Disclaimer: As always I own nothing but the original characters and the situations I put all my poor victims in. Everything else belongs to somebody else and that must be how it remains for obvious reasons.

So I was trying to come up with a title for the other Blake/Bane fanfic I have and one of the ones I came up with made me realize how easily the Disney version of 'Beauty and the Beast' could be retold through the two men. And so, thanks to the power of my muses, this story was born. Hope you enjoy and suggestions for incorporations and casting welcome.

Tale As Old As Time

Bane stood with his men around him as he waited for the enemy to arrive. Not that he considered what remained of the Gotham police department truly worthy of being called his enemy, but they were on opposing sides of the war being fought for the city. Of the group he was expecting Bane considered only Gordon and the one called Blake to be of any interest or threat to them. The former because the old man was in charge, largely responsible for the continued corruption of Gotham, and because of the commissioner's connection to the Bat. His interest in the younger man…was harder for him to comprehend.

As though his thoughts had conjured them into this time and place they came into sight through the snow that had begun to fall, the lesser ranked cops protecting Gordon on all sides. Seven in total, the fools no doubt thinking a little luck couldn't hurt.

Of course Gordon was a fool for thinking that he cared that the men coming towards him had managed to capture five of his men. They thought they were here to negotiate the return of those men in exchange for whatever the commissioner thought to demand but really…he'd agreed to the meeting only to see the old man's face when he realized that he could care less about the men incompetent enough to be caught by these parasites upon the world.

It happened quickly, the two groups close enough to see each other clearly. Naturally Bane and his men sensed the threat first, all of them genuinely surprised that the cops had been able to get a sniper through the security net they'd placed over the immediate area for this meeting. Barsad was moving with lightning quick reflexes to take the shot to end the man's life when he saw through the scope the significant distance between them and the unknown element.

"M40 rifle. Target the cops. Can't guarantee I'll hit him with this."

Bane had just opened his mouth to give the order to try anyway when the shot was fired.

As they watched one of the cops was torn to pieces of meat, clearing the way for the real target which only one man seemed to realize as Blake yelled something they didn't catch and shoved the commissioner into other cops, making them all stumble as the second shot was fired, blood flying from the young detective's flesh this time as the bullet seared through the man's raised, upper left arm.

There was no third shot as Barsad, knowing that Gordon was to be kept alive for the time being, opened fire, knowing his own skill and weapon enough to compensate and distract the sniper long enough for the undamaged cops to hustle Gordon out of the area and to safety, the commissioner calling out for someone to grab Blake, who was lying still and unmoving on the white snow stained red.

But they were either cowards or so ignorant and unaware of what had happened that they thought their comrade dead. He was not dead though, simply unconscious Bane noted as he walked over to inspect the other man for himself. His men would take care of their uninvited guest.

Hunkering down Bane saw the broken piece of concrete under the snow, its position relative to the police officer's head explaining why the boy wasn't awake and possibly slipping into a shock due to pain and blood loss. Quite the bump, he noted as he slid a hand through the dark hair, finding it easily.

"The sniper's been taken down and is being escorted to you."

He'd expected no less. "We're taking this one with us as well."

Barsad nodded and hunkered down as Bane rose, knowing the young man before them was now his responsibility until his leader said otherwise. Why that was…well Bane must have a reason.

The man always did.


Sitting on the side of the large bed Bane watched the Gotham detective sleep, a habit he'd developed over the six days the man had been his captive. There had been only a few bone fragments to retrieve and they'd kept the detective drugged the whole time while the wound was left open to confirm the lack of infection. They'd 'arranged' for a Gotham surgeon to prepare a skin graft and had brought the detective back to their current base of operations as soon as the surgery had been finished. Barsad would take over Blake's care from now on. There was bound to be muscle damage, that wouldn't grow back, but the man would probably be able to use the arm again provided he allowed the other man to live to be blown up. He hadn't decided, Bane mused, mostly because he wasn't even sure why he'd saved the detective in the first place.

Though perhaps he did. Detective Robin John Blake interested him and he wouldn't have the opportunity to figure him out if he was dead due to infection or lack of medical care.

The personal interest had flared four weeks ago when he'd chanced to see Blake's mask slip for just a moment as he was observing the man while the other man was unaware. He'd seen the darkness and demons that lived inside the detective and had been intrigued.

He knew all there was to know about the man in theory, they'd accessed all the police records before they'd taken over the city in order to know who they would be dealing with. The police would be Gotham's first line of defense after all. Once Blake had been singled out as one of Gordon's closest companions they'd looked into the man's history in far more detail, wanting to know what made the mere detective valuable to the commissioner. So he knew the man had been orphaned young, about every foster home he'd been forced into before the boy's home, which Blake had resided in until eighteen. He knew the grades the man had received in the academy, his evaluations from his superiors once he'd joined the force, and when the man had been promoted to detective and why. And while the detective's childhood would explain what he'd been in the man's dark eyes that day…the man's adulthood was spotless.

Blake had no known vices, his record was clean, and no history of violence past his mid-teens. He'd looked deeply and there was no indication that the man had simply gotten smarter and more skilled at hiding his demons. In the end the most deviant thing his informants had been able to uncover about Blake was that the man was a homosexual, though one with no sex life apparently.

Which frankly made no sense to Bane. He'd grown up in The Pit, he knew that men who looked like Blake were highly prized and sought after sexually. The man would have caused a riot, the primitive structure bathed in blood as the inmates fought for the right to take the detective.

"You would not have survived long." Bane told the unconscious man, not sure why that fact bothered him.

And so he stayed silent and contemplative, watching every rise and fall of the man's chest as though he somehow needed to be there to will it. How long he was there he didn't know, but assumed it was close to two hours when he heard the door open and familiar footsteps walking across the hardwood floors to him.

"When I suggested you get a pet this wasn't what I meant, my friend." Talia teased him as she leaned against his back, studying the detective over his broad shoulder. "Though he is rather cute."

A pet? Blake?

She had said something like that to him a couple weeks ago, chiding him for worrying about her too much. She'd thought a pet would do him good because then he'd have someone else to worry and fuss over since he had no interest in romantic relationships.

"You think I should keep him as a pet?"

Eyes widening in surprise, she'd been joking after all, Talia looked at the boy on the bed with more interest. She knew that the detective interested her protector, she knew everything there was to know about Bane after all. So she knew he'd looked deeply into Detective Blake's past, unnecessarily so in her opinion. Personally she didn't see the appeal, though it would be interesting…just what would Bane do with the man if he kept him?

"Keep him then. He can amuse you since we're in a lull period. He'll be easy enough to dispose of later, and given how fond Gordon is of him…we'll it will turn the screws that much more, wondering what happened to the man who saved him." The city was theirs, and for the moment they could enjoy that victory before the next phase of their plan needed to go into effect. Toying with the occupants of Gotham was all the pleasure she could take for now.

He thought to say he didn't desire a human 'pet' of all things, but it occurred to him that if he did Talia was likely to order him to either torture or kill Blake. She'd been full of questions when she'd learned he had Blake and was seeing that the man was cared for properly. Talia hadn't ordered him to kill the detective, if she had the man would be dead, but she'd obviously found his excuse, that he thought Blake could be useful to them, weak. But she'd allowed it and hadn't given the order. He didn't want that to happen. Not yet anyway.

"I will keep him then."

"All right. I'll leave him with you then. And I should go, I wouldn't want him to catch sight of me after all. Just in case. I just wanted to see you for a bit."

Talia gave his a kiss on the cheek, her lips brushing against both skin and leather before she left his side, heading out of the room as stealthily as she'd come.

Most people would never hear her coming unless she wanted them to.


It was the pain that woke him, his arm throbbing worse than a rotten tooth. Eyes opening slowly Blake turned his head in the direction of the pain, taking in the arm lying on top of the unfamiliar covers, bandaged up. He remembered…damn he'd been lucky. Any higher or inward and it would have damaged his shoulder and bones. Luckier still that…but no…no he didn't know this bed, this place, Blake realized, his breathing becoming even more ragged as he forced himself to steady the beat of his pounding heart, knowing he couldn't panic or act rashly.

And it was while he was trying to take control of his body that Blake sensed the eyes on him from some dark corner of the room. Penetrating, powerful eyes that were both familiar and not. A gaze they tied his guts in knots and sent his heart into overdrive.

"Who's there?"

When the figure detached himself from the shadows Blake knew who it was even before the light from the bedside table reached him. There was only one man that big.


"Detective Blake."

Arm forgotten Blake stared, understanding the danger he was in now. He must have been captured and…and why would the man bandage his wound? Why was he in a comfortable bed in a warm room instead of bleeding out in some cell or already executed to remove him from the picture? Bane wasn't the sort to care about the comfort or wellbeing of his enemy, he wasn't the type to take hostages period. You met Bane and he killed you.

"You lost a chunk of flesh, but it only chipped the bone. Are you in pain?"

Forcing himself not to ask why he would care Blake shook his head, not wanting any more drugs in his system. He wasn't chained, if he was to get away he needed to be as awake and aware as possible. He'd use the pain to keep focused. "Am I your hostage?"

"No. It seems you are my pet."

"I'm…I'm what?"

"My pet. I will keep you as such until circumstances change and I end your life. This will be your room, if you need anything important it will be brought to you."

He told himself he must have heard wrong but Blake knew that wasn't the case. It wasn't the drugs or the pain or damage done to his brain since the shooting. The mastermind behind the impending destruction of his city, the greatest criminal and murderer Gotham City had ever faced…had just told him that he was now his pet.

"Why? Why am I your pet?" The man was a loner, every piece of information they'd gathered on the hulking figure before him had indicated that only the man known as Barsad mattered to Bane. All his other men were expendable. And it couldn't be a sexual thing, the man was said to be asexual. Neither woman nor man interested him.

"You interest me."

Okay…maybe their information was wrong.

Acutely aware of the soft bed beneath him now Blake felt all the air leave his lungs. He'd always had a thing for large men so against his will he'd been a little…stirred up by his brief glimpses of Bane thanks to the size and dangerous allure of the man before him. So he'd had a few weak moments where he'd imagined what it would be like…and decided that he'd end up in the emergency room were that ever to happen. And that would be if he were a willing participant.

Trying to remind himself that rape was one of the few things not on the man's rap sheet Blake kept his voice calm as he asked what Bane expected of him as a 'pet'. It would be pointless to argue that idea with him, not until he was able to sit up at the very least.

"I don't know. I've never had a pet."

What he wanted to say was that the man should either get it over with and kill him or let him go, but Blake knew the latter wasn't an option and he should try to avoid the first if possible. He wasn't afraid to die, but he still had a city to save if possible.

"I'm confined to this room?"

"You don't have the strength to leave the bed. You're weak."

Bristling at the insinuation Blake pushed aside the covers with his good arm, shutting down his pain receptors as he refused to acknowledge or heed their warnings. With his hand braced on the mattress he sat up, vision swimming for a moment as his body's weak state made itself known in spades. But dammit, he would not back down.

Weak in body, but not so much in mind, Bane noted in silent approval, watching the man try to force his drained form into moving as he bade it. And as tempting as it was to let the detective make a fool of himself…

"Stay in bed or I will chain you to it."

Freezing, Blake considered pushing things and then called himself an idiot as he lay back down on the bed. He wouldn't stand a chance against the other man even at peak condition, and what was important right now was figuring his situation out, not proving his manhood. He shouldn't and wouldn't give a damn what Bane thought of him. He knew what he was worth and no one could take that away from him.

So instead he went quiet, eyes flickering against his will to his aching wound before he turned his attention back to Bane. "Abernathy…Abernathy was killed. I remember that. Anyone else? Did the others escape your sniper?"

"If he'd been mine he wouldn't have missed." There was just a hint of amusement in the man's voice. "The sniper was an assassin your former commissioner put away years ago. He wished to revenge his captivity in Arkham for the past seven years. I killed him."

Blake laced his words with sarcasm. "Why didn't you recruit him? Because he missed?"

"Gordon is to remain alive for now."

Taking the steps necessary Bane returned to his earlier seat on the side of the bed, rather amused by the way the other man's eyes went wide at the move. But he didn't inch away, that spirit he could see burning in those big brown eyes no doubt keeping the detective in place. No one liked being physically close to him except Talia, Barsad indifferent though always aware of him. He was used to it.

"You showed relief moments ago, and would have given your life for Gordon. Why?"

Any number of responses occurred to Blake, but he kept it simple. "Because that's my job. That's why I became a cop."

"To throw your life away on the undeserving?"

Blake stared back at him coolly. "Says the man risking his life for an ideal that will never come to pass. Even if you destroy Gotham, and burn it to the ground, the human spirit isn't as easily destroyed as brick and mortar. You can't cleanse a world, and you're as dumb as some mistake you for to believe otherwise."

Showing just how fast he could move in spite of his size Bane had his fingers wrapped around Blake's neck in a flash, squeezing lightly. For the moment. "Do you wish to die?"

"Do you always kill people who don't agree with you?" There was no fear in Blake's eyes, he was too used to being in deadly situations to show it. And he didn't think Bane was stupid, so he knew that there had to be something to the man wanting him as some sort of 'pet'. Which he most definitely couldn't be if he were dead.

"You live only while you amuse me."

"I'll keep that in mind."