Chapter 20: The Man Within The Bat

Chapter 20

I do not own DC Universe or Twilight. Read and then review plz. Thank you! OK I’m a tad behind I’m currently working on Lunar Deity. Hope to post tonight if not tomorrow. Sorry folks the flu decided to pay us all a visit ugh. So anyhow Gamma Love, A Crow in Search of a Swan, and some others will be updated as well next week. Spiderman story still in the works, but I prefer to be caught up first and knock out a couple more stories, I hope! And my muses are calling for me to start Daryl/Bella and Bella/Dean soon. (The voices won’t stop!) Marcus Crane- Jonathan Meyers

Journal of Bruce Alan Wayne:

“Perhaps you should keep a journal young master Wayne.” He says. But what would I write about? “Everything…” He says with a shrug. So here I am in my father’s office, writing in some journal given to me by the butler aka Alfred Pennyworth. Only now he’s my guardian, he’s all I have left. I’m nine years old today. My parents Martha and Thomas Wayne were murdered a few months ago. It still feels as though it were yesterday. I see it all the time, even in my dreams now. Everything I do… Their deaths haunt me.

It was mother’s birthday and father wanted to take her out. Dad said mother’s eyes lit up when they drove past the theatre and she saw what was playing. So he decided to surprise her. I picked out the pearls father had gotten her that day as well. The very pearls, the men were after. They took mother’s pearls and father’s wallet, before I could even blink “bang, bang!” My mother’s screams will forever haunt me and the vision of their lifeless bodies at my feet. Guilt… I remember feeling guilt. Not only that I couldn’t save them, but that I hadn’t died along with them. It was only moments before this took place that my father embarrassed me.

You should tell your mother that you love her. It is her birthday after all.”

Ugh, father…” I remember saying. I didn’t want to say it! I didn’t want anyone to hear me saying such things to my parents. What if one of my classmates heard me?!

There is nothing wrong with a boy telling his parents that he loves them Bruce.”

Father…” I groaned.

Now Bruce, tell me that you love me.”
“Father, please…”
“Very well, I shall say it. I love you, son.”

I sighed.

I love you too.” I muttered under my breath.

He laughed and patted me on the back.

There you go, son. Now go tell your mother that you love her.”

I remember how I didn’t want to! How dare my father embarrass me in such a way?! He nudged me towards her and I groaned and whined on. Just as I was to say the words, we were robbed at gunpoint. They shot my parents and laughed in my face.

Nothing personal kid, it’s a man eat man world. We all gotta make a living somehow.” Said the one that shot my parents, there were three of them. But it was him that fired the gun that killed them both.

Bella rubbed her eyes, leaning back in thought. She couldn’t fathom that he was only nine when he wrote this. It didn’t read like the writing of a nine year old boy. That and her own memories were coming to play. She couldn’t help but to think of the similarities. She thought back to Jonathan Crane, now that she had a name to go with her parents’ murders. She closed her eyes for a moment as the flashes of her father shooting her mother and himself, directly after.

Bella continued to read but froze once she got to another sentence, one that had her swallowing back a lump, within the back of her throat.

No matter how long it takes. I will find out who killed my parents! Justice will be served. I promise father, I will not rest until these thugs have paid!

Bella covered her mouth, rather stunned. A wave of sadness hit her.

“Nine years old…” She whispered to herself, feeling ill.

He was just a boy and already he felt this responsibility and he has ever since. And she also understood why he had such an issue with expressing his feelings. Something as simple as saying I love you felt like a literal death sentence to Bruce. Those words had him believing that person could be ripped away from him at any given moment. She went back to reading and he continued on about his parents. How his father loved to give him a hard time and would teasingly pick on him often. His mother was very nurturing and always smiling. He even spoke of Alfred and how he wouldn’t let Bruce push him around. He even admitted to trying a few times. This however made Bruce respect Alfred more than he had already. In some ways it sounded to Bella as though Bruce were testing Alfred. She smiled; thinking on how not much had changed in that area. Bruce had gone to a private school all his life. He was also one of the smartest students in his class. But also the oddest, he made that clear in his journal. He often enough felt misunderstood. He was picked on and constantly told how “weird” he was. Bruce didn’t act like normal kids his age, even more so once his parents murder took place. He became so focused on making certain justice was served on their behalf. He forgot that he was just a child himself. He didn’t talk or think like one, that’s for certain. When he wasn’t focused on his parents, he was focused on making the world a better place. Starting with the smallest things such as charity, thus started at a very young age. He’d made clear to Alfred that the orphanages in town had whatever they needed. And on Christmas… The orphanages in Gotham had one hell of a celebration. Thanks to Bruce, which was ironic, considering to Bruce, Christmas was the loneliest time of the year, the one where he missed his parents most.

He spoke often of the children he’d witnessed living on the streets. Just how many criminals truly roamed about Gotham as if they owned the place, how cops would walk right past them and ignore whatever they were doing. That Gotham had become the city of darkness and crime. Bruce was a very intuitive boy. It seemed as though nothing got passed him. He saw everything for what it was. He spoke of drug addicts, prostitutes, thieves, etc… But that was another thing Bella took notice of. Not once did he actually criticize them or deem himself more worthy than they were. If anything he sympathized and wished he knew how to help those less fortunate. So many times he spoke on how they needed a second chance or someone to reach out to them, to love them, and be there for them. That often enough these were the loneliest people on earth. No matter how many surrounded these individuals they were still “alone”, which was the way he felt often enough, all he had was Alfred. And though he was thankful for him and made that known. There were times he mentioned how he wished he just had one person, one friend, someone-anyone that understood him. That often enough, he even felt as though Alfred didn’t truly get him. They often enough clashed. Alfred never truly understood Bruce’s obsession not so much about finding his parents murders, no. But this need to fix everything, everything around him. At such a young age Bruce Wayne was already putting the weight of the world on his shoulders. By the time he hit middle school. He felt this overwhelming desire to make Gotham City a better place. That and he already had the responsibly of watching over his father’s company. That in itself was no easy task. So many of them were ready to take everything right out from under his nose. They went out their way to take advantage of him, or try… He turned to Alfred often as his advisor on this. They all saw him as nothing more than a child. A spoiled brat even… One that needed to be pushed aside and never to be taken seriously, after all, he hadn’t any business helping to run the company. But he kept the same conviction he had about his parents’ murder and finding the one responsible. He used that same principle when it came to his father’s company and keeping the Wayne legacy alive and he wanted to do his father proud. Alfred was more than willing to help the young master with this.

Bella continued on and came to the part about Bruce falling into the cave…

Today wasn’t a good day… I fell. I fell hard… I scrapped both my knees and ripped my new slacks Alfred had gotten. They still sting and I rubbed the area of my palms and wrists raw as well. It was dark, cold, and I could hear water trickling from a distance. But that wasn’t what frightened me the most. It was the high pitched cries and swarming. Whatever it was covered my entire body. I could feel something constantly hitting against my body over and over. Like I were being slapped and scratched. It wasn’t terribly painful but it was terrifying nevertheless. The fear of the unknown, I couldn’t see anything and I was doing my best to protect myself by shielding my face as I was being attacked. Or so I thought I was being attacked. I called out praying that someone would hear me. I came to my feet and began to feel around as I continued to shield my face. I gasped out as a beam of light shined amongst the area I was in. My jaw dropped in realization that I was in a cave inhabited by bats. That and I were standing right at the edge of a deathly plunge.


I heard Alfred calling to me as he was lowered into the cave. He had a flashlight in his hand and I finally saw what it was I feared more that the deathly plunge before me. They were bats. Thousands of them! They were everywhere! Alfred reached out to me.
“Come now… You’re alright.”

Bella jumped and gasped out as something hit the window. She took in a breath of relief, seeing it was just Orion. He was begging for attention.

“Crazy cat.”

She shut the journal and came to her feet. She couldn’t help herself. She opened the patio door to the bedroom, allowing Orion inside. First thing he does is jump on the bed.

“Ugh, you know he hates that.”

Orion meowed out and planted himself right on Bruce’s pillow. She giggled to herself.

“I guess what he doesn’t know won’t…”
“Won’t…” She winces hearing him as he was directly behind her now.

She clears her throat.

“Off the bed, Orion!”

“Hmmm…” He hums as he makes his way over. Orion shot Bruce a look as if to say I’m not moving!

She bites her lower lip stifling another giggle. Bruce picks Orion up and sits on the edge of the bed, petting him.

“So what’s this about what I won’t know…”
She shrugs.
“Why do you think that necessarily pertains to you?”

He nods.

“If not me, then who…?”

“Alfred… perhaps?”

He nods again and places Orion on the floor. Orion goes to jump on the bed again. Bruce points upon him.


Orion bats his tail about as if challenging him and meows out.

“Not happening… I won’t fall for your pathetic begging.”

Bella dies in laughter as Orion jumps back into his lap and starts to get comfy. Bruce sighs.

“This is your fault. You spoil him.”

“Awe, but he loves you!”


She sits beside Bruce and pets Orion.

“I sort of love you too, you know.”

Bruce raises his brows on this.

“Do you now?”
She makes an inch mark with her fingers and he chuckles.

“That’s about what I figured.”
Bruce clears his throat and looks towards the desk in the room, seeing his journal.

“See you’ve been doing some light reading.”

She nods.

“Such the boring life you’ve had. I can barely stay awake.”

“That bad, huh?”

She nods again, with a hint of a smirk. He lowers Orion back down and pulls her into his lap.

He kisses along her neck and plants his hands along her ass.

“I thought you might like to know that our wedding invitations came in today.”

He nodded and lay her down on the bed. He pinned her wrists down and locked lips with hers. He sighs as Orion jumps back on the bed. He and the cat eye one another as if having some sort of staring contest. Bella laughs.

“Damn cat is mocking me.”

Bruce rolls on off the bed and scoops Orion up. He places him back outside and locks the patio door. The bedroom phone rings and Bella rolls over, answering it.


“There seems to be some sort of disturbance at Arkham Asylum.”

“What sort of disturbance?”

Bruce narrows his eyes Bella’s way.

“The escapee sort.””
She takes in a breath.
“Marcus Crane.”
Bella froze at his words. She hopped up from the bed.

“You’re kidding me.”

“I’m afraid not madam. It seems the entire cell in which he resided in was destroyed.”
“Is there footage?”
“I can look that up.”
“Find out whatever you can. We’re on our way.”

She hangs up the phone and looks to Bruce as if ill.
“Marcus Crane…”
“What about him?”

“He’s somehow escaped from Arkham and Alfred says his cell was demolished.”

Bruce nods as they make their way to the secret cave entrance. Bella thought back to his journal as they entered the cave. She even pictured a small boy all alone in this area and looked down to the deathly drop he’d so described. She shook her head in thought. Alfred already had the footage prepared once they got to the consoles. Bruce zoomed in on the cell area.

“What the fuck?!” Bella muttered under her breath as a bright yellow light randomly shined throughout the entire cell.

She and Bruce reared back as Marcus Crane stepped out not even seconds later. He’d some sort of yellow lantern in his hold. He was walking right on out of his cell as if it were nothing. The footage showed a handful of guards coming his way. Bella’s jaw dropped as some sort of yellow energy formed and it was coming from Marcus Crane.

“…no…” She covered her mouth as they each screamed out in horror.

Marcus Crane’s body morphed right before their eyes. Into something much like his father as the Scarecrow. Only it was much more sadistic and gruesome looking. The guards were now laying on the floor their hair was gone, eyes were sunken in and some had bursts, their skin sagged and was blistered as if from severe dehydration. They were pale and lifeless.

“How’s he doing that?” Bella whispered.

Bruce zoomed in on something else, taking notice of an odd looking ring on his index finger. He replayed the footage taking notice of how the yellow energy seemed to come from this ring. Bruce came to his feet and began suiting up. Bella was right behind him.

Batman and Batgirl investigated the entire area where Marcus Crane’s cell was. Batgirl cringed as she got a closer view of the bodies. She used a DNA swap to collect evidence and placed it into a zip lock bag. She curled her lip as she gently pried one of the victim’s mouths open. Their tongues were dried up and fissured. She gathered hair follicles into another bag. Batgirl lifted her eyes to see Commissioner Gordon standing before her.

“I really hate when you do that. You’re interfering with the crime scene.”

She shrugs and continues about her business. He hunkers down and wraps his hand around her wrist.

“You can stop that now.”

“And you can move your hand Commissioner.”

She jerks out of his hold and he looks to her a certain way. Batgirl quickly turns away and clears her throat. Batman took notice of the odd look Commissioner Gordon was giving her as well.

“We got this…” The Commissioner says to Batman.

“Perhaps you two should be hunting the fugitive down?”

“Perhaps you boys should be hitting Danielle’s Donut shop. I hear today is buy one get one free.”

Batman and Gordon looked to Batgirl in disbelief. Batman thought of the irony considering she herself was about to join the police academy. He said nothing on it. Batgirl took no notice of the eye rolls she was getting as she continued on with her investigation. Batman took a few more pictures, before motioning for Batgirl to follow him out. She nodded and followed. Once they were outside of Arkham, Batman fired off his grapple gun. She sighed and tagged along. After they were a ways from the asylum, Batman turned to her.

“You need to watch yourself more closely.”

She shook her head already knowing what he was referring to.

“He didn’t recognize me.”

“But he could have…”
“And what do you suggest. I go all gruff sounding like you?”

“Couldn’t hurt…”
“Great so Batgirl’s a bass? Trust me… If he had any inkling, he’d have said something.”

“That’s exactly what I’m afraid of. All it takes is one little mistake and we’re both fucked!”

“Damn, what the hell’s your problem?”

“You’re really going to ask me that?” He utters as he keeps walking and looking around for any signs of Marcus Crane.

“So my uncle finds out who I am… He’ll begin to pinpoint who my fiancée is and BAM. He knows who Batman is as well.” He turns back towards her irately.

“You really think that’s what my concern is? ME?!”

She shrugs.

“How do I know? You’re quick to blow up before explaining anything to me? I can’t read your damn mind!”

“I never wanted this for you!”

“Oh, here we go again.”
“You saw what Marcus Crane did to those men! Just how do you plan to face something like that?!”
“By whatever means necessary, just as we always do! And what the hell does this have to do with my uncle?!”

“EVERYTHING!” He bellows and comes to a stop.

“This was never your fight, it was MINE!”
“Dammit! Will you ever stop?!”

He pinches the bridge of his nose.

“Just how long do you plan on doing this?”

She rears back at his question and the tone within it.

“What do you mean?”

“You know damn well what I mean… Batgirl…”

She nods growing furious.

“Tell me Batman. What oath does a police officer take?”

He shakes his head.

“That’s different…”
“How so? How is what we’re doing any different?!”

“Because we face things not even the law can deal with! At times we have to disregard the rules in order to get the job done! As to why I’ve always worked alone! I do whatever it takes, without risking the lives of others if possible, whether they’re innocents or criminals.”

She half laughs.
“I get it now… You’re scared… aren’t you?!”

Batman rolls his eyes.

“That’s it isn’t it? You saw what he was capable of. The Cranes, my own arch nemeses, which doesn’t help matters. So the only way you see past this… Is to bench me! Tell me I’m wrong! You’re only using this possibility of my uncle finding out the truth. Well it was my decision! And I’d tell him just that!

It was never yours, or his, or anyone else’s for that matter! What the hell did you train me for? What the fuck was all of this?!”

“I never meant for you to take it on permanently!”

“You’re such a fucking hypocrite! You haven’t changed at all have you?!” She snaps and fires off her grapple gun taking off.

Batgirl throws her domino mask off once they enter the cave. Alfred raises his brows and picks it up as she was getting out of her suit rather bitterly. Once she hears Batman pulling up and getting out of the batmobile…
“Maybe it’s time Batgirl went solo.”
Alfred raised his brows towards Batman on this.

“Excuse me?” Batman scoffed.
“You heard me. Last thing I want is to cramp up Batman’s style. You wanna be a loner, go for it. But I’m not putting up the cape. You can kiss my ASS!”
She storms on through the cave. Alfred clears his throat.

“Something tells me you might actually have to kiss that posterior this time, sir.”

“Shut it, Alfred…” Batman groans and sits at the bat console.

Bella continues to curse under her breath as she makes her way throughout the manor.

“He’s such a fucking ASSHAT!” She snaps furiously as she enters their bedroom.

She grits her teeth seeing Mayor Dent on the front cover of the newspaper she’d grabbed along the way.

“AND HERE WE HAVE THE JOKE OF GOTHAM! I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’RE THE FUCKING MAYOR!” She throws the paper across the room and plops down on the bed.

She stares at the ceiling for a few moments, before rolling over and gazing towards the journal.

“Dammit…” Bella groaned to herself and came back to her feet.

She grabbed the journal and hid herself within the mansion.

“Dammit…” Bruce growled as he continued searching for Marcus Crane though all his databases.

So far there were no signs of him. It was as though he simply vanished. Bruce wearily rubbed his eyes and leaned back in his chair. He spent the next couple hours watching the footage over and over and taking notes. He was persistent in finding Marcus Crane. This one felt a bit more personal to Bruce, as was Jonathan Crane. As to the real reason he didn’t want Bella involved. Scarecrow damn near killed her last time. And now it looked as though the son had some sort of unknown aptitudes. Deep down Bruce feared Marcus Crane was already in the process of hunting Bella Swan aka Bella Gordon down. If he were anything like his father, he would be.

He slammed his fist down in thought. He muttered something about tighter security in Arkham Asylum. They were no better than Black Gate when it came to absconders. Bruce noticed Dr. Crane’s son didn’t even bother in trying to break his father out. Something he found to be rather odd. Bruce began digging more into the history of Marcus Crane, even looking into Charlie Swan’s arrest and how he signed him off and had him sent to Arkham Asylum from Forks, Washington. Marcus Crane was at the age of 16 when Charlie finally caught him. He was Forks very first serial killer. He would make his victims up like scarecrows. As to why his father took on that persona, in order to honor his son, and seek revenge. By the time Charlie captured Marcus Crane, he’d taken the lives of 23 people. Three of those being teachers of his, two of them were friends of his, a best friend of Charlie Swan’s by the name of Harry Clearwater, and one victim was Marcus Crane’s own mother. Apparently, his mother had been cheating on his father. As to why physiologically his father deemed this as his son’s way of showing him some sort of love or respect even.

Bruce shakes his head, looking to the pictures of the victims. They would potato sacks over their faces and would be cut up with a knife like a jack-o-lantern. At times they would have straw hats or ragdoll hair to go along with that, buttons jammed into their eyes, or even hay stuffed throughout their bodies. The pictures were extremely morbid.

Marcus Crane was a misunderstood child and a victim of bullying. He was bullied throughout most of his school years only once he hit his freshman year. These bullies took it to a whole new level. They hung him up on a post and dressed him up as a scarecrow. Marcus had never been more frightened than he was during those 48 hours, before his father found him. The ones responsible died a couple days later. They were his very first victims, but he became blood thirsty and started to enjoy the thrill behind the kill so to speak. He found it a challenge and it gave him a high. One that he’d longed for. It made him feel significant and as though his life finally meant something. The idea of causing fear amongst others gave him this high. He enjoyed their struggles and screams. The sight of blood, even more! But that was another thing. He was prideful of each and every kill. He took pictures and that’s how Charlie Swan eventually found out who the scarecrow killer was. He found his photo album in his room. Each kill in the direct order he’d taken with each life.

Jonathan Crane swore to Charlie that he’d pay, once he saw Charlie with the album in hand. Only Charlie never knew to what degree. Bruce’s stomach turned in thought. On this note, he decided to pay “daddy” a visit and see if he knew anything.

Bella was hiding out in the gym of the manor. For some reason Bruce’s journal felt as though it weighed a ton. She sat on one of the weight benches, thinking back to everything they’d seen back in Arkham. The bodies… How there was practically nothing left of Marcus Crane’s cell… She swallowed back, feeling damn near nauseas. She and Bruce trailed the entire surrounding area of the asylum all neighborhoods within the region, nothing! She took in a breath. Why did she feel so nervous about reading his journal now? She couldn’t quite pinpoint what it was. She’d been dying to learn more about the man she was soon to marry. But after their fight… She was damn near fearful of what resided within.

Her hands even shook as she opened the journal. She scolded herself for such nonsense. Honestly Bella, get ahold of yourself! This stupid urge to cry was taking its toll as well. That only pissed her off. She sucked it up and looked to the page she’d turned to. It was one from his middle school years…

I got jumped, again… Alfred insists on picking me up from school. But I hate the look on their faces when the limo pulls up to the school. And the things they say… I’m so tired of them laughing and mouthing off things such as calling me Richie Rich. Saying how I have a silver spoon up my ass. Even derogative things about Alfred, ones that are so far from the truth, that’s what irks me the most. Not so much what they say about me. I’m used to that. But Alfred… He’s been like a second father to me. In some ways he’s like a father, uncle, and brother. Depending on whatever I need him for.

We don’t always click or understand one another. But all we have is the other. Alfred, he could have turned his back to me. He could’ve placed me in the care of a foster home. I never thought about it then. But I have a better understanding of what all that man has sacrificed. That’s something I will be forever grateful for, even if I don’t always express it. I truly am.

Bella felt her throat knot up a bit. She continued to read and learned that Bruce had taken it upon himself to join martial arts class. Only from there it became somewhat of an addition. Once he received his black belt first dan by the age of 17. He took several Linguistic courses in and outside of high school. He went to college and took criminal justice, then went off to law school. On the side he was learning how to street fight. Bella cringed when reading on how he’d participated in bets even off and on and had his ass handed to him a few times. From there, he began taking other martial art related classes such as Judo, Taekwondo, and Karate.

She read on up until a certain line hit her.

It was then I took those first steps and began to take care of my city. The way I was always meant to…

She froze and lifted her eyes from the journal for a moment. Bella knew damn well what that meant. Of course he would never put that down in his journal, too risky! But considering this line was said after he’d just dealt with some of Gotham’s lowlifes. It was obvious to her but wouldn’t be to anyone else. If a complete stranger ever read this they would merely assume that Bruce Wayne was truly full of himself and lost his shit, all because he put a few thugs in their place. She rather giggled to herself. And that of a fangirl giggle, one that had her rolling her eyes. She scolded herself for being so silly. But fiancée or not… She’d always idolized Batman and was a fan. So to her this was like pure gold within her hold. She couldn’t explain it even to herself. But she felt damn near gitty at the thought of reading about the man once he put on the cape, not that she wasn’t before, but there was something so intriguing about this. She’d always had so many questions. But how the hell do you ask the man you’re romantically involved with such silly questions about being freaking Batman. Granted she was now Batgirl, but she never once and never would hold herself in higher regard. Batman was the man, the dark knight, and Gotham’s finest! That’s how it would always be, whether Batgirl ever existed or not.

Bruce took care not to give too much away. He even left out certain names of villains he dealt with and was careful about that as well. The Batman side of things was pretty vague, yet stood out to Bella. She knew exactly who the villains were by subtle hints etc. He made certain that if anyone ever got ahold of this journal they’d never piece it altogether. At times it sounded more like a charity case he were dealing with or watching the news even. Then a certain name came up… Channel 5’s very own, Vicki Vale.

From what he’d written the relationship was already doomed. It sounded as though this all took place during his first few months of taking on the cape. So he found himself juggling between being CEO of Wayne Enterprise, Batman, and trying to be in a serious relationship and with none other than a journalist and news anchor. One that happened to have taken notice of Batman as well, also hinted. When it came to Bruce’s journal and picking through it, Bella truly felt as though she were already a detective. He truly seemed to care for Vicki and though he never mentioned being in love with her. He let it known how much he enjoyed her company and would love it if they could continue seeing one another. He wrote on how strong-willed she was and how seriously she took her job. Something he rather admired. But the relationship soon turned sour within a few months’ time.

Bruce had begun canceling on her. That and well from the sounds of it her life was once jeopardized because of the other persona he’d taken on. He took it hard and personal. He blamed himself over and over for the downfall of their relationship and he didn’t blame her for dumping him. It seemed as though Vicki couldn’t handle the double standards with it came to dating both the knight and famous bachelor. It became too much for her. And the near death experience only spooked her off that much more. Bruce sounded downright heartbroken. Bella’s heart broke along with his as she continued to read about the relationship and the train wreck it became. She felt she were right there with Bruce when Vicki dumped him.

He mentions feeling unappreciated by his city. How everyone’s against him. At times his writing was hard to read and damn near like scribbling. He went from being heartbroken to angry. This read on through to some friend by the name of Wally Wes giving Bruce advice. He’d told Bruce to get off his ass and do something, to quit whining. He needed to quit drinking and making a mockery of the Wayne name. He also told him there was plenty of fish in the sea. That now obviously wasn’t his time for that sort of thing, and that when that time came for certain, he’d know. He suggested that Bruce get out of Gotham, to give everything else a rest. There were hints on how he’d take care of things while he was away. She wasn’t for certain what that meant and she couldn’t tell for sure if this “friend” of Bruce’s knew his secret or not.

She sighed in thought as she turned the page. Only to find that the next few were blank, she reared back and continued to flip through until she found another entry. Something was different his writing mannerisms and it had a darker feel to it. And what Bella thought to be red ink… Was actually blood, his… Bella’s jaw dropped. And the book nearly hit the floor, in realization. A hand went over her heart.

“…Bruce…” She whimpered softly.

Perhaps you should keep a journal young master Wayne.” He says. And what would I write about? “EVERYTHING!” Well I can’t! I can’t write everything! GOD DAMN IT! EVERYTHING, HE SAYS! EVERYTHING!

Bella actually felt nervous as she read on.

HELL… I just came from HELL! I was rescued by The Demon himself! And then there’s HER! The Demon’s daughter! Leave it to me to fall for the daughter of the devil himself. She’s beautiful, audacious, and graceful. She’s demented, beyond cruel… Hell she’s her fucking father! Even now her toxins run through my veins, destroying everything that I once stood for. How much of a fool can one be?

“If it weren’t for me you’d be dead son! You owe me! I made you! You’re so much more, BECAUSE OF ME!” The Demon tells me. And although I know he’s right. I cannot repay him. To repay is to offer up my very soul! I will never be able to repay him in the way that he wishes. I will not become one of the shadows. Another minion of this Demon’s. I couldn’t live with myself. I’d much rather go back to before he ever found me and die from hunger and the cold, than to serve him! Why couldn’t she see it the way I do? Why wouldn’t SHE come to her senses? She had a chance! A chance to finally redeem herself. And just when I thought she’d truly take that opportunity, just when I had complete faith in her. SHE RIPPED MY FUCKING HEART OUT AND TOSSED IT ASIDE, AS IF I DIDN’T EVEN MATTER! AND HIS MALICE IS ONLY FURTHER PROVEN WHEN HE SENDS HIS OWN FLESH AND BLOOD TO TRY AND TAKE ME OUT OF EXISTENCE! He played us BOTH! Used our feelings against the other. He knew what he was doing from the start, as to why he never forbad it! He had me right where he fucking WANTED ME! DAMMIT! And now HER blood is on my hands. I didn’t mean it… It was supposed to be me! ME DAMMIT ! WHY HER?! She fell, never to rise again! I will never love again!

Back to the way it was meant to be all along. ALONE! It’s time to start where I began. Only now it’s time to take things to a new level and more seriously. Stay focused! I need… I need to… DAMMIT!

Bella recoils at the splotch of blood, and the hole within the page, where it looked as though he stabbed through the pages with a pen. She swallowed back full of nerves and turned the page.

Pain there wasn’t a single part of me that wasn’t in agonizing pain. Every part of my body was tested during my time in hell. I thirsted. I hungered. I burned. I froze. But I struggled mentally as well. I’d never experienced the amount of fear I had during this time. Yet I’d never felt more powerful, more alive, and so full of pride. These shadow men looked to me as though A GOD! All part of the plan as well. Everything was a set up from the very beginning. The Demon and his daughter they sought ME OUT! I hadn’t a clue until it was too late.

I can’t even stand to see my own reflection! So much hatred and vengeance resides within my veins. So much so, I feel as though I’m drowning. Dear God, what have I become? Who do I turn to? They, can always turn to me. ALWAYS! I will never turn my back to them. Never again! But who… who dare I ask… yet already know the answer. No one… I’m forever alone. I’m a prisoner and I’m the one holding the key.

Bella shut her eyes and a few tears trickled along her face. “You’re never alone, Bruce.” She whispered to herself and shut the journal hugging it close to her heart.

“Hahahahahaaaaaaaaaaa! So sweet of you to come visit! Did you miss me, Batsy?!”

Batman rolls his eyes, ignoring the Joker as he passes by his cell.
“By the way Bats! I love the new S & M partner you’ve chosen. Truly she’s to DIE for! Ha ha ha ha haaaa Hmmmm… she’s got quite the little body, doesn’t she? Tell me… does she have bats for brains as well?”

Batman stops before Jonathan Crane’s cell. He nods towards the guards and they open the cell and cuff Jonathan Crane.

“That really hurts, you know! I thought we had something Bats!” Joker sighs.

“I suppose I understand. After all he is a doctor. He’s no Dr. Quinzel, however and he’s got quite a shiny head! I mean will ya look at that?! I bet you could see your own reflection!” Joker gasps back, covering his mouth mockery.

“That’s it, isn’t it?! You see yourself in him! HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Ohhhhhhhhhh, you see yourself in him!”

He lifts up his shirt and there’s a picture of Batman’s face with Joker’s navel as the mouth. He starts contracting his stomach up and down.

(Belly-Bats)”Hey Bats, it’s me Belly-Bats! Let’s go bust some heads! Hey Bats, have I put on weight? Ha ha ha ha!”

The guards shove Jonathan Crane into an interrogation room, leaving him alone with Batman. Dr. Crane starts rocking as he sits across from Batman, still handcuffed and in his orange Arkham scrubs. Batman shoves the chair out of the way, he was to sit in. He stands before Dr. Crane, a wooden table separating the two. Batman rests his hands against the table as he leans over.

“Tell me what you know.”

Dr. Crane merely gazes upon Batman as though he were a small frightened child. Batman takes the table and tosses it across the room. He picks Dr. Crane up by the collar of his scrubs and presses him up against a wall.

“Your son! WHERE IS HE?!”

Dr. Crane lets out a high pitched scream and literally begins to cry. He covers his ears and shuts his eyes.

“Please! Someone! Anyone! HELP ME!”
Batman grits his teeth, realizing his own toxins, left Dr. Crane mentally instable. Instable, in the sense of not being able to answer any of Batman’s questions. Another thing added to Batman’s list of guilt. If he had known this day was to come he’d have never used his own toxins against him. He needed information and NOW. But he wasn’t going to get any help from Dr. Crane.

He continued to scream and cry. He clawed at his face and cowered away from Batman. To Dr. Jonathan Crane, Batman was the Demon. And that’s exactly what he saw a gigantic monstrous looking bat with blood red eyes and massive fangs.

Bella found herself eyeing the journal once again. She shook her head as she was punching at the bag in the gym. She’d decided to get her mind off things and have herself a good workout. Only that journal continued to taunt her. That impulse resided within her… this need to learn even more. Yet the more she read, the more her heart ached. Bella took in a deep breath and dropped down. She began her usual pushups hoping to tire herself out. She knew it was late. With Marcus Crane on the loose and everything she’d recently learned about Bruce, she knew she wouldn’t be able to sleep. That and well part of her was still hurt by Batman’s words. Though she seemed to have a better understanding now, it was hurtful nevertheless. She wanted to be seen as his partner. But it was clear he didn’t quite see her that way. Why the fuck did he even do that interview? She thought to herself. Was she nothing more than a thorn in his side? Why was Batman allowed to have enemies and Batgirl wasn’t? Why did it mean she had to give up and put up the cape, just because of a potential threat? If anything, shouldn’t that be even more reason to stand up and fight? She gritted her teeth in thought. People yet again were dying because of something from her past! All because her father took did his fucking job and took yet another psycho off the streets. There were three main reasons she wanted to become a cop in the first place Charlie, Batman, and Gordon. She respected them. Admired what they stood for, even if as of late her uncle was seemingly bi-polar and losing his mind.

Sweat ran down her face, burning her eyes. She came up and toweled off and drank some water. She rolled her eyes, eyeing the journal once more. Sure enough, she found herself back at the bench with her nose buried within Bruce’s words.

After his last entry he was using black ink again. His words weren’t near as cryptic. But that was another thing she’d taken notice of. He hadn’t written in his journal for over a year since his last entry. She raised her brows in disbelief. Her name was the first thing she took notice of. Her heart did this odd fluttering sensation. She quickly slammed the journal shut. She just sat there for a moment, staring at the wall. She hadn’t thought about him writing about her! She thought back to how they first met and everything that had taken place. How he felt about Batgirl etc…

“Oh shit…” She mouthed in thought.

She let out a nervous giggle. She took in a rather apprehensive breath and dared to open the journal once again.

Her name is Isabella Marie Gordon…

Her preferred name is Bella. She’s got it all, literally. She’s witty, spirited, utterly breathtaking, and challenging. She’s also the niece aka Goddaughter of Commission Jim Gordon, ironically. When it comes to this one… So much perplexity! I can’t decide whether she likes me or is completely appalled by me. She goes from acting as though she can’t stand my very existence, to cutting me flirtatious looks or puzzling vibes. And for some strange reason, no matter how horrible she treats me. I find myself coming back for more. Why?

As of late I can’t get her out of my head. No matter what I’m doing. I keep telling myself, she isn’t interested, move on. She’s out of your league. You’ve sworn women off remember? I don’t have the means or the time to commit to another damn relationship. And why the hell would I want to get involved with someone as high maintenance as her?!

Bella’s jaw drops. “High maintenance! OH please! You’re high maintenance! I’ve never…” She stopped herself realizing she was arguing with a journal entry.

I can’t explain it even to myself. There’s just something about her. I admire how driven and fascinating she is. Every time I’m around her, even if just for a short while. I learn something new about this woman. And after everything, Bella Gordon is like a breath of fresh air. What little times she’s allowed me to accompany her, I find her absolutely intriguing. I can honestly say I’ve never met a woman like Bella Gordon. I don’t believe one truly exist. She’s a little bit of everything. As to why I’m in trouble…

This was the last thing I need. I must stay focused. I don’t need anyone in my life at the moment. And someone like her… is the last person that needs to be getting involved with someone like me. To even think about continuing whatever this is, well it’s beyond cruel. To the both of us. Yet no matter how many times I tell myself this. I’m going out my way to “run into her” once again. She’s like an addiction. Now that I’ve had a taste, I can’t stop. This need to hear her voice, to see those beautiful hazel brown eyes of hers, it’s taking me over. But there’s more to it… At times I feel as though she’s another one of my cases needing solving. Like myself, she likes her privacy. She keeps herself guarded always. Something I respect, yet at the same time, I only find myself wanting to dig even deeper. So who are you Bella Gordon? And why the fuck do I find it so impossible to steer clear of you?!

She turned the page and continued to read. It went on through as he wrote some more about her, Alfred, her uncle, Jacob Black, Jervis Tetch, and her girlfriends from college. He happened to of admired Commissioner Gordon. He thought Jacob Black was an immature brat with anger issues. He took pity on Jervis Tetch and let it known that his heart broke along with Bella’s when he passed. Granted he didn’t know him as well, but through Bella and Jer’s journal he felt as though he’d known Jervis for years. He also thought highly of Megan and Casey. Still “she” aka Bella was unreasonable, cruel, and gave him hell. Still, he continued to chase her not understanding her demise for Bruce Wayne. But as she continued on, she soon learned that he felt that same way about Batgirl as she did Bruce. She thought of the irony and shook her head. Whereas, he thought the world of Bella Gordon, Batgirl through subtle hints was a nuisance, the last thing Gotham needed, she was nothing more than annoying “fangirl” of Batman’s. He’d used words to describe her such as immature, wannabe, ignorant, foolish, and even commented on how lousy her self-defense was. He went on a rant that lasted an entire page on how she’d get herself killed. Bella rolled her eyes as she read on.

The more she read she soon learned that Bruce had begun playing detective with her. He wanted to test her and see what she was made of. What made Bella Gordon tick? And why did he feel the way he felt about someone so dreadful towards him? He’d this whole analytical process going as he used his journal to self-diagnose, when it came to her. Within his written words were unease, confusion, and fear. Then came the part where he’d felt this need to protect her. She and Alfred were the two most important people in his life. And he’d felt guilty because as of that moment in his entry. He actually held her in higher regard than Alfred. Something he didn’t understand. That man raised him. He hardly knew Bella. Bruce scolded himself numerously. How could he feel that way about someone he hardly knew? Someone that made his life a living hell, every time he saw her? There was jealousy within him as well. She thought of the irony. He was jealous of Batman! The way she idolized him and thought so highly of him, yet, so little of Bruce. In his journal, naturally, he and Batman were two different people. But the way he wrote it, sounded as if he truly thought that. She wasn’t sure if that was to protect his identity if anyone ever found this journal or if he truly felt that way.

Soon his feelings developed into that of “love”. Something that frightened Bruce Wayne more than anything ever had… Even more than any villain Batman had ever faced. Being in love, and having the desires he had when it came to her, was his biggest adversary.

There was no mentionable hints as to when he found out she was Batgirl. She thought that was for her protection. He wasn’t about to take that risk. In fact, there was no more mention of Batgirl. It was as though she no longer existed. Everything was Bella Gordon.

He thought on things such as marriage, but was quick to shoot it down. Jotting down how he felt he’d never be allowed such a life. He mentioned that it wouldn’t be fair to bring anyone into this hell etc… That’s where the hints finally came in, very subtle. Hints on how if anyone would understand his confliction it would her, that she was the closest thing to an equal he’d ever have. He truly felt as though Bella Gordon knew him more than anyone, even Alfred Pennyworth!

And when he bit the bullet and finally proposed. He sounded as though he were on cloud nine that she’d accepted. That made her smile and heart all a flutter. He truly sounded happy. But the journal soon came to an end with one last sentence, one that would forever be on her mind.

“…I can’t lose her. If this city is my heart, then Bella is my soul.”

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5 thoughts on “Chapter 20: The Man Within The Bat”

  1. Awwww… that ending line! Perfect! I loved every bit of this chapter. Yellow lantern – Wally – so many tie ins! And Ra’s and Talia coming in too??? I sense that may not be the only reference we see to them, perhaps we will see more than just a reference/memory??? Lol – LOVE this ❤

  2. OH MY GOD!! I can not believe that Dr. Crane scape, Orion was the most fun of this chapter, I did not Bella read the Bruce diaries, but it’s just, what he wrote of Bella was so sweet and unique, the last line kill me, please update soon… Kisses

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