Ok, so i made this doodle forever ago, because of 3 reasons. 1. I love the Heroes of Olympus series. So much. 2. The Sand Guardian vine is one of my all time favorite vines ever 3. Jason wears glasses and I forget that sometimes, but it makes me happy when I remember.
My friend told me to put it on Tumblr so I said “ok why not”
It was bad fight. One of the more verbally heated and aggressive that Jason and Bruce had ever had with each other. If Alfred hadn’t been there, Jason probably would have done more than just punched Bruce. But he had looked the butler right in the eyes and felt his entire inner being melt.
Hands still visibly shaking and bruised, Jason had stormed out of the Manor, ignoring Alfred’s sharp but hurting voice. Walking straight towards his bike, revving the engine and driving away into the night, refusing to look back. He was done looking back.
He could have gone anywhere. Could have gone back to one of his safe houses and calmed the storm of his anger with an angry sci-fi book exploring colonialism and slavery. Could have gone to Bludhaven or Metropolis to beat up some low-lifes without getting interrupted by family. Could have ridden down Route 66 and ended up at the bottom of the grand Canyon for all he cared…
So why the hell did he choose the ocean?
Jason Todd hated the ocean.
He always had. He had assumed it had something to do with the fact that he hadn’t learned how to swim until Bruce taught him during his intensive training as Robin.
Now, his dislike for the ocean had more to do with the murky green sea depths that bubbled up around you as your body sunk like a corpse. Seaweed grasping around ankles like talons ready to pull you down until your ears popped and saltwater filled your lungs and nose and you were clutching at your throat in desperation…
Jason Todd hated the ocean.
And yet, as he drove away down the interstate, hardly registering where he was going, his mind to filled with writhing emotions and thoughts and the roar of the engine to focus on the details, the ocean had called him.
He had pulled up along a quiet row of pastel-coloured beach houses, balanced on wooden stilts that had survived many a hurricane. Jason pulled his helmet over his head, shaking it and running his hand through sweaty hair with a deep cursory breath. He took a moment to let the heaviness of the pre-dawn atmosphere wash over him, sitting there hunched over in the silence, then slowly got off the bike and left it there, walking towards the distant crash of waves.
The old wooden bridge creaked beneath his boots as he walked over it, glancing around into the darkness as he took in the shapes of sand dunes and reeds rustling in the rough wind. When he reached the edge of the rough boardwalk he sat down, pulled his boots off, and rolled his cargo pants up above his calves.
Toes dug into cool sand as he stepped off the solid wood. Boots dangling by his side, Jason wandered out across the dunes, wincing against the pain of sharp shells scratching the soles of his feet. Soft, powdery grains became thick, grit, became cool water lapping against his ankles. Jason stopped, and looked out across the horizon with bated breath, his eyebrows furrowed, mouth twisted against the pain.
Pink clouds pooled across the edge of the calm ocean as the sun rose above the frothy waves, as if heralding Aphrodite’s birth. The sky was an orange soda mix of rose petals and hazy gold light that reflected off of the clear water that danced up onto the shore, only to retreat back to the great expanse that lay before him in white foam.
And suddenly, tears were streaming down Jason’s cheeks, the scene in front of him becoming a blurred, bokeh vision of light and fragile, waning hope that beat in his heart like the waves beating against the shoreline. He turned his face up to the sky and allowed the dim stars and constellations to fill his sight with something other than water.
Jason Todd hated the ocean.
The weariness burned in tired Jason’s bones, his lids growing heavy with the sleepless hours over the past week, and so he retreated back from the encroaching tide. He sat down in the sand, not even caring that it would get everywhere, and fought sleep while seconds and minuted ticked by unnoticed. The gentle sound of waves mixed with the occasional cry of a gull fought Jason’s stubbornness until he could stand it no longer. He felt himself sink back into a pillow of soft sand and drift away into nothingness, floating like a buoy on the waves…
His lifeless body thrown into a pit filled with glowing green waters that entered in through his nostrils and choked what little life he had left in him. It seemed intent on replacing his blood, mixing, coursing through veins until it pulsed with every choking, stuttered heartbeat…
Groaning, the sobs racking his chest in stilted breaths as his brittle nails shattered against wood, clawing like an trapped animal. A crack of boardwalk under his boots, the coffin caves in and mouldy earth and worms press against his emaciated body, sunken cheeks, filling his mouth so he can’t even scream anymore, can’t move a limb, trapped under the dirt…
Jason started awake, and found that he couldn’t move his legs. Breathing rapid and heaving, he dug his way out of the packed sand and scrambled back in confusion.
‘Aw, that took me like, forever. Why’d you have to go and ruin it?’
Jason blinked in the blinding sun, disoriented, throat dry and stomach still turning with writhing sickness. He shielded his eyes and found himself face-to-face with a boy wearing bat-branded swimming trunks and wielding a purple plastic shovel.
‘Kid…’ Jason started, his voice hoarse, the panic giving way to cold fury. ‘You can’t just bury random strangers while they’re sleeping.’
The boy sniffed, brushing a strand of tightly coiled hair away from his face and squinting at Jason dubiously, like he was crazy.
Jason let out a shaky sigh, running a hand across his sweaty brow. ‘Because. You just… you just, don’t. Okay?’
‘M’kay.’ He had the decency to look down, poking the sand in a somewhat apologetic, mostly distracted manner. ‘Well… sorry, I guess.’
They sat there for a moment in silence, Jason hugging his knees to his chest trying to calm his heart rate by taking in deep, slow breaths. But all he could see, all he could think about was the dirt collapsing in around him, burying him in the darkness. He shut his eyes, wishing the boy would just go away, but he could feel the kid’s stare boring through him.
‘Are you okay?’ the boy asked him finally, prying, curiosity mixed with genuine concern.
And Jason couldn’t help but let a small laugh escape him.
‘No,’ he admitted, his voice more scared than he had meant for it to sound, looking out towards the waves, his face stony. ‘No, I’m not. I don’t like the ocean. Or getting buried.’
The boy hummed thoughtfully, sitting down beside Jason and following his gaze.
‘Yeah… I don’t really like the ocean either. All my cousins can swim, but I can’t. That’s why I’m stuck here playing in the sand.’
‘Well, I’m sorry you can’t swim. But that doesn’t mean its okay for you to go around burying people in sand.’
‘Yeah, I guess you’re right,’ the kid admitted grudgingly. He picked up a shell and played with it, running his fingers over the ridges before he tossed it as far as he could. He turned to Jason and held out the purple shovel. ‘If you build a sand castle with me, I promise I won’t bury anyone else in sand.’
Jason looked down at the boy and smirked, half reminded of a much younger, carefree version of himself that used to make deals with Bruce. Bargains, compromises, bets just to stay out one hour later on patrol. And suddenly, he missed Bruce. He missed his hair-tousles and deep laughter and sarcastic come-backs. He missed the the hours they had spent together reading, training, studying, eating… learning how to swim.
Coming up spluttering from the deep-end, Bruce’s strong hand on his back, hugging Jason’s skinny body close to his bare-chest.
It’s okay, Jay-lad. You’re okay. I’ve got you.
‘What’s your name, kid?’ Jason asked the boy.
‘Do you want to learn how to swim, Jamal?’
Jamal’s eyes grew wide. ‘I thought you didn’t like the ocean?’
‘It’s not so bad when you’re not alone,’ Jason said lightly, shrugging his shoulders.
An impish, gleeful grin spread across Jamal’s face as he sprang up, kicking sand in Jason’s eyes.
‘Race you to the water!’ he yelled and dashed off.
Jason scrambled up after him with muttered curses, hoping the kid didn’t throw himself headfirst into the sea before he got there. His combat boots and Jamal’s purple shovel lay forgotten in the sand, abandoned in favour of peals of laughter that echoed across the ocean waters.
He wakes up in a cold sweat, quickly-but-carefully sitting up so he didn’t hit his head on the bunk above him and grabbed his hair, tugging the black stands and threading it through his fingers to ground him to the now. Slowly, his hands stop shaking, his fingers stop twitching, his brain stops screaming, his chest stops the rapid rising-falling of a man’s last breaths and his heart stops hammering away behind his rib-cage.
He drums his fingers against his scalp, blinks away the last of that night’s sleep, breathes in for 8 holds for 4 and out for 7. He places a hand over his frantic heart and tries to still it. He counts until his breathing and heartbeats match and then he starts counting the beats between the two. The images started to fade from behind his eyelids, the black and red swirls fading into an afterimage of fear and death and pain.
He opens his eyes and is greeted by the cool darkness and safety of his cabin. Every nook and cranny recorded to memory, every and any sound as familiar to him as his own face in the mirror. Although, that was becoming less and less familiar to him as time went by. He often wondered how long it would take him to forget his old face, his old smile, the way his eyes lit up and crinkled when he laughed and how his skin was free of pale scars and fading burns.
He lowers his fingers and licks his lips to get rid of the acidic taste of the nightmare, worrying at his bottom lip with his teeth. He feels the heat from beside him, a heat that’s become as familiar to him these past few months as his cabin has. He gently racks his fingers through the blond locks as he smiled down at her sleeping face. Unmoving and cold, her face was the one thing he knew he would never forget if he tried-
He stopped. His fingers ceased their path through her hair, his heart motionless beating and his breath froze in his lungs. Cold. Unmoving. That’s not right. She kicks and she mumbles and she snores. She was never so… still. She was colder than the arctic ocean and her face had lost some pallor to it. She was burning, always a burning star to his cold depths, but right now their roles were switched and only one thought ran through his head like a holy mantra.
Check her pulse, check her pulse, check her pulse, check her pulse, check her pulse.
a/n: i wrote another. thank you for all the nice messages! this is loosely based off “all i want” by kodaline. i should also say that if anyone wants a part 2 of this, please let me know.
summary: life is always too short to you
all i want is nothing more than to hear you knocking at my door
“Hey babe?” Jason poked his head back in the bedroom his hood in his hand.
“Yeah?” You never looked up, still trying to read over the stupid homework assignment.
“I gotta go. I’ll see you later tonight, okay?”
“Yeah.” You waved a hand up in the air, absentmindedly.
You didn’t see his face fall slightly. “I love you,” he said quietly.
And it was quiet enough for you not to hear it.
He had been gone for a few hours. Nothing out of the usual. You had gotten used to him coming home late. And covered in blood. Not that it really mattered, as long as he didn’t get it on your couch, bed, floors, etc…
What could you say? You didn’t want your apartment to look like a crime scene.
You worked diligently on your homework. College was a bitch, and you wished someone had told you so.
“Best four years of my life,” you mumbled. “Fucking liars.”
Every night you were drowning in homework. You thought you had outgrown the unnecessary bullshit. But your English class was kicking your ass. And Jason wasn’t even there to help.
“Hey Jason how do you spell necessary?” You asked.
His laugh resonated through the house. “One c and two s’s.” You heard his footsteps walking towards your bedroom. “You’re a college student, shouldn’t you know how to spell?” He leaned against the doorframe with a smirk on his lips.
“Shut the fuck up.” You threw a pen at him, one he easily dodged.
“Not only does your spelling suck, so does your aim,” he teased. “Remind why we’re dating?”
“Because no one is better at cleaning up blood than I am,’ you fired back.
You smiled at the memory. That was two nights ago wasn’t it? Hell if you could remember. Between the eight o’clock classes, late nights waiting for Jason, falling asleep on the couch when you got tired of waiting, and stitching your boyfriend up when he inevitably came back bloody and cut open, you had no time to keep track of your days. In fact, your calendar was organized as the days you had class and the days you didn’t. Everything else was irrelevant.
Including the passage you had to read about Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. You weren’t an idiot, you knew the historical significance in the speech, you just weren’t feeling the whole diction, syntax, synecdoche, and the other words you memorized just for the vocab quiz.
(Vocab quiz. Like you were still in high school.)
If Jason was there, he would tell you that Lincoln used patriotic diction and imagery to comfort the families of the fallen soldiers and to inspire the soldiers who were going back to fight. But he wasn’t, so you were staring at your book with no idea what the hell you were reading.
Physics? Easy. Chemistry? Effortless. Calculus? Cakewalk. But fucking English? You couldn’t do it without some serious help or a divine miracle.
“Fuck Abraham Lincoln!” You yelled and threw your textbook across the room.
(It should be mentioned that you didn’t hate Abe Lincoln, you just hated analyzing a speech given 100 plus years ago.)
If Jason was home, he would’ve laughed at you for making such a big deal on something so easy and menial. And later, after an abundance of teasing, he would help you. But he was still on patrol and you were stuck at home.
Speaking of, it was 12:24 and you still hadn’t gotten a text or call from him. Which was odd, but you brushed it off. Jason was never punctual. But he never missed a phone call either.
Should you call him? Or should you wait? Should you go ahead and go to bed? Or should you wait for the call?
You took a bath before you could over think anymore.
our love was made for movie screens
“I fucking hate it when you do this!” You screamed. Tears were streaming down your face. You and Jason stood on opposite sides of the kitchen. Your hands were placed on the corners of the counter, gripping it tightly. “Why can’t you just accept that I love you?”
“Because it feels like every time you say it, you’re expecting me to say it back! And that’s not fair!” He yelled in return. Yet Jason, instead of gripping the counter, leaned back against the sink with his arms crossed indignantly.
“Are you serious right now? Are you freaking serious? Do you think so little of me?” You pushed yourself away from the counter and turned around. You couldn’t deal with him. You drug a hand through your hair and held back tears. Were they angry or sad tears? You had no idea.
“Well why else would you say it? Huh? Why?” He cried. You could even hear his voice crack from straight emotion.
You whipped around, a fiery fury of a person. “Because I love you, Jason!” You drug a hand down your face, wiping tears as they went. “I say it because I love you,” you whispered. You took a few deep breaths, reminding yourself that Jason didn’t grow up like you, with biological parents who loved you regardless. He grew up in the slums and later lived with Bruce before dying and finding out that he hadn’t been avenged. “When I say I love you, it’s not because I’m expecting you to reciprocate that emotion. I get it, love is a big deal and some of us fall harder than others. But I am in no way expecting you to fall in love with me as fast as I fell in love with you. And I am so sorry if I made you feel pressured to love me back, but that’s not my intention. I say I love you because I want you to know. Not because I want to hear you say it back.” Your lungs almost gave away. You had evidently forgotten how to breathe during your small speech. But it had been worth it in the end. Because not even a second after you finished talking, Jason Todd walked around the corner and pulled your lips to his.
Truth was, you didn’t need to hear him say it. It would’ve been nice, but you already knew he loved you. And you could bear to wait a little longer for him to realize that love wasn’t such a bad thing.
It was 1:03 in the morning. You should’ve gotten a call by then, but you let it slip from your mind. You had spent five too many nights stressing over your vigilante boyfriend to let it bother you too much.
(That’s what you told yourself every time you checked your phone only to see it free of any text or call.)
So you did what every bored person does:
Except for Jason. He always cleaned when he was bored. Or wasn’t out beating up criminals.
You hated cleaning. Jason was the cleaner. He liked things in nice rows and in alphabetical order. Your shared closet was color coordinated. There had been a few times when you two had gotten into arguments about cleaning. You had told him that there was no purpose in making up a bed when you were just gonna mess it up again. To which Jason replied and told you that the bed was going to be made up every day without question. Then, he decided to pick all your dirty clothes up and put them into a laundry basket before all but demanding that you organize your drawers because they were bothering his neat freakiness.
So you sat on the couch and watched reruns of Kim Possible and The Proud Family since those were the only times the shows came on Disney Channel anymore. (Why they would replace such quality cartoons with dumb live action shows still confused you. You had seen more plot action on the back of a cereal box.) You ate some leftover pizza from last night. You didn’t feel like cooking dinner and Jason wanted one night just to enjoy your company without chores getting in the way.
You were on your second slice of pizza when your phone rang. You jumped off the couch and raced to the counter where your phone was. It wasn’t Jason, it was Tim. For a moment, you contemplated ignoring the call, but you decided against it. Maybe he needed help with homework.
Or better yet, maybe he decided to help you with yours.
(Fuck you Abe Lincoln.)
“Hey Tim!” You responded with a smile. It was habit, your parents told you that good manners meant answering the phone with a happy tone. “What’s up?” You walked over to the sink and filled up a cup with water.
“Are you sitting down?”
Your eyebrows furrowed together. Tim sounded serious. More serious than usual. Which was saying a lot. “Why? What’s wrong?”
Tim sighed through the phone. Some sniffles were heard on the other end, some mumbling too. Where was he and what was he doing?
“It’s Jason,” he said. “He’s hurt.”
when you said your last goodbye, i died a little bit inside
You were sitting in your room. Working on homework, with your legs crossed on your bed. Your parents were down the hall, probably watching Wheel of Fortune in their bedroom. The book you were reading for class was long and boring. But you were never an avid reader to begin with. If it didn’t have Harry Potter on it, you didn’t care. But you stayed in school because that was the only time you could really see Jason.
(Also because your parents forced you to, but that’s irrelevant.)
For some reason, Jason was always busy at night and never told you why.
You were writing down an answer on your sheet of paper when the doorbell rang. You called out to your parents, saying you’ve got it. After all, you were fifteen years old. Practically an adult.
You raced to the front door, checking the peephole to see who it was because your parents raised you better. However, you were surprised to see Dick standing on your front porch looking like had been through Hell.
“Who is it kiddo?” Your dad called across the house, knocking you out of your stupor.
You angled your head towards your parents’ room. “A friend!” You yelled back.
You opened the door hesitantly.
“Dick?” You asked.
Dick had his hands shoved in his pockets. “Hey,” he said. A cold wind blew and he seemed to shrink further into himself. “Can we talk out here?” He gestured to your front porch.
“Uh yeah?” You said, even though it sounded more like a question than a statement. You joined him on your front porch, rubbing your hands up and down your arms to keep the warmth. “What’s up?” You asked.
Dick shifted uncomfortably. He pinched his nose and clenched his fists and shifted again all in the matter of thirty seconds. You don’t think you’ve ever seen him look this jittery. “God,” he began. “I don’t even know what to say.”
Your heart rate picked up. “Dick, you’re scaring me.”
He sighed heavily, and not the exhausted sigh your mother makes when she comes home from work. It sounded like a sigh of defeat, the same one you heard from your father when he was laid off last year. It sounded like the sigh before you start crying.
“Jason,” he said.
“What about him?” Your voice started quivering. You didn’t like where the conversation was going.
You didn’t think you’ve ever run faster in your life. You regretted not flagging down a taxi, but with your luck, the traffic would be terrible. And given your luck recently, you’d bet your life that would’ve happened. However, you were no track star. You only ran if your life depended on it. And right then, it did. Because Jason was your life. And Jason was in a coma.
It didn’t take long for you to collapse on the ground out of pure shock. Your phone had gained two new cracks just from you dropping it onto the hardwood. You couldn’t bring yourself to care though. Jason was hurt, he was in a coma, and you’d rather had a shitty phone than a dead boyfriend.
You made it to the hospital in record time. Your heart was thumping, but you didn’t know if it was from the exercise you just did, or the pain you were feeling.
“Tim!” You cried out. He was sitting there in the waiting room, twiddling his thumbs. He stood up when he saw you. Bruce, Dick, Damian, Cass, and Barbara followed his lead.
They all looked exhausted.
You hurried over to them, tripping on your own feet. “What happened?” You were hyperventilating, but you didn’t know if that was from the run, or the fact that you were seconds away from sobbing.
No one answered you.
“What happened?” No response. They all looked so uncomfortable with answering. “Please! Just tell me.”
Dick was the first one to answer. You found it poetic, that he explained. He was the one who broke the news to you the first time.
The first time Jason died.
Dick told you that Jason was defending a teenage girl from being gang raped in an alleyway. You argued that it didn’t make any sense. Jason had taken down the Black Mask’s gang without any effort.
“Too many of them, they got the upper hand,” Barbara explained.
“But that doesn’t make any sense! No one ever gets an upper hand on Jason!” You said. Dick just brought you in for a hug. You wanted to push him away, scream at him, blame him for not being there to save Jason. Did they not care? Jason always went out of his way to protect his family. And they let him get ambushed by a bunch of good for nothing gang members. You were pissed. How could they just let him go in alone? Did they not love him? Because-
“Oh my god,” you whispered. Dick hugged you tighter but you pushed him away. “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.” You kept repeating yourself until it sounded like a garbled mess. Your hands were shaking, tears were pouring down your face faster than Niagara Falls.
“What’s wrong?” Barbara asked. Everything was starting to blur. “Y/N, talk to us.”
Piper trudges her way down the hall, mindlessly following after a few of her housemates as they make their way to the Defense Against the Dark Arts room. Somehow Piper can rattle off charms, hexes, and jinxes as if they’re her own name. She can even construct new ones and get every piece of fruit in the Great Hall to sing renditions of whatever song she wants in an octave higher than normal, but she can’t tell you a thing about a gargoyle or an imp. It also doesn’t help that this is her last class of the day and she’s so very close to being able to go back to her bunk and sleep, or maybe hunt down the Stoll brothers and get them back for turning her hair pink. Either way she’s ready for this to be over with so she can spend her time doing something she enjoys.
She’s staring lines in the stone floor when a hand grabs the back of her robes and yanks her to the side. Piper collides with something solid, warm, and smelling of fresh rain. It’s a smell she’s all too familiar with since it belongs to the tall, blonde, prefict that makes her life such sweet misery. She lifts her head to meet a pair of electric blue eyes that work better on her than any stunning spell could. Her first instinct is to try and figure out what he’s busted her for this time, maybe it was the charm the other day that turned all the oatmeal rubbery. Her second instinct is to do whatever it takes to stay this close to him.
“Piper I- I need your help with something,” Jason whispers breathily.
For a second her heart seemingly forgets how to do its job and her stomach fills with sand. Jason has pulled her into a nook in a corridor behind a suit of armor and is asking for her help, she’s had more than one dream that’s started this way and ended very well.