Richard came back to the waking world slowly. He found himself gradually drifting back into consciousness like he was wandering through a fog. He clung to the darkness, willing himself back under but it seemed his body would have none of that. As his senses returned, he found he could hear a steady beeping sound not too far off and his mind worked slowly to put his surroundings together: he was in a hospital bed. He struggled to open his heavy eyelids, the ungodly tiredness already threatening to pull him back into the depths of blissful sleep when he felt a warm hand rest gently on his forehead.
"Go on back to sleep, Dick. You need the rest." He heard Batman murmur softly with none of the ice from before. It was gentle and concerned, warmth radiating from his very presence. This was his Bruce. The man he called his father. He let himself be pulled back under the waves of sleep, Bruce's steady presence offering him all of the security he could possibly need. He was home.
"Look at you! You're doing great!" Flash clapped loudly, a genuine smile on his face. Wally felt his cheeks flush with embarrassment.
"Thanks Barry. For you know, coming with me. I know this must not be what you really wanted to do with your Saturday." Wally tiredly wiped the sweat from his brow. He'd gotten almost half way across the room this time before his legs had given way beneath him. Flash crouched down onto the floor next to him, a gentle smile on his face.
"Of course I'm here. There's honestly nowhere else I'd rather be. Now, come on." He grabbed Wally's wrists and tugged him up into a standing position, taking most of the boy's weight.
"I just, I want to run again! This, this is bullshit!" Wally frustratedly dragged his fingers through his red locks and held in a sob. It was hopeless. How in the world could he ever help anyone ever again if he couldn't stay on his own two feet long enough to get across a room?
"Hey now," Flash said softly, "don't do that. You're making outstanding progress. Way better than Ted thought you would. It's gonna take time, Wally. What you went through isn't something you can just bounce back from. We're gonna have to work at it and once you're better, I'll bet you'll be able to run faster than ever. We're not beaten and we're not broken. Come on, let's try again."
Wally gave his uncle a watery smile and nodded. He needed to hear that, he thought. Needed to know that somewhere, Barry still believed in him. In this dimension, it seemed Barry never stopped.
Wally didn't think he'd ever felt so relieved to have been wrong about someone.
Artemis fired another arrow, nailed her target right in the center. She lowered her bow and sighed. She didn't feel any better. No one had seen any sign of Roy other than his hastily written goodbye. He didn't even have the balls to say it to her face. Suddenly, a white hot rage overtakes her and she slams her bow into the ground.
It's just one more disappointment. One more betrayal. She'd finally stepped out of her comfort zone enough to put her trust in someone new and they'd screwed her over again.
"Goddamnit Roy!" She shouted. Her voiced echoed over the gyms concrete walls, ringing in her ears over and over again and what the hell is wrong with her? Why do people always decide to leave?
"It's not fair, I know." She heard a soft voice say and embarrassment washes over her like a flood. Now, not only was she angry but also ashamed for letting it show.
Black Canary was dressed in training gear, her hands wrapped in gauze. She'd come down to the gym to go a few rounds with the punching bag, maybe get rid of some of her frustration before she and Green Arrow resumed their futile search for Roy. She wasn't surprised that Artemis hadn't taken his untimely departure well. Artemis didn't have much and Black Canary had secretly hoped that the two would find kindred spirits in one another. Now, it seemed that wouldn't be the case.
"Why don't you come with me? You can throw a few punches, Might not make the situation better but it'll sure as hell make you feel better. I promise." She placed a comforting hand on Artemis' shoulder and lead her up towards the boxing equipment. "Just go for it, let out all that rage. And then, maybe we can do something about Roy. You'll need a clear head."
Artemis responded with a solemn nod. She wiped her faced and then took a swing. The old bag gave a satisfying shudder and swung back towards her. She hit it again.
Black Canary gave a satisfied nod.
They'd be okay.
"Do you wish to talk about it?" Aquaman observed his charge nervously. Kaldur was quiet. Well, quieter than usual and that alone was troubling.
"No, my King. I do not wish to trouble you with my own doubts. I will work through them on my own. If all is well, I think I'd like to retire for the night. Please give my regards to the queen." Kaldur inclined his head slightly and dismissed himself.
"What has happened to Kaldur'ahm? I thought you said all was well?" Mera embraced her husband, stroked his cheek. Concern was written all over her face. "And yet, he seems anything but."
"It would appear something occurred while he was gone. Something to make him distrust me." Aquaman sighed deeply. "I will get to the root of it."
Mera nodded gently. "Go to him. Not as his king but as someone who cares about him. Ask him of his troubles." She combed her fingers through his short hair. "He has been through an ordeal. Assure him that he is stronger because of it." She pressed a soft kiss to his cheek and left her king to his thoughts. This was for them to sort out on their own.
"Are you baking cookies?" J'onn watched his niece flit around the kitchen, tray upon tray levitating behind her.
"They're for the rest of the team. Robin's supposed to get out of intensive care today. That means he can eat something that doesn't come out of a straw and I think I've finally gotten my recipe just right enough for him to really enjoy." M'gann shut the oven for the fifth time and set her last batch to bake. "And I have to make sure to make extra for Wally. He needs to build up his strength. Barry's taking him through the park tomorrow."
"You've made four batches already, M'gann. I don't think anyone could eat this many." J'onn prodded gently. M'gann ignored him in favor of her mixing bowl. She got to work on another batch of sugar cookies. She knew Kaldur didn't really favor sweets but maybe he'd make an exception considering everything that had occurred for their team. "M'gann, I know you are upset-"
"I'm not upset. I'm perfectly okay, Uncle. Really!" She said as she wiped a patch of flour from her cheek. J'onn didn't disagree with her, didn't try to push. He understood that everyone has different ways of dealing with things and Megan's way of dealing with the loss of one of her good friends, while not his favorite, it does its job.
"Maybe the other members of the League would like to have some as well." He says instead. M'gann gives him one of her blinding smiles and goes back to work.
Across dimensions, Conner was finally free.