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When Waiting Is Done On Rooftops

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Wally is sitting at his kitchen table with Wallace, just hanging out, when his phone buzzes with a notification. He swipes right to look at it when he spots the news icon. It opens to a picture he wasn’t prepared to see. It’s of Dick - well, Nightwing - being shot in the head.

Wally manages to change into his costume before he’s running to Gotham. He knows where Dick was shot. He saw that coffee shop Tim really likes in the lower left corner of the picture. So the photo was taken at Williams and 3rd.

He stops on top of a building for a moment to get a good look at what is now a crime scene. He can’t see any of the Bats. They must already be at a hospital. Wally doesn’t know how long ago Dick was actually shot. Nor does he know where Dick is being treated. He didn’t really get around to reading the article.

He’s running through all of Gotham’s hospitals for what seems like hours and might add up to a total of ten minutes. He can’t run very fast in a freaking hospital. In the end, Wally doesn’t know why he didn’t check Gotham General first. That’s where the bats usually go when Leslie’s clinic and the batcave aren’t going to cut it.

They’re all in a waiting room together but Wally can’t stop right now because he feels the panic attack coming. Which is weird. He hasn’t had a panic attack in years. Instead he stops on the rooftop and takes a deep fluttering breath.

Donna. He needs Donna. He also needs to call Donna. His hands are shaking but Donna has called him 20 times while he was moving too fast for his phone to register calls, so he only needs to swipe right on the notification.

“Wally! Thank god! Are you alright?”, Donna starts immediately.

“I’m fine. I…”, Wally can’t figure out how to breathe. He can’t get enough air.

“Hey, Wally. It’s okay. He’s in surgery. Gotham General has some of the best neurologists in the country”, Wally can hear the fear and pain she’s trying to suppress and somehow that helps. He slowly gets his breathing back under control. “You’re on the Gotham General rooftop right now?”

Someone probably tweeted about him being there: “Yeah.”

“Okay. Roy and Garth are on the Watchtower. They’ll be at your location in a minute or two. I’ll stay on the phone until then.”

She asks him questions about his improving relationship with Wallace, his dinner yesterday evening with Barry and Iris and everything else carefully removed from the Bats and the people he’s lost because of Flashpoint.

Garth and Roy materialize in front of him and Wally forgets to say anything for a moment.

“Wally?”, Donna asks.

“They just got here. Thank you.”

“I’ll join you in a minute”, she says and hangs up.

Roy hugs Wally as soon as his phone is back in his pocket. They talked about a lot when they were both in the Sanctuary. Wally told him about how Dick remembered him as a friend but not their relationship of ten years and Roy told him about how he’d started remembering Lian and had checked himself into the sanctuary before he could do something stupid.

Wally still felt guilty for not telling Roy about Lian but he wasn’t sure that would have been a good idea, either. It had been a lose-lose situation and Roy had said that he doesn’t blame Wally for his decision. Roy is the only one other than the therapist Wally had told about his relationship with Dick so far, though Donna probably knows and Garth might, too. That’s the problem with observant friends.

Roy gently lets go of him: “I called BC. She’s going to get Huntress and they’re going to patrol the city.”

Wally realizes something: “Red Robin and Spoiler probably don’t know what’s going on. N gave me Red’s emergency number.” Wally has his phone against his ear before Roy and Garth can say anything in reply.

The call is answered on the second ring: “Tim Drake.”

“Hey, Tim, it’s Wally.”

“What’s wrong?”, Tim immediately replies in a slightly panicked voice and there’s uneasy voices starting to talk around him.

“Dick is in surgery at Gotham General”, Wally says. He doesn’t really want to use the words ‘head’ or ‘shot’ right now.

“We’ll be there in a few minutes.” Tim hangs up. Wally isn’t quite sure how they’re going to get here in a few minutes but maybe Tim has the transporter codes.

“He said they’ll be here in a few minutes”, Wally says to Roy and Garth who had been talking in hushed voices and neither of them ask who ‘he’ and ‘they’ are even though Wally isn’t even completely sure how many people the ‘they’ includes. He has a feeling it’s not just Tim and Steph.

They wait in silence for Donna or ‘them’ to arrive. Donna gets there first. She hugs all of them quickly and asks them to update her on the situation. They do. Twenty seconds. Wally counts. Forty-three seconds later Cassie Sandsmark lands on the roof with Stephanie Brown in her arms and Bart - freaking Bart - speeds up the side with Tim Drake.

Wally kind of loses his shit and lifts Bart off the ground with his hug: “I thought you were gone! I thought you were gone for good! Oh my god!” Bart is back. Bart is back and that might mean his kids could come back, too. Also, Bart. Bart is alive. Bart isn’t lost in the speedforce forever. Wally feels like he’s crushing him but Bart holds on just as tightly and they both quiet down within what must be milliseconds but they hug until a full second is over.

When they’re about to slow down again, Wally sees the other Titans staring in surprise. Roy has taken a step back because that’s what he does when he’s surprised. Tim, Cassie and Steph also look surprised but to a lesser extent. They look more like the fast movement activated their fight or flight instincts.

“Guys, this is Bart and Cassie”, Wally introduces the two his friends probably don’t know.

“How do you know me?”, Cassie asks, looking more at Bart than Wally.

Bart shrugs: “Old universe.”

Cassie doesn’t look like she likes that explanation but she does seem to accept it. Garth nods at both of them, while Donna sends them sad smiles and Roy raises his hand with a ‘hi’.

“What happened.” Tim’s voice is tight and controlled and maybe a bit angry and Wally feels a wave of sympathy.

There is no nice way to break this to him. Dick was shot in the head. It isn’t a graze. No matter how lucky they are, this is going to have lasting effects. And Dick could just as well be dead by the time they get downstairs. Wally breathes through the returning wave of panic.

Donna is the one who answers after two whole seconds of silence: “Tim, Dick got shot in the head. He’s in surgery and your family is in the waiting room.”

Cassie clasps her hand in front of her mouth. Steph’s face goes slack. Tim looks like he’s calculating the odds of all possible outcomes. And Bart is staring at Wally with his eyebrows pulled together and his eyes full of sadness. Wally quickly looks away.

Roy clears his throat after a few moments of only the sounds of cars floating around them: “Tim, Steph. Garth and I are going to go sit down in the waiting room. Would you like to join us?” They leave the rooftop wordlessly and leave Cassie, Bart, Donna and him behind.

Donna turns to Cassie: “Cassie, this must be a lot. I know you decided to go with the others but it would probably be best if you go home for now. I will let you know once we have more information but Tim and Steph will most likely want to stay in Gotham for a while.”

Cassie nods and hugs both Donna and Bart quickly and tightly before flying off. Donna and Bart exchange a few looks and Wally feels like they’ve met before. Well, that Donna has met Bart before. He knows that Bart knows Donna. He also feels like shit and like he wants to start crying. He speeds into the waiting room before Donna and Bart can finish their wordless conversation, lets himself fall into a chair next to Cass and pulls his knees up to his chest.