The same disclaimer applies here. Also I warn you unless you’re as cold as some people think Bruce is you may need your favorite brand of tissues by computer. “Son, is that you?” chapter three of ? By, Marcie Ann Gore rated PG, for Dramatic situations. You may archive and feedback please, like most writers I live for it. Mariah Carey and Boyz to Men own disclaimer ‘One Sweet Day‘. And used without permission.
“Mistress Melody, you best be on your way back home, Master Dick said he’d telephone you when he got to his hotel in Metropolis,” Alfred reminds me, a couple of hours later at Wayne Manor.
“I think I should too, Alfred. Thank you, Alfred, Bruce, for having me this afternoon.”
“It was our pleasure, Madam,” Alfred tells me; I’m just about to go down the wheelchair ramp to leave for home when the phone rings.
“Wayne residence,” Alfred says, “just a moment, I will get Master Bruce right away.”
I turn around and see a worried expression on Alfred’s face; I decide I should stay for a little while longer. He tells Bruce it’s the FAA; I feel a shiver go down my spine.
“Hello Mr. Ross,” Bruce says calmly. “What do you mean you can‘t find the jet? It disappeared off radar; Say what you really mean, you think my son’s flight’s crashed! Call me if you find out ANYTHING more,” With that Bruce slams down the phone and kicks it across the room. Alfred, places his hand on Bruce’s shoulder.
By this time Bruce is shaking. I’m not sure if it’s with fear, anger, or both. After that Bruce heads to the “study,” That’s classic Bruce, he retreats to his hidie hole when things get bad. This time I feel like joining him. I follow him by elevator. (Writer’s Note: Yes, she knows about Batman, she’s a crime fighter too, more on that later.) He walks around the cave. When we get to the trophy I can see Bruce’s face in the glass over Jason’s Robin costume, and the first time I can remember I see tears in Bruce’s eyes. He finally breaks the silence by saying, “Why am I acting this way? They haven’t found the plane yet, much less him.”
I’m not sure if he’s saying this for my sake or his. I reach out to hug him; I’m surprised when he lets me comfort him. We both start to feel somewhat better, and head upstairs.
For nearly another hour, I sit staring at the wall and watching Bruce pace. We’re all on edge waiting for the phone to ring again. Finally it does, it’s the FAA again. They say they want Bruce to meet them at their headquarters in Metropolis. He tells them he’ll be there as soon as possible. He asks if I’m going. I say “Of course.”
Bruce goes to his room to get his coat, leaving Alfred and I to talk privately.
He says, “My poor master, I don’t know how he’ll cope if he loses master Dick after everything else he’s been through. A man should not have to out-live one of his children, it’s unbearable to think of him outliving both.” I can see in the elderly man’s eyes that some of his pity is not just for Bruce, but for me and himself.
There’s a knock on the door. It’s Tim. He tells me congratulations on my engagement to Dick. Dick told him was going to pop the question a few days ago. Tim asks if that’s why all of media trucks and reporters are outside. There’s no avoiding telling him the news about Dick. When Bruce finishes telling him the events of the last few hours he stares at Bruce looking like a lost child and even younger he did just minutes ago. He shouts “NO!“ at an ear spiting level, then falls silent. Bruce reaches out to comfort the young man, and is answered with Tim’s comparatively small fists pounding on his chest and sobbing.
“We need to go to Metropolis FAA office and see what they found out Tim; I will call as soon as I find out anything.”
Bruce helps push me past the press, guarding my privacy all the way to the car. Even though I’m a public figure as a performer and now Dick’s fiancée, this is one time I can’t face the press. Reporters are here from every cable outlet from CNN to MTV, all of the local channels and newspapers from all over the world. They’re all camped on Wayne manor’s huge front lawn. Bruce finally loses his patience.
He yells “Vultures!” to the assembled journalists.
I’m beginning to think he’s going to punch out Summer Gleason, when Mr. Fox from Wayne enterprises, arrives and says he’ll handle the press. We’re finally able to get to the waiting Bentley. Alfred and Bruce fold my, “wheels” into the trunk of the car and we leave. I can’t figure out how the press found out about the crash so soon.
We ride mostly in silence. Our thoughts are HARDLY quiet though. I hear Bruce say to himself under his breath, “Why wasn’t I on that plane when it went down? I thought I had too much to do. Now it may’ve cost Dick his life. Some father I am.”
I want to help Bruce so much, but I’m a mess emotionally myself.
When we arrive Mr. Ross greets us, and leads us to his office. As usual Bruce doesn’t mince words, he asks, “What have you found?”
“Mr. Wayne we have located the jet about five miles from here.”
“What about my son, Mr. Ross?”
“I’m sorry Mr. Wayne; the searchers haven’t found him yet. They have found some things I’d like you to identify.” He takes a bag and places it on the desk. He shows us a tan wallet, a singed denim jacket and a man’s watch among other things. I remember Bruce giving Dick that watch on his 18th birthday.
“Yes, these are my son’s things. Why haven’t you been able to find HIM?” Bruce, says bitterly. “He crashed in the woods, you told me, not into the water.”
There’s a collective shutter as we think of what that could mean. Mr. Ross continues, “One body was found which we are almost certain was that of the pilot, John Jordan. He had a pilot’s suit on. This is a hard thing to ask you but we need to know the name of Dick’s dentist.”
“Dr. Anthony Brown, in Bludhaven,” Bruce answers. “I’d like to see the crash site.”
“It’s highly unusual Mr. Wayne, but I think I can arrange it.” He makes a short phone call, and then asks us if we were sure we want to see the crash area.
“Yes, I feel I have to get some idea what my boy went through.”
Mr. Ross gives us a pitying look as he tells us to follow his car to the site.
When we arrive we notice we aren’t alone. Besides the search and rescue team, we see someone we all know well. Superman is there assisting them.
Bruce walks up to him and says, “You always seem to be there during the worst times in my life Kent. I guess since Metropolis is YOUR city you thought you HAD to be here.”
“No, Bruce I felt I had to be here because YOUR son is involved. Despite what happened within the JLA, I still think of you as a friend. You know I’m quite fond of Dick too. He was a fine man, in or out of the suit. I’d like to help you in any way I can. I will break the news to the rest of the Titans, if you like. And I’ll help you arrange a memorial service.”
“Yes, his team should know what happened. Maybe they can even help find him. As for a memorial service do what you like; I don’t want any part of it.”
"Bruce, I know, even thought you almost never said it, I know you loved Dick deeply. Why don’t you want to honor his memory? You seemed to bury your feelings when Jason died, but I saw what his loss did to you. It nearly destroyed you. I’ll do anything I can to keep that from happening again.”
“What kind of, ‘friend’ are you to Dick, giving up on Dick, when there’s NO real proof that he’s dead? They haven’t found his body yet. And you want to bury him already!” Bruce’s shouts turn to loud sobs.
“Bruce, you saw the wreckage, and the detective in you, must know how unlikely it is for someone to have survived a crash like this? I KNOW the part of you that is a father, doesn’t want to see that. Deep inside MY heart I still hope Dick is still alive too, but we and everyone else who loves Dick need to prepare for the worst,” Superman says. “The search leader says they have preliminary evidence that the crash was caused by mechanical failure. I know you well enough to know that whatever they say won’t satisfy you. I’d be feel the same way if it happened to any children Lois and I had. I also know that you will want to search the area for yourself. I won’t try to stop you,” Superman concludes.
“Thank you, Kent.”
They shake hands and Bruce leaves to call Tim as he promised.
A week later at Titan Towers. The main meeting room is crowded with costumed heroes, all wearing black armbands, some sobbing quietly and dabbing their eyes. All of the current and past living, Titans are there, so are the members of Young Justice and most of the Justice League with the exception of two. The Oracle watches and listens by computer link. The other no show troubles the attendees more.
“Why isn’t Batman here?” Flash wonders aloud. “As cold as he seems on the outside, I always thought he loved Nightwing like his own son.”
Superman tells Flash about their conversation at the crash site. Donna and Roy both give heartfelt speeches that reduce anyone who wasn’t crying before to tears. Wally has to stop midway through his eulogy, he’s too over-whelmed with grief and regret.
Next I get up to speak about the man I loved, both as a mentor and the love of my life. When I try to put my feelings into words I can’t, so I sing them. “Sorry I never told you all I wanted to say. Now it’s too late hold to you because you’ve flown away so far away. Never had I imagined living without your smile. Feeling and knowing you hear me, it keeps me alive. I know you’re shining down on me from Heaven like So many friends we’ve lost along the way. I know eventually we’ll be together. One sweet day/Darling I never showed, I assumed you’d always be there. I took your presents for granted.”
My song is interrupted when the door opens. It’s Batman!