Learn how to dance
by Te
August 10, 2005

Disclaimers: Nothing here is mine.

Spoilers: Vague ones for S:TAS. Toonverse au-go-go.

Summary: "I don't really *want* a Tim Drake habitat
in here."

Ratings Note/Warnings: There's sex here, and content
some readers may find disturbing.

Author's Note: Nominally a part of the You'll Get Used
To It In Time series, but really just riffing. It would
help to read Primary first, but I'm not so sure the others
are necessary.

Acknowledgments: To Jack, Mary, and LC for audiencing
and encouragement.


He's been off-planet a few times. Just to the Tower, but
that's pretty damned far, just the same. He nags Bruce
sometimes about how he's completely failed to take him
farther than that -- it's not like Bruce comes home more
beat-up from the League missions than he does when
Joker escapes, or something, and anyway, there's a
*reason* why Batman has partners -- but mostly he's not

There's something a little hinky about windows you can't
open because you'll get sucked out into a vacuum and die
painfully and silently and also *gross*.

And he's pretty sure if someone *other* than Bruce had
designed the Tower...

Tim's pretty sure it would mess with him, a little. Because
the Fortress is right here on *earth*, and the only thing
that'll happen if he opened these windows is that he'd
start freezing to death pretty much immediately, but it's...

It's alien, plain and simple.

Curves where there should be corners. Plastic which isn't.
Stone that *isn't*.

And the computer has a personality.

And there's a --

You can't call it a zoo. Zoos have *animals*, and no matter
how much he teases Clark, he knows those are people.
Like Clark, because they're all the last of their kind. Well,
almost the last.

He wonders what Kara's up to. He wonders...

Has Kara been here?

Bruce has, he knows, and Diana. And he *wants* to think --
to know -- that the rest of the League has been here, too,
or that the only reason why they haven't (he knows they
haven't) is because of time and world-saving or whatever,
but --

"Do you require anything, Tim Drake?"

He has just kind of been standing here for a while. He'd
told Clark he'd wanted to explore a bit, and Clark might
still be on the not-really-a-phone-at-all being Clark Kent
for Perry White, but mostly he's just...

"You have been here for one point seven hours, by human
time reckoning. I do not know when last you have eaten."

Really not alone. Really.

"When did you last eat."

"I'm not hungry," he says, and moves away from the walls.
It won't help.

"That is not an adequate answer."

Tim snorts and taps the wall as he walks. It's not hot or
cold. It's just not room-temperature, either. "I don't want
your food."

"That is not an adequate answer. Do you require a
repetition of the question."

He stops, staring in at something -- someone -- who looks
kind of like the lovechild of a yak, a horse, and an iguana.
The writing on the plaque is, of course, in Kryptonian. "I
require a translation of this plaque."

"Directive five, human guest: Humans require
carbon-based nutrition at least three times per
earth-standard cycle, at intervals of six 'hours.'"

"Computer --"

"Star eight one one three five six two. Kryptonian-standard.
Sentient. Gender-indeterminate. Carnivorous. Designation
indeterminate. Attempts at communication ongoing,
partially successful. Individual is social. Individual is

"Individual is clawing at the force-field."

"Records suggest this behavior is aggressive, rather than

Tim pauses with his hand reaching for his side of the
barrier. "Clark totally tried to give this -- person -- a hug,
didn't he."

"Tim Drake. If you do not answer my question I will be
forced to notify Kal-El of your lack of cooperation."

There's no -- visible -- cameras he can see to give the
expression on his face to, but... there are the walls.
"Gonna tell on me?"

"If it is required. Additionally, yes, Kal-El attempted physical
communication with the being you have requested
information about."

"I... ingested nutrients about three hours ago." The
Chocoblast bar counts.

"Information noted. Is there anything else you require at
this time."

"Where's Clark?"


And... yeah. Right there. His cape is still flapping a little,
but he'd been moving just slowly enough that Tim's isn't.
He's --

It's the smile he knows really well now, to the point that
the smiles Clark uses with other people seems a little
fucked-up. A little scary, actually. But not this one.

Tim lets himself fall into a lean against the wall between
yak-thing and tentacle-beast-three. "I wasn't actually
calling you, you know."

"Yes. I do."

He tilts his head back when Clark reaches -- it's almost
reflex at this point -- and closes his eyes a little when
Clark starts stroking the collar of his cape.

"You could," Clark says, smiling with his mouth and
*looking* with his eyes, "get more comfortable. If you

"Kal-El. Tim Drake has expressed a lack of physical
requirements at this --"

"Computer --" Clark twists his face into a frown which
Tim's pretty sure is mostly for his benefit. The tone of his
voice is pretty much absent. "Noted. Thank you."

"You're welcome."

Tim raises an eyebrow and reaches up to pet Clark's wrist,
a little, with one gauntleted hand.

"Sorry, Tim. I don't... have many guests, here."

No shit. Tim shrugs and tugs on Clark's fingers until they're
closer to the catch on his cape. "Take it off me."

This time there *is* that rush of wind, rocking him away
from the wall a little before -- Clark catches him.

The cape's nowhere *he* can see, which means it's
probably folded neatly in whichever part of this place is
going to be their bedroom this time. It's always different.

Clark's fingertips are warm and -- Tim always forgets,
even now, how *soft* Clark's hands can feel when he's
being careful.

He doesn't have a single callus.

"Tell me what you're thinking?"

If he just looks at Clark -- the right way -- it'll be an answer
Clark thinks is good enough.

He's pretty sure that's what Clark's expecting, and then
the only question will be whether or not Clark will fuck
him here *first*. But.

"Why does your AI call me 'Tim Drake?'"

Clark's thumb is on his jaw. "I didn't think you'd appreciate
being called 'honey.'"

Tim snorts and turns enough to bite the pad of the thumb,
teeth digging in right up until they don't. When Clark
relaxes, he just gets harder. All over. "Not what I meant."

Clark's other hand is moving on his tunic. Not really petting
him so much as finding all the catches, pressing down a
little, and moving on to do it all again.

Clark wants him naked.

"I have a confession to make, Tim."

Tim smirks and flicks his tongue over Clark's thumb. He has
to almost rear his head back to get away from the man's
hand enough to talk. He grabs it in both of his own,
squeezing a little in promise. "It's been a while since I've
heard one of those..."


He knows that sound. If he looks up, right now, the
expression on Clark's face will pretty much shut down
every part of him not invested in coming or being freaked
out so much he needs to come just to calm the fuck
down. He looks at Clark's hand instead, deciding where
to bite next.

"The AI calls me Kal-El. It could call me... any number of
things. But, for the AI, it's the most correct designation.
And when you're here -- and we're alone..."

He has to look up for that. It's Clark being... it's his eyes.
And how they're still so hungry Tim can't really think on
all cylinders, but also weirdly...

If it was anyone else -- even Bruce -- Tim would call that
expression 'soft.' But it's not, so it's just... different.
Personal. It's the kind of scary even coming won't help
with. Much. Because it answers more questions than Tim
actually wants to ask.

"What is it, Tim?"

Because it's not really a 'Clark' look at all. "I'm thinking
about Bruce."

The hand on his tunic tightens a little. Enough that he'd
have to fight to get out of Clark's grip, which means that
it's enough that he *wouldn't* be able to get out.

"Specifically," he says, "I'm thinking about how he's Bruce
Wayne, and Batman, and also *Bruce*."


"And I'm wondering if I should call you Kal-El. Kal?"

"Whichever you're..." The grip on him is tight enough that
it would hurt without the armor. "If it makes you more...

The interesting thing is that there are only two situations
when Clark holds on like that. When he's fucking Tim the
third or fourth time and both of them know Tim *won't*
be able to take much more, or when he's in the suit.

And then it has -- he's pretty sure -- pretty much nothing
to do with the suit at all, as opposed to being Robin.

Robin's a lot safer, with Clark, than he is.


"Kal," he says, trying it out as much as anything else.
*Thinking* about it, because --


Because this is *important*. This is... there's so much...
Tim frowns and shifts, a little. The pressure on his tunic is
starting to hurt a little. The armor's digging *in*.

"Tell me," and Clark -- Kal? -- twists his other hand out of
Tim's grip to touch his mouth.

Gently. Tim drags his mouth against Clark's fingers a little.

"*Tim* --"

"Who do you want to be with me?"


Okay... okay. "Who do you want *me* to be?"

"Everything," Clark says, and the smile is in his eyes, now,
and makes Tim feel a little burnt up.

Or maybe it's just the way he's starting to sweat. Clark's
too warm to be this close to for long. Not unless you're
naked. "I need... more than that."

The kiss doesn't drive him back against the wall -- Clark's
hand is there to keep him from cracking his skull -- but it
feels like it should.

It feels like it always does, like maybe one day Clark's
going to dislocate his jaw just by making out with him.

It's old bruises -- deep enough beneath the skin that he'd
forgotten -- and all the new ones Clark is giving him...


Tim twists enough that he can work his hands between
them and shoves, having the usual moment of
gonna-get-crushed before Clark moves.

"Yes," he says, and it sounds like an order.

"How will you kiss me if I call you 'Kal?'"

And he probably shouldn't have expected an answer to
that in words, and he doesn't get one.

He has to -- he has to pay attention to more than just the
way Clark is teasing Tim's tongue into his mouth, to the
way Clark has one hand on Tim's hip and the other in his
hair, to the way --

No. He has to pay attention to *exactly* that, and the way
Clark -- *Kal* -- is moaning into his mouth, the way he's
holding *on* --

Holding him.

Holding him close until it doesn't matter that Tim *can*
breathe through a kiss like this -- he can't.

It's too. It's too --

Clark doesn't pull back so much as kiss his way up over
Tim's cheek to his forehead. "Tim Drake."

Tim shudders hard. Once.

And Clark -- Kal -- someone -- laughs, softly. "Yes.

"I feel like you should be calling me Tim-El or something,
Clark -- hey --"

Clark's holding him up -- in the air -- with one arm around
his back. The other isn't so much cupping his ass as
pressing until Tim wraps his dangling legs around Clark's

Okay. Tim twists a little until Clark lets go of him -- lets
*him* do the holding -- and rests his hands on Clark's
shoulders. "Did I make a Kryptonian faux-pas?"

"You would be my brother with that name," Clark says,
smiling sharp and hard. And his hands are back on Tim's
back again.

"Clark --"

"Or my *son*."

And somehow -- he's not *entirely* sure why -- Tim thinks
calling Clark 'Daddy,' at this point, wouldn't make much of
a difference. All things considered.

Just like how he's pretty sure calling Clark 'Superman' will
just get him set back down on his feet.

They've already had that conversation.

"Tim -- Tim..."

"You were about to call me 'Tim Drake' again, weren't

Clark strokes him through the tunic and smiles so *hard*
into Tim's eyes that he can't really look away from it at all.

"C --"


He does, even though they're so close now that Tim can
smell his *own* sweat. He raises an eyebrow, instead,
and --

It's surprising that he still has the mask on, even though
the only part of the suit he *isn't* wearing is the cape. The
*mask* doesn't mean shit with Clark, after all. Because
he's pretty sure Clark had been looking right through it
from the start.

And now *Clark* is frowning.


"Please don't... don't look at me. Like that."

And that's... interesting. Another piece to the big freaky
*puzzle* which, when he lets himself think about it, always
makes him feel a little sick inside. A little wrong.


He knows it's not supposed to be like this. Not with
someone who can -- does -- kiss you like that. The way
he does when he's Kal. "I'm only allowed to be scared
when you're fucking me?"

Clark laughs. It *is* amused. It's just that it's other things,

"C --"

"*Wait*," he says, again, and this time it's an order.

Tim feels fresh sweat breaking out under his tunic, under
his tights. He nods, and -- stops, because Clark has a hand
on his face again, holding his jaw so that he can either
squeeze his eyes shut or look him in the eye. He chooses
the latter. "What --" It comes out gritted, and Clark loosens
his grip. A little. "-- am I waiting for?"

"Tell me -- who do *you* want me to be?"

Right now? Forever? Last week?

"I just... you're here. You've been to... every home I have,
Tim. But this one..."

This one is Kal-El's. It's just that it doesn't *have* to be.
Tim leans in and --

He tries. And *Clark's* trying, because Tim doesn't wind
up in the sky or against the wall even when he slips his
tongue back into Clark's mouth, even when he digs his
fingers into Clark's hair and lets go enough with his thighs
that Clark has to hold on. He's *trying*. Or.

Maybe that's the point. Because Clark doesn't *look* like
he's trying at all. He looks like...

It's been a while, when he thinks about it. Since the last
confession and since the last time Clark had stopped...
stopped *hurting* him enough to make the sex into
something (less? more?) *different* from just

To make it... make it *scarier*, and it's just.

Clark doesn't even hold on when Tim pulls back. Just
*lets* him, and --

"Tim --"

"It's not that I don't love you. You... you *know* that."

The smile on Clark's face is calling Tim a liar.

He can't -- *deal* with that. "Look, it's just... I don't really
*want* a Tim Drake habitat in here."

Clark... blinks. "Is that... is that what you think it would

"I don't..." I don't *trust* you. "I don't know."

But it doesn't really... he knows Clark heard that, or maybe
*felt* it in Tim's heartbeat or something.

"Clark --"

Tim's coughing out most of the air in his lungs against
Clark's palm before he realizes that he *is* against the

And that Clark's hand is over his mouth.

"The thing is... I could tell you about the ceremonies -- I
could let the *AI* tell you about the ceremonies. I could
show you the... the *robes*, and the part of the
Fortress..." Clark laughs, softly, and the look on his
face --

It *hurts* to look at, because Clark isn't supposed to be --
Tim's not supposed ("Those Leaguer types are *fragile*.")
to make Clark look like that. He's --

"It's not locked. Anyone who came here could... could see.
It's all ready for you. For us. There's no priestess, of course,
but..." Another laugh, and Clark crouches in front of him. "It
wouldn't matter to me. Because I could... you could be
*with* me."


"Only... only it doesn't matter at *all*, because... assuming
you believed me -- or the Fortress -- you would just...
you'd just try to *hide* from me, Tim Drake." And Clark
sighs. "Like that."

He should open his eyes again. He should... he *can*, it's
just --

"You have to... you have to believe I would never...

Hurt him?

"But you don't. You don't believe and... and, perhaps, you
shouldn't." Clark sighs, again, and starts to slip his hand
from over Tim's mouth, and it's so slow and so... it feels so
*final*, and Tim -- he can't --

He grabs Clark's hand and holds on, fighting against the
pull and getting dragged away from the wall --

And shoved *back*.

"Clark --"

"Yes," he says. "Just... Clark."

"For..." Tim takes a breath -- as deeply as he can with
Clark's hand pressed against his chest -- and swallows.
"For --"

"For *you*."

He's used to hiding flinches. It's just that he's *also* used
to showing them -- to Clark.

The hand in his hair is gentle, even when it starts to pull.
"And for me, too, of course --"

"How long. Clark -- how long will you be..." Tim bites his

And Clark's hand isn't gentle at all, anymore. His scalp
feels like it's on fire and the only reason he won't be going
home naked is that he'd given Clark some of his spare
civvies to hold. His uniform is on pieces on the floor and
the hand Clark doesn't have on his chest is between his
legs, slicking through the sweat --

"Oh *fuck* --"

"Don't -- don't give me *hope*, Tim --"

There's a part of him which wants to point out that that's
his *job*, but it's the insane part, and he can't do anything
but scream, anyway. Two fingers and the only lube is his
own damned *sweat*, and Tim reaches back to claw at
the walls --

"*Careful* --"

-- and *bucks* at the shock from the force-field. He can't
feel his hand, even though he's biting his own fingers --

"No, I want your sounds --"

-- and he's not, because the hand that *was* on his chest
is holding his wrists and he couldn't break that hold if he
tried --

"Your moans, your -- Tim --"

Growled out and fucked *in*, and Tim lets his head fall
back against the wall and spreads his legs --

"*Everything* --"

"Do it -- just -- I --"

"Everything I can *have* --"

And then his arms are over his head and his face is
pressed -- crushed -- to the wall --

"Turn... turn your face --"

And it's just his cheek, scraping *up* with every thrust,
every --

"Computer. Soften walls."

-- pushing *in*, and he can't breathe, he can't -- he's
sucking in the *Fortress*, he's *breathing* it --

"Harden -- Tim. Oh, Tim --"

"Command unclear, Kal-El."

"Harden twenty *percent* --"

And Tim's gasp sounds like a scream, or maybe his scream
sounds like a *gasp*, or maybe -- maybe Clark's hand is
on his dick and the wall is sucking at his fingers a little
and every thrust is making him burn, making him
*hurt* --

"Come for me, Tim D -- *come* --"

"C -- Clark -- oh fuck *oh* --"

Fingers on his prostate and shoving, *vibrating*, and the
noises Tim's making sound stupid, sound *funny*, only
he can't stop and he can't laugh and he --

The hand around his dick is vibrating, too, and Clark
usually lets him come on his *own* time, but not --
not --


Tim feels himself spasm, feels himself stiffen all over,
and has just enough time to actually *realize* that he'd
come before Clark's pulling out --

-- and shoving back in, slick with Tim's come and fucking
him open, and Tim spreads a little wider and rubs his face
against the wall because he can.

Because he has to. Because --

He needs --

*Clark*, pressed to his back, darkening the entire fucking
world because he's everywhere. Over and around and
*crowding* him, pushing in with one long *stroke* and
twining Tim's hands in his own.

Sticky and wet-and-sticky and so smooth and so *hard*
and Tim arches his back enough to rub his head against
*Clark*, to rub as much as himself as he can, even
though it changes the angle enough to hurt --

Especially because it does.

"What you want --"

"Clark --"

"What you -- you need --"

"Oh God -- ow *fuck* -- gih --"

He's got one hand free again, and Tim uses it on his dick,
squeezing it until he wants to scream, until he's hard again,
until he *needs* to scream, but he can't, because Clark's
hand is wrapped around his throat and the only way to
keep from choking is to arch his head back further than he

And look up into Clark's staring eyes.

"Sometimes... sometimes I think you'd -- *prefer* the
*cage* --"

Sometimes he does, too, and --

He knows Clark can see it, he knows he can *feel* it in
him, and maybe that's why he's fucking Tim so much
harder now. Maybe he wants to shove all the fucked-up
*out* of him, fuck it out of him with his body, make
Tim take it until everything that's wrong is just *gone*.

Or maybe it just turns him on, too.

He doesn't come again before Clark does, and usually that
just means it's time for another round -- his body still can't
tell the difference between 'Clark is hard' and 'Clark is
alive,' most of the time -- but Clark actually pulls out this

Tim winces. He really does prefer being mostly passed out
for that.

And Clark gives his throat one last squeeze before letting
go, and Tim's knees hold him up *enough*.

He focuses on catching his breath.

"What... what do you want from me, Tim? Really?"

Tim lets his forehead rest against the wall -- and sink in a
little -- and pants.

Clark strokes his back with one hand and slides the other
around to pet and squeeze his thighs, working the
oxygen back into the muscles. It's not a reprieve. It's
just Clark's version of patience.

Tim licks his lips and straightens up, stretching up onto
his toes just to remind himself that his legs work. And
then he turns around and --

It would be easier just to push his face against Clark's
chest and hold on, and easier than that just to *climb*
Clark until Clark gives up and fucks him again. He looks
Clark in the eye, instead, and smiles.

"Tim," Clark says, and reaches out, and --

It's the first time he's *stopped* before touching him in...

It's been a while. Clark lets his hands fall to his sides and
waits. "Tell me please."

What I can take. I don't know. What I can *deal* with. I
don't know. What -- "I... I'm still an adrenaline junkie,
Clark," Tim says, and forces the smile to stay on his face.


"I --" He can't. Because... because if this is what Clark
wants it to be, then he's...

Then *something's* over, even if he isn't sure what. The
only thing he *is* sure of is that it's what made him say
'yes' in the first place. It's what made him need this so
badly he couldn't say 'no' anyway.

It's what Clark gives him, and no one else. Not since he
put on the suit, anyway. And --

Tim reaches up to check and -- his mask is still on. The
*lenses* are still down. And it's not like -- it still doesn't
*matter*, because it's Clark, and because Bruce hasn't
actually found a way to imbed Kryptonite safely in their
uniforms yet. But maybe it does, anyway.

Tim takes it off, and blinks at the slight change --

"Computer. Lights ninety-two percent."

And blinks. And smiles, ruefully. "Thanks, Clark."

Clark nods and just... he's still watching. Still *waiting*.

Tim sighs and scrubs his hand on his thigh before pushing
it back through his hair. "It's just. It's good with you."

"Just... the way it is."

Tim gives up and jumps, catching himself on Clark's
uniform -- no armor means it can be *pulled* -- and
wrapping his legs around Clark's waist again. The hug is
immediate and perfect and so damned *easy* --

Tim sighs again and leans in, rubbing his face against
Clark's ear until he shivers and holds Tim tighter.

"I need you --"

"I know."

Tim swallows hard, knowing Clark can hear it and feel it
and everything else. "Kal," he says, quietly.

And closes his eyes.