Swimming with the Dolphins
Pairing: Jason Todd x Aquarium!Reader
Word Count: 2883 (wow so many words)
Prompt: reader works at the Gotham Aquarium and meets Jason Todd after a dolphin show and hit it off.
Warnings: [mild] language, fluff and smol angst. Also, I don’t know a lot about dolphins, I’m not a marine biologist, so if you happen to know a lot about dolphins and find something wrong, then I apologize in advance, I just really like dolphins.
A/N holy nuggets this is long like I didn’t see this coming at all. I’ll be posting the first part to my Jason Todd AU Adventurer fic tomorrow! Let me know if you wanna be tagged :)
Working as a dolphin trainer and caretaker at the Gotham Aquarium was probably the most fun job there was in that morbid city. With a degree in marine biology, it was perfect, especially since you did love dolphins. You were in charge of the incredibly popular dolphin show, “Dance of the Dolphins” and you really enjoyed letting people see all of the tricks and games you taught your aquatic friends. It didn’t even feel like a job. It felt like a dream.
However, one day, instead of the dolphins being in the spotlight, you were thrust into it accidentally.
When you arrived to work, you immediately went to the dolphin habitat to prepare for them for the show.
They immediately recognized you as you approached the pool where they stayed.
“Hi Flora! Hi Jasper!” You grinned and waved at them. They squeaked in response and you laughed. “Okay, where’s Marina and Thomas?” The other two dolphins didn’t pop up when you arrived. Flora and Marina were both found badly injured off the coast of the Florida Keys and were brought to Gotham after rehabilitation for a few years. Jasper, the most energetic, somehow swam all the way up to Gotham Harbor and was nearly run over by a fishing boat. Thomas was caught by a poacher in the Gulf of Mexico, which caught Bruce Wayne’s attention. Naturally, he paid the poacher and donated the dolphin to the aquarium. In his honor, you named the dolphin Thomas; after Mr. Wayne’s late father. You admired Mr. Wayne after his act of generosity. Sadly, you never had the opportunity to meet him since he always seemed to be busy and your timing was always off. Fortunately, he was going to be at the show that morning with his family, so you wanted to make sure he experienced the best possible show you could put on.
As if on cue, Marina and Thomas popped up and greeted you in unison.
“Okay! Everyone is here now,” You said as you took off your boots and sat down, “Guys…do you know what today is?”
You got multiple whistles at one time, so you calmed them down.
“Well you’re all right, but today is extra special because Bruce Wayne is going to be here! So, we have to do our best! That means rehearsals,” you told the dolphins as you began taking off your clothes and slipping on your wet-suit. Fortunately, no one was there to watch, so you were all clear. Then, you dove into the pool to begin the practice. All of the dolphins did the greeting you taught them when you dove into their pool. Except Thomas, who waited about 30 seconds before he came and greeted you.
“Hey, Tommy are you feeling okay?” you asked as you stroked his head and examined him to make sure he looked fine. He didn’t respond, he just blinked at you and looked around.
“Hmm, I better keep an eye on you…”
The show was starting in 10 minutes and you had grown incredibly concerned about Thomas. He had been “spaced out” and reacting late to all your directions. Near the end of the practice, he started to follow the routine, but you still didn’t want to push him and decided it would be best to let him rest and call the doctor to check up on him.
“Mr. Taylor! Mr. Taylor I think Thomas should sit this one out, he’s been out of it since I got here this morning. We should call the doctor. We can go on with Marina, Jasper and Flora.” You said as you ran to keep up with your boss, who was taking humongous strides around backstage.
“Y/N, we don’t have time to call the doctor to check up on Thomas, Mr. Wayne is sitting out there right now, expecting a show and if Thomas is not there he will be very disappointed and I can’t have that for this aquarium. The show must go on. Do what you have to do but don’t let me down,” Mr. Taylor said and turned on his heels away from you. You huffed and thought about what you were going to do when you heard a strangled cry from the dolphin pool. You turned around and saw that your co-workers were struggling to get Thomas ready to go into the show pool. He let out a string of distressed whistles, indicating he wanted to be left alone.
“Guys! Guys! Let me talk to him,” You walked over to him and squatted down near the edge of the pool.
“Hey buddy, I’m gonna need you to cooperate, okay? We have a big today. I need you to do this one show and then you’re done for today. We’ll take you to Dr. Shepard.” You stroked the top Thomas’ beak. He nodded and you helped your co-workers usher him into the show pool with his siblings.
5 minutes. You anxiously walked up the steps and peeked out the curtains. You spotted Mr. Taylor conversing with Bruce Wayne, and your anxiety level shot up 6 notches. You looked at the people next to him, all boys. One in particular caught your eye; he was looking at his phone in the midst of the chaos around him. You could only assume that the boys on his left and right were his brothers, but you couldn’t be too sure. He had pitch black hair, but a white tuft peeked out from the front. When he looked up, you gasped quietly. He was pretty darn cute, and before you knew it, your stare was met with his own. A small smile played on his lips as his aquamarine eyes looked into yours. Before it could get anymore awkward, you closed the curtain in front of you and mentally prepared yourself. Now that you knew a cute boy would be watching you as well, your anxiety went up another two notches.
30 seconds. You smoothed out your wet-suit for the show, a short-sleeve full-body bathing suit decorated by the aqua blue and black theme colors of the aquarium. You quickly threw your hair into a ponytail, and suddenly, the curtain opened and the spotlight shone down on you.
The crowd cheered as you gave a smile and waved at them. You got the microphone from a co-worker and began speaking.
“Hello Gotham!” You said enthusiastically.
“Hi!” They greeted back.
“My name is [F/N] [L/N], I would like to start off the show by saying thank you all for coming here today to watch our friends, Flora, Jasper, Marina and Thomas! A special thank you to Mister Bruce Wayne for making an appearance to support the ‘Save the Dolphins!’ awareness campaign that the Gotham Aquarium is proud to be a contributor toward. Without further ado, welcome to Dance of the Dolphins!” You said and gave the microphone back to the coworker. Then you sat down on the ledge of pool, joining your friends and beginning the show. The first song began and you blew your whistle a certain number of times to indicate the start of the routine. Everything was running smoothly.
Flora and Jasper did flips and sprayed the audience while Marina and Thomas let you ride them around the pool. It wasn’t until Thomas was supposed to do his solo routine that things started going south.
You blew the whistle combination and waited for Thomas to execute it but he instead began swimming around in circles and letting out disgruntled whistles. You took off your whistle and dove back into the pool, swimming towards Thomas to try and calm him down, but he swam away from you and towards the other end of the pool.
Suddenly he swam and leapt high into the air and the next thing you knew, his beak crashed into you as he dove back into the water, taking you down with him.
You couldn’t hear anything as you sunk to the bottom of the pool. But the audience had fallen silent, and the music abruptly stopped. Bruce, Dick, Jason, Tim and Damian all stood up to see if they could find you, when you suddenly popped up from the water. You took a deep breath as the audience, especially Jason, sighed in relief.
“CALL DR. SHEPARD! STOP THE SHOW!” you shouted to one of your coworkers. You managed to free yourself from Thomas’ beak but the impact was so hard that he passed out and now you were struggling to keep him afloat at the surface.
Marina, Flora and Jasper swam over and started helping you keep Thomas up. You knew dolphins were smart, but you didn’t know they were that smart. You led the dolphins to the ledge of the pool where many of your marine biologists co-workers were waiting with a dolphin gurney to take Thomas to a special place to see the aquarium’s dolphin specialist and doctor. You had gotten out of the water as well and a warm towel was brought to you so you could dry off and relax.
“Y/N, do we need to call paramedics for you? It looked like you took a hard hit to your shoulder.” a friend of yours asked.
“I’m fine, it’s just sore,” You told her.
“Let me look at it,” your friend sat down next to you. You took off your towel and your friend gasped; you had begun to bleed in your wet suit and your shoulder portion was crimson red.
“Oh my god, Y/N, you’re bleeding! Call the paramedics!” your friend called out.
“No wonder why I’ve been feeling lightheaded,” You slurred and then everything was black.
When you woke up, you found you were still at the aquarium, and your shoulder was all patched up.
“She didn’t fracture or break anything, thank God, but she did earn a large gash which we just cleaned up, but she should be okay,” You heard someone say. Possibly the doctor. You weren’t sure. You still felt groggy. “She did lose a lot of blood though, so I suggest she doesn’t come to work for at least 2 weeks.”
“Two weeks?! Y/N can’t be out for 2 weeks! She’s our alpha! Our ringmaster! She leads the show!” Mr. Taylor exclaimed.
“I think 2 weeks without Y/N will be just fine Mr. Taylor.” Another voice chimed in. Mr. Wayne.
“She oughta sue you for this,” one more voice chimed in.
“Jason…” Mr. Wayne’s voice warned.
“It’s true! According to a worker, Y/N knew that Thomas was having trouble and told Taylor about it but he insisted that the show continue. You knew that something was wrong and you put her in the line of danger and that is despicable,” Jason told them.
“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Jason has a point. No mean to be disrespectful, Mr. Taylor, but you did know about Thomas and still wanted the show to go on. It sort of is your fault,” another voice said.
“Full offense but you’re the reason she’s hurt and I hope she sues,” a higher pitched voice said.
“Guys, calm down, it’s up to Y/N what she does. For now, just let her rest,” one more voice added.
“Too late, she’s awake…I think…” a boy leaned over you. Your vision was blurry, but you could faintly make out dark hair and blue eyes.
“I’m alive,” you slurred. You tried to prop yourself up but the doctor stopped you.
“Just lie down, Y/N,” he said to you.
“As much as I appreciate the accusations towards me, I have to deal with this fiasco of a show. Thank you still for making an appearance, Mr. Wayne and company,” Mr. Taylor said with slight sarcasm.
“You’re not welcome,” the youngest boy said.
“Alright guys give her some space,” someone had said.
“Boys, go sit down, I’m gonna have a chat with Miss Y/N.” Bruce said. You suddenly felt yourself getting propped up and then you were face to face with him. Bruce Wayne.
“H-hi,” you tried to wave but your arm was sore.
“First, I’d like to say I’m sorry for this. I understand that you really wanted to impress me and put a lot of hard work into this show. Don’t worry about it. I’m just a guy. Do your work for you,” Bruce reassured you.
“It’s okay. I just wanted to repay you for saving Thomas and letting him come here. He’s an amazing friend. I’m just worried that he’s hurt,” you told Bruce. A small smile appeared, feeling honored that something he did made you happy.
“I think he’ll be okay,” Bruce patted your knee.
“I hope so.”
After talking to Bruce for a few more minutes, the green eyed boy came back, a serious look on his well defined features.
“Jason. Can I help you?” Bruce asked. So that was his name. Jason.
“I just want to talk to her,” Jason grumbled. Your face burned as he looked to the ground. Bruce understood and got up.
“Okay, I’ll be outside,” Bruce said and left you and Jason alone. He turned to you and stuck his hands in his jacket pockets. It wasn’t until then that you noticed how tall and broad he was. You were short, well you thought you were short, but you were actually average, but compared to him…you felt like an a chihuahua.
“Hi. I’m Jason,” he greeted you. You gave him smile.
“I know.” You responded. He gave you a confused look and then you realized how weird that sounded.
“I mean Mr. Wayne referred to you as ‘Jason’ a few seconds ago, so….” you began blushing.
“Oh right. Well your name is…?” Jason asked.
“Y/N. [Y/N] [L/N].” You told him.
“Nice. So, you train dolphins,” he looked around.
“Yeah. I do,” you responded. Small talk. You hated it.
“Sorry, I can’t hold this in: you should sue your boss. I mean you told him about Thomas and then you got hurt. That’s stupid,” Jason blurted out.
“I mean, yeah but he’s just the aquarium manager he studied business, not marine biology. I can’t blame him for not knowing exactly what I meant.” you tried to defend your boss even though you were angry with him.
“It doesn’t matter he should pay the consequences for his actions. You’re hurt. You can’t train dolphins for 2 weeks. That’s his fault,” Jason made a point. You sighed, knowing he was right.
“I mean I guess you’re right. But I don’t have a lawyer–” you started.
“You can use one of Bruce’s I’m sure he’ll be okay with it,” Jason sat down next to you. You saw a twinkle in his eyes, he was excited that you agreed with him.
“Really? No that’s too much. You’ve already done enough for me,” you shook your head.
“Seriously.” Jason looked straight into your eyes, his eyebrows furrowed and his lips pulled into a thin line. He was serious.
“Okay, thank you,” you gave him a small smile.
“Good. Guys like him don’t deserve to get away with hurting people,” Jason looked at the ceiling. You wondered what he meant. Maybe someone killed his parents or a loved one like what happened to Bruce. “I guess now would be a bad time to tell you that Bruce payed the hospital bill.”
You sighed in defeat, “If I had known I wouldn’t have agreed to using your lawyers.”
“That was the point,” Jason smirked at you.
“Oh shut up,” you sheepishly grinned.
“There are those pearly white you flashed earlier,” he raised an eyebrow at you. “You should smile more often, it looks good on you.”
Your face heated up at his compliment. He was flirting with you, but you weren’t sure to respond.
“Well if you want to see it more often you should try asking me out,” you quickly said. Then you covered mouth and mentally cringed. Talk about having no filter.
Jason raised both eyebrows, then decided to take the challenge.
“Okay. Y/N, can I take you out?” Jason asked as he stood up and crossed his arms over his chest.
“Um, yeah. In two weeks,” you smiled. He let out a low chuckle and you giggled.
“Two weeks. It’s a date,” he told you.
“Sounds great,” you said.
“Well, I better get going. Feel better. And if you need some company, just give me a call. I’ll be around,” he turned around and walked toward the curtain.
“Wait but you didn’t give me your number,” you called out. He stopped and turned to face you with that smirk on his lips.
“Check your jacket pocket,” he said and then went through the curtains, leaving you alone on the makeshift hospital bed backstage.
When you were ready to go, you checked your jacket pockets and sure enough, a piece of paper was tucked away in your left pocket.
Jason’s name was scrawled out in pen along with his phone number written messily. You laughed as you got your stuff from your locker and joined your friend outside. She was supposed to assist you home, make sure you didn’t hurt yourself along the way.
You couldn’t stop thinking about his charming smile and mischievous eyes.
On your way home, you silently thanked Thomas for bringing you and Jason together.
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