Pairings/Characters: Dick Grayson
Rating: (this chapter): G
Summary: Why Dick is acting like a dick in DC canon. :)
Date Of Completion: June 20, 2007
Date Of Posting: June 20, 2007
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1171
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: This story came to me as a result of all the discussion on LJ about our Little Bird and the OOC behavior he’s been exhibiting in DC canon for the past few years. This is my ‘explanation’ for it, and it’s very DCU in the oddness of it all, but in a universe that accepts men with superpowers via a yellow sun and women as ancient/modern Amazons, just to name a few things, I guess this fits! :)
The new world opened up before him. Dick Grayson walked with his characteristic grace, passing the pink/red and flaming-yellow trees under a light-blue sky. Breezes stirred the leaves, but no sounds could be heard. His footsteps were silent as he walked, still clutching the escrima sticks.
There were pathways off the main road, disappearing into a profusion of wildly-colored flora and fauna. Nightwing’s dark costume stood out in all the color, but that suited him just fine.
The journey down the road could have taken minutes, days, perhaps years. Time was of little concern here.
He paused as he reached his destination. Leaving the main road, he veered off onto the path to his right.
The trees and bushes here were a riot of colors. He kept his lenses snapped in place as he walked through foliage that was shocking-pink, eye-achingly blue, deep purple, burnt orange, fiery-red, lemon-yellow, and bright green. Threaded through this cavalcade of colors were wisps of stunning black as he walked along the smaller path.
Birds of every brilliant hue and plumage flew and sang their songs, an oddity on this plane of being, as silence usually reigned here.
He finally came upon what he had journeyed to see, rolling the lenses back.
The child slept on a bed of pale yellow roses, small chest rising slightly, up and down, lips curved in a gentle smile. A few stray blossoms starred his dark hair. He was dressed in a shocking array of colors: red, green, and yellow, as fluorescent as the foliage that surrounded him. Gold light sparkled all around him, threaded with bands of every color imaginable.
As Nightwing watched, the child’s form blurred, then settled into the lithe, coltish form of a teenager, still dressed in the same gaudy costume, then the image changed again, back to a child, dressed in a red sweater and blue pants. As he watched, it changed once more, to the image that mirrored his own: a young man in his early twenties, dressed in the dark blue-black costume that he now wore. Other images came and went, all in flux, in random order.
Throughout every change, the smile remained. Whether his hair was short or long, his clothes civilian or costume, his age child or man, the smile was always there.
Nightwing settled on a small stone bench. He enjoyed watching the light and colors play around the child/man who slept on the bed of roses.
It had been so easy, really. While the young man had slept in that miserable apartment of his in that miserable city, he had come in and taken his Soul and deposited him here.
He’s made for all these flowers and brightness.
Really, because the child/man was the essence of Brightness, which had attracted him from the beginning. The Human-style Darkness no longer protected him as it had done in the days of his childhood and adolescence. In fact, it had cast him out, pushed him away and the hurt and confusion were at the edges of the Brightness, which had begun to dim even before he had come.
But that was how it worked with his people. The vulnerable were targeted. Those who had once held close ties and still struggled to maintain them were especially vulnerable to his race’s special abilities.
And his people were fair. They did not operate in universes which did not believe in such things as Soul-Stealing. It wouldn’t be fair not to let the Stolen have a chance to be rescued.
This universe dealt with men who could fly and tear apart meteors and moons with bare hands, and other men who flew over rooftops without plunging to their deaths, women from islands where only other women dwelt, and had dwelt for thousands of years, Martians taking on Human form as they studied and learned.
So they should have known, those close to Dick Grayson, should have realized something was wrong, something not quite right. After all, hadn’t he helped them to try and realize it? Wasn’t he doing all sorts of things that Dick Grayson would never do, saying all sorts of things that he would never say?
He shook his head. Silly Humans. Perhaps Dick Grayson didn’t have as close a family and friends as he’d thought.
And he was not like the Ice People, whose Queen collected broken hearts.* His people did not merely collect for the sake of collecting. There was a purpose.
He noticed a bird perched on a yellow branch overlooking the bed of roses. The bird was crowned with a yellow tuft, brilliant green wings, and a scarlet breast. A long, shining tail that combined all three colors trailed out behind it. Bright blue eyes watched him.
“Little One, I have committed all sorts of unnatural acts.” He smirked. Silence was the norm here at other groves, but he liked to use the Human voice, even in this plane of existence. “I have done…what is that you Humans say?…my level best to play fair. They do not even have a clue that you are gone. They simply seem to accept whatever outrageousness I pull next.” He shook his head. “I shocked Superman so badly when I threatened him with his weakness that I am not sure he ever told anyone. And the lovely Barbara? She is wounded by what she considers your betrayal, and she seethes. The Archer? He is absorbed with his youngling but when I called him ‘junkie’, he hurt, but beyond trying to hurt you back, he never thought to ask why you would do such a thing. None of them have.” The pseudo-Nightwing tilted his head. “And your mentor? He tried to re-connect with you over the course of a year, away from Gotham, but his skills at being Human are so rusty that he has misread every signal I gave him.”
He rose, breathing deeply of the flowers that surrounded the Soul.
“They say you have failed them.” His smirk grew. “I say that they have failed you.”
He bent down and lightly touched the Essence, strengthening the chains that held it on this bed of roses. Chains unseen, but as strong as the one known as Superman. He closed his eyes as the Essence sparked, the golden lights growing brighter, the brilliant colors pulsing as he drew away a little of the Brightness. The body needed it for now.
And that was fine by him. His Darkness was slowly becoming more and more accustomed to this body, until it would be too late to drive him out.
The Essence of Dick Grayson, which resided here in his people’s Garden of Souls, would remain here, forever sleeping, forever Bright.
And those fools the former Boy Wonder had called family and friends would never know.
Laughter bubbled up in him as he threw his head back, the sound echoing in the silence, the brightly-colored trees bending their branches in the breeze as the Soul-Stealer stood by Dick Grayson’s Bright Essence.
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