[The Daily Planet] "Telling Bruce"

Telling Bruce

Bruce Wayne, Barbara Gordon and briefly Alfred

The insistent beeping was what woke Bruce from his comfortable slumber in 
Rachel's bed.  He had is arms around her and he kissed her cheek before sliding 
out of bed to grab his cell.  It was the Watch Tower line again but this time a 
call rather than a page.  "What?" he said gruffly but softly so as not to wake 
Rachel.

Barbara did her best not to snap at her long time friend but between her, 
Alfred and Dick, they'd been trying to reach him all evening.  "Where the hell 
have you been?" she growled.

"In bed with my fiancée," came the terse answer.  "How the hell is that any of 
your business?  This line isn't for checking up on my sex life, B!"

"No, it's not, it's for emergencies," she snapped back, "and if you'd've 
answered the texts I've been sending out, I wouldn't've had to use it, would I?"

"What texts?"

"The ones filling your cell," she said back waspishly.  "Get dressed, Bruce, 
and get to the hospital.  Ely's in a really bad way.  What the hell were you 
doing letting him go out without backup?"

His cheeks turned red then white then back to red as he grabbed his trousers 
and struggled to pull them on.  "He needs to fly solo sometime, B; it was time."

"Yeah, right," she snorted.  "You mean sweet Rachel convinced you not to go and 
your own penis got in the way of common sense.  How like a man."

That stung but Bruce would never admit it.  "And you kiss your daughter with 
that mouth?" he snorted.  "Go on, tell me what happened."

Barbara didn't retort any to his comment but reported everything as she knew 
it, from the Fool using the bat signal, to the ripped cloak and Ely's twenty 
storey fall.  "Alfred's taken him to Gotham General because there wasn't 
anything else to be done.  We've said he fell off his bike over a cliff and put 
all the evidence out for it but it wouldn't exactly take a genius to work out 
it's a complete load of bull."

Bruce felt sick.  He couldn't believe he'd left Ely and it had ended like this. 
 "How is he?" he asked hoarsely.

"Critical still," Barbara said softly.  "He's really beaten, Bruce.  The 
doctor's don't know if he'll make it through the night.  From what I can get 
from the computer, he's broken every bone in his body and one lung's been 
pierced by a broken rib.  They're still in surgery so I'll know more when they 
come out."

"Thanks, B," he whispered before flipping closed the phone.  Staring down at 
Rachel's still slumbering form, all he felt was sickness and fear.  He'd let 
this happen.  He'd allowed himself to be enticed away from the cause by a 
pretty face and a night of sex.  And look what happened.  With a growl, he 
grabbed his coat and keys, and marched out of her apartment, closing the door 
behind him.

Sat in his Jaguar, he gripped the wheel before he started the engine.  Driving 
off all riled up was only going to put him in the bed next to Ely.  No, he 
needed to be calm and he needed to be rational.  First though, he put a call 
through to Alfred.

"Hello, Master Bruce," the old englishman's voice said over the car's speaker.

"How's the kid?"

"He has come out of surgery, stable but still critical, I'm afraid, sir."

"Go to the hospital, sit with him until I get there."

Alfred narrowed his eyes slightly and wondered if he was really hearing what he 
thought he was hearing in his master's voice.  "How long will you be, sir?"

"However long it takes."  Bruce cut the connection before the old butler could 
even attempt to talk him out of it.  He roared the car to life and shoved it 
into gear.  The whole drive back to the manor he felt his blood pounding in his 
ears.  Some sick bastard had touched his boy, had hurt his boy and left him for 
dead.  Someone was going to pay.

"I can't do it" never accomplished anything;
"I will try" has performed miracles.
- George P. Burnham

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