okay but about the r u alive post tim and jason fuck that sounds fantastic like maybe it starts when some big bad attacked gotham and the fam seperated from each other and just tim sending the msg bc he havent seen jay after the fight ended (and ye ok obvsly jay doesn't hate the fam that much or smth) and just getting the answer debatable and just JUST IDK BUT TIM AND JASON BONDING and just always sending this msg and just ok sorry but it really sounds nice in my head
“Are you alive?”
Tim stared at the message and began to type a reply, then deleted it quickly, cursing Jason’s stubbornness and constant need for bravado under his breath, because this damn well wasn’t the time for it. He called him, running a shaky hand through his hair and mumbling for Jay to hurry up and answer the goddamn phone as he looked up at the burning, broken mess that was Gotham City.
Gotham was tough. But no one had been prepared for this. Not even Batman. His contingency plans, for all their painstaking detail and meticulousness, had meant jack squat against that… that thing. That monster, that had taken the entire Justice League and all their allies the whole night to take down. Because none of them, not even Superman, not even the most powerful meta-humans and aliens in the world, had known how to deal with it.
The city had made it through the night on a wing and a prayer, but at a great cost.
He got Jason’s answering machine.
‘Jason,’ Tim blurted through his cellphone, trying to keep his voice calm but failing immensely. ‘I don’t know what “debatable” means, but I’m pretty sure you’re not talking about your “constant desire for the sweet embrace of death” this time. Answer the damn phone and tell me where you are. Jason? Jason. Jay—’
Tim stared down at the phone and held his breath, burying his face in the palms of his hands.
He cut me off. Which means he doesn’t want to talk to me. Which means he’s hurt and knows that talking on the phone would give that away. Which means it’s really, really bad.
Tim swung out into the rubble, smoke and ruins of the city. There was nothing to do but look for him where he had been seen last. He considered trying to contact Bruce or one of the others for a half second, then decided against it. The whole city was dying. It needed them. And Jason needed Tim.
The last time they had been in contact, he had been helping with the evacuation effort in the inner city. And so that’s where Tim started.
He wandered the debris-filled streets, coughing through the dust, stepping over bodies that he check for life and called Jason’s name. The monster had wandered this way at one point, and the League had drawn it away to minimise casualties.
His phone was ringing. Frantically, he pulled it out of his belt.
‘I can hear your stupid voice calling my name over and over, and I know you’re not gonna give it a rest until you find me.’
Weak, weak, weak. Jason’s voice was faint and strained and…
Tim gripped the phone tightly, searching the area. ‘Where are you.’
Tim spun back towards the large grey stone building, running towards it. The pillars at the front had toppled down, and the whole front of the building had caved in. Even with Tim shining a light into the murky darkness and Jason calling out to him, it took a long time for him to find Jason.
Tim’s breath caught in his throat as his eyes found Jason’s body. Half buried under the rubble, his chest crushed under heavy block of stone, blood trickling down from a deep gash on the side of his head.
‘I can’t move, obviously.’ Jason laughed at himself but began coughing out blood, grimacing in pain.
‘Don’t laugh. Don’t talk. Your lungs have been crushed.’
‘You don’t say…’ Jason murmured, his eyes slightly glazed over.
Tim crouched there and tried to estimate the weight of the stone, eyeing it up, running through options. He breathed out deeply. ‘Okay… okay. I’m going to need to use some leverage to lift the stone. Once I have it lifted, I’m only going to be able to hold it for a few seconds, so you’ll have to roll out from underneath it really quickly.’ He touched Jason on the shoulder. ‘Do you think you can do that?’
‘I’ll manage. If that’s our only option.’
Tim pulled out his bō stick and extended it as far as it would go— though thin, it was made of a fortified material developed by Wayne Tech and had been made to withstand a great amount of pressure. Though, Tim had never really tested its limits. He had never really needed to.
He wedged a smaller stone underneath the gap and fit his bō stick between it and the block, gripping it tightly, mentally preparing himself. If he didn’t hold it up for long enough, he could crush Jason’s head as he was trying to get out.
‘I think you’ll need to lean on your right shoulder, and then roll down towards your legs, onto your chest,’ he said. ‘It’s going to hurt like hell, but its the fastest way I can think of.’
Jason closed his eyes, running through the motions in his mind. He nodded slowly. ‘Okay. Let’s get this over with.’
Tim grit his teeth. ‘Okay. On three… one, two, three.’
Tim yelled into the echoing hall, straining against the weight of the stone, fighting against it as his muscles screamed at him.
Wait… wait… WAIT.
‘CLEAR!’ he heard Jason cry out.
He dropped the stone, and it landed with a thud and a cloud of dust. It had cleared Jason by a few millimetres.
Jason lay there on his chest, not moving, and Tim realised he was unconscious.
He fell onto his knees by Jason’s side, pulling him up off of his chest and into his arms. Jason came to with a start as Tim called his named, gently slapping his face. He let his head roll back against Tim’s arms, unable to move without pain shooting through his entire body.
‘Admit it…’ he breathed. ‘You’ve wanted to, to do that… for very a long time.’
Tim lay Jason back down to the floor as he pulled out a gauze and medical tape from his belt. His face was dark and stony as he wrapped the gash on Jason’s head. The trauma to his chest was more serious, but there was little he could do for it here.
‘After everything we’ve been through, Jason,’ he began, his voice low and filled with anger. ‘Everything. I can’t believe you would do this to me. That you wouldn’t just ask for help. For once in your goddamn life.’
A million sarcastic comments floated to Jason’s mind, but he knew that tone. That panicked edge to Tim’s voice, the fear rising up into his eyes. He couldn’t bear to look into them anymore. So he bit back his words and turned away from those eyes.
‘You don’t get it, Tim,’ he said softly. ‘I do this because of everything we’ve been through. And don’t tell me you wouldn’t have done the same thing if it had been you. Because you would.’
Tim turned away with a frustrated laugh, his voice breaking as he wiped the tears away. He knew Jason was right. He would cut off every single one of his family members in a heartbeat if he thought it would save them even the tiniest amount of pain and grief.
‘I can’t lose anyone else, Jay. I can’t.’
‘You’re stronger than you think, Timmy.’ Jason smiled at him weakly, squeezing his hand once. ‘You’ll make it through this.’
Tim sat there, helpless forcing himself to stare at the wounds and Jason’s broken body. His lips had grown blue in colour from the lack of oxygen, his breathing was rough, and there was bruising around his eyes. There was no time to call the others, he wouldn’t make it to Leslie’s. Their only option was getting him to the nearest hospital that was still in operation and wasn’t a pile of charred bricks. And while the citywide network was down, there was no way to be sure all the hospitals in Gotham weren’t a pile of charred bricks.
There wasn’t much hope of him making it.
But I have to try.
‘No. You’re going to make it through this,’ Tim whispered fiercely, determination burning through the fear.
Tim eased him up, hating himself for every time Jason groaned in pain, and carefully slung him over his back, holding Jason’s right arm firmly across his chest. Slowly, he made his way out of the building and down the street; heading in the direction of the nearest hospital. Praying there would be doctors there. Praying that it would be in one piece.
‘I don’t deserve you, Timmy,’ Jason’s weak voice drifted over his shoulder.
Tim smiled and pressed on, thinking about all the times he had thought the same thing about Jason. He thought of the little boy that had watched in awe as Jason had soared across the Gotham skyline as Robin, and the impact he had had on his life. He thought of the times they had spent together. All the times Jason had saved Tim’s life.
‘Tell me that again, once I’ve actually saved your ass.’
Oooooooh. Why you gotta do this to me anon.
I kind of wrote this with my Red Robin fic idea in mind, so just pretend that Jason and Tim have spent a lot of time together fighting baddies, adventuring, and getting to know each other before this. Tim and Jay are the best, I love them so much. Tim and Jay bonding FTW.