Summary: Batman doesn't love. But for Wally, he will make an exception.
Special Dedication: To xRae_Asakurax, for being incredibly awesome and for her birthday. Enjoy it to the fullest!
Warning: Slash. Nothing too major though.
Batman is never surprised. The word doesn't exist in his private dictionary, completely erased. He is never caught of guard, always comes prepared. He has fought things he never believed in, never thought possible.
And he has won. Everything single time again. He has seen magic and demons, he has seen hell and heaven, he has seen the other side of life. He's witnessed the vilest of mankind and the purest.
He has seen it all.
But yet –
Yet, it surprises him how a simple, ridiculous one-liner from the Fastest Man Alive can cause a warm feeling to spread through his chest, soothing and intoxicating like morphine after a night of crime fighting.
Yet, it surprises him how Wally redefines beautiful every time he takes off his mask and smiles, for no reason at all. How the red of his hair seems more outstanding than it did before, more radiant. How his smiles always seem happier than the one before, even though the horror of the world should erase it completely.
Yet, it surprises him how Wally comes up with the smartest of plans, how he saves everyone when he needs to. How in a second, he sheds the foolishness and focuses on the problem at hand. How he never is distracted when it truly counts. How incredibly strong he is.
No, Batman is never surprised.
But for Wally, he will make an exception.
Batman doesn't feel joy. He vaguely remembers what it was like, to be truly happy, to be truly joyful, back when his father was there for his birthday, when they went to the zoo together. But those are faded images, stained by blood shed in a back alley.
He hasn't felt joy since he was eight years old and all he loved was taken away from him. He never felt something pure after that, nothing unstained, nothing that wasn't soiled.
There is no such thing as joy, he knows, and it is not obtainable for someone like him.
But yet –
Yet, he smiles whenever Wally throws himself too enthusiastically into something, with all his determination and his imperfections. He smiles whenever he tries to light up the situation by saying something ridiculous, by making himself the joke. He smiles whenever he does as much as walking into the place, instantly erasing a little of the grimness of the world.
Yet, he feels his heart skip a beat, whenever Wally gives him one of his pure, childish smiles, still unstained by any of the darkness the world throws at him and the near irresistible urge to simply smile back.
Yet, he enjoys every minute he spends with the speedster, finds himself laughing at his reckless behaviour in spite of everything. He finds himself feeling lighter than before, as if somehow the world became less hopeless after spending a moment with Wally.
No, Batman doesn't feel joy, but for Wally, he will make an exception.
Batman is never confused. He has everything all figured out, long before others ever start to realise the greatness of the question. He solves puzzles and riddles in the blink of an eye. He takes a decision and stays with it.
He won't let himself be confused, doesn't allow it. He solves the riddle, piece of by piece, analyses everything until the truth can be served on a silver platter. He won't second guess and doubt and regret and confuse himself even more.
He decides instead.
But yet –
Yet, he doesn't quite understand what it is he feels when he watches Wally from afar, always somehow focusing back on him, like an instinct. He doesn't know what it is he feels when Wally accidentally touches him, why his heart leaps into his throat and his skin burns without hurting, why he feels the warmth even through the thickness of the Kevlar.
Yet, he doesn't understand why his thoughts keep coming back to moments shared together, no matter how fleetingly, how short.
Yet, he doesn't understand why those antics he, by all means, should find nothing but annoying, now make him smile like everyone else, reassure him that the world is not made purely out of people wanting to destroy it. He doesn't understand why he thinks of Wally when he wonders why he even bother putting on the suit, when he feels like he's all alone, taking on a world with the sole purpose of hurting him.
No, Batman is never confused. But for Wally, he will make an exception.
Batman is never embarrassed. He is dignity personified and he won't allow anyone to take it from him. He won't let the taunts of his enemies get to him and he won't be ashamed of who he is.
He won't let anyone tell him to be ashamed of who he has become.
But yet –
Yet, he feels a twinge of embarrassment when Wally catches him looking at him during meetings, instead of paying the indestructible attention he's supposed to show.
Yet, he feels a blush crawl upon his cheeks when Diana mentions he and Wally seem awfully close and the denial of that insinuation comes out ridiculously unconvincing.
Yet, he feels almost childishly ashamed when he thinks of Wally again, always and always again, at moments when he shouldn't, really shouldn't. He feels like a child doing the wrong thing, but he doesn't want to stop thinking about that bright, perfect smile.
No, Batman doesn't feel embarrassment. But for Wally, he will make an exception.
Batman doesn't do childish things. He's all grown up now, an adult since he was eight and he doesn't even remember what it was like before. He doesn't remember how a child acts or behaves or thinks. He's been forced to grow up too soon and it's all he has now.
He doesn't care for games or toys anymore. He can't remember the pureness of a child's mind, the hope he felt when he his father talked about changing the city. He can't believe in the beauty mankind like he could before. He can't be careless anymore, he can't be hopeful.
He's not a child anymore. He's nobody's child anymore.
But yet –
Yet, he finds himself in the middle of one of Wally's ridiculous 'waiting' games during Monitor Duty. He plays along as if he doesn't have a care in the world and he doesn't regret it.
Yet, he feels jealous like a child whose toy has been taken, when he sees Wally's talking about a woman named Linda Parker and hates her with a childish passion, even though he never met her.
Yet, he feels like a teenager who fell in love for the first time when Wally waves at him across the room. Maybe that's exactly what he is.
No, Batman doesn't do childish things. But for Wally, he will make an exception.
Batman doesn't trust. In everything he sees a possible cause for destruction, a possible treat to someone he holds close. It's the only way to survive in Gotham City, the only way to stay ahead of everyone else.
He doesn't befriend easily. He has a way of stopping and everyone and everything, even those who he calls his friends. Perhaps those are lies too.
But yet –
Yet, he trusts Wally to do the right thing, over and over again. Even if everyone else in the league goes crazy, goes bad, he can't imagine Wally doing the same thing.
Yet, he trusts Wally with his life, despite everything, trusts him to be there when he needs him.
Yet, he trusts Wally more than himself to make sure the justice he fights so hard for will always prevail?
No, Batman doesn't trust. But for Wally, he will make an exception.
Batman doesn't love. He forgot what it was like, the day his mother's heart stopped beating, taking his along with it. He can't let himself feel that way again, can't stop thinking about all the things that go wrong instead of the one thing that could go right.
He doesn't love anyone or anything. He can't. He can't afford himself to love and to be distracted. He has a mission, a destiny to fulfil, a war to fight every second of his life. He cannot and will not let love be another part of his life.
He will not lose love again.
But yet –
Yet, he loves the way Wally laughs. He loves all the little things he does, the jokes and the one-liners and the unstoppable source of happiness. He loves how Wally loves, how he loves everyone and everything.
Yet, he loves every minute he spends in his company, loves it even when they do nothing but just sit next to each other, love the quiet reassurance of someone as joyful as Wally by his side.
Yet, he loves the way Wally is able to love him back, despite all his flaws and insecurities and issues and problems. He loves Wally.
No, Batman doesn't love. But for Wally, he will make an exception.