Batman: A New World

Chapter 57 Love's Labors

Love's Labors

That evening, ... upon reading the note that accompanied the serum, Bruce simply says to Alfred:

- Well, ... there's no time like the present !

- One was just on one's way to acquire a syringe, as you speak, Master Bruce.

- A syringe ?

- Why, yes, Master Bruce. ... ( Leaving the room. ) The serum must be administered intravenously. ..

- Ah.

- ( Lucius ) Oh, come now. Surely, the Caped Crusader, the scourge of Gotham's criminal fraternity, isn't scared of needles ?

- ( Bruce, a little reticent. ) Of course, not

- Why, Mr. Wayne, you have scaled tall burning buildings, leaped onto helicopters in mid-air. .. You have even been shot, If you don't get this treatment, you are going to die, ... and you're afraid of a needle ?

- I'm also afraid of enclosed spaces.

- You've got to be kidding me, right ?

- No, I'm perfectly serious.

- Well, how on earth did you manage to drive the Tumbler, Mr. Wayne ?

- Ah. ... With great difficulty, Mr. Fox. ... But I've got to admit, ... the big kid in me quickly took over, and I just drove the thing !

Alfred returns with some syringes. Bruce looks a little apprehensive.

- ( Bruce ) I didn't know we had syringes in the Manor, Alfred ?

- Ah, Wayne Manor is a place of many secrets, Master Bruce. ... Now, ... may one have the Master's arm ? ... Perhaps, if Sir was to look the other way.

Bruce thinks this a perfectly good idea, as Alfred loads a syringe with the serum:

- ( Alfred ) One took the liberty of reading Miss Eisley's instructions concerning dosage, during one's absence, Master Bruce.

- You've never given me an injection before, Alfred. Are you sure you know how ?

He holds the loaded syringe up to the light, and expels a little fluid there from !

- ( A little irritated. ) One was designated medic in the course of one's duties as a squad member in the Regiment, if you remember, Sir.

- Ah, of course, Alfred, the Regiment. .. You were the medic. .. I forgot. ... Forgive me.

He administers the injection, a little more forcefully than he would normally !

- Ow ! ...That really hurt !

- You are duly forgiven, Master Bruce !

Lucius just giggles, ... the only way he knows how.

Across the city, Salina Kyle is pacing the floor in her bedroom, contemplating what she should do next. She has heard the news about Bruce. She is worried about him. How will this ordeal have affected him ? Should she

phone ? ... If so, what should she say ? .. ' Hello. Bruce, I'm Kitty, Salina. You were going to meet ME, today, when you were kidnapped. Are you okay ? ' ... She thinks better of it, and, in a state of utter paralysis, she decides to sleep on it !

The next morning, in Wayne Manor:

- ( Alfred, pulling the curtains in Bruce's master bedroom. ) Good day, Sir... And how is Master Bruce feeling this morning ?

Bruce begins to wake up, looks at the time on his alarm clock, groans, then replies:

- Actually, ... I don't feel that bad at all, Alfred. I know I have felt a whole lot worse. ... It is truly remarkable. ... I really do think I feel a whole lot better. ... Perhaps the serum's effects ARE pretty immediate, like Pamela said.

Alfred, disguising his feelings as usual, is mightily relieved:

- Would the Master like his breakfast in bed, this morning ?

- You know, Alfred, I rather think I would. ... Two eggs, hard-boiled, ... the way I like them, Toast, two slices, I think, ... And maybe a little bacon. ( As Alfred exits the room. ) ... And coffee, Alfred. ... Bring me a pot of coffee, ... my favorite. ... I think I'll take it black.

- ( A little irritated. ) Will that be all, Sir ?

- I think so, Alfred. ... I think so. ... Oh, Alfred ?

- Yes, Master Bruce ?

- Maybe the morning newspaper.

- But, of course, Master Bruce.

As Alfred closes the door behind him, he smiles to himself, now realizing that Bruce is returning back to his old self again !

Later that morning, after breakfast,

- You have a visitor, Sir.

It is Salina Kyle.

- ( Bruce ) Salina. .. This is a surprise.

- Hello Bruce. How are you ? I was so worried.

- Yeah, so was I. I'm feeling okay, thanks, but, forgive me, Salina, why this concern, all of a sudden ? You have always shown me only resentment in the past.

- I know, but that was before I knew you saved my inheritance, and you were taking such a personal interest in the safari park.

- How did you find out about all that ?

- A woman has her ways.

- Right. ... How's the work progressing ?

- It's absolutely fantastic, Bruce. Many of the cold weather animals are already in situ, and some of my cats can move into their heated quarters next week ! Thank you, Bruce, thank you !

- It was nothing. ... Life has dealt us similar hands, with the loss of our parents, and I know how much the Park your father created meant to you. Anyway, I really admire your love for animals, like Doodles here. ( Looking for his treasured Labradoodle dog. ) Doodles, Doodles, where are you , boy ?

Doodles comes out from behind one of the chairs.

- Ah, there you are ! Good boy ! ... Thata boy !

- ( Suddenly overwhelmed.) Oh, Bruce. It's no good. I've just got to tell you !

- Tell me what?

- I'm Kitty !

- Excuse me ? What are you talking about, Salina ?

- The girl you've been talking to on the Internet, Bruce, ... Kitty .. and Dwayne Brood ? .. You were on your way to meet ME yesterday. ... We've been dating !

- ( Becoming a little perplexed. ) Hold on. ... Hold on. ... I'm not quite sure I understand. ... You're Kitty ?

- Yes !... and you're Dwayne Brood !

- O .. my ... God ! ... But how come you know who I AM ?

- ( Doodles comes over to her, leaps up, and gives her a lick ! ) Hello there, boy. Good boy, Doodles, good boy! You wrote, that you had a Labradoodle, that you had only just got him. ... Well, I called to see you soon after that. You were away, but I met Doodles, ... and your Aunt told me you had just got him, so I simply put two and two together and ...

- Got four.

- Yeah.

- Wow, Salina. ( He puts his hands on the back of his head. ) ... I never thought I knew the girl who Kitty was, already. ( Let alone that she was Catwoman, and that he had actually crossed swords with her ! ). ... I don't quite know what to say.

- I understand, Bruce. You need time to think about things. ... Just remember, 'Dwayne'. I am still the same person you were writing to, and so are you, ... unless we were both pretending to be people we are not.

- Well, we did both deny that we had our money.

- ( Both together.) Because we wanted to be judged as the people we were, and not by what we owned.

- ( Salina ) But you pretended to be involved in the field of Law Enforcement ! Why was that, Bruce ?

- Ah, ... it was the first thing that came into my head. ... I couldn't very well say I owned a multi-billion dollar business.

- I guess not.

- ( Both together. ) Other than that we were perfectly honest with each other, right ?

Both laugh.

- ( Both ) Right.

To say that Bruce is confused would be an understatement ! He has feelings for two women, He has 'known' Salina much longer than Pamela, but he owes his life to Pamela, as long as the serum continues to prove effective, that is. He knows the sort of things Salina is capable of, the things she did to her victims as Catwoman. She also hates Batman, but then again, so does Pamela ! Best to buy some time, and call a 'time-out' !

- Look, Salina. I'm sorry to have to say this, but I really am going to need more time to think about this. I'm really not too sure. ...

- You have real doubts, don't you ?

- No, Salina, no. It's not that.

- When you helped me so much with the Park, I thought you really cared about, Salina, not just Kitty.

- But I do, I do !

- You don't think you could fall in love with me. You're in love with that Eisley girl !

- No, it's not that !

- Okay, .. I understand. .. I had to try. .. I was really worried about you, Bruce. Maybe I should never have

bothered !

She goes to leave.

- Salina ! ... At least, .. ( She closes the front door behind her. ) .. let Alfred see you out.

Enter Alfred, tray in hand:

- Oh, ..has the lady Salina gone, Master Bruce ?

- Yes, Alfred. She has gone.

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