Not Letting Go - Part 6
A/N: So apparently I have a thing for Bruce trying to be a good dad in his own way. I’m not even sorry.
Warnings: Blood, violence.
Tagging: @jadedhillon @tim-help @bumblebaddey
Jason grumbled as he finished tying up the last of the would-be bank robbers, giving the guy a kick in the shin for good measure when he cursed at him. Of course they’d had to pick his one night with his soulmate to pull this shit. He’d been patroling the area ever since he had met you, and the worst he’s encountered were petty street fights and kids trying to buy drugs in some of the shadier alleyways. But no. These guys had picked the one night that the Batman and his allies took a couple extra hours off in the evening, and guess who just so happened to be closest to the scene because of that? You guessed it. They were just unlucky that Oracle was keeping a lookout, otherwise they would have been home free.
Jason scaled the rusty fire escape of a nearby apartment complex, and was three roofs over before he heard the sirens indicating that the police had finally made an appearance. He didn’t need to find a clock to guess the time; the chatter of the team over the commlink in his ear was enough to confirm that it was at least Nine. He paused briefly to mute the channel; listening to his siblings bicker while he was on patrol irritated Jason to no end.
He was deliberating over whether or not to do a quick check of your neighborhood before circling back for his bike when his comm chirped in his ear, making his decision for him. “Oracle to Red Hood. Are you there?” Barbara’s voice was clear and cool over the frequency of his private channel. “Nobody died. You can spare me the lecture,“ Jason rolled his eyes, fumbling with the clasp on inside pouch of his jacket. If he was going to have to stand here and have his methods criticised, he was having a goddamn cigarette. Bruce’s disapproval be damned, it wasn’t like it had ever bothered him before.
“Focus Hood,” If his snide comment had bothered her it didn’t show. “There’s a situation two blocks east of where you are, street level. The camera image isn’t great, but there looks to be four, maybe five men attempting to corner a civilian girl. You might want to take a look,”
Jason’s fingers froze on the clasp. Two blocks east of here.. that was less than five minutes from where you lived. He knew it was unlikely that it was you; it was Friday night for God’s sake, there were plenty of civilians still milling around. But you had said you were going out…
“I’m on it,” He cut the connection, taking a running start towards the roofs edge.
Jason reached the alleyway just in time to see you crumple to the ground, a thin trail of blood seeping from a gash in your scalp. He froze in shock, his whole body going cold as ice while his brain tried to process the sight of you beaten and unconscious on the ground, tried to reconcile it with the happy, smiling memory of you from earlier that evening.
It was like someone had flipped a switch in Jason’s brain, because suddenly his blood was boiling with anger. A feral snarl erupted from his throat, alerting the group of men to his presence. The first two had to turn to look at him, and he took the momentary hesitation to pounce. The man closest to him took a punch straight to the face, instantly knocking him out cold. The second man was more prepared, swinging a metal pipe at Jason’s chest. He dodged, growling, and spun to deliver a brutal kick into the man'a stomach that sent him flying into the nearest wall. He impacted with a sickening crunch before going limp.
Still not satisfied, he turned to the last pair. They had abandoned your still body in favour of beating a hasty retreat into the darkened alleyway. Jason wasn’t about to let that slide. His fingers twitched towards the holster on his thigh, but he decided against it. He wanted this to be more.. personal. It took him less than three seconds to catch up. He grabbed one of the men by the collar, throwing him into his partner so that they both fell over in a heap of tangeld limbs, groaning in pain. Jason smirked coldly, cracking his knuckles. The other two were lucky to be unconscious.
Jason didn’t waste much time returning to where you lay twisted on the cold tarmac. Adrenaline still coursed through his veins, making it difficult to think straight. He pressed two slightly shakey fingers to your neck, exhaling loudly when he felt your pulse under his touch. Gently he scooped you up into his arms, craddling you to his chest as though you might shatter in his hold. Jogging back to where he had left his bike, he had to readjust you against his shoulder to activate his commlink. “Babs. Tell Alfred to get the medbay set up. She has a head injury. I’ll be there in ten,”
“Red Hood, do you need backup?” She had clearly sensed the strain in Jason’s voice, judging by how she hadn’t told him off for using her name over the coms. He shook his head, even though she couldn’t see it. Actually, being Oracle, she probably could. He didn’t care. “No. Just make sure everything’s ready,” “I will. Oracle out,” The static faded from his ear, signaling that she had closed the line. It was good timing too, as Jason could see his bike leaning against the alley wall from here. He looked down at you, expression pained. The thought of losing you was unbearable. ‘Just hang on a little longer. Please,’ If he hadn’t gotten there fast enough, if you were hurt too badly, Jason would never be able to live with himself.
When the bike skidded to a stop in the cave Alfred was there along with Bruce, already hurrying towards you. “Master Jason, bring her over here. I’ll need to check her injuries, make sure it’s nothing serious before we rule out the necessity of taking her to a hospital. Jason followed Alfred to a bed in the corner, laying you down gently and wincing when you just flopped limply against the sheets. He hadn’t even considered taking you to a hospital first himself. Which was stupid, he berrated himself, but he knew that if he did that he would have had to leave you there alone. The Red Hood couldn’t just walk in and sit in the waiting room, and there was no rational explanation as to how Jason Todd would have known about what happened. No, this had been the better option.
There was nothing to do now but wait while Alfred examined you, and Jason felt suddenly helpless. While he had been saving you from those thugs he had been useful, in motion. But now he could do nothing to help you. He hardly noticed that Bruce had approached until he was right beside him, watching the scene unfold with keen eyes. “Is she the one?” His voice was quiet, he never even took his eyes off of Alfred when he spoke. Jason nodded thickly, swallowed. “Yeah. She’s.. yeah,”
Bruce did look at him then. His eyes were sharp, keen, but his expression was soft overall, his forehead creased in concern. He gripped Jason’s shoulder firmly. 'Again with the shoulder thing,’ Jason thought, perplexed, but then Bruce was turning to face him fully, holding his other shoulder too and meeting Jason’s suddenly watery gaze. “It’s going to be alright son,”
Bruce’s tone was firm, reminding Jason of when he was a kid and Bruce’s matter of fact way of speaking used to reassure him and make him feel safe, secure. Jason nodded, and then he just broke down, leaning into Bruce’s embrace and letting out a choked off sob. The older man wrapped his arms around him, holding his son tightly as he fell apart in his grasp.
You woke up in an unfamiliar room. Sunlight steamed around the edges of the curtains, casting beams of golden light across the soft cream and gold sheets that someone had tucked in around you. The next thing you noticed was Jason, sitting in a chair pulled up next to the bed. His arms were folded on the duvet by your side, his head resting on top of them as he slept. His hair was tousled in such a way that you could tell he’d been running his fingers through it, and there were dark purple circles under his eyes.
You frowned, confused as to how you had gotten here. Why did Jason look so exhausted? You reached out to stroke his hair back from his face. Your arms felt like lead, and slowly you began to register a dull pounding behind your temples. You winced, closing your eyes and trying to focus on the feel of Jason’s hair beneath your fingers, the sound of his slow, even breathing in the otherwise silent room. You took a deep breath, concentrating, and eventually the pain started to subside enough to be considered bearable. When you opened your eyes again Jason was looking up at you blearily, just barely awake. You smiled. “Good morning,” His answering smile was slow, almost hesitant. You noticed with puzzlement that he seemed almost relieved, for some reason you couldn’t fathom. “Hey there doll. How are you feeling?”
“My head hurts,” you admitted, grimacing. “Any idea why that would be? Also, just on a sidenote, where are we?” Jason winced sympathetically, sitting up to grab a glass of water and some pills that you hadn’t noticed were on the bedside locker until now, and handed them to you. “You don’t remember?” You took them gratefully, swallowing back the pills and finishing off the entire glass, trying not to notice the way his tone sounded off.
“No? Should I?” You paused. “I’m not hungover am I? Because my mum would kill me,” Jason shook his head, taking the glass from your hand and setting it back on the locker. “No,” he managed a wry smile, taking your hands in his. “You have a head injury sweetheart. You were attacked walking home from the shop. They hit you with a metal bar,” Something in his eyes when he said that made your blood run cold. You shivered subconsciously. “How did I get here then?” You still couldn’t remember, and it was bothering you immensely. Like a name you just couldn’t remember, fluttering at the edges of your consciousness just out of your grasp.
And then you thought of something. “Ohmygod. Does my mum know I’m here?! Is she okay?” Panic rose like a poison in your chest and Jason hushed you, placing a hand on yout shoulder to firmly push you back down against the pillows. You hadn’t even made the conscious decision to get up. “Yes, she knows. I called her last night. She doesn’t know all of the details yet, but she knows that you’re safe, so relax,” You closed your eyes, suddenly exhausted. “How did I get here Jay?” you repeated the question. There was a pause, and then, reluctantly, “Doll, there’s something I need to tell you,”