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Wishlist 2010

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Ficlet(s)

This story is No. 2 in the series "Wishlists". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Twenty-four gifts for twenty-four people giving me twenty-four prompts. Ficlet collection. Part II. - Now Up: To The Ground! verse Christmas fluff.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > General > Ficlet Collections - Other(Moderator)FaithUnbreakableFR152440,119311735,41430 Nov 1024 Dec 10Yes

a study in black and white - BtVS/Batman

Disclaimer: I own none of the characters or fandoms used in these stories. The belong to their respective creators. I do not earn a single cent from this. Amen.

A/N: Yes, I'm early starting this. But it's almost midnight where I am and I suspect I'll keel over and die by the time I get home from school tomorrow, so there. I hope you enjoy these ficlets and I hope all you prompters like what I did with your ideas. I did my best. Honest.

If you want to read more than one ficlet a day, Wishlist_Fic is the community for you. Six and a half authors playing the game.

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Prompt: xgirl2222 asked for: BtVS/Dark Knight, Buffy/Bruce, Wrong Girl!verse, Sometimes, when the universe is kind, it gives you what you need instead of what you think you want.

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a study in black and white

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The night is black.

All nights in Gotham are, and the knights, too. This night is blacker still because of the shadow of great wings, barely outlined against the dirty night sky.

The bat is afoot and beneath his shadow, the righteous and the sinners quiver alike. He was a symbol for hope once, for justice.

Buffy told him once, that many pagan gods have lost their original meaning and purpose. She told him that the things they stood for simply changed, became something else. Sometimes better, sometimes worse. But they were never entirely forgotten, their names never erased from the minds of mortals. “Symbols never die, Bruce. But their meaning changes.”

Maybe she is right and he still is a symbol now. A symbol, then, of fear and unpredictable violence, of terror. A symbol of what goes bump in the night, not the beam of light thrown against the clouds above the city anymore, but the clouds themselves, dark and heavy above people’s heads, where he dwells as lnog as he lives. And symbols live forever.

He is black symbol for a black city under a dirty black sky.

And in the middle of all the filth, in the highest tower the Wayne Empire owns, a single speck of light awaits. She laughs when he calls her that, laughs and shakes her head and traces lithe fingers over scars, seen and unseen. There’s little light left in her, she says.

She showed him for the first time on the night Rachel was six months dead, showed him how to twist a head to break a neck, how to angle a stake to break through ribs and into soft tissue. She showed him how to get the dust of dead things out of his clothes and the blood out from under his nails. She showed him her art, her dance of death, so deadly, so much older than him and his toys and fears and symbols. He was still scared of what lurks in the dark when she was already slaying monsters.

And afterward she looked at him, just looked. Waited. Once, he might have asked a million questions, demanded a million answers. Once, the boy Bruce might have shaken her and wept for her lost innocence. Once.

Then life happened and Batman can only think that he’s glad she is unknown, unrecognized. Glad that she, at least, is not a symbol.

Symbols never die and Bruce wishes immortality on no-one. His suit, plastic and metal, will last forever, but his desire to forever fill it is long dead.

It exploded, with the Joker’s laughter ringing in the background.

Cut.

New scene.

Buffy kills and she bleeds and she fights and has scars. But she never fights him and she never kills innocents and she does not need to doubt. She has faith in herself and needs no symbols. She is light to his dark, even if she can’t seem to see it herself.

He does.

It blinds him, brighter than Rachel ever was, tarnished by the city she never escaped. Buffy blinds him and Rachel pales in comparison, dimming. He hates them both for that and himself most. For comparing them, for making them stay, for binding them to him, the symbol, the man, the boy. Rachel died because of him. Buffy stays because of him.

And every night he spends out here in the dark, every night he turns a black city blacker and after, returns to their ivory tower expecting to find her gone, expects to find a note explaining that she has had enough. Enough of him and his anger, his hatred, his dreams of Rachel and a life he knows he doesn’t deserve. He expects to find the place empty and cold again, as it was before she came. As it should be. Sometimes he does come home to chrome and steel and nothing inside, but she always leaves a message in her stead, with Alfred or on a scrap of paper. Back soon. Work to do.

She always keeps her promises.

She returns.

She stays. With him. For him. Because of him. Despite him. It all comes back to him, to him and this city she escaped twenty years ago. She should go and stay gone, away from the filth, from the eternal night and knight. But she’s not that smart.

And every time she returns, she kisses him without repulsion and she peels him out of his suit at the end of the night, rebuilding Bruce from the pieces.

He doesn’t deserve her, has no idea why she stays. He has nothing to offer her. No passion, no love, no joy. He has money, a mask and a shattered heart. Some days, a shattered mind. He has another woman in his dreams and thoughts, a dead woman. A ghost she can never compete with and all he brings her is grief and exhaustion, a bone deep tiredness that comes from trying to hold together a man that doesn’t want to be whole.

He lands for the last time that night, rides the private elevator up to the penthouse, finds her lounging, half asleep, in front of the TV. She is wearing yoga pants and one of his shirts, swimming in it, drowning. Far too big for her. Her hair is tangled and limp, her face warm and soft in sleep. She’s a vision and he doesn’t deserve to see her like this, unguarded. Vulnerable. She wakes even though he makes no sound and smiles at him through her yawn and stretch.

The world grows lighter.

She doesn’t leave him.

And he will never send her away, no matter how much he should.

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