A/N: Thank you for the alert, reviews and messages. I appreciate them all!
Gordon leaned against the MCU's large rooftop maintenance shed, looking up towards the night sky. He had lost count as to how many times he had waited in his life for the Batman to appear. He took a small sip from his old travel coffee mug, quickly realizing that the coffee had gone stale. Gordon dumped the remaining contents onto the ground.
He didn't have to wait much longer as Batman walked out of the shadows towards him.
"We have a leak within the department," Gordon said, getting straight to the point. "I'm still trying to figure out where it is but my few trusted officers have discovered that this leak is helping Crane get his drugs into the city. It's happening right beneath our noses."
Batman nodded. It was a pity that even after so many years, members of the police force still could not be trusted.
"Did you get anything on Bradley Mattern, one of our homicides?" Gordon asked.
Batman nodded, handing Gordon the picture.
"Are these relatives of his?"
"Brothers most likely," Batman replied, as Gordon took a closer look at the picture.
"Mattern-Dravis," Gordon said.
"I've looked up the other two Mattern-Dravis' and only one comes up on record," Batman said. "William Mattern-Dravis. He works at the Westview After Hours Clinic and goes by Dr. Bill Dravis."
"I know about that place," he said. "I'm going to a benefit for them next month. They sound like a good cause to support. I hope that this doesn't involve the clinic."
"I'm going to check out Dr. Dravis first," Batman said. "If I find anything unusual, I'll let you know."
"I'll get a warrant to check out the clinic and see if he's hiding anything there," Gordon said, as Batman suddenly turned and walked away from him disappearing into the shadows from which he appeared.
Emily looked down at the empty street far below her. The building certainly appeared taller than it was when she was standing on the ground. She was beginning to regret the decision to go through Bill's faulty-locking window rather than through the front door. It had been a good dozen years since her delinquent days of sneaking in and out of her Mother's home and she knew she'd be rusty at picking the lock. Since she had given Bill's his house key back at him a while ago, the window was her only option. She only prayed that he didn't take the time to get that window replaced.
Carefully, she turned her body on the rickety fire escape and managed to get her fingers beneath the lip. She pulled it up enough that she would be able to slink through the small space. Emily sighed, stepping onto Bill's made bed, hearing the springs protest under her weight. She climbed down and made her way into the hallway. The man always kept everything in its place.
Emily always found it amazing how he could afford so many nice things on a salary such as his. Still, she carefully made her way through the darkened room towards the small roll top desk where he kept his desktop computer. Emily slowly opened the cover and turned on the computer, quickly accessing his hard drive.
Files upon files of shipment dates, contents and correspondents with numerous people around the city. That pit in her stomach grew when she noticed a certain name - Jonathan Crane. Her mind flew back to the man she met back at the clinic.
How could she have not known?
"What the hell have you gotten yourself into, Bill?" she whispered aloud.
Emily pulled out the drive from her pant pocket and slide it into the USB drive and began to download the files and recent emails. She was determined to see if she could help him.
Her head suddenly turned towards the door when she heard it begin to click. Emily's heart began to race as she watched the files being transferred.
Emily mentally begged for the download to speed up. Her eyes darted from the computer to the door as her hand rested eagerly over the drive, wanting to pull it out.
The moment the word came up on the screen, she pulled out the drive, flipped the switch on the monitor and ran down the hallway, closing the door to his bedroom just as she heard the front door creak open.
Emily stood against the wall, trying to catch her breath as she tucked the drive into her shirt, ensuring that it dropped safely into her bra.
The sound of footsteps echoed throughout the home followed by whispers.
"I don't think he's home," Emily heard someone say.
"Check the computer," another voice said. "See who he has been emailing recently."
Emily recognized the voice. Jonathan Crane was in the apartment.
"A number of files were recently copied," another man's voice said. "The device wasn't properly ejected."
"It was probably done in a rush," Crane suggested, as he glanced down the hallway, noticing the closed door. "Copy what we need and then destroy the computer."
Emily quickly climbed up onto Bill's bed before wiggling through the window. She winced, hearing the mattress springs creak under her weight.
"Somebody is here!" Emily heard him shout as she crawled out the window.
Quickly, she climbed up the metal ladder to the rooftop. Just as she made her way to the top, she looked down and saw one of the men stick his head out the window and look up just as she disappeared over the edge.
Emily clamoured onto the rooftop and ran towards one of the large HVAC units that sat on the roof and hid behind it. She peeked around it, guessing that the large man would probably have an issue climbing the rickety fire escape. She let out a sigh of relief and smiled behind the ski mask.
"There's no where to run!"
The sudden voice startled her. Emily heard a heavy metal door slam shut when she realized that they came up the indoor stairwell. She didn't dare look around the corner. Emily's heart was racing as she quickly ran through what she should do. She looked towards the edge of the building towards the neighbouring apartment complex rooftop, wondering if she would be able to make it across with a jump.
"I just want what you stole!" Crane yelled. "And then you're free to go."
Crane spun around, looking around the roof as he gestured to the two men to go in a different direction that him. In less than a second, a dark figure dropped from the sky, landing directly behind one of Crane's men. Before Crane could even say a word, the man turned around and came face to face with the Dark Knight. Crane watched the fight ensue and was pleasantly surprised to find that his man managed to get ahold of Batman from behind while the other man enleased a series of kicks and punches to the masked man's torso and head.
"My, my, isn't this a change," he commented happily as the man kicking Batman stopped. "I knew my new drugs made the users strong, but I had no idea that they would be stronger than you."
"I'm going to stop you, Crane," Batman growled, in obvious discomfort.
Crane let out a single mock laugh as he leaned forward.
"I'd like to see that," he drawled as the men continued to kick and punch mercilessly.
Emily kept herself in the shadows as she managed to get herself closer to the commotion that seemed to have distracted Crane. Her heart sank as she watched from the shadows as Batman took every punch and kick, letting out a groan every so often.
"You don't know how pleasing this is for me to watch," Crane stated, crossing his arms in front of him.
Emily heard Bruce cry out and she pinched her eyes shut; feeling every punch to her own stomach. She opened her eyes. A new darkness fell over them as she watched Batman continue to be beat upon. Emily couldn't stand by and watch anymore. She reached down and pulled out the gun that she had hidden inside her boot and tucked it discreetly into her back pocket.
"Stop!" she yelled out, loudly.
The new voice caught everyone attention on the rooftop. Emily slipped from her hiding place in the shadows and slowly made her way towards the group.
"Let him go!" she called out angrily to the man holding Batman from behind. She turned to Crane, holding the USB drive in her hand. "And you can have this! It has everything that I downloaded"
Crane smiled and laughed. "My, my," he cooed. "You're either incredibly brave or incredibly stupid. I just can't decide." He paused for a moment. The smile on his face faded. "Give me the USB drive and I'll consider it."
"No!" she yelled back, forcefully. "Get your guys to back off and you can have it."
She watched Crane tip his head to the side. The wheels in the former psychiatrists head were obviously turning. A smile grew on his face.
"Why would someone risk their life and an item they had just stole for someone such as the Batman? I know of only one reason."
Crane glanced over at his men and nodded as one of them kneed Batman in the chest. She heard Batman let out a groan as she watched them continue to beat him. Without another thought, she pulled the gun out from behind her back, aiming it directly at Crane.
"Let him go!" she growled.
She heard Crane sigh as he nodded to the men holding onto Batman. "You certainly know how to ruin someones fun."
The man behind Batman suddenly let him go, allowing the Dark Knight to slump to his knees. Emily watched carefully as the two men walked towards Crane. She stepped forward placing herself between Batman and Crane.
Crane held out his hand. "Now, your part of the bargain."
Emily walked towards him, holding the small chip in her fingers, and kept the gun trained on him. Once she dropped it into his open hand, she barely had enough to time to register that his other hand reached forward and before she knew it, she was coughing and gasping in a thick gray haze.
"I think I've decided," she heard someone whisper close to her. "You're stupid."
Fearfully, Emily held out the gun in front of her, ready to shoot anyone or anything that came close. She continued to cough, as the haze seemed to disappear around her. She heard yelling but for some reason, she still couldn't see it.
She gasped as an image suddenly came in her view.
"Stay back!" she exclaimed, attempting to keep her hands from shaking. A hand suddenly clasped over her own, taking the gun from her hands and crushing it in a fist.
Emily could barely look. The eyes seemed to glow and the blackness of a face that never seemed to end.
Before she knew it, something had wrapped itself under her arms. She felt her feet leave the ground. Emily pinched her eyes shut. The height and speed at which they were climbing was too much for her mind to absorb.
Once they had reached the rooftop of a higher building, Batman dropped the woman to the ground, allowing her to fall to her knees as she dealt with the fear that infested her mind.
Batman could hear her ragged breathing as he sighed, walking towards the ledge to look for the tumbler to come to their location. He wasn't impressed with what happened. To him, that woman was a fool doing what she did for him, let alone get herself drugged by Crane. Batman wasn't in the mood to inoculate her and then leave her somewhere for Gordon to get.
When he heard gasping, he turned to the woman, seeing that she had pushed herself up to stand against a chain-link fence that surrounded high voltage electrical equipment.
Emily couldn't breathe. The hallucinations were causing her to hyperventilate and she had trouble catching her own breath. She roughly pulled the ski mask off her of her head and threw it to the ground, hoping it would help her get a breath.
"Bruce," she begged between breaths, her voice barely audible as she leaned her head against the fencing. "Bruce, where are you?"
Batman didn't want to believe what he was seeing. In the moonlight, he made out her face and he stood in shock, seeing a woman he didn't expect to see. Emotions coursed through him; shock, confusion, anger, fear.
"Emily?" he asked softly, walking towards her.
Emily heard the voice and turned towards it. Her face was beaded with sweat and white as a sheet. But the sight in front of her didn't match what she would expect. Fearfully, she backed up.
"Leave me alone," she cried.
Batman could see the fear in her eyes. He looked around, seeing as they were alone on the rooftop, some thirty storeys in the air. He pulled the cowl from his head.
"Emily, look at me," he said, still slowly walking towards her. "It's me, Bruce. I can help you."
He saw her glance at him before she pinched her eyes shut, fighting her mind on what was reality and a hallucination.
She held onto the sides of her head and slid to the ground.
"Make it stop!"
A few feet away, Bruce crouched down to the ground and kept himself at her level.
"I can," Bruce said softly, holding out his hand. "Give me your hand and I'll help you."
Emily looked back towards Batman's outstretched hand, seeing the bony fingers protruding from the black, oozing slime of a glove. She shook her head.
She wasn't believing him.
"What you're seeing isn't real," he tried to tell her. "You've been poisoned by Crane. I have an antidote to help you, but you need to trust me."
Emily stared at Bruce, as she shook nervously.
"I trust you, Bruce," she concluded, as Bruce nodded.
She looked back at his hand, and slowly reached forward. Bruce could hear her repeat, 'It's only Bruce', over and over like a mantra until she finally grabbed his hand.
He stood up and pulled her up to stand with him. To his surprise, Emily wrapped her arms tightly around him. He pulled the cowl back over his head.
"Hold on tight and don't look," he said to her before he jumped off the ledge.
He heard Emily gasp, as her grip on him tightened even more. Her body trembled in fear.
She felt the wind whip up the side of her body like a hundred little fingers running their hands up her back. Still, Batman's firm arm around her felt secure. It was a good reminder of who was with her and kept her focused on what was real.
Within seconds, she found herself being placed inside the tumbler and the door closed over her. The lights inside the tumbler lit up Batman's face as he once again pulled the cowl from his head. He reached above them into a compartment and pulled down a small canister. Bruce quickly opened it, all the while listening to Emily's panicked breathing.
"What is that?" Emily suddenly gasped.
Bruce caught her eye, as he pulled the small syringe from the canister.
"Something I keep around for days like today," he grumbled, pulling off the cap.
He turned to Emily, holding out his hand. "Give me your arm."
With more than slight hesitation, Emily slowly held out her arm before Bruce pressed the syringe against her skin.
Now that he knew that Emily would be fine, Bruce found his concern and fear were now turning to anger. He tossed the syringe back inside the canister before firing up the tumbler's engine and took off down the road. He didn't say a word for the entire ride back.
Emily stood a few feet away, disgruntled that Bruce continued to avoid conversation with her. She watched as Alfred tended to the bruised ribs and finished wrapping a bandage around Bruce's chest.
She crossed her arms and sighed just as Alfred turned to her.
"Thank goodness you're all right and that you were there to help Mr. Wayne," he said softly.
Bruce heard Alfred's words of gratitude to Emily as he slipped off the table and carefully pulled a t-shirt over his head.
She smiled lightly to the older man before glancing back at Bruce, as he turned his back to her.
"I only wish that certain other people would feel the same way about help," she said, her words a little louder in order for Bruce to hear them.
She watched as Bruce quickly turned, that same darkness of Batman never seemed to have left his face after he removed the cowl a half hour earlier.
"What the hell were you thinking!? You could have gotten yourself killed!" Bruce stated loudly, attempting to keep his temper in check. Those were the words he wanted to yell the moment she was more alert and the antidote to the toxin had kicked in. Instead, he was brewing until he couldn't keep it in any longer.
"But I didn't," she snapped back at him. "I got what I wanted."
She slammed the USB drive onto the table beside him. He stared at it, confused.
"There was two. I gave an empty one to Crane," she explained. "I kept the good one."
Bruce was pleasantly surprised, but it didn't appease his anger.
"You broke into someone's home..."
"What? Now there's a problem with breaking and entering? You seem to do that on more than one occasion," Emily quickly retorted.
Bruce took a deep breath, knowing that he was on the verge of exploding. The woman, and the source of his frustration was standing defiantly in front of him with no indication of backing down.
On the street, he was used to using his intimidation to get people to do things for him, but Emily appeared to be impervious to it.
"This is different," he said, his voice struggling to remain quiet. "You knowingly put yourself in danger."
"I had a feeling that Bill was in trouble," she said. "I had to find out why. I knew where he kept things in his apartment. I just happened to be there when Crane and his men arrived."
"Did he see your face?"
Bruce finally let out a breath, but said nothing.
"You're welcome," she said sarcastically.
Bruce shook his head. "What if I didn't show up? What would you have done?"
Emily rolled her eyes and shrugged. "I would have done something."
Emily nodded. In a swift movement, Bruce grabbed her wrist, pulling her forward before her feet flew out from under her, sending her to the ground. Emily landed flat on her back.
"Master Bruce!" Alfred exclaimed, watching as the woman laid on the ground, gasping as the wind had been knocked out of her.
"Bruce! What the hell!?" she exclaimed, as she pushed herself up to sit. "What is wrong with you?"
"You have no skills whatsoever!" Bruce stated, grabbing her wrist and pulling her up to stand. The volume of the conversation had increased once again. "Those men would've killed you without thinking twice! And you're lucky that it was only fear toxin that you were drugged with."
Emily sighed, exasperated with Bruce.
"Then go ahead and train me!"
He shook his head.
"Why not? Are you afraid?"
"You're damn right that I'm afraid," he stated, his face inches from hers. "I'm just as afraid as I was tonight realizing it was you that was with me on that rooftop, knowing that if I hadn't arrived when I did, you could have been killed." He paused, his voice growing softer. "And that scares the hell out of me. I'm not going to teach you if that means that you could be putting yourself in danger."
"Who says that I'm going to be putting myself in danger?!"
"I know you, Emily!" Bruce exclaimed. "I know that you just can't leave things alone. You told me yourself. You could have told me your suspicions about Bill but instead you thought you had to do this yourself. You knew exactly what you could be getting yourself into."
Emily sighed, looking down at her watch and noticing the time. If it wasn't time for her to leave, she wouldn't have given up so easily.
"I'd love to continue this, but I have to get to work," she stated. "They're going to be wondering where I am."
She turned and headed towards the lift to bring her up to Wayne Manor.
"I don't think that is a good idea," Bruce called at her.
Emily turned on her heel, crossing her arms. "And why's that?"
"If Bill is involved with whatever Crane is doing, I don't want you to be near the clinic," Bruce yelled towards her.
"I grew up in this city for the past 30-something years and I never needed a hand to hold and I don't need it now," she yelled across the cave at him. "Stop trying to control everyone and everything around you, Bruce!"
Emily paused, uncertain if he heard or whether he was simply choosing to ignore her. Either way, she turned abruptly and continued on her way to the elevator.
"Don't forget to pick up your bike. It's three blocks west of Bill's apartment."
The sound of the metal cage of the elevator closing echoed within the cave and even managed to disturb a few of the inhabitants who gave out a screech of protest.
Bruce had turned towards the computer monitors. He did hear what she had said. He figured that if she wasn't going to listen to his point of view, there was no point in carrying on with the discussion, or argument.
He was also well aware of Alfred's quiet presence in the cave and knew that the man had heard the entire conversation. Anyone and anything in the cave would have heard it.
"Am I wrong in what I said?"
Alfred shook his head. "I'm not about to get in the middle of your feud with Dr. Tucker."
"She's wanting me to teach her what I learned in Tibet," Bruce said, waiting for the upload to complete. "That took years. She's tenacious. She'd want to learn more."
Bruce turned to Alfred.
"Gotham is becoming more and more dangerous it seems," he continued. "The first time I met her was during a mugging. If she knew more on how to protect herself, I wouldn't have been needed."
"You cannot spend your waking hours trying to protect Emily, in fear that something could happen to her," Alfred stated.
"I can't lose her Alfred," Bruce admitted, looking up towards the older man. "I couldn't go through that again."
Alfred nodded. "Then, I believe that you just came up with your own answer, sir."
"When were you going to tell us?" Louise said, standing up from her desk, the moment she saw Emily walk through the back door.
Emily wasn't about to play dumb as she knew that this woman would know anything and everything about the life of Bruce Wayne.
So, she shrugged. "Bruce Wayne is not a topic that we would usually talk about."
"You're going out with him!" Louise said excitedly, attempting to keep her voice low. "This is big news, especially for you. I assume Bill knows from seeing his photo in the newspaper. How did he take it?"
"We haven't been together in a long time," Emily said, thinking back to his reaction. "I doubt he's bothered by it. Besides, he's over our breakup."
Emily hung up her purse and tucked the keys to Bruce's Matrix into a pocket. She picked up her lab coat and put it on.
"I was trying to call you earlier, but there was no answer at your place," Louise said, as she watched Emily pin on her name tag and grab her stethoscope.
"I haven't been at home for the past day or so," she replied, walking back towards the front desk.
A smile threatened to pull at Louise's face as Janie walked over.
"So, what's he like in bed?" Janie suddenly blurted out as she put down a stack of files on the desk. Leave it to her to ask the obvious.
Emily laughed as she picked up one on the top. "I'm not having this conversation with you."
"But did this happen before or after the meeting at Wayne Tower?" Louise asked.
Emily opened the file and began to read the notes, keeping her eyes on the paper. "Before."
"Ha!" Louise exclaimed happily as she slapped her hand against the table. "I knew something was up by the way he was looking at you."
Janie smiled broadly. "Emily, I'm so happy for you!" she said excitedly. "When you're done with him, you can pass him along to me."
Emily let out a single mock laugh. "And what if I decide to not let him go?"
She picked up the file and walked towards the waiting room to call for her first patient as the other two ladies shared a smile.
Emily stepped through the large door and into the waiting room. She tried to be oblivious to the smiles and whispers that circulated throughout the small group of patients.
"Ellie Dubkov," she called. Emily scanned the room for the familiar woman. An elderly woman carrying a portable oxygen tank slowly stood up and made her way towards the door that Emily held open.
"Sorry about that wait," Emily said, as she led her into a room and closed the door behind them. Ellie slowly sat down, and let out a sigh once she was sitting in the seat.
"How is your arthritis treating you this month, Mrs. Dubkov?" Emily asked, bringing her stethoscope down from around her neck before she sat down on a stool opposite the older woman.
"Some days are better than others," she replied, placing her purse on her lap. "I just wish this old hip of mine wouldn't cause me so much grief, but I guess that's what happens when you get older like me."
The woman chuckled lightly as Emily smiled, putting the ear pieces of the stethoscope into her ears before leaning over the older woman to place the other end onto her back.
"And how about the breathing? You must be feeling the pollen with the season change," Emily stated, as the woman nodded.
Ellie took some breaths as best as she could and glanced over at Emily as she concentrated on what she was hearing.
"I saw you on the news," Ellie said softly.
Emily smiled weakly. "I'm sure most of Gotham has now."
"I'm sorry for what they've been saying," she added, placing a gentle hand on Emily's knee. "No matter what they say, I think that you're perfect for that man. What he needs is someone to keep him grounded and I think you're it."
"Thank you, Mrs. Dubkov."
Emily reached over and grabbed the file off of the counter.
"I was married for 53 years when my husband, Karl suddenly passed away," Ellie said. "He was one of the best decisions I had ever made."
Emily rested the stethoscope on her lap and looked up at Ellie.
"Can I ask you something that wont leave the room?"
Ellie nodded with a smile. "Of course, hun."
"How did you know that you loved him? Was it something he said or did?"
Ellie smiled knowingly. "I would've done anything for Karl. I'd even die for him if it came to it. I just couldn't live without him. I have no idea how I've lived these five years without him."
Emily's mind travelled back to that rooftop as she had watched Batman being beaten repeatedly before she came out from her hiding place, risking her own life for his.
"You'll know without a doubt in your mind," she added.
The woman leaned forward and placed a hand on Emily's knee.
"Do you love him?"
If it had been anyone else than Mrs. Dubkov who regularly visited her at least once every month for the past two years, she would've kicked her out of the examination room. Emily had heard stories from the older woman on what her grandkids were up to and what plans for every holiday entailed. To some degree, she felt as though she already knew most of the woman's family and Emily had disclosed parts of her life to Ellie as well.
"That's the thing. I really don't know. You say that I would know without a doubt, but I think that I'm just afraid of taking that step and admitting it," she replied.
"One of my favourite authors, C.S. Lewis said that 'to love at all is to be vulnerable'. You've placed your heart in a box for so long that your own fear of having it broken is holding you captive. You need to discover if you can trust him with something as precious as your heart. Then you'll know."
The older woman smiled and shrugged "Get creative."
A knock on the examination room door caught both women by surprise. Emily smiled and quickly stood up and opened it,seeing Janie looking at her anxiously. The look on the woman's face made Emily's expression fall.
"Louise needs you," she said, softly. "There are some police officers in the waiting room."
Emily excused herself from Mrs. Dubkov as she went towards the waiting area, meeting Louise along the way.
"They're wanting to speak with whomever is in charge, and since Bill isn't here..."
Emily nodded, patting the woman on the back before pushing open the double doors into the waiting area. The waiting area was vacant except for Mrs. Dubkov who slowly made her way out. Most were probably frightened away by the group of officers invading their place of sanctuary or suspected they were involved in something criminal. She saw the small group of five officers, one of which was dressed in a simple coat and pants.
"Dr. Bill Dravis is the coordinator here but he isn't here. I'm Doctor Emily Tucker. Can I help you?"
The one with a coat and pants nodded as he adjusted his glasses. Emily recognized him, but she wasn't certain from where until he introduced himself.
"I'm Commissioner Gordon," he said, handing her an envelope. "I have a warrant here to search the premises."
Emily opened the envelope and looked inside, pulling out the document.
"On what charge."
"We have reason to believe that Dr. Dravis has been involved in a drug deal. We just need to gather any evidence that may be here."
Emily wasn't very surprised to see this happen. With a nod, she pushed open the double doors, allowing the officers behind Gordon to walk through.
"His office is the first one on the right," she told them as Gordon passed through and walked beside her.
"It's locked," one of the officers said.
This time she was surprised. His office was usually not locked. There wasn't anything of value in the room. Emily went back to Louise's desk and pulled out the master key. She handed it to the officer by the door. They opened the door.
"Sir, it's empty," the officer told Gordon.
Emily peeked over the officers seeing that the room had been cleared, except for the large desk and the filing cabinet. With a glove, Gordon opened the drawers, finding them empty as well.
"It wasn't like this when we left this morning," Louise commented. "Someone must have come in during the day and cleared it out."
"Dust for prints," Gordon said, allowing the other officers to walk in before approaching Emily in the hallway. He pulled out a small notepad.
"Do you know where Dr. Dravis is?"
Emily shook her head. "He didn't tell me. He asked me to take over his responsibilities here for the next two nights but he didn't say anything more than that. Have you checked at his home?"
Gordon nodded. "We've already been there. Does he have a cell phone number?"
Emily told him the digits as Gordon wrote them down and also asked for her number, so he could ask any other questions. He pulled out a small card and handed it to her.
"If you hear from him, give me a call," he told her.
Emily nodded as she placed the card in her pocket before Gordon re-entered the empty office.
Emily returned to Wayne Manor just as the sun was straining to peek through the clouds on the horizon. There was an anticipation for a morning rain at nearly any given moment. The smell was looming in the air. It was a fresh spring air that hung over the courtyard as the buds were growing larger and larger every day on the trees around the property. She walked up the dozen or so stairs to the front door, feeling incredibly small with the large home looking down at her.
She was about to knock on the door when a voice startled her from behind.
"I was starting to think that you weren't going to come back."
Bruce stood on the bottom step, and looked up at Emily. She appeared exhausted and she was still clad in her scrubs. Bruce didn't look much better. He looked up at her wearing a light blue t-shirt and jeans. His fingers had evidence of oil or dirt on them. Emily assumed he came from the garage as she pulled up. Emily slowly made her way down the steps.
"Why's that? Because we argued? It seems to be something we do well. But it doesn't mean that I wouldn't come back."
Bruce nodded. "I thought that maybe you would need more time to yourself."
She shook her head. "I stopped at my apartment before coming here. I realized something last night when I was at work. I can argue with you and not be afraid of what you'd say or whether you'd walk out on me. You mean more to me than I ever thought you possibly could and that scares the hell out of me. It has always just been me. I've only ever had to look out for myself."
"I can relate to that."
"But I don't want it to just be me."
Emily looked back at the Matrix in the driveway.
"So, I put the most if not all of my things in that little car," she said. "I think pretty much everything I own, minus my furniture is in there."
A smile erupted on Bruce's face as he looked at the Matrix with items up to the ceiling in the backseat and a pile of other things on the front seat.
"You seriously have everything crammed into that car?"
Emily winced. "Surprisingly so."
Emily took a deep breath and smiled, realizing that she was putting herself out to be disappointed. In her mind, she was putting out a piece of her heart. "So, I'm ready to make a step, if you are.
"What? You mean move in here?" Bruce asked.
Emily nodded, shifting in her place slightly. "Basically."
She watched as Bruce walked towards the car. He was in awe that this woman in his driveway had packed all of her things into the tiny car. Bruce opened the car door and saw Freddie peek his head out from beneath the seat.
"Yeah, about Freddie," Emily began. "I didn't know what to do with him, so I just tossed him into the car as well. I not sure if I was really thinking when I was doing this, but I'm thinking clearly now and you can't leave me like this without an answer."
Bruce closed the door and walked over to her.
"If you're not ready for this, I can just bring my stuff back into Gotham because this is..."
"Emily," Bruce said, interrupting her.
"I'm talking too much again, aren't I?"
He nodded. Just as he did, Bruce felt a rain drop hit him on the cheek.
And then once more.
The rain suddenly fell like a sheet over them, instantly drenching them from head to toe. Bruce began to jog towards the front step. To his surprise, Emily didn't move from where she stood.
"I'm not going inside until I get an answer," she called out.
Bruce laughed. "You're crazy!"
"Well, crazy loves company!" she exclaimed with a smile.
Shaking his head, Bruce made his way towards her in the rain. He noticed her shiver slightly as he approached her. Bruce gently pushed a wet strand of hair away from her face.
"You're amazing," he said softly. "And very stubborn. But those are just a few of the things that I just love about you."
"I love you."
Emily was speechless. If she had been crying, no one would've known with the amount of water that was pouring down over them.
In an instant, she wrapped her arms around him, hugging him.
"Come inside," he said softly, over her. "We can bring your things in later once the rain calms down."
"I guess that I don't have to go back to my landlord about taking back my two-week notice on my apartment," she said softly, as she walked towards the door with Bruce's arm around her waist.
Bruce stopped as they reached the top step by the door and turned to her, looking puzzled. "You already gave a two-week notice?"
Emily nodded as she ran her fingers over his wet hair. A smile erupted on Bruce's face as he leaned in to kiss her.