Aug. 10th, 2009

master_bruce: (Young - Thief/Eating)

The boat stays in dock for only another two hours before it leaves for the South China Seas. The time is spent trying to get the captain to understand that yes, he has money, but no, no passport. No passport, no name. Eventually, the man takes the cash and gets a dirty sailor who smells of oil to take him below.

China. It'll do.

---

He shares a cabin with four sailors who look at him suspiciously for two weeks, discussing between themselves what crimes he's committed to be running away. Bruce doesn't speak Chinese but he gets the drift. It's exactly what he'd think if he were in their position. Or maybe they're not. Maybe they're wondering why he spents six hours a day in a seemingly futile race with himself through the cargo decks, climbing the containers, jumping between them, running endless miles in circles, over and over. When he's not running and jumping and climbing, there are always sit-ups, press-ups, chin-ups, squats, lunges, shadow boxing...

...even he's not sure why. But he can't sit still. At night, when he should be sleeping, he thinks of Chill and the desperate look in his eyes as his father handed him his wallet, dropped it, ("It's fine, it's fine..."), the expression afterwards when his mother lay dead and his father dying, ("Bruce, don't cry..."), the words in the courthouse and the way the man couldn't turn to look at him...did he feel guilty? Did Joe Chill, double murderer, feel bad for what he had done?

                                                                                                                                                                                                 (If I hadn't got scared, they'd still be alive.)

He comes to the conclusion it doesn't matter, as he rises from his bunk and goes to run some more. Because it's not just Chill he's mad at any more. It's the system that released him, the politics that made it necessary, the crime that ruins lives like his. Falcone, for robbing him of his chance to be free.

Bruce doesn't sleep much these days.

---
 
 
He learns some words in Chinese. Then a sentence or two. His cabinmates decide that, for a man who is obviously a murderer or rapist or something, he's not so bad. At least he keeps to himself and doesn't get in the way. As stowaways go, he's not so bad.
 

---

For three weeks, he doesn't think of anything except what happened he night he left. Then practicality asserts itself - what exactly is he doing? This isn't some existential angst borne from an impulsive decision, though it was impulsive...no, this is the methodical thinking of a man who started down a path he has no desire, or ability, to veer from.

So, what is he doing? Falcone was right. People from his world, they never understand. Bruce thought he did and then he discovered he knew nothing. And (why do we fall, Bruce?) what do people do when they know nothing?

They learn.

He'll learn. He'll teach himself and when he can't, he'll get others to do it. He'll discover what makes a criminal, he'll live among them, he'll show Falcone that if you fear what you don't understand, then understanding will bring fearlessness. And then...well, that part he hasn't worked out yet.

But he knows one thing. He won't be Bruce Wayne any more. If he has to go a thousand miles to find someone who doesn't know his name, then he'll go six thousand to not have to have one at all.
 

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Bruce Wayne

July 2015

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