All our fervent longing
by Te
August 2, 2005

Disclaimers: No one and nothing here is remotely close to

Spoilers: Various AU-ized ones for older storylines.

Summary: *This* isn't necessary.

Ratings Note/Warnings: There's sex in here, y'all. Also,
content some readers may find disturbing.

Author's Note: Jack cruelly put this image in my head,
reminding me that I now have rather a lot more experience
of paralysis and sexuality than once I did.

This is an Intimates interlude, of sorts. It takes place at
least a week after the end of Intimates 6, and won't make
any sense without the others. I will almost certainly be
narrowing down the timeline at some future date.

Acknowledgments: To Jack, Scriviner, LC, and Betty for
audiencing, encouragement, typo-catching, and helpful
questions/suggestions. To Tuppence for detail-work.


Practice and training.


These are concepts which have been larger than their
simple definitions since the first time she pulled on a cowl --

She can be honest with herself for this, and finally: Since
the first time she woke up -- groggy, frightened, and faintly
sore -- within the confines of the Cave. It was Batman and
Robin -- Dick -- who'd taught her the true meaning of these
concepts, who'd let her take the first... steps toward their
shared simulacrum of adulthood.

She will always owe them for that, for more than the simple
fact that their lessons had saved her life more than once.

And here, now, there is also use.

Avatar remains near the bank of computers. She can feel
him the same way she always can -- a gently welcome
weight at the back of her mind and a faint beacon calling to
her other senses, louder with him so very close.

She is moving.

She has deliberately turned away from the spectacles of
themselves they've created, knowing from experience how
easy it can be to become *lost* in the sight of her own
face -- her own *body* -- inhabited by another.

In the reflection of *this* body in eyes no longer precisely
her own.

(A better, clearer reflection -- the boy has always been
careful with the settings of his own monitors, and could
always afford the better, gentler ones. If he ever does
require glasses, it will not be for some time.)

She has stripped the body -- his body, hers -- down to
nudity, and forced herself to experience the Tower
physically. This slim, male (perfect) body feels faintly chilled
at temperatures her own (old?) body finds comfortable.

These fingers appreciate the meticulous lack of dust on the
Tower's surfaces more than her own, which are, of course,
accustomed to the attentions of Kord's excellent servos.

These toes curl against the cool, hard laminate, the same
throughout the entirety of the Tower. She remembers the
first design she'd come up with for Avatar's boots,
trusting -- foolishly -- to her own experiences in this sort of

At the time, she had been somewhat... jealous of the
*boy's* overall design, of his unbridled (for him) enthusiasm
at the chance to model his uniform after the one Kord used
to wear, and the blithe way he had accepted Kord's offer to
craft most of the thing himself before she'd even had the
choice of refusing.

The first time she had set the boy to run, to move through
the city which wasn't -- yet -- her own again, the first time
*after* that when she had called him back to the Tower...

There had been a moment of the sort of chagrin which
could only be described as 'pure,' forcing her to *work* to
push back her blush, her *embarrassment* at the blisters
growing on the boy's feet.

She had remembered, quite clearly, the way her own feet
and ankles had suffered in Batgirl's original boots, and she
had designed Avatar's first boots with that in mind.

She watches these toes curl and recoil -- a little -- unbidden
against the tile. What she had *not* taken into account was
that the tenderness and fragility of an average city *girl's*
feet is almost laughable when compared to the tenderness
and fragility of the feet of a boy raised in a world which
was lushly carpeted and always, always gentle.

She had worn heels regularly -- on various kinds of terrain,
in various kinds of weather -- since the first time her father
had failed to come up with an adequately logical reason why
she shouldn't.

Even now, the boy's feet are more truly 'girlish' than her

She feels herself wanting to smile at the boy's -- her -- feet
and lets it flow and fade onto the face she's wearing.

It feels nearly exactly the way it should -- small and sharp.
"I," she says, "am going to have to abuse you far more
assiduously than I've done in the past."

She can hear the boy clearing her -- *his* -- throat, and
there's the usual vertigo, the sense of listening to a
recording even though she knows it's no such thing.

As for her own voice...

She's going to need a great *deal* of practice and
adjustment at speaking through Tim. Their vocabularies
and speech rhythms have compromised enough that it
never sounds precisely *strange* to hear herself speaking
with a voice belonging to the body of a fifteen year old
boy, but rhythm and word choice aren't precisely enough.

She makes the boy sound... effeminate.

She snorts to herself, and --


The instinct is a good one -- or perhaps just a shared one.
They had made a plan for this trial, based on their wholly
emotional failures with the earlier ones. Within the shared
virtual space, Avatar is still Avatar, and she is still Oracle.

And 'voice' is an irrelevant concept.

And... she has left him alone in her body for quite some
time. Unfair, on a number of levels. She moves 'close'
enough to Avatar to make herself heard and says,


Yes, Oracle, the boy says, and slips back out again.
Into the body the boy is fully capable -- if not yet
*practiced* -- at maneuvering, despite its limitations.

He is very, very good.

Oracle takes a last deep, conscious breath, and a last
thorough look around. She plants *her* bare feet against
the laminate, and lets her body shiver the way it wishes.

And brushes a hand down to her genitals before she can
think about it. She has just enough time to bend before
her hand -- small, square, scarred and entirely masculine
without the distraction of nail polish or feminine clothes
covering the rest of the body -- squeezes her balls in a
move which is viscerally comforting.

And desperately amusing. She watches it happen as much
as feels it -- the nature of reflex, the art of bodyswapping --
and then forces her hand away from herself.

And walks.

She pauses in front of the boy, not quite close enough to
touch. This is mostly conscious on her part, mostly
*rational*, but.

She had made the mistake of meeting the boy's eyes.
They're quite wide behind Oracle's glasses, and he's made
her mouth soft with waiting and apprehension. She frowns,
wondering -- almost -- idly how it appears *now*, and the
boy relaxes in that way she can't help but find attractive:

The woman in the chair straightens her shoulders, and
erases nearly every trace of expression from her face. Her
eyes are hooded again, and thus both perfectly familiar
and nearly perfect.

She nods.

"Would you like some time to... familiarize yourself with the
body before we continue, Avatar?"

"No, thank you," he says, and the sense of 'recording' is
back. The boy is using her most clipped and efficient tone.
And gesturing at the jumble of hand-weights, pencils, and
other 'fiddly' things she had deliberately left within reach.

The primary monitor is filled with an assortment of
typing-school gibberish, phrases and fragments designed
to let nearly anyone learn an unfamiliar keyboard -- or pair
of hands.

"Avatar," she says, because the fondness she feels is so
often helpless.

"Oracle," the boy says, and curls his softer, wider mouth in
a smile Oracle thinks her body must find at least somewhat
strange. It's not too narrow, but the slyness... "You know,
one of my favorite photographs is of you standing just like
that. I couldn't quite manage to get the man you'd beaten
unconscious into the frame, and the blood on your boots
looked far too black in the light, but..."

She remembers the photograph from when she'd
confiscated the boy's collection, and, abruptly, she doesn't
precisely need to. A mere glance down at the hand she has
on her narrow, bony hip, at the way that hip is *tilted*. She

The boy shivers from the waist up.

"Practice," she says, "Will make perfect."

"Yes, Oracle," he says, and smiles.

"Come with me."

He is slower in the chair than he could be, but she knows he
is teaching himself, using the opportunity -- the small
freedom she's allowing -- to learn this as best he can.
And --

No, he's not watching her, at all. The boy's focus is
admirable nearly to the point of insult... though she
supposes that the walk she'd gotten so much attention for
as Batgirl probably loses a little something in the...

And more for a boy like Tim.

She smiles to herself, feeling her eyebrows wanting to draw
down to make the smile much narrower than it warrants,
and doesn't let them. By the time she has crawled onto the
bed (it... feels very low, but not terribly so) and settled
herself against the headboard, it feels correct on her face.

Her body...

It takes a moment to work out the strangeness -- though
part of this, she's sure, is due to the distraction of watching
'Barbara Gordon' wheel with distracted determination
toward her -- and then she looks at her legs.

Stretched out straight in front of her, rigidly still.

Waiting for her to push herself down into something
resembling a comfortable position and cover herself for
another morning.

For a moment -- just a moment, but still -- she can't do
anything else with them. However, it really is only a matter
of... routine. She forces the smile to stay on her face and
flexes her toes, and bends her knees, and... sprawls.

Undoubtedly, if the boy had had access to the Cave in the
days before she'd caught him, he would have pictures of
this, too. This is, after all, the pose she had used most
often -- and most consciously -- whenever Bruce had
decided to leave her alone with Dick for an extended
(relatively) period of time.

(Just enough time for the boy Dick had been to work up
the nerve to Approach, once again, and for her to rebuff...
once again.)

There had been something more than a little unnerving in
Bruce's behavior, now that she considers it. That particular
*brand* of indulgence...

It's just that it had also been somewhat... sweet. At the
time, she had never had any difficulty believing herself to
be an equal in Bruce's little conspiracy, after all. In her
mind, only Dick's position had been a subordinate one.

And so, while there has never been anyone with either the
right or the will to attempt to tackle her down on her back
on *this* bed, it's an easy enough position to fall into:
resting on bony elbows, thighs spread -- the abrupt *shift*
in this body's genitalia will be something to grow
accustomed to. She shakes it off internally and plants the
feet securely and casually in a way she hasn't been able to
do in years. It's a position of blatant *offer*...

Even if, in those days, it had only been to tease.

Dick had been so very young.

Though, considering...

She watches the boy lock the chair, and then check to make
sure he'd done it completely -- twice. He still isn't looking --
precisely -- at her, but that's more than fair. It had taken
some time for her to become comfortable with the
mechanism of transferring from chair to bed, even though
she'd been paralyzed for months before being allowed to
even try it.

It had taken much, much too long for her to stop trying to
use those parts of her body she couldn't, anymore.

The boy is...

She lets herself frown as she watches, knowing the boy --
if he notices, considering the loss of peripheral vision -- will
take it as merely a critique of his form. If this, through
some impossible chain of events, were *Dick* in her body,
that body would surely be in the bed already, through some
improbable use of her upper body strength and Dick's own
unconscious -- *ingrained* -- athleticism.

And Dick's expression would have nothing like this focus on
the task, this concentration on every single *detail* that
she can read in the -- familiar -- furrows on that face's brow.

It doesn't matter that it's unfair -- it had stopped mattering
for both Dick and herself years ago. In her mind, Dick is still
the boy she should blush to even consider kissing, whereas
*this* boy...

Tim is hers. Dick... will always be Barbara's.

And, for now, Tim is a twenty-seven year old woman staring
grimly at a mattress, and flexing biceps Oracle can't help
but... admire.

"Pretend," she says, and attempts to make her voice sound
only indulgent, *only* pitying, "that it's a particularly broad
and forgiving vaulting horse."

"I..." Tim flushes, making the face seem even more alien
than it had when the boy's expression had merely been too


The boy's hands -- long-fingered, strong, less scarred than
they have any right to be -- flex on the edge of the bed. "I
never realized how sarcastic... that voice sounds."

"And you wondered why Karen so often wanted to pummel
you into a stain. And Helena, for that matter."

The boy looks up at her through a fall of red, mussed hair
and smiles in a way Oracle knows for 'rueful,' despite the
way the drop of those eyebrows makes the whole thing
look rather more aggressively ominous. "I just thought it
was my personality."

Oracle hitches herself up a little further on her elbows
 and -- deliberately -- crosses one leg over the other, letting
her foot dangle and swing. It really is quite impressively
dainty. "Come now, Avatar. All *sorts* of people have
found you charming... once they got to know you."

Oracle can honestly say she's never seen those eyes -- her
eyes, really, though it's getting even harder to think of
them that way -- look quite so *glazed*.

She doesn't need to enter the virtual space to know what
she'll find -- entirely inappropriate-for-even-Oracle images
of Jason, but she does, anyway. It... suits this time,
between them.

Oh, I...

Shh. She moves to the boy's avatar, ignoring, as best she
can, the images -- *memories* -- of Jason entering the
boy from the back. This is something she knows well
enough from her experience of the boy's fantasies, and
better -- to some extent -- from the recent memories she
has, for the most part, let the boy keep private. It's still,
somehow, more lurid than anything else. Even considering
the boy's memories of Roy.

She moves closer still -- until she can loom, somewhat.
Avatar to *Avatar*. She wraps one arm around the boy's
waist and pulls even as she lets the other hand cover the
boy's eyes, and --

Inside the memory everything is a jack-knife, a whip-crack,
a sharp and deadly violation of everything she is, everyone
she used to be.

Jason is *fucking* them, fucking *her*, and all she can do
is take it, all she can do is *accept* --

No, Oracle, no, it's good, it's so --

She knows it is. For Tim. Avatar, she says, you have
always been so very... open.

There are... perquisites, the boy says, and even
though their conversations -- for her -- bear far more
resemblance to text than anything else, she can't help
but think of it as a particularly inviting whisper.


Here, I... let me?

A question, and an honest one. This boy would never
approach, nor presume. Not with her. Yes, she says, and
the boy's avatar melts and shifts within her arms,
becoming something far more dangerous, far more
*pointed* before --

Before --

Oh, she feels herself say, feels herself *become*. The
penetration is a virtual one, and far less thorough than
anything she's ever done to the boy -- physically or
*not* -- but... still...

I just... I need to find... there.

All at once, she is living the memory of the second -- no,
fourth -- time she had taken the boy. The first time she
had done so with nothing between them but a sturdy
latex glove. She remembers not being able to stop from
squeezing the boy's slim thigh much too hard with her
free hand even as she feels herself doing it once more,
feels/sees/*knows* herself driving her fingers into the
boy harder when he stiffens.

Yes, I... oh, Oracle...

Show me what I need to see, Avatar.

And the boy moves them *together*. She knows,
intellectually, that their bodies are probably slumped and
twitching in some deeply embarrassing way, but the
knowledge is smoke and ash compared to feeling --
feeling --

She is Tim, and Oracle has him, Oracle is *taking* him,
almost --

Oracle is *claiming* him, fucking and using and -- driving
him out of his mind and out of his --


You... you see?

She... 'pushes' isn't an accurate term, at all, for this, but
it works.

Oracle --

And then she drives her avatar's fingers deep within the
boy's mind once more, and... yes. Jason.


Jason himself is nearly irrelevant, a moot point sketched
in muscles and scars and raw physicality --


Jason is his thick, practiced -- judging by *her* records --
penis and his impossibly large, impossibly powerful (Bruce)
hands. Jason is the vehicle for something very like a
profound -- and profoundly *visceral* -- transcendence,
and every time she cries out in pleasure/pain --

So *good* --

-- she is that much farther from everything Tim has never
cared to be.

Close... so close --

She pulls back enough -- *just* enough -- to be able to feel
*and* think about the orgasm ripping through him, through
them both -- *again* -- and strokes the avatar in her
avatar's arms as gently as she can.


Yes, she says, and *now*.

She blinks and shifts her body -- and her lower body --
until it feels something like correct again, and watches the
boy shiver within his own.

"Your arms are powerful enough, now, to take that strain,

He freezes for an instant, and looks a wordless question at
her through the fall of red hair.

Oracle just nods, and watches.

The boy utterly fails to *vault* onto the bed -- she can
excuse it, considering the strain and lingering effects of
what they'd just done, considering that *she* still feels it,
to the point where she has to dig her nails into the
mattress to keep from reaching for her... for her *penis*.

The boy... crawls close. *Slithers*, almost, using his elbows
in a motion she'd taught him especially for moving through
ductwork, but it... works, in some very curious ways.

The visual effect is nearly disturbing and absolutely alien...
though it's good to know that, should she ever need to
move in a way like this one (a fire, perhaps?) *and* was
trapped in that body, it could be done.

He pauses when his head is level with her slim, hairy thigh.

"To the pillows," Oracle says, and the boy nods and
continues, tensing hard when Oracle strokes over his


Even through the thin t-shirt, Oracle can feel the humped
obscenity of her multiple sets of surgical scars.

"What... caliber gun. Was it?"

"A .45 -- hollow-point bullet," she says, absently, and
watches the boy do his level best to assimilate the
information in the same way he would something infinitely
more safe.

She tugs the shirt up and looks for herself, brushing
(curious?) fingertips over the network of scar tissue that
had so *effectively* altered her entire world. She'd seen
it before, of course -- there had been so very *many*
mirrors in her father's house -- but not in quite some

The scars never itch quite enough for her to need to see
them in more detail than one of the servos' cameras can
offer, and still...

Still, it seems very strange that the healing should be so
complete. From this angle, it's not even a square foot of
scarring -- with quite a bit of entirely clear skin within
that square.

It's so very small.


She pauses, wanting to look for the frightened little girl
who had called for her, wanting to *help*, even though
she's fully aware it's only an illusion of circumstance.

The boy swallows. "My -- this body..."

The urge to flinch must be incredibly violent and powerful
by now. "Shh," she says, and turns the boy safely over
onto his back.

There's sweat on his brow, and a significant *part* of the
flinch he's been so dutifully repressing is pulling his
expression out of true, and --

And the face doesn't, quite, have any wrinkles yet, but she
can see how they'll look in a few years. Crow's feet and
frown lines and the line on his -- her -- forehead which
isn't ruler-straight. She smoothes them down, fully aware
that the next time she touches the boy with her *own*
fingers, there'll be an entirely new depth of familiarity.

The look which replaces the anxiety in the boy's eyes says
he knows the same.

And when she touches the boy's mouth (it's strange,
perhaps, that the last time she remembers doing anything
of the kind was some few hours after the *first* time Dick
had dared to kiss her.), he turns to follow her hand, lips
soft and... willing.

She raises an eyebrow, and waits for the boy's flush to
change the face back, once more, to something safely

And then she kisses him, on the mouth. Soft at first, and
dry, but the boy's shiver is as perfect as any timer at
letting her know precisely when she's let it go on much too
long. Long enough for the boy to begin kissing her back.

There's something like a tenderly violent *stutter* to the
way he does it, the breaks between instinct, desire, and

His eyes are closed and, when Oracle cups the muscular
caps of his shoulders, she can feel the *tension* there,
and knows how very much effort the boy is putting into
not reaching for her.

This, too, is familiar... if never in quite this way.

She lets her tongue slide into the boy's mouth gently,
starting at the taste of her own coffee, of the chamomile
tea she had begun drinking earlier in the afternoon in
deference to her own body.

It should feel like a first kiss, an awkward and inappropriate
transgression -- the boy can't seem to decide whether to let
his lips close around her tongue or to leave his mouth open
and slack for invasion.

He had never been quite so *hesitant* about any other part
of his body... but then, there were any number of reasons
why she hadn't touched him until long after others had.

She'll have to review the tape of the boy with Dinah to see
if he'd kissed her the same way... though she's nearly
entirely sure he hadn't.

"Avatar," she whispers, after gathering enough control to
pull her voice into a deeper, truer register.

"Oh..." His eyes are *squeezed* shut, now. "Oh, God..."

"You... feel how much this will change things," she says,
stroking the boy's cheek with her thumb and wondering,
idly, if Revlon still makes the shade of blush she had once
favored. "I know you do."

"Yes," he says, and flicks his tongue over his lips, rapid
and -- unintentionally -- teasing.

Unbidden, she remembers the time she had allowed Dinah
to watch her exercise, and the way she had been unable
*not* to feel the way she had seemed to focus on
individual parts of her body -- flexing shoulders, straining
wrists, bound and still thighs.

It had been... something of a revelation, in all honesty, even
beyond the obvious ones revolving around Dinah's
(apparently more flexible than she ever would have credited,
once) sexuality. Dick had never seemed to see her as
anything but a concrete whole -- a being *dis*crete from
the rest of the universe. The boy...

It's her *own* mouth she's focusing on so intently at this
point, and while some of her distraction can surely be
blamed on the fact that the body she's inhabiting belongs
to a boy who has never managed to be precisely
*unappreciative* of her charms...

That's not all of it.

"Um... Oracle..."

"Yes, Avatar? Tim."

Another shiver. "Is this... will I..."

The boy moves his head awkwardly, and it takes a moment
for Oracle to realize that it's not, actually, an attempt at
nuzzling. The motion is familiar to the deeper parts of
herself, an offer of intimacy, for her to reach within the boy
and *take* whatever it is he's finding it difficult to say. And
it would be easier, but... not for this. "Tell me, Tim."

"Is this... about Dick?"

There's a temptation to respond with a joke -- perhaps
even several -- but that's not for this, either. "If things go
according to plan," she says, and smiles.

The boy nods slowly. "You've... planned this according to
your observations and theories about Dick's sexual

She nods.

"Impressive," the boy says, smiling. "Barbara."

She starts, despite herself, and laughs. "I must admit, I'm
not -- entirely -- sure whether 'Barbara' would be more or
less appropriate for this than 'Babs,' but... go with it. For
now." She leans in, again, and --

"Wait --"


"I'm just wondering..." And the boy frowns, for a moment,
and then reaches up with a nearly grim sort of
determination to stroke her cheek with the backs of his

The boy had shaved before arriving -- on her orders -- but
there's still the fascinating catch and prick of stubble.

The fascination is in the boy's own eyes, as well.

"Focus, Tim."

He blinks, and smiles ruefully. "Sorry. I was wondering if,
as much as I'm helping this body grow accustomed to this...
variety of contact, I should be helping accustom your..." He
swallows. "If I should be calling you 'Dick?'"

Oracle shifts to cover the boy and straddle his waist. They
both lose a moment to the sight of her penis dragging over
his t-shirt before it bobs back to its half-erect status.

They both recover.

"Do you *want* to call me 'Dick,' Tim?"

This close, she can feel the boy's groan with the insides of
her thighs. It makes her... flex in a fascinating way.

"Was that a yes?"

"I... I..." He squeezes his eyes shut. "Oracle --" And then
he bites his lip.

"Perhaps we'll save that for when we're more practiced at
other things," she says and reaches for both of the boy's
hands, bringing them up to her mouth. And kisses them,
very gently.

"Oh -- *God*."

"Tim," she says, and... indulges herself. She doesn't think
she'll ever be quite so *relentlessly* oral as the boy, but
there's an undeniable pleasure in licking the salt from his
fingertips, in pressing her tongue to them and trying to
distinguish the feel of his fingerprints.

"B -- *Oracle* --"

"Open your eyes, Tim."

He does, and Oracle watches the boy's face -- *her* face --
open with undeniable fascination at the sight of his fingers
sliding between her lips.

She doesn't *suck* them -- she's almost sure this is
something Dick saves for the men in his life (and, perhaps,
for the alien princess), but does make a point of letting Tim
see her *enjoy* the feel of his fingers in her mouth.

She doubts her enjoyment has much, at all, in common
with her theory of Dick's, but... still. Her boy, and the sheer
number of ways she can *consume*.

"I want to taste you," she says, entirely honestly -- if
somewhat frustrated by the fact that *what* she wants to
taste is out of reach, at the moment.

"Please," he says, and Oracle can't help but shudder, a

There have been so many times when she's imagined,
fleetingly, begging just like that.

She moves backwards a bit and tugs on Tim's hands until
the boy sits up. She can see the mild surprise -- and
acknowledgment -- of the strength of that body's
abdominal muscles. "Take off your shirt for me, Tim," she
says, and releases his hands.

He does, using both hands to do it. There's some question
in her mind as to whether or not Dick would wait for her
to take her sports bra off herself -- she's almost sure he
would -- but she lacks the patience to wait for it.

Some part of her does, in any event.

She smiles to herself and bypasses the fastenings entirely,
curling her fingers beneath the elastic band and pulling
the thing -- carefully, those breasts will be feeling very
sensitive just now -- over Tim's head.

His hair falls beautifully, mussing itself even more, and --

She's kissing Tim again before she can think about it,
taking Tim's mouth with her tongue and driving her fingers
into that hair. There's something -- she's almost sure
there *should* be something -- disturbing about her
fascination, but, at this point, analysis is going to have to

"I want you naked," she says, directly into the boy's ear,
and not even the curiously high sound of her voice is
enough to distract -- or detract -- from the way the boy
presses his breasts against her.

"God, I -- *Oracle* --"

She pushes him back -- gently, and shifts again, pushing
the boy's thighs apart. There's a certain solidity to them
in their deadness, and she abruptly understands the boy's
tendency to rest his cheek against one or the other of
them whenever she allows it.

For now, though, there is only the boy's gasp, the
*strain* in his abdomen as he -- undoubtedly -- tries to

"Shh," she says, meaninglessly, and uses the adequate
strength in *these* arms to lift the boy's hips enough to
get the leggings down, and then off.

She had left Kord's ingenious little shunt -- so very much
more efficient than any mere catheter -- in deliberately
after clearing it, and she is anything but surprised at the
way her fingers -- these fingers -- can't seem to stop

"W-what... may I..."

She pulls the boy upright once more and lets him look.
She isn't surprised that he doesn't touch.

"This... explains, in part, I think, why I never see you
consuming solid food...?"

She nods, and guides the boy's fingers to the neat and
nearly-endless needle scars over her -- *his* -- femoral
arteries. "The nutritional supplements are only needed
once a week, but..."

He nods, as well. "Kord's hardware. Stone's... wetware."
He exhales, soft and low. "So *efficient*."

"Mm-hm," she says, and gathers the boy's hands in her
own again, deliberately twining their fingers and
squeezing. "Later," she says, and pulls her face into a
smile both of them have considered in-depth.


"Lie down for me, again."

He nods, eyes much too wide -- or perhaps just wide
enough -- and obeys.

And Oracle spreads his thighs wider, and bends down.

The scent is only a shock in terms of intensity, but this
body registers it as relatively unfamiliar just the same.
Understandable, considering -- she still isn't sure quite
how *much* of these memories she'll allow the boy
access to when they return to their own bodies, and he
has never seen so much as her pubic hair -- but still...
somewhat frustrating.

It's not that she expected this to be precisely easy -- there
is only so much one can familiarize oneself with the sight
of one's own genitalia with mirrors and photography (much
less the other senses) -- but the boy's hesitation... hm.

"Avatar," she says, in the voice of command.

"Yes, I --"


They come together in their shared virtual space so
easily -- too easily, in some ways -- that Oracle's avatar is
reaching within the boy even before she fully loses
awareness of the scent of her -- *his* -- arousal.

What... what do you need?

I have it, she says, and shows the moment Tim had first
decided, with some (unsurprising) degree of both chagrin
and relief that Oracle would *never* allow him to make it
beyond second base... as it were.


And now, she says, we need to *share* this.

The boy's penetration is as gentle as before, as *efficient*
as before, moving them both into something entirely more

His/their mouth is sore, the tongue tired from working --
futilely -- on Oracle's nipples. The boy feels so young, and
she looks so uncertain, however relatively.


And this... is different from the necessity of moderating the
boy's nightmares, or even -- temporarily -- alleviating the
effects of some of his more vivid desires and fantasies.
*This* isn't... necessary.

You... want to change me.

Only a little? She says, and lets her avatar shudder in a

After a moment, the boy joins her in more than just the
impossible 'visual' representation of their intertwined
selves. I... consent, if that's what's needed.

Needed. It doesn't matter that this *isn't* what the boy is
referring to; it's still so very, very telling.

I'm ready.

A little more... hope, she says, and hopes it will be enough.
This rewiring of the boy's internal self, this rewriting of the
boy's beliefs and assumptions surrounding their entire

It's actively terrifying, even though she's already *doing*

Is this what it means to be impetuous? Or is it something
more like desperation?


Easy, Avatar. I... have you.

I... need to...

Adjust? Almost certainly. But... Avatar.

Y-y-yes -- oh God -- oh God, why did you let me think
you'd never -- never --

There are so many things which could be said to that. So
many *true* things.

Oracle -- *why*?

In the end, however, it's perhaps fitting -- for both of
them -- that the best possible thing she can say is, at best,
only partially honest.


Because I needed you that way, Avatar.

Oh -- f-fuck -- *please* --

Outside, Avatar. *Now*.

It feels like collapsing, like *falling*, and then it doesn't,
and she's braced once more above the boy's pubis,
fascinated by the almost gingery cast to the hair there,
and... yes.


The rewriting process she had begun with them still in the
shared space is finishing itself with bursts of painfully
bright *emotion*. She needs -- *hungers* for -- the boy
to spread his -- *their* -- lips, she needs to see, and know
this, and have this, too.

It is, after all, merely another barrier before the completion
of their intimacy -- perhaps even the last one.

And the way the boy is moaning suggests, more than mere
words could, what she knows about the shape of her own
mind, now.

The boy's body -- her body -- *their* body -- craves an end
to this separation, as well. How *better* to bind him to her
than through *this*? And oh -- God --

She had never considered the possibility that changing the
boy, at this point, would change her, as well.

She hadn't given herself the *time* to do so.

"Oracle -- so... so *human* --"

Less than that, or deeper than that. *Animal*, and the
sound the boy makes at the first touch of her tongue to
his clitoris is high-pitched even through *that* body's
throat, a shout edging toward a shriek.

Oracle braces herself on one hand and presses down on
the boy's hard, flexing abdomen with the other. Of course
that body would react this way, of course it would yearn
to *move* --

"Oh God, I thought -- I thought --"

Oracle presses harder and licks more assiduously, moving
down to the boy's vagina only in *part* because she knows,
full well, that the sensations there will be less intense --

"Oracle, please, *explain* --"

She lets her tongue stab in once, again, and then stops --
tries to stop. Interesting. There's an *urge* in this body to
provide the sort of near-punishing stimulation which...

... it knows perfectly well is what *that* body prefers.

She can't decide whether or not she regrets not spending
more time on the breasts.

"*Oracle* --"

She kneels up, stroking the boy's thighs in a motion she
knows will be anything but soothing, until the boy's gaze
meets her own, shocky and -- perhaps suitably --

"What -- I --"

"To answer your question, the sensitivity is far less intense
than it... used to be." She strokes the boy's thighs again.
"As you can see."


"But, Tim... didn't you ever wonder why I owned quite so
*many* toys in the first place?"

The boy flushes and turns away. "I... had thought those

"Just for you?" Her hand is almost aching with the need to
*enter* the boy, and she knows that this desire is almost
entirely her own. "Many of them were. After I'd had the
opportunity to examine your tastes."

The boy squeezes his eyes shut. "I can't... I can't
*move* --"

"No, you can't. And there is so very, very much you can't
feel," she says, raising her hand between them until he
focuses on it, and then jabbing two fingers against her
mound hard enough to bruise it.

Neither of them will ever feel it as more than a moderately
disturbing shift in texture.

And then she raises the hand again and shoves those same
two fingers into her mouth, licking them to messy, shiny --
obvious -- wetness. "It's a little like bondage, don't you
think, Tim?"

"Oh... *God* --"

"You can see me, and you can feel me," she says, and slips
her fingers *in*.

"*Oracle* --!"

"But... you really can't do *anything* about it."

The boy flexes around her fingers, arching -- *sitting* --
nearly upright even as he grabs the sheets hard enough
that his knuckles are white.

"You're helpless."

"You... you -- *please* --"

"Yes, Tim," she says, and begins to thrust in a way so hard
and fast that she's never once been able to imagine Dick
doing it for her. "I'm helpless, too."

The boy screams again, pushing up with his hands in a --
mostly futile -- attempt to shove his hips down onto her
hand before falling back to the bed and grabbing for a
pillow to shout against.

He looks... the desperation isn't new, nor is the intensity
and confusion of *feeling* eminently visible in the boy's
expression. It's only what the boy always gives. On *that*
face, however...

There's an urge within her to offer comfort, but neither of
them have any reserves for that sort of thing, not really.

And everything she can think of which *Dick* would say,
or do...

It's too much, and wouldn't be especially helpful. Not at
this point.

"Avatar," she says, letting her voice be clipped and hard,
even though that also makes it sound *most* like the boy's

"Oracle, I... I can't --"

"Don't fight me," she says, and pulls her fingers out, shifting
to stroke the wetness over her penis, and -- She groans,
because the intensity is... *different*, and entirely
unfettered by physical limitations.

"Oh, God -- God -- *condom*."

That, however, is a very different *sort* of desperation,
and Oracle smiles, knowing it would be sharp on either of
their faces. "Don't worry, Avatar. That body is as sterile as
my... avatar."

The laugh is shocked -- almost scandalized -- and it relaxes
the body beneath hers just *enough*. Of course, the boy is
smaller than most of her toys, but... still...

She hears herself moaning, low and desperate, and --

"Oh -- *yes* --"

-- and has just enough internal coherence left to berate
herself for not ordering the boy to perform *this* particular
act -- penetrating a partner -- more often before she can't
do anything but *thrust*, awkward and embarrassingly
graceless, embarrassingly *unpracticed*.

Dick -- Dick would be --

She can't think of him now, like this, she can't *think*.

The boy's vagina is a viciously tight *pressure* around her,
wet heat and rhythmic -- visceral -- encouragement --

Or --

Perhaps that's only the sounds the boy is making, turning
her... turning them *both* into some sort of pornographic
*fantasy*, all tossing hair and rising, spiraling cries.

"Oh please -- *please* --"

Harder, she *knows* that means harder, and she can --
this body can *do* that, it *needs* to, but -- "*Avatar*,"
she growls, in a voice she's reasonably sure the boy never
knew he was capable of, and fights her own need to

And gives up, entirely, when the boy rears up once more
and *pulls* her down on top of him, nipples dragging
against her chest and short nails digging into her back.


The boy spasms and flexes around her, and she wonders,
driftingly, if he had been able to feel her ejaculate.

It's the hands on her shoulders which, eventually, allow her
something like focus again. They're not squeezing, or
pushing, so much as... examining.

It's the sort of touch Oracle has had far too much
experience with, and it allows her to move, rolling onto
her side away from Tim.

"I... sorry. I couldn't breathe."

Oracle is somewhat tempted to frown, but, even beyond
the aftermath of a truly satisfying adrenaline surge, she
can't quite get beyond the fact that she had, apparently,
passed out. She shakes her head at herself. "Inside."

"Yes," he says, and they go.

Her avatar is entirely correct. The boy's is... not, though
it's difficult to tell why, at first 'glance.'

I... oh, he says, and brushes a gauntleted
impression of a hand over his crotch. His image shrinks
with a wince.

I'm rather fond of your penis, Avatar. Bring it back.

Already... done. Well. That was --

She stops him with a hand.


Yes, she says, and sinks back into herself as slowly and
carefully as she can. Post-orgasmic chill, wetness which
goes... she can't, entirely, tell how far it goes. She
reaches with a harmless sort of curiosity she doesn't care
too examine too deeply and strokes over her own soft,
scarred thigh.

And brings her fingers to her face.

By the scent, it's more her than him, which makes sense --
the boy has been ejaculating rather more often, recently,
than he'd done in the past.


She raises an eyebrow, and turns to find him staring at her
hand. The avidity on his face is hard, and familiar only in
terms of computer equipment and weaponry. She raises
the eyebrow a little higher. "Suck them."

He does, wrapping his hand -- gently -- around her wrist
and tugging it to where he can get the best possible angle.

His lashes are a damp smudge on his cheeks, and Oracle
can't help but wonder how long she'll be able to resist the
urge to switch with him for at least long enough to make
him suck her off.

She wonders... how it would *feel*.

She tugs once and the boy groans, but releases her quickly

And looks at her with a steady directness which ought to
feel disconcerting, but, at this point, only leaves her feeling
even more uselessly speculative. "Yes, Avatar?"

"There are... two things."

She nods.

"First, I think we should... strive to avoid our memories of...
*our* prior sexual encounters, at least until we've had time
to adjust."

She nods, again. It isn't any particular surprise that he
knows she had effectively rewritten herself, too. A sharper
edge of emotional connection between them, and there
really is no telling, at this point, just how much the fact
that the boy -- as of now -- had *hoped* for that sort of
thing will change the way they both remember --
*feel* -- all prior acts of... intimacy. It will be interesting
to go over the logs at a later date.

"And then there's... the other." He frowns, gaze dropping
to the bed for a long moment.

"Tell me," she says, and watches herself reaching to cup
the boy's face with something like bemusement. They're
already in *bed* together. *Naked*.


"And *look* at me."

He does, and, while most of his face is perfectly still,
perfectly *normal*, his eyes are almost wild.

It's the sort of look he tends to reserve for Jason's use.

"I'm not... precisely... sure. How much of that was about...

It doesn't -- quite -- manage to make it to question status.
"Practice *will* make perfect," she says.

The boy nods, slowly.

"Avatar," she says, and pulls him to her until he's close
enough to kiss, softly.


She watches herself do this from... not nearly far enough
*outside* herself, and watches herself shift and pull the
boy even closer, until his face is pressed against her

"I don't think... it was a little change," he says.

The feel of his breath on her throat makes her shiver.

"But... we'll adapt."

Oracle nods, and closes her eyes.

And strokes the boy's hair.