A/N: Mostly writing this for my own amusement. I hope you enjoy.
Title: All Killers See In Red
Summary: Jason Todd wakes up in an Alternate Universe. But he doesn't know it. This 'new' Robin is pushing him further over the edge, and it's only a matter of time before he becomes a problem for the team, especially Artemis and Red Arrow. Red Arrow is curious about this new comer and his unorthodox form of 'heroism' while Artemis is just caught in between her past and Red Hood.
Rating: T (Subject to change in later chapters)
Warning: Later chapters may have excessive violence, and minor torture scenes from and to major characters. Future chapters also may include a large amount of language. Once again, rating subject to change in later chapters.
Word Count: 4,303
CHAPTER 3 || Tango In The Lot
January 11 2011, 10:45 EST
If I was ever going to respect Red Arrow, it would have to be under dire circumstances. I mean I have treated him decently these past two weeks, and he now has definite clarification that I am not a spy and that I'm trustworthy. Unfortunately he still treats me like absolute shit, and acts like I'm always up to something. Never has he tried to hide the fact that he was unhappy being in my presence or the fact that he is clearly not my biggest fan. You would think the fact that he turned out to be the mole, or the fact that he is banging my sister would at least clear the air between us you know? Pave a road to at least acting decently to one another. Though nope, no matter how I act, he always returns nonchalance, arrogance, or discomfort.
That all wouldn't really bother me so much if it wasn't for the fact that he clearly doesn't want to see me harmed just as much as Jade. Although some would say it is simply the association between me and my sister that causes him to actually be concerned for my safety. I know this to not be the truth though. It is very clear that he personally doesn't want me hurt. Whether it be because I'm just another person to keep safe in his mind, or that I'm essentially an ally on the war on crime, or the fact that the guy might actually have a conscious! I know right? Ridiculous! Despite the reasoning though, deep down it made me smile. In some small way I had earned enough respect from him, and won him over. Although none of it changes the fact that he is still a major douche.
What my sister sees in Red Arrow I'll never know. Then again what he sees in Jade is just as big a mystery … Perhaps this is why they actually work?
Looking out the window I sighed. Beautiful day out, though stuck in class. Fortunately class would be ending soon and lunch break would be coming up. Lunch had been more enjoyable upon learning Robin's identity. Since returning from Christmas break I had spent every lunch period with Dick and occasionally his friend Barbara. If possible, Dick acted even more immature out of his costume though it was all quite hilarious.
The one thing though that I couldn't get out of my head was the constant Crock family brand of paranoia. All day it felt as if someone was watching me. On the way to school while I was on the subway train I swore that someone was keeping tabs on me. Even now sitting in class I couldn't shake the feeling, and my thoughts were running rampant with images of Red Hood. Through years of conditioning, I've learned to trust the instinctive paranoia, and because of it I had to choose to believe that I was definitely being watched. Now getting that out of the way, the most likely suspect would be Red Hood. Both Cheshire and Red Arrow said they were only going to watch over me at night, they made it clear they thought I could take care of myself while awake. I was glad for it because I don't think I could take it if they had been spying on my life day in and day out.
This Red Hood character was quite the anomaly. The guy dresses like a common thug, though fights like an expert. Unlike most villains we fight on a weekly basis, he's choice of weapons are again, more thuggish. Brandishing guns primarily and knifes secondarily. Obviously he knows my real identity, but I've come to the conclusion that it cannot be through my father, or sister. If it was through either of them then he would have known Cheshire and have been less surprised to see her. There was also the fact that both my father and sister would have no qualms with spying on me themselves and would not hire someone to do it for them. His quick escape can mean one of two things, he knows the city well, or he scouted the area prior to spying on me. If the first option was the answer, then that most likely means Red Hood is a Gotham native, which would leave a possible connection to The Joker. If he does indeed know The Joker, then what is the connection? Possible associates? Idolization? Mock salute? Based on his garb and attitude, he seems simply to different then The Joker, and even the former Red Hood. The fact that it was a coincidence was highly unlikely, but leaving it at that would cause less strain from the overthinking.
The challenge left by this guy was just screaming at me. Red Hood has left me intrigued as well as worried, though the thought of learning all his secrets, and taken him down was just overwhelming. Whatever he was after didn't so much as matter as the fact that either way I would be the one to come out on top. There's no way I was laying down and surrendering, or going into hiding because of this guy. Whatever this guy was planning, I was going to find out.
January 11 2011, 11:15 EST
Plans, what exactly were my plans? I'll admit I have always been a fast on my feet improviser when it comes down to it. Though I have schemed quite a few great escapades if I do say so myself. Even some great well thought out multi-dimensional long term plans. Though I love the heat of the moment decisions the best.
Cheshire and the red head had left early in the morning when Artemis was leaving for school. I had tailed her in my civilian wear with ease. It was obvious no one was watching Artemis at the moment, but that didn't mean I could let my guard down. It was most likely that Robin went to this school as well, and that they knew each other's identities. I'd have to be careful to make sure that Robin was not keeping a watch out, even if I had no idea who he was.
If she plans on heading home by herself again through the subway system, then that would be my best bet to strike. If I play my cards right, I can make her think she has the advantage over me when in reality she'll be playing right into whatever my trap may be. It was obvious what needed to happen, I'd need to take her and see if I could get anything out of her about Robin. Though unfortunately I kept debating with myself whether she deserved to die or not. Yes, she had murdered, but it could be argued that she was pretty much forced to. There was also the fact that she was a minor, the same age as me in fact. Maybe she even feels remorse I mean I really don't know anything about it. If she was spying on Robin or whoever in anyway, I'm sure Bruce would have known so she was most likely honest in her endeavor of heroine. Her father treated her like a soldier, forced her to kill, she rebelled. Not an unlikely story. But what it comes down to is there was going to be a long discussion between me and her eventually. My thoughts are simply too conflicted upon a decision when it comes to her without one.
January 11 2011, 11:25 EST
The plot thickens, and I'm definitely overwhelmed. Sitting there, with Artemis are the carbon copies of Barbara Gordon and Dick Grayson. I mean they are fucking identical, other that the fact that these two are much, much younger. Everything adds up, it makes sense. No I'm not crazy, I sound crazy but I'm not. This makes sense, this is an alternate reality. That would explain the fact that all my safe houses were empty, and all my dealers didn't know me. It would also explain why there's a Robin. Or maybe I'm just insane; something upstairs went lose upon my rebirth…
It changes nothing. Artemis will still be taken, questioned, and judged for she has still killed. Besides, I need to figure things out and at the moment she's my best bet. I mean I can't exactly walk up to Batman and Robin now can I?
January 11 2011, 11:25 EST
Barbara has been agitated the whole lunch break and Dick has either been blind to it or is ignoring it. Sometimes I think Dick is quite dense, and then I remember that he is a genius. The tension has been thick all evening now, Barbara for her whatever has her riled up, Dick has been noticeably on look out, and I'm stuck with these two who just won't loosen up!
"So what are your plans for tonight Barbara?" Dick suddenly asked.
Barbara looked up shocked at the change of subject, and then sighed. "Nothing as of yet. Why?" She asked suddenly going stiff.
My eyes widened a bit, but neither noticed. Is that what this was about? Does Barbara have a thing for Dick? Is that what has her all tense? Dick looked up at the sky, eyes shielded by from the sun by his patented sunglasses he seemed to be lost in thought for a moment. Maybe he noticed Barbara's reaction as well. Then suddenly my phone vibrated and Dick kicked me.
Dick sent me a text, 'Grey building to your right, the 3 story with 5 windows per floor.'
I turned my head slightly and looked out of the corner of my eye, but say nothing out of the ordinary on the building. Suddenly I heard Barbara reply to whatever Dick was saying, she got up and left though she hid the fact that she was upset well.
"Where's Barbara going?" I asked frowning.
"Don't know." He replied nonchalantly.
A short debate took place within my head since I wasn't completely sure of this before I replied, "Dick, I think she has a crush on you." I said.
"Get out of here? Barbara?" He laughed a bit, and then turned serious when I didn't laugh with him. "You seriously think so?"
"Nothing concrete, but I think she thought you were about to ask her out. Though don't take my word for it." I sighed.
"Is that why she's been all riled up lately?" He asked. I simply shrugged in reply and went on to change the subject, "So what was that text all about?"
"I saw him, up on that building. A moment after I sent the text her disappeared, I think he caught on when I tensed. I'm glad we ate outside though, now we know he is still watching you." He frowned.
Getting over my initial shock, I quickly composed myself and suggested we go back inside. On our way in the atmosphere did a complete one eighty. "Babs? Really?" Dick smirked as I nudged him and his clearly inflating ego.
Gotham Subway System
January 11 2011, 14:35 EST
School was over, and I was heading home. Once home I'd change, and go on over to the cave. The same daily schedule as usual. Though today, unlike usual, I was on edge. I was on the kind of edge that I'm on when I'm on a mission, except I'm NOT on a mission. It was rather nerve-racking really, and annoying. Trusting my instincts, I continued to survey the train cart but still saw nothing. I swear, I was going to knock this Red Hood's head in once I found him for disrupting not only my sleep pattern, but my peace of mind as well.
Dick nearly talked me into accepting a ride with him and Alfred, though he finally let up, thankfully he did because I was so close to accepting. Though he was relentless when requesting, borderline demanding I'd say. I've been trained my whole life, and I'm not too worried about one guy. Besides, from what I've discerned, there is not much to worry over. If he wanted to kill me, he would have tried by now, no he want's something else.
Sooner or later, this show was going to get on the road. I'm hoping for sooner, because I'd like to get this over with. Red Hood would make his move, and I guess that is why I was continuously scouting the entire compartment for any signs of him. I was half way to my stop already and there was no sign of him. The cart came to a stop, and just then someone came in from the neighboring compartment. The carts aren't separated, they all connected on the inside and one can walk the entire length of the train without waiting for it to stop first, which is what made keeping my eyes open difficult.
The young man was clearly around my age based on his build, though his face was covered since his eyes never left the ground and he was wearing a red hoodie over his head. Though what gave him away was the fact that he was wearing the exact same outfit he wore that night, though swap the helmet for the hoodie. Perhaps he didn't know I saw him the other night?
Red Hood got off the cart and I subtly followed. At the moment I couldn't figure out where he was going, but as we came up the stairs and onto the nearly empty street, I could tell it was definitely not somewhere I wanted to be. The Hood turned down an alley, and I gave it ten seconds before I took in after him. At the end of the alley he was just about to turn as he pulled something out of his pocket and started … typing on it, it must be his phone.
As I came around the corner, I ended up in a large rectangular lot, shaped by the surrounding apartment buildings with only two alleyways leading into it. Most of the apartment buildings seemed deserted, since they were almost all boarded up. I quickly became alert, and the word trap played in my head several times. I more sensed it then heard it as Red Hood dropped onto me from the fire escape from above. He drove his knee into my shoulder as I turned to role, and I collapsed against the ground and hissed. I was still in my school uniform for fuck sakes and scraped my legs, and damn did that knee hurt! Thankfully he didn't kick; those steel toed combat boots don't look forgiving.
Before I could even fully stand up he was on me again, and I avoided his right hook by pivoting which was a bad mistake because immediately he put me in a half nelson and covered my mouth with a cloth. Quickly I sent my elbow back into his ribs, but he didn't even budge an inch let alone grunt. Trying again and again and nothing, I wasn't even fazing him. My next move was to try and sweep his leg and flip him over my head, but he was prepared for it and used the force of his whole body to drop backwards with me landing on top of him and wrapped his legs around my thighs to tighten the hold. It's only been a few seconds, since he put the cloth to my mouth so I don't relent as I can think of only one last move. I pull my lower body up using his body and my legs for balance, and slam my bottom into his groin.
This has the desired effect as his hold on my neck and arm loosen and I managed to pull away. Though I don't get long as I roll away from him, I slowly pull myself to my feet as I watch him do the same. Before I can rush him or make a run for it he pulls out a gun. I hesitate for a moment when he starts talking.
"You must be feeling woozy already from the chloroform. Don't make this any more difficult than it has to be, I will shot you if you come at me." He says evenly, though I can hear the thick arrogance.
Though he is right, I hate that he can tell as I sway in my position a little. I can't let this asshole win, besides what's a little gunshot wound right? Immediately as I start running at him he fires, and then I'm on the ground head swimming and vision swirling. The scream I can't hold in, it just flies past my lips without warning. I look up and he hasn't made a move yet, then I reach down and feel the blood pouring out of my thigh. Keeping pressure on the wound I slowly sit up I think I hear him sigh slightly as he raises his gun again at the sight of me slowly pushing myself off the ground.
"Do you have a death wish? Just stay the fuck down!" He hisses in anger.
I ignored him just like I ignored the pain tearing at my thigh. Again I charged him and he holstered his gun, the pain was easy to ignore, nothing I haven't done in before. But the fact that the pain and wound hindered my abilities was not; the Hood caught my fist and pulled me forward into a head butt all the while not releasing my hand. Then he did it again, and again, and again … quickly losing count I dropped to my knees when he stopped. Grabbing my ponytail he pulled me onto my feet and delivered a painful knee to my stomach then let me drop to the ground. I held back the coughing fit after I started to taste blood. Red Hood was still staring down at me, and I heard him sigh once again. Suddenly he threw a kick to my stomach, "Do. You. Ever. Stay. Down!" He yelled in between kicks.
"How are you still even awake. Seriously, I'd commend you on it if I wasn't so fucking pissed about it!" He said walking back a little.
Well, if it's making him so angry, it's worth the pain. I won't give up to this scum. Wiping my mouth of the blood and keeping my hand on the wound on my thigh, I pulled myself up once again, though this time much slower. Once again ignoring the pain, I fought through into my inner strength and held my standing position, and out of a moment of pure arrogance I said, "Is that all you got?"
Red Hood takes a defensive position and waves me forward with his hand, "I guess we can let the real tango begin."
Slowly I removed my backpack watching Hoods ever move. This guy wasn't fucking around, and since he had me at the complete disadvantage what with no equipment, a gunshot wound, and the fact that I can't hit his head without hurting myself, I'd have to get drastic. "So, who are you anyway? What's this all about?" I said as I slowly pulled a combat knife out of my bag and we circled each other. He caught my movement and pulled his own knife out.
"Does it really matter honey? By the end of this, you'll have lost. It's inevitable really; you know you can't beat me." He said, and I could feel the smirk.
"Something tells me you're all bark and no bite; I'll take you down and then take pleasure in seeing you locked up." I replied.
"Don't tempt me. Something tells me we'd both find that situation pleasurable enough." He titled his head a little. "You know, truthfully I'm so frustrated because you remind me a lot of myself. The blind, impulsive determination leading you into deaths door. The sassy remarks and cocky attitude. The never give up fighting will. It's the perfect incentive for me to take you down a notch."
The more we stalled, the more the pain seeped through. I could feel the pain shooting through my torso, my back, my head, and my thighs. Surely I had multiple cracked or even broken ribs, definitely had a concussion, I still felt drugged, don't even get me started on the aching fire that was my thigh. My lungs may have been even worse than my thigh, my lungs were burning badly, and something was not right with them after those kicks to my chest. When I finally charged him, I almost collapsed but I managed to put the thought of and the pain itself on the backburner.
I swung my blade towards his chest and nicked his jacket as he backed up and pivoted to swing his own blade. Maneuvering around his slash, I pulled a fist into his kidney and for the first time I felt the padded protection his outfit was made out of which explained the ineffective elbows I sent. He brought his elbow towards my face but I managed to evade it and swing my blade once more at him. Red Hood caught my wrist in the air suddenly and quickly swirled me around pulling my back against him he positioned my own blade to my left shoulder and brought his blade around to my opposite shoulder in a kind of hug from behind position.
"Here endeth the lesson." He said as I struggled, but in my exhaustion and the pain finally settling in it was useless. "Know thy limits." Suddenly he pulled both blades into my shoulders, and slammed me to the ground on my back. I grasped the handles of both blades and looked over to see them both only half embedded in my shoulders. "Careful there, you'll bleed out if you remove those." I slowly looked up, definitely woozier now from all the pain and blood lose then when he tried to chloroform me. Red Hood was standing over me now without his helmet on, and damn he was good looking. I'll chalk it up to everything I'm going through later, but for now I was soaking in his features while at the same time memorizing them. The most noticeable was the thick black hair with the bright white strip, and the colour of his hair complemented his crystal blue eyes. Suddenly he smirked and lifted his foot, only to drop it against my face efficiently knocking me out.
Gotham Crime Alley
January 11 2011, 15:18 EST
I was prepared for maybe a single gunshot wound, and some loss of blood as the worst case scenario, but this was going to be very difficult. Artemis for sure has a concussion, and maybe some broken bones, not to mention the gunshot wound and two stab wounds. She had to have lost a great amount of blood from this. I know this girl is resilient, but keeping her alive now was not going to be easy. I'll have to take her to my more stable safe house which is farther out of Crime Alley and a longer drive. It'll have all the equipment I need for this; I'll need to find out what bones are broken, and if there is any internal bleeding. As well as the fact that she was not breathing correctly at the end there, but that could just be from exhaustion and pain.
Although hopefully when she wakes up she'll realize that I mean business. If not, then I have many ways of handling trouble cases. Coming out of the alley still helmetless I climbed into my van and pulled it back into the alley. Getting out I carefully scooped Artemis into my arms and placed her in the back. After making sure she was secure I got back into the driver's seat and speed down the road. I'll have to get their fast, can't risk it any other way.
After I got her back to the safe house and hooked up to the machines I started going over the results of the x-rays. I had already stitched her up myself and gave her some proper sedatives but I had to go over her bones and check out the problem with her lungs. They were definitely pretty lethal. All the injuries added up together were severely serious. There was even a chance that despite my best efforts, she still might not make it. Well this just won't due, usually I conserve these kind of methods for myself but I won't throw two weeks of work down the drain. I'd have to get a hold of a few things, drugs, serums, more medical equipment, perhaps even a professional opinion.
Before heading off to pick these things up, I looked at Artemis for a moment. Unlike before, she seemed so weak and vulnerable. Seeing her like that made me imagine myself in her position, she really did remind me of myself. Being bedridden and near deaths door was very unlike her strong willed, stubborn, fighting self. She's as young as me, had a tough life like me, and until I can question her I can't discern if she turned out like me, well other than her attitude of course. Enough of this Todd, start thinking of questions. Open with something that will really piss her off and make her feel uncomfortable. It's gotta be something flat out arrogant and rude. I got it, I ask if she is still a virgin then go on to explain how I've always wanted to fuck someone in a school uniform. I laughed at my sense of humor, I mean somebodies got to.
A/N: Yes an update! Sorry it took so long. Truthfully this is an iffy chapter for me since it's mostly fighting scenes. Though I'm comfortable with fighting scenes, it's just I rushed this and I know it. Also I don't think I put enough description into what Artemis was feeling since I rushed the scene. I guess I was just anxious to get this done finally and update the story for you guys. Hope you enjoy it none the less. Also the Dick/Babs bit; yeah I couldn't resist adding some kind of it in here since they were both in this chapter.
Just as an extra warning (compared to the header warning at top of each chapter) since it's been a long time since I've updated, this story will most likely be dark at times and feature dark themes. I'll put warnings for anything like that at the warning section at the top of each chapter, a specific chapter warning that is. Also make sure to check the rating each chapter because it chapter can have a different rating, but for the most part it will be rated T and go to M if something seriously gruesome or sexual happens. At the moment, there will be no limit to what can happen in this fic, I don't know what will happen it just depend on what I think of or feel at the time I'm writing.
Also, the story I was talking about in the first chapter. Would be a Conner Kent/Jason Todd friendship or relationship story, don't know yet. But a little info would be, a villain that would remain a mystery for a while that is helping Superboy through his anger over Jason's 'death' (since he is resurrected in this fic). Superboy moving in with Lex Luthor to get away from the badgering of his friends over his feelings. Lex being a somewhat –stress the somewhat– caring father figure to Conner. Also a Dark!Superboy. Also of course The Joker will play a pivotal role that will change a lot of things, but mostly Superboy - think Kingdom Come style (Hopefully that isn't too much of a spoiler ;) ). Those are just some of the more important aspects of the beginning of the story, I have some ideas for a bit later on but most of that is just the start. Anyone think this fic sounds interesting?
Last bit of A/N mostly for people who follow more than one of my fics, this is the longest chapter I have written in a very long time. My older crappier stories use to be 5,000 words long each, now a days on my better stories I barely scratch 3,000 words ever. Though Red Hood is like my favourite comic character, and Young Justice is one of my favourite TV Shows on air so I guess I'm just digging this idea a lot. Let's all hope for Red Hood appearance in Season 3 of YJ, after we hope for a Season 3 of YJ that is xD
PS: The bit at the end is just how I view Jason's sense of humor a lot of the times. He always seems to want to piss people off or make them feel uncomfortable.