Jason returns to the light, and THIS is the first joke he hears?
Jason still wasn’t really at-ease with the bats. Quite frankly, he didn’t really like any of them these days. He recognized that it probably wasn’t all their fault, and some of it was just feelings he needed to push away for himself, buuut… He didn’t care quite that much. He had a cold, aloof exterior to put on.
He lounged on a rooftop that happened to coincide with one of the family routes. It was either Robin or Red Robin or something dumb like that, they were getting hard to keep track of. Next thing there’d be a ‘Scarlet Robyn’ or something equally dumb just to make things even more confusing. He was glad he just went for ‘Red Hood’. …Man there really were no other colors, were there?
He lit up his cigarette and waited for the telltale flap of a cape. It came before he was even finished with his cigarette.
“Hey, Duckface.” He greeted blandly.
“Hey foxtail. see how dumb that line was?” Drake rolled his eyes.
“I dunno, I think I’ve had a girlfriend who called me that…” Jason suggested idly. “Or maybe I called her that. Either way it’s kinda cute.” He shrugged. Foxes and Drakes. “Don’t foxes usually hunt ducks?”
“Don’t make it weird, Hood. It’s bad enough that you’re stalking my route.”
“Me? Stalking? Nah I was just making friends with the gargoyles. For all I know, you’re the one stalking me. Making sure I don’t go rogue again?” Hood played it off like it was totally normal to be smoking on the rooftop of another of Gotham’s seedy bars.
“Yeah, sure. It has nothing to do with the phenomenal crime rate of the area. Which I hear is dropping suspiciously quickly.”
“You’re welcome, by the way.”
The silence stretched on for far too long. Jason pretended to keep smoking just so he wouldn’t have to acknowledge the quiet, nevermind that he’d long run out of his cigarette and was feeling kind of silly. Tim either didn’t notice, or wasn’t willing to break the illusion.
“Hey Jay.” Tim muttered, so suddenly close to Jason that he had to stop himself from jumping about a foot in the air. It was always unpleasant remembering just how aggravating that ‘silent movement’ thing was to other people.
“WHAT.” Jason growled, now thoroughly embarrassed for having been outdone at what used to be one of his tricks.
“I have something to tell you, it’s really starting to freak me out.” Tim muttered, looking away like he was startled.
“What now?” Jason was now curious, because it took a lot to freak Tim out.
“Jason… I don’t know how to tell you this but… I see dead people.”
Jason dropped his cold cigarette and just stared at Tim for a long moment, wondering if he had really just heard that stupid a comment from that smart a Robin.
Tim kept the look of fear for a moment before it started dissolving and he had to work really hard to stifle snickering.
Then Jason started doing it too.
It was the first laugh Jason had shared with anyone in the Bat-family since it was him wearing the costume, and the first genuine, innocent laugh since then, too. A laugh where no-one was suffering or belittled. Just a good joke between friends.
Jason hugged his adopted little brother around the neck and ruffled his hair as punishment for such a dumb joke. It was his new favorite.
((OOC: This takes place after Bullseye is done with Stephanie.))
She felt like she had gone ten rounds with a grizzly and had been mauled every round. Everything hurt, not only where Bullseye had actually injured her but also where she had just been plain unlucky during the actual fight itself. Shuddering she hunched down in the seat on the greyhound bus that was slowly making its way back to Gotham. The hope was that she would be ready to face the rest of the bat family when she finally got back.
A shudder worked its way across her spine and set her skin to crawl, the hairs on the back of her neck standing up. Looking around the bus she didn’t see anyone that was taking interest in her but she couldn’t help but feel like someone was watching her. The next fifteen minutes were agony as she tried to act like nothing was wrong until they arrived at the bus way station. Getting up a little too quickly she got off the bus and went directly to the women’s bathroom.
Taking comfort in a few other women that were traveling the late night bus she found a stall and locked herself in. Entering the confined space made her realize she was panting, shaking, and about ready to have a minor breakdown. Looking to see if the toilet was clean she collapsed onto the seat, her legs twitching slightly from the after affects of a strong fight or flight reaction. “Oh god.” She said, feeling silly.
It took her the better part of five minutes before her shaking stopped another two before she was breathing evenly, and lastly one more to convince herself that she was imagining things. Feeling slightly better she unlocked the stall and walked out.
The sudden rush of movement should have alerted her quicker, she was slow, tired so when the hand wrapped about her throat and slammed her against the cool tile wall it surprised her. The impact left her dazed, fingers and arms feeling numb from the blow to her skull. Somehow she managed to get her cell phone out of her pocket and hit the one button, the speed dial for Tim’s phone.
Bruce sped through Gotham’s streets, though this time in a car rather than swinging on a grappling hook. He’d chosen to drive himself this time, knowing far too well that Alfred would be giving him pointed looks in the rear-view mirror. As it was, during the short time he’d stopped at the Manor, Bruce had felt Alfred’s eyes boring into his back, though he said no words other than to inform him that Dick had been attempting to get a hold of him. No other words were needed, Bruce already felt ashamed as it was.
Pulling into the front of the hospital, he hardly paid attention as he tossed his keys towards one of the valet clerks, instead concentrating on finding his way towards the room that Jason had been put. He didn’t bother to stop and ask at the nurse’s station, having checked the system before even heading out. Owning the building sure had its perks. No one questioned him as he made his way up to the correct floor, all the personnel knowing Bruce Wayne’s face from memory.
Coming to a stop next to the open door, Bruce closed his eyes for a moment, steeling himself. If Dick was in there, then he was bound to be getting an earful. Running a hand through his hair, the man took the last few steps in, only to find Jason alone in the room, the steady beeps and hums of the machines surrounding the bed creating a sort of soundtrack to this disaster of a play. Stepping closer, he noted that Jason’s eyes were closed which made him uneasy. He was sure that Dick would have still be there if Jason hadn’t been stabilized, and one quick peek at the medical files clipped to the foot of the bed confirmed the young man’s condition. However, Bruce was hardly a man of faith, relying on his own sight and intuition rather than word of mouth or the scribble of a nurse’s hand.
Finding a chair already pulled up to the side of the bed, Bruce sat down gingerly as the seat made a loud squeaking sound in protest. Right then he decided that these hospitals would receive more funding, if only to get better chairs.
Reaching forward, Bruce grasped one of Jason’s hands between his own, thumbs rubbing over the calloused flesh. He couldn’t help but wonder if there was any way this could have been prevented. Why did Jason almost drink himself to death in the first place? The narcissistic side of him wondered if it was his own fault for not giving Jason the proper attention, rearing, everything. Bringing that hand up to his forehead, Bruce closed his eyes, cursing himself for everything.
-He arrived at the courtyard quickly, not letting himself change his mind. Billy wasn’t really sure why he did this in the first place, but he just wanted to talk to Jason a little more. Was that so bad?- Hey Jason! -He walked over, waving a bit in greeting- Um. This was kind of spontaneous so I don’t really have any plans. -laughs softly- Sorry…
The moment that Billy had read that Jason Todd was back in full throttle, he nearly had a heart attack. He had just stopped obsessing over his death. All through his finals, all through the end of the school year, he had been obsessing–sobbing–over the fact that Jason was gone. Now he was back. Just like that. It made an indescribable rage fill the teen’s chest; like Jason did something wrong. Billy knew it was stupid, but he couldn’t help it… But maybe a part of it is because he didn’t believe it. Sure, it was up. Jason had said something. But he still didn’t believe it. He was a magic user–anything could be fake.
So, that’s why he found himself here, where he and Jason used to meet up and smoke before he and Teddy had gotten back together (and sometimes afterwards). He sat on the edge of the fountain, staring down at his feet and rubbing a hand through his too-long hair. He… really needed to calm down if he was going to talk to Jason without punching the teeth out of his mouth.
JayTodd’s player has been a blessing to me over the past few months. Like a brother, or just the most genuine of companions. He’s kept me sane in some of the hardest times I’ve been in, and I can’t thank him enough. Beyond that, he’s an obscenely talented and believable Red Hood, and I’m glad to have him back. - confessed by anon
The Batmobile sped through the empty streets near Crime Alley, a dark blur against the darker backdrop of the city. The sleek car left hardly a sound in its wake, only a swift breeze signaling the car’s presence after the fact. Batman reached toward the console, his eyes never leaving the road as he turned on the police scanner. Not a moment passed before a report came through about a violent mugging that left a woman battered in an alley, robbed of her purse and jewelery. Shifting course, Batman found his way to the last whereabouts of the mugger, parking the Batmobile in a quiet alleyway.
Taking a few steps towards the street, Batman turned, finger hovering over the button on his utility belt that would armor the Batmobile. He hesitated for a moment, his mind providing him with the ghostly silhouette of a dark haired boy working at taking the tired off of his car. A little smile pulled at the corner of his lips at the memory, pressing the button before making his way to the street.
The sounds from the heart of Gotham were distant, filtered through the buildings and gloom that seemed to be a permanent fixture in the city. Sound traveled only so far in Gotham before being strangled out by the darkness, as if the city herself breathed it in. Many things disappeared in Gotham, many people. Batman couldn’t save them all, but he certain would try. As he stalked the streets, he kept an eye out for clues, strange footprints, dropped jewels, anything at all that could potentially lead him to his perp.