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I don't know what's worse: Drowning beneath the waves or dying of thirst

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It had been a week now since Jason had become swiss cheese, and Jason really wanted to leave. He had woken up to Alfred, and Jason’s not sure if Bruce knows of Jason's weakness for Alfred, but either way, a single look from Alfred quelled anything that might have come out of his mouth. That doesn’t, however, change the fact that Jason didn't want to be this close to Bruce for any longer. Or Dick. Or anyone else Bruce had decided to adopt. Jason had never liked staying in one place for long, and that had increased tenfold when Jason became The Red Hood. He’s going to make a break for it when Alfred finally leaves his side for more than two minutes. But that will still take some time, because Alfred is Alfred, and trying to keep a secret from him is impossible, especially if he gives you the look. As soon as Alfred gives you the look, you're bound to spill every single secret you foolishly thought you could keep from him. Alfred, however, will usually keep the secret to himself as long as it isn't going to cause anyone, including yourself, harm.

Alfred. Jason had always loved Alfred when he was younger, and he still does. The difference now between his younger self and current self, is that he doesn't think he's worthy of Alfred's love anymore. Something that is part of the reason why he wants to leave the mansion so badly, that and what he’d already previously stated. Jason's also not really sure why Bruce hasn't already kicked him out, and the only reason Jason can really think of at the moment, is because of Alfred, but Jason's really not sure, because how could Alfred still love him? After everything that Jason has done, how could Alfred even take care of him while he's injured instead of just letting him die like he deserves? How could he possibly be worth it at this point? If he thinks about it, Alfred is probably just looking over him while he heals because of some strange obligation to make sure that Jason doesn’t die. Maybe Alfred still feels guilty over not being able to help Jason in Ethiopia, or maybe Alfred is just a good person and doesn’t want to see anyone die. Even a monster like Jason. Although, at this point, Jason wouldn’t mind if Alfred would just let him die. But Alfred won’t let him. Dick won’t let him, and surprisingly, Bruce won’t let him. Jason can’t really remember what happened after he passed out, or anything that happened when he first got to the manor. Not that it matters, but Jason assumes that’s when all the important conversations took place, and Jason likes being in the know. Besides, Jason doubts that any of them would tell him what was said while Jason was unconscious, even if he asked nicely. Which he wouldn't.

With that in mind, Jason hefted himself up into a sitting position, groaning slightly at the tugging sensation from the stitches in his chest, Alfred had been gone for more than half an hour, so Jason assumed it was safe to leave. It wasn’t as if Jason hadn’t had worse, but it also never felt good when you got shot in the chest. Especially if you were shot multiple times. Jason looked around, trying to decide if trying walk around right now without anyone nearby would be a good idea. He hadn’t really walked around for the past week and Jason wasn’t really sure if his legs could handle walking around without any support. Jason gripped the metal rails on the bed, Alfred had been too worried about tearing his stitches, causing him to lose more blood than he already had, so they had kept him in the cave in the medical ward. Not that Jason minded, actually going into the manor, for the first time in years, would probably not be good for Jason’s mental health. Something that was already very bad. And yes, Jason would be the first to admit that he didn’t have good mental health, albeit not out loud. And especially not in the cave. Jason doesn’t doubt that there’s a shitton of bugs hidden around, making sure that Jason doesn’t somehow do something against Bruce’s code.

Really, at this point, it doesn’t surprise Jason that Bruce trusts Jason about as much as he trusts the other loonies that he throws in Arkham. It shouldn’t hurt, it shouldn’t, but it does, and to Jason that’s the worst part. That he knows he’s done more than enough to gain Bruce’s distrust, that he’s continually shown Bruce that trusting him doesn’t end well for anyone involved, including Jason, and still sends a shooting pain into his heart. The same shooting pain he felt when he was 15, angry at Bruce for not believing him about Garzonas, for not trusting him, and for telling him what to do, causing him to run away, and get beaten nearly to death by the Joker and subsequently blown up. Jason should be used to it, but he isn’t.

Jason’s grip on the metal bars tighten for a moment, and he grits his teeth, he needs to stop dwelling on things that don’t matter. Things that haven’t mattered in a long time. Gaining Bruce’s trust back isn’t realistic, nor is it an option. Not anymore. Even if Jason tried, and he doubts that Bruce would even let him try, Bruce would probably do the Batman equivalent of laughing in someones face, and tell Jason that he’d never trust him, not after everything that Jason has done. So Jason loosens his grip on the bars once again, and lifts himself up from the bed, trying to keep his legs steady and not fall on the ground and alert Alfred. Jason ends up gritting his teeth again as he tries to ignore the fact that his chest is slowly starting to feel like it’s on fire, because he’s not sure when the last time he got a dose of the good stuff, and he burns through it quicker than the others because of his dip into the pit of immortality goo that makes you go crazy. He stumbles slightly, his legs trying to adjust to supporting Jason’s weight again. He hisses slightly when the stumble causes the stitches in his chest to tug again, and god Jason hopes they didn’t rip, he didn’t want to deal with stitching himself back up again when he got back to one of his safe houses.

Jason stands still for a moment after he gets himself completely upright, fighting off the dizziness of standing up suddenly after having been laying down for so long. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling, but, again, Jason had, had worse before. He exhaled through his nose before stumbling over to his shoes. As much as Jason would like to leave right this moment, walking through Gotham without shoes on was pretty much asking for some sort of STD for stepping on someone's thrown out heroin needle. Jason tried his best to tie them once he finally tugged them on, but gave up after his fingers refused to work properly for him. He settled for leaving them untied and continued to stagger around and gather his stuff, pulling on his jacket once he found it. It was freezing in the cave, and Jason refused to be cold with this many wounds in his chest. Jason hated the cold. And he hated the heat. The cold reminded him of waking up in a box, clawing his way out and feeling the blinding cold that rained down upon him as the Gotham sky weeped for its fallen prince of Gotham. The heat reminded him of Ethiopia, of the blast that scorched his skin and left him dead, the same blast that made sure that Jason would never be with his family again, that nothing would ever be the same. It reminded him of the Joker, the man who beat him with a crowbar. The man who asked him “What hurts more? A? Or B? Forehand? Or backhand?”. The man who should be dead.

Jason had collected all of his shit, or, most of it at least. He wasn’t sure where his guns were, but he didn’t feel like looking for them. It was fine, he had more than enough, losing two wouldn’t affect him, it was just annoying. He looked back once more, making sure that there wasn’t anything that was obviously his lying about and started to head towards the exit for the cave, hopefully he could make it far enough, or Bruce wouldn’t care enough, so that nobody would catch him. Jason is in no shape to make some sort of great escape, so he just settles with stumbling out of the cave and beginning the long, long walk back to one of his safe houses.