Disclaimer: I own neither 'Batman' or 'Castle', and the original idea for this story was inspired by a piece of fanart created by AwsomeGeek and is used with her permission
Feedback: Feel free
AN: Another slight jump- and a short chapter as a result-, but I feel that this chapter works as a concept, as we meet another important Gotham resident...
War of the Daughters
Standing in front of the apartment building, Kate wondered why she was doing this.
It wasn't that she doubted Blake's word- what he'd subtly revealed to her without actually saying anything definite had been virtual proof that he knew who Batman was under the mask, with his little comments about Batman's wealth and the pain he'd endured, she was left fairly certain that he could be counted on with the other facts revealed-, but that didn't explain why she was doing this; talking with this woman probably wouldn't give them anything new to work with, considering everything that she'd heard from Blake...
Then again, she might be able to think of a different approach to use when dealing with this woman than what Blake did; all that Blake really knew about Batman was who he was and a vague idea about why he did what he did, whereas Kate knew exactly why he had donned his costume in the first place and where he had gone to receive his training, even if each of them knew far more than almost anyone else in this city could know about Batman (Personally, Kate didn't entirely believe the idea that Gordon didn't know who Batman was- he struck her as the kind of investigator who was too good at his job not to have put together at least some of the clues; he probably just didn't bother following them up to avoid putting himself in a difficult situation, particularly after he had been helping to protect his friend from the consequences of their lie-, but that issue wasn't important right now).
Still, regardless of her reasons, nothing changed the central fact; with no way to know what Nyssa was planning to do with the bomb and Gotham, they were facing an increasingly greater threat with every day that went by, and this woman was the only person who might have the information she needed that wouldn't result in her exposing her presence in this city before she was ready to do so.
She hadn't even allowed Castle to accompany her, preferring to try and catch this woman off-guard in a one-on-one confrontation rather than deal with her partner; he was currently back at the makeshift precinct with Gordon and whatever group he'd managed to assemble in the absence of the main police force, going over what they knew about Bane's forces and offering his usual 'out-of-the-box' approach to dangerous situations to help them work out what they might do to strike back against him.
Castle might be good in a fight, but against someone with this woman's implied level of skill, she didn't need the potential distraction he would provide; his amateur skills wouldn't compare against someone this potentially dangerous.
Thoughts on Castle's absence ended as a figure walked out of the building that could only be the woman Kate was here to meet. As she paused to close the door, Kate walked up behind her, smiling politely but firmly as the other woman turned to look at her, revealing a thin but smooth face surrounded by thick long brown hair and a well-developed body whose excellent condition was only slightly concealed by the loose clothing she wore.
"Selina Kyle?" Kate said, looking at the other woman.
"Who's asking?" the woman asked, her stance becoming slightly defensive as she stood in the doorway.
"Someone who knows that you were there when Batman vanished," Kate said.
For a moment, the woman's eyes widened in shock at this news, but she quickly lashed out with a kick that Kate only just managed to deflect, following the block up with a punch of her own that mainly worked because it caught the other woman off-guard rather than any definite skill; Kate had learned long ago how to make quick assessments of other fighters and their skill level, and this woman had some interesting skills even if she didn't appear to use them against hand-to-hand experts as often as she might. After a few moments of dodging each other's blows, Kate grabbed Selina's foot as the other woman kicked out at her chest and lifted it up into the air, forcing Selina into a mid-air flip that ended just in time for Kate to kick her in the chest. As Selina staggered backwards, momentarily winded by the kick, Kate grabbed her by the shoulders and marched her back into the building that she had just left , Kate opening the still-unlocked door and forcing the woman to sit down on the stairs inside it before she could regain enough oxygen to fight back.
"OK," Kate said, crouching down slightly to better look at the now-sitting woman as she spent some time gasping for air. "I know this is... probably not the best way to do this, but as I was about to say before you started attacking me, I need to talk to you about what Bane did with Batman; once you've answered my questions, so long as you don't tell Bane I'm here- and I don't think you will-, you're free to do what you want."
"And what... makes you-?" Selina began, even as she continued gasping to replenish the air that Kate had forced from her lungs previously.
"John Blake told me he spoke to you," Kate said, smiling slightly at the other woman's sudden start at that new information before she continued. "I'm not here to arrest you- if nothing else, there's not much point-, and I'm not here for revenge; all I want to know is if Bane said anything about what he was going to do with Batman after the fight was over."
"No," Selina replied, looking solemnly back at her, her breathing once again under control. "I didn't hear anything about his plans then... well, nothing that hasn't been revealed by now, anyway."
"Nothing?" Kate said, looking inquiringly at the other woman. "No strange comment about where he was planning to take him-"
"Nothing," Selina repeated, glaring firmly at Kate as she repeated herself.
It was the resolution in her subsequent stare, more than anything else, that convinced Kate to stop trying to press her luck; in her long experience of questioning subjects, when people looked at you like that, they weren't going to give you any more information.
"I see," Kate said, nodding in understanding before she turned around and left the building, not wanting to reveal her thoughts on this turn of events to the other woman.
The news might be frustrating, but her hopes on this topic hadn't exactly been high to start with; it had been a long shot that she felt worth exploring, but the fact that it hadn't panned out was just one of those things; it sucked, but there was nobody to blame for how things had turned out.
Besides, with no evidence to suggest that he had some other plan in action, it wasn't that hard to work out where Bane might have taken Batman.
After all, considering his and Talia's history, when they wanted to take someone out of the equation, there was one obvious place where the two of them were the closest thing that territory had to an owner, and therefore the two people the residents would be most likely to feel anything close to respect for.
Damnit, she thought to herself, only just managing to stop herself showing her frustration at that revelation (Selina might have given her useful information, but she still didn't exactly feel comfortable telling this woman anything that could be used against her later).
Bruce Wayne might be the best student her father had ever had, but if he was trapped in the Pit...
Nyssa had only just managed to escape from there when she was a child, and nobody Kate had spoken to knew exactly how she had accomplished it; what were the odds that anyone in the Pit with the knowledge of how to escape like Nyssa had wouldn't have done so already?
Of everyone alive today, only Nyssa really knew how to get out of that place- Hell, even her father had failed to accomplish such a goal on his own-, and she definitely wouldn't have given Bruce anything to help him in that regard.
Shit, Kate reflected, cursing her crap luck.
With no way to get a message to the outside world about what had happened to Batman- even assuming that she knew of anyone that she could contact who would be useful in this situation, to say nothing of anyone who knew where the Pit was in the first place-, this city had effectively lost its best chance of stopping Bane and didn't even know it.
Even the most optimistic part of her had no illusions about her ability to handle Bane in a fight, and even a clash between her and Nyssa would probably result in a draw at best, so what the Hell was she going to do now?
AN 2: OK, I have a couple of thoughts about where to go from here, but if anyone has something they'd like to see of Kate and Castle's time in Gotham before the final battle against Bane and Nyssa begins, please let me know and I'll do what I can to include it before Batman returns.