The last week has been hard on everyone. They’ve all played musical chairs with the four seats in Dick’s hospital room. Waiting for him to wake up. First it was the family, Barbara, Tim. Stephanie. Jason… he didn’t come. He wasn’t good at this kind of thing. And Tim would’ve killed him if he did.
Then it was friends from Spyral. Helena and Tiger couldn’t stay long. Too much going on in the world for them to stay still. They left a bouquet of flowers and a card.
"Get well soon. Grayson.
-Helena and the Tiger king."
After them. It was the Titans. Wally, Dick, Donna, and Garth all sat with him for hours upon hours. Atlantean gold bought them more time when visiting hours were over. And Wally would just sit perfectly still, never moving a centimeter. Letting his speed slow down his perception of time just so he could stay a little bit longer. Sometimes Donna would break the silence. A tiny laugh before a long story of when they were younger and didn’t know any better. Wacky adventures they’d look back on and think “How did anyone let that happen?”.
Kind of like now. How could anyone let this happen?
They tell themselves that they knew something like this would happen. Dick didn’t have any special powers. He couldn’t outrace a bullet. He couldn’t catch it in his hands. He couldn’t use magic to turn it into something else. He was just a person. And that person wanted to help his father. And because he wanted to help, he was shot.
In the longest stretch of silence, there’s a break. A shuffling of sheets. A groan. A small yawn. Seeing him move almost felt alien after so long. His eyes blinked a few times before screwing themselves shut. It was too bright. Roy was the first one up. He took his hand in Dick’s.
“Easy, pal. Don’t try to move too much. You’ve been through a lot.” He told him in a cautious voice. His hand felt weak in his. It was, alien. To see him so devoid of strength. Dick’s hand slipped out of his grip. He looked, confused. His mouth opened but no words came out. A cough came instead before his brain found the words. “Who…” he started with a tired and sore voice.
“Who are you?”
It’s a question that hangs in the air. All the relief and joy that filled it is pushed away. No one knew how to react. Roy laughs cautious laugh before he gives him a small punch on the shoulder. “C’mon, Dick. I know you’re good at lifting the mood. But not this time. You need better material.” He joked. But Dick was’t laughing. He only looked more confused.
“I’m… I’m sorry. I don’t know who you are.” He apologized. He apologized. This wasn’t something you apologized for.
“Dick.” Roy said. “Cut it out.”
“Is that my name?”
The frustration was building in Roy, he looked over to the others. Donna was watching with shock and sadness on her face. Wally wasn’t moving. Garth had his head in his hands. “Donna, do you have your camera on you?” Roy asked. Donna seemed to snap out of the disbelief to reach into her purse and get up to Dick’s bedside. Her hands shook as she clicked through the photos. One of the first Teen Titans meeting. The old cave. Some old camping trip, with them all sitting by the campfire. Enjoying each other’s company.
“This is us.” She told him. “Your friends.” Her hand rested on his shoulder. “We’re superheroes. Look.” She said as she pointed a shaking finger to someone with messy black hair and a blue mask. A smile across his face.
“That's you.” She told him. All the information was starting to be too much for him. He turned to the ‘friends’ he had. The one with black hair was wiping tears from his face, the redhead was, gone? Just as he realizes his absence he’s back with a gust of wind around him. He’s holding a kid who couldn’t be older than 12 by the back of his shirt. Another superhero? He’s short. He’s yelling something about never wanting to be picked up by his cape again. The cape goes all the way up, turning into a hood covering his eyes. All he can see is a frustrated frown. He’s short. The green and red boots he’s wearing seem to add a few more inches to his height.
“Damian.” The redhead says. Damian, that's his name.
“Talk to him.” it’s a mixture of a command and a beg. He lets go of his shirt. Then motions for the others to follow him out.
And then it was just them. A man with no history. And a young boy. He finally gets a good luck at this child he’s supposed to know. He lifts up his hood to reveal a green domino mask and curly black hair. Piercing green eyes stare at him.
“I’m sorry.” He says again. He’s apologized so much. “I don—“ the boy raises a hand to stop him.
“You are Dick Grayson.” He states. “You were Robin. You were Batman. You were Agent 37 of Spyral. You currently wage a war on crime as Nightwing.” Each name is another thing that doesn’t make sense to him. The boy sees nothing in his eyes.
“You’re my brother.”