I don't own DC universe or any of its characters. I'm just borrowing them. Rated T for Jason's bad language.
Set in the same my mind canon-universe as No Sense (how Billy and Damian became friends). It's set after the punishment for the boys. Ages are fudged and total guess work on my part.
Why this story after the totally non-canon friendship between Billy and Damian story? Because like Damian, I adore Jason's complex nature and there are stories already about Jason's relationship with Dick, Tim, Bruce, Barbara, and Damian, but there's sorely lacking any interaction of Jason with two particular members of the Bat-family—Stephanie and Cassandra. And I liked de-aged stories, but I never wrote one before, so here goes nothing, right?
Jason Todd/Red Hood- 21 years old, Stephanie Brown/Spoiler- 16 years old, Cassandra Cain/Black Bat- 17 years old, Tim Drake/Red Robin- 16/17 years old, Dick Grayson/Nightwing- nearly 24 years old, Barbara Gordon/Batgirl- 26 years old, Damian Wayne/Robin- 10 years old, Bruce Wayne/Batman- 40 years old
"No," stated Red Hood, talking over the phone to Batman. Red Hood was perched on a rooftop near his Crime Alley apartment. He was about to go on patrol and then follow up on a case that he had been working on concerning a child-prostitution ring situated in Gotham Harbor. Then, Batman called. He and Batman were on speaking terms and he had no desire to kill him or destroy what he had built as Batman. Red Hood, Jason Todd, even started bonding with Nightwing, Red Robin, Robin and Batgirl. Red Hood went out of his way to try to search for little Robin and Captain Marvel when they went missing. He was in no mood, however, to appease the Bat that night.
"Robin and I will be going out of town on a League mission," stated Batman, matter-of-factly. Damian or Robin had not been out of Batman's sight since the boy returned home, except for school and training with Wildcat (even then, Red Hood suspected that Damian had tracers and cameras on him). "Nightwing, Red Robin and Batgirl are going on a Titan mission. The Birds of Prey have uptown burglaries to handle."
"It's probably Catwoman," said Red Hood, touchy.
His snipe was ignored and Batman continued, "Alfred and Dr. Tompkins are in Italy on vacation and are not to be disturbed."
"Well, they do need a vacation from us crazy people," said Red Hood.
"Jason," said Batman, sternly as if were fourteen years old again. "Starfire is going on the Titan mission too. Arsenal's at the hospital with Lian. I just need you to manage the Bat-cave and the rest of Gotham while I'm gone."
"Batman, I've got a lead I've got to follow up with tonight. Aren't the other two in town," asked Red Hood.
"You mean Spoiler and Black Bat? They have names, you know," said Batman, nearly exasperated with him. "Yes. I want you to work with them until I get back."
"I really don't care to," he replied.
"So, they were right. You do actively avoid them," replied Batman. "I told them that they were just imagining it…"
"Fine, they can come with me," said Red Hood, not really wanting to go into anything about his feelings with Bruce at the moment. "Tell them to meet me at the Bat-cave in twenty minutes." Unlike the others that Bruce was a father/mentor to, in order to get Jason to do something, Bruce could not use his annoyed and commanding tone because Jason chaffed against such an attitude. All Bruce needed to do was start talking about feelings and Jason would do want Bruce wanted, if just to shut him up. Jason hated that Bruce knew him so well.
It was not as if he had a problem with Spoiler or Black Bat. They were perfectly acceptable young girls-women. They were good at what they did, that much he gave them. Spoiler was a decent detective and excellent fighter. She understood thieves the best, being that her father was Cluemaster. Black Bat was the daughter of the two of the most dangerous assassins in the world—Lady Shiva and David Cain. She was a top fighter, best of all the Batgirls and Robins. All that mattered was that Bruce trusted them to do their job.
Twenty minutes later, he was sitting in front of the large Bat-computer where Bruce normally sat and he was going over video footage from the docks to make sure that criminals that he was chasing were still there. After years of training and experience, he heard Black Bat and Spoiler enter the cave.
"About time you two showed up," said Red Hood.
"We're like a minute late," replied Spoiler, wryly.
Perhaps sensing an argument coming, Black Bat spoke up, "Batman said that you needed us to accompany you to the docks on your case."
"I don't particularly need you but my normal back-up is preoccupied," said Red Hood, blankly. He turned the chair around to look at the two super-heroines. Black Bat was the quiet one and the Spoiler was the talker, but they worked well together, especially in the Birds of Prey. Black Bat was in a black form-fitting, for a seventeen year old, outfit (long sleeves and pants) and her mask was similar to Huntress' mask but it was black. Spoiler, on the other hand, had a complete dark blue mask and dark purple hood covering her head. Like Black Bat, it was long sleeved and pants outfit but formfitting for a sixteen year old. "We're taking the Bat-cycles."
"Yes, sir," said Spoiler, mockingly. Black Bat merely went to her Bat-cycle and ignored Red Hood and Spoiler, both. Red Hood had his own bike near his apartment but he liked using Damian's Bat-cycle when he could, just to get the young boy bent out of shape. Spoiler had her own Bat-cycle. All the cycles were black sleek and super-fast. They put their helmets on and sped out of the cave.
Red Hood may have went a little bit faster than what would be proscribed and he may have tried to lose both Black Bat and Spoiler, but it must have slipped his mind that they knew Gotham as much as he did. Parking their bikes a while later, at Gotham Harbor's entrance. Silently, he motioned for them to follow him.
"There's ten of them and I don't know how many children," said Red Hood, quickly. He thought it would be a waste of time to give them specific orders, but, "The kids are the top priority." He saw Cassandra's brown eyes sent him a 'no-shit' look even though the girl never cursed or spoke more than necessary. If he could see Spoiler's blue eyes, it would probably be the same look on her face.
In true Bat-family fashion, they crashed the party in the warehouse where the ten men were lazing and playing cards, obviously waiting for the ship to come. They were shocked enough that the three superheroes were able to take down multiple at a time. Red Hood took out three with his guns without killing them. He tied them up and threw them on the ground. Black Bat took out four of the guys with precise hits to knock them immediately unconscious and tied them up. Spoiler managed to get two of the guys and the third guy started to tell where they were keeping the kids—in the back of the trunk parked in the back of this particular warehouse.
Red Hood counted the crooks them tied up and only counted nine. "Shit, where's the tenth?" Then they heard the sound of truck start. Black Bat and Spoiler without hesitation ran to the open door in time to use their grappling hooks to attach themselves to truck. Red Hood dashed after them. They were good acrobats, no doubt trained by Dick in that area. Spoiler managed to get into the front and fight with the guy to stop the truck while Black Bat was stationed to open the back and get to kids.
He kind of felt useless when he reached the stopped truck and Black Bat was about to open the back when Spoiler came out of the front, dragging a bloodied guy, tied up. She threw him to the ground. Standing together, Black Bat and Spoiler opened the back of the truck.
Red Hood saw an eleventh guy standing, waiting for them, with a ray-gun of some kind (he had never seen one of those before). He ducked and he shouted at them to get down. There's a flash of light and when it was gone, Red Hood shot the guy in the shoulder, dropping him like a fly. He rushed over to find the outfits of Spoiler and Black Bat on the ground—wrapped around a two year old Stephanie and a three year old Cassandra. Red Hood cursed loudly and vehemently (which should never be repeated in polite company). He grabbed the guy that shot them with a de-aging ray, apparently.
"What did you do," asked Red Hood, snarling, having the guy by the throat.
"Ugh…" was all he could say. Red Hood was not amused. He found seven children ranging from ages 9 to 11 in the back, looking at him in horror. He hated when kids looked at him in fear. It must have been the mask (and the fact that he was nearly choking the life out of someone). He tied up the eleventh guy and put him next to his companion.
"Alright, kiddies, don't worry. The police will be here soon to get you back you belong," said Red Hood, putting his gun away and out of sight, speaking as kindly as he could. The kids merely nodded. One of them pointed and Jason followed where the kid was pointing. He saw the toddler Stephanie and 3 year old Cassandra, both dressed in white onesies, walking away from the truck. "Shit!" He immediately ran over to the escaping babies and grabbed up them. "You two need to stay." He put them by their now-too-big costumes. He took out his phone and called Detective Montoya, directly, who would get in touch with Commissioner Gordon or Detective Bullock. Before the detective could answer, he had to grab the escaping Stephanie and Cassandra again and placed them on the truck to keep an eye on them while he spoke on the phone.
"Montoya," answered the detective.
"It's Red Hood. I need you to tell Commissioner Gordon I've seven kids that need to find their way home," said Jason.
"Suppose the Bat's out of town again," commented the detective. "Where are you?"
"Gotham Harbor, a truck behind warehouse 3. I've got another situation to handle so I won't be here when you guys get here," said Red Hood. Suddenly, the two little girls started to bawl, Stephanie louder than Cassandra.
"What's that? There are babies there?"
"No, it's the other situation," said Red Hood, steely.
"Fine, we'll be there in 10. Don't leave until you see the lights," said Detective Montoya, mildly annoyed with him. She hung up on him and Red Hood was at a loss at what to do with the two crying girls.
"Hush, you two," said Red Hood. Stephanie blinked once and looked at him and started to cry again. Cassandra followed suit. The seven kidnapped kids gave him looks of pity. Then, it hit him, like the kidnapped kids, the younger versions of Black Bat and Spoiler were afraid of him and his mask. It shouldn't have hurt his feeling as much as it did. He didn't want the seven kids to be able to identify Red Hood's face underneath, so he merely picked up the two little girls—one in each arm. They were still bawling, irritating his ears.
He went on the Birds of Prey's radio frequency and contacted the Huntress, who was in charge of the Birds that evening, "Huntress. Speak now."
"Huntress, it is Red Hood. I need you and the rest of the Birds to get to Gotham Harbor. Black Bat and Spoiler have been de-aged to toddlers," said Red Hood. He heard a grunt and a curse from Huntress' mouth. She was in a middle of a fight, wonderful.
"Kind of busy, Hood. Just get them back to the Cave in one piece. Bye."
"Huntress! Huntress, you suck," said Red Hood, to no one in particular. When he saw the flashing lights of the police, he had never been so happy. "Alright, kids, go with the police." He had to pick up Black Bat's outfit and Spoiler's outfit, carry both girls and escape without the police seeing him. It was so much harder than he thought. When he got to the cycles, he cursed. How was he going to get them home? He put all three bikes on autopilot and they would get back to the cave on their own. The girls were still crying, so he set them down. He took off his Red Hood-mask and the one that he wore underneath that hid his eyes and knelt down. "Hey, look. I'm not scary, okay? So stop crying." He hoped that his blue eyes and black hair reminded them enough of Bruce or Dick or Tim or even Damian and that the familiarity would calm them down enough.
Surprisingly it worked. He wiped their faces of tears and snot with his gloves.
"Jason," said Cassandra, pointing at him. "Jason, good." She smiled.
"'ay," repeated Stephanie, who obviously didn't know how to speak as well Cassandra, smiling brightly. Jason thought about it. He needed to get them to the Cave, so he tried to remember where the many entrances to the Cave were located all over the city. If he was caught with two little girls, dressed in onesies, only, in the middle of night, it would be suspicious.
"Ready to go home, but you have be quiet," said Jason, putting his finger to his lips in the 'shhing' way. They seemed to understand it. Picking up the girls again, he walked several blocks to the nearest city entrance to the Bat-Cave. He went down the dark alley and the girls whimpered. He had to hurry before they started to cry again. He pressed a button on Black Bat's outfit and the dumpster receded into the building and a staircase went down into the depths of Gotham. He quickly walked down the stairs and pressed the button to close the entrance. Immediately it was dark and the girls started freaking out.
He pulled out a flashlight and turned it on. "It's okay. It's okay." The girls sniffling could be heard as he walked toward the Cave. Unfortunately it was like a maze down there, but fortunately his Robin-training included getting to the Cave from anywhere in the City, just in case. Finally he reached the steel door and put into the pass-code. They were finally in the cave (and the bikes got there before them). The cave was intimidating to most adults so when the girls clung to him like a boa constrictor, it wasn't a surprise. Deciding it would be better for him if he went upstairs to the Manor and put the girls to sleep, as if was very late at night.
The Manor's lights turned on as soon as he stepped in the room with the clingy toddlers. He walked up the stairs to what was once his room (that Bruce kept as it was when Jason was fourteen). He placed the girls on the bed, tucked them in, found extra pillows to make a makeshift barrier so they didn't roll off the bed, and sat at the edge of the bed, wondering what else he should do.
He called Huntress again. "Huntress, got them home safe."
"Good. I'm sending Catwoman over with bottles, clothes, and other stuff you'll need," replied Huntress over the com-link. "Tomorrow we'll call Batman and see what he has to say."
Jason grumbled under his breath. He didn't care for Catwoman, but apparently Huntress was too busy. Afraid to leave the two girls alone, only because he never had to deal with little girls their ages. Watching them promptly fall asleep, he wondered if this was how they were when they were actually that age.
According to Dick, Cassandra's father never let or taught her how to talk, so he wanted to know why Cassandra could talk as a three year old. Perhaps she remembered that she could talk as a seventeen year old. Stephanie's upbringing was unusual as well, being that her father Cluemaster was a single father. So, it seemed the David Cain stunted Cassandra's growth without meaning to do so and Cluemaster also stunted Stephanie's growth. A toddler should be able to talk a little bit more than Stephanie could. It was so very strange.
He didn't know why he didn't like older Cassandra and Stephanie. But when he looked at the black haired Cassandra and the blonde haired Stephanie and their young, peaceful, sleeping, innocent faces, the rationality for not liking them when they were older was apparent. It was not because they were girls since he had no problem with Helena or Barbara or Starfire. At their ages, they were no longer innocent and naïve.
It was because he never had little sisters to look after and he wasn't sure how he should treat them. They certainly did not need a protector or guardian. They had plenty of friends and allies. He avoided them because unlike with the rest of the family (son to Bruce, little brother to Dick, Barbara, and Helena, big brother to Tim and Damian), he wasn't sure where he stood with them. Putting himself in the big brother role for Stephanie and Cassandra would be different than the relationship he had with Tim and Damian, as their big brother. Tim and Jason had their problems especially during the time they thought Bruce was dead and they beat the tar out of each other, but their relationship was better, lately—more of a partnership when needed. Damian and Jason also had their problems, because they were so similar, so angry and unsure of their place in the world—they argued a lot, but Jason felt that he could steer Damian in the right direction to avoid the mistakes that Jason made himself back when he was Robin. But Tim and Damian literally forced Jason to get used to them and wanted him as a big brother.
He thought Black Bat and Spoiler didn't really like him very much.
Suddenly, he was snapped out of his thoughts when he felt someone staring at him. He looked over and down to find that toddler Stephanie, awake and alert, had moved to sit next to him. She stared at him with her big blue eyes, her very disconcerting blue eyes.
"Back to bed, Stephanie," he told her. He did not want Cassandra to wake up, too. Cassandra was a dead-sleeper, though.
"'ay," said Stephanie. She crawled over and clung to his arm.
"Yes, yes," Jason said, sighing. He grabbed her and placed her back to where Cassandra was sleeping. "Night." She looked at him and giggled. Jason didn't think that he had ever heard Stephanie as a teenager giggle, not that she had much to giggle about in her life. She snuggled close to Cassandra, who merely gurgled in her sleep. Jason just shook his head. He couldn't remember being that young and so innocent.
"Well, well, look at you, doting big brother Jason," said Selina Kyle, the sometime girlfriend and sometime enemy of Batman. Selina was aware of many of the Dark Knight's secrets. Selina was a very beautiful, dangerous black haired and blue-green eyed woman. He knew why Bruce was attracted to someone like Selina and couldn't really blame him for continually going back to her. Still, he found her annoyingly perceptive sometimes. "Got you a gift! A baby monitor." She pulled out a box. While she set up the baby monitor, which was relatively simple, she told him that downstairs were diapers, pull-ups, and all the stuff to take of two little girls of two and three.
Jason knew what that meant. He had to go to her car that was parked outside and bring everything inside. Hesitantly leaving Stephanie and Cassandra under the watchful eye of Catwoman, he walked downstairs to the normal people entrance to the Wayne Manor. Selina's very expensive red Porsche was parked there. Selina got everything he would need—clothes, child cups, baby plates, two playpens, diapers, wipes, pull-ups (who knew if either of them were potty-trained), things to baby-proof the manor, and toys. He hauled everything inside the Manor and set it down in the living room.
Selina was laying on the couch and Jason had a momentary panic attack. She must have noticed the worry on his face. "Relax, kid. It's why baby monitors were invented." She handed him a small device. She got up, grinning. "Well, Helena will be here in the morning."
"Woah, woah, you're not staying," asked Jason, mortified at the thought of being alone with the girls until morning.
"Oh, you actually thought…" Selina started to laugh. "Kid, just because I'm a woman doesn't mean I'm good with kids. Well, I am but I've got a life and this is your mess. Ciao." She walked away and out of the house. Jason was then certain that Selina was an evil, evil woman.
He left all the stuff in the living room and went back to his room. The girls were still sleeping, thankfully. Jason didn't feel comfortable leaving them alone all night, just in case. So he parked himself on the floor, practically on guard duty. He didn't sleep much anyway. (He always had too many nightmares). He also made sure the door was shut and locked, just in case he fell asleep and the girls woke up and tried to escape the room.
Jason couldn't believe that he was stuck babysitting when he should be out patrolling Gotham for thugs, criminals, drug dealers and super-villains.
He must have dozed off because he was startled awake by Stephanie crying and Cassandra wailing. Jumping up, Jason found the girls sitting on the floor. Cassandra had a bump on her forehead. Stephanie was a mess. Batman was going to kill him.
Jason managed to bandage Cassandra's forehead and dressed her in the clothes that Selina brought last night. Unfortunately, he struggled with cleaning up with Stephanie. It was awkward enough that he didn't actually know how to change a diaper, especially on a kid that wouldn't stay still. Eventually he managed to get them both to the kitchen and in booster seats. He gave them each a bowl of Cheerios with no milk in it and hoped that they ate it.
"Good God, are you really that bad at babysitting, Hood," asked Huntress, Helena Bertanelli. The black haired and blue-purple eyed woman was dressed in her civilian clothing. Her sharp eyes appraised the two girls. "Why is Stephanie's shirt on backwards and how did Cassandra get that bump on her head?"
"Shut up," snarled Jason.
Helena sighed. "Really, be nice, you don't want the two of them repeating your bad language. Put them in the playpen and let's go call the Bat. Hopefully the javelin gets reception so far away." Jason picked up the two girls and put them in the playpens. He gave them some stuffed animals to play with and placed another baby monitor in the living room. Helena snickered as she went to the grandfather clock and opened the door to the Batcave. Jason followed, but not before taking another looked at the two girls.
Helena sat in Batman's chair and accessed the Justice League Watchtower's frequency. Captain Atom answered the call.
"Watchtower to Batcave," answered Captain Atom. "Who's calling from the Batcave?"
"It's Huntress and Red Hood. We've a situation and need you to patch us through to Batman," said Helena.
"What happened," Captain Atom asked. "We all know that Batman doesn't like to be interrupted on a mission."
Jason glared at Huntress to keep her mouth shut. He didn't want the whole League to know that on a mission with him, that Spoiler and Black Bat were de-aged. Sighing, Helena replied, "We'd rather not say but we need to talk to him." Captain Atom sighed.
"Patching you through to Javelin-23."
"Thanks," replied Helena. A moment later, the jovial voice of Captain Marvel answered Javelin-23's phone.
"Javelin-23, who's this," asked the Captain.
Jason irritated with all the go-betweens snapped at Captain Marvel. "Just put the Bat on the phone, now!" Captain Marvel grumbled something.
"Batman, here. Red Hood, what happened," asked Batman, vaguely worried.
"Spoiler and Black Bat have been de-aged, since last night," said Jason.
"What happened," Batman asked, in a low growl. Jason, then, explained what happened last night. "Well, you are going to have to get your hands on the machine that turned them young again. And talk to the criminals to see if the effects will wear off in time. And Red Hood, you are to take extra special care of Spoiler and Black Bat until I return. Do you understand me?"
"Well, can't Huntress take them," asked Jason. He did not want to be stuck with the girls.
"Sorry, kid, I've got work at Wildcat's gym training a whole team of new recruits," said Huntress, shaking her head.
"What about Manhunter? Or Katana, Black Canary, Lady Blackhawk, or Starling," asked Jason, basically pleading.
"Jason, don't start. They have careers. Spoiler and Black Bat are your responsibility," replied Batman, steely.
"Fine," snapped Jason.
"I'll get Kate to talk to the Commissioner for info on the de-aged machine," said Huntress. "And Question will call Montoya to talk about the criminals." Suddenly crying was heard over the baby monitor, Jason bolted upstairs to tend to the crying duo. Huntress chuckled.
"What was that," asked Batman, concerned.
"The girls are keeping Jason on his toes," said Huntress, amused.
"Check up on them every once in a while, please," said Batman.
"Naturally," replied Huntress. "Good luck on the mission." Signing off the computer, Huntress sighed and decided to find out what Stephanie or Cassandra were crying about (as much fun as it would be to see Jason so bothered, she should at least help until she had to go to Wildcat's gym). Stephanie was bawling in Jason's arms as Cassandra played with her stuffed animals.
"Stephanie, it's okay," said Jason, attempting to shush her. Snickering and receiving a glare for her trouble from Jason, she took Stephanie from Jason's arms and Stephanie stopped crying, though she continued to sniffle. Jason glared. "Can't you stay?"
"No. I've got to go in a moment."
"You all hate me, don't you," muttered Jason to himself. Helena merely laughed. Soon, she left Jason to take care of Cassandra and Stephanie all by himself. It was going to be a long day.
Somehow, he survived until lunch before anything scary happened. (However, if he had to watch another episode of Sesame Street, he was going to shoot himself. On a side note, he imagined killing a little red monster twenty-seven different ways, starting with the creator of said creature). There were things he was quickly learning about the two girls. Cassandra liked soft and comfortable things. Cass set up a pile of stuffed animals and immersed herself in them. (He took a picture, which was weird for him, but it just had to be done). Stephanie practically craved affection like a starving man for food. Stephanie either was attached to Cass's side or sitting with Jason on the couch. Cass and Steph adored each other (he took a lot of pictures).
He gave them alphabet soup for lunch, with juice in some sippy-cups. Then, while they made a mess of themselves while eating the soup, his phone rang. It was Nightwing.
"Jaybird, you and the girls alright? Batman called and briefed me. Batgirl, RR and I are going to leave for home in twenty minutes, don't worry," said Nightwing.
"Aren't you three on a mission," asked Jason. Suddenly, he felt offended that the three were going abandon a mission to come home to take care of Stephanie and Cassandra, as if he couldn't do the job. "I'm handling it."
The phone Nightwing was using was hijacked by Red Robin. "Jason, we're coming home. Not that you can handle it but two little toddlers are too much work even for two parents."
Jason looked at Cassandra happily eating her soup and Stephanie using the spoon to dump the soup down her shirt. "Guys, I'm sure Manhunter will be here with the info I need and they'll be back to normal in no time."
"Well," said Nightwing, back on the phone, "if you're sure you can handle it…Call Bette if you need any help." Hanging up on his brother, Jason sighed.
"You two need a bath," he told the girls.
"'ay!" Stephanie cheered his name. Cassandra giggled.
Skipping over the debacle that was bath time, in which Jason got wetter than both the girls put together, he got them into new, cleaner clothes and set them up in their play pens, hoping to the Heavens that they took a short nap. He needed to change his clothes, which he was going have to borrow some of Dick's because his clothes were at his apartment and he had none at the Manor. He also needed to eat some more food. Maybe he should have just let Dick, Babs and Tim come home early…
"Jay," said Cassandra. "Story."
"'Tory, tory," cheered Stephanie.
"Uh, I don't know any stories," replied Jason. "Just take a nap, please." At his refusal to tell them a story, Cass's eyes got round and tears started to spill while Stephanie began bawling, while chanting 'tory, tory'. Placing them on the couch, "Okay, okay, just stop crying. Um…" They looked at him expectantly. Talk about pressure. "Once upon a time, a young heroic and handsome thirteen year old boy had to do some bad things so that the bad people would leave him alone." He cringed.
"So, one night, our hero was looking for something to steal…when the noble carriage of the Caped Crusader was just sitting there in an alley, unprotected. The young teenager tried to take off the golden spheres that decorated the carriage, when a shadow fell over him. The Caped Crusader was there, watching him, curiously. Frightened and star-stuck, the boy ran, tripping over his own two feet." The girls were looking at him in awe. "The adult hero helped the young hero up and asked "Why do you steal?" And the boy replied, "Because I have to." The Crusader replied, "No, young man, you never have to do anything. You choose your own paths, nothing else." The boy in awe nodded and solemnly vowed to be a great hero like him to himself. "Would you like to come and live with me in my castle?" The young boy was so happy to have someone to call family, he agreed. Two years went by and they became a Dynamic Duo, despite the young one's mistakes…And they lived Happily Ever After." (1)
Cass was out cold and Stephanie was yawning and fighting the sleep, both girls were using him as a bed. Even a hardened warrior like Jason Todd, Red Hood, couldn't help but feel a happiness at making two children happy by simply telling them a story.
"Sleep tight, girlies," said Jason.
When they woke up from the nap, however, they were full of energy and Jason could barely keep up with them. Cass wanted to draw. Stephanie wanted to play tea-party. Then, they both wanted to run around outside. He gave them snacks, but they didn't want to watch anymore television, so they used super-puppy-dog eyes on him and he let them play with his hair. (2) He was the one that needed a nap. Then, his cell phone rang (the one that Tim bought for him and customized especially for Jason).
"Hello," asked Jason.
"It's Kate Spencer. I need you to bring the girls to Gotham PD headquarters, we've got the antidote, but it's complicated," said Kate, District Attorney of Gotham and the vigilante Manhunter of the Birds of Prey. Jason cringed at the thought of entering the police station with two little girls.
"Is that necessary," he asked.
"Yes," said Kate. "It's me and Montoya that only know. Gordon and Bullock are out right now on a case, so get here like in twenty minutes." Jason assented and hung up the phone.
"Hey, girlies, ready for a trip to visit Auntie Kate and Auntie Renee," he said. Their screeches of joy stirred Titus, Damian's dog, and Alfred the Cat, Damian's cat (Damian's an animal person, who knew, right?) Titus and Alfred were pretty much took care of themselves knowing that their master Damian was very busy, especially that time they didn't see him for two months. Titus the Great Dane wandered over to the girls, whom smelled just like Stephanie and Cassandra, his master's sisters. The family had weird problems.
Jason struggled to find and put on sneakers for the girls, afraid he would hurt them by jamming the shoes on. Then, he didn't know what to put in a diaper bag for the both of them. He may have went a little overboard. He found the two car-seats and wondered what car he should take. In Bruce's garage, it was hard to find a car that was child-safe, so Jason went with the modest (and probably for undercover work) Ford Explorer.
Cass and Stephie were both very excited at the thought of a car ride.
About forty minutes later, Jason carrying both girls and the diaper bag entered the back way into the police station to be greeted by the smirking faces of Kate Spencer and Renee Montoya. Jason bat-death glared them.
"Say anything and as soon as this is over, I will hurt you," said Jason, hissing, while trying not to scare the girls, who looked at him wide-eyed.
"Glad to know that you're in a chipper mood, Todd," said Renee, rolling her eyes at him. "Kate, you grab Cass and I get Stephanie and will give them the antidote." Jason glared at them again.
"I go with them" said Jason, dead serious. Kate and Renee shrugged as Jason followed them into an examination room that the police kept on sight just in case a transfer or recently arrested got ill all of a sudden. Jason put the girls on the table. "So, how'd you get the cure?"
"I am District Attorney for a reason, Todd," said Kate, smirking. "They just need these shots and they will be back to normal by morning." Jason didn't question her. Kate knew what she was doing. Neither woman would let anything bad happen to the girlies so he waited. He didn't want to admit it to himself but he would miss the mini-versions of the girlies, but they needed to go back to normal by the time that Batman and the rest of the family came home. Unfortunately the sight of the needles caused both girls to freak.
"You better hold each of them," said Renee. Jason took Cass, who latched onto him like no tomorrow. He held her close and hid her face in his shoulder, so she wouldn't see the needle. It was over quickly. Then, it was Stephanie's turn. She ran and fought until Jason managed to catch her and keep her still and did the same thing he did with Cass for Stephanie.
"See all done," said Jason, in an appeasing tone to Stephanie, who calmed down. Cass tugged at his pant leg and he picked her up as well. "So, tomorrow morning they'll be back to normal?"
"Yes," said Kate. "Get them to sleep by 8, if I were you." Jason was thus sent on his way back to the Manor. He got the girls back into the car and drove home (3). He fed them dinner, and then had to wash them again. Kids were naturally messy, apparently. Then, he put on some cartoons, which he tried to tune out while the girls were mesmerized by the yellow sponge. Roy texted him, apparently having heard that he got Steph and Cass de-aged, teased him about being Daddy-Hood. Jason was not amused.
Eventually he got them to his room and put them in bed. They were very tired from the day's events and were especially fussy when Jason tried to leave the room for five minutes of alone time. The girlies won in the end and Jason wound up laying down with them, gently holding them. He would leave when they fell asleep.
Stephanie opened her blue eyes and she yawned, softly. Something was off. She vaguely remembered the last couple of days and when she turned her head slowly, she found her sister, the badass Cassandra awake. Both young ladies were in the grasp of a sleeping, slightly drooling Jason Todd. Cass gave her a look, somewhere between amused and annoyed. Stephanie, then, remembered. She and Cass were turned into toddlers and Jason…someone who both teenage girls thought didn't like them…took care of them.
"Morning, Cass," whispered Stephanie. She didn't want to see Jason's reaction to waking up with the teenaged girls in his bed, while wearing pajamas too.
"Morning, Steph," said Cass. Being partners a lot of the time, since the guys did their own thing and feeling out of place in the tight-knit Birds of Prey, they communicated without talking. They slowly, but surely without waking up Jason, who must have been dead tired, and they left.
Jason bolted up. He hadn't sleep more than three hours since before he became Bruce's ward. Opening his eyes, he had a momentary panic attack because he didn't see either of the girls. Rushing downstairs, he found them in Alfred's kitchen. Stephanie was making waffles and pancakes, while Cassandra cut up some fruit. They had set three places at the table. He pretended to act casual and not like he just ran downstairs in a tizzy.
"Morning," he muttered.
"Good morning, Jason," said Cassandra.
"Morning, Jason," replied Stephanie. "Sit down and you will eat the third best pancakes and waffles in the world." Jason arched an eyebrow. "Alfred and Mrs. Kent's are the best." He sat down, having nothing to say to the back-to-normal girls. He knew they had to be sixteen and seventeen years old again. Cassandra and Stephanie were acting nice to him, which made him feel weird. Cass even brought him a cup of coffee, which he never knew that neither girl drank. Cassandra drank orange juice and Stephanie drank a fruit smoothie. He was served pancakes, waffles, maple syrup (the real stuff from Canada that Alfred special ordered for the Manor), fruit salad and toast (from the bread from Bruce's favorite bakery in Gotham). Jason was silent as Cass pulled out her phone and read news headlines to Steph and they discussed their plans for the day.
"Thanks for breakfast," said Jason, abruptly standing up. "Gotta get back."
"Oh, okay" said Stephanie.
"Be well, Jason," said Cassandra. Jason turned to escape the Manor, when suddenly Stephanie told him to stop. He turned and Cassandra and Stephanie latched onto him in a three way hug. He knew his face got very red. "Thank you for caring for us."
"Yeah, and here we thought you didn't like us, when in reality you were just being awkward," said Stephanie.
"But I thought you didn't like me," asked Jason, confounded. Both girls laughed.
"Why wouldn't we like you, Jason," asked Cassandra. "You're part of the family."
"We didn't want to upset you because you didn't like us and you being around makes Bruce, Dick, Tim, Damian and Alfred happy," said Stephanie. Jason felt like an idiot. They acted stand-offish because they didn't want to scare him away. "Besides, you're hilarious and can knock Dick, Tim and Damian off their high horses sometimes." Jason smirked.
"Hey, you're having a group hug without us," complained Dick. Dick, Tim, Starfire, Roy and Barbara entered the kitchen. Jason was suddenly stifled by the ensuing group hug and laughter. All he needed was for Damian and Bruce to show up to make this more embarrassing. Still, as he protested the unnecessary hugging, Jason Todd was very happy to be home. (4)
Red Hood's Superhero Origin Tales for Youngsters, lol. He told a very abridged version of how he met Batman.
I really wish I could draw. Why was I gifted with such an imagination but not art skills? Toddlers Cass and Steph playing with Jason's hair, while he had a grumpy, exasperated expression on his face would be freaking cute and be my wallpaper on my laptop forever.
By the way, Jason drove like an old lady with the little girls in the car. Also would be an hilarious comic.
I thought about adding Bruce, Damian and Billy into the group hug but they're still in space, doing hero-stuff.