"Shall we give up so easy?” asked Stefanie.
“He doesn’t celebrate Christmas. He is an atheist. He doesn’t believe in God, he doesn’t believe in anything anymore,” answered Bruce who, once again, didn’t want to talk about the lost bird.
“Tim isn’t a Christian and still, he’s celebrating with us,” answered Stefanie.
“There was a time Master Jason used to celebrate Christmas at the mansion,” added Alfred softly while serving the turkey with chestnut stuffing.
“That time is long gone, Alfred” answered Bruce sternly.
The family knew Bruce missed Jason the most but that for the life of him, he would never be able to say it out loud.
“The night is young! Let’s enjoy it together!” cheered Dick.
The night was young indeed, young enough to catch the lost bird, thought Tim.
He quietly left the reception, well-resolved to find Jason and take him back one way or another to the Wayne’s party. He just hoped he wouldn’t have to fight with the older man again. Even Tim was pretty sure that fighting on Christmas Eve wouldn’t be good for his karma. But with Jason you never knew what could happen.
Tim didn’t have to search long to find the former Robin. He was sitting on the roof of his flat, a nearly dilapidated attic room, smoking. Funny he hadn’t fled yet. Tim had found about this place some weeks ago and was pretty sure Jason wouldn’t stay here now that his hideout had been found. Perhaps no one knew Jason that well after all.
“My, my, what is a member of the renowned Wayne family doing here on Christmas Eve?” acknowledged Jason before Tim had the chance to talk to him.
The bastard had always had a keen hearing and amazing reflexes. Once Robin, always Robin. He sighed.
“I could ask you the very same question, Jason,” answered Tim.
“I am not a part of the fairy family, boy, you should know that better than anyone,” growled Jason.
Jason had never forgiven him for taking over the Robin outfit, for having taken his place.
Not having been punched yet, Tim decided to try his luck and sat down next to who Alfred would call his brother. They were no more brothers than they are brother-in-arms, they just bore Bruce Wayne’s name.
Tim smiled at the thought. God, he would never want a brother like Jason. Uncontrollable. Evasive. Elusive. Lost.
“Here you are,” Tim said, holding a package for Jason.
When he saw Jason’s surprised face, he added hastily: “Not from me, from Alfred. He said it was your favorite.”
And Tim wasn’t definitely babbling and blushing like a girl at her first date.
Jason unwrapped the little package and actually genuinely smiled.
“The old man doesn’t forget anything…”
In his big hand lay a big turkey with chestnut stuffing sandwich.
They had been sitting on this wet roof for long minutes now, not talking, not sharing the Christmas spirit they could hear coming from the streets beneath, but surprisingly sharing the delicious sandwich. It felt eerily nice and right.
Jason’s body felt warm against his own freezing limbs and Tim hadn’t noticed he had come closer to the man to welcome the pleasant proximity.
“You don’t have any light,” Tim said gazing at some neighbors’ Christmas tree.
It was easier to look at that tree rather than at Jason’s calm and too sad profile.
“Who needs any light when you have those?” answered Jason, showing him the Milky Way.
“I never thought you would be such a romantic,” Tim teased him.
“You don’t know a thing about me,” answered Jason softly, while lighting another cigarette.
Tim looked at the stars for a long time and longer at the beautiful man’s features they were lightning up. Jason was right: he didn’t know anything about him.
“You don’t smoke,” said Jason out of the blue, handing him his pack of cigarettes. “I’m afraid I don’t have any other present for you,”
Tim looked at him as if he had grown another head.
“I’ve already got my present,” Tim said long after his head had lolled on the stronger man’s shoulder.
A present he had promised to bring back to the mansion, a present he had selfishly kept for himself tonight.
“Look who is the romantic one now,” drawled Jason not pushing him away.
“Merry Christmas, Jay” Tim gently replied.
“Merry Christmas, little bird” Jason answered.
Stefanie was right.
They shouldn’t give up so easy about Jason. One is lost when everyone stops looking for them.
One thing was sure: Tim wouldn’t give up and one day, perhaps next Christmas, he would find the courage to kiss this endearing scar on Jason’s neck, a scar he knew Bruce had left. He would kiss it until the pain in Jason’s eyes disappeared.
For now, he would enjoy his Holy Night.