But yet so irresistible
by Te
August 14, 2004

Disclaimers: No one and nothing here belongs to me.

Spoilers: None, really. Owes a lot to "Desire," Devin
Grayson's story from the Batman 80-page Giant #1.

Summary: Bruce and Tim bond.

Ratings Note/Warnings: NC-17. Contains content
some readers may find disturbing.

Author's Note: The timeline on this one is a little
vague. I think this takes place sometime *before*
Teen Titans rebooted, but not all that much

Acknowledgments: To Jack, LC, Livia, and
Weirdness Magnet for audiencing and


Tim sits at the kitchen table, absently turning his
empty mug in small circles. Alfred's cocoa is a lingering
warmth in his stomach and a sweetness in his mouth. Alfred
himself has retired for the evening, and Tim is... well, a
significant portion of his mind is curious about the evolution
of definitions as it regards to Alfred's broad conception of
the word 'evening.'

Another portion is hopelessly -- and usefully -- aware of the
fact that he has no more than three hours to get home
before his absence becomes problematic. He doesn't usually
linger when a patrol ends early. Care is more important than
nearly everything else.

Nearly, and that ties directly into what's occupying *most*
of his thoughts. It was... a *good* night. Not quiet -- no
night when Catwoman is doing her version of working could
ever be called *quiet* -- but not especially traumatic, either.

Assuming nothing awful is happening right now -- which,
granted, is a rather large assumption, but still -- no one died
on their watch tonight.

Nightwing recovered the jewelry, Oracle tracked everything
down that *needed* to be tracked down, and Detective
Montoya slammed his target's face into a wall so he didn't
have to.

And while some nights that sort of assist could be
frustrating... well. Tim doesn't think it's a *bad* thing that
he's rarely interested in committing acts of violence for the
sheer hell of it. In fact, he's pretty sure it's a *good* sign.

But there's a certain sort of... lack, to nights like these, as
well. He's grown accustomed to getting all the exercise he
could ever need on the average night's patrol, and to the
fact that, most of the time, any excess energy he's built up
with the flood of adrenaline would be used in a timely

And while nights like this one aren't all *that* rare --
especially since he *doesn't* often work Gotham proper
these days -- they're still odd enough that he's feeling a little

*That* isn't what's occupying his attention.

The fact that he knows -- *knows* -- Bruce feels the same
way, does. Because, while he can usually expect Bruce to
continue his own patrols long after Tim has... taken care of
enough of his own restlessness as he can, and even long
after Tim has snuck back into his house and tricked himself
into a restful-enough sleep...


It's a Catwoman night.

There are certain things that he'd never precisely needed an
explanation about, despite a distinct lack of *practical*
knowledge. And there are certain things he'd known about
Gotham's night-focused inhabitants long before any of them
knew *he* existed.

Before he'd understood nearly anything at all, he'd known
perfectly well that the best nights to watch Robin -- *Dick*
-- working solo were the nights when Catwoman was
wreaking her own very specific brand of havoc.

And, while attempting to actually *follow* Batman and
Catwoman had often proved to be more trouble than it was
ultimately worth, for his tastes, there are other ways to
learn more, and other things *to* learn, and...

Ultimately, there is *no* better indication that one set of
their security feeds or another had gotten footage of Selina
Kyle than the way Alfred specifically *invites* him for cocoa
on those nights, as opposed to simply announcing to the
Cave at large that refreshments were available.

A more-Alfred-than-Alfred way of saying "I believe Master
Bruce would appreciate some time alone."

And it isn't as though he's *resentful* of it. Or, well, of
anything more than the inconvenience, considering the fact
that Tim has *also* grown accustomed to having the Cave
to himself at times like these. On *nights* like these. And it
isn't even as though his options are particularly limited.

There are a lot of ways a resourceful young man with a lot
of freedom and regular access to the sort of vehicles
which --

He probably shouldn't think about the cars right now.

He *wants* to think about the cars. So sleek and powerful
and *mutually* possessive. There isn't a single Bat-vehicle
he isn't expert at operating. Neither Bruce nor himself would
have it any other way, after all. There *also* isn't a single
Bat-vehicle for which the design isn't somehow *mystically*
perfect for providing the feeling of being equally driven.

Equally... ridden.

There's a hollowness to the manor on nights like this one, or
rather the absence of the usual entirely irrational sensation
that he's on solid ground. The manor, for all of its stately
*soundness* in the wake of the rebuilding, is still only a
marker for the people who know and camouflage for the
people who don't.

The Cave stretches deep and broad and massive beneath his
feet and several layers of excellent construction, yawning
open in the same moderately disturbing invitation as ever.

Bruce didn't send him *home* tonight, after all.

And Bruce knows *him* well enough to know that, well... he

It's just a question of how much plausible deniability both of
them are willing to surrender for the sake of... restlessness.

It isn't a surprise to find himself already washing his mug. It
*is* a surprise just how easy it is for him to open the clock,
and move down the stairs and...

The Cave is dark -- darker than usual. The only lights are
the one in the Case, the dimmest ones over the cars, and, of
course, the ones from the monitors. Which are showing...
precisely what he'd expected.

He hadn't made his approach especially subtle -- or even
tried to. Bruce knew he was coming, and he's still...

Tim pauses just behind and to the left of Bruce's chair,
cataloguing Bruce's posture -- a half-lounge, the relaxation
of a large, reasonably well-fed predator -- with a
reflexiveness that, tonight, is connected to something else
entirely. The cowl is off, and, for some reason, the way
Bruce's right leg is crossed over the right, with the ankle
resting on the knee...

Perhaps it's the combination of posture and uniform. It's a
Bruce Wayne pose, after all, but it's *Bruce*, and so it's not
a pose.

Ultimately, it's very difficult to make his thoughts move
beyond anything more specific than 'his legs seem very long,
this way.'

And Bruce hasn't looked at him, or moved, or even
acknowledged his presence. His attention is focused on the
monitors, one hand on his chin, the index finger pressed to
his mouth.

To someone who didn't know Bruce very well, it would,
perhaps, seem as though he was merely deep in thought,
with perhaps a touch of impatience. Tim knows Bruce far
better than most, and so knows there's probably a *reason*
why they're -- still -- watching Selina commit felonies on two
monitors and simply *move* on three others.

He just isn't entirely sure what the reason -- reasons -- are.

And he doesn't want to be.

Not right now.

It isn't that he doesn't understand the attraction. As an
enemy, there are few more dangerous. As an ally, few more

And Tim has ceased to be startled by her muscular
acrobatics. Her training wasn't an equal to Dick's, but her
original potential may very well *have* been.


"I heard Nightwing got to work at a circus tonight," he offers
with a casualness he neither feels nor especially expects
Bruce to believe.

He offers it to the silence, and waits, and then simply
focuses on keeping his breathing reasonably efficient when
Bruce *does* look at him.

Most people place far too much faith in the concept that the
people who wear masks do so in large part to keep their
emotions secret. While there is a certain validity to the idea
-- there's rarely any percentage in allowing criminals to see
how terrified you are at any given time -- it's also a simple
truth that *they* all learned to hide their emotions anyway.

Masks or no masks.

And Bruce... Tim knows from experience *exactly* how
innocuous Bruce can seem when he wants to.

Which is just another reason why the expression on Bruce's
face *now* is so... affecting. The sharpness and the
*focus*. Tim had surrendered a great deal of their
deniability solely by allowing restlessness to lead him back
to the Cave tonight. Bruce has done an excellent job of
removing the rest.

His eyes make the word 'restlessness' into the most
laughable of all possible euphemisms. He doesn't look well-
fed at all, and the expression is as much of a question as
anything else -- does Tim know what he's asking?

He does. And so when he *can* breathe steadily enough
that he has some degree of trust in his ability to speak, he
says nothing but, "that's who I'd like to see... tonight."

There's no need to say 'and who you'd like to see, too, I
think,' and so he doesn't. And Bruce doesn't move, but his
expression... shifts.

Sharpens even more, *focuses* even more. It's the
difference between being thoroughly examined and being
thoroughly *devoured* in a manner too metaphorical for a
night like this one. It's...

It feels like something some part of him was *waiting* for,
this opportunity to confess and to *share*. With Bruce.
Who, of course, knows anyway.


Tim feels every minute of the time he's spent half-hard in
his suit. He wants, very badly, to know what *Bruce* feels.
So he steps a little closer, with no more intention than the
declaration *of* intent -- he wants this, some part of this,
*please* -- but Bruce hears that, too, or feels it, and Bruce
drags Tim into his *lap*.

He sprawls reflexively, spreading his legs over Bruce's thighs
and bracing his toes on the floor. On the monitor closest,
Catwoman is smiling, and tossing herself backwards off a
rooftop. Here, Bruce is cupping his wrists and squeezing.

And breathing against the back of his neck.

"I -- oh. Do it, Bruce..." The fact that he isn't entirely sure
whether he's referring to whatever Bruce might have
planned or the fact that he *still* hasn't changed the
evening's... entertainment is almost entirely irrelevant. He
*likes* that he said it.

And the way Bruce is pressing hard, tiny circles into his
wrists through the gauntlets... Tim shifts, letting his toes
leave the floor, letting his legs dangle to either side of
Bruce's own.

And Bruce makes a soft sound that *feels* like an
agreement to something Tim isn't sure whether or not he
asked for, which is confusing right up until Bruce lets go of
his left wrist and lifts the remote, shutting down every
monitor but one and replacing the image of Catwoman
running through an exhibit of undoubtedly priceless Egyptian
jewelry with... "Oh."

It's him.

It's... the date on the lower left of the screen is for a night
three months ago. The light comes from the flash-bangs
he'd used to even the odds against the team of would-be
bank-robbers. It's strobic and difficult to parse in terms of
normal combinations of light and shadow, but his body
remembers *that* kick, and the smell of the blond's -- no,
the *other* blond's -- cologne.

In the silence, he can't quite remember what the sound of
the short bark of laughter he can see himself make had
been like. He remembers the mild strangeness, because --

On-screen, he's staring up at the corners of the ceiling
and --

"You didn't expect that much of an echo," Bruce says.

"I'd overcompensated for the flash-bangs."


The sound isn't non-committal so much as an expression of
confirmed suspicion. Accordingly, the footage shifts to the
infinitely better quality video of him training with the
grenades in the unfinished southeast portion of the Cave
specifically set aside for potentially high-damage work.

The earphones hang around his neck, and he remembers
working until he was irrationally positive his eardrums were
about to start bleeding, and the frustration of being forced
to beg off patrol.

Mostly, he isn't *remembering* so much as thinking very
carefully about the fact that he hadn't known there *were*
cameras in that part of the Cave.


He doesn't realize he's moving until Bruce tightens his grip
on Tim's wrists and... spreads his legs. The position Tim's in
means that the move spreads *his* legs, too. "Oh. Is --"


The Tim onscreen rolls his head on his neck, and the
footage shifts to another inferior camera. An ATM one,
judging from the perspective and how completely useless
the picture would be for identifying suspects. Really, there'd
be nothing at all for him to remember the night by, save for
the fact that the man on the ground is very obviously -- still
-- writhing, and the Tim onscreen is rubbing the door of the
car the guy had tried to jack rather... noticeably.

"That was a more thorough beating than most."

Tim's honestly surprised they aren't *watching* it, but... "I

Bruce releases his right wrist and reaches up to cup his chin.
It's easy to forget how basically dissimilar the Bat-gauntlets
are from his own. The texture is entirely different, designed
for hands less naturally adept at fine work than those of
young boys. It's slick and cool and somehow even more
*unnatural* against his skin than the rough thickness of the

He tilts his head into the touch, but all Bruce does is pull him
back towards him -- a *little*.

Enough that his exhale ruffles Tim's hair. "How much
damage had he done to the car?" His tone is honestly
curious, even under the amusement.

It was a *Jaguar*, Tim doesn't say. "Several hundred dollars
worth. Assuming the woman's mechanic was honest."

"Hm," Bruce says, and places his hand back over Tim's wrist
while the Tim onscreen pulls the woman into a hug.

The footage shifts, again, and it's just another installment of
Robin vs. The Gangs. Correction -- another *several*
installments. He recognizes at least five -- possibly six --
different nights.

Different *fights*.

"When do you do the editing?"

"When I have trouble sleeping," Bruce says, as if that's
anything like a *specific* answer, and slides his left hand
inside Tim's gauntlet, stroking his forearm the way Tim
tends to stroke green Jaguars. His legs aren't spread enough
for Tim to be able to notice the stretch in his thighs more
than absently, and his forearms aren't particularly sensitive.

A part of his mind insists that he should find this boring, or
at least find his *lack* of boredom disturbing -- narcissism
would be, at *best*, inconvenient -- but... he isn't bored,
and it *isn't* narcissism.

There's nothing particularly interesting about watching his
own movements beyond the usual reflexive urge to catalog
the ratios of the number of moves he'd picked up from his
various teachers, and the usual *usefully* reflexive urge to
look for areas of improvement.

But this isn't training, and it isn't even training-with-*Bruce*.

It's... sex.

He blinks and bites the inside of his lower lip against the
abrupt *need* to shift on Bruce's lap again, shift
*purposefully*, because. It's a very *specific* kind of sex, a
*beginning* to it, as obvious from the way there are no
particularly *good* shots of the Tim onscreen -- yet? -- as it
is from the way Bruce hasn't touched him anywhere but his
arms and his face.



The next clip has the wider angle he could recognize half-
asleep. There are no views in Gotham like the one from the
roof of Central. He hasn't yet decided if the impression is
more like being able to look out at the whole of the city at
once, or more like the whole of the city being able to look in
on *you*.

He doesn't think he ever will and... he squints. "The camera
is in the actual signal?"

"On it. It needs to be replaced quite often."

Tim nods, and feels his hair brushing Bruce's jaw. And
watches, because it isn't immediately obvious -- or obvious
at all -- why *this* scene is supposed to represent an
escalation. Even considering the fact that Bruce has far more
focus on *him* than he would've guessed.

It's a soundless conversation with Detective Montoya, and a
typical one in his experience. Her discomfort with him --
perhaps with the entire existence of Robins --  is perfectly
visible, as is her immediate shift toward professionalism as
they discuss... Tim checks the date, and the thickness of the
folder in Montoya's hand. That would've been Riddler's last
escape, and Bruce had been... elsewhere.

He hasn't yet decided whether that would've been League
business in general, or Superman business specifically.

It's all routine, and he's almost convinced himself *Bruce*
knows it, too, until the Tim onscreen reaches the 'do level
best to increase goodwill toward vigilantes' part of the

He watches himself step away from the signal, deliberately
placing his back toward the roof-access door and spreading
his arms. Montoya's natural wariness ebbs -- as ever -- with
every moment the Tim onscreen fails to be backlit and
shadowed, and Tim's body remembers the feel of her hand
in his hair, ruffling it.

She'd smelled like coffee and, onscreen, her mouth is
curving around the most sardonically-pronounced '*nino*'
Tim has ever heard.

And the reasoning is starting to become clear, because
Bruce is shifting. Behind him, beneath and *around* him, if
only in the potential. If they weren't wearing their uniforms,
it's entirely possible that he'd be able to feel a noticeable
increase in the heat between them...

In more than just his imagination.

"Bruce --" He cuts himself off. He doesn't mean to ask. At
least, not yet. He wants to figure it out for *himself*, all
of it, and -- "Oh --"

It still isn't an extreme stretch. It's barely a *serious* one --
especially not for Bruce -- but it's still... more. He wants to
bend forward, or possibly just curl his legs under Bruce's
thighs as much as possible.

This position, for all its intimacy, is more about everywhere
he *isn't* being touched than anything --

"You like to... play," Bruce says, and there's a *strain* in his
voice that Tim isn't sure whether to agree with or just find
some way to *encourage*.

Tim has nothing to thrust against, but it's very, very hard to
keep his hips still, just the same. Bruce's jock is inhumanly
hard and *good* against his ass, and he knows it would be
even better if Bruce actually *thrust* against him. He says,

Bruce's hold tightens on his wrists again, and it's only sex
because of the way Tim's reacting to it -- another *nuance*
that deserves thought when he has more of a mind to offer
the matter --

It's a *question*, and while the Tim onscreen tumbles with
somewhat excessive *energy* off the roof of Central, while
the camera offers an excellent view of Detective Montoya
and the city spreading (or looming) beyond her, his mind
has an even better view of how very *little* he plays around

Whether or *not* they're working together. "Bruce. I
want --"

Bruce's sigh is audible and rough, but all he says is "Shh.
Watch." The chair creaks beneath them again -- Bruce is
leaning in, leaning *close*, and it's suddenly incredibly
*important* that Tim had removed his cape some time ago
-- and incredibly short-sighted that he *hadn't* removed the
tunic. Bruce's breath on the back of his neck isn't ticklish

"What -- what do you want me to see?" *Specifically*.

Bruce hums against the back of his neck and this time it's
*entirely* non-committal. Frustrating enough that Tim *has*
to move, at least a little, though he has to admit that part of
the problem is that he now knows *exactly* why that
counted as an escalation.

An escalation specific to *him*, even though the next clip
features one of his --

"I can't help but notice a surprising lack of attention,
considering." *More* amusement, and each puff of air --
there's a difference between 'foreplay' and 'tease,' though
he may eventually be forced to admit that the matter has
more to do with timing than anything else.

The Tim onscreen is laughing with silently *intense* joy,
because Dick has given up on sparring entirely. "I don't have
to *see* this one," he says, and remembers the way the
laughter had cut off in his throat, and the wave of gratitude
that he'd been able to blame it -- however steeped in
implication -- on the force of his body hitting the mats after
Dick had thrown him to get better access to the more
ticklish parts of his body.

"And you don't want to...?"

The 'why,' is unspoken, but still very much there, and Tim
pauses with his head bent and his legs -- yes -- half-curled
under Bruce's thighs. Physically, the message is almost
certainly a mixed one. But *that* isn't the question.

Bruce is honestly surprised that this is making him
uncomfortable, and he isn't sure why.

Tim swallows. "I... hadn't realized how *much* of a
difference there was between the way I interact with you
and..." *Everyone* else.

"I had," Bruce says and slips his hand out of Tim's gauntlet
and around to his back. The stroke isn't meant to be

Which, of course, is infinitely more soothing than anything
more innocuous could ever be. Bruce sees no problem
whatsoever with Tim's... applied compartmentalization. Or,
perhaps, had long since come to terms with it.

Another question deserving further analysis. *Deeper*
analysis, when he can stop pushing back against the hand
between his shoulderblades, when he can stop focusing on
one very specific aspect of this little discovery:

"Part of the -- attraction of... of voyeurism..." He looks up,
and watches Dick smile at the Tim onscreen, watches him
smirk as he completely fails to connect the way the Tim
onscreen is moving with the way *he* is. Both of them,
right now and right then. "Transgression," he pants.
"Illicit --"

"With the added attraction of speculation, of course," Bruce
says, and slides his hand around to Tim's chest again,
pulling him close and breathing against his ear. "You knew
I'd see *this*, eventually."

"We were... on the mats. You -- always. Bruce, I --"

"It would be fair to say I've spent a significant amount of
time considering your reasoning for giving me... this."

Oh. Oh, there's so *much*, and he -- Bruce's palm presses
hard on the tunic's armor and then *moves*.


Back to his wrists, and the blessing is a mixed one. He can
think enough to get at least *some* of his thoughts out --
"How... how often do you watch this? These."

But he also has entirely too much capacity to *focus* on the
next clip.

An entirely different angle of the Cave, and clearly he just
needs to accept that the *entire* place is wired for
surveillance. He never should have assumed (but had he?
Really?) that the design schematic would be based on
efficiency rather than thoroughness. And, in all honesty...

It's not like *he* would've been able to avoid pointing at
least a few cameras at the cars, and perhaps taking the
time, every once in a while, to watch them gleaming
mellowly in low light.

Or watch underaged vigilantes leaning one-handed on the
hood of *the* car, the *Batmobile*, with the other hand
shoved into the tights.

"Oh. Bruce --"

"Again, speculation." The hot, slow exhale against the back
of Tim's neck is deliberate enough to make him shudder,
more than anything else. Even -- "You knew that I'd know,

"I --" Didn't. He's not going to say that, even though it isn't
*entirely* a lie, and certainly wouldn't be a lie-with-intent.
Still. "I'd assumed your knowledge would involve some...
some..." It's amazing how obvious the movement of
onscreen-Tim's shoulder is. How... utterly impossible to
interpret in some other way. "Some other form of
deduction," he breathes.

Bruce laughs and drags the stubble on his chin over the
back of Tim's neck, slow and -- it's rough *and* ticklish
and -- "The simplest methods are not, necessarily, inferior."

He watches himself bite his lip -- no. He bites his lip and
watches himself claw at the slick hood with curled fingers.
The gauntlet was, paradoxically, *protecting* the finish. He
was --

It was the same *day* as the last clip, only a few hours
later, and he remembers remembering the way Dick's
fingers had *moved* over his body, and he remembers
what that shudder had *felt* like and he knows exactly how
close he is -- *was* -- to coming.

Now... now he's just aching. More when Bruce strokes Tim's
chest through the tunic, again, hugging him close. Bruce's
mouth is firm and dry on the skin just behind Tim's left ear.

"I used to only have two cameras over there," he says,
conversationally, and shifts away enough that he's hardly
pressed to Tim's back at all.

His thighs are burning, and he looks down to find that he
isn't just curling his legs under Bruce's anymore, he's
*clutching* Bruce's thighs with his calves and. He can't stop
his hips from jerking. Even though he still doesn't have
anything but the motion, even though he's watching himself
*do* it. "Bruce --"

"You never chose the same... position, twice."

'Routine is dangerous, and potentially deadly,' offers the
firm, entirely innocuous and steady Bruce-voice in his mind,
and Tim laughs before he can stop himself. "I -- some
habits --"

"What were you imagining, Tim?" The stroke over his chest
is firm and rhythmic. Promising. And Tim... he *knows*.

Because the Tim onscreen is so close, and he's never *just*
thinking about Dick's fingers when he's that close. There are
rhythms, routines to this, a... *groove* his mind slips into
when --


You. Fucking me, over the car -- he opens his mouth and
the words don't come out. He swallows and tries again.
"You -- your hand. On me." He feels himself blushing --
harder -- and jerks his chin toward the monitor, where he's
noticeably and *forcibly* trying to slow down.

And Bruce... pauses, just for a moment, his palm resting
lightly over the 'R' on Tim's chest. And then he moves and
Tim feels himself *pulsing* pre-come in a sexualized panic
reaction he didn't realize he *had*. But Bruce just moves his
hands back to Tim's arms and tugs off the gauntlets.

The left, the right.

Bruce's thumbs are hard and dry on Tim's pulse-points and
he says, "It's a curious fact about masturbation..."

Tim gasps and watches his recorded self shudder and spill
all over the hood. White on black and he couldn't possibly
have been as flushed then as he is now. "I --"

*Squeeze*. "When fantasies *are* utilized, they rarely
maintain... narrative consistency. A single image, however
desirable, is rarely the *only* thing on the subject's mind."

The fascinating thing -- he hadn't realized Bruce *could*
lecture in a voice like that one. It throws every moment of
his training into an entirely irrational suspicion. Tim *knows*
Bruce hadn't sounded like that, not ever, but --

He bites his lip again and the image on the monitor goes
black for just long enough for Tim to feel *relief* before the
picture switches to another day, another... he watches
himself pull off his boots and belt -- everything *rough* --
before *climbing* on the hood, lying on his back and --

"In other words," Bruce says, and forces Tim's thighs further
apart with the spread of his own, "I don't believe you've told
me everything."

It's absolutely true, and the fact that he doesn't *mean* to
be less than clear just makes it frustrating. More frustrating.
He watches himself arch up slowly, and even if he didn't
know *precisely* what occasion *that* was, he'd still...
know. It's --

"Who was *supposed* to be watching this, Tim?"

"I." He has to say it. He *has* to. "Dick always wants me to
be less... subtle." Even though he wasn't talking about this.
Even though he doesn't know --

Bruce squeezes his wrists hard. Too hard, for long enough
that it's honestly painful, and Tim grits his teeth and
watches himself stroke the hollows of his own hips.

His skin remembers how that felt. He'd never really
considered the possibility that the gauntlets could be
*ticklish*. "I --"

"It's an interesting interpretation of Dick's desire for less...
opaque communication." There's a *smile* in Bruce's voice,
and *that's* too much. It's his own fault for not just
*saying* it, how the way Dick *is* is as much of a desire as
the way he moves and smiles and touches and --

He remembers a boy who performed because he loved it,
and who loved it because performing was what he *was*.
And it didn't have anything to do with the people watching --
not *really* -- and Tim had always wanted -- so *badly* --
to have something like the same feeling.


"It's ... it's just -- that isn't *me,*" is what comes out of his
mouth, and the moan is no more frustrated than the words
themselves. He wants --

"Shh," Bruce says, and presses Tim's wrists flat to the arms
of the chair, stroking the backs of his hands before pressing
his *own* palms to Tim's thighs. Escalation. Comfort. "You
were... testing a theory, perhaps?"

"I --" He breathes and forces himself to relax his legs' grip
on Bruce's thighs from a clutch to a hold. "Yes." The Tim
onscreen drags a hand up the center of his chest, slow
and... *obviously*. There's no sound, and he doesn't often
look at himself while laughing, but... it's still the most
*natural* thing about the video.

Bruce rolls his hips up in a slow, controlled wave. The
impression of absolute *force*, contained. It's an invitation.

Tim licks his lips. "That's how *he* does it. Sometimes."

Bruce's inhale is sharp, and his hands tighten -- *spasm* --
on Tim's thighs. Interesting.

"You don't have footage of... that."

Bruce digs his thumbs into Tim's thighs and then lets go,
reaching for Tim's hands and twining their fingers together
for a long moment before stroking the entirety of his
forearms. "Strangely enough, Dick never felt the need to
masturbate on my car."

And what about your bed? Or his *apartment*. Or --  "Hm,"
Tim says.

Bruce flips Tim's arms over until he can stroke and scratch
at the palms of Tim's hands. "When."

He knows what Bruce is asking. "I watched both of you for
years before I ever met you," he says, in the steadiest voice
he can manage.

Bruce sighs, quiet and low. They both know Tim isn't just
stating a fact they're both fully aware of. There are... layers.
"You were... very young," Bruce says, and it sounds like a

"I wanted to know *everything*."

Bruce's lips press hard against the back of his neck, and he
strokes the insides of Tim's forearms, up and down. Tim
watches and...

Once, during No Man's Land, he'd woken up far too early.
The cold should've allowed him to sleep, but he'd been too
well-trained for that. He may actually die of hypothermia
one day, but it *won't* be because he'd forgotten himself
and fallen asleep. But *that* night... he remembers the way
it had been surprisingly difficult to *move*, and the way all
the pains that should've had time to fade overnight really
just hadn't. And he remembers Bruce slipping out of the
satellite-cave's shadows and crouching in front of him, and

"The generator needs to recharge," and chafing his arms,
and his legs, and his face until Tim had gone back to sleep.

The motion Bruce is using now isn't quite the same -- it's
much less *efficient* -- but Tim is suffering from the same
irrational certainty about it as he'd had about Bruce's
training voice. He could've had this then.

This same... he doesn't have words for it. Rightness and
safety and *understanding* are all right and all entirely
*lacking*. Movement on the screen catches his attention --
his taped self is slamming his head against the windshield.
He remembers how, at that point, he couldn't decide
whether he was feeling the impact or hearing it. "I was so
frustrated," he says, before Bruce has to ask. "I was -- I
couldn't imagine it, anything like... I kept losing the

Bruce presses his arms down firmly for a beat before
reaching for Tim's tunic. Opening it, and --

He doesn't slide his hands inside. "Bruce..."

"I know," he says, and *kisses* the back of his neck, wet
and soft.

"Oh --"

"I knew you were frustrated, too. It made this one...
uncomfortable to watch."

Tim's going to laugh about that just as soon as he can stop

Bruce is already laughing, somewhere beneath his voice.
"And yet..."

Onscreen, he's squeezing his eyes shut, and his mouth is
open. It wouldn't take a lip-reader to understand the
cursing, and then... "This is the part you like, Bruce," he
says, and watches himself shifting, moving sharply until he's
kneeling on the hood of the car, one hand in his jock and
one in his mouth.

"I know it by heart," he says, and this time his voice is a
smile *and* a question.

"Because you know -- you think you know -- what I was

And this time Bruce *actually* laughs, quiet and breathy,
and moves his right hand back to play with Tim's own. With
the fingers Tim is sucking onscreen. "I have my suspicions.
And inferences.

"And... hopes."

Tim watches Bruce's hand instead of the screen. *He*
doesn't need to see it. You don't have to masturbate in front
of mirrors -- or crowds, or cameras -- to have a good idea of
precisely what you look like when you're doing something
*that* familiar. "Yes?"

"Mostly," Bruce says, and pauses. And pauses the video, just
as the Tim onscreen is throwing his head back. "You're very

Tim examines the slightly grainy image critically. "I look like
I'm being electrocuted, Bruce."

"You're still a virgin," Bruce says, as though it answers

Tim rolls his eyes. "Yes, but I *know* --"

"You knew exactly what the Clench did to human bodies
before you were afflicted, as well," Bruce says, and uses his
left hand to curl Tim's into a loose fist.

And... that had been unpleasant. "Point taken."

"And also..." Bruce starts the video again, and Tim watches
himself gasping silently, *shouting* silently around the
fingers in his mouth.

He still hasn't touched his dick -- in either temporal plane --
and the resonant ache is something like the sexual torture
version of standing between two mirrors. "Bruce --"

"I can -- easily -- imagine making you look just like that. Just
that... pained."

"I -- oh."

"And now," he says, squeezing the fingers of Tim's right
hand and scratching a path up the inside of Tim's thigh with
*their* lefts, "it's effortless."

"I... see."

Bruce nuzzles the lowest edges of Tim's hairline, and kisses
him there four times. "Was it Dick in your mouth?"

And if Bruce had asked that question *before* the Tim
onscreen finally pushed his jock aside... But he didn't, and
Tim *won't* lie. Not... not now. "It was Kon. Superboy."

'The clone,' is what Bruce doesn't say -- out loud, anyway,
and Tim has the simultaneous urge to apologize and attack,
followed, as usual, by the frustration of disagreeing with
Bruce in such a *fundamental* way.

He waits, instead, and eventually Bruce pushes Tim's left
hand back to rest on the arm of the chair, and strokes the
inside of Tim's thigh with *just* his own hand. Large and
hard and warm, even through Tim's tights.

Not as warm as Kon's would be. Infinitely more possessive...

"It's an... older fantasy," and Bruce's voice is soft with
implied compromise.

Tim takes a deep, shuddering breath. "One of the first.
About him."

Bruce strokes hard at the crease between Tim's thigh and
abdomen with his left hand, and his right is almost
*worrying* at Tim's fingers. "He's taking you."

"Using me."

The sound Bruce makes can only be described as

"It's -- he wouldn't --"

Bruce stops the tape entirely, and Tim blinks at the black

And breathes.

After a while, Bruce moves his hands to Tim's shoulders and
pushes. Gently. *Without* letting go.

Tim stands and turns, cautiously, and Bruce's face is...
difficult to describe. He tugs on Tim's shoulders -- again,
gently -- and Tim straddles him again. Waits.

Bruce cups his chin and tilts Tim's face up and says, "I

And he could ask which *part* Bruce is apologizing for, but
right now... right now it doesn't matter as much as *having*
this. "I accept," he says, and Bruce's lips part and Tim
wishes Bruce would spread his legs again. Spread *his* legs
again. "Bruce..."

Bruce strokes Tim's lips with his thumb, hard and slow.
"Would you tell me what you want me to do to you?"

The stress is only implied, but it's still *there*. "I --
*mm* --" Bruce's thumb *in* his mouth, pushing in, sliding
out, pressing down on his tongue, and Bruce's eyes are wide
and hungry and... they look like they *should* be black. The
blue is almost painful to look at.

"Would it be... should I tell you what *I* want?"

Easier. He was going to say -- Bruce's other fingers are
splayed over Tim's cheek, curling under his jaw, urging --
*suggesting* Tim tilt his head further up and back. When he
does, Bruce's thumb slides out entirely, and Tim says "Yes,"
and it doesn't matter what he's answering.

Because Bruce pushes his thumb back *in* and slides his
other hand down to the base of Tim's spine. Steadying him
before he spreads his -- *their* -- legs.

Tim moans around Bruce's thumb and tries to keep his eyes
from --

"No, close them. I -- like that. Oh, Tim..."

Tim curls his hands into fists at his sides and waits and --

"You're in your room. *Here*."

He's fourteen. He's fourteen and his mother is dead and his
father is never going to wake up and he lives in the Manor,
with Alfred and with Bruce.

"I wanted to come to you, Tim. I wanted to..." Bruce's voice
is a hoarse whisper, belying the steadiness of the thumb
pushing into his mouth.

There's more than one reason for his eyes to be closed.

"I didn't know what I wanted. You were so very strong. I..."
Bruce slides his thumb out of Tim's mouth and trails it wetly
over his chin before pushing his hand into Tim's hair and
pulling him close. "I watched you sleep," he says, lips
brushing Tim's own with every word.

"Bruce --" It feels like a kiss, the motion of his mouth --

"I touched your hair. And then I went back to my room,
and..." He drags his mouth up over Tim's cheek, tilting Tim's
head down and breathing against his eyelid. "When I closed
my eyes I was holding you again. And you were just as...
you always knew what you *wanted* from me."

He thought he had. He... oh, but back then he *did* know.
"I thought I wanted everything from you, Bruce. It..." It
made so much *sense*.

Bruce's laugh isn't entirely humorless, even with the
tonelessly *raw* tone of it. "Tim," he says, and kisses his
forehead before pushing him back.

Not too far -- just far enough that it must not be awkward at
all for him to push the tunic open further, to un-tuck Tim's
t-shirt and stroke his way up Tim's chest.

To make him shiver. The physical reactions make perfect
sense -- he's been aroused for so long that he's over
sensitized, and the light touch is a tease. Emotionally --

"*Bruce* --"

"Shh," he says, and presses hard, holding Tim steady with
the hand at the base of his spine. His hands are warm and
hard and rough, and the twisting pinch to his nipples is a

Even though he's shouting.

"I wanted you to laugh, Tim."

Dick backflips across the surface of Tim's mind, and Bruce
pinches harder.

"I wanted you to *fight* me, Tim," Bruce says, and --

It isn't Dick at all.

"I wanted to see... what you would do," and Bruce lets go
and grabs his hips instead. "Tim."

He doesn't know what to say. He doesn't... he'd never
gotten to *see* that, and it seems as though this would be
a terrible time to remind Bruce of the others. He opens his
eyes and Bruce moans.

And kisses him hard.

And keeps *his* eyes open, and Tim's trying -- he wants to.
He has to *think* about this, how to go *about* this,
because he's never been able to imagine Bruce with the
others without slipping into the most *viscerally* satisfying

Not even fantasies. The images were always... so *much*.

And he's never done it seriously, and he *can't* do it now,
because Bruce is staring into him like a mystery, like a
*question*, and it doesn't matter if Dick or Jason would do
it, *he* has to buck and groan and -- *open*.

He already is.

He wants to see what *Bruce* will do.

After the tongue stroking his own and the narrowed eyes.
*After* the tightening of those hands on his hips and the --

Abrupt pause. Hm. "Bruce?"

"You're studying me," he says, and his voice is a strange,
almost frightening mix of surprise, amusement, and *pride*.

Tim raises an eyebrow.

"I *am* surprised, but..." Bruce's smile is sharp. "I shouldn't

That's nothing but truth. Tim rests his hands on Bruce's
shoulders and shifts, pushing down until he can feel the
stretch in his thighs again, and feel Bruce's jock rubbing
against his own. "Is it frustrating? We could wind up just...
waiting." It's surprisingly easy to picture them here, like this,
simply watching each other and -- The fact that it would
have next to no relation to the sort of control games he's
imagined is...

"I think a better description for it is 'rather too excitingly
amusing,'" Bruce says, and releases the catches on Tim's
belt before pushing the tunic off entirely and shoving the
t-shirt up to bunch beneath Tim's arms. He pauses for
another moment, staring, and Tim wonders if the attraction
is to his breathing or to his *flush*. And then Bruce lifts him,
holds him up and scrapes his stubbled cheek over Tim's


"Amusing, but ultimately... implausible."

"Bruce." In his fantasies, he tells Bruce to bite him. He begs
in no uncertain terms, because he can be both endlessly
coherent and perfectly *silent*. He opens his mouth, and
even the *moan* is choked, and his hands spasm on Bruce's

Bruce breathes *hot* on his skin. "You're here, with me."

"I -- yes --"

"I *have* you," he says, and lays his tongue flat against
Tim's nipple, flat and wet and not *rough* enough.

Tim jerks his hips against empty air.

"And I have a... *fair* idea of what you want." The warning
is as blatant as an inexperienced fighter's telegraphed
moves, but Bruce's teeth are hard and his hands are rough,
and Bruce only bites *harder* when Tim's hands spasm

"*Bruce* --"

"Somehow, I find myself caught between the urge to hush
you -- and thus feed into your more explicit fantasies -- and
the urge to do everything possible to make you scream."

There's absolutely nothing he can say to that, right now,
which is awful, because it's the sort of thing that could lead
to an interesting discussion if Bruce wasn't dragging his
teeth across Tim's chest and biting his *other* nipple.

If Tim wasn't shaking and gasping.

He's going to come in his *tights*, and the thought shakes
something free, *opens* something, and Tim understands
with perfect, sex-desperate clarity that the pain from his
jock is no more intense than Bruce's ruthless bites. That the
bites are making him harder, *hotter*.

The pain is --

"Good. It's -- *Bruce* --"

"Yes," Bruce whispers, and pulls back with one, last sucking
kiss to the claw marks Killer Croc had left below his left
pectoral, setting him down on his feet and holding on for
just long enough for Tim to remember how to stand. The
look on Bruce's face is sharp, focused and *calculating*, and
Tim's hands twitch at his sides.

He uses them to get rid of his t-shirt, instead. And there's
nothing surprising whatsoever about the fact that Bruce immediately focuses on his *face* as soon as Tim starts
pushing his shorts and tights down.

"Tim. There's... so much."

He nods, because opening his mouth is just -- he can't.

"Yes," Bruce says again, and pulls Tim's jock down to bunch
with everything else before Tim can do it himself. And
strokes the hollows of Tim's hips with a sort of *deliberate*

And Tim had every intention of begging, but the noise he
manages is strangled and wordless.

"I could easily grow addicted to conflicts like these," Bruce
says, and smiles at him with his eyes.

And pushes him back to sit on the console, crouching to
remove his boots and everything else. Getting them... out of
the way.

Tim's thighs twitch and Bruce makes a soft humming noise.
"I told you to *trust* your instincts, Tim."

The sound of his own laughter is cracked and breathless,
fading into just another groan when he *does* pull his
knees up and plants his feet. If he thinks about how
*exposed* he is --

"Don't close your eyes, Tim. Not now."

-- then he'll whimper, high in his throat, just like this,
because Bruce is staring at him, making all of this so much
more *real* than it had ever been before. Making *him*
more real. He can't actually stop whimpering.

Clearly, at least one of Bruce's 'dilemmas' has been solved.

And perhaps the other one, too, because Bruce slips the
lubricant from his own belt while Tim watches him, slicking
his fingers and tossing the tube aside with a tellingly
*careless* flick of his wrist.

Tim can't say the words.

Tim *has* to curl his fingers and toes and brace himself and
push *forward*. He isn't sure whether he wants it to feel
like a demand or a plea. He isn't sure it matters with Bruce's
left hand cupping his face and Bruce's right --

Another wordless noise, small and throaty, and it's just one
finger, and he's *done* that -- Bruce *undoubtedly* has the
footage to prove it -- but it's.

It's Bruce, staring down as Tim stares up, stroking his lip
and pushing *in*.

And into Tim's mouth with his thumb the next time he
gasps. Tim sucks hard, *gratefully*. He doesn't have to talk,
or even try. Bruce knows. Bruce wants --

"You look... drugged," Bruce says, and any effort Tim might
have made to *change* that -- any *idea* toward effort --
becomes moot when Bruce slides his finger *all* the way in.

And his thumb.

Bruce's gasp shows his teeth. "The unspoken is as tempting,
as rife with potential as everything else. Your face... you
*look*, right now, as though you would allow anything."

Tim moans around Bruce's thumb and Bruce *thrusts*. The
last time Tim had made a sound like *that*, he'd taken a
blow to the abdomen from a metahuman.

"And the urge to interpret, of course. Your sounds."

Bruce finds a rhythm with both hands quickly, *easily*. Far
more effortlessly than Tim can follow, because Bruce's
finger *twists* on every stroke, and the pad of Bruce's
thumb is moving over his teeth.

"Your... responses." Bruce gasps again and pulls his finger
out sharply, and Tim bites Bruce's thumb helplessly. He's
afraid to breathe too deeply, because every exhale comes
out low and *loud*, because --

Nothing could have kept that scream in. Bruce's fingers, two
of them, and they're slick, but Bruce's fingers are long and
thick and *in* him. Opening him --

"So generous."

*Fucking* him, and he grunts rhythmically around Bruce's
thumb, *drools* around Bruce's thumb, and he wants --

"Come for me, Tim."

And that's the oldest thing, the *best* thing, and Tim feels
his skin heat absolutely everywhere and fucks his mouth on
Bruce's thumb. He's brutally, painfully aware of his
untouched dick, of the way the edge of the console is
digging into his spasming palms.

Of Bruce, so close -- no. *He's* leaning closer, because
Bruce is taking his thumb *away* and --

"*Bruce* --"

"Look up."

Tim gasps, and it sounds like he's yelling, or begging. He is.
And he looks up, and Bruce makes a soft, low sound that
makes something in Tim's chest seize, or break, or *need*,
and the next thrust of Bruce's fingers makes his eyes roll
back in his head.

"I know you can, like this."

"Yes, just -- *oh* --" Inside, *inside*, and Bruce is --

"It's just *one* of the more tempting things about you,"
Bruce says in that roughly seductive voice, that *amused*
voice, the one he'll hear --

"Always -- I --"


"Please -- I -- *Bruce* --"

Breath on his ear, *teeth*, and Tim leans into it, bucks
against Bruce's hand and *needs*. And --

"*Oh* --"

Bruce's tongue and the slick, wet *slide* of it and -- "You
don't look like you're being electrocuted, Tim."

He looks like he's being fucked.

He grunts and comes and *shouts* and flexes around
Bruce's fingers, gasps and --

"More. Bruce --"

"Yes," he says, and *pushes* in one more time, holding his
fingers there, holding Tim *there*. Opened and fucked


"Put your arms around my neck, and -- Tim."

He can't tell whether Bruce had lifted more or he'd
*jumped* more. It doesn't matter. He has his arms around
Bruce's neck and his legs around Bruce's waist and Bruce is
still *inside* him. And smiling at him with his eyes.

And --

"Bruce --" Twisting, pushing, and Bruce *can't* get any
deeper like this, but that's an intellectual concern. Tim's
*body* is telling him something else entirely.

"The car?"

"The *car*," Tim says, and maybe later he can yell at
himself for just how embarrassingly *obvious* that was,

Bruce looks so *pleased*. He pushes his free hand into
Tim's hair and *yanks* Tim's head back and kisses his

*Sucks* his throat and -- they're moving. He can't see
anything but the roof of the Cave through his half-closed
lashes, but every step is just fucking him *more*, and Bruce
is tasting him, biting and kissing him, laying him flat on the
cool, smooth hood of the car and --

"Let go."

The difficulty is in convincing his body it's anything remotely
close to a good idea. Once *that's* done... His body knows
exactly how to get comfortable on the hood of a Bat-vehicle.
It's just one of those skills he'll never actually have the
opportunity to discuss with anyone.

Bruce pulls out and strips off the suit in a double-handful of
fast, efficient motions, then rests his knee next to where
Tim has his right foot planted.

He's naked and... entirely and obviously focused on just how
naked Tim is. Or perhaps --

"I miss the Redbird," he says, with a certain corrupt sort of
wistfulness that Tim can entirely identify with.

"You could get me another, but..."

"It really *wouldn't* be the same," and Bruce crawls onto
the hood of the Batmobile, crawls up and over him, and the
car's shocks groan and sigh companionably beneath them.
Bruce's dick is hard, *wet* against Tim's abdomen.

*Hot* against him, and Tim arches up. He'd never even
*considered* the possibilities of this, the feeling of
*contrast*... though the hood won't be cool beneath him for
very long. Not like this.

Bruce nuzzles his cheek and *presses* down, slow and
inexorable, until every breath is a struggle. Tim wraps his
legs around Bruce's waist again and... *skin*. So much of it,
and so much of a *difference*. Bruce drags his mouth over
Tim's own and kisses him softly.

And thrusts *hard*.

"Yes, Bruce --"

"I wonder what expression will be on your face when you
wash the car *this* time."

"Probably something --" The next thrust is just as hard, and
Tim has to *catch* his breath. "Similar." Assuming he
doesn't use his tongue.

"Hmm, perhaps," Bruce says and *licks* Tim's tongue.

They're moving the car. *Bruce* is moving the car, and
moving *him*, and Tim's skin makes loud, squeaking noises
against the finish. Just another sexual obscenity, like the
wet, sucking sounds he's making around Bruce's tongue.

Like the *avid* look in Bruce's eyes, and the way Tim knows
his own look precisely the same.

And then Bruce pulls out of the kiss, grinding hard against
him for not *long* enough before crawling back down off
the car. Tim follows, rolling onto his hands and knees
and... pausing.

Bruce is stroking his own dick and *watching* him. "Bruce,"
he says, more to give himself time to start thinking again
than for any desire to talk.

It makes Bruce's eyes narrow and Tim is abruptly aware of
the image he's presenting. He's naked, on his hands and

He's crawling over the hood of the car toward Bruce, and
the fingers of his right hand are curled over one of the

Almost claw-like, really.

Tim isn't sure whether he wants to laugh or *move*, and
Bruce's dick looks *painfully* hard. He settles for crawling
just a little closer and pointedly raising an eyebrow. "I don't
know how to use a whip, Bruce."

"You were always... always a very *fast* learner," Bruce
says, and gasps when Tim covers his hand with his own.

And gasps again when Tim digs *in* to the back of Bruce's
hand with his short -- suddenly *regrettably* so -- nails.

And moves his hand away, letting Tim wrap his fist around
the base of his dick. Panting, and -- "Tim."

"Meow," Tim says, and uses the flat of his tongue on the
head. One lick, two, and Bruce growls and shoves his hands
into Tim's hair and *pulls*.

The noise he just made was probably too high-pitched, but
he doesn't really think Bruce *particularly* cares. He braces
his free hand on Bruce's hip and sucks as hard as he can,
and --

Big. His lips are stretched and he can't do anything with his
tongue but *feel* Bruce.

Taste him.

*Take* him.

"*Tim* --"

Call me 'Selina,' he thinks, and makes another entry on the
list of things he should probably think very deeply about
sometime much, much later.

For now, it feels much too good to *smile* around the
ragged thrust of Bruce's dick, to rake his nails down the
hollow of his hip and choke on his own low moans.

Again, and again.

And look up into Bruce's wide, shocked eyes.

And swallow.

Every drop.

When Bruce pushes him off, his knees are shaking and his
fingers are *digging* into Tim's scalp. The kiss is messy and
hard, knocking Tim back until he's sitting on his heels, and
Bruce's hand shakes when he wraps it around Tim's dick.

"That was a surprise," Bruce says with a breathy laugh in his
voice and a *vicious* squeeze.

"I... improvised. Bruce --"

"You always do," and Bruce's kiss is fond and his hand is
absolutely ruthless. Absolutely --

Tim moans into Bruce's mouth and bucks up into Bruce's
fist, *fucks* Bruce's fist and clings to Bruce's broad, sweaty

Bruce stares into his eyes until Tim closes them.

And he doesn't stop kissing until Tim stops moaning.

When Bruce pulls away *this* time, Tim lets him. The vast
majority of his energy is currently devoted to not falling off
the car and braining himself on the Cave's floor. Bruce
ruffles his hair and moves toward the workbench, coming
back with a towel. It is, presumably, for --

"I *thought* about offering to let you lick my hand clean,

Tim snorts and balances more comfortably. "It just wouldn't
feel right unless I was wearing the lipstick, Bruce. And I
don't even know the *shade*."

Bruce's expression is just a knife of a non-standard design
as he wipes his hands clean. "'Bastet's Plum,'" he says. "If
I'm remembering correctly."

The fact that Tim *is*, actually, making a mental note about
it doesn't *have* to imply anything in particular. His life has,
after all, included a nearly endless amount of positive
reinforcement for his more obsessive tendencies.

Like Bruce's eyes on him.

Like the *cars*.

Tim grins to himself and jumps down off the hood,
stretching and wondering --

"You have another hour and a half," Bruce says. He's eyeing
the contents of Alfred's cleaning cabinet dubiously. "Perhaps

Tim nods and starts gathering up the various pieces of his
uniform. The jock is... pretty much a loss.

The chair smells like both of them.

The remote... well, the remote is right --


There. Bruce has an armful of cleaning supplies and an
entirely serious look on his face, despite still being naked.

Hm. Washing the *car* naked. With Bruce.

Tim puts the remote back where he found it.