Bleeding

Rose

Love conquers all

By: Rosa Du Grey

Ghostwritten By: June Gilbert

Chapter Two: Subway Shooting

I descended the subway steps, my ash grey eyes flicking around the familiar scenery. Same old dingy grey stone subway station, relatively the same commuters and the same damn dim lighting in spots. I guess it covered up the colorful gang graffiti, but it could make for some nasty muggings waiting to happen. Ten years of martial arts training had stopped me from becoming a victim to such a fate, and provided the excuse to step in when I saw one happening. So far, I had stepped in on at least seven per week. Some months anyway. Other months I wouldn't run into any muggings at all. The police down at many stations of Gotham's downtown knew me well; whenever I happened to bring in another mugger, they all greeted me, grinning in a friendly way when we traded banter.

I waited for the subway train, smiling as I watched a vaguely familiar brown haired child bounce with excitement beside his mother, his blue eyes bright. His mother shushed him, smiling indulgently anyway. A familiar dull ache surfaced, seeing this interaction. The interaction I would never have again, on either side. I would likely never be a mother, or HAVE a mother.

I was still a virgin even after being the beauty of the campus (for about a year). Other, more beautiful girls had come after me and yet I knew anywhere I went or any man I so much as smiled at would never forget me. Then someone had started spreading the rumors that I was frigid my senior year of college. I had a deep aversion to casual hook-ups and sex in general, a fact that just boosted the rumors' credibility as I refused to sleep with some of the hottest guys on campus because of my principles. The fact that I had an extreme aversion to relationships (friend or otherwise) with men was probably because they were SO high maintenance, along with the fact men create strife. I had been quite sick of the kind of strife men had caused, thank you, in my college days. Kenny had been the only guy to ever break past my barriers. Problem was, now I was getting bored of him. Because it seemed we had reached a standstill in our relationship. I wasn't ready for him to pop the question and neither was he ready to do so. We didn't have a sex life because of my issues with sex, and the teeny tiny little fact I wasn't turned on by him. Not one whit.

By the way, just to make it clear, I like GUYS. No offence to Yuri, but I prefer me some manly shoulders, pecs, and a hot butt to ogle. Yeah, yeah, I just admitted I like to watch guy's asses sometimes. What girl doesn't like to do that once in a while?

The subway train slid into the station, the exchange of people starting when the doors opened. I filed in, feeling that old, familiar sense of difference as I entered the old metal subway train car. The car stank of air freshener, used to mask the familiar scents of vomit, rodent feces, and rust pervading the whole of Gotham's subway system. I slid in, and sat down near the railing that separated the seats from the door area. However, fortune wasn't with me as I ended up sitting next to a corpulent man. He was dressed in a rumpled suit, and was sweaty, trembling and looking about so often it looked like he had a nervous twitch. Maybe he did. When he took out a cigar, his hands shaking as he lighted it and took a deep pull of the foul smelling thing, I wrinkled my nose. Smoking was a foul habit in my opinion. I had never gotten into it, not even in my wildest years because I couldn't handle the disgusting feeling of nicotine smoke entering my MOUTH, defiling it.

Disgusted and annoyed, I edged away as much as possible and then tried to watch the other passengers. I saw that same brown haired little boy from the station platform, staring wide eyed out of the subway window. I smiled; obviously it was George Fraser's first time on the subway.

I remembered him now; he was the kid who always pleaded for more science fiction or fantasy action stories at the elementary school where I worked. George loved hearing tales of high adventure, getting excited and cheering the hero and booing the villain. He had a strong sense of justice, and like almost all of the children living in Gotham, thrived on legends of the Batman. Honestly, I had gotten interested the moment I had heard of Batman too, so, in a way, we were kindred spirits. I had known him since he was five years old and just starting school as the shy, awkward little new boy. Now he was seven years old and practically a social butterfly. His mother, Martha Fraser, kept a weather eye on him so he wouldn't do anything particularly silly. Children tend to have a silly streak that gets them into trouble, and George was no exception.

Martha was a smart, practical woman who worked for Wayne Corp industries as a secretary to the big man himself, Bruce Wayne. I had only seen the man on TV, but Martha had told me a horror story or two about the man's odd habits. He only visited the company when he could, which was apparently at all sorts of hours during the night. Martha ended up called in nine times out of ten because he needed someone to calm him down. The guy apparently had horrid nightmares and tended to work them off. From what Martha told me, it seemed Bruce Wayne was nocturnal. Anyway, Martha was paid well for the job and had excellent benefits so she could take care of George quite easily.

I blinked, shaking my head to clear it of thoughts of Gotham's White Knight. I had no business thinking about a man that high in society's upper echelons. I wasn't a part of that life any longer. I had abandoned that life ten years ago, in favor of my freedom and my sanity.

I looked around for more passengers to watch, as the fat man's trembles grew with every passing second he sucked at that cigar in the seat beside me. A raggedy old woman, bent with age, sat across from me. A fidgeting young blonde girl sat a few seats down, her brother having his nose buried in an electronic game. A stranger in a trench coat stood in a shadowy corner, catching my interest. Until murderous black eyes gleamed out at me from under the fedora hat he wore. I quickly looked away. Uh oh. Something's up. . . . I felt a frisson of fear slide down my spine as I looked around for another subject to watch. A slender, busty brunette examining her nails was next to the old woman, dressed in designer clothes. Even with my one of a kind fiery red hair, I felt dowdy in comparison to the model-like woman. She tapped her nails against her hand, then against the metal subway seat. This was when one of her nails cracked.

"Oooooo! I cracked a naaaaiiil!"I winced. She had a high, petulant voice that was at complete odds with her outward appearance.

"Hahahahahahahahahaaaaaa! Bbbbroken nail! Hahahahaaaaa!"

I jumped as the fat man began to laugh wildly. The laughing, the twisted rictus emerging on the fat man's face, the paling of his skin and widening of his eyes were all too familiar to any Gothamite, no matter how long you had lived here. Somehow, some way, Joker Gas had gotten into the fat man's system. I bet on the cigar. I moved away, but not quite quick enough. Without quite realizing how or when I got there, I was slamming into the dirty metal floor of the subway tunnel the man's fat, grasping hands closing on my throat. Gasping for breath, my vision dimmed and focused repeatedly as I struggled under the weight of the man, which had become insurmountable with his fat legs and torso on my lower body. To add to my disgust I could feel his hard on in those too tight and ill-fitting pants he wore.

Is this how it ends? Is this how everything I've struggled for, is everything I've fought tooth and nail for over? Even after I've been through Hell and back, will my life be ended because of a madman's schemes?

No.

I will not die here.

I won't die helpless. Mother died that way. I WILL NOT GIVE UP! DON'T COUNT ME OUT JUST DAMN YET YOU FUCKING BASTARDS!

My leg slammed upward as adrenaline pounded through my body, giving it more strength than what my increasingly lacking air supply could give. The fat man shrieked, rolling off me and clutching his crotch. Rising bonelessly as I caught my breath, I stood, hands akimbo as I waited for him to rise. However, he started laughing again, foaming at the mouth and shaking with the force of the laughter until he went silent and still all of a sudden. The abrupt silence was deafening as I stared in shock at the dead man lying in front of me. I had only once seen a dead body, and it wasn't quite like the pale faced, bloated THING lying there prone. I started to shake as the adrenaline slowly left my system.

It was back full force when the man in the shadows split into three people and started firing their guns.

I dodged the initial spray of bullets, heart hammering as I heard screams from the other passengers. I glanced at the door and, to my horror, I realized the doors were sealed shut with some kind of sticky phosphorescent green glue. Shrieks and screams were heard as the clown-faced gunmen fired relentlessly. My throat choked when I saw a bloodied DSi screen still clutched in its dead owner's slender boyish hands, stained with his lifeblood as his sister started screaming in abject terror and horror. My fists clenched. FUCKING BASTARDS! One of them turned towards me and I disarmed him in a flash, following it up with another crotch shot.

While he was howling, I caught him with an uppercut that slammed him into a wall. The short clown slid down the wall, out stone cold with the one punch. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted the other gunman turn his gun on George and Martha. Martha. I have to protect Martha and George! I raced over to where George and Martha were cowering in a corner, George weeping loudly and nearly scared out of his mind because of the gun barrel pointed directly at him. Martha was calmer, although she had a grim countenance that I had never seen before as she glared down the barrel of the gun, daring the gunman to try to take her son's life. Just you wait, the expression seemed to say, I'll go to Hell before I let my baby die at anyone's hands. The brunette woman was shielding her son with her body from the carnage. She winced when a spray of blood spattered across her back. I dived in front of her just as the gunman fired.

The bullets tore into the small of my back. I could feel the slugs' bite as I staggered somewhat at the impact of the close range shot. Bleeding profusely from behind, I whirled around and slammed my foot into the man's jaw, hearing it snap along with the shattering of glass and the scream of ripping metal. HE made his appearance as he dropped into the subway car. I got a glimpse of my hero as he finished the job I had started. The Dark Knight! Oh my god, I'm hallucinating. . . Blood loss is getting to me. . . Staggering, my legs gave out as I toppled into the cold metal wall. Sinking down, everything started to get foggy. No! I fought so hard! I'm not going to die now! But it seemed, regardless of my will, my body was fast losing the will to fight.

Then I heard George sobbing. Tiny hands clutched at one of my pale ones as a familiar voice whimpered, "Miss Rosa. . . Don't die. . . Don't die! Please don't die! I want to hear you t-t-tell me stories again. . . I wanna listen to the radio with you and hear about th-the B-B-Batman like we do after school sometimes again. . . Please don't die!"

I struggled to stay awake, my eyes flickering. You can't let the child down, a voice whispered through my increasingly foggy mind, Don't leave this world when you haven't touched our love's heart! Don't leave him alone forever in the darkness of his never ending crusade. . . Give him the fire to fight on! I had no fucking idea who was speaking in my head, or quite who they were speaking of, but the voice gave me enough strength to open my eyes. Batman was about to leave through the gaping skylight he had left in the subway car. No! Don't go!

"Mr. Batman! Mr. Batman!"

The Dark Knight turned back at the sound of that pleading little voice. George was staring pleadingly up at the much taller figure clad in black, his hands still clasped over mine.

"Please help her! Miss Rosa saved us! A-And now she might be dying because of it. . . Can't you save her? Please?"

There was a long moment where Batman just stared at George. The Dark Knight's eyeholes showed no emotion as he knelt next to me, but I swear I could have seen a flash of empathy from those blank white eyes when he was still looking at George. Pressing a pouch on his utility belt, two white pad bandages fell out along with a small red pill. He tipped me forward, his hands amazingly gentle as he did so, resulting in me wincing and coughing up blood. He then pressed the white pad to the still leaking bullet wounds on my back and front.

His lips were very close as he did this, the only part of his anatomy unmasked, leading me to concentrate on memorizing them rather than the pain of what he was doing. Easing me back down to the floor to put pressure on the back hole, he pressed hard on the front hole. I hissed in pain through gritted teeth. Ow. Bullets hurt like fuck. At least the bullets didn't go through me and hit George and Martha. I coughed when I felt the small red pill slip past my lips.I saw Batman stand up again after placing George's little hands on the slight scratches the bullets had made in my front. He leaned on them as he had seen Batman do. I winced. He did NOT need to put that much pressure on the cuts. . .

"That should hold her until the paramedics can get here if you keep the pressure on it. Make sure she gets medical attention soon."

The Dark Knight's voice was a deep rasp, but somehow, it didn't grate on my shot nerves. Nor did I miss the frightened looks cast around by the survivors. The Batman rarely, if ever spoke. I understood their fear and confusion, but something felt right when he spoke. Like an Avatar of Justice was speaking to those he protected. I groaned softly as my day so far caught up with me. My vision blurred as the black shadow that was Gotham's eternal protector vanished upwards into the night that had spawned him. Moments later, I slipped into unconsciousness.


(Joker's POV)

DAMMIT! The stupid minions had SHOT the flame girl! He wanted her alive! It was no fun if he mutilated her body while she was cold and lifeless... It was only fun when he could hear the screams.

SOME particular minion would pay for this with more than going to jail this time... He stomped over to his gun. Grabbing it, he promptly shot the tv where he had watched the incident happen.

BANG!

Ohhhh... And that's only the beginning of my stress relief... A yellow-toothed grin stretches from ear to ear. Quite literally in his case. Rubbing his hands together, gun forgotten, he started to plan the punishment for the one who had goofed up and very nearly ruined his plan to have Rosa.


Heya ^^ I finally updated :) So what do you think of Rosa's first meeting with the Dark Knight? She will meet his alter ego, Bruce Wayne, later on. What do you think of the Joker tidbit I inserted? Please read and review!

-June