I can't believe it.
Mom, you should've been there, it was awesome!
Matt, I was so worried…
That you're dead.
There was a big guy with a spear and tattoos all over his body, and he put me in a cage!
I mean, the Batman's supposed to live forever.
I dunno. Then Batman showed up and bam, wham, POW! He saved me!
I couldn't believe you were the Batman. Why didn't you ever tell me?
Batman's so cool. Not a loser like you.
We were brothers. Aren't brothers supposed to tell each other everything?Hey, we can't all be Batman
Matt McGinnis stared down at the gravestone in front of him, read the inscription again. Terry McGinnis. Beloved brother, loving son. He wiped away a tear trickling down his cheek.
"You never told me. That you were the Batman. Why didn't you tell me?" he asked quietly.
"Was it because I was immature? Because I always pestered you?" Matt asked. "Or was it because you thought I would tell everyone?" he sniffed to hold back a tear. He knelt down beside his brother's grave. He could still remember that awful day, remember that horrible phone call.
"Another phone call?" Mary McGinnis groaned. She picked up the phone. Matt put down his toys, interested and curious.
"Hello, this is Mary McGinnis… yes Mr. Wayne?" the woman asked.
"Probably something about how Terry died at work or something" Matt said, bored, and picked up his toys again.
"Matt, don't say things like that" Mrs. McGinnis scolded, her hand over the receiver. She held the phone back up to her ear.
"Yes Mr. Wayne?" she asked. The redhead listened to the phone a while longer then turned pale.
"Mom?" Matt asked, concerned. His mother ignored him. She gripped the arm of the chair tightly.
"Yes Mr. Wayne… we'll be right over…" Mary McGinnis put down the phone. She grabbed a jacket.
"Come one Matt"
"Mom? What's going on?"
Matt didn't ask any more questions. Frightened, he ran out into his mother's car. His mother got in and they sped off to Wayne mansion.
Matt blinked hard as he remembered what had happened next.
The boy didn't understand what was going on. Mary told him to sit down outside the room and she and Mr. Wayne went inside, shutting the door. He sat on a soft red chair, swinging his legs, nervous and afraid. He suddenly heard his mother's shouting. He caught the words Batman, irresponsible, how could you… Then the door opened and his mother walked out, white and crying. He ran to comfort her, giving her a warm hug that she didn't seem to notice. Mr. Wayne walked out slowly. Matt had never seen the man look so sad.
"Mr. Wayne? What's… what's going on?" he asked. The old man looked down at the little boy, sky blue eyes filled with sorrow, the sorrow of having lost someone. Matt suddenly understood, didn't want to hear the words.
"Matt… your brother Terry… he's dead"
Matt remembered his mixed emotions then, anger, disbelief and sadness. He had then learned everything, about how Terry had been Batman for years. How he had died when a plane blew up, going back in to try and save one last person. The person had been thrown into the sea and was rescued by the Gotham Police. Terry hadn't been so lucky.
"Was it because you couldn't trust me? Because I was… I always annoyed you?" Matt asked. He bowed his head.
"To other people, we never seemed to get along. We always fought and argued, and the times we had when we were both having fun together were few. They became even fewer when you… became the Batman" Matt shook his head.
"You left me then. Outgrown me, like I was a toy. The nights when we would play pretend became the nights when you were either too busy or out on a date with Dana. You never played with me after, and I knew I had lost you. I was too young, you were too old" Matt let the unshed tears flow freely now.
"But you always protected me. I remember how that big bully Mick used to always pick on me, and I was too afraid to tell anyone. One day, you caught him punching my face. You ran to my rescue, stood up for me, even though he was way taller than you were. He gave you a black eye that day, but you taught him a lesson. He never picked on me again" Matt smiled slightly at the memory. "He couldn't move his arm for months either".
The boy wiped away hot, salty tears. "Even though you would call me a twip, hang me upside down by my ankles, tease me I knew you loved me. I could always tell by the sparkle in your eyes when you talked to me, the sparkle that seemed to be reserved for only me. I could tell by the tone in your voice, even when you were mad."
"Terry, I never told you how I felt. I always acted like a prickly hedgehog when you had left me for your other friends, never letting you get too close. I was afraid that if we were how we were before again, and you left me again… It was lonely without you Terry. The nights when we would normally play games together or watch TV were gone, and I was left with a stupid babysitter. Sometimes I would cry because you weren't there. I was jealous of Dana, I'll admit. I never liked her. I always thought she was taking you away from me"
"But now, I'm sorry for all that. I'm sorry for every mean thing I ever said to you, every time I ever annoyed you"
"You were the best big brother a guy like me could have had" Matt said. He looked up to the pink sky.
"I only wish you were still alive, so I could say that I love you" he said. A breeze drifted past the boy, ruffling his hair, blowing petals from leaves. They swirled around him then landed gently in a circle around him. Matt McGinnis smiled at the sky, knowing that his big brother was smiling back.
Opalgirlz: So how was that? I just felt 'inspired' to do it, after watching Hidden Agenda on Batman Beyond. Yes, I know it was pure fluff. Yes I know Matt would never say anything like that. But you never know, Matt's behavior now could only be a shell, right? People change when someone close to them has died. No, I haven't had anyone close to me die, so don't ask. This is all by imagination, and from (believe it or not) my PRS lessons on Death and Mourning (Philosophy and Religious Studies). *waves hand* Thanks Mrs. S. W!