Fandom: Batman Nolanverse
Story Title: "A Fever in My Heart"
Summary: He doesn't invite her, doesn't even really imply that she's to be a part of that life. But Selina knows what it's like to lose him, and like hell is he getting away from her that easily. The only person that is allowed to leave after this is her.
Character/Relationship(s): Bruce Wayne/Selina Kyle
Story Word Count: 1200+
Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
Notes: Ugggggh just some word vomit of feelings after this movie. I needed to get this out before I read any other Nolanverse Batman/Catwoman stories, so yeah. Please review and enjoy.
A Fever in My Heart
Her heels clack against the tile floor, echoing off the walls.
The whole place is pristine, empty, sunlight streaming through the cracks in the curtains. Wayne Manor reminds her of the shrines that her mother used to pray in, of the statue of saints that she used to stare up and pray at.
She isn't sure which one. Maybe St. Nicholas, her patron saint, the guy that thieves and prostitutes and the other dregs off the street could pray to. Or maybe even St. Jude, the saint of lost causes. Yeah, that one fits better. Just like Gotham, the Batman was a lost cause, something that was finished before it had even begun.
The taste of Bruce Wayne, of Batman, had lingered in Selina's mouth. Dirt and rubble and sweat and something indescribable, something so him, that had been what he had tasted like.
But now he was gone, exploded over the ocean. The ashes of his bones had been the price to keep Gotham alive and breathing another day. One day, Gotham would raze itself and his sacrifice would be for nothing. Thinking about that wouldn't help anything. For now the day iss saved and everything is as it should be.
All she knows was that she would be out of here before the day of reckoning came. Maybe Gotham would somehow manage to rise from the flames again—but she wouldn't be sticking around to find out.
The more that Selina walks the halls of Wayne Manor, the more mournful the place seems to be. She had always imagined living in a mansion like this—a big, winding staircase that she could walk gracefully down, marble floors with running silver veins, a chandelier that glimmers even in dim light—but she had never thought about the way that silence echos.
Because it does echo here. As far as she knows she is the first person to be in Wayne Manor since the city was saved, so it is seemingly how Bruce left it. The furniture was covered, everything coated in a fine layer of dust, old newspapers in the corner of the living rooms.
She's just about to go through the house one last time—for what she doesn't know—when she can feels someone else's presence in the room. It's always their breathing that gives them away, at least in her experience. Anyone can walk silently but everyone has to breathe.
Selina has no idea who could possibly be in here with her, so she calls, "Come out, come out, wherever you are," not expecting a verbal response.
"I can call the police on you, you know," a familiar voice informs her, making the hair on the back of her neck stand up. "For trespassing." She whips around to see Bruce Goddamn Wayne himself, half smiling at her. He looks awful, like he was wrung out so many times that all of the juice got let out of him, leaving behind a dirty rag. His face is black and blue, only pieces of his Batman costume are on his body, and she can practically smell the ocean on him from where she's standing across the room.
But the sight of him still makes her heart constrict for one second, before swelling. She almost wants to rush over to him to touch him, just once, to make sure that this isn't just a hallucination, an unfulfilled wish. A dream.
But Selina doesn't have dreams anymore. They are too fragile, too easily snatched away and destroyed. The only things worth wanting are the things within reach. So she knows that Bruce is really right in front of her, and she knows that she would never, ever rush over to him like a girl in love.
"You could, but you won't. Dead men don't call the cops."
"Who said I was dead?" He's still smiling at her but after a moment he winces, and grabs onto the nearest flat surface that he can find, which happens to be a mahogany end table. Bruce tries to smile at her again, but she can see the strain this time.
"I saw you, you bastard. We all saw you. The bomb blew and there was a mushroom cloud and you were dead."
"Did you know that the Bat could glide in the air for ten miles, because I didn't."
He thinks this is funny. He so obviously thinks that this is amusing that Selina would slap him if he didn't look like he was seconds from dying. In fact, she still might. "So, what, you jumped out of your ridiculously shaped plane and then swam to shore for safety? Is that what you're telling me?"
"Something like that," Bruce tells her before hobbling over to where she's standing. She was right in her assumption that he would smell, but for some reason she's willing to ignore that. "I'm glad you're here and I didn't have to go looking for you," he says before kissing her.
He's hesitant at first, his lips gentle, but that's not how she wants this. So she throws her arms around his neck and pulls him tighter, feeling every line of his broken body on hers. He tastes like salt and grime and exhaustion, but mostly he just tastes like him.
It's sad that she's already used to that.
When she finally pulls away, her lips swollen, she manages to ask, "Now what? The Batman is dead. We all saw him die."
Bruce nods. "Batman's dead. I never meant for it to be permanent, I..." he pauses. "I always meant to have a life beyond that. And now I can."
He doesn't invite her, doesn't even really imply that she's to be a part of that life. But Selina knows what it's like to lose him, and like hell is he getting away from her that easily. The only person that is allowed to leave after this is her.
"Where are you going to go? It's not like you have any money."
"My paranoia knows no bounds. I've still got another account with enough money to live for the rest of my life. And I'm assuming that you've got some money saved up..."
The space that should take up the rest of his sentence is her invitation, she knows. He's not going to ask her, not going to assume that she needs to be asked.
"Don't think that you're going to be mooching off me," she says and he smiles again. She's never seen him look this happy (not that he had any time to actually be happy), the weight of the Bat—and possibly the whole of Gotham—off his shoulders. "But yes, I do."
With the clean slate she will be able to go everywhere, no problems, no one hunting for her. The dictionary that she calls her file will finally, finally be emptied. And then they can go wherever they want.
"Great. I have a cafe in Florence that I know I want to visit, but you can have first dibs."
They have a lot of time between that, she knows. He needs to heal and she needs to clear her name, but. The idea of a future with this man, away from Gotham, is the best thing that she could ever want. For once leaving here isn't a dream. It's finally within her reach.