Fearful Symmetry drabble:
Year 24: A Death in the Family

by 'rith





It's Gilda, of all people, who calls with the news.

Bruce crashes into Harvey's office to find him turning the coin over and over between his fingers. It's a novelty imprinted with two heads, identical faces on opposite sides. The only decent thing, Harvey once said, that his father ever gave him.

He shuts the door behind him in the secretary's face. "I've just heard. Are you--"

Harvey shakes his head in quick negation. "Fine. Just...peachy." The coin tumbles, glints, catches the light. "The doctor said it was his liver. About time, all the poison he poured into it."

Bruce nods, waiting for the rest, because *this* particular poison has waited years to be expelled. No secret that Christopher Dent was an alcoholic and a compulsive gambler, who had been supported the last half-dozen years by his son's generosity. Rather more of a secret that Harvey had borne the brunt of his father's drunken rages, and that his generosity consisted equally of irony and revenge.

Harvey's face is a mask of anger. "He's dead. He was a *bastard* and I hated him and now he's dead."

"I know," Bruce says, and wipes away the tears that Gilda will never see.




{200 words}





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