DISCLAIMER: Devil Wears Prada characters belong to Lauren Weisberger and 20th Century Fox. I make no money off of this and I intend no infringement. All Batman, Dark Knight characters belong to DC Comics as well.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: So, I am not a big fan fiction reader. I recently became addicted to The Devil Wears Prada Fan Fiction. I could not get enough of it for like, an entire week. So when I picked up the Dark Knight Rises DVD, I could not help myself any longer. I am not a Bat Man expert either so I may have gotten some things wrong. Chalk it up to the AU or email me.
CROSSOVER: Don't really know much of the jargon. This is an AU where Runway is in Gotham City.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To tanaiwalker[at]yahoo.com
The Cat Woman
"A million girls would kill for this job," she thought to herself as she scanned the advertisement in the business section of the Gotham Times. A million girls. She could see them all, impeccably dressed in the latest fashions, girls who came from money, girls who clawed their way out of the gutters, girls who survived on less than five hundred calories a day, girls who started the day with mocha fraps, and girls who lived hours past their work days thanks to a little snort of white powder.
Selena Kyle knew how to blend in with such girls, but this time, she needed to stand out. And so began to invent Andrea Sachs, a clueless fashion victim, a blunderer in the fashion world until she proved herself to be the most efficient, tireless, assistant Miranda Priestly ever had.
With no doubt that Elias-Clarke completed extensive background checks, Selena had a friend of a friend create a lifetime dossier for her new squeaky clean persona. Looking it over the night before the interview, she smirked at her own cleverness. An English degree from Northwestern, accolades from the college newspaper, a Big Sister's stint, as well as other impressive bits and pieces, things that would normally be received with blithe sarcasm for a position with Miranda Priestly.
That was where the big push came in. Selena hacked into Elias and Clarke's Human Resources database and slipped Andrea Sach's name in the running for Miranda Priestly's second assistant. The very next morning a rep called to set up an interview with Emily, the main assistant. Selena answered the phone breathlessly, instead of speaking in her own calculated purr. She needed to get this Sachs character down.
"Me?" she asked sounding astonished. "A preliminary interview? I-I, don't know what to say. Um. Yes, I will be there Wednesday, 8:35 sharp." Selena chuckled softly to herself when the rep on the other line ended the call with a curt goodbye. She stopped laughing suddenly, there was one missing element. She smacked herself against her bang curtained forehead. How could she be an utter fashion victim without the proper costume? Her own clothes were expertly gleaned from the spoils of her real job, Cat burglar, and Selena Kyle had expensive tastes.
She left her dark apartment dressed in gray trousers tucked into boots, and a black leather jacket, her eyes lines with black eyeliner. She stalked the streets of Gotham with a feline grace, her large brown eyes taking in everything. She passed a billboard calling for the capture of the Penguin, and stopped to look up at it. He was disgusting, pale little man with a mass of curly black hair. Long ago, he had been born into Gotham aristocracy the victim of congenital defects. He had made the mistake of challenging the Batman, and now his picture was splashed all over the world.
She shivered. There was only one thing that frightened her, and that was the Batman. She sighed. "Calm down Selena," she muttered to herself. She had no real reason to fear The Bat. She was not mad, not out of control, she was cool, calculating and she did not have plans to take over Gotham City of the world. Which was why she wanted "in" at Runway Gotham's office, and specifically, "in" with Miranda Priestly. The silver haired maven could be the key to unknown spoils. She grinned to herself as she waited to cross a busy intersection.
"No, fuck you, Marv," a man in his thirties shouted into his phone, "Those reports are on Josh not me."
Their eyes met briefly, she gave him a smoldering smile and he nearly walked into traffic.With slender, remarkably strong hands, she grabbed the back of his coat and yanked him backwards. The two of them clattered to the street. A car blasted its horn as it shot past.
"Damnit," the man quickly scrambled for his fallen phone, checked it for damages.
She rose to her feet, offered her hand. He smiled and took it.
"You saved my life," he said as he stood.
"Ok?" she asked.
"Yeah," he said practically in love by now. "Buy you a drink?"
"Gotta run," she said and joined the ranks of pedestrians as they crossed the streets. She walked a block and paused to remove a man's wallet from her jacket. There was $500.00 in cash, plenty for some off the rack terrors to scandalize the employees at Runway, and have a nice dinner. There were credit cards as well, but she dumped them and the wallet too. She would not want to tarnish Andrea Sach's reputation before she made her big debut.
The next morning, she stood in the offices of Runway with Emily. The way they looked down their noses at her. They were lucky that Andrea Sachs was there and not Selena Kyle. Selena would have dazzled them and stolen them blind. So she stood awkwardly, in a hideous skirt and faux suede jacket not even a self respecting librarian would wear, watching everything, the posh office, and everyone scrambling because She was on her way.
Miranda breezed in without giving her glance, complaining and insulting. Selena played the part, mousy, intimidated, clutching the tacky little folio. This woman was certainly no super villain or a man in a black cowl and cape who lived in shadows. She was a shallow woman who like everyone, had built walls to shield her own insecurities. In one word: pathetic. Yet, she was oh so beautiful, like a cultured pearl on a bed of silk. And that voice. If Miranda was up for it, Selena could steal away with more than some jewels and cash.
"Who is that sad little person?" she asked icily.
"No one," Emily proffered.
Andrea Sachs then spoke up for herself. She really needed a job, and she was a smart, earnest girl. Who could resist her?
Miranda Priestly bought it, hook line and sinker.
The next day, Andrea arrived in the awful Cerulean blue sweater. After the whole lecture on fashion and the various abuses heaped upon her, Selena would have taken a page from the Joker and wired the whole Runway floor with explosives.
As she fled the place at the end of the day she thought to herself: "Oh poor Andrea Sachs if you were real they would eat you up here."
Selena's game played out well and soon, she surpassed even Emily. She had the key to Miranda Priestly's townhouse of all places, and full access to Runway, which included the fabled Closet.
Everything fell into place just in time, because one of her debts came calling.
She was on her way to Miranda's with the book, and late. She checked her watch. She could not risk the Editor getting angry and firing her. She had come too far, and shoveled much of the shrew's shit for it to end like this. Selena checked her watch. 9:50. There was no way she would have it to her in time. Perhaps she could say she was mugged. She knew plenty of goons she could describe in detail if the police became involved. A white florist's van sidled up beside her, and for a moment she was Andrea Sachs, an unassuming little victim. The side door slid open followed by a red cloud of rose colored mist. She was dazed instantly. She barely noticed dark hands reach through the mist and drag her into the van as she had slipped into a contented sleep.
She woke on a tuft of grass, beneath an oak tree. She yawned remembered fragrant red smoke and a white florists van.
A buxom woman with short red hair stepped from the shadows. Dr. Pamela Isley, so aptly given the moniker Poison Ivy because of the toxic goodies she made from plants. A talented botanist, she went on an eco terrorism bender foiled by the Dark Knight himself. She had escaped Arkham Asylum years ago, that was when Selena met her. She had been so infatuated with the famous villain, a true genius, a visionary.
"You've been avoiding me. Selena," she wore a tight green dress that accentuated all of her curves, fishnets, and tall black boots. Worse than tawdry, she looked like a leprechaun had thrown up on a hooker.
"I've been working. On my own job."
"Really?" she waved the book. "Miranda Priestly?"
"She can get me access to a world we've only dreamed of," Selena explained as she stood on shaky legs. Her own voice echoed in her head. "There is this exhibit coming up-"
"She's bad news," Ivy told her. "She'll use you and cast you aside."
Selena shook her head. "She thinks I'm some whimpy wanna be writer. I have the upper hand, here." She made a move for the book, and Ivy easily dodged her hands.
"And this," she waggled the book in her hands. "Is for her?"
"Don't fuck it up, she'll be furious," Selena shouted.
Ivy laughed. "Same old Ice Queen, and she's got you in her grip. You've left me for Miranda Priestly, for the cause of greed and excess that will swallow the world."
"No, never," Selena said. "I wanted to go out on my own."
"Of course," Ivy said. "You want to be a villain, a real super villain, so young so ambitious."
"Come on," Selena made another grab for the book. "Give me that so I can be on my way."
Ivy hid the book behind her back. "Kiss me."
"So you can paralyze me with your poisoned lipstick?" Selena asked. Ivy seemed to enjoy her using her little tricks as a sort of sick foreplay. It was tiring.
"You owe me. I saved your ass, I sheltered you, I loved you."
Selena squinted at her. "I loved you too, but I was a kid then."
Suddenly Ivy's hands were around her throat. She heard the book fall to the ground.
"You forget you belong to me and my kind, Selena, there is a spark of madness in you, I can taste it when I kiss you."
She heard a strangled noise come from her mouth.
"Perhaps we should go pay the Ice Queen a visit?" Ivy asked. "She has a pair of girls we could snatch for a ransom, maybe give them over some of my pets in the lab."
"No," Selena gagged.
Ivy grinned and let her go. "You are absolutely no fun. Fine, finish your Priestly business and come back to my bed. I'll be watching."
Selena fell to the ground sputtering for breath, reaching for the book as she did. She collected her burden and sprinted out of the park. Twenty minutes later she let herself into Miranda Priestly's apartment hoping to drop off the book without being seen.
As she turned to leave she heard Miranda.
"You do realize its 11:05."
She was poised at the top step still dressed elegantly despite the time.
"Sorry," she whispered to cover for her raspy voice. She tried not to look up too much. She knew she looked a fright.
"Are you ill?"
"I believe so," she lied.
"Emily's pestilence no doubt," she said. "Take a few extra hours to sleep in the morning, drink fluids, get some vitamin C."
She had to force herself not to look up and stare at the woman.
She scuttled out of the town house limped a block or so and promptly threw up on the sidewalk. Damn Ivy. Damn Miranda Priestly. She would show them all.
She went back to Runway that very night. The security guard enjoyed Andrea Sach's sunny ways, and the coffee and cake she brought each time she ran out for Miranda. The Runway offices were blessedly empty of people. Ripe for the picking. She would clean them out and leave Gotham. She went to Nigel's desk first. The little fop was bound to have something of value. She crept into the art department, and his work space. The first thing she spotted were tickets for the Gotham Museum of History gala, and an exhibition of the Clausenburg family jewels.
Her plan had been to attend with Miranda and case the place, find a way or make a way to slip in later to take what she wanted. It was too perfect.
"Too perfect to ruin," she said aloud.
She went to the Closet and ran her fingers over the expensive clothes and furs. This was her chance to rise above being a petty thief, the errand girl for the big boys, like Ivy. She went to Miranda Priestly's office of all places. She sat in her chair.
"That's all," she said to the dark room in her best Miranda, but in her groggy state she sounded more like a stern Julia child. "Emily, get me Demarchelier."
"What do you mean there are no more hideous blue belts? Andrea, go to Versace right now and get me a gagillion hideous belts." She rose dramatically and knocked over a vase filled with bluish glass beads. They went everywhere and their bouncings like machine gun fire in the quiet office.
"Wow, what an awesome super villain," she scolded herself as she chased down handfuls of beads. "Goddamnit."
She scooped them back into the vase and went for more. Her foot kicked a bunch and they rolled under the door of Miranda's private restroom. She dutifully followed, the marbles rolled across the tiled floor and under a wall.
She paused and fell on her knees. She pried her fingers beneath felt cool air. A safe? But where was the dial? A secret door.
"Oooh, come to Momma," she whispered and lifted. There was a click, and the door rolled to the side to reveal an elevator. A bluish light snapped on.
"A private elevator? In the bathroom."
She stepped inside, looked for buttons. The door rolled shut quickly and the elevator lurched upwards.
"Shit," she groaned, and waited for the thing to stop and reveal whatever fate was at the end. The door opened revealing a large room, a sky light up above revealing the night sky. She was on the top floor.
As she walked into the room the lights snapped on. She saw an empty counter to her right, and a sort of altar in the middle, a bronze cat on a pedestal, its eyes shining blue jewels, a mirror under its paw reflecting Selena's puzzled face.
She stepped close, noticed a handle on the pedestal. She pulled it and a drawer sprang out. She reached inside and removed a suit. It was of a rubbery material, akin to the suit Bat Man wore. She gasped and dropped the thing. She reached back inside the compartment that had extended from the pedestal and found a mask attached by a band to night vision goggles. She slipped the head gear on her face and looked at herself in the mirror. The goggles rested on the top of her head like cat's ears. She flipped them onto her face. They fit easily over the mad. She grinned at her reflection.
She slipped off her Versace dress and put the suit on. There were gloves and boots as well.
She checked herself out in the mirror and laughed. She felt ridiculous. Who would traipse around in a thing like this, with night vision goggles? Perhaps it was some freak SandM costume Miranda played with.
"This certainly does not belong to Miranda," she said to herself. She moved around the room, skipping a bit, and then sprinting. The suit felt great, and it made her feel powerful.
"Whoever it belongs to won't notice if I take it out for a little spin."
The next evening she stood behind Miranda helping Emily whisper the names of the rich and the famous their boss could not remember. The woman could describe in accurate detail each season of Tom Ford's career, but she could not remember the name of the mayor's wife. It was a busy night for Andrea and Selena.
Between her work, the stunning display of jewels, and planning her heist, she did not notice the millionaire Bruce Wayne eyeing her.
She was mentally shopping when her eyes caught a jewel encrusted axe.
"Beautiful isn't it?" Wayne asked.
"Um. Yes, it is. It looks too heavy to swing."
"It's for ceremonial purposes." Miranda appeared. "The Clausenburgs made their allies swear fealty by placing their exposed necks over the upturned blade."
Selena looked up into her boss' intense blue gaze.
"Miranda," Bruce Wayne said in greeting. "I was wondering if I could dance with your assistant."
Selena frowned and pulled down the corners of her mouth clearly signaling that she did not want to dance with the millionaire playboy.
"Andrea," Miranda smiled icily. "Dance with the man."
"Of course," she said and reached out her hand for Wayne to take.
She tried to tell herself it would all be worth it when she walked out of there with millions of dollars worth of jewel encrusted artifacts. The man was a terrible dancer, and dragged her around as if she were a mannequin or a blow up doll.
She grinned at the thought of Bruce Wayne, alone in his mansion dancing with a blow-doll.
"Amused?" he asked.
She blushed and shook her head.
"So how is it really, being a Miranda girl?" Wayne asked.
She took a step back.
"I've heard stories," he said. "She's a tough one."
Selena shrugged. She had not planned any interactions with me as Andrea Sachs. Was Andrea straight? Selena thought decidedly that she was gay, definitely.
"How is it being obscenely rich?" she asked.
It was his turn to take a step back.
"I've heard stories."
He frowned. "It's quiet, and lonely. Easy to lose perspective on the world."
"But you're such a great philanthropist."
She saw Miranda staring. "I should go Mr. Wayne, goodbye."
She went to her boss who pursed her lips together. "I've called Roy, we are leaving."
If the woman seemed more agitated than usual, Selena did not notice. She did not want to notice because if everything went right, she would be free of Miranda Priestly by dawn.
Selena stood on the top of Wayne Enterprises. Just this one last thing and she would be free of Gotham and Runway and Miranda Priestly. She could have kept the suit, but she thought she should return it. In a way she wanted them all to know it was her who robbed those pieces from the museum, and done it all in Miranda Priestly's rubber romper.
From her vantage she could see the top of the Elias Clarke building. It was nearly a fifty foot drop. She took a deep breath and very gracefully flipped from the ledge. Ten feet down she hit the side of the building, banging her shoulder harder than she had planned. She grunted and slid down to a second ledge and a convenient outcropping of cement gargoyles.
"Well, that was the easy part," she breathed. She set up a second rigging, turned to face the Elis-Clarke building, and once again leapt. Her line jerked her back just inches before she hit the glass. She undid the rigging and cut a hole in the glass. She then slipped into Miranda's secret bathroom lair.
She untied herself from the harness and kissed the floor. "I am never doing anything like that again."
"Few people could pull of a stunt like that."
Selena whirled around, faced with the silver haired maven.
"Oh look, you've torn it."
"I was just-"
"Dropping by?" Miranda asked rolling her eyes to the skylight.
"I was just exploring and found this awesome costume," she slowly began to unzip the front, one last ditch effort to distract the Editor. "I wanted to try it on when no one was around."
"Hmm," Miranda said, her blue gaze trained on Selena's hands and the skin they slowly unveiled. She licked her lips. "You went to the museum and absconded with some of the bright pretties there. I take it you did some reconnaissance those five minutes you disappeared on me earlier, Andrea, or should I call you Selena?"
She felt the color drain from her face, Her cover was blown, and Ivy would have her head on a platter. Her hand whipped out and shoved Miranda backwards, the woman stumbled, and actually grinned when Selena whipped out the retractable baton.
"Just stay back Miranda, I don't want to hurt you."
She chuckled, it was deep and throaty and despite the situation, sexy. She immediately switched to her annoyed tone.
"You foolish, girl, you could not hurt me if you tried. You put that down this instant so we can talk like adults."
"That's not gonna work on me," Selena challenged. "All the simpering was just an act, you're nothing to me."
Miranda paused and blinked. She took a menacing step forward swiping at Selena with lighting quick speed. Selena dodged her, whipped out with her baton determined to break the woman's delicate wrists. That would show her to treat her underlings with a little more respect.
Miranda turned using Selena's body to propel herself away. She whirled around with a tiny black box in her hand. She bit her lower lip as volts of burning electricity coursed through Selena's body, knocking her to the floor.
Her limbs splayed and trembled, as Miranda leaned over her. Selena gritted her teeth, flailed out at the woman. This effort earned her more volts accompanied by a click more nerve wracking than heels on linoleum.
The burning stopped and Selena lay prone, looking up at the night stars through the skylight she had so expertly slipped through. She felt tears on her face but not much else.
She heard Miranda speaking.
"There have been many incarnations of Cat Woman," Miranda explained in her quiet calm voice. "Oh, Selena, I knew who you were when you clumsily hacked your way into the database, and this Andrea Sachs person, you pulled the wool over everyone's eyes, but I know who you are."
She turned blue eyes hard and sparkling. "I let you in, Selena, because I wanted to see if you were up for a job more fitting of your qualifications."
"And what would that be?" she whispered.
She grinned evilly, beautifully. "You've already started, and I must add, you fill out that suit well."
Andrea groaned the events of the night taking their toll on her body. "You want me to be this Cat Woman?"
"Darling, you could never be the Cat Woman, but you do as good of an impression as you do of Andrea Sachs."
"And what would I be doing?"
"Not going to jail for one, I could call the police right now, and once they got hold of your finger prints you would tour the world paying for your various crimes, unless Ivy gets you first."
"You know about Ivy?"
"I know all, Selena," she reached down and touched her face. "And I will not reiterate this offer again."
"I accept," she whispered.
Miranda helped her into a sitting position. "There. I did not shock you too badly did I? Seriously Andrea, if you are going to be successful in this business you must learn all the little dirty tricks."
She rubbed the back of her head. There was terrible knot where she had collapsed under the weight of 50,000 volts. "And how long have you been in this business?"
Miranda said nothing, she simply stood, and walked towards the wall which purposely slid away to reveal a bank of computer monitors. Selena followed. Miranda pecked at a few keys and a group of thumbnails appeared on the screen, one was of a black and white security photo of woman dressed in a similar skintight ensemble. The picture began to move, and she saw that it was actual footage of a bank heist. The woman prowled the darkened interior. Though not as lanky as Selena, she moved with the same agility.
"I made off with a million in diamonds that night," she sighed. "Quite a feat, even without technology as it is today."
"You were Catwoman? Why?"
"For Runway of course, and all enemies of fashion."
Selena chuckled, but quickly swallowed her humor when Miranda turned back with an icy glare in her eyes.
"Of course, how could I expect a common thief to understand? You probably cut your teeth pick-pocketing wallets in Gotham square, a habit which I would not put past you today."
"Hey," Selena growled, "Fuck you lady."
Miranda flashed a millisecond snarl. "I will look over that comment, Andrea, as you have taken quite a jolt and bumped your head."
"Selena," she corrected. "You called me Andrea."
"It is no secret that I am horrible with names, and anyway, you do not want anyone to hear me slip and call you Selena?"
She raised her eyebrows. "You? Slip?"
Miranda ignored her comment and motioned for the suit. "Take that off so I can have it repaired."
Selena did as she was told. Miranda handed her the Versace she had left behind the night before.
She felt naked without the suit.
"Who made that anyway? It reminds me of Batman's suit."
Miranda scoffed. "The Bat? Not an original bone in his body."
Selena waited to hear the story, but was only given a dismissive wave. "That's all."
To Be Continued
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