“Tim, this is stupid.” Barbara tried to be his voice of reason, she always did.
Tim merely shrugged his shoulders.
With a deep sigh, she looked at the young beta head on as if she’s was trying to taunt him as an alpha but Tim knew better, he knew Barbara always hated to use her caste to influence people, he knew this was a bluff. Pretending to be unfazed, because if he’s being honest, Tim still gets intimidated by them (alphas). “Call it what you may but I need this Babs.” He put on his cowl and took a last look of her through his glassed lenses. “This is the closure I need.” He walked towards the zeta tube, the sound of wheels squeaking followed suit.
There’s a light tug on his cape. “Tim, no one blamed you for his death. You don’t need to go this far just to prove yourself.”
“This isn’t only about me Babs, this is also about Dick. Just please… I need this…” he couldn’t face her, his body was frozen. Whether it was out of shame or guilt, he didn’t care. He knew what he was trying to do now was something a pathetic person would do in desperate times but he needed this. Needed something to hold on before he’ll go completely mad.
Feeling Barbara letting go of his cape. He heard her sighing and brushing her hair, “Jesus, where did you even got the crazy idea of him being alive?”
He lifted his brow behind his cowl. Throughout his life, Tim had suffered his own fair share of friends, families and even lovers dying in front of him. Not once did it stop him from hoping for them to be alive until proven wrong. Though this case may be a little too farfetched than the rest. He was desperate, hurt and broken. Clearly, Bruce’s death had a huge—huger impact on him than he originally thought.
It was almost four months since Bruce had died but he still can’t get over how guilty he was for letting go of the Joker back then. Dick still hasn’t fully recovered from the incident as well, actually everyone still hasn’t. Tim just hoped that maybe, just maybe, his mistake can be corrected.
“The ring.” He answered. “Bruce and Dick have a matching ring as a sign of being mates—I know Bruce always wears it during patrol—I was there when he made those rings. I helped him made those. They were reinforced with titanium and coated with a material far stronger than steel. There’s no way it can be easily burned, Bruce said so himself.”
“But Tim you need to consider—“
“What? That we only managed to find charred corpse and ashes? How can we be certain it’s Bruce’s, Babs? We can’t even conduct a DNA test!”
“Tim, you’re going too far. This is insane!” she shouted back at him, nearly on the verge of latching on him. She had a tight grip on his upper forearms. Tim winced in silence. “This needs to stop, you’re not only putting yourself at risk but also the other leaguers.”
“I’m sorry Babs.” He took her hands and held it close. “But I need this. Please….”
He hoped that he’s right on this. He knew he was standing on a thin ice upon basing his assumption on something as small as a ring but… deep down inside, he knew he wanted to be proven wrong. Tim needed reality to slap him in the face so hard just so he can be awaken from this fantasy that everyone can be resurrected.
He didn’t expected this.
The more they searched, the more evidence of Bruce being alive piled up. Tim couldn’t believe it. He was so happy. After those sleepless and tiring nights, all their hard work have finally paid off. They found him, they found Bruce all alive and well.
He couldn’t explain how happy he was but that happiness was only short lived.
“Damian and I have mated.” Those five simple words have not only ruined his heart but shattered all his being. The reason why he worked hard to find evidences to prove his theory of Bruce being alive was because he knew Damian had taken his move on Dick.
He was too late.
Bruce is alive but he can’t go back to Dick and Dick can’t know Bruce is alive since he has Damian already and it would bring much confusion and chaos if Bruce will be brought back to the manor. He can’t freely announce it to the other members as well in fear they’ll spread the news and Damian will hear it.
There’s no escaping it. No matter how much he tried thinking of different plans, different strategies. The ending would still be the same and he doesn’t want to end it like that.
He screwed up and this is the result.
The deafening silence is only beaten with the sound of the monitor’s constant beeping. He can’t find a way out of this, and now… Damian found out Bruce is alive. Dammit! He balls his fist so tight to the point where blood starts trickling down his palms.
“I’m sorry.” He mutters. Looking at how calm and serene Dick is despite of several machines hook around his body makes him feel guiltier inside. He was only doing what he thought was right but now…
“So forced medical induce coma, huh?” Kate Kane, Batwoman, suddenly enters the room. Tim looks at her as she steps closer towards him, her red hair swaying at every direction. “It was the only way.” He reasons out.
“No kidding?” she says in a mock gasp. “You need to find a better way to solve this problem Tim. You can’t force Dick to continue on sleeping, he’s still in a delicate place. He needs his alpha.” He hates to agree with her but it’s true. It’s only been a week since Dick had his miscarriage and times like this, an omega would need the comforting support of his alpha to get through such tragedy. The only problem is that Bruce is conscious and awake meaning, Dick will be confused as to which alpha he’ll side on.
And the only reasonable way to prevent more complications was to put him in an unconscious state.
“I know, i-it’s just…” he pinches the bridge of his nose. He can’t think of a solution that would end with everyone being happy and he’s pretty sure Bruce already knows what Damian has done to Dick because if he didn’t, then they wouldn’t have tried to kill each other at the first chance they get. “I don’t know what else to do anymore.”
“I’m not rushing you on anything but Maggie have experienced what Dick have experienced and all I can say is…he needs his alpha—it doesn’t matter which one—to get through this or else…” Tim gulps, he heard news about what will happened to first time omega mothers who had miscarriages. If they weren’t able to grieve properly, there’s a chance for them to be insane or worse—commit suicide.
With a nod, Tim replies, “I know. I’ll go to the watchtower and try to talk some sense to Damian.”
“Good. I’ll take care of Dick then.”
Barbara sighs, she takes off her glasses and massages her forehead. She doesn’t even remembering agreeing to be the babysitter of these two bullheaded alphas.
“This is ridiculous.” Damian’s voice can be heard through the speaker. She casually ignores him and continues to massage her aching head. Seriously, Damian hasn’t stopped spewing comments about being locked down into one of JLA’s specialized cells in the watchtower ever since he got here and it’s been a week since then! If only there she isn’t in the ‘in’ group, she could have avoided this. Looking back at the younger man, she types on to her keyboard and the camera in Damian’s cell zooms closer to his snarling face.
“And I’ve told you time and time again. We’re only doing this for security purposes Damian. We don’t want what happened when you first saw your father to happen again.” she remembers how Superman and Wonder Woman brought the two Waynes back in the watch tower all bloodied and bruised. Even then, they didn’t stop growling at each other and continuing to fight despite of them being gravely injured. It was a mess and according to Clark, it was almost impossible to tear them apart when they got there.
Barbara didn’t what to think what could have happened more if both Clark and Diana were a little too late. The mere thought of it brings shivers down to her spine. “Just calm down and I’m sure you’ll be released soon.” She adds, she understands as to why Damian’s being antsy but he shouldn’t be worried about anything. Until they could devise a proper plan, no one can take side on which Wayne they should release.
Putting back her eyeglasses, she checks on Bruce’s cell. The older man is much calmer and silent compared to his son. He’s just sitting on the edge of his bed, staring on his feet and the ground though she doubts that he’s only using it as a distraction while planning a way to escape this place.
Even without their utility belt, she’s pretty sure. Those two will manage to find a way to get out. Perseverance runs in the family, I guess… she muses herself and contacts Tim.
“Gordon, you of all people should understand my position.” She’s stops on her task and looks back at Damian’s cell. She thought he already gave up talking. Intrigued, she leans in closer to the speaker. “I was supposed to be a parent, a father. We were supposed to have a family but now… it’s all gone… it still hurts and I’m sure Dick’s going through much worse pain than I am. He needs me Gor—Bab and I need him.” Damn, he’s using the guilt trip on her. But then again, he tried the same tactic back then. The Damian Wayne she knows is a smart and cunning man, there’s no way he’s already out of ideas or maybe…
He looks pained, not from the injuries he sustained but from something else. She continues to observe his face, to see if he’s really acting or not. But the way he spoke those words, him calling her Babs. The only time he would call her by her first name is when he’s in a very sensitive place and wants comfort.
Could it be?
Barbara flutters. Her hands are now shaking, should she really keep him here? It’s true that Damian used this trick when he first got here but it was around the time when Pieter and Tm placed Dick in a medical induced coma. She knows that trick won’t go on forever, one way or another those three will have to meet again and Babs believe that it’s better for Damian and Dick to be together now before Bruce beats him. Plus she knows what will happened to an omega if they’re not able to process their grief properly, she witnessed it first hand, how one of her friends screaming and bashing her head upon the discovery of her lost womb and she doesn’t want that to happen to Dick.
Taking a deep sigh, Tim’s going to kill me for this. She presses the ‘release’ button on Damian’s cell. “Go before I change my mind.” She says, her head is already away from the monitor. Hoping that by the time she turns back her head Damian will be gone.
But he didn’t leave, instead he is still staring at her through the camera, his body is obviously closer to the open door.
“By the time I get back. I demand an explanation as to why the old man is alive, you got it?” he looks so serious but at the same time, his eyes looks happy. “That’s pretty demanding coming from a guy I just released.” She teases with an amused smirk on her face.
“—Tt—“ he clicks his tongue, his brows furrowing further.
“But don’t worry, you’ll get your explanation.” She lets out a small laugh after seeing him nod and run. She leans back on her chair, she looks up at the ceiling.
Sure, at first it pisses the hell out of her how a child, like Damian managed to mate with Dick. She hated the thought of the ex being tied down to someone who doesn’t deserve him but as time goes by, she begins to be fond of their growing relationship. The way she sees them being together; how Damian would continue to change and improve just for Dick and Dick leaping mountains just to protect Damian, not minding if he gets hurt in the process. It’s sickeningly sweet to the point where she wants to have a relationship like them. Maybe if she didn’t screwed up with her relationship with—no, she mustn’t think like that. Her relationship is already over, it’s beyond salvageable while Dick and Damian’s can still be saved.
She just really hopes those two will manage to find a way to fix this like the other problems they have faced in the past.
The door beside her opens. Knowing who it is without looking she asks, “So are you going to scold or praise me?”
"Either." Tim's voice is getting closer by the second. The younger man is already beside her by the time she sets her gaze on him. "Because I was just planning to do the same."
Barbara couldn't help but let out a snort. So she guess, this problem is way over their head that even she and Tim have come up with the same conclusion.
"The rest is up to you Damian." she whispers.
In his cell, Bruce is on the verge of hatching a plan when someone opens the door.
"Bruce, we need to talk." as confident as ever, Clark Kent stands right in front of him. Bruce scowls knowing Clark won't easily let him leave.