Agonist, Synergist, Antagonist
by Te
March 23, 2004

Disclaimers: If they were mine, I'd be busy. I'm just

Spoilers: Various little ones for various books. Takes
place somewhere in a fudged current timeline.

Summary: It's a family affair. Okay, not really.

Ratings Note: NC-17.

Author's Note: The convergence of many a bunny.
Third (and possibly last) part of the Natural Law

Acknowledgments: To Jack, Reilael, and L.C. for
audiencing and helpful thoughts.


Robin is spending a great deal of time in Blüdhaven.

The thought is not a particularly ominous one -- Robin
and Nightwing have nearly always worked well
together, with little personal friction to make them
anything less than absolutely effective. And Nightwing
has never been unwilling to work with a partner, even
one he *didn't* care for.

It has always been... soothing to watch Nightwing
work with Robin. With Jason, certainly, and the
reasons for that are both legion and (still) difficult to
consider, and with Tim. To know that for all of
*their* differences, Dick would be willing to allow
Batman's partners into his life.

As though Dick would ever be petty enough *not*
to, but... still.


Of course, there are other concerns.

Nightwing, despite his deeply social nature, is nearly
as territorial as any of the rest of them, and he
doesn't welcome intrusions into his city without
reason. If he *did* require help, he would ask for
it. And... it isn't as though he *wouldn't* ask
Robin -- the boy is an excellent soldier, and no one
could ever doubt it -- it's just that there is nothing
*he* can find that would suggest Nightwing
*does* need assistance.

And Oracle would not fail to share information if
there was a need.

As for Robin...

His own patrols are being done. A few moments
listening in on the police band is enough to
confirm that much. A quick trip through the
territories the boy has made his own sets it in

If Batgirl were covering for him, the criminals left
zip-stripped and occasionally labeled for the
police's benefit would be more injured. The same
is true for Huntress -- assuming she *would*.

Spoiler's work has never been so precise.

Still, with this much done, and at this time of night,
Robin *should* be headed back to his home. And
while it is certainly possible both that the boy
would not wish to be home right away *and* that
he would want to discuss whatever problems he
may or may not be having with Nightwing -- and
no one *but* Nightwing --

There are other concerns.

Wordless, for the most part.

Batman has learned to trust his instincts.

The trip to Blüdhaven is only somewhat challenging.
He does not wish to be noticed, but Robin's cycle is
as riddled with tracers as all of their vehicles, and
the boy has not removed any of them. This is
reassuring on a number of levels. Tim has always
understood the necessity of such matters, of
course, but Batman has also learned to fear...

Of any sort.

He follows, from the shadows, and fights the
desire to wallow in aging memory. Better to
rifle -- once more -- through more recent
encounters, in case there was something he may
have missed, or disregarded.

Batgirl had not expressed concern of any sort
for Robin, and Oracle's reports, while ever
detailed, had not included anything of special
interest regarding the boy's movements.

Robin's own reports had, of course, included
nothing to flag his concern, but the boy has
always had a tendency towards a certain...

He has never wished Batman to worry about
him, or have reason to do so. There has always
been a possibility -- however small -- that this
tendency would lead Robin to hide *essential*
information, even despite the boy's equally
powerful compunction toward safety.

*He* hasn't patrolled with the boy in... quite
some time. There are reasons for this -- there
are always reasons. The most recent business
with Superman, a handful of his own
investigations. *Robin's* own investigations, and
the fact that the boy has been more than
capable of working on his own for years, now.

No Man's Land had been a terrible -- and terribly
effective -- proving ground.

There is, however, a kind of sneaking, crawling
sensation of 'excuse.'

There are other reasons why he has worked with
Robin so little in recent months, and the vast
majority of them are distressingly personal.

The simple fact of the matter is that he has been
a less than adequate partner to the boy, and
nothing remotely resembling a friend. He has
never wanted to be a confidante to his partners,
and it is nothing short of a relief that Robin --
Tim -- appears to have the same attitude about
*him*, and yet...

It says very little about him, and, at the same
time, it says far too much.

Batman frowns to himself and taps at the wheel.
He will find out as much as he can, and then he
will... confronting Robin about it might not be the
best way. He will make a decision based on what
he learns.

And he will, perhaps, make himself more
available. There's a nasty sort of humor in the
fact that 'make himself' seems so apt a phrase,
even after everything that has happened over
the years.

He should know better.

Knowing should be... easier.

Batman laughs behind his face and checks the
movement on his internal maps. The red dot for
Robin heads steadily south, toward Blüdhaven's
center. He allows the Batmobile to close more
of the distance, counting on the increased
population density to mask his own

The advantage to working within cities, even
when they are not as large as Gotham.

The dot stops moving, and... Batman knows the
location. Robin is either inside or near to one of
the garages Nightwing has bought and adapted
for his own use. He switches to monitoring the
tracers within Robin's suit.

The boy heads east, and Batman follows in the
car for some distance before leaving it in one
of Blüdhaven's innumerable filth-ridden and
convenient alleys. His remote picks up Robin's
signal clearly, and it's tempting to pick up the
pace -- it's far easier to be subtle on foot, and
even in the air -- and yet.

He has no tracers whatsoever on Nightwing,
and while he could tap into whatever Oracle
has on him, the act would raise too many

He stays within the shadows, and moves
slowly and carefully. He can't allow the
mugging he passes to continue, but he does
not use his own materials to tie the man in
question, instead improvising with a handy
length of discarded cable.

And continues the tracking.

The red dot has been still for sometime, in no
special location that Batman can figure out.
Perhaps the boy is doing some surveillance.

It *would* be in character for Nightwing to ask
for help in observation, and to do it casually
enough that it wouldn't flag Oracle's alerts or
his own, and Robin would assuredly offer his
own assistance.

Closer, and there's a flash of yellow from the
rooftop of an unassuming brownstone. Batman
heads for a neighboring building and climbs
instead of using his jumpline. Security and
subtlety. The boy knows the sound of a
grapple far too well.

As does Nightwing, of course.


Perhaps the strangest thing about it is the
refutation of his own expectations. He has had
many, many years to train himself away from
such things, to learn the often *deadly* dangers
of assumption, and yet...

He never would have expected this.

Nightwing's hands are on Robin's face, cupping
and tilting it for a better angle. Robin's hands
are hidden by their bodies, and Batman thinks...
He isn't sure *what* to think, because
Nightwing's moan is shockingly loud (quiet for
*him*, though) in the clear, cool night air.

He does not stop kissing Robin for a long time,
not until Robin's left arm is around the back of
his neck, and it seems...

A *strange* time to pause, but there is
movement under the cape on Robin's right
side, and Nightwing throws his head back
entirely, and Bruce can *feel* that moan. He

He has all the answers he needs.

He dives from the roof, forgetting not to use
his grapple until it's too late, and he feels his
face trying to heat behind the mask.

No one -- neither of them follows.

It's entirely possible they are distracted.

It's time to go back to Gotham.


Batman waits within the Cave. There is a
bookmaker on the West side he'd planned to visit
tonight, but the little parlor isn't far beyond the edges
of Batgirl's usual patrols, and she does not question
the assignment.

Huntress was... suspicious about his request that she
focus her attentions on Batman's usual areas of the
city, but also didn't question. There is much to fear
about the woman's control -- and lack thereof -- but
she is an effective operative. Oracle has a line open
into the Cave from her end, waiting for an
explanation of the change in routine. He has closed
it from his end. Oracle can be patient, for this.

And Robin, barring unforeseen emergency, had
likely slipped out of his house to make his way
here... between thirty and forty-five minutes ago.

Batman waits at the console.

It does not take long.

The boy is nearly soundless in his approach from
the Cave's secret entrance, of course, but Batman
has known this Cave and its particular qualities for
far longer than *any* of the others, and Robin is
not as careful as he could be, here.

The scrape of a foot along the ground, an exhaled


His presence has been noted. Batman waits for
the boy to say something, or perhaps express
surprise, but... there's nothing.

And then noticeably less casual motion toward his
equipment. Batman narrows his eyes and spins
the chair around. The boy is stripping out of his
street clothes with the same efficiency as ever.
There is nothing in his body language to
suggest... anything at all, really.

The marks on his skin are ambiguous. There's
something ugly in the fact that he can't -- quite --
separate whatever bruises the boy has taken in
fights from whatever bruises Dick -- Nightwing --
has left in his... their...

"It has to stop," he says, before he has entirely
decided *to* speak.

Robin freezes, tights halfway up his legs. And then
he finishes pulling them up before turning to face
him, one eyebrow raised.

"It's... not a good idea."

A smile, and it's... far more of a Tim smile, if he's
honest with himself. *Robin's* smiles are entirely
more open. "I could ask what 'it' is, but one, I
don't believe in being disingenuous, and two, I can
only think of *one* thing I'm doing that you might
disapprove of. So..."

"Then you already know that it isn't something you
should be doing." Which is... a relief.

"No, I know it's something *you* wouldn't approve
of. Which isn't the same thing at all."

"Tim --"

"Look, you don't *really* want to have this
conversation, and neither do I, so... let's just *not*,

Bruce blinks behind the cowl.

Tim turns back to his suit and continues getting

Tim is, of course, correct. He *doesn't* want to
have the conversation, and yet. Tim closes the
distance between them, arms folded beneath his

"I'll make it easy on you, Bruce. *If* I decide to
stop? It *won't* be because of anything *you*
can tell me."

It's not the sort of response he'd expected, though
perhaps he should have. Tim does not have
anything resembling the typical sort of attitude
toward relationships. He has proven, time and
again, that he is willing to put them where they
belong -- in a secondary position to the mission.

He has not offered anything resembling a defense
of his relationship with Dick, and even now he is
nothing but professional. Waiting for Bruce to
accept his firm -- and *casual* -- refusal to allow
Bruce any inroads into his personal life.

Into... Dick's.

Tim narrows his eyes behind the mask, and cocks
his head. Slightly. "And *I'm* not the one you
want to protect, right Bruce?"

Tim is a good soldier, and an excellent detective.

Dick deserves... better. Bruce closes his eyes
beneath the mask. "Fine. I was thinking we could
patrol --"

Tim's laugh is sharp, brief, and sincere. "And now
you actually want to patrol *with* me. Gonna get
me good and tired, Bruce? Work me until dawn?
Call me in on my night off?"

The idea has merit.

Tim takes a small, deliberate step closer. "I know
you. The *real* you. I've been watching you my
whole life, remember?"


"Give me a reason, Bruce. Just *one* reason. And
we can make things nice and complicated."

Bruce crosses one leg over his knee and leans
back, slowly, and with equal deliberation. "Most
people who 'know' me also tend to know that it's
not a good idea to *threaten* me."

"Most people have no *idea* what to threaten you

And *that's* a Robin smile, the reason for which
becomes clear... immediately.

"What's the deal, Tim? I thought I was meeting
you... Bruce."

"Nightwing." And Tim hasn't stopped smiling at

"These silent communicators sure are *handy*,
aren't they, Bruce?"

"Yes. They are."

Movement out of the corner of his eye, and Bruce
looks over to see Dick shifting on his feet, slightly.
And it *is* Dick, even in uniform. Nightwing's
energy is high, but far, far more focused. Dick
narrows his eyes at Tim's back before looking back
at *him*.

"You know, I'm not going to ask if there's anything
going on, mainly because I'm *not* an idiot, so
I'm just going to ask if there's anything going on
that *I* need to know about."

"Good question, Dick." Tim isn't smiling at all,
anymore. "*Is* there, Bruce?"

He can feel his jaw working and stops it. The best
possible response is 'no,' or nothing at all. There is
work to be done -- there is *always* work to be

But both of those answers would leave things
precisely as they stand now, with Tim --

He blinks at the feel of a hand on his shoulder,
large and warmer than it should seem through the
suit. Through Dick's gloves. His sense memory
has much to answer for.

"Bruce..." Dick's face is... twisted with worry.
"What's wrong?"

He brushes Dick's hand away from him, registering
and loathing the moment of hurt, and wondering
how many times Tim has done something similar.
"Nothing," he says, and stands, moving toward
the vehicles.

"What -- wait, *what*?"

"He knows," Tim says, and...

Bruce doesn't stumble. A victory is not a victory
unless it is complete, and Bruce had apparently not
agreed to Tim's bargain fast enough for Tim's
liking. He is not surprised. There is nothing to be
done about it. He stops, and turns.

Dick is staring at Tim, shock obvious even with his
mask. There have been times over the years when
Bruce has thought not even a full cowl would help
with that. This is one of them.

Tim nods back toward Bruce.

And Dick... tenses. There is the same sort of...
reluctance in his body language as had been there
when Dick had told him about his relationship with
Barbara. The same *trepidation*, as though...

As though he would ever...

"Bruce. It isn't... I didn't --"

"Don't," he says, and tries not to see Dick wince.
And if there was ever more *concrete* proof that
this... *thing* with Tim shouldn't be allowed to
happen --

Tim's only response to his glare is a raised
eyebrow. Bruce can see Dick staring at both of
them, and he can *feel* him not understanding
the undercurrents. Because Dick has never *truly*
trusted his instincts in regards to Bruce.

And it's something Bruce has used, with the sickly,
heartfelt gratitude it deserves. And it will not last,
unless... "Tim. I will not interfere in your...

"Funny how you've given me absolutely *no* reason
to believe that, and every reason to believe the
*opposite*, Bruce."

"Tim --"

Tim stops Dick with a hand on his chest, proprietary
and still so *casual*. "No, Dick, actually I think it's
time we have this out. *All* of it."

"No," Bruce says, and knows he doesn't sound as
firm as he would wish.

"No? That -- that *bullshit* with Steph was one
thing, Bruce, but I *know* you. If you couldn't
stop *fucking* around with me with *her*, why
the hell should I think you will now?"

"Because I keep my promises."

"And you're actually making one? About *Dick*?"

Dick covers Tim's hand with his own, as ever as
though there was nothing profound about that
sort of contact. He watches Tim *feel* it, and bites
the inside of his own cheek.

"Tim, I think... I mean... aren't you the one who
always says it's *better* when we don't try to
make Bruce talk about this stuff?" Dick's smile is
weak and false, and Bruce knows -- he *knows* --
the man can feel Bruce's eyes on him.

Tim's mouth twists into something harsh for a
brief, terrible moment before settling back into
blankness. "He's protecting *you* now, Bruce.
What do you think *that* tells me?"

That he isn't yours. That you should *stop*.

And Dick is... it's something like an abortive hand
*massage*, and Bruce can see Tim working to
ignore it, and... it should be reassuring. That he
*isn't* as unaffected as he wishes to be, but.

No one in Dick's life *should* be unaffected.
They shouldn't try. He should have --

"He *wants* you, Dick. He always has."

Dick's hand freezes over Tim's own, and Bruce
knows Tim is feeling that, too.

"He thinks I'm not good enough for you. And
he's not going to deny *any* of it."

Bruce watches Dick breathe. Watches him
*flush*, and tighten his hand on Tim's own,
apparently hard enough to make Tim wince. He
needs to --


Leave. He needs to *leave*, and stop staring at
Dick. He hasn't been fair, even within the
confines of his own mind. There is a great deal
of difference between the emotion Dick shows
when he's trying to be subtle, and the emotion
he shows when he isn't, at all.

So much passion. *Too* much, even with his
hand still tight around Tim's own. Even with
Tim actively trying to get *free*.

"Dick. You should --"

"Shut up."

Tim jerks as though he's been slapped, and
tenses hard under Dick's gaze.

"I don't know *what* game you're playing, but
now I really *want* to." Dick turns back to him,
and there's anger and confusion, and... Dick reaches
for his mask, tearing at it, and a part of Bruce's
mind wants to be snide, to suggest there'd be no

That part is an *idiot*, and he still can't move. Or
even look away.

"Dick, wait, you --"

Dick glares at Tim again, but Tim just raises his
other hand slowly. He's holding the spray bottle
of the solvent they both use. Dick takes it from
him, and uses it, slipping off his mask and
immediately turning the bottle back on Tim.

Who pauses for just a moment before turning
his face up.

The intimacy is obvious, the symbolism
frighteningly so. Both make it *impossible* to
look away. Bruce watches Dick search Tim's eyes,
and watches him nod as though they answer
any questions at all.

And then Dick looks at *him* again, just as
searchingly, and Bruce has to remind himself that
he *is* wearing the cowl, that there's still room,
still some quiet, cowardly *hope* of escape.


And all he has to do is stop staring at Dick's eyes
and *leave*.

"I'm not going to pretend I know exactly what I
want, Bruce. It's been too long for that. I don't...
there's been too much. But."

Dick's uniform is much too thin, thin enough that
Bruce can see him swallow. And Tim isn't trying
to get away anymore. He's reaching up to cup
Dick's face even as he looks a very clear, obvious
dare at Bruce.

"Tim...? Wait --"

Bruce watches Tim brush one gauntleted thumb
over Dick's mouth. Watches Dick's eyes widen,
slightly, and listens to himself breathe like
something hurt. Control. He has to -- there has
to be *something* --

"Show him what he can *have*, Dick. Show me
what *I* can have."

Dick's hand tightens again on Tim's own, but
this time Tim doesn't wince at all. This is
unacceptable, inappropriate, and *obscene*, and
it's precisely as shocking, as *compelling* as it
was to see it on that rooftop.

Dick kisses Tim with an anger that isn't nearly as
brutal as it should be, and it's... there are
questions that have no place within Bruce's own
mind. How much of the hunger is natural to
Dick, and how much of it is natural to Dick with

Wouldn't it make a difference?

He has never thought about Tim this way, not
seriously and never with any degree of intent
high enough to require repression. Because Tim
has never had the sort of carefree passion that
Bruce knows himself well enough to know he
has a *weakness* for.

Nothing in Tim inspires weakness.

And there is an undeniable fascination in the
way he accepts *this* kiss. In the way he
moans for Dick, the way he moves up onto his
toes and clutches Dick's shoulders.

An attraction in *his* hunger that is absolutely
understandable, in precisely the same way that
Bruce -- that *none* of them -- has never been
able to hold back a smile when an opponent
weakens visibly.

There is, perhaps, room for improvement in his
partnership with Tim.

The only relief when Dick breaks the kiss and turns
back to face *him* again is that he cannot possibly
laugh. Dick's mouth is... wet.

Faintly swollen.

Bruce licks the backs of his teeth. Tim is no longer
looking at him, his head turned to face somewhere
past Dick's far shoulder. His breathing is steadier
than Dick's, but also deeper.

Dick bites his lower lip half-absently, and reaches
out. Bruce feels himself *seize* inside, and it's a
tension that he knows, that he's *resisted*. But
he had the crutch of Dick's lack of confidence
about them, about *this*.

And all he has now is Dick's dark, heated gaze
and the hand in his own and --

"*Bruce*," whispered against his mouth, *into*
his mouth on a long, low moan, and Dick
squeezes his fingers *hard* and licks his tongue.
And shudders, once, half-opening his eyes before
pulling Bruce in closer and deepening the kiss. He
twists his hand free from Bruce's and curls it
around the back of his head and -- pauses.

Pulling back.

Bruce feels his hands snap into fists and does not

Dick pants and stares at his mouth before looking
up again. "Off. The cowl. You -- I'm not making
love to the Bat."

The Bat doesn't *deserve* --

Bruce pushes the cowl back and hears a gasp. It
isn't Dick.

Tim is... right there, still, eyes wide and unreadable,
one hand still clasped with Dick's. He pulls it down
while Bruce watches, slipping it beneath his cape
until all Bruce can see is... motion.

And the flush rising on Tim's face.

And then Dick's other hand is on *his* face, and
Bruce turns to find Dick smiling at him, open and
rueful. The fingers slip into Bruce's hair, and it's
an effort not to slip his eyes shut, just for a

"I've wanted..." Dick's laugh is a little choked. "I
never pictured it like *this*."

Tim snorts beside them, and then gasps while
Dick's eyes narrow.

"What..." Are you doing to him. Bruce can't quite

Dick's eyes widen again, though. "I'm... he's
wearing too much armor. But I can still..."

Tim *groans*, shifting beside them, and Bruce
feels his lips part.

"Do you want --"

It's far, far easier to kiss Dick again than it is to
let him finish that thought. Desire is problematic
precisely because it gets out of control so quickly,
so easily. He never would've considered that
sucking Dick's tongue would ever feel safer than...

He isn't sure whether he wants to thank Tim or
strangle him.

He *sounds* strangled, and Bruce cups Dick's
shoulders just so... yes. He can feel the muscles
working in the left one. The right when Dick
reaches an arm around Bruce's waist and pulls him
*in* that last, terrifyingly important step. And Dick
bites his lip and then drags his mouth over Bruce's
cheek, over to his ear.

"I want you. I want both of you, and I never
*wanted* to want *either* of you. But Tim is
hard in my hand and you feel so good it *hurts*
and you can't stop. You can't *stop*."

Bruce hears a growl, and doesn't realize that it's
his own until they're on the floor. He watches
himself *moving* Dick, and it's the body he's
wanted for much too long, all lean muscle and
endless motion. The desire to hold Dick *still*
is not new. The flare of hungry *familiarity*
when Tim drops to his knees and grabs Dick's
hips.. is.

He pulls Dick back against his chest and carefully,
deliberately looks at Tim.

And waits until Tim drags his own eyes up from
the temptation of Dick's form. There is...

Tim has been a good partner, and often a better
partner than he deserves. And it is this feeling
that he's craved the most with the boy, this
mutual recognition of dark, wordless *need*,
and a body between them, or before them.

The body had, before, always been bleeding -- if
only externally.

Dick is... writhing. Rolling like a living wave in
nothing like pain. Bruce wraps one arm around
Dick's chest and pulls him back against him,
pulls him in much too *hard*.

"Possessive," Tim says. "I'm shocked."

Dick laughs easily, and easily reaches up to curl
one arm around the back of Bruce's neck, tilting
his own head up and back. "Kiss me again."

Bruce uses his free hand to tilt Dick's chin up
further and obeys, and feels himself start to sweat
beneath the suit at the sound -- the *feel* -- of
Dick's low, pleased moan.

And then Dick cries out *loudly* into Bruce's
mouth and pushes closer, sucking his tongue, and
Bruce opens his eyes.

Tim has worked Dick's tights and jock down
around his thighs, and Tim is *on* Dick. Sucking

He wants --

"Oh... *God*." Dick clutches Bruce tighter,
nuzzling wetly at his jaw.

He wants absolutely everything. He slips his free
hand -- he cannot make himself move the other
from around Dick's chest -- down between them,
cupping Dick's ass, and the *feel* of him...

Smooth skin and muscle, heat, *motion*, and
all of it so perfect, so much of everything he's
tried so hard not to think about, not to *need*,
and he can't -- He breathes raggedly against
Dick's forehead and slides a finger down into
his cleft.

"*Oh* --" And Dick bucks and Tim makes a
small, surprised sound and looks up at Bruce.

Another flare between them, another moment
of absolute *agreement*, and Tim slides his
mouth from around Dick and Bruce pushes *in*,
and watches Tim's eyes narrow at Dick's

Dick *reaches* for Tim, and it's perfectly
reasonable, perfectly *understandable*. Dick's
erection is dark and slick with spit, resting in
obscene temptation against the darkness of
the suit's top. But Bruce squeezes harder,
presses *deeper*, and Dick jerks one hand back
to clutch at his arm, rolling his head back and
forth on Bruce's shoulder.

"God -- *inside* me --"

And Tim makes a hurt noise and stands, tearing
at his own suit. He pushes the shorts off entirely,
sliding them past his boots before yanking down
the tights and his own jock. He has never seen
Tim... like this. He needs... "Dick."

"Bruce. *Bruce*..."

He forces himself to stop shoving in with his
finger, and Dick whimpers and opens his eyes.

*Widens* his eyes and stares at Tim. "Oh,
*yeah*." The return of Dick's focus is immediate,
and he reaches for the boy with an easy hunger
even as he tightens his grip on Bruce's arm.
"Come here. I want... yes..."

Tim slides one hand into Dick's hair and twines
the other one with Dick's own, bringing it to his
own hip. There is a curious *comfort* in Dick's
desire for the boy, in being able to see it on
Dick's face before he has to admit he can *feel*
it behind his own.

And it's something infinitely better than comfort
to bury his face against Dick's throat, to let
himself *feel* the way Dick is flexing around
his finger. To feel Dick *want* this, even as...

Bruce can feel Dick's throat working against his
mouth, and looks up just in time to feel Tim's
knees *knock* against the arm he has around
Dick's chest, because Dick is sucking Tim in,
groaning around him and *pulling* him in by
the hip. His lips are stretched and wet. His ass
is hot, *tight*, and Bruce thrusts helplessly
against his own working knuckles.

"Dick," he says, and licks his way into Dick's ear
and *wants*.

And Dick's whimper is muffled, but it must
feel --

"*Dick*, oh *fuck* --" Tim sounds helpless.

He fucks Dick harder and lets himself look at Tim,
lets himself *see* the boy, arching away even as
he pumps into Dick's mouth. His thighs are
trembling, and the slap of his testicles against
Dick's chin is almost mesmerizing. Dick's eyes are
closed, and he's pushing *back* against Bruce's
finger fast -- faster than he wants to *do* this,
and Bruce bites Dick's ear and watches dark
lashes flutter on Dick's cheeks and crooks his finger
inside him.

Tim tightens his hand in Dick's hair and shouts,
shuddering, and Bruce presses his face against
Dick's throat again in time to feel him swallowing.

Tim sounds hurt, half-broken, and for a moment
Bruce can't decide whether it's less intense than
how Dick *feels*, pressed against him and
moving, still *moving*, even when Tim drops
back down to his knees and kisses Dick.

But then Tim works his hands under Dick's arms
and *between* them, pulling, and Bruce does
not want to know what his face looks like. Better
to bury as much of that expression as possible
against Dick's throat until he has some imitation
of control back. When he looks up again, the
darkly sardonic look in Tim's eyes tells him
*everything* he needs to know about how well
that worked.

"I want him down, Bruce. On me."

"Bruce..." Dick doesn't still, but his voice is
almost pleading. It would be too much to ask
for Dick not to be... fair isn't the word. He had
*chosen* Tim, for his own reasons, and the fact
that Bruce doesn't want to let Dick go now that
he has him is no one's problem but his own.


He's almost sure he'll be amused tomorrow,
assuming he manages to avoid ritual suicide.

He kisses Dick's cheek as softly as he can manage
and forces himself to uncurl his arm from around
Dick's chest. Tim makes a soft, greedy sound
and *pulls*, yanking the tunic of his uniform up
and spreading his legs around Dick's waist.

And Dick purrs and reaches *back*, grabbing
Bruce's wrist and tugging until Bruce pushes his
finger deep again. "Both of you. So sexy --
*oh* --"

Bruce lets Dick direct the motion of his hand for
as long as he can, but Dick is also *grinding*
down against Tim, and.

The suit hides nothing, not one shift of muscle,
and Bruce will never be able to watch Dick
twisting and moving without thinking of this.
Without remembering *this*:

The way Dick groans when Bruce bats his hand
away, the way he immediately braces himself
and rocks *back* on him, the way he shakes
when Bruce pulls out.

He strokes the backs of Dick's thighs, cups his
ass, cups his hips and pushes *down*, grinding
Dick harder into Tim. The boy gasps, and Dick
feels so right in his hands, so *perfect*, and it
almost *hurts* to take one hand away, even
just for long enough to release the armor on
his own suit and push his tights down.

Bruce bites his lip at the feel of his own hand,
at the feel of his own *slickness*, and moves
up over Dick's body. Heat beneath him,

"*Yes*, Bruce, do it --"

"I'm still *under* you, Dick."

"You can take it, kid," and Dick laughs, bracing
himself on one hand again and reaching back to
clutch at Bruce's thigh with the other, and it's...
too much.

Exactly *right*, and Bruce slips in between Dick's
thighs, gasping at the feel of it, at the way Dick
*immediately* tightens around him.

"*Bruce* --"

"What --" Tim's hands tighten on Dick's shoulders.
"Oh. I can feel -- *oh* --"

And Bruce watches Dick dive in to kiss the boy, and
licks the sweat beading above the collar of Dick's
uniform and --

*Thrusts* --

"Jesus -- *Bruce* --"

And Dick shudders and takes his hand away from
Bruce's thigh, bracing himself more steadily.
*Flexing* around Bruce and working his hips in
short, sharp motions --

"I can't -- Bruce, make me *move* --"

He growls against the back of Dick's neck and
*slams* down, sliding in the sweat and
pre-ejaculate between Dick's thighs, sliding too
much and not *enough*, because Dick's thighs
are exactly as powerful as they should be,
because Dick is perfect, so perfect, and
moaning into Tim's throat.

Tim's eyes are wide and focused on *him*
and -- there is no reason to deny this, and no
*way* when the head of Bruce's penis brushes
against the boy on every thrust.

Tim shoves one hand into Dick's hair and... reaches
up with the other, cupping Bruce's shoulder.

It's --

"Oh. *Oh* --"

And Bruce watches the boy rip his hand out of
Dick's hair and shove it into his own mouth and
knows *exactly* what he's trying not to say.


And not at all irrelevant, even with Dick's body
working between them, even with the smell of
Dick's sweat making him *seize* inside, making
him *need*. Tim's hand on his shoulder is just
another part of this.

Tim's hand on his shoulder is *permission*, and
Bruce lowers himself, pushing Dick *down*, and
Dick shakes and -- resists. Until Bruce *bites*
the back of his neck, and Dick shouts something
wordless and muffled by Tim's skin and Tim
grunts and moans, breathless and *squeezing*
Bruce's shoulder.

Bruce watches the boy's eyes roll back in his
head and lets himself *feel* it. Soft skin and
hard muscle, the scent of them, *all* of them,
and the way Tim's sounds get quieter *and*
more desperate. The bend in Dick's neck, and
the way every part of him *tenses* when --


Beautiful. Both of them.

Bruce shifts just enough to balance on one hand
and yanks hard on Tim's hair. And lets the sight
of Tim's wide, shocky eyes drive him over the

Tim gives him... not long enough. He digs his
short, even nails into Bruce's shoulder and
*shoves* until Bruce rolls off and away.

And then he shoves at Dick, who rolls to his
other side -- leaving one arm over Tim's chest.

Bruce watches Tim glare at Dick, panting, and
then Tim turns his attention to *him*.

Bruce raises an eyebrow.

"I can't believe you *both* came on me."

Bruce feels himself smile. "Complicated enough
for you?"

Tim's eyes... flare. And narrow. His smile looks
like Bruce's feels. "Why don't we find out?"

And the boy is far too spent for his moves to
be anything but telegraphed, but Bruce isn't at
his best, either.

And Tim kisses like a man forced to use his fists
instead of a favored weapon, angry and game.
Bruce bites the boy's tongue.


And kisses back, moving up and holding on
much too tightly until they're both on their

Desire is problematic.

"Wow," Dick says, and Bruce pulls out of the
kiss to find Dick staring at both of them, one hand
sliding half-absently down the center of his

Tim makes a small, frustrated sound, and Bruce
feels Tim's hand tighten in his hair. He doesn't
have to look to know that Tim is staring at
Dick's hand, too.

"That has to be the most fucked-up kiss I've ever
seen. And I can't say I'm shocked, I'm just..."

Tim doesn't -- quite -- loosen his grip on Bruce's
hair. "Re-evaluating your taste in men?"

Dick smirks at Tim. "I don't get to be the healthy
one *every* day." And then he turns to look at
Bruce, his smile... softening. "Right, Bruce?"

"I'm still waiting for my chance to be the healthy
one," and it falls out of his mouth with nothing
resembling thought, but Tim chokes and Dick
*smiles* at him, open and genuinely happy.

Beautiful and terrifying.

Moreso when Dick crawls over to join them,
wrapping a possessive arm around Tim's waist
and not looking away from *him*.

"I can't believe you got him to make a *joke*,"
Tim says into Dick's shoulder.

"I kept *telling* you," Dick says, and casually
pushes and pulls on Tim until he's... between
them, Tim's buttocks settled on Bruce's lap.

Bruce blinks. "Is that... a suggestion?"

Dick just gives him a sharper smile, and rubs
Tim's shoulders.

Tim looks back over his shoulder at him, eyes
dark and almost entirely unreadable again.


There is... no way on earth he can rationalize
this as an effort to improve his partnership with
the boy.

The fact that it *might* doesn't speak well for
either of them. But then...

Speaking well for them has always been Dick's

Bruce lets himself smile. Wider when Dick
tightens his hands on Tim's shoulders, when Tim
narrows his eyes. He drags his fingers down the
back of Tim's tunic.

And doesn't think about partnership at all.