Regret: True feelings

It all happened so fast that I couldn't keep up. The unthinkable had happened…or was it? It must be a dream or more precise a nightmare. Like those of the fateful day when I as a child saw helplessly

how my parents were murdered in front of me – nightmares that persecuted me every night since then. Thus just in a moment I would wake up and everything would be as usual. However it didn't

happen…I couldn't wake up no matter how hard I tried.

Somewhere deep inside I always knew that it wasn't a nightmare; however, for some reason for the first time in my life despite all logic I desperately hopped that I was wrong. It was a very strange

feeling that I never had before and to be honest I didn't like it, because despite all of my training and countless unimaginable experiences I was losing control.

All of my shields that I had built around me were slowly but surely about to be destroyed; something that should never have happened especially when I was wearing this mask. Thankfully I was all alone,

swallowed by darkness so nobody would see me in this state and more importantly share my fate. However, no matter how I looked at it I just couldn't stop wondering, why all of sudden this was

happening to me? It's not like it's the first time I was looking face to face with death. In my kind of work it was something you did in a daily basis.

I was someone who made others scramble in fear be it friend or foe. An emotionless shadow that could with just one glare suck all hope of the unlucky "victim" it was aim at. Despite all of this no matter

how heartless and cold I seemed to others, I just couldn't help interfering, when someone was in need of help. Although they rarely if ever noticed I was there.

I couldn't afford to show my real self to anyone thus I was constantly wearing a mask – removing the emotionless mask of Batman, just to replace it with the overjoyed mask of playboy Bruce Wayne and

vice versa. The two personas were the polar opposite of each other, thus the few who knew they were the same person, had often wondered how I could change between them – sometimes instantly.

Some were even considering me of have a personality disorder.

Except for Alfred no one had ever seen through my façade not even J'onn the Martian Manhunter who has mindreading ability or so I thought. It was too late I noticed that my mask was slowly but surely

tearing apart in front of a certain blue eyes beauty.

It was the Amazonian princess Diana. We didn't quite get along at the beginning because we had very different ways of viewing things. She strictly followed her Amazonian dogma and was bound to make

prejudice especially against men and I was no exception. However, as time went by she understood more of Man's World and admitted that not all men were trash of the world as she thought at first. By

that time I had already become good friends with her and we had a lot of interesting discussions. Surprisingly she was very intelligent and unlike some others, I knew she was willing to admit her

mistakes. Yet from time to time I just couldn't help myself from teasing her especially by calling her "Princess". Of course very carefully knowing when to stop, because she had a hell of temper and

believe me you don't want to make her angry.

Instinctively we began opening up for each other and slowly I was getting more and more attracted to her. At the beginning I thought it was only physically because you had to admit that she was the

most beautiful woman in the world. She was just like a goddess and if she suddenly claimed to be Aphrodite I wouldn't question that. However, I was far from the truth and I only realized it, when I

thought that I had lost her during one of the missions. The sadness I felt wasn't the kind I would fell for a friend or family member. Afterwards I noticed that she felt the same way but unlike me she

wasn't trying to hide it. As usual I tried to distant myself from her, but as straight forward she was she didn't let me.

No matter how hard I tried to convince myself wrong I couldn't deny anymore, that I loved her. Furthermore she loved me too and she didn't hesitate showing it. In normal circumstance you would think

that I was a lucky guy; however, I was Batman and I couldn't allow myself this kind of feelings. It would defy everything Batman was and I knew that if I gave in for these feelings, I wouldn't be able to

continue as Batman. It wouldn't be the first time I had done something similar although the reason behind it was different or at least this time I was more honest. I was just afraid of letting anyone so

close to myself, my real self. Not Bruce Wayne or Batman but just Bruce – the person who was locked away deep down with no intentions to ever be freed again. If I freely became Bruce once more, I

wasn't sure I could restrict him anymore, thus both Batman and Bruce Wayne would be gone. I wasn't prepared for that yet so I choose to run away from it.

I flatly rejected her without any valid reasons and I knew that it would hurt her; however, it was momentary and she would cope with it, as would I. It took me all of my indomitable will to do that but it

was necessary, because I couldn't restrict my feelings towards her for much longer. Unexpectedly it awoke another strange feeling that I couldn't identify. No matter how hard I tried I just couldn't get rid

of it.

Now here in Watchtower as time went by, the same strange feeling was getting stronger. When I glanced at the timer it was showing just under a minute. The feeling got now exponentially stronger;

however, this time around even if just barely I recognized it. It was a feeling I almost never had before, because like fear Batman couldn't afford to have it. My cold and calculating mind was always

making sure that I would never get it. This feeling wasn't fear and no matter how much my mind was desperately trying to convince me that I was wrong, I couldn't escape the heavy weight of regret.

I didn't need to speculate long to know why I was getting this feeling, because an image of Diana was all over my mind blocking everything else. She was standing there watching me with her azure blue

eyes and an angelic smile. Instantly a relaxing feeling rushed through my body; however, it lasted only a short moment. Diana's image was changed now. Her angelic smile was gone and her eyes were

sparkling with different emotions. I could clearly recognize anger and sadness but faintly I saw another feeling which was blurred by the others. It was love.

Realizing just how much pain I had inflicted her by my groundless rejection, it was beyond words to explain just how much regret I was feeling at that moment. I desperately wanted to see her, to tell her

how terribly sorry I was and more importantly just how much I loved her. I don't know how she would react after what I have made her go through but I wanted her to know my real feelings. However, as

quickly as that thought had appeared in my mind I turned it down. It was too late now. I would never allow my selfish wish. It would just end up causing her further pain.

I took another glance at the timer which by now showed twenty seconds. Suddenly I felt an urge to hear her voice just once more. It took me several seconds to clear my mind as much as possible and

take the role of Batman once more.

"Watchtower to Wonder Woman what's your status," I said as emotionless as possible.

"Wonder Woman to watchtower, we have just finished here and were about to call for teleportation to the watchtower. We have several injured in the team although it's nothing too serious. We can

discuss the details later awaiting the teleportation," she said trying to hide her surprise and worry.

"Understood, Batman out," I said in the same emotionless tone as before, but what I didn't expect was that three simple words slip my mouth before I could turn of the com-inc.

"I love you," I heard myself almost whisper and more or less instantly my hand stopped before it could turn the comm. link off.

Realizing the weight of those three words I felt mixed feeling of regret and relief. In one hand I felt relief, because I had finally said how I felt. While in the other hand I felt regret for the undoubted pain

they would inflict to the person I loved. Intensely I awaited her reply but I couldn't hear anything nor anger, disbelieve, happiness or anything else just plain silence. For a moment I was hopeful and a

little disappointed to think, that maybe she didn't hear them; however, somehow I just knew she had heard them and I was cursing myself for what I had done.

My mind was in chaos but somehow it was concentrating on not missing a single word of her reply but it never came. Time stopped every second felt like eternity, while I felt petrified and couldn't move

an inch. I didn't know what to do, everything felt hopeless. Finally I closed my eyes welcoming the well-known darkness. Once I had opened them again I felt calm. For one last time Batman had taken

over. Silently I awaited my fate – my end.