A Clean Break

By Mary Potts aka Queen of the Capes <queenofthecapes@gmail.com>

Rated: G

Submitted: March, 2005

Summary: Classic heroines never really disappear, as proven in this fun vignette.

***

It was evening. A suave, handsome, dark-haired man sat in the leather armchair by the fireplace, his nose buried in a book. He glanced up when the great wooden doors opened and his butler stepped into the large room.

"Miss Vale is here to see you, sir. She says it is of utmost importance."

"All right, Alfred. Send her in."

The faithful butler stepped aside, allowing a lovely young women to enter. She crossed the room to Bruce, who had risen from his seat.

"Hello Vikki."

"Hi, Bruce. Um, listen—-we need to talk."

"Oh. Okay, have a seat."

The butler wheeled a second chair over and seated Vikki across from Bruce, who resumed his place from earlier.

"What is it you want to talk about?" Bruce asked, the concern barely kept from his voice. Actually, he already had a pretty good guess.

"Okay, you know how things have been getting hectic lately, since Rupert Thorne decided to get back at me for writing that exposť on him by putting a price on my head? I mean really, between the Joker and the Penguin and just about every Tom, Dick and Harry who's strapped for cash, there hasn't been a minute's peace! I was still washing the fish smell out of my clothes when Two-Face and his cronies showed up. What kind of weirdo goes to all the trouble to lug his victims all the way to the Gotham Aviary/Aquarium anyway? Couldn't he have just killed me right where I was? Not that I actually *want* for him to have killed me, but—-"

Bruce made a circular motion with his hand, indicating for her to get back to the point.

"Right. Sorry. Anyway, even though Batman promised to protect me—-and he's been doing a fine job, I might add." She gave Bruce a wink. "Even so, the government thinks I would be safer if I were to—-disappear."

"So you're going into the witness protection program?"

Vikki sighed. "I'm afraid so. It might not be so bad, as long as I can still get a job working for a newspaper in my new identity."

Bruce just shook his head. Even though this was what caused her predicament, Vikki was still a reporter to the end. "Where will you go? Do you know?"

Vikki took a deep breath. "Yes, I know. But I can't tell you."

"Vikki—-"

"It's government secrets, Bruce!"

"Since when has that ever been an issue?"

Vikki squirmed.

"Vikki?"

"Look, Bruce, they said that it would be better if I made a clean break with my old life—-severed all my old ties."

"Including old boyfriends." Bruce folded his arms.

"Well, yeah. And Bruce, before you say anything, there's something else we need to discuss. We've had a lot of fun together. You're a really great guy, and any woman would be lucky to have you…"

"But…?"

"I just can't shake the feeling that something's a little—-off. Something's missing from our relationship. There's an element—- a—-a connection. I feel like this just isn't meant to be."

"You're dumping me."

"I wouldn't say dumping per se…"

"You're dumping me."

"Okay, yes. I just think this is for the best, Bruce. A clean break, a fresh start." She grinned. "Best of all, no insane lunatics with weird gizmos."

Bruce allowed a small smile to escape. "Oh, come on, Vikki. If your life wasn't threatened once in a while by a maniac with a hypno-ray, you'd be bored to tears!"

She laughed.

Alfred approached them. "Pardon me sir, madam. Forgive my interrupting, but a car has arrived for Miss Vale."

Vikki stood. "That's my ride."

Bruce rose and followed her to the door. "Stay out of trouble, okay?"

She smiled. "You know me, Bruce."

"I know. *Please* stay out of trouble, okay?"

Vikki rolled her eyes. She turned to Bruce and placed a hand on his cheek. "I'll never forget you, Bruce." They shared a brief kiss, for old time's sake, and then she was walking out the door. "Goodbye Bruce, Alfred. Give my love to Dick."

"Will do. Bye, Vikki, take care."

Alfred showed Vikki out, and soon she was in the backseat of a nondescript car, listening to a federal agent go over the details of her new life. By this time next week, she would be living in the city of Metropolis as someone else. Someone named Lois Lane. She just hoped life wouldn't be boring.

THE END