Taste the Rain

Prologue

I stumble into my little living space, for that is about all I can call it, smashing into walls with booze on my breath. Ramming headlong into a beam, I decide it's time to be off to bed and wait for the hangover that will come with the morning. Nothing like leaning over the toilet to herald the dawn.

Bottle clutched in one sweaty palm, I trip over to the shower and slap my hand against the valve until water spews forth. I drop the bottle and it falls, seemingly in slow motion, before hitting the ground and splintering. The shards go everywhere. I know when I get out of the shower, some will end up in my feet, but I don't care.

When I deem the water to be of sufficient heat, I strip and get in. My clothes stick to my skin so I have to peal them off. It's a sickening feeling, like I'm being skinned.

At first, everything is fine. I soak until my long red hair is thoroughly wet and hangs like the vines of a weeping willow and sticks to my neck and shoulders. What was it Bruce used to say, like a waterfall of flame? The memory makes me smile, an involuntary smile though it is. He says no such tender things to me now, but to Tim he does, I'm sure of it, if I didn't shatter him too much to take that part of him away.

Bruce. My heart gives a jolt. Bruce is dead, or so the papers proclaim. I can hardly believe it though a small part of me has to. After all, he had to die sometime, right? He had just always seemed to be invincible, untouchable. But, then again, when I had run at his heels, I had thought I was invincible too. That obviously had proved to be untrue. Or had it? I am here aren't I?

Well, even that I'm not sure of anymore, I'm so intoxicated. I had drunk to Bruce's health, or to put it more plainly, his lack of it. But, now that I am so drunk I can barely think straight, I know in my heart I'm happy he died. That part of me is glad that the Batman is dead but… Bruce Wayne?

Who am I kidding, I love him, love him dearly. He is such a large part of me, though I shove that part away more often than I let it show. Feeling the agony now too great to bear and the alcohol giving me more freedom than I've had in a long while, I lean against the wall, racked with frantic tears.

Let it out. That was what he used to say when I cried, just let it out, you'll feel better if you do. God, how many times had I gone to him with tears in my eyes? Unable to stand any longer, I slide down the wall until I'm sitting on the cracked blue tiles.

I wrap my arms around my legs until I'm curled up in a tight ball and feel myself slipping away, descending into drunken dreams and hazy memories. I watch the soap swirl around and around the drain, mixing with my hair and who knows what else. It reminds me of rain going into the gutters.

Bruce and I had spent many long nights in the rain on stakeouts or patrols and lord knows, I was familiar with the gutters, being that I grew up in them. Rain, it was something he always brought up. What was it he used to say?

"Come on blue jay, relax. Trust that everything's gonna turn out ok. I love you after all. Take a sec to taste the rain…"