Tim isn't sure when, precisely, it started. There are
other things about -- it -- which are matters of some
concern, but he can't seem to take his mind away from
the question of timing for very long.

Can't hide from me...

No, he can't, and -- also, there were dreams. He can
remember *dreams*, in his bed in his father's house,
and that seems --

Stop *trying*.

He's not, really. It's only that here, in the manor,
there's always something to do, always training, so
he can be better, so he can stop thinking --

Yes. Yessss...

There were dreams, he thinks, firm and sure as the
hands he can't feel from the inside. They're on him,
moving, shifting and pressing --

Not enough of you. Not -- not enough --

And, for a moment, he loses the sense of his own
body. He is thought, chasing itself, spreading and
sprawling, dissipate --


His hands are his own, his torso, his legs, his toes.
He's alone, and caught with one hand teasing his
right nipple, and the other cupping his scrotum. "Oh,"
he says. And -- "Jason...?"

Nothing. There's -- had he made Jason *leave*? He'd
only wanted to know if the dreams had been real, if
the feel of himself cradled, held close -- the smell
of mustard and animals, the taste of chili on his
tongue as Robin kissed him, nuzzled a smirk between
their faces until Tim wasn't sure --

"Please, Jason," he says, too loud for the manor. The
shadows are still, watchful things. His hands are...
his hands are just his hands, save, perhaps, for the
cold prickle of his fingertips... "Jason...?"

Just -- you have to *relax*. You know how to do that.

It is as plausible for a disembodied whisper (which may
or may not be audible to anyone else) to be faintly
contemptuous as it is for one to be hungry.

You just have to let me in...

And, once more, Tim's hands are cold, absent things. He
knows they're moving when he feels his shoulders flex
and shift, and then he can feel them, teasing and
pressing, stroking --

You are *so* easy. When you put your mind to it.

Laughter is something best expressed by the hectic
motion of tree branches outside Tim's window, and the
way they make the shadows dance --

Oh, I can almost -- you're so *warm* --

The shadows *reach*. Tim focuses, as best he can, on
being still for them.