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some things never change

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'With everything going on' shouldn't be a valid enough reason. It's pathetic. It sounds like an excuse and if Jason's gonna go that way he'd rather be decent enough to not sound like a whiny asshole victimized by daily routine. No sir. Instead, he'll barge in tipsy on that half a bottle of whiskey he just had and ask for a word, see how Dick really is doing.. or Ric. Barbara told him how it went down when she tried to get through to him and honestly, he just cannot with this anymore. Alfred had tried reaching fuck knows how many times ever since that eventful meetup with the Bat on the rooftop and he had finally agreed, it took him another month or so to finally put his feet to the pedal and take a little trip to Bludhaven.

 

So here he stood, standing all by himself right outside the apartment in nothing but his suit and tie from the lounge party. Jason isn't one to overthink but he's pretty sure he should have changed into something more flexible to blend in. But he also did drown an entire bottle of Jack after Batman wreaked havoc on his fortress. Well, just the living room which didn't really have anything lively about it. It shouldn't come as a surprise that Jason hated everything about that place and his new "lifestyle" at the moment. It's the one thing he loathed most growing up, rich people throwing money on fancy shit and even if he was groomed to be one of them in the later years, Bruce and Alfred were completely okay with him wanting to be connected with his roots, not getting lost in the sophistication. Bruce- He shook his head. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He doesn't wanna wallow in himself right now, especially when he's got a mission in hand. Grayson. He set his bike not caring enough to lock it.. for whatever reason. Why was he even here in the first place? He knows what happened, he's been updated on everything without even asking for any of that shit and pretty sure Dickiebird wouldn't really want to see him. Like he ever-

 

"Can I help you?", a voice behind him spoke up. Familiar but spoken in such a foreign manner, he didn't like the sound of it. He turned to come face to face with Dick. A very different, head shaved Dick.

 

"I-", Jason started but found himself at a complete loss of words. He had time, he could just say he has no business here and leave. Dick doesn't need to meet him or know him, he could just lie and-

 

"Do you.... wait", Dick said and stared at him with furrowed eyebrows like he was looking for something, "...Jason?"

 

Well, there goes his one and only way out of this. He knows who he is. There's no point lying and running away now.

 

"Goldie..", he said but it didn't sound half as confident and intimidating as he wanted it to sound. It didn't even hold the usual contempt with subtle appreciation. Fuck, THAT wasn't even the name he was going for.

 

"Is that what you call me?"

 

"I call you by lotta names."

 

Dick scoffed and continued "well, not me. Not anymore."

 

Something about those words made Jason wanna punch something. Everything about him was wrong. Seemed wrong. It just didn't make any sense to him. Not a fucking thing that happened in these last few months made sense. When he didn't say anything, Dick continued. "So.. are you here to talk me into something the-Dick-you-know wouldn't-"

 

"I'm not here for any of that shit", Jason said and he didn't mind that it came out a little harsher than he had expected. Dick signed. He reached for the keys in his pocket and walked towards the building door. "Do you wanna come in?" Does he- what? Jason found himself just staring blankly at Dick. What made him think it was a good idea and hop on his bike and cover an almost three-hour ride between the two cities for this shit? Dick had a weird expression on and he realized it might be because he hadn't said anything yet but he couldn't decide so dick did it for him.

 

"Look, I'm sorry okay? I dont.. I don't know how to deal with... this. He was your brother but I'm someone else and-"

 

"That's all it took huh? A bullet to your head to finally be able to get this shit off of your shoulders." To finally let go as the one person holding the family together?  Jason wants to say it but decides against it. He knows its selfish of him and he really doesn't wanna sound that pathetic.

 

"That is NOT what I meant, Jason", Dick said and his expression softened after a few seconds. "I wanna talk. I really do okay? If that's why you're here." Jason opened his mouth to say something but dick continued. "You have every right to be angry but this just feels right. I don't expect you to understand, I shouldn't but at least you can respect it. I chose this for myself. All else we have shared in the past I can be that but Nightwing? I just.. I cant-"

 

"Wow", Jason said," for a minute there you almost sounded like him"

 

He shook his head and turned around. Sorry I even bothered, Jason thought to himself.

 

"Jason-"

 

"Fuckever Ric. You're... It's fine." Even though it was unintentional, the spite with which he said ric gave him a sense of satisfaction he might never be able to explain. He's so out of this shit.

 

You don't call me that, he wanted to say. 

 

"I heard what happened."

 

"What?", he said as he turned around to face Dick, genuinely confused.

 

"The thing with.. bruce-"

 

"Batman. Who told you?"

 

Dick gave him a smile which Jason interpreted as he should already know the answer.

 

"Barbara told you?"

 

Dick nodded and stared at him. "I might've seen what-"

 

"Yea.. yea sure keep your sorry to yourself", he said realizing how much he didn't want this conversation to go there. He wasn't here on some stupid pity party and he most certainly doesn't need it from the mister memento here.

 

"Jason... I know about Roy."

 

That, right there.. was uncalled for. He didn't need to go there. He did NOT want to go there. He couldn't-

 

"I just-"

 

"No. No, you don't."

 

"I'm sorry. I don't remember anything but he.. I know what he meant to you and it's not-"

 

"He was your best friend", Jason said but it felt like a whisper. "You were tightknit. He did so much for you and he didn't even care. He was yOUR BEST FRIEND. And he doesn't deserve this. He didn't deserve-" he stopped himself. This cannot be happening right now. Yea he had some to drink before coming here but that doesn't mean he was supposed to know it was going get the better of his feelings. The more he thought about it the more he realized how much he had held inside. It's supposed to be about checking up on dick. But all he can think about is that he didn't kill penguin, Batman beat him to a pulp and threw him no BRUCE threw him out. Roy left. again. he's gone and Artemis and Bizzaro they're nowhere to be found he just

 

"I should've-", his voice broke and suddenly he felt like it was all too much. This was too fucking much. 

 

"FUCK", he tried to scream but it came out as a gasp. Everything was dawning upon him everything as of late, this is a mess. He could laugh right now at this clusterfuck of his life right fucking now maybe he should. Maybe he already was why else would Dick be looking at him like that?

 

"Jason.. hey it's okay", Dick's voice came in.

 

"No.. no it's not. It's not okay", he said. He looked up at him and drew in a few steady breaths. He will not lose it in front of Dick.

 

"I'm sorr-"

 

"Say that again and I promise you you'll find yourself another bullet in your head."

 

He said but before he could turn around to leave he found arms around himself, enveloping him into a hold. Into a hug. Dick was hugging him. He-

 

He couldn't find words. For once he decided to let it be. All those years Dick had hugged him and only now was he letting himself return the favor. Jason didn't move for quite a while. 

 

"I believe you", he said.

 

Jason chuckled but he was sure it came out more like a whimper and he hated himself for it. He broke the hug.

 

"I cant.. I just," he exhaled. "I'm gonna go now."

 

Dick nodded and he headed for his bike. Look at that. He didn't have to do anything. The situation has been taken care of. Except he was feeling way too overwhelmed right now to even begin to access this shit. "Keep in touch." He heard Dick as he put on his helmet and revved his bike. 

 

"Fuck off."

 

And he swore he saw a smile on his face as he drove right off the street alley joining the traffic.

 

Guess some things never change.