A WW2 AU starring Billy, Teddy, Tommy, Tim, and Kon.
(Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) (Part 4) (Part 5) (Part 6) (Part 7) (Part 8) (Part 9) (Part 10)
“I have given him all I could spare. These are hard times.”
Tim looked from the doctor’s old and wearied face to Billy’s agonized one. He’d given in and pleaded with Bruce to send him a doctor—one that would keep quiet about the situation. It was a long phone call and Tim finally pulled the “I also want to see if I’ve come down with it as well. It’s contagious, you know.”
A doctor was sent the next day, having been paid for his silence. Alfred was offered, but Tim had turned him down. He didn’t need Alfred in danger of getting sick as well. The old man was too important to risk to the same suffering he’d seen Billy go through in the past months.
“Thank you, Doctor.” Tim hesitated before asking his next question. “What about the test results?”
“You’re clean. It’s miraculous, but the longer you stay here with him, the greater the risk of you contracting the disease. I suggest you get yourself immunized quickly.”
The doctor picked up his bag and shuffled towards the door.
“One more question.”
He slowly turned to Tim, a small quirk of his large, furry white eyebrow was the only response the Wayne adoptee was given.
“How long does he have?”
The doctor heaved a sigh, looking at the ailing young man struggling to breathe. He’d seen worse cases, younger cases, more tragic cases, but there was something about this young man. There was something he was living for—a reason to fight the illness more than a fear of death.
“Months, if he is lucky.” The doctor admitted sullenly.
Tim swallowed. Everyday there was new news on the war, but none yet had claimed the end was in sight. Was there even a chance Billy would survive long enough? What about after Teddy came back? Billy would still die and while Tim didn’t know Teddy, he knew Tommy. Tommy was still going to have to grieve for his lost brother.
“What is he fighting for?”
“He wants to see someone, just one last time.”
“Pray they come home swiftly, then.” The doctor advised.
Tim didn’t answer and the doctor showed himself out the door. It was only after the door closed that Tim sank to his knees next to Billy.
“I know you’re awake.”
“Got plenty of… time.” Billy offered a pined smiled, though his eyes remained shut. His fever had yet to release its hold on Billy’s body since the medicine had been administered.
Tim shook his head and turned around, leaning his back against the edge of the couch. “You’re delusional, and I don’t know if it’s the fever or just you.”
“Probably… just me.” Billy answered, struggling to hold down a fit of coughing.
He’d done enough coughing to last him a lifetime. They were getting worse and more violent. More blood spilled from his lips everyday and just a week ago he’d gone through a particularly nasty fit that cracked one of his ribs. As if breathing hadn’t been difficult enough.
Tim stuck through it regardless; keeping the fire going whenever they had enough to buy wood, cooking him meals that were easy to keep down, and picking up the blanket Billy shoved off of the couch whenever his fever went down and the heat threatened to suffocate him. It wasn’t just that, but Tim kept him company. He read him Teddy’s letters and took the time to listen to Billy gasp out words to write in response—no matter how cheesy and overly romantic they sounded.
“Aren’t you… tired?”
“It’s still early. If you’re tired, go back to sleep.” Tim’s eyes were solely focused on the dancing flames, enjoying both the warmth of the fire and the ever changing flames flickering and licking at the wood.
“No.” Billy took a deep breath, hoping still to push back the fit on the verge of bubbling up. “Of taking… care of me?”
Tim didn’t answer for quite some time. “Did you expect me to just hand you over to the sanatorium? I’d be incredibly lonely. Let’s not forget I promised your brother I’d take care of you. So no, I guess. I’m not tired.”
“I want… Teddy to come home.” Billy didn’t know what he was saying now. He was halfway asleep and sleep was good. It didn’t hurt so much anymore, and he could talk a bit easier. “I miss him.”
“I know.” Tim answered quietly.
“Think he’ll come home?”
“He’s still alive.”
“Want him home.” Billy’s voice was softer now.
He was met with silence and finally, his body was lulled into a deeper sleep than usual. Tim knew the antibiotics had run their course and he sat in front of the fire, listening to Billy’s breathing. It was lighter, easier—a sure sign of relief.
“Maybe you’ll make it.” Tim murmured. “Maybe I won’t have to tell them.”