A/N: 30 themes, 30 randomly short stories/drabbles/whatnot with varying lengths, varying stlyes, etc. I doubt they'll be posted in number order, but we shall see. They aren't sequential, so it's not like it's a continuing story.
A lot of this is just me experimeting with different styles, POVs, tenses, etc. Not all of it may work, but yeah, that's the way it goes.
1.) Bad weather
There are reports of a storm, tail end of a passing hurricane, that is due to hit Gotham in the next few days.
Bruce hears the about it while watching the news late one night, and he falls asleep on the couch as the weatherman drones on and on about cold fronts, the volume of the television turned down low.
He dreams of rain.
Bruce finds himself staring out the windows of Wayne Tower during the day. The storm has not come yet, and the sky is still light, a quiet sort of white-gray.
"Mr. Wayne?" one of the board members asks pointedly, at one of their many meetings, his fingers folded neatly on the polished wood of the table. He's old, old enough to have remembered Bruce's father and old enough to find Bruce lacking.
Bruce smiles his most vacant, charming smile and knows that whatever good will he may have garnered for putting Fox in charge is being squandered. "Sorry," he says.
He doesn't give a reason for his distraction. He's sure they'll be able to come up with one on their own.
Gliding becomes dangerous. All high winds and dark clouds. From one of Bruce's perches on the tips of his city's skyline, he can see the storm approaching in the distance.
A shiver of anticipation runs down his spine.
"Will you be going out tonight?" Alfred asks the first day it rains, concern clear in his voice. He still remains the master of the roundabout question, layers of meaning piling up. Are you going out into dangerous weather to get yourself nearly killed?
Bruce frowns and inspects one of the freshly shipped batarangs, testing for sharpness and balance. "Yes," he says and turns away, so that he will not see the sadness and resignation just behind Alfred's eyes.
The thug goes down with one elbow to the face as a crack of thunder sears across the night sky.
He finds himself waiting, standing over the fallen bodies, though he knows he shouldn't be idling. In a flash of lightening, he sees the crumpled bodies around him and thinks of his parents, laid out on the dirty ground like this.
It makes him grit his teeth until his jaw throbs in pain.
The rain never seeps under his armor, but he's still always wet with sweat when he comes back to the cave.
Tonight, he sits for a moment on one of the cave's natural rock formations, cowl off, and watches as the water pours over the edge of the waterfall, as the suit sticks to his back, before going over the work bench to look over the maps of Gotham's sewer systems one more time.
The sound of water is so loud he no longer hears the thunder outside.
He does not think of the storm when when he goes to work, except for when the wind blows the rain so hard the drops splatter loudly against the windows. The noise wakes him, once, when he is nearly about to fall asleep on his desk. He looks out the window and only sees a mass of swirling gray water.
When he does fall asleep, napping after reading half of the latest financial reports, he dreams of drowning.
It's harder for him to patrol in the storm, since criminals don't seem to like getting wet any more than regular citizens do, but he still makes the rounds.
He catches a car jacker on 35th, who looks terrified as the rain pours down his face like tears and swears up and down that he'll never do it again. Batman lets him go with just a warning and a promise.
Later, he will wonder if he did the right thing.
The storm passes more quickly than it comes. The next morning, Bruce wakes to sunshine and the fresh, clean smell of wind. He gets out of bed carefully, so that the bruises on his ribs only make him slightly wince in pain. His mouth still slightly tastes of blood (busted lip yesterday, a punk got in a lucky punch) and sleep.
He pulls a robe on and walks over to the window, carpet soft under his feet. It's a beautiful day, but as Bruce looks up into the bright, cloudless sky, he wishes it were raining.