Disclaimer: I don’t own Marvel or DC comics, a near constant source of pain for me.
Author: Dimitri Aidan
Fandom: DC Comics, Marvel Comics
Pairing/Characters: Jason Todd and Thomas Shepard
Beta Reader: Mechante Fille. Without her I’d be a good deal less coherent.
Word Count: 2,312
Rating: Wrath: Pg-13, Overall: NC-17
Warnings: Jason’s insane, violent, angry, and a bit of a sadist. Tommy’s hanging out with a sadist while refusing to hear any warnings given to him regarding said sadist. I think he has co-dependency issues. Everything you need to be warned about results from those factors.
Notes: I had the strange urge to write Jason/Tommy and the 7 Deadly Sins challenge gave me the inspiration (excuse). I could blame a lot of people for this trek into madness (DC for putting Dick and Jason in New York which is just screaming for spillover and Marvel for giving Tommy so much ‘screwed up’ potential that they’ll probably never acknowledge) but it’s best I admit to being a sick sick man and get on with the show.
Timeline: Post Nightwing 118 and Young Avengers 11, then wanders off in AU-land.
Summary: “Maybe, sometimes, the bad guys just need to die. Does that make me a bad person?" Jason Todd, Thomas Shepard, and the seven sins that pull them together. Wrath: All of this was dangerously close to orgasmic
Prompt 1: Wrath
Maybe You Should Sleep
Sometimes Jason can hear laughing in his sleep. He usually wakes up and stumbles around his hole in the wall motel room until he can find the beer he can’t legally buy for another two years, and drinks. Not enough to block out the laughing or even make him go back to sleep, but enough to leave a bitter taste in his mouth that matched how he felt about everything these days.
Bruce thought that dying was what had turned him against the ‘Cape and Cowl Crowd’ and changed his view on what was and wasn’t necessary in this line of work. Once upon a time it’d just been knock out the bad guy, let the cops take them away, and hope they went to prison, but now that he was back it was so much different.
They weren’t different of course--idiots never learned and thus were idiots--but he was different.
It wasn’t dying that had made him that way and it wasn’t finding out that Batman had let the Joker live after beating Jason half to death with a crowbar and then blowing him and his mother up. Really Jason wasn’t nearly as hung up on all of that as people seemed to think. Oh, he was pissed to all hell, but he wasn’t going to give Joker the satisfaction of shaping his outlook on life. He wouldn’t dare give him the satisfaction of such a thing.
It was that man he had killed while still Robin who had shown him the error of Batman’s line of reasoning, the one who had raped that girl and got away with it because his daddy was able to flash his ‘immunity’ and make the problem go away. That woman had killed herself and he’d just gotten away, prepared to live as if nothing had ever happened. Killing him had seemed like the proper way to go about rectifying that little problem and it wasn’t something he regretted. How many women had he saved by killing that one man? How many people could be saved by getting rid of the problem instead of sweeping it away for a few months and having it come back as crazy as before?
New York; if ever there was a city to get lost in, it was this one. Millions of people, milling about and pressed in so close it seemed impossible they could even breathe let alone live, and yet completely oblivious to the person who lived in the apartment next door. You could be anyone and do anything without anyone trying to butt in, ask questions, or stop you, so long as you kept a low profile.
Case in point, it was only in places like Gotham and New York that a guy in a costume could watch an apartment building three nights in a row and not have anyone so much as blink in his general direction. The guy he was watching, Adam Song, was the godson of the leader of a gang from China Town and was trying to make a big name for himself. From the information Jason had gathered from various sources, he’d started as a small time drug runner in his godfather’s territory but was branching out and overtaking territory that belonged to other people in the game, leaving a trail of bodies in his wake. He was now one of the biggest bosses dealing in MGH, a drug that outdid just about everything Jason had heard of in terms of sheer stupidity, and Crystal Meth.
While most of the people Adam killed deserved what they got--the only good thing about stupid thugs was that they did most of Jason’s work for him--there were a few unlucky family members and witnesses who had been taken care of as well.
According to Jason’s sources he was up to something big, so big that he hadn’t even let his best friend and right hand man in on it. A good idea in the long run, since by the time Jason had been done with him he’d spilled his guts, literally and figuratively. He’d only known that it was big, bad, and that his boss had aligned himself with some very powerful people to make it happen.
He was…curious, and his best bet for finding out what exactly was going to happen was with this man. Getting to him and beating the information out of him would be painfully easy, albeit amusing, and possibly not as profitable as watching and gathering information was proving to be.
Jason already had formed a list of associates, most of whom were the sort of people Song should associate with, but a few were out of his league. A doctor, a handful of local low-level politicians, and a few business men; he had to make sure he had all of the information he could get before going after Song directly.
Bruce would be so proud of his restraint and planning abilities. His ‘father’ still thought he was rash and hotheaded like when he was still Robin, but that wasn’t it at all. Jason could be patient and wait for things to present themselves to him in their entirety.
Things were slow thus far, though it was still early, barely eleven-thirty. He’d heard a car come in a few minutes ago, but after that things had once again become quiet. The car park he’d chosen to use in order to observe Song was directly across the street from his apartment and offered more than enough cover to not be seen by Song or his men. While it served all of the apartment buildings and offices on this block, things tended to slow down fairly early in the afternoon. There was a watchman, but he left at midnight, locking things up until the next shift started at four.
Song walked back to his window, phone held between his shoulder and his ear, a scowl on his face. Jason squinted, leaning forward some and trying to figure out what was being said.
A loud bang and a flash of light behind him made him jump before rolling his eyes and pulling back. Stupid mistake; he had been so busy watching he hadn’t realized there was someone on this level with him. He’d never heard the elevator come for whoever had driven up here so obviously he wasn’t alone.
Song wasn’t likely to go anywhere anytime soon, so Jason turned away from the man and started across the floor, acutely aware of the familiar weight of his knife in his boot.
The garage was bathed in dim white fluorescents, just barely enough light to keep cars from scraping against each other when they parked, creating long shadows and an almost creepy setting. Jason had been here enough to know which cars were where at what times and as he went past one empty space he couldn’t help but notice it shouldn’t have been. There was a strange burnt smell clinging to the air as he went past, but no sign of anything having been burnt.
There was, however, a briefcase. It looked like it had been dropped and had popped open in its fall because papers and folders were spilling out onto the ground. He took a moment to gather them up and shut the briefcase before following the sound of voices.
“Thomas, we can work this out. What do you want?”
“Why don’t you apologize?” A placid voice, laced with humor, drifted through the silence easily.
Jason stayed far enough away that he wouldn’t be seen, but could see perfectly. There was a man… no, a boy--younger than Jason at least--with bright green eyes. He had a knit cap pulled over his head but white strands peeked out, curling around his ears, and he was holding black gloves in one hand.
At his feet was a slightly over-weight balding man dressed in a suit, face bright red and brown eyes panicked. His entire stance was rigid, screaming out his fear and worry, and his breathing was harsh and loud.
“Like you mean it. Tell me how sorry you are that you’ve made a career out of taking mutant kids no one wants and turning them into lab rats with no rights and that you’ll never ever do it again. Tell me you’ve learned your lesson.”
There was a moment of silence, but not the kind that happened when a person considered their options, and tried to decide if losing their pride was more important than living. That was the choice to face death with dignity or hope to cling to life as a coward.
This man wasn’t making that choice, he was trying to figure out the best way to throw himself at this boy’s mercy and beg for life he probably didn’t deserve.
Not that it was going to matter. The boy’s eyes weren’t angry--there was almost no emotion at all--and he wasn’t in the frame of mind to be swayed. He’d made his decision long before this and nothing was going to change his mind.
“I’m sorry Tommy. What I did was wrong and I should have never allowed myself to get involved with such a project. I know it was wrong and I swear I’ll abandon the project. I’ll contact the media, alert them to the other kids.”
“I believe you.” The boy said solemnly, though his lips twitched and his eyes gleamed with poorly hidden delight. The man nodded, but instead of his trembling stopping, it increased. It happened so fast it was hard to register, but one moment the man was there, the next he seemed to be blurring around the edge in a way that reminded Jason faintly the Flash, and the next there was a boom and the man was gone.
There was that same strange burnt smell creeping through the air however. The boy stood for a moment and then was gone as if he hadn’t been there at all.
A Speedster, though not one with whom Jason was familiar. He kind of resembled a mutant or two he was aware of,--the names Quicksilver and Northstar came to mind--but unless they’d been mysteriously de-aged it wasn’t either of them. Not to say that being mysteriously de-aged was the most unlikely thing he’d ever come across, but he’d rather leave the more unusual stuff for when he was out of options.
It was something to think about during the hours when the sun was out.
Tommy hummed under his breathe, some stupid country song that had gotten stuck in his head while hanging out in the garage and waiting for Dr. Simon Schroeder to come back. His stomach felt almost fluttery and his throat was oddly dry as his mind raced, random thoughts he didn’t bother trying to pin down flitting through as it processed everything that had just happened. He was holding his gloves and hat in one hand and walking down the street at a semi-normal pace and he didn’t even remember leaving the garage. He’d been really cold earlier, but now he felt like he was on fire, power running through him like tiny insects marching underneath his skin and telling him it was time to act, run, do something now doitdoitdoit.
Something inside of him was delighting in what he’d done, cheering and overriding the part of him that wanted to curl into a corner and cry like a baby then wait to just shrivel up, and did it with disturbing ease.
He didn’t like hurting people, or he hadn’t liked hurting people before, the very idea of using his power on a person would have made his skin crawl before. He turned buildings to rubble and trees to dust; anything he focused on would speed up, vibrating until it finally all flew apart with a bang. He blew things up and turned them into nothing and the thought of turning that on anyone should have made him sick.
But, thanks to those people in that place… well, they had forced him to do things he wouldn’t have done on his own. They’d wanted a solider, someone with destructive power at their fingertips and the will to use it, and they had done everything in their power to make him gain the latter when they found him lacking.
He was exactly what they’d wanted and it was only right they got to fully enjoy the fruits of their labor. He didn’t care, or he cared but it was a distant kind of alarm that was even now becoming less and less urgent. Already his mind was racing ahead, focusing on what he needed to do next to make things better.
Two more people to find and get rid of and then he’d be done. He could go back to the Young Avengers, run to Mexico, maybe turn himself in; it wouldn’t matter after they were gone. He needed to do this and after that everything would be fine.
He’d end this and he’d be able to sleep.
It wouldn’t matter that he’d stood in some garage with a man three times his age at his feet and had him give some half-assed apology to save his life and that he’d nearly fallen over at the feeling of having control over someone else. He’d had the power, held that man’s very life in the palm of his hand and if Tommy had told him to, he would have begged for the right to live another day. It’d been… something else completely, indescribable but intense nonetheless.
He’d liked it. A lot. No more meek little Tommy hiding from bullies and avoiding his control freak parents or pleading to be let go or hoping to die because he couldn’t take it anymore. He had power and…
He snorted darkly, bowing his head. Whatever they had done to his head in their quest for a remorseless solider was damn impressive because all of this was dangerously close to orgasmic.
And now for the part when I muse ‘out loud’: Tommy frightens me.
Next Part: Kindness: Dick is confused, Billy is sympathic, and Tommy wishes they'd all just die.