Author: Cold Nostalgia PM
Spoilers for current DCU, The Return of Bruce Wayne. Bruce sighed and waited for the oncoming storm.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Angst - Bruce W./Batman & Richard G./Nightwing - Words: 749 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 16 - Follows: 1 - Published: 10-27-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6431132
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer/Claimer: Don't own.
Dick blinked, his arms stiffened, the jubilant smile froze, then faded. After a beat he pulled away.
Bruce sighed and prepared himself for the oncoming storm. He'd suspected that Dick wouldn't understand his reasoning for not telling him he'd come back sooner. It was understandable in way, and perhaps if their positions were reversed Bruce would be just as angry with Dick as Dick was with him.
Their relationship throughout the years had seen more turbulent times. This was just another bump on the road. Once Dick had a chance to calm down he would at least recognize the logic behind his actions, if not appreciate them.
But for now, they would argue. Dick would lose his temper and Bruce would hold steadfast, as was their way. As would always be their way. Later, fences would be mended and they'd go on just as they did before.
Knowing that did nothing to ease Bruce's discomfort. It wasn't as if he enjoyed these arguments.
"Three months, huh?" The laugh was full of bitterness.
"It was necessary." Bruce countered with deliberate calm.
Dick's smile was sardonic. "I'm sure it was."
A delicate silence filled the room, wrapping itself around them. It seemed neither wished to be the first to free himself.
Hesitantly, Bruce took a step forward. "I'm proud of you, son."
"I mean it," Bruce went on with an urgency he didn't quite understand. "You've done excellent work here. The way you've held Gotham together," Bruce waved his hands helplessly. "…I doubt I could have done the same.
Dick folded his arms across his chest and cocked his head. "Right."
Bruce blinked, suddenly in unfamiliar territory. Normally Dick started shouting about now, there was never such a …coldness, such a heaviness in the air. It was as if an impenetrable fog had formed between them. Bruce had no idea how to cross it.
He licked his lips, surprised at their dryness. "I know how hard all this must have been for you, with Damian, the state the city was in, the-."
"You know, you really don't get it do you, Bruce?" Dick interrupted suddenly. "This isn't about Damian, this isn't about Gotham being a war zone; this is about is you being dead for over a year and being alive for three months and… Not. Telling. Us." Dick broke off, his breathing coming in shuddering gasps, Bruce distantly wondered in horror if he was going to start crying. "God, Bruce, being dead did nothing for your emotional intelligence, did it?"
Bruce straightened, ignoring the tightness around his throat. "I had my reasons."
"Reasons." Dick repeated hollowly and gave a tired nod. "Yeah, you always have those, don't you?"
Bruce didn't know what to say as Dick angrily wiped away unshed tears from his reddened eyes. After a moment of quiet reflection, Bruce managed to find his voice.
"The last thing I wanted to do was hurt you…"
"But you did it anyway because The Mission always comes first." Dick finished for him.
Bruce shook his head more fiercely than he intended. "That's not what I was going to say."
"Yes it was," Dick replied softly. "You would have put it in a more roundabout way, but that's what it always comes down to, doesn't it? The Mission." Dick smiled sadly and rubbed his face. "Goddamitt, Jason was right about you."
Bruce stared at his son, inwardly stung by the remark but unable to counter it.
"I'm done here." Dick said finally, looking him straight in the eye. "I'm finished with all of this."
Bruce took two steps forward. "You don't mean that, " he said, his voice sounding uncertain to his own ears.
Dick grabbed his jacket and looked over his shoulder. "Oh, yes, I do. I'll get Alfred to send on the rest of my things," he paused for a moment. "The files in the batcave should all be in order."
The two men locked gazes, and that's when Bruce felt it. Something intangible, but more substantial that he could have ever possibly imagined. Something that had always been there, yet he'd never known it. And in the blink of an eye it snapped, withered away and died.
Bruce felt sick, the enormity of his actions finally realised. "Dick…"
But he was already gone.