Jason and Tim arguing over who had it worse when it came to living up to their predecessor's legacy
‘All I’m saying is… I was living in the shadow of a dead boy.’
Jason looked up from his book with a scowl, turning the page a bit more roughly than he had meant to. He and Tim had been holding their own pity party of “who had it worse” as Robin when it came to living up to their predecessor’s legacy. Jason had made some comment about “back in my days as Robin”, and Tim had had enough self-respect to become offended. And as a consequence, Jason had only gotten through five pages and was tempted to just give up reading altogether.
Truth be told, he knew that Tim probably had it much worse than him, when it came to this specific issue. And he was only arguing with him because he knew how much arguing for the sake of arguing annoyed his brother.
But then again, the only thing Tim really had to do in order to surpass his predecessor, was not die… so Jason stuck to his guns. He set his book down and leaned forward, giving Tim his best “I don’t even have time to tell you how wrong you are” look.
‘Tim. Firstly, I’m a bit offended at being called a, quote unquote, “dead boy”…’
Tim frowned. ‘You call yourself a dead boy all the-’
‘-And secondly,’ Jason interrupted him cooly, ‘My standards were far, faaaar lower than Dick’s. To live up to my predecessor’s legacy meant being a perfect, obedient, chirpy, quipping, circus act, which was not happening in a million years unless global warming wasn’t a thing and hell froze over, giving us another ice age. You, on the other hand, just had to not do any of the things I did.’
Tim pursed his lips, sitting there in silence as he regarded Jason with a look of complete and utter exasperation.
‘So…’ he said slowly, enunciating every word, ‘not die.’
Jason nodded, rolling his eyes. ‘Yeah. Like I said. Lower standards.’
Tim sighed, massaging his forehead as he turned back to his laptop, tapping the keys distractedly. ‘Okay. But consider this: in order to not die, I actually had to achieve a standard of near-perfection as Robin that not even you or Dick were expected or pressured to reach.’
‘Okay,’ Jason countered. ‘But consider this: in Bruce’s eyes, none of us are ever good enough.’
‘So your point is, we’ve all had it bad and it’s pointless to try and decide who had it worst because we all had a common denominator and standard to live up to: Bruce.’
Jason shrugged and lay on his back on the sofa, opening the book again.
‘Even Bruce doesn’t live up to Bruce’s standards, so yes. It’s fucked up and we were all screwed from the start.’
‘Oh boy. That went south real quick.’
‘So wait, when I go off on Bruce, it’s too far. But when we’re talking about when I was a “dead boy” it’s all fine and dandy?’
‘All the time, Jason,’ Tim repeated without looking up from his laptop, his voice bland. ‘All. The. Time.’
Unable to think of a reasonable response or blatant lie, Jason scoffed and stood to find somewhere he could read in peace and not get his ear talked off or, god forbid, counselled by his younger brother.
‘Well, you try dying and see if you can stop talking about it. It’s a life-altering event, a real milestone.’
‘It’s also only meant to happen once,’ Tim said pointedly.
Jason paused to consider this. ‘Hold up. So, technically, Damian has already lived up to the standard I set as Robin because he also died and came back. Grayson had to fake it, so he’s disqualified… and we’re not counting Steph because she was never even given a chance, and would beat all our asses in the ‘who had it worst’ game.’
‘Which means I do have it worse than you, because the standard I now have to live up to is resurrection.’
‘WWJD, Timbo,’ he grinned, finger-gunning his brother as he walked backwards out the door. ‘”What Would Jason Do?”’
‘Die and come back a salty gun enthusiast,’ Tim muttered under his breath, mulling over their conversation and taking it more seriously than he should. ‘Also, Easter was last month.’