Dick stared at Jason in quiet awe. In terrified hope. He’d thought the young angel he’d loved was gone forever. His Little Wing. At first they’d all though Jason had been killed by the Demon Joker. Then when they’d found him on earth, violent and wingless, they’d been sure that he had fallen. That the Joker had whispered lies and pain until Jason broke under the pressure and was corrupted, feathers falling out as all that was good in his soul became twisted and evil. The skeletal bones of corrupted wings that demons carried were fairly useless and usually a rather big tip off to their prey so they hid them.
Everyone assumed this was the case with Jason.
But then there was Colin. The young boy who Damian had been appointed to as a Guardian Angel. Damian had abandoned his post thinking he was of better use fighting at his father’s side on the front line. In his absence, Crane- an old Fear Demon- had pounced upon the boy. Would have likely tortured him and even possibly killed him if Jason had not come and driven the Demon away.
Damian had found Jason comforting the boy, his wings- battered and wounded but still definitely there- curled protectively around the the child.
Dick hadn’t been able to believe it when he’d heard. Had to go see for himself. Tracked Jason down to the earthly safehouse he had. Tackled him to the floor and laid him out. Jason’s face flushed crimson at being pinned, but his wings were too injured to fly let alone help him fend off another angel in their prime.
“Oh, Little Wing, why didn’t you tell us?” Dick asked feeling distressed, “We would have taken you back in, protected you till your wings healed.”
“I’d rather walk around on the ground than be caged.” Jason snapped defiantly.
“It’d just be till you could fly again,” Dick said, brow pleating, “You know what the Demons would do to you if they discovered there was an angel on earth that couldn’t get away?”
“I know,” Jason said staring back at him evenly, “I’ve survived them.”
Dick made a pained sound and clutched him a little tighter.
“I don’t need to be coddled like a fledgling, I can still do good work even if I can’t fly.” Jason insisted, eyes burning bright and just as beautiful and good as Dick remembered them, “I am doing good work.”
“I know that.” said Dick earnestly, “Everyone knows that now. You did good protecting that boy today. But the Demons also know it. They’ll come for you Jay.”
“Let them come.” Jason said definitely.
“You’ll die.” Dick said in distress.
“So be it, then.” Jason replied firmly.
Dick touched his cheek tenderly and watched Jason’s wings shiver arch towards him.
“I will stay with you then.” Dick said, “I can be your Guardian while you Guard the city.”
“No, you have your own city to protect,” Jason protested though there was an awful hope in his eyes, “You can’t give up your post Dick, innocent people depend on you.”
“Someone else can take up my post there.” Dick said kissing Jason’s brow, “But my place is with you Little Wing.”
“Then why didn’t you come sooner?” asked Jason, strong facade crumbling, “I waited for you. For Bruce. For anyone. No one ever came.”
“I thought you were already gone.” Dick apologized, knowing it would never be enough. Fingers hovering over Jason’s bare wings. But not touching. He hadn’t be given consent for something that intimate yet, “I’m so so sorry Jay, if I had known there was even a chance there would have been nothing that would have kept you from me- I should have checked for myself. But I trusted that Bruce had done his work thoroughly and took his word even though I knew he was grieving and unobjective at the time.”
Jason breathed raggedly, let his eyes fall close and reached for him. Pulled his weight over him and simply held him. Dick clutched him back, still hardly believing that this was real. He was filled with protectiveness as he surveyed the cruel damage to Jason’s wings. 4 years later and the injuries were still as fresh and raw as the day they were made. Wing injuries were not like normal ones. Wings were a reflection of one’s soul, and they healed with the soul. The Joker had done quite a number on Jason and he still hadn’t fully recovered. Dick wondered if Jason would ever fully recover.
Jason clearly didn’t think he would, which was why he’d taken up a post as a human.
“Bruce won’t like you staying with me. It’s inefficient and he’ll think I’ll act as a handicap for you.” Jason finally said into his shoulder.
“Handicaps are not evil. Just an opportunity for creativity.” Dick said.
“A little creativity ain’t going to be enough to convince that stubborn ass.” snorted Jason.
“Don’t underestimate me, I have my ways of convincing him.” grinned Drick burrying his face into Jason’s wild curls and simply breathing in the scent of life in him. Of hope.
Jason’s wing hesitantly came up and brushed against his own surprising a small gasp out of both of them.
Because wings were outer manifestations of their souls, they normally wore armor over for battle or even social functions with strangers. Bare wings were for family, close friends, and lovers because it offered both visibility and the opportunity for direct contact. Dick hadn’t wanted to presume that Jason wanted that from him anymore. He had already come there with the express purpose of seeing that Jason’s soul was still intact. He knew he’d put Jason in a bit of a vulnerable position. So if there was to be anything else, Jason got to take the lead on this one.
Jason reached for him with both wings now. Dick responded by spreading his own before encircling them both, sheltering Jason’s injured ones from the outside world. Jason’s fingers flexed on his shoulders nervously before hesitantly moving so their feathers would slide together.
Dick shivered all over and let out ragged breath at the feeling of Jason directly touching his soul. At touching Jason’s.
Jason made a soft sound and tried to sit up. Dick helped though he stayed on his lap. He pulled back enough to look at him. Jason’s eyes were closed, lips parted, and small soft little noises escaped him every time their feathers brushed each other. He was the most beautiful thing in this earthly realm.
“Little Wing…” he murmured reverently cupping his face. Jason’s eyes fluttered open and gave him a soft naked look, “Oh… you are more precious than the stars, Little Wing.”
“Hey now, the stars are pretty great Dickie.” Jason gave him a crooked little smile.
“ You’re pretty great.” Dick shot back, emphasizing it with a soft caress of his wings.
“And- nh- and your comebacks still suck.” Jason laughed even as his wings fluttered and pressed back against Dick’s eagerly. They were pressed so close Dick couldn’t miss the small flinch as he came in contact with an injured part of Jason’s wings. Dick started to pull back but Jason reached back for him desperately.
“No, please, I don’t care. Just stay close.” Jason said shakily.
“I don’t want to hurt you.” Dick frowned.
“I don’t care,” Jason repeated, “Please Dickie, it’s been 4 years all on my own. Human’s are nice and sex with them is fun, but I couldn’t ever even let them see my wings for fear of hurting them, let alone have someone touch them. Humans can never be this close and I need it.”
“Oh Jay, I wish… Angels aren’t meant for solitude.” Dick said, his heart and wings aching just thinking about it.
“I know.” Jason said, his eyes bleak and filled with the years and the pain they’d brought.
“I’ll stay close,” Dick promised, encircling them again, “Just show me what is safe.”
“I’ll try.” Jason breathed slowly letting their foreheads rest together.
“I know,” Dick promised, “I trust you.”
Unseen by either of them, one of the raw open wounds on Jason’s wings closed, and small soft new feathers started to push their way forward.
“I trust you too.” Jason said.