warning: Graphic Depictions Of Violence, Major Character Death, Alternate Universe, Alternate Universe – Time Travel, Parallel Universes, Alternate Universe – Zombie Apocalypse, One-Sided Attraction, Hurt No Comfort, No happy end.
fandom: Batman – All mediatypes
pairring: Jason Todd/Dick Grayson
Jason was in a foul mood the rest of that morning, he didn’t answer when Dick asked him something. They would carefully move from rooftop to rooftop, careful not to alert the lone walkers below them. “Doesn’t seem to be too many of them around here.”
“That just means people, so stay on your toes.” Jason answered out through his teeth, but then stopped. “Here.” He said and handed Dick a gun. “Take it.”
“Yeah.. I uhm..” Dick said staring down at the gun with a disgusted expression.
“Now is not the time to go all Wayne on me.” Jason said hashly, “These people know who you are, and they will shoot on sight.”
“A fighting chance huh?” Dick asked as he reluctantly took the gun.
“Something like that.” Jason said with a tiny smile, the first genuine smile Dick had seen since they met. “Come on, Barry lives over in that green house.”
“You know where he lives?” Dick answered surprised.
“Sure.” Jason said with a shrug, “Nothing much gets past me out here.”
“And you didn’t say anything?” Dick shook his head.
“Why would I?” Jason stated before he leapt over to a balcony of the green house. “Yo Barry.” He knocked the window. “It’s me, Jason.”
The door opened and a lanky blond man smiled at them. “Jason, it’s been a while.” His eyes wandered over to Dick and all colour paled from his face. “Who is…”
“Long story, short version is that he’s Dick from a different reality, universe, whatever.” Jason said as he walked past Barry. “And Bruce wants you to help to power up another portal.”
Barry just stared at the two young men as they walked into his hideout. “Alright… but since when have you been doing Bruce any favours?”
“I’m not.” Jason huffed, sitting down on a rickety chair. “I’m helping Dick to get back where he belong.”
“I see.” Barry eyed Jason and then turned to Dick and smiled, “So… Long way from home huh?”
“You could say that.” Dick said with a smile.
Hours later Jason was snoring lightly, while Barry and Dick was having coffee, “I can’t remember when I last had coffee.” Dick sighed blissfully.
“It’s somewhat of a commodity here, but only the best for my special guests.” Barry said, he paused and turned the cup around in his hands a couple of times, fidgeting. “So, really. Why are you here?”
“Bruce wants to create another portal.” Dick said, “But I don’t think he means to send me home.”
Barry nodded, “I see.”
“Yeah. It’s pretty obvious. Haven’t you ever wanted something so much that you went for it, damn the consequences?” Barry asked carefully sipping his coffee.
“I think Bruce wants to right his wrongs.” Barry said. “And it all boils down to him.” He nodded towards the sleeping Jason.
Dick rose a brow. “I thought it all started with Bruce killing the Joker.”
Barry smiled, “True, but do you know why he killed the Joker?”
Dick shook his head, “I just assumed he went mad.”
“Well he did.” Barry admitted with a slight nod. “Okay I don’t know all the details, I’m not exactly inner circle or anything, and Jason clams up if you ask him.” Barry poured the more coffee in their cups and unscrewed a bottle of whiskey, “Want some?” He held out the bottle for Dick who shook his head. Barry poured a healthy amount of whiskey in his own coffee and looked up at Dick. “Jason was an orphan, he was a kid destined for really bad things, and Bruce found him stealing prescription pills from a hospital. The kid showed so much zest that Bruce somehow decided that he would take another Robin on. Since Dick, uhm the other you… whatever. Since Dick left to be Nightwing I guess Bruce became lonely or something, or maybe he just saw Jason for what he was, a little survivor.” Barry sipped his coffee, “So Jason and Bruce seldom really saw eye to eye on things, but they didn’t fight or nothing, it was just one of those things, I think Jason tried to be as good or better than Dick, and I can only imagine what living in the shadow of Dick Grayson gets you – no offence.”
“None taken.” Dick smiled quickly.
“There was this case that Jason was investigating, a bunch of schoolkids disappearing. And instead of asking for help he investigated it alone. Wanting to make Bruce proud showing him that he was the best Robin ever.” Barry looked over at sleeping Jason. “Thing is that it was all a trap. And at the other end of the noose stood Joker, he caught Jason and hid him.”
“I’d like some of that whiskey.” Dick mumbled and held out his cup. Barry just smiled and poured some in.
“Joker tortured him for a year.” Barry whispered.
“A year? Oh my god! Where was Bruce? Where was Dick? I mean… a year?” Dick gasped.
“The Joker had sent Bruce some tapes of Jason dead.” Barry said, “And so they assumed he was dead. And that Jokers grand scheme was to hurt Bruce by proxy.”
“But in fact Jason was alive, and stuck in a rundown wing of Arkham Asylum for that year until Joker decided his job was done or something.” Barry shrugged, “I don’t know exactly what happened, you’d have to ask Jason.”
Dick turned in his chair studying Jason, “So that J on his cheek doesn’t stand for Jason.”
“No.” Barry said in a sad tone.
“That is terrible.” Dick whispered, “That is – beyond words.”
“When Bruce realised what Joker had done, that Jason was actually alive, and about as stable as a powder keg, that is when he just went off. I am not sure he wanted to kill the Joker, I think it just happened because Bruce was unable to reign himself in, he kept punching till he couldn’t feel the hurt.”
“So that is why Jason thinks Bruce blames him for Dick’s death.” Dick said looking down into his cup, swirling the brown liquid before taking a sip. “He never trusted him again, because he didn’t know what the Joker did to him.”
“You might be right.” Barry said, “But you gotta remember that he brought in Tim Drake as his new Robin before he found Jason… Or let’s say Jason found him.”
“Yeah.” Dick said with a small voice, “My Jason, back from my Gotham, he was blown to pieces by the Joker, and then buried. He dug himself out of his grave with his bare hands. We thought he was dead, we were so sure.” Dick emptied his cup, “He went into a coma and then Talia el Ghul tossed him in that pit of theirs, hoping to restore his mind, but he was never really Jason again, he was something else.”
“Believe you me, before my Jason met Dick, he was completely lost in his own hate and shame.” Barry said. “More snarling animal than man.”
“Can I ask you what you are doing in Gotham to begin with?” Dick asked.
“Not much of a story, I came to help with those freaks, then hid when the crowds went mad. Ditched my costume and stuck around I suppose.” Barry said with a shrug.
As Dick went to lay down next to Jason he couldn’t help but to feel sad, maybe it was the whiskey, but he spooned up behind Jason even if the room was warm. Jason stirred and then half asleep took his hand lacing his fingers between Dick’s and purred before he settled again.
The next morning Dick woke to Jason and Barry arguing outside. Dick walked outside scratching his hair, blinking as the harsh sun blinded him. “Where’s the fire?”
“I am trying to tell him to just go to Wayne manor, and that we will come later. But he won’t.” Jason said tossing his hands up in a frustrated gesture.
“Why not?” Dick wet his lips, still trying to focus.
“Because you guys have a long trek, that is not fair.” Barry said.
“Fuck fair.” Jason growled, “Would you just get to Bruce and get this shit over with? Dick needs to go home to his own life.”
“But you just said that Bruce isn’t interested in sending Dick home, he wants to recollect his family.” Barry said, looking from Dick to Jason.
“Reason with him for fucks sake.” Jason said.
“No one can reason with Bruce.” Barry huffed. “So you want me to go along with his stupid plan, is that it?”
“No!” Jason yelled, “I don’t know… I just know we have to get that portal working, maybe you guys can trick him?”
“Could be.” Dick said, “If we get Alfred to help us, I know he thinks this whole deal is insane as well.”
Barry locked eyes with Jason for a moment and read all he needed to know. “I hope you know what you are doing.” He said, and then took off leaving them stranded on the balcony.
“Asshole.” Jason muttered. “Come on let’s pack up, take whatever food he can spare so we don’t have to go hunting for some.”
“Hunting?” Dick asked innocently as he followed Jason into the hideout.
“Yeah, finding a home or a supermarket which hasn’t been completely gutted is near impossible.” Jason sighed, “I’m forgetting that you spent your time at Wayne manor, that crazy old bat set that shit up to outlast the universe. At least his paranoia paid off.”
Dick opened his mouth to speak but decided against it, and just set about collecting their things. But in the end he was bursting to tell Jason. “Don’t get mad.” He said in a near whisper, “But Barry told me about your brand.”
All colour drained from Jason’s face. “He did, did he?”
“Well what he knew.” Dick said softly. Hoisting the rucksack over his shoulders, testing the heaviness and balance. “Just wanted to say… Well I really don’t know what to say other than I’m really sorry that happened to you.”
“I’m sure you are.” Jason hissed, and just grabbed his own rucksack and kicked the door open to the outside.
“Wait.” Dick walked outside seeing Jason already balancing on his way across a ledge to the next house. “I’m sorry!”
“No you aren’t.” Jason huffed focused on not tripping. “You could have asked me.”
“And you would have answered me?” Dick asked slightly amused.
“No.” Jason stated, “But it would have been honest.”
A shot rang through the air and the next thing Jason knew he was in free fall from the wall, he heard Dick scream something, but he just closed his eyes knowing that it was his own fault for not being careful to look for snipers because he was angry. But it was okay, maybe Dickie was waiting on the other side?
Dick hid behind the remains of a balcony door and looked at the scene unfurl down on the street. He could hear cheering and yelling, so it wasn’t walkers. “Is he alive?” someone yelled. “Yeah sorta” Someone yelled back. And then he just heard voices but couldn’t make out what they said. He dared a peek and saw them carry Jason down the street, there was a lot of blood. That was both good and bad, he could follow the bloodtrail, but he had learned by now it would attract the walkers. He waited for a good ten minutes before he dared peeking out, another bullet passed him so the sniper was still there. Only good thing about that was that Sniper rifles took a while to load and didn’t have a lot of bullets in the chamber.
So he chanced it, gritted his teeth and made a perfect flurry combo across the same ledge that Jason had fallen from. The sniper shot two more times, and then he apparently had to reload because no more shots were fired in succession. Dick decided he’d have to get down unto the streets, and find himself some sorts of weapon. The walkers were slow and dumb by day, and around here he had only seen a few. He slid down the drainpipe from the building and landed in an alley. He hid his rucksack as well as he could, and searched about for something he could use as a weapon. He was in total luck that someone had made a last stand here, and a body was mummified with a shiv in their shoulder. “Gross.” Dick mumbled as he pulled the shiv from the dry body.
Hours later Jason woke, at first he had no clue where he was, but he was hung from the ceiling by his hands, and the room was dark. His head hurt, and his back was killing him. He focused on his surroundings, “No.” He whimpered weakly, he knew this place. It was Arkham Asylum, and instantly he felt the same cold dread as before.
“So did he get the other?” A man said, turning on some lights in the room where Jason hung. “I don’t think so, but who cares? We got this one.” Another man said. Suddenly they went silent, and one of them walked over to Jason lighting a flashlight directly at his face, “Look.” He prodded the burned J with a dirty fingernail. “Maybe he’s worth something?”
“Bah…” The other man replied. “Who cares for money anymore? He is going to feed us for a long time Fred, a long time. Do you really think the others wants to wait while you play businessman?”
“Suppose not.” The man let go of Jason’s cheek and walked away, “Shame.”
The next time Jason woke he wasn’t hanging anymore, he was tied to a gurney, and two other men was standing over him arguing over when and where to cut. “Please.” Jason whispered. “don’t.”
“Oh it speaks!” The man squealed in delight, “Wonderful!”
“Maybe you can tell us where that burn comes from, does it mean something?” The other man asked.
Jason felt panic rising, their voices distorting, blocking out everything else but the Jokers voice whispering ‘my, my boy wonder, maybe it’s time to clip your wings.’ “The Joker gave it to me.” Jason whispered.
“The J-man?” One of the men said in disbelief.
“I’m gonna have that framed!” The other man said eagerly.
“Like shit! I asked, so it’s mine!” The first man yelled.
While they argued, they had not seen the shadow jumping down from the rafters. Dick held on to the shiv, his hands were red with blood, not that it was the first time his hands were red from blood, but he had never killed someone before. His hands were still shaking from the prospect, if he could he would avoid it.
Jason was half lost in his dream world where the Joker was singing out of tune in his ear; ‘they left you to die here… tralalala… we all expected more from you’ He saw someone walking towards him, and per instinct he let out a pitiful sound, “No more. Please.”
“Jay.” Dick said softly, “Come on.” He started to unfasten the straps on Jason’s wrists.
“Dickie?” Jason whispered, his eyes rolling back their sockets. ‘Dickie boy is dead, dead, DEAD’ The Joker singsong in Jason’s ear. ‘who are you fooling?’
“Jay please.” Dick begged, “We gotta go.” Jason was just mumbling gibberish that made no sense to Dick what so ever. “Fuck!” He grumbled as he undid the last straps, he grabbed Jason by his shoulders and pulled him up in a sitting position. “Jason!”
Jason focused again, and looked straight into Dick’s worried eyes. “You came.” He whispered, “You came for me.”
“Of course I did.” Dick said with a little smile,