Story Arc: Summer of Lies (August 2017–November 2017)
Batgirl and Nightwing’s feelings for each other have always run deep…but is their bond built on more than Bat Family loyalty and a long-ago childhood crush? When an old villain comes back into Babs’ life, she and Dick will have to reopen painful wounds and remember a time they’d hoped would remain forgotten.
COLD HANDS [JASON TODD X READER SOULMATE AU]
A/N: Phew, we made it. Ladies and gents, i present to you the first chapter of my Jason Todd soulmate au, that I had no idea what to name so here we are. Eh, pretty sure the name will start making sense somewhere along the road (I hope). Also like I get very intense at some point but it just make people squint and laugh so, I’m sorry in advance because I tried, I really did.
word count: 1943
Warning: Mentions of parents splitting up, depression, nerve damage.
Synopsis:Jason Todd isn’t bad at love. He just doesn’t know what it’s like. [Y/N] [L/N] has spent her entire life hoping that soul marks mean forever after. A journey to discovering love, pain, each other and themselves.
The first time Jason sees her, it’s in the middle of snowfall.
Gotham rests underneath a thick blanket of of white, cold and unforgiving, and the trees are sunken to their shins in snow. The streets are unsurprisingly empty, save for a brave few who struggle to trudge their way through the snow while the rest find shelter in the numerous shops that litter the barren streets, offering warmth that seems too unsettling to be welcoming.
Jason watches from a corner on the sidewalks as the snow falls softly onto the ground, masking itself into the layers already collected. The occasional car passes by, headlights disappearing into the fading darkness slowly as it passes, and Jason can’t help but think that it’s too silent for a Gotham night. But he pushes the though aside as he struggles to keep his hands warm inside the pockets of his sweater as he leans by a wall waiting for Dick.
That’s when he sees her across the street standing underneath a lamplight.
The light overhead hits the high points of her face as she looks sideways, black hair sprawling across her shoulders from underneath a bright red beanie, tan skin flushed gently pink by the cold. The tip of her nose stands out, a darker pink than her rosy cheeks. And as unbelievably cliche as it sounds, Jason knows that years later, when he thinks his life through, he’ll think that this was the moment he fell in love with her.
His phone vibrates against his hands inside the pocket of his sweater and he looks away, momentarily distracted. It keeps buzzing as he struggles to clam the slight shiver of his fingertips as he retrieves his phone, pausing slightly to huff a breath. And when he looks back at the lamplight as he presses his phone to his ear, she’s gone. He thinks that he sees a flash of bright red against the snow from the corner of his eye, but he doesn’t turn his head to follow the movement, and faintly registers Roy’s voice inside his ear, calling his name.
It comes as a surprise to almost everyone who knows him, but Jason doesn’t like winter.
It’s cold and damp and heavy, and unnecessarily slippery. The cold just makes his job a lot harder than it actually has to be, and his only job is to get things done. The cold hinders him from doing just that. At least that’s what he tells everyone.
But the winter brings back memories that Jason wishes would have been buried with him. And they weigh him down and hold him back more than the slippery floors as he jumps across the roofs, and they flash in front of his eyes and sear their way through his brain and every time he finds himself reaching out to grab onto them, hoping that it would ease the pain.
It never does. It’s always there, subdued most of the time to a dull throb in the back of his throat, an ache in his bones that he thinks he can pass off as exhaustion. And most times, Jason doesn’t know if the pain is from struggling to keep his thoughts at bay or if it’s from the changing temperature that puts pressure on the persistent nerve damage, but it still hurts, and there is this certain heaviness in the way he walks. Jason knows the others see it too, but he’s glad they refrain from making comments.
He knows that his dislike for winter stems way back to when he was still a street kid, because back then it just meant that the streets were colder and the people were hungrier. He remembers latching onto the ground floor windows of the houses in downtown gotham. He remembers staring at the blinking lights that adorn the christmas trees until his eves sting. He remembers feeling like a child straight out of a Dickens’ novel (not that he knew it then), peering through the huge windows, looking at what he couldn’t have.
Which is why he finds himself in Crime Alley, just hours before dawn breaks, unlatching the hood and settling down next to a little girl. He holds a loaf of bread and a can of soup in front of her and watches as she hesitates momentarily before reaching out and grabbing the food from his outstretched hand. The way that she tears into the loaf reminds him of himself, but truth to be told, he sees himself in every orphan in crime alley. So he sits patiently by her side in the snow as a few more gather around, and he hands them more bread and soup from the sack that lies on the ground beside him.
“Sorry the soup’s cold,” he finds himself saying, and he waits as the children look up at him, incredulous almost, with a look in their eyes that’s disbelieving, grateful and ashamed all at the same time. And Jason recognises all of them. But then they look away, not saying anything at all. He still understands what they mean.
He stays a couple minutes more until his nose starts turning pink, numb from the harsh bite of the cold. Jason distinctly feels the domino mask cling tighter to his face and he knows that it’s going to a pain in the butt to take off later. He also knows, the sooner he gets off the floor the better, be he can’t bring himself to leave now, and he finds his fingers curling into the crisp white snow, tinted gently grey, almost as it he’s trying to find the street rat Jason Todd buried underneath the heaps of snow and dirt.
He lifts himself off the ground then, giving the children one last look as he puts his helmet back on, and walks out of the alley. The children don’t stop him. They never do, but still, he can feel their eyes on the back of his head as he turns the corner and out of their sight.
He realises, as he limps back to his apartment, that when the kids see him the following morning, sans the hood and the mask, they’ll run up to him and tell him all about Mister Red Hood and his bread and cold soup, and he tries to stop the happiness that blooms in his chest. He cannot.
To [Y/N] [L/N], life has always been simple. Painful, but simple. And it shows in the way she holds herself.
Her parents sit across from her, at a safe distance away from each other, but she’d rather focus on anything else than the way they’re looking at her right now; like she’s fragile, like she’s going to break if they do the wrong thing or say the wrong thing.
The clock ticks on the wall behind her, and once she gets a hold of the beat, she can’t let go, so she finds herself bouncing her thigh up and down to the rhythm. And she knows that her mother is watching her through those big glasses that sit slightly askew on the tip of her nose, but if her mother thinks anything of her nervous habit, she doesn’t do anything to point it out.
She’ll think later, when she’s in bed at night, pondering her whole life and guessing where it all went wrong, that this should’ve been the first clue.
“We’ve decided that we should see other people.”
She expects her own reaction to that statement to be explosive. She expects screaming and yelling and throwing things across the floor and storming out of her own apartment, but none of it ever comes. Instead the dread seeps into her toes and tickles the bottom of her spine, but otherwise stays at bay as she slowly lifts her head to meet eyes with the first man that broke her heart. Because she knew this was coming. She’s known for the past eight years.
In the back of her mind she registers both of her parents staring intently at her, expecting something, anything other than the nothing that she’s giving then right now, but instead, she just nods her head, pretending that she understands, when really she just wants to yell at them to look at each other’s names scrawled on their bodies, to open their eyes and look at what they’re throwing away.
But she also knows that this has been a long time coming. And despite the way her heart clenches in her chest, she can’t bring herself to do anything.
“You can’t force love,” she remembers he mother telling her, “sometimes love runs out and you’re left with memories of what it used to feel like.”
And she remembers asking her mother when you know that it’s ended, and she remembers the pause, and the heaviness in her mother’s voice still weighs down on her till this day.
So she just nods and stares back down at her plate and hopes to whichever god is up there that she doesn’t cry. She will not cry. Not now, after all these years that she’s spent crying herself to sleep, not after she’s spent her whole life blaming herself that her parents are not in love anymore.
Somewhere in a memory inside her mind, her mother’s voice rings out in her head, and she remembers it being soft and strained and laced with something akin to guilt, but tonight it’s crisp and clear and holds all the answers she’s been seeking for so long.
You know when you feel more in love with your memories than the person standing in front of you.
Days later when the conversations of that night have faded to dull whispers in her ears, blocked out by the sound of the grinding and whirring of the coffee machine, she lets her mind wander again.
Her therapist has told her many times, every time, actually, that if the mind is a clear blue sky, it’s always there. Even when it’s shrouded in inky black and dark clouds denser that she can comprehend and even even it feels like the storm is brewing in the back of her head and threatens to flood her senses. Trying to block out the storm only makes it worse, but never means that it’s not there, that it’s not happening.
And she knows that she should probably stop trying to compare her thoughts to catastrophes but they’re so destructive in her head that she can’t think of anything else.
It reminds her of a car crash. She doesn’t know what it is but it does, in the way that she remembers every detail before and after the crash but not the actual event save for the way her skin still feels the lingering touch the flames. It stings, hissing and angry against her body.
She can’t remember the last time she didn’t feel like she was crashing.
The cold helps with that. It numbs and it heals and soothes in ways that she doesn’t think anyone else understands.
Which is exactly why when everyone else finds home in the shops that litter the streets, warm lights blazing heat upon the frozen roads of Gotham city, she stands underneath a lamplight waiting to feel the sting disappear. Waiting until the flames that lick at surface have died out into nothing at the bottom of her feet.
And when it does, she walks away from the lamplight, unaware of blue eyes that try to find her in the snow later.
On the way home, she ignores the way the name underneath her collarbone itches.
Anon: 16. “I’m the one you want, not him/her!” + 41. “I often ask myself if I deserve you, and I usually feel like I don’t.” w/ Nightwing (angst to fluff). Probs s/o was feeling insecure with their relationship ever since Dick became leader but he assures her he still loves her? 🌸 congrats on reaching 300! I honestly believe you deserve more because your writing is just beautiful 😭👌
16. “I’m the one you want, not him/her!” 41. “I often ask myself if I deserve you, and I usually feel like I don’t.”
Word Count: 3151 (I got carried away again…)
Warnings:Very heated moment, sexual references, description of injures, blood, angst, and the like.
A/n: Aww, thank you sweetie! I hope this is what you were looking for! By the way, your alias as a vigilante is Blitz; suggested by a lovely anon!
You sat alone in the kitchen in the apartment you shared with your boyfriend, Dick Grayson. The light above the island was dim, and occasionally flickered. There were so many different emotions whirling around inside you and you felt like crying, but you couldn’t. You refused. It was a long mission and Dick had to finish some things up, being the leader of the team and all, and he made you go home without him. He said it was because you were tired and deserved to rest, but ever since he became leader, you felt horrible inadequate.
Was he ashamed to be seen with you? You often got hurt on missions when you did what you thought was best, but wasn’t a good fighter supposed to come out with only a few injuries? Maybe you weren’t a good fighter; that’s what you told yourself on the reg.
You constantly asked yourself if you were even good enough to be his girlfriend. You thought he would look better if he was with a cooler, more beautiful woman instead of you. It was one of those dark moments you had, and they were becoming more frequent. You rarely had times when you didn’t feel good enough for Dick.
The door opened and closed, and you ran your hand through your hair and wiped away any possible tears to look presentable. You relaxed when you felt Dick wrap his arms around your waist. “Hey, babe,” he murmured in your ear and yawned. “You looked amazing out there, you know that?”
You couldn’t help but giggle. “So did you… but you always do.” You kissed his cheek and he chuckled.
“I’m flattered, but you missed.” He said and put two fingers on your chin, turning your head to face him. Dick kissed you with all of the love and passion he had and it warmed you to your toes. You turned around and kissed back with just as much vigor, wrapped your arms around his shoulders. He pulled away for only a second to catch his breath before slanting his mouth over yours.
You shuddered when Dick quietly groaned and he pulled you closer by your belt loops. The material of his Nightwing suit usually didn’t bother you, but you wanted it off; you needed to feel his skin.
He pulled away again, and sweat ran down his neck. “I’ve been waiting to do that all day.” Dick quickly took off his mask and threw it into the living room. The gorgeous blue of his eyes was almost completely taken over by his dialated pupils. “If we were alone and not in front of them…” He whispered in your ear and trailed off to leave you to your imagination.
“Sounds like you had a frustrating day, then.” You smirked. “I can’t say the same for me; I know how to control my urges and hormones-!” Dick suddenly lifted you up and put you on the counter, moving to stand between your legs.
“You know I can take away that control in just a few minutes, (Y/n).” Dick slowly slipped his hands up your shirt and they rested on your waist.
“We are not doing this in the kitchen; we eat out here!” You exclaimed, but you didn’t push him away.
“We eat in the bedroom, too.” He winked at you.
“Wha- Damn it, Richard!”
Dick just laughed while moving you off the counter, and he carried you to your shared bedroom for obvious intentions.
You stood in the bio ship on the way to Santa Prisca with a professional stature and a serious face. Nightwing was a few feet away, and he occasionally shot you some flirty glances.
But you avoided them. He only recently started noticing your sudden great lack of affection in front of the team- or anyone, for that matter. While he saw no problem with your relationship, you felt more self conscious on this mission than most. He was the leader of the team, and you were just a normal plain hero among extraordinary individuals. That’s how you saw it, anyway.
You briefly took your mind off of your insecurities and focused on the mission. Santa Prisca was by far one of your least favorite places to be. You had a bone to pick with Bane, and his second attempt at making Kobra “venom” made your jaw clench. You were assigned to lead Beta squad while Nightwing was going to lead Alpha Squad, which was normal. He didn’t put you on the same squad as him solely because he had to evenly spread out the skill levels and you were his girlfriend; that’d be making it personal and could be seen as playing favorites. That was one thing you were sure of and okay with.
“Beta, here’s your drop point. You know the drill.” Nightwing said.
Beta Squad consisted of you, Batgirl, and Wonder Girl. You were good friends with the two of them, so working with them wasn’t going to be a problem, but your history with Bane was most likely going to be quite the obstacle.The hatch opened and Batgirl and Wonder Girl jumped out and you were about the do the same.
Nightwing looked at you again and told you, “Be careful out there, Blitz.” All you did was nod once, and you leaped out of the bio ship with no hesitation. Your black expression that conveyed no sentiment and affection left Nightwing a little hurt and concerned. He didn’t know if you were unhappy with him or if something bigger was bothering you.
The rest of the team teased him for a moment, but he sat there and worried.
How you got yourself roped, or in your case, chained into this position, you didn’t have a clue. Being separated from your squad wasn’t on the mission criteria, and being caught and chained to the ceiling by Bane definitely wasn’t. Your feet dangled above the floor and you sighed dramatically. It was a tough situation to get out of and you didn’t have enough time to free yourself of your restraints.
The metal door slammed open and light filled the dark room immediately after. The loud and obnoxious screeching of a chair made you cringe as Bane dragged one in, and it had another person strapped to it. You almost paled when you saw it was Nightwing in the chair and there was a loud bang when Bane roughly put his chair next to you.
“Just curious, what are your intentions of having us here?” You asked Bane directly. “I torture usually isn’t your style…”
The sharp glare Nightwing told you to stop provoking him, but you couldn’t help it. Bane was your archenemy; all you wanted to do was push his buttons.
You rolled your eyes when Bane let out a loud laugh. “Still haven’t lost your spark, Blitz.” His Hispanic accent sent unpleasant chills down your spine. “You’re right; torture isn’t my deal. I have to test out the new Kobra-Venom, and you two are the perfect candidates.”
You and Nightwing didn’t like the sound of that. “You’re going to inject us with that mierda? I didn’t think even you would go that low.” You scoffed, but you were terrified inside.
He laughed again, and you felt a tiny bit relieved. “No, chica. You’ll be fighting them.”
You didn’t know about your boyfriend, but you suddenly felt like vomiting. You saw what happened to the people who were forced to fight criminals that were injected with the Kobra-Venom, and it wasn’t pretty. No matter how big and bad or skilled they were, no one came out alive.
Bane grabbed Nightwing by the hair, which made him grunt, and forced him to look him in the eye. “And you’re first!”
The loud rattling of chains startled Nightwing and both men looked at you. You were violently struggling to get out as you shouted, “Don’t you do a damn thing to him! I’m the one you want, not him!” Your past with Bane was something you seldom spoke about and very, very few people knew only some of the details. You knew a lot about what Bane could do and cause; you had the scars and mental trauma to prove it.
“He is the leader, si?” Bane smirked tauntingly and raised an eyebrow. “What is a team without a leader?”
“What is a leader without a team?” You countered without missing a beat. You prayed that he didn’t take it as you saying to kill the rest of your team on the spot. “Take me first, instead. Your quarrel is with me. I’m the one who has been causing trouble and raising hell for you for years now; this has nothing to do with Nightwing.”
Bane contemplated it before letting go of Nightwing’s hair. “…If either of you even attempt to escape, both of you die. Comprende?” Nightwing nodded, while you responded in Spanish. “I will be back shortly, but just to let you know… He will be watching you.”
Bane slammed the door shut and it was Nightwing’s turn to feel sick. His gaze snapped over to you and he hissed, “Why would you say that!? Why would you just give yourself up like that!?”
“For the same reason you would!” You growled back. “No one has ever made it out of that arena alive. I love you and I-”
“If the team doesn’t find us in time, then you’ll die, too!” He felt so conflicted; he understood what you were saying but he felt like he was being more rational. “What’s been your deal lately? I try to hold your hand and kiss you and even hug you, but you flat out refuse! And now you have a death wish!?”
You confessed through gritted teeth, “Because I’m not good enough for you. Look at me! I’m nothing compared to you or any of the girls here. You’re the leader of this team; I’m not even close to what a leader should have.” You didn’t dare to look at him. “I’m not worthy enough to be seen as your lover.”
Nightwing couldn’t say what he wanted to, for Bane burst in again and ripped your chain from the ceiling. He dragged you away from Nightwing and two other men carried him down a separate corridor.
Bane took the honors of placing an iron collar around your neck that was attached to another chain and you snarled at him, “What the hell is this!?”
“Your challenge. Like you said, chica, you are the one I’m after.”
A henchman you didn’t recognize roughly pulled you by your chain into the caged arena and attached the chain to the wall.
‘This is bullshit…’
Bane was outside the cage nearby with his arms crossed, standing next to Nightwing who was still tied to a chair. He could easily get out, but he wasn’t going to risk getting you both killed. You quickly gave him a sympathetic look before you focused on the other side of the cage, preparing to meet your opponent.
The man who brought you in scampered to get out of the arena, and you found out why. In walked an insanely tall, muscular, and horribly disfigured criminal who was turned into a disgusting beast. The muddy green skin, vein-y body, and sharp teeth were very off-putting.
You got into a fighting stance and you were barely succeeding at not shaking in your shoes. For a fight to end, one contestant had to die and it was surely going to be you. You didn’t doubt that one bit.
There were several different chants and sneers spoken in Spanish, but you paid no mind to them; they were the least of your problems. Your current problem could very well be unsolvable.
“I think we’ve all been waiting for this moment for a very long time, chica.” Bane rumbled, and cheers erupted in response. Nightwing watched in despair as the tall villain nodded at the inhuman beast.
With a roar, it ran at you and you barely ducked in time. You tried to move further away, but you gagged when you reached the end of the chain. That iron collar was no joke. You received a brutal punch to the gut and you hit the wall with a cry.
You fought back as well as you could and you were doing much better than any former human fighters in the arena. You hoped to make it out, unlike them. You kicked the beast in the face in a quick smooth move, and it snarled when it fell back a few feet. You weren’t prepared for it to grab your arm and throw you against the floor with almost deadly force. An average civilian would easily be dead by now. You painfully pulled yourself up from the floor and continued where you left off.
The iron collar around your neck was making you angrier and angrier, and you kept pulling on the chain with more and more strength. You used more of that strength to push through the pain in order to keep fighting, and to save the love of your life from suffering your fate. You glanced at him and you never saw him so ragged with stress before. If he didn’t know better, he would be screaming and fighting for them to stop.
It hurt so bad when you took another two hits to the head, and another few to your torso. You wondered how you were still alive, but you weren’t complaining. If you weren’t dying in here, you had a hunch that you would die in the hospital or before anyone could reach you. You just sensed death. It was highly likely to be yours and you wished it wouldn’t be.
With an enraged yell, you pulled on the chain one more time and it snapped from the wall. It shocked your “audience” and you took advantage of your new weapon almost immediately. You swung the chain forward like a whip and it wrapped around the beast’s neck, effectively choking it. You knew it was heavily frowned upon to kill, but in this situation, you had no choice.
You jumped up and planted your feet on its back, using it as leverage to pull the chain even tighter. You were growling and quietly wailing in pain. Your entire body was hurting so, so bad. You heard it choking, and it weakly clawed at the chain, but the life eventually drained from the hideous creature and you got back on your feet before it could topple down on you.
The dead beast on the floor made you feel horribly guilty, and you put your hand on the back wall to steady yourself. “Is that all you-” You spat a bit of your blood from your mouth. “Is that all you got?” You were out of breath and your body was quaking, but you were still going to be forced to fight.
Bane looked surprised, but was pleased. “You are stronger than I thought, but I guarantee you won’t survive you next opponent.”
The blood drained from Nightwing’s face and he started to struggle. “No!” He growled, but Bane punched him to keep him quiet. Nightwing couldn’t stand seeing you with so many injuries, and the amount of your blood on the floor was sickening.
Suddenly, gunfire echoed around the facility, as did angry and surprise shouts in Spanish. Bane took that as his cue to run, and he did just that. “They’re here!” A criminal yelled before you heard a loud bang. You smiled lightly; that would be Conner’s work. You flinched when you moved just a bit; the pain was becoming almost unbearable. There was blood coming from a wound on your forehead, nose, and some from your mouth. You felt your broken ribs and you were eternally thankful that they didn’t pierce a lung. But you didn’t have much time left. You desperately needed medical attention, or else you would never make it home.
You saw Wonder Girl untying Nightwing and she asked, “Where’s Blitz? Is she-” Cass turned and saw you inside the large, caged arena. She gasped when she saw how injured you were, and you suddenly landed on your hands and knees.
Your chest was heaving and you dug your nails into the floor, clenching your eyes shut as tears escaped. Cass immediately punched through the caged and rushed to you, catching and lifting you into her arms before you fell on your side.
You weakly reached your hand out to Nightwing, who was quickly by your side. The last thing you saw and felt was your boyfriend grabbing and holding your hand, before everything went black.
“What the hell were you thinking?” Dick growled the moment you opened your eyes. The hospital bed you were in was surprisingly comfortable, but the way he was looking at you was not.
You looked up at the ceiling and sighed in irritation. “I believed we already went over this, Dick.”
“Yeah, but I’d like to hear a logical explanation this time.”
You glared back at him. “You’re more important to this team than I am; you all know that!” Your had curled into a fist and your nails dug into your palm. “I know what happens in that ‘arena’. I didn’t want you to suffer the same fate as the previous victims. I did it because I love you, damn it.” You gritted your teeth and looked away from him. “I’d never hesitate to give my life up for yours.”
Dick took off his sunglasses and his glare turn to an expression of sadness, but with love. “I often ask myself if I deserve you, and I usually feel like I don’t.” His statement surprised you. “You’ve already done so much for me… But you were willing to die for me, even though you think you’re nothing and aren’t worthy to be with me.” He grabbed your hand and held it as if there was no tomorrow. “Babe, you are worthy. You’re more than worthy. There’s not a single reason for you not to be. There’s not a single reason that would deter me from loving you. Remember that.”
It brought tears to your eyes. No one had ever loved you as much as he did. You lightly squeezed his hand and gave him a grin. “I love you.” The words left your mouth almost everyday, but for some reason, they had more meaning in this moment.
“I love you, too, babe.”
I can’t write about Bane, the ending is disgustingly cheesy, and just… eh. Thanks for reading!
Kaigai Manga Fest in japan!!!! Marcus To 先生 came!!! Sketch, sign & commission like a dream…foooo///// Thank you so much. I get Dick and damian ice cream commission. Amazing ART!!! very very cute Dickdami.
Events have been increasing little by little in Japan too! I would be happy if I could meet various Artists in the future!!!