(AN: So, i thought I had finished but nah I had more to write so this is the last chapter I hope you like it I just needed someone to take care of Dick)
Dick raised a tired hand to grip Kory's arm as he cried into her neck. Her fingers weaved into his hair at the back of his head, pressing soothingly against the muscles in his neck as he sucked in a breath, trying to calm down.
He was supposed to be strong, he'd tried to be for the kids but in reality he was winging it. He wasn't sure if anything he was doing was right.
"How did we get here, Kory? Those kids...they never should have been hurt like that. I was supposed to protect them."
She nodded against him, other hand rubbing over his back, trying to make him feel better. She wasn't exactly sure how. "You did, Dick. You were hurt worse than any of us and you still took down those guards on your own."
She pulled back, sitting on the floor with him as he sniffed. "I scared them."
Kory couldn't deny that. She remembered Gar flinching with every swing of Dick's wrench, turning away and trying not to vomit. It had been a bad night for all of them. "You did what you had to do."
Dick shook his head, slumping back against the bathtub as he shivered. "No, I...I shouldn't have…" He sucked in a shuddering breath, voice dipping to a whisper. "Chief hurt him. He hurt Gar."
Kory frowned. She had thought the same thing, the first time she'd seen that scared boy stumbling alongside Rachel she knew he'd been hurt for too long. But she hadn't ever heard anyone voice it aloud. "He told you that?"
Dick blinked his tired eyes, back aching where it bowed against the bath but he was too weak to move. "No, but I can tell. It's the way he curls into himself everytime he talks about Chief, the way he looks at me like he expects me to...I don't know. Chain him up or something. He says that Chief saved him but I know there's more than that. And I don't just mean that tranq gun. He used to hurt him and Gar is still afraid of him. I never wanted him to be scared of me too, but I think...I think I just blew it."
Kory stood, turning away from Dicks bowed head to grab a cloth from the sink, ignoring the stained one he'd used on Gar. "You give up too easy."
Dick raised his head at that, chin caught in Korys firm hand so that she could swipe the warm cloth across his jaw. "What?"
She concentrated on her work, expression made of hard lines and furrowed brows. "Rachel and Gar idolise you, Dick. They're not going to stop loving you just because you're a little messed up. Actually that's probably why they cling to you so tight."
Dick still didn't understand and didn't bother to answer as Kory swept his hair back, wiping the sweat and dirt from his face. She didn't need any prompting, explaining herself as he watched her with wide, glassy eyes. "They think they're monsters, that something's wrong with them and everyone around them will get hurt. You might be fucked up but at least they know you won't turn on them at the first sight of demons or claws. All four of us...we're messed up and scary and...scared. That's why we fit together so well."
For someone that didn't even remember who she was, she certainly had a good grip on who everyone else was. He nodded, or tried to, panting even as he just sat there, his eyes drifting shut.
Kory folded the cloth over, rubbing it behind the man's ears as he started to drift off. She couldn't remember ever having taken care of someone that way before but she found she enjoyed the calmness of it, feeling more connected to Dick than when she had been sleeping with him.
He seemed so soft sitting there, so vulnerable and something in her yearned to protect him in the same way she needed to protect Rachel and Gar.
Her concentration was broken by a noise that came from the doorway, a small shift like a knee against carpet but she heard it and put the cloth down, making her way over.
She pushed the door open, hearing little curses coming from behind the wood as she did, and she found the two culprits. Gar and Rachel looked guiltily up at her as they sat on the carpet in front of the door, both tipped back in their hands where they'd leaned away from the door when it opened.
"What are you doing? I thought I told you to take him to bed." She looked to Rachel and the girl nodded, pointing to the bathroom, dark eyebrows gathering over worried eyes.
"I know, but we wanted to make sure Dick was okay."
Kory looked back into the bathroom where the man was asleep against the tub, totally unaware of the eavesdropping that had gone on.
"He will be. How much did you hear?" She reached a hand down to both kids, hauling them up from the ground, being extra gentle with the boy as his gaze swept across the floor.
"All of it." Kory wrapped an arm around Gars shoulders, her other hand taking Rachels as she led them out to one of the bedrooms.
Gar looked up at her as he leaned into her side, feet clumsy and tired. "I'm not scared of him. I know he did what he did to protect us. I need to tell him that."
Kory pulled them along, guiding them into the bedroom and to the double bed that resided there. "You can tell him tomorrow. You both need sleep. Lay down."
Rachel's mother was sleeping in another room and while Rachel wanted to spend time with her, she didn't know her yet. The woman they'd rescued from the asylum had the title of mother, but she couldn't provide the comfort that Rachel needed after such a horrible day. And Kory knew that she would sleep best next to Gar.
The kids both crawled into the bed, Gar moving a little stiffly, and laid down as Kory tucked the blanket over them. "I'm going to take care of Dick and put him in the next room so if you need anything just knock on the wall or give me a shout and I'll be here."
Rachel pressed her head to her pillow, curling on her side towards Gar. "Thanks, Kory."
The two of them closed their eyes, Gar turning to Rachel and taking her hand, their clasped fingers laying between them on the mattress. Kory closed the door, knowing they would be okay for the night.
She made her way to the other room, grabbing a few of Dicks clothes before heading back to the bathroom, finding Dick in the same position she'd left him in.
He was still slumped, breaths coming even and deep as he slept and she carefully pushed the door closed before starting back on her work.
Dick stirred when she pulled him to lay flat on the ground, glassy eyes flickering open as he moaned. He didn't look at her at first, just blinked up at the ceiling as Kory carefully placed a towel under his head to protect him from the cool tiles.
"Dick? You okay?" Her hands moved with purpose, pulling the hem of his shirt up his chest and manoeuvring him out of the garment as he laid limp and pliant in her hold.
He didn't seem to be all there and it took a full minute for him to process her words enough to make any sort of an attempt at a reply. He grunted noncommittally as he searched for her, eyes roaming over the ceiling until he found her face.
He looked relieved to see her, shivering as she pressed her fingers over the bruises on his chest. She didn't remember how she knew to check for internal bleeding and broken ribs but she did, following her instincts and making sure he wasn't going to die in his sleep.
"You have three broken ribs, a few burns and a whole lot of bruising but I think you'll be okay."
Kory wasn't sure if he was aware enough to understand what she was saying and she pulled the first aid kit off the bench as his eyes roamed. His eyes caught on the slice through her clothes, where she'd been cut into by those awful scientists. She barely had a scar, her dark skin smooth and warm and Dick found his hand drifting towards her.
Kory paused where she'd been rummaging around the first aid kit, looking down to where Dick was tracing that new line across her stomach. He seemed entranced and Kory watched him closely, wondering what was happening inside his head.
Dick frowned, rough pads of his fingers pressing to her stomach. "It healed."
Kory nodded, turning back to the first aid kit and pulling out some antiseptic wipes. "Yeah, I guess that's something I can do."
Dicks' hand stayed pressed to her stomach as he blinked, finding it hard to drag them back open once they were closed. The sting of the rubbing alcohol pulled a moan from him and he kicked a heavy foot against the floor, Kory's hand pressing to his chest to keep him still.
"I know, just hold still."
"Why did you have to screw it up?"
That voice. It couldn't be…
Dick rolled his head on the towel, heart thumping harder at the sight of his younger self sitting in the corner staring at him with hate-filled eyes.
He couldn't possibly be real but Dick's mind wasn't exactly running on all cylinders with the amount of drugs still in his system.
"I didn't mean to."
Kory didn't look up from her work, diligently cleaning and covering the ugly burnt wound made when the taser had been held to his side for too long. Two little prong marks like a snake bite marred his flank but he didn't seem to notice the pain, mind focused on something else.
"You didn't mean to what?" Her words were distracted but Dick barely heard them.
The boy in the corner was crying, glaring at Dick as he lifted his lip to bare his teeth, words deep and angry.
"I hate you."
Dick moaned, chest squeezing tight. Why was it was getting so hard to breathe? "I know."
Kory taped gauze to his side to cover the wound, her fingers working as her eyes flickered to Dicks' face. "You know what? Dick, who are you talking to?"
The boy crept forward, his hood casting shadows across his face and making his white teeth stand out, sharp and animalistic as he bared them at his prey. "You ruined everything. You broke it and thought you could run away to somewhere that was better. But you can't run from me."
Dicks' heart pounded too hard, aching as his younger self pressed his hands to Dicks' chest, pushing down and making it even harder to breathe.
"You deserve to die. For what you did to me, to those guards...and for what you'll do to them."
Kory was frowning down at him but Dick couldn't tear his gaze from his other self. There was so much anger in those eyes, so much pain. Dick sucked in a wheeze, hands scrabbling for the ones suffocating him.
"I would never...hurt...them." He pushed his words out between desperate pulls of air, only making Kory worry further.
"Dick, what's wrong? What are you seeing?"
His other self sneered at him, pressing down with all his weight until Dick was left with his mouth gaping open and closed with no air coming through to ease the burning in his lungs.
"Yes, you will. You'll hurt them like you hurt everyone. Like Dawn and Hank and our family at the circus. You've already hurt Rachel. How many times do you think she'll watch you leave before she gives up on you ever coming back?"
Dick used the last of his breath to dispute the harsh words, feet kicking weakly against the tiles as he ran out of air.
Kory grabbed his shoulders, shaking him a little as she called for him, frantic. "Dick there's no one there! You're hallucinating, snap out of it! Breathe!"
He wanted to listen to her but he couldn't hear her properly, sounds muted and fuzzy, all except for his own.
"Maybe Garfield will be the next to plummet off a rooftop or Kory will be burnt to death with acid by a villain that you were too weak to stop! Admit it, Dick. You're a plague. It wasn't Batman that made you this way or Zuko. You've always been a monster."
Pain gripped Dicks chest in a vice and his hands were growing weak where he tried to push his other self away.
He couldn't drag in a single breath, couldn't move, couldn't call for Kory to help him. Maybe he didn't deserve it. Maybe he was the monster all the along.
Dicks' heart thumped hard against his rib cage, once, twice...his eyes slipped closed.
Kory shook Dick, watching his eyes flicker shut. "No, no, no, don't go to sleep!"
She pressed her fingers to his throat, waiting for the strong beat of life under his skin...she waited, but found nothing.
"Dick?" He wasn't breathing and his heart had stopped but she wasn't going to let him die.
"Shit. Shit!" Kory got on her knees and laced her fingers over his sternum, pressing down in rhythmic pumps as she called for help. She didn't want them to see, didn't want to wake them but she needed help.
"Gar! Rachel!" She heard a thump and a small squeal, not sure which one of them it was but within seconds they were both in the doorway looking down at Dick in horror.
Kory didn't stop compressions as she spoke, trying her best to keep calm in a very non-calm situation. "His heart stopped. Gar do you know what to do?"
The kid had spent some time under the care of Dr Caulder, assisting other patients and his help with her own intubation tube at the asylum meant he might be able to save Dick.
The boy's eyes were wide with fright but he nodded, setting his jaw in grim determination. He ran in and crouched by the sink, grabbing a bulky case from the cupboard. "We need to restart his heart before his brain runs out of oxygen and dies."
Rachel let out a terrified sob at his words and he turned to her as his hands pulled the defibrillator from its case. "It's okay. We'll save him, Rach. We'll get him back."
Kory was panting as she continued compressions, waiting until Gar was ready, to move back. He slapped the pads on Dicks' chest and charged the defibrillator, shuffling back when he was done.
Kory raised her hands and Gar made sure no one was touching Dick before he pressed the button. He flinched as Dicks' chest arched into the air, shoulders jumping up to his ears. Rachel let out a small terrified squeal, crying as Dick's back slapped down to the floor.
The machine beeped, a robotic voice added to the thick dread hanging in the air. "No viable rhythm detected. Continue compressions."
Gar swore and pushed Kory back, pressing the heel of his hand over Dicks' chest and pushing down, eyebrows crowding over eyes that looked suspiciously wet. "Come on, Dick."
His head rocked slightly with each push on his sternum and Rachel dropped to her knees in the doorway, sobs choking her. "No, this isn't fair. You were supposed to stay. You're not supposed to leave me."
Gar pushed harder, tears slipping down his cheeks and blurring his vision as he cried out, desperate and afraid. "Please, Dick! Come on!"
The defibrillators shock pads were still stuck to Dicks' chest as they monitored his heart, waiting until there was a shockable rhythm. But there was none. It whined long and unending. His heart wasn't beating. They were losing him.
"No viable rhythm detected. Continue compressions."
Gar looked up at Kory, hands still pressing down. What was he supposed to do? What were they supposed to do if Dick didn't come back?
Kory didn't know. So, they waited.
Thirty compressions went by. "No viable rhythm detected. Continue compressions."
"Dick, please don't do this!" Gar couldn't see anymore, tears flowing freely and dripping off his chin to land on Dicks' chest and roll down his side.
Another thirty compressions. "No viable rhythm detected. Continue compressions."
Gar's arms were getting tired but he wouldn't give up.
Rachel was sobbing, breaths strained and choked as she sat slumped in the doorway, hands pressing to her chest as her heart ached.
"No viable rhythm detected. Continue compressions."
Gar sat back, hands falling still as they slipped from Dicks' chest. He sucked in a trembling breath, voice raw and heavy. "It's been over five minutes. Even if we managed to get a shockable rhythm...his brains dead. We lost him."
He reached for the defibrillator and turned it off, the long whine cutting off and leaving them all in thick, choking silence.
"No!" Rachel cried out, her pained sob making Gars shoulders shake as he broke down.
"I'm sorry. I tried but-"
"No, you have to keep trying! You have to!"
Kory looked up from the man on the floor, feeling more lost than she had when she first woke up in that car full of bullet holes. "Rach-"
Rachel cried out again, voice overlapping with Gars as he curled into a ball and began to sob, pressing himself to the corner away from the body.
"He promised he wouldn't leave me! He promised!"
"Rachel-" Kory wished she could split into two versions of herself to hold both kids at the same time. She wished she could do something to bring Dick back. She wished she could do more than hold them and tell them it would be okay when she didn't even believe it herself.
She stood, stepping around Dick and kneeling next to the girl, pulling her into her arms. "It'll be okay. You're okay."
It wasn't true and nothing would convince Rachel it was but it was all she could say as she dragged the girl into her lap and rocked her, trying to get her screaming to stop.
"We just got him back! He can't leave! Dick! Dick, come back! You have to come back! No, I need him!"
Something in her was building, something beneath her skin and in her chest and she couldn't hold it back. She felt it clawing its way out of her and she could do nothing but scream as it let loose.
Gar curled into himself tight, pressing his hands to his ears when Rachel screamed. It was so loud and so intense it felt as if the whole room was shaking. The mirror shattered, spraying glass all over the bathroom, crashing onto the floor before the window above the bath exploded too.
Rachel let it all out, her power, her rage, her grief. And Dick listened.
He sucked in a breath, shooting up off the floor and grabbing at his chest as he sat gasping, eyes flying open.
"Dick!" Rachel scrambled out of Kory's arms and launched herself at him, grabbing him in a hug and squeezing as tight as she could.
"R-Rachel." His arms hugged her back on instinct, comforting her through her grief over his own death. And wasn't that just the most Dick thing ever?
Gar uncurled, sniffling as he watched the two in awe. "Dick?"
The older man looked up, blinking at the wrecked appearance of the boy. "Gar? What's wrong? What happened?"
Gar crawled over to him, arms almost crumpling under him before he got there. Dick reached out an arm for him, allowing Gar to fall to his chest, hugging both kids close.
"Nothing's wrong. You're here."
Dick didn't know what the teenager was talking about but nodded, trying to calm them both anyway. "Yeah, I'm here. I'll always be here."
Rachel squeezed him tighter at his words as Kory made her way over, stepping around them to kneel in front of Dick. She looked terrified. He'd never seen her that way. With his arms full of kids he couldn't reach for her though he wanted to and he caught her gaze with his own.
"Hey. What happened? Is everyone okay?"
She nodded and to his horror, a tear fell down her dark cheek. He wanted to know what was wrong, why they were all acting as if they hadn't seen him in years but Kory smiled and he felt like everything was okay again.
"We're okay. You were hurt. We weren't sure if you were going to...but it's okay, now. You're back."
She reached for them all, shuffling forward and wrapping her warm arms around the three of them and although Dick still didn't understand, he didn't need to.
He was with his family and as long as he held them tight, nothing could ever be wrong.
(AN: sorryyyy it was darker than I intended. It kind of ran away from me and then dick just died so idk I hope you liked it let me know?)