"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live."
― J.K. Rowling
For Bruce Wayne, there was a time above. A time before. A time where perfect things existed, diamond absolutes. But all things eventually fall, and what falls, is fallen.
A cruel lesson taught to him by an equally cold and cruel world every night he closed his eyes and fell into the realm of dreams.
It was always the same. He walked next to a man whose grief was comparable to his own. The man placed a hand on Bruce's shoulder, an attempt at a comforting gesture but the 8-year-old Bruce felt nothing from it. He merely stared at the approaching crypt, a horrible sense of dread washing over him and the tiny structures black interior. Like an abyss ready to swallow him whole.
He dared not look away, however, for a much more frightening thing was behind him. A reality he didn't want to acknowledge, not then and hopefully not ever again.
But the world was hardly the only cruel thing to exist, the mind could match and even surpass it when it was so inclined.
The crypt morphed before his eyes, to a familiar sight which sent a cold chill down the boy's spine. It was the theater, the one he pleaded to go to for weeks and from it, Bruce saw himself and his family. The two Bruce's converged on one another, one happy and smiling, the other miserable beyond the description of words. He couldn't stomach the sight, the sight of himself smiling to his parents and his joy being responded to by them.
Just as they were about to meet, Bruce ran.
"Bruce!" The comforting man's voice called out to the boy as he ran past the mirages of that day. "Bruce! It's alright!"
The comforting man told him but Bruce couldn't believe that with a rush of speed he never knew he had, the boy ran on into the autumn forest which seemed to stretch out for eternity. He brushed past the trees littered with dead leaves, stepped over the stones protruding from the ground with all he could muster. Anything to get away from the past.
So he went on forever and ever, the forest never-ending, his legs never tiring. For a while, he thought he'd escaped, that the forest would mask his departure and keep the mirages away. But his newfound ally quickly betrayed him, as he went on, the trees took on the same shapes from before, his own and of Thomas and Martha Wayne from that night.
He tried to run harder but the world shifted around him, giving him a perpetual front row seat of sorts to the Crime Alley murder. He saw the three of them halt, their smiles vanishing as another, dark figure stopped ahead of them. A nearby branch came alive and morphed into the man's arm, and the gun in his hand.
Bruce tried to close his eyes but could not do so. He tried to look away but found his head stuck, he couldn't even cover his ears.
His father stepped forward, a tall and well-built man who frequently exercised. To both Bruce's, the one fleeing and the one covering behind him, he appeared like Goliath, an unstoppable giant who could defeat anyone. Thomas Wayne clenched his fist and rushed forward, for an instant, it looked as though he might succeed.
The sound echoed through Bruce's mind, sending him crashing towards the ground. For an instant, he considered running back only to find the forest vanish behind him in a shroud of cold, darkness. He looked back at the mirages and saw his father fall as well, his courage and strength doing little good against cold steel wielded by an equally cold man.
Despite a piece of himself telling him to simply let the encroaching shroud take him, Bruce picked himself up and quickly ran through the forest once again. For all the horror he knew he was going to see, the abyss seemed like an even worse place.
His mother was the next one to struggle, she was not a well built or strong woman, but she shared her husband's courage. She went at the man with the gun the instant he pointed it at Bruce, her hands struggling against his. Just as he did with his father, Bruce thought she might stand a chance. But as before, courage stands little chance against cold steel used by cruel men.
In their scuffle, the gun wielder pulled the trigger, and with it, a spray of blood burst from Martha Wayne's neck. She too crumbled to the ground with her son trying to help her stay up in vain. For an instant, Bruce even caught a glimpse of horror and shame at the gunman as he turned tail and ran in the opposite direction.
To his shock, Bruce heard the noise again but the gunman was gone. Once again, he stumbled towards the ground but it was not there to meet him this time. Instead, he found a gaping pit in the ground and released a terrified shriek as he fell down it. A shriek matching another from the second Bruce as he looked down at the bodies of his dead family. The mirages, for the most part, didn't follow him with the exception of his mother's shattered pearl necklace, each one hitting the walls of the pit as they fell with Bruce.
Each one struck a certain part of the pit before vanishing, each one's thud resounding in his mind like the gunfire did. Even as he shrieked and shrieked, he could not drown out the banging of the pearls. Without warning, the pit stopped, and Bruce smashed face first onto its rocky bottom. What seemed like the last pearl fell after him but when it too struck the ground, he did not hear a bang. Something much, much worse.
His father's dying words as he tried to save his wife, the more injured of the two, his natural inclination for saving other people over himself winning over even if it was damning him. Even in his last moments, Thomas Wayne was a doctor, a helper of others. Yet no one could help him when he needed it, not even his son.
As the pearl vanished, Bruce slowly raised his head and took a quick glance at his surroundings, his whole body ached and did not respond well to his commands. He noticed a crevice nearby, one large enough for him to slip through. The boy grabbed hold of the ground and clawed himself forward as he noticed something moving in the shadows.
Once he finally got close enough, he saw what that precisely was: bats.
An entire swarm of them covering the ceiling, slumbering and occasionally soaring across the sky to find something to eat or another spot to sleep in. Bruce found himself terrified and mesmerized by the tiny black creatures. For a moment, he even smiled at them and let out a small, barely audible laugh. Barely audible for a person, but more than enough to stir a creature as attuned as a bat.
In an instant, the previously black ceiling lit up with blood red eyes opening all over it, hundreds of them and all pointed precisely at Bruce. Suddenly, the boy wasn't smiling anymore. Disturbed from their slumber, the bats shrieked with an ear-bleeding noise and took off towards the exit of the cave, and right towards Bruce.
The boy tried to struggle against the swarm as they flew and clawed at him on their way out of the pit, he screamed, he yelled, he tried to swat them away like flies but it was no use, the swarm was endless and restless. It wasn't until he felt an odd sensation cover his whole person. Without warning, he slowly but surely found himself hovering off the ground.
He felt light as a feather, his fears, anxieties and tragedies all vanishing as the swarm flew around him, embracing him as one of them and helping him towards the bright ray of light outside. Bruce stopped struggling, instead, he let the swarm carry him upward, the sun shining down on him and giving him a renewed sense of hope that everything was going to be alright. He didn't need to worry anymore and he wouldn't have to blame himself.
A nice sentiment, and an even prettier lie.
Bruce woke slowly that morning, as he usually did whenever he dreamt this. He did not, however, expect to find himself slumped on the chair of his office at Wayne Industries HQ in Gotham City. He ran a hand through his black but graying hair and leaned forward checked the clock at his desk, seeing it was 7 in the morning.
For a moment, he tried to think of what could've possessed him to fall asleep here in all place. With a simple glance around his desk, the whiskey bottle and sleeping pills answered his unspoken question with their mere presence.
Not too long ago, he never would've taken either of those things, he made it a point to fake drinking alcohol, in particular, to simply throw people off. But as the years went by, Bruce one day simply realized he didn't have much reason to not actually drink. He had more reason to than most.
Instead of discarding the whiskey bottle and tidying himself up, Bruce merely opened it and poured what little was left inside into a nearby glass. Everyone thought he was a reckless drunkard anyway and have for many years, so why not add some authenticity to it?
He leaned back into his chair and turned on the TV, sipping the whiskey as he flipped through the various channels. Just before reaching a certain channel where reruns of the Grey Ghost played for young kids early on in the day, he saw a newsflash blazing in the upper and lower sections of the screen. A news flash which sent a chill down his spine.
MANKIND UNDER SIEGE! ALIENS ATTACK METROPOLIS!
Jumping out of his seat, Bruce rushed to the window of his office and saw a massive, crab-like building hovering over Gotham's sister city of Metropolis across the pain. A ray of light burst from the bottom of it with a sort of rhythm to it, around the building, he noticed chunks of debris floating in a ring, completely defying the laws of gravity. Even from this distance, he could see buildings crumbling to pieces as the alien device kept firing off its laser.
Dropping his glass, Bruce rushed out of the office and narrowly avoided hitting his young secretary. "Do we have helicopters on the landing pad?"
"M-mister Wayne-" The 25-year-old blonde exclaimed as he grabbed her by the shoulders. "I don't-"
"Just tell me if we do!" He roared, shaking the already nervous woman. "Our people are stuck in Metropolis! We've got to tell them to get the hell out of there!"
"We-we tried," Lucy stammered with tears forming in her eyes. "But... something's jamming phone lines over there!"
"Shit," He muttered, letting go of Lucy and rushing towards the elevator. "Call services and tell them to send a helicopter over here this instant! If I don't get over there in the next 10 minutes I'm firing all of them? Am I understood?!"
"O-o of, course sir-"
Too impatient to wait for the elevator, Bruce took to the stairs as fast as he could. Even as a man entering his 40s and whose body suffered countless injuries and poisons, he reached the helipad in last than two minutes, climbing several stories without losing a step. Even the powerful wind from the top of Wayne Tower failed to slow him down as he rushed towards the landing helicopter and promptly sat in the co-pilot's seat.
"Get us over there," Bruce pointed in the direction of the alien craft laying waste to Metropolis. When he noticed the horrified look of the pilot he glared at him. "Do. It."
He commanded with a voice he usually left solely for his nightly escapades but it was no less effective with him out of the suit. Immediately, they took off in the direction of Metropolis. The warbling of the alien weapon growing louder and louder as he drew closer. He didn't know what good he could do in this situation, particularly without his equipment, but he sure as hell wasn't about to stand by the sidelines and leave his employees at Metropolis to face this alone. Luckily for them, Lucius Fox was there today, and he'd make sure they'd get out safely.
Yup, another Batman v Superman novelization! Unlike the one from Skychild01, which I highly recommend you check out, this will be more novel-y and will expand on existing scenes, change certain details of others while preserving most of the movie's plot. BvS is quite difficult to directly translate into a novel form without it becoming disjointed which is why Bruce's dream here is weirder.
If I had to give a percentage of how closely I'll stick to the film, I'd say about 80-85. The only noticeable differences you'll find in this version are the beginning and some of the third act material. The second act will remain mostly the same, simply giving you more insight into the motivations of the characters as I interpret them.
I will not make Superman randomly happier or refrain from having Batman slip into his darker tendencies. These were conscious decisions made by Terrio that I feel work in the context of the film. I will instead try to rationalize these decisions through said character insight.
My primary objective isn't to re-write BvS into something else entirely, merely to re-tell the story we all know while expanding on characterization and motivations which a lot of people, myself not included, found lacking in the film.