Perchance To Dream

by

Tracey Claybon

Disclaimer: Bruce Wayne/Batman, Sasha and the rest of the Batfamily are all property of Time-Warner and DC Comics. No copyright infringement is intended. I will put them neatly away when I'm done.

Author's note:

This is a departure from my "usual" Bat stories in that it's not a Trinity story but takes place (pretty much) in canon. Any suppositions made here are *mine* and mine alone. I'm making the disclaimer because a lot of people took my story Leaf Fall for canon - I *wish* it were - but until the writers of Batgirl say otherwise, it's not - and neither is this one.

Now, having gotten *that* out of the way, here are the Bat issues I played off for the story:

Detective Comics issues 762 and 775; and Elseworlds story Batman - Book of the Dead, issue 2 of 2 (for some characterization and ideas)

In continuity, it would take place between Det. 762 and 775.

-- I meant to get this out for Valentine's Day, but . . . oh well . . . --

On with the story:

--

Batman came in early from his nightly patrols for once. It was a quiet night in Gotham; Valentine's Day was another one of the holidays when even crime in Gotham was lighter than usual, and even Gotham's most infamous criminals surrendered to Cupid's arrows - each in his or her own fashion.

It had been so quiet tonight that Batman decided to finish patrols early, and since Bruce Wayne had a international trip to make in the next day, he would actually turn in early for the night.

Usually when Bruce went to sleep like this, his dreams began with the happy memories of the best times with his parents and ended as the usual nightmare as he watched them die.

Tonight's dance with the Sandman would be different.

Bruce found himself at a picnic on a brightly sunny day in Robinson Park.

This was a family picnic with a biological family of his own - himself, a woman he couldn't see clearly along with some small children with the dark hair of their father and the laughing eyes of their mother. He couldn't see the woman's face or features clearly because she was directly in the path of the sun and the blinding light of the sun obscured her features.

All of the members of the Batfamily - Alfred and Leslie, Dick and Barbara, Cassandra, Tim and Jean-Paul - along with other allies and friends, and many other happily playing children were there for this picnic - but no shadow of the Bat darkened the proceedings.

Looking around, Bruce noted that his Gotham City was bright and sparkling, also, in the way that he usually encountered in Clark's home of Smallville, or in Metropolis, or Gateway City - there was no gloom and doom to be found here either.

Bruce - and the members of the Bat-team - were laughing and happy in a way that was not marred by the mission that had consumed Bruce's life for so long. His family was truly happy and content.

But the family gathered under the mantle of the Bat was not the only family he had in this dream. Bruce noted that he wore a wedding band on his left hand. He had expected that Selina Kyle would be the mate he had chosen to spend his life with, but although she was in the dream, she wasn't his mate.

Selina, smiling and radiantly pregnant, was in the arms of a man he didn't recognize, wearing a wedding ring also. She looked happily content in a way she never had with him in or out of costume. Selina looked completed in a way he'd never seen before.

He took a closer look at the children that were his in the dream. They were obviously not his children with Talia, or Shondra Kinsolving - or with any of the other women he had fallen for or been attracted to over the years. And then *his mate* turned to look at him.

She was blond, with hair worn longer than she currently wore it. She had the same radiant glowing look that Bruce had just seen Selina with moments before - but this look of adoration was for him alone.

It was Sasha.

She walked into his arms, smiling, then hugged him close.

And then everything changed suddenly.

Now, it was just the two of them, lying in bed together under a skylight. Ocean waves could be heard outside, and the full moon held in a canopy of stars could be seen in the skylight - the light of the moon was the only thing lighting the room. Here and now there was nothing between them but their mingled breaths.

Bruce found himself reverently making love to his wife, pouring all the love and caring his no-longer lonely heart had held into the tenderness of the caresses he gave Sasha. The hands that could deal so much damage, break bones and that had seen so much violence were gentle with this woman he cared so much for - and that love, passion and caring were returned to him a hundred times over with each touch and caress she gave back to him. The love and joy in their hearts grew as they worshipped each other again and again that long and beautiful night.

Everything changed again.

Now Bruce was the Batman again, fighting the criminals hiding in the shadowed corners of his city. Now. though, the Batman didn't fight alone in the way he had for so long. *She* fought the good fight with him, and together with his partners - his *family* - and the GCPD, they all made Gotham a safer place to live.

Sasha made his *worlds* - Bruce's _and_ the Batman's - shine brighter and brighter because she was a part of everything.

Bruce saw that the light got brighter and brighter and then . . .

A beam of sunlight shone full in Bruce's face and he woke suddenly - refreshed - from a very rare full night's sleep.

It had all been a dream - but it had been so real.

Maybe, one day, it *would* be real.

FIN