(Bruce & bby Robin!Jason)
Bruce starts fussing as soon as he frees Jason from the steel cargo crate the smugglers trapped him in, and he refuses to believe Jason when he says he’s fine. All Jason’s got is a cut on his arm that he already wrapped with a strip of his yellow cape, and a wicked bump on his head that’s just making him act a little stupid.
“Gee, Boss… were you really that worried ‘bout me?” Jason teases weakly.
Bruce says something. Jason can see his mouth moving, but he can’t make out a single word. He must’ve blacked out next, because he’s suddenly strapped into the passenger seat of the Batmobile and so dizzy he feels like hurling. He’s never felt this carsick before in his life.
Bruce glances over when he hears Jason groan.
“I should have found you sooner,” he says, frowning. Even though Jason can hardly think over the aching in his head, he can tell there’s an apology in there.
“S’okay, don’t worry…” Jason murmurs, his head pounding, pounding away painfully with his heartbeat. “Knew you’d show… eventually. Wasn’t worried for a second.” He stops and swallows back the bile that’s rising dangerously high in his throat. “M’sorry for… getting caught.”
Bruce takes one hand off of the steering wheel and strokes the back of Jason’s head, careful not to touch the spot where he was struck, the swelling lump that’s causing him so much pain.
Jason closes his eyes, hoping it’ll make the nausea go away. “Just don’t get mad if… I puke on you… ‘kay?”
And Bruce doesn’t.
(Barbara & Cass)
Cass doesn’t make it back to her own apartment after the night’s patrol. She falls asleep on Barbara’s sofa, still in uniform, on her side with her hands curled by her face.
As Barbara passes by on her way to the kitchen, she notices the small cut above Cass’s eyebrow. Cass fought Killer Croc on her own tonight, and that scratch is the only mark she walked away with. It’s a tiny thing, hardly bled at all. Won’t need stitches.
Barbara comes back with a first-aid kit, and Cass barely stirs as she dabs at the scrape to disinfect it. That girl sleeps like the dead, when she knows she’s somewhere safe.
Barbara finishes off by covering the scratch with a band-aid. It’s black with a pattern of little gold bat symbols. She knows Cass will like it.
(Steph & Dick)
“Stop! I said— Stop! You’re making me—” Steph can’t hold it back—she bursts out into a laugh that winds up more like a nasally snort, making a gush of blood shoot from her nose. “Stop making me laugh, you dick!”
That sends her and Dick into another round of uncontrollable peals of laughter. Like her, he’s clutching a towel to his own bleeding nose. Steph doesn’t know about him, but she’s pretty sure that her nose is totally broken, because the streaming blood just won’t stop.
She can’t even remember what’s so funny, just that it’s so funny that she and Dick can hardly breathe for laughing. They’re both gross, grinning, shaking messes with red-soaked washcloths and blood dripping down to their chins. Giggling fits and bloody noses are the worst combination.
(Jason & Tim)
“Replacement,” Jason calls out. There’s no answer, no sign of movement at all from the body lying in the corner of the alleyway. As Jason gets closer he sees the blood pooling on the concrete. “Red Robin!”
Tim’s cowl is torn up and his one uncovered eye flutters open at Jason’s voice. He looks up, his bloody lips twitching into a smile. He actually smiles at the sight of Jason, and that’s when Jason knows the kid is really fucked up.
Tim opens his mouth, trying to speak, but the only noise that comes out is raspy and softer than a whimper. The little Jason can see of Tim’s face is bruised, beaten to a pulp, but what’s more worrying is the blood seeping from his side, spreading and staining his tunic a darker red. Gotta be at least two bullet wounds. The layers of kevlar and body armour must’ve slowed them down and kept them from reaching too deep, but he’s been bleeding for a while now.
“Tim,” Jason says firmly, grabbing the kid’s chin tightly in his hand and shaking his head so he’ll pay attention. Jason sure as hell doesn’t need the city’s other vigilantes pissed off at him because he failed to keep their precious Timmy from dying. “Stay the fuck alive or else I’m going to punch you so hard you come back to life. And then I’ll shoot you myself so I can do it again.”
Ignoring Tim’s broken cry of pain, Jason easily hoists him up in his arms and starts running. Doc Thompkins’ place is only a few blocks from here and Jason knows the quickest shortcut. As long as Tim can go another minute or two without doing something stupid like bleeding out, they’ll make it in time.
(Steph & Damian)
When Damian regains consciousness, his right arm is wrapped up from wrist to elbow in a fresh cast with bright purple casing.
Brown, still wearing her Batgirl uniform, is sitting and grinning at his bedside. Damian reassures himself that it will only require one hand to strangle her.
“Like it?” she asks, tapping the cast. Her smile twists at the corners, changing into something vindictive. “I helped Alfred put it on. And look—I even signed it!”
Damian follows the direction of her finger and scowls at the large writing scrawled across his arm. He will need to talk to Pennyworth about promptly replacing his cast, because there is absolutely no way he will walk around the next few weeks with a purple one that reads BATGIRL ROX.
(Dick & Tim)
“Tell me, Tim. No, really, please explain,” says Dick, sitting on the edge of Tim’s bed and smiling down at his sick little brother. “I would love to hear how you got mono.”
“It’s all Kon’s fault.”
Dick chokes on air and laughs so hard, his entire body heaving, that he slips off the side of the bed and lands on the floor. Tim glares at him with bleary eyes.
“He was drinking out of my water bottle,” he explains sullenly. “He must’ve been carrying the germs from some crazy fan that kissed him. At least, that’s what he said. Half the Titans have caught it now and it’s all. His. Fault.”
“And how did Bruce react when you told him you got mono from Superboy?” asks Dick, breathless from laughter.
Tim’s already fever-flushed face flushes hotter at the memory. He rolls over and pulls his quilt up over his head to cocoon himself, mumbling something miserable into his pillow, and Dick sympathetically pats the blanketed lump that is his brother.
(Cass & Damian)
Damian’s seconds from passing out, blackness creeping in from the edges of his vision. His attempts to claw away at the meaty hand wrapped around his throat are becoming more and more feeble, useless, but he can’t give up.
There’s a dark blur of movement, and then the man holding up Damian by the neck cries out in pain and drops him.
Damian lands ungracefully, crumpled on the ground and gasping for cold, needed air that burns his throat and lungs like acid. By the time Cassandra has the thug beaten into submission and tied up for the cops, Damian’s pulled himself up onto his hands and knees.
He still can’t stand. He tries, but his head is spinning and his legs are shaking beyond his control. He can’t suck in enough air through his swollen, bruising throat. He can’t catch his breath. Gulps of air turn into hollow coughs and wheezes that wrack his entire body and make tears stream from his eyes, under his mask.
Cassandra’s kneeling beside him. She rubs his back soothingly, and at first Damian wants to jerk away from her touch—he’s not weak, he doesn’t require her assistance—but… it is helping. Slightly.
“Shh…” she says kindly, as his gasps become slower, more even. The panic receding. “Calm breaths, Robin. Shh…”
(Damian & Dick)
Dick wakes up to a full-body ache, a soreness that reaches from his head to his toes and sinks down deeper than any bruise. His limbs feel heavy, like they’re filled with sand. Much too heavy to lift. He remembers a poison dart, and feeling like he was burning from the inside out, and Damian’s worried face.
Damian’s here now. Dick smiles, causing his dry lips to crack. Damian helps Dick sit up in bed and take a sip of water, watching him warily all the while.
He doesn’t wait for Dick to say anything before he begins talking, his tone brisk and carefully calculated.
“Pennyworth was worried the antidote would not work. He said we returned to the bunker too late. He said the poison had spread too far… and the chances were not ideal.”
There’s guilt hidden in Damian’s voice and in the way he glances down at his hands in his lap. He was the one responsible for getting them home once Dick succumbed to the poison and passed out. But before Dick can assure him that it wasn’t his fault, that he did a good job, Damian continues.
“I’m sure he’ll be pleased to know he was wrong. He was trying to remain hopeful, but he was very upset.”
“Damian…” says Dick, struggling to sit up more. He’s interrupted again.
“I knew he was wrong, of course,” says Damian curtly, avoiding Dick’s eyes. “He is by no means an expert on toxicology. I’ve studied poisons much more extensively than he has. Mother had me learn as part of my training. I… I knew…”
Dick summons all his strength to lift his heavy arms. He reaches forward and, minding the IV line and other tubes and wires attached to him, pulls Damian into a hug that the boy doesn’t reject, for once. Damian clings back tightly, his fingers digging almost painfully into Dick’s back. He rests his head against his older brother’s shoulder.
“…I knew you would wake up.”
(Barbara & Jason)
“Alfred would be able to do a much better job of this, you know,” Barbara tells Jason.
The gash was deep and jagged and in a nasty spot—running down his back, right between his shoulder blades. She did her best with the stitches, but they’re definitely not her specialty. Alfred, though… Alfred can sew up the worst wounds so well that the scars they leave are nearly invisible. His stitches are the neatest and least likely to rip.
“Yeah, I know. I just didn’t feel like going to the Cave tonight and putting up with everyone. Feels like I’ve been treading on thin ice with them lately. They always ask too many questions,” says Jason as Barbara finishes bandaging his back. He stretches his arms, testing the pull of his stitches. “If I could reach my own back, I would’ve just done it myself.”
“Why did you come to me, Jason?”
“I guess… you’ve always been pretty decent to me. Fair.” He pulls on his shirt as he talks, muffling his voice. His hair is mussed when his head reemerges, and he runs a hand through it lazily. “And you don’t ask as many questions as them ‘cause you already know everything.”
She smiles, but there’s no humour behind it. Jason stands and picks up his jacket and helmet off the countertop.
“Thanks for the hand, Babsy. I gotta head out now, but… I owe you one.”
Before he can take another step towards the door, Barbara wheels in front of him, effectively blocking his way. He raises an eyebrow at her. She raises one right back at him challengingly and crosses her arms.
“You’re not going anywhere, short pants. Not with all the blood you’ve lost and all the painkillers I’ve given you. You’re staying here tonight—doctor’s orders.”
He snorts. “You’re not a doctor.”
“Jason, stay. Take a shower, take some food from my fridge. You can sleep in my bed—I’m not going to use it tonight anyway. I have too much work to do.”
He surprises her by shrugging and accepting the offer without further argument. He must be even more exhausted than she thought.
She falls asleep in front of her computer and wakes up to the sound of the door slamming shut. On her desk there’s a takeout coffee—still hot—from the nice cafe down the street. Barbara smiles. He’s not the worst houseguest she’s ever had.
(Cass & Steph)
“I should break my ankle more often, if it means piggyback rides,” Steph jokes, and Cass makes a small sound like a chuckle. A half-laugh.
Steph thinks that her being carried by Cass would probably look kind of funny, if anyone was actually around to see, since Cass is smaller than her—shorter, a lot more wiry—but she’s also scary strong. She can pick up guys much bigger and heavier than Steph, no problem.
They reach the edge of the roof. Instead of climbing down onto the fire escape, Cass lets go of one of Steph’s legs and pulls a grappling gun from her utility belt.
“Umm, Black Bat? We’re not seriously swinging like this, are we?“ She doesn’t think she’ll be able to hold on. She can barely hold on right now, unbalanced and slipping down because of her hanging leg. And, she and Cass being the awkward bundle they are, their momentum and velocity will be all screwy.
Steph really, really doesn’t want to go splat tonight. She already snapped one ankle and twisted up the other by jumping from a flaming helicopter. She thinks she’s had her share of daredevilry for today.
“Yes, we are,” says Cass. She lets go of the other leg so she can prepare her grapple, leaving Steph to cling unsupported onto her back like a koala.
“Yes. Faster this way,” Cass says confidently, aiming the grappling gun. “Trust me.”
Cass leaps from the rooftop, and trust is all Stephanie can do. She trusts and clings with all her strength, her legs wrapped around Cass’s waist and her arms tight around her neck.
And scream—Steph does a little bit of that, too. But, by the second jump, they become shouts of laughter.