(Disclaimer: i dont own any of the batman characters or main plot)

Chapter 1: Coming Home

I had nothing to lose.

Sure you could pity me like all those others did when they saw me next to him.
"Poor girl must be scared to death, who knows what that monster makes her do."
But even that night when he spared me and took me in, I don't believe I was scared of him or what he would do to me. I was more curious as to what he saw in me, so many others had thrown me away time and time again. But he willingly chose me.
As I listen to the relaxed and peaceful breathing of the man next to me, I lay my head on his chest comforted by the cool hard metal against my skin. I close my eyes and think back to that day.

She'd decided to take the shorter way home but that meant going down some shaddy streets filled with rough bars, and even rougher people. She walked swiftly down the sidewalk, the clicking of her heels were soon followed by rapid gunfire as she crossed behind a bar. Several heavily armed men bolted out the back door all heading down into an uncovered man hole. Watching them she never thought to duck and hide, curiousity getting the best of her. Soon the remaining men began to feel her heavy gaze.
"She's a witness, we can't leave her. She'll tell the police!" One of the men insisted.
Both men looked at each other and hurtled towards her, grabbing her wrists tightly. Forcing her to accompy them down into the muddy sewers.

"Why didn't we just kill her?" A gruff voice asked.

"Because we would have had to leave her body and we really don't need to draw attention our way. Unless Bane says otherwise." Another voice answered.

"Come on, stop dragging your feet." The man expressed in a harsh tone as he tugged on the makeshift restraints they had tied around her wrists.
She swallowed hard and whimpered at the rough cable against her soft skin.
They had been traveling down the corridor for quite some time, the sound of running water echoing against the cement. Soon the sound of movement and hushed voices let them know they were not alone. And soon enough Bane's men collided with heavily armed GPD and Commissioner Gordon. Shortly the corridor was filled with gun shots and thick smoke, she clung to the moist cement wall attempting to shield herself.
Then everything fell silent, she wasn't able to see much through the heavy smoke it was only when he was right next to her did she realize they had taken a second hostage. Commissioner Gordon.
Soon enough after being dragged through the humid sewer they both were thrown down onto the cold and unforgiving concrete, in front of a muscular man with his back turned.
"Why are you here?" A metallic voice asked with a sigh.
She kept her eyes on the ground, her ears studying the melody carried by the new voice.
"Answer him!" The gruff man yelled before he kicked her, just as he raised his hand to hit her.
She clenched her eyes shut ready to take the blow. But his hand was caught in mid swing by the massive man with the captivating voice.
"I was asking you." He hummed as he twisted the mans' wrist, bringing him to his knees.
"It's the Police Commissioner and some broad." The man answered through gritted teeth.
"And yet you brought them down here." He replied, his voice thick with authority.
"We didn't know what to do-" Both the men confessed.
"You panicked and your weakness cost the lives of 3 others." Bane degraded before snatching the gruff man by the throat, ending his life with one twist of his wrist.
Bane ordered the remaining man to search the Commissioner, as he settled his eyes on the surprisingly calm woman. She was kneeling beside him, her chestnut hair covering her face.
Bane squatted down, his calloused hand cupping her chin bringing her face up to view.
"And what is your name, little one?" He inquired softly, rubbing her soft chin with his rough thumb.
"Annella." She breathed out. Her bright eyes never flickered as she stared up at his half hidden face. It was those eyes, those deep chocolate brown eyes that caused her to take a sharp breath, they were so warm and soft.
His eyes crinkled, giving away the smile that graced his lips, hidden under the mask.
Their moment was abruptly brought to an end when sudden gun shots rang out. The Commissioner had taken the oppurtunity to escape down into the murky water that traveled into the sewer tunnels.
Bane grasped her hands, delicately pulling her up from her knees he seated her on the bed behind him, the sudden chaos never phasing him. He then turned when the remaining man confirmed that the Commissioner was dead.
"So show me his body." Bane countered.
"We'll never find him, it would be impossiable to track him down." The man argued.
"Then follow him." Bane stated casually before releasing a bullet into the man who instantly fell into the murky water.
Bane returned his attention back to her, his eyes narrowed at the frayed cord tied around her wrists. Again he squatted before her, lifting from his pocket a knife for her restraints. Searching her eyes steadily he lifted the blade to the thick cable. Without a word she nodded lightly and brushed her bound wrists against his free hand. After freeing her did he notice that the harsh material had began to cut into her milky skin. He called out to Barsad, his second in command, to bring some gauze for her wounds.
"So where do you come in on this, my little dove?" The mask hissed as he talked.
"I...I was walking home from work. Deciding to take the shorter way, I ran into these men who decided to take me with them." She replied as she watched him wrap her wrists with the lightest touch she'd ever felt.
"Should I be expecting the same attempts to escape, little Annella?" He asked, tilting his head as he gripped her thighs with some light force.
She simply shook her head, staring again into those deep eyes with curiosity.
A heavy breath escaped the mask, as he stood up and turned to Barsad again.
"Take her to my chambers, there she will change and wait for me, I have some sudden business I need to attend to."
Barsad nodded once and beckoned her to follow him. He led her to a large steel door down a long hallway. He nodded at the men who stood outside it, before opening the heavy door to a rather spacious room that reflected nothing of the surroundings outside the doorway. Though simple the room was furnished with a few chairs, a large gray covered bed, a large bookcase with an equally sized desk scattered with papers.
"Bane has instructed me to lay out some clothes, and direct you to use both the bathroom and room as you wish until he returns, the desk being an exception though." Barsad relayed as he laid out some clothes for her before excusing himself from the room.
As soon as she heard the door click shut she walked over to inspect the clothes chosen for her. Folded neatly in a pile was a large black cotton Tshirt accompanied by even larger pair of cargo pants, obviously chosen from the masked man's closet.
"These defiantly won't work." She murmured, holding up the pants to her waist.
She debated on changeing at all, but once she noticed her soiled blouse and the damp smell of sewer lingering on her skin she knew it was necessary. She pulled the Tshirt from the pile before exploring the bathroom.
He did say use the room as I wish.. She reasoned while she contemplated a shower.
Daringly she turned on the water, waiting for it to warm up she slowly stripped out of her work clothes, trying to avoid bumping her freshly bandaged wrists. The water washed over with a such a sudden rush that she felt a gasp escape her lips. Instantly the thoughts rolled into her head as she scrubbed the sewer smell out of her skin. She found this masked wonder quite interesting and couldn't help but be captivated by him. As she thought back to the events just moments ago only one question posed itself into her mind. How long before he too gets bored of me?
Stepping out of the steamy shower she looked deep into the mirror above the sink. Combing out her tangled locks with her fingers she couldn't help but giggle as she slipped on the oversized shirt that looked more like a dress on her.
Not sure exactly what to do with her clothes she neatly folded them and placed them on top of the cargo pants remaining on the chair. Feeling a little out of place, Annella took a seat in the second chair, that faced the door directly. Leaning over onto her hand she instantly felt sleep begin to spread through her body. She yawned widely while searching the room for any sign of a clock, who knew what time it could be. Soon her heavy eyelids took over, halting her plans to wait for him to return.
"We can't afford to lose more men! We need to build this army stronger!" Talia exclaimed as a heavy fist hit the table.
He simply nodded as she explained her plans to slowly persuade Bruce Wayne to trust her as her alter ego Miranda Tate, the innocent environmentalist.
"Is there any other news, my friend?" Talia questioned, toying with him.
"No." He breathed out mechanically, deciding to keep his new interest to himself.
It was after the meeting with Talia, he returned to his room and found her curled up in the chair looking rather uncomfortable. He chuckled softly as he placed an arm under her legs and the other around her shoulders, carrying her over to the bed. She stirred lightly as her head snuggled into his hard chest, she remained sleeping as he slipped the blankets over her body. He stared down at her for some time, her breath even and peaceful not stressed at all. He admired her smooth completion, white and untouched by hardship but little did he know that her soul carried her heavy burdens.
He took a seat at his desk silently rifling through papers, his insomnia grew worse each night. It must have been hours that he sat there for his back began to ache, telling him rest was needed. He groaned as he stood, feeling his lower back contract. Standing beside the bed as he pulled off his shirt. He felt the bed dip down as he sat to remove his boots, he felt her move and assumed he has woken her but soon the room was silent again. Her light snore created a smirk to play on his lips as he pushed back the covers and eased himself into bed. He brushed a strand of hair behind her ear before he felt himself slip into a deep sleep, exhaustion taking over.

"Mmhh.." She groaned, sitting up taking in her surroundings through the darkness.
The rustling of papers caught her attention, she turned towards the noise. Bane had returned to his desk once again, restlessness badgering his mind. He soon turned to meet her eyes.
"Good of you to join me." He broke the silence.
"How long have I been asleep?" She asked, squinting through the darkness.
"Several hours, it's early, I rose to continue my work." He stated before he stood, making his way back to the bed.
He noticed she never flinched at his sudden movements, she only looked up at him with innocent and honest eyes.
"You do not fear me." Bane acknowledged.
"Why would I? I don't know you." She answered staring up at him, his form towering over her.
He took a seat on the edge of the bed, facing her with interest.
"But I am Gotham's reckoning, here to bring the city to its' knees and yet you do not fear me." He pursued.
"You are a stranger to me, I do not know you, I don't know what you can do. I've learned it's the people you are most familiar with that can hurt you the most." Annella described as she gripped the sheets.
Concern filled his eyes, he brought her face up to his trying to read more into her. He felt a great urge to hold her close, protect her from the world. But he hesitated for he had never shown affection to anyone, he wasn't sure how she would react.
She sensed a deep connection with this man, she hadn't even learned his name and yet she felt so safe with him. Without hesitation she wrapped her arms around his neck, the cool metal of his mask grazing her neck sent a shiver down her spine. He grunted at the sudden feeling of her small frame against him.
She shyly smiled up at him, as she unlaced her fingers from around his neck. He glanced down at her chuckling as he noticed how large his shirt really was on her.
"We need to get you some proper clothes." He announced letting his hands brush down the sides of her arms.
"Thanks." She replied looking down as she played with the hem of the shirt.
Her head shot up sudenly when she felt the bed shift as he stood back up to his feet.
"I will send Barsad out later, you may accompany him if you'd like." He decided, placing his hand on the door knob.
"Wait!..Can I know your name?" She whispered into the dark.
She heard his soft chuckle hiss through the mask.
"Bane...Now get some sleep, my little dove." He expressed before leaving, shutting the door softly.
She curled back under the blankets, his scent lingering on the pillows caused her to smile lightly before drifting back to sleep.

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