High up on the top floor, the tall, dark figure gazed out the window.
Behind him, another figure gazed through the window that separated the executive reception area from the inner office. What, she wondered, could he possibly be thinking about? He had been there for nearly half an hour, staring out the window in the direction of the Gotham Trade Center.
Looking beyond the tall, dark figure, out the window and off into the distance, she could see the place where the new skyscrapers were going up. One was going to be even taller than the Gotham Towers had been.
Silently, she walked to the door, opened it, slipped into the inner office, and closed the door behind her.
She looked at the figure, and knew that he was aware of her presence. But, he knew who was there with him, and so he just continued to stare out the window.
She walked up to him, standing just to his right, and a little bit behind him, trying to see what he was seeing.
After a long moment, he turned just a little, never taking his eyes off what he was watching in the distance, but turning just enough so his whisper could be heard by her, and by her alone.
"There. Do you see it?"
She strained her eyes in the direction of the Gotham Trade Center, but could make out nothing unusual.
"Aladdin's men have set the towers on fire, and a panic is ensuing, especially on the floors above the fire." He paused. "But there," he continued, indicating with a movement of his head that was just barely perceptible, "the explosives are already in place, and there," he moved his head again, "the stock trades are already running through the computers of the financial institutions in the towers."
He paused, captivated by what only he could see.
"As soon as they're done with their stock trades, they're going to pull it, and the Gotham Towers will collapse, burying the evidence of the money laundering, and killing the thousands of people that are still inside," he turned to her as he added, "including hundreds of Gotham firefighters who are even now rushing up the stairs trying to save those people." He was careful not to take his eyes off what he saw; he was careful about even moving too much, as if afraid he would be seen by the people he was watching -- people only he could see.
Sasha looked up at him. She thought about all the hours he spent in the Batcave, researching and analyzing... she thought about all the hours he spent working out, practicing, preparing himself... and, she thought about all the hours he did not sleep.
Many times she had wondered what could possibly possess him, what could possibly drive him.... Now, standing before the window and gazing out at the Gotham Trade Center, she felt as if she, too, could see something that no one else could see.
"Bruce," she said softly, "it's been six and a half years."
Slowly, with effort, he turned his head toward her, and looked at her.
"There's nothing out there," she gently added.
Bruce Wayne slowly turned his head back toward the window.
No, he thought, that was where she was wrong. There was something out there -- and he could see it all, plain as day.