"What's up, Dick?"
"I need you to come pick me up."
"Are you okay?"
"Where are you?"
Dick gave the address despite his teeth chattering because of the cold.
"I'm on my way. I'm going to stay on the phone with you. Can you tell me what's going on, Dick?"
"I'm scared, Bruce."
"Okay, that's alright. What's scaring you, Dickie bird?
"My own brain," the boy answered chocking back a sob.
"Oh, Dick, I'm so sorry. Are you physically unharmed?"
"Yeah, sorry to bother you."
"No, don't you ever apologize to me, Dick. I'm so glad you called me! Do you understand?" Bruce insisted his voice sounding almost frantic.
"Dick, you did the right thing calling me. I'm about ten minutes away, okay? What do you need?"
"I'm so sorry, Bruce. I-I haven't been taking my medication. I-I haven't been able to sleep. I feel like...nothing. I just...breathing is exhausting, Bruce. I don't want to do this anymore. I'm so sorry."
"Dick, I'm serious, you have nothing to apologize for. I just sent Alfred a text to schedule an appointment with Leslie for tomorrow morning. Alfred and I will take over administering your medications, Dick. We'll get that off your plate. When I get there, we'll head home. You can sleep until Leslie comes tomorrow morning if you need. I can't even imagine how hard this is for you right now, Dick, but I'll help you. Things won't stay this hard forever."
"Oh, Dick, I'm going to do everything in my power to help you, kiddo. How long have things been getting bad?"
"I don't know exactly. Probably somewhere around a month."
"Okay, and how long has it been since you were last taking your medications regularly?"
"When was the last time you took a dose of your medication?"
"I think it was three days ago?"
"Okay, have you harmed yourself?"
"Are you sure?"
"Y-yes, kind of, I mean I've been getting kind of reckless during training and practice and stuff, but I'm not cutting."
"Okay, Dick, how long have you been suicidal?"
"About a week. I'm so sorry, dad. I don't want to die. I'm scared."
"Thank you for calling me, Dick. I'm glad you called. I'm almost there. I'm going to get you help. It will get better. How have your eating habits been?"
"Eh, not the best, not the worst."
"Alright, how many meals are you having per day?"
"At least one meal every day."
"Okay, and how many calories about?"
"Probably around 1,000."
"Okay, Dick, keep breathing. Alfred just texted. Leslie's going to come over tomorrow morning at 8 am. Just keep breathing, Dick."
When Bruce saw his kid, he slammed on his brakes and jumped out of the car so fast he almost forgot to put it in park. In seconds he had his son wrapped in a comforting embrace. "Thank you, thank you, thank you for calling me Dickie. Thank you for not doing anything. I've got you. I've got you. Let's go home," Bruce whispered as he reluctantly relinquished his grip on the small boy and guided him to the passenger seat of his vehicle.
The drive back to Wayne Manor was largely silent until Dick's broken voice whispered, "I'm failing. I'm failing and I don't think I can do this."
"Oh, Dick, you are NOT failing. You are a child. And you don't have to do this alone. You did the right thing by calling me today, Dick. I'm here to help you. You are not alone in this. I'll hire you an army if that's what you need," Bruce answered confidently.
"I-I'm so tired, Bruce," Dick admitted.
"Go to sleep, Dickie. I've got you. I'm not going anywhere. You're safe," Bruce whispered.
Dick leaned his head against the window his eyelids drooping with heaviness. As his head started to bob, Bruce barely made out the child's whispered confession, "I need you, daddy." Bruce's heart clenched when the child grasped his suit coat sleeve as he drifted into sleep.