AUTHOR'S NOTE: I think I made Bruce too emotional in the last chapter. But an emotional Bruce is good, right? I've put up a poll on my profile page for the next thing I write. Vote whether you think Bruce should be more or less emotional, if you please could. Thank you all.
Warnings: None. Self-beta, guys. Just go along with it, all right?
My Son Chapter 8: Nature's Gift
Bruce just stood there on top of the roof unable to move. He felt his heart drop into the pit of his stomach and drown. There, the acid ate away at it, but slowly so he could fell all the pain as his heart was brutally stabbed open and died. At that moment, Bruce had felt the most empty than he had ever felt before. After he met Dick, that is. He did not know what to do. So he just stood there in disbelief and tried to tell himself that Dick was really okay. That none of this had happened these last few months. That Dick had stopped harming himself long ago and never tried it again afterwards. That he had been dreaming and Dick was at home in Bludhaven or working on his bike or something. And Bruce tried so hard to believe one of those explanations, any other explanation than this, but he couldn't. Reality had too strong a hold on him. So he just stood there as the truth pounded away at the little remains of his miserable heart.
My son…Bruce nearly stumbled as he took a step back. I…I couldn't save him. My son…he's…Bruce took two more steps back and his right foot slid off the side of the roof. Unable to think clearly, he fell and his entire body slid off the side. Out of self-reaction Bruce managed to just barely grab onto a piece of loose, but firm tile sticking out. He hung on until he could regain his ability to think and slowly hoisted himself up.
He sat down a bit closer to the center of the roof. It was when let out a long, painful sigh of truth and turned his head that he noticed something attached to the loose tile that had just saved his life. He scooted over to examine it. Looking closely at it, Bruce found it to be exactly as he thought. A piece of clothing. Cheap clothing. Dick's? It had to be. Who else would be wandering around on a roof, (at this time of day anyway)? And it was cheap. He was here. But where was he now? Bruce snatched up the piece of clothing and held tightly on to it. Why would Dick go to the roof?
Bruce, finally thinking, realized just how high up he really was. God, and the percentage rate of suicide by falling off of roofs in the U.S. alone… Bruce thought about it and realized how much sense it would make if Dick decided to go that way. His parents died from falling. It would make sense if Dick… Bruce felt the sudden urge to panic, but kept as much control as he could muster. Which wasn't nearly much as he would have had if he was wearing the cowl.
He quickly slid over to the side of the roof and peered over it with his eyes closed. He swallowed and felt a great disgust when he thought about what he might see; what he saw the day Dick lost his parents applied to Dick. Bruce quickly flicked open his eyes and looked down. He sighed in relief and swallowed again. He searched over the edge of the rest of the roof's perimeter.
After about a minute, Bruce halfway sat back down. Okay, so Dick was here. And he isn't down there. I couldn't find him in the house. Maybe, just maybe, he might still be alive. Bruce felt his heart leap back up halfway as the tiniest bit of hope caught hold of him. And he took it. He needed it. He needed to know that his son was okay and there was no big evidence here to say that he was not. Physically, anyway.
Bruce stood, still clutching onto the piece of clothing. For a minute he just stood there deep in thought. Then his eyes actually saw what they were aiming at. The scenery on top of the roof, looking over the sea, was something he had never quite noticed before in this brilliant way. The way the sun shone so beautifully over the water's surface was just a masterpiece. It must look amazing at sunrise and set. And Bruce realized it. This must be why Dick used to come up here. To get away from everything. To just free his mind for a while and forget his troubles. To feel safe and remind himself of the beauty the world has to offer. I…I understand. I actually understand this.
For a few minutes, Bruce stood there inhaling it all. For the first time, he could feel the sun's warmth. It felt…like love. Like a big hug, one he needed. He closed his eyes and breathed it all in. It was like magic had wrapped itself around his heart and whispered in his ear, "Everything will be all right. Just hold on". Bruce let his mind wander and look back on to happier times with Dick. For the next quarter-hour, Bruce drenched himself in memories sweeter than anything he's known in a long time.
"Dick…" His eyes were still closed and his heart began to swell. "I…I'm sorry…Dick." At that moment, he felt his heart burst from so much emotion and a single tear willingly journeyed down his right cheek. Everything felt so beautiful, and yet, so painful. "I…I love you. I love you, my son. I love you." Bruce slowly opened his eyes and took one last glimpse at nature's gift. "I think…I think I am beginning to understand, Dick. I'm beginning to understand this, my son." He blinked slowly and thought back on one last memory before getting off of the roof.
Thank you for reading. Please vote on the poll to help me out, okay?