A fanfiction by Velkyn Karma
Summary: Roy's not really sure what to do with himself after the apocalypse destroys his future, but an assassination attempt on a fellow ex-sidekick forces him to reconsider his aspirations. Features Roy and Dick. Friendship only, no pairings.
Note: Inspired by Black Friar, who really wanted to see more of Dick and Roy at New Batcave—specifically the first assassination attempt on Dick. A sort-of prequel to my zombie apocalypse fic Age of Heroes—things will make a lot more sense if you read that one first.
Warnings: Language (especially later in the fic), some blood and gore, occasional dark outlooks on life (it is the apocalypse), passing mentions of zombies (but no zombies actually featured because I was thinking of you, Friar...)
Disclaimer: I do not own, or pretend to own, Young Justice or any of its subsequent characters, plots or other ideas. That right belongs to DC, Warner Brothers, and associated parties.
"I think it's coming along really well," Dick Grayson said decisively, arms crossed as he watched the bustle of production in front of them. After a moment he glanced over and up at his companion, standing quietly beside him, and added, "Don't you?"
Roy Harper blinked once, and glanced over the whir of activity in front of them again with a little more focus this time. They were standing in what was formerly Arkham Asylum's Botanical Gardens, for the moment simply referred to as 'the gardens.' Before Z-day the building had, according to Dick, been intended for therapeutical use for the institution's mentally unstable patients, although considering one of Arkham's regulars had been Poison Ivy Roy wasn't sure how much use it had been. Most of the old vegetation had long since withered or grown wild with no staff (or eco-terrorists) to tend to them after the apocalypse, and Dick had been working with other colony survivors for months now to repurpose the building for more practical means. Many of the rooms had been reworked as efficiently as possible into vegetable and fruit gardens, to grow as much food as possible in the limited quantities of space, and planting had already begun. Now they were tackling some of the larger rooms, and Dick was ambitiously hoping to have them renovated in time to get some larger varieties of crops growing in time for the winter freeze.
"Well enough," Roy agreed, after a moment's study.
Things were moving along pretty quickly, he had to admit. It had only been six months since he had assisted in retaking Arkham Asylum from the zeds, and every day it felt less like a tentative foothold and more like a solid foundation for human life to re-establish itself. But he wasn't going to fool himself either—the hardest test was still coming, in the form of a harsh New England winter right around the corner. He'd never experienced a true winter in Gotham yet, but he knew snows and temperatures could be brutal and unpredictable here, and he wasn't sure the newly-established colony would be able to survive it. For all their scrambling to complete preparations, there was still some concern that there wouldn't be enough food or medical supplies to last the winter. And he knew Dick was concerned that the generator he'd cobbled together wouldn't be able to handle the strain of keeping so many large buildings warm enough for the hundreds of colonists depending on them, while still maintaining necessary power for other tasks. No matter how he looked at it, it was going to be rough.
Dick seemed to sense his doubts, because he offered Roy a reassuring and sympathetic grin. "Stay whelmed," he said (Roy scoffed; even months later, Dick's wordplay took some getting used to). "It's going to take a lot of rationing and careful planning, but I think we can make it. And hey, at least we don't have to worry about the zombies in the winter, right?"
"Just the people," Roy agreed. He wasn't entirely sure if that was reassuring or not, though. If there was one thing he'd learned since Z-day started, it was that for every unexpectedly altruistic human being there were at least five terrified, selfish people desperate to survive any way possible, and their post-apocalyptic personalities did not always match up with the way they acted before it came.
Still, Dick was the one who had started the Arkham Refuge project, and it was Dick who understood it to the fullest and had enough experience to know what he was doing. He'd had a little over a year's worth of training under Batman's tutelage, after all, and according to Ollie the man had been a master when it came to survival and disaster preparation. Roy's few months of crime-fighting alongside Green Arrow could hardly compare. If Dick thought they could survive the rough winter ahead, then maybe they really could.
"The people are scared," Dick said, and his smirk dropped off his face for a moment as he fell into one of his more serious moods. He shifted a little, watching some of the volunteer workers, and added, "We just have to prove they have nothing to be afraid of. That they can trust us, because we can get them through this." Serious expression or not, he sounded confident and stood tall, although his declaration was soft and meant for Roy's ears alone.
He wasn't wrong, Roy knew. Fear was really the number one enemy they had after Z-day, over even the zombies. Zeds were just monsters and could be killed easily, if you knew what you were doing. Terrified humans were unpredictable and supremely dangerous, especially in delicate situations as these. That was probably why Dick had targeted fear specifically with his crazy Scarecrow-cell stunt months ago, when first enticing people to live on the island. It had been idiotically poetic and incredibly risky, staying overnight in the cell of a deranged man known for poisoning minds, but it had worked. The miasma of terror that had clouded the island when it first opened to the living for safety had dissipated when people began to realize Dick had literally stared fear and insanity in the eye and not backed down, and that he could—and would—do the same for them. His confidence and reassurance were catching, and the survivors of Arkham Refuge were tentatively beginning to trust that this eleven year old kid could keep them alive.
But, Roy supposed, he wasn't exactly surprised. Dick had always been good with people, and it was becoming strongly apparently that he was a born leader, too. Between that and his Robin experience, Dick looked like he knew what he was doing, and it was why Roy was content to follow his lead. He'd been doing so for the last seven months, after all, and so far everything had turned out just fine—as fine as one could expect in the apocalypse, anyway.
And truth be told, Roy didn't know what he was doing with himself after Z-day—which was the other reason he was content to follow Dick's lead in the hopes of things going a little smoother than they had been.
The apocalypse had been rough on everyone, and in theory Roy ought to have been more prepared for it than most, but he'd found himself anything but. Before Z-day, when he'd still been fifteen, he'd had everything worked out and known just where he was heading in life, his whole path paved out before him with sharpness and clarity. He'd work with Ollie, train as his partner to build his crime-fighting skills and experience, and when he'd eventually learned everything he could from his mentor he'd move on to do a lot of good with the Justice League itself. Back then, Roy was sure he could hit League material by the time he was eighteen, if he pushed himself hard, trained constantly, and did everything he could to prove himself.
But the apocalypse had shot all of that straight to hell. Speedy had been forbidden from joining the initial battle, and before Roy had known it he'd lost contact with Green Arrow entirely, never hearing from him again. News reports grew more and more grim as zed swarms overtook some of the largest cities and fortresses on the planet, overwhelming some of the world's strongest inhabitants, hero and villain alike. The entire system was broken down and the world's heroes killed or scattered to the four winds within the span of eight months of brutal, hard fighting and worse losses, and it became shockingly apparent that the Justice League—and Roy's every goal and motivation with it—was dead and gone.
That once sharply clear road was made little more than mud and ash, indistinguishable and meandering. He had no idea where it was taking him or where he was going, and some days he even wondered if it was worth it, continuing to trudge laboriously forward when he couldn't even see where his next steps were taking him.
Roy had always been a motivated individual, and not having something to work towards, a goal, a skill, an improvement, was a new and uncomfortable experience; he didn't like it, but he had no idea of how to really fix it. For a while he toyed with the idea of finding Ollie, but his few weak leads on the West Coast went nowhere, and there was a sinking feeling deep in his gut that warned him not to pursue too much farther. Too many missing persons stories ended in tragedy these days, especially when a full death wasn't the worst fate for the lost family member or friend after Z-day.
He'd followed up on his other link to the Justice League instead: Robin, the only other partner to a full-time member before the apocalypse had hit. He'd met Robin only once, when Green Arrow had teamed up with Batman on a mission, and both had brought their proteges for practical experience. Robin might have had some idea of what Roy was going through, or he might have had some idea of where the Leaguers were at; most importantly, Robin was more likely to still be alive, especially if his mentor had also forbidden him from fighting when it became too dangerous. Roy had latched onto the idea in the same way he'd once idealized his dream of joining the League, and used it to keep himself going in the harrowing months-long journey across the zed-dominated United States, from West-Coast Star City to East-Coast Gotham City.
As it happened, Robin was alive, but had very little idea of what had happened to most of the Leaguers, which disappointed Roy more than a little. He did, however, understand extremely well what Roy was dealing with—he'd lost his own mentor, twice-dead, and the loss had hit him hard. More impressive to Roy was that, unlike himself, Robin had still set his sights on the future and a new goal, one that promised to be ambitious, exceedingly dangerous, and more than a little insane, but would also save hundreds if not thousands if he could pull it off. It wasn't a job a single kid, much less an eleven-year-old, could do alone, though. Roy had no plans or goals of his own, not anymore, but he had some training from Ollie that could be useful, and Robin was a friend; the choice had been glaringly obvious. Speedy had stuck around, assisting Robin with the reclamation of the abandoned Arkham Asylum, and later, Roy Harper had stayed behind to help Dick Grayson with the rebuilding and fortification efforts.
But for all that, Roy's path was still as muddy and indistinguishable as it had been before. For now he was content to follow, to drift, assist Dick where it was needed; but ultimately he considered himself as purposeless as he had been before he'd stepped foot in Gotham. True, his aim was as excellent as ever and his combat skills far above the average civilian, his input on security measures was occasionally useful towards shoring up Arkham's defenses, and he'd been able to assist with ranged weapons training to increase their survival ratio in zed attacks.
But none of it was really necessary, in the long run. Dick had far more experience and skill with these things thanks to his own training, he ultimately called all of the shots, and this was his city, so he obviously knew it better. Had Roy not been there, he was sure Dick still would have managed all of it, somehow. Helping Dick kept Roy active, kept him feeding off of the younger ex-sidekick's motivation, and certainly Roy knew he wasn't completely useless, but his life was still stagnant: in the long run, nothing had really changed. He still had no idea what he was going to do with himself after the apocalypse, and the longer he waited in this rut the more passive and disinterested he became—which was the part that ultimately worried him most of all.
"Dick to Roy, over," said a voice next to him, and Roy blinked in surprise as he glanced over at his fellow former sidekick. Dick looked vaguely amused as he stared up at his companion. "Back with us, yet? I've been trying to get your attention for a minute now."
"Sorry. Thinking," Roy said absently, shaking his head.
Dick cocked his head, the amusement on his face slipping away a little, to be replaced by a hint of concern. "You okay, Roy? You seem kinda far away. Actually, you've been that way for days now."
"I'm fine. Really," Roy stressed, when Dick gave him a doubtful look. "It's the apocalypse and we're heading towards winter. There's a lot of things to think about."
Dick didn't look like he bought into it entirely, but he didn't press further, for which Roy was grateful. The kid was a friend, but his problems were his problems, and he'd have to figure out how to deal with them on his own. Dick had enough on his plate to deal with, without having to deal with Roy's future concerns as well.
"What were you trying to tell me, anyway?" Roy asked after a moment, shifting the topic bluntly away from himself.
Dick raised an eyebrow at his lack of subtlety—even at eleven the kid was too damn clever and opinionated for his own good—but played along. "I was saying I was just about to head along to my next stop, if you wanted to tag along. Things are moving along right on schedule here, so I need to report it to the council members so they can start getting the supplies for planting together. I also need to stop by I.T. to see if they've been able to cobble together more parts for the generator, 'cause I need to get some of the kinks worked out of it tonight—but since we're heading over to the mansion anyway I figured I'd stop in and check on the kids first." His expression went a little sad. "They brought in three more yesterday, it sounds like. Some of the survivors trying to find refuge here found these kids abandoned and were decent enough to take them with. I want to make sure they're settling in okay."
"It's a wonder you find time to sleep," Roy said, as he idly fell into step behind Dick. He had nothing better to do for the moment—he'd already done morning training with the volunteer guards—so he might as well tag along.
"Sleep is for the weak," Dick said, a wicked grin on his face, but the expression softened after a moment. "I've got a lot of practice, though. You know that."
Roy supposed he did, working for Batman, although something about it just didn't seem to suit Dick. Maybe Batman could power on for days on little to no rest, but Roy suspected it probably wasn't as good an idea for an eleven year old to try. Still, it wasn't his place to intervene. Besides, Dick knew what he was doing, and although he had a near inhuman number of jobs that he took care of every day, he juggled them with surprising skill and didn't seem all that worse for the wear. Once again, Roy chalked it up to having far more training and experience from Batman. "I guess," he finally conceded, after a moment.
They exited the Garden building and trudged across the grounds, heading for the mansion that took up a large portion of the eastern part of the island. It was early October, but the air was unusually sharp and chilly today with an unpleasantly cool breeze. It meant most colonists and volunteers without tasks or assignments were hiding indoors, and it was oddly quiet on the grounds, other than the whistle of the wind and the occasional sounds of construction. Those that were outside were bundled into thicker coats and heavier clothing and went about their duties as briskly as possible, assisting with building, repairing, and cleaning as they prepped for the incoming winter. There was an air of urgency and worry hovering in the air from most of those out and about, but Roy noted with interest that many of the workers seemed to calm a little as he and Dick walked past, and many of them glanced over in Dick's direction with clear recognition in their eyes. Dick did not seem concerned in the least by the attention, and often stopped for a moment to say hello, offer encouragement or reassurances or suggestions on projects, ask how they were holding up, or just wave and offer a grin.
"They're really starting to warm up to you," Roy observed, after Dick successfully reassured another gaggle of workers fixing one of the guard-houses into a storeroom about their high survival chances for the coming winter. The men and women had gone back to work with renewed energy at the prospect of their work making a difference and seeing the spring, and most intriguing of all to Roy was that they took the words of an eleven year old so seriously.
"Like I said," Dick said with a shrug, "We just have to show them they can make it through this. Panicking is the worst possible thing that could happen right now. I'm just reminding them to stay whelmed, that's all."
"But you're the one they're listening to," Roy pointed out. "They're starting to recognize who you are, especially after that Scarecrow stunt. As you, not...you know." Dick nodded, and Roy added, "People are beginning to realize Dick Grayson has a hand in nearly everything that goes on here on the island. They're learning to trust you, not the rest of the people on the council."
"Hey, I'm not responsible for everything here," Dick argued. "Everyone here's doing good work and pitching in. The council guys are making good decisions and keeping an eye on day to day stuff. And of course you've helped out a lot with security measures too, Roy."
Roy shook his head, expression dull. "I haven't done all that much," he said truthfully. "Nothing you couldn't handle on your own. And the fact that you know what everyone else is up to on this island when it comes to it's survival is just another indication that, even if you aren't making the calls, you've still got a hand in it. Face it, Dick. No matter who else makes a decision on this island, you're the face of Arkham Refuge—and the civilians here are starting to realize that." Whether or not that was a good thing or a bad thing remained to be seen. In Roy's experience, people in positions of power like that could do a lot of good if they could prove themselves—but they also took the fall if something went bad. And lots of things could go bad in the apocalypse.
"Obviously everybody knows good leader material when they see it," Dick said with a laugh, as he increased his pace; the mansion's steps weren't too far away, now, and it would be nice to get in from the wind. He waved to the guards on the steps as they approached, who nodded back to both Dick and Roy out of respect, and Dick added more seriously, "But really, Roy, don't sell yourself short, you're way more useful than you give yourself credit for. In a crisis there's nobody else I'd rather have at my ba—"
The shot rang out with piercing clarity, shattering the whispers of the wind and the quiet of the cold day with alarming suddenness. Dick staggered backwards as his words cut off with a pained yelp, and the cry barely managed to stifle the noise of the second gunshot, or the third.
For the barest fraction of a second Roy's mind was blank from shock, and his eyes widened as Dick rocked backwards from the sudden impact. Another millisecond later and Roy's startled mind managed to connect the noise and the reaction to what had happened, but even so, it was hard for him to accept it, to comprehend it. Shot. Dick had been shot. Dick had been shot. Why had he been shot? Why would anyone...why would...what?
There was a thud bare moments later as Dick crashed backwards onto hard-packed dirt and dying autumn grass, eyes wide and teeth grit in pain. His jacket was already showing the first stains of red, and it was suddenly all too apparent that this was real and getting worse fast.
Part of Roy's mind was still confusedly trying to put the pieces together—why would anybody want to shoot Dick?—but the rest of him was already moving on autopilot. His months of training with Green Arrow, and another year and a half strengthening his survival skills still further in the apocalypse, had him slipping an arrow from his ever-present quiver and sliding it to the bow in a matter of seconds.
Shots came from above, and in front of us, the way Dick fell, he analyzed quickly, eyes already scanning the mansion. There were only so many places a gunman could take the shot from, and he found the man's silhouette buried in a cast shadow almost instantly, firing his arrow almost as soon as his eyes fell on the target. His aim, if nothing else, was still perfect, even agains the wind: there was a pained shriek from one of the many nooks and crannies atop the mansion's roof, and the gunshots ceased. Seconds after the attack had begun the threat had been completely neutralized.
Roy scanned the area quickly, still with his bow at the ready—where there was one attacker, there might be others. But he saw no other immediate threats; just a few staring, shocked onlookers, and the two guards that had been on the steps, their own bows drawn and already running towards him.
"Get up there now and find whoever did this," Roy snapped at them immediately, pointing to the roof. "He may try to run, but I know I got a good shot at him; he won't get far. Catch him and put him somewhere until we can deal with him!" They both nodded, wide-eyed with respect, and in the back of his mind Roy realized they were stunned that he'd been able to make such a difficult shot so fast. He didn't care, as long as it made them listen to him, and seconds later they ran off to do as they were told.
Threat dealt with, Roy slung his bow back over his shoulder and crouched down next to Dick, who was still sprawled on the ground and looked dazed. His right shoulder was already bleeding pretty badly, and there was a gash on his upper right arm where a second shot had grazed him. Roy cast about anxiously for a third injury—there had been three shots—and felt only the tiniest flash of relief at the harmless furrow dug into the ground near Dick. Thank God the would-be assassin had missed at least once...
Minor relief shifted to panic a moment later as Dick groaned in pain, left arm twitching feebly as he tried to reach for his injured shoulder, and Roy realized he didn't know what the hell to do. Dick was the one in charge, the one with the experience, the one who knew how to call the shots and when—he was Robin, for crying out loud, while Roy had barely made any headway as Speedy! But Robin, Dick, was down and hurting, badly by the looks of it, and Roy was struck rather suddenly by the enormity of it.
He wasn't a damn leader—he wouldn't have even snapped those orders to the guards just now if Dick hadn't just been shot and truthfully he hadn't even known where that had come from, he'd just...done it. And now Dick was down and—God, somebody had tried to shoot him, who tried to shoot a kid, much less the kid saving hundreds of lives, what the hell was going on, what the hell was he supposed to do—
Later, Roy! he snarled at himself inwardly. Get it together, you idiot! Dick first, then everything else!
"Damn it," he cursed out loud.
"Roy?" Dick asked suddenly. His voice sounded choked, hoarse, like he was biting back a cry or groan, and he looked a mix of pained and bewildered. "What...what happened?"
Get it together, Roy, he repeated to himself, more firmly this time. He schooled his expression as best as he could, doing his best to hide his worry, and said out loud, "You got shot, now don't move and do as I say, got it?"
"Kinda...hoped I was done getting...shot at," Dick said, wincing and trying to lever himself up slowly.
"I said stay still," Roy snapped at him immediately, putting a hand on Dick's good shoulder to hold him down.
Dick complied, but apparently there was more on his mind, because after a moment he said thickly, "S...see what I...mean, though? You...you're already here he...helping. What'd I tellya...not useless..."
Roy had to fight very hard to keep his frustration at himself and his exasperation at his friend from slipping onto his face. Dick had just been shot and was still trying to reassure him! And meanwhile he was sitting here like an idiot, not knowing what to do. The differences between Robin and Speedy were growing more obvious by the second; it was no wonder Dick had taken the lead while Roy just drifted behind him.
But he couldn't let himself do that now, not if he wanted to get Dick through this. "Don't talk so much, just breathe," Roy ordered him. Okay. Okay, now what the hell was he supposed to do...
Unexpectedly Roy found his old training coming back to him, and could hear Ollie's voice in his head, running him through basic combat and first aid scenarios with civilians. "Make sure you get rid of the threats first, before you try to help," Ollie had warned. "You can't do a civilian any good if you get shot or stabbed or blown up yourself and they could get hurt even more."
Okay. He'd done that, on autopilot more than anything else, but the threat was gone. Check.
"Call an ambulance next," were memory-Ollie's next words of wisdom, "and don't try to move them unless you absolutely have to, if the situation's still too dangerous for them to be there safely. Stay with them and keep giving first aid until the professionals get there." But that wasn't happening. There were no ambulances available on Arkham Refuge, and no communications for him to contact the medical facility on the western side of the island, anyway. He could send a runner, but he didn't know how bad off Dick was; it might be too late by the time they arrived by foot with proper equipment. I think this counts as a potentially dangerous situation, Ollie, Roy thought. I'll carry him myself if I have to.
"Check the basics next." Right, Roy remembered this. Dick was breathing, and when he slid his fingers below his friend's jaw there was a pulse, too; not as strong as it should have been, but there. Very, very carefully Roy examined his friend for further injuries, but thankfully Dick did not appear to have any major skull or spinal damage, as the shots were all concentrated on his right side. He'd still have to be careful moving him, but at least he wouldn't paralyze him doing it.
The gash wasn't so bad, but the shoulder wound was bleeding pretty heavily, and Roy was starting to get even more worried. There was an artery in there somewhere and if it had been hit Dick was in serious trouble. He pressed one of his gloved palms to the injury, putting pressure on the wound, and tried to ignore Dick's agonized whine as he did so. Dick thrashed, and instinctively attempted to use one of his martial arts moves to free himself, but he was weak and the defensive move was easy to avoid. "Dick!" he snapped. "I'm trying to help, stop attacking me!"
"S...sorry," Dick said thickly, and added with a trace of a whimper, "Hurts..."
"I know it does, but I've got to keep pressure on it," Roy said, a little more gently this time. "Just bear with it, okay? Just a little longer and I can get you to the med lab." Dick nodded, gritting his teeth.
Binding the injuries was next, Ollie's voice coached, especially if he had to move Dick. He coaxed his friend into putting pressure on the wound, and then tossed his bow and quiver onto the ground next to his prone friend and shrugged off his jacket. The wind was like icy needles on his bare arms and tore through his threadbare T-shirt, but he ignored it, instead slicing one of the sleeves off using a razor-sharp arrow from his quiver. He bound the shoulder injury carefully but firmly, ignoring Dick's pained groans while muttering reassurances poorly disguised as threats about how Dick had better be just fine. When that was taken care of, he tore a further strip from his jacket to deal with the gash on his friend's arm, as well.
"How you hanging in there, Dick?" he asked urgently, as he finished up his work and slung his bow and quiver back across his shoulders. He wouldn't even think of leaving them behind now—if somebody had attacked Dick, he could still be in danger, and Roy had to be able to fight.
Dick didn't answer at first, and Roy frowned, lightly slapping the side of his face with his open (and now bloodied-glove free) palm. "Dick! C'mon, stay with me here, just a little longer, okay?"
"...said that already..." Dick slurred tiredly, after a moment. His eyelids were fluttering as he tried to stay focused, and he added, "S'lot longer. Not...little."
"Whatever. Just keep doing it," Roy hissed. "I can't believe you're arguing words at a time like this..."
"Question. Answer. S'cold..." Dick flicked his good hand feebly again, as if gesturing to the air.
Roy frowned, and it took him a second to realize Dick was answering his initial question. When he finally understood he pressed one of his palms to Dick's forehead. It was cold out already, but Dick was chillier than he should have been, and much paler, too. Shock couldn't be setting in already, could it? He had lost a lot of blood...worried, Roy wrapped him as best as he could in the remnants of his now-sleeveless jacket, wincing internally every time his movements caused Dick to groan or whimper softly again. By the time he was done Dick's eyes were fluttering again, and he was barely able to focus on Roy's words, slipping in and out.
Roy had to get him to the medical facility. Now.
Ignoring the few concerned civilians drifting anxiously nearby, Roy crouched and very carefully scooped Dick up into his arms. He was surprisingly easy to lift, and Roy shifted him carefully so as to put the least amount of pressure or tension on the injury. Dick groaned softly, and his head lolled bonelessly against Roy's shoulder, eyes half-lidded and unfocused. He was drifting fast. Grinding his teeth in determination, Roy turned and set off at a run for the medical facility on the other side of the island.
Carrying Dick was easy...frighteningly so. It shocked him, how light Dick was; the kid was only five years younger than him, but he weighed practically nothing. Some of it could probably be attributed to a lack of food—everybody was thinner than they used to be, with the apocalypse. But more than that, for the first time Roy was beginning to realize just how...small Dick was. How young. Batman's former partner was so intelligent and had so much experience when it came to disaster that Roy had always thought of him as...well, as Robin. Skilled, strong, clever, better and more prepared in every way, shape and form than Speedy or Roy could ever be, never requiring worry or concern, immune to even the problems of the apocalypse. It had never occurred to him to ever think of the kid as being merely eleven, still a child in every other sense of the word, and for the first time it really hit Roy that Dick was just that: a child, even younger than him, trying to survive in a harsh and unforgiving environment.
And somebody had just tried to kill him. Tried, and nearly succeeded. The person in his arms was not Robin, the Boy Wonder, survivor of the apocalypse, invincible and legendary. Nor was it Richard Grayson, founder of Arkham Refuge, immune to fears and nightmares and champion of the people. It was just Dick, just a kid who had been unfairly shot and was hurting badly and was not, above all else, invincible. No matter how well he played a hero, in either guise, he was only human, only mortal, imperfect and limited and vulnerable.
And it was a terrifying realization to make.
New Batcave seems pretty popular for readers...hope you guys enjoy this three-parter featuring it, too.