This idea has been floating around in my head for awhile now. For some reason, I keep getting these ideas where Robin dies...I obviously need to stop that. Even if I already miss Dick as Robin. It's going to take awhile to adjust to the new Young Justice.
Anywho, hope you enjoy!
The idea was closure for him. A chance to say good-bye. The team had already got their chance, as his son had lay dying on the ground, blood pouring from the many, many wounds he had taken while trying to protect his teammates so they could recover and wait for help. By the time he had gotten there though, he had already slipped into a coma, his life slowly ebbing away.
So J'onn had offered him this last chance to say good-bye before his mind was completely gone. The walls that materialized around him were familiar and he smiled, happy to know that his son was at least content before he died. His son sat on the ground, leaning against his bed. Code flashed across the screen as he dissected it, probably looking for holes or viruses in the system's defense.
"Dick," Bruce said softly. His son's blue eyes turned up to him, a smile already on his lips. So young, so young. His fingers hovered over the keyboard, waiting patiently for Bruce to turn away so they could return to their job.
"Hey Bruce, what's up?"
J'onn had warned him about this-that there was chance that Dick wouldn't even realize what had happened to him. He had warned him that there could be mixed reactions with telling Dick that he was dying. It could jar him enough to cause him to slip away faster, taking Bruce with him if he wasn't out of his head by the time he died. They had decided not to risk telling him.
"I just wanted to tell you that I think you've been doing a great job with the team. I know that working on a team after working with me is hard. I had to learn the hard way too, when I started working with the Justice League. You're adjusting very nicely though."
Dick smiled fully at him. He dropped his hands from the keyboard, pushing it away. He had always preened under Bruce's gaze when he received a compliment. "Thanks! I think the team is adjusting to my style more too," he added, his smile turning into a smirk. He had received the same report from Aqualad—with the mental link between the team, Dick could disappear and they would still know where he was in a second. And Dick was getting better about giving them a straight answer on his whereabouts and what he was doing.
Bruce tried to smile happily, but he could detect an edge of sadness in the gesture. He hoped Dick wouldn't pick up on it. "Your team has been returning with more successful missions than failed ones. I'm proud of you, and your involvement with the team."
Dick opened his mouth to say something, then his smile faltered a little. Bruce recognized that he was trying to work something out, something that didn't make sense. He had gotten the same look every time the Riddler left them a new clue on a case. "No, that's not right. Our last mission it…it didn't go so well. I remember hearing the alarms go off." He stumbled over his words, trying to figure out what he was remembering. Bruce's heart thudded in his chest.
"Your last mission was very successful. You were able to return the stolen technology to me, and stop the Light from forming a new weapon." It had been their mission before this one. Bruce was hoping Dick's mind would make the easy jump to conclusion.
Of course, Dick had never really done easy, or he wouldn't have taken up the Robin mantle. Dick shook his head. "No, that was the mission before this one. There were lots of guards…really heavily armed. And there was someone else there…on Cobra juice. We couldn't get the upper hand and-" Dick cut himself, paling slightly in the computer's light. He blinked a couple times, then returned his wide-eyed gaze to Bruce. "I'm dead, aren't I?"
"Dick…you got hit with Scarecrow's fear gas. It was all a nightmare." It was Bruce's last attempt to divert Dick's attention. His son stood up with another shake of his head. The computer disappeared, its image dissipating.
"No, I didn't. All of this stuff…none of it is real. Just an image my mind projected to protect me from something. Pain probably. You're just trying to protect me," Dick accused, though he didn't sound angry. He sounded….lost. Confused. Bruce tried to stop his heart from breaking in half as he moved to the bed to sit down. The room was disappearing one piece at a time, but Dick came and sat next to him anyway. When Bruce put his arm around him, he leaned into the embrace, eyes locked on the floor.
"I wasn't lying about what I said before. I am proud of you and your commitment to the team."
"Was the team okay?"
"Everyone will recover. It will be awhile before Artemis can pull a bow string, but even broken arms heal."
"But not broken bodies," Dick said, in a slightly bitter tone. "I wasn't quick enough. I let him get too close and he just slammed me into the wall. It didn't hurt though. Not after the impact."
"He broke your back. It paralyzed your body. It wasn't anything you did Dick. Sometimes, even the greatest hero is outmatched. You should be proud you were able to protect your teammates. If you hadn't been able to keep him distracted, all of you would have died."
It hurt, acting like just one life lost was better than the multiple that would have died, but he wanted Dick to know that he was dying a hero and savior, and that was how he would always be remembered. Dick looked up at him, his face trying to pull a smile up.
"I think I should go now. No reason to delay it. Besides, I've waited five years to see my parents. I think I'm due for a visitation." Only Dick would be able to find happiness in dying; in leaving everyone behind to move onto someone who had left him behind.
"I love you so much Dick. I'm so proud to have you as a son," Bruce said, pulling him into a hug. He wondered if he never let go, if Dick would just stay with him like that forever. Maybe, if he hugged him hard enough, he could pull him back to life. But no. Even if Dick could somehow survive his injuries, he would never be able to walk again, to fly again. And he knew that a Flying Grayson could never live grounded.
"Thank you for everything Bruce. You were the best second father ever," Dick said, squeezing back. It was the first time he had used the word "father" to describe Bruce before. "Hey, tell Jason and Tim I said good-bye and that I love them too. Tell Jason to take my place. He's been ready for forever. Tell him to do my parents justice."
Bruce squeezed Dick tighter. "I will."
"Love you dad," Dick said.
"I love you too," Bruce responded, but Dick and his room were already gone and he was waking up slowly, into a world where Dick Grayson was no more.