The world’s not black and white. Life doesn’t have good guys and bad guys or a beginning, middle, and end. Not while you’re living it. It’s just people doing stuff that’s beautiful or stupid or somewhere in the middle.
He holds your hair back as you throw
up, and with his free hand he rubs your back. As the last of your lunch vacates
your stomach, you find yourself wanting to sleep. The fatigue has become more persistent
lately, but they say that’s common.
Damian helps you stand, and leads
you out of the stall. He continues to rub your back as giggling girls walk in.
They stop at the sight of you two, and you just know that the rumors will be
all over school tomorrow. “Do you want to head back to the nurse, or do you
feel well enough to go back to class?”
You sigh, “I feel well enough to be
He just smiles and wraps an arm
around your shoulder. There’s no fuss or muss, as he leads you out of the
school and to your car. You don’t fight him as he helps you into the passenger seat
and takes the keys. Moments after the car pulls out of the school parking lot,
you fall asleep.
You wake up to a failed attempt of
whispering. There’s been a strong rule against girls going upstairs since you
and Damian hit your teen years, so you’re lying on the couch in the den. When
you open your eyes it’s to see Bruce Wayne staring at you. Once glance at his
eyes, tells you that he knows, and that fact makes you want to scream.
You throat is dry, and your voice is
raspy as you say “You have to be the biggest snoop I’ve ever met.”
He isn’t give a chance to respond as
Damian and his brothers come tumbling into the room. Barbara and Cass are
behind them, and they both grin as they take a seat on either side of you.
It takes a moment for Damian to
throw Dick and Tim off before pinning Jason. The family rogue just grins up at
you and asks “So when are you due?”
You can’t help it, you laugh. You
laugh long, and hard before you go into a coughing fit. Barbara pats your back
in an effort to help, but you wave her off. You lean back into the couch, as
the fit fades away. You smile “I wish that were it Jason. I really, really do.”
You can feel Damian’s eyes on you.
You can see the confusion as he gets off his brother, and sits down next to
you, as Cass automatically makes room. You take his hand, and take a deep
breath “I wanted to tell you in private, but to honest I don’t really want to
say this again.”
“What’s wrong?” All sense of humor
has vanished from the room, and you can feel Bruce’s eyes on you, his mouth set
in that hard grim line.
“Do you remember when we first met,
hoe my hair was really short. We were ten, and it was the first day of school,
and I was being teased because I looked like a boy, and you shut everyone up by
saying you liked it because it was practical?”
He nods slowly “Of course I remember
that. You had this spark in your eye that said you didn’t give a damn what they
said. And I thought, finally a girl who knew what’s what.”
You smile, and then swallow, because
you can feel the tears coming “I never told you why I had that short hair. I
didn’t want to dwell on it, and I didn’t want to see pity in your eyes or
anyone else’s for that matter.” You take another deep breath, and Damian’s grip
tightens on your hand “I was sick for a lot of years Damian. Spent most of my
life in hospitals. I had only been in remission a year when I started at Gotham
Academy. It was my first real school. I was so excited. And then I met you, and
you were my first real friend, then my first real boyfriend, and I was so
certain. I was so certain that I was in the clear.”
The first few tears start streaming
down your face “But I went in for a check-up a few days ago, and I’m no longer
in the clear. My cancer is back, and it’s aggressive. They want me to start
chemo therapy on Monday.”
The entire rooms gone silent. And as
you glance at faces you see a lot of closed eyes, and a few tears. Tim is the
first to speak “Wayne Enterprises has some amazing cancer research facilities,
and trials going on. We can get you into any of those, all we have to do is
place a few calls.”
“And those we don’t run, we can also
get you into, or start, whatever needs to be done.” Dick adds.
Jason’s voice is rough as he says “We
can take shifts being with you while you’re in the hospital too. That way you’re
Bruce’s face is solemn as he says “Whatever
you need we’ll get you.”
You give a small smile of thanks as
you turn back to Damian. He staring at you, this look of complete devastation
on his face. He’s been through so much pain in his life, and you hate to be the
cause of more. You turn back to look at him, to see him with his head tucked
against his chest. “Damian, please say something.” you try softly. When he
doesn’t, you do. You say the words that can set him free, even if it means
breaking your heart in the process. “Damian, I love you, but if this is too
much for you, or you need to leave for your own good, I will understand. This
isn’t going to be easy, and I might not …”
“DON’T YOU DARE SAY IT, BECAUSE IT
IS NOT AN OPTION.” And as he looks up at you, you see the tears. You’ve never
seen Damian cry, not once in six years, even when he’s been hurt. He kisses
your hand and says “You, are going to live a long life. We are going to be together
for a long time, and neither of us is going to die until we’re well into our nineties.
And when we do it’ll be moments apart like those couples in those articles you
keep making me read. DO you understand? I will not lose you.”
And as he breaks down crying you
hold him, because more than anything, you want what he just described.