Here it is! For context, this alternate scene would have taken place in Chapter Three, when Helena comes to ask for Selina's help. And…it ended up being a lot longer than planned. Oh well. I guess I just needed to write it as therapy to deal with my anger issues with DC right now. #justletbrucewaynebehappy2018
A part of Selina told her it was a very bad idea to call Bruce. The other part told her it was the only reasonable thing to do. The trouble was, she couldn't decide which side was her brain speaking, and the other side her feelings. When it came to Bruce, sometimes those two were difficult to differentiate between.
She picked up the phone to call. "Hey, B?"
"Selina?" He sounded surprised.
"You know the girl we ran into last night? She just found my apartment and tried to hire me to lift something from your labs."
"I drugged her. She's unconscious on the couch right now, but she's not going to be happy when she wakes up."
"I'm already in the area," Bruce answered. "I'll be there in five minutes."
Selina didn't ask how he knew where she lived, even though she'd never told him. Bruce generally kept pretty good tabs on her, despite the fact that she found it annoying. She didn't ask what he was doing in the area, either, although she wondered if he was already on his way to see her to talk about what had happened the other night.
Grabbing some rope from the kitchen, she turned the girl over to tie her wrists together and then propped her up against the couch. There was a knock at the door.
"Selina?" It was Bruce.
He must have been very close, she thought. "Come in." Selina was already sliding her fingers along the lining of the girl's jacket to see what she had on her. She pulled out a wallet.
"She looks a lot younger than I thought last night," Bruce said, shutting the front door and coming closer. "She disguised herself as a janitorial worker yesterday to get into the Wayne Enterprises building, but I guess I hadn't paid close enough attention to her."
"She said she wanted to hire me to steal a "glowing purple stone" from Wayne Labs," Selina said. "That would be weird enough, but something is off about this girl. I don't like it."
"Did she give a name?"
"No, but, I think I'll have it in a second." Selina whipped out the girl's wallet. "I found this." She opened it. "Here we go. Helena…"she stopped, and Bruce waited.
"Helena Wayne." Selina's voice ended in a question, and she glanced back to the girl on her couch. "Is she related to you?"
"What? No. Can I see?"
Selina handed the wallet to Bruce and then leaned down so her face was level with the girl's. She squinted her eyes, looking for a resemblance. Of course, she knew there were other people in the world with the last name of Wayne. It just seemed like an odd coincidence. And as she looked there was something about her that reminded her of Bruce. It was subtle, but there.
"This can't be right."
Selina turned to see Bruce frowning at the driver's license. "Did you look at the date? It's all wrong. According to this, she's not even born yet. And the date of issue is almost thirty years from now."
"Why would anyone create a fake ID with the wrong date?"
"That's just it," Bruce said, holding the licence up to the light and examining it. "I don't think it's fake."
"So, what, she's like your daughter from the future or something?" Selina joked. She looked over Bruce's shoulder and her face lost its humor. "Her middle name is Martha," she said, looking at the license again. "That was your mom's name, wasn't it?"
"I know you were just joking," Bruce began, "But…"
"Oh, come on, B," Selina said, moving away from him and trying to blow it off, even though she was uncomfortable for reasons she couldn't quite articulate. "Time travel? That's a stretch, even for Gotham. Besides, if she's your daughter, why'd she come to me?"
Bruce was silent.
But he was staring at something else he'd taken from the girl's wallet, something he couldn't seem to tear his eyes away from. Slowly, without looking up at her, he handed it to Selina.
It was a photograph. As she looked at it, the world swam around her and she reached for a chair. She swore and sat down hard, her feet feeling unsteady beneath her. It was at that moment she realized why she'd begun to feel unsettled those moments before. Somehow, her body seemed to have known who the girl was before her head did.
The picture was an old one—at least it appeared that way due to its foxed edges and the slight crease in the lower left corner. It was a picture of a curly-haired girl, cheeks full of air as she prepared to blow out six candles on a birthday cake. Though Selina couldn't be positive, by resemblance alone she would have guessed that it was the same girl who was now lying on Selina's couch. But that wasn't what had caused her head to go dizzy and her steps to falter; no, that reaction was due to the woman behind the girl, grinning widely and giving the girl a loving squeeze. The woman might have been older, her hair a little shorter, and her clothes something other than black, but she was definitely, undeniably Selina.
And the background was unmistakably the kitchen at Wayne Manor.
"She looks more like you than she does like me," Bruce said, staring at the girl on the couch. He'd sat down, too. He seemed to be handling the whole situation marginally better than Selina, but he still looked shell-shocked.
Selina could have overlooked any resemblance in the girl on the couch—she really couldn't see it that much—but the girl in the photo? She looked so strikingly like the lone picture Selina had of herself as a child that she could have almost thought the six-year-old was her, if the older woman's identity wasn't already so obvious.
She looked back at the couch. The girl's head of wild curls would have been exactly like Selina's had they not been several shades darker. Her mouth and bone structure, Selina realized, was much like her own, but as Selina thought about it, she realized just why the girl had disturbed her so much.
"When she was talking…" Selina began. "Her facial expressions…they were all you." That's what had felt so off about the girl. She felt like she'd known the girl already, even though she hadn't.
Selina ran a hand through her hair and tried to breathe. "So…in the future…we have a kid," she said, trying to wrap her head around it. "And that's her."
"Unless we've completely misread the situation," Bruce said. "Which is entirely possible due to the very implausibility of this whole state of affairs."
"Can you please talk like a normal human being for, like, five seconds, Bruce?" Selina asked. "How are you not freaking out? I'm freaking out. I'm trying not to freak out."
"What is there to freak out about?"
"I don't know. The fact that I'm nineteen years old and just found out that I have a daughter who's probably older than I am right now."
"Well, so do I."
"Exactly! I have a daughter with you!"
Bruce looked at the photo again, his eyes zeroing in on the ring on Selina's finger. "Would this not be a good time to tell you that we're married?"
Selina rolled her eyes heavenward and took a deep breath. "I'm not sure if that makes me feel better or worse." She glanced at Bruce to see a ghost of a smile on his face.
"It's just gratifying to know you said "yes."
"Oh, shut up." She whacked him on the arm and rolled her eyes, turning so he wouldn't see that she was (ridiculous as it was, she admitted) smiling. She shouldn't be. The whole thing couldn't be real. People like him didn't marry people like her. And if they did, it never lasted. Girls like her didn't get happy endings.
And to be honest, she wasn't sure guys like Bruce ended up getting them, either. Tragedy seemed to follow him wherever he went.
"She's beautiful, isn't she?" Bruce said quietly. Selina suddenly had a vision of Bruce as a dad, the kind whose daughter had him completely wrapped around her little finger. It wasn't a bad look for him, and Selina didn't like the way her heart softened at the idea. She was certain that thoughts like that couldn't end up doing any good, even if the girl in front of them did seem to be evidence that she—that she and Bruce—darn it. The girl on the couch stirred and Selina leapt backward and scrambled away like a true cat.
Bruce remained unmoved and continued to stare at the girl as she woke up.
The girl—Helena—struggled to sit up and blinked a few times. "Hey!" she said. "What is this? How—?"
Her eyes widened when she saw her wallet on the table, dumped of its contents. "Oh no. No no no no no. You took my stuff. You can't look at that!"
"Yeah, I think it's too late for that," Selina said. "Care to explain?"
The girl bit her lip and looked between Bruce and Selina, as if unsure what all they knew. "What do you…can I have my wallet back?" Selina realized Helena had worked her wrists out of her bonds when she moved her hands forward to reach for her things. Selina handed her the wallet, the photo and license stacked atop it.
"Were these all that you saw?" the girl asked.
"There's more?" Selina asked in disbelief.
"So your name is Helena," Bruce said. "And you're…"
"…from the future," Helena finished.
"I don't think that's the confession he was looking for," Selina mumbled.
"What proof do you have?" Bruce asked, not unkindly, but firmly. Like he was talking to a child, Selina thought.
The girl swallowed. "If I am from the future, won't I wreck it if I start telling you things that are going to happen?" She looked to Selina and then back at Bruce. "What other proof can I have other than this?" she held up her license. She sighed and ran her hands over her face. "This is not how I rehearsed this conversation." She looked accusingly at Selina. "I can't believe you drugged me."
"You shouldn't trust strangers, kid." The kid came out too easily.
"Well I wasn't expecting my own—" Helena stopped.
"Your own what?" Selina asked, daring her to finish the sentence. She felt her breath hitch and she didn't exhale until Helena answered.
"My own mother." Helena finished reluctantly. "Don't tell me you didn't already figure it out. I know you're both smarter than that."
"That doesn't make you saying it any less shocking," Bruce admitted.
Helena groaned and buried her face in the couch cushions. "And now you're thoroughly weirded out and can't even look at each other and I'll end up not existing at all because I was stupid."
"Hey," Bruce hesitated a moment and then sat on the couch and patted her shoulder. "Hey. I'm sure you'll be fine."
Selina wanted to snort in derision, but she couldn't. Something had twisted inside her when Helena had buried her face, and when the girl looked up and Selina realized there were tear tracks of all things on the girl's cheeks, and that there were more tears welling up in eyes exactly like Bruce's, she knew she was done for.
"Don't…don't cry." Selina said awkwardly. She moved closer to the girl and sat down slowly, unsure what she was supposed to do. She wasn't supposed to actually act like a parent, was she? But as soon as she got close enough, Helena buried her face in Selina's shoulder and began to sniffle back tears. Selina didn't have to act parental, suddenly she just was.
"Hey, hey." Selina's arms tightened around the girl. "It's going to be fine. We'll get you back home somehow, okay?"
"I'm sorry for crying," the girl moved back and wiped her eyes. "That's not a great first impression, is it? I've just been here for days and it's been kind of miserable."
"How did you get here?" Bruce asked.
Helena cleared her throat and explained. "I accidentally triggered a time machine. Of course, I didn't know that's what it was when I picked it up. When I came through, the machine broke. I need a new power source, and the only thing I can find that might work is that stone you've got in the lab."
"But you don't know if that will work or not?" Bruce asked.
Helena shook her head. "It's the best I've got, though."
"Well, we'll help you get it either way. And if that doesn't work, we won't stop until you're back home safely. Right, Selina?"
Selina nodded, not sure she could trust her voice.
Helena wiped her eyes quickly. "Could I use your bathroom?"
"Yeah." Selina pointed. "It's right through that door." Both of them knew she didn't really need to use it; she just thought Selina and Bruce needed a moment. She was right.
Selina slumped into the couch. "Bruce?" she said quietly and glanced at him. "What does this mean?"
"For us, you mean?"
Selina took back the wallet, which was balancing on the armrest of the couch. Helena had left it when she'd gone to the bathroom. She examined the photo again.
"I look so happy," Selina whispered.
"Maybe that's what it means," Bruce said softly.
"That we're going to be happy?"
Bruce's hand moved towards hers tentatively, his fingers touching hers. "Happy...together."
And as her fingers intertwined with his, for the first time Selina let herself believe it was possible.