*WARNING: BE PREPARED FOR FEELS*
Friday had come faster than I had predicted as I sat down on the armchair across from Bruce. Diana had decided to have us facing each other when we read our letters out loud so we would be talking at each other and not away from each other. I was nervous, extremely nervous to the point where I thought I was going to either throw up or have an anxiety attack. My letter was long, like three pages worth, and it looked like Bruce's was about the same. Biting my lip, I waited for Diana to start us off with whatever she had to say.
"I see you both wrote your letters like I had asked. That's good. Who wants to go first?" she asked as I looked up to Bruce.
"I will." Bruce said as Diana nodded her head and sat back into the couch.
I'm sorry for everything that I have ever done to you. From lying about Zucco to criticizing you about...well everything. I just wanted to keep you safe. Sometimes, I think you're that little boy who thought that Batman was the coolest superhero in the entire Justice League and wanted to be Batman when you grew older. But...it seems like everything I did only caused you pain.
We've had our fights. Lots of them...in the past, but this last one really got to me. I had thought I had lost you for good. No phone calls, emails, text messages, anything from you. I had thought you had died, but I knew you didn't when I saw the Blüdhaven papers with your Nightwing image all over them. I knew you were still mad at me, and you have every right to be so. I told you a lie just so you could sleep at night and that was wrong of me. But I missed you. Everyone missed you, a lot.
When I had to leave for Hong Kong, I wasn't sure whether or not you'd take the chance to go and live at the Manor again. I was pretty sure you were going to ignore me and not even bother with Gotham, but Alfred called me when you were in bed that you had come home. I can't tell you how happy I was to hear that. I was convinced you were gone for good. I even ended my trip early just to see you, but when I came home, I knew something was wrong. You looked ill, stressed, and you had blacked out once you caught a glimpse of me. I thought it was my fault you were like that, but now that I found out you had lost your job due to insane circumstances, I knew it wasn't all my fault. Yet I still blamed myself as I waited for you to wake up that night, but ended up leaving due to an argument with Jason.
I know we don't talk much about feelings, but when you had confessed the other day to believing that I didn't adopt you because I didn't want you, I had felt hurt. I knew I was to blame for not talking about it with you, but I wanted it to be a surprise when I got the legal adoption papers. But that day never came and I completely missed out on the opportunity when you were still young to explain to you what I was doing. Adopted or not, you're still my son, whether you like it or not. You were my first Robin and you're a precious person in my life. I don't say this often but I love you Dick. Please...forgive me." Bruce read as he looked on the verge of tears. His hands were shaking as Diana looked over to me.
"Dick, it's your turn." She said as I looked down at my letter.
Where do I begin? You've always been on my ass since I was a kid and I don't think you'll ever leave me alone. But you wouldn't be Bruce if you weren't like that. Besides, if you weren't so hard on me I'd probably be dead, and that's not fun.
The whole adoption thing had me going on for years, but I never brought it up in case my suspicions were true. Turns out I was wrong and I was happy that I was wrong. Jason wasn't happy that I was crying, but he understood after I had to explain it to him. I guess I listened and believed too many of those wealthy Gotham elites too much as a kid. They were always talking about me, and somehow you knew when it began to hurt my feelings to kick them out of the party. Always protecting me...always...
I guess that's where my first problem began. I wanted to stand up and be my own person, but you were constantly in Daddy Bat Mode and prevented me from doing so until I was 16. I had quit being Robin and became Nightwing. I moved in with the Titans for a while and kept going to Gotham High without anyone knowing that I wasn't living in the Manor anymore. Then you got Jason and I was jealous at first but soon dropped it since you had someone else to boss around. We fought again because of college and I ended up doing an online college because I was fed up with you. After Jason died, I knew you were depressed and blamed yourself, so I had to make sure you wouldn't do anything stupid and came back to live in the Manor with you. Tim came eventually and we were all happy. Jason even came back, although not as tamed as he is now, and we were all one big dysfunctional family again. Until I started talking about becoming a cop. You don't like cops and I knew you'd be pissed but I wanted to venture out on my own. But you didn't stop me when I applied for Blüdhaven's police department.
Then came Damian. I love the kid to death but he was a handful. Around that time, you left us and I knew Damian needed Batman so I took it up. It was hard and all the villains knew it was me under the cowl. No one can ever replace you as Batman. But I toughed it out and trained Damian while juggling Tim's school issues and Jason's drinking problems. Somehow I was able to keep my cop job while living in Gotham and being Batman at night. And then one day you came back. I thought you would have been proud of me for taking up your mantel so Gotham wouldn't flip shit about no Batman in the sky, but you weren't happy. You thought I was too soft on Damian. You didn't like Jason living with us since his anti-hero business wasn't good to keep around for long. You were mad that Tim was too busy doing homework to spend time training because I allowed him to go into the gifted program. We fought over stupid things for a while but it didn't end so well.
I had thought for the longest time that Tony Zucco was long dead and I would be ok, but when that news report came on, I was so angry. I knew you did it to help me sleep at night when I was little, but I could have been told later; not 22 years later. I was just mad that you kept something like that a secret from me. I had had enough with you and I just wanted to get out...so I did. I didn't bother contacting you because I knew we would end up fighting again so I ignored you. At first, I missed the Manor and being with everyone, but I eventually got used to being alone and I was able to focus on my cop job.
The night I had gotten your message to come back to Gotham until you returned from Hong Kong was a couple days after I had gotten fired from my job. To make this short, a little boy, who was mentally retarded, accidently killed his entire family because he was playing cops and robbers with his sister and used his dad's loaded gun as a toy. My boss told me to shoot the kid, since he still had the gun in his hands, but I refused. Then I watched as my boss shot the kid for me before he chewed me out and fired me on the spot.
I'm still going through the mental healing process from that...my anxiety has been through the roof lately and it's been making me sick. You know Alfred's not happy because he's been trying to get me to eat at every moment possible because of how much weight I lost. I might have to see a professional about that...
The day you came home...I was shocked and truthfully all I wanted to do was hide. A migraine mixed with an anxiety attack caused me to black out; not high blood pressure that Alfred told you. I didn't know what to say to you or how you would react with me still in the Manor. I didn't want to fight with you anymore...I don't like fighting with you. You are my second father and to end up fighting you hurt a lot.
I have a lot more personal issues that I have recently been experiencing, like how I can't remember what my parents' voices sounded like anymore or what they looked like without looking at a picture. That scares me to no end. I'm lucky to have a few pictures with them, but I can't hear their voices anymore; only their screams when they died. Is that supposed to be normal? I know asking you would do me good since you've been in the same situation as I was in, but at that moment we weren't speaking. I have a bad habit about dwelling on things like that and somehow you were always able to keep my head on straight, but it was the first time I had to do it alone. You even corrected my rambling, which isn't working out so well in the letter. My thoughts are all over the place.
I guess what I really want to say to you is that I'm sorry for being an ass and for hurting your feelings. I still love you and I still see you as my dad, even though we might not get along all the time. I just want to work things out now and go back to the way things used to be. I missed having a conversation with you that didn't end badly." I read as Bruce and I stared at each other in silence.
"Good job, both of you. I know it must have been hard to do something like that. Why don't we end it here for today? I'll see you two in a week." Diana suggested as we nodded our heads. I stood up to leave when Bruce caught my arm and pulled me into a hug when Diana wasn't looking. It felt nice and warm as I hugged him back, making sure Diana was busy talking to Alfred. Once we let go, Diana turned to us to wave goodbye before she left the Manor.