Roy wakes up to the sound of crying.
It’s loud and it makes his head hurt more than any hangover he’s had in months. Roy grabs for a pair of boxers from near the foot of his bed and yanks them on roughly. He heads toward the door that leads out into the living room with a scowl on his face.
“What the hell are you making that noise with, Dick? You know I came home late and-”
What he sees when he gets out in the living room wipes the scowl clean off of his face and makes him falter in his speech.
“Shh,” Dick hisses vehemently, blue eyes flashing with anger as he glares at his roommate. “You’re going to make the baby cry again and I just got her to stop crying.” He has a little bundle wrapped tightly in a green and red blanket clutched close to his chest and he looks extremely comfortable with that baby held fast in his arms.
Roy can’t believe his eyes.
“Where did it come from anyway,” the redhead asks as he walks further into the living room. He can’t stop staring as Dick walks around with the baby cradled in his arms and there’s something so right but yet so weird about how that looks. “Is it yours?”
Dick makes a face at his roommate. “First of all, Roy,” he breathes as he shifts the baby in his arms so that its head is tucked up underneath his chin, “the baby is a girl, and her name is Lian. She was on our doorstep this morning when I went out and-” Dick pauses and glances down at the baby girl in his arms. “There’s a note here for you… I think you should read it.”
There is dread in Dick’s voice and in the depths of his blue eyes and a ball of worry drops into the pit of Roy’s belly.
“A letter,” he asks dumbly. “For me?”
Dick jerks his head in the direction of the worn oak coffee table in front of the couch and then turns his back to the baby drooling all over the soft blue fabric of his work-out shirt. He bounces Lian gently and strokes his fingers over the girl’s dark hair as she babbles against his shirt and wiggles against his hold. “It was in Lian’s things…I started reading it before I knew- There’s a list there too in the envelope.”
He watches Roy skim through the letter with a frown on his face and the hands that hold Lian’s little body are possessive. “She’s going to need a crib, I’ll-”
Roy cuts Dick off harshly.
“Who says that we’re keeping her,” Roy barks out as he crumples the letter into a ball without even bothering to finish scanning it. “We don’t even know if she’s really mine, Dick! And what the hell do either of us know about raising a kid anyway?”
Roy’s voice is too loud and Lian startles in Dick’s arms. The baby’s mouth opens wide and her face screws up and turns bright red as she builds up to a good wail. Her little hands clench in the fabric of Dick’s shirt and her cries start to echo up to the ceiling.
Roy barely manages to keep from covering up his ears.
“Can’t you get her to stop crying,” he tries to say above Lian’s sobs as he meets Dick’s eyes. “She’s so loud!”
Dick narrows his eyes at the older man and rubs Lian’s back gently. “Maybe she’d stop crying if you stopped shouting. You’re louder than she is.” He bounces Lian in his arms and murmurs soft words down at her until her cries die down and she makes a contented gurgle against his chest. “Hush now, Lian,” he says as he strokes his fingers over her short hair, “Your daddy isn’t mad at you: he just doesn’t have an indoor voice. I blame Oliver Queen…”
Roy shoots Dick the dirtiest look that he can muster and crosses his arms over his big chest. “Whatever, Dick,” he growls out. “What are we supposed to do with her today? We both have to work and I don’t know where we’d find a babysitter on such short notice.”
“I can take her with me to the gym,” Dick offers. “I only work with two of my classes today since they’re going to be doing some remodeling later. You can sort things out with Lian’s mom or whoever left her here with us and I’ll start buying things for her.”
He lifts Lian up and smacks a kiss to her round belly as she squeals with delight and clutches at his hair with chubby little hands.
Roy grits his teeth as he watches the sickeningly sweet scenario. “We’re not keeping her,” he growls softly even though Dick has long-since ignored him in favor of Lian.
When he doesn’t get a response from his best friend, he sighs and frowns, feeling resigned to his fate. “Are you sure that you can handle her?”
Dick nods and smiles widely at his best friend. “You do remember how many siblings I have right? Besides, I’m the one that took care of Damian when he was a baby. If I survived taking care of him, I can handle a sweetheart like Lian, no sweat.”
And Roy kind of has to believe Dick.
“Fine. Fine… Call me if anything comes up?”
Dick seems busy with Lian, but he gives the older man a small smile and a thumbs up. “Of course.”
After that, all Roy can do is get ready to do something rather illegal. He doesn’t exactly have an excuse for lounging around the apartment, not with Dick giving Lian an impromptu tour and eying him as though he should have more of a hand in showing the baby how to what? Turn on the light switches.
Roy has people to call and places to be.
Hopefully after the day is done, he’ll have some answers for Lian’s presence in his life. And with luck… Things will go back to normal.
Roy has to hide a mirthless smile when that thought pushes to the forefront of his brain.
With his luck nothing even close to normal will happen.
Thank god that Dick loves children, Roy has a feeling that Lian might be around for a while…