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birds of a feather

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Jason stood on the roof, surveying the smoking crater that had been his hideout and former police precinct.  Well. There went a perfectly good base.

Besides him, Rose kicked a rock off the side of the roof.  “Well,” She said lightly, “that was fun. We should do it again sometime.”

“Every time the three of us hang out together,” Eddie chimed in from where he was sprawled on his back, “shit turns fucked.  Ever think about that?”

Jason snorted.  “Last time we hung out, we literally went to Hell.  This time all we did was blow up a police precinct. If the trend continues, it should only get better from here on out.”

Eddie corrected, “You blew up a police precinct.  Rose and I had nothing to do with that.”

“No, we definitely helped,” Rose said.

“We should probably get out of here,” Jason said, as more police showed up, the sirens getting closer and more frequent.

He turned on his heel and ran in the opposite direction as Rose followed and Eddie scrambled after them.

Jason had been surprised when they'd shown up.  He hadn't seen either of them since before he came back.  Apparently, Black Mask had had something on Rose that she wanted back (something to do with her mother - she didn't offer up any specifics and Jason didn't ask for any).  Not one to miss out on an adventure or to leave Rose unsupervised, Eddie had tagged along. Thus, Jason found himself fighting alongside the only friends he’d had as Robin.  Just like the good old days, huh?

It’d been a simple agreement - Jason would help them find the files they were looking for, and they would help him take down Mask.  Of course things hadn’t stayed that simple, but they rarely did where Jason was concerned.

It wasn't long before they reached his preferred safe house.  He disabled the security and they all slipped inside, catching their breath.

“Hey, is your dad gonna like, kick our asses for this?” Asked Eddie.

Jason scowled at the reminder that he was going to have to deal with the old man, sooner or later.  “I’ll handle it,” He muttered. He shrugged off his jacket and threw it on his couch.

“I’m always down to fight Batman,” Rose interjected.  “Just so you know.”

Jason was oddly flattered at that.  He smirked. “Thanks, but I’ll be okay.”

She shrugged nonchalantly, but he didn't doubt that if he said the word, she'd be ready to drive her sword through Bruce’s neck.

He started walking towards the kitchen.  “You guys hungry?”

Eddie opened his mouth to answer, but his growling stomach did the talking.  He grimaced sheepishly. If his skin wasn't already lobster red, it’d be turning a bright red right now.

“I could eat,” Rose said, and Jason snorted.

They ended up at his kitchen table, eating sandwiches and drinking orange juice at three in the morning, in comfortable silence.  Well, it was almost a comfortable silence. Eddie piped up, “You know, the three of us make a good team. I always thought that.”

Jason and Rose exchanged a look, both wary of where this was going.

“Our Titans aren't really… a thing anymore,” He continued.  “And I don't know about either of you, but I don't have anything concrete lined up in the near future.  And since people like us should stick together… what if we made this, like, a permanent thing?”

“What is ‘this,’ exactly?” Rose asked dubiously, and Jason mulled over what ‘people like us’ was supposed to mean.

Eddie gestured at the three of them.  “This. You know. All three of us, fighting crime, kicking ass, taking names.  We're a good team, I mean it.”

Jason frowned, something twisting in his gut as he thought about Roy and Kory.  “I don't know, Eddie.”

“C’mon, fighting crime by yourself is a recipe for disaster.  Besides, someone's gotta have your backs when Batman decides to be a CPS-certified asshole.  Or Deathstroke, for that matter. We could really do something, guys.”

Jason and Rose exchanged another look, this one more bemused.  Jason wasn't sure what to make of the CPS comment, but he decided to let it slide.

“Well, speaking of Batman, he won't like the idea of you guys sticking around,” He said.  “And I don't plan on straying far from Gotham very often.”

“Fine.  It's not like we have places we're bound by birth to.”

Rose snorted.  “I don't really care where we go.  I’m flexible.”

Eddie turned to her, excited.  “So, you're agreeing?”

She shrugged.  “Why not? I’m not exactly a team player, but this isn't exactly a team, is it?  Just a bunch of outlaws who don't really belong anywhere.”

He nodded emphatically.  “Yeah,” He said. “And-” He jerked his head at Jason - “since when do you care what Batman thinks?”

“I don't,” Jason replied immediately, smirking.  “I was just warning you guys.”

“I’m not scared of him,” Eddie said.  “Well, maybe a little, but not that much.  Rose?”

“I already told you,” She said, tilting back in her chair.  “I’m always down to fight Batman.”

Eddie gave Jason a ‘you-see?’ look.  Jason frowned.

He hadn't trusted anyone since Kory and - and Roy.  He hadn't really let anyone in, not even his quote-unquote ‘family.’  That's not what Rose and Eddie were explicitly asking for, but that's what it felt like.  Having each other's back usually meant in every sense of the term. Sticking around together meant getting to know each other better.

Eddie had been Jason’s first friend as a kid, and his only friend for a while.  The letters they'd exchanged had gotten personal more than once. Rose had been a fun acquaintance who had dragged him into a few risky, adrenaline-fueled missions.  And he wouldn't have to worry about any moral absolutism from her. Both of them were loyal to a fault, and stubborn when it came to people they cared about. They'd already practically pledged their loyalty to him.  And when it came down to it… Jason was tired of being alone. Life was too fucking short.

He sighed.  “What the hell,” He said.  Then he raised his glass of orange juice.  “Might as well, right?”

Eddie’s grin was radiant as he knocked their glasses together.  Rose was more tame, but she was clearly was pleased nonetheless.

“I can already tell this is gonna be a fun threesome,” Eddie said.  Rose and Jason groaned.

“Dude,” Jason said.   At the same time, Rose said, “Did you have to phrase it like that?”

Eddie asked indignantly, “What?”

They launched into a debate about the meaning of certain words.  As he sit, listened, and interjected with his own thoughts, Jason felt like breathing was a little easier.  There was still the scraps of Black Mask’s empire to throw out, Bruce to deal with, evidence to destroy, but for now, Jason could just sit and enjoy the company in his little kitchen.