Agony's Best Friend

Miracle of Miracles

" . . . his injuries?" A voice hissed in the back of Dick's mind. Though it was true that the boy had gotten used to the internal personalities of his siblings being in his mind, Dick knew this was different. It wasn't any of their voices, and it didn't feel like it was in his mind. It felt like it was coming from . . . beside him?

". . . Bruce." Another voice stated. It was feminine in nature and familiar, but Dick wanted to push it away. He was tired. All he wanted was sleep. "I did . . . best, but he's still got a . . . to go. His left wrist was broken. His . . . wrist was sprained. He had a mild concussion . . . gone now. His left elbow was broken and his radius . . . a minor fracture. His left baby finger and ring finger were both dislocated. His right shoulder had . . . spiral fracture and had . . . dislocated. He . . . four broken ribs, two cracked, and . . . bruised. His right femur was cracked. His . . . patella dislocated. Both his ankles were . . . and his costume had been . . . to his skin! We had to . . . Superman to . . . remove it. There were burn marks . . . suggested electrical punishment. He had severe . . . cuts and bruises. He lost . . . . We gave him four pints . . . blood. It . . . he's still alive!"

That's sick. Whispered a horrified voice in his head. Faintly, he realized it was Stephanie. She sounded disturbed and like if she had a body, she'd throw up. She seemed to shaken to continue.

Dick realized that all the other personalities agreed with her. They seemed completely disgusted, and he noticed that not one of them spoke up to give their agreement. Though he knew that he should wholeheartedly agree with them, he felt almost apathetic, detached in a way. It didn't feel real.

"And that's not all." The female voice added, louder and seemingly . . . shaken? Dick could feel it as the rest of the Robin's curiosity filled him. "Were there any missions where Dick wasn't treated . . . me?"

"Yes." Stated the first voice . . . Bruce! Bruce stated. "In a mission with the Doom Patrol."

Dick could practically feel confusion and fear rolling off of his other personalities. He wanted to reassure them that he was fine, but he still felt disconnected. He didn't seem to have a voice, even in his old mind.

". . . what happened?" She asked, her voice fading out during the beginning.

"He was shot. The technology in the other country wasn't that good, but the doctors saved him. He still has infrequent bursts of pain sometimes and has medication for it." Bruce replied, sounding less than, well, Batman should.

What does that have to do with anything? Jason questioned in his mind, sounding a bit worried.

If you'd be quiet, we'd find out. Snarled Damian. No one commented on his snappish comment as they could all sense his growing worry that they all knew he would deny if anyone commented on it.

"As I thought." They heard her murmur more to herself than Batman. She cleared her throat, voice becoming cold and professional once again. "While we were x-raying, we noticed a mass that was radiating energy from a region just right of his navel cavity. Superman identified it as kryptonite. We managed to get a small piece of it during surgery, but we had to close him up before removal." They could hear rustling as she handed over what they undoubtedly knew was the fractured kryptonite piece.

"This isn't green." Bruce stated quietly, his voice dropping for a moment before they could hear his tone again. ". . . seen kryptonite poisoning before. It causes insanity, and it's poisonous. It kills a human within a month. Dick's had it for nearly a year and a half."

Kryptonite poisoning! Tim exclaimed, sounding positively terrified. The worry radiating off of his imagined siblings made Dick's stomach feel like a snake was coiling inside of it. However, he knew that this was imagined as he couldn't really feel anything, just darkness.

"Superman identified it as such. It appears to be altered chemically somehow. I don't know how, but that's not important right now." Her voice, though cold, sounded urgent. It was obvious she was worried. "The fragment is small, but it gives off . . . pulses. Those pulses along with jostling are causing Dick's spells of pain."

Though Dick still felt disconnected from the world, he couldn't help an odd feeling of . . . relief filling him. He could understand it as he'd spent so long questioning why it always hurt so much. Now he knew. Somehow, though, Dick knew that knowing there was a hunk of kryptonite inside his body, hurting him every time he twisted wrong or it sent out pulses, should not give him any form of relief. It just . . . . He wasn't sure. But he was glad that he finally understood something that his doctors never could explain before.

"Why wasn't it removed during the initial surgeries?" Questioned his guardian, sounding gruff. However, Dick as well as his personalities knew that the man was confused. To tell the truth, so were they. It was a good question.

When the doctor answered, her voice was dark. "That surgery will be very risky." She began, seemingly holding herself back. "The tissue surrounding the kryptonite has begun healing around the foreign mass. As well as that, his organs have become attuned to it, working with it like they would his heart or lungs. And this is not to mention that there would be severe bleeding from the surrounding tissue. This is a surgery that would be dangerous even if he were in full health! He could die from that kind of surgery." Her voice said informatively, shaking a bit at the end.

That sounds awful. Stephanie whispered quietly in Dick's mind. At her quiet, fearful exclamation, Dick could feel himself fall from his former apathy. He was suddenly very aware and very shaken.

There's a hunk of kryptonite inside of me. He could hear his voice whisper in his mind, sounding shocked and very out of it. He could feel it as the other personality's feelings of worry and fear spiked. However, before any of them could comment, Bruce spoke, sounding quiet.

"What if it was left there?"

It seemed like every personality fell silent at the very idea. It sounded horrible.

What is he? Mad? Exclaimed Jason, finally. None of the others answered him, though. They didn't know the answer to his question either.

When the doctor-Doctor Leslie!-spoke again, she sounded caught off guard. "W-Well, he'd still have the pain attacks." She began, quickly pulling herself together. After all, composure was important for those of her profession. "I can't be sure as I've never seen a case like this before, but-" She caught herself, speaking once again. "I believe that with the way it's affecting his organ systems, it'll cut his life time short by fifteen to twenty years short."

What? Gasped Tim in his mind. He sounded horrified at the thought, and no one blamed him. They all stayed quiet, knowing that they would provide themselves with no comfort after such news. None of them wanted to believe it.

"What do you want me to do?" She questioned shortly. "You are, after all, his legal guardian."

There was a pause before the man spoke hesitantly, not sounding like either Bruce Wayne or Batman. He sounded old, painfully so. "I'll have to talk with Dick about it when he wakes . . . ."

After his voice faded, they could faintly hear Doctor Leslie's assent and the sound of a door slamming. Dick couldn't feel it as Bruce sat down at his side, but he could hear him. The thought alone let him fall into comforting darkness, letting it take him away from the nightmare that was his life.

. . .

In Mount Justice, the League's first hideout before the world found out about it, Diane found herself being placed. The League wanted to interrogate her before shipping her off. She sighed, understanding. After all, they didn't know about her problem.

She glanced around, eyes landing on the steel walls of the interrogation room. It's walls were all almost sold steel. There was no vent (obviously for safety reasons), making the room ridiculously hot. There was a one way glass across from her as well as a door, the only exit. She sat in a dull, wood chair, hands cuffed to the hot metal table in front of her.

She sighed yet again. This must have been her twentieth inspection of the room. They had left her in there for three hours, twelve minutes, and forty-nine seconds. Alone. She was tired and wished that they would get on with the interrogation before she fell asleep.

Knowing what Slade was going to do to her once he repossessed her was the only reason she hadn't gone to sleep in the first thirty minutes. She didn't want to think about it.

Slowly, she felt her eyes droop.

The click of the lock on the door made her jump back to alertness, thankful she hadn't fallen asleep. It would be uncomfortable if a Justice League member had had to wake her up to interrogate her. However, when the door swung open, it was not a Leaguer that stood before her.

"M-Master." She stuttered, eyes wide.

He stared at her, his cold, gray eye the same color as the walls. "Free yourself and follow me." He ordered, turning away. "We are leaving."

Automatically, her mechanical body obeyed, the cuffs around her wrists snapping away. She left them crumpled on the table, following her uncle obediently.

Just like that, they were gone.

. . .

When the Flash opened his eyes, he winced at the bright lighting. Goodness. He thought, rubbing at his eyes. Lights! Too bright! Then, as he realized that those lights belonged in Mount Justice, everything came back. His and Kid Flash's argument, the metal balls, the gas-Oh, no. Wally!

He darted to his feet, scanning for Kid Flash. As soon as he found him, he was at his side, shaking the boy to awareness, slight fear choking him. Then Wally groaned, and relief gripped him. "Five more minutes, Aunt I." He muttered.

Flash suppressed a laugh. "It's not your aunt you're talking to, Kid."

Immediately, his blue eyes flashed open, and he sat up, on his feet faster than lightning. "What-Who-"

Flash frowned grimly at him as Kid Flash's eyes widened. He looked at his uncle, obviously thinking about what had just come to the Flash's mind. "The prisoner."

In a flash, both speedsters had zoomed to interrogation room A, stopping at the glass when they realized that their prisoner was gone with the wind. They looked at each other for a moment before Wally spoke. "You'd better call the League."

The Flash gave him a look.

"What?" The boy asked. "I'm not crazy. I don't want to be the one to tell all those crazies that we lost one of the goons helping Slade hold Robin captive."

The Flash sighed before raising a hand to his ear. "Come in, Watchtower. This is the Flash."

"Atom here. What's going on?" Spoke the man over the line.

The Flash sighed, sparing a glance at his nephew before continuing. "We've got a problem."

Indeed, they did have a problem.

A very big one.

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