Thursday, May 12, 2005

164. The omniscient narrator

"We have to talk."

The words weren't coming out right, Bruce thought to himself. They were the right words, but he was saying them all wrong: he noticed that he had automatically adopted the intimidating stance and tone of his earlier life as a crimefighter. It was comforting, in a way, to realize that he was still capable of conjuring up that persona, but it wasn't the one he wanted to assume right now.

He tried a new tactic. He stood in silence by the side of the bed and stared straight into Dick's eyes.

Grayson was as intimidated as anyone would be who found himself in the line of fire. "Bruce, I ... I don't know what I did, I don't remember, but I'm sorry. Oh god, I am so sorry, I ..."

Bruce sat beside him on the bed. This was not going the way he'd planned. He knew how to dodge every kind of blow imaginable, and how to deliver two dozen more than that, but nothing in his years of training had prepared him for a moment like this. He laid his right hand on Richard's leg and left it there for a long, horrible moment. There was no turning back now.

Dick looked slightly confused--awake, but barely--as Bruce leaned forward to kiss him on the lips.