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The Emerald Detective

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Hal woke up late one night to see a shadow standing at the bottom of his bed, this wasn't exactly new for him, you got used to it when you were friends with Bruce Wayne. Of course, one time, the shadow had been Black Hand, but Hal preferred not to think about that occasion. 

"Did you at least bring coffee?" He addressed the shape. 

A voice that was definitely not Bruce's replied. "You shouldn't drink coffee this late at night, Hal." It wasn't Hand either, the voice still sounded human. 

If Hal was right about who his late-night visitor was, then he had a whole new set of questions, like why one of Bruce's six dozen or so sidekicks was breaking into his apartment. Except, no, he had an answer for that one too, it was B's fault. 

"Ugh," Hal groaned, "did B get himself kidnapped by aliens again? Hold on," he flipped on the light, "I think I left my power battery at work, so we'll have to go there first..." When Bruce got captured by aliens, it always happened when Hal had been in space for several weeks, going without sleep. The last time, in particular, he hadn't seen a bed for the better part of 72 hours, which he felt made Bruce commenting on him crashing into a wall mid-rescue attempt even more unfair. 

"I don't know," Jason said, walking over to the window, "he was fine the last time I saw him, but I don't really see him that often. What do you think the chances are of him getting abducted in the last three weeks?" 

Hal thought for a second. "72%?" He tried. 

"Yeah, you're right," Jason snorted. 

Hal yawned. "So you're here because... you have a case involving aliens?" 

Jason seemed to shake his head no, although Hal couldn't actually see his face. He was silent for way too long. 

"Is everything-?" the Lantern started. 

"Don't leave your window open at night," Jason interrupted, "I don't want you getting hurt." 

Then he just left. 

That had been incredibly weird. 

Maybe Hal could have eventually forgotten about it though, it was just one more bizarre interaction with a member of the Batfamily in a lifetime filled with bizarre interactions with members of the Batfamily. 

Except he kept running into Jason afterward. One day he had gone to the Batcave to ask Bruce about something involving a case, only to find Jason there, waiting for him, which, to be fair, could have been a coincidence, Jason had more right to be in the cave than Hal did. But by his own admission, the younger man didn't like being around Bruce, so Hal got the feeling that he wouldn't go to the cave unless he was forced to. 

Another time, he'd seen Jason watching him in the mess hall of the Hall of Justice, and strangest of all, the delivery man he'd seen delivering Carol's new computer one night at Ferris Air, that man had looked suspiciously like Jason. 

He'd seen Jason so many times in the last week, that Hal kept looking over his shoulder when he was drinking in Guy's bar, despite the fact that said bar was located on Oa. 

"Kinda jumpy today, Jordo," Guy had said when he pushed a beer in front of him, "reckon Abin wouldn't have picked you first if he could see you right now." 

"Yeah," John had said, on the other side of him. "He might actually have picked me." 

That had offended Guy, and the next ten minutes were filled by the two men squabbling, Hal was used to ignoring Guy by now though. 

"Hey," Kyle had said softly, placing his hand on the small of Hal's back, "Is everything okay?" 

So Hal had told him. 

"You want me to ask Jay to stop?" Kyle asked. 

Hal narrowed his eyes. "Do you know what all this is about?" 

Kyle shook his head a few too many times to be sincere, but Hal knew better than to push him. Kyle was Jason’s... frenemy maybe, did people still use frenemy? It made sense for him to have torn loyalties. Hal was a Lantern, people called him the Emerald Detective (no one had ever called him that), he could probably solve this mystery in a few hours. 

All he had to do was figure out where Jason Todd lived. 

Chapter Text

If Jason was honest, he'd say that his crush had probably started while he was still Robin, he remembered how he'd gone down into the cave one day and seen Hal already sitting in Bruce's chair. Bruce had hated that. Hal tended to disregard any order that he stay out of Gotham, and would come to bother Batman whenever he wanted. 

"No," Bruce had said simply, on the first night that Jason had met the Lantern, he gripped the man by the collar of his jacket and started dragging him towards the mouth of the cave. "I'm too busy to indulge you tonight, Lantern." 

"Aw c'mon," the brunet whined, Jason stayed in the shadows, watching with interest, he'd never seen someone be so casual with Batman, even Superman was never anything less than respectful.  "Are you saying you don't want to hear about the alien warlord that's currently in Gotham?" 

Bruce stopped dead in his tracks and glared at the younger man. "Where?" He growled, he sounded like it was physically painful for him to even ask the Lantern for information. 

"His ship landed in Gotham Harbor about ten minutes ago, I'd deal with it myself, but the last time I tried that you didn't talk to me for a month. It was surprisingly less enjoyable than I thought it would be." 

Jason could just see his one chance to help stop an alien invasion disappearing right in front of his eyes, and he hurriedly stepped out of the shadows before they could leave. Bruce narrowed his eyes at him. "Batman," Jason said pleadingly, "I can help, you know I can help, you saw how well I was doing earlier tonight." 

"B, this is Mongul," the Lantern said, he looked concerned, Jason gritted his teeth at what he was choosing to see as a slight. He didn't know who Mongul was, but there was no way he was any tougher than the thugs that Jason had to take down every night out on patrol with Bruce. The Lantern was clearly underestimating him, Jason knew that he was experienced enough to take on anything, and suddenly found himself wanting to prove it. 

Jason looked pleadingly at Bruce, who was gazing impassively back at him. Bruce looked torn, as if he thought that Jason might not have been skilled enough either. It was a long time before Batman finally spoke again. "If you're so worried about Robin, then I suppose you'll just have to look out for him, won't you Lantern."

Jason had been wrong. Mongul was way above the paygrade of any of the Gotham thugs, he was probably more dangerous than anyone he'd ever faced in his life. The alien towered above him, about to bring both of his massive yellow hands down on top of Jason. 

A green wall sprang up between them and proceeded to shatter the moment that the hands came down upon it. 

A moment was all that the Lantern needed, he flew in, and whizzed away with Jason, dropping him on the top of a neighboring roof. 

Bruce... Jason didn't know where Bruce was, he'd last seen him over a minute ago, he'd been holding... had he been holding his League communicator? In that case, he'd probably been calling for backup. 

"Stay here," Green Lantern was crouching down before him, "don't worry, I eat guys like this for breakfast." 

Jason tried to smile back, but he didn't quite manage it, he was sure that if the Lantern went back to fight that warlord alone, he would die. 

A deep voice echoed this opinion. "And how would you do that, Lantern, when my bare skin alone is enough to break every single one of your constructs?" 

Green Lantern whirled around shielding Jason with his body. 

"GL?" Jason found himself asking. "Are you weak to yellow?" His voice cracked, he was scared, he was hardly ever scared. 

Jordan didn't answer, he was staring at his ring, then, a scary looking smile crossed over his face. "Only my constructs," he slipped his ring off his finger and threw it back towards Jason, "Robin, hold this for a while." 

Jason closed his eyes, he didn't want to watch. 

Clark arrived two minutes later, ramming his body directly into Mongul's, momentum sent them sprawling on a gravel rooftop across the street. 

Finally, Jason allowed himself to look at the Lantern again, and he immediately wished that he hadn't. The man's arm was twisted at a weird angle, and his face was swollen up from the beating that he'd received. It was a miracle that he wasn't dead. 

Jason scooted towards him. "I think one of your arms is dislocated, but I can help you with that." Bruce had given him triage training, and he had taken to it well, but his voice was still choked up when he asked. 

Robin might have been young, but even he could tell that the Lantern had leaped into action fully expecting to die, that he had been willing to sacrifice his life to distract a monster for just a minute or two. 

He couldn't not worry about someone like that, someone who was willing to die so easily.