warning: Huge spoilers for the ending of The Dark Knight Rises.

note: Oh hey hi what's that? Self indulgent continuation fic of TDKR that doesn't even address anything of real importance (plot? what plot?)? Yeah, right here.

She doesn't go to his funeral.

She thinks about it, even carefully lays out the black clothing for it, but in the end she stays away and tries to convince herself that he hadn't mattered so much after all.

Selina is a thief, a liar, an actress; someone skilled at manipulation and getting what she wants. So was Batman. So was Bruce Wayne. And she would rather pretend that it was those self-same skills of his that'd gotten her to turn that motorcycle around, that'd gotten her to stay, because the alternative isn't something that she wants to think about.

She's not delusional, Selina knows she's no great hero; nine times out of ten she's always going to value her own skin over the lives of others, so for him to have expected more from her, for him to have even insinuated that he saw something more—

Her exhale is shaky and loud.

those things that we cannot steal

Selina stares at the blinking cursor, her fingers poised over the keys; just a few taps and she would be done. She would be free.


"Still fond of that necklace?"

There's that instinct there to turn, to run—fight or flight—but she recognizes the voice, even if she knows this should be impossible, that no one should be able to walk away from an explosion like that, and they'd buried him, and she'd seen the headstone in the rain, his name carved into the rock—

And there he is, the bastard.

She doesn't know how she finds it in herself, but she does: the coy arch of the eyebrow, a sardonic smile. "You said it yourself, Mr. Wayne: it looks far better on me than sitting in some musty safe."

They face each other in the dark, the Bat and the Cat, Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, except that part of her life is over, and he's supposed to be dead. So who are they now?

I guess we're both suckers.

"You look like hell."

And he does, back bared in the low light. There are half-healed bruises and scabbed-over cuts laid on top of old scars, and Selina wonders how many she's responsible for.

"Occupational hazard."

Her hands pause over a particularly nasty looking gash, cotton dripping antiseptic. "You're going back out there?"

"Slip of the tongue." There's a shrug and the subtle roll of muscle under skin, and then silence, but Selina isn't so easily deterred.

"You can't seriously be thinking about going back out there. It's done, Bruce. You've died for them, there is literally no more to g—"

The bottle of antiseptic clatters to the floor, his mouth is on hers, and she thinks briefly of cats and curiosity and multiple lives before she stops thinking at all.

This kiss is different from their second and their first; there's no ulterior motive, no rushed goodbyes. He's nearly lazy in the way he kisses her, lips slanting over hers again and again in a slow burn. Selina lets him have this, the gentleness even if it's not in her nature and all she wants is for his hands to move from her wrists and for him to go faster, harder. She lets him have this because a few inches away are the scars that she never meant to give him.

This isn't Batman. This isn't Mr. Wayne, playboy extraordinaire.

This is Bruce.

She is Selina.

He is a man kissing her like he's trying to prove a point to himself, and she is the woman that he saw something more in.

Bruce finally lets go of her wrists, but his hands only leave to cradle her face, the rough pads of his thumbs smoothing over her cheekbones. Selina doesn't think she's going to cry, not even close, but the sound she makes is soft, and she presses so close that there is only enough room between them for her hand spread flat over his wildly thrumming heart.

The bed in the remnants of her old apartment is narrow, and a cold wind blows in through the smashed windows. Selina compensates by moving closer to Bruce, and she can feel his arms tighten around her in return. His hands are hot, and the light circles his fingers trace over the bare skin of her back nearly lulls her to sleep.

Selina feels safe here, even with her back to the door and his body trapping hers. She thinks it's Bruce; he has a habit of making her feel safe even when she shouldn't.

"Why did you come back?"

His hands still against her back, and she takes satisfaction in catching him off guard for once.

"Would you rather I—"

She pulls back, just far enough so that she can look him in the eye as she gives her own a skyward roll. "Did it sound like I wanted you anywhere else?"

She takes pride in the smile that she manages to eke out of him too, a thief's pride in stealing something genuine and so rarely seen.

The answering smirk on her face is playful, and before it completely disappears he leans up and chases it away with another kiss.

"You were free. You could've gone anywhere you wanted."

His hands find their way into her hair, and he's still so close that she can feel the exhale of his sentence across her lips, "So were you. And you stayed."

Selina knows that he hadn't just meant after the bomb, and she's nearly angry at him again for his misplaced faith.

I am not noble. I am not selfless. I am not like you.

But she had stayed.

So she lets herself fall back against his chest, and even if she can't see his face, she knows she's won another one of his small smiles—another small victory.

"I guess we're—"

"—both suckers then." Bruce finishes the sentence and rolls her under him with a huff of laughter, and Selina barely has time to give him her own wide, wicked grin before he dips his head to her neck and the slow burn starts all over again

She's almost asleep when his voice wakes her, cutting through the quiet, "You weren't at my funeral."

Selina turns her head and presses her mouth to the base of his throat, tasting the salt there. She knows he can feel the curve of her lips, "Narcissist."

She waits a beat—just long enough for her to fully appreciate his indignant silence—before continuing: "And anyways, you're not dead. You're right here and you're alive."

And Selina knows that he'll understand all the things that she's not and never going to voice (how so, so glad she is that he's alive in spite of Bane and her mistakes and how so, so glad she is that he's here and alive with her), and that's enough. This right here is enough, his heart thudding under her palm.

"Yes," Bruce Wayne agrees, "I'm alive."


note: I've shipped Selina and Bruce even way before I ever got into comics proper (speaking of which...really, Nolan? What kind of name is Robin Blake? Who else expected him to say Dick Grayson or even Tim Drake?), and ahhhhhhhh this movie was so good to my ship. So, so good. Anne Hathaway in general was flawless, really.

There might be continuity mess-ups or just mess-ups in general, but I saw the movie on opening day and it's hard to remember some of the finer details of the ending (mostly because I was too busy crying over Alfred and raging-very quietly-about Dick). Anyways, I hope you enjoyed, and feedback is always appreciated.