Here we are once again! YAY! Writers block gone (finally) and this is the longest chapter yet maxing out at about 4,500 words! While previous longest chapter maxed out at about 3,800 words. I hope that this chapter does you well, explaining some things that are very important for future reasons too.
Oh! And I'd just like to thank everyone who reviewed for the last chapter, it really helped me get out of my writing funk and I'm really grateful. Your reviews always make my day brighter! So, I hope you enjoy this chapter.
I don't own Young Justice.
Jim peered out the front window in the bio-ship, still contemplating how quiet the ship was despite going at such speeds over this long a distance. He took a breath, and sat back in his chair going over in his head what exactly he was going to say to Margaret once they got to her house.
He knew that this confrontation was going to be both awkward, and full of tears once she heard of her ex-husband's recent "activities". Not only this but he would also have to question her, and he's already done that before. Doing it again will be so much harder, because now instead of asking about her now dead son he has to ask about her ex-husband. Who will be sent to prison for the duration of his life after they catch him, as if the family she had created wasn't broken enough already.
Jim sighed deeply and sunk back into his chair a little further. All he really wanted to do was melt into this chair and disappear until after this whole debacle was over. Because really, who wanted to go and talk to someone they hoped they had completely eradicated from their life? Most certainly not Jim Gordon, but I guess that's just the way things go.
"So, what's your connection to Margaret Katherine?" Artemis asked all of the sudden, startling Jim out of his stupor. He sat up in his chair, and looked to the blonde. She was looking at him expectantly, resting her head on one hand. Jim shifted more.
"What makes you think I have a connection to her?" Jim questioned, regaining his composure. Artemis scoffed and sat up a bit straighter as well.
"What is there to make me think that you don't have a connection to her?" Artemis quipped back, and Jim furrowed his brow. "I mean," she continued, "you've been reluctant about going to question Margaret this entire time, and you've had a deep-in-thought look on your face for the past twenty minutes."
Jim sighed, "I guess I have, haven't I?" he said warily. He then rubbed his face with his hands for a moment, and looked back up at Artemis, his look stern. "I've questioned her before, when I was first starting out as a cop. I was on the case for her and her husband's missing son." Artemis sat up more, and nodded.
"Did you find the son?" Artemis asked, and Jim shook his head.
"No, well, yes we did. But by 'found him', I mean his dead body." Artemis nodded grimly. "I had to deliver the news to both her and her husband. And after that they got divorced because the husband, Jason, was going out of his mind and becoming violent because of his son's murder. He wouldn't accept that the way Nathan died was how he died! He would ramble on and on about how their must have been some deeper meaning or underground plot to kill his son, to take him away from him. It was like he thought someone was trying to get back at him for something or another," Jim explained. Artemis took a breath and licked her dry lips.
"How was Nathan killed then? Really?" Artemis asked, picking up the fact that Nathan was the son.
"He was caught in gang crossfire. Then one of the guys, probably the one who shot him, realized that he had to do something with the body as not to go to prison. So, he dumped Nathan in a ditch off a highway," Gordon explained.
"Which gangs do you think were having a shot out?" Artemis asked, knowing several of the gangs in Gotham.
"Judging by the territory area he was caught walking through, I'd say the Kronos's and the League of Smiles (1)."
Artemis frowned. "That doesn't sound like something the League of Smiles would be caught up in. They are a Joker worshiping gang after all, one of many, so those kinds like to get up close and personal with their kills. The Kronos's I can see being in a shootout with some other gang, but the League of Smiles? Really?" Artemis proposed. Jim furrowed his eyebrows, leaving a distinct crease in his forehead.
"What are you getting at?" Gordon asked.
"Just that maybe Jason's fears weren't completely unfounded," Artemis concluded. Jim frowned.
"Are you saying that you agree with him?" Jim asked, and Artemis shook her head.
"No, of course not. I hate this man to the depths of the Earth for all he's done and will do, and I will never agree with anything he says or does," Artemis said coldly. "I'm just saying that maybe you guys overlooked something in this case, and that Jason didn't. Maybe there's more to this than we think." Gordon's mind began going over everything from that case once again, unable to believe that he and the rest of the force had overlooked something. But before he could get into too much thought on that part, he felt the ship begin landing.
"We're here!" M'gann called out, a little louder and peppier than necessary. Artemis swung her body back into position, and so did Gordon.
The bio-ship landed steadily, and with little shock. Jim nodded in approval in his head at the device, or at her as Miss Martian would say. The bio-ship's engines powered down, and M'gann smiled brightly, unlatching herself, Artemis, and Jim from their chairs. She opened the bay door cleanly, and they found themselves looking out at the back of a nice bright green house in Rhode Island.
M'gann lead the way out, camouflaging the bio-ship behind her. Jim sighed quite loudly and both Artemis and M'gann looked at him.
"We should probably go around front to knock, and I should be the one to do it, since she knows me," Gordon stated, the girls nodded in agreement and let him lead the way. They walked around the rather large house, and stepped up and onto the porch.
Jim knocked on the front door.
They stood there for a mere moment or two before and brunette and brown eyed woman opened the door, a slight smile on her face. But that went away when she realized who Jim was.
"Jim...? Jim Gordon?" she said carefully, taking in his older features, than and only then noticing the two teen superheroines standing behind him. "Uh..."
"Hi Margaret, I'm surprised you remember me." Jim smiled, making Margaret only slightly more comfortable. She then opened the door completely and stepped out onto the porch with them.
"What's this about, Jim? And why are they...?" She motioned to Artemis and Miss Martian, and they both just smiled awkwardly.
"Yeah, sorry about the seemingly random visit. These young ladies are Artemis, Green Arrow's partner, and Miss Martian, Martian Manhunter's niece," Jim explained. Margaret sighed, then smiled at the girls.
"Hi, sorry about that, I'm Margaret," She introduced herself to Artemis and M'gann, shaking each of their hands with a smile. "So," she spun to Jim, "what's this 'seemingly random' visit about? Key word, seemingly," Jim sighed with an ominous atmosphere.
"We have to ask you a few questions," Jim started, and Margaret didn't like where this was going, "a few questions about your ex-husband, Jason," Jim finished carefully.
Margaret's eyes widened in fear, then sunk into sickness and disappointment, for what they would never know.
"Alright, come inside." She lead them inside her spacious home. Open rooms everywhere you turned, the walls painted her favorite color; green. Most everything was green actually, she must really like green... There were high ceilings, and high blown glass windows. She was obviously doing very well for herself.
She lead them into what they could assume was the living room. A flat screen mounted on the far wall adjacent to the dark brown leather couch, and two brown leather chairs on either side. A well crafted oak coffee table in between the TV and the couch, and right next to the room, connected, the kitchen.
"Nice house," Artemis mumbled, a little jealous, yet not really.
"Thanks," Margaret said, and Artemis felt a little awkward, she was not expecting her to hear that.
"Sit," Margaret said, motioning to the brown chairs and couch. Both M'gann and Artemis sat in each of the two chairs, leaving Margaret and Jim the couch. Jim sat cautiously on one end of the couch, Margaret on the other. They all faced her, and she stiffened slightly.
"So, what did Jason do now?" Margaret asked, getting to the point. She was always very blunt, Jim thought to himself. He noticed the 'now' but he brushed it off, assuming that she was referring to the divorce. He sighed.
"I'm sorry that I always have to be the bearer of bad news for you," Jim said with regret in his tone.
"Yeah, well, it's your job. Not your fault my life is screwed to hell," she mumbled the last part, but Jim heard it. He ignored it.
"Well, since I might as well get down to the point, we've just all but confirmed that Jason has kidnapped someone. A thirteen year old boy, about a hundred pounds, black hair and blue eyes," Gordon described, skipping all the avoiding cop stuff. And this news hit her.
You could see her fighting back tears, yet they still leaked from her eyes and rolled down her cheeks. "That sounds exactly like... Nathan..." she said slowly and carefully, comprehending what was happening.
"And we're not sure, but we don't think that this boy's the first one," Gordon furthered. She let her head fall into her hands, her fingernails were painted a navy blue.
"I can't believe this, he couldn't, he wouldn't, not even him..." she stuttered. Jim wanted to scootch over and hug her, but he knew he couldn't do that.
"I'm sorry," he muttered. M'gann and Artemis were sitting awkwardly, so M'gann spoke up.
"Miss Katherine?" M'gann asked, and Margaret looked up a little confused, but M'gann continued, "I want you to know that this isn't your fault, all that's happened is cruel but it's just the way things went. There is nothing you could've, or can do about it. I really wish that we could've done something to prevent everything earlier, but we're here now. So, can you answer our questions so we can fix this?" Margaret's eyes dried, and she was a little shell shocked. But she brushed it off.
"Of course, thank you," she said, calm flooding over her. M'gann smiled and nodded. "Oh, and it's not Miss Katherine. If you must say 'miss' then say Miss Silus. That's my maiden name. I changed it back after I divorced... Jason," Margaret said, stumbling over her ex-husband's name. The man she once loved, now turned so evil by something. Most likely grief. "But please, call me Margaret."
"Alright." M'gann smiled brightly. "Then call me M'gann." Margaret smiled and took a breath.
"Sounds like a deal."
Jason Katherine was always a nice man, a normal man. Nothing to hide, nothing to suspect. The only thing abstract about Jason Katherine was his blue eyes and black hair combo.
Throughout his entire life he was just the average kid, blending in with the crowd of students, getting As and Bs in all of his classes. He was the kind of kid that if someone was passing out papers back they would have to ask for where he was, because they wouldn't know based on the name on the paper. So normal, so boring in fact, that he didn't have many friends. The only friends he ever had when he was a kid were his cousins and his two-years-younger neighbors.
Jason's parents were concerned that he was antisocial or that they had done something wrong to make him never want to talk to any of the kids in his grade. But honestly, there was nothing they could possibly do about it, it was just how he was.
He didn't really have any emotions towards any of his classmates, good or bad. He didn't hate anyone, he didn't like anyone either. He was just sort of... neutral. The same went for his teachers. Even his family, the only difference was that with his family he felt more... what's the word... protective for them. If someone made either of his parents upset, he'd think about how he could get revenge for them against whoever all day long.
He'd think about how he could find those people, catch them alone, off guard, or in their house, then he could just smash them over the head with his dad's stainless steel hammer. Perfect, foolproof.
But he'd never do something like that. His dark pleasure. Really the only thing that he felt something genuine and real towards. Killing. Murder. Death. Decay. All his favorite morbid things.
In fact, when he was merely eight, he tried to get revenge on one of the neighbor kids for calling him a freak. But that didn't work out to well for him. Sufficed to say, he got a long scar down his face as a reminder of that day.
And then when he was ten, the beginning of the new school year, his teacher had decided that she wanted to "learn more about each of them individually". He thought this was kind of dumb, but he really didn't care, the teacher was just doing her job he concluded.
So his teacher, Mrs. Peterson, passed out them each a little "All About Me" sheet of paper. It had questions about them ranging from How old are you? to Do you have any hobbies?
Oh, he had many hobbies, they mostly included going out into the woods with his dad's hammer and killing squirrels and other little animals, then keeping the bones, or one of the bones for his collection. But he also liked to draw. He'd spend all day drawing his plans out.
So, he got his paper, and the teacher said they could start, and that she couldn't wait to learn more about them.
ALL ABOUT ME.
What's your name? Jason Katherine
How old are you? I'm ten
When's your birthday? May twenty sixth
How many pets do you have? We used to have a cat. She's dead now
What's your favorite movie and/or TV show? I don't watch tv
What's your favorite food? Food is food can I have a favorite?
What's your favorite color? I like red
Do you have any hobbies? I like to go into the woods behind my house and play with the animals, the squirrels are my favorite, there bones are tiny and nice .
What do you like about your friends? I don't have friends, I only have my neybors and my cousins. They don't really like me though, they tell me that I'm weird, there mean .
What are five of your favorite things? I don't think I have five favorite things, I like my dad's hammer though, and playing with the squirrels. They don't like the hammer .
Anything you want me to know about you? No .
Mrs. Peterson had been disturbed to say the least.
Jason had done sheets of paper like this one before in younger grades, but most of the time he was vague. But this year Mrs. Peterson told the class that this was really important and that they were getting a grade on it, so he had to answer completely honestly. Mrs. Peterson must not have liked his honesty then.
She had called for a meeting with his parents, and showed them the paper. His father had been appalled about the bit with the hammer, and his mother had nearly fainted from the implications of his answers. Especially the one's about the squirrels.
Oh where oh where could they have gone wrong?
They would ask themselves this question repeatedly for the next few days to come. But they eventually decided that he should see a doctor.
They showed the doctor the paper, and the doctor talked to Jason about things. Lots and lots of things and questions. Jason didn't mind too terribly.
Eventually the doctor told his parents that he should see a therapist, and a psychiatrist for Jason to work out his... unique issues. They had agreed and gotten him the best therapist in the country, along with the best psychiatrist. Things went well all in all, and Jason got better.
He grew up rather normally after that. Not anymore social, but he was better with people, and he no longer took trips into the forest to "play" with the squirrels. Even all weapons in his house were locked away. But Jason hardly noticed.
He then went on through high school and he went to college to become an architect. He did so. He learned a lot about a lot of things. He even took a course on the human body and different medical tips and tricks. He was very good at dissecting things cleanly.
But after all of this, he met Margaret Silus. Margaret was just intended to be a friend at first in Jason's mind, but then he told his mother about her and she told him to make a move. That he "wouldn't be young forever". So, he asked her out, and then eventually she became apart of the family.
And we all know how protective he feels over his family.
Then they had their son, Nathan, about two years after they got married. And life was good.
Then Nathan was murdered. Margaret was in deep grief, and she was mourning the loss of her only son to being merely caught in crossfire. Jason couldn't stand for that. There was just no way that Nathan could have been caught out in that gang territory, he never would've walked out there by himself. There had to be more to this. He knew there had to be more.
He went scouring for information, everywhere he could. Trying to figure out what really happened to his son that day. He was growing crazier with every minute gone by. He would react violently towards Margaret when she tried to help, and eventually she couldn't take it anymore.
She left him.
She took everything.
But Jason couldn't find it in him to be mad. He deserved everything he got. So he stayed in Gotham, and he went back to his search, trying everything he could. He needed to get revenge for Nathan's death. He needed to do something. He needed Nathan back.
He needed Nathan back.
Because if Nathan never died, then he wouldn't have to worry about any of this. Like how his therapist used to always talk about how revenge was never worth it. So he had implanted that thought into his head, that was what made him stop scheming against the people who upset his parents. But over the years that rule was forgotten, but it was back. So he embraced it. But he still needed Nathan back. Because if Nathan was back, then everything would be fine again. Life would be in balance again. Everything would be right.
Then the urge came back.
All of this stress made that oh-so-familiar urge to go out into the woods to smash in skulls, and watch the life leave those little creatures eyes was back. He could feel it pounding in his head, waiting to be released. And Jason knew that the only way to make the pounding go away, to open the floodgates in his mind, would be to kill something.
But he had to focus on Nathan. He needed a new Nathan, since the original was now rotting six feet underground. So, Jason started his search for the perfect Nathan. Starting with Nathan's blue eyes and black hair. Then going down to Nathan's light frame. Then Nathan's semi-muscular build from all of the swimming he used to do. Every. last. detail.
So he built an exact replica of Nathan's room in the basement of his old summer cabin, which was in the middle of considerable no-where. This was the perfect place to keep someone, anyone.
The first boy he took was a fourteen year old street kid.
He had the blue eyes and the black hair, but he was taller than Nathan. Same type of frame, sure. But taller. Leaner. Less toned.
Also Jason's kidnapping job was sloppy at best. The kid had flailed so much he almost got away before Jason could knock him out. He had to knock him out with his hands and anything else around him.
That 'anything else' ended up being an alley wall.
Jason, with some difficulty, managed to get this boy in the trunk of his car. He drove him to the cabin, and got everything prepared.
But when the boy woke up he was freaking out, and swearing, and yelling. Nathan would never do that. But Jason knew he had to try. So he tried to get this boy to act more like Nathan. But nothing seemed to work, or stick.
Eventually, he saw no hope for this one, and he killed him.
He buried the boy out in the backyard. But not before making sure to slice open the boy's chest cavity. Jason took one of his ribs. Because to Jason it just felt right taking the bone and keeping it. He made a special box for the bone and everything. And there was enough room in the box for many many more rib bones.
The second boy was rather the same. A street kid. Black hair, blue eyes. Thin frame, but he was closer in height to Nathan than the first, this was a plus. But this boy's teeth were just the epitome of disgusting. They were yellow from cigarette and whatever else smoke, and they were crooked in every which way.
But Jason had to try nonetheless. And the kidnapping this time went a lot smoother. Jason had moved up to chloroform on a piece of cloth to knock them out, it worked much better and cleaner than smashing their heads up against a wall.
This boy was just about the same amount of behaved as the first. So Jason had to kill him too. Taking a lovely rib bone and burying him next to the first.
The third was a bit different though.
The third boy looked a little less like Nathan than the first two, but he was handsome in his own unique way. He also already had Nathan's personality. So, what could go wrong?
So many things went wrong that day. In his attempt to take that boy, someone saw him. They yelled out, he was distracted by them and the boy broke free from his grasp and ran away. The next thing Jason knew, the police were on him.
He was arrested. They kept him in a cell in the police station, and asked him a lot of questions. He told them that he was just having an argument with the boy, who had owed him money. It was a good enough lie, and because of the corruption in the GCPD it was easier to make pass. They accepted it pretty easily, and since they couldn't find the boy to question him too, they put him up for $10,000 bail.
He stayed in his cell for about two days before Margaret came and bailed him out. She was not happy about any of this, and she didn't know all of the details. He tried to explain himself, but she wasn't having any of it, she just told him not to let anything like this happen again.
So he made sure of that.
He spent about five months practicing and planning everything out, training too. He hired a personal trainer with the money he got from his job as an architect for Wayne Enterprises. He made it so he was the perfect picture of health, he built up his agility, and his strength. He eventually even got so good that he moved on from that trainer and learned a thing or two from a few well known villain based gangs. Kind of like the ones that "supposedly" killed his son. But he couldn't think about that.
He learned a lot over that period of time, and then his "trainers" told him he could go up against Batman himself if need be. He even had people offering him jobs, mostly assassin jobs, but jobs nonetheless. He became quite the ninja. Good at sneaking up on people, good at making agile movements. There was no way any of his Nathans were getting away anymore.
So, he started planning out his kidnappings more too. He would pre-chose a victim that had all the aspects of Nathan, and he'd take them.
Luckily no one connected his kidnappings to each other because of the fact that the police would never find any bodies, and because no one even bothered looking for those street boys he previously took. Everything was perfect.
His total amount of Nathans by this time was twelve. He'd successfully taken twelve Nathans, having to kill them all too. None of them were right for the part of Nathan. It'd either be something in their looks, or their personality, or they simply struggled too much. But in the end of all of this, he saw him.
Richard John Grayson.
He was absolutely perfect in everyway, and Jason knew that he had to have him.
The only problem was the fact that he was the ward of Bruce Wayne, therefore hard to get to. But luckily because of his employment at Wayne Enterprises, he was able to find out as much about Richard's patterns as possible. Including the fact that if Bruce Wayne or his butler couldn't pick him up after a day at Gotham Academy, Richard would take a certain route home.
Jason used this information to plan out how exactly he was going to take Richard cleanly and carefully, no accidents.
Days went by, that turned into weeks. Eventually after a month of planning and waiting, Richard had to take that path home from school. The path that Jason would be waiting for him on.
It went perfectly. All Jason could hope for after that was that Richard would be the one. The one to replace Nathan, then maybe Margaret would take him back if he gave her her son back. Maybe things could go back to normal. And they'd be a happy family again.
Maybe that pounding in his head would go away once and for all. But he guessed that it was really only up to Richard as to whether he would accept his new role or not. Because if he did...
They could finally go home.
(1) The League of Smiles is actually a Joker based gang I got from DC comics, so I didn't make that one up. They talk about that gang a lot in "Joker, Death of the Family".
Well, anyway. WOOOOOHH! I'm super proud of this! It's the longest chapter yet and my writers block is completely gone! WOOOOOH!
Be happy! I'm happy! Let's just see what happens next time then. And I guess we all know now how Jason kidnapped Dick with such ease, so that's good. *eyebrow wiggle*
REVIEW! WOOOH! REVIEW.