A Glimpse

Summary- Henri Ducard and Bruce Wayne prepare for Wayne's final test before he can become a member of the League of Shadows.

Disclaimer- The characters of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight belong to Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan, David Goyer, Bob Kane, and other associated with the creation of the world of Gotham. I do not own the character. I merely dabble in the world.

This story is part of the livejournal community "50scenes." I will address Ducard's remarks about his wife's death in later scenes. I am not choosing to ignore that part of the movie.

The women worked silently, efficiently. Henri Ducard took the attention easily, allowing the Chinese woman tie the straps of his armor without moving in the slightest except for once when he couldn't help but silently chuckle. The woman tending to him, so unused to any disturbance, looked up. Discreetly, Ducard nodded toward his favored protégé. The woman glanced over as secretly as she could manage.

Bruce Wayne, ready for his final test, fidgeted slightly as another woman tended to him. While Ducard was almost ready to begin, the younger man still had to have his armor put on over the shinobi shōzoku common of those training in the Mongolian fortress of the League of Shadows.

"I can do that—" he began, but the woman, much younger than her counterpart assisting Ducard, ignored him.

She held up the chest armor, and he reluctantly raised one arm. Once his arm was through the hole for it, the young woman secured it to his chest. She did not touch him, did not even look at him. Her eyes remained on the leather straps, her fingers expertly knotting them together. Every so often, she tried to move the armor to test how firmly the bonds held. When she was satisfied, she took a step back and bowed her head further.

"Thank you," Bruce offered. He stared, not sure if he should be offended when the women left the room without a word.

"Come." Ducard's command could not be ignored. He turned and walked toward another door. Bruce began to follow but paused for a moment. He glanced back.

In the shadows where the women had vanished, he saw the younger of the two still standing there. Her gray-blue eyes stared at Bruce through the darkness, almost curious.

"Are you coming?" Ducard asked.

Bruce started, glancing in the direction of the voice. When he looked back, the girl was gone. He shook his head and joined his mentor, ready for his final test.

From her hiding place in the shadows of the room, the girl watched him go. She was due to leave for the Congo in a few hours, but she would learn whether or not that young man succeeded. No other protégé of Henri Ducard had made it even this far.

It would be some time before she saw him again, Talia Ducard knew that much, but the image of Bruce Wayne, dressed in the armor of the League of Shadows, was forever imprinted on her mind.