And let the other stay, and hoard it
by Te
March 7, 2007

Disclaimers: Not even close to mine.

Spoilers/Timeline: Various events up through "Under the
Hood," in a very AU-ized way.

Summary: "Christ, that suit's disturbing."

Ratings Note: Sexual content.

Author's Note: Another for the Three Red Words series,
taking place between nine and ten. Will not make a word
of sense without the others, really.

Acknowledgments: To Petra, Betty, and the Jack for
audiencing, encouragement, hand-holding, and
desperately needed grammar/comprehension help.


It feels less strange -- much less -- than it should to pull the
suit on, which is just more proof than Jason actually needed
that his life has gotten away from him again.

He thinks --

He knows that if he were a different sort of person, he'd
get hung up *hard* on the 'again,' have to step back, sit
down, *brood* on it, and it's not that he thinks that that kind
of thing is always a mistake -- it really isn't -- it's just that it
*is* always a mistake when you already know all the
conclusions that can be known.

He was dead -- there's no getting rid of those memories --
but now he isn't.

He's the same person he was, he's not.

Beyond that -- Jason doesn't even know the questions to
ask. And if he spent too much time thinking about *that*,
he'd wind up dead.


(Every time he thinks the words, he gets caught up hard
between the memory of how it felt to have pieces of his
ribs grinding together, and the way the sun kept getting
darker even though he kept his eyes as wide as he could,
and the memory of a dozen -- a thousand -- empty streets
and dirty alleys, and the sense of himself of being older
than he should be, and -- and he doesn't.)

It's not getting him any closer to answers -- or even
questions -- for any of *this*, and that's actually just fine
by him. This --

This is him, slipping into Dick's latest version of the
Nightwing suit. Because Dick is Dick (even though
sometimes, now, he seems like he isn't), the suit is still
*just* too-lightly-armored enough to be as too-small as it
should be, as opposed to being too-small enough to make
Jason worry about oxygen deprivation.

It's short in the leg, it's tight in the shoulders. If someone
shot him in the chest while he was twisting or turning, he'd
die again, or at least spend a lot of time strapped to a
hospital bed.

Strapped to --

And see, that's worth a pause, even if it means he's just
standing around barefoot in Dick's bedroom -- as opposed
to moving out into the living room, moving further, moving
to where the back-brain wordless (this isn't something
*for* words) part of him needs to be, right now.

A week ago, there was nothing in the basement of this
building but a basement. He's sure of it. He'd had a few
smokes down there.

Now, there's a perfect little med-lab. No -- *six* days ago,
there was suddenly a perfect little med-lab, complete with
every little necessary toy Bruce has in his damned Cave,
in --

He can't decide if it's worse or not that it's actually real
fucking different. There are machines Jason's pretty sure
Bruce wouldn't recognize right off the bat, and others he's
pretty sure Talia wouldn't -- which pushes the lab right past
'complete' and into 'wrong.'

It doesn't matter that all the instructions and buttons and
everything else is in English. There had been nothing, and
then there had been *everything* -- and it's all about
Flamebird's little (huge, alien) side project.

It's possible -- *just* possible -- he's. Heh. Lagging a little.
He really would've -- before taking that fateful fucking trip
down into the basement -- thought that he'd notice if things
had gotten serious enough that it was time to exchange
alien technologies (and what *else*?), but apparently --

And, you know, maybe he's lagging even more than that.
Maybe *Nightwing* isn't who he's supposed to be at all.
Maybe Dick had already *tried* being Nightwing to the
Flaming Freakboy, and --

The wrong clothes, the wrong --

No. He's already in the damned suit, he can't just -- he can't.

The difference between alive-then and alive-now boils down
to how, then, he was too wrapped up in Robin (Bruce) to
do anything but what he did. He isn't, now, and there are
things he wants which, if he plays it right, don't have to
have anything to do with -- heh. Anyone who doesn't live in
this house.

He can worry about narrowing it down further *later*.

Barefoot, the only sounds when he moves are the slick
whisper of the Nightwing suit on itself and the probably
not-really-real sense of his eyelashes scratching and moving
against the lenses of the mask. His facial structure isn't
really that different from Dick's until you get down to their
jaw-lines, and really --

It's only when you get too deep (he already is) that this
doesn't make sense, that this isn't just another part of the
them that's Jay-and-Flamebird, Dick's (little) brothers
(getting *along* and ain't that --)

He's not --

It doesn't have to get too deep.

Not even when Tim actually takes a step *back* when he
sees Jason, and it's --

Well, it isn't what he wanted and it *is*. Jason's hasn't seen
that body language since he was *feeling* it in the half-
second before he'd gotten Tim spun around and the knife
where he wanted it, since he'd only *been* watching.

He swallows back the smile that wants to be on his face --
he never could fake *all* of Dick's expressions -- and tilts
his head, instead. Too far, too open --

"What -- Jesus, Jay."

Perfect. And he's not actually close enough to make this
*smooth* but, in the end, it's only a few extra steps to
close the distance between them, a moment's
*concentration* to keep him from tugging at the suit that's
*just* that much tighter and less armored than his *own*
new one --

He has his fingers on Tim's mouth -- one indigo, one slightly
*less* indigo -- only visible at times when the light is
brighter and more trustworthy than the neon flicker Tim's
bedroom picks up from a couple of blocks away.

They both know.

Tim's expression is -- heh. Right and wrong. Perfectly
incredulous, perfectly *Flamebird*, only that's --

Well, it's what he wants to *know*. One of the things,
anyway -- just where does Tim draw the *line*?

When Jason moves in to rest his mouth against Tim's ear --
too close for a whisper, close *enough* for Dick -- Tim
shifts *enough* that he's got two fingers of his own *right*
over one of the places where the weak chest armor is weak
*and* too small.

The strike would be crippling.

If he were in different clothes, this would be where he
*fucks* with Tim a little, with Flamebird for continuing to
let Dick dress himself, with himself for needing it this way --

He's *not* in different clothes, and it --

He knows it's really kind of *impressively* stupid to think
that all it will take is a change of clothes to *keep* it from
being like that, but -- well. They *all* used to live with
Bruce. Sometimes you kinda have to set a *mood*.

So, the best thing to do right now is unlearn almost
everything he'd ever taught himself about sounding
dangerous, take a deep breath, and -- "I just wanna know
where the *lines* are --"

"*Jay* --"

"-- little brother."

Tim would've been better off going for the strike he'd set up
instead of trying to shove Jason back enough to go for a
different one. The fact that he didn't is filed neatly away
under 'answers to be figured out later,' by the time Jason
firms up his body-pin --

By the time he's kissing.

For a second, it's so much like Bruce he can't keep from
tightening his grip on Tim's shoulders through the flame-on-
flame-on-*queer* colors of the suit, but it's another kind of
answer that *that* makes it nothing like Bruce at all.

Tim shoves at him with his *face* to get enough room to
open his mouth, to curl the tip of his tongue against the
underside of Jay's own and *urge*. And then --

(Bruce always used to just take it when Jason made the
first move.)

And then there's the second (more, so much) that makes up
for all the rest, because the last time Jason had a kiss like
this it didn't *feel* like Bruce, or Batman, or anything he'd
ever even thought he'd known. Just --

Just a cheap motel, a fake mustache tickling his face, and
the way he couldn't -- quite -- manage to tell himself that
his eyes were closed to avoid that fucking *jacket*, because
Bruce -- he knows this now -- couldn't figure out any other
way to touch him, anymore.

Tim's *leg* is locked around his own (trip, take-down,
*strike*), and it's his own fault that he's fucked-up, and it's
his own fault that he's laughing against Tim's mouth --

And there are times Tim *sleeps* in his boots, which is only
important right this second because the back-kick numbed
the fuck out of Jason's left Achilles tendon and most of the
foot and the *calf*, and it's only control that lets him
stumble back instead of fall.

"You -- if you wanted a fight, Jason, you could've just
*asked* for it."

"More than I already am?" No one -- absolutely no one --
could make 'Jay' into as much of a -- fucking *code* name
as Tim has. And what he does with 'Jason' --

What he does with Jason is exactly what he wants to -- and
never mind the way Tim's already panting, and the uneasy
*twitch* in his left hand. He makes Jason lose the
goddamned *thread*. Which -- well, when you get right
down to it? No.

"Tim," he says, in a voice he hasn't used with... he hadn't
used it with either of them, really. There was just never
anything like the -- anything.

The cold little look on Tim's face would say he was *right*
not to -- except for how it also kind of says the opposite. He
can work with suspicion, even though he doesn't really want
them to just beat the shit out of each other until they're too
hard not to fuck.

"Tim," he says again, and as distractions from the fact that
he's moving *in* again go, it's weak, but it's not exactly
wrong to let Tim catch his left wrist, let him focus on that, or
the feel, or the efficiency of the *grip* -- whatever -- for
long enough for him to catch *Tim's* left wrist.

It's a guaranteed loss for Tim -- his hands are strong, but
not quite big enough, and there are limits to what Tim can
do with his hands occupied *and* separated. Jason frowns.
It's not what --

He lets Tim's wrist go and looks him in the eye --

"What --"

-- and cups Tim's ribs, instead. Or -- it's the armoring that's
designed to *feel* just like ribs, to call *attention* to a
vulnerability which isn't there, and -- yeah. Like this, there
are no guarantees at all.

"A new ready position, Jay?"

The smile on his own face now -- isn't right. It's not Dick,
but maybe it's close enough to not-Jay to work. "One of the
first things you said to me was that I didn't know who you

There's a freakish sort of -- even-ness that pulls over Tim's
face when he's raising an eyebrow with his mask on. The
colors start to look right, even though with the lenses up
they should look more wrong than ever.

"God, I -- that fucking *suit*. It'd look better on *me*."

"You couldn't pull it off on your best day -- Jason."

Right and wrong and -- he'd never done this with Bruce. Not
really. At first, Bruce always seemed to know when his head
was fucked around, and then he'd be right there, making it
just a little worse or better or -- whatever he was thinking.
And then Bruce stopped being able to tell, or stopped
being --

He doesn't know, and it doesn't really matter beyond the
fact that this is probably the first time Jason's ever kissed
somebody to distract himself from his *own* brain.

Which seems a lot more fucked-up than it probably
should... but it's enough to just -- Tim kissing him *back*,
*again*, is another answer for the pile, and enough to
narrow things down a little. Enough.

If you're close enough to Flamebird for a touch, you might
be close enough to slide around, feel the unnatural
perfection of the armor's 'ribs', trace it to the back-plating
and, from there, down to waist, hips --

This time, it goes on long enough that he starts being able
to distinguish the individual flickers of neon through his
eyelids, time them against the breaths Tim is taking -- quick
and quiet -- through his nose, to the heartbeat that *might*
not be his own (or wishful thinking) when he drags Tim a
*little* closer --

And he loses it a little when -- it isn't the first time Tim's
bitten his mouth. It's just the first time that it feels like it
was something he'd thought about, maybe even seriously
enough to be a little unsure if it was the right move.

It's a different kind of being even, just like it is to *tug* Tim
even harder against him instead of yanking, to pull back
against the teeth pressed into his lip until Tim lets go
without -- heh. "Is this the first time we've done this without
either of us bleeding at this point?"

"Is this --" Tim's teeth don't really *click* together when he
cuts himself off. It just feels like it.


"Correct me if I'm wrong, Jason -- it's entirely possible I was
drugged, at some point -- but I wasn't aware we'd spent
much time making *out*."

Heh. Well. "Bored?"

"Imminently, I'm sure," Tim says, and that's -- maybe he's
getting a little too *good* at distracting himself, because it
takes looking at Tim's *eyes* to remember what he was
*doing* with this. What he's -- trying.

"Yeah, I -- heh. About that," Jason says, and puts a little
pressure on the small of Tim's back. There's only enough
armor there to protect from *bad* shots and clumsy
opponents, because any more would fuck Tim's
maneuverability. Neither he nor Dick bother with it, at all,
and the part of Jason's mind which wants to point out that,
for Tim, it's probably just one more fucking *tease* --

"Sexual ennui?"

-- is probably right. "Not exactly," and the thing is, *he'll*
never pull off making the roll of his hips a tease as opposed
to just the next *step*. But -- "You don't pull this off, either,
you know."


"Unless you're *going* for Drag Queen Wonder --"

"The mask doesn't do a *thing* for my eye-shadow, Jason."

Flat, cold, and *asking* for -- what? "You're not half as --
*flaming* as you want to play it --"

"Is this where you introduce me to the miraculous works of
the ex-gay movement? How *has* it been working for
you --"

The thing is -- it wasn't a kiss. Not really. Not what Tim was
*asking* for, *pushing* for, but it's apparently close
enough -- no.

Tim isn't kissing like he wants a fight, and he isn't just
*taking* this. He kisses exactly like someone who's had
most of his sexual experience, full stop, with *one* person
whose name wasn't Jason. Whether or not that's
improvement --

Tim's still got one of his wrists -- squeezing hard enough to
hurt if Dick's gauntlets weren't exactly as well-made as they
should be -- but it's easy *enough* to get his other hand on
Tim's cheek, to get that much closer, until he has to bend a
little too much for comfort, has to tilt Tim's face up --

It's not actually a surprise that the kiss gets -- different.
Gets --

He isn't sure, and it's fucking great, and whether or not it
should make any sense -- Superman's fucking *taller* than
he is, and tilting Tim's face up like this shouldn't *make*
the kiss feel like it's (for once) all *his* --

And there's not enough of it before Tim's shoving him back
again --

"Fuck, you -- take that *off*."

And -- hunh. The thing is, he was mostly thinking (trying
not to) about motherfucking *Kal-El*, but. They all close
their doors a lot, and it's not like --

Well, maybe he *was* right to steal this uniform. Jason
shakes his head, and he's willing to bet that the way he
gets his pinky bent back when he makes a grab for Tim's
free hand again is at least mostly reflexive.

It -- doesn't matter as much as getting it, and dragging
Tim's knuckles -- he's not getting the palm -- over the flat,
mostly-impossible-to-see plane of the bird on his chest.

"It's not like you didn't put it on mine, but --"

"I was wondering when you'd notice --"

"Heh. Yeah, you're exactly as much of a fucker as you want
to be." His own new uniform is more urban camo than
anything else in terms of colors, greys and browns, and he
should probably -- probably -- be grateful that the bird
picked out in tiny stitches and blobs of camouflage across
his back and shoulder blades isn't a motherfucking
*sparrow*, or maybe a particularly ugly pigeon.

It's not. It's just the same as the one on Tim's uniform, and,
of fucking course, on *Dick's*. His, tonight.

"I'm -- if you want it, why don't you *take* it?"

And there's enough armor on his chest that it's not --
quite -- painful to be digging Tim's knuckles against it like
this, but it's still hard not to gasp (relief, *want*) when Tim
stops pushing and flattens his palm. "Jason. I --"

"Yeah. Like *that* --"

"You've got some startlingly -- *queer* -- ways of trying to
convince people they aren't *gay* --"

"And you know that's not *it*," and the twist would be
enough to knock Tim's hand free -- if he wasn't still holding
on to Tim's wrist and if Tim wanted to be knocked away. "I
just want --"

"Should I call you 'Dick?' Did you want to be my big brother,
little wing? Or did you just --"

The kiss is annoyingly standard, teeth and fucking jawbone-
to-jawbone, and -- And then it isn't standard, because the
way Tim groans when Jason *shoves* his tongue in, when
he presses them close enough that the armoring over Tim's
trapped elbow has to be cutting a little, when Jason flexes
the wrist *Tim* still has until he lets go, when Jason
shoves his hands into --

Tim's hair is too short to make it work, and he actually
winds up punching the damned window jamb behind him,

It's not like he doesn't know how much Tim gets *off* on
the feel of Jason's short nails on his scalp, and it's not like --

It's not like anything when Tim groans again, because this is
one of those things Jason doesn't get to have, and this is --
exactly what he wants.

Even the shove, because --

"Fucking take it *off* --"

"I'm right here. It's *okay* --"

"Dammit -- *fuck* --"

It's more of a spar than a mutual decision to get Tim's arms
free enough that he can wrap them around Jason's neck,
but the ends *do*, in fact, justify the means, and he
fucking --

He loves this. He *loves* it.

He loves knowing that the scrape of his nails like *this* is
more of a tickle than anything else, that if they keep kissing
like this their mouths will only be bruised for a *little* while
tomorrow morning, that there's no reason *not* to put his
whole body into this, to hold Tim tight enough that he has
to feel every move he makes and *can't* brace himself
against the wall --

He knows, better than he knows anything else about this
particular version of his life, that if he were some kind of
psychic, he could reach right in and *see* the dream or
fantasy or whatever of Tim doing this in the damned *sky*
with Dick, that Dick would have one arm on the jumpline --
Jason plants one hand on the *wall* -- and the other
wrapped so tight around his little brother that it was nothing
but safe, nothing but perfect.

"J -- *please* --"

"Anything. Anything you want --"

And it's okay if he sounds like Bruce, because Dick had to
get it from somewhere, right? Wasn't that the little lesson
Bruce had decided they all needed to learn? It doesn't
really matter *what* Dick or Tim think, or want to think.
They're all just that fucking -- bent. Heh.

And it's even --

Right about now, he *knows*, almost any laugh he lets out
will feel good, feel *right*, because this is the real Tim in
his arms, right now.

The one who doesn't -- *can't* -- make himself hide the
muscular strength in his body, not under freakily
unnecessary armor, and not under all the goddamned
emotional warfare Flamebird's made of.

This isn't a fight, anymore, and they both know it.

Brothers -- shouldn't fight. And Tim always follows the rules.

Right now, this boils down to letting Jason walk him back
to his own -- neat, of course -- bed, holding on tight enough
that they don't fall so much as bend and shift themselves

And --

He's reasonably sure that it's not what Tim *wants*, but it
*feels* right to roll them over until Tim is straddling him, to
smile into the kiss until Tim's shuddering --

"You're -- so fucking *good*, Tim --"

And it *is* just another kind of pushing, another kind of
*asking* for it, but the growling bite doesn't really go
anywhere except into another kiss, Tim's quick tongue and
hungry *mouth*, and there's a part of Jason which wants
to point out, to Tim, that he can totally *admit* that he
wouldn't be able to *fuck* with Tim so much if there wasn't
so much truth in the lie Tim keeps telling, that they don't
*need* the lie, but that would be the closest thing he could
manage to an apology, and --

He doesn't feel like apologizing. Not for anything when Tim
starts rocking against him, when their suits --

God, if Dick *has* done this, does the sound drive him nuts?
(He knows Dick hasn't. This -- everything would be
*different* --) There's something fucking *weird* about
them all wearing the same basic materials, on top of the
other-other-*other* kind of gay they're all working. The
whisper turns into an artificial little scream when they're
rubbing together just enough, and it's loud enough that it
almost drowns out the rhythmic little grunts they're both
pushing out of Tim with every thrust. That's --

It's a scary kind of progress to have reached the point where
Tim doesn't try to hurt him when he lets go enough to make
an obvious reach for the catches of Tim's suit, but *does*
catch his wrists again -- it's *their* scary kind of progress.

"Let me?"

"Why should I? Nightwing."

"I --"

It's not a surprise that Tim *can* pull away when he's hard
enough to be *noticeable* even through both their jocks,
but it is a surprise that he *would*.

"Fuck, I haven't had to hold you down since the *first* time.
Since halfway *through* the first time," he says, and sits
up, and reaches -- and Tim's up and out of range. "*Jesus*,
Flamer --"

"Thought I wasn't."

And, see, that was *almost* right, for very specific, Jason-
asked-for-it, Flamebird values of 'right.' But there's a
difference between deadpan and -- that. "Okay. Okay, first
off, was that or was that not -- *good*?"

It's a laugh more because Jason knows what they look like
on Tim than because of sound or feel.

"Look, I just want --"

"What. Do you want, Jason?"

Right about now, what he *wants* is a blowjob, followed by
an explanation of why *now*, why *this* -- Tim with his
arms crossed and head down -- feels like the realest thing
he's ever seen, even though it makes him think of the first
five or six times he'd tried to explain to Talia why he had to
go back alone, feels like *just* that variety of "I can't" and
also "I have to do it even though I'm gonna fuck it up."
It's --

It would actually look better if Tim had the damned *cape*
on. Two steps forward, two *miles* back, and -- fuck.

"You want a list outta me?"

"Do you have one."

There's no real percentage -- to anything -- in punching
Tim's mattress, but he does it, anyway. "Aren't -- fuck.
Aren't we supposed to work *better* than this? Isn't that
the point?"

"Is *that* what you want?"

The thing is -- it is. It's just not all of it. "Do you really
think -- look, a little rough is fine by me, but I'm starting to
get fucking weirded out by the fact that we can't fuck
without punching each other in the face."

"If I admit that I have... a few of the same concerns, can
we -- God," Tim says, and scrubs a hand back over his
scalp. It makes him look -- bizarrely and horribly -- like the
clone-meta thing currently calling itself Redbird back in

The clone-meta thing that *had* been Tim's best fucking
friend in the world, currently hanging with the chick who
*had* been Tim's girlfriend. Jason keeps his wince as
internal as he can.

"I -- don't even know what you want from me, Jason."

And then doesn't, because -- "Look, Dick's not here
tonight --"

"Not even in my bed...?" The smile is weak and small and
*cold*, but it's there.

"Not -- even that." Apparently, no matter how much Tim
*wants* -- "We've been doing a pretty great job of being
all hardcore for Dick, but -- fuck, sometimes *I* miss
Bruce. And I probably know him better than either of you.
Don't I?"

The smile gets a little -- better. "Somehow, it's something I
failed to envy about you. It was... a lot easier. When I didn't
know him as well as I do."

"Biblically, even." Jason snorts and sits up all the way,
crossing his legs tailor-style. "I'm pretty sure Dick's still
banging his head against the wall about that, a little."

"It's -- amusing that you think I've stopped."

"You make it easy," he says, and there's a part of him -- the
part which can't decide whether it misses Talia or just
wants to *be* her a little, which wants Jason to know he's
an asshole, and *weak*, besides, but, when you got right
down to it --

If the only thing they were *about*, here, was getting the
fuck away from Bruce, pretending that was even
*possible* -- she'd fit *right* in. And she'd be wrong about
this, too, because Tim is still right *here*, even if he's
trying to be a silent statue of himself.

Eventually, Tim sighs and spreads his hands, and it --
finally -- clicks. What's *wrong* with the Flamebird suit. It's
designed to look like Tim's own naked body, except with
*fire* in the place of all the skin and muscle and fake
bone -- those *ribs* -- in the place of the real, and an
armored jock in the place of his *dick*.

"Christ, that suit's disturbing."

"Moreso with every chance to see it?"

Jason snorts again. "Well, *yeah* --"

"Good. When I was designing it... there's something to be
said for spreading fear. I --  Kal-El enjoys the -- optical
illusions/realities. He finds it all --" The switch into
Kryptonian isn't exactly surprising, but --

It's never going to stop being disturbing. "English, freak --"

"The quote -- 'there is an obscenity, but, perhaps, only one
which is chosen.'"


"I had a reason for not translating, Jason," Tim says, turning
away and crossing his arms again.

"But you were just as obvious about *saying* it as you're
being right now. Just --" Just as obvious as the suit, if you
looked at it the right way. Or even the wrong way. *Only*
fucking Tim would decide to intimidate people with -- a fiery
*impression* of vulnerability. Naked to hide all the --

Jason shakes his head and -- it feels like giving up to get
out of Tim's bed, but it also just feels like the kind of
gambling he really can't get tired of. Especially when Tim
turns to watch him from over his own shoulder.

When Jason raises a hand, Tim raises an eyebrow. And
doesn't lower it until Jason uses the hand to cup Tim's
shoulder through the suit. "Mister fucking Scrawnybody."

"I'd think you be somewhat less invested in getting me

"Maybe I'm getting a kink for rub-off related bruises," he
says, and -- he doesn't really have to. It's been months, and
he's still seen Tim naked more often than he's seen him in
clothes that *weren't* this suit. Still, it's a fucked-up kind of
reassuring to find all the places that are armored. All the...
"So how much is your suit's extra armoring for protection
and how much is for pretending you're even bonier than
you are?" He already knows.

"I was... surprised by the utility of the elbow and shoulder

Enough of an answer, and a confirmation, too. "Uh, huh.
And how much better would this have gone if I hadn't
bothered with Dick's uniform? How much worse?"

"Jason --"

The squeeze cuts Tim off. Tim lets it cut him off. One of
those. "I wanted this. I want it."

"You want to know where the lines are --"

"*Yes* --"

"That isn't -- quite -- the same thing. As this."

It isn't. It -- really isn't. Jason leans in, but not -- too close.
This time. "And if I want this, too?"

"Don't you think you should have... a better idea?"

"Probably," Jason says, and catches Tim's earlobe between
his teeth.

"Ah -- a return to familiar... protocols?"

He lets go with a lick. "Maybe. Feel like giving me another
cracked rib?"

"Quite often. Feel like loosening my molars?"

"Maybe with my *dick* --"

Tim has no problem grabbing him by the hair, and Jason
has *known* this, but there's a difference between knowing
it and feeling it *this* time, with Tim yanking him down
over his own damned shoulder into a kiss which --

It's gotta be at least as uncomfortable for him as it is for
Jason, and that's enough an excuse to get his hands, his
*fingers* on Tim's throat, on the scar that's only his if and
when Tim decides to let it be -- once he can tug down the
suit enough --

"Jay -- Jason, *fuck* --"

Too fast, too heavy, too fucking *electric*, but he isn't
actually capable of complaining about Tim *shoving* his
ass back against Jason's crotch and grabbing Jason by the
hip with the hand that isn't *yanking* on his hair.

And -- yeah. He can make the kiss deeper, *and* he can
use his brain enough to figure out that the kiss didn't
*really* have a damned thing to do with it. He tightens the
fingers he has on Tim's throat --

And Tim shouts into his mouth *and* pulls away.

"Fucking *Christ*, man --" And nothing cuts him off but his
own teeth, because --

As much time as he's spent with a forearm across Tim's neck
with Tim's back (or front) to one wall or another, it's actually
pretty fucking hard to *bruise* someone that way -- if
you're doing it right.

Fingers, on the other hand...

Tim's coughing and rubbing his throat and, "Sorry. I. It
would've helped to let you know about the -- sore spots."

He's gotten pretty used to knowing where they are. And,
well, causing them. "Is that -- why you're always wearing
that thing?" He knows it isn't.

"Actually, a lot of it has to do with how cold you and Dick
prefer it in here," Tim says, and the smile on his face is
completely normal, completely fucking calm. And then he
cracks open the top and peels it off. "And with the fact
that --" He drops the top on the floor and runs a hand down
the center of his chest, following heat-flush. "It took me a
long time to get used to the Robin suit," he says, more to
the Flamebird top on the floor than anything else. "I was
hoping to -- speed the process, somewhat."

The yellowing bruises over Tim's ribs are Jason's, as are the
still kind of bluish ones over Tim's kidneys.

There are only *two* bruises (small, finger-sized, less a
choke than a deliberate kind of strangling -- no oxygen to
Tim's *brain*) on Tim's throat, but... Jason's also had
months to get used to Tim coming home with nothing of the

"So -- I'm guessing those are more about kink than anything
else," he says, and can't quite make himself point.

"We'd have a larger supply of Kryptonite if it were
otherwise -- you're actually uncomfortable, aren't you?" Just
enough Flamebird in Tim's voice to make Jason almost
*need* to start something -- moreso -- but.

*Shit*. "It's one thing to know you're fucking Superman
and another thing to know *how*."

"Did you think Kal-El left these with his *penis*?"

"I -- would you let me just call him Superman? Is that too
much to ask?"

Tim's silent for a long moment that's not really Flamebird or
anyone else Jason knows, or even thinks he might know.
Part of him's filing it away, but most of him is just feeling it.
And it's -- still too much. Shit.

"Look --"

"It would really make it -- it would make it better for you?"

"I -- *yes*!"

And -- really, it's not his fault if he can't figure out whether
it's more disturbing to watch Tim *thinking* at him like --
like something had been *answered* (he's got his own files)
while Jason wasn't paying attention to anything but Tim's
throat, or to watch him *touching* those bruises, watch his
eyes start to close, a little --

It's *not* Flamebird, and it should be easier to call it
*good* -- "Tim --"

"I -- you really think it would be *less* disturbing if I were
fucking *Superman*? It's not that I don't believe you, but
wouldn't that be like fucking Smokey the Bear or something?"

This is probably the worst possible time to squeeze his eyes
shut and act like he's trying to wave Tim away along with
all the bad thoughts --

"I'm pretty sure even *Dick* would question that logic,

Dick uses 'Superman' like it's a real *name*. "Shit, I
*know*, but you're making my goddamned head hurt."

And the sound is pretty much unidentifiable, breath and a
cracked little fraction of a note, and it's enough to make
Jason look --

And it's enough to see the last half of the smile disappear --
like the rest of the laugh.

"I guess I should apologize," Tim says, and... waits.

"You -- come back. To bed."


Whatever it is sounds better -- feels, tastes -- as a kiss, even
though Tim's got his hands *between* them this time. It's --
if Jason were to push forward quick and hard enough, he'd
break at least one of Tim's fingers in this position,
immobilize, shock --

He doesn't care.

He doesn't *want* to care, and Tim works the catches on
this suit just like the person Jason was trying to *reach* --
the one who's spent way too much time thinking about
just (almost) this.

Just -- *dammit*. "Tim, we can *do* this, anything, any
way --"

"We *can't*."

And arguing isn't fighting, but it also isn't *this*, different
and -- fucking *new*. So -- fine. They can't. "Then tell me
it's good."

"Jason --"

"Fucking -- fucking *say* it."

What he *says* is some fucked-up thing in Kryptonian, but
he smiles when he hits the bed with a bounce, so maybe
they don't have to go *all* the way back to fucking square

"Say it," Jason says, and pulls off the top of the Nightwing
suit, and doesn't scratch all the places where it was too
fucking tight, and doesn't grab his own dick thinking about
Tim's teeth -- "fucking *seriously* --"

"Seriously -- seriously good," Tim says, and his mouth stays
open after the last word, his mouth --

"Get naked for me?"

His mouth drops open a little wider on a gasp, and stays
*that* way.

"Tim, I --"

"I -- Jason. You --"

"Do you want me to beg?"

The sound Tim makes is kind of terrible, low and growling
and *fucked* -- and he's scratching at his own belt like he
doesn't remember how his fingers work, and the Nightwing
tights feel stupider coming off than they did going on, and
there's something just fucking *right* about being naked
except for his jock on Tim's bed, something --

"Just -- yes, Jason, your hands, help me --"

"I've got you --"

"Oh --" The laugh this time *is* a laugh, but it's crazy and
high, shuddering, "fuck, *don't* --"

"Jesus, sorry --" He's an *idiot* --

"Not that either --"

And it's easier to just kiss than to try to track the
movements of Tim's hands with his own, and it's better to
shove one of his hands *in* under the tights once Tim
gives him a little *room*, humming into his mouth, licking
Jason's *teeth*, but --

"Gonna freak my shit out if I touch your neck?"

"No -- no fucking *promises*, Jason, just --"

Getting Tim down on his back makes him think about too
fast, makes him think about power and the bruises that
just -- disappear between his teeth. One, two, and Tim
jack-knifes beneath him, yanks his hair, bites his chin --

"Don't -- don't stop --"

And that's exactly as much he can take, as much as he can
handle -- scratch at Tim's scalp, bite his kinky little *throat*,
catch him through the jock *under* the armored jock, warm
and humid, twitching like a tease behind the fabric --

"Jason -- *you* --"

"*Me*," he says, and has just enough time to wonder how
much of an asshole he can *sound* like before Tim's
*thrusting* against his fist hard, one-two-three --

"*Jason* --"

"I -- yeah, do it, do it, slow next time --"

And Tim *looks* at him, wild and scared and fucking
*young*, fucking *Robin* -- *no* --

He kisses with his eyes open until Tim closes his and comes,
just like that. Pressed hard against Jason's palm, breathless
against his mouth, and slow was a total lie. He's got just
about enough smooth to get his own jock off, and that's --
it. Anything and everything he could do would be exactly
what he'd *keep* doing until he came. He knows it, he
*feels* it -- "Tim, I -- please --"

Another one of those open-mouthed *gasps*, and one day
Tim's gonna come back here looking like the aftermath of
gang-sodomy, and Jason's not gonna be able to *blame*
the damned alien, and none of that comes out better than
a groan, which means some god somewhere still loves him.

And wants him to *know* it, because the kiss isn't any
softer, but Tim's *mouth* is, all the tension shot out of his
dick, or maybe transported into Jason's own. Tim's got his
dick in two hands, killing him with the knuckle-y overlap,
fucking --

"Fucking killing me, get me off, I need --"

Tim bites Jason's lip and *does* draw blood, but it's not
personal --

Or maybe it is. Tim's hands are just right, bony and clever
and hard -- smooth wherever the tiny little burns of his
goddamned lifestyle -- "You don't have to be so goddamned
*literal*," he hears himself say, and Tim's face --

So *confused*, and laughing is the best bad idea in the
*world*, because the shocks of it jerk the come right out of
him, Tim's squeezing and pulling and Jason's too --

If he could speak, he'd tell Tim not to stop too soon, not to
go *easy*, but all he can do is shake his head, and maybe
not actually getting hurt is better.

When he's more like together again, he's also resting his
forehead against Tim's shoulder and panting. Tim's hands
are still *on* him, but loose. There're too many horribly
efficient things they could *do* to each other from here to

"Never -- never take a vacation with the League of
Assassins," Jason says, and drags his forehead over bone
and skin and muscle and more bone. And the rest of Tim's


"Seriously, not even for pointers. Fuck your shit right up.

"I -- are you thinking about disemboweling me with your
pinky, right now, Jason?"

Mostly -- mostly Tim's hands are almost *cradling* him, and
the part of him which should be laughing its metaphorical
ass off right now is buzzed and humming, wanting -- push,
touch, more --

Jason kisses Tim, and wonders which of them is more
fucked up for just falling *into* it, and decides to vote for

"Mostly -- other way around," Jason says, and licks Tim's
tongue. "I -- I love the way you feel."

"From descriptions… this would make you a masochist, you

"And a pervert, and -- everything else," Jason says, and
bites Tim on the cheekbone, and the earlobe, and -- "Fuck

He can tell, right away -- he's smart like that -- that it's
gonna take a lot of investigation to figure out whether Tim
prefers to be bitten on the sweet spots on his throat or
sucked on.

Licked --

"J--Jason --"

"It's gotta be freakier how much control he *has* --"

"I thought you -- you liked the idea of me fucking Superman
*more* --"

"Only you can prevent my head exploding, man. Only you."

"I'm..." Tim's smile is only strange because it isn't -- he
looks just as blissed and vague as he should, as the kid
Jason never actually *got* to know should, and he only
looks a little more focused in the second before he says,
"let me suck you."

Which -- yes. Pretty much always *yes*, and Tim's head
isn't in his lap when Dick walks in, but it is by the time he
walks out with his uniform.

"Don't talk," Tim breathes against Jason's thigh. "Don't --"
And then Tim's licking his *balls*, and it's easier to follow

Just one of those things.

Mean, teasing, scratchy little teeth, hot breath that's too wet
to have anything to do with -- with fucking *fire*, and the
grip Tim has on his *dick* is just firm enough to get it up,
out of the way --

"Come on -- come on, come on, I --"

"Slow," Tim says, and he actually *sounds* convinced, but
the shove that lands Jason on his back doesn't have a
damned thing to *do* with slow.

"Yeah, I -- oh, *fuck* yeah, fucking --"

He fucking *loves* getting his balls sucked, especially when
it's a guy, and especially because he'll never forget the
sweet-metal-bell sound of Talia laughing when he'd *said*
that, and the way she picked to make herself *stop*

Tim doesn't have nearly enough hair for Jason to hold on to,
but the moans every time he tries are just perfect, just --

And it's not that he wants to be rock hard and desperate
*too* fast, but there's something about having one palm
flat to Tim's sweaty, prickly scalp and the other wrapped
around his own dick. Better --

It's even better when Tim looks up, when his eyes almost
*cross* because he's staring that hard -- heh.

"Don't tell me you never watched me do *this*."

"I," Tim says, licks and blows a breath over his sac, makes
Jason fucking *twitch* --

"*Jesus*, you're good --"

"I don't, actually, have X-ray vision, Jason," Tim says -- *to*
Jason's dick, or maybe just to his hand. "I want…"

"Tell me. Show me. Anything -- you know I'm game --"

And it's fucked-up as all hell, but the only thing *other*
than this moment that Jason can think about, the only thing
other than the sweaty clumps of Tim's eyelashes on his
own lean cheeks --

He'd had a cat -- or fed one, anyway -- back when his not-
Mom had been alive and still up to cooking sometimes --

He'd had a *cat*, and it would sometimes kiss the back of
Jason's hand *just* like Tim's kissing Jason's *dick* -- all
hard-press of cheek to skin and *stroke*, and --

"Oh yeah, fucking *teach* me how to make you purr," he
says, and it makes Tim shudder, just once, and -- his

Flamebird doesn't *blush*, and it feels like he's breaking
something open, here. Something huge and terrifying --
exactly what he'd *wanted* --

"Or -- Tim. *Tim* --"

"Jason -- you --"

And whatever it is -- he can't tell, and he can't guess.
There's nothing like the feeling of Tim going down on him,
nothing like that first breathless rush when he can't tell
whether Tim's swallowing him or if he's just being
swallowed *up* -- fucked and fucking, and Jason still has
enough brain left in his head to sit up, to just --

Just fucking hold Tim's head in his hands and between his
thighs, and the position won't let him thrust too much, but
he doesn't *want* to. He just --

"You're my *brother*," he says, and now he knows he
sounds like an idiot *and* an asshole *and* a pervert, but
he can live with that so long as he also sounds like
someone who can make Tim shake like that, moan around
him like he's losing it just as much.

They're stuck now, it feels like, just -- trapped in the place
where it's just one open-wide and stupid position after
another, one stupidly *vulnerable* position after another,
and stroking Tim's so-straight-it's-queer haircut leaves his
palms feeling too sensitive and wonderful, too. Stroking --
petting him. Maybe doing his own cradling.

He's not the one who was supposed to be here, maybe, but
Dick's turned into someone too (wrong) different to *take*
this, and 'supposed to' has never had much to do with this,

He -- Tim's back is sweaty and hot, and Tim's mouth is
everything *right* about them -- especially when it can't say
a *word* -- and Tim's shaking a little more with every
stroke, with every --

("Jason -- oh, Jay, I need you so much --")

"I'm not -- I'm not him, either -- I -- shit, Tim, I just --" The
sound he makes is *awful*, and totally justified by the fact
that Tim's not sucking him, anymore. "Don't *stop*, man --"

"I -- no, I --" Tim shakes his head like a dog, kneels up, and
reaches for Jason, shoves his hands in Jason's hair again,
and Jason has to grab his dick to keep it from starting its
own little coup d'etat, but he can wrap his other arm
around Tim just fine.

Just -- kiss him. Kiss him, and maybe roll them both down
to the bed, and keep kissing --

"Jay -- Jason, I think we're too fucked *up* for this," Tim
says, and doesn't kiss Jason fast enough to keep *him*
from --

"Look, don't -- don't make me have to understand what --
what you're trying to *say*, here -- not --"

"You already do -- you -- I know you do --"

"Not now, not *here*," Jason says, and *makes* the next
kiss into something that's at least sure of what it wants to
be, even if Jason isn't. There are too many people here and
not enough of them make any sense, but --

That's why they're *here*. "Has to -- it has to mean
something, man --"

"It *does* --"

And that's -- that's another freaking *stream* of Kryptonian,
and Jason's pretty sure piss-play would feel better --

"Oh -- fuck, I *think* in that language sometimes, now, and
you -- you can't get Bruce out of your head, and Dick --"

And the thing is, nothing cuts that off but Tim, but that
doesn't mean they both aren't sitting here *waiting* for the
man to come back, on cue, like somebody's nightmare of
an efficient vigilante machine who's also, totally and
completely, still *their* brother.

Which --

"Look, you know I'm freaked, *too*, man. We don't -- we
were just supposed to be playing because everything else is
so goddamned serious --"

"Then why did you *stop*?" And Tim looks about ten years
older and infinity years younger, all of a sudden, face half-
scrunched up and eyes back to being so wide that --

That -- that's a good question, really. "We can play other
ways," he says, and he may actually be *quoting* Talia at
this point, but that's -- actually his *other* point.

"Jason --"

"Look, just because *nothing's* free and easy anymore,
just because it can't ever be just us --"

"It never was," Tim says, and he's not moving like he's
about to bolt -- or nerve-strike him and bolt -- but he
remains a tricky motherfucker, and also it's a good excuse
to grab Tim by the dick and squeeze. "*Jesus*, I --"

"So this isn't either. Unless -- look, if you *want* us to go
back to just messing with each other's heads and breaking
shit, I'm not gonna say no, but we *both* know it's better
this way."

"I -- I only said it was *good*, not --"

"Then say it's *better*," Jason says, and licks at the sweat
behind one of Tim's ears. "C'mon, bitch, I'm getting old,
here." And, somehow, he's pretty sure it would be wrong
to just start jerking them *both* off before anything's


At first, it still seems like random strange noise and the
juddering shake of Tim in his arms, but he's quicker on the
uptake, now, and he *gets* that it's laughter.

He can go with laughter.

"I never -- he doesn't make me think of anyone else."

Fucking alien freak, *anyway*. "You think it's the same way
with him? Free and easy?"

"Heh, I…" Tim leans in -- nuzzles in -- and shoves his
tongue hard at the beat of Jason's pulse. "I know for a fact
that I remind him of any number of people you'd rather not
think about, i.e., a list which doesn't include Bruce. He's on
a *different* list --"

"Yeah, fine, *fine*, just -- you know you make me think of
all kinds of people, and I make you think of all kinds of
people, but it doesn't have to be *bad*. It's not like
skipping Thanksgiving dinner at the manor means we have
to pretend we're not -- who we are."

And Tim doesn't say anything to that, but it isn't really the
good kind of quiet, and, if he's honest with himself, Jason
doesn't really need an explanation as to *why* it isn't. Not
before Tim looks up and into him, not while he's doing it,
and not after he looks down again, and rests one hand on
the one of Jason's that's still on Tim's dick just like they
were at a table or holding hands or -- something.

Because --

Because pretending -- *pretense* -- is what 'Flamebird's' all
about. But --

"I'm tired of fucking Flamebird."

"The alternative --"

"Is *better*," Jason says, and it's actually not too much of a
sacrifice to let go of his own dick for long enough to grab
Tim by the jaw and hold on. One vulnerable position --

"You don't know that. You don't -- know *me*. And I
don't -- I don't think I know you, either."

-- after another. "Yeah, how 'bout that? You know I'm the
little brother Dick *didn't* always want, and Bruce's favorite
nightmare fuck, and the one Kal-fucking-El *didn't* bag."

"I -- I'm pretty sure Steph's not interested --"

"And I know Dick can't figure out if you're his little brother
or his secret weapon, and Bruce can't figure out how to
make you need him, and Kal-fucking-El can't get off your
jock with lube and a -- heh -- crowbar --"

"Suddenly, those jokes are funny again. I -- Jason --"

"And that *Steph* can't stop scrubbing her lips from every
time you planted one on her. Good thing you never fucked
her --"

"Don't -- *don't* --"

"And I know you're about as *over* all of that as I am about
all *my* shit, that if you were Flamebird wouldn't even
*exist* the way he does, and that everything else… well."
Jason shrugs, more casual than he feels *or* looks -- he
knows it.

"What? Is this where you say something about 'making it
up as we go along?' That's *not* what this is about --"

"And now I know that this 'isn't what this is about.' For you.
But near as I can see -- we're the only ones around making
the rules."

"I --"

And there's more -- a *lot* more he can say. He's pretty
much on a *roll* here -- never mind his angry and *forlorn*
dick -- because Tim's kneeling there looking like there's
nothing under him but a big-ass chasm full of questions.
Even *with* Jason's had still being on *his* dick. Tim --
shit. Jason kinda has to laugh.


"Nothing. You just look like you're *here* for the first time
since I came to play, Tim-I-mean-Flamebird."

Tim closes his eyes, but it's only for a moment before he
opens them again, and takes a deep, shaky breath. "You
could've just said you wanted us to beat each other up

"Uh, huh. And then I could've *waited* for you to analyze
the statement to death, probably in ancient Kryptonian,
and we would've gotten exactly nowhere. This way --
we're already pretty much naked and in a bed. My way's

"What, no 'say it, bitch?'"

Jason grins. "Figured it was implied."

"You -- I love the way you feel."

Jason nods. "I like the sound when your mask is sliding
against mine."

"I --"

"Let's keep fucking."

"-- concur," Tim says, and the smile on his face makes the
kiss harder, makes *him* harder, and he doesn't fucking
care what that means, and if Talia *really* cared, herself,
she would've *dismantled* the League of Assassins, as
opposed to just making it worse.

Fuck Bruce, anyway --

And that's exactly what he's doing when Tim wraps a hand
around him again, just like how it's exactly what Tim's
doing when he starts *rhythmically* stroking into Jason's

"It's --"

"Don't stop *kissing*, Jason --"

"It's *better*," Jason says, and finally takes his own real
damned thoughtful bite to Tim's mouth, "when you can
just *admit* it. All of it --"

"Hmm. Friends of Bruce W.," Tim says --

And Jason coughs the laugh into Tim's mouth --

"I thought we were *done* with the spitting, Jason --"

"I hope so," Jason says, and it's hard to tell whether he's
yanking Tim's head back down to his dick or if Tim's kinda
diving for it, and that's --

That's so fucking *good*. Too good for it to *feel* good for
a minute, because at first it's just relief, and then it's relief
and his spine being on fire, and then he can't even feel
himself except *for* his dick --

"Thank you thank you *thank* you if you stop I'm gonna
*kill* you --"

And Tim chokes around him, and Jason's betting that's a
laugh. And -- yeah. Just that shiver and twitch, rolling up
inside him from the head of his dick to everywhere that
*counts* --

"I -- okay, maybe I'll do it quick -- oh, *shit*, this -- I --"

This is Tim fucking his own face, and it's not new, but it
feels like it *should* be, like -- he doesn't know. Maybe
they should've *waited* or something, and the Talia in his
head is laughing her ass off, and the Bruce in his head
looks *confused* --

And the Tim in his head is being a smirking sonofabitch,
which is more than enough reason to catch the bastard's
rhythm and make it harder, better -- and when Tim reaches
for his hands, he's all set to just hold on and *rock* --

But the fact that Tim wants Jason's hands on his head is
nothing like a surprise. It would -- it would be a lot weirder
if *everything* about the way Flamebird had sex was
different from the ways Tim did --

"I'm not -- gonna have to Kryptonite your alien sugar
daddy -- after all --"

It's probably wrong to make Tim laugh around his dick on
*purpose*, but it feels too good for actual -- as opposed to
theoretical -- guilt. Especially because Tim's doing that thing
where he pretends he doesn't need air -- all that practice at
killing all the oxygen in a *room* -- and just swallowing
around him, over and fucking *over* --

"Jesus -- I -- I bet you make your boyfriend set fire to shit
by *accident* --"

And the best thing about keeping Tim in this position --
Tim's hands are on his own head, and Jason's hands are
*holding* them there  -- is that he can't actually point to
any of the burn scars which may or may not be Superman's
fault --

"I bet -- I bet you could thaw Dick right *out* -- God
*fuck* --"

Okay, he deserved those teeth, and he *deserved* them,
but mostly Tim knows he loves it, he loves it, he --

"I bet you could make me fall for you," he says, and it
comes all out in a gasp, just like something he *didn't'*
mean to say out loud, but it makes Tim choke, pull back a
little, groan, and go right back *down* --

Maybe it's better if Tim doesn't know it's not an accident,
maybe it feels more *real* --

And maybe he can just close his eyes and *ride* this, one
thrust after another after another, short and no better than
what Tim's *doing* to him, what he always goddamned
fucking *does* -- oh fucking --

Jesus --

One day, maybe, he's gonna figure out how to come silently
on *purpose*, as opposed to getting shocked into it (sucked
into it) because it's too good for him to stop *thinking*, as
opposed to just groaning, urging --

And giving up, because Tim actually does need air,

And looking at his mouth just makes him want to do it again,
and Tim knows him well *enough* that he's smirking even
before Jason's dick gets up enough energy to twitch for
him. Right.


"Yes, Jason?"

"Kiss me."

And it's -- kind of a weird kiss for Tim, actually. It's soft,
more like a breath or a touch than anything else, but it's
not… sweet.



And the look on his face isn't *Flamebird*, but it's still got
too many secrets behind it. "Yeah, again."

Another, just like the first. Just like --

"Are you *kissing* me in Kryptonian?"

Tim catches his tongue between his teeth, and doesn't
*quite* blush, so -- he absolutely is, but. "You seemed --
invested in just going with… everything we do and don't
know about each other, so…" And Tim presses their palms
together hard, and holds them there…

And when Jason spreads Tim's fingers with his own --

"Yeah, I -- yes."

Jesus, that's -- Tim's breathing harder, and his eyes are
closed, and when Jason gives him one of those dry little
kisses *back* --

"Fuck, yes --"

"You've gotta be kidding me --"

"Think of it like -- a formalized tease."

"Okay, I -- but --" Jason shakes his head and goes in for
another kiss, and another, and *squeezes* Tim's hands --

"I can feel -- how much more you want. And you can --"

"I get it. I think -- do you manage this *before* you get off
a couple of times between you?"

"Not -- well. Jason, I --" This kiss *lasts* longer, but it's still
dry, still soft and --

Even further from being sweet. It's dark and actually kind
of -- there's only so much of this he can take without
wanting -- *wanting*. "Can I -- what about your neck?"

"I should -- I shouldn't be naked, but -- yes."

And he goes for it, just -- presses with his lips, dry as he
can, and stays there. And -- breathes, through his nose, and
his dick wants him to know that it *can* report for duty, but
Jason's gonna pay for it -- "Tim --"

"Jason, I -- you could tell me. Show me -- Talia --"

"You were already -- ah. That thing -- with my balls --"

And *that's* a real enough, deep enough blush that Jason
can *feel* it, even though his eyes are closed.

"Also -- if you put on lingerie I think I'd have to kill myself."

"N-noted, just -- please -- I need -- I have --"

Jason kisses his neck again, quick, and moves back to his
mouth and just -- holds them there. It's not really a kiss at
all, like this, but it feels -- when Tim opens his eyes it
feels -- he pulls back. "You can't really -- not in English,

Tim shakes his head. "But I can -- you should touch me.


Tim drags Jason's hands down to his thighs, and between,
and holds them there. His balls feel tight, hard under soft,
and he's already erect enough that Jason would have to
move their hands to touch his *dick*.

"I -- Jesus, this is --"

"Interestingly, this touch -- is more appropriate than the one
to my neck, or -- if you wanted -- like this, my hips and back
are out of bounds, to some extent. But not -- here," Tim
says, and drags their hands back and forth, teasing his own
inner thighs --

"I love the way you smell when you sweat for me --"

"Love -- how it feels -- God, I --" Tim licks his lips, fast.
"You could probably make me come --"

"And get incinerated by your boyfriend for poaching?" Tim's
thighs are getting slick enough with sweat -- is this what he
means about showing him Talia? "This -- *am* I poaching,
touching you like -- I don't wanna stop. You --"

"Certainly, I -- Kal-El and I will have to -- have to talk -- your
calluses. You --"

"What about 'em?" Other than how he's now actively
working to hit every spot he can *think* of with them.

"Please. I -- oh fuck I *beg* --"

And it's English, but it doesn't *feel* like it in Jason's head.
It doesn't feel like anything except *more*. "Can I -- do I
suck you?"

The head-shake is fucking *violent*, and wonderful enough
that Tim's sweat is stinging the bite he'd left on Jason's
lip --

"Then what? You -- you really need to tell me --"

"Touch -- my dick, just -- and -- don't kiss me yet --"

As far as Jason's concerned, jerking Tim off and staring at
his wide eyes, his wider mouth -- so fucking wet and
open -- yeah. Not off his jock with lube, a crowbar, and
actual flames licking at that big alien dick.

He *gets* it, and then just wants fucking *more* of it when
Tim works his hands free of Jason's own and lets them fall
at his *sides*. Like --

"This is just -- just what I do to you?"

"It -- it's not mandatory like this -- I mean -- it's --
preferred --"

And he thinks he maybe understands a *third* of it, but it's
enough. He's not using his mouth, he's *only* touching
Tim's dick, and he can do it however he wants. Pinching at
the head makes Tim *look* like he's screaming, even
though the only sound is escaping air.

Stroking light enough to tickle makes Tim *sweat* more,
makes the room feel hotter and closer and more --
dangerous, somehow.

"You --  do you get to tell me what you want?"

Tim shakes his head, stops, nods --

"Not -- exactly?"

"Yes, I -- Jason, oh Jason I shouldn't even be begging, but
I --"

"Then don't," and he thinks he's making it sound easier than
it feels, he thinks --

Jason's not even hard again, yet, not really, but it feels like
something thin and hot and razor-sharp is pulling tight in
his belly, like if he stops or breathes too hard he'll be able
to look down and see himself falling right to bloody little
*pieces* for this, *just* this.

Tim's mouth shut tight and his eyes wide --

Tim biting his lip and clawing at the sheets with shaking
fingers --

Jason's using everything he knows to *keep* from working
Tim the right ways, the fast ways, and it *hurts* to do it,
and he knows Tim knows that, and he knows --

It's not like he didn't get 'ritual' before, but not -- not like
this. It's like fucking a priest, or getting fucked *by* a
religion. It's -- he kind of wants to incinerate himself *for*
Superman, but he kind of already *is*.

And Tim's not putting anything out by coming all over his
fingers, and --

Jason tries to make this kiss *fit*, but he can't, and Tim
clutches him *hard* when Jason slips his tongue in, and
then it's just necessary to slam them back down to the
mattress and really do it.

Wash them clean, put it out, make it real -- something.
Just -- wait.

"Jesus fucking -- did we just *role-play*?"

"I --" Tim's laugh is breath and feeling, and something that
makes Jason need to pull him closer --

*Have* him. "Seriously, Jesus I --"

"You're right. We were supposed to -- stop. Weren't we?"

And -- point, but also -- *point*. Jason head-butts Tim
lightly and blows out a breath. It doesn't --

It's not that it doesn't matter, but it *is* that it's different.
It was different. It -- if they can stay like this, just holding
and holding *at* each other, it'll be another kind of ritual.
Another little piece of magic, even though there's no
Batman here, at all.

"Should I have -- not done that?"

Jason bites Tim's cheek. "Encouraged me, you mean? I
don't --"

"Kal's started doing that, you know. That particular kind of

It isn't *quite* ice-water to the crotch. "Yeah, well, he's a
genius, *too*," Jason says, and pushes until Tim's lying on
his side and facing away from him. "Spooning."

"Ja wohl."

"And also -- eat me. Later."

"Noted," Tim says, and lies there in a way that manages to
feel obedient *and* real, like maybe the two things --

No, the two things were *always* different, and that's
why -- part of why -- Bruce isn't here and they aren't

"It's okay that you're thinking of Bruce, right now."

"Better be," Jason says, and doesn't stop himself from
hunting down the burn scars. Eventually, Tim will look
like -- "Do you -- did you seriously cut your hair that
way to make it look like you'd burned it off at some

"Hmm. Call it a happy accident -- it seemed dangerous
to keep it longer. The final effect was a... surprise."


Tim rolls on his back and turns his head on the pillow.
"Still think I'm faking it?"

Only when he pretends none of it matters. Only when
the accidents aren't happy *or* unhappy. "Asshole,"
Jason says.

Tim's smile manages to be both smug and soft at the
same time. "It's still okay that you're thinking about

Right. "Fuck off to sleep, why don't you? You've got
late watch again," Jason says, and pushes Tim back
over onto his side.

"Mm. Dawn over Bludhaven. So... flammable."

Jason jabs him -- lightly -- over the old kidney

Tim sighs.

Like this, in the flickering neon... he looks less
naked than ever.

Jason can get used to that, maybe.