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Lost by faithdaria

Title: Lost
Rating: Teen
Fandom: Batman Beyond
Spoilers: Betrayal
Summary: A bit of character introspection from the season 3 episode “Betrayal”

Bruce walked over as Terry climbed up the line and clambered over the rail. Only someone who knew the boy as well as he did would be able to read the sorrow in the young man’s body language. He was getting better at hiding his emotions, but Bruce knew that this one had hurt him badly. Bruce knew with excruciating detail that there was nothing quite as painful as being betrayed by a friend, and Big Time, Charlie, had done more than that. One of the things Bruce appreciated the most about Terry was his desire to give others a second chance, even as he argued against it. Big Time had used that optimism against the boy, not just once but twice, and he’d done it to Terry’s face. It was unpleasant to go against a friend in the suit because he chose to cross the line and stay there, even worse when that friend becomes a monster that you have to stop. But, as Terry had just learned, the most agonizing betrayal is the plain human variety.

Add all three kinds of betrayal to an unpreventable death that Terry would nonetheless blame himself for, and there was no telling how long this would be haunting them. This was why he hadn’t wanted Terry to get involved with the case. He’d wanted to spare him this pain.

Alfred would have known exactly how to comfort the young man. Barbara wouldn’t have done too bad a job herself. All he could do was be honest.

“I’m sorry. I know how hard it is to go up against a friend.”

“I outgrew him, that’s all.” His voice was quiet, subdued. He turned and started to walk away, leaving Bruce alone at the rail. The older man looked down, although between the mist, the height, and the darkness he couldn’t see the bottom. They would be in unacknowledged, silent mourning together. Terry would mourn the death of his childhood friend, and Bruce would mourn the innocence that had died alongside him.