Present Time (Dick became Robin at age 9, he is 10 right now)
"Have you ever been in love, Bruce?"
The question had come out of nowhere. Dick and Bruce were in the cave; Bruce's cowl was down while Dick still had his mask on. Bruce was at the bat computer while his ward was watching from behind his shoulder as he researched the latest criminal activity.
Bruce had to force himself to not instinctively place his hand over the right chest area of his suit, where the picture rested. He thought about saying no and brushing off the question, but he trusted Dick and Dick trusted him. Besides, they had promised not to lie to each other.
His shoulders fell slightly and, with his stone-like expression still in place, he answered.
Not that he would admit it, but Dick was surprised at the answer. Bruce didn't seem to be the kind of person that really opened up to people. Yeah, he let Dick in a little, but not as much as he would have liked. He waited for Bruce to expand on his answer.
Finally, Bruce turned the computer off and turned to look at Dick. He no longer wore a blank expression and instead looked, for the first time, defeated.
"Her name was Percy and I met her when I was a kid, about a year after my parents were killed. We were the best of friends."
Dick could hear the and I loved her at the end of the sentence even though Bruce didn't say it out loud.
"What happened?" he asked, confused and curious.
"She died when she was 16," Bruce said stiffly, "We were never even together."
Dick's mouth opened slightly. No wonder Bruce was so unemotional and detached most of the time. He had lost so many people he loved when he was so young.
Dick crawled into Bruce's lap and Bruce's arms immediately went around the boy. Bruce's wasn't a very talkative person, so when there were no words to say, they still had physical contact.
"What was she like?"
Bruce sighed before shifting slightly so he could take out the picture he held so dear.
He handed it to Dick who carefully took it in his hands and looked at it.
There was a beautiful girl, of about 14, who had her arm around another boy, who Dick guessed was Bruce. Her head was turned slightly, so he could only see part of her face, which was smiling brightly, but it wasn't completely real. It was kind of sad like she was enjoying the moment while it lasted. Younger Bruce didn't all that different; there was a small smile on his face as he looked straight into the camera, but his, too, wasn't fully real. He seemed sadder than the girl, who was Percy. But even then, they both looked happy, the happiest Dick had ever seen Bruce.
"She's pretty," Dick commented, still looking at the picture.
Bruce nodded. "She helped me accept my parent's death, even though I never fully got over it. She was smart and she was the only other person I ever let in, besides you and Alfred."
"Why are you both so sad in the picture?" Dick asked.
Bruce was internally proud that Dick could pick that up from just a picture.
"We both knew she was going to die, and we couldn't do anything to stop it," Bruce closed his eyes here as if he was remembering something.
Now Dick was curious.
"How did you know?"
Bruce hesitated. After a moment, he decided to tell Dick. Not everything, but just enough. So he explained about the Greek Gods and the prophecy that had hung over Percy's head. How she was a hero, until the end.
Dick was in absolute awe.
"She must've been amazing," he said to Bruce.
Bruce smiled wistfully, "She was."
"Do you still miss her?"
"Every day. That's one death I haven't accepted and probably never will," Bruce said and Dick could hear the sadness in his voice.
Dick stared at Bruce a couple moments. It was hard to believe that the man he thought of as a father (even though he couldn't say it out loud) had a childhood crush. But it wasn't. It seemed like so much more than just a summer fling or an infatuation. Dick knew it was love, pure and simple, and that it didn't matter that they were only kids when it happened.
"Do you think that you could ever move on?" Dick asked.
Bruce thoughts went back to all the time he spent with Percy. He thought of her hugs, and how she spoke consolingly but also joked and laughed like nothing was wrong. He thought of her cookies and every time she would lean her head on his shoulder or kiss him on the cheek. He thought back to her sea-green eyes that were filled with love and loyalty.
PS. I love this picture of Percy
Also, next chapter is finding out what happened to Percy after the giant war and why she didn't come back.
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Bruce's Best Friend (A Percy Jackson Fanfiction)Fanfiction
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