A/N: I didn't know what to title this. ;A; Wasn't sure what to rate it, either. Going for T just to be safe. And which genres? Gah, I don't know anything. -fails at this- (Suggestions for second genre?)
ANYWAYS, this fic is based on this piece of artwork: evil-kirby(dot)deviantart(dot)com/art/Careful-203497074
which drove my need for Roy and Dick interaction into overdrive asdgfj.
Also... It's so short. Why is it so short. Fff I don't even. Just. Enjoy?
Might Be the Last
It had been raining. That detail always stuck out to Roy, because it was always raining when something happened, and it was so stereotypical and cliché, so why hadn't he noticed sooner?
Sometime late that night, around midnight maybe, Robin had shown up in front of his apartment in Star City, shivering and dripping wet. Roy ushered him in without a second thought, ordering him to the couch while he went to get some dry clothes and a towel. The long-sleeved shirt and pants were far too large for the boy, but he seemed grateful for them anyways.
Roy made a cup of hot chocolate, which Robin accepted with a murmur of thanks; he blew on it gently before taking a sip, staring blankly at the coffee table.
They sat silently, side-by-side on the couch, for several minutes. Robin didn't seem ready to speak and Roy didn't know what to say anyways. He could tell that something was troubling him—that much was obvious—but he didn't know what the problem could be, or even why Robin had decided to come to his home of all places.
Then, quietly, Robin said, "Dick Grayson."
Roy's eyebrows furrowed. The name was vaguely familiar, but he couldn't quite place it, and he didn't know what it had to do with...well, anything. "What?"
"That's my name," Robin clarified. "Richard Grayson."
Batman didn't want his partner to reveal his identity to anyone, Roy knew, so he wondered why Robin—or would it be 'Dick' now?—had chosen to impart this knowledge to him, and in such an out-of-the-blue way. He opened his mouth to make comment on this, but Dick spoke again, cutting him off before he could even say a word.
"I know Batman wouldn't want me to tell you. He's paranoid, and with good reason." He gave Roy a sideways glance. "But we've known each other for years. And I think I'm old enough by now to know who I can trust."
He supposed he should be flattered to be trusted by him—Batman and Robin certainly weren't the most trusting duo—but the statement hardly even registered. Others thoughts took precedent.
"But why this all of a sudden?" Roy asked. "You didn't really come all this way just to tell me your name."
"You left so quickly," said Dick, and the apparent change of subject prompted Roy to wonder if he was avoiding the question. "You didn't even say goodbye."
"It was sort of a spur-of-the-moment decision," Roy pointed out with an indifferent shrug. He didn't understand why Dick seemed so concerned about it. "There was no time to bid any farewells."
But Dick shook his head. "You could have come back later to say bye. But you didn't. Even though you know that, in our business, every time we see each other might be the last."
There was an expectant pause, but Roy didn't offer any response. He didn't have one to give.
Dick sighed. "Anyways, I just wanted to tie up some loose ends and say goodbye properly. So, yeah. That's that." He stood, then added, "I understand why you left."
At this, Roy felt a twinge of betrayal. "Then why didn't you leave with me?"
"Because that was your path. Not mine. I belong on the team. And you could still come back—"
"If you just came to try and convince be to go back to your little group of friends—"
Dick held up his hands. "Not at all. Like I said, I understand why you left. And, who knows? Maybe you are better off flying solo. I'm just saying, we won't turn you away if you decide...if you decide you want to work with us again. That's all I wanted to say. I'll go now."
Roy's head turned to follow Dick's movements as he headed for the door. "Wait," he said, and Dick paused. "It's a storm out there. You're welcome to stay the night."
"No, Batman's expecting me. Thanks, though. And bye."
Roy nodded in understanding. "Take care of yourself, kid."
When Roy woke up at around three in the morning, he couldn't explain the uneasy feeling that had settled into his stomach. He tossed and turned for about an hour, restlessly trying to fall asleep again, to no avail. Finally, he sat up in his bed, rubbing his temple.
It was Robin's—Roy still had trouble thinking of him as Dick—fault, Roy reasoned, coming in late at night and randomly talking about how each time they saw each other might be the last, that made him feel so ill at ease. There was no reason to worry. Robin was probably already back home in Gotham, warm and safe in his own bed. No reason to worry whatsoever.
...But he was a superhero, and he'd be damned if he didn't follow his instincts, even if some of them seemed like silly overreactions. (Of course he'd see Robin again. Why wouldn't he?)
It never hurt to be too cautious. He pulled on his Red Arrow outfit, grabbed his arrow and quiver, then slipped out of his apartment.
There was a Zeta Beam in an abandoned warehouse, Roy knew; stealthily, he went there, then teleported to the old phone booth in Gotham.
It was raining here, too, but it was always dark and gloomy in Gotham, so Roy didn't really give it much thought. Instead, he just started wandering down the road, not even sure where he was going.
Belated realization finally hit when he saw the giant glowing W on the city's largest building. His mind made the jumps for him, unbidden. W for Wayne. Bruce Wayne. Whose adoptive son was Richard "Dick" Grayson.
He cursed, and started running for the Wayne manor, sense of subtlety for the most part lost. He wasn't even sure why. Logically, he knew that Robin should be safe and asleep in his bed.
But he couldn't help but think, What if he's not?
It was miraculous that he saw the small form at the edge of the alley through the rain. It may have been because he was an archer and trained to pick out the small details, but it might have also been because he was trying desperately to spot his friend, despite also desperately hoping that he wouldn't see him out in the streets of Gotham.
Roy dashed to his side, falling to his knees. Robin was laying stretched out beside the wall, as if he'd been trying to make it out from the alleyway but had collapsed at the end. At some point, he must have changed back into his costume, which was now torn in places and ruined. Robin himself was pale and bleeding.
"Shit," Roy hissed. "Shit." He rolled the boy over and scrambled to feel a pulse, then gave up and leaned down, propping Robin's back up and pressing his ear against his chest.
There was a heartbeat. Even better—there was a hand. On his shoulder. Squeezing it, if only lightly.
Roy closed his eyes briefly and let out the breath he'd been holding. Thank God.
The hand on his shoulder slid away as Roy scooped Robin up into his arms.
He was so small.
Robin was the most experienced and certainly one of the best of all of the Young Justice—including Roy himself. Maybe that was why it was so easy to forget that he was so young.
"You have to be more careful," Roy muttered as he walked.
Beaten, bloody, and shivering as he was, Robin still found it in him to smirk. "I was...being careful. I'm not...dead, am I?"
"Damn it, Robin." Roy's mind flashed back to the conversation they'd had only a few hours earlier. "It's almost as if you planned this."
The sound Robin made was a hollow echo of his usual bright laughter. "Don't worry...wasn't planning it...anticipated that it might happen, maybe..."
"You could have asked for help," Roy protested. "Instead of just...going off on your own like that." Like I did.
He didn't reply to the comment. But he did mumble into his shoulder, "Thanks...for coming after me."
Robin's chest heaved in a shuddering sigh and he shifted a little in Roy's arms; Roy's grip tightened as he held him a little closer and let out a soft sigh of his own.
"I'll always come, kid."
A/N: (What happened to Robin is up to interpretation. I was going to explore it in the fic, but decided against it, for various reasons.)