Author: Kat Lee
Challenge/Prompt: beattheblackdog 75: Temporary and prompt_in_a_box: Night
Word Count: 1,569
Date Written: 8 August 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to DC Comics, not the author, and are used without permission.
She used to think the effect he has on her was just temporary. Every man she’s ever been with her before has never lasted long in her life. Like a catnip toy that gradually loses its alluring scent, no man has ever been able to keep her interest for long . . . except for him. It’s been years since he first came into her life, and yet Selina still wants Bruce just as much now as when she first saw him, if not more.
She can still scarcely believe that he proposed last night. He had then almost as quickly told her that she didn’t have to answer him right away, that she could think about his proposition, and had gotten up off of his feet as the Batsignal had lit the sky. Part of Selina had wanted to throw herself at him and cry out that there was nothing to talk about. She’s told him before that he’s like catnip, and he is, but his juice doesn’t run out.
She’s been half expecting him, perhaps more than half if she’s honest with herself, to withdraw the proposition ever since. She knows she should walk away from him -- that she can’t live the life she’s built for herself if she stays with him --, but she’s known that, too, since the very first night she spent with him. She can’t just walk away from him. He’s in her blood; he’s inside her, rather they’re together or not.
There’s nothing that she wants more in this world than to be with him. Even building a safe paradise for her babies seems to have become secondary in her goals. She hasn’t been home in two days, but she knows her cats will be just fine without her. She’s left them alone far longer than that -- he’s left her with no choice in the past.
What’s wrong with her? she sighs, wondering and watching him. This man has put her in jail many times. He’s stopped her best plans, hit her, abused her, taken her love for granted, and yet . . . She sighs more softly as he continues relating his story, as though it’s something that can make her change her mind about him, as though anything can. She still wants him. She’ll always want him, and worse, she’ll always love him.
He isn’t temporary. Even if she was to walk away and never see him again for the rest of her life, she’d never stop thinking about him. She’d never stop missing him, yearning for him, loving him . . . Her life isn’t complete without him, but it also isn’t complete without her mission. He has his mission, and she has hers, and the two have rarely been able to be combined.
How are they going to do this? she wonders, not even really listening to his story. How are they going to make this work? How can they possibly make it work?! She’s a villain, and he’s a hero. He has the money to make her big dreams come true, but that isn’t where their differences end. He’s so lost in his memories right now that he completely misses the smirk that passes over her lips, but he wouldn’t miss Alfred’s bellowing when he chased after her kitties when they did something wrong.
She kneads his black, silk sheets underneath her ruby red fingernails. This isn’t going to work; it can’t work! There’s no way it can work! And yet . . . He’s placed the ball entirely inside her court now. If she declines him, she’ll be turning away her biggest chance at happiness and at making her dream come true. She’ll be sealing her fate, too, in more ways than one: not just as a criminal, but as a woman who will forever be alone.
She knows the rumors about catwomen. She’ll never be as ugly or fat as most of those chicks are, but if she turns Bruce away now, if she breaks his heart . . . She’ll also be breaking her own. She’ll be making certain that she lives alone for the rest of her days with only her babies for companionship and that she eventually dies alone, too.
With a sharp hiss that Bruce still seems oblivious to, Selina tightly closes her emerald green eyes against the pain welling in her heart. She’ll destroy the best parts of herself if she turns him down, and who’s to say what will happen to him? Even Alfred, for all their differences, has told her before that she is sometimes the only one who can reach him. She doesn’t want to see the man she loves turn fully over to the darkness inside of him; she’d rather see him with another woman first!
But he, Selina knows, can no more be happy with another woman than she can be with another man. They’ve tried that route, too. It only leads to heartache and more sorrowful, dark times. They are the only answer for each other when it comes to matrimonial bliss. They are already two halves of one whole; marriage would only legalize it.
But if they’re true to that marriage, it will complicate matters too. She won’t be able to run off on him any time things get too serious, and he’ll expect to see her at home. She knows him better than to think he’d ever be fool enough to think he could keep her at home, but when their nights were done, he’d expect her to be home with him. At least he isn’t like so many of the world’s male heroes or villains, she thinks; he knows better than to ever think she’ll take a back seat to him or any one.
The biggest problem, she muses, is what they’re going to do about their own families. The Batbrat pack will never accept her as one of their own. Batgirl hates her, and the Robins have very little higher regard for her. Alfred might be willing to accept her, but what of her babies? That’s it, Selina thinks suddenly; that’s how she’s going to have to answer him -- she’ll say “yes”, she’ll purr the word even, but with stipulations. Like any other single mother, she’s a package deal. He may be able to have her every couple of nights without attachments, but she’s not going anywhere without her babies for a long term, not like she’s had to do when he’s shut her away in Arkham.
Selina shudders. Is she really that bad? she thinks. Does she really have it as bad as Harley, to be willing to give herself completely over to a man who has abused her and their love so much in the past and may yet do it again if it suits his plans or, rather, she doesn’t? Yes, she thinks. Yes, she does, but then she hasn’t been exactly guilt free throughout their history together either. She’s come close to killing him a few times. She may have rescued him more times than she’s endangered her life, but she’s still hurt him. She knows where every scar she’s left on his fine body is, after all.
He’s left scars on her, and she’s left scars on him -- physical, mental, and spiritual. With or without each other, they’re still marked by one another. They’ll always be marked by each other, and no two people have ever belonged together more than they do. She knows what she’s going to say. She’s known since that very first second he dropped down onto his knees in the wet, dark Gotham night, and she’d dared to hope the night might have finally come.
It has come. Their night has come to them together. This is the opportunity of a lifetime, the one she’s been waiting for, the one that can make not only all of her dreams but all her babies’ dreams come true. There was never really any question about her answer, Selina thinks, her lips lifting into a coy smile. Even if he thought she had to have time to ponder the answer she wanted to give him, even if she has tossed the idea around multiple times in her head like a cat playing with a yarn ball, even if she can’t see right now how it’s actually going to work, and even if he thinks this story, or anything else he might ever tell her, can succeed in scaring her away from him, there’s never been a true doubt about her answer.
She purrs as she cuts out of her own thoughts to listen to his deep, rich voice. He’s still lost in his memories, but that’s all right. Soon, they’ll be lost in planning their future together. She reaches out, takes his hand in hers, and brings it to her lips. Her mouth brushes kisses over his knuckles as she watches the reaction in his brilliant, blue eyes.
He stops talking and gapes, open-mouthed, at her. She smirks. “And they say I’m the one who has the cat ate the canary look. Go on. Keep telling me about your deepest, darkest secrets. It won’t change my mind. I love you, Brrrruce.” She purrs his name, leans forward, and kisses him, and in that moment, they both know her answer. Their future isn’t entirely clear yet, but it’s clear they belong together. They always have, and they smile against one another’s mouths as they lower together back into the Batman’s bed.