Chapter 1: Day 1: Time travel
Red Hood was transported into the future. Nightwing sees him again for the first time in many years.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Of course it is.
It’s always going to be him.
You would scream if you weren’t in shock.
It’s been so long for you, and he hasn’t aged a day.
You pull your little bird close, your head buried in his shoulder, and you feel at home once more.
This is probably gonna be the shortest of the drabbles, but it's all I could think of atm
Chapter 2: Day 2: Soulmate AU
Jason wanted to help his soulmate.
Dick didn't want to believe he had one.
Little did anyone know this, but Jason Todd got into the superhero business for one reason in particular. He couldn’t remember a time where he didn’t feel pain.
Every day he woke up with bruises, cuts and phantom pains he knew he didn’t cause himself. A black eye here, broken leg there, it seemed as if his soulmate regularly got themselves into trouble. He figured his soulmate was either in some sort of fight club or gang. He needed to rescue them.
And maybe that’s what convinced him to steal the tires off the Batmobile in the first place. So he could talk to the most scary man he knew of. Maybe help him rescue his soulmate in the process. The Bat raised an eyebrow, and Jason knew then he needed to be by his side.
He met Nightwing the first time he visited the Teen Titans. He just looked so elegant, bouncing around from Titan to Titan, showing all the charm a former Robin should. Jason was smitten. And his heart only slightly broke when he saw him cuddling up to Starfire. No matter, he had his soulmate to look forward to.
The bruises continued, with some new ones of his designs adding to the collection. He hoped his soulmate took notice. He hoped they took it as a sign, that he was coming for them. That he was going to rescue them.
When he felt himself dying, he hoped his soulmate was asleep somewhere safe. That they wouldn’t know he failed them.
Dick didn’t know his soulmate connection until a jarring slap echoed over his face one day. He sat up in his tent, but no one was there.
He told his parents, but then they died. Bruce found out by himself. Alfred stitched up his wounds and didn’t comment on the rare extra injury. Every time he took a hit, he apologised to his soulmate, wherever they might be. He told himself he was making a better world for them, whoever they might be.
The pains only got more frequent when he became Nightwing. Yet he refused to admit he was getting more winded during fights, developing a phantom concussion here and there. He didn't want to think the worst, that his pain inspired their injuries. He started dating Starfire, even though they both knew they weren’t paired. Then he learned Bruce got a new Robin. And things started to click into place.
He was in Bludhaven when he felt what he feared: His last piece of evidence. It took all his skill not to fall off the rooftop as the pain of a crowbar sliced through his side once, twice, thrice. It took all his strength not to throw up as the agony briefly faded, only to be replaced by fire exploding over his skin. He was too late. He had failed him.
“Master Dick,” Alfred began, greeting him at the manor with puffy eyes. “I’m afraid Master Jason-”
“Was beaten to death. Then blown up.” His voice wavered, collapsing into the butler’s arms. “Alfred, I felt all of it.”
It was another four years before Dick felt any phantom pains in his body. It took two more before a rescue mission ended with a bullet in Nightwing’s leg and a cry in pain from the Red Hood. After that, they swore not to waste any more time.
Chapter 3: Day 3: Restraints
Officer Grayson had a hard day.
There are hints of NSFW content in this one
For Officer Grayson, it was a hard day at the Bludhaven police station. Red Hood showing up made it all the more stressful. Later, when the clean-up of the four damaged blocks were underway, he told him he didn't mean to take his fight to the city streets, and that he was trying to contain it to one warehouse. Dick sighed, but still promised his superiors he would take care of this personally.
Which is how Jason found himself sans weapons and helmet, bound to his headboard. The cool metal of each pair of handcuffs dangling from his segregated wrists left him very open to the man in front of him. A long rope was wound around his ankles, Dick staring him dead in the eye as he worked.
"You haven't been good." He whispered, securing the knot at his feet.
"Oh Officer," Jason drawled, his gaze beckoning Dick over. "What are you going to do to me?"
"I'm going to eat all your cereal." He stepped away from the bed, leaving the bound man to his own frustrated devices.
Chapter 4: Day 4: Greek Mythology
Summary: Jason contemplates his life and the people he's met during the many years of the Trojan War
A handy guide to see who each character was based on:
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Jason stared out at the Mediterranean from the Trojan shore he had called home for nearly ten years. 'This war is like all crime,' he pondered, playing with the blade in his hand. 'It seems never ending and hopeless.'
How Queen Barbara of Sparta had even allowed herself to be captured is one thing. Why King Bruce of Mycenae got involved is another. Nevertheless, here they all were. News had it Barbara was held captive by Slade of Troy, and forced into a marriage with him. Jason gritted his teeth. He had met Barbara a few times before the war and had got along well. He was all too happy to join the fight to bring his friend back home, even if it cost him his life.
The other men were okay. Not brilliant, but okay. King Bruce was an ass most of the time. He'd been a warrior for many years, residing over Mycenae as a guardian of the night. He seemed a contradiction, ruling with the grace of any good king, and fighting tooth and nail like a wild boar. He could be ruthless too, Jason had seen him in battle after all, but all his anger never went anywhere. He didn't kill, which never failed to grate on Jason's nerves.
King Alfred of Pylos was Bruce's main advisor. He mostly kept himself away from conflict, whether it was within the camp or out on the battlefield, but there was no one better to stick behind the scenes. He was their last line of defence, their spiritual heart, and despite his closeness to Bruce he would still look out for any soldier, be they king or common man. He also berated the Mycenaean king from time to time, and that was always amusing to watch.
Jason didn't know what to think of King Timothy of Ithaca. He had heard of his reluctance to go to war, leaving behind a shaky kingdom and growing family he was prophesied not to see again for 20 years. He would often tell wistful stories of his father, the former King Jack, or his beautiful and clever wife Stephanie. The man was also deadly in battle. While Jason was all rage and brute force, the Ithacan king had brains far beyond his brawn, that landed him an advantage in the madness of bloodshed. Watching his kill count grow, he could understand why he was called Timothy the Cunning.
King Damian of Argos was an arrogant little one. He considered himself the best of the lot, and with more battle experience than most at such a young age, maybe he wasn't coming from nowhere. His swordsman skills were unrivalled, and besides Jason himself he had the highest kill count of any warrior. But boy, did he think he was hot shit. He figured that because he was a favourite of Athena he was above everyone else. Jason gave his bragging no notice. He's met goddesses before. Nothing could compare to humanity.
And then there was him, the pondering warrior with a dagger in his hand. He was no king, only a demigod that was smashed to pieces and reborn near immortal in his mother's cauldron. He hasn't been the same since his resurrection, and he doubts he ever will be. He will act out vengeance as long as crimes are committed and he's still breathing.
He shouldn't even be here. It wasn't his destiny. But things never turn out how they're supposed to. Kind of like how he fell for his best friend.
"Jay?" The man in question rounded the bay to their tent. His dark unkept hair blew in the ocean breeze, and Jason wanted nothing more but to dig his hands into that mop, and cradle his second-in-command in his arms.
"I'm right here Dick." He called, dropping the blade in the sand. Now was not the time for thoughts of war. As he drew closer his golden smile became more apparent, and Jason couldn't help himself any longer. He reached forward and pulled the older man into a passionate kiss.
Sometimes he wished him and Dick could have a normal life together, away from the bloodshed and battlefields. He wanted to watch as his love taught some of the neighbour's kids self defence, or to kiss him senseless during Dionysia in Athens. He wished they would die together with a long life behind them, and for their souls to find eternity together, wherever they ended up.
But he knew it was a lost cause. Jason had war in his veins, and he knew Dick was never going to deny him of his blood. They gave up that dream the moment they stepped on the boat to Troy.
They both knew it was likely neither of them would come back home alive. But that didn't mean they weren't happy. And it certainly didn't stop the dreams of "What If".
This prompt was the whole reason I'm participating in this week. I adore Greek Mythology and hearing Jaydick instantly made me think of the Trojan war, so here it is :)
(This will most likely be the longest of the drabbles FYI)
Chapter 5: Day 5: Bruised and Bloody
Summary: Dialogue exchanged after Dick protects Jason from being shot at and beaten up.
“Geez, Dick, you gotta be more careful.”
“Seriously, you’re bleeding everywhere. And that cut is gonna need serious attention.”
“I’m fine Jaybird.”
“You could’ve died! You still could die. You’re never taking a beating for me again.”
“It felt good,”
“It felt good saving you.”
“… I can’t lose you Dick.”
“You’re not going to. Not… Not on your life.”
Chapter 6: Day 6: Knights/Royalty AU
King Bruce and Prince Richard of Gotham spy a young peasant boy trying to steal horses from the Royal stable.
This is kinda late and might not make sense as it's unbetad but oh well
Prince Richard of Gotham stared down in pity at the young boy on his knees. King Bruce stood over him, the night draping over his form like a cloak.
“It was me!” Tears dampened the child’s skin and shirt. “I stole the royal horses. I had to sell them to save my mother.” He began to cry once more, and Richard’s heart ached in sympathy. He didn’t know why, but he wanted nothing more than to wrap him in his arms and shelter him from the elements.
“Your Majesty,” he stepped forward, placing a hand on his father’s shoulder. “He’s just a kid. You don’t have to-“
“Quiet.” Bruce growled, silencing his son. He seemed lost in thought for a moment, before addressing the young thief. “What’s your name, kid?”
“Jason.” The boy snuffled.
“Okay Jason, you have two options here. The first, I arrest you for theft and sentence you to hard labour.” Richard gasped, and Jason shook in fear. “Or secondly, you go with me to Sir Gordon and become her apprentice.”
The boy’s head snapped up, and for the first time, hope sparkled in his eyes. “You’d do that for me?”
“What you did was foolish, but it takes a lot of skill to pull something like that off. You have potential.”
Jason gave the Royals a watery smile. “I’d like the second one, if you’d have me.”
“Come here then. Richard and I will take you there.” He turned, beckoning the young Royal and rogue to follow him.
“Barbara is an excellent knight. You will learn a lot from her.” Richard smiled, helping Jason off the muddy ground.
"Will I be able to see my mother?"
"If Babs goes with you, I'm sure it'll be okay."
It didn't take long to reach the knight's quarters. A swift knock on the door and a quick explanation later, and they were on their way home.
"Your highness?" Jason tugged at his sleeve, gazing in admiration at the young Prince. "Will I be a good knight?"
Richard turned back, and in his heart he knew the answer was yes.
“You could make a great knight, Jason.” He gave him a comforting smile, before closing the door.
Chapter 7: Day 7: Father Todd
Today seemed like an ordinary day for Father Todd.
This is slightly based on flashpoint Jason, but with a few added things from me.
Most days were pleasantly normal. He’d get up, have his morning coffee, read the news (no matter how tragic) and walk to church. He’d then sit in his office, going over details for mass on Sunday, unless someone came consulting God’s wisdom.
It'd become more busy since the war picked up. So many people asking for spiritual advice, how to live their lives in tragedy, how God picks sinners and saints in this bloodbath... Some want guidance, others want deliverance. Father Todd sits and listens. Maybe quotes the bible. He always tries to cheer them up. He mostly succeeds, even if it's only for a moment. That's why he never tries to run. Even when things try to crash down on his quiet life, he can always find a way to make someone smile. Those moments are far too rare nowadays.
Today started ordinary. He got to his desk, pulled out his laptop, and began to work. At 11:25, a stranger knocked on the door, dropped his coat on the ground and cried. Father Todd guided him to a chair and let the man speak his mind. He let him cry about his dead girlfriend and a life on the run in this cruel world. As usual he quoted the word of God to him, gave out his own advice, and even offered a helpline's number to the poor man. The stranger only pushed his jet black hair out of his eyes and stared at him.
"What good is God if he let Hell reign over Earth?" He asked.
Jason blinked for a few moments, before regaining his calm composure. This was a rare question. "Everything can be saved, even when things seem like it's all crashing down. Three years ago I was in a cult, you know."
The man only laughed. "Yeah, and I'm Batman."
"I'm serious." He frowned. "Grew up in a rough area. Seemed only natural as a teen I ran in with the wrong crowd." He wasn't sure why he was telling him this, this certainly wasn't normal, but it seemed natural for some reason. It was as if he'd known the man most of his life, despite not meeting him until today. "When I was 20 I was taken in by a cult, long dead now. Tried to sacrifice me to their fire goddess. Nearly died that day. I still have the scars." He rolled up his sleeve to his now slightly sheepish patron. "It took a while, and it wasn't easy, but I got back on my feet. Helped the cops catch the ring leaders, and made a life here. If I can reform, anyone can."
"Sorry for misjudging you." The man sighed, leaning back in his chair. Jason shrugged.
"It's a common thing. You never know what the future brings." He gave him a soft smile, one the guest couldn't help but return.
"Still think this world's gone to shit."
"Maybe you're right. But that doesn't mean it won't recover." He glanced at the wall clock. "Sorry, wish I could talk more but I've got a meeting very soon. It was nice to meet you, Mr...?"
"Grayson. Dick Grayson." The man gave one last smile, before gathering up his things. "And it's nice to meet you too, Father Todd."
He never saw him again. After that, everything was how it should be.