I stood over the edge of the tallest building in Bludhaven, looming down at the busy city, waiting for her demons to slither out from their dwellings. Her older sister from across the water had the Bat signal shining brightly in the midnight skies, calling forth Gotham's Dark Knight to save her people from her own demons. A panging sensation went through my chest as I recalled the old days with Bruce and all the crime fighting we used to do as partners, making it hard for me to breath as I also remembered our fights.
My comm.'s beeping knocked me out of my thoughts as I touched the responding button and waited to hear my ex fiancé's sweet voice. Barbra informed me that Jason was entering the city limits of Bludhaven with Tim and Damian on his tail. She also told me that Bruce wasn't with them…in fact, Bruce was in Hong Kong, China on a business trip for Wayne Enterprises and won't be back for two weeks. I began to wonder what my "brothers" wanted, seeing how they were heading here for a reason. I soon got my answer as I saw shadows darting around the other buildings.
Jason's sly laugh was the first thing I heard as I watched him land beside me. He didn't have his red helmet on so I could see his shaggy black hair with the white lock curling in front of his red eye-masked eyes. He clapped a firm hand on my shoulder as he pulled me in closer so he could mess up my own shaggy dark locks.
"Haha! I win again, you brats!" Jason proclaimed as I saw Tim and Damian appear behind us, panting like dogs as if they were running for their lives to get here first.
"You were lucky…to get…a head start!" Tim huffed as I unraveled myself from Jason's grip. After fixing my hair, I narrowed my masked eyes at the trio before speaking.
"What do you all want? Can't stand living together without killing each other? You want me to babysit until Daddy Bats comes home?" I sneered as Jason took a step back away from me.
"Whoa, chill out bro! Is your nightstick up your ass or did you not get any sleep?" Jason asked as I pinched the bridge of my nose and sighed.
"Are you ok, Dick? Did we come at a bad time?" Tim cautiously asked while Damian pouted without a word.
"It's complicated and I'm not in the mood for sharing. Do you guys have a problem in Gotham 'cuz I can just go back with you if that's the case?" I said as Jason snorted.
"Is it a crime to pay our dear brother a visit?" Jason poetically wooed as Damian punched his arm.
"Oh shut up, zombie boy! Grayson, my father- ow!- our father wants you to come to Gotham and assist us while we go on patrol. And he wanted to give you this." Damian stated bluntly, only receiving a whack to the head when he upsetted Tim. He pulled out an envelope with my name on it in cursive handwriting. Alfred probably wrote it for Bruce, considering the fact that Bruce addresses me as "Dick", not "Richard John Grayson." I took the envelope, regardless of who wrote it, and tore it open.
Forgive me for not contacting you in months, but it has come to my attention that I can't trust your brothers home alone with Alfred as their only adult guardian. I know how much they care about you and how enthusiastic they would be to know that their eldest brother is taking care of them. Once I return from Hong Kong, you may be on your way if you would prefer or stay at the Manor until you are satisfied. Perhaps we could catch up later and talk about the incident.
Your Loving Father,
P.S. This letter was written by Alfred Pennyworth due to Bruce Wayne's natural laziness.'
After reading the letter silently to myself, I crumbled it up and tossed it over to Jason, who caught it and tried to open it carefully so he could read it too. I began to walk away from my brothers, quietly fuming at how Bruce decided to "kiss and make up" with me by watching his kids. Before I could get my graffling gun out, Tim stepped in front of me, giving me the most pitiful look on his face.
"Dick, where are you going?" Tim asked me as I pushed him out of the way.
"Off to patrol my city. You guys better make sure Gotham is ok." I informed them as Damian huffed.
"Why aren't you coming with us? I thought you would be happy to be back home?" Damian snorted as I took out my gun.
"Sorry kiddo, but I can't always be Daddy's replacement whenever he wants me to. Jason's old enough to take care of you all. I can't just up and go whenever I want to like he can, so sorry, I can't do this." I sighed as I shot the gun out over the neighboring building. I waited until it snagged before disappearing into the darkness and soaring through the air.
I returned to my apartment to find it dark throughout the whole area. Groaning, I went to the fuse box and flipped on a couple of switches until my lights came back on. Exhausted to the brink of unconsciousness, I muttered a few curses and stripped off my Nightwing costume and changed into a t-shirt and boxers for bed. It was a quarter passed five in the morning before I slipped under my blankets and tried to fall asleep. Tried is the keyword here because as soon as I closed my eyes, I heard someone picking the lock to my front door.
Quickly, I grabbed a Batarang from under my pillow and slowly made my way out of the bedroom and into the living room. I could hear a man muttering under his breath as he tried to tamper with the tumblers in the door. I silently looked through the peephole to see who my creep was, but soon figured out that it was Jason. I opened the door rather quickly, causing Jason to yelp before falling down into my apartment's hardwood floor. Hurrying to compose himself, I closed the door and walked back into my room, putting my weapon back where it belonged.
"Dickie-bird, I swear it's not as bad as it looks like! I was just-"
"Jason, shut up! I'm trying to sleep!" I cutted him off before he could explain himself.
"Geez, three times tonight you've been really snappy! Did you lose a drug raid or something?" Jason asked as he wandered into my bedroom. I was already back under the covers, hoping my exhaustion would knock me out soon before Jason decided to play psychologist.
"Jason, could we please talk about this when the sun's out? I'm trying to get some sleep here." I grunted as Jason sat down at the corner of my bed. He bent down, untying his boots and slipping them off with his sock before removing his mask, gloves, jacket, pants, and shirt. All he had left on was a pair of boxer's with Roy's insignia all over it.
"Dickie's grumpy and needs someone to take his mind off of things! Good thing Jay-Jay is here to help! Scoot over Dickie so Jay-Jay can snuggle with you!" Jason exclaimed as he pushed me over so he could slip under the blankets too.
"Ok, calling yourself Jay-Jay is one thing, but snuggling with me? I thought you hated my hugs? Why would you all of a sudden want snuggle time with me?" I questioned as Jason wrapped his arms around my waist. I felt his lips kissing and sucking the crook of my neck as I squirmed away from his touch. It made me feel weird whenever Jason wanted intimacy from me, especially considering the current situation that I have and his touches aren't making them feel any better.
"Shh…Dickie let me help you relax." Jason whispered in my ear as he pulled off my shirt to allow himself to mark me as he pleased.
"Jay…I'm not in the mood for this." I warned him as he moaned.
"Then you better get in the mood! What about last year, when you were in the mood and I wasn't? You forced me into the mood and now it's my turn to force you!" Jason retorted as I silenced myself. He took this as an opportunity to steal my lips with his, and kissed and sucked on them until I granted him access. We fought for dominance with our tongues as we clawed each other's bodies and rolled around on the bed.
Jason worked his way on top of me as I broke off our kiss and flung my head back against the pillows, while he bit down on my neck. I let a few hisses of pain out as he began to lick the blood coming out of my skin, aggressively like a starved vampire. I could tell he was in an odd mood tonight from the way he was submissively acting around me like at the tower and here at my front door. Was he scared of me or was he just trying to be the nice guy in the awkward/tension filled atmosphere? Just as he was about to head down to my chest, I pushed his away from me gently, hoping he would catch the hint.
"What's wrong? Did I do something?" Jason asked me as I shook my head.
"You're different tonight." I stated, hoping he wouldn't be offended.
"I'm what?" he questioned as he straddled my waist and sat up straight.
"Different, as in not your usual bossy, headstrong, stubborn ways. Did something happen at home?" I clarified as he visibly stiffened.
"I don't want to talk about it now. Come on; let's just make you happy-go-lucky Dickie-bird again." He said, avoiding any eye contact with me for a possible good reason.
"But Jay, this isn't like you to act so…"
"So vulnerable…cautious… scared."
"So what if I am?"
"Jay, did I scare you?"
"No, you can't scare me. Damian the Demon child can, but not you."
"Then what is it? Why won't you tell me?"
"I don't want to talk about it, Grayson, so shut up and let me have you."
"No buts! I told you to shut up so shut up already!"
"Will you tell me in the morning?"
"Depends on my mood."
"Love you, Jaybird."
"Love you too, Dickie-bird."
For the rest of the night we had hours of hard core sex. It had been months since we've done it so we had a lot of catching up to do. I felt a little weird after a while, so I faked being tired and let Jason sleep in my arms. I wasn't tired anymore like I was earlier, but I wished that I had gotten a few hours of sleep for my day job. Oh wait…I forgot…I was fired…
Jason woke me up by noon, complaining about how there was hardly any food around my kitchen, and the fact that he was tired of talking to Tim on the phone. Apparently Alfred was worried about Jason not coming home last night and the old guy wanted to make sure he was ok. Tim had been the lucky contestant to be the one to call Jason since Alfred had trouble using his iPhone. Anyways, I slowly got up and got dressed, wincing at certain body parts for being so achy in the afternoon from certain late night activities, and when I walked into the kitchen, I saw Jason tossing my police handgun in the air and catching it.
"Be careful, Jay, that gun is loaded and the safety's broken." I warned him as he put the gun down on my countertop.
"So are you going to go on patrol soon with your cop friends or is today a day off?" he asked slyly as I grabbed a honey bun from the cabinet.
"I'm not a cop anymore." I stated blankly as Jason dramatically gasped.
"Goody-goody gum drops Dickie isn't a law enforcement officer anymore? How can this be?" Jason cried as he epically fainted into my arms. I shot him a deathly look as he slowly returned to his normal standing position. But then I had an idea and decided to see how far it could go before Jason realized that I was kidding.
"I was offered another job in Gotham and decided to take it." I sighed as Jason looked curious.
"Oh really, what kind of job is it?" he asked as he started poking my sides when I didn't answer at first.
"It's a job in the entertainment/business/fashion industry." I hinted as I watched his face contort into a wicked grin.
"Don't tell me, I wanna guess! Are you a porn star?" Jason questioned as I slapped him across the face.
"Seriously Jason, do you have to go there?" I exclaimed as Jason rubbed the sore spot.
"Ok, ok, then are you going to be a…uh…um…oh well, I give up." He groaned as I sighed loudly.
"It's kind of an odd job; not the usual job I would get but it pays more than my last one." I hummed. I was running through possible crazy jobs there would be in Gotham and finally settled for one.
"Just tell me your new job already!" he yells as I took a sip of his coffee.
"I am going to be Gotham's next live model at Calvin Klein." I mumbled softly, but it was loud enough for Jason to hear me. At first, he looked at me like I was kidding, but when I didn't laugh, he knew I wasn't trying to make a joke and he, in turn, ended up on the floor laughing at me.
"Y-You're going to be…to be the model for Calvin Klein? Oh my God, that's fucking hilarious!" Jason hollered as he grabbed the sides of his stomach.
"Ugh…this is why I didn't want anyone to know because I knew people were going to laugh at me." I sadly sighed, hoping it would make Jason stop and fell somewhat guilty. He did stop laughing shortly after I said that and he quickly stood up and composed himself.
"Oh, well, uh, congratulations on the new job. Sorry for uh, laughing…" he awkwardly apologized as a sly smirk grew on my face.
"You're still the same gullible Jason." I stated as he gave me a look, but then started laughing again.
"Geez dude, I thought you were serious! So are you still a cop?" he asked, probably making sure something out of that whole lie was true.
"No, I got fired four days ago for defying orders from a superior officer." I said as Jason snorted.
"No shit. You were always bullheaded when it came to orders from Bruce. So you decided to be a rebel and do what you wanted to do for once, to slander the good cop image from yourself forever and you got fired for it…"
"Oh, do tell."
"I'm not ready to talk about it yet."
We were quiet for a while, silently wondering what to do or say next. I finished my honey bun and went back into my bedroom to repair my Nightwing uniform from last night's patrol, unaware of Jason following me closely. I forgot to ask him about what was wrong with him last night, but decided to drop the subject since he didn't like opening up.
As I was fixing up a tear in my sleeve, Jason fell back on my bed, gently rubbing circles into my back while humming a song I used to play on Bruce's Grand Piano; that is, when I used to live at the Manor. I couldn't help but smile at his antics for trying to cheer me up/calm me down from a stressful situation. Ever since we had that "fling" a year ago, Jason knows everything about me.
Last year, Bruce disappeared suddenly right after Damian joined us, and I was chosen to be a temporary Batman until Bruce came back. Jason, who just got out of jail for his many drinking problems, was roaming the streets of Gotham in a dizzying drunken state of mind. He thought that nobody from our family wanted him ever again, so he resumed to living on the streets. Alfred, being the greatest butler in the world, felt that Jason had suffered enough in prison so he picked him up one night when Jason was drunk off his ass from a local bar, and took him to the Manor. But ever since Bruce had a rule about alcoholics living in the Manor, we took Jason to a rehab center to get help. During some of the healing process, Jason would get nightmares and/or sleep paralysis while he slept so I volunteered to sleep in his room on a cot so I could be right there whenever he needed me. Eventually, Jason went through impulsive stages, in which he would either lash out at others or demand sex from me. I felt like I was helping him by offering myself to him, but ever since he accidently confessed his hidden feelings for me, I couldn't help but fall in love with him as well. We got to know everything about each other and how each others' mind worked. We were so in tuned with the other that we ended up sharing a room and a bed like a normal couple.
But when Bruce came back from God knows where, Bruce and I started fighting, a lot. Jason tried his best to convince me to just leave Bruce alone, but every time Damian mentioned anything from the many nights of patrolling with me by his side, Bruce would yell at me for being too soft on him and that I didn't discipline him enough. Eventually, our arguing got really bad one night, which ended in me getting kicked out of the Manor and never speaking to Bruce or the others again. And for the past seven months I've been living in Bludhaven, I realized that all of those pent up emotions inside of me were about to eat me alive.
"Are you stressed out about losing your job?" Jason asked unexpectedly as I froze on spot. He caught me off guard, which isn't something I'm used to being. There were a lot of things running through my head from last night and I wasn't so sure of how to explain them all to him.
Jason noticed how quiet I had gotten and quickly sat up beside me to make sure I was ok. I kept staring down at the ground, focused on the paint stain left on my carpet while he looped an arm around my waist. He pulled me in closer so I could feel the warmth he was radiating off of him, which made me feel a little better. Suddenly, I felt pulses of pain racing underneath the skin of my scalp and my hand instantly smacked against it to stop it from hurting any further. It didn't work as I hunched over in pain, while Jason gripped me tighter to prevent me from falling down.
"What's wrong?" he asked me as I winced.
"Migraine…" I moaned as he stood up and went into my bathroom. I assumed he was looking for pain killers so I fell back against the blankets and waited for him to return. He came back shortly after with a cup of water and a bottle of Tylenol.
"Do you get these often? The bottle is half full and it looks like you've only had this for a week." Jason asked me quietly as I took the bottle and dumped out two pills. I threw them into my mouth and grabbed the water and swallowed them all in a few gulps.
"Yeah, whenever I remember something or when I'm really stressed out." I replied as I lied back down on my pillows. Jason took my water away and set it down beside my nightstand before lying down beside me.
"Hmm…" he hummed as he stared off into the distance. "You should rest, Dick. I won't go away."
"I know…but I can't."
"Too many things swimming inside my head."
"Tell me; you've always told us that talking about the things on your mind would make everyone feel better."
"I know I said that but this one needs to be taken in small amounts."
"I can take it."
"I know you can, but the others…"
"Won't know anything about it unless we tell them." Jason finished my sentence as he glared at me. I inhaled deeply before speaking, mostly to calm myself down and prevent an unwanted panic attack from spilling too much.
"I…just can't…" I struggled with my words as I turned away from Jason. He tried to turn me back over to face him, but I resisted and eventually got out of the bed and stood up against the closest wall.
"Dick, why can't you tell me? Don't you trust me?" Jason shouted as I sunk down to the floor, trembling.
"Dammit…dammit…not now…" I cursed as I felt my lungs suddenly not inhaling all the way.
"Answer me!" Jason ordered as he crawled off the bed and crouched down in front of me.
"Can't…breathe…" I muttered as Jason shoved my head between my legs and kept his hands on my shoulders.
"Yes, you can, Dick, just breathe. It's ok. Everything is going to be ok. Just calm down." Jason hushed in my ear as he rubbed my back with his fingers as I took deep breathes. While he continued to whisper kind words to me, I couldn't help but scold myself for showing him how vulnerable I have become.
After my little episode, Jason left me alone in my room for the rest of the afternoon. He would only come in a few times to check on me before leaving to go watch TV again in my living room. I felt weird leaving this strange tension in the apartment so I debated on whether I should clear it myself or have Jason do it for me.
"Tim and Damian are coming over soon, so I suggest getting out of bed to prevent them from thinking you're sick!" Jason shouted as I looked over at my opened door into the hallway that was glowing from the TV.
Sighing, I rolled off of my bed and went to take a quick shower before my little brothers got here. Knowing Alfred, he probably wanted to make sure I had gotten Bruce's message and was preparing my things to go live at the Manor again, and why not add two of the people I'm temporarily having custody over to the mix? Ignoring the oncoming spats from Tim and Damian, I stepped inside of my shower and allowed the hot water to scorch my skin until it turned red and stung like Hell.
After my shower, I changed into fresher clothes and fixed my hair to make it look like I actually cared about my appearance for once. Jason just so happened "borrowed" some of my clothes as well, claiming that his clothes needed to be washed and are in my washer as we speak. Rolling my eyes, I sat down in my arm chair, watching the door carefully to know when Tim and Damian would be coming. Jason was on the couch, lying down with his whole body, preventing any sort of comfort for our guests when they arrived. That or he's just being a lazy ass slob like he always is at the Manor…
The door knocked lightly as I watched Jason stand up quickly and run over to look through the peephole. He made a joke about not wanting any Girl Scout cookies, before getting a muffled threat from Damian. Luckily he managed to open my door before unknown damages could have happened in time, allowing an annoyed Tim and a pissed off Damian inside my already tension filled apartment.
"Grayson, I see you haven't packed one bag yet. What gives?" Damian pointed out as I looked up at him with a blank look on my face.
"I already told you that I'm not coming with you guys so just accept it and get over it." I said as Damian snorted. He and Tim took the couch while Jason walked into the kitchen and prepared drinks for everyone.
"Dick, seriously this isn't like you. Why won't you come back to Gotham with us? Don't you love us anymore?" Tim asked with a worried tone. He was playing the good old guilty card on me, but I wasn't falling for it.
"I have my reasons Tim and you know that. Gotham isn't a place I belong in." I sighed as Jason handed me a cup of tea.
"You're lying! You want to go back but you're just scared that my father will kick you out again! Well to tell you the truth, Father has been an emotional wreck ever since you left and it would mean the world to him if you came back!" Damian exclaimed, completely unaware of how close he was to hitting the nail on the coffin.
"Damian, don't harass him too much. He just lost his job for reasons he hasn't told me yet." Jason scolded him as he sat down on the arm of the couch.
"You what? You lost your job? Why?" Tim gasped as Jason shook his head.
"Dickie has been quiet about it ever since I started bugging him about it. It's pointless to pressure him now to spill his guts out, 'cuz he's shut himself up tight." Jason informed them as Tim looked at me with concern written all over his face. Something inside of me clicked on as I felt all my pent up anger exploding from within as I stood up sharply and stared down at all of them in rage.
"You wanna know why I was fired from my job, eh? Well it was because I refused to shoot at a 12 year old, mentally retarded boy for accidentally killing his parents and younger sister! I could've cared less if he was considered a threat to the public, he didn't know what was going on and he was scared! He just wanted to play cops and robbers with his sister and thought that using his dad's loaded gun would be perfect to play with! He never dreamed of killing his whole family! He just wanted to fucking play! And do you know what happened to that kid? My superior officer shot him, completely ignoring my pleads to let him alone, and now the kid is dead! And then my boss chewed me out for being a coward and fired me right on the spot! And you know what else my boss has done to me? He's given me ten days to get out of this apartment or else I would be thrown out into the streets like a rat! I have nowhere else to go 'cuz Bruce never calls me anymore, Barbra has a new boyfriend, and no one wants me! No one has ever wanted me! I'm…I'm…alone…." I ranted on and on until the last sentence, in which I ended up on the floor bawling my eyes out, while Tim and Jason came to my aid. I was completely hysterical, ignoring Tim's and Jason's calming words as I tried to curl up into a ball. I wanted to be left alone, I needed to be alone or else I would completely lose myself.
"Sorry Dick, but we need you to calm down." Jason whispered in my ear before swiftly knocking me out.