For [community profile] heroines_fest!

Oct. 30th, 2012 04:55 pm
whipsy: (Default)
[personal profile] whipsy
Title: Strays
Characters: Selina Kyle/Bruce Wayne, John Blake, and ?
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1825
Disclaimer: DC Comics and Warner Bros. own.
AN: for [community profile] heroines_fest, prompt- The Dark Knight Rises, Selina Kyle, she’s collecting strays and all of them are dear to her heart.

The girl had been small and scrawny with big blue eyes and a different name. That's not what pulled at Selina's heart strings though. Especially since it was just as easy not to like the girl. For being such a tiny, little thing, she had a big, bad attitude, was ungrateful, and ran off the first chance she got. Selina had expected that though. Jen had been only twelve at the time and had no one - no one - looking out for her.

Long ago, Selina had been in the same spot. With no one to turn to, nowhere to go, and too proud to let anyone help her even if someone had bothered to offer. Life was hard already and she'd been young and more than stubborn enough to make it harder for herself. There was no way she was letting the same thing happen to Jen.

It didn't. And there were no regrets by either woman.

But now, there was someone else who had come along. Another stray.

No, not Bruce. Even though he had been lonely when that entire ordeal with Bane, Talia, and the bomb occurred, he wasn't alone. He always had Alfred, so Selina didn't see him as a complete stray. Alfred would definitely resent her if she did.

Anyway, after Florence and Madrid and Paris (and practically the rest of Europe), both she and Bruce had grown...restless. She craved their old nightlife. He felt he owed it to Alfred to keep trying, to continue to stay away. Selina had no such qualms.

"I'm leaving," she said flatly.

He'd set his jaw then and mentally prepared for the worst.

"Why?" was the only question he could manage to ask.

"Honestly? Because I'm tired of...this."

Bruce deflated a little. It hurt to hear. He'd let his guard down a little before Florence and he was left exposed to feel the effects of every harsh word.

"You've been moping around the place and it's driving me crazy!" she added and he returned his gaze to her.

Could it be she wasn't tired of him, but simply the situation? With renewed hope, he dared to ask, "What are your plans then?"

Her half grin told him he'd played right into her hands.

"We need to go back." His lips narrowed to a straight line. "No one needs to know."

That was all she said. Frankly, that was all she needed to say. He understood perfectly. And he agreed. Not out loud, of course.

Bruce couldn't just cave to her whims. It would set a bad precedent. After a week of pretending to think it over, he relented. The sex had been extraordinary the night he told her he would return with her and then again the following morning before they boarded a plane as Mr. and Mrs. Kyle. Bruce wasn't amused, Selina couldn't stop grinning.

...

It was in Gotham where Bruce seemed to come alive again. Despite his not-to-subtle insistence, Selina chose not to stay in the manor. She returned home to her walk-up. Jen had kept it in perfect disarray for her.

The thing was, Bruce and Selina made sense away from their alter egos. Back in the city that helped define both, it wasn't just the two of them anymore. Besides, there was the kid to consider. He had been staying at the manor for a few months. Selina didn't want to barge in. That wasn't her style.

Still, she heard it took an entire week of brooding in the cave, before Bruce donned the suit again. Blake was happy for the help. And perhaps not surprisingly, even more so to talk about it.

"It didn't feel right, you know?" Blake admitted one night (weeks after their return), while they stood out on a rooftop high above everyone else. Selina knew he was referring to the mantle of the Bat. "It's his."

She understood and smiled without judgment.

He may not have trusted Selina Kyle at one point, but Bruce did. Blake knew enough about the man to know he didn't give away his trust lightly.

"So," Selina grinned, "Nightwing seemed like a better idea?"

Under the domino mask, the kid actually blushed.

"It did at the time," he shrugged a shoulder. "You think it's too-"

"It's fitting," Selina replied making Blake beam with pride.

There was something about him. He wasn't meant to simply fill in someone else's shoes. She was glad he'd struck out on his own. Truth was Selina liked the kid. Even before he apologized for arresting her. For so long, he had been all alone as well, but he was a born fighter. After Bruce's awkward introduction, she and Blake got along rather well. It might have been because they were rather close in age or the fact that they understood the risks of wearing a mask, either way they formed an easy alliance.

Then, one night, someone new came along. Another stray entered the picture.

Bruce was supposed to be out on patrol. And the Tumbler was with him often to save his knees from their nightly torment of pounding the ground while taking down bad guys. But, when Selina found the car, she didn't find him, she found an angry, hungry, dirty little boy in the process of removing a second set of rims from the Tumbler.

She was looking forward to telling Bruce that not only had this little boy managed to bypass another of his so-called impenetrable alarms, but he was able to do so with only a monkey wrench and a pair of pliers.

To say she was impressed would be an understatement. The kid was ballsy. Selina knew there were certain things too tempting not to try and steal. But from the Batman himself?

"Hi, there."

The boy froze. Big blue eyes glanced up at her and that same haunted, hateful look that had been in Jen's eyes - that sometimes still colored the edges of Blake's and had been in her own - glared back at her. Then, he took off like the devil himself was after him.

Selina's smile only grew.

Not wanting to frighten the boy even more, she followed, but remained hidden. He led her on a long, intricate chase through abandoned buildings, down isolated alleyways, and finally to an old warehouse near the city limit. Most people, including cops, would've lost him before then.

The boy was smart.

Before he went inside the warehouse, he checked his surroundings, making sure no one saw him. There was a vent near the corner of the building he lifted to grant him access. Selina went in through a window high above, landing on some rusty scaffolding.

It was dark and the warehouse was full of dusty crates. She wasn't going to approach him, but he called her out.

"I know you're there!" he yelled from somewhere down below. "Whataya want? Why'd you follow me? I didn't take nothing!"

"I know." The anger that laced his words, the wariness, she recognized it all too well. "Just wanted to-" she stopped abruptly. He wouldn't believe she was simply making sure he was okay. He wouldn't. Judging by the condition of his clothes and the place he returned to hide out, the ability to trust had probably fled his small frame long ago.

"Just wanted to what?" he yelled, his voice sounded farther away, likely towards an exit somewhere.

"Just wanted to see what else you've stolen."

Selina heard him snort. Then something creaked.

"Wait!" she called out, but even with the night vision in her goggles turned on, she couldn't find him. "Damn."

The next few nights, she searched for the boy. Even Jen and Blake offered to help. Bruce didn't. He was pissed about the tires, even more about the sad state of his alarm systems.

On the fourth night, she found him. He messed with the wrong people and was being cornered in a dead end by three men, each more than twice his size.

"You're gonna pay, punk."

She intervened before things got out of hand.

"Let's say we settle this like civilized people."

All eyes watched Selina land silently a few feet away. She positioned herself between the men and the boy.

"I got this!" the little brat growled at her. "I don't need your help!"

"Better listen to your mommy, punk, if ya know what's good for ya."

"See, I knew you could be reasonable," Selina finished saying before one of the idiots pulled a gun on her. She sighed, disappointed, though she wasn't surprised. "Alright," she smiled, red lips curling up at the ends. "Have it your way."

First, she took the gun. Then, she broke the guy's wrist. Finally, she stopped the other two who tried to make a run for it. She left them lying unconscious on the ground.

When she turned back to where the boy had been standing moments ago, she was surprised to find him still standing in the very spot.

"Who are you?" he gasped.

"A friend. If you need one."

...

Jen fell in love with the dark haired boy almost immediately.

Blake came around soon enough. "We can all use more friends," he winked.

Bruce, however, had a harder time with it.

"Ease up, Wayne," Selina teased. "I'm not asking you to take him in or anything." She wasn't too good at sharing anyway and she really liked the boy.

She only asked once, but eventually Bruce agreed to meet him. She didn't have to say it, yet he could see how important it was for her that he do so. It didn't seem to be nearly as important to the boy, however.

"This the rich stiff you're shacking up with?"

Selina raised an eyebrow. "What did we agree on, Jason?" she asked.

He made a face as he looked down at his new shoes. He liked Selina - she took him into her home expecting absolutely nothing in return, except that he cease stealing and enroll in school. She promised that if his grades were good, she'd teach him a thing or two about taking what he wanted without getting caught.

"Fine," he muttered, then sighed dramatically. "It's nice to meet you, Mr.Wayne," he said, putting on a fake smile and extending his hand. When Bruce shook his small hand, Jason turned to Selina. "Can I go now?"

Fighting back a smile, she nodded once.

"He's... so much younger than I expected," Bruce said, lowering his voice.

Jason was quick to run and hide in the next room. There, he could hear the conversation clear enough.

"How long will he be staying with you?" Bruce asked getting straight to the point.

The concern in the usually stoic man's voice was touching, but Selina did not comment on it. She knew Jason was probably listening somewhere nearby, so she replied quickly and firmly, so that the young boy would know exactly where he stood.

"He can stay for as long as he wants."

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