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No Matter the Plea

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Sitting on the ground, his head was lowered, hair falling into his face, his posture screaming with his dejected state of mind. There was no strength in his limbs, no life in his body. Tears fell, unending, sobs having died away to a muted volume, body still. 


There was fresh dirt before his knees, freshly cut green grass where he sat, and a newly placed stone just a few feet before him. 


Far too fresh. 


The size of the grave, the bed of a lasting sleep, too fresh.


Too small.


Too soon.


The words broke the pieces of him all the more, making his body tense before he fell forward on his hands, fingers digging, curling into the dirt. Tears fell to soak into the earth. 


He hadn’t believed the news. The words had been something that he honestly could not understand.

It was like listening to a foreign language.

As if his brain was moving far too slow, or maybe far too quickly, to understand.


Even once the words had passed through his mind as proper english, he hadn’t believed them.


Jason Todd.




Those words just didn’t have any correlation.


This was the kid who was challenging him at every turn. He had such a “piss and vinegar” attitude, but it was oddly endearing. 

He was frustrating.

He didn’t listen.

He had a little too much spunk for his own good -- but after all he’d dealt with, he had every damn right.


A brat kid who he’d never asked for, never wanted, yet always wanted to punch out.


A little brother.

A spunky, bratty little brother with a kind heart, hidden beneath it all -- he’d seen, he’d gotten a good look.

The kid he was proud of.


“Not you.”


HIs voice was hoarse, words barely formed, a whisper softer than the wind.


“How did you--”


How how how could this be the end result.


“It was always--”


Just always a close call at the worst of it all, for all of them.


“I never--”


Never thought that it would get to this point, but no one ever did.


They made him angry. 

The flowers that sat on the grave.

He wanted to reach forward and snag them away, rip them apart.


Because there was no need because this just didn’t make sense.


He needed to hear that snarky voice, mocking him, sounding so superior. 


He hated grave sites. 

He hated funerals.

He hated flowers.

It was all so wrong.


Because they didn’t deserve it --


“Neither did he.”


Form trembling, he leaned further forward, forehead coming to press against the cool dirt while his hands balled into fists around the element. 


Why could he never protect the ones who mattered the most?


“I’m so sorry.”


Teeth clenched and ground together as he fought back the hiccuping sobs that threatened to escape from deep within his chest.


“Jay, I’m so sorry.”

He’d never get a chance again.


“Come back. Please come back.”


But it wasn’t the first time he made that plea.


It terrified him to think that it likely wouldn’t be the last.