DISCLAIMER: I do not own Titans or any related material. And here it is, the last chapter! Thank you for all the support, loyal readers! Enjoy and please review!
A peaceful, serene white. That was the bliss world that Dick had come to know. He was deeply unconscious, which was a good thing. His body needed time to heal. To reset.
Finally, however, he was emerging slowly from the depths of the whiteness; Dick could tell a long time had passed since he was last conscious. He couldn't tell how long exactly, however. Days? Weeks?
Voices were slurred in the background and, thus far, only snippets of conversation had broke through to the white that Dick was enjoying.
"Temperature is high….not as high as before...keep an eye on it…"
"Hasn't woken...what do we do?"
"Infection still...nasty wound...clean it and fresh...to bind it"
"Come on, Dick….come back to us."
The last sentence had tugged at his heart, Dick steeling himself for the cold and pain of reality he had so blissfully escaped in the white expanse he was residing in. But his friends needed him. The world needed him. The nuclear family was still on the loose and by the heavens Dick was not going to let them lay a finger on another soul ever again.
With a great deal of effort, Dick's impossibly heavy eyelids slowly cracked open, the world swimming into his vision.
"He's waking up!" Gar's excited voice brought Rachel and Kory running into the room where Dick had been recuperating.
Rachel's heart was in her throat; she was anxious about Dick's condition. The cold bath was remarkable in bringing Dick's temperature down when his fever reached dangerous heights, but his body was so weak from the torment it had endured. The shock and cold from the bath left Dick running on empty; he passed out and had not woken since, drifting in unconsciousness. That was five days ago. Throughout that time, the rest of the team had vigilantly checked his temperature, vitals and wounds, which were finally normalizing and healing at long last.
Kory was biting her nails next to her, the only indication that Rachel wasn't the only one who was nervous for what was to come. Days of torture from the nuclear family, fighting infection, a nasty stab wound...maybe it was all too much for Dick to handle this time? Maybe he wouldn't come back unscathed like he always eventually did? They weren't able to know and the questions gnawed at them all...now they would.
"Come on, Dick, come back to us," Rachel whispered to him in encouragement, hoping he would hear her.
Dick's eyelids continued to flicker. Gar was tense next to her, waiting for any unexpected reactions from Dick should there be any. But there wasn't any as Dick groggily opened his eyes halfway, the world before him slowly focusing.
Three worried faces peered down at him, who he soon recognized to be Rachel, Kory and Gar.
"Dick," Kory said to him in an emotionless voice, "Say something."
Slowly, his mind responded and he spoke in a hoarse voice, "Guys?"
All three of his teammates visibly relaxed and sighed in relief, letting out the breath they were all holding.
"Dick! You're back!" Rachel ran and hugged Dick tight, he flinched in response, "Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry! I didn't realize!
Rachel immediately pulled away as her tight bear hug aggravated Dick's many injuries, but he chuckled tiredly in response as the pain subsided.
"It's okay," he said in a low whisper, his voice rough from no use, "What happened?"
"Well it was touch-and-go for a bit," Kory said in a curt voice, not fond of reminiscing on the past few days when they had nearly lost Dick, "after your fever spiked from the infection, we put you in a cold bath to lower your temperature. The shock of it all must have been too much for you, given your already serious injuries. You've been unconscious ever since."
Dick's tone was serious now, "Since when?" How long had he been out?
Gar responded in a grave voice, "2 years."
Dick nearly choked. 2 years?! That was impossible!
Rachel swatted Gar on the arm playfully, "Gar, don't joke him like that! He's only barely awake, no need to shock him to death!"
Dick was very confused and the look on his face must have given it away because Kory, chuckling, stepped in.
"Not 2 years," Kory gave a pointed look at Gar who was laughing next to her, "More like two days."
Dick sighed and closed his eyes in relief, relaxing against the pillows.
"You should have seen your face, dude!" Gar continued laughing at his joke.
Rachel giggled, but tried coughing it off as Dick narrowed his eyes at her playfully.
"But really," Dick became serious now, "What happened? Any news on that sadistic family?"
The laughter and chatter ceased when the Nuclear Family was mentioned, Kory reporting, "No sign of them since the warehouse. Guess my little fire show either scared them off or left them for both. Either way is fine with me."
Dick nodded, pulling the covers off from his feet and leaning forward with a wince.
Rachel rushed forward, forcing Dick back down, "And what do you think you're doing, mister?"
"Chances are the family is still out there. They must be stopped-" Dick's protests were cut off by a wave of pain from his shoulder once he put weight on it.
He glanced up to see Gar, Kory and Rachel looking down at him with hands on their hips, determined to keep him in bed till he finished recovering.
"What" Dick said through clenched teeth and heavy breaths, trying to mask the pain, "I'm fine."
"Mmhmm, sure" none of them buying Dick's excuse, "Back in bed, Grayson."
"What?! I can't believe this-" he tried getting up once more, but Gar stepped in front of his way.
Dick huffed in frustration as he gave in to his friend's wishes, silently grateful for their stubbornness when his injuries protested.
Rachel smiled at their victory, "How far did you think you were going to make it with a stab wound to the shoulder, infection, concussion, three broken ribs, a fractured orbital bone and cuts and bruises covering every other inch of you?"
Gar followed, looking solemn "We almost lost you after the infection and cold bath."
Dick was silent. He knew it was bad...but he felt horrible his friends had to deal with his injuries for the last few days.
"I'm so sorry, guys. I had no idea I had to put you through all of that, thanks for everything," Dick looked at his bandaged hands, ashamed at his weakness.
"Hey," Kory said in a stern voice, causing Dick to look up.
Her expression was serious, but finally a smile played at her lips, "What are friends for?"
Dick relaxed and Gar, smiling, asked, "So we're all friends, huh? Kinda like a team?"
Dick grinned, happy to be surrounded by his friends.