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Ringing In the New Year

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The park seemed magical, lights bathing the path in a soft glow that caught the gently falling snowflakes, like something off a postcard or out of a fairytale. Few people were around in the late night, some heading to parties, others home, or just out for a walk with a person they loved.

Jason’s hand was in yours, gloved fingers entwined with your own as you walked, breaths puffing out in the cold air.

“This is nice,” you said on a contented sigh, breaking the silence that had fallen between you.

“Yeah. Thanks for indulging me.”

“Anything for you, Jaybird.” You caught his eye roll and laughed. “Kinda surprised you wanted to come out though.”

“Can’t a guy just want to take a stroll with his angel?"

"Course. But you never ‘just want’, not this out of the blue. You’ve got something up your sleeve.”

The only answer you got was a cheeky grin before Jason was pointing at a vendor a little up ahead. “Let’s get some food. I’m starved.”

A few minutes later and you were both walking away from the stall with a giant hotdog each.

“I’d take this over an overpriced dish any day,” you groaned around a large bite. Jason laughed, watching as you licked a bit of ketchup off the corner of your mouth. “What?"

"Nothing. Just thinking you look beautiful like that.”

“With my face full of food?"

"Relaxed. Content. Uninhibited.”

Blushing, you smiled up at him. “Yeah, well, it’s the company. Letting go of inhibitions with you is easy. Easiest thing in the world.”

Jason returned the smile, wrapping his free arm around you as you walked and ate. It was perfect, though it was bordering on a cheesy level of romantic. There weren’t many people who knew what a big softie Jason truly was, but you’d always known. Even when you were kids, Jason had been soft, and though he’d tried to pretend otherwise after his return from the dead, you hadn’t been so easily swayed. You knew him better than anyone, enough to see past the facade that kept everyone at arm’s length.

It had been heartbreaking, seeing him like that, knowing he was hurting but unable to get close enough to help. He’d tried to keep you away, told you he wasn’t the best friend that you’d lost, yelled to leave when you kept showing up at his safe houses.

Like something out of a movie, it had taken a near tragedy for you to connect again.

A guy who couldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. He’d followed you home from work, broke into your flat.

One second he was pinning you to the wall, the next he was across the room, Red Hood towering over him.

He didn’t get back up.

It was a catalyst, hurtling the two of you back together, rekindling the dwindled friendship and igniting something else in you both. A love that had always been there but ignored, platonic companionship chosen over romance, but now came out with enough force it was impossible to stop.

You loved him. Loved the good and the bad, the flaws and the perfections. Loved him as Jason and as the Red Hood. Loved him when he was sassy and smart. Loved him when he lay in bed watching you pretend to sleep so the moment wouldn’t be broken. Loved him when the nightmares became too much and had him bolting awake, covered in cold sweat. Loved him when he was bitching and loved him when you made him smile bright enough the room lit up.

He was yours and you were his and you wouldn’t have it any other way.

You both finished your hotdogs, stopping near a trashcan to toss the rubbish. You paused, looking up at Jason a moment before bursting out laughing. He had mustard smeared over his top lip and was apparently entirely unaware of it.

A part of you wanted to take a photo. The rest of you was content for it to be a memory only you knew about.

“C'mere.” Using your napkin you wiped away the yellow, flashing it at him before throwing it away with the rest. “Can’t take you anywhere, I swear."

"What would I do without you, angel?” Jason wrapped his arms around you.

“Crash and burn, baby, crash and burn."

Jason kissed you, lips curled into a grin against yours.

Then he was taking your hand again. "I hear music,” was all he said before pulling you with him to chase after the sound.

The walkway came to an end, opening out onto a larger circular area. In the center was a gazebo, brightly decorated in Christmas lights. A band was under it, playing some boppy songs that were no doubt hideously copyrighted and illegal to be playing.

No one seemed to care.

Jason glanced at you, the twinkle in his eye saying everything.

“Jay, no!"

Too late. Jason was tugging you along into the area, getting to a spot in front of the gazebo before twirling you around and pulling you to him again.

"Jay!” You tried to protest again, but he was grinning, spinning you both in the snow, and it didn’t come out all that strongly.

Maybe you should’ve been embarrassed, or cared that people were watching, but it was no lie when you’d said it was easy to be uninhibited with Jason.

You danced together. Badly. It was fun. More fun than you’d had in ages it seemed. Worries and cares slipped away, the world zoning down to just the two of you, snow swirling around you both.

The song came to an end and Jason dipped you dramatically. There a couple of whoots from around you, but you paid them no attention, too focused on Jason still. His curls were covered in snowflakes, the white stark against the dark and the tips of his ears and nose were tinged pink with cold. He’d never looked so handsome and you’d never loved him more.

He was looking straight back at you, eyes wide and open, searching your own, the love you felt reflected back at you. He was mustering up to something, you knew him well enough to see that, but what you couldn’t guess.

He grasped both hands, fingers locking together. “Y/N-” he stopped himself, closed his eyes a second while he took a breath, then opened them again.

“When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,

I all alone beweep my outcast state,

And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,

And look upon myself and curse my fate,

Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,

Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,

Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,

With what I most enjoy contented least;

Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,

Haply I think on thee, and then my state,

Like to the lark at break of day arising

From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;

For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings

That then I scorn to change my state with kings.”

“Jay,” you whispered when he stopped, the words spoken with such earnest you could feel the tears cold on your face. “I-"

His chuckle sounded nervous. "Thought I knew how I was going to say all this, but now it’s time, I…I don’t.”

You watched speechless, as Jason released your hands so he could pull a small box from the inside pocket of his jacket, keeping your gaze locked on his as he dropped down onto one knee.

“I love you, Y/N. I love you so much there aren’t any words in poems or songs that could fully capture it all, so I can only ask you to take my word as truth. You make my life better than I deserve it to be, you always have. You’re the bright spot, the sun that shines so brightly I can’t ever get lost in the dark. You’re the anchor that keeps me grounded when everything else feels like it’s flying apart. The one who’s been through thick and thin with a smile and a stolen cookie. And all I want is to be that person for you in return. I want to make you as happy as you make me, to be there no matter what. To make you laugh and smile and brush away the tears when you’re sad. I want a lifetime of late nights and lazy Sunday mornings where we say fuck the world and don’t get out of bed till noon. I want a lifetime of you not giving a shit about making a mess, a lifetime of you being there to clean up my own. I…want a lifetime of being with you.”

He paused, opening the box and holding it up so the ring that lay nestled inside glinted in the light. “I want you to say yes and marry me.”

You were crying freely now. The tears froze on your skin, but you couldn’t care. You tried to speak, but the words got caught in your throat. So you nodded. Grinned so hard it hurt and nodded.

Jason breathed a sigh of relief and slipped the glove off your hand. The ring fit perfectly. A simple thing with a red ruby set in the middle with white diamonds around it. It was beautiful.

He stood just in time for you to fling yourself at him. He caught you in a hug, hands coming to support you as your legs wrapped around him.

There were cheers and applause and the band even began a rendition of 'Congratulations’.

You blushed, burying your face in his neck. “Did you plan all this?"

Jason turned, nose brushing against yours. "No. Was going to wait until later actually, but the moment seemed right.”

You smiled at him, pressing your lips to his in a brief kiss. “I love you.”

“I love you.” Jason let his forehead rest against yours, keeping you in his arms until the song came to an end. He let you down, his hands on your hips as you steadied yourself. “I’ve got one more thing I want to do tonight,” he said, brushing the remains of your tears away with his thumb.

“I’m not sure I can take any more surprises, Jay.”

“This is more private. Trust me.”

You smiled, taking a hand with your left and looking down at the ring that shone there. “Always.”

~

It was even colder up here, the snow entirely undisturbed and thick crunching beneath your feet as you walked to edge.

Jason had brought you to the roof of Wayne Enterprises, the building towering so high above the rest of the city, the lights below seemed a million miles away.

“It’s been years since we’ve been up here,” you said, looking out over Gotham, “Not since-"

"Not since I was Robin.” Jason came up behind you, his arms wrapping around your waist and holding you securely against a solid wall of chest, just like he had done when you were teens. “Seemed appropriate to come back tonight.”

“This where you were going to pop the question?"

"Originally. Do you wish I’d waited?”

Shaking your head, you glanced over your shoulder at him. “You could’ve proposed in the shower and it would’ve been perfect. Anywhere would’ve been perfect.”

“You old romantic.”

“Says the one who recited Shakespeare before proposing in the snow. I started to think I’d been transported into a Hallmark movie.”

Jason laughed softly. “Okay, point taken.”

In the distance a clock started to chime, counting down to midnight.

Jason’s grasp on you tightened, his head resting on your shoulder.

The clock hit twelve and Gotham’s skyline lit up with fireworks. From up here you had an unfiltered view and could watch them shoot into the dark sky and explode into colors of all shades.

“Beautiful."

"Yeah,” Jason agreed. You looked at him to see he was looking back at you, the fireworks lighting up his face in the darkness.

“Jay?"

"Thank you. For saying yes.”

“I love you, Jason Todd. You deserve more than you think you do. And now you’re stuck with me telling you that forever.”

Jason smiled, watching you a moment longer. “I’d do anything for you, angel. I’d give you the world on a platter if that’s what you wanted.”

Turning in his arms, you put your back to the fireworks that were still going off in favor of wrapping your arms around his neck. “All I want is you.”

“You have me.”

“Then I’m happy.”

“And that’s all I want.”

You smiled back at him. “Happy New Year, baby.”

“Happy New Year, angel.”

Jason kissed you and a whole new set of fireworks exploded.