Nightwing tasted blood as he lay on the ground of the warehouse. “What’s the matter, Dick?” The black-haired figure mocked him, raising his gun. “Fight gone out of you already?”
“Jason,” Dick started, trying to get to his feet, but the stab of pain from the bullet buried in his left thigh prevented him from getting up. “Jason, please.”
“Too late for that,” Jason pointed out, fingering the white stripe in his hair from the Lazarus Pit. “Always too late for me, isn’t it?”
“It’s never—” Dick began.
“What about him though?” Jason asked suddenly, pointing to Tim’s unconscious form on the ground nearby. “Do you think it’s too late for him? Too late for the replacement?”
“Jason, leave him out of this!” Dick pleaded. “Jason, leave him alone!”
“Everyone was too late to save me,” Jason said, aiming his gun at Tim. “Do you think you’ll be able to save this one?”
Dick forced himself to his feet, and lunged at Jason. Jason laughed and dodged, firing another bullet at Dick. Dick cried out in pain as that bullet went through his other leg, sending him to the floor. “Jason…” he hissed. “Please.”
Jason glared at him, raising an eyebrow. “Fine then,” Jason said, aiming the gun at Dick instead. “Let’s see if he actually will avenge you.”
The gun went off again.
“Dick? Wake up!” Someone shook his shoulder, dragging Dick out of his dreams. “Come on Dick-face, we’re going patrolling!”
“Wha?” Dick said, voice thick with sleep.
“I said,” Jason Todd said, looking at his older brother with amused skepticism, “That we’re going patrolling. Timmy’s off with the Team, so that means I get to be Robin for Gotham tonight.”
Dick reached up and grabbed Jason, pulling his little brother into a tight hug.
“Gah! Dick, let me go!” Jason flailed in Nightwing’s tight grip. “What the hell?”
“I dreamed we lost you again,” Dick admitted.
“Ah, c’mon,” Jason scoffed, but going limp in Dick’s tight hug. “Even I’m not that dumb.”
“You’re not dumb, Little Wing,” Dick reprimanded, ruffling Jason’s hair, avoiding the white Lazarus strip.
“If I went and got myself killed again, I must be,” Jason said, pausing before hugging Dick back. Dick didn’t correct Jason. “Now come on! The badguys aren’t going to catch themselves!”
“Meet you down in the Cave in five,” Dick responded, finally letting go of Jason. Jason grinned, and left Dick’s room.
He glanced at the photograph beside his bed, which showed Jason, Tim, and himself roughhousing on the couch, three weeks after they had rescued Jason, fresh from the Lazarus Pit. He swallowed the small lump in his throat, wondering what might have happened to Jason if they hadn’t received a tip off from someone in the League of Shadows about Ra’s al Ghul’s resurrection plans for the second Robin. He pushed that thought away, and grabbed his Nightwing costume.
His family was together again, and stronger than ever.
He grabbed his phone, and typed a quick text to Tim. Going patrolling with R2. See you tomorrow! -N
His phone buzzed almost right away with Tim’s response. Mission going well. Expect to be back at MJ in one hour. See you tomorrow. Say hi to R2 for me. -R1.