Bide My Time
Cutscene: Bide My Time
Author
IC Details
Synopsis:

A flashback to Gotham, 23 years ago, sets in motion a memory that introduces a new foe… or perhaps ally.

IC Date: December 31, 2018
IC Location: Gotham (1995), New York City (2018)
OOC Notes & Details
Posted: 31 Dec 2018 18:16
Rating & Warnings: PG-13
Associated Plots

"Bite my tongue, bide my time
Wearing a warning sign
Wait till the world is mine."
— billie eilish, you should see me in a crown

Gotham — New Year's Eve — 23 Years Ago

Blood on the snow.

It's a beautiful cliche — the kind you wait a lifetime to see. The splatter of red, hot droplets creating divots in the pristine sheet of moonlit white. In this beautiful midnight monochrome, it looks black. It has its own magic, spilt a mere minute before midnight on the close of a year of murder, mayhem, and madness.

Gotham had almost been hers. She had almost saved it from the ruthless hold of idiotic men. But then she let one of her allies in too close, let him touch her in ways she didn't anticipate; she let him put a bullet in her belly.

Her gloved fingers hold to the wound, pressing hard into it, feeling the heat even through the furlined maroon leather. She looks down, mismatched eyes taking in the sight of the pooling of red in her palm, how the glitz of her flapper-style dress barely soaks the flood of scarlet. She staggers back a step, and one stiletto heel rocks under the disquieting backward step.

He's speaking — his voice breaking like a teenage boy. She's cannot quite map his words, the way he shouts and screams at her, waving the gun in that passionate erraticities of a man gone mad.

" — all you had to fucking do is let me in! And did you? Did you!"

Her tongue darts across her bronze lips, spreading fresh red across the modest shine of her lipstick. Her eyes lift — one brown and one blue — landing on the scrawny man in that old school black tux. He's stepping forward, his black bird-like eyes wide with rage. That flop of dark hair has fallen across one of those eyes, and his white-gloved hand hastily brushes the offending lock back behind his ear.

She can follow each motion, it all a precise slow-motion — like the world is slowing down. Like she's given a chance to take those last moments. What surprises her is how easy her heart still beats — a slow, steady rhythm. Each pulse sends more of her blood through that gaping wound. What pleases her the most? She knows he's missed her intestines — no smell of shit. No, all she can smell is the brine of the harbor below.

"Come on, baby," she manages with bloodsoaked syllables, "I let you in as far as I needed you to." She smiles a red smile at him, and she takes another step back, closer to the dock edge. She's not sure which part of her instincts drive the direction, but she is certain of its necessity. Some part of her brain — perhaps the hindbrain, where the survival instincts reside — wants her to keep going backwards. So she takes a third step even while those golden heels rock and reel under her unsteady stride.

She can hear him rage once more, and he spits her name in vile anger. "Bitch!"

Bang!

They would recover her body by sundown, zip her up in a bodybag, take her to the morgue.

She would be out of town by the end of New Year's Day.

New York City — New Year's Eve — Present Day

It is just barely dawn.

These colder mornings always leave her aching — joints and bones tired and wearied by the stiffness. That's just age, nothing to say about how her scars still burn like the fresh wounds they had once been. But, she gets out of bed all the same, sliding her socked feet into slippers to make the journey through her modest bedroom to the vanity.

It is a ritual that she's engaged in for over two decades — rising with the dawn, quiet in its absolution. Rebirth comes at dawn, when the sun rises to chase away the last vestiges of the dark, dangerous night. She takes the seat before the oval mirror, and beholds herself in the templed twilight of the coming day. Her sorrel skin has not yet started to show its age — a few wrinkles tugging at the corners of her eyes and deepening the creases of her knuckles.

Her age is in her hair; no longer a lovely asymmetrical bob of brown and unnatural red, it has gone white, and she has brushed it into a tight twist each day to keep it out of her way. Her mismatched eyes stare back at her through the reflection, and she gently touches the edge of her ocular bone just beneath the starling blue — an eye that is not hers, but has become part of her all the same.

With care, she opens the case that bears the all-too-realistic lens that she expertly pops over the cold blue iris, turning it as greenish brown as the right. She blinks several times, letting the lens slip into place. When she settles her gaze back on her reflection, she looks aside to the pendant hanging down from a little notch in the mirror. The thick silver chain bears a flying fish, jumping across the round facet of what must be a full moon. It makes her smile almost wistfully.

Just as she slides the chain loose from its resting place, the phone rings. It is a violation to her morning routine — her rituals. She narrows her eyes at the offending device that sits at her bedside table. Her fist closes around the necklace as she crosses the room, and plucks up the device. The number is local, but unknown.

Her jaw sets, lips thin, and the phone rings several more times as she takes a slow, thoughtful breath. Then she relaxes into a more familiar smile just as the soft smile settles into her lips, and her voice takes on that easy warmth. She taps the green circle, bringing the phone to her ear, and prompts casually, "This is Mary Trout."

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