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Where Hospitals are the Beginning and the End

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“So I hear you’re gonna go out for street tacos after work?”

Jason glared at talking man, who had his hands cuffed behind his back and his ankle chained to the wall.

The chained man just grinned at him. “What? I was wondering if you could bring some back for me,” he said, like Jason did not have a loaded gun in his belt that could put a bullet through the man’s head in a second. “I like my tacos with all the fixings. Especially tomatoes. God, I love tomatoes.”

Jason frowned further. He stared hard at the chained man who hummed quietly to himself as he imagined his tacos. “Shut the fuck up,” he growled, not because he hated tomatoes (Jason loves tomatoes), but because it just was not the prisoner's place to be making such requests.

With that, Jason nodded at the guard who came to relieve him while Jason went out for dinner with a couple buddies.

“Bring me tacos, Jason!” the prisoner called again through the closing door.

As the door shut, Jason knew one thing for sure: Dick Grayson, the captive man, had no sense of self preservation.

Jason shook his head as he grabbed his leather jacket and headed out of the abandoned hospital, the temporary headquarters of the Joker’s secondary gang. The primary gang was located somewhere else, in another top secret location that no one in the secondary gang knew about.

But Jason was one of the top dogs in the secondary gang. He had a good feeling that if he kept up his perfect record, he would be prompted to the Joker’s primary team soon. While it was way more dangerous to work in the primary team, the pay was a hell of a lot better as well.

He exited the hospital through the back, where a couple of his “friends” were waiting. Jason did not have friends. It was dangerous to have friends in the gang, but it was more dangerous to not have friends.

“Let’s go,” Jason grunted.

“The golden boy been givin’ you grief again?” one man snorted. “Ya looked pissed, Hood.”

“Fuck off, Scar,” Jason grumbled, grabbing his helmet. He swung a leg over his bike as the other two men put out their cigarettes and joined him on their own respective bikes. “Maria’s?”

“Of course,” Scar said. “They’ve got the only acceptable street tacos in town.”

“But the seats are always gross,” the other man, Hugo, complained.

Jason snorted. “What, is your precious ass too good to sit in a trashy booth?”

“You’re mean, Hood,” Hugo said with a bit of a pout.

Jason rolled his eyes and took off into the night, leaving the other two behind to follow.

Half an hour later, Jason returned to the hospital to find the guard falling asleep in his chair by the door he was supposed to guarding.

Jason viciously kicked the chair and the guard woke up with a start.

“Mr. Hood!” the young boy, probably no older than nineteen or twenty, stammered. “I was- I was-”

“Slacking on the job?” Jason growled.

“I- I-”

Jason glared at the boy for a few seconds longer. He could see the absolute terror in the boy’s eyes. Jason knew that look. It was a look he had definitely come across before, in his own eyes.

Jason’s lips pinched together as he remembered his very first, and certainly not last encounter with the essence of fear – The Batman of Gotham City.

Jason was fifteen, working for a drug dealer who had gotten his hands on highly illegal and highly addictive batch of drugs. Jason was supposed to make the delivery with two other guys, but before they could do so, Batman and Robin showed up.

It was over in five minutes. The two men that had come with Jason were knocked out cold. The head drug dealer was apprehended and handed over to the police. Jason, with fear coursing through his body, had been hiding behind the Dumpster, watching everything unfold.

He thought he could get lucky and get away, but the Bat never misses anything. While the police rounded up the men, Jason tried to sneak away, but only ended up running straight into Batman. Jason fell backwards on his ass, nearly shrieking.

The Dark Knight did not say a word to him, but even so, Jason was trembling with fear. He scrambled to his feet, slipping and sliding as he tore down the alleyway, running for his life.

“He’s getting away, B!”

“No, let him go,” the Bat grumbled to his sidekick. “He’s just a kid. Alone, there’s not much he can do.”

Snapping back to reality, Jason shook his head and sighed, making a vague hand gesture at the trembling boy.

There was a brief pause and the boy did not move. “Mr.- Mr. Hood?” the boy asked.

“Go!” Jason snapped. “And don’t you fucking dare fall asleep on watch again. Otherwise, I’ll have the boss deal with you.”

With a squeak, the boy ran, slipping on the floor as he went. Jason watched him run and shook his head again. He unlocked the door to the hospital room and pushed it open. Dick Grayson was lying on the rough cot that had been provided but was not asleep.

“He’s a good kid,” Grayson said when Jason walked inside. “Don’t be so tough on him.”

“He’s working for the Joker,” Jason grunted. “If he wants to survive, he’ll find out it gets much worse than me.”

Grayson sighed and sat up. “So did you bring me the tacos?” he asked.

Jason did not answer him, instead, leaning against the wall and crossing his arms. “Why are you still here?” Jason asked.

“Hm?” Grayson cocked his head to the side. “What do you mean? Where else would I be?”

Jason frowned. “Shouldn’t someone have noticed that you went missing by now? Bruce Wayne? That newly adopted kid brother? Your socialite friends? Maybe even the hundred some maids and butlers in your mansion?”

“Oh, you mean why haven’t the police started looking for me?” Grayson said. “Well, see, I had a… um, a bit of a fallout with old Bruce. He thinks I’m in Bludhaven right now, ignoring him.” Dick laughed softly. “And Timmy’s busy with school, which is a good thing. He should be focused on school. And I don’t really have friends. Elite life is comfortable, sure, but it’s pretty cutthroat and back-stabby.”

“Back-stabby,” Jason repeated flatly.

“Yeah,” Grayson said. He grinned, showing rows of perfect teeth. “Kinda like the gangs. You form alliances, but not friendships. And you’re always suspicious of each other.”

Jason tilted his head to the side as he regarded Grayson. The man was an airhead, just like his adoptive father from what Jason knew. But here, Grayson was making very astute observations.

Jason hummed quietly in agreement, but nothing more. However, Jason could see that Grayson understood the sound, and he practically preened.

Jason frowned. “If no one is going to pay for your ransom, why is Boss keeping you here?”

“Don’t know,” Grayson said with a casual shrug of his shoulder. “Oh, by the way, this hospital… is this some temporary hideout of your boss’s? Because I’m pretty sure it was empty last month.”

Jason glared at him.

Grayson continued on rambling. “Also, I expected to hear a lot more gunshots being around here. Isn’t your boss notorious for shooting people when they don’t listen? I heard that more people die working for him that as victims of his evil plans. Is that not true? Hm? Jason?”

Jason frowned a little harder, but continued to ignore Grayson.

“Oooh, silent treatment!” Grayson laughed. “It’s alright. Usually I’m the one who has to shut up and listen to other people, so I don’t mind filling the silence. Anyway, since you won’t tell me about yourself, I’ll tell you what I think. From what I’ve seen, I think you’ve only been here for a bit, working in Joker’s gang, I mean. After all, you’re the main guy watching me, and since I’m pretty harmless, you must not be very useful to have around. Which might be a good thing! Less of a chance of getting killed. Which reminds me, the other guys around don’t call you Jason, do they? I mean, I heard one guy call you that, and I’m pretty sure you punched him. Do you not like your name? I think Jason’s a cute name, though I don’t really know if cute is the right word to describe you-”

“Shut the fuck up!” Jason finally snapped. “You don’t know what you’re talking about, and it’s pissing me off! One, I might not be Boss’s right-hand man, but I’m not fucking useless here. I run this place, and when the others want something, they go through me. The only reason I’m stuck here watching you is because my orders came from Boss himself, but he did not say I had to keep you unharmed,” Jason growled. “You should count yourself lucky this isn’t Boss’s main hideout. You’d be dead if it were.”

Grayson blinked at Jason for a few seconds. He looked like he was processing what Jason had said instead of being surprised at Jason’s sudden outburst. “So you’ve got authority, but not enough to be working right at Joker’s side?” Grayson asked slowly.

Jason glared at him viciously, which answered the question because Grayson nodded.

“Less of a chance of dying at the hands of a madman though,” Grayson said with a small smile.

Jason’s eyes narrowed. “There’s a less of a chance dying working for him than being one of his victims,” he grunted, answering the question Grayson had proposed earlier. “I did the math.”

Grayson’s eyebrows shot up. “Like… literally?”

“Yes,” Jason said with slight annoyance. “Pen, paper, real statistics. I’ve done the math.”

Grayson gave a low whistle. “Impressive,” he said.

“Shut the fuck up,” Jason said as a blush rose in his face. He shifted and crossed his arms, bristling at the compliment, intended or not. It is not often that Jason is complimented for his book smarts as opposed to his street smarts. Because Jason was very book smart, but it was a lesser known fact, and an even lesser used skill.

Grayson laughed at him. The sound was so light and pure it stunned Jason for a second. His momentary shock made him blush harder. “Fuck you,” he grumbled. With that, he decided that he did not have to subject himself to be Grayson’s laughingstock, so he pulled the door back open and left, a little bit satisfied when Grayson’s laughter was suddenly cut off by the door.

Jason took a deep breath and slid down into the chair, shaking his head. He had no idea how much longer he could deal with Grayson.

“Grayson!” Jason pushed the door open with his hip, the food tray carefully balanced in his hands. “Breakfast,” he grunted.

Grayson was already awake, stretching on the floor in the splits. “Oh, good morning, Jay!” Grayson chirped. “Where’s Tommy? Isn’t he usually the one who brings my meals?”

“Dead,” Jason snapped.

Grayson’s smile disappeared. “What? How?” he asked.

Jason set the tray down on the floor and sat down on Grayson’s cot. He frowned hard. “He overheard some stuff he wasn’t supposed to hear.”

“Oh,” Grayson whispered. “Was it about Project X?”

Jason’s head snapped up. “What?” he snapped sharply. “Where’d you hear about Project X?”

Grayson’s eyes went wide. “Someone mentioned it when passing my room. I swear I didn’t hear anything else, just the name. It sounded secretive.”

Jason grinded his teeth together. “You better fucking keep it that way,” he said. “If you want to stay alive a bit longer, that is.”

Grayson pulled an imaginary zipper across his lips. He grinned and winked at Jason. “Got it,” he said. “Didn’t hear a word.”

“Good,” Jason grunted. “Now eat your food.”

“You going to keep me company?” Grayson asked as he shifted forward to drag the tray towards him, still sitting in the splits.

“No,” Jason said gruffly, but not moving from his spot.

Grayson smiled a little wider and said nothing more.

“Hey,” Jason poked his head into Grayson’s room. “Rory is coming by soon. He’s in a pissy mood tonight, so keep your mouth shut, okay?”

Grayson glanced up from the book he was reading. The same book Jason was reading last week.

Grayson caught him reading it and announced that it was one of his favorite books, and threatened to ruin the ending for Jason unless Jason let him borrow the book after he was finished with it.

Thankfully Grayson seems to know how to treasure books. He does not doggy-ear the pages, he does not crack the spine, he does not place the book down while open to keep his page. Jason often caught him searching the pages to find where he left off, and he felt bad, so Jason sighed and gave Grayson a bookmark.

The look on Grayson’s face when Jason offered him the scrap of paper to use to mark his pace made Jason blush just thinking about it.

How dare Grayson look so innocently happy over a simple bookmark. He was a captive for fuck’s sake!

Grayson smiled at Jason. “Aww,” he said. “Thanks for warning me,” he said.

Jason frowned slightly. Why was he warning Grayson? It did not matter to him whether or not Grayson got beat up a bit for running his mouth. “Whatever,” he muttered.

He started to close the door when Grayson spoke up again. “You going out to get food again?” Grayson asked.


“What are you getting?” he asked.

Jason paused for a second. “Italian. Pizza. Maybe spaghetti.”

“Mm,” Grayson hummed. “I would die for a margherita pizza right about now,” he said casually, turning a page in a book. “Have fun, Jay!”

Jason paused for a second, staring at Grayson in confusion. Then he shut the door.

When he returned to the abandoned hospital an hour later, Jason found himself walking towards Grayson’s “cell” with a hot pizza box in his hands.

Jason stood outside of the door for a long time, wondering why the hell he actually brought back a margherita pizza for Grayson without a thought.

After much debate, Jason decided that the pizza would go to waste otherwise, so he might as well give it to Grayson.

He pushed open the door and found that Grayson was half-asleep on the cot.

Grayson sat up when he saw Jason walk in. A sleepy smile drew across his face. “Oh, you’re back,” he said with a yawn. Then, he gasped. “Is that pizza?” he asked hopefully.

Jason grunted and handed it over to Grayson.

Grayson pulled open the box and took a deep breath. “That smells wonderful,” he said. “Thanks, Jay.” He smiled at Jason, and god, that smile made Jason’s heart skip a beat.

Jason now understood why half of Gotham was in love with Dick Grayson. That smile was scarily disarming.

“Just eat your fucking food,” Jason growled, turning away to hide the blush.

Grayson chuckled like he knew exactly what Jason was doing.

“Grayson! Five minutes are up. Out of the bathroom,” Jason said, rapping his knuckles on the door to the bathroom.

“Yup!” Grayson called back. “Just a second…”

“I already gave you a second! Two seconds even!” Jason groaned. “Hurry the fuck up. You don’t have to make yourself look pretty for anyone.”

Just then, the door opened, and Grayson was standing there, towel thrown over his shoulder and a pair of sweatpants sitting low on his hips.

Jason swallowed hard. Grayson was fucking fit. Every muscle in his body bulged against his skin in ways that just should not be allowed. Jason himself even felt inadequate next to Grayson, and Jason was very fucking proud of his body.

“Um…” Jason said, his throat suddenly dry as his eyes ran down Grayson’s torso.

Grayson grinned at him. “Maybe I do have someone to look pretty for,” he quipped, licking his lips and winking at Jason.

The telltale blush rushed up Jason’s cheeks. “Who the fuck do you think you’re insinuating wants to look at your body?” he snapped.

“Nobody,” Dick said with a sigh. “No one at all.”

“Fuck you, Grayson, I-”

Grayson took a step forward, about to go around Jason, but Jason did not move. He stood his ground and found himself chest to chest with a half-naked man. Their faces were inches apart and Jason could feel Grayson’s breath on his lips. "You say that a lot," Grayson whispered, licking his lips yet again. "'Fuck you, Grayson'. Does that have a hidden meaning that I'm just now understanding?"

Jason shivered. Damn it, this man. What the hell was wrong with him? Why can't Jason intimidate him, even a little bit?

Grayson was silent for a few beats. “Can I pass?” Grayson whispered finally.

“Fuck you,” Jason whispered back without a second thought. His mouth snapped together with an audible click as he realized what he said.

Grayson’s lips quirked into a strange little smile. “Hm, maybe someday, Jason,” he breathed back.

They continued to stand there for a few seconds.

“Jason,” Grayson said slowly as he breathed out.

Jason swallowed hard. He knew his face was red and he could feel blood rushing downwards as well. In a few seconds, Grayson was going to be feeling something else pressed against him.

“Dick,” Jason breathed back shakily, giving in. “Step back. Please.”

For a second, Dick Grayson did not move. Maybe he was surprised that Jason finally used his name. Maybe he was afraid of the underlying threat. Or maybe he was just an asshole and wanted to play around with Jason like a puppet on strings.

But he eventually stepped back. Jason also stepped away, breaking out of the spell that seemed to have been holding him there. Taking a deep breath, Jason tried to process what had happened.

When he realized that he could not, he spun on his heels and started back towards Dick’s (oh god, he was Dick now, not Grayson) cell. “C’mon,” he barked harshly, much ruder than normal.

Dick followed without a word.

Jason had no idea what was happening. He did not understand why he was acting this way around Dick.

Why he cannot stop blushing. Why Dick’s little taunts here and there bother him so much. Why he cannot look into Dick’s eyes and not feel a little spark of joy. Why he is so irrevocably attracted to Dick. It made no sense at all.

Jason was someone with a no-nonsense attitude. People feared him. Jason feared very few things. And charming men with disarming smiles was one of them.

Fuck. What a joke he was – the kidnapper that is at the wills and whims of the kidnapped?

“Damn it,” Jason whispered to himself, scrubbing his hands into his eyes. “I can’t fucking like him. He’s stupid. And a dead man.”

Jason shook his head and sighed. He put his head back against the door, knowing very well that the object of his desire (he still did not want to admit it though) was on the other side.

Jason also knew that from that moment on, something had changed between them.

“Hey, Dick. Got you that hazelnut chocolate something crap you wanted,” Jason said, handing Dick a large cup of coffee.

Dick accepted it gladly, with a gleeful smile on his face. “Thanks, Jay,” he said. “You’re so sweet.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Jason grumbled, but could not help a small smile. “I’m not your errands boy, by the way, so don’t get used to it.”

“Of course not,” Dick said, sipping his coffee. He winked at Jason.

Jason blushed, as usual, but this time, he also smiled. Maybe things are not so bad when you fall for your prisoner. Some weird ass form of Stockholm syndrome maybe, but Jason did not mind it so much when the guy he fell for is so damn handsome.

Predictably, it did not last long.

“Get up, Grayson,” Jason grunted, kicking the leg of the cot.

Dick woke up with a quiet groan. “Breakfast time already?” he asked with a little smile and a yawn.

Jason’s lips pressed together grimly, and he swallowed hard. “No,” he croaked. He took a steadying breath. “It’s execution day. Boss is coming here.”

“Here? Now?” Dick asked, quickly sitting up, eyes wide, but not fearful in any way.

Jason nodded silently.

Dick sat there for a second, just staring at the wall past Jason. Jason did not mind that at all, seeing that he really did not want to be looking Dick in the eyes right now.

“Well,” Dick said with a soft sigh. “Guess that’s my cue,” he murmured.


Dick stood up, and he stretched, cracking his back and swinging his arms around. “Was nice knowing you, Jason.”

“Dick, I don’t-”

Dick took a step in and before Jason even had a chance to blink, Dick fucking Grayson had him pinned against the wall, arms pulled tightly behind him and held immobile.

“I really, really did not want to go out like this,” Dick whispered in his ear. “Don’t worry, not going to kill you, but, uh, I gotta knock you out and make my little getaway now,” he said.

“What the fuck are you-”

“Shhh,” Dick whispered. “Don’t want to attract any unwanted attention, okay? Otherwise neither of us will make it out of this alive. I’m trying to keep you safe here.”

“Safe?!” Jason spat against the wall. He turned his head a little bit to glare at Dick the best he could. “Are you fucking crazy- I don’t- Who the hell are you?”

Dick hesitated a second, looking like he was torn between making a joke and being serious. He must have gone with the latter because he snapped his mouth shut into thin line.

Suddenly, there were footsteps in the hall. “Hood?” someone called.

“Shit,” Dick growled, his lip curling up in a snarl as his gaze snapped to the door. “Damn it, okay, new plan. I gotta take you with me, or you’re dead meat for sure. Just shut up and follow.”

Jason barely comprehended what Dick said because that fucking snarl and the curl of the lip. He recognized that. He would have recognized that anywhere.

“Here for the cargo of weapons?” Jason asked casually when he heard the near-silent landing of a person behind him. “You’re late.”

Jason pulled off his red helmet and set it aside on a crate. He pulled out a cigarette and lit it, not bothering to turn around to look at the Batman. The new Batman. Jason did not know what happened to the old one or where he went, but the new one was much more fun, despite the fact that he tried to live up to the old Batman’s shoes.

Bats 2.0 was silent for a second and all the while slowly creeping up behind Jason. “You’re bluffing,” he growled from right behind Jason.

Jason glanced over his shoulder, flicking his cigarette and blowing a puff of smoke. “You think so? You’re free to go check for yourself. My job is just to stay here in case you showed up and notify the rest of ‘em. I drew the short straw,” Jason said with a cold smirk.

Batman was silent, but Jason saw the tightening of the jaw. He wanted to say something.

Jason laughed. “I can hear you thinking. What are you thinking, Batsy?”

“Don’t call me that.” New Batman’s lip curled in a grimace and his voice came out a perfect imitation of the original’s. Jason was mildly surprised.

“Okay, no nicknames,” Jason said. He reached up and patted Batman on the shoulder. “I wish you the best tonight. I think I’m going to head home and marathon The Office again.” He gave Batman a salute with the middle finger, and he entirely anticipated it when Batman’s hand snapped up and grabbed his wrist in a tight grip.

“Where is the cargo,” Batman growled.

Jason sighed, dropping his cigarette and putting it out with the heel of his boot. “Gone. Threatening me isn’t going to bring it back, you know.” He loved teasing the stoic Batman. Especially this new one, who looked like he was suppressing his retorts. “You might as well start searching before the trail goes cold.”

“I’m in no mood for games, Hood. I’ve got-”

“Ah, so we do know each other,” Jason said with a quiet hum. “I thought there was something familiar about you. Now, where do I know you from…”

Another pulled-lip snarl. Then, Batman must have decided he was really wasting too much time talking to Jason. So he let go of Jason’s wrist, which  was throbbing a bit, but Jason was not going to say so. Then, the new Batman shot off a line and disappeared into the night, leaving Jason to stand alone there.

Immediately after Bats 2.0 was gone, Jason frowned, a scowl that rivaled that of the Dark Knight.

“New Batman,” he murmured. “There’s… something…” Jason ended up shaking his head. “Fucking menace is what you are,” he mumbled. “And too fucking nice. Way too fucking nice.” He smirked quietly and pulled out another cigarette.

“Shit,” Jason said, suddenly going quiet. A thousand thoughts raced through his head, and suddenly he felt like of stupid.

Here Jason had been, for two weeks, guarding who he thought was a helpless, moronic, spoiled pretty boy, but in reality, he had been a breath away from Batman 2.0. Not only that, Jason now understood the initial confusion rather than fear Dick Grayson had expressed towards Jason.

Because as far as Dick Grayson was aware of, Jason Todd, the Red Hood, liked being the wise-ass jerk. But that was all a farce Jason pulled specifically in dangerous situation in order to gauge the mood quickly. Then, he knows whether to run or fight.

However, usually, Jason was no Mr. Sunshine. In fact, he was none of that. And now that Jason connected the dots, but he still cannot believe cheerful, optimistic Dick Grayson was almost-grim-enough, almost-dark-enough, almost-growly-enough Batman 2.0.

Shit,” Jason said again.

“Shut up,” Dick hissed. “I’m trying to get us out of here.” He moved the two of them behind the door and pressed a hand over Jason’s mouth.

Jason pushed his hand away in disbelief. “What the fuck are you even doing here, then? You probably could’ve escaped this whole time and you didn’t! Is this some joke I’m not understanding?”

Dick covered Jason’s mouth again. “I needed information,” he grumbled. “Didn’t get much, unfortunately.”

This snapped Jason out of his stupor, and he pushed Dick’s hand away again with a frown. Now it made sense why Dick drilled him with all those seemingly harmless questions. If the Boss found out, Jason was definitely a dead man.

There was a knock on the door. “Hood? You in there? Boss is waiting, and you know how he is when someone makes him wait too long…”

Dick’s sharp glare told Jason not to say anything. Jason’s very first instinct was to listen. His second instinct was to disobey. His third instinct was just to stay silent as he puzzled over his confusion as to why he thought to listen to Dick first.

“Hood…?” the voice was a bit more cautious this time.

Jason recognized Scar’s voice on the other side of the door. The doorknob moved, and a second later, the door was pushed open.

Scar’s face barely appeared around the corner of the door before Dick jumped on him, knocking him out cold.

“Drag him into the corner,” Dick said. “And grab those guns off of him. You’ll need them.”

And with that, Dick led him out into the hallway and towards what Jason was certain would be death.

They made it all the way down the hallway without incident. Then, when they got into the waiting room of the hospital, everything went to shit.

Jason recalled there being at least five men in the waiting room, pacing with agitation. The boss was not anywhere to be seen, thankfully. But when Dick and Jason walked in, there were suddenly five guns pointed at their chests.

Jason could probably easily deal with three armed men, if he were dressed in full protective gear. But it was early in the morning, and Jason had not anticipated needing a bulletproof vest for work that day. And Dick was only in a thin t-shirt and sweatpants.

“I’ll get right, take left,” Dick breathed in his ear. And a split second, bullets were flying and Jason tackled the man nearest to him without much of a choice.

It was a complete blur as Jason allowed his instincts to take over. He was shot a couple of times, but aside from the initial pain, Jason did not really process it until much later.

And by some sort of miracle, they made it out, right before the Joker made it to the hospital.

A plane had descended from the sky as he and Dick limped a few blocks away from the hospital, and after Jason was helped into the plane, he gratefully blacked out.


Jason stared at the large bouquet of flowers by his hospital bed. They were extravagant and very expensive looking. The nurses told him that it was from Dick Grayson.

But Jason would have known that without them telling him. Jason had no one to send him flowers.

The week that Jason spent in the hospital was very uneventful compared to the day leading up to it. Jason could not move, seeing that his sported three new bullet wounds, a couple of stab wounds, and an infected bite on his right arm.

During that week, Jason had also had a lot of time to contemplate everything that had happened in the past few weeks.

Mainly, everything that had changed between him and Dick Grayson who turned out to be an enemy of his, though Jason never really thought of the Bat as his enemy. Maybe that was why Jason was reacting to this so calmly.

He glanced at the flowers, blooming brightly in all colors of the rainbow.

“Come see me yourself, coward,” Jason murmured to the flowers. Then he sighed and took a nap.

And just like that, like some sleep fairy heard his wish, when Jason awoke, Dick was sitting in the chair by his bed, holding his hand.

Jason inhaled sharply, catching Dick’s attention.

“Oh!” Dick said, letting go of Jason’s hand quickly. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you.”

“You didn’t,” Jason said slowly. He looked Dick up and down. “You look good,” he said. He vaguely remembered that Dick had a few broken ribs just six days ago.

Dick smiled. “Thanks. You’re not too bad yourself.”

Jason snorted and rolled his eyes. “Spare me the details.” They fell into a silence, just staring at each other for a while. Then, Jason licked his lips. “So what are you doing here?”

Dick shrugged. “Thought I should come see you. I felt kind of responsible after all.”

“I’d be dead if it weren’t for you,” Jason pointed out.

Dick shrugged. “Maybe, maybe not. Let’s not dwell on what could have happened and focus on what has happened, okay? Namely, what do we do now? Red Hood, not one of Batman’s best friends.” He paused and sighed. His hand drifted back to Jason’s so that they were barely brushing. “But, um, he could be.”

Jason snorted. “You want to be my best friend?”

Dick’s eyes flickered up towards him. Uncertainly showed in those pretty blues. “Maybe? Or, uh, acquaintance is okay too. Or… more than friends…?”

Jason stared at him for a long time, trying to see if Dick will take back the offer if he waited long enough. But Dick did not.

“More than friends,” Jason repeated.

Dick nodded slowly.

A smile stretched across Jason’s lips as he considered it. “Yeah,” he said softly. “I like the sound of that.”

“Really?” Dick said, excitement flooding into his voice, and his entire face lighting up. “I mean, uh, I know this isn’t the best timing and with the whole thing that happened past couple weeks, everything’s weird, and you probably think I’m an idiot in one way or another, but-”

“You are an idiot,” Jason confirmed. “But for some unfathomable reason, a charming idiot.”

Dick grinned happily. “So- So you like me, right? Yes!” he cheered. “I made a bet with myself, see. And I won.”

Jason stared at Dick for a few seconds, then he laughed. The laughter quickly turned to painful wheezing though, which made Dick stand up in a panic and hover over him worriedly.

“Oh, I’m so sorry, are you okay, Jay? Should I call the nurses? Oh my god, are you straining your ribs?”

Jason coughed a couple times, wincing through the pain. “I’m fine, Dickhead,” he grumbled. “Stop treating me like a kid.”

Dick gave a weak laugh and sat back down. “What can I say? I’m a bit of a mother hen.”

Jason could not help the fond smile that stretched across his face.

“You look really handsome when you smile, you know that?” Dick murmured, matching Jason’s smile. “I mean, you’re hot when you’re all mad and frowny too, but the smile makes you gorgeous.”

Jason immediately frowned and started blushing. Dick laughed.

Jason rolled his eyes, his blush growing a bit deeper. “Shut up,” he grumbled. He reached out and grabbed Dick’s hand. “C’mere, you.”

Dick leaned in a bit.

With a little bit of a struggle, Jason propped himself up on his elbows and gently kissed Dick on the lips, causing the other man’s eyes to widen fractionally.

“Oh,” Dick said softly when Jason pulled back again. This time, Dick was blushing hard too. “That was… nice,” he said. Then, with a shit-eating grin, he asked, “Can I have another?”

Jason rolled his eyes, but he obliged.