Summary: Willow enters Bruce's world as a translator. Can she help prevent a Gotham social function from becoming a typical meltdown? And can Bruce keep his secrets around a wily witch?
Disclaimer: I own nothing, just the storyline, short though it is. Joss owns Willow, and DC Comics owns Bruce Wayne and Batman...I think. I'm pretty sure they do.
Distribution: Twisting the Hellmouth
Timeline: I'm going to say this takes place about six years after the season finale.
Bruce Wayne didn't know what to make of the woman sitting before him pouring over his newly acquired ancient text. She was back in her typical uniform of a long skirt and demure long-sleeved blouse. That brilliant curtain of red hair was bundled into a severe bun at the nape of her neck, and the wire-rimmed glasses slipped to the tip of her nose. This was not the same woman who attended his gala charity ball last night. That woman was...someone else entirely.
Willow Rosenberg came into his life on a typical dreary Gotham City night. The cold rain was pouring down when Alfred answered the door, and the linguist he'd hired to translate an fascinatingly old book he'd purchased at a Cairo auction stood upon his doorstep, drenched and bedraggled. Bruce hadn't honestly expected anyone quite so young when he'd inquired about the best translator for the job, but she'd proven her worth within days.
She'd been staying at the mansion for several weeks. Willow diligently and meticulously worked her way through the book, even to the point where she would forget about meals until he or Alfred reminded her to eat.
It was the only polite thing to do when he invited her to attend the annual winter Snow Ball he threw to benefit Gotham's Children's Care Ward of the hospital. It was being held at his mansion after all, and since she was his guest while in town...needless to say, he'd extended the invitation.
Imagine his surprise when a radiant redhead in an elegant green gown appeared at the top of his grand staircase instead of the quiet bookworm he'd become accustomed to seeing. Willow was beautiful, and he'd seen several of his fellow bachelors sneaking more than a few interested looks at the unknown attendee.
The gown hung straight and smooth over her petite frame, and bared a perfectly smooth back with its low drape. Her fiery hair hung in a soft fall over one shoulder, and she blushed...really, truly blushed when he complimented her on her appearance. She was enough to take his breath away.
Of course he should have known that his evening would become a typical social event, complete with the latest escaped convict crashing the party. He really needed to speak to the commissioner about the security measures taken at the Gotham jail. The Joker and his goons burst through the ballroom door, guns blazing and demanding the wallets and jewels of everyone in attendance.
Bruce quickly slipped away to the Bat Cave, donning his black leather suit. He had guests that needed Batman more than they needed Bruce Wayne at the moment. When he crept back into the ballroom through a secret passage, he immediately tensed. The Joker had Willow's arm in a harsh grip and was demanding her necklace. It was the same one she always wore, which she'd told him it was an ancient artifact, and a gift from a dear friend who had passed away. She was fighting the villain tooth and nail, biting, screaming, scratching and clawing him each time he made a grab for the jade pendant. During the ensuing battle, he never noticed Batman's appearance and his subsequent demolition of the goon squad. Guests screamed and fled the mansion in a panic.
Bruce tapped The Joker on the shoulder, and when he turned, his evil, smiling face connected with a hard right hook. The clowned wonder tumbled to the ground, and after rubbing his chin, glared at his attacker.
"Batman, I'd love to say it's a pleasant surprise to see you here, but that would be a lie. There's nothing pleasant about seeing you...ever." The Joker snarled and scrambled to his feet.
The two circled each other warily, and Bruce caught sight of Willow backing away slowly from the area of confrontation. Smart girl.
"You're stealing from people who are here to give to a children's charity, Joker? That's low, even for you."
Bruce's opponent stumbled slightly over a dropped tray of hors d'oeuvres and looked down to see one of his cronies' abandoned semiautomatic weapons. The Joker dove for it, rolled, and came up to his knees with the gun aimed directly at Batman's heart. In that split second Bruce braced for the inevitable impact of bullets to riddle his body. He was going to die the same way his parents did, gunned down during a robbery.
Then suddenly he wasn't dead, or shot, or anything at all, and the gun was flying out of The Joker's hands, and across the room as if pulled by an invisible rope. Both men were startled and followed the direction of the stray weapon with their gazes. Bruce's eyes widened behind his mask. If he wasn't mistaken, Willow, whose hand was outstretched toward the semiautomatic, had white, glowing eyes. A breeze with unknown origins blew her hair about her face as she muttered something he couldn't hear under her breath.
Coming back to his senses, he quickly took the opportunity to coldcock the still stunned Joker. The conniving criminal fell to the ground in an unconscious heap, and when Bruce turned his attention back to Willow, she looked completely normal. Shaken, but normal. In the distance he heard sirens. Ah, Gotham's finest, coming to play clean up again.
"Th...thank you, uh, Batman is it?" Willow stared intently at the man wearing the black body-hugging costume.
He nodded and lowered his voice to disguise it. "My pleasure, miss. The police will be here shortly. You're safe now."
"K. Well...thanks a bunch for saving the day!" The redhead waved cheerily as Batman backed out of the room, then spun, cape fluttering behind him as he disappeared into the night. "Huh! That was rather overdramatic." Willow mumbled.
It was the morning after, and he still could picture Willow, standing straight and beautiful, eyes glowing inhumanly. He shook his head to clear away the image. From a duckling to a supernatural swan and back again. No, that wasn't quite right. She was still pretty, in an unassuming way. Willow had a quiet charm all her own.
"Good morning, Miss Rosenberg. I hope you slept well after everything that happened last night." Bruce sauntered into the room, hands in his pockets.
"Oh, morning, Mr. Wayne." Willow turned in her chair to face him, seeming to concentrate quite intently upon his person. "After all of the adrenaline wore off I slept like a baby."
"I'm glad to hear it. I worried about you when I couldn't find you outside. Did I hear that The Joker attacked you personally?" His expression televised his concern for her well-being.
"He wanted my necklace." She gently caressed the smooth jade . "Luckily Batman showed up. You know, that guy's got great timing. It's amazing how he always seems to show up out of nowhere."
"Yes, he's very mysterious, our resident crime stopper. I'm glad you weren't hurt. There was a rumor going around that The Joker actually had Batman dead in his sights, but something odd happened..something about a flying gun? Did you see anything?" Bruce tried to sound only slightly curious, but he was dying to know what happened. By all rights, he should be laying on a cold morgue slab at that very moment.
"Hmm, yes. That was a little weird. It was like it just zoomed out of his hand and sped across the room on its own. I'm sure there's a perfectly logical explanation for it."
"Do you have a theory about the cause of this mysterious levitation?" Bruce walked closer and sat on the edge of the table, facing his translator. He crossed his arms over his chest and tried to cajole her with his most charming smile.
Willow leaned back in her chair and removed her glasses, playing with the arm of them as she met Bruce's gaze with an amused one of her own. "I do, actually."
He leaned closer, whispering, "Care to share with the class?"
She, in turn, leaned closer as well until their faces were inches apart. Nodding slowly, she replied just as softly. "Magic."
His lips twitched, and he tried not to laugh. "Magic? You believe in magic?"
Offended, Willow sat back. "Do you believe in a guy who dresses up like a flying rodent with a leather fetish? Trust me, Mr. Wayne, there was a wise person who once said there are more things in heaven and earth than can be explained...or something like that. I've done a little research on magic users. Do you know some can read auras?"
He decided to let the comment go about his bat costume. "Auras? Really? How interesting."
"Yes, it really is. You see, an aura is like a snowflake. No two are ever identical. They're unique to each person. Very distinctive. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've still got a lot of this book to translate. I enjoy your company, Mr. Wayne, but I've still got so much work to do." Willow stood and escorted him to the doorway, her hand gently grasping his elbow.
"Well, of course. I'll come and get you when lunch is ready. Again, I'm glad you're all right after last night's fiasco."
"Thank you, Mr. Wayne..."
"I think we've known each other long enough you can call me Bruce." He teased.
Willow smiled shyly. "Fine, then, thank you, Bruce. I'll see you at lunch."
After a slight bow, Bruce turned away and began to leave, but stopped abruptly at her next words.
"By the way, you've got a beautiful aura, Bruce. Oh, or should I call you Batman?"
He spun around in surprise, only to see Willow waggle her fingers at him and close the door in his face.
Magic? Who knew?