Summary: Roy desperately searches for his other half while the world collapses around him.
Date Of Completion: August 9, 2008
Date Of Posting: August 10, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1028
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Written for my 2008 DCU Snapshot Fic Request Meme for greeneyelove . Pairing: Dick/Roy. Prompt: Reunion. :)
He searched the battlefields among the dead and near-dead, obtaining help for those still alive, but pushed on through sights that would haunt his dreams forever.
He learned to keep a cloth around his nose and mouth like a Union soldier after Gettysburg, trying to keep the stench out, and yet he trudged through mud and torn grass with determined legs. The sky was dark, flashes of lightning on the horizon, but not from Nature.
He searched through rubble-strewn towns, skeletons of buildings sticking up toward the sky, refugees streaming by in carts laden with what possessions they could carry, makeshift ambulances delivering the wounded to equally-makeshift hospitals.
Roy searched through gutted buildings filled with moaning wounded, doctors and nurses grimly going about their work, volunteers helping with dogged determination. He searched through opera houses and city halls and private homes and churches, wherever the wounded had been brought. All of the towns’ inhabitants stoically took on the burden, their ancestors knowing the same travails in World Wars I and II, the old stories now joined by their own. They just hoped they would survive to tell their children and grandchildren.
In the streets and in the hospitals Roy passed the desperate, occasionally speaking a word but mostly silent, like wraiths in the mist on a tragic quest, searching for their loved ones. So many people…
He passed the plaques and statues and markers in town after town:
Our fallen sons in the Crimean War…
Here are the names of all lost in the Great War
Here were massacred 20 men and boys by the Nazis, June 6, 1942
He knew that Bruce was nearly out of his mind. Torn, duty made him feel guilty for not being at the JLA strategy session. Love made him feel even worse for not being at Clark’s side as the Kryptonian and Linda were fighting for life in the Watchtower infirmary, trying to survive the savage injuries received from the invading armada. The shock of seeing Superman and Supergirl go down in such agony had shaken everyone.
Yet Bruce could not sit around the Watchtower conference table or even stay by Clark’s side, though his heart cried out to do just that. He couldn’t help Clark, but he could help to search for the other one in his life who was just as much a part of him.
Bruce searched one sector, Roy the next. Neither made any calls on their JLA comms. If the one they sought was found, they would send the call.
Wind whipped through the broken streets, trees bending and leaves blowing off to swirl around in wild arcs, the strong scent of apple lingering on white blossoms. Roy pushed ahead, thinking of spring and robins.
People hurried by him, searching or desperate to get out of town. They glanced up at the sky, the ominous clouds promising rain. Roy clutched his cloak around him tighter as the wind gusted again.
He had to find the one who held them all together. Losing him…Alfred and Clark would be broken, all the Titans would be lost, Bruce would…Bruce needed him in ways that were elemental, unspoken. When Roy had first met the brightest light in his universe, he’d noticed what he had brought to Batman and Robin.
The world needed a sane Bat.
Roy needed his Robbie.
Would it be worse to find a body, or to never know?
He glanced up at the sky, noticing the sun trying to peek through the clouds here over the town. The dark clouds were still far away but the scent of rain was on the air.
And how long before the next attack from the air?
Roy quickened his pace, knowing that time was growing short. Personal missions would have to be sublimated for the greater good, because the personal would be lost if the Earth itself was lost.
He saw an ancient church, half its roof missing, the clouds a bit lighter overhead as if the sun was trying to break out, and trudged toward it. On the steps the nurse spoke English with a heavy French accent, giving her permission for him to search. Her eyes were weary as she smoked a cigarette, her uniform spattered with blood, both fresh and dried.
Roy pushed open the heavy wooden doors, watched by stone angels framing the entrance, pausing in the vestry, old childhood habits causing him to dip his fingers in the holy water and performing the sign of the cross. He’d learned the religious ways of the Navajo growing up, but there were incense and statues and chanting priests in his memory, embedded in his Irish blood.
The pews were filled with patients, the nave quiet, punctuated by moans and sighs. He walked quietly down the center, one part of his mind registering the magnificent statues and stained-glass windows and the elaborate altar. One life-size statue loomed from an alcove, the serene face of the armored girl holding her sword aloft. St. Joan d‘Arc, the church’s name.
He checked every patient, a tired nun pointing him to other rooms, and he walked into a long room with a stone floor and walls. The patients huddled on cots, some on the floor, and the cold winds blew down through the gaping hole in the roof. Roy wearily began the search yet again, and then a shaft of sunlight broke through the gray clouds, shining down into a dark corner.
His heart lurched and he propelled himself forward, limbs shaking.
His Robbie lay on a cot, bruised (and broken?) body under thin sheets, his costume long ago shredded. Glossy black hair framed a pale face, and Roy saw his chest rise and fall in shallow breaths. The sunlight caressed his body like angel light.
Roy spoke a single word softly.
Blue eyes fluttered open, hope and relief and joy flaring as Dick raised his weak arms and breathed, “Roy.”
Roy gathered his Robbie in his arms, tears sliding silently down his cheeks as rain began to fall, holding on with all his strength.
With the world in chaos all around him, his beloved anchor was with him again.