by PaBurke

Distribution: The Nook

Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended, no money made, no characters created.

Spoilers: Batman Beyond

Summary: It's all in how you define the terms.

Word Count: 300

There was something in Bruce Wayne's walk. Clues, hints at something. It was something that Terry had always known was there, but couldn't put a finger on. He watched for it, whatever 'it' was. Terry would try not to get caught staring at the former Batman moving with a cane, but was pretty sure that Bruce more ignored any lingering eyes rather than Terry being stealthy. Some days Terry couldn't believe that he was Batman, and that the old, crumpled, bossy fixture at the computers used to be the famous Batman. Some days it was very hard to imagine; other days when the Great Detective came up with the right answer, not so much.

Bruce and the cane were a conundrum. Terry wondered how long Bruce had resisted using the cane that his body needed. Years? Terry snorted, it could conceivably have been decades that Bruce had stumbled around without it. Terry wondered what Bruce regretted the most in his life: the people alienated? The lovers pushed away? The lovers that ran away? The years of being Batman and not living as the rich Bruce Wayne? The years alone in that huge mansion?

The years that he could no longer be Batman? When Bruce's body had forced retirement?

Bruce regretted something. It was less revealed in the stone-faced frown then in his stilted walk. Terry didn't know how to describe it, so he kept watching, hoping for a clue. But the Great Detective didn't leave clues.

Then one day Max –Valedictorian that she was- used the word dolorous and explained what it meant. Dolorous: marked by grief or sorrow. Dolorous: causing grief or sorrow. Dolorous: expressing grief or sorrow. It was the perfect word to describe Batman's, AKA Bruce Wayne, walk.

But did it make understanding the man any easier?