A/N: This hopefully my first multi-chapter fic! Basically the story goes that Nightwing is injured and stubbornly decides he can fend perfectly well for himself. However, the second oldest bat-brother disagrees and eventually the two just might end up bonding ;P
Disclaimer- as usual I don't own DC or any of it's characters.
Blüdhaven was quiet, unusually so. And for the city's protector, this was either a refreshing change or a bad omen for things to come.
But Nightwing wasn't the Bat, nor was he one to look a gift horse in the mouth so while the calm lasted, he would enjoy it. So the young man took a rare moment to breath in the city and think of another city slightly further afield. He could not help but wonder what mayhem was probably reigning in Gotham, a city where peace never seemed to settle.
He thought of Bruce, Tim and Damien and how long it had been since he'd seen them last. It had been two months at least. Of course he'd spoken to them via call and text but even then it had been over a month since he last swapped words with his father. It wasn't for his lack of trying. He'd sent several small texts daily. A simple "Hello" and "How are you" or "Are you alive?"
He presumed Bruce's inability to reply stemmed from a new case he was obsessing over. He thought of Babs and the conversation they'd had over the phone just the other day, confirming that Bruce was healthy and well and that yes, he was knee deep in a new case involving the Joker- which he had assured her he needed no help in, but of course. They'd also talked about Damien and how he was morphing more and more into his father, physically at least, with each passing day.
Dick remained on patrol for another hour before returning home and casting the Nightwing facade aside. The night was still young and so he would head out like a normal civilian for once. He left his apartment with nowhere in particular in mind but Blüdhaven was not short of night-time hotspots so he would go wherever the wind took him.
The city was not as breathtaking from the ground as it was from a height, still the bustle and chatter of evening goers, and being able to be part of it, was energizing. He could barely feel the early winter chill that bit at the bare of his neck, as the buzz warmed him down to his toes.
And so as the night ebbed on and he eventually settled in an Irish pub not far from his apartment, hours ticked by as so did several pints and attractive women. No takers however and sometime past twelve that night, he found himself wandering home alone. In good spirits however, it was the first night in a long time where he'd been able to laugh and enjoy himself, without a near death crisis to spring up in front of him, or disrupt his night out through the evening room.
But not only was he alone, he was rather tipsy. And though maybe in hindsight he'd taken on one pint to many, it was hardly something he was worried about at present. What's a sore head in the morning? He chuckled.
Sadly, a sore head would be the least of his problems.
It all started out innocently enough. A group of five women, dressed in pink, glitz and feathers called out to him, on a hen night that unlike Dick, had no intentions of retiring just yet. They cheered, hollered and giggled at the handsome young man who crossed their path, winking and blowing kisses as he stopped to let them by. The streets were narrower in these parts, as so were the pavements.
They teetered onwards, only a few peering back for a second glance. Dick continued to watch them, grinning like an idiot as Damien would say, as he continued to walk away in the opposite direction.
He really should have been watching where he was going instead.
The laughter of the women would soon cut short and turn to shrill cries of shock and horror. A car horn would blare, however futile. Brakes would wail and worst of all, there would be a bone shattering thud. Followed by the crisp shattering of glass with a second, more muted thud, to top off the panic.
And all after Dick stepped out blindly into the wake of two, dazzling lights.
The twenty three year old awoke not the next morning, but sometime in the afternoon. He could tell by the violet light protruding through the venetian blinds of the ward.
The first thing he became aware of was his own discomfort. Despite the fact he was well cushioned and caringly propped in the bed, he was sore all over. His head was fuzzy, he was able to identify where he was, a hospital of course. What other establishment was decorated in wall to wall white? Also the scent of disinfectant was thick in the air.
But a hospital where? And why? How?
From his haze a sudden thought gripped him and filled him with worry. Had he been injured on the job? As Nightwing? If so a public hospital was not the place to be.
Despite the white hot agony that surged through him, he began to squirm on the bed, using all means necessary to get a better view and grasp of his environment and situation.
But a nurse had already rushed to his side in an attempt to calm him. "Mr. Grayson", she cooed softly. "Please sir, you're alright. Just relax..."
Mr. Grayson, he reasoned, how does she know my name? It was better than being referred to as Mr. Nightwing anyway. But he was still far too cautious, so he wouldn't say anything just yet.
"Mr. Grayson", continued the nurse now that he'd stopped struggling at least. "You were in an accident, you have to stay still or risk hurting yourself further".
"What...what accident?" He blurted out, his voice dry and cracked.
"You were hit by a car. You were drunk at the time sir." She watched his paling colour carefully, "but you're safe no, so just relax".
Car. Drunk, He ran the words over in his head over and over, hoping they would spark a memory. It didn't but it did calms his fears somewhat. He certainly wouldn't be drunk or anyway intoxicated under control, so he must have been hit in civilian dress.
"Where am I?" He croaked after a moment.
"Blüdhaven General", she answered promptly. "I'm Nurse Taylor by the way. Now I'm going to go alert your doctor that you're awake. I'll be back in a moment".
Fleetingly placing an assuring hand on his forearm, she then turned and hurried away.
She held true to her promise and did return with a doctor, known as Doctor Smith, to inform him of his condition. In all fairness to the doctor, he skipped all the unnecessary medical mumbo jumbo. Basically, Dick had impacted with a taxi, resulting in three broken ribs, two cracked ribs, a bruised kidney and fractured hip. A "femoral head fracture", the doctor had first summarized before going on to explain how it was an injury caused by high trauma and that not uncommon to the fracture, he had also dislocated his hip. The worst of his injuries were localized to his left side, where he'd received the main brunt of the car. He was now however, as the doctor put it, back in one piece.
"But you'll need a lot of rest in order to recuperate, we're going to hold onto you for at least another day or so, but after that...do you live alone sir?"
Dick thought for a moment. He was alone in Blüdhaven but he did have his family in Gotham. All those people he'd thought of earlier and missed. But something else from his foggy memory resurfaced also. Bruce was busy with a case. And Dick knew exactly what Bruce was like in the high point of his obsession. He would be highly strung, grumpy and sharp tongued and in the very middle of it would sit Dick, useless as far as the Batman was concerned due to his injury. He would probably pawn his injured eldest off on Alfred, their long suffering Butler. And in Dick's opinion, he was far too old to have poor Alfred having to look after him and help him about.
"Ugh...yeah, I live alone".
The doctor's brow furrowed. "That makes things a little tricky".
Dick raised his eyebrows and waited for the Doctor to explain. "Because of your hip and ribs, it would be the most comfortable for you to remain wheelchair bound until you recover- it would be less stressful on you. But obviously, wheelchairs can be debilitating to get around in, especially if you're on your own. Is there nobody you can stay with at least?"
Again he was torn. Barbra came to mind but once again he believed it was not her job to have to look after him.
"I'm sure I'll be able to get around", he answered confidently, with one of his most charming smiles attached.
The doctor remained dubious but merely shrugged and wished him the best before moving on to his other patients.
Dick settled himself, his mind already preoccupied, problem solving as to how he would manage over the next few weeks. You'll figure something out, he supposed. After all this wasn't the first time he'd had to fend for himself while injured. Never had been so restricted however due to his injuries but again, he would try to remain optimistic.
Over the next few hours, he drifted in and out of sleep and before he knew it, it was the next day. Nurse Taylor pressed again whether or not he had a place to stay. He deflected her efforts by asking about where his mobile phone could have gotten to. Apparently it had miraculously survived the impact. And she returned it to him, shortly thereafter. The screen was cracked but other than that it worked fine. After switching the phone back on, astounded by its resilience, he then was overwhelmed by a feeling of dread.
According to the alert before him, he had three missed calls from Bruce. Surely he could know what was going on. It's not like he keeps tabs on me twenty four seven, ranted Dick, alright maybe he does but...
Taking in a deep breath, he went about calling the number back. It rang twice before the deep, low voice of Bruce echoed down the line. "Dick", he declared, yet it was impossible to tell how he felt about the owner of the name at this moment, his tone certainly revealed nothing.
"Bruce", the ex Robin replied, equally as vague. He tentatively awaited what his father and mentor would say next.
He need not wait long.
"We need to talk..."
DUN DUN DUN...
With luck there'll be more to come...
Would Love Some feedback!