Not Much Time
“With all due respect, uh, sir,” Barry said, leaning back in the chair and leaning away from Steph’s nails, surprised at the contact and trying not to lose focus on what he needed to say. He reclaimed her hand and held it through the crib-style bars on her bed, glancing from her to Bruce with a sigh. “With due respect, I’ve grown up in a superhero household. Both my parents are supers, my siblings are, my best friends, my dad’s best friend’s daughter is… I know what it’s like in the profession they have. I don’t know how capable I am to you but I am certainly willing to sit with her for as long as it takes.”
He scoffed at Steph’s warbling words, raising his eyebrows at her. “Jesus, you act like I’m some superficial person. S’long as you’re gonna survive it I don’t give a shit how ugly it is,” Barry said, squeezing her hand as if to reiterate his words.
Although he was pleased with what he heard, he still continued, “do not forget, the only difference is that she’s only human.” He was about to continue when he noticed the two lovebirds busy talking with one another and attentively taking care of them. He didn’t plan on hearing Steph explain to Barry on what had happened but he was glad it was her than him.
Disappearing without another word, he went to go find Black Mask.
Steph noticed Bruce leave and turned back to Barry, smiling when he squeezed her hand. “I know you’re not, I just feel bad that I woke you up for this. What were you doing before, anyway? Before I woke you up, I mean. I was going to text you after I finished patrol to ask you about your day, but then this loveliness happened,” she said, weakly gesturing to the monitors she was hooked up to. “Thanks for talking to Bruce, too. That was probably awkward and invasive. Sorry about that.” She kept on saying ‘sorry’, and she wasn’t exactly sure why, it just felt like she had messed up for everyone by letting this happen. She gave his hand a light squeeze back.
“Steph, don’t even worry about it,” he said, shrugging slightly. “Nothin’ really. Hanging with Damian.” Barry was silent for several moments, just noticing the lack of Batman - he could come and go just as silently as any speedster he knew - before glancing back over at her. “Would you hush? Quit saying sorry. None of this is your fault. Don’t even worry about it.” He lightly squeezed her hand again; he wasn’t angry, more concerned than anything.