Disclaimer : I don't own these characters, I am not making any money out of this and copyright infringement is not intended.
To Last A Lifetime
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean…
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens…
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance…
and when you get the choice to sit it out or dance…
I hope you dance.
from I Hope You Dance by Ronan Keating
Flowers…he had never seen so much flowers in his life…
Except of course, during funerals.
But this was not a funeral…or was it? A wry smile formed on his otherwise stoic expression, suddenly breaking through the detached facade he formed around himself for this particular occasion. The faint echo of a feminine chuckle, a strangely familiar, very memorable sound, made him turn sideways and he was forced to put on a smile, the famous, trademark Bruce Wayne smile, as photographers caught his sudden movement reminding him again that everything he did was under the watchful eye of the public. The temporary moment of distraction made him unconsciously search for particular faces among the large crowd.
There were a lot of people, some whose name he might have forgotten along the way. But two very familiar countenances brought a sense of relief, but then again J'onn's impassive human disguise and Superman's face hidden by a pair of ridiculously wide rimmed glasses as he assumed the reporter persona also brought about a certain nervousness, reminding him that all of this was indeed reality.
He was in a place, in a moment that he never, ever thought would happen. And, for the first time in a very long time, his hands were clammy, he was very unsure, and…apprehensive. In short, he was afraid.
For this very moment held the key to the rest of his future.
He was in a church and he was about to be married.
And the absence of the other faces he considered as…friends gave a lingering feeling of disappointment. He needed all the moral support he could get.
Wally…well he had not seen him in a while. Honestly…he missed the jokes, even the lame ones. A pat on the shoulder and a "Man, you're doing the right thing" would certainly help right now.
John and Shayera excused themselves…it was a polite way of saying they did not approve.
A deep breath was needed to prepare himself for the sudden feeling that he could not quite name…when the last face seemed to loom before him, larger than life, as he thought. He closed his eyes to compose himself. But it only served to fuel the act of remembering as the smell of the most fragrant blooms reminded him of her.
As his own baritone voiced huskily whispered her name in his thoughts, he lost himself.
A soft melody from a piano somewhere interrupted his reverie, as well as the whispers, the hushed voices that told gossip after another. It signaled the start of the occasion, as if to subtly remind Gotham's elite that this was indeed a church, a place of worship, not a place to trade the latest sordid stories. For the briefest of moments, there was reluctant silence, a strange silence, in quiet anticipation of what was to happen. All eyes were fixed, none dared to blink, staring in one particular direction.
Soon, the aged hinges of the antique, ornate doors emitted a barely audible squeak as it opened and gave way to the welcome sight of a slender feminine figure covered in delicate white. A unanimous sigh, followed by the incessant sound of lights flashing as cameras from every angle immortalized the moment the bride walked towards her groom, broke the serenity.
From where he stood, waiting, he tried but could not see her face through the thin veil as lights reflected one after the other, causing a sting, blurring his vision. He closed his eyes temporarily to block out the after images. And when he opened them again, before him, a beautiful vision of a goddess stood.
Her face…it was just like the way he envisioned it.
And all thoughts of uncertainty flew out the window.
For a moment, he was too mesmerized, spellbound by her loveliness to move, even to blink. There was too much to look and to marvel at. Her long, black hair was swept away from her face, revealing more of her ethereal beauty to his vision through the veil, suddenly reminding him that he was a mere mortal in the regal presence of an immortal goddess. For another moment, he almost bowed in admiration and awe. She seemed to notice as beneath the gossamer fabric that covered her countenance, he could see that a smile formed on her lips that also shone in her blue eyes. A smile soon escaped his own lips, amused with his own boyish reaction to the beauty that was beside him, that was going to his, forever. With this thought, he gallantly offered his elbow, and her gloved hand accepted. And with the small gesture their union began.
The minister's voice was all but lost on him as his thoughts were only of her and their life together.
They have been through a lot, saving the world, finding each other. Then…he even went as far as pushing her away, hurting her, denying the love that almost tore him apart when she said goodbye.
"Did you…ever have any feelings for me?" her voice had asked him once.
"It doesn't matter anymore.""It matters to me…because I love you. I love you Bru-"
"I don't love you."
He could never forget the hurt in her eyes when he said those words, those words that hurt him too.
But that was all in the past now, a past that he must learn to forget. Fate had been kind to give him a second chance at love, with her. All that mattered was that she was here, now, with him, beside him, making a sacred vow with him…her hand holding on to his. It was all like a dream, but it had finally come true. There was the feeling of peace, of bliss and of true love.
It was good…
…while it lasted.Bruce..?
From somewhere…a voice seemed to call his name.
"Bruce..?" It was a feminine voice. It was Diana's voice. But…no, it was not.
He blinked a few times. Her hair…it was totally different…and her eyes…they were no longer blue. A feeling of dread washed all over him in one cruel sweep as he forced himself to face the minister.
"Do you, Bruce Wayne, take Selina Kyle to be your…"Somewhere…far away…
The waves have finally quieted, as it now gently caressed the immaculate sand. The wind was humming a gentle song, as if singing to the sun that was now starting to peacefully set in the horizon, preparing to rest and give way to the moon and the night.
The night, a lonely figure sighed, as she sat by a boulder a few feet away from the ocean. The wind combed through her long black hair, as the fabric of her white toga strained against her body with every gentle nudge. The ocean was turning a deep blue now as her blue eyes looked far away, lost in quiet thought, it's going to be night soon…
Does he still belong to the night? she wondered. Deep in her heart, she prayed that he no longer did, for his future, the future he had planned for himself and the future Mrs. Wayne.
Despite everything that had happened, despite the stinging, hurtful words that he said to her that day…
"You are immortal. You will not age…grow old, nor fade away, like I would. You don't belong in this world…whatever you want to see it. It all adds up to one thing…we don't belong."
…despite the great distance that now separated them when she made the decision to leave him and go home, to where he said she belonged, he was still in her heart and will probably remain there for a long time, if not forever.
Bruce…it was J'onn's voice in his thoughts. He suddenly noticed that it was suddenly eerily quiet…that they were all eagerly awaiting his response. And…he did not care.
J'onn…let them wait…
Leave me the few last moments to think of her.
The Martian felt his sadness and left him alone with his thoughts…but then decided to intrude, if not for the last time.
Bruce closed his mind and his eyes and remembered only her, everything that was about her that he remembered…her face, her radiant smile, her honesty, her love. All that encompassed her being, and all that he soon must forget.
Suddenly, it was dark. There was nothing to see…except for… a vision of a wide, blue ocean outlined by the soft light of the moon and the stars…and somewhere, there was a lone, feminine figure sitting on a rock.
She abruptly turned, searched around her as his deep voice seemed to have softly summoned her name. It was as if he was just beside her…
A smile appeared on her lips as she admonished herself for thinking of him again, for imagining his voice calling out to her once more. She softly chuckled, making a circular pattern with her foot on the sand, as she remembered during the first few days since she came back on this island, she had been smiling, even laughing with herself, every time an incident happened that reminded her of the happier days she had with her friends. She would have to learn to suppress the laughter before the sisters start thinking strange things.
It felt as if he was just beside her, sitting on the same rock. How he wanted to tuck her hair behind her ear as it gently danced to the wind so that he could see more of her face. And as if she read his mind, she did just that. And he could see she was smiling…it was a distant smile, but a smile nonetheless. And his heart nearly stopped.
He felt like he would give everything…just to know what made her smile.
The faint smile never left her face as she hugged her arms to herself as if cold. Then she closed her eyes, savoring the images of his face, of their time together.
Memories…they were all she had left, and no one could ever take those precious, cherished memories away.
Slowly, the image of her was fading and his hand shot out to grab onto her. But…she was just a vision, and reality was taking her away from him. But before her beautiful face disappeared…
"Even if you never loved me…" she whispered softly, vowed to no one but herself, and the moon and stars as witnesses. "I love you, Batman, Bruce Wayne. I always have…always will."
A tear fell and she let it. Then, she stood up and prepared to take flight and rest. But just before her feet lifted from the ground…she heard a very familiar voice say…