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Let A Night Light Burn For Me

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***

 

 

 

“What can I do? How can I help?”

Jason meets his eyes through the mirror, with his own, weary blues, and the small smile that climbs over his lips is truthful and reassuring. “Don’t worry, Dickiebird. I can manage.”

Jason’s just finishing the stiches above his eyebrow, wincing a little. He’s already cleaned up and stitched the other wound -one that looked far more serious- at his abdomen, probably caused by some kind of blade. There are more, fresh cuts and heavy bruises all over his currently bare torso and arms. Dick didn’t know whom he was fighting against that night, but it must have been someone pretty rough, to manage to get Jason to look like that. Maybe he didn’t remember a single thing, but Jason Todd, in all his ridiculously pretty, handsome stature, sure looked like a tough guy. It should have taken an even tougher guy to get him like this.

Dick feels… useless. Had he been his old, true self, he’d probably been able to sit Jason down and stich him up himself. Take care of him. Right now, though… right now he can do nothing but just stand there, at the bathroom door, watching like an idiot.

Jason finishes, with a small exhale of relief. He reaches for his shirt, which is ripped exactly at the places where the new marks marring his torso spread upon his skin. He grimaces at the pain the movements cause, and, after he’s put it on, he starts picking up the objects laid all around him -needles, thread, iodine, painkillers…

It’s exactly when Dick decides to step up. He gently touches Jason's hands, making him put them down. “Leave those. Let me tide up at least. Why don’t you go and sit down, huh?”

Jason gives a small nod, no words, and leaves the bathroom with heavy footsteps. Dick cleans up all the blood and puts everything in their right places as fast as possible before he follows sort.

When he gets to the living room, Jason’s sitting on the couch, his head lying back. His eyes are closed, his breathing even. He almost looks like he’s fallen asleep. Dick smiles, approaching. As soon as he’s above him, he reaches out one hand and combs fingers through his hair.

Jason jerks a little at the contact, his eyelids popping open immediately. “I’m awake,” he murmurs, mechanically.

Dick nods, not taking his hand away.

“Do you…”

He feels stupid. Doesn’t really know how to proceed.

“Are you hungry, or anything? We could just… I don’t know, order something.”

Jason blinks up at him, staring for two seconds, and then shakes his head a little, to clear his mind, perhaps. As he’s slowly getting up, Dick retracts his hand from those soft hair. “No, I… I better get back to Gotham.”

Dick shifts his weight from one leg to another. “Oh.” A pause. “Okay then.”

Jason’s looking around for his jacket. Finds it and starts putting it on. “Hey, thanks for letting me drop by. I… I know you’re going through a lot lately, and that you don’t want any of us busting your balls. I didn’t mean to burden you…”

“It wasn’t trouble. I barely did anything at all. And you are not busting my balls.”

Jason smiles, faintly. “Bruce is?”

Dick pouts. “And Barbara.”

Jason winces. “Look… I know better than anyone how frustratingly suffocating this family can get, but… they love you, Dick. You’ve always been Bruce’s favourite person. And Babs, well…. you guys had one of those relationships that defined you. They worry about you. They care.”

Dick stares at him, crossing arms over his chest. “You don’t?”

Jason had lost a fair amount of blood that night. Despite that, color still rises on his cheeks. His mouth falls open, shuts and opens again. He takes a breath. “I care,” he manages after a while. “But I’m not good at… you know. Helping. Not like they are.”

“As far as I’m concerned, they’re not great at that either.”

Jason looks down at the floor, thoughtful and pensive. “Tim and Alfred,” he says. “Those are the ones you need. And Cass. Alfred and Cass are the best listeners. Alfred and Tim are the best advisors.”

Dick does like Alfred the best between all those new people he met upon waking up on that hospital bed, and Cassandra truly was discreet.

Jason, though…

Jason was the only person that had only visited him once. It was during his fourth week at the hospital, shortly before he was dismissed. He patiently explained who he was (Bruce had talked to him about all the members of his family, of course, but it was the very first time he actually saw Jason up close) and then he stayed for about an hour. Never went overly dramatic or anything. Dick felt like he was meeting an old buddy. He’d secretly brought him food, actual food from outside; burritos, coleslaw salad, and one piece of the most delicious chocolate cake in the world. It was a heavenly meal, and of course, he instantly liked him better than anyone else.

The fact that Jason was the only one that hadn’t made a whole fuss about his condition further added to his fondness of him. He’d asked how he was feeling, how he was doing, if there was any pain, but then he proceeded to more casual things. He’d given him a general idea about his own activities, the way he’d been working, the main reasons as to why he was the “black sheep” of the family. Then he’d talked to him about his day. Explained how he’d handed a couple of drug dealers to the GCPD, making him laugh for the first time. Asked him what his plans were, what he intended to do when he’d be getting out of the hospital. Suggested a few ideas, when he realized how lost that question made Dick feel. Even left him a phone number, in case he ever needed anything.

Tonight was the first time Dick saw him after that visit.

“So, I…” Jason’s reaching for his helmet right now. “I guess I’ll…”

He doesn’t want him to leave. And he's sick of being alone.

“Why don’t you stay here? Just for tonight?” he speaks before he can hold himself from it. “Jason, look… you’re clearly exhausted, and you’ve lost blood. You need rest. What good is surviving a battle against, I don’t know, whoever, if you’re about to fall asleep on the way to Gotham over the wheel?”

Jason huffs a breath, and Dick allows himself a spark of hope over the fact that he doesn’t instantly deny.

“I don’t know, Dick… I don’t want you to…”

“Jason,” he cuts him off, “this isn’t trouble. I swear.” He hesitates for a long moment, and then adds, “Please, stay.”

Their gazes cross, and it takes less than he anticipated for Jason to give him a slow, affirmative nod.

Dick’s certain it’s absurd to feel such delight and relief over it, but hey, emotions are what they are. “Alright then,” he smiles at him. “Seriously now, are you hungry?”

Jason shakes his head. “Nah, not hungry. Just tired.”

“Right. Right. Give me a minute to make up the bedroom…”

“Hey, Dick, no,” he instantly says. “You don’t need to do that, I’ll just sleep on the couch…”

“Bullshit, Jason. You’re injured. You’ll get a proper rest.”

Jason doesn’t have the strength to argue with him at the moment, and he takes full advantage of it by turning away and quickly heading to the bedroom.

The room, of course, looks like it’s been bombarded. He opens the window to ventilate the space a bit, and starts picking up clothes, magazines and empty plates from all over the place. He puts fresh sheets over the bed and makes sure he finds his loosest clean pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt. Jason is a few inches taller, a bit heavier, and his shoulders are certainly broader than his own. Those should fit him good enough to be comfortable.

“Come on, Jay. All set.”

Jason, who’s taken the time he’d spent tidying up to get off his gear once more, follows him to the bedroom.

“Here,” he hands him the clothes.

Jason takes them and smiles, looking down. A strand of hair’s falling over his forehead, making him look absolutely adorable. Dick restrains a sudden need to reach towards him and take his face in his hands. “What is it?” he asks instead.

“Nothing, it’s just…” He struggles with words for a little while. “This is nice, that’s all. Thanks, Dick.”

Offering a place to rest and some clean clothes to a person that’s considered his brother really isn’t much. And yet, Jason’s thank you is so genuine and warm that Dick gets the unpleasant feeling that the younger man hasn’t usually been taken care of like he should have. Not by him, at least.

Jason slips off his shirt and pants in slow, cautious moves, not to pull any stitches open or cause himself any further pain, and Dick can’t but admire the lean, yet so well-muscled figure of his. Despite the various marks and scars covering his skin (or, maybe, because of them?) it’s a certainly tantalizing sight.

To say the least.

He decides it’s not right to stare (or to keep thinking about those unbelievable thighs wrapped around him), and so, while Jason is at it, he returns to the kitchen. He fills up a glass of water, grabs a box of painkillers, and, on his way back, also brings a bucket with him.

Jason’s already laid on the bed when he enters and puts the glass and the pills beside him. He reaches out to brush away the hair falling over his forehead. Jason blinks those two blues of his slightly open. They’re hazed of exhaustion, as if drugged.

“Hey,” Dick says softly, sitting by his still form. “I’ve brought painkillers and some water, it’s on the bed stand beside you. There’s also a bucket down here, in case you feel sick. Okay?”

Jason takes a deep breath and nods, already half asleep.

“Alright. Is there anything else you need?”

He shakes his head. It’s so slight and subtle that, if Dick’s hand wasn’t buried in his hair, he wouldn’t have noticed.

He looks at him in awe. It’s a eerily beautiful picture, Jason laying there, in the semi-darkness, chest slowly rising and falling at the soft pattern of his breathing.

Dick gets up and pulls the covers over him, getting a little upset at the weird feelings claiming him over the younger male. He pulls down the window shades to block any light coming from outside, and, once he cautiously steps out and closes the door behind him, the room sinks to darkness.

 


 

 

 

It’s about 3:30 when the cries begin.

Dick, who had stayed up until a quarter ago and had just managed to slip into a dreamy doze, jerks violently, clinging tightly to the blanket over him.

He takes a moment to blink sleep away, and then focuses; it’s too goddamn clear. Thrashing and strangled cries, coming from the bedroom.

His heart skips. He jumps up and stumbles on the corridor, towards the room.

“Jason?” he shouts, punching the door open and blindly looking for the switch.

He gasps at the sight. Jason’s tangled up in the covers, tossing and turning, eyes wet and face twisted in sheer agony. He’s not asleep and deep inside a nightmare, like Dick thought he’d find him, but instead, wide awake, and utterly terrified.

He immediately rushes towards him, kneels over the bed and takes a firm hold of his wrists, pulling his wildly trembling form towards himself and trying to immobilize him, in fear that he might pull his stiches open, and who would re-patch him, then? Jason certainly wouldn’t be able to do that again, judging by his current state.

“Jason! Dammit, Jason, stop!” he yells. “Jay! Jay, look at me! Look at me!”

Dick takes his face in his hands, fixing eyes on his own, thumbs gently brushing over those high cheekbones. Cold sweat is dripping down Jason’s face.

“Jason, you’re fine,” he says, voice steady and commanding. “You’re here, right here with me. You’re safe. Safe and good. Okay?”

Jason swallows, his eyes darting around as if inspecting the place, before he lets himself get dragged forward. He buries his face into Dick’s chest, sobs viscerally jerking his body. He’s clutching Dick almost as hard as Dick clutches at him.

“Shh, it’s okay, Jay,” he says, as softly as possible, one hand rubbing at his back, the other combing through his hair. “I’m here, I’m here with you now…”

“Th—the light,” Jason’s whimpering. “N—no light, so… so dark, and… suffocating… couldn’t—couldn’t move, get… get out…”

Dick freezes. He silently curses himself, finally coming upon a realization. “Oh, my God, Jason, I… I am so, so sorry!” he whispers, holding him tighter still. “You needed rest, and I thought that any light might disturb you…”

Jason whines in despair, clinging tightly to him. “N—No…”

“Shh, Jay. I know, I know now. I am so sorry. Hush, hush there, little wing, I’ve got you, you’re safe. It’s alright, everything’s going to be…”

He stops for a moment, his breath catching.

Little wing…?

It’s the one thing that seems to break through Jason’s terror. He looks up at him, with still wet, yet surprised eyes. “D—Dickie… what did you say?” he breathes. “Who… who told you… you called me that?”

Dick gently wipes the tears away from Jason’s face. “No one,” he says. “I just… It just came out.”

They stare at each other for a moment, equally shaken, before Dick manages to break through it. He presses his lips on Jason’s clammy forehead, and then reaches for the glass of water on the bed stand. Eventually, with a little effort and a few gentle words, he manages to get him to swallow a few sips, and then returns to holding him, until the shaking has stopped, for the most part.

His mind races over the incident. Tries to recall everything Bruce and Alfred told him about Jason. As horrible as the things he knew the younger man had endured were, he couldn’t remember anything in particular that would give him any clue as to where exactly on his troubled past laid the source of this particular trauma they’re dealing with at the present moment. He can’t think of any reason why darkness had such effect over him. The roots here seemed to go deep, and, for some reason, he doubted this was something Jason had brought with him from his childhood.

Dick draws one breath inside, slowly carding his fingers through Jason’s hair. He still feels him tensed in his arms, and he’ll be damned if he leaves him alone in this room for a second, even with all the lights turned on, to the point that the house looks like a mini-Las Vegas. He doubts that Jason will be able to fall back asleep again, after all, even though it’s the one thing he needs the most.

Maybe… maybe some fresh air would help him.

“Jason,” he says calmly, not to startle him again. “Do you think you can walk?”

Jason shifts lightly in his arms, his beautiful eyes looking up at him. “Go where?”

Dick smiles.

 


 

 

 

Ten minutes later, they’re sitting over an old bench, up on the rooftop, gazing at the sky turning from pitch black to a deep, dark blue, the last remaining stars playfully blinking down at them.

Jason, with a blanket wrapped tightly around his shoulders to protect him from the early morning chill, rests his head upon his shoulder, while Dick has an arm around his waist, pressing his form close.

He likes this. He likes Jason’s company, even under those circumstances. He likes feeling the younger’s slowly relaxing figure beside him, his warmth caressing him. He revels in having the softness of his hair constantly within his reach, whenever he wants to nuzzle his face in there, or simply press another kiss.

Judging by the peacefulness of his motions, the once again even rhythm of his breathing, he supposes Jason shares that feeling.

“Better?” he asks at some point.

“Way,” comes the answer, almost immediately. “You know… for a person not remembering shit… you’re pretty damn good at being your old self, goldie.”

Dick smiles, letting out a small laugh. He runs his fingers up and down Jason’s spine, over the blanket, and figures he won’t be getting another chance like that.

“Jason,” he dares, cautiously. “Would you like to talk to me? Tell me what… that was about?”

Jason’s breath hitches. Dick feels him swallowing. “I can’t wake up in a completely dark room,” he says, voice hoarse. “I… I immediately go into a panic attack, or through shock, if… if no one gets to me in time.”

Dick shivers. “Yes, I figured that much, but… why?”

Jason clings to him tightly, and Dick answers that by doing the exact same thing. He waits patiently, giving all the time Jason needs to process the words that will follow -provided that he actually wants to talk, that is.

He does, apparently. Inhales and exhales, boosting himself before he starts. “Back when… when it happened… when I died…”

He stops, choking on the words, and Dick smooths one hand over his back, to put him at ease.

“To this day, I’m not sure how or why it happened… no one is. But the thing is that, when I woke up… it was pitch black all around, and the space… the space, so small, closing around me, and…” It seems like his throat shuts down for a second. He lets the next words out as soon as he can get them through. "I was in the coffin, the one they buried me in.”

Dick inhales sharply, cold sweat running down his spine, terror in his heart. “Oh, my God. God, Jason,” he whispers. “You… how did you… you couldn’t… you dug out?”

Jason gives a small, barely conceivable nod, and manages to turn his head just enough to look up Dick through the edge of his vision. “I have nightmares about it sometimes,” he says, voice low. “Not too often. Not as often as…”

He stops talking, clearly distressed at many different thoughts. Dick adjusts his grip around the taller man, hoping it’s as comforting and reassuring as he intends, loose enough to let Jason know that he’s not trapped, but free to remove himself at any time. “I am so sorry, Jason.”

He truly is. It’s surprisingly, deeply painful and upsetting even thinking about Jason involved in such dreadful, horrific situations. The thought that he wasn’t there for him, that he wasn’t even remotely able to protect him, was devastating. Dick shudders, fighting the need to pull Jason closer, crush him over his chest and never let him go, always keep him there, keep him safe from all harm…

“Dick? Are you okay?”

He almost jumps at the sound of Jason’s voice, and realizes he’s starring at him now, looking a little worried.

“Dick, you’re hyperventilating…”

He tries to calm down, taking a slow, very deep breath. “Yeah, I’m… I’m fine, it’s just…” He looks down at Jason, running his hand up and down his arm. “I wish I could do something… help, somehow…”

Jason smiles faintly, briefly nuzzling his face at his shoulder. “You’re helping,” he reassures him, and then chuckles. “Dammit, Grayson. You’re still the same. The spirit is there. You don’t realize it, but it’s true.”

Dick shuffles, uncomfortably. “Is this a bad thing?”

Jason shakes his head. “It’s the best thing.”

Dick stares at the city lights, that are slowly dying away.

“Come on, Jay,” he says mildly. “You need to rest. Let’s get back home.”

 

 


 

 

 

Once he’s got him safely tucked back in the bed, and after he’s pulled up the window shades, Dick sits beside him, hands resting at either side of him. “Everything all right?” he asks softly.

Jason looks up at him, giving one tiny nod. Dick gazes at him, at the luminous, silver light that’s coming from the window. Reaches out one hand to brush it through his hair. “I’ll leave the door open as well. Is this good enough?”

“Yeah,” Jason says quietly. “What time is it?”

“About five thirty.”

Jason hums. “Dawn is close, after all.”

“It is,” Dick agrees. “Okay then. I’ll leave you to it.”

Jason doesn’t respond. Dick detects a strange spark in his eyes, gone within a second, worthy to be questioned. He can’t tell if it was sadness, protest, frustration, or… or something else entirely. Something that he maybe… shares with him.

He feels unable to move away. There’s a sudden heat swirling around in his gut, rising high, spreading all over his body, burning his face.

He leans over Jason and kisses his forehead. Allows his lips to linger there, until he has a sense of him lightly shivering in something that can’t be interpreted as anything else other than anticipation. His mouth then travels to his temple. Keeps kissing his way down Jason’s face, over his eyelids, cheekbones, cheeks and nose, until Jason’s breathless, his mouth slightly parted.

Dick meets those plush lips.

It’s a slow, sensual kiss. He pries Jason’s lips wide open, glad that he doesn’t really meet any resistance in the process. He meets all but that, actually, as he slips his tongue inside, exploring, tasting him like he longed to, arousal driving him insane.                                                                                                                                                  

Jason’s briefly breaking the kiss (quite reluctantly, it seems), pushing his head further back on the pillow. As far as Dick’s concerned, he makes a mesmerizing picture; lied there, on his bed, trapped between his hands, some strands falling over his forehead, lips red and wet, a thin thread of saliva hanging between them.

“Dick,” he’s whispering against his lips, but Dick doesn’t let him go on, trapping his mouth in another kiss. He dreads the words that might come off that sweet mouth, all the doubts and fears that currently occupy his own head as well… and that he intends to lock into the furthest corner on his mind, for now.

He won’t let this go. Won’t let Jason go. He can’t. Not right now. Nothing will spoil this.

Still kissing him, he slowly brings his hands under Jason’s t-shirt (his own t-shirt on Jason) and, very lightly, not to cause him any pain, slides his fingers and palms all over his skin, his sides. That flat, muscled stomach.

Jason moans in his mouth. Dick smiles faintly, guiding his lips further down to lightly suck and bite at his neck.

“Jason, I want you so much,” he murmurs, rubbing his forehead against Jason’s collarbone, once the first, satisfying mark that’s his is placed over the younger man’s skin. “You want me too, don’t you? You’ll be mine, won’t you, Jay?” His voice is wild with agony, with arousal, with a need he can’t remember himself feeling before. “You want me to have you, don’t you, baby?”

Jason swallows, bringing two shaky hands up to bury them in Dick’s hair. “God, I… God, Dick, I… yes. Yes.”

Dick smiles, kissing along his chest, when a sudden thought makes him look up in worry, his touch turning instantly comforting instead of passionate. “Jason, if I’m in any way hurting you… If at any point you want me to stop…”

Instead of saying anything, Jason pulls him closer. He’s utterly relieved at the clear consent, yet still worried. Despite everything, despite trembling in his own anticipation, Jason’s still injured, and he’ll be wise to remember that. Last thing he wants is to cause him any pain. He’ll have to be careful, considerate. He doesn’t just want his own pleasure. Jason’s is just as important.

He wants to take care of him.

“… ’m gonna make you feel so good, Jay,” he rasps, and doesn't recognize his own voice. “You don’t have to do anything, alright? Just leave it all to me.”

Dick swiftly undresses himself, not paying attention to where his clothes land. Jason then obediently raises his arms, letting him pull the t-shirt away, and slightly moves his hips up, to help him discard the sweatpants and underwear as well, leaving him also completely naked.

He parts those long legs to settle between them, squeezing those marvelous thighs with both hands as he pushes them apart, like he’d wanted to for some time now. The thought of those tightly wrapped around him some day when Jason feels better, possessing all of his natural strength, combined with the current view of that body sprawled out on his sheets, sends a twitch down, right at his already hardened cock.

“God, you’re so beautiful,” he whispers, leaning over him and showering him with kisses, all over his face and torso. “So beautiful, so sweet, so good for me, my Jason, my love…”

He feels delirious, completely taken by the beautiful man under him. His hands tremble a little when he opens the bottle of lube he keeps at the bottom drawer of the bed stand -he’d found he owned that once he’d started exploring his house. He pours a generous amount on his fingers first, and then onto Jason's twitching hole. Rubs his thumb against the tender skin there. Shushes his little wing softly when he whines, as he slips one finger in.

Dick reaches out and rests his hand on top of Jason's, which is currently lying on his side, weakly curled up in the sheet. He slips his fingers between his, easing his grip there, and squeezes his hand as he slides another finger inside him. He then rests his forehead against the warm skin of Jason’s collarbone, kissing his way down his pecs.

“Dick, please,” Jason mumbles breathlessly.

Dick brushes his fingers deeper inside Jason, toying with his prostate. He nuzzles at his neck, sucking a bruise there when Jason moans, the sound causing a thin stream of precum rush through his cock. He thinks it’s just about time, as he slowly retracts his fingers. Jason’s cheeks flush a lustful shade of red, his lips parting. He gasps and shudders as Dick slowly sheathes himself inside him, inch by inch. Arches, when he’s all the way in, his long legs up and bended. Whines, as Dick plants kisses all over his face again, giving one short, experimenting thrust.

“D—Dick…” Jason whimpers, clinging to him tightly, dull fingernails lightly scratching at his shoulders.

“Shh, ‘s alright, sweetheart,” Dick whispers, lips dragging against his cheek, tasting one tear, slowly moving himself inside him, feeling that impossible tightness encircling him. “It’s alright, I’ve got you. I’ve got you.”

The small, desperate sounds escaping Jason’s sweet mouth is the most intoxicating thing Dick could ever have imagined. He supports himself with one hand over the mattress, the other steady over the line of Jason’s forehead, keeping his hair away from his face. He briefly muffles those cute little noises with a long, deep kiss, pacing up his rhythm. Jason moans in his mouth, one arm arching on the bed to tightly grip at the pillow.

“Oh, my Jason,” he grunts. “My little wing, baby…”

“D—Dick, I…. mmhh… more… more…”

Dick complies, finally letting go and driving into him quickly. Jason’s hands rest upon his biceps, as his cock, fully hard, brushes Dick’s stomach, leaving damp strings across his skin. He slides one hand between them, encircling Jason’s hardness, and starts stroking along with his thrusts.

“You’re so good, so beautiful, so tight, I love you so much, baby, so freaking much, I want you to be mine, just mine, only mine…”

Dick's words are cut off by a loud groan, something completely incoherent. He stills as deep inside as he can get, and spills, unable to hold back anymore.

Despite the warm pleasure that spreads through his every particle, he keeps stroking Jason’s cock, with a slightly trembling hand, keeping his own, now limp member inside of him. It only takes a few moments. Jason’s cry of release is also delightfully loud, as wetness spils between them.

Dick slowly removes himself, prompting a low, exhausted sigh from Jason. A quick glance relieves him, since he detects no evidences of blood. Merely the shy redness that’s expected after contact.

He leans over and nuzzles his cheek against Jason’s, his lashes brushing against his soft skin as they briefly close. He presses a few feather-light little kisses to the corner of Jason's jaw. His lips curve into a slight smile at the way he feels Jason faintly shifting, looking for his lips.

Eventually, Dick reluctantly removes himself from him, despite the protesting keen he receives at that, and makes his way to the bathroom. After he's sufficiently cleaned himself up, he returns with a small basin filled with lukewarm water and two small washcloths. He settles back between Jason’s legs, stroking along his calf as he does so, and starts mopping all the sweat, lube and cum from Jason’s torso and stomach, and from between his legs, his crotch and thighs. By the time he’s done, Jason’s looking up at him with heavy eyelids.

“Everything alright?” he smiles back at him, wiping away the last few droplets of cum from Jason’s thigh. He sinks the cloth back in the basin, and gives it another pass, just to make sure. “You’re not in pain, are you?”

Jason shakes his head. Dick puts the cloths in the basin and settles it on the floor beside the bed. He lies on his side beside Jason and wraps an arm around his waist to hug him close. Jason turns his head and brushes their mouths together. Dick enjoys how sweet, completely relaxed and pliant he lays under his arm, all the tension fucked out of him in the best way possible. He holds his forehead against Jason’s and closes his eyes, reveling in this tender moment between them, forgetting anything alarming, anything that’s not them.

What he can’t shake away, though, how oddly, instinctively familiar this whole situation feels to him.

“Jay,” he asks quietly, stroking a hand upon his stomach, over the stitches and bandages lying there. “Have we… done this before? You and I?”

Jason opens his eyes and returns the gaze, looking hesitant, a little surprised. Dick can see the internal battle taking place in him, as well as exhaustion finally defeating all qualms.

“Twice,” Jason answers, voice low, facing away. “First time soon after I came back, coming out as Red Hood… and a second when you came back from the dead. Well, not really… you had faked it. I was enraged against you, and... at some point, you came to find me alone…” He shrugs, implying that he can figure the continuation on his own, and lets out a bitter chuckle. “You always knew how to win me round.”

Dick tightens his arm around him, just a little, a pinch of sadness in his heart. “Why didn’t we keep this going?”

Jason exhales deeply. “We… discussed this. We both agreed it would only make things way too complicated for both of us… plus, every person in our immediate environment would be… disoriented, to say the least."

Dick frowns a little, eyebrows knitted. He obviously can’t remember his feelings from back then, but right now, he most definitely does consider himself an idiot upon agreeing to this. He doesn’t give a damn about how complicated things might get with anyone. He’s just wondering how he could ever be as coward and stupid as to let such a creature go.

“You’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,” he murmurs, and he means it.

Jason chuckles a little and blushes wildly, looking even cuter when he gets his pretty blues to look at him. “You don’t remember shit, that’s why. You haven’t met Kori ever since you got your head wrecked. When you see her again, you’ll change your mind.”

Dick smiles, running one palm over his stomach. “All right,” he says. “Then you’re my favourite thing to look at. How’s that?”

Jason’s soft, crooning sound has him burning inside once more. He picks himself up a little, to steal another kiss from that mouth. Jason kisses back, but at some point breaks it with a soft whine, one hand shooting down to where the longest cut lies upon his torso.

“What?” Dick asks, instantly alerted.

Jason frowns a little, waving it off. “Just a sudden pain. It’ll pass. Maybe another couple of painkillers just to be sure.”

As Dick helps him with the pills and the water, an irrational, visceral need rushes all over him. Half of Jason’s dark beauty and appeal was how dangerous and risky he was, sure, but… he doesn’t want him out there. He doesn’t want him to get hurt again. He wants to keep him there, with him, safe and protected. Or at least be alongside him in all fights to come, being able to stand between him and anything bad coming for him.

“If I could,” he catches himself rumbling once they lie back down, “I’d tie you up in this bed, just for me. God, Jay. Anything to protect you.” He taps a thumb over his lips. “I’d even gag you, to ensure that no one would hear you protesting.”

Jason shivers at that. Dick grins. “You’d like that, wouldn’t you? I don’t think you’d try and call for help, however. I think… I think you’d love it. You’d love being here, being mine.”

Jason takes a sharp breath, tired eyes sparkling bright for an instant. “You weren’t like this before,” he murmurs.

Dick nuzzles his face against Jason’s neck. “Maybe it’s just easier for me to actually say out loud what I’ve always wanted in the first place.” He pauses, and then gently rubs his face against the side of Jason’s, lips almost brushing his ear. “And you kinda like it, don’t you, little wing?”

Jason shivers at that, and Dick smirks, placing a kiss on his cheek before he rests his head down, at the pillow next to his.

“Get some rest, Jay,” he urges softly. “The lights are on, and I’m here. Right here, beside you.”

Jason nods, and then simply drifts off, almost right away, the very moment his eyelids shut.

For Dick, it’s not that easy. Not because he’s too worried, or because he’s not tired enough (he also feels exhausted), but merely because it’s so damn hard to stop gazing at the younger man beside him.

He doesn’t fall asleep until he sees the first string of golden sunlight sneaking through the window. Until he’s sure that there’s enough light for Jason.

Enough light for them both.