Author: Red Fiona

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters, DC do. This version of the characters is owned by Warner Brothers. No money is being made from this fiction.

Characters: Natasha, Bruce Wayne Rating: PG Genre: Gen character study of Bruce from an outsider to the Batclan.
Notes: Natasha is the other person at the meal where Bruce and Harvey (and Rachel) have their talk in the restaurant.

Summary: She's known Bruce for too long to think he can hide anything from her.


She's older than the publicity material says she is and her thoughts have already started to turn toward retirement. She isn't Sylvie Guillem, she doesn't want to carry on forever. She's saved her money, now she just has to decided where to spend it. She wasn't lying earlier when she said she wouldn't bring a child up in Gotham, even with this Mr. Harvey Dent and his plans. She's always suggested that Bruce move away, but he's always said no. She doesn't blame him for this, she supposes his family's history here means something to him. No amount of history will convince her to go home, instead, she's thinking maybe France or Northern Italy, somewhere cultural but laid back.

She has thought long and hard about who she will ask to be the father of her child, she is leaving nothing to chance. She thinks Bruce will agree to her conditions and she'll willingly sign a contract before to say it's only his DNA she's after, not his money. She doesn't think Bruce would begrudge her money, he'd always been generous, but she knows he thinks he doesn't have the time to cope with children, and that he doesn't see himself as a family man. That's fine with her, she doesn't need him to be.

She's known Bruce for too long, since he was fifteen and in Paris, trying to show the world that he was decadent and debauched. She was slightly older than the nineteen she was claiming then, and the understudy to the secondary roles.

She's reasonably sure she wasn't the first woman Bruce went to bed with, but he wasn't as good as he thought he was. She never let him know that though. He was better the next time, she supposed that someone in between had had the courage to say something. Their, she'd call it a relationship rather than an affair, since she only saw him when she was touring or he was in Europe, had gone on for seventeen years, yet Bruce still had the capacity to surprise her. The last few times, maybe for the past few years, all they'd done was sleep. She would have worried about Bruce, it wasn't normal for a man his age to be so tired, but Alfred would look after him. She trusted the old man to do that much. That was also why she hadn't asked Bruce about the marks and bruising that covered his back, she'd seen it even in the semi-dark of Bruce's city penthouse. That worried her more than the lack of energy, she'd heard enough stories about little rich kids getting dragged into cults and that sort of thing. It seemed to be the richer you were, the more easily you fell for that.

She didn't think it could have been anything like that, or an illness, because at some point Bruce's muscles had gone from being show-off muscles to being work muscles, a dancer knew the difference. You couldn't get or keep muscles like that if you were ill. Maybe Bruce had taken up a sport, maybe he was secretly tobogganing and hiding his real identity to stop Prince Albert feeling bad.

Yes, that might explain it, and anyway, it was all a silly line of though, as though Bruce, dear, sweet, not quite as dim as he pretended to be Bruce, could hide anything really big.