Ever since Jason came back to life, he’s been of the belief that he must have a guardian angel looking over his shoulder. The night he crawled out of his grave was a blur, but he distinctly remembers someone shoving him out of the way of that car. Somehow, Bruce found him a short time later and brought him home.
Later on, when Jason asked Bruce how he knew, he simply said instinct told him to stop by the cemetery that night. But Alfred told a different story, about how they’d both been in the Cave before patrol when the memorial case they’d erected for Jason suddenly crashed to the ground without any warning, glass shattering everywhere. On a chance, Alfred went upstairs to Jason’s room and found the window wide open, curtains billowing in the wind and the scent of rain in the air.
Bruce may not have taken the hint, but it was Alfred’s prodding that made him venture out and check the cemetery.
They still never figured out how Jason came back to life, but none of them looked the gift-horse in the mouth. Bridges were mended, and tears were shed. It took a while, but Jason even managed to convince Bruce to take the bubble wrapping off and let him patrol again.
This is where Jason became convinced someone is looking out for him. Nothing so blatant as writing on the mirror, but little things that turn out to be much bigger than they appear on the surface. Bruce could prattle on all he wants about logical thinking and deductive reasoning, but Jason trusts his gut. He always had on the streets; it (mostly) kept him alive. Now though, the little feelings about checking that alley instead of the other one, looking up (or down) for no particular reason and spotting a clue, or even turning left when all logic dictates he should turn right; they all added up to make him a believer.
Dick says Jason’s just a lucky little son of a bitch, but it usually comes with a hair ruffle and a rough hug after a close call that’s been narrowly averted.
Years later, when Jason is mostly on his own and patrolling the Bowery as Red Robin (never Flamebird, much to Dick’s dismay despite his constant prodding), he discovers just how real that guardian angel really is.
“Cosmic events must really blow, huh?” Jason comments rhetorically as he takes in the sight of the celestial being who just literally fell out of the sky above him to land in a crumbled mess at his feet. The sky overhead churns red as the great battle in the heavens continues. There’s nothing any of the Bats can do aside from keep the peace in their home town, so that’s what he, Dick, Cass, and Damian do while Bruce tries to stick his nose in where it doesn’t belong.
“Ow,” the being groans as he pushes himself up on hands and knees. Jason can’t blame him, the alley is disgusting even at the best of times. “That’s never happened before.”
“I bet. So, I take it your wing isn’t supposed to bend that way?” He’s pretty sure the angel hit a few rungs of the fire escape on the way down.
Incredible white wings twitch in irritation or pain, Jason’s not entirely sure. Or rather, one of them does. The other flops limply against the damp ground, feathers picking up the grime and turning gray. It’s a travesty as far as Jason is concerned. Something so pure should not be marked by the taint of Gotham.
He sighs and kneels next to the winged man. “Lemme at least help you up. Find you someplace safe to crash and we can bind that wing of yours.”
“No place is safe right now,” the angel replies as he accepts Jason’s help and rises to his sandaled feet. “Heaven and Hell are battling it out, the Endless stand aside and watch, and I’m fairly certain I saw one of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse earlier.”
Jason nods sagely, even though all he wants to do is gape. The angel is the most beautiful being he’s ever seen. Long black hair falls over his forehead, which he impatiently brushes aside revealing eyes bluer than the sky. Jason has never felt the urge to write an ode before, but now he understands why poets the world over go on and on over high cheekbones, luscious lips, and luminous skin (in this case literally as the angel glows faintly with his own inner light). Sonnet 18 from Shakespeare comes to mind and he bites his tongue to keep the verse from slipping out.
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
He swallows and tries to formulate a more intelligent response. “Sounds like what happens during an Arkham breakout.”
So much for that attempt. Mr. Smooth, thy name is not Jason Todd.
But the angel nods in agreement. “It does. Just on a bigger stage.”
“Why are you here then?” Jason asks as he takes hold of an arm and drapes it over his shoulder. The angel is a few inches shorter than him, but it helps keep the limp wing from dragging through the muck. “I mean, you know, the battle is up there.”
“It’s actually all around us,” he replies while they walk. “I’m not of the warrior caste though. I’m a guardian.”
Jason snorts in laughter at the statement. “A real guardian angel, huh? Considering this is Gotham, I bet you’ve got your work cut out for you.”
The angelic being smirks. “I’m your guardian angel, thank you very much. And yes, you certainly keep me on my toes.”
The angel’s name is Timothy. It’s okay to call him Tim.
Jason plays the name over in his head as he watches him limp around the safehouse he brought them to. Honored by God. Well, he’s certainly feeling honored right about now. A real guardian angel. Too bad he’s having an all too visceral and human reaction to him.
Tim is apparently stubborn as hell as he tries to pace around the studio apartment. In addition to the broken wing, he also has a sprained ankle, which he refuses to stay off of.
“Will you sit down already?” Jason asks and hefts the first aid kit. “I know you’re not human and all, but whatever it is that made you visible and knocked the flight out of you managed to hurt you. You’ve been taking care of me for years, at least let me return the favor.”
The angel makes a face and sits on the kitchen chair Jason kicks out for him. “This isn’t how things are supposed to work,” Tim says with a definite pout.
“Yeah, well, deal with it. You’d think after chasing me around for however long you have that you’d know this by now.” Jason removes his gloves and gently raises Tim’s foot to rest on his lap. He prods it carefully and the angel winces right about where he expects him to. “Stay off this. I’ll wrap it and get you some ice.”
“I’ve been assigned to you for almost eight years now, Jason,” Tim replies. “Ever since you came back to life, I have been here by your side.”
Jason can’t help but grin at that. “Every moment? I can think of quite a few times where a little privacy is appreciated,” he comments with a lecherous waggle of his eyebrows. He’s not exactly promiscuous, but when the urge strikes, Jason very definitely has a type. A type who happens to be sitting across from him with wings and a linen kilt wrapped around his waist.
Tim blushes faintly. “Once I’ve made sure there’s no danger, I leave the room.”
“Aww, now aren’t you a gentleman? Next time, feel free to watch. I’ll put on a good show for you.” Jason scoots closer and prods at Tim’s side, feeling his ribs. The angel startles at the touch and the color on his cheeks grows incrementally. “Relax, I’m just checking to see if any ribs are busted. I think the fire escape broke your fall.”
“And my wing,” Tim grinds out.
“Definitely the wing,” Jason agrees, keeping his focus on Tim’s torso and not the giant wall of feathers rising over Tim’s strong shoulders. The angel may be slender, but he’s all muscle, which makes sense considering all the flying he must do. Those things look heavy. “I’m still not sure how we’re going to bind that.”
Tim heaves a sigh as Jason finishes prodding at his ribs. None are broken, but there might be some bruising. “I do, and I’ll need your help to set the bone. I heal quickly.”
“Good to know.” Jason turns his attention to the wings. “So, what do I need here?”
One makeshift splint made up of some wooden kitchen utensils and a hell of a lot of tape later, Jason nods in satisfaction. Tim just looks pale, all color having drained from his face when Jason set the bone. “I think I have some booze here,” he offers. “Might help take the edge off.”
Tim nods weakly. “It’s better than nothing.”
Jason finds a half finished bottle of vodka in the freezer and two clean shot glasses. “Bottom’s up,” he says, pouring them both a drink with a small flourish.
The angel slams his back like he’s been doing it for years. Jason swallows a laugh because who knows, maybe he has, what with all the shit he’s put him through. Tim drinks another one and Jason helps him back to the sofa where he promptly closes his eyes and sinks into the plush cushions.
“Take a load off and relax,” Jason orders. “I’m gonna grab a shower, and if you’re still awake when I’m done, I’ll put in a movie.”
Tim waves him off wordlessly and Jason retreats into the small bathroom. It feels all kinds of wrong, but as he showers, he can’t help but rub one out, his mind full of the beautiful angel sitting in his living room. He remembers the feel of his skin, warm and pliant under his fingers. And his wings…Jason shudders as he spills over his fingers. Never before has he encountered anything so incredibly soft.
He feels guilty as he finishes cleaning up. Lusting after an angel is a new low for him.
When he’s done and dressed in a pair of gym shorts and a t-shirt, Jason emerges from the bathroom with a clean washcloth, a bar of soap, and a small basin of warm water. Tim’s wingtips are still dirty. It bothers him, even more than jacking off does.
Tim appears to be asleep, but he cracks open an eye when Jason kneels at his feet. “What are you doing?”
“Your wings are dirty. Thought I’d try and wash them for you.”
Pale blue eyes open wide to stare down at him. “Do you have any idea what you’re offering?”
“A sponge bath?” Jason replies, holding up the damp cloth.
Tim holds his gaze a moment longer before he breaks down and laughs. Jason’s heart soars at the melodious sound. He understands what the expression choir of angels means now. “Only a lover offers to groom the wings of another angel,” he finally explains.
Oh. Oh. Jason’s hand jerks back and he can feel the flush creeping up the back of his neck. “Well, uh, I’m just trying to help. Not offering anything else,” he says quickly, his mouth running independently from his brain. “Unless you want to, because damn, you’re practically everything I’ve ever dreamed of.”
And now his brain decides to join in and the rush of words halt. Jason is mortified over what he just said. He just propositioned an angel. A celestial being with who knows what kind of power, even if he is temporarily out of commission.
Fuck, he just signed a one way ticket to Hell the next time he kicks the bucket.
But Tim surprises him and smiles gently as he shifts on the sofa so that his unbound wing is free to move. “You may groom me,” he says, his voice full of quiet intent. “Depending on how well you do, we’ll see what happens next.”
The next morning dawns red as the battle rages on. Jason blearily wonders why he didn’t close the window blinds last night. Red skies aren’t exactly enjoyable to wake up to. He stretches and grimaces slightly at faint burn he feels below his waist. It takes him a moment to remember what happened and when he does, he bolts upright and stares at the now empty spot where Tim passed out after he finished plowing Jason’s ass. Neither wanted to take the chance of jostling his injured wing, so it seemed the best way to accomplish what they both desired.
Jason spots Tim leaning against the kitchen counter on the other side of the small studio, a cracked coffee mug in hand. He tries to suppress a laugh, but doesn’t quite manage it.
The angel is wearing a pair of rainbow colored boxers Jason is pretty sure belong to Dick and a stained red hoodie, backwards no less because, hello, wings. But what has him snickering the most is the incredible bedhead he’s sporting. If it weren’t for the wings, Tim’s claim of being a celestial being would be in serious doubt.
“Something funny?” the angel asks as he strides across the room, no longer limping.
“Have you looked in the mirror?” Jason can’t help but ask, shaking his head incredulously. “You’re a hot mess.”
Tim chuckles and takes a seat beside Jason on the bed. “Even angels need coffee in the morning.”