Jason crouched down as he made his way over another rooftop, and then, as quickly and silently as possible, he slid down a fire escape to the ground. The three of them had separated to find Daisuke, and so far there hadn't been any sign of the giant red demon. Jason was two seconds away from getting on the comm and asking if Bruce was right about this whole thing, since they had decided to split up half an hour ago and still none of them had seen even a glimpse of the demon in all of that time. After all, Daisuke definitely should have been here by now, especially since he supposedly was on his way here long before Jason, Dick, and Bruce had left Alfred and Tim on that rooftop. It seemed like a logical question, given that their entire reasoning of Daisuke coming here was based on the assumption that he detested his human form enough not to change back. Then again, it was Batman's assumption, which made it more law than anything else-not that Jason didn't still hate that about the man.
He was definitely getting tired of ducking around the minimal cover that the docks had to offer when he heard a very distinctive pop, and he turned to see an easily identifiable figure in a trench coat. Jason rolled his eyes at the walking cliché as he slid his hand toward the comm in his ear. "I've got eyes on ugly. No idea what he's been doing this whole time, but he just teleported directly in front of me. If his outfit is anything to go by, he spent his time watching old movies."
"Keep your eyes on him and cut the commentary." Bruce's gruff voice was loud and clear over the comm and it made Jason want rolls his eyes again.
"Whatever you say, boss." Jason snarled as he glared at nothing in particular and watched Daisuke make his way towards the water. He wasn't really sure what the demon was doing, but Jason knew giving away his position right now was the last thing that any of them needed. He crept closer for a better view, but made sure to keep a fair distance between them.
However, that didn't stop him from being startled when Daisuke suddenly spun around and stared directly at him; despite the shadows concealing Jason's hiding space. "You know, angry one, I have excellent hearing in this form."
Jason didn't get a chance to call for backup before the large and hefty demon was on top of him, knocking him to the ground. Jason barely had enough time to pull out a knife and block the swipe of claws arcing towards his face, and he certainly didn't have the opportunity to avoid the other set that dug into his already bruised side. His new suit was better armored than the last, but that still didn't hinder the talon like nails that sliced through his suit and into his flesh. Blood dripped from his side as Jason tore the clawed hand from his ribs and punched Daisuke in his wrinkled face. He flipped back to his feet, and pulled out another one of his knives, ignoring the pain lacing through the left side of his body. "I've been waiting for this little rematch."
"I don't know how you managed to escape my minions, but don't be foolish enough to believe that you can defeat me. I will have what I came to this abysmal little rock for, and there's nothing that you can do to stop me."
Jason glared even more at the pompous demon in front of him. "Yeah, yeah, let's skip to the part where I kick your ass." Jason leapt forward using one knife to deflect blows, and the other to strike at Daisuke's vulnerable spots. He managed to catch Daisuke on the shoulder with his kris as he flipped over him, but before he could really sink the knife in to make it more than just a glancing blow, Jason had to bring his other knife up to block a strike that was aimed directly for his heart, and then he ducked under a kick that would have knocked him on his ass.
The two traded blows for what felt like an eternity, both receiving as many injuries as they gave, and Jason knew that he was slowly losing ground as Daisuke pushed him closer and closer towards the water. After the fight with the other demons, and the still bleeding wound in his side, Jason wasn't sure how much more of this he could take. He needed to do something before he ended up in the Gotham River, somewhere Jason didn't want to be even in under the best circumstances, not to mention with open wounds. He tried to sweep Daisuke's legs out from under him, but the demon merely jumped over him and kicked out, catching Jason across the jaw with his clawed foot.
Jason landed sprawled out on the ground, blood pouring from the gashes across his face. He took a moment to reach a hand up to his comm-fully expecting Daisuke to attack the moment that he did so-but the attack never came. In fact, Daisuke actually backed away from him, and the moment that Jason's finger touched the button on his comm, he heard that wretched laughter-the same one from his very first fight with Daisuke-and Jason knew…just knew that his night was about to get worse. "Stupid boy, didn't you wonder what I was doing while your silly little family dealt with my minions? Did you honestly think I wouldn't be prepared for you-the boy who escaped death once?"
Jason got to his feet, ignoring the blood and pain, but before he could take one single step towards Daisuke, he heard a familiar and distinctive beeping sound. He glanced down, and there, beneath his feet, attached to the underside of the dock, was an extremely obvious explosive device. Without a single thought, Jason took off running. There was no way this was happening again…no way he was going to allow his second life to end in the same fashion as the first.
His legs were the least injured part of his body, and, for that, Jason was grateful, because right now he was relying on them the most. He didn't know how much time he had, but Jason knew that he probably wasn't going to be able to clear the blast radius-but that didn't matter…not really. He wasn't planning on getting out of this unscathed, just alive. And that just meant that all he had to do was get far enough away to lessen the damage.
Jason had no idea how far he had gotten before he heard the initial explosion and felt the shockwave knock into him. He couldn't hear anything beyond the rush of blood in his ears, as he was thrown into the side of a building. He felt his bones break and his ribs crack, and for a moment Jason thought he was going to vomit before he hit the ground with an audible thud. The pain that tore through his body from the impact was nothing in comparison to the ringing in his ears and the faint echo of that hideous laughter. Jason shook his head and tried to push himself up off of the ground, but his body felt like it was made of lead. He struggled for a few moments before his arms gave out beneath him, and he landed face first on the dirty ground once more. He coughed, attempting to clear his airway of debris, and moved to try again. But before he could do more than get his hands underneath him, there was a foot on his back pressing him into the dirt. "You never learn, do you?"
Before he could even think to respond to Daisuke's taunting, Jason heard something large and heavy slam into Daisuke, and he watched as the demon was bodily thrown off of him by Nightwing. "You can say that's a Bat trait. We have a tendency to just keep trying." Dick's escrima sticks were already in his hands, and he was using them to pummel Daisuke.
Daisuke clawed at Dick, clearly furious with being interrupted. "How dare you interfere with my plans!"
Nightwing danced around him, smiling the whole time. "Interfering is what I'm good at." He then back-flipped off of Daisuke and reached for one of the hidden compartments on his suit. Dick didn't get a chance to do anything, though, because Batman had already thrown a few explosive batarangs as he landed on the other side of Daisuke. The two of them jumped, flipped, and rolled-attacking the demon the whole time-until they were on opposite sides, and Nightwing was close enough to help Jason up.
Dick carefully placed Jason's arm over his shoulders, and helped him to his feet. "Do you always have to take everything on by yourself?"
Jason coughed again, and then winced when his broken ribs moved. "Wasn't my intent, Goldie. Maybe someone shouldn't have been so late to the party."
Dick moved to support more of Jason's weight when he saw the wince. "Your ribs are cracked again, aren't they?"
Jason glared at him, knowing full well that Dick would be able to perceive the expression despite the domino mask, and then he ducked as best as he could, as Batman's fight with Daisuke found its way over towards them. "Yeah, thanks for noticing. Now, how about you move your damn feet? B's last kick was a little too close for comfort."
Jason could tell that Nightwing was rolling his eyes beneath his own mask, but Dick did pick up the pace as he moved Jason out of the way of the fight. He set Jason down far enough away that, while he could still see what was going on, he wasn't in immediate danger anymore. Jason slumped against the wall that Dick set him down in front of, and took stock of his injuries. If the three of them managed to make it out of this in one piece, he was definitely going to be on bed rest for a while. The mere thought of that irked him exponentially.
Dick handed Jason his field first-aid kit, and motioned for him to start applying bandages to the worst of his injuries. "Do you need help dressing your wounds?"
Jason knew that the only reason Dick asked, instead of just doing it was because he desperately wanted to get back into the fight and help Bruce. However, he obviously also didn't want to abandon Jason, either, which is why Jason didn't hesitate before shooting him a dirty look, and telling him to go away. "I think I can handle bandaging myself, Golden Boy. Now go make yourself useful."
Dick flashed him a smile before back-flipping away, like the showoff he very much was. Jason began locating where most of the blood was coming from, and tried to bandage the affected areas as well as he could while keeping one eye on the battle in front of him. Batman was throwing batarangs while dodging fireballs, when Dick leapt over Daisuke's head and hit him in the back with an escrima stick. That seemed to enrage the demon even further, who then began teleporting around them, attacking with claws and fire-and Jason was fairly certain he saw gnashing teeth a few times. The whole time, Jason cursed his broken bones and swimming vision. He hated sitting on the sidelines, and he still had a promise to keep to Tim, who probably wasn't feeling much better than Jason was right now, even if he did have Alfred doting over him.
Daisuke growled as Dick slammed his escrima sticks into his back, knocking him into Batman. Jason saw the demon lash out by tearing into Bruce's left arm with his claws. He heard Bruce's grunt of pain, but Jason didn't fail to notice how Bruce used the moment of distraction to reach into his belt for something. Dick swept the demon's feet out from underneath him, and then managed to pull Daisuke's arms down behind him. He used one of the zip lines to tie the demon's arms and legs behind his back, and then he sat on him to hold him down for good measure.
Bruce then moved to slip the talisman Tim had given him onto Daisuke's head. "It's time for this to end." Bruce then reached into another one of the pockets on his belt and withdrew the piece of paper that Tim had given him and what appeared to be a marker. He bent down and began inscribing the design on the paper in a circle around Daisuke. After Bruce finished and was sure that it was perfect, he reached up to tap his comm. Bruce didn't say anything, but the next thing that Jason knew, he could hear Tim's voice in his ear reciting something in a different language, and Bruce repeated everything he said, precisely. Daisuke began to squirm, desperately trying to get away, but Dick held him down the best that he could.
Moments later, a familiar spiral of light began to form in the space above Daisuke. Dick quickly got out of the way before the portal was fully formed. They definitely didn't need to deal with one of them accidently being sent through, too. Dick stood a fair distance away as Bruce continued to repeat everything Tim was saying, and Jason watched from his position on the ground. He noticed that Daisuke's claws had somehow managed to cut through the zip line, and Jason could tell that it would only be seconds before the creature was free. He couldn't get enough air into his lungs to yell a warning to Bruce and Dick, but he could reach one of his knives. Without a second thought, Jason gripped the handle, and threw the knife with as much force as he could muster. Daisuke howled in pain as the knife imbedded itself in the demon's shoulder, which was just enough of a distraction for Bruce to finish the incantation.
The portal engulfed Daisuke, and right before it closed, Bruce threw the pouch that Tim had handed him earlier into the center of it. They all watched in silence as a cloud of green smoke filled the air, and then dissipated almost immediately. When the smoke cleared, Dick glanced around the area, looking as though he expected something else to happen. "Is that it? Is it really over?"
Jason couldn't help but think that Dick was right-that there had to be something else. All three of them remained silent as they searched the surrounding area with their intense gazes, waiting for something to jump out at them. Tim's voice suddenly filled their ears. "All scans are clear. It looks like that's it."
Jason sighed and slumped in on himself, and then promptly took a sharp intake of breath when his ribs bothered him again. Dick smiled in relief, until he noticed Jason struggling to control his breathing. He ran over to Jason and threw Jason's arm over his shoulder. "Come on, Jaybird. Let's go home."
Jason glanced at Dick, and then over to Bruce and back again. "Yeah, home sounds good." Dick started to lead them away, but paused when Jason gestured for him to stop. Jason turned as much as he could in Dick's grip. "Well, are you coming, Bruce?"
Batman took one last scan of the surrounding area, and then stalked over toward his two boys. He grabbed a hold of Jason's other arm, and then drew it over his shoulder. "Home it is."