Stumbling Towards Ecstasy

Creativity dedicated to the Heart, Mind, and Soul

White Queen to Black Knight Chapter 01


 


Chapter 1


A/N: This story takes place 1 yr. after Dark Knight ends. It is not cannon, but does adhere to most of what I remember from most of the movies. What you recognize belongs to DC comics and whoever made the movie. Song lyrics belong to the indicated author. What you don’t recognize is mine, as is the story line.  This was written during the Bush/Cheney era after they had been found to have mislead the country into war with Iraq, hence there are references included. This story needs to be re-edited to correct minor grammar and punctuation errors noted after original publication.

So sad her eyes

Smiling dark eyes

So sad her eyes

As it began

White Queen, Queen


The red head arrived on the huge circular driveway covered in tiny granite pebbles. She stared up at the gigantic mansion, smiling that Bruce had rebuilt it exactly the same as it was before when she played here as a girl and hung out here as a teenager. She opened her red Lamborghini Murcielago LP64 and gracefully stepped out, her expensive high heels grinding on the pebbled driveway. She had dressed for her reunion with Alfred and Bruce wearing a crème colored Prada dress with matching jacket that fell the length of the dress. Other than her family heirloom pearls, she wore no jewelry. Her natural red tinted auburn hair fell almost to her waist in thick waves. Anything more would be overkill, and she didn’t need to prove herself to anyone, even Bruce Wayne after all these years. She closed the doors to the car before she walked away, smiling to herself as the landscapers mouths were hanging open, unsure and uncaring if it was because of her or her car.

She walked up the huge half circle steps and rang the conspicuous doorbell. She had not been back to Gotham since she left after high school and she was saddened by how far it had fallen from the great city it had been when her parents were alive. Like Bruce, she was an orphan, but only once she entered high school. Alfred became a surrogate father to her. Rachel was the only one who had a normal family life. They were not rich, her parents were still married to each other, and other than her extraordinarily rich friends, she was a very normal child. She had heard of Rachel’s death months afterwards, and knew Bruce would be terribly broken up by it. While the three of them hung out together a lot, Rachel was always his favorite. Alina was more of a loner, and that lone wolf life had led her far and wide only to return home to find her city a violent and turbulent mess.

She stopped her musings as she heard distinguished footsteps approaching the door. She could only hope that Alfred, and Bruce for that matter, remembered her. They were her only links to the city she used to call home. Alfred, looking exactly the same as she remembered him opened the door with a curious yet distinguished look on his face. As he looked her over and caught side of the amazing red hair flaming in the sunlight, he beamed and reached out for her. Alina came into his arms, glad of his welcome and feeling like she had come home. Alfred looked briefly at her car and laughed.

“What Alfred?”

“Alina, you are about as subtle as Mr. Wayne. He is not here by the way, but should return shortly. I think he will find your choice of car as amusing as I do. You will understand later I am sure. Can I invite you to join me for tea my dear? We have so much to catch up on. Can I take your jacket, or is that part of the whole ensemble?”

“It is fairly warm. The jacket is just part of the outfit. You can take it please. Just be sure I don’t forget it!” She slipped out of her jacket and Alfred swallowed hard at what was left. Her dress while slightly dipped in the front to accommodate her collar bone the back was cut deeply in the back to the point of distraction at best. There was a strap that went from one side to the other. He supposed to keep the dress from falling off altogether. Against her tanned body and the red hair, she was damned near the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.

Alina smirked at Alfred. “Should I hang my coat up while you recover yourself or get our tea?”

He realized he had been caught in her trap just as she had intended, smirked back at her laughing, “Why don’t you get our tea started while I hang your jacket. I suppose even an old man like me can recover from your little surprise. You know where everything is. Nothing has changed.”

“Very good. Earl Grey?”

“Yes, m’am.”

Soon they were sitting in the kitchen, the most comfortable room in the house. And if a house had a heart, this had always been it. They sat at a gorgeous rough mahogany table top sipping Earl Grey tea. “So what happened to the red haired tomboy that used to hang around here all the time? You wore exclusively jeans and t-shirts, usually offensive, and tank tops. And you were still the most sought after girl around.”

“By everyone except Bruce Wayne. Let’s just say she grew up and became a different person. I still wear jeans and tank tops, the lower the better, occasionally. I still try to cause a great distraction, unless I don’t want to be seen. If I don’t wish to be seen, I’m not. I have traveled the world, seen everything, done everything, and now I have come home. This is really the only home I remember, you are the only parent I remember, and Bruce and Rachel the only friends I remember. So here I am.”

Bruce pushed through the swinging doors into the kitchen already talking…”the hell has a red car like mine in the…Alina?”

She smiled shyly at him. “I guess that was what Alfred found so amusing about my car. You have one too.” She stood up and walked slowly towards him. She knew most would imagine her to be a goddess, but she also knew Bruce had never thought of her as even beautiful as her name declared her. Even so he was speechless as she approached with her arms tentatively held out for a long awaited hug. He easily took her in his arms, smelling how wonderful, how sensual she smelled, and then his hands touched the flesh of her finely toned and obviously strong back. He gently stroked the soft exposed skin and then released Alina.

“You left after prom. Where did you go? Where have you been? It’s been ten years. Don’t tell me you came back for some kind of reunion.”

Alina turned away from Bruce and retook her place at the table. He watched her skin ripple under her muscles and her hair move as she walked. It was hypnotizing. “Surely you don’t remember me as the type to come back for a class reunion? I didn’t go to prom and instead went to a school in Switzerland, a special school to teach special skills. I went to Oxford for a while. Since then, I traveled the world. I’ve been everywhere, done everything. Now, I take pictures mostly.”

“National Geographic, Life, Discovery, even Vanity Fair which I thought was odd for your stuff, but I didn’t know it was you. The pictures were just signed by A. Witter. I never put it together.” He sat down in a chair beside her, slumped with his fingers drumming an unconscious beat.

“And you are here to take pictures? Of what? Gotham is a mess.”

“So I heard. I heard about Rachel and I’m sorry Bruce. I know how close you two were. I heard about the mansion being burnt to the ground and your determination to rebuild, which from what I have seen you did spectacularly. I heard about the DA Harvey Dent who was the White Knight to the crime in the city. He took down so many before he himself was taken down. I heard about how the maniac that called himself the Joker tore the city to shreds before Batman finally caught him and he ended up in Arkham.”

“You have been keeping up. How did so much information travel to you?”

“I am fantastically wealthy too Bruce. I can get information anywhere. Often there is a time lag, sometimes a large one. I came as soon as I heard about Rachel, but by then it had been almost a year.”

“Would you like to go with me tomorrow to see her grave? She would want to hear you once again.”

“That would be nice. In the afternoon I have a meeting with Commissioner Gordon. What do you know of him?”

“Why?”

“Well Bruce, let me think. I’m back in town. After you I am the wealthiest person, within hundreds of miles. I need to know if he is trustworthy. I’m doing a piece for Vanity Fair on the faces of good and evil. I’m even writing the article which is new to me, but I’ve been writing novels for a while, and good and evil is a subject near and dear. If he is not trustworthy, I need to change my plans. Is the entire police force corrupt?”

“To start with, Gordon is probably the only honest person left in Gotham. Truly honest, not just shades of honest. Tell me about this article for Vanity Fair. Who are you planning to use?”

“I’ve got Kone, Omar El-Bashir, Kim Jong-il, about 10 others, including the most evil criminals, and George Bush and Dick Cheney although they didn’t know what they were posing for. I can’t wait to write that part of the article! I want to add Harvey Dent and the Joker to my composite. Granted, their damage is only limited to a small area, they may be truly evil, I don’t know. But they will certainly make great portraits. Finding people who are honestly trying to do good is more difficult. Barack Obama seems to fall on that list, Batman would certainly be on that list, Bill Gates possibly with his foundation, Bruce Wayne with his. Other than that good becomes harder to find. Corruption runs rampant in the government, at all levels. I think I will have to seek out soldiers who have gone beyond the call, perhaps some of the heroes from Katrina or 9/11. I have pictures if you want to see them and tell me if they should be on the list.”

“Why would you put Batman on the list?” Alfred had started cooking dinner, still listening to the conversation.

“Of course he would go on the list. I have no idea how to find him to ask to take his picture though. The man, and he is just a man despite all that fancy stuff he goes out in night after night fighting evil. He continues to believe in the good of people, which honestly after everything I’ve seen, I no longer believe. And even when he could have killed Harvey Dent or the Joker, he makes it a point to never directly kill another person. That is the sign of good, certainly not evil.”

“Would you kill them?”

Alina looked him straight in the eye and paused several long seconds before answering. “Yes, I would have killed them. The Joker, absolutely. Harvey Dent, a somewhat more difficult decision, but yet the answer would still be yes.”

“Does that make you evil, Alina?”

“Oh, my Bruce. You have become a much deeper thinker than when you were a kid. You don’t just chase beautiful skirts anymore. That is just an act, isn’t it? You don’t have to answer that until you are ready. As for my propensity for good or evil, I take a practical view of things. Is taking a life evil? Hm, I think it is a relative question. Is the evil I commit by killing the Joker the same, equal to, or less than the evil that the Joker committed by killing hundreds and hundreds of people? How would you answer that question Bruce?”

Bruce watched Alina with surprise and wanting to talk more, but afraid of what he might learn from her, or learn about himself.

“So in your travels, did you travel alone or with bodyguards?”

“Bodyguards? That is a sure fire way to be raped or be held hostage. No, I learned to protect myself.”

Alfred was putting the dinner plates in front of them filled with wonderful goodies, but they were so busy outthinking, out philosophizing each other, they didn’t notice. Alfred laughed to himself, Alina had turned into exactly the person Bruce needed to help him deal with his conscience, make him a stronger man and a stronger Batman.

Bruce laughed at Alina. “And just how did you learn to protect yourself?” He was dismissive about her abilities which just pissed her off.

“You don’t think I can?”

“How?”

“Do you have a shooting range in this unlimited place? What about a dojo? Knives, swords, fencing gear?”

“Yeah. I got all that.”

“Good. Day after tomorrow since I’m kinda busy tomorrow… Rachel and then Gordon. Are you going to go with me to both? The next day we’ll get sweaty.” She used her most seductive, deep and promising voice, knowing the effect it would have.

Bruce drew a deep breath as he felt himself respond to her challenge. No doubt he was aroused and day after tomorrow could not come soon enough. He smiled at her, feeling the challenge, knowing it was so much more than being about weapons. She knew he wanted her, and she wanted him. But she didn’t want him for a night, or even a week. She would have him for good.

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