A/N- Thank you to everyone who gave me such awesome feedback for my Bruce/Selina "Choice" story- you really encouraged me to return to this fandom. I'm so glad the movie ended the way it did. It left plenty of unanswered questions, but in the best possible way. This is my attempt to fill in the blanks…
Then I see your face
I know I'm finally yours
I find everything
I thought I lost before
You call my name
I come to you in pieces
So you can make me whole
She stripped off her mask the moment she crossed the threshold of her apartment, casting it aside and walking towards her vanity. Her eyes were still burning with tears, the memory of his mouth hard against hers was still tingling on her lips, but she couldn't think about any of that now. She would never know if Bruce's sacrifice for Gotham had been worth it, because she was getting the hell out of here as fast as she could.
Selina opened her laptop, plugging the flash drive he had given her into the USB port. With this tiny little flash drive bearing the Wayne Industries logo, he had given her the second chance she'd always wanted. And he had given it to her before she'd even held up her part of the deal by clearing the tunnel. He'd had faith in her, seen something in her that was worth trusting, and his belief had pulled her back to save him. She couldn't leave him.
So he'd left her instead, in the most final way possible. And he'd been so damn noble about it she couldn't even hate him. Selina impatiently wiped the tears off her cheeks, her no-frills laptop humming with effort as it booted up the massive Clean Slate program. After a moment, a white text box appeared on a black screen, with a cursor blinking expectantly, waiting for a name and date of birth.
It seemed impossible that something like this could really work, but she had to try. Bruce had said it would work, and he'd never failed her before. Taking a deep breath, Selina typed her first and last name and her date of birth, hitting enter. The screen began scrolling and deleting countless images of her, police reports, mug shots, newspaper articles decrying the crimes of "The Cat", court transcripts, receipts, credit card information, even the birth certificate where her charming mother had put a question mark on the line reserved for her father's name. She was being wiped off the face of the earth, and it only took a matter of minutes. When it was over, the screen returned to black, and the little white text box returned to her screen, the cursor blinking again. It was done.
She spared no time to dwell on the enormity of what she had just done, pulling open her jewelry drawer and emptying its contents before taking out the false bottom to withdraw her emergency stash, a simple white envelope stuffed with a fake passport and driver's license in front of a nice fat clip of hundreds. Enough to get her out of Gotham for now. Now she just needed to change her clothes, maybe throw on a blond wig, and catch the next flight out of here.
Selina went to pull the flash drive out of her computer and pack up her computer, but before she could—
"Bruce Wayne. February 19, 1977."
She whipped around at the sound, drawing her handgun from her belt in one smooth, silent motion and aiming it at the source of the voice in the darkened corner of her bedroom. With a slight grunting noise of effort, a dark figure reached up, turning on her bedside lamp to illuminate his bruised and bloody features. She let out a stunned sound of disbelief, staggering back a few steps. It was really him. He was still wearing the Batsuit, but had taken off the mask.
"If it's not too much trouble." He was smiling. The son of a bitch was smiling, like this was all some big joke.
"What the hell…" she sputtered— "I…I watched you die."
"I'm sorry. I wanted to tell you the truth, but there was no time."
"And what's the truth?" Her voice was shaking. She was still pointing the gun at his face, but with lessening conviction.
"I fixed the autopilot. Lucius didn't know. I had to let Gotham believe that Batman died in that explosion."
"Why?" She demanded.
"So I could start over." He heaved himself up to a sitting position, clutching his side but never looking away from her. "With you, if your offer's still good."
"Yes. You asked me…" he took a deep breath, his grip tightening on his side, "You asked me to leave with you. My answer is yes."
She replaced her gun in its holster, giving him a short humorless laugh. "Wow, Bruce. Lucky me. I mean, you really know how to flatter a girl. Let's see. You turn me down cold the first time. You let me think you're dead. And now…you want to run away together? What's the thought process here? Your last girlfriend turned out to be a murderous psychopath, so me lifting a few diamond necklaces here and there suddenly doesn't seem so bad?"
"She has nothing to do with this." He shook his head, his eyes still dark with humiliated anger at the mention of Talia. He looked back up to Selina. "I want you."
Selina swallowed hard, running a hand through her hair, trying to process everything that was happening. "I…I mean, what exactly are you asking? We leave together, and then what?"
"I don't know," he said honestly. "I just know that wherever I go next, I want it to be with you."
Her eyes softened slightly at this sentiment, but she tried to keep her expression impassive as she looked him over. "You're a mess. How are we supposed to split town when you can barely walk?"
"I'm fine." He waved his hand, trying to play off his injuries as he stood up before instantly crumpling against the wall with a cry of agony.
She caught him before he fell, hauling him up and helping him back to the bed, giving him a look. "You're not fine. How did you even get to my apartment like this?"
"Very slowly." He rubbed his forehead, clutching his side again and cursing under his breath. "I think something's broken."
"Probably many things." Selina sighed. "You need to go to a hospital."
"No. No." Bruce looked up at her desperately. "We have to get out of Gotham. Now."
"Honey. Get real. You won't make the trip."
"You'll have to help me." He nodded his head towards a duffel bag beside her bed. "Look inside."
She set him gently back against the pillows of her bed before leaning down to unzip the duffel bag. There were countless neat stacks of bound hundred dollar bills stuffed inside, along with a change of clothes and the fake passport he'd used to get back into the country.
"Two million in cash." Bruce said wearily. "I...uh, liquidated some assets before I came back to Gotham. Not much, but enough for us to disappear."
"Yeah, I should say so." She looked back up to him with wide eyes. "What, you just left this here?"
"I wanted you to have it. If I didn't make it…I wanted you to get your fresh start."
Selina looked at him for a long moment, shaking her head in disbelief. "Why are you so nice to me?"
"I should be asking you the same question. You're the one who saved my life."
She reached out, her hand on his cheek. "You saved all of us."
He shrugged with a small smile. "It was nothing."
"Yeah, right." She leaned forward, kissing his bruised cheek gently. "Looks like it was a walk in the park."
"Let's get out of here." He breathed out.
Selina nodded, getting up to grab her laptop and bring it back over to the bed, Bruce reaching out to absently brush her hair behind her ear as she typed his name into the Clean Slate program.
"What was your birthday again?"
"February 19, 1977."
She entered the date, and hit enter with a flourish. They both watched as every mention of Bruce Wayne—tax statements, Forbes power lists, college transcripts, even the many newspaper articles decrying his parent's deaths—all erased. When the screen went black again, Bruce looked even more exhausted, letting out a long breath.
Selina patted his leg. "Congratulations, Mr. Wayne. You no longer exist."
He just nodded, starting to ease the breastplate of the Batsuit off of his shoulders. "Could you give me a hand?"
"Undressing you? Oh, fine, twist my arm." She smiled, helping him out of the suit, Bruce wincing when she uncovered the still-bleeding stab wound in his side.
"Bruce…" Selina's face fell with concern, gingerly prodding the wound. "We really should get you to a doctor—"
"You have a first aid kit?"
"If we can just stop the bleeding, I'll be fine."
She shook her head, helping him bandage the wound, clean up his face and change into his civilian clothes before walking over to her closet, stripping off her catsuit and looking over her shoulder to see Bruce politely looking away. Selina rolled her eyes. "Who says chivalry is dead?" she muttered under her breath, grabbing a white button up shirt and black skirt, stepping into bright red heels and getting dressed before throwing a few changes of clothes, his duffel bag, her envelope of fake IDs and money, and some bathroom essentials into a suitcase.
"You ready to give this another try?" She zipped up the suitcase, picking it up before walking back over to him.
"Yes. Just…go slow, okay?" Bruce put an arm over her thin shoulders, breathing hard as she helped him to his feet.
"Tell me if you need to rest." Selina said, her voice surprisingly gentle as they made their way slowly to the door.
"Is everything all right, ma'am?" The valet carrying their bags looked over his shoulder to see the new arrivals making very slow progress down the first class passage of the ship, the man leaning heavily against his female companion, his eyes unfocused and his forehead shining with sweat.
"Oh, yes. My husband's just had a little too much to drink." Selina laughed airily. "Started the vacation a bit early, you know."
"Of course, ma'am." The valet let them into their suite. "You just let me know if you need anything. You or your husband."
"Thanks so much." Selina smiled charmingly, pressing a tip into his hand and keeping the smile frozen on her face until he left the room and closed the door behind him. As soon as they were alone, Bruce let out a long-repressed groan of pain, staggering over to the bed and collapsing.
She sat down beside him, stroking the hair back off his forehead, her face falling with worry. Their long journey from Gotham to an upstate port town had taken its toll, and Bruce seemed to be growing weaker with each new moment, bleeding through heavy bandages and seeming to drift in and out of consciousness without warning. When he felt her hand against his forehead, Bruce gripped her arm tightly, trying to breathe through the pain, Selina speaking softly. "I know, honey, I know. You did really well. Just breathe. We're safe now. No one can find us."
"I think…it may be time…to call the doctor." Bruce mumbled, his face pressed against her skirt. "Can you…think of some…kind of story?"
"Please." She rolled her eyes, reaching over him and picking up the phone in their room, pressing the emergency button. "Hello. My name is Sarah Peters. Yes, in Suite 2B. It seems my husband Daniel was acquainting himself with the mini-bar while I unpacked our things, and he's had a bit of a tumble. Broken glass everywhere, the poor dear. I wouldn't normally bother you, but there's a fair bit of blood…yes. 2B. Oh, thank you. I'm more embarrassed than anything…all right. Thank you again."
She hung up the phone, crossing the room with her usual cool efficiency to open the mini bar and unscrew the top of a small bottle of vodka before crossing back to Bruce and giving it a generous sip. "That should help some." She took the bottle to the bathroom, breaking it against the marble counter and stepping back to examine the broken pieces covering the tile floor. She shrugged. Convincing enough.
"Be careful." Bruce tried to sit up.
"I'm fine." She assured him. "You're the one who slipped and fell. Never could hold your liquor." She sat back down beside him on the bed. "The doctor's on his way."
"Thank you, Selina." Bruce breathed out, his skin dangerously pale as he tried to catch his breath.
"It's Mrs. Peters, dear." She reminded him, watching his face contort with pain when he attempted to shift around to look at her. Selina stopped him, her hand on his chest. "Just stay still. I'll help you. What can I do?"
"Just…just stay here with me." He reached out, gripping her hand tightly, trying to breathe through a fresh wave of pain.
"I'm here," she assured him, the pressure of his grip oddly comforting. It was nice to be needed.
Wherever I go next, I want it to be with you.
She remembered his words, suddenly overwhelmed with such a strong surge of affection for him that it scared her. She had to be careful. He had been so out of it the last few days that she didn't even know if he was fully aware of what was happening. Maybe he didn't even remember what he said that night in her apartment—he certainly hadn't said anything like it since.
Maybe it would be better for them both if she just tried to forget it too.
"Hey—I'm home! And I come bearing groceries." Selina called as she walked into their flat in London, her arms laden down with Tesco bags as she closed and locked the door behind her.
"I'm outside." Bruce called back from the open door leading out to the balcony.
"I'll be right there."
It was their second month in London, and they had been staying there mostly because it was where the ship had docked and Bruce hadn't really been in any state to keep roaming around the country. During the journey over, Selina had convinced the ship doctor that her husband's many injuries resorted from his association with "the wrong kind of people" and had given many strongly worded hints that she meant the mob and he really shouldn't ask any more questions about it. The doctor had seemed reasonably intimidated, and treated Bruce's three broken ribs and stab wound without further comment, and had even outfitted him with a brace for his still-mangled back. The treatment and brace helped considerably, but Bruce, despite his best efforts, still seemed to grow tired easily and slept most days. Selina had taken the opportunity to explore London, and had found herself absolutely enamored. Before this, she'd seldom ever even left Gotham, and being in a foreign country as Mrs. Daniel Peters was proving to be a very welcome change of pace, even if Mr. Daniel Peters was not proving to be the most laugh-a-minute travel companion.
Selina put away the groceries, feeling an odd domestic thrill at the thought that she was outfitting their home. She'd never shared a space with anyone before, never even bothered with a relationship, never come home to anyone. Until now.
Stop it. She commanded herself, shaking her head. He needed someone to help him get out of the country. He probably just feels stuck with me now.
Men had always treated her like shit. It was just a depressingly reliable fact of her existence. She refused to get her hopes up about whatever was happening with her and Bruce, only to have him let her down.
And she had no reason to think he was any different than the other assholes she'd encountered. She remembered growing up and reading about him in the newspapers. Bruce Wayne famously had a different gorgeous girl on his arm each time he was photographed. Women seemed entirely disposable to him, just as they were to most men, and Selina was waiting for the moment he'd regain his strength, grow tired of her and move on to some European model.
Not like she'd care, Selina reminded herself. She was a master of staying unattached, counting on no one but herself. It was much easier that way. She was always prepared to leave any situation at a moment's notice. Even now, though it gave her a small twinge of guilt every time she thought of it, she had squirreled away enough of Bruce's money under a floorboard that she could disappear with no problem if he kicked her out. And she would have no guilt about robbing him, she assured herself—he deserved what he got for shacking up with a thief.
Selina finished unpacking the groceries, feeling much less friendly towards him than she had when she'd first gotten home. What had she been thinking? Playing wifey to Bruce Wayne? Talk about an exercise in futility.
She walked out on the balcony, finding him reading a book, a light London rain starting to fall outside. He was wearing a t-shirt and sweatpants with a blanket over his legs, attractive scruff turning more and more into a full mountain man beard with each passing day. Selina crossed her arms over her chest, grinning.
"You look like a little old man."
Bruce closed his book, looking up at her with a calm, almost peaceful smile. "You look beautiful."
Selina felt her cheeks flush red, glancing down at her jeans and black turtleneck. "Oh, please. You've just been cooped up in here for too long. Forgotten what actual beautiful women look like."
Bruce just stared at her, seemingly undeterred by her inability to take a compliment. "The first time I saw you, you didn't even look real. I thought I'd finally lost it…just made you up."
Selina raised an eyebrow. "Have you been mixing medications?"
"No. I finally feel like myself, actually. And I've been thinking about you. A lot." He patted the seat next to him. "Sit down."
She swallowed hard, perching on the very edge of the chair as if she might take flight at any moment, refusing to fully commit to this kind of conversation. "So you're feeling better?"
"Yes. I went for a walk while you were gone. Got my blood flowing." He took a deep breath. "And I feel like I'm finally thinking clearly. Finally able to focus on something other than the pain." He reached out, his hand over hers. "You know, I never really thanked you for everything."
"You don't have to thank me." Selina said quietly, watching with slowly dawning fear as his hand tightened over hers and he leaned towards her, Selina frozen, every nerve in her body electric with anticipation as he brushed his lips against hers. She pulled away almost immediately, shaking her head. "Don't. Don't…do that. You don't owe me anything, Bruce."
His cheeks flushed red with embarrassment. "I know that. I didn't do it because I feel like I owe you—"
"Good." She got back up to her feet. "Because I don't want anything from you."
"Selina, come on. You don't have to do this."
"Do what?" she practically snarled.
Bruce sighed, setting everything aside, getting to his feet and seizing her arms with one sudden motion. Selina's eyes widened with surprise. Once you've helped someone limp to the bathroom in the middle of the night, it's a little hard to see them as a physically intimidating presence anymore, but suddenly he wasn't Bruce Wayne the invalid. He looked enormous, towering over her, his hazel eyes dark with anger and…something else. Something that made her feel shaky and hot, and definitely something that made her want to run away as fast as possible before she made a huge mistake.
"Look at me." he commanded. "I told you that night in your apartment that I want you, and I meant it. I wanted you from the first moment I saw you. I've never felt this way about anyone."
"Stop—" she shook her head, her eyes filling with tears. "Please, stop."
"And maybe it would be easier if we just went our separate ways, forget any of this ever happened. But I don't want to." He looked over her face, taking a deep breath. "I would never do anything to hurt you. All I've ever wanted is to take care of you."
She rolled her eyes, trying to pull away from him, like a wild animal caught in a trap. "I don't need anyone to take care of me—"
"Of course you do. Everyone does. I do."
"No." Selina shook her head. "You'll get tired of me, just like everyone else."
"That could never happen."
"How do you know?"
"Because the only thing I couldn't stand to leave behind in Gotham was you. None of the rest of it mattered. If I was starting over, I knew it had to be with you."
"Why? Because I was convenient?"
"Selina. There's nothing convenient about you." Bruce laughed. "There never has been. The first two times I saw you, you robbed me."
"Oh, come on." The slightest ghost of a smile crossed her lips. "No permanent damage done."
"You used my fingerprints to bankrupt me."
"That's just how I say I care."
He grinned. "Then I don't know if I can survive you caring about me."
"You look pretty healthy to me." She leaned her head back slightly to look up at him. "Finally."
"You tired of living with a cripple?" Bruce smiled.
"I didn't say that." She rested her hands on his waist. "I am relieved you haven't resorted to the cane again though."
"Me too. Seems like it would really get in the way." He pulled her towards him, kissing her hard, Selina's hands sliding up over his shoulders as she kissed him back. There was slow, deep steadiness in the way he kissed her, and with his arms wrapped around her, she felt safe, hidden from the rest of the world, suddenly wanting to just disappear inside of this forever, never bother with the rest of the world again…
When they finally broke apart a long while later, she smiled up at him, cleaning her red lipstick off of his mouth with her thumb. She hadn't bothered with smudge-proof that morning. She hadn't known she'd encounter such a good reason to have it smudged. They looked at each other for a long moment, both secretly wanting more, but sharing the nerve-wracking moment after a kiss where you have to discern if the other person wants more too. It had started to rain harder outside, and some of the rain was splashing onto their covered balcony. Bruce seized the excuse.
"Do you want to…go inside? Get out of the rain?"
She nodded, fully understanding his meaning. "Oh, hell yes."
They kissed again, stumbling backwards towards the apartment, pulling off each other's clothes before they were even fully inside, Selina kicking the door to the outside closed with her black high-heeled shoe. They finally made their way to Bruce's bedroom, Selina still wearing only her underwear and high heels, Bruce rather embarrassingly struggling with the straps of his back brace.
"This thing's like a damn strait jacket…" Bruce grunted, seeming to resort to trying to rip it off instead. "It has never taken this long, I swear…"
"Don't hear that one much from the boys." Selina grinned.
"Seriously, I've almost got it…"
Selina shook her head, taking off her bra, watching his struggle with the bulky brace. "Oh, no, baby. Leave it on."
"You really don't mind?" Bruce looked up at her.
"I'm kinky like that." She shrugged, kicking off her shoes and wrapping her arms around his neck, kissing him as they fell back on his bed together. After they made out for a moment longer, Selina broke away with a sigh.
"What?" Bruce asked nervously.
"Yeah, this thing's gotta go." She reached around to the back of his brace. "Velcro and nakedness don't really seem to be working for me."
"I'm sorry," he blushed furiously, helping her as they both finally got it off, Bruce laughing as she let out a little cheer before he kissed her again, finally nothing between them, medical-issue or otherwise. They were both still smiling as they kissed, Selina seemingly unable to stop laughing until they were finally in the right position and she suddenly felt him inside her. Her breath caught in her throat, her hand tightening at the back of his neck as she looked up at him, her brown eyes wide.
"What's wrong?" he asked, hoping he hadn't done something wrong.
"N-Nothing. Nothing's wrong." She shook her head, her smile returning. "You just tell me if you need a stretch break, old man."
"Shut up." They kissed again, and she let out a throaty groan of approval against his mouth when he thrust into her, Selina pulling him with her as she leaned back on one elbow to arch her hips against his, their bodies fitting and moving together perfectly, like they should have been doing this all along. She seemed to really know what she was doing, keeping her hand on his shoulder and directing him with her lips pressed against his ear and the circling of her hips to move at a slow, almost rolling pace that was making Bruce dizzyingly light-headed and almost sick with pleasure. As they started to near the end, Selina urged him on, moaning louder than any girl he'd ever been with, then saying things into his ear that made Bruce feel like he was ten feet tall and unstoppable, no longer a weak, sickly patient, but a man again, and a man who was making her lose her mind, Selina completely unbothered by their paper-thin walls or the shouted complaint from their neighbor—"Oh, come off it! It's the middle of the day!"—followed by a muttered "Fucking American tourists…" The neighbor's displeasure seemed to only heighten hers, and Bruce followed her lead, not holding back for once, the pain in his back ignored at first then finally forgotten as he buried his face in the soft, sweet-smelling skin of her neck, groaning out her name only to have their neighbor start to pound on the wall with the blunt end of a broomstick—"Oi, you two!", Bruce just smiling and deciding that this was definitely worth getting kicked out of the building, if it came to that.
He started to move harder and faster against her, Selina wrapping her legs more tightly around him as the slick skin over their shared heartbeats and tangled limbs seemed to pulse with an almost unbearable heat, and suddenly, she climaxed with a blinding rush that caused her to let out the kind of cry that could only be attributed to immense pleasure or searing pain, her red nails digging into his back, Bruce letting out a guttural, undignified sound against her shoulder when he followed after her. They collapsed against each other afterwards, breathing hard, feeling like they had just survived some kind of natural disaster. A really, really fun natural disaster.
"Selina…" he spoke first, his voice hoarse and rough, rolling onto his back beside her, "I've never…not with anyone…not like that."
She looked over at him, sitting up slightly and twisting her sweaty dark hair off her neck as her lips spread into a playful grin. "I don't know. You were okay."
Bruce shook his head with a sleepy smile, running his hand along the curve of her stomach. "Nothing special?"
"Okay, fine. Maybe a little special. Our neighbor definitely just called the police, so we must be doing something right."
"You really think he called the cops?" The good-little-prep-schooler in Bruce was momentarily horrified.
"Do you care?" Selina shrugged, seemingly amused by his latent people-pleasing tendencies.
"No, no. Of course not. I've just never been arrested for…uh…."
"Yeah. Why, have you?"
"No, of course not." She climbed to her feet, stretching. "Not real ones, anyway."
"I never know if you're joking." Bruce crossed his hands behind his head, decadently looking over her naked body.
"And, honey, you never will." She grabbed a silk bathrobe, throwing it over her thin shoulders. "I'm going to take a shower. Let me know if you need any help with the cops."
"I think I can handle them."
"Take it easy, killer." She looked over her shoulder at him, winking. "We can't have you throwing out your back now. You've had quite a day, and it's only noon."
"You know, I think I could really get used to early retirement." He called after her, receiving no answer but the sound of the shower being turned on. Bruce let out a long breath, shaking his head with bemusement. Apparently Selina wasn't much for holding each other after.
A/N- Until Chapter Two! Coming up— sex changes everything, and Bruce and Selina get mugged by a very unlucky criminal…thanks for reading! I love reviews.