A Splash of Sass (schizoauthoress) wrote,
A Splash of Sass

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FIC: The Darkest Side of Me [DCU] (1 of 3)

Title: The Darkest Side of Me
Author: D.L.SchizoAuthoress
Rating: PG-13/R
Spoilers: for the 'Joker - Last Laugh' crossover event; timeline is between Nightwing #63 and Nightwing #64.
Warnings: character death, strong language
Prompt: DCU, Jason Todd/Dick Grayson, he always hoped Jason would come back to him. Also counts for au_bingo 2010, "Alternate History: Canon event changed".
Word Count: 4938
Summary: There are consequences to every action, and every inaction... even those that we don't -- or can't -- let ourselves expect.

The Darkest Side of Me

The sun was setting and he was halfway into his uniform when the phone rang. Dick slid his left arm into the sleeve and tugged the material smooth over his shoulder, deciding to let the answering machine handle the call. Everyone he actually wanted to talk to wouldn't be calling at this time, or if they did, they'd be using... alternate methods of contact. The call switched over to the machine -- he heard a sound like a breath being released and then a click as the caller hung up. He pulled the right sleeve of his uniform on.

The phone rang again a few moments later, as he was snapping on his utility bracers. Dick paused and half-turned toward the living room, where the phone was, and raised an eyebrow. That didn't usually happen, especially after he'd dealt with the last few pushy telemarketers -- which he'd done by pretending to be interested in what they were selling, for about three minutes, only to turn around and start shilling for Wayne Enterprises. He'd sold the first telemarketer on applying for a position in tech support for the personal computing division of Wayne Electronics after fifteen minutes of singing the company's praises and going through known job openings. The word had apparently gotten around after the fourth or fifth time he talked a telemarketer into quitting, and it seemed as though Dick Grayson had been put on the real "do not call" list. Which made this situation all the weirder.

The machine picked up the second call, and then the third, each time only recording the click of a hang-up. Dick was starting to get annoyed. He finished applying his domino mask as the fourth call rang through the apartment, then walked over to the console table behind his couch, where the phone sat.

When the fifth call came in, he picked it up halfway through the first ring. "Hello?"

"I heard about what you did," an unfamiliar, throaty voice said in reply.

Dick raised his eyebrow again. Keeping his tone politely curious, he asked, "Who is this?"

"Can't say I'm too upset that the clown's in the grave," the mysterious caller sounded oddly cheerful, "but I was kind of planning on having someone else put him there."

"Sorry to disappoint," Dick said brusquely. His mind raced. This guy obviously knew about his secret identity, but he didn't recognize who was speaking. He was grateful that Oracle had secured his phone line -- even if it came at the cost of allowing her to conduct a passive wiretap on the line sometimes. He was about to signal her to manually start a tap, but the next thing the caller said shocked him.

"That's all right, brother. I can forgive you."

Dick nearly dropped the receiver. "What? Who... who the hell is this?"

There were only two people who could call him 'brother' -- the one who did was definitely not calling him now, and the other one (who honestly never had, for more than one reason) couldn't be calling him.

"Come on now, old-timer. Your memory's not going to shit already, is it?" Laughter, low and sardonic, came over the phone line. "Course not. You're just too much like him to take this on my word alone. Meet me in Atherton Park off 25th if you want answers, Dick. You've got an hour to show up." There was a loud click as the caller hung up.

Dick stared at the receiver in his hand as if he'd forgotten its fuction, as the dialtone droned out of it. He shook his head and replaced it back onto the cradle of the phone base. 'Head in the game, Nightwing,' he chided himself. 'You've definitely got to find out what that was about.'


About a month ago...

"All the deaths! All the pain!" Nightwing backhanded the Joker, sending him flying backward into a broken pew, which splintered apart further under the impact. "When is enough enough, Joker?!"

The Joker struggled to get to his knees after Nightwing's last blow. "Aw jeez," the Joker wheezed, "I hit Jason a lot harder than that." He looked up at Nightwing, squinting through the one eye not swollen shut, smirking with his bloodied, ruined mouth. "His name was Jason, right?"

The pain and grief he was expecting, but the fury that suffused Nightwing at those words surprised even him. It was a cold fury that froze his heart and sharpened his senses -- it was like he was seeing clearly, for the first time, what had to be done. Teeth bared like an enraged animal, he leaped at the Joker and slammed a fist into that hated face. The Joker's head snapped back with the force of the blow, and then Nightwing was pinning the clown down. Nightwing pummeled the Joker, savage atavistic joy filling him as the blows landed, as the blood flew and spattered them both.

'I wasn't there for Jason like I said I would be, and you killed him. You tortured him and killed him. You tortured and paralyzed Babs. Tim is dead because of your sadistic little games. No more! No more!'


He ignored that voice. He had to be hearing things. He curled his fingers into the bloodstained fabric of the Joker's undershirt, hauling the unconscious clown up so his upper body was upright.

"He's had enough, Nightwing!"

The voice was louder now. Nightwing turned toward its source, felt his eyes go wide with disbelief. "Robin?"

"It's me," the boy said, and Nightwing's heart ached to believe him. But Oracle had told him the truth. He wouldn't be fooled.

"An illusion," he said dismissively, and turned back to the Joker. His fist hammered hard against the Joker's throat. "Another sick joke!"

Sudden weight on his back, Tim's voice again, shouting, "It's me, Nightwing! Stop this!" And Nightwing realized, as Tim pulled him off the Joker, that Tim was... is real. Real and alive. With that, it was like a switch flipped in Nightwing's brain -- he could feel beyond the icy rage that had gripped him so tightly.

The Joker's body flopped limply to the floor. At the same time, Robin and Nightwing both saw that the broken, bleeding clown was unnaturally still.

"Ohmigod," Robin breathed, and scrambled to press his fingers to the side of the Joker's neck. "He's... he's dead. You killed him."

Nightwing stared down at the Joker. Part of him lurched with panic at the realization that he'd just taken a life... and that Batman would know. But... he thought about Barbara -- how her eidetic memory would never let her forget the pain and fear of the night that the Joker shot her. About Jason, dead only for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and only that because he wanted to find his birth mother.

"Good," he growled. Robin looked up at him, shocked. Nightwing said harshly, "I'm glad he's dead. And I'm glad I did it."

"No!" Batman shouted. Nightwing half-turned his head, caught sight of his mentor running down the center aisle of Gotham Cathedral, flanked by Huntress and Spoiler.

"Back off," Nightwing warned them. His fists and arms still ached from the beating he'd given the Joker, but he moved into a fighting stance and stood firm between them and the Joker's body, keeping them from getting near enough to help. He wanted to get Robin away as well, but he knew that there was nothing Robin could do on his own. There were too many tasks involved in reviving someone, especially with a crushed windpipe (which he expected had happened with his final blow), for one person to handle.

"Stand down, Nightwing," Batman commanded. "There's still time --"

"NO!" Nightwing roared. The rage was like a white-hot point of light in his mind, kept just barely at bay, but threatening to overwhelm him; he didn't want to believe that Batman wanted to undo what he'd just done. "It's over! You're not starting this madness again!"

"Nightwing, I can't let you be a killer."

"You're going to have to," Nightwing retorted. "It's already done."

He couldn't see Spoiler's expression, of course, but he didn't miss Huntress's approving nod. "Nightwing's right, Batman," she said. "We all saw what the Joker was capable of when he thought he was dying anyway. If we brought him back, we'd be giving him the chance to do it again."

"It's too late," Robin said quietly.

"I could have saved him!" Batman shouted, whirling on Nightwing.

Nightwing stood his ground. "And who the hell would that help? Aside from that madman and your own ego?"

Batman snarled, "Get out of my city."

"Stay out of mine," Nightwing shot back, right before he walked out on them.


In the weeks since the Joker's death at his hands, Nightwing's life had been through several changes. He'd taken a leave of absence from leading the Titans, not wanting to give the junior members any impression that his actions were sanctioned by the team. He had explained himself to his friends still on the team -- Arsenal, Troia, and Tempest -- and off it. That had taken a while. He'd also confided his suspicions about Epsilon and the children from the D.E.O orphanage to Donna, since she had been voted leader in his stead. And after that, he'd stayed in Bludhaven.

Oracle was his only link back to Gotham, but they rarely discussed what was happening there. And as for what had happened, what caused his exile, they only spoke of it once, in-depth. She'd thanked him, and told him not to beat himself up for doing what all of them had dreamed about doing. ("I know other people might say you let the Joker win, Dick, but you keep in mind that after we clean up the rest of the Jokerized supervillains, it's all over. He won't ever 'win' again. And you did that. That's a good thing.")

Nightwing leaned into the turn onto 25th Street South, and caught sight of Atherton Park as he did so. It was one of the larger parks within Bludhaven's city limits. On the side bordered by 25th, there were fenced-in tennis courts and a basketball court with bleachers. A handful of kids -- one with a basketball under his arm -- were walking away from the basketball court.

Nightwing pulled his motorcycle up alongside the curb and got off, activating the security system as he did so.

"Nice bike."

"I like to think so," Nightwing remarked casually, removing his helmet. The voice was the same as the one from the phone call. "So what is this about? You obviously know who I am, but you've got me at a loss."

"You mean I didn't drop enough hints?"

Nightwing turned to face the man, replying, "No, you really di--" cutting himself off as he got a good look. The man was dressed in dark clothes beneath a long brown trenchcoat. His blue eyes sparkled with humor beneath his long, slightly curly dark bangs. And his face... older now, but it was recognizably and undeniably supposed to be Jason Todd.

That same cold fury that led to him killing the Joker swept through him at the sight; through gritted teeth, Nightwing growled, "What the hell do you think you're doing, wearing that face?"

"Been 'wearing it' for years now," the man smirked and shrugged, "it's mine."

With a wordless snarl of rage, Nightwing went on the attack.

"Okay!" The man dodged his punch, but got nailed by his roundhouse kick. Surprisingly, he went with the momentum of it, rolling clear and popping back up in a very familiar fighting stance. He sounded slightly winded as he huffed out, "We seem to have gotten off on the wrong foot tonight!"

"If you know who I am, you know why it's a very bad idea to pretend to be my dead brother, asshole!" Nightwing pulled out his escrima sticks and charged the man.

"Goodness gracious, such language!" the man exclaimed with a grin. He lifted a forearm to block Nightwing's downward strike -- there was a metallic sound as they impacted, and even as Nightwing's other escrima stick jabbed hard into the man's abdomen, the man locked a tight grip around Nightwing's right wrist. "Does Daddy Bats know you talk like that, 'Wing?"

Nightwing cried out as the man jabbed his thumb hard into a pressure point, forcing Nightwing to relinquish his grip on the weapon. "You wanted a fight," he snarled, whipping his left arm out and then back again, aiming a blow for the man's floating ribs, "I'm just obliging you!"

"Now, who said I wanted to do tha-- oof!" The blow hit home, and the man released Nightwing, falling to the ground and clutching his side. "Damn, Dick," he gasped, in a voice pitched only for Nightwing's ears, "you sure got some game. But you were always the best, and the favorite."

"Not anymore." Nightwing's voice was ice-cold. He dragged the man upright, ignoring the cry of pain that the move elicited. "Now tell me why you're wearing his face, before I tear it off you."

"Clearly you've gone and got yourself some anger management issues while I was gone," the man said, grimacing. "I just wanted to see the one family member who had the guts to avenge me."

"Stop talking like you're him! You're not!" Nightwing shouted, "He's dead!"

"Yeah, I am. And I was dead, but I came back."

"You can't possibly think I believe you."

"I think you do. You know it's me, 'Wing. You feel it." the man smiled, "And I'm here to say 'thank you' for offing the Joker. That's what I wanted."

The way that his mouth pulled up just slightly more on one side with his smile, the way one eyebrow arched as he cocked his head slightly, made Nightwing ache with loss; his bright blue eyes danced with mischief, and everything in Nightwing wanted, badly, to recognize him.

"Way you jumped to attack me," the man said quietly, "person wouldn't think you were such a good listener. Not taking your own advice?"

"No. It's not..." Nightwing released him and took a step back. No one else could have known about that conversation. "It can't be..."

He sank to his knees, cradling his hands close to his injured ribs. "...It really is."

"Jason..." Nightwing breathed.

Jason's smile widened. "Yes."

Nightwing watched as Jason reached out for his fallen escrima stick, and then got to his feet with some difficulty. Jason removed his left glove and swept his coat back on one side, revealing a holstered gun and the sheath of a knife. Nightwing automatically went on his guard; Jason smirked at him for it. He took out his keris blade and sliced a small cut across the lower joint of his index finger. Blood welled up, and he closed his wounded hand over Nightwing's weapon.

"Blood and fingerprints," Jason explained, tossing the escrima stick at Nightwing, who caught it easily, and on the end that Jason hadn't touched. "Run all the tests you need to."

"I will."

"I know." Jason grinned and wiped down his blade, then sheathed it again. "Wouldn't expect any less. See you next week."


Jason pulled a travel-sized first aid kit out of his coat pocket. He flicked it open with his thumb and extracted a bandaid, which he applied to the cut on his finger. "Once those tests confirm what you already know, I figure you'll need some time to process. So come back here in a week. And try to remember you don't need to kick my ass. I can't explain everything, but I'll tell you what I know."


Dick ran his hand through his hair again, staring at the results displayed on his computer screen. He'd run all the labs he could think of, and used his remote connection to the Titans mainframe to compare the results with what was on file. He could have gone back to the Tower to do it, after all, this was a voluntary leave, but...


...he was glad he hadn't. It would be different if the tests had confirmed that Jason was lying. That was something he could see asking his friends for help with. But to find out that the DNA matched, that Jason had been telling the truth...

His hand trembled as he reached out to touch the profile photo displayed along with Jason's name. He remembered when he'd first seen that photo, with those words below it... the terrible grief and guilt he'd felt.

'Another chance... I have another chance.' Dick realized. His eyes filled with tears, blurring the computer screen into a meaningless smear of color. That felt... right. It didn't matter anymore. Jason was alive.


Nightwing, waiting impatiently for Jason to show up, just barely restrained his urge to start bouncing. That would definitely give away his position. He'd spoken with Oracle, gotten her word that she wouldn't talk to Bruce about this yet, and spent the next few days in eager anticipation. Oracle had provided him with plenty of data on other known resurrections. He knew that it was, partly, just something to keep him busy, but he'd pored over them all and wondered what could have worked for Jason.

The grumble of a motorcycle engine brought Nightwing out of his reverie. He smiled, watching from the shadows of his perch while Jason pulled into view and parked his motorcycle. Nightwing grinned, remembering how Jason had annoyed Batman, asking for a motorcycle of his own after realizing that Nightwing got one. Back then, he'd wanted some Japanese crotch rocket, but it seemed that he'd come to his senses -- Nightwing recognized the bike, which was mostly black with candy-apple red accents, as a Caviga V-Raptor 1000. Jason was wearing the same costume from last week, with -- as Nightwing saw when the other man removed his candy-apple red helmet -- the addition of a red domino mask. As Jason got off the bike, Nightwing leaped down to ground level.

"Nice bike," he said as he approached.

"I like to think so," Jason replied with a laugh. He set his helmet down on the seat of the bike and turned toward Nightwing. "Didn't see your ride; thought you'd be by later."

Nightwing swept the younger man into a tight hug. Surprised, Jason froze up for a moment, before relaxing and wrapping his own arms around Nightwing's shoulders.

"Wow, so you actually did miss me." Jason said, in genuine wonder.

"Of course I did, Little Wing. We all did." Nightwing replied, voice hoarse with unshed tears. "I'm so sorry that I wasn't there for you..."

"You were off in space, you moron," Jason shot back with fond exasperation, extracting himself from the hug, "what the hell were you gonna do for me from there? And enough of this hugging crap."

"All right, all right," Nightwing held his hands up in a 'no harm' gesture. "I gotta ask, though, what's with the costume? Not that I'm complaining -- you can help with my patrol tonight -- but I'm curious."

"Just something I whipped up..." Jason let his voice trail off, and shrugged. "I'm cool with helping you out, Nightwing."

"Awesome. I left my bike in an alley across the way there," he pointed it out. He plucked at the collar of Jason's coat. "You made this?"

"The bodysuit, yeah. The coat I just modified." There was a note of pride in Jason's voice that Nightwing picked up on.

'Who thought Jay could be so domestic?' He grinned at the younger man. "You've got a better eye for design than I do."

"Hah!" Jason scoffed, "Hate to break it to you, Nightwing, but just about anyone has a better eye for design than you. Circus brat."

"Street punk," Nightwing shot back, and ruffled Jason's hair.


"So what's the 'R' stand for?" Nightwing asked, as they zip-tied several knocked-out thugs to a fire escape.

Jason had been focused on arranging a couple of the thugs in a compromising position before zip-tying them together and to the fire escape. In a distracted tone, he asked, "Say again?"

"Well, I can't go around calling you by your real name in the field. What's your codename?"

Jason looked thoughtful as he finished restraining the last of the men. "The 'R' stands for Robin. I was planning on going back to Gotham and messing with Bats. Changed my mind, though... passed word on through one of Oracle's informants, probably spoiled Tommy Elliot's plans."

'Tommy... Thomas Elliot? Bruce's old friend?' Nightwing thought, raising both eyebrows as that sank in. He'd ask for more details later, deciding to focus on what he felt was more important. He asked, "What changed your mind?"

Jason smiled. "You did." He slapped his hands together in a 'dusting off' motion and leaped down from the fire escape. They walked out of the alley and headed for the spot where their motorcycles were hidden. "Hadn't really thought about another codename... how about Red Robin?"

"Like the restaurant?" Nightwing sputtered, hardly able to restrain his laughter.

Jason scowled, but it was so exaggerated that Nightwing knew he was putting him on. "Fine, smartass, you come up with something."


Jason raised an eyebrow. "You're naming me after my Caviga?" He inquired incredulously, as he seated himself on said motorcycle.

"Kinda fitting, isn't it?" Nightwing asked, as he took his own seat on his Ducati. "Besides, you'd only be named after the bike if I called you V-Raptor."

"Oh dear god, don't!" Jason begged. "That makes me sound like a Super Sentai character. Raptor will be fine."

"Better than 'Red Robin'," Nightwing laughed. "Come on, partner. Night's a-wasting!"


Raptor let loose a string of curses and rolled over onto one side, panting. Nightwing looked up from punching out his opponent -- the bigger of the two crooks, the one that Raptor had insisted upon taking on, cracked his knuckles menacingly and stomped over to where Raptor lay. There was a slight dent in the metal security door that Raptor was in front of -- he'd been thrown into it, obviously, by the much bigger man.

"Oh, fuck this shit," Raptor growled. He forced himself to roll onto his stomach, freeing up his good arm, and whipped out one of his guns. He fired twice in rapid succession.

Nightwing was already on the move, flinging the unconscious body of the man's partner-in-crime ahead of him. The first bullet went wide, but the second shattered the huge crook's left kneecap -- he got hit at hip-level by 135 pounds of dead weight -- he went down with a roar of agony, and Nightwing was there a moment later, pummelling him into unconsciousness. He raised one of his bloodied escrima sticks, wanting nothing more than to pound the man into paste, to crush his face and make him pay for hurting Jason.

"Hey!" Raptor called out, "Glad as I am to see you've really embraced the violence, you think you could help me with this damn shoulder first, 'Wing?"

Feeling slightly dazed, Nightwing got up and went over to Raptor. 'It's getting worse... damn it all.' He knelt beside his new partner and asked aloud, "Your shoulder? Dislocated or broken?"

"Dislocated, I think."

"I'll check," Nightwing replied. "And I apologize in advance, since this is gonna hurt you either way."

Raptor winced, and Nightwing didn't miss how his eyes went distant and unfocused for a moment. He sounded far more irritable and angry afterward, snapping out, "What, you don't carry any local anesthetics in those bracers?"

"Just lidocaine at the moment, and I remember that doesn't work on you."

"Lower pouches, the ones on my leg... there's a couple injectors of procaine in the middle one."

"I can't get through your coat without using enough force to worsen the injury," Nightwing commented. He retrieved the injector, inspected it to make sure that the label matched with what he was looking for. "Gonna have to pull it off the shoulder, and even that's gonna hurt like a bitch. You're lucky this was already the last bust of the night."

"Yeah, lucky." Raptor scoffed. He stuffed the right sleeve of his coat into his mouth and said in a muffled, slurred voice, "Jus' do 't 'uick."

Nightwing obliged, flinching at Raptor's stifled exclamation of pain, but still working quickly to inject the anesthetic. He stroked Raptor's sweat-damp hair and silently counted out the time it would take for the drug to have effect. Once that was done, he inspected his partner's shoulder, finding that it was indeed dislocated. "Not broken," he reported, allowing his relief to color his tone.

"Help me onto my back," Raptor said, "and then you can pop it back into place."

"Right," Nightwing did so, and prepared to reduce the dislocation. Since it was to Raptor's left shoulder, he firmly placed his left hand against the top of his partner's shoulder, bracing his thumb against the head of the dislocated humerus. He used his right hand to gently reposition Raptor's arm into an abduct overhead position, simultaneously supporting the humeral head with his left so that it wouldn't shift yet, allowing it to rotate into place. A steady stream of curses hissed out from between Raptor's clenched teeth the whole time. Once Raptor's arm was in complete abduction, Nightwing used his left thumb to gently, steadily, push the humerus back into the socket of the scapula.

Raptor sucked a breath in sharply. "Gah! Son-of-a-bitch!"


"Not much, but enough," Raptor replied after a moment, testing out his range of motion. A smirk spread over his face when he realized that Nightwing had straddled his body to perform the shoulder reduction. "Figures you'd only make a move on me when I'm in too much pain to take advantage."

Nightwing wanted to point out that there had been plenty of move-making before... before. But he knew that would be a bad idea -- he hadn't missed Raptor's reaction to certain things, like a particular movement from an opponent, or an innocuous comment from Nightwing himself. He contented himself (for the time being) with simple touch, which he'd been wanting to indulge in all night. He cupped a hand against the side of Raptor's face, tracing the arch of his cheekbone -- starker, more defined than before -- with the pad of his thumb. His other fingers fluttered in random patterns over Raptor's face, featherlight.

Raptor kept his eyes locked on Nightwing's face, his customary wariness warring with the memories that Dick had never purposely set out to hurt him. All the same, when Nightwing's hand moved up to slide fingers through his hair, he turned his head away slightly, so the scars wouldn't be felt.

"Maybe I don't want you to stop me from doing this..." Nightwing whispered, and pressed his mouth to Raptor's for a hard kiss. Then he pulled away, ignoring the sound of protest that Raptor voiced, and murmured, "or this..." before tracing a trail with lips and tongue along the line of Raptor's jaw, making the younger man squirm beneath him.

"Think I would..?" Raptor gasped.

"Not really, no," Nightwing replied quietly in his ear, tone gently teasing. "But it's fun anyway."

"Let's take your fun on home," Raptor said dryly, "the unconscious criminal element doesn't really add anything to the experience for me."


After getting out of the warehouse, they realized that Raptor couldn't ride his bike with an injured arm. There was a bit of arguing, but eventually, Nightwing agreed to leave the Ducati in its current hiding spot and drive the Caviga with Raptor riding pillion. ("Your motorcycle has a better security system than mine, and don't think I can't pick up on how much you want to test out the Caviga.")

Nightwing had them going slower than usual, mindful of the fact that Raptor had only one good arm to grip him with, and that the pain from his injury wasn't going to make holding on and keeping balance any easier. But they made it back to his apartment in good time -- he stashed the Caviga the spot he usually left his Ducati in -- and once they removed his domino mask, Jason's trenchcoat contributed to the illusion that he was a normal (if very late-night) visitor for Mr. Dick Grayson. Nightwing slipped away and scaled up the building to his window, crawling back inside to quickly throw on some civilian clothes.


Dick crept down the stairs and opened the front door, silently as possible, and let Jason inside. He observed how pale Jason was, that the younger man was gritting his teeth and sweating. The pain had to be getting to him. "Come on, Jaybird," Dick said, soft and soothing, "just a few stairs, and there's plenty of Percocet waiting for you in the apartment."

"Seducing me with promises of drugs," Jason shot back, in a similarly quiet tone, "been there, done that, and Arsenal would kick your ass if I told him."

"You're probably right," Dick chuckled, allowing Jason to lean on him as they ascended the stairs, "but any message from you would be coming from beyond the grave, from his point of view."

"Damn mortality," Jason muttered. He stumbled slightly as they came to the first landing, and he clutched at Dick tightly.

"I've got you," Dick reassured Jason. But he was reassuring himself when he repeated, "I've got you, and I won't let you go."




Bits of dialogue taken from Outsiders #44; the reveal from Batman #641 was adapted as well.

(The technique that Nightwing uses to fix Raptor's dislocated shoulder is called the Milch technique. I might not have described it correctly, so if you're curious about it, have a link.)

There's a good gap between Nightwing 63 (post-'Last Laugh', which means early November) and Nightwing 64 (an awesome Christmas story) that, in canon, allows Nightwing to be around for Titans 35-36 (Beast Boy and Flamebird visiting New York, and a murder-mystery). Nightwing's leave of absence mentioned in the story covers those two Titans issues so far.

There's going to be a bit more in this 'verse. (Since the 'Hush' storyline is invalidated by Jason coming forward now, and Dick's increasing difficulty keeping his temper is going to become a theme of sorts -- and because I love wordplay -- I'm totally calling this the Turmoil!verse.) I've always planned for the "Bruce Wayne: Murderer?/Bruce Wayne: Fugitive" arc to be covered. And I really, really want to give Jay another chance at working with the Titans (which he will do in the arc covered by Titans 37-44). So I can totally get a trilogy out of this, and knock out two hc_bingo prompts as well.

Also, Red Robin is the dorkiest Bat-fam codename ever. IT DOES NOT EXIST IN THIS UNIVERSE AND EVERYONE IS GLAD OF THAT.
Tags: c: dick grayson [robin;nightwing;batman], c: jason todd [new earth robin;red hood], fanfiction, fiction: dcu, fiction: dcu: turmoil!verse, p: dick/jason
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