Disclaimers: No one here belongs to me. This is an immeasurable relief.
Spoilers: None. Pre-Smallville.
Summary: Bruce does some thinking.
Ratings Note/Warnings: NC-17. Possibly more disturbing than "See This."
Author's Note: Takes place during "See This," and that story should
probably be read first.
Acknowledgments: To and for my Webrain and the irrepressible Iain, who
may be the best/worst muse ever. *snerk*
Feedback makes you special. Very, very special.
Bruce is worried about his motivations.
That is to say, he's worried about his lack of understanding of them.
There are times when he finds himself awake to himself and *aware*
of his surroundings, of the people who make up his world, and in those
times he takes stock.
Of his actions, of his words, of his life.
It's never particularly cheering.
It is, in fact, always a matter of watching himself drift through life on
something like a purely instinctual level, animal-blind and moving towards
something he can't quite name to himself.
And that's just the part he *approves* of.
The endless hours in his home gym, and with the martial arts masters.
With the books and the practice and the large amount of questionably
legal military purchases that could be made by a teenaged boy with
the last name of Wayne.
His father had had a lot of friends.
His mother had had a lot of influence.
His parents are dead.
In the aware times, he doesn't let himself focus on that too deeply. He
knows no one would believe him if he told them that, though.
Bruce understands that he's strange enough to be noticed, and he
understands enough of human nature to know that most people
assume his strangeness flows directly from the fact of his parents'
death. What he doesn't know is whether or not they're right about
Which is the problem.
If he's ever going to be... whatever he's going to be, then shouldn't he
understand himself? Shouldn't he be able to look deep within himself
and find everything there is to find?
Certainly before someone else can use it against him.
Self-awareness escapes him with an ease Bruce honestly fears.
He never remembers his dreams.
It's almost an itch in the aware times. The way he wakes, reaching for
the pad and pen on his night table, struggling to remember *anything*.
There's never anything there but the feeling of loss. A palpable sensation
of brushing against the thinnest membrane imaginable between his
conscious and unconscious mind that nonetheless refuses to give.
The echoes of images that never resolve into anything.
Bruce has trained his memory to be as close to eidetic as anyone not
born that way can manage. He can call up quotes from The Art of
War and Robert's Rules on command. He has never received a grade
lower than a ninety. He speaks three languages fluently.
There is nothing he shouldn't be able to learn, and yet his own mind
is a mystery to him.
He would like to know why he's scrambling over the roof of the Luthor
mansion at three in the morning. He really would.
He'd also like to know why he came back here in the first place, armed
with ropes and hooks, wearing his all black Walking clothes and climbing
shoes. He's aware -- so aware, and only since finding himself looking in
on Lex -- that he hadn't really *thought* about any of it.
He'd had to leave after Lex had made that... offer, and it had been
equally necessary to return this way. And so he had. Alfred had only
looked at him, offering him nothing and asking no questions.
Alfred always seems to know when Bruce isn't entirely... there.
Alfred frightens him sometimes.
But... he's here now. Some part of him had obviously felt he needed to
be, and needed to be subtle about it.
The snow hasn't slackened at all since this evening, but Bruce isn't
worried. He knows he can move like a shadow. He knows the stillness of
stone, if not the peace. Clenches his jaw hard and doesn't think, doesn't
think about Lex beneath him.
Small and lithe and always in motion, the antithesis of peace. Lex's eyes
are never dull, always fevered with thought. Calculation. Lex
understands things faster than anyone at school, faster than himself.
Lex scares him, too.
Pushing at him one minute and surrendering the next.
Playing with him, and oh, God, Lex in the dark. Moon-pale gleam of him.
The way his skin catches the barest hints of light. Lex can't hide from
him that way, but he somehow knew that Bruce needed him to try.
Lex isn't as compelling in the light.
He'd paced his sitting room, back and forth, back and forth. Flushed,
presumably from the alcohol. Possibly from emotion.
And then he'd left the room, and Bruce has been searching for him
Has to keep him in view. Has to *know* this.
Some kind of revenge, some kind of balance in knowing *this*. If only
Too many rooms are lighted for no reason Bruce can fathom. This
should be *easy*. Lex doesn't like the dark the way Bruce does.
Wherever he went there would have to be light. Logic.
Simple, clear, and useless.
The cold something sharp on the edges of his consciousness.
And he's about to return to the windows outside of Lex's rooms when
he sees him.
When he sees.
It must be Lionel's bedroom.
Bruce's shoulder is starting to ache from all the swinging and for some
reason he can't quite get his feet braced on the stone. Ice, maybe.
Slicking the way. Dangerous and absolutely unimportant because he
The angle isn't the best, nearly side-on to the bed, but Bruce can see
Lionel's naked back. Lean, harder than he would've thought. He can see
Lex's cool, smooth skull and the way it's moving. The way his hands dig
into his father's hips. The way Lionel is. Thrusting.
Achingly, terrifyingly hard in an instant and Bruce gasps aloud, slips and
scrabbles and nearly loses his grip on the rope despite the gloves, the
He can't think. He can't look away and he thinks he might be sick.
Because this is. He *knows* this is wrong. Every doubt fostered two
years ago, when he'd torn through the world's major religions looking
for... *something*, but this is *wrong*.
But oh. The way Lionel's touching him.
Caressing and Bruce's hands remember the feel of that skin, the way it
never stopped being smooth. He'd had to search it, had to keep
touching Lex, over and over again. No hair, and is that what Lionel is
Is he marveling at it the way Bruce did?
Blinks hard, shakes his head and struggles to get control back. Shifts his
weight to his other arm and braces his feet as well as he can, using his
heel to kick away chunks of ice. Can't bring himself to care about the
Lionel and Lex never turn to look.
He should leave now. He should go home and. And.
Hears himself moan, shockingly loud in the stillness and waits and waits
and waits until he can hear the faintly crystalline fall of snow again.
Opens his eyes, terrified to realize that he'd closed them. They haven't
Lex is on his back now. Lex is.
Lionel is pinning him down and Bruce *knows* how that feels. Slim wrists
so smooth and hard. Fragile. Lex so small compared to Bruce's own bulk...
Bruce watches Lex buck, watches his mouth fall open and his memory
is there. That's almost the way he'd looked when Bruce had jerked him
off the first time. The sound... is he making that sound?
Bruce had left the listening devices at home for their bulkiness and he
*wants* them now. Thinks he might need them.
Lex had sounded so... easy. When Bruce was stroking him. He needs to
know if he sounds that way now, with his father holding him down, with
his father saying something that makes Lex look like he's. Begging.
Lionel's hand over Lex's mouth and the way Lex is moving is so
*abandoned*. No sign of control, no sign of anything but need and was
this what he should've done in the coatroom?
Is this what Lex needed from him and didn't get?
Bruce has been so afraid to lose control and he doesn't even know *why*.
He's never hurt anyone, he's never even raised a hand and isn't that
what makes people like him? What makes them so rigid and tied up and
God, he wants to smash the window. Wants to break in and pull Lionel
off and *show* Lex.
He can do this. He can be a man, he can lose control, he can let Lex
touch him and make him feel and it will be okay. It *will*.
He's so hard it hurts.
Lionel kissing him and Bruce wants to feel a beard against his face,
wants to know what makes Lex rub up against it like that. His own father
had been clean-shaven. Sense memory of a hard, strong hand holding
his own flash of a smile flash of streetlight on a puddle and he wondered
what made it look so slick if it was oil and he was staring and tugging at
the hand holding his because he only wanted to see and
"C'mon, now, Bruce, it's already past your bedtime..."
pretending he can't hear his mother or the laugh in her voice that always
makes him want to know what the joke is, what it could be and what
does shortcut mean, anyway? There's no blood here and he doesn't
want his mama to kiss the hurt to make it better because that's an
alley and it's kinda gross and
"That's far enough. Gimme the money."
shine shiny teeth glinting and the smile is hard and the ground is hard
beneath his feet shoes maybe too small
"Daddy, who --"
"Hush, Bruce --"
"It's okay, calm down, let me just --"
"I don't have *time* for this!"
wet crunch sound like teeth on cereal had cereal this morning so sweet
rot your teeth brush every night every night and Daddy is falling hard
squeeze on his hand hurts Daddy hurts oh no what are you
mama screaming clawing face all twisted up twisted like some
like some kind of
on the ground they're on
shouldn't get dirty and it's
mama doesn't have a face
runs to daddy has to tell him make him fix it and the man is gone and
his daddy isn't moving right his daddy and there's so much
blood and daddy are you are you
"Daddy are you --?"
like he's underwater and he's drowning and you're never alone in the
pool never supposed to be alone so he goes to his father and he has
a face but blood in his mouth splashing on Bruce's face when daddy
reaches for him
not supposed to be alone
"Here Daddy I'm here mama's *face* --"
"I can't... see..."
sirens sirens someone's in trouble someone needs
someone needs help daddy and you won't
Snaps back to the present with a small, contained gasp. The memory is,
for all intents and purposes, Bruce’s first. Everything before then is a
blur now, slightly more substantial than the echoes of his dreams.
Slightly less believable.
His parents are dead.
Perhaps they always were.
Lex’s mother is dead. It attracted Bruce to him, more than he thinks
he should be willing to admit to. Lurking on the edges of Homecoming
and counting the parents of his classmates two by two by two, even
those parents that didn’t speak to each other before, during, or after
the event itself.
The school was important enough for that.
Lex had only Lionel, but they hadn’t held themselves apart at the mixer.
Or rather, Lionel hadn’t. Whispers caught on the edge of the room, and
Bruce had known, and Lex had burned luminous in his vision. Brother
Someone who could know him. *Would* know him, be helpless not to.
And didn’t he?
Lex is the only one who ever tried.
Who ever wanted to.
Lex on his hands and knees, thighs spread and Lionel doing...
something between them. Something that makes Lex arch and toss
his head. He’s flushed again, pale and pink in turns and it *hits* Bruce
all of a sudden.
Lionel is going to fuck his son.
Right then, right there.
Looks around wildly for several moments before he realizes that he’s the
only one who could’ve spoken. Swallows hard and traces the corners of
his panic for a handhold. Something to. Grip. Free hand twitching at the
thought and oh, it would feel so good so good to just *ease* this right
Press and press harder and he could make it hurt he could --
Was Lionel making it hurt?
Snow like some vast, smothering blanket of cold and he can’t *hear*
anything and Bruce knows, *knows* that it’s the thickness, the
quality of the windowpane that’s blocking out everything but the visual,
but it's easier to rage, a little, only a little, at the weather than at
glass he knows he’s powerful enough to break.
Kick out with his feet. Again, again, and on the last kick his momentum
would carry him into the room, carry him in before Lionel can --
Lionel drives in with one vicious stroke Bruce can almost feel.
Makes him thrust into empty air, but his balance is his own. Realizes
with something like sick wonder that he can control himself even
through. This. Watching Lionel *take* Lex, claim him like some kind of
walking, talking possession.
Easy to picture himself in Lionel’s place. Hadn’t Lex offered...? Had he
wanted this from Bruce and turned to his father to get it?
He'd had to, *had* to have needed it if he would do that, right?"
Lionel hauling Lex up with easy strength, still a small boy, still so slim.
Bruce could crush his ribs in a hug, snap his wrists without trying --
Echoing in his head because Lex *is* struggling against this, whipping
his head back and forth and fighting but Lionel isn’t stopping. Lionel’s
just holding on, riding him through it. One hand back over Lex’s mouth
and. Fucking him.
And this is... this is something that shouldn’t happen.
Some part of him laughing hysterically at the understatement. But it’s a
fact, and he could... he could just *surprise* them.
Man in a mask banging on the window... he’s fast enough to get away.
Lex’s head slamming back on his father’s shoulder, Lionel biting him and
it. Changes. Or maybe it doesn’t. He can’t tell because Lex is *moving*
on Lionel now. Willing participant in his own.
Bruce doesn’t know who he’s talking about.
His own father.
Alfred could have taught him.
No no *no* --
But Alfred is in his mind. Watching him with those knowing eyes, blue
and always so *sad*. Alone with Bruce in the house since. Since then
and did Alfred ever need this? Did he ever think of doing what Lionel...
was Bruce supposed to ask?
Is this family?
He could’ve been wrong. He’s wrong about so many things, so many
people, and watching Lex take this, watching his cock harden and rise
and rise... and Lionel’s grin is both predatory and militaristic, the
barbarian general with his prize.
Pushing Lex down again and obviously using his body for his own
pleasure at this point. Too far gone to care?
Lex is stroking himself ruthlessly and his body doesn’t obscure the
motion enough, hides too much --
*Flash* in his mind of Lex in Bruce’s own bed, back to the headboard
and doing that for *him*. Doing it slowly, so slowly neither of them can
stand it and it’s just too much. Scrabbles at the fly of his pants and he’d
never learned to do this one-handed and he can’t look away --
Lionel flipping Lex over onto his back and staring oh God oh God such
Squeezes himself hard, hard enough that he can’t say for sure whether
it was for control or relief and it doesn’t matter doesn’t matter --
Lex cries out and --
Bruce comes *hard*, shooting and shooting into his own underwear,
shuddering and silent.
Lip bitten bloody.
And Lex is just. Lying there.
Bruce swallows something that feels like a scream and rappels down
the wall, incautious and fast. Gathers everything together in a messy