YJ: Moments: Lie to Me
A/N: Sometimes it's okay to lie, especially to protect the ones you love.
Pain – Dick could feel the pain despite the numbing cloud of opiates. Slowly Dick forced his heavy eye lids open and willed his blurry vision to focus. The last thing Dick could remember was the building exploding, his limp body soared through the air, hit the concrete and skidded along the road. Dick remembered seeing Conner approach him before he blacked out, at least one of them was safe.
"Dick." Bruce's voice held the tiniest hint of concern and fatigue mixed with relief. Dick tried to speak but found that there was a tube down his throat. "Relax. I will get that out." A few painful breaths later the tube was out. Bruce placed a straw at Dick's chapped lips and Dick sipped gratefully allowing the cool liquid to sooth his aching throat.
"Others?" Dick croaked out.
"They are fine." Bruce's voice was steady and emotionless but Dick could tell he was lying. Dick has been doing this for too long. Dick knew the outcomes of an explosion like that with the team members' last known locations they were likely alive but not unscathed.
"How bad?" Dick whispered he could make out Bruce's face more clearly now. The dark circles around Bruce's eyes told Dick that the man has been up for at least three days.
"You were out for a couple days, but it's not bad." Bruce said gently stroking Dick's hair. Too gently – as if he was afraid Dick would shatter like glass. The relief on Bruce's face told Dick how close his brush with death had been. Bruce was lying.
"You don't have to lie to me you know." Dick said wincing slightly as he shifted his damaged body. "I am too old for you to drug me up and tell me everything will be alright when I wake up." Out of the corner of his eyes Dick could see Bruce adjusting the dial for the pain medication.
"You will all recover." Bruce replied a little stunned being caught in a lie by the boy.
Dick smiled he could feel the drug coursing through his system robbing him of his consciousness. "Now that's the truth"
Bruce sat at the computer in the cave investigating the formation of a new gang in Gotham when the sound of a thick file hitting the desk made him turn around to face his very disgruntled looking sidekick.
"Why didn't you tell me?" Dick stayed angrily. Bruce didn't need to look at the file to know what it was about but he picked it up anyhow and looked through it. His actions seemed to have annoyed the boy because Dick spoke up again. "Why didn't you tell me Zucco had escaped?"
I didn't want to upset you. I didn't want you to know until after he was back behind bars. I would do anything to keep that monster from you.
Bruce couldn't find the courage to voice his reasons so instead he said, "I took care of it. You didn't need to know."
Dick's face warped from shock to fury then to hurt.
"How could you say that? Of course I need to know! He killed my parents Bruce, you of all people... If it was HIM who broke out of prison would you need to know!"
For a moment neither of them spoke. Dick silently regretting his harsh words. Bruce silently regretting his action. The stalemate broke when Dick took off out of the cave and back into the mansion.
"I don't think you are being very fair to Master Bruce." Alfred said from the door way to Dick's room.
"He lied to me! He has no right to keep this from me!" Dick exclaimed turning around to face the old man. Alfred took Dick's lack of dismissal as an invitation and entered. The butler set down the silver tray with a tall glass of chocolate milk on the boy's bedside table and sat down on the bed next to the teen.
"Master Richard surely you are old enough to know the definition and merits of a white lie." Alfred said looking at the boy. "He wanted to protect you. He knew the news would upset you so he kept it from you."
"I am not a little kid any more Alfred." Dick said softly. "I don't need him to lie to me to protect me."
Outside Dick's room Bruce's sighed. The Dick was right; he had no right to lie to the boy. Bruce made a vow to himself that he would never lie to the boy again.
Dick was in the big top once again standing on the trapeze platform he could see his parents on the other side. Dick wanted to close his eyes and make it all go away, because he knew what was going to happen next. Next thing Dick knew they were falling it hurts so much to watch but Dick could not look away. Looking down Dick could only stare at the broken remains of his parents.
"Why…" The blood choked voice of his mother cried out.
"… you let… us die…" A mangled hand reached up at him.
"I am sorry." Dick sobbed trying to reach out to them. Suddenly the bloody mess morphed into Bruce's face gasping at him. "I am so sorry!" Dick dropped onto his knees tears streaming from his eyes. "I am sorry."
Dick woke up in his bed sobbing the dream felt so real. The rational part of Dick knew that there had been one too many close calls recently where he almost lost the people he care about and it has triggered the memories. It did not make the dream any less traumatizing. Dick pulled his knees and hugged them close. Tears rolled down his cheeks as Dick sobbed quietly trying his best not to wake anyone.
There was a knock at the door, quickly Dick wiped at his eyes trying to compose himself enough to face the man that was about to walk through that door. He was too old to be crying from nightmares.
"Are you alright Dick?" Bruce's deep voice was filled with concern as the man saw the state the child was in.
"Yeah." Dick said trying to keep his voice steady. "It was just a dream." Bruce said nothing he just walked over to turn on the lamp on Dick's bedside table but Dick caught his hand, he didn't want Bruce to see him cry. Instead Bruce sighed, sat down on the bed next to Dick and put an arm around the boy's trembling shoulder.
"I can't promise you I will never leave you. You understand the nature of our job." Bruce said after a few moments of silence. "But I can promise I will never leave you alone if I can help it."
"That is so non-committal of you." Dick chuckled bitterly, tears still slipping from his eyes.
"Would you prefer I lied to you?" Bruce asked raising an eye brow.
"It would be nice." Dick buried his face in Bruce's side clutching onto Bruce's shirt tightly as if he were to let go Bruce would fall out of reach. Bruce could feel the desperation in Dick's grasp so he held the boy close rubbing his arm soothingly.
"I will be here. Right here." Bruce said softly kissing the boy's hair. "Always."