A/N: This is just a short drabblish one-shot that I wrote the night after I first saw The Dark Knight and then forgot about. I just found it, so I decided I might as well post it. There's not really any POV to this, it's more an overview and a look in from the outside. Enjoy, and please leave me a review if you have any questions/comments/concerns!

Disclaimer: As much as I love Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, the fact is that I don't even own The Dark Knight yet. It's a travesty, I know, but it's true.

Dark Heroes

There are things people try to be.

Shapes they try to mold themselves into, identities they try to craft out of their own skin, their own words. They try to build walls, try to twist themselves into what they see in their minds, try to form that picture-perfect image of themself, that one that lives in a dream-world.

Everyone wants to be a hero.

But he doesn't do it for that. So he says on the inside, on the outside, and maybe he's truthful. Or maybe he's not. In that quest to be a hero, to be that figure that everyone could trust and love and know was going to save the day, maybe in his quest for that he found the truth.

Sometimes the world doesn't need a hero.

It needs a scapegoat, someone to take the fall, to take the bruises and contusions, to bleed. The world, or perhaps just a city, a city that thinks of itself as the center of the universe, needs someone to stand in the shadows and watch. Someone to take the blows when they come hurtling towards the center of all life, someone to guard and protect, and receive no gratitude. Someone to be hated, to be cursed, someone to die every day and rise again.

Everyone wants to be the hero.

They want their picture-perfect, white-knight, golden fairy-tale scenarios to breathe and take new, real life. They want the world at their fingertips; want to be hailed as the savior.

The world doesn't need a savior to stand in the light. It needs one to stand in the darkness, consumed by darkness. A beacon of good covered in muck and grime and as much hatred as the world can throw at it.

The light shines.

But it is the dark that must rise.