by Chicago

Disclaimer: Characters belong to DC Comics, borrowed for fun and not for profit.

Note: Here be cliche, written for the "change" challenge posted on Batslash. Read at your own risk.

Pairing: Dick/Bruce

Warnings: just angst, and AU-ish

Rating: G, maybe, unless slash automatically qualifies for PG

It's like a bad fairy tale - no, not a bad one. Just a hopelessly cliched one. You think I would've realized.

One wish he offered. Just one. With a very limited format. Change one thing in your life, he said. Just one.

I didn't even have to think about it; my one wish, the change I wanted so much - it lived in the forefront of my mind. All he had to do was phrase the question, and the answer was there for him to read from the foreground of my thoughts.

I didn't even get to examine the question before he made it real.

There's always a catch.


Even on the wish you don't consciously want to make.

Even on the wish you never say aloud.


I got my wish, all right. And it would be good, it really would. My father and I are golfing with Lex Luthor this weekend, sealing a deal that has been in the works for months. In that other world, I wouldn't even entertain the deal, but there was the wish, you see. The rules are different in this life I've stepped into mid stream.

If only I didn't know they could be some other way...

Of course, I don't take my parents for granted; that would have been true if I didn't have the memories. And they are as wonderful as I dreamed they would be. We argue sometimes, but they are so supportive. My mother, for example, stopped trying to set me up with debutantes and now delights in searching for the perfect man to make my life complete.

She won't find him.

She might if it weren't for the wish, but then, she wouldn't be alive to try.

And it's not like I can tell her.

She won't find the perfect blue-eyed, dark-haired laughing boy from the bigtop. She won't because that spirit was killed when the Flying Grayson's plunged to their deaths, and his body was found eight months later, shortly before he was scheduled to testify at the trial of Tony Zucco.

I looked it up.

One change, he said. Just one.

One wish.

One moment of weakness.

I have my heart's desire, but I know now that it was the wish of the child I was.

Whether I realized it or not, that child grew up - and now the man I've become can only stare at the ceiling in the lonely nights and remember a crooked smile and sparkling eyes that never were.

One wish.

I wish I had it back