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Love you till my breathing stops

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Dick Grayson was the most amazing thing Jason had ever seen. It was so much more than just idol worship, had been for a while now. So when Dick came into the caravan, when Artemis and Biz were out, to wrap his arms around Jason’s waist, whispering sweet things into his ear, it was too easy to fall into it. To fall into his arms.

He had wanted it with a passion that was all consuming. Part biology, part loneliness needing to be tempered. He would come to hate himself for it. When Dick left a couple days later without a word, and the hole in his chest had grown into a black hole. A void he didn’t know how to fill so his body did for him.

But right there and then, with Dick’s lips trailing over the expanse of his bare chest, he was in heaven. Moving together, his thighs wrapped around Dick’s waist, fingers sinking into the wide expanse of his powerful shoulders, was all bliss. The electricity of Dick’s touch piercing his being, alighting him. Currents running down his spine. The snap of Dick’s hips, shallow thrusts getting deeper, going desperate. Jason ran his nails down Dick’s back, needed to mark him the only way he was allowed.

Because the bitter truth was this: Jason’s heart had belonged to Dick from the moment he had first seen him, whether he was aware of it or not, but Dick’s would never belong to Jason.

He knew the apologies would come. This was Dick Grayson after all, Jason doubted he could live with himself if he wasn’t somehow made into the martyr. The moment Dick slumped against him, breath hot at his neck, the words were pressed into his skin.

“Fuck, I’m sorry.”

Jason rolled his eyes, moving his shoulders to shift the weight of the alpha atop of him.

“You couldn’t wait until you pulled out.”

“Jesus fuck” Dick swore, too lost to his own moral short-comings to notice Jason’s discomfort. “I didn’t mean for this to happen.”

And so the flickering hope in Jason’s chest shriveled up and died. Something else taking root instead. Something vicious in all its despairing beauty.

Dick’s lips were soft at his neck. He didn’t want soft, he wanted the stinging bite of teeth sinking into his flesh, anchoring their drifting souls together.

He would never receive it.

Dick kissed him just beneath the ear, his voice too gentle. “I shouldn’t have… I care about you, Jason, I care about you so goddamn much.”

“Stop” Jason whispered, unable to take more of this. His hand found the back of Dick’s neck, stroking it, feeling the sweaty hair at his nape, still soft.

They waited until Dick’s knot went down.

The rest of the mission went by without much friction. Because there simply can’t be friction between surfaces kept apart. There can’t be emotional outbursts if one doesn’t speak.

One month later, Jason heard through the grapevine that Dick had moved on, or perhaps moved back. He was engaged to Kory. Again.

That night Jason stood bent over the sink in the bathroom of another of his downtrodden safe houses, staring at a delicate, pink petal. At this point it could be anything. Only time would tell what symbolic terror would befall him.

Two weeks later he threw up for a different reason.

 

______________

 

The visit to the clinic had only confirmed what the do-at-home-test had already told him. He was expecting.

The omega doctor that had examined him, had looked at him with pity. No mating bite, but roots growing in his chest. A peach blossom fisted in his closed hand. When he spit up the first whole blossom he had dug into research as a way to keep his sanity, something about the action unforgivingly similar to what Bruce would have done. The knowledge he had gathered was like a fist to the gut. The irony clogged up his throat even worse than he knew the twigs of the peach tree one day would. Love and well-being. Vitality and immortality.

It was a bad joke. One the likes of Joker would appreciate. It was hilarious in its utter tragedy. He would have laughed if he didn’t fear the coughing up of yet another flower.

“Are you aware of your options?” the doctor asked.

She had kind eyes, the kind which are hard to hide from. They were a deep brown, the kind that held no ill-will, just endless depths of sympathy. He wondered, self-deprecatingly, if maybe this was the first time in his life he had been on the receiving end of such a gaze. No, he thought, Alfred had cared.

Jason jerked his head. “Yeah.”

“If you want an abortion we could…”

It was the only reasonable option. He had entertained it ever since he first understood the severity of his situation. So why did the thought suddenly make him tremble? Why did it feel like his ribs were closing in around his lungs, squeezing the air right out of them? He put a hand against his chest as he felt another cough wreck his chest. The petals lining his mouth were soft to the touch, pink and pricked with blood.

The doctor handed him a paper-towel. He nodded gratefully, and spit the bloodied mess into it before he crumpled it between his hands.

He thought of blue eyes. Bright like a summer sky, deep like an ocean. Maybe… maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to have a child with those eyes?

Before conscious thought could intercede his actions, he shook his head. His voice was no more than a harsh, torn raw whisper. “No”

“No?” the doctor asked, surprise twisting her face into an expression of pity. “You are aware that you’re also suffering from the hanahaki disease?”

He’d like to point out that suffering is only what you make it, but the odds was stacked against him here. There was but two options: treatment or death. Once more he wished he could laugh at the irony of the peach blossoms. Love or well-being.

Instead he rolled his eyes. He was tired of people thinking him stupid just because he contradicted their expectations.

“I’m aware.”

“So you want to go through with it?”

“Yeah.”

How could he not come to love the child of the only man he has ever wanted?