A/N: I find myself incapable of resisting this ship. Well, I can't really resist anything regarding Nolan's trilogy, so yeah, I had to get this out of my system. Sorry for the quickly-becoming-cliched thing about the pearls - I couldn't help myself :) let me know what you think! I could continue this if enough people wanted me to, otherwise I'll just keep it a oneshot. :)
Two things Selina was sure of: first, that she was being watched, and second, that she was losing it.
Being hyperaware of her surroundings was one of the key reasons why she was still alive today, and the fact that she was no longer being hunted did not erode her skills one bit. She was still always armed, always a step ahead, and always sensing a pair of eyes on her everywhere that she went.
She was trying to make an honest living for once in her life - sort of - having hopped on a plane to Italy after successfully wiping her name from every database in the world, but old habits die hard and her job at a Florence art gallery was more of a nuisance than anything. But it was the only place where she usually didn't feel the distinct and unnerving sensation of being watched, and it paid the bills for the modest flat she'd acquired. She didn't even feel truly alone in her own home most of the time.
She chalked it up to residual paranoia from the hellish situation she'd survived in Gotham only a few months ago. But she tried not to think of it often, because it forced her to deal with the other things ailing her mind - specifically, the fact that she saw his face. Everywhere.
It had all started on the flight to Italy, when the sound of the pilot speaking over the intercom nearly made her jump out of her skin. The pilot's voice sounded just like his voice, uncannily so - but she shook her head and ignored the odd feeling spreading through her veins. He was gone, and really, she had no reason to care. So she'd kissed him twice - big deal. She'd also betrayed him and used him for purely selfish reasons. Then she'd ignored her every instinct and stayed in Gotham to save him, when she could have fled and been safe. Now he was dead. She had no reason to grieve.
But she still tried to get a look at the pilot once they'd landed and she was stepping off. All she saw was the back of the man's head as he sat in the cockpit, hidden behind sleek dark brown hair, before someone from behind her protested and she realized she was holding up the line. She forced her eyes away and scolded herself for being foolish. He was gone. She didn't care. Move on.
But then she began seeing his face. Whether it was a glimpse as she walked down the street or a double take at someone through the window of a car as she sped past them, it happened nearly always once a day, and after weeks of this, she was truly beginning to fear for her sanity.
Maybe it was some sort of post-traumatic stress thing, but she doubted it - she wasn't traumatized. It also so happened that she always felt as if she was being watched when she would see his fleeting face, and as soon as he disappeared, so did the feeling. At first she hadn't noticed how the two were correlated.
Maybe he had a doppelgänger that lived here in Italy. Maybe the sight of any tall, dark haired man with similar bone structure was enough to trick her mind into thinking she was looking at a dead man. Maybe there was a reason why her mind would play such tricks on her.
Ridiculous, she would quickly scoff. Even if she had felt anything for the man - and she wasn't about to acknowledge that she felt anything bordering on something real - it didn't matter now, and she knew better than to grasp at ghosts.
So it was with determination that she left for the art gallery one late afternoon, dressed in her best black dress for the ritzy showcase she would be working, and wearing a white gold necklace she hadn't exactly paid for when she'd acquired it. She would simply ignore the feelings and the glimpses that haunted her, because they were unquestionably silly, and after all, she was supposed to be spending her time moving on and creating a new life for herself, not fearing for her mental health.
When the showcase began, she had felt blissfully normal for the first twenty minutes, happily mingling with the guests and sipping champagne as she did her job, at ease for once. She was in the middle of speaking to the artist whose work was on display himself when she suddenly felt the familiar sensation of being watched, more powerfully than ever, and her arms erupted in goosebumps. Smiling as the artist droned on about something she no longer cared about, she cast a glance behind her and her heart thumped as a shiver ran down her spine.
Once again, she was sure that she'd seen him, but as soon as her eyes met his, several people in the crowd shifted and he disappeared behind them.
Her safe place was no longer safe from the disturbing visions, clearly, and this made her angry. She couldn't even feel relaxed in her own flat, and now the gallery had fallen in her mind, as well.
Perfect. Just perfect. Perhaps she really should see a psychotherapist about this, because this was officially out of hand, she thought to herself.
She managed to escape the showcase by feigning illness once she spotted the woman from whom she'd stolen the white gold necklace amidst the crowd inside the gallery, and she wasted no time in rushing home. She was frustrated and annoyed when she reached her front door, but she immediately knew something was off when she placed her hand upon the doorknob.
She couldn't explain what it was, because the door was locked and bolted just as she'd left it, but her instincts began screaming and her hand quickly retrieved her gun from its concealed place on her inner thigh.
She cautiously unlocked the door and entered her darkened apartment, turning on lights as she went, finding everything exactly as she'd left it, but still feeling something different in the air, something palpable but unidentifiable. She crept up the staircase that led from the sitting room to her bedroom, and when she reached the top, pushed open the bedroom door with the hand that wasn't clutching the gun, and when she flipped the light on, she sighed.
There was nothing, no one. She suddenly felt ridiculous, paranoid, and began to lower the gun when a hand grabbed her wrist and another one snatched the gun from her clutch and threw it across the room.
She tried to scream but then one of the hands was clamped over her mouth. "I told you before, no guns."
That voice. Her eyes widened and she struggled against the firm body behind her that was holding her tightly, but her automatic reflexes to fight back against her attacker faltered the same moment that the hands released her. She turned around and knew that either one of two things were true - either she had officially gone insane, or Bruce Wayne was immune to nuclear explosions.
He stood before her, a slight grin on his face as he watched her face betray her shock. He looked the same as before but somehow different, maybe more relaxed, and was still as unbearably handsome as ever. He wore dark trousers and a dark shirt that was unbuttoned at the top, and after finally absorbing his entire appearance, she managed, "You're dead."
"Technically, yes," he replied.
Her eyes narrowed. "Nobody could have survived that."
"That's true," he said, almost seeming to enjoy her slightly fearful expressions.
She stared at him, her words faltering now, and he finally decided to elaborate a bit, albeit with only one word. "Autopilot."
"Autopilot?" she repeated.
He nodded. "Nobody knew about it but me. Although I assume Fox will figure it out soon, if he hasn't already."
She stared for a few more moments as her mind wrapped around what she was being told. "So it has been you I've been seeing! You've been following me!"
His grin widened a little at this. "Maybe."
"Why?" she demanded. "Why would you do that? I've been thinking that I'm going insane - why?"
He paused for a moment. "That plane you flew here on," he said, "I flew it. You can imagine my surprise when I saw your name on the passenger list."
She clenched her jaw. So that was him, and that was his voice she'd heard.
"I wasn't trying to follow you. I had other reasons for choosing Italy, and I picked that flight at random. The pilot was drunk, so it was extremely easy to slip in his place."
"You still haven't answered my question," she said through gritted teeth.
"Well," he said, "I admit, I became kind of fascinated with you after that flight. I kept an eye on you, to try to figure you out. See what you decided to do with your clean slate."
Then he stepped closer, and she suppressed a shiver when his finger reached out to her necklace. He raised an eyebrow to her as he fingered the white gold.
She smirked defiantly. "What can I say, old habits die hard."
With a brief swipe of his fingers, the necklace was in his hand. "You're better than this."
"What do you know about me?" she spat. "You're the one who's been stalking me and making me think I was crazy all this time."
He deposited the necklace in one pocket, then withdrew something from another. "I know more about you than you think."
"Oh?" she challenged, still feeling a little shaky despite her anger.
"One, I know that when it really matters, you come through. Two, I know that despite how selfish you can be, you aren't the unfeeling, apathetic person you've convinced yourself you are. And three," he said, opening his hand to reveal a strand of beautiful white orbs, "you look better in pearls."
She looked at him strangely as he invaded her space again, placing the pearls around her neck and clasping it securely underneath her hair.
"I've never claimed to be apathetic," she said when his hands retreated. "Only realistic. Why are you in my house?"
"I think you know the answer to that," he replied.
"I'm still trying to get my head around the fact that you're not a pile of ash," she said, "so you're going to have to spell it out."
This seemed to amuse him. With a shrug that said well, if you say so, he invaded her space a third time and pressed his lips to hers.
Fingers ran through her hair as her world got turned on his head, though in the most pleasant of ways. His lips were as soft as she remembered, and when he deepened the kiss, she allowed him, shivering when his tongue ran along her bottom lip before slipping inside her mouth.
She wrapped her arms around his shoulders and dared to open her eyes once, to make sure that he wasn't a figment of her imagination and that she wasn't really kissing her pillow while dreaming or something, and when she was satisfied that he was not a dream nor a ghost, she closed her eyes again and melted into his arms.
When he pulled away, she opened her eyes and only let him stare at her for a moment before slapping him hard across his cheek. "That's for stalking me," she said as his face jerked to the side with the impact of her hand. She slapped him once more. "That's for breaking into my house." She reached back to slap him a third time for making her think he was dead, but this time he caught her hand, and she found herself pinned against the wall.
"Not that I don't deserve it," he said, nose to nose with her, "but you've made your point."
"I haven't even begun to make my point," she said, a dangerous flash in her eyes.
"I'll hold you to that," he said before kissing her once more, and this time, she responded with everything she had.
After a moment she managed to break free of him and slammed him against the wall where she had been with only the briefest break of their kiss, not about to relinquish any control to him. Whatever this was, and whatever it would become, she would be like no woman he'd ever had before, and she made sure he was well aware of this fact now rather than later. She had yet to find any man who could handle her, but when she found her feet suddenly off the floor and his arms coiled around her as he placed her utterly ungently on the floor, not even bothering to try to make it to her bed, she thought maybe, just maybe, they'd both finally met their match.
His lips bruised themselves against her neck and she grabbed a handful of the hair that she'd seen on that flight when she'd finally escaped Gotham as well as her own identity, and when he lifted his head to kiss her lips again, she looked into his eyes and asked, "Why me? I'm the last kind of person someone like you should want."
He grinned and brushed her hair back as her fingers moved through the buttons of his shirt. "We're more alike than you think."
She didn't argue, knowing he was probably right, and pushed his shirt off of his shoulders. In one fluid motion, he was suddenly on his back, and she was straddling his waist. "Try to keep up with me."
"My pleasure," he replied, and their night didn't end for hours.
Neither Selina nor Bruce would have wanted it any other way.