Hello again! I've decided i'm going to try to write a fic for the holidays i celebrate, since my Christmas fic went down pretty well (i think)

And as an atheist, i don't celebrate a lot of holidays, so i don't have to work too hard! It's a flawless plan.

Also these kinds of fics work best with my school schedual.

Yay!

And, since i'm apparently good at writing him: More Jason!

For ages see my other fic since i point blank refuse to list them again. (because i seriously don't care) since this is set only a freaking week after it.

I'm considering making this multi-chapter, so let me know what you think.

oh yeah, and happy holidays.

Title: Mantra

Verse: Preboot DCU (In continuity with my other fic "Christmas with Todd" but can be read as a stand alone)

Pairings: None (intentionally. Read as any ship you want)

Warnings: Swearing, drunkeness, sexual themes, and mentions of child prostitution and rape

Rating: T

Summary: Jason's favourite bar has a bird infestation

New years is a boring holiday.

I never celebrated as a kid because staying up late and getting inebriated just wasn't my cup of tea back then...obviously.

Now it's pretty much all I do besides dressing up in a costume and shooting people.

To be honest I never considered it to be something really worth celebrating. Another year ends and a new one begins and nothing changes besides the date.

Nevertheless, since I came back to Gotham after my ressurection I would visit an old bar Willis used to go to (when he wasn't out being one of Two-Face's bitches) on new years. (I get the impression that he didn't want to spend a lot of time at home. Can't say I blame him completely - I know first hand that taking care of hardcore addicts is fucking exhausting) that is, if i'm not already incarcirated. I remembered it because in amongst that box of stuff I found my birth certificate in all those years ago, there had been a few matchboxes with the bar logo on it.

The place was pretty low down on the food chain - the glasses are always greasy (occasionally there's even lipstick marks), their peanuts suck, the drinks are watered down and the central heating system doesn't work properly, but hey, it has it's perks, too.

1) It's in my territory, so there are plenty of nearby safehouses to stumble to after a long night.

2) It's full of attention starved women

3) I have a very good repuation around here. Do the math.

4) The barman knows my ID is fake and doesn't give a shit. (Although i'm past drinking age I AM legally dead, afterall)

5) New Years isn't a big deal here.

6) and the manor is too far away for any of my "family" to find and annoy me.

Or at least, so I thought.

"Hey sugar." I could feel long nails on dainty fingertips just barely brush against my back. There was a cloud of obnoxious perfume invading the air. It was cheap and flowery, but not entirely unpleasant. "This seat taken?"

I looked over my shoulder at the platinum blonde behind me. I sat my drink down - I was halfway through my second pint of beer - and broke into my best attempt at a charming grin. "Not at all." She sat down carefully on the barstool to my left, shifting the skirt of her green dress to avoid flashing her underwear, meanwhile exposing a lot more leg, which was smooth and slender and looked fairly long for someone who couldn't be any taller than 5ft 3".

"What's your name, handsome?" she said, leaning forward on her elbows and pushing her breasts together between her arms.

I give her a grin and answer. "Jason"

"Kiesha" she tells me, just as Sam the barman approachess her.

"What'll it be, miss?"

"Rum and coke, if you don't mind" 'Of course he doesn't mind. It's his fucking job' I can't help but think.

"Right away" Sam says as he sets to work on getting her drink and taking other orders.

We both watch him in silence as he fills the glass and leaves it in front of her. She smiles, carding a hand through her hair, and thanks him politely, taking a sip before turning back to me. I smirk at her.

"So tell me, Kiesha. On a scale of 1 to 10, how much like P Diddy did you feel this morning?"

She laughs. "Eleven"

We talk for a while, flirt for longer, until eventually we're drinking vodka shots together.

I knock back my third and laugh when she slams her shot-glass on the counter. "I like this drink! Another!"

She makes that reference after every shot. Every. One. She's had five.

Then she's giggling like a schoolgirl and she turns to me. "How about we set the new year off with a bang, eh?" I take the hint. Her eyelids are a bit droopy and her elbow slips off the counter, and I wonder if saying yes would make me an even worse person than I already am.

"I donno. You're pretty drunk." I say.

"So?"

She wobbles a little, then turns away to pour herself another shot from the bottle she insisted Sam leave with her.

Yeah, I can't go through with it. Pretty as she is, it'd be wrong to take advantage of her like that.

I try to think of a rebuttal, and just as the words are about to pass my lips, I feel an arm lace it's way around my shoulders and hear a voice I really wish I didn't.

"Hey Jay! What a surprise to see you here!"

Dick.

All traces of a smile vanish immediately from my face. I turn my head to give him a sideways glance. "I could say the same thing about you"

'I was just taking Timmy here out to celebrate the new year" He pulled the replacement close with the other arm.

"Apparently it's a disgrace that we haven't before now." Tim added, looking irritated. Something tells me we both didn't want them to be there.

I take another shot and shrug Dick's arm off, just as Kiesha asks; "Jason, who are your handsome friends?"

"They're not my-"

"We're his brothers! I'm Dick," Dick places a hand on his own chest, then spreads his arm out to guesture at the replacement. "And this is Timmy!"

"Tim" the boy corrects him, offering out a nervous hand to the girl. "Nice to meet you,"

Kiesha takes his hand and shakes it once. "It's nice to meet you too, pretty boy,"

Tim blushes and turns away and Dick laughs. I could tell he'd been drinking. His breath reeked of it. (Or maybe it was mine. I was already pretty drunk by this point)

"Well, i'll just get outta yer hair, shalla?" She says, standing up from her stool onto shaky legs. "It was nice meeting you boys" she says, handing me a napkin.

"Call me, 'kay pumpkin?" She winks at me and then staggers away.

I feel someone punch my arm. "Haha! He shoots he scores, right Jay?"

I give Dick a cold glare. "Go away. Get your own damn bar."

Dick makes a fake affronted face and Tim rolls his eyes. "I'm offended Jay! Don't you wanna spend new year with your brothers?"

No. I don't.

"We're not brothers." I grind out behind clenched teeth.

"Sure we are! Bruce adopted you, Bruce adopted Tim. Bruce adopted me. Therefore we are -officially- brothers. Right Timmy?"

Tim looks so uncomfortable. I'd pity him if I didn't hate his guts.

"Ugh, yeah. Sure." He mumbles, hopping onto the empty barstool that used to be occupied be Kiesha.

He summons the bartender and orders a beer.

I decide to ignore Dick in favour of annoying the kid. I lean over to whisper in his ear: "Go on Tim. Order the appletini. You know you want to. I won't judge you."

Smirking, I pull away and watch as he calls back the barman.

"On second thought, make it a vodka martini" Close enough.

"Shaken or stirred, Mr Bond?" Dick wonders with a shit eating smirk.

"Shut up" Tim said. He turns to me. "And don't you go thinking I changed my mind because you told me! I just remembered how much I hate beer, is all"

I fake cough the word "pussy" at him.

Sam looks at Tim suspiciously and he shows the bartender his driver's license again. I nudge him with my elbow. "Can't believe you're actually legal, kid. You don't look it,"

The replacement gives me the stink eye.

"It's the baby face and the fifteen year old's body that gives you away." I continued.

He was getting progressively more flustered and Dick was laughing like this was the funniest thing ever. "I don't have a fifteen year old's body! You just have a distorted perspective,"

"Keep telling yourself that kid." I give him a nudge and a wink and he hides his face in his hands.

"I hate you so much."

I just laugh while Dick orders a drink for himself and explains to Sam that he shouldn't listen to me and that Tim actually is as old as he says. Sam assures him that he takes everything I say with a grain of salt anyway and that it's okay, but Dick keeps explaining anyway.

I think that maybe having them around wouldn't be so bad.

A problem with me, as a drunk, is that I often over-share. I can't tell you how many people i've told I was Robin. Somewhere around two dozen. Luckily, nobody believes me and thinks i'm just being silly (probably because they're mentally picturing the pretender or the little demon and looking at my 6ft 225lb self and simply can't see it or something).

So that night when the ever curious Tim started asking the personal stuff I, regretably, just told him the truth.

It's almost midnight, and we're talking about sex as we wait for the clock toll. We'd eventually left the bar counter and found ourselves a table to sit at together. I didn't exactly want to sit with them, but you you've just got to surrender if you want to make it through the night.

"Okay, okay, who were your first times?" Tim asks, looking between me and Dick.

Dick answered first. "Kory. Starfire. It was great."

I roll my eyes. "I can imagine. She's a babe. No offense." I look at Dick apologetically (Gimmie a break, i'd been drinking since 9PM. I'm allowed to be stupid)

"None taken." Dick assures me with a dismissive wave of his hand.

"Mine wasn't" I admit finally. "At all. Not even a teenie weenie bit. Great, I mean. It wasn't great."

Dick's mouth falls open in a little 'O' and looks at me sadly."Aww, why Jay? Who was it?"

I shrug. "That's the thing: I don't know." Both of them look at me pityingly.

"That blows. First time should be personal. It's supposed to be special. Like me and Kory were."

I blow air upwards at my bangs. "Hey, at least I got payed for it."

That's when Dick slams his drink down on the table and stands up, bumping the table on his way up. "WHAT? She payed you?"

I scratch the back of my neck and look away. "He did. I was as starving nine year old and he told me if I did it he'd help me."

Tim and Dick look like they want to tackle hug me at that moment and I hide my face in my hands. "Can we talk about something else now?

"You were a prostitute? How come I didn't know about this?" Tim wonders. I couldn't see his face, but I imagine it'd be somewhere between dazed, sad and pissed.

"Maybe because it's NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS, DRAKE!" I lift my hands away from my face as I yell, I spit a little and the kid shrinks away from me.

Dick rests a hand on my shoulder. "Okay, okay, easy now Jay, just calm d-"

"CALM DOWN? CALM DOWN?! YOU CALM DOWN!" I slam my hands down on the table. I could feel the stares of the other patrons on me. "THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU, SO CAN YOU JUST LEAVE IT?" and with that I stand up and leave the table.

I kick the bathroom door open, and storm in, fists clenched. I needed to break something; anything, or I thought i'd shatter into a million pieces. I see a mop and bucket in the corner beside me, and kick it over hard enough that it flies through the air and crashes against the bathroom wall. I snap the mop in two. I then punch the wall beside me, shattering the cheap tile, and punch it again, and again, until my knuckles are bleeding and theres a sizeable dent in the drywall. When I started to leave bloodsmears on the wall, I realised I needed to stop, and ran my hand under the cold water to soothe the fresh cuts.

I look up to stare at my reflection in the mirror, and I hate what I see. I see someone who doesn't sleep, for fear that all the bad things he's seen and done will come back to haunt him. I see the deep purple circles under his eyes that prove it. I see a whore, a thief, a charity case, a fool, a murderer. I see a failure. I hate that man in the mirror.

So I punch the mirror. It cracks, shards crashing into the sink below and imbedding themselves into the already tender skin of my hand. I wince and take a step back, cradling my hand in the other, and when i see the fragmented, smirking face staring back at me in the mirror, I collapse to the soaking floor below the sink, lie down in a ball, and try not to cry. (Read: I weep like a toddler)

I leave bloodsmears on the toilet seat when I throw up into it, clutching on for dear life, and it just keeps coming. Every time i think it's safe and I go to wipe my mouth on my hand, more comes up.

I know the wound in my hand will get infected, but I can't bring myself to care. I didn't even take all the mirror fragments out.

I'm throwing up when the door opens. I can hear people counting down collectively outside it, and the shuffling of feet as someone staggers into the bathroom.

"Jay?" It's Dick's voice. "You still in here?"

The sound of my heaving answers him.

He rounds on the stall and finds me hunched over, crying and bleeding. It's not exactly how I want him to be seeing me; so fragile and cowardly.

"Oh Jay" He whispers sadly, crouching down behind me and rubbing soothing circles on my back.

"Go AWAY" I shout, and my voice cracks. I sounded so pathetic I winced.

He doesn't though. Instead, the just reaches forward and combs my bangs out of my face with his fingers. "Poor little bird." he whispers again and again, like a mantra. "What have you done?"

I have nothing else in my stomach to present to the bowl below me, so I turn around to scream at him. "GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME, DICK!" but again he doesn't listen, instead pulling me back so my head is resting against his chest. He strokes my hair...affectionately? Wiping away the tear tracks which still stain my cheeks he continues with his weird little mantra.

I try to pull away, but he holds me down tight.

"Happy New Year, Little Wing." I could hear the sad smile in his voice.

"Go fuck yourself."

"If it makes you feel any better, you're not the only one here that's had sex when they didn't want to."

I turn my head to look at him. "It doesn't."

"I was in shock. I'd just let her kill someone. I really didn't want her to touch me. But she did."

"Fucking riveting,"

"Don't be a smartass, little bro." It's good to know that even as a quivering mess on the floor, i've still got it. "C'mon, Little Wing. Let's get you outta here." He looks over his shoulder at the door. "TIMMY!"

And just like that the replacement is there to help drag me out of the bathroom.

"Can you walk?" Drake asks.

"Of course I can fucking walk." I say, but in truth i'm not sure at all. They let me go and I stand up, immediately wobbling to our table to grab my jacket, to the bar to pay off my tab (Dick pays for my vandalism, which was nice) and towards the exit.

I've barely left the building when I feel someone grab my shoulder. I try to ignore him but Dick is adamant when he yanks me around to face him.

"C'mon, Jay. The night's still young. Don't go home so soon." He gives me the puppy dog eyes while Tim just stares at him, poised at his side. I can tell he wants to yell at Dick "What the fuck are you doing?" (Or something to that effect). I wish he had.

"Dude, I smell like puke. Ahm going home." I tell him.

"Then we're coming too!" Dick cheers, roping his arm around the Replacement's shoulders again. "Besides! Timmy's not even drunk yet. He's been faking it all night!" Pretender is such a fitting name for this kid. I am so proud of myself for thinking of it.

He doesn't say anything.

I sigh dramatically. "Fine, but no sabotaging my things like the demon brat did when he payed me a visit. Nearly got me killed, the little shit."

Dick gives me a sharp slap. "Don't say that. He's just a baby!" and then suddenly Drake can't even hold himself up he's laughing so much.

I ignore them both and start walking away towards the tiny apartment closest to the bar.

"Jason wait up!" Dick cries, stumbling after me and dragging the still giggling Tim along by the hood of his winter coat.

"And they call ME OCD," Drake comments as he surveys the apartment. Everything is in it's place. Bed made military style, clothes neatly folded and put away or hung up in my wardrobe. Kitchen's pristine, all dishes put away in their designated cupboards. Everything is spotless, aside from a light layer of dust collecting

"In my defense, I don't use this place often," I inform them, hanging up my jacket of the coathanger by the door. "But yeah, I like things orderly. So hang your coats up or i'll break your spines."

Needless to say, they do as they're told.

"Beer's in the fridge. Liquor's in the cabinet by my bed. Have whatever the fuck you want. I'm going for a shower."

"Don't slip!" Dick calls after me. Fucking asshole.