Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Bruce/Dick, Clark, Alfred, Ellie Morrison, Maura Mulvaney, Reva Berry, Kyle McLachlan
Genre: Angst, Challenge, Drama, Hurt/Comfort
Rating (this chapter): G
Claim: For the dcu_freeforall Challenge (Bruce/Dick)
Prompt: T 11; P 6: Heal
Prompt Count: (14/15)
General Summary: After the epidemic, Robin recovers in Gotham General Hospital.
Chapter Summary: Robin is a star patient…and the paparazzi are determined.
Date Of Completion: January 15, 2011
Date Of Posting: November 9, 2011
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1411
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
The entire series can be found here.
Batman stood over Robin’s bed, watching as the younger man breathed without difficulty as he slept. He laid a gloved hand on the now-cool brow, his gesture unobserved in the private room. Robin had been moved from ICU now that the virus had finally left his system.
The illness that had spread like the plague throughout Gotham was finally diminishing. As mysteriously as it had come, it had fled, like a miasma chased by the wind.
Right now Batman didn’t much care about the reason. All he cared about was that the young man lying in this bed was going to live.
A nurse entered the room, a bit hesitant, but Batman said, “Go ahead with your checks, Nurse.”
She nodded, her expression weary. Batman had no doubt she had been working for hours. A lock of brown hair tumbled over her forehead and she impatiently pushed it back as she took Robin’s pulse. When she finished taking the vitals, she noted the numbers on the chart.
“Everything’s okay, Batman.”
A ghost of a smile played around his lips. “Thank you.”
After the nurse left, Batman brushed back raven locks from Robin’s forehead.
A rush of air swirled his cape and a strong hand rested on his shoulder. “Alfred says come home right now,” said Superman.
It was a testament to his exhaustion that Batman put up no fight, but his worry over his lover and the long, torturous nights of helplessness while Robin hovered close to death had finally taken a toll on him. He allowed Superman to fly him home, and Alfred was waiting. He immediately took charge, directing Clark to take Bruce upstairs.
“A hot meal will await you when you finish your bath, sir.”
Clark helped Bruce get into the tub, surprised that his prickly friend allowed it but when it came to Dick, the worry simply drained him.
Clark went downstairs after a super-speed change, enjoying some savory vegetable soup when Bruce came down in casual clothes. He too devoured the soup and French bread, Clark saying, “Dick looks a lot better.”
“Yes. The doctors say he’s on the way to recovery. And so many others are, too.”
“Gotham comes through again.”
Clark smiled. “Yes, she did.”
Clark left after dinner and Bruce went right to bed, sleeping for the first time in days.
Ellie Morrison came in to Gotham General Hospital after her first good night’s sleep in a week. The stocky nurse hurried to the station on her floor, glad that normal shifts were coming back. Now with the epidemic slowing down, hospital personnel didn’t have to live at Gotham General.
“Hey, Ellie,” said Maura Mulvaney, a tall, thin brunette. People said they resembled the Number 10 when they stood side-by-side.
“Hey, Maura.” Ellie grabbed a chart. “How’s our star patient doing?”
Maura grinned. “Sleeping comfortably. Man, who would have thought that the Boy Wonder would be in here?”
“Not to mention the Batman.”
“Yeah, well, he seems to prefer coming in and out of the window, so don’t be surprised if he’s already in Robin’s room.”
“Okay.” Ellie replaced the chart, her short brown hair bobbing as she walked down the hall to Room 306.
Since it was not ICU, there was a door instead of a curtain giving privacy. She entered the room, startled to see an orderly aiming his cellphone at the sleeping patient in the bed.
“Hey!” The orderly turned. “What the heck are you doing? You can’t invade a patient’s privacy like this.” He brushed past her and ran out. Ellie followed. “Hey! I didn’t see a nametag! Come back here!”
“Morrison, what’s with all the shouting?” asked Nursing Supervisor Reva Berry, a frown marring sharp features as she approached from the nurses’ station.
“There’s something fishy about that orderly. He tried to take a picture of a patient!”
Reva’s temper could match her dark-red hair. “A reporter, I’ll bet! Call Security!”
Ellie gave a description of the man: five feet ten, one hundred and seventy pounds, brown hair, brown eyes, and a stubbly growth of beard.
Security Chief Kyle McLachlan was glad for the description, but the man had given them the slip, he said regretfully.
“Don’t worry, Ms. Berry, he’s gone now,” said Maura.
“Yeah, but I’m the one who has to tell the Batman about this!”
Ellie and Maura shot her sympathetic looks.
Reva remained nervous, waiting for the appearance of Robin’s mentor. An hour after the incident, Ellie came out of Room 306 and said, “He’s here.”
Reva took a deep breath and marched down to the room.
The Batman was by the bedside, the lights dimmed. The Dark Knight loomed large in his black cape and cowl, Reva swallowing.
“Yes?” The voice was deep and slightly raspy.
“There was an orderly who was…um, trying to take Robin’s picture.” Batman remained silent but Reva’s nerves grew more skittish. “We figure he was a tabloid photographer. Security has his description.” At the Bat’s continued silence, she blurted, “We’re sorry!”
“Keep up the good work, Nurse Berry.”
Reva nearly fainted, and quickly nodded.
Once Reva had left, Batman’s attention returned to Robin, who was slowly coming awake. He leaned over the bed. “How do you feel?”
Robin yawned. “Tired.”
Batman smiled. “”Rest, then. I’ll be right here.”
Robin plucked at his lover’s sleeve. “I know.” His eyes slid closed again.
Robin was still weak, but he was able to stay awake for longer periods of time in the next few days. He effortlessly charmed the nurses, blue eyes visible through his domino mask as the lenses were snapped back in order to allow the doctors and nurses to check pupil reaction.
Batman was often in the room, but not every minute. The nurses were happier when he was not present, because he made them nervous. Robin made them feel good, joking and smiling with them as he allowed their ministrations. There had even been a few autograph hunters among the staff, which the Teen Wonder cheerfully obliged. Some of the nurses from ICU came down to see him, glad to see that he was doing well.
So it was that one morning soon after Robin’s move down from ICU, Ellie greeted him cheerfully. “How are you doing this morning, Robin?”
“Not bad.” He rubbed his forehead. “Still kind of weak.”
“That’s not surprising, considering the beating your body took.”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right.”
“Of course I am!”
Robin laughed. “Nurse knows best?”
“You better believe it.” Ellie handed Robin his medication and a cup of water.
“Anymore reporters sneaking around out there?”
“Let’s hope not. I think your mentor would like a word with the last one.”
“The guy better run for the hills.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised.” Ellie went about her tasks, checking Robin’s vitals and writing down the information. “Are you up for some toast this morning?”
“Excellent. What kind of juice would you like?”
“Great. I’ll get that sent up.” Ellie peered out the window. “What the…?”
“Is Batman coming?” Robin’s voice held eager anticipation.
“No, some wiseguy is across the street with a telephoto lens!” Ellie strode over to the window and snapped the blinds shut. “Boy, they don’t give up!” She stomped out of the room while Robin smiled.
The rattling of the blinds alerted Robin to Batman’s arrival. He smiled as the Dark Knight slipped into the room.
Robin nodded. “Are you getting enough sleep?”
Batman took his hand. “Yes. Batgirl is helping me on patrol. Superman, too.” His voice grew softer. “I miss you.”
Robin weakly squeezed his hand. “Me, too.”
Batman kissed him gently. When he pulled back, he asked, “Any more incidents?” When Robin related that morning’s event, Batman’s mouth twisted. “I won’t have you disturbed.”
“Get Cl…Superman to keep an eye on me. Red, too.”
“Are you talking Batgirl or Speedy?”
Robin laughed. “Either one will do.” He laughed again at his lover’s raised eyebrow. For Batman, hearing that laughter was a balm to his aching soul.
“I can’t wait to get you home.”
“Oh, Batman.” Robin fluttered his eyelashes.
Batman did get Batgirl and Superman to help keep an eye on Robin, with him as the chief protector.
There would be no breaching of the walls around his lover as long as the Dark Knight had anything to say about it.