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With the Fume of Sighs

Chapter Text

Jason Todd is in the middle of grooming his venomous spines when Damian al Ghul swims into the cave. The golden tattoos on Damian’s emerald green tail reflect in the water, lit by the phosphorescent algae on the rock walls. It’s distracting in a way Jason isn’t prepared for. In fact, everything about Damian is distracting now that he’s full-grown and of mating age.

“Back from your father’s kingdom for a visit?” Jason queries.

It’s been over eight thousand turns of the tide since Talia al Ghul sent Damian to train with his father. She wanted Damian to have the choice of which kingdom he would prefer to inherit and rule when he came of age: Gotham Reef or the League of Shadows.

Honestly, Jason isn’t surprised Damian has returned.

Because if Jason knows anything about Bruce Wayne, it’s that Bruce holds on to what he considers his so tightly that it inevitably struggles to escape, like a fish on a hook, or a whale calf fleeing an orca. Once that grip becomes so tight it feels like a net, like a trap, like being beached on land and left without air, it triggers the need to escape.

Just like what happened to Jason all those years ago.

“No,” Damian says.

There used to be a sick and twisted Clownfish Mer that called himself the Joker. Now, because of the very spines and barbs that Jason is grooming, there isn’t.

Bruce has never forgiven Jason for that, but Jason doesn’t care.

Jason is a venomous, blood-scarlet Lionfish Mer. Few have a stature of breeding and rarity equal to his own. He’s a tail-flip above even the great Bruce Wayne in societal and breeding value; he won’t allow the Mer to dictate to him. Not when Bruce likely only took him in because of his rarity. Considering Bruce had adopted Dick Grayson, a sapphire Flying Fish Mer, and Timothy Drake, an obsidian Orca Mer, Jason wouldn’t be surprised in the least to learn that Bruce’s ‘generosity’ was really just him collecting rare Mers for his Pod.

“I’ve returned to keep my promise, Beloved,” Damian states, swimming closer, stopping just out of reach of Jason’s flared spines.

“I wasn’t expecting that,” Jason whispers so softly that the air bubbles tickle his face as he speaks.

It’s not a matter of doubting Damian’s honor; it’s a matter of knowing that kids constantly change their minds. The vast majority of them, regardless of species, have the attention span of a Goldfish Mer. They’re easily distracted by new and shiny things.

So to hear that Damian has returned from Gotham to fulfill his childish promise of “You will be my mate when I am old enough!” stuns Jason harder than when he fought off an overly amorous Jellyfish Mer about seventy-seven turns of the tide past.

“Will you accept me, Beloved?” Damian asks, his confident voice doing nothing to hide the way his ebony hair sways in the water as he trembles minutely; it’s a tell no Mer can master. The water reveals all to those observant enough to notice.

Jason folds away his venomous spines and smiles at the Mer who’s always treated him with the respect he deserves. 

Smirking, Damian takes that for the unspoken permission it is. He darts forward through the water and claims Jason’s lips for his own. It’s a single kiss, the First Ritual of Mating, and the Ocean will never be the same again.

For what can stand against the might of a kingdom ruled by a blood-scarlet Lionfish Mer and an emerald Barracuda Mer?

Nothing.

Chapter Text

Timothy Drake is in the middle of courting investors for his family's company, a glass of champagne in his hand that he never drinks from, when the bane of his existence appears at his side.

Damian Wayne sets a large hand on Tim's lower back — it's so warm that Tim can feel the heat of it through his bespoke suit — and says, "Did you enjoy yourself last night, Beloved?"

Mrs. Pepperidge fans herself with one hand and eyes them speculatively. She's one of the worst gossips in their entire social circle, which is saying something. Without a doubt, everyone at the party is going to think Tim spent the night in Damian's bed yesterday evening.

It seems to be part of Damian's ongoing campaign to make Tim's life hell.

Just last week, Damian posted a thirst selfie on his Twitter and tagged it #missmybeloved #emptybed @timothydrake.

Jason Todd, Damian's younger brother, hand-delivered six dozen red roses the week before that to Tim's CEO office at Drake Industries with a card that read: One dozen for each year I've loved you. -DW

Tim's assistant, whom he fired for it, sold the story to Vicki Vale for an obscene amount of money.

Two weeks before that fiasco, Damian scaled the fence separating their families' properties and slipped into the pool while Tim was swimming laps. Naked.

"Should we expect an engagement announcement soon?" Mr. Pepperidge asks with a laugh.

Damian opens his mouth with a smug smirk.

Tim is not prepared to deal with the fallout of whatever horror is sure to spill out. So he grabs Damian's hand, pastes a fake society smile on his face, and says, "Please excuse us."

"Why didn't you tell me you wanted to be alone with me, Beloved?" Damian asks with a teasing smirk once they're in a room far away from the guests.

"You need to stop."

Tim hasn't seen Damian's face this blank in years, not even when he’s stalked Corvus across Gotham’s rooftops.

But Tim can’t take much more of this. He just can’t. He’s been in love with Damian Wayne since he was a teenager. Those feelings only grew stronger as they aged. Now, every teasing joke feels like a knife to his heart — a taunt of something he will never be able to have.

He channels his mother, Janet Drake, and states with a wintry tone — because he will not ask; he won’t beg and plead, won’t put his heart on display to be shredded — “Stop playing these games.”

“It’s not a game to me, Timothy,” Damian says, gaze burning.

Tim’s brain stalls. 

In all of his calculations and evaluations, he never once imagined that Damian is seriously interested in him. He thought Damian was bored, or that it was to deflect attention from something else the Waynes were doing in either their daily lives or night lives. He hasn’t allowed himself to think Damian actually wants him.

He … can have this? He can have Damian?

“Be sure, Damian,” Tim says as he prowls across the distance between them. “Because we Drakes don’t ever let go of what belongs to us.” He stares right up into Damian’s stunning green eyes and says, “You won’t be allowed to leave me.”

“That’s my line, Beloved,” Damian says with a delighted smirk as he sets his hands low on Tim’s hips, slides them down to his backside, and then hauls Tim against him. “Forever, Beloved. Do we have an accord?”

“Yes, we do.”

Chapter Text

Jason Todd has been avoiding Wayne Manor like the plague. It’s the symbol of impossible dreams and painful failures. It’s everything that could-have-been, but never-will-be. Because Jason didn’t run away to find his mom — not really. Okay, he did. But that wasn’t the point. He wasn’t running to something; he was running away.  

Because, though Bruce Wayne has no idea, Jason presented Omega while Bruce was out of town. His scent was embedded in the Manor; it desperately appealed to Jason’s Omega. And Jason knew that if he stayed in the Manor, if he stayed with Bruce, Bruce would never mate with him when he came of age.

So Jason ran and hoped to come back someday when he was older. Hoped that he could change Bruce’s view of him — that he would be Omega-mate potential, despite his origins, and not just a teenager Bruce used to know.

(It didn’t happen. He ended up right in the Joker’s arms and a grave.)

Even after Jason came back to Gotham as an adult — after his mysterious resurrection and Talia al Ghul and the Lazarus Pit and the League of Assassins — after everything, Jason still hasn’t been to the Manor. Because Jason knows that if he steps foot inside it he will go into heat, induced by the scent of Bruce, pack, den, and his pup.

But now, shaking from the aftereffects of getting dosed with one of Poison Ivy’s pollens, Jason slips inside the Manor. He can feel the heat building and hates it. Chemically induced heats come with foggy thoughts and less control, unlike a regular heat. And he — if he has to deal with symptoms like this, it’s going to be somewhere safe.

Nowhere in the world is safer than the pack nest in Wayne Manor.

Even if Bruce doesn’t want him or is frustrated with him, Bruce will never deny Jason his protection during a heat. 

“Not that he has any idea I’m an Omega,” Jason mutters. 

But—

There was a camera crew filming the fight. It’s probably all over the news that the Red Hood got dosed with pollen while taking down Poison Ivy. So at least Jason being affected in some manner won’t be a total surprise.

Jason pads through the Manor on silent feet. He remembers the way, even though he hasn’t been to the Manor in years. He remembers the way, even though the pack nest was sealed away the last time he was here because the Wayne Pack didn’t have an Omega then. 

“Technically, it doesn’t have one now either.”

His muzzy thoughts are saying this will change that. That once Bruce knows Jason’s an Omega, he will understand. That Bruce will want to keep him forever.

Jason’s not sure if that’s true or not. He really, really hopes it’s true.

He enters the room that houses the pack nest and breathes. It … it smells stale. Any scents that used to exist are long gone, like Thomas and Martha Wayne. 

“A clean slate,” he says, before stripping down to the boxer briefs he wears under his Red Hood costume.

Jason rubs his scent glands over the pack nest and rolls around in it, releasing his control of his scent so the nest is soaking in pack-safe-loved-welcome-home-belonging. It’s not perfect. Not yet. It needs Pack Alpha’s scent, and Pack Second’s scent, and Pack Sentinel’s scent, and Pack Pup’s scent. 

Then it will be perfect.

And Jason will never, ever want to leave.

There’s a loud thump from downstairs and what sounds like yelling. The part of Jason’s mind that isn’t blurry due to the pollen recognizes Damian al Ghul Wayne’s voice. His heart aches and he suddenly, desperately, wants his pup.

Jason opens his mouth and summons Damian with an Omegan call; it echoes.

The Manor falls silent for just a moment, and then there are thundering footsteps. It’s less than a minute before Damian skids into the room.

“Mother!” Damian says, before ripping off his uniform in a rush and stripping down to black shorts. The clank of his weapons hitting the floor is loud.

“Little Wing?” Dick Grayson says, stunned, staring at him.

“He came to us,” Tim Drake whispers, awed. “Dosed on pollen, he came to us.”

“Yes, he did,” Dick says, voice thick as tears fall from his eyes.

They enter the pack nest not long after Damian throws himself into it and curls up on him, pillowing his head on Jason’s chest. Jason nuzzles into his pup as Tim and Dick scent the nest with safe-keep-watch-guardian-protected-cherished and desperate-possessive-pack-mine-love.

“How are you holding up, Little Wing?” Dick asks.

Jason whimpers and Tim’s spine straightens as his scent goes viciously protective.

“I shall kill Ivy for you, Mother,” Damian pup-growls. 

“I’ll help,” Tim says.

“No,” Bruce orders before injecting Jason with, he assumes, the antidote to the pollen.

Jason hadn’t noticed him entering the room, drunk off the almost-perfect scent of his pack mates around him. He’s surrounded and safe but that’s no excuse not to notice Bruce Wayne. Even with his prodigious control over his scent. Thankfully, the antidote seems to be working. Jason can already focus better. 

Damian bares all his teeth and snarls, “Mother could have been defiled! Ivy deserves—”

“Oh,” Bruce interrupts, voice the darkest Jason has ever heard it, “Ivy will get what she deserves for attacking the Wayne Pack Omega.”

Jason’s heart flutters. Does that mean what he thinks it means? Is Bruce—? He almost swallows his tongue when Bruce steps into sight; he’s wearing black boxer briefs and nothing else but miles of gorgeous, scarred skin over fit muscles.

“You intend to avenge Mother, Father?” Damian demands skeptically.

Bruce enters the pack nest and Dick moves to make room for him at Jason’s side. Which is, apparently, unnecessary. Because Bruce picks Jason up, Damian still splayed on his chest, and settles down with Jason in his lap. Bruce covers them all in a scent that can only be described as everything-is-mine.  

Jason shivers as Bruce licks over his mating gland and all the way up to his jaw. He can’t make the claim any more blatant with pups in the nest.

“Tt!” Damian scowls at Bruce. “You may schedule a time with me to challenge for the right to mate with my mother.”

“Little D!” Dick gasps, before bursting into gales of laughter.

Jason smirks down at his beloved pup and nuzzles into Bruce’s warm shoulder as his precious pack begins bickering. 

For the moment, at least, life is perfect.

Chapter Text

Jason Todd squeezes his eyes shut as his chest heaves. Sweat runs off his skin, soaking into the sheets that he and Dick Grayson thoroughly dirtied over the past three hours. He can’t even shift to get out of the wet spot; the whole bed is basically one giant wet spot now of lube, come, sweat, and tears of pleasure.

He hates this part — the part where Dick leaves — and he can’t bring himself to watch.

Because it breaks Jason’s heart a little more each time. He isn’t sure how much longer he can pretend he’s fine with letting Dick hold him close and slide inside him, only to slip away not long after as if it means nothing.

He knows Dick doesn’t mean to, but … sometimes Dick leaves him feeling like a favored whore who got paid in reciprocal orgasms.

Dick’s wriggling into his jeans, belt buckle clanking, when the words spill through Jason’s brain-to-mouth filter as if it isn’t even there.

“Do you ever think we should just stop doing this?”

The sound of Dick’s belt buckle slamming into the hardwood floors of Jason’s bedroom sounds like a gunshot. Jason’s eyes snap open. 

“What?”

Dick’s as pale as if he’s lost two quarts of blood, his gorgeous golden skin appearing sickly. His hands shake. His vibrant blue eyes dampen with tears, magnifying them to an even brighter degree.

Jason’s heart picks up speed again — with hope this time, instead of pleasure and physical exertion. Because given Dick’s reaction … maybe … maybe his feelings aren’t one-sided after all. 

“What do you mean, Little Wing?”

This whole time, could they have been dating and not just banging? Is the only thing that’s keeping them apart and hurting them their failure to communicate? Hell, they’re acting like B, aren’t they? Playing everything as close to the vest as possible, unwilling to upset the status quo without a guarantee and backup plans.

Jason thrusts his hands into his sweaty hair and tries to convince himself that a broken heart can’t possibly hurt more than being beaten to death by the Joker.

“Can we please stop?” he whispers.

A tear trickles down Dick’s cheek. His shoulders shake twice, before straightening resolutely. “I—”

“The part where you leave,” Jason interrupts before Dick can speak. Because if he doesn’t get it all out now, he’s going to lose his courage. Not even the Red Hood is invulnerable. Perhaps, especially not the Red Hood. “Can you … can you just not leave?”

Dick sucks in an audible breath. “Little Wing?”

Jason fists his hands in the sheets and almost tears them as he finishes with, “Stay with me.”

A moment later, he has a lap full of Dick Grayson and a tongue in his mouth. Jason feels the blush heating his ears when Dick pulls away, leans his forehead against Jason’s, and stares into his eyes. He’s not ready to name the emotion he sees swimming in Dick’s gaze, but it hits him like a bullet to the chest.

“I’m never leaving you again,” Dick promises as he twines his fingers with Jason’s and pins them to the pillow on either side of Jason’s head. “Never, Little Wing.”

The tension eases out of Jason’s body and he goes lax beneath his lover. Whatever Dick wants, he can have. He’s just given Jason more than he ever dared to dream for.

Chapter Text

Jason Todd crawls in Bruce Wayne's bed, slick leaking from him like a faucet. He's aching and empty and wet ... but Bruce has benched him. True, it’s not really safe for him to patrol while in heat. But even all these years after first presenting, Jason still hates being told what to do.

So, Bruce owes him.

"Jaylad?" Bruce asks, the smirk audible through the dark. "Done being mad at me for refusing to let you patrol while you're in heat?"

Jason grins and slides his hand up to Bruce's wrist, dragging his scent glands along his Alpha's skin. It’s a taunt that makes Bruce’s breath hitch. Jason loves it. That little sound never fails to make him feel powerful.

"No," Jason purrs, before zip-tying Bruce's wrists together. 

He knows it only works because Bruce lets him; Jason's not strong enough to overpower his Alpha, but that just makes Jason even wetter. Alpha is surrendering to his control.

Bruce Wayne is surrendering to his control.

It’s a precious gift that Jason never takes for granted. It’s so hard for Bruce to trust people. To trust anyone. It’s even harder for him to not be in charge of every aspect of his life. He’s an Alpha for a reason, and he does his utmost to watch over his territory in every way possible.

Bound wrists might not be a big deal to some, and, yes, Bruce can easily break the zip-tie, but it’s the symbolism of the gesture that riles Jason’s instincts every single time Bruce submits.

“Omega,” Bruce growls.

Jason reaches back and buries his fingers in his own hole, blushing hotly at the loud, wet squelch. He’s drenched between his legs. The whole room stinks of needy-Omega-desire. He reaches between Bruce's legs with his dripping fingers and massages Bruce's twitching hole.

"Good Alpha."

He licks along Bruce's neck and then bites the tendon, pulling it with his teeth.

Bruce groans and arches his hips as Jason wriggles his fingers inside. He loves Bruce like this — welcoming beneath him. That Bruce is willing to ignore what society says is an Omega's place in bed and let Jason have him is what convinced him that Bruce was serious about loving him, when even the mating bite in Jason’s neck hadn’t been able to.

"Jay!" Bruce whines as Jason scrapes his fingernail gently across Bruce's prostate.

Jason grins and breathes against damp skin, "Now be good, Daddy, and let your baby boy take care of you."

Chapter Text

“I’m telling you, I saw a ghost!”

Jason Todd huffs and glares over the top of Romeo and Juliet. It’s past curfew for the ickle firsties and, technically, they should all be in bed. Instead, two of them are bickering in the Hufflepuff common room, interrupting his reading time. He has precious little free time for reading, especially as Head Boy, and they’re ruining it.

“That’s impossible! A ghost couldn’t be at your house! Ghosts need strong magic to appear, even after they’ve chosen to remain behind. All the ley lines beneath Hogwarts are why we can see them here. None of the major ley lines run beneath Devonshire! There can’t have been a ghost at your house.”

“Are you calling me a liar?”

Merlin save him from the drama of eleven-year-olds. 

“That is quite enough,” Timothy Drake states, firm and insistent. “Go to bed. Now. You have an early class tomorrow.”

“But Drake, we—”

Jason closes the first edition book with a sharp sound. The two firsties glance at him, eyes wide, and then jump up from the rug before the fireplace and race towards the dormitories.

Tim walks across the mostly empty common room with a tired, fake smile on his face and sprawls across the couch Jason is sitting on, setting his head in Jason’s lap. His green and silver tie stands out in a room of yellow and black, but no one present dares to say a thing.

“Read to me,” Tim says, gazing up at Jason through his mussed black hair.

Jason’s boyfriend is a demanding prat. Jason wouldn’t change a single thing about him. Because while Tim might be sharp in countless ways, Jason knows that he, himself, will never be in danger of being cut by Tim’s jagged edges. Drakes are vicious in the protection of those they love.

He opens the book, smirks, and reads, “My bounty is as boundless as the sea, My love as deep; the more I give to thee, The more I have, for both are infinite.”

Chapter Text

“Absolutely not!” Bruce Wayne growls.

“B, just—”

“I forbid it!” Bruce says.

Jason Todd grits his teeth together and wishes Bruce hadn’t been home when Jason dropped Damian Wayne off at the Manor following their trip to the aquarium.

“You don’t even know him!” Jason spits, unable to help himself.

It figures that Bruce would ignore him as much as possible, and then suddenly decide he has the right to make decisions for Jason. It just figures.

“I know he chased Dick until Dick gave in, and then left once he got what he wanted,” Bruce snaps, shifting so that he’s looming over Jason. “He already used one of my sons; I’m not letting him use another.”

“It’s not the same at all!”

Jason shakes with frustration and disgust. How dare Bruce compare a one night stand to the formal courting Slade has been performing? Everything Slade has done over the past six months has been above reproach.

“From where I stand—”

“I don’t need your permission!” Jason says.  It would be nice to receive Bruce’s blessing, but Jason doesn’t ever really see that happening. Not now.

Bruce takes a step forward and scowls. “As the Wayne Pack Omega, I’m refusing—”

“I’m the al Ghul Pack Omega,” Jason interrupts, dropping a truth-bomb on Bruce.

Bruce stills, visibly stunned for the first time that Jason can remember. 

“What.”

Jason rolls his eyes and looks past Bruce to where Damian is standing with a knife in hand, ready to physically defend him if necessary.

“I’m the al Ghul Pack Omega. Damian is my Pack Alpha as long as I’m in America and away from Ra’s.”

“What?”

“And Damian has already given Slade permission to court and mate me, after Slade defeated him in bladed combat.”

“WHAT?!”

“It’s happening, B. Nothing you can say will change my mind.”

Jason steps away from Bruce, flashes his neck at Damian in acknowledgement, and then turns to leave.

His neck is unscarred; he’s ready for that to change.

Chapter Text

Damian al Ghul Wayne straightens his already-straight suit jacket and hates how inadequate he feels. If it were anyone else, if he had fallen in love with anyone else, he wouldn’t doubt his victory for an instant.

Timothy Drake isn’t anyone else.

For all that Timothy will charm and taunt every enemy and ally they have, he draws the line at such behavior towards anyone under eighteen. If he’s ever thought Damian will be a superb option — the only option — as a mate, he’s kept that thought to himself, not even allowing a hint of desire into his scent.

So Damian is going into this blind at his eighteenth birthday gala.

It’s terrifying aggravating. 

Damian is going against every lesson that has ever been trained into him. If his mother and grandfather ever find out, they will be appalled.

But of all the things Damian Wayne is, a coward isn’t one of them. He will survive no he won’t the disappointment broken-heart if Drake refuses him. It’s just — what insipid phrase did Grayson call it again? — puppy love. It’s not as if Damian will need to acquire an off-planet mission until Drake has forgotten this night if Drake refuses. Really, he won’t.

His heart malfunctions as he approaches the Omega socialites clustered around Drake. Damian can’t blame them for being drawn to perfection, even though it’s irritating how they casually touch Drake. He despises Drake smelling of strangers.

(It makes Damian want to drag Drake into his bed and rub himself all over him until Drake smells of nothing but Wayne Pack, and Damian in particular.)

His heart malfunctions yet again — what is wrong with it? — when Damian stops before Drake and Drake smirks at Damian as if he’s the center of the universe.

“Damian!”

“Timothy,” Damian says, for the first time, receiving the anticipated shock in Drake’s scent. He takes Drake’s left hand in his and lifts Drake’s wrist to his mouth. Damian scrapes his teeth across the bare skin.

“Oh my!”

“It’s so romantic!”

“Have they been secretly pining this whole time?”

“Have you ever seen a more perfect pair in your life?”

“Dance with me,” Damian states. He is well aware that it’s traditional to ask. However, if he phrases it as a question, Drake will know it’s something that Damian wants. He hasn’t convinced himself that it will hurt less for Drake to decline if he doesn’t ask. Really, he hasn’t.

Drake’s scent goes wintery and amused as he smirks and says, “Why not?”

As Damian leads Drake onto the dance floor, he acknowledges that it was appropriate he hadn’t been nervous or worried about the outcome. Of course Drake would choose him and Damian would be victorious. 

He is Damian al Ghul Wayne.

Chapter Text

Jason Todd lies on the balcony off the master bedroom in Wayne Manor, draped loosely in a sheet. This far from Gotham, the light pollution doesn’t affect the night sky. He holds his hands up and traces the path between the stars in the sky, finding real constellations and making his own.

“Couldn’t sleep?” Bruce Wayne asks.

Glancing over at him, Jason grins at the sight of Bruce’s bedhead. He’s only in a pair of old sweats. The marks on his skin make Jason’s smile turn into a smirk. Even a year into this — whatever it is — he still can’t believe he’s allowed to touch Bruce. That Bruce wants to touch him.

That Bruce wants him at all .

“When I was with the League,” Jason starts, not in the least surprised when Bruce comes to snuggle down next to him and wraps an arm around him, “I would look at the stars and wonder where you were beneath them. It—” Jason blinks back tears. “It made me feel closer to you. Made me feel like you still loved me.”

“Oh, Jason.” Bruce kissed him gently. “Not still. Always. Always, Jason.”

Chapter Text

Tim Drake has looked in a mirror before. He knows he’s not ugly. But ... he doesn’t compare to Dick Grayson’s everything, or Jason Todd’s muscles, or Damian Wayne’s stunning green eyes and dark-golden skin.

So, it’s not that he thinks he’s ugly. Because he doesn’t. He’s just a realist.

When Dick engulfs him in a full body hug and rubs their cheeks together before kissing him on the cheek with a loud smack, it’s just a joke.

“I love you, Timmy!”

Dick’s not serious. Dick had Starfire.  

Tim just ... he can’t compare. It doesn’t make sense for Dick to downgrade from the quality of beauty and power he has access to — not for Tim. 

So it’s obviously just a tease, a flirt, something Dick is doing subconsciously. He’s not trying to hurt Tim’s feelings or break his heart. 

It’s fine.

It’s not fine.

When Jason scoops Tim up and sits Tim in the crook of his arm and carries him around as if he doesn’t weigh anything at all, it’s because Jason is show-boating, rubbing his muscle mass in Damian’s face, because Damian hasn’t caught up yet, even though he’s the same height as Jason now.

“Beautiful baby bird’s light as a feather. Get it? A feather!” Jason says with a smirk.

“Todd, cease and desist with the obnoxious word play!” Damian snaps back.

Jason is not actually calling Tim beautiful. He’s just enjoying an alliterative word battle with Damian. He’s not trying to lead Tim on or break his heart. 

It’s fine.

It’s not fine.

When Damian physically puts himself between Tim and danger while they’re patrolling, it’s because he still thinks Tim isn’t capable of taking care of himself. What else could it be?

“You’re not allowed to die,” Damian says.

Tim knows that what Damian actually means is: “You’ve occasionally proven useful on cases and Grayson will complain endlessly if you die.”

Damian is not implying he can’t live without Tim or trying to break Tim’s heart with such non-implications. It’s a case of Tim imagining things that aren’t there.

It’s fine.

It’s not fine.

So when Alfred gently pulls Tim aside and says, “Master Timothy, I’m afraid that Masters Richard, Jason, and Damian will begin walking around the Manor nude since you haven’t responded to their previous efforts to acquire your romantic interest. Would you be so good as to accept or reject their affections before that happens, please?” no one is more surprised than Tim.

“Are you ... Alfred ... are you saying they weren’t joking?” Tim asks, mouth suddenly as dry as the Sahara.

Alfred smiles softly and pats Tim’s hand. “Last week they were discussing wedding invitation samples in the blue lounge. All four of your names were on the sample invitations, Master Timothy.”

Tim’s heart races in his chest and he smiles with wet eyes. “Oh.”

It’s better than fine.

Chapter Text

The party guests don’t fall silent as a whiskey tumbler shatters on the floor. Such mishaps are inevitable when the rich get truly and indecorously drunk. However, every one of them shuts up and pays attention when Jason Todd tightens his grip on the handsy Alpha’s wrist, making the Alpha yelp like a pup.

“Let go!”

The man’s attempt to Alpha-command him is pathetic. Seriously, Jason has heard newly presented pups with more Alpha-command in their voice than this tipsy creep.

“Why don’t you make me?” Jason snaps.

Of all the things that have changed since Jason was a pup in Crime Alley, hating Alphas who think they can touch any Omega they want isn’t one of them.

“Jay!” Tim hisses.

Jason loathes that Tim feels like he can’t say anything. Alphas have been standing too close to them all night long. All. Night. Long. And this isn’t the first Alpha who’s touched either of them either. It is the first Alpha stupid enough to grab Tim’s butt and whisper, “You smell ripe, Timothy. Let me help you with that.” He’ll be the last Alpha dumb enough to do it, too.

“Keep your hands off my mate!” Jason snarls.

The Alpha, all ruddy in the face, gapes and splutters. “You’re both Omegas! You can’t be mates!”

And that, the public disparagement of their mating, is what finally causes the learned Wayne charm to drain out of Tim. Instead, Tim is every cutting inch his mother: Janet Drake.

“I assure you,” Tim purrs beside Jason, “that he has never failed to satisfy me. Jason’s hung.”

Jason flushes brilliantly. It’s true, but he hadn’t realized Tim was just going to tell all of Gotham High Society about his….

Tim rakes his gaze over the Alpha, who’s still failed to free his arm from Jason’s grip, and sneers a single question that makes Jason fall in love with him all over again.

“Why would an Omega want a finger-painting when there’s a Rembrandt available?”

Chapter Text

Jason Todd shakes as he sits cross-legged beneath the Batsignal. He snuck up to the rooftop and turned it on himself. He knows there will be consequences if he gets caught, but— 

Nightwing’s in town. So’s Red Robin. And regular Robin, too. And though she wasn’t on the news, word on the street is that Black Bat’s in Gotham right now. That’s more than enough vigilantes to protect the citizens of Gotham while Jason is selfish.

One night, when he was young and homeless and starving, he came across the Batmobile. Jason almost jacked the tires to catch Batman’s attention. On Jason’s skin is a guarantee of safety and protection and—judging by how fancy Batman’s gear is—enough food to eat and a warm place to sleep.

But even as a kid, Jason had known that if he ever wanted what Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennet had in Pride and Prejudice, he would have to be able to meet Batman on equal footing.

So Jason waited, month after month and year after year.

It’s Jason’s eighteenth birthday. He’s finally legal.

He might not look it, because years of malnutrition have a visible effect on the human body, but Batman can’t refuse him for being a kid or underage.

“Who are you?” a voice growls to his left.

Jason didn’t even hear him arrive. 

His hands shake with nerves as he pulls up the right sleeve of his leather jacket. He bares his wrist and the soul-mark on it: an oil-slick-opalescent replica of the Batsignal.

“Your soulmate.”

Batman kneels before him and gently takes his wrist. Jason’s not sure if Batman’s hands are shaking, or if Jason’s are trembling hard enough to judder his, or if they’re both unsteady.

As Batman tugs off one black gauntlet and traces the soul-mark with bare fingers, it sends tingles up and down Jason’s spine. Awe and need flood the soul-bond. 

“My soulmate,” Batman rasp-growls. 

And Jason knows that just as Batman kept all of Gotham, that Batman is going to keep him too.

 

Chapter Text

Jason Todd comes back to life. And he’s done with Bruce Wayne.

He’s done with all the rules. He’s done with the Golden Boy’s colors. He’s done pretending to be something that he’s just not.

Jason is Crime Alley.

He’s the darkest parts of Gotham. He’s the ghost of the alleys and the unexpected fist to the kidneys. He’s the broken latch on a window and the shriek of a fire escape when everyone good is asleep. He’s the echo of countless gunshots and arterial spray on old building facades and cracked pavement. He’s a whisper, a rumor, a nightmare come to life.

And he’s not having it.

Not anymore.

If Batman won’t even protect his family, he can’t have Jason’s people.

So Jason starts with the drug dealers and works his way up to the mob. He shoots out knee caps and slits throats. 

Jason lays down The Law.

And when people break it, they don’t get a day in court. They don’t even get cement shoes before being thrown in the river. They get a double-tap. They get to be a crime stat that no one is surprised by, and an obituary that no one reads in the paper. Scratch that. No one loves these scumbags enough to give them an obit.

Scum of the scum of the scum of the garbage juice at the bottom of a dumpster behind a whorehouse.

He is not all of Gotham. But all of Gotham is his. All of it.

So when Jason hears the rumor, when a hooker who heard from a gang banger who heard from a street rat, whispers on fetid alcohol breath that the Court of Owls is after Dick Grayson, Jason rages.  

Because the only person who’s allowed to kill his family is him.

The only person is him.

And Jason will destroy everyone else who tries.

He owns their pain. He owns their tears. Their broken hearts have his names (Jason Todd, Jason Todd-Wayne, Robin, Red Hood) carved into them.

And no pretentious rich people are allowed to take that away from him.

No.

Not ever.

Jason doesn’t sneak in. He marches through the front doors and mows them down; it’s a slaughter of the underbelly of Gotham’s rich and famous.

And Jason laughs as he kills them. He laughs so hard that his lungs ache. He hears dying screams. He tastes copper on his tongue.

And when Slade Wilson, Deathstroke, walks up behind him with calculation in his eye and asks, “Since when did Robin become such a vulture?”

Jason bites back, “When I crawled out of my grave.”

And when Slade slams him against the nearest wall and eats his mouth, Jason laughs at the taste of death.

Chapter Text

“Hood, why isn’t Robin back from patrol yet?” Nightwing asks via comms, worry and protectiveness in his voice.

“He can’t make it home tonight,” Jason Todd says, before smirking at how he worded that. They’re all going to— 

“Report!” Batman barks.

“What happened?! I’ll be right there to get him!” Nightwing says, voice shaking.

Jason frowns at that, because while he enjoys messing with B and the others, he hates the edge of grief to Dick Grayson’s voice. Teasing them isn’t worth letting Dick think something serious has happened to their pup.

“Don’t bother,” Jason retorts. He doesn’t want to part with Damian al Ghul Wayne tonight. Though, to be blunt, he doesn’t ever want to part with his pup.

“If Bat Brat is in need of—”

Jason cuts them all off by snapping a photo—he’s shirtless in his nest, hair messy with a soft smile on his face; Damian is asleep with his cheek pillowed on Jason’s chest, his lips curled around one of Jason’s nipples, milk spilling across Jason’s bare skin—and texts it to the family chat.

It’s the first time he’s ever posted in it.

“Ah,” Batman says, the growl entirely missing from his voice.

“Red Robin out.”

Nightwing whimpers. “Like I said, Little Wing, I’ll be right there.”

Jason smirks. Looks like his pup was right. It didn’t take much to ensnare a Nightwing at all. And his pup wants Nightwing as Alpha-Sire, like Jason is Omega-Mother.

Jason always gets Damian what he wants.

Always.

So Dick is just going to have to fall in love with him and sink his teeth in Jason’s throat and his knot in Jason’s heat. Because the second thing Damian asked for is pup-siblings so he can be an older brother.

And it will be Jason’s pleasure to provide them.

Chapter Text

Jason Todd’s hands shake as he stares at the ultrasound photo. It … it doesn’t seem real, even though he can touch and see it. He counts the pups again and again, but the number doesn’t change.

Three.

He’s carrying a litter.

It’s—Jason knows it happens, obviously, but he’s never seen it in real life. He’s never met anyone who carried a litter. It’s something that happens in movies and romance novels. Most Omegas are fertile, yes, but it takes strong mating bonds to carry more than one pup at a time. Omegas’ bodies won’t let them catch more pups than the Omegas believe their mates will be able to keep safe. And … and most people just don’t have that much love and protection in their lives. 

Tears prick at Jason’s eyes. He knows that he and his mates have come a long way from how things used to be a few years ago. He knows that he loves and trusts them. But Jason didn’t realize the depth of those emotions until right now.

Three. Dick and Tim filled his womb with three pups during his last heat.

“What’s wrong?” Timothy Drake-Wayne demands as soon as Jason steps into the waiting room.

Jason can only imagine his scent, stunned-shocked-scared, is setting them all on edge. They were already stressed from not being allowed back with him into the Omega-only examination rooms. The nature of the exams is too personal and leaves Omegas too vulnerable. Alphas are forbidden for the safety of all patients.

He wishes that Dick and Tim could have been there, could have found out when he did, could have seen their tiny pups just starting to grow. Jason wishes— 

“Is the pup okay?” Dick Grayson asks, distress-fear-please-let-everything-be-fine oozing off of him. He takes a step closer to Jason, but doesn’t touch him. “Why are you crying, Little Wing?”

Jason wants to explain, but he can’t make his throat work. And his scent is no help at all, his emotions cycling one after the other into an amalgamation of stench that is so pungent it hurts to smell himself.

Bruce Wayne doesn’t say anything, but his scent becomes more protective each second Jason doesn’t answer.

“Ummi?”

Damian Wayne gently takes the ultrasound photo from Jason. His mouth drops open. DISBELIEF! floods the room like a tidal wave.

“What? What is it?” Tim demands as he stalks forward, gaze darting in every direction as if he’s expecting a sudden attack to his Omega mate and pup.

“What’s wrong?!” Dick cries, leaking desperate-worry like a sieve as he lurches closer.

Damian clears his throat and stares up at Jason with awe. Jason’s heart clenches, as it always does, at the absolute love and respect he receives from his eldest pup.

“Ummi, you’re having a litter!” Damian whisper-shouts, sounding more excited than Jason has heard him in years.

“A litter? Little Wing!” Dick dives forward and hugs Jason tightly, awed laughter spilling from his throat as he cries into the skin of Jason’s neck.

Tim joins the group hug with a gentle smile, possessively scent-marking Jason in the process. “A litter, huh? Trying to double the size of the pack at one time? You always were an overachiever.”

“Shut up!” Jason grumbles, cheeks red. 

He basks in the love and protectiveness and possessiveness and joy and every other emotion that tumbles unchecked through their mating bonds. He doesn’t have to ask how Dick and Tim feel; he already knows.

Bruce silently takes the photo from Damian, examines it for a long time, and then ruffles Jason’s hair. “Good job, Jaylad. Let’s get you home.”

Jason leans into his pack bonds and feels cherished.

“Yeah, okay,” he sniffles, but nobody moves. They just cling to each other more tightly.

Chapter Text

Jason Todd grabs the fluffy white robe off the hook on the back of the bathroom door. He doesn’t bother to tie it shut. He’ll be taking it off again soon enough if he has his way.

His right hand shakes as he spins the gold ring on the fourth finger of his left hand. 

“It’s real,” he whispers. 

Jason almost can’t believe it. Street urchins born in the slums of Gotham don’t marry into high society. They just don’t.

“Come back to bed, Jay,” Bruce says, leaning against the pillows with a soft smile on his face.

Jason thanks whatever lucky star he was born under and goes back to bed with his husband.

Chapter Text

Jason’s been dyeing his hair since he was five years old. Well, mama used to dye it for him. It’s dangerous for little boys to stand out in Crime Alley. Jason’s scarlet hair is like waving a flag before a bull, if the bull is every creep ever.

By the time mama is dead, Jason’s so used to dyeing his hair that he doesn’t even think to stop when Batman takes him home and adopts him. He doesn’t even stop to think that it’s a security measure he won’t need in Bruce Wayne’s home.

Because the ugly things that happen in Crime Alley could never happen in Batman’s home.

Jason is 100% safe.

That doesn’t stop Jason from slipping into corner stores and gas stations so he can pick up black hair dye. It doesn’t stop him from dyeing his hair after school, when he’s “at a club” just so none of the boxes and gloves and such can be found; it's a habit to hide it all.

It’s when he’s laid up with two broken ankles (and now everyone at his prissy school is going to think he’s too uncoordinated to know how to ski; he’ll catch hell for that when he has to go back!), thanks to the Riddler, while Bruce is out working on the new Garzonas case, that Jason can’t sneak out and get the usual dye.

Alfred Pennyworth merely raises an eyebrow when he brings up breakfast, about a month into Jason’s confinement, which is driving him insane. But the butler doesn’t say anything except, “Will that be all, Master Jason?”

Bruce winces after he gets back from patrol one morning a few days later, awkwardly pats Jason’s shoulder, and promises, “You’re safe here.”

“I know,” Jason replies. Because he does know. “It’s just a habit.”

“As long as you know,” Bruce replies gruffly.

It’s Alfred who goes out shopping and comes back with the supplies necessary to remove the black dye from his hair. But it’s Jason who accepts that he doesn’t have to wear camouflage to stay safe anymore and lets Alfred remove the black.

And when Dick Grayson finally takes a break from the back-to-back Titans’ missions to come home for a while (seriously, he’s been gone almost the whole time Jason’s lived there; he’s nice when he’s around. He’s just not around.) Dick’s mouth drops open when he sees Jason for the first time.

Dick blushes and babbles, “You’re beautiful. I mean handsome. I mean … wow.”

And Jason, who’s secretly harbored a crush on the original Robin, blushes and mutters, “Thanks.”

Dick steps closer and strokes Jason’s hair. “It’s so soft.”

Jason’s heart races in his chest as Bruce grabs Dick by the shoulder and drags him off to remind Dick that Jason is still underage and give him the shovel talk to end all shovel talks. No one does shovel talks like Bruce Wayne. Not even Batman.

But as Bruce drags him away, Dick glances back over his shoulder and doesn’t look away. And Jason can’t help but hope that Dick will think he’s worth waiting for.

Two and a half years isn’t that long, is it?