I don't own YJ: Invasion, or Jason Todd.
Because Dick told Tim not to die on the day after the anniversary of Jason's death.
Just a quick A/N: I actually haven't the slightest idea of the actual age difference between Dick and Jason, and a quick Google search yielded no answers, so the age difference presented here is actually just a wild guess. If I'm wrong, please let me know!
No actual pairings here, just gen, but I suppose Wally and Dick's broship could be seen as sort of slashy, even though I didn't write it with that intention (but all bromances are like that anyway).
Wally finds Dick in his room one day doing something that looks an awful lot like brooding. As much as he knows that his best bud is the protégé of Batman, and really, this behavior is to be expected every now and then, Wally doesn't like seeing it. He speeds into the room, shutting the door behind him, and sits on the bed besides Dick.
"So, what's got you imitating Mr. Tall-Dark-and-Broody?" He queries, shooting a smile at his friend. Dick doesn't even look up from his hands, which are resting palm-up on his legs. The younger teen appears to be studying them, examining the miniscule scars, folds, and calluses. He's silent for a moment, and Wally almost doesn't think he'll respond.
"Wally, do you think…do you think I'd make a good big brother?"
It's so quiet, the young speedster almost thinks he's imagining the response. But he's not, and it takes a second for the answer to register in his brain. A big brother? What's this about? Surely Bats can't have…done the dirty, so to speak? No, surely this is simply a hypothetical question. Well, hypothetical it may be, but Wally West knows a serious question when it's being asked.
"Well, yeah, I suppose so. I mean, going from observation alone, I know you're pretty great with kids – everyone loves you. And I'd like to think that the Team and…your cousin have given you enough examples to go off from that you'd be a pro by now. Why do you ask?" He glances over to his side again to find that Dick is now looking up at him, blue eyes showing that he is most definitely paying attention to what's coming out of his friend's mouth.
Dick's eyes flash back down to his hands, and he bites his lips as his hands twist together. He's obviously thinking about what he's going to say, and Wally's now seriously considering that the question may not have been so hypothetical.
"We…found a kid," he answers at last, "A street urchin. We found him in the middle of stealing the tires off the Batmobile, believe it or not." The speedster snorts, half in surprise and half in amusement, because damn that little street urchin has some balls. But he takes a second to really think about what Dick has said, and he's seeing where this is going.
"And let me guess, you and Bats are thinking about taking him in? Like he did for you?"
Dick nods wordlessly, and Wally slings an arm over his best friend's shoulder.
"Well, that's great! I'm sure you'll make a fantastic big bro! Just remember what I've taught you, and everything will be fine."
The young acrobat looks up at him again for reassurance, "You really think so?"
"Dude, I know so! Have trust in your big bro, will ya?"
The two laugh, and Dick dives in for a quick hug. "Thanks, Wally," he mumbles into his friend's sweatshirt.
"No problem," he replies, rubbing small circles in the younger one's back.
He wouldn't trade their friendship (bromance) for the world.
It's a little over a year later, and Wally's pretty sure he's the only one outside of the Dynamic Duo and some of the League members that knows that the street urchin that Bats and Robin took in – Jason, his name is – is well on his way to becoming the second Robin. In an effort to disguise this fact, Batman has taken some precautionary measures. Jason wears the same Robin outfit that Dick does, and he's even dyed his strawberry blond hair to a darker shade to match Dick's. Besides certain differences that can't really be helped (height, build, facial structure, hairstyle – Dick's is straighter, while Jason's has a bit of curl to it), you can't tell the difference from a distance. The criminals of Gotham certainly can't.
While he may not be quite the acrobat that Dick is (and really, who could ever even hope match up to the last truly Flying Grayson?), living on the streets for practically his entire life has left Jason with some rather admirable fighting skills and street smarts. Dick has told Wally that he expects that Jason will be ready to be formally introduced to the world as the second Robin any month now.
Wally's practically vibrating with excitement; he's never been allowed to visit Jason (Bats still has no idea that Wally knows the secret IDs of the "Batclan," as he calls them), and he's dying to meet Dick's little brother. The only reason he even knows what the younger soon-to-be-Robin looks like is that the fact that Bruce Wayne adopted a second son was really big news and Jason's face was plastered all over the media. He's a cute little fucker, much like he vaguely remembers Dick being when he first met the first Robin. He absentmindedly wonders if Jason makes terrible puns like Dick did when he first began his crime-fighting career.
Wally never gets to meet Jason.
The mission that was supposed to be Jason's – no, Robin's – introduction to the world ends up being the one that takes him out of it. No one except for the Batclan knows the details – all they've heard is that Joker managed to kill Robin.
The Team and the League are in an uproar- some think it's completely false, while others are already mourning the loss of their beloved friend and partner-in-crime-fighting. Wally's a basket case, because though he knows that there's another Robin, he still fears that it's actually Dick the Joker's murdered and he feels so sick and twisted and guilty that he's hoping that it's actually Jason that was killed because God he's not sure how he'd manage without his best friend.
The Team and their mentors – minus the Dynamic Duo, of course – are occupying the Cave, anxiously waiting for any news regarding two of the core members of their group. Everyone is in full gear, expecting Batman to call them in at any minute for a mission, but all are fairly certain that they would not be able to perform to the best of their abilities.
Finally, the zeta tube announces in its clear, emotionless voice the arrival of two vigilantes.
Recognized: Batman 0-2, Robin B-0-1.
Everyone immediately flies to greet the two, regardless of whether or not he or she actually can. Either way, the heroes are all gathered at the entrance of the zeta tubes by the time Batman and Robin fully materialize.
Artemis actually manages to get her hands on Robin before Wally, surprisingly. "Come here, you twerp," she mutters as she yanks him into a rough hug, "Do you have any idea how worried we were? Word in Gotham is that the Joker killed you, and you don't tell anybody what's going on?" She squeezes him tighter, then lets him go and holds him at arm's length when he doesn't respond immediately.
Then, the Team finally gets a good look at his face, and they can tell that everything is not well with the Boy Wonder. Wally realizes with a horrible, sinking feeling in his stomach that Joker most definitely killed a Robin – the second Robin.
"It was Jason, wasn't it?" He blurts out, mindless of the fact that it's not just him and Dick standing in the room, it's him and Robin and the Team and a lot of important League members and Batman. They all shoot confused looks at him as Robin nods wordlessly (Wally can tell that if the acrobat tries to talk, he'll just burst out in tears) and the speedster pulls him into another hug.
"Jason?" Superman says slowly, his blue eyes showing comprehension as they slide over to Batman, "Not…?" Clearly, Big Blue is in the know, and the way Batman's eyelets narrow and glance downward give all the others the answer for which they were searching.
"Oh, Br- Batman," Canary says, sorrow in her voice as she steps forward to place a comforting hand on the man's shoulder. The Team is still searching for answers, but heroes split into two groups as the mentors head off to some place more private for a full discussion. The apprentices remain standing by the zeta tubes, awkwardly watching Robin continue to clutch to Wally as if his life depends on it. By now, he's begun to sniffle a bit, and a lone tear slides down his face. With one particularly loud sniffle and an extra-tight squeeze, he finally pulls himself away from KF.
"I'm sorry, guys," he says after a moment, voice thick with emotion. Judging by the slight twitch in Miss M's features, her empathetic abilities are picking up the sorrow that her teammate feels in waves.
"Who is Jason…?" The Martian tentatively asks, looking as if she fears the answer. Artemis has her eyes narrowed slightly, though whether in suspicion or in anger towards whoever has caused their youngest member harm remains unknown. Kaldur looks just as concerned as Wally, though he still remains in the dark as to the cause of Robin's sorrow.
"Was," Robin corrects, having composed himself so that only the slightest waver in his tone is present, "Who was Jason." He gnaws on his lip for a second, clearly contemplating how to answer the question. Wally suddenly flashes back to a time just over a year ago, when Dick had been considering informing Wally of the Batclan's latest addition. The irony of the situation actually hurts, and he looks to see if his friend needs assistance with the painful explanation.
Robin is already moving towards the center of the room, and has begun to pull up some files from the Batcave. Several pictures pop up, accompanied by some newspaper articles. One of the pictures contains what must be Jason in his Robin costume.
"Jason Todd," Robin begins, "was a young boy, only nine years old when Batman and I found him attempting to jack the tires off the Batmobile. Batman decided it wasn't a good idea to just leave the kid on the streets, so we took him in," Turning, he enlarges one of the newspaper articles.
"Boy Billionaire Adopts Second Orphan!" The headline reads; a photo of Bruce Wayne standing with Dick Grayson on his right and Jason Todd on his left sits below the bolded letters. The Team starts as they realize that Robin – Dick – finally trusts them with his and Batman's secret IDs, and Artemis quickly stifles a sob when she realizes just where the story is heading.
"We were training him to become the second Robin," Dick says, voice cracking slightly, "We were finally ready to present him to everyone when the Joker got a hold of him." His voice is bitter and angry, and a select few in the Team are finally realizing – much too late – that the Joker isn't just another one of Batman's oddly themed villains, that he really is one of the most dangerous men in the world, just as their mentors have been telling them all along. Dick ducks his head, shoulders shaking, as he shakily says, "He killed him."
Wally pulls his best friend into another tight hug, and the team quickly follows – even Kaldur and Connor. How many times has the young acrobat been there with a hug ready to comfort them? The least they can do is comfort him in his time of need.
They stand there, all sniffling (though some more than others), then slowly let go. "Better?" M'gann asks, a sad smile (one that looks more like a grimace) present on her face.
"Not really," Dick sniffles, wiping away stray tears, "But I will be...eventually."
Three years later, and Nightwing stands before a new Robin. This Robin is slightly peeved, and he's taking his frustration out on his older brother in the form of angry and hurtful accusations.
"Hey," Nightwing cuts him off, and the words spill out of his mouth before he can stop them, "Just don't die, okay?" Both freeze, the simple statement effectively ending the tirade. Nightwing's comment has cut too close to home for both members of the Batclan.
While Tim never knew Jason personally, the youngest in their family knows all about him. Jason Todd, the true second Robin (not him, as the media always seems to forget that Jason was a Robin as well), his predecessor that Joker viciously, brutally murdered. Beaten mercilessly with a crowbar, then killed by a bomb mere moments before Batman could save him.
Yes. It's a sore topic, even years later. Both Batman and Nightwing still haven't fully recovered from the hit, and it shows in their attitude (though the younger is making great progress in regaining his former cheerfulness). Robin wonders if he'll ever hear his older brother's infamous wordplay, or if Batman will ever play basketball with him with the feeble excuse of practice for "hand-eye coordination." But, he came into the tragic family after a horrible, horrible event, and he suspects that Batman at least will never truly be the same.
He ducks his head, and Nightwing glances to the side. Both are uncomfortable, and the elder attempts to diffuse the tension with a hastily added, "And no unnecessary risks!"
It does nothing to the atmosphere, though both pretend it does. Robin glances up at his brother one last time, and Nightwing does the same (reassuring themselves of each other's presence), then trots off to join Blue Beetle and Lagoon Boy in the Bioship.
As Dick watches his younger brother board the familiar red ship, he wishes Wally was by his side. He hasn't seen his friend in some time, and he aches for his companionship. The dull, throbbing pain of Jason's death has suddenly grown greater by the slip of his tongue, and though he's almost positive that Tim will come back from this mission alive, he needs a friend.
He'll call Wally when he gets back from this mission.
A/N: Not much to add here, other than the fact that flkjsdfkljsd I do not like that ending. So weak, ugh.
Anyway, again, if you want to see more of my work, I actually post a lot of in-progress fics on my Tumblr, ameliafromafairytale(dot)tumblr(dot)com. I hate to self-promo, but I cannot stress enough that it is much easier to reach me on Tumblr than it is here.