DJG: Since I've been having the worst string of bad luck EVER (lost everything on my computer, my cat Butters died, my dad's friend killed himself, my school lost the championship, and my Skyrim game doesn't work, ect.) I decided to try and write some fluff. But then Bruce got involved and it became less fluffy and more…angsty? So now it's in this weird half fluff half angst category? I don't even know anymore. XD Hope you guys enjoy it, anyway.
Jason hated magicians. They were typically irritating and stupid and their costumes were almost always ridiculous, skintight, or both. This particular magician called himself the 'Lion Tamer' and wore a purple jacket over a white shirt, and gold sequined pants.
Yes, gold freaking sequined pants. As an added bonus, he had a whip at least fifteen feet long. It would've been menacing had it not been too long to actually accomplish anything except get tangled in those pants. Seriously, the pants were even more flashy and obnoxious than Nightwing, and he was pretty flashy and obnoxious.
"Arsenal, Star. Let's finish this, I'm starting to think of 'Holy _, Batman!' jokes about this guy's outfit." Jason spoke, his helmet's built in communicator picking up his voice and sending it to both of his teammates. A stray burst of random magic shot towards him, causing him to duck down as it struck his shoulder. He flinched, expecting something irritatingly magical to happen, but nothing did. Maybe it was a misfire? Can magic misfire?
"Roger, Red. Let's take this guy ou- uh oh."
Jason paused, frowning as he reloaded his handguns. "Harper…? Generally when you say 'uh oh' and don't elaborate, I get nervous. What'd he do now? Generate some flowers? His pants got uglier? What?"
Starfire flew by, a frown on her face. "What Roy means by 'uh oh' is that your family has arrived."
Jason stood up, unloading both weapons in the Lion Tamer's general direction. Before the bullets could hit their target, the man had used his whips to block them. The instant they made contact with it, they turned into butterflies.
"Ahaha! Alas, puny human, you are no match for moi, the Lion Tam-AEEEIII!" His dramatic speech became a rather girlish shriek of horror as a Batarang pinned the purple fabric of his jacket to the brick wall behind him.
Batman said nothing, simply glared. Red Robin and Robin stood behind him, both ready to attack if necessary. Nightwing was a little further back, a frown on his face as he scowled at the Lion Tamer.
Roy arched an eyebrow. 'Yo, N, you okay back there?"
Starfire frowned, hushing him, while Dick simply pouted, crossing his arms and looking away.
"We fought the Lion Tamer earlier, and Nightwing got hit with one of his spells. It makes his voice really high pitched. He's not very happy about it. He and O had a date tonight and now she can't even look at him without laughing." Red Robin explained. He knew his father and Robin were distrustful of Jason's team, but Tim disagreed with them. He thought they should be counted among the Batfamily's allies, and as such, were entitled to some information.
Roy snickered loudly into his fist.
"Shut up! It's not funny!" Nightwing snapped, voice reminiscent of Theodore from Alvin and the Chipmunks.
Jason was glad his face was covered so they couldn't see his shit-eating grin. Even Starfire was hiding a wry smile.
Batman and Robin's faces remained stoic. "Enough. I need to know if any of you were hit with any of his magic earlier. It could have averse effects if left alone."
Jason tensed, glancing away. No way was he saying anything. If nothing bad had happened yet, then it was probable that nothing would. And even if he woke up tomorrow with flowers growing out of his ears and neon purple hair, he wasn't going anywhere with Bruce and his demon child. The open hostility he felt towards his surrogate father and the youngest Robin felt stronger than usual tonight for some reason…
"None of us got hit." he growled, daring Batman to say otherwise.
Batman glared back, mouth twisting into a frown. "You're lying."
"No names in the field, hypocrite."
Robin abruptly popped up behind Jason, smirking. "You're lying, Hood. Your jacket is singed on the back, just below your left shoulder. I know you're rather uneducated, but even you must know that's close to your heart. I wonder what will happen to you when the spell kicks in?" Damian asked in a mock-innocent voice, smirking up at him. Jason had to resist the urge to flat-out sucker punch this brat in the face.
"Jaybird? You got hit and didn't say anything?" Roy asked, hurt evident on his face.
Jason covered his eyes with one hand, growing frustrated. "Dammit, Harper, it's not a big deal. I'm going back to the ship." He cracked open one eye behind the helmet and shot a final glare at Batman. "You…stay the hell away from me, got it?"
Ignoring the way everyone was staring at him, he turned and headed for a nearby rooftop. He also chose to ignore the slightest compulsion to take the Batarang still holding the Lion Tamer up with him. It was shiny…and when the Lion Tamer struggled, it glinted in the light…
Now that he noticed it, he felt pretty tired from all this running around. A nap would be nice…
By the time he made it back to the ship, Jason was ready to fall asleep. He yawned widely, stretching and tossing his helmet into his chair. He knew Roy and Star would be here in a matter of minutes, and was determined to get some sleep before then.
"Jason! What are you doing?!" a feminine voice asked in shock.
He bolted upright quickly, slamming his head on something metal above him and cursing loudly. "Gah! What the hell, Kori?!"
Roy frowned. "Something's up with you, Jay. You're acting…weird."
Jason frowned, rubbing the back of his head. "Whatever, Harper, I'm fine."
Roy arched an eyebrow. "Then explain why we found you sleeping. In the med bay. On a shelf."
Jason opened his mouth to reply, paused, and closed it. He honestly didn't remember deciding to sleep there. Hell, he didn't even remember walking into the med bay at all!
"It was comfy." he said finally, crossing his arms and almost…dare Roy think it…pouting.
Roy gave Kori a look, before she turned and starting to fly towards the door.
As soon as her long, fiery red hair lifted off the ground, Jason's eyes tracked it. Before he even realized what had happened, he was swatting at the end and biting at it, earning strange looks from both of his partners.
"I'm calling it, Jaybird. That Lion Tamer guy did something to you. I'm calling Bats back, he shouldn't be too far away by now. We'll get you help."
Jason released Starfire's hair from his mouth, dropping into a crouch and hissing. "No! I don't need help, I'm fine!"
Starfire landed beside him, putting a hand on his shoulder. "Jason, you are wiggling your behind as if you have a tail." she informed him.
Jason froze, face flushing slightly as he realized that what she said was exactly right. "Er…"
Roy pulled out his communicator and hit a few buttons, before holding it to his ear. "Bats? You might want to come back, Jason's got some symptoms of magic going on." There was a pause. "What symptoms…? Well, er…he's acting very…feline, for one…"
A dog a few blocks away barked and Jason jumped, hiding behind Kori, a low growl in his throat.
"Um…make that extremely feline."
A few minutes later led to Jason being taken into the Manor via the front door.
"We changed the entrances to the Batcave since you were last here, and since you are compromised at the moment, I'll be keeping their locations secret for now." Bruce explained.
Jason frowned, giving a low growl. Apparently cats growled? He didn't know that. But he did know what whenever Bruce or Damian came near him with no warning, he found his back arching as he crept away, growling and hissing.
Alfred appeared in the doorway, as unshaken as ever. "Good evening, Master Jason. I hear you are having some magical difficulties?"
Jason frowned, wishing Bruce had allowed him to keep his helmet or mask. "I guess…apparently I'm going to act like a cat for a few hours until it wears off…" he grumbled.
Alfred simply stepped out of his way to allow him entrance into the Manor. "Very good, sir."
Bruce began to explain the rules of the Manor to Roy and Kori, who refused to leave their teammate alone with his family in this state. Almost immediately, Jason snuck off, much more sneakily than usual, even.
"Alfred, I don't suppose you know where Jason went…?" Bruce asked, dreading the idea of searching all over the enormous Manor for his wayward son.
A high-pitched laughing was heard from down the hall. "Bruce, you've got to see this!" Dick yelled.
Sharing a nervous look, Roy and Kori quickly followed Dick's altered voice towards the sitting room where the secret entrance to the Batcave resided. Jason was perched as if to pounce right in front of it, watching the grandfather clock's pendulum with wide, fascinated eyes. Roy was amused more so by the fact that the fearsome Red Hood, defender of Gotham City, once again had his butt in the air, wiggling it slightly.
Bruce cleared his throat into his fist.
Jason jumped, spinning around and looking embarrassed again. "It was…I mean, I…it was swinging and…er…"
The older man frowned, mentally reviewing all of Jason's symptoms. Distrust that was displayed by hissing and back arching, attraction to shiny and moving objects, and acting as though he had a tail. All of these catlike qualities vanished once startled, but the main change seemed to be his personality. It seemed that whenever he was in 'cat mode' as Bruce dubbed it, he acted less abrasive and much more…mischievous. A feline quality, perhaps? Hmm. He'd need to study his second eldest more. It seemed as though the Lion Tamer's spells didn't last very long, as Dick's voice problem was already starting to wear off.
Dick, who had been idly drumming his fingers on the table, suddenly found a wild Jason pouncing on them. He laughed, moving his fingers closer to Jason, and then pulling back. The younger boy's hand always seemed to hit the table where Dick's fingers had just been, earning a glare in Dick's direction.
The eldest Robin suddenly stopped, grabbing Jason's face. "Hey-! Dammit, Dick, let go!" Jason complained, squirming slightly. In normal circumstances, Jason would have probably slammed Dick through the table, but for some reason he felt slightly more…carefree, and …lighter. More bubbly, maybe? He didn't feel like he needed to be so angry all the time. At any rate, it was weird. Jason wasn't sure how he felt about it yet.
Dick looked close at Jason's eyes, concern showing.
"Bruce, look at his eyes." he insisted, holding the still struggling teenager in a headlock. Bruce came forward, frowning as he immediately noticed what Dick had seen. Jason's previously rounded pupils had become sharper, tapering off towards the top and bottom. Not only that, but the green of his eyes was becoming lighter, and less human-looking.
Bruce frowned deeply. This…was unexpected. Instead of slowly vanishing like Dick's symptoms had, Jason's seemed to be growing worse.
This…could be a problem.
It had been three days since Jason had come to stay in the Manor. Bruce was starting to relax slightly, as Jason's pupils hadn't gotten any more catlike, and it seemed as though the rest of his symptoms hadn't gotten any worse either. The main concern for Bruce was that it seemed Jason's skeletal structure had altered slightly, making him more comfortable on all fours, although he could still stand normally when he chose (which wasn't often). A quick call to Zatara had revealed that these things would take time to wear off, but that if it didn't in another week, he'd come over and fix it personally.
Still, it was obvious that Jason wasn't getting any better. Bruce had been measuring and weighing him every day, and he had lost roughly six inches of height for some reason and almost fifty pounds. Magic spell or no magic spell, that wasn't healthy. His new height put him just below Dick's shoulders when he was standing up straight, and only one inch taller than Tim, for which he wasn't amused. Part of his weight loss, in Bruce's opinion, came from his new diet, which seemed to consist entirely of milk, water, fish, and other types of meat.
The changes were more than just physical. His regular attitude had all but vanished, yet another symptom to add to the list. Jason acted almost like he had when he was Robin, only more…excitable. It was bizarre, to say the least. He still wasn't comfortable around Bruce, still hissing and spitting whenever the older man took him by surprise, but at least he seemed happier, overall.
Roy and Kori didn't stay in the Manor, instead, they left at around 10:00 at night, and returned each morning. They wanted to give Jason a bit of privacy so it wouldn't be awkward when he changed back.
Dick was highly amused by the fact that Jason's new favorite perch was the chandelier, curled up comfortably amongst the golden bars that held its shape. Alfred had one hell of a time trying to get him to come down. It took an offering of three cans of tuna (cooked lightly, of course, no one in this house would ever eat raw meat while Alfred had anything to say about it) and nearly half a gallon of milk to lure the cat-boy down.
A new favorite pastime of Kitty Jason was to hide under various pieces of furniture and swipe at people's ankles when they walked past, or else tie their shoelaces to things when they were distracted. The only one who actually fell victim to this prank was Tim, and in his defense, he was on the phone with Kon while trying to solve an important case on his computer. Jason could have tap-danced by with nothing but the scaly Robin panties on, wearing a sombrero while singing opera and Tim still probably wouldn't have noticed. So when he stood up five hours later to reveal a big breakthrough in the case, he ended up face planting into the floor and discovering Jason was taking a nap under his desk the whole time.
To everyone's surprise, Damian seemed thrilled by Jason's transformation. He even allowed Jason into his room, an honor none besides Alfred and Dick had ever received. Then again, Damian did have a (so he thought) secret love of cats. Tim had plucked up the courage to crack the door of Damian's room open, finding the world's most surprising sight.
Damian was curled up on the bed, arm thrown over Jason's waist as he huggled him like a giant teddy bear. Jason was completely asleep, and was purring softly while the child assassin rubbed his stomach. Damian's signature scowl was absent, and he looked almost…innocent. Tim crept away from the door, smiling to himself. Even if Jason's catlike symptoms didn't go away immediately, at least something good had come of it.
His opinion changed the next day.
Jason had all but vanished, leaving no trace. He wasn't stalking the pendulum, or sleeping on the chandelier, or prowling around the halls. Damian looked all over the house, with Dick's aid, and he still couldn't find him. Even when Roy and Kori assisted, they had no luck. It was like he had just disappeared. Not even Alfred, the all-seeing butler, could locate him.
So it was a bit of a surprise when Tim did.
Tim had a room, far away from the rest of the occupied parts of the house, in the west wing. It was supposed to be a guest room, but he used it as a personal escape whenever he wanted to be alone to think.
This guest room, like all the others, were covered in dusty sheets to preserve the furniture, as they hadn't been used in years. The air was stuffy, and almost hard to breathe.
The first thing Tim noticed was the floor, it had…were those paw prints? in the dust, and they led to the bed, where a rather small lump was curled up. Tim followed the tracks, finding just Jason's face poking out of the bundle of blankets. And was it just him, or did he look even tinier than usual…? He was awake, but he refused to look at the younger boy once he knew he was there.
"Jason? We've been looking all over for you, everyone's worried!" he exclaimed, bending down to be face-to-face with the older boy.
He simply shook his head, looking away.
Tim frowned, setting a hand down on the dusty nightstand to help balance himself as he sat on the floor. The dust he kicked up caused Jason's face to twitch, before he sneezed so hard that the sheet fell off, revealing…oh, no…
Two large black cat ears poking out of Jason's messy hair. They each had a bit of white dusting the tips, a fact Tim would care about once he stopped panicking. Oh, this was bad, this was so bad! What if this spell was permanent, what if it continued until Jason became a real cat? What if he kept losing weight, at the rate he was going, he'd wither away in a matter of days! Tim didn't realize his eyes were watering until a corner of the sheet was poked against them…by a long, black tail.
He pulled the sheet completely off Jason, revealing that yes, Jason was indeed in possession of ears and a tail…his whole body was smaller, even smaller than Damian. He was practically cat sized already! His hands were still human, even though they were smaller, but a careful examination showed that he now had retractable claws. A quick glance in his eyes, and they were almost completely catlike, with a pale greenish yellow coloring. Tim squeezed Jason's cheeks, revealing his teeth were a bit sharper and set up to be more animal than human.
"C-Can you still talk?" Tim asked.
"…we're in trouble."
Tim carried Jason back to the main part of the Manor, still in shock. It didn't help that Jason's tail was swishing back and forth idly, his ears twitching whenever he heard one of the others still searching for him.
"Guys…I found him."
Almost immediately, the small search party flocked to them, each expressing their surprise in various ways.
"What the hell?!"
"Good Lord, Master Jason!"
Jason watched them all with a curious expression, before leaping from Tim's arms and vigorously attacking Starfire's hair.
Bruce frowned. "Robin, suit up. I'm going to speak with the Puppet Master. Dick? Contact Zatara, inform him of the situation. We will change him back. This won't go on for any longer. I won't allow it."
Dick nodded, heading down for the Batcave with Damian and Bruce right behind him.
Kori knelt down and scooped Jason into her arms. He gave a small "Nyaaa!" of delight, tiny hands swatting at her gently. She gave a sad smile, cooing softly and scratching his ears. "I know this is not a good thing, this whole situation, but…he seems happy."
Roy scowled a bit, glancing away. "Pshht. Women and their obsession with cute things."
Suddenly, Jason squirmed his way up to Kori's shoulder, perching there as he got as close to Roy's face as he could.
"I'm cute?" he asked in a small voice. His ears were cocked inquisitively and his tail flicked back and forth slowly.
Kori and Tim gave a surprised look. Apparently Jason could still talk, after all, but with his mind more cat then human, it didn't seem important to him. His large eyes watched Roy expectantly, one small tooth poking up over his top lip. The tiny cat-boy was acting like this answer was the meaning of life itself.
Roy looked back and forth, embarrassedly. "Uh…sure?"
Jason's whole face lit up, and he threw himself at Roy, forcing him to catch him. "Yay! Nyan nyan nyan-!"
The archer groaned to himself, reluctantly holding the younger boy as he continued to chirp happily over and over again, purring as well and curling up under Roy's chin.
"-nyan nyan nyan nyan!"
Batman slammed the Lion Tamer into the wall. "Talk."
The villain stammered confusedly. "Wh-what? What do you want me to say?"
Robin watched on unsympathetically as his father backhanded the Lion Tamer across the face. "You put a spell on one of our allies. How do we take it off?" he spoke up.
The purple and gold-clad man went pale. "Er…I…a-a spell? Really…? Th-That's…"
Batman leered, leaning in closer so the Lion Tamer could FEEL the sharpness of the Batglare being directed at his face.
He cracked. "Okay! Okay! I'll talk! I'LL TALK!"
Robin smirked, cracking his knuckles. "I'd speak quickly if I were you."
When Jason woke up, he found himself halfway up a fireplace. His head felt cloudy, and he shook it slowly, trying to clear it.
"Nng…what the hell?"
For the life of him, he couldn't remember how he ended up there. Jason could faintly remember a man in a top hat saying things backwards, a flash of light, intense pain, and then…he was running? Maybe that was how he ended up here. Jason then realized he had a death grip on the inside of the fireplace, and allowed himself to slide down, poking his head out. He could hear people yelling his name, and he wasn't sure why.
He followed the yells, finding himself outside the kitchen.
"Did you find him?" Tim asked worriedly.
"No, he ran away right after Zatara said the spell! He snuck into a crevice in the wall, and when I went to get a flashlight to try and get him out, he was gone!" Dick responded.
Bruce grunted. "He couldn't have gotten far…"
"I disagree, Master Bruce, he managed to get rather far away the last time he vanished. The better question is, did the counter spell succeed in changing him back?"
"Jaybird's gotta be around here somewhere, you guys. All we have to do is find him!" Roy responded confidently.
"Where should we begin to look…?" Starfire asked.
"Tt. He might've gone to my room, he insisted on sleeping at the foot of my bed last night." Damian's voice this time. What…?
"Um…what's going on…?" Jason asked, entering the room. All eyes were instantly on him, and he found himself sneering in response. "What the hell are you looking at?"
"Jay! You're you again!" Dick said happily, glomping him. Or, trying to anyway. Jason quickly kicked him in the kneecaps, taking him down.
"Did everyone go crazy while I was gone?!" he demanded, giving the rest of them a glare.
"Ow, Jay! You suck!" Dick whined from the floor.
Jason idly kicked him with his boot. "Shut up, you."
Roy and Kori stood. "A lot has happened, Jason. What do you remember?" Kori asked.
Jason backed up defensively. "Remember? About what? What the hell are you two talking about?" His eyes flicked between them suspiciously, his hand coming to rest on his side, where his knife would normally be. Something had changed, something he didn't remember, and he didn't like it. Since when were his teammates acting so buddy-buddy with the Bats? Bruce stood, a frown etched on his face.
"Jason, calm down."
The teenager turned to him, seething. "What is going on, dammit!?"
Alfred coughed quietly into his fist. "You were transformed into a kitten, Master Jason."
And…Jason had no comeback for that. "I…what?"
"A kitten, Master Jason. And dare I say, a rather cute one at that, if not a bit mischievous. That remind me, I must restock the larder, we're completely out of milk and tuna fish…" Alfred said with a perfectly straight face.
"Careful, Jay, you keep making that face and it'll get stuck that way!" Roy jibbed, throwing an arm over Jason's shoulders.
"A…kitten? As in…a baby cat…?" Jason asked, looking dumbfounded. He couldn't wrap his head around this, the last thing he remembered was fighting some lunatic in shiny gold pants.
Damian scoffed loudly. "Even you cannot be this dense, Todd. You were cursed by a magician. You became a feline. End of story."
Jason blanched. "What the he-NO, that is not the end of the story!"
Tim smirked. "Actually, if you're interested, I have security footage. Three day's worth, actually."
"Show him the part where he cuddled with Damian!" Dick piped up from his place on the floor.
"GRAYSON! You promised to never speak of that again!"
"Ooh, what about the time he tied Tim's shoelaces to his desk?"
"Not funny, Roy! That hurt!"
"I was rather partial to the time he wouldn't come down from the chandelier…"
"…or when he tried hunting my pendulum."
"Your pendulum, Bruce? Really? Is it the Bat-Pendulum now because you've claimed it?"
"…yes. It's my pendulum, attached to my clock, which leads to my cave."
Jason rubbed his temples and sighed. "Point me to the damn footage. This I gotta see."
DJG: Eh. Nope. Still not as cute as I wanted it to be. Meh. Mehh. Mehhhhh. *facedesk* I'm losing my touch ehehehehehehehhhhh. Still, hope you guys liked it. If you need me I'll be under my desk making weird whiny noises and reviewing the next chapter of Who Could Guess. :3