Alfred’s knees ached from kneeling on the hard stone floor. Those ninja guys had thrown him down rather unceremoniously. His ribs hurt from his earlier encounter with them, and his head still reeled from that backhand he’d just received. He’d tasted blood when he had spat out. All in all, he had felt better.
I’m getting too bloody old for this shit, he thought. But then again he wouldn’t die of old age as things were looking right now.
But his aches and pains were nothing compared with the pain in his heart. Seeing Bruce, his boy, standing there with eyes so cold made Alfred shudder involuntarily. He tried every tactic he could imagine. He pleaded, he begged, he tried to remind Bruce of old times. But Bruce never even blinked and the tip of the sword on Alfred’s throat never wavered.
That’s when he realized that there was only one way out of this. He’d have to sacrifice himself so that Bruce could overcome this. It was one hell of a dangerous plan with no guarantee to work but it was the only way left. Alfred just hoped that Bruce wouldn’t be too guilt stricken once he realized what he had done.
So instead of begging for his life, he encouraged Bruce to end it. And even though he had tried to mentally prepare himself, nothing could prepare him for the sudden hot-white pain when the sword slid effortlessly right into the middle of his chest. He couldn’t prevent an outcry. Damn, but that hurt.
Alfred struggled to stay conscious, to stay upright. Through the fog in his head and the ringing in his ears he heard Bruce’s faint cries. It seemed to have worked then, at least this he could take into his grave.
And then, in his panic, Bruce did the one thing he shouldn’t have. He removed the sword which brought another wave of pain and now let the blood flow freely out of Alfred. With a gargling sound he fell over. He struggled to say something, some last encouragement for Bruce, but found he couldn’t. The sword had hit his lung, and he was drowning in his own blood. It became harder and harder to breathe.
The edges of his vision became darker and darker and finally Alfred gave in.
The darkness swallowed him whole.