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A Day to Be Alone: Prologue

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He was 13 and alone. 

It was hot. Flames flickered and danced in front of his eyes, racing, spiraling, scorching. In a way they were beautiful, they didn't judge as he blamed them for the tears in his eyes.

Of course it was the heat. Just the heat. Just the searing pain as his lungs burned.

He would never get out of here. Never see another dawn. Never visit all the places he wanted to go to. Never grow up. He would never go home again.

He’s crying.

It was just the heat. Just the heat.

I’m sorry.

Home, the only one he ever knew. It was a good home. He was happy there, once upon a time.

But he left, and for the first few lonely months he managed to convince himself he did the right thing. He had his reasons. Good ones. Very good ones. Although he couldn't even seem to remember them anymore, not since he realized how much he missed home. Home in Gotham.

Home with Bruce.

Please don’t hate me.

He just wanted to go home.

I’m sorry.

His lungs had given out. The air reeked of burnt hair and flesh, but his mind was too far gone to care. It was almost like falling asleep.

How nice it would be to close his eyes and let the darkness take over. Sleep. Sleep and pretend. And dream. Of a hazy, sunny childhood filled with wonder and bats and bedtime stories and the glorious days to come.

The fire-

Bruce would come. He wouldn't leave him. He wouldn't forget him.

Bruce once told him he loved him.

Or did he? He couldn't even remember, it was fuzzy and confusing and shaky around the edges. Just like a dream. Sweet and happy and not real.

But Bruce wouldn't just forget him, would he?

Would he?

I loved you, Bruce. For all my life.

He was 13 and alone.

Bruce would come.

His mind was going- no oxygen. But his heart was still beating. If Bruce would come now, he could still make it. Alfred would somehow patch him up, and he could tell Bruce how sorry he was. How stupid. And maybe- maybe-

If he came now-

It’s too late.

It’s too fucking late.

I’m sorry.

He would have been brave. He would have been strong.

I would've made you proud.

He never came.

Why didn't you love me?

He never came.