The song is "Trip" by Hedley. The italicized lines are concerning Bruce, and have no romantic connotation whatsoever (please don't take it as such). The bold lines are for someone else (and that part is definitely romantic) :P
I'd like to thank DigiHopeheart, YJ FTW, silverhuntress04, Titania's Assistant, Warhawk'42, BATMANMELTSI, velvie, Lunknownl, Deweline, EricaLovegood, bananananamj, CrazyFool65, and children of prophecies for favouriting and following.
Sairey13: Yes, I think they would too. And thanks.
FudoTwin17: Thanks. I was really worried about the Wally chapter, and that makes me feel better. And the three girls will definitely be making another appearance. :P
thwipthwipity: Thanks. I hope it's really good. This is basically my emotional outlet.
Warhawk'42: Oh, shucks, you're making me blush! And there will be a long spiral down to a nuclear explosion, don't you worry :P
Checkerz: Thank you! You have no idea how much that means to me :D
Disclaimer: I do not own Young Justice. If I did, I would have included the scene with Blockbuster and Tarantula in Season 2, and all the drama and angst that went with that.
What are you doing to me?
I'm so into you
And the hardest part is knowing that you'll never follow through
You're slowly killing me
And I wish it wasn't true
Cuz I'm so into you.
Dick walked into Wayne Manor with Alfred trailing after him. As the door closed behind him, it was as if his fate was sealed. He could just imagine Bruce appearing on the top of staircase, ready to deliver the verbal blows. He flinched.
"Are you alright, Master Richard?" Alfred looked over his shoulder.
Shoot. He had noticed the flinch. He had to play it off.
"Just remembered something that I forgot at school. It's not due for a bit, so I'll be fine though."
"What if something comes up? You can't fall behind in school, Richard." Bruce stepped out of the study upstairs with a book in hand.
Dick looked down; he knew that. He always kept on top of school, always. He didn't even forget anything, it was just a cover. But he couldn't tell Bruce that; if he did he would wonder what the cover-up was for, and there was no way that he was telling Bruce about that test.
"Do you have anything to say about this? You can't let yourself slide." Bruce had his arms crossed and that disappointed look on his face again. It seemed worse than usual.
Maybe it was because Bruce thought he couldn't see him. Maybe that's why he was revealing all that disappointment. Well, he could see him. He was looking at him from underneath his bangs, after all, but he was a detective.
…Maybe he knew that Dick was looking, and was sending him the disappointed look on purpose.
Yeah, that was it; it was the only thing that made sense. It had Bruce written all over it. There was no doubt about it.
"Well?" Bruce's voice turned sharper, and Dick focused his vision on the floor. "Don't just stand there."
"I'm sorry, Bruce," Dick still didn't look up, he couldn't. If he did, he would shatter right then and there, and the lie would be for nothing. "It won't happen again."
And with that Bruce returned to his study to…brood, work on Wayne Enterprises, read. Whatever he did in there. It wasn't like he exited that room to talk to him or socially interact or anything. It was his man cave, not the batcave, it was different. It was forbidden territory.
So what else could Dick do but do his own thing. Even considering going into that room was taboo.
He trained for a couple of hours, ruining two perfectly innocent punching bags, spilling their guts over the tile. It was the only way to get his emotions out when he was at Wayne Manor, when he was anywhere. The gym was the only place he felt safe; he could be whoever he wanted to be. And if he wanted to punch the stuffing out of punching bags…well, that was what they were for.
Rather than clean up the mess that he had made, he went to the uneven bars. He lost himself in the simple rhythm of it all, just flipping and spinning and using his flexibility to its limit. He just let everything out.
"Master Richard, supper will be ready in roughly twenty minutes. It would be most prudent to take a shower before then." Alfred materialized right beside the mat he was laying on (he was a Bat after all).
"Thanks," he managed to gasp out.
He was exhausted, and he was pretty sure that if he tried to walk right now his legs would dissolve into mush. But if he made it to supper late…he wouldn't be allowed to do what he wanted to after supper.
After dragging himself to the shower and basically crawling to the dinner table, Bruce came in ten minutes late.
He wasn't happy. "I just got a call from your History teacher. What's this I hear about you getting a 79 on your test?"
"Master Bruce, before you enter a conversation, why don't you sit down first?" Alfred pulled out his chair and set his dinner plate down in front of him.
Richard silently cut another piece of chicken. He had been stressed out that day, and he had been unable to focus on anything that that stupid test said. He was actually surprised he had done that well, considering the circumstances. He couldn't tell Bruce that though, and especially the reason why he had been stressed out.
"I don't know," he murmered.
"What was that?"
"I said I don't know." Richard raised his head and glared at his guardian.
"How can you not know?" Bruce raised a carefully manicured eyebrow. "You're hiding something."
"I'm not hiding anything," he was very careful to keep his voice even.
The rest of dinner was eaten in silence.
After Alfred cleared away the dishes, there as a pause as Dick tried to guess what he was supposed to do. Bruce never told him. Did he have to wait for dismissal, or did he have to clear out right away? Here started the guessing game that lasted all evening.
"You're not going on patrol."
Richard looked up in hurt, or rather, what he hoped Bruce took as such. It was really shock, shock that Bruce had just told him outright instead of stringing him along on the hope that he could swing across the rooftops with him. It was the rest of the guessing game, and it took so much out of him emotionally that by the time he got home from patrol he collapsed into bed almost immediately.
But this was what he wanted tonight.
He had hoped that he would be excused from going out, sneaking away from his route on patrol was nigh impossibly with the way that Bruce watched him. Getting his bad test back today was actually a stroke of luck. Thank you evil History teacher.
"Don't look so wounded. If you did better on your test this wouldn't be happening."
"I'm sorry, Bruce." Dick made sure to look dejected, but inside he was rejoicing.
He kept the act up until he heard the batmobile roar out onto the streets and for Alfred to come back upstairs.
He then locked his door from the inside and jumped over the balcony railing.
Some say love is not for sinners
I believe that isn't true
Cuz when I was finished sinning
Love came down and showed me you
And you told me how to get there
So I tried to find a way
Then I ran into your garden
But I tripped out the gate
He had kissed another boy once. It had been quick, underneath the staircase by his locker. Travis. Travis Nie. An outcast like him. They had both been in Mathletes, athletes (Travis did volleyball outside of school), and were the highest in their classes. Travis was always so quiet, so nice. When he had started to flirt with Dick, he had known it wasn't just some act to make fun of him. Travis was just so genuine. And a complete gentleman.
He had been foolish, careless, stupid. So stupid. He had allowed himself to think and dream of a small pocket of happiness at school. A little spot of light to make all the staring and whispering better.
And Travis was so nice to him. He made him feel alive.
The day that Travis asked him out had been on January 10th, 5:04 pm, after Mathlete practice. He had been getting out some extra books from his locker when someone cleared their throat behind him.
It had come out all stuttering, and completely ineloquent. It was completely chalant. "Um, Richard Grayson, would- uh, you…be willing…I mean want…toooo, er,I- gotothemovieswithme?"
It was beautiful English.
Two days after that moment Dick lied to Bruce. He had civvies on and a small gym bag slung over his shoulder. His hair wasn't in his usually slicked back Richard Grayson appearance. Bruce didn't know he was going out, but Bruce usually didn't care. There was no way that Dick was telling him where he was going in this case, anyway. He would just slip out the door quietly and climb through his window when he got back.
He had almost made it out the door when the billionaire appeared around the corner. Shoot.
"Richard. Where are you going?"
Dick froze and turned to stare at his guardian. How could he say that he was going on a date? With a boy. He would be screwed.
"Going to a friend's house to study." He waited for the lie to be detected, after all, it was so blatantly a lie that Aquaman would detect it.
But all Bruce said was, "Alright. Be home in time for patrol."
He was upset about that. He wished that Bruce would care enough to require details and that he would pay him enough attention to realize when he lied.
There was no complaining now though; Travis was waiting down the street.
"Thanks Bruce. I will."
They didn't go to the movies as Richard Grayson and Travis Nie. In that duffel bag that Dick brought with him were wigs and street clothes that weren't designer made. They didn't want the paparazzi to catch them. Bruce and Travis's parents…they were from an older generation. They wouldn't understand.
They watched Night at the Museum and it was the most Dick had smiled in a long, long while.
It was definitely a repeat thing.
Like a tonne of bricks it hit me
And woke me from this dream
No matter how hard I tried to wash my hands
I could never get 'em clean
I could never get 'em clean
For two months that went on. Two months Richard alternated between the extreme happiness highs that Travis brought him, and the worry that Bruce would find out and return him to the foster system, stop him from being Robin. In those two months he told the first person about his secret identity. And they kept his secret.
He should have known it was too good to last.
It was after Mathlete practice. Again. Travis was waiting for him to get his History book out of his locker. He had a test in two days.
"Stop worrying. I'm sure that you'll do fine. You're a regular genius after all."
"I can't take any chances. You know how Bruce is," Dick smiled at him.
Travis smiled back at him. "You'll be fine." He repeated.
Dick bent back down to zip up his backpack and close up his locker. He knew he was blushing, and he was torn between wanting and not-wanting Travis to see it.
And then it happened.
Somehow, when he turned around Travis was right in front of him looking nervous. Richard was leaning against his locker, and Travis's hand rested on his neck. His eyes widened, was this really happening? He had never kissed anyone before, and this was…wow.
Their lips met and Dick's eyes closed. He leaned up and kissed back. His stomach tumbled over itself and his heart was hammering against his ribs. Their lips moved together and everything was perfect.
He was at peace.
You're slowly killing me
And I wish it wasn't true
Cuz I'm so into you
"Oh. My. Gosh." Both Dick and Travis's heads snapped up to stare at Troy McLean. "You two…you're, oh wow this is just sad."
Travis's eyes widened and he looked terrified. Dick knew he didn't look much better.
"Dude! Dude! Come over here! You have to see this!" Troy hollered down the hall. Soon the entire football team was crowded around.
"They're a bunch of fags!" Troy slapped his knee as he laughed.
They pushed Richard around and threw him into lockers, the floor, and the other football players. All the bruises were easily covered up by clothes and make up. Bruce wouldn't know.
Travis took several punches and kicks to the stomach. He had a black eye and a big bump hidden underneath his blonde hair.
Richard helped Travis to his car and he did what he could to treat his wounds. Richard was crying all over Travis; this was his fault. He should have heard them coming; he should have just done something instead of just letting it happen. Travis just looked shell-shocked, like he just couldn't absorb the last ten minutes.
The car ride was silent. Richard knew what was coming, and he knew Travis did too. The rumours would start tomorrow at school. The football team, cheerleaders, they were horrible gossips. The bullying would get worse, and it might even spread to the tabloids eventually.
Richard knew that if he had Travis though, everything would be fine.
He was dropped off by Travis; there was no good-bye kiss as the paparazzi was always watching. It wasn't impersonal, just distant enough that they looked like friends to the onlooker.
"See you tomorrow," Richard gave a small smile.
"I-" Travis's car sped away before he could finish, "-love you."
He spent the evening putting up a façade for Bruce so that he could be allowed on patrol. He sent several texts to Travis, but they weren't returned. At three in the morning he fell asleep on his history textbook.
During school Dick couldn't see Travis in class or the hallway. He endured the giggles and the pointed hands; he didn't fight back when he was slammed into the lockers with insults like fag, slut, gypsy trash, trailer trash, charity case, loser. Those things didn't matter though; they were all superficial words from superficial people. As long as he had Travis it would all be alright.
It was at lunch that he found out the truth. That Travis had slit his wrists in the school bathroom.
After school he ran to the hospital. He was admitted to Travis's room, but with the warning that it was bad. He was in a coma and they didn't know if he would wake up. Dick sat there for an hour.
Dick turned around in his chair to see the Nie's. Mr. Nie was holding a small slip of paper with a spots of blood on it. It only took moments for Dick to put the pieces together.
"I-" He didn't know what to say; he had never been so afraid in all of his life.
"You two were dating, yes?" Mrs. Nie was crying as she talked.
"Y-yes…for two months."
"Did you know this was coming?"
"I had no idea…the football team…they saw us…there were a lot of mean words thrown around…some punches too…but I didn't think…I didn't think he would…"
Mr. Nie put his hand on his shoulder and Dick broke down into tears.
The three sat together for several more hours.
Can you hear me?
Cuz I can't change what I'll always be
Bruce had no idea what had happened. He knew about the suicide, as it was on the news, but he didn't know the reason for the suicide. The Nie's kept it quiet. Dick was so grateful of that. So grateful.
Dick tried to fake sick the next day; the prospect of going to school and enduring the bullies with no Travis was the most horrible of thoughts. Bruce didn't buy it though. He went to school, but he didn't pay attention, and at his history test he just went on autopilot; he was just numb.
All he could think of were Travis's words: you'll do fine.
He stumbled through school after that. He endured the taunts that just got worse with time, and he did his best to make Bruce happy. It didn't work, but he had to try. That's all he had left now.
He talked to the Nie's sometimes. They didn't blame him in any way, even though he did. They said that he couldn't have predicted what was going to happen, and they sat him at the hospital when they could. Travis didn't wake up.
So he snuck out of the house tonight and took a taxi to the hospital. He arrived twenty minutes before visiting hours ended, and he spent that time holding Travis's hand. They had removed his bandages last week and he had two long, vertical scars running up his forearm.
He made sure to wipe away his tears before going back to the manor.
Please tell me what you think!
Do you like Travis and Richard together? Travis is an actual DC character in the Nightwing comics. He's a police officer who resents Nightwing because his boyfriend Chris Stark had been killed by one of Nightwing's enemy. He redeemed himself at the end and I really loved his character.
But tell me where you want this to go with Robin and Travis. I'm completely open for options.