Actions

Work Header

I Thought You'd Want To Be The One

Work Text:

“The fuck do you think you’re doing here replacement? This is my territory.” Red Hood’s computerized voice filling the air as his boots hit the rooftop.

Red Robin doesn’t answer, doesn’t even react, just stays where he’s at sitting on the ledge.

Jason takes a moment to take in the scene in front of him. He watches his replacement pull the cigarette he’s smoking away from his face and a glance to the kid’s left there’s a bottle of vodka, it looks half gone.

Jason sneers at the back of Tim’s head, storming forward to grab the kid by the shoulder yanking him back hard. Surprisingly, the kid was lax in Jason’s hold and just let’s himself flop onto his ass before the kid turns to glare up at him. Tim stays there for a moment not moving before he brings his cigarette back to his lips for a deep drag. On his exhale Tim stands up and reaches for the bottle of vodka.

He uncaps it and takes a long drink, before lowering it and wordlessly offering it to Jason.

Jason ignores it, pressing on. “I asked you what the fuck you’re doing in my territory kid?” Jason growls out, reaching for his gun. He clicks off the safety and points it a few inches away from Tim’s person.

Tim smiles miserably back at Jason before shrugging causally. “Give me a sec to finish this.” he moves his hand with the cigarette.

Tim raises the vodka to his lips one more time, this time taking a shallower sip, letting it wash over his mouth and swallows slowly to drag out the burn. He then takes a minute to finish his cigarette before he stubs it on the ledge to make sure it’s out before throwing it into a pouch on his belt.

Jason watches, he has no idea what to make out of this. He had no idea that the kid smoked or drank. Jason tightens his grip on his gun, his anger growing. He takes slow deep breaths, trying to push the green from his vision. He still hates the kid, but he’s not trying to kill him anymore.

The thing is, Jason was sure Tim was still scared of him, so he’s dumbfounded as to why Tim’s here. But Jason’s also pissed, because this fuck hat thought it would be okay to do this in his territory, dressed in his old moniker. Of course the kid thinks it’s fine, Jason is the black sheep after, just shit all over him again, and in his space.

The edges of his vision start bleeding green again as anger floods his body. He takes more deep breath, and closes his eyes, trying to calm down.

Jason opens his eyes again when he hears the gravel crunching in front of him to see a wobbly Tim walking towards him.

“Okay, ’mmmm ready.” Tim slurs out.

“Ready for what replacement?” Jason grits out, green still edging his vision.

Tim tilts his head to the side looking up at Jason confused.

“A-Aren’t you gonna to shoot me?”

Jason’s eyes widen, WHAT THE FUCK.

The green recedes his vision as confusion, and alarm start to take over.

“The fuck you talkin’ about?”

Tim laughs humorlessly.

“D-Didn’t you say next time you caughtta bat here you’d shoot ‘em?” Tim asks slowly, trying to speak clearly past his too thick tongue, confusion painted on his face.

Jason blanches. His mouth can’t form words, and his helmet is suddenly too tight, suffocating him.

Jason moves one hand to the back of his helmet to undo the security so he can take his helmet off. He’s wearing his domino underneath, so he’s not worried about being seen by anyone else, but he needs to feel the cold air to get rid of feeling his helmet closing in on him.

When he gets it off, he tries to as unnoticeably as possible, breath deeply, he has to be misunderstanding what’s going on.

But the kid is here drinking, smoking, and all but directly begging Jason to shoot him.

Jason glares at the Tim while a melancholy smile slowly spreads across his face.

“You took it ‘ff,” Tim says in a small, awed voice.

Jason doesn’t know what to say to that, so he doesn’t say anything. He just keeps glaring at the kid, trying to figure out why the hell this was happening.

“ ‘m glad you did.” Tim mumbles, undeterred by Jason’s lack of response. His cheeks turn red as what he said registers with his own ears, but goes on anyways, “makes it easier,” Tim says more to himself, nodding along with his words.

“Makes what easier?” Jason can’t help but ask, hoping he’s wrong.

Tim gives him a look that tells Jason the kid is definitely questioning his intelligence, and Jason has to hold back the growl building in his chest at the blatant rudeness.

“Dying, duh,” Tim says, like it’s the most obvious thing. Which, well it’s kind of is and was exactly what Jason was hoping he was misinterpreting.

This time Jason can’t hold back the growl.

“Oh, and you thought that you’d come to me? That you’d make sure I ruined my semblance of peace with the bats? Put more guilt on my conscious?” Jason snarls out viciously, watching Tim cringe with every word he spits out. Good.

Tim throws his hands up, as if surrendering, but throws himself off balance and stumbles back a couple of steps.

“No, no, no, no. ‘M sorry Jay, I jus thought…” Tim doesn’t finish his sentence; he’s trying to think through the puzzle, he didn’t think he’d have to explain this to Jason, he thought he’d have just shot him on sight.

“Thought what?” Jason growls out, snapping Tim from his thoughts.

“W-Well I thought y-you’d want to be the one,” Tim mumbles out, looking down at Jason’s feet avoiding looking at Jason’s face.

Jason’s quickly stunned from his anger and can’t speak, he’s frozen in place just staring at Tim, while Tim fidgets over having Jason’s gaze on him for so long in the silence.

“I mean- I guess I thought you’d be happy i-if I let you, ‘stead of-” but Tim cuts himself off from saying what was going through his mind when he sees Jason moving forward, anger painting Jason’s face. Tim lets out a breath of relief and lets his shoulders drop, his body relaxed- he just hopes Jason isn’t planning on dragging this out.

Tim closes his eyes as Jason closes the distance but lets out a surprised yelp as Jason’s strong arms wrap around him, trapping him under unbearable pressure. Tim waits for something else to happen, but nothing else happens, they just stay like that. Slowly it dawns on Tim that Jason’s just, hugging him?

Tim tries to pull back so he can look at Jason, but Jason just adjusts his grip to move one of his hands to Tim’s head to push it into his shoulder.

“Uhhh?”

“Shut up repl-Tim.”

Tim doesn’t say anything and just stands there with Jason holding him, confused, and starting to feel overwhelmed. This isn’t what he wanted, he didn’t want to have to think about his feelings, he was, well he’s not sure what he really wanted.

He tries to push off Jason’s chest with renewed effort, but he can’t move his hands to push Jason off of him, so he wriggles trying to create space. His breaths start coming more rapidly and haggard, this isn’t what he wanted.

“Stop moving,” Jason grunts out.

“S-Stop it. Lemme go!”

“So you can go piss someone else off ‘til they off you? Nu-uh Timmy, no dice.”

Tim huffs into Jason’s shoulder slumping in the hold, he knows he can’t get out of this without hurting Jason. He’s still breathing too hard and fast, but after a few minutes it’s starting to even out.

But without that to focus on all Tim’s brain starts focusing on are all the things he’s feeling. He can’t stop his stupid lizard brain from pointing out all the worst things he thinks about himself, that it convinces him Jason’s also thinking.

Tim can’t stop the tears that fall from his eyes, or the sad whine that escapes his throat as he crumbles in Jason’s arms. Jason strengthens his hold on Tim, supporting most of Tim’s weight while Tim cries into his shoulder. Jason has no idea what he’s supposed to say or do, but this seems to be working so far. Well I guess Dickie did teach me one useful thing, Jason thinks bitterly.

“ ‘M sorry… ‘m s-sorry…” Tim cries out over and over, his voice getting rough from his crying.

Jason runs a hand through Tim’s hair, trying to be soothing, and Tim leans his head into the touch, craving the physical contact even though his body is almost fully flush with Jason’s.

“Shh Timmy, it’s okay,” Jason whispers gently. “Just don’t get any snot on me.” Jason jokes, earning a gross, wet chuckle from Tim between cries.

 

After what feels like years, Tim’s tears stop, his breathing under control, Jason loosened his grip slightly on Tim, just enough to lean back to look him in the face. Jason doesn’t say anything, he knows Tim knows what he wants.

After a minute Tim finally caves and looks Jason in the eyes before quickly dropping them again.

“I didn’t really mean it,” Tim finally says.

Jason hums his disbelief, and watches Tim’s shoulders slump down even further, starting to bend in on himself.

“I m-mean, I guess I did, but I also didn’t. I just- I don’t even- I can’t-” Tim chokes out his breathing picking up again because he just can’t.

“Shh Timmy, it’s okay. Deep breaths,” Jason tells him patiently, loudly taking a deep breath and letting it out, continuing and until Tim’s breathing matches his.

“Thanks,” Tim mumbles, still not looking in Jason’s eyes.

They stand there in silence, Jason’s willing to wait Tim out, luckily it doesn’t take long.

“It’s just- I just- I can’t take this a-anymore.”

Jason stays quiet, he knows there’s more.

Tim shuffles in Jason’s grasp trying for more space, so Jason holds him firmer, pulling Tim in a little bit closer. Tim lets out a big sigh before looking up and fixing his eyes onto Jason’s chin.

“I just- with Damian it’s better, but it’s unbearable to be somewhere ’m supposed to call home. And every time I-I see Alfred I jus’ feel so guilty with how sad he looks when ’m gone too long, i-it makes me wanna stay away. And Dick, I-I jus’ don’t know, it’s jus’ that he burned the whole bridge between but is trying to force me to see him, a-and I just c-can’t,” Tim whimpers out as a few stray tears fall.

“I don’t think I have to explain Bruce,” Tim lets out a mock of a laugh, “and well Steph and I-I aren’t the same since she, well I guess she didn’t really, died.”

“And well you-” Tim pauses as he feels Jason go still. “D-Don’t get it wrong Jason, I mean I know you hate me, a-and I get why. I mean you’re wrong about a lotta the stuff after you died, but I-I failed to even hold a candle to your legacy as Robin. You came back and all you saw was a mockery of what you had accomplished as Robin” Tim’s voice turned bitter and hateful, and he has to take a deep breath, as fresh tears start falling down his cheeks again.

“I j-just thought that maybe you’d hate me less, or no, just like forgive me a little if I just let you kill me. You’d be less mad if you got to instead of someone else.” Tim whispers sadly, trying again to move away from Jason’s hold. It feels too warm, it’s too deceptively safe, Tim just needs space, the cold, to be alone.

Jason lets him step back this time, but keeps one hand on Tim’s arm, not allowing the physical contact to break.

Jason thinks Tim doesn’t shouldn’t be alone, he just needs- no deserves more. But after that admission, Jason doesn’t want to smother him with too much from someone he thinks hates him, someone he thinks would happily and willingly kill him. Jason tries to think about the best thing he could do for Tim when the kid just ruled out basically the entire Bat Fam.

He could call the Titans, get that stupid clone and the annoying speedster here- wait, no they’re idiots, they’d have no idea what to do for Tim. Jason lets out a deep breath, do I even know what to do for the kid? Jason wonders.

Jason looks down into Tim’s face, seeing how broken Tim looks, wondering how much worse it must feel inside.

Better me than those idiots, Jason thinks to himself, decision made.

“Alright Timbo listen up,” Jason feels Tim go rigid in his hand but ignores it, pressing on, “you interrupted my patrol snack time, and it’s nearly morning now. So you’re ordering copious amounts of food to my place and you’re going to eat until I tell you it’s okay to stop. You should definitely weigh more for fifteen-year-old kid.”

Tim’s face turns red under the tear tracks as he lets out an indignant huff, “fuck off, you know I’m nineteen.”

Jason smirks, and pulls Tim towards the ledge facing the direction of his safehouse.

“Now do I have to carry you, or are you coming willingly?”

Tim gives Jason a noncommittal shrug.

“That ain’t gonna work kid. You’re coming, the question really is if it’s willing or not?”

“Fine,” Tim spits out finally looking Jason in the face, and Jason gives him a smug smile back before he puts his helmet back on.

Jason pulls Tim back into a hug as he shoots a grapple line to lower them down to the alley. Once on the ground he lets Tim go, “follow the leader Timmy boy.”


 

Two hours later, Jason and Tim are sitting on the couch in Jason’s safehouse.

Tim whines, “Come on Jason, I can’t eat anymore.”

Jason huffs annoyed, “Tim you ate four pieces, I want the other four gone in the next hour, or I’m ordering you another pizza.”

Tim groans and throws his head back on the couch, Jason just smiles to himself, he’s glad the kid is slipping out of his head space from earlier but sobering up will do that.

Jason shoves a piece into Tim’s hand before snagging a piece of his own pizza eat. They sit in silence for a while, both looking at the tv, but neither of them are watching the movie playing in front of them.

From the corner of his eye Jason sees Tim turn to look at him, eyes narrowed in focus and mouth slightly parted for the third time, clearly Tim isn’t going to say whatever it is he wants to on his own, so Jason turns his body to face him.

“Spit it out already Tim, I can’t hear myself think with how loud your brain’s working.”

Tim’s cheeks turn pink, cute Jason thinks.

“I-I just don’t get it.”

Jason raises an eyebrow questioningly, waiting for Tim to elaborate.

Tim sighs, “I just don’t get tonight. I mean I-I get why you didn’t shoot me- my brain is a lot less foggy now. But what I don’t get is why I’m here, why we’re eating pizza and watching movies in your safehouse. I mean, this is the most time we’ve spent in the same room together outside of anything mission related. A-and you’ve been calling me by my real name, not replacement.”

Jason internally cringes, yeah, he knows he’s been a terrible person to the kid, he’s trying to make up for it now. And now it’s Jason’s turn to sigh. “Timmy, ain’t you the smart one Robin? You and I both know that was a suicide attempt, and I ain’t sugar coating it to call it anything else.” Jason adds quickly since he could see Tim wanting to object. “I can’t leave you alone after that, and you basically crossed off the whole Bat fam. Your clone and speedster are morons, Cass is in Hong Kong, Babs probably could of helped you tonight, but…”

“But?” Tim asks after a few moments when it became clear Jason wasn’t going to finish his thought.

“But I wanted to,” Jason blurts out. “I just after all those things you said, I just- fuck, I just thought that you were scared of me, probably hated me after I tried to kill you. But I don’t hate you anymore Tim, and I know I’ve told you what a terrible Robin you were… but a lotta that shit I said and did back then was Talia whispering in one ear, the pit in the other. I wasn’t really clear headed” Jason admits, watching Tim fail to conceal his surprise.

Jason’s cheeks blush red as continues, “I guess I wanted to start atoning or some shit like that. I don’t want you thinking that I’d only be mad about your death if I didn’t get to do it, I’d… I’d just be mad that you were dead.”

And that must have been the final emotionally charged straw Jason had no idea he was drawing because Tim starts balling.

Jason grimaces for a moment, the last few hours have already been emotionally charged. But Jason wants to be here to help, so picks Tim up from his spot the couch and moves them from the living room to the bedroom, settling down with Tim curled up in his lap.

Jason just holds Tim, stroking his hair and mumbling soft reassurances until Tim calms down enough to go boneless in his arms. Tim looks wrecked with exhaustion, and Jason wonders when the last time he slept was, or if this was just a result of their night.

Jason leans down to tuck a piece of hair behind Tim’s ear, his hand sliding down to cup Tim’s jaw.

“Get some sleep Timbo.”

“But-” Tim clears his throat, vainly trying to rid it of the roughness, “what’s going to-?” Tim doesn’t know how he wants to finish his question. What’s going to happen now? What’s going to happen to me? What are you going to tell everyone? Oh God they’re going to have to tell everyone, Tim panickily thinks to himself.

“Shh Timmy don’t start the wheels again, I’m not going anywhere, you’re not going anywhere. You’re going to sleep tonight, tomorrow you’re eating two breakfasts, and we’re going to call Dinah.”

“Dinah?” Tim asks wearily.

“Yeah, Roy said before that she’s done some counseling stuff before with some of the heroes. We don’t have to do anything, we’ll just ask her for some advice about a friend, yeah?”

Tim nods, if he does decide to talk to her it would yield better help if the person he talks to knows he’s a vigilante.

“What about the family?” Tim whispers quietly, almost hoping that if Jason couldn’t hear him, then it wouldn’t be a problem.

But Jason did hear him, and it is a problem to address.

“Listen Tim I’m not going to sick the Bats in on you, I can already tell that won’t do any good. So here’s what I’m thinkin’, and we can talk about it more tomorrow, but I’m thinkin’ you stay here awhile, maybe take a step back from WE, it’s not even your fuckin’ company, Brucie can run his own company. But you make a plan with Dinah for what’ll help, we do that plan, and I’m gonna fatten you up like a Thanksgiving turkey.”

Jason smirks triumphantly at Tim’s small laugh, “I’m not a turkey Jason.”

“Nah, you’re more like a poult right now,” Jason laughs at Tim’s pout, “give me a couple of months and you’ll almost weigh as much as a real boy.”

Tim smacks his shoulder hard but’s laughing while doing so.

“I’m not a boy Jason, I’m an adult man.”

“Alright give me a year or two and you’ll weigh as much as a real man.” Jason goads back.

Tim groans tossing his head back into the pillow, “I like my suit Jason, I don’t want a new one because I can’t fit into this one anymore.”

“Yeah, yeah Timmy but life ain’t all about what you want, sometimes it’s about what I want.”

They both laugh, and slowly let a comfortable silence blanket them. Tim’s still curled up almost entirely on Jason, he knows he should move and give Jason his personal space, but… Tim wants the physical contact, it makes this all seem more like some fucked up dream and not reality. It makes it all a little easier for him to handle, having Jason hold him like this, laughing, caring, and well just being nice to him.

After a few minutes laying in the silence, Jason hasn’t made any move to scoot away from Tim, so Tim, feeling a bit bolder, leans in closer to Jason’s body. But after a few moments Tim starts to panic and tries to move back, but Jason moves them so they’re lying on their sides facing each other, arm wrapped around Tim’s back, keeping him class, and he throws his leg over Tim’s hip, burying Tim’s face in his chest.

Tim burrows into Jason’s warm chest, he feels himself slipping off into what he hopes will be a deep, peaceful sleep.

“G’night Jason,” Tim mumbles into Jason’s chest, too exhausted to move his face to be clearly heard.

“Night Timbo,” Jason whispers back, moving a hand to Tim’s head again to softly scratch his head lulling Tim to sleep.

Before sleep claims him, Tim thinks that he’s glad he was wrong about Jason wanting to be the one to kill him, that he’ll probably be the one to help Tim help himself.