He was… Broken.
Just like that. He couldn’t even process it, it was too surreal.
It was a normal day. He was doing his homework in front of the T.V like he normally did, the mundane noise of some random kids show allowing him to focus on his calculus. The doorbell rang, and Dick got up to answer it since Alfred was out back. As he opened the large door a figure stepped forward. Flanked by two big men this man, pale as the moon, dressed in khaki shorts, and a button up Hawaiian T-Shirt, pulled out a gun. Before Dick could even think a shot was fired and he was on the ground.
The pain was blinding. All he could do was grit his teeth and look up at the man who did it, look up and see the grin that spread on his sick twisted face. Pale hands began to unbutton his shirt and he could feel himself crying through the pain and humiliation as his chest was bared.
That was Alfred.
“Sorry Jeeves, I’m going to need to barrow Richard here for a minute. Ha, Richard. Sounds so formal, I think I’m going to call you Dick for short. Can I call you Dick?”
The two men ganged up on Alfred, punching him in the gut and breaking one of his arms. It was a nightmare. All he could do was look at him, look at the Joker and say one thing.
“What’s that? Why? Think about it. The little acrobat, torn from performing. The playboy who lost his parents, attacked again but the very evil he donates all his money to rehabilitate. I can’t think of many things more funny then this. Well, many things that don’t include the Bat at least.”
Dick lay helplessly as his clothes were removed, piece-by-piece. He was scared. No, more then scared. He was terrified. There was so much blood, so much pain, he was so humiliated. Everything was burned into his mind, just like when his parents died.
He wanted it to stop. Everything. Just stop.
He woke up in a white room, a blindingly white room with bright lights. He could feel the bandages around his abdomen, the bleeding stopped. But the memories didn’t. They rushed back at him like a typhoon, making his eyes water and lip tremble. He couldn’t feel anything below his stomach. What happened to him? Was this going to be forever?
He jumped and turned to the source of the voice, seeing a sober looking Bruce
“Bruce. Wha-what happened?”
“It was The Joker. How are you feeling?”
The memories were rushing over him. Every crucial detail. The smile, the doorbell, and the T.V show he was watching. He felt everything. He felt horrible.
“Don’t answer that. Flamebird and Batgirl are already tracking him down. We’ll find him and bring him in. Don’t worry.”
He nodded and looked up at the ceiling with a blank face, trying not to remember what happened. Trying vehemently to stay calm.
“Don’t worry Dick, I’ll stop him. Just like I always do.”
And Bruce gently ran his hand through his hair, it was such a soothing gesture. It had been so long since someone touched him like that. A nurse soon came in and upped his morphine, forcing him to fall into a deep sleep.
“I… Uh… Heard about the accident.”
Wally was standing two feet away from him, looking around his room at everything but him.
“It wasn’t an accident.”
He tried to keep the emotion out of his voice, feeling the matter of fact tone would be least damaging. Everyone was tip toeing around him since he left the hospital, awkward conversations that were quickly aborted as he and his friends came to terms with the fact that he couldn’t walk.
He can’t walk. Not ever again.
KF rubs the back of his neck nervously and shifts his weight around for a bit. Not entirely sure what to say, what to do.
“Wanna play video games with me?”
Wally jumps and looks up at him, not knowing how to react, then helps roll him to the living area where they start in on SSBB. After a while it’s easier to ignore the wheelchair sized elephant in the room. It’s still present, in the back of their minds.
It’s a step in the right direction.