Author Notes: A bit of an experiment, trying to get, somewhat obliquely, to a certain post-Batman side of Bruce (in a psychological, not a chronological sense).
One night, long ago. Before he was a legend. Before "your first Batman experience" was a standard prison tale.
Before all of that, he lived in the thin edge where they would no longer deny his fact, but couldn't yet understand. Not even himself fully understood what he was. What he could do. He just was, and his grim decision was as fresh as their fear.
A perfect balance that lasted perhaps a single night.
He's more experienced now. Less naive. With far greater resources.
But Bruce Wayne sometimes looks back at that night as something precious that he failed to grasp. Like a child's dream, or a mother's smile.