Disclaimer: I own nothing. All characters belong to their respectful owners and so on and so forth.
This is my first real attempt at a fanfiction. I was moved by Bane and Talia's history together and wanted to flesh it out a bit myself... and there aren't really enough Bane/anything fics out there to satisfy me yet so this shall have to do. I'm open to any kind of feedback, as I do want to create a story which people can enjoy. There are likely to be spoilers throughout the story, so you should probably see the movie before reading it. In this first chapter, Talia is around 13/14 in age.
Letting out a frustrated sigh, a young Talia pulled the covers off of her body and got out of bed. Even though it was the end of a long day of training with her father, she couldn't seem to fall asleep. Her body was exhausted but her mind was too busy to allow her any rest. Not bothering to change out of her nightwear, Talia quietly ducked out of her bedroom to wander the halls of the Leagues' base. Closing her eyes in the darkness, she swiftly started towards the west wing of the building. She knew when she had arrived due to the flickering candle light dancing on the other side of her eyelids.
This wasn't the first time Talia's feet had carried her to this exact spot late at night. Other times when she wasn't able to sleep, she'd find herself here. Partially hidden behind one of the thick wooden pillars of the League of Shadow's current hideout, Talia peeked out curiously at the man who stood just beyond it in the center of the room, facing away from her in front of a punching bag.
Tonight, he was shirtless, the only clothes on his body were the loose black pants that hung low on his hips. His frame was large and bulky compared to all of the other men that she had seen in her life here. The thick muscles that rippled under his skin were proof of all of the hard work that he had put into his training since joining the league. Hers weren't nearly so big but that was just one of the many differences she learned were different between girls and boys. Scars twisted their way down his back and around his body, hardly a single piece of undamaged skin to be seen, yet she found nothing disgusting or deformed about it. Every one of those scars were given to him because of her.
Talia glanced down at her feet, remembering the image of him being pulled down by the many men who tried catching her. The first flash that she had ever seen of his full face before it was broken by the other inmates. Years later, as a teenager, she realized that he had been boyishly handsome. That had all changed. Gone was the boy who kept her under his watch, replaced by a man who had been broken and put back together just for her happiness.
Though he was just as fiercely protective of her as he had always been. After they had found him in the pit, bloodied and hardly stitched together by what little the prison doctor had. After she had to throw herself on top of him so her father wouldn't "put him out of his misery". She had made her father promise to put her protector back together. To bring him back to her.
So they had gone to doctors, REAL doctors, to put him back together. It was a slow, painful process though eventually with time and a ton of pain killers, life returned to his eyes. She was the first person he saw when he awoke and she promised him then that she wouldn't ever leave his side. Not until he was better.
His body had healed itself, slowly but surely. He was smaller than he used to be, his cheek bones more prominent and eyes slightly sunken. The pain killers were only slowing him down, keeping him from returning to his original state. So, she turned to her father yet again, begged him to make her friend healthy. That was when they were given his mask and the venom that came with it. The venom would make him stronger and completely block out the pain receptors in his body. Bane accepted it, as they didn't have any better options. Soon after, they were both taken in by the brotherhood. They had seen potential in the progress which Bane could make with the venom in his veins and watched to watch the changes.
Talia had watched as it transformed his body, even a small bit of his soul as well. He become bigger, faster, stronger, everything that he needed to be for her. His mind became sharper with the knowledge the brotherhood provided him with. The education that both of them lacked from being raised in hell. He had always been a fighter but the League honed his skills, making him deadlier than he had ever been with his small knowledge of street fighting.
Of course, during this time she had undergone a transformation of her own. She could move faster than she used to and was trained in the same fighting arts which the league taught Bane. Instead of the sloppy stabbing motions she used with a knife as a child, she learned grace and poise with the many weapons they gave her to use. Like Bane, she was given an education of the world. Science, language, history, math, art; She would learn about them all.
By her father's instance, she allowed her hair to grow out. There was no need for her to disguise herself as a boy any longer. At first, it had gotten in her way, always falling into her eyes during training but with time it grew long enough to braid back. At the moment, as she watched him, it was loose, fanning out in waves across her back.
Bane now kept his head shaved instead of the short brown hair that used to be there. When they were still in the pit, he would allow her to pull the top of his cowl down and run her curious fingers through his hair. It hadn't been nearly as soft as her own but she loved the light brown color that was so different from her own dark hair. She wasn't sure what had brought on that change in his appearance. 'Probably the mask,' she thought eyeing the contraption.
Each breath that he took in was ragged and broken, a harsh noise caused by the mask that he was forced to wear. Once, his breaths were quiet wisps against her skin only noticeable by the rises and falls of his chest as he held her when she was still just a child.
Talia watched as he beat the literal stuffing out of the punching bag, only stopping when it's insides spilled out onto the floor. Huffing with deep breaths, he paused for a moment to look down at the mess he had caused. With a audible sigh, he tore off his gloves and tossed them to the ground.
"Come out, little one" he spoke, head tilting back to where she was hiding. Biting her lower lip to stifle the gasp the almost escaped her mouth when Talia realized that she had been caught. Apparently all of her training in shadow walking wasn't enough to hide her from her friend.
"I'm not that little any more," she replied, a frown tugging at her lips . Sure, he dwarfed her in size, but she was taller than most of the girls who lived in the village near the base. Not hesitating for a moment when he turned to meet her gaze, Talia stepped out from the shadows of the pillar and into the moonlight where he stood. Most people found Bane to be frightening, but she couldn't ever see why. Not when his eyes grew soft whenever they gazed upon her. Not when his entire stature relaxed when they were alone together.
She could tell by the way his eyes laughed that he was grinning beneath the mask. "Not to most, but to me, you shall always be my little dove," Cringing at the silly nickname he had given to her when they were both younger, Talia allowed him to cup her cheek in his large palm. "Now tell me," He tilted her face up so her eye would meet his own "Why are you out of bed at such a late hour. I believe that your father had set a strict bedtime for you," She watched as one of his eyebrows raised in question.
"I couldn't sleep. I kept thinking of... stuff," She finished sorrily, not really wanting to discuss what was on her mind at the moment. She wondered if he would understand, as he always did, but it wasn't something that she felt like sharing with him right now. It was something she was told that ladies kept to themselves. It was... frustrating and messy. Something she was told that she'd would have to live with every now and then for the rest of her life. It was all very unpleasant to think about. Luckily, Bane didn't question her further on the matter, trusting that it wasn't something he needed to know. Instead, he reached up and ruffled the hair on top of her head into a mess, something he had taken to doing ever since she started growing it long. Laughing as she clawed at his massive hand, trying to remove it from the tangles he had caused, Bane backed away from her as soon as it was free.
"Would you like to spar?" There was nothing better she could think of doing that would ease her mind. Most men avoided having to go head to head with Bane, though she knew that fighting her proved a challenge for him. He had to control his punches, hold back the massive strength that he had from hurting her. Unlike with others, he couldn't use his finishing moves with her, in fear that he might accidently injure her. Usually in a sparring match with her, he'd try to end it as quickly as possible with a submission hold, which would force her to tap out. "No submissions though. I would like this to last more than just a few minutes," She paused, smiling deviously "unless you don't think that you can handle that right now," she smirked at the challenge that rose in his eyes.
"If that is what you wish than," Bane gestured towards the sparring mats set up in the room, "Let us,"
He allowed her to make the first move before countering and throwing his own controlled punches. She was quick with her blocks, moving around his fists as quickly as she could. When they rotated defense, she allowed him to practice a series of blocks as she threw her punches at him. While with him, she wouldn't have to hold back her strength in worrying about hurting him, she was still gentler than she was with her regular sparring partners. Even if he couldn't feel the pain, she didn't want to hurt him. She was swift with her jabs, reaching through his arms towards his chest and retreating before he had time to catch her.
If she was fighting anyone but him, she knew that she'd have a chance at out lasting her opponent. Her stamina was impressive for someone her age, though as it was Bane couldn't even feel the exhaustion in his muscles. With the venom, there was nothing to slow him down in a fight besides his own will. Talia started to see that the fight was going no where. Apparently, so did Bane.
Even though she had specified that he wasn't allowed to put her in a submission hold, she found herself laying on her back on the mat with him on top of her, twisting her arm into a painful angle. Growling at his cheating, she bucked and kicked, knowing that it would hardly throw him off. Taking a deep breath in as he pressed more weight down on her arm, she went limp at the tingling feeling of pain. "You give up then?" he spoke above her, making the mistake of loosening his grip just enough for her to slide out of it. Before he could realize what happened, she slipped out half way from under him, head butting him with all of the force she could muster to knock him back a little.
"Cheater!" she scowled, moving around his back before wrapping an arm around his neck to lock him into a hold. She growled when she felt the low rumbling of his laugh against her chest.
"I never agreed to your terms," He spoke before standing up to his full height. Her feet dangled above the ground though she kept her hold, trying to squeeze a bit tighter. She realized a moment too late what he was going to counter with. Before she knew it, he reached back over his head, grasping onto the material of her shirt before doubling over in a arch, effectively throwing her over his own shoulders and roughly onto the mat below them.
The air was knocked out of her lungs, leaving her coughing on the mat. Her back ached slightly from the slam, though as soon as she could gather what exactly had happened, she felt the sensation of being lifted up. Grumbling out a quick no in protest, Talia tried squirming her way out of Bane's arms as he carried her. "That was a lame excuse," she almost pouted, crossing her arms over her chest as he continued his way down the dark hallway towards her bedroom.
"Do not take on an opponent who you know you can not defeat," he replied, glancing down at her as he walked. She scowled, he would rather have her run?
"You wouldn't flee from an opponent you couldn't defeat," she replied, staring up at him.
"Sometimes, you can not afford to flee. Sometimes, you have to stand up and fight no matter what the cost," Her eyes lowered when she felt him stare down at her. The burning feeling of guilt rose in her chest as she remembered back to her climb of the wall. He hadn't allowed anyone to get past him to her, even as they tore at his body, not a single man would be able to climb after her. She had been the one to flee that time. If Bane had it his way, she would always be the one to get away safe.
Letting the thought set in her mind, Bane quietly opened the door to her bedroom without dropping her before setting her down on her bed.
"Settle your mind and go to sleep now, little dove. Your father will expect you awake early," He spoke, moving away from the bed. Before he could get too far away, Talia sat up and grasped his hand.
"Bane," she spoke, her other hand finding his shirt and tugging him down to her own level. "Good night," she whispered, pressing her lips against his temple in a quick peck.
"Good night, Talia" He responded by pressing his forehead against her own for a moment before leaving the room without another word.
She could hear him enter his own room across from her doorway, listening as he settled into his own bed. If she listened closely, she could even hear his soft breathing as he fell to sleep.
Staring up at the ceiling of her bedroom, Talia's mind wandered off again though this time on a different subject.
If he couldn't be by her side in the face of danger, he wanted her to run. Talia wanted to be strong. She didn't want to have to flee. She wanted to be able to stand up to any opponent, to stand with him. By the end, she would show him that she could fight with him on even ground.
With such a thought, Talia closed her eyes and fell asleep. Her watchful protector hovering near should she ever need him.
A/N: Well, that's the end of the first chapter. I suppose that I could make it a one shot if it doesn't get enough interest, but I'm happy with how it's turned out so far! Talia's still very young in this chapter, so any physical contact was meant to be innocent. If anything naughty is to happen, it will be later in her life. The timeline that I have for the story so far has seven chapters in it, which I already have plotted out. Anyways, thank you for reading!