Fandom: DCU (Batman)
Rating/Warnings: PG for slight blood and guts.
Summary: "Get them out. Keep them out." How it all started.
Notes: jbadgr dragged me into munnin_odanin's Batman Band AU ficverse, and no one else had got into why the Robins suddenly decided to become a band. And then I wrote this.
Dick's coughing deep and ragged in the smoke, and he's bleeding in more than one place but that's not what's important here. He can hear Bruce up ahead, groaning in pain. He got the worst of the explosion. It's probably a miracle he's alive. Except that Bruce can survive anything, he's Batman, death itself is afraid of him. Right? He lived through his spine snapping. He's probably just concussed.
Dick jumps over rubble and runs through smoke as fast as he can around his coughing and the remnants of the building around them. When he finds Bruce his sides are aching, either from the exertion or because his ribs are broken. Dick's not sure. Bruce's mask is dented and crooked on his head, and Dick doesn't pull it off, but he wants to. He rests a careful hand on Bruce's shoulder. "Batman. Are you okay? What happened?"
"'M fine," Bruce grunts, and tries to push Dick's hand away, but he can't seem to move his arms properly. "Go."
"No way," says Dick, and he's seeing the damage on Bruce's armour now, the awkward splay of his limbs, the blood that's slowly seeping out onto the ground beneath him. "I'm getting you to safety."
"That's an order." Bruce's voice is less of a grunt now, more of a rasp.
Dick shakes his head. "Looks like I'm gonna be a bad subordinate again. I'm staying with you."
"Dick," says Bruce, and that's shocking, that's enough to actually make Dick shut up and listen. "Get the others -- Damien, Tim, anyone else who's in here -- get them out. Keep them out."
"But," Dick begins.
"Do it," says Bruce, no, says Batman. "Now."
"We're coming back for you," Dick says, and then he does obey.
It's not too much later, maybe an hour, and Jason's with him now, Jason and Stephanie and Tim who probably shouldn't be even moving, let alone running across the ruins of Gotham City, and they're all running back to where Bruce was. Everything hurts, running and standing still and talking and smiling because Bruce is gonna be fine. They all are. And then Dick's going to get them all out, maybe even Bruce, and he's gonna keep them out, like he's supposed to.
He knows where Bruce was, but Bruce isn't there anymore. Jason starts to say something snide, so Dick cuts him off. "He can't have gotten far. If we split up we'll find him faster."
Steph finds him with Damien, propped against a wall. Damien's breathing. Bruce isn't.
Things get out of hand the day of Bruce's funeral. It's big and for show and there are all sorts of people there, and Tim is leaning against a tree and not talking to Dick, and Jason just punched Dick in the face, and Dick's nose might be broken. "It was his dying wish!" he yells around the blood and swelling. Steph and Damien aren't even listening. Jason pulls his fist back again, but Dick's not stupid enough to fight him here. He braces himself, but the blow never comes.
"That's enough," says Alfred, who has caught Jason's fist in its swing back. "We're in public, Master Jason."
"I don't have anything to do with him anymore," Jason says around clenched teeth. "Why should I even care?"
Dick attempts to smile and winces. "You showed up today, didn't you?"
Jason yanks his fist out of Alfred's hand and wipes Dick's blood off onto his black jacket. "Yeah, I'm done here," he says, stepping back, walking away.
"He wanted you to be safe!" Dick calls after him.
"You're not getting anywhere with him," says Tim, speaking up for the first time in about twenty minutes. "And I agree. We have a job to do. Just because we're doing it on our own now doesn't mean we should walk away." He pushes against the tree to stand up on his own, and walks off in a different direction than Jason had.
Some small-time bad guy, name unknown, turns up and scares some of the guests, and Dick's halfway to the car where he still keeps his Nightwing costume before he remembers himself. Then Arsenal turns up, shoots the new guy down, and drags him off to face the law. Dick's not all that surprised when Roy returns, dressed in something almost approaching formal.
"How are you?" Roy asks. He doesn't come too far in, still leaning against the gate, and Dick can't blame him for that -- the people here are Bruce's mourners, not Batman's. Mostly.
"How do you think?" Dick says.
"We're all still there, you know." Roy doesn't look Dick in the eye, looks off to the side like he always does when he says something too emotional for his comfort. "If you need backup? We're all there."
"Backup," Dick says, and then, "I think I have an idea of what to do."