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Unless You Want Me To

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Jason had thought it’d be an adjustment coming back home. He never expected the transition to play out as smoothly as it did. Sleeping had been his main concern. He remembered the strange noises the Manor liked to make at night: the shift of one old wooden floorboard that could be heard on just about any level of the house, the sharp screech of stray bats who’d managed to escape the cave… He’d expected those things to keep him up at night; he hadn’t thought they’d lull him into a better sleep than he’d had in countless months. He hadn’t thought coming home would be so easy, so effortless.

He hadn’t thought his little brother would wake him up at three in the goddamn morning.

“Todd?” Damian whispered from the doorway.

Jason stirred in his sleep, moaning as he clutched his pillow closer to his chest. “Hrmf.”

“Todd, are you awake?”

Jason rolled his eyes, but his eyes were still closed so it was a pointless action.

“Nope.” He said, and his voice, heavy with sleep and aggravation, sounded nowhere near human. “Dead asleep, actually. Wha’d’ya want, brat?”

“I, well…” Damian sucked in his bottom lip, shifting where he stood. The floorboards screeched in protest beneath his feet. “Nothing. I thought… never mind. It is inconsequential. You may return to your sleep.”

Damian turned in efforts to retreat to his room.

“Nuh uh, fuck that.” Said Jason, tossing the pillow aside. “You wake me up at 3a.m., you sure as hell better have a goddamned reason for it. Unless you wanna get the shit kicked outta’ya.”

Tt.” Damian sneered, a hand on the doorframe. “As though you possess skills great enough to outmatch me.”

Jason rolled his eyes once again, though it was still rather pointless considering he’d not yet bothered to open them. “You and I had the exact same training and you know it. Now, spit it out, you demon spawn.”

Damian considered this, but continued gnawing away at his lower lip. He couldn’t leave without explanation, not after having interrupted Todd’s sleep; he’d never hear the end of it. Todd could be infinitely dense, infinitely stubborn… he’d be sure to bring the incident up at breakfast come morning. Then Pennyworth would know. Then Father would know. No, he couldn’t have that.

Damian swallowed. “When Grayson was... present-”

“Alive.”

And that had hurt like a sharp slap to the face. It shouldn’t have surprised him as it did – Todd was never one for denial. But neither was he, for that matter.

“Yes.” Damian said slowly. “He was the one I went to regarding these… occurrences.”

“Nightmares.”

That turned him around, sharp and fast.

“How did you… I don’t…?”

“Relax, kid.” Jason sighed, opening his eyes for the first time but still not bothering to sit upright. He turned his head and looked towards where Damian stood in the doorway. “When Dick was here… he’s who I’d go to. With nightmares and crap. It’s… it’s whatever. It’s fine. I get it, just… here. C’mere.”

Damian hesitated and took a moment to look over where his elder brother lay sprawled across the mattress. Todd slept shirtless, not unlike Grayson had done; he supposed that was just a difference between people, or maybe it was age. Todd had a wound look to him when he slept – on his side, curled tightly around a poorly stuffed pillow. Much different from the lax way Grayson would pass out face up, his legs bent in a position only an acrobat could find comfortable. But Todd wasn’t sleeping now, he was propped up halfway on an elbow, holding out the corner of a bed sheet as an invitation because his comforter had already been tossed across the room. His hair was a mess. Each strand pointed in the opposite direction of the other, and even from the window’s dim moonlight Damian could see that it was growing too long – his roots reflected a bright red, contrasting the black dye at his tips.

Cautiously, Damian approached the bed. Jason raised the corner of the bed sheet, allowing him to crawl in next to him. He shifted back – it had taken awhile for Bruce to convince him to upgrade to a queen-sized mattress, and Jason was finding himself glad that he finally did. It felt strange, but not unpleasant, having his younger brother’s body pressed against him. For a ten-year-old, the kid was thick, but had yet to reach the growth spurt that was sure to come with being the biological son of Bruce Wayne. He’d be a tank when he got older, Jason knew. But for now, his 4’7” was a bizarre contrast against his 6’, and he wondered if Damian felt the same. He wondered how often he’d come to Dick this way: small and vulnerable, afraid of the strange sounds the floorboards made at night. He wondered if this all felt more natural to Dick… This, nurturing thing. He bet it did.  

“I do not want to talk about it.” Damian muttered, and Jason should have expected that. He let out a brief laugh.

“I never did either.” He said, and suddenly he felt sad. The way the statement had been phrased, there was a certain sense of nostalgia that came with it. Damian must have felt it too – his body began to shake with quiet sobs. Instinctively, Jason pulled the boy tighter into his body, his arms wrapping so tight he was damn near cutting off circulation. Damian didn’t complain. “But that never mattered with Dick, did it?”

Damian shuttered – Jason could tell he was attempting to compose himself. Compose his voice.

“I miss him.” He said.

“We all do, kid.”

“Father doesn’t.”

Jason’s heart dropped, because he knew just what the kid was talking about. Out of everyone, Bruce seemed the least affected by Dick’s death. It made no sense to him. But, then again, when had anything with Bruce ever made sense?

Jason allowed the silence to sit for a while.

“It did not.”

“Hm?”

“It did not matter to Grayson, whether or not you told him what your nightmares were about.”

Jason nodded. “No, it never did.” He closed his eyes with a long, painful sigh. He could feel tears welling at the back of his eyes, but he wouldn’t cry. He couldn’t – Dick never did. Dick stayed strong, he always did, for everyone but himself.

“He’d say, ‘it’s okay, Babybird.’” Jason’s voice grew soft in a way he never thought it could. “Because whatever it is, it’s not anymore, and I’ve got you. Right here, and I’m not letting go unless… unless you want me to. And whatever it is that’s scaring you… Whatever it is that’s keeping you up at night can’t get to you as long as I have you. Because…” Jason’s voice cracked. “Because I’ll be damned if anyone’s taking my baby brother away without going through me first.”

Jason was shaking now, but he wasn't crying. He couldn't – he knew that. His arm was wet with Damian’s tears, but he said nothing about it. He let the boy cry, and he held him tight as he cried himself to sleep that night. He never let go. He wouldn’t - not unless he wanted him to.

Chapter Text

Come morning, they spoke nothing of it – that had been silently agreed upon. Damian returned to his room and prepared himself for the day. Jason stayed behind and did the same. They met at breakfast, giving each other no more than curt greetings and subtle glances. Tim had looked between them with suspicion, but said nothing of it. Tim was good that way. Bruce was too caught up in his newspaper to notice anything.

Alfred made eggs benedict for breakfast and the hollandaise sauce was as perfect as it had always been. Everyone ate in absolute silence, each with a slow and deadly intent. Except for Bruce. His breakfast remained untouched as he continued to finger through each page of the Gotham Gazette, nursing only a single cup of black coffee, and that was per usual as well.

Breakfast was quiet without Dick. Actually, all meals were quiet without Dick. No one was there to pester them with joyful whistling and questions they’d all found irrelevant until now. ‘So, what are everyone’s plans for the day?’ He’d ask. Tim would roll his eyes, Damian would let out his first ‘Tt’ of the day, Bruce would flip to the next page of his paper and Jason would snap back with ‘To plant my foot up your ass if you don’t shut the fuck up and eat your cereal.’ To which, of course, Alfred would scold him for his language and Dick would grin like a maniac before returning to whatever aimless tune he’d been humming before.

Somewhere in the next several minutes, the silence became awkward. Naturally, everyone but Bruce noticed. Every so often, Tim would glance up from his meal and catch eyes with Jason. There were dark circles under his eyes, and Jason presumed they were a result of staying up all night, flipping through case files and writing out team strategies. Leading the Titans took a lot out of a guy, but they were most likely a result of Dick not being there to take said files from his hands and say ‘Give it a rest, Timmy – you look like death.’

And he did. Look like death, that is. Death was not a good look for this family.

“Father?” Damian said suddenly. Both Jason and Tim looked up, having been startled.

Bruce turned to the next page of his newspaper without looking up. “Yes, Damian?”

“Is it alright…” He paused, stirring his fork through the hollandaise on his plate. “Grayson’s apartment. Could we go there today? To collect his things.”

Tim’s eyes dropped back down to his food, suddenly very concerned with puncturing his eggs in just the right way. Jason looked towards Bruce, watching as the man’s eyes hesitated for no more than a second before continuing to scan the article he had been reading. Bruce said nothing, and it was clear to Jason that he did not plan to either.

“Bruce.”

“Yes, Jason?”

“Damian asked you a question.”

“I heard him.”

“Ok. Well, could you put the fucking paper down and answer it, then?”

Jason felt the color drain from his face as Bruce paused in his reading to provide a blank stare over the edge of his paper.

“Sorry.” Breathed Jason.

Bruce went back to reading the paper. “Not today, Damian. Some other time.”

Damian said nothing and went back to his meal. Jason tried his best to do the same; he was grateful when Alfred came in to refill everyone’s beverages, but his presence was brief, and Jason’s temper was short. Each crinkle of Bruce’s newspaper was like nails on a chalkboard. Jason wanted nothing more than to lunge across the table and stuff the damn thing down the man’s throat.

“When will that be?” He asked.

Bruce’s eyes narrowed as though he believed himself to have misread a headline. “When will what be?”

’Some other time.’” Jason huffed. “When will that be? Tomorrow? Next week?”

“I don’t know, Jason.”

“Really? Because it’s been six months since Dick’s funeral. I doubt that apartment’s doing much good, him being dead and all.”

Tim lost grip of his fork; it fell to his plate with a loud clang. “I’m sorry.” He said. “I… May I be excused?”

Bruce still did not look up from his paper. “Of course, Tim. Take your dishes to the kitchen.”

Tim stood and quickly did as he was told. His footsteps could be heard as he trampled his way upstairs.

“You’re being awfully rude this morning, Jason. More so than usual.” Said Bruce.

Jason dropped his eyes back down to his meal before rolling them. “Am I?”

“Yes. Never speak to me that way again. Do you understand?”

Bruce’s eyes were on him now; he could feel them burning holes into his forehead.

“Yeah. Sure thing.”

“Excuse me?”

Jason sighed and looked up at him. “Yes, sir.”

They stared at each other then. Bruce’s eyes were cold and calculating. Jason could practically hear the debate going on in his mind on whether to let this go or beat him into next Tuesday. Part of Jason hoped for the later; he wanted nothing more than to throw a few punches right about now.

“Please excuse yourself from the table.” Said Bruce. “I want nothing to do with you right now; I’d like to finish my breakfast in peace.”

‘You’re not even eating.’ Jason had wanted to say, but he stood and said nothing. He piled his dishes onto a single plate, locking eyes with Damian before exiting into the kitchen. He brought his dishes to the sink where Alfred stood washing the ones Tim had brought in earlier. A few moments of silence passed before the elderly butler realized the young master did not plan to leave anytime soon.

“Rough morning, Master Jason?” Asked Alfred.

Jason let out a sharp sigh before pushing off the counter he’d opted to lean against. He reached for a nearby dish towel and held out a hand for Alfred to start handing wet plates. “Rough night.” He corrected.

Alfred gave a thoughtful hum before handing him a dish. “You truly ought to watch what you say to your father.”

Jason took the plate and whipped it down, setting it aside before grabbing the next one. “I’m twenty-two years old. What’s he gonna do? Spank me?”

“I’d hardly put it past the man.” Said Alfred. “But after all you have done – and I must say, Master Jason, that list is quite extensive – he’s welcomed you back into his home. Does that not make him worthy of your respect?”

Jason whipped down the last few plates before offering a response. “I respect him just fine.” He said.

Alfred hummed. “Well, you certainly have an odd way of showing it.”

He took the stack of plates in hand, making brief eye contact with the young man before leaving to return them to the china cabinet.

Jason went to his room after that, unsure of what else there was for him to do. He considered going back to sleep; he hadn’t gotten much sleep last night and there was hardly anything for him to do for the rest of the day. But, at the same time, last night had been somewhat of an eye-opener. Dick’s absence was affecting this household more than he had allowed himself to realize, and no one was doing a damned thing about it… No one had the energy for it. The family’s battery had died. Literally.

And there was no clear way to go about recharging it.

Without much thought, Jason left his room and entered the one right next to his.

Just as his had when he died, Dick’s room remained untouched. His bed was still unmade, his dirty clothes were still scattered across the floor, and a vintage Haley’s Circus poster remained prominently displayed beside his floor-length mirror. Jason moved closer to examine the image. ‘The Phenomenal Dick Grayson’ could be read in big, bold print. An eight-year-old version of Dick was depicted underneath in all his flashy leotard splendor. Jason smirked.

“You look like a girl.” He muttered.

‘And a pretty one, at that.’ He could practically hear Dick’s retort.

Jason reached out to touch it, as though it were somehow a part of him. As though maybe it could help fill the hole that had been eating away at him inside his chest for these past six months.

It didn’t.

Jason’s phone buzzed inside his pocket. He took it out to see that he had a new message.

Come down to the cave. – B

Jason sighed, looking back up at the poster. “Looks like I’m getting’ that beating after all, Goldie.”

Jason had expected Bruce to be stationed at the computer once he got downstairs, so he was surprised when he didn’t immediately see him.

“Bruce?” He called as he passed though the medical bay and into the training area.

“Over here.” Came the response.

Jason followed his voice. As soon as he stepped on to the sparring mat, he was met with a staff flying full speed in his direction. He caught it with ease.

“When’s the last time you used one of these?” Asked Bruce, twirling his own in a particularly artful manner.

Jason considered this. “Not too long ago, actually. Though, to be fair, it was a shower rod.”

Bruce frowned. “Take a stance.”

Jason gave the man a questioning look. “You want me to fight you in my cardigan?”

Bruce currently wore a grey muscle shirt and a pair of black sweats. However, due to Alfred’s insisting they be presentable for meal-time, Jason still wore a blue sweater and a lose pair of khakis.

“Those slacks should do.” Said Bruce.

Jason shrugged, dropping the staff in order to take off both the cardigan and the button-up he wore underneath. He tossed them aside before picking the staff back up, skillfully twirling it about his body before dropping into a defensive position.

Bruce took the first swing – he faked high and went low, but Jason saw it coming. He jumped over the swipe and went for the elder man’s shoulder, but Bruce knocked his staff away with his own, causing him to stumble back a bit.

“Regain your footing before you attack.” Said Bruce. “A lack of balance will cost you.”

Jason took the offensive. He batted low, not minding that both hits were blocked with ease – they were meant to be more of a distraction than anything. He then used the staff as a weight, a pendulum of sorts as he spun on one leg to aim a high-kick with the other, but Bruce blocked that one too, and that he hadn’t accounted for. Ankle in hand, Bruce tossed Jason across the mat - causing the boy to lose grip of his staff, sending that flying somewhere as well.

Jason groaned, his face pressed into the ground. He suddenly felt very tired. He wanted nothing more than to ignore the man looming over him and fall asleep right then and there.

“Guns are easy.” Said Bruce. “You’ll find yourself in an awful lot of trouble if you rely on them for too long.”

Bruce’s phone went off. He pulled it from his pocket and observed the screen with a dissatisfied grunt. He dropped his staff beside where Jason continued to lay on the ground.

“I have a meeting to get to.” He said. “I suggest you practice.”

And with that, he left.

Jason let out a few incomprehensible mutterings before heaving himself up from the mat. He collected his clothing and made his way back towards the staircase, but an irritating beeping sound stopped his ascent. He turned and walked back down the few stairs he had taken and searched for its source, and found that Bruce had forgotten to log out of the system on the Batcomputer. He began the deactivation sequence, his hands casually gliding across the keyboard, but stopped when something on the screen caught his eye.

Birdwatcher to Mr. Malone. Is this server secure?

Jason’s heart stopped. He could feel the anger and rage rising from within him. He could feel it all ready to burst out of him as though he were an active volcano. He wanted to scream. He wanted to go upstairs and give Bruce a piece of his mind – he wanted to beat the living shit out of him for what he put this family through. Damn him to hell, he thought, damn him straight to hell.

Jason expanded the chat across the screen and typed across the keyboard.

Server is secure, Birdwatcher. Go ahead.

My next assignment is in Gotham. Are you free to meet me?

Jason swallowed hard. He’d be punished for this for sure, but he’d be damned if he didn’t take advantage of this opportunity.

Yes. Location?

The Nest. Have to go. I’ll be there tomorrow. 0800.

Jason let out a heavy breath before proceeding to clear all evidence of the conversation. He logged Bruce out of the system.

Damn that man straight to hell.

Chapter Text

When Jason’s bed shifted that night, he figured it was Damian. He slowly unraveled from sleep, turning over in efforts to drape an arm over the boy’s middle, to pull him into his body and hold him like he’d done the night before. He didn’t bother to open his eyes, and was therefore surprised when the body he pulled close was much heavier than expected. Jason could hardly fight the smug grin pulling at his lips.

Howdy.”                                                              

Tim rolled his eyes. “If you’re going to be weird about this Jason, I’m leaving.”

Jason’s arm tightened around Tim’s center. “Who’s being weird?”

Tim sighed, settling into Jason’s hold. Jason sincerely hoped Damian’s sleep remained undisturbed for the rest of the night, otherwise his bed was bound to get rather crowded.

“What’s keeping you up, Little Bird?” Asked Jason, and Tim could practically hear the smirk on his face.

“You know what.” He said. “I haven’t slept for three days. I haven’t been able to… I keep seeing…”

Tim trailed off, his eyes slamming shut out of pain and frustration - embarrassed because his voice had cracked on that last word and Jason was sure to say something about it.

He didn’t.

Jason’s smirk fell from his lips.

“His face…” Tim whispered, tears coming to his eyes. “The broadcast…”

“Shh.” Said Jason, holding his brother impossibly closer, impossibly tighter. “Go to sleep, Tim. I’ve got you, alright? Just… go to sleep.”

Tim gave a slight nod and choked down a few sobs before curling into himself. Jason did his best to wrap himself around him, to hold him the way he knew Dick would if he were here. But Dick wasn’t here. And that thought caused him to feel heavy with guilt because he now knew something Tim didn’t, something that could soothe Tim’s pain much faster than soft whispers and a firm hold, but he couldn’t tell him. Not yet. He had to see it for himself first.


 

Tim was gone by the time he woke up. That hadn’t surprised him – Tim was always an early riser. Jason wasn’t. So when Jason came downstairs at 7:30AM, freshly showered and dressed to go out, it was foreseeable that Alfred would be plagued with suspicion.

“Early-morning plans, Master Jason?” Asked Alfred as he continued to polish the vase he’d been holding.

Jason hastily pushed his arms through his favorite leather jacket. “Something like that. I won’t be long – I’ll be back before breakfast.”

And that had been a lie. Because despite the fact his stomach had begun growling ten minutes into his twenty minute ride, and despite the fact Alfred’s French toast was easily his favorite thing on the entire planet, the second he saw Dick’s face – Dick’s beautiful and very much living face – he wanted nothing more than to throw the fuck up.

Jason...

That was the first word to come from his mouth. His moving, operational, very much alive mouth – it had been whispered like a goddamn prayer. Like it was Jason who’d been gone for six months. Like it was Jason who’d been tucked away in some unknown corner of the universe, kept from those who loved him most.

“You fucker.”

Those were Jason’s first words.

“You fucking fucker, I can’t believe you… All this time… I can’t believe…”

Dick frowned, reaching a hand out towards him. “Jason, please, let me-“

“Don’t you fucking say it!” Jason spat. “And don’t you touch me, either!”

He wanted to touch him. God, he wanted to run his hands all over his stupid, lying, beautiful, living body. Dick let his arm fall back to his side. His eyes now had that look in them. Wide, watery eyes making him look like an adorable kicked puppy.

“You think there’s an explanation for this? You think there’s an excuse?” Said Jason, his voice rapidly rising in volume. He’d had a speech planned. He had an entire speech planned for this confrontation and it was quickly being tossed out the window. His emotions were getting the better of him and he could already feel the tears shoving at the back of his eyeballs. “Six months, Dick. For six months you were gone, you were dead! And none of us…”

He trailed off, biting back the tears. He wouldn’t cry in front of him. He wouldn’t do it.

“You’re just like him, you know that?” He finally said, getting back on track – remembering bits and pieces of the speech he rehearsed. “Thinking you know better than everyone, thinking you know what’s best. Keeping things from the rest of us as though we could never understand…”

Dick continued to stare at Jason with the eyes of a drowned kitten – a strange mix of hurt and sympathy that Jason never quite understood.

“I know why you did it, Dick. I know why you decided to play dead; I’m not stupid. You had your mask taken off, there’s no going back from that.” Said Jason. His voice was even now. He’d managed to get his emotions back in check. “But what I don’t understand is why keep it from us – your own family. I can accept Bruce not trusting us. I can accept Bruce being the paranoid asshole he always is, but you? Did you honestly think we’d tell him? Did you honestly think that-“

“It wasn’t Bruce.”

Jason froze. He hadn’t expected Dick to interrupt him.

“Excuse me?”

Dick swallowed. “Bruce wasn’t the one who… I told him to…I couldn’t…”

“I’m sorry, what?”

Dick took a deep breath and allowed a soft smile to come to his face. Jason’s heart stopped, then, because if there was one thing he ever thought he’d never admit to himself, it was that nothing was more beautiful than Dick Grayson’s smiles.

“Could you come here, please?” Said Dick, his voice soft. “Let me see you. Touch you. As you’ve pointed out, it’s been six months – I think I’m due for a hug.”

Jason tried his best to keep his pace even as he walked towards him, tried his best to not hop the six feet in one jump, because damn, he never thought he would miss Dick’s obsession with hugs. No, his obsession with touching. Dick had what Tim liked to call a contact-inclined personality. Even when in casual conversation with the guy, he had to have a hand on you somewhere. Jason wasn’t sure where this stemmed from, but he’d always been annoyed with it. Everyone had been. That is, until they’d gone six months without it.

Those arms closed around him and it was like a heavy hand being removed from his throat. He could breathe again. Those tears were back, threatening to pour over as he suddenly remembered with an immature brand of arrogance how much taller he was than his older brother, how much bigger. Dick pressed his face into the crook of Jason’s neck, inhaling him in that way that had always made Jason feel frustrated and awkward, but currently made him feel at peace, at home. There was a hand at the back of his head, feeling at his hair.

Don’t say it. Don’t you fucking say-

“You need a haircut.”

He said it.

“You’re shitting me right now.”

Jason could feel Dick’s grin in his shoulder. “Go sit down on the bed. I’ll get the scissors.”

Jason groaned. He knew there was no winning this argument, so he wouldn’t dare bother to start it. He did as he was told, and sat in absolute silence as Dick snipped away at his hair. It took no more than five minutes, and even without a mirror Jason knew it was a better haircut than any he’d received in the past six months. Afterwards, they’d somehow both ended up on the bed – Dick leaned back against the headboard, Jason’s head in his lap, his hands combing through his freshly groomed hair. Neither of them said anything for quite some time, and Jason could feel himself slowly giving way to exhaustion. He hadn’t exactly gotten the most sleep these past two nights.

“You should let it go red.” Said Dick, after fifteen minutes of silence. Jason opened his eyes, having been near unconsciousness. “You wear the hood now – there’s no practical purpose in dying it black.”

Jason frowned. “The hood gets knocked off sometimes. I dye my hair for the same reason I wear a domino mask.”

Dick nodded, understanding. Ten more minutes of silence passed and Dick’s hand had yet to cease its movements through Jason’s hair, but Jason wasn’t about to complain. He was, however, going to assure that they finished the conversation the two of them had originally started.

“What did you mean?” Jason finally asked.

Dick let out a soft, questioning noise that made Jason suspect he wasn’t the only one low on sleep.

“What you said before – ‘it wasn’t Bruce’ – what did you mean by that?”

Dick’s hand froze for a moment before continuing in its ministrations. “Bruce, he… He wanted to tell you guys. I was the one who told him not to. I was the one who wanted you guys to think I was dead. Bruce only lied because I wanted him to.”

Suddenly Dick’s hand was like fire against Jason’s scalp – he shot up from the bed. He was on his feet with a death glare aimed at Dick before he could even register what he was doing. Dick had that kicked puppy look again.

“What the fuck.”

“Jason-“

“What the actual fuck. Is this a joke? Why would you – do you even know what – “

“Jason, stop.”

And Jason stopped. Because Dick sounded mad. And if there was one thing Jason knew for certain, it was that Dick Grayson was not an angry person. So when Dick Grayson got angry, it was best to shut up and listen.

Dick’s eyes softened quickly. “You have to understand, Jason… my life was ripped out from under me. Everything was turned upside down so fast I… I needed time to myself. To figure out… myself. And… It hurt me, knowing that I was hurting you, but I felt… I felt that after so long, I deserved to be selfish… Didn’t I? Didn’t I deserve to be selfish, just this once?”

And Jason’s jaw snapped shut at that, because yes. Yes, he did. Dick Grayson, the man who always gave everything away with a smile. The man who always took the blame, who never complained unless it was in a righteous fashion, he was the only man on the planet who could ever deserve selfishness.

“Okay.” Said Jason, and that’s all that was said on the matter. Because Jason was an angry person, but, at this moment, Jason wasn’t angry anymore. Not at Dick, not at Bruce. Not at anyone – not even at himself. Because none of it mattered anymore. Not now. Not when he could crawl back in bed and have his big brother hold him through his nightmares.

And that’s exactly what he did. And that’s exactly what Dick allowed him to do.