The sun had almost set, and the bottle of whiskey was almost empty. Alfred had tiptoed out noiselessly some time ago. Dick had wanted to tell him not to bother--that no one would eat dinner--but he hadn't. Everybody needs to be useful.
The bandages on his leg felt huge, heavy, confining. They almost seemed to sink him into the couch. Dick couldn't remember the last time he and Bruce had sat together in the drawing room, much less for this long. It was all for show. Part of the pretense that real people lived in the house.
He'd never bothered with much furniture, himself.
Bruce had fallen silent after telling the story of meeting Stephanie's mother. He sat stiffly in the chair, and Dick couldn't remember ever seeing him look so lifeless. He'd had a long time to study his face; neither of them had stirred, and Bruce's eyes were fixed and far away.
"It was a mistake," Bruce said suddenly, and his voice was so strange that Dick wondered if he'd fallen asleep, was dreaming it. "Stephanie. Tim. Jason."
"Bruce." Dick leveraged himself to his feet, crossed the shadowed figures of the carpet between them. "Robins don't regret it."
He looked up at Dick, as if only just realizing he was still there. "It's just you and me now, Dick."
"Just you and me," Dick repeated. He should have argued the point, should've talked about Selina and Cass, should've told him that even the lost weren't lost for good--Leslie and Tim and Jim would come around again, they had to--but he didn't. He couldn't. The words infused the warmth of fever into him. Made it easy to forget about the pain in his leg, flooded over the places Catalina had slashed and burned inside him. He shut his eyes and leaned down to kiss Bruce.
Bruce was stone, so that for a moment Dick thought he'd ruined everything. He could have clawed the air with panic, like a trapeze artist who found no bar rising to meet him. But then Bruce seized his head desperately, yanking him down to his knees. Dick let himself fall. There was a timeless period where he was aware of nothing but the pain in his thigh, but he passed through it, and Bruce was still kissing him, fingers digging into his neck in a way Dick knew was calculated to bruise.
Bruce let him go. He stared at Dick wildly. "You can't--"
Dick bent his head and kissed Bruce's hand, then laid his cheek against it. "Just you and me," he whispered.
Bruce's other hand drifted onto his head like a benediction. Neither of them moved until long after the room had fallen into darkness.