|Ghosts In the Closets
Author: The BatThing PM
In Gotham it seems anything is possible, but what about happiness? New Chapter: TwoFace and The Joker are sent to deal with Dick and Tim. Sorry for the wait, this chapter isn't very long either. I suck.Rated: Fiction T - English - Horror/Mystery - Chapters: 15 - Words: 42,147 - Reviews: 169 - Favs: 26 - Follows: 49 - Updated: 04-06-07 - Published: 01-31-05 - id: 2243908
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Are we listening, to hymns of offering? Have we eyes to see that love is gathering? All the words that I've been reading have now started the act of bleeding into one...into one... So I walk up on high and I step to the edge to see my world below. And I laugh at myself while the tears roll down. 'Cause it's the world I know, oh it's the world I know. I drink myself of newfound pity, sitting alone in New York City. And I don't know why...don't know why..."
-Collective Soul 'The World I Know'
Ghosts In the Closets:
By: The BatThing
Bruce Wayne smiled as he lifted his glass into the air, looking around at the hundreds of faces looking intently upon him. For some unknown reason he had been asked to give a speech at the annual charity ball, raising money for the police station. The speech went well enough – apparently the crowd liked it as the suggested he give a toast. "Without the police force here in Gotham City, I doubt we'd even have the Gotham we do today. Years of hard work, pain and loss, have not gone unnoticed. Without you, Gotham City Police Department, I doubt I'd be standing her to praise your works. This toast is for you – and your families."
Everyone followed his lead, drinking from the wine glass. One their hands were free they broke into applause, and Bruce made his way down the stage, shaking Commissioner's Gordon's hand with a strong grip.
"Well Mr. Wayne, I'd personally like to thank you for all that you have given tonight. You have followed in your parents footsteps, that much is sure." He smiled gently, "I know I wasn't here when they were alive – but I do know they did so much for this city. And I suppose their kindness was passed to you. Thank you."
"Thank you Commissioner," Bruce replied, not expecting such a statement. It was the anniversary of his parent's death, and apparently Gordon knew that. 'Barbara,' Bruce figured as he walked through the crowd, smiling at different people, accepting their praise.
The man soon made his way out the large doors, and slipped into the car, nodding at Alfred who opened the door open for him.
"Everything went well I trust," Alfred questioned as he started the car, pulling onto a busy road. He glanced in his rearview mirror. "Sir?"
Bruce blinked at the man and gave a short nod, "it went fine."
The butler said nothing in reply, but did nod back in a similar manner. The drive took on a new route, and the drive was silent as they came to That Place. Bruce didn't speak as he accepted two perfect red roses from Alfred. He closed the door firmly behind him and began the steady walk to revisit his nightmare.
There were moments, moments like this, when Bruce would find himself wondering if he was given a chance – would he change the ways things happened. Would he bring back those two people he loved so very much? Bringing back would mean giving up. The trade would be hard, bring back his parents would mean giving up his family now. Dick, Barbara, and Tim would only know him for his fame– and never as a friend or father.
He came to That Place and dropped to his knees. Bringing them back meant Gotham herself would change. Lives he had saved would be gone, things would indeed be different. Just that night he had been praising the Gotham Police Force, but what about the Batman? Would Gotham still be what she was if he traded?
The man placed the two roses down and dipped his head down. 'If I had the choice,' he thought to himself, 'if I were given that choice I'd have a very hard time doing what was right.'
Six hours earlier:
Tim carefully closed the door behind Alfred and Bruce, smiling as he did so. Bruce had to attend the charity ball and was kind enough to spare the 15-year-old the agony of being there alongside him.
Being home alone was not even a problem to be considered. While Alfred had attempted to bring up the matter Tim just sneered at it explaining that he was old enough to stay home a few hours – and it wasn't something that he hadn't done before.
'Alfred's a worry wart at times,' Tim admitted to himself as he climbed the staircase. 'Meh, I still got my way, so it's fine if he worries a little. Plus it wouldn't be smart to go with Bruce tonight.'
Tim, just like Dick and Barbara, knew tonight was the night of the man's parent's death. And Tim feared being with Bruce when he was in that sort of state. It wasn't something the boy wished ever to see – Bruce hurting badly.
The raven haired boy stopped as he came to Bruce's bedroom door. It was shut – like usual, but like usual, it was unlocked. Tim carefully entered in silence, flickering on the lights and waiting as the bedroom was bright enough. Then he walked to the shelf where a picture sat lonely, the faces of Thomas and Martha Wayne smiled up at him.
Bruce always kept pictures of his parents; there was the large one downstairs, and then a bunch of others around the house. Tim carefully lifted it up, being as gentle as possible and frowned. He sat on the edge of the bed – studying the picture, for some reason finding himself intrigued by it.
Tim batted his eyes and gave a firm yawn, confused at his sudden lack of energy. It was as if someone had taken it all away, just used it all. The boy fell back into the pillows, and slowly his fingers loosened their grip on the frame, causing it to drop comfortably on the bed beside him.
Tim blinked at the ceiling and felt his body shut itself down, and he struggled against it, struggled to stay awake – to at least get into his room before he fell asleep. But the war raged and steamed till it ended with the boy releasing the fight.
In the back of his mind he could hear Them. Hear Them and Him. Tim didn't understand as their hushed voices spoke to him, he tensed as a cold hand lay on his arm, and then He leaned down.
Alfred had turned at the voice and gasped.
The large portrait of Thomas and Martha was slashed, no longer distinguishable. But that wasn't the only trouble; photos flickered about the room from the breeze of the open door. Pictures of Bruce's childhood, each one of his parents ripped into pieces.
Bruce started up the stairs, taking them in leaps and bounds. He ran to Tim's room and slammed the door open, turning the light on, only to find the boy nowhere in sight. "Timothy!"
Alfred was behind him looking up and down.
At that moment it stuck Bruce that something else was out of place. His bedroom door was ajar. The man slowly walked to it, and pushed it open. The light to his room was already on, and inside he found Tim on his bed, sleeping, in his hands a picture of Thomas and Martha, ripped in two.
"No." The man walked over to the bed, and reached out, grabbing Tim by the arm and jerking him up. "YOU! How could you!"
Tim gasped and cowered on impulse, "sorry, I'm sorry!" His eyes opened and confusion was apparent. "Bruce?"
"What have you done!"
The 15-year-old's eyes were huge, searching the man's face, "what - Bruce?"
The man ripped the broken picture from the boy's hands and shook it, his eyes cold. "What have you done?!"
Tim's jaw dropped, "I – I don't know what happened! I swear, I must have broken it in my sleep, oh god, I'm sorry." The boy looked frightened, knowing perfectly well the importance of the picture. There was a prickle from the back of his mind and the boy shook his head, trying to think.
Bruce shook his head, "you don't know about downstairs either, I suppose!" His words weren't calm, they weren't controlled, and even Alfred wavered at them.
The boy on the bed was speechless as he gawked at the figure before him in fear.
Bruce took the boy by the arm and dragged him out of the room and down the stairs "You mean to tell me that you have no idea about," he came into the room and spread his hand, "any of this!"
"Oh shit." Tim whimpered as his knees buckled.
"Oh shit is right! What. Have. You. Done!" Bruce was roaring.
"I – I don't know how this happened, god Bruce, I was dreaming that this happened and," he saw the fury behind those eyes and collapsed to the ground, "it wasn't real though, you have to believe me – it was a dream. I w-wouldhaveneverdonethis!"
Doubt covered the man's face, "these pictures are all I had, Drake!"
Tim felt his throat tighten. "I swear to you! It was a dream and I – I didn't do this!"
The eyes resting on the boy froze, "get out of my sight."
"But – I swear, I didn't do this!" Tim took a picture into his hands and shook his head, "or I didn't mean too."
"GET OUT of this room, Drake!"
Alfred nodded severely for Tim to come, as if begging him.
Tim used all his might and rose up. He could feel his teeth chattering – he'd be kicked out of this house for sure, and he couldn't bear that. The boy reached out and gripped Bruce's arm, his eyes demanding. "You have to believe me; I didn't mean to do thi-."
Tim groaned as stars popped about in his vision. 'How did I get on the ground?' He shook his head, feeling a dull throb on the side of his face.
"Get him out of here, Alfred!" Something in Bruce's voice cracked, "just do it!"
Tim could feel himself being pulled up by the butler and looked around. He could put two and two together. Bruce had just hit him. The boy felt himself falling again, but Alfred kept the boy on his feet.
The older man led him upstairs into his room and sat him on the bed. "Master Timothy – what happened?"
Tim was blinking fast, "it wasn't me Alfred. I swear to you – I dreamt this, but I didn't think I had done it! Oh god, he's going to kill me. Hedoesn'tbelievemeAlfred,he'llkickmeout!
Alfred shook his head, "I'll get you some ice for your head. Right now the best thing is sleep." And then the butler got to his feet and walked out of the room.
Suddenly laughter broke into the air and Tim swirled around, facing his closet. He felt butterflies rise in his chest and carefully the boy got to his feet. He paced across the room and came before the door. Silence greeted him as he placed his fingers on the doorknob. The boy swung the door open, fist ready to fly, but inside there was nothing? Nothing.
Tim dropped to his knees and walked into the closet and searched around, heart beating like mad. Nothing.
Nothing at all.
The man glared at his oldest friend, "he did do this Alfred! His fingerprints are all over these pictures! Not to mention this carving knife I found underneath the remains!" The man slammed his fist into the table, "what an idiot I was for taking him in!"
Eyes flashing the man glared, "what? You think I shouldn't have yelled? Alfred – what he has done is not going to just go away!"
"With all respect, you have no right to say such things."
"My parents, Alfred – he destroyed them! All I had of them he ruined!"
"Master Bruce, he told you it wasn't him,"
Bruce was now grinding his teeth. "It was a dream – oh yes, I did hear that. So now we have a psycho amongst us who can do something like this! What's to stop him from taking a knife to us in the night!"
"And so you'd force him out for having such an ailment?"
"Apparently he's not stable, Alfred look what he's done!"
"I think what's best for now is to sleep. I'll tend to the mess for now." Alfred nodded firmly, "consider your words and actions and see if you agree with them in the morning."
Bruce shook his head, "I'm going out now Alfred, do as you please, but I still have work. Do watch for Drake."
Alfred calmly answered, "Master Tim is in his room, I trust he'll do me no harm."
"He might dream again."
"If you are worried then you should stay."
Bruce turned away and walked off into the dark of the cave, preparing to visit his city.
To be continued...