AUTHOR'S NOTE: Once again, I wrote a story I did not expect myself to write off the top of my head at the last second. You can choose when this takes place (before or after Damian), I really wasn't sure which would be better (probably before) and I wanted to leave the option open. Well, here you go. I don't own any characters besides the gangbangers. No beta, no proofreading. Sorry, guys.
Bros For One New Year's Eve
"Relax, Tim. I'm not going to be late…yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever, Bro. Look, I'm almost done with patrol. Just one more look in this area and I'll be on my way, okay? See you there, Twerp." With that, Nightwing ended the conversation and landed smoothly on a rooftop.
He gave a final glance-over and decided that all was well. "Hm. Looks like everything's good tonight. Odd, but I'm not going to be one to question it unless I want Tim all over my case for being late. Guess I'd better head off and—" all of a sudden, a huge gun war started. "Sounds like trouble." Nightwing glided off in the direction the uproar had generated. By the time he got there and melted into the shadows, the shots had lessened, yet the war was still going on strong.
It looked like several gangbangers had been feuding with members of another gang. A 'fight-to-the-death' shootout began, but someone got in their way with their own firearms. Multiple gunmen had been shot, however Nightwing could tell that they were all still alive and none of them needed immediate medical attention. Although the others were sure to immediately get his fists' attention.
The shooting stopped, but Nightwing knew it was only momentarily. Now was his chance to act. There were three gunmen walking around in front of him. He leapt silently above the first one and delivered a power kick that easily knocked him out. The other two were just as effortless to take down. Nightwing ventured onward towards his right and took down a few more gangbangers. He had made his way to where he assumed had been the start of the battle with caution. There he saw the four remaining gunmen aiming at the sky with scared looks on their faces. Two of the gunmen were from one gang and the additional two were from the other.
"This is all your fault! When my boss finds out about this, your guys are going down! You hear me? Down, down, DOWN!"
"Aw, shut up! If we live through this, I swe…What was that?" A shadow moved across the sky and gunshots fired rapidly in every direction. While they were distracted by whatever it was, Nightwing quickly got the first two gangbangers off their feet. He delivered a sharp blow to one of their chests and a painful kick to the stomach of the other's. Just as he was handcuffing them, gun shots hit the two gunmen. One was wounded in the leg and the other was shot in the shoulder as the shots still fired. Nightwing located the source of the firing and flung a disc to dislodge the gun from the shooter.
"Shit!" While the shooter was clutching his injured hand, Nightwing quickly collected the gangbangers' guns and tied them up just as he began to hear sirens. 'BPD. Always late.' After doing so, he noticed that the mystery man was no longer where he last was, but instead escaping—by rooftops.
"Who is this guy?" Nightwing whispered as he made his way onto the nearest roof. It didn't take very long at all for him to catch up with the mysterious criminal on the same roof. Before the shooter could get away, Nightwing threw a few discs in his direction that were easily avoided. However, the crook was so occupied avoiding this attack, he failed to notice the main attack until it was too late. As he slumped to the ground, the villain placed his hand to his head where a boot print and a crack had freshly appeared. It was then that Nightwing's past presumption was proven accurate: this mysterious character was indeed wearing a mask. And a quite familiar one, at that.
"Aww. Why do you always have to ruin all the fun? You're just like Bruce, you know."
No, it could be… "J…Jason?"
"Sure, just blow my secret identity. It's Red Hood, Bird Boy."
"What the hell are you doing here?!"
Jason stood up and Nightwing remained cautious in case he tried anything. "Hey, I'm just doing my job. Those guys were going to kill each other."
"YOU were going to them ALL! You shot down half the damn alley!"
"I didn't come here to get a lecture. If I really wanted one, all I have to do is terrorize Gotham to get the old man's attention."
"Ja—Hood, why did you come here?"
"I've been following this gang riot for a week. Got a…tip from…a reliable source that told me something was definitely going to go down tonight between the two. So I tracked 'em down to this dump of a city and they started firing at each other, so I had to intervene a bit."
"By firing yourself, I see. You'd just better be lucky nobody was killed tonight."
"Whatever. And what are you talking about? It's New Year 's Eve. Plenty of people got whacked tonight."
Nightwing slightly gasped. "New Year's Eve. Damnit, I'm gonna be late and tim's gonna throw a fit."
"Oooh. Please, what's the replacement gonna do? Cry and tell you how much it meant to you that him were on time and never talk to you again? Big whoop."
Nightwing turned his head a bit. "Never talk to me again? I hope that doesn't happen. Do you really think—?" He turned back to see his younger brother running off on another rooftop. Nightwing followed the best he could, but eventually lost track of Red Hood. It took him another quarted-hour, but he finally re-located the poor, corrupted soul. He was smoking outside a liquor shop. Probably debating over whether or not he should go in.
"Why'd you follow me?"
"Why do you smoke?" Jason shrugged and took in another long drag of his cigarette. Most likely just because Nightwing had mentioned it and to annoy him a bit. It was at this moment that Dick noticed the grim look on his brother's face. He had taken off his Red Hood mask, yet still had his eye mask on. There was the tiniest bit of evidence that a black eye was forming—presumably from when Nightwing's boot and Red Hood's mask had made acquaintance.
Behind the tough exterior, Dick could tell that Jason was feeling lonely—maybe, he hoped, even misses the family. After all, here he was on New Year's Eve, smoking a cigarette behind a liquor shop, all alone, and looking grimmer than usual. Nightwing cursed his good heart for getting in the way over his job. But he just could stand to give Jason such a hard time when he looked so depressed. He hadn't even attacked him yet! Dick hated it, but he knew he wouldn't let himself leave until his brother was feeling at least a little better. He had to do something.
"Hey, J?" The other looked at Nightwing with sadness hidden behind a scowl. It almost broke Dick's heart. Almost. "You know…Tim and I were going to get together and hang out until the last few seconds into the new year come and we count them down."
"Then you'd better get going." His voice was low and somewhat hoarse. It nearly shattered Nightwing's almost broken heart. Nearly.
"Well, yeah, but…I was thinking that maybe…you could accompany me?"
Jason shot Dick a look. "What?"
"Yeah, it could be fun and—"
"There is no way in Hell that I'm going to join you in singing Christmas carols with the brat."
"Christmas already past, J. We're not singing carols, just counting down into the new year. That's all."
"I'd rather be shark bait."
"Come on, Jason."
"Hmph." Jason flicked the remaining stubble of his cigarette and prepared to leave.
"Wait." Dick caught hold of Jason's arm just as he was beginning his jump. One of the many ways to aggravate him.
"Let. Go. NOW." Dick did. "I'm not doing it, so leave me alone already."
"Come on, J." Jason turned and Dick sighed. "…Can't we just be bros for one New Year's Eve?"
Jason bowed his head a bit, clearly thinking about the offer. He didn't want to admit it, but he always liked Dick. Maybe not so much as a "brother", but definitely as a friend. He was always the sincere one who forgave him and had given him another chance. Unlike Tim who holds a grudge at hating him, Dick saw that Jason was silently hurting and tried to help. Even if Jason had tried to kill him in the past. A night with Grayson actually may not be that bad. It might even be…fun.
"I… All right, Grayson. You win. One night on the town."
Dick grinned, mostly excited that Jason had actually agreed, which wasn't even half expected. Maybe this meant that Jason had a chance at getting better after all. Maybe, just maybe, they could change him. But that was the future's problem. Right now, Dick had a few good hours to spend with his little brother. A chance he'd never quite gotten that he partially blames himself for.
"But I'm not going to be around that little runt."
"Who, Tim? What? Why not?"
"I'm not doing it. I'm not spending the night around the brat; he hates me."
"What? Tim doesn't hate you." Jason gave dick a look. "I mean, he doesn't exactly approve of what you do in your free time—none of us do—but… He doesn't hate you, Jason. He just…doesn't know you. He never got the chance."
"Well, he isn't going to get one tonight."
"No, Dick. Either it's just the two of us, or not at all."
Dick sighed. "…I… All right, J." And for half a second, Dick could have sworn he saw what looked like a small smile on his younger brother's face.
"So… What are we going to do?" With that, Dick grinned mischievously and their night began. Two hours later, Dick stumbled over to Tim who didn't look very pleased.
"It's about time you got here. What took you?"
"Oh, um, just… couple of bros for one New Year's Eve, is all."
"Maybe I'll tell you some other time."
People cheered as the countdown began. "10…9…8…7…"
"Come on, Bro. …6…"
"…1… HAPPY NEW YEAR!" There were screams of excitement from people as they crossed over into the new year. Tim got caught up in a giant wine blast and it was the first time in a while that Dick saw him really enjoy himself.
Dick looked onto a neighboring rooftop and whispered, "Happy New Year, Jason. Take care of yourself." He then turned back and tossed a towel at Tim to dry off.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I was going to upload this yesterday around 10pm, but things happened and I was unable to. I might do a sequel to this in which some years later, Dick tells Tim of how he and Jason had spent the night together and of what they did. Think I should do it, or just leave the story as is? Your opinion is always appreciated and valued as well as greatly respected. Also, if I do decide to do a sequel, do you think this story should have taken place before or after Damian came along? If before, then the sequel will probably take place while Bruce is still assumed dead and Dick is Batman. It would be within Damian's first year as Robin. If after, then Dick is Nightwing again and Bruce and Damian are partners. Thanks to you all.