Bleeding

Rose

By: Rosa Du Grey

Ghostwritten By: June Gilbert

Chapter One: Be Careful What You Wish For

WHUMP!

I woke up with a jerk when I fell off the bed for the third time this week. Grumpily I untangled myself from the sheets. Great. Hope Carol didn't wake up. She's downright annoying when I wake her up with one of my nightmares. . . I listened closely to see if my unexpected visitor would wake up. Satisfied when Carol didn't come storming into my room, blue eyes flashing lances of fire and demanding to know why I had woken her up, I yawned. One glance at the digital clock on my old nightstand revealed it was really too early for me to start the commute to the school I worked at. Oh well. I guess the school security guards will just have to put up with me getting there early. They know me well enough from all the times I get there early anyway. I smiled fondly at the memories as I prowled to the closet in my apartment.

Opening the doors of the closet, I grabbed my favorite outfit, the one I wore most often to the library. The kids got confused if they saw me in anything else, I reflected wryly. Slipping on the long sleeved red shirt over the underthings I slept in, I gave a little twirl experimentally. That didn't help relieve the sense of déjà vu I felt when I got dressed every morning. Sighing, I finished dressing with a pair of black slacks and furry black boots lined with faux fur. Grinning, I luxuriously wiggled my toes in the lining. Winter in Gotham wasn't my favorite time of year, but I always made up for it with warm clothing. Carol, on the other hand, absolutely hated winter. She had a bear's temperament to match her hibernating style, usually.

I walked out to the living room, where Carol was still curled under the blankets on my fold out couch. I smiled fondly. Carol Dennison had been my roommate in college, and the things we had done and shared in that old apartment during those four years at Gotham University still made me shudder. We had certainly been hell raisers back then, I mused, smiling as I padded past carol on the tan carpet. Carol was still a hell raiser, but I got the rebellion out of my system a while ago. Even though we hadn't talked much in the years we'd been apart, she was still a friend. So when my blonde roommate had lost her job a few weeks ago, Carol had contacted me and I had allowed her to stay with me. I had let her stay at my apartment on the condition she continue to look for jobs, and when she found a job, to start looking for an apartment. I liked my solitude, but her company was a welcome relief to the tedium I was still experiencing. I sighed, shrugging off the mantle of boredom, knowing I had to go, or risk Shreve's wrath getting bad enough to really fire me.

I walked over to the brassy wall mounted coatrack. I slipped on my favorite snug red jacket, lined with black faux fur like my boots. Sure, both were pretty worn from use, but they both held fond memories of my college days.

Carol and I would both be turning twenty nine this year. Neither of us had settled down with a guy, and it didn't look like it would happen anytime soon. Carol hadn't met anyone that satisfied her and I. . . I just wasn't ready to commit. One of the many quarrels I got into with my on again off again boyfriend, Kenny Dreen. I smirked irritably as I exited my apartment into the chill December air, shutting and locking the door. Kenny was such a straight arrow it was a wonder I tolerated him.

Able to ignore the cold with my coat and boots on, I walked down the steps of my apartment complex. The winter-bare oak standing in front of our building rattled as a chill breeze blew a plastic bottle across the pavement. The pavement looked all the more starker with the small number of cars not in dilapidated shape from car theives stealing parts. Breathing in the smoggy city air, I spotted two more plastic bottles rolling along. Sighing, I picked the offending trash up and, on the way past, lobbed it all into the dumpster near my apartment building.

Sticking my hands in my pockets to warm them, I walked along the familiar streets of Gotham, the gothic sky scrapers bordering the street almost immeidiately when I got out of my apartment complex. As always, I kept my wits about me. Ten years in this city taught you to always look out when you walked alone. THEY would try to pounce when you were really alone. If you were lucky, HE came. The one who would, if he could, save us all. The scourge of the scum that haunted Gotham's streets. The fabled Batman.

His name alone made me shiver. Not with fear, but longing. The King of the night in Gotham. . . Just the idea of him sent a delicious thrill through me. Maybe I was craving the danger after so long without making mischief with Carol, but my heart leapt at the idea of trouble. Batman fought the scum of the city, protecting normal every day citizens like us with his very life. The thrill of danger always held a certain allure to me; maybe it was the violent way my mother met her demise.


Flashback

I was seven years old as of that day. My flame colored hair swung merrily as I walked into my mother's room cheerily, hoping to find her there, reading as usual. I had been looking for her so she could help me find Daddy and start celebrating my birthday properly. I was happy to be turning seven, the luckiest number there was. Dad had told me so. And, at that age, didn't we believe whatever our parent's told us? I certainly did. I would have believed it was all a joke if Dad had only told me so.

But he didn't. He was too mired in his own cold grief to deal with the shattered innocence and dreams of his little girl. I have a feeling I wouldn't have believed him, not after what someone had done to my sweet, loving mother on today of all days. My birthday. Supposed to be the happiest day of my life. . . And my mother is dead on this day. The day she gave birth to me. Someone murdered her in cold blood. And I found the horrific aftermath of a psycopath's playhouse... That came after I discovered her, however.

My seven year old self tentatively prowled toward the bed, seeing my mother's unnaturally white hand hanging off her bed. Something red was oozing off the bed, coating Mommy's hand. I wrinkled my nose against unfamilliar, heavy-hanging scents, scents I would recognize later as the stench of fear, pain and desperation. When I was finally close enough, what I saw on my mother's bed made me start screaming. The shrillness and unusualness of my screaming soon drew my father. I was frozen in place, screaming wordlessly at the sight before me. Whether or not it was aloud, I did not stop screaming against the horror of it for many years.

In some ways, I'm still screaming.


I shuddered, shaking free of the mire of memory. Now was not the time to go into that. It never was the time, but that particular memory escaped from it's cage sometimes. The cage in the back of my mind I had fought it into after two long years. As I began to stride with more purpose towards the nearest subway tunnel that would lead me down, I didn't see the hulking shadows trailing behind me.

I had been wishing for trouble, after all...

Be careful what you wish for.


The Clown King of Crime smiled silently as he watched his next victim walk to the subway. The girl with the flame colored hair and arrogant walk would be his, by hook or by crook. Crook. Funny! He WAS a crook! He started to giggle, but quieted himself. No need alerting the flame headed girl. Her hair danced in his distorted vision, a flame playing tricks on him. He didn't like to be tricked; he wanted to be the one doing the tricking. And the laughing as this girl screamed in her death throes. It would be fun to watch if Batsy found her body, all mangled up like her mother's before her. Yes, he had heard of the murder of Selene Ross. A devastating little number he had been wanting to pull on Bats for some time now.

Oh yes. The flame haired girl WOULD be his. And not even dear ol' Batsy will stop him this time.


What do you think of the revamp? How was Rosa? Did I manage a Gothamite perspective of the Batman pretty well? This is a re done version of my first Batman fic, so please be polite in your constructive criticism. Please leave a review! Thank You ^^

-June