Why him? Jason thought as he banged on the door of a San Francisco apartment belonging to one of the few superheroes who might not slug him on sight. Why did the weird shit always happen to him? Finally the door opened, and –
Looking down the tip of an arrow was sobering. Not quite as sobering as a gun barrel, but still, y’know not something to be taken lightly. Jason smiled at Connor Hawke. Inwardly, he was honestly surprised by how good it was to see him again, weapons and all.
“Connor! How’ve you been? I hear the family reunion didn’t go so well.” Anyone else would have given him a rude gesture or a ‘fuck you’, but no, not Connor. Subtle allusions to his dad and brother losing their fucking minds only warranted an eye roll.
“What are you doing here, Jason?” Connor asked, annoyed.
“Y’know, there’s no point in you pointing that thing at me when we both know you can’t use it.”Jason didn’t mind Connor holding a weapon on him, after all, they hadn’t split on the best of terms, but he didn’t like having his intelligence insulted.
“I got better.” Connor lowered the bow, but kept it strung.
“Good for you. I told you it was all in your head.”
“That is generally where I keep my brain. Now tell me what you’re doing here, Jason.”
“I need to find your brother.”
“I don’t know where he is. No one does.”
“Well, I need you to help me find him, because there’s a dead girl in the back seat of my car, and –"
"What!?" Okay, so he hadn’t really thought that through before he said it. Was there a good way to say ‘your dead niece isn’t dead’?
“No, I mean, she’s supposed to be dead…”
“Jason. I repeat, what?” If there was a good way to break the news, Jason was saved from figuring it out when someone small squeezed past his legs.
”Lian!?” Bow and arrow were dropped so that Connor could scoop the little girl up in his arms.
“I told you to stay in the car…” Jason muttered, and went ignored. He felt like an intruder. Connor’s eyes were wet, and Jason had never seen that before – and he’d seen the man on some pretty bad days.
“What happened? You were… you were dead, Lian.”
"I know. There was a nice goth lady. She told me there'd been a mistake, and it wasn't time yet." Lian shrugged. She glanced off to the side. “And then I woke up.”
“Jay? You know anything?”
Jason shrugged. “Connor, I don’t know shit about this. Well. The girl sounds familiar, but all I know is that I found her wandering through the rubble, and recognized her as Harper’s kid. I name-dropped you and Dinah so she’d listen to me, and then I looked you up.”
“When was this? And what were you doing in Star City?” Connor blinked as something occurred to him. “And how do you know where I live?”
“Yesterday, none of your fucking business, and I asked around.”
“Uh-huh. Tell me, did you take her with you while you ‘asked around’?”
“What do you take me for? I make her wait in the car.”
“Lian? Tell me what Jason has done with you so far.”
“What the fuck, Connor. You know I wouldn’t hurt a kid,” Jason snapped, indignant.
“Don’t swear in front of Lian.”
“Still, you know me better than that.”
"I'm not worried that you harmed her, Jason, I'm worried that you taught her how to assemble an AR-15 blindfolded or something."
"Everyone should be able to assemble an AR-15."
“Proving my point, Jay…”
“Oh, can I? Dad won’t let me try one ‘til I’m older.” Lian chimed in.
Jason opened his mouth to reply, but caught Connor’s death glare and instead said, “Better go with your dad on this one, kid. It’s a little big for you. Anyway, Connor, I haven’t exposed her to anything worse than some fast food and a comic book, which I’m sure are both grievously warping by your standards.”
“Seriously, have you read one lately? They weren’t this dark when I was a kid.” Jason shook his head. “So tell me, seriously, what happened with your folks?”
“Do you want the long version or the short version?”
“Back-cover summary. Dammit, Connor, don’t you have any real food?” Jason asked, poking through Connor’s cupboards.
“That is real food, you’re just not used to it.” Connor gave him the abridged version of events since Prometheus’s attack on Star City.
“So, let me get this straight. Everyone in your family flips their shit, and when you decide to follow suit, you… tell your dad he’s an asshole? Connor, everyone knows your dad is an asshole.” Connor didn’t respond. Jason smirked at him knowingly. "It felt good though, didn't it?"
“Well, good for you. I was beginning to wonder if you even had a temper. Next, we’ll work on getting you a personality.” Jason glanced aside at Connor, expecting another exasperated eye roll. Instead, he found himself being tightly embraced.
“I missed you too, Jason,” Connor tells him, with a kiss on the cheek.
“Yeah, yeah,” he muttered, embarrassed. “Let’s find your dumbass brother before we run into any more complications, or he does something really stupid.”