Disclaimer- I do not own Young Justice.
Sorry about the wait!
Dick sensed him before he saw him.
Dick had been senselessly tossing and turning on his bed, unable to get comfortable in the bed that he claimed as his at the Cave. The bed only served as a reminder that he had a nice, comfortable bed at Wayne Manor and could be sleeping in it if he weren't so tired at the moment. He and the team had completed a difficult mission a mere three hours ago and had been too exhausted to even think about going to their own homes. Even Wally had decided to remain at the Cave and collapsed at his bedroom door, leaving Dick to drag his friend into the room and put him into bed.
He had originally planned on going home but after sitting down on, Dick couldn't find it in him to move. So he had a brief talk with Bruce and got permission to spend the night at the Cave. Because it was Friday (well, now Saturday because it was after midnight), Dick didn't have to worry about getting up for school and could sleep in.
That is, if he ever got to sleep.
Dick's room here at the Cave was . . . different. It was smaller and more bare than his room at Wayne Manor, at his home. The walls were certainly much closer to his laying form than his walls at home. It kind of freaked him out. If he didn't know any better, he'd swear that the walls were ever so slowly closing in on him and were planning on squeezing him until he confessed his fears.
His fears . . .
Dick had only one fear at the moment and that was the cause of his pain.
Lately, the backs of his eyes would ache and throb, leaving Dick with the worse of migraines. At first the pain had only lasted a few moments so he didn't mention it. But over the course of a year, the pain had worsened and its time span had become quite lengthy. Now Dick would be lucky if it lasted for only a day and not three. Of course he had mentioned this to Bruce (after passing out from the pain a month ago) and had been taken to a doctor. But the doctor had only prescribed Dick some pain pills, saying that migraines were often like this and said to tell him if he collapsed again. Bruce's concern for Dick hadn't lessen at all and kept him close as much as possible. It had been quite a fight just to go on tonight's mission.
But Dick couldn't complain about Bruce's concern. Not at all.
Not when he was sure that the doctor was wrong.
After that lingering thought, Dick sensed the air shift in his room and saw a shadow form into a shape of a man. His back stiffened as he sat up and reached the light switch on the wall next to him. Flipping the switch, Dick's eyes were locked on the elderly man who was smiling at him.
"Hello, Richard. It's been awhile, hasn't it?"
Dick's eyes widened and flashed recognition as he slowly got to his feet. "You? What are you doing here?"
The old man's wrinkles seem to form a frown on his forehead as he sighed. "I've come to take you back, Richard."
"Back? Back there?" Dick asked, his hands tightening into fists as his eyes took on a faraway look.
The old man nodded. "Yes, back there."
Dick couldn't help the bitter laugh that exploded out of his mouth. "You're crazy if you think I'm going to go back there. That place . . . It's . . ."
"I know," the man murmured as he took a step forward towards Dick. "But you must go back. Your destiny-"
"Screw destiny!" Dick said just a hint over a whisper. "I like it here and I have family here! I don't have anyone over there! No one!"
The old man sighed again. "I know you feel attached-"
"Attached? Attached?" Dick laughed bitterly at the word. "Of course I'm attached! What did you think would happen when you brought me here and introduced me to another version of my deceased parents? What did you think would happen when they welcomed me into their home, a home that had already lost a Dick Grayson? What did you think would happen when I came to a world that was better off than my own? What did you think would happen? Did you think that I would be able to have a certain detachment? Did you think that I would yearn to return my original world, a world that has much more chaos than this one? Did you?"
He panted after his speech, his eyes narrowed and glaring at the man who was now staring at him with a complex look. Dick could already hear the man's side of the argument and how he would go on and on about how Dick should have known this day would come. And that was true.
Dick had known.
But Dick had forgotten the deal he and this world's version of his parents had made with the old man. He had forgotten that this time, this place would not be his forever. He had forgotten that he would not a free bird that soared through the sky day and night. He had forgotten that his birth place was a cage, a cage that he would one day be forced to go back and live the rest of his days in.
He had forgotten that this was not his family, his friends.
This was not his life.
But was that really true? Couldn't he live this life and claim that it was his? Couldn't he just stay and live the life that this world's Dick Grayson had not gotten the chance to live?
Couldn't he just stay here?
"You're right, Richard," the old man said quietly. "I didn't think that this would happen. I regret bringing you here."
How could Dick ever come to regret living here, meeting all these people? How could he regret seeing his parent's smiling faces again after learning that those faces had died? How could he regret meeting Bruce and Alfred and being welcomed into their home, their family? How could he regret becoming Robin and watching Bruce's back? How could he regret gaining another father in man like Bruce? How could he regret his time in Haly's circus and meeting so many people during that time? How could he regret any of it?
Even if it would make this so much easier.
The old man then quietly laughed at Dick's soft expression. "I know, Richard. But now it's all the harder for you to live out your destiny. You can't live here anymore. You have to go home."
Dick's soft expression twisted and turned, becoming a much harder one. "Home? Ha. I am home."
"I know . . . and I'm sorry about that. But you have to return, Richard-"
"Why?" Dick spat out the word, it leaving a bitter aftertaste in his mouth.
"Because you're dying here, Richard."
A/N- Ha! Bet you didn't see that one coming! This was published on 12-29-13 with the length of 1,232 words.