Written for the DickWally Week 2019 Day 7 Prompt: Soulmates

I'm not quite sure what this is, but just go with it

Dick is nine. He loves gymnastics, video games, milkshakes, and being Robin. He loves helping Bruce patrol the streets of Gotham, even if he's not allowed to get too close just yet. Still, he gets to help—and he does. He's making Gotham a better place, and it feels good. Right.

He goes to school and he loves getting good grades and showing them to Bruce, who gets this small look of pride in his eyes every time. He's come to love living at the manor, too, and he loves this new family he's created inside of it. He loves his friends and the place he's carved for himself.

He still misses his parents and always will because sometimes, he's learned, loving hurts. But it's worth it, Bruce tells him, so he keeps loving. He has a big heart and he's going to use it. His heart bleeds and feels and loves, and so even when it stings, he'll keep looking for the good moments.

Gotham loves Robin back. Other kids look up to him; he makes them feel like they have a voice and that they can be an active agent in their lives and community. He makes them feel safe while making the bad guys feel scared. He doesn't know how he feels about that last bit, or why exactly he's scary (Bruce tells him it's because he's an unexpected enigma; too young and too good), but it does the job whatever it is. They underestimate him, and the fact that he's a kid makes a few of them go easy on him. But not enough of them, Bruce says, and Dick can't expect that they'll continue to do that once Robin starts being seen as less of some kid and more as Batman's partner.

The hero community doesn't like Robin, but neither did Batman at first (still doesn't, Dick knows, especially on nights that go bad). Robin's going to change their minds, though. He'll prove that he's needed. They just don't understand, but they will.

And soon enough, they do. Mostly. Other kids, other heroes, start popping up. Dick is going to meet them at the next Justice League meeting. Bruce isn't happy about it, not sure what to expect, but Dick can't wait.

Except, he never gets to go.

One night, he goes on patrol and never comes home. He wakes up in a room with Two-Face, Batman and the kidnapped Judge Watkins standing on a platform with nooses around their necks. One coin-flip later—one stupid mistake later—and he's being beaten to a pulp. It hurts so much more than he thought it would and it's so much scarier than he ever could've imagined, and every second that passes makes him realize that there's no getting out of this. He realizes all of those people were right: he had no place playing hero. He was too young, too inexperienced. He was a kid, now he's dead.

There was a whole life planned out for him—a happy, full life. He was going to love and get hurt and love again. He was going to find his soulmate and go through the rest of his life with them, leaning off of each other the whole way. He was supposed to make it out happy. Instead, he died before he even got to think about meeting his soulmate.

And his soulmate felt it. The night Dick Grayson died, Wally West was plagued with nightmares and a feeling of loneliness and loss. His parents would blame his mood for the following week on hormones and nervousness over an upcoming test, but those things had nothing to do with it.

Wally West will spend his teen years feeling like something is missing. He'll still play hero, and he'll still try to love, but none of it will feel right and none of it will last. Because while some people have more than one soulmate, Wally West isn't one of them. Fate had plans to bring him and Dick Grayson together, but something got in the way. Something happened that shouldn't have and Fate is going to change that.

Dick Grayson doesn't go to the afterlife. No, his soul is trapped. It stays right next to Fate and watches over Wally West, the beautiful stranger who he looks at and feels an unexplainable yet aching longing for. Because even though Dick doesn't know Wally, the bare souls do know each other, and not being able to reach out and be close to one another is torment. For the longest time, Dick Grayson thinks he's in hell.

But one day, a miracle happens: Wally West dies and it's somehow the best day of Dick Grayson's life. They meet and there's this magnetic energy and light and home. They never part, their souls unite and Fate's job should be done.

Except it's not. Because while this Fate's job was to unite the two souls, the two of them were supposed to be on earth. They had work to do together, work that couldn't be completed in the in-between.

Luckily, Fate had thought of that already. Wally West was in an accident that gave him powers, powers that would later trap his soul in the Speed Force upon his supposed death. Fate and Dick were waiting—watching—in that same force, the place Dick had called the in-between. And maybe that description was still accurate, because he and Wally stay there for a while, running and clinging, seemingly stuck somewhere between realms.

When Wally runs out, he brings them both back.

The timeline will snap back and repair itself soon enough, but there's a delay. Wally West is back in a twenty-one-year-old body and Dick's aged, tormented soul in a nine-year-old body. Bruce recognizes the boy immediately, and Dick clings to him. He doesn't know what happens as his body goes translucent. Bruce is loud and pleading, not even asking questions, just begging for another second with his kid. But time moves around them and Dick becomes solid again, back on that floor from a decade ago. Dying. Except this time, Bruce is holding him—probably then too, but Dick didn't know it; fresh death was too overwhelming. Bruce gathers him up tightly and starts running, just like Wally had done in the in-between.

This time, Bruce gets him to a doctor in time with the help of Fate. This time, Dick survives. This time, Dick (eventually) meets Wally.

They meet and bond and fall in love and cling. Their souls unite, and Fate's job is finally, truly complete.