The idea behind this story is not only what if Bruce Wayne met Talia al Ghul during his training with Ra's Al Ghul, but also what if Bruce had joined the League of Shadows and helped destroy Gotham. The fanfic will be a bit dark and it will be AU.
It will be a series of one-shots/chapters that will take place at different moments in time in this Alternate Universe I've created. It's not in order by the way. It will be a Bruce and Talia pairing, although Selina Kyle will appear not as Bruce's lover but as his student.
And yes, Bruce Wayne is NOT completely the good guy in this fanfic, but he still has a sense of good in him. He's more of a villian who's trying to still be good, if that makes any sense. He's really more of an anti-hero if anything. He's far from the Batman we all know and love.
There will be spoilers for TDKR by the way.
I'm writing this mostly because I've been on writer's block with my other stories, although I do plan on going back to them soon.
I've actually somewhat of an idea for a Bruce joins Ra's al Ghul fanfic for quite some time now, but only after TDKR did I really decide to do this. And since I'm a Bruce/Talia fan, I decided to write it about that as well. I hope you enjoy.
The Dark Knight AU - How Far Men Can Fall
Chapter 1 - The Man Who Has Conquered Fear
2 Months Post Gotham City Attack
Sometimes Bruce Wayne felt guilt, sometimes he simply felt nothing. He sometimes gazed at the crumbling ruins of the city his parents had worked so hard to create, and he simply felt empty in the end. He wished redemption was in his grasped, but he knew it was far too late. Too much blood was in his hands.
As Ra's al Ghul's right-hand man and future successor, he knew eventually he would have to accept what he had done, but sometimes it still hurt, and he always pitied himself, like a weak fool. He knew that. But his mind had a hard time processing that.
They sometimes called him the Batman, the rest of the league that is. It was a nickname he used to cause fear in the hearts of criminals. It was mostly because he was known to use that symbol to conquer his enemies.
Bruce had after all betrayed Gotham and helped in its destruction.
Gotham was now in ruin because of him, because of the Batman that he had unwittingly become. Over three-fourths of the population now lay dead or dying, and the rest were being indoctrinated by the league to see who could join and help in its purpose.
A few interesting people had been selected by Ra's because they possessed the ability to be member's like himself. They would skilled and Ra's hoped to hone their abilities to serve him. Most of them were orphans like Bruce, who could one day fight injustice. His favorite was the 19 year old girl named Selina Kyle, who showed much potential.
Sometimes this made Bruce feel responsible for robbing them of their innocence, like he had been robbed of his.
Bruce had joined Ra's al Ghul for a ever changing purpose. First it was to learn the means to fight injustice, then it was revenge for when Rachel had been murdered when he had returned to Gotham for a temporary stay, and finally it was to protect the unsuspecting woman he had met and fallen in love with, during his training in the League of Shadows.
Talia al Ghul, Ra's al Ghul's one and only daughter, had been much of a surprise. He had meet her during his second year of training, purely by accident. It was she who had truly robbed him of his innocence. Without her, he would have never joined her father in the destruction of Gotham. She simply made him too weak.
Bruce always had a feeling it was her who had caused Rachel's death, it was always a feeling he had. He could never prove it, but the feeling never left him. He knew she had done it to strengthen his anger toward crime. And somewhat it had worked. It drove him closer to the breaking point just as his parent's death's had. It was only then that Bruce had really allowed himself to listen to all of Ra's ideals, it was Rachel's death that caused him to first take a life.
And truthfully, there was no going back after that.
He had become an executioner, and a murder, and Talia was the only thing he had to wash away the guilt.
Bruce now looked up at the roof over his bed and shook his head. He looked next to him to see Talia's nude form only covered by the simple sheets of their bed at Wayne Manor.
The Manor itself was now using the cave underneath as a base of operations in America for which Ra's had asked him to lead, while he himself would organize their soldiers in the Middle East where Bruce had learned. The cave downstairs was also being used as a training grounds for the League. It was useful for them and the 6 new students Ra's had picked, plus Selina of whom Bruce had found and taken in.
Quickly finding a pair of pants on the floor, Bruce attempted to walk out of the bedroom and into the hallway across before he was stopped by his tired and stirring lover.
"Beloved?" Talia asked curiously, her voice weak from having just woken up. He turned to look at her and sighed. Walking back to the bed, he sat on its edge quietly.
Talia gazed at him questionably, and sat up straighter on the bed, wrapping the sheets around her body.
"What wrong?" Talia questioned, although it was more of a command.
Bruce looked away, out the window, his eyes hollow and cold. Talia somewhat understanding the meaning placed her hand on his cheek and turned his head to face her.
"You still feel guilty for your actions." she asked quietly. He looked at her and nodded and whispered. "I can't help but feel I failed my parents."
"Bruce, by destroying Gotham, you've allowed it to be renewed and reborn free of crime. By destroying it, you have saved it." she told him, almost like a mother answering a child. She understood him better than anyone. She knew it was his parents and what they had previously done for Gotham that had made him feel broken. She knew it would take time, but she truly loved him. He almost reminded her of her protector Bane. Bruce easily filled the void left by Bane's banishment by her father.
He looked at her for a moment before he got up and addressed her. "Go back to sleep, I'm going to go see how the training of the new students are doing."
She looked at him sadly before she nodded and laid her head back on the pillow and closed her eyes and sighed.
Bruce finally walked through the door out of the bedroom and moved toward the library. He spotted Alfred along the way, and he himself couldn't help but sigh once again.
He still hadn't told Alfred what he had become, or what he was doing, and he really felt that he had no plans to. Alfred knew some parts, like the League was an organization who fought injustice and criminals, but he had no idea it was the league who had caused the chaos in Gotham only two months before. The city was still rebuilding after all, with Wayne Enterprises help of course.
Alfred thought as everyone else did in Gotham. It was that Falcone and his men who supported organized crime had attacked the city, and that they had caused the massive destruction to the city. Using the city has martyr, the United States and nations around the world were heavily attacking crime to a ferocious level. Bill and legislatures were now being passed granting the police and military increased rights to detain any suspected of being a criminal at a ferocious level.
It wasn't hard to use Falcone as a scapegoat, it was actually really simple. Jonathan Crane was of use in this. Using his position as a doctor in Arkham Asylum, he was able to 'prove' that Falcone was insane, and they had planted the evidence to accuse Falcone and his men as the ones who destroyed Gotham.
It was actually Bruce's idea to not kill off the entire population of Gotham, and it had mostly worked. The original plan had been worse and it would have used a fear toxin to drive Gotham's inhabitants insane. Some parts of that plan were still used, but it had been drastically altered. It had taken a while, but once he had convinced Talia, Ra's had accepted. Through his suggestion, the plan to destroy Gotham was altered. While over half of the population still died in the attack, and the other half would suffer from it, but the city would be put into such a state of depression that they would become broken. His plan, while slightly flawed, had still saved a lot of lives. It had helped his mind rest better. In turn however for the plan, he was required by Ra's to lead the training of the organization in America. It was supposed to be a lesson, but also something of a punishment.
His role however after the attack now was to 'lead' in the city's reconstruction. The people who look to him as a hero and he would come with guiding hands as a protector. Using Wayne Enterprises, he would work toward the city's recovery. This would in turn rise him high and allow him to enter the political field where he was to create a set of acts using his influence as a savior of Gotham City to stop injustice in the United States. He would lead the League of Shadows to literally conquer America's government. Ra's had assured him he would win, and that it would be all under control. He would likely even end up President if their cards were played right. And it was all based on a lie. For he knew, what the country did not know, was that he himself had lead the attack. He still felt guilty, but he knew there was no going back. He had sold his soul the moment he met Talia.
That part was alway's in the original plan, and it was actually why Ra's really wanted him in the first place. The fact he was Ra's greatest student was just a bonus to him.
Ra's himself understood his difficulty with killing as well as Talia, although Talia always understood better. She understood him completely just as he understood her. He knew her life, just as she knew his. He knew about her life in the prison she grew up in, while he told her of the death of his parents and how it affected him.
Bruce snapped back to reality as Alfred broke him from his thoughts. "Master Bruce, would you and Ms. Talia be liking breakfast?"
Bruce smiled lightly at the old man. He nodded and asked. "Say Alfred, do you happen to have the newspaper?"
"It's still the same as yesterday I'm afraid." Alfred said with a sad sigh. Bruce nodded and once again looked away so that Alfred wouldn't see the look of guilt he had on his face.
"Have any of the students woken up yet?" Bruce questioned.
"Ms. Kyle has been up for an hour, and I've given her some breakfast. She is in the cave as of now." Alfred replied. Bruce slowly shook his head and headed to the family library, going to the piano before inputting the right keys, which in opened the secret passage.
Going down the elevator, he finally entered what one of his students had jokingly called 'The Batcave'. There were was a high tech computer and other such devices, as well a sparring dojo of which Selina was now practicing in.
Her long flowing brown hair, and beautiful face were only marred by the deep hallow looks in her eyes. Whatever she had seen in the attack on Gotham still seemed to haunt her, just as it haunted Bruce. She was truly a reflection of himself when he was her age.
Her did notice she was still her pink and baby clue colored pajamas. He jokingly remembered Talia buying it for her. Selina was the oldest of his students and the only girl. She was also the most ferocious and most deadly. She really had no problems killing for some reasons.
She was also the only one of his students to never meet Ra's al Ghul.
While it was true that most of all the students had meet Ra's before, when he brought them here, Selina had not as Bruce had been the one to found her during the attack on Gotham. He had brought her with him here, when he had decided to tone her skills, and make her his pupil. The other students had come after.
It made her unique, but he knew she needed to meet him. While Ra's had taught him everything, he knew she needed to know more. So she would need to meet Ra's soon. Bruce felt Selina could one day become a worthy warrior in the league, as she really reminded Bruce of himself.
So Bruce silently watched as she continued to practice for a few minutes, and he noted the powerful kicks and punches she was using, though he also noticed her form was off with her kicks, and left her wide open. She still hadn't noticed him at all, which wasn't surprising, as she did have some problems minding her surroundings.
"Your kicks leaves you too open for your enemies to use against you." he finally voiced.
Selina yelped in alarmed and fell to the floor, her hair sprayed everywhere. She looked up at him with wide eyes and red embarrassed cheeks, before she quickly got up and bowed. "I'm sorry master, I did not know you were here."
"Haven't I told you to call me Bruce?" he asked gently.
Her face got even redder and a blush appeared on her face of which he noticed with soft eyes. He couldn't help but smile at her. She was truly his favorite pupil.
"Yes master-eh-I mean Bruce!" she quickly said. He rolled his eyes some and beckoned her to follow him. She nodded quickly and raced after him. They walked through the cave, past the Tumbler of which Bruce had acquired from Lucius Fox at Wayne Enterprises before the attack. He rarely ever used the thing, mostly because he was always here, but Ra's had liked the idea of mass producing them for use in the future along with other WayneTech devices, like the carbon fiber suit Bruce had used during the attack.
It made him wonder what Ra's was planning on doing next, though apparently as far as he knew, he was researching an old Wayne Science Division's project called 'Project Lazarus Pit', a project that had been engineering a type of liquid that could give a person youth and grant immortality. As far as he knew, the project had never gotten far, but had supposedly a equation for the creation of the chemical substance had been made, just that it had never gone further than that.
Bruce looked back at Selina and saw her looking intently at all the devices and the gadgetry.
"Where are we going?" she asked quietly.
"Practice Run." he answered calmly to his favorite student.
"What?" she questioned, not understanding.
He looked and her before saying "We're going to Gotham to see Crane, maybe see how things are going in the City. Then I want you to meet Ra's al Ghul."
And that is the first chapter. The next one should come soon, as I've said above, the timeline of these oneshots/chapters is not in order. The next one will actually go a month before the attack. Updates will not be daily, but hopefully not be too far in between.
I do plan to show alternate versions of many of the characters from the film's, and how they are affected by Bruce meeting Talia early. I also want to show realistic interpretations of villians from the comics that never got in the Dark Knight trilogy, like Harley Quinn, Riddler, and Poison Ivy. And yes I plan to have the Joker. Although they will be very different from their comic book and in Joker's case, movie interpretations. They after all have be affected in a world when Gotham is in ruins, and Batman is not too much of a good guy, but kind of also a villian himself.
I may even introduce other DC heroes or characters in the future although I am uncertain, but Superman is a possibility. It's still undecided.
Also in case your wondering why Selina is nineteen in this, it's because Selina is technically younger then Bruce in the movies. I'm not sure how young, but since Bruce is around 30 in Batman Begins, 32 in the Dark Knight, and 40 in the Dark Knight Rises, then I made a guess. Selina was likely 29 in TDKR.
Also will Bruce become a hero? That's still undecided, and I'm really not completely sure, I have an idea for an ending, but I still haven't figured out how completely.
Please review if you like it. Thank You.