Through Hoods, Through Lace, Through Hearts--We'll Find Our Healing PT.1
Jason Todd x Reader Story (Arkhamverse)
Word Count: 2.6K
Warnings: Explicit Language
Author's Note: I started playing Arkham Knight again and got inspired. Who woulda thought?? Enjoy! -Thorne
Gotham wasn’t exactly safe since Batman—or Bruce Wayne—had died. All things considered, it wasn’t as bad as it used to be now that Red Hood had moved in and started tackling the criminals Batman had left behind—permanently. Killer Moth had been the first and Roman Sionis was the second to go, and while Red Hood hadn’t outright claimed it, the leftover crew that hadn’t been pumped full of lead, had said that they saw the vigilante leaving, so it wasn’t hard to put two and two together. And it didn’t stop there.
Red Hood had started in on Penguin’s gang too. Now that Batman wasn’t around to stop the weapons and drug smuggling, it’d given the infamous gang leader a free ticket into Gotham. There were some reports about the neighboring vigilante Nightwing coming over from Blüdhaven to stop him. Rumor had it that someone said they even saw him and the Red Hood working together at one point, but it didn’t seem all to believable as the latter didn’t seem to be the partnering type.
That being said, with no one to stop him from killing all the criminals he wanted, a lot of the small-time fish got out of the business, not wanting to be met at the end of Red Hood’s handguns—it’s the exact reason she got out of the game. The money was good, and she was a damn good thief, but no amount of payout was worth her life. But somehow, trouble always managed to find her again.
Her file might’ve gotten deleted from GCPD’s database, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t going to take the easy way down the street and risk an officer recognizing her. She stuck to the back alleys like usual, ignoring the catcalls and sleazy comments about her outfit, but still keeping her brass knuckles around her hand—could never be too careful in Gotham.
Working an honest job sucked in her opinion, and the only thing more humiliating than working at Super-Babes was the number of tips she was getting at the end of her shift. Maybe if she smiled and flirted a bit more, they’d give her a tenner instead of a fiver. She’d half a mind to shove that five down the asshole’s throat after he ran his hand up the back of her thigh, but she was lucky that Tony had been working the kitchen shift—watching him throw the guy out on his ass was payment enough.
Even if she was managing to scrape by, working a restaurant job was kicking her ass, and something deep inside her itched for one more heist, but with the Red Hood stalking the city, there was no way in hell that she was going to risk it. The man had a reputation for leaving bodies and shell cases, and she wasn’t going to be the former. No, she was working towards a better future, getting back on track, and even if she was waitress, she was doing a lot better than most of the old crew. Most of them had either joined up with Black Mask, in hindsight, a horrible error on their part, or gotten thrown back into lockup. She was lucky—she got out during the recovery of Gotham after the whole Scarecrow and Arkham Knight deal. But that didn’t stop them from sending her the occasional request of her skills. All they received was a big ‘fuck no and fuck you’.
“(Y/N), (Y/N), (Y/N). Finally tracked you down.” Speak of the devil.
“Alex,” she sighed heavily as she turned halfway, catching sight of her old partner—and old flame, but that wasn’t important. “Figured you would at some point.” Her eyes narrowed. “What do you want?”
Alex chuckled and leaned against the wall. “No need to be so touchy. I just wanted to talk.”
(Y/N) shook her head and hiked her purse higher onto her shoulder, fingers tightening around the brass knuckles in her pocket.
“If it’s not about my next shift at Super-Babes, I don’t give a rat’s ass what it is,” she countered, glaring at him.
“That’s where you’ve been working?” he questioned, but his tone gave way to the knowingness in his gaze. “Really?”
“Not like there’s anywhere else for ex-thieves to apply, Alex,” (Y/N) grumbled. “Employers are pretty meticulous when it comes to criminal records.”
She glowered at him. “I’m not interested in whatever you want me to do for you.”
“Even if you’ll get paid?” he suggested.
“I can’t believe I’m going to ask,” she sighed, eyes narrowing at the grin that split across his face. “What are you doing?”
Alex pulled out a file and walked up to her. “I knew you couldn’t resist a big payout.”
“Fuck you,” she grunted, swiping the manilla folder from him. “Shine a light for me.”
He pulled out his phone and flicked his flashlight on, watching as she read the papers, occasionally flipping the sheets.
All at once, she paused and gaped at him. “Wayne Manor?” She blinked. “You wanna `excavate Wayne Manor?”
Alex nodded and turned the flashlight off, stowing the phone back into his pocket. “Good plan, isn’t it?”
(Y/N) breathed in shock and lowered the folder. “Are you insane?”
“I’m failing to see your issue with this.”
“You want to excavate the home of a dead man. You really can’t see the issue with it?”
“That he’s dead?” Alex offered. “Technically that’s not graverobbing. He’s been dead for like a year and a half.”
(Y/N) turned and took a step. “That’s not the issue Alex!” She spun back around and hissed, “Bruce Wayne was Batman.”
“Keyword was. Not anymore.”
“I don’t give a shit. If Bruce Wayne was Batman, then there’s a very strong chance that there’s still defenses laid around the grounds.”
“In that pile of rubble? Not likely, but that’s why I need you to help me.”
“No,” (Y/N) declared. “I’m not going anywhere near that place.”
Alex let out a sigh and crossed his arms over his chest. “And why not? You never really liked Batman. Didn’t he put you in jail once or twice?”
“Bruce Wayne was a good man that did his best to help this city whether he was dressed as Batman or not.” She affirmed. “He saved people, gave them jobs, helped them turn their lives around. No,” she shook her head. “I don’t want any part of this job, Alex. Now, later, or forever. I’m trying to do better, and you should too.”
Alex scoffed. “Oh please, getting tips for dressing like slutty Wonder Woman isn’t doing better (Y/N), and you know it.”
She ignored the insult and shrugged. “Maybe not, but I go to sleep at night knowing that I’m not going to get shot by Red Hood or some greedy gangbanger.”
At that, Alex paused and stared at her. “Are you really afraid of that prick?”
(Y/N) scowled. “That pricktook out Black Mask and his entire operation within twenty-four hoursthen immediately turned his attention on the rest of the scumbags in this city.” Taking a step towards him, she added, “He doesn’t break bones and leave you lying in pain like Batman did, Alex. He makes sure you don’t get up again. Ever. I’m not risking my neck for anything that’s stuck in Wayne’s basement.”
The man across from her was silent for a moment, then sighed. “I can’t sway you in any way?”
She yanked her hand out of her jacket pocket and flashed the knuckles around her hand. “I’d stop swaying and start running instead.”
Alex opened his mouth to say something, but all that came out was, “Oh fuck!” then he spun around and hauled off like his ass was on fire.
(Y/N) stood there dumbfounded. Sure, she could be intimidating, but there was no way she was that scary. Instead of questioning it, she shrugged and shoved the folder into her skirt, then turned sharply on her heel to start on her way back to her apartment. Until she walked straight into someone’s chest.
She gasped as she stumbled backwards, knowing she was going to fall on her ass when strong hands grasped her upper arms, keeping her upright. (Y/N) looked up and met the very man she’d been talking about. Suddenly, Alex’s explicative and escape made perfect sense.
“Oh fuck!” she blurted out, and impulsively swung her knuckled fist at the jaw of his helmet. He caught her hand with an ease and spun her around, pressing her front up against the brick wall.
“Fuck me. Oh, fuck me,” she hissed, cursing herself for not telling Alex to stick it where the sun didn’t shine the second he found her. Now here she was about to get murdered by a trigger-happy vigilante with a grudge.
“Really? Right here? But someone could see us?” The humor in his tone drew a startled laugh from her and she pressed her cheek against the wall, so she could see him.
“I swear to God I don’t have anything to do with him. Fuck, I’ll tell you whatever you want about him and his plan if you don’t kill me.” (Y/N) sucked in a breath. “Please don’t kill me. I swear I stopped pulling heists after Halloween last year. I work a decent job. I keep my nose clean. I don’t get involved in that shit anymore. Please, God, don’t—”
“Will you stop talking for like ten seconds?” Red Hood griped, one hand leaving the grasp he had on her arms behind her back to feel around her middle.
“HEY!” she shouted, thrashing wildly. “GET YOUR HANDS OFF ME!”
He pressed her harder to the wall. “I’m not gonna hurt you. Calm down.”
“I’ll calm down when you get your fucking hands out of my skirt your fucking pervert!” (Y/N) spat, leaning on one leg to kick at him with the other.
“All I want is what’s in your skirt,” he sighed and pressed one of his thighs against the one kicking him. “Christ,you’re a handful.”
“And you’re a fucking sicko!” she retorted indignantly. “Is this how you get your rocks off? Assaulting innocent women? You’re so fucking disgu—”
“Got it,” Red Hood declared, and yanked out the file she’d shoved in the side of her skirt. (Y/N) fell silent when he held it beside her head. “See, that wasn’t so hard now, was it?”
She could tell he was smirking behind the red helmet and she scowled at him. “You’re fucked up, buddy.”
Shrugging, he flipped open the file and started reading. “Would’ve been easier if you hadn’t tried to run on me.”
“Well excuse me for thinking I was about to get murdered and having the initial instinct to haul ass.”
Red Hood chuckled at that, and despite how wrong the entire situation was, the low drawl made shivers go down her spine.
“Wanna tell me about your friend?” he coaxed and (Y/N) froze.
“He’s not my friend,” she suddenly protested. “I haven’t been around Alex since last year.”
“Really? You two seem fairly chummy.”
(Y/N) craned her neck to look at him. “We used to fuck when we worked together.”
“Mhm,” he hummed knowingly. “Lover’s spat then?”
Barking a laugh, she countered, “Like you wouldn’t believe.” She stared at him. “I got out when you started putting people down. Didn’t want to be a casualty.”
“That’ll do it,” he snickered. “So, you don’t know what Alex’s been up to since last year?”
“No, and I want it to stay that way, but he thinks that if he waves enough heists in my face, I’ll cave and run back to the money.” (Y/N) groaned and rested her head against the wall. “Look, I don’t know what he’s planning, and I don’t care. I don’t want anything to do with whatever that plan it. Honest to God.”
She gazed at him, feeling something akin to tears gathering in her vision, and pled, “Take the file. Hell, take all the money I’ve got in my purse if you want, just don’t kill me.” A single tear ran down her cheek. “Please, I’m begging you. I don’t wanna die now.”
Red Hood’s weight disappeared from her back and he murmured, “I’m not going to hurt you. I want the opposite in fact.” The honesty in his words made her body feel weak and her knees started to go out beneath her. “And there she goes.” He caught her before she fell.
Gently lowering her to the ground, he helped her sit against the wall. (Y/N) leaned her head back and let out a long sigh.
“Oh, thank God.”
He laughed. “Life flashing before your eyes?”
She gave a half-hearted smile. “You’ve got no idea.”
This time when he laughed, it was dark, and it made her stomach churn. “Actually, I do.”
An uncomfortable silence fell over them, then he knelt in front of her, handing her purse back to her.
(Y/N) took it with a nod and stared at him. “So, what happens now?”
He was quiet for a moment, then he waved the file. “I go stop your friends from digging around Batman’s home.”
“Good luck,” she replied, starting to her feet when he tutted.
“Ah-ah-ah.” He motioned for her to sit back down. “We’re not done yet.”
She grunted at him. “What do you want?”
“Information on your friends.”
(Y/N) felt her brows furrow. “Can’t you find that out yourself?”
Red Hood shrugged. “I could, but I’m always looking to make my job easier.” He observed her for a moment, then reached into his pocket and pulled out a roll of hundred-dollar bills.
Waving it in front of her, he said, “You tell me what you used to do for them and what all they’ve got going on, and you can have this.”
(Y/N)’s jaw went tight as she stared at the roll. That could pay rent and bills for at least two months. She needed the money. Her eyes darted to the mask and she swiped for the roll, but he raised it out of her reach.
“Nope,” he ribbed. “Info first.”
“Ass,” she grumbled, but conceded with a sigh. “Fine. Have it your way.” (Y/N) clambered to her feet and dusted off her tacky skirt, watching as he did the same.
“Follow me to my apartment.” Before he could say a word, she thrust a finger into his chest. “And do it from the rooftops so people don’t see you.” Her face set in a glare. “I don’t need any unwanted guests trying to get in because they saw you following me.”
She started off when Red Hood grabbed her forearm, not harshly, but firm enough to make her stop and stare at him questioningly.
“What’s your name?”
She blinked, not expecting that. “It’s (Y/N). (Y/N) (L/N).”
He nodded. “And what did they call you when you worked as a thief?”
(Y/N) huffed. “Not everyone has an alias, Red Hood.”
Chuckling, he retorted, “Yeah, but someone as pretty as you no doubt had one.”
She felt her stomach flutter at his flirt and her cheeks warmed as she looked away and replied, “They used to call me, ‘The Lady in Lace’.”
“The Lady in Lace?” he repeated, then stood next to her and pulled out a grappling gun. “Have a matching outfit, Lady Lace?”
(Y/N) shoved him in the side. “Wouldn’t you like to know.”
“I think I’d rather see,” Red Hood flirted and pressed the button, shooting off towards the roof of the building.
It was gonna be a long night.
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