Now, this story is entirely inspired by an author on here. Their fic is the predecessor of this one. It's called Turning Point, might want to read before you read this one. Beware, it's really sad just like this one'll be. I love writing sad stories. It's really annoying, but I love it.
Anyway. This is another fic for me to have fun on. Feel free to leave suggestions on what you want to see, keep in mind that this is centered around Dick's grief at loosing Batman and how he transitions roughly in to Nightwing.
As always, five reviews and next chapter guranteed. But with some delays as I've got to write Roads to Yesterday and Not The Devil's Fire first. I might end up doing a weekly thing where one week is centered around writing one fic and the next another and the next the other one and then the next the last one and the next the first one agian, in a cycle. What do you guys think?
So, read on. But be warned, you will cry at my descriptions and this is not a story for the weak of heart or easily depressed at character inner-self-torture.
Love you all who read this,
The blackened skies looming over Gotham poured forth their heavy tears onto the sorrowed city. A somber parade made it's way down a main avenue in the tortured crime-haven. Rows of people marched, their heads bowed to hide the many cascading tears, behind the procession. The dark city's streets were filled with grieving silence.
At the steps of the commissioner's office hundreds gathered, each looking more sorrowed and despondent than the last. Standing beside a podium was the commissioner, who looked the most dismal of them all. His hollowed face filled with sadness, just as they had been the last three years on this day. Gordon cleared his throat and began to speak.
"People of Gotham, today is the third time we meet on these steps to commemorate one of our city's greatest supporters. He was the golden light behind Gotham's recent decrease in crime. He was the greatest man Gotham has known, and he was taken too soon. Three years ago today, Bruce Wayne was murdered. We are here to remember him and what he stood for."
The crowd was silent as they listened to the commissioner. Some new tears snaked down red cheeks, though they could have been the tears of Gotham's blackened sky.
From behind commissioner Gordon soft sounds of stifled drying could be heard by the nearest officers. They need not turn to see that it was Richard Grayson-Wayne who was the source of the sounds. Each year the young ward of the dead billionaire came to the speech, sometimes to make one himself and others to just stand and remember his late father. No one questioned the few tears he shed, ever. They understood the pain, for they felt it too. Or at least they thought they did.
No one understood what made Dick cry at the speeches. No one knew what had happened that night except the four members of the Justice League who had found the crying broken boy trying to wrap himself in Bruce Wayne's, then Batman's, limp arms.
**"The League will be here soon, just hold on!" Tears were dripping down his cheeks. No response just made him cry harder.
"Batman!" Robin cried while trying to shake him awake.
"BRUCE? No, you can't be dead! Come on, get up, please! We have to go home! Wake up!" The boy curled into his father's lifeless body.
"Please, don't leave me. Don't leave... I love-..." he whispered, not being able to say it, and wishing none of this ever happened.**
Dick shook his head, clearing the memory from his mind. The blue-eyed boy had tried to forget that night, tried to put the past behind him. He had yet to visit Bruce's grave since he made the promise that he'd never look back and that he'd never stop fighting crime. Dick's shoulders began to shake as he tried to contain his tears, the tears he'd been holding for three years to the day.
The boy turned his back to the crowd, that was overly focused on the commissioner, and walked away. His hands were stuffed deep in the pockets of his leather jacket as he walked briskly back to the Manor. Dick didn't even notice as his hood blew off, letting the rain soak his ebony hair despite the chill. He forgot how he had promised to speak again this year at the gathering. The mourning boy couldn't care less about previous engagements when his heart felt like it was ripping all over again. He had to change, to get into the suit which allowed him to shut away all those horrid feelings and memories. The gates of Wayne Manor swung open for Dick and shut silently behind him, the boy already halfway up the path.
Dick let himself in, not wanting to trouble Alfred with the doorbell. The newly solo hero felt like he put enough strain on the old butler asking him to tend to the numerous and ever augmenting amounts of injuries that he would receive and having the butler clean all of his grimy, blood-stained, foul smelling suits. Dick had never liked making the man do it, but the acrobatic hero just didn't have the time, the energy or the strength to anymore.
As Dick made his way through the immense house with his normal silence he swore that he heard something upstairs. It's probably Alfred putting the laundry in my room. Dick entered the kitchen, only slightly surprised to see a bowl of warm soup waiting for him. A rare soft smile crossed Dick's face as he sat down on the counter, holding the bowl in his frigid hands.
The pamperings of the rich life had had little effect on Dick's love of the simplest things such as chicken noodle soup, a fresh batch of cookies, a small mug of hot chocolate, a warm smile and caring pat on the-
"Stop it." He growled to himself, jerking slightly to stop the train of thought.
A grimace appeared on Dick's fine features as he felt the searing hot liquid dribble from the bowl onto his hands and legs. He carefully set down the bowl and began to wipe up his mess. The young man focused on his work, putting care and precision into each of his movements as if that would help to ease his mind and bring his thoughts away from that treacherous path he had just been trying to escape.
Alfred watched young Master Richard on the Batcave's main computer, using the camera's that Bruce has had installed all over the manor when Master Richard had been a very young master in deed. The little boy had gotten himself into more trouble in a single day at age six then Bruce in a whole year at age twelve. Alfred chuckled to himself at the comparison. The two men, both of whom Alfred had cared for from young ages, were as similar as night and day but as different as rain and snow at the same time. Nothing much separated them, And even less now. Alfred thought to himself with a sigh.
He looked back to the screen, watching Master Richard scold himself for spilling the soup and berating himself for thinking back to the night Bruce had... After three years Alfred still couldn't say that Master Bruce had perished. The butler brought a white-gloved hand to his eye to wipe away the beginning of a tear and strode out of the cave. He may have lost one son to the fight, but he, Alfred Pennyworth, would be damned if he let his son's ward, and practically his grandson, beat himself up again for being the cause of that.
"You're a stupid careless idiot. All you do is make messes that other people have to clean up. You just get yourself in trouble and people have to bail you out. Well- You don't have anyone to bail you out anymore Dick. You got the person who bailed you out the first time killed."
He'd been repeating that through out his clean up process, over and over with different variations. The once-Boy-Wonder stopped to look at his reflection in the shinning fridge door. What he saw was a hollow, distorted reflection of a miserable kid who could do no right and had been having someone fix his mistakes far too often for far too long. The hero fought back a new rush of tears as he slammed a fist on the metal door, denting the surface slightly.
The sounds of footsteps flipped a switch in Dick, causing the hero to suddenly drop into a defensive stance with his baby blue eyes narrowed and glued on the door. He relaxed when he recognized the signature shuffle of Alfred.
"Geez, Alfred, don't sneak around so quiet like." Dick tried to joke, his voice cracking slightly.
"I'm sorry Master Richard. I will try to make more noise." Alfred answered with a light smile when he entered the room, earning a feeble chuckle from his young master.
The two men looked at each other, eyes scrutinizing the face of the other. Alfred had not changed in three years. He wore the same suit with burgundy flap and yellow handkerchief in the pocket, the same graying mustache and balding hair, coupled with his always welcoming, warming, calming smile. When the elderly man looked at Dick however he saw a very changed person. His young master never laughed anymore, he never played with words and he never wore colors besides those included in the spectrums of white, black, gray or blue. Alfred had watched the young, jubilant thirteen-year-old boy grow into a sixteen-year-old solitary, master detective who could kill in the blink of an eye. Dick no longer socialized with his teammates. Dick did not have fun the way he used to. The boy did not play pranks or pull fast ones or tell jokes. Dick did nothing but appear for the company, work in the Batcave and patrol under his new persona. When Batman had died Alfred had watched Dick try to continue as Robin, but the Boy Wonder could be nothing without the big, bad Bat behind him. So, Dick had tried taking up the mantle of the Batman, with limited success. It was when Dick had almost gotten himself killed by the Joker that the League told him to put down the Batman cowl, practically forced him to. But Alfred had agreed with the League. Yet, Dick was not dissuaded from continuing hero work. He fashioned himself a new identity, became a new hero. A hero who was a cross between the Robin he had been and the Bat he had lost. Dick had made Nightwing.
Alfred sighed and walked up to Dick, putting a hand on the young man's shoulder. The butler pinned his grey eyes to once-joyous one's of Master Richard, trying to show the boy that he still had a family in the old man. Yet, as the butler looked into those baby blue pools he saw nothing but sadness, self-loathing and a determined drive for something.
When Dick pulled away and began to walk towards the manor entrance to the Batcave Alfred knew that he was in for another long night of making sure that his young master didn't rush into anything and that in the morning he would surely be dealing with some nasty bruises and injuries. The butler took out his phone and made sure that he had Dr. Fox on speed-dial before following Nightwing down to the cave.