Dick nearly dropped his phone. There was no way he had heard that right. They had mourned his death years ago. Dick had watched Bruce become so crippled with grief that he hardly left the Batcave. On more than one occasion Dick had been there after Alfred called him to stop some self destructive behavior while he himself was mourning. Jason had been the closest thing to a younger brother for Dick before Tim. He’d watched Bruce train with him, joined them sometimes on missions. His death nearly tore their family apart.
“Dick?” Bruce asked when there was no reply.
Dick shook his head, some of the rain that’d gathered in the wisps of hair poking out from his hood now sliding down his face. “Where?” It was all he could manage.
Bruce walked away from the open entrance of the Batcave behind the piano towards the sitting area where a picture of his mother sat on one of the end tables. “The manor.”
“I’ll be there as soon as I can,” Dick promised, already walking again thinking about how quickly he could get back to Gotham.
“Dick, there’s something you should know…” Bruce started sadly.
“Ask Alfred to make up a room for me. I’m on my way now,” Dick wasn’t listening. He was digging through his gym bag for his keys. He’d already decided on skipping going home and going straight to the garage where his bike was.
“He’s not the same,” Bruce finished.
Dick wasted no time trying to park the motorbike in the manor’s garage, insead leaving it parked at the base of the stairs to the front entrance. Alfred was already opening the door for him as he pulled off his helmet.
“You’re soaking wet,” Alfred managed to be both concerned and scolding at the same time.
Dick ran his fingers through his hair, trying to move it from where it was sticking to his skin. “Where is everyone?”
“Master Wayne is in the study,” Alfred shared, offering to take his helmet. “Should I get you a towel?” It was more than a suggestion as he looked down at the puddle on the entranceway floor.
“Uh, yeah. Sorry, Alfred,” Dick smiled sheepishly, taking his hand out of his messy hair.
Alfred took a few steps to a closet that was camouflaged into the wall where he put the helmet on a shelf and took a towel from another one. He passed it to Dick. “Master Todd is upstairs.”
Dick toweled off the best he could. “What about Barbara or Tim? Shouldn’t they be told?”
Alfred looked saddened, “I’m afraid the situation is more delicate than that…”
Dick took the towel with him as he walked through the few rooms to Bruce’s study, still trying to get the rain off of him. It was a little strange being back. He only was at the manor a few times a year. Christmas, and holidays, sometimes fundraiser parties if Barbara convinced him to go. He saw Batman more often than he saw Bruce Wayne. It made walking into Thomas Wayne’s old office and finding his former mentor sitting there a little awkward.
“Uh, hey, Bruce,” Dick gently pushed the wooden sliding door open a little further to let himself in. It wasn’t like the two of them were on the best of terms either. The last time they were in a room alone together Bruce had lectured him after the case he’d been working on went entirely pear-shaped. It had been one disastrous evening that resulted in Dick needing a last minute rescue, a few stitches, and a crutch for awhile.
Bruce looked up from the papers on his desk, and stood, pulling off his reading glasses. “Dick, you didn’t have to drive so fast.”
“What are you talking about? Jason’s here, alive, of course I did. Where is he?”
Bruce sighed. “He’s resting.”
“Is he okay? What’s going on?” Dick demanded, starting to think all he was going to get were half truths and partial stories, again.
“He’s been brainwashed, Dick,” Bruce said sadly. “He’s been turned against us… Well, Batman. His psyche has somehow been able to separate me from the mask but I’m unsure by how much. He doesn’t trust me and despises The Batman.”
“Where did you find him? How did he survive?” Dick was full of questions replaying his last memory of Jason. The surveillance video Bruce had and the comlink that had gone silent after the Joker’s eery laugh.
“He’s been working as Red Hood,” Bruce shared.
Dick’s eyes went wide. They knew the alias. Red Hood had come up in a few of the GCPD reports lately. Mob bosses, sex traficers, major organized crime rings were being dismantled but not at all in a way Batman was trying to do it. Red Hood used lethal force and didn’t care for the criminals getting justice, more like retribution. “It’s been Jason?”
Bruce nodded sadly and whatever he was about to say was cut off by a loud crash and shouting upstairs. Both Bruce and Dick hurried out of the study. Dick jumped the banister and bound up the steps at the sound of Tim shouting.
“First you attack Titan Tower and now Wayne Manor?” Tim’s bo staff swinging and aiming for a body hit.
Jason used the canopy frame of the four post bed to swing himself over the assault. “Fuck you, bird brain!” His attempt to kick the teenager failed as the newest Robin rolled away.
“How did you even get in here?” From his knelt position he tried to sweep Jason’s feet out from under him.
One of Jason’s boots braced a wooden armoire as he jumped and pushed himself back. He was barely on his feet and ready to throw another punch when Dick grabbed him. He pulled at his arms and tried to restrain him as Bruce entered the room. “Tim, it’s Jason.”
Tim stood straight and lowered his staff but Jason was still struggling. His anger directed at Bruce now. “Fuck you! I knew I shouldn’t of come here!” He broke an arm free and pointed at Bruce. “I should never of trusted you! Not ever!”
“Jay…” Dick let the rest of him go, thinking back to all the times he’d trained with him when they were teenagers. The way he fought then, organized and deliberate, this just seemed feral and angry.
For the first time Jason took attention to who had broke up the fight. He looked familiar but not like he remembered and then he registered the blue eyes. “Dick?” He relaxed, the fight leaving his body.
While he was still stunned Dick pulled him in for a hug. “I can’t believe you’re here.”
Jason blinked and then shoved him away. “Alright enough. You’ve always been on the funny side but I don’t remember you being so emotional.”
“We all thought you were dead,” Dick defended, still in a little bit of disbelief.
“I was… for awhile,” Jason shared somberly.
“Jason?” Tim had put his bo staff away. “Wh- How’d you get here?”
“We should all go downstairs to talk,” Bruce suggested with an even tone that meant they’d be going downstairs, downstairs.
Jason glared at him and crossed his arms as Bruce left the room. “Come on, Jay,” Dick said gently, patting his shoulder. Jason sighed and followed Tim out of the room.
They sat around the lit table in the subterranean base Bruce had built. Normally when Dick was down here it meant he was talking about a case or a mission, about tactics, about evidence, but this wasn’t a normal circumstance. Tim was the only one dressed in his suit, the rest of them in their civilian clothes.
“I’ll let you explain, Jason,” Bruce welcomed as kindly as he could.
“Gee will you?” Jason asked back sarcastically. He rolled his eyes and stood up from his seat. He leaned in over the table typing on the screen interface but getting error sounds. “Fuck. Goddamn- Did you update this fucking thing?”
Tim snickered getting a warning stare from Jason.
“Here,” Dick moved forward, suggesting he’d work the program for him.
Jason fell back in his chair with a huff. “Whatever. I just wanted the map.” He waved his hand dismissively and propped his feet on the edge of the table. “Look, all I know is I woke up on the other side of the world in some pool of water with Ra’s al Ghul and his daughter taking care of us. She told me about how you,” he sat up again pointing accusingly at Bruce, “just let the Joker go, and after all he did to me!” He was getting heated again. “You and your fucking moral code got me killed and you didn’t do a damn thing!”
Dick watched Bruce hang his head heavily and stopped Jason from his next round of shouting. “Jay, why didn’t you come find us?”
He sat back again. “Pft, you all moved on. Got yourselves a new Robin,” he waved at Tim.
“That’s not true,” Dick argued, clearly hurt. “We didn’t just move on. We mourned you, we missed you. Bruce was an absolute wreck, Tim and I had to-”
“Dick,” Bruce interrupted gently. “Let’s take a break. Alfred can bring us some tea.”
“I’ll get my own,” Jason stood up so hard his chair spun as he walked away.
“What are we supposed to do?” Tim asked quietly as their guest went up the stairs back to the secret door.
“I’m not sure what we can do,” Bruce answered honestly. “He needs help but he clearly doesn’t trust me. They convinced him I betrayed him...”
Dick sighed after a moment of silence, the three of them thinking. “He can stay with me,” Dick offered. Bruce and Tim looked over at him. “He hates Batman, right?” He gestured as he stood, “and doesn’t trust Bruce Wayne. At least he seems indifferent to me.”
“I don’t know… His psyche seems hurt and delusional,” Bruce argued lightly.
“Fits right in then doesn't he,” He pat Bruce on shoulder as he left the platform in the same direction Jason had.
“All the money in the world and not a beer in sight,” Jason criticized closing the fridge door. Dick smiled a little as he walked around the large center island and opened a lower cupboard door.
“You never found it when you were living here?” There was a small fridge inside with a clear door showcasing bottles of wine and a few tall cans.
“I was never looking for beer when I was younger,” Jason answered, accepting the can being passed to him.
“Oh right,” Dick breathed, “you stole a bottle of Blue Label from the study.”
“If the man wanted to keep a two hundred dollar scotch safe he shouldn’t have left it on some fancy bar table,” Jason defended humorously.
“Where would you have kept a fancy bottle of liquor if not on the fancy bar table?” Dick joked back, pulling himself up to sit on the island counter. Something Alfred had scolded him for more than once.
Jason laughed a little and nodded his head concedingly as he leaned back against the same counter before taking a drink.
“Where are you staying?” Dick asked after a beat of comfortable silence.
Jason flicked the tab on his drink before answering. “I’m squatting at a place in Drescher.”
“You should come stay with me in Blüdhaven,” Dick proposed in a friendly tone. “It’d be like old times in Titian Tower.”
“Barbra, Wally, and Roy living with you too then?” Jason asked back sarcastically.
“No but I can ask them if you all don’t mind sharing a room,” Dick joked.
Jason only shook his head with a brief smile and another drink. “I can’t… I’ve got some things to do in Gotham.”
From the dark tone his demeanor took Dick could tell what kind of things he meant. He nodded trying to think around Jason’s revenge plots. “You could just take a break for a while, a little vacation. The criminals of Gotham aren’t going anywhere. A lot have actually started outsourcing to Blüdhaven. I could use some help.”
“You can’t handle some thugs on your own?” Jason asked skeptically.
“It’s the ports that are the problem,” Dick answered.
“That’s what happens when the Batman just annoys your mob bosses, they move operations,” Jason scoffed, turning around to lean his elbows on the countertop. Dick didn’t say anything back, knowing that anything he did say wouldn’t be helpful. Instead he looked over at him. He was so much more different than the troubled teen he once knew. This Jason was jaded and angry, so deeply angry.
“Alright yeah,” he finally said, standing straight again. “I might be able to get some leads on that fucking clown while I’m there,” his smile seemed sort of sinister before taking another drink.
Dick ignored it as best he could. He hopped down from his seat. “Great. One thing though…” he started cautiously, “could you switch to non-lethals? Bruce has got some stuff you could barrow…”
“You all and your goddamn-” he rolled his eyes with a frustrated groan, “fine yeah. I’ll save the amo for the ones that count.”
Dick cringed a little as Jason walked away, heading back towards the hidden stairs. That wasn’t a great answer but it was probably the best he could hope for.
“Jeez daddy Warbucks must be paying your rent here,” Jason said, walking through the door, looking over the spacious industrial style apartment.
“Oh Bruce actually owns the building,” Dick corrected sheepishly, knowing exactly how that sounded. He had been living there, paying his own rent after he and Bruce had their falling out. Completely unprompted Bruce bought the building and lowered everyone’s rent, as well as updating a lot of the units, including his.
“Of course he fucking does,” Jason said sourly, adjusting the duffle bag on his shoulder.
“Uh, the room at the end of the hall is yours,” Dick offered, “Sorry it’s a little thrown together. It used to be my equipment room. Bruce just had the furniture delivered yesterday,”
Jason let out an annoyed groan as he walked towards the door.
Dick sighed and turned toward the kitchen, thinking about smoothing things over with dinner. After a cursory glance through his fridge he leaned against a counter with his phone.
18:20(what should I do about jay?)
(What do you mean?)18:20
18:21(he really hates bruce)
(So don’t talk about Bruce.)18:22
Dick rolled his eyes and set his phone down. He looked over at the take out menus on the side of his fridge and pulled off one for the Chinese restaurant a few blocks away. He walked down the hall to the room that was now Jason’s. The door was open but he knocked anyway. “Hey I was thinking of ordering-”
Jason was sitting on the edge of the bed with a shotgun across his lap changing out the cartridges for the new ones. He looked up, “What?”
“Yes, Mr. Morality. Modded to your satisfaction,” he said putting the gun aside and reaching out for the menu Dick was holding.
“Thanks. Just let me know when you’re hungry,” Dick said before leaving.
Dick looked over at Jason who was sitting at the other end of the couch, container and chopsticks in hand. He laughed a little, “You remember when you had to eat with a fork?”
“I remember you and Wally mocking me,” Jason answered, still looking into his container, picking around what he didn’t want.
“We weren’t mocking you, friendly teasing,” Dick defended lightly.
“Friendly teasing,” Jason scoffed under his breath. “You were relentless.”
“What are you talking about?” Dick asked.
Jason looked up at him. “I wasn’t an acrobat, didn’t go to a fancy private school, have parent cops, and no special powers. I was just some street kid Bruce Wayne charitably decided to pick up one day like a stray cat,” Jason said sourly.
Dick’s brows furrowed and face saddened. “None of us thought of you like that. Don’t you remember training with me? Hand to hand combat, you kicked my ass more than once. I never thought I was better than you.” Jason turned back to his container of fried rice, seeming confused and processing what Dick was saying. “And before Bruce adopted me I was homeschooled, in the circus.”
That made Jason blow out a breathy laugh. “I guess I forgot that…”
“I always had your back, Jay,” Dick tried to remind him. He’d said something similar once after a fight had gone sideways during their time as Titians.
“Except the day you didn’t,” Jason said back, staring him dead in the eye. The air of humor slipping into cold seriousness.
Dick blinked and dropped his stare. There was nothing else to say, nothing he could say. He’d failed Jason as much as Bruce had.
Jason leaned forward and put the container on the coffee table as he got up, walking away without another word spoken between them.
Dick was sitting at the small kitchen table with a cup of coffee and his breakfast. He looked up from his phone when he heard footsteps coming into the kitchen. Jason didn’t say anything, just went to the cupboards looking for something to make himself presumably. Dick spun his phone on the stone tabletop and picked it up again, leaning back in his chair.
He was surprised when Jason sat down across from him now with his own coffee. “Who you texting?”
“Huh? Oh just Barbara,” Dick put his phone down again not wanting to seem rude.
“You two still dating? I thought you’d be married by now,” Jason said almost as if trying to make a joke but it was a little too flat.
“No, I uh- We’re not dating,” Dick said awkwardly, spinning his phone on the table again.
“Hm,” was all Jason had to offer as he sipped his coffee.
A long silence passed between them as Dick looked out the window. He was thinking about his case actually. He had been in the middle of tracking down a shipment of guns Cobblepot was having brought into the port. He’d managed to hunt down a warehouse but it had been too late, the place had been cleared out. Catching this shipment was a second chance at stopping the operation.
“Hey, I’m sorry about last night,” Jason said quietly, unprompted.
“Oh,” Dick turned away from the window, “it’s okay. You’re right.”
Jason wasn’t making eye contact, something was suddenly interesting in his coffee mug. “I don’t blame you though.”
“I know…” Dick knew exactly who he blamed.
They were quiet a long while and Dick’s phone made a notification sound Jason didn’t recognize. He checked it and then put it on silent. “Hey, I could use your help,” he said suddenly.
“With what?” Jason asked, looking back up at him.
“Penguin’s got a big shipment of guns coming through the port tonight. I want to take him down before he has a chance to get across the bridge to Gotham,” Dick shared.
“You mean before Batman can get all the glory?” Jason said, smirking as he lifted his mug.
“That’s just a perk,” Dick answered with a smug grin of his own.
The two of them stayed low, crouched at the ledge of a warehouse where they could see the docks. Red Hood and Nightwing watched the Cobblepot yacht being directed into the dock by a man in black, a gun across his back.
“Looks like it’s five guys to a truck,” Red Hood said, looking over the other guards walking around as trucks pulled into place for loading.
“You go left, I’ll go right, we meet in the middle?” Nightwing proposed.
Red Hood smiled behind his face mask, not that anyone could see it, but the joy was in his voice as he pumped his modified shotgun. “Sounds like fun.”
They split off into their respective directions. Nightwing’s padded soles move quietly across the top of a metal shipping crate as he drew the batons from his back. His bad-guy prey held their gun at the ready, walking alone between the crates. Nightwing had the drop on him in the close quarters he ducked under the swinging gun and hit the back of the man’s knee, making him drop before the stun baton could make him lose consciousness. “One,” Nightwing said a little proudly as he spun the batons and tucked them under his arms, moving forward as quietly as before.
“Two,” Red Hood said to himself, walking away from the guards laying on the ground. His gun expelled the spent shell and he loaded a new one.
“Damn it that bird bastard’s here,” Cobblepot’s voice growled over the walkies his hired thugs had. “Will one of you shoot that freak already!”
“Freak?” Red Hood laughed a little sliding the shotgun into the holster to change to a different gun. One of the men on deck of the yacht groaned as Nightwing stepped over him. “You didn’t say you two were such good friends.”
“Oh, sorry. Forgot to mention our weekly coffees,” Nightwing jested back. He knelt at a weapons crate.
"Fake serials?" Red Hood asked, not looking over his shoulder, continuing to stare at the dock.
"Oh completely," Nightwing's gauntlet finished the scan. The holographic display reading off the results. He started typing to upload the evidence.
Nightwing jumped and threw a hand up over his ear at the loud boom that came from behind him. "What the-"
Red Hood's gun was smoking. One of the approaching men fell into the water, the other tumbled onto the ship and laid there holding his head. "You’re the one who wanted non-lethals," he shrugged and pulled another canister from his belt.
"So you use shock granades?!"
He shrugged again.
"Forget the guns! Just get me the fuck out of here!" The Penguin’s voice was nearby, most likely running for the trucks.
"Shit," Nightwing cussed under his breath. The display on his gauntlet closed as he got up quickly.
They jumped off the ship in time to see one of the trucks struggle to peel away from the loading zone.
Red Hood dropped to one knee, pulling a gun from his boot. In three loud cracks the truck was swerving, the tires shot out, it crashed into a light pole.
The Penguin stumbled as he climbed out of the wrecked shipping truck. A gloved hand grabbed the back of his greasy head and shoved the man's face into the panelled side of the vehicle.
Nightwing stood with his arms crossed, glaring, though not at the crime boss currently being detained.
"Red Hood," Penguin started talking quickly. "I've heard about you. About what you've been up to in Gotham. I know you're not like the Bats and friends. You could come work for me. Make it worth your while."
Red hood twisted the man's wrist further into his arm and pushed harder at the back of his head. "I'm not like the Bat," he agreed roughly. "I know you'll buy the best attorneys and the worst cops and be back here in a month or two."
"Red, the authorities are on the way," Nightwing announced.
He was ignored. "Maybe then it'll just be you and me, Cobblepot, and you'll wish a Bat was around."
The sirens could be heard coming from blocks away.
"Enough, Red," Nightwing put a hand between them to move him away. Handcuffs clicked around The Penguin's wrists as he relaxed. Nightwing gently put him on the ground, next to a crate of weapons and a bag of cash, like a nice little evidence entrée.
Red Hood was already walking away, adjusting his gloves, heading for where they had hid their bikes.
Nightwing was staring at him, with the same scowl as before. They both watched the flashing lights and listened to the police scanners in their ear pieces before deciding the job was done.
Nightwing picked up his helmet while Red Hood took his motorcycle off the stands. "Non-lethals only, huh?" Nightwing said accusingly.
The blank faceplate turned towards him and then back again wordlessly before the black bike roared and took off out of the alley.
Sorry to anyone named Phillip.
Jason yawned, waiting for his bagel to finish toasting. Dick was already at the table with his breakfast and phone. This was apparently his morning routine, even when their morning didn’t start until noon.
Dick laughed a little, “Looks like Cobblepot’s been Indited.” He held up his phone as Jason sat down across from him.
Jason read over the headline and the first few sentences before Dick’s phone made the special notification sound and part of the message was at the top of the screen. “Who’s Phillip?”
Dick quickly pulled his phone back. “Oh just a friend.”
“A friend? I know all your friends and none are named Phillip,” Jason said suspiciously.
“You don’t know all my friends,” Dick objected, finishing his message back and setting the phone aside again.
“Alright, where’d you meet Phillip?” Jason asked, continuing to eat his bagel.
“The gym,” Dick answered, also turning his attention to his food.
“The gym? What gym?” Jason’s brow furrowed.
“There’s one a few blocks away,” Dick answered.
“Since when do you go to a gym?”
“Since it’s a lot easier and cheaper than keeping the work out equipment in my apartment,” Dick dismissed, “and I like to get out and meet people.”
“People named Phillip.”
“What, it’s a perfectly normal name,” Dick defended.
“So why’s he want to meet up tonight?” Jason sipped his coffee.
“He wants to go to the bar.”
“The bar? Like it’s a regular thing you do?”
“Yes, Jason, it is a normal thing for friends to go to a bar. Aren’t you going to Gotham tonight anyway?”
“Yeah, I got a lead. So why haven’t you mentioned Phillip before?” Jason asked between bites.
“I need to tell you all my friends? You just haven’t been living here that long,” Dick reasoned. It was true, it had only been a few weeks.
“Alright,” Jason conceded. He had finished his bagel anyway. He got up to put his plate in the sink. “Enjoy your date with Phillip.”
Dick snapped upright with a look of terror.
Jason looked back confused for a blink before turning into realization.
Dick closed his eyes. “Fuck.”
“Dickie?!” Jason was completely shocked. “Who knows?”
“Barbara,” Dick sighed, sinking into his chair.
“Bruce and I have never had that kind of relationship,” he answered, referring to the open understanding and unconditional support he found in Barbara.
There was a beat of silence as Dick drank his coffee.
“I’m sorry, Dickie,” Jason said earnestly, his body deflating like Dick’s had. “I didn’t mean to-”
“It’s fine,” Dick said, getting up. He set his plate in the sink as well. “You were going to find out eventually, right roomie,” he added with a weak smile. “Good luck in Gotham, Red,” he said as he left the kitchen.
Jason shifted the red helmet from under one arm to the other to reach up and adjust his earpiece. The clown had gone under for the last year. No one knew where he was or what he was planning. There were rumors that the Bat had put him away for good, maybe even killed him. Jason knew better than that though.
Batman couldn't have been bothered to kill the Joker even to save someone else, or even avenge him. No, Batman liked to give criminals a chance for defense, a chance for redemption, or whatever. Not that they deserved it. Justice was a sham in Gotham. Batman was just a hopeful idiot.
Jason had caught a clown masked petty thief in Blüdhaven. They didn’t have much to offer, only that Harley Quinn was back in Gotham. Just one more breadcrumb.
The scaffolding he was perched in shuddered as if wind had blown through it. Jason didn’t turn around, already knowing who was there.
“What are you doing here, Jason?” Batman moved aside a tarp in the building being constructed behind him. His voice was soft, it was Bruce Wanye speaking beneath the cowl.
“What you won't,” he said back bitterly. “How’d you even know I was here? Dick tell you?”
The heavy boots of the Batsuit hardly made a sound on the plywood. “Vengeance won’t bring you peace.”
“Who the fuck said I wanted peace?” Jason finally turned towards him. He pulled on the helmet, the face plate covering his scowl. “Maybe I’ve had enough peace. Three years seems plenty.”
“Jason…” Bruce objected sadly but did nothing else to keep his former protégé from leaving.
After a night of breaking a few bones in Gotham's lower districts Jason had nothing more to go on. He zipped up his jacket, put the red helmet in the saddle bag, and headed back across the bridge.
When he got home the apartment door was locked, the lights were out, and the place was an eree kind of quiet. Jason kicked the door closed again. Dick wasn’t there.
He didn't go to change out of his armor. Instead he set the helmet and plated gloves on the table on his way to the fire escape window. He sat on the peeling and rusted railing while reaching into a lower pant pocket for a pack of cigarettes and a lighter.
He got to watch the sunrise stream between the buildings as the city started to wake up.
The apartment door clicked in a suspiciously quiet way that suggested someone was trying to sneak back in.
Jason flicked the butt of his cigarette off the fire escape and climbed back through the window.
"Oh hey," Dick greeted awkwardly. "How was your night?"
"Did you tell Bruce on me?" Jason accused instead.
"What? No," for his credit Dick seemed genuinely surprised. "Why? What happened?"
"You are not my fucking babysitter," Jason seethed, pointing a finger at him. "You and the fucking Bat don't get to tell me what to do."
"Jay, I have no idea what you're talking about," Dick insisted. "I wasn't here."
"Yeah you were on a date," Jason stressed. "I should never have believed you." He went to go walk around him.
"Jason, stop, think a second," Dick moved in front of him to block his path. "You saw the message, and you know I wouldn't lie about something like that."
Jason relaxed a little, enough to say he was at least listening to him.
"I didn't tell Bruce you were going to Gotham," Dick went on. "I didn't care you were going to Gotham. No one's seen the Joker in months, the odds of you finding him last night were slim to none. And even if you did, I know you've killed people. I'm not happy about it but I'm not Bruce."
The rage in Jason seemed to melt away. He sighed and ran a hand over his face. "You’re right. I'm sorry, Dickie."
"It’s okay," Dick relaxed too, taking a step away from him. "We've both been up all night and need some sleep."
"Yeah, how was your date with Phillip?" He asked but his tone was still a little sour.
Dick shrugged, "oh he left me for some twink at the bar."
"I could've told you he was an asshole. His name is Phillip." At that they both laughed.
Dick tapped his phone against his hand. His heel crunched in the gravel roof as he spun, walking back one direction and then the other.
He didn't want to call but he knew he should. He really wished Bruce could just text like a normal person. He always wrote like he was sending an email, signature and everything.
Maybe he could call Alfred and have him pass the message on?
He sighed and spun again before unlocking his phone and scrolling through the contacts.
"Yeah, hi," Dick said quickly, shaking his head. "Did you tell Jason I was the reason you knew he was in Gotham the other night?"
There was a beat of silence. He could just imagine Bruce sitting back in his chair, thinking what the best thing to say was. "Did you know he was coming to Gotham?"
"Of course I knew," Dick answered, a little insulted. "Now you answer me."
"Why didn’t you stop him?" Bruce asked instead.
"How would you like me to have done that?" Dick asked back. "He's going to do what he wants. You just need to give him time and space."
"I can't have him running around Gotham killing people," Bruce spoke up.
"You and I both know he's not looking for petty theives and bank robbers," Dick objected. "These are crime bosses, backers and members of the Legion."
"Dick… that doesn't matter," he was trying to use the 'mentor' voice now.
"No, Bruce, it absolutely does," Dick’s voice was heated. "You need to stop treating us like your little soldiers and do-gooders. We can and will make our own decisions about right and wrong. I'll stay out of Gotham for you but I can't and won't make promises for Jason."
He didn't give Bruce a chance to respond before hanging up. He stared at his phone waiting. His pacing had stopped, the hard phone call was over and Bruce wasn't calling back.
He sighed and went back to his contacts.
"Master Grayson?" Alfred asked quickly. "Is everything alright?" He knew he was always the secondary emergency contact when it came to trouble.
"I'm fine, Alfred…" Dick said disheartenedly. He walked over to sit on the lip of the roof. "I may have just pissed Bruce off though."
He heard Alfred sigh. "What is it this time?"
"Same thing as before," Dick answered. "He has these expectations of us that we'll just never achieve."
"He really just wants the best for you," Alfred defended gently.
"I know but he really needs to let us decide what that is on our own." Dick was slouched over, kicking at the gravel.
"Realizing the children you've cared for have grown up isn't easy," Alfred spoke from experience. "This family isn't tied by blood. There's nothing to keep you all from abandoning him."
"There's you," Dick said with equal parts sincerity and sadness.
"And I am grateful you feel that way. I love you all as if you were my own."
Dick smiled a little and sat back with his hand on the ledge.
"Bruce does too, even if he doesn't say it," Alfred finished.
"I know…" Dick sighed again. There was a brief silence before he spoke again. "Will you look out for me if he gets as mad as he did before?"
"Yes, Dick, I'll watch your assets."
"Thanks, Alfred," Dick said appreciatively. "I've got to go but I'm sure we'll have to talk again soon."
"Good-bye, Master Grayson," Alfred said hopefully. They really couldn't talk much while Bruce was upset. Not for any reason other than Alfred's loyalty would always fall to Bruce’s side.
Dick kicked the brick out from the door it was propping open to go back inside.
When he opened the apartment door Jason came back in from having a cigarette on the fire escape. Dick pretended not to notice him pulling out his ear piece.
"Take out for dinner?" He went for the menus on the fridge.
"Sure, I'll pay," Jason offered.
Dick hissed as he pressed the ice pack to his arm, even doing so as lightly as he could. He was standing in the kitchen, Nightwing suit pulled off one arm completely, as if that was only as far as he could get it.
Jason walked in as he stumbled back to lean on the counter. He passed him to fill his glass at the fridge door. "Aluminum bat?" He asked off-handedly.
"Lead pipe," Dick corrected. He set the ice pack down long enough to reach up and pull off his eye mask.
"You do know you're not supposed to let them hit you right," Jason jested lightly.
"That’s great advice, Jay," Dick said back sarcastically, reaching out to jab where he knew Jason had a sprained rib and a deep bruise from a gunshot to the kevlar armor.
Jason jumped back and instinctively put his hand over the painful spot. "Alright that's fair." He took a drink of his water watching Dick gingerly pull his other arm free. "Broken?" He asked with some concern.
"Fractured at least," Dick answered. "I've got a sling and some pain meds in the hall closet." He walked off like he was going to find those things.
Jason went over to the couch instead of back to his room. He set his glass on the coffee table. Then he set himself carefully down in the middle of the cushion, picking up the remote.
Dick joined him a few minutes later picking up Jason’s glass to swallow down the pill he was holding in his mouth.
"Hey," Jason objected weakly.
Dick just smiled and braced the arm of the couch to lower himself onto it. He let his head fall back onto the cushion, closing his eyes to the ceiling.
The television eventually landed on a soccer match Gotham league was playing. Jason sighed and stretched out his legs to rest on the low table.
"Hey, Jay?" Dick asked airily, opening his eyes again.
"What?" He didn't look away from the screen.
"What was it like, being dead?" Dick asked in a way that conveyed he was curious and also aware that Jason may not want to talk about it.
Jason seemed to think a second before answering. “I don’t remember.”
Dick’s head rolled to the side to look at him, his loose curls falling over his forehead. He didn’t bother to fix them. He watched Jason contemplate a drop of sweat roll down the glass on the table, knowing there was more he wanted to say.
“You know that feeling right before you pass out and you’re fighting to stay conscious?” Jason asked even though he knew it was something Dick had experienced too. You don’t run around with the Bat and not get a few concussions. “I remember that,” Jason went on, “I remember hearing that bastard laughing. I remember thinking if I just held on, just one more second Bruce would come, and then I thought even if he did make it, it’d be too late. And suddenly I was okay, I was warm, and comfortable, it felt like falling asleep.” Jason let his head fall back onto the couch cushion as well. “When I woke up two years ago I was flailing in some pool with Talia al Ghul looking over me.”
“I’m sorry, Jay,” Dick said softly.
Jason turned his head to the side to see Dick staring at him. His smile was sort of sad and sideways and pupils blown wide. Jason let out a snort like a laugh. “You’re high as a kite right now.”
That made Dick laugh, a soft breathy kind that Jason could feel in their close proximity. Dick calmed to a smile, eyes half shut, still staring at him. Jason felt himself smiling back, watching Dick relax into the couch cushion under their heads.
Dick really did have beautiful eyes. A striking type of blue that pulled focus away from anything else in the room. His dark lashes matched his hair and every blink got slower.
"Dickie," Jason's tone matched the softness of the moment, "you should go to bed."
"Only if you come with me," he said as if it was a reflex to always say something witty.
Jason blew out a laugh. "Yeah, I'll carry you there myself," he said sarcastically.
"Doesn't that sound fun," Dick said back in a less witty voice, his eyes still closed.
Jason watched Dick's smirk fall into a more relaxed kind of smile. His lips were a nice shade of pink with the bottom lip swollen and split in the corner like he'd been punched recently.
His whole face was something like a masterpiece and Jason couldn't help but stare.
Jason lifted his head back up, effectively breaking whatever trance he'd been in. "Dickie?" He checked for consciousness.
"Hm?" Dick jumped a little like he has been somewhere in-between awake and asleep.
"Go lay down."
"I will," Dick promised groggily, shifting a little to let his body slide to one side and rest his head on Jason’s shoulder, his eyes open again. "Who's winning?"
"Wh-" Jason remembered there was a soccer match on the television. "Um looks like we're up by one."
Hiya, readers! I have updated the tags because I realized I didn't add some things as I was writing, mainly because I hadn't written them yet, not because I wasn't planning them... So this is one of those chapters that required some of those updated tags.
Jason flicked his cigarette away as he landed on the fire escape outside their apartment. He slid it open and climbed through, the Red Hood helmet tucked under one arm.
It had been a pretty average night. He'd been led to a chop shop and drug den all because of a single car alarm.
He had left the criminals bruised but alive as per Dick’s request. Not that Jason would have killed the footmen anyway. He wanted their bosses.
He looked around the apartment after pulling the window closed again. It was dark and empty. Dick was out.
Jason sighed and clicked on the hall light while heading to his room. He kicked the door closed and set his helmet on the dresser.
The furniture Bruce had bought was a nice type of modern style. It was all black and chrome metal. It was as if he had hired a professional designer to try and put together something Jason would like.
Before moving in with Dick he'd been sleeping on used couch cushions he'd thrown into a corner of an empty and graffitied abandoned building in a matching district of Gotham.
Before that he was staying in hostels or just sleeping where there was a cover from the weather as he made his way across the Afro-Eurasian continent.
Bruce probably thought he could buy his trust back or whatever.
Jason kicked the fancy black lacquered wood drawer of his dresser closed after trading his armor for a pair of sweatpants.
He picked up the laptop from where it sat charging and fell onto the fancy satin blend sheets. He could really shoot Bruce on that offense alone.
He laid back, starting to trace his leads again. He'd already hacked the GCPD, even with the Batman's firewalls and encryption he'd gifted the police department. It was what he spent his first week back in the city doing. A program had been running all day everyday, sifting it's way into the files.
Now it was running to look for one keyword: Joker.
He poked around a little, opening files and scanning through them. A jewel thief here, a break in there. Nothing he could link to who he was really looking for.
Jason’s head snapped up, hearing the apartment door unlock and open. Dick was back, his muffled voice saying, "fuck my roommate's home."
"We'll just be quiet then."
He wasn't alone. Jason was extremely annoyed, was Dick really just going to act like he didn't exist? He heard the footsteps and then Dick’s door close. "Are you kidding me, Richard Grayson?" He muttered, closing his laptop, fully prepared to go knock on the bastard’s door and ruin whatever he had brought another man home for.
No, not whatever because he knew exactly what that stranger was here for and it pissed him off.
He and Dick had been getting along really well lately. Since he broke his wing he was home more, meaning they'd hang out when Jason got back from patrol.
They'd sit on the couch and watch late night TV, like the old reruns of shows that had once been new on the screen of Titan's Tower. A few times they'd taken beers up to the roof and watched the sunrise.
Jason couldn't say why he was so mad about Dick's dating but he was.
He froze at the sharp sound of skin on skin from the other room. It had definitely been a hand to ass kind of smack based on the low moan that followed.
It was too late to stop them now and not embarrass everyone in the apartment. "Fuck," Jason cursed. "Headphones," he said desperately, going to his bag to dig for them.
There was a beat of silence but he knew it wasn't going to last long. He was fumbling, trying to untangle the wires. The bed on the other side of the wall creaked and another "uhn" was called out.
Was that Dick? Was he the slapper or slappie? Jason shook his head, it did not matter.
He sat back on his bed, headphones shoved into his laptop. He closed the window for the GCPD data and frantically clicked on his music player. There was another, more muffled moan. "Damnit, Dickie," Jason seethed, clicking the first song he found. His tinnitus be damned, this was a heavy metal emergency.
Jason laid back, his laptop on his chest. That had definitely been Dick's voice. He'd heard the man groan in pain over coms before. Knowing it was him who had made a different kind of groan through a wall was hardly detective work. And Bruce had trained them to be excellent detectives.
He tried to go back to the files and his case but the bed on the other side of the wall made a thud against it and if he strained his ears he could hear beyond the music for Dick’s voice. He drug his hands down his face with an exasperated sigh. It was hard to think of anything else knowing someone was burying their bone in the next room.
He bit his lip, knowing what he was about to do was a bad idea but the twitch against his thigh insisted it wasn’t. Jason moved his finger across the laptop trackpad, his other hand dropping down to rest on his leg.
It had been a while since he'd been looking for a site like the one he found but it didn't look like much had changed. The music in his ears stopped, replaced with the dialogue of people who had never had a professional acting course in their young twenty-something lives. He turned to the orange dot in the progress bar, dragging it to skip forward.
The headboard of the bed next door started to pick up a steady rhythm, slightly off sync to the one in his headphones. He watched her body roll against every thrust, and her chest bounce with every move. His hand drifting over to palm himself through the soft sweatpants as he bit his lip.
"You're such a good girl," the man moved her leg up, practically turning her sideways. Someone made a noise in the room that shared a wall with his. "I'll take such good care of you." One hand held her thigh, knee hooked over his shoulder, the other sliding down her soft curves to where their bodies were meeting in quick bumping thrusts. She held herself up on her arm, arching her neck as his thumb slipped between her lips.
"Oh yes, Daddy!" Maybe it was a little over dramatic but it looked really fucking hot.
Jason slid his hand under the waistband of his pants, hooking them on his thumb and lifting his hips to wiggle them down a little. He pulled himself through the fly of his boxers and brought his hand up to spit in his palm before reaching back down.
Dick moaned loudly next door, like he forgot about the whole quiet bit. Or maybe something had felt good enough to make him forget.
Jason’s eyes slipped closed a second, his cock throbbing in his hand. The actors breathed hard in his headphones. "That’s it, baby, roll over."
Jason watched the woman be manipulated into doggystyle the camera now beneath them showing every detail, his fingers splaying her lips and thumb circling her clit. Her soft belly and breasts swaying and bouncing with every thrust, his cock disappearing back inside her. The bed on the other side of the wall started hitting slower but louder. Another slap of skin to skin and another thankful moan slid past Jason’s headphones. Jason’s head fell back on his pillow, his eyes closed, listening.
His hand stayed steady working himself over, tightening around the head and opening again as it slid back down. ”You like that?” The man in the video breathed roughly. Her high voice only hummed back an answer. ”You want to come?”
The woman moaned, ”oh... yes. Oh... please." Jason shuddered, balls drawing up tight, hand jerking faster.
"That’s a good girl. Cum for Daddy,” the man in Jason’s ear said before a chorus of whines fell out of the woman he was fucking. They mixed with Dick's guttle "uhn, uhn, uhn,"s on the other side of the wall, and Jason’s laboured breath, making something like an orgy in his mind’s eye.
His hips pushed up off the mattress and he angled himself away from the laptop. The hot coil in his gut got suddenly tighter and legs starting to shake. "Oh fuck, Dickie," he breathed to an empty room, cum falling across his pants and dripping between his fingers.
Jason collapsed with a sigh and took a moment to catch his breath before dropping one hand carefully off the bed and bringing up the other to close the window on his laptop screen.
The apartment was quiet suddenly and in a panic he realized what he'd said out loud, hoping to all hope that no one had heard it.
There was the sound of a door, footsteps in the hall, soft voices in the bathroom. Jason slid the laptop off his chest and got up. He cleaned himself up as best he could with his bath towel and changed his pants, shoving everything to the bottom of the hamper.
The last time he'd tried to hide the aftermath this hard was when Alfred Pennyworth was doing his laundry.
After a short while he heard the front door to the apartment open and close again. Dick’s friend had left.
Jason waited a little while longer before pulling his headphones from his laptop and putting them in his phone. He made the music loud enough to be heard by someone else and walked out of his bedroom. He crossed the hall to go wash up in the bathroom, splashing some water on his face for good measure.
When he reemerged Dick was in the kitchen with a glass of water, wearing only basketball shorts. Jason nodded off handedly and let himself fall onto the couch heavily. Just like he did every time he'd finished a core workout.
"I uh didn't think you'd be up," Dick said carefully, walking into the livingroom area.
Jason pulled out one of his earbuds, "hm?"
Dick smiled, laughing a little, falling at ease. "Nothing. Night, Jay," he said walking past towards his room.
"Yah," Jason gave a half-hearted wave, being sure Dick was out of the room before throwing his head back on the cushion and trying not to think too much.
Dick spun his phone on the stone tabletop under his finger while staring out the window.
He really should have known better.
He had thought living with Jason was going to be like when they were younger. When they were Titans. The difference is they'd been teenagers before, barely any sense of self identity let alone a sexual one. And they definitely weren't teenagers anymore. Jason was far from the awkward fifteen year old Dick had last seen him as.
He really didn't want to mess anything up though. Besides Jason had let his opinion about Dick's social life be known a few times now. He always sounds like he was trying to be friendly but the disgust in his voice wasn't hard to pick up on.
Maybe they needed some space. They had been spending a lot of time together lately, patrolling as a unit and taking down crime rings that usually would have taken Dick weeks to track on his own.
"Morning," Jason yawned, walking into the kitchen behind him.
Dick turned away from his stare out the window and quickly regretted it. Jason was wearing the same thing he usually wore in the mornings. A pair of gray sweatpants and nothing else.
Dick picked up his phone, going to read the headlines for the day. "I was thinking I'd patrol on my own tonight," he shared.
"Why?" Jason asked skeptically.
Dick shrugged. "You deserve a night off. Or you could go across the bridge if you want," he looked up watching Jason's back as he poured his coffee.
"I think I'll stay out of Gotham until I get a better lead," Jason shared. He held his mug and turned around to lean against the counter. "I don't want to make more trouble for you and Bruce."
Dick sighed and picked at the sesame seeds that had fallen off his bagel. "There was trouble there before you did anything."
"When did that start? Before I died you were still his little soldier," Jason said, setting his coffee aside to make himself something to eat.
"After you died," Dick answered solemnly. "I blamed Bruce, probably in the same way you blame him now." He curled his hands around his coffee mug and held it in front of himself. He watched the bubbles cling to the sides of the mug. "I realized what he did to us."
Jason sat down across from him with a bowl of cereal and his coffee. "You mean turn children into warriors?"
Dick sighed and sat back in his chair. "I mean I'm glad Bruce was there for me… and I did need an outlet. It's just-"
"You don't need to explain it to me," Jason assured with a type of smile that said he knew all too well what Dick was saying, because he had lived through the harsh inevitability of it. He had died at fifteen at the hands of someone he never would have crossed if not for Batman.
Dick smiled back a little sadder. "I know."
Dick climbed through the fire escape window, peeling off his mask. His feet carried him heavily over to the livingroom area where Jason was watching TV.
Jason looked over the torn suit and shallow cuts across Dick's body. "Rough night?"
Dick collapsed on the couch, his feet stretching over Jason’s lap and head falling over the armrest. "Slade."
"Shit," Jason sat up and leaned over to look more closely at what he now knew were sword cuts. "You okay?"
Dick waved. "Fine. He got away though."
"I'm sorry, Dickie. Next time call me," Jason moved Dick’s legs off his lap to go get the medical kit from the hall closet.
"You had the night off," Dick excused. "I have Barbara looking into it."
"I guess that's better than nothing," Jason walked back and Dick sat up, starting to pull off his suit as carefully as he could. Jason set himself on the coffee table dropping his eyes, digging through the kit for bandages and antiseptics. "I'm gonna need a new one," Dick sighed, examining the gashes across the one arm.
Jason stood up again, walking away into the kitchen. “Good thing Bruce never cut you off,” for the first time it didn’t sound like there was any disdain in his voice saying the name. He came back with a washcloth.
“Aw man, that’s a nice one,” Dick said, half sarcastically.
“I care about you more,” Jason said thoughtlessly, picking up the bottle of rubbing alcohol. “No bitching.”
Dick smiled with a little laugh, “yes, sir.”
Jason rolled his eyes and cupped the rag under Dick’s arm to catch the alcohol as he poured it over the one of the cuts.
Dick dropped his head back letting out a long hiss. He let little noises as Jason moved up his arm, but not a word. There was one particularly deep cut where the blade had slid off his baton and into the side of his forearm below the elbow.
“This one might need stitches,” Jason said out loud but more like he was talking to himself. He set the rag and bottle aside for some gauze and medical tape.
Dick craned his neck and turned his elbow to try and get a better look at it. “I think it’ll be okay.”
“Mhm,” Jason hummed doubtfully as he wrapped it. His eyes slid over to Dick’s bare chest where a less significant laceration was across from a left rib to a right pectoral. It looked like it was from the tip of a blade Dick had just barely managed to get out of the way from. “You were sort of off your game tonight weren’t you.”
“It was a bad night, yeah,” Dick admitted.
Jason picked up the rag again. “Lean back a little.”
Dick scooted forward, opening his legs for Jason to fit between them as he leaned over to clean the shallow cut. He wiped away the pink blood on Dick’s skin and made the mistake of looking up. Dick was breathing shallow from the sting that was now fading and becoming dull. His blue eyes opened to stare back at the face over his.
Jason swallowed hard, stripping away whatever thoughtlessness had caught them both, and he moved away. He traded out supplies again, clearing his throat. “If you stand up, I’ll wrap it.”
Dick’s brain was still trying to catch up. “Yeah sure.” He’d never been that close to doing something so stupid and detrimental.
Because of the angle Jason had to wrap around Dick’s chest, continuously changing the bandage roll from one hand to the other. Even though he was close it was still as though he was being intentionally distant.
Dick supposed it was probably awkward for him. Jason knew he was attracted to men and here they were being physically very close. Jason hadn’t handled it very well from the beginning, sounding like the idea repulsed him. He didn’t like when Dick went on dates, was rude to the only guy he had invited over for a few beers before they went out, and rolled his eyes at every message Dick got.
“All patched up,” Jason declared. He reached down to drop the bandage roll back into the medical kit the same time Dick had leaned forward, declaring Jason his favorite nurse. Their faces met in an off center kiss that lasted half a beat longer than the realization of what had happened.
“Fuck, I’m so sorry,” Dick said instantly. “I was going to kiss your cheek, Jay, I swear.”
Jason wasn’t looking at him, His blue-green eyes trying to look everywhere else instead. “It’s uh-”
“I wouldn’t just do that,” Dick went on. “I was just trying to be funny. I’m really sorry.”
“It’s fine, Dickie,” Jason’s voice was even, emotionally disconnected. He leaned down to pick up the medical kit. “I’m just going to go to my room.”
He walked away, leaving behind the rag and open bottle of rubbing alcohol. Jason put the unorganized kit back in the closet and then shut the door to his room behind him.
Dick let out a heavy sigh, dropping his head with a cringe.
(sorry I didn't offer warning for the last one)
They spent the next week avoiding each other. Aside from the occasional “hey,” they didn’t speak. Even the morning routine they had fallen into was disrupted with Jason eating in the living area instead of the kitchen.
Dick was sitting at the table with his laptop, usually he did his work on the couch just because it was more comfortable but Jason had been there working his own case.
That was another thing, they weren’t patrolling together anymore. They would either alternate nights or just divide the city in two. When Nightwing’s and Red Hood’s paths did cross the awkwardness was palpable.
Dick looked up, watching Jason outside the window. He was leaning on the railing, staring down the alley as he smoked. Dick always appreciated that he had made the effort to smoke outside the apartment. He either went to the roof or the fire escape, it depended on the time of day and the weather. It was something Jason had done without Dick ever asking him to. It was just a sign the old Jason, the one who cared about others and always tried to be considerate and kind was still there somewhere.
Jason flicked his cigarette away and turned to pull the window open again.
Dick opened the message Barbara had just sent him with images of Slade Wilson caught on security cameras.
Jason’s boot lace caught on the lip of the window and he fell face first onto the wood floor with a hard thud. Dick let out a burst of laughter from the surprise of it before trying to suppress it. “Are you okay?”
Jason rolled onto his back, starting to laugh at himself. “Fine, just stupid.”
Dick let himself join again before getting up. He held out a hand to help Jason off the floor. “Try doing that at four in the morning after spending all night gracefully swinging yourself around the city on wires and not feel stupid.”
“Who said you were graceful?” Jason asked back, accepting the help.
“Anyone who’s seen me on a high bar,” Dick answered with a witty smile.
“See, I’d just call you a show off,” Jason said as he knelt down to fix the lacing of his boot.
“I think you’ve called me that before,” Dick reminded, taking a step back and sitting down in his chair again.
“Titan’s training,” Jason recalled, “yeah. You remember that?”
“Of course I do,” Dick turned away from the computer as Jason got up again. “You refused to even try it.”
Jason laughed again and sat down across from him. “The fancy flips were your thing not mine.”
Dick smiled, lowering the screen so they could keep talking, glad that things were back to the way they had been.
Dick walked out of his room and fell heavily onto the couch, his legs across Jason’s lap, making him sit back from his laptop on the coffee table. Dick’s phone was in his hands and he never stopped typing. “I’m ordering a pizza, you want anything?”
Jason looked over a little more than confused. Less than an hour ago Dick had been dressed nicely, tailored jeans, button up shirt and a sweater. He also seemed on the brighter side, even as he turned down Jason’s previous offer to make food. Now he was in a hoodie and basketball shorts, acting einterly put off. It didn’t take a lot for him to figure it out. “Date cancel?”
“Last minute,” Dick confirmed. He rolled off the couch again and walked into the kitchen.
Jason leaned on his cushion to try and see what he was doing. “You okay?”
“Fine,” Dick’s voice suggested he wasn’t. “Pizza will be here in twenty,” he was talking while opening a cupboard, not even turning his head. “You want a shot?”
Jason stood up, walking over to see Dick pulling the cork from a bottle of high shelf tequila. “Has that always been there?”
“Yeah…?” Dick said back. He had assumed Jason had snooped through the whole apartment at one point or another. Apparently he hadn’t. “I don’t have drinking parties or anything, sometimes Barbara comes over and we make margaritas.”
Jason laughed because that sounded a lot like something Barbara would ask Dick to do. He reached into the cupboard and put down a second shot glass while Dick had been carefully pouring his own. “Hit me.”
Dick downed his and cringed with a whole body shake. He put the glass in the sink and went to the fridge. Jason had an easier time. In his travels he’d come across a lot worse tasting things that stung just as much. He set the glass down on the counter and picked up the bottle, reading the label. “Man, you really got spoiled huh, trust fund baby.”
Dick chuckled, cracking open a beer can. “Not quite ‘baby’,” he pointed. “I was actually pretty upset the first few weeks at the manor. Tried to run away once."
He held out a second can to Jason who took it. “Really? I was so amazed, I’d never seen anything as fancy outside a museum.”
Dick made a half smile and looked away. “Different circumstances I guess.”
“Shit, right, I’m sorry, Dickie,” Jason apologized quickly.
“It’s okay,” Dick said before pulling what was left of the twenty-four case out of the fridge by the handle. He walked back into the living room and sat down as if he intended not to get up again for a while.
Jason picked up the bottle and shot glass in his free hand and went to join him. "So why are you upset about some guy blowing you off?"
"I… I put in a lot of effort already," Dick said a little awkwardly. He propped his feet up on the coffee table and fell back into the couch cushions having another long drink of his beer.
“What effort?” Jason asked curiously.
Dick looked back with a suspicious brow. “You really want to know?”
“What? I mean I kinda want to understand some more I guess.” The divide between them that was caused by Dick’s social life had been going on a little too long. He hated that Dick tried to keep Jason separated from a part of himself.
Dick scratched the back of his neck and rolled his eyes as if looking for the words before another drink. “Okay so, I have to um... clean, and uh stretch, then clean again.”
The look on Jason’s face was one of only confusion. “What?”
Dick sighed and looked up at the ceiling, sucking in a deep breath. “Straights…” he said under the release breath like a little curse. He looked at Jason again. “So we’re talking about anal.”
“O-kay... Oh! Oh…” Jason looked away and had a swig as if just needing something else to do.
“Yeah it’s a process,” Dick tried to smile at the awkwardness.
“And you skipped dinner because...?” Jason asked, still a little unclear.
Dick burst into a loud laugh. “I don’t want to shit in some guy’s bed!”
Jason choked a little in surprise and then joined in with him. “Would you rather shit in the bed of a guy you do know?”
“I mean if it’s something we can laugh about together,” Dick said happily.
“Well you’re welcome to shit in my bed. I hate those fucking sheets,” Jason joked gesturing towards his room.
“You can change them. I have a spare set,” Dick informed.
"I never really thought I'd be staying here this long," Jason explained.
Dick stood up, setting his drink on the coffee table as he went to answer the door. "Thanks, I'm starving," he greeted the delivery girl.
Jason poured himself another shot. "Can I ask you something?"
Dick kicked the door closed after paying her a hefty tip. "Sure." They didn’t live far from several different pizza places but he had the money and Bruce wasn’t about to ask him where a few extra dollars were going. He didn’t notice anything less than five hundred at a time.
Jason watched Dick pull a slice free and eat it while leaning over the box to catch the grease. He laughed, “I take back what I said about you being a spoiled rich kid.” He got up and went into the kitchen to get some napkins.
When he came back Dick was washing down his food with another beer. Jason took back his seat and reached over to take a slice for himself. “At least now I know why you didn’t want the other Hot Pocket.”
Dick didn’t say anything but smiled while eating. When he was done he sank back on the couch, tossing the napkin in what was now claimed as his pizza box. “Oh yeah you were gonna ask me something.”
Jason turned with his arm resting on the back couch cushion. “I wanna know when you decided you were gay or whatever,” he would have sounded awkward if not for the alcohl keeping him from being less aware of what he was saying.
“Well I didn’t decide,” Dick corrected, sounding a little insulted. It passed by the next sentence though. “I sort of knew when the other boys in school were getting over the ‘girls have cooties’ thing. But I didn’t really think about it until- You remember when Megan and Conner broke up? The first time, the first break-up the Titans went through.”
Jason chuckled. “You mean when the whole tower chose sides and things were tense between everyone.”
“Right,” Dick agreed. “I know Babs and I tried not to show it because we were your leaders and all but we weren’t unaffected either.”
“Yeah, whose side were you on?”
“I don’t even remember,” Dick shook his head laughing before reaching for another drink. “Anyway, Babs and I weren’t talking and I just- it didn’t bother me. I know I cared about her but not in the way you do, or should, for your girlfriend. I think that’s the first time I was starting to get it, but it wasn’t until I moved out here and was on my own I really found out who I was.”
“So you broke up with her before you knew?” Jason abandoned the burnt crust onto the coffee table and picked up his can again.
“After- Well, after you died,” he said a little sadly, “we weren’t talking either. We were mourning in different ways I guess. I was mad and she was just sad and we fought a lot. It was complicated. When I moved she had decided to go to college and it just became a distance thing. We broke up because it just felt right, we both decided.”
Jason hummed thoughtfully with another drink. “So who was your first boyfriend?” Jason asked next, enjoying the little sputter and flush he got from Dick Grayson.
“I’ve um, never had one, I guess…” he said into his beer can.
Jason laughed at the reaction. “Aw, little Dickie’s embarassed to talk about his sex life.”
“Alright then, how ‘bout you,” Dick challenged.
“Me what?” Jason asked between swigs.
“Who’d you lose your virginity to?” Dick asked in a light hearted tone.
“What? That’s not the same,” Jason argued but with a breathy snort.
“I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours,” Dick offered with a witty smirk.
“I know yours,” Jason leaned forward to trade an empty can for a new one. “Everyone knows yours. Barbara.”
Dick let out a loud laugh, tipping back against the arm of the couch. “Okay yeah.”
Jason was sitting forward, cracking the new can open over the table. “Rose,” he admitted in a softer tone and taking a swig.
“Oh…” Dick wasn’t laughing anymore. “She really broke your heart huh,” he sighed, and tilted his head to try and judge Jason’s face.
“Yeah. I don’t want to talk about it,” Jason said, sitting back again.
“Then let’s not talk anymore,” Dick said in a more positive voice, he sat up and leaned forward, about to reach for the remote on the coffee table.
Jason’s heart jumped up into his throat and drunk brain went speeding away leaving an empty void that assumed Dick was leaning over for a kiss and deciding to meet him halfway. Dick took a little longer than a second to recognize Jason had just kissed him but when he did he leaned back and stared into the green-blue eyes as if trying to read what was happening behind them. “Jay…?”
Jason stood up quickly without saying anything. He set his drink can on the table and pulled on his jacket as he headed for the window.
Dick relaxed against the couch, trying to think. Jason had just kissed him. Jason Todd had kissed him and then ran away. He watched him guard his cigarette from the rain as he lit it. Dick stood up from the couch, his legs a little wobbly as he crossed the apartment over to the fire escape window. Jason looked over at him, blowing smoke out the side of his mouth. Dick just watched, waiting for someone to say something.
Jason dropped his hand like it was heavy, staring back with his face softening, “Di-”
Dick stepped forward, reaching for either side of Jason’s face, kissing him hard.
The cigarette slid out of Jason’s fingers and he grabbed Dick to turn him and pin him against the railing. Their tongues met somewhere in the middle, mouths warm against the cool rain. Dick’s wet fingers stuck in Jason’s hair and their bodies pressed harder into one another.
They broke apart, breathing hard. Jason’s cigarette tainted breath less repulsive thanks to the alcohol in Dick’s veins. They barely opened their eyes before crashing together again.
Jason moved his hands from the railing and slid them down Dick’s back without any hesitation. Dick rolled forward onto his toes, his body dragging against Jason’s, tongue dancing into his mouth.
Jason groaned and tipped backwards holding Dick in place where the warmest parts of their bodies met. Dick’s head rolled to the side and hand dropped to grip the shoulder of Jason’s jacket. “...inside…” The single word fell out on Dick’s breath brainlessly.
Jason dropped him with his arms still wrapped tightly around his lower back. He looked down at him and brought a hand up to push wet bangs off his face before they kissed again, less hungry this time but still urgently. "Fuck, Dickie…," Jason sighed, his forehead falling against his.
"Exactly," Dick said back with a haughty smirk.
Jason chuckled and tilted his head for another kiss before stepping backwards and grabbing for the window ledge. He climbed through first, one leg than the other, eyes stuck on Dick as he came in behind him.
Dripping water onto the kitchen floor, Jason pulled Dick against him again. His hands explored down Dick’s sides, his body harder than one he’d had before but it had been such a long time that the need took over. Dick shoved at the wet jacket, and Jason clumsily managed to throw it off, never breaking from Dick’s mouth for more than a breath. His hands grabbed for Dick again, this time sliding over the smooth basketball shorts and pulling his hips into his. He lifted Dick onto his toes, Jason’s hands cupped under his ass to get the angle right. Dick groaned against the kiss and grinded back against him.
Jason lowered him back down, making room for Dick’s hands now sneaking into his shirt. He turned them to push Dick towards the hall. Dick’s feet tripped over each other and he almost fell. They both laughed drunkenly and met in another kiss that started soft but became breathless again in seconds.
Dick stepped back through his bedroom doorway, Jason’s hand slid off the wall he had been using to catch his balance.
Dick sat on the edge of his bed and pulled off his hoodie, revealing he wasn’t wearing a shirt underneath. As Jason tossed off his own shirt Dick’s hands were moving down his chest, fingers pressing into every ripple between the muscles. Jason sighed and let his eyes slip closed as Dick held his hips and leaned forward to kiss his skin above the waistband of his pants. He reached down to run his fingers through Dick’s damp hair.
Fingers curled into the fabric as Dick’s head dipped lower. He was scooting closer to the edge of the mattress about to fully slide to the floor. Jason’s eyes snapped open and he pulled at Dick’s hair to force him back, messily kicking off his boots as he climbed over him.
Dick shifted under him to lay so they could both fit on the bed before turning onto his side to push off his shorts more easily. Jason still had one foot on the floor, holding his weight there and with his hand on the edge of the mattress he grabbed under Dick's side to turn him onto his stomach. Dick moved up onto his knees and forearms as Jason found his place behind him, hands sliding down the rain damp skin of his back. Jason leaned over him, lips kissing his side as his thumb sank below Dick’s tailbone. He felt the ring of muscles twitch and open greedily to the slightest pressure.
Jason laughed lightly against Dick’s skin as he could only let out a whiny moan and drop his head between his shoulders. “You really did do some prep work for that guy,” he said as his dry thumb gently rimmed him.
“Jay…” Dick started to rock almost instinctively, his body asking for more.
Instead Jason brought his hand back up to hold his hips while his own slid forward, clothed erection pressed into Dick’s thigh. “Damn, Dickie boy,” was all he could breathe out craving the friction Dick’s body offered.
Dick grunted and pushed himself up on one arm, straining to reach for the drawer in his nightside table. With some struggle he was able to feel for what he wanted, passing a black bottle with a snap cap behind him. Jason took it without hesitation, sitting back on his knees. “Is this strawberry flavored?” He asked, turning it over in his hands, finding a large strawberry behind the label.
“Shut up,” Dick said although his voice lacked any bite as he was digging through the drawer again. He finally closed his hand around the plastic wrapper he’d been searching out but jumped with a loud gasp as Jason’s now cool and slick fingers found him again. “Unhhn,” he groaned, arm dropping and body sinking onto his shoulder. The length of Jason’s knuckles slid against the sensitive skin, leaving a trail of strawberry scented gel. The pad of his finger rolled around the edge as Jason kissed his back again. Dick’s hand pulled at a fistfull of sheets with another pretty groan as Jason pushed it into him, going as deep as it could before pulling back out and adding a second.
“Fuck, Dickie,” Jason breathed, sitting up to lean his body weight against him, pressing himself to Dick’s leg. His fingers pumped into the hot body in exploration and wonderment. He dropped his head, breathing shallowly. “I’d just slide right in,” he sighed, sinking his fingers back in to the knuckles.
Dick’s breath caught in his chest, his body drawing up tight for a second before relaxing with a long moan. Panting he threw his arm back, practically shoving the condom into Jason’s hand. Jason held the corner of the wrapper in his teeth, sitting back to open his pants as quickly as he could and shoving everything in the way down his thighs.
Dick adjusted his position on the bed, resting on his forearms again and shifting on his knees to get more comfortable. He heard the pop of the cap again and sucked in a breath in anticipation. He moaned and rocked back when the blunt head of Jason’s cock skipped against him, catching on the muscles for just a second.
“Jay,” he whined again, gripping the sheets. Jason’s hands held Dick’s ass spread as he repeated the slow roll forward, making both of them twitch and let out little noises. Jason sat back again, looking down and guiding himself into Dick’s body. With every one of Dick’s short, gasping, groans he slid deeper, every new ring of muscles offering the perfect amount of pressure until Jason bottomed out. He was breathing hard, his hand reached past Dick’s head to brace his palm on the wall above the headboard.
“Oh fuck, Dickie…” was all Jason could mange before his eyes closed and hips started moving. His hand on Dick’s body skidded up to grip where thigh met hip, thrusts getting harder. The headboard thudded as Dick rocked back to meet him. Jason grinned his hand slipping off the wall. He shifted his knees back, still holding Dick tightly by the hip his other hand grabbed for his shoulder.
Dick let out a delighted kind of noise. “Oh fuck yes,” he hissed with his head lifting up. He started pushing himself back harder against Jason’s thrusts. Their bodies met in the rhythmic slap of skin to skin and thud of the bed to the wall. Dick dropped his head again, arching his back up, making the delicious noises Jason had heard before. Only this time they weren’t muffled and they were all for him.
Jason brought his hand down to hold both sides of Dick’s body, fucking into him with long grinding movements. Dick fell onto one shoulder, face against the bed. Jason watched him breathe, open mouthed, eyes closed, noises spilling out, practically drooling. Fuck it was hot, espicially when something felt particularly good and neck arched while his whole body tensed. Jason let out a shaky breath, eyes slipping closed again, feeling Dick’s hand reaching between his own legs, holding himself so Jason was pumping into him between his fingers. He didn’t know what Dick was doing but he wasn’t about to tell him to stop. The added pressure of his knuckles on either side of his cock along with the tight, greedy, heat of Dick’s body inviting him in again and again was absolutely mind blowing.
Dick’s hand slipped away again and Jason realized what he’d been doing, hearing the familiar sound of slick skin sliding through a loose fist. Jason nearly doubled over, having to hold himself on a hand by Dick’s side. It was so fucking hot. Dick was loving his cock so much he had to jerk himself off. “So good,” he murmured, resting his forehead to Dick’s back. He breathed hard loving every one of Dick’s “uhn”s that came from his throat as he bit his lip. “Gonna cum for me, baby?” Jason’s voice was deep and hoarse from breathing so hard a sly smile on his lips.
“Oh fuck, Jay,” Dick gasped loudly, his body rolled off his shoulder, catching hismelf on his forehead pressed to the mattress. His whole body tensed to the point of shaking. Jason’s hips snapped forward, his own body tightening up. Dick’s breath hitched and body rocked as a strangled noise fell out of him, cum slipping through his fingers onto the bed below. Jason breathed hard, his stomach muscles still flexing as he rode out his own orgasm.
They stayed like that for a long moment afterwards, catching their breath before trying to move. Dick’s drunk head spun when he fell onto his side. Jason was already walking out of the room, his knees stiff. He clicked on the light in the bathroom and carefully pulled the condom off to drop it in the trash and clean himself up before tucking himself back into the pants he was holding up around his waist. There wasn’t a single thought in his head, drunk and sated. He washed his hands and used the walls to get back to Dick’s room. By then Dick was up, just as wobbly as he passed, holding Jason’s arm with a soft grin.
Jason’s head throbbed, dehydrated and heart beating fast. He bent down carefully picking his shirt up off the floor. He looked over at the wet spot Dick had made on the bed and walked back into the hall while pulling his shirt on. The bathroom door was closed as Dick cleaned himself up. Jason didn’t think much about it, dragging his feet along.
When Dick came back to his room Jason had turned on the light and was working on tucking a new fitted sheet he’d found in the hall closet around the corners of the mattress.
“You didn’t have to do that,” Dick said with a smile.
Jason shrugged, finishing the last corner. He tossed Dick’s pillows lazily back at the top of the bed. Dick had pulled on a pair of boxers from his dresser drawer and picked up the folded top sheet that was still on the floor. “You can stay in here if you want,” Dick offered.
“It’s alright,” Jason’s voice was rough, tired. “Night,” he said, walking back out of the room and heading for his own.
Jason woke up with a terrible headache. He groaned, rolling off his bed, realizing he’s fallen asleep fully dressed. He pulled off his t-shirt to trade it for a clean one, and traded his civilian jeans out for lounge pants. With a yawn he opened his door and stepped out into the hall. He noticed Dick’s bedroom door open and could barely see the acrobat’s leg tangled up in his blankets. It was out of the ordinary, Dick slept with his door closed, not only that but was always up earlier than him. Jason looked over at the open pizza box and empty beer cans on the coffee table as he passed with another yawn. He reached up rubbing his fingers through his hair, freezing when he came across his jacket on the kitchen floor.
He dropped his hands and turned his head up to the ceiling. “Oh fuck,” He said to himself quietly but angrily. He drug his hands down his face, smelling vaguely of synthetic strawberries. “Why did I- Why?”
He looked back down the hall. It was still quiet, Dick was still sleeping.
Jason picked up his jacket from the floor and hung it on the hook where it was supposed to go. There were two cans left in what used to be the twenty-four pack he put them in the fridge after cleaning up the rest of the mess.
If he was lucky Dick wouldn’t remember.
He set the box of now stale pizza on the counter and focused on making the coffee. It was something Dick always did. The beans ground fresh every morning, and using some fancy French press thing. Jason was trying just to find the coffee beans when Dick walked out into the kitchen. “Morning,” he yawned into his hand, his hair a mess, wearing only his boxers.
“Morning,” Jason only glanced at him, trying to focus on what he was doing.
“Here,” Dick leaned past him, reaching into the cupboard over Jason’s shoulder, pulling down the bag he’d been looking for. “I’ll get it.” As he fell back from his tip toes he kissed Jason’s shoulder. Jason closed his eyes and kept down a sigh, going to make himself some toast instead. He still couldn’t explain his own behavior, just that he’d really fucked up, he felt it in his gut. And now he was stuck having to try and tell Dick something that didn’t even make sense to himself.
“You okay?” Dick asked, tilting his head as he sat down at the table.
It was then Jason realized he’d been staring at the toaster, not doing anything. “Yeah just a headache,” he excused, moving again. He pushed the lever down but canceled it in the next second. “Actually…” he sighed, holding his hands against the counter. “I um, I’m sorry... About last night.”
Dick looked confused at the back of Jason’s head, because he wasn’t turning around. “Sorry for what?”
“I used you,” Jason admitted sadly, it was the only thing that made sense to him.
“Oh,” Dick held his mug and looked out the window.
Jason turned his gut sinking, “I mean I- I don’t- I can’t feel for you whatever you feel for me. I’m not-... you know, like you…”
Dick sighed with a sad little smile and looked into his coffee mug, “I get it.”
“I was really drunk last night and- We’d been talking about- It’s just that it’s been a really long time since I-” Jason shook his head at himself. “I’m just an asshole. You don’t deserve that. I’m so sorry, Dickie.”
Dick looked up again. “I’m sorry too, Jay. I never meant to pressure you into doing something you didn’t want to."
“No, none of it’s your fault,” Jason corrected. “I’m just an asshole.”
“It’s okay,” Dick said back with a hopeful tone. “We can just act like it never happened. We were both pretty drunk anyway.”
Jason smiled a little but it was fake. “Works for me.” After a moment of awkward silence he tapped his hand on the counter thoughtfully. “I think I’m actually going to go for a run. I’ll stop somewhere for hangover breakfast,” he added lightly.
“Sounds good,” Dick said back with a smile that was just as fake.
After Jason had changed and left Dick went back to his room to pick up his phone, keeping it plugged into the charging cable it had been disconnected from all night.
"I sent you everything I found already." Barbara started angrily. "I can't make the Batcomputer work any faster-"
"I'm not calling about the case," Dick said, sitting on his bed. "I-" he let out a hard breath. "I fucked up."
"What did you do now?" Barbara asked light heartedly, expecting his usual antics.
"No, Babs. I really fucked up," Dick corrected seriously.
"Oh," she matched his tone. "What happened?"
Dick held his forehead in his hand, squeezing his eyes closed. "So Jason and I got pretty drunk last night…"
"Okay…?" She prompted for more but in a tone that suggested she knew where this was going. They'd known each other long enough.
"Some stuff happened," Dick drug his hand down his face. "A lot of stuff. All the stuff."
"Dick!" Barbara made a frustrated groan like she'd just seen him drop a vase. Then she sighed as if there was no fixing it now. "So... Did he say anything?"
"That he was drunk and used me," Dick retold a little sadly. He pulled his feet up onto the bed to sit in a butterfly stretch. "I don't really know what I thought would happen, he's straight."
"Dick, straight men don't sleep with other men," Barbara corrected.
"Except they do," Dick said back certainly.
Barbara laughed a little at the oxymoron of what Dick was trying to say. "No, Dick, they don-"
"Barbara, they do," Dick interrupted. He rarely called her anything other than Babs or Beautiful, meaning he really was serious.
"Okay," she let it go. "So what are you going to do?"
"I think we're acting like it never happened," Dick shared.
"Best of luck with that," she sounded less than hopeful at the idea. "Where is he now?"
"He went out, 'for a run'," Dick answered, "really any excuse to get out of the apartment at the moment. Fuck this is going to be awkward!" He dropped his head back, exasperated.
"Should have thought about that before you slept with him," Barbara said smartly. "Although, he slept with you too," she added a little kinder to point out the fact it wasn’t only Dick’s fault.
"I know," Dick groaned and fell sideways to lay down. "Can I come hide at your place?"
"No. You need to stay and fix this," Barbara instructed. "You are the only person Jason remotely trusts." She groaned like she was putting her head in her hand now. "And I can't believe you slept with him… You need to smooth this over or we could lose him again."
"Can you come here then? Be our buffer? I'll get Thai food," he tried to bribe.
"Oh yes, please invite me into this mess," she said sarcastically. Barbara let out a defeated sigh through the phone. "I can come over. We'll work on the case together."
"Great! I'll shower and come get you,” Dick offered, sitting up again and unplugging the cord. “Do you have the van?”
“I can drive myself!” Barbara announced excitedly. “My physical therapist said I can.”
“When did they say that?” Dick asked suspiciously. She almost always updated him with her recovery progress.
“Yesterday,” Barbara shared. “I’ll be fine, be there in an hour?”
“I can’t convince you to let me come get you can I?” Dick asked, knowing the answer already.
“No. See you soon!” She said cheerfully before hanging up.
Jason sucked in a deep breath, preparing himself to walk back into the apartment. He’d spent the better half of the morning in a café on his phone, searching through Joker conspiracy theory sites trying to find a hint of truth until his phone died.
He was planning on going across the bridge to Gotham tonight, maybe permanently. Whatever was going on with him started and ended with Dick. Jason hated when he talked about who he met at the gym, or who he had plans to go see, and he hated that fucking noise Dick's phone made when someone was trying to hook up with him. He knew he wasn't homophobic, or whatever, at least he didn't think he was. Jason didn’t have any exposure to anyone, at least that he knew, before Dick.
Maybe that's why last night had happened, curiosity? Or maybe he was just trying to connect with someone because he felt so disconnected from everyone. Whatever the reason, he knew it was a mistake.
He needed to get out of Blüdhaven and back to Gotham. He had to avenge himself because no one else would.
Letting out a sigh he turned the handle and opened the door. Jason was taken aback seeing Barbara sitting on a pillow on the floor at the coffee table, a laptop in front of her. Dick was sitting with his own laptop on the table's edge close to her, also on the floor. Stirafoam take-out containers were arms lengths away from them. They both looked up and Barbara smiled, “Hey, Jason.”
“Uh hey,” He looked from her to Dick, as if trying to tell who’s idea this was.
“I’d hug you but I’m sure that’d make you uncomfortable,” Barbara said. She was practically beaming, this was the first they’d seen each other since his resurrection.
Jason smiled awkwardly, “yeah…”
“It also would take me a while to stand up again,” she added with a little laugh.
“Oh right,” he recalled. Dick had told him about the bullet in her spine, her experimental surgery and the trigger that'd been pulled by his least favorite clown. “How’s that going?” He knew those were the wrong words but it was taking him too long to find the correct ones.
“Good! I drove here today,” she said proudly.
“Is that safe?” Jason asked back, looking at her and Dick.
“-Yes,” Barbara said over Dick, shooting him a look that said she was right.
Dick just looked back down at his laptop again with a defeated shake of his head. “There’s shrimp pad thai in the microwave for you, if you haven’t had lunch,” he told Jason.
“Thanks,” Jason said, still trying to feel out the environment. Would Dick tell Barbara about last night? Of course he fucking would, but did he? Jason walked into the kitchen to get his container. After reheating it he stood leaning on the wall as he ate. “You working on the Wilson case?”
“Yes,” Barbara answered, focused back on her computer screen. “So far all we know is he’s here working on something with Luthor.”
“Probably something to do with the Legion then,” Jason said off handedly. Both were suspected members of the Legion of Doom, but because no one was jumping in line to boast about being in a secret organization trying to destroy the world, there were no confirmed members.
“I assume,” Dick said.
“Me too,” Barbara added, a little more cautiously. “We can’t get tunnel vision though.”
“Have you checked any of the warehouses in the industrial district?” Jason asked between bites of food. “Bet Lexcorp’s got some fingers in some pies over there.”
Dick looked up about to say something but Barbara got to it first. “I did find one thing over there but it wasn’t enough to explain why Slade would be needed.”
“What was it?” Jason asked.
Barbara turned away from her computer, careful of her posture. “Lexcorp has a factory making helicopter parts over there but it’s military contracted, meaning inspections and strict operations. He can’t be hiding anything there.”
“Check the personnel,” Jason picked through his food. “There’s probably gonna be someone on there being paid more than they’re worth.”
“You want me to hack into bank records of innocent Lexcorp employees?” Barbara asked back.
“Or we can just pop over there and take a look for ourselves,” he suggested.
“We don’t even know if that has anything to do with Slade right now,” Dick argued. “We can’t just break in without knowing the whole picture.”
Jason rolled his eyes, “goody-goodies. Old fashion stakeout then?”
Barbara and Dick looked at each other, thinking it over. “We could-” Barbara started.
“Not uh,” Dick objected. “You aren’t doing anything.”
“I can watch a building, Dick,” she replied, annoyed.
“But if something happens you won’t stay watching the building will you?” Dick asked back.
“I agree,” Jason said suddenly, making both of them look up at him. “Sorry, Batgirl, just because you can drive doesn’t mean you can suit up.”
Barbara was genuinely surprised by the concern in his voice. Bruce had told her the state he’d found Jason in, like a feral animal, she was told, full of rage and looking for blood. “I’ll be ground support,” she offered gently, accepting her own limits as well. “I’ll stay in the van, you two can do the rest.”
“That’s the plan then,” Dick declared, sounding a lot like the old Titans leader he was.
Jason blew out a breath, he hated Authority Dick. He closed his container and turned to go put it in the fridge. “Great. I’m going to get a shower and relax until sundown then,” he said walking past them without another word.
Dick sat back against the base of the couch, closing his eyes with a sigh.
Barbara only smiled and looked at her laptop again, starting to type.
“I’m in position,” Babara said, her van lights already off as she let it roll to a stop across the street from a chain fenced yard. Industrial flood lights illuminated the perimeter of the buildings on the other side. “Can you guys hear me?”
“We hear you,” Nightwing’s voice replied through the ear piece. He looked over at Red Hood on the roof beside him. The emotionless face plate looked back at him.
Barbara picked up the tablet from her passenger side seat. “I’m bringing up the security cameras, now.”
Red Hood was scanning the yard again. “Looks like we’ve got, some guards on nightshift,” he shared over the communicator.
"Looks like more than a helicopter factory would need," Nightwing observed, watching the security staff making their rounds.
"A lot more heavily armed too," Red hood added. "Looks more like their guarding Arkam than some factory."
"I've hacked the cameras," Barbara said back. "I'm not seeing much… Except that's weird." She squinted to read the sign outside a large metal door inside the facility. "Can either of you think of a reason a parts factory needs a restricted research lab door?"
"Where's it at?" Nightwing asked curiously.
"Looks like this camera doesn't have a location indicator like the others," Barbara answered, implying they all knew what that meant.
Red Hood looked over at Nightwing, "Basement."
"Basement," Nightwing agreed. "Alright, Beautiful, what's the best way in?"
Barbara switched from looking at cameras to a schematic of the building. "Looks like there's some operations offices on the western side of the building. Once you’re in position I’ll start messing with the cameras.”
Nightwing grew a smirk looking at his rooftop companion. “Race ya?”
“What are you ten?” Red Hood asked back dismissively before grabbing the ledge and vaulting himself from the building. “Or just ten feet behind, Grayson,” he added, holding a middle finger as he disappeared over the side.
Nightwing laughed and took a running leap after him.
“Can you two stop being moronic for five minutes?” Barbara asked over their compunicators.
“It’ll take less than that for me to win,” Nightwing’s boots landed on the next rooftop as he rolled out of the drop and he aimed his grappling gun for one of the floodlights, timing it so a guard wouldn’t see a shadow pass.
“Who says you’re winning,” Red hood was on one of the metal walkways that wrapped the building, knocking out a guard with a passing kick.
“Children, both of you,” Barbara rolled her eyes.
“You know you’d be joining us if you could, Batgirl,” Nightwing swung on his wire to get around the corner of the factory. Using his momentum he ran his feet along the metal siding before jumping to the railing of the same metal catwalk Red Hood was on. The two of them meeting outside the same window.
“Oh I would have beat both of you,” Barbara said confidently.
Red Hood blew out a laugh inside his helmet. “If I remember right you were the only one that left Wing in the dust.”
“That’s because I didn’t waste time on fancy showmanship,” she said teasingly.
“What can I say, the world’s my stage,” NIghtwing said poetically, working on unlocking the window with a tool he took from his gauntalent.
“Too bad you’re only performing for yourself,” Red Hood said in a tone that matched Barbara’s.
“Are you suggesting I take my act on the road?” Nightwing asked back smartly.
“Oh yeah I know a part of Gotham where your fancy flips could make tons on a metal pole,” he said sarcastically, keeping a lookout for other security guards.
“Sounds like someone’s jealous they’d have to be the second act and not the mainliner,” Nightwing replied with a witty smile.
“Boys, you’re both pretty,” Barbara interrupted sarcastically, “can we focus now?”
“Yeah,” Nightwing was back to a serious voice. “We’re ready when you are.” He gently tipped the office window so that they could squeeze through.
“Okay. That camera’s delayed for the next twenty seconds. Outside the door there’s a staircase to your left. I’ve got the camera on it ready when the first goes live again. Sorry, boys, only so much I can do from here.”
“Just count us down, Gorgeous,” Nightwing said, crouched with one hand reaching up on the door handle.
Red rolled his eyes behind his helmet. “I’d rather let Luthor catch me than hear you flirting.”
“...3...2...Go,” Barbara said urgently over the communicators.
“I’m not flirting,” Nightwing objected, even though he was using a voice that sounded like he was lying as he snuck around the corner, his back pressed to the wall.
It was all on purpose, or maybe not. Nightwing was a persona Dick adopted, all of them were someone else with the uniform on. It made the whole thing easier, not that masked vigilantes were looking for simplicity in their psychosis. “Oh, I know,” Red Hood followed into the stairwell. He threw himself over the railing to land on the lower flight and cut off his companion.
“I think we all know,” Barbara joked.
“Stairs end here,” Red Hood interrupted whatever Wing was about to say. They were only on the ground floor, the factory machinery visible through the door window.
“Um…” Barbara opened the building blueprints again.
Both Red Hood and Nightwing ducked against the wall as flashlight light passed over the door. “No, no, take your time,” Red Hood said hotly.
“Across the factory there’s a three by four room that’s not labeled. I’m thinking that’s your elevator,” she said back as though Red had said nothing. “Thing is I don’t have enough juice left to take care of all three cameras on the factory floor and the one outside the lab. I can take out their lights though.”
Nightwing raised his head to look out the thin window again. “Looks like it might be dark enough for us to get across without the guards noticing.”
“Alright, good-bye night lights,” she said, typing the necessary code.
The building’s humming of machinery on rest, not fully off, and the buzz of the floodlights drained suddenly like it had released a breath.
“What the hell?” One voice not far from the stairwell asked loudly.
“Probably something not shut down right again,” another answered.There was a click as he pulled a radio off his belt. “Power box’s around back.”
The stairwell door closed quietly and padded boots passed behind a large motor. Crouched they stepped carefully across the concrete floor narrowly avoiding beams of flashlights as the two guards continued talking.
“This happened two months ago. Some idiot left a machine on and it overheated, tripping the safety procedure.”
“Wasn’t the plant down for a week because of that?” The other asked.
They were both walking again. “Hopefully someone can get it fixed so we don’t have another week of overtime.”
There was a click and static on their radios. “Uh… nothing’s been tripped here.”
“Dammit I am not paid fifteen dollars an hour to fix the fucking lights too,” one said angerly, his light turning around the room as he walked out the side door.
The single guard hummed to himself as he walked around one of the factory belts. As far as he knew it was just another boring night. He brought up his hand to yawn, freezing when his light bounced off the reflection of a red face plate.
Red Hood dropped quickly out of sight, and his leg sweeping out and catching the guard’s ankles. The man fell hard, his flashlight rolling away. He gasped to catch his breath but wound up breathing in a mist before falling back, eyes slipping closed.
“Knockout gas?” Red Hood asked judgmentally.
“He’ll be awake in an hour, and feeling well rested,” Nightwing said back positively, looking back at the elevator door they’d found. “Looks like we need a key card.”
Red Hood looked down at the snoring man on the ground and pulled his badge from the clip on the uniform pocket. “Perfect timing then.” He stepped over the security guard and waved it over the sensor.
The elevator only had two buttons on the inside panel, up and down. Nightwing leaned forward to press the button while Red Hood continued spinning the clip of badges on his finger. “We’re in the elevator,” he said to let Barbara know to get the camera ready before deadpanning over to his partner.
“Might still need it,” he shrugged.
“Ready on the camera,” Barbra said after bringing up the new window. “I can keep this one on loop as long as my tablet holds out.”
“Thanks, Batgirl,” Red Hood said, stepping out into the hallway.
“We’d be lost without you, Babs” Nightwing added. There was only radio silence in response.
Red Hood nudged him as he looked up, at the metal lined hall, “bet ya anything that’s lead.”
Nightwing hummed thoughtfully. “Looks like he was expecting someone else.”
“Hope she’s still got the camera covered,” Red Hood watched as Nightwing hacked the keypad next to the lab door with his gauntlet.
The lab was dark with only a few fluorescent lights buzzing overhead. There was a desk with a computer on either side of the platform they were apparently standing on. Nightwing went straight for the computer, waking it up and plugging a device to download whatever he found.
Red Hood instead went for the stairs that lead down into what looked like a very sterile chop shop. Mechanical looking parts were laid over white tables, a large rolling door, and a vehicle lift in the center of the room. He started looking for the controls to lower it.
“Looks like the helicopters have an intentional flaw,” Nightwing said out loud, speed reading through documents. “But I can’t find out what, or where.”
“Uh-huh,” Red Hood found the button for the lift.
“The motors are electric with fuel tanks for back up. It looks pretty standard green energy stuff,” Nightwing went on, transferring data to his device.
“Uh-huh,” Red repeated, watching the lift lower.
“Oh shit,” Nightwing reread the previous line to get more detail. “It’s the fuel lines. If the electric engine fails there’s nothing keeping them in the air.”
“Then I’m guessing this is some sort of a ground to air EMP emitter,” Red Hood said looking over the tank like vehicle.
Nightwing left the files to finish transferring as he went to look over the railing. “Luther’s double dipping, selling to both sides.”
The white lights turned off with the same sound the building made when Barbara pulled her trick earlier. This time the lab lights came back red, an alarm sounding.
“Fuck,” Red Hood cursed glancing around the corners of the room.
Nightwing ran back to the computer, pulling out his device. “Time to go.”
Red Hood looked down the sight of his gun, shooting out the security camera that looked a lot nicer and higher tech than the ones they’d snuck past in the factory over them.
Nightwing found the lab door had sealed shut. “How are we getting out of here?”
Red Hood looked at the tank and then the large metal door designed to let the vehicle out, “I’ll drive.”
Nightwing jumped over the railing of the platform. “Red, there’s not going to be any missiles in that thing.”
“Shut up and get in,” Red Hood insisted.
Nightwing looked back at the lab door being opened, guns being pointed at them. “Yup,” he climbed easily up the metal side and slid through the body sized gap into the compartment.
Red Hood fired two shots back, not aiming at either guard before digging his boots in and pulling himself through the hatch to find himself in a tiny space pressed against Nightwing. “Uh… hey…”
“Hey…” Nightwing said back in the same tone, staring into the blank faceplate, knowing Jason was under it.
Bullets pinged against the metal exterior bringing them back from the awkwardness. Red Hood tried to make space by lifting his arms. They both looked around the apparently one-man vehicle for controls. “This is a prototype,” Nightwing realized suddenly.
“Should still do something,” Red Hood reached up to start pressing buttons frantically. A green light came on when he held one in. He held it longer and an engine came alive.
Nightwing ducked his head under Red’s arm finding a screen that linked to an exterior camera. “Acceleration should be by you somewhere,” he said in a rush, having already located the steering. He moved around Jason fully, finding another screen with a crosshair.
Red Hood shifted his feet, now standing behind Dick, pressed against him. He found himself recalling the way Dick’s face had pressed into the mattress. He shook it off, now was not the time. He moved his foot around and found a pedal. The tank lurched forward making them sway and bump against each other. Dick lifted his head up, less focused on the screens, but after a beat they laughed awkwardly.
“Aim for the doors, Dickie,” Jason said before slamming his foot onto the acceleration.
Dick found a switch. A light flashed green, and a low buzz began, two other lights by Jason blinked red. He reached up to flip them.
The buzz built louder and louder, the door in the crosshairs, Dick hit the largest button on the control panel. The room around the tank filled with a hot white light, knocking the guards onto the ground, and leaving a burn mark on the large metal doors. It was followed by a loud crack that was just as intense and in a blink it was gone. The room suddenly dark, lights blown, anything wired sparking and fizzling. The mechanism for opening the door no exception.
The tank was now a battering ram as it slammed hard into their exit. Metal scrapped against metal, Jason’s forearms hit the hatch before his helmet did. Dick had hit the panel, splitting his forehead on something. He groaned and put his hand on the wound, his other grabbing the steering again as the tank spun, stuck.
“You okay?” Jason asked hurriedly.
“Fine, keep revving,” Dick said back, wiping away blood from his eye mask.
Jason pumped the pedal at his feet while Dick jerked the steering mechanism.
Metal crunched and the smell of heat filled the cabin and with a lurch the tank was free, climbing up a tunnel under the factory. It came bursting through another set of much weaker doors, pieces of the unfinished hull flung through the warehouse they’d found themselves in. The two men inside were slammed against each other again, Jason’s forearm cracking a screen, cutting his skin.
Still the engine refused to surrender, roaring and sputtering it flew across the concrete, spilling a trail of fluid from broken lines. Jason let up off the pedal when the shock and adrenaline ebbed but in the next second the smoke from under the tank sparked started to climb into flames they could smell.
“Fuck,” Dick reached up for the hatch. It was jammed. He threw his elbow against it, rearing his body back against Jason’s. There was a crack as it began to give in but it wasn’t enough for them to fit through. “Lift me up,” Dick said quickly, shoving his shoulders into Jason’s chest, not waiting for an answer.
Jason got the idea though, grabbing Dick by the waist and digging his back into whatever was behind it to get the acrobat’s legs up to the thing standing in the way of their escape. He had to slip his hands lower to lift him higher, Dick’s body curled in his arms, jerking against him as he frantically kicked, the metal giving more and more until it flung away.
Dick dropped and twisted his body, climbing out of the gap, his suit and skin tearing against jagged edges, making him cry out in a long groan. He looked down at the long cut on his side, as a reflex, blood starting to crawl from it, before throwing his arm back into the flamming vehicle and grabbing for Jason. They locked forearms, Jason’s thicker frame climbing though with more struggle, the leg of his pants ripping, pockets catching. His gloved hand shoving at the metal to get himself free. The second his boots landed they started running, heading straight for the large warehouse exit. Hands still clasped together.
They were hardly out of the building before the engine exploded, flames rocketing up to the rafters, rusted beams creaking. Jason had pulled Dick’s arm to him as they fell onto the pavement, landing partially over him, shielding him from the intense heat. The flames turned blue, popping violently as the fire spread to whatever components let the tank’s weapon work.
Dick rolled onto his back and Jason rolled away from him, both of them sitting up, Dick hissing and looking at his side again. Blood rolled down his split skin as it wrinkled.
Jason reached up, tapping the side of his helmet where his earpiece was. “Batgirl? The radio cracked and fizzled over the sound of her voice. “If you can hear me, honk your car.”
In the distance a horn blasted.
Red Hood started laughing, his head rearing back, hand holding himself up on the asfalt, not realizing it landed over Nightwing’s. Wing looked over, holding the wound on his side with his other hand he began to laugh with him. The two of them in hysterics from the rush of adrenaline.
Barbara’s fragmented voice was yelling through their communicators.
“Fuck where are we?” Nightwing asked as he sighed, beginning to look around. He tapped his earpiece. “Riverside, um… Northwest of explosion?” He didn’t sound confident. “We’ll debrief later.” He began to stand, the pain starting to creep in.
Red’s leg was torn deeply as well, something he had just noticed as he himself tried to get up. “We’re gonna need to replace everything in the medkit,” he joked lightly.
Sirens sounded somewhere in the distance. “First let’s get the hell out of here,” Nightwing said with crooked smile.
Barbara met them back at the apartment so they could catch her up while they tended to wounds. Jason and Dick were somehow still in high spirits, practically giddy.
“Remember the headaches we gave Luthor when we were younger?” Dick tore a piece of medical tape from the roll with his teeth, still holding the gauze to his side. “This can’t even be half of that.”
“One prototype tank and a factory warehouse,” Jason agreed, propping the foot of his injured leg on the coffee table. “More of a PR move than anything.”
“He’s got other labs,” Barbara was sitting at the kitchen table with her laptop. It was obvious her back was getting to her. Every once in a while she’d stretch or adjust her posture. “According to the files Dick got this technology isn’t only being put in tanks.”
“Definitely something Slade would be interested in,” Dick added, pulling himself up from the floor to sit on the couch besides Jason.
“Something the whole Legion would be interested in,” Jason added. “Targeted lightning strikes.”
“Based on the extent of this I’d say we should tell the League,” Barbara said, still scanning files.
“Yeah,” Dick agreed. He sighed and dropped his head back. “I have to call Bruce.”
“Better you than me,” Jason jested lightly.
Dick grimaced a little. “Last time we talked I told him to screw off.”
Barbara looked up, closing her computer enough to see over it. “Dick, why didn’t you tell me you two were fighting again?”
“Because it’s all the same stuff, Babs,” Dick said, lifting his head up again.
She sighed. “Well, regardless we need to get this over to the League. It’s too big to handle on your own.” She closed her laptop completely and stood up. “I need to get going. I think I pushed myself too much already tonight.”
“I can drive you home,” Dick offered, sitting up, getting ready to do that.
“I think you’re worse off than me right now,” she said with a smile, picking up her bag. “I’ll see you later.”
“Yeah,” Dick agreed, falling back again.
“It was good to see you, Jason,” Barbara smiled wider, “I’m glad you’re back.”
Jason seemed surprised by the warmth in her voice. “Uh thanks.”
Barbra let herself out, closing the door behind her, and it was just the two of them alone again.
Dick looked over at him, relaxed into the couch, still thinking about the night’s events. “We sure know how to find trouble don’t we?”
Jason let out a breathy laugh. “Go in for recon, wind up blowing up the world’s tiniest tank.”
Dick held his side as he let himself laugh. “We were practically dry humping in that thing.”
Jason’s chuckle faded, watching Dick’s smile do the same. He remembered the feeling of Dick’s body pressed against him, the adrenaline of the job in his veins, and then the night before when he was fully buried in him.
They both let out a soft breath, heads tilting to meet somewhere in the middle.
Dick’s fingers racked trough Jason’s dark hair, tounges never hesitating against each other. The kiss was instantly deep, memories of the other’s mouth flooding back. Jason reached for Dick’s side, but brushed bandage, his hand dropped down to grab his hip instead.
Dick used his elbow as leverage against the couch cushion to pull himself up. Jason tipped his head back thoughtlessly, more invested in sliding his tongue as far into Dick’s mouth as he could, teeth clicking against each other in urgency.
Dick’s knee swung to the other side of Jason’s legs, his head turning and Jason’s following, correcting their sideways kiss with Dick slipping into his lap. Jason's thoughts caught up to him. He couldn't do this again, not sober, not without consequences too big to even consider.
So as quickly as it started it stopped.
Jason brought a hand up to push Dick’s chest and put space between them, some type of guilt twisting in his gut. Dick watched Jason’s face fall and eyes drift to look somewhere else. He took the hint, moving himself to sit back on the couch. “Sorry…” Jason said softly.
“I know,” Dick laughed at himself and rolled his eyes.
“I don’t want to hurt you, Dickie,” Jason said honestly.
“It’s fine,” Dick said, looking at his side,“I get hurt all the time.” He tried to sound like he was joking.
“I just-” Jason started to explain. “When I woke up in that pit- I was so angry, even before Talia told me anything. I’m so full of hate, and I want to make it everyone else’s problem,” he confessed.
Dick nodded. “I know that feeling,” he said gently. “But what you think you want, it’s not going to make it go away.”
“You can tell me that,” Jason conceded, “Bruce has told me that.” He stood up from the couch, “but I’m still going to find out for myself.”
Dick watched him walk around to the hall, heading for his room. “I know.”
He and Jason didn’t talk much the next day, but it was hardly as awkward as it would have once been. Dick hadn’t been lying when he told Jason he understood.
The night of his parent’s death was a blur, like broken pieces of trauma stitched together. It was the weeks after that shaped a lot of him. Wayne Manor was like an ocean he didn’t want to swim in. It was alien and unfamiliar, his family had lived in trailers and train cars. There were no faces he recognized to comfort him, his circus family had to move on, and they all told him how lucky he was, that’s what stung the most. He hated Bruce, he hated the manor, so many times he’d cried and desperately wanted his mother to come hold him like it had just been a bad dream. But no one ever came, especially not Bruce. As soft as he could talk and try to be reassuring, Dick always felt like he was being kept at arm’s length. When he heard Bruce talk to Gordon about the accident being less than, what was left of him just, broke.
His parents had been a pawn in some mobster’s loan sharking. They had been nothing, worthless to that one man, but to Dick they were his whole world. He wanted then what Jason was looking for now, revenge. But it was more than that, what he wanted was visceral, he felt it deep into his bones. He wanted to hurt someone as badly as he’d been hurt. That’s when he started running away.
There was a tree outside his window. He could easily swing from the branches to get down. Dick was tumbling before he was three and doing cartwheels before he was five. John Grayson was teaching his son to be a proper acrobat before he could even read. That first leap from his window at Wayne Manor was like letting out a held breath, he had something that was his that they’d given him, and Bruce couldn’t take it away.
He remembered sitting in the police station waiting for his guardian to come pick him up. He thought Bruce was going to bar his window, move him to a new room, something to keep him from running again. Instead Bruce took him to the Batcave.
Robin was the outlet he needed.
Dick let out a long breath, looking down at his phone. He let go of his pride and gave in, calling Bruce.
“Dick?” Bruce was surprised, it was in his voice, but wherever things were left between them he’d never not answer Dick’s phone call.
“Hey…” Dick said, putting his free hand in his sweatshirt pocket. It was getting colder. He sucked in a deep breath and let it out again. “I’m sorry.”
“Dick, you don’t have to apologize,” Bruce said with kindness and understanding in his voice.
“It’s just always so easy to blame you,” Dick went on anyway. He looked up at the clouds threatening another autumn rain. “But I asked for this. I wanted this life.”
“I could have done more to keep it away from you,” Bruce said, “I’m sorry too, Dick.”
Dick half smiled, watching the stones on the roof move under his feet. “That was probably a long overdue conversation huh?”
“Right, let’s not do that again,” Bruce said a little lighter.
Dick let out a small laugh. “I didn’t just call to apologize,” he became serious again, “I need the League’s help...”
Jason didn’t come out to the kitchen like he usually did in the mornings. Dick finished his coffee and breakfast, placing the dishes in the sink before walking towards the hall. He knocked lightly on Jason’s door. “Hey, Jay?”
“Yeah?” Was the answer.
Dick opened the door to find Jason sitting up with his laptop, probably working his case. “I’m going to get around and go to meet with the League. You could join if you want.”
Jason snorted. “No thanks. I bet I wouldn’t even be allowed in goody-goody HQ.”
Dick smiled, “in spite of your best efforts I think you’ve proven you’re pretty good, Jay.”
“Pfft,” Jason scoffed, “you keep that shit to yourself.”
Dick laughed and put up a hand in surrender. “Alright. I’ll see you later?”
“I’m going to Gotham tonight,” Jason shared, looking back at his screen. “Quinn’s showed up in some police reports.”
Dick nodded, “just be careful." They both knew his leg was still injured.
Dick watched the black town car pull up the curb in front of his building. He hesitated a second, wondering if he should put this meeting on hold until Jason got back from Gotham. The driver’s door opened because he was going to get the door for Dick like a professional valet. Dick put up a hand to stop him and opened the door for himself. If Jason got into trouble Dick could only hope he’d call.
He and his driver were quiet as they left Blüdhaven. Dick always felt underdressed in these situations. Bruce always wore slacks and button downs outside the uniform, Dick prefered jeans and t-shirts. He looked up to try and find something to talk about with the driver. “Do you do a lot of pick ups from Blüdhaven?”
“Uh, no, sir, not really,” He clearly wasn’t used to the clientele talking with him. The Gotham elite weren’t really the bunch to talk to their drivers.
“You don’t have to call me sir,” Dick laughed a little. “Do you do a lot of pick ups for Wayne Enterprises in general?”
“Usually from the airport or hotels in Bristol,” he shared looking back in the mirror, taking more notice of Dick’s appearance.
“Probably for board and investor meetings,” Dick reasoned. “Do they pay you okay?”
“Um… The company pays me a fair rate,” he tried to say diplomatically, still not knowing who Dick was or why he was in the car, only being given an address to pick up and one to drop off.
Dick shifted in his seat to pull his phone from his pocket. “Do your passengers tip regularly?”
“Oh it’s not a big deal,” he excused lightly.
“It is though,” Dick argued just as gentilly. “If they’re not paying you, they’re not paying the other drivers either.”
His driver laughed, “You sound just like Mr. Wayne. He’s the only one that ever checks on us.”
Dick lowered his phone, in the middle of typing. He didn’t have as much power in Wayne Enterprises as Bruce did but back paying employees wasn’t something Bruce would scold him for. “Yeah he’s… a good guy,” Dick admitted with a small smile. For all his faults Bruce always tried, even if it wasn’t in the right way.
“So why are you heading to Gotham?” The driver asked, changing the subject.
“Believe it or not a board meeting of sorts,” Dick laughed, looking down at himself. It didn’t matter what he looked like, the Justice League only had one dress code, and that hardly mattered if your suit was in tatters and your wounds still fresh.
“Well you’ll certainly turn heads,” he laughed with him.
“That’s always the goal,” Dick joked back.
Barbara was already on the space station waiting for them near the Boom Tubes in her wheelchair.
“Hello, Barbara,” Batman greeted warmly but officially. “It’s good to see you.”
“You too, Bruce,” she said back happily.
“You okay?” Dick asked with concern.
“Haven’t been able to tell my PT to help me adjust to teleporting,” she replied with a smile. She turned her chair, leading Dick and Batman further into the station. “I already have the data uploaded in the meeting room. I think Clark and Diana were looking over it when I left.”
“Clark would know best how to deal with Luthor,” Bruce said with disdain for the fellow billionaire.
“That’s why I thought it’d be better to bring this to all of you,” Dick answered. “Blüdhaven’s my city but I can’t do much about Lexcorp on my own.”
“Dick,” Bruce stopped suddenly, putting a hand on his shoulder. They were about to walk into the meeting room after Barbara when he had hung back to catch Dick on his own. “How’s Jason doing?”
Dick looked off to the space station window, it was a view of endless black littered with stars. It didn’t offer much but a second to put his words together. “He’s… going through a lot,” he answered. “I think he’s in a better headspace now than he was a month ago but I’m not an expert on that sort of thing.”
Bruce sighed and nodded. “Thank you. I know I should have been the one to help him but-”
“Jason doesn’t want your help,” Dick agreed. He looked off debating with himself again. “He’s actually going to be in Gotham tonight… He’s after Quinn, but he was injured the other night too.”
“Tim and I will keep an eye out for him,” Bruce promised.
Dick tried to smile but felt too guilty before they continued on into the meeting room. It was worth it if it meant Jason would be safe.
Red Hood looked down his scope into the apartment window. He was laying on his chest on the roof across the street. He’d been watching for hours after spending the evening asking, and maybe beating out some answers. He’d found her roller derby rink, her favorite night club, and regular breakfast deli. He was in the right neighborhood. A lot of these tenants paid rent in cash, and a lot of the landlords were willing to turn blind eyes to a lot of things. But everyone was a gossip with an annoying neighbor.
He sighed and set down his gun. Red Hood reached back to adjust his leg where the rough roofing was digging into fresh skin.
“Heya, Mister Kim!” The unmistakable voice of Harley Quinn was in his earpiece. He lifted his head back up quickly and adjusted the scope. The Korean deli had its doors open to the side street. The blond with dyed pigtails waved as she went to pass.
“There’s been someone around asking about you,” the man warned back, coming out from behind the counter to talk to her at the doors.
“Ya know who?” She swung her roller skate laces over her shoulder, “or at least who they're with?”
He shook his head. “No, sorry. No one got a good look at a face. Just be careful.”
“Don’tcha worry about me,” she said with a small laugh. “Thanks for the heads up.” She waved again before walking around the building to a smaller, residential door that led to the apartment upstairs.
Jason had already put his rifle away, loading tranquilizers into a handgun before leaving the rooftop. Getting Quinn to talk wouldn’t be hard, but getting her to talk about something specific wouldn’t be easy.
“Hey, Brucy,” Harley said sweetly to the hyena on the dog bed across the room. “Aw did you find another rat?” She pet the predator’s head, picking up the food dish from the floor that was next to what was left of the rat.
She walked into a small kitchenette space, humming to herself. Both her and the hyena jumped when the apartment door was kicked open. “Jesus fucking Christ!”
The dog bed was kicked against the wall, the animal springing towards the intruder. It launched itself at Red Hood, enormous feet braced on his shoulders, teeth snapping at the face plate, knocking him back.
There was a shot and the hyena yipped, slumping over the side.
“You fucking shot Bruce!” Harley had reached into a drawer for a gun that had been tapped there. Bullet holes littered the already graffitied wall as she shot at her intruder.
Red Hood had rolled out of the way but fell as his injured leg stumbled. “It’s just tranqs!” He shot back desperately a dart whizzing past her shoulder to stick in a cabinet door.
“Well, gee, why didn’t you say so,” she waved her gun to the side sarcastically before pointing it at him again, putting a few more bullet holes in the wall. Red Hood shot back, a dart sticking into her leg.
“Ow, fuck,” she stumbled back pulling it out immeditely and tossing it away. “You know how fucking dangerous those things are? You get the dose wrong and stop someone’s heart. Why do you think zoos don’t just go shooting ‘em all willy nilly, jeez.” She held herself against the counter, leg going numb. “And what the fuck kind of creep are you, busting into a gal’s apartment with a tranqilizer gun?”
“I just want to talk to you,” Red Hood said defensively, pulling himself up using her couch. He started limping towards her.
“Gee, maybe you should have tried this thing called knocking!” She lowered herself to sit on the floor, back against the fridge. Harley tossed the empty revolver away.
Red Hood looked down at her. “Where’s your boyfriend?”
Harley threw her head back laughing. She held her stomach like it was the funniest thing she’d ever heard, in full on hysterics. Her laughter died down and she wiped a tear from her eye. “Mr. Jay? What do you want with him?”
“I’m going to kill him,” Red deadpanned with all seriousness.
“Sweety, get in line,” she said back, her hand reached out having clocked his injured leg and pulling it out from under him. She stood up over him, apparently faking the reaction, now holding his gun.
"Wait, fuck!" Was all Jason got out before he was shot twice.
Red Hood came to groggily, realizing he was no longer in Harley Quinn's apartment and tied to a chair. "Shit…" he swore as his head pounded. There was a click, and then another. He struggled a second to lift his head and focus his eyes through the dim room. Harley was sitting on the floor, her whimpering hyena's head in her lap and a reloaded revolver in her hand. It continued clicking as she opened and closed the chamber.
"Hello, sleepy head," she greeted.
He sighed and hung his head again to give himself a second to recover more. He tested the movement of his hands and arms against the ropes.
The revolver clicked closed again and she sat back on one hand, casually holding the gun. "I was thinking. Ya know about how annoying you are?" She began, looking up at the glass ceiling. "Imagine some stranger breaking into your apartment to ask you about an ex that broke your heart. I should kill you for being that kind of insensitive."
While she was looking away Red Hood was trying to work the knife on his belt free.
"But!" She said happily, sitting up, the hyena whimpered at the sudden movement. "Oh sorry, Brucy," she took a second to pet and shower the dangerous animal with kisses.
Red Hood almost had his knife in his hand. She turned to him again and he froze. Harley gently moved Bruce's head from her lap to stand up. "You said you want to kill him. So we really want the same thing here." She started walking towards him but spun like an invisible person had called her. She held the handle of the gun against her chin, thinking. "Really though whatever reason you have can’t be as good as mine so maybe I should just do it myself."
"Whatever he did to you isn't as bad as what he did to me," Red Hood corrected with a scowl behind his faceplate and hatred in his voice.
Harley started laughing, gradually getting louder until she was doubling over, holding her stomach. "Egocentric little shirt huh? No one in the world matters but poor wittle me," she mocked in a whining voice, standing back up and walking towards him. "Let's not get into a trauma pissing match huh, kiddo."
Red Hood didn't say anything back, his knife close to cutting through the ropes.
"Let's be friends for a second," she said cheerfully, swaying and holding her arms behind her as she leaned closer. "You tell me what you know and I won't shoot you."
"Real friendly," Red Hood scoffed.
"Fine," she stood up again, spinning and taking a couple paces. "I was trying to play nice." She waved her gun before holding it in front of herself. "And after all the impoliteness," she went on, locking the chamber.
Red Hood heard the pin cock and jumped free as she turned back around. His knife spun in his hand, blade aiming for her.
He was yanked back suddenly, vines wrapping around his body. Binding his arms behind him and pulling him into the air. “Harls?! You okay?” Poison Ivy had walked through a doorway into the scene, her hand was still in the air as she crossed the room, the vines curling tighter around Red Hood.
“Oh, hi, Ive!" Harley lowered the revolver.
“Who the hell’s this idiot?” Ivy looked at him while holding a bag of takeout containers to Harley.
“Dunno,” Harley took the bag from her and bounced over to a table.
Jason's eyes had adjusted enough to see he was in Gotham's former botanical gardens. The large luxurious green house had been left to rot around the same time the city started to fall economically. A new public garden had been built further into the city, closer to the museums and other tourist attractions.
“Says he’s looking for Mr. Jay. Wants to kill him," Harley answered, digging through the bag. This apparently was a prearranged meeting.
“You tell him to get in line?” Ivy asked, walking over to her, the plants stopped winding.
“All I wanted-” Red Hood began to explain.
“Holy fuck is Bruce dead?!” Ivy shouted, seeing the animal on the floor.
“Just sleeping, with as weak those darts are he’ll be okay any minute now,” Harley waved off. “Where’s my fried rice?”
“Yeah they were out,” Ivy answered.
“How does a Chinese restaurant run out of fried rice?” Harley asked back.
“I don’t know. They just said they were out. I’m not about to argue with some poor Vietnames immigrant working at a China Palace,” Ivy walked around her to get her containers that were marked vegetarian.
“I know I just really wanted fried rice,” Harley pouted.
Red still had his knife, trying to turn it in his hands as they talked.
“We can make it later," Ivy tried to suggest. "You've got eggs at your place?"
“Ugh yeah,” Harley dropped her head back. “But it’s just not the same…”
Red Hood had cut the restraints, dropping to the floor his leg temporarily failing against the fall. He ran forward reaching for his gun holster on the floor that Harley had freed him of while he was unconscious. Vines wrapped around his throat this time before he could get to it. “You Bat kids are all the same, no consideration for anyone but yourself,” Ivy walked towards him. "Tonight was supposed to be date night."
“Fuck Batman,” Red Hood seethed back. “I don’t work for him.”
“Honey, that thing says otherwise,” Harley swayed over and perched her chin on Ivy’s shoulder, pointing at the red bat on his chest.
Red had to tilt his head back to keep from being choked. “I’m not a goddamn kid either.”
“What are you? Like twenty?” Ivy asked back. “Chill the fuck out.”
“If we knew where Joker was he’d be dead already,” Harley added.
The vines around Red Hood’s neck slacked suddenly, Ivy and Harley covering themselves as an overhead window shattered, Batman crashing through it.
“Let him go,” he demanded instantly, ready for a fight.
“What the hell is with you people!” Harley shouted. "There's a perfectly fine door right there!"
Batman took a step back towards Red Hood who was knelt on the floor catching his breath and rubbing his neck. He looked up, putting his weight on his good leg to stand. “What the hell are you doing here?”
“You need to go back to Blüdhaven,” Batman said back sternly. “These two aren’t a threat to Gotham.”
“I can be a threat if I wanna be,” Harley pouted under her breath.
“Yes, please, a Bat melodrama playing out in front of me is exactly how I wanted to spend my Wednesday night,” Ivy interjected with her arms crossed.
The red faceplate looked over at Harley as she walked back to the take out containers. “You don’t know where Joker is?”
“Nope,” she answered in a sing-song way, pulling the last container from the bag. She gasped loudly, “Pammy!”
“I know, I just wanted to see the look on your face,” Ivy said back sweetly.
Red Hood huffed, jabbing a finger against the Batarmor. “Leave me the fuck alone.” He picked up his gun from the floor as he walked out.
Batman had apparently tailed him from the greenhouse to where he had left his bike halfway across the city. It wasn't all that surprising though, more annoying than anything. "You can't tell me what to do," Jason said, pulling off the Red Hood helmet to put in a saddle bag, not looking back at him.
"I'm trying to warn you," Batman spoke in Bruce's voice again, stepping into the dark alley. "If you keep on this path you'll end up hurting yourself."
"Maybe I'm okay with that," Jason retorted spitefully.
"What about those of us who care about you?" Batman took a step closer.
"I don't give a fuck if you care about me," Jason said back, twisting the handles of his bike as he straddled it.
"What about Dick?" Bruce asked gently in a tone that suggested he knew the answer.
Jason paused a second before pulling on the civilian helmet. He turned his head, looking at him for the first time since dropping in like some annoying silhouette on his life. "Don't try to manipulate me like that," Jason objected, head tipped to one side, seeing through him.
"I just want you to realize it's not all about you," Bruce said bluntly, losing the soft care-taker tone.
"No, it's all about you," Jason agreed. "How we all fit in your world." He held the key in the center ignition a second, "No wonder Dick doesn't tell you everything." He let out a dismissive laugh, turning the key, the motorcycle roaring to life.
Batman grappled up to the nearby fire escape as the black bike revved and sped towards the street, disregarding him entirely. Jason held up a middle finger to the building as he rounded the corner, knowing Bruce was still watching him.
Dick dropped his feet off the coffee table as the apartment door opened. “Hey,” he greeted like he’d been waiting up for him. “How’d it go?”
Jason untucked the helmet from his arm to hold in his hand. “Really fucking weird.” He shook his head and walked around to the kitchen. “And now I want fried rice.”
That wasn’t the answer Dick had been expecting. He followed Jason, watching him set the helmet on the counter. “Weird how?”
“Did you know Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy were like- a thing, apparently?” Jason was looking into the open fridge for something to eat.
“No… Huh. Okay,” Dick didn’t know what to say. He wanted to apologize for warning Bruce but didn’t even know if it mattered.
Jason started laughing. “And they have a pet hyena named Bruce.”
"Speaking of…" Dick started carefully. "Did you run into him?"
"Yeah," Jason sighed. He had found a take out container and declared it edible after a cursory sniff.
"Yeah?" Dick asked back curiously.
Jason looked over at him. The way he stood at the kitchen entrance, anxiously waiting for an answer. He told. Jason turned away from him again to find a fork. As angry as he wanted to be all he could think of was Bruce's voice and how right he was. He hated that the most. Dick cared and Bruce wasn't above using that to get to Jason.
He shook his head with a soft snort. "He's an asshole," Jason declared on his way past Dick to the couch.
Dick sat at the table, reading the headlines while Jason made himself breakfast. “Looks like there was another armoured car robbery yesterday,” he shared, looking up to watch Jason’s back as he stretched, waiting at the toaster.
“Third one in two days,” Jason observed, “sounds like some busy bees looking to get caught.”
Dick smiled, “You feeling up for patrol tonight, Red?”
“I could use some fun,” Jason said back, walking over to sit across from him. Dick’s phone made the familiar plunk of notes. Jason dropped his smile. “Really, Dickie?”
“What?” Dick asked back, still holding his phone but not looking at it.
“You know what,” Jason said back sourly. “You trying to nail every guy in Blüdhaven, or you got them coming all the way from Gotham too?”
“The hell?” Dick was too insulted to think of anything else to say right away. He leaned forward onto an elbow, pointing at Jason. “You don’t get to judge me,” he said angrily. “You don’t get to be jealous either,” he went on, getting up from the table, about to go shut himself in his room.
Jason scoffed, sitting back in his chair. “Why’d I be jealous, I already had you.”
Dick stopped, turning back around. “Why would you even bring that up? You said you didn't want me."
Jason sat up again, “I never said I didn't want you!” He held the table as he stood up. “If anything that’s the whole problem, I'm not gay, Dickie!"
Dick let out a heavy breath, looking at the wall, taking a second to calm down. Jason's identity was his to label and his to decide. It didn’t matter what Dick or Barbara or anyone else thought about it. "I know, Jay..." He walked towards him gently. "I never meant to do this to you. I asked you to live here because I saw you were hurting. I just wanted to help, not make things harder for you," he said sadly. "I remember what you were like when we were kids, and only want you to be that happy again."
"I wasn't happy when we were kids," Jason objected. "I…" he seemed to struggle, running his hands through his hair. "I don't think. It feels so weird, Dickie. I remember shutting myself in my room, just listening to records, I remember thinking about my mom a lot, and when Batman- Bruce and I tracked down my dad, how much that hurt. And what happened with Rose... It just feels like some chopped up dream filled with pain."
"It's okay, Jay," Dick reassured, hearing the confusion in his voice. "I was there. Remember how the TV in the Tower was almost always on at night? I did that for people who couldn't sleep, sometimes that was me, sometimes it was both of us. We didn't have to talk, we still don't. I know you have other things on your mind."
Jason was quiet, looking off at the kitchen cabinets before nodding. "Thanks, Dick."
Dick smiled a little and walked back over to the table where he'd left his phone. "So, how much do you want to bet these robberies are linked to Two-Face?"
"Oh, almost certainly," Jason smiled back thankfully.
Red Hood braced his boot against the edge of the roof, looking down at the abandoned factory across the narrow alley. Nightwing's tracker blinked on the side of the getaway car, unnoticed by the men in two-toned suits carrying bags into the building. Two men stood guard with Tommy Guns in front of the sliding doors. "See a way in?" Red Hood's synthetic voice asked from the expressionless faceplate.
Nightwing dropped onto the roof besides him from the wire he'd cast from one building to the next. "There's a skylight. Bust in from above?"
Red let out a small, dismissive laugh. "I'm not the Bat."
"Fine then," Nightwing negotiated, "I'll take the sky, you can have the ground."
"Much better," Red Hood sounded like he was grinning under the helmet. He pulled a gun from the holster inside his jacket.
"What's on the amo plate tonight?" Nightwing asked curiously with an air of humor.
"Rubber bullets," he answered, sliding a clip into the formerly empty gun. He held it down, now live, looking over for Nightwing to say something, because he always did.
"Just no headshots?" He asked for the favor in a half concerned and half reminding tone.
"I know, Dickie," he reassured before turning towards the fire escape, disappearing with a jump over the side.
Nightwing sighed and launched another wire to swing back around to the higher buildings, using them to get to the factory roof.
"You ready, Red?" Nightwing was already in position with a wire ready to let him down once he busted the glass.
"Whenever you are, Birdy," Red Hood has his back pressed to the corner of the brick building, semiautomatic in hand, pulling back the sliding arm to cock the gun. He heard the glass shatter inside and rounded the corner. The two guards were still recovering from the surprise. He hit one in the chest getting the other's attention. Tommy Guns started firing inside while the remaining guard at the door started firing.
Red Hood was faster, ducking and rushing him. He could hear Nightwing’s batons connecting with heavy body blows as he moved past the doors, slamming the man into the van door. He elbowed the guard in the chest and twisted his arm, gun falling onto the pavement. Red hood kicked it away and grabbed the man by his painted jacket, throwing him down before cocking his gun and shooting a rubber bullet into his chest as well.
He ran into the building sliding the arm back, not hesitating a second before firing a shot at a guard in the fray.
Nightwing grabbed a body running for him and used the guard's shoulders to launch himself over and kick another man in the face. The first was twisted around and thrown into the metal stairs as a result.
Overhead from an office Two-Face ran out onto the landing. "Shoot them, you idiots!" He spun back around to grab his own gun, firing down with complete disregard for his own men.
Red Hood grabbed Nightwing by the arm and threw him towards the machinery, which was their only cover. He dropped the clip from his gun just long enough to count bullets before popping up to fire at the former district attorney.
It was enough to get Two-Face to move and stop shooting. Nightwing vaulted over the old rusted machine, legs kicked out to the side like a proper gymnast, when more footsteps came down the stairs overhead.
Red Hood was right behind, jumping over the machine with a little less grace. He fired up, hitting someone in the leg and making them tumble down, knocking over another would-be threat. As they rolled down the stairs a submachine gun shot off around the factory. Bullets pinging off metal and burying in bick, mortar, and ripping through Red Hood's arm.
"Fuck!" He instinctively threw his hand over the wound and fell back into cover.
Nightwing only saw him from the corner of his eye and he himself was busy missing the butt of a gun coming for his face. "You okay, Red?" There was no answer over the communicator. He kicked one man's knee and spun to hit another with a double baton blow. He fell still tense and writhing on the floor from the electric escrima sticks. Nightwing rolled out of the way of another barrage of bullets. "Red?"
There was a loud laugh as Two-Face ran through the chaos, bags in hand, towards the van. He tossed the dye bags of cash into the vehicle before he jumped up to sit in the back himself. Two-Face's coin flipped through the air before he caught it again. He laughed again, "Your sacrifices will not be in vain!" He pointed his gun, unloading in a burst of shots into the building as the getaway driver hit the gas.
"Red?!" Nightwing shouted, ducking behind a wall. The men Two-Face missed turned and ran, some making it to the van to climb in, others just trying to get away. Nightwing ran after them a few feet before stopping. His tracker bounced off the pavement as the van swerved to the road. He looked up at the buildings knowing he could grapple up and go after them. Instead he turned back into the factory. "Jay?!"
"Here," Red Hood's modified voice came over the communicator and from behind a machine.
Nightwing ran over, hopping over a broken conveyor belt. He dropped the batons on the ground, kneeling in front of him. "Shit," he cussed at the blood running down Red Hood's arm, turning to his gauntlet.
"Yeah I know," Red Hood agreed. His gun was on the ground next to him, his hand busy holding pressure to the wound.
Nightwing slid out a compact container and reached for the injured arm.
"You're letting Two-Face get away," Red Hood scolded with a snarl.
"Shut up," Nightwing said back, spraying the wound as soon as Red moved his hand.
He let out a hiss and groan, throwing his head back. "Fuck! What the hell is that?"
"It'll stop the bleeding long enough to get home," Nightwing said quickly, not waiting for permission before pulling him to his feet. We'll take my bike."
"We will not," Red Hood objected, reaching down to pick up his gun from the ground, nearly every move making him grimace.
Nightwing was putting the escrima sticks onto his back again. "You want to swing around with one good arm?" He asked back knowingly. He stepped quickly around the machinery and groaning bodies on the floor as they made their way to the exit. Sirens were in the distance.
"No, I'll drive myself," Red hood answered, removing the clip, disarming the weapon before holstering it under his arm again, jogging behind him.
"That seal won't last very long. Just let me drive, Mr. Prideful," Nightwing already had the holographic screen over his gauntlet open as they rounded the corner of the building, getting into the shadows.
Red Hood groaned painfully, checking his wound again. The trauma of it was making his fingers numb, it would be hard to control a throttle like this. He sighed as Nightwing’s unmanned motorcycle roared closer, answering the call, "Fine."
Some depictions of the wound and some blood.
This chapter is pretty long too so read when you have time. :)
Dick practically shoved Jason through the open window into the apartment as Jason held his arm. "Sit down," he ordered before running off to the hall closet.
He had sped and swerved their whole drive back, breaking so many traffic laws. Dick had even hopped off the motorcycle before it came to a stop in the alley by the apartment building. Jason had to cling to the rear saddle with both hands making his injured arm throb with pain and threaten to send him into shock. He was just reining in his hold on consciousness when Dick pulled him onto the fire escape.
Blood had soaked through Jason's jacket sleeve and was rolling down his arm again. Dick came back with a medical kit that was different than the one they usually needed. He grabbed a gauze pad with blue backing and folded it over. He reached for Jason's arm, standing half over him, close to the medical supplies and the injury. Jason moved his hand and ripped the sleeve of his jacket further and Dick pressed the pad to the wound. "Here."
Jason took over for him, holding his hand over the pad. Dick stepped back to the table, unbuckling and pulling off his gauntlets, throwing them out of the way.
Dick grabbed a pair of scissors that had a guard on one side. "Sorry, Jay," he said, cutting away Jason's sleeves, earning a sad whine.
"Man, I liked this jacket," Jason pouted.
Dick ignored him, trading the scissors for a sterile package and ripping it open before picking up another blue and white pad. The saline solution ran through the wound as he cleaned it. The ricocheted bullet had torn through the side of Jason's upper arm, leaving a thick path of missing flesh. "Thank god, there's an exit wound." He tossed the empty syringe away and reached for another package.
"Lucky me," Jason reached up with his free hand to pull off his helmet and drop it on the table.
Dick didn't answer, pulling a cap off a needle with his teeth and spitting it away, busy holding Jason's arm as still as possible. "Lidocaine," he warned, stepping to the side around Jason to start a series of injections.
Jason looked to the side hissing. "Fuck that burns."
"Gonna get worse," Dick offered, empty needle dropped and a second peeled from its packaging.
"Not my first time being- MotherFUCK!" Jason grabbed the seat of his chair, head falling back as he shouted.
Dick was now fully knelt on the floor, sitting up to reach for supplies. He grabbed another saline plunger and clean gauze pads. Jason caught his breath again starting to lose feeling in his arm in the area around the wound as Dick cleaned it between beats of applying pressure again. He was silent as he worked, focused. Jason watched him. The way he stretched to reach things, trying not to leave him for too long. Jason tried to help, reaching with one hand to move a roll of nylon thread closer while Dick picked up the package with a clean curved needle.
Jason looked at the wall. Not really thinking of anything in particular, feeling the tug of his skin through the numbness, listening to the clip of the scissors. It wasn't his first time getting stitched up. He'd done it for himself on some occasions. This one would have been hard to do on his own though.
"You scared me," Dick said suddenly.
"Hm?" Jason looked over to see him still focused on what he was doing.
"You weren't answering," Dick went on. His voice was a little shaky. There was a final snip and he sat up to trade out supplies again. He laid down pads of gauze before starting to wrap Jason's arm. "I thought you'd-..."
"Nah," Jason dismissed lightly. "A bullet in the arm is nothing compared to a crowbar to the face." Dick let out a breath, not saying anything as he tapped the wrap down. "Besides, I tried death before, not that bad, just another vacation."
"Five years," Dick said, falling back, sitting on his heels. "Five fucking years…" His voice started to break. "I can't do that- I can't do that again."
"Hey," Jason's tone changed. "I was joking. I don't want to die either, Dickie." He added with an awkward little laugh. "I'll leave the jokes to you from now on."
Dick hung his head, hands starting to shake as he cleaned them on a blue surgery rag. "You mean so much to me Jay. You always have. When you weren't answering I thought-"
"I know," Jason said apologetically. "I was just a little busy."
Dick shook his head, dropping the rag, looking like he was folding in on himself "I know. I know. I just-"
"I'm here, Dickie," he said reassuringly. "It's just my arm." He looked over at the bandage. "And looks like I was put back together pretty good."
Dick let out a pitiful laugh and dropped his head onto Jason's knee. "Shut up."
Jason smiled lightly. "No really, top notch, quality care in Nightwing's kitchen." He pulled off the glove that had blood on it and reached down to gently pat Dick on the head. "Good little bird."
"Fuck off," Dick laughed but didn't move, clearly still recovering from his own panic and adrenaline.
"I'll be okay, Dickie," Jason went on, his fingers starting to run through Dick's hair. "It's my jacket we should mourn."
"I'll get you another one," Dick said back thoughtlessly, his voice still cracking a little.
Jason continued running his fingers through his hair in the next few minutes of silence. "Hey," he said to get his attention. Dick lifted his head, looking up at him as Jason's hand drifted away. "You okay?"
Dick smiled but it was more than a little sad. He sighed and rested his head on Jason's leg again. "I know it's stupid," he started. Jason's fingers raked through his hair in a comforting kind of way. "When you died, I just- it felt as bad when I lost my parents."
"I'm not dead," Jason reminded gently.
"Anymore," Dick corrected.
"Anymore," he agreed. "I'm here, in your kitchen, in Blüdhaven, with you," he said a little hopefully, trying to say the right thing. Dick let out another long breath and closed his eyes. Jason kept playing with his hair. It was soft and smooth as it ran between his fingers. It was like black silk sliding over his skin.
Dick was quiet. He was thinking about Jason about how they were when they were younger. When he was the leader of the Titans and Jason was a teenager with a rough background that didn't want pitied. He still had a rough background and didn't want pity.
Dick didn't want to give him pity. He turned his head, to kiss his leg. He wanted to give him something else.
Jason knew him, every part of him. Dick didn't have to lie about why he couldn't meet that night, or why he couldn't ever promise to be somewhere. He'd never have to come up with an excuse to cover Nightwing's tracks. Likewise he wouldn't have to explain that he liked being single when a conversation would turn to 'settling down'. He didn't have to say he 'just couldn't find the right girl' the way he had to with Bruce or Alfred. Jason saw him for who he was, knew him as well as only Barbara had before. And it felt good to be so seen.
Jason paused a second, his hand stopping. Hesitating before running down to touch Dick's face. This time he didn't have to say anything to get him to lift his head. His thumb ran over the edge of the Nightwing mask before starting to peel it away.
Dick wanted him, that much was obvious. Jason had tried to push him away, was nothing but an asshole and Dick was still there for him. Dick had always been there for him.
When Bruce had sent him to be a part of the Titans to continue his training Dick helped him integrate to the team. Dick led the sparring sessions so he would be included and help the team work better together.
He was there when it was discovered that Rose had been sabotaging their missions and sowing discord through the Tower to keep everyone at each other's throats. She had manipulated Jason’s heart making sure someone would always be on her side while lying to everyone to help her father, Slade Wilson, destroy the Titans.
Dick had been at the Boom Tubes to say goodbye, understanding why he needed to leave. Being sympathetic to his broken heart. He had waved and smiled sadly as Bruce took him back to Gotham. That was the last time they saw each other before Jason died.
And now Dick was here, on his knees, his eyes closed as he let out a breath. Jason was still watching him, even as he tossed the eye mask towards the table, not really caring where it wound up.
Dick just stared up at him and he stared back. It was like they were playing chicken, daring the other to say something first. But Dick had said they didn't need to talk, so Jason slid his fingers back into Dick's hair, pushing it over his ear and pulling him closer.
Dick shifted on his knees, sitting up a little taller, helping himself with his hands on Jason's legs. Looking down at him, Jason's bottom lip slipped between his teeth, his hand giving Dick's hair a tug. Dick let out a small, delighted gasp. Jason smirked, dropping his hand to Dick's neck, holding his jaw. His thumb ran over Dick's parted lip, catching briefly before moving away. Dick was practically putty, his blue eyes half-lidded, and breath getting shallow. Jason's hand pulled at the back of his neck and Dick looked up at his face briefly before his stare dropped, hands sliding further over Jason's pants and holsters.
Jason let out a soft laughing breath, "Dirty bird." He held the back of Dick's head in his hand, encouraging him with a little pressure before tugging another fist full of dark hair. A little groan came from the back of Dick's throat. He leaned closer, kissing where Jason's suit was tucked into his pants, his hands reaching for his belt.
He pulled the pin and the metal clicked as it unthreaded. Jason shifted in the chair after Dick opened his pants, reaching down to help take out the cup, tossing it off somewhere else.
Dick pulled him free and held him in his hand, kissing the soft skin before running his tongue along the length of him. Jason watched completely mesmerized. His arm throbbed but it hardly had his attention because his cock was doing the same.
His breath caught in his throat, the flat of Dick’s tongue sliding against the head before he disappeared into his mouth. It was warm and wet, his tongue playing with him while Dick’s hand stroked at the base.
Dick turned his head and sank down further, nearly swallowing the length of him all at once. Jason held tighter to a fistfull of Dick’s hair with a low moan.
Dick slid back again. His hands moving to find and curl around the straps on Jason’s thighs. He shifted on his knees, bobbing his head in Jason’s lap, swallowing him deeper and deeper each time.
Jason moaned, racking his fingers down Dick’s scalp again, holding the back of his head. Dick hardly needed the encouragement, choking himself greedily. "That’s a good boy," Jason said with a sigh, his voice dark from breathing hard.
Dick made a noise that caught in his throat around Jason’s cock. His hand slipping up into the dark gray suit. He palmed at Jason’s body, while moving taller on his knees. He rolled his head from side to side, licking at sensitive skin while sucking harder, beginning to stroke the base below his nose again.
"Oh fuck, Dickie," Jason could hardly keep his eyes open as he moaned. He held Dick’s neck, thumb against his throat, feeling every time that he swallowed. His stomach tightened, Dick's fingers barely able to reach, brushing over a nipple. He felt precum drip from him, against Dick's tongue.
Dick slid back suddenly, holding Jason’s cock in the air as it throbbed at the loss. "Just give me a warning?" Dick's voice was raw and rough, panting to catch his breath. Blue eyes looking up at him, wet from fighting his gag reflex, drool on his chin.
Jason nodded, understanding what he meant. "Yeah," he agreed breathlessly.
Dick dropped his chin again, swallowing him down without hesitation, picking up where he left off. His hand in Jason’s shirt running down his ribs, pressing into muscles absent-mindedly, more focused on his other hand and mouth stoking Jason’s cock. His fingers curled, nails dragging down Jason’s chest suddenly.
Jason groaned loudly, his body tensing up. "Dickie- Holy fuck," he sucked in a breath, hips jerking forward.
Dick crossed his forearm across Jason’s lap and slid back, hand and lips wrapped around the head of his cock as he came into his mouth.
Jason’s chest heaved and cock throbbed, hanging in the air when Dick left him. He reached for the blue rag that was still sitting on the floor, spitting into it.
Jason sat back in the chair. His injured arm trying to remind him it still had a bullet wound but every thought in his head just fell out when Dick leaned forward again.
Jason stared, frozen as Dick opened his mouth wide, dragging the head over his tongue leaving a streak of white, milking the last of his orgasm from him. It was the hottest thing Jason had ever seen. That hadn't even been in any porn he watched.
Dick pulled his tongue back into his mouth swallowing and wiping his chin, clearly about to get up.
Jason grabbed his arm with the hand of his uninjured arm, yanking him up as he himself stood. The chair fell back, hitting the ground with a clatter. Jason wrapped his arm around Dick's waist, holding him tight, their mouths sealed together. Jason didn’t even care about the sour tang of himself in Dick’s mouth. He just wanted to get him on the table.
Dick figured out what Jason was trying to do with only one working arm. He pulled himself onto the stone tabletop, shoving the medical supplies out from under him, most of them spilling onto the floor.
"Fuck," he turned his head, looking down at the mess.
Jason kissed his neck under his ear. "Get it later." He started opening Dick's suit, pulling down the zipper behind his back. He brought his hand back around, pulling the high collar down to kiss more of him.
Dick reached up, helping to pull it off his arms. He turned his head when Jason kissed back up to his cheek, letting the top half of his singlet pool in his lap. His hands taking their turn to run through Jason's hair.
He felt Jason grope his side before fingers dropped, working their way into his suit. Dick gasped and bit his lip with a whine as knuckles squirmed against stomach, getting a hold of the cup in his suit to pull it out. It hit the floor with as much care as Jason’s had a little while ago.
Dick's hands slid down Jason’s neck, holding fistfulls of his jacket when Jason started to stroke him. "Jay," he groaned. His voice was still light and raspy. He pressed his face to the side of Jason's head in his neck.
Jason let out a light laugh, moving his hand inside Dick’s suit for an easier angle.
"Hm?" Dick hummed between short breaths. Jason's palmed the head of his cock before curling his hand around him again.
"Never done this for someone who wasn't me before," Jason joked lightly and kissed Dick’s jaw again.
"You don't- if you don't want-"
"Shut up, Dickie." His tongue slid back into Dick's mouth with no protest. Dick moaned and wrapped an arm around Jason’s shoulders, holding onto him and starting to rock his hips.
Jason broke the deep kiss for a series of small ones while Dick kept panting, groaning softly. Jason wanted to hear him make those sweet noises he liked. He held his fingers under the head, jerking his wrist like he did when he was a teenager desperate to get off quickly.
"Uhn fuck. Uhn, Jay," Dick dropped his head against Jason’s shoulder, hands twisting tighter in his jacket. He panted and moaned, legs shaking.
Jason kissed his neck again. "Fuck yeah," he breathed. He liked everything about Dick falling apart against him, desperately clinging to him, getting off while Jason played with him. The little moans that Dick made as he gasped were his favorite. "That’s it, baby," Jason breathed, teeth grazing Dick’s ear. He grinned, feeling him shudder, his cock throb and stomach tighten. "Come on," Jason went on, breath against Dick’s jaw, "for me?"
Dick sucked in a hard breath, his face moved against Jason’s as his head tipped back. Jason felt cum slip through his fingers, no doubt falling in the folds of Dick's suit. It made him grin, stroking him from the base slower until Dick caught his breath again, fists going slack.
Jason took a step back and looked down, carefully freeing his hand. He scanned the floor at his feet before reaching down to pick up the cloth Dick had used. He passed it from one hand to the other, keeping his injured arm as still as possible, to tuck himself back into his pants and walk towards the sink.
Dick sat up, running his hands through his own hair that was now a mess. "Fuck," he rasped looking down at his mess.
Jason hummed in agreement, tossing the rag in the trash and leaving towards the hall.
Dick sighed and slid himself off the table, holding his suit and walking to his own room to change.
He expected things to be like the last time. Jason would ask to act like nothing happened. He’d be upset, mostly at himself. Dick knew there was only so much he could say to try and help, and Jason had never really been the sort to take advice anyway.
That's why he was surprised to walk out of his room and see Jason sitting on the couch. He had changed into lounge clothes and put his arm in the sling. He looked up with a small smile, "Hey."
Dick smiled back, "Hey." He looked off to the kitchen and the mess of medical supplies on the floor. He went to clean them up while Jason turned on the TV.
Dick held the kit in his hand, ready to take it to the closet but Jason looked up. He tilted his head to the empty couch cushion next to him. "Come here?"
Dick looked back suspiciously but still smiling. He walked around the coffee table, setting down the medical supplies as he did. Dick sat down on the couch next to Jason, not sure what he wanted.
He had reminded Jason about how they'd stay up late watching TV when they couldn't sleep. Was that all this was? Dick sat facing forward, waiting for Jason to explain why he did what he did or how they could act about it.
Instead Jason lifted his free arm to rest across the back of the couch, across Dick's shoulders. That alone communicated how things were different this time. Something in Jason had changed. Dick relaxed back, accepting the invitation with a wide grin.
Jason’s hand turned and pushed at the side of Dick’s head. Dick laughed a little, taking the hint. He leaned to the side and rested his head on Jason’s shoulder.
Dick looked up from pouring his coffee when Jason walked into the kitchen. "Hey," he greeted unsurely with a shy smile.
Jason smiled back, "hey."
They had sat together on the couch last night until the painkiller Jason had taken kicked in. After he got up to go to bed Dick had finished picking up and went to bed himself.
"I made scrambled eggs if you want some," Dick offered, pointing at the pan on the stove as he sat down.
"Thanks," Jason said with another yawn. His wounded arm still in a sling he was a little slower than normal, having to keep setting things down and picking them up again.
Dick wondered if he should offer to help but it was only a plate and a coffee mug, he doubted Jason would accept it. He watched him pass a fork into one hand and pick up his plate with the other, opting for a second trip to bring his coffee over. It was a little amusing to watch, but only because he wasn’t really struggling.
Dick turned his attention to his own breakfast. He didn’t want to be the first to mention what happened last night but everything felt different, mostly because they kept looking over at each other and grinning.
Jason sighed, still looking at his food. "Okay," he said unprompted.
"Hm?" Dick hummed and looked up.
Jason dropped his eyes to the side. "What happened… it can happen again."
"Just that specifically or…?" Dick joked lightly, his voice cracking a little making him clear his throat.
"Just no weird stuff," Jason stressed quickly.
Dick looked across the table grinning suspiciously. "What do you consider weird?"
"I don't know," Jason said defensively, cheeks getting brighter. "Just- weird."
Dick nodded, if Jason didn’t have something specific it probably just meant he hadn't been exposed to a lot. Not that Dick had had to draw a line in the sand often. "Guess I'll have to put the penis cage on a shelf."
"The fucking what?" Jason demanded wide eyed, trying to wrap his head around the combination of words he just heard.
Dick laughed until it turned to coughing. "Joking," he croaked and reached for a drink.
Jason smirked. "Jeez, Dickie, sounds like you were choking on something big last night."
Dick narrowed his eyes but still smiled. "I'd say average," he said back smartly.
Jason laughed and shook his head, "fuck you."
Dick smirked as they went back to eating, still looking up occasionally with matching grins.
"Looks pretty good," Dick said, laying a gauze pad over the ointment on Jason’s stitches. "Swelling's gone down a lot."
"Yeah," Jason agreed, spinning the roll of medical tape around his finger until Dick needed it. "Probably something to do with the great emergency care I got." He looked up with a grin.
He was sitting on the edge of the tub in the small bathroom so Dick could clean and redress his arm. It was something Jason could have done himself. Dick offered though and he was willing to let him.
"I did stitch you up," Dick said back as if trying to remind him of the order of events from that night.
"With one of a kind bedside manor," Jason teased back.
Dick shook his head but laughed a little as he wrapped Jason’s arm again. "Just want to make sure I'm your favorite nurse."
"Oh so I should I kiss you now?" He was still teasing.
"You could," Dick said back in a less playful manner, leaning over to take the roll of tape from him.
Jason's eyes followed him, thinking. Dick finished the wrap and taped it down. He was about to pick up the supplies to put them away but Jason caught his arm. "Thanks."
"No problem, Jay," Dick said back politely with a matching smile.
Jason didn't let go, continuing to stare at him. He gave Dick's arm a gentle tug and tipped his chin up so they could meet in a brief kiss that seemed to churn his stomach as bad as his first one ever had. Dick leaned back and Jason found his grin matching Dick's again. "You know I think there's some kind of malpractice suit brewing here."
Dick laughed and playfully shoved Jason's head away from his before continuing to clean up.
Jason followed him out of the bathroom while stretching. "What's for dinner, Dickie boy?"
"Whatever you can find. I need to get groceries again," Dick stopped to put things in the closet while Jason continued straight to the kitchen. "If you have any requests let me know."
"What was that fancy beer you got that one time? It had an orange on it or something?" Jason opened cupboards as he talked.
"I meant food wise," Dick corrected, joining him in the kitchen.
"Yeah I know," Jason answered. He looked suspiciously at a familiar blue box shoved into the corner or the high shelf. He himself had to stand on his toes to get it making him wonder if Dick even knew it was up there. It had been a long time since he'd had powdered mac and cheese and something about the box brought back old memories.
When he moved into the manor he left behind frozen food and microwave dinners. Alfred cooked them homemade meals with fresh ingredients. He even made two seperate dinners for him and Bruce, learning what Jason did and didn't like. Junk food was something special. He and Bruce would sneak burgers in the Batmobile after a mission sometimes.
"The last time I had this I was still living with my mom," Jason said out loud.
Dick had noticed him staring and nodded, reaching over to take the box from him. "My dad would make it for us. Our trailer had an electric hot plate."
It was then Jason realized the box was never opened and just a little dusty. Dick stretched holding himself balanced with one hand on the counter to put it back on the shelf and tuck it into the corner. "The first time I went out for groceries on my own I picked it up. I just… I don't want it to taste different than I remember," he explained a little sadly closing the cupboard. "It was one of my favorite things as stupid as that sounds."
"We had this couch," Jason said suddenly, remembering something that felt like it was forever ago. "It was this really ugly thing, cigarette burns and duct tape… I'd get home, make myself dinner, and watch cartoons. I'd fall asleep there on purpose because when my mom got home she'd ruffle my hair as she walked by."
"But you don't miss the couch," Dick said gently, knowingly.
"No," Jason agreed.
"And I don't miss the mac and cheese," Dick added sadly. He reached for the side of Jason’s uninjured arm, holding him a second before letting go. "I think I'll make some French Toast. We have eggs and bread at least."
Jason smiled. Dick was always good at reading a room, and burying feelings was something they all learned from Bruce. "Breakfast for dinner it is."
Jason sighed and rolled over in bed, still holding his phone. He usually went through the same Joker conspiracy sites before getting bored of the rambling fan posts and falling asleep. Tonight he wasn’t really tired though.
He was actually quite awake and thinking about how Dick was just next door.
Jason laid against his pillows, closing one app and opening another. He knew Dick was still awake. They'd only said their 'good-nights' a short while ago.
Dick was in the next room, the screen of his phone the only light as he scrolled through news headlines. He liked to keep track of who had been released from Arkham, the Lexcorp press releases, or whatever else could become a potential problem.
His phone's message notification sound played while still in his hand.
(you still up?)1:10
Dick laughed a little before answering.
Jason licked his lip before holding it between his teeth, thinking before answering.
Dick was grinning, knowing where the pause in the messages was going. He'd been here enough times.
(Thinking about your bedside manor again.)1:14
1:15(Which one of us is the
dirty bird now?)
Jason shifted in his bed to sit up against the pillows more. He laughed a little, imaging Dick’s smirk as he said something like that.
His hand slipped down below the sheet to adjust himself, his cock twitching at the memory of Dick's tongue dragging over it.
1:16(What was your favorite
Jason swallowed, reaching down again before typing back.
1:17(That thing you did at.
(I like that part too)1:17
1:17(I liked doing something
(I did earn it)1:18
1:18(You like getting special
treatment pretty boy?)
Dick blew out a breath, reading the last text twice and touching himself through the sheet.
(As a rock)1:20
Jason blinked and made a surprised sort of laugh. Who knew Dick Grayson was this type of filthy? Still there was a certain type of thrill in the thought of it. Dick was just next door, they could just go to each other's room and do this in person but it was different over the phone, different and fun.
He pulled off the covers and sat up more against the headboard. His cock was practically falling out of his boxers on its own. He pulled down the waistband and turned on the flash on his phone's camera.
(Don't blackmail me)
Dick sucked in a breath and let it out in a happy sigh.
(As nice as I remember.)
(I've never seen yours)
(You want to?)
Jason thought about that a second. He couldn't really honestly say one way or the other. He knew Dick was attractive, he liked looking at him, he liked having him in his arms, and hearing him fall apart. But he didn't know if just a picture of him would be exciting at all.
He did like when Dick had taken the top part of his suit off, or seeing him walking around the apartment in just sweats. Dick had a nice chest.
(I like your chest)
Dick had sent him a picture taken in front of their bathroom mirror of him holding his shirt up over his pectorals and flexing, phone covering his face as he took the picture.
Jason laughed and shook his head.
(When'd you take that?)
(Post gym day)
(How about one from now?)
Dick rolled his eyes with a soft laugh. He reached over turning on the bedside lamp before holding his phone up over himself, trying to angle it just right.
Dick grinned rolling off his bed, leaving his phone behind.
Jason heard Dick’s door and footsteps in the hall. He moved in his bed to make room for another body as his door opened.
"Hey," Dick said softly with a wide grin.
"Hey," Jason said back with a nearly matching expression, rolling onto his uninjured arm and lifting the blankets in an invitation.
Dick took a couple quick steps across the room to get to the bed, slipping into the satin sheets. Jason scooted closer, their bodies pressing against each other, mouths no exception. Jason rocked his hips into Dick's, the waistband of his boxers still down around his thighs, sensitive skin rubbing against soft fabric. Dick rolled back against him, a little moan slipping from his throat against Jason's tongue.
Jason's hand groped down Dick's side to curl around his hip and slide into the back of his underwear. He squeezed a handful of thick flesh, earning a gasp, their kiss breaking for air. Jason's hand kept pulling Dick against him and Dick lifted his knee to rest on Jason's hip to get a better angle as they grinded against each other. His hand held the side of Jason's face, their tongues sliding into warm mouths again.
Jason's fingers snuck further to the space between Dick's legs. Dick melted with another moan before quickly pulling away. He reached down, grabbing Jason's arm. "That's not the best idea tonight."
"Oh right," Jason brought his hand back up to Dick's hip.
"Next time," Dick promised with a breathy smile and another kiss. "How about…" he moved his leg further around Jason until his shin was on the mattress and he was straddling him as Jason rolled on his back. The blankets had fallen down behind Dick's back and across Jason's legs as he sat taller, his hand dropping down between them.
Jason let out a breath, his eyes slipping closed a little as Dick touched him, moving his cock with a few strokes. He ran his hands over Dick's legs and up his hips, his boxers catching in soft wrinkles.
Dick leaned down, catching his mouth again, his hands between them, pulling his own waistband over himself and out of the way. His first curled around the both of them, soft flesh pulled together in even strokes.
"Oh fuck," Jason shuttered and pushed his hips up into the new and wonderful sensation. Dick braced a hand against Jason's chest to keep himself steady, the two of them breathing hard in the space between their mouths. "That's good, Dickie."
Dick made a nice sounding noise that meant he agreed. He turned his wrist between them with another pull. His thumb rolled over the heads and back again. Jason's breath stuck and hands grabbed Dick's hips. Their clocks pulsed together, precum leaking into Dick’s hand as he continued stroking them.
Jason's hands found the waistband of Dick’s boxers and slid inside. He groped Dick’s ass and thighs, earning little whines. Dick’s head fell onto Jason's chest, free hand slipping off to hold himself against the mattress. The elastic band of Dick’s underwear slipped down thanks to Jason's influence.
Dick squirmed and gasped in his pretty moans. Jason could feel himself getting close too. He lifted his hand and brought it back down with a gentle smack.
Dick gasped and arched up. Jason couldn't see much in the dark room but he smiled at what he could. Dick’s hair stuck to the side of his face, eyes closed and mouth open as he rocked his hips through his orgasm.
Jason grabbed him and pushed himself through Dick’s hand, now warm, slick, and tight as they swelled and throbbed to different heartbeats.
Jason fell back into his pillows, catching his breath. His hands slid down the skin of Dick’s thighs just to keep touching him. Dick moved to lay himself on Jason’s chest but hips a little to the side, keeping their mess off the bed while still being comfortable.
"You are a dirty boy," Jason said humorously after they caught their breath. He gave a playful pat to Dick’s backside.
"We both are right now," Dick said back before lifting himself off of him and getting his feet back on the floor. He walked out of the room leaving the door open as he crossed the hall. The light in the bathroom clicked on and Jason supposed he should clean up too.
Dick was drawing a wet wipe across his neck and down his chest. Jason laughed a little. "One of us went for the moon huh." He took a tissue from the box, looking in the mirror as he cleaned himself off.
Dick laughed with him, "At least it's not in my hair." He folded the napkin and looked down to get his stomach. Jason’s eyes drifted over to him.
Dick had only pulled his boxers up far enough to keep them from falling off. He was still flush red, hanging in the open air, pulsing as his heart beat, blood returning to it's normal course. Wordlessly he tossed the wipe in the trash and pulled his boxers back up.
Jason looked up, catching Dick's eyes as he smiled. He touched Jason's arm as he passed, "Night, Jay."
Jason let out a breath he didn't know he had been holding, starting to doubt just how much he really knew about himself as he looked in the mirror.
Jason took another long drag from his cigarette, letting his breath out slowly. He tucked his free hand into his new jacket pocket and continued watching the city skyline from one of the lawn chairs that had become a feature of the roof, along with the bucket turned ashtray. He had spent the last couple days trying to remember his life before Batman.
The first time he didn't go home right after school he'd been eight. A group of older boys let him tag along to the convenience store. They dared him to distract the clerk while they stole chips and sodas to take to their 'hide out'. It was just a dirt lot they'd chased a homeless man out of. There was a set of old dining chairs that never got picked up by sanitation that they would sit on. They talked about whose older brother was the coolest, who they were going to beat up in school the next day, and sometimes they talked about girls. Jason was the youngest of their group for a while so they would tease him the most, sometimes until his face was red and stomach felt weird.
Jason looked up, letting out another breath of smoke. He watched gray clouds moving across the black sky, occasionally moonlight would make it through but not a single star in sight. The skin on his arm was still fresh, stitches still a few days from being able to be removed.
He was pulled from his thoughts by the sounds of feet dropping onto the roof with some quick steps. "Hey," Nightwing smiled, the wire recoiling.
Jason looked up, matching his expression. "Hey, birdboy." He leaned forward, adding his cigarette to the crowded bucket. "How was your night?"
"Pretty ordinary. A street mugger here, a car thief there…" he tilted his head from side to side, gesturing vaguely as he crossed the roof. "How about you?"
Jason stood up with a stretch. "Didn't do a damn thing," he said as he walked towards the door to the stairwell.
Dick started to grin, coming to stand in front of him. "Sounds like we could both use some excitement?"
"Oh yeah?" Jason wore a similar smile. He took the last step, closing the distance between their bodies reaching out his hand to run down the side of the Nightwing suit and stop at his hip. "What sort of excitement, Dickie boy?"
Dick’s eye mask hid his stare but his lips curled as he leaned onto his toes. "I didn't eat dinner," he said suggestively against a soft kiss.
Jason snorted out a single laugh as Dick fell back again. "I noticed," he grinned even wider.
They both chuckled, soft breathy sounds that faded as they met again in another kiss. This one longer than the first, but shorter than the next.
Jason curled his arms around Dick's body, holding him against the metal doorway as tongues met in familiar places. One of Dick’s hands was caught against Jason’s chest, the other in his hair.
Jason pushed Dick’s legs apart with his knees, practically making the former acrobat buckle against him with a low moan into the kiss. "Fuck, Jay," Dick dropped his head back to try and catch his breath. "You can't just do that."
Jason was hardly aware he was being reprimanded by the look on his face. "Do what?" He leaned past Dick’s face to kiss above the high collar. "Make the graceful Dick Grayson weak in the knees?"
Dick let out a little whine as Jason's hands groped lower and pulled his hips forward, grinding into him. Dick's arms were now around Jason’s shoulders. "At least when there's no bed to catch me?" It was posed as a question, as if to suggest they move this inside.
"Aw you don't want to fuck on the roof?" Jason teased as he stepped back.
"Sadly no lube in my tool kit," he turned his gauntlet as if to show how small the armband of supplies was.
Jason hummed, kicking the brick that was holding the door open so it would close behind them. "You should really reconsider that."
It was only one flight of stairs to Dick’s apartment door. Roof access was sort of a big demand when secret identities were concerned. There was one other apartment across the hall but it wasn't likely for someone to be coming or going at this hour.
Jason hadn’t locked the door either. He was only going to the roof for a cigarette, and they were on the fifth floor. Someone would need to be really motivated to get into their apartment.
Like they were now. Dick took off his mask while pulling Jason by the hand through the door and turning to lock it quickly. Jason's hand slid over the smooth Nightwing suit as he squared himself to stand at Dick's back. He groped up Dick's sides and to the holster on his shoulders holding the escrima sticks. He freed it from Dick's suit and dropped it off to the side. Dick was looking back over his shoulder as Jason pulled down the zipper.
He started to turn around, Jason's one hand dropping and the other tracing down the exposed skin. Dick stepped into another kiss, his hands between their bodies working on pushing off Jason’s jacket as they moved together towards his bedroom door. Jason pulled the arms of Dick’s suit down, stopping when they caught on his gauntalents. He smiled, holding Dick's forearm and unbuckling the strap of his gloves. He hummed, "these are giving me some ideas."
Dick chuckled a little, letting Jason pull pieces of the suit off of him. "Aren’t you the one that said no weird stuff?"
"What's weird about a little bondage?" Jason ran his hand back up to Dick's neck, taking a fistfull of dark hair and giving it a tug. "You been a good boy, Dickie?"
Dick gasped, eyes closing with a small whine. When he caught his breath again he rushed forward grabbing Jason and making his smug grin disappear into another kiss. His head tilted and tongue tasted the bitter-chemical aftermath of Jason’s smoking habit but he'd learned to ignore that by now. He focused on shedding the skin-tight uniform as Jason pulled him into the dark of the bedroom by the hand on the back of his neck.
Jason shoved him towards the bed. "Lay down," he ordered with a dark tone and wide smile, earning a playful grin.
Dick fell back to sit on the bed, "Bossy." He looked up, watching Jason pull off his shirt and cross the room to him.
Jason crouched and took Dick’s leg in his hand, pulling one boot off and then the other, before standing back up. He crawled onto the bed over him, making Dick lay back as he did so. "I said lay down," he repeated with the same voice of authority.
Dick fully collapsed onto his pillows, bringing his hands behind his head, beaming, "Yes, daddy."
Jason held himself up higher, his face changing to one of shock. "What?"
"What?" Dick shifted to hold himself up on his forearms.
Jason looked horrified. "Were you just thinking of Bruce?" He was moving off Dick like he was on fire.
"Whoa, what?" Dick blinked and sat up just as quickly. "No. You're the one that started it with all the 'baby's and 'good boy's," he defended heatedly.
Jason had sat down at the edge of the bed. "I- What the fuck are we doing?" He changed the subject. "I'm not even gay."
Dick climbed onto his knees to get over and sit beside him. "I know, Jay, I do." He spoke softly watching the side of Jason's face. Dick touched his shoulder but let it drop because Jason was still staring down at the floor. "I really was just trying to have fun. I like having fun with you… that's all it has to be." Jason was still quiet. Dick sighed as he stepped off the bed, holding the top half of his suit at his waist, "I understand if you feel differently though. We can stop."
Jason reached out, grabbing Dick's arm before he could walk too far away. "I- like having fun with you too. I just-" Jason's hand slid down, letting go gently. "I have no fucking clue what's going on with me anymore. I feel like I lost myself when I died. When that goddamn clown killed me," he said with more bite to his voice than before. Jason looked up at him, his green-blue eyes staring hard into Dick's. "I'm going to kill him, Dickie. With my bare fucking hands, I'm going to kill him." For all the rage in his body and anger in voice Dick could still recognize the pain in him. He took a cautious step forward and reached a hand to Jason's shoulder. Jason leaned forward, resting his forehead on Dick’s chest. "I'm going to kill him. I have to kill him."
"I know, Jay," Dick said softly, wrapping his arms around him.
"I hear that stupid laugh every time I fall asleep," Jason went on, like he was rambling. He held Dick around the middle, turning his head to the side. "He has to pay. I'm going to make him pay." He let out another breath. "I have to, Dickie." Jason said through clenched teeth. "Otherwise what's the point? Why did I come back?"
Dick ran his fingers through Jason's hair, silently for a few minutes. It had to be weird, maybe more like disorienting, to come back from the dead. He blinked and three years had gone by. The world kept spinning, people kept going without you. They changed and grew and he was just suddenly nineteen with no memories until Talia put him in that pit. He had to feel jaded and angry because what was the alternative?
"I don't know why you came back, Jay, but I'm glad you’re here, in my bedroom, in Blüdhaven, with me." He smiled a little. Jason let go enough to look up at him and Dick’s hand left his hair as he let out a rough sigh. Dick held the side of Jason’s face, watching it relax and his eyes close. "You okay?"
Jason reached up, laying his hand over Dick's. He moved it away and pulled his arm closer, kissing the inside of his wrist, almost as a thank you. Dick’s skin was always warm and soft against his, making it easy to keep kissing him. He smelled like kevlar armor, leather, and faintly like the men's body soap he used every day. None of which Jason found unpleasant as he breathed it in, because it was so familiar to his own.
Jason let his arm go from his hand. Dick's body was thin framed with thick muscles, easy to run fingers along and find places to hold he liked that. Jason rolled his thumbs over the curve of hip bones, his stare dropping down to the bare skin in front of him. He pulled Dick forward to press a kiss between his pectorals. Jason had admitted he liked Dick’s chest, he could hold handfuls of him at every curve.
Above him Dick sucked in a breath and watched as Jason traced a path to one of Dick’s nipples with the tip of his nose. He circled it with his tongue. Jason ran his hands up Dick's back and spread his fingers, pulling him closer. He opened his mouth against him, sucking hard.
Dick moaned lowly, eyes slipping closed. His hand grabbed for Jason’s shoulders as he swayed on his feet. Jason sat back and Dick opened his legs around his knees to climb into his lap. His hands slid up to hold Jason’s face and jaw, leaning forward to meet in a kiss. It was soft and hesitant as Dick waited for Jason to change his mind again. Instead Jason’s hands squeezed and tugged on bare skin and thick muscles as they touched down Dick’s sides, earning delighted little gasps and moans against him, escalating the urgency in the way their tongues moved against each other.
Jason's fingers rolled the singlet further down Dick’s body and slipped their way into it. They teased at Dick’s belly, just above the cup. Dick sat back and reached down to get it out of his suit but Jason grabbed his wrist, bringing Dick’s attention back up to his face, letting out a great full sigh as the cup hit the floor. Jason leaned forward, wrapping an arm around Dick's hips and hand around his thigh, standing on his feet just long enough to roll Dick onto the bed below him.
Jason leaned over him, covering Dick’s mouth with his own. Dick moved under him, getting closer to the edge of the bed, knees resting on Jason’s hips, heels braced against the mattress to grind against him. Jason groaned meeting Dick’s movement with his own before he grabbed for the Nightwing suit again. He tugged at it so Dick was no longer trapped inside and he could slide his hands around to his ass. Dick practically melted against him, jaw going slack and head tilting, letting out a happy hum.
Jason dropped into Dick’s neck, dragging his tongue over his skin and stopping in places to suck gently, never hard enough or long enough to leave more than a red shadow of a mark that would fade in seconds. His fingers rolled the skin-tight singlet over Dick's thighs before he stepped back to pull it over his knees and ankles.
Dick sat up and reached for Jason's belt, pulling the pin back to unthreaded it enough to open his jeans. Jason's hands slid over Dick's arms, his shoulders, his neck, and into his hair. He tugged at a fistfull, rewarding him with a gasp and whiny sounding moan as Dick tipped his head back. Jason pulled again as he caught Dick’s open mouth with his own. Between them sensitive skin rubbed together against the skin of their navels. They swayed, grinding their hips gently. Dick moaned and Jason hissed through his teeth between kisses.
Jason held his neck again, feeling his fast pulse and jaw move as they kissed. He felt him swallow down their mixed saliva and pant in the open air between their faces. He traced fingers down Dick's chest, biting his lip when fell back onto the bed again. He touched his hip and across his stomach to drag his splayed fingers teasingly over Dick’s cock before giving him a proper stoke.
Dick’s body tensed and eyes slipped closed, rocking into his hand with a satisfied groan. It was cut off with a whine as Jason moved his hand away again. Dick looked up to see him smirking as he moved Dick’s legs so his heels were back on the mattress. Dick laughed a little and twisted his body with a stretch towards his nightstand. He froze with a gasp that seized his whole cest, feeling Jason drag the head of his cock over the ring of muscles between his legs. Jason chuckled a little, stopping his teasing long enough for Dick to get what he was after, albeit with more haste than before.
He passed Jason the condom and upturned the black snap cap bottle over his own hand. Jason dropped the wrapper carelessly to the side and unrolled the latex down his length. Dick reached down, treating the bottle with the same amount of thought as Jason gave the condom wrapper. His fist slid over Jason’s cock, twisting his wrist to leave behind the gel. He shifted a little on the bed to roll slick fingers against his own entrance as Jason held his knees again. Dick kept him steady, guiding Jason cock into his body. He dropped onto the mattress, grabbing fistfuls of sheets, letting out gasping groans between held breaths as he slid deeper and deeper.
Jason bent Dick’s legs towards his chest, pressing his weight against him, rolling his hips slowly at first. “Greedy, boy,” he breathed, watching Dick stare at him with a blissed out look, eyes half lidded and jaw slack.
Dick smiled around a moan as Jason’s thrusts picked up a rougher rhythm. He let out a breathy laugh, cut off with a happy moan, his head falling back. Jason kissed Dick’s skin again, between hard breaths, humming moans as Dick’s body swallowed him with every thrust. “Say it.”
Dick grabbed for Jason’s shoulders, holding on tight. His moans started to pick up that familiar desperate sound. “You, uhn, sure?”
Jason slipped his hands down, pulling Dick’s hips higher, curling him more into himself, fucking him harder, one knee on the bed. “Come on, Dickie,” he breathed into his neck. “Be a good boy.”
Dick’s stomach tensed, arms folding into more comfortable angles to hold Jason’s shoulders before one dropped down between them, his cock aching for attention. “Oh, fuck,” he breathed out a sudder, the word held in his throat.
“Say it,” Jason said roughly, pulling one of Dick’s legs behind his back to free a hand and grab his hip. “Be a good boy and I’ll help you come.”
Dick swallowed hard, head tipping back, “Uhn, I-, uhn... Please, Daddy, I want to come.”
Jason held himself higher, his back straining, squeezing Dick’s thigh in one hand the other sliding between them, making Dick’s move away. He fucked him hard and fast, filling the room with the sounds of bodies meeting skin to skin, over and over, and rough loud breaths cut off with desperate noises. Dick’s breath hitched and body shuddered, all of him tensing and shaking, cum streaking through Jason’s hand onto his stomach and chest. Jason swayed on his toes, pressing himself as hard as he could, as deep as he could into Dick’s body.
They both sighed, Dick melting against the bed, and Jason sliding out of him, holding the base of the condom. He leaned to Dick’s side, resting his head on the mattress for a second until his legs stopped shaking.
Dick turned his head to look at him, after catching his breath. “You okay?”
Jason let out a rough laugh. “Yeah. I think it just freaked me out how much it turned me on.”
Dick smiled, moving so he could run a hand over Jason’s back. “Yeah it can be sort of surprising.” He chuckled lightly. “I completely froze up the first time someone spanked me.”
Jason laughed again, getting up to his feet and stepping back to help Dick off the bed. They walked together to the bathroom to clean up. Jason looked over after Dick had whipped off his chest suddenly lifting a leg to brace it on the shower wall and get between his thighs.
Jason laughed. “Sometimes I forget how flexible you are.”
Dick smirked, lifting his leg higher, “Oh yeah?”
“Show off,” Jason shook his head with an eyeroll and finished washing his hands.
Dick had both feet on the floor again, throwing away the tissue and joining him at the sink. “I’m starving. Do you want to stay up with me while I get something to eat?”
Jason turned to hold Dick’s face in his hands. “Dickie, it’s going on seven in the morning. I’m going to bed.” He leaned forward kissing Dick’s forehead before letting go.
Dick smiled, watching him walk across the hall to his bedroom.
It was late into the afternoon before they had gone through their 'morning' routines, having caught up on sleep first. Dick had even checked Jason's stitches, deciding he could take them out tomorrow after a day of just relaxing.
They were sitting on the couch with their computers. Well, Jason was sitting on the couch, Dick was spread out across it. He laid with his feet on Jason's knees behind his laptop. The TV was on but neither of them were sparing it any attention.
"Two-Face's been caught in Gotham," Dick shared without looking up at him.
"The Bat?" Jason asked, sounding only vaguely interested.
"Yup," Dick answered with just as much enthusiasm.
They were comfortable in the quiet between them. Nothing needed to be said, right then at least, not until Dick's phone made a familiar sound from where it sat on the coffee table. Jason turned his head, watching him, waiting. Dick didn't move for his phone, instead looking back at Jason. "I can um, turn off the notifications…" he offered with an air of uncertainty, reaching over to pick up his phone, "not get any of those messages anymore." Dick glanced around his computer screen, to see Jason looking back at him. "If you want?"
"You'll still get them," Jason argued casually, turning back to his computer, "just not know it."
"Right," Dick agreed, turning his phone over in his hand, "but I've got no reason to check for them…?"
Jason sighed heavily and closed his laptop. "I'm still planning on going back to Gotham."
"I know," Dick answered, understanding that Jason meant eventually. This was still just a break for him.
"We're not- I'm not- I can't be your… whatever," he stumbled over his words. "It's just-"
"I know," Dick nodded, "just for fun." He nudged Jason's leg with his foot. "I don't need to be having fun with other people right now though." Dick unlocked his phone to turn off the app notifications and set it back down. "Just you."
Jason lifted his screen again. "Thanks, Dickie," he said more like he was glad they could be done with the subject.
Dick paused from pulling the tangle of sheets and clothes from the dryer to answer his phone. “Hello, beautiful,” he greeted Barbara as he always did, perching the phone on his shoulder to continue filling the laundry basket again.
“Hey, Dick. I have an update on the case if you can talk,” Barbara said in a softer voice than she usually used.
Dick eyed his neighbor at the machines across the apartment building basement. “I don’t want to talk about work right now,” he said with an air of exhaustion.
“Got it,” Barbara said normally. “What are you doing?” She added curiously.
“Laundry,” Dick answered. With the dryer empty he sat down in one of the plastic chairs instead of reloading it.
“Oh. So how’s it going with Jason?” She continued to make conversation.
“Good,” Dick answered happily.
“Good?” Barbara asked back suspiciously. “So are you two a thing now?”
“Not a thing,” Dick shared, “but not not a thing.”
“Dick…” now she sounded exhausted.
“It’s sort of complicated,” he defended, "he's got a lot going on and I'm trying not to add an identity crisis on top of it."
Barbara’s voice changed to the ‘I told you so’ tune, “so you don’t think he’s straight anymore.”
“Never said I did. It just doesn't matter what I think anyway," he corrected.
“Fair point,” she conceded. “I should probably warn you. Bruce wants to host a Thanksgiving dinner this year.”
“Why?” He asked curiously.
“Because it’s Tim’s last year before going to college next fall,” Barbara explained. “Are you two still on bad terms.”
“Not really,” Dick sighed, “I think we’re okay. I just don’t want things to be awkward.”
“Ask Jason if he wants to come,” she suggested.
Dick laughed, “I said I don’t want things to be awkward.”
“What’s awkward about having your roommate with benefits that hates the host to a family dinner?” She asked back sarcastically. “Really though, you two should be there.”
“Are you going?” Dick decided to go back to his chore, moving laundry from one machine to the other.
“Yeah, after spending some time with my mom,” Barbara answered. “She has her group therapy in the afternoon.”
“The holiday must be hard on her,” Dick sympathized, this being their first year since her father’s death. “Are you okay?”
“I will be. I just want to be around family, and friends,” she added with an inflection in her voice, knowing full well that he would feel guilty.
Dick sighed, “Fine, I’ll go. I’ll ask Jason too but don’t expect too much from him.” He looked up and his neighbor waved as she walked out of the room. He waved back politely and started putting coins in the dryer. “Now what about work?”
“Clark’s found lead bunkers under a lot of Lexcorp owned factories around the world,” she shared.
“Well, that’s not good,” with the machine running he picked up the basket to take back upstairs.
“We’re looking at a global event, whatever they’re planning. Major cities seem to be the targets,” she went on.
“Any idea of when?” He asked.
“No, but when it does happen we need to be ready,” she said darkly, “I need to be able to help.”
“Not uh,” he argued, “you need to take your time. Don’t push it.”
“Don’t worry about me, Dick,” she scolded. “I hate when you coddle me.”
“I know,” he sighed again. “Sorry.”
“There’s one more thing you should know,” Barbara went on. “It has something to do with the Joker.”
Dick stopped mid-step. He balanced the laundry basket on his hip with one hand to hold his phone better. “How?”
“A grand return? Who knows,” she sounded cautious. “Bruce has some warehouses in Gotham bugged. It sounds like they’re planning a war.”
Dick sighed and continued up the stairs. “Let me know if there’s any way I can help.”
“I will,” Barbara promised. “I’ll keep you updated.”
“Thanks, Babs,” he said in a lighter tone.
“See you at Thanksgiving,” she sang before hanging up.
Dick dropped his cell phone into the basket before opening the apartment door. Jason was sitting on the couch with his feet on the coffee table. He looked up with a soft smile, “hey.”
Dick smiled back, “Hey.” He grabbed a pair of boxers that weren't his from the bin on his hip to throw at him. "You left some clothes in my room."
Jason laughed, catching them, dropping his feet from the table. "Hey, thanks." He followed Dick to his room. "Is that how I get you to do my laundry?"
"I did it once doesn’t mean I'll do it again," Dick said without looking at him. His bed was bare, the newly cleaned sheets now in a heap on top of it. He started to sort through them untangling and folding things that belonged in the dresser.
Jason pulled out a pair of familiar jeans from the pile. "It's sort of funny to see you all domestic."
"What? Did you think Alfred was coming all the way out here to do my chores?" Dick asked back sarcastically.
"No," Jason answered casually. When he first got back to Gotham, when he was squatting at the place in Drescher, he hadn't spared Dick or Barbara, or any of his old teammates much thought at all. When he had broken into Titans Tower before then it was just to size up his replacement. They weren't a part of his plan, they had nothing to do with his revenge. When Batman had caught Red Hood in a fight and they exchanged blows on some of Gotham's rooftops. He didn't even think about Bruce Wayne until his cover was blown and Batman's voice changed to a kinder one. He hadn't thought about any of them until Dick was staring at him with those stupid blue eyes.
"You okay, Jay?" Dick asked, his bed was cleared so he could make it.
"Yeah," Jason walked over to tuck in one of the corners of the fitted sheet.
"I can get it," Dick excused, "you just seemed like you were thinking hard about something."
"I was thinking about you," Jason answered, moving to another corner.
"What about me?" Dick was smirking like he was expecting something dirty, or some kind of joke. They were the reason he had to clean these sheets after all.
"That night at the manor, when you held me back from fighting Tim," Jason started to explain. "That room with the fancy bed, the expensive- everything. I hated it so much. Then there was Robin and Bruce Wayne," he said in a bitter voice. Looking up at Dick again he went on. "I was angry at everything in that room, except you."
Dick smiled softly and picked up the sheet from the floor. "I'm glad I was there then."
Jason weakly smiled back and moved to help him finish making the bed. "Me too."
The only light on in the apartment was in the kitchen as they sat on the couch, Nightmare on Elm Street: Freddy's Revenge playing on the TV.
It was the night after Halloween. They had spent the whole week of the holiday patrolling every night. They mostly caught kids egging cars or teens in masks chasing and scaring people for their idea of fun. There was one night a jewel thief in a clown mask got punched out harder than had he not been wearing it by Red Hood.
This was their night off and Jason’s arm was across Dick's shoulders as they watched the movie. He narrowed his eyes suspiciously. "That guy's topless a lot in this," he turned to look at Dick.
Dick laughed, "you chose The Exorcist, now it's my turn."
Jason shrugged, "It's just an observation."
Dick leaned over to set the bowl of what had become only popcorn kernels on the coffee table with the few beer bottles they'd had. He rested his head on Jason’s shoulder, continuing to watch the movie. The campy horror was holding his interest by a thread that suddenly snapped. He lifted his head again to look at Jason. "You shaved."
Jason glanced at him dismissively. "I shave every morning."
Dick reached up to touch Jason's jaw, his skin softer than usual at this hour. "Not with a blade you don't."
"I didn't charge the electric one," Jason explained looking at Dick while he kept touching his face. "You like it?" It wasn't really a question based on the way Dick was now kissing his cheek and jaw.
Dick hummed back his answer getting to Jason's lips, his arms wrapping around his neck. As funny as Jason found it he wasn't going to turn down the offer to slip his tongue into Dick’s mouth. Dick turned so his legs were across Jason’s lap. There wasn’t any real urgency in the kisses, or even in the air they breathed between them. It was a fun exchange of tongues and saliva. Their jaws moved when they swallowed, and Dick’s head tilted to the side so chins were no longer rubbing.
The horror movie continued for an audience that was no longer interested, having only sounds to offer. The mounting musical tension of the nightmarish scene was suddenly deafened by Dick’s ringtone.
They both jumped like teenagers that had been caught doing the exact same thing. Dick grabbed for the phone and climbed off Jason’s lap. "Oh hey, Bruce." He whipped his chin, walking into the kitchen, away from the noise of the TV.
Jason leaned forward to grab the remote and turn down the volume.
"Yeah, Babs had mentioned that," Dick said. He was still walking around, like he was trying to get over his initial reaction. Dick laughed tensely at something Bruce said. "We were having a scary movie marathon. You caught us off guard." He had caught his breath and leaned against the table. He toed at the hardwood floor while listening to his phone.
Jason had a drink of his beer and stood up to join him and see how much he could overhear. Dick looked up and smiled at him before rolling his eyes. "I know, Bruce." Jason rested back against a countertop, waiting. "I told her I'd be there," Dick said into the phone. "I didn't ask him." He looked up at Jason again.
"Ask me what?" Jason asked.
Dick turned around, not answering him. "I will." He nodded to the wall. "Yes, I know." Dick seemed to deflate with every passing second, resting his elbows on the table. "Yeah, I figured… I'll talk to him… Yes… Alright, thanks, Bruce." He sank onto his arms. "Okay… I'll let you know… Okay, bye." He hung up without really looking before collapsing.
"Ask me what?" Jason asked, tilting his head at the view, but finding it a little bitter sweet due to the fact the Bat needed Dick to talk to him.
Dick sighed and stood up again. He left the phone on the table as he turned around. "Bruce wants to have Thanksgiving dinner this-"
"Nope," Jason declared before Dick could get the whole sentence out. He walked out of the kitchen and turned on the light in the living area.
"Come on, Jay," Dick followed him. He watched Jason turn off the TV and start picking up the bottles and popcorn bowl. "I'm going for Babs."
"That’s your stupid choice," Jason said back, walking past him.
"I don't want you to be here alone," Dick said honestly.
Jason set the bottles in the recycling and bowl in the sink. He sighed holding the counter. "I don't want to be near Bruce Wayne."
"More than just Bruce is going to be there," Dick offered hopefully, stepping towards him. "Barbara will be there, and me. That's half the people there."
Jason looked at him unsurely before correcting him, "that's like 40% at best."
"You don't like Alfred either?" Dick asked back.
Jason sighed, not answering and looking over at the window.
"Or Alfred's cooking?" Dick added with an inflection more along the line of reminding than asking. Jason was still quiet. Dick welcomed himself up beside him. "I don't plan on being there until Barbara's done visiting her mom."
Jason looked at him and turned so Dick could hold his shoulders and cuddle up to him properly while asking for a favor. "I'm only going for dinner," he agreed darkly.
Dick smiled and started to step back. "We can leave the manor first thing in the morning, promise."
Jason grabbed him and pulled him back. "What?"
"Dinner will be in the evening, I don’t think we'll want to drive back to Blüdhaven that late," Dick explained easily.
"You don't?" Jason challenged.
"Not if I've been drinking the good wine from Bruce's cabinet," he said suggestively.
Jason loosened his hold on Dick’s arms, sliding his hands down. "We both know that if we go to this thing, that stuff's not happening."
Dick sighed, nodding, dropping the facade, "Yeah."
"So why do you want to go, Dickie?" Jason asked seriously.
Dick looked at Jason’s shirt instead of his face. "Since you've been gone things have always felt sort of… broken between all of us. This is Barbara's first year without her dad and Tim's last before college. I want to at least say I tried."
Jason was quiet for a long moment so Dick looked up again only to find him staring at the wall. He closed his eyes and dropped his chin. "Fine. For you, I'll go."
Happy new year! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
They drove separately because Jason wanted a way to escape if he needed one and Dick agreed that was probably better than the alternative, a full on fist fight.
Alfred greeted them at the door as always to take their coats. "It's good to see you both."
"You too," Dick smiled, giving his favorite butler a hug. "Happy Thanksgiving."
Alfred chuckled, patting him on the back. "Happy Thanksgiving, Master Grayson."
Dick moved aside so Alfred could hang their coats in the entrance closet. "I've made up your old rooms for you. You can take the rest of your things upstairs. Dinner won't be ready for a few more hours."
"Thanks, Alfred," Dick said, walking past him.
Jason held up a six pack of craft lager, "there room in the fridge?"
"Yes, I'll take that, Master Todd," Alfred offered, letting Jason pass it to him.
Jason had been quiet ever since they left the apartment, not even answering the radio in his helmet. Dick figured it was because he was using all of his will power to make it back to the manor and not turn around. Given the tension in his body, he probably wasn't far off either.
Jason sighed, setting his bag on his old bed and looking around the room. Bruce had encouraged him to decorate how he wanted when he first moved in. As a ten year old former street kid that meant posters of expensive cars and his favorite rock bands. They changed as he got older, becoming less about cars and more about bikini clad bombshells on top of them.
He smirked remembering that Bruce wasn't particularly pleased with that but wasn't going to say why.
"Hey," Dick stepped into the doorway. He looked around the room, never having been in it before. He pointed at one of the posters, "she's cute."
"Shut up," Jason laughed a little. "I was fifteen."
Dick grinned and changed the subject. "I'm going downstairs. You want to stay up here brooding all night or come with me?"
"I wasn't brooding," Jason corrected, following him out of the room, closing the door behind him.
"The essays were the hardest," Tim was saying. He and Barbara were on opposite sofas in the sitting room while Bruce was lighting the fireplace.
They all looked up. Barbara stood and went to hug Dick. "Happy Thanksgiving," she said warmly.
"You too, Babs," Dick hugged her back.
"It’s good to see you, Jason," Barbara added, turning towards him.
He only nodded with a weak smile, "Yeah."
Bruce set the fire poker back in the holder. "How was the drive?"
"More traffic than usual," Dick shrugged, "typical holiday stuff."
"It’s good you missed the parade," Bruce said kindly enough, matching the atmosphere. He looked over at Jason, "I'm glad you decided to come."
Jason was clearly biting his tongue, not saying what he really wanted to.
"What were you saying about essays, Tim?" Dick walked over to lean over the back of the sofa.
"Oh," Tim went along with him, "college applications. I had a hard time writing about my life without bringing up masks and capes."
"I had the same problem," Barbara laughed, going back to where she had been sitting before. "References too, couldn't really come up with a good reason why I would personally know Diana of Themyscira."
"Sort of glad I missed out on that experience," Jason said dismissively, walking around to sit on the end of one of the longer couches.
"Would you have gone to college?" Barbara asked curiously.
"Don't know," Jason shrugged, sitting back casually. "Technically I never even finished high school."
"You could always just take the test for your GED," Barbara offered on a positive note.
"Doesn't matter," Jason turned his head contentiously, "don't need it anyway."
"Well, if you ever change your mind I'd be happy to help," Barbara said before looking at Tim again. "Where all did you apply?"
"Dick," Bruce had walked up beside him, "can I speak with you?"
"Um sure," Dick looked at the others in the room, noticing their conversation had paused long enough to watch Bruce lead him away.
They walked out one of the back doors that opened to the yard, it currently was covered in fallen leaves. Bruce walked down the stone steps and onto the path that would lead down to the gardens and beyond that, the Wayne family cemetery.
Dick didn’t know what this was about so he walked and waited for Bruce to say something first.
"I'm not sure when you stopped trusting me," he said somberly, "but I think I can guess."
Dick looked over, surprised, "I trust you with my life. What are you talking about?"
"You trust Batman with your life, with Nightwing’s, not Bruce Wayne," he corrected gently, knowingly. "Not with all of it."
Dick stopped, panic rising in his chest. "What are you talking about?"
Bruce turned towards him, "Jason told me."
That did little to help him keep calm. "Told you what?"
"That there's something you're keeping from me," Bruce shared sadly.
"Oh…" Dick breathed a little easier, looking down at the stones and then over to the yard.
"We used to train out here in the summers," Bruce reminded in a happier voice.
"I remember," Dick smiled a little, "Alfred would bring us a picnic lunch sometimes."
Bruce sighed, "I lost your faith in me the day I let Jason die."
"No, Bruce, that's not-" Dick tried to correct him but it did have some truth to it. "It's only part of it. Living here," he looked back at Wayne Manor, "I had a hard time feeling like I belonged. Your family name, your family portraits, and I'm not saying you should have changed it," he said quickly, "I just needed to find myself somewhere else."
Bruce nodded, "I understand, I just don't like that you hide things from me."
"You haven't looked into it?" Dick asked cautiously. They both knew Bruce had the ability to find out anything he needed to.
"Should I?" Bruce asked back in a darkly serious way. Dick understood he was probably thinking the worst. Something to do with Nightwing.
"No, Bruce, it's just personal stuff," he reassured.
Bruce smiled gently, that was good enough for him. "Let's get back inside then." He pat Dick's arm as he walked around him, heading towards the house. The autumn sun had started to set already and the air was crisp, getting colder by the second. Jason was standing on the back balcony at the opposite side of the stairs they were using. He had his arms resting on the stone railing while smoking a cigarette.
Bruce looked over and continued on through the doors while Dick hung back, heading over slowly so Bruce had enough time to leave. "What'd he want?" Jason asked without looking at him, still staring at the yard.
"Apparently someone told him I had a secret," Dick held his arms, his sweater doing little help in keeping him warm now.
Jason stood taller and turned towards him, "Dickie, I swear I didn't tell him-"
Dick held up a hand to shush him. "I know, Jay." He spun to lean back on the railing besides him, keeping his eyes towards the glass doors. "He just wanted to be sure it wasn't anything serious."
Jason took back his previously relaxed position on the balcony. If anyone wanted to try and read lips from a window they'd only see one half of the conversation. "Did you tell him anything?" Jason asked curiously but there was a tension in his voice.
Dick shook his head before tipping it back to look at him. "And even if I did, I wouldn't mention you," he said with a reassuring smile. It looked like that did little to help Jason relax though. Dick sort of understood that, his secret was easy, Jason's a little more complicated. What was he going to say? 'I'm straight but sleeping with Dick, but definitely still straight.' Dick touched his arm before standing up again. "Don't stay out here too long," he said before leaving towards the light of the doors.
Jason let out a sigh before taking another long drag from his cigarette. It felt weird being back. His last time at the manor Batman had beat him and Bruce Wayne had convinced him to sleep it off, and for whatever reason Jason went with him.
He blew out the smoke from his lungs and took one last desperate drag, letting it burn down to the filter. Deep down he knew he wanted to have a family again, even as he told everyone around him he hated them. That's why he let Bruce bring home and why he joined Dick in Blüdhaven. Jason knew he wanted loved, he just worried how much he could give it back. He ground the butt into the stone tile and turned to go back inside.
"Oh, Jay," Dick looked up as he walked back into the sitting room. "I was going to get Babs and I a drink, you want a beer?"
Jason glanced over to see that Bruce had apparently found himself a glass of scotch at some point. "So it's officially a family dinner then," he joked. "What about junior?" His eyes landed on Tim.
"Tim's only seventeen," Bruce answered sternly.
"Congratulations," Jason said flatly, making the room fall quiet. Jason had been killed the same year as his sixteenth birthday, and everyone present knew that.
"Jay," Dick's voice was even, only meant to get his attention. "Drink?" He reminded when Jason finally looked over.
"Yeah," Jason agreed, leaving the room with him. He half expected some sort of reprimand, instead Dick was quiet as they made it to the kitchen. Bruce had hired an additional staff member to help Alfred with making dinner. She pulled one dish from the oven and slid another one in, focused on her work like a five star chef, because she probably was one.
"What can I do for you two?" Alfred asked, setting down the utensil he was currently using to move a side dish from the baking pan to the serving bowl.
"Just here for drinks," Dick smiled, walking over to where the fridge was hidden in the cabinet.
"Master Todd, your beverages were put in the main fridge," Alfred informed, walking over to open the door for him. "I'll get you a-" he had turned to get a bottle opener from the same drawer Dick had pulled the cork screw no doubt but Jason had set the cap on the edge of the tile counter and struck it with his palm. The metal pinged as it fell onto the floor. Jason bent to pick it up, even as Alfred was staring disapprovingly. He turned to Dick with the same look. Dick smiled sheepishly and handed him the corkscrew with the cork still stuck to it. "I will let you all know when dinner is ready," he said in a stern voice that sounded more like he was saying, 'get out of my kitchen.'
"Yes, Alfred," Dick agreed, taking the bottle and the two empty glasses with him. They left the kitchen, the door swinging behind them and Jason taking a drink. "You got us in trouble," Dick accused humorously.
Jason grinned leaning closer to say quietly, "you've got Alfrdaddy issues."
Dick laughed and elbowed him away.
When dinner was served Bruce had asked Alfred to join them and even though he was reluctant at first he accepted when Bruce called him family. The meal passed uneventfully for the most part, everyone too busy enjoying the food to hold conversations that went on for more than a few sentences.
When there was talking, all of the attention was away from Jason. No one wanted to ask or say the wrong thing to set him off. They treated him as if a live bomb was sitting at his end of the table. Dick occasionally looked over while others were talking, Jason wasn’t even sure if Dick knew how smiley he was when their eyes met, it might have been the wine.
After dinner Alfred insisted on being the one to clear the table even though Bruce had already started helping, everyone else was more successfully shooed away.
They were heading back to the sitting area when Jason broke off down the hall.
"Where are you going?" Dick asked, watching him heading towards the main entrance room. He obviously thought Jason was bailing and was about to try and convince him otherwise.
"Just getting my coat, Dickie," Jason said without turning around, waving the pack of cigarettes he'd already pulled from his pocket.
He stood just outside the large stone entranceway, looking at the roundabout driveway as he lit his cigarette. The fountain in the center was empty of water but filled with the autumn leaves.
Jason took a few steps on the stairs to sit on the edge of the landing. The air was quiet and cold as he breathed it in. The noise of the city was distant and familiar.
The door behind him opened, ruining his moment of solitude. He looked over, a little surprised to see Bruce being the one welcoming himself to sit besides him. Jason stared harder at the city lights beyond the bare trees, focusing on filling his lungs with nicotine.
"Got a spare?" Bruce asked suddenly.
Jason eyed him suspiciously.
"It’s been awhile," Bruce admitted with a weak smile. "Just don't tell Alfred."
Jason rolled his eyes and held the pack towards him, lighter between his fingers for him to use as well.
Bruce took in a long breath and let it out slowly, passing Jason back his lighter. "The best cigarette I ever had was after a two day trek along the road from Lào Cai to Hanoi. It was pouring rain and I came across this fisherman that was pulling in his nets. He offered to ferry me down the river on his way home. I was so exhausted and soaking wet and he just handed me his pack, insisting I take one. It wasn't anything special but it was exactly the break I needed."
Jason looked at him while Bruce told his story. He nodded and sucked in another breath, letting the smoke out slowly. "I went through Singapore," he said indifferently, dropping the butt on the stone steps and getting up to go back inside.
He took a detour to the kitchen to get another beer. This time waiting for Alfred to give him a bottle opener to crack it open properly and walk back in the direction of laughter.
Dick and Barbara were sitting on the floor at the large cocktail table, a board game at the corner between them, closest to the sofa Tim was sitting on.
"We just started a game," Dick looked up at him. "Did you want to play?"
Jason looked at the old Sorry! board that had probably been in one of the Wayne Manor closests since Bruce was a kid. He shook his head and sat himself on the far end of the couch, pulling his phone from his pocket. "Knock yourselves out." He put one foot on the table and had another drink.
Bruce joined them again a short while after, sitting in one of the chairs.
"I'm surprised you didn't invite Stephanie," Barbara said, looking up as Tim took his turn.
"She broke up with me," Tim shared, focusing on the game.
"Oh, I'm sorry," Barbara said sympathetically. "Are you okay?"
"It's fine," Tim dismissed with a tense voice. "I texted her and she said we can talk later."
"Oh, okay," Barbara obviously wasn’t confident in that idea but was keeping that to herself.
"If none of you are in any need of anything I will be retiring for the evening," Alfred announced after standing in the doorway for a while, smiling at their found family.
"We'll be fine," Bruce assured. "Goodnight, Alfred."
"Goodnight, Alfred," the rest of the room repeated, some more enthusiastically than Jason.
"I'll see you all in the morning for breakfast," he said before leaving, heading in the direction of the stairs.
The room settled into conversation a lot like they had over dinner. They talked about the city, the mayor, and other political gossip, all while skirting around talking too much about 'work'.
Tim was the first to get up and go upstairs for the night, probably to go call Stephanie. Barbara and Dick changed out the board game for a deck of cards, playing War. The two of them were reminiscing over school and their time as sidekicks. Their wine glasses never empty for very long as the bottle had reappeared. Bruce even went and brought himself a glass back from the kitchen. Dick won the first game and started gathering the deck. "I thought you were supposed to be the strategist here," he teased lightly.
"This game isn't strategy, it's luck," Barbara argued, partially bending a card off her fingers so it would fly in his direction.
"Hey now," Dick twisted around to pick it up from where it landed past him. "That sort of thing can be a deadly weapon in this house."
"I hope if I were in a pinch I'd find something better than playing cards," Barbara laughed.
"It's nice to see you two together again," Bruce chimed suddenly, cutting off the happy moment.
Dick and Barbara looked up at him. They both laughed awkwardly. Dick cleared his throat, shuffling cards. "We've always been friends."
Jason paused from egging on people in the Joker message boards. This was much more interesting.
Barbara was watching Dick with a gentle, knowing smile. "And we like it that way," she said towards Bruce with a small shrug.
Bruce chuckled and shook his head, meaning he really didn't believe them. "I should be heading to bed," he said while standing. "Don't stay up too late." He walked around the couches to the door, stopping to look between the three younger adults, "just be sure you turn the lights off."
"We will, Bruce," Dick assured before turning to Jason, "do you want to play something?"
Jason got up and moved to a closer seat. "Texas hold 'em."
"With what?" Barbara asked humorously with some suspicion.
"What like you guys don't have some spare cash in your wallets?" Jason reached over taking the cards from Dick.
"Not a lot," Barbara said back with a laugh.
"We'll do dollar buy ins and single rounds," Jason reasoned while dealing. He shifted on the sofa to get his wallet from his pocket. Dick sat up taller on his knees to do the same.
"Fine, but if I lose you have to promise me a round next time I'm in Blüdhaven," Barbara agreed, putting a dollar down.
"Whatever bar you like," Jason promised, picking up his hand and discarding one.
Barbara laughed, "you haven’t gone yet?"
"Gone where?" Jason seemed confused a second. "Oh, the bar, where Dick takes all his dates?"
Dick dropped his cards. "Fold. I don't take them, we usually meet there."
"Mhm," Jason hummed and put another dollar in, looking at Barbara expectantly. "I like the gritty hole in the wall places but I'm guessing that's not what this is."
"Call. Nope, definitely not," Barbara confirmed. They both laid down their cards and Barbara took the pot, leaving one dollar behind for the next round.
"What happened to Dolly's here in Gotham?" Dick asked, resting his elbow on the table with his head on his hand.
"Closed down, health code violations," Barbara shared, picking up the cards she was dealt.
"That’s a shame," Dick set down one card to draw another. "The girls got paid pretty well there."
"Girls?" Jason asked with some intrigue.
"Not actual girls, Jay," Dick corrected.
"Ah," he breathed, catching on. "Fold," he set down his cards and picked up his drink. "Probably not a place I'd like then."
"I guess if you don't like having fun," Barbara mocked a little, setting her cards down. "Fold."
Dick pulled the three dollars towards him. "That was a sad round," he said lightly sliding cards towards Jason. He looked at Barba again, "did you want to go to a show? They stopped performing at Jacques'."
"Aw why?" Barbara asked with some disappointment.
"The stage collapsed," Dick answered, picking up the new cards he was dealt. "It was cheaper to clear it out than replace it."
"Well, I really was hoping to go to a show," Barbara sighed. "The last time we went was back in April when I still had my wheelchair."
"I'll do some asking," Dick promised. "I think Vye said she was trying to open a place in an old comedy club."
"Maybe you can take Jason to check it out for me," Barbara suggested with a fun smirk.
Jason didn’t look up from shuffling cards. "If I go anywhere and get any kind of glitter on me I will murder you in your sleep, Dick Grayson," he threatened darkly making the other two laugh.
As promised Dick turned off the lights as the three of them decided to call it a night. Between them there were enough wins and losses to make things pretty much even. Dick and Jason stopped outside their old rooms that happened to be across the hall from one another. Barbara passed between them with a smirk to the room she was staying in. "Goodnight, boys."
"Night, Babs," Dick said back, not moving.
She watched them until she disappeared behind a door as it shut at the end of the hall. That left the two of them. The nightly ritual for the last few weeks had become to say goodnight with passing touches or occasionally a kiss. They usually left the bathroom at the same time, either after cleaning up from sex or just brushing their teeth. Now they stood feet apart with a void between them.
"Goodnight, Jay," Dick said with a sort of defeated smile, stepping back into his room.
"Goodnight, Dickie," Jason said back in an even tone, doing the same.
With the door closed behind him Dick sighed heavily and went to the bag he’d left on the bed to change.
Like Jason, Dick had decorated his room growing up too. He had a poster from his days as a Flying Grayson. Bruce had it framed for him. There were photos of him and his friends on the dresser, one of Barbara and him from when they were dating. He kept mementos of the people in his life.
"Psst, Dickie," Jason's voice was somewhere in his room.
Dick struggled to open his eyes, having just fallen asleep. He found Jason at the foot of his bed. "Jay? What're you doing?"
"Come have a beer with me," Jason instructed, pulling off Dick’s covers.
Dick yawned and got his feet onto the floor. "Fine."
"You might want to put some clothes on, it's cold out," Jason warned due to the fact Dick was only in his gym shorts.
Instead Dick lazily pulled the comforter from the bed. He hugged it around his shoulders as it drug behind him across the hall. Jason's bedroom window was open and the sudden drop in temperature made Dick pull the blanket higher around him.
Jason had brought what was left of his six pack up to his room and had been sitting on the roof drinking. Dick was fully awake again, following him out of the window and moving the thick blanket to sit on it with it still around his arms. Jason passed him a bottle and the opener he has also nabbed from the kitchen.
"Why'd you want to come out here?" Dick asked curiously. He watched Jason pull a cigarette from his pack.
"Listen," Jason instructed, followed by a beat of silence. Off in the distance was the sounds of the city, the traffic, sirens, horns. "I had the hardest time sleeping here my first few weeks," he shared, "until I started sleeping with the window open."
Dick just looked over with a smile, tipping the bottle up for a drink. He turned back to the direction of the city, breathing in the night air.
"I really didn't want to come back here," Jason said, his voice getting darker.
"I know," Dick said, turning the drink in his hand, scratching at the peeling label. "Thank you though. You made things easier for me."
"I don't know how," Jason mused. He held his cigarette between his fingers so he could pick up his own bottle.
"Bruce wanted me to tell him and for a second I thought it was because he already knew. For some reason that terrified me," Dick turned his head to look over at him again. "Then you were there waiting. It just feels good knowing you've got my back."
"Barbara does too," Jason objected gently, changing vices again.
Dick tilted his head with a grimace, "she wants me to tell Bruce. She thinks it's silly I haven't already."
"That’s none of her fucking business," Jason scoffed under his breath. Dick fell silent again after another swig. "Can you imagine if we grew up here together?" Jason said after a while, looking back into his room. He let out a chuckle, "the trouble we could've gotten into."
"We'd probably have a much different relationship than we do now," Dick added with his own small laugh.
"You think so?" Jason teased, swaying to lean into him. "Bet I could've gotten golden-boy to break some rules." He smiled mischievously. "Like taking that bottle of Blue Label to Alicia Harmon's make-out party."
Dick laughed loudly, "is that what you did with it? Bet all your friends were very impressed."
"Not to brag but more than one girl took me into the laundry cupboard," Jason shared with a haughty smirk.
"Too bad we don't have any laundry cupboards here," Dick said wistfully. He looked over at Jason to see him blow out a small laugh.
"Real shame," he agreed, staring back. They smiled at each other before leaning forward to meet in a kiss. It was a brief mixing of mint, beer, and cigarettes before Dick sat back again. "That’s not a good idea."
Jason shifted on the roof with a nod, looking back into his room again. "Yeah." He smiled with another drink. "Of all the people in this house Bruce probably thinks he's most likely to walk in on you and Barbara."
That made Dick laugh again. He shook his head, "that was so awkward."
"Don't know what you mean, Dickie," Jason teased again. "Your face didn’t turn bright red or anything."
Dick elbowed him. "Shut up." With a final swig his bottle was empty and he got up, gathering the blanket off the roof to go back inside. Jason flicked the butt of his cigarette into the gutter and followed behind him.
With a sigh Dick fell onto Jason's old bed, still tired from his day of acting. It was hard being constantly aware of something not to say. Jason sat on the edge of the bed to take his boots off before falling back and scooting up to his pillows. Dick opened his eyes, he reached up, curling the streak of white hair in Jason’s bangs around his finger with a little smile. Jason just sighed and closed his eyes. Dick pulled his arm back into the warmth of his blanket. He stopped smiling, staring at the scar across Jason's cheek. Dick's blinks got slower, listening to Jason breathe. "I can't fall asleep here."
"I'll wake you up in a few minutes," Jason promised, his voice just as sleepy.
Barbara stopped in the hall on her way to the stairs. Dick’s bedroom door was open and Dick not in it. She stepped in, pulling it closed and quickly went to the room across the hall.
The bodies in Jason’s bed were still asleep, Dick wrapped in his own blanket and Jason looking like he half tried to get under it with him. "Dick," she hissed, throwing his comforter off and hitting his shoulder.
He groaned, "ow what?" Dick's eyes were suddenly open. "Shit," he cussed quietly, sitting up.
It took Jason the same amount of time, having rolled over to try and go back to sleep at first. He held his head while getting up. "Fuck."
"What were you two thinking?" Barbara scolded.
"We had a couple beers and fell asleep," Dick defended.
Jason reached for his bag on the floor, realizing he'd fallen asleep in his clothes. "You really think someone's going to jump to the right conclusion based on this?" He pulled off his shirt from the previous day, shoving it in the bag and grabbing a new one.
"I'd think you wouldn't want anyone jumping to any-" She stopped suddenly and the three of them looked up when the door opened.
"Alfred wanted me to-" Tim paused mid-sentence, his thought changing. "Why are you all in Jason’s room..." He looked between them and then eyed the empty beer bottles on the floor. "Nevermind." Tim backed out of the room, shutting the door again.
"Great," Barbara dropped her hand, exasperated. "Can't imagine what he's thinking."
Jason finished pulling on his clean shirt, and sat on the edge of the bed, grabbing for his boots with a laugh. "I could probably guess."
"Like that's better?" Barbara asked.
"It's funnier," Jason shrugged as he got up again.
"Tim's smart," Dick objected, "he's not about to assume things without all the information."
Barbara sighed. "Can we just go downstairs for breakfast before someone else discovers this apparent threesome I'm now in?"
"I'll go get dressed and meet you down there," Dick said, ignoring her sarcasm and gathering the blanket off Jason’s bed to take back to his room.
Jason grabbed his bag so he wouldn't have to come back for it before walking around the bed towards Barbara and the door. "No offense, Babs, but you're too smart to be my type."
That made her smile as they looked over at Dick because it took him a beat to register what Jason had said. "Hey!"
Jason and Barbara laughed, leaving the room, Dick not far behind going back to his own. "See you downstairs, Dickie boy," Jason said looking back at him.
Breakfast was more of a buffet style experience. There were no place settings, only a few serving plates to choose from and any chair available. Jason filled his plate and sat at the far end of the long table while Barbara sat across from Tim. "How did things go with Stephanie?"
"We're okay but she just wants to stay friends for now," Tim answered a little sadly.
"I'm sorry, Tim," Bruce spoke sympathetically.
Jason snorted out a sentiment of skepticism and went back to eating his eggs. Bruce had nothing to say when Rose ripped out his heart. The drive from the Hall of Justice back to the manor was in complete silence. At least Dick had told him he felt guilty. He tried to keep Jason from blaming himself. Dick had been the one to let her on the team after all. It felt a lot like Bruce was hoping he'd learned a lesson in trusting the wrong people.
Not like Bruce followed his own advice. Talia had told him about her and Bruce's relationship. A pretty girl only needed to play victim and bat her lashes and the Bat was putty. As easily as Bruce could manipulate others he wasn't immune to getting it back.
The three at the head of the table looked at him briefly before continuing their conversation. "Dick said he'd be right down," Barbara informed.
"Well the eggs are getting cold," Bruce said, looking at his plate again.
It was only a few minutes of silence before Dick bounced into the room like he had jumped down the steps. "Sorry, little hungover," he smiled at Bruce's disapproving look. His hair was still wet from an apparent shower he'd forced time for. He poured himself coffee from the carafe, taking a sip with a happy sigh before getting his breakfast.
"So I'm guessing you three stayed up a little late after I left?" Bruce asked between bites.
"We played cards and finished off your cabernet," Dick answered, sitting down between Tim and Jason, single seats separating them.
"Guess I'm lucky you made it to breakfast at all then," Bruce looked from one of them to the other. Jason glared at him from down the table as if daring him to say something directly.
Tim glanced at Barbara and then turned to Dick suspiciously without saying anything.
Barbara looked down the table at Jason with a warm smile. "I'm glad you're here, Jason. I think I spent as much time with you as Robin as I did with Dick."
"Um," he was clearly caught off guard, "sure, whatever." Jason ate the last forkful of food and got up from the table. He grabbed his bag as he left the dining room.
Dick inhaled a few quick bites and a swig of coffee. "Guess that's my cue." He was as anxious to get out of there as Jason probably was.
"Oh, Master Grayson, I'm glad I found you," Alfred caught him as he fished for his coat in the entrance closet.
"I wasn't going to leave without saying goodbye, Alfred," Dick said reassuringly.
"I wanted to send you home with some leftovers. Will you come with me to the kitchen?" Alfred asked politely.
"That sounds great," Dick went with him happily.
"I could have guessed what to pack you but I wasn't sure about Master Todd," Alfred explained as they walked.
"I'm sure he's a lot less picky than he used to be," Dick laughed a little, "not that I remember him being picky before." The kitchen door swung closed behind him. The dishes from the previous night were lined on the counter, some uncovered.
Alfred handed him a container and a spoon, before turning to get them for himself. They were going to get some of everything, and Dick wasn’t upset by it. He pinched a bit of casserole, sucking it off his fingers while closing the lid again.
"I do try not to eavesdrop," Alfred said suddenly, not looking up at him.
Dick stopped what he was doing to stare at him, knowing instantly that the most damning thing he'd done was his conversation with Jason on the roof last night.
Alfred finally looked up, his eyes seeming sad as he shook his head gently. "I am so sorry," he began. Dick swallowed hard and nodded, turning his attention to the containers again. Stacking them to make a quick get away. Alfred went on, "for ever making you think this is the type of house where you'd need to hide such a thing."
Dick sighed, holding onto the tiled counter. "It's not just you, Alfred."
"I know," he agreed softly, walking over to lay a hand on Dick’s shoulder. "I hope you know I can and will keep this secret for you."
"Thank you, Alfred," Dick smiled weakly at him.
Alfred opened his arms, taking Dick into a hug. "You are a part of my family, there is nothing I would not do for you."
Dick's smile widened, remembering times the exhausted butler sat with him at night while he had a fever, or showed up every four hours to bring him medication and an icepack when he had his wisdom teeth out. "I know, Alfred." He stepped out of the hug feeling confident and completely okay with Alfred knowing this part of his life. "Thank you."
Alfred nodded and went to get a reusable grocery bag for him to carry his leftovers. "You may tell Master Todd the same."
"I don't think Jason's ready but I will keep it in mind," Dick promised.
They left out the side door, heading towards the main driveway where Jason was waiting. He was leaning against his motorcycle, smoking his last cigarette. "I don't know where he went," he said back to Barbara as she stood on the stone steps still in her socks.
"Getting lunch," Dick answered, holding up the grocery bag proudly.
Jason tossed away what was left of his cigarette, "thank fuck." He turned and threw one leg over the saddle, pulling on his civilian helmet. Dick went to his own bike, rearranging what was in the compartment under the seat to fit his things.
"Promise we'll see each other again before Christmas," Barbara said, crossing her arms against the autumn air.
"That would be nice," Bruce agreed, walking out of the doorway to stand besides her.
Jason turned the key and kicked out the stand while Dick put on his own helmet. "Let's go, Dickie boy!" He dropped the visor over his face. "Race ya!" The tire spun in the stone drive and engine revved. Dick's motorbike had a higher, hyper sound to Jason's classic one but it's rider wasn't turning down the challenge.
"Drive carefully!" Alfred scolded even though Jason sped around the fountain and down the drive.
"Dick!" Bruce tried to reprimand as his bike swayed in the stones, turning hard, gaining on Jason.
This is my favorite NSFW chapter I have ever written. *chef's kiss*
Dick sighed dipping his head into the running water. They had spent their night battling Killer Croc who stunk like a sewer and had no problem sharing that muck with them during the fight. The first thing he did when they got home was strip and start the shower.
Jason's hands slid down his sides to hold his hips. "Trade?"
Dick lifted his head and ran his hand over his hair to get it out of his face before they stepped around each other. "I'll have to take my suit to Stu's to actually get it cleaned."
Jason hummed, in agreement, rinsing out the soap from his hair. "Want to see if he'll do mine too? Put it on Bruce's tab," he chuckled softly.
"I'm sure I could," Dick stepped closer, holding Jason's sides just under his ribs, physically persuading him to move again.
Jason slid his wet hair back, watching Dick practically humming while standing under the shower head. Jason laughed again, pulling him forward. "You just want to hog all the hot water."
Dick grinned, letting himself be manipulated to the back of the tub again. He ran his hand down Jason's chest and traced the line of dark hair below his belly. "Speaking of hog…" he said, opening his fingers to drag his knuckles over Jason’s cock.
Jason snorted and looked at him humorously. "Not your best line."
Dick only half shrugged in response. He brought his hands back up to Jason's shoulders, holding him as he moved closer. He held the back of his neck and encouraged him to lean down for a kiss.
"I thought we were just showering and going to bed," Jason reminded him of the plan they had made when they climbed through the fire escape window.
"Right. You come to bed with me," Dick swayed, arching his back to put less space between their naked bodies.
"Yeah?" Jason wrapped his arms around Dick's waist. "Not really sure that's what we meant."
"Tired?" Dick asked seriously, taking a small step back. It was understandable if Jason really did just want to get some sleep. It had been a hard and drawn out fight. Neither of them had gotten seriously injured, some welts, bruises, and scratches but nothing that wouldn't heal in a week.
"Not anymore," Jason slid his hands down, tracing over Dick's hips and pulling him closer again by the back of his thighs while leaning over him, aiming for a kiss. The warm water rained over Jason’s back while Dick’s tongue moved against his. Jason broke away and turned to lick drops of water off Dick’s neck. "I was just wondering what you did to earn it."
Dick let out a shaky breath and swallowed before clearing a lump from his throat. "I've been a good boy haven't I?" He had a slightly pouty tone to his voice.
It made Jason chuckle and lean back again. He reached up, holding Dick's chin. "Depends on what kind of treat you want." They'd never really had a full conversation like this before but Dick didn't seem to struggle with it and Jason was actually really enjoying that.
Dick slid his hand down between their bodies, dragging his fingers over Jason’s cock again before turning his wrist to properly play with him. Jason’s sucked in a breath and watched Dick lick his bottom lip before answering, "my favorite one."
Jason blinked, and had to swallow hard, his hold on Dick’s face going slack. "Fuck, that's hot."
Dick grinned, his voice back to normal, "Yeah?"
Jason let out a deep breath and bit his lip, looking down over Dick's body and back up to his face. The dark hair was wet and sticking to his neck in places, pieces of it falling out of how it had been pushed back. He ran the pad of his thumb over Dick's bottom lip. "You want to suck me off in the shower, Baby?"
Dick made a soft noise on his breath before grinning, "yes, Daddy." He stepped a little closer to the back of the tub so Jason could move out of the water enough to keep him from drowning. He sank down to his knees and they thudded against the acrylic tub. Dick ran his hands up Jason’s thighs, his thumb turning, slipping under the base of his cock to hold him still while he licked at the water on his skin.
Jason sighed, letting his eyes close and head tip back into the warm water. It ran through his hair against his scalp and down his legs. His hand dropped to the back of Dick's head when he opened his mouth and took him in.
The open air was cool on his chest in comparison to the hot water at his back, and Dick’s mouth warm as his head bobbed. The water in Dick’s hair was making it turn colder by the second. It was nearly as good as when Jason had his first shower beer. The cold and warm sensations contrasting through his body.
Dick's flattened tongue ran over the length of him again, his hand angling it to the side, his head dropping lower with the arch of his shoulders and turn of his neck. The question in Jason’s throat turned into a strangled groan. His hand reached out bracing himself against the shower wall. Dick sucked at the skin, one of Jason’s balls pulled into his mouth and let go again with a lick as Dick’s head tilted to do it again. Meanwhile his fist was pistoning Jason’s cock like it wasn’t against his face, like the head of it wasn’t rubbing against cold hair.
"Fuck! Holy shit, Dickie," Jason curled his fingers against the shower wall and let out a long moan with his eyes squeezed shut. Dick sat back up, he was breathing hard, the warm air ghosting over soft skin. He pressed a kiss to the side of him before manipulating the heavy cock back into his mouth and down his throat.
The muscles in Jason’s legs started to threaten to give up, his knees getting weak. Dick wasn’t working him up like he did last time. He was diving into it head first, quite literally. He breathed through his nose, never letting up. Drool, water, and precum running down his chin and throat.
Jason fought the rush coming up the back of his neck, making him shudder. "I'm so-" His stomach rolled, at the thought, unable to finish his sentence. "Holy fuck, Dickie," he grabbed at a fistfull of the wet hair at his groin, bobbing up and down, going as fast as he would be if it were his own hand.
Dick tilted his head to one side and then the other, his mouth twisting up the length of Jason’s cock as he pulled back. The sensation made Jason choke on a moan and rock on his toes. His head fell back into the water with a long, low breath. He throbbed and swelled, muscles seizing hard, shaking as he came into Dick’s mouth.
Jason took a second, recovering some of his breathing and opening his eyes. He let his head drop forward, his stomach jumping at the sight now below him. Instead of spitting like last time Dick was holding his mouth open, letting the cum run over his lip and down his chin, he was smiling with his eyes looking up at him. When he was sure Jason was absolutely speechless he dropped his chin, pulling the thick liquid off his tongue and spitting onto the floor of shower.
Jason was trying to catch his breath still. He swallowed down a lump of saliva and turned to the side to lean on the wall. "Are you a porn star or something?"
Dick’s laugh was rough ending with something like a croak. He wiped the bottom of the tub, getting the water to pull the mess towards the drain. "I bet we watch very different porn," he said with another airy laugh before getting back up to his feet to rinse his face in the warm water. "I just didn't want you-" his voice cut out and he cleared his throat, "hogging the hot water."
Jason let out a breathy laugh, finding his strength again, stepping forward to hold Dick’s hips. "Alright, Baby," he was careful to keep the overly sensitive head of his cock from touching Dick’s body as he leaned forward to kiss his shoulder. "You've earned it," he admitted.
Dick hummed and tipped his head back and to the side to look at him with a big smirk. He kissed Jason’s jaw and leaned back towards the water. "I'll meet you in my room. Just give me a minute."
Jason let his hands drift from Dick’s body as he stepped back. He blew out a breath sparing one last look at the way water ran over Dick’s backside.
Jason stepped out of the bathtub and reached for his towel, pulling it off the rack. He dried himself off and walked into the hall, still running the towel over his hair. There was no point in covering up or combing his hair, they'd probably wind up rolling around in Dick’s bed one way or another.
He pulled back the blankets and top sheet and sat down on the edge of the bed. He was still trying to dry off a little more while he waited. He tossed the towel towards Dick’s laundry hamper, he could just grab a new one tomorrow or later today, whatever hellish time of night they were at.
Jason heard the shower shut off and figured he'd think ahead a little and get the usual supplies from Dick’s nightstand drawer. He had been expecting a few extra things to be hidden in there and there were. A pair of leather straps with fur lining which weren't that concerning, and a bulb looking thing with a sort of tube attached, he had to guess what that was for. What caught his attention the most was the four different silicone cocks ranging in size from average to gifted.
"Jeez, Dickie, you got one for every day of the week?" Jason asked when he heard footsteps behind him. He picked up the lube and set it on the table top before closing the drawer again.
"Those are dilators, Jay," Dick corrected with a hint of amusement in his voice. He was trying to dry his hair the same way Jason had.
"Oh," Jason took a second to think that through but he got there. "Did you need to-..." This had been a little less planned out than before.
Dick dropped his towel off to the side and stepped into Jason’s space, his hands running up the damp skin to hold around his neck. "Were you planning on fucking me right now?"
Jason looked down Dick's body, holding his sides, thinking about what he wanted to do to him. At that moment the answer was everything. "I hadn't ruled it out."
Dick hummed, leaning closer to press himself fully against him. "I think I'll be okay."
"You sure?" Jason's hands drifted down, skipping around Dick's back to hold his ass, earning a little happy sound from Dick’s raw throat.
"We just had sex a little while ago. Unless… Do you want to use them on me? Might be fun," Dick asked suggestively, swaying his hips, his knees and something else still a little stiff from their events in the shower.
Jason was alright admitting he could use a little more recovery time but he didn’t really like the thought of something that removed getting Dick to make those nice noises. "I don't think I'm into that."
"Alright," Dick lost interest in the idea as quickly as it had been entertained. He slid closer still, one arm dropping so he could kiss the side of Jason’s face. "Where do you want me?"
Jason let out a breath with a grin, "have a seat, Dickie boy." He tilted his head towards the bed. Dick turned and sat on the edge, a huge grin on his face. Jason shook his head with a small breathy laugh. He moved to stand over him. He leaned down, holding Dick's chin again to get him to tilt up so that when they kissed. Jason could slip his tongue into Dick’s mouth and feel him struggle to swallow. He let go, drifting his hand over Dick's arms and down his chest while he kissed Dick’s neck. Dick closed his eyes and tipped his head back with a little, happy noise. "Daddy's gonna take good care of you," he breathed into Dick’s shoulder, before sinking down in front of him.
Dick gasped, his blue eyes going wide. He opened his mouth, clearly about to say something but Jason didn’t give him a chance. He really liked the way Dick squirmed and whined while they were fooling around, he'd let himself admit he'd do anything to torture his golden-boy Grayson, including this.
He leaned forward with his mouth open, chest feeling tight, and nerves twisting in his gut. He held Dick there and shifted his knees against the carpet. He moved his head forward, the soft skin sliding over his tongue. He was pleasantly surprised to find it just tasted like skin, but he really should have expected that, they'd just showered. The head of Dick’s cock hadn't even made it to the back of his throat before he had to pull away to breathe and stop from choking. It felt like he was fighting against every instinct to lean forward again. How the hell did Dick make this look so easy?
"Jay," Dick grabbed his shoulders, pushing at them, making him move away and sit back. "Stop."
Jason sighed, feeling relieved and a little humble. "Sorry, Dickie, guess I'm not into that either."
Dick leaned down a little to pull on Jason’s arm and get him back up off the floor. "That’s fine, Jay." Dick encouraged him closer so he could catch a kiss. It lasted a little long but not deep. Dick grinned against his lips and turned his head to the side to get to Jason's ear. "I want you to do to me the things you want to do to me," he said in an airy voice, trying and succeeding in sounding sexy.
Jason let out a breathy laugh and hummed thoughtfully. He leaned away to see Dick’s face. He was grinning and looking back at him expecting Jason’s next move. It was to bring his hand up, sliding it down Dick’s jaw and neck while leaning towards him. He pressed against him hard, forcing his tongue past his, not even letting them play for a bit, kissing him in a way that was meant to leave him breathless putty. Dick’s eyes were still closed when Jason moved away, holding Dick's jaw tighter and forcing his head to turn away so he could get to his neck.
Dick whined, his back going a little weak for a second. Jason smirked at that. His nose was against damp hair that smelled strongly of Dick’s soap, while he pressed his lips below Dick’s ear and then under his jaw. He blew out a dismissive laugh at his thought before sharing it. "I'd rather eat you out."
Dick froze a second before pulling away from Jason's firm, but not too tight hold on his face to stare at him. "Really?" He looked like someone who had just been told the biggest gift under a Christmas tree was his.
That made Jason actually laugh. "Yeah too bad- Wait, I can do that."
"You abso-fucking-lutely can, " Dick answered with a lot of enthusiasm, pushing Jason away a little. He quickly laid out on the bed and rolled onto his stomach. He grabbed a pillow and started putting it under his hips, folding it over to try and make it hold him a little higher.
Jason was smiling wide, entirely amused. It was like he'd said some kind of buzz word. He climbed on the bed behind him, his palm running up Dick's thigh as he moved over his leg.
Dick reached up grabbing the black bottle with the large strawberry on it. He looked over his shoulder while passing it to Jason. "Saliva isn't really a reliable lubricant."
"Got it. Not really a big fan of strawberries though," Jason said, appreciating the tip and assuming this was why it was favored.
"I will buy whatever fucking flavor you want," Dick said back, looking over his shoulder at him.
Jason chuckled while turning his attention to the bottle. The cap snapped when he opened it, putting only a small amount on his finger. He brought it up, giving it a curious taste test. It was overwhelmingly synthetic and tasting more like something close to but not quite hitting the strawberry mark with a greasy aftertaste. It wasn't intolerable and if it helped he wasn't going to turn it down. He poured more onto his fingers. "So is there a trick to eating ass or…?"
"No, no. Nope. Not at all," Dick said quickly, with all kinds of anxious anticipation.
"Guess I'll just feel my way through it," he said back, finding Dick’s behavior slightly funny. He slid his slick fingers over Dick's skin, feeling the familiar twitch to his eager body as he coated him in gel. Jason teased him with his thumb knowing that Dick would whine and arch his back, trying to push his hips into it. This time Jason let him while leaning forward to kiss Dick’s back.
Dick gasped loudly, sounding absolutely elated when Jason’s thumb pressed into him. It rolled and twisted to test Dick’s muscles earning a lot of very similar sounds. He let it slip out again, humored and curious, "did you finger yourself in the shower?"
"Shut up," Dick said back, pulling another one of his pillows over to hug it under his head.
Jason brought his other hand back a little before swinging towards Dick’s ass. Dick groaned and hips swayed on his knees while Jason groped and played with the thick flesh without pulling away again. His palms pressed harder against his body guiding Dick to curl his hips more into the pillow under them, making the angle he needed less awkward for his neck. He drug his tongue flat over the sensitive skin, tasting the gel, not caring at all how it tasted anymore. The tight muscles twitched and opened, Dick's body begging for more.
Dick breathed hard with a happy moan, turning his head against his pillow. That gave Jason a little more confidence. He rolled the thick of his tongue against the begging body, having to mouth at the skin around it.
Dick pushed himself up with an arch of his back. "Fuuuuck," he moaned loudly and tried to rock back, making Jason’s face press harder against him. "Put it in," he said on his breath.
Jason pulled away instead, smirking he gave Dick's ass another smack and watched as he made it bounce in his hands. "Fuck this is hot."
"Keep going then," Dick whimpered, dropping his head to let it hang between his shoulders.
Jason wiped saliva and gel from his chin before leaning forward again. He flexed his tongue, circling the muscle, rimming him gently.
Dick groaned, his head lifting up again with another whiny sound from his throat.
Jason drug the flat of his tongue up to Dick's back. "What do you want, Baby?" He asked with his lips ghosting against Dick’s skin.
"Fuck me with your tongue," Dick said in a rush with absolutely no hesitation.
Jason chuckled finding Dick’s desperation a little amusing. He'd never seen him like this. He dropped his head back down to lick up and across the desperate hole, flicking his tongue as if he was going to continue teasing. Dick let out a whine, trying to push back but Jason held his ass, making it jiggle again. His nose pressed against his tailbone as he granted Dick’s wish.
Dick let out the loudest moan Jason had ever heard him make, panting harder than he already had been. If Jason had known how much Dick loved this he might have done it sooner. He rolled his tongue in waves against Dick’s walls, having to move his jaw and mouth against his skin.
"Oh fuck yes," Dick's voice dropped lower as he let out his breath. He made sweet, non-verbal sounds between loud, happy gasps. His fingers curled against the sheets, his head hanging heavier with every spike of pleasure that rocket up to his neck. Dick tried to press back, his breath getting ragged but Jason pulled away making him whine again, a little, "no" coming from his throat.
Jason ran a hand up Dick's back quickly. He grabbed his shoulder and roughly shoved him towards the pillow. Dick gasped loudly as he hit the bed. Jason held his weight against Dick’s shoulder a second, watching the way he let out a breathy moan. He really did like when Jason was a little rough. "Be good," Jason said in a voice that was somehow kindly threatening, pulling away to sit back again.
"Yes, Daddy," Dick answered while nodding against his pillow, folding his arms in to be more comfortable.
Jason sat back, giving Dick another spanking, making him shudder. He slid his hands over his hips and down to his legs. He grabbed Dick's thighs and pulled him upward and closer. Dick's shin's were against Jason’s lap, toes digging into the mattress. He moaned and twisted his hands in whatever he could reach as Jason’s tongue started sliding in and out of him. Dick could only make loud and pleased sounds, his legs squirming a little.
Jason slipped a hand between those legs, his fingers sliding over Dick's cock, feeling it pulse and twitch, feeling how wet with precum he had made the pillow under him.
Jason pulled back, lowering Dick back onto the bed and wiping his chin. Dick was a shaking needy mess and it was the hottest thing Jason had ever seen. He sat taller on his knees, moving closer. He gave Dick's ass another smack under him before dragging both hands upward and turning them to spread him apart. Jason gently leaned his hips forward. The heat of his cock sliding against Dick’s skin. Jason made a noise, his eyes falling closed as he bit his lip. He rolled into him again, Dick’s body coated in saliva and lubricant.
Jason leaned back enough to look down, watch himself drag over him. "Fuck you're wet," Jason breathed out. One of his hands moved to hold Dick’s hips, the other held himself to tease the begging body with the head of his cock. Jason's eyes slid closed again, his head falling back with a hiss, circling Dick's hole with a little more pressure.
Dick had lifted himself up to his forearms, he had only been breathing with needy sounds that were getting louder. He started moving his hips, making his own ass bounce against Jason’s cock. Jason only had to push a little and sink inside. "Holy fuck, Dickie," the words tumbled out of his mouth because unlike before he bottomed out in just one push.
Dick was suddenly on his hands. "Fuck yes!" His head hung low, rocking his hips. He was fucking himself onto Jason with no patience for him to move first. "Uhn... Fuck," He devolved into his beautiful noises, "uhn... yes," sounding so pleased and incredibly desperate, the headboard hitting the wall.
Jason had his eyes shut tight, panting hard. It felt amazing, fucking into Dick with a bare cock. He reached up, holding his shoulder and pushing in harder. He knew he should pull out, grab a condom, but Dick's body was so warm and slick. He bargained with himself, a few more thrusts and he'd do that. And then again a few more thrusts later, what if he just pulled out and came on his back? Yeah, he'd do that. Jason's hands held tight to Dick’s hips again, his own snapping forward with abandon.
Dick pushed himself up even higher, a hand on the mattress. "God, I love your cock," he breathed thoughtlessly while moving back into him. Jason held him tight, wrapping one arm around his chest and kissing Dick’s neck. The new angle let him move faster but not deeper, which Dick didn't seem to be mad about. He was practically screaming, how loud he was moaning. One of his hands reached back egging Jason to move with slow grinds suddenly, earning all kinds of very nice noises.
"You’re so gay for me." Jason laughed with dry breath, his head on Dick’s shoulder, kissing and letting his teeth drag against the skin.
"Always been," Dick breathed out, his head dropping back. His face was tight, his body tensed to the point of shaking. He pushed his whole weight back against him, coming with a series of loud gasps, and jerking hips.
Jason groaned, Dick's body tightening and writhing in his arms. He held across Dick's chest grabbing his shoulder, thrusting up into him harder. He was making short, gasping groans against Dick’s ear. He was coming inside him, hard.
They both took some time coming down. Their breathing started to get easier. Jason's eyes opened and he suddenly remembered, looking down between them. "Shit," he cussed at himself. He pushed Dick forward while he leaned back. "Fuck, Dickie, I'm sorry."
Dick let his wobbly body be moved and turned a little to sit sideways on his hip, his legs still stiff and shaky at the same time. "It's fine, Jay," Dick said with a soft smile.
"I really hadn't meant to do that," Jason went on, sitting back on his legs. "You okay?"
"Just a little messier that usual," Dick laughed lightly. "If it makes you feel better you're the first one to do that."
"Really?" Jason had lived with Dick long enough to know he had a pretty active sex life.
"Yeah," Dick shrugged, "they'd pull out if they didn't use a condom."
"Isn't that… dangerous?" Jason wasn't really sure how to phrase it.
"More dangerous than wearing a mask and getting into fights with a crocodile-man?" Dick asked back.
"Okay yeah," Jason conceded while stepping off the bed.
Dick looked at the pillow where it was still sitting and the wet spots of cum that had landed on the sheets. "I should have put a towel down," Dick sighed. "I was thinking about it in the shower- Fuck me, I'm out of clean sheets." He dropped his head back with a groan. Jason grabbed one of their towels from the floor, throwing it at him. "Would have been more helpful before but thanks." He patted at the bed and then over the back of one of his legs. "You can go clean up first. It'll take me a little longer." He looked at the bed again. "Then I guess I'm sleeping on the couch."
"You can sleep in my bed," Jason suggested casually.
Dick looked up at him. "You sure?"
Jason shrugged, "we wound up doing it at Bruce's."
"That was a little different," Dick reminded cautiously. "And a full is smaller than a queen."
"I'm sure it'll be fine, Dickie," Jason said before walking out the door.
He cleaned himself up and went to his room for a pair of boxers before going back to brush his teeth. He paused suddenly after rinsing. 'What did he mean by always?'
Dick walked into the bathroom, stepping behind him, smiling as they met eyes in the mirror. Jason half smiled back before leaving him to go back to his room.
Had he meant always, always? Jason pulled back his covers to slide into bed, still trying to work it out. Maybe Dick had been joking? Maybe he just meant he'd always been gay.
He heard Dick walk back to his room and it wasn’t long after that the lights in the apartment clicked off and Dick was walking into his room. He held his hand by the light switch, "you good?"
Jason moved in the bed to get more comfortable. "Yeah go ahead."
Dick turned out the light and crossed the room to the bed. He didn't say anything else until he was under the blankets with him. "Night, Jay."
"Night," Jason said back. Dick turned over onto his side, facing away from him while Jason stayed facing the ceiling. The heat of Dick’s skin pressed against his arm. But Jason could barely enjoy that, his mind was still spinning.
Had Dick meant since they were younger? Had he meant since Jason moved in with him? When they were Titans he was fifteen and Dick had been eighteen. He had still been dating Barbara then though. Dick had told him it wasn’t until moving to Blüdhaven he knew he was gay. So it couldn't be since they were younger.
Jason remembered sitting up watching TV with him. Sometimes they'd laugh at how stupid the commercials were but it was just friendly. Dick was protective of him when they were on missions but Dick was protective of his whole team.
They had trained together, just the two of them. When they weren’t using weapons the whole goal was to get the other guy on the ground, this meant grappling and wrestling but Dick had never been inappropriate.
He must have meant since Jason had moved in then. Dick had known he was attracted to men by that point. They were working together at night and seeing each other at least every morning. Maybe he was just Dick’s type. He was certainly attracted to him now so he must have been then too.
The sun was coming up, starting to illuminate Jason’s room. He wasn't even sure if he had slept at all.
It was going on eleven in the morning when Dick stretched beside him and sighed before rolling over. His eyes were still closed until he stretched again. "Morning," he said softly as Jason turned to look at him. "You getting up or sleeping some more?" Dick asked while running his fingers through his hair and itching his scalp with a little hum. His hair was a mess from sleeping on it while it was still damp.
Jason assumed his wasn't much better, even with his hair being shorter than Dick's. "Nah I'll get up," Jason answered. He doubted he'd get much more sleep than the little he had.
Dick sat up putting his feet on the ground and stretching again walking out of the room. Jason sighed, climbing out of bed himself and grabbing a pair of sweatpants to pull on before going to join Dick in the kitchen. They apparently had the same idea about the air in the apartment.
"I turned the heat up a little," Dick shared, opening the cupboard to get the coffee grounds. "I don't really feel like making anything so you're on your own."
"It's fine," Jason yawned. "I was thinking cereal anyway."
"I'm going to wash the sheets today I guess," he laughed a little. "All of them. Anything you want to add?"
"I can do my own laundry," Jason said indifferently.
"Oh okay," was all Dick said back.
Jason sat at the table with his bowl while Dick found something to eat himself. They waited for the coffee. Dick sat across from him having made himself a bagel. "You look kind of tired," he noticed Jason’s slumped position and the way he moved a little slow.
"Didn't sleep much," he said with a shrug.
"You could have told me. I would have gone to the couch," Dick apologized, sounding guilty. "I've slept there before it wouldn't have been a big deal," he insisted.
"It's fine, Dickie," Jason shook his head. That hadn't been the problem at all. He just kept thinking about what Dick had said. The only thing was, it had been in the heat of the moment. He might not have meant to say it, or he was just trying to say something sexy back and that's what he came up with.
Whatever he meant by it Dick wasn’t bringing it up, so Jason should just let it go. He really should.
They were sitting on the couch sometime that evening. Jason wanted to take the night off because he was so tired. Dick agreed because there wasn't anything particularly suspicious in the news lately.
Jason was watching TV with his feet on the table and as usual Dick was laying with his calves across Jason’s lap. He was on his phone and by the sounds of it playing some kind of mobile game.
Jason sighed, his brain just itching to ask, he needed to know. He grabbed the remote to turn the TV off.
Dick looked up, pulling his legs in to sit against the arm of the couch. "Everything okay?"
"No," Jason turned on the couch to look at him, his arm sitting across the back of it. "What did you mean by always?" Jason asked bluntly.
"What?" Dick asked back, although seeming exactly like he knew what Jason was saying. He just didn't want to talk about it.
"Last night," Jason started to explain. "You told me you've always been attracted to me. What was that about?"
"Oh." Dick's legs were folded on the cushion. He held his ankle and pulled them even closer. "Okay so it's sort of- I mean-" he sighed. "Do you remember that time we fought that telekinetic back when we were younger?"
"Yeah," Jason said skeptically. He had no idea where this was going.
"You jumped in front of some civilians to distract him while Megan and Connor evacuated the plaza." Dick paused a second, looking off at the coffee table. His voice got sadder, "you were thrown through a window, cut to ribbons."
"Yeah, that hurt like hell," Jason recalled.
"I was with you in medbay when we got back. I stood by your bed watching them pull pieces of glass out of your skin.
"I remember," Jason said darkly.
"While I was standing there I felt so guilty for letting that happen to you. I saw how much pain you were in and wished it had been me instead," Dick said passionately, looking up at Jason again.
"That’s pretty normal, you were the team leader," Jason said dismissively.
"It was more than that. I was so- hurt, watching you sit through it. I started thinking how much I should have protected you… How I wanted to spend the rest of my life protecting you," Dick said slowly, almost like he hadn't wanted to say it at all. He looked down at his knees. "I didn't think of it much then. I thought it was because our friendship just meant that much to me, but I hadn't felt that way about anyone. Not even Barbara really.
"After you died," Dick went on, still not quite looking up, not for too long anyway. "I was so angry. I spent a lot of nights not being able to sleep. I grieved for you as much as I had my parents."
Jason laid his hand over Dick's. "I get that you cared about me, that you mourned me, but I don’t think that means you were attracted to me."
"I loved you," Dick confessed with a tense breath. He looked into Jason’s face, holding his stare. "It was the first time I'd ever felt that way. It's what eventually led me to believe something wasn't right with the way I felt for Barbara. You were the first person I ever loved. Your death broke my heart."
Jason dropped his stare to the empty space on the couch between them. He sighed and shook his head. "I'm sorry, Dickie." He paused because his chest felt tight, watching blue eyes starting to blink like the memory was so painful it was hurting him now, or maybe Jason was hurting him now. Jason hated that idea more. "I won't ever feel for you the way you feel for me… Maybe we should end this thing. I really don't want to hurt you." He let out a long, sad breath. Dick was staring back at him silently. "It's like you said with you and Barbara. I can't love you, I'm not gay, Dickie."
Dick started to smile making Jason confused. He nodded. "I know you're not gay, Jay," he said in a kind of comforting way. He moved his hand to hold Jason's on the back of the couch. "Have you ever considered you might be bi?"
Jason stared at him, as confused as he had been before. He thought back on his life, trying to remember if he'd ever felt anything for the men he knew to tell Dick he was wrong.
The first boy that came to mind was the leader of their after school gang. Jason thought he was so cool. He wanted to be near him, he wanted to impress him.
"Oh…" Jason kept thinking about him. He distracted the store clerk for him. He'd punched out Timothy Tailor on the playground because when they got to the hangout all he had was praise for Jason and how he beat up a boy bigger and in a higher grade than him. He was the reason Jason had even tried to steal the Batmobile's hubcaps, because Darren Snyder would think he was cool.
Jason had had a crush on him. That was a crush. He had a smile and butterflies whenever they talked. He'd never thought about it that way. Not until this very second.
"Oh." He looked up at Dick with complete surprise. It was like he'd been smacked in the face. Jason stepped off the couch and started to pace in front of the TV. "Holy fuck! I- I'm so fucking stupid!" He shook his head. "I had a crush on a boy in school. Oh Christ, even Bruce. I had a crush on Bruce!" He stopped to look at Dick who had just been watching him with this big smile. Jason shook his head, taking a few more steps. "But I had a crush on Diana too so I didn't really notice. Holy shit I-" He looked at Dick again, "I even had a crush on you."
"I'm flattered," Dick sang, touching his chest.
Jason walked around to fall back onto the couch. "I'm bi, Dickie."
Dick nodded. "Mazal tov," he said with a grin and a few small claps.
"Shut up," Jason smiled back. "Wait, how long have you been thinking this without telling me?"
Dick shrugged, "I started to suspect something around the time we made out after the incident with the tiny tank. I was thinking I'd let you figure it on your own though."
"Well, clearly I'm too stupid for that," Jason shook his head with a happy disbelief. "I'm bi," he said it again as if testing it out.
"Mhm," Dick hummed, agreeing.
Jason looked over at him, turning on the couch again. He wove his fingers together with Dick's and met his stare again. "I'm bi and... I really like you."
Dick moved on his knees to lean forward and kiss Jason gently on the lips, only losing his grin for that brief second. "I like you too, Jay." Dick sat back again, giving Jason's hand a small squeeze.
Jason was sitting up in his bed, leaning against the pillows with his laptop running the file scan. He could hear the TV from the living room. Sometimes Jason gave more attention to whatever Dick must be watching and smiling a little. It was gone suddenly and Dick’s steps were in the hall. Jason looked up at his open door expectantly.
It was late afternoon and they did plan on going out on patrol tonight. He must have found something interesting in the news, Jason figured.
Dick leaned against his door frame with his hand pressed to it. "Hey, what kind of porn do you watch?"
Jason burst into laughter. That hadn't been what he had been expecting at all. "Normal stuff," he was still chuckling, shaking his head as he looked back at his computer program.
"What do you mean normal?" Dick asked, walking into Jason’s room.
"I don't know," Jason shrugged, "like vanilla?"
"Hetero?" Dick welcomed himself onto Jason’s bed, leaning a shoulder against the pillow and holding his weight on his hand to keep looking at him as they talked.
"Um yeah," Jason said awkwardly. "I haven't had to watch any recently. Sex with you would be enough for anyone." He laughed a little.
"I figured," Dick said back with a little grin. "I was just curious." Jason shook his head again and looked at the files stack across the screen, failing his scan. Dick glanced at it then back. "What kind of women do you like?"
Jason looked over again. "Like in porn or real life?"
"Porn," Dick answered like that was the obvious answer, it was what they were talking about.
"I don't know," Jason shrugged, "I'm never looking for anything specific. I just see someone attractive in the thumbnail and click. Which I am now realizing applies to the men too."
It was Dick’s turn to laugh. He leaned towards Jason with a suggestive smirk. "Want to watch some with me?"
Jason took a second to think about it. He'd never done that with someone else before but it definitely seemed like a promising idea with Dick involved. Finally he turned to him again with a sideways frown. "Not really in the mood." Because if he were he wouldn't be in his bed and they wouldn't be talking about fooling around.
"Want to make out a little then?" Dick proposed a solution.
Now that Jason was always okay with. Sometimes it led to other things and sometimes it didn't, this would probably be the former. He moved his laptop off to the other side of the bed and turned towards Dick to get more comfortable. He leaned in to meet him halfway for a kiss. Dick tilted his head and Jason took in a breath before tongues slid past each other as open mouths reunited.
Jason's hand came up to hold the side of Dick’s jaw, fingers barely into his hair. It's how he usually held him when they kissed. He could pull Dick back to him when they broke apart for breath. That usually got a hum from Dick, lightly being manhandled.
This time was no different. The playful push of tongue against tongue turned rougher. Jason sat up taller and Dick’s hand slid into his shirt. His palm running over skin.
Jason twisted his body even more like he was about to climb over him and shove him down onto the bed. Instead Dick pulled away from the kiss. Both of them breathing a little harder. "In the mood now?"
"I was getting there," Jason answered, with a suggestive tone.
Dick smiled and moved back and off the bed. He stood towards Jason, pulling his shirt off. It was Jason’s turn to hum. He scooted to the edge of his bed to hold Dick’s hips and pulled him a little to get him to step closer. He kissed between his ribs and drug the tip of his tongue down Dick’s belly, making him gasp happily and lean closer into him.
Jason's hands slid around Dick's jeans to hold his ass while sucking gently as the skin to the side of the trail of hair above the button of his pants. Dick made a little moan, running his fingers through Jason’s hair. Jason moved back, looking up at him and pulling his own shirt off.
Dick ran his hands over the bare, thick shoulders in front of him. He took a step back, opening and taking his own pants off, leaving on his tight boxer briefs. Jason pushed himself even further towards the edge of the mattress to match him.
Dick smiled, taking back his previous place, this time his legs widening around Jason’s. "So, you want to watch porn with me?"
Jason chuckled, wrapping his arms around Dick's middle, his chin against him as he looked up. "What do you want to watch?"
"Show me yours I'll show you mine," Dick said with a smirk.
Jason, lilted his head. That sounded fair. He chuckled and sat back, grabbing a pillow to put between him and the wall to sit comfortably. Dick climbed onto the bed to sit in his lap. Jason kissed his shoulder and ran his hands around his sides to wrap around his waist. "Want to move the laptop for me?"
Dick smiled, doing just that. He put it where Jason's pillow used to be so they could both see it comfortably. "You pick first," he reminded.
Jason let go and leaned around him to reach the computer. He typed in what he needed to and scrolled a little before clicking a video and sitting back where he had been.
A woman walked into frame wearing a white halter swimsuit that looked like it was made out of one thin strip of fabric. The top was barely holding her large, perfectly shaped breasts, her nipples hard and very visible.
Dick laughed in a short breath. "How much do you think those cost her?"
"Does it matter?" Jason asked back. He started kissing the back of Dick's shoulder and up his neck, eyes still on the screen.
The camera paused on a close up of her tan, perfect chest before pulling away again showing her walk towards a lounge chair besides a pool. Her high heels clicking against the concrete.
Dick could have made a comment about that too but just kept his humor to himself. Jason's hands were running up his chest, to grope at his muscular pectorals. Starting to drag his teeth over Dick's skin. He wasn't about to ruin that.
A very attractive man holding the smallest skimmer, that was definitely not for the pool walked towards her. Dick couldn't help himself this time. "Ooh, pool boy and rich woman premise, very nice."
The man was wearing a tight pair of very short swim shorts. They left as much to the imagination as her suit had.
Dick hummed a little, moving back into Jason more. It was Jason’s turn to chuckle. "He seems like your type." Dick just answered with a noise of agreement.
"Is there anything else I can do for you, ma'am?" He hardly sounded innocent, eyeing her and smirking.
She played with one of the straps that was barely holding her in as she turned slightly to the side towards him. She was also eyeing him, a very specific part of him. Finally with very little help her large, round breast fell free from her suit. "Oops," she hardly sounded concerned. Still staring at him she started to touch herself. "I think I'm badly in need of your service," the acting was terrible but that didn't matter because the dialog was over.
Jason shifted against the mattress. The heat of his cock pressed into Dick’s lower back, getting stiffer with every breath he made against Dick’s skin. Dick definitely wasn't mad about that, even encouraging him with small grinds back against him.
They watched as he climbed over her, her legs spreading instantly. That earned a little bite to Dick’s shoulder and hard grind forward. Dick let out a breath but he was hardly as turned on as Jason was getting.
The man played with one breast while sucking the nipple of the other. Jason started groping Dick’s chest again and it was all he could do not to laugh for a second before his own nipple was getting played with. On the computer screen his hand moved down between her legs, pulling aside the white suit, revealing her waxed and wet vulva. His fingers rubbed over her before sliding inside.
Jason's cock was fully erect, pressing into Dick’s lower back. Dick held his thighs to properly roll his hips into him a couple times. Jason moaned and ran his hand up to Dick's throat, pulling his back into his chest and head onto his shoulder so they could kiss. It was hot and sloppy, having to keep their necks at such hard angles. The gasping moans from the actress sounded completely genuine, her voice shaking, "Yes! Oh yes!" as she was getting fingered so hard they could hear that too. When she reached climax Jason let out a small groan himself and they broke for the kiss, breathing hard, Jason looking immediately back to the video while Dick took a second to kiss his cheek.
Her chest was heaving as she caught her breath, licking her lips and then relaxing into the lounge chair again. Her male counterpart moved to stand over her, legs straddling either side of the chair, forcing hers to drop off the chair, spread as wide as they could be. He was straining against the tight shorts until he pulled them down, his cock springing free at full length.
Dick bit his lip and wiggled in Jason’s lap intentionally. Jason hummed and slid his hands into the front of Dick’s underwear.
The man held one hand on the top of the lounger the other, still slick from fingering her, stroking his cock directly over her chest.
Dick let out a little gasp and squirmed again. Jason smiled and turned his head to look at him. "You like that?"
Dick smiled back, "you did call me a dirty bird."
Jason let out a laugh on his breath and leaned in for another kiss. This one much shorter, both of them interested in what was happening on the computer.
He moved his hand away from himself and sat back on the chair, roughly pulling her legs around him and pushing into her. Dick made a sound of disappointment. Jason even stopped touching him. Her noises were now entirely forced as he fucked her hard and fast.
"They ruined it," Jason admitted, stretching around Dick again to pull the laptop closer. "Your turn."
Jason touched down Dick’s arm and kissed where he bit a little apologetically. With some typing and a few clicks Dick put the laptop back where it had been. He settled back against Jason with a grin.
There wasn't any pretense, no acting, just two men in a public shower eyeing one another. The view started behind them, one more muscular than the other. Soap ran down his back, his shoulders thick and hips narrow. His ass even flexed a second, knowing the camera was back there. The other man was smaller in comparison, still toned but with a much rounder backside.
Jason made a noise of interest, his chin resting on Dick’s shoulder. "Is he your type?"
Jason looked at Dick almost in a panic. "Wha- no, I mean he's nice but I definitely like your ass more."
Dick let out a single laugh, "you act like I've never slept with another bottom before." Jason stared at him a little surprised. That made Dick laugh more. "We can talk later," he dismissed, trying to pay attention to the video. It was now panning with a close up of the smaller man who had turned around, suds running down his chest as he flexed, his hand doing a bad job of pretending to wash. He touched his cock lifting it for a stroke and dropping it again.
The man beside him turned towards him, getting his own close ups as he ran his hands through his hair. His arms were thick, his pectorals rippling as he sucked in a breath to flex as well. The camera kept going lower.
Dick gasped and Jason snorted. "He's fucking huge."
"Oh, his pussy's gonna get wrecked," Dick added, sounding humored and a little horrified on the man's behalf.
Jason made a breathy chuckle in agreement. He wrapped his arms around Dick's chest, holding him a little tighter to himself. Both of them watching the men on screen kiss hard and touch each other's bodies under the water.
"Wait for it," Dick said excitedly, his hands moving up and down Jason's thighs on either side of him.
Jason hummed his question against Dick’s skin, rocking his hips forward to rub against Dick’s back.
A third man walked between the gap in the low tiled wall. "Hey!" The two broke apart, only one of them looking sheepish. "I called dibs," he was speaking to the taller one.
Jason turned his head to stare at him again. "You picked a threesome video?" He talked over the men deciding to share him like some kind of plaything when he offered.
"Are you complaining?" Dick asked back with a wicked smile, moving his hips to rub his body against Jason’s cock.
"Not at all," Jason breathed a soft groan, his lips pressing to Dick’s skin again. He moved to the other side of his neck, reaching up to pull his dark hair aside. Dick hummed, his hands still touching over Jason’s thick thighs.
There were soft moans and the sounds of skin on skin under the showers coming from the laptop. They were still watching but mostly more interested in each other. Right up until the one in the middle made a low groan that was very authentic as the man behind him pushed his cock inside. Dick gasped and whined. He arched against Jason, holding his weight on Jason’s legs. He moved himself higher to meet Jason as he pulled the front of his underwear away from him to wrap his hand around Dick and stroke him properly.
The smaller man was getting absolutely pounded and loving every second of it. Then his shoulders were pushed down and their friend was waiting for the open mouth to wrap around his thick cock.
Jason breathed against Dick’s back, just below his shoulder as fingers found his hair, holding it tight between moments of running through it. The hand against Dick's belly slid around to himself. He pulled his own boxers out of the way, desperate for skin contact, he stroked them both at the same time. Dick was whining, and moving in his lap. The sounds coming from the computer were extremely familiar and very inspiring. Jason ran his thumbs around Dick's waist band to force it as low as he could. The head of his cock against the start of his ass. He whispered with a soft, dark breath, grinning wide, behind his ear. "Can I wreck your pussy?" Having done that just the other night.
Dick smiled around his own hard breath, moving away enough to get Jason to let go so he could half turn towards him. He was thinking a second before giving Jason a quick kiss. He patted his legs and climbed off the bed. "Give me a minute," he said before walking across the hall. Jason leaned forward, pausing the video after watching a few more seconds, just in case Dick wanted to keep it playing.
Dick came back, having lost his boxers at some point along the way but had gained a towel and a black bottle with a sliced peach on it. "Thinking ahead," he smiled, putting the towel down. "Want me back where I was?"
Jason nodded with a silly smirk. "Come ride me, cowboy."
Dick grinned, moving back onto the bed. "Words Jason Todd never thought he'd say," Dick joked resting his shins on either side of Jason’s legs, his back to him.
"Shut up," Jason breathed a laugh while shaking his head. He picked up the bottle from where Dick had tossed it on the bed. "Need any special treatment?"
"I do love special treatment," Dick sang, leaning back to look at Jason with his head on his shoulder.
Jason chuckled. "Bendy boy," he said before kissing him gently. Dick sat up again getting more comfortable. He leaned to one side to the other so that his feet were on the bed and knees bent.
"Just go slow," he suggested, before his breath caught in his throat. One of Jason’s hands holding the bend of his thigh and the other stroking his slick cock back and forth over Dick's sensitive skin. Both of them let out long greatful sounds when Jason pushed in.
Dick sank against him, and reached behind himself to brace one hand on the bed to start bouncing up and down, following his own advice, riding Jason slowly. Jason rubbed his hands over Dick's spread thighs in his lap. He had to move a little lower to get at a better angle so he could push up into him. The back of his head rubbing against the wall was worth it though, grabbing Dick’s waist and thrusting into him. All the images of other bodies mixing with the physicality of Dick’s was intense. Dick could be the woman with huge breasts bouncing on his cock, or maybe one of the men in the shower, he was all of them and still himself, his whiny pretty boy that Jason just wanted to fuck speechless.
Jason grabbed a fistfull of Dick's hair and bent him back until he could get his tongue in his mouth. Dick was panting hard in what small space there was between their faces when they weren’t messily, nearly missing each other's mouths with tongue and lips.
Dick had trouble staying balanced, his legs shaking. He had to break away from the hard angle and lean forward, his toes bending against the mattress, holding Jason's legs below his knees. "Uhn, fuck. Oh, Jay,." Jason grabbed his shoulder, holding him hard and fucking into him up into him. Dick didn't even have to move anymore. "I-" Dick's voice cut off with a noise from his throat. "I- Fuck!" That one didn't sound like it matched the moment, sounding panicked, making Jason let go. He didn't get to say anything, Dick shoving him away. "Fuck, fuck, fuck," he grabbed the towel to hold it around himself while scrambling off the bed. He ran across the hall, the bathroom door slamming shut behind him.
Jason cleared his throat and settled a second, it had been a little bit of a sudden stop. He shut the laptop while getting his feet back on the floor. He pulled his boxers back up, tucking himself away, less concerned about what his body wanted and more about Dick. He leaned one shoulder against the wall beside the closed door. "You okay?"
Dick let out a frustrated and embarrassed groan, lifting his head off his hands. "I'm fine." There was a beat of uncomfortable silence as Jason tried to think of something to say. Dick beat him, talking from the other side of the door. "I'm sorry, Jay. This hasn't happened before. I knew it was a bad idea-..." he sighed, shaking his head.
"Eh," Jason dismissed, "I sort of knew it was too." He really should have settled for whatever handy Dick had probably been thinking of when he first walked into Jason’s room. A little pre-patrol treat. There was another small and awkward silence before he smiled. "Hey, I thought you promised to get it on the sheets, give me a reason to burn them."
Dick let out a laugh, "just change them!"
"They were a gift," Jason reasoned with humor in his voice.
"From someone you hate," Dick's voice sounded similar.
"Still a gift, an expensive one too," Jason answered. He rolled to rest against the hallway wall. "Besides it doesn't really matter anymore, does it?"
Dick looked at the door. "What do you mean?"
"I haven't slept in there the last few nights, wasn't really thinking I would tonight either," Jason explained casually.
"Are you asking to move into my room?" Dick couldn't help but smile at the thought, even given the situation.
"Huh," Jason thought about it. He was sort of asking that wasn't he, well more like assuming it had already happened. "Not all my stuff, my charger's already there."
Dick chuckled lightly and shook his head. "Yeah, Jay, you can stay in my room."
The silence was a lot more comfortable than it had been before Jason spoke up again. "Mind if I come in? Need to clean up a bit."
Panic was back in Dick's voice, "fuck, did I-"
"Nope," Jason said, already anticipating Dick was going to ask. "Just the usual."
"I'm going to get in the shower," Dick answered. The toilet flushed and shower curtain moved. The sound of water running let him know it was okay to go in.
It was only a few weeks before Christmas and Bruce had just announced the date of the annual Wayne Holiday Charity Event. He chose a different organization every year and invited the elite and wealthy of Gotham, it was also open to members of the GCPD and Gotham Fire Department, at least those who had that night off.
Dick had gone every year because it was the only party they had before Christmas. This year he was determined to drag Jason along too.
They were asleep, Dick’s bed moved out from the wall enough to walk around and for Jason to reach the outlet on that side to make it easier to charge his phone.
Both of which were going off loudly with the emergency alarm that someone in the Batcave must have triggered.
"Shit!" Dick threw off the covers, rushing out of the room, having some idea what this was about.
Jason read the message with tired eyes. "Urgent! Attack on Gotham! Come quick!"
He left the bed quickly and joined Dick in the living room where he was turning on the TV to the news.
"Again this was the scene in Gotham just a few minutes ago," the female announcer said before they cut to a feed from a helicopter. It swept over a plaza in downtown Gotham. Beams waved and crossed from the large event lights someone had wheeled into place to shine on a building with the largest advertisement screen.
"Hello, Gotham!" The Joker was holding the camera to himself. "Christmas is coming a little early this year. Well, for me anyway." Dick quickly looked over to Jason. His jaw was clenched and face turning into anger. "I'm giving myself this city! Oh it feels good to be home!" The Joker went on. The Luther tanks started rolling out from around the buildings. "Until further notice the city is under new order!" The camera panned over to the Gotham city mayor tied to a chair. "Now I know you're probably on your way, Batsy!" He brought it back to his face. He started laughing before turning suddenly serious, "Come and find me." He laughed his eerie laugh, throwing back his head. He snapped his fingers and the tanks fired their EMPs all at once. Every screen in the plaza turned to static, raining sparks and the news feed cut out.
Jason turned and practically ran to his old room. He started pulling off his night clothes while throwing open his closet. "Jay, try to calm down," Dick warned. "If you go rushing into this-"
"Back off, Dickie," he ordered without a hint of kindness.
Dick watched him pull out the kevlar armor and throw a bag on the bed. He unzipped it revealing his guns and clips of live ammunition along with them.
Dick stepped back and ran to his own room to get suited up himself. He was just pulling on his boots when Jason stomped out to the living room. Dick had to grab his domino mask and escrima sticks while trying to catch up to Jason at the window.
"Jay, please he's asking for Batman. It's a trap, you'll get hurt," Dick pleaded with him, putting his mask on.
Jason pulled on the Red Hood helmet. His synthetic voice speaking, "Dick, I said back off." He finished climbing out the window and jumped from the fire escape.
"Shit," Dick cursed, putting his batons to his back, and jumping after him.
Dick twisted the throttle of his bike trying to catch up. Jason had a good lead on him, his classic looking motorcycle could be parked on the street. Dick's needed a bit of a safer place. "Jay, please, " he talked through the radio frequency that their helmets used. He could hear the roar of Jason’s bike up ahead as they crossed the bridge. Cars had been stopped in the lanes heading to the city. He had to weave his bike around them, sometimes threading a very narrow needle. "Don't just go looking for him. At least let me help," Dick pleaded.
"This isn't about you," Jason said before there was absolute radio silence.
"Son of a bitch," Dick cursed and tried to drive faster but he lost sight of him just before he made the exit into the city.
He reached out to Batman's gauntlet knowing he must have already suited up himself. "I'm here," he said immediately.
"Good. We'll randevu at the clock tower," Batman answered. There were sirens in the background. He was probably helping to evacuate the city. "Batgirl is already there and Robin is on the way."
Dick sighed, "I wish it was Oracle."
"Is Red Hood with you?" Batman asked instead.
"He's here. He peeled off and I lost sight of him. You can guess why," he answered.
"It's a big city and we're no closer to finding the broadcast's location than we were forty minutes ago. We can worry about him later," he said sternly.
"Got it," Dick agreed sadly. He knew Bruce was right. He ended the call there, having to slow his motorbike, rounding the streets of the city. He passed mobs throwing rocks through windows and people looting. There were others in clown masks throwing molotovs and cheering. Jokers fans were out and having the time of their lives. The streets were chaos.
He watched a group of civilians running away from gunshots in the distance. He spun his bike around and headed in that direction.
A group of officers were pinned down behind their cars across the street by men firing automatic rifles behind makeshift barricades. Nightwing revved his bike instead of slowing down. He twisted the handle bars, making it turn hard and jumped with a roll as it skidded out, crashing into the barricade, catching two of the men as it collapsed.
The remaining gunners turned in surprise to find Nightwing rushing them. They started shooting when the shock wore off in the next second. Nightwing ran towards the building to his side. He jumped up to run against the wall briefly and landed hitting one assailant high and the other low with his electrified batons. He spun and ducked as the barrel of a rifle was swung at him, shots hitting and shattering the windows behind him. Nightwing's elbow collided with the man's face as he spun around him hitting an escrima stick to his side. He hit the ground after a few volts ran through him.
The officers started approaching, weapons still at the ready. Nightwing kicked the guns away as he ran across to get back to his bike, all while pressing a button on his gauntlet.
The motorbike turned upright in the wreckage and backed out, wooden planks and thrown together household items falling off of it. In just minutes after joining the fray Nightwing was back on his bike and speeding away. He had to get to one of Bruce's hidden places around Gotham to park his bike before grappling up to the rooves.
Nightwing dropped into the clock tower using the hatch on the roof. Barbara turned away from the trifold computer screen to see who was there. She nodded and looked back at the screens. "I've got the Batcomputer scanning for the origin of the broadcast." It was playing silently on a loop above the diagnostic waves breaking apart the pattern.
"We haven't even been able to narrow down what part of the city it's from," Tim added. "We started looking in his old neighborhoods but got nowhere."
“Where’s Jason?” Barbara asked while panning through some screens and pinging some of Gotham’s radio towers in an attempt to back trace the frequency.
“Radio silence,” Dick said, back leaning his hands onto the edge of the panel.
"He's decided to go alone?" Tim asked, surprised.
Barbara looked over at Dick, knowing he was concerned, “I’m sure he’ll be okay.”
The elevator to the tower started to rumble as it came up, signaling that Bruce was joining them. He stepped out and walked towards the computer without any niceties. “Gotham’s been split into three districts.” He started typing, bringing up the map of the city. “Joker and his men have overrun the outer districts from Amusement Mile down to the docks,” he said while highlighting the burrows on the map. “A lot of major bridges and highways have been closed off in an attempt to stop their ability to move weapons and ammunition easily through the city,” the closed roads turned red as he continued going. “Two-Face and his men have claimed Little Italy down to Old Gotham and Penguin took the rest."
“Two-Face’s funding and Penguin’s guns probably made this possible,” Dick connected the dots.
Bruce nodded. “The League and the Titans are working with militaries around the world. This was an organized attack on more than just Gotham.”
“We’re on our own then,” Barbara concluded.
Batman turned to the computer in his gauntlet, transferring the program running its broadcast search to his arm. “We need to take back control of the city one way or another,” he said seriously. He looked up at the three of them, his voice getting softer, “radio if you get in over your heads. If you see Jason try to get him back online, we'll need to be united to take the city back."
“We will,” Batgirl promised with a nod.
“Not my first time defeating a hostile takeover,” Nightwing assured with a smug smile.
"How do we take down the tanks?" Robin asked before they went to go their separate ways.
"Right now, I don't know," Batman answered humbly. "Alfred is reviewing the schematics and footage we've gathered. When he finds something useful he'll tell us. In the meantime try to stay out of their range.” It was the only advice he had before they split up.
Batgirl had just finished taking down some of Penguin’s men and handing them over to the authorities. She grappled back up to the roof tops. She had nearly taken back half the burrow. As she released one line and shot another to swing around a corner she caught sight of Red Hood's helmet, standing out against the dark roof.
He was crouched on one knee looking at a building across the street when Batgirl dropped beside him. "What are you doing?" She started right away with questions sounding heated. "Dick is worried about you, you know."
Red Hood turned towards her, his expressionless faceplate saying nothing before turning back although his head did drop a little.
She sighed realizing he wasn't going to talk about it. "So what are you watching for? I doubt Joker's held up in there."
"No," Red Hood agreed, "he's going to wait somewhere special. Somewhere that means something to him. This is just a weapons cache." A spray painted van was sitting near a loading bay, boxes being passed down and into the vehicle. "Someone here is getting a call from the boss," his synthetic voice said right before he jumped from the building. His grappling line swung him towards the men by the van. He jumped landing with his boots on one of their chests.
Red Hood ducked around the open door and drew his gun. A Batarang hit the man he was aiming at. Red Hood growled and looked up at the platform to see Batgirl dropping and grabbing a man from behind around the throat. She punched his back in the ribs and kicked his feet out from under him. He fell off the dock with a hard thud and painful groan. Red Hood rushed past her into the building, guns in his hands, shooting up at the lights while crates were trying to be opened quickly. Batgirl swung up into the rafters choosing a less forward approach to the situation.
The butt of Red Hood's pistol hit the back of a man's neck hard before he grabbed him around the shoulders to use as a shield, turning to the man besides him. Two shots echoed through the dim warehouse, gaining everyone's attention. Batgirl dropped, getting a kick to one assailant's face before landing. More gunshots rang out while she faught. She was sure some were directed at her just by the cracks near her ears. She was smiling while spinning and kicking one man in the nose, elbowing another, and then throwing a Batarang into someone's shin. There were less and less shots until there was silence and pained groans.
She was still smiling, panting from the work of the fight. Batgirl was catching her breath while Red Hood was calmly walking towards her. He had his gun still in hand while looking at a phone that wasn't his. "Missed it that much, huh," he said casually.
She stood straight and collected herself, following him as he left the building. "You need to turn on your communicator. We need to be able to-"
"Track me," he interrupted knowingly, looking up from the phone for the first time and sliding it into a pocket
"Contact you," she corrected softly.
He shook his head, still looking at her to say he didn't believe her before he grappled away.
Nightwing crept low across a rooftop before having to jump to the next one. He was trailing one of the shiny chrome tanks as it rolled down a city street. "It looks like they're targeting specific spots along the power grid," he spoke into the communicator, having been following this one for a while.
"They also have a fifteen minute cool down," Robin's voice said back from wherever he was in the city.
"If you can track their routes we might be able to know where the next target is and get them with a shot from the Batmobile," Batman strategized.
"Knowing what exactly they're targeting on the grid would be helpful too," Batgirl added.
"I agree," Alfred's voice chimed in. "Send me the locations you've seen them hit so far and I'll see what I can find."
"Any results on the broadcast?" Nightwing asked, taking a hopeful pause from his pursuit.
"Not yet," Batman informed, "I will let you know when I have something." His communicator cut off there.
"Do either of you believe that?" Robin asked.
"Nope," both Batgirl and Nightwing answered at once.
"Good thing I've got my own scan running huh?" Batgirl said in mock sweetness.
Nightwing laughed over the radio. "Have I told you how much I love you?"
"Yes, but I could stand to hear it more," she said back playfully.
"Alright I'm out," Robin cut in before his line hung up.
"Dick," Barbara's voice took a serious turn, "I ran into Jason."
Nightwing's feet stopped while the tank rolled around a corner at the end of the block. "Where?"
Red Hood was sitting with his back against the building's heating and ventilation unit with the confiscated phone in one hand, and reverse tracker in the other, waiting. He looked up when there were footsteps across the roof. He pushed himself onto his feet, sliding the phone and tracker into his pocket.
"Hey," Nightwing said first, stopping a few feet away from him, knowing full well Red Hood didn't want him there.
"You here to stop me? Convince me to give up?" Red Hood asked with a harsh edge to his voice.
Nightwing shook his head sadly. "Nothing I say now would mean anything more than what I've been saying the last six months," Dick's voice sounded defeated.
"You know I have to do this," Red Hood said back defensively. "You know he deserves to pay."
"What do you deserve?" Dick asked back gently. "You’re a good person, Jay. I've always known that." He took a cautious step forward but Red Hood stepped back.
"Maybe I don't want to be," Red Hood's synthetic voice snarled.
Dick stood tall again. "If you do this, the hold he has on you will last forever." He was using his gentle leader voice, the same one he used when Jason got his heart broken.
"Worse than it is now?" He asked back sarcastically, defiantly. He hated the leader persona.
"Yes!" Dick pleaded with him, sounding more like himself again and trying to get closer. "Jay, please-" he knew he couldn't ask for what he really wanted, for him to stop his obsession, to give up on what had kept him going for the last two years. "-just…" he sighed, wanting to hope for something. "Can you at least turn your radio back on? You don't have to answer, I just want to know I can still talk to you."
Red Hood's helmet looked away from him. Dick saw his chest rise and fall with a hard breath. His gloved hand reached up into the side of his helmet and dropped back down. He looked back at Nightwing, the emotionless faceplate not saying anything.
"Thank you," Dick weakly smiled. His own communicator pinged the same time the phone in Jason’s pocket rang. Dick hated taking his eyes away to answer because he knew Jason would leave with his new lead the second he did, and he was right.
"What is it?" Nightwing turned on the roof away from the sound of a zip line being fired.
"I'm sending you coordinates. Penguin’s ready to be taken down," Batman said darkly, as he always did.
"Heh, he just doesn't know it yet," Nightwing laughed a little.
"Just meet me there," he ordered with little room to argue, as he always did.
"See you in a minute," Nightwing ended the call. He looked back over his shoulder, even though he knew no one was there. He sighed and cast his line to swing towards the location he was supposed to go.
The Penguin and his men were being handed over to the GCPD. Nightwing was breathing hard with his hands on his knees. "Been a long night," he excused, looking up as Batman walked towards him.
"It's not over," Batman said darkly, raising his arm to type in his gauntlet. "Batgirl, Robin, have you located Two-face?"
There was the sound of sirens and gunshots over the radio. "Located: yes," Batgirl said breathlessly.
"Nightwing, you should go assist them," he said, sounding more like an order.
"And you?" Nightwing asked back, challenging him to tell the truth.
"I'm needed elsewhere," he said instead, turning away lifting the grappling gun.
Nightwing's eyes narrowed, knowing exactly what elsewhere meant because he could see him watching a dot blink on his holographic map. Still Dick stood straight again, reaching for his communicator. "Where are you two?"
Nightwing hopped from one rooftop to another, crossing paths with Robin as they chased after the joy riding truck with a machine gun mounted to it. When either of them came too close to a building ledge bullets sprayed over windows and the wall climbing up to their feet until they fell back again.
"What's the plan?" Nightwing asked, keeping in pursuit, sometimes that meant having to cast a wire and barely miss the path of bullets.
"Right now I'm working on a trap," Batgirl's motorcycle turned sharply out of an alley. It swayed as it fell in behind the truck and then drifted around a corner, the pavement inches from her being broken up with gun fire. "They don't want me to get around in front of the car. I'm using that to direct them to a tank we repurposed."
"Rigged it with a remote detonator," Robin explained more. "Get them in range and at least the car will stall."
"And the gun?" Nightwing asked.
"Still working on that!" Batgirl reappeared, the bike revving out from a side street. Two-Face's truck skidded and swerved around a turn to get away from her. Her bike was around a different corner before the machine gun could even target her.
"It's working!" Robin stopped to look at his holographic screen. "In three more blocks try to get them to cut south again."
"Heh, like herding sheep," Nightwing laughed a little. "Any bombs?"
"I wouldn't rule it out," Batgirl said over the communicator.
"Well the EMP will take out any detonator onboard. We just gotta hope he's not crazy enough to set it off before we get there," Nightwing said, landing with a front tuck onto another roof before jumping over ventilation units to get to the other.
There was a brief pause on the radios. "Damnit," Batgirl cussed.
"What's the goal? Where's he headed?" Nightwing stopped to look at his own map while Robin continued from a zipline overhead.
"In this part of the city?" Batgirl thought out loud, her bike turning hard around a corner.
"The district Court House!" Robin shouted with realization while trying to stay in pursuit.
"Robin, can you get the tank and meet us there?" Nightwing asked.
"I'll need some time," he warned.
"We'll get you some," Nightwing promised. He looked over, Robin nodded and broke formation. "Looks like there's construction on Riverside."
Batgirl groaned, that was the opposite direction to the way they were going now. She had to spin and make a U-turn, hoping to get around to the other side of the truck fast enough. "I could use some help then!"
"Stupid idea inbound," Nightwing warned before swinging himself out over the road. The turret gun turned, trying to track him, firing into the air as he flew overhead. He let go, the momentum propelling himself forward to land on the roof of the car. The men in the cab scrambled for their handguns before shooting from inside the truck. The steering wheel was whipping back and forth, taking sharp turns to try and shake him. Two-Face let go of the mounted gun, reaching for the one in his jacket. Nightwing kicked him in the center of his faces while sliding off the roof into the bed of the truck. He punched the former attorney before he could recover and danced around him, one hand holding the back of his head to shove his face into the roof. Nightwing spun him, pulling one arm behind his back and cuffing him to the base of the turret.
The back window was being shot at now that the boss was out of the way. Nightwing had to jump over the side and roll hard against the pavement. "Dick!" Barbara shouted, the bike revving behind him.
Dick held his side as he sat up. "I'm fine, go." Batgirl was able to drive up beside the truck and cut them off to get them to make the turn she wanted them to. Nightwing took some slow breaths before getting back up. "Nightwing?" Batgirl asked for him in his ear.
"I'm good," he tried to sound reassuring while grappling back to the roof tops. He hissed and held his side, landing less than gracefully.
"We're coming up to the site. I might need some help."
"On my way," he went back to running across the rooves towards the street the city had under construction. He followed the sound of Batgirl's motorcycle and made it just in time to watch the crash. The truck had driven hard into the excavated dirt pile, the bumper and most of the front end no longer where they should be on a working car.
Batgirl was disarming one of the men that had fallen from the cab still shooting. She kicked the gun from his hand and threw him to the ground, pulling cuffs from her tool belt. Nightwing radioed Robin while grabbing a man about to run. "Are you in position?"
"Yeah where are you guys?"
"Fire the EMP," Nightwing ordered, leaving the thug and going back towards the car.
"Just do it," Batgirl agreed, both of them jogging to where Two-Face was cuffed to the gun, half of which had fallen from the back of the truck, dragging him with it.
The man was groggy, scraped up and bleeding. He flipped his coin into the dirt but Nightwing covered it with his foot. "You’re the one out of luck," he corrected before Harvey could even get the words out.
Two-Face laughed, only half of him able to smile. "You sure?" He held up a button switch and pressed it.
Both Batgirl and Nightwing looked at him expectantly and then at each other when nothing happened. Batgirl stood taller and looked around, "Was that supposed to do something?" She turned to her gauntlet starting to walk away.
He kept hitting the button, getting more and more frustrated, shouting. "What?! Why isn't it blowing?! Damn it! No!" Nightwing leaned over, taking the detonator from him with some fight, having to brace a foot on the man's chest to pull it away.
"Authorities are on the way," Batgirl said walking back towards him, "and a bomb squad just pulled up to the court house. Robin's escorting hostages out."
Nightwing nodded, pulling up the interface over his own forearm. It was like he suspected. "They've both turned off their communicators."
Batman dropped from his glide over the empty part of the city. His feet landed next to a man groaning on the ground, clown mask not too far away. He looked up through the erry morning fog that had settled over the road. It led to an old abandoned building on the hill. Batman lifted his arm and typed some commands, taking his radio offline as he started running up the drive. It was littered with unconscious thugs in clown masks.
Red Hood was breathing hard, the last gunman dropping against the wall and leaving a streak of blood as he collapsed onto the floor.
"Alright, let's talk about this," the clown squirmed out of the purple painted chair and slid behind it, putting it between them
"No," Red Hood answered plainly, lifting the pistol to fire the last of the clip into the chair.
"Come on," the Joker argued, having ducked and started crawling out when the other man ran out of bullets. "You’re really ruining my night here," he protested, hardly concerned about being shot at.
"Oh, I know," Red Hood said, reloading his gun. "You wanted Batman to be here. All your traps-" The bloodied and beaten hostage mayor across the room tried to make warning sounds behind his gag but Red Hood already saw it. He fired his gun again, hitting the lever the clown was reaching for. "They'd have been perfect for him," the synthetic voice finished.
"Well thank you for the-"
The gun fired again, this time not intentionally missing the clown. The bullet tearing through skin and muscle and maybe even bone.
"Oh what the fuck!" He put his hands on the wound in his shin, dropping onto the ground. "That wasn’t very nice!" He hissed loudly and then turned his head, watching the masked man walk closer. "Just tell me what the hell it is you want."
"You dead," the synthetic voice answered. He dropped one of his guns, strategically, kicking it towards the door.
Joker started to pull himself up using the chair. "Well that doesn't leave much room for negotiation."
"It doesn't," he agreed, cocking and firing the gun again.
The Joker shouted and grabbed the arm now shakily holding the chair before letting himself fall again. He started laughing, "whatever I did to piss you off must've been good."
Red Hood reached up, pulling off the helmet and tossing it away. "You killed me."
The Joker started laughing again. "Did I? You look healthy to me!" He kept laughing.
Jason took a breath and let out a small laugh himself. "Yeah, didn't stick." His attitude changed as he started walking closer. "Stole three years from my life," he said angrily.
"Oh well, that's not so bad," the Joker chuckled, trying to trivialize it. "So, remind me who you are again? I've killed a lot of people, you see, and your face isn't ringing any bells."
Jason nodded, he hadn't expected to be recognized. He hadn't even recognized himself the first time he looked in the mirror after waking up. He knelt down to meet the Joker face to face. He had waited for this moment for so long. "How many fifteen year olds have you killed with crowbars?"
It took a second but the Joker’s face lit up a smile turning to his same obnoxious laughter. "Oh look at you, little birdie! All grown up!"
Jason hit the butt of his gun across the man's face. The Joker swayed to the side, catching himself on his hand. He was laughing before it cut off with a few groans. "I think you broke my jaw, baby bird."
"You know my name," Jason reminded him. It was the only thing he'd given up while being beaten to death. Not Bruce's name but his own.
"Oh yes, yes," he agreed, spitting out some blood from either his split lip or broken teeth. "You had two first names," he made himself laugh again. He turned his head looking at him, "Jordan Taylor… Justin Tyler…"
"Jason Todd," Jason swung his gun, hitting him in the side of the face again.
Joker dropped, groaning and only having his forearm braced against the floor his own weight keeping him from moving any more than he could. Jason stood up again, cocking his gun as he looked down at the clown.
"Oh come on now," the Joker pushed himself over with a groan. "At least let me try to change your mind," he laughed, sounding a little nervous. "It's not my fault you came back from the dead. Really you should be mad at whoever did that."
"Nah, I like being mad at you," Jason held the pistol extended towards the clown's face.
The door across the room opened Batman's steps slowed to a stop. The Joker looked over, only his head sticking out from behind the chair. "Just in time, Bats! Save me from this mad man," he stated laughing, sounding weaker than before. He breathed out a sigh and laid his head against the floor, facing the man with a gun again. "Can't kill me in front of Daddy Bat."
"Who the fuck said I can't?" Jason asked, his stare never leaving the Joker.
"Jason," Bruce's unaltered voice tried to bring some calm to the room.
"Kill me or kill him," Jason said, still not looking away.
Bruce glanced at the gun on the floor and then back up, he took a cautious step forward. "I'm not going to kill you."
This time Jason laughed. It was dry and short. "Not willing to break the golden rule for anything huh?"
"No one has to die tonight," Bruce took another step.
"Tons of people died tonight," Jason fired his gun at the floor just to the side of the clown's head.
Joker flinched and pulled up both hands, even with a bullet in one of his arms. When he realized he wasn't dead he started laughing. "Whew really got me there!"
Jason pulled back the sliding arm, cocking the gun and holding it out again. "Shut up."
"Jason," Bruce tried again, "you don't want to do this."
"Pretty sure I do," Jason argued. "Me or him, make a choice."
"I don't have to. You have the power to make this stop right now," Bruce tried to reason.
Joker started laughing, looking up at Jason. "He's not playing your game right, is he?"
"You chose before," Jason ignored him. "Just want to see if you'd do it again."
"Is this really what you want?" Bruce asked instead. "You've changed so much since you've been home."
Jason squeezed his eyes closed, he'd been trying so hard not to think of Dick all night, knowing he was his weakness. He tried hard to keep from caring about him right now, even with their exchange on the roof still in his head. "Shut up."
"Ooh, push his buttons," Joker chimed, "I'm sure that'll help."
Jason shot to the other side of the man’s head. "You too."
"Think about what you're doing," Bruce continued one step at a time. "What you're giving up if you do this."
Jason cooked the gun and swung it towards Batman, shooting the wall behind him. "I said shut the fuck up!" He gestured wildly with the weapon. "This is about you! Your fucking decisions! You killed me as much as he did!"
Joker was laughing again. "You hear that, Bats, we co-parented this disaster!" Jason pointed the gun down again. "Yes, I know, shut up," the Joker said, rolling his eyes, "you really should have just killed me by now, honestly. It's what I would've done."
"No you wouldn't've," Jason corrected, turning his head to the side with a sneer.
"Okay, yeah," the Joker agreed. "Come on, Batsy, wrap it up, I'm bleeding out over here!"
"You’re not this person anymore, Jason," Bruce kept pushing. "You care about so much more than just revenge now."
"Pretty sure I don't," Jason pulled back the sliding arm again.
"What about us? What about-"
"Don't," Jason cut in, looking over, his arm lowering ever so slightly. "I told you before you can't manipulate me like that."
"I'm not manipulating you," Bruce said gently. "I'm reminding you, someone cares about you. Someone you've let care about you."
Jason took a deep breath and let it out slowly, gun dropping to his side. "Oh I think it's working," Joker chuckled, "keep going, Bats." Jason glared down at him.
"You don't want to die again," Bruce was within arms reach now. "You don't want to keep hurting over this." Jason turned his head to look at him wordlessly. "You have all the power to choose who you are. What do you want, Jason?"
Joker started laughing. "I appreciate the help, Bats, but do you have to sound so melodramatic?"
Jason closed his eyes as if trying to shut them both out. What did he want? He wanted all those years back! He wanted to have grown up and become himself without anyone having manipulated him. Not Bruce, not Talia. He wanted those fucked up memories out of his head! He wanted someone to hold him, to talk him down from all the anger and hatred he had in him, the way Dick had. Jason stared hard and brought his other hand up, holding the gun with both of them.
So many times he thought about this moment, how he wanted to do it. A bullet to the brain, a crowbar to the face, that would have been fair. It replayed in his mind, that's what he had held on to since the moment he left Talia and the pit. He had to have come back to get his own justice. But he kept thinking about Dick’s damn blue eyes and the heartbreak on his face. Jason's death did that to him, did that to all of them.
Jason took a harsh step, he had to do this, he needed to. He was so close, telling himself to just pull the damn trigger. It'd make the pain go away wouldn't it? Solve all his problems and get his life back?
What did he want? He just wanted it to be over. He just wanted to go home, back to the apartment in Blüdhaven. He wanted to be with Dick.
Jason sighed and dropped his head in defeat. His hands shaking, he held out his arm so Bruce could walk around and take his gun.
The doors across the room burst open so hard they were probably knocked from the hinges. Nightwing, Batgirl, and Robin came rushing into the Joker's throne room.
"You tracked the broad-" Batman started to ask but was interrupted.
"Jay!" Dick had been running across the room, only needing a second to piece together what had happened. He rounded the purple chair to grab Jason’s face and catch him in a sudden kiss.
Jason let his hands hold Dick’s waist after they settled from the momentum. The press of their lips softened and gently he stepped away. "Hey," Jason greeted as usual with a smile.
"I'm so proud of you," Dick said back.
From the floor Joker burst into loud laughter. "Looks like your birds made a love nest!" He kept going. "And never told Daddy Bats! My God, look at your face!"
Bruce was looking a little shocked but Tim even more so. Even the mayor, still tied to the chair, at the other end of the room wasn't unfazed and he looked like he'd been used as Joker's punching bag. Bruce cleared his throat and was back to serious a lot quicker.
Nightwing gave a swift kick to the man's rib cage cutting off the laughter for just a moment. Joker turned on his side with soft chuckles. "Nightwing," Batman scolded, to which Nightwing just shrugged.
Jason held out his hand expectantly but Batman looked at him a long second, knowing Jason was asking for his gun back. He dropped the clip out of the pistol and popped the one from the chamber before handing it back. Jason walked over to where his other gun was still on the floor. He put the safety on and slid it into his holster. Batman was radioing the authorities while walking towards the hostage and Batgirl was securing Joker, using some of the wound spray. Robin was still frozen just inside the door, staring.
"I'll see you all back at the Batcave for a debriefing," Batman ordered. "I'll be escorting the Joker into custody."
"Oh, Bats isn't getting shot a few times worth forgiveness for the little bit of mayhem I caused," Joker objected sweetly.
Nightwing stood by, watching Jason pick up the Red Hood helmet before the two of them started walking towards the doors, and Robin. "Come on," Nightwing pulled on his shoulder to turn him around. Tim started to say something but it stuck in his throat. "Batcave," Dick reminded, pushing him a little.
"I'm glad to hear the threat has been neutralized," Bruce said to the screen of the Batcomputer. The cowl sitting on the metal panel to the side. It had been a long night. They were done with masks the moment they were safe and tending to wounds.
"We'll find a way to connect the tanks to Lex," Clark assured, from the other side. "In the meantime we'll focus on cleaning up the messes they made. His eyes looked around his screen at the others he could see. "Your team looks like you could use some rest though. We'll talk more later."
Bruce nodded, "we'll be in touch." He ended the video call and sat in one of the chairs around the table. He looked between all of them. "A lot of Penguin’s men are still on the street. I imagine they've fled to the docks for now. We'll be looking at crimes in that area for a few weeks."
"Two-Face's men are probably on a lot of security cameras. They were mostly in the diamond district, probably robbing and looting any store they found," Barbara said. She hissed, cleaning her bloody knuckles. "I'll start the face recognition software tomorrow."
"Joker's men are all over the city," Jason added. He swayed his chair back and forth lazily. "I'll see if I can bait any idiots on the message boards into coming out."
"Speaking of!" Tim waved at Dick who was leaning on a panel holding his ribs and Jason sitting next to him. "What is this?"
"Aren’t you supposed to be the smart one?" Jason asked back sarcastically.
"I'm gay, Tim," Dick admitted with only a little bit of reservation in his voice.
"I'm not," Jason said easily, continuing to spin his chair.
Barbara looked over at him and then at Dick. Dick smiled back and mouthed Jason’s new found identity, knowing full well everyone in the room could read lips, including him. Jason just smiled and started turning his chair again.
"We'll have to patrol the city every night," Bruce never looked up from the holographic map over the table. "We could use all the help we can get," he said, turning towards Jason and Dick.
"We were gonna spend the holidays at the manor anyway," Dick shrugged with one shoulder.
"We were?" Jason asked, looking up at him.
Tim was still in disbelief and what made it worse was everyone around him acting like this had just always been normal.
"I'd asked Alfred to make up a room for you," Bruce said. He slid his chair back and turned off the table in the middle of them. "I think we all need some sleep right now." He pushed himself up like his body was heavy and started walking up the stairs without saying anything else.
"I could just collapse," Barbara agreed. She picked up the gauntlets from where she had been sitting. "Night- well, morning," she let out a tired laugh and then a yawn before she left.
"Break a rib?" Jason asked, leaning back in the chair and turning his head to the side.
"Maybe," Dick said smiling proudly, "jumped from a high speed truck." He stood up when Jason did.
"Broke a leg doing that once," Jason shared humorously.
"Common workplace hazard," Dick added, holding the railing with one hand. "Heroism isn't OSHA compliant."
Tim was still processing for a second before he shook his head. "Yeah okay," he dismissed and stood up. He shut down the cave as he went up to get some sleep himself.
"Dick," Bruce knocked on the open bedroom door frame. Both Jason and Dick looked up. They had gone back upstairs after breakfast. Their bodies were still sore and tired from the fights the night before. Dick only wanted to lay down, sure one of his ribs was broken. "Can I talk to you?" He turned to Jason, silently asking him to leave.
Dick let out a pained groan, sitting up. He nodded to Jason. "Can you get me a sling?"
"Yeah," he said cautiously, staring at Bruce as they passed each other.
Bruce walked into the room and sat on the foot of the bed. His own body showed signs of injury in the way he walked. After a moment of them sitting in silence, Bruce finally spoke. "I'm sorry if it seemed like I was ignoring what had happened last night. I just didn't think it was the time to talk."
"Right," Dick sort of agreed, moving to sit next to him, holding his side. "I guess we should though."
Bruce looked over at him briefly. "I had no idea. I suppose that's what you wanted."
Dick swallowed thickly and nodded. "I'm not sure why… Maybe I was scared, or maybe I just… wasn't really accepting myself either."
Bruce looked at him sadly and then up and around the room. "The last time we talked you said this never felt like yours," Bruce reasoned, talking about the manor. "I never meant to make you feel that way." He met Dick's eyes, turning serious, his voice still warm. "This is your home, Dick. It always will be."
Dick turned, ignoring the pain, reaching around Bruce's shoulders to hug him as best he could. Bruce seemed a little surprised a second before returning the gesture.
"I'm proud of you and who you've grown to be. I can see it in the way you changed Jason," Bruce went on.
Dick sat back, smiling. "I didn't change Jason, he changed himself," he corrected.
Bruce smiled back and gave a single nod in acknowledgement and they fell back into silence. This time it was warm, inviting anything else that needed to be said.
Jason stood in the doorway, much like Bruce had before. "Everything okay?"
Dick nodded at him, keeping his smile. He held his hand up for him to bring over the sling.
Bruce stood and put a hand on Jason’s shoulder briefly. "It's good to see the true you again."
Jason didn't say anything back, only watching him blankly as Bruce left the room again. He still didn't care for him, but he recognized Bruce cared for them, even if he had questionable ways of showing it.
"Anyway…" Jason dismissed, and shook his head. He reached down to help Dick into the sling.
Jason pulled the black tie from it's knot and dropped it onto the table next to the semi-empty wine glasses and beer bottles. To either side of him and around the room were people talking about the recent Joker disaster and the mess it left the city in.
He turned in his chair and got up. "I'm going out for a smoke," he said into the barely visible ear piece. There was no real reason they needed to be able to contact each other. It was just a big house and a lot of people none of them were really thrilled to spend time with. Jason walked out the front door of Wayne Manor where a group had gathered on the stairs. Some men were talking while smoking. The air smelled of cigars and smoke. He sat down on one of the stairs, watching the water in the fountain while pulling a cigarette from his pack.
A woman's heels clicked on the stone as she walked out of the door behind him. He didn't pay attention until she sat next to him, her clutch purse open like she'd been digging through it. "Can I borrow your lighter?"
"Yeah sure," he pulled his back out from his pocket to hand over.
"Thank you," she sounded like he'd just granted her life.
"Not enjoying the party?" Jason asked a little sarcastically when she handed him back his lighter.
"God no. Couldn't care less about how much money the generous Bruce Wayne raises for whatever bullshit it is this year," she rolled her eyes and gestured between drags of her cigarette.
"Why're you here then?" He asked suspiciously.
She pulled a press badge from her purse. "I get the honor of writing this idiotic puff piece. 'People need some positive news right now,'" she seemed to be quoting whoever had given the assignment. "I could be writing something much more interesting." She turned on the step to look at him easier. "Like how was the Joker able to pull any of that off. That must have taken some serious cash for all that weaponry. And the tanks! Where the hell did he get those?"
Jason turned his head to keep from blowing smoke in her face. "That would be a much more interesting article."
"Right! Instead I'm here," she flicked away some ash before another inhale. "Writing about Bruce Wayne and his rich friends." Jason only hummed, agreeing. "Anyway, thank you for the lighter. I have a feeling I'll have to borrow another before this night is over." She started looking around as if to try and memorize the faces of people outside with them.
Jason laughed a little. "Oh, I'm sure I'll be out here with you."
She tilted her head a little starting to smile. She passed her cigarette to her left hand to hold out her right. "Valerie Ried."
He accepted the hand shake. "Jason Todd."
Valerie froze, staring at him. "Jason Todd, as in one of Bruce's fosters, Jason Todd?"
"Yup, that one," Jason said before he leaned back against the step behind him. He drew in the last of his cigarette, burning it to the filter, before flicking it away and exhaling to the side, still trying to be polite.
"I'm so sorry," she brought a hand up, to cover her mouth, trying to hide her embarrassment.
"Don't be," Jason shrugged. "I don't want to be here either."
"Oh good," she let out a nervous laugh. "I thought I was going to lose my job."
"I doubt even Bruce would do that to you," Jason said, sitting up again. "He's an annoyingly nice guy."
"Really?" She said, while looking up the wall at the manor looming over them. "What was it like growing up here?" Valerie brought up her cigarette only to realize it had burned out. With some disappointment she flicked it away and pulled her short sleeved dress sweater as closed as she could. "Do you think we could talk more inside?"
"Oh, um sure. I was going to get another drink anyway," Jason stood up from the step and offered a hand to help her up as well, seeing her struggle with her pencil dress and heels on the stone stairs.
"Thank you," she said politely with a sweet smile.
Jason moved through the semi-crowded area around the bar where people hadn't made it very far before starting a conversation. Jason leaned to reach his wallet. "Lager," he said, making eye contact with the bartender. It was an open bar but Jason still put a tip in the jar.
"Same," Valerie said leaning on the bar some catering company had set up in the manor's sitting room.
Jason looked over a little surprised she had followed him. "Aren't you technically at work right now?" He put another bill in the jar, seeing as she wasn't about to.
She picked up one of the bottles that had been meant for her and took a sip. "I think I'll be okay," she nodded a little sarcastically. "So you were telling me about being adopted by Bruce Wayne," she reminded while stepping aside so the guests behind her could get their drinks.
"I wasn't ever adopted," he corrected, moving out of the way as well. "I guess technically I uh, aged out of the system," he lied a little.
"How old were you when you entered it?" Valerie set her purse and drink on one of the tall tables, claiming it for them.
"Ten I think, maybe younger officially," Jason answered, more concerned with his drink. He remembered the first time CPS visited their apartment and how his mother lied to them about how well he was cared for. "Why? Are you considering changing your article to Bruce's family and not the fundraiser?" He was suspicious of her, of the press in general actually. One competent investigative journalist and all of their identities would be available to whoever they wanted to sell the story to.
"Only if it's interesting, unlike this party," she looked around at the guests at this black tie event judgingly with another drink. "I don't even remember what it's for this year."
Jason stared at her skeptically. If this was her assignment shouldn't she know that. "Keeping the homeless shelters open," he answered anyway.
"Oh," she breathed through her teeth. "Guess I'm just a cynic."
"Sure but you don't have to be an asshole about it," he said back before having another drink.
Valerie laughed and tipped her head to the side. "You're right, I'm sorry. I guess these rich people really are just caring, generous souls."
"What, oh no," Jason laughed this time. He leaned on the table and pointed to a woman across the room. "I went to the academy with her son. Pretty sure he was addicted to amphetamines before he was fourteen. They're no different from the rest of us."
"Just fancy clothes and money to keep their secrets hidden better," she scanned the party with another drink. Jason picked up his bottle as well but continued to watch her cautiously. Maybe she knew more about Bruce's secrets, or was trying to dig them up. "Anyway," she shook her head. Her dark hair was pulled up into a nice but plain bun with some curls statically left around her face. "I'm sorry. Your foster father seems well intentioned on making Gotham better," Valerie held up her drink in a sort of toast.
Jason had never thought of Bruce as his father. Not even once. He was a teacher and most of his lessons were harsh ones. But there were secret patrol burgers, and hair ruffles without having to wait on a couch first. He had to crane his neck to see Bruce in the crowd behind him. He was standing near the fireplace where he had been most the night, accepting donation pledges. "He tries," he admitted before turning back around.
"He also bought all of our drinks so I guess I shouldn't complain too much," she laughed again. "But- um," she pulled her purse closer to dig out her notepad for quotes and a pen, "if you'd rather do that sometime…"
Jason took a second, realizing she was trying to give him her number. He only just then noticed how their conversation sounded. He had been joking with her and sort of staring but not for that reason. "Oh! No, I um-" he said quickly, "I have a boyfriend…?" He wasn't very confident with that. Was that what Dick was?
"Oh!" Valerie said back, pulling the paper back from the table. "Oh... okay. Wow," she shook her head at herself. "Of course you do," she laughed a little like she should have guessed.
"Oh no," Jason corrected quickly, "I'm not- You're actually my type- I just- I'm seeing someone."
"Right," she agreed, not looking up from putting the notepad back in her purse and picking up her beer. "Thanks again for the lighter," she said with another polite smile, taking a swig of her drink while walking away.
Jason sighed feeling like an idiot himself, staring at his drink a second before deciding he should just go back to the safety of the empty table with his assigned plate, and not talk to anyone ever again. When he moved away from the bar table he saw Dick across the room. He smiled when they made eye-contact. Dick moved through the crowd that had gathered in the sitting room where both the bar and host were. He looked a lot better in his white suit jacket than Jason felt he did in his plain one.
Without asking Dick took the bottle from his hand to have a drink himself. He turned his head, looking at the door to the room, "she's cute."
"Who?" Jason asked, still wanting to cover his embarrassment. He probably wasn't doing a good job of it though.
Dick looked back at him with the biggest smirk. "Too bad you have a boyfriend, huh?" Dick had another sip of Jason’s drink, obviously amused with his reaction.
Jason’s eyes went wide and face started getting flush. "I- how did you-" Dick had been across the room when he said that. Jason had watched him come over. He was suddenly horrified, reaching for his earpiece. He'd left his channel open. "How many of you heard all that and didn't tell me?" He was now flustered and angry. All the while Dick was just standing there, grinning and drinking Jason’s beer.
"I was listening because I was worried," Barbara answered first.
"I just thought it was funny," Tim added from somewhere else in the house.
"I'm going to kill you," Jason threatened.
Dick laughed and reached up, turning Jason’s earpiece off for him. He continued to hold his face, his smile softening. "So you want to call this a relationship?"
"I mean, we are living together," Jason reasoned, he brought his hand up to take Dick’s away, holding it down by their sides instead. Dick hummed and had another drink. Jason smiled and let go to take the bottle back from him. "And sleeping together."
"I thought we were just having fun?" Dick looked down, pulling some wrinkles out of Jason’s suit jacket.
"It was never just fun for you," Jason said softly, remembering the way Dick had kissed his shoulder while reaching for the coffee. "I knew that," he confessed.
Dick let out a breathy laugh, tilting his head with a look of admission, still occupied with Jason's jacket. "I was kind of transparent wasn't I."
"I'm sorry I used you, Dickie." Jason took Dick’s hand again. "I'm not doing that anymore." He leaned to the side, moving forward to kiss his cheek. "I love you too."
Dick dropped his head back laughing loudly and pushing Jason away a little, "Shut up." Jason laughed with him, drinking his beer again. "At least I loved you first," Dick added, like he'd won one of the races Jason had challenged him to. They smiled at each other for a while.
Jason smirked behind the lip of his bottle. "You also give amazing head," as if that was another reason to date him.
Dick shoved him again laughing as he swayed a little. He was grinning when they were close again. "You eat ass like you were born for it."
"Naturally gifted," Jason shrugged humorously.
"Self taught," Dick said, referring to himself.
They both chuckled and eventually sighed. Jason leaned forward again, reaching for Dick’s sides, one arm wrapping around his back. Dick held his shoulders and Jason laid his cheek against Dick’s. He didn't say anything. It just felt good to hold him that close. Dick rested his forehead against Jason’s shoulder, smiling hard.
It was a nice moment while Barbara made her way towards them. She was wearing a black cocktail dress and long velvet gloves to hide her bruised knuckles. The rest of them could hide healing wounds a lot easier. Dick had just taken a painkiller for his broken rib before the guests had arrived.
"You both have your communicators off," she said, touching Jason’s shoulder to interrupt. They broke apart and turned towards her. "The paper wants a picture and Bruce asked for them to take one with all of us."
Jason gave up on what was left of his beer, which wasn't a lot, leaving it on one of the tables as they walked over to where Bruce and Tim were already waiting.
Chapter 30: Author Notes
I really loved writing this story. It was loosely based on a r/AITA post about a guy worrying he was homophobic because he hated that his gay roommate was dating other men. It was only through a reddit post he realized he was jealous and he was bi.
Jason's character development:
Clinging to anger and the singular goal of revenge was a way to not grieve for his lost time and trauma.
Letting Dick add more kindness and positivity to his life.
Becoming jealous of the men Dick dated.
Denying his attraction to him.
Panicked by how he felt when they kissed.
Giving into posable deniabilty with drunk sex was using Dick, apologizing in the morning wasn't.
Getting a blow job after getting shot was using him, putting an arm around him on the couch wasn't.
Letting himself admit his sexual attraction to him in the morning was a little step to self discovery.
Sexting Dick from his room and frotting that was using him, looking at Dick afterwards and realizing he was attracted to him as a man wasn't.
Going from the roof to the apartment for the purpose of sex was using him, sex after being vulnerable and comforted wasn't.
The emotional part of their relationship getting deeper.
Talking with Dick on the roof and falling asleep with him was intimacy without sex.
The sex starting in the shower and doing all he could to make Dick happy was out of selflessness.
Comforting Dick when he was embarrassed and wanting to move into his room with him, solidified Dick’s place in his life, he wasn't leaving like he originally planned.
Turning on his communicator because Dick asked, accepting he meant more than his desire for self isolation.
Realizing Dick was his home, that was realizing he was in love.
Dick’s character development:
Starting out with hiding his sexuality from his family. Even trying to keep it from Jason.
Denying his attraction to Jason by seeking more attention from dates.
Hating being stood up after misplacing the desire for a relationship in a stranger.
Letting Jason use him because of leftover feelings for him.
Giving Jason the space and excuses he needed, not wanting to lose him.
Comforting Jason as he talked about revenge validating his feelings rather than try to talk him out of it, falling in love with him again.
Having Thanksgiving at Wayne Manor he learned Jason would always be there for him. Even when Jason had to sacrifice something.
Finding more support from Alfred let him feel more confident with that part of his life.
Saying always because he had accepted his own feelings.
Confessing everything, allowing himself to be vulnerable and letting Jason face his own feelings.
Jason being with him after a moment of embarrassment meant their relationship was a comfortable one.
Being secure enough to stand up to Jason and ask for another sacrifice.
Being elated when Jason gave up his revenge, proving to be the person Dick knew he could be.
Being comfortable and happy enough with himself and his support system to let his family know who he really was.
If you already picked up on these things then it makes me really happy as a writer that the background subtleties were coming through in the story line. Thank you so much for reading to the end! I really hope you liked it!
The drawing took me forever and I had to keep re-uploading it to deviantart because I would see little details that needed fixing. I'm super proud of it and all their postures like Barbara's holding her back straight and Tim really looks like an awkward sixteen year old. Bruce has one leg bent and relaxed a little so he isn't so much taller and smiling a real stoic but proud dad smile. While Jason and Dick are two hand slips away from being inappropriate and they both know it. Jason's smirk is so perfect and he's a fine example of how gays can't sit normal. And they are all linked together through someone holding someone else to show how they really are a family. I really was thinking hard drawing this and so glad I not only was able to do it but they all resemble their characters pretty closely.
Anyway, I'll stop patting myself on the back now.
My next story Knight in Damaged Armor is coming soon. Hope to see you there!