I'm not exactly sure whether the rating (T) is right or not, as there is violence/blood/death. So if anyone thinks it should go up, please tell me, and I will raise it.

Disclaimer: I do not own anything.


The squealing of the sirens broke through the silent night. The sirens that had been haunting him for what seemed like eternity. They followed him everywhere, chased him through the darkness, hounded him through his dreams, echoed in his waking hours. Darkness swirled around him, cold and silent. There hadn't been much activity tonight. Until the sirens came. Resentment surged through him in a tidal wave. And rage. There was rage as well. He basked in it for a moment. Letting the emotions wash over him almost to the point where he lost control. But the ceaseless wailings of the sirens broke through the darkness, louder and louder.

He stood up—how long had he been crouching there?—and prepared himself for another chase through the night. Another chase that drained him of his strength, and sapped him of his resolve. Another chase that made him forget just what exactly, he was fighting for. The sirens stopped. Damn

The voices squawked over the megaphone, loud and obnoxious. "We've got you surrounded, Batman! Come out with your hands up!" Over and over again. Every week. Or did it happen every night? He couldn't remember, not anymore. Sounds continued to drift up to him, up to the roof where he crouched, but he didn't register them.

Blearily, he staggered through the door and down the stairs before he realized what was happening. The monotonous chanting of a helicopter could be heard through the ceiling. Damn. He was cut off. Trapped.

A flicker of movement caught his eye. Someone was there, someone with a gun. He, or she, was hidden in the shadows of the room. Whereas he, was standing completely exposed under the naked light bulb that swung and sputtered above him. Heavy boots thudded in the staircases, outside the several doors dotting the room. He froze.

And the room exploded with police, faces set with determination, eyes betraying their delight that their prey was so close. Trapped. He didn't move when they came in, didn't even flinch. Their was still a wildcard in play. What was the person still obscured by the curtains of shadow going to do? He looked up. Gordon was speaking.

"Put your hands above your head." He was speaking calmly, steadily, nothing like his cops backing him up. Their guns were pointed at him, and their eyes were begging him to make one wrong move. It was odd how, with so many staring at him, that none noticed his quick glance at the man who still hadn't revealed his presence. Out of the corner of his eyes, he saw him lock his eyes on the closest escape route, saw the cold glint of his gun, saw the desperation in his eyes as he glared at the cop in front of the door. How could no one notice?

Gordon was still speaking, but his voice had turned into a wordless drone in his ears. He knew the cop's name who was standing at the door. He was relatively new to the force, yet hated the masked vigilante with as much zeal as seasoned veterans. Was their enough time to stop the man from firing? He had three young children, one boy, two girls. The man raised the gun. He had a loving wife who waited anxiously for his return every night. He wanted to scream out a warning, but it stuck in his throat, just as mute as it had been the night his parents were murdered. In short, he was just another officer trying to do his job in this messed-up, broken city. Was he worth saving? How many more deaths would he have to witness, be powerless to stop? But he wasn't powerless. Not anymore.

"Endure, Master Wayne. Take it…" No, no…I can't endure it anymore. It's too much…

"They'll hate you for it, but that's the point of Batman…" He could hear the sirens screaming again, screaming for his blood, for justice—or was it vengeance?

"He can be the outcast…" The sirens were louder now, even more annoying than usual. He frowned. Why were they even on?

"He can make the choice that no one else can make…" He could see the tears streaming down his wife's face, the shock in his children's empty eyes.

"The right choice," The gun was almost completely up now, the finger squeezing the trigger, tighter and tighter. The sirens were almost unbearable now. Didn't the cops hear them? I'm sorry Alfred.

………….

Commissioner Jim Gordon didn't want to be here. And, technically, he didn't have to. But he'd forced himself to come, as he had for every single credible lead they'd had on the Batman. His officers thought that it was revenge that motivated him, revenge for the murderer who had kidnapped his family. He knew that this day would come eventually. The Batman couldn't evade the police forever. It was simply too taxing, too demanding, for one person to handle alone.

"So we'll hunt him…" Had they made the right choice?

"Because he can take it…" But he couldn't. That much was obvious just from looking at him. His cops were watching him hungrily, accusations and hate in their eyes. Realizing that the Batman wasn't actually listening, he stopped talking and stared long and hard at him.

His eyes were…blue. Not black, as Gordon had always thought, had always assumed. They were tired and full of…despair? What exactly was he looking at? He turned to look just as the bullet shot through the air, with a crack like thunder from the vengeful heavens above, straight at the officer guarding one of the doors.

Gordon pulled out his own gun and fired it at the man who seemed to have suddenly appeared in the shadows, and who was aiming at another of his officers. It seemed a thousand more bullets echoed his shot. Turning in disbelief, he saw the cop standing by the door—how was he still alive?—staring, eyes wide in shock, at the pool of red on the floor in front of him.

Gordon's mind whirled as he stepped closer. He looked around him and looked into the eyes of each of his cops as they gaped at the crumpled heap. There was no hatred there anymore. Only horror, and guilt. They had reacted out of instinct, thinking that the now-dead form was attacking, was fleeing.

The Dark Knight was a man. He was human, and he could be killed. It was as if the world was falling to pieces around him. Killed by the very people who were charged with protecting the city that he also defended. Killed for saving the life of a cop who was probably just another face to him, in that city that didn't deserve a hero like him.

A hero who was also just a man. Did he have a family? They had never even had an actual conversation before. He was as silent as the darkness, as the night itself. Why did he even bother to try?

Dimly, he heard the sirens crying as the emergency crews gently lifted the limp body into the ambulance, to try to bring back the heartbeat that had stopped sometime in that echo of blood and bullets.

He stared out the window of his car at the city he had defended. The city who didn't deserve heroes like him. Nothing was different. The bright lights flashed their oblivious advertisements, and people walked the streets laughed and talked with their friends. People who could do that only because he had made it safe. The city didn't care that its defender had fallen.

The roar of her hungry soul had drowned out that fateful bullet, that bullet that had shattered the silent night.