Pairings/Characters: Bruce Wayne, Roy Harper, Dick Grayson, Victor Stone, Slade Wilson, Jim Gordon
Genres: Angst, Drama, Hurt/Comfort
Warnings: Mention of rape
Spoilers: For a terrible, horrible Nightwing arc. *shudders*
Summary: Bruce must go to his Broken Bird.
Date Of Completion: April 23, 2009
Date Of Posting: April 25, 2009
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1342
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Written for northern_star for my Hurt/Comfort Fic Prompt Request. Characters: Bruce, Dick. Prompt: Scars. :)
This can be read as gen or pre-slash, your choice. :)
Gotham always left scars on the ones who loved her.
Physical scars: knives and guns and brass knuckles.
Emotional scars: despair and fear and hopelessness.
Mental scars: it was no coincidence that the building on the highest point on the outskirts looking down on the city of Gotham was Arkham Asylum.
But as bad as Gotham could be, Bludhaven was worse.
She was Gotham’s savage little sister.
And now, she had savaged his boy.
Bruce felt cold fear grip his insides as Roy Harper stood in front of his desk in the library at Wayne Manor, telling him in a calm voice about all that had happened to Dick in the past several months.
He couldn’t imagine the effort it took for Roy to stay calm as he recited the litany of disasters. Roy’s red hair did match his temper, and he was ferocious in defending ‘his Robbie’.
Bruce felt shame that he hadn’t had a clue as to what had been going on in his boy’s life. True, he had been insanely busy in Gotham, but that was an excuse, and a poor one at that. Dick had been undercover as Renegade, serving with Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke, in a mob operation that had cost him a great deal.
A mixture of emotions descended on Bruce as he heard Roy describe Slade’s obsession with Dick, and how messed up Dick had been after that operation, but he would have survived, if he hadn’t lost everything else: Haly’s Circus, his apartment building, his job…and then what had happened with Blockbuster.
Bruce felt rage and horror as Roy spoke of rape. His words were clinical, detached, but Bruce could detect the seething rage underneath.
Not his boy, not his beautiful boy, NO!
He didn’t know if Roy was angry with him for his neglect. Dick had been falling apart and his mentor had been nowhere to be found. Roy had been down that path with his own mentor, though Bruce had gradually come to understand just why Ollie had thrown out his heroin-addicted ward all those years ago: Ollie had felt incredible guilt at his own neglect and had taken it out on Roy, and had regretted it every day of his life since.
Oliver Queen was a lot of things, but he admitted his mistakes, even if it took awhile, and he owned them.
It was time he owned his.
Bruce rose from his chair and said to Roy, “Let’s go.”
It was as Red Arrow and Batman that they ended up in the Titans’ safehouse in a working-class neighborhood in a nearby medium-sized city that was neither Gotham nor Bludhaven. Dick had been brought as Nightwing here, a broken, battered Nightwing.
Bruce saw Cyborg on a nearby rooftop, keeping watch by the light of the streetlamp. He couldn’t read his expression from street level, but his body was still, impassive. Whether or not he was contemptuous of him, he couldn’t tell.
And he saw someone else, on the opposite side of the street, arrogant and watchful.
It infuriated him that the man obsessed with his boy was here, apparently standing guard, or waiting for a chance to swoop in and pick up the pieces?
No way in hell, Wilson.
He followed Roy into the building.
It was clean though shabby, an old brownstone that was now nondescript but evoked its grand past. Roy led Bruce past the sitting room and up the staircase, the wallpaper in need of replacement.
He stopped in front of a door at the end of the hall. “He’s afraid.” As Bruce remained silent, Roy continued, “Of you thinking less of him.”
Bruce’s heart contracted. What had he done to his boy, that Dick couldn’t feel that he could come to him in this time of crisis? He had given Dick his space, knowing he wanted independence, but Dick had been drowning and he hadn’t been there. He was determined to strike a better balance this time around.
“I never would.”
Roy nodded slowly. “It’s why I went to get you.”
He opened the door, stepping inside the dark room. He stepped aside, allowing Bruce to enter.
Bruce’s heart broke.
Dick was curled up in a fetal position on the bed, the covers half-off, his arms bruised and his body looking small in a pair of clean pajamas, his face gaunt as shaggy hair fell into his face over closed eyes. He wasn’t asleep, but was shaking slightly as he hugged himself.
Roy quietly said, “Robbie.”
Dick stirred, his eyes blinking open. “Roy…?” He saw the looming shadow of the Bat and froze, whimpering. “No, I didn’t want him here to see me like this!” Hysteria edged his voice.
Bruce carefully approached the bed, his stomach clenching as his boy cringed away from him.
The toughest of us all.
“Dick,” he said softly.
“No, please, Bruce…”
Even the toughest can crack like an egg. Dick’s shell is hard enough for our life, but he’s not hard-boiled.
Bruce sat on the bed, gently laying a hand on Dick’s shoulder. “It’s all right. I’m here.” His heart broke again at the look of shame and fear in Dick’s eyes. “I love you.”
The look of shock hurt him even more, but what did he expect? It was always difficult for him to say the words, but he wanted Dick to know. He carefully put his arms around his boy and drew him into an embrace, rubbing his back as he did when Dick had been a child, feeling the trembling as Dick didn’t move for a space of seconds, then slipped his arms around Bruce and hung on rib-crackingly tight.
Roy closed the door softly behind him.
“I’m so sorry, so sorry,” Dick gasped.
“You have nothing to be sorry about.”
“I screwed up, Bruce. Really badly.” Self-loathing laced his cracked voice.
It was difficult, so very difficult, to hear his boy so hard on himself. He missed his sunshine child, his wisecracking teen, his calm but capable young man, partner to Batman and leader of the Titans, then a hero in his own right. A young man tough enough to handle Gotham.
Bludhaven had broken him.
Or maybe, the lack of family around him.
Because as independent as Dick could be, he always needed his family around him, and Bruce had thought he’d needed his space. Let himself become wrapped up in his own problems, forgetting how much Dick needed him.
And how much he needed Dick.
Never again. You’ll always know you can come to me and your family, Dick. I promise that.
“I…I should have stopped h…her…from killing Blockbuster…and then…and then…she…” A small gasp of pain escaped Dick’s lips, Bruce unsure but he thought he heard the word, ashamed, tears running down Dick’s sunken cheeks.
He gently rocked his boy, whispering, “It wasn’t your fault.” He kissed Dick’s hair and hugged him fiercely. “I could never be ashamed of you, Dick. Never.”
His beautiful boy, so scarred, and not just the physical scars he knew well on this body.
“I’m so tired,” Dick said, Bruce barely able to hear him.
He was bringing his Broken Bird home.
Where he belonged.
Bruce promised himself during Dick’s recovery that when the time came, he would seek out Tarantula.
One night he answered the Batsignal and Jim Gordon told him that they’d found Tarantula’s body, dispatched in the method of an assassin. The Commissioner smoked his pipe in the shadow by the searchlight and said calmly, “We don’t have any leads,” though of course they did. The method of assassination carried a signature that Jim knew well, and Oracle would have passed along certain information about this particular case. He and Batman exchanged looks in perfect understanding.
They both understood protecting loved ones.
As Batman flew off, he knew that he would be tracking down Slade Wilson in the days to come for crimes committed.
It just wouldn’t be for this one.
free web hit counter (this counter installed 6/2/09)