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When the Young Bury the Old, Time Heals the Pain and Sorrow...

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She’s surrounded by screaming.

Some of it she admits to herself might be coming from her, but she doesn’t care.

Her Sapling is dead.

She had only just gotten him back. Only just started to believe that he was real. That his resurrection wasn’t a dream. That he wasn’t going to disappear.

Only he had.

He had been killed. Murdered by this filth.

As the last of the thugs that had been foolish enough to get in between her and her target rather than run were ripped apart by her vines, she focused every ounce of her rage on the snivelling Bastard before her.

This filth. This Outsider thought that he could come into Gotham, take what he wanted and do what he liked? He thought he could take her child from her and she wouldn’t seek retribution?

He was either an incompetent idiot or an egotistical one. Either way he would pay.

Distantly she heard him try to spew some garbled nonsense, but it quickly cut off as he began to scream.

By the time the Red cleared from her vision, there was nothing but a smear left where the meat sack once stood.

It was only now, alone save for the bloodied corpses of her victims, that Ivy broke down. No longer able to fixate on revenge her anger spluttered and died as the grief she had been trying so hard to repress overwhelmed her and she began to weep.

At some point she found herself curled up on the floor as her body shook from the force of her sobs.

Her babies tried to comfort her, but it wasn’t enough. The Green may mourn their dead, but they didn’t feel grief. Not like Humans did. Not like she did.

So caught up in the emotions she rarely allowed herself to feel, Ivy didn’t hear the patter of bare feet on tiled floor as someone hesitantly made their way towards her.

They were soft and quiet. Too quiet to be an adult.

She startled slightly as tiny arms tried to encircle her in a hug but fell short due to their too small reach. Jerking upright Ivy prepared to lash out at whoever was foolish enough to intrude on her solitude at this moment when everything inside her froze in Disbelief.

Her heart leaped as she gazed into familiar blue eyes and hope bloomed once more despite having believed mere moments before that she would never feel it again.

“Jason...” she couldn’t help but whisper in soft awe at the little boy before her.

Bruised and battered, but infinitely more innocent than she ever remembered him being. A younger, softer version of her lost son stood before her.

A bitter, more cynical part of her whispered that he was probably just a clone but there was something about the look in his eyes as he tried to comfort her. It was clear that he didn’t recognise her, at least not consciously at any rate. And yet, it was also obvious that despite having witnessed the massacre she just enacted, the boy before her trusted and felt safe within her presence.

If he was a clone or something else, he would have no reason to feel this way towards her.

This was her little sapling.
This was her Jason.
She could feel it.

Somehow, someway, that Bastard had turned back the clock and made Jason a child once more.

Rage boiled anew within her as she imagined just what exactly that man had intended to do to her baby. No doubt he had hope to raise and train him into his own personal weapon.

It didn’t matter though.

That man was gone, and her little sapling was safe.

Focusing back on the present she took in his state and barely withheld a grimace. Her boy was dirty, exhausted, and worst of all hurt. This could not stand.

Returning the hug he had instigated, she wrapped him up in her arms and felt as he tensed for a moment before melting into the warmth provided both by the action and her body. Careful not to squeeze him too tightly she lifted him up and turned to assess the room.

There was no way she could hide this, and the Batman would be coming for her.

She could evade him on her own easily enough, but not whilst carrying around a child, not if she wanted to keep Jason safe and away from those Bats.

And she did. Meeting Batman was easily the worst thing that had happened to the boy and if she could keep that horrendous mistake of the universe from being repeated, she would.

But she would need some help.

As they got further from her saplings prison, she felt the remaining tension leave her little one as he snuggled in closer to her body. Then, so softly that she almost missed it, she felt a quiet “thank you” be whispered into the crook of her neck where his head was buried.

He was asleep within moments and she allowed herself a second to bask in the warmth that came from knowing that even in such a fragile state her baby still trusted her.

Smiling softly into his hair she planted a kiss on his head and began to plan.

Having help in this endeavour was a necessity if it was to work, that much was certain but who exactly to include?

Harley was a must; she could never keep a secret from the women, and she had changed so much for the better since she left the Joker for good. She had no doubt her lover would be of great help.

Selina was a probable option as well. Not only did the woman adore the boy, it would also give her a distraction from the disaster that was her almost wedding to the Furry.

Dara would need to be included too she supposed. They’d never gotten along, but her actions since Jason's perceived death had shown where her loyalties and feelings truly laid. Dara had fought viciously to protect Jason's legacy after all. She supposed that the Fox deserved the chance to help him grow into the man they all knew he could be.

And then there was the Demon’s Daughter. She’d never met the woman, but Jason spoke of his time with her fondly and she’d successfully hidden their boy from the bat before. Ivy had no doubt that the woman could do so again, it was just a matter of getting into contact with her.

With the beginnings of a plan in mind, Ivy disappeared into the Green with Jason, just as the sound of sirens started to grow close.