Fearless on my breath
by Te
July 19, 2004

Disclaimers: So very *much* not mine.

Spoilers: Vague ones for "Sins of the Father,"
"Never Fear," and "Growing Pains." That's right,

Summary: Tim's pretty psyched about his life, all
things considered.

Ratings Note: NC-17.

Author's Note: Well, this was meant to be a kissing
snippet, but it kind of grew. Now it's just an even
more blatant excuse for porn.

Acknowledgments: To LC, Shrift, and Livia for


Sometimes, Bruce looks at him.

Well, Bruce is *always* looking, and Tim hadn't
had to find all the tracers on his suit to know
that, because Bruce? Is freaking paranoid.

Even more than someone like him *should* be.

But since Bruce is also Batman, usually Tim can
mostly forget that he's looking and just do his thing,
because Bruce is.... Sometimes Tim thinks about his
Dad (mostly it doesn't hurt. Not as much as it did),
and how quietly he moved, and how his hands had
these really narrow, *smart* fingers, and how he'd
taught Tim how to pick a lock before he'd learned
how to *read*, but the thing is?

His Dad got caught. Like, all the time.

And not by Batman, either -- just normal freaking

His Dad probably would've given up a kidney to be
sneaky like Batman, or maybe sold Tim to white
slavers or whatever.

Sometimes Tim looks down at himself, at his hands
in the black gauntlets that Bruce and Alfred *made*
for him, the gauntlets that fit better than any
clothes he ever owned before Bruce brought him
here, and he realizes...

*He's* better at this than his father ever was, too.

And that's something he doesn't like to think about,
because being over it isn't the same as being
*over* it, and it feels.

Anyway, it's not important. The important thing is
that as good as his father was, he's better. And as
good as *he* is, Bruce is better.

So it's really something kind of huge when he
*does* catch Bruce looking. Because... well, for
one thing, he isn't sure if he could ever actually
handle being as good as Bruce at this stuff --
watching him lose it to Scarecrow's no-fear gas
was bad enough -- but also because it kind of
feels like a test.

Something smaller than "is Tim going to hit this
guy hard enough to take him down but not hard
enough to permanently damage him" (because
that's just as huge as it should be, he thinks),
but *bigger* than the other things. Like escaping
out of ropes or chains or cuffs, or learning how
to hold himself up off the ground with one hand
for long periods of time (because one day that's
going to save his life).

Somewhere in the middle of all that is the way
Bruce looks at him, and... and probably the fact
that Tim *sees* it.

That Bruce is letting him see it.

There's a question there that may or may not have
anything to do with the questions in his head, and
may or may not have anything to do with the way
he can't always get to sleep on his mandatory
nights off *or* on his nights on.

When he can feel the sun reaching for him, trying
to tell on them like a big yellow narc, just waiting
to find his eyes open in the not gloomy-enough
gloom, staring up at the high, high ceiling that
doesn't even have any cobwebs that *he* can
see, trapped in the middle of the huge, soft bed
that he still sometimes has trouble thinking of
as *his*.

When he's hard and sweating and jerking himself
until it hurts, until he's sure his hand will never stop
smelling like come.

Like maybe he's going to make the next little old
lady Billionaire Bruce Wayne introduces him to fall
down and faint and die.

When he laughs at night, alone in this bed, it
sounds strange.

Not because there's no one around, or because
he's afraid of waking up any ghosts or anything
(it's not that he doesn't believe in ghosts -- it's
that there are all kinds of other things to be afraid
of), but because he's alone.

Because he can feel Bruce's eyes on him even
though he's not *there*.

And it's not like... that.

He doesn't think it's like that.

Because he had about three hours to think of Bruce
as cool, and about three weeks to think of Bruce
as really freaking odd and scary and annoying,
and the whole rest of this time to think of him as

The man whose eyes can tell you to fuck off and
die, or tell you that he's as proud of you as he can
be, or tell you nothing at all.

Or maybe it's just like the rest of it -- he's been
here long enough, *around* long enough to know
that most people don't have clue *one* what
Bruce's eyes are saying, even when they're smart
like Dick. You have to pay attention. You have to
*think* about it.

So maybe when those eyes aren't telling him
anything, they're really just saying something he
doesn't have words for yet.

Or words he hasn't said out loud.


Tim licks his teeth and gives himself a squeeze.
Twice tonight and yeah, he *gets* that he's a
healthy teenager, and it's going to be like this for
a while. He wishes he could get to sleep -- he
*hates* being tired during the day for any reason
but a night out with Batman -- but he's also kind
of grateful for it.

In the beginning, on his nights off, Bruce used to
come in to check on him. And part of it was just
making sure he was okay, he knows this, but
part of him is -- *was* sure that it was also to
make sure he hadn't run off with any silverware
or anything. And there's another part that was
just kind of...

It makes his gut seize up a little. Makes his dick
twitch for (more) attention.

Bruce doesn't come *in* anymore, even though
Tim doesn't close the door all the way (it's not
like the Manor is *loud*), and it's not like you
can really hear those sneaky-perfect footsteps
unless he wants you to -- even less than usual
because the carpeting is better than his old
*mattress* -- but it's a feeling.

Like the air is heavier, like maybe the whole house
is waiting for something, eyes narrowed to slits
and okay, maybe the Manor still freaks him out a

It's the *good* kind of freaking. Horror movies
and roller coasters and huge thugs running at him,
running right into whatever trap he's set for them.
Like right now.

All that *presence* just beyond his door. And it's
not dawn yet, so there's no way to know for
*sure* that the deeper shadow in the shadow is
Bruce, no way to pick the shape of him out of the

Except that he knows, and he knows Bruce. The
size and shape of him. Tim's small. He's always
*been* small, and probably always will be. He's
used to the way it seems like most everyone in
the universe just towers over him. But there's a
difference. Bruce is more solid, more *real* than
any of them.

He can't knock Bruce down with a well-aimed

And he can hear the clock ticking them closer to
daylight, further away from everything they can
get away with.

And the blanket over him is hiding everything.
Or it would. It could.

If Bruce wasn't Bruce. If Bruce couldn't tell
exactly how awake he is by how even his
breathing *isn't*, and if Bruce hadn't trained
his senses --

Movement, a shift in presence. He *must* be
tired. He has no real idea how long he spent
just kind of *lost* in the idea of Bruce being
able to tell... able to *smell* it.

But he's not letting Bruce just leave. "Bruce."

There's a pause, and it isn't a long one. Just long
enough before Bruce says, "sleep."

Tim grins. Not "you should be asleep," because
that would be too obvious, and not "why are you
awake," because that would just be... really

And Bruce is still right there.

"Not yet," Tim says, and sits up. The covers fall
over his lap. It would actually make things less
obvious, he thinks... if it wasn't really obvious
where his right hand was. If the air wasn't that
kind of cool on his face that means he's flushed.
He swallows and turns on his light.

And Bruce... he's got that look in his eyes. That

The one that always makes Tim want to growl
and say something like "what *is* it" or maybe
just "*why*?" But... he kind of thinks he *knows*
what. And it's Bruce... so it's been a long time
since he's really cared about why. "Bruce --"

"Yet," Bruce says, and then he's moving again.

Tim can't just feel it, he can hear it, too. Bruce is
making a point or... something. And it's tempting
to just finish himself off (again) like it's tempting
to bang his face into the huge wooden headboard
a few times.

Bruce doesn't make anything *easy*.

It's one of the things that makes Tim feel this
way, that makes him...

The good kind of frustration, the kind that gets
him out of the bed and mostly shoved into his
pajama pants again and out the door, because
Bruce is like...

Well, he's Tim's *guardian* now, and the lawyers
and the social workers seem to think that means
Bruce is some kind of parent, of *father*, but
Tim knows better than that. Way better.

Because fathers leave, and fathers *lie*, and Bruce
doesn't do either. Fathers try -- and fail -- to
*protect* you from the world.

Bruce *is* the world.

So even though Bruce's door is closed, it's easy as
anything to turn the knob with his -- heh -- clean
hand and push through.

Even though it's dark -- Alfred doesn't let *him*
keep his curtains closed that tight -- it's easy to
move through the room until the bed is just
another kind of presence... there.

Until he can hear Bruce breathing. Steady, even.
He has a moment where he wishes he'd washed
his hands, and then it's gone, and he climbs up
onto the bed. And stops, because Bruce switches
on the lamp.

"You shouldn't be here," he says, cold and calm,
fixing Tim with a look that Tim's pretty sure is
*supposed* to be... something other than what
it is.

And it's his first look at Bruce since he'd left for
patrol last night, so it takes a minute to get his
thoughts in order. (That isn't the *only* reason)
Because he has to *see*. There's a small cut
high on his forehead, not enough to be
bandaged. Not enough to really *think* about,
except that whatever it was had cut through
the cowl.

Tim narrows his eyes.


This is where he could ask about it. What, who,
and when. It's the perfect time, because it's really
the *only* time Tim would ever really get the
chance, and maybe get in one more (probably
useless, but *maybe* not) comment about how
Bruce needs him out there to watch his back,
as opposed to stuck *here* with freaking
*homework*. It's almost reflexive to take
advantage of moments like that now.

But he's also still hard. Still *awake*. So he
swallows back the reflex. "Yeah, I know," he
says, and rests his hand on the curve of Bruce's
knee through the blanket. "But do you *want*
me here?"

And he can feel -- he *thinks* he can feel --
Bruce tensing up a little, even though his eyes
don't change, even though he's barely blinking,
even though *Tim's* eyes are starting to sting
a little from the fact that he's not really blinking,
either, but Bruce doesn't move, or say anything.

And Tim waits for it, because he's pretty sure
this would be the *perfect* time for Bruce to
say something about how what they want
doesn't matter, for him to say something like
that and even mean it, a little, even though it
wouldn't be enough to stop Tim from being...

Bruce shouldn't ever lie, or avoid things. Because
he's Batman.

But he's waiting for it just the same, he's
*expecting* it, because even though it wasn't
hard to make himself *do* this, it's still not
something he actually thinks he'll get,
because --

And then he hears himself make a sound,
high-pitched and embarrassing and awful like
when some asshole like Killer Croc hurts him
bad enough that he has to make noise, only
not. Because he makes it into Bruce's mouth.

Because Bruce has him by the biceps, and he
moves so *fast*, and he's so strong that he
can move *Tim* just as fast. Move him and hold
him and kiss him so hard it hurts, or maybe it's
the hands on his arms. Or maybe it's the way
Bruce's eyes are almost *closed*, like he has
to concentrate on kissing.

Like the way *Tim* has to, because it's nothing
like the games at school. Nobody's giggling,
and the only sweat he can smell is his own.
Bruce smells like the soap in the Cave
showers, and he tastes like...


Tim isn't sure. He isn't sure it's something he
can narrow down to a *word*, or even
several. It's more about how he feels than
anything else. His mouth is so, so *hard*.
Right up until his tongue slides into Tim's
mouth and makes him groan, makes him
*struggle*, because he can't *touch* Bruce
with his arms like this.

Bruce tightens his grip and pulls him *closer*,
and Tim makes another noise, and suddenly
it's less important that he's not touching
Bruce, because Bruce is touching *him*,
holding him, biting Tim's lip. Breathing
against his *face*, and Tim can't see his
eyes at all, anymore.

"Bruce -- oh --"

Bruce lets go. Of his *right* arm, and Tim
shakes it out reflexively before --

"Oh *God* --"

Bruce's hand, yanking down his pajamas and
reaching in, wrapping around him, around his
*dick*, and Tim tenses hard and makes a
noise he thinks is much too loud, and Bruce
*looks* at him, narrow-eyed and a little angry


That's the word. That's what it is. So fucking
*familiar*, because Tim knows it from the
*back*. Knows what it feels like and now he
knows what it *looks* like. And the way it
just gets stronger, more, *bigger* when he
can breathe enough, *move* enough to
move his hand to Bruce's cheek and just
hold on.

"Bruce..." His voice sounds breathy and
desperate to his own ears, but he can't relax.
He can't even laugh at the *idea* of relaxing.
Bruce's hand is as hard as his mouth, as
unforgiving and honest and right and *real*,
and Tim moans again and pushes into it.

"Yes," Bruce says, and it sounds like he's
answering the question and maybe
everything else, too. It sounds like something
that should just swallow him up, just *kill*
him or turn him into something that doesn't
matter anymore.

But Bruce *always* makes him feel like that,
and it's never true.

It's just a feeling.

It's just another reason why this is so *good*.
So right. He curls his hand and scratches at
Bruce's stubble with his nails, and Bruce
*squeezes* him. His arm and his dick, and
Tim's mouth falls open on a groan.

And Bruce's teeth are showing. Just a little.

His body wants to close his eyes and throw
his head back and give it *up* for this, but Tim
doesn't want to stop looking. Stop *seeing*
this. Because --

"Bruce. You -- oh -- you were waiting for this."

"Yes," Bruce says, and jacks him *hard* once,
again. Again, and Tim can't spread his legs
anymore because his pajamas are in the way,
but he's *trying*.

"For me. Waiting -- *Bruce* -- waiting for me
to get it..."

And Bruce doesn't look angry anymore. He
looks hungry and happy and -- "For you to
*take* it."

*Amused* and pleased, and his thumb is hard
and callused and the best kind of torture on
the head of Tim's dick, and Tim grins
helplessly and then gives up and bites his lip.
He likes the way it feels when the moans come
out through his teeth. "More," and he has just
enough time to take a shuddery breath before
Bruce is flipping them, slamming Tim down
against the mattress and jerking his pants
all the way off.

Tim spreads his legs and whimpers at the feel
of Bruce letting him go, of Bruce stroking the
insides of his thighs, of Bruce *looking* at
him, because it's a feeling, too.

Bruce taking him in and seeing him just like he
has from the beginning, only now he's using
his *mouth*. Tim bites back a scream and
shoves his hands into Bruce's hair, thick and
cool and damp on his fingers. Throws his legs
over Bruce's shoulders and writhes, because
it's good and because he *can*.

Wet heat and Bruce's hands slipping down the
backs of his thighs, down under his ass.
Stroking and *lifting* him, pulling him in so
*deep*, and Tim wants to say how good it is,
wants to *tell* Bruce, and tell him not to
*stop*, but the only thing that comes out is
Bruce's name, over and over, hitched out on
one moan after another, because he's still too
shocked to come, too...

He clutches Bruce's hair tighter, pulls on it a
little, and he's as deep as he can get, but he
can't stop bucking anyway.

He can't stop fucking Bruce's *mouth*, and
suddenly he isn't shocked at all.

"*Bruce* --"

And Bruce *hums* around him, like he's
thinking about something interesting and
important that he doesn't feel like telling him
about -- yet -- and Tim has just enough time
to smell the fresh sweat breaking out all over
his skin before he's coming hard, spilling into
Bruce's mouth and pulling Bruce's hair too hard
and digging his heels into the muscles of
Bruce's back.

"Bruce," he says again, and it's only falling back
against the pillows that lets him know he'd
been curled up, and it's only the way the light
makes him blink that lets him know his eyes
were closed.

He forces himself to blink more so he can
focus faster, and tugs on Bruce's hair a little
more when he feels Bruce move. Not yet, he
thinks, and it feels like it takes forever before
he can see clearly again.

Bruce is looking up at him from between his
legs, expression somewhere between pleased
and dangerous.

It kind of makes Tim want to growl.

He digs his heels in a little harder before
flipping them off Bruce's shoulders and tugging
more purposefully on Bruce's hair.

Bruce raises an eyebrow at him, and it's just a
look, just a *Bruce* look, but right now it just
feels like more sex. "Kiss me again. I want --"

To taste my come in your mouth, he was going
to say, but Bruce never needs *anyone* to
finish a sentence. Bruce tongue is *slick* in
his mouth, salty and hot and perfect, and Tim
licks it until he can't taste anything but spit
and Bruce.

And then he wraps his legs around Bruce's
waist and *pulls*, and Bruce doesn't make him
clarify that, either, just settles his weight on
him and hums into his mouth.

His... mouth.

Tim twists out of the kiss and pants, pushing
at Bruce. "I want to suck you, too. I want --"

And the rest of that comes out on a grunt,
because Bruce *thrusts* against him. "Tim."

"Oh *yeah* -- *oh* --"

Bruce's *tongue* in his ear and Bruce's hips
working against him, Bruce's hands sliding
under him, cupping his shoulders from the back
and pulling Tim *down* so Bruce can just
drive against his stomach, over and over,
pushing gasps and grunts out of Tim that he
couldn't hold back if he *wanted* to.

"Oh -- oh *fuck* --"

"*Tim*," Bruce says, and it's a moan, breathed
into Tim's hair. Tim can't quite get enough air
to breathe, and all of it tastes like sex and
Bruce. He reaches down, trying to keep his
legs around Bruce's waist and trying to keep
breathing and trying to get Bruce's pajama
pants *down*, and he's doing a bad job of all
of it but he can't stop *any* of it.

"Bruce *yes* --"

And Bruce makes a soft, breathy sound and lets
go of one of Tim's shoulders for long enough to
reach back and shove his pants down and then
he's on Tim again, over him, *surrounding*
him, and he almost doesn't feel *human*.

There's just too much, he's just too *Bruce*,
but the head of his dick is slick and *hot* on
Tim's abdomen, and the smell of his sweat is
making Tim's mouth water. He's -- God --
*drooling* for this, and he thinks he'd be
embarrassed if it wasn't so hot. If *Bruce*
wasn't so hot, the rhythm of his hips
relentless and *hard*.

Tim rides it for a moment, but then just gets
lost in the *feel*. Bruce's hot skin, uneven
with scars and slick with sweat, and all of
Bruce's *muscle*. He strokes his way up
Bruce's back with one hand and down over
his ass with the other, and Bruce pants into
his hair like an animal.

Like he can't stop.

Tim squeezes Bruce's ass --

"Tim. You feel so..."

And the rest is just a moan, loud and *hot*,
and Tim gasps and clutches at Bruce, and then
groans, because Bruce is *coming* on him,
hot and wet, and shuddering a little.

"Tim," and it's quiet, almost too quiet to hear,
and Tim realizes that he's still gasping. He
wants Bruce to crush the breath out of him.
He wants Bruce to...

He wants *everything*, and it's *just* like
the beginning, when not even getting
knocked to the practice mats more often than
he could count could drown out the feel of
everything else.

The fact that he was *getting* what he wanted.

Every bruise just another reminder of the big,
fat check the universe had written him.

Tim grins to himself and thinks he could probably
use a *little* more oxygen.

Bruce shifts, and runs his hands down Tim's
arms from the shoulders, wrist-pinning him
briefly before rolling off. Tim takes a moment
to breathe and then climbs back on Bruce,
straddling his waist.

Bruce's hair is still rumpled. It makes Tim's
hands twitch at his sides, but he settles for
sliding them through the come on his
stomach. Bruce's look is sort of lazily
thorough. A sexier version of the look he
gives Tim before every patrol, making sure
he's ready for the night and probably checking
to make sure his belt is fully stocked solely
with the power of his mind.

Tim raises an eyebrow at him.

Bruce raises an eyebrow right back. "You
*should* go to bed," he says, and folds his
hands over his chest.

"I *am* in bed."

"You're in my bed."

And Bruce is playing with him, he totally is,
and a part of Tim's brain has been wired to
send off special 'pay *attention*' alarms
every time that happens, but it's also... Tim
frowns a little.

Bruce strokes his face. "Are you all right?" It's
not *quite* Batman-voice, but Bruce doesn't
*have* a voice Tim can ignore.

"Just thinking about..."

"Secrets," Bruce says, and this time it's
*definitely* Batman voice.

Tim nods, and Bruce strokes his cheek with his
thumb, affectionate in a way that other people
would probably think was effortless. Tim grins
and leans into it, taking that, too, before
twisting his head away. "I can keep them."

"I know," Bruce says, and looks at him.

Into him, through him. *Watching* him, and
there are a lot of reasons Tim didn't take
the tracers *off* his suit, even after Bruce
had confessed. "It's worth it," he says, and
leans in to kiss Bruce before Bruce can say
anything else.

With his eyes closed, because he doesn't have
to see Bruce to know he's watching.

Bruce cups the back of his head and nips his
tongue lightly. Promisingly. Tim thinks very,
very hard about leaning in a little closer, about
what all the come on his belly must feel like
to *Bruce*... and thinks about the fact that
there's no way in hell any of it will mean
anything against the fact that he has school

He groans into Bruce's mouth and pulls back.

Bruce smiles at him like he knows exactly what
Tim is thinking and pulls a bundle of cloth
from under his back that turns out to be Tim's
pajamas. He shakes them out with one
wrist-snap and hands them over, and Tim
wonders if Bruce knows how much of his mind
is currently devoted to thinking of all the
places where they can *really* be alone.

Where it'll be more than just Bruce Wayne's
bed in Thomas Wayne's house.

He slips off the bed and pulls the pajamas back
on and... he really needs a shower. Probably
*before* Alfred drags him out of bed for
school would be best. He grins to himself, and
looks up at Bruce, wondering just how many
jokes about *that* he can make before Bruce
will put his foot down, but Bruce is just...
looking at him.

Not even bothering to shift back until his face
is in his shadow.

Tim's breath catches and his hands are too
stupid to tie the belt.

"Good night, Tim."

And that's a promise, too. "Night, Bruce."

He can feel Bruce looking as he leaves.

He can feel Bruce looking until he goes to