Stupid. Fuck this, it was so stupid. I’m never that stupid, fuck Dick Grayson honestly. Jason thought as he tried to use the morse code on his comms to tell Dick to NOT-SHOW-UP. He could get himself out of this, this guy played tough but he must’ve watched too many mafia movies. Jason had his hands and feet bound, no surprise here and he could easily extract himself if he wanted to. Except he was upside down, 40 feet off the ground and a weird goo he absolutely didn’t want to fall into was simmering under him. He could wing it, he’ll manage. Fall into a weird goo, for a Red Hood. At least this guy has a sense of humour.
Jason had gotten a note from Dick asking him to deal with this new thug in fancy clothes starting a business in Blüdhaven. A Black Mask wanna be. Those nouveaux riches trying to rule the underworld were getting on Jason’s nerves and Dick probably thought he wanted to have a bit of fun intimidating this new guy. He took the gangster persona a little too far, like he was in a fucking movie. Maybe, but right now he’s got you tied up Jaybird so tone down the spite and think.
He just hoped Dick got the message telling him not to come. He could handle this. Okay he got trapped but only 'cause the guy managed to get him a good blow to the back of the head the second he showed up. But Jason was no damsel in distress who needed saving by Dick’s pretty ass.
"Okay Jason, your brother will be here shortly. But shouldn’t we start having fun together while we wait for him?"
He needed to get there as fast as possible. He couldn’t allow himself to be too late, even by one second. Not again. Never again. Not Jason again. He won’t let him down. Dick jumped from rooftop to rooftop, the buildings getting harder to grapple from as they gave way to factories with uneven and shaky roofs. The rain wasn’t making it any easier either.
He had sworn to Jason he won’t let anything happen to him. Jason had probably took it lightly, in this rare moment he had allowed himself to drift into a deep sleep in Dick’s arms that one night, but Dick had been much more serious about the promise. He knew how badly Jason needed the safety, even if he would never admit it (not to himself, let alone anybody else).
Finally. Hold on Little Wing I’m near. He could see the abandoned factory. It had been used to test chemical weapons, who knew what had been left behind in there.
Dick landed next to the back entrance, he needed to play it stealthy, he didn’t know what he was up against (was there only this guy? Was he armed?). The door gave in easily, way too easily actually. It was an invitation. Like this picture of Jason had been. The damned picture was still in his pocket, Jason, without his hood and mask, beaten black and blue, with only an address scribbled on it. Jason was hurt, exposed and it was all his fault. They were meant to patrol together tonight.
Dick had ran all over Blüdhaven to get infos about this location and who had sent him the picture. He shouldn’t have let Jason patrol alone. Even better, he should have dealt with this new clown himself.
As quietly as he possibly could Dick walked in, his gaze instantly falling on Jason. And his heart sank.
"You know, for a guy looking like a Bond villain, you probably don’t hit as hard as they do. Are you even trying?" Jason spat out, blood dribbling from his lips to cover his face all the way to his forehead. The guy had been hitting him in the guts with his foot for a while and Jason thought that if he kept him busy long enough he could untie his hands and grip the railing, using the guy’s kicks as momentum it would be easy to swing to the other side. To safety.
"You still have that mouth on you. I see why the Joker would beat your teeth in." The blond new bad guy snickered. Jason had a high pain tolerance, but that didn’t mean the kicks were pleasant. But still, through the ache settling in his stomach, he still had enough brain to wonder how in hell this guy knew his name and all that about him.
He swung towards the railing again but the next blow didn’t come. The guy looked down and smiled.
"Richard, would you please come out? Jay and I are getting tired of waiting for you."
Jason’s eyes widened as he saw Dick come out of the shadows. Even with the Nightwing mask on, Jason could still see Dick was petrified. It didn’t show in his jaw like when he was angry, didn’t show like he wore his worry in his brows. He was expressionless and that was the scary thing. He looked all too much like Bruce. A face so blank, like nothing could penetrate his fortress of focus. But this betrayed too much how terrified he actually was.
"I was starting to worry you wouldn’t show up in time." The blond chided in, breaking into Jason’s thoughts. Dick’s eyes were drawn on Jason, checking for other injuries than his black eye and probably broken nose, other than the blood dripping down his face. Dick’s eyes followed a drop of blood down Jay’s cheek, passing next to his eye, to his eyebrow to finally fall in the tank under Jason. When that drop hit the liquid underneath him, Dick visibly shivered. The blond laughed at that, which made Jason’s stomach turn even more.
"Who are you? How do you know our names?" Dick prided himself that his voice didn’t waver under the influence of his fast beating heart. He still got control. The blond walked down the railing, closer to Dick. His footsteps were light, he was way too confident in this. Like Jason had been when he came here. They could use this to their advantage. Jason tried to get Dick’s attention, but to no vail. Dick’s eyes were glued to the thug.
"I’m no one really. Just thought your life lacked the drama lately. I mean, Blüdhaven is doing alright between you and little Jay, you got a nice apartment, a nice boyfriend. Oh wait until daddy bats learns about it." He said this while swaying from side to side, like he didn’t just expose their whole life before them. No one but them was supposed to know about their secret identities. How in the fuck did this D grade villain knew all of it?! How did he know about…this…them. And he knew about Bruce.
"Clearly you got a problem with me, I’m here. So let Red Hood go. He’s got nothing to do with whatever this is." Dick said. Always the knight in shinning armor. Jason thought with a roll of his eyes. The guy had bared him of any weapons, even his dagger so it would be hard to free himself. But he already managed to free his right hand. Almost there…
As soon as his hand was free, Jason felt himself fall. Dick yelped and rushed a step towards Jay, his legs starting to shake.
But Jason’s fall stopped short with a cling of chains, the thug’s laugh ringing in the whole place, mingling with the sound of the chains still rattling. His neck hurt from the slight whiplash and all the blood rushing to his head, but there was more fear than pain.
"You don’t think I would be as stupid as to just tie you up right? I mean, I know who trained you! Every time you free one of your limbs, you take a 10 feet drop. Just enough for you to fall right in that tank if you free your legs. If you manage it."
His voice was sickly sweet as he explained it. It was all well thought through, Dick had to give him that. It hit all the right buttons. Red Hood’s history of falling in radioactive tanks and Dick’s parents deaths. Clever. Sick, but clever. This guy knew everything about them, knew their weaknesses. Yet an hour ago he wasn’t much of a threat. How?!
Dick drew his eyes to Jason’s. He wasn’t tense, at least his shoulders (which were his telltale sign) weren’t, he trusted Dick. He knew Dick would save him. And he would. Dick shook his head slowly, quietly telling Jay to just hold on and not act up. Jason rolled his eyes again but didn’t say no, so Dick looked up at the mechanisms. He could throw his stick in there so it wouldn’t drop and Jay could make an escape. He just needed to get up there. He took a look at the blond holding his Little Wing hostage. He could easily take him, easily break every of his fingers for ever touching Jay. Then I could snap his fucking nec-
"Richard, come up here, please. I don’t quite like looking down on you." The thug smiled. Jason sighed loudly, which got the guy’s attention back to him.
"Don’t worry Jason I haven’t forgotten you either."
And with that Jason felt a jolt of electricity through his whole body. He screamed out in pain, the burning running through him, spreading like wild fire through his nerves. There was a wire going through the chain and tied with the rope. The guy could tase him whenever he wanted to. Motherfucker! And how have I not noticed that before?!
"Jay!" Dick grappled to the platform as fast as he could, falling face to face with the villain. But Dick saw through him. He could only see Jason’s jaw clenching in pain, his body jerking with the leftover burn in his nerves. Jason groaned, his body relaxing a bit but still feeling the jolts. Yep, still hurts.
"See little birds. There isn’t much you can do. Jason clearly you won’t move, you’re not that dense. And you Dick…are stuck here as well. You wouldn’t want to hurt him by doing something stupid." His smile was still there, but it was empty. His eyes didn’t reflect it. Dick felt his hands shake now as well, but whether it was out of anger or fear he, himself, didn’t know. All he knew was that he wanted to kill that bastard for ever laying a finger on Jason.
"Look how much you care. You always cared so much for him."
Jason let out a cry as a shot of electricity hit him again. His vision had started to blur, it wasn’t a good sign…
Fuck it. Fuck it all. Jason thought as tears fell from his eyes to mix with the blood pooling in his hair. He had bit his lip to blood again when the first shot hit, but now it didn’t seem to be enough to hold his screams.
Dick felt his stomach twist as Jason screamed his name. The mad blond man in front of him laughed again but it was humourless. Dick took a step towards him, his hand up, ready to beat that monster to a bloody mess. But as soon as the blond noticed Dick throwing himself at him, he pulled up a gun. Jason’s gun.
But Dick didn’t stop. Fury was starting to blind him. His veins pumped rage through his whole being at every pulse. His eyes weren’t the same and his nostrils visibly flared. Nothing but hatred and frenzy. Dick tackled the man to the ground, a guttural growl coming out of Dick as he did. Jason had never heard Dick make such a sound. Not in any of their most heated fights or most passionate intercourses.
Dick managed a good punch in the guy’s guts, ready to hit again when the gun turned.
The barrel was now face to face with Jason. Dick’s blood ran cold and his fist froze in the air, right above the man’s face. The man chuckled as he studied Dick’s face. His voice sounded less amused now, and much more gravelly as he whispered:
"Yeah, thought so…"
Dick was still breathing heavily from the short fight, the veins in his arms pulsing as he held his fist above the man’s face. He risked a look towards Jay, only to see him shaking with the aftershocks. Blood was pooling in his hair to make a mess of the rest of his face that wasn’t bruised. His eyes were shut so tightly the tears weren’t even coming out. But a whimper did.
And it brought Dick to his knees. He had never heard such a noise coming from Jason. He had heard him growl, he had heard him sigh a billion times. He stopped counting his grunts and various screams. But never had he heard Jason sound so…helpless. His voice small, yet holding so much pain. Is that how you sounded when Bruce failed to get to you? Dick couldn’t help but wonder.
Jason opened his eyes, immediately finding Dick’s. He did a once over of Dick, his fist still ready to hit at any moment, his clenched jaw. His legs still trembling as they blocked the asshole from getting up. But what shocked Jay the most was Dick’s stare. It was chilling. Jason never thought he’d be scared of Dick, yet this ferocious glaze over his eyes did it. If he could Jason would have taken a step back.
"What’s up birdies? Cat’s got your tongues? Dick, I was expecting you to be much more chattier! You always are usually!" The asshole had been staring at them while they scrutinised each other. Neither of them knew this side of the other. Even around each other, they still had so much control over themselves. You would think that after getting each other undone for months, knowing each other inside and out one wouldn’t have any surprises left for the other.
And all it had taken to prove them wrong was a bitchy blond with a wicked mind and too much time on his hands. After giving it a think Jason couldn’t help but let out a chuckle. The man had done his homework. He made himself the kind of pray Jason couldn’t resist, the ones he could easily scare away and couldn’t wait to let off some steam on. He had made himself unthreatening enough that Jason’s arrogance would blind his caution when he arrived. An easy job, another night. Ah!
Go back home after patrol to his perfect secret boyfriend. As If!
While Jason was reminiscing his stupidity, Dick’s mind had been all over the place trying to find a way out. He could still try to over power the mechanism, but it would risk electrocuting Jason to death. He wasn’t risking it. He could take out the man, it would buy him more time to think of how to free Jason, but that would be risking a struggle with the man and a shot going Jason’s way. He could always try calling Bruce, even if Jason wouldn’t like it one bit…
"Don’t even think about it Grayson. Don’t think that calling Daddy will help. That won’t be a smart move." Dick’s fist lowered a bit at that. Okay now his time as Robin would come in handy (more than usual anyway), he needed to examine the situation. What did the man had that Dick could use against him.
"The fuck if your problem with us anyway?" Jason rasped, even if his voice seemed far away to Dick’s ears. The man smiled and cracked a knuckle, the one of his index on his right hand, the one not holding the pistol. Now that his attention had been brought to it, the ring on that hand, drowned in a dozen more all over the man’s hands, looked off compared to the others. Like the taser rings the Joker would use…expect bigger. This is how he electrocutes Jay…it’s a remote control taser!
Dick turned his eyes towards Jason’s, Jason’s eyes were still watery from the pain. They shone under the slight shimmer of the lousy light hanging above him. Dick took in a sharp breath before he reached for the hand holding the gun, in the back of his mind he was aware of Jason inhaling sharply, probably in protest. In a few seconds, that went in blur due to the rage clouding his, the gun was out of the man’s hand, all of his knuckles broken.
Somehow, Dick now had the gun. Pointed at the villain’s face. Jason’s brain was too fogged up from the pain to really understand how it happened. Now Dick didn’t know what to do. He had the upper hand. Or so he thought, as the blond man under him, now sporting a bloody nose, rose his hand.
"No!" Screamed Jason. Dick’s eyes shot to him frantically. His eyes questioned Jason, the gun steadily pointed at the man’s nose.
"The ring on his index. That’s how he’s electrocuting me…" Jason’s voice was weak. There was no snark in it, just a fact. In a second Dick saw red again. He grabbed the man’s wrist, pinned his hand to the metal floor and shot the finger. The man’s scream roared through the abandoned factory, as his finger rolled off into the liquid under the railing. It burned up instantly, bubbles spurting around it as it disintegrated. But Jason didn’t see it. All he could see was Dick, who had just shot a man, breathing heavily, the gun pointed at the man’s head again. He knew Dick had fired a gun before, during police training. But he never thought he’d actually ever see Dick shoot somebody.
"I- uhhh fuck! I gotta admit. That was a- ugh..surprise Richard." Dick cocked the gun, making a statement not to fuck with him. He shot him once, he would do it again. Jason shuddered at that. Dick wasn’t a violent person, even with the worst of people. He’d take them out fast and painlessly if he could. But at least he wouldn’t get electrocuted again. Jason could only hope Dick wouldn’t lose it. They needed to know how this man knew everything about them. He knows we’ve been dating for fuck’s sake! That’s even more secret than Batman’s identity! For all he knew, there was a breach in their security.
"You know, I had so much more planned for Jason. If you had only took, what a minute longer…I would have wiped out the big guns." The villain huffed. He looked to the end of the railing where it was sat. A crowbar. Jason hadn’t noticed it. His mind had been racing everywhere and he didn’t notice it. His blood turned cold and he felt actually sick. This was a nightmare, and surely he’d wake up soon, in Dick’s arms, in the safety of the mess his apartment was. Jason squeezed his eyes and when he opened them nothing had changed. Except for Dick’s stance.
Dick threw the gun over the railing and sat up straighter. If he wasn’t intimidating before, he surely was now. Dick threw the first blow to the man’s nose, a painful crack could be heard. Jason closed his eyes and looked away. But before he could tell Dick to keep the man alive, his lover was hitting the man over and over. It felt like Dick wasn’t controlling his body anymore. All he could do was hit the man with all he had, bones cracking and pained moans only filling his rage even more. He had hurt Jason. Was going to ruin their lives by exposing them, and exposing Bruce. He knew too much. But even this was hard to think through, his fists coming down on the man harder as he thought back to Jason’s whimper. He had hurt him, was about to torture him again and kill him. Dick couldn’t just let this slide, he couldn’t let the man go. Not after he had Jason in this position again. The man’s face had lost any normal shape and colour. Dick got up and grabbed the stray crowbar. With one hit, the villain’s skull caved in. The sound reverberated all around him and put him to a stop. Blood was rushing to his ears so much, his hands shaking. He’d never done this before. He’d never killed anyone. He had just killed for Jason.
Dick felt dizzy. Like he finally came back to himself. He didn’t spare the man another glance as he looked at Jason. And what he saw made his heart ache. Jason was looking at him with pure shock written all over his features. But mostly fear. Jason was scared of him. Dick dropped the crowbar like it had burned him and looked down at himself. He was drenched in blood, the red contrasting with the blue of his suit. He looked up at Jason again, his eyes filling with tears. His jaw was clenched so tight it hurt. Regret was starting to fill him, mingling with the bitter taste of rage left pulsing through him.
"Dickie please..Just get me out of here." Jason’s voice was small, shaky. So Dick did. He climbed up to the highest railing, blocked the mechanism with his stick and helped Jason swing himself so he could get to the railing opposite the man’s corpse. Jason hit the metal flooring with a loud noise, but nothing seemed to make it straight to Dick’s ears but his Little Wing’s breathing.
Dick freed Jason’s hands as fast as he could, with his own still shaking. His gloved hands instantly shot to Jay’s face, holding it so they could be at eye level with each other. He tried to brush away a bit of the blood without hurting him too much, but only managed to spread more. As soon as Jay’s own hands were able to move, he placed them over Dick’s neck, holding right under his jaw, the feeling of Dick’s wild pulse right under his thumbs. The metallic stank of blood clinging to both of them, they slowly put their foreheads together. Their lips brushing, as blue eyes stared into green ones.
They stayed like this for a while, not exactly kissing but almost there. Panting, sharing the air between them. It reminded Dick of their first kiss, it had happened after a heated argument, and Jason of those early mornings spent just like this under the covers. Neither of them dared to close their eyes, not just yet. They didn’t close the distance between their lips either, content with feeling the other’s breathing.
He’s alive. He’s okay.