Yeah, this is the companion to Lost and Found. Wrote it a while ago, so this had to undergo heavy editing. Felt it was time to start publishing it. It won't be that long.
DISCLAIMER: I own nothing.
Jason drunkenly threw an empty beer bottle at the wall. He was screaming and hurling curses, drunk enough to stumble around the place. He was in his crappy apartment in an abandoned building. The apartment was simple. It had a small kitchen, shaped to be open on the side that led to the living and dining room, where a beat up and trashed wooden table with empty beer cans and bottles were, along with Jason's guns, leather jacket, and other Red Hood gear.
His Red Hood gear still had a few rips on it.
Jason was downright miserable. He was frustrated, and angry. He wanted to hate Dick for dying, but he found he couldn't. Misery, anger, and grief came over Jason. Jason, who had been in the living room, went to the kitchen table. He stared drunkenly at the empty beer bottles and cans on the table.
Anger came over him, and he swept it all the empty cans and bottles off onto the floor, just shouting. Screaming. Yelling. It was something to do.
When he heard what happened, to both Dick and Roy (Jason didn't really know him, but he seemed pretty cool) he had bought a crap ton of beer, before drinking till he passed out. That was yesterday. When he woke up today, he started drinking again.
He really should stop before he gets alcohol poisoning. He slunk into a battered chair, still clutching the beer bottle. Jason had on a black jacket, an old dirty white tank top, and a pair of worn dark blue jeans with rips at the knees with black combat boots. He looked terrible.
His hair was a mess, he had bags under his eyes, and one hell of a headache. Part of him still couldn't believe it. Dick couldn't be gone, he was too - in love with life. Another part of him was asking why he cared that Dick was gone. Dick and Jason had off to a rough start. Jason had been twelve when he jacked the tires on the Batmobile.
He was working on the fourth tire when Batman and Robin came back. Dick, at the time had still been Robin and was fifteen. They caught Jason, and instead of turning him in, they took him in. Jason had been shocked when he found out Batman was Bruce Wayne and Robin was Richard Grayson.
Jason hated to admit it, but part of the reason they had gotten off to a rough start was because of him.
He treated Dick like he was competition, and Dick was patient and tried to help Jason. Shortly after being taken in, Jason had wanted to be trained. Bruce said no, but Dick joined his side and said he could be trained for 'self-defense'. Somewhere along the line, Jason had found out about the Team.
Dick told him stories about it. As time passed, Jason knew they became like brothers.
Jason and Dick would play video games, basketball, spar, tease each other, watch movies, and Dick had a favorite ice cream place they would sneak out to. Overtime, the Team found out about Jason, mainly when Jason ended up calling Dick back to the Manor and the Batcave because he was bored (And missed Dick, but admitting that wouldn't be like Jason at all).
Since he wasn't a hero at the time, he told the Team to just call him Jason. And he got a lecture from Bruce. Jason often teased Dick for skipping two grades, and babysitting Tim Drake (after some research, which Jason loathed, he found out Tim Drake was the replacement Robin. Didn't find out much more after that). It went on like this for two years.
Then, when Dick was seventeen and Jason was barely fourteen, sometime in June after he graduated high school Dick and Bruce had a fight. Jason had forgotten what the fight was about, but Dick quit being Robin. He stayed at the Manor for about a week longer, telling no one but Jason of his plan to leave. Jason was sure Alfred knew.
Dick told Jason how he wanted him to have the mantle of Robin. He remembered being excited, and scared. Together, Dick and Jason worked to design a Robin costume for him. Jason's costume as Robin suited his fighting style, which was more aggressive, less defensive, and similar to street fighting.
Dick left, telling Jason he was going to Bludhaven and where Dick's new place was, to the relief of the teen.
Dick, unknown to Jason, had worked with Alfred to design a new costume (And he was right! Alfred did know, but he didn't know the exact place Dick would live, unlike Jason. Since Alfred was Alfred, he probably already knew). On the last day, Dick showed Jason his new suit and told Alfred and Jason to call him Nightwing.
By the next day, Dick was gone. And so, he started his time as Robin.
Jason loved it. He joined the Team, though it was a bit awkward since Dick wasn't there. When word of a hero in Bludhaven got out, the Team investigated and found Dick as Nightwing. Nightwing joined the Team, and things got better for him. Because it was awkward for the Team to call him Robin, he told them to call him Jason.
They quickly realized he was the computerized voice they heard calling Dick (as Robin) back all the time. Or the kid who would randomly show up to drag Dick back to the Batcave.
For a few months, everything went fine. Jason and Bruce did clash sometimes, and he would go to Dick's. Sometimes, he would just go over to there to visit. He claimed a room there, and Dick told him he was welcome there anytime. Many times, Barbara Gordon would be there.
She was Dick's best friend, and somewhere between the time Dick left and became Nightwing, she became Batgirl. As Batgirl, she didn't join the Team until after Jason. Eventually, Batman accepted the fact that she wouldn't quit Batgirl and she joined.
Course, she was beyond mad when she found out Dick was the first Robin and was now Nightwing. In fact, her reaction had been rather hilarious. Then December came. Dick's birthday passed and he turned eighteen. Dick, swamped with work, couldn't come on the mission Jason went on with the Team to investigate possible League of Shadows activity in Europe.
The Team found out that the Shadows were trying to cripple the economy of Europe. They managed to stop them, but the Joker, who Ra's Al Ghul hired to distract them, captured him. Batman, Nightwing, and Batgirl found out, but when they got there they were too late. Just thinking about it made Jason's hatred for Joker stronger.
After that, Jason didn't know what happened to the Team, League, and the rest of the world.
He did know that his body was taken and replaced. Two days after his death, Jason was resurrected by Ra's Al Ghul, who felt guilty because his death was an unnecessary sacrifice, and Ra's always took lives with a purpose. The man had a twisted sense of honor. When Jason woke from the pit . . .
The pit reverted Jason back to the moment when he died. He went practically insane for six months.
Eventually, his sanity went down to a healthy level. During those six months he was insane, he was left with his worst memories, the good ones taking longer to come back. The Lazarus Pit also made Jason angry. Heck, he had always had a temper, but the pit made it ten times worst.
He trained as an assassin for about a year. Somehow, he learned that the Joker was still ticked him off. It still did. He left, and came to Gotham about two months after the Invasion according to Dick. And he became Red Hood. He tried to get Batman to kill Joker, but that failed.
As for how he knew about the Invasion . . . Dick told him. A week ago, Dick popped up in his apartment when Jason was gone. He cleaned the place, and got rid of the beer. (Before this, he hadn't touched a drop since then). After he was done, it almost looked like a safe place for people to live in.
Dick had also gotten Jason clothes, which Jason promptly beat up and torn to make them feel like his when Dick left. Jason remembered being pissed and shocked when Dick showed up. Pissed, because he was there, and shocked, because he was the only one who bothered to come and talk to him. Dick ignored his obvious anger and gave him a hug.
Jason, shocked, didn't protest against the hug. Dick broke apart, and offered to tell Jason what he had missed during the time he had been gone. Curiosity outweighed his anger and shock, so Jason said yes. Dick told him everything. Jason had died during the fourth year of the Team.
When he found out he went on a soul-search journey instead of dying as Jason Todd, he was furious, but Dick calmed him down and attempted to explain why Bruce did it, and it wasn't just for protecting secret ID's. And he explained that by the time Jason got back, everyone had a chance to mourn so please-oh-please he shouldn't be mad at them.
He wasn't quite sure how he should feel about that.
He was told, in detail, about the whole thing with Tiamat, and Aquagirl's death. Dick told him about Kaldur leaving, Artemis and Wally 'retiring', and Rocket and Zatanna joining the League. He also told Jason about the death of Ted Kord, the second Blue Beetle that happened shortly after Aquagirl's death.
Jason was shocked. Dick didn't stop there. He told Jason about the Collector of Worlds and Kylstar. He went on to the invasion, leaving nothing out, including the plan. He told Jason about the MFDs, and how they all teamed up to stop them. When he told Jason about Wally's death, Jason's mouth dropped.
He had just learned about the deaths of three people he knew, and in addition he found out that the original Roy Harper, thought to be dead, was found and now went by Arsenal.
And there was a whole lot of crap with some meta-powered teens, and a new hero called Static. Apparently, 'Static' was one of the meta-powered teens, and he became Black Lightning's protégé after the invasion. Rocket and Zatanna, who had just joined the League, went back to the Team and went on the League's reserve roster.
Publically, they were still League members.
Everything was very confusing, and a lot to take in. Dick had switched his status to reserve Team member, and taken a break. Jason pressed further, and found out that a week after the Invasion ended, the Team, League, and the Bats stopped talking to Dick for four months.
That pissed Jason off, but then again, he was usually pissed off. He just focused his anger on different things so he didn't end up murdering everyone he was ticked at (though that has proven to be an effective solution).
Then Dick continued his little explanation, and it only pissed Jason off further. Apparently, the others hadn't even bother to inform him about Jason's return.
(Some inward part of Jason was pleased that this was the reason Dick had never gone to see him).
Dick didn't learn about Jason's return until recently, because he was swamped with college, Bludhaven, and mobsters after his head. The most Dick knew was that the Team was not aware that he was alive. Thinking about all this made Jason's anger turn towards the Team.
In his drunken state, he decided it would be a brilliant idea to yell at them. Give them a piece of his mind.
Jason got up. He brushed his hair out of his eyes, including the white strip of hair he got when he came back from the dead. He walked uneasily to the kitchen. When he got to the sink, he filled it up with ice cold water and put his head in it. He came up gasping.
He was now more awake, or at least awake enough to form sentences. Jason walked over to his Red Hood gear.
Reaching into the pile, Jason took out the top of his gear, which was dark gray body armor. Jason took the black jacket and his tank top off, putting the body armor on. He pulled on his gloves, and his brown leather Kevlar enforced jacket. Next, Jason put on a black domino mask, like the one he wore as Robin.
The domino mask he wore as Robin looked like Red Arrow's mask more than Dick's mask as Robin. He got out his red helmet. Jason stared at it for a moment.
It masked his voice, so any Team member who knew him wouldn't recognize him. Jason left the building, and started to head to Mount Justice. It was time to have a little chat with the Team. Anger flowed through him.
When Barbara woke up, for a moment she forgot. Forgot what happened two days ago. Then reality slammed into her. Tears pricked her eyes as she realized where she was. She would not cry. She had to be strong for a little while longer. Barbara got up off the bed.
She had slept curled into a ball on top of the blankets. Everything in the room just screamed him.
It didn't help that she was wearing his sweat shirt, which smelled like him. It was too big for her. Somewhere along the way, Dick had gained a good two inches on her. He was six feet, barely. Or had been, anyways. Standing up straight, she looked around the room. She started to leave, still wearing the - his - sweatshirt.
Light flooding in from the windows showed it was morning, and there was the sounds of city life. It was mainly just the louder sounds, like cars. People shouting. Occasionally car horns being honked. She walked out into the hallway.
When she walked out the bedroom door, she looked out the window at the end of the hallway. It connected to a fire escape, and on the outside it looked sealed. She knew this was a lie. The window opened outwards on a hinge. From there, she knew you would climb the fire escape down into the alley.
He lived next to a semi-used building, and under it he had discovered an old bomb shelter built during the Cold War. It was long forgotten, and it wasn't on the building's plans. The building itself looked a little like an old warehouse.
Dick made a secret entrance to the bunker via an elevator, an emergency exit ladder, and stairs if the elevator wasn't operational. The alleyway itself was small, and it was a dead end. The dead end went straight out and to the left, which meant it wasn't visible from street view.
On the corner part hidden from street view, there was a zeta-tube disguised as an old, broken down telephone booth.
He made the old bunker under the building his base, and fixed it up. He named it The Nest for a codename, and he called the area where you accessed it Dead End. This way, if he ever talked about it villains wouldn't know where to find it. Babs shook her head. She shouldn't be thinking about this. Not now.
She went down the hallway, and walked to her car. Barbara got in, and started her long drive to Wayne Manor.
When she got there, she knocked on the door. Alfred answered it.
He said, "Ah, Miss Gordon please come in."
He didn't comment on the sweat shirt. Alfred knew it was his. Alfred always seemed to know.
"Thank you Alfred. Do you know where I can find Bruce?" She asked.
"I believe Master Bruce is in the Batcave." Alfred responded.
Barbara heard the waver in his voice, the sadness that was there.
She looked at him. Alfred looked the same, but there was something in the look on his face, in the way he spoke. It was very formal, and his face looked like he was forcing himself to keep it together. Of course, Alfred was always formal, but this sounded like he was making an actual effort to be formal.
Barbara said quietly, "Thanks, I can get there on my own. Rest, Alfred. Please."
Alfred nodded, walking off. Before he left, he gave Barbara a small, reassuring smile, gently squeezing her shoulder with his hand. She leaned into the touch, exhaling a breath through her nose. She relaxed, some of the tension in her shoulders lessening.
Barbara walked to the library entrance, and pulled the book down. The book caused the shelf to slide down, and it revealed a staircase. She went down it. When she got to the bottom, she saw Bruce. He was sitting in his chair in front of the computer, and his expression was almost blank.
He looked lost, and sad. She couldn't help it. Her heart seemed to break a little. His cowl was down. On the computer in front of him, it showed the scene from the warehouse.
"Bruce." She said softly. "Bruce, talk to me."
Silence. Then, "He's dead."
Well, it was a response. Still, she winced, feeling the now familiar grief sting her and cause her eyes to water. It hurt. She hadn't accepted it. Too soon. Part of her wondered if he had felt pain.
She was definitely in pain. In the back of her mind, she recalled something Dick had once told her:
Grief is a disease of the living.
Caused by death, she reflected bitterly. Barbara brushed these thoughts to the back of her mind.
She said, "Bruce, I - I know it's hard but, there are other people who need to know about Dick and Roy. I - I already told Cheshire."
Bruce slowly shook his head. "That doesn't matter. Dick's dead. He's not coming back, he's gone."
Barbara said slowly, "I - I know that. And- and it hurts. But there are still others who need to know, Bruce. The League, the Team, Selina."
The two sat in silence for a long time. At last, Bruce broke it, a guarded expression on his face as he tried to explain himself. Bruce wasn't used to sharing his feelings. Batman did not link hands with people, and hand out cookies, it wasn't his style.
So Bruce gave it his best shot, shattering the oppressive silence.
"It doesn't seem real." Bruce said. "I can't - I'm not ready - "
"And neither am I." Barbara said. "But we need to hold it together. At least until we tell the others. Just hold on that long, okay? Try . . . try thinking of Ollie and Dinah. They don't know about Roy. Or Dick. The longer we keep it from them, the more it's going to hurt when they find out. We need to tell them, even if we don't want to." Barbara persuaded.
Something in Bruce hardened. His expression darkened, and he pushed his emotions away. Bruce the grieving father pulled up the cowl and became Batman. He cleared his throat, and breathed deeply, trying to make himself feel presentable.
"They need to know." He said. He started to get up, striding over to his motor cycle quickly. He regained some purpose in himself. Batman had a mission to fulfill, a mission to complete. Bruce Wayne needed to take a backseat.
And the mission comes before everything. Bruce ignored the voice in the back of his mind whispering Dick would disagree, putting family and friends first. Or at least trying to. Bruce told the voice to shut up. He welcomed to long drive to the mountain. He sensed that Barbara did, too.
It would give them both time to think.
Together, both of them headed to their motorcycles. They got on them, and started to drive to Mount Justice. Before they left, Barbara informed Cheshire - Jade - they were going to break the news. She said she was going to meet them there.
Beast Boy groaned. "My homework is going to be the death of me."
M'Gann chuckled. Right now, Bumble Bee and Mal were sparing, Beast Boy was at the table doing homework, and Miss Martian was in the kitchen cooking. Snapper Carr, Beast Boy's tutor, was not here. Jamie and Impulse were at the TV playing video games (Or trying too. Impulse didn't know how to play and was killing his teammates in the game, and Jamie and his scarab were arguing over the best tactics to win.).
Superboy was watching them, sitting on the couch.
Cassie was sitting in the chair, bored. Lagoon Boy and Aqualad were in the training room, Rocket and Zatanna were with Artemis and were trying to cheer her up by having a chick flick marathon. Garth made a rare appearance (rare since Tula died) and was with Lagoon Boy and Aqualad in the training room.
As for the Bats, nobody had really talked to them lately except on official business. The Bats had their secrets. They didn't tell the League and Team about every little thing and every little injury. By now, that was a generally accepted fact.
Static, the newest member, wasn't there.
The zeta tubes rang out:
Recognized Batman 02 Batgirl B-16 Authorized Access Guest and Guest
Curious, all of them went to the zeta tube. There, they were surprised to see Cheshire and a baby. They knew Cheshire was blurring the lines dangerously between being a hero and a villain, but had she really blurred it enough to come here? Why, exactly, was she here?
And most importantly, who the heck was the baby?
Batman spoke immediately, seeing the questioning looks on their faces, "I know you have questions, and they will be answered."
His voice was hard. No emotion. It commanded attention, and respect. It was clear he wouldn't tolerate interruptions. Cheshire held the baby tighter. Barbara, still in the jeans, black t-shirt, sneakers, and red sweat shirt looked away. Cheshire was wearing her suit, and a black strap held Lian close to her in a cradle.
Confusion swept through the Team as the gazed at the four impatiently, waiting for them to get on with it. In some, dread started to settle in the pit of their stomach. The older members knew the look on Batman's face, the looks on Batgirl's and Cheshire's face.
They looked like someone had died. And most likely, someone had, judging by the recent radio silence from the Bats
"Last night, myself, Batgirl, Robin, Red Arrow, and Nigtwi-" Batman tried to continue, but was interrupted by a poorly timed outburst from Lagoon Boy.
Apparently, he didn't get the message about no interruptions. Batman death glared at Lagoon Boy, while Batgirl, Cheshire, and the baby didn't do anything.
He tended to do an angry lecture about Nightwing whenever the hero's name was mentioned. The League ignored them, and so did the Team. They had been hearing them for the past for months, so they were quite sick of them, no matter how angry they also were at Nightwing.
A few shot Lagoon Boy irritated glances, wanting to hear what Batman had to say.
La'gaan was thankfully interrupted by the zeta tubes.
Error Unauthorized Personal Override Code JT
Out of the zeta tubes came a boy who looked sixteen years old, and he looked pissed, going by his clenched fist and tenseness. The boy wore a red helmet with white surrounded by black where the eyes should be. He had on what looked to be dark gray Kevlar body armor and gloves, with a brown leather jacket over it.
He wore jeans with rips at the knees, and black combat boots. A strong smell of alcohol and cigarettes filled the room when he entered, and those closest to the new guy wrinkled their noses.
The Team, Batman, Cheshire, and Batgirl stared in slight shock at the boy. The baby watched curiously in excitement.
There was one more crucial detail about him: he was a complete stranger, who had somehow known the exact location of the Cave, and was now in it. Batman schooled his face into a neutral expression, while Batgirl's expression gradually became furious.
Unlike the Team, they knew exactly who this complete stranger was. Jason Todd, AKA the Red Hood. But like the rest of the Team, they stared at him shocked when he did something unexpected . . .
He started yelling, but the words were too slurred to make out much of them. The Team heard Nightwing, along with quite a few curse words, except the boy's anger didn't seem to be directed at Nightwing. Rather, it was at them.
Batman shouted, "Red Hood, stand down!"
"GO TO HELL, BATSY!" Red Hood shouted. Everyone's, but Batgirl's, eyebrows rose. Red Hood started shouting and raging more. Much of what he said turned even more incoherent.
Confused, Mal said to Batgirl, "You guys know this looney?"
He was ignored.
Batgirl was looking at Red Hood like she wanted to strangle him, and nothing could please her more than strangling him.
Pissed as she realized something, she asked, "Red Hood, are you drunk?"
Well, Mal thought, at least my question was answered.
"So what if I am? Why're you guys here anyways? Come to tell the news to them?" Red Hood sneered.
"Tell us what?" M'Gann asked slowly.
"Red Arrow is dead." Batman said. There were many gasp of shock, and quite a few tears and appeared. Batman forced the next words out, "Nightwing is dead as well. It happened on a bust in Gotham that went wrong. It was a drug deal, and both Nightwing and Red Arrow had followed leads from their cities as I followed a lead from Gotham."
Batgirl picked up where he left off. She understood Bruce couldn't continue. The man broke through the mask, rendering him unable to say the rest. Jason had, by this point, dropped to his knees muttering.
She said, "It was an arms deal as well, and that missing machine from S.T.A.R. labs was there. The five trucks had been rigged to blow, and when it was clear they would lose, the trucks were blown up."
Her voice choked a little, but she steels her nerves, speaking again, "We were moving away from the blast, Nightwing and Red Arrow were the furthest from the door. Nightwing was shot by a fleeing thug, and Red Arrow, since he was the closest, went back to help. They were caught in the blast. Their bodies were not recovered."
Shocked silence. Then one by one, the Team members snapped out of it. Reactions were mixed, to say the least. The strongest one seemed to be disbelief. Batgirl just stood silently, taking it all in.
With wide eyes, Rocket said, "Girl, you must be kidding me."
Cheshire snapped, "She's not."
Jade clutched her baby a little tighter.
Superboy snorted. "Did Nightwing and Red Arrow fake their deaths?"
Beast Boy tried to add a little humor to the situation, "I told Nightwing no more faking deaths for at least another year!"
M'gann said nothing. She could feel the emotions Barbara was projecting, along with those of Batman and Cheshire. She knew they were telling the truth. Silent tears streamed down her face.
He was ignored. Jason gave a bitter smile. "No, Nightwing didn't fake his death. He's dead. So is Red Arrow."
After that, for Batman everything became a blur. Superboy punched a wall and stormed off, Beast Boy ran to his room, M'Gann following, Lagoon Boy ran off, and Kaldur left. Artemis fell to her knees and stared in front of her, numb. Cheshire went to comfort her.
Zatanna, Rocket, and Garth left, each went to their respective rooms. Bumble Bee went to hers, and Mal followed her. Wonder Girl, Beast Boy, Blue Beetle, and Impulse all stood there rooted to the spot in shock. Batgirl went to Jason, who she knew had started crying, even if she couldn't see his tears.
She comforted him, and he leaned into her hug. Batman saw Barbara crying as well. It seemed a lot of people would be crying. Batman zeta'd to the Watchtower.
Recognized Batman 02
"Batman. You have something to tell us?" Wonder Woman said. She was waiting impatiently by the zeta tubes.
Batman nodded. He sent out a response for all Leaguers not occupied by a villain or not saving civilians from natural disasters to come to the meeting room in the Watchtower. Batman came to the meeting room. The Leaguers were there, all of them not having much to do.
"Batman, you called us here?" Superman said.
Again, Batman nodded. "Before I tell you, I have something I need to tell Black Canary and Green Arrow. It's something you would want to hear in private."
A few immature Leaguers (Guy Gardener, Flash, Plastic Man, and Captain Marvel) snickered, or coughed at that. Batman shot them a glare, and they promptly shut up. Puzzled and confused, Black Canary and Green Arrow followed Batman to a separate room.
It wasn't every day Batman acted like a human being.
There, Batman told them the exact thing he told the Team. Black Canary walked back a few steps, before falling to her knees. Green Arrow moved to comfort her. Batman left. He knew when he was not wanted.
Once out of there, he told the League. Reactions were mixed, like with the Team. The oldest Leaguers, who had watched both Roy and Dick grow up from Speedy and Robin to Red Arrow and Nightwing, who had known Roy since he was fourteen and Dick since he was nine . . .
There were a few tears, many 'no's', sad looks, people denying it, others leaving the room. Some of the newest Leaguers looked sad, but not as bad as the oldest Leaguers because they simply hadn't known Roy and Dick for a long time.
After that, Batman left. With all those reactions, he hoped he could handle Selina's. Right now, he just felt tired to the core. But he had to keep going.
To all the readers from Lost and Found who decided to read this: thanks. To all new readers: welcome.