In the hollows of his love
by Te
November 11, 2003

Disclaimer: Not mine, man.

Spoilers: Vague ones for "Hearts and Minds."

Summary: Love is a many-splendored thing.

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

Author's Note: This story... well. It has a lot to do with
the many conversations with LaT and Livia about Flash's
character, and it has a lot to do with the image Chaos
& Raven put in my head of Wally at a Bruce function, but
mostly? It has to do with the fact that I'm still helplessly
obsessed with "A Better World." More notes at the end.

Acknowledgments: To Bas, the Spike, Livia, and Jack for

Feedback makes me happy.


He's wearing... something nice. He wishes he knew the names. It's not quite a
shift, he doesn't think -- it gathers too much at the waist. It's a little like the
things the Amazons wore on Themyscira, if they'd been fashion plates as
opposed to women who could -- and would -- kick his ass just on general
principle. It's... flimsy.

But it's mauve -- not pink, not purple, he knows that much -- and it's silk.
Cool on his skin.

Wally isn't wearing much under it.

The shoes are hideously expensive. *That* he also knows, because they
aren't uncomfortable even though they're strappy and stylish and pretty.
They have the potential of being uncomfortable, but he thinks he's got a
few hours.

Maybe he's just getting better at walking in them, in that sort of
hip-centric way that's less about swinging than about holding a certain

The necklace isn't quite a choker. It rests above his collarbone, cool and
heavy with the metal shine of platinum. There's an amethyst set in the
exact center. The earrings are also platinum, but they're only studs. The
piercings haven't healed enough for something more... extravagant (and
won't, for a while -- it takes a lot to scar someone with a metabolism like
his), and he knows this frustrates Bruce the way he knows.

That he's the most beautiful woman in the room.

And there's a part of him that's freaking out about that, definitely.

It's not the dress, or even being out in public in it -- he thinks he might
have done this anyway, at *some* point, just for the sheer hell of it.

It's what it means -- seems to mean -- to Bruce.

It's the fact that it clearly means a whole hell of a lot.

Because here he is, at some party that only the rich and beautiful and
powerful people know about, that the rest of the world will only find
out about from next week's carefully selected society pages -- he's
had his picture taken exactly three times, with Bruce at his side -- and

Well, he's with *Bruce*.

Not Batman.

And a week ago that wouldn't have made any sense at all, because even
though Batman had finally *told* him who he was -- and, okay, getting
introduced to a guy's butler shouldn't feel like meeting a girl's parents,
but there it was -- it hadn't really *meant* anything to Wally.

Well, more than, "hey, he trusts me! Batman trusts me! Neat!"

But now... now he's getting that there's a lot more *to* it.

That Batman -- Bruce? -- had been trying to tell him just that in their
weird little computer room dance. Batman might know how to dance like
that, but Bruce is the one who taught him.

Bruce is... someone entirely else, in that way that should be horrifying.

And it is.

Just... not now.

Hard hand on his elbow, soft touch. *Esme* touch, because that's
who Wally is, tonight.

"Would you like more champagne?"

And it's... It's not even the same voice.

He knows that a computer would point out all the ways it *was*, but
Batman is never that gentle, even when he's kissing Wally. Never
that... *soft*.

He smiles, and looks at Bruce from under his lashes in a way he hadn't
had to be taught. In a way that just *feels* right. "Mm. Sure."

And Bruce's eyes are right. Or, at least they *should* be. They're the
kind of pale blue that's sharp as anything, the way they draw knives
in comic books.

But Batman's cowl has the same kind of reflectors his own do, and so
the eyes belong to no one but Bruce.

He never sees them unless they're smiling.

And Bruce leads them over to one of the wandering wait staff, and
plucks two flutes of champagne, and...

He doesn't hand Wally's over right away. He *offers* it, with
something like a bow. Amused, but not even close to mocking.

Very... public.

In that way where everyone who was watching the little exchange is
either smiling or raising their eyebrows or looking really *fond*.

Bruce catches him looking, and pulls him in close, even though the
dance area (he can't think of it as a dance *floor*, not quite) is way
over there. Bruce's hand is at the small of his back, and Wally has
just enough time to see his face... shift into something familiar,
something that makes Wally want to vibrate Esme off his skin, before
there's a mouth against his ear.

"It's okay." Batman voice.

And no, he's not going to get used to *this* anytime soon. The gaff
is, abruptly, very noticeable, and Wally takes a breath. "Hmm?"

"It's just... Bruce is a playboy. They all know it."

Wally holds on to the confusion, holds *tight*, but then Bruce starts
rubbing small circles with his thumb. Batman-force, Bruce-action. He's
getting the hang of the differences, he *is*, but Batman-Bruce-whatever
feels good.

Feels warm.

He lets his head dip -- almost -- to Bruce's shoulder. "What does that
mean?" And his voice is... he doesn't know what it is.

"Some of them are amused. They see you as my latest, beautiful

Wally breathes.

"Some of them are jealous. They want to know why they don't look as
good as Bruce does in a tuxedo." A smile against his cheek, and a brief
kiss that turns into a nuzzle. Wally is, abruptly, aware of his hair -- *his*
hair, only Bruce had seemed to take the floppy blondness as an excuse
to style it. Maybe as a goad. His head is the most naked part of his
body right now. "Why they'd never look as beautiful as you do in that


"We can't stay like this as long as I want to. Not here. Not yet. But...
Wally." The barest whisper, sound somehow much less important than
breath, heat. "Some of them see the way I am with you, see how
beautiful you are, and they know -- they think they know -- that I'm
falling in love."

And Bruce pulls back, smiling two entirely different smiles with his
eyes and his mouth.

Wally knows which one the others see.

And he knows that both smiles are for him.


It's movie night at John's place, and it *would* be good -- he likes it
when GL kicks back, even beyond the fact that he likes *John* --
except that Wally's pretty sure *this* movie night has a purpose.

Though he chooses to believe that John's not making a comment
about anything with the selection of "Beauty of the Beast," as
opposed to just being his usual, giant dorky self.

He smiles to himself as Angela Lansbury starts singing.


Wonders, idly, if John's ever going to get around to making him
watch Old Yeller -- Wally had *just* managed to replace it before he
noticed it was gone, and yes, he *likes* having superspeed for
more reasons than just the usual.

He wonders if John will cry.

Probably -- it's a crying kind of movie -- and Wally's not sure if he'll
tease him about it or not.

On the one hand, Big Butch Marine Guy losing it for a dog = Funny.

On the other hand, John's never had the remotest amount of
shame about the fact that he's *also* Big Butch Sensitive Guy,
and it's just not as funny mocking someone who *understands*
that they have issues. Or... who doesn't think of them as issues at
all? Maybe.

It's one of those things that used to seem simpler.

John shuts the VCR off as the credits roll.

"More beer?"

"*Always*. Why do you *ask* these questions?"

John rolls his eyes -- a really *odd* thing to see when the eyes in
question are bright green and glow, and why had he never thought
about that? -- and heads for the fridge. "*One* day you're going
to say 'no.' And I want to be there for that.

A smirk tossed over one of those ludicrously broad shoulders. "So I
can make sure you're not in the process of *dying*."

"Ha, ha. I'll have you know that I *always* say no to *bad* beer."


"Well, yeah." He grins and catches the bottle on the fly, and doesn't
even have to look up to catch the bottle opener. One-two punch,
that's John.

They drink in silence for a while, John putting the tape in the rewinder
and idly flipping through his collection. "Have I made you watch
"Lilo and Stitch," yet?"

Wally snorts. "You know, I've been *through* your tape collection,

Small, half-secret smile. "Yeah?"

"Yeah. I happen to know you have things rated PG. PG-13, even."

"Kid, when your *life* is rated R for violence and disturbing imagery..."
And he's a little more serious than he should be.

Wally raises his hands in surrender. "Okay, okay, you've got a point.
I just..." He's not sure what he wants to say.

"Hey, when it's your turn, *you* can pick the movies."

And it's Wally's turn to smile a little secretly, because he knows about
the tapes in the back of John's closet, and John knows *him* well
enough to know that he knows. "Anything I want?" And his voice is
kind of a surprise, because... well. There's only one person he uses
that voice with.

He can see John hearing it in the set of his shoulders. In the fact
that he takes a little -- a little -- too long to turn around. "Yeah, kid."

And there's a moment where they're just looking at each other, and
Wally's not so much thinking as... picturing.

And then John shakes his head and stands up without putting in
another tape. His face settles into those hard, even lines that make
the difference between John and GL. "Wally."

He considers pretending not to notice, because, yeah, he knows
what's coming. Stares at the man's jeans-clad legs for a little longer
than he has to before meeting his eyes. "Say what you need to
say, man."

It makes John raise an eyebrow at him, but he just sits down.
On the chair, not the couch.

It's almost funny.

"So. You and Batman."

He doesn't have to make this easy. And it's not *quite* his own
voice in his head, even though it's a voice he really understands. It
sounds a lot like Esme. "Yeah. Me and Batman."

"Don't take this the wrong way, Wally, but... the *hell*?"

And for a moment he wants to take it in *just* that wrong way,
because, hey, *he's* good enough. But he knows John, and he *knows*
that isn't even remotely what he means, and it's gotten really hard
to even pretend that it is. In a way that only has a little to do with all
the sex they're not having. He takes a breath and forces himself to
look in the man's eyes. "It's not that weird."

John just raises an eyebrow.

"Okay, it *is* that weird." Does Batman ever follow him when he
comes here? Plant little bat-microphones in weird places? Batman
hadn't been anything but open about his voyeuristic tendencies. He
smiles to himself. "But... not in a bad way."

John nods slowly, like he understands everything Wally's not saying,
even though there's just no *way*.

And maybe that's the newest thing about all of this, because he'd
never thought he ever *could* have secrets from John.

"I guess I'm just a little surprised, Wally. He... doesn't seem like your

"Well... once you get the mask off, he looks like any other man." And
this time he knows for *sure* that John's not hearing everything.

Because he's laughing. "You got his *mask* off? I swear, I used to
think that man would get *married* in the cape and cowl."

Wally grins. "He's a surprising kind of guy, John."

John polishes off his beer in a long swallow. Belches quietly and gives
Wally the big-brother look. "Yeah, well, if he surprises you *too* much..."

"You'll kick his ass."

"Through a *wall*." And the big-brother look fades into the just-us-guys
look and John snags their empty bottles and heads for the kitchen again.

Comes back with the case and sets it down next to Wally with a smirk
that isn't entirely right. "John?"

"Kid... just remember that I'm still here. We *all* are."

I still don't know whether to call him Bruce or Batman, he doesn't say.
I don't think I ever will. He's... he's really fucking *kinky*, John. Wally


"Bring on the Disney."


Batman kisses the back of his neck, makes love to it like it's the only part of
Wally's body he can reach, like it's the only part that matters.

In the mirror, he can see the pointy little bat ears behind his shoulder,
pointed jauntily toward the door.

In the mirror, he can see *everything*.

He's naked, sweating. Hard enough to use his cock as a weapon.

Wally hadn't even known there *were* mirrors like this in the Tower, and
never expected Batman to own one. Bruce, now...

He has an image in his mind of Batman carefully packing this huge, dark,
antique monstrosity in the Javelin and flying it up here while they were all
gone or asleep. Had Alfred helped?

He's sure it means something, something really big and maybe scary that it's
here now, in Batman's stark, disinfectant-clean, and impersonal rooms. He's
learning more about Batman every day, and it's always something *damned*
interesting. Puts that first conversation into a seriously new perspective. All
that control. All the things he didn't say. But...


Even Batman's tongue hurts a little now.

He's bitten and sucked at that one spot for a long time, now, and Wally's raw.


Cold air on drying spit, hot tongue where he's bruised and aching.

He wants to touch himself -- he knows Batman likes to watch the way some
people like to, well, *breathe* -- but he needs both hands just to brace himself
on the wall to either side of the mirror.

He needs to wait for what happens next.

"You taste so good --"

Growl bitten off in his skin, bitten off *hard*, and he thinks he may be bleeding.

Knows it when Batman's makes a tiny, *hurt* noise and grabs him by the
waist with those big, hard hands.

Gloved hands.

"Sorry, I'm..."

Batman licks him, sucks at whatever wound he just made, and Wally watches
his cock spit pre-come, watches it happen almost before he can feel it. "Bruce..."

And Batman's clutching him *hard*, like Wally knew he would. He's not sure if
it's because they're in the Tower, or because he's wearing the suit, or God
only knows what else.

He just knows what it does to the man when Wally says one when he's
supposed to say the other. "Touch me, Bruce..."

Hands on his hips with hard, *bruising* force, and Batman licks his way up
to Wally's ear.

Bites the lobe.

He's not paying any attention to the mirror, but Wally is.

There's a jacked-up superhero behind him.

There's a Batman with his teeth lodged just under his little platinum earring.

"Wally." Growled out like a threat.

And for a moment, he can't look away from his own eyes, because the
expression is so *strange*. Wild and different, even beyond the black-pupilled lust.
He watches himself reach out one, shaky hand to touch his reflection.

Watches Batman watch him, face blank in exactly the way it goes before he's
about to cause someone serious physical pain.

Watches it change. Not a softening so much as a small, vastly important internal

And Batman is grabbing his arm, stroking the skin with his thumb for a long,
ball-tightening time before pushing it back to the wall.

Stroking his hips.

Licking the bruises on the back of his neck.

Letting go just long enough to take himself out of the tights with a hiss that
would be yell on just about anyone else.

And then Batman guides the head of his cock between Wally's cheeks and...

Up and down.

And Wally can't even remember what game he was playing, because -- "God.
Oh, God, Batman --"


And he bucks his hips, tries to push back even though he's not slick, not
even close to *ready*, but Batman has him. "*Fuck* --"

"You. You have to see..."

Sliding so *slowly*, until the whole strip of skin feels like it might burn, until his
ass is clenching, *wanting*. "Fuck me, oh fuck me please --"

Another of those hurt sounds, *good* sounds, but Batman doesn't stop.
"Watch what you do to me, Wally. *Watch*."

And Wally does.

Sees the flush spill down his chest like wine, like blood.

Sees himself biting his lip and *vibrating*.

See his eyes, wide and desperate.

He can't look away.


John watches him from the other side of the Javelin.

They're on their way back from yet another planet Wally has to put on his list of
"no, never again, and also no," and they're all pretty banged up.

Alive in that way where there hasn't been enough time for them to be shocked
about it.

Not that there's ever enough time.

Batman's doing the piloting, just like some big tentacled *thing* hadn't thrown
him through a wall, just like that sort of thing happened every day.

It did.

And it's not like he's having issues about Batman's lack of super *anything* --
it really *doesn't* make a difference.

It's just that a large, greedy part of him is wondering how much the man will
be up to, tonight.

Superman's watching Batman.

But then, he always does.

When he'd asked Batman about it, he'd gotten one of those pure, dark little
Batman-smiles of the kind he rarely gets anymore without Bruce-leavening.
And he'd compared Superman pretty darned unfavorably to, in order, a
neurotic old woman, a stalker, and a dangerous alien menace with issues.

Wally had asked him if that meant they *had* slept together.

Batman had blinked, stared, and laughed.

And kissed him in that hard, slow, nasty way that Wally's beginning to *really*
appreciate, cowl leaving little welts on his face.

He grins to himself and puts his feet up on the back of Hawkgirl's chair,
dodging tired punches until she gives up.

He can feel John's half-amused little scowl like heat on the side of his face.

And he *could* say something here, make a joke, or just make an insulting
comment about the alien life forms they've just spent the better part of a
week beating up. That would, undoubtedly, drag Superman's attention
(kicking and screaming) away from Batman, and maybe make John throw
something at him.

He doesn't feel like it.

He wants...

A part of him knows that there's something inside him, something different
and new, and he thinks he should maybe spend some quality time figuring it

But touching that thing, that *new* thing just makes him...

It's something like calm, the kind of calm that used to only sink in after a
long, successful battle where the good guys won, and he'd had the time
to eat seventeen or eighteen cheeseburgers, and also he'd jerked off at
least once.

It's also something like... growing up.

In a way he'd never thought possible, where he can still have all the fun
he wants, even though he *knows* things.

Fucking Batman is like nothing he's ever had before, nothing he'd ever

Dating Bruce is an education.

And there *is* a distinction, oh *God* there is, even when Esme is
packed away in Bruce's closets.

Even when Wally isn't sure whose tongue is in his mouth.

Because he's *always* sure that there's something dark and *hungry*,
something *alive* behind those knife-blue eyes.

Something all for him, just waiting to be named. Waiting for Wally to
push and pull and tease it into the light, so it can spill all over him like oil.

So, yeah.

There's a part of him that wants him to spend serious time stepping
back and looking *around*.

But that part sounds like GL at his most annoying, when the stick is
shoved so far up his ass that his head's gone pointy.

Wally snickers to himself.

That part's no *fun*.


Batman kneels between his legs, naked and sweating.

He's squeezing Wally's thighs hard, hard enough that he can't feel
the itch of his hair growing in again.

Squeeze, release. Squeeze again.

Wally doesn't think he realizes that he's doing it.

Batman is...

Batman has been staring into his eyes for a while now, and it's a little
freaky, but really, not much more than the usual.

The leather straps hang from the bedposts, empty and insinuating.

Wally's wrists are *sore*.

And Batman looks like he's forgotten that he's allowed to touch him.
That, really, he can do it *any* time.

It's... really kind of interesting.

He strokes over the line of Batman's jaw and stares into eyes that
must be Bruce's, because Batman never looks scared.

Never looks unsure.

He wants to know what it is about *this* that's done it.

He has his suspicions.

Something in the way Batman had touched him when he was tied to
the bed. The way the hunger that's *always* there had looked like...

Like it could fall right out of his eyes if he wasn't careful.

Like it could rip Wally to *shreds*.

Something in the way the *other* Batman had been with him, all
tender and desperate.

He think he gets it.

He thinks...

There's some essential Batman *thing* about love -- this kind of love,
anyway -- that has nothing to do with hearts and flowers and
Dianas and Supermans.

That makes 'possession' into the best kind of dirty word.

Wally grins, and pushes his thumb against Batman's lower lip.

Pushes hard enough to feel the teeth hidden beyond the Bruce-mask.

"It's okay," he says.

And Batman shivers and groans and sucks his thumb into his mouth,
closing his eyes.

With Batman, nudity doesn't have a damned thing to do with skin.

Wally stands up, nudging at Batman's shoulders with his knees, just
a little. Playing.

Holds on to his stiffening cock with his free hand and strokes it as
slow as he can manage.

"Open your eyes, Bruce. Yeah, like that."

And Batman's sucking turns purposeful, turns hard and hungry
and just a little maddening.

Wally presses down on the man's tongue with the edge of his nail
and slips his thumb out.

Brings it to his own mouth while Bruce watches.

Licks it, just to see the man shake.

"I really had no idea, did I?"

And Batman shakes his head dumbly, lips wet and slack.

Wally nods, not -- entirely -- sure what he's agreeing to. "Suck me."

Batman swallows him down, groaning around his cock.

And it's hot, so hot and *wet* that Wally thinks his spine is gonna
melt. "Don't. Don't close your eyes."

Batman grabs his hips and *pulls*, and it's all he can do to keep his
knees from buckling, because, God, so fucking *tight*, and sex is
about the body, sure, but it's also about this, right here:

The wide, reckless shine in Batman's Bruce-eyes, filled with nothing
but worship.


Wally stares at himself in the mirror -- just a normal, bathroom one
this time, bracketed with fluorescent lights and cold as anything else in
the Tower.

Being here is like being swallowed into a very *specific* part of
Batman's mind, and he can't for the life of him figure out how the
hell he hadn't *known* that.

How the others *still* don't.

Because Batman bleeds into everything he does, bleeds every
minute of every day.

Batman is...

He's a force of *nature*, and Wally can't help but wonder about
the man's sidekicks. What they looked like before he got a hold on

What they look like *now*.

Because Wally looks...

Same hair, same cheekbones, same jaw.

But that new, strange thing is in his eyes now, and in the shape of
his mouth.

It's not just *in* him, it *is* him -- and Wally knows that has
everything to do with Batman.

Batman's sweet, acid-etched love, endless and unquestionable.

And maybe... maybe it would've happened anyway.

Maybe some unfinished part of Wally had just been *waiting* for
someone to come along and love him, love him so ruthlessly that
everything else burned away.

Every young, young fantasy.

Every stupid insecurity.

Every pathetic little thing, until he's left like *this*.

Pared down to nothing but a knife-blade of Wally, with maybe just
a *touch* of Wally-is-loved.

Because he *is*.

And right now?

That doesn't feel anything but right.

Wally grins at the sharp, sharp Wally-thing in the mirror.

And wonders if there's anyone *else* he should peel like an onion,
just to see what they taste like.

Maybe... maybe John.


Other notes: LaT and I spent a lot of time pondering the nature of Lorder!Flash.
What he'd be like, and if he could really *exist*. I didn't think he could. I still
don't, really.

But the process of writing "Reflections" showed me how it was possible, just
possible, to bleed a little black into Wally's soul.

And how Batman could do it -- *would* do it -- without even trying.

Like, by *accident*.

Because it's really cute when the lion plays with the kitten, but it never ends *well*.