, "Are his methods supernatural?"
"Or cheap parlor tricks to conceal your true identity, Ra's?" said Bruce as Ra's inclined his head at the acknowledgement of his true name
"Surely a man who spends his nights scrambling over the rooftops of Gotham…wouldn't begrudge me dual identities."
"He saved your life." said Jasmine
"And I warned him about compassion, didn't I Bruce?"
"Your quarrel is with us. You let these people go" said Bruce
"You are welcome to explain the situation to them, but she stays here." said Ra's grabbing Jasmine's arm. Bruce turned away from them and headed toward the center of the room.
"Everyone. Everybody?" he said gabbing a glass of champagne and flicking it. He frowned at it for not making a good sound.
`"I uh…I want to thank you all for coming here tonight and drinking all of my booze." said Bruce as everyone laughed.
"No, really. There's a thing about being a Wayne that…you're never short of a few freeloaders like yourselves…to fill up your mansion with. So here's to you people. Thank you."
Jasmine watched in horrified fascination as Bruce made himself look like a drunken idiot to save these people's lives.
"That's enough, Bruce." said Mr. Fredericks
"I'm not finished." said Bruce taking a swig from the glass in his hand. "To all of you…all you phonies, all of you two-faced friends…you sycophantic suck-ups who smile through your teeth at me…please, leave me in peace. Please go. Stop smiling, it's not a joke. Please leave. The party's over, get out."
"The apple has fallen very far from the tree, Mr. Wayne." said Mr. Fredericks as all the guests headed for the door.
"Amusing. But pointless. None of these people have long to live. Your antics at the asylum have forced my hand." said Ra's joining Bruce with Jasmine. The three of them started walking down the hall.
"So Crane was working for you." said Bruce
"His toxin is derived from the organic compound found in our blue flowers. He was able to weaponize it."
"He's not a member of the League of Shadows?" Jasmine asked
"Of course not. He thought our plan was to hold the city to ransom." said Ra's
"But really, you are going to release Crane's poison on the entire city." said Bruce
"Then watch Gotham tear itself apart through fear." he said turning to face Bruce and Jasmine
"You're gonna destroy millions of lives." said Jasmine
"Only a cynical person would call what these people have "lives," Potter. Crime. Despair. This is not how man was supposed to live. The League of Shadows has been a check against human corruption for thousands of years. We sacked Rome. Loaded trade ships with plague rats. Burned London to the ground. Every time a civilization reaches the pinnacle of its decadence we return to restore the balance."
"Gotham isn't beyond saving. Give me more time. There are good people here." said Bruce
"You are defending a city so corrupt we have infiltrated every level of its infrastructure. When I found you both in that jail, you were lost. But I believed in you. I took away your fears, and I showed you a path. You were my greatest students. It should be you standing by my side, saving the world."
"We'll be standing where we belong. Between you and the people of Gotham." said Bruce
"No one can save Gotham." said Ra's nodding at some of his men who proceeded to knock over things and set them on fire. "When a forest grows too wild, a purging fire is inevitable and natural. Tomorrow the world will watch in horror as its greatest city destroys itself. The movement back to harmony will be unstoppable this time."
"You attacked Gotham before?"
"Of course. Over the ages our weapons have grown more sophisticated. With Gotham we tried a new one. Economics. But we underestimated certain of Gotham's citizens…such as your parents. Gunned down by one of the very people they were trying to help. Create enough hunger and everyone becomes a criminal. Their deaths galvanized the city into saving itself and Gotham has limped on ever since. We are back to finish the job. And this time no misguided idealists will get in the way. Like your father, you lack the courage to do all that is necessary. If someone stands in the way of true justice…you simply walk up behind them and stab them in the heart." said Ra's as one of his men dropped down behind Bruce. Three others went for Jasmine as Ra's pulled out his sword.
"I am gonna stop you." said Bruce
"You never did learn to mind your surroundings." said Ra's pushing Bruce under a falling burning beam.
"Bruce!" shouted Jasmine
"Justice is balance. You burned my house and left me for dead. Consider us even." he said as his three men dragged Jasmine out of the house behind him. "No one comes out. Make sure."
Ra's got into the S.W.A.T. truck that was waiting for them. Jasmine was tossed in after him. She made to get back out as the doors swung shut.
"Bind her hands, and put a mask on her." said Ra's to one of his men.
"Jasmine was grabbed and had her hands cuffed behind her; a gas mask was put over her mouth and nose. She sat in the back with Ra's and the others until the arrived at their destination. When the doors opened she was pulled out and held between two thugs. She saw that Rachel was there along with a little boy.
"Gentlemen time to spread the word. And the word is…panic." said Ra's as he turned on the machine that was in front of them. All around them the man hole lids burst of and the toxin filled the air. The men lifted the machine up on to the train leaving Jasmine and Ra's with two others. As screams filled the air Ra's looked around and saw a black object coming toward them. Bruce landed on the railing in front of them.
"Well, well. You took my advice about theatricality a bit literally." Ra's said
"It ends here." said Bruce in his batman growl.
"For you and the police, maybe. My fight, however, lies with the rest of Gotham. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a city to destroy."
"I can't beat two of your pawns?"
"As you wish." said Ra's wrapping one arm around a rope and grabbing Jasmine with the other. They were pulled up and onto the train were Jasmine was chained to one of the seats and the gas mask was pulled off. Unknown to anyone though she had a hair pin in her hand and was slowly starting to pick the lock. She looked up sharply as Bruce came in through one of the windows and hopped up onto the machine.
"You will never learn." said Ra's turning to look at him. They commenced to a rather spectacular fight while Jasmine got one of her hands free.
"Familiar. Don't you have anything new?"
"How about this?!" said Bruce
The fight continued getting more and more violent
"Don't be afraid Bruce. You are just an ordinary man in a cape. That's why you couldn't fight injustice, and that's why you can't stop this train."
"Who said anything about stopping it?" Bruce questioned as he flipped Ra's over, "You never learned to mind your surroundings!"
"Have you finally learned to do what is necessary?"
"I won't kill you." said Bruce throwing one of his bats at a window, "But I don't have to save you."
He grabbed Jasmine and let the wind pull them off the train. Jasmine kept a firm grip on Bruce as he soared into the sky.
"I'm so glad your alright Bruce." said Jasmine as the flew about the city, "Who drove the tumbler?"
"Gordon." he said. Bruce set her down someplace safe and went to get the tumbler from Gordon.
The next moring Bruce and Jasmine were in the car with Alfred.
"Batman may have made the front page but Bruce Wayne got pushed to page eight." said Alfred handing back the page as Jasmine leaned over to read with him.
"Drunken Billionaire Burns Down Home. That's not a bad title Bruce." said Jasmine with a laugh. The phone rang then cutting off whatever Bruce was going to say.
"What makes you think you can decide who's running Wayne Enterprises?" said Mr. Earle
"The fact that I'm the owner." said Bruce as Jasmine covered her mouth to cover her laughter
"What are you taking about? The company went public a week ago."
"And I bought most of the shares. Through various charitable foundations and trusts and so forth. Look, it's all a bit technical but the important thing is that my company's future is secure. Right, Mr. Fox?" said Bruce
"Right you are, Mr. Wayne. Didn't you get the memo?" said Mr. Fox
Bruce hung up the phone and they continued to the penthouse they had decided to rent until the manor was rebuilt.
Later that day they were at the manor and Bruce was boarding up one of the entrances to the bat cave when Rachel appeared. Jasmine was over with Alfred and was unable to hear what they were talking about. She knew that Rachel had feelings for Bruce but trusted him to stay true to her. Rachel was after all his oldest friend and she wasn't about to deny him that. Bruce and Rachel walked closer to Alfred and Jasmine.
"Proved me wrong, you know." said Rachel
"Your father would be very proud of you. Just like me." she said before walking away
Bruce walked over to Jasmine and pulled her backwards so that her back was to his chest.
"I love you, you know." he whispered in her ear as she brought her hands up to cover his
"And I love you." she told him
Bruce kneeled down and took the lid off of an object on the ground and pulled out the burnt remains of his father's stethoscope.
"What will you do?" Rachel asked turning back to them
"Rebuild it. Just the way it was, brick for brick." said Bruce with a smile
"Just the way it was, sir?" said Alfred joining them as Rachel walked back to her car
"Yeah, why?" asked Bruce standing up
"I thought this might be a good opportunity for…improving the foundations." he said
"In the southeast corner?"
The three of them walked back to the car and headed for the penthouse.
To see Jasmine's party dress and hair style go to my profile