Her face remained a mask of cool indifference though inside she was positivity delighted. He had followed her just as she had predicted, any fear he might have felt during his attack had diminished completely as he stumbled after her like a puppy. It had been so long since she’d talked to anyone in such a manner, especially after he had seen what she had just done to the thug in the alley. There had been a handful of people in the past centuries that had caught her in the act, so to speak. All of them had been scared out of their wits… Anya fought the urge to burst out laughing at his adamant statement. She was more terrifying than anything that roamed the streets of Gotham, and besides – she wasn’t a woman – not really.
"I know exactly what lurks in this city." She smirked at him, her face taking on an expression that bordered on predatory as she looked up into his face "I’ve hunted them longer than you’ve been alive." She’d lived in this city for a good many years, more than she would ever care to admit. The city was the bane of her existence and the light of her life all wrapped into one twisted and tangled ball. She’d grown bored with New York ages ago, opting to live in it’s sister city. Never had she seen a place filled with such corruption and evil. It was a dream. The supply of blood was virtually limitless and no one gave a damn.
"My name is Anastasia Kavanagh." The blonde told him, her voice taking on the barest hint of an accent as the name rolled off her tongue "But I prefer Anya. It’s nice to meet you, I suppose." He would keep her entertained for awhile at the very least. He appeared to be one of the masked vigilantes that were ever so popular around the city.
"You’re a very strange human." She stated after a few moments "You see me drain a man of blood and you do not run. Then I attempt to kill you too and still you follow me…" Anya shook her head in bemusement as they continued off down the street. He wasn’t a vampire hunter, the surprise on his face when he had seen her was far too raw and real. Just a normal human boy with more curiosity then he should possess.
Jason snorted at her comments, quirking a brow in both confusion and curiosity. She thought he was strange? What a laugh. She was the one that was clearly out of place here. From the way she carried herself, how she spoke, right down to her very name; it was all very strange, and unsettling.
”I’m strange, huh?” Jason smirked, glancing over at her stony face. “That’s funny. Especially coming from the person who’s name sounds like that of some long lost queen or something. Not to mention your choice in ‘food’, or the way you talk…or how you’re implying that you’re older than me.” The boy’s brow quirked up even further. “So yeah…don’t tell me I’m strange. You looked lonely, I’m bored…that’s all it is. Besides, if you try anything, I’m fairly confident in my abilities to take you down.” He flashed her a toothy grin, before falling quiet.
The pair walked in silence for a ways, Jason glancing over at her ever so often, checking to see if her expression changed at all — it did not. “Jeez, do you ever smile?” He blurted out, brows furrowing. ”Or do you not know what that is? You know, I have no idea what you are or what you’ve been through…but I gotta say, I’ve been through some pretty fucked up stuff in my life, and even I can still manage a smile once in a while. You should try it sometime. It does wonders.”
Anya watched Jason disappear through the trees, a deep sigh escaping her lips. She’d expected some sort of a reaction from him, this certainly wasn’t what she envisioned. The girl nearly felt guilty for what she’d said, realizing that some — if not all of it — had been true. He had started it, she reassured herself. He had picked a fight and she defended herself. It wasn’t her fault that she had been right and his feelings had been hurt because of it.
The swing slowly came to a halt as Anya’s legs stopped pumping. He still wasn’t looking at her and she wondered if he was even paying attention anymore? With a raised eyebrow the blonde got to her feet, walking steadily across the park. She’d given him plenty of time to notice her absence from the swing, and if he didn’t hear her footsteps on the barkdust well that was his problem. She didn’t want to be around him anymore, she didn’t like him and she refused to be treated like she was. She had done nothing to deserve his biting words or torment and she would not stick around to let it continue.
Stuffing her hands into her pockets, Anya stepped off of the sidewalk and meandered down the street, headed for the Main street. She wanted to see if any of the stores were open, or not ransacked at the very least. Ezra had complained that she was bored and didn’t have enough colored pencils in their tiny office. Now she could appease her sister and get away from her grouchy guard all at once. What could go wrong?
Jason sighed, taking the last long drag of his cigarette. He supposed he should start making his way back towards the girl. He hadn’t left her for long, but still, a lot could happen in a short amount of time. Kicking off the tree, he dropped the cigarette butt to the ground, smashing the still-smoldering end with the tip of his boot. He really didn’t want to go back. Her less-than-pleasing attitude didn’t meld well with his own short temper, which created an unnecessary amount of friction and grief for the both of them. If he could, he would avoid encountering the girl for the rest of his life, but duties were duties, and he never did things half-assed.
As he slipped through the trees, crossing back over to the other side of the park, the man came to a sudden halt. The swing in which the girl had occupied just minutes ago, was completely empty — with no sign of her anywhere in sight.
Son of a bitch.
A hand came up to wipe across his face, in sheer disbelief. They were going to kill him. There was no doubting that. Unless, of course, he could manage to track her down…which couldn’t be too hard, right? The swing was still in motion — however faint it was — and he hadn’t been gone for that long. With any luck she was still in the vicinity.
Jason sprinted over towards the swings — the location of where he’d last seen her. There had to be some sort of clue…something. His eyes scanned the area frantically, soon spotting a freshly made trail of footprints in the dirt. Bingo! The man wasted no time, bolting across the lawn, allowing the footprints to lead the way.
It wasn’t long afterwards when his feet hit concrete. He huffed, slightly out of breath. The trail had gone cold now, and she was nowhere to be seen. Concrete was a fickle thing, usually helping conceal a person, than anything else. Fuck. Fingers threaded aggressively through his hair, his head tilting back in frustration. Women. If something hadn’t already killed her, he sure would. Letting out another deep sigh, he brought his head back down — just in time to catch a glimpse of a familiar blonde-haired woman. She was fairly far down the street already, her features barely recognizable. Yep, he was going to kill her.
"Hey!" He shouted, jogging down the street towards her. “What the hell are you doing?! You’re going to get us both killed, goddammit!”
[ damian clicks his tongue. signature tt, and then he crosses his arms over his thin chest, looks up at the mask he’s become dismally familiar with, and rolls his eyes. ]
Are you still suffering from the third-degree burns and are they making it hard to decipher one person from the other? Are you confused? You’re blabbering nonsensically to me about all the things Father does wrong. You’re an embarrassment, Jason. I’m not Batman.
[ and he knows first names are off limits in costume, but he’s irascible with this idiot in front of him. ]
I’m just the upgrade. And, another thing. Talk about my mother again and I’ll allow you the pleasure of meeting her assassins.
[ he’s finding it hard to stand idly by. each insult wearing the man’s already thin patience, thinner. if it wasn’t for the mask concealing his features, a venomous scowl would’ve been clearly present. ]
Alright, kid. My patience with you is almost up, so you listen to me, and you listen good. This ‘nonsensical blabbering’ was your first lesson. I’m telling you Batman’s method is flawed. So if you plan on becoming an ‘upgrade’, I’d hope you’d fix your predecessor’s faulty program.
[ he turns away then, a smirk beginning to form on his lips. ]
And I will talk about your mother, if I damn well please. Unbeknownst to you, your threats are not nearly as intimidating as you think they are.
The dog licked his fingers sweetly, as they went to cover his face.Years spent just waiting for his human to come home, and now he was finally here. The dog whined happily and licked Jason’s face desperately. He could barely control himself. He was back! His human was really back!
His death affected the dog just as much as the other humans. He remembered sleeping outside on the other’s grave for the first week he was ‘gone’. Ace’s tail swung around hard, wiggling his whole body. He leaned heavily into Jason’s hands as he touched his fur. The dog barked at him when his name was said, almost like an automatic response.
The hound laid down on him. All his weight placed precisely on the other’s abdomen and pelvis. Just so he couldn’t leave again. His human. His.
For a second, Jason was a kid again; wrapping his arms around the dog, and hugging the animal tight. “It’s good to see you too, buddy.” He whispered, burying his face in the Shepherd’s fur, uncaring of the pressures the animal had put on him. Jason had missed the dog tremendously, though his forbearance from manor prevented any prior reunion for the two. In truth the boy had missed a lot about the manor, but knew that time in his life was over and he could no longer go back. Or at least that’s what he kept telling himself, anyway.
"Ace, you gotta get off, okay? You’re kinda crushing me…" Jason winced, finally unable to take the weight of the dog any longer. "I promise I’m not going anywhere." Arms untangled themselves from the dog, giving him a reassuring pat on the head, for good measure. He didn’t want to let go, but he knew he had to. They were in a dangerous area, and to be caught off guard like this wouldn’t make for the best ending, for either of them.
Death is hard, it affects everyone. Even those who can’t speck in the form of words. Those who must sit on the sidelines and watch as a family falls apart before them. They must suffer in silence.
The dog stared at the grave, paws numb and fur slightly covered in unforgiving frost. Why you. It wasn’t fair. Not to him, not to Alfred, and not to Bruce. He was theirs! Why did death get to have him! The dog made a promise as the dirty street kid stumbled through the halls of the manor, for the first time. He would protect him, be his friend, keep him safe for as many years as the dog had left. This was not right. He should have gone first. This was not fair.
The dog laid down and stayed, snow crunching under his weight. Keeping the boy company as he slept. Just like he always did, and promised to do.
Good boy. Good boy, Ace.
”So…uh, is the offer for that autograph still up for grabs, by any chance?”