“Any regrets?” Ra's asks, his voice echoing in the emptiness of the room.
Talia makes no reply. She has few regrets—no, not few. Many regrets. But few that she will revisit now. There is nothing to be gained from remembering the past when one has no hope for the future.
Jason comes abruptly to mind, and she considers that perhaps there is one regret. There is nothing she can do now about it, but she remembers taking him in a fit of anger and bitter betrayal. She remembers blood and Jason's half-panicked gasps and a sickly-sinking sensation in her stomach. She remembers the hollowness she felt afterward, when he had collapsed in exhaustion, a huddled lump in the sheets, and she had watched him with tears streaming down her face. (Weakness, a voice whispers, to show such emotion). Perhaps there is some regret that she had taken advantage of him in such a manner, he who had been used and abused all his life. But she had given him everything—life, a future, the means for vengeance—of course he would have given everything to her. (Revenge).
Certainly there is some small, forgotten seed of regret in that memory. She has been no stranger to seduction and domination, but her actions drove him away from her in the end, and his rejection, by itself, hurts almost as much as Bruce's betrayal.
The majority of her regret lies in the fact that even then, she knew it was childish and juvenile to react thus to some perceived slight that Bruce had committed against her. Jason was bound up in it, as Robins are wont to be, but there was little need to involve him in the intimate dealings between her and her Beloved. And Jason had been so young.
“I see your heart is cold,” Ra's says smoothly, and she almost jumps in surprise at the reminder of his presence.
“You made me so, Father,” she replies, and neither of them bother with a pretense of denial.
“You go to your grave undisturbed, then,” he continues, and there is a touch of something akin to tenderness, almost as if he were a normal father.
“I have one sin that still burns,” she admits. What does weakness matter now, on the eve of death?
“The boy,” Ra's guesses, astute as always.
“Perhaps,” she not-answers. “But I shall take it to my grave, as you said, undisturbed.”
He regards her in silence, whether with approval or disapproval she does not know. Ra's has many regrets, she is certain, but she is not one of them, and that, at least, she clings to as evidence that her life has not been in vain.
In the morning she will die at her father's hand, and he alone will rule the League once more. But whether for a day or for a hundred years, death will not last forever. Damian or Jason or Nyssa or Bruce will bring her back, and the cycle will begin anew. Her past will be cleansed in fire and she will start with a fresh blade on which to draw with blood.
Yet some regrets will linger. Some memories cannot be erased, even by the Pits. Some wounds go too deep and sear her soul in ways that cannot be undone, and she must carry them with her through every past, present, and future.
Perhaps, she thinks, some regrets are meant to be remembered. Perhaps they remind us of what we have become (monsters) and what we have lost.