Pairings/Characters: Bruce/Dick, Clark, Ollie Queen/Dinah Lance, Barbara Gordon, Sarah Dickinson, Alicia, Allie
Series Notes: When Gotham falls to an epidemic, Batman and Robin need help to protect the city. All chapters can be found here.
Categories: Drama, Angst
Rating (this chapter): G
Summary: Even while unresponsive, Dick draws others to him as more heroes visit him in the ICU.
Date of Completion: April 15, 2007
Date of Posting: May 1, 2007
Disclaimer: I don't own 'em, DC does, more's the pity.
Word Count: 1065
Author's Note: Once in awhile an original character will slip into the group up there in the Pairings/Characters line, so if you don't recognize the name, that' s probably why. :)
BRIGHT AS THE SUN
Bruce looked up, feeling bleary-eyed. Clark was standing just inside the doorway.
“Arrow and Canary are here, and Batgirl, too.”
Bruce rubbed his face and he stood up, stretching stiff muscles. “Let them in.”
The three visitors came in quietly, sympathy in their eyes and voices. Dinah gently hugged Bruce, who accepted a handclasp from her and a hand on his arm from Barbara. When the women went to the bed, Ollie said, “Roy will be here as soon as the Titans wrap up their latest mission.”
“That’s good.” Bruce’s voice was rusty from several hours’ disuse. “Dick would like to have Roy here.”
At the bedside, Barbara said, “Damn, Short Pants, who would’ve thought you’d go this far to weasel out of returning a few overdue library books?”
On the other side of the bed, Dinah chuckled. “Little slapdash there?”
Barbara grinned. “The Teen Wonder is a top student but can be a little haphazard. Hazards of the superhero profession.”
“Oh, you mean cutting classes and late assignments?”
“Yes, but the professors consider him an excellent student. When he slacks off, due to Robin duties, he always manages to charm them somehow.”
“A Robin who can charm the birds out of the trees?”
Barbara chuckled quietly. “You and Robbie must trade bad puns all day.”
“Birds of a feather.” Dinah winked.
Bruce heard the banter while Clark and Ollie gave him a patrol report.
I’m not surprised that Dick inspires people to be lighthearted at his sickbed. He always prefers to face life with bad puns and a smile. It’s as if he’s the sun and we’re all in his orbit.
He felt an ache deep in his chest.
“Bruce?” Clark’s voice was soft, the worry evident.
“I’m fine.” Bruce rubbed his forehead. “Just a little tired.”
“No wonder, staying at Dick’s bedside all this time.” Clark’s eyes were reflecting his voice’s worry. “I wish they had a bed for you to rest in, but the hospital’s packed.” He knew better than to even suggest going home.
“I’ll be fine.” Bruce lifted his head. “Keep a watch out for the Joker. He’s gone to ground, but he’ll resurface.”
Clark nodded. He put a hand on Bruce’s shoulder. “Try and get some rest.” He glanced over at the bed. “I’ll be right back.”
& & & & & &
He walked to the nurses’ station, and Sarah turned around, nearly squeaking with surprise. Recovering, she asked, “Yes, what can I do for you, Superman?” Her eyes immediately went to one of the monitors. “Is there a change in Robin?”
“Sadly, no.” Clark’s voice was deep but soft, the undertone of sadness touching everyone’s heart at the station. “I would like to know which room a young lady named Alicia is in.”
“Certainly.” Sarah looked at him with a little smile. “Room 352. That way.”
He nodded, a slight smile crossing his face. She glanced down and blushed at her scrubs top patterned with Robin’s ‘R’ symbol.
“We have Bat, Super and Wonder symbol tops, too,” she said with a quick grin, answered by him as he turned and headed for the designated room.
He passed the rooms, several of them with their curtains pulled back. Most of the patients had visitors. He felt sad as he passed the room of an elderly gentleman sitting up in bed, staring down at his hands. He had no visitors.
At Room 352, he saw Allie sitting by her daughter’s bedside. He tapped gently on the doorframe. She looked up, surprised, and said, “Come in, Superman!”
He walked in, aware that Alicia was in the same grave condition as Dick. He could hear her heart laboring and she was on a ventilator, too. The readings on the machines were nearly identical.
Allie began to stand up but Clark quickly motioned for her to stay seated. He walked over to the bed, said softly, “Your mother is here, Alicia. And if she’s anything like my mom, she won’t leave until you open your eyes.” He spoke soothingly for a few more minutes, then smiled at Allie, whose eyes were shining with unshed tears.
“Allie, I believe your daughter is as strong as the young man I just left. I know you’re worrying about her, but she’ll be in my prayers.”
It never hurt to say a few prayers, whether to God, Rao, or Aphrodite, as long as someone Up There heard you.
“Ye…Yes, Superman.” Allie twisted the tissue in her hands. “Thank you.” She wiped her eyes. “How is Batman doing?”
“He could use someone to look in on him from time-to-time.”
She attempted a smile. “I could do that.”
“Thank you,” he said as he went to her and clasped her hand.
Clark left the room and started walking down the hall, then paused outside the room with the old man. He went inside, the old man’s suffering eyes widening in surprise, then delight.
& & & & & &
Fifteen minutes later, he was back in Dick’s room. Ollie and Dinah were out in the hall as Barbara was talking with Bruce.
“No signs at all of the Joker, but we’ll keep our eyes open on the Museum. He might think that we think he won’t strike there again.”
“Mmm.” A shadow of a smile crossed his face. “I invited Ollie and Dinah to stay at the Manor while they’re in town. You, too, Clark.” Clark nodded as he laid a hand on Dick’s arm while he stood at the bedside. “I’d have invited you, too, Barbara, but you live here.”
Barbara chuckled. “Yes, I’ll sleep in my own bed tonight.” Her smile faded and she grasped Bruce’s hands. “Bruce, don’t hesitate to call if there are any changes.” She left unspoken, for the worse.
She nodded and let him go, slipping out of the room. Clark gently caressed Dick’s dark hair, then walked over to Bruce, reaching into the pocket of his cape. “Here, Alfred sent this along.”
Bruce took the razor. “I hate that he can’t come here.”
“I know.” Clark’s eyes shone with sympathy. “He understands.”
“He always does,” Bruce whispered.
Clark drew him into a hug, glad that Bruce returned it.
Please, don’t let Dick leave us.
He broke the hug but promised, “I’ll be back.”
He left Bruce to his vigil, sadness in his heart.