Disclaimer: I do not own 'Young Justice' or any DC characters used in the making or 'Come What May' from 'Moulin Rouge' the film.
Author's Note: This is an optional sequel. Please read 'If I Just Lay Here' first. If you have, remember, this is optional.
'Come What May'
A thick cloud of fog surrounded his vision, billions of cold droplets fell from the sky, but there was at least a bit of warmness in the air. His arms ached from holding on tightly with gripped fingers. His legs were numb from paddling and pushing. He clung to a piece of rotting wood that kept him adrift the deep, blue, endless water. Beside him was his partner, his friend, his brother who was just as blue in the toes and in the heart as he was after all they had gone through.
They had been floating along for hours trying to find land after being dumped into the ocean without knowing where the heck they were. Everything would have hurt, if they were able to feel most of their bodies. The whole situation felt impossible. Never had the two boys felt in any more despair than now. After everything that had happened, all they wanted to do was be safe at home. However, here they were stuck in the middle of nowhere. Dick was sick of spitting up salt water in his mouth too.
On the bright side, the dispelled any claims that there was no room for Jack on that piece of driftwood with Rose. Clearly, after the Titanic sunk the woman could have moved over at least a few inches and they would have been together. But despite Dick's attempt at 'witty' humor, his brother still barely trudged on. Despite how much their situation sucked, nothing sucked or was worse than the fact they had lost Bruce.
He gave his life to defeat Darkseid, helping Superman and the rest of what was left of the Justice League win over the power of evil. Bruce would not be forgotten and never will be. But Dick knew better than to mourn at a time when they could be saving their own lives – just like Bruce would have wanted. This was coming from the first boy…first man, to ever defy his orders and live the way he felt more befitting than what Batman thought. Without Bruce, a piece of him was gone, but he needed to get home. He needed to save his own life before he could shed for another, because it was what Batman would have ordered him to do, and he should follow what would have been his final request. Besides, he had a promise to keep.
Tim on the other hand, wasn't handling the loss very well. But he was still just a kid, and he was still getting used to the recent losses he had in the past years. Dick could understand. So, for him and for them, he would be strong and keep trudging on. Despite the fact everything was going to be different; Despite the fact they were in a crappy seemingly hopeless situation; Storm clouds may gather, stars may collide, but come whatever and what may he would never accept defeat.
Good thing he didn't, because in the distance he saw small bulbs of yellow emitting light onto the ocean surface.
"I think I see city lights!" Dick grinned ecstatically, paddling even more furiously than he already had been, "we're so close!"
Tim paused, squinting his eyes to see into the darkness. It wasn't exactly a city, but when he saw smoke enter the air he had his hopes too. There was white foam gathering at its bottom, a horn sounding in the quiet of the night, and the smell of gasoline reached his nose. "No…it's a ship!" The boy corrected, starting to smile himself.
They kicked with two legs, swung into the water with one arm, and waved with the other. But to no avail could they get the attention of the people on the ship. They had no bat gadgets on them, no flares, nothing. All they had were themselves and their voices…"Hey! Stop! Come back!"…but it was beginning to appear to be no use as the giant ship floated on without them.
"Stop, God dammit! Stop the ship!" Tim coughed out, salt water flowing into his mouth every so often as he struggled to keep afloat and get their attention. He furrowed his eyebrows in frustration, and felt utter despair seep back down his throat as he realized they were not going to be saved. He put arms back onto the piece of drift wood and watched with tired eyes as the ship went on.
"Come back! Come back!" It only flustered him more when his more than optimistic brother wouldn't stop trying. "Please, for the love of god, come back!"
"Dick…" He started, but the man would not listen. He just kept on flailing on yelling with a strained voice wearing himself out. Dick just did not know when to give up sometimes.
"Come back! Freaking…God, just…come back!"He cried out with plead, begging as pain lurched into his stomach at his own epiphany that the ship would not stop. No, this couldn't be happening. He needed to get home. Damn that blasted ship. Continuing to struggle, he waved his arm screaming at the giant, floating metal. But when the makeshift stitches started to rip through the flesh of his shoulder, he hissed in pain pulling back.
"Your injury, it's getting bad." Tim remarked, breaking Dick out of his thoughts. When he turned to look at his little brother, he finally noticed the boy had long already given up. Figures.
Blue eyes remained on each other, silently asking not to fight. Not now. They were both too tired, and only one of them thought they were going to hit the shorelines. So, without a word they paddled on: Tim Half-heartedly, and Dick with everything he had. There was nothing but the sound of splashing water, and the thundering of lightning as they went on with their journey.
The air between them was tense, and Dick felt awkward knowing very well that Tim thought he was being a fool. He didn't want his little brother to be angry with him, but there was no way he was giving up now and accepting death. Even if it did seem foolish.
"I don't think we're going to make it." Tim stated with a flat voice. That pissed Dick off.
"Don't say that."
Tim sighed in discontent, rubbing a temple with one hand. This only annoyed Dick more whenever the boy acted as though he were the older, mature one of the two. "I don't think either of us are in the condition to swim much furth–"
Before the boy could even finish his sentence, Dick slapped a hand over his mouth and kicked his legs so hard he could feel his knees again. "Then hang on, and shut up." He told him, keeping his eyes out on the horizon where ocean met sky never meeting Tim's. Every so often, he'd give out painful grunts, and mucus would trail up his throat that he would spit to the side.
Inside, his lungs wanted to collapse, his mind was buzzing, and his heart wanted to fall. But nothing could defeat the spirit in him that told him to keep going, to not stop moving. But with each fierce movement, the stitches on his wound started to let out even more. "You need to stop." Tim warned him, worriedly, still paddling out of guilt. When Dick didn't listen to him, he stopped, and tugged at Dick's arm getting him to cease his swimming as well.
They treaded, with arms still on the driftwood, and Dick never looking into his eyes with his face downcast to the water. With a small voice, he whispered quietly, "I can't."
Tim pursed his lips and shook his head. "Your body can't take much more." He pointed out, carefully touching the open flesh on Dick's Shoulder. But the man quickly slapped his hand away.
"If I stop we'll die!" He screamed into his face with fury and desperation mixed together into a sharp tone. His nose was flaring, his teeth seething, he had red in the white of his eyes, and tears in the corners of them. Even with the rain drops pouring down his face, Tim could see how upset he was, but he hated to see his brother push himself any further or see him in such physical pain.
"Sometimes we can't prolong the inevitable, no matter how much we want to." Tim told him gently, trying his best to soothe the man. But it was no use, when Dick was determined, by God, he was going to stay that way.
"Jesus, Tim! I…" he started to yell, thunder booming behind him, but his voice quickly died down to a strangled cry forcing himself not to break down"…I made a promise. I'm going to keep it. So don't you dare tell me what I can and can't do."
"Dick I was just saying–"
"And I'm saying, I can't die. Not yet…" Fury surfaced over Dick's face once more, but it faded into a relaxed, vulnerable, miserable expression that nearly broke the boy's heart to see him this way"…not yet, Timmy." He begged, voice free of venom and filled with only request.
"It's going to be…" Tim started, but one more look at Dick, and he finally understood how much the man needed to survive all of this. No matter how tired, how battered, how done their bodies were. Dick's mind would remain restless, and his should as well. "…ok."
The corners of both their lips tipped upward, and they both pushed on kicking fiercely fighting until the end.
He wasn't sure how long it had been before the two of them had stopped moving. Tim had long gave out before he had having a smaller body. When the boy looked as though he was going to collapse and drown on him, Dick forced him to stop and told him to just rest. Eventually, he couldn't move his own legs either. He could feel a fever coming on, a cough searching to escape his throat, and he could barely feel his lips. Inside, he was livid, and angry at himself for not being strong enough to bring them to the shoreline. He was so sure of himself, so sure they were going to get home. Maybe this was it, maybe it was time to give up. He closed his eyes and he could see it so clearly he wanted to reach out…
…caress warm, freckled, decorated cheeks…
…look into bright, playful, green eyes…
… run his fingers through soft fiery hair…
I'm right here. Don't worry.
…and vanish, inside his kiss.
Blue eyes snapped open to reality, and it was as though he'd never seen the sky before. The rain had let up, the clouds had parted, twinkling stars slowly revealed themselves in the sky. It was a vision, a masterpiece by God as blue and purple swirled into each other with shimmering magic. Anticipation and confidence flourished within him, and he knew nothing could stop him now. His mind was a revving engine, and his heart had the map knowing very clearly the destination.
"Is that what I think it is?" Tim whispered, his voice reaching new pitches in glee. Beyond the crash of waves and the shadows of the dark, yellow and white sparkled against Nyx's blanket of night – they were not stars.
"It is…it is!" A shock of energy and spirit ran through their veins as they kicked their legs and swung their arms pushing at the tides around them paddling with all their might. The closer they got more and more did the sky blend from a dark violet and navy blue to a faint lavender and rosy pink. The stars faded one by one back into space, and the glowing bulbs of the city grew sizes larger.
"We did it; we're going to make it!" Robin cried out, laughing in between sputters.
Dick gave out a heart chuckle as well and couldn't, for the life of him, wipe the grin that had adorned his face. "Damn, Tim! Keep kicking!" He was just so happy. This was it, he was coming home.
There was a moment of finally when that rotten, old, piece of wood hit the ground. The sensation of having their feet pressed firmly against the ground was fully appreciated n full satisfaction. For a moment, Dick had to catch himself when everything started to spin. It was like a dream, so unreal, but it wasn't – he was alive, and he was home. To their luck, they had reached the coastline of Gotham City.
The grainy texture of wet sand flowed in between Tim's fingers as he flopped his body onto the ground laughing hysterically. He pushed his body further into the ground filled with the greatest relief and bittersweet joy. They weren't out of the jungle yet with all that has happened, but damn, he was just so glad to be alive. "Oh god, I think I could lay in this gunk forever…" exclaimed Tim, letting the mud slide into his locks of wet black hair closing his eyes in content. When he received no response, he peaked his lids open to see his brother getting up and taking fast strides away from the nearest medical center, "…where do you think you're going? We need to get you to the hospital." He called, getting up in haste and chasing after him frantically.
Dick merely shrugged his shoulders and kept on moving, flinching slightly as the action sent a shock of pain into his wound. "I have someplace I need to be." He explained, vaguely.
"But Dick! Your injuries! We need to get you to Dr. Thompkins quick!" Tim argued, gesturing the freshly opened flesh. A single droplet of blood slide down his arm, and the worry in the boy's face grew. But Dick still didn't care, there was unfinished business he needed to take care of first.
"I know someone who can do that!" And with that, he ran off disappearing into the city with no explanation.
He then knew the feeling of having feet as light as air as he made his way down the busy streets, beckoning to his heart's desires.
Green eyes shone brightly as he waited with hope in his heart; for those fingers to run through his hair; for a light breath to blow into his ear; for warm arms to wrap around his shoulders rubbing small circles letting him know it was going to be okay. He was going to keep waiting, and he wasn't going to give up anytime soon. He refused to believe this was happening. If he just laid here waiting, he would come. He had to, he promised. Hours would have passed, and his body would grow tired, but he didn't care how long he had to stay up. If he closed his eyes, it'd all be over.
This was the deal. If both of them made it through the Crisis, they would meet here, in this spot, on this day, at this time. But where was he? What was taking so long? Even Bruce once said that Nightwing was better than Batman. He never admitted that kind of thing unless it was true. It had to be true, because if he made it through then shouldn't have he? He was one of the strongest people he grew up knowing, there was no way he wasn't coming. Of all the superheroes to prevail in the end, Nightwing was a given just like Superman or Wonder Woman – even as Robin he was.
He listened carefully for the rattle of the metal railings, or even the patter on wooden floors. He begged for the creak of the door or the hush of a breath. It never came. He didn't really understand what people meant when they said silence could be so loud: he did now.
There was a bobbing in his eyes, and a sting in his nostrils as they flared intensely, "please…" two fists clenched into soft blankets in frustration as a ringing entered his head, and an awful ache entered his heart, "…I never even got to say goodbye…" a whimper escaped his throat, and his chest constricted in pain. When it was clear he was waiting for nothing, he curled up into a huddle, hugging his knees, shamelessly sobbing.
"You said you'd be here…"
"I am here…" A soothing voice ripped into the silence, shredding every feeling of hopelessness he originally had. A sweet and solace warmth bloomed in his chest, and breath had almost escaped thin chapped lips. His heart was racing, flying, soaring, at the sight of dark hair, a cheeky smile, and those bold, brilliantly, dark, blue eyes.
"Dick." Strong arms clad in ripped blue and black wrapped around his body holding him close. Their limbs tangled together in pure harmony, and their fingers intertwined naturally like fitting two puzzle pieces together, or better yet, like mixing two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen.
Dick laid the man's head against his chest, running fingers through red hair, and rubbing small circles into the small of his back. "I swore I'd keep my promises to you…" Suddenly the world seemed like a perfect place that moved with perfect grace. As long as he could come home knowing this man would be in his arms, he'd never let his life go to waste like a fool. It revolved around this man like the earth orbited the sun. This man was the light of his life, the voice in his head, his whole entire world, and his nothing less than everything. Seasons may change, winter to spring, but what would never falter was the fact he loved Wally West…"…and I always will."
Author's Note: Hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day! In honor of a day dedicated to love I thought I'd let them be together. Thankyou for reading and PLEASE let me know what you thought. This time, I really want to know what you have to say to me.
P.S. I dedicate this to my boyfriend Dominic. Seven years have gone and past and never once could I bear the moments without your voice, your eyes, your laugh, and your goofiness. You are the rhythm in my heart that keeps the bass going. You are the string of melodies that takes my breath away. You are the notes and lines to the music that helps me live. You are the love of my life, and I will always love you.