Diversions & Digressions | fanfiction by mara

What Dreams May Come

What Dreams May Come

by Mara

Summary: Mothers worry for their children. Some with more justification than others.

NOTES: Okay, not the most original title for a “dreams” challenge. So sue me.
Written rapidly for DC_flashfiction.
DEDICATION: For my husband and my sproglet. ::hugs::

* * * * *

The bedroom was wonderfully cool, just the right temperature, and Martha Wayne
was grateful–she’d grown tired of being hot and sweaty all the time. She sighed
as Thomas slid into bed behind her, sneaking a hand under the covers to gently
rub her belly.

“Mmm,” she said, “Junior’s asleep, so don’t wake him. He’s got quite a kick.”

“He?” an amused voice breathed into her ear.

“Yes, I’m sure it’s a boy.” Nestling deeper into her pillows, she tugged on the
one under her abdomen until it properly supported the weight of her pregnancy.

“Last week you were convinced it’s a girl.”

She could feel the bed shift as he settled in, careful not to jostle her too
much. “I was wrong, it’s definitely a boy.”

Thomas was already falling asleep, exhausted from a long day at the hospital and
a sleepy murmur was her only reply. Martha smiled and closed her eyes.

Sleep was elusive this late in pregnancy, but she was–she yawned–so tired,
maybe she’d sleep for a few hours. One arm curled protectively around her
stomach, she imagined her little boy.

Dark hair. An impish grin. His father’s brains. What color would his eyes be?
Thomas had said they were most likely to be brown, but she decided they would be
blue. Bright blue like the sky on a spring day when the ever-present Gotham
clouds disappeared for a few hours.

Blue and shining in the sunlight as he smiled up at her. “Mama,” he said
solemnly, climbing into her lap as she sat in the grass.

Martha held him close, reveling in the softness of his hair and the grass stains
on his knees. He sat in her lap for a minute before becoming squirmy, and she
let him scamper across the grass.

Oh, he was running to his father. She smiled, her joy complete as Thomas picked
up his son, twirling him around, their laughter echoing.

Echoing?

It wasn’t laughter, it was screams. Why had she thought it was sunny? The dark
pressed closer, framing the small beam of light that somehow blinded her.

Where was she? Who was screaming? The jagged sound tore at her heart as she fell
onto rough pavement, breathing labored and painful.

Then she knew: Her son was crying; she had to go to him. She tried to crawl, but
nothing worked, limbs paralyzed, her son’s cries the only sound in her ears.

“No! No! Thomas, help me!” The words were torn out of her throat.

Suddenly his arms were around her, his voice murmuring in her ear. “It’s okay,
it’s okay, darling.”

Her surroundings were still dark, but now she could make out the familiar
features of their bedroom–faint moonlight through the draperies outlined the
dresser, the painting on the opposite wall.

“Darling?” Thomas sounded concerned and she realized she was shivering. “It was
a nightmare.”

“Yes. I’m…it was…” She took a breath.

A faint tapping at the door heralded Alfred’s entrance. He looked unruffled, as
always, but the fact he entered without waiting for their acknowledgement was a
sure sign of his concern.

“Master Thomas?”

Thomas stroked her back gently. “Everything’s okay, Alfred. Just a nightmare.”

Alfred nodded and turned to leave.

“Wait!” The word jumped from her throat and she was sure both men looked
puzzled.

“Yes, ma’am?”

“Alfred…” She knew she’d be dismissed as a hysterical woman, but she had to
say it. “Alfred, promise to take care of my son.”

“Of course.” Definitely puzzled.

“No! I mean…I mean if something happens to us, you must take care of him.
Don’t leave him alone.”

Thomas sighed but she ignored him, straining through the faint light to see
Alfred’s face. He looked at her for a long moment, then inclined his head
slowly, face serious. “Ma’am, I can assure you that your children will never
lack for my care.”

“Swear.”

“I swear it.”

With that, she relaxed, leaning against her husband’s comforting presence.
Alfred bowed and left the room, and she eased back down to the bed, Thomas
supporting her as she shifted the pillows and blankets around.

He leaned over to kiss her temple. “It was just a nightmare.”

“It was very real.” She shivered again, not really wanting to close her eyes.

“They always are.” He caressed her cheek, probably checking for fever. “Do you
want to talk about it? That might help.”

“No.” She wanted to forget, blot out the sound of those screams, the fear for
her son. She clutched the blankets closer around her shoulders.

“If that’s what you want.” He curled up behind her again, sounding tired and she
felt guilty for having interrupted his sleep. Thomas worked so hard, he didn’t
need to be burdened with her concerns.

Surely everything would be fine. Everyone knew pregnant women had strange
dreams. One day she’d sit with her grown son and tell him how his mother had
worried for him. But he’d be a fine young man–smart and handsome, his whole
life ahead of him. Maybe a doctor like his father. Or he might go into business.
With his intelligence, he could do whatever he wanted.

Martha yawned. Her son would be fine, she told herself firmly. It was only a
dream, nothing to be concerned about.

Nothing was going to hurt her son.

–end–

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