She watches as he flies away, and she can still feel his lips on hers, the desperate way he clung to her for that precious moment. When he wasn't Batman and she wasn't the Cat. They were Bruce and Selina. Then he broke the kiss and got in the Bat. He did what was right, he saved everyone.
"Bruce Wayne," Gordon breathes as he flies away.
Selina keeps watching. She can't look away as he flies over the bay. In that moment, she wants to be in a movie, when the bomb doesn't go off, where it's deactivated and everyone gets to live happily ever after. But life isn't a movie, so the bomb goes off. She still waits, for him to fly out of the mushroom cloud, to come down and kiss her, sweep her off her feet. But that moment doesn't come and she's left staring at the cloud.
They're all dumbstruck. It was inconceivable that he was dead. He was Batman, nothing could defeat him.
Unable to take it anymore, she gets back on his bike and drives away. The streets are quiet, eerily so. It's as if they don't know if they should celebrate their freedom or mourn the loss of their hero. The pain in her chest flares at the thought that while the city will mourn Batman, only a few will mourn the loss of Bruce Wayne.
She wishes it was raining. That's all she can think as the day of his funeral arrives. She hadn't expected to be invited, but it came in the mail, a thick cream coloured card announcing the small private "burial" for Bruce Wayne. She debates going, but she knows she couldn't not go. So she dons her dress, expertly applies her makeup, all the while wishing the skies were crying at the loss of Bruce.
She takes a cab to Wayne Manor, and she almost smiles at the look the cabbie gives her when she tells him her destination. It's well known that few are welcome there. But when she arrives, there's Alfred waiting for her.
He wordlessly helps her out of the cab and leads her to the burial site.
"You were with him, before he left?" he asks.
"I was," she whispers, her voice just as broken as his.
"Good." he says.
When they get there, she almost breaks down. The only other person there is Gordon. There, carved into stone in his name. She wants to break down, to cry and rage at the injustice of it all. He was good. He didn't deserve to die. He gave her hope for the first time. He was the one man she thought she could have one day given her heart.
Instead she stands there as they recite words. When she woke up that morning, she thought that no one could feel the hurt she felt, no one hurt as much as she did at his death, but seeing Alfred, hearing how broken he is, she knows she was kidding herself.
She wants to comfort him somehow, but she doesn't do hugs. So instead she loses herself to her own grief, quietly, internally.
Gordon leaves but she and Alfred stay, not saying a word to each other but grateful to have a companion in their grief.
She wants to leave but he insists she stay. She wants to refuse him, but seeing the sorrow in her eyes guilts her into agreeing to stay for coffee.
"I trust he gave it to you, that clean slate you wanted?" he asks as he sets the tray down.
"And what are you going to do now that you have it?"
"Leave. I've had enough of Gotham. I'll go to Europe, maybe visit Asia. I just need to leave here."
"In the summer, there's this cafe in Florence..."
When she leaves an hour later, she knows that by the end of the week, she'll have left Gotham for good.
She sells off the last of the jewels she stole for a hefty sum. It's good enough to see her for a while. She buys a plane ticket for London. She waits for it, the agent at the ticket counter to frown and deny her, the woman at the gate to pull her aside, the policeman to stop her as she boards the plane, but it never comes. As the plane takes off, she can't help but feel lighter in the knowledge that she's left Selina Kyle behind forever.
She rents a flat in London. It's small but nice, and come furnished. She soon falls into a routine, the days blend together and before she knows it it's been a month since she left Gotham.
She doesn't pine for him, doesn't spend her days sequestered away from all humanity, mourning his loss, but she doesn't forget him. When she's in a crowd, with a man's wallet begging her to steal it, she resists, not wanting to let Bruce down yet again. When she sees a flashy car drive by, she smiles despite herself. And when she passes a jeweller and sees a similar pearl necklace, she pretends that tears do not come to her eyes.
One morning, as she peruses the morning paper with her cup of coffee (she hates tea, despite the fact that everyone in the country seems unable to function without it) there is a knock on her door. As she rises to answer, she wonders how long it will take until her heart leaps in fear every time there is a knock on her door or she hears police sirens.
These thoughts are knocked out of her head when instead of seeing the milkman at the door, she sees him.
He looks different but the same. He's thinner, and his hair is longer. A shadow of a beard plays across his jaw, but his lips are tugged in a little grin.
She raises her hand and slaps him, but all he does is chuckle and hold his chin.
"I deserved that."
Before he can say anymore she throws herself into his arms.
It's surreal as they sit at the table she was at only moments before. He explains to her how he escaped. She agrees wholeheartedly that he's done enough, that his time as Batman is over. When he finishes, they lapse into an awkward silence.
"So where are you headed next?" he asks, breaking the silence.
"What do you mean?"
"I can't imagine you staying in one place for long," he says with a grin.
"So, you mean where are we headed next?" she corrects coyly.
It'd be easy to say that they lived happily ever after, that everything was fine, but in truth it wasn't. It takes her months to finally trust him wholly. And there is still a darkness that comes over him, in his eyes are the only. But little by little, it lightens, diminishing with each kiss, with each morning he wakes up with her in his arms. Soon he starts laughing often, smiling even more often.
They never do things the way it's supposed to be done. He asks her to marry him while they're both naked in bed, and she teases him mercilessly before agreeing. The next day they marry and that's that. No pomp or ceremony, just them.
When she tells him she's pregnant a year later, he's elated and terrified. He can see an echo of his fear in her eyes, but they'll face this together, like they have a multitude of other things.
When he first holds his son in his arms his life changes. He knows with a terrifying certainty that this little human has his undying and unconditional love. He's a Wayne through and through, with his hair and eyes. He can see a little bit of Selina in the shape of his lips and nose and in that moment his is terrifyingly happy.
Thomas Alfred Wayne is a sweet baby, who grows into a sweet and inquisitive toddler. He asks endless questions and Bruce takes pleasure in answering each one. He demands to know why Mommy's tummy is so big, how the baby got inside of her. Selina glares at Bruce, as if daring to tell him the truth.
Their daughter has more of Selina in her, though there is plenty of Bruce as well. She is more temperamental, something Bruce insists is from Selina. Even as a baby she demands attention, and if it is not given to her, she wails loudly.
They seem to be perpetually exhausted but deliriously happy and Selina is the one who suggests a trip to Florence.
"We have a reservation for four under Matthews," Bruce says to the host.
After a quick glance at his book the host smiles and ushers them to their table. Bruce carries the baby carrier and Selina holds Thomas' hand.
`They settle themselves at the table and Bruce takes Sarah out of the carrier, holding her in his arms as she looks around with wide eyes.
"You know she's fine in the carrier," Selina quips with a knowing smile as she helps Thomas settle into his chair.
Bruce rolls his eyes at her.
"Mommy's silly, isn't she Thomas?"
Thomas giggles and nods and Selina mock glares at him, which just causes him to giggle more.
When the waiter comes, Selina orders drinks with long complicated names. He trusts her judgement.
"Can we go see the water after?"
"I don't know buddy. Why don't you ask Mommy?"
"Mommy," he says, turning to her with puppy dog eyes. Bruce stifles a laugh at the way her face softens. Who would have thought the gun wielding, ass kicking, cat suit wearing woman could melt like that with a simple look from a four year old.
"We can after we're done here."
Bruce smirks at her but Selina just rolls her eyes at him. He's about to say something when he sees him.
Sitting there, reading a newspaper with a drink in front of him is Alfred. Bruce feels his eyes stinging at the sight of his old butler. He wants to call out, to rush to him and tell him all that he never had the chance to say. But he holds back.
At that moment Alfred looks up, around the cafe, and Bruce sees the way his eyes well when they see him.
"Daddy, do you think that we could get a toy boat and sail it on the water?" Thomas pipes from beside him, breaking the moment he had with Alfred.
"Sure buddy. We'll even get one for Sarah," he grins.
Selina opens her mouth to say something but Bruce shakes his head, then he subtly nods toward Alfred.
He's is surprised to see Selina's eyes well up at the sight of the old man, but he is pleased nonetheless. Alfred gets up and for a moment he wonders if it will play out like his fantasy, with him leaving without a word. Bruce is relieved when instead Alfred approaches the table.
Selina gently takes Sarah from him and Bruce rises as well.
They stare at each other a few moments and Bruce opens his mouth to speak.
Alfred pulls him into a tight hug. Bruce feels his eyes well up at the gesture and he squeezes back firmly. He truly missed Alfred in the years he had been gone.
"Daddy, why are you crying? Are you sad?" Thomas asks worriedly. If his Daddy is crying, something must be awfully wrong.
"I'm happy bud. Really, really happy." Bruce answers with a smile.
"Like when Sarah was born."
"And who might this be Master Wayne?" Alfred asks with wet eyes and a smile.
"Why don't you introduce yourself bud?" Bruce suggests.
Thomas scrambled from his seat to stand in front of Alfred.
"My name is Thomas Alfred Wayne," he states proudly, sticking out his hand.
Alfred's smiles widely before shaking his hand. "Nice to meet you Mister Wayne. I'm Alfred Pennyworth."
"But that's my in between name!" Thomas says with wide eyes.
"Exactly," Bruce pipes up. "Your first name is my father's name. And your middle name for the man who was like a father to me."
Alfred is about to say something when Selina speaks up.
"Enough of this, Alfred, pull up a chair. We'd love it if you'd join us."
"Of course Mrs. Wayne."
He pulls up a chair and sits between Selina and Bruce.
Thomas begins to assault Alfred with questions as Selina pulls a face at Sarah making her giggle. Looking around the table, for the first time since that horrible night in that alleyway all those years ago, Bruce feels like his family is complete.
A/N: So, how awesome was Dark Knight Rises? I couldn't help but write this. It's my first ever Batman fic, and it will probably be my last. I know it kind of switches half way from Selina's point of view to Bruce's point of view... It did that on its own, I had no control over it :P
P.S. Sorry about the excessive amounts of sweetness. It's almost sickening. Almost.
Please review :D