Chapter 13

"You've got to be kidding me." Chloe mutters as she sees the Batsignal shining over Gotham. It has been months since Gordon has used it and now tonight of all nights. "I didn't spend two days with Lois dragging me through every shop in town to find the perfect outfit just to let some psycho ruin my evening." she swears as she marches down to the cave.

Bruce is already there suiting up. Seeing her enter he says "Sorry."

"Oh you don't get off that easy buddy." she quips as she opens her locker and starts donning her own costume.

He looks like he might say something but wisely keeps his mouth shut. A thought pops into his head so he remarks "Well I did promise you a night on the town. Perhaps next time I should be more specific as to the night's activities."

Smiling at his acceptance of her coming along Chloe pulls on her boots. It will be her first time out since being injured but she is confident she is ready. The fact Bruce didn't comment shows he also believes she is ready. Oliver or Clark would have at least needed to discuss things. It's so refreshing to be with someone who accepts her as an equal and not a sidekick or little sister. Flirting back she replies "Awful confident you'll get a second chance aren't you."

"Just hopeful." he replies honestly as his eyes soaking in her image.

"Me too." Chloe silently thinks. Looking back at him she flashes her dazzling smile.

Hanging back Chloe watches the city as Bruce talks to Commissioner Gordon. She gets that these are private conversations between them and respects that. It's not like she's never dealt with Gordon. It's just at these times Bruce likes to talk to Jim first. She suspects Jim Gordon knows exactly who Batman is. He probably knows who she is too. He is a very smart man. Nothing slips by him, despite his fatherly appearance. You don't survive in this town if you're not.

Walking back over to her Bruce says "Joker's back. He has hostages in the Four Seasons rooftop restaurant."

"Ok how do you want to handle it?" Chloe asks as they swing across the city.

Joker is getting bored waiting for Bats to show up. Pacing back and forth he keeps checking his clown watch. Grabbing a terrified hostage he compares that man's watch with his own. "What is taking so long? Didn't he miss me?" Joker mutters.

Batarangs and gas pellets sail into the room from several directions quickly taking out most of the hired help. His bomb goes next along with the man it's strapped to. None of this matters as all this was window dressing to get the Bats attention for his announcement. "If you can't share such moments with your archenemy who can you?" ponders.

Bruce leads Chloe into the building by swinging into the restaurant. Chloe rushes to free hostages while Bruce handles Joker. "Game's over." Bruce states dramatically.

Pointing to Chloe untying the hostages Joker quips. "Oh you have sidekick. Me too." A woman dressed as a Harlequin clown flips her way into the room in dramatic fashion. "Isn't she great?" Joker proudly comments.

"You're both going back to Arkham." Batman declares changing his stance to a more defensive one as he reassesses the situation. "I should have expected this." Bruce chides himself.

"Bah, that place is so yesterday." Joker jokes. Reaching into his coat he pulls out some confetti which he throws at Bruce. The confetti expands into metal bands which wrap tightly around Bruce's arms.

Seeing what is happening Chloe turns to help Bruce only to find the woman whom she suspects is the one from the rooftop facing off against her.

"Girl talk time." the woman remarks as she throws a complicated series of kicks and punches at her. Chloe blocks or dodges the attacks but is forced back, as she didn't expect this level of skill from the woman. Settling herself, Chloe waits for an opening.

Meanwhile Bruce jump kicks Joker in order to give himself a minute to cut the metal straps holding him. Joker expects this attack and sidesteps it. He slaps Bruce with a joy buzzer causing Bruce to drop to the ground convulsing.

Seeing Bruce go down causes Chloe's guard to slip for a second. Harley sees the opening and kicks Chloe in the head. Staggered Chloe stumbles back and falls over a table behind her. Harley jumps onto the table in a hand stand clearly intending to come down on Chloe with a power kick. Chloe throws her own kick at the table knocking it over and sending Harley tumbling to the ground. Both women are up in a flash.

"Ten bucks on the one with the clown face." Joker ribs Batman as he leans over Bruce.

"Let's make it a hundred." Bruce quips back surprising Joker as Batman has never before had a sense of humor. The distraction gives Bruce the opening he needed to get his arms free. The Joker still leaning over is wide open for a punch to the jaw. Joker is knocked off his feet by the force of Bruce's blow. He crashes into a buffet table covering himself in food and sauces.

Standing Bruce closes with Joker only to sense someone behind him. Spinning he just ducks Harley swinging a metal serving tray at his head. As he spun he threw a kick which catches her just below the ribs, sending her flying. She smacks into a glass window and slides to the ground.

Growling Joker charges Batman. He slams into him with such force he carries both of them to and over the edge of the roof. Laughing as they fall he quips "Looks like just enough time for one more joke, eh Bats."

Firing a grapple line Bruce answers "Save it for Arkum." When the grapple catches they both slam into the side of building.

Joker fights to get free of Bruce's grip on him. "Stop. You'll fall you lunatic." Bruce scolds Joker.

Looking up at him Joker quips "I didn't know you cared." He then pulls himself free and resumes falling. Before Bruce can grab another line to save Joker, Joker's coat opens and a chute pops out. It has his face painted on it. Gliding away he waves bye bye at Bruce.

"Pudin!" Harley screams when she sees Joker go over the ledge. Chloe runs to the edge just to make sure Bruce is ok. When she sees the grapple line catch she relaxes and turns her attention back to Harley. Harley has disappeared. "Damn, I shouldn't have taken my eyes off her." she scolds herself.

Back at the cave Chloe slams her gear back into her locker clearly displaying her frustration. Bruce debates saying anything for a long time but finally decides to say "It happened. Let it go. Move on."

"It shouldn't have happened and we both know it. I messed up because I was worried about you. This won't work if I keep making those mistakes." Chloe says. Her heart clenched tight at the realization that once more love is not for her.

"You're right. It shouldn't have happened. It's something we need to work on. Either of us could have made that mistake because we are partners. It's normal and important to be concerned about your partner. It will just take time for us to learn to balance that concern with faith in our partner's abilities. So no more of that, ok?" Bruce states holding Chloe's chin so she has to meet his eyes. It's important to him that she understands.

Muttering a half hearted "Fine." she finishes stowing her gear then goes to take a quick shower. She has showered in the cave dozens of times with Bruce around. Hell he made her spar naked with him more than once. She thought his "you need to be prepared to fight no matter what you or your opponent is, or isn't wearing" bit was a good line until she realized he meant it. She laughs to herself at all the other silly outfits he wore to throw her off. It's just now its different. Wondering how to bring this up Bruce impresses her once again by going upstairs as she enters the shower.

Still drying her hair she makes her way upstairs hoping Alfred had left some dinner for them. "Crime fighting does work up an appetite." she notes. When she gets upstairs she is surprised to see the lights on in the dining room. Bruce only eats there for formal events. Wondering what is up she wanders in only to have her breathe taken away. The room is covered in flowers. Not just roses but every flower there is. The table has been set for two across from each other at one end. Covered food dishes sit on a cart next to the table. Bruce is standing there holding a chair for her. Sliding in she just has to comment "Wow, this is one heck of a midnight snack."

"I promised you diner and I always keep my promises, at least with a lot of help from Alfred." Bruce gallantly replies. "Here" he adds passing her one of the cover plates from the cart.

Removing the cover she has to chuckle as there is her favorite meal sitting before her. Next he hands her a perfect temperature cup of her favorite blend of coffee.

After diner they just talk. He tells her all about his childhood even the painful parts. Bruce opens up more to her in one night than Clark did in the entire time she has known him. She finds herself telling him all her dirty secrets. Sharing the pain she felt from Jimmy's death while admitting how badly she treated him. It is wonderful and terrifying.

With Sun peeking into the dinning room through the shades, Bruce suggests "I think it's time we get some sleep." He doesn't say what had been on the back of his mind all night "Joker is still out there."

Yawning despite several cups of that wonderful coffee Chloe nods her agreement. Bruce escorts her to her room causing butterflies to build in her stomach as they go. "What comes next?" she nervously and excitedly wonders. She doesn't want to repeat her past mistakes but she is eager to feel his hands on her body.

At her door Bruce opens the door for her tricking her into thinking this was the end of their evening. Just as she walks by him he grabs her arm and spins her into a kiss. His lips are soft but the passion driving him is hard as steel. This kiss leaves no doubt that he desires her. She wraps her arms around his neck pulling him down to her so he knows she wants him too. All too soon it's over and Bruce is striding down the hall. It was just one kiss but it has her on fire.

"Wow." is all Chloe's brain can come up with as she watches him stride away. Thoughts of grabbing him and dragging him into her room she pushes aside. That would be too much too quickly for either of them, but she is tempted.

The next morning Alfred smiles at the small smirk that keeps creeping on to Master Bruce's face no matter how hard Master Bruce tries for it not too. Alfred is glad Master Bruce finally acted on his feelings for Ms. Sullivan. He knows how crazy the situation had been making Master Bruce. "Ms. Sullivan is strong enough to hold her own against Master Bruce, but also different enough to complete Master Bruce. Perhaps he can find happiness at long last." Alfred muses.

Joker hummed softly to himself as he mixed chemicals. His latest formula is turning out better than he ever hoped. That Kryptonite that gave Big Blue such trouble is proving to have very beneficial effects when mixed with his original Joker Gas. "Sure it drives the subjects mad, but who can't use a little madness in there life." he remarks to Harley.

"I just love the madness you brought to my world Pudin.' she cheerily replies. She loves him and fears him. It's this strange combination that excites her so.

Chloe and Bruce have been "dating" for 2 months now. Usually its just a quick dinner or a rare movie (which Bruce often falls asleep during), but they have definite built something between them. Something she suspects Bruce has never had. Something she knows she never had even though she came close with Ollie. Still one part of the relationship remains unexplored. One she knows Bruce is eager to explorer, but holds back from. When they were making out last week still in their costumes she thought it would happen then, but it didn't. At the last moment Bruce pulled back. She almost took it personally, then she realized he was resisting to demonstrate how much he does care for her. He doesn't want her to be just another notch on his bedpost. It is one of the most romantic things anyone has ever done for her. Still she thinks its time they got down to business so she has taken in upon herself to force the issue. Dressing in her favorite black silk lingerie with its knee high stockings she slips her feet into ridiculously high heels then wraps her present in Bruce's long overcoat. She pretends not to see Alfred's raised eyebrow when she requests he take her to Bruce's office. (She never orders Alfred about. It just seems wrong.) The whole drive Alfred never once comments on her attire so she is caught off guard when he dryly remarks "Good hunting." as he helps her out of the limo. Before she can recover enough to snark a reply the limo is pulling away. At least she knows Alfred approves she consoles herself. "Now the hard part" she tells herself as she does her best to slink through Wayne Industries lobby. She can feel the eyes on her as she enters the private elevator to Bruce's office. Her outfit leaves no doubt as to why she is here. The naughtiness of this moment she finds is adding to her own excitement.

As the elevator doors open she finds Bruce and Lucius discussing something while standing over a building model. In her best husky voice she announces "Lucius, I do apologize, but I need (emphasizes the word need) Bruce for a few moments." while strutting into the room. As she hoped Bruce's face is frozen for a second in shock while Lucius can barely conceal the chuckle that escapes him.

With a huge grin, Lucius remarks "Well, we'll finish this up later as I see you have a pressing appointment." He then graceful exits the office.

"Chloe, what are you up to?" Bruce asks as she backs him up to his desk.

The confusion and tiny bit of fear on his face makes this moment all the more intense. "If you don't know, I must be doing something wrong." she playful comments as grabs his hands and runs them over her outfit still somewhat hidden by the coat.

"I, well, I mean we haven't, I don't want to rush anything" Bruce stammers in a way that reminds her of Clark. Something she never thought she would hear from the always in control Mr. Wayne.

Pleased by the effect she is having on him she opens her coat as she leans up to kiss him whispering "Stop thinking." Their lips meet and for a brief second she is afraid he'll pull back again then he doesn't.

In fact he flips her onto his desk sending papers flying. "Chloe." he pants with lust as his lips devourer her body. Ripping fabric signals that his control is gone and only animal passion is left. She isn't sure who rips what but she doesn't care as the need has her firmly in its grip. Her plans of a slow seduction were erased as soon as his lips were on her. Gasping she feels him enter her. Her body matches his body's rhythm as they grind together in their fiery passion. All too soon he reaches his peak. He tries to pull back, to stop himself from going over but she doesn't let him. She wants him too and uses her body to ensure he does. He rests atop her for a moment giving both of them a chance to catch their breath. She struggles to find something to say in the silence that grows in the moment. Before she can, he looks into her eyes then slides down her body. The moans he drags from her lips guide him to the right spot. There he works her till she is screaming his name and collapsing spent onto the desk.

Much, much later they sit together on his office coach. She rests her head on his chest as she leans against him simply enjoying the comfort of contact with him, his hand gentle tracing the lines of her naked body. Bruce finds himself more at peace than he has been in a very long time. Neither speaks, but neither needs to. They have found what they were looking for in each other and everything else doesn't matter.

Note to Readers: I am truly torn as I hadn't planned on ending here. However, when I wrote this last part it just seems like the perfect place to stop. Please let me know what you think. Should I go on?