Take a Break - Dick Grayson Hamilton AU
“It looks good John, keep up the good work! I’m going to go get some more paint from the workshop, tell me if you need anything.” Shawn encouraged ruffling her son’s soft dark hair. He smiled up at her in response, once again blowing her away how much he looks like his father.
She went upstairs towards her workshop where she had all manner of art supplies scattered about. She glances at her husband’s closed office door and sighs. Dick had been working himself to the bone lately and as a result he had been locking himself in his office to work on case after case in confinement. It was easy to see the toll it was taking on him. Shawn only wished that he would take a break.
Lord knows she married the most stubborn man in Bludhaven.
Dick angrily crumpled yet another piece of paper covered in the nonsensical code he was trying to break. He hung his head in his hands and shut his eyes, hoping that the right answer would miraculously appear before him if he opened his eyes again. He was pulled out of his anger when he heard his phone ping with a text message from you. His day immediately brightened with that tiny little message.
You had moved to London some years ago to live with your new husband but you always still managed to make time for him. He came to you with his complaints and issues and you always managed to guide him in the right direction. Even if things never worked out between you all those years ago, he was happy to have this small little connection with you.
He answered your text with a small rant on the latest of his issues.
‘Jason called me McBeth the other day. McBeth. He said I was too ambitious, a pain in the ass.’ Dick complained.
‘Show him how much a pain in the ass you can be and kick his.’ You responded. Dick chuckled quietly at your response. Your humor always seemed to provide him with some level comfort.
‘Do you have to live an ocean away?’ Dick responded.
Many miles away in London, your heart lurched when you received this message. Thoughts of him subsided but then you get another text and suddenly he was all your mind could think about again. Even after all these years you still loved this man.
Some time later Shawn knocked on the door of Dick’s office and poked her head in.
“Dick, can you take a break and come down for dinner?” She asked.
“I am on my way.” He says dismissively without looking up from the evidence that was spread across his desk, his monitors showing pages upon pages of research and in progress tests.
“I have a surprise for you and it can’t wait. Please come down tonight Dick.” Shawn pleaded.
“I’ll be there in a minute. Save my plate.” He reassured unconvincingly.
“Dick.” She said his name in the way that said ‘If you don’t come down right now, you’re sleeping on the couch tonight’
“Ok, Ok,” He relented pushing himself away from the desk and following his wife downstairs. Shawn took his hand and steered him to where John had finished his painting just a few hours earlier.
“John is nine years old today. He’s been bouncing off the walls to show you this for weeks, Dick.” Shawn said pulling Dick by the hands until they stopped in front of a linen concealed canvas sitting on a shortened easel that Shawn had gotten just for him when he expressed an interest in his mother’s art. “Alright John. Show your father what you made, sweetie.”
John smiled brightly and nodded before pulling the sheet away to show a dark but colorful painting. The skyline was a mixture of different shades of blue and black and in the foreground offset to the left side of the canvas was shadowed figure confidently diving off a black silhouette of a building, a trail of bright blues following behind him. Tears started to brim in Dick’s eyes.
Nightwing. His son had painted Nightwing.
“So do you like it Dad?” John asked sheepishly. Dick suddenly scooped his son up into his arms and spun him around.
“Like it? I love it John! You have an amazing gift, son.”
“He did it practically all by himself. He’s going to be a great artist someday.” Shawn said proudly ruffling John’s hair when Dick finally set him down.
“You really think so?” John asked his eyes brimming with pride.
“Of course.” Shawn and Dick answered.
Later that night when John was in bed, Dick retreated back to his office to continue his work. When Shawn was just about ready to turn in she entered his office and wrapped her arms behind him, resting her chin on her husband’s shoulder.
“Take a break.” She whispered, pressing a kiss to the side of his neck.
“Shawn I’ve got so much on my plate. I need to get this done or innocent people are going to get hurt. I’m sorry. Some other night OK?” He said apologetically. Shawn sighed and stood up straight.
“That’s what you always say. You need to stop Dick, you’re working yourself to death. Just think about it Dick: We could go on peaceful vacation upstate. No crime fighting, no danger, just you me and John. When was the last time we had a family vacation?” Shawn asked.
“I honestly don’t remember.” Dick admitted, rubbing his exhausted face. Perhaps they do need some time away from the city for a while. “I’ll see if I can get away.”
“Fine.” Shawn sighed, realizing that was about all that she was going to get out of him for tonight. “Come to bed at some point tonight alright? You won’t be helping anyone if you fall asleep on the job.”
“Alright I’ll be up soon. Love you babe.” He responded.
“Uh-huh right back atcha babe.” Shawn replied before leaving him back to his work.
Over the next couple of days Dick tried his hardest to wrap all his cases up but time after time something new always popped up. That’s not even to mention that Bruce now wanted him to start an entirely new case in Bludhaven. He never even gave Dick the option to refuse it. At a loss for what to do, he turned back to you for advice. Even though it was well into the early morning hours in London, you responded without hesitation.
‘You’ve got to get through to Batman, Dick. Sit down with him and compromise and don’t stop talking until you agree. Surely even Batman understands that a man needs some time off every once and awhile.’ You texted.
‘Justice never takes a vacation.’ Dick replied cheekily, repeating something that Bruce would probably say if he hadn’t already.
‘Well if talking doesn’t work, give me his number and I’ll give him an earful myself.’
‘You would chew out Batman for me? Shucks I’m blushing.’
‘I may be halfway across the world but that doesn’t mean I’m not in your corner, Dick.’ Before Dick could respond you sent another message. ‘Hey can I ask you something? It might be weird and stupid but it’s been on my mind for a while.’
‘You sent me a text two weeks ago and the way you wrote it, it changed the meaning. Did you intend this?’
‘What text was it?’ He asked not sure what you were referring to you.
‘You wrote: My dearest, [Y/N].’ Again before Dick could even process the hidden affection for his wife’s sister that he had accidently let slip into a text you responded. ‘You know what nevermind. It was a silly question.’
‘Changing the subject, I’m coming back to the states! Shawn asked me spend some time with you guys upstate this summer.’ You continued your string of messages.
‘You’re coming back???’ Dick typed back excitedly, suddenly filled with a wave of excited energy.
‘I’m coming back!’ You affirmed.
‘I can’t wait to see you again! It’s been years since I’ve seen you all.’ You wrote.
‘It’ll be weird having you only a few seconds away. I’m glad you’re coming home [Y/N].’ He responded. Home. What a strange word to use. London was your home now was it not so why did it feel like your true home was still in Gotham?
‘I can’t wait, Dick.’
The days slowly ticked by until the day that your flight was coming in from London. Shawn was absolutely jittery with excitement. As much as he was excited to see you again, Shawn (his wife, as he continually had to remind himself) was your sister and had missed your presence more than Dick ever could. When it was time to drive to the airport to pick you up Shawn practically dragged him out the door.
“Come on Dick! [Y/N]’s coming home today! Let’s go!” She complained excitedly. Dick chuckled at her enthusiasm as he grabbed the car keys and his jacket on the way out the door.
‘Pushing me isn’t going to make her flight get here any faster.” Dick reasoned with an amused laugh.
“I know but I’m just so excited!”
Dick and Shawn drove to the airport with Shawn practically bouncing in her seat with excitement. It’s funny, Dick didn’t see Shawn get excited about much of anything but apparently being reunited with her sister was an exception to that rule. When they got to the airport, Shawn waited impatiently looking at the incoming flights, sighing every once and awhile while they anxiously awaited your arrival. Finally your flight arrived and a few minutes later you walked out of the secure area. Shawn gasped as soon as she spotted you and sprinted full speed in your direction. She collided with you in a tight hug, both of you jumping and laughing happily.
“[Y/N]!” She giggled swinging you around jubilantly.
“Shawn!” You smiled warmly circling your arms around her shoulders. Dick slowly and calmly approached the sisters, taking his time so that they could have their moment. When they got most of it out of their system, you turned to Dick and let him engulf you in a hug.
“Dick!” You greeted, pulling him impossibly closer to you.
“Hi.” He responded softly, smiling warmly down at you.
“It’s good to see your face.” You said, pulling away from him. Dick craved for the contact with you to last longer but he let you go.
“[Y/N] tell this man Jason Todd spends vacations with his family.” Shawn said coming up behind you and wrapping her arms around your shoulder, leaning her weight into you.
“[Y/N] tell my wife that Jason doesn’t have a real job anyway.” Dick retorted casually.
“Wait. You’re not joining us?” You asked, your heart plummeting at the thought. You had been looking forward to spending time with both your sister and Dick. To come all this way only to not be able to spend time with him would break your heart.
“I can’t join you guys, sorry.” Dick apologized
“But Dick I came all this way. Can’t you take a break for just one day?” You pleaded, circling your arms around his.
“I can’t step away from my work now when Bludhaven is on the verge of chaos.” He explained regretfully.
“Screw Bludhaven Dick! I’m sure one of the others could take over for just a day or two.” Shawn argued.
“Shawn’s right! Any of your brothers would be more than capable to taking care of things while you’re away! Take a break, Dick. You need it more than anyone!” You said echoing your sister. Dick opened his mouth to protest but was cut off by his phone ringing in his pocket. He pulled it out, gave one glance at the caller id and sighed.
“I’m sorry I have to go. The Titans need me. I should be home for dinner.” He said leaning over to kiss both Shawn and your cheeks and handed Shawn the car keys. Shawn gave you a nervous glance but otherwise didn’t say anything.
“Stay safe!” You called out to him as he ran away from you and towards the door. You wondered if that man would ever be able to take a break.