What can I say, Dick misses Wally and so do I

He doesn't know how he got here. One second he wasn't, and the next he's walking down a hallway that feels both unfamiliar and nostalgic. He sees his apartment door (old apartment, some part of his brain tells him; wrong, another, more skeptical part tells him) and pauses in front of it. He feels a key in his pocket, so he takes it out and opens the door.

It's warm inside (he didn't realize he was cold) and it smells like someone's sautéing onions and garlic. Even the lighting looks warmer, and a sense of calmness and happiness washes over him.

He takes off his shoes and coat and walks toward the kitchen. He knows who's there before he sees them. There's a scent in the air he hasn't smelled in months, there's a presence filling an aching hole.

"Wally," Dick says, and the name coming out like that—happy—feels alien in his mouth. But it's good, it's better.

"God, babe," Wally says, turning around with a little jump and placing his hand over his chest. It's so familiar; he's accidentally snuck up on Wally a hundred times before. Wally tilts his head back, whines, "Don't do that."

Dick walks toward him, drawn in by some invisible force. "Sorry," he says, a soft smile stuck to his face. "Forgot."

They kiss—just this quick, soft, greeting. But it's not enough for Dick. He needs Wally like he needs air. He leans in and hugs him, tight and close, greedy. He can feel his heat, hear the rumble in his chest as he speaks.

Wally's arms are around him, but they don't feel quite as relaxed as they should. "Everything okay?"

"I missed you," Dick explains. It's not real. This is some kind of trick or toxin or, hell, maybe even a good dream for once. God knows it's about time for one of those. But whatever it is, Dick doesn't care. He's letting himself become fully immersed in this reality because he needs it. He can't be without Wally anymore; it's too hard, it hurts too much.

"Hard day at work?" Wally asks sympathetically.

"The worst," Dick says. "But it's better now." He doesn't want to talk about it, can't talk about, won't think about it.

Wally rubs his back, lets go of him. "Sit down, dinner won't take that long."

"What are you making?" Dick's asks.

"Uh, tacos," Wally answers after a moment of uncertainty, giving the onions another stir before going to get the beef.

Dick laughs little. "You sure?"

"You know, you should be nice to the guy generous enough to cook you food," Wally says, pointing at Dick with his spoon and giving him a look.

"Oh, I plan on being very nice," Dick says.

Wally turns back around, probably to hide a blush. It makes Dick grin.

They sit close together as they eat their tacos at the counter. Wally eats too fast, too eagerly, and his filling spills onto his plate. Dick slips around the corner to grab him a fork and another napkin, handing them to him with a kiss. Since Wally cooked, it's Dick's job to do dishes. Dick didn't help with dinner, so Wally isn't forced to help with dishes (or so their "rule" goes), but he does anyway because he's worried about Dick. They work together like a well-oiled machine, dancing and singing along to the radio as they go. When they finish, Wally pulls Dick over to the couch.

Dick lies against Wally's chest and they just cuddle together. Dick can't remember the last time he felt this content, this happy (this himself). They lock their fingers together only for Dick to end up playing with Wally's. They talk about nothing and it all just feels so normal, so right. This is what his life is supposed to be.

Maybe this isn't a dream. Maybe he's waking up from a nightmare.

The nightmare, it turns out, is greedy. It tries to pull him back, and his stomach drops and he panics. He scrambles against the couch and clings to Wally, murmuring "no" over and over again until even he can't tell what he's saying.

"What? What is it, babe? Talk to me Dick," Wally's saying, sitting them up and pushing Dick's hair back. The scene keeps flashing away from him, mixing in with the nightmare. People are calling his name and he can't keep track of which voice is Wally's.

Dick feels himself disappearing—emptying—and Wally is trying to follow. But he can't, he doesn't, because Wally and nightmares don't mix. Wally is too good to be trapped in the real world.

"Dick? Come on, kiddo, open those eyes for me." The voice is distant, but he knows it's not Wally. Wally is gone, maybe forever this time.

The someone squeezes his hand, runs fingers through his hair. Wally would do that when Dick was hurt, too. That's what this was. He was hurt, something happened, and now he's back at the cave or wherever being treated. But Wally's not asking him to wake up, it's just Bruce. And Dick can't pretend it's not anymore.

He blinks his eyes open.

"Thank god," Bruce breathes.

"Bruce?" Dick croaks, squeezing the hand in his grasp. His throat is raw, like he's been screaming.

"How do you feel?" Bruce asks, trying to compose himself.

Empty. So empty. "Sore." Dick sits up, lets go of Bruce. "What happened?"

"Scarecrow's new toxin. The cure was time sensitive, we thought we might've been too late," Bruce tells him. "But you're awake now; you're going to be okay."

But he doesn't feel okay. He feels tricked, robbed. "I wasn't afraid," Dick finds himself saying.

"From his notes, it was more fantasy toxin than fear toxin. It makes the victim fall into a type of coma, showing them the opposite of their nightmares to keep them there."

"Oh." It's still running on fear, though, Dick thinks. It makes them fear losing what they're shown, they fear waking up. And he knows it's stupid, he knows Bruce just saved him. But. He can't help but feel like Bruce took Wally away from him.

He pushes the sheets off of him, starts pulling electrodes off of his scalp and chest.

Bruce doesn't stop him, just watches in disapproval. "Where are you going?"

"You said I'm fine?" Dick checks, and Bruce nods. "Then I'm getting some space."

Bruce grunts. "That's understandable." Then, "Stay in the manor."

"Course, B."

Dick pushes himself off the bed and heads upstairs to walk the halls. These halls won't lead him to the apartment he and Wally never even had, none of these doors will show him Wally. But moving helps. Pretending to look for Wally—tricking himself—helps.

It's enough for now because he knows that, eventually, he'll wake up from this nightmare again. Eventually he'll dream that dream again and no one will be able to wake him up from it when he does. He'll make sure of it.

But until then, he'll hold on to the warm memory of red hair and freckles and soft laughter. He'll hold onto it and it will keep him going so that he can keep looking. If he can do that, then, eventually, he'll be able to find Wally and bring him home. He'll make sure of it.