Genres: Angst, Challenge, Drama, Holiday, Hurt/Comfort, Romance
Summary: When Robin is wounded while on patrol, he seeks refuge.
Date Of Completion: November 25, 2012
Date Of Posting: December 15, 2012
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1017
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Written for my LJ Sixth Anniversary Fic Request Meme for silvertales. Pairing: Bruce/Dick. Prompt: Refuge. Also written for my 2012 DCU Fic/Art Silver Bells Winter Holidays Challenge. Prompts: Church Bells, Yule. Also written for saavikam77’s 2012 DCU_Freeforall Winter Holidays Challenge. Prompt: No. 8: Family/Home/Shelter/Hearth, No. 14: Snow/Ice/Frost, and No. 24: Winter Solstice.
As church bells ring,
And carollers sing
As Yule comes
In its ancient
Sarah Jean Adams
"The Old Ways"
Robin staggered in the snow, the flakes coming down thick and fast. The great buildings towered high over his head as he stumbled to his knees, shivering at the cold that seeped through his flesh-colored tights.
What, do people think I go around bare-legged during a Gotham winter? He laughed, close to hysteria. I must be really out of it.
He looked down with prickles at the edge of his vision like sugarplums dancing in his head as rivulets of blood ran down his legs as if they were rose petals, blooming in the pristine whiteness of the snow. He swooned as his vision matched the snow and whited out, the bells of St. Mary’s ringing a few blocks away. The sonorous peals were muffled by the snow. Robin felt himself falling as the cold snowflakes kissed his face and bare arms.
He giggled as he drifted, listening to the sounds of silence as his cape spread out over his body. Hard concrete had been softened by tightly-packed snow.
He could feel the blood flowing out of him as he hummed an old circus tune, floating as he grabbed for a trapeze bar, effortlessly performing a quadruple somersault, or was he dreaming?
Heaven or hell, answer the bell.
He could see the gray winter light in the gloom of the Manor as he snuggled next to solid warmth. Strong fingers combed through his hair as a deep voice murmured words of love into his ear.
I’m in the snow; let me go.
He was curled up in bed, bare skin against bare skin as clever hands caressed his body. He sighed happily as he burrowed closer as the snow fell outside the windows. Here all was safe, his refuge from a cold, cruel world.
Cold. He was so cold.
“Br…Br…” he chattered.
Was Mr. Freeze out of Arkham? That place had a revolving door.
He felt despair creep up and start lowering a veil of darkness over him. He hated despair. He greatly preferred cheer and sunshine, like his cape. Wasn’t this world dark enough on its own? Why do people have to add to the pain of this world?
His pain was numbed at the edges. His worst pain was so deep and raw that sometimes he forgot he had it, even if only for a second. The only way that he could survive the pain was to remember his parents and their joy in every day.
And his heart was protected as he happily shone in the shadows. There it was warm even as the wind whistled through the Cave, and why was his blood warm? Shouldn’t he be cold?
The soft rustle of wings…no, silk…whispered by his ear as he felt the fabric slide across his skin. He felt naked as he shivered while the snow fell. Tears slid down his cheeks as strong arms encircled him. Robin felt himself slide away, hey, hey, hey…
The pealing of the bells was clear and sweet. They weren’t St. Mary’s this time, but Our Lady of Czechokowa’s.
“That’s it, open your eyes.”
”What…what time is it?”
”Nine o’clock.” Bruce looked out the window. "It's a bright day."
Dick felt a grin spread over his face. His hand rested lightly on his side as he watched Bruce pour a glass of water from the pitcher on the nightstand. Dick eagerly drank it, the blessedly-cool water soothing his aching throat. A fire crackled in his bedroom’s fireplace.
His mind was clear now unlike two nights ago. He could feel the pain in his side throb dully and experienced slight nausea. Bruce presented him with a sleeve of Saltine crackers on a silver server. Dick laughed, clutching his bandaged side with a groan.
“What’s so funny?”
“Only you and Alfred would serve Saltine crackers on that!”
Bruce smirked. “Saltines are good for an upset stomach. I’ll go get you some ginger ale. That’s better for an upset stomach than water.” He left the bedroom.
Dick nibbled on a cracker as the wind rattled the windows. He loved the morning after a storm as the world seemed clean and new.
Bruce returned with the ginger ale. “Alfred says if you feel up to chicken soup later, let him know.”
“I will.” Dick ate another cracker and drank some cold ginger ale. “The shooter was Malcolm Biggs.”
Bruce took note of the name. Dick figured that Biggs had some pain in his future. He was fine with that. Let Bruce put the fear of the Bat into the thug.
Bruce sat on the edge of the bed and cupped his partner’s face. “How do you feel?”
Bruce’s thumb stroked Dick’s cheek. “And in pain?”
Bruce lowered his hand to rest on Dick’s chest. “Tell Alfred and me if it gets worse.”
Dick nodded. He smiled as he drank more soda. “I’ll have to ask Alfred for some honeycakes.”
“You do that.” Bruce smiled as he brushed Dick’s hair back from his eyes. “You’ve got your candles?”
“Good.” Bruce stood up.
“Stay with me.”
Bruce hesitated for a minute. Dick could see him running all the things he had to do through his head before he smiled and said, “Move over.”
Dick obeyed with alacrity. He snuggled next to Bruce, who put his arm around him and pulled the blanket up. He’d kicked his shoes off and removed his jacket and seemed relaxed.
Dick closed his eyes, reveling in Bruce’s warmth. The wind gusted again, rattling the windows as the fire crackled in the hearth. Dick felt safe here in Bruce’s arms. Bruce was always his refuge, just as much as Wayne Manor was against the elements.
He would ask Alfred for those honeycakes and make his offering, remembering his parents keeping the Old Ways as the blood of the Roma sang the old songs.
He felt Bruce stroke his hair as he fell asleep, safe in his refuge.