It's never good to wake up tied to a chair and drugged - especially with a dangerous life like mine - and… God, my head hurts! Guess I must have not been paying attention during patrol last night. My head is still fuzzy, but I'm starting to recognise the familiar feeling of one of the Bat-Cave's strong anaesthetics. My mask has been removed and the dim lights hurt my eyes too much for me to keep them open for long. I can't remember tensing but I suddenly find myself relaxing again. I can feel that someone, probably Alfred, is stitching up a deep cut on one of my outer thighs.
I shift slightly in the chair, feeling the straps rub uncomfortably against my chest. For a moment I wonder why I'm tied down instead of lying down on one of the medical beds. I guess there's a good reason though, so I just relax back into the chair when gentle hands encourage me to stay still.
"Broken ribs…" I murmur, just to make sure that they've noticed. My voice sounds weird. Deeper and somehow... darker. I assume it has something to do with the drug.
"I assure you master Jason, that they have already been taken care of. However, stitching your leg would be a lot easier if you would stay still." The old butler chides, and I answer him with a weak smile before the hands leave my shoulders.
"Guess I wasn't paying attention again, huh Al?" My heads still swimming but I can't remember what happened last night. After a few minutes of silence while Alfred finishes stitching my leg, I decide to just be blunt and ask. "What happened last night?"
"We brought you home."
"I didn't ask that." I can't help but smile as I hear Dick's voice. If he's here then Bruce won't give me another lecture about not paying attention. "Why aren't you with the Titans, Dick?" Even as I ask, it feels wrong - like I'm asking a stupid question and I should already know the answer… Suddenly a painful wave of dizziness spreads over me and I can't stop myself flinching as my body automatically tries to curl in on itself.
Someone quickly tilts my chin upwards and orders me to open my eyes. My sudden fit seems to subside so I force my eyes open a crack in the dim, but still uncomfortable, light and I see Dick looking concerned.
Something's wrong. He looks older than he should be, and his costume's different. Unfortunately, my unusually sensitive eyes are burning in the lights of the cave and snap shut before I can see much else.
Dick curses and I can feel him rushing across the cave to where the anti-toxins are kept. "Bruce, he's high! He must have accidentally breathed in something from that drug raid last night. You know the anaesthetic is highly reactive! We should have tested…"
High? Guess that explains why my eyes are so sensitive: pupil dilation. Maybe that also explains why everything seems… off. Something keeps pulling at my subconscious, like a dream that's too important to forget about just because I've woken up. Or maybe this is the dream…
"There was no reason for us to suspect anything like that. We didn't even get a good look at the drugs until we knocked him out!"
I have no idea who that voice belongs to. He sounds like a kid, probably around sixteen years old. So, about my age? ...No… I'm older than that… Right?
Fuck, my head! "Hurts!" Another wave of pain-filled dizziness attacks, more powerful than the last, before it gives way to numb light headedness that masks the feel of Dick sliding the needle into my arm.
Suddenly I realised what the kid had said. 'We knocked him out.' They knocked me out? Why would Dick and Bruce knock me out? Did the drugs affect me somehow? Maybe it was like fear toxin or Joker… I'm not sure why, but just the thought of the Joker makes my blood run cold. That was probably it, Joker gas, that would also explain why I had to be tied down. But if that was the case then Dick would have known I was 'high', and he genuinely seemed scared when he realised just now…
I feel weak, and drained, but the next attack isn't as painful as the last one so I guess whatever was in that injection is working. I decide to try and distract myself from the pain by asking questions. "Who… who's the kid?" My eyes don't seem as sensitive so I slowly open them, carefully looking around for the unknown boy who obviously knew our identities.
Everything seems warped, like the drugs have caused a hallucination. There's Dick, in the unfamiliar costume and looking far older than he is - wait, just how old is he anyway? Argh, my head... Bruce is leaning against a pillar, talking to Alfred. The butler looks tired, far more aged than I recall, and Bruce's voice is too low for me to catch his words - is he trying to keep it down so I can't hear? What's so important that I can't be told about it? ...Is it to do with my condition?
Before I have time to think about that, I see the kid. I was right, he couldn't be older than sixteen, and his face seems strangely familiar, but I don't know why. Weird. He's wearing a black, angled domino mask, so… Hero or Villain? Judging by the bright colours I'd say Hero… The very bright, bold colours...
I can't help but stare at him in disbelief - he's wearing the Robin costume!
Has this punk replaced me or something? I've only been out for a few minutes… Right?... or maybe it's been hours... could it be days? Weeks?
Oh God, what if it's years? Have I been in a coma or something? ...But then, why would I have broken ribs and a fresh leg wound? This doesn't make any sense!
If that kid is wearing my costume, what the hell am I wearing? I can feel that I'm not wearing a mask though, so am I in civilian clothes? I try to look down at my clothes but another wave of nausea hits me as I turn my head. Damn! It's impossible to move without putting myself in agony!
"What's going on?" I mutter, now struggling to stay conscious. I see a familiar red mask on one of the tables as the darkness closes in around the edges of my vision, and in the end I drift into an uneasy slumber. I hear that kid's voice as I fall asleep, and I briefly picture him as a cuckoo pushing a robin chick from its nest. I'm sure there's some kind of significance to the idea, but before I can work it out the world turns black and I fall into oblivion.
A/N. It's only short but I did actually plan for a long chapter that, to be honest was nothing like this. Originally Jason just had one little confusing moment when he woke up an saw Alfred cleaning him up, not sure why/how that ended up with him being high… :/
No Lyrics in this chapter - they should be back in the next one though - same song as the first one.