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Title: Where the heart is.
Rating: PG
Characters: Jason, Alfred, Dick and the rest of the Batclan.
Disclaimer: No ownership, no profit and no offence meant. Everyone is of the age of consent in their country and period of history
Author’s notes: 100% organic. May contain minor flaws and imperfections that beta-treated slash wouldn’t.

Summary: A simple gesture becomes a routine. Sequel to Homeward. Written for and inspired by kyrdwyn.


It became a regular thing for them, a ritual of kinds. Once a fortnight, on the day he did the manor’s groceries, Alfred would leave a little paper bag on the stoop of Jason’s place. A single strap of liquorice. And that night, Jason would let himself in the window of the manor’s kitchen with the bag tucked safe in his pocket to sit at the scrubbed wooden table and talk as they shared the treat.

Alfred never pushed him to come home or to give up the life of a criminal and in exchange, Jason never spoke of his anger, his hate or his hunger for vengeance. They talked of times passed, of the city and her strange ways and one bad night when the walls seemed to crowd in on Jason, they didn’t talk at all. Alfred simply held him as the tears ran in silvery tracks down his cheeks.

It was Dick who worked it out. The world’s greatest detective was too lost in his own anger, grief and guilt to see the signs but his first protégé saw.

The extra mug – washed and dried and returned to the shelf but still warm.
The cool of the room where a window has so recently been opened.
The lingering scent of liquorice, leather and smoke at the kitchen table.
The way Alfred’s grief lifted and he smiled to himself in moments of absent thought.

Dick saw and understood.

But it wasn’t till that night he acted on what he knew. There had been a fight, a livewire cut by a blade or batarang, an explosion that neither side had truly caused it or expected. Batman had gone to one knee, shielding Robin beneath his cape but Nightwing was up high, he saw; saw the man who had once been his brother thrown into the harbour by the blast. Batman has searched but there’s been no sign of Red Hood afterward.

Dick pulled Alfred aside as soon as he got home, his face still black with smoke. “He needs you.” Dick said simply, “Please, you’re the only one.”

The next morning, Alfred asked for leave to attend the funeral of a childhood friend. It wasn't the first time he’d lied to the man he’d raised from a boy but he felt no guilt in this.

He found Jason collapsed on the stained mattress he used for a bed, already weak with fever.

“What are you doing here?” Jason growled, his voice was rough with pain and slurred with sickness. But his eyes asked a different question. ‘Please help me? I didn’t think you’d come.

Alfred rolled up his sleeves and did what he had always done for the family he loved. He cleaned and stitched, salved and bandaged. Jason’s body was riddled with shrapnel and the filthy water of the harbour had made the wounds angry with infection. He sat at Jason’s bedside day and night in that decrepit slum and held the young man’s hand, a cool flannel on his brow as he waited for the fever to break.

When Jason woke after days of burning, the worst finally passed, he found Alfred asleep in the chair at his side. The old man looked so tired and yet so peaceful Jason was loathed to wake him. He wrapped a blanket around Alfred’s shoulder and limped towards what passed for a bathroom.

Alfred mumbled something in his sleep and as Jason turned back to check on him, he saw the brown paper bag on the windowsill and caught a fleeting glance of Nightwing’s colours.

“Fine,” Jason muttered, throwing the window open to let Dick in and snatching up the bag. “But I’m not sharing this with you.”


(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-21 01:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] darthbatgirl.livejournal.com
Okay I'm going to be lazy and comment here for both parts. I love the idea that the black liquorice is what brings Alfred and Jason together (probably half way because I love black liquorice).

Just a sweet tradition that they can share while Alfred gives Jason the sense of family he missing without the drama or pressure.

And Dick figures it out and when Jason gets hurt sends Alfred to him. And the liquorice is the stepping stone for Jason and Dick too.

So sweet my dear. <3

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-22 04:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] munnin-odanin.livejournal.com
Glad you enjoyed it, love. Poor Jason, he just can't see how much his family still loves him.

So, as first comment you get to suggest to next step of the story. Any thoughts?

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-23 12:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] darthbatgirl.livejournal.com
Oops sorry for the late reply, meant to answer back yesterday but forgot.

And I get to suggest? Oooh fun, lets see . . well because I'm a sucker for Tim (yeah deep hidden secret that is "grins") How about the liquorice bringing them together? The true downfall of the batfamily - black liquorice.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-23 12:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whitechapelred.livejournal.com
It happens, don't worry.

Mmm...Tim... most likely won't get time to write seriously during the week but I love the idea. Will let it stew and turn into something till I have time to write.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-22 06:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] saphire-dance.livejournal.com
Dick is such a sweetie. Tattling to Alfred and bringing licorice. Now I want licorice too.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-22 07:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] munnin-odanin.livejournal.com
Score one for the liquorice! Personally I can't stand the stuff but it seemed appropriate for Jason and Alfred. Dick just wants to be a good big brother again. Thanks for commenting!

new to the fandom

Date: 2011-10-24 01:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] la-capitana.livejournal.com
Hi there,
This fic was super awesome! I've also checked out the robins' website and thoroughly enjoyed it! I'm relatively new to the DC fandom, although I've read the comics for a while now. I was wondering if you could recommend any good places to go fic hunting, like communities or something? Anyway, this fic totally tugged my heart strings!

Re: new to the fandom

Date: 2011-10-24 12:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] munnin-odanin.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! And welcome. It’s great to have fresh blood around; reading or writing. I must admit I’m a little out of touch with most of the communities, I got a little suckered into the DC roleplay scene but I can recommend a few people – starting with everyone who commented here and a lot of other friends besides.

[livejournal.com profile] changing_leads, [livejournal.com profile] glymr, [livejournal.com profile] saphire_dance, [livejournal.com profile] the_protagonist, [livejournal.com profile] me_ya_ri, [livejournal.com profile] faile_neume, [livejournal.com profile] modestroad, [livejournal.com profile] kyrdwyn
are all really good writers. I’m not sure who’s still actively write (I am woefully and shamefully behind on my reading) but they all have back catalogues worth having a rummage through.

[livejournal.com profile] _sephet_, [livejournal.com profile] alexiel_neesan, [livejournal.com profile] batstalker are all brilliant artists, some of who also write and are worth checking out.

There are literally hundreds of others fantastic writers around I’ve failed to mention for which I hope they will forgive me) but that’s a start.

I hope to hear more from you and again, welcome! And thank you for the lovely comment, I’m really glad you enjoyed the story.

<3 Munnin

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-24 01:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] demons-heir.livejournal.com
[it's kyrdwyn, I'm Too lazy to log out of RP journal]

Eee! I didn't mean to prompt the next part but this is awesome, especially with Dick figuring things out and then sending Alfred to care for Jay and bringing by his own peace offering..... *huggles you*

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-24 11:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] munnin-odanin.livejournal.com
[I do that all the time. Case in point above]

You inspire my love, you truly do and thank you for it. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-24 09:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladyblkrose.livejournal.com
OhMyLanta, how did I miss all of this??? Yes I too read all that I missed after Homesickness and then commented. The use of such a simple homey item like candy to get to Jason was great. It's such an innocent thing, something only he and Alred shared but so powerful just because of that, brilliant! Also the fact that only Dick was able to figure it all out and not Bruce, kinda funny actually. I guess grief got in the way or something.

Thank you so much for sharing this continuation of this series. I hope you keep using the candy as a means to get the BatFam back together. AND I'm so glad that your muses back and you're again gracing us with your voice around here. Big Mama Huggles with rocking and laughing and a great big glass of Moscato (or whatever floats your celebratory boat)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-24 11:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] munnin-odanin.livejournal.com
Hey my love! I've missed you too. I'm so happy to be writing again (I just feel bad I haven't caught up reading everyone else's work) and I'm so glad you enjoyed this series. For something that stated as a way for me to vent my own homesickness, it's running away with a life of it's own.

Thanks again and big, big hugs back to my favourite mama bear!

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