[x]

"Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?"

-1 Corinthians 15:55

[x]

The too-faint light of the chandelier from the Manor's hallway casts sunken hollows around Jason's temples and his cheekbones—but his skin professes his youth and firmness.

"You scared of me, Bats?"

(Flecks of pale, ashy skin curdle and melt from his forehead to reveal glinting bone)

Jason's lips hover between the space of Bruce's roughly stubbled cheek and the corner of his stoic mouth, flushed and wet with saliva. It sends a brief, mild, warm shiver through the older man.

He smells… just like the boy had (suffocated by the sour, mildewing graveyard lilacs).

He comes home.

"Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death," he recites, grinning rueful as the Batman gauntlets crush (tearing apart brittle muscle until they dangle open from the sockets) his caped shoulders.

"I will fear no evil."

The white lenses to his mask narrow in earnest as Jason leans up on the toes of his pixie boots, and the tip of Jason's tongue coyly swipes the downy, sweat-tasting pucker underneath Bruce's mouth.

"For you are with me," Jason finishes the holy psalm with a soft whisper before laughing openly, ridiculously full of contempt. His lightweight yellow cape bunches up when Bruce's hands attentively slide up his hard, muscular back. Like everything else between them, their actions start out with superfluous cruelty— Jason's emerald, gloved fingers ruffle through Bruce's cowl-flattened hair (fabric split apart, collecting with maggoty flesh) before fastening to thick locks of it; the kiss deepens and Bruce groans, somewhat in idle protest, pulling at Jason's lip with his teeth (ripping soundly, decayed).

Bruce swallows down the sudden urge to empty his stomach, untangling his arms and holding his leering ex-partner out at arm's length sternly.

"You're not alive."

"More alive than I've been for a while." Jason counters the gruff declaration, frowning slightly at the manhandling, "I helped you. Fuck. You don't miss this? Us together, fighting the forces of evil?"

The older man ignores the question, adding, "The existence is this reality isn't stable. You need to go back to Boston."

"So I can do the whole 'rest in peace' garbage?" Jason sneers up (yellow teeth blackened with earth). "That's bullshit, alright. How can you be sure I'm not gonna be sent to hell this time around?"

Something in his chest feels heavy and sick. "Before…?" Bruce trails off when the leer returns furtively, darkly.

"Not at the liberty to discuss that, Bruce. Members only restriction."

The younger boy scuffs the heel of his green boot to the smooth, waxed corridor floor, shrugging. The Robin uniform fades from its vibrant colors, dulling and tattering. Bruce observes silently as Jason combs a glove through his hair with crisp, black-dyed tufts of it falling effortlessly out of his scalp and crumbling from view. "Guess this is where I make my stage exit." He turns back to his ex-mentor, starting past where the lone chandelier glows amongst the Manor's shadows. "Remember what I said earlier tonight: You gotta think more than the pain."

Jason's profile peeks over his shoulder before the shadows overtake him, his youthful jaw rotted through.

"Catch you on the other side, old man."

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DC comics and its characters do not belong to me. Set towards the ending of the Gotham County Line-storyline.