Pairings/Characters: Bruce/Dick, Clark, Alfred, Diana/Steve, Roy Harper, Dinah Lance/Ollie Queen, Barbara Gordon, Jim Gordon
Categories: Angst, Drama
Warnings: Major character death.
Summary: On a beautiful spring day, goodbyes are said.
Date Of Completion: June 13, 2007
Date Of Posting: June 13, 2007
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 962
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: I don’t know where this came from! Just a little strange mix of spring beauty and melancholy, I guess. Or blame pervyficgirl and merfilly and reading a lot of their deathfics over the past half-year! :) The entire series can be found here.
The blossoms fell on the assembled company, borne on the gentle breeze. The scent of apples filled his nostrils, cutting through the almost-overpowering smell of the dozens of flowers banked around them.
The sky was bright azure, aching to look at, fat clouds drifting by. They had played the game of seeing shapes in clouds years ago, his other half the more imaginative. It had always been so.
A strong hand gently rested against the small of his back. He kept his eyes forward, always steady, always calm, hiding how he was crumbling inside.
Birds twittered in the trees. Wincing, Bruce took a deep breath.
Spring had always heralded Dick Grayson, the boy who had been by his side as child, teenager, and man. It was in springtime that he had met the child, at first a bright flash of joy as he performed high in the sky with his parents, then grief shattering him as they were lost to him in one horrifying moment. Their bond of shared experiences had begun that night.
Dick had come home with him to the ancestral Manor, the mansion dark and brooding, and then a miracle had happened.
Light had streamed in, illuminating the dark, musty corners and blazing in the great rooms, laughter and love filling the house again, making the old traditions worthy again and creating new ones.
Halloween was once again more than a brooding holiday of Gotham-like proportions: it meant fun and excitement as in years past, carving pumpkins into funny/scary faces and buying way too much candy for children astonished to see the iron gates open again on this night of nights.
Christmas? The giant tree Alfred always insisted upon putting in the living room was now decorated by someone other than his loyal butler. Small hands placed delicate ornaments on the branches, and Bruce helped the boy shimmy up to reach the top branches. Secrets were whispered, and winks exchanged. Christmas Eve and Morning were magical again.
Fourth of July? There was a picnic to attend, and fireworks oohed and aahed upon while he slipped his arm around the small body, the dark head resting against his shoulder, large yawns and then sleepy mumbling.
Birthdays? Once more days of celebration and silly songs and cake, good wishes and presents and just joy for being alive for another year.
There was the smell of chocolate chip cookies or apple pie baking in the kitchen and childish laughter keeping Alfred company, and energy swirling around as handstands were practiced on the grand staircase and the furniture, ribbons of light streaming behind grace and brightness.
There was always the night, the two of them together against the world, patrolling Gotham, sometimes never speaking a word all night and never being uncomfortable.
Closeness in the Batmobile, their safe haven against the night, and the thrill of the wind against their faces as they flew over the rooftops in perfect sync.
Dick had grown, matured, and finally the yearning of Bruce’s heart could be satisfied. His child was now a man, beautiful and always graceful, wanting him and declaring he would never leave, never stop loving him, and Bruce had been happy.
Partners in everything, on the dark streets and rooftops, in the kitchen as they learned to cook under Alfred’s watchful eye, in the master bedroom under silk sheets.
Bedrock loyalty. Undying trust. A love that was so much a part of them as to be like the air they breathed.
Bruce coughed as the smell of rich earth came upon him. He gazed at the flowers, seeing Dick asleep like some Sleeping Beauty in their midst, blossoms in his hair as he was peaceful, his boundless energy quiet for once, waiting for the Prince of Gotham to wake him with a kiss.
His vision blurred, and when he blinked the tears away, he saw the dark coffin instead, a single spray of yellow and red roses on the lid, speaking of friendship and love, framed in greenery. Fresh and alive.
The memory of his broken bird darkened the edges of his mind, his vision, the smell of blood choking out the flowers.
My Little Bird.
His chest ached. How could he breathe without his air now? Live without his light? Feed his soul without his nourishment, rich and sweet and delectable?
Clark’s support was strong beside him. He felt the hand on his back, felt his best friend’s grief, wished he could comfort him.
But he could only cry inside.
Such a beautiful day, this day of spring, warm and gentle and full of vibrant colors, alive with the sound of joy.
Just like his Beloved.
They were all there, the Justice League, the Teen Titans, all in civilian identities as other non-heroes mingled with them. Diana’s Mother Earth serenity gently calming, yet tightly clutching her blond Beloved’s hand; a flash of red hair and anguish written on handsome features, comforted by the Pretty Bird and Archer; another flash of red hair and saddened beauty as another friend was comforted by her father.
Dick had always touched so many lives.
Alfred was on his other side. His heart was broken, but as always, he carried on.
Bruce knew that from this day forward, he would not.
Freshly-cut letters were etched into the shiny black headstone beneath his parents’ names, carrying the name and dates of the latest member of the Wayne family to leave this earth. The silent stone angels watched with impassive faces, their wings folded. The words of the minister carried on the breeze as a robin flew over the grave.
His Robin, his Beloved…
…he grasped a stray apple blossom, his heart’s final shattered pieces disappearing into the rich earth with his Little Bird on a beautiful spring day.