All the affections
by Te
December 8, 2004

Disclaimers: No one and nothing here belongs to me.
I'm just the obsessive fangirl.

Spoilers: None, really. A few vague references to a
lot of older storylines. The timeline for this is
distinctly vague, taking place before the TT reboot
and... *hand-wave*.

Summary: Tim has never been in a training
situation quite like this one.

Ratings Note: NC-17.

Author's Note: Every once in a while, a girl has to
pause, take stock, and write the happy version to
one bleak AU or another. Shamelessly, even.

This is the one for "As you and I go down," which
you may or may not want to read first. Diverges --
rather radically -- not long after the incident with
Bruce's new informant.

Acknowledgments: To Jack, LC, Mary, and Livia
for audiencing, encouragement, and helpful


There's something... *different* about training like

Beyond the obvious, that is.

He has never been less aware of the presence of the
Case. Of the suit which he'd worn, once, for the
sake of proving a point. Thoughtlessly worn.

The first thing Bruce had done with him -- the first
*part* of his training -- had been merely to stand in
front of the Case, opened to receive the suit which
had been cleaned of every smudge he'd left on it,
and listen to a litany of Jason's final injuries.

Bruce had pointed out which of them would've been
fatal in their own right, and...

It had been the first step on the road to *his*
becoming Robin: Taking the boy who he'd watched
from a dozen rooftops and making him into a

Except that now...

"You're zoning, new kid. Am I gonna have to tell

There are any number of ways in which that
statement is disturbing. Not least of which is the
fact that it is, actually, spoken aloud by a boy who
is, actually, Jason Todd.

Tim isn't sure how he'd ever imagined Jason could
*fit* in a case. He's...

Tim settles for raising an eyebrow.

Jason smirks at him and twirls Tim's staff over his
fingers. Slightly more pressure would extend it,
and possibly knock out one of Jason's teeth.

Possibly one of the ones which had been knocked
out by the Joker the *first* time Jason was alive.

"Aw, just say it."

He knows exactly what Jason wants him to say.
It's... they've developed something of a rhythm for
this sort of thing, and --

"You know you want to."

It's one of the beyond-the-obvious differences.

Jason twirls the staff like a cheerleader's baton. And
smirks a little wider.

Daring him. He's never trained *with* someone
before. Not like this. And --

Tim blocks the hit easily -- it is *his* staff -- but he's
still glad he's wearing the gauntlets. The next one
flies well over his head, and he catches the staff
and yanks on the third.

Not fast enough -- Jason has a good grip.

He's going to lose this battle if it comes down to
strength. *If* it does.

Tim yanks again and drops into a controlled fall,
knocking Jason off-balance just enough to make
Tim's kick worth something.

"Oh, you little *prick*," Jason says, faking a grab
for Tim's ankle and kicking out at Tim's exposed

Jason's boots don't have the split-toe. Instead,
they have a great *deal* more steel. He's going to
bruise badly.

Tim lets his knee bend in reaction -- and just a
little more than that. When he fakes a toss -- he
wouldn't *actually* throw a tangler at Jason's
face -- Jason flinches, and completely fails to dodge
Tim's kick to his pectoral.

The *heel*-kick, because that's where *he* has the

"Dude, you got my fucking *nipple*," Jason says,
and scowls with exaggerated ferocity.

"You started it," Tim says, before he can think.

There's a light dancing behind Jason's eyes.

He knows what's coming. He can't stop it.

"Gonna tell Daddy on me?"

Tim makes a face.

"Sayyyy it. Say it." Jason is rocking on his heels.

"Please stop calling Bruce 'Daddy.' At least where
I can *hear* you."

Jason snickers and grabs Tim's ankle -- it's a
playful grab, and thus there's no reason *to* dodge
it -- holding on tight and leaning in until Tim's knee
is bent back to his chest.

Tim raises an eyebrow.

"You *know* it would be sicker to call him

There are any number of ways to respond to *that*.
Ways which, perhaps, lost a bit of accuracy
considering the boy whose skin -- he knows -- is
as warm as his own.

Jason looks at him with impatient curiosity.

"I'm considering."

Jason snorts, and rests more of his weight against
the underside of Tim's boot. And frowns. "How
long *can* you stay in this position?"

"Why do you want to know?" He really didn't mean
to say that.

But Jason doesn't look shocked, or non-plussed,
or anything but... amused.

Perhaps moreso now that Tim can *feel* himself

And then Jason lets go, and Tim moves back onto
his feet, dodging the smack -- he also knows -- is
aimed more toward mussing his hair than hurting

He wonders if it was like this when Dick was Robin
and Barbara was Batgirl.

Or... perhaps not quite like that, but --

He blocks the jab aimed at his ribs and skips back
out of Jason's range.

Jason advances. A step.

Tim thinks about -- no. "The staff-work. You *did*
say you wanted to learn."

"That was *before* you kept getting distracted on
me." Jason stands up out of his casual strike
position and spreads his hands. "I'm just trying to
help you *focus*." Another smile. "New kid."

Dead-boy-walking. That's what he's supposed to
say, perhaps with additional taunting of his own.
And then they'll... play.


Tim shakes it off, internally. "My apologies. I have...
a lot on my mind."

The smile on Jason's face slips, a little, but he
doesn't say anything else before tossing Tim his
staff and retrieving one of the spares.


It isn't that Tim isn't accustomed to this sort of...

There have been any number of people in his life,
over the years, who seemed invested in distracting
him, or...

No, that isn't entirely accurate. He's accustomed to
people who seem disturbed when he isn't laughing,
or at least smiling. Who prefer it, for reasons of
their own, when Tim is... having fun.

It can make working with them difficult, and even
occasionally frustrating, but it's also...

He likes it. He likes...

There *should* be people like that in the world,
because otherwise you're left with *only* your
own view of things. People like Jason make it
possible -- even plausible -- that the world is a
different sort of place altogether.

Even though they shouldn't.

Even though he, *specifically*, shouldn't.

Tim watches Jason juggle birdarangs -- they really
aren't as good for distance work as the batarangs,
and Tim has rarely used them for more than
relative emergencies, but Jason *likes* them --

He watches.

The boy in the Case was a brutalized corpse and an
object lesson. An inspiration and a warning.

Jason is something else entirely.

Batgirl announces her presence with a boot-scrape
on the surface of their roof, and Jason catches the
birdarangs one by one, putting them away before
turning to smile at her.

It isn't his usual smile. Barbara had been shot only
a few months before Jason's death. He has,
perhaps, more reason than most to find Batgirl --
Cassandra -- disturbing.

She nods at both of them. Tim honestly isn't sure
*how* she feels about Jason's presence, and isn't
quite sure how to ask.

Or if he wants to. And, in any event...

"You're going in the front," he says. "Robin and I
are hitting the flanks. Look out for the bald man
with the large signet ring. We need him conscious."
Out of the corner of his eye, he can see Jason
fingering one of the birdarangs on his belt.

He can feel Batgirl looking at him. It doesn't feel like
she's waiting for him to say anything else. It just
feels like she's *watching*.

Perhaps gauging his own... reactions. Irrelevant. "On
my signal," he says, and turns back to watch the
Entirely Legitimate Businessmen milling through the
restaurant. Their target is deep enough in the
building to make watching for his movements on
the scope basically impossible.

Irritating, though intelligent. No sniper would be able
to take him.

Jason moves up beside him, only pulling the cape
just far enough around himself to hide any potential
glare from his birdarangs. Batgirl is a deeper shadow
behind them.

"You'll appreciate it when it gets colder," and
marvels at the way the irrelevancy just *falls* out
of his mouth.

Jason sucks his teeth. "You people are soft -- *ow*."

That wasn't him. He turns and sees Batgirl smiling
behind her cowl.

He isn't sure whether to feel validated or disturbed.

He isn't sure which brand of validation he *wants*.


It's Saturday afternoon, and he doesn't really need to
be in the Cave. He could be taking a run, or using
his parents' exercise equipment exactly as much as
he wants to -- since they aren't home to question his
strength or abilities.

There's nothing here he *needs*, but he still hadn't
been able to find the wherewithal to question the
whim which had brought him here.

He absolutely *should* be questioning his reaction to
finding it empty.

This feeling of disappointment is...

He focuses on the weights. He should, perhaps, work
on his acrobatics. At least then he'd *need* to focus.

He used to appreciate the way that weight-training
gave one a great deal of time to think, but just now
it seems far more like a punishment than a perquisite.

He knows where Jason -- probably -- is.

He knows...

He *shouldn't* be disappointed. They hadn't made
any plans, not even for additional training. He hadn't
*planned* on being here, and certainly he's here
rarely enough these days that there was no reason
to expect him, and --

He misses Young Justice. That's -- that has to be
the problem, at least in part. Trying to lead them --
trying just to be *one* of them -- had been
incredibly difficult and *deeply* frustrating, but.

They were friends. People he could be with, and...

Every last one of them had been *precisely* the
sort of person who gave him... this. That needling,
endless sense of being prodded, goaded toward
behavior which was anything but professional.

Even when it should've been. He could -- should,
perhaps -- call Steph. She's working with the Birds
this weekend, but it's early enough, still, that she
might not have gotten out of the house. They

How much of the fact that there are two Robins
now is he supposed to talk about? Is he *allowed*
to talk about?

What *is* he supposed to say to her about it?

She's *going* to meet Jason at one point or another,
because she *will* go out as Spoiler whether or not
the Birds give her the go-ahead to do so. The longer
he takes to call her, the sooner she's *likely* to do

Abruptly and entirely unbidden, he thinks about
some of the ways Steph has chosen to announce
her presence on a rooftop he's inhabiting. Jason
is -- somewhat -- easier to surprise than he is.
Steph has never been especially *averse* to sparring
before... well.

It's terribly *easy* to imagine --

Even though Steph would *know* it wasn't him,
and --

"New kid!"

The weights bang down and Tim sits up much too
fast. Jason's jogging down the stairs, grinning and --

"Bruce said you usually don't show up on the
weekends. Man, you should've said something. I
would've... heh." A glance back up the stairs.

There's a bruise on Jason's neck that has absolutely
nothing to do with their patrol last night, though
it's possible that he'd gotten it earlier when he was
out with *just* Batman.

"Okay, maybe I wouldn't've."

No, it really *isn't* possible. Tim drags his attention
from Jason's throat --

Just in time to be, essentially, shoved back on the
bench as Jason leans over him and checks where
he had the weights set. Jason lets out a low whistle.


"Okay, I was wrong. I wouldn't have guessed you
*could* bench that much."

"I'm thin, not weak."

Jason smirks down at him. And jabs him -- lightly --
on the shoulder.

There's something -- there are *many* somethings
he could say, just now. Their positioning, and the
fact that Jason had, apparently, decided to wait
until *after* working out to shower. He smells like
sweat, and like... like.

There really isn't much Tim can say at all.

"So why *are* you here today? I mean, did you
have a reason?"

Does he need one? Now, perhaps. Tim swallows.

Jason frowns. "You okay? You look a little..." Jason
takes one of his hands off the bar and waves it

"I'm fine. I just... decided to stop in here. For my

The frown shifts into something more speculative,
and *then* into a grin. Jason stands, and offers
Tim his hand. "Then we can *spar*."

Yes. Tim takes Jason's hand, even though he
knows --

The only reason he doesn't hit the floor hard
enough to knock the breath out of his body is
because he *did* know, and was ready to tuck
and roll.

Back on his feet, and Jason's charge sends them
both sprawling. On the *mats*, this time, and
Tim ignores the distinct lack of oxygen for a
leg-lock that lets him roll them over.

Jason grabs for him, but only gets a handful of
t-shirt. Not enough. Tim's on his feet and dancing
out of range of the sweep. If they were suited up,
he'd have any number of things to toss at Jason,
at least enough to make him *pause*. He'd have
the staff.

Then again, if they were suited up, they also
wouldn't really be able to...


Even with their armor, there's still a lot of blows
they have to pull. Still a lot of *danger*, even
just considering the boots.

Like this, the only thing he *has* to pull are the

Jason only really needs to pull the punches and

Like this...

He should be staying out of range. He's faster
and more agile, and can wear Jason out. It's...

It's more fun to stay *in*, to block and dodge
and strike, even though he has to keep jumping
over sweeps and leaving his abdomen somewhat

"Energizer Bunny Wonder," Jason says, and the
punch makes Tim's forearm feel a little like a
tuning fork struck with a hammer.

"I just keep going," Tim says, and gets in a strike
over Jason's ribs which --

Jason hisses and dances back.

Tim pauses. "You're..."

Jason grins ruefully and pulls up his shirt. The spot
Tim had jabbed is, coincidentally, a rather large
bite-mark. An *obvious* bite-mark, because the
teeth in question had drawn blood.

Tim blinks. "Did you... it should be bandaged."

"Eh, I already hit it with disinfectant," Jason says, and
lets his shirt drop. "I'll bandage it before I go out."

Tim knows his eyebrows are up much too far.

He'd know it even if Jason *didn't* snort at him. "Say

"I don't --"

Jason smacks at his head -- nearly catching him,
because Tim had forgotten he'd stepped closer --
and laughs. "Saaaayyyyy iiiit."

"Oh, Christ, fine -- please don't force me to think
about Bruce's probable oral fixation. Or *vampirism*,
for that matter."

Jason laughs and -- snaps his teeth at Tim.

Tim frowns, judiciously. "That's more 'turtle' than
'Dracula,' I think."

"I vant to suck your --"

Jason dodges the side-kick and snickers. "I *might*
have been about to say 'blood.'"

"I *might* have --" Tim drops and goes for a
leg-sweep -- pulling back when Jason jumps and
*stomps*. "-- bought that if I was ten. And

Jason snickers and comes down like a wrestler,
forcing Tim to roll -- not fast enough.

Jason grabs his ankle and yanks, skidding Tim out of
his roll and in range of a punch --

Blocked, and Jason's not close enough for *him* to
get a good punch in, but the chop to his forearm
makes Jason pull back.

And lets him get back on his feet. He's not a boxer.
He shouldn't move back in.

He does, and Jason is grinning at him with his mouth
and his eyes.

"Any other injuries I should --" The uppercut whiffs
close enough to Tim's face that he feels the breeze.
"-- know about?"

"Planning on --" Jason dances back from his
body-blow. "-- jabbing me in the ass?"

He really *should've* seen *that* coming.

And it definitely shouldn't have frozen him.

Jason's punch knocks the breath out of him and he
runs back out of range reflexively, trying and failing
to resist the urge to curl in on himself.

"Whoa, time. Sorry about that, man --"

Tim waves it off and focuses on getting his breath

"You're good?"

Tim nods and stands up straight again, rubbing at
the bruise he's going to have on his abdomen. "I'm...
really not accustomed to doing this... just to do it."

"But..." Jason frowns. "There's so *many* of you."

He has a point. Still... still. Tim shrugs.

"And you were on a *team*."

He'd been reading. "I was the only human after
Arrowette retired. We didn't spar so much as I
tried to help them focus their respective powers."

"Still --"

"Did you?" With Dick and Barbara, of course, but...
Tim resists the urge to glance back toward the
stairs. Maybe with Bruce, too. Maybe back then.

Jason nods, and the look on his face is troubled. It
reminds him quite a bit of the expression on Kon's
face when he'd mentioned that he didn't, really, go
to movies very often.

Like then, it makes him want to shift on his feet.

But... this isn't like then. There really isn't anything
he needs to hide from *Jason*, so... Tim lets
himself smile ruefully.

"We don't... have a lot of chances for this."

Jason snorts, but there isn't much humor in it. "Does
that mean you've got something you'd rather be
doing? That we *should* be doing?"

Staff-work, maybe. If Jason really wants to have it
as an option for the streets. Other than that...

Bruce had made it clear that *he* was handling
Jason's additional training, which makes sense

It makes sense on a number of levels.

"You know, you do this thing where your face..."

Tim blinks and focuses on Jason, and on the narrow
but not especially unkind look on his face. "Yes?"

"Like..." Jason shakes his head and punches his
own palm. "Like I just reminded you that Santa
isn't real, and also you need to go do about six
months worth of algebra homework, but *that's*
fine, because that's the way life works."

Tim raises an eyebrow. "That seems pretty complex
for a facial expression." Certainly for one of his.

Jason grins and spreads his hands. "You're the one
making the face, new kid."

He really isn't. Not anymore.

"Except for when you smile like that."

And, perhaps, blush. No one really... it had sometimes
seemed as though his teammates hadn't *noticed*
when he was smiling. Of course it would be different
like this. With someone... with one of *them*.

"*Now* you look like..."

He really doesn't want to know.


Jason doesn't say anything else, and Tim stops
looking at the floor -- when had he started? -- just
in time for Jason to grab his chin. "Jason, what --"

The kiss...

The kiss is unexpected, among other things.

Like wet, and hard, and demanding, and --

Jason's eyes are closed. That's... somehow that
makes this...

His eyes are closed, and the hand that *isn't* on
his jaw is on his waist. Not... not moving, or
anything like that, just. Holding him in place.

He isn't supposed to move. He --

Jason makes a sound Tim can't classify and *licks*
his tongue, and it's...

It's almost exactly like kissing Steph. Because he's
being given a message. A very *specific* message,
and kissing Jason back --

Really isn't quite like kissing Steph, at all. The sound
Jason makes is very much a *grunt*, and his hand
tightens on Tim's waist and his other hand is in Tim's
hair, and he's -- he's breathing through his nose.

Which reminds Tim that he's fully capable of doing
the same thing, and...

There are -- he knows this -- several thousand
reasons why he shouldn't be kissing Jason -- among
them are his previous assumptions about his own
sexuality -- but somehow...

His eyes are closed now, too.

And they stay that way until Jason pulls back, and
Tim remembers that --

He opens his eyes.

Jason is licking his lips.

Tim blinks.

Jason grins. "*That's* what you looked like."

Like he wanted to be kissed? Like...

Like *what*?

"I..." He doesn't know what he was going to say.
Jason's hand is on his mouth.

"Hey, you okay?"

Is he...

Jason strokes his lower lip, and then drags his thumb
over Tim's cheek --

"Jason... you..."


Tim grabs Jason's wrist -- less sweaty than his palm --
and drags his hand away from his face. "I need to

Jason blinks, this time. "What --"

"I'm..." Sorry? Give my regards to Alfred? Please don't
tell Bruce how much I enjoyed kissing you, as I'd like
to *live*? "I have to go," he says again, and tries to
remember where he'd left his --

He hadn't brought his bag, right.

Just the bike that's subtle enough to pass, and he
can *feel* Jason's eyes on his back and he needs to

He goes.


When he was young, he'd spent a great deal of time
in libraries, for one reason or another.

Mostly for the *one* reason, though.

Libraries are excellent places to be alone, and to
get work done, without actually *being* alone.

And no one finds it odd if you're antisocial in a library,
so there really is a nice sort of... balance.

And there really is a limit to the amount of inanity
he can allow himself, even in a situation like this one.

In a situation like...

Well, he'd purchased a notebook at the pharmacy
down the block from this branch of the library, but
he'd really only needed the *one* page.

Part of him is grateful for that -- a longer list than
the one he has would be both depressing and
horrifying -- but... really.

He's built his existence around *not* being surprised
by much of anything -- including the occasional
explosion which sends him through a plate-glass
window. Being surprised by *this* is...

He has an excuse. There'd been Ariana, and, of
course, Steph. Both of whom he was -- is -- honestly
attracted to. There's even Batgirl, and while his more
personal feelings about her have been more
disturbing than not, they were still...


Dick's name is underlined on his list. It could just
as easily be circled, starred, and surrounded by
boldly accusatory arrows. And then there's Kon.
And Connor. And...


No, a longer list would just be a little too much to
deal with, at the moment. A *complete* list would
make him start wondering if there were, perhaps,
still physicians willing to perform lobotomies.

They wouldn't have to be *good* physicians. Actually
writing down what he's trying very, very hard not to
*think* about the, say, other *side* of 'disturbing
but *there*' attraction would be enough to make
him lose any sort of choosiness about unethical

Time and again, his life has proven to him just how
dangerous a lack of self-awareness can be.

A lack which becomes obvious just because he's
being *kissed* --

He'd still smelled like *Bruce*.

Tim squeezes his eyes shut, closes the notebook,
and slowly, carefully, sets the pen down to keep
himself from snapping the thing between his

He has the knowledge. It isn't, actually, possible
to *not* have the knowledge -- though a good
hypnotist could, perhaps, provide something akin to a
mental bandage -- and, in the end, he has never
preferred ignorance.

Especially not about himself.

And there's really nothing to say that he has to *do*
anything about the knowledge, especially given a
distinct lack of opportunity for...

Well, for *most*.

There *shouldn't* have been an opportunity in the
first place with --

"And there you are. Jeez, you're fucking hard to find
when you want to be."

Jason. He opens his eyes and Jason is sitting across
from him, shifting to get comfortable in the remarkably
uncomfortable chair. And looking at him. Right, he'd
been difficult to find. *Other* people tended to...
they aren't like other people. "My communicator --"

Jason waves him off. "*Find*, not talk to."

"Why?" It really is the question of questions, as far
as Tim is concerned.
"You freaked. Tell me why."

He doesn't bite his lip. "Wouldn't that count as
Jason snorts, slaps his hand down on Tim's notebook,
and starts to spin it on the table.

There's an odd sort of reassurance in the fact that
the idea of Jason opening the notebook is just as
disconcerting as everything else.

"You *don't* think some conversations are better
face to face?"
Some conversations are better never *had*, and
it's tempting to look at Jason like he's frankly
insane -- he's one of *them* -- but...

But. Things had changed. And Jason seems to
believe that this conversation is... something
which needs to happen.

And Jason is *looking* at him. "All right.
You're... with Bruce."
"That's why you freaked?"
No. It *should've* been, but... no. "I..." He doesn't
know what to say.
Jason is... still looking at him. Searching his
expression for cues and clues, yes, but... also just
It's ridiculously difficult not to think about Jason's
tongue. Or Jason's hands under his on the staff as
Tim teaches him form and strategy.  Both of which
thoughts are inappropriate for two absolutely
normal boys who happen to be sitting in a library.
Eventually, Jason frowns. "I never thought of it
as cheating before. Heh. When I was alive the
*first* time."
That really isn't going to stop being disturbing.

"Bruce knew and *I* knew that I'd always be going
back home. And anyway..." The frown gets deeper.
"I think I see your point."
Which is interesting, as he wasn't aware he *had*
a point.
"None of the others were *real*. They weren't...
like us."
Us. "That's... an interesting way to think about it."
Interesting isn't the word.

It's a moment worthy of an eyebrow raise, certainly,
but when Jason does it, both eyebrows go up at
once in a faintly crooked look of amusement that
always seems to suggest that, in a moment, Jason
will punch him. Playfully.

He doesn't. Instead, he stops playing with Tim's
notebook, reaches across the table, and grabs
Tim's bicep.
It seems strange until Tim realizes that he's had
his hands folded in his lap for... he isn't sure how
long. "Jason."
"You want me."
Yes. He would've liked to have more *warning*,
but, yes. That's... Jason's mouth looks very soft. "I
think that's... been established as. I..."

Now he's definitely blushing, but Jason doesn't
laugh at him. He just squeezes Tim's arm, and
strokes with his thumb.
"You say my name like Bruce does, you know.
All..." Jason narrows his eyes. "Like I'm something
you've never seen before."
You are. Aren't. Are -- "You're with him, and I
think --" Tim swallows. It's an excellent *excuse*,
even though it's quite a bit more than that. "I
think --"
This squeeze is nearly painful. "And you're real.
Just like me. Us."
A different 'us.' A question of the shifting nature of
Bat-related... alliances. The nature of reality. A
question of -- "What do *you* want?"

Jason cocks his head at him and... lets go.
The urge to point out that Tim hadn't said anything
about letting *go* is --
"Come back home with me."
-- telling. Irrelevant. "We --"
"I know -- I *think* I know..." And Jason's smiling
again. A suggestiveness that manages a degree of
warmth. Not as warm, perhaps, as -- "What else
you want."
Of course he knows. Jason, after all, isn't *surprised*
by this sort of thing. "Nothing has changed. You're
still --"
Jason snorts, and stands. "Everything's changed,
new kid."
Which is nothing but the truth, all things considered.

All things -- including the fact that he has the
notebook in his hand and he's standing up, too.
Jason's eyes sweep over him like... like.

"Jason --"

"Come home with me."


He shouldn't be surprised. Jason had said 'home,'
and while the Manor was -- *is* -- Jason's home,
He didn't mean the Manor.
He'd meant *here*, on the mats, and Jason hadn't
bothered making his throw a very good one.
He hadn't had to.

"Now," he'd said, with the clear implication that he
was going to say something else, but he hadn't.
He'd just unbuttoned Tim's over-shirt -- not all the
way -- and started...
This. Touching him. His throat. The scar Jason
seems to be, in retrospect, fascinated with. Perhaps
because it could've been a killing wound.
Tim's eyes hurt. He isn't blinking enough.

Jason is on him. Over him. A casual lock with his
left thigh thrown over Tim's own. Braced on one
elbow. Tim could break the --
It's not a pin, or a lock. It's...
"Your pulse is racing, you know."
Jason's fingertips are rough, ticklish. "Yes."
Jason's gaze locks on his own for a long moment,
and then...
No. He doesn't look away. He just strokes down
from Tim's throat over his chest to his --
Holding him. Tim remembers drowning. Nearly
He wishes he had scars for that.

"I should just be kissing you," Jason mutters. He
sounds distracted, but --
Yes. Please.
"Maybe feeling you up a little, but *mostly*
kissing," he says, and squeezes.
The sound Tim makes is high and embarrassing
and --
"But you..." Jason's laugh is a little choked, breathy
against Tim's cheek. "The way you are right now...
if you *were* Bruce, I'd already be on my knees.
Or you would."

Tim closes his eyes. "Jason."
"Uh huh," he says, curiously matter-of-fact, and...
that's the sound of his zipper. "Fuck, Tim."
Rough fingers. Warm -- "Please."
"Yeah," and the kiss is soft -- softer this time than
before, wetter. He's salivating. Jason's tongue --
Jason's *hand*. Callused and strong. Bigger than
his own, and Tim can't feel -- can't think --
"Fuck, *listen* to you --"
He absolutely can't do that.

Paradoxically, the fear makes things -- *this* --
easier. He can move his hands again, into Jason's
hair -- longer than his, thicker -- and feel, yes,
*feel*, and also *pull*.
This kiss is hard, and Jason grunts into his
mouth -- *into* him -- and squeezes again and
strokes harder, faster. They could be positioned
better than this. He isn't at all sure how to do
that without stopping.
He doesn't want to stop. He doesn't --
The shock of it makes him open his eyes again,
but Jason doesn't open his own, or stop kissing,
even though Tim is coming all over his hand.

He means to say 'Jason,' but that isn't what
comes out of his mouth. Understandable,
considering the fact that Jason is chewing on his
lip. (Steph had never --)
It does make Jason pull away, and lick his lips.
He doesn't look smug, or as if he's had another
suspicion confirmed. He looks amused. And
hungry. "Yeah, so I'm still thinking I should
maybe be easing you into this..."
No one has ever 'eased' him into anything.
"But mostly I'm thinking I need to see what you
sound like when someone's fucking you."

Tim feels his hands spasm in Jason's hair without
his permission, but he can't do anything about
that until Jason shifts to kneel over him. At which
point he can... let his hands fall back to his sides.
And shiver.
Jason is straddling him and staring at his... sticky
Tim swallows.
Jason uses his other hand to adjust himself in his
jeans. His. They seem very tight.
Tim swallows again. His hands don't have to be at
his sides, at all.

He strokes Jason's thighs, and thinks about the
strength training he'd never done to any *real*
extent. It was always something for later, for
when he'd gotten more of his growth. Jason, on
the other hand...
When Tim presses, he can feel the sleek, hard
outlines of his quads. He can -- wet sounds.
He looks up -- he hadn't realized he'd stopped --
and Jason is staring at him and licking -- sucking --
his fingers clean.

The look in Jason's eyes is frankly speculative. Or,
perhaps, measuring. Tim *is* aware of the hum of
the generators, and the screech of the bats.
He's just far more aware of Jason above him, and
the way it seems that Jason is making very clear,
distinct plans about what to do to him *next*.
"Jason..." He doesn't have the faintest clue what
he wants to say. He doesn't have any suggestions
less mindless than 'more.'
And Jason's other hand is still over his erection. Still...
not *quite* petting it through the denim. He feels
faintly *absent* as he watches his own hands slip
closer to Jason's, but he also doesn't care.
"Jason," he says, because he can, and slides one
hand between Jason's and Jason's jeans, and looks
up again.

"Yeah," and Jason presses Tim's hand against
The pound of his own heart seems painful. Like it
should *be* painful. Worth more, or perhaps larger
than the scrape of denim against his palm.
"I think... fuck." Jason voice sounds... ragged. "I'm
just *trying* to be good, here --"
"You don't. Have to be."
Jason's nostrils flare and his thumb skates across
Tim's knuckles. "No?" His other thumb is just below
his own lip, wet with saliva. And then Jason leans
in, a little, and that thumb is *on* Tim's lip.
Making it wet. "No."
Jason nods, slowly and thoughtfully. Just as if he
*isn't* pushing rhythmically against Tim's hand.

And then he knocks Tim's hand away from himself
for long enough to open his jeans, and pull himself
out of his boxers. And then he drags Tim's hand
*back*. "Oh --"
"Yeah, just -- Fuck. You're not one of them, Tim.
You're -- ah --"
Hard in his hand. Sleek and -- slick. "No," he says.
"I'm not."
"Oh Jesus -- You're --"
"*Robin*," Jason growls, and stares at him and bucks
into Tim's fist.
Yes. "Robin..."
"*Just* like me."

"*Yes*," he says, and teases Jason a little, just the
way he does --
"Oh -- *fuck* --"
When he's alone. But he *isn't* alone, and Jason
*smiles* at him like he's gotten everything important
right, and tosses his head back.
There are no scars on his throat. Tim wants to bite
him there. And --
He *wants*.
And Jason isn't guiding his hand anymore. Jason is
*riding* the motion of Tim's hand and jerking his
hips and Tim doesn't stop.
He *can't* stop.

Not even when the shadows around them change.

And not when they change back.

Jason's hand spasms on his own, and Tim has just
enough time to realize that it's a *warning* before
Jason gasps and comes in his hand. And on his
shirt. It's...

He'd just jerked Jason off.

He can't really... he can't actually *decide* which
part of that to focus on. Or to try to -- he isn't sure
if he's actually capable of looking away from the
way Jason's panting.

And the way he's rubbing his own come into Tim's
fingers, and the -- the look on his *face* when he
tilts his head forward again. His hair is hanging over
his forehead, and he's smiling like...

The smile wouldn't be out of place on Dick's face, or
even Kon's.

The laugh, however...

"You look completely stunned, man."

"That isn't an... inaccurate reading of my feelings at
the moment."

Jason snickers and squeezes his hand. It feels almost
reflexive to squeeze back. It seems like a good
reflex to have when it makes something behind
Jason's eyes *flare*.

When it makes Jason squeeze *harder*. "Jason."
It doesn't seem to be a word he can *stop* saying.
Especially since Jason is still... He can't remember
the last time anyone had met his eyes for quite this

"Yeah, I..." He strokes Tim's lower lip again, and
then the upper, and when Tim opens his mouth
he pushes *in*.

Only a little, and then pulls out again --

"Fuck. Are you --"


Jason's mouth is open. "Are you still with me, Tim?"

It sounds like 'more.' "Yes."

This grin is slow, and broad, and makes Tim want
to lick Jason's thumb.

He doesn't get a chance, because Jason pulls away
and twists his other hand out of Tim's grasp and
pulls his shirt off. The bite-mark has been bandaged.
He can't actually tell who had done the work.

He can't make himself care, or even think about it.
What he *can* make himself do is sit up and get
his *own* shirt off, but even then --

Jason seems determined to strip both of them.
Which, while inefficient, could certainly *work*...
if Jason wasn't trying to do both of them at once.
"Jason --"

"No, no, I'm *guiding* you into this in a gentle
and supportive way. Now lie back down and let
me get your pants off."

Tim's laughter sounds a little strange to his own
ears, but it makes Jason grin at him again, and --

"That, yeah, like *that*."

It should be incoherent, or at least meaningless,
but... it isn't. He *knows* what Jason is talking
about, and what this is -- seems to be -- for him.
The two of them.


It takes a long time to get naked. For *both* of
them to, because Jason doesn't stop petting
him -- learning him.

Or perhaps that's what he's doing. The scars that
Jason had... come *back* with, and the new
ones. Jason's hands on his hips hard enough to
bruise and Jason's fingers on his nipples *not*
hard enough, and the floor is uncomfortably cold
on Tim's skin, but they roll back on the mats soon

And part of Tim is *aware* of time passing, of
the *afternoon* passing and everything that
means -- those *shadows* -- but it's the same
part that's aware of the generators and the bats
and everything else that isn't, strictly, relevant at the

As opposed to the catch and *scratch* of the hair
on Jason's legs when they tangle with his own, and
the hand on his throat -- the scar is *holding*
Jason's attention -- and Jason licking his mouth,
and --

"Jesus, you've got a hard mouth."

Steph really hadn't ever mentioned that. "I --"

"Feels like I'm *tenderizing* you every time I --"

Kiss him. Jason's mouth is surprisingly soft, even
with the light tickle of stubble.

Tim wants to know what that feels like...

And Jason's teeth, too.

"*Hard* little mouth. Jesus, Tim..."

His breath tastes like Alfred's coffee. "Robins only
look edible. We're actually quite tough."

Jason snickers and licks him again, messy and
*wet*, shifting enough to grab Tim's bicep again
and, "Or, you know, *stringy* --"

"*Lean* --"

"I could -- mmm." This kiss is even messier. Jason
is smiling. "Think I could kiss you all day, new

"I..." He can't say he can't imagine it. It seems. He
wouldn't have thought --

Jason squeezes his throat when Tim sucks on his
tongue, and grinds against Tim's thigh.

It takes a surprisingly long time to realize he can't
breathe. It's just warm, and Jason is kissing him,
licking him, whispering --

"Robin. God, I can't figure out if that makes this
more or *less* gay --"

Laughing and kissing him more, and Tim's heart is
pounding for -- a lot of reasons --

"Signal when you need air, man. I like... you look...
God, look at you --"

He feels his lashes fluttering, and Jason lets *go*.
"Wasn't -- a signal --"

"Kinky *fucker*. Fucking *yay*, man --"

And Jason kisses him again before he can get his
breath back entirely, and keeps doing it, taking
breaks only to whisper --

He can't quite *tell* anymore what Jason's
whispering. What they both are, because he knows
his mouth is moving for something more than just
the feel of it against Jason's own. It's too much to
focus on, especially since Jason's hand keeps
creeping to his throat and squeezing.

Not for long, just --

It's the timing, more than anything else. Cutting him
off every time he's about to take a *deep* breath,
and Tim really isn't aware of much of *anything*,
anymore. He knows what it feels like, and what
even Jason's curses *sound* like, and he knows...

It should be more important, or at least more...

Easier to focus on the words, to force himself to
stop *feeling* this long enough to listen --

"-- over, c'mon, turn over for me, Robin..."

Or maybe it shouldn't be awkward at all. Maybe it
should be like this, with the smell of his own sweat in
his nose and the need to *do* it. Jason grunts when
Tim accidentally elbows him in the ribs, but Tim can't
form the words to apologize before Jason says,

"At least you're not bony *everywhere*," and
squeezes his ass.

His... "I -- you want to fuck me." He can't begin to
describe the tone of his own voice. He'd have to
have some idea of what he was *thinking*, and --

"Yeah." Matter-of-fact. Nearly casual and... stroking.
"Here. Maybe over that bike of yours -- it's a fucking
sweet bike --"

"Jason --"

The moan isn't casual at all. Gasped out against the
back of his neck and -- "Tell me I'm not being an
asshole. Tell me you want this as badly as it *looks*,
Tim --"


Jason pants against his skin, licks him and strokes
and moves *down*, and Tim tries to hold still, tries
to just *feel* it, but he can't. It's ticklish and wet
and --

"Good -- you're -- Jason --"

"*Yeah*, Robin. Something else for you..."

For him. For -- "*Robin* --"
Jason groaning against him, *into* him, licking --
*fucking* him with his tongue, and he'd never even --
it doesn't matter what Tim knows and what he can
sense about all the time they've been doing this, it --
"Oh *God*, I -- Robin --"
It feels like the last word he has *left*. And he gets
up on his knees and watches himself clawing at the
mats and listens -- yes, he can listen, *too* -- to
himself moaning and gasping.

He sounds like he's *begging*, and he is. It's just
that there are no actual words. Just the feel, and
Jason's hands on his hips. Holding him still now, or
trying to. He can't make himself help, and Jason...
Doesn't seem to mind.
He's moaning, too. Wet, *slick* sounds against him,
vibrating through him. Robin -- Robin --
"No --"
And it takes a moment to realize he'd said that, and
said that *aloud*, but Jason just says, "Easy..."
Jason's voice is rough, and he's panting, and there
are more wet sounds behind him. And then Jason
pushes in with --
A finger. Hot and -- hot and *strange* -- "Jason --"

"God, you --"
"*Jason* --" Twisting. Opening him. The concept
isn't -- the concept is irrelevant. He's clawing at the
mats again.
"Fuck, you feel so good, Tim, you feel --"
"More -- Jason -- you don't have to --"
"I *really* do, new-kid-who's-also-a-virgin --"
Point. *Excellent* point, now he just needs to try to
*remember* that instead of fucking himself *back*
onto Jason's finger. He should be thinking about the
friction, *considering* it as a function of -- of  --
"But maybe I just want to do you like *this*."
The emphasis -- and the emphasis' emphasis --
makes Tim tense and choke on a scream.
And Jason holds on to Tim's hip and keeps -- no.
Another finger. "I could do this all day, too..."
Please. *Please*. But... "Not -- not what you want --"
"You can't see what you look like. Sweating and
pink everywhere but the scars --"
"Ja -- Jason --"

"Up on your knees because you want it so bad..."
He does.
"Can you come like this? Have you ever even... God,
you're so *tight* --"
There hadn't been -- enough time between the idea
and the desire. There hadn't ever -- he'd needed --
he needs --
"Tim." And Jason's hand moves from his hip to his
back, stroking him. Pushing him down --
"*Please* --"

"I like it, too -- just like this. Just --"
Like me. Like -- And he wants to say it out loud -- he
wants Jason to *hear* him say it -- but Jason crooks
his fingers *hard* --
"Yeah, Tim, yeah --"
And the only thing that comes out is a scream.

"Oh, *God*, Tim --"
He had, at some point, collapsed on his elbows. He
doesn't know if they'll hold him. He can't feel his
*knees*, and everything --
"I -- fuck. Not gonna last..." Jason's hand, slipping
back to his hip, holding him again. And --
The sound. He *knows* that sound, and he feels
himself flush even harder. He can't decide if he
wants to turn over or just.
Just listen.
"Do it, Jason --"
Soft growling noises and panting breaths and the
slick -- so *slick*. He'd been.
He must be so *hard*, and -- for him.

It's too much to hold on to, too much to think about,
even with its utter *obviousness*. It still *feels* like
an extra level to it. A different facet of... being
He closes his eyes.
He --
"*Robin* --"
It's enough to make his heart pound again, even
though he *knows* it's Jason's voice, because the
shadows are shifting again. Because --
"Oh -- *fuck* --" Jason says, and he's *laughing*.
Despite the wet *slap* of his come on Tim's back,
despite --
*Because* of --
That really *isn't* Jason's voice. Tim squeezes his
eyes shut, even though he can't quite make himself
try to teleport. He knows he can't.

"Sorry, Bruce," Jason says, and... slides his *hand*
through the come on Tim's back.
He sounds entirely sincere, which fails to make
sense until he adds,
"Guess we *are* cutting into training time."
Tim isn't going to open his eyes. It isn't that he has
any hope whatsoever that keeping them closed will
erode at the reality of the moment. It's just that he
can't think of anything else *to* do. At the moment.

"I... Jason..."
There's a great deal in Bruce's tone which, several
hours ago, Tim could've told himself he didn't
precisely need to decipher.
"Yeah, Bruce?"
There's barely even a hint of challenge in Jason's
voice. What's there seems nearly reflexive. Perhaps
as much as the hand still tracing patterns through
the come on Tim's back.
No, tapping him. "Planning on looking up at any
point, new kid?"
Keeping his eyes squeezed shut *and* his forehead
pressed to the mat could, perhaps, be considered
overkill. Still. "I actually didn't have any plans in that
direction at the moment. Since you ask."
Except for how ignoring *Bruce's* voice is... an
entirely different prospect.

He opens his eyes and forces himself to push up
onto his knees. And forces himself not to *squirm*
as Jason's little present proceeds to obey the law
of gravity.
The fact that Jason moves his hand back to his hip
doesn't, actually, help.
Looking at Bruce *does*, if only for the expression
on the man's face. He looks...
*Precisely* like someone with a... compatible
sexuality, who happens to be staring at two naked
young males. It's disturbingly human.

Moreso given the fact that he's fully suited up
*except* for the cowl.
Jason squeezes his hip, and takes a breath as if
he's about to say something -- Tim believes he can
guess what it would be -- but. He doesn't.
And *Bruce* takes a hitching breath of his own
and reaches out and -- Jason squeezes his hip
Tim had been backing away.
It *isn't* that he believes Bruce would hurt him --
he certainly doesn't believe Bruce would let him
see it coming -- it's just...
He doesn't know what it is, beyond the gauntlet,
cool -- *cold* -- on his chin.
"Tim," Bruce says.
It's a question.

He has no *idea* what that question might *be*,
but... it's a question. He should probably think
about it.
He should... probably think about something
*other* than the fact that Jason has moved to
*press* himself against Tim's back. Certainly
something other than just the *feel*.
Like the fact that, on the surface, it's a distinctly
*possessive* move, or it should be, but... Jason
is laughing again.
"Tell me you're *not* just noticing how hot he
Tim isn't sure which of them he's speaking to. The
fact that Bruce looks equally confused is...
He's not sure if he's allowed to call this feeling

"At the very least," Jason says -- against Tim's
*ear* -- "you had to figure it out when he was jerking
me off."
Ah. Jason was talking to Bruce. He'd -- he'd
*noticed* Bruce -- he -- "Jesus," he says, before
he can bite his tongue.
"Don't *try* to tell me *you're* not used to how
much Bruce *watches*," Jason says, and shoves
his tongue in Tim's ear.
It had felt better when Bruce wasn't right there.
It feels... *different* with Bruce's hand still on his
chin. Still just holding -- no. Tilting his head up,
and back, and... to the side.
Better access for Jason, and it feels like there
should be an 'of course,' attached to that statement
in the same way it often feels as though there
actually *should* be laws dictating the failure of
sunlight to reach certain Gotham streets, even at
high noon.

And Bruce's expression *isn't*, precisely...
"Batman," Tim says, and Jason *jerks* behind
him, *moves* him --
"Tim --"
"*Robins*," Bruce says, and if Tim wasn't naked,
he'd be almost *sure* this was just a hallucination
brought on by head-injury, that he was, actually,
in the middle of some melee or another, and about
to knock someone's teeth out with his boot.
"Fuck. *Yeah*," Jason says, shoving his hand into
Tim's hair and yanking his head back.
Bruce drops to his knees in front of them, leather
creaking and teeth showing.
Perhaps... perhaps it's only a question of degree,
Tim thinks.
And then Bruce kisses him.

His mouth is --

He tastes like Alfred's coffee, too, leaving Tim
searching for *difference*. It isn't difficult to find.

Bruce doesn't make a sound -- he *isn't* breathing.
He's just...

It's a lot like having his mouth held *still* by
Bruce's so that Bruce can lick it, slowly and
methodically. It's only a partially irrational thought,
and, when he opens his eyes, Bruce's are open,

The expression makes Tim *jerk*, and Bruce
tightens his hold on Tim's jaw. And continues to
lick --

No, that's not entirely accurate, judging by the
look in Bruce's eyes. He's being examined, and
tasted, and *touched*.


When Bruce pulls away, his lips are wet, but he
doesn't lick them. He breathes, and...

Tim blinks, because Bruce shows no sign
whatsoever of doing so.



Bruce shifting his attention to Jason is a lot like
being *released*, even though that's *entirely*
irrational. Jason's hands are still on his hips, Jason's
thighs still bracket his own.

And Bruce is...

Very close.

"Jay," Bruce says, and reaches for him with his other
hand, and -- stops.

And tugs the gauntlet on *that* hand off with his

Jason breathes a quiet laugh against Tim's ear, and
licks it again. "What was it like, Bruce?"

Bruce pauses and looks at him again. The question
in his eyes is obscure, and he doesn't look away or
change expression when he says, "Transgressive."

It seems like something of an understatement.

"You don't say..." Jason's close enough that Tim
can *feel* his smile. The hardness of his teeth, the
not-quite-implied threat. "What else?"

It's easier to look at Bruce when he's looking at
Jason again. It's the same expression he *always*
has for Jason -- whether or not the cowl is on. The
sort of look which very firmly points out that there's
a difference between knowing how Bruce had felt
about Jason and *seeing* it. "Jason --"


"He has a mouth which, perhaps, could be described
as unforgiving --"

"*Hard*," Jason says, and rocks against his back.

"He... isn't sure. About this."

Understatement, again. "I..." He sucks in a breath at
the feel of Jason tightening his hands on his hips.
Tightening his *thighs*. "Jason, he's --"

"He's *Bruce*," Jason says, as though it explains
everything, and also as if Tim is missing something
very fundamental about life.

Which, considering the course of his day, is entirely
possible. Except for the fact that it really isn't
*Bruce's* hand on his jaw.

Bruce... doesn't touch him.

"I think I would..." Prefer it if the cowl was on.
Especially if Bruce continues looking at him as though
there's something *tragic* here. Tim pushes Bruce's
hand away from his face -- he doesn't make it
difficult, and...

It's harder to brush Jason's hands away. Given that
he isn't sure whether or not he *wants* to.

"Robin, wait --"

The move, such as it was, ends with him curling his
hands over Jason's own. His knuckles are scarred
and rough against Tim's palms. "I'm waiting."

Jason laughs against his neck. "I... too much?"

Tim stares at the -- really quite small -- space
between Bruce's knees and his own. He doesn't
want to let go of this.

He doesn't want to hold on to... *this*.

"Let him go, Jason."

Tim doesn't look up.

Jason slips his hands out from under Tim's own and
wraps them around Tim instead, splaying one over
his chest and breathing a little roughly against Tim's

"Tell me I should, man. I want... you know what I

He does. The continuation -- and it must seem so
*basic* -- of this. *Them*. This thing Tim has
never -- quite -- managed to have, and which Jason,
perhaps, has never had like *this*.

Tim forces himself to look at Bruce, and it's...

It's not him. Not...

It's impossible to judge whether Bruce's attention is
on Jason's splayed hand or on Tim's *body*.

He... knows what Bruce wants, too.

It's just extremely *surprising*, and not... it doesn't
have a thing to do with what *he* knows about who
they are. Who they've *been* to each other, beyond
Batman and Robin.

And there *is* an answer, there, but he doesn't
really think he'll be able to trust it even if Bruce
*does* call him Robin when he...

Tim shudders. "I... can't."

Jason squeezes him and exhales and, "Yeah, okay.
I... okay." And lets go.

Tim stands up and tracks down his clothes. They
really had gotten... far. Though at least his shirt

No, this *isn't* his shirt. Right. He --

"Leave it," Jason says, and when Tim looks up the
grin on his face is *almost* right. "I like the idea of
you wearing my clothes, new kid."

Like their uniforms, identical save for the size and
the boots. Like... He likes it, too. And Bruce isn't
looking at either of them, as opposed to the hand
which still has a gauntlet on it, but he still can't quite
*say* it. He nods, instead, and says, to Bruce,

There's a tension in Bruce's shoulders, brief enough
as to be nearly hallucinatory, but his expression is
steady and his voice is even when he says, "You and
Jason have your territory tonight."

A gift or just what he'd already planned? Both?

It doesn't, precisely, matter. Tim nods and heads for
the bike.

Taking the long way home might -- *might* -- offer
the chance to gain some insight as to what, precisely,
he'll say to Steph about the other Robin who really
shouldn't exist, but who had managed to make
re-evaluating his preconceptions of his sexuality a


He doesn't actually come up with anything remotely
helpful for that eventual conversation before it's
time to slip out of the house again, and it's
something of a relief that he can't allow himself to
be distracted once he's on patrol.

Gotham tends to be unforgiving of that sort of thing.
Still, it's a relief that his territory starts off at a
distance from Steph's house -- and the Clocktower --
and just proceeds to get further away.

And it's a relief to find Jason on the first r-point
rooftop he stops on, though he isn't sure what
he'd *expected*.

"New kid." That smile is softer with the mask on. He
hadn't noticed.

"Dead boy," he says, and holsters the grapple.
"Batman give you any other instructions for us?"

"Hmmm..." Jason cocks his head and lets himself
fall back against the water tower. "I wouldn't say
*instructions*, exactly."

There are conflicting urges to move closer and to
come up with something -- anything -- that would
allow him to...


The conflict isn't especially paralyzing, as these
things go.

The kiss is soft and slow, and then it really isn't.
Jason spins them, and catches Tim's head before it
bangs on the water tower, and bites Tim's lips. Both
of them.

"Robin," he says, because they're on patrol.

"*Robin*," Jason says, because...

Because it's who they are. And yet. "Please don't
tell me Batman suggested this. A lie would be

Jason snorts and scratches lightly at Tim's scalp. "He
really, really didn't."

It's... enough of a relief to count as one. "Then...?"

"He just said to make sure you were okay."

"I..." Tim frowns.

Another scratch, and it really is difficult not to push
his head into it. "Yeah, I'm getting how freakish that
*is* to you, I think."

Tim reaches up and strokes the collar of Jason's
cape, once, before dropping his hands again.
"Things changed... after."

Jason shakes his head. "I keep trying to tell myself
that it should make it better. Make it *mean*
something. I keep... the longer I'm here, the more
I forget about everything... what it had *felt* like
to be dead, and fuck knows I barely remember
what that *beating* had felt like..."

"One would think that would be... a blessing."

Jason looks at him, sharp and hard. "Do *you* want
to forget your losses?"

"No, but --"

"All right, then," Jason says, and blows out a breath
against Tim's cheek. More coffee.

"Did you sleep?"

This look is just as sharp, but in a... *different* way.

Tim frowns, but... he's not going to question that.
Any of it.

"So tell me something."


Jason tugs on his hair until they're looking at each
other. Into each other, in the unspoken agreement
of masks. He knows exactly where Jason's eyes are
behind those lenses, and Jason knows where his

"I'm listening."

"Was it the threesome or B -- Batman? Both?"

I figured out that I was bisexual approximately
thirty seconds after you kissed me. "I..."

"Robin..." This one means 'Tim.' "I'm not giving
Batman up --"

"I *wouldn't* ask you to."

Jason shakes his head. He never, as far as Tim
can tell, spikes his hair. "I want *both* of you. And
I *get* that you think that's fucked up, I just want
to know if it's *too* fucked up."

Only because it's Bruce. Tim winces. He needs...
"I kind of... need some time to think about that."

Jason frowns. "And you can't... be any more
specific? This is... we're *Robin*."

I'd do it for you. For *this*. "I don't... I don't think
I can." He wishes, suddenly and disturbingly, that
they were indoors, somewhere he could take his
mask off.

He isn't used to the masks being this...

Not with *them*, but... the lines Jason sees are
different, when they're there at all.

Jason just keeps frowning at him for a long
moment, but then his expression... shifts. And he
leans in.

His breath is hot and damp against Tim's ear, and
it makes Tim's skin prickle. "Robin --"

"And if it were... Dick?"

And he -- he can't. Jason's breath doesn't feel very
hot at all, anymore, and Tim knows it's because he's
blushing. *Flushing*. "I --"

"See, *that's* what I meant by specific."

"I... see."

Jason licks his ear, slick and fast, and moves away,
walking backward and smirking. "Not *just* the
choking, then?"

Tim doesn't bang his head back against the water
tower. He *wants* to... but he doesn't. "Apparently

Jason smirks a little wider and pulls his grapple.
"Good to know," he says, and then shoots, and

Tim takes the rooftop at a run and fires his own

The air smells like exhaust and brick-dust.

The ground hurtles up to meet him right up until
momentum takes him into a rise -- a few seconds
after Jason begins his own ascent.

And Jason whoops in his ear.

And Tim smiles, a little.