Let This Be The End

by Lara Wilson

It's coming. He can feel it in his bones, in his marrow. It chills him, even as the sky around him burns.

He waits patiently, wanting it all to be finally over.

Bullets can't kill him. Poisons have no lasting effect. Lop off a limb and it grows back.

He feels the pain, of course, but he always heals.

But, the firestorm approaching has to be his final end. He can't come back from being burned to ash.

He has to believe that.

So, he stands at the grave of a young man taken before his time, a young man he mourned long before his death, and waits. He remembers another city burning, its fire green, its death his fault.

And he remembers a bitter, angry promise from lips he never tasted, to make him pay.

He did. He paid with the loss of his children, as they turned from him. With their losses years later to death. He paid with loss of respect of those who were once--briefly--his equals and allies. He paid with an empty life.

Nearly two centuries have passed since Slade Wilson took the step that would forever take him away from Dick Grayson, since he did the unforgivable.

And he wants it all to end.

He feels the heat and drops to one knee, his hand shaking as it brushes the gravestone, and he knows that he'll never see him again. There is no heaven for him, probably no hell, either.

Please, just let this be the end.

The nuclear firestorm hits him and he breathes in the toxic fumes and feels his lungs burn.

And the tears dry on his face.

Tears of joy? Tears of relief? Tears of grief?

No one will ever know.

He prays it will just be over.


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