|Jason Todd is (thelazarus) wrote in rooms,|
@ 2015-10-18 21:36:00
|Entry tags:||!dc comics, *narrative, jason todd|
[narrative: jason todd]
Who: Jason Todd
What: Where is Jason Todd?
Warnings/Rating: Bad news bears.
And anyway, where was Jason Todd?
He hadn't appeared on the comms, checking in to assure everyone that all was well. Person by person made themselves accounted for. But not Jason. Days passed, and not Jason.
Where was he? Well, if the bodega across the street from the donut shop hadn't collapsed, he would have been on its security camera footage. It offered only a sliver of a view of the business across from it, but there were his feet after he leapt from the motorcycle, there was his body as he turned to follow Damian, and there was all of him, dropping down into the cavity below as the explosion went off and turned everything on the block into smoking rubble and madness.
Where was Jason Todd?
He didn't know. When he woke, everything was dark and spun with the vertigo of the explosion, with the madness of fire and light, the seizing, choking panic of being pinned, being dragged underground, of the force and the sound again, of being caught in the blast and separate from his body, remembering how fast it could happen, how fast, how fast, and then darkness, nothing but darkness. No sound but screaming, far above. One hand pinned under a collapsed refrigerator, trapped prone in a gap beneath the store, unable to move, a pocket of fresh air filtering from above.
This was nightmare. There was no journal. The journal was gone. There was no phone, no lifeline, no help coming. It was dark and the sound outside was muffled. At first he could hear screaming. Then the screaming stopped.
Then he was screaming. He screamed, and banged against concrete beams with one fist, until they slipped, precarious, and made him stop. At any moment another explosion would come, or he would be crushed. Pitch dark, and any moment the structure above could settle into this small negative space. Agonizing hours of waiting for it to come, any minute, feeling the explosion on his body, something, somewhere, burned. No water, no food, only just enough air to breathe.
By the time the first day was over he couldn't remember what he'd been worried about anymore. Had he hit his head? Was he already dead? This was the coffin, and he began screaming again, until his voice was cracked and there was nothing left. He couldn't even move to pull the scarlet helmet off. His face hurt inside it. Faceless to the ground, breathing thickly in his metal confines, the vivid image of earth being piled atop him like so many blankets, soothing and smothering, time to sleep. He didn't know if he had slept. Every second was the same.
By the end of the second day, parts of him, somewhere, tacky with blood, he was inching upward. The beam above (the coffin door) shivered sometimes, threatened. He'd been in the dark so long he had convinced himself he could see, that there was a light above him. When he looked down, he saw the clown's face. He saw his grasping hands. He would never tell anyone he was afraid of this, or that he still felt what it was like to burn and be expelled from your body, to come out of the pit burning and insane with a fire on the brain. The world was limned in lime green, and in the dark below, where he couldn't see, there was laughter and a death's head.
Sometime after that, and someone was in the tiny space with him. They were talking. They were talking. They had their fingers sliding along his spine. They were brilliant and intimate and climbing on top of him and inside his head. He had nothing left to scream with so he inched, like a worm, decay in his nose. This was death. This was the dark place.
He didn't keep track of time anymore. It was endless, and he wasn't dead, or he was, and it didn't end. At some point, face scraping against cool metal and the grit of concrete, he licked the blood from his hand. He would wet his throat enough that he could make sound again. Someone would hear.
It wasn't enough. Outside the coffin he didn't hear any sound anymore. No one was digging through the earth. he was sinking. it was always him. he burned. the seconds, these thousands of seconds where death was here or coming soon, where it made him heavy, where it ran holes in him until his insides breathed out and where it laughed. where the dark shivered and the explosions went off again.
when the final collapse came, he didn't bow his head and wait. he didn't stop fighting, not for a moment. when the column over his head shivered one last time, he inched further, pulling himself with his left hand up, tasting the air, feeling his lungs contract and expand, remembering the skeleton with green hair underneath that would pull him down with it.
then he was blinded.
light! he didn't know that a rescue team had circled back to the epicenter of the explosion. light! he didn't know that they had heard scratching underground, and pulled the column up with cranes. there were only two of them, a man and a woman, and they pulled him out. he couldn't see anything, the world was too white.
then he was sleeping on a soft bed, somewhere. then he was truly dead.
and he had never had his helmet on, never, not for a moment. that has been a fantasy, easier to think of than why his face felt so numb, and his right hand throbbed like the devil had it. he felt a grip on his ankles and knew he had lost.
out into the night. out! alive! out of the grave! the night was brilliant and limned with lime green light. there had been no hospital to take him to, so they had left him in a spare bedroom. of course he didn't stay.
there was work!