Shadow of Existence

Disclaimers : All Characters belong to Christopher Nolan and DC comics

Batman had no idea where he was going, all he knew was he had to press on and fight the pain that was coursing through his veins. The wound from the Joker's switchblade that dug deep into his flesh and bone was making his side throb. The bullet of Harvey Dent's gun was still imbedded inside the Kevlar and making its way through the tissue. Finally his one knee that was giving out was making him lose focus of his goal.

He had to find a clear way to get back to the penthouse .

The endless sounds of sirens sounded off through the streets as early dawn was quickly approaching. Batman could see the red and blue lights reflecting in the windows of stores and listened to the distinctive thump-thump sound of helicopters flying above.

Without any thought, he made a right turn with the Batpod and drove into an alleyway. Exhausted and angry, he fell off the saddle of the high tech bike and landed on the ground next to a bent trash can.

Batman crawled to the wall and leaned his back against the brick, catching his breath while figuring out what to do next. There was a simple answer to his current dilemma.

He pulled out a small mobile cell phone and dialed for Alfred and informed his butler of his injuries and what to prepare for when he arrived at his hidden bunker near the train yard.

After discussing the arrangements to Alfred, Batman arose with his gloved resting on the bullet wound. He moved slowly back onto the Batpod but stopped dead when a flashing search light bounced off the brick wall. He crouched down into the shadows and waited.

Something else caught his attention a woman with straight blonde hair, wearing a brown jacket entered the alleyway. Her remorseful eyes gazed at the Dark Knight with hatred radiating. She was a cold presence that drew closer.

Batman draped his cape over his shoulders and hid his wounds.

"Hiding in the shadows monster?" She spoke in a disheartened tone. "Are the shadows your sanctuary?"

Batman's lips became tight. This woman was unfamiliar to him yet she spoke with a bitterness he could only recall himself reveling in at a younger age. Before he became Batman. Evidently she hadn't just happened upon him by accident here. She'd pursued him.

"What do you want?" He growled.

"Vengeance." She spat in the direction she assumed he was hiding. "For the tortured soul of my brother. The one you murdered."

His eyes narrowed with realization. "Harvey."

She held restrained tears in her eyes at the mention of her dead sibling but her face was masked with an angry smile. "So you remember your victims name?" She pulled a piece of paper from a pocket of her overcoat. "Good for it shall be your guilt."

Batman eyed the paper with trepidation. "Who are you?" He asked.

"Patrice Dent. The youngest sister of Harvey. And now I am your judge." She unfolded the paper and looked at the inscription that was taken from a book she bought in a small antique book store in London. It was said to be a book of power. Old magic.

Patrice looked into the dark eyes of Batman and began to recite the words. Batman was unsure of what to do or what she was trying to do. He didn't believe in magic or whatever hocus pocus she was about to concoct.

Her hand was raised high, pointing at his body. "These are the words that you will repeat whenever the sun goes down..."

When the sun shines it's final fading ray of light
You shall become a creature of the night
Alone is your fate to live
For there is no love give
Shame will be your face
Darkness your only friend
Until the end you shall remain
A hidden creature filled with pain

Batman felt a burning in his chest as he dropped to his knees in front of her. "Why... are you doing this?" His eyes began to leak tears.

"So you will know what it feel like to have lost everything..." She said somberly.

She ripped the paper into pieces and moved closer to him. Crouching down she pulled out a red rose and set it down before him.

"Now everyone will see you for what you really are. A heartless monster that will be alone forever. Love will fade. Each year a piece of your soul will die. For that is the curse of cold vengeance." She leaned closer and whispered.

"If you find a woman to love and if she confesses her love to you. Than your soul shall be free from the endless night."

Patrice pulled away and walked out of the alley way never to be seen again in Gotham City. She left Batman alone in the darkness looking down at the red rose.

After that night he fell into deep despair. No love in his heart, just cold endless guilt and sorrow that surged his soul each time the sun went down. As a symbol of the curse he was given a red rose that was everlasting and could never wither away...

Over the years the heir became a shut in to the eyes of society. Disheartened he made his dwelling in the East Wing were he confined his cursed body into the darkness.

Chapter 1 : A Woman of Allure

Eight years later...

Selina Kyle roamed through the streets of Gotham in search of freedom from her unforgiving life. She wanted to remain unseen from the eyes of the public.

Memories of a dark past were written onto her moon creamed face. Dark brown eyes showed the restlessness of her independent spirit. She walked the sidewalks listening to the words of judgement spoken from the tongues of the people she passed.

Her beauty was alluring and deadly to any man who crossed her path.

The sound of high heels clicked behind her, Selina turned to the sound of her name. "Selina," Yelled a teenager with strawberry blonde hair, wearing a pink top with jeans came running up to her. "Will you just stop for a minute and let me catch my breath?"

Selina Kyle was the young woman's name. For her name meant "moon" and deep down she was attracted to the night air blowing through the long dark strands of her hair as she moved into the shadows, seeking the thrill of adventure.

"Sorry Holly," Selina replied in a soft tone as her eyes shifted to a display of diamond necklace in a store front window. She moved to the window and gazed at the treasures behind the glass.

"You and I both know there's only one way of getting that spoil Lina," Holly insisted with a surly tone. "You can take whatever you want in this city. It can be your playground to plunder. The choice is up to you."

Selina gazed at the large diamond shaped heart in the center of the golden chain. Her avid brown eyes were burning as she craved to touch the chain and place it around her neck. Then she thought for a moment about her past, spent most of the day on the run like a cat roaming the streets looking for a place to call home.

She backed away from the window.

"Backing out of another chance of enjoying the riches?"

Selina gave Holly a hardened glare and scoffed. "I'm not the woman that I was Holly. I have changed."

"Changed for better or for worse?"

"Look. I can't afford to have my mark on life of being a thief." Just as she spoke, a squad car pulled up at the curb. "I want to experience something different and enjoy a rewarding life without the handcuffs and endless sleepless nights of worrying about spending a night behind bars."

Holly nodded to her best friend's choice. She respected Selina like an older sister and knew that this twenty seven year old would do anything for her.

Selina began to walk away with her head held up high.

A handsome tall man stopped her in her tracks with a briefcase in his hand. "Hello there Miss Kyle," He said with a hint of New Yorker accent. "Where is a fine woman like you heading off too?"

Selina fluttered her eyes and worked around his charm.

"None of your business Drake," She spoke with a direct tone. "Besides don't you have a court case to go to at the moment. Unless you're taking a risk and letting the scum that murdered two women walk?"

Drake Devonsure the asst. DA of Gotham. In Selina's eyes a coward and a snake. She had known him for most of her life thanks to being arrested a few times but escaped with a black cat's luck. He started as a lawyer, worked mostly in New York and dealt with whatever scum he could throw into the frying pan.

There was something else about his past that Selina knew all too well. He was brute to women and could care less about their intelligence and compassion. He wanted a woman that served his pleasure and treated him like a master while she would be a little slave assisting his needs.

"No.. I'm heading to the courthouse at this moment." Drake looked at her sleek features and curved hips that made her body perfect to study. "Listen, me and the boys afterwards will be heading to the pool hall to have a few drinks and I was wondering if you would care to join us.."

Selina smacked her crimson lips together. "I would love too Drake... but you see I'm just not in the mood to hang around with Gotham's Finest. So my answer is... no."

She walked away while Holly was still window shopping.

"Men," Selina thought. "Can't live with them and can't live without them."

Drake clenched his hand into a fist and gritted his teeth. "One day Selina Kyle you will belong to me. I'll make sure of that." He walked away heading to the crosswalk.

Holly finally caught up with Selina. "What was all that about?" She just had to ask.

Selina shrugged. "Just another scumbag that can't deliver, Holly."

"Well you do have a way with men."

The brunette scoffed. "Tell me about it. The fact is there are no good men in this city."

"Maybe you just haven't met the right one."

"Don't condescend Holly."

"Sorry Selina." The teen apologized.

For a brief moment Selina lifted her gaze up to a tall gleaming tower that said "WAYNE" on the top. Holly looked up with her.

"What do you think really happened to the Prince of Gotham?" The teen asked.

Selina shrugged showing that she could careless. "Don't know and don't care."

"Well from what I heard from a few street friends of ours, the heir of Wayne Enterprises got into a horrible accident awhile back, which made him a shut in from the rest of the city. There are rumors spreading that he is disfigured."

Selina shook her head. "Don't listen to gossip Holly. It gets you nowhere in this society."

Holly nodded with a considerate look. "But still I would like to know what happened to him?"

"I respect your curiosity." Selina said. "We have more things to worry about than the day and the life of billionaire Bruce Wayne."

Hidden away from the public eyes behind a thick iron gate, was the rebuilt mansion known as Wayne Manor. The Victorian Gothic outline of the structure gave it a non welcoming appeal to any travelers that dared to enter.

In the study of Thomas Wayne which was full of bookshelves and a grand piano, the fireplace was lit showing the flames eating at the timbers. Sitting in a chair with a cane resting on the armrest was the son of Thomas and Martha Wayne. The billionaire Prince of Gotham that every woman no matter what age would want a piece of.

That was before that night when his life as both playboy and the dark protector ended.

He spent all his days hidden in the rooms of Wayne Manor, thinking only about his guilt which became a consuming fire within his weakened body. All he had for human contact was Alfred Pennyworth, his old butler and friend that spoke to him with engaging conversations.

Bruce sat in the chair staring at a photo of his parents. He was brooding and looking miserable when Alfred entered the study with a silver tray of tea.

"Good evening, Master Wayne." Alfred said with a cheerful voice.

Bruce curled his lips into a scowl and arose with his cane. He limped to the window and stared at the sun setting through the thick evergreens that surrounded the grounds.

"Master Wayne," Alfred asked.

"Leave me alone," The billionaire instructed with a growl as he contemplated on his life for a moment and all the events that brought him to where he was now. Everything had changed. His outlook, style and his heart.

Bruce felt the burning in his chest. "I just want to be left alone Alfred."

Alfred nodded looking at the sun setting. "Don't worry, Master Wayne... this won't last forever. You'll see."

Bruce released a distraught sigh. "My life ended eight years ago Alfred... nothing can change that. I'm not the man that I used to be... now go." He ordered with a firm tone.

His butler nodded grimly. "Very well."

Alfred left the study and looked back at his master for a moment. Such sadness was forming around Bruce as his head bowed and hand covered his face showing his dismay.

"The dawn will come Master Bruce. And you will be restored into the man that you were meant to be." He walked away, hoping his words would derive some hope within his master.