Here by the Shore
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[character death] Bruce died a little, so did Dick but he tried more then anything not to cry
As if a phantom caress’d me,
I thought I was not alone, walking here by the shore;
But the one I thought was with me, as now I walk by the shore—the one I loved, that caress’d me,
As I lean and look through the glimmering light—that one has utterly disappear’d,
And those appear that are hateful to me, and mock me.
The day they buried Timothy Drake-Wayne, the sky hung gray with deceit. The skyscrapers of Gotham didn’t shine so bright and all the plants seemed to die a little.
Bruce died a little, so did Dick but he tried more then anything not to cry when Bruce stood before the coffin and said how much Tim had changed his life, how much the boy had been a gift to the silent estate of Wayne Manor. He remembered how the walls use to bellow with Dick’s own laughter when he was young, and then the tantrums of Jason and the understanding, mature words of Tim.
When Dick broke down, he was happy to have Bruce by his side, a strong arm winded around his shaking shoulders. He sobbed silently, couldn’t say the things he wanted to say about the boy he had considered his little brother, would always be his little brother.
Dick found Bruce’s neck and was consoled a bit when the man just grabbed tighter onto him, held him close without a word.
The younger man was ready to admit that he hadn’t been ready to let Tim go, he silently blamed himself for the teen’s death and was killing himself more and more each passing moment on the too-green grass of the cemetery grounds. Bruce felt the same way beside him, the man hadn’t cried in years, not since Jason’s death, but he rubbed the back of his hand across his eyes, and it only made Dick feel worse.
He had to turn away when everyone crossed over to throw roses onto the casket. Dick didn’t have anything to give, and he knew Tim probably wouldn’t mind anyways. He let out a sobbing laugh and ran a hand over the smooth grain of the coffin, choking on the tears when Bruce followed him in suite.
“I don’t think I can live without him,” Dick spit out between fits of tears.
Bruce spoke silently but surely next to him. “When Jason died, I didn’t think it could get any worse…but now I see…I was wrong.” He grabbed onto Dick’s free hand and squeezed. “Dick…if I lose you…I’ll never be able to bounce back.”
Dick was all the man had left, and Dick sniffled at his too runny nose and wiped his hand across his cheek, catching a few more tears before placing it back on the coffin. “Bruce…how am I supposed to move on from this? I can’t live without Tim in my life!”
And suddenly he was in the older man’s arms, sobbing into the shoulder of his too expensive suit. Dick tried to squeak out something but all that came out was his rolling sobs that echoed across the cemetery. Bruce led him to the ground, crouched beside him till the worst of his fit was gone.
“Dick…Do you want--”
“No!” He looked up at Bruce, a bit ashamed he had helped put such a sad look on the man’s face. “I want…I want to say goodbye…”
He stood up and placed both palms flat against the casket. “Tim…I’ll always love you, and you’ll always be my little brother…and…and…I know you’d probably kick me for how much I’m killing myself over this, but…that just shows you how much you mean to me…right?” He smiled weakly and looked back at Bruce, who was standing back a bit. He looked at how many roses graced the casket and then at the gravestone, which spelled out in beautiful, curving letters Tim’s name and dates of birth and death.
Dick crinkled his nose at how goddamn young Tim seemed when you put it all in stone, sniffled again and dried his eyes as best he could. “I’ll always remember you, not a day will go by that I won’t, Timbo. Not I day will go by where I don’t…*die*,” he choked on a sob and continued, “…because you’re not there, because I can’t joke with you about things Bruce doesn’t care about, or talk with you about the dumbest things that just seemed so goddamn *important*. And you know…I still think they’re important, only because now…they remind me of *you*. The way you smiled, and laughed, and how your eyes changed color when the light hit them just right, and how your bangs would hang in your face and you would blow them out of the way and laugh about it.
“And now I’m realizing more then ever…how important it was for me to experience those things, and how wonderful it was to have you look up and *admire* me. And yeah…I know you didn’t think much about my view on the whole thing…but *Tim*, I was admiring you back. There were so many things that I took for granted about being your brother, and now I’m regretting that. But…I’ll never see you again…and it hurts the more I think about it. You’d probably be telling me to shut up right about now, too. So…yeah…I will, but it won’t stop me from thinking about you. I love you, Tim and…I miss you more then you know.”
Dick ran into Bruce’s arms faster then he had expected to, but he let the man hold onto him. He felt like he couldn’t cry enough tears to dull the pain of losing Tim, like maybe he would never cry enough to make up for the lost times and how many times he told the teen ’no’.
Bruce let him shake, and weep, stood with his arms around the acrobat until Dick was so tired out he couldn’t cry anymore. He peeked up at Bruce, blue eyes red from the weeping and held on tighter, cheek almost sticky against the older man’s neck. “Dick.” He stroked the younger man’s mussed hair comfortingly, choking back a sob quietly.
“I want to go home,” he mumbled against Bruce’s skin, content when the man led him away, still wrapped up in the acrobat and not willing to let go. Bruce would never let go, not again, and Dick silently accepted it as the dreary atmosphere of Gotham cut back and let in a little light.
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