A/N: in celebration of the New Year (and fulfillment of a promise made to the sweet and lovely nogood4me), this oneshot is now a twoshot :D this provides the backstory of the first chapter and takes things more in depth. I don't plan to add any further chapters to this, but I hope everyone enjoys it all the same :) Happy New Year, and thanks for reading :D
A little over an hour into the new year, as the city continued to celebrate outside into the wee hours of the morning, Selina could hardly believe that the night had turned out the way it had. It felt surreal and dangerous to be in Bruce's arms once again, but now that she was, it was starkly obvious how badly she'd been hurting without him for the last two months.
She wasn't done punishing him for pushing her away, not yet, and they both knew it. She also couldn't pretend that she wouldn't have issues with trust him now, and since she was the one who'd left, she assumed he'd have the same problem. Those were issues on top of the ones that already existed between them, and those were rather numerous.
But she wasn't going to go back to their previous arrangement, that mess of a sexual relationship that was supposed to be casual and feeling-free but never really was. This time around, it was going to have to be a real relationship. She had no idea how that was supposed to work, since she'd never really been in a relationship like this, but they were both quick learners, she reasoned. Surely it couldn't be too hard to figure out.
She was the first to speak as they lay together in the mess of twisted sheets, breathing contentedly and holding one another like they used to. "This doesn't fix everything, you know."
"I know," he replied softly.
"I know I didn't help much before," she sighed. "We've both acted like idiots for a long time."
"Mostly me," Bruce said.
"Oh please," she muttered. "Neither of us have known what the hell we're doing this entire time."
He couldn't argue with her. Selina's mind flickered back to the day that had started it all, the day that should have shocked her and yet somehow didn't, and set her life on a wholly unknown and foreign course.
It didn't take her long to tie up her loose ends in Gotham. She stayed behind a few weeks to help Jen get on her feet, and to prepare to never see her hometown again. In a weird way, she thought she'd miss the city. Now that Gotham had been all but destroyed, the rich and the poor were coming together in ways not short of miraculous to rebuild it, and Selina had to admit - the storm had come, and it hadn't been in vain. It hadn't been what she'd expected, and she hated her role in bringing it, but at least it brought out the good in what was left of Gotham's depraved souls. Bane was probably rolling over in his grave.
Batman would be proud, she thought as she returned home to her apartment late one night. If he hadn't gone and gotten himself blown up, he'd probably be sitting on some rooftop, watching the city silently and proudly, and maybe he'd finally find some peace.
She closed her front door behind her, feeling the strange ache inside of her chest that would burn and sting whenever she thought about him. It was strange because it wasn't quite... right. She didn't dwell on it long, however - she couldn't. Life went on, good people died, and she would adapt. It was a familiar cycle repeating itself.
She walked inside of her bedroom and slipped out of her heels, pausing at the sight of her strangely open window. She walked slowly to it and closed it, knowing she hadn't left it open, and that was when something very familiar sitting on her nightstand caught her attention.
A strand of unforgettably perfect pearls, lying there and waiting for her, on top of a piece of paper. Her heart thudded and a shiver went down her spine as she touched the pearls with suddenly shaky fingertips, and as she picked them up and peered down at what they were laying on, she realized it was not a piece of paper, but a plane ticket.
She laughed. Of course he was alive, she thought, though she couldn't imagine how he could have survived the blast. She'd make him explain later, she quickly decided, and then she wondered if that's why the ache in her chest had never felt quite right. Maybe she'd been holding out hope without realizing it. Maybe some part of her knew that there was always more to this man than what he allowed others to know. Maybe he always had a plan B.
She examined the date on the ticket, and found that her flight left in a mere three hours. Her destination was Florence, Italy.
When her long flight had ended and she touched down in Florence, she wondered where she was supposed to go from here. Would he be waiting for her at the airport? Was she supposed to wait for him if he wasn't?
Her mind was racing with possibilities as she turned her phone back on after landing. To her surprise, she found a text waiting from an unfamiliar number, containing the name of an address and the location of a car she could drive there.
Well, there's my answer, Selina thought, the thrill of anticipation starting to take hold within her.
She found the car in the overnight parking section of the airport's lot, a black BMW, and when she got inside, she found the keys in the glove compartment along with a small piece of paper with four numbers scribbled down on it.
He'd never lose his taste for theatricality and mystery, she grinned as she turned on the ignition.
An unexpectedly long drive later, Selina found herself weaving through back roads and past secluded private properties, accidentally passing up her destination twice before finally making it there. Down a long, winding, unpaved driveway lined with thick trees sat a house. Just a house, not a mansion, or even a large house. It was simple and home-y looking, and it was probably the last type of place she expected to be led to by this man.
A similarly black BMW sat in a small, unconnected garage that she pulled into. She turned off the engine and grabbed the piece of paper with the four numbers, then checked her reflection in the mirror.
It was while she was smoothing down her hair that she realized that if he was here, then it certainly hadn't been him who slipped in through her window in Gotham and left her the pearls and plane ticket. So who in the world had done it for him?
The question faded from her mind as she got out and walked to the front door. Just like she'd expected, she found a keypad on the door underneath the knob. She typed in the four digits and heard a click, and then she turned the knob and opened the door.
She stepped inside the dimly lit house, again unsure of what she was supposed to do next. What she could see of the place looked charmingly simple - simple living room, simple kitchen, all of it clean and inviting. She saw a staircase beyond the living room and wondered if she should see what sat upstairs when a whisper of a voice made her jump nearly out of her skin.
"You made it."
She forced a gulp down her suddenly dry throat, and prepared herself as she turned around. She didn't know what to expect - he could be half dead, dying from radiation poisoning, disfigured, maybe all of the above.
But when she turned and met the gaze of Bruce Wayne, she let out a breath she hadn't known she was holding. Though the room was dim and a shadow was cast over him, she could see every inch of his handsome, smiling face, looking exactly as she'd remembered him. There was one change, however - he looked peaceful now. Relaxed. It made him look even more handsome.
There was really only one thing to do, she decided. She stepped forward and kissed him, electricity surging under her skin as her lips touched his. His arms enclosed around her, and she let her fingers run through his soft hair as he kissed her back.
It was a slow kiss, the kind that she'd wanted the last one they'd shared to be like. But there had been, literally, a ticking timebomb keeping her from giving him goodbye that she'd wanted to give him. This, however, changed everything. He was alive, and she was with him, and maybe now their story could change for the better.
She felt him breathing a bit heavier when she pulled away, bringing her hands down to his chest and touching him in lingering disbelief. She looked up into his hazel eyes and said, "You shouldn't be alive."
He shook his head. "No, I shouldn't be."
He paused for barely a moment before answering. "Autopilot."
She let that sink in before she replied. "So you lied to me."
"To be honest," he said, "I didn't plan on bailing until the last minute."
"So why did you bail?"
"... I realized that maybe I did have a few reasons left to live."
She then slapped him so hard that her hand vibrated for the next fifteen minutes, and his face didn't stop tingling for thirty.
"Don't ever do that to me again."
The rest of their day was spent talking, as unexpected as that was. They talked about Gotham, about the reconstruction, about what their own futures might hold for him. Selina found out that the pearls and ticket had been placed in her room by John Blake, whom Bruce said had become something of a protege. She asked if this meant that Batman wasn't gone for good after all. Bruce said that was up to Blake.
The night came to an end very much unlike she'd imagined it would. Given the ridiculously electric chemistry between them, she was not expecting him to take her to bed in the master bedroom and then kiss her languidly before telling her goodnight and disappearing.
She hadn't really known what to expect when she'd come to Italy, but she imagined that whatever relationship they were going to have, they would simply figure it out. She had no idea Bruce would be as confused and conflicted as he was.
Their second day together, she spent most of the daylight hours trying to kiss him. He avoided her each time, and she started overthinking things at a rapid pace. They'd kissed the day before. Bruce had even initiated the last time. But today he was finding reason after reason to slip away when she got too close. Instead, he began filling her in on what he'd been spending his days working on.
He was helping Lucius Fox rebuild Wayne Enterprises as best as he could from Florence. Fox had been the first to figure out that Bruce wasn't dead, after finding out about the fixed autopilot. Gordon had come next, though Bruce hadn't spoken to him, and then Bruce reached out to Blake.
"What about your butler?" Selina asked. Bruce's expression darkened quickly.
"He doesn't know."
She'd remember that as the first time she found herself disappointed in Bruce Wayne. She didn't voice it, but her eyes told him how wrong she thought it was that the man who'd cared for him his entire life would end up being the last to know and the longest to grieve. His eyes told her that he didn't disagree.
His other project, she'd find out later, was hacking into some old offshore accounts of his to retrieve what he'd deemed an "emergency stash" of money. He'd made sure the funds were so heavily protected, however, that even he was having a hard time retrieving them.
They were sitting at the kitchen table, Selina snacking on an apple while Bruce typed away on his laptop, when she asked for some clarification. "When you say 'stash'..."
He shrugged and said, "Enough to get by."
She narrowed her eyes. "When you say 'get by'..."
He grinned at her then. "I mean enough that we won't have to ever work again if we don't want to."
We. She hadn't seen that coming.
She did what she could with what little food he had to make them a decent dinner that night, and he'd scarfed it down like he hadn't eaten in days. She suspected that his diet had been consisting probably of cereal and what little else he thought to feed himself, and she wasn't wrong.
Then he'd asked about the clean slate. She told him that she still had it, and he asked if she would get it and meet him in his room. She agreed, and a few moments later, they were both seated on the edge of the small bed in the guest bedroom he'd taken over.
He handed her his laptop and she plugged in the little USB device, knowing why he'd asked her to bring it without having to ask. They watched as the program popped up, just a blank white window waiting to be typed on, and she typed in his name. Then she looked at him, and he told her his birthday. She typed that in as well, and then placed her finger on the "enter" button.
"Sure about this?" she asked.
He nodded. "Yeah."
"All right," she sighed, then pressed the button.
As Bruce Wayne vanished from every database in the world, Selina set the laptop aside and turned to him. He had nowhere to run off to this time, and when she held his face and kissed him, he didn't fight her. She ended up in his lap, then on top of him as she pushed him down on the bed, working through the buttons of his shirt as their kiss turned frantic and wild.
All was going well, and he was tugging off her own shirt when her exploring fingers brushed over a freshly scarring mark on the right side of his abdomen. That was when he froze and tore his lips away, panting, "Stop."
"Just... I'm sorry, stop. I can't."
He gently pushed her away, and she sat back on her knees as he sat up with his back to the headboard. She felt strangely embarrassed - what had she done wrong? One minute his tongue was practically down her throat and the next he was pressed up against the headboard like he couldn't get far enough away from her.
Bruce sighed, smoothing his hair down on his head. "I'm sorry. I just..."
"Did I do something wrong?"
"No," Bruce half-smiled. "Definitely not."
"So then what the hell?" she asked, a bit exasperated.
Bruce took a breath, taking a moment to get his words right. "The last time I jumped into bed with someone... it was a disaster."
"You're talking about what's her name," Selina surmised. "Psycho bitch."
"Well," Selina said, a bit hurt and unwilling to admit it, "I guess you're right to be cautious. I did hand you over to Bane."
Bruce's eyes widened by a fraction and he quickly said, "That's not what I meant."
"It doesn't matter," she said, moving to get off the bed.
He reached out and grabbed her hand, stopping her. She glared at him stonily, and he said, "Listen to me. What I meant was... I made a huge mistake with her. And whatever we are, whatever we might end up being... I don't want to rush it. I want us to know each other."
She paused, not knowing whether to believe him or not. "What about what I did? You can't tell me you've just forgotten or don't care."
"I forgive you, Selina," Bruce replied gently. "And if I hadn't already, I definitely got over it when you saved my life. And fought with me to save the city."
She thought he was an idiot for forgiving her, but she kept it to herself. "You really want to take it slow?"
"No," he chuckled. "I want to throw you down and not let you out of my bed for a week. But I think we should take it slow. Be friends."
Leave it to Bruce Wayne to be the first man to ever friendzone Selina Kyle. "Well. That sucks."
The following next couple of months were nothing short of sheer torture for both Bruce and Selina. She helped him with his projects, he decided to show her more of Europe than just Italy, and they became very good friends. Friends who never touched each other because if they did, they wouldn't be able to stop.
He told her about his past, and left out a few details that he couldn't predict her reaction to. She did the same, and though they both saw the holes in the other's stories, they let it be.
He took her to Spain, Germany, even England, Scotland, and Ireland, and she had a blast seeing the world. He made sure she tried all of the best local cuisine everywhere they went, and bought her everything he caught her eyeing. She didn't want him to, and more than once she guiltily asked him to stop, but he never did. By the time they got back to Florence, she had a whole new wardrobe and jewelry collection and a whole lot more complicated feelings for her "friend".
She was pleased to see that Bruce had finally decided to let Alfred know the truth when she accompanied him to a cafe in Florence one evening. She was in a blue dress he'd bought for her in Spain and wearing his mother's pearls when Bruce and his only living family nodded to each other without a single word spoken between them. She knew the older man had left when Bruce dropped his eyes and cleared his throat, hiding his bubbling emotions as best as he could.
She took a chance and reached across the table, taking his hand in hers. She didn't say a word, and neither did he. But he gave her hand a light squeeze, and that was all she needed in that moment.
After seeing so much of Europe so recently, Selina wasn't quite ready to stay in any one place for very long. Bruce, happy to have successfully retrieved what he called "a little part of the stash" from his encrypted accounts, compromised and took her on a tour of Italy.
Italy, of course, turned out to be incredibly romantic as a whole. They went as far as Rome and Venice and then explored the Tuscan region more thoroughly when they headed back to where they'd started. That meant a lot of world-famous art and quite a few vineyards, and on their last night before returning home, Selina felt herself reaching her breaking point.
They'd just wrapped up a wine tasting and were having dinner at a restaurant overlooking the beautiful rolling green hills of the region when Selina's mind started fixating on the one thing her new life was lacking. She blamed it on all of the wine he was pouring down her throat today - he ordered a bottle of Chianti with dinner and, of course, didn't touch it himself - and how exceptionally good looking Bruce was tonight.
He had the perfect amount of scruff on his face, his hair was windswept and begging her to run her hands through it, and he was dressed in one of his expensive dark silk shirts, the top two buttons undone, teasing her as she gulped down her wine and tried not to stare. Or at least stare openly to the point where he'd notice.
It didn't help that Selina had something of a sensitivity to wine. She could do shots of hard liquor with the best of them and hold it fine, but a few glasses of wine made her blood pump and and mind start racing with very pointed thoughts. And, as she soon found out, being as close to Bruce as she was while dealing with the effect of wine making her already consuming desires that much more pronounced was not turning out well.
She snapped her head up. "Yeah?"
"Fine," she answered a little too high pitched and a little too quickly.
He nodded, sipping on his glass of water. She didn't think that was fair.
"So... how long has it been since I came to Italy?"
Bruce paused for a moment, counting in his head, then said, "Almost three months. Why?"
"I'd say that we're friends now, wouldn't you?" she asked, ignoring his question.
"... Yes," he replied, looking at her curiously.
She looked down at the table, taking a deep breath and controlling the verbal spewage trying to come out of her mouth. Then she looked up at him and brought the wine glass back to her lips, and he apparently read her expression quite well.
She held up a hand. "If you're going to give me some other reason why we need to wait like a couple of teenagers with a chastity vow, then just... don't." She then slammed down the glass and added, "And stop giving me wine."
"Why?" he asked, brows furrowed.
She smiled sarcastically and snapped, "No reason. You wouldn't understand, Mr. Celibate-and-Sober."
Bruce sighed and leaned back in his seat, and Selina crossed her arms. It wasn't for lack of trying on her part that nothing had transpired between the two of them. They'd been sharing hotel rooms and she'd taken advantage of that, dressing and undressing in front of him, trying to breach the physical barrier between them and trying to give him affectionate touches here and there, and always giving him charged looks that couldn't possibly be misinterpreted. None of it had gotten her anywhere.
"Are you gay?"
Bruce's eyes flew up to meet hers and he stared at her in shock. "Am I - are you kidding me?"
"Well, I'm starting to wonder," Selina muttered.
Bruce opened and then closed his mouth, then opened it again. "Selina - I explained to you before why -"
"I know," she rolled her eyes. "And I understand, I really do. But a girl can only take so much before she starts losing it, and believe me, Bruce, I am this close."
Then, without warning, their entrees arrived, and they fell into silence. The silence stretched on throughout the meal, and lingered even as they left the restaurant and headed back to the hotel.
Only two word questions and one word answers were spoken on the way back, and Selina made a beeline for the shower once they were back inside their room. It was the only place she could retreat to in solitude, and stew in her anger and frustration at her traveling companion.
Some of her wine-induced buzz had worn off by the end of her shower, and she took as long as possible to dry off and brush out her hair to prolong having to face Bruce again. Which only made her surprise that much more pronounced when the locked bathroom door suddenly flew open.
She whipped her head around and watched Bruce storm inside, his eyes hard and body tensed as if for battle, and before she could react, his body was pressed against hers and he had lifted her up and set her on the bathroom counter.
He stood between her parted legs and looked down at her, all of the hunger that he'd gotten so good at hiding from her displaying fully in his hungry hazel eyes, and then he kissed her.
She gripped his shoulders as his hard, brutal kiss shocked her and left her gasping for air against his mouth, feeling the thin towel covering her unraveling down to her waist and not caring. He moved his hungry, almost angry kisses to her neck, and she bit back a moan when his hand brushed over a bare breast and gave it a firm squeeze.
Then his lips were at her ear. "Is this what you wanted?"
"God, yes," she breathed, barely able to get the words out, overwhelmed by his unexpected touch.
He drew back and looked her over, drinking in every bit of her exposed flesh with his eyes, eventually asking, "Are you drunk?"
"I - a little," she answered honestly.
"Then I won't take advantage of you."
She blinked once, twice, and then narrowed her eyes. "Don't you dare even try to act like -"
He shushed her with his lips on hers, then murmured, "I said I wouldn't take advantage of you - not that I wouldn't take care of you."
He kept his word, and he only made her wait until the next night before they finally did the deed. They weren't back inside his home in Florence for more than five minutes before he picked her up and took her to his bed, and even after last night, Selina had to admit - he was worth the wait.
They lay afterwards tangled in each other, spent and yet ready for more after holding back for so long, and as Bruce started kissing down her chest, working her up again, Selina felt the need to put his mind at ease.
"Don't worry about giving this a label," she said, her voice heavy with satisfaction and strained with the desire for more. He looked up at her, his chin grazing her navel, his hair falling into his eyes. "This doesn't have to mean anything."
She thought it was what he wanted to hear. She didn't know that he took it to mean that she didn't want their new relationship to mean anything.
He nodded, then pressed his lips to her skin once more. She stopped thinking, but he couldn't have stopped if he'd wanted to.
Despite the mixed signals and Selina's unknowingly misunderstood words rattling about in Bruce's head for some time, they barely saw daylight for the next seven days. Once they'd had a taste of each other they couldn't get enough.
Neither had experienced such untamed passion in their lives, and though neither of them ever truly felt as if they'd gotten their fill, after those first seven days, Selina insisted on leaving the house to at least buy some food. In time they learned to live their lives around their passion, pretending that they were still really only friends because they both thought that was all the other wanted, when in reality, they were both dying for more.
This deficit led to tension, not of the pleasant kind, and most of the time they were too stubborn to talk it out. He didn't trust himself to say the words right, but so what if he did? What did he have to offer her besides what he was already giving her? He didn't know how to give her everything that she deserved, or how to be an open, honest, unguarded partner in a relationship. For her part, Selina didn't even know if she was capable of love, let alone handling a real relationship with Bruce Wayne.
So they did all that they knew how to do - be each other's friend in the daytime and crazed lovers in the night time, and when the tension got to be too much, they acted out. And most of the time, they hurt each other in the process.
It could be as simple as careless words, thoughtless action, or purposeful provocation, but no matter what the cause, the effect was always the same. They'd argue, fight, ignore each other, and then spend all night making up.
And yet, despite all of the fights and the tension, the relationship grew. They wouldn't speak of it or acknowledge it, but they both knew what it meant when Selina would hold Bruce close and comfort him after he'd wake up from a nightmare, or when Bruce would stare at her like he'd never seen anything so perfect in his life.
They started traveling again, heading as far as the Asian borders before Bruce decided that Selina needed to see Greece. By that time they'd been living together for months, sharing a bed every night, and still refusing to put a label or apply a definition to any of it.
They spent a week in Greece, and at first it was blast for Selina. Bruce made sure all of their days were full of sightseeing and activities, and he even took her out dancing a couple of times, which pleasantly surprised her. It was all fine and wonderful until the weekend arrived and the trip took a turn for the hellish.
It began in a club, late in the evening, after Selina had fended off a very handsome Greek man who had tried to charm her socks off while Bruce was dealing with a valet issue outside. She'd told the man that she was taken and liked the way the words sounded on her tongue.
When Bruce came back, she let him dance with her, mentally practicing the question that she decided it was time to ask, catching him off guard when she leaned up and spoke the words into his ear.
"What are we?"
They both stopped moving, and Bruce looked down at her for a long moment before saying, "You mean...?"
"Yes, that's what I mean," she said. "What am I to you?"
Bruce did a very good job of hiding his inner panic as he struggled to figure out how to answer. He'd later curse himself for giving what he thought was the safe answer, the one that wouldn't spook her. "You're the best friend I've ever had."
He knew that he'd made a mistake when she stared at him for a moment, then laughed and withdrew her arms from around his neck. "Best friend... right. Of course."
"I suppose then," she interrupted, half-shouting over the music, "since I'm just your friend, what I'm about to do wont bother you."
She gave him a final withering glare and turned, then sauntered up to the Greek man who'd been putting the moves on her, and planted a kiss on his unsuspecting lips.
Things happened quickly after that; the guy she kissed got his nose broken, Bruce all but dragged Selina back to the car and threw her into the passenger seat, and he drove them back to the hotel at a terrifying speed. He didn't look at her or speak to her, and she refused to be the first to talk, so she crossed her arms and pretended not to be in fear of an imminent grisly car crash.
When he parked the car at the hotel with a lurching, hard brake, he yanked out the key and finally turned his angry eyes to Selina. She met his gaze defiantly, and neither said a word. Bruce got out of the car, she did the same, and they walked to their room in silence.
Bruce stepped inside the room first, and she closed the door behind her. When her hand slipped off of the knob, she looked up at him, and then he was on her and her breath was gone. He pinned her to the door and smashed his lips against hers, tearing off her dress with the swipe of one hand. He stopped long enough only to bring his lips to her ear and whisper, "Stop me if I start to hurt you."
Then he was kissing her again, picking her up and taking her across the room, and she knew she didn't have to worry about him hurting her, not even accidentally. She could take everything he threw at her, all of his anger and frustration and jealousy, and she'd let him do whatever he needed to to rid himself of the distress that she knew she'd caused.
And that was the whole point, she thought as lamps and wall fixtures crashed and shattered around them as he sent them flying into wall after wall. She'd just proven to him that they were not just friends, and they'd never been just friends. This was what they were - anger, destruction, passion, and love, she suddenly realized with a jolt. She loved him, and she had no idea how long she had loved him, but the past wasn't what mattered anymore.
She was through with denial and done with the games, she decided as he threw her on the bed and covered her body with his, pinning her arms above her head and kissing and biting at her neck. They were adults - incredibly messed up adults, maybe, but adults nonetheless, and if there was one thing she knew, it was that life was too short to not go after what you wanted. And what she wanted, surprisingly enough, was Bruce Wayne. All of him, and everything he was, the good and the bad, even the terrible.
He managed to break the bed frame and put a crack in the headboard in the course of his rough and relentless pounding, and yet, when they had both reached some of the most powerful and ground-shaking releases of their lives, all of his savageness melted away, and he cradled her in his arms like she was something breakable and precious.
They were both panting, both slick with sweat, and both staring into the other's eyes when Bruce finally spoke. "I'm sorry."
"For... being stupid. You've never been just my friend. You've always been more."
She felt a tingling in her nerves, a sudden anxiety and spike of adrenaline overcoming her as she felt the words itch to leave her tongue. It was as if now, since realizing the depths of her feelings for him, she had to let them out and let him know. After all of this pointless waiting and fighting and tension, she knew she had to be the one to grow up and push their relationship into the next stage.
She was no stranger to risks, and she knew this was a big one. Still, she took in a deep breath, looked into those hazel eyes that were soft and sweet again, and said the three words that would nearly destroy them.
"I love you."
Back in Paris, and back in the present, under the light of the moon and lingering fireworks trickling in through the windows surrounding their bed, Selina couldn't help but fear for the future. After all they'd gone through, all they'd put the other through, could this finally work?
"I want us to promise each other something," Bruce murmured, still holding her close, rubbing her back with gentle fingers.
"No matter what happens," he said, "no matter what we do or say, or how much we piss each other off or hurt each other... we stay, no matter what. We stay together."
"You've got yourself a deal, on one condition. We stop hiding from each other and start being honest. And figure out how to be in a relationship without killing each other."
"Deal," Bruce smiled.
Selina returned his smile tightly, running her thumb along his jaw. "I'm not sorry that I left."
"Neither am I," Bruce replied. "I wish I could say it'll be the last time I'll need a kick in the ass, but it won't be."
"My foot will always be ready and waiting," she smirked. "Just do me a favor and don't let me ruin this."
She kissed him then, marking the start of a new year, and the start of a new chapter that almost didn't get written. This time, she thought, they might just make it.