Okay, so I recently read "As the Robin flies" by ReaperTot and I was really inspired to try something similar, especially because the story appears to be abandoned. I've also wanted to do a Failsafe fic for a while now, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone.
I AM NOT PLAGIARIZING THE STORY, I AM SIMPLY USING THE IDEA. IF REAPERTOT DOES NOT FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH THIS THEN THEY CAN PM ME THEMSELVES.
I hope you enjoy!
The first thing he was aware of was the pain. Everything burned - every muscle, nerve, every bit and piece of him felt like it was on fire. He felt like he would simply die from the pain any second.
So, in other words, he was not feeling the aster.
There was a ringing sound in his ears that was driving him crazy, but he could barely hear something beyond that. A...beeping sound?
He cracked his eyes to be met with similar darkness, but after a few moments they adjusted so that he could clearly make out the ceiling with a light on it. He was lying on his back, but he was in a medical bed position slightly upward. He craned his neck upward a bit only to hiss in pain as the simple movement made his head pound. The hiss - of course, with his luck - made his ribs ache as well.
No moving then. He thought to himself. He mentally began to recount everything he could remember. The memories began to flash in front of his eyes.
The League being wiped out.
The Team and other various heroes taking the burden of protecting Earth.
The Team dying one by one.
The explosion on the mothership.
Where were his two missing teammates? Had Wally escaped alive as well? Did M'gann manage to escape the explosion with her uncle?
Did they win, but at a terrible cost?
He heard a small sound outside his room and he snapped out of his thoughts. The figure must've waited at the door for a second or two, as if deciding whether or not to step inside, before he heard the door open slowly and quietly. He heard the footsteps - a young man's, but the sound of them - enter the room and shut the door as softly as he opened it. He hesitatingly came into the injured hero's line of sight.
Roy. He inwardly breathed a sigh of relief. He opened his mouth to say something, but it was so dry nothing came out. He managed to make a sort of strangled groan which alerted his fellow hero that he was awake.
"Dick." Roy said surprised, coming to stand by his bedside. "You're awake. Don't try to talk or move yet - we barely managed to pull you out of the wreckage. You've been out for a week. No one knew if you'd make it."
He sent him a questioning look and Roy opened his mouth again to explain, "Once we heard of you guys's suicide mission, me and a few other heroes went to Smallville a bit after the explosion. We must have lost you half a dozen times before we could stabilize you, and even then it was still a bit touch-and-go." His look didn't waver and Roy decided to address the subject that he had been dancing around. "Wally and M'gann...they didn't make it."
His face hardened, and he switched his stare to the ceiling. Roy simply gave the boy a sympathetic look before quietly leaving the room.
Only after he had left did tears start leaking out of the Boy Wonder's eyes.
Several months later he was cleared to leave the premises (the medical bay he had been held in had been the Cave, apparently. He had been so drugged and out of it he hadn't recognized the room). He had to be confined to a wheelchair however, since his leg was broken and his arms were too injured for crutches.
He met with the other surviving heroes, consisting of Red Arrow, Aquagirl, Tempest, Zatanna, Rocket and Batgirl (Barbara had created the identity to herself after Batman's death and Robin's apparent demise to take care of Gotham). They made the decision to reform the Justice League.
Soon later, they made some additions such as the Green Lantern Guy Gardner and Donna Troy as Wonder Girl.
Despite the horrors they all faced the day of the invasion, they would keep fighting for those who they had lost.
Earth's heroes would continue.
He was eventually cleared of his wheelchair, and the first thing he did was attend the ceremony honoring those who had been lost in "The Invasion", as it was now referred to as the public. It took place in DC and was the reveal of the rebuilt statues of the League at the Hall of Justice, as well as statues of all of the Team (Robin had a statue, despite not being a casualty) to commend their bravery and sacrifice for the world.
Not one person had a dry eye that day.
I'm sorry I let you all down. I was leader, and I led you all right to your deaths. Why did I survive when all of you died that day?
Staring up at the statues of his teammates, his friends, his family, he made a promise. He swore he would make up for his sins that day until his last breath. He would protect the Earth and the remaining heroes until his dying day.
He would fight until he could fight no more.
Eventually, Robin became Nightwing and Red Arrow became Arsenal.
They both just couldn't take the constant reminders of their mentors. Of everyone who had died.
Robin was Batman's apprentice, Red Arrow was Green Arrow's ex-protégé.
But without either, what were they? Who were they?
But they both knew it was futile. He could never forget M'gann's scream as Artemis died - the first of the Team to fall. The first domino. Roy would always remember looking at that crater that used to be the alien mothership and thinking all of my friends are dead. Everyone I know and love are gone.
Roy always thought that if he hadn't been so dramatic that day back in D.C., it would have turned out differently. That they - the Team, Green Arrow, Black Canary, all of them - would still be alive.
He let out his signature cackle, which was something he hadn't done in a long time. It had lost the humor that used to be hidden in it, giving it a chilling effect.
The boy stopped in his mission, stiffening slightly in fear but not turning around. "You gonna turn me in?" He asked quietly.
Nightwing stood next to the boy trying to steal the Batmobile's tires and he stood, dropping his tool. "What's your name?" Nightwing asked, surprising the boy.
"Jason. Jason Todd."
"Well Jason," He gave the boy a smile, "Do you have parents?"
Jason shook his head, "I lost my dad a long time ago. My mom died in the Invasion. She had already given up by then though. She was a drug addict. I've lived on the streets practically my whole life."
"Well then Jason, if you are so obsessed with the Batmobile...how about a ride?"
Nightwing took the boy back to the Batcave and later officially adopted him (his eighteenth birthday had already come several months back). He told him his secret identity, and introduced him to Alfred and later Barbara, who had been living in the manor since her father's death in the Invasion.
Jason didn't know why he had spilled his whole life story to the vigilante in the alley.
Dick didn't know why he had trusted a random boy, whom he had caught in an act of thievery, with his greatest secret.
But later, when Jason took up the title of Robin, they both were glad that they did what they did.
The Team eventually reformed, consisting of Robin, Bumblebee, Wonder Girl (Donna took up the name Troia), and Lagoon Boy.
The reformation of the Team was, in a way, the final step for Nightwing accepting that what he knew had changed since the Invasion. The old League and Team were dead, but new heroes had risen from their ashes.
Although he was not the leader of the League (he didn't trust himself, not after what happened the last time he lead a team) he was one of the more active members. He was the hero of Gotham with Batgirl and Robin, and he would cover Central City whenever he could. He made sure to be a big brother/father-like figure to Jason every spare moment he had.
He didn't want to be like Bruce used to be: obsessed in his work, dark, broody. Batman would do anything for the sake of the mission. He was a leader.
Dick didn't want to become Batman. He wanted to live. He had seen everyone he loved die - twice, once when he was nine and another as a thirteen year old - and he knew for a fact that the mission wasn't the first priority.
The first priority was family.
Years passed, heroes came and left, and things changed.
Jason left the name Robin and became Redbird, moving to Blüdhaven to become a solo hero. Dick adopted Timothy Drake, his neighbor whose father had been killed, and Tim became the new Robin.
Barbara changed identities as well, leaving Batgirl to become Oracle, a den mother for the Team who would coordinate their missions from the Cave. She took Stephanie Brown under her wing after helping her defeat her father one night and trained her to become Batgirl and legally adopting her.
He kept in contact with Roy, who had married the reformed assassin Cheshire and had a daughter, Lian Artemis Harper, named in honor of Cheshire's sister (which Dick had learned from Roy, surprising him greatly but making sense).
The Team and the League's rosters changed, new heroes - such as a new Blue Beetle or a time-travelling speedster named Impulse - joined their ranks, and time kept marching on.
Dick eventually met Talia al Ghul, who passed over Damian Wayne, Bruce's biological son. Dick raised the boy, who aspired to be like his fallen father, and eventually gave him the title of Robin when Tim left the nest to go to Jump City.
Dick changed over the years. He was less talkative and joking, but was still social and would indulge in good-natured teasing. He began a relationship with Barbara (one that was "a long time coming", as Roy put it) which eventually evolved into the pair marrying.
When Dick was forty-three, thirty years after the Invasion, he went on a mission with Rocket, Troia, and Redbird.
He had learned his lesson the day of the Invasion, so when he saw the man aiming the gun at Jason's - his brother's - unprotected back, he didn't hesitate before rushing forward, to take the bullet himself. It pierced in a small chink in his Kevlar - located on the lower, middle section of his back. It definitely pierced a vital organ.
It was fatal.
As he lay on the ground bleeding to death, he smiled as he looked up at the boy's tear-stained face and heard a roars of anger from the girls in the background. They would all be saddened by his death, but they would carry on and fight the good fight. They would be okay, alive.
And so Nightwing, a survivor of the Invasion, a senior member of the Justice League, a man who was married and had adopted with his wife three sons and a daughter, a man of forty-three, closed his eyes as he sucked in one last breath…
And opened them again as he exhaled, finding himself in the Cave surrounded by teammates that he had thought long dead.
Despite that being my longest chapter, I am not satisfied. It seems to rushed to me. Tell me what you think, and if I should edit this later.
Also, if you're following "Of Brothers and Circuses", I would like to say that it is extremely difficult for me to update if you guys won't tell me if you want the Team or the Outlaws appear. Please talk to me! I can't give the people what they want if the people won't tell me what they want.