Okay so I have a very strange class load this semester. I have a Bible literature class and a sociology of lifecycles so its not surprising that I was in class and zoned out. While I stared into nothing BAM this came to mind. I have no clue when this would have happened in the chronology of the current Batman but it seemed funny in a really creepy surreal way.
"And what exactly brought this on?" Barbara asked, lowering her chin so her glasses slipped onto the edge of her nose.
"Well, see, I got a lead on one of those drug smugglers I was after. Turns out he was the son of some big deal Gothamite. Surprise surprise."
"And that lead you to a college?"
"Yeah, some community college outside the city. Imagine that. There's a drug dealer with long term life goals."
"Where did this come from?" Barbara Gordon was getting frustrated as she looked at her "captive."
She was holding a crumbled up sheet of lined paper with doodles and notes on it. The doodles were something of a talent of Jason's. They lacked seriousness. Jason "Red Hood" Todd.
How was he suppose to explain that he had tailed the kid to his class and upon hearing the topic of the day found it interesting. Interesting enough to sit in and wait until after the professor was finished to beat the little snot's brains out? He would sound ridiculous.
Well, he better figure out how to explain himself and fast because Barbara was getting pissed.
"It was the class handout." He answered nonchalantly. At Barbara's gentle prodding he added, "Hey, even I have a deep desire to learn." And then smugly he continued, "Its not a characteristic specifically for Golden Boy, the old man, and my replacements."
Barbara felt one eyebrow quirk high in speculation, turning the paper to read the title aloud. "Birth order and The Old Testament?"
She glanced down the page to see doodles of Red Hood shooting Dick/Batman and had to roll her eyes. Sometimes Jason was too obvious. However, this time wasn't exactly the same.
If someone had told her that her day would start with tracking Red Hood down and holding him prisoner in her "home" she would have probably choked on her coffee. It turned out that he had been after a prominent mobster's drug dealing son. That was all fine and dandy if she, and everyone else in the Bat-verse, didn't know what his form of justice was.
The most bizarre thing had been where she had found the dealer and, by direct result, Jason. He had been sitting in the back of a college class, with a piece of paper and pencil, and he was taking notes? Strange.
"Well, see, I knew it for a long time but how that prof explained it just made it clear and it was like WHAM! Right? I totally got what's going on."
"And what is that?" She sat her cane aside. She had used it to prod him for answers. She took her glasses off and rubbed her eyes.
"He's the first born, obviously he feels a greater sense of responsibility to please the parent and therefore become another authority figure in his own right."
Barbara just looked at him as if he'd grown another head. "What?"
"Well, its simple psychology. However, in our family's case nothing is really ever simple now is it?"
"Okay, so this is about Dick again." She sighed.
"Wrong. This is about nature versus nurture."
"Now you've lost me." She groaned.
"This had me thinking. If he's the oldest son but he was the only son for so long he would have a predisposition to being overly obsessed with making the old man happy, especially after all that fallout and me, Tim, and Damian."
It was the pot calling the kettle black for Jason to deem Richard Grayson obsessed with Bruce Wayne…Batman. The linkage between Jason's sudden intrigue with psychology and its linkage to Dick had Barbara feeling an uncomfortable tightness in her stomach.
"Ugh, just say whatever it is that you're thinking Jason." She gave him a steady look.
"Well…Dick is all protective big brother for Tim and Damian is the baby. They're all brothers, moving on without…" Jason paused and changed the path of his thinking. "But the Old Testament is all about the inversion of birth order. The older son being overlooked for the younger. Which made the whole situation between me, Dickie-bird, and Ol' Bruce make sense."
It made sense in the fact that Dick's frustration and hurt over Jason was understandable. Jason knew how Dick felt now with Tim and Damian. Dick had his problems with the situation not Jason himself but had nowhere to place his anger and hurt if Bruce was…well, Bruce. Then, Jason had died and the necessary time for Dick and Jason to become…what they would have eventually been was stripped away. The point of Jason or Dick was unconsequential.
Tim came years after so there was no problem, Dick actually clung to the kid because of a sense of duty he felt to protect Robin and Damian was Bruce's son. Despite everything, Dick cares about Bruce and taking Damian under his wing was a "Dick thing to do." Haha.
"Oh really?" She put her glasses back on and waited for him to continue. It was obvious he wasn't done yet.
"Yeah, but that's not it. Obviously I got whacked so that point is moot. I'm more concerned with the here and now." He wiggled brows that were hidden under a sleek black mask. "Here's the deal." He paused to make sure he had her attention, smiling. "God's all mighty and the authority, mister-don't-ask- because-I-can't-explain, right? His ways aren't our ways?"
Barbara simply waved him on to keep going, reluctant to give him any answer that would go either way.
"God's got this soft spot for people that he deems are his and goes all out of his way to make sure they're okay and taken care of. You could say he likes strays." He cocked his head to the side to make sure she got his point.
"Batman is God?" She questioned indignant.
"Yeah, the way I figure it in this mess. Anyhow, as I was saying, God's so lovey-dovey over these people, the Jews, whatever, he has his physical image made from them. His son. And then he gives his OWN SON up as a sacrifice for these people."
"Jesus, yeah yeah, I know Jason. I did stumble upon a Sunday school class once or twice. What is all this nonsense?" She was impatient. Barbara could only take so much of this strange tangent he seemed fixated on. She really had to get back to her monitors after she got this mess taken care of. Batman and Robin were busy with some guys on the docks and were starting to have trouble.
"Well, I was thinking. If He is really gone its like God has turned his back on us and left us with what's left. He's kinda leaving his son as the sacrifice."
Jason knew very well Bruce wasn't dead and was simply busy with Batman business in the international arena.
"Dick can take care of Gotham, Jason, just not the way you think he should."
"Not the son I meant." Jason tossed his head towards the monitor to motion attention to the moving image of Damian as he fought off a couple Joker goons.
"Once again, Dick can take care of Gotham. He'd never let anything happen to Damian."
"Yeah, you're probably right but what about the Bat. Would he let little Dami go for the love of his favorites? His people?"
"Good God, Jason. What is wrong with you?" Barbara couldn't keep quiet and controlled anymore.
"A couple crowbar hits too many to the skull I think." He quipped. "But it doesn't change the reality. Is Bruce willing to let Damian die so that Dick can man-up and become a real Batman?"
"I'm not even going to answer that question."
"I already know the answer. I'm not stupid but it's a possibility. But I was curious enough to bring it up."
"Don't tell me…." Her eyes grew wide.
"Okay, I won't." He laughed before meeting her shocked gaze with a proud one of his own.
"Those aren't the Joker's men….they're yours?"
"Yeah and they really hate smartasses. I don't know why." He watched as Damian got punched in the face after a particularly rude joke he made at one of the "bad guys."
Then everything seemed to fall into place. The puzzle was easily solved as Barbara spun her wheelchair to look at the screen to show Batman and Robin fighting….no, wait….Batman was out. What had happened?
They were tying up Dick and Damian was actually fine until she saw a guy coming up behind him with a gun. "DAMIAN!" She yelled into the screen as Jason stretched to clap his hands, now loose. He had managed to cut himself free. Even Barbara was fallible.
"Every Batman has become what he is because of loss so more loss equals a better Batman. If Dickie wants to be like Ol'Daddy Bats then he's gonna want to do everything like him right? Well, he has to lose a Robin then."
How had Jason managed this? They had been here for the past two hours and he had been rambling on and on about all this creepy theology crap. Now there was the attack on the docks and he was targeting Damian?
Unless he had already had this planned before…