Jason doesn’t like following behind Dick. It’s partly the principle of the thing, because he literally had to die and rise from the grave to get out of Dick’s shadow, and even then, it’s a matter of distance, and little more. He’s far enough off the path of righteousness that the light that shines like a beacon onto Dick doesn’t even touch him. So it feels like old news, a habit he grew out of long ago, walking behind Dick, tracing his footfalls, but it’s so familiar he half expects to see those stupid fucking pixie boots on his feet when he looks down.
Then there’s the other familiar part, the part he hasn’t even begun to process, the reason he’s tried to avoid Dick as much as possible since he set up camp in Gotham. Simply put, Dick is hot. His ass in spandex was the source of way too many semis popped Jason’s stupid, flimsy little Robin shorts, and his ass in faded pajama pants is nothing short of miraculous either. But it’s not just his body, although Jason wishes it was, not just his ass and the curve of his spine and the span of his shoulders – Dick is beautiful. He’s elegant when he moves, when he laughs, when he’s angry, when he’s worried, when he’s a fucking mess. It’s impossible not to look at him, the attention he commands is probably partly due to the fact that he was raised a performer, and partly because that’s just Dick.
Jason knows he’s one in a long, heavily annotated list of people to fantasize about Dick Grayson. It used to keep him up at night when he was a kid, and not just in that way. There hadn’t been a lot of tolerance in the streets for homosexuality – sure, it existed, Jason’d even been on the receiving end once or twice in the unlucky parts of his youth – but you didn’t talk about it. So he’d suppressed it, save for those late night visits from his hand in the dark, and then he’d died. Been sprung from the grave, grew up a little, and came back to find that, surprise surprise, the world had grown up a little bit too, and not entirely for the worse. And since then, he’s had encounters with men, women, couple aliens, and all that is whatever. This thing with Dick doesn’t bother him on account of Dick, well, having a dick. Not anymore.
No, it bothers him because it’s Dick fucking Grayson. Golden Boy, Boy Wonder, or as Jason likes to refer to him, Stupid Fucking Bastard With Stupid Fucking Sticks Who Just Won’t Fucking Quit. Out of all of them, Dick’s the most unchanged. Bruce is hardened, less trusting; Tim is broken; Jason is – whatever the fuck he is, beyond all hope, maybe; but Dick’s never lost the spring in his step. Jason thinks he’ll probably backflip right into death with a smile on his face, and he won’t come back, because Dick is too damn good to be reanimated like some freakish perversion of nature. Jason calls Tim “Replacement” because it’s true, Jason was replaceable, but Dick never was. Not that Jason had ever wanted to be his replacement – he hardly knows what he wanted to be to Dick then, even less what he wants to be to Dick now, but it sure as hell isn’t some bullshit co-parenting gig with the whole family breathing down his neck.
Of all the fucking days he had to drag his ass down here to gossip.