Whoa. Let me first start by wishing each and everyone one of you a belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I hope you guys had a blast on both of those holidays, because I know I did. I had a lot of you messaging me asking me if I had abandoned this story and if I was ever going to work on it again, and I hope this answers your questions. I'm an so, so, sososo, sorry about how long it took me to finish and post this. Honestly, I got so excited about posting it and that I didn't even edit it properly sooooo, I'm sorry because this isn't my best work...like at all by any standards.


Interesting circumstances

"Don't let go!"

"I won't!"

And she watched him drop, only this time the water was alive and rose up with claws and teeth, and it roared as it caught hold of the boy and swallowed him whole.

Israel startled, froze in the bed and stared wide eyed into the dark. It was a nightmare, but it had also been real. It had happened, and she had been there, and she didn't stop it. Her head hurt and so did her body. She didn't know where she was, and that particular moment, she didn't really care. She felt so alone, so tired, and angry and hurt. She rolled over onto her back, wincing at the pain that shot through her. She went to get up, fell back the moment she put weight on her left arm. Propping herself up on her right elbow she examined her bandaged limb, noted that it had been wrapped tight. She flexed her fingers and winced. A light suddenly came on and a woman with long black hair, braided down her back, stood in the doorway.

"It's not broken." Her voice was soft, comforting. "So you're lucky…but it was sprained pretty badly, and Lewis thinks you may have cracked a bone or something."

Israel examined her. She was average height with pale skin and a lithe muscle tone about her. She was in socks and sweatpants with a snug tank top fitted over her torso. "Where am I?"

"My place." She came further into the room, took a seat in the chair next to the bed and opened a box of medical supplies. "Lewis brought you here. You were passed out." She covered a cotton swap in antiseptic. "Roll over onto your stomach, would ya?"

"Why?"

The woman shook her head. "Do you have any idea how banged up you were?"

Israel's eyebrow quirked, but she rolled over, noting that she was only in a t-shirt and her underwear. She was going to ask who removed her clothes, but the intense stinging on her calves stole the words from her mouth. And then there was prodding, pulling, and Israel swatted the woman away, turned on her side to see what was happening. She had a line of stitches running horizontally across each calf. "What the hell happened?"

The woman went to tend to the stitches again but Israel pulled away, swatted angrily at her. "Suit yourself."

"What the hell happened to my legs?!"

"You tell me! You were like that when I got to you."

The two women stared at each other angrily, until a gently voice sounded from the door. "I dug some metal out. I'm guessing that when the bridge exploded something sliced you open."

Israel knew him, recognized the light eyes and dark hair. "You're that guy…" she started.

"The one who saved your ass?" He pointed to himself. "Yeah, that's me."

She fought rolling her eyes. He was cocky. Just what she needed… "Thanks…" The word came out harsh and forced.

A smirk briefly graced his mouth. "You should really let her put some alcohol on those." He came further into the room, and once the two were standing side by side Israel noticed that they favored one another not only in looks, but also in the way they held themselves, their stance. They were definitely related. Brother and sister if she had to guess. And, while they were both rather tall individuals, one was wide with broad shoulders and muscles while the other was thinner, a fitting smaller counterpart.

"I'm sorry, who are you guys?" They had helped her, bandaged her up, but Israel was nothing if not wary of new people. Sure they had done right by her…so far…but she was beginning to wonder what they really wanted.

The man, larger of the two, took a seat on the bed and watched Israel with a perplexed stare. When he reached for the younger woman and she recoiled from him. It made him frown. "I'm Lewis. That's my sister Joanna." He reached for her again and when she swatted at his hand it made the lines around his mouth deepen. "I'm not gonna hurt you. I just want to make sure Joanna did your stitches right…since she sucks at it…" The last part he mumbled, but his sister had keen hearing.

"Well if I suck at it, it's only because you taught me wrong," she fired back.

Lewis chuckled. "Or you're just dumb. Either one…"

Israel didn't care to watch them playfully bicker. "You don't have last names?" She asked.

"You need our last names?" Joanna asked.

Israel shrugged. "Just in case…"

Lewis scoffed and Joanna made her way out of the room. "I'll let you handle that. I don't wanna burn what I have on the stove."

"We bandaged you up, kid. We don't have you chained to the bed."

"You're a lot bigger than me…you wouldn't need to chain me to the bed."

"You've got to be kidding me." They stared at each other. Israel unmoving from the home she had made in the corner on the bed, and Lewis still sitting on the edge. He thought she was pretty, Her dark curls and surprising eyes caught your attention to her, but it was her tight, closed off nature that drew you in. She was so tense, so attentive. She didn't miss anything, and a person like that had secrets and stories that a person would want to hear. Lewis found himself wondering what she was hiding from the world. "You don't trust people easily, do you?" He asked.

Israel tucked her knees into her chest and scowled. "Do I have a reason to trust you?"

"You don't have a reason not to…"

Her eyes narrowed. He was handsome, she'd give him that. Tall and muscular, he had the face of a Greek god and the body of a soldier, and then there were those piercing blue eyes and that rich dark hair that just begged to have fingers combed through it. She shook her head. Those were just looks. She didn't know anything about him. For all she knew he and his sister serial killers whose quirk was to chat up their victims before brutally mutilating and skinning them. She was frowning again. "I can leave anytime I want?"

The corners of Lewis's mouth twitched. "You can, but I wouldn't advise it. You've got stitches in your calves and…well it's not safe out there for someone like you."

"Someone like me?"

"Yeah, someone who's…" Interesting. Attracts attention. Gorgeous. Sexy. Tiny. His mind screamed at him the things he wanted to say but he didn't dare let slip from his mouth.

"Is this about me being a woman?" Israel challenged.

"Partly!" Lewis blurted out. "Look, I just don't wanna see you get hurt."

"I can take care of myself just fine. I've lived in Gotham my whole life. I doubt a simple bridge bombing is going to-"

"You have no idea what happened, do you?"

[/][/][/]

After another argument, Israel had finally accepted Lewis's help into the living room. He sat her on the couch and went to grab a glass of water for her while she immersed herself in the news. He had been right, she had no idea what was going on. She watched as broadcast after broadcast was made, and each news anchor had the same panic in their eyes as the one before. She didn't see Lewis sit the water down on the worn coffee table, and she didn't feel him sit down on the couch next to her. All she could do was watch the news.

"So, it wasn't just the explosion?" Her voice came out small.

Lewis shook his head. "All of the bridges leading out of Gotham were blown except one."

"Why aren't the police on this?"

"Because they're trapped."

A fluttering blink attacked her eyes as she glanced at him. "What do you mean?"

"When the bridges blew so did some of the piping underground. The cops are trapped down there."

"Okay…but how many? There have to be some left who weren't trapped…" Her words died in her throat as the expression on Lewis's face darkened. "They are all trapped underground?" She asked incredulously.

"Leave it up to the Commissioner to get overzealous in his antics. He sent them all down there. Called it a training exercise." He scoffed. "The stupid fuck…"

Israel's head began to hurt as she tried to process the information, but everything inside her went blank when Bane's face appeared on the TV screen. "Him…"

"He's the one causing all this. He's holding the entire city hostage."

Israel curled into herself, barely winced at the pain that shot through her legs. She had been too late in getting out. She had been working against a clock that she hadn't even known about, had been playing some invisible game with God and when her time ran out He had shut the gates of Heaven…and she had been confined to Hell. The panic that rose inside her was stifling. But something didn't make sense in her head, she was missing some piece of the puzzle. "How…how is he keeping everyone here? That makes no sense. Why is no one leaving?"

"You weren't paying much attention in that coffee shop were you? You didn't hear what he was saying at the game? It was on the TV while we were there." Lewis didn't wait for her to respond and instead began flipping through channels. He lucked out when he found a station that was broadcasting the scene from the football game.

Bane immediately filled the screen, and Israel squirmed in her seat at the sight of him. She recognized the scene, recognized the man on his knees and had a moment of pity for him as he had no idea what was coming next. She reminded herself that in reality this man was already dead, and instead did her best to focus on the words that were being spoken. So much happened on screen that she only managed to understand bits and pieces, fragments of the conversation entered her head at random and when she managed to piece them together… Scientist made a bomb. Bane had possession of bomb. Scientist was the only one to diffuse bomb. Bomb given to random citizen. And then the scientist was killed again, only this time his death had a much deeper meaning on her than it had before. She went ashen as Bane's last words: sit and wait. "We are so fucked…" Her words came out as barely a whisper.

Lewis glanced over at her. "I think we'll be okay. The government will have to send someone in to help out."

Israel was internally panicking, and it was becoming so bad that she was beginning to feel irrational. "You don't know our government system very well, Lewis." The way she said his name made it sound like a slur. "An entire city has been threatened with a nuclear bomb by a terrorist…and you think the United States government is going to help?" She was starting to pant, and tried to keep herself from yelling. "They won't help. They'll watch, and they'll do that because it means that they won't get their hands dirty."

Just then Joanna appeared in the living room with her jacket and boots on. Israel eyed the gun tucked into the waistband of her pants. "If we're going to the store we need to go now."

"You need a gun to go to the store?" Israel asked skeptically.

Joanna didn't smile. "There are no police, kid. What do you think happens to a society when there's no law?"

Israel stopped smiling and Lewis stood from the couch and grabbed his coat. "We'll be back soon."

"I wanna go too." She knew she sounded like some spoiled child, but she didn't care. She didn't like the idea of being cooped up in a home with people she didn't know.

Lewis shot her a stern look. "You've got stitches in your calves. I don't think you'll be going anywhere anytime soon." He reached into the table next to the door and produced his own gun. "I said we'll be back and we will. Anything you want? Ya know, if it's still in stock?"

Israel only scowled.

"Right. Well then I'll bring you back some ice cream. That always cheers me up when the world is ending."

Joanna's laugh rang out loud as she opened the front door and stepped through it. Lewis winked at the injured girl on his couch and then shut the door behind himself. And Israel was left on the couch to stew in her own self-loathing and panic. She should have turned off the television. She should have gone to take a nap or a shower, something to take her mind off of the present events, but she didn't. Instead she stayed on the couch, flipped through the channels in search of more information and better understanding, and the more she watched, the more unhinged she began to feel. She didn't like being trapped. She didn't like not having options. She was confused, and angry, and scared. She felt hopeless and enraged all at the same time. She wanted to scream and to break things, to pull her own hair out. Do something, anything that would ease the tension and weight in her chest, anything to keep herself from crying. Bane had left her with nothing to do but to sit and wait like the rest of Gotham, but she's be damned if she'd end up as pathetic and docile as the rest of her God forsaken city. She wouldn't just sit and wait to die.

She was up and moving then, not bothering to flinch or fuss at the pain in her legs. She found her pants easily and slipped them on, followed by her jacket and her boots. The adrenaline had her crazed and frantic, but logic seeped back in as she reached for the front door. Joanna's words sunk in and made her swallow hard. Gotham with a police force was bad enough, but now the boys in blue were buried in the sewers, and who knew what kind of crazies that had brought out of the shadows. She turned on her heels, her eyes daring around the apartment. She reasoned with herself that they'd both had guns with them when they left, and they didn't seem like the type to just have two in their home. She was absently shaking her head. No, no there were more guns, she just had to find them.

The first place she checked was Lewis's bedroom, and boy did she luck out. He had five guns hidden in his room, one of which was small enough to fit her hands, yet large enough to put a hole through anyone who got in her way. Making sure the safety was on, she tucked into the back of her pants and set about looking for extra ammo. She never found any, but she did find an array of pocket knives lined neatly in the bottom of his underwear drawer. She stared at them and then idly fingered the gun at her back. And they wanted her to stay with them. She scoffed. Yeah right. She took two of the largest knives and stuck one in each boot.

And then she stood in front of the front door, stared at it as she gathered herself to face what was outside. She could do this. She told herself repeatedly that she could do this. She was shaking, but her hand reached for the knob anyway. She had been through worse, much worse. She could make it to Dollies and then form a plan there. She nodded. That was her plan. Dollies for protection, and then she find a way to get out of Gotham. She wouldn't die in the place that had stolen so much of her soul from her. She'd be damned first.

She swung the door open, preparing for screaming and gunfire, and was surprised to find that it was eerily quiet out. Night had fallen, and whatever area of town she was in didn't have many street lights. She stepped outside and shut the door behind her, another wave of overwhelming panic threatened to overtake her as she looked to the right and left of herself, seeing nothing but darkness. She shifted her weight from one foot to the other, testing out her stitches and the pain in her calves. It wasn't so bad, she reasoned with herself. She could make it to Dollies and come up with a plan there, she figured. And so, reassuring her doubts by idly touching the gun at her back, she wandered into the dark.

[/][/][/]

Bane supposed that a lesser man who had accomplished the things that he had would have consider Gotham City a possession, would lay claims to this black mark of a society. He was not a lesser man. Bane held no such claims, did not let the idea cross his mind as he looked upon Gotham as filth, as a disease that needed curing, and he was such a cure. He stood on ground level, with his hands clasped at the collar of his vest, watching as his men lifted their belongings from the sewers. The League of Shadows would no longer need to hide in the underbelly of Gotham, not after the day was through.

He strolled down the alley and onto the street where Bruce Wayne's precious tanks sat in line like a fleet. He watched as his men loaded up the tanks and eventually took his place in the tank that second in the line, the one that Barsard was driving. Their ride to the prison was leisurely and silent, but his men seemed to hum with excitement. Bane remained quiet in his seat, watching as the townhouses and buildings passed him by, but his eyes darted to something moving behind a dumpster, and when she emerged, he couldn't help the small smile that tugged at the corners of his mouth, wrinkled the corners of his eyes. "Barsad…" His second in command immediately slowed down and pulled off to the side along with two of the other tanks.

Israel didn't make it to Dollies. Her injuries seemed fine to her at first, but two hours into her walk left her limping and sore and tired, and she was positive that she'd torn a stitch or two as blood was wetting the inside of her boot. She'd been sticking mainly to the shadows, not something the normally did when she was out, but the news and the idea of this new, lawless Gotham has her paranoid and looking over her shoulder. She had only managed to come across a few homeless bums, but they paid no notice to her as she slid by them, avoiding any and all light that would make her presence known.

The pain in her legs became unbearable, sharp and shooting and aching, it raged through her thighs and up to her lower back. She had to stop, needed to sit down and rest for a while. Luckily, Gotham was filled with hidden alleys and hideaways, and she was grateful to huddle behind a dumpster, telling herself that she would only rest her eyes for a few minutes, maybe an hour tops, and then be on her way.

Hours passed, and Israel shivered as she slept propped up against a brick building. She hadn't realized how tired and worn out she was until the sun woke her up. High and bright in the sky, it beat down her and she squinted up at it with a frown. Shaking off the confusion and the sleep, she yawned and slowly stretched, hissing at the pain that vibrated through her. On instinct she checked her legs. She had torn more than a few stitches, and there was so much blood that it made her sick to look at it, but for the most part her wound had crusted over. It was far from healing, but if she took it slow she figured she could make it to Dollies to get cleaned up and then head the nearest hospital. Realization dawned on her and she grimaced, if there were a hospital still open…

Standing was a challenge that required all her strength and the help of the wall behind her. She eased up slow, eyes closed as her entire body throbbed and rang in agony. She could have killed a kitten in that moment if it mean she'd get 2 Ibuprofen. She hobbled from behind the dumpster, almost crying as her legs felt like heavy, heated lead. She'd made it back to a part of Gotham that she knew pretty well, knew which way to go and which buildings to cut through to get to her destination, but she would never make it that far.

The silence around her was suddenly pierced with the sound of loud engines and heavy tires, and Israel, still fogged with sleep and pain, didn't feel the need to duck as large tanks some black and some camouflage rolled past her. She watched them curiously, but her curiosity turned to dread when the second tank in the lineup left rank and made a U-turn. She knew her own luck had never been good. She always been a target of some kind; someone always found her too pretty to look at, or too interesting to talk to; found her body too luscious not to be touched. And, because of those facts and because of her past, she knew that the tank that broke rank was coming for her, and her suspicions were confirmed when another tank broke rank and head back as well.

Where she normally avoided the alleys, avoided what they could hide and what they concealed, she found herself backing into one, and when the first tank came to a halt where she had been standing, she tucked tail and ran. Had she not been terrified for her life, and had she not heard the heavy, expedient sound of boots coming behind her, she might have left at her awkward footfalls and off balance gait. She promised herself that, when she made it out of her predicament she would laugh about it later. The footsteps were louder now, they were too close behind her, and as she tried to make herself speed up, to push herself forward, her legs began to fail her. Whereas before, when she only knew she had popped a stitch because of the blood, she could now feel the thread tearing through her skin, could feel fresh blood rush to the surface and spring down her leg. She gave a frustrated curse, her eyes watered with anxiety and fear as her pace slowed.

Her legs were going numb and she had resorted to crawling. When someone's hand fisted in her hair and wrenched her into standing, she came up swinging. The stinging in her scalp made her furious. Adrenaline kicked her into overdrive as she began to struggle, jamming her elbow into someone's ribcage before easily pulling the gun from her back pocket and shooting the man who'd taken hold of her hair in the knee. A strangled cry, and he went down. Standing and aiming, she could see them all now. There were 6 of them, and they were all so much more menacing that she could have ever pretended to be. But at least she was holding a gun. She fired a round at one. It barely grazed his thigh. However, a bullet was still a bullet, and the would felt like the mixture of a red hot poker and a paper cut. Reflex and self-preservation called for cradling the wound, and the man did so.

Israel fired another round into the man nearest her, mid-height and lanky with a few missing teeth. She caught him in the shoulder, and the impact of the bullet caused him to jerk back. Someone was reaching for her then, running to her with his arms out, as Israel went to fire another the harsh click, click, click of an empty chamber sounded through the alley. They were on her minutes. Her struggling was fruitless. She was too weak and too injured to inflict any damage onto anyone without a weapon. If she had seen herself, saw how pathetic she looked, suspended around the waist while two men carried her back to where she had run from, she might have stopped struggling, might have paid more attention to the man they were bringing her to.

She was dropped on the ground with a thud, and her pride kept her from cradling her legs. Whoever they were, she could feel them standing around her. She felt apprehensive as they weren't moving, they were just standing there, just waiting. Israel kept her eyes to the ground and yet still managed to keep her chest puffed out as if she didn't just lose her dignity. But then she heard it: hard, heavy, footfalls that, though they were intense, had a sense of leisure about them. She wanted to look up, wanted to see, but fear had set her to trembling and she couldn't make herself move. Another familiar noise, a mechanical rasp touched her ears. It was a sound she'd never forget, and immediately she knew who was standing over her. He knelt, took her small chin firmly in his hand and lifted her head.

Bane had sent his men after her, not at all shocked that she'd run. She was a survivor, he had learned that much about her if nothing else. But as she had disappeared in the alley, he took note of the way she moved, of the limp that bothered her, and then of the blood on her pants. She was injured. He'd ordered his men to bring her to him unharmed, and now he was staring down at her and she was yet again appearing so impossibly small to him. He strolled over to her, his eyes still assessing her. Was she always in such a state? Did she never have a look of normalcy to her? She was dirty, shivering, shaking…bloody, and she sat awkwardly, trying to keep her own weight off of certain parts of her anatomy, her head bowed.

Those eyes….

He had knelt before he knew it, his hand was touching her before he could stop himself. His grip was harsh, he knew, but the moment he lifted her head, the moment their eyes met…

"You again," his voice carried a cheerful lilt. Her watched her eyes widen, delighted that he got to see more of her matchless irises. He felt her give a small tug, testing to see if he'd let go of her face, let her go in general, but when his grip tightened she froze.

"Me…again…" Her words were almost silent, but Bane caught them.

"Must I always find you in such interesting places?" He turned her head from side to side, let his gaze slid over to such an extent that he heard her swallow. "And in such interesting conditions…"

His voice made chills erupt on her skin and she wet her lips nervously with nothing to say. They gazed at each other a moment long before Bane made a noise in his throat and pulled away. "Bring her." He turned, headed back to the tank and when one of his men went to scoop her up and carry her forward, she began fighting again in earnest.

If they were going to kidnap her, they were damn well going to have to earn it. She would make sure of that, and despite being in agony, she fought tooth and nail to keep from being stuffed into one of the tanks. It wasn't pretty fighting, it was nothing fancy. It was dirty and girly and mean. Israel gouged at eyes and skin, set her teeth to flesh, kicked at inappropriate areas, and once she realized that the men who trying to control her weren't fighting back, that they weren't allowed to hurt her, she kicked it into overdrive, swung her arms wildly and all but screamed. She didn't hear Bane approach her, didn't realize that he had turned back, but when one of the men pushed her, she fell back into something hard and solid. She turned, prepared to take on whoever it was, but when Bane's arms clamped around, immobilized her, and when his eyes, a fury of grey set on her, she could barely move. She stopped, it was momentary as she was trying to find a way to hurt him, to free herself of his grasp, but then Bane's gaze was torn away from her, he looked over her, past her and his eyes hardened, one hand coming up for something. And Israel was going to turn to look, but then something connected with the back of her head. Bane's eyes met hers, still all stormy skies and seas, and then she blacked out.

[/][/][/]

Israel swam to the surface of consciousness and found that it came accompanied with nausea. Her head lolled to one side and the world turned along with it. She knew she was going to vomit. She could feel the bile in her throat, the heat of it making her mouth water. She barely had time to open her eyes and search out the trash can next to the bed before she was leaning over it while both vomiting and dry heaving. Each movement, each shrug of her shoulder and quiver of her abdomen made her head throb more, made her stomach knot tighter. And, where she had started on the bed, she soon found herself kneeling on the floor, her arms wrapped around the bin as she continually dry heaved. Her stomach began to hurt from its lengthy session of contraction and release, and when Israel realized that the smell of her vomit was what was keeping her vomiting going, she immediately pulled away, threw herself away from the trash can and fell back on the floor. Her skin, clammy with sweat and heated with sickness, was greeted by the cool hardwood. She laid face down, slowly and carefully turning her head from cheek to cheek so that both could absorb the low temperature of the floor.

While she laid there, the fog in her head began to clear and she began to think. The previous events began to play back in her head in random succession. Images of Lewis and Joanna and Bane rolled over in her brain and when she touched the back of her head, felt the lump that had developed there, the nausea reared its ugly head again. She flipped onto her side, forced herself into a standing position and immediately winced and hissed at the pain that surged through her legs. She'd forgotten about her stitches. She hobbled to the bed, sat and pulled her leg up to see the damage. When she uncovered her wound she fought the dry heave that wracked in her throat. The stitches were still torn, and so was her skin. It was red and inflamed and puffy and throbbed when she touched it. Infected, she thought, fuck me, it's infected. She lowered her pant leg and stood again, slower, gentler this time.

She was in a spacious bedroom, though the contents of which had been stripped, it was still a rather nice room. The bed she had been in was a king bed, a California king bed she thought as it was longer that it was wide. The color on the walls were a pale greyish blue, and she could tell that there had been artwork, perhaps family photos hanging on them. In the far corner, next to the tall glass doors that led out to the patio, there were stacks upon stacks of books, all of which were weathered and torn, musty and yellow with age.

There was a door to the right of the bed, and another next to the stack of books. Israel figured that one was the closet, and one was the bathroom. However, other than the books and the bed, and herself, the room was empty.

The door to the bedroom was ajar and Israel immediately crept towards it. She needed to get to a hospital or she'd lose her legs. She gulped at the thought. She slipped into the hallway noiselessly. Her movements were slow, sluggish, as her head was throbbing, but despite that, she blinked continuously to keep her vision from spotting. She could see the kitchen clearly and she was guessing that once she cleared the hallway the living room would be to the right, but where was the exit door.

There was a sudden loud ringing, the sound of a telephone, and it shook Israel so bad that she almost lost her footing, but was scared her even more as the deep voice that answered the ring.

"Thomas." It said. "She hasn't stirred, sir."

Israel's eyes narrowed. She assumed that she was the "she" that was being referred to.

"Yes sir, I will check again."

Israel had no time to get back to the bedroom before a man with dark skin and a shaved head filled the mouth of the hallway. His face held a startled expression as he looked her over, his phone still pressed to his ear. There was silence between them until her captor breathed into the phone.

"She's awake…" The man gave a stiff nod before pocketing the phone.

Israel was holding herself up against the wall, bracing herself for what was coming next. The man was bigger than her, a lot bigger with a semi-automatic weapon in his hand, clad in camo and thick soled boots. Even at her best she couldn't take him, and now she had no weapon. He moved and she stilled.

He noted this, saw the way her eyes darted to him and to the space around him. He had been instructed not to harm her and so, to remove temptation, he began to lower his gun. The moment his hands touched it Israel began to back away. "Whoa, wait," the guy said. "I'm not gonna hurt you."

She'd heard those words before, and every time she'd heard them they'd been a lie. Her palms began to sweat and her heart raced. She was finding it hard to get enough air in her lungs. She kept her eyes on him as he put his hands up in what she thought he be mock defense.

"I'm not going to hurt you, I just need to get you back I bed." He spoke low, calmly, dreaded the wild fear that consumed her face. He took a step towards her, and Israel tensed.

She went to back away but her legs gave out. Her calves had had enough and she went tumbling to the floor, landed with a sound thump. She never lost eye contact with the man in camo, and she reacted purely on instinct when he tried to rush her. In as much pain as she was, it was relatively easy to extend her leg and for her the heel of her foot to connect with his groin. The impact made both of them grunt and groan, but as her captor knelt on the floor, Israel was busy scrambling herself up and back, retreating to the bedroom where the shut the door soundly and locked it behind her. Her heart raced, her vision spotted. She felt like she was going to be sick again, and the chills and fever that undulated through her didn't help at all. She could hear him cursing in the hallway and she crawled into the bathroom where she closed and locked that door. The only weapon she could find was a shaving razor, which she grasped tightly. She curled into the corner of the linen closet and shut the door before sliding the largest hamper in front of herself.

She was disgusted with herself for getting into her current situation, but she was even more upset that she was cowering in a closet with nothing but a razor to protect herself with. And as she sat, huddled and trembling, gripping the razor as if it were the last candle in the dark, she replayed the events from earlier over and over in head. She should have fought harder… She should have hid or run as soon as she'd seen the tanks… She shouldn't have slept behind a dumpster… She should have stayed put at Lewis's apartment… She shouldn't have taken that extra day at work… She shouldn't have given Bane a lapdance…

The mere thought of him made her jolt. His name conjured images of the large man with the menacing eyes and the contraption over his mouth. The thought of the first time she'd met him, the way he looked at her then and the way he'd looked at her at the club. And then again last night…

She was so fucked.

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Bane had been on a helipad when he'd made the call. His guest was taking far too long to get to Gotham, and he was growing both irritated and bored. And as he stood out in the cold, eyes skyward along with a small batch of his men, he couldn't keep his mind off of her. His eyes narrowed. Her, he thought. She'd plagued his thoughts from the moment they'd met. There was something about her that intrigued him. When he'd run into her the second time, he'd dismissed it as merely a coincidence…a nice coincidence, but nothing more than that. However, when he watched her emerge from behind a dumpster, well he just couldn't ignore her anymore. And now his new pet was home, waiting for him to bring the tools to nurse her back to health.

The helicopter finally sounded in the distance and Bane watched as it drew closer and closer before finally landing on the pad. A tall woman with chestnut brown hair and sharp eyes slid from the machine clad in pajama pants and a t-shirt covered by a thick jacket. Her eyes cut to Bane and narrowed as she made her way to him carrying a black duffel bag.

"Doctor," Bane greeted warmly. "I'm glad you could make it."

The woman scowled. "You left me no choice…"

His hand gripped her upper arm tightly as he led her from the roof. "You had a choice, Mara, and you made the right one."

The car ride back to the apartment was mainly silent, and Bane watched with interest as his doctor first fidgeted in her seat, and then grew eerily still as she passed through the chaotic outside world. Gotham had become a violent free for all, and Mara watched, flinching as she witnessed families and individuals being ripped from their homes, murdered in the streets, their belongings going to new and far less deserving owners. Figures moved vigorously in the shadows as women and children screamed and cried. She wanted to shut her eyes to it, to ignore what was happening, but it was like a train wreck that you couldn't look away from because in some sick part of your head, you watched with sick curiosity. Her eyes cut to Bane who watched her with mild interest and amusement.

"Do you have something you'd like to say, doctor?" It was interesting to watch her squirm, to watch the emotions of shock and pity and rage pass over her features, and to see her hands ball into fists.

The words balled in her throat, rolled onto her tongue and tasted like bitter sweet taffy. "No," she finally bit out. "I don't." She had known Bane for a long time and in that time he had let her get away with a lot of things that normally, he would kill a person over. But she knew that talking back to him was something that he wouldn't let stand. Belittling or scolding him would mean the end of her life. And so, because of that, she sat silent in the car and simply watched as Gotham tore itself apart before her eyes.

The apartment complex was luxurious, and it made Bane sick. He had never been one for extravagance; however his plan had placed his headquarters in the center of Gotham. And so, because of that he had been forced to choose from the many expensive and indulgent apartments near the heart of Gotham City. As he exited the car and drew the doctor out along with him, he frowned as he glared up at the large building, a sour taste forming in his mouth. "Up we go…" he murmured.

The foyer looked like the inside of a hotel. The floors were tiled and white and the light was rich and golden. Bane altogether passed the opulence and dragged the doctor to the nearest elevator where he, Mara, and Barsad boarded. They rose up to the 26th floor and when the elevator opened, Barsad was the first one out followed by doctor Mara as Bane gave her a gentle nudge into the hallway. Hardwood floors led the way through eggshell walls and black metal doors. They stopped at the last door in the hallway and once inside Bane stood perplexed, doctor in hand, as Owen, the man he'd left alone with his new pet, stood awkwardly in the kitchen with what looked like a bag of frozen carrots pressed firmly to his groin. The man glanced over his shoulder as the door opened but didn't bother to remove the cold compress.

Bane's eyebrow twitched and he noted that the corners of Barsad's lips had tilted upwards. "Where is she?"

Owen nodded towards the closed bedroom door. "She's barricaded herself in there."

Bane handed Mara over to Barsad, and wordlessly he led the doctor to the bedroom door where he effortlessly kicked it open.

"What has happened here?" Bane asked, taking slow steps over to Owen.

"The bitch kicked me." He bit out.

Bane surveyed him silently and then asked, "…and did you strike her as well?"

Owen straightened then, set the frozen vegetables on the counter as a tremor of fear rocked him. "No sir. You told me not to harm her."

Bane continued to stare at him, watching the way his soldier's set shoulders wavered, the way he couldn't maintain eye contact for longer than a few seconds. "You may leave."

The bedroom door had been kicked in, and it took Israel's fear and anxiety to a level so high that she should barely get air into her lungs. She clung tighter to the shaving razor, held it out in front of herself as though it were a sword. There was talking in the other room, and Israel could clearly make out a female voice over the sound of someone pounding on the bathroom door. She closed her eyes tightly, willed herself to disappear, to be invisible because she knew that the bathroom door would give way, and when it did she fought against the tears that boiled and bubbled in her eyes. The footsteps that flooded the bathroom had her coming up with some kind of game plan in her head. Her first thought was to try and dart past them, but when she flexed her foot pain shot through her leg, a reminder of her injuries. Running was out of the question, and she's make a fool of herself before she'd get to safety.

Flight had been taken off the table, and so now her only option was to put up some kind of fight. She was surrounded my linens and towels, and she stared down at the razor in her hand and sneered at it. What had she been thinking? It was a shaving razor for God's sake! She wouldn't be able to inflict any damage with it. She looked around frantically, scanned the shelves for anything that would help, and when her eyes landed on a can of bleach based antibacterial spray, she snagged it, happy to find that it was more than halfway full. She would blind all of them.

The bathroom door caved easily, and there was a 5 second pause before the linen closet door was all but ripped off its hinges. Israel didn't hesitate. Her arm shot from behind the hamper and her finger pressed down on the button so hard that it hurt her knuckle. Bleach tinted cleaner came spraying from the nozzle and then there was a scream, a very feminine scream, and then the doorway was clear. Israel shot up, and moving in a furied shamble, she raced through the door, didn't pause long enough to see who was in the bedroom before she was moving towards the hallway. She surprised herself by almost making it to the living room, deceived herself with false hope that she'd make it to the door, but then a strong arm grabbed her so suddenly and so harshly around her waist that she thought she would vomit for the pressure on her stomach.

A feral growl erupted from her and she fought in earnest. It wasn't until she was placed on the bed, held there by a very large, very strong hand that she ceased all movement. A fury of grey peered down at her over an archaic mask and she found herself frozen. She wanted to move, to fight him, to get away from him, but his eyes told everything he would do to her and more if she even attempted to try it.

In the background Mara moaned and hissed at the stinging in her eyes while Barsad made an effort to help her pull a solution from her bag to help with the pain and to flush out the irritant. And while Israel heard the commotion, the only that filled her ears was the sound of her own adrenaline and the mechanical hiss of breathing. The emotions in his eyes came across very clearly as rage and slight amusement, and it made Israel cringe.

Bane had heard Barsad kick the bedroom door in, had heard dear Dr. Mara try to stop him, to let her coax his pet out of the bathroom. The entire situation was one he found amusing. He had strolled into the bedroom just in time to see Mara stumbling backwards out of the bathroom, her fingers clawing at her eyes, but what had surprised him the most was seeing her come running, hobbling, out of the bathroom. Her eyes has been wide, full of fear and anger and slight annoyance. She didn't even notice him as she skirted by him, and before he went after, he watched as she pushed herself down the hallway. He didn't have to move fast to catch up with her. She was a tiny thing compared to him, and he had always taken such long strides when he walked. He reached her within a matter of seconds, scooped her up like she weighed nothing, because did in fact weigh next to nothing. She struggled, clawed at him, and he could feel the pressure of her nails digging into him, tearing at him, but there was no pain accompanied with. She kicked at him, her heels landing soundly into his shin, and his patience gave in then.

Bane all but threw her onto the bed, holding her down with one hand while he leaned over her with the other. They caught eyes and her struggling ceased. Her gaze widened and he could feel the soft tremble that started in her as she stared up at him. She moved, tested his weight on her, and his hand pressed down harder, more insistent. Her shirt rode up then, and when Bane's palm lay flat against Israel's stomach, they both froze.

His hand was so warm against her, and everything in her coiled and squirmed and knotted. She felt like she might vomit, and before she could stop herself her hand reached for his, wrapped around his wrist in an effort to move it.

Bane pulled away immediately, clenched and unclenched his hand as he stared down at her. "Mara," he called, his voice sounded strained even to his own ears. She touched him and the feeling that came with that small bit of contact was not one that he welcomed, nor one that he was used to.

"I'm fine," the doctor said back. "My eyes are irritated, and I can't say I blame her, but I'm fine and I can see."

Her heart was racing and her skin burned from where his hand had been? What the hell was that, she thought quietly to herself, watching him carefully as he lifted Mara's head to check her eyes. She swatted at him, recoiled violently.

"I said I can see." She bit out. She smoothed down her clothes and slicked back her hair. "Now, if you would both be so kind as to wait outside, I have a patient to see to."

Barsad left immediately, a grin tugging at his lips as he eyed both women. Bane, however, lingered. Mara wanted to push him out of the room, shove him as far away from him as she could. But she didn't. She knew what he was capable. She knew the monster that was always just beneath the skin, always waiting to be provoked. Instead, she stood staring at him, moved little by little so that she was standing in between him and Israel because she honestly didn't like the way he looked at her, the way he responded to her.

"Bane." She called him, swallowed as his eyes slid slowly from the girl on the bed. "I can't work on her while you're in here."

He made a noise, a low rumble that started in his chest and died somewhere in his throat. But he left them in peace.

Mara turned then, watching as the girl on the bed coiled into the corner and hissed at her aching legs. "Hey, I'm not going to hurt you."

She was riddled with fear. Her tousled hair and brazen eyes made her look manic and on edge. When Mara sat down on the end of the bed, Israel did all but climb the walls to get away from her. This made the doctor sigh. The things Bane could do to people, the way he could make them react, what he could turn them into…

"It's okay," she said softly. "I'm Doctor Mara… Do you remember your name?"


Like I said, not my best work. And it took me so long to write this because it is literally painful for me write scenes where Bane and Israel interact. Honestly, they're both such closed off people and they have this strane chemistry, and so when they interact it's hard to come up with something for them to talk about. But not to worry, it will get better. Israel is about to be closed off in an apartment with him for months, and Bane can't even stomach his own curiosity of her... Besides, she's got a backstory that's going to blow you away.

Anywho, love you guys! Leave me love if you have the time.

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