Summary: Dick is standing at the top of Wayne Tower, ready to jump, ready to fall. Ready to end his life
Wally is running faster than he's ever been, grabbing, catching. Can he make Dick see the sense in life again? High T rating. Slash: Kid Flash/Robin Wally/Dick.
Rating: High T
Warning: Suicide attempt, slight language, angst, and slash.
Author's Note: In this story, Dick is fifteen and Wally is seventeen. Thirteen is just a little
too young in my opinion.
December 16, 09:52 p.m. EDT}
Robin was cold. It was December, and a typical Gotham Friday night: dark and grimy, with the promise of rain. He let out a deep sigh, his warm breath clouding the frosty air momentarily. He clutched at the metal railing before him, the only thing separating him from the empty darkness that surrounded him. Down below, he could hear the low din of traffic as people rushed to and fro in their cars, speeding through Gotham's dark streets to the safety of their homes. They drove fast, the black wheels slicing through puddles of murky water that splashed up to stain the pavement. Soon they would all be tucked up in bed before a warm fire, content with the knowledge that tomorrow they could sleep in.
Then night would fall, like it did at the end of every day. Gotham's streets would become infested with crime, disease, and darkness. Shadows would slip into darker shadows; the quiet hush of secretive voices would be the only sound to hear. They would all look around in fear, afraid the Dark Knight would step out of the shadows any minute, along with his nimble protégé, coming to destroy their unlawful plans before they had a chance to execute them
The wind whipped around him, blowing his black hair into his face. It whistled sharply as it rounded the corner of Wayne Tower- a piecing, oddly unsettling sound. His fingers hurt; he was gripping the railing so hard. It took a huge effort of will to force himself to relax his hold. With the natural grace of an acrobat, he scaled the balustrade and perched on top of it.
A new sound came to his ears then; the patter of rain. It shouldn't be surprising. This was Gotham. This was also
the day. It would only be fitting that today, right now of all times, it decided to rain. He didn't move, even when the water ran in rivulets down his hair, his cheeks, his nose, before dripping off his chin to disappear in the material of his cape. Like tears. Cold tears. But he wouldn't cry. He promised himself he wouldn't cry today.
The wind tugged at him again, yanking at his body. It wanted to claim him, to whisk him away. It promised him empty promises, and he closed his ears to its shrieking voice. His cape billowed out beside him, starting to get heavy with water. Someone was bound to notice him
Why was his cape so yellow? He didn't want anyone to notice him. He didn't want to make a scene.
He looked down at the ground. Seventy-eight floors separated him from the dull gray pavement. He wondered how many seconds it would take for his body to fall seventy-eight floors down. Probably less time the longer he waited and the more water-heavy his cape became. It would weigh him down; pull him quicker to his death. His vision wavered for a moment. He imagined he could see bright spotlights on him, illuminating their act. The cold metal below his boots became the rough wood of the trapeze bar. The whistle of the rain, the snap of a rope. The faces of the audience blurred together as tears clouded his vision. Down below
so far down
the bodies of his parents, broken, falling, fallen
Someone had noticed him. Some irrelevant passerby was pointing up at him from the pavement. He couldn't hear what they were saying, but he didn't need to. It wasn't important. He smiled grimly. How fitting this all was, how ironic. Just like his parents before him, so he too would have an audience when he fell.
Wally had told him once that he could fly. He told him that when Robin fought, when he flipped and spun and dove down from sky-high heights, whipping out his grappling hook at the last possible minute, it looked like he could fly.
"I won't fly today, Wally
" Robin whispered out loud, though there was no one but the mocking rain to hear him. The wind wrenched his words away the minute they left his mouth. No, today he would fall. Just like his parents. Today he would fall, and there wouldn't be a net to catch him.
His fingers were starting to cramp on the railing again because of the cold. He knew he had to do it now
If he waited any longer, he knew he would chicken out. If he thought any longer, he knew he would chicken out. It had all made so much more sense last night
He sighed again. He couldn't change his mind now. He'd thought about this for a long time, and he'd made his decision
there could be no backing down now.
Lightly, his fingers brushed across the little pouch in his gauntlet, making sure it was still there. In it were four letters. Bruce would find them, of that Robin was sure. He knew he would distribute them to their respective destinations: One for Bruce and Alfred, his makeshift parents for so many years. One for Barbara, Dick Grayson's only true friend. One for the team, his colleagues and companions. And one for Wally.
Robin's hands clenched into fists, so tight the fingernails dug harshly into his skin despite his gloves, and squeezed his eyes shut behind his mask. No, he didn't want to think about Wally. He couldn't think about Wally. If he thought about Wally, he'd lose all his resolve, and everything would fall apart. He had to jump, he had to jump now. Despite his promise earlier not to cry, he could feel the distinct familiar prickling behind his lids, so he rubbed at them angrily.
Without opening his eyes, he stood up carefully, balanced on the three inch wide rail. The wind, his ever-present companion, latched on to him, tugging him this way and that. His toes curled around the bar instinctively, keeping his poise. Slowly he lifted his arms, raising his head to the pale sliver of moon which he couldn't see behind his closed eyes. He sighed, for the third time that night, and let himself tip forward into darkness
Dick was warm. There was a soft glow in front of him, radiating out a heat that warmed him from his ears to the tips of his toes. He was robed in some sort of loose clothing that had replaced his tight Kevlar uniform. It was warm and dry and familiar, and smelled of lavender. There was also something warm wrapped around his waist. It made him feel safe.
Was he dead? Is this what heaven felt like? He'd never actually believed there was anything like this after death
Besides, this familiar warmth felt too real. He realized suddenly that he had eyes and so he blinked, opening them slowly. Years of experience made him take quick note of his surroundings.
No, this wasn't heaven, but to Dick it was as good as. More specifically, this was the West-Allen household, home to Barry and Iris and
Wally. The glow that warmed his face was, in fact, a crackling fire, popping merrily to itself in the hearth. The clothes he was wearing were clean and dry, but definitively not his own. No, they were too big; so big that the shirt fell off his shoulder and the sleeves hung down past his fingers. Someone had lent him clothes. Someone like Wally... That familiar smell of lavender? That was Iris's favorite laundry detergent; he had smelt it often enough on his best friend's garments. And the warm thing wrapped around his waist was someone's arm, holding him tightly. Wally's arm.
His eyes adjusted slowly to the bright, flickering light of the fire. He turned his head slightly, taking in the pile of soggy, dirty material that was his Robin costume, dropped unceremoniously in front of the fire to dry. There was a damp towel on his head that had probably been used to dry him off while he was unconscious, and his eyes were bare of a mask.
Wally was sitting beside him on the couch, his head bowed. Robin's black gauntlet was laid on the coffee table in front of him. With the hand that wasn't wrapped around Dick, he was fingering a pile of unopened envelopes. Dick's breath hitched in his throat when he recognized them as the four letters he had written. The four suicide notes. Wally must have heard him or felt him move because he looked up suddenly, his eyes meeting Dick's. His expression lightened immediately upon seeing that his friend had come to, before a shadow flitted across his eyes again.
"You're awake." Dick wasn't sure if that was supposed to be a statement or a question, so he just nodded once, silently. Wally looked down at the letters again, and his fingers tightened. He pulled his arm away from Dick's waist, and the younger boy frowned slightly, missing the contact.
"These," he waved the envelopes in front of him. "No one is going to read these. No one is ever going to read these." He stood up slowly and chucked them one by one into the fire. Dick watched as the red flames licked greedily at their edges, burst suddenly into a blaze, and receded leaving a black lump of charred ash. The unread words fluttered away into smoke. Wally sat back down heavily on the couch making it sink under his weight.
They stared at each other again, green eyes to blue ones. Dick tried to read Wally's expression, but he just couldn't. That simple fact scared him; normally Wally was as easy to read as an open book. Wally bit his lip and closed his eyes for a second, his eyebrows wrinkling in thought. Had Dick been expecting anything of the sort, he would easily have been able to parry Wally's hand that now came swinging towards his face. As it was, he could only blink in a stupor, feeling his cheek sting painfully from the hit.
you stupid, selfish, kid," Wally said slowly, his voice tight as if in pain, and trembling with emotion. Dick touched his smarting cheek with his palm in disbelief. Wally had just
slapped him? He didn't know what to think. The speedster sighed wearily, and leaned forward to rest his hands on Dick's shoulders. The younger boy flinched at the touch, half expecting his friend to hit him again. This made Wally look guilty, but Dick barely noticed it.
He watched as the flickering fire cast shifting shadows on Wally's face, making him look tired. Actually, scratch that. Wally was tired. Dick could see it in the permanent frown that adorned his face, the faint bags under his eyes, and the shadowed look in his expression. Dick knew he was responsible for that strained look on Wally's face, and it made his stomach twist in a knot of guilt. The redhead closed his eyes, as if steeling himself, then plowed on.
I get it. I get that you've had to deal with a lot, way more than any kid your age should ever have to cope with. I get that you've been pushed past your limits countless times. I get it, you know I do. But you can't just
you can't just stand there and throw yourself off a building, Dick. You can't just
just kill yourself like that and expect everything to be okay. What kind of a world would you leave behind? A world without you, that's what, and that's a world lacking something great." Wally was having a hard time keeping his voice level, Dick could tell. He swallowed, staring transfixed into Wally's emerald eyes.
"First of all, you're Robin. You're a superhero. What kind of a message would you be sending the world if
if the Boy Wonder of all people committed s-suicide?" Wally seemed to choke on the last two words. Dick didn't say anything; his throat felt too dry. He remembered seeing that passerby on the street below him. What would he have thought seeing Robin fall out of the sky?
"Dick." Just that one word, his name, and the boy felt tears pricking the backs of his lids. He forced himself to keep a straight expression, although he wasn't sure how well he was doing. He felt so numb. Wally dug his fingers subconsciously into Dick's shoulders. "What about the people in your life, Rob? What about all those
" He nodded towards the fire where the charred remains of the letters were entombed.
"What about Bruce? He's not your real father, I know that, and maybe he's not the most sympathetic guy, but he still cares for you. You know what Uncle Barry once told me? He said that after Bruce took you in, he was a different man. He said that he saw Bruce smile for the first time in years when he first told him about you. I think he loves you, in his own way, I really do. You just don't see that, do you?" Wally shook Dick's shoulders lightly, as if to make him see sense. Dick wanted to say something; like how he knew that Bruce loved him, but it just
it wasn't the same
But his throat was still numb and he couldn't get a word out.
"What about Alfred?" Wally continued, and Dick bit his lip. "Isn't he like a grandfather to you? Remember that time that you got stabbed in the gut by one of the Penguin's umbrellas and Alfred said that he'd always be there to patch you up?" He paused. "Well, I don't remember what exactly he said, but it was something like that. He made you a promise that he'd always be there to take care of you. Are you seriously just going to break that promise on your end?" Dick watched him silently.
what about Babs? You wrote her a letter too," Wally said bitterly. "You have a family, Dick, you just don't see it. Bruce and Alfred, of course, but what about Babs? You told me once that she was like a sister to you. If not a sister, then at least a good friend. She is the only person your age who knows both sides of you, who can be there for you while you're in Gotham as 'Dick Grayson'. And vice-versa for her. Have you ever thought about what a help you are to her?"
Dick felt waves of guilt wash over him as he saw tears gather in the corners of Wally's eyes. Honestly, he'd never known Wally was this perceptive. He wanted to say something, to stop this flow of words from Wally's mouth. Each sentence the redhead said only made him want to sink into the sofa and disappear. He couldn't bear to look at Wally any longer so he closed his eyes, bracing himself for the next onslaught. The fingers gripping his shoulders tightened momentarily.
"What about the team?" Wally's voice wavered. "What about Connor, and Artemis, and Kaldur? What about Zatanna?" It could have just been his imagination, but it sounded like the speedster's voice darkened at that last question. What was so special about Zatanna, and why would Wally care? Dick mused wordlessly. "What about M'gann? How do you think she would feel?" Dick saw in his mind's eye the sweet, soft-spoken M'gann, and didn't want to think about how she would feel. "Or Roy
he's not part of the team anymore, but still. Don't you think they would blame themselves in some way or another?" And that made him think of Kaldur. "You're part of our team, Robin. You're our colleague, and you're also our friend. Think about how many times one of them have saved your skin, sometimes putting their own lives in danger. Do you want that to all be in vain?"
Dick wanted to point out that more often than not it was him saving their skin, but he figured that was really not appropriate right now. Besides, his vocal chords still seemed to be out of function. He heard Wally take a deep breath and so he opened his eyes carefully. Because he knew what was next. And he wished, oh how he wished, that he didn't have to hear that which Wally was about to tell him.
" Wally faltered. His voice was hoarse from talking so much, but his eyes flashed with determination. "What about
me?" His fingers dug into Dick's shoulders in a death-grip, not that either of them noticed. "Don't I mean anything to you?" Dick felt the tears that had been threatening for so long finally burst out and stream silently down his cheeks. He wanted to shout and scream that that was exactly the problem: Wally meant so much to him, too much to him. More than he would ever know.
"Dick, you're my best friend. You trusted me with all your secrets, as did I. We were bros for life, remember? I thought we were
" He paused, his expression pained. "Dick, I
l love you. Maybe
maybe more than just a best friend, but that's not the point," he rushed quickly, a blush dusting his freckled cheeks. Dick stared at him blankly. Had Wally just
confessed to him? Or was his demented mind hearing things again?
"How could you do something like this to me? Without telling me anything? How did you expect me to keep on living with that
what the hell were you thinking? I could have lost you forever
" His voice faded to a whisper. "What would have happened if I hadn't grabbed you right then? What would have happened if I had come one second too late?" Wally paused, eyes boring into Dick's. The firelight glinted off the tear-tracks on his cheeks. But no, Dick wasn't hearing things. It was all real; the tears streaking down Wally's cheeks were real, the raw pain in his eyes was real, and the trembling hands that gripped his shoulders were real.
Dick, promise me you won't do something like that again. Please, you have to promise me. I can't
I just can't
" He choked on a sob, unable to finish the sentence.
Dick's hand dropped from his cheek, which had stopped hurting long ago. Instead, he wrapped it around Wally's neck, pulling him towards him suddenly with a force that surprised both of them. Their lips smashed together rather ungainly, but Dick couldn't bring himself to care. No, he just closed his eyes and pressed himself into Wally's body and into the kiss, clinging to his warmth. He'd never kissed anyone on the lips before, but this just felt so right. Wally's lips were chaffed but soft against his own, and they tasted of something sweet mixed with the salty taste of their mixed tears. Every part of him that Wally touched burned with a raw heat, coursing through his veins and setting his nerves on fire.
Wally had stiffened the moment their lips touched, but when he realized that this had been Dick's intention, he seemed to fall apart. Unable to keep himself upright, he fell on top of his best friend, their bodies molding together. He wrapped his arms possessively around him without breaking the kiss.
The younger boy felt an incomprehensible feeling of joy surge through him when Wally responded. Dick was warm. And it wasn't only from the fire, or the new clothes, or Wally's hot lips on his own. No, this was a different kind of warmth
it came from the inside. It was the kind of warmth he hadn't felt in a long time. It was the warmth of being loved, of being wanted, of knowing there was someone who cared about him in a way he never thought he could be cared about.
He didn't let go of Wally's neck even when they finally broke apart, gasping for breath. Wally's eyes were half-lidded as he rested his forehead against Dick's, their breath intermingling.
" murmured Wally and Dick grinned at him, reveling in the dazed and wondered expression he could read in his green eyes. "Was that
was that your promise?" he questioned, eyes carefully darting over Dick's face.
Dick leaned up to peck Wally softly on the lips, his touch feather-light.
"Now it's sealed with a kiss," he hummed, his voice barely audible. He realized vaguely that that was the first thing he had said all night. "I promise I won't ever do something like this again, not after tonight."
Wally smiled and reached up to wipe the last traces of tears from both of their faces. He ran his fingers through Dick's hair, and the boy almost purred at his touch.
I'll remind you of that every time we kiss." They smiled at each other, unblemished happiness on their faces. Wally settled more comfortably on the couch, wrapping his arms tightly around Dick's smaller frame. Content at last, Dick closed his eyes, snuggling more securely into Wally's grasp.
Half an hour later, Barry and Iris opened the living-room door, followed closely by Bruce Wayne who had come looking for his missing ward. The three of them froze in the doorway, beholding the sight before them. Even Bruce's mouth twitched at the corners seeing the two boys wrapped tightly in each other's arms, the sweetest of smiles mirrored on their sleeping faces. Deciding simultaneously to leave them in peace, they retreated silently.
The door closed softly behind them.