Author's Note: Finally, another chapter! Again, I'm so impressed and awed by everyone who is still reading this story and checking for updates. For you guys, here we go! Read, review, and enjoy!
Responses to Guest Reviews:
Zatannagurl – Honestly, as terrifying as a speedster bat would be, Batman's wrath will always be more terrifying for me. Thanks for the amazing review!
Guestz – Haha, you spelled it right! Oh man, even I haven't finished the Daredevil show yet. I'm getting there. I'm not sure how much of a reference I could add other than just having Daredevil in the fic? Thanks for the review!
Prompt: Joker's reaction to Wally dying by Cutiemshi
Jason was sitting with Wally at his apartment. The general hubbub surrounding Wally had died with time, leaving the ginger freer with his time, letting him sit with Jason on the weekend, recordings from the time that Wally had been 'dead' playing in front of them.
Swinging an arm over the back of the couch, Jason took a swig of his beer and commented, "I don't know why you don't go grab a beer."
Wally rolled his eyes, shoving his shoulder into Jason's side, "They taste bad and I can't get drunk. They're completely useless. I'll stick to my soda, thanks."
"Loser." Jason said, shrugging because it actually made sense.
Green eyes (still surrounded by those horrifying scars) cut over to Jason before Wally asked hesitantly, "Hey Jason… why did you record these? I mean, we always used to watch these shows together and you would record them if we didn't get a chance to hang out that night, but… these hadn't even been watched. Why record them and not watch them when you knew – thought – that I wasn't coming back?"
Jaw clenching, Jason contemplated his answer. How could he tell his kid brother that it hurt way too much to watch those shows together, that it was genuinely painful to even think about watching it without Wally sitting next to him? How could he tell Wally that he kept recording them because he knew that Wally would want him to keep up the tradition, maybe find someone new to start it up with? How could he tell him that he was saving the episodes for when he started recovering from Wally's loss? Instead of saying any of those things, Jason sniffed and took another swig of his beer, "Shows are kind of lame. You're the one who really liked them, so I didn't bother watching shows that were just meh. And I set it to always record in case we got called out or something."
He was thankful that Wally didn't call him on the fact that it was Jason who had introduced the shy, youngest Wayne child to the show, determined to find someone to watch the show with who wouldn't rat him out for watching a soap opera. Wally smiled next to him, eyes crinkling and teeth glinting. Jason swallowed harshly.
A sound blaring sound broke them from their silence. The two of them jumped, Wally's head twitching to the side for a moment, hand brought up in an abortive move towards his ear. Jason winced and turned the volume down on the television when the alarm continued. Wally hissed, "What is that?"
Squinting at the television, Jason let out a silent breath, "Oh, that."
"That?" Wally prompted.
Jason wrinkled his nose, "Yeah, this was a bad night for Gotham. It's the night that Joker found out that Kid Flash had 'died.' He freaked. Full on destruction. He was convinced that someone had set him up, killed you on purpose to hurt him. Went on a rampage, asking around, trying to get people to admit to it. It took all of us to deal with the little pranks he set up. When we finally caught him, he just started laughing, harder than I've ever heard him laugh. He laughed and laughed and laughed as they hauled him away. Rumor – rumor that's confirmed by pretty much every person who was in Arkham Asylum at the time – says that when they put him in his cell, he started weeping. Broke him up quite a bit."
Carefully, Jason watched Wally's face during his explanation. Every member of the Bat family had some sort of deal with the Joker; they fought him too many times for anything else. But Jason would argue that the two of them had it worse. Wally's time with the Joker had cost the burgeoning hero his city, sending him off to somewhere new because of the threat that had been posed by the Joker. Jason had literally been killed by the crazy clown. The two of them had issues with Joker. So, it was understandably difficult for the two of them to talk about the Joker all that often. He never really brought up the best memories.
This was especially disturbing for Wally. Joker's obsession with his 'Joker Junior' was distressing from anyone's point of view, but it was infinitely worse for Wally. The kid had to suffer that attention constantly. There had been times where Joker would create huge displays and pranks that hurt a lot of people to get Wally's attention and the speedster had always taken it hard, blaming himself for the people who were injured or killed in the process.
Hearing that the Joker went on a rampage, killing thirteen people and injuring over a thousand because Wally had 'died?' That had to make Wally feel awful.
Wally's expression had gone flat, staring at the banner that ran across the bottom of the recording, displaying the city-wide shutdown that had occurred until Joker had been caught. It had been a stressful couple of hours. There had been no in or out traffic the entire time and the streets had been empty, even hardened Gothamites fearful of the incited clown.
Jason nudged Wally gently, prompting, "Walls?"
Eyes flicking up towards Jason, Wally grimaced slightly, opening his mouth before closing it again. Jason waited a moment until, surely enough, Wally opened his mouth again, "Can I see a picture?"
"What?" Jason asked, blinking.
"Can I see a picture of the Joker?" Wally asked, eyes firmly trained on his lap.
Jason reeled back, "Why would you want to see that psycho?"
"I was kidnapped by him for a week and I have no idea what he looks like. He… he branded me with his symbol. I will always have a J carved into my chest, reminding me that he thinks that I belong to him, that I'm his. I don't know what he looks like." Wally explained, grimacing again. His hands curved out in front of him, trying to convey something he didn't have words for.
Swallowing harshly, viscerally wishing that he had drunk a little more beer before this conversation, Jason reluctantly pulled out his phone. His fingers hesitated a moment, not wanting to do this. He forced himself to type in Joker's name, carefully avoiding the frame himself as he angled the phone towards Wally.
Wally took the phone out of his hands, holding it like it was a dangerous weapon, something intent on destroying him. In lieu of looking at Joker's smug face, Jason tracked Wally's expression, watching the brows draw together, watching Wally's expressive green eyes dimming as his fingers tightened over the phone.
Still watching Wally's expression, Jason reached over and grabbed the phone, turning it off and setting it down on the table next to him. Closing his eyes, Jason grabbed Wally and pulled the shaking ginger into his arms, breathing deeply and pressing his forehead to the side of Wally's head.
While his eyes were closed, the image on the television changed, no longer the show they loved, but instead a playback of the destruction that the Joker had wreaked on the city the day he heard of Kid Flash's death.
Jason clicked the TV off as quickly as he could, but there was no point. He was sitting next to a speedster. He knew that in the second that the TV had been playing, Wally had viewed, categorized, and memorized every portion of that picture.
The Joker had been standing above a pile of bodies, fire lighting over their bodies (the firefighters would later find that none of them had gone into the fire dead and that a lot had survived, permanently scarred). He had been laughing maniacally, hands raised to the sky and a big banner behind him reading out the words, 'Daddy's gonna miss you Joker Junior!' It was possibly the worst image Wally could have seen.
Closing his eyes again, Jason pulled Wally further into his arms and held him as he cried.
Author's Note: Sorry to have a short and sad one when I finally update, but there you go! Now that Summer has started, the hope is that I can get more chapters out. Hopefully! Thanks for reading!