Anonymous asked: How about Jay/Dick relationship?
Oh, anon. There is no way for this headcanon post not to be TL;DR, so bear with me. First off, even before anything ~happens~ between them, Jason doesn’t hate Dick. When people ask him, the stubborn, angry little remnants of Jason Todd, Age Fifteen and Three-Quarters, will claim that Dick is a chump and he hates that guy. The truth of the matter is that Dick is really hard to hate, even for Jason (and believe you me, Jason put a lot of time and effort into hating him. He gave it his A game, but his haterade just sort of beaded off Dick’s back like water off a duck’s feathers). At best, he resented him. He suffered from being the sequel to Dick Grayson: Boy Wonder, because in the early days, Bruce was very “I want you to be your own person, so long as you look and act like Dick okay”. He didn’t mean to be that way, but Dick’s absence had left a large hole in Bruce’s heart, and the only thing he could think of doing was to stuff another black-haired blue-eyed orphan in there to plug it up. Jason definitely resented that, even though he still gave his best attempts at filling the Dick hole.
When he wasn’t around, Dick became a lightning rod for all of Jason’s resentment. Dick didn’t come around much in the early days because he was hurt about being replaced—-basically, they were both mad at Bruce, but since being mad at Bruce doesn’t get anyone anywhere, they took it out on each other. So Jason’s internal monologue when Dick wasn’t around went “GOD I hate that guy YOU WERE TOO OLD FOR SHORTPANTS AND ALSO YOU SMELL”, because it was easy enough to hate Dick in abstract. But when Dick was around, his thoughts got all jumbled up. It turned into “GOD I hate that guy HOW ARE YOUR TEETH SO WHITE STOP SMILING AND ALSO YOU SMELL GOOD STOP IT YOU CAN’T MAKE ME WANT TO BE YOU WHEN I GROW UP”. Over time, Jason became much more confident in his relationship with Bruce—-that fear of being kicked to the curb if he fell short of the sparkles and holy explatives Batmans lessened. And as he got to know him, Dick couldn’t help but like Jason’s fire and mouthiness. I mean, he gave him his Robin uniform, and that’s how Dick shows that he cares (“I love you, please have my clothes”. He did it to Jason and Tim, and Kory somehow ended up with an entire closet full of his old costumes. Tell me that I’m wrong.). I feel like Dick and Jason were just starting to get along when the whole Big Bang happened. They went to Brent’s and got chilidogs together at least once a week. When he was trying to decide if he should go find his mother or not, he did call Dick—-but got his voicemail, since Dick was off having lol space adventures.
Dick came home from the lol space adventures to find Babs paralyzed and Jason dead. It took him about two months to get around to checking his voicemail (since the zillion missed calls were kind of daunting), and when he got to the message from Jason—-“Hey, Big Bird. It’s Jay. I, uh—-you said I should call this number if I needed to talk, ‘cause you and me both know that the bossman isn’t big on words. So I just. I wanted to ask you about something. S’not a big deal or whatever. Call me back, or—-aww, hell, never mind.”—-it broke his goddamn heart. Jason had needed him, but he hadn’t been there. Dick vowed to himself that he’d never make that mistake again. That’s why he jumped into big brotherhood feet-first when Tim came into the picture. Dick is really, really good at blaming himself for things, so he shouldered some of the blame for Jason’s death. If he’d been around, he would have either been there to tell him hey so globetrotting adventures usually DON’T END WELL, or to initiate a buddy system and go with him. He big brothered Tim aggressively, at least a little bit out of lingering Jayguilt.
So then, Jason came back. And he was like Bats I am home now. And I am looking so handsome and also not dead?. Since Dick is not Bruce, he wanted Jason to be back and okay and prepared for incoming hugs, but of course hugs were not on the revenge menu for the Red Hood. Dick held his ground and kept to Bruce’s wishes up until the point that Jason started getting up in his grill outside of Gotham city limits. Without Gotham and Bruce in the picture, Dick’s crippling feels took over. He didn’t want Jason to be unsaveable. The idea that anyone is beyond redemption does not gel with the solid chunk of optimism made human that is Dick Grayson. If the Brothers in Blood arc hadn’t been so bafflingly bad, it could have/should have been an opportunity for Dick to reach out to Jason and get him to mosey on back to their side of the line.
lmdkfj how about I just jump to what they would be like in a relationship, okay. Dick is wired for long term relationships. He doesn’t do one-night stands, and he doesn’t sleep with anyone that he doesn’t have a deep emotional connection with. In that respect, he and Jason are both similar and very different; that is what Jason wants, but not what he necessarily thinks he deseves. He would dig in his heels and rebel, because he is not That Person and he is not going to ever have a white picket fence relationship. They’ll work, but only if they don’t talk about it. Jason is okay with them being a thing so long as the thing that they have remains untouched and unlabeled. He’s contrary to his very core, and a part of him thinks that it’s better for Dick this way—-if they don’t talk about it, they don’t have to own up to what they’re doing. Jason is painfully aware of the fact that Dick has much, much more to lose by being seen with him than vice-versa.
Dick still acts like a gross couple-y person. Jason can’t get him to give up that bad habit, no matter how hard he tries. They’re aggressive and tend to break things even when they’re in a good mood, but Dick needs that outlet sometimes—-he needs someone that can hold him (hold him down, hold him together, just plain hold him), and Jason’s big enough to do that. Dick likes to think that he is a good influence on his Little Wing, and he’s not wrong. When the Bats see Jason’s ~activities~, it’s because he wants the attention. When he doesn’t want to ruffle Dick’s feathers, Jason keeps his work clean and quiet and under the radar. Dick knows better than to think that he’s stopped, but, being the King of Denial, he can function when that is out of sight and out of mind.
When Jason is pissed—-not ANGRY, but annoyed—-he turns into a passive-aggressive troll. Which doesn’t work with Dick. At all. He’ll do things like (drunkenly) writing Dick’s phone number in the bathrooms of the grossest dive bars, with the words “call for dick”. And so Dick will get all of these phone calls like: “Hey there. I heard this is the number to call if I want dick”, to which he replies, “HELLO YES THIS IS DICK” and gets the dialtone.
And he gets so confused when they hang up on him. Jason just chuckles to himself, drinks all of the milk, and leaves the empty carton in the fridge before he goes out to burn down his nightly quota of meth labs. Jason blows steam that way, because when he and Dick REALLY fight, it is ugly. Jason has a terrible talent with people. He knows exactly what to say and when to say it in order to get a rise out of someone. He fights to win, and he fights dirty. When he’s really angry, he verbally rips others apart. He’ll hate himself for it, but get a brutal satisfaction out of it at the same time. He and Dick do a masochistic tango, and everyone else pretends not to see.