Categories > Cartoons > Teen Titans > The Black, The White, And The Red

Chapter Two: Revived

by Slades_Downfall 0 reviews

Jason returns from the grave, but who will save him from an emotionless life as an empty shell? Will Batman come...or will he be lost forever?

Category: Teen Titans - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama - Characters: Other - Warnings: [!!] [V] - Published: 2006-09-05 - Updated: 2006-09-06 - 4450 words

Chapter Two: Revived

What does it feel like, being dead? He wasn't really sure, but he felt like he wasn't even existing, like being asleep, yet he was awake. Jason Todd wasn't sure where he was, or what was going on. He could see nothing; he heard nothing, there was nothing.

He had to wonder if he was dead at all, surely death would be more than a nonexistence in eternal nothing. Maybe he was in some sort of coma that they had mistook for being dead. No, it couldn't be that, they would have him in a hospital or something. Not that he knew where he was currently, but death couldn't be this state of unconscious consciousness that he was experiencing.

His body, Jason felt nothing in his body, yet he was there somehow. He didn't understand it. He wanted to wake up from his eternal slumber. But how could he? He was dead, he knew he had died, but yet he felt as if he were alive in a state of consciousness, yet unable to see hear or speak or feel. Perhaps he was a ghost or a spirit. But shouldn't he be allowed to go places, after all, that's what they did in the movies. But this wasn't a movie; this was real. He only wished to wake up, if only he could open his eyes...

He strained to see, forced his eyes to open. But it was no use; there was only nothing to see, not even the dark, because he thought if one was dead, he or she couldn't see anything at all. He tried again, this time harder. Suddenly, he saw something, but surely it was a mistake for he once again saw nothing! Then Jason realized this was a different kind of nothing; it was a darkness that came from true, pitch black darkness, like when one sits in a dark room or when the lights are shut off; surely he was awake now, he moved his hands, at least, he thought about moving his hands.

"Ugh, ugh, ugh!!!" he gasped suddenly, inhaling the precious air he needed to live.

He raised hands until he hit something hard; it felt like a covering of some kind. He realized that he was lying in a casket! He was alive in his grave! Jason felt panic rising, but if he panicked he knew he wouldn't be able to get out, and he had to get out, to see the sun, to breathe fresh air, to live again.

"Ahhhh!" he emitted a terrified scream. He was trapped in a casket. He had to get out. He didn't want to die again. He inhaled and tried again. "AAAAAAAAHHHH!"

Jason began to scream, maybe Bruce had come to visit his grave. Maybe Bruce would hear his cries for help and dig him up. "BATMAN!!!?!?" he screamed. Bruce had to hear him. He would come and save him.

He realized now that he was alive, but how? He could not just command himself to resurrect. He was not a superpowered individual who could come back to life. Or was he? He began feeling his arms with his hand, surely he would be bleeding from his wounds, the morgue had sowed him up to make him look presentable for public viewing, surely would be oozing blood or something. He felt his hands, slid his fingers up his arms, feeling scars, but no blood.

He raised his hand and struck the lid gently, he was alive, and miraculously whole, except for his scars that he knew were still there. The explosion, he thought, must have done something to my body. It healed itself! But how, I thought I was dead! Now he was alive, but trapped in his own grave.

He began thinking, methodically. He knew that all caskets were like boxes, and boxes had hinges. He began feeling around 'til he came to what felt like metallic hinges. He made a fist and hit them as hard as he could, still no luck. Jason felt fear and panic rising inside him. He had to stop, had to think rationally. He had no source of fresh air, shouting and screaming would dwindle his air supply down to nothing and he would die from lack of fresh air.

"C'mon-C'mon-C'mon-C'mon-C'mon-C'mon!" Jason screamed pushing at the sides of the casket. "Something-Gotta have something..." Jason couldn't see so he felt his clothes. He was disappointed to discover that Batman had not buried him in costume, no Bird-a-Rangs, no utility belt, no tools, and no gadgets to help him. Nothing to show the world he had been the Dark Knight's Squire.

"Calm," he told himself. "Calm down...not enough air...calm down..." Jason moved his hand down and felt the hard buckle of a belt that he had been buried in. Unbuckling it, he tore off the buckle and used it to scrape through the cloth covering until he hit hard, solid wood. Then he began the arduous task of scratching and clawing his way out. He grunted in pain as his fingers bled. That was good, pain told him that he was alive, he was still here. "Gotta dig...dig your way out..." With a strength he didn't know he had, using only instinct that told him he needed to survive, he dug his way out of his coffin.

Jason felt his hand burst through the ground. He could feel the wet rainwater hitting his hand. He could hear the thunder and see the light from lightening bolts that struck across the sky. He summoned a burst of energy and hoisted himself out of the ground and stood up.

Breathing hard, he began walking away from the gravesite, moving one step at a time, one foot in front of the other. It was purely instinct, he was barely conscious. Jason walked for 12.5 miles before he thought he saw a light a head, he staggered towards it. The couple in the van saw him staggering in the middle of the road and barely managed to bring their car to a stop. The man in the car, Derek Brantley and his girlfriend called the paramedics. They stared at him in awe, what had happened to this guy?

"You're one lucky kid," an EMT said as he loaded Jason onto a stretcher.

Jason felt consciousness leaving him, he heard a voice, was that Bruce? Had he come to save him after all? "Bruce... Bruce... Bruce... Bruce..." he whispered, then the world became dark and he knew no more.

They took him to a hospital and put him on life support. The doctors were startled at his injuries, how could a kid survive like this? "He's in a coma?" a doctor asked. "I thought they found him on foot."

"A fractured skull. It caused a brain bleed or some dang thing. They're not even sure if he's brain dead or not," another doctor replied.

"What's this about flash burns?"

"It looks like he was in some explosion or-"

"-And then what? They dressed him in a suit and buried him someplace?" the man asked. This was all very hard to believe. He was surprised they hadn't declared their nameless John Doe dead already. He was practically dead.

"And he dug himself out. Apparently through dirt and wood. I wanted to run the wood slivers but we lost anything usable when they were e working on him."

"So the kid was beaten with some kind of metal pipe, cracked his skull, shattered his sternum, collapsed a lung...about forty other fractures."

"Blown up, then buried?" the other man asked.

"Yeah. And he's still alive."

"God Almighty, like freakin' Rasputin," the man exclaimed.

"More like Lazarus," the other said. "He kept asking for "Bruce." He say who it was?"

"Yeah, just before he went under. He said it was his father."

The men tried to discover his identity using the police's Missing Persons archive. They didn't find anything. They tried to match his fingerprints. But Bruce Wayne, Alfred Pennyworth, Dick Grayson and Jason Todd do not have their fingerprints on record anywhere on Earth. They searched for graves in a ten-mile radius. If they would have search a little further out they would have found his grave.

Meanwhile, a worker at Gotham Cemetery came a cross a large hole in the ground near one of the graves. Frightened, he found another worker to help him dig it up. "Good sure about this? " The man asked. The casket was empty, it had an enormous hole in the middle of it.

"I mean, grave robbers, it's-"

"Man, we don't know what happened here. And I don't want to know..." The workers went away, never revealing what they had seen to anyone. What they had seen terrified them beyond reason.

One Year Later...

The Huntington Convalescent Home. A place for the sick or homeless. Jason lay in a coma for an entire year. He was unresponsive, the doctors did not know anything about him. They were unsure of how he had received his injuries, but they were amazed he was still alive, although he seemed like a dead man. He would not respond to any stimuli. They said he had extensive brain damage and didn't know how long he would survive. Then one day, a miracle happened. Jason opened his eyes. He couldn't talk, couldn't understand, couldn't comprehend what was happening or how he had gotten into the convalescents home.

One year later, he wandered through the city, surviving on instincts alone. He knew he needed clothes and food, so he stole them, but he could not remember his past, his thought processes were that of a toddler, he couldn't rationalize correctly or understand what was said to him. He slept in streets and stole food when he could. Some spark of the good person he was would reveal itself when he would share his food with other homeless men and women on the street.

Jason made that street his home and slept in available empty spots where he could find them. One night, a man stood over him just as he was about to go to sleep. "Get out of my spot, punk," the man growled. Although Jason couldn't comprehend what was said but he had picked up on the anger in the man's voice. He ignored him.

"You listening to me? Get your --- up!" the man shouted.

Another homeless man shrugged his shoulders. "Aw, jeez, man. That ain't your spot."

"And you are messing with a meal ticket, man," another man chimed in. "That boy always swipes food and shares it. I once saw him walk out with a nine-pound turkey. He's gifted."

"Never gave me a thing!" the man snarled, kicking Jason in the stomach. "And he's in my spot!"

"Aah!" Jason let out a cry of pain and clutched his stomach. Something inside him snapped, he had to fight back.

"Quit whining, ---- and get the heck out of my-" The man shouted, and stared in shock. The kid was gone! "-spot?"

He didn't even have time to look before he felt a trashcan smash into his head. Jason fought using his training and pure instinct. He performed a back flip and landed on his knees on top of the man's shoulders. He brought his fists smashing into the man's ears. The homeless man fell to the ground and Jason landed on his feet. He lay back down and went back to sleep.

Tommy Carbone stared at the boy, wide-eyed. He had seen that maneuver before. He had been gunrunner a few years before. Then Batman shut him down. Batman and Robin. Robin had executed that very maneuver on him. He wouldn't ever forget it. But how could he be here, he'd thought he heard that Joker had killed Robin. He now knew that the Robin who was supposedly dead was alive. He hoped he could get some money out of this information. He knew someone who might be very interested in this information.

He scrounged up enough money to pay for a phone call. He made it. "I swear to God it's him," Tommy Carbone said into the phone.

Another man on the other end of the line was very skeptical. "It can't be...but if you're even remotely right...I know who might be interested in it."

"It's him," Tommy confirmed. "And it's going to cost you." He would get something out of this after all.

"They'll pay," the man said, a few days later. They were very interested in it.

"I'm sure they will," A man in replied.

The man in the suit set up a meeting with Talia Al Ghul. "You'll have him tomorrow," he told her.

"It was supposed to be tonight," Talia said simply.

The man left and she returned to the castle where her father was staying at the moment. "No one is left?" Ra's Al Ghul asked. "Anyone who knew about him is dead?"

"Yes," Talia said coldly. "No one on Earth knows that Jason Todd lives. Only us."

"I see...but I'm afraid that this endeavor has been for naught. He is so severely brain damaged, he will never be able to tell us how he came to be like this. Or why he and "The Detective" chose to create this ruse of his death."

"If it is a ruse," Talia said. It didn't appear to bea ruse. He didn't seem to be acting. If he was, he was fooling her. And she had a gut feeling he had really died.

"Very well. You may keep him. Find an answer. That would be worth all the trouble you've gone to."

One Year Later...

"I have grown weary of this," Ra's Al Ghul proclaimed to Talia as he stared at Jason, who was slumped over in a high back chair. He wasn't even looking out the window. He was dull-eyed and despondent. "Your pet takes up entirely too much of your time. You have many responsibilities that need-"

"He has grown stronger and he is still a master combatant," Talia protested.

"He is stronger because he has eaten. And his "battle skills" are simply like a muscle that tenses when it has been stabbed," Ra's sneered. "He is and will forever be, an unthinking, emotionless shell. He ahs never spoken, never healed-"

"Father, if Wayne were to be told-"

"He would wage war upon us. I see no advantage at this time. A day may come when the boy has a purpose, but is useless to us. I am sending him away."

"Father-" Talia protested.

"He will be cared for., and kept. Protected and sheltered out of respect for his mentor...and his current caretaker," Ra's said flatly. "Now, if you will forgive me daughter, I am weak. And...that time has come again..." he turned to a sealed door and punched in the entrance security codes. Talia watched him leave and unlocked the door and slipped inside.

This was the hall of the Lazarus Pit, it was where Ra's Al Ghul would submerge himself in the unknown chemical that restored the sick and the dying. They called it a Lazarus Pit because it raised the dead, named after the man of Bethany that Jesus raised from the dead in the Bible. Though it lengthened the human lifespan, it was not without its price. A temporary madness would overcome those who submerged themselves in it, and some said those that used the Pits often began to lose their soul, due to the fact that they could practically live forever. And when one lived long, life and the concerns and emotions that make men and women human would become unimportant, and they would loose the very thing that made them human: compassion.

"I know that despite your oath of obedience, the temptation of immortality beckons in front of you, my acolytes!" Ra's Al Ghul's voice boomed out. "To enter the Lazarus Pit, however, will surely mean your death!"

"Perhaps death..." Talia said, shoving a boy in a purple turban into the pit before the guards could stop her. "Perhaps more..." she said as she watched him fall in.

Jason began to struggle; fear and panic were overwhelming him. He was going to drown! The self-preservation instinct was fighting to keep him afloat, but eventually his body succumbed to the chemicals. His head disappeared below the surface.

Suddenly, the memories came flooding back. Who he was, his whole life flashed in front of his eyes. Meeting Batman in Crime Alley, his training, Felipe Garzonasa, his mother, his murder, and the Joker. The memories came streaming back, playing before him like a movie. The realization of who he was renewed the strength in his limbs and arms as he rose to the surface.

"AAAAARRRRGGGG!" he screamed as he remembered his mental training Batman had taught him. He had to remain calm, but only for a moment. He caught sight of Talia Al Ghul, and stared.

"Come with me, now!" Talia shouted.

"What!?" Jason screamed in reply. "What is happening to me!?"

Just then, a roar was heard as Ra's Al Ghul rose from the Lazarus Pit. "A deceitful child has spurned her father...!" he roared. Talia caught Jason's hand and pulled him from the pit. They both began to run away from the immortal terrorist as he continued to rage. An unholy light filled the entire castle, an eerie yellow glow that illuminated the surrounding area. Jason could hear Ra's' booming voice as he finished his denouncement. "...AND CURSED YOUR SOUL!"

They ran to the woods. They sprinted for miles and miles. It felt like it did when he walked 12.5 miles when he had broken out of his grave. Jason didn't understand, what was going on? "Talia?! What the heck do you-where was-!" he asked.

She interrupted him. "There is no time! I did what I thought was right! What I thought you deserved! Do not go and find HIM Jason! Lear the truth before you do!"

"The truth?! What?!" Jason sputtered. What was she talking about? What truth?

"You remain unavenged," Talia said softly, kissing him quickly as his eyes went wide. Then she pushed him and he fell down over a waterfall and into the Ocean below. He swam to the nearest shoreline and found himself in Gotham Bay. He made his way out and stared over the water, pondering what he should do next. And what did Talia mean, "You remain unavenged"?" Was the Joker still alive?

Where was he to go? To the Batcave? Why should he? Bruce thought he was gone. Talia had told him not to go to Bruce. He wasn't sure if he should return but how would Bruce believe him. Then he remembered how Batman had not been able to save him. The realization hit him: Bruce was a failure, now in his eyes it was clearly spelled out. He could have saved him, but did he? No. Did he even care about him finding his mother? Not really, he had warned against him going in the first place. Didn't he want him to be happy? It seemed that all Bruce wanted him to do was just sit there and do nothing after he forced him to stop active duty as Robin.

Where could he live? He didn't want to stay in Gotham; it was a hellhole as it was. Staying here was something that he did not want to do. He wasn't sure what was promising. Metropolis was nice but it seemed to be a little far. Dakota wasn't too far, but still it held no interest to him. There was also Jump City, and he liked the idea of going there. Plenty of sun, surf and opportunity to do whatever he wanted to do.

He decided that if he wanted to leave Gotham, Jump City was his best bet to take. He had been a street kid before had met the Batman. He had been a street thief, and a pretty good one, too. In fact he had been trying to steal the Batmobile's wheels when he had first met him! He knew enough to be able to survive.

Jason smiled. They say criminal antennae never died. Indeed that was true. He would make a new life for himself in Jump City. He had no idea what he'd be doing, but it was going to be fun, adventurous and exciting. It had been a long time since he had experienced any excitement. He hoped for it in Jump City.

Now he came to his next dilemma, how to get there. He could try and catch a ride on a bus. But buses cost money, and knowing the condition he was in, money was not a thing that he had right now. There was only one thing to do, hitchhike to Jump City. But first, he would have to find a place to sleep. A place where no one would recognize him; a place that was obvious but inconspicuous, a place that no one would know him.

A thought hit him. He had passed it a thousand times when he had lived on the streets. The Gotham Homeless Shelter. He would be safe there. But what if they asked questions? What would he say? He would figure out a way to hide his identity.

He quickly made his way towards the shelter. He walked into the shelter. A lady looked up at him. "Hello, young man, are you alone?"

"Uh-I, my mom's coming," he replied.

"What is your mother's name?" The woman asked.

"Sheila Haywood," Jason replied.

"And your name young man?"

"Jason. Jason T. Haywood, my mother should be arriving shortly," Jason said and hastily headed into the shelter, hoping his ploy would pay off. He flopped down on one of the empty bunks and immediately fell asleep.

It was early the next morning when he awoke. He quietly slipped out of the shelter, avoiding the lady at the front desk at all costs. She probably figured out his ploy involving his mother by now. He stepped out onto the street. He heard a voice shout behind him, "Hey! You! We need to talk to you!" He sped up his pace slightly, ignoring them as if they had mistaken him for someone else.

"Hey! Stop that kid! We need to talk to him!" Jason adeptly began sprinting down the street. Ducking into an alley, he ran down until he reached a fire escape, bounding up the fire escape, he scrambled onto the roof and pressed himself against the cement, hunkering down, he saw the lady from the previous night and a man run into the alley and look around.

"He disappeared. Let's get out of here." They turned and left. Jason waited for a while until he felt safe enough to come down from his hiding place. Walking out onto the sidewalk, he began thumbing for ride. A family in a van was parked by the sidewalk where he was standing. A lady was walking towards the van, a warm polite smile on her face.

"Excuse me Ms., but can I have a lift?" he asked politely. The young lady turned, wary expression on her face.

"Where to?" she asked.

"Jump City," he replied.

"Funny, you should mention it, we live there," the lady smiled. "You're not one of those psychopaths are you?" she asked half teasing, half serious.

"No, no I'm not like that at all!" he laughed. "I'll be good, I swear!" he promised.

"Good, 'cause the Teen Titans will kick your butt if you are!" A young boy shouted from a middle seat.

"Climb in the middle seat," the lady said.

Jason climbed into the seat beside him.

"What's your name?" the lady asked.

"Jason Haywood," Jason replied. "I've lived here awhile and I want to start somewhere new."

"I'm Mrs. Jones," the lady introduced herself. "That's Tommy in the seat beside you there."

"Hi." Jason said. "So, What's the date today?"

They gave him a funny look. "April 27, 2007," Tommy replied.

"Oh, I forgot." He had been dead for over six months, and in a coma for year, sleeping in the streets the next year and a vegetative state the year after that. He had lost three years of his life! How was he going to figure out what was going on? He decided to keep the conversation light. "Since I've been out of the look for awhile with the news, tell me about these Teen Titans."

"Dude, they're the coolest superheroes around. They live in a Giant T-Tower and have awesome superpowers!"

"Interesting. Tell me, who are they?" Jason had vaguely heard of the Teen Titans, he had heard Robin I, Dick Grayson had formed the team and that he was the leader.

"Well, there's Cyborg, the half man, half robot, who is just like me," The boy pulled a baseball glove off to reveal a cybernetic hand implant.

"That's nice. I heard something about Robin. He's the leader right?"

"You bet! He's the best there ever was!" Tommy exclaimed. "He beat Slade!"

"Who's Slade?" he hadn't exactly heard of him before. The name wasn't familiar to him.

"Oh, he's an evil supervillain. I think they called him Deathstroke, or something like that. Heard he kills people."

Now that name Jason knew. The Batman had had quite a few run-ins with this Deathstroke. But he had gone away from Gotham. Now he guessed he'd begun messing with Dick and his Titans.

"Yeah, Robin tried to figure out who Slade was by posing as a thief," Tommy continued excitedly.

"Now who told you Robin would pose as a thief?" Jason asked. Both Batman and Robin had a strict code of ethics that they adhered to. Jason hadn't exactly been able to adapt all of those. He still had his own moral values, and they weren't exactly black and white.

"Well, I'm not saying that he went bad but he did it to try and stop Slade. He called himself Red X and stole some chips so he could trap Slade into revealing what his plan was."

"Tell me, do a lot of people know about this Red X incident?"

"Well, I'm sure it's pretty true. Robin had to explain himself to the security labs where the chips were, and they understood so they forgave him and stuff. And the news was all over it, they wouldn't stop talking about it for weeks."

"Tell me all you know about this Red X persona that Robin created..." Jason just had a new lease on life. Criminal antennae never died, and his old thief nature was starting to creep back in...
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