When I first wrote and uploaded this on my blog (about a month before I posted this here on FFnet), I - we, the internet as a whole still didn't know what was going to happen to Tim in the last couple of issues of Red Robin. Boy, does it feel awkward now, to have my fic tell of just about the same thing that Red Robin #24 tells. . Now I wish Jason could swing in the 25th issue of Red Robin and do the same thing he does in this chapter of the fic: save the day. ):


Title: If Cupid's Got a Gun... (1/2)

Fandom: DCU- Batman.

Rating: Soft R for this part. Heavy R over all.

Genre: ...uh. Humorous tone, flirty banter, mentions of violence, drugs and disturbing crimes.

Wordcount: 2300 circa.

Characters/Pairings: Tim Drake/Jason Todd/Tim Drake.

Warning: Overall? LOTS. Attempted molestation of a teenage hero-in-costume. Swearing words. Jay being a good guy, with an entirely wrong set of morals. Explosions, gun fights, violence, blood.

Summary: It wasn't exactly "I love you" or even "I care for you", except that it was.

Notes: Fith story in the "(love) Until We Bleed" saga. In this 'verse Tim is on the prowl for his very own Jaybird, but Jay's got a very bad cause of the denial.

The pain was his first clue that something was very, very wrong.

A pulsing ache was spreading through him, thick waves that needled in the back of his head, flashed hot and white against his lowered eyelids, sour-coating the roof of his mouth.

The second clue were the ropes, coiled tight around his chest and pinning his arms behind his back.

At this point in life, Timothy Drake had been Robin long enough to be familiar with both the pain and waking up in restraints. The familiarity did little to lessen the humiliation or discomfort of hostage-situations, but at least it quenched the raising panic, allowing him to keep his cool.

Carefully, Robin tested his bonds, wondering what had gotten him into the mess, this time. Oddly enough, his mental struggles failed to pull up that particular memory from his brain; but the physical struggles attracted the entirely wrong kind of attention.

Suddenly, he was yanked by the hair, slammed face-down into the floor, and pinned there by a reeking, crushing weight on his back. His bottom lip split upon impact, filling his mouth with blood and his head with stars. Robin's eyes watered with the intense pain, but he didn't make a sound.

The weight on his back shifted. Something hard and dull (a kneecap, Robin suspected) dug in the middle of his spine, pinning him more securely to the floor. The hand in his hair yanked him back, forcing his body into a painful, backward curve that almost had him whimpering.

"Look't this, th' pretty bird 's awake," someone hissed against his ear, voice and breath thick with cheap booze.

There was an explosion of drunken laughter from somewhere behind him, the scraping of chairs across an uneven floor, cursing and some noise that might have been translated with "leave th'boy 'lone, Rick." and "Ain't worth the wrath of the Bat, man."

The awkward arch of his throat made it difficult to breathe. Robin's vision was already turning black around the edges, when he released abruptly. He fell flat on his face again, gasping for breath and feeling like he had swallowed a box of pins. Figuring a way out of his bonds was beyond his ken at the moment, but that didn't stop him from trying.

His endeavour earned him a crude and boisterous laugh from the man pinning him down – Rick? – who then started to fumble with something that clinched like metal, especially when it was dropped on the floor with a grunt. The sound was followed by more laughter, and then the pressure on Robin's back increased, sending another jolt of pain spiralling down his body. He grimaced, but "Rick"'s hands were against his face now, clamping shut both nose and mouth, cutting off his air; so the sound came out strangled and pitiful, prompting another low guffawk from Rick.

Right now, Robin thought as his eyes began to swam, darkness clawing at his consciousness, would be a good time for a bit of a sweeping-in-and-saving-the-boy-hostage's-ass routine.


As if on cue, a window shattered. Glass rained down in a symphony of noise. A chorus of screams, hollering and curses rose from all around him. Booted feet clambered about, crashes, outcries, the sound of gunshots, fast, messy, each resounding bang! bang! of the bullets echoed by a dozen more, the clanging of metal, more shouts, of pain rather than either fear or surprise now.

Never-ever going to make fun of your entrance-fetish again, Di...

"You lugs having a party? Ha, guess my invite got lost, mh?"


Robin realized the weight on his back was gone only when he tried to get up and got to his knees unhindered. He blinked the bright spots away from his eyes, and tried to focus on his surroundings.

A quick look around revealed a greasy little office: low ceiling, peeling wallpaint; broken furniture layered with grime, papers scattered on the floor, trampled on and caked with dark stains. A naked light-bulb hung limply from the middle of the ceiling, swaying to and fro. The table directly beneath looked crooked, and there was ash, cigarettes and poker cards strewn all over a tattered green cloth.

His Bat-training ensured that Robin noted and archived all those details at a glance, even if the room was spinning oddly, each shape moving and shifting fantastically before his eyes. As he wobbled to his feet, the door was kicked open, bouncing off the wall with a loud clang that seemed to spear his brain right in two.

He winced, blinking the ache away, reeling away from the noise even as he tried to approach the figure filling the doorway. He groaned.


"Get down!"

Robin heard the volley of bullets, and then Jason – correction, Red Hood – was barrelling into him, catching him by the waist and pulling him behind the relative cover offered by the upturned poker-table.

Pinning Robin to his chest with one arm, Red Hood used the other to fish a remote from his jacket. A resounding "oh" echoed within Robin's mind, before the red button (of course it had to be a red button) was pressed, and an explosion went off on the other side of the door.

In the silence that followed, Robin could hear nothing but the buzzing in his ears, and Red Hood's breath hissing through his helmet. Red Hood... Jason... felt warm and solid against Robin, a blanket of muscle that smelled familiar and safe. His chest heaved against Robin's own which each laboured breath, and Robin thought he could feel Jason's heart beating even through the layers of cloth and Kevlar, beat wildly and soundly, against his own.

Then Red Hood shifted, pushing the table off them, and the world seemed to burst suddenly into life. Light and sound exploded around Robin, making him groan and curl onto himself, deeper into Red Hood's chest. Knuckles rapped gently against his temple, then slid feather-like down the side of his face.

"We really have to stop meeting like this, Baby B," Red Hood said, rumbling and amused.

That prompted Robin to take in their position - really take it in. Red Hood pressing him down, Robin's legs wound tight around his hips, their bodies flush, heaving and buzzing with adrenaline. He wheezed out something that barely resembled a laugh.

"..rrre-ah-lly.. not."

Robin's voice was garbled and thick, something that the Red Hood hadn't been expecting. Starting, he quickly pushed the younger boy away from him and started to cut through the ropes binding him.

"You look like shit, Baby B," he said conversationally.

Robin grinned cheekily.

Why, Jason, I love you too.

Red Hood went still for a second, then grabbed Robin's chin and pushed his face up abruptly, turning it this way and that. He began to say something, something about pupils and blood and needles and having it right in his pants, which made Robin grin a saucy little grin and mutter something only half-coherent he never bothered to remember after the whole ordeal was over.

Red Hood went still again, flipped Robin the finger and then proceeded to produce a smart-looking little device from his pocket (oh, so that's what he'd meant! Robin had thought that... nevermind).


"Mh-mh," Robin was so out of it, he wasn't even sure what he was agreeing to. But being petted like a big cat was nice, especially when it was Jason doing it, and Robin didn't want it to stop, so agreeing seemed like the right choice to make. "Yeah."

The needle in the crook of his elbow stung a bit, but then Red Hood was petting him again, on the face and the top of his head, so everything was right in the world.

"...en minutes top, Baby B. This stuff comes straight from Daddy Dearest's stash, after all."

Oh? Nice. Did that mean Jason was on speaking terms with Bruce again? Or had he just stolen the vial of whatever-it-was from behind Batman's back? Stealing was bad, but Robin was currently too busy analysing how good Jason's hands felt on him, to come up with a proper tongue-lashing. Just how many millions would he made, if he bottled the feeling and made it available on market?

"You wanna bottle the…? Christ, baby, you're high as a kite."

Red Hood sounded amused, and that was nice, too, and, uh... did "high" meant that Robin had been given something? He didn't remember needles or gases or liquids of any sort, but it wasn't like he remembered anything other than his name and his utter devotion to Jason's leather gloves, so it didn't feel comfortable to make any assumption as of yet

Red Hood snorted.

"A leather kink, hm? I'm so going to blackmail you with that." He paused, fingers skimming quick but soft across Robin's cheek, his mouth. "Sure you were given something, Baby B. One hell of a concussion, for starters. And you must've breathed in some shit or the other, too. You won't believe the kinda lab they'd been running in the back."

Oh, that explained things.

"You can say that again."

"That… explains things?"

Robin croaked out, and it was really nice when Red Hood was amused, because then he'd chuckle, and being pressed against Red Hood's chest meant that Robin could not just hear the sound, but feel the vibration of it, could roll with it and soak it in and, yup, high as a kite indeed.

Red Hood petted him again, big palms sliding down Robin's arms and sides, probing gently for injury. The brisk but careful touch skidded down Robin's neck and across his chest, then one of those big hands cupped his thigh and… froze.

Just froze.

Abruptly, every muscle in Red Hood's body was pulled taut, so that Robin had the sudden, claustrophobic sensation of being held by bands of steel instead than laying against warm, yielding flesh. The sound that clawed out of Red Hood's throat right then was nothing Robin had ever heard before, low and keening and reminiscent of a wounded beast.

That, along with whatever medical he'd been injected, cleared Robin's head enough to realize that the hand on his leg wasn't touching Nomex-Kevlar weave, but naked skin.

The dots began to connect in his mind – drugged, pushed to the floor, his suit tugged low, ripped at the back – and Robin realized that Jason could've verily saved him from something far worse that the usual boy-hostage scenario.

"...bloody mother-fuckers, I'm gonna kill them all."

Robin started. It was no idle threat, and he knew it. It downright tore him up that Jason could be – would be? Was going to be? – so vicious and vengeful and bat-shit crazy. But it was for Tim, all that rage;all that worry, that possessiveness and protectiveness and fear, the laboured breathing, the wild thumping of his heart, the strain and the quiver in his muscles, all of it, it was for Tim, for Tim, and it wasn't exactly "I love you" or even "I care for you", except that it was, and it made Tim's starved heart flutter in ways that were entirely not appropriate.

"Don't... Red... not happen... don't deserve..."

His anger was boiling so hot. Jason wouldn't, couldn't listen. He was like a man possessed. Feral. His hands tightened around Robin's arms, fingers digging deep into the tender flesh, pulling a whimper from Robin's throat. His pulse beat faster with excitement and fear as Red Hood loomed over him, filling the entirety of his vision.

"Don't deserve what? Punishment? They do. No one is allowed to pull this sort of shit on my turf," he growled. "No one is allowed touch a Robin on my turf." When he shook Robin, half-yanking him into his chest, he was so harsh that Robin's teeth rattled together. "And no fuckin' one can fuckin' touch you andexpect me not to rip their guts out!"

And then Red Hood was pushing Robin away, angrily and suddenly, and no amount of tugging and pulling and begging and clawing could stop him as he leapt to his feet, guns already out and loaded.

He lunged past the doorway like a beast of prey, and Robin was left on the dirty floor, alone and aching somewhere deeper than his flesh and deeper than his bones, hoping against hope he would regain complete control of his body before the carnage took place.