Lateral Stresses
by Te
January 16, 2004

Disclaimers: Not mine. Though I'd probably dress them
just as gay.

Spoilers: None, really. Assume this takes place in
current Robin and Nightwing canon.

Summary: Tim's zen. Dick's not.

Ratings Note: NC-17.

Author's Note: I'm blaming my subconscious for this

Acknowledgments: To Livia and Jack for audiencing and
encouragement. Jack also gave me a title.

Feedback: Mm-hmm.


Dick pulls a Zesti out of the fridge for Tim and a bottle of
water for himself. There are beers, and one would be
nice -- it's hot enough that Bludhaven stinks more than
usual these days -- but Gannon's not due over until

No reason to pretend he's anything he's not until then,
at least, and it's not like the beer will do anything good
for his *body*.

And... ouch.

He wonders when Tim's going to stop sucking down
the carbonated sugar water and switch to something
like Gatorade. From there, it's a slippery slope to
bottled water and a fridge full of fresh vegetables, and
honestly, should they really be doing this to *another*

He grins to himself and heads back into his living room,
where the kid in question would look perfectly
normal -- clothes four sizes too big for him, TV
remote in hand -- were it not for the fact that he was
*also* reading Dick's Shooter's Bible even while
flipping through the channels.

And, okay, that stuff is *interesting*, and more illicit
than porn could ever be, considering, and... fuck.
"Heads up, kid."

Tim drops the remote and puts a hand up for the
carefully tossed can, not looking away from the

It may already be too late.

Dick turns off the television as he walks into the
room --

"Hey, I was listening to that --"

And removes the book full of tasty, sexy, deadly
weaponry from Tim's hand.

"And *reading* that." The glare is impressive.

His is still better. But, subtlety is key. Right. "You can
watch TV and read at *home*, Tim."

"You're feeling needy, aren't you? Come talk to Uncle
Tim." Tim's smirk may, in fact, be better than his.

"No, I'm feeling *curious*. There's a small but
desperately important difference."

Tim gives him the I'm-patiently-waiting-for-you-to-
stop-being-an-asshole look.

Dick rolls his eyes and drops into the chair across
from him. But... how *do* you go about asking a
guy how his Bat-related anal-retentiveness is
coming along? He looks at Tim.

"Aw, man, this isn't going to be one of those serious
talks, is it? Because I swear to God, my angst is at
normal, baseline teenaged levels."

"Yeah, but do you have another girlfriend, yet?"


"It's Friday night. You're on a designated night *off*.
And you're here."

"Oh, for Christ's -- I *have* a social life. I'm getting
together with some of the other kids on Sunday --"

"For a study session."

"*And* I'm going to a dance next weekend. An actual
dance. With people. Happy?"

And, okay, that's not *bad*, but... "No girlfriend?"

Tim glares at him. "I've got at least a few more months
before my also-designated grieving period is over."

"No more than two, and that's not the point. I mean,
seriously Tim, you ought to at least be actively
avoiding a *specific* person."

"Okay, see, this is what *I* don't get. What's the

"The *point*? Didn't Bruce have that talk with you?
The one with --"

"The really helpful photographs, diagrams, and list of
approved websites?" He waves a hand. "Yeah, years
ago. I have, actually, achieved puberty, asshole."

Dick makes himself look nice and sincere. "And you'll
hit that growth spurt *any* day now, I promise."

"You know, I *have* my staff in my bag."

"You'll never get to it."

"You're assuming I'd try to use that *first*."

There's a coffee table that would probably survive
anything they did, but the Zesti can is probably still
at least half-full and the blinds are open... Dick and
Tim share a look. Not right now.

"Anyway, yeah, like I was saying, I don't really get
the whole girlfriend thing."

"What's to *get*? Curves, Tim. *Curves*."

"And I can appreciate that. I'm a red-blooded American
male, and I can freely admit to my firm belief that
breasts are a wonderful idea, *but*."

"But *what*?"

Tim finishes off his soda and wings the can at the
recycle bin in the corner. It almost bounces out.

"Ooh, weak."

"Fuck you, you need to empty that thing out more than
once a month. But think about it. When do I have
*time* for a girlfriend?"

"This is what *I'm* saying --"

"Uh, huh. And how many free nights a week did *you*
have, Mr. Founding-Member-Of-The-Titans? And hell,
at least you *lived* with Bruce. I'm technically
supposed to show up at my house every *night*."

"But --"

"And let's assume that I come up with someone who
a) isn't a criminal, b) doesn't have more issues than,
like, hair accessories, and c) is someone who Bruce
*and* my Dad *and* Dana approve of."

"It's not *that* hard --"

"This is me, not commenting on the bleak *wreckage*
that is your love life, Dick, but okay. Let's *further*
assume that this paragon of feminine virtue doesn't
mind the fact that I've got time to see her maybe
once a week, and will also put up with me periodically
running out on our dates, hanging up on her, and
otherwise being Not There at all, because I'm

"Okay, I admit, that part's hard."

"Oh, that's big of you. Really fucking *huge*. So, we've
got the Nice Girl. We've got the Nice Girl who's
apparently a freaking *doormat*, or possibly just
brain-dead, because sooner or later? The sex thing."

"You can't *possibly* come up with a reason why sex
is bad."

"Hey, I'm willing to admit that billions of human beings
probably aren't wrong --"

"Wait, you're still a *virgin*?"

Tim glares at him. "Would you *listen* to me?"

"I'm listening, I'm listening. Go on."

"Okay --"

"Aren't you sixteen? And, yeah, you're small, but
you're --"

"There's grass on the damned infield, jerkoff, now pay

Grass on the... "Oh, that's wrong."

Tim isn't *quite* snickering, but he's getting there. "I
try. Here's the deal. The deal *breaker*. Because,
yeah, lots of things an enterprising young man and
his girlfriend can get up to."

"Good things. Really. You should --"

"Shut up. Because see, eventually? They want you to
take your clothes off." And he sits back and folds his
arms and generally looks like he's just passed down
wisdom from on high that Dick is supposed to
automatically *get*.

"Um. You *do* know that breasts are even better --"

"I'm not talking about *her* body, jackass, I'm talking
about *mine*. And no, don't even start, this isn't even
*remotely* about insecurity. It's about the *scars*.
And the bruises, and the recent stitches and... Jesus
Christ, if I move around too much I'll be bleeding from
somewhere right *now*."

Dick blinks. Thinks about it. How *had* he...? "Skiing
accident. Skateboarding accident. You --"

"Walked into a door? See, look, there are ways around
it, and a particularly forgiving or, again, CLUELESS girl
would let me get me away with it, but... fucking A,
man. It's just not worth it."

"So what you're saying is that you've completely given
up on getting laid because it's *inconvenient*?"

"Not *completely*. I mean, not forever or anything
like that. I figure I'll have a little more room when I
get to college, you know? But right now?" He
gestures, vaguely. "All I need."

Dick nods slowly. Takes another swallow of water.

"Admit it, I'm totally right about this."

"You *do* realize that you're even more fucked up
than Bruce, right? I mean, this has occurred to you,
hasn't it?"

Tim laughs at him. "What, because I'm practical?
Admit it, your life is ten times easier when you're not
dancing around some woman than when you are."

"It's not *about* easier. It's about --"

"Kissing, touching, sucking, fucking. Yeah, I get it. I
have an active and varied fantasy life. And hey, it's
not like I'll be eighty tomorrow or something. If it
makes it easier for you, you can just pretend I'm
saving it for my wedding night."

"You're honestly trying to make *me* feel better.
Tim, what the fuck?"

"C'mon, Dick, that's what this is *really* about, right?
You looked at me or thought about Bruce or whatever
and suddenly you were thinking about how narrow
and anal *you* are, and decided it was time to be
Big Brother Nightwing to poor, mistreated Robin
because *you're* a good guy and so you have to
save me.

"Or else you aren't such a good guy, right?"

Dick stares at him. Tim couldn't look more smug if
he *tried*.

And Tim just nods like the conversation is over, and
reaches for the remote.

Dick keeps staring. And... thinking about it. Because,
yeah, Tim has a point. This *was*, at least in part,
about his own issues and worries and *issues*. He's
not blind -- he knows when he's getting a little

And yet.

Here's this guy, this *kid*, sitting on *his* couch,
feeling full of himself because he'd discovered the
zen of abstinence or some bullshit like that. Feeling
*superior*, because hey, it's not like he was one of
those lowly, needy types, right?

Little *bastard*.

Really, it's almost awe-inspiring.

But mostly...

Tim glances at him between channel-flips. "What?"

"Just thinking." Dick knows his voice is a little too

"About...?" The barest hint of suspicion. Nowhere
near enough.

"Sucking you off."

Tim blinks.

Dick smirks and leans back in the chair, throwing his
arm along the back and spreading his legs.

Tim breaks and gasps out laughter. "Oh, dude,
you're good. I thought --"

"That I was serious?" He purrs it out slow. "I am."

"You wanna suck my dick. To prove a point." Tim's
expression is stuck between a gape and a smirk.
"And *I'm* the one who's fucked up?"

Dick slides his free hand between his legs and gives
himself a squeeze. The blood's prickling hot beneath
his skin, like maybe he'd be a little flushed if he
looked in a mirror. He's not hard. Yet. "I never said
I wasn't."

Tim nods slowly, mouth shut again in that slightly
off way that means he's probably running his tongue
along his teeth or something. "This is a dare."

"More like a challenge. Up to it?"

"Hey, I *said* I still had needs and everything. I'm
not a freaking *robot* --"

"You're hard right now, right? You're really, really
happy you wore those jeans."

Tim narrows his eyes at him. He can look pretty
dangerous. For a kid.

"You're thinking about what it would be like. My
mouth on you."

Tim doesn't move, or even shift. But he's still as
stone, and that tells Dick *all* he needs to know.

"I'm not your girlfriend, Tim. You don't have to
take *me* home."

And it's all over his face. Wondering if this is where
he apologizes, or makes a joke, or maybe just calls
Dick's bluff -- and wondering if it *is* a bluff, and
what he's supposed to do if it isn't.

Dick smirks a little wider. Tim *hates* not being
able to make a decision. And it fucking *kills* him
when he can't read people.

And yeah. *Now* he's hard.

"C'mon, kid. Make a decision."

The snarl is on and off Tim's face *almost* fast
enough to miss.

"Or maybe you just can't take it."

"You need. So. Much. Therapy."

"You're wondering how fast you can get out of here
with your dignity intact. Your *image*. I bet you
don't even make it to the roof before your pants
are around your --"

"Do it."

Dick's heart thuds painfully hard, and he hears
himself suck a breath in through his teeth. And
*then* Tim moves, standing up and yanking his
belt open and his zipper down.

He's hard enough already that his boxers are tented,
and there's a nice-looking little wet spot.

Dick waits until Tim's fingers are under the
waistband. "Leave those on."

He stills, and shoots Dick a look.

Yeah. Now. He stands up and steps over the coffee
table and rests his palm against the center of Tim's
chest. Gives him a little push.

There's a wonderfully *wary* look on Tim's face that
Dick can't *wait* to validate, but he sits down, jeans
puddled around his ankles and legs spread.

Dick kneels and slides his hands up Tim's thighs,
digging his thumbs in a little and spreading them
wider. Holding his gaze and rubbing small circles until
Tim starts to breathe harder.


This is going to be much too easy.


"Nobody ever touch you here, Tim?"

Tim just stares.

"Or is it that no one's ever touched you like *this*?"
Dick slides his hands up higher, bunching up the
right leg of the boxers and sliding under the left.
"Mm. *I* like the way this feels. What about you?"

"Dick --"

"See, what you're not getting -- what you've *utterly*
failed to get, is just what I can do to you *long*
before I get my lips wrapped around your dick."

Tim makes a little hurt sound, face crumpling with
that old, familiar mix of do-me and oh-fuck before
he manages to even it out again.

"But maybe I should be nice about it." He leans in
close enough to breathe hot against the tent in
Tim's boxers. "I'm a good guy," he says, looking up.

"Jesus, Dick --" Tim's biting his lip now.

He slides his right hand back slow, pushing a little
with his fingertips until Tim jerks and shakes, just for
a moment. "How bad do you want it?" And pushes his
left hand *in*, twisting past the fabric to pet Tim's sac.
"You can tell me."

Dick watches sweat break out on Tim's forehead and
keeps petting.

"Wide and varied fantasy life, right? So you *must*
have thought about someone's hand wrapped around
your balls, right? Squeezing just hard enough to --"


It makes *his* dick twitch, lust and surprise rolling
through his gut in a wave. Virgin. *Such* a virgin.
"You ready for me?"

Tim shakes harder under his hands, gasping like he's
trying to hold in something loud and damning.
Something like real pain.

And for a moment it's tempting as hell to just make
him come in his pants *exactly* like the teenager he
is, and for more reason than just his wounded ego,
but... another time. Not Tim's *first*. He pulls back
just long enough to get Tim's dick out of his boxers,
wrapping one hand around the base and getting his
lips around the head *before* he starts playing with
his balls in earnest.

He gets one good taste and one good *suck* before
Tim arches off the couch --

"*Fuck* --"

And comes in his mouth, digging his fingers into the
cushions and shouting wordless at the ceiling.

Dick swallows and lets him go, licking his lips and
enjoying the sight of Tim sprawled out on his couch
like the end of a particularly good orgy. He stands
up --

And falls right down on *top* of Tim when he hooks
Dick's legs out from under him.

"No. You just... *no* --"

Tim cuts himself off by kissing Dick awkwardly as he
rolls him down to the couch. Lips on his chin and teeth
on the line of his jaw, teeth on his lower lip and *then*
Tim kisses his mouth, groaning into it and tearing at
his pants. Growling when he fails to get them open
one-handed, and then Tim's moving, kneeling up and
working on Dick's fly with grim determination.

Dick laughs helplessly. "No, go ahead, get your own
back, kid --"

Tim glares at him and Dick laughs even harder. *Right*
up until Tim licks his hand and wraps it around him.

"Oh *man*, Tim --"

"Shut up." Fingers on his nipple, twisting *much* too
hard, sending jagged flares of feeling all through him
as Tim pumps and strokes and --

"Fuck --"

"Shut *up* --" And Tim's leaning in and kissing him
again, straddling the leg that isn't half-off the couch
and jerking him hard, and there's nothing to do but
go with it.

He slides his hands into Tim's hair and angles them
for a deeper kiss, thrusting into Tim's fist and doing
some groaning of his own.

Tim breaks the kiss and gasps against his mouth. His
eyes are still wide and shocky, but his lips are red and
swollen and pressed into a tight line.

Dick lays back and takes it, and even just thinking
that is enough to drive him higher. Because Tim would

He slips his hand out of Tim's hair and reaches up and
back, stretching out and clenching his hands together,
wishing he was naked and knowing it's good
*enough* when Tim loses his rhythm and stares at the
way Dick's t-shirt is pulling tight over his chest, face
twisting into a scowl.

And Dick *knows* Tim's getting hard again, and that's
gonna make him smirk just as soon... "*Harder*."

And it's probably just the tone of voice, but Tim doesn't
even hesitate, pinching Dick's nipple and *working* his
dick, and then it's just the feeling, good enough for it
to be anyone, and even better because it's Tim.

*Making* Dick come because he *has* to.

For himself.

"Mm," he says, when he's done gasping. He stretches
and shifts into a more comfortable position, and
watches Tim stare at his own hands like they belong to
someone else. "You okay?"

Tim frowns, mostly to himself, and wipes his sticky
hand on Dick's t-shirt. Thoroughly. And scoots back to
the other end of the couch.

Dick winces internally. "Tim?"

"See, what's killing me is that *all* you've done is
ensure that I'm going to be as fucked up as the rest
of you people."

Which is... okay, true. Still. "Worth it, though, right?"

Tim *has* to have learned that withering look from
Alfred. It's a lot less believable when it comes from
someone whose dick you've had in your mouth.

Dick decides to examine that revelation... pretty
much never. He puts on his best grin.

Tim gives up on the glare and kicks him. "You're on
the remote, asshole."

He hands it over graciously and relaxes.

Tim's got maybe ten minutes before the new erection
becomes just as important as the old.

Dick can wait.


.The function of muscle.