Author's Note: Jason Todd is the Robin I know the least about, I've never seen the issues with Jason's entrance into the batclan's lives and I don't have the money to go out and look for it when there's so many other comics I'm dying for, so I've pieced together what I've found out with my own ideas of what the characters would do. I hope it seems fairly accurate, and Jason fans enjoy it as well. Here's to crossing my fingers!
Batman watched from above as the Gotham City PD took the operators of the corrupt orphanage crime gang into custody. It was a strange road of experiences that had led him to this bust, and an even more unusual state of mind that was leading him towards this idea now brewing in his head. Surely Dick's absence in his life hadn't thrown him off so drastically that he would contemplate such a dramatic course of action, but yet the idea wouldn't go away…
It had been obvious to anyone that knew Bruce Wayne well, which honestly was a handful of people at most, or those keeping a close eye on Batman's actions, that he had been behaving unusually and been in a foul mood for months. The disappearance of Robin from Gotham's skies had been a solid clue as to the reason for the extreme if not particularly unusual bad mood of the Dark Knight.
It was hard to ignore anymore, despite the other issues of worry or guilt, there was a definite feeling of loneliness within the Batman's soul.
He missed having someone who listened to his every word with interest, having a companion during the nightly vigils, hearing cheerful descriptions of daily activities, having a child's laughter sound around the house, he missed…..
He missed Dick.
How had Dick grown up so much so quickly? Had he truly been sleeping through his child's development to that extent, that suddenly he found himself looking at a stranger, a grown man without the signs of bonds of affection that used to tie the boy to him like a puppy to its master?
It seemed they just couldn't have a calm, sane conversation with each other any longer. His best efforts at the pleasant small talk parents were supposed to have with their adult children, ended up sounding critical and abrasive and Dick was always defensive and angry, even before Bruce's comments set him off fully.
He'd hoped his actions after Robin was shot would be enough to convince the boy to give up the superhero life, but Dick was an acrobat from birth and now he had heroing engrained too far into his life to give it. Bruce was nothing if not stubborn, he would continue to try to convince him to take on less dangerous paths, but Richard John Grayson had learned persistence and immovability at Batman's knee and it could very well be a fight the Bat could never win, particularly since the boy's respect and trust in him was obviously much shaken from it's prior state.
He'd gone to Superman for guidance, a trust built from a little boy's hero worship and years spent enjoying 'Uncle Clark's' advice. It had galled him at first that Batman's partner looked at the alien with such stars in his eyes, but as Batman and Robin grew in ability and trust Bruce's heart had eased, Dick was his child and a little hero worship wouldn't change that. Now though, as their relationship was so strained it hurt that Dick simply went to the Kryptonian for guidance, as though Bruce had never existed.
This though…. this was such an usual idea for a solution to the bat's depression that he was having tenth or eleventh thoughts even before he put it into action.
It had been a dreary night, not unlike any other night in Gotham city, when it had happened. Batman had returned from a tiring chase to find a street child attempting to pilfer the hub caps off his ride home. The mere idea of stealing hub caps off the Batmobilewas so unexpected and daring that he'd been temporarily jolted out of his stupor of gloom.
"What are you doing?" thundered the Bat when he regained his mental balance.
The red-haired youth jumped as he realized the owner was standing in the shadows behind him. Quick on his toes however, he'd turned around and given the terror of the night skies a look half devious cheek and half feigned innocence.
"Put those back."
"Fine. But you have no respect for letting a guy earn a decent living!"
"That is not a decent way to earn a living. Where are your parents, young man?"
"What is it to you?" brash defiance, pure grit, and suspicion the top of the boy's dirty red hair to the scuffed and obviously too small shoes on his feet.
Eventually, he'd gotten the boy to confide in him, and he'd been determined to find him somewhere better than the streets for this orphaned boy to hang out. He'd been trying to do the boy a favor by having him placed in the home for troubled youth, but in the end it had been Jason that had done Batman the favor.
There was something about this boy that drew him, despite his obvious show of flaws and problems, or perhaps because of them. It was more than just the urge to help him, this was stronger, more, and it frightened him to think he was feeling this again when his first attempt had gone so badly.
In his own way, this boy was as bold and daring as his first child, perhaps even more so than Dick. Jason lived his entire life with the fierce joy of danger and unrelenting fearlessness that Dick had when he dived off a ten story building or mastered some daredevil stunt worthy of his circus upbringing. Jason had such potential for greatness, and such likelihood of only fulfilling the potential of a gang leader if left where he was.
He wasn't Dick, he wasn't a replacement or replica for Robin, but he had potential to be more than he was now, to learn to prosper and become the young man he could be. Strong and resilient, bold and brave, Batman couldn't help but admire the survivor's spirit he knew so well in himself.
As the hustle and bustle of the scene below slowed down, one figure remained in its calm almost motionless stance leaned against the building watching the action before him. The young red-head now stood smirking up at the dark shadow crouched on the roof. The Batman gave an almost imperceptible movement almost like a salute to young teen, whose face reflected his notice of the action with a self-satisfied grin as he watched the almost invisible figure of the Dark Knight of Gotham disappear into the night.
He'd saved a child from social services before; perhaps the time for a son had come again. Bruce Wayne was going to become a parent again.