Categories > Cartoons > Batman

Conflict of Interest

by RenValentine 2 reviews

"There'll always be conflict when it comes to Clark and I..."

Category: Batman - Rating: R - Genres: Drama,Romance - Characters: Batman - Warnings: [V] [X] - Published: 2008-08-16 - Updated: 2008-08-17 - 942 words

Conflict of Interest

Distress calls have always been what’s gotten me out of bed in the morning, or should I say evening. Whether the call comes from the League, the Signal or just a whisper on the wind, they keep me going. Tonight is no different. A frightened scream from below the roofline alerts me to yet another small-time crook. I launch my grappling hook and swing down to the dark alley. The bum is holding up a young woman, typical. I come up behind him. She sees me, he doesn’t.
“I’m not gunna hurtya much, hun,” he’s growling at her, “Jus’ gimme your purse an’ tha’ll be all.”
I lay a hand on his shoulder and he jumps. I feed on that fear. I love it. He turns his gun on me. It’s a ridiculous effort, I disarm him instantly. He’s braver than I thought, mustering up a fighting stance. Maybe he does know something. It’s been a quiet night so I engage him. He’s fast, must’ve held his own in quite a few street brawls judging by the scarring on his face and fists. I’ve never been much for bare-knuckle brawls, I dislike the bruises and cuts. But who doesn’t? The woman’s run off by now and it’s just the two of us in the alley.
“So I finally get to see the Bat!”
“Not really.”
A rush of air and a bright blue and red blur and the crook is gone.
“Why do I bother?” disappointment laces my tone. I return to my perch on the roof and he meets me there. Clark drives me crazy sometimes. His brand of justice doesn’t match mine, it never has and probably never will. He’s hovering behind me and smiling that big, cheeky smile of his. I’m not looking at him but I can tell what his face looks like. I just know him.
“I wasn’t going to break him too bad,” the protest is futile, since the thug is already gone.
“Yes you were, you’re in a bad mood.”
“How is this any different from any other ’mood’ I have?” again, pointless. I’m crouched, looming over my city. This place is dark, it’s unforgiving, it’s me.
“It’s clear,” he informs me.
“Thanks Clark,” there is no thankfulness in my voice, there never is. I frown deeply, hoping he is wrong. I love proving him wrong.
“Batnoculars workin’ for ya?”
“Bat…What?” I actually turn around, or at least look over my shoulder at him. He’s smiling genially at me and I can’t help but…Frown more. Before he can clap me on the back, I leap off the building and swing off, deeper into Gotham.
“Don’t be like this, Bruce,” he calls after. Sometimes, I can’t believe this guy. Why does he put up with me? It seems like the harder I push him away, the closer he pulls himself in, figuratively and literally. The Waynecorp HQ building looms before me. Am I being to predictable? Maybe, but it’s also one of the best places from which to overlook my city. I perch on the edge of the building, frowning down at the cesspool of crime that is Gotham City.
“I’m not being like anything,” I assure him, settling on the roof. I straighten myself to my full height and look him in the face.
“I’m only trying t--”
“To help,” I finish, “I know.”
“If I’m not doing it right, tell me how,” he replied. That’s Clark, always eager to please. Sometimes, too eager. His big blue eyes scan for signs of weakening. There will be none, so help me God.
“Don’t be so closed off,” he urges.
“Why is this suddenly any different from the way I always am, Clark?”
He has me backing up, instinctively searching for a solid wall to put my back against. Is it instinct or desire that drives me? To this day I’ll never know.
“You’re acting like a cornered animal, Bruce,” he points out, “How badly did the J--”
I slug him. I’ve heard enough. It’s like hitting a wall, but he staggers, more likely from surprise than pain. Stalking away, I hear him move over my shoulder. I know he’ll catch me. I don’t bother running. I turn, not really controlling my body, ready for anything. Anything but the hard smack across the face that Clark dishes out. He really pulls that one and I only fly a couple of feet before forcefully smacking a wall.
“Stop hiding behind that mask,” he snarls, the pain evident in his voice, though he forces it off of his face, “If I have to beat you…”
“Don’t even pretend you could even be that cruel,” I mumble, leaning heavily on the wall behind me, “You’re not like that, Clark.”
He pulls a fist back this time.
“The Joker did something to you,” he states, lowering it, “That much I know.”
“Bravo, Clark,” I snarl, “You’re a genius.”
“Look, Bruce…I’m sorry, I didn’t…”
His body is pressing against mine instantly.
“Don’t doubt for a second that I love you, Bruce,” he growls huskily. I know the armor I wear is nothing to him and, as usual, I don’t rely on it for any safety. It’d be more than just bad press to just let him have me on the roof of Waynecorp Central HQ so I push.
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