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my love is vengeance

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It was hard to crack The Batman. Vengeance.

He didn’t go by that name anymore. Apparently.

They met during a back alley fight. She had lost herself at the Iceberg Lounge. Black leather pants. Emerald green corset top. Boots. She got herself in some trouble, but she’d been dying for it. She had twirled and drank and squeezed a couple Drops into her eyes until her mascara ran and she’d chewed through her lip.

Her vision had swam - gone to neon swirls and white spots. She had danced and danced until the world had flipped over. The vibrating floor. The bass drop. She was waiting - hoping - delighting at the thought of her web reeling some horsefly into her snare.

It worked as it always did. Some creep had managed to drag her outside - oily hands grabbing at her. The stink of fetid breath that was too warm. The rolling sweetheart - come on - come -

She always savored the look on their faces when she suddenly straightened - when she gracefully twisted their arm or broke their nose. Her slur gone. Her eyes now bright and aware. She could be dizzy-drunk and still manage to pull her punches. She didn’t intend to kill anyone. Just a lesson and yes, maybe, she was trying to fill all the pesky holes inside her from her own horrific past. She called it closure, but it was “closure” that was never actually fulfilled.

That night in particular had not gone as planned. The creep had security - he’d apparently been a bigger fish than she thought. How could you tell really? Everyone in Gotham was someone’s superior - was someone’s boss in an invisible hierarchy. The good guys were actually bad and the bad guys were bad, but not even as bad as the good guys because they, at least, owned it.

All of that (the security and the big fish) - she didn’t know. Not then. Not yet.

The man screeched after she’d sent the heel of her hand into his nose. Blood swirling in the rain. Like tears. What was that movie again? Something..something…the shoulder of Orion…C-beams…glitter?

“You fucking bitch,” he growled, lunging forward. She side-stepped. The alcohol swelled inside her - the drops left her skin humming. She was cold - sensitive to every splat of water. The rain drenched her hair and her clothes and left the air with the tang of mildew.

It was all fun - all very exciting until the man started chuckling - red seeping between his too-white teeth. She frowned.

“What- “

Pain - sharp and sudden - slammed through her back. She fell - knees scraping against the shimmering asphalt. The neon lights of the city danced along the tops of her hands as they found purchase on the dirty ground. The Exit sign reflected rosy red against the silver surface of her bracelets. Another kick sent her into the trash bin - the whole front denting beneath her weight.

She grimaced before glancing up to see who - exactly - had come to this fuckhead’s rescue.

Four guys. Enormous. Thick. Definitely security.

One of the men - bald and pissed - snapped his fist back band drove it toward her -

She screwed her eyes shut.

Not her most courageous move, but she didn’t care. There was just so much rain and she couldn’t hear outside of it. The Drops still had her bones vibrating. Her heart had split in two and taken residence in both of her ear canals. She waited - waited - and then nothing - a wisp of wind and a sudden howl of agony.

She opened her eyes. Oh.

The Batman. He was bigger than she expected. Broad-shouldered. Shockingly fast for someone so bulky. He’d saved the city a year ago. She remembered the flood of water. The murders and the corruption brought to light. This was the first time she’d ever run into him.

She watched - breathless and in pain from her bruised ribs - as he beat the shit out of her attackers. It took him a minute, perhaps two and then he was done - staring down at the pile of unconscious bodies with what she’d assumed was indifference, but there was really no way to tell with that mask.

Finally, he turned toward her. He dropped down - making himself smaller - a hunched form. She spread his gloved hand in offering. It was jarring to see him go from towering to eye-level. “Are you okay?” His voice was deep - raspy - like it had been wrenched over gravel. She could make out the exquisite line of his jaw - the blue around his pupils. The shade gleamed within circles of smoke-black make-up. Galaxy blue. Lake blue.

She clutched his hand - shivering as his fingers covered hers. He helped her up - mindful of her injuries that she would no doubt feel tenfold tomorrow morning.

“Thanks,” she told him - at a loss of what else to say. He didn’t leave - didn’t disappear into the shadows.

“I watched you,” he revealed. “Watched you nearly break that guy’s face.”

“He had bad intentions.”

The corner of his mouth lifted. “I’ve watched you beat the shit out of different guys the last two weeks.”

She went still - uncertain if he was going to arrest her or chastise her. She didn’t know which would be worse. “Why did you wait until tonight to show up?”

He shrugged. “You were outnumbered. Didn’t feel like trying to find someone else who can fight with your…,” He seemed to search for the right word. “…creativity.”

Her brow furrowed. “Fight for what?”

“Need help on a case,” His eyes were steady on her - serious. Unsettling. “I could use someone who can defend themselves and you know the Iceberg.”

“Oh.” He didn’t even ask her why she did what she did. He saw it as a strength. He had started walking and she hurried after him - skipping over one of the unconscious bodies he had left. Her skin felt less tingly. Not as tight.

“You don’t even know my name,” she accused.

He lifted his arm - her wallet stuck between his fingers. “Nice to meet you.”

Jerk.

***

Bruce did not think of Selina. The new girl - woman - reminded him strongly of her. A fact he did not want to truly acknowledge. Both of them were bitter - angry - and remarkable at getting into places they shouldn’t. The only difference was that she desired no payment - no reward for the pain she dealt. There was no gold in it for her. No diamonds. She simply took advantage of the men who tried to take advantage of her - some form of revenge that Bruce knew all too well.

She was also less controlled than Selina had been. She drank to oblivion. She did Drops on occasion, which he’d grumble about much to her amusement. She had money - which he had not expected. There was barely any information on her, but she was rich. She’d buy tables at the Iceberg - drop her black Amex as she handled recon for him. She’d clothe herself in sparkling minidresses - too high heels. Then later in the night - she’d pull on her suit and be someone else. Someone harder and sadder and violent.

Their first case turned into a second. There was a third - a fourth. He supposed that they were partners now. They knew so little of each other and yet were together nearly every night.

She had begun to channel whatever resentment boiled inside her toward their work. She was just as motivated as him - just as excited to get to the bottom of the spoiled pot that was Gotham. She developed a type of poison that functioned like a hallucinogen, which she finessed until it practically became a truth serum. She’d put it in tiny vials, pricking throats with needles.

“Are we dating?” she’d joked once as they sat together at their meeting spot. The wind blew through the plastic tarps, kicking up gusts of construction dust. She was nursing a fat lip. He had a bloody nose he couldn’t seem to plug up. It had been a successful night.

He exhaled - huffed a laugh that he tried to swallow. She caught him and her lips spread apart into the most unbearable smile. It lit up her entire face. Bruce felt something clench in his gut and he had to look away.

***

Batman weighed a ton - a thousand fucking tons and part of it might have been his damn suit.

“C’mon,” she wheezed between clenched teeth. She had her hands under his arms as she pulled and pulled. He’d hurt his head. An explosive had blown up right in his fucking face. At least, his body parts were still attached. She finally got him into a deserted hallway in a shuttered building. The chaos of the fight was still roaring outside.

She searched his face - tilting his helmet back and forth. Shit. She didn’t want to betray him. They’d developed a connection - trust - respect. Things that neither of them gave easily. He was out cold. He could be bleeding. She shook him gently. Nothing.

“Batman,” she murmured - not wanting to draw attention from outside. “Vengeance.”

Nothing. Fuck.

“Batsy,” she tried - which she knew he fucking hated - absolutely bristled at. He didn’t flinch.

She had to.

“Please don’t hate me,” she whispered as she gingerly lifted his helmet up. She pulled and pulled until it came free, but she didn’t want to look down. She didn’t want to see him bare-faced if he wasn’t going to give it to her conscious. She tried to move his head so she could check the crown of it. Black hair slipped between her fingers. If she tilted his chin - she’d see the bridge of his nose.There was an egg-sized lump at the center of his skull. She hoped his brain wasn’t bleeding.

Just as she laid his head back in her lap, he suddenly gasped.

He jerked violently - sitting up with his hands flying to his face. Another unsettled groan burst from his mouth. She winced and then shoved his mask at him - eyes firmly glued to the floor. “I was careful,” she assured him. “I had-had to check your head. I didn’t see your face.” But then he said her name and, as a damn reflex, she looked up at him.

Bruce. Wayne.

“Oh fuck,” she breathed because it actually made a lot of sense. He had to have had money. The poison of the city had killed his family. He had the motive. The means. That fucking bone structure. How could she not have known?

She blinked at him. She didn’t know how to approach him. He was like a terrified animal caught in a trap. He simply stared back at her - the muscle in his jaw flexed - his nostrils flared - the whites of his eyes vibrant and intense. He remained silent for a few moments - before yanking his mask back on.

“ But - your head,” she cautioned - her voice weak - vulnerable with uncertainty and shame. She felt like she had done something terribly wrong. Had she screwed this up? There were tears in the back of her throat. She was drowning. The last six months had given her purpose - had made her oddly content with her own loss - her own unstable grief. She had him as a friend. Had she ruined it?

He left her there.

***

Bruce stormed out of the abandoned building. His boots slipped through puddles - greased asphalt. He wasn’t even mindful of where he was going - of being so out in the open. His suit covered him. His suit kept him safe.

She’d recognized Bruce Wayne immediately. Now - she knew everything about him - who he was - what that meant - the entire sordid history of his life. His childhood splashed across gossip magazines. His adulthood peeled apart despite the fact that he had tried to hide away from all of those hungry eyes.

Granted - he’d been a little more public since the Riddler. He’d donated heaps of his wealth - started a new fund. He tried to make peace with his name.

Now - she knew him as both. Batman. Bruce.

What did that mean? Why did it matter in the long run? You didn’t even give her a chance.

He stopped. Everything inside him was at war - a hurricane of conflicting emotions. They shared things. They’d developed a quiet sort of camaraderie. He doubted that his identity would change that -

Poor Little Rich Boy

You like her.

You want her. You want her to want you as the Batman.

Bruce is helpless in that regard. Bruce is lonely and pathetic. Bruce doesn’t understand women - sex -

Bruce is not the man that she teases and taunts. Bruce doesn’t know shit.

He stepped further into the alley - toward his car.

Fuck it. He turned around. Back to her.

***

She thought it was someone else - someone marching heavily through the hallway to attack her. Another teenager - some dumb kid. Get the fuck up. You’re acting ridiculous. She couldn’t move - her limbs felt heavy and weighed in stone. They were still coming.

She frowned. The steps were too distinct. She knew them because she knew him. She glanced up and it was Batman - Bruce - rushing toward her. His entire body took up the hallway - enormous and shadowed and consuming.

“I’m sorry,” she told him as she tried to stand. “I didn’t -”

He crashed into her - stealing her breath. His lips were on hers - clumsy and damp - his hands cradling the hinge of her jaw. His thumb was digging into her cheek and he tilted their heads to deepen the kiss - his tongue nudging - curious - testing -

She grabbed at him - palms scraping up the back of his suit - brushing his cape. He buried her into the wall - the scent of old paint - smoke - and his scent, which was masculine and clean and dirty at once -

His kiss lacked finesse - lacked talent. It was frantic and unsteady, but his hands held her in place as he pinned her to the wall. He held her to him - lifted her onto her toes.

He was a virgin. He had to be or perhaps he just never kissed people, which made her simper with delight. Far - far - from a playboy.

“Bruce,” she purred and he shuddered in the circle of her arms.

***

They used his penthouse as their base. She met Alfred who appeared utterly thrilled by her presence. Even if she was another vigilante - another slightly off poor little rich girl running around and enthusiastically supporting Bruce’s violent habit.

Not wife material. Not girlfriend material, even.

“Bruce seems very fond of you,” Alfred remarked as they studied a note that the latest Gotham serial killer had left on his disemboweled victim. They’d carved a grin into the poor guy’s face. Ear to ear.

She chuckled - doubtful. “He has a funny way of showing it.”

“He can be closed off, but I know him - known him since he was a child. He cares about you.”

“I think you’re seeing things, Alfredo.”

“Uhuh,” he murmured as he turned the note to the light - a message within a message found in the thin material. “Strange,” Alfred flipped the note. “I don’t know what this is made from.”

She squinted her eyes - looking closer before inhaling sharply. “I think human skin.”

“Oh Jesus Christ.”

***

She perched on a stool as she delicately sewed up the horrifying gash in Bruce’s forearm. Her tongue peaked between her teeth. The light from the overhead lamp was raw and white - it showered his arm in stark relief. The blood was candy-red.

His kiss was sudden. The pressure of his mouth firm on her own. When he drew away, he seemed shocked that he had done it. There was a gorgeous pink flush over his cheeks. It drifted up his throat.

She bit her lip and continued sewing.

***

They were waltzing around the sex talk. They kissed - they made out like fucking teenagers after they had spent a night fighting down the knife-edge of the city. He was so quiet - so stone-faced sometimes. They’d be heaving from whatever battle they’d won or whatever battle they’d lost. The air would burn - the oxygen melting between them - the tension growing and then he’d just look at her. That was it. The world zapped to a sudden overwhelming focus that settled on Bruce. He’d storm toward her, cradling her face before dragging her to his mouth for a dirty, slick kiss. They fought with it. Pushing and pulling. He had gotten better - far more practiced, which wasn’t a surprise since he took to everything with ease. He learned and adapted.

“I want you,” he growled against her tongue. “Fuck - I can’t - I can’t think of anything else.”

His stubble would chafe her jaw and chin. She’d knock his mask off and tug his hair. His belt would dig into her hip - his hands all over her.

One night - she went farther.

“Let me give you something,” she pleaded - pushing him away until his back smacked against the column. They were at their spot - the bat sigil butter-white and frothy in the sky.

He looked confused. She could read him despite the mask.

“What are you talking about?” He asked in a low voice - ragged and dripping with hunger. “You’ve given me everything.”

Fuck her cunt clenched at that. “Trust me,” she said as she pressed her palms to his chest - as she kissed him lightly before wrenching herself away. He tried to follow with his greedy mouth, but she stopped him.

She dropped to her knees.

“What are you doing?” he rasped. She saw his skin redden against the black seal of his mask. He really was handsome - beautiful and untouchable and it was so very strange to have him like this. She constantly had him shivering beneath her touch - moaning for her - and then she’d see him fight like nothing could stop him. Legendary out there, but with her? Something secret and tender…

The sky was turning. The sherbet bloom of the sunrise peeking through the skyscrapers. The color of it: violet and blush and tangerine rupturing against the muddled gloom of Gotham. The air tasted bitterly of the smog and oil from the enormous cargo ships in the bay. She could hear the scattered chirp of morning birds. She was sore from the fighting tonight. Her neck hurt, but she still found herself reaching for his belt.

She peered up at him as she unzipped his pants. The square flex of his jaw. The stubble. The pretty pink mouth.

She gingerly eased him out. He was long - lovely - and he twitched in her hand as he filled the circle of her palm. She delicately placed her tongue at the head of his cock and he jumped.

“Easy,” she coaxed. She took him into her mouth.

***

He had to concentrate not to spend into her mouth the second he felt her tongue. It was too much. The suction of her cheeks - the hot, wet pocket behind her teeth. She was swallowing him - nearly choking on his cock as her lashes fluttered prettily up at him. She gagged - sunk down until her nose was shoved up against his groin. He had no words.

Struck. Dumb.

His hips stuttered. He found himself reaching for her hand that was resting on his thigh. He threaded his fingers with hers - curling into a knot - a tangle - don’t let go don’t let go don’t let go - i didn’t know - i didn’t know it could be like this -

***

She’d never tell him, but she lived for every moment that Bruce unwittingly revealed himself to her. His past - his likes and dislikes - his strange hobbies that didn’t involve crime fighting.

He sketched. He read the same classics over and over again: Moby Dick, Hamlet, The Grapes of Wrath, On the Road, Othello, War and Peace…

Those activities seemed on brand.

But then she found that he loved comics - that he enjoyed nineties action flicks - that he liked to take apart his cars and put them back together.

Alfred would bring them huge pieces of cherry pie if they worked late.

“Is this your favorite?” she’d tease.

He shrugged. “I guess. I liked pie as a boy. Hated ice cream.” She rolled her eyes and then he kissed her - lips sweet and sour and sticky. He deepened it - smearing maraschino-red filling along the top of her mouth.

***

He’d never tell her, but he devoured every fucking piece of herself that she gave him. Her past slipped from her in hints - vague recollections.

I loved the beach. I miss it.

I used to go to this summer camp in the mountains and got lost in the woods for two nights. I was eight - you’d be shocked by the kind of holes a small body can fit into. It was totally great.

My dad owned this bear and I named him Gabe. Fed him live salmon.

I went to med school and then had a bit of a breakdown and they put me away for a bit.

She never got farther than that. Bruce was left trying to solve the riddles of her background. He didn’t want to press her - didn’t want to upset her. They were tiptoeing around each other and all the unsaid shit between them was beginning to fester - was threatening to blow.

They could not stop touching. Not for a minute. It physically pained him to be away from her.

Every night, she found him in the cave like she always did. She straddled him - her beautiful face revealed only in the light that gleamed soft blue from his computer screen. She licked his ear - tugged the lobe between her teeth. He bucked into her - grunting - groaning - he said her name and she took it from him -

“Bruce,” She smiled around it - her teeth a half-moon in the dark.

***

It was the way he shouted her name. It pulsed with panic - desperate and horrified. She’d never heard him use that tone and she paused in her fighting - reeling back only a few inches so that the bullet meant for her chest - ripped into her shoulder.

“Oh,” she breathed - whistled. “Shit.”

She stumbled to her knees - boots splashing up dirty puddle water. Another storm had slickened the city - had made it difficult to see who she was fighting. She groaned as she scrambled to plug up the blood squirting from the tiny hole in her suit.

Fuck.

She pawed uselessly. Her visions swam and drifted. She heard Bruce. She heard him speak to her - call to her - baby

She came to underground with nothing but shadows above her. She raised her head - the pain splintered through her - but she wanted - she needed to see -

Bruce was sitting there - his expression broke into tangible relief.

***

He had not felt fear like that in a long time - well since Alfred. But it had still been different. The grief in him. The anxiety. The debilitating terror that she could be dead and he’d be alone again. He’d lose her before he knew her - really knew her - he couldn’t stand it.

He’d carried her back to the cave - frantic - panicked - shouting for Alfred to help him. When they unzipped her suit - blood had spilled with it - pooled around her shoulder - staining her skin.

He held her hand. He brushed his lips over each knuckle. “Don’t,” he growled - demanded of her. “Don’t you fucking dare.”

***

“Like this?” he murmured as he dipped his head lower. She arched - her feet kicking against the mattress. The bandage around her shoulder served as a constant reminder. He lapped - dragged his tongue and used his fingers.

“Shit-t,” she whimpered. “Where - where did you learn that?”

“Never done it before,” he muttered against her folds. She tasted good - slightly salty - musky - the hint of sweet that got clearer with every lick. The room ached with sex. She was all over him. He was hard as a rock - he’d probably blow in his sweats.

“You’re lying.”

He lifted himself up to look at her - amused. His chin felt sticky. “When would I have the time to do this with anyone else?”

She narrowed her eyes. “I don’t know. I don’t know what you do when you’re not with me.”

“Think of you,” he quipped. “Obviously.”

It rolled off his tongue so easily - the flirtation - the truth of it. He was being sincere and the effect it had on her was stunning. She beamed and wiggled closer to him. He slapped her thigh.

“Now shut up and let me eat you.”

He returned to her cunt. It was gaping for him - clenching around his knuckles. It was pretty - shiny and glossy and calling to him. He latched his mouth to her clit and she shrieked. He held her down with his forearm banding over her hips. She fisted his hair - grinding into his face and he drowned in her - smug and pleased when he felt her pussy spasm around his fingers. It leaked all over his bed. She wailed and he felt the exact moment that she released and gave in. It beautifully echoed against the walls - sprang against the wallpaper his mother had picked out that he refused to remove

He’d never tell her that he’d spent five hours studying videos and reading articles on oral sex. He took notes.

***

It happened on a mundane night. They were on the shitty cot in the cave -the one he’d pass out on when he’d get too tired. The serial killer responsible for the ghoulish grins and skin notes was still at large.

Bruce was frustrated and her eyes were beginning to cross from the amount of files she’d read. Yellowed pages. The smell of old libraries. She was at a loss.

“We should sleep,” she suggested. “I should probably go back to my place. I need to -”

“No,” he protested and then was right up in front of her - chest to chest. “This psycho is still out there.”

Her lips quirked. “I can handle myself.”

He gripped her injured shoulder and squeezed it. She yelped. “No - you can’t.”

She knew this Bruce. It was when he got in his own head. Too protective. Too anxious. Fearful.

“It’ll be fine.”

“No it won’t.”

“You’re being a fucking dick.”

“I don’t care.”

“You’re -”

He kissed her to shut her up. He probably only meant it to be that. A kiss. His apology wrapped up in - let me make you feel good -

She wanted more. She wanted all of him. She wanted to possess him because the intimacy with him had been nice. Consensual. Beautiful. On fucking fire. She grabbed the back of his head to haul him closer. He gripped her hips and then her ass as he lifted her onto her toes.

He crowded her - deepening the kiss until it hurt - until their teeth clicked together. The back of her knees hit the cot and when she fell on top of it -it creaked and squealed. He followed her - crowding her body into the mattress - clutching her wrists and pinning them above her head.

“Fuck me,” she whispered as she licked his mouth - as she spread her thighs for him.

His black-blue eyes widened - his lips swollen and bruised from her kissing gaped in surprise. He frowned. His brow creased and those vibrant eyes of his bloomed with shadows - with secrets and concerns and fear. Vulnerable.

“Stop dwelling,” she ordered as she pulled her wrists from his grip. She found the band of his pants and shoved them down until she felt the hard length of him bounce against her skin. He softened minutely. He grunted. Thank God she’d worn a dress because it took nothing to yank it up - took nothing for Bruce’s gaze to shift into something ravenous as he reached beneath it, curling his fingers around her panties and ripping them off.

He blinked - his gaze stupefied as it traveled from the fabric in his hands to her pussy.

“Fuck - sorry,” he mumbled - scooting backward. She rolled her eyes, putting her fingers to his mouth.

“Stop,” she warned. “You can buy me a new pair.”

“If only I could afford it.” He quipped wryly.

He was joking. This was good.

“C’mere..” He did - climbing over her - wedging himself between her legs.

She felt the head of his cock smear against her thigh. She reached down - touching it - enjoying the velvet slide of his length. She watched as he thrust into the circle of her fist - the swollen red tip appearing and disappearing in her grip. She spread herself wider.

She lifted her chin and he caught her mouth tenderly - sweet as kisses between them went. “Should we?” He stumbled through it. “Do we need something?” he finally managed and she shook her head.

“Safe,” she smiled as she guided his cock closer. “Safe.”

He bit his lip - his chest rising and falling. Sweat beaded at his hairline. “I trust you, Bruce.”

***

He buried himself too fast at first. It punched a whine from her throat - it made her dig her nails into his ribs. He immediately tried drawing back, but she held him to her. “No - no - keep going -”

She didn’t realize that it would hurt. She knew he was big - she had blown him for fuck’s sake. Inside her though - inside her pussy - he was stretching her - making room for himself. Her head fell back on the pillow. He hadn’t moved - simply remained rigid between her parted legs. His body was shivering against her.

“You can -”

“I know,” he snapped before softening his tone. “I know - sorry - give me - fuck - give me a minute.”

Her tits were smashed against his chest and there was the audible thrum of his heart. Slowly - he began to move. He eased himself back - the tip still inside her before he drove forward. He did it again. Again. He rubbed their noses together and her hands cradled the back of his skull - threaded through his damp hair.

“Kiss me,” she pleaded and he did - his brow wrinkled with concentration - his lids heavy. She’d never seen him look like this - warm and buttery with pleasure. He continued and the springs under them squeaked. He panted in her ear.

“You feel perfect,” he praised in a low voice. “Perfect.”

***

He ran his calloused fingertips over the tattoo that wrapped around her hip - her thigh. The gray, wispy outline of ivy. He did not know it would be like this.

Of course - he could have guessed. He could have assumed. He knew how it felt to fuck his spit-slick fist. Her mouth. But sex - fucking her - this girl he had found - who had found him - who clung to him and relied on him and saw him at his worst and at his best (if he had one best).

Her breasts bounced. Her grip on him grew tighter. He sank as far as he could - wanting to reach the end of her.

Bruce felt as if he only existed to suffer - that he had, unconsciously or consciously, made an art of it. He had been fueled by a cold sort of rage - icy and terrible and similar to an illness. As he watched her smile at him - her lovely lips parting with every clumsy stroke he delivered, he realized that he had never truly lived.

The punishments he dealt in Gotham were inexorable - again and again. A snake eating its own tail. He removed the cancer and ten rotten cells would spring up in its wake. His forearms framed her face as he dropped his head to claim another frantic kiss. His tongue slid overs hers - tasted the cup of her mouth as he fucked her.

Was this fucking? Or was this something else? Making love sounded too serious and yet -

Bruce was a serious guy.

“Oh my god,” she panted as he picked up his pace - as he slowly got the hang of it. After all, sex was organic - it had been sewn into every human’s foundation. He could have had women. Several. But he just hadn’t thought of it - hadn’t considered the idea of sharing his life with anyone besides Alfred and his cold, barren home and who had time when there was change to be done - to be made. That had been his love.

His love was vengeance.

He had watched her - this girl who beat and maimed lecherous man after lecherous man and he had felt her truth - her desire lost in the blood she shed. Vengeance. Love. The same. Their lives had been emptier for it and what a thing to discover now? That events had been wasted. Years lost. They had both figured they’d die young.

“Bruce,” she whimpered and he returned his attention to her. He broke for her - a puddle - a fucking sap. He thought of only her - all the time - always.

She was tight and hot - her nails dug into his biceps and their kisses had changed to something feral - unhinged - out of control. He was murmuring against her lips - swallowing her moans as he thrust deep.

“You feel…” he husked - overwhelmed. “You feel so - so fucking good.” He definitely already said that. He had lost all sense. It was true though.

She did. She was nodding at him - her eyes wide and brilliant in the dark of their cave. He’d always considered it a shell - a place to rest between all the fighting. Not really a sanctuary. He regarded it differently now. He wasn’t sure if he’d ever be able to stare down at this cot or even the black sheets of his bed upstairs and not see her splayed out before him.

“More,” She wrapped herself around his torso - bit into the muscle of his shoulder. He replied by planting his knees and clinging to the top of the mattress to leverage his weight before sliding into her more fiercely - punishing - the same violence of a hit.

“Harder,” she gasped on a particularly rough snap of his hips. Every drive of his cock into her soaked heat made a lewd noise - echoed against the rock. The cheap iron railing rammed into the wall - thwack thwack thwack - as he curled his fingers under her knee and hitched her thigh higher over his waist.

“Did you want this?” She touched his face - ran her knuckles down his cheek. It caught him off guard - the sweetness of her question. The sincerity in her voice. He never thought her sweet - she was far too prickly - swathed in thorns and that particular venom that he could taste off her skin. He had shaved down her edges just enough or maybe she’d done it herself.

“Tell me,” she implored - hiccuping - boneless.

He laughed - soft and breathy - before once more lowering his head so he could kiss her. He pulled back - just enough that his eyes bore into her own - just enough that he could tangle his hand through her hair and lift her face to his. “How could you think I’d want anything else?” he mumbled as he tilted her chin - dragging his cock slowly and sensually into her - grinding deep. He brushed his lips along her jaw - her throat. Her breathing cracked. It was comical, really. He’d given his consent just as she had given him hers. Here he was - fucking a beautiful, dangerous woman into his mattress for the first time and she still had to question him.

It surprised him. Perhaps, she was more unsure of herself than he had thought. Perhaps - she was just like him in that regard. Two people desperate for the comfort of a home that had long since escaped them.

***

He could feel her on him - inside him. He was wet with her. Drained.

“Bruce,” she hummed - tracing her fingers over his arm - through the dark hair on pale skin. She said his name often - repeated it all the damn time. He’d asked her why once.

Because it’s you. You’re not The Batman to me. Even in that suit. Just Bruce.

“Should we go out?” she murmured - burrowing her face into his throat - his hair. Her breath fell warm and soft on his flesh like the touch of the sun. “Fight something?”

“Can I just hold you?” His voice was more reticent than he had meant to sound. He had given himself to her. He already wanted more. She clung tighter to him.