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turning saints into the sea

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When Jason first questioned himself about his sexuality, he was only 11. A run in with the butcher store guy around the corner of the street went south almost as quickly as a horse race. A "Green Jacket" jumped in between the goose chase before what Jason calculated could turn into his 4th time around the GCPD in the last year. Well, at least that's what he called him. "Green jacket" with that somersault from the third floor alleyway window. "Green Jacket" with those kicks and punches over which 12 year old action junkies could swoon. Not that Jason wasn't. "Green Jacket" with that firm grip that held Jason's hand and helped him up and Jason couldn't believe what he was thinking at the moment. He considered himself older than most people he came across what with fending himself in the streets ever since he was the only kin left. He thought he'd seen it all, the idea which even then was laughable because... Come ON. He hasn't even hit puberty yet. And here he was staring into the deep doe brown eyes of a certain "Green Jacket" and thinking to himself "....oh". Green Jacket, as he soon stumbles upon the information, was called Curtis one of Faye Gunn's many lost children. And suddenly he was eager to know more. But that never happened. Green jacke- Curtis.. as he later puts it together in one of his 3am debates with a non existent God.. was merely his awakening.

 

The next time Jason had to face the question bearing deep into his soul wasn't so long after the short "bat tyre exchange" with batman. Only a few weeks after that Jason's entire life changed. Not only was he fighting crime alongside BATMAN but also the warded second son of multi-billionaire Bruce Wayne. These were a series of oddly hilarious events which started with Jason getting an iPod and ending with Jason vaguely asking Bruce to let him go to an MCR concert. Well.. at least the 'end' of the ridiculousness he was feeling which dissipated into certainty once he saw Gerard Way screaming his lungs out not more than 5 feet away from him. It was heaven. He knew staring at those posters and watching YouTube videos any time he wasn't kicking criminals in their asses or busy doing school stuff wasn't out of mere admiration and idol-worship. He had found himself his first (as he overheard kids in school talk) "celebrity crush". It was a man and it didn't bother him. He was 13 and attracted to his same sex as well as the opposite sex and he didn't know how to take that information because he never had anyone to advice him on 'sexual urges' which most of the kids his age have already had in the form of an awkward dinner table discussion because that's how parents roll. So he put it aside and rendered it unimportant. What is it to anyone, after all?

 

Then came Jordan. Jason was never the dating type. Many girls (and a few guys) have asked him out but he only turned them down. He was 14 and he didn't need this. Not to mention a whole chunk of his life is supposed to be in the darkness of the batcave. But Jordan. He was different. He was baby blues and tan skin. He was the smell of exported coffee and Jason was a train running on whatever's left of its fuel. It started with study sessions at eachother's places with promised cigarettes and beer cans and eventual making out behind closed doors. Alfred never pushed to ask but he always knew and now he was certain. Jason smiled more and presented himself better without having Bruce to chew his head off. He was always a well behaved kindred soul which surprised Alfred. Obviously he shouldn't have judged so soon given where Jason came from. Jason loved books, clean rooms and asked around to help. Problem being his reasonable trust issues and reserved nature.. which, it seemed, wasn't the case when it came to Jordan. So obviously Alfred knew when Jordan's weekly visits and Jason's frequent "trips to the library because I've already read all the books Bruce owns, Alfie" came to an abrupt stop that something was wrong. Alfred knew the next morning when Jason refused his favourite alfred-recipe bacon and eggs that he should talk to Jason. Alfred knew a few days later when he saw Jason come back from school eyes red rimmed and nose red that what Jason's going through might be his first ever heart break. Alfred knew when Bruce called him out on his sloppy display of Robin which let the perp accidentally get shot by the officer. "It could have been you" but Jason just got up and left. Not even bothering with an aggressive comeback or the meaningless blame-game. Alfred knew what Jordan meant and Alfred decides not to interfere when Bruce apologizes at the breakfast table and sheepishly asks "girl problems?" to which Jason replies "something like that" and leaves.

 

Jason dies when he was 15. Jason dies when he didn't even know what he was doing and was blinded by his judgement. Jason dies thinking to himself his mother tricked him and his father doesn't care enough. Jason dies with a wish to apologize to every single person he pushed away or never returned a favour. Jason dies and Dick finds out an important part of Jason's life on stumbling upon Jordan whilst visiting his grave. Jason was dead and Dick finds out about his ex-boyfriend he was too young to work things out with. Anger and regret out of all the emotions overwhelming Dick pushing him over the edge that it's his brother and that's just so unfair. His brother who he never even had the time to ask for a movie because he was too busy feeling sorry for himself. His brother who now lies 7 feet under the grass because he was never there for him. All of this come crashing on him.. like a crumbling brick wall as he looks at Jordan and his bloodshot eyes looking so small in.... is that Jason's hoodie?

 

After the events of Red Hood and Batman finally coming in terms with eachother, it took more that a year to convince Jason that they're still family and that the Wayne manor is his home as it always was. Just a few words from his old man Alfie and Jason couldn't say no. He moved back to the manor with the freedom of walking out whenever he wanted as long as we promised to come back. Jason NEVER brought people home. Guests or someone close enough for a family dinner. After everything that happened, no one could blame him for wanting to be alone. But that changed as did Jason's coping mechanism. Random strangers seeing him off. Not at the manor, no. It was Bruce and Tim's own twisted way to keep an eye on him by stalking him with a justification that they cared a lot. So Tim wasn't surprised when Bruce choked on his coffee and spilled half of it on the monitor when Jason pushed against the guy on the bar stool and kissed him like his life depended on it. "I just never knew" he said when Tim stared at him for a minute too long probably wondering to himself if after all this time he'll have to run away in the events to Bruce being homophobic.

 

If you asked Barbara, she'd say Jason wasn't capable of being in a commitment. "It runs in their blood even if they aren't related. Every single one of them is emotionally constipated." Stephanie agreed firmly, taking out a list of the history of relationships of the bat boys. Cass was shocked as to HOW a person could make time out of their day to do that while Barbara shrugged. Apparently the boys were like kittens with yarn balls left in an observation tank for them to exchange readings under occasions such as "Girls Night". There were a lotta jokes thrown around until Cassandra decided to pick on Jason's list (Barbara wasn't surprised. Out of all the kids, Cass and Jason really took to eachother). She was absolutely bewildered to find the names of girls as well as boys on there. It seemed right but it was so new to her that she asked if that was okay. The pure innocence with which Cass asked left Stephanie in awe and made Barbara recite one of her "oh sweetie" mother-henning lectures. They concluded with it being the best girls night ever.

 

Damian had never thought he'd ever have to take advice on matters which held materials that could destroy his pride. Jason never thought he'd see his 11 year old self in his 11 year old little brother. Yet there they were talking one dead Robins club member to another. Honestly, it couldn't have been more awkward. Hilarity of the situation is almost unintangible when Dick overhears the conversation and yelps bringing the session to an abrupt end. Jason later approaches Damian while they're patrolling 52nd street along side the City Hospital. Not interested in why Damian's asking but just wanting to help a kid stuck in a relatable pit. After almost an hour of introducing Damian to the several LGBT+ spectrums and a heart felt note the world not being the same ever since MCR broke up (Jason got distracted don't blame him), Damian (the follow up is gonna blow your minds but don't ever mention this again) hugs Jason with a muffled "thank you". Lets just say Jason was glad he had his mask on.

 

Jason felt that after loosing eachother so many times the bonds they built amongst one another was severed. Almost like a chandelier holding on to its last cable. Exactly the reason why he left the manor once and for all, 'this time for real' he told himself. He was done with it and the whole family thing just isn't working for him. Yet he asks himself why wasn't he surprised when he woke up on his birthday to find the entire family scattered around his living room still in their patrol suits and eyes barely open. Why wasn't he angry when he went to pay three months worth of his rent only to find out that it's already been paid and won't be due for almost a year. Trying his best to suppress the guilt and the longing. He asked himself why wasn't he surprised that his secret stashes of cigarettes were continuously raided and emptied from his "own fucking apartment what the fuck Grayson ever heard of PRIVACY?!" He asked but he already knew. He already knew the answer when they settled to celebrate his 25th birthday at the manor on Alfred's request and he stood up and cleared his throat demanding an audience. All he said was "let's just make it short and be done with it as soon as possible. I'm coming out to-" and the entire room rang with a chorus of "we know", "yep" and "you're saying you weren't out already?" He knew the answers to all of these 'why's.

 

He'll never admit but Jason treasures the strings of "congratulations" and "I'm proud of you"s coming from different corners of the table. He treasures every minute of the conversation his family had about how they found out while Jason pretended to be uninterested, even though the fact that they cared so much was making him feel all mushy. He treasures the "if he ever breaks your heart" speech Dick delivered in his own tooth achingly sweet way even though he 'politely' flipped off the offer with a "Fork Off". But what he'll always cherish was the nod Bruce sent his way. A proud smile and soft old eyes to which Jason awkwardly smiled back and averted his gaze. An unspoken 'im proud of you son' and 'thanks dad'. His sexuality was never important to him. Who he wants to be with was nobody's concern.. but this right here? The support and acceptance he didn't think he needed? Maybe that's what family is for.