Gotham is a city full of ghosts and monsters. Some real, some imagined, all of them dangerous. Some will come for your heart, your soul, some have already taken them without you realizing.
He turns, nice and slow. Never pays to surprise a Bat, even if they won't let you see. "Hey, Bruce." Smile, nice little family reunion going on here. "Long time no see." Hard to have those get togethers when you're dead, or. Well, harder. Doesn't seem to stop some people. (Black muscle car and classic rock, miles of road ahead and behind, nowhere to go, everywhere to be.)
Maybe Jason miscalculated when he let Bruce and his little ducklings know he was back in town, but. He can't blame the Pit for that not, entirely. Shock, maybe, lingering trauma. Or maybe Jason's always had that in him, burning bright and steady, waiting under everything. Maybe this is who he's supposed to be, twisted and angry, sharp lines and sharper anger. Maybe dying set him right, because he feels. Whole, like this. And if the payoff is that he can never forget Gotham's ghosts now, her monsters, well.
"Let him go." All Bat, low and dangerous, and so, so oblivious. How? He out of all of them should know better.
"Yeah, no," Jason says, eyes flicking towards the chair in the center of the room, bright splotch of colors - red and green and yellow. "Don't think so." Because Bruce needs to see, doesn't he. Needs to remember not all of Gotham's monsters are human. Human-ish. Whatever the fuck Croc is, he's not this.
Bruce takes one step forward, then another, and Jason raises his gun. Not at Bruce, no, not this time. He aims at the chair, its occupant, all bright colors, none of them earned. Bruce stops dead.
"Jason - "
"Oh, no, Bruce." Jason smiles, sharp, dangerous. "Not this time." See, it's where he went wrong before.
Squeeze, don't pull, and bang.
Bruce yells, lunging for Jason, but he's not the one Jason's worried about. No, the one Jason's worried about breaks free of the ropes binding them, all flat eyes and sharp teeth, bright colors fading, shifting into pale, slick skin. Leaping for Jason, death in its eyes.
"Dammit Bruce, fucking move!" Jason yells, shoulder checking Bruce as the thing, not Robin, not even the Pretender, rushes past, landing agilely behind them, claws scraping the ground.
Bruce jerks away, turns his head to where the thing is watching them, splash of color on its chest from where Jason hit it. Not a killing shot, no, because Bruce needed to see.
Now, though. Jason raises his other gun, silver bullets. Watches it lick its teeth, rough laughter coming from its throat, and it shifts, becomes one of Bruce's personal ghosts, beautiful and elegant, pearls at her throat. Turns to Bruce.
"Oh, fuck you," Jason says. "Playtime's over." Aim and fire, killing shot right to the heart because Bruce, for all that he's a fucking bastard doesn't deserve this, no one does.
Jason looks at Bruce. "You forget," he says. "Everyone forgets. Monsters are real." They're real and it's so fucking easy to forget with the human monsters hiding in Gotham's shadows.
"Where is he?" Bruce asks.
Jason snorts, turns to leave. "How the hell should I know, Bruce? He's your responsibility, not mine." He stops at the growl, angry footsteps behind him. Robins are small, easily lost. Gotham will chew them up, spit them out, bigger and meaner than them, but. "I'd check Leslie's if I were you though, never know what might turn up there." A little lost Robin, maybe.
He can feel Bruce's glare. "Jason - "
"Keep a better eye on your birds, Bruce," he says, walking away.
There are monsters in Gotham, and they're hunting, looking for prey. What better than a small bird, hunting for prey of its own, hunter turned hunted?