Shit. Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit. Fuck.
This wasn't good, this was not good!
Jay ducked down alleys and through tight crawl spaces, jumped fences and ducked through drainage pipes, and nothing, nothing, seemed to loose the guy chasing him.
He'd seen that sweet car just sitting there, and he'd hardly been able to help himself. The dough he'd get for the tires alone would keep him fed for weeks, and help him put off a decision he really didn't want to make.
When he'd been interrupted, (and holy fuck how the he'll had that guy manage to sneak up on him?), he hadn’t scrambled, not really expecting the guy to give chase. After all, stupid rich guy dumb enough to leave a sweet ride like that alone in this neighbourhood? Probably just call the cops or something. Jason'd been wearing gloves, it's not like they'd be able to nab him for it.
But the man had given chase, and hadn't been thrown by any of Jason's tricks.
Who was this guy?
He was just considering weaving through the Jaguar's territory - he didn't really want to, they didn’t take kindly to strangers, and he didn't actually want the guy killed out of hand, even if he was chasing him - when the man suddenly landed in front of him.
How the fuck?
Jason tried to stop, change direction, but ended up running straight into the guy's (fucking solid muscle) chest, and rebounding. He would have fallen, if the man hadn't grabbed his arms firmly, thwarting Jason's retaliatory attack, and running an assessing gaze over him from head to toe.
Shivers began to run through the street-kid.
He cursed his damned conscience. He should have just headed straight for Jaguar territory. Sure, it would have meant running stuff for them for a couple of weeks to pay off the debt, but they would have taken care of this guy before he caught Jason.
He knew what was coming now.
The man would tell him that he was going to go to jail for this, that he'd get tossed back into the system. But this could all go away, he'd forget about it and let him go, if he just did him a little favour. And then he'd tell Jason to go to his knees, or he'd pin him to the wall and tear at his pants, and there would be nothing Jason would be able to do. The man was so strong. He could feel in in the grip, in the remembered impression of the man's chest. He began to shake harder, even as he cursed himself for showing weakness to the man who was probably going to -
No, no, no! He'd managed to avoid this so far, avoid the worst of the creeps and falling into this trap he’d seen so many get lost in. He wasn’t gonna get trapped in it now for a few stupid tires!
"Go ahead!" He said aggressively, with far more bravado then he felt. "I'll go to the cops. You think they'll give more of a shit about a botched chop-job, or a rape?" Jason really, really hoped this man was from out of town, the way his stupidity in choice of parking space suggested. (He wasn’t holding out much hope, though, the way he’d been chased through the alleys. Gotham was like a maze created by a psychotic on acid. The alleys were worse, and only people who spent a lot of time in them could navagate them.) Any Gothomite would know that unless you were really lucky, all the way up the line from which cop got your case, to which lawyer took it, to which judge you ended up in front of, that money always won out, no matter the crime, and that the street people always lost.
Any Gothamite would know that kids on the street were there because their only other options were far worse.
This was going to end very badly for him, he just knew it.
So Jason was surprised when the man released him like he was burnt, going as white as, well, snow anywhere but Gotham would be. Snow in Gotham was as grey as everything else.
He grabbed him again, though, before Jason could bolt, or grab the little knife in his pocket.
His hands were firmer now, and Jason winced a little at the strength of the grip on his forearms. Damn damn damn. Jason'd made him angry; once again his stupid mouth had made the situation
"Hey," The man said. The first words he'd spoken in the whole clusterfuck, and the tone was a complete shock. Soft and somehow wounded, as if Jason had ripped the man's insides out, strewn them across the ground and left him open and bleeding for all the world to see.
The street kid paused and looked up at him, and was surprised at the stricken look on his face. He’d seen that look on old lady McManus’s face when she buried her last child. What could cause this man to look at him like that?
"Rape? God, no, kid, nothing like that. I would never-! Please, I just want to talk to you, I'm not going to hurt you. I'll let you go, just please, stay for a minute. If you don't like what I have to say, fine, you can leave. Pull your knife if it makes you feel better, I won't mind."
How did he know-?
Jason looked at the tall, dark haired stranger warily, skeptically. This guy was really strange. The strange ones were always the most dangerous.
"You just want to talk and then you'll just let me go?"
Jason was planning to bolt the second the man let him go.
Something in the other’s gaze told Jason he knew that, but after a long moment, the man let him go anyway. Jason was across the alley, knife out of his pocket and flicked open almost before the heat of the other man's grip left him. He scrambled down an alley that let onto a main street where he could get lost in the crowd. He only turned to look back once - to see the man who'd caught him so easily the first time, and could have undoubtably have caught him again, simply standing there with a heart broken look on his face, watching him go.
Jason felt... Almost bad about breaking the implicit bargain, but ruthlessly squashed it. He'd never actually promised to stay, after all.
When he got back to his squat, several hours later via the most roundabout way he could fathom, and found almost 200 dollars in his back pocket, Jason could only stare in shock. Who had that man been!