Snow covered everything.
The ground, the trees, the headstones…
Julia Waters stood in the cold, her six year old frame covered by a frilly pink dress and a worn jacket much too big for her.
Memorizing the Marine patch with her fingers, green eyes shimmered with tears.
Light brown hair fell in her face, and she couldn't seem to move away from the two graves baring her parent's names.
It was as if the winter cold had frozen her solid, and sound had been made into ice.
Julia was considering just going home to her grandfather and trying to sleep…
A sob hit the air, soft as could be but still too strong for the immense silence.
Immediately alert, the brunette girl straightened, eyes searching for the source.
Her feet could finally move, and Julia started to walk through the snow.
It crunched lightly under her dress shoes, and her feet were beginning to go numb.
Taking a corner, green eyes zeroed in on the only color other than white in her field of vision.
A boy only a bit older than her, crouched in front of two graves and crying.
His dark suit had caught the girl's attention, being the only difference from the white snow.
"Your mommy and daddy are gone too?"
Bright blue eyes snapped around to meet hers, and Julia almost fidgeted.
Dredging up her courage, the brunette walked up and crouched down beside him, trying to read the headstones herself.
"…What happened to your parents?" He asked.
"The nice man told me they went somewhere better…They just couldn't take me with them…"
Turning her gaze to him, a sad smile crossed the child's face.
"But they're always watching over me, just like your mommy and daddy."
The loneliness and pain that had dulled his eyes was lessening, and she smiled.
"Yeah. Maybe if we stick together, it'll be easier for them to watch us."
Happy that the loneliness had also left her cold shoulders, Julia stood up, offering a hand.
There was a moment of hesitation before he accepted the hand, allowing the help off the snow.
"Come on, Bruce! You're too slow!"
Laughing, Jules ducked under her friend's grab, her ten year old legs pumping faster.
Bruce Wayne wasn't about to be bested so easily, and attempted to catch up.
Even at twelve, he was no match for the younger girl's more lightweight frame and strong legs.
This was fun, actually playing tag and forgetting the lonely manor behind him…
Jules knew that without being told, so she spent all of her free time at Wayne Manor.
The brunette stopped once she realized Bruce was no longer pursuing her, and Jules turned to see him staring at a well.
"…I fell in here once. My dad pulled me out."
Eyes turning sad, she walked up to him and leaned against the boy's arm.
"What happened in the well?"
Understanding, Jules looked down into the darkness and seemed to think it over.
"…I lost my parents because of my fear…"
Pain crossed Bruce's face, and she turned to him in concern.
"I shouldn't have asked to leave the opera…I should have stayed…"
Staying silence as she realized this was the first time he'd really talked about that night, Jules hugged him around the torso.
"It's not your fault, Bruce. At least…"
Tears stung at her eyes, but she held them in as best she could.
"At least you were there with them when they left."
After a moment, he put an arm around her shoulders, sadness still clawing at his stomach.
"…Besides, you've got me for family now. And Alfred and Grandpa Mike."
Snuggling into his chest, she listened to the steady heartbeat and relaxed.
"And no matter what you say, I'll always be right here to make sure you're never alone."
Standing beside the champagne table, a twenty-seven year old Jules ran a hand through her tousled hair.
Being invited to a fundraiser was much more exciting than actually BEING at one…
Politely declining an offered wineglass from an older gentleman, she looked up as the helicopter landed.
The glass walls showed a clear view of the occupants, and the brunette rolled her eyes as Bruce came out with three women.
'Always have to keep up the playboy act…'
She didn't need to listen to what was being said, she already knew.
That was probably why Alfred and Grandpa Mike always called them 'the twins'…
Green eyes focused now that her mind was jarred back to the present, and she smiled at her childhood friend.
"Good thing you're late to these fundraisers. They're BORING."
"Would a dance make it more entertaining?"
Jules' heart jumped in her chest for reasons she couldn't quite explain, and heat rose to her face.
Accepting the hand, she was tugged onto the dance floor, trying to keep down a blush.
"Shouldn't you be hanging out with your 'dates'?"
A smile crossed Bruce's face, a real smile that reminded her of long nights watching movies…
"And leave you all alone? What kind of friend would I be?"
Putting a hand on his shoulder, Jules tried to focus on his voice as his hand settled on her hip.
"A bad one?"
Fingers intertwined, she felt his body heat more acutely than before, and was almost touching his hard chest.
Bruce was having much the same problem, trying to distract himself from her close proximity.
He couldn't help but notice how the dark greens of her dress draped over her hips and legs, and how it made her eyes look brighter.
Starting to feel hot, Jules followed him in a slow dance, stepping closer against her conscious will.
The music barely reached her ears, and the brunette was going on autopilot.
All that registered was her thundering heart and the warmth coming from the body before her…
Nothing else really mattered for either of them, as if a cocoon had wrapped around them.
Green eyes focused completely on Bruce's face as he leaned in, and she stretched up to meet the gesture…
Their lips almost touched before he pulled back, something important catching his attention and shattering the moment.
Blinking away the silent spell, concern flashed across Jules' face.
"Stay out of sight."
Nodding, still slightly stunned, she watched him disappear into the crowd of people.
Jules didn't even notice the elevator door opening and the gunshots because of her hammering heartbeat…
A cold breeze whipped at her frame, but Jules refused to be forced indoors.
Gotham looked beautiful from the rooftops, with the streetlamps bouncing light off windows like rainbows.
Tugging the thick, faded army jacket around herself more snugly, the brunette gave a sigh.
Fog escaped her lips, and the wind blew it away into the sky.
A smile crossed her face at the gruff voice, and the brunette turned away from the sight to see Batman.
"So you did remember our wedding anniversary. I actually got a little worried."
"You know I'd never forget."
He moved like a shadow, practically gliding over the rooftop to stop in front of her.
"What are you doing out here?"
"Remembering…" Jules admitted, green eyes twinkling.
"Can you believe we've been married for three years?"
Offering his hand, Batman kept her gaze as his voice stayed gruff.
"Would a dance make it more entertaining?"
It sparked a memory deep in her brain, and Jules smiled as she accepted the offer.
"Hope you don't say that to all the girls."
Blushing crimson, she leaned against the hard Kevlar as they danced under the faint stars…