Summary: Jason is crazy. That’s what Bruce and Dick told Tim. And maybe it’s true. Just not in the way they think it is.
Jason had gone insane.
That was what everyone told Tim.
It was surprise enough when Tim heard that Jason was alive in the first place. Bruce was stingy with the details as usual, but his shoulders were stiffer, and his expression somehow more severe when he broke the news.
Normally Tim would assume a resurrection was cause for celebration but the look in Bruce’s eyes, behind the cowl had almost been readable and that’s how Tim knew things were Not Okay.
And Tim was a good Robin. He was a good partner, and he’d never do anything to make Bruce question him or worry about him on the field so he’d done as Bruce had asked and not looked into the matter.
It was three weeks after Bruce told Tim that Jason was alive and Tim was bursting with questions that he couldn’t ask that Dick came by his apartment.
He brought a pizza and some Zesti and after two steps in Tim could tell that Dick was a mess.
Dick ditched the pizza on the coffee table and the Zesti in the fridge and all but collapsed on Tim’s couch, tenting his arms over his head and not talking. Dick not talking was another sign that Dick was Not Okay.
Tim grabbed some paper towels from the roll in the kitchen and wrapped a piece of greasy pizza in one, holding it out to the man on his couch. When Dick took it and sat up, Tim was satisfied enough to take a piece of his own.
There were few things that could rattle Dick so much. Only one of those things Tim had any sort of knowledge about.
“Is this about Jason?” Tim took a bite of pizza.
Dick choked on his.
When Dick had recovered he shot Tim a bemused and slightly guilty look. “You’re too perceptive for your own good Timmy.”
Tim shrugged his shoulders. Dick’s tells were always really obvious. Not that he’d tell Dick that. “Bruce told me he was back. Not much more than that, but I got the impression things weren’t going that great.”
Dick snorted, muffling the sound in another bite of pizza. “That’s an understatement.” Unlike Bruce, Dick tended to clarify some of his points. “If we happen to find him, he goes berserk. He won’t even talk, he just becomes this wild- thing.” Dick shook his head. “He’s not Jason anymore. Not the way he used to be.”
Tim listened. It was way more information then Bruce would ever give him.
But Tim didn’t really know how Jason used to be. All he had were stolen snapshots in the dark streets of Gotham to remember Jason by. So he figured he’d have to take Dick’s word for it.
Tim mulled it over. “Maybe it isn’t Jason. Maybe it just looks like him.”
Dick chewed on his pizza crust and shook his head. “No- Bruce ran the tests. Plus he knows way too much to not be Jason.” Dick’s expression was forlorn, to say the least.
Tim didn’t have enough information to form an opinion either way, so he finished his own pizza and reached for more. “I’m sorry Dick.”
Dick sighed. “Me too.”
Tim resolved to try and find a way to help. Dick didn’t deserve to be so miserable over this. Not when Tim might be able to do something.
Jason had gone insane.
That was what everyone had told Tim.
But, crouched on the edge of a building, shielded from the wind by the flying buttress he was stuffed underneath- Tim wondered if that was exactly true.
The Red Hood was crouched just below him, watching Tim with a hand on the gun at his belt. They were both being pelted by rain and vicious wind.
Tim had made the connection between the new vigilante in Gotham and Jason pretty quickly. Mostly because he had been in Gotham almost a month now and Bruce nor Dick seemed to have any luck in taking him out.
Obviously they were compromised, it was the only explanation. Bruce was good at what he did.
“Who the fuck are you supposed to be?” The voice was growling and guttural and drifted up to Tim from behind Red Hood’s helmet. Tim could hear both rage and confusion in that tone. Jason’s voice was much deeper now then it had been in his Robin days.
Tim didn’t move or twitch. He just continued looking at Jason. Non threatening. Dick had warned him about Jason and he was going to take his advice. “I’m Robin. As the costume and cape might lead you to assume-“
“Bullshit.” Jason cut him off.
Tim didn’t argue.
Jason’s fingers flexed and twitched. Tim wondered if he was going to try and shoot him. Visibility wasn’t good. Rain was never good for gunplay.
But Jason didn’t seem to be finished.
“There can’t be any fucking Robin without Batman. And there isn’t a fucking Batman in this city. Not anymore.” Tim almost thought he heard sympathy in Jason’s voice. Sympathy for him.
Well that didn’t make any sense.
But Jason flipped off the building and was gone while Tim was thinking about how it didn’t make sense.
Jason hadn’t even tried to kill him.
He didn’t even really yell.
Tim tells Dick about his run in with Jason in the cave that evening.
It only made sense for Tim to keep Dick apprised of his nightly patrols and what happened on them. But Tim mentions Jason and Dick goes paper white.
He seems calmed by the sheer nothingness that was shared between Tim and Jason. And a little comforted maybe by the fact it didn’t seem like Jason had wanted to push him off some gothic architecture.
But to Tim the whole interaction is a puzzle.
Tim gets his first real taste of how Jason is crazy when he’s out patrolling with Dick.
Jason comes out of nowhere like a bat out of hell and collides with Dick midair.
Dick had enough advanced warning through peripheral vision to twist away from the shots Jason fired at him.
Tim swung close enough to hear the filthy curses Jason screamed at Dick as he tried to kill him savagely and unrepentantly. Dick had his work cut out for him in keeping alive and Tim could see that.
Jason spotted Tim and backed up abruptly. He apparently was not crazy enough to battle two against one and melts into Gotham’s shadows as Dick catches his breath.
But Jason’s screams still rung in Tim’s ears.
Tell me what you did with them! Tell me where they are you son of a bitch!
It’s another piece of the puzzle.
Notes: Not really an official story per say? So much as an idea I might write more parts for later. The basis for this is a psychological disorder I thought was really interesting and thus I’ve given it to Jason. Sorry Jay. But psychotic breaks are sorta your thing.
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