Out of everything Dick had seen that night, there was always that one thing that managed to stand out. It wasn't the blood, the dark – not even the raw fear. That itself eased with careful time and effort with the Batman.
The noises didn't feel as apparent, either. Neither did the immediate panic, gasps, the snapping of the cables, or the ear-shattering sound his parents' sculls made when they hit the bottom of the Circus tent. The children's crying didn't do it, either, or the parents gasping and screaming seconds following. Not even when he put his hands over his ears, trying to hush it, smothering them.
He remembered trying to make everything stop, trying to wake from that nightmare he wasn't ever going to awake from, but that still wasn't what he remembered most.
The moments before were brilliant. Under his eyelids, he could still see his mother – her long, blonde hair riding the wind, smile radiant, her body bending in ways others could never even hope to. His father, too, was smiling, catching his wife's hands in his own stronger, much larger ones, ones the size of his son's own head –
And then there was a sudden snap. An early gasp or two.
Then they're falling.
From the top – the other side of the line snapping – he stood small, the early age of nine – arms reached out, almost tripping over the edge as he tried to grasp his mother's hand –
And missed. He was just too far away, too weak and too small to even begin to accomplish such a thing.
The look on his mother's face was the worst. Her brilliant smile was swiped almost immediately, gone forever – her lips parted slightly, soundless words escaping, as if she were trying to tell her son everything she wanted to in just mere seconds –
And then failing, miserably, as her body clattered to the floor, echoing throughout the tent.
When he awoke, he realized it was a bit too dark, even for him. He couldn't even see his own hands; all there was was the crack of the door to his right, slight light trailing through the room and lining the gray carpet, right onto his bed.
He cursed at himself. He was at Happy Harbor, with his teammates, he was sleeping, and his mask and glasses were off. All he was wearing was an extra pair of boxers and sweatshirt. Great job, Dick. Was he trying to earn another scolding from Bruce?
He groaned when he got up, lifted his legs over the bed and stumbled towards the door. His head felt like it was going to split open and his limbs felt numb, like they were going to just fall off, one by one, every time he took a step.
He immediately decided he was going back to sleep. He was going to close that stupid door and lock it, just how Bruce likes it kept, and –
Until the red-headed speedster decided to show up at his door, of course. Dick didn't freak out – unlike the others, he already told his best friend his secret identity years prior. He was more concerned by his mood, if anything.
Wally was crouched on the floor next to the door, dressed in large, oversized, red pjs, with no shoes or socks. His hair was scattered in every-which direction, and bags hung low under his bright eyes. He looked really tired – slight frown, droopy eyes in all – except Dick knew Wally West way more thanthat.
"Wally?" Dick croaked. He rubbed his eyes in attempt to get rid of the sleep and blur eating at them. "What's up?"
Wally's frown grew deeper. "I heard you," he said, lifting himself from the floor, "again."
"Oh." He stared awkwardly. Wally knew about his nightmares for a while then; the fact that he was in contact with him more often now just exemplified it. Dick peeked in the halls before opening the door a bit wider. "I'm fine. You know that."
"Yeah." He could tell Wally didn't believe him.
He just stared for a while before Dick spoke again. "Do you need anything?" he asked, touching his shoulder. Wally just shrugged it off and started walking down the hall to his own room, not even taking one look back.
Before Dick closed the door, shutting out all of the light he had before, he heard Wally mutter something. It was faint, a bit muffled by their footsteps and distance, but Dick still heard it pretty clearly.
I should be asking you that.
Maybe Wally should be asking him that. Maybe he should be able to talk to him, easy, about his nightmares and problems. Maybe it shouldn't be such a big deal to talk about serious things every once in a while. But that didn't change the fact that it still was.
Dick pondered – stared blind in the dark for a few moments – before he flicked on the light switch. "I know," he answered.
He knew he wasn't going to sleep any more that night.