Trauma and Healing: Cigarettes [Jason Todd x Reader]
A/N: Jeez part 3 took way longer than expected. Sorry my loves I hope you all like it!
Warning: Mental Illness (hearing voices/mentions of schizophrenia), Mentions of abuse/rape.
Ch. 3 Cigarettes
That night wasn’t very hectic. Jason had offered you his room once more but you declined, saying the couch would be fine and that he should get some rest having saved you and all. But you couldn’t sleep, left to be staring at the ceiling of this unfamiliar apartment.
Examining the ceiling you memorized each and every dent or chip in the paint. However your attention was drawn away by the sound of someone’s feet hitting the fire escape and climbing up it.
Curiosity getting the better of you led to you escaping your blankets and following the source of the footsteps. Reaching the top of the building you saw Jason with his back turned to you. Telling it was him by the leather jacket he was wearing. Noticing as he lifted his hand occasionally to his mouth.
Upon coming closer you saw the cigarette in his hand.
“Sorry, I guess I wasn’t as quiet as I was trying to be” he looked over his shoulder at you. His voice startling you. But you shook it off and leaned against the ledge next to him. Your arms only a few inches from his.
“Couldn’t sleep” You shrugged, looking out at the city skyline. “What city are we in?”
“Coast city” He answered before taking another drag of his cigarette.
“It’s beautiful” eyes scanning from right to left. You noticed Jason shift next to you. Looking over you saw him present a box to you, “Want one?”
You examined the box which turned out to be a cigarette box. Hesitantly you took the box from his hands and tapped the end making one slide out. Handing the box back he offered you a light. You’d never had a cigarette before but for some reason the tobacco just sounded appealing.
Taking your first drag of one, you began hacking. Jason couldn’t hold back the chuckle that escaped his throat, “You didn’t say you were a first timer.” Looking over to see a smile had taken over his features.
“Yeah well they didn’t exactly give us such luxuries” You chuckled and he nodded. Taking another drag, doing it correctly this time. Immediately feeling a sense of relaxation, it not only helping your physical muscles but your mental state.
“Wow, it’s actually helping with the voices” you muttered to yourself. Though Jason heard it, “Do you hear them often?” he was still watching you.
Turning your head to meet his eyes, “More often than not” fiddling with the stick in your hand. “No matter what it feels like they are always there in the back of my head.”
“I kind of understand that. When I came out of the pit, I heard voices, or what I thought were voices. Maybe they were, maybe it was just my imagination.” he shrugged. You nodded, even though you didn’t know what this ‘pit’ was.
“Yeah” sighing before bringing the cigarette to your lips once more. A comfortable silence falling between the both of you.
After a minute or so Jason broke the silence, “Hey um. You don’t have to answer this, but did you have any pre-existing conditions before the particle accelerator?” his eyes watching as your expression fell sombre.
“Um. Kind of. I was beginning to develop schizophrenia. It was very minor before the accelerator explosion, nothing anti-psychotics couldn’t handle. But the night of the accelerator explosion there were also some other mental things going on that night. I’d rather not talk about that though. Everything got enhanced from it, that was when I started to actually hear and kind of feel the voices. But the outbursts became less common and I would be able to tell when they were coming. In a way it made it both worse and. better.” Nervously scratching the back of your neck.
He nodded understandingly. “I’m sorry you had to go through all of that. We did a lot of monitoring of that group, I know everything they did. A person shouldn’t have to endure that.” his eyes diverted from yours, looking down at the concrete ledge.
Your eyes diverted to the same place. Remembering everything they would do. The beating, starving, rape, all of it. “Yeah, me too.” Feeling tears sting the corners of your eyes. Quickly you wiped them away before taking another breath of the tobacco. Silence falling over the both of you once more.
Jason watched you as you stared out at the city lights. Thinking about all the torture you must’ve gone through, how scary this must be for you. “[F/n] I want you to know that no matter what Kori, Roy, and I aren’t going to let anything happen to you. You’re safe here.”
You looked at him quickly, astonishment painted plainly on your face. Processing what he said you nodded.
“Come on, you should get some rest” nodding his head in the direction of the fire escape after putting his cigarette out. You nodded, putting your own out before following him.
He helped you back down, though before you both entered the apartment he stopped and looked at you. “Since you told me about some things about you tonight. How about we do this again tomorrow night, there are some things about me I’d like you to know as well.” This caught you by surprise, but smiling you answered “Sure.”
He smiled to before pushing the window open, letting you go in first. When you were in he didn’t take long to follow. Snuggling back into the blankets on the couch as he went to his room, but before going in he said “Goodnight [F/n]”
You stayed hidden by the back of the couch and answered, “Goodnight Jason” a smile gracing your lips. Thinking that there was something different about him, a good different. The kind of good that gave you butterflies in your stomach and made your heart tingle. Though you forced yourself to suppress these thoughts so you could finally allow yourself to sleep.
When you woke up the next morning you were a bit taken aback. Having to reprocess everything that happened the prior day. The final thing to flash in your memory was that cigarette with Jason.
Letting out a sigh while sitting up. It was still early and the Outlaws were all still asleep. Not exactly sure what to do you just wandered around the area, looking at the multiple novels on the bookshelf.
Sliding one from its place. ‘The Great Gatsby’ the title read. You didn’t have much of an education, having been taken when you were young. Having only basic math and reading skills, skimming through the pages but there were many words you didn’t fully comprehend.
“A classic” jumping at the unfamiliar voice you heard. Quickly turning to see Batman and The Green Arrow standing in the room.
“Don’t scare the poor kid Bats” Green Arrow commented. You gave him a weak smile. Soon enough you heard a door open.
“Just let yourself in why don’t ya” Seeing Roy come into the room. “Good to see you to Roy” he walked over to him. Putting a hand on his shoulder, you smiled at the relationship.
“Let me get the others” Roy said before heading away from the three of you. Though you couldn’t help but feel intimidated, Batman hadn’t taken his eyes off of you. Did he find you a threat?
Shifting uncomfortably before placing the book back on the shelf. Beginning to hear the voices again, whispering terrible things to you. That’s one thing you never want to tell them about. The things the voices said.
You visibly winced at the words. ‘Kill. It’s the only way to survive. Take them now.’ The faint whisper said to you. “Just stop” whispering to yourself.
“Is something wrong?” The same voice said. You turned and shook your head. Feeling relief when the others came into the room.
The three looked at you, sensing the discomfort. “Let’s talk in here, just give us a minute” Roy gestured to the kitchen. The two went onto the kitchen leaving you with Roy, Kori, and Jason.
“Are you alright?” Kori came up in front of you.
“I uh. I don’t really know. It’s just the voices they.. never mind it’s dumb” you sputtered, not knowing how to communicate what the voices just told you without giving up what they said.
“You don’t have to be afraid to tell us” Roy followed, putting a hand on your shoulder. Flinching slightly before relaxing under his hand.
“I’d just, I’d rather not.” Looking over to Jason pleadingly. He took notice, “It’s alright you can tell us when you’re ready” stepping up. Allowing you to breath a relieved sigh.
They looked back at Jason before returning their attention to you. “Well no matter what we’ll be here every step of the way. Don’t be afraid to ask us for anything or say that you’re uncomfortable.” Kori smiled at you warmly.
“Thank you guys. I really appreciate everything you’re doing for me.” Smiling at the three. Roy smiled wide,”It may only be a day but you’re already apart of the family my friend” he laughed. Making you and Kori smile. Noticing a smile pull at the corner of his lips.
“We’ll be right in here. If you want you can come join us but no pressure” Roy said ruffling your hair. You were already beginning to get used to his actions.
After that the three went into the kitchen.
Sitting in the couch, letting out a relieved breath. It felt like Batman could see right through you but they really just seemed to know how to calm you down. Running a hand through your hair before thinking you were really going to like it here.
In the kitchen the five had all gotten to talking.
“What do you mean she has schizophrenia? I thought she said it was from the powers.” Roy looked at Jason confused.
“I don’t know it seems she had a minor case of it and the dark matter enhanced it in someway. Since then she’s had those outbursts less I guess but the voices got worse.” Jason looked around at the group.
“We should do some sort of testing. Figure out if this is a meta gene or something different” Oliver suggested.
“What? No! This girl has been poked and prodded like an animal for years there’s no way we’re going to do the same thing to her.” Jason objected, the other two nodding.
“How do you know you can even trust her?” Bruce asked sternly. Staring down the three.
“I don’t mind tests” they all turned to see you in the doorway. No one said anything so you continued, “I understand you need a reason to trust me, so let this be that. I’m used to the needles” you shrugged with a small smile.
“[F/n] you don’t have to” Kori walked over to you.
“It’s fine, honestly I’d like to know what the cause of all this is as well. I’m sitting in the dark here” your tone was surprisingly calm and rational.
“We have the equipment with us. It’s just a simple blood draw and maybe a few other things” Green Arrow looked over to you.
Nodding you sat on a chair in the kitchen and held out your arm for their test as they got things prepared.
Kori, Roy, and Jason came over to you. “Are you sure about this?” Jason asked, concern laced in his voice. You nodded “Yeah, it’s about time I know where all of this is coming from.”
They all exchanged a look before letting out a collective sigh. “Alright, but we’re not going anywhere. If you ever want to back out of this we’ll make sure they stop” Roy affirmed making a smile pull at your lips.
“We will let them get started but if you want I can stand over here with you.” Kori offered. You smiled at her “Yeah I’d appreciate that.” She took your hand, “Any nervousness and I will be right here”
Jason and Roy went and stood by the wall, out of the way.
‘How can she be so calm about this? After everything she’s gone through. Just accepts these tests. I don’t get it’ Jason said. “She’s strongly” Roy answered looking at Jason
But Jason’s eyes never left you. They were Looking for some physical tell, some hint that you didn’t want this and he’d pull the plug.
But there was nothing. Nothing but calm. However we all know the phrase
‘The calm before the storm’