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Fic: Born Under a Bad Sign - Chapter 13

Title: Born Under a Bad Sign - Chapter 13

Fandom: DCU [which does not belong to me btw]

Pairing: Jason Todd/Dick Grayson

Rating:  PG- NC-17

Thanks to Sharon as always! <3

Warnings: full warnings in the prologue,

Summary: The world is in ruins, the justice league is gone, and like many others who have tried fighting for their freedom, Jason Todd is in prison. He finds help from an unexpected source.

The following morning, they emerged from their cell to find the battle nearly done. Thorpe was face down on a table, stripped to the waist and awash with blood. There were other bodies littering the floor and the remaining members of the Machete16 were cowering.

It was a gruesome tableau and the pleasure on Redford’s face was visible even at this distance.

“Well,” Jason muttered as they leaned over the railing to survey the damage, “looks like today’s the day.”

Dick took a deep breath. “Why don’t the guards stop this?” he asked.

Fahim gestured vaguely towards the fighting. “This is politics. They break it up, same thing happens again next week. They let us dictate who’s boss, it’s less work for them.”

“And better for us,” Jason added, watching the situation below. He was not afraid to admit that the sight of Thorpe’s corpse pleased him, although he would have preferred to have been the one holding the knife. “You ready for this?” he asked Dick, whose expression seemed to be warring between anticipation and disgust.

Dick shook himself and straightened. “Born ready, boss man,” he said, cocky and determined. He reached out a fist and Jason bumped it with his own.

“Glad to hear it, soldier boy. Once we get down there, anything could happen. We’re going to have to play it by ear, and that’s going to be dangerous.”

Fahim cleared his throat from beside them, “Are you implying that your plan involves not having a plan?”

Jason grimaced at him. “It’s hard to plan the specifics, as it depends on what they have planned. We’ve discussed the possibilities and have a few safeguards in place. Mostly, we just have to watch out for an opening.”

“See you boys in hell then!” Fahim said, giving them both a slap on the back.

“Well, that sounds encouraging,” Dick said, rolling his eyes. Jason was already focusing on what was happening below where there was an ominous silence.

Show time.

“I think you have something for me, Foxx?” Benson's voice called out, breaking through the quiet.

Steeling himself for what was to come, Jason gave Dick an almost imperceptible nod and made a grab for him.

Dick batted his hand away, “You said you wouldn’t!” he yelled as Jason lunged at him again, “you promised you would protect me!”

Jason blocked a punch, thankfully not at full strength, and took the opportunity to seize Dick by the hair. Dick was putting on a good show. Jason suspected he had been rehearsing some of the lines he was shouting, as he seemed to be going for maximum drama. No surprise there. Although he was fighting convincingly, he was giving Jason every opportunity to overpower him.

“You promised! Please!” Dick yelled as Jason started hauling him down the stairs, one arm around his waist and a hand still tangled in his hair.

“Did I?” Jason grunted as he attempted to pries Dick’s fingers off the railings, “I don’t remember that.”

“You bastard!” Dick attempted to elbow him in the face as Jason dragged him down the last few steps.

“Are you sure this is what you want?” Jason asked Benson whilst fending off yet another blow from Dick’s free arm. “Seems more trouble than it’s worth.”

“Nice try, Foxx, but this has been a long time coming. I’m going to teach it a lesson in prison etiquette.”

“No!” Dick squirmed free and made a break for it. The prisoners laughed. As Jason wrestled him back to the center tables he saw excitement and resolve in his eyes. No freak-outs or fuck ups this time; they could do this.

“It will go easier if you just do what you’re asked,” Jason told him as he pushed him to his knees in front of Benson. Dick sank down, his head bowed.

Jason stepped back. Immediately, two enforcers approached him and begun to pat him down. Pointless, as he didn’t need weapons to do a shit-load of damage, but he had come unarmed to show his good faith. Satisfied, the goons lead him forward toward Redford, but as he went he couldn’t help keeping one eye on Benson. Benson had pulled Dick’s head up by his hair, and as Jason watched, he struck him around the face with a brutal openhanded slap. Dick’s head snapped to the side and Jason’s jaw clenched as he watched his brother spit blood onto the dirty floor.

He had to trust Dick to look after himself though. He turned his attention to Redford. The big man looked smug. Jason had watched him deal out cruelty for entertainment. He was number one on the kill list for more than just the fact that it was necessary to get rid of him. Jason prepared himself for whatever humiliation he was going to have to suffer before he saw his window of opportunity.

As he approached, he made a careful note of where the guards were stationed. He was expecting that there would be more than a few of them, but instead he only saw them at their regular posts. That was rather arrogant of Redford - he obviously thought he wouldn’t need any assistance. More fool him.

The Snake were crowded close, still flying high from there victory against Machete16. The rest of the prisoners were on the outskirts of the center tables, watching with some degree of trepidation. Shifts in power were dangerous, and the floor was already stained red with blood.

“Redford,” Jason said into the silence, “you've done me a service. All I can offer you in return is my skill at fighting.”

Redford smiled. “And you think that’s it? A nice, neat exchange? It seems to me that’s two favors I’m doing you. Being one of mine gives you perks.”

“I appreciate that.” Jason resisted rolling his eyes. These theatrics were tedious and were playing havoc with his nerves. “But it’s all I have to offer.”

“Hmmm,” Redford said, and smiled to himself. Jason realized that the bastard had no intention of swearing him in. After he had finished playing, he was going to take him out, just to make a statement. Benson must be loving this. Jason turned his head to look at Dick, who had his face pressed against the crotch of Benson’s jumpsuit. The sight sent a rush of prickly rage over Jason’s skin.

He was considering just kicking Redford in the face and getting the party started when he caught sight of what was in Redford’s hand, partly hidden by his big body.

A zap controller.

It wasn’t arrogance that the guards weren’t here in force; he didn’t fucking need them. If he used that, it was all over. Jason hadn’t planned for this. Ice shot down his spine – if he had just acted, he might have gotten them both killed. Might do anyway if he wasn’t very careful.

“I’m ready to swear in like a good doggy,” he said loud enough for Dick to hear. It was one of a dozen phrases they had picked out to be used as code for 'Oh Fuck, Think Fast'. Dick had thought it was funny at the time. It didn’t seem so amusing now.

He needed a distraction, just enough to kick the damn thing out of his hand and take him down.

He cut his eyes to Dick and held his gaze for a brief moment. He tried to convey the gravity of the situation whilst his own mind worked furiously. He needed to figure out every eventuality for every move he made. He needed to think like Batman.

Things didn’t quite work out that way, though. In only a few moves, Benson and Dick changed the game. Dick’s whole body was radiating defeat. Jason could see different though. The tension in his muscles - he was just waiting to strike. Benson sensed victory and took his cock out of his pants, shoving it towards Dick’s face. Jason stopped pretending not to watch, and turned towards them. The anger already curling in his gut just got hotter when Dick tentatively wrapped his fingers around Benson’s penis.

“Don’t like that do you Foxx?” Redford said, his voice seeming to come from far away. There was a clear note of pleasure in his voice – he was pleased he had just found a weak spot he could exploit. “Don’t like someone else riding your bitch, do you? You’re going to have to watch, though, Foxx. Watch every moment.”

Seconds were ticking by and the tension was making Jason’s jaw ache. Dick threw him a last quick look, a slow blink – get ready - and provided the distraction that Jason needed. Dick took Benson’s cock into his mouth, then struggled to get it out again. The watching crowd jeered and pressed forward as Benson used Dick’s hair to force it further in as Dick thrashed and spat.

Part of Jason knew that Dick could get free if he wanted, that he had chosen to do this, but he couldn’t contain the growl rising up from his chest.

Jason gave up any pretense of thinking like Batman. Instead, he started thinking like Jason Todd – crazy, broken Jason, reacting like a cornered animal.

He launched himself almost without thought, letting his finely honed training and raw instinct carry him. He kicked away the zapper and slammed into Redford in one move. Then his was in motion again, and the rage that was humming through his body carried him round in a tight circle. He kicked away an inmate trying to get to the controller, his momentum spinning Redford to the floor. Ignoring him for the moment, Jason lunged for the zapper, snatching it from under the fingers of an enforcer.

This should have been done quickly, and he had wasted precious seconds. He threw himself at Redford, who was just getting to his feet. He easily avoided the shank shoved towards his ribs, and they grappled for a long moment. Redford was a huge guy, but he had no real skill, just weight and brute force. Jason twisted the shank free as they tumbled, and drove it into the side of Redford’s unprotected neck. He let him fall and lunged straight for the next guy. He had to take down as many as possible before the guards reacted.

As his focus cleared, he became aware of howling from Dick’s side of the room. Benson was down, but still breathing, fingers clenching on his knife as he tried to rise. Dick was moving, spinning and fighting. Things were going too fast for Jason to tell if he was using lethal force. But the sight of Benson with his cock still hanging out of his pants brought the red rage back. All the anger from what had happened with Thorpe, from his suspicions of what had happened to Dick, his own miserable fucked up lust, and more distant hazy memories - bitter, hurt, angry things - came together in a swirling miasma of fury.

His thinking brain took a leave of absence and all that was left was the rage.

Things swam back to him slowly. There were low moans from the wounded, and gurgling from the dieing, but there was no shouting, not even any muttering. The silence was deafening despite the background noise. Jason’s hands were sticky with blood, and Benson’s sightless eyes were staring up at him. It was hard to stop looking at them and glance around at the rest of the scene. It took a long moment to work out what he was seeing, but the feeling of vague horror emanating from the watching crowd started to make a lot more sense.

Nothing like a public castration to make people pay attention to you.

And shoving the bastard’s genitals into his own mouth was a nice touch.

Jason took a few deep breaths as he stood and looked at the inmates standing around. A few guards were there too, but as usual they were willing to let it get sorted internally, at least now the Snake was down.

“Anyone else feel like challenging me?” Jason asked. Nobody spoke.

Dick’s eyes were wide, shocked. Jason felt a twinge of regret, but he had just done what he had to do.

“Well then,” he said, surveying the inmates. “If there are no further objections, I will be taking charge of this shit heap. You got something to offer me, talk to my first lieutenant.” He pointed at Fahim, who looked a little ashen in the face of the carnage.

“And Pretty Boy there is my first enforcer.” He waved a hand at Dick. “Get yourself a jumpsuit, Goldie.” There were some mutterings at that pronouncement. There would be a lot of rumors about making his punk an enforcer, that and the fact that the attack had clearly been planned between the two of them.

“I’m going to have a chat to the guards and move my shit into my new cell. Do speak up if you got a problem with that.” He made a point of fiddling with the zapper in plain view. It added a new level of security, even though he had no idea how it worked or if he could stop it zapping him as well as his intended target. But he assumed if he didn’t know, they wouldn’t either.

He snapped his fingers at Dick, who still hadn’t moved. His brother began to pick through the fallen, looking for a jumpsuit that might fit and wasn’t too covered in blood. He suspected that they were going to have one of those long, painful talks in which Jason was supposed to feel bad about all the terrible things he had done.

But first, he needed to wash his hands and face. He could feel blood caked on his cheek. It flaked and pulled his skin every time he spoke. He was going to come down from the adrenaline soon, too, and he wanted to talk to the guards first.

Jason walked purposely towards the one with the most stripes – he would be in charge.
He was careful to be rather diffident in his approach. He had to be polite, which would be hard to pull off with blood staining his hands and face, and his teeth starting to chatter in reaction to what he had just done. God, what had he even done? He hadn’t lost control like that in years. On one hand, he felt a little better for it, like his helplessness and rage had been sated. On the other hand, he worked hard to maintain control of himself – if he didn’t, he risked the people he cared for and the people he wanted to protect. He was also pretty sure Dick would be disgusted by him, which in many ways would probably be for the best, but he would still feel the loss. It was not a comfortable thought.

The guard looked at him. Jason didn’t know what the man’s name was, what any of their names were. He looked like a hundred other tough, hardworking guys - thick shoulders, square jaw, cold, cold eyes. He looked like a man, but Jason didn’t know if he was. He didn’t have a clue who or what the Anathema were; they hadn’t bothered to explain themselves.

“Any objections?” he asked as a greeting. The man looked him up and down in disinterest.

“Follow the rules,” he said.

“Will do, but I get to oversee these bastards under you, right? I get to punish and play?”

“You do, but,” the man’s eyes met his, and Jason was unable to prevent a shiver from running down his spine. “Things are going to change. The New Enterprise is gracing us here. You provide the numbers we ask for.” The shiver turned into a cold blast of fear. Numbers were what the guards called the prisoners. He himself was 1678.

“You don’t provide the ones we ask for, or give us any fuss, and we take you first. Let the others fight it out like the animals they are.”

“I hear you,” Jason said, but all he could hear was the sound of trouble heading towards them at full speed. He didn’t know what the New Enterprise was but it sure as shit didn’t sound good.

“I’ll keep things ship-shape my end if I know I have your support, same deal as the Snake gave you.”

Cold Eyes nodded at him, one sharp movement of the head. The guards stepped away and Jason was left to straighten his spine and harden his heart. They’d got this far – soon they would be free and all of this crap wouldn’t matter anymore.

He just wished he believed that.