Pairings/Characters: Bruce/Dick, Jim Gordon, Clark Kent, Barbara Gordon, Roy Harper
Categories: Angst, Drama
Summary: Blood everywhere while Bruce slowly slides toward the abyss.
Date Of Completion: August 28, 2007
Date Of Posting: August 28, 2007
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1423
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: I decided to use the poem from Wings Of Angels Trilogy Book I: Epidemic. I like it, so figured, what the heck, use it again! Besides, it fits. :)
Don’t leave me.
Don’t grieve me.
The shot should have sounded like a cannon. Instead, it was soft, almost silent, tearing into flesh and pushing up the geyser of blood that fountained all over Robin’s red tunic, darkening the bright-red to black, a look of shock on his face as he began to fall with boneless grace, yellow cape fluttering out behind him.
The world tilted crazily, Batman’s scream of “Robin!” echoing off the dirty alley’s buildings, bouncing wildly off one brick surface to another like a ricocheting bullet. A fell swoop, catching the Little Bird as he fell, pressing down on his wound, so much blood, covering gray/blue in seconds, warm and wet and hisses of “Stay with me! Don’t leave me! Don’t leave me!” frantic and angry.
The wail of a siren, screams from passersby at the end of the alley, so much blood, the bright colors of green, red, and yellow now garish and stark against marble-white flesh, the black domino a slash across high cheekbones, raven hair tumbling across the white brow, a Greek statue motionless, he’s never motionless...
Dick, don’t leave me!
Cold, deep in his bones and in the body below his, shouts and commands and Jim Gordon’s voice snapping, his growl as they try to take his Little Bird away from him. Pressure on the gaping wound, blood seeping through his gloved fingers, dark and bubbling, and the stretcher comes, keeping his hands on the wound, needing to keep the blood in…
I could never leave you.
Scarlet against marble, rivulets of red on bare legs, staining the spangled green, streaking yellow silk as it whispers when Dick is lifted up on the stretcher, draping gracefully over the edge, graceful like Dick himself…pain tightens his heart, don’t let me lose him, never see that grace and light in motion again…
Wild ambulance ride, the EMT talking to the doctors, all of it heard as if from a distance, as if he’s wrapped in cotton batting, food coloring staining the pristine white, except it’s not food coloring, and he hears roaring in his ears.
I can’t do this without you!
Inside the hospital, running alongside the stretcher, still holding his Beloved’s life in, others trying to pull him away.
A strong hand rests lightly over his hands, blue gloves black now.
“Let him go, Batman. Let them help.”
Whispers in his ear, sorrow dripping in gentleness, and he pulls away, blood splashing him again and staining Superman’s costume now.
Arkham whispers to him.
Strength that is unearthly, guiding him, he refusing to leave, fists clenched, the smell of blood clinging to him, sweet and cloying…
Bright lights hurt his eyes. The roaring in his ears grows louder, and he sits, or collapses, and he can’t make out what Clark is saying.
We’re waiting, Bruce. Arkham always wins.
Dizziness, nausea, somewhere a child screaming in fear, rage consuming him but overlaid with fear, fear coating him, gnawing at him, making it difficult to breathe…
He’s slipping, closer, closer, to the abyss, to the darkness from whence he came, even the grip of the world’s mightiest man can’t keep him from slipping, only one man can do that, and he’s bone-white, blood-white, first star I see tonight…
We’ll welcome you, Bruce. You’re one of us.
Dick, DON’T LEAVE ME!!!!
Voices, mixed in with the whispers? Clark’s firm voice keeping everyone away, Jim’s concerned voice, his body cold, so very cold…
I could never leave you.
Buzzing in his ears, the whispers laughing, he grimly holding on, digging in his heels as he slides closer to the edge…
“I’m here with you, Bruce.”
The whisper is in his ear, not Arkham, not the mocking, mad voices, just Clark, steady, salt-of-the-earth Clark, alien-fallen-from-the-stars, his scarlet cape shimmering, just like blood, fluttering like sunshine silk streaked with robin-red…
He slips, letting out a little cry as the abyss yawns before him, knees hitting the stone or is it the tiled floor? strong hands gripping him as he whimpers as the fear strangles him, he’s the Batman! he should conquer the fear, the blood wasn’t mixed with pearls, not this time, but his heart is tearing in two…
Don’t grieve me.
He clamps down on the keening building up in him, the litany of his Scotch/Irish heritage, the Druidic whispers in his blood mixing with the Romany of his Beloved, rational thought left behind, their blood entwined, would his drain away with Dick’s, please, please, don’t let him go away, let him stay, I promise I’ll be good…
Strength slides around his shoulders and lifts him up, the hard bench beneath them, still the strength around him, his hands are shaking, why is that fucking light on, glaring at him, why isn’t he in the shadows where he functions best, except now the Light always brings him out of the Dark but the Dark will swallow him up if his Light goes away…
Drenched in blood, filling his nostrils and mouth, coppery taste turning his stomach and wrenching his heart.
“He’s strong, Bruce, he’ll fight to stay with you,” Clark murmured very soft, very low, scarlet silk draping his shoulders, fending off all comers, Bruce grateful, regretting that Alfred couldn’t be here, too, but keeping fists clenched, eyes staring at the doors to Surgery.
If Dick doesn’t make it, he will do his duty, plan and attend the funerals (one for Dick, one for Robin, because there’ll never be another Little Bird for him) and then scream out his vengeance, true Angel of Death, then sink to his knees and let Arkham have him.
Not a Bat out of Hell.
A Bat descending into Hell.
Please, Dick, don’t…don’t leave me.
No more, please, no more cold stone, reflecting his haggard visage, stone angels’ wings enfolding him, freshly-dug earth and the wind whispering through the trees…
He hears the sorrow in Clark’s voice, slides his glove over to clutch his friend’s hand, wanting to help though he’s so close to the edge, but Clark is there, bright like his Robin, bright and sunny, and he turns his head away from fluorescent glare but not from Clark’s light…
I will always love you.
Bright ribbons, laughter, a pixie’s mischief, strength beyond strength, shared sorrow and sacred oath, nights two-against-the-world, bright splash of color on black silk sheets…
His heart is beating, his blood thrumming, can his blood replace what his Beloved has lost?
It can, and he gives it, Barbara all of a sudden there, dressed in blue and black and yellow, red hair like blood…
Roy, red hair, red costume, red like a robin, here for Robbie, always red, soaked in red, drenched in red, red-not-dead…
They give, too, and Clark would if he could.
She sits on his other side, Roy Indian-style at his feet, and he is so far away, he can barely hear them, they speak and he stares at the doors, and Clark holds his hand while Barbara holds the other, Roy speaking softly of their Robin, and he’s on the edge of the abyss now…
Come to us, Bruce. We have a room all picked out for you. It’s been waiting ever since that night in the alley.
No! not with his friends, not with his Beloved still here, he won’t succumb…
…there’ll be time for that later, if Dick leaves him.
The doors open, and he stands, Clark, Barbara, and Roy beside him.
& & & & & &
In the attic of Wayne Manor, dust lightly coats the old things, generations of trunks and mirrors and pictures and boxes and beads. There is a box that sits by the window, no dust yet collected, and if one opened it, one would find two costumes, wrapped in tissue paper: one is a red tunic with a ragged hole in the chest, rust-red patches twining like ribbons, and the green gloves, pants, and boots are marked the same, the yellow cape streaked with jagged scarlet stripes.
The second costume is gray-and-blue, patches of those colors peeking out through black/red/brown, the gloves completely black with flaking rust, boots spotted, the cowl and cape splattered.
There is no note here, explaining that they were the last costumes of Robin and the man who loved him.
There is no need of it.
There is still light and laughter in the Manor.
Arkham will have to wait.
& & & & & &
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