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A Parliament of Rooks

the many places here can mean

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Holy Cats, Batman! I wrote something
... Or a part of something, the rest of which is off to the beta. The good news is, well, the headline up there because I haven't done any writing in ages that made it past the first few paragraphs. Though there is a Farscape thing on deck that got derailed when I went to the movies. Which brings me to the less good news that I haven't managed to write something that's actually within any of the fandoms for which ya'll probably started reading my page in the first place. Also, what I wrote was The Dark Knight Rises which means spoilers. Except only sort of because mostly I'm just making things up. As  per usual. Also, I fear this is a bit purple. What can I say, I've been starved for adjectives.

The Changelings
Fandom: The Dark Knight Rises (film)
Characters: Selina Kyle, Bruce Wayne
Summary: Before you become my friend/ picnic with my rubble/roadtrip with everyone I left in the dust - Andrea Gibson


Lest anyone think she’s the hero of this story, it should be known she’s never been an orphan. When people ask she calls up honest-to-goodness tragedy, a troubled mother, a father who followed her to the grave. But the truth is more complicated than tragedy. She had two parents, siblings, even a dog. For all the good it did her.

            Later she’ll hear well-adjusted adults laugh about growing up in her broken neck of the woods, grin over stories of ketchup sandwiches with the crust cut off and pink bikes missing seats but running on the steam of third grade grit and plucky little bells. The way those stories start is, “We didn’t have much but ….”

            But Selina Kyle knew what poor meant, even then. Back when the happy hazy gaze of childhood should have glossed over wholly holey shoes with long summer days and stolen popsicles. Popsicles meant misdirection, meant waiting on fire escapes, meant drumming her heels against steel stairs, their dull shine gone to rust, while she thinks how much hell she’ll catch for catching a strawberry-stained finger on a sharp edge, for running inside bloody. Maria would come from the bedroom adjusting her hair and skirt, patting herself back into the shape of a mother, perfuming the air with peroxide and sharply male musk.

            It must have started back then, her penchant for catching hell. Or for raising it and letting it catch her from time to time just to remind the angels she was there.

So she did it, pressed her tender flesh into the snarling lip of a stair, pressed until the blood welled up like a scream. Under her mother’s ministrations her teeth clenched into a fist, like her jaw was locking down until her mother cursed their way to the clinic because tetanus shots cost money and it’s the second time this month she’s been interrupted while making rent.

“Why don’t you work while I’m at school? Or ballet?” Selina asks in a voice that whistles without shame through a gap in her teeth, turning from the sites outside the bus window to bask in her mother’s attention. Already she’s wise to the sacrifices her mother makes. She acts in compulsion, not rebellion.

“I worry about your grandmother’s heart,” Maria says, tone giving truth to the lie.

Maybe, what you think is a tough fist is just a tired ballerina curling her arms around her knees.

            The first safe she ever cracks is her grandmother’s. But that came later.

            For now there’s reason enough to hope. In a neighborhood where minority is majority, illiteracy is law, and circumstance is fatal she is a child who is both white and beautiful. Privileges, those, born into the blood, grafted into society, and more persistent, some would say, than breeding or trust funds or fine education. From those niceties of class, she is a generation removed on her father’s side, the product of the questionable pairing of a son of old money and one of Gotham’s less savory daughters. Though it is her mother’s legacy that would prove the stronger in the end.


            Her father, a Furst-Worth, was a youngest son and heir of none of the acumen for business or ruthlessness that drove his father’s steady empire. He’d met her mother at the club where she worked as a pretty face who earned her wages sweet talking wealthy men into lavishly priced drinks. Young and flush with the allowance that would support him through higher education, Brian Furst-Worth lost first his heart and then his family’s regard to Maria Kyle. A romantic soul, Brian Furst-Worth was and one in possession of that seemingly bottomless pocket called a trust fund, a pocket he’d nearly turned inside out by the day he graduated with a barely gotten degree in marketing.

Engaged and expecting a daughter, Selina’s father begged a loan from his parents to invest in Wayne Enterprises skyrail initiative.  Old money he might be, but Walter Furst-Worth, Selina’s grandfather, had new sensibilities and had drawn back the open hand of inheritance, reserving his resources until such a time as his sons and daughters proved deserving of the investment. And so it was that Maria and Brian sunk nearly everything they had into the Wayne’s elevated train and watched it vanish into the crater left behind when tragedy struck and the market fell to its knees, grieving the untimely deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne.