Pairing: Bane/Female OC
Timeframe: after the League of Shadows excommunication, but before the events in TDKR.
Disclaimer: Bane doesn’t belong to me. My world would be a far better place if he did.
1 He realized three things the moment his eyes opened. One: the room was cool and dark, two: the pain had subsided greatly, and three: he couldn’t move his arms or his legs. He tried to speak, but then he realized that there was something over his nose and mouth. It wasn’t familiar to him; at the time of his expulsion, he had been wearing something else. Whatever it was, it was an apparatus that had breathable gas that appeared to have some sort of analgesic in it. It felt like a standard oxygen mask. He found he could turn his head. He was clearly in a hospital room or laboratory of some sort and he tried to move once more and couldn’t.
The light over his bed came on and it blinded him. He closed his eyes for a moment, but then light was blocked by a head with a massive amount of hair. He squinted as the image came into focus. It was a woman and his very first thought was that her eyes were as beautiful as Talia’s, except they were brown.
“How are you feeling?” she asked.
He stared at her. She smiled down at him. “Does it hurt to speak?”
“I can talk.” Barely, but he could get the words out.
“Good. I can hear you fine with the apparatus. How are you feeling?”
“I can’t move.”
She smiled again. “Yes. That. I had to give you a paralytic. It should be wearing off in a little while.”
“Why…am I paralyzed?” It was most certainly jarring, for he had never been restricted in his movement.
“The last time you woke up, you punched me in the face. You gave me a black eye. I’m not prepared for you to black the other one.”
Bane stared at her face; there was indeed a bruise underneath the left eye. He took a moment and regarded the whole of her face. Not a bad-looking one.
“How are you feeling?”
“It doesn’t hurt; not like before.”
“Good. I was hoping so. I had to try a myriad of combinations before I ended up with the current cocktail. Your pain threshold is very high, which made it difficult. There’s a very fine line I’m walking with your drugs. You’ve been in and out for the past week, but the last time I gave you a general anesthetic, so you’re not likely to remember it.”
Bane’s foot twitched. She looked down at it. “Good. The paralytic is wearing off. I had to tweak it because you’re so damn big and you’ve got some facial issues, but there will be no lasting effects. I had to intubate you earlier, but I removed the tube a while ago. Your throat may be sore. I have ice chips and lozenges.”
She leaned over him and began to knead his forearms to stimulate the circulation. He watched her closely, ready to crush her larynx as soon as he could move. He didn’t know where he was or who she was, or how long he’d been here or even how he got here. The last thing he remembered was being on the road with a group of stragglers.
His fingers started twitching. Apparently, the woman had been anticipating some sort of reaction because the second she saw his hands curl, there was a knife to his throat, cutting into the skin, and she had a firm hold on his balls. He could feel that.
“I just want to be clear about this. I don’t want to hurt you, but know that I can. I’m a doctor. They brought you to me and I fixed you up. Please, please calm down or I will cut your dick off and feed it to you via an IV drip.” She gripped him as hard as she could and he actually groaned. She grinned. “But it feels like it would be a complete waste to do so. My name’s Max.”
2 Max admonished him not to get up immediately. She adjusted the bed so that he could sit up and she continued to massage his arms. She also gave him ice chips to suck on to soothe his throat. Bane kept his eyes on Max as she moved around the bed; he was going to make sure she didn’t have another chance to pull her knife on him. His balls still pulsated, but he couldn’t feel the pain. The gas that flowed into his nose and mouth was very effective, far better than what he got from Ra’s.
“How did I get here?”
“Someone brought you here. They didn’t know who you were, but they know me. They said that you were injured and passed out in the street. Your face was bleeding, but it wasn’t from your wounds. It was from your nose and throat.”
“How long have I been here?”
“A week or so. You’ve put quite a dent in my social life. I haven’t left my lab since you’ve been here. I’ve been doing my best to take care of you.”
“Where are we?”
“Macau, across the water from Hong Kong.”
Bane frowned. He didn’t remember how he got here, or if Macau had even been his destination after being booted out of the League.
Max said, “Look, honey, I can only tell you so much. Some of the residents found you in the street, injured and unconscious. They brought you to me, and I couldn’t let you bleed to death in my living room. Besides, once I saw your face, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for you and I wanted to try and make it right.”
“Don’t pity me.”
“Oh, that stopped the second you punched me in the face.” Max lifted the sheet and began kneading his left leg. Bane watched her for a moment, becoming more curious than anything else. She was an attractive woman and he could appreciate that. He could have easily kicked her in the face, but if she were to be believed, she saved his life. Considering that he was indeed flat on his back, he decided to relax. Just a little.
Max pushed her fingers into his calf muscle. “Can you feel that?”
“Does it hurt?”
“Then the anesthetic is working. Good. Because I’m drawing blood with my fingernails.”
She went over to the cart and got some antiseptic, swabs and bandages. “When I examined your wounds, I could see that someone made an effort to patch you up, after some other asshole butchered you. According to my scans, it looks like some nerve endings were exposed and you have been in pain since that time.”
Max returned to the bed and began cleaning his leg. “It explains why you were wearing that retarded-looking device when you got here, but it wasn’t a very effective instrument. The gas you were given, which on a molecular level looks like a jacked-up form of halothane, turned out to be something that you were allergic to; probably because of the bromine. Maybe it’s why your memory is screwy, and it certainly explains the blood. How long have you been inhaling that shit?”
“I can’t remember.”
“But you feel fine now, right?”
“I don’t hurt, if that’s what you’re asking.”
“And you’re not bleeding. Stopping that took some time. I had to give you a transfusion.” She threw the used items into the trash and turned to face him. Bane’s hands were folded under his neck. She was pleased that he hadn’t tried to remove the apparatus from his face. Max gazed at him warily. “What’s your name?”
“Do you recall where you were last?”
“That’s 1800 miles from here. Jeez, guy! How did you end up in my lap?”
“It’s a question I want the answer to as well, for I didn’t leave Nepal alone.”
“Well, you’re in no condition to go anywhere, at least not for a couple more weeks. I want to run some more tests, and I’m also working on a better delivery system for the drugs you’re going to need to function. Will you let me help you, Bane?”
He stared at her. He had not taken his eyes off Max, not once. She was right; he wasn’t in the best condition, but he had survived far worse. But this wasn’t the Pit and she didn’t pose a threat. Knife aside, he could break her into two pieces—two very attractive pieces—whenever he wanted to. But Bane was a strategist, a tactician, and if this lovely woman wanted to help him, then he would allow her to. It would give him a chance to get his head right and plan his next move.
“Why do you want to help me? I’m a stranger to you.”
She sighed. “I know that kind of pain, and if I can spare you, then I will.”
3 He could move about with no trouble, as long as he carried a bag that connected the anesthesia to the breathing apparatus. Max had it strapped up like a backpack so that his hands were free. Bane learned that her laboratory was underneath her house, and she had a spare bedroom for him to sleep in.
“I have an assistant. His name is Erik, and you’ll see him around sometimes. He knows you’re here, and he won’t talk about it. What happens under this roof stays here.” She looked around quickly before turning her eyes back to Bane and pointed to a closet. “I hope the clothes fit, because I had to guess at your size. You’re big.”
“I hope that won’t be a problem for you,” Bane said.
Max chuckled and put a hand on her hip. “Baby, I know my way around a big man. But if you want something, just tell me and I’ll send Erik to get it.”
“Am I a prisoner?”
“No. You can leave whenever you want. I want to help you, but I’m not forcing you to anything against your will. You’re not a lab rat or an experiment. I’m just a really sexy, fantastic lady and I’m feeling altruistic. You have your own bathroom, and almost free run of the place.”
“Well, I’d rather not have you stumbling around my bedroom, you understand? It’s off limits, so do stay out. And also, please don’t go into my lab unless I invite you.”
Bane went to the closet and opened the door. There were plenty of clothes, especially military fatigues.
“So you make a habit of bringing random men into your house?”
“You’re the first. I’m a recluse and I don’t have visitors. So yeah, feel special. As far as the gear, well I just picked out a bunch of different items. Match them up as you see fit. Erik’s making dinner. Are you hungry? You oughta be. You should be able to handle solid food now.”
He cocked his head to one side. He was ravenous. “I’m starving.”
“Good. You’ve been on a liquid diet since you’ve been here and you’ve lost a little weight. Not so you’d notice, but I have been taking measurements. I asked Erik to make a lot of food. You wouldn’t look right skinny.”
Max headed towards the door, her hands in the back pockets of jeans that clung. “Do you want to take a shower now or later?”
“Why are you asking?” Bane turned to look at her.
Max chuckled again. “Don’t get excited; it’s not like I’ll be joining you. I have to give you an injection when you’re not wearing the apparatus to keep your pain at bay. I need to give you the injection five minutes prior to removal of the device. So depending on whether you want to take your bath before you eat or after determines when you get the shot. You’ll need it for when you eat, but dinner won’t be ready for at least another 30 minutes or so.”
Bane stared at Max as she twirled a thick coil of hair around one slender finger. She was almost six feet tall with thick curves and large light brown eyes. Her hair was an explosion of kinky coils, as brown as her skin with gold and red highlights. A lesson he learned a long time ago was to be wary of beautiful women, especially if they seemed too good to be true. Max—who was, quite simply, stunning—seemed like she was just that because her rationale for helping him was sketchy at best.
Bane was in front of her in the space of seconds. Max stared at him. She hadn’t moved, but he could see her pulse flutter in her throat and her breathing quicken. He might not have scared her, but he for damn sure made her nervous. He liked that.
“What do you want with me? What are you going to do?”
“Please step back, Bane,” she said, putting her hands flat against his chest. The man was as hard as a concrete wall and he didn’t even so much as flinch when she touched him. “You’re in my space and I’m going to need you to step back. Please.”
He put his hands around her throat. “I can snap your neck like a chicken. Are you aware of this?”
Max swallowed. Bane’s hands formed a perfect collar, but he was going to have to get up early in the morning if he wanted to scare her. “I am. But you are not going to bully me in my house when all I want to do is help you. Step.the.fuck.back.”
He applied pressure, pushing his thumbs into her skin. Max swallowed again, calmly meeting his gaze. “Don’t you think we need to get to know each other first before you start with the kinky shit?” She swallowed once more. “I mean, if this is how you get down, then that weapon you’re packing is basically useless, right? Pity.”
Bane cocked his head to one side, registering Max’s comment. And then, quicker than quick, she ripped off the breathing apparatus and the agony hit him like a fist. He let go of her throat and stumbled back. Max shoved him and he hit the opposite wall. The pain was overwhelming and he sank to the floor. It was like there were a billion fire-tipped needles gouging into his face and head. He put his hands over his nose and mouth. Just like that, she got the better of him and it happened so fast, he had to question his judgment. He was a lot smarter than this.
Max knelt before him, the device in her hand. “Rule of thumb, darling…don’t leave yourself vulnerable like that. This,” she waved the gadget, “is your weakness. And until I can find something more secure, it is all you have keeping you from going insane with the pain. Please, don’t do that again.”
She clamped the apparatus back over his nose and mouth. Max shook her head and grabbed one of Bane’s hands. She cupped it against the device. “Hold this steady, all right?” Then she leaned forward to re-attach the hose to the canister in the backpack. She could hear the growl low in his throat, but he had brought it on himself, the dumbass. Max worked as quickly as she could, as the position she was in was a bit awkward; Bane’s face was practically buried in her cleavage, and the dear boy didn’t deserve such a reward after the way he behaved.
He inhaled deeply, and after a moment or two, the pain subsided. This gas was far more effective than whatever it was he was breathing before. Bane looked up at Max. She stared down at him calmly. “You know, if I wanted to harm you or anything like that, I could have done it when you were under. I could have let you bleed out on my living room floor. In fact, I could have told those men to throw your big ass out of my house, but I did none of those things. I don’t know who you are, nor do I care. You don’t have any money, you can’t offer me anything, and you won’t ever be able to repay me for what I’ve spent taking care of you thus far. I wanted to help you, but maybe you’re just too big, too ugly and too stupid to understand something as simple as that. So please, get the fuck out of my house.”