He sat on a roof with Zatanna beside him, her arms around him as his trembling had reduced but had yet to cease.
He appreciated the gesture and what it did to calm him down a bit. They were at one of their favorite spots where they would usually be looking down into the city but the cheery mood was nowhere to be found.
It was only the look in Dante's eyes that practically begged her that stopped Zatanna from calling Dinah.
Dante had put so much effort into being the strong and nigh immovable leader of the team, Zatanna was aware of that. Kaldur could lead the team but the ripples Dante had caused were his own responsibilities to deal with.
And so, she had led him out of the cave and to New York. He didn't trust his control over powers enough to take them up the building so it was left to Zatanna to do so.
Dante had yet to speak a word since they left which was very frightening in its own way.
He remembered what his father in his old life told him.
'Letting people know you're afraid is like giving them a knife and turning your back to them.'
He was right in his own way, but this time, it was just too much. He was only fifteen!
Ever since he woke up in this messed up world, the discovery of possessing powerful abilities gave him a sense of comfort. He could be anybody he wanted to be.
With that comfort also came the sliver of arrogance that he worked so hard to push down. With how much he had trained his abilities and how far he had progressed, he sometimes felt unstoppable.
Now, even with all this power and even more powers, the feeling of frustration and fear that filled him was so familiar. It was one he felt everyday living under his father's roof, the feeling of powerlessness.
It was ironic.
He, with his huge boost in power, felt more powerless than he had ever felt before…in this life and his former.
The arms around him tightened in a comforting manner as his trembling returned.
His mouth finally opened to speak, his voice barely above a whisper. "Zee…I'm sorry." The slight crack in his voice was clear.
"It's going to be alright. Everything's going to be alright." She cooed.
"No…it's not. I'm so sorry." He apologized once again.
His voice trembled as tears rolled down his eyes and cheek.
"Dante, please you're scaring me. Whatever happens, it's going to be okay. Just please, talk to me. What's going on?" She pleaded.
She was genuinely scared, pulling him closer to her.
"There's so much…I wanted to do, but I might not get the chance." He said, the break in his voice more audible.
"What do you mean?" She asked as Dante turned to face her, the tears rolling down his face now visible to her.
"Zee…I'm scared…I don't want to die…" The emotional dam finally broke as the tears fell at full force.
He wasn't delusional enough to believe he could survive against a lord of order or chaos. He was cognizant enough to know that he couldn't count on Dr Fate who was avoiding him.
He was an anomaly, one that would be snuffed out at any moment by the lords and he would be powerless to fight them off.
He had so many things he wanted to do. He wanted to experience life as a teenager, free from his father's abuse. He wanted to grow up and be a good father, one he didn't have.
He had long since accepted this new world as his new home. Dinah as the mother that he could rely on and Zatanna as the girl that wormed her way into his heart.
He wasn't dense to his own feelings, he had known for a while but Zatanna had been the one to make the bold move. They had yet to discuss what exactly they were but Dante knew he wanted a future with her in it.
It may have just been the happy delusions of a hormonal teenager but that future he wanted was under threat and there was nothing he could do about it.
"I'm sorry…" he broke down into sobs, feeling true powerlessness as he sobbed into Zatanna's arms.
She felt her heart freeze at his words.
'I don't want to die.'
Those were Dante's exact words. If she was scared before, she was beyond terrified now. Despite how much she wanted to react in fear, Dante needed her at this vulnerable and crucial moment.
She was roughly aware of the lords of order and chaos due to her dad's teachings as well as being debriefed on what happened to Dante before he got crystalized.
She was also smart enough to link it to what was happening right now. She didn't know exactly what it was but it was connected.
Dante was scared, all she could do was be there for him as much as she possibly could. This was a side of him she had never seen and it frightened her that there could be something even he could be so scared of.
She couldn't allow it. She didn't want to see those scared tears anymore, those tears that broke her heart to watch fall from his face.
She knew what she felt in her heart and she knew what she wanted.
If there was something that could shake him up to this point, she couldn't allow him to bear it alone…she wouldn't.
Magic was something she learned due to its excitement and the fact that it was a part of her that she couldn't ignore if she wanted to. Now she had a goal; she didn't want to see him cry anymore.
Resolving herself, she faced the boy who cried himself to sleep in her arms, gently pulling him closer as she put him in a more comfortable position.
Opening his eyes, he winced at the sheer amount of visual feedback he received, closing his eyes as he slowly adjusted to his enhanced perception.
Memories of what happened before he passed out came to him as he realized that his head was laying in something soft.
Seeing Zatanna's face looking down at him with a gentle smile, he realized that his head was on her lap as her hand gently caressed his cheek.
"You're awake." She cooed gently.
"Zee, I'm sorry you had to see that." He apologized.
She shook her head. "I'm not." She said, managing to speak in a firm yet soft manner. "I realized something. You're carrying too many burdens and you're bottling up too much."
She paused for a moment as Dante looked away in a silent attempt to deny it.
"It's nothing serious." He tried to convince her but she wasn't budging.
"I don't believe that. There are some things you can't do alone…things I won't allow you to do alone. Not anymore." She said in a resolute manner.
"You're reading too much into this. I'm telling you, it's nothing serious." He protested weakly.
She smirked softly. "You're not getting rid of me that easily. I've already made up my mind. I'm here with you, no matter what."
Dante couldn't help the small smile that came to his face as Zatanna leaned downwards, pulling him into a passionate kiss.
The cave announced his arrival as he walked into the mission room. He raised a brow at the silence.
He spent the next few minutes roaming the cave, finding only Aqualad present. He was sure Zatanna was supposed to be here.
"Where is the rest of the team?" He asked the atlantean.
"Miss Martian and Superboy started school today while Robin and Artemis are busy with their mentors." Kaldur said.
That left Dante and Zatanna. 'Where is my daughter?'
Author Rant: I tried to make this chapter emotional but I feel like I failed. Oh well, in other related news…
I have cheated!…lied to!…bamboozled!…meh
A friend of mine made a bet with me that he could write a better world travel fanfic than my 'Journey Through Fiction' fanfic that I currently have. He used to write on fanfic.net and our writing style is somewhat similar so I normally bounce a few ideas off him.
Long story short, he created an account today and already put up two chapters. He even 'stole' my character's name.
I say 'stole' because when this bet was made, I was sleep deprived and he was drunk…not fun. So I vaguely remember telling him to use it but I'm not admitting anything…
I'm being threatened with my genshin account being one tap away from getting deleted as I'm writing this so I have to advertise him…send help
The fic's name is The Sorcerer's Odyssey by TheNeutralEvil for those interested…starts with DXD.
His views on 'relationships' differ from mine so be warned.