Dick knew it was going to be a long shift. Any shift that involved Jason Todd was going to be a long shift.
“Top of the day, Officer Grayson,” Jason tipped an imaginary hat towards him, a mocking smile on his face.
“Look, I don’t really have time for this dance today,” Dick sighed, “I need to know if you’ve heard anything about Cobblepot’s recent movement by the harbor.”
“Really Dickie,” Jason sighed dramatically, “every time you act like I’m gonna snitch for you, and it breaks my heart to let you down every time, it really does.”
“I’m sure,” said Dick dryly.
“Besides, what’s a street rat like me gonna know what the fancy shits are on about this time?” Jason shrugged, “And I really don’t care either.”
“That’s not true,” Dick said confidently, “I know you watch over the people in this neighborhood. This area is always the quietist part of patrol. You don’t look like much, but peace is no easy feat in Gotham. And that means you have to have your ear to the ground at least some of the time or you wouldn’t be able to protect your own as well as you do.”
“Oh you Pigs always say the nicest things to me,” Jason batted his admittedly pretty eyes at him.
“Jason, people are already dying,” Dick said a little bit urgently, “Whatever Cobblepot is up to, it isn’t good.”
For a moment, Dick actually thought Jason might give this time. There was something in his eye that said he knew something and he didn’t like it one bit. That said Jason cared about whatever was going on. Then the next second it was gone.
“Not my business,” Jason shrugged airly, walking away, “Go bother someone else.”
“Fine, I’ll check it out myself then,” Dick said in frustration. He knew deep down that Jason was good, he just didn’t understand why he insisted on making things so difficult.
Jason paused and looked over at him as Dick turned to start heading back to where his bike was still hopefully parked. He had a shift to get to, anyway, and real leads to try and follow up on.
“...Oi,” Jason called.
“What?” asked Dick in exasperation.
Jason just frowned at him.
“ What? ” Dick asked again, with less patience.
“... nothing, just… stay out of this one, ‘kay?” Jason said with a half smile that didn’t touch his eyes, “I hate the Pigs in this city, but you’re not the worst, so just… this isn’t a case for good boys like you.”
“What does that mean?” Dick asked, pausing all over. Jason sometimes dropped teasing hints that ended up being very valuable, but he’d never seen him this serious, “Jason, what do you know?”
“Eh, nothing really,” Jason said, flirty persona firmly back in place, “I’d just miss looking at that cute ass if you got shot.”
“I mean, it’d totally be a crime to deprave the world of that bod, right? You wouldn’t want to commit a crime, right Officer?” Jason asked over earnestly.
“...call me if you feel like talking more,” Dick sighed, resigning himself that he wouldn’t be getting anymore out of him. Jason could be intolerable once he got going.
“I seem to have misplaced your digits, why don’t you come over here and give me-”
“Aaand that’s my signal to leave,” Dick said hurriedly.
Jason’s wolf whistles followed him out of the alley.
Jason was right, Dick managed to think, his ears still ringing from his partner’s gunshot.
Dick hadn’t quite grasped how big whatever Cobblepot was working on was. But that didn’t matter because he apparently had half the police force paid off or doing dirt work for him. Jason’s leads were always the most important, even if they were the most confusing to parse out. Dick should have spent more time trying to figure out what he meant.
Not that it was much use to him now, bleeding out as his partner advanced on him to finish the job.
A gunshot rang out, but Dick didn’t feel any new pain. Instead, he saw his partner stumble and then fall.
“Why did I have a feeling you’d be here, right in the thick of things?” sighed a familiar voice.
“Easy there,” Jason murmured, kneeling down next to him and putting pressure on the gun wound, “don’t go on dying on me now, eye candy like you just doesn’t happen every day so don’t even think about it. I forbid it.”
Dick’s fingers felt numb and useless as he tried to grasp onto Jason’s worn jacket. He needed-
“Up we go,” Jason said hoisting him into his arms, “This all would have been so much easier if you weren’t such a Golden Boy. But no, you had to be so obviously unbribable that they decided to fucking shoot you when you started to get too close.”
Dick was having trouble parsing words, but he did wonder how he never noticed how strong Jason was.
“Now we gotta get you out of here because they’ll be coming for blood soon enough,” Jason said laying him down in the back of a beat-up honda. Dick caught himself wondering if it was the one that had been reported as stolen a few days ago, “Stay awake for me now, you gotta keep pressure on this while I drive.”
Dick let his hands be guided into place as he stared up at Jason’s face. It was so worried . Dick didn’t understand, he just thought he had been an easy target for teasing. Jason couldn’t possibly like him. Dick had so many questions.
The car ride was a hazy blur outside time, interrupted only by the sharp awful pain all through him every time they hit a pothole.
He wondered what story would be told in the police station. If he would be painted the hero or the villain of the crime scene. He wondered if they’d try to hunt him down if he lived.
He wondered what Jason would do if he died.
“Leslie! I need a backdoor surgery pronto!”
And then he didn’t wonder anything.