Tuesday, January 17, 2006

226. Gustavus

I was not prepared for this part.

The waiting, that is.

In all our endless discussions about Bruce returning to face his true calling, it never once occured to me that I would be stuck here in his goddammed house all night long while he goes out with the specific purpose of nearly getting himself killed.

I can't sleep, I can't work, I can't do a fucking thing.

All my life I have been the man in charge. I feel comfortable in that role. It suits me. But now, for the first time, I am not in control of a goddammed thing.

He says it won't be long tonight, that this is merely a test run, and he'll be home soon. But it's been four hours, and I keep thinking: What if it's too soon? What if he's not ready? We've both had dreams--nightmares, really--that the big day comes and something happens to him. Hugo Strange returns, or something triggers a flashback, or just some maniac with a gun shows up and blows him away. Unlikely, I know--and in Strange's case, impossible--but the fear is still there.

And it won't always be four hours. Alfred has already tried to warn me about that. Sometimes it will be twelve hours. Four days. Sometimes he's been captured and held for four weeks. I don't know how the fuck I'm supposed to handle this.

All I have for now is the memory of him putting on that suit last night, one piece at a time. The way it clung so tightly to his body--a body which has never looked better, at least in my experience. I watched him slip into the bodysuit, pull the boots up around his calves, snap the belt around his waist, fasten the clasps of the cape. Then came the cowl, and the gloves, and suddenly it was not Bruce Wayne but Batman standing before me. I'd seen him suit up in the last days of training, but this was different. This was the real thing.

I wanted to kiss him, but I held back. It felt wrong--it felt like affection, even in fhe privacy of the cave, would soften him in a way he cannot afford. As long as he's in that suit, he's not a man, he's the Batman. He's invulnerable. Or so it must seem.

And what about me? What kind of man am I, waiting up for his goddammed hubby to return from a day at the office?

Fuck. I hate this already, and it's only just beginning.