Dangerous to reason
by Te
March 1, 2004

Disclaimers: If they were mine... I'm honestly unsure
what I'd do.

Spoilers: Vague ones up through Teen Titans #8.

Summary: Tim has a day. Bart's involved.

Ratings Note: NC-17.

Author's Note: Almost entirely Livia's fault. She is
the queen of wrong, wrong bunnies.

Title from Samuel Johnson: "Solitude is dangerous to
reason, without being favourable to virtue.... Remember
that the solitary mortal is certainly luxurious, probably
superstitious, and possibly mad."

Acknowledgments: To the Jack and Livia for
audiencing, encouragement, and helpful suggestions.


There's something a little disturbing about being a
Titan, now. More than the distressingly afterschool-
activity-esque rides out to San Francisco with Batman,
more than the fact that it feels like he's agreed to
something far, far more permanent than he ever
wanted to -- he isn't Dick, and he *isn't* Bruce, and
the whole idea of being on a team sometimes makes
him twitch, deep inside, where he can't stop it.

Tim still isn't sure *why* Young Justice was different,
but it was. Maybe because it never felt remotely
permanent. The 'young' pretty much guaranteed it
would all end in that increasingly-nebulous future of
his retirement, and it should be the same for the
'Teen' Titans.

It isn't. The name exists independent of age and
team makeup. It has a meaning to be lived up to, and
a *weight*.

But that's not the problem.

The *problem* is that it's only been a few weeks, and
yet there's already a rhythm to this. A weekend ritual
of catching up with them -- his *team* -- that
somehow already means more than what he gets
through Oracle's systems and his own *during* the
week. A familiarity to the faces and smells and
everything else.

The Tower shouldn't feel like a place to come home
to. He already has too many of those that *aren't*
his actual home. This has to change. And... he's been
saying that to himself for months, now, to the point
where the thought's increasing urgency has its own
sort of comfort.

But... not this week.

This week, the fascinating mystery of Cassie's new
lasso has a new wrinkle -- she appears to be wearing
it all the time, now. It was tucked against her skin
when she pulled off the sweater to reveal her
uniform. There's a lot there that he really, really
wants to know.

Not to mention the undeniable thrill of watching Kon
bend over backwards to avoid admitting to another
week's worth of detentions back in Smallville. He
gets this look on his face, a twisted little frown of
embarrassment and consternation that... Tim's
allowed to have fun. He *is*. It doesn't all have to
be about all the ways he's trying not to be Bruce, or
even Dick.

Some things are just amusing.

And then there's... Bart. Kid Flash, except...

"I don't think Wally's hair was ever that short," Tim
says, by way of greeting.

"It's not *about* Wally!"

He knows that, too. He lets himself grin to show it,
and Bart scowls at him. It's surprisingly effective
with the new buzz cut. He thinks about ways he can,
perhaps, get that across, but by then Kon and Beast
Boy have joined them.

"Dude, what *happened*?"

Beast Boy just gets right down to rubbing Bart's
head. His hair. All quarter-inch of it. Bart... thumps.

His foot, that is. The vibration is enough to make
Tim have to steady himself, a little. He really
shouldn't be surprised -- he already knows what
kind of chaos can occur when Bart gets *tickled*.

"Hey, *cool*!" Kon says, and gets in on the Bart-
petting action.


"Quit it!" And Bart's giggling and vibrating and doing
an extremely bad job of fighting Kon and Beast Boy
off. Worse when Beast Boy shifts into an entirely
*apt* ape form and keeps petting. "Oooh, fur -- no,
quit it!"

Tim smiles to himself. "So what *did* happen, Bart?"

"Oh -- I -- HEEE! -- no no no heeeeee! -- weird
terrorist guys at -- aaaack stoppit stoppit --
construction site and there was tar and -- HEE!"

Tim's cape whirls, and he checks behind him to
find Bart... crouching. "You got tar in your hair?"

"Yeah. I could vibrate myself hot enough to get
most of it to kind of slide off, but I can't vibrate
my *hair*."

"Mm," Tim says, and ducks for the large, green
primate currently diving over his head.


When he stands up again, Kon is clearly thinking
about strategy in terms of how best to get around

"Robin! HELLLLP!"

"Rob, man, you have *got* to try this."

It's tempting, what with Kory's flowers shaking their
way off the tables, and the imminent disaster of
the small, clearly audible earthquakes in the cabinets.
Not all chaos is *inherently* traumatic.

It's even more tempting to try to thwart Kon. But...
he wants to check their schedule, and see if there's
anything the adults aren't telling them *this* week,
perhaps involving the Raven issue. He smirks and
sweeps aside, leaving Kon a clear field to the tangle
of Bart and Beast Boy. "Maybe later."


He finds Kory in one of the gardens, doing her
unconscious best to make yet another mundane
activity pornographic. Tim thinks those shorts are
his size. Or were, a few years ago.

He represses the thought and crouches in *front*
of her. As a male of the species, he has plenty of
practice focusing on a woman's face, at least.

"Robin! What can I do for you?"

She smiles at him so sincerely that he pretty much
has to smile back, even though he knows... she's
warming up to him. It's just who she is -- it's hard
to imagine Kory staying cool or casual with anyone
who isn't actively trying to kill them. Still, she's one
of those people who look at him and try very, very
hard to see Dick, and are thus disappointed when
it's only him.

It's the sort of thing that makes him quietly,
disturbingly glad Jason hadn't had more time to
make an impression on people outside of his 'family.'
Easier to watch the mild, familiar sense of trouble
slide across Kory's strange eyes. "I was just
wondering how it's going with Raven."

"The weekly meeting is in a few hours, Robin," she
says, and turns back to weeding one disturbingly-
alien clump of plants away from another.

From anyone else, it would be a rebuke. With Kory,
it probably still is, but even her frown-line is more
attractive than convincing.

He wonders if this is ever problematic for her.

He makes his voice as harmless as he can manage,
even though 'apologetic' is a little beyond him. "I
know, Starfire, but... it's worrying." There, that
should --

She pauses, and looks up at him, wide-eyed and
more earnest than Tim knows what to do with.

"Um --"

"It *is* worrying. She's so far away from us now,
and she has always been someone who needs
family more than most." She rests her hand on his
shoulder in a way that probably shouldn't be
making him think... thoughts.

"I was more concerned about the danger Raven
could --"

There's a stiff breeze that rocks them both back,
followed by an "EEEEEE!"

Followed by Kon and Cassie flying at top speed
over their heads.

Tim looks down. "Er... most of the plants seem to
be all right." They do, if yellow and bulbous and...
strange is 'all right.'

Kory scowls. Attractively. "Those are the *weeds*."

Tim makes his exit.


The computer room is, at least, familiar for no
particularly ominous reason. The equipment is
brand new and almost as good as what he's used
to in the Cave, if with rather more places for...

This is Cyborg's place, but he'd made it clear that
they were all welcome to use it. Their schedule for
the weekend is up on the largest monitor, pointedly
so, and Tim makes note. The high point seems to
be the Sunday brunch they're all to attend with the
San Francisco City Council. Dress uniforms where

That should be... interesting.

If only to see whether Kon decided to put his
earring back in for it, and if Kory decided to wear...
clothes. Tim heads for the files, not so much hacking
as seeing where hacking would -- if it proved
necessary-- have to be done.

There are surprisingly few files that are actively
locked down, but he's willing to admit that the
people he's used to are rather more security-minded
than most. One of the experiments/lessons he'd
done with Oracle had ended up with him successfully
downloading her grocery list into his remote.

Which... while the number of chocolate products was
telling in and of itself, is hardly the sort of thing
most people feel the need to tuck beyond *quite*
that many firewalls.

Tim reads for subtext, and is not at all surprised that
the most potentially secret-intensive reports involve
Raven. He wonders how much he can get out of
Dick. Probably more if *Tim* is the one to make
contact than otherwise. Dick can be... effusive when
people make friendly gestures.

Even when he *knows* the person in question is
probably being manipulative. Tim frowns to himself
and mentally pencils it in for Tuesday night, assuming
nothing too exciting is going on in Gotham.

Cyborg's walk is distinctive. He moves as lightly as
any trained fighter, but every footfall clanks, just the

Tim wonders if the man ever just wants the world to
be carpeted. "Cyborg."

"Robin." Cyborg doesn't lean over him so much as
settle a few feet behind. Tim keeps reading. "Looking
for anything in particular?"

"Just catching up. Your system is organized in a very
intuitive way."

Cyborg laughs, and there's a series of soft clanks that
tells Tim the man is shifting position even more than
what he can feel.

Carpeting the universe would probably be just the
first step, come to think about it.

"I think that's the most complimentary thing I've
ever heard you say, kid."

"Yes, but I think that makes it more meaningful," he
says, before he can think about it, and Cyborg laughs
again and claps him -- painfully -- on the shoulder.

"Good to know you *do* have a sense of humor."

It's incredibly tempting to protest that. It's not as
though he hasn't related to all sorts of non-Bat
people over the years. Generally successfully, even.
Which just begs the question of *why* it's important,
and everything *that* means, but there's a green
dolphin tumbling and flopping its way into the room,
screeing greetings at both of them and slapping at
Bart with its fins.

The conservation of mass issue has long since been
filed away with Superman's cold breath and the
nature of Lantern rings as things that defy rationality.

("Best not to think about it too deeply.")

Tim really *does* understand Batman's antipathy
toward having metahumans and aliens at work in
Gotham, though Batman, perhaps, tends to take it a
bit further than strictly necessary.

Bart escapes, and Beast Boy hugs Cyborg. With his

Tim leaves them to it.


It's a casual weekend at the Tower, which means the
meeting, such as it is, takes place in the den. Beast
Boy is crouching on a stool from the emphatically dry
bar, eating an apple. There's nothing particularly
non-human about either form or position, but the
usual sense of potential remains.

It's the sort of thing that makes Tim wonder what it's
like to work with the Manhunter. Kon's on one of the
couches, doing an excessively poor job of not
looking painfully bored, while Cassie leans back
against Kon's arm and strokes the loop of the lasso
on her hip. It has become surprisingly difficult to read

Tim makes a mental note to check Batman's files
about Wonder Woman's lasso, in case there's
anything in particular he should know.

Cyborg stands at something like parade-rest behind
Beast Boy, tossing another apple from hand to hand
while Kory tells them far too much about brunch and
far too little about anything else.

Kory is on the loveseat, and appears to be actually
focused on what she's saying -- though her right
hand periodically creeps back to Bart's head.

The resulting thumping and vibration doesn't seem to
faze any of them, anymore. An interesting paper
could be written on the necessary adaptability of the
successful superhero, but, in the end, a large amount
of effort would have to be used to steer the subject
matter away from the depressing, if not outright

It's the sort of thing Tim has filed away for later,
for *after*. When he doesn't have to look at these
people anymore, and wonder where each of them
have their *lines*. The points at which adaptability
ceases to be an option.

The question of which of them will break *first*.

He frowns to himself and gets a little more
comfortable on his hassock. It won't, he thinks, be
*this* weekend.


The comfort/annoyance of the Tower being settled
in on itself and quiet by one in the morning is,
actually, another point of familiarity. Everything is
powered down and quiet, and it isn't all that
different from nights at Brentwood.

It's cleaner here than the dorms ever were, and
even somewhat prettier in that quiet-technological-
marvel way, but the *feeling* is the same. These
are all daylight people, and he doesn't have to walk
the halls to know that pretty much all of them are
either asleep or on their way there.

There's a faint resonance to it, and Tim pauses
outside of Kon's room to think about it. It's... a
little like the first real snowfall, when even the
rumble of snowplows and general, constant level
of Gotham *noise* can't do anything against the
visceral impression of silence, if not, necessarily,


Kon's voice is muffled with sleep, and it's tempting
to just remain still until he rolls over and forgets
about it, but... "You're getting better at that," he
says, pushing open Kon's door a bit more.

Kon snorts and rubs a hand over his face. "Yeah,
watch me *not* think about how used I'm getting
to how much of a creepy little freak you are."

"I'm wounded."

"Right." Kon props himself on his elbows. "What's
up? What disturbing new fact did you learn while
the rest of us were goofing off?"

"Nothing in particular," he says, and checks Kon's
room. His 'uniform' is crumpled on the floor, and
there's a glass on the desk that probably had
soda in it. He wonders when personal effects will
start creeping in, here. Kon doesn't have much,
doesn't hold *on* to much, but still. Maybe in
another month.

"Mmph. That just means *next* weekend you'll
tell us about how Cassie's giving birth to the
antichrist or something."

Tim smirks at him. "Could be you."

Kon tosses a balled-up sock at his head. It's a
bad enough throw that Tim barely has to duck.


"Asshole. I'm too tired to chase you around the
island, man. I think the Bart-hunting probably
logged me a few dozen extra miles at high

"Maybe we should make it a part of training."

Kon smiles and lies back down, one arm thrown
over his eyes. "His head *does* feel surprisingly

"So I gathered."

"Mm. Soothing, kind of. I mean, he looks *weird*
with his hair that short, but... yeah. Soothing."

Tim snorts. "You *have* a dog."

"Yeah, but I feel better about myself when it's *Bart*
humping my leg."

Tim blinks.

Kon snickers and moves his arm again. "Kidding,

Tim looks at him.

"Well. Mostly."


And, really, Bart's room in the Tower *is* on his
way, and there's a light on, and the sound of flipping
pages. The door is cracked open further than even
Kon's, too, and Bart is on the floor, surrounded by

"What's the subject?"

Bart jumps and grins at him. "Hey, Tim! I'm reading
about physical contact."

Makes sense. Tim picks up one of the discards and
checks. "I thought you'd already read through this

"Hunh? Oh, yeah, I did, but I really only skimmed
the psychology stuff the first time around. I
mean... there's so much *there*, and it wouldn't
be so bad if they all at least vaguely agreed with
each other, but they *don't*. Sometimes... I
mean, it's easier when there's at least a foundation
for everyone to work with."

"I tend to look at psychology the same way I look
at religion: a lot of interesting concepts, but it's
more important to make your own conclusions
than focus on just one school of thought."

Bart looks at him for a long moment, and it's the
sort of calm, open *stare* that tends to serve as
an effective reminder of why he doesn't, actually,
make too many personal statements.

Tim thinks about backtracking, about the best
way *to* backtrack with a Bart who has at least
a superficial knowledge of everything *he* does,
but Bart just blinks and picks up another book.
Tim breathes a little easier.

"Well, yeah, I mean..." Bart frowns and taps
<u>Modern Man in Search of a Soul</u> against
his chin a few dozen times. "That's the point? I'm
really starting to *get* why all of you get so
weird about the fact that I'm four sometimes. I
don't think I'm ready to make my own conclusions
about *any* of this stuff. Or maybe it's just that
I don't think I should be."

"You know, if you keep saying things like that,
people will take you seriously."

Bart's eyes are only strange in terms of their
color, as opposed to Kory's. Except for when they
*gleam* like this.

It's only the second time Tim has seen it, but it
feels like a 'Kid Flash' look. What he'll always
*think* of as a 'Kid Flash' look, perhaps in the
same disturbingly appropriate/inappropriate way
that Kon says he's being too Robin-ish, when
he's really only being... himself.

"I can live with that," Bart says, and his eyes
really do look *huge* with his hair this short.

A particularly interesting Halloween decoration,
and even now Bart is rarely still enough so that
the effect can be... appreciated.


He blinks himself back into something *like* himself
and gestures at Bart's hair. "Are you going to keep it
that short?"

"What? Oh, no, I don't think so. All the petting is
nice, but I didn't get anything *done* today."

Tim grins. "I think the others will get used to it,

"You're probably right. Hey, have you read these
experiments they did with monkeys?" Bart
rummages through one of the tottering piles and
shoves a book at him.

And really, he *was* going to suggest Bart stick
with the behaviorists for the time being, but, now
that he thinks about it... "Pretty disturbing."

"Well, yeah! I mean, those poor monkeys! With
the wire cages and towels and dude, that's just
messed up."

"True, but I think..." Tim frowns to himself and
tries to figure out how to say it. There's nothing
particularly deep about the concept he wants to
get across, but, again, he'd had a whole rhythm
to the way he did and didn't speak to Young
Justice. It still works with Kon, even with the
increased flexibility of him knowing so much
about him, now. But Bart...

Is looking at him with open curiosity, pajama
shirt sliding off one shoulder.

"Well, look at it this way: a lot of people
*understand* now how important physical contact
is. No one can ever deny it anymore, no matter
how much they might want to."

"So, yeah, more kids get hugged and -- wait. Who
would *want* to? I mean, touching is *good*."

And maybe it *was* a bit deep and personal. Tim
winces to himself. "Well..."

"I mean, wow, suddenly all of you Bat-people make
SO MUCH SENSE. You totally never hug, do you?"

"Bart --"

"God, how *could* you? All that body armor and
those booby traps on your suit and -- you're
monkeys! You're all wire cage monkeys and you

"I wouldn't go *that* far." He gets hugged all the
time. At least once a week, whenever he lets Dana
catch him, and then there's his father --

"Oh my *God*!" And Bart's up and moving, pacing
in that Bart-way that sends even more books
tumbling, makes the curtains flap, and makes the
sheets on the bed start flying.

"Bart --"

"I think I can *count* the number of times you
touched us in Young Justice when we weren't
training! On one *hand*!"

"There was rough-housing!"

"You totally PLANNED that. We *knew* you planned
that. Cassie and Kon and I had a pool and

"Wait, *what*?"

Bart vibrates to a stop in front of Tim and stares
down at him. "We had a *pool*. 'Is this the week
Robin has designated for official playing?' Dude,
you could be *obvious* sometimes."

Tim winces. "Well, okay, it's complicated, and I
didn't mean to..." He has no idea how to finish
that sentence. "Look --"

Bart kneels in front of him and gives him a very,
very serious look. "It's *okay*. I mean, it was
funny, and weird, but it was just you, and none
of us *minded* or anything. We just thought you
were, you know, trying to be a normal kid instead
of Robin, and doing it in a really *Robin* way."

Tim catches himself holding <u>The Interpretation
of Dreams</u> in front of himself like a shield and
forces himself to put it down. "I *was*, yes --"

"No! You *weren't*. You totally weren't. You weren't
even *thinking* about yourself, and man, sometimes
we thought you didn't even *like* us, but you did,
you were just completely unable to touch us without
scheduling it in and oh *man*, I need to *read*
more --"

"Then I should go."

"No *way*!"

And there's a moment where Bart's staring at him
with narrowed eyes, and Tim has just enough time
to think 'evasive --' before Bart barrels into him and
sends them both to the floor. There's a book digging
into Tim's spine, and Bart is just *on* him, muscle
and speedster-heat and... moving him?

"No, no, sit up. And back. Back further -- wait."
There's a rush of air, and the books are stacked
neatly under the windows and Bart is on him again,
straddling his legs and -- hugging him.


"I think I'd have better luck getting a *mannequin*
in the right position. Jesus, Tim."

"Right position?"

"Cuddle me!"

"I... okay?" Tim wraps his arms around Bart's torso.
He actually *does* know how to do this, and it's
not his fault that Bart keeps *moving* and --

"Could you *be* any stiffer?"

He supposes he should be happy Bart hadn't read
any disturbing scientific studies about dancing. Tim
sighs internally. "Okay, *tell* me what to do."

Bart leans back, crossing his arms and frowning.
Though not, particularly, *at* Tim.

He probably should've just done a perimeter sweep
and left it at that. Escape, while still possible at
this point, would only lead to him spending the
night somewhere dark, small, and uncomfortable.

Bart's no detective, but Tim has learned to respect
speed and persistence. He leans back against Bart's
bed and waits.

Not long. Bart's moving again, moving *him* again,
this time focusing on his legs. *Spreading* his
legs --

"Hey --"

And settling himself between them, back snug against
Tim's front.

"Um. More hugging now?"

Bart snickers. "I think that's the *advanced* course.
No --" He grabs one of Tim's hands and yanks it up to
his own head. "Pet me."

It probably makes sense in Bart's head. And,
considering recent reading material, might even
make sense in the real world. Which is a terrifying

Tim pets him.

Bart moves when he does, but it isn't the thumping
vibration he had for everyone else. It's more...

"I'm going to assume I'm doing this wrong."

"No, I -- okay, yes." Bart stills and sighs. "I think it
makes a difference that everyone else actually
*wanted* to pet me."

"I didn't... it's not..." It's *awkward*, and Tim bites
his lip and has no idea how to say any of that.
Because he did, actually, want to see what Bart's
head felt like, but now he's being *tested* on it
and --

Bart twists until he can look at Tim over his
shoulder. "You know, you don't have to."

The thing is? He's *good* at tests. "Give me a

Bart narrows his eyes at him again, but turns

And Tim peels the gloves off and *focuses*. Beast
Boy had stroked in even, backward motions -- while
in primate form, anyway -- while Cassie had focused
on small circles.

"Oh, that's --"

Kon had seemed to settle his palm against the curve
of Bart's skull, and that's... it's understandable.

"Mm. Better..."

Bart's hair doesn't *quite* tickle his palm, but it's
still more... there's an oddly *alive* feel to it, more
than it would be to just stroke an expensive bit of
carpeting, or even a nice sweater.

When Tim strokes harder, *feeling* for Bart's scalp,
the 'alive' feeling makes more sense. Speedster
heat, yes, and the sense that it would feel very,
very good to just *touch* Bart. His skin.

But he has an assignment. Tim cups Bart's head
with both palms and just... rubs, with and against the



"Um. I..."

But Bart doesn't finish. Just... presses up against Tim's
palms and... vibrates.

Score one for the learning process. Tim smiles to
himself and keeps stroking, massaging a little. That,
at least, has as much to do with practice as it does
to theory. He knows what feels good, and Bart can
take just as much pressure as he can give.

Bart groans, and the vibration is stronger now, but
Bart isn't wearing shoes, and there's no one in the
room below this one, anyway. Or there shouldn't be.
Tim slides his hands down on Bart's scalp, digging
his thumbs into the back of his neck, and Bart
bends his head and groans again.

Tim doesn't have to ask if it feels good, and, to be
honest, doesn't especially trust his own voice. The
bend makes every vibration hit in a very *specific*
place, and he doesn't want to think about it.

The groaning is almost constant now, and he's not
thinking about *that*, either. Mostly, actual, post-
verbal thought is focused on what sort of one-liner
he can get away with about not being *that* much
of a surrogate-raised monkey. There isn't a lot of
post-verbal thought.

Tim massages his way back up over the curve of
Bart's skull. And... it's a *nice* curve. Even and
mathematically perfect, and though he doesn't
especially look forward to the day when Bart puts
on a cowl like Wally's, like Barry's had been, he
can see that it would look fine.

"You have a nicely-shaped skull," he says, and Bart
grabs Tim's thigh and *squeezes*, jerking hard and
driving Tim back almost painfully against the bed
before shuddering.

Tim blinks.

"Should I --" Stop, he was going to say, but Bart
grabs one of his wrists and pulls it away from his
head. And then just holds it. "Bart?"

"I didn't. Mean to do that."

Do what, a particularly idiotic part of his mind
offers, but really, when Tim takes a deep breath, he
can smell it. Bart just... whoa. "Did that happen
when the others...?"

"Um, *no*," and Bart lets go and twists away and
up, staggering for a step before blurring across the
room and... into a pair of boxer shorts.

Tim blinks.

Bart isn't looking at him, and this would be one
*more* reason why he has to be *careful*. Tim
bites the inside of his lip hard and stands up, really
extremely appreciative of the fact that his groin
armor makes getting *too* happy exceedingly
uncomfortable. Tim takes a breath.

"I'm not going to try to tell you not to be
embarrassed --"

Bart snorts and scrubs a hand back through --
*over* his head. And shudders again.

"I mean..." Tim stands, and takes a cautious step
forward. "It happens?"

"I was trying to *do* something, and I just...
*dammit* --"

"Hey, I know, I mean, I get the point, okay? You
think I need to be... less of a monkey."

The joke falls flat. Flatter when Bart actually looks
at him, orange eyes catching the light from the

There's an odd temptation to go into more of a
defensive posture, but Tim thinks he's done enough
of that tonight. He steadies himself internally. "I
think *now* I should go --"

"What did it feel like? To you."

Tim pauses. "It felt good. I really *did* get your
point, Bart."

"So you're going to... hug Cassie now? Punch Kon
on the arm? Other way around?"

It's a possibility. Certainly if he knows Bart is
*watching*. He'll have to make clearer note of
Bart's new attention span. "Maybe."

"What about me?"

He tries another smile. "Probably no petting." In

Bart nods slowly, and it *is* the Bart-is-computing-
this-clearly look, but it also really isn't. Thinking
about it will definitely be easier when he's
elsewhere, except that Bart is still *thinking* too

Subtlety has absolutely nothing on superspeed,
and Bart is blocking the -- finally closed -- door.
"Bart, it's late."

"I'm just wondering about everything *else* you
never bothered to tell us, or even show us."

"Jesus, Bart." That would take *hours*.

The calculating look fades off Bart's face into
something more open. More... vulnerable. "I want
to know if I can *have* this."

"I... think that would be a bad idea."

"That's not what I asked."

And Tim has spent some quality time mocking Kon
and being amused by how much he's disconcerted
by the new, improved Bart, but really, there was
something to be said for a Bart who could be
*easily* distracted. "It's still my answer."

"It doesn't *work* --"

"Bart --"

"*No*. Just *tell* me, Tim. Were you turned on?
Did you like it?"

"I liked it --"

"Answer the *first* question."

"We shouldn't do this."

"The *other* first question!"

"That's kind of --" Personal, though less so than Bart
with one hand on his shoulder and the other
*cupping* him through the tights.

"What the --"

And the armor. Which Tim doesn't have enough time
to be grateful for before Bart reaches *into* his tights.
There's no consolation in the fact that Tim isn't the
one breathing raggedly -- yet -- and knowing a full
dozen ways to get out of this position *without*
causing undue damage to the other person is entirely
unhelpful when he can't make himself *move*.

"Oh, *Tim*. Was it the vibrating? People like the
vibrating --"

"*Jesus* --" There's nothing to catch himself on but
the door, which means he winds up leaning over --
leaning *into* Bart while he... stroking isn't the
word for it. If Bart actually *moved* his hand while
vibrating it like that, the friction burns would be epic.

As it is, Tim has to try to lock his knees and hold *on*.
Try harder when Bart starts licking his neck over the
collar of his cape, at a normal pace at first, but then
just *fast*, and Tim hears himself whimper and bites
his lip. Wait, no, that's a *bad* idea.

"Bart. You have to -- don't -- oh God."

And that was apparently *exactly* as convincing as
it sounded, because Bart pushes closer, pushes hard
enough so that Tim can't reach the door anymore
and has to brace himself *on* Bart. He can at least
keep himself from feeling Bart up. He can... grab
Bart's shoulders and squeeze them and push at the
pajama top a little -- a *little* -- and listen to Bart
make a weird little humming sound.

And then *feel* Bart humming because all of that
vibration is *on* him, against him, and Tim can't
stop his hips from jerking. He can barely keep his
*mouth* closed, and gritting his teeth doesn't stop
the sounds he's making from getting out at all.

"Oh, *Tim*," Bart says again, and uses his other
hand to pull and push on Tim's head until he can
get to his mouth.

The kiss is fast and messy and *hard*, and Tim
makes it harder solely so all the moaning he's doing
will be muffled by Bart's mouth.

Bart's eyes are wide open, and it isn't fair for
someone to look that shocked and *still* be able
to make Tim come this hard.

He manages to stay upright, but that has far, far
more to do with all the weight he's putting on Bart
than on anything else. Tim pulls out of the kiss,
grits his teeth, and forces himself to *stand*.

And then gives up and stumbles over to the wall.
It'll hold him.

"Wow," Bart says, and stares at his hand. His *sticky*

Tim pinches the bridge of his nose and very thoroughly
doesn't watch Bart wiping his come off on the pajamas.
Jesus *fucking* Christ, he doesn't say.



"Are you freaking out?"

Tim stares at Bart.

Bart stares back. "Okay, are you freaking out a *lot*.
Because, you know, I know you don't have the
advantage of subjective time, but I didn't find it that
hard to cope with my apparent bisexuality."

"You..." He isn't going to ask. "I'm not... freaking out
about that."

Bart frowns. "Is it the wire cage monkey thing?"

"I'm not a wire cage monkey!"

And Bart... raises an eyebrow at him. "No, hunh?"

The metaphorical alarms in Tim's head sound a lot like
the ones at Arkham. "... no."

"Then I think this is where we cuddle." Bart spreads
his arms and smiles.

Tim does *not* flinch. Not sighing aloud is just too
much effort, though. "Fine. I'm a monkey."

Bart snickers. Really a lot.

Tim considers the tranquilizer darts in his belt.

Bart keeps snickering.


"No, dude, you totally have to say that again."

Tim glares.

And Bart stands up straight and glares right back.
"My name is Robin. And I am a monkey."

This has to count as justifiable homicide.

"Aw, c'mon, smile. It's gotta be on your schedule for
this weekend *somewhere*."

"I was saving it for Sunday brunch."

Bart pauses. "Well, I guess making a joke counts."
And grins at him.

Who was joking? "Bart --"

"Don't worry, man. Post-jerk-off cuddling is in the
same advanced course as all that hugging you're
not doing. You can leave now -- I have some more
re-reading to do before I sleep."

Right. "Uh... good night?"

"Night, Tim!"

He's in the hallway and closing the door behind him
when --

"Of course, having *sex* doesn't seem too

Tim closes the door and keeps walking. Really, this
is another reason to quietly dread the weekends.

And he'll get right on that just as soon as he can
dread the rest of it.

Tim shakes his head at himself and heads back to
the control room and Cyborg's records. Maybe he'll
find something disturbing that has nothing to do
with his own life.