Chapter 1: Watching
Dick had the sort of scent that made people take notice. When we walked by even betas would stare. He was beautiful too. Like on another level gorgeous. The man possessed the sort of features that the rich paid millions to try to emulate. His sparkling sapphire blue eyes were framed by thick, curling eyelashes. He possessed a lean, perfectly muscled physique that screamed elegance and perfection. And of course, on top of everything else, he was kind and smart and had a wicked sense of humour.
People flocked to him. Everyone wanted to be in Dick Grayson's world.
Jason fucking hated him.
"You stink," he said when Dick, unperturbed, breezed by him with a friendly smile. He’d never told the other man that he smelled like freshly cut grass on a perfect sunny day. And he probably never would. “You forget your blockers?”
He hated being in the manor. Dick looked so at home, like he’d never left, but Jason didn’t belong. He never really had. For some reason the old man wanted all of his fucked up family to attend his latest Gala. Jason still wasn't sure why he's agreed to attend. Not like he owed them anything.
"Some people like my scent," Dick said, grinning widely as he brushed his hair out of his eyes.
"Speaking of scents. You're smelling particularly sour today. What's wrong? Suit too tight?"
"Like you're one to talk," Jason snarked, purposefully looking the other man up and down, lingering on his trim little waist for a few seconds too long. He looked up quickly, scared he’d been caught out, but of course, as usual, the omega was oblivious.
“It’s armani. You like?” Dick practically preened, even though Jason knew him well enough to know when he was being fucked with.
“Bit rich for someone on a cop's salary isn’t it?”
A slight shrug of a nicely defined shoulder. “You know how Bruce likes to make an impression,” Dick threw him an amused and dazzling smile. “What are you wearing?”
Jason gestured at himself with an arched eyebrow. “You’re looking at it.” He was wearing a pair of ripped blue jeans, a dirty black shirt and a scuffed leather jacket. He was aware he looked like shit and couldn’t have given less of a fuck if he tried.
“Bruce is going to love it,” Dick said, patting him on the cheek as he sauntered past. Jason made a half-assed swipe at him but the other man danced easily out of his way.
Bruce, unsurprisingly wasn’t thrilled. “I have a suit waiting for you in your room,” he said the moment his eyes locked on the younger man.”If you wouldn’t mind Jason.”
Jason heard Dick’s snort of laughter.
“Why the fuck am I even here?” Jason mumbled, more to himself than Bruce as he strode past the other man. Dick immediately fell into step beside him
“Fuck off,” Jason said.
Dick didn’t get the opportunity to answer because the replacement and hell spawn chose that moment to burst through the lounge doors. The two had clearly been sparring and neither of them were paying attention to where they were going. Damian literally bounced off Jason’s chest and landed flat on his ass. Replacement completely fucked himself in a failed attempt to avoid Jason and ended up knocking the older man off his feet in the process.
Dick, of course, danced out of the way before anyone touched him. The bastard wasn’t even trying to disguise his laughter as he fell down in a heap next to them.
And yup, Bruce saw the whole thing. He stormed up to them, scowling disapprovingly. “I need you ready in five minutes.” His eyes moved to Dick, narrowing very slightly. “I could do with a distraction. You up for it?”
No one could move like Dick. He fucking glided to his feet, pulling Damian with him. The kid scowled up at the omega, throwing him the sort of look that usually meant someone was about to get fucked up. Dick, ever the uncaring simpleton, ignored the demon spawns death glare and even went so far to envelop the monster in a half hug. “What do you need?”
“Lex Luthor has something I want. I'd like you to keep him occupied.”
Dick’s eyes almost rolled into the back of his head. “Seriously?”
“Father,” Damian snapped before Bruce could respond, his death glare now aimed at B. “Luthor has an unseemly obsession with Dick. You shouldn’t be encouraging his advances.”
Dick hugged the boy closer, smushing his face in the kids hair. “You worried about me kiddo?”
Damian endured the hug for five seconds longer than Jason expected before wriggling his way out of Dick’s arms. “I’ll accompany you.”
There was no doubt about it. The kid was going to be an alpha.
“Damian,” Dick said, his voice gently chastising. “I don’t need a chaperone.”
“I will accompany you,” the boy insisted.
Dick looked set to argue before abruptly shrugging and ruffling the boys hair. “Suit yourself Little D. Let’s go say hello.”
Jason watched them leave, only aware of the way he was clenching his fists when he noticed the replacement was staring at him.
“What?” He snapped, causing the kid to startle as they both climbed to their feet.
“Ugh, nothing. I just noticed that you, ugh, that you look kind of stressed.”
“You just knocked me on my ass,” Jason snarled, feeling a little smug when the omega stumbled back. Unlike Dick, the replacements scent was babyish and too sweet. It made Jason’s nose twitch. “What the fuck did you expect?”
Bruce was watching them. He was pretending to be busy watching Dick but they both knew better.
“Yeah, sorry. I’ll - I’ll talk to you later,” the kid said, ducking his head and rushing past them to join the party. Jason watched him go with a slight shake of his head.
“Did you know he was going to present as an Omega?”
“I had a hunch,” Bruce said, still monitoring the room.
“He isn’t transitioning well.”
“He’s better in the mask.”
Jason felt a spike of irritation. “And that’s all that matters, right?”
Bruce turned to look at him. His eyes were a very different shade of blue to Dick’s, but they were just as piercing. “Your suit Jason. Please.”
The younger man smirked, feeling a thrill of excitement when he realised he and the Bat were of a similar height. It still surprised him sometimes, the realisation that he didn’t have to crane his neck up to meet the other man’s eyes.
He found the suit, laid out neatly on the bed in the room Bruce dubbed as ‘his’. Jason changed quickly, uncomfortable being so close to all the little reminders of his life before his death. The old posters on his walls, the checkered bed sheet, the worn, blue wallpaper.
The suit fit like a glove, unsurprisingly. He had a bowtie, identical to Dick’s and Bruce. The trousers were tapered and the crimson waistcoat fit snugly against his shoulders and chest. He looked in the mirror, suitably impressed with his own reflection.
When he made his way back to the lounge he realised that Bruce was waiting for him. The older man was still staring out into the party but his posture had changed. He was visibly bristling.
Jason stepped beside him curiously, about to ask what the problem was, when he saw Luthor was attempting to herd Dick out into the gardens. Dick was smiling, his body language relaxed and inviting, but there was no mistaking the change in his scent. The omega was distressed.
“Where’s the demon spawn?” Jason asked between gritted teeth.
Bruce turned to look at him. His expression was calculating. “I had Tim pull him away.”
“Why?” Jason practically growled.
“Because I needed Luthor’s full attention on Dick.”
“Again,” Jason hissed, snarling at the older man. “Why?”
He had to give it to Bruce, the other alpha had a hell of a lot of control. Not many alphas would be able to ignore the very clear challenge rolling off Jason. “Because Dick is very good at making people lower their defenses. And he’s an even better pickpocket.”
“He’s distressed,” Jason said, his whole body shaking with the urge to react.
Bruce looked visibly surprised. “He doesn’t appear -”
“His scent is wrong,” Jason said, stepping forward. “It’s stinking up the whole room. How can you stand it?”
“Jason,” Bruce said, his voice surprisingly gentle. “I can’t smell anything.”
Jason shot the other man a surprised look before turning back to the room. Dick was nowhere to be seen.
Oh hell no.
Chapter 2: Not Yet
Booooom, new chapter :)
Luthor wasn’t exactly being subtle as he used his greater bulk to force Dick slowly across the room, but it was fine. He was looming but he wasn’t touching. Looming was OK. Dick could totally manage looming. He was fine.
“How old are you now Dick, my dear?”
“That’s a somewhat personal question, don’t you think?” Dick answered, struggling to hide his unease with a smile as Luthor linked their arms and gently tugged him onto the patio. A few people were already outside, smoking or speaking in private.
They were still in public. Everything was fine.
“You never really struck me as the vain type. Come now, don’t be coy.”
Dick noticed a younger, blonde haired man looking at them curiously. It bothered him, though it was hard to pinpoint what it was about the young man’s stare that made him so uncomfortable.
“I’m twenty-eight,” Dick said, forcing a bright smile that Lex immediately tried to emulate. “Not as young as I used to be, I’m afraid.”
“But as beautiful as ever,” Luthor said, trying for charming and coming across sleazy and entitled. Lex seemed to notice the other man’s gaze then, and his own expression darkened as he tugged Dick towards the gardens. “Come,” he outright ordered as his grip tightened to the point of pain.
Yeah, so not going to happen. Dick dug his heels in and stumbled a little as Luthor yanked on his arm, using the opportunity to pocket the other man’s wallet. “I don’t make it a habit of taking secluded walks with unfamiliar alphas Mr. Luthor,” he said, straightening and taking a step back.
People were staring at them, no doubt delighted by the potential drama about to unfold. Luthor unsurprisingly took note, bowing his head in contrition before pressing his hand against his heart in mock agony. “You wound me Mr. Grayson. Why, I’ve known you since you were a boy. I’ve had the great pleasure of watching you grow into the beautiful young man that stands before me. And yet you consider me a stranger?”
“I consider you a threat, Mr Luthor,” Dick said, smiling sweetly in a way he knew would stroke the alphas already inflated ego. “As any sensible omega might.”
“And yet you took up a profession in the police force in one of the most dangerous cities in the US. Hardly a suitable position for a sensible omega.”
Dick kept his smile in place by force of will alone. “A short and wholly uneventful career, I assure you.”
“Oh, you’ll pretend they kept you tied to a desk, will you?” Luthor asked, his tone suddenly and bewilderingly threatening. “Very well then. I can play along. And isn’t it fortunate that you weren’t present when Blüdhaven was so tragically destroyed? A mere coincidence, I’m sure.”
Dick forced down the familiar pull of guilt he felt whenever anyone mentioned Blüdhaven and raised his eyes until they were locked with Luthors. Had he been anyone else he might have succumbed to the other man’s anger. As it stood he refused to be cowed by anyone. Even someone as powerful as Lex Luthor.
He was startled when he suddenly found himself facing a broad, tuxedo covered back. He moved to put space between them before quickly recognising Jason’s familiar and wholesome scent. A small part of him was vaguely surprised to realise that his eyes only barely reached the other man’s shoulders. When had he grown so tall?
“Luthor,” Jason greeted, his tone dripping with challenge. When Luthor looked over his shoulder at Dick Jason actually puffed himself up, bizarrely trying to hide Dick from the other man’s gaze.
Luthor, in contrast, merely seemed amused. “Ah, you’re part of Bruce’s little brood aren’t you. What was your name again? John, James?”
“It’s Jason,” Dick said, stepping beside his brother and throwing him a pointed look. Jason was exhibiting all the signs of a postering alpha and it bothered him. In fact, between the two of them, Dick had had about as much testosterone as he could stomach. He had what Bruce wanted. It was time to go. “You’ll have to excuse his manners. He doesn’t get out much.”
“So I can see,” Luthor grinned, causing Jason to honest to god growl.
“If you’ll pardon us,” Dick said, grabbing his brother’s arm before he could cause a full out alpha brawl. “It was...pleasant speaking with you Mr Luthor.”
“Likewise, Mr Grayson,” Luthor said, stepping back with a small bow before turning to the young blonde man who was still watching them.
Dick hesitated before he gave Jason’s arm a gentle tug, leading him back into the main ballroom. “You want to tell me what all that was about?” Dick asked, allowing some of his frustration to creep into his tone.
“You were distressed,” Jason said, his green eyes intense as he stared down at the smaller man.
Had he been? Sure, he was a little stressed. There was no denying that Luthor made him uneasy, but Dick had spent his life dealing with the big and the bad. He didn’t scare easy and he thought he had pretty good control over his stress responses. He decided he would seek Tim out later for an unbiased opinion. “Maybe a little, but not enough to need rescuing,” he finally said, releasing his brothers arm when he spotted Bruce. “You may have forgotten, but I have been doing this quite a bit longer than you, Little Wing.” He tapped the younger man gently on the nose with a grin before spinning around and making his way over to B.
He didn’t need rescuing. Jason knew that. Or at least the non-lizard part of his brain knew that. But watching Luthor touch what was his -
Not mine, he told himself firmly. Dick didn’t belong to him. Hell, the other man would probably try to kick his ass if he realised what Jason was even thinking.
And yet -
“Drake seems to think you can’t take your eyes off Richard. I’m beginning to agree with him.”
“What?” Jason said, his voice embarrassingly high as he turned to the demon spawn. “I mean, what?”
The brat grinned, clearly delighted. “You’re staring at Richard. All of the time.”
“He’s nice to look at,” Jason said, deciding there was nothing wrong with being honest. Especially not to a little alpha in the making.
Damian paused, momentarily surprised before turning to look at the omega. His eyes lingered, his expression becoming troubled before he turned back to Jason. “I do not see the appeal. He’s Richard.”
“Give it a few more years,” Jason said, following Dick as the older man moved away from Bruce and approached a pack of young women, one of which was tall and had long red hair. They started cooing at him the moment they laid eyes on him.
“A lot of people stare at him,” Damian noted, his tone curious as though a brand new world had just opened up to him.
“Because he’s beautiful,” Jason said, admiring the other man’s lithe form and graceful movements. “It’s only natural.” Although he had to admit it irritated him that other people were looking at what he was quickly starting to think of as his.
As if sensing he was being watched Dick turned around to look at Jason.
No, not his.
Chapter 3: The Show
Thanks for the comments and kudos so far. Much appreciated :)
Bruce approached Dick slowly, plastering on a smile as the group of people surrounding him went deathly quiet and turned to stare at the encroaching alpha. They were all omegas, Bruce realised, made up of the wives and daughters of the elite. No males though, which wasn’t so odd given their rarity. Still, it surprised him that Dick was socialising with them. The young man usually avoided the omega elitists at all costs, preferring to spend time with the various groups of friends he had littered all over the country instead.
“Excuse me ladies, I’m afraid I have to steal Dick away for a moment,” he looked pointedly to the younger man, who made his goodbyes with his usual charm. They were quiet for a moment, until Bruce couldn't hold back his curiosity any longer. “What was that about?” he muttered, steering him towards a secluded corner.
“What was what?” Dick asked, blinking innocently up at him.
“You’re not usually in the habit of socialising at these galas Dick. What are you up to?”
The omega broke out into a full and familiar grin. “Keeps alphas away, doesn’t it?”
“Excuse me?” Bruce asked, genuinely surprised
“A group of omegas, that tightly packed, is hardly inviting. Even you looked a little wary coming over.”
Bruce decided to drop the matter for the time being. “You have it then?” he asked, pressing a glass of champagne into the younger man’s hand. Dick wrinkled his nose but took a small sip anyway before pressing his hand against his breast.
“Piece of cake,” he said, smiling brightly as he fished out a wallet and passed it over to Bruce.
“Good job,” he said, hesitating before taking a step closer, noticing the way Dick’s eyes widened in surprise as the older man scented him.
“Um, everything OK?” Dick asked, amusement clear in his tone.
“Jason, he said -”
“That I was distressed?” Dick finished, frowning slightly. “Don’t tell me you could smell it too?”
“Did you feel distressed?” Bruce asked, watching Dick’s confusion grow.
“Not really. I mean I wasn’t comfortable. It’s Lex Luthor. The guy would give anyone the creeps. But I felt in control.”
“I couldn’t smell anything,” Bruce admitted, feeling a new sort of curiosity when he noticed Dick’s growing agitation. “Have you spoken to Tim?”
“Not yet,” Dick admitted, taking a deeper drink of champagne. "I intend to though, later." He gave his head a small shake. "So, do you need me for anything else?”
“You’ve done enough,” Bruce said, turning back to the room with an inward eyeroll. “Shall we?”
“Seriously, you want me to go back out there? I thought I’d done my part Bruce. Be merciful, let me go.”
The pitiful tone was clearly meant to amuse Bruce. He gave the younger man a pointed look before gesturing to the room. “It’s for the greater good, Dick.”
“You just want me to persuade people to donate to the Wayne foundation,” Dick grumbled, settling his empty glass aside as they reentered the party. “Pah, watch me work.”
The moment Dick stepped away from him Bruce found Luthor making his way across the room towards him. Bruce buried his distaste and held his hand out to the other alpha. They shook briefly before Luthor gestured towards Dick’s retreating form.
“Hell of a boy you have there Bruce,” he said, in way of a greeting.
“You mean Dick?” Bruce asked, fighting to keep the growl from his tone as he tracked the other man’s gaze. “He’s hardly a boy anymore.”
Luthor hummed non-committedly. “Have you received many proposals for him?”
Straight to the point. You had to admire that about Luthor. “I don’t presume to own Dick. If someone tries to make a proposal I tell them all the same thing.”
“That they need to go to Dick directly.”
“A very forward thinking reaction,” Luthor responded, sounding displeased. “You are his registered alpha though?”
“Since the day I took him in,” Bruce said, disliking the way Luthor’s gaze lingered on his eldest.
“So you do technically have the last say over who he ends up with?”
“Technically,” Bruce agreed. “But I wouldn’t ever make the decision for him.”
“And if he decides to stay unmated for the duration of his life?”
“It’s his decision to make,” Bruce said and there was no disguising the growl this time.
Luthor smiled in response. The man faced Superman on a regular basis. There wasn’t any reason for him to be afraid of Bruce Wayne.
“I intend to court him,” he admitted.
Bruce’s lips pulled back over his teeth. “As I said before, it’s his decision if he want to accept your courtship offer.”
“Oh I’m sure he will,” Luthor said, flashing his own teeth in a parody of a smile. “I can be very persuasive.”
Dick approached Tim from behind and threw his arm over the kid’s shoulder. Tim just smiled up at him before looking back down at Damian.
“Luthor is staring at you again,” Damian said, his face twisted into a scowl as he stared daggers across the room.
Dick just smiled. “Let him look all he wants. So, how are you two holding up?”
“I’ve had my cheeks squeezed at least five times," Tim said, pulling a face. “A nice beta lady tried to squeeze Damian's cheek. I thought he was going to break her hand.”
Dick swallowed a laugh. “What did you do Damian?”
“I told her to keep her hands to herself, otherwise I would permanently remove them.” The boy had the decency to look sheepish. “It was a jerk reaction.”
“Uh huh,” Dick ruffled the kid’s hair. “Well done for not carrying through. I guess,” he looked around the room thoughtfully. “Has anyone seen Jason?”
“He’s in that corner over there,” Damian said, indicating a shadowed corner with a nod of his head. “He is also staring at you.”
Dick shared a look with Tim, who rolled his eyes in agitation.
“Don’t worry about it,” Dick said, lowering his head until he could whisper in the younger man’s ear. “They don’t usually mean to, but alphas are really creepy sometimes.”
“So I’m learning,” Tim said, sounding a little miserable.
“You having any issues little brother?” Dick asked, wrapping his arms more firmly around the younger man. Tim leaned into his, pressing his nose into Dick’s throat and releasing a happy grunt.
“It’s confusing,” Tim said, sounding a little miserable.
“What is?” he asked.
“I hope i’m not an omega,” Damian piped up cheerfully. “I really don’t think I would enjoy all the staring and cooing. It’s infuriating.”
Dick looked up and realised that a lot of people were staring at him and Tim. Dick definitely heard the words cute and adorable being loudly whispered. The crowd clearly saw two male omega embracing and thought it was adorable.
“So,” Damian said, clearly bemused by the whole situation. “Who wants to escape and go out on patrol?”
“I’m in,” Dick said immediately. He had definitely done his part for the night. He wanted out.
“Yeah,” Tim said, grabbing Dick’s hand and tugging him back to the lounge area. “Let’s get out of here.”
Chapter 4: Unwelcome
A tiny chapter!
“Race you,” Damian called, shoving Tim aside and leaping across a six foot wide gap between buildings. He landed in a somersault and took off at a dead run.
“He is so immature,” Tim said,
rolling his eyes and looking for all the world like the poster child for disgruntled teenagers everywhere.
“Totally,” Dick agreed solemnly before leaning into the kids space and gently poking him in the forehead. “Also Tag, you're it.”
“You have got to be kidding me,” Tim shouted with a laugh as Dick took off after Damian.
Jason watched Tim look up at the sky before chasing after them. He hesitated for a beat before he decided he wanted to play too. He took out a bolah and threw it at the kid's legs, feeling a thrum of satisfaction when the replacement went down with a strangled yelp.
“Gotta be quicker than that bird brain,” Jason mocked, jumping over the fallen boy and sprinting until he was level with Dick and the demon.
“Boys,” he said in way of greeting.
Dick grinned at him, showing a row of pretty white teeth that transformed his face, even with half of it covered up with a domino mask.
Damian however was not quite so cordial. “So you've decided to show yourself at last. You’re stalking was becoming tiresome Todd.”
Jason didn't get the opportunity to respond because the replacement had finally untangled himself and caught up to them.
Dick’s laughter was like a bell as he jumped easily out of the way. Tim was laughing too as he managed to grab the demon spawn's cape and graze his arm.
“Tag, you're it.”
The demon turned to Jason and smiled at him in what was quite possibly the most terrifying show of teeth the older man had ever seen. And that was really saying something considering he was once murdered by the joker.
“Don't look so worried Hood. I'll even give you a five second head start.”
Jason threw him a mock salute and chased after Dick. The smaller man saw him coming and grabbed hold of a pipe that he used to propel himself onto a higher balcony. He leaned over the side, pressing his cheek against his open palm with exaggerated casualness.
“Better keep going,” Dick advised, pointing at the next roof. “Robin’s got your ticket.”
Jason turned just in time to see the kid launch himself in their direction. Swearing, Jason copied Dick’s move with the pipe, drawing himself up with a lot less grace than the omega but managing to reach the balcony with a small stumble.
“If I'm caught you better believe I'm coming after you,” he said, almost chest to chest with the older man.
It was a little odd, being so close to Dick and not being able to scent him. They all used blockers. It was essential to ensure their secret identities were upheld, not to mention what could happen to Dick and Tim if the bad guys found out about their designations.
Still, despite knowing it was necessary to keep them all safe he didn't like it. Dicks scent let him know if the other man was happy, anxious, hurt. Without it Jason could only guess. It left him on edge.
Dick was smiling as if he knew exactly what Jason was thinking. He leaned back a little, showing the long line of his throat in a subconscious show of submission when suddenly they heard a piercing cry for help.
Dick was moving before Jason registered the cry had come from Damian. He jumped after the older man, chasing after him when he came to an abrupt stop at the omegas shoulder.
He sucked in a deep breath, pushing down his panic as he took in the site of Robin on his knees, his head drawn back and a knife at his throat.
The joker held the knife.
Chapter 5: Seeing
Pow! New chapter. Sorry it's so short but I am a busy lady!
“Well look who decided to join the party,” the Joker cackled as his knife bit into the kid’s throat, causing a few drops of Damian’s shockingly red blood to drop on his corpse white hand. “It’s so wonderful you decided to show. For a while I thought I might have been stood up. But here you are, alive and kicking. I dare say I’ve even missed you whilst I’ve been away. But never fear. I’m back now.”
He was going to kill him. The Joker was going to kill another Robin and there wasn’t anything Jason could do.
“Hood,” Dick said in a worryingly soft tone. His hand traced lightly over Jason’s arm, trying to gain his attention. “He’s not alone.”
Jason had been so intent on the Joker that he’d failed to see his accomplices. When he did his heart went into overdrive. Catwoman, Harley and Bane. What were they doing together? He reacted without thinking, grabbing Dick by his neck and dragging him backwards. Dick released a small snarl in response, shaking free and stepping back into place beside the younger man.
He shot Jason a hard look. “Control yourself. Damian’s the priority,” he said before turning back to their adversaries.
Jason realised what he had done a few seconds too late. Of course the little scene hadn’t gone unnoticed. Jesus, what was wrong with him? What was it about Dick that sent his instincts into overdrive?
“Nghhh, will you look at that,” Catwoman simpered, stepping closer to the Joker as she purposefully unleashed her claws. “The big bad Hood is awfully protective of the pretty bird. I wonder why.”
“He must be confused,” the Joker responded with a shrug, the movement causing the knife to bite even deeper into Damian’s throat. “Robin here is the one that’s about to receive a new mouth hole.”
The Daemon Spawn swore at the Joker in a way that in any other situation would have left him laughing and Dick scolding. As it was Jason just wanted to tell the kid to shut up and go limp. There wasn’t anything the Joker enjoyed more that destroying a person’s spirit.
He saw the Jokers hand shake as he barely resisted the urge to strike. No way would Jason reach them before that knife opened the kid up. Not enough time. There was never enough time.
“Caught him by the nape too…” Bane noted. He left the sentence go unfinished but it only took a moment for the Joker’s eyes to widen in understanding.
“Oh – ohhh no. That is too good. Don’t tell me –“
“What do you want?” Dick interrupted, his voice strong and confident despite the fact that Jason had just given him away for everyone to fucking see. His eyes were locked with the Jokers, strong and unblinking. And why wouldn’t they be? Dick had been trading blows with the maniac before he was old enough to shave. Of course he wouldn’t back down.
“Where’s the other one?” Harley suddenly piped up in that ridiculous accent. Her sweet omega scent stood out strongly amidst so many Alphas, but there was something off about it. She made his nose twitch. “The little red one with the smart mouth? Where’d he go?”
The replacement. He wasn’t here. Which meant he was likely finding backup.
“Ohhhh. Daddy Bats on his way,” the Joker sang, his gaze still unnervingly locked on Dick in a way that made Jason want to tear his head off.
Why the fuck was he looking at Dick like that?
“Looks like we’re going to need to hurry this along,” Catwoman announced, pulling out a syringe and stepping up to Damian. She plunged the needle into his arm before anyone could react and the kid collapsed in a matter of seconds.
“What was that?” Dick demanded, his voice finally tinged with a hint of panic. “What did you do?”
“Which one?” Catwoman asked, throwing Dick a salacious wink before completely ignoring them in favour of the Joker.
“Nightwing,” the Joker answered, his eyes still locked on Dick as he released Damian, letting the kid crumple into the dirt at his feet. “Bring me Daddy Bats favourite little birdie.”
Chapter 6: Wanted
And POW again. Your comments inspired me so I've written another chapter :)
Dick started moving, throwing himself aside as a bullet blasted the spot where he’d just been standing. He backed up, shooting a quick look at Jason. The other man looked murderous.
Harley had her gun aimed, about to take another shot when the Joker smacked it out of her hand.
“Don’t kill him you idiot,” he snarled.
“But you said –“
“I’ve changed my mind,” the Joker snapped, still staring at Dick in a way that made his insides turn to ice. “I want him alive.”
No question why. Not after Jason’s little stunt. Not that he'd helped matters, he thought furiously. If he had reacted with aggression they never would have realised. They wouldn’t have even suspected.
Bruce was going to kill him.
That was if Catwoman didn’t beat him to it, he thought a little frantically as he barely avoided a fist to the face. Dick wasn’t quite fast enough to escape the woman’s claws, releasing a bitten off hiss of pain as her nails raked across his chest. The breastplate took the brunt of the damage but she still managed to snag his chest. It hurt.
And she kept coming. Dick flipped backwards, using a foothold to launch himself onto a higher balcony. He needed to move away from the main group and give himself some space. He kept climbing and she just kept coming. He reached a new rooftop, moving backwards at a measured pace as he pulled his escrima sticks free and dropped down into a protective stance.
“Running away?” She mocked, following him with ease. “What about the baby psychopath? You’re not going to just abandon him are you?”
Logically he knew there was nothing he could do help Damian until he dealt with Catwoman. He needed to gain control of the situation. Then…then he would do everything possible to reach his little brother.
“Just finding us some space. I know how you like to dance Selina,” he bowed playfully. “Tempted?”
“Only if I get to lead,” she laughed, very purposefully looking him up and down. “Not that I expect that would be too much of an issue.”
“How could I ever say know to a pretty lady,” Dick said, refusing to take the bait.
“Speaking of, I always thought you were far too pretty for an alpha,” Selina continued, her tone as flirtatious as ever as she pulled out that damn whip of hers. “A beta maybe?” she tilted her to the side, studying him until a slow smile curved her full lips into a sly smile. “But no. You’re far too special to just be a boring old beta, aren’t you treasure?”
“Why do you care?” Dick asked neutrally, rolling the balls of his feet as he waited for her to attack.
“Because it’s interesting. That’s why. All this time,” she said, drawing back her hand. “And I never knew,” she snapped the whip, testing. Dick ducked easily under its reach. “Excuse me for showing my prejudice, but why in the hell did daddy bat allow you to run around the city all this time? He’s not one of these free choice hippies is he?”
Dick rushed forward and swept her legs out from under her, silently cursing when she used the momentum to twist into a clean handstand before landing in a smooth crouch. They stood facing one another for a tense moment.
“Don’t worry pet,” she cooed. “I’ll be gentle.”
Jason swept under Bane’s impressive arms and shot his gun directly at the Jokers head. The other man squawked, ducking with surprising agility before grabbing Harley and using her as a human shield. He dragged her over to Damian, pushed her aside and picked the kid up by his hair, exchanging one shield for another.
Son of a goddamn bitch.
He didn’t get the opportunity to respond because Bane was on him, moving with the sort of agility that just wasn’t natural for a man his size. He grabbed Jason by both of his arms and threw him like he weighed absolutely fucking nothing.
He sailed through the air for a couple of seconds before he hit a wall with enough force to steal all of his air. He tried to gain his feet but it took him a few seconds and Bane wasn’t willing to give him the opportunity to catch his breath.
The big man charged him, no doubt preparing to tear Jason apart with his inhumanly huge hands. Jason hadn’t had that may encounters with Bane but he’d heard enough from his brothers to be wary enough to keep his distance. If the other man wasn’t willing to keep away then Jason would just have to resort to playing dirty.
“Yikes, right in the royal jewels,” the Joker cackled as Bane collapsed next to Jason with a pained grunt.
He was only down for a second but it was enough time for Jason to gain his feet. He drew back his gun, preparing to shoot Bane when Dick came out of fucking nowhere and knocked his hand away at the last second. The bullet missed Banes head but caught his arm.
“No killing,” Dick hissed, pulling Jason back as Bane got slowly to his feet. Dick was bleeding, his lip split open. He was hunched over too, clearly hurt.
Jason realised he was growling.
“So,” the joker asked conversationally as he hoisted Damian closer. “Are you two an item or what?”
Dick released an unhappy huff of breath before shoving Jason so hard that the younger man nearly lost his footing. It was just in time too, because Harley was apparently about to brain him with a goddamn hammer.
“I will take this one,” Bane said, his voice pretty measured considering he had a hole in his arm and what had to be some seriously bruised nuts. Jason turned to face him head on and had to bite down a whine. Bane was a hell of a lot taller and bigger than he had been seconds before. Looked like the other man had decided to let his venom kick in.
Which was a little unsettling, considering Jason thought he was already juiced up.
“OK, everyone just hold your horses,” the Joker called out, his voice jovial. “This has been fun and all but I’m aware the other bird has contacted Daddy and we’re running out of time. I’m not in the mood for his sourpuss today so I’m going to need you to both surrender,” when Jason and Dick just stared at him the Jokers usual jovial tone turned to acid. “I mean it, bat brats. Back down, otherwise I’m going to shoot baby bird here in the head.”
He jostled the kid, pressing the gun against his forehead. His smile was manic.
Jason felt something cold and long dead rise up inside him at the threat. His hand clenched around his gun.
“Don’t,” Dick said, easing up and away from Harley with his hands held high. “There isn’t any reason to hurt him.” He looked briefly to Jason before facing the Joker again. “Just tell us what you want?”
“I thought I already did,” the Joker all but purred.
“Like fucking hell,” Jason snarled, stepping forward.
“Ah-ah Hoody. One more step and Bats is going to have to find himself a new replacement.”
Jason saw white. He was moving before his brain could catch up with his actions. He was going to kill him. He was going to fucking murder him.
Chapter 7: Don't
Merry fucking Christmas! Don't celebrate? Well then happy fucking holidays :)
Dick had a split second to react. Jason was going to attack the Joker. The Joker had a gun pressed against Damian’s head. The joker was going to kill Damian.
He threw an escrima stick at the back of Jason’s leg. The younger man stumbled to one knee, snarling as he immediately struggled back to his feet. Dick was about to throw the next stick at his thick head when a batarang appeared out of the shadows, effectively knocking the gun out of the jokers hand and causing everyone to freeze.
Dick felt a smile pull at the corner of his lips seconds before Batman dropped down directly in front of Jason, facing the Joker. “Drop him,” he growled, his alpha tone so strong that it made something inside Dick internally bristle.
Harley felt it too, retreating back as her eyes scanned the rooftop for an escape route. The Joker just shook with laughter, throwing Damian aside like a piece of trash as he threw his hands in the air in mock surrender. “Look who joined the party,” he cackled before his expression turned eerily serious. “Except last I checked you weren’t on the invitation list Bats.”
Bane immediately charged Batman. Dick turned his back to them, confident Bruce could handle himself as he rushed to Damian’s side. He scooped the boy up in his arms before slowly backing away. The kid was worryingly still but he was breathing regularly. He didn’t look hurt but Dick couldn’t help but worry what they’d injected him with.
“Go,” Jason said, growling as he turned back to the Joker and drew a goddamn hatchet. “We’ve got this.”
Despite himself Dick hesitated. He didn’t want to leave them but he needed to get Damian to safety. He warred with himself for a few seconds before shifting Damian over his shoulder and running in the opposite direction.
He passed Tim on his way. The younger man was engaged with a fight with Catwoman, who when she saw Dick threw him a cheeky wave before trying to kick Tim in the head. His brother dodged and threw an impressive roundhouse kick of his own that caught Selina in the stomach.
Dick kept going, confident that his little brother could handle himself. He opened his com. “I need a pick up.”
“Use the Batmobile,” Bruce ordered before Oracle or Alfred could respond.
“Affirmative,” Dick said, slightly concerned by the heavy way Bruce was breathing. “Is everything OK?”
“Go,” Bruce and Jason snarled at the same moment.
Well OK then.
“So are they all omegas?” The Joker asked, grinning up at B as he lashed the lunatics arms behind his back. “Is that a requirement of the job? Is that was you had the Nutwing running around in panties when he was a chickling?”
Jason pulled out his gun. Bats did not look pleased.
“Put it away.”
Jason decided to as he was told. For now.
The Joker looked at Jason and his expression turned sour. “No, not all of them. Not that one at least. Too big and way too ugly.”
Jason was a fucking adonis, fuck you very much.
“Do you do the dirty with him Bats?” The Joker asked, entirely unconcerned with the death glare B suddenly turned on him. “What, can’t take a little harmless Alpha chat? Or are you just a bit of a prude? Figures I guess. A massive stick in the mud and a prude. Not much fun,” the Joker’s eyes turned from B and moved behind him. Something dark flickered across his acid green eyes. “You’ve got a pretty mouth. Not as pretty as bitchwing but definitely nice to look at. What are you then?”
He was looking at Tim. To give him his due the replacement didn’t react other than tie Harley up a little tighter.
“Can we please gag him?” Jason asked. He didn’t wait for an answer before ripping off and shredding the jokers sleeve. He forced some of it in his mouth and tied the rest around his head, lodging it in place.
There was a beat of silence and then Damian's voice sounded over the com. “I am well father.”
Bruce’s shoulders relaxed very slightly.
“We’re on our way back,” Dick said. “Are you OK?”
“Bane and Catwoman escaped. We have the Joker and Harley subdued. No one was hurt.”
“Good,” Dick said and he sounded truly relieved. “We’ll be there is five minutes.”
“Batman out,” B said, before turning to look at Jason. “Don’t go anywhere. We have some things we need to discuss.”
Great. Fucking great.
Weirdly the chewing out he received from B didn’t do much other than piss him off. Like really and truly piss him off.
And now, predictably, it was Dick’s turn.
“What were you thinking?” Dick demanded, furious and very clearly near the end of his usually impressive control. “Do you have any idea what you’ve done?”
“Of course I do,” Jason answered. There wasn’t any point in denying it. He had let his instincts take over and now Dick was comprised. It was all his fucking fault. “I’m sorry. I know that means fuck all but really Dick. I am so sorry.”
The smaller man looked up at the sky, placing his fingers on the bridge of his nose and releasing a deep breath. He stayed that way for a long moment before turning back to Jason. Their eyes locked and something in Dick’s expression softened. “What has got into you Little Wing? You can’t just go around grabbing me like that. Even if we weren’t suited up you know it’s not OK.”
“You were in danger.” Jason said, more earnestly than he’d intended.
Jason thought his eyes were going to pop out of his head. “I can’t just let you get hurt.”
“ I’m Nightwing. I’m always in danger. Part of the job Hood.”
“I know,” Jason trailed his fingers through his hair in frustration. “It was just, after the party and the way Luthor had his hands all over you, I just couldn’t stand it. I had to keep you safe.”
Dick’s gorgeous fucking eyes narrowed before blowing wide. “Oh,” he said as if that explained everything. And then “Oh.”
Fuck, he knew. He’d figured it out.
And of course his expression morphed into one of unbridled pity.
“Don’t,” the other man snarled, stepping too close into Dick’s personal space and taking way too much satisfaction in the way he tensed up. “Don’t you dare fucking say it to me.”
“I’m sorry,” Dick whispered and to his credit he really did sound sorry. “I didn’t realise Jason. I didn’t know.”
“Of course you didn’t,” Jason snarled right in Dick’s pretty face. The other man took a small step back. It was enough. It made Jason feel powerful. He was bigger, stronger. He was an alpha. “You’re oblivious to everything that doesn’t revolve around the damn costume. Why the fuck should you notice the long line of people pinning after you. Why should you care? Fuck me Golden Boy, you could have any of us and anytime you damn well please. Isn’t that right?” He grabbed Dick by his luscious hair and dragged his head back. A small part of his brain was screaming at him to stop. To let him go and beg for forgiveness before he fucked things up beyond repair. But he just couldn’t make himself stop. “Or maybe you do know. Maybe you know exactly what you’re doing. Maybe you just love the attention. Huh? Is that it? You little bitc-“
He should have been expecting it a lot earlier, all things considered. Even so being on the receiving end of one of Nightwing’s face kicks really fucking hurt. And how the hell did he even manage to twist his leg at into that ridiculous fucking angle?
“Fuck,” he snarled, stumbling back but not letting go of Dick’s hair. Not until the other man jabbed him so hard in the ribs he was sure he heard something crack. “Motherfucker –“
“As if you don’t deserve a lot worse,” Dick yelled, falling back into a defensive stance. “Now calm the hell down. You’re working yourself into a rage.”
And it was true, Jason realised with a start. The stress of putting Dick in danger was affecting his ability to think straight. It was making the pit take over. He needed to gain control before he did something unexcusable.
“I need to leave,” he said, pulling on the hood and stepping back.
“Wait,” Dick said urgently and there was definite panic in his eyes. “You don’t need to go. Just calm down OK. We can work through this together.”
“No,” Jason said, unable to stand the pity in Dick’s eyes. “We can’t.”
Chapter 8: Persistence
Happpppy New Year :)
Dick was tired. His side hurt from where Selina had kicked him and he was pretty sure his ribs were badly bruised. He wanted to reach his spectacularly messy loft, collapse on his unmade bed and sleep for a week straight.
He made his weary way upstairs, grimacing slightly as each step jarred his side. He was reaching for his keys when a soft cough sounded directly behind him. It was proof of his clear exhaustion that he didn’t notice sooner. He wasn’t proud of himself but he jumped violently, which made his already painful ribs twinge in discomfort. He couldn’t quite choke back a groan of pain.
“RIchard, do you require assistance?”
“Mr Luthor,” Dick gasped, spinning around to face the billionaire with wide eyes. He immediately stumbled back when the other man stepped towards him, his back hitting the door with a dull thud. “What are you doing here?” he demanded, unable to hide his shock at seeing one of the most powerful men in the world outside his loft door.
Luthor looked surprised and he realised the other man was used to Dick being unfailingly polite and polished in his presence. Well too bad because Dick felt like warmed up crap and wasn’t ready to play make believe in his own home.
Luthor seemed to recover quickly, smiling seductively as he leaned a little further into Dicks space. Creepy. “Our talk was rudely interrupted by your associate earlier. I thought we might continue our chat. However, you seem to have experienced some trauma since we last met,” his eyes trailed over Dick as he blatantly scented the younger man. He frowned slightly when he realised he couldn’t catch Dick’s scent. “Are you well?” he asked, his tone laced with concern.
“I’m fine,” Dick lied, acutely aware that he was alone with a powerful and interested alpha. Luthor’s beliefs were archaic enough that it was a bit of shock that he was breaking tradition and not trying to deal with Bruce directly. It was a little disconcerting if he was honest with himself. Luthor wasn’t just some knothead alpha that he could tell to back off. The man was powerful and very dangerous. “I hope you’ll excuse me but I’m really not in the mood to chat right now. I’m pretty tired and -”
“Your alpha explained to me that he has given you the freedom to choose your own partner,” Luthor interrupted, not giving Dick the space he so desperately wanted. “An extremely modern outlook I’m sure.”
Dick realised his mouth was hanging open and promptly closed it. “Look, Mr Luthor. I’m flattered. I really am, but I’m not interested in -”
“You told me yourself that you’re already twenty-eight. That’s quite the age to still be unclaimed Richard.”
A small part of Dick wanted to punch the condescension out of Luthor. However, a much larger part of Dick couldn’t help but feel Lex was being ridiculous. Dick knew the other man was traditional but he never knew the other man was from the stoneage.
“Like you said,” Dick said, ignoring the twinge in his ribs as he straightened up to his full height and met the other man's vivid green eyes. “I have the freedom to choose who I please, but you fail to realise that I also have the right not to choose anyone if I don’t want to. I’m not a walking expiry date Mr Luthor, and even if I was I wouldn’t rush into a relationship with the first alpha who showed me some attention.”
Whilst Dick was speaking he managed to fumble his keys out of his pocket and turn the lock on his door. He heard a soft click and pushed the door open behind him. Part of him wondered if the other man would follow him into the room but Luthor only growled very slightly before taking a small step back.
“I had no allusion that you would simply fall swooning into my arms Richard. I’m a patient man. I can wait until your ready.”
Dick was too tired to deal with the other man any longer. “Good night Mr Luthor,” he said, stepping backwards into his loft and shutting the door in the alphas face.
Jason smelled Luthor’s lingering scent the moment he reached Dick’s door. He debated kicking it in and rushing inside to make sure the omega was OK before common sense kicked in and he reminded himself that Dick was nightwing. He wasn’t helpless.
Nevertheless he knocked a little harder than strictly necessary. He heard movement on the other side of the door and then Dick pulled it open with a faint scowl. The omega was wearing a low hanging pair of checkered pajama bottoms and absolutely nothing else. His hair was tousled and his scent was sleepy and sweet.
He looked fucking...fuckable.
“Jason, what time is it?”
“I don’t know. Early, or late depending on whether or not you’ve been asleep yet. Which I haven’t,” he brushed past Dick, letting himself in the apartment with familiar ease. He kicked off his shoes, hung up his coat and collapsed on Dick’s messy sofa.
“Just make yourself at home,” Dick said with a wry smile as he followed Jason into his sitting room. He hesitated for a moment before dropping onto the sofa beside Jason, very lightly leaning into the other man. “I’m kinda surprised you're here. Glad, but surprised.”
“I wanted to apologise,” Jason said, deciding to rip the bandaid off instead of torturing himself. It was Dick after all. Dick always forgave everyone for fucking everything. “I fucked up. I never should have -” he trailed off, unsure how to finish, especially because of the way Dick was looking at him. Fuck, he just wanted to cover the other man in his scent and scar his pretty unblemished neck so no one, especially assholes like Luthor, ever touched him again.
He wanted to touch, to scent, to -
“Jason,” Dick said, his voice slightly strained. Jason forced himself to concentrate on the older man. “Little Wing, I don’t want you to get angry at me but I can’t do -” he gestured between them, somewhat helplessly. “You’re my little brother.”
“We’re not blood,” Jason said immediately.
“I know that,” Dick said, running his fingers through his hair in agitation. “But it doesn’t change the way I feel. I’m don’t think of you that way Jason. I’m sorry, but I don’t think I can.”
“Sure you can,” Jason said, wrapping his arm around Dick’s shoulders and pulling the other man more firmly against his side. “You’re the most amazing man I’ve ever met. You can do anything.”
Dick huffed against his chest but didn’t try to pull away. Dick loved to hug. Despite how much the other man fought the more traditional stereotypes of his secondary gender he was as tactile as hell. Coupled with the fact that he was a little beat up it only took a few seconds before he practically melted into the embrace.
Jason’s eyelids were just begining to droop when the smaller man’s voice startled him back to full wakefulness.
“I don’t want to hurt you Little WIng.”
“Don’t worry about me Dickiebird,” Jason said, trying to be subtle as he breathed in Dick’s enticing scent. “I’ve experienced a lot worse than a little rejection. I’ll live.”
“I seem to be pretty popular lately,” he muttered, almost too quietly for Jason to hear.
“Luthor?” he asked, trying to sound casual. Dick could look after himself. He had to keep telling himself that.
“Yeah,” Dick said unhappily. “And he strikes me as the persistent type.”
Chapter 9: Frustration
B, and by default Damian, seemed determined to dog Dick’s every step. It was bad enough when he was in his civvies and Bruce inadvertently went into protective mode but it was beginning to wear on him how much they just happened to keep bumping into him whenever he was on patrol.
Because yes, news had inevitably got out about Dick’s designation and every asshole in Gotham had made it their personal quest to say the most degrading things imaginable to him. A few of the dumber ones even attempted to carry out their threats.
If anything his already damaged reputation was being further tarnished everytime his Bat-dad went out of his way to defend Dick’s honour. Dick was pretty pissed about the whole thing. He would have taken quite a lot of pleasure wiping the smug look of their faces, if Bruce, and more often than not Little D, didn’t feel the need to step in on his behalf. Because apparently, they didn’t like hearing people talk to Dick in that way.
“You realise I deal with this crap everyday B?” Dick asked, deciding it was time to confront the older man when he bumped into Dick for the third night in a row. “Seriously, like every single day. People take one sniff and it’s like their mouth to brain filter malfunctions. And guess what? I’m fine. Because, surprise surprise, I can actually handle myself.”
Bruce’s jaw ticked. “I’ve never heard anyone say-”
“Of course you haven’t,” Dick interrupted incredulously. “No one’s going to start mouthing off in front of your face B. I mean, geez.”
Damian apparently found that quite amusing and snickered.
“And you,” Dick said, turning to his youngest sibling. “Just because you think you’re going to present as an alpha doesn’t mean you will. Consider how you’d feel if you were me.”
The smirk melted into a look of indignation. “I am going to present as an alpha!”
“You don’t know that Robin. And why do you look so horrified by the idea? Are you saying you’re too good to be an omega?”
Damian suddenly seemed incredibly interested in his shoes. “No, of course not. You know how much I respect you, Nightwing.”
“It isn’t because we think your weak Nightwing,” Bruce said, ignoring his son as he turned back to Dick. “You’re just vulnerable right now.”
“More vulnerable than when I was a kid?” Dick demanded angrily. “When I was half the size and had half the experience? Damn it, B, I’ve been on my own for years. I’m not helpless.”
“When you were a boy we were together. I was there to watch your back. It’s not like that anymore and I worry -”
“I’m a goddamn grown man. I’ve been doing this for a hell of a long time and just because the dirtbags in this city have learnt I’ve got some extra plumbing it doesn’t make me weak. So back off.”
Dick left without waiting for a response. He was almost out of earshot when he heard Damian speak.
“Father, I’m not going to present as an omega am I?”
Predictably Dick’s morning followed a similar pattern as the previous evening. In so much that it sucked.
“Mr Luthor,” Dick said, keeping his tone flat as he waited for the other man to move aside so he could leave his apartment.
“Dick, good morning. I wondered if I could tempt you to accompany me for breakfast. There’s an excellent deli just -”
“Thank you but I have plans,” Dick said, trying not to consider a hundred ways he could physically push Luthor aside and just leave. “If you’ll excuse me.”
“Lunch then?” Luthor insisted. “Dinner?”
“Mr Luthor -”
“Call me Lex, please.”
“Lex,” Richard allowed unwillingly. “I’m sorry. I thought I made myself clear before. I’m really not interested in pursuing a relationship. I’m sorry but -”
“Is there someone else?”
Dick released a frustrated breath. “Please, let me past.”
“There is, isn’t there? Is it that brute that was following you around before?”
It appeared Luthor didn’t understand the polite version of go away. Dick decided to switch tactics. “Don’t you have a billion dollar company to run? I mean, aren’t you like, busy?” he made a shooing gesture with his hands. “Cause, I’m sorry to say this but I’m kinda bored and I really need to get going. So if you don’t mind?” another shooing gesture. “Please move.”
Luthor didn't move. If anything his smile just widened. “You’re trying to put me off with rudeness”
Dick grinned at him. “Is it working?”
“OK. I didn’t want to pull the gender card but you’ve forced my hand. You’re making me uncomfortable. I’ve asked you to move aside several times and you’ve refused. If you don’t leave immediately I’m going to call the police.”
The smile finally melted away. “You used to be the police, Richard. You can’t tell me I’m scaring you?”
“You’re an interested alpha, a very powerful man and you’re not taking no for an answer. Yes, Mr Luthor. You’re scaring me.”
The room was suddenly saturated in the scent of very angry, very frustrated alpha.
“That doesn’t work on me,” Dick said, resisting the urge to wrinkle his nose. “Last chance. Go. Away.”
Luthor grabbed his upper arm and dragged him close. Dick could have removed in his hand in twenty different ways but he made himself remain still and kept eye contact with the other man. “You’re beginning to irritate me, Richard.”
“I’ve been told I have an irritating personality,” Dick said, using his most obnoxious Robin smile. The sort of smile that used to make the bad guys absolutely lose their shit.
For a moment he thought Luthor was going to hit him. The hand he had wrapped around Dick’s arm was definitely going to leave a bruise. “I’m leaving now,” he said, his face way too close to Dick’s. “But I will be in touch.”
“Awesome,” Dick said, watching the other man leave his building. He was going to need to work on is security. “Awesome!”
“Hey Dick,” Tim said, falling into step beside the older man with a small smile.
Dick faltered for a moment before he returned to an easy jog. He noticed Tim was wearing workout clothes and realised his little brother had purposefully ambushed him. “Hey Tim,” Dick said, allowing his smile to break free. “Coincidence seeing you here.”
“I missed you,” the kid admitted. “You haven’t been around for a few weeks.”
“Yeah, sorry about that,” Dick said, feeling a little guilty. It wasn’t Tim’s fault he was angry with Bruce. And to be fair it wasn’t Bruce’s fault that he cared. He had at least stopped stalking him. “I’ll come round this weekend. OK?”
“Great,” Time said happily. “Maybe you can talk some sense into Damian. He’s being impossible.”
“Yeah?” Dick asked.
“He’s obsessed with his designation. He’s got it in his head he’s going to be an omega. As if anyone was ever less likely to present as omega. I mean, it would be kinda funny if he did, but still, all the questions are bordering on psychotic.”
“He’s getting older,” Dick said. “You used to ask me lots of questions too.”
“Yeah, but Damian’s, well, Damian. He’s impossible.”
Dick smiled despite himself. “You’re the only one he can ask. It’s not like he’ll go to Bruce.” Not like Dick had to. Talk about awkward.
“If you’re there he’ll talk to you about it.”
Dick didn’t get the chance to answer. They were running past a group of college kids sunning themselves in the park. And they were catcalling.
“Hey sweetheart, shake that ass!”
“Look at that one’s fucking face. Goddamn beautiful.”
“Should be illegal to run around in something that tight.”
“The little bitch looks like he’s gagging for it.”
The last comment was definitely directed towards Tim.
“Excuse me,” Dick said, slowing to a stop as he stared down the group. “Were you talking to us?”
They looked shocked that he had stopped to confront them. There smiles melted away and they looked a hell of a lot less confident. Other people were watching them.
“You want a beer?” a girl called, trying to sound friendly instead of downright threatening. She was the one catcalling Tim.
It was ten in the morning! “No. And are you old enough to drink?”
“Ah, come on baby. Have a drink with us,” she cooed.
Dick walked over to them with a sweet smile. They were all alpha’s, he realised with an inward sigh. He bent down in front of the girl, getting close enough that he saw her pupils dilate before he took the beer out of her hand and poured it over her head. “You shouldn’t drink.”
The group burst into laughter as she sputtered. The girl jumped to her feet, furious. She and Dick were the same height. She seemed to gain some confidence. “What the fuck are you doing you little bitch!”
She tried to slap him. Dick easily leaned away from the slap and she became unbalanced. She must have been drinking for a while because she fell on her ass.
“Our future, ladies and gentlemen,” he called, gesturing to the group who was starting to look decidedly uncomfortable. “A sexist group of drunks. Your parents would be so proud.”
He didn’t wait for a response, turning his back and clamping Tim on the shoulder. “Come on.”
“Are you OK?” Tim asked, pressing close against Dick until they were connected, hip and shoulders.
Dick threw his arm around the younger man. “I’ve had a rough couple of weeks.”
Time nodded his head knowingly. “You know you just did exactly what you were angry at Bruce for doing. I can take care of myself.”
“Shut up,” Dick said, ruffling his hair and pulling him close. “They deserved it.”
Tim nodded his head in silent agreement.
Chapter 10: Going Away
A wee chapter for now. But I got ideasssssssss
“Dick,” Bruce said evenly, his eyes firmly fixed on his newspaper. “Are you staying for breakfast?”
They hadn’t said a word to one another since their discussion a few weeks before. And of course Bruce wasn’t going to try something ridiculous like actually talk about it. It suited Dick well enough; we wasn’t exactly in the mood to chat about his new hecklers either.
“Sure,” he answered, falling onto the sofa beside Damian and ruffling the kids hair. “Hey Little D.”
“Richard,” Damian said brightly, leaning ever so slightly into Dick. It was as close as he was going to come to actually hugging in front of other people. “You’ve been gone for too long. It’s good to see you.”
He felt a little bad for that. After all, he had essentially ordered Bruce, and by default Damian, to stay away. It wasn’t the kids fault that B had control issues. “You too,” he said, smiling down at the boy with a fond smile. “You miss me?”
“TT,” was his only response.
“Where’s Tim?” Dick asked, waving at Alfred as he breezed by with a duster in hand.
“He’s in his room. He wanted to be alone.” Damian said with an evil smile.
Dick struggled to repress a smile. “Uh huh. And It’s not bothering you, not knowing what he’s up to?”
“As if I care,” the boy scoffed. It was obvious though. He was curious.
“How have you been Dick?” Bruce asked, his tone still completely flat. He was trying not to pry, which was no easy feat for the world's greatest detective. It would have been endearing if it wasn’t so annoying.
“Things are good, thanks,” which was kind of true, if you didn’t count the fact that his little brother had the hots for him, most of the underworld now thought they owned a piece of him and he was being stalked by a billionaire psychopath. ”What about you guys?”
“Clark came to see us yesterday,” Damian jumped in, his tone conveying zero of the hero worship Dick remembered feeling at his age. “Jonathan accompanied him.”
“Yeah?” Dick asked, trying not to smile. It was exactly a secret that Damian wasn’t Jonathan’s biggest fan. “Was it a social visit, or -” he trailed off as Bruce finally looked up from his paper, his expression serious.
“He said he was following a lead on Luthor.”
Uh oh, Dick thought, inwardly groaning. “Yeah?”
“He mentioned Luthor’s has been loitering around Blüdhaven.”
“Weird.” Dick said.
Bruce was openly scowling. “Has he been in contact with you?”
“Why?” Dick asked, scowling right back.
Damian growled slightly beside him. “Is he harassing you?”
“Hey,” Dick said, trying really, really hard not to just get up and walk away. “When did I become the local damsel is distress? I’m fine. It’s fine.”
“Luthor is dangerous,” Bruce said, clenching his jaw. “But you already know that. Just, be careful around him.”
“Luthor thinks I’m helpless Bruce,” Dick said, trying not to roll his eyes. He wasn’t a teenager anymore. He could totally have an adult conversation with his former mentor without reverting to a child. “If he tries something I’ll take care of it.”
A lower growl, coming from Bruce this time. “I have to go out of town for a few days,” he said, mercifully changing the subject. “Stay here whilst I’m gone?”
“I don’t need a second minder father. Pennyworth sufficiently caters for my needs.” Damian said imperiously. “However, I would not be opposed to Richard staying for a few days, should he wish to do so.”
“You wanna have a slumber party?” Dick asked, laughing when the boy sniffed. “Ah, come on. It’ll be fun. We’ll get pizza, watch a movie -”
“And go out on patrol?” Damian cut in, smiling evilly and clearly warming to the idea.
“Sure,” Dick said. “Anything you want.”
“Just the two of us?”
“And maybe Tim too, if he wants to come.”
“But not Todd,” Damian said, turning his nose up at the very idea.
“We’ll see,” Dick said, turning towards the door as Tim’s sweet scent filled his nostrils. “Hey, little brother,” he said, smushing into Damian to make room for the younger man. It was a cosy fit with the three of them but they managed .
“Hey Dick. Did I hear you’re staying for a few days?”
“Looks like it,” Dick said brightly. “We were talking about what we’re going to get up to.”
“We’re having a slumber party,” Damian said very seriously.
“Yeah?” Tim asked, clearly confused. “I didn't think that would be your thing.”
“This slumber party involves patrolling with Nightwing. And pizza,” Damian turned to look at him. “There will be pizza. Yes?”
“Sure, pizza and bad guys. Sounds swell.”
“Excellent,” the boy said, nodding seriously. His expression turned pensive. “Father, are you well?”
They all turned to B, who was smiling very slightly. The moment he realised he was being watched his face morphed back to neutrality. “I’m fine. I’ll be going out shortly. Do you want to join me?”
Chapter 11: Sorrow
“I know you’re just jealous of me,” Damian said, leaning back on his heels as he looked up at Tim, his lips twisted in a small smile. “It’s entirely understandable. I mean, I am the son of batman. It’s enough to make anyone feel inferior.”
Tim turned to Dick and gestured helplessly at Damian. “How do you turn him off again?”
Dick shrugged as he stepped between them. “Who’s hungry?”
“I could eat,” Damian said, turning up his nose as he stepped past Tim.
“There’s a burger bar over there,” Dick said, pointing towards a little independant eatery just down the street. “Anyone got any cash?”
“I have a little,” Tim said, patting one of his pouches. “But it’s not like we can just walk in there dressed in our costumes.”
Dick purposefully raised one of his eyebrows.
“B will kill us.”
“But he’s not here right now. So -”
“No,” Tim said, shaking his head. He was smiling though. “We’ll cause a scene.”
Dick shrugged. “Then I’ll just go. Give me the money?”
“I don’t want you to pick for me. You always buy the wrong thing.” Damian piped up. "I'll accompany you."
“Fine, me and Robin will go.”
“No,” Tim said, but he was openly grinning.
“You want to come too?” Dick asked, completely serious.
Tim sighed heavily before shrugging. “Fine, but if Batman finds out, you have to talk to him.”
"Deal," Dick agreed. "Now let's go. I'm starving."
“Cute,” Bruce said from the other side of the phone. He didn’t sound amused, but then he rarely ever did.
“Hey Bruce,” Dick said cheerfully. He noticed the way both of the boys instantly froze and exchanged wary glances. “What’s up?”
“You’re on the front page of the daily planet.”
"I am?” Dick asked innocently.
“The three of you are all over the internet.”
Someone filmed them in the burger bar. Photos had been taken. No point in trying to deny it.
“We’re a meme,” Dick said brightly.
There was a short pause. “I’m hoping to be back in a few days. Is everything OK?”
“It’s been a blast,” Dick said truthfully. “And things have been pretty quiet on patrol. There isn’t much to report back.”
“What about him?”
“Has he been in touch recently?”
Dick allowed his eyes to roll. “Not a meep.”
Another pause. “Good. See you soon.”
“Bye Bruce,” he said, hanging up. He turned to his brothers, who were both looking at him expectantly.
“Was he angry?” Tim asked, trying to sounds nonchalant.
Dick shrugged. “Not really. I’m pretty sure we’re going to get a hell of a lecture when he gets back but overall, I think we’re OK.”
Damian released a small huff. “I do not appreciate the memes Richard.”
It was hard not to laugh. “I know you don’t.”
“They are not amusing.”
A short pause. “You think they’re amusing.”
“I totally do not.”
“They are a little funny,” Tim said brightly.
“TT,” Damian said, huffing.
“The classes are boring Richard. My teacher is a fool.”
“That’s not a nice way to talk about your teacher, Damian. And besides, you don’t get to pick and choose. You’ve been given homework and you have to finish it.”
“But it’s boring and I have more important things to occupy my time.”
“Look Damian, I get it. I really do. But you need to do your homework. If you don’t you’ll fail your class, which means you might have to repeat the year. With the younger kids. You don’t want to do that, right?”
“Of course not,” the boy said, frowning.
“Then you’re going to have to power through. If it’s boring that means it’s probably easy right? So for now, just keep doing the work. When Bruce gets back I’ll talk to him about things and maybe we can look into getting you into some more advanced classes.”
“That might not be too terrible,” the boy said with grudging acceptance.
“Great,” Dick said, lifting his arm. After a surreptitious look in each direction Damian pressed against Dick, relaxing into his side.
They sat there for a few minutes, flicking through the TV when Alfred stepped into the room. Dick turned to him, a smile on his face when he noticed the other mans expression. He immediately straightened up.
“Master Dick, I -”
“What’s happened?” Dick asked, sitting up. The scent of Alfred’s distress was quickly filling the room. Something bad had happened. Something, really, really bad.
“Alfred,” Damian said sternly. “Spit it out.”
Alfred’s eyes were starting to mist up. “We’ve received a phone call. I - I’m so sorry, Master Dick, Master Damian.”
“Please Alfred,” Dick said softly, his heart beating rapidly. “What’s happened?”
“There has been an accident. Master Wayne’s plane -” he broke off, taking a deep breath. “There were no survivors.”
“No,” Dick said, barely aware of the way he was clutching Damian to his chest. “He can’t. Not from a plane crash Alfred. Not Bruce.”
“I am so sorry.”
Chapter 12: Mine
Lex looked over the paperwork with a critical eye. Satisfied, he placed down the contract and and signed his name. “You’ve done an excellent job Mr Adams.”
The lawyer bobbed his head, eagerly deferring to a more dominant male. “It’s concrete Mr Luthor. All you need to do now is enforce the contract.”
“Excellent,” he said, standing up. “And the current legal guardian?”
“Null and void due to his lower status, sir. He isn't a threat.”
“Of course he isn’t,” Luthor said, grinning widely. “No one is.”
Unsurprisingly the butler opened the door. His eyes widening very slightly when he took in Lex and the two police officers flanking him on either side.
“May I help you?” he asked, his tone as neutral as the blank expression on his face. He knew who Luthor was though and his scent darkened with contempt. Interesting. Luthor had never noticed the man before but clearly he held some deep seated dislike for the billionaire. It would make their exchange all the more interesting.
“I’m here to see Richard. He’s here I assume?” He wasn’t at his apartment. Lex had already had the place searched. He also wasn’t likely to be anywhere else. Not when his little brothers needed him.
“I’m sorry but Master Dick is not accepting any visitors at this time. May I pass on a message?”
“Can we come in?” the officer to his right asked, her voice gentle and somewhat sympathetic. She definitely didn’t approve. Lex tried not to let his irritation show. He needed the woman to remain professional.
“Do you have a warrant?” the butler asked shortly, his shoulders straightening and his neck lowering. All signs of aggression and dominance.
He looked understandably shocked when she passed him the warrant. “If you’ll step aside?” Luthor asked politely, pleased when the butlers iron facade actually cracked.
“What is this about?” he asked rigidly.
“We have a collection warrant for a Mr. Richard Grayson, a Mr. Tim Drake and Mr. Damian Wayne. If you could please step aside?”
“Collection notice? What are you talking about?” the man blustered, his imperious facade cracking with mild panic. “The boys are mine. I’ve been their registered second since Master Dick was brought to our house. There must be some sort of -”
“There isn’t any mistake, sir. We have a collection warrant.” the officer reached out and gently took it from his grasp. “Now please, step aside.”
The butler's eyes narrowed, landing on Lex before widening comically. “You. It was YOU.”
“He’s not moving,” Lex said, examining his nails with feigned boredom. “And my time is precious officers. If we could move things along please?”
The butler actually took up a fighting stance. It was one of the most ridiculous things Lex had ever seen. He stood back, smirking.
“Please sir, we understand this may come as a shock,” the other officer said, his tone soft and coaxing. “But getting yourself thrown into jail isn’t going to help matters, is it? So just step aside, let us in and we’ll collect the omega and the children.”
“If you think somethings amiss with the claim you can take it to court,” the female said reasonably.
“They don’t belong to him,” the butler hissed, still not moving. “They are my family and I will not allow them to be hurt anymore than they already have because of this monster. You will not pass this threshold as long as I still draw breath.”
Lex lazily pointed his hand and shot the idiot with the taser he kept concealed in his wrist plate. The old man predictably crumbled, twisting on the ground. The two guards turned to him with shocked expressions.
“You can’t just -”
“I most certainly can. A rival alpha is trying to keep me away from my registered omegas and my kit. I am entitled to remove the threat to my pack by any means necessary.”
“Help him,” the woman said to her colleague, frowning as she pointed to the butler. She wasn’t arguing though. Neither of them were. “I will escort Mr Luthor inside.”
He didn’t wait for the other officer to obey, simply stepping over the bulter and letting himself into the Wayne mansion. He inhaled deeply and immediately picked up the scent of his newest acquisition. “This way,” he said to the trailing officer.
He had been in the Wayne mansion many times, but never to the parts of the house clearly meant for Wayne and his family. It was less extravagant and far more homely. He never would have expected it of the man, given his love of all things gaudy.
“Mr Luthor,” the officer said, close on his heels. “Did you expect the butler to react that way?”
“He has delusions of grandeur after raising Wayne. He thinks he’s entitled to this house and everything in it. It’s no surprise he acted as he did,” he paused, sniffing delicately. “They’re in here,” he said. He paused for a moment. “Don’t hurt them if they run,” he said before letting himself inside.
It was a pleasant room. The fireplace was roaring merrily and the walls were filled with old books. There was an ancient looking radio playing softly in the background. The two omegas were curled up together on the couch, the Wayne boy sat on the floor, leaning into Richard’s leg. It looked like they were all in their sleep gear, clearly readying for bed.
They all looked up when he entered, their heads snapping up when they caught their scents.
Dick looked shocked. They all did. The omegas gaze jumped to the police officer before coming to rest on the older man.
“Mr Luthor?” he asked hesitantly.
“We’ve been over this Richard. Call me Lex.”
Chapter 13: Home
I'm in a writing mood. Ta-dahhhhh :)
“Bruce wouldn’t have agreed to this,” Dick said, pulling against the officers hold. “He didn’t have a relationship with Luthor. Everyone knows he could barely stand the man. You can’t just -”
“The boys too,” Lex interrupted, gesturing to the children.
“I have my hands full Mr Luthor,” the officer griped, attempting to strongarm the omega across the room. Surprisingly, even with her superior strength she was struggling. Richard wasn’t outright fighting her but he was using his greater mass to his advantage by planting his feet and pulling.
“Get off him,” the little bratt snarled, jumping to his feet and pushing past his brother as he stormed up to the officer with his fist raised. “Now, otherwise I will break your face.”
“Damian,” Richard snapped, forgetting to struggle as he reprimanded the boy. “Remember your manners.”
Interestingly the kit seemed to deflate, which was frankly as ridiculous as it was fascinating. Richard had the boy wrapped around his little finger.
“Where is Alfred?” the little omega asked, his eyes jumping to the door. He started forward and Lex stepped into his path.
“You don’t leave unless I say so,” he said, trying to keep his tone mild. The boy looked jumpy. The sort of soft omega Luthor wouldn’t normally tolerate. “Stay with big brother. Both of you.”
Something indecipherable passed over the boys features before he dropped his gaze and stepped obediently beside his youngest sibling. He bent down, whispering into the child's ear before straightening. He kept his eyes fixed firmly on the ground.
“Enough,” Lex snapped, turning his attention back to Richard and the flustered police officer. They both turned sharply in his direction. “Richard, we are leaving. If you continue to struggle the officer will be required to use force.”
“More than she already is?” he asked with an incredulous laugh. He tugged hard and twisted, effectively breaking her hold. “Where is Alfred?” he demanded, furious.
“The butler has been restrained,” Lex said calmly. “ Now Richard, you will stop this nonsense immediately. You don’t want to be physically carried out of here, do you?”
The omegas eyes narrowed very slightly before he looked over his shoulder at his brothers and then, as one, they bolted.
Lex refused to make a grab for any of them. The officer reached for the little omega and the boy easily dodged her grip, leaving her grasping thin air.
“Well,” Luthor growled. “Are you going after them or not?”
She immediately took chase and Lex, with an inward sigh, followed.
“Alfred?” Dick shouted, heading towards the old man's familiar and comforting scent.
“Alfred,” Damian bellowed, a step behind Dick. “Answer us, immediately.”
“There,” Tim hissed, pointing at the front door. Alfred was on the floor, in the recovery position. A police officer was standing over him.
“I’ll kill him,” Damian snarled and before Dick could stop him he barrelled into the police officer and kicked him hard in the chest. The man went down with a shocked cry.
Dick caught up to them before the boy could do any further damage, grabbing him by the waist and literally dragging him off his feet. “Stop it,” he hissed, grunting when the kid elbowed his ribs.
The sound of his pain seemed to bring the boy back to his senses. He immediately stilled. “Put me down.”
Dick didn’t ask him if he was going to leave the officer alone. He already knew Damain was done. They turned to Alfred, who was lying still on the ground. Tim was leaning over him.
“Is he OK?” Dick asked, pressing his fingertips against the old man's pulsepoint.
“I think they tased him,” Tim said, his finger running over two small holes in the butlers clothing. “He’s breathing but he’s out cold. He must have hit his head when he went down.”
“We can’t risk moving him,” Dick said, looking up as the second officer rounded the corner. She she saw her partner groaning on the floor her eyes widened and she actually reached for her gun.
“We’re going to have to go with him,” Dick said, resigned.
“Are you insane?” Damian snapped. “He’s kidnapping us and we’re just going to let him?”
“We might use Alfred against us,” Tim said softly. The downed officer was getting to his feet and Luthor was entering the corridor. “He’s seen how much we care. If we leave him here he might hurt him to get at Dick.”
“We don’t all have to go,” Dick whispered, “You two could make a run for it. Clark would take you in until we get this sorted.”
“We’re not leaving you alone with him,” Damian snapped, aghast at the very idea.
“What about -”
“OK, enough,” Lex said as he held out his wrist and keyed a sequence into his wristwatch. “I really didn’t want it to come to this DIck, but you’ve left me no choice.”
The door opened with a rounding crack as it splintered and fell in on itself. Dick and his brothers didn’t move but the officers flinched violently. Dick ignored them, turning his attention to the woman standing in the doorway.
Dick had seen her before. Luthor's shadow and bodyguard. She would have easily stood at six foot and had the solid, lithe frame of a fighter. She was rumoured to have superior strength, but Dick had never crossed her as Nightwing.
Nightwing would be able to take her, he was sure of it. As Dick Grayson he wouldn’t stand a chance. He stood up and grabbed Tim’s arm, pulling him close. “Last chance,” he hissed. “Go, now. I’ll be fine.”
Tim got that look on his face. The one that promised stubbornness. He shook his head minutely and then his eyes widened as Dick was grabbed by his shirt and literally thrown over Mercy’s shoulder.
“You have got to be joking,” he said, laughing a little desperately. “Put me down.”
“Shush Richard,” Luthor snapped, turning to the two police officers. “Between you, do you think you might be able to apprehend the children? Or do you require further assistance?”
The female immediately jumped into action, latching hold of Tim's arm and pulling him close. The kid scowled but didn’t attempt to pull free.
“Come on little guy,” the male said, stepping cautiously towards the boy. “You want to go with your big brothers, don’t you?”
Damian made a tutting noise, looking between his brother before settling his eyes on Lex. “I will accompany them. However, if you lay one hand on me I promise you I will snap your wrist in two.”
“Come along then,” Lex said, stepping over Alfred and through the doorway like he owned the whole mansion. “Let’s all go home.”
Chapter 14: Chance
Dick was pretty used to hanging upside down, so at least the blood wasn’t rushing to his head. Which was just about the only positive he could think of as he was carried out into the main courtyard and shoved into the back of a suped up Range Rover. Mercy stepped back and Tim crawled in next to him only to be shoved aside as Damian jumped into the car and settled against Dick’s side.
“What about Alfred?” he demanded.
“An ambulance is on the way,” Tim said, tapping his pocket. “I sent a distress beacon out the minute we found him.”
Dick reached across Damian and squeezed his little brothers leg.
“What are they doing?” Damian asked, trying to peer past Mercy.
“Signing papers by the look of it,” Tim said, his tone bitter. “They need to make sure the kidnapping is nice and legal.”
Dick looked over at his little brother. Dick had never really experienced the discrimination and restrictions placed on most omegas. He’d freely travelled, worked and socialised as he pleased. He was a superhero for goodness sake. And Tim, he’d hoped, would experience much the same. He hated that the boy, newly presented, was seeing firsthand how some of the world still looked at omegas. They weren’t helpless. They weren’t things.
“First chance we get, we bolt,” he said, grabbing his brothers knee and squeezing. “We can go to ground, find Bruce and sort all this out.”
“What if Bruce -”
“He isn’t,” Dick interrupted, looking at Tim and then Damian. “He just isn’t, OK?”
“He’s coming,” Damian said, his voice dripping with disdain.
Luthor settled into the car and took the seat facing Dick. His eyes swept over the omega, briefly passing over the kits before locking eyes with his gorgeous new acquisition.
“That could have gone better. Don’t you agree?”
The young man’s ice blue eyes narrowed angrily. “I want to see our lawyer.”
Lex just smirked at him. “I’m aware that Bruce has been filling your head with all sorts of nonsense, which I understand is going to take time to rectify. However, let me be clear young man. You do not get to make demands anymore. You can ask, nicely, and I may be persuaded to give you what you want, within reason. But you don’t get to pretend that your an alpha or beta anymore. That nonsense stops today.”
For a moment Dick just blinked back at him, before he eventually pinched the bridge of his nose and sat back with a sigh. “So, no lawyer?”
“No Richard,” Luthor answered, sitting back himself. “No lawyers.”
“We have friends,” the little omega said, surprising Lex. His gaze was much harder than before.He looked accusing. “Whatever you’ve pulled to make the police believe you have rightful guardianship over us is going to be discovered.”
“Is that a fact?” Lex asked, leaning forward and allowing a slight growl to slip free. To his surprise the boy didn’t even blink. “You’re seventeen, aren’t you Tim?”
“Yes,” he said, a little hesitantly.
“The age for consent is eighteen.”
The boys eyes widened. Bruce’s kit released a deep, resonating growl that made Lex show his teeth in return. RIchard grabbed the boy’s shoulder, pressing him back.
“So what if it is?” Richard asked.
“I’m just considering his future. Young Tim still has the opportunity to receive a proper upbringing. Something fitting for a young omega of his station. Finishing school perhaps, followed by an arranged marriage with an equally suitable Alpha.”
“Finishing school?” Damian asked, and he was oddly smirking slightly. “Tim?
“And a good boarding school for you I think. Perhaps Sweden.”
The smile fell away. “You’re not separating us,” he snarled. “I’m not leaving Richard.”
“He’s rather enamored with you, isn’t he?” Lex said, looking back at the omega.
“We stay together,” he answered, eyes furious. “And you’re not giving my little brother away to some idiot knothead. He’s going to college and then -”
“Richard,” Lex said, leaning forward. He was surprised, again, when the young man didn’t attempt to lean away. What had Bruce been teaching these boys. “You don’t get to tell me what do do. You ask nicely, remember?”
“Go to hell,” Richard said between gritted teeth.
For a brief moment Lex seriously considered hitting him. He repressed the urge. The boy was going through some considerable trauma. He had lost his alpha and had been taken away from his home all in the matter of a few days. Allowances needed to be made.
“I’ll be making the announcement as soon as you’ve settled in. Tomorrow perhaps.”
“What announcement?” Richard asked cautiously.
“Our engagement of course,” Lex said and took some satisfaction in the way the omegas scent spiked with anger and some distress.
“I’m not marrying you,” the omega snapped, leaning away at last. He looked briefly over at his brothers before turning back to Luthor with a small snarl. “It’s not happening.”
“It certainly is,” Lex argued, content to let the boy think what he wanted until they reached home. Then the two of them were going to have a serious conversation about the young man's future. He imagined quite a bit of yelling, crying and sulking over the coming months.
“You really are remarkably beautiful,” he said, the words slipping unbidden from his lips. It was true though. Even dressed in a sleep clothes, with his hair mussed and an angry scowl on his face he really was truly and shockingly beautiful. Lex didn’t think he had ever seen a more beautiful man in his entire life.
The brat launched himself forward with a bark of anger. Lex was too surprised to even try to defend himself. The child landed a forceful punch to Lex’s nose and he immediately felt blood pour down his chin. He reared back, shocked and furious. He saw Richard and the omega grab the child and drag him back.
Perhaps Sweden wasn’t far enough.
A plane crash kill the Bat. It wasn’t possible. He couldn’t be dead. He just couldn’t.
“Alfred?” he called, stepping into the kitchen. He could smell the other man but there was another, vaguely familiar scent that set his teeth on edge. “Alfred, you here?”
“In here Master Jason,” the butler called back. He sounded tired. Exhausted even.
If Jason was honest with himself, which he liked to think he usually was, when he walked in on his ex-butler and Superman in his old kitchen, drinking tea, he just about lost his shit.
“What the actual fuck?”
“Language, Master Jason.”
“Sorry,” Jason said, almost on autopilot. “What the actual fuck, please and thank you.”
Neither man looked overly impressed. Like Jason gave a fuck. “Well,” he snapped.
“There’s been some bad news,” Clark began, resting his hand on Alfred’s shoulder. “I’m sorry son -”
“It’s bulltshit,” Jason interuppted irritibly. “He’s out there. Somewhere. We should be looking for him.”
Alfred’s tired gaze rose to meet his sadly. “I hope you’re right, my boy.”
“I am,” Jason said, his expression softening despite himself. “I know it, Alfred. He isn’t gone. He’s too fucking stubborn.”
“There’s more,” Clark said, his expression darkening.
There was something in his eyes. Something that made Jason’s heart clench. “Where is everyone?” he asked, turning back to Alfred.
“I’m sorry, Master Jason. Truly I am. I tried to stop them.”
“Where the hell are they?” he roared, his heart pounding rapidly. “Where?”
“Luthor,” Clark said, pressing his hand against Jason’s shoulder. “But we’re going to get them back, son. I promise.”
Chapter 15: Channelling
Dedicated to Imafilthycasual (read her work. It is amazing!)
@Imafilthycasual now write me another chapter, posthaste!!!
“I don’t suppose you’ll be overly impressed by my home, given your upbringing,” Luthor said as he gripped Dick’s upper arm and tugged him from the car. “Still, I think you’ll find it suitable enough. It’s certainly -”
“Father is richer than you, isn’t he?” Damian interrupted, his lips twisting into a mean little smirk. He wasn’t even trying to act innocent as he settled his hands on his hips and attempted to engage Luthor in a staring contest.
The older man clearly didn’t have any issues playing dirty and placed his hand on the small of Dick’s back. “And it will be all yours... someday. Minus whatever Bruce left behind for your brothers. You’re going to be very rich, when you come of age.”
“And I suppose you’ll look after it for him until then?” Tim asked, his expression flat. He managed to draw Luthor’s attention away from Damian though, which was important if they didn’t want another nose punching incident.
The Alpha cut Tim a chilling look that made something lodge in Dick’s throat. Luthor wasn’t a metahuman but that didn’t mean he wasn’t dangerous. He had manipulated and masterminded some despicable and unforgivable atrocities. Worse still, he had gotten away with them. It would be foolish to underestimate him.
“Mercy, take the children to their quarters. Thank you.”
“No,” Dick said, pulling back.
“We go with Grayson,” Damian snarled at the exact same moment.
Luthor's hand wrapped around Dick’s arm again. He could have broken free easily. He wanted to so badly. “It’s late, Richard. The children should be in bed. You and I, we have some things to discuss.”
“No,” Damian said, shaking his head and avoiding Mercy’s attempt to grab him. “We won’t -”
“It’s OK, little D,” Dick said quickly, turning to his little brother with a soft smile and silently pleading with him. “We’ll talk tomorrow? First chance we get, OK?”
Remember the plan, he tried to tell them with his eyes. Run. First chance we get. I’ll meet you.
“Come on, Damian,” Tim said, his expression still blank. He was quick though. The quickest among them. He’d remember, even if Damian’s temper was momentarily blinding him “We’ll see Dick tomorrow.”
Damian stormed up to Luthor before anyone could stop him and inserted himself between Dick and the older man. He barely came to the billionaires stomach, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t cause some serious harm if he wanted to. “Dick is not yours. Do not touch him unless he asks you to.”
Luthor’s eyes crinkled in amusement. “And what about you? Is he yours?”
“Yes,” Damian said immediately. Seemingly as an after thought he jerked his thumb towards Tim. “And so is he. And if you hurt either one of them I will stab you in the face.”
“Damian,” Dick hissed, grabbing the boys shoulder and pulling him against his chest. “You don’t speak to people that way. You know better.”
And yup, the boy was growling.
“Cute,” Luthor said, looking down his nose at Damian before purposefully turning his back to them. “Dick, if you’ll follow me," he said, walking away without waiting to see if Dick would follow.
Dick squeezed Damian’s shoulder, shared a look with Tim and reluctantly fell into step beside Luthor. He didn’t risk looking over his shoulder in case Damian took it as an invitation to intervene.
“That one is going to have some serious domination issues,” Luthor said as soon as they were out of earshot. “Your father should have done something to curb his attitude sooner. It’s going to be all the harder to correct his manners this late in his development.”
“Damian is just going through puberty,” Dick said, trying not to twitch when Lex’s hand found his back again. “It’s just hormones.”
“It’s arrogance and a lack of control,” Luthor said dismissively. “You just don’t see anything wrong with it because you’re genetically inclined to react favourably to that sort of behaviour. However, in polite society it simply isn’t acceptable. Not having a strong father figure in his life has meant he’s been allowed to run wild. Well, it ends now.”
“Because you’re such a shining example of perfection,” Dick muttered.
He saw Luthor grab for him and made himself not react as both of his upper arms were caught in a bruising hold and he was pushed hard into the wall at his back. His breath left him in a rush and his view was very quickly obscured by Luthor’s face.
“I know you have very fine manners when you want to, Richard. I suggest you start putting them to use if you don’t want there to be a problem between the two of us.”
Dick almost laughed in the other man's face. Almost. “I’m not a - “
“Having a pretty face does not supersede everything else,” the older man growled as his hand grabbed Dick’s jaw and squeezed. “I understand this must be very traumatising, all things considered. However, this is the way things are. You are under my care, permanently. Be sweet and respectful and I will treat you accordinly. Continue to be glib and I will hurt you until you stop. Do you understand?”
“Let go of me,” Dick said very quietly. There would be bruises. If the boys saw DIck might not be able to stop them from going after Luthor. He had to do something.
“Tell me you understand?” the alpha snarled, his teeth gnashing in Dick’s face.
Dick kicked him. Sure, he pulled back his strength so Luthor only staggered back instead of falling on his ass, but he still kicked him. Hard enough to momentarily wind the other man too.
He'd be lying if he didn't say he felt some satisfaction. He'd had a hell of a night, after all.
“Don’t touch me,” Dick said, retreating back when Luthor righted himself. “I don’t know what century you’re living in, but your archaic bullshit is not acceptable. Grab me again and I’ll hurt you. Do you understand me?”
Luthor looked momentarily shocked. Dick doubted it was his words. The billionaire would have undoubtedly heard a lot worse in his lifetime. It was the realisation that an omega was speaking back to him. An Omega was fighting him.
“Was it all a show?” he asked abruptly.
“What?” Dick asked, genuinely confused.
“Your sweetness. Your dazzling smiles and sparking personality. Was it all a show? Was it all a lie?”
He actually looked disappointed.
Luthor had something to do with Bruce’s disappearance, Dick just knew it. He hurt Alfred, threatened his brothers and was quite literally attempting to enslave Dick.
Sometimes words failed.
And sometimes it was necessary to channel someone else in order to get the words across as eloquently as possible. And no one knew how to express themself quite as vividly as Bruce’s second eldest.
“Go fuck yourself, Lex.”
Luthor blinked and then blinked again. His mouth opened and closed a few times.
And then he pounced.
Chapter 16: Careful
Look at me, posting another chapter and whatnot *Jazz hands*
Jason was cold, wet and irrevocably fucked off. He wanted to bust into Luthor’s dickhole of a mansion, shoot the man in the balls and take back what was his.
Not mine, he snarled at himself, feeling his temper boil. But definitely not Luthor's.
He couldn’t though. Because Superass said Luthor wasn’t technically doing anything illegal. Until they could pin Bruce’s disappearance on the billionaire, and thus have probable cause, they needed to be covert. Clark wouldn’t even come along, too afraid that Luthor might find out he was involved and use the unlawful kidnapping against him.
So he was waiting, because he knew without a doubt that his brothers wouldn’t stay put for a second longer than they needed to. He didn’t have to wait too much longer before he saw the replacement and demon spawn scuttle across Luthor’s roof. They were barefoot and dressed in pyjamas. The sight made something uncomfortable lodge in Jason’s throat.
Dick wasn’t anywhere to be seen.
He made his way towards them, moving stealthily enough that they didn’t notice until he practically stepping out in front of them. Sloppy. Both kids stopped. Neither one looked particularly surprised to see him.
“Where’s Goldie?” Jason immediately demanded.
“Oh, we’re fine. Thanks for asking,” Tim muttered, hugging himself. It was raining kind of hard and his hair was plastered to his face. He was even shivering a little.
Jason smirked at him.
“Drake made us abandon him,” the demon spawn hissed, glaring at the older boy before levelling a cold glare at Jason. “He’s presumably still being felt up by Luthor.”
Jason saw red. He didn’t realise he was moving until he felt two solid weights knock into him. He looked down and was surprised to see the kids trying to push him back.
“Dick isn’t helpless, Hood,” Replacement said, clearly straining to hold Jason back. “Luthor has no idea who he really is. He can’t hurt him.”
“He can’t hurt Nightwing,” Jason corrected, shoving both boys, hard. “But Dick Grayson is a whole different story. I’m not going to just let Luthor lay his hands on him. I won’t let...”
“Ah, I didn’t know you cared so much,” a familiar voice said in a jovial tone a moment before an even more familiar scent caught Jason’s nose. He spun around so quickly he nearly gave himself whiplash.
And there he was in all of his shining fucking glory. Barefoot, soaking wet and, as always, absolutely fucking gorgeous.Whereas the replacement looked like a drowned puppy, Dick somehow made it look like he’d just stepped out of a beauty magazine. It should not have been possible for one person to be so beautiful. It shouldn’t -
Small fingers clicked in front of his face, jarring Jason back into the present.
“You took long enough,” the demon spawn snapped, growling softly as he made a passable attempted to shoulder past Jason.
“What happened?” Tim asked, his gaze accessing.
Dick shrugged, stepping past Damian and ruffling his wet hair. “Put it this way. I don’t think Luthor’s going to be attending any of our galar dinners for a while.”
“What did he do to you?” Jason asked, trying hard not to grab Dick and shake him. Fuck, he could have been hurt. Luthor was a literal mad genius. He was capable of anything.
“What did you do to Luthor?” Tim asked.
As if that mattered.
“We should probably get going,” Dick said, ignoring both of them. “I don’t suppose you brought enough transportation for all four of us?” he asked, looking earnestly at Jason.
“Did you just bring the bike?” Tim asked, sounding pained.
“I was in a fucking hurry, all right?”
“You’re an imbecile,” the demon spawn said with all the dignity of someone twice his age.
“Fuck you all. I’m not the one that let Alfred get knocked out and then kidnapped from my own fucking house.”
“How is Alfred?” Dick asked, looking a little guilty. “Did he wake up OK?”
“Yeah,” Jason said, his tone softening in response. “He’s waiting for us at Clark’s place.”
Dick started moving and everyone immediately followed. “How does Clark know?”
“He saw it on the news,” Jason said, fidgeting with the need to take off his jacket and wrap it around Dick’s shoulders. It was cold, damnit. “I hate to break this to you guys, but your faces are everywhere. It is literally all anyone is talking about.”
“The hyenas didn’t take long to start circling,” the demon spawn said bitterly. “Why isn’t Clark here too?”
“Because he didn’t want to break to the law,” the replacement said, sounding tired. Jason spared him a quick look over his shoulder. Frankly, he couldn’t care less if the brat passed out from exhaustion. The little shit was too coddled anyway. It was just stupid fucking biology that made him feel like he should care. Jason was real fucking good at ignoring his biology.
After all, he’d managed not to just pick up Dick, throw him over his shoulder and bolt the moment he first saw him.
Because he had self restraint and stuff.
“You’re shivering,” Damian noted, sounding accusing.
“So are you,” the replacement said indignantly. “So is Dick. It’s cold.”
“You need to eat more,” the demon brat admonished. “Then you wouldn’t be so cold.”
“Just because you have the density of a black dwarf doesn’t mean I’m skinny, Damian.”
Jason saw a flicker of movement from the corner of his eyes and turned just in time to watch Dick fling himself off the roof and catch a nearby tree branch. He pulled himself up with ease and began the quick decent back to the ground.
“You’re scrawny,” Damian said before flinging himself after the omega.
Jason and the replacement shared a look. “What?” Jason said, grinning before following after the demon spawn.
He hit the ground next to Dick and took off at a sprint. The others were soon on his heels.
“Where’s the bike?” Dick asked, coming abreast of him.
“I left it outside the estate. Just a little further and we’ll reach the opening I made,” Jason said, hurrying his steps a little when he heard an alarm sound in the mansion.
“Looks like Luthor’s up,” Dick said, grinning impishly.
“Seriously, what did you do to him?”
Dick opened his mouth to answer when everything suddenly lit up like a fucking christmas tree. Jason stumbled a little before righting himself. “Go, now!” he shouted.
The sound of dogs in the distance, closing fast caught his ear. He turned to Dick and knew just from the look on his face that he’d heard too.
“How much further?” Damian shouted.
Jason almost fucked himself as he reached the fence edge and drew back the severed wires. “Move,” he shouted, gesturing the others through. It was a tight fit for Jason but they managed to pass through with relevant ease. He followed after them just as a dog came snapping at his heels. He may or may not have kicked the dogs snout on his way out.
“Bikes this way,” he snarled, grabbing Damian and Dick and dragging them after him until they got the message and followed.
They were entering a nice street. The sort of place the shockingly rich lived in. The sort of place where they would stand out if someone decided to take a peep. Jason’s bike was just ahead, hidden by some shrubbery. He pulled it free, pausing when he heard sirens.
“Police are on their way,” Dick said softly.
“That bike isn’t going to hold all four of us,” Tim panted as he came abreast of them. “Do we actually have a plan?”
“You and Damian take the bike,” Jason said, not waiting for a confirmation before lifting the replacement onto the bike. He took his coat off as an afterthought and shoved it over the kids shoulders.
“We’re not leaving him again,” the demon spawn said, planting his feet and glaring like he wanted to do lots of unpleasant things to Jason.
“Dick and I can break into one of the houses and steal some clothes. The two of us won’t stand out, but if we have two kids with us, at this time of night, people are going to notice.”
“Go on, Damian,” Dick said, wrapping his arms around the kid and hoisting him on the bike behind Tim. “I’ll meet you at Clark’s in a couple of hours.”
The demon spawn allowed himself to be manoeuvred without struggling, but it looked like a close thing. “You are not leaving my sight when we reunite, Richard.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it,” Dick said, ruffling the kids hair. “I’ll see you guys later, OK?”
“Be careful,” Tim said. “We’ll try and bide you some time.”
“It’s going to be OK,” Dick said, allowing Jason to grab his wrist and drag him in the opposite direction. “Be careful.”
Chapter 17: You're it
“You’re shivering,” Jason said, internally berating himself for giving the replacement his coat. What had he been thinking? Dick was the priority, not some snot nosed, dumbass know it all who -
“Then we better hope this house has some clothes in it,” Dick said, interrupting Jason and flashing his usual charming smile. “Do you have a lockpick?”
“If the Bat taught me anything, it was to always be prepared. Move aside, Goldie,” Jason said, nudging the smaller man out of his way. It took him seconds to open the door. “After you,” he said, making a sweeping gesture.
“Ever the gentleman” Dick laughed as he stepped lightly inside. “So, do you think it’s empty?”
“I’m not not picking up anyone's scent. Pretty sure they’re out for the night.”
“Best not to push our luck. Let’s grab some clothes and get out of here.”
They hurried upstairs and Dick immediately targeted a room that smelled strongly of omega. “Woman’s closet,” he murmured irritably as he rooted through the clothes, moving swiftly into the next room.
“An omega,” Jason said, following after him.
Jason shrugged, feeling a little uncomfortable. “She might have some omega gender neutral -”
“I didn’t realise that was your kink, little wing,” Dick said, laughing softly when Jason made a swipe for him. “You want me to pick you something out?”
“I just thought, in case you couldn’t find anything to fit -”
“I’m not that small, Jason. I’m sure we’ll find something.”
Jason swallowed his reply, but it wasn’t easy. He had to bite off a growl when Dick started rooting through some random assholes closet. He did not want Dick to smell like another alpha.
“These will do,” the older man said, pulling out a sweater and some jeans. He turned to Jason and his eyes widened. “What?”
Jason pulled off his shirt, tore off his undershirt, grabbed the hem of Dick’s soaking sweater and pulled it up over the startled man’s head. “Here, you can wear this,” he said, thrusting the undershirt into Dick’s hands.
Dick frowned down at the shirt and then back at Jason. He rolled his eyes before pulling the damp shirt over his head.
Seeing Dick in this clothes made something inside Jason immensely pleased, but it quickly turned to irritation when Dick went to put on the jeans.
“What now?” Dick asked, begining to frown.
“I don’t want you to wear some other alphas clothes.”
“I can see that. But why?”
Because you’re mine.
They stared at one another for a long moment. Dick abruptly threw his hands in the air and stalked out of the room. Jason followed after him and was relieved to see Dick was sorting through the omegas closet. He pulled out a black pair of skinny jeans and proceeded to try and drag them past his calves. He was glaring at Jason the whole time, and Jason, asshole that he was couldn’t help but smirk back at him.
“They’re too tight,” Dick grumbled, but he was smiling too. He gestured at himself. “Happy now?”
“Almost,” Jason said, grabbing a jacket out of the closet and pushing it into Dick’s arms. “It’s cold.”
“I hadn’t noticed,” Dick grumbled, pulling it on with another eye roll. “I just need some shoes and then we can get going.”
“You go ahead. I’m going to try and find something to wear.”
Dick waved him a sarcastic goodbye and Jason quickly picked out the least offensive smelling clothes he could find. He grabbed a cap and found Dick pulling on a pair of sneakers.
“They fit?” Jason asked, pulling the cap over Dick’s damp hair.
“Well enough,” the older man said, looking up at Jason beneath the rim of the cap. “You about ready to go?”
“Sure am, goldie.”
“So,” Dick said, opening the door and stepping outside. “Shall we see if they have a car we can borrow?”
Dick shrugged, pulling the cap further over his face and partly shrouding his eyes. “It looks like the owners of this place can afford a car or two. I’m sure they won’t suffer too badly if we take one on a joyride.”
Jason shrugged and followed the smaller man into a garage off the side of the house. As predicted there were three other cars inside. Dick buzzed around them before gesturing towards a black Dodge.
“You sure? They have a Ferrari,” Jason said in a singsong voice.
“Not exactly subtle, is it. Nope, the Dodge is fine.”
“You any good at breaking into expensive cars?”
Dick shot him an annoyed look. “Do I look like I’m carrying a utility belt?”
Jason opened his mouth, a smile of his lips when he picked up the sound of sirens. Lots of them.
“Shit,” he said, grabbing Dick’s arm and heading back towards the house. “Shit, shit.”
“Jason, the car,” Dick hissed, pulling back.
“It’s going to take too long to break into. We need to go.”
“You want to try and outrun them?” Dick asked, his scent suddenly uncertain. “We’re in civvies and these streets aren’t exactly riddled with places to hide, Jason.”
“If you’ve got an alternative solution don’t be fucking shy, Dick.”
Dick pressed his hand over his face and breathed deeply for a few seconds. When he looked at Jason his eyes were tired, but he was smiling. “I guess we don’t have anything to lose at this point.”
“That’s the spirit,” Jason said. Clapping him on the back before grabbing his hand. “Stay with me, OK?”
“Nah, you worried about me little wing?”
“You’ve already managed to get yourself kidnapped once this week. I have very little faith in your abilities right now.”
Dick shrugged, pulled his hand free and flicked Jason on the forehead. “Tag, you’re it.”
Chapter 18: Replacement
“Keep your head down,” Jason hissed, his arm around Dick’s waist tightening. “Someone gets a look at you and they might start asking questions.”
“This isn’t good,” Dick said, clearly trying to peek out beneath the brim of his cap. “Why are there so many officers here? Surely there’s something more important than a couple of runaway going on in the city.”
“It’s Metropolis, remember? They’re probably thrilled they have something to do.” Jason caught the eye of a officer a short distance away. He probably would have stood a little taller than Jason and was just as broad through the shoulders. He studied them for a short moment before turning in their direction.
“Cops coming. Keep your head down and your mouth closed.”
“Charming,” Dick sniggered, lowering his head when the officer came into their space.
“Evening, sir,” he said, his eyes locking with Jason’s. Neither of them blinked for a long moment.
“Officer,” Jason acknowledged, forcing a smile on his face. He hoped it didn’t look like he was grimacing.
“Bit late to be taking a stroll isn’t it?”
“My omega has a delicate stomach at the moment,” he used the arm wrapped around Dick’s waist to pat him gently on his stomach. He felt Dick twitch. “Walking helps sooth the cramps.”
The officer took a delicate sniff, clearly checking for pregnancy.
“Oh, it’s a bit early for that. He’s just caught. Our first too, I’m proud to say,” Jason said, allowing a big goofy smile to break out on his face. “Only it’s already taking a toll on him, poor dear.”
The officer’s expression softened and he nodded his head knowingly. “I understand. My omega had an awful stomach at first too. She said mint tea helped settle it somewhat.”
“Then we’ll have to buy some first thing tomorrow,” Jason said, smiling still. It was starting to hurt his cheeks.
“If I could just see some ID and then I’ll let you on your way.”
“Oh, I’m sorry to say I don’t have it on me.”
“You live closeby, do you?”
“Just up the road,” Jason said, nodding his head towards a random house.
“I’m happy to wait whilst you go get it,” the officer said, still smiling. He looked down at Dick. “Your husband can stay with me until you get back.”
“He gets a little nervous when I’m not around,” Jason said, the smile finally slipping. “You know how they can get after they’ve freshly caught.”
“I’m sure he’ll be fine. Isn’t that right, sir?”
He was talking to Dick now and trying to peer under the hat.
Shit, shit, shit.
“He doesn’t speak english,” Jason said, trying to keep the desperation from his voice. “He’s learning but he’s not even close to being able to carry out a conversation yet.”
“Where’s he from?”
“Romania,” Jason said, which was the first thing that popped into his head. He was sure Dick had once told him he had some gypsy blood, though the older man might have been just messing with him. “Officer, I get that there’s clearly something going on. I mean, you guys are all over the neighbourhood. But we’re not going to cause any trouble and all this is starting to stress him out,” Jason pressed his hand against Dick’s nape and squeezed gently. “Could we maybe just go?”
The officer looked thoughtful. He peered over his shoulder for a moment and then offered Jason a gentle smile. “Fine, but I want you to take him straight home. Some of the other officers aren’t as understanding as me. And if you happen to see a couple of young omegas and a child I want you to call us. Understood?”
“Yes sir,” Jason said, nodding his head and trying to look scandalised. “Of course. They’re not dangerous are they?”
“They’re omegas and a kid,” the officer said, smirking.
Jason smiled sheepishly, inwardly raging that the idiot thought he was better than DIck and the replacement simply because of their designation. Idiot.
He nudged Dick forward and together they started towards the house he’d pointed out. It was big enough that they were able to quickly duck out of view and skirt around the back.
“That was lucky,” he said, reluctantly letting go of Dick. The other man shot him an amused smirk.
“You know anything else that makes an alpha back off like that?” Jason shot back a little defensively. He could feel his cheeks burning. “It’s not like you were helping.”
“You told me not to say anything,” Dick shot back, laughing. “Not that it would have made a difference. The guy either treated me like I wasn’t there or like i was a simpleton.”
“You’d think the cops would have better training,” Jason said, vaulting over a fence into the next garden.
Dick landed beside him, barely touching the ground before he started running. “You get people like that everywhere. They’re not worth getting upset over.”
“It must piss you off,” Jason said, running abreast of the smaller man. “This whole thing must be unbearable.”
“I don’t let it affect me,” Dick said. “Or at least I try not to. It’s not like everyone thinks the same way. Things are changing. Maybe by the time Tim’s my age we’ll have gained our independence. At least then monsters like Luthor won't be able to take advantage.”
They reached another, taller fence. Dick grinned at Jason before literally crawling up his body to stand on his shoulders. He jumped, catching the wall and shuffling around until he was on his stomach and facing the younger man. He held out his hand with a charming smile.
Jason smirked back and jumped, latching onto his hand.
“How much do you weigh, Little Wing?” DIck grunted, straining as he helped pull Jason up.
“More than you, I’m betting,” Jason said, dropping to the other side and taking off at a sprint. “Seriously Dick, what did you do to Luthor?”
The older man frowned for a second before showing Jason a dazzling smile. “I think I might have broke his nose.”
“He deserved a hell of a lot worse. Was that it?”
“I knocked him out. He was going to get violent. I feel sorry for the omega he ends up with.”
“Well it sure as hell isn’t going to be you.”
Dick nodded his head slowly before taking a deep breath. “You heard about Bruce?”
“Alfred told me. Do you believe it?”
“Not for a second,” Dick said but Jason caught the acid scent of his fear. “He’s already on his way back to us. We just need to wait.”
“And what’s the plan in the meanwhile?”
Dick kept his gaze ahead. “One thing at a time, Little Wing,” he said softly. “The priority right now is reaching Clark.”
“Luthor isn’t going to let this go, Dick. You know that.”
The smaller man shrugged. “Then I guess Dick Grayson needs to disappear for a while. It won’t be so hard. I’ve done it before.”
“And the boys?”
“They come with me.”
“And Gotham?” Jason asked, aware he was pushing but he needed to know.
“I take on the Batman mantle until Bruce gets back.”
“You can’t be Batman, Dick.”
The other man stopped running. Jason slowed to a halt and turned back to him.
“Someone has to do it.”
“The Joker knew it was you last time. You told me that once. Knowing what he knows now, if you take the cowl it’s going to be obvious to everyone that he’s not around. It’s going to be open season in Gotham. You know that, Dick.”
The older man continued to stare at him. “And whose fault is that, Jason?”
He felt like someone punched him in the gut. “I didn’t mean -”
“I know you didn’t,” Dick said, suddenly deflating in on himself. He looked terribly small. “Can we discuss this later, Jason? I want to get back to the others.”
He nodded his head slowly. “Lead the way, Dick.”
Chapter 19: Home
It is hot right now. Like another level hot. My laptop feels like lava!
They found a couple of spare seats on the subway and Dick immediately collapsed onto the worn imitation leather with a quite grown of exhaustion. The ten mile run from the suburbs into the city normally wouldn’t have phased either of them, but Dick had been in a constant state of stress since Bruce’s disappearance. The strain was starting to show.
Jason took the seat opposite and allowed his eyes to close briefly. “You OK, Goldie?”
Dick looked up from beneath the brim of his cap and threw Jason a tired smile. “I’m good, Little Wing,” he said, blinking slowly. He pressed his head against the glass panel beside the seat and sighed softly. “I’ll feel better when we see the others.”
Jason nodded in agreement, his gaze locking on the small group entering their train. There were plenty of free spaces, so when they settled a few seats away Jason immediately tensed in irritation. He turned to them and felt his nostrils flare.
Alphas, all of them.
It wasn’t long before they noticed Dick, which shouldn’t have pissed him off so much considering everyone always noticed Dick. The omega stood out like a sore thumb. He was a shining beacon of beauty and grace that drew everyone in. It was of the most annoying fucking things about him.
“Hey beautiful,” a big, dumb looking college kid with wheat blonde hair and pinprick eyes said with a lopsided smile. “You doin’ ok?”
Dick looked up tiredly and, despite how much he clearly didn’t want to, smiled politely. “I’m fine. Thank you.”
“You sure as hell are,” he said, leaning forward intently. “What’s your name?”
Dick’s smile twisted into something sharp and pointed. His scent spiked with distaste. “It’s late and I’m tired. If you wouldn’t mind -” he gestured dismissively with his hands and turned back to the glass pane.
“Hey, I’m just trying to have a fucking nice conversation with you. Stop being such a bitch.”
The growl ripped free from Jason’s throat and caused every person in the train to stare at him with open shock. Caution filled the air, light and unafraid.
That was going to change real fucking quick.
“You got a problem, bro?” the kid asked, standing up.
Dick turned to Jason and shook his head. “Don’t.”
Jason hesitated at the older mans tone, the memory of how he outed Dick to the Joker still fresh in his mind.
“That’s right, big boy. Do what your bitch tells you to do.”
The alphas started snickering and catcalling. Jason honestly thought he might have to break someone’s neck.
“Come on,” Dick said, gripping his wrist and tugging firmly. “Let’s find another cart.”
“Yeah,” the big dumb one said. “Run away like a good little boy. But leave the cunt here so we can show him what a real alpha can do.”
Jason snapped. He had the kid by the throat and pressed up against the window with a resounding crack. He drew back his fist and the next thing he knew the asshole was howling and blood was pouring out of his ruined nose. Jason wound back his fist for a second hit when he felt a pair of arms wrap around his bicep and drag him back. Dick’s scent hit him a second later and its soothing presence was the only thing that stopped him from attacking the omega.
“Stop it, goddamn it,” he hissed, tugging hard. “We can’t afford to be caught up in a scene right now, Jason. Control yourself.”
Jason tried to shoulder Dick away and knocked the older man’s cap off in the process. He felt Dick’s grip tighten and then a sharp streak of pain that made him instinctively loosen his hold on the other alpha. The kid dropped to the ground like a stone, whimpering pathetically as he tried to show his throat in supplication.
“Call my omega a cunt again,” Jason snarled, feeling a thrill of power when the alpha burst into loud and messy tears. “Go on, say it. Say it.”
The air was saturated with fear.
He was tempted to kick the bastard to death but knew Dick would go into a melt down if he tried. He drew back his foot anyway, prepared to get at least one really good kick in when he heard Dick gasp behind him.
“We need to go,” he said, tugging on Jason’s arm urgently. His scent spiked with panic and that was finally enough to capture Jason’s attention. He started to hear the whispers then. He looked up and realised phones were pointed at them.
“It’s Luthor’s omega,” a girl said, peering intently as Dick before lifting her own phone, presumably to take a photo. Dick looked up sharply before stepping back. His eyes locked with Jason and the younger man felt a painful lurch in his stomach when he saw the accusation in Dick’s gaze.
They came to a stop then. It wasn’t the right station but they needed to get away. He grabbed Dick by his collar and pulled the smaller man out onto the platform with him. Dick immediately pulled free and then gripped Jason’s wrist and twisted hard enough that the younger man dropped to his knees with a pained gasp.
“Jesus, Goldie. Are you trying to break my fucking arm?”
“Shut up,” Dick snarled, twisting until Jason was sure he heard something crack. “I don’t know how many times i have to tell you Jason. I do not need nor do I appreciate your alpha bullshit. Stop trying to protect me from alphas, stop grabbing my scruff and, goddamn it, stop acting as if I belong to you. You don’t own me.”
“I know,” he gasped, letting a little of the hurt bleed into his tone. Dick’s expressions softened, just like he knew it would, and he immediately let go. “I don’t know why my control’s so bad. I’m not trying to… I’m sorry, Dick.”
Dick opened his mouth but quickly shook his head and offered Jason his hand. “We need to go. The police are going to be here in no time. Do you have any money on you?”
“A little. Enough for a cab, probably,” he said, running up the steps towards the exit. They made it onto the street and immediately flagged down the first taxi they saw.
“Clark can pay if it isn’t enough. We’ll pay him back later,” Dick said, sliding into the seat and immediately pressing his face into Jason’s shoulder.
“What are you doing?” he asked quietly, trying not to focus too much on the omegas sweet, perfect scent. Even exhausted and heartbroken, he still smelled strongly of freshly cut grass on a warm summer day. It was one of Jason’s favourite things about him. He just wanted to push his face against Dick’s hair and breathe him in.
“I don’t want her to get too good a look at my face,” Dick breathed softly.
Jason nodded his head knowingly and stayed very still. A few minutes later he looked down at Dick and realised the older man had actually fallen asleep. Dick was a trusting fool. It was one of his worse qualities, but Jason couldn’t help but feel a little honoured that Dick trusted him enough to lower his defenses so completely.
“You guys make a sweet couple,” the driver said, her eyes meeting Jason’s in the rearview mirror.
Beta, Jason’s mind supplied. And thus not a threat.
“Thanks,” he grunted, trying not to wake Dick.
“You been together long?”
“None of your fucking business,” he said, his tone still soft.
Surprisingly she laughed. “OK, alpha boy. No more questions from me.”
He grunted in response and rested his hand very gently on Dick’s leg.
Fuck my life.
Chapter 20: Tomorrow
A new chapter, devised from the mind of a true procrastinator that would rather write that do any form of work. You're welcome :)
Dick barely made it through the door before Damian was at his side. The kit’s eyes passed frantically over Dick, searching for any potential injuries. Seemingly satisfied his expression became accusatory.
“What took you so long?”
Dick ran his fingers tiredly through his hair and tried to push as much calm as possible at the kid. “Public transportation, mostly,” he said, peering over Damian’s head and smiling when he spotted Jon Kent and Tim. “Hey guys.”
“Hi Dick,” Jon said, smiling in that sweet way of his as he bounced on the heels of his feet. “I’m glad you’re back.”
Damian made a loud tutting noise.
“You OK, Tim?” Dick asked, ruffling Damina’s hair as he moved further into the hallway.
Tim shrugged. He looked as bad a Dick felt. “Been better. But yeah, we’re fine.”
“I see you brought Todd with you,” Damian said, sounding pretty unhappy about it. “Brilliant call on the transportation, by the way. Utterly inspired.”
“Fuck you,” Jason said, grinning when Dick shot him a death glare. “I got you out, didn’t I?”
“We got ourselves out,” Tim said, bobbing his head a little when Jason turned to glare at him.
“Where are your parents?” Dick asked Jon, ignoring everyone as he let himself into the kitchen. He’d been in Clark’s house enough times to know where everything was and quickly helped himself to a coffee.
“Dad’s on patrol and mom’s at the bugle. Tim’s babysitting,” he added, grinning widely.
Another, louder tutt from Damian.
“And Alfred?” Dick asked, savouring the coffee and debating if he could get away with injecting it directly into his veins.
“Sleeping,” Tim said, his scent spiking a little with distress. “The attack really took it out of him.”
“We saw Luthor on the television,” Damian said, stepping next to Dick and leaning into him a little. “What you did to his face was not sufficient, given his assault on both you and the butler, Richard. At the very least I would have ensured he could no longer breathe through his nose.”
“I hurt his pride,” Dick said, handing a cup to Jason. “He can get his nose fixed but he’s never going to get over being knocked out by an omega.”
“I’m with the demon spawn on this one,” Jason said, sipping his own drink. “That asshole went way too fucking far. You should have lobbed his cock off.”
Jon made a small choking noise and looked up at Dick with huge blue eyes. Damian looked between them and smirked.
“Hey, Jon. Maybe it’s time for bed, huh? You must have school in the morning,” Dick threw Tim a pointed look.
“Oh, oh yeah. OK. Let’s go, Jon. You too Damian.”
The boy scoffed loudly. “If you want to send him to bed, fine. But I will staying with Richard.”
“That’s OK,” Jon said quickly, waving good naturedly. “See you guys tomorrow. Oh, mom said if you’re hungry you should help yourselves to food.”
“Thanks, Jon,” Dick said, waiting for Tim and Jon to disappear upstairs before turning tiredly to Jason. “Could you try to be more age appropriate? He’s eleven.”
“I talk to him the same way I talk to Tater Tots,” Jason said, grinning over at Damian. “He hasn’t broke yet.”
Dick opened his mouth to scold his younger brother, but decided he was too tired to give anyone a lecture. He turned to Damian. “Have you eaten?”
“Have you?” the boy immediately shot back.
“Damian, seriously. Have you and Tim eaten anything?”
They locked eyes for a long moment before the kid shrugged.“No. We waiting for you to get back.”
Dick nodded his head and immediately opened the fridge and started rummaging. He drew out some cheese, salad and found a few rolls. He made a half dozen sandwiches before thrusting them into Jason’s hands. “Go sit down at the table. I’m getting Tim. Try not to eat everything before we get back.”
“No promises, Goldie,” Jason said, sauntering into the dining room, followed by Damian. I
“Hey guys,” he said, letting himself into Jon’s room. The two boys were sat on the edge of Jon’s bed, staring intently at a tablet. “Everything OK?”
Jon immediately looked guilty and scooted back. Tim looked a little pale.
“We’re looking at the news,” Tim admitted, making some room for Dick on the bed. “Someone taped you guys on the train. You never said you ran into trouble?”
“It was nothing,” Dick said, waving his hands dismissively.
“Well the news doesn’t agree. They’re calling our escape an abduction. Luthor has put out a twenty million dollar reward for our return and a ten million dollar reward for Jason’s capture.”
“Oh,” Dick said, sitting back a little. He was starting to get a headache. “Well that complicates things.”
“People will be willing to do anything to get that reward, Dick,” Tim said miserably. “And it’s not as if people don’t already know your face. You’ve been in the limelight since you were a kid. We all have.”
“Maybe I should dye my hair blonde,” he said, throwing a grin at Jon who smiled brightly back at him. “What do you think? I could get brown contacts and start talking with an Italian accent.”
“This isn’t funny, Dick.”
“No,” he agreed, standing up and plucking the device out of Tim’s grasp. “But we aren’t going to be able to do anything at three in the morning. Sweet dreams, Jon.”
“Night, Dick,” he said, watching them leave with a concerned look on his sweet face.
“So what’s the plan?” Tim immediately asked, following Dick downstairs.
“The plan? We eat, we sleep and we regroup in the morning.”
“You really think you’re going to be able to sleep?” he asked, allowing himself to fall into a seat beside Damian.
“Remember the plan, kiddo? Stage one, we eat,” Dick said softly, placing a sandwich down in front of him with a soft thud. “Then we sleep. All of us.”
“And what about Gotham?” Tim asked, taking a small bite of food. “No ones protecting the city.”
“Tomorrow,” Dick said, losing all interest in his own food. “For now. We follow the plan.”
Chapter 21: Night
Jason lay on the Kent’s couch, watching Dick sleep. He was aware he was being creepy as fuck but he couldn’t look away. Not when he had the opportunity to watch his fill without being observed and judged. Dick was a messy sleeper, Jason noted with some satisfaction. The older man was spreadeagled on his back, snoring softly and occasionally twitching. Jason thought he might have even spotted a little drool.
Sleeping wasn’t an option for him. Not when his instincts were screaming at him to protect his pack. Being the only sound alpha in a house full of kits and omegas wasn’t helping matters. He sat up slowly, rubbing his face as he decided he might as well get up. Dick, sleeping next to Tim on the Kent’s borrowed air mattress, stirred slightly when Jason stood up.
“You OK, little wing?” he asked sleepily, rubbing at his eyes.
“Just need a drink,” Jason said, smirking when he caught sight of Dick’s heavily mussed hair. “Go back to sleep.”
Dick nodded woodenly and all but threw himself down on the mattress. The replacement grumbled in response, clearly cranky at being woken up. He shuffled closer to Dick, burrowing into his side before both men settled back down to sleep.
Jason walked into the kitchen and closed the door softly behind him. He was only a little surprised to find Damian sitting at the dining table, his hand wrapped around a glass of warm milk. “Todd,” he acknowledged disinterestedly.
“Demon spawn,” Jason said, mimicking his tone with a slight curl of his lips. “Shouldn’t you be sleeping?”
“You’re not Richard. Stop acting like you care.”
Jason shrugged. He had a point. “So what are you doing?”
“Defending the house,” he said, deadly serious. “It is entirely possible you may have been followed. Especially after your stunt on the train.”
Jason went for nonchalance and shrugged. “Things got fucked up fast. It happens, but no one followed us.”
“I am unwilling to take the risk,” the demon spawn said, standing up and stepping into Jason’s space, craning his head back to look up at him. “Speaking of risks, I feel I must be clear on something, Todd, as you seem incapable of grasping the concept unaided. Richard does not belong to you. He does not want you and your clear interest concerns me. Though he claims to have forgiven you I will not so easily forget that you betrayed him to our enemies. Richard is in more danger than ever and it is your fault.”
Jason stared down at the kid for a long moment before allowing his lips to curl into a cruel smile. “What’s wrong, short-stack, scared of a little competition?”
“I do not -”
“Sure you do,” Jason said, leaning down until he was looming over the kid. “You can feel it in every pore, can’t you? The need to own, to dominate. Welcome to puberty , kid.”
“I will be an alpha,” the demon said confidently. “A good and worthy one. A better one than you.”
“Sure you will,” Jason said, stepping back and leaning against the wall. He could scent the testosterone coming off the kid. His presentation was just round the corner. “You’ll be everything Dick could possibly want in an alpha. Too bad you were born about eighteen years too late.”
Damian's eyes flashed. Jason was only a little surprised when the little bastard pounced.
Dick woke up to a loud bang and the sound of shouting. He realised quite quickly that the voices belonged to Jason and Damian. He rushed into the kitchen just in time to watch Damian kick Jason in the face.
“Stop,” Dick said, sprinting towards them as Jason stumbled back with a vicious snarl. “Seriously, cut it out. Stop.”
“Mother fucking little -”
“What?” the younger man snarled, turning furiously on Dick.
“He’s just a kid,” Dick said, ignoring Damian’s cutting response as he attempted to stare down the enraged alpha. “Attacking him and destroying the Kent’s kitchen isn't going to solve anything.”
“He attacked me,” Jason said, straightening to look over Dick’s shoulder. Damian answered with an aggressive snarl. “Kid needs someone to knock some sense into him.”
“You’re welcome to try, Todd,” Damian answered. Dick turned around in time to catch him around the waist and wrestle him back from Jason. “Damian, stop,” he shouted, sharply enough to get through to the struggling kit. “Seriously, everyone just needs to calm down.”
“He isn’t good for you, Richard,” Damian said, his voice suddenly calm as he stopped struggling. “He makes mistake after mistake and you forgive him each and every time. He doesn’t deserve to be counted as one of us.”
“Damian,” Tim said, stepping between them with his arms outstretched. “Seriously, shut up.”
“You know what," Jason said with a bitter laugh. "I don’t need this shit. I’m outta here.”
“Jason,” Dick said, setting Damian down and moving further into the alphas space. “Don’t leave. We need you here. Please.”
A loud tutt from Damian.
“Is everything OK?” Jon suddenly asked, rubbing his eyes as he stepped sleepily into the room. He peered around the room with obvious confusion. “Were you fighting?”
“No,” Dick said, forcing a smile he didn’t feel as he laid his hands on the boys shoulders. “We were just talking. Sorry if we woke you up.”
The boy looked between Jason and Damian suspiciously but accepted the excuse without argument. He stretched tiredly and took a seat at the dining table. “What time is it?”
Dick looked up at the clock. “Four a.m.,” he said tiredly, resisting the urge to rub at his stinging eyes. “You need to go back to bed, Jon. Your mum will kill me if she finds out you’re up at this time.”
Whilst he was fussing over Jon, Jason stood up and stretched. “I’m grabbing a coffee. I’ll be back in a while,” he said, stepping out of the room.
Dick heard the front door slam a few seconds later.He didn’t try to stop him. Some distance would do them all good. He turned back to Jon. “So, bed?”
“OK,” the kit said, a little sulky but all kinds of cute as he stood back up. He looked curiously at Damian. “You coming?”
“In a moment,” the boy said, turning to Dick with a resigned expression.
“I’m going back to bed too,” Tim said, instinctively knowing Damian wouldn’t open up if he was there.
Dick waited until Jon was safely back in his room before turning to Damian. “You want to tell me what that was all about?”
The boy smelled a little miserable but his back remained straight and his expression flat. He shrugged nonchalantly and sat down. “I was angry at him.”
“Because he has wronged you, Richard. Time and again. And you forgive him every single time. It isn’t right. He doesn’t deserve your love and you’re too soft hearted to see how he is taking advantage of you. Someone needs to protect you.”
Dick sighed tiredly and sat at the table opposite his little brother. He regarded his silently for a long moment. “We haven’t really talked about Bruce. You must be thinking about him, little D. If you want -”
“This isn’t about father,” Damian interrupted sharply. “This is about you and Todd. I am concerned for you, Richard.”
“And I appreciate your concern, kiddo, but I can take care of myself. You don’t need to ride to my rescue. I’m a big boy.”
“That isn’t what I was doing,” the boy said, offended.
“Good, because you know how much I dislike it when people try to save me, Damian,” he cracked a smile and reached over to ruffle the boys hair. ”I’m a hero, remember? Saving people is my job.”
A short pause. “I am sorry for kicking Todd in the face.”
“Thank you, kiddo.”
“Even though it felt incredibly satisfying to do so.”
Dick rolled his eyes. “Go to sleep, Damian. I’ll stand watch until morning.”
Damian looked set to argue but seemed to think better of it at the last moment. He inclined his head slightly and stood up. “Good night, Richard.”
“Night, Little D.”
Chapter 22: Together
What day is it people? It's bank holiday Monday!!!! Wooooooooooo :)
Tim found Dick in Kent’s dining room, staring into space with a lost expression on his strikingly pretty face. His scent was spiked with distress and uncertainty and it made Tim’s stomach lurch uncomfortably. Dick was the greatest man he’d ever known. He didn’t deserve what was happening to him. It wasn’t fair. Dick was Nightwing for Christ sake. He was so much more than a goddamn thing to be owned.
It wasn’t fair.
“You OK, Dick?” he asked, feeling a little guilty when the older man started at the sound of his voice.
He turned around quickly and his face morphed into a bright grin that did little to disguise the misery in his scent. “Oh hey, kiddo. What are you doing up? It’s still early.”
“Couldn’t sleep,” Tim said, dropping in the seat next to Dick and sliding it closer to the older man. He leaned into him, taking some comfort from his nearness. “Everything work out ok with the Gremlin?”
Dick smiled a little, shaking his head. “Don’t call him that. And yeah, he’s fine. Went to sleep things off.”
Dick looked at Tim for a long moment. It was clear he wanted to talk about something and Tim could easily guess what it was, but Dick evidently decided Tim was still too young to open up to. He shrugged and sat back, throwing an arm around the younger mans shoulders. “He went for a walk. He’ll be back in a little while.”
They sat in silence for a long time, until Tim couldn't take it any longer. He needed to ask. “So, you never mentioned what happened when you were alone with Luthor.”
“Not much to tell,” Dick said, shrugging nonchalantly even though Tim knew his time alone with the billionaire had royally freaked him out. “You do realise we’re going to have to disappear until Bruce gets back," he said, completely changing the subject.
Tim shrugged. “Yeah, I figured as much. I’ve done a little digging and Alfred still owns the manor. We just need to stay hidden during the daytime. We can put things on hold for a little while. It’ll be fine.”
Dick nodded his head, his eyes a little vacant. “Jason doesn’t think I can take up the cowl. He said the Joker knew it was me last time. After he -”
“After he outed you,” Tim interrupted, still pissed about the whole mess.
“Yeah, after...that. He thinks its too dangerous. That the Joker won’t take me seriously as a threat. That he'll tell everyone.”
Tim didn’t know what to say. His instincts screamed that Jason was wrong. Dick deserved the cowl. He’d dawned it before and he’d saved the city time and again. The bad guys finding out his plumbing was a little different shouldn’t make a difference.
It shouldn’t have, but it did.
“Damian won’t work with him,” he said at last, reaching out to smooth his hand over Dick’s hair soothingly. “Batman needs a Robin.”
Dick bowed his head, breathing heavily. He didn’t argue or ask who ‘he’ was. They both knew he couldn't don the cowl again. It hurt Tim, that his wonderful, powerful and heroic big brother was no longer fit to wear the suit when literally nothing about him had changed other than other people's perspective of who he was. And it was all Jason’s fault.
“Then I guess Jason’s going to have to get used to working as part of a team, because we’re all going to be working together for the foreseeable future. Maybe having Nightwing and Red Robin around will make it easier for Robin to get used to the new Batman.”
Tim groaned and pressed his face against Dick’s shoulder. “This is a horrible idea, Dick.”
“Do you have a better suggestion?”
“Nope,” he said in mock distress. “Don’t blame me when they try to kill one another though.”
They both straightened and tensed when they heard the downstairs door open. Dick dashed across the room and looked out cautiously. Seconds later his whole body relaxed. “Hey Clark, hey Lois,” he said, moving back so they could step into the dining room. "It's good to see you."
Clark hugged Dick in greeting, engulfing his entire body in his huge arms and holding him for a long moment. Dick’s scent lost some of it’s distress, seemingly comforted by the aliens presence. Tim smiled awkwardly at Lois, who gave him a light peck on the cheek.
“I’m so sorry, Dick,” Clark send, still holding him. “You didn't deserve what happened. I wanted to come get you. I did. But the laws...”
“It’s OK, Clark,” DIck said, wriggling free and pressing his hand against the bigger mans huge bicep. “I understand. Superman can’t be seen breaking the law just because he wants to help a friend. It doesn’t work that way. I appreciate you helping us hideout. You didn’t have to -”
“Yes,” the big man rumbled, his scent so unconditionally alpha that it made something inside Tim feel a little warm. “I should have done more. A lot more.”
“We’re looking for Bruce,” Lois interjected, stepping up to Dick and hugging him firmly. She stepped back and pressed her hand against his cheek. “That’s what we were doing whilst we were out. I’m trying to gain access to Luthor’s access papers, We all know they’re forged. Now we just need to prove it.”
Tim stepped next to Dick and felt the older man lean into him.“Luthor isn’t going to give those papers up unless he’s legally required to do so. And given the fact there isn’t anyone who can legally contest the papers and challenge Luthor’s claim he isn’t going to be required to show them to anyone.”
“Dick could contest the papers,” Lois said, indignant. “He’s an adult. He was a police officer for christ sake. The court would have to listen to him.”
“He wouldn’t give Dick the chance,” Tim said, feeling all eyes on him. “His request for a lawyer was denied and there was nothing he could do about it. Unless Luthor permits it Dick has literally no legal rights. None of us do until Damian comes of age. If he went to court Luthor would just have him arrested and returned to the manor.”
“I have a right to content the papers, do I not?” Alfred asked, leaning against the doorframe and looking about as dishevelled as Tim had ever seen him.
Dick immediately moved to the old man's side, taking his arm and gently guiding him to a seat. “Alfred, I’m so happy to see you up but shouldn’t you be resting? You -”
“I am quite well, Master Dick,” the old alpha said, his eyes filled with a million emotions that would never show on his face. “And as I was saying, I believe I have a right to contest the papers. Your guardianship was passed to me after all, in the event of -” he broke off, looking hard at the floor. “Should Master Bruce be detained for any reason.”
“It’s our best chance of seeing the papers,” Lois agreed, instantly warming to the idea. “I don’t think for an instant that Alfred will win custody of the boys but at the very least the papers will surface. If we can prove they’re fake we won’t need to win guardianship because it will legally fall back to Alfred.”
“Whoever forged the papers is going to be a pro,” Dick said, his eyes still plastered on Alfred. “And Luthor isn’t going to leave any loose ends. This isn’t going to be a quick process.”
“Perhaps not," Alfred agreed. "But it will need to be done. In the meanwhile we should return home. All of us.”
“They’re going to be watching the mansion,” Dick said, pushing his hair out of his eyes with a thoughtful look. “We could stay in one of the safe houses until things cool down. We can’t risk Luthor accidentally discovering the cave. Not when we don't know if it's under surveillance.”
“I shall return to the manor posthaste,” Alfred said, standing slowly. “Someone needs to protect our home.”
“You’re hurt, Alfred,” Dick said, gently pressing the old man back to his seat and doing an impressive job of ignoring his indignant glare. “You’re not going to be able to help anyone if you don’t take it easy. Isn’t that what you always tell us?”
Alfred sniffed, unimpressed. He reached out though and pressed his hand against Dick's, squeezing once before standing up. “I think then that I shall return to my rest for the time being. Master Dick, Master Tim, please do not leave without telling me first.”
“We won’t, Alfie,” Tim swore, impulsively hugging the old man for a brief moment before stepping back.
“Very good,” he said, patting Tim’s arm with a fond expression before stepping out of the room and moving slowly up the flight of stairs. Tim waited until he heard the door to his room close before turning back to the group.
“So, we have a plan,” Dick said, sounding much brighter than he looked.
“It’s not a great one, but it’s something,” Clark said, gently clapping Tim on the shoulder and squeezing reassuringly. “No matter what happens, we’re going to fight this. We’re with you.”
Chapter 23: Skins
I am on a rare writing spreeeeeeeeeeee :)
“You planning to ever come in?” Dick asked, feeling a little smug when Jason jumped in surprise and turned to glower at him. Dick grinned brightly in return and moved easily onto the balcony to sit next to the taller man.
“How’d you know I was out here?” Jason grumbled.
“Clark heard you. Said you’ve been sat here for hours,” Dick wrapped Jason’s jacket around his waist and grinned at the younger man.”You must be cold. You want this back?”
“Keep it,” Jason grunted, barely looking at him.
“You planning on coming in anytime soon?”
“Got a feeling I’m not exactly welcome.”
Dick knew there was tension between Superman and the Red Hood. Jason’s less than -- legal -- activities following his time out of the pit meant Clark would never fully accept him. Superman was a hero in every sense of the word but he had a tendency to see things in black and white. Jason just didn’t fit the mould. “We’re going to head back at dusk. We’ll go in two cars. I’ll travel with Clark, the boys are going to drive with Lois and Jon. You’ll take your bike and meet us there.”
“You can ride with me,” Jason said, straightening a little as he looked at Dick from the corner of his eyes. “There’s enough room for both of us.”
“They have our description now. That video from the subway is already all over the internet and news. It’ll be safer if I go with Clark and meet you there.”
Jason scowled but didn't argue. The man was stubborn but he wasn’t stupid. “Then what?”
“We find a safehouse and we suit up. We’ll contact Barbara and let her know what’s happening. She’s probably worried sick.”
“And then?” Jason asked roughly.
“Then we patrol. All of us, together.”
“Save it,” the older man interrupted, harsher than he’d intended. He took a deep breath and ignored the way Jason’s scent spiked with aggression. It was Dick’s fault. He knew better than to act combatively towards his little brother. Jason had a tendency to react badly to hostility. “Look, I get it. I understand and I agree with you. I can’t take up the cowl. Not now. So you’re going to have to do it. But,” he held his finger against Jason’s lip, halting whatever he was going to say. “You need to work with us. And I mean all of us. We’re a team now. More than we ever were before. We do this as one or not at all.”
Jason grabbed Dick’s wrist and pulled his hand back, leaving it suspended between them. “Maybe this Batman works alone.”
“Batman doesn’t do well when he works alone,” Dick said, tugging a little, unsurprised when Jason didn’t let go. He met the younger man’s gaze and shied away from the intensity in his eyes. “We’re a family, Little Wing. We work together.”
He didn’t expect Jason to tug him closer and reflectively grabbed the younger mans shoulder to avoid face planting into his broad chest. He felt Jason’s other hand fist in his hair and gently drag his head back until he was showing the column of his throat. “We could be more than just family, if you let us Dick. You know -”
“Mother fucker,” Damian screamed, followed by a loud crash. Dick and Jason hastily broke apart in time to avoid a plate smashing Jason in the head. “Stop touching him.”
Jason threw Dick an amused look. “Working together, huh?”
Dick looked at his little brother, who was being held back by a bemused looking Superman. He glared at Jason. “You really need to stop swearing around Damian.”
He was more than a little surprised when Jason burst out laughing.
Clark gave him an all encompassing hug when they parted. The boys were already in the safehouse and Lois and Jon were on their way back to Metropolis.
“Stay in contact,” Clark said for the hundredth time, letting him go and stepping back. “We’ll be in touch as soon as we have something. If you need anything, Dick, you call me.”
“We’re going to be fine,” Dick said, already feeling a hell of a lot better now he was back in his hometown. “Seriously, Clark. Thank you for everything. I know how much of a risk you and your family are taking. I know this isn’t easy for you.”
“What’s happening to you isn’t right,” Clark said, clapping Dick on the shoulder. He looked tired and worn. “You’re a great man, Dick. You don’t deserve this.”
Dick pushed down the resentment and anger and mustered up one of his signature grins. “It’s going to be OK, Clark. Everything's going to work out. I’ll speak to you soon.”
He waited for the kryptonian to get back in his car and disappear around the corner before entering the safehouse. It was one of the better ones Bruce owned. There was actual furniture and a secret hatch with spare costumes for all of them. Dick found the boys already changing. Jason was there too, lounging on the sofa.
“Nice place you got here,” he said, chewing obnoxiously on some gum.
“It belongs to Bruce,” Dick said, shrugging out of his own clothes and grabbing his suit. He felt Jason’s eyes on him and jumped a little when he heard a vicious growl right behind him. He wasn’t surprised to realise it was Damian. Because of course, puberty. He ignored them both and quickly changed, feeling a hundred times better when he pulled out his Eskrima Sticks and fell into a defensive position. He tried a few maneuvers, working out some kinks in his muscles and enjoying the relative animosity the costume afforded him. He turned back to Jason and settled his hands on his hips as he assessed the younger man. “Can you stand up?”
“Because I asked you to, that’s why?”
Jason shrugged and slowly stood up. He crossed his hands over his chest and glared at Dick.
“How tall are you?” he asked, cocking his head to the side thoughtfully. “‘6’0?”
Jason’s grin showed off all of his teeth. Dick could almost smell the smug coming off of him. “6’2?”
“Don’t you know you’re not supposed to ask a lady how much they weigh, Grayson?”
Dick smiled despite himself. “It’ll be our little secret. So?”
“I dunno. Maybe 205 pounds. Why?”
“That’s good,” Dick said, going into the back room. He hesitated for a second before grabbing Bruce’s suit. The weight always surprised him. He couldn’t fathom trying to move around in something so constrictive. He brought it into the main room, noticing the way the younger man actually scrambled back when Dick tried to hand it to him. “You and Bruce are about the same size. It shout fit well enough until we can get you your own made.”
Damian and Tim were watching silently, which surprised Dick a little. At the very least he expected Damian to say something. He turned back to Jason expectantly. “You OK, Little Wing?”
“I need a moment,” he said -- almost gasped -- before fleeing from the room. They watched him go in silence, staring after him in surprise.
Damian stepped softly to the door Jason has escaped through and caught the handle. He slammed it closed so violently that it made the frame rattle “Good riddance.”
“Run,” Dick gasped, grabbing Tim’s shoulder and launching the younger man ahead of him. “Now, go!”
They’d barely made it five steps when a deafening boom exploded behind them. Dick could feel the heat from the blast as he was thrown forward, instinctively tucking into a roll before springing back to his feet. Distantly, he felt wet stickiness on his shoulder, followed by an annoying ache. When he instinctively looked down he realised he'd been impaled with a shard of metal piping about a half a foot long. It could have been a lot worse, he told himself, resisting the urge to pull the piping free when the agony finally hit him. A few inches lower and it could have hit something vital.
He didn't have time to dwell, not when the pain was a mere distraction when he realised he couldn't see Tim. He tried to push down his shock and panic as he stumbled to his feet. They’d been on patrol for less than an hour when the attack came. Selina, whose code of ethics meant she refused to hurt innocent omegas and children, had thrown a goddamn bomb at them. Was she trying to kill them? Didn’t she care that the building was inhabited?
“Red Robin?” he yelled, trying to keep the panic from his voice. He could almost hear Bruce's voice in his ear, telling him to stay calm and assess the situation. The air was already thick with smoke and dust. He could hear gunshots and screaming. He couldn’t see Tim. “Come on, little brother. Where are you?”
What the hell was going on? Were there others, or was Selina working alone? What could they have done to make her so angry? There was a time, not so long ago, when they had been -- not friends -- but something. She had been Bruce’s something.
“N-Nightwing?” came the weak reply. “I can’t -” thick, pained coughing. “My leg.”
Dick immediately dropped to his hand and knees, trying to see below the smoke. He could already feel it in his chest, choking and thick. They needed to get out, fast, before they both suffocated.
“I’m coming,” he said, pushing down his relief and hurrying when he spotted the boy a little way ahead. He realised pretty quickly that Tim wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. His leg was twisted at an odd angle, clearly broken. The force of the blast must have knocked his slighter frame flying.
Dick ignored the way the roof shook beneath them, aware that it could collapse at any moment. He needed to make sure Tim wasn’t hurt anywhere else before he risked moving him. “Are you OK?” he asked, his hands hovering but not touching.
Tim’s thin face was twisted in pain.“I think so, but my ankles pretty bad -- it hurts.”
“I’ve got you,” Dick tried to soothe, slipping his arm behind Tim’s shoulders and propping him up into a sitting position. The roof was definitely shaking. “I’m going to need to carry you. It’s going to hurt.”
“Just get it over with,” Tim hissed between clenched teeth.
Bearing his weight wasn’t easy. Tim wasn’t heavy by any stretch of the imagination, but the extra strain on Dick’s injured shoulder made it a painful exercise. It wasn’t nearly as bad as it was for Tim, who cried out when Dick lifted him bridle style. The kid tried to muffle the sound against Dick’s chest but he knew that the only thing masking Tim’s scent, which would have been thick with distress and pain, was the blockers.
“It’s going to be OK,” the acrobat said, gaining speed when he realised time was up and the roof was caving in. He could only hope the inhabitants had evacuated in time because, at that moment, he and Tim weren't in a position to help anyone.
“Just -- brace yourself,” he warned, letting go of the younger mans legs when he reached the roof edge and pulling out his grappling gun. He jumped, swinging to the next building moments before the roof collapsed. Tim cried out when they hit the adjacent rooftop. Dick lost his grip and they both skidded and rolled several feet. The pain in his shoulder flared to a sharp, stabbing agony.
In a matter of seconds a familiar, hateful stench hit his nostrils. Dick stumbled back, ignoring his own pain as he grabbed Tim under his arm and hoisted him to his feet.
“He’s here,” Tim whispered, his face pressed into the side of Dick’s neck. A sharp, shocked breath. "Dick, you're losing too much blood."
Fuck -- and he actually thought it was going to be a slow patrol night. “We need help,” he rasped into his communicator, simultaneously trying to assess how badly Tim was hurt. The younger man was trembling and pale but other than his ankle he looked ok. “The Joker -”
“Where are you?” Jason snarled immediately, his voice strained and furious. “Are you hurt?”
“I’m fine but Red Robin's-”
“I have a lock on Nightwing, Damian interrupted. “I’ll be at your position in twelve minutes.”
Fantastic. The Calvary was on their way. Now they just needed to not die before they arrived.
“Where’s the Joker now?” Jason demanded.
Dick left the communicator open.
“Oh deary me,” the clown cackled, stepping into the light and showing his familiar and demented grin. “You’re not hurt are you kiddo? That leg of yours is looking pretty torn up. Maybe you should sit down.”
“Stay where you are,” Dick said, moving backwards, dragging Tim with him. The screaming was getting worse. The street below was a disaster zone and they were doing nothing to help. “What did you do? What are you doing?"
The Joker ignored him, his eyes still fixed on Tim. “No more running away for you, hey Rocky Robin? Might be best if you went ahead and perched in a corner. Wait until the grown ups are done talking.”
“The others are coming,” Tim snarled, struggling to stand a little straighter. His eyes flickered across the rooftop, assessing their options. “You’re alone. You can’t win.”
“You know, ever since I found out about the pretty bird I can’t stop trying to figure out what the rest of you are. I’m fairly sure the Bat and the brute are alphas. The kid’s too young -- doesn't count yet. But you -- Rocky, you’re an enigma -- and don’t get me wrong, I like a surprise as much as the next man, but I’m getting bored waiting for the big reveal. So what it’ll be kiddo? You wanna go ahead and tell me, or should I use my own less... pleasant methods to find out?”
“You aren’t going to touch him,” Dick snarled, his hand tightening on the younger man's shoulder, subtly trying to move them backwards. If he could get them to the edge of the roof they could try for a different building or even the ground. The important things was to put some distance between them and the joker.
Dick almost jolted when the clown turned his acid green eyes on him. The lunatics gaze was fixated in a way Dick had never experienced. It shouldn’t have bothered him. He’d stared the Joker down countless times since he was a kid. He wasn’t afraid of him. He wasn’t.
But he’s never looked at you like that before, Dick mind screamed at him. Run, his hindbrain urged. Hide.
But he couldn’t. He was transfixed. He realised then that he’d never felt the full force of the Jokers gaze before. The man had looked at him, sure, but he’d never really seen him. He clearly hadn’t cared enough to try.
Was this what Bruce felt, every time they faced one another?
“Nightwing,” Tim whispered, causing him to jolt and break the Joker’s gaze. “We’ve got company.”
The clown turned in a full circle, throwing his spindly arms in the air in glee as Selina dropped down next to him. “It’s party tiiiiiiiiime!”
Cat Woman’s expression was flat and dispassionate as she looked over at them. “Which one?”
“Selina,” Dick said, keenly aware of their disadvantage. If she attacked it might force him to to abandon Tim. It just wasn’t an option. Help was on the way -- they just needed more time. “You don’t need to do this. You’re better than him. Batman -”
“Which one?” she repeated, eyes narrowing dangerously.
“You know which one I want, my dear,” the Joker replied, his grin worryingly absent as he turned those eyes back on Dick. “Have at it.”
Chapter 25: Here
A small chapterrrrrrrrrrrr :/
He could hear Dick’s laboured breathing and Tim’s bitten of cry of pain. There was the sound of a scuffle.
“Robin, what’s your ETA?”
“Four minutes,” came the snapped reply. “Where are you?”
“I’m coming. I -”
“Selina, please,” Dick’s voice sounded over the comm, his tone pleading and his voice tight with -- pain?
Was he hurt? Was Dick hurt. “Nightwing?” he snarled, aware the older man could hear him through the comm. “What’s happening? Where’s the replacement?”
“He’s safe,” Dick gasped. “He’s vulnerable though. He can’t walk and the Joker - agh -”
“Richard!” Damian screamed, his voice deafening. “Richard, are you hurt? Are you hurt?”
“Get there faster,” Damian demanded, breathless and angry. “You hear me Todd? Move faster.”
Dick just — he dropped him. Or, more precisely, threw him off the roof. He’d pressed the grappling gun into Tim’s hand, grabbed him and …
Oh god, what if he was too weak to use the gun? What if he was too hurt -
“Dear oh dear, the baby bird fell out of the nest,” the Joker cackled, dancing around in glee. “Which leaves big brother all alone. No daddy bat to take care of him. No brute or brat here to save the day.” His smile melted away, replaced with a look of exaggerated seriousness. “But don’t worry, Nutwing, Daddy Joker’s here and all is well. I’m going to take you home and show you how wonderful life can be. Oh, how we’ll laugh.”
“Thanks,” Dick said, edging back as Selina stalked towards him, keeping her in his peripherals. “But seriously — and I really, really mean this — I’m good. Why don’t you track down Harley? She seems to appreciate your unique brand of...crazy.”
The jokers gaze narrowed as he put his hand in his pocket. There was a good amount of space between them but Dick immediately tensed. “There’s no need to get jealous, little bird. There’s enough of me to go around. In fact, I’m sure you and Harley would make a lovely pair. Mmm...I can picture it now.”
Dick struggled to hide his disgust. Selnia was edging closer, clearly preparing to attack. With Tim out of harms way he knew he’d be able to take her, but the concern he felt for little brother was still pulling at his concentration. “I can help you, Selina. I know you’re better than this,” he said, worried for her despite himself. “Why are you with him? What could we have possibly done to your to deserve any of this?”
“Oh sweetheart, do shut up,” she hissed , extending her claws. “You know what, you always were such a sanctimonious little cunt.”
He made a mistake. He turned to her.
He turned away from the Joker.
Stupid. He knew better. Bruce would kill him if he ever found out.
He felt the impact in his hip a second before the sound of the gun registered. He hit the floor hard, gasping when the pain hit.
“Nightwing?” Jason asked, his voice via the comm shockingly gentle. “Have you been hit?
“I-I...yeah. Yeah, I’ve been hit.”
He felt a palm press against his mouth, threatening to envelop his nose and smother him. He looked up into the Jokers acid green eyes and felt a shock of fear when he realised the madman was looming over him.
“Shhhh,” he whispered, pressing his lips against the hand pressing down on the Dick’s mouth. “Pretty birds should be seen and not heard. The Bat never taught you, but I’ll show you the way,” he used his free hand to trail down Dick’s chest and grip his side. “You’re already doing so well. Lying flat on your back, all nice and pliant,” he pressed his face against Dick's neck and inhaled deeply. "I bet you smell just delicious, don't you. I bet he can't keep his hands off you."
He knew it wasn't meant for him. The Joker thought Bruce was listening. He was trying to hurt him. Everything was always about Bruce.
Dick closed his eyes briefly before moving his hand to his hip and pressing down on the wound. It hurt but he needed to stop the flow of blood. He had no idea how bad it was. He didn’t know if he was bleeding out
“I’m here Dick,” Jason said softly through the comm. “It’s gonna be OK. I’m here.”
Dick looked up when the shadow of the Bat fell over them.
Chapter 26: Sleep
“Don’t move,” the Joker said, leaning over Dick and pressing down on his chest with the gun. “If you stay super, super still I may just forget you’re lying there, little bird,” he looked up at Jason, grinning as he forced the gun against Dick’s shoulder. "Otherwise, I’ll have to break your wings, and then you’ll never fly again,” acid greed eyes turned back to Dick, boring into him, assessing before a huge smile spread over his face. “That’s right, boy wonder. Just stay nice and still. Just like that. Good bo- ”
Dick flinched away from the sound of the gun. He tensed, waiting for the inevitable pain that would follow when he registered he wasn’t hurt and the Joker’s disturbing presence on his chest was gone. He looked up slowly and realised Jason had shot him.
There was a hole in the joker's face. Jason was dressed in cowl and he’d shot the joker in the face.
And the Joker — the joker was laughing, maniacally.
“You shot me! The bat shot me,” he looked back at Dick, accessing before peering up at Jason with so much hatred it was breathtaking. “You’re not the bat. Not the little bird either. Who are you?”
Jason raised his gun again.
“Don’t,” Dick cried at the same moment Selina threw herself at Jason.
“Ah-ah, big, strong and fake,” she taunted, knocking the gun out of Jason’s hand and kicking him in the face. “You’re not playing fair.”
“I’ll kill you both,” Jason snarled, backhanding Selina so hard he knocked her completely off her feat. “You hear me, whore. I’ll kill you for touching him.”
The Joker looked up sharply. “It’s the brute. Why is the brute impersonating the Bat?” he looked hatefully back at Dick. “Where is he?”
Dick tensed when the Joker reached into his pocket but Damian was suddenly in front of him, punching the joker hard enough in his damaged face to make him scream. He drew out his cuffs, forcing the madman on his front as he secured his arms behind his back. Meanwhile, Selina had turned on her heels and bolted.
Dick released a slow, even breath.
“You’re OK,” Jason promised, rushing to his side and pressing down on the wound in Dick’s hip. “It’s going to be OK.”
“He’s lost a lot of blood,” Damian said, stepping up to them. “He needs a hospital.”
“Red Robin,” Dick said, struggling to sit up. “Batman, you have to get him. He’s hurt. He might be -”
“Where is he?” Damian asked, rushing to stand.
Dick pointed to the side of the building and Damian immediately flung himself over the side. “I’ve got him,” he said, his voice coming clear through the comm. “He’s unconscious but he’s breathing steadily. He seems to have got himself down without further injury. He will require medical assistance immediately. How is Nightwing?”
“Still bleeding,” Jason said, pressing down on Dick’s hip with a hard look in his eyes. “He’s lost too much blood.”
“We need to get back to the batcave. Alfred -”
“We can’t,” Jason rumbled, his eyes behind the mask narrowing determinedly . “Nightwing can’t wait that long. He’s going to bleed out. We need to take him to a hospital.”
Dick opened his mouth to argue when Jason did the last thing he expected. “Get me some civvies out of the batmobile,” he said, moving Dick gently onto his front and reaching for his zipper. “Is this thing going to shock me, Dickie Bird?” he asked, only half joking.
Dick pulled his cuff back and defly deactivated the shocking failsafe on the suit. “It’s switched off. What are you doing?”
“We gotta get you changed. Hold on for me, OK? This is gonna hurt.”
It didn’t hurt. Not really. Dick actually felt kind of weightless as he was stripped and covered with civvies. He felt Jason’s hand slide under his shoulders and around his legs and then he was being cradled against a large, warm chest.
“You with me, Goldie?” Jason asked, his voice soft and soothing as started moving.
“Where’s Tim?” Dick asked, his voice slurred and weak to his own ears.
“Damian has him. He’ll get fixed up in one of our safe houses. He’ll be fine.”
“I don’t -“
“He’ll be fine,” the other man insisted, jostling Dick a little as they moved downwards.
“You’re still in the suit.”
“Yeah — I’m Batman,” Dick could hear the smile in Jason’s voice. “I’m dropping off an injured civilian. No biggie.”
“I don’t have any ID.”
“It’ll be fine. I’m taking you to a trauma hospital. They’ll treat you, Dick. I’ll make sure if it.”
Dick nodded, pressing his face against Jason’s chest. He was still wearing the blockers and Dick felt confusion through the growing fog. He craved Jasons’s scent in a way that would have scared him if he wasn’t so completely out of it.
He must have passed out because when he next opened his eyes Jason was gone and a number of worried faces were peering down at him. He blinked owlishly.
“Is that your Alpha, sweetie?” a nurse asked soothingly, his sweet omega scent a stark contrast compared to the heavier scents of alphas and betas. “Can you tell us your name?”
Dick shook his head. He felt confused and sluggish but he knew admitting who he was would be very bad.
“Ok, that’s fine. Do you know where you are?”
“Hospital. Been shot.”
“That’s right, my darling. You’re going to be OK but we need to take you into surgery. Can you let me know if there’s anyone we can call?”
Dick shook his head again. He noticed the way the faces peering down at him were frowning and instinctively turned his head.
“That’s ok,” the omega hastened to add, carding his fingers through Dicks’s hair. “You’re doing so well. You have nothing to be sorry about. Now, I’m going to place this mask on your face and I’m going to want you to count down from ten for me.”
Dick didn’t even get to eight before his world turned black.
Chapter 27: Fall
New chapteeeeerrrrrrr :)
Abandoning him when he was hurt and so clearly disorientated was one of the hardest things Jason had ever done. Without the scent blockers Dick’s distress had been loud and blaring, his confusion palatable when Jason set him down on the stretcher and stepped away. He’d released a small, broken whimper of confusion and Jason’s animal brain screamed at him to protect the injured omega -- his omega -- to cover every inch of his body with his own so no one could ever hurt or touch him again.
Jason didn’t think he would ever get the terrible scent of Dick’s fear and pain out of his nostrils. His nerves felt stripped and exposed. He hated that he couldn’t go to him. He hated the Joker and Luthor and that Bitch, Selina. He wanted to hurt them all. Rip each and everyone of them to pieces and burn their -
“Batman,” the Demon barked, his voice ringing through the comm and startling Jason out of the dark thoughts plaguing his mind. “Report?”
“He’s in surgery,” Jason said, struggling to keep the snarl out of his tone as he continued to stare at the hospital from his perch on the adjacent building. “He was stable when I left.”
“You left?” the kid yelled, almost deafening the older man. “Why in the hell would you leave him alone?”
“Because Batman doesn’t typically stand around with civilians making sure they’re going to pull through. It would have looked too suspicious, Tater Tott.”
“But he’s going to be OK?” Tim asked, his voice quieter and much calmer than Damian’s despite the fact That Jason knew he cared about Dick just as much as the younger boy.
“He’ll live,” Jason said, the words sounding dull despite how much his heart seized up at the realisation that Dick could have died. “Did the commissioner collect the Joker?”
“He’s been taken to the city hospital,” Tim’s disapproval was clear and damning. “He’s raving at anyone that will listen to him that Batman shot him in the face. What were you thinking?”
“That I should aimed a little more to the right,” Jason snarled, enjoying the stony silence on the other end of the comm. “I could have made him a vegetable. It’s not like the bastard deserves better.”
“Batman doesn’t use guns,” Tim said quietly.
“You know what, Replacement – maybe if you were there with him I wouldn’t have needed to shoot anyone. But where were you, huh? What the fuck happened?”
“The Joker rigged the building we were scoping out,” Tim mumbled and Jason could imagine the way the kid was struggling not to show his throat despite the fact he wasn’t even there. “I got caught in the blast.”
“And left Dick alone with that lunatic and that bitch, forcing him to fend for both of you.”
“Red Robin can’t be blamed for getting hurt after being blown up. You should know that better than anyone!” Damian snapped, his tone causing Jason’s hackles to rise. “And for your information he hasn’t sustained any permanent injuries,” Damian added, his tone implying Jason should have asked without having to be told. “But his ankle is fractured. He isn’t going to be out of commission for some time.”
Which meant it was down to just the two of them. Things were just getting better and better.
“Someone needs to claim Dick,” Tim said, his voice gaining back some of its strength. “Otherwise they’ll list him as unregistered and take him into custody.”
“It can’t be Jason. After his stunt on the train his face is too well known.” Damian said irritably.
Jason felt a deep rumbling growl work its way up his throat.
“They’re still watching Alfred,” Tim added. “What about Clark?”
“He’s too well known,” Jason said, standing to try and relieve some of the strain in his shoulders. The Bats suit was fucking heavy. No wonder the old man was always in such a bad mood.
“We could ask Wally,” Tim suggested.
“No,” Jason said, aware he was on the verge on yelling. He realised his hands were clenched tightly as his sides and forced himself to relax.
“Why not?” Tim snapped.
Because I fucking said so! “We can’t wait that long.”
“He could be hear it literal minutes,” Tim said, his voice gaining some confidence. “Give me an hour and I’ll have all of the necessary papers in place. He’s our best option.”
Which was true, but that didn’t mean the realisation that the fast mouthed speeder was going to ride to the rescue didn’t fill Jason with revulsion. If he had to watch the man touch Dick he was sure he would do something the others might regret.
“We can’t wait. Someone might recognise Dick. Wally is our best option,” Damian agreed.
Fucking out voted.
The first thing Dick noticed when he woke up was the steady beating of a heart monitor. He fully expected to see Alfred fussing over him and felt a brief stab of panic when he saw a strange alpha leaning over him, peeking under his sheets and tsking softly.
The man looked like he was in his late forties, with greying hair and chocolate brown eyes. He was wearing a doctors coat and his ID showed his name was Doctor Felix. “Ah, our allusive omega! Finally awake I see,” he said, straightening up. “How do you feel?”
“Thirsty,” Dick said, slowly taking in the ward as the events leading up to his injury quickly came back to him. He realised there was only one other occupant in the room -- a young omega who was staring curiously back at him.
“A nurse will bring you something shortly. How is your hip? Are you in any pain?”
Dick shook his head slowly.
“None at all? What about your shoulder?”
“A little,” he said, which was true. It hurt, but it was manageable.
The Doctor stepped back and smiled softly. “I’m very pleased to hear you’re in minimal discomfort. As you seem compos mentis, I wondered if you might be kind enough to tell me you name?”
Dick didn’t drop his gaze but he didn’t say anything either. There wouldn’t be any point giving a false name. They only had to check the omegan register to tell he was lying.
“Can you tell me who your registered alpha is?” he asked, his voice gentle, like he expected Dick to burst into tears. “Do you have a registered alpha?” he pressed, seemingly drawing his own conclusions.
Dick continued to look at him.
“Alright,” he said at last, trying very hard not to come across too stern. “Why don’t you rest for now. I’ll have a nurse bring you something to drink and then perhaps we can continue our chat a little later.”
He didn’t wait to see if Dick would respond, turning nearly on his heels and striding out of the room without a backward glance, confident the omega wasn’t going anywhere. Dick watched him go, painfully aware that he needed to get out before they called the cops and things took a downward turn for the worse.
Dick got busy pulling out the various needles and drugs they were pumping into him. He reminded himself he would need a ton of antibiotics to stave off an infection as soon as he got back to the safe house.
“I know you,” the girl said softly from the other side of the room.
“Pardon?” he asked automatically. Alfred would be so proud of his manners.
“From YouTube,” she clarified, looking at him intensely. “I know you.”
Dick stared blankly back at her for a few seconds before grinning widely. “You going to tell on me?”
She smiled back at him, clearly surprised. It was then that Dick noticed the deep bruising around her eye and her broken arm. She was moving stiffly -- broken ribs most likely. Someone had beaten the crap out of her. “You’re all over the news too.”
“Yeah, I noticed that,” he said, still smiling as he pushed his legs off the bed and slowly stood up. His legs instantly buckled and he barely managed to catch himself before he hit the floor. His hip screamed in protest and he felt his sight go a little fuzzy. Unfortunately he didn’t have time to pass out. Not if he didn’t want to wake up in the Luthor mansion.
“Should you be walking around?” the girl asked, sitting up and pushing concerned at him.
“Probably not, but the guy chasing me isn’t taking no for an answer.”
“I know the sort,” she answered, suddenly looking much older.
Dick paused, leaning back against the bed. he gestured towards her face. “Your alpha do that to you?”
“What do you think?” she asked sullenly, looking away.
Fair enough, it was a pretty stupid question. “What’s your name?”
“Elizabeth,” she turned back to him, brushing tight curls away from an ebony brow. “You’re Richard Grayson.”
“Everyone calls me Dick,” he said, trying to stand again. His legs didn’t buckle this time and he was prepared for the pain in his hips. He could move, as long as he went slowly.
“I’m sorry about what happened to your dad, Dick,” she said, pushing remorse and sorry at him.
He so wasn’t in the mood to talk about B. “Thanks Elizabeth. So, what’s your surname?”
“Haven,” she answered, frowning at him. “Why?”
“Just curious. You call the police about your alpha?”
“And say what to them?” she scoffed. “That she regularly beats the crap out of me. That she cheats and drinks and gambles and that all of her mistakes are my fault?” the girl shook her head irritably. “It won’t make a difference. You know it won’t.”
He shrugged, looking through the few draws in the room until he came across a robe. It wasn’t pants but it was better than nothing. “You might be surprised. The police force know what to look out for. If they can prove your alpha is abusing you you’ll be given back to your -”
“To my what?” she snapped, looking drained. “My dad’s dead and he was the only alpha in our family. The reason they gave me away is because I couldn’t stay with them. I don’t have anywhere else to go.”
Dick felt something lodge in his throat. He wrapped the robe around his shoulder and clinched it tightly at the belt. “I’m sorry that happened to you, Elizabeth. You deserve better.”
They both turned sharply when the door to the ward opened and a group of alphas stepped inside, saturating the room with their scents. Elizabeth shrieked, hiding under her covers as Dick stumbled back in shock.
Mercy, Luthors bodyguard and henchwoman, was stood in the doorway staring at him with a flat and predatory expression.
Chapter 28: Unwanted
Dick stumbled back a few steps and his legs inevitably buckled. Doctor Felix rushed forward, wringing his hands in concern. “Oh my dear boy, what are you doing up?” he reached down and pulled Dick back to his feet, half carrying and half dragging him back to the bed. “Here let me check if you’ve ruptured any stitches.”
Dick made a small sound of protest as his robe was pulled open and the doctor attempted to lift his hospital gown. The Doctor thankfully noticed Dick’s discomfort and looked over his shoulder at Mercy and her lackies. “You’re distressing him.”
“Too bad,” the woman said, smirking slightly when she caught Dick’s eye. “He’s already flown the coop once. I’m not letting him out of my sight.”
The doctor looked back at Dick and smiled apologetically. “Why don’t you lie down and I’ll have one of the nurses cover you with a sheet. Darcey, will you assist please?”
A small omegan woman shuffled forward, skirting around the alphas in clear panic. She stilled when she met Dick’s eyes and seemed to snap back into professionalism. “How can I help, Doctor?”
“Take this sheet and cover Mr. Grayson whilst I perform a quick examination.”
Dick didn't react when they used his name. There wasn’t any point denying his identity -- the fact that Mercy was already waiting for him meant they clearly already knew who he was. With the way Luthor had plastered his face all over the news it really shouldn’t have been such a shock.
“There now,” the doctor said in a soothing rumble. “No ruptured stitches. Why don’t you just relax and I’ll reattach -”
“Don’t bother,” Mercy ordered, stepping towards them. “I’m taking him now.”
“Now wait a moment,” the Doctor snapped, stretching to his full height and puffing out his chest. “You can’t just take an injured patient out of the hospital. He’s been shot! He nearly died.”
“We have a Doctor already waiting in our transportation unit,” she growled, pushing her hostility at the poor man with enough force than even Dick pushed himself flat against the bed. “Get out of the way, otherwise you will be moved.”
The man stumbled back, dragging the nurse with him. Dick watched Mercy warily, flinching back when she tucked the blankets around him and then, with surprisingly gentleness, lifted him bridal style and secured him against her chest. “Am I hurting you?” she asked, peering down at him intently.
“Yes,” he answered immediately, meeting her gaze steadily. If he could delay, even if it was only for a short time, there was a chance the others could help him.
“Then I’ll be be quick,” she answered, squashing any hope that he might gain more time. She turned on her heels and carried him towards the door, sweeping him away before he had the chance to catch Elizabeth’s eyes.
He could feel eyes on him as he was carried through the hospital corridors. There was a flash from a phone and Dick instinctively turned his face, pressing against Mercy’s chest. In other circumstances, if he wasn’t injured and frankly sick to his stomach, he might have enjoyed the experience. As it stood he was trying to breathe as shallowly as possible so he didn’t have to inhale too much of her scent. It was a relief when they stepped out into the crisp autumn air.
“Place him down gently,” someone ordered. Dick looked up and saw a small beta man in a white doctors coat gesture impatiently towards the open door of a limousine. “Quickly now. Lie him down.”
Mercy dumped Dick on a long seat, placing a hand in the centre of his chest and knocking him on his back. He went down with enough force to jolt his hip and hissed in pain. “How was that gentle?” he asked, laughing through the pain because the alternative was screaming.
“Shush,” the Doctor ordered distractedly, grabbing Dick’s belt and fumbling with the knot.
Dick immediately tried to push him away.
“Stay still, otherwise I’ll cut it off you.”
Dick blinked at him, considering all the ways he could break the man's arm. He allowed the doctor to pull the robe free and gritted his teeth as the shift was lifted and the bandages were pulled back. “They did a passable enough job. There will be scars but it looks like you’ve already got a few of those. How do you feel?”
“Uncomfortable,” Dick grumbled, pushing the doctor’s hands away and moving the shift back into place. He looked over at Mercy, who had climbed into the car and was watching them impassively. They had at least closed the door.
“That’s to be expected after being shot and impaled,” the doctor said dryly, thankfully moving out of Dick’s space. “Were you given any painkillers at the hospital?”
“I was unconscious less than thirty minutes ago. I have no idea.”
The doctor turned to Mercy. “Did you check before taking him?”
Mercy leaned forward and gently gripped Dick’s chin, tilting his head back and sniffing delicately. Dick’s entire body seized up in shock at the unwelcome and bold act but Mercy merely shrugged and sat back. “He doesn’t smell like he’s in pain. His distress levels are manageable. He’ll be fine for the time being.” She sounded impressed. Like Dick -- an omega -- keeping it together was something worthy of note.
Dick felt a wave of exhaustion wash over him. He was hurt and his body wanted to rest, but the idea of sleeping in front of strangers was inconceivable. He went to sit up and the doctor quickly pressed his hand against Dick’s shoulder, gently pushing him back.
“No - no, none of that. I don’t want you moving around anymore than you need to.”
Dick looked purposefully at the doctor’s hand until he removed it. He suddenly felt unbearably vulnerable and wanted to get up. He disliked being on a lower level that Mercy, despite her apparent disinterest. He debated trying again but he knew they would just force him back down. He felt his teeth start to grind
“Where are we going?” he eventually asked after felt what felt like hours in the car. He had been ignored for the most part, aside from occasional prods from the doctor as he fussed and tutted over him.
“Back to Metropolis of course,” Mercy said, peering at her nails and tutting softly.
Dick grinned at her. “But I only got out of there a few weeks ago.”
He was surprised when she smirked back at him. “I’m frankly amazed you lasted that long. Mr Luthor was most...displeased.”
“Yeah, I bet,” Dick said, warming up a little now she was paying attention to him. “Any idea what he’s going to do to me when we get back?”
She threw him a look of mock sympathy. “Are you frightened he’s going to hurt you?”
“I’m curious is all. Despite his interest I hardly know him,” which wasn’t entirely true. Nightwing knew him plenty. He knew the man was a cruel, misogynistic, self absorbed, murderer that would do just about anything to get his way.
“You’re lucky you’re already hurt,” Mercy said, her smile gone. “If you weren’t I’m sure things would have been a lot worse for you. As it is he’ll probably just lock you up and make sure you can’t run off again. Speaking of which, how did you manage to get away last time? Was it because of the alpha -- the one on the train -- did he help you?”
Dick grinned his Robin smile. “Do you really think I’d tell you?”
She shrugged. “I’m sure Mr. Luthor will get it out of you eventually.”
Chapter 29: Behave
You’ll find out what happened to the bat boys in the next chapter! For now, some more Lex and Dick!
Lex entered his bedroom and immediately picked up on Richard’s scent. He resisted the urge to inhale deeply and leisurely removed his jacket and tie. He purposefully avoided looking at the omega and took out his phone, trawling through a few emails. He could feel the boys eyes, following him warily around the room.
“I’m told you’re currently in quite a delicate state,” he said at last as he placed his phone on the bed. He removed his cuffs and concentrated on rolling up his sleeves. “The doctor said you’ll recover well enough, given the time and opportunity to heal,” he turned around and slowly looked the younger man up and down. “You should be in bed.”
“I’m fine,” Richard said, standing stiffly with the bed between him and Lex. A paltry defense, but clearly the omega sensed the animosity coming off him.
Lex tried to tamper down his fury and consider the boy impartially. He did look quite unwell. His normally golden skin was pale and clammy. He looked unsteady on his feet. “The doctor said you should be resting.”
“I said I’m fine,” he snapped.
And that was all it took for Lex to forget impartiality and see red.
He moved swiftly across the room and wrapped his hand around Richard’s throat, putting all of his weight into knocking the omega on his back. The boy hit the ground with a small grunt, breathing heavily through his nose as Lex moved into his space and purposefully growled against his throat. “You would do well to consider very carefully how you speak to me,” he spat, pressing down with the intention to hurt. “Or is this what you wanted? To be treated this way. Does this make it easier for you to accept what you are? To accept that you are a pretty trinket and nothing more?”
“Let go of me,” Richard said, sounding surprisingly calm despite how close he was to an enraged alpha that easily outweighed him by forty pounds. He wasn’t struggling, he wasn’t crying, or screaming. Despite how much pain he must have been feeling from his injuries his scent was surprisingly mellow.
Lex transferred his grip to the boys hair and dragged his head back. “Do I need to hurt you? Is that the only way to make you understand?”
Two extraordinarily beautiful blue eyes stared boldly back at him from one of the most exquisite faces Lex had ever seen. “You tell me, Mr. Luthor. Is that how you control people? You hurt them?”
Lex slapped him. It was a controlled, backhanded blow with just enough force to hurt. It might bruise his pretty face, but it would be a temporary mark. “You really have no idea, my darling,” he transferred one hand to the omegas wrist and clamped down hard. “Keep up your lip and I won’t hesitate to break your arm is so many places you’ll never regain the use of it.”
“You’re disgusting,” the boy hissed, wriggling fruitively in his hold. “Get of me.”
It was faint, Lex realised as he pressed his face in the junction between the omegas throat and jaw, but for the first time Lex scented his distress. It was a relief, in many ways. The boy didn’t act as a regular omega should. Something to do with his unusual upbringing, no doubt.
“That frightens you, doesn’t it my love? The idea of being damaged. The idea of never being able to perform those little tricks you enjoy so much.” he squeezed the younger mans wrist with enough strength to make him wince. “You don’t need perfectly working limbs to fulfill your position as my mate. Continue to disobey me and I will maim you. Do you understand me?”
For a moment he didn’t think the omega was going to respond and he might actually have to follow through with his threat. It would be a shame, all things considered. He hadn’t had the opportunity to watch the boy perform but he could guess it would be quite the sight. Still, needs must…
“I understand,” the younger man said hastily, breathless and slightly panicked, going so far as to show his throat in supplication as Lex’s hand clenched tightly around his wrist. “You don’t need to cripple me to prove your point.”
“Don’t I?” Lex asked, enjoying the way the omega trembled very slightly beneath him. After all the trouble and humiliation he had caused a little fear was much deserved. “It seems the threat of violence is the only thing you do understand.”
“It isn’t,” the omega insisted, the tendons in his neck on stark display as Lex forced him to bear more of his throat. “I’m not going to fight you.”
“No,” Lex said, releasing another, deeper growl. “You won't, because you can’t.” He stood up slowly and took considerable pleasure in the way the omega remained flat on his back with his throat on open display. “Get up,” he commanded.
The younger man, usually so achingly graceful, moved with deliberate care. He stood facing Lex with his head bowed and his hands wrapped securely around his waist..
“You have taken up a considerable amount of my time of late, Richard. I have a number of other matters to attend to. I expect you to spend the remainder of today resting in bed. If I’ve heard you’ve got up, even once, without permission from the doctor, I will have you strapped down. Do I make myself clear?”
A slight nod.
“And very soon you and I are going to have a discussion about your little friend on the train. I am most intrigued about your relationship.”
Richard didn’t say anything and Lex took great satisfaction in cowling the brat. He was glad in many ways, though he would have liked to take take his temper out on the omegas hide it was obvious the boy wasn’t in any state to be disciplined.
“Well?” He snapped, staring. “Get in the bed.”
Richard jolted, dropping his hands by his side and clenching his fists. Lex waited, curious to see if the younger man would disobey him so soon. He was pleased when the omega moved to the bed and pulled back the sheets. He stared at it for a long moment before climbing onto the mattress, laying on his back and covering himself with the sheets.
Lex stepped over to the bed and stared down at Richard. The omega looked back at him with spitfire and loathing in his eyes.
“Good boy,” Lex soothed, tucking the covers more firmly around Richard’s slight frame before running his hand through the omegas hair. “Mercy will be watching you very carefully. Remember to behave.”
Chapter 30: Clash
Jason watched and he waited. The demon met him first, landing on the ledge but keeping a careful distance between them. His gaze locked on Jason.
“What?” he eventually snapped.
“You aren’t the Bat,” he said, drawing himself to his full, unimpressive height. “Nightwing was wrong. You don’t deserve to bear the mantle.”
“You wish it was Nightwing wearing the cowl, huh?” he asked, allowing a smirk to cover his lips. A small voice in his head that sounded suspiciously like Dick was warning him not to goad the kid. Damian had just lost his dad and was working through a traumatic shift towards his designation. He was in flux and without any of his normal support group. “Well too bad junior, cause I’m all you’ve got. So suck it up and grow a pair. We’ve got shit to do.”
He almost expected the kid to attack him. Damian was exactly known for using restraint. Instead the boy turned away and fixed his gaze on the hospital. “You’re a poor substitute,” he spat, hand hovering above the belt. “He’s wrong about you. You’re not one of us.”
No need to guess who ‘he’ was.
“Guys,” the replacements voice sounded through the comm. “The Flash is about to -”
“Hey guys,” Wally said brightly, waving enthusiastically as he appeared on the ledge next to them.
"Arrive," Tim finished lamely.
“Flash,” Damian acknowledged, inclining his head slightly.
Jason felt a growl threatening to bubble out of his chest, which he pushed down with tremendous effort. Lookie Dick -- restraint! “Did Red Robin update you?” he asked, voice gruffer than he’d intended.
Wally blinked at him, clearly sensing his animosity. “Uh yeah -- he gave me the papers and I’ve got civvies in my bag,” he shrugged one shoulder, indicating his backpack. “I take it he won’t be leaving with me?”
“He’s badly injured,” Damian said, turning to glare at Jason. “This idiot let slip about his designation and now the Joker has a new obsession. He was injured in a blast and then shot.”
Wally’s face paled beneath the mask. “Wait, he did what?”
Jason looked steadily back at the other man.
“You told them about… How could you be so goddamn stupid?”
“I don’t have to explain myself to you,” Jason said and yup, he was definitely growling.
Wally’s bright green eyes hardened in response. “Do you have any idea what you’ve done to him? Every psycho with a grudge is -”
“I don’t have to explain myself to you,” Jason repeated slowly as he stood up and stepped closer to the other man. He was a lot bigger than Wally, he noted with some satisfaction. “So why don’t you shut your goddamn mouth before -”
“Guys,” the replacement said, his voice sounding slightly panicked through the comm. “What’s going on?”
“Not now,” Jason snarled, watching the speedster try to decide if he wanted to issue a challenge. “Go on,” Jason said, edging closer. “I fucking dare you.”
Several hours passed when the Doctor came to examine him. It was the same man from the limo, Dick noted with distaste. “Hello Richard,” he said without smiling. “How are you feeling?”
He wished everyone would stop asking him that. “I’m fine. And it's Dick.”
“Any pain yet?” he asked, bringing in an IV pole and wasting no time inserting the tube and needle into Dick’s hand. He didn't bother to introduce himself.
“A little,” he said, which was an understatement. His hip and shoulder throbbed constantly and it felt like someone was jack hammering inside his head.
“These should help,” the beta said, passing him a small cup of pills and some water. “They’re just painkillers. Good ones too.”
“Will they make me drowsy?”
“A little,” the doctor admitted. “You look like you could use the sleep though.”
“What are you injecting into me?”
“Antibiotics. We don’t want you getting an infection.”
Dick nodded slowly before tipping the pills into his mouth and deftly hiding them under his tongue. He took a small sip of water.
“There now, you’ll be feeling better in to time. Would you like me to put the TV on? You must be getting a little bored just lying here.”
“That’d be great, thanks,” Dick said, trying for a smile he didn't feel.
“I take it you won’t have seen the news?” Dick gave him a blank look. “Ah, of course not. It’s quite extraordinary. There was a fight outside the hospital you were staying in. In broad daylight too.”
Dick sat up in bed, ignoring the twinge of pain. “Between who?”
“Batman and the Flash of all people. No one really knows what happened. As soon as it started it practically finished. It was the most bizarre thing.”
“Did they hurt one another?”
“How should I know,” the Doctor scoffed. “I think it ended before they could do any serious damage. Someone managed to catch it on camera. Here, I’ll show you.”
The Doctor switched over to the news, muting the sound. Dick watched on in astonishment as Wally drew back his fist and then, before he could so much as twitch, collapse untouched onto his knees, cradling his head. Jason kicked the downed man in the gut so hard that he flew a few feet in the air before hitting the ground in a sprawl. Dick released a choked sound before he could stop himself. He recognised Bruce's scrambler -- it would have easily incapacitated the speedster but it would have also been agonising -- a device that targeted the victims nervous system and sent everything into flux.
God, what were they doing?
“I’m sorry, my dear. I didn’t realise this would distress you. I’ll turn it off.”
“No,” Dick said, ripping the remote out of his hand. “No -- it’s fine. I’m fine.”
The Doctor gave him a hard look. “I really do think we should turn it off. You appear distressed.”
“I used to be a cop,” Dick said, pulling the remote under the covers. If the guy wanted it he’d have to wrestle it out of his hands. “I can handle watching two guys kick the stuffing out of one another. Really, it’s fine.”
The doctor frowned but eventually relented. As he fussed around Dick the younger man watched the television in astonishment. Jason looked like he was about to cave Wally’s head in with his boot when Damian jumped in front of the speedster and pulled out a dagger.
What the hell was he doing with a dagger?
And why was he pointing it at Batman when people could be, and were, filming them?
Jason’s head twitched suddenly and he turned his back on the other two, staring at the hospital. He looked back at Damian, snarled something and then launched off the roof. Damian looked back at Wally for a second before following him.
“Apparently all of this was happening whilst we were leaving the hospital,” the doctor said, tutting softly. “Why anyone would choose to live in Gotham I’ll never know.”
Chapter 31: Out
Luthor left him alone for the most part. Apparently the older man meant what he said about giving him time to heal.
Dick was on a whole new level of bored. He wasn’t even allowed out of bed for the first two weeks. Mercy strapped him to the headboard when he initially refused to stay still and only let him up for a couple of hours each day so he could eat, shower and relieve himself. It had been...bad. Even when he promised to stay put she kept him tethered. She said Luthor had warned him that he had to ask permission, and he didn’t. There were consequences, apparently.
They let him get up in week three, but he wasn’t allowed out of the room. His only company was Mercy and the cleaners, who refused to talk to him.
“I’ve got to be honest,” he said, sitting across from Mercy as she watched him eat. “You’re not my favourite person right now.”
“Back at you,” she said, snagging a tomato off his plate and popping it in her mouth. “You’re looking better. Moving around more easily.”
“Oh you noticed that, huh?” he asked, stirring his salad and thinking longingly about a cheeseburger. “That mean you guys are going to let me have some actual pants to wear?”
She smiled faintly. “You’ve got big aspirations kid.”
He shrugged. “Reach for the sky, right?”
That sat in silence for a few more minutes. It wasn’t unusual -- she could go hours without saying anything and could happily ignore his chatter. Unusually she only responded to direct questions, so it threw him when she initiated the next conversation.
“You haven’t asked about your brothers.”
Dick purposefully didn’t react. He had the distinct impression he was being recorded and wouldn’t give Luthor the pleasure. “If you had them he would have stopped by to gloat by now.”
“Aren’t you worried about them? They could be anywhere.”
Dick pursed his lips and looked back down at his plate. It must have killed Luthor, not knowing where they were. He knew the man couldn't stand lose ends.
“He’s coming to see you later.”
That made him look up. “Why?” he asked, trying not to sound too defensive.
“He wants to take you out. What’s wrong?” she asked with a smile. “I thought you wanted more freedom?”
“You’ve had the sort of upbringing that would put most of the elite to shame,” Luthor said, leaning into Dick’s space and straightening his dickiebow. “Which means you know the correct way an omega of your standing should act in polite society. Do not embarrass me, Richard.”
“What are you worried about?” Dick asked, gripping his cane and moving methodically to his feet. He turned back to the older man, ignoring the pain pulsing through his hip as he put weight on his abused joints. “It’s not like you’ve chained me up and won’t let me leave my room. Oh...wait!”
Luthor grabbed Dick’s nape and dragged him onto his tiptoes. Dick instinctively dropped the cain and gripped Luthor’s wrist to try and alleviate the strain. “If you disobey me -- if you make me look like a fool or if you cause a scandal -- I will shatter your kneecaps. Both of them.”
Dick bit back a whine of discomfort. He hated having hands on his nape, particularily from a man he utterly despised. “I’m not going to do anything,” he gasped, allowing his voice to sound breathless and a little shaken. He pushed fear, frustration, shame at the other man. “You’re hurting me.”
It did the trick. Luthor released him, running a light hand over Dick’s hair -- presumably to offer comfort of some sort. “Be sweet and I’ll give you a present,” he promised, as though Dick would care about something so frivolous.
He wanted to put some space between them and the quickest way to accomplish that was to give the older man what he wanted. He nodded woodenly and as predicted Luthor smiled indulgently and reached down to grab Dick’s cane. He pressed it back into the smaller mans hand and thankfully stepped back, finally give Dick some space.
Dick straightened and waited. After a few moments in front of the mirror Luthor apparently deemed himself acceptable and offered Dick his arm. “Shall we?”
Dick swallowed his initial response and nodded his head slowly.
In other news, Lex Luthor was seen in public today with the beautiful and allusive omega Richard Grayson. For those of you not already aware, Richard was the ward of the late Bruce Wayne, who was tragically declared dead following the disappearance of his private jet just one month ago.
In a shocking turn of events Richard, already grieving the loss of his alpha, was then kidnapped from the home of his new fiance, the billionaire and business mogel Lex Luthor, and later shot and beaten by his assailant.
This is the first time we’ve seen the couple together in public since Richard was saved by Batman and taken into the city hospital for emergency surgery. Although Richard is still walking with a cane and seemed slightly skittish, which is entirely understandable given the circumstances, we have to admit they really do make a lovely couple.
Tim flinched violently when the remote flew past his head and smashed into the TV. He looked over his shoulder and was only a little surprised to find Jason standing behind him.
“That mother fucking piece of goddamn filth. I’ll kill him. I’ll break his shiny head open. I’ll -”
“That was our only TV,” Tim said mildly, trying not to roll his eyes when Jason snarled at him.
“How can you just sit there and watch that?”
Tim gestured wordlessly at his leg. It wasn’t as if watching the sleazeball touch his brother didn’t make him feel physically sick, but he had enough self control not to throw a tantrum just because he didn’t like what he was looking at.
“Useless as ever, Replacement,” the older man muttered, dropping onto the couch next to Tim and putting his head in his hands. “I can’t leave him there. We need to get him out.”
“He’s under too much surveillance,” Tim said for what felt like the hundredth time. “We can’t get in, Jason. We’ve tried.”
Jason moved into Tim’s space, looming over him. He smelled scary angry and it was only because of his strict training that Tim managed not to show his throat. “We’ve tried to get in under cover. We haven’t tried storming the place.”
“We have to abide by the law. You know that.”
The bigger man leaned closer into Tim’s space and blatantly sniffed. He had a weird glint in his eyes and smirked meanly. “You're a fucking pussy. Anyone ever tell you that?”
Tim debated hitting him but doing it when he was already injured would be ridiculously stupid. “I’m not the enemy, Jason.”
“Everyone's the fucking enemy,” Jason snarled, standing up and stalking out.
A couple of seconds later Damian stepped out of the bedroom and plopped down next to Tim on the couch. “I can cripple him, if you want?”
Despite himself Tim released a short bark of laughter. “That’s a really nice offer, Damian, but I’m fine.”
“He shouldn’t talk to you that way.”
“He’s worried about Dick.”
Damian looked over at the TV. “We are all worried about Richard. I was just watching him on my tablet. He shouldn’t be out in public. He was struggling the entire time. Surely Luthor can see that.”
“He’s making a point,” Tim said softly, running his hand across his brow. “He wants the world to see that Dick’s been caught -- that he owns him. Luthor wants to humiliate him for running.”
“Perhaps Todd has a point,” Damian growled, the sound rumbling from his chest.
“Perhaps we should storm Luthor’s mansion. All of us.”
Tim was losing control. He felt a sudden and painful pang of loss when he thought of B. “Bruce taught us better, Damian. You know that.”
“I know it,” the boy said, staring ahead. “But father isn’t here anymore, Drake.”
Chapter 32: Wait
“Your gift,” Luthor said, indicating the room with a sweeping gesture. His scent just oozed pride and satisfaction. “You behaved admirably last night and I wanted to reward you. I wasn’t sure what you would want so I just went ahead and bought everything. Do you like it? Is there anything missing?”
The studio really was breathtaking. There was a large mat in the centre of the room with a number of aerial silks, a static and flying trapeze and more toys that Dick could count. He felt his eyebrows arch and clocked Luthor’s answering smug smile from the corner of his eye. Bruce always said he was too open with his emotions. Dick used to tease him, saying not everyone could impersonate a cyborg. “It’s fine,” he said softly and then, after a pause. “Thank you.”
“Is that all I get?” Luthor asked, his voice light despite the arm he wound around Dick’s waist, tugging him harshly into the billionaires side. “I went through a lot of trouble setting all of this up. I would expect a little more gratitude.”
“I am grateful,” Dick said, trying very hard not to squirm. “It’s wonderful. Really, it’s extrememly thoughtful of you.”
Blunt fingers dug into Dick’s damaged hip, causing small sparks of pain. “You’re saying all of the right words darling, but you really don’t sound very happy.”
Dick forced himself to look up and meet Luthor’s calculating gaze as neutrally as possible. “I’m just tired. The doctor said I’m still healing and yesterday was...difficult.”
“Yes, he did say that,” Luthor agreed easily. “I’ll bring you back here when you’re fully healed and you can show me some of your tricks. I’m told you’re an extremely talented acrobat. I would enjoy watching you perform for me Richard.”
The thought was utterly repulsive. Underneath all of the polish and manners Luthror was an utter letch. “I’d like to return to my room,” he said, trying to hide his distaste. The billionaire reacted...badly if he believed Dick was being rude.
Luthor steered him through the door back into the hallway, his arm still wrapped securely around his waist. “Not yet. I have a business dinner to attend.”
“How does that affect me?” Dick asked, allowing some of the fatigue he was feeling to leak into his tone.
“Partners are expected to attend,” the billionaire added shortly, his grip tightening.
“Please Lex,” Dick said softly, not above playing the entitled omega if it meant getting away from the older man for a few hours. “I’m exhausted. I just want to sleep.”
“Don’t be a brat, my dear,” Luthor said, his tone devoid of sympathy. “You can stay awake for a few more hours. The fresh air will do you some good.”
He was led to the entrance hall and held still as a beta butler wrapped him in a coat and scarf. When they stepped outside there was already a car waiting for them. It was a bright Lamborghini Veneo Roadster-- Bruce has owned one too, though he rarely ever used it. Dick had been in one before and quickly realised the trip would be hell on his injured hip.
Luthor grinned at him, opening the passenger side door and helping Dick into the seat before moving into the driver's seat. “Did Bruce ever give you your own car?” he asked, peeling off towards the main gates. “I imagine he probably would have,” his expression soured. “He was a progressive man if nothing else.”
“Yeah, he did,” Dick said, thinking it was an odd question.
“What did you drive?”
“A bike, usually.”
Luthor went very quiet but his scent turned sour and angry. Dick forced himself not to react as they peeled out of the driveway and sped down luthor’s estate. “He allowed you to ride a motorbike?” he asked, his voice low and toneless.
“Is that a problem?” Dick asked sharply. He knew though. Luthor was the sort of alpha that wanted omegas to wear traditional robes and veils. He wanted them to be chaperoned at all times and prohibited from driving or exercising in public. The man was a control freak and a phycopath.
“Don’t be obtuse,” he snarled, his hand resting on Dick’s knee and tightening painfully. Why did he always have to goddamn touch him? “You won’t be riding a bike again, not even as a passenger. It may take time but i’ll fix the mistakes made by your previous guardian,” he was silent for a moment but the air was thick with tension. “I always wondered…”
“What?” Dick asked between gritted teeth.
“If the rumours were true of course.”
He didn’t know why but a terrible feeling bubbled up inside Dick’s chest. “What rumours?”
“About why the dear man kept adopting such pretty, black haired boys of course.”
Dick very nearly punched him. He considered it. He was hurt but he was confident he could best the other man and take the car. He could make it to one of the safe houses and go into hiding. Bruce had to be close -- the man had been gone for nearly two months. Whatever he was doing he had to be nearly home. He had to -
“You realise Mercy is following us?” Luthor asked with a small, knowing smile. “And my surveillance team are close at hand. Not a moment goes by that you aren't monitored my sweet. Not after your last little stunt and disappearing act.”
“You just think of everything,” Dick said, smiling falsely back at him.
“Well?” Luthor asked.
“Is there any truth to the rumours?”
“No,” Dick said, turning back to the window. He could tell Luthor was waiting for something more but he’d be damned if he’d volunteer anything about his relationship with Bruce. He had nothing to prove.
“Very well,” Luthor said, making it clear the conversation was closed for the time being. “Just so you’re aware we’re visiting Carter Richardson and his board. You’ve heard of him I take it?”
Dick had heard of him all right. The man was a right wing extremist that regularly campaigned for the end of abortion, scent blockers and contraceptives. Dick had never met him in person and had actively gone out of his way to avoid him. The idea of being trapped with him and Luthor was beyond repulsive.
“I know of him.”
“Then you’ll know that Carter is something of a traditionalist. I expect you to behave Richard. You’re not to speak unless spoken to. Be respectful and charming as I know you can be. Do not talk back to me at any point.”
“I know the drill,” Dick said softly, shifting uncomfortably. “What time will it finish.”
“It will finish when it’s over Richard.”
Dick didn’t think he had ever met such a condescending jerk in his entire life. “I’m really not feeling great, Lex. I’m exhausted.”
“So you’ve already said. However, I don’t think a sit down meal is going to kill you Richard. Now stop your squalling and shush up. In fact, if you’re so tired take a nap. We won’t arrive for another thirty minutes.”
Dick swallowed his response and decided punching Luthor in the face, as satisfying as it might be, would end badly.
He just needed to wait. He was healing and soon he’d be well enough to run. In the meanwhile he had just had to wait. Bruce was coming back and, for the time being, his family was safe.
He just needed to wait.