Fandom: DC Toonverse
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: You've been gone so long that I don't know how to welcome you, when you get here.
Notes: Set after the flashback events of Return of the Joker.
Three and a half weeks after they brought Tim back, Nightwing appears behind her while she stakes out Poison Ivy's latest suspected haunt.
She knows the tread of his feet, doesn't even need to turn her head. She also knows she wouldn't have heard him if he didn't want to be heard.
He keeps behind her, just within arm's reach. His only greeting is a slightly prolonged exhalation.
It's quiet here, on the edges of the city. The observed building is empty, aside from the vines twining out of an upper window.
"You should have come before," she whispers.
The silence stretches taut before he says, "I know."
She twists, angles her shoulder and hip towards him. "You should have been here then."
His mouth is a thin line, and there's a faint bruise on his left temple. He nods.
When she finally throws her punch, she pulls it, just enough for him to lean out of the way. Her fist grazes his shoulder, and then he catches her wrist.
"I know," he repeats, and she finally hears him, his misery reflected, deep.
She knows he has an explanation, and she's relieved when he doesn't offer it. She's relieved when he doesn't try to embrace her, but she doesn't pull away.
His grip is gentle around her wrist, and they watch each other until the night's peace breaks.
A/N: Summary taken from the Sophie Zelmani's "Gone So Long," as liviapenn so kindly provided to me.
Originally posted here and linked here.