The old earth spins
by Te
August 1, 2008

Disclaimers: No one and nothing here is mine.

Spoilers/Timeline: AU-ized references to older storylines. Meant to take place not long before Tim's fifteenth birthday.

Summary: Tim pwns, Jason copes, and Bruce has a very good day.

Ratings Note/Warnings: Sexual content which does and does not dovetail neatly with the content some readers may find to be disturbing.

Author's Note: Third in The Young and the Battish series, starting a few weeks after the end of "A wondrous mirror." Will *not* make sense without the others.

Acknowledgments: To Pixie, Mildred, and Jack for audiencing, encouragement, hand-holding, and tireless efforts to make me keep writing in a language comprehensible to more than just the voices in my head.


Tim is reasonably sure she looks like a poorly-committed hedgehog.

This is not the first day that that thought was the first to come to mind upon looking in the mirror, and she frankly wonders how long it will *be* the first thought before she needs to pull her shaver out of storage.

She suspects that it won't take long, but --

She also suspects that she won't actually be able to restore the buzz. It's not that she can't do it quickly and evenly -- she's had plenty of practice -- but...


Jason wants her to grow her hair out, and she has to admit that that sort of thing makes a difference -- and that's an understatement she can't even make within the privacy of her own mind without needing to snort a little, because -- really.

Somewhere -- about thirty minutes by car and about twenty by bike -- Barbara is laughing hard enough to hurt herself, and she probably knows *exactly* why. Tim had, after all, planted the cameras herself.

She waves at the one in the corner and starts brushing her teeth. It won't be long --

Jason pushes open the door -- it wasn't entirely closed, of course -- and grins at Tim in the mirror. "What, no shower? Or are you just getting ready to make it a really *good* one?"

The eyebrow she raises expresses 'what do *you* think?' well enough that Tim doesn't need to pause -- though the way Jason is moving *purposefully* behind her and -- yes -- putting his hands on her hips --

"Hell, yeah," he says, and pulls her back against him. Jason's smiles tend to be full-bodied, all-encompassing things, but the fact of the matter is that he's *exactly* as naked as she is and --

Yes. Tim lets her eyes narrow and spits in the sink --

Just in time for Jason to *rock* against her ass, slipping his penis into her cleft, and --

"Ah -- at the sink?"

"We can put a towel down if you're too cold, baby..."

Baby. She'll get used to that probably a week after *never*, but it seems to make him so *happy* -- no, she likes it. She really, *really* likes it, and likes the fact that it's always -- always -- an excellent excuse --

"Hey, *ow* --"

She didn't stomp on his foot *very* hard, and it gives her time to rinse her mouth out a little --

She *doesn't* spew mouthwash all over the mirror when he thrusts again, but it's a near thing. She shakes her head and spits *that* --


"Ooh, that didn't sound like a 'do me now, Jason.' Am I in trouble?"

She checks the mirror, and Jason's eyebrows are up and his mouth is twisted into that same crooked smile that always used to make everything *pause* inside her, make everything silent and irrelevant, because Robin is just that bright, just that --


Tim gives up and stands up, reaching up and back to wrap her arms around Jason's neck --

"Mm, *that's* better..."

She smiles ruefully, watching herself in the mirror... The Tim in the mirror seems to be saying something -- eloquently -- about the pleasures of fatalism. "I was thinking... we could wait until we were actually *in* the shower. Rather more efficient."

"Hmm, yeah, we *could*," Jason says, stroking her hips before sliding his hands up over her abdomen, up to her nipples --

The Tim in the mirror is just as flat as -- she is. Just as obviously male, just -- but Batgirl is there in her eyes, in the way that her hip is cocked, the tilt of her head when Jason starts to *rub*. Or -- maybe it's not *Batgirl*, per se, but it's not really a boy, either. Is it?

"Mm," and Jason kisses her forehead and *keeps* rubbing her nipples with those callused fingertips, keeps --

"Jason, we -- really --"

"It's not that I keep forgetting how much you like me playing with your nipples, it's just that I keep getting *distracted*."

That's a blush, but it's going to *be* a flush, and that's -- better. Much better. Tim opens her eyes again and *just* watches her eyes, watches them widen and narrow again for every brush, watches them narrow *hard* for the pinch --

"God *damn*, you look good. You..." Jason swivels his hips, presses against the base of her spine -- "Maybe we can..."

What? Tim shifts to watch Jason's face -- he's frowning a little in concentration, licking his lips as he leans in... to lick one of the hickeys he's left on her neck. The bruise is dark and somewhat spectacular. A different -- better -- kind of obvious.

"Love the way you *taste*..."

"Dried sweat isn't --"

"Salty. Just -- *alive*."


"Yeah," he says, and sucks lightly on the hickey, just enough that Tim can feel the sting of it, the potential for real pain -- and the pressure of his tongue is an ache, reminiscent of --

Of a lot of things, all at once, and Tim closes her eyes and thinks about every one of them, every --

He'd rimmed her again last night, in the bed, shoved his tongue *deep* and made her writhe, made her feel like something *purely* sexual, or perhaps also a little like a meal, or --

Something else to make her blush, and flush, and *want* --

The way he'd *moaned* --

"Touch me, Jay. Just -- move your hands --"

"Anything you *want* --"

She's shivering, just that fast, because he means it. She *knows* he means it, that there's nothing she can ask for that he won't want, won't *need* from her and only --


She raises up onto her toes, and he's stroking her *hard*, letting her feel all of his calluses on her abdomen, on her upper thighs, on her *throat* --

She means to hum, but at this point she can't be surprised that it's a growl, just as she can't be surprised that it makes Jason squeeze, just a little, makes him *push* against her back --

How had she gone *without* this for so long? How does *anyone* live without this? And she knows she's moving against him, rubbing on him like a cat in heat -- she spins enough to do it face to face, or...

She's breathing against his jaw, where *he's* bruised a little from one of her bites. She licks him there and thinks about biting him again, thinks about sucking -- she can smell him, and suddenly it's the only thing she *can* smell. His body in general, yes, that scent she'd searched for under armor and the Gotham night, and also his sex. His *want*.

He slides his hands down to her ass and squeezes, cups and *lifts* her, so *strong* --

She bites this growl into his neck, shaking her head a little --

"*Fuck* yeah, love that, love *you* --"

And he lifts her onto the edge of the sink, spreads her legs almost *rudely* and pushes closer -- rubs his penis against her. Just the head in little loops and arcs on her abdomen, getting her sticky, making her hot all *over*.

Tim reaches up for his shoulders and squeezes hard, opening her eyes again and --

"Oh. Jay..."

He's staring right at her as he drags the head over her skin, eyes narrow and lips parted, *focused* --

"*Robin* --"

Jason shakes his head. "Just me, baby. Just..." He sighs and it comes out on a low note. He tilts his head back and shudders. "God, no one feels like you, no one makes me feel like you --"

"The feelings -- are entirely mutual. I --" Tim squeezes his shoulders and strokes down over his pectorals, so broad and *hard*, scarred and so sleek, perfect. Down with her nails, and he twitches hard, gasps --

"Gonna touch me, baby? Gonna -- oh, God, yeah, wanna feel you --"

He's so *hard* for her, and knowing that she was making him hard all those nights on the street -- it's nothing against the feel of him *here*. Jason, who she's wanted so *badly* -- "You feel -- *you* should be sitting up here, letting me suck you --"

"No, no, just your hands for now, just -- mm," and Jason leans forward again and searches her face for something -- "You don't look... sometimes you'll look drugged for me, lost to it... tell me how to make you lose it *today*, Tim..."

Tim licks her lips and strokes Jason, sliding pre-come all over his penis, all over her hand -- "I... bite --"

And Jason shoves her hand off --

"Jay --"

He drops to his knees and grabs her ankles, squeezes hard enough to *hurt* a little and leans in to bite her calves, the insides of her knees, her thighs --

"Nn -- Jesus --"

"You didn't say *where*, baby --"

"*Right* there, oh fuck, ow -- *oh* --"

*Hard* sucking bite, on her inner thigh, and it makes her kick, makes her tense and groan, and she pushes a hand into Jason's hair, Jason's thick and curling hair, and she's seen the moonlight on it, seen it matted with blood from a scalp wound that had caused her to dislocate a man's kneecaps -- she tugs it hard and he bites her *harder*, and he's holding her thighs apart --

She's hard, of course. She's -- no, don't think that way, don't --

Just the bite, and the way it goes on and on, the way the mark will be there later for her to touch, for her to *press* --

("Oh, Tim. If I *didn't* know he looked worse than you do I'd have to sic Power Girl on him.")

Tim laughs and digs her fingers in against his scalp -- gasps when Jason pulls back with a wet sound, when he digs *his* fingers in against her thighs --

"Ready for more?"

"*Do* it -- *nng* --"

And he's on her other thigh, a little higher up, and he's stroking her almost restlessly, distracting from the sharp feel, the pain and *sweetness* --

"Your mouth. Your -- *Jay* --"

He nods and licks the skin he's holding between his teeth, gets it wet and Tim realizes that she's stroking her own abdomen with her free hand, all the places he'd marked her with his pre-come. So good, but not better than the grip she has on his hair, the way she can *make* him bite harder --

"Oh -- oh -- *no* --"

Hot stripe of his tongue up her thigh, wet *slash* of it, and Jason grabs her hips and pulls her off the sink a little, just enough that she's on her toes again and Jason scrapes his teeth on her abdomen, pulls at the slight fold of her navel --

Looks up at her, and maybe she's still not wild *enough* for him, because he moves his hand and bites her *hip* --

And her other one --

And her thighs again, and Jason's nuzzling at her now, breathing deep and growling as he moves all over her, *takes* --

She feels herself *twitch* and groans, shakes her head, groans again when he shoves his tongue in her navel and licks her abdomen, tastes his own pre-come and her *sweat*, and --

If anything, living here has been an *education* in all the ways she can be dirty and *disreputable*, the showers feeling meaningless, laughable against everything Jason can do to her, make her do, make her *want* --

"*Please* --"

"Please *what*, baby?"

And it's possible that she's glaring at Jason, but -- it's equally possible that she's *not*, given that she's not focusing very well at the moment --

Jason is grinning, mouth wet and red. Inviting. *Teasing* --

Tim does *not* knee him in the jaw --

And Jason's smile slips a little -- "Okay, too much, I get you, don't break anything *important* on me before I can make it up to you, now..."

Tim snorts and squeezes her eyes shut, opens them on the unhazed and wonderful view of Jason looking her *over*, planning his attack and looking utterly focused again, completely --

"Yeah, I got you," he says, and reaches up between her legs, pushing two fingers into Tim's cleft and rubbing until Tim realizes that she's panting, twisting for it --

"Tell me you want it --"

"*In* me, Jason. *Now* --" And the shout doesn't have enough air behind it to really echo around the room the way her other sounds do, *their* other sounds do --

Jason's finger is a *burn*, heat and roughness, pain and *perfection*, and Tim rocks back against it, humming and growling --

"*Yes*, Jay --"

"Always yes for this. Always --" Jason shakes his head and starts to thrust. "C'mon, tell me to suck you off, baby --"

"I -- just --"

"*Not* just this," and he crooks his finger, *twists* --

And Tim wants to brace her feet on something solid, something -- she puts one foot on Jason's working shoulder --

"Now don't push --"

She kicks him in the jaw *lightly* --

"Ooh, yeah, make me fucking *work* for it --"

And it makes him thrust harder, *faster*, turning the friction into something difficult to parse, something solid in its own right, a wall she's throwing herself against to get to the place where she's only being filled, only being *made* --

"God, the way you *feel*. This -- I never want to *hurt* you this way --"

"Don't *stop* --"

"I won't, because I know you like it, *need* it -- oh, yeah, curl your toes in a little, just --" He bites her ankle, sucks there, too, and Tim watches her toes splay and curl and splay again, listens to herself growl under her breath, just --

Just to *take* this until she's hot everywhere he isn't touching her, soothed where -- no, the other way around, or --

"Tell me -- tell me I can suck your beautiful cock, baby, let me get you wet, get you *harder* for me --"

Fuck, *fuck*, and it's always like this, always this moment when she wants everything she can have, wants to *be* Jason's girl, Jason's pretty, willing girl, and she'll do anything for it --

"I want you to come in my mouth, Tim, I want -- you taste so fucking *good*, baby --"

Flat and lean, all over. No curves, no -- nothing to hold *on* to, and she should be perfect for this, should be --

"C'mon, fill me up, push in deep and *make* me take you. You know I want it. You know I *need* it --"

And the sound she makes -- maybe it's the same as it always is, maybe he always makes her sound just that desperate, just --

"There's that look on your face. You know you're close, you know you can *give* me this and it'll be okay, it'll all be *okay* --"

It never is. It always is. It never -- she's not supposed to *want* this much. There should be control, or at least *consistency*, some kind of internal rule that will let her watch Jason lick his lips like this, let her *exist* with Jason on his knees in front of her, begging --

"*Please*, Tim. I -- I'll do anything for this, just a *taste* of you --"

Another noise and Jason's fucking her so *hard* now, giving her what she wants, and she can't just ignore --

"I need you *in* me --"

"J-Jay --"

"You *know* it'll be good, that I can make it good for you, make you -- "

"I -- do it. Just --" Just please, just don't, just --

And he's *on* her, and it's so hot, so wet and slick and good to be inside Jason, so sweet and *right*, even though she doesn't know who she is when he does this, doesn't know *what* she is --

Jason moans and Tim --

He --

She --

"Oh, *please*, Jay --" Her voice is so low, so *needy* and desperate, and she wants this to stop being so hard, she wants her mind to just *let* her body have this, because Jason says all the right things, all the *best* things --

Because Jason is still watching her as he sucks, cheeks hollowed and throat working --

She pulls his hair helplessly and tries not to --

She *thrusts* and Jason shudders and closes his eyes, keeps fucking her, keeps *sucking* her like it's nothing, like she's only his beautiful girl, and every other kind of thought in Tim's head is meaningless. And maybe --

There's only this. The rock of her hips, the feel of her sinking deep into Jason's mouth and the feel of Jason spearing her, burning her and holding her, not taking no for an answer. She'd told him to push hard *once* and he'd taken it to heart. He knows everything, and he still wants --

Still *needs* --

And the sound that comes out of her mouth *wants* to be Jason's name, but it isn't. She's too far for that, stretched out over herself like some person-shaped drum, beaten and *sounded* --

Jason's tongue --

Jason's finger and his *tongue*, his lips working her as she thrusts again and again, as she pulls him *in* against her and feels Jason's saliva running down over her mound.

She's crying out now, one shout after another, and the only relief is the knowledge that this won't last, that the thing at the base of her spine is tightening to the breaking point, that there's nothing Jason's mouth can do to soothe the ache, as opposed to making it deeper, *better* --

She wants to say Jason's *name* --

And then Jason grabs her hip with his other hand and squeezes, riding the motion and holding *on*. He --

He *has* her, and that has always been true, from the very first time Barbara had shown him to her in more than just blurry photographs and ridiculous fantasies --

*Jason* -- oh --

Her knees buckle and the burn inside turns *deadly* --

"*Please* --"

And she's spasming, jerking and spilling, imperfect for this, helpless for this and it feels so *good*, endless and momentary at once, so good, so --

Painful-sharp, and Jason pulls back as soon as she tugs, leaving Tim slick and cool and needy, ridiculous --

Jason stands and pulls her to him, kisses her hard and both of them are moaning. Perhaps Jason is because she is, perhaps the other way around -- Jason's penis is pressed to her abdomen, hot and so *slick* --

"Let me --"

"Just gimme a minute, Tim. I need to feel you, and -- please tell me you're shaking because it was good?"

"It. It was good. And I..." Can she be more ludicrous? Does she want to *know*? Tim laughs and tosses the hair that has no resemblance to hedgehogs, at all --

"Mm, BG. I *like* that laugh --"

"I -- ah. I had noticed," Tim says, and wraps her arms around Jason's neck. She feels... she feels exactly like she's had yet another wonderful orgasm, thanks to the efforts of one Jason Peter Todd. She feels calm and pleased, and something like whole in her own skin.

It's nearly always like this after an orgasm, and she's grateful. It allows her to *be* there for Jason, as opposed to trapped inside her own head. It means she can please in her turn, even if she's grasping a little desperately for the shreds of her identity.

Or -- something like that. Right here, right now, with Jason hard against her and holding on, with her arms wrapped around Jason's neck and the world taken over by the scent of sex, the love they make.... Tim blushes.

"Hey, everything okay?"

And maybe Jason wouldn't be who he is -- couldn't be *Robin* -- if he couldn't read her utterly. Tim sighs and pushes her hands into his hair, winds it around her fingers --

Gets held a little tighter, and she knows, deep within herself, that it would take a horrible accident with tar and possibly the entrails of babies to make Jason do more than just trim *his* hair.

She smiles and pushes up onto her toes to nuzzle his cheek, lick him there --

"Mm, yeah, sweet little tongue --"

"I'm fine. As good as I ever get, anyway."

Jason strokes down to her hips and squeezes. "I know it's too much for you sometimes, but I can't help -- you always come so *hard* when I suck you off."

Well. Tim raises an eyebrow. "I come pretty hard no matter *what* you do, Jason."

"Not the same and you know it," he says, squeezing hard enough to hurt a little.

"Jason --"

"*Tim*. You were fucking my *face*."

"I." He absolutely does not want an apology. It's possible that any attempts she made *toward* apology would lead to him getting pissed *off*. Still -- "I want to... apologize to myself. When I think about it," she says, and forces herself to watch Jason's face.

Watch him frown. "I don't understand."

Tim sighs and shrugs again. "It doesn't make very much sense at all, I know, but -- it's there. I'm your girlfriend, and *that* makes sense -- wonderful sense -- right up until it doesn't. And I know where to place the blame for that."

"Hey, I -- I'd *like* to think you'd be slamming your pussy against my face if you *had* one."

Another blush, and -- "Yes, of course, but I can't -- I don't pretend."

Jason strokes her hips, her ass, frowns more and nudges her with his chin, apparently just to feel the contact.

"Not at all."

"So... you're riding it, loving it, and all of a sudden you have to be a boy again? Like that?"

Tim smiles ruefully. "Pretty much. It's -- jarring."

"There are plenty of women in the world with dicks. Plenty in *Gotham*, for that matter."

Very, very true. But. "I can't exactly risk my identity to go looking for answers, Jason."

"No, I know, but... I could ask around? Or maybe there's some good books about it?"

And *that*... Tim laughs and tugs a little harder. "Bruce was giving me an extended tour of the manor about a week ago when you were having your run. As it happens, there's a shelf in the library filled with several books on the subject. He contrived to have me standing next to it while he explained the history of the library itself."

Jason blinks -- and snorts. "Yeah, okay, I'm *not* shocked," he says, and pats her ass. "Gonna read 'em?"

"I've been... perusing. It's a bit like discovering I'm actually in a room full of people when I'd thought I was alone."

"*Never* alone --"

"I know, Jay," and Tim scratches Jason's scalp a little. Just enough to make him push into the touch, narrow his eyes. "I'd like to talk about something else."

"Talk...? We could talk."

"Mm. Or... I could listen while *you* talked."

Jason shifts on his feet and pushes *that* much closer. "You know I got a *lot* to say, baby..."

"You often do," Tim says, and rubs against him, *feels* him and watches his lips part, watches him wet his lips with his tongue --

"Sometimes I think all those hours I spend *not* hard are just -- a complete lie."

"Certainly you make the times when you *are* aroused... vivid. Compelling, even," and Tim moves one hand out of Jason's hair and pushes it between them --

Jason grunts and closes his eyes as Tim scratches her way down his chest, opens them again when Tim tugs at the hair on his abdomen -- "You really do like doing that. Which is fucking great as far as I'm concerned --"

"You're not especially hairy... elsewhere."

Jason kind of... smirks. "Bruce told me once that I'd probably get hairier as I got older. Probably one stare too many at that chest of his. I'm pretty sure Dick got the same line. Squeeze me?"

Tim steps back against the sink, just far enough to be able to see her hand wrapped around Jason's penis, see herself squeezing while more pre-come leaks from the slit --

"God, I -- fucking love it when you look at me like that. You should see that face in the mirror sometime --"

"I imagine I look... avid," Tim says, stroking up just far enough to make it easy to get her thumb on the head --

"Mmm. Yeah, *that*. But also a little dangerous. Like maybe *this* time you'll really make me *pay* for pushing too hard."

Certainly, that's *an* idea... Tim curls her thumb *in* and rubs -- lightly -- with her nail --

"Oh, *Jesus*, yeah, I --" Jason moves his hands to Tim's shoulders and squeezes. "You totally want to suck me off."

"The idea had occurred."

"Heh. *Tim*."

"Yes, Jason...?" And Tim looks up and raises an eyebrow.

"You're kind of a prissy little bitch when you wanna be."

"I'm sure I don't know *what* you're talking about," she says, rubbing a little *harder* --

"Ah -- damn, baby, I can't -- can't take much of that --"

"You've enjoyed me using my *teeth* --"

"Different feeling *altogether*," Jason says, rubbing at Tim's shoulders and staring hard. "I'll show you, sometime."

Tim swallows and nods. "Yes, you will."


Tim gives him *that* smile and squeezes hard enough to make him wince and groan. "Grab your sac for me, Boy Wonder."

"Nuh -- *fuck*, no fair using *that* voice --"

"Life's not fair. Baby. *Do* it."

"Yes, *ma'am* --"

"And don't say a word to me until you're *begging*," Batgirl says, dropping perfectly to her knees, smiling to cut and squeezing *harder*.

Jason grunts and cups himself, rolls his sac in his palm and almost *presents* it to her --

Batgirl knows exactly how to respond to that. She pushes Jason's penis up against his abdomen and *darts* in --

"Fuck --"

Licks and kisses him hard, pressing with her lips and teasing herself with the hair there, dark and curling. The scent is pure Robin, the heat and heart of him, and Batgirl nibbles at the loose skin and thrills for the moan, the jerking spasm --

"Jesus. *Jesus* --"

"*Quiet*," she says, and Jason twitches in her hand, shivers all over --

She licks him again, using the flat of her tongue and catching his fingers, biting them when they shake again --

Another grunt and she bites harder, sucks on his sac and his thumb, thinks about it and sucks hard, scraping her teeth over and over until she knows he'll be marked, that he'll feel it like she'll feel her thighs. Robin takes so many *liberties* --

Robin is beautiful, beloved --

Robin needs to know his *place*.

And somewhere inside, Tim is laughing desperately, shocked a little by this, but all little boys -- and otherwise -- need to be shocked by Batgirl, need to be stunned and *taken*, one way or another. She licks her way up the shaft of Jason's penis and scrapes her teeth on the way down, shifting her fingers to get them out of the way before gripping him again.

The shadows shift and change, and she knows that Jason is holding on to the sink, that he *needs* something solid, because this is doing exactly what it should, because *she's* doing exactly what he needs.

Jason --

Batgirl growls and wants to flex, wants to rub the sweat all over her skin, wants to bury herself in Robin until she's that much *stronger* --

It's enough, for the moment, to nip at his penis everywhere her hand isn't, to follow the twitch and shove her tongue at the slit, over and over --

"*Fuck* --"

It's quiet, nearly whispered, but it's still too *much*, and Batgirl turns her teeth on his sac again, sucks and nibbles until he's shaking, until he's panting and every breath comes out on a high note.

*He's* sweating now, shuddering and slick, and it feels perfect to slide her free hand up to his thigh, to scratch at his scars and reach up to pet and scratch at his ass while she keeps working his sac.

So vulnerable as it tightens up, so... he's harder and *thicker* in her hand, needy and wanting, and Batgirl knows the begging will start soon. Batgirl never doubts, never *fears*. Batgirl knows she's the most beautiful thing in Jason's world, and that she's free to do anything -- *everything* -- she could ever think to want.

She growls again and sucks on the head, cleaning it with her tongue and then just feeling it, tasting Jason, tasting Robin --

Tim wants to moan, but it's better not to, better to be able to look up and see Jason staring, to hold herself still inside for the need in his eyes, the confused pleasure and, yes, just a hint of apprehension.

Batgirl smiles a little wider and pulls off slowly, lips connected to the head by a thin string of saliva and pre-come --

"*Please* --"

Batgirl shows her teeth and fakes a lunge for his sac again --

Jason tenses and *thrusts*, pushing into her fist and moaning -- "Please, baby, your *mouth* --"

Batgirl licks his fingers and up over the shaft again, tasting him and tasting her own saliva. Tim --

Tim can't help but know how much Jason *loves* her mouth, that he's had a thousand fantasies if he's had one, that it's something he never gets tired of, if only because the feeling is so very, very mutual.

Batgirl growls around Jason's penis and Tim drools, *wants* --

"Oh fuck, oh *God*, baby, please take me in, please suck me --"

Jason should never beg, even if Robin was born to be on his knees. Jason --

It's too much *not* to suck, and taking just the head feels like cheating both of them. There's too much *space* in Tim's mouth, and Batgirl still wants to tease, wants *this* tease and the way Jason is shaking, the way he's pleading and *needing*, but --

But --

"Jesus, *yes*, so hot, oh, your mouth -- Tim -- BG, *please* --"

Too much, and the lesson learned -- perhaps the most important one to date -- is that it's really quite all right if Batgirl doesn't *always* get her way. Tim moves her hand to the base of Jason's penis and goes down until she can crush her mouth against her fist, get it swollen, get it *softer* --

"Ah, fuck *me*, baby, that's so *good* --"

Jason's still holding his sac, and it has to feel almost *tender* now, but he doesn't resist at all when Tim covers his hand with her own and makes him squeeze --

"*Love* it when you're mean. Fucking do me, take what you *want* --"

Right now. Right --

Right now that means letting *go* of Jason's penis and swallowing until the motion matches the need, until he's *inside*, socketed tight and perfect, moaning and cursing and *flexing* with tension, with the need not to thrust until *she* says he can.

Oh, he *loves* it, all of it, and it turns taking into its own kind of gift, something else she can do *for* Jason, someone else she can be. And if Batgirl was never supposed to be for anyone but Gotham and -- sometimes -- Barbara Gordon, then...

She doesn't know, and right *now* she doesn't care. The important thing -- the *only* thing -- is keeping Jason right where he is, sucking him and holding him, tasting him and *keeping* him --

"Love *you*, love -- the way you feel, the way you *touch* me, like I'm all yours, like I'm your fucking *toy* -- yeah, *make* me squeeze myself. Jesus, no one gives a blowjob like *you*."

Batgirl knows it. Tim has to blush, but she's too flushed for it to make a difference, too *primed* for this, and if Jason lasts much longer she's going to be hard again, maybe confused again --

Or maybe not. It's always better when this just keeps *going*, when they touch and touch until they're too exhausted to do more than writhe and roll against each other, nuzzle sleepily and whisper fragments of larger truths --

It's possible that she should've taken a deeper breath before swallowing Jason down, but it's not like that's relevant to anything she's going to do *now*. She's not going *anywhere*, and neither is Jason.

He's shifting and tensing more with every breath, and now he's petting her with his shaking hand -- "Love you, love you so much, no one but you, never anyone but you --"

And there's always a part of her which wants to protest that. Surely Dick is proof that Robins grow out of many things, including loving Batgirl, but protesting would feel like jinxing things, like *asking* for the loneliness she'd grown up with, the cold --

She never wants to be *cold* --

And the only thing to do is to reach for his hip with her free hand, to squeeze with her other hand and to *pull* --

Listen to Jason shout and *demand* --

And the first thrust is always the hardest, the feel of him slipping out of her throat, sliding out from between her lips -- it takes forever, an eternity --

*In*, and Batgirl would never gulp like this, never get caught *between* breaths until the mindless body-fear takes over and makes *her* shake --

"Please -- *please* --"

Suck and swallow, suck more, and follow when he pulls out again, listen to him whimper and *beg* as he thrusts in again -- and again, fast and rough --

"Can't stop, can't fucking *stop* --"

Perfect. Just -- Tim hums and it gets choked off, scratches at Jason's hip and gets her hand *clutched* --

"With me, just -- fucking *with* me, so good, so perfect, never -- need you --"

*Jason*, filling her and fucking her, and it's as good as it always is, as *right* to be on her knees and taking this, *having* this, and there've been so many smudged Gotham dawns when all she's had was the scent of armor and the memory of rough kisses, *demanding* kisses, and her bed hadn't smelled like anyone but herself, and the pillow was no replacement for crumbling brick walls --

Once, just once she had knelt by the side of her bed and buried her face in the duvet, stroked at the air which wasn't Jason's thighs and moved like she was having just this, up and down, swallowing and sweating, biting back the whimpering *need* --

She hadn't cried for that need, or for the way her mindlessly *functional* penis had risen and bobbed, begged wordlessly for something that wasn't *right* --

Once, *just* that time, she'd growled and sat back on her heels before stripping herself furiously, failing to pretend it was anyone's penis but her own...

This is better, so *much* better that it feels like a dream, like --

"*Tim* --"

And Jason *grips* the back of her head and pulls her in, holds her there with perfect and implacable *strength* --

"Sorry, so -- baby, I -- *please* --"

The last is barely a word, rough noise and heat spreading and coiling out from her spine as Jason's knees buckle --

She's strong enough to hold him as he shudders and comes, spurting right down her throat, so warm --

So *good* -- until Jason tears his hand away from her head and staggers back, still shooting. He gets her cheek and they gasp together, and Jason's in serious danger of braining himself in the *tub* --

He catches himself, obviously almost *clawing* for balance while Tim watches and -- wants. Jason's flush, Jason's bitten lower lip, Jason's flexing thighs --

Robin is so, so beautiful.

Tim stands up and *moves* for him, reaching up -- and getting pulled into a hug that shoots past fervent and nearly reaches *vicious*. "Jay --"

"Holy fucking *shit*, baby."

Mmm. "Should I be asking you if you're all right?"

Jason's laugh is high and cracked, breathy -- he squeezes her even tighter --

"Oof --"

"You just worked me like -- like -- I don't even fucking *know*. Hell, *yeah*, I'm all right," and he kisses her forehead, her cheek -- *licks* her cheek until she laughs and then pushes her back to grin at her.

Tim smiles back and watches Jason's smile soften, shift -- The kiss is soft and gentle, telling her so many *things* she wants to believe in, that she *does* believe in when she's not watching herself, when all she can do is *live* in herself. Tim reaches up and wraps her arms around Jason's neck -- Jason pulls back.

The light in his eyes is impossible not to fall into -- "I'm gonna be grinning *all* day. Bruce is gonna have to beat the crap out of me to get me to pay *any* kind of attention."

Bruce, who has been... rather absent, even by her limited judgment --

Jason's smile slips. "Shit, he's -- totally going to let me fuck around all day because he'll be *busy*. I don't suppose he told *you* what the hell he'd be doing all day?"

Tim frowns and strokes the back of Jason's neck. "He did mention something about spending more time at WE."

Jason sighs and slips his hands down to Tim's hips before letting himself fall back against the wall. "And you know, if I *asked* him he'd probably say something about how I know enough to keep myself in fucking trim without him hovering over me..."

"You do," she says, quietly --

"*So* not the point. Damn, I really didn't want to lose my afterglow all that fast. It's like an *insult* to *you* --"

"*I'm* fine, Jay." Mostly, really, and it's not like she hadn't known that there was a *Batman* for her Robin. "I know how much the... awkwardness with Bruce is upsetting you."

"When I'm with you... when you're here, that's the only thing I care about, but then I feel this fucking *pull* --"

"He's your partner," Tim says, pushing her hands into his hair and holding on. "It's only reasonable that the difficulty would... mess with your head, a little."

"'The difficulty.' Right." Jason shakes his head. "I should be *glad* he keeps doing fades. It gives me more time with you, and it means that I don't have to worry about what his looks mean, don't have to listen to everything he says like it's a *clue*..."

"Except for how the exact opposite is true."

"Fuck, I'm sorry, baby. I just keep tripping over it. I miss -- hell, I miss *bonding* with him over how crazy you make me, and if that's not the stupidest thing --"

Tim pushes on a pressure point in Jason's neck --

"I'm listening," he says, and smiles ruefully.

"It's -- you don't exactly have very many *friends*, Jason --"

"Neither do you --"

"And Bruce is one of them. The fact that he's around much less... it has to hurt. And -- I'm still with you. And I'll get Barbara on his case, too."

"No, no, just -- what if it *has* to be this way? What if it's too hard for him to *deal* with -- God, that makes it sound like I think I'm fucking *irresistible*."

Tim smiles. "Well."

"*Oh*, no," and Jason snorts. "*You* resisted me for a fucking *year* --"

"You *helped* with that, if I recall correctly. Never pushing *too* hard, always being *considerate* --"

"Bending you back over your bike, shoving you against walls, tripping you on rooftops --"

"*Still*," Tim says, and winds her fingers in Jason's hair. "Maybe it *is* too hard for him. Or maybe he's just hiding because he's worried about being too much in your space. It wouldn't hurt to find *out*."

Jason sighs again and strokes her hips. "You're so beautiful. And... you don't mind? This?"

Tim smiles a little wider and isn't really all that surprised to discover that she means it. "I like him, too. He's kind and brilliant, loving, generous. *I'd* like to be his friend, and that's not going to happen so long as he's avoiding us."

"But he's *not* avoiding you. Not really." And Jason frowns. "He's not... he did *say* he was attracted to you. That night, when we talked."

Tim blinks. "You hadn't... mentioned."

"I -- yeah," Jason says, letting go and scrubbing his hand back through his hair. "I really didn't. I didn't want to put that on you then, and then after that... I was pretty busy not thinking about it."

"He -- he said? That?"

"Oh, hell, he's not -- I know he won't do anything. I *know* that, and --"

"No, I --" Tim shakes her head. "I didn't think he would. I just find that... um. Very interesting."

"*Very* interesting? Like -- interesting how?"

Which... jealousy there, probably *reflexive*, which makes it deeply flattering, but *really* -- "Interesting like it's a bit intimidating. And difficult to credit. He really said...?"

Jason flushes and grabs her hips again --

"Yes, all right, he *really* said." Tim shakes her head again and tries to think about it in something like a rational manner. Bruce finds *her* attractive, and Jason wasn't surprised by that, at all. Well, Jason *knows* Bruce, probably even better than he *thinks* he does, and knowing what Bruce would find attractive in another person has to be just one of those things. Still...

She can't help thinking about dancing with him, about walking through the manor beside him, about the last time they'd had breakfast together when she'd left Jason sleeping *just* that deeply...

And *that* was there the whole time. Unless... maybe now that he knows her better he's not *as* attracted?

"You still okay?"

"I --" Tim blushes. "It's a bit -- um. Hard to deal with?"

Jason smiles ruefully, a little trouble in his eyes, and pets her sides, slips his hands around to her back to pet her there. "Yeah."

"It -- doesn't change anything. Or. I suppose I mean that it shouldn't. He's hardly... he hasn't been my closest friend for years."

Jason nods and the trouble gets a little louder. "So maybe you *won't* be on his ass to come back and be an actual *part* of our screwed-up little family?"

Well... "No, not that. I still think it's important that... it has to be *easier* if we're all, well, used to each other. For everyone."

"I *agree*, but -- that doesn't mean I wouldn't understand if you were a little too freaked."

Is that what she is? Something to consider. "I'll let you know if things get too weird for me, Jason. At the moment, I'm mostly thinking about breakfast and training."

Jason raises his eyebrows.

Tim raises her own... and then gives up and snorts. "Okay, fine, I'm thinking about Bruce, and my relationship with him, and *your* relationship with him, and whether or not Barbara would have any insights to share, and what the hell I *did* to make him attracted to me --"

"Hey, no --"

"And I know that's the exact most unhealthy way I *could* think about it, but look at it from my perspective -- I spent a great deal of time and effort figuring out how to be attractive to *you* -- and distracting to the criminal element. I was *trained* to believe in the power of my own sexuality, to think of it as one of the weapons at my disposal --"

"And you use it *really* fucking well -- and can I just say, here, that I'm going to be spending a *lot* of time thinking about that blowjob? Because I absolutely will, and I was starting to think you *wouldn't* ever be like that --"

"Did you... ah." Distraction is a wonderful thing, if you know how to actually *use* it, if only on yourself, but -- "You seemed to really enjoy that."

"Batgirl decided to fucking *take* me. Of *course* I enjoyed it."

Tim smiles and tugs on Jason's hair. "I've been... rough with you before."

"*Not* like that. You get *wild* with me all the time -- never fucking change, please -- but that wasn't wild at all. That was -- controlled. Vicious. Fucking *dirty*."

And possibly the smile is just going to keep getting wider until she splits her head open. "I've thought about doing that before. Not all the time, or even especially often, but... well."

"Please *God* never run out of fantasies about me," Jason says, grinning and lifting his chin a little. Showing off the bruises she's left over the past few weeks. It really is a good thing their uniforms cover as much as they do, though what they're going to do when school starts...

Will she be joining Jason at Eston? Probably, and just as probably there'll be a uniform tailored to Tim Drake's specifications at the *end* of the summer. A jacket and tie, a guidance counselor urging her toward extracurricular activities, with all of the other -- right.

And Jason cups Tim's face and kisses her once, briefly.

Tim bites his lower lip. "I'm still here."

"And thinking about a million other things," Jason says, and pets her hair --

"I hate my hair, you know."

"Just let it grow a little more. I'll dye it red for you. A *dark* red."

"Mm. That would match my coloring a little better, I suppose. And -- we've lost the thread a bit. I don't really *blame* myself for Bruce's... for his attraction to me, but I can't help wondering if I did something I could possibly use in other contexts."

Jason blinks, and -- no, that probably wasn't what he'd expected at all. Not from *Tim*.

Tim lets her smile get sharper and runs a fingernail down the back of Jason's neck. "You never know what will prove useful, in the long run."

"Uh -- wow. That's kind of *cold*, baby."

Batgirl would shrug and dance away. Tim digs in a little harder with her nail. "Sometimes heat takes effort."

Jason rubs at Tim's scalp with his fingertips. "*You* spent too much time with Selina."

"Did I...? Maybe I'm just that cold, down deep inside." And maybe that's just too true --

"Well, if you are..." Jason pulls Tim against him and squeezes. "Then I'll just have to heat you up."

And -- there's nothing like being in Jason's arms. The shallow feel of them around her -- so strong and *large* -- and the more nebulous sorts of feelings. Warmth that goes beyond what they make between them with their bodies, satisfaction that goes *well* beyond the sex. Tim breathes against him, breathes him into herself and thinks about being fucked again --

"Shower?" Jason kisses her forehead again.

Cleanliness, food, training. The *freedom* to train all day if she wants to, and the tantalizing hints of responsibility attached to same. Of course Batgirl should be as good as she *can* be... other things can wait. "Shower," she says, and gives in to the urge to laugh when Jason walks them into the tub, maintaining the maximum amount of physical contact with every step.

It's becoming something of a routine, really, as well as a small daily adventure -- if he uses *just* his fingertips to turn the water on again, how likely are they to be either frozen or scalded?

And, of course -- how little will she care?

The water hits lukewarm and firm, and another moment's small excitement is lost.

And gained, again, when Jason leans in to kiss her.


It only takes a minute for Jason to throw on shorts and a t-shirt -- about as ratty as Alfred allows his clothes to get before they disappear entirely, though if Jason actually mentions that one item or another is a favorite, they do get to stay -- and then it's time to head down.

Tim always takes a little longer in her room -- and closes her door for it, too. Jason knows she isn't really making herself pretty or anything like that, but he suspects that she thinks about it. If he concentrates, he can almost *see* her sitting at that vanity and arguing with herself, and while he'd really like to *help* with that, to at least make things easier --

She needs her privacy, and she actually *wants* it, too, and that means he can damned well get down the stairs by himself.

As has become usual, there's no sign of Bruce at the breakfast table, even though they'd both gotten up early enough that Jason's here at pretty much his usual time.

Jason strokes the empty space where Bruce's plate is supposed to be and lets all of the frown out onto his face. It's the *kind* of frown that tends to bring Alfred out of the woodwork if not Bruce himself, but he's really not surprised that his little half-assed attempt at a magic trick didn't work.

And he *does* need to eat, and he knows that Alfred is making sure that *Bruce* has eaten, wherever he turns out to be. Jason sighs and hits the sideboard.

And he's halfway done when Tim finally comes in, which -- "What happened? You okay?"

She waves a hand and almost seems to sleepwalk through getting things from the sideboard. And that... Jason frowns again, and watches her sit down with a full plate.

And stare at it, or -- more likely at nothing at all. "Tim?"

"I --" She laughs, softly, and looks up at Jason. "When you woke up to a closet full of clothes... I."

She looks almost *shocky*, and Jason reaches across the table to cover one of her hands. "Hey, what... present in your closet?"

"Presents. Plural. I... was it Alfred who chose the clothes for you?"

Jason rubs her knuckles. "Uh. It was Alfred who did the shopping, yeah, and he probably chose the suits and stuff, but... Bruce is the detective. I figure he took one look at me and *knew* the clothes I wanted."

"I see. That... that makes sense," she says, closing her mouth and shaking her head. "That little -- that *fear* I mentioned before --"


"Dresses and a couple of... I guess I would call them pantsuits. All my other clothes are still there, but... well." She shakes her head again. "I suppose... I don't know what I suppose."

Jason winces a little and squeezes her hand. "It was... I think it was probably a gift. And one that can go right *back*, if you want --"

Another laugh, and Tim spins her fork over her fingers. "I'm trying to decide if it's a dream or just a nightmare I can't help enjoying. I... you've had nightmares like that, haven't you? A fight that wouldn't end, a *night* that wouldn't end --"

"The former, mostly. Just -- one asshole after another. Some I recognized, some without faces, and they just kept getting up, kept coming for me no matter what I did, even if it was really fucking nasty --"

"Until you wind up. Wind up killing someone," she says, and looks into his eyes --

She's not searching him for confirmation, which is awful, but it's also... they know each other well enough now that she wouldn't need confirmation for that, at all. "Yeah. I... I love those dreams until I hate them, and I always wake up rock hard and fucking terrified."

Tim nods. "Yes, exactly. The clothes... they're really very..." She growls and stabs down with the fork -- stops before the tines bend. Or gouge the table under the cloth, for that matter.

"Tim --"

"They're perfect. I haven't even *thought* about what kinds of things I would choose for myself, what *colors* I would pick, but they were all right there. All in my size. I didn't try any of them on, but I really wouldn't *have* to, would I?"

"Probably not, no... damn. This is really fucking with you --"

"*Yes*, it's fucking with me --" She growls again and drops the fork. "Is it some kind of message? Am I supposed to just -- just fucking *deal* with the fact that I'm a walking mass of gender confusion? Because -- oh, yes -- he *also* provided me with several suits designed for *men*."

Jason winces again. "Baby, Tim, it's not -- I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have done it if he thought it would make you feel like this. This is probably the *last* thing he wants --"

"I *know* that. I -- hell. They're so... I think I would look very good in them, Jason --"

"Yeah, well, I fucking *bet* --"

"And that makes it worse, kind of." She laughs again, low and almost desperate-seeming. "There are shoes, too. Handbags. Stockings, garters..."

He's *seen* her in garters, and it's really -- really, *really* -- not what he should be thinking about right now. *Damn*.

"He just... wanted to give me something," and her voice is quiet and a little tired. "I used to... go shopping. Around your birthday. I never bought anything, but I... I."

And that... it makes something clench inside him, or maybe that feeling has more to do with heat, pressure... "Yeah?"

Tim picks up her fork again and drags the tines over the tablecloth. "Yes. Just... little things. A t-shirt with something stupid and funny written on it, a boot knife that you'd never actually be able to carry... though I suppose you could *now*..." She looks up and smiles. "I wanted to give you things. I still do, of course. Even more, but... I think I can understand where Bruce was... coming from."

"I... yeah," Jason says, and turns her fork toward her plate --

"You, *too* --"

"I will, I will... it's just that --" Jason sighs and leans back, and deliberately forces himself to eat some eggs, a little ham. It's the dark kind of ham that's probably imported from somewhere, and eating it with eggs always makes him feel like a *complete* peasant -- but a happy one.

And it makes Tim eat some of her cereal, too.

Whatever the spell is, it's broken, and they eat quietly for a few minutes. Jason's watching that frown line on Tim's forehead, but it's not getting any worse, so... so.

He *wants* to see what Bruce had bought for her, and he knows full well that he's going to want to see her *in* that stuff...

And probably Bruce will, too. And maybe not even in any kind of pervy way. Maybe just to watch Tim being happy that she's beautiful, beautiful in a way she can believe in easily...

And Tim's watching him right back. Jason swallows and smiles ruefully --

Tim smiles back, and --

And. "You know, I don't know your birthday."

Tim raises an eyebrow. "Wasn't it in the file, Jason...?"

"Heh. Yes, and it still *is*, but it's not like I studied the thing. Just -- the necessary facts. Just enough that I wouldn't fuck up too badly when you got here. You *know* that."

"I -- yes," she says, and looks down for a moment before smiling. "July eleventh."

"Yeah? Pretty soon."

"Mm. Perhaps Bruce will buy me a boob job."

Jason -- yeah, he's gotta wince for that --

"Sorry, that was -- sorry," Tim says, and turns to eat some of her fruit.

Subject change *now* -- "Why don't you mix it in with your cereal?"

She looks at him like he's crazy *and* like she knows exactly why he'd asked such a stupid question in the first place. "Order. Control," she says, picking up a chunk of peach on her fork and dipping it into the cereal bowl just *so*.

"You're seriously measuring the *exact* amount of milk --"

"And cereal fragments --"

"And cereal *fragments* -- that peach gets to have."

She raises an eyebrow and pops the peach into her mouth, narrowing her eyes in pleasure and humming.

"You -- you have never eaten a chili dog in your life, have you?"

And yeah, Tim makes a face, but they both know that she's exaggerating. And that she's only exaggerating a *little*.

Jason snorts and finishes off his juice. "There's gotta be something unhealthy you like."

"Fries. Potato chips. Grape Happy Rangers."

"Now you're talkin'. Cookies? Brownies?"

She waves a hand. "I'm not averse to them."

Jason pushes his plate aside and leans in again. "Juicy thick cheeseburgers?"

"Do you know what's *in* the kind of beef used in the average restaurant?"

Jason waves a hand. "You'll *never* see that kind of meat *here*."

"Well, no, but -- making Alfred use what he *does* purchase to make a cheeseburger --"

"It's *good* for him. Keeps him sharp."

Tim snorts and takes her last bite of fruit. "I do like them, yes."

"*With* fries."

"And pickles, yes --"

Ew. "Pickles are the source of all that is wrong with the world. You and Dick can keep them to yourselves."

The light is back in her eyes, dancing the way it always *should* -- "Cotton candy."

"*Excellent* choice. Funnel cake?"

"Empty *carbs* --"

"*Delicious* empty carbs," Jason says, and takes her hands in his own. Strong and hard, so *small* like the rest of her... how much bigger will she grow? Something to ask Bruce. Would Tim want to know?

"Whatever you say, Jason," and the smile behind her face is coming out, beaming out almost...

Sometimes he thinks it must hurt her, a little, to keep so much back, that it would *have* to hurt -- "I love making you smile."

Teeth, and a blush. "We should go train. It's *possible* Bruce will be working -- or working out."

"He has to do it *sometime*. Hell, maybe we should try to jump him in the early *morning*. I *know* he works a lot then. When he *should* be sleeping."

"It's a thought. Though I have to admit I'd miss our... usual activities at that time of day."

Ooh. And also -- "Uh. Wow. Yeah. This is me, not trying to fast *forward* to five in the damned morning --"

She laughs and squeezes his hands before letting go and standing up.

"Yeah, yeah, I'm coming. And thinking about coming *on* you --"

"Mm. You *do* that," she says, and walks ahead of him, fast and light. Not much of a sway this morning -- the only person Jason knows with more different walks than Tim is *Bruce* -- but there's a little.

Just enough to keep Jason *nice* and focused on their way to the study, and down into the Cave proper.

Focused enough that he's walking to the console before he really takes a look *around* --

Bruce isn't there. Dammit.

Alfred's *dusting* the monitors when there shouldn't even be time for him to do it. It's *training* time. "Al..."

"Master Bruce is, I believe, in a meeting with Lucius Fox," Alfred says, without turning around. "He promised that he would return home after the meeting's end."

And that was kind of... full. Of something. Something probably a lot like *Alfred* getting on Bruce's case a little, and... yeah. He can go with that. "Thanks, Al. I mean that."

Alfred's smile doesn't get any farther than the corner of his mouth, but they're absolutely hearing each other. Okay, then.

He joins Tim for his stretches, pulling out an extra inch here and there just because she makes it look so damned *easy* and thinks about Bruce's hands on his back, his arms --

Thinks about being guided into these moves and never pushed, about warmth and that sort of... that *solidity*, and the way Bruce made it easy to think of him as more of a foundation than a man. He misses that, and he knows he's never really going to have that again.

It's -- he was never supposed to *let* any one person be a foundation for him, as opposed to building one within himself and sticking to it. And this -- all of it from the new uniform to the fact that he *has* to deal with the fact that Bruce is just a man...

Maybe it was time for him to just grow *up*, and never mind the fact that he'd thought he'd done just that. Teenagers -- and he's known this for years -- are made to be really fucking stupid.

When he pulls up out of the quad stretch Tim is looking at him with a quiet kind of curiosity. She's got her leg bent up to her body and one toe pointed up at the stalactites, but she's not showing anything even *resembling* strain... yeah. Jason smiles ruefully. "I'm okay."

She nods and moves to stretch her other leg. "I think I'll hit the weights today."


"Upper body," she says, and her smile is kind of sharp and private. "If I'm going to lure Bruce into training me more... I'll have to be prepared."

That... well. "Heh. I kinda don't know what to say to that. I mean, I could say something about helping you get *huge*, or I could say something about how you probably never *will* be huge, but -- uh."

She turns the smile on him. "E for Effort."

"*Noted*," Jason says and rolls up to his feet. "Maybe we can get a spar in today."

"Mm. That would be... pleasant," she says, and stands up, too, shaking out her legs -- and going up on her toes.

And he probably *shouldn't* be getting distracted *this* way, but -- "He got you shoes, too? Heels?"

"And lots of them. Strappy, playful, formal, vicious, potentially *deadly*..."

"Damn, I... uh."

"You want to see me in them. I know. I want to see me in them, too," she says, and squeezes Jason's shoulder on the way over to the weights.

Right. Jason starts on a run, keeping his pace light until he feels good and settled in himself. It's been a couple of years since he's given himself a cramp, but it still pays to be careful.

And... he can *see* Bruce building a perfect image of Tim in his head before sketching out designs for the shoes, or studying the online catalogs of whatever ridiculously expensive shop he'd decided to order from. Or, hell. Maybe he'd just asked Babs for Tim's measurements...

No, Jason doesn't think so. He'd want to keep this to himself, and he'd -- hey.

Jason jogs over to the cars and -- yeah. There is definitely a new bike. A fucking *incredible* new bike, the same green as his uniform and parked next to Batgirl's, just waiting for him to take it out tonight.

It's *bigger* than his old bike, and looks one fuck of a lot meaner, too, and *when* had Bruce... Jesus, was he working in one of the satellite Caves or something?

Was he even *sleeping*? Just -- it's a *great* fucking bike, and he will absolutely use it -- hell, let it use *him* -- but... god fucking *dammit*. Jason reaches out and taps for the hidden compartment --

Compartments *plural*, because one has caltrops, another has smoke pellets, and another has an emergency grapple and de-cel line. The fourth has shuriken with a blood-in-arc-sodium gleam to them.

Jason shivers and looks over the engine... damn. Just -- damn. He'll be able to *burn* through the city on this thing, and there's more than enough room for a passenger, and -- damn.

Even Tim's bike looks a little sad next to this one, and Batgirl has *always* had more power between her legs than Robin. It won't last, though. The *second* Babs sees him on this thing, Tim will be getting an upgrade. Assuming Bruce isn't already working on one for her... no. If he was, he would've given them together, and --

Jason catches himself stroking the seat. Run. He was *running*, and never mind the fact that Bruce is letting his money do the talking -- no.

It's more than that. The money is just the... lubricant, or whatever. The thing that *lets* Bruce give them what he thinks they might want, to make sure they know he cares, and is thinking about them...

And if Bruce were here, Jason would pretty much have to punch him. Jason *knows*, and hell, *Tim* knows, and it's not enough. They need -- they need *him*.

Jason keeps running, notes Alfred heading up the stairs and Bruce still not being there, notes Tim working herself quiet and steady... Dick. Dick's in New York doing God knows what with the Titans, and the hell of it is that if Jason asked him, if he told Dick that Bruce was being the Incredibly Absent Partner... Dick would be right there, tearing Bruce a new one and maybe also getting closer to letting Bruce apologize for being such a prick four years ago.

It would be *good*, for all of them, because the last thing Bruce wants to do is disappoint Dick again, and -- yeah.

It's just that Dick would want to know -- *need* to know -- *why* Bruce was being so standoffish, and if Jason didn't tell him or pretended not to know... God, Bruce *might*.

It would fit with his whole confessional *thing*, and also with whatever drove him to punish himself. Because Dick sure as fucking *shit* would be doing some punishing and... man. It's fucking *inconvenient* to have an older brother, sometimes.

And he wants to laugh at that, except that then he'd have to think about the rest of his family, and... he really *had* told Bruce that he was his son. He'd *meant* it, but there's more than that there, and less, too. He already had a father, and a mother, too, and --

And. Bruce is still more of a father than he'd ever really had, and that's just *part* of their relationship. It *had* been part of what made it so good, so fucking *great*, but now...

Now it's pretty damned fucking inconvenient, too, because if Bruce *isn't* hating himself for that, then Jason doesn't know him at all. Does *he* think of himself as Jason's father? Had he ever wanted to?

Why *had* Bruce adopted him when he'd never done anything of the kind with Dick? He can guess, and maybe theorize a little -- it sure as hell had to act like kind of a chastity belt for Bruce. You can maybe fuck your *ward*, but you damned well better not think of your son that way. Or --

Had he wanted Dick? Jason had never asked, and he still doesn't really *want* to know, but... maybe it would help put things into context, help him *understand*. If he put the question to Bruce *that* way, he might even get an answer.

Dick is... Dick was nothing like him when he was Robin, but then, neither is Tim. They all look more like Bruce -- in various ways -- than they look like each other, if you ignore the black hair/blue eyes thing...

Jason doesn't know, and it's been *years* since he's been so damned *unsure* about what was going on in Bruce's head, and it's extra fucking ugly, because back *then*...

Back *then* he couldn't sleep for waiting for Bruce to walk into his great big bedroom and demand a little gratitude. Which is not the point, and nothing -- *really* nothing -- like what Bruce actually wants, but --

The feeling is still there, waiting for Jason to trip over it and fall into being twelve again, scrawny and hungry and scared every minute of every fucking day. Shit. Never again. Just -- *never*. Especially because the *second* Bruce sees thoughts like that on Jason's face he'll be even more of a fucking ghost.

*That* -- he knows in his bones.

So he keeps running, letting his stride lengthen enough that every step is the satisfying kind of stretch, and on his second to last lap --

Bruce, on the stairs, loosening his tie and moving not quite easily *enough*. Had he gotten injured last night? He'd been MIA by the time he and Tim had gotten back, and there hadn't been bandages around or anything, but it's not like Bruce doesn't know how to clean up after himself. Damn, damn, fucking shit *damn*.

If he *had* gotten hurt --

No, not right now. He needs this run, and Bruce wouldn't want him to cut his training to worry about *him*, and whether or not Bruce has any *right* to dictate what he's thinking --

Jason focuses.

And by the time he's jogging back to the working area, Tim is up on the mats and Bruce is showing her a kata that -- Jason doesn't actually know. Hunh.

Of course, it only takes a moment to figure out *why* -- it calls for the kind of flexibility that even *Bruce* doesn't really have. It's pretty damned impressive to watch him *almost* get the motions -- he's still mostly in his suit, except for the missing tie, shoes, and socks -- and it's even more impressive to watch Tim fucking *nail* them, one after another.

"Damn, that looks good," Jason says, and crosses his arms over his chest.

"It brings back... memories," Bruce says, and shifts into the next movement.

It -- it really is the first non-Mission related thing Bruce has said to him in almost three fucking days, and Jason blows out a breath. "Yeah? Any good ones?"

Bruce doesn't say anything -- he turns and fixes Tim's stance, then has her do it again.

Tim nods, and Jason -- catches himself trying to make eye contact. He stops. "I mean, I'm totally including the ones where you *used* to be able to do that with your leg."

"Mm. I was in Thailand. It was... another world," Bruce says, and the *words* are all about *connecting*, but the tone is pure 'don't talk to me.'

Fucking A. They really are supposed to be better than this --

"My parents went to Thailand once," Tim says, quiet and absolutely inviting, and Jason's *all* set to cheer her on until he thinks about it.

That had -- that had *cost* her, and the line on her forehead *could* be strain for the move Bruce has her doing, but Jason knows it isn't. And --

"Tim. How are you?"

Bruce knows, too.

Tim's laugh is brief and just as quiet. "I might have been making conversation."

Bruce pauses, stands down and turns to her. "You don't have to... you mustn't feel as though you need to sacrifice your feelings for --"

"Mine, Bruce?" Jason's voice sounds *pissed* to his own ears, and -- yeah. He uncrosses his arms and steps closer. "Or yours?"

Bruce doesn't wince or anything like that. It's just that the tension is radiating off him in *waves*, and it makes Jason --

It makes him want to *hit* something, and it makes him want to back the fuck off and let *Bruce* hit something, or maybe *fuck* something -- all of it's a little too *much*. "Bruce, come on. You've been a fucking *lack* for weeks, now --"

"Jason --"

"Bruce," Tim says, sharp and low. "Perhaps it's not my place, but Jason is right. He misses you. *I* miss you --"

"You don't --" And Bruce's hands *snap* into fists -- and relax again, painfully slowly.

Jason looks up, and Tim is watching those hands with a frown on her face. And then she looks at him, and the frown has a question for company. Jason shakes his head. He knows what the question *is*, he just has no idea how to answer it. Still -- "Bruce... you've never been like this, before. Not with me --"

"Perhaps I should've been --"

"Fucking *no*, B," and Jason moves onto the mats --

Bruce takes a step back, and that -- Jason freezes.

And Tim nods, slowly. "You were... showing me."

Jason watches Bruce turn to Tim, and he looks almost *wary* -- but he nods and visibly releases a good fraction of the tension he's holding on to, and then he flows smoothly into the position Tim is holding, and from there to the next one. Jason bites back a growl and pushes a hand back through his hair and -- watches.

He can watch, even if this isn't really teaching him anything more than "damn, Tim can *bend*."

And so can Bruce, when he puts his mind to it. And really, that *is* fascinating. If anything, Bruce is built the way Jason is, big through the *everything* and solid. He almost never shows *off* the flexibility he has on the streets, but it's there if he ever needs it. And that *is* a lesson, but it's not like Jason's muscles and tendons and shit ever seem to pay attention to those.

Maybe if *he'd* grown up in a circus or something.

It's quiet, all of it. Bruce leading by gestures or just by moving Tim bodily into the right positions, then starting over and running through it until Tim's *mind* knows the moves, even if her body isn't quite sure of them...

And Bruce steps back. He doesn't look at Jason very, very fucking loudly --

"Bruce and I will spar," Tim says, fake casually enough that she might be speaking to the *air* -- "After Bruce gets changed."

Jason *looks* at Bruce -- Bruce nods, even though he's completely failing to meet Jason's eyes -- there, and Bruce's eyes are heavy and bleak and so damned *apologetic*... "Bruce..."

"Yes," he says, and reaches out even though he's too far away to touch -- he stops and lets his hand fall to his side.

And then he walks away, toward the lockers.

All of a sudden, Jason can feel every mile of that run, and maybe all of the time Tim spent on the weights, too.


"I... yeah. Do you think I should go after him?"

Tim shrugs, mid-kata. It looks uncomfortable and just as unsure as it should.

"Yeah," Jason says again. "At least he's sparring with you."

Tim nods and starts to flow, moving through it as if she *hadn't* just learned this a minute ago. This will *be* on the streets soon enough, and --

"Fuck it, I'm going."

"All right. But, Jay... he seems really --"

"Twitched?" Jason laughs humorlessly. "*That* I got."

Tim nods and keeps moving, spinning into a kick that makes Jason's groin hurt in useless sympathy.

When Jason gets to the lockers, Bruce is stripped down to nothing but boxer-briefs and a jock. There are no major injuries that Jason can see, and he's not moving like he'd cracked his ribs again. The tension, though...

Are they ever going to be able to rub each other down again, or will Tim have to do it for both of them? It's not like he'd *mind* Tim's hands, but... they should be better.

"You can't just keep ducking us, Bruce," he says, and there's a plea in his voice he hadn't meant to have there, but there's nothing he can do about it now.

And maybe nothing he can do about the way Bruce stiffens up even *more*.

"Jesus, I... we agreed, didn't we? That we were going to be okay?" Jason steps closer and deliberately rests a hand up on Bruce's shoulder. It's fucking *rock*, though, and Jason has to rub at it, a little, press and try to *ease* --


"Right *here*, B --"

"Did you. I thought the bike would suit you more than the old one," he says, and it's not like he's fishing or anything, but that has to be the clumsiest subject change Jason has ever *seen* from Bruce.

"The bike's fucking awesome. But it's not as good as having *you*. Seriously --"

"It has been wonderful to." And the sentence just kind of *stops* there -- Bruce is holding a plain t-shirt in his hands. In his *fists*, and it won't be long before it tears right down the middle.

Jason squeezes Bruce's shoulder harder, tries to turn the man so they can at least *look* at each other -- and then Bruce *does* turn, and Jason almost loses his balance. He hadn't realized he was pushing that *hard* --

"I've enjoyed being your friend, Jason," Bruce says, low and fucking *earnest*, and he *is* meeting Jason's eyes, but it feels almost fragile, like there are a million different things Jason can do to *lose* that little contact, so -- slowly.

He reaches up again -- both hands -- and puts them on Bruce's shoulders. "You can't keep ducking," he says, again, and watches the line of Bruce's mouth get harder, more *Bat* -- "No, not that, either. I don't give up on my friends and -- here's the important thing -- *neither do you*. Even when you *should*, so --"

"You know it's not that simple, Jay."

Jay. Just... for that he can try to be a little gentler, whether or not Bruce is taking the chance to fucking manipulate him. "Yeah, well... you want me. You want *us*, and that's fucking scary --"

"Let me go --"

"No. Just -- no. Look, maybe I shouldn't, and maybe it's stupid, but I trust you, and so does Tim, and -- you can't seriously think this will all just blow over if you're not seeing us every day."

Bruce's mouth twists slightly, and his eyes -- he looks more frustrated than anything else, right now, and Jason can *work* with that.

"Yeah, that -- I mean, I would go weeks without seeing Tim at all, and it's not like I got any less gone for her, any less twisted *up* --"

"Your relationship with Tim... you shouldn't compare it to this, Jason. It's an entirely different animal --"

"Because we're the same age? Because it's -- it's some kind of *normal*?" Jason laughs and shakes Bruce a little. The tiny amount that he actually *can*. "C'mon, B, you can't tell me -- I. Okay, it *is* more normal than how you feel about me, but it's not like I don't think your feelings are real. I mean -- that's the point, isn't it? They're *too* real."

Bruce shakes his head and lets the t-shirt fall between them. It's a cool brush against Jason's ankles, and Bruce --

Bruce's hand, on his face. *Cupping* his face, and his palm is dry and warm, and his fingers aren't nearly as rough as they should be. They're only just rough enough that Jason catches himself *looking* for the rub and scratch of them --

Bruce is leaning in. He's --

He's stroking Jason's cheek with his thumb, and his eyes are closed, and his breath smells like coffee, like Alfred's coffee, he's close enough that Jason can *taste* his breath, and his lips are parted --

His hand -- his fingers are in Jason's hair, and he's -- Bruce is doing this, really *doing* this, even though Tim is right out there, even though it's *wrong*, and Jason feels something *twist* inside him --

He pushes back, shocked that he can keep his balance, that he's not somehow *marked* by -- he'd felt the brush of Bruce's lip against his own, and that's not -- that's not *right*, and --

Bruce is still standing there, partially bent and staring at the floor -- are his eyes open again?

"Bruce --"

"Jay," Bruce says, standing up straight and looking at him, looking *in* him and maybe seeing... maybe seeing everything he was always afraid to and more than that besides, because Bruce nods and lets his hand drop to his side again. "You see."

"I don't -- *dammit*, Bruce, you -- you *have* control --"

Bruce raises an eyebrow -- drops to a crouch to pick up the shirt. He puts it on, and then pulls the shorts out of the locker and puts *those* on, and it's all about giving Jason time to realize his motherfucking *error*, but --

"Four *years*, B --"

"Yes, Jason. Four *years*," and he doesn't slam the locker or anything, but that potential is there, as well as the potential for --

Jason's cheek feels too warm, too *sensitive*, like maybe it's an illusion that Bruce's hand isn't still there. It's the same with that one spot on his lip, and -- fucking hell, Bruce had done that to prove a *point*, and most of him...

Most of him wants to let Bruce get away with it, because -- damn.

It's just that there's still the rest of him, and --

"Let me go, Jason. I'll always... you'll always have what you need --"

"I *had* what I needed, Bruce. And you --" Please, he wants to say. He *could* say, and maybe it would even work. It's just that it might *also* make this harder, make Bruce... he doesn't know -- no.

He doesn't *want* to know, but he does, and it takes everything *in* him not to reach up and touch his own mouth.


Bruce rests his hand against the locker and lets his head hang. His mouth is a hard line again, and every last fucking *bit* of the tension is back -- "Is there anything... you should tell me, if there's anything I've forgotten, Jason. Something for you, or Tim..."

"Sometimes... sometimes I'll need you to spar. With me. Because --"

"Yes," Bruce says, low and fucking *grim* --

Jason punches his thigh. "I'm not giving up."

And Bruce turns and looks at him, and there's anger there, and sadness, too, and -- so *much* hunger that Jason has to check himself to keep from taking another step back.

He knows Bruce saw it, anyway. Jason squeezes his eyes shut and tilts his head back --

Thinks about Bruce staring at the line of his throat, maybe the beat of his pulse -- fuck.

"I -- I'm not giving up," he says again, fucking *lamely*, and Bruce doesn't even nod when Jason opens his eyes again.

He just keeps staring.

"Fucking -- go. Spar with Tim. Teach her --" Since you won't teach me, anymore.

*That* gets a nod, and then Bruce is moving and moving past him without another word, a look, a -- a touch.

Jason gives up and rubs at his mouth, but it doesn't work. He can still *feel* that kiss that *wasn't*, and maybe he'll just *keep* feeling it every time he looks at Bruce. Or thinks about him. Maybe he *should've* punched him in that mouth, just to have something to share with him. Something that won't go away.

Jason -- doesn't punch the lockers, or the wall. Sparring has to help, even if it's not him. Maybe *because* it's not him.

Not that Tim is all that fucking *safe* for Bruce, but -- it has to be better. He walks out and moves toward the mats, and Bruce and Tim are already *in* it. She's using moves from the new kata, kicking almost vertically for Bruce's face as he dodges and moves, goes for catches she doesn't know how to evade, yet --

She's evading them, anyway, moving fast enough that Jason watches Bruce catch air twice, watches him *just* miss taking one in the jaw --

"Good," he says, and her balance is perfect as she uses foot and shin blocks to keep Bruce from getting too close, as she bends backwards to avoid a punch --

She does a back flip and Bruce catches air again instead of her ankles --

She tucks and rolls, spins out into a leg-sweep that Bruce practically *walks* over, except for how he's moving fast enough to strike down for her --

She rolls away and up to her feet, spins into a kick, another --

"Remember the kata," and Bruce grazes her ankle with his fingertips when she does just that. It makes her hesitate --

No, she was faking caution, and she fucking *runs* in to try for body hits, a nerve strike Jason doesn't know -- Bruce blocks it and goes for hits of his own, punishing her for moving in --

Block, block -- and a block that's going to make her forearm look like a Gotham sunset once the blood starts pooling there. She dances back on her toes -- drops to her heels and starts kicking fast and a little wild, a little sloppy in her form, but *fast* --

"C'mon, baby, you can *make* those --"

"I *know*," she says, and drops back onto her hands, kicks up hard with both feet --

Bruce's block had to fucking *jar* her legs, but she just tucks and rolls again --

Again and Jason's moving for them, following them a little, because the way Bruce is moving *is* something that can help him. Blocks like that -- his arms can take a *lot* of punishment, and that's exactly what Tim's dishing out. She's still barely using her upper body, but she really doesn't *have* to.

She's got more kicks than Jason has punches, and she's using every last one of them, bending and twisting and *stretching* herself into one after another as she starts to get a little wilder, a little rougher --

And Jason realizes that she was holding *back* a little. Not much, but -- still enough that *Bruce's* forearms are going to bruise now. She's putting all of herself into every kick now, making sharp little noises of effort the way she always does for Bruce, and he'd always meant to *ask* her why she did that when she was so silent for everything else, but...

He knows it's a gift and also the way she *connects*, that she's *telling* Bruce that she's here for this with everything she *is*, that she's *fighting* for this --

Catch and Bruce *hauls* her in even as she growls and drops to the ground to make things harder for him --

He *twists* her leg in a warning her knee has to be hearing loud and clear --

She jack-knifes *up*, twists herself and kicks for Bruce's arm with her other leg and barely manages to avoid getting that caught -- but Bruce's grip must've slackened because she's free again, rolling to avoid Bruce's brutal-looking strikes --

"Your knee won't always be able to take that kind of punishment --"

"Other punishments," she says, spinning up and into another kick, another, back into the kata -- "other punishments are worse --"

"Just the same," Bruce says, and keeps dodging, almost flowing around her, dark water and *power* --

Jason moves back out of the way -- the spar is heading back *to* him -- and catches himself moving like Bruce, body anticipating, a little, the way he'll work to avoid and to strike out -- there, that wobble in Tim's stance that's not a fake --

She manages to spin down to avoid another catch, but she doesn't have the right momentum for a roll.

She growls again, and Jason -- gets to see Bruce's eyes. There's a light in them, small but *present* as he moves in, deliberately slowing down --

And yeah, this time Tim's growl is even *lower*, because she can *see* him taking it easy on her, and she *hates* it. She tumbles --

She *fakes* a tumble and goes for a kick without much power, but a *lot* of wild *focus* to it. She grazes Bruce's hand with her heel --

"*Good*," Bruce says, and that light in his eyes gets brighter when she kicks again, again, holding him *back* --

And *then* she tumbles, and Bruce moves in --

Jason moves in at air, reaches --

She *had* to feel Bruce's fist moving past her head, and if it were some asshole on the street, Batgirl's hair would be in his fist, and the game would've gotten *really* fucking dangerous --

Tim *wrenches* herself away, rolls up onto her hands and springs back, up -- kicks before she lands, again once she *has* the ground, and she's so good, so wild *under* all that order and control and so fucking *vicious*. She's going for blood, now, and if it was Jason she would've gotten it already. She's growling and panting constantly now, and Bruce's eyes --

He looks this close to *laughing*, and yeah, it's right, it's *so* right, because Bruce has a mind *and* a body, and he knows how to live in the latter, too. Knows how to move and how to *live*.

Just -- thank fucking *God* for Tim, for her ability to make this so *fun* for Bruce and for the fact that she's *here*.

"C'mon, baby, c'mon," and he's practically muttering under his breath, but he knows Tim can hear him, maybe *feel* him, because she's pulling out all the stops, moving even faster even though he can feel *her* getting a little tired.

She moves in under a punch and strikes up for Bruce's jaw --

Jason winces -- "No --"

Bruce catches her wrist, and the sound Tim makes is high and *angry*, and she twists herself, pulls back, but there's no way she can avoid Bruce's toss. He makes it look as easy as *breathing*, and she lands on the mats hard, grunting out her air and trying to arch into a roll --

And Bruce fucking pounces, pinning her in a heartbeat -- "Do you yield?" And his voice is so calm, so fucking *measured* that she *has* to be able to hear him laughing with happiness --

Tim throws her head back and laughs, too, panting and gasping, mouth open and eyes closed -- naked.

She's naked, and Bruce is, too. Bruce is moving on her and focused as she twists, writhes, cries out --

Jason can *hear* them laughing, but it's something under the images in his mind, the images spooling through his vision and making him just -- just --

The way her head is tilted back, and the bare and somehow obscene arch of her throat. The way it's shining with sweat as Bruce keeps her pinned, keeps her from doing any more than just fighting for it, fighting for *more*.

And Bruce leans in with his mouth open, and it doesn't matter that Jason knows he's critiquing her performance, it --

Just the sight of that, and the way he knows Bruce's muscles are moving, flexing and tensing --

The way Bruce would have to *taste*, and Jason knows what that feels like, what that smells like. Tim --

Tim's so *small* under him, and she would -- she would maybe beg for this, maybe cry out over and over the way she does when Jason is inside her and she loves it, loves that -- please --

Jason hears himself moan and realizes that he's hard, achingly hard, desperately fucking *hard*, and there's nothing he can do about it, nothing he can do to stop seeing what he's seeing, what he wants --

*No* --

Jason spins and fucking *stalks* to the showers, doing his best to ignore his stupid and fucking *insane* dick --

Bruce --

Bruce and Tim, and he *wants* her, wants to touch her, kiss her, fuck her so hard --

Jesus, he doesn't even *know* that --


Tim calling him, and she has to be wondering what the fuck is wrong with him, but he can't -- he *can't*. He throws up a hand and keeps walking, trying to chase the images out of his mind --

Bruce's mouth pressed to the bowl of her hip --

Bruce's hands *clutching* her hips as he --

Tim pushing at his chest, *clawing* at his chest as he *thrusts*, groans and whispers how beautiful she is --

Jason bites back another noise, and he doesn't *want* to know what it would be, he can't *take* that, and he's in the showers, alone, unseen. He strips down quickly, and maybe this is how Tim feels about her dick, maybe it's *just* like this when she's hard and wants to be anything but. Jason grabs himself with one hand and turns on the water with the other, fucking *praying* to the weird acoustics to keep his moan from reaching them, prays to every god he can think of to keep them right where they are and away from him.

Bruce's lips against his own -- *no*.

Bruce lifting Tim against his body, crushing her to him as he kisses her the way he wants to kiss *Jason* -- *no* --

Jason strokes himself fast and hard and holds on fucking *grimly* against the images, the ass fucking stupid *want*.

Tim on her knees with her mouth around Bruce, pulling him in by the hips as he strokes her hair, her cheek --

And Jason's scrubbing at his own cheek where Bruce had touched him, fucking held him, *caressed* --

Would he be gentle like that?

Would he be *able* to?

No, faster, *harder*, and don't think, don't fucking *think*, and a part of him actually *regrets* this morning in the bathroom, because now he has a little fucking *staying* power, and that's exactly what he *doesn't* need.

Just -- count the tiles, listen to the water --

Bruce in here with Tim, kneeling behind her and making her shout, making her knees buckle --

No, that's him, that's -- that's *him*, and he hasn't had sex with Tim down here, yet, and maybe he should. *Absolutely* he should. Maybe over the bike like she wants, something fast and dirty, something --

*Give* her this, all of it, let her deal with it, take him, use him --

Bend her over the new bike and fucking *christen* it, make her come all over the deep green finish as he fucks her, takes her, pulls out to slap her ass and then shove right back in again -- cameras.

Cameras *everywhere* down here, and even if Bruce wasn't there, he'd see, he'd *know*, and maybe he'd know everything working its way through Jason's brain, maybe he'd come right down and grab Jason's hips and make him take Tim harder, press that huge body against his own and --

And --

Jason tastes blood and realizes he's biting the inside of his lip *just* that hard, stares at the tile and pants --

The echoes fucking *beat* him --

He's too fucking hard, too fucking *hungry* for this --

"*Please* --" Too loud, he's too loud -- there, that stroke, that squeeze, and he doesn't have to think about anything but Tim's scent, the way it's just *there* on his bed, now, the way she's always with him, always here --

She loves *him*, and she wouldn't ever --

She *wouldn't* --

And he thinks about her teeth, her mean little mouth, pretty and wet, red and sharp --

He gives up on his cheek and grabs his sac again and *there*, he's still sensitive from this morning, from that incredible fucking blowjob, and every squeeze makes him wince and snarl, gets him closer to where he needs to *be*.

Tim --

"*Tim*," he says, and *welcomes* the echoes, lives in them until it feels like his whole body is slammed by them, until he's shuddering all over --

And he comes, sharp and fucking harsh, spurting on the tile and keeping his feet. His dick and sac start complaining about the treatment they're getting right away, and Jason groans quietly and lets go.


Sluices off and turns off the water.

Now he just has to go back out there with some kind of *explanation* -- fucking A.

If it was just Bruce -- and if it was just a little more than a *month* ago -- he could shrug it off with a rueful smile and get back to his training. Painful and inconvenient erections *happen*, and he is a teenaged boy.

Tim... Tim is going to want to know why he hadn't just teased and flirted until he could take her someplace private. He hasn't jerked off since that one time when she wanted him to, and had been perfectly happy to imagine a life without doing it except when she got a cold or something.

And Bruce, now... what the hell *is* he going to think? He has to know. They *both* have to know. And -- Christ.

He's getting cold. Jason walks out and grabs a towel, drying off just enough that his clothes won't stick when he puts them on again. When he looks up, Bruce is at the console and Tim's nowhere in sight -- there. Taking a run.

Well, at least he has some time to think about what he's going to say. He hits the weights.


That was... odd. One minute she was on her back, pinned without any hope of reprieve and laughing her head off because Bruce was acting almost *courtly*, and the next Jason was moaning and running off to... well.

Definitely 'well.'

And it's not that she doesn't understand -- irritatingly well -- inconvenient erections, but there was really nothing there for Jason to find... moving. Maybe if *he'd* been sparring with her...

Well, if he'd been sparring with her, chances are that they'd both need some time alone, really. With Bruce there... she has no idea. She can work it back a little -- *something* had clearly happened when Bruce and Jason were talking over by the lockers.

Bruce had been tense enough in the beginning of the spar that she had actually been getting close a few times with her kicks, and she knows it didn't have anything to do with *her*. For that matter, *Jason* had been obviously tense while he was watching them, and...

Really, it had to come up. 'It.' Bruce is in love with Jason, and it's clearly at least part of why Bruce has been so incredibly *absent*. She never would've guessed that she'd have this much *privacy* after moving into the manor, moving in with Bruce *Wayne*. It's one thing that Alfred has obviously decided to give them their space. It's something else entirely that she and Jason are all but living *alone*.

And Jason...

Jason hadn't said a word to her when she'd called to him, just thrown up a hand and kept going, like things were *that* urgent. What could have possibly...?

Tim shakes her head and loops back behind some of the trophies, thinking idly about taking more of her runs outside. If she was home --

She is home, and will be for the foreseeable future, and there's nothing that can change that. Sometimes she wonders about the afterlife and just...

Well, there clearly *is* one, or something of the kind. All sorts of people have been killed in the line of duty and then come back, in one way or another. Not *every* hero who's been killed, but still quite a few of them. Sometimes Dinah jokes about Heaven's revolving door...

Are her parents there? Do they wonder... are they upset with her? Do they ever find themselves thinking that Tim should get more sun? Less sort-of-gay sex?

Tim laughs to herself, and is glad no one is close enough to hear it. It's not a laugh that deserves to be shared.

What if something happened and *they* were brought back to life? Given new bodies to replace the poisoned ones, the rotting ones --

She'd tell them that she loved them, and apologize for every time she'd just said goodbye, instead. She'd hug them until she was sure she'd never forget their scents again, and she'd promise... what?

She doesn't think she'd ever taken them for granted, as opposed to using their habits and hobbies to make Batgirl's life easier. They were in love with each other more often than they weren't, they'd built a large amount of wealth between them, and they'd used it the way they'd seen fit. She's never resented them for it, and they'd respected her enough to let her go her own way.

Other parents would've insisted on knowing what she did with her time, where she went and who her friends were. As far as Tim's parents knew, there was no Barbara Gordon in Tim's life, and Tim herself -- himself -- was just a healthy and active teenager who liked spending her time wandering around Gotham with a camera.

Her mother had even promised to introduce Tim to some of her artist friends if Tim just kept *up* with the photography and... and.

Of course, by the time her mother had had the time to look over Tim's work, it had all been subterfuge, random photos taken at random times to explain away the hours spent at the Clocktower, or at Selina's dojo/gymnasium.

Of course... no.

The truth is, Tim doesn't know *what* she'd do if she suddenly had parents again, other than feel horribly guilty about all the ways in which Barbara is so important to her, the way that Bruce has become so necessary...

If she'd known she had those kinds of *weaknesses*, that kind of *need*, she would've asked to travel *with* her parents, asked them to stay home one trip out of three. They could've eaten dinner together, or talked about Tim's schooling, or just... spent time being a family.

The *truth* is, the family Tim has now is the same one -- *one* -- she'd had when her parents were alive, and there's nothing she can do about that, either, except maybe to watch herself, keep herself from getting too -- needy.

It's one thing to be that way with Jason, who seems to *hurt* when Tim *doesn't* lean on him for as much as humanly possible. Jason isn't *like* other people, and he never has been. One day, presumably, he'll feel comfortable enough with her that he won't need proof of how much she needs him, and she'll be able to... back off, a little.

With Barbara and Bruce... well, she's been going over to the Clocktower a *lot*, and while Barbara has always been welcoming, has always left a space open for Tim above and beyond the necessary space for Batgirl... well, *shouldn't* she go back to giving Barbara her space?

Barbara likes having people in her life, yes, but she also likes having them at controllable distances. She'd never asked to have *Tim* in her life, and while Tim will always be grateful for all the support she's given, it's time to let Barbara relax and have her home again. Batgirl will always have a base there, but *Tim* doesn't need to encroach any more than she already has. And Bruce --

Well, Bruce *needs* his space now, and while Tim will do everything in her power to make things easier for him and Jason, she can damned well do it without trying to make Bruce into another...

Bruce is her *guardian*, and that's all he is, and all he *wants* --

("He did *say* he was attracted to you.")

And that -- that's still not --

That's not what she was *looking* for from Bruce. That's something else entirely, and if she keeps things relatively formal, maybe that will even help --

No, she can't really do formal. Not and keep working to give Bruce *back* to Jason. Or... maybe formal *would* work better? Talk to him reasonably, quietly, not keep trying to *throw* herself at him with talk of missing him --

They'd had a good few days, and that's really all. He'd seen that she was hurting, that she was a *mess*, and because he's just that good a man, he'd done his best to make things easier for her, even after bringing her here in the first place. He's not her friend.

Tim nods to herself and focuses on her run.

When she's done, she sees Jason working his legs on the weight machine, and Bruce still at the console.

It's possible *neither* of them want to talk to her right now, but... but. She walks up to Jason and rests a hand on his thigh, feels the muscle working, flexing --

Just being able to *do* this pretty much whenever she wants -- focus.

Jason's smiling at her ruefully, hair falling over his forehead -- *focus*.

"Is everything... all right?"

Jason sighs and covers her hand with his own, squeezing a little. "Yeah, uh... yeah. Ask me later? Please?"

Meaning everything *isn't* all right, but not in a way that she can help, right now. She raises her eyebrow and nods.

Jason nods back. "So... what's next for you after that spar? More weight training? Katas?"

"Maybe katas later. I think I'm going to spend some time on the beam, after I... well." She turns her head slightly...

"Bruce. Yeah. I... good luck? I told him I wasn't going to give up on him, and he kind of... tried to kiss me."

That -- her first reaction is open shock, internal *cracking*, because that goes against everything she'd *thought*, and --

"Except what I think he was really doing was trying to chase me away for *good*. Fucking hell."

Her second reaction -- it cuts, deep, and she doesn't really have a name for the feeling, doesn't really... she's blushing, and she can *feel* that, but she can also feel Bruce, see him leaning in, *touching* Jason, taking --

Taking what's hers? Is that it?

Maybe -- maybe part of it, and --

"Hey, are *you* okay?"

"I. I feel I should be asking you that question. Again."

Another sigh. "Yeah, well, he didn't really do anything, and he backed off as soon as I pushed --"

"He moved in... slowly?"

Jason searches her for a moment before nodding. "Yeah. Slowly. Letting me stop it *anytime* I wanted, which is what makes me think that he didn't really *want* to kiss me right then, as opposed to... well."

Well, indeed. "I think... I don't know what I think. Just -- Jason, are you sure you *want* to keep pushing?"

"I want my *friend* back, Tim. You -- you know that," he says, and he's searching her again, looking almost hurt --

Like she had hurt him. Hell -- she squeezes his thigh. "I'm sorry, you're right, of course --"

"What... what made you change your mind? Is it that he tried to kiss me? That's fucking with you?"

*Yes* -- "I'm. Surprised it isn't... fucking with you."

Jason's shrug is a little... weak. If it's meant to show her that he's completely *okay* with it, it's not working at all.

"Jason --"

"No, I know -- shit. It's just -- it's the way he did it. He didn't grab me, and he didn't pin me against a wall or anything, when he could've done that *easily*."

The feel of being thrown, *lifted* and thrown, and she was full of *rage* at being caught so easily, at making such a stupid *mistake*, but she was also still *high* on it, the spar, the adrenaline... She'd run herself *out* of an erection, but -- Tim swallows and nods. "I think I might be... jealous."

Jason winces. "Yeah, well... maybe I am, too."

Tim frowns. "Jason, I haven't -- *Bruce* hasn't --"

He lifts the hand not covering her own and makes a stand down gesture. "I know. But -- you were so good in that spar, you *both* were so fucking good and I just got a little -- later. I'll tell you later."

A little *what*? Turned on by her and *Bruce*? *Really*? "Jay --"

"Yeah, I know. Later, I *promise*."

Tim curls her fingers in and scratches, just a little --

"I know, baby, I -- shit. *Do* you want to talk to Bruce right now? Or do you just want to train?"

And she was being that obvious, and she'd *told* him besides. But. "It... it will eat at me if I don't try talking to him. Even though he's not my friend." And Jason winces again, and Tim really wants to bite back what she'd just said, but --

"Yeah... I. Yeah."

It's too late. "Jason --"

"He's supposed to be your friend," he says, and his voice is tired and low. *Hurt*. "He's supposed to be -- fuck, I don't even know, Tim. I just... I need this to work, somehow, or else none of it's any good. I mean, we're just fine on the street, and maybe we always will be, maybe we have just that much experience *being* fine that it's all fucking *reflexive*, but..." He lifts his hand off hers and makes a pushing gesture.

"Are you sure I should be letting you brood?"

"Is that what I'm doing? Heh," and Jason shoves a hand back through his hair. "I promise I won't keep it up?"

She doesn't bother to say anything. Her expression *has* to be saying it all --

"Please, Tim. I can't -- I know I shouldn't be asking you for *any* of this, but. I don't know what to do."

Oh -- that. Jason. Jason *needs* -- Tim nods and squeezes his thigh again. No matter what, she has to keep trying. And has to let him have his space now, too. She lets go and steps back --

"Thank you," Jason says, and it's full of just -- everything.

It hits her the way it always does. He's *told* her that he loves her -- multiple *times* -- but it never means as much as it does in moments like these, when she can't help but *feel* it.

Feel him. Tim smiles ruefully and doesn't cover her heart with her hand. It won't help to make it stop beating so fast and it would be incredibly overdramatic, besides. She curls the hand she'd had on his thigh into a loose fist, instead, and lets herself imagine the warmth she feels is his own.

Her own, too.

She nods again and turns for the console.

If anything, knowing what she knows now, she would've expected Bruce to disappear again, leaving them to train and talk -- and possibly decide, once and for all, to give up on him entirely --

No, she doesn't know him, and she can't keep acting like she does. It would be so *easy* to apply some of her own... her *issues* to Bruce, considering what she *does* know, but she has proof now that it wouldn't work. If *she* were in Bruce's position, she never would've tried kissing Jason. Knowing how he felt about intergenerational relationships, and about her in particular --

About *Bruce* in particular.

She just -- wouldn't, and she doesn't have the foggiest clue why *he* would --

Unless, of course, he was trying to -- oh.

She rests her hand on the back of Bruce's chair before she can think better of it, and watches him typing for a long moment. He doesn't stop, or even pause, and when she looks at the main monitor --

It's a report on some of the gang activity currently happening in -- her territory. She reads more closely --

"It's filed under Gang Activity: General," he says, quietly. "Your password is 'raptor.'"

Jason's is 'hawk,' but -- "You... want me to use your computers?"

"They're yours now, as well, Tim. You'll need them for your reports, and I will also, from time to time, leave specific information and tasks for you."

Tim blinks and thinks about that -- it's huge and wonderful and speaks of *trust*, but also of 'goodbye.' "Noted, but... Bruce, I'd like to talk to you."

"You should let me work now," he says, and it's not an order. It's... gentle, a request... more than that and less, too, somehow.

Tim takes a deep breath and stands up straight, curling her fingers in against the chair and holding on *tightly*. "Perhaps you should spend more time here, so that the work will be more easily completed in a timely fashion."

That makes him pause, but only for a moment. He doesn't make a sound.

All right. "When you moved to kiss Jason, were you... proving a point?"

This time, he stops altogether. "Tim. I'm -- I'm sorry. I never should have --"

"No, you shouldn't have. But answer my question. Please," and she moves to stand beside the chair, to look at him -- no, closer. She sits on the console and stares at him until he looks up and meets her eyes.

*His* eyes... they can't be like this all the time. She's seen them focused on the work, focused in a different way while training her, open and sympathetic while he tried to comfort her -- *this* is something else. It's apology and plea at once, and something like the open, hungry thing that's been living inside her for as long as she can remember. He is... a very attractive man.

She takes another breath and grips the edge of the console to keep from reaching out. Distance. Formality. *Control*. "Answer me."

"I have been in love with him since before you went to Barbara. Long before."

And now you're staking a claim? No, she won't be distracted. She nods -- "Were you proving a *point*, Bruce."

He closes his eyes and squeezes the edge of the console himself. "Yes. But that was not the only thing."

She waits until he opens his eyes and looks at her before nodding again. "That was Jason's take on the matter, but -- I had to be sure."

"I would never try to take him away from you, even if such a thing were possible."

Batman and Robin, the only truly perfect thing Gotham has ever had to offer. Just as Batgirl was the only truly beautiful thing, and -- and. What would this be like if Jason had a few less horrible experiences on the street? He'd still be who he was, but maybe a little less *adamant* about Bruce, and then...

And then, maybe, she'd have to fight for him. Batgirl *could*, even if she was maybe never supposed to *have* to fight to have Robin for herself, but *Tim*... Tim maybe wouldn't fight it, at all. He's Batman, and he's *Bruce*, and -- he had nearly kissed Jason.

And Jason had watched her spar with him and gotten so aroused he'd had to *leave* --

And Bruce is watching her.

"Good of you to... say that," she says, and knows her voice isn't saying anything of the kind, knows that she's being *obvious* again, and --

"Tim," Bruce says, and rests his hand on her own. Offering comfort again, easily and -- he's either being entirely honest, or he's the best liar she's ever seen. Better than *Barbara*, and that's asking a *lot* --

Tim shakes her head. "Bruce, I... the situation is untenable."

"I know. That's why I *must* pull back, Tim. Even from you."

*Even* from her? What -- he's attracted. He's attracted, and he's touching her, and she's -- blushing. Hard.

And Bruce moves his hand from hers without a word, and with a great deal of -- that would be self-loathing on his face, and she knows --

"I know that look from the inside, Bruce. You don't have to... maybe it's just that I was never abused, or maybe it's that I honestly think the rules are different for people like you, but --"

"The rules," he says, hard and *firm*, "are the same." And he's not looking at her again, so...

So. She covers his hand with her own, feels it twitch and squeezes.

"Tim. You're too -- you offer too much, without knowing the consequences."

"And yet I have a fair grasp of the *risks*, Bruce, and sometimes that's enough," she says, and deliberately shifts closer. He has to know that he's in *control*, that touch and talk are *available* to him --

And Bruce looks at her, looks her up and down, *dares* her to stay where she is -- no. He's demanding that she *think* about where she is in relation to *Bruce*, who is attracted to her, and who is a large, intimidating man. As manipulation goes, it's quietly elegant.

But she doesn't feel like being manipulated. She raises an eyebrow.

Bruce smiles, a narrowing of the eyes, a certain *positive* tightness to the skin around his mouth.

Tim smiles back --

"When you offer this to Jason, he all but falls at your feet."

This? She's not posing in any way that could be called provocative, and -- really. She's blushing again --

"Or perhaps it is that which makes him need to be so close to you, need to have you always within some measure of *reach* --"

"Bruce --"

"I am not jealous of you, Tim, but I am jealous of your love."

"You are... *actively* trying to make me uncomfortable, and it's not going to work --"

"No...? Should I speak, instead, of the thoughts I've had about your touch? The way you move for me when we spar, the sounds you make. The abandon with which you give yourself to the fight, and the ruthless control you maintain even so," and his voice is low and even, *sure* as he says --

All of those things. Tim swallows. "I'm not -- flirting. Not -- I mean I wasn't --"

"It is, perhaps, the prerogative of Batgirl to believe she is only flirting when she intends -- with dedication and forethought -- to do so."

And *that* -- she doesn't bother to keep back the growl. "You'll have to work harder to convince me that you subscribe to anything resembling the *concept* of 'asking for it.'"

Bruce raises his own eyebrow, and the smile on his face actually curves his mouth, this time. He looks precisely as much older than she is as he is, and he looks -- dark. Menacing.

"You also won't convince me that *Batman* has that view, Bruce."

He raises both eyebrows and leans back, slightly.

Tim nods to herself. Point scored. "Are you done trying to scare me away, Bruce?"

He turns away, but he doesn't move his hand from under her own, and that deserves... something.

"It isn't as though I'm in any way *calm* about the fact that you apparently want to have sex with me, or about the fact that you're in love with my -- with my boyfriend --"

"You... boyfriend, Tim?" And this time when he looks at her, there's nothing dark about the amusement, at all. Honest again, *open* again --

"'Lover' makes it sound like a bad romance novel."

"Hm. And are you *very* familiar with those?"

Tim smirks. "Two of my nannies were addicted to the genre, and there were no other books in the house which seemed remotely interesting. My mother wasn't much of a reader, and my father favored economics texts and biographies of the 'captains of industry.'"

Bruce hums and nods, filing that away and probably any number of other things she isn't consciously aware of.

"There's so much you could teach me, Bruce. Methods of detection, modes of observation, styles of control --"

"You have a teacher," he says, and *then* moves his hand, but he doesn't fight when Tim reaches out and pulls it back toward her.

"I want you, as well," she says, keeping *her* voice even -- "If nothing else, it's the most rational course."

"Only if one disregards certain facts of which we will not speak."

You *started* it -- no, she's not going to say that, even though he is smiling rather wryly at their hands. "I'm keeping those facts in evidence, Bruce. Even though sometimes I find them... difficult to understand."

Bruce narrows his eyes and looks almost angry -- "Don't do that. Don't denigrate yourself. Neither Barbara nor Jason allow it and I won't, either."

That -- a seize, inside. But. "There's a difference between Batgirl's innate attractiveness and my own --"

"Yes, there is," Bruce says, and this time he *is* daring her, if only to question that flat *solidity* of that statement, and -- she's narrowing her own eyes.

She stops, and breathes. "Fine. I won't... question your taste."

"You'd be questioning Jason's own."

Jason, between *them*, now, and Tim gives herself a moment to consider it, to detangle the threads until she has something like a clear view of the whole potential tapestry. Hmm. "You're about to use Jason -- and my feelings about him -- to try to place an entirely different sort of wall between us."

"I might have been merely stating a fact."

Tim tilts her head to the side. "You'd do anything to convince us that it would be better for you to be apart from us. *Nearly* anything, I suppose... or were you planning to actually assault Jason the next time he comes too close to you?"

A grimace for that, and Bruce turns away again. Tim shifts her grip on Bruce's hand to one that should be actively painful -- "You *don't* need to do that to insure that I'm paying attention, Tim."

"No? Neither of us have tried the physical pain method with any great degree of commitment, yet. How can we know it wouldn't work?" And she'd said that deliberately lightly, expecting a verbal parry in kind, but --

Silence, and he's still looking away. Another moment to think, then, and perhaps to put herself in Bruce's position, to attempt to see the world as he does, if only for a moment. Long enough to determine what sort of attack would work best the *next* time -- oh.

"You want to be hurt, for this. You believe you deserve to *suffer* for your feelings, and just keeping yourself from the boy you've been in love with for longer than I've been a useful member of society just *isn't* enough. Is it?"

More silence, but she still has his hand, and his jaw is tensing up as she watches. Tim deliberately rests Bruce's hand on her knee, and curls the fingers around it when he merely lets it sit there. After a moment, he shudders, once, and -- strokes the inside of her knee with his middle finger. Just a brush, brief and light. It could've been a twitch, or just Bruce being uncomfortable with the positioning --

It wasn't. "Bruce."

Bruce sighs and turns his hand until his thumb is brushing the outside of Tim's knee and his fingers are pressing against Tim's thigh. He turns to look at her, the anger and hunger back in his eyes, and *then* he squeezes -- "Do you believe, yet?"

"I. Bruce --"

"The *truth* is that you consider yourself to be, at best, average in appearance. You want to be a woman, and you think of yourself that way more often than not, but you believe deep down that you're simply a small and inadequately made boy. Hardly hideous, but nothing *special*, either. Deep down, you have no real idea why Jason loves and desires you as much as he does, and you're convinced that, one day, he'll wake up and realize he could have had someone *truly* worthwhile.

"Batgirl is the armor between your day to day functionality and this *pit* of self-disgust, but there's only so far she can take you, only so much she can do to make you look better to yourself. But you're capable of love, of admiration and affection. You dislike hurting others -- unless you feel they deserve it. Your rules for such things are a chiaroscuro of greys, both because of the people who trained you and because you weren't raised by your parents as much as you were *housed* by them --"

His hand isn't on her knee, anymore, and she isn't sure when she'd made the decision to push it away. If it *was* a decision, and she really isn't sure what's on her face, right now, but it makes Bruce nod in *satisfaction*.

And start to turn away, again. Tim *slams* her hand down on Bruce's own, crushing it against the console as much as she can --


"You son of a bitch. I --" Tim laughs, too loud, letting go of Bruce's hand and moving her own into a strike position that would break one or two small, fragile little *bones* -- she curls her hand into a fist and *looks* at Bruce. "All right, you've made your point. I want to be seen -- known -- *exactly* as little as you do. Except, of course, for Jason. Jason changes *all* the rules, doesn't he? You want him to understand you -- don't worry, he actually *told* me that. I'm not being intuitive or anything of the kind. You want him to *get* you, and still love you -- or..." Tim laughs again and leans in close enough to feel Bruce's breath against her face --

"Or, Tim...?"

"You *thought* that was all you wanted. Only when you *got* it, you discovered that it wasn't enough. You're *pissed* at yourself for being so damned *naive*, for making such a *fundamental* mistake about yourself. You thought you knew yourself, the *depths* to which you could go, and you were wrong. And now it's time to make anyone who knows you even a little bit better share a little bit of that pain. Right?"

Bruce raises an eyebrow. "Are you asking?"

Tim shrugs like Batgirl and smiles as sunnily as she can. "I'm just the little plain boy meddling in the affairs of my *betters*, Bruce. What would I know?"

"I wasn't --" Bruce sucks a breath in through his teeth. "I said nothing designed to insult you, Tim. Your fears and doubts are your *own*. You're a beautiful, brilliant, and *dangerous* young woman --"

"And you're a beautiful, brilliant, and *dangerous* -- older man. You're funny, you're kind, you're giving --"

"Graceful, passionate -- Tim. Move back --"

"I'm not *finished*, Bruce. I'm not going to let you *go*, not when Jason needs you, and I -- *mmph* --"

The kiss is *hard*, and Bruce's tongue is thick and mobile in her mouth, tasting her and *filling* her --

Both of them have their eyes open, but Tim knows her own are incredibly wide and probably shocked-looking, vulnerable --

Bruce is cupping her face with one hand and -- yes, squeezing her knee with the other, stroking her knee and stroking her face, her cheekbone, and Bruce just keeps *looking* at her, eyes narrow and sharp, demanding and *angry* -- and the loss is so much when he closes them that she groans, shivers and *sucks* his tongue. She wants them open again, wants to *see* him do this, take this, take *her* --

"*Oh* --"

He's biting and sucking her lip --

He pulls back and stands, turns -- "Jason --"

"Uh, guess I was about to interrupt something," Jason says, and it feels like her stomach just switched places with her lower *intestine*.

Tim jumps off the console and turns, and Jason is staring hard. At *her*. Tim swallows. He'd seen -- that. He'd heard her moan and seen her kissing Bruce *back* --

"Jason, I'm sorry," Bruce says, and takes a step closer. "I'm --"

Jason throws a hand up and doesn't stop looking at her, and Tim knows she looks like she's pleading, but she *is*, she --


He jerks his chin at her -- "You want him."

Yes. *No* -- "Not until... a moment ago. I mean, I didn't... realize."

Bruce sucks in a breath -- "It's not her fault, Jason, she was only trying to --"

"Be. Quiet," Jason says, and his voice is so soft Tim wants to *flinch*. She holds it back as best she can and just -- breathes.

Breathes. "It was. I. I don't know if you want me to try to explain or not, Jay -- Jason."

And Jason winces, maybe for her hesitation, maybe -- she doesn't know, but it feels like he's a million miles away and getting *further* with every second.

"Please... tell me what you want."

Jason squeezes his eyes shut -- digs in against them with the heels of his palms and then drops his hands to his sides. "The last five minutes, gone. That's what I want."

Tim nods and crosses her arms over her chest -- drops her hands to her sides --

"But you were..." Jason shakes his head. "Heh. It looked like you were *getting* somewhere, baby."

Tim glances at Bruce -- he's staring at Jason like... she doesn't know. There's too *much* in his expression, fear and hope and hunger and anger and everything *else* -- and when she turns back to Jason, his eyebrows are up.

"Were you? Do you think?"

"I. The original plan, such as it was, was to continue my attack until he said something that made me want to stab him."

"With your tongue, baby?"

This time, she can't keep from hugging herself, a little, even though it looks ridiculous, *obvious* --

Jason reaches out. Just one hand, palm up --

Tim stares at his hand and then looks back up at Jason -- somewhere, on a whole different world, Bruce is sighing --

"I can't -- I can't have you looking at me like that. I *can't*," and Jason curls his fingers in hard and opens his palm again. "Please."

"Don't -- not that. I --" Tim shakes her head and takes Jason's hand, and apparently her body is exactly *that* well-trained, because she doesn't stumble when he pulls her in close, even though her mind really wasn't ready for that, at all.

Jason touches her face, strokes her cheek and then her mouth, pressing at the lower lip -- "He bit you."

"I -- yes."

"You liked it. The way you like it when I -- when I do," Jason says, turning his hand and stroking her with his knuckles so *gently* --

And just a little harder when Tim bites her lip.

"So... I'm taking that as a *yes*, because... because you want him, and he wants you, and you're both..." Jason shakes his head again and cups Tim's cheek, staring down into her eyes.

He's *hurting*, and it's all over him, and it's because of her -- why the hell hadn't she pushed Bruce *away*? "Jason --"

"Do you love him, yet? Because... he's pretty easy to love once he starts opening up a little."

She can see Bruce *shudder* out of the corner of her eye, but really -- really, what Jason sees in her eyes can't be anything but right. "Jason, I've been in love with *you* since before --"

"*Not* what I asked, baby," Jason says, and strokes her stupid, stupid *hair* --

"I -- all right. I care about him. I don't know if it's -- love."

Jason nods, but he just looks even more *sad* -- "You kissed him, anyway. Was it reflex? You... I'm the only one you've ever been with, and we kind of... don't hold back with each other. Bruce had to know you would *like* a kiss like that --"

"Jason, I wasn't *thinking* about her wants --"

"Be *quiet*, Bruce. Let me just..." And Jason's face twists a little into a *mask* of hurt -- he breathes and blanks his features in an instant.

She hadn't known he could do that. Even *Robin* never --

"Answer me, Tim?"

Not 'baby' this time. Not... Tim swallows again and tries not to rub her face against his palm -- no, she does it, and Jason nods and smiles at her, rueful and so...

Tired. *Old*, and he wants to know. That's clear even if nothing else really is, and -- suddenly she can *taste* Bruce. Again, or -- she hadn't really thought about how he tasted *while* he was kissing her. Coffee and a different kind of need, sharper or --

Jason wants an answer. "It was -- intense. I was watching his eyes and trying to keep reading them, trying to *understand* --- and then he closed his eyes, and it felt... it felt like I already understood everything. And that's when I kissed him back."

Jason nods like that makes perfect sense -- "It can be -- you know, that feeling when we're out on the street and we're just -- pure gold. You know what I'm thinking and I know what you're thinking, and we don't have to say a fucking *word*?"

Tim nods. "I love it --"

"I love it, too. It's the *best* feeling. Except for that other feeling. That one where I'm riding *Bruce's* wavelength. The bravest, baddest, *hardest* guy in the entire freaking world, and *I'm* his partner, right? So... I get it, I think. You were right there *with* him, no hiding, no holding back..." Jason shivers and cups her shoulders, strokes down to her hands and squeezes them before backing off.

And then he turns to Bruce, giving her the stand down gesture with one hand before moving close enough that he has to tilt his head back to meet his eyes. Bruce...

Bruce looks -- terrible enough to make her wonder if she'd looked terrible *enough* for that *conversation* --

"You *weren't* just proving a point with her," Jason says, and it's not even close to a question.

"No," Bruce says, and waits.

"No little tricks to get her to run away, because she doesn't *have* the same fucking triggers *I* do, right?"

Bruce nods -- stops. "I tried... other things. First."

"Yeah, why do I think I'm glad I *didn't* overhear whatever the hell else you said to her to try to make her think you were a worthless asshole?"

"Jason --"

"Did you hurt her?"

"Yes. I did."

Jason nods slowly, turns away --

And the punch comes too fast for Tim to do anything about it, but Bruce should've been able to catch it, block it -- He lets it hit, and it spins him on his feet a little.

There's blood welling up on Jason's knuckles and blood on Bruce's mouth and it's -- her fault.

If she hadn't been here, if she hadn't tried to push in where she didn't *belong* --

"That *wasn't* for the kiss," Jason says, and licks his knuckles. "Just in case that wasn't clear."


Jason laughs, sharp and *ugly* -- "Oh, *now* I'm Jay? Did you like the way she tasted, *B*? Did you want to pull her close and just -- I *saw* your hand on her leg. Moving up her *thigh*. You really can't help yourself at all, anymore, can you?"

No. No, just -- Tim reaches out for Jason's wrist -- "Jason --"

Jason twists away from her grip. "In a *minute*, Tim. Please. Bruce really needs to answer my fucking question."

And there's a *flash* of anger in Bruce's eyes, but it fades, almost *dims* -- "I suppose that I wasn't clear. Before."

"Mother*fucker*," Jason says, and turns back to face Bruce. "Yeah, okay, you *did* say it. In a bunch of different ways, even. Fine. I get it, now. But maybe you can spare a moment to think about how fucking *important* it was that I *didn't* get it, before. That I *believed* in you, in what you *said* to me on that rooftop -- ah, *fuck*," and Jason spins away from Bruce again, walks several paces away from both of them.

He stops over by the beam, bracing his hands on it and letting his head hang.

The Cave *isn't* silent -- generators and bats, the faint and blandly eerie whistle and hum of the wind through emptier *parts* of the Cave. Not silent. It's just that it feels as though it should be, and -- and.

She should go. She should -- maybe to Barbara? She's been there for every other stupid thing Tim has done, and one more won't... hurt. She's hugging herself again, though, and that has to stop. She has to do something *useful*. She jogs over to where they keep their medical equipment and supplies and grabs bandages and alcohol wipes.

Jason still looks like one wrong move will cause him to snap, so... Bruce. Who is still standing there looking like.

Like everything good in his life is over and done with. Like *she* had -- no, he wouldn't be thinking of her, right now. Whether or not he should be.

He sits down when she pushes him toward the chair, though, and lets her wipe the cut at the corner of his mouth. It's ugly, but small. It'll gap every time he tries to speak, and Tim realizes that she doesn't actually *know* the best way to deal with a cut like that. She's given them to other people countless times, but has thus far managed to avoid having one herself, even though she's had multiple facial bruises --

This will bruise extravagantly, and -- she's babbling in her own mind. At least it's quiet. The hovering, though --

"Does he need a stitch?" Jason, behind her silent and sudden.

"Ah -- no."

"Then just leave it. It won't scar if he leaves it alone and keeps his mouth shut for a few days."

Tim closes his eyes against the extra silent commentary she can *hear* -- opens them and lays on a bandage. Gently. And for a moment Bruce looks at her, looks at her with everything in his eyes --

And then he looks away again, and Tim straightens up and turns to Jason, who's holding out his hand precisely like he knows she needs to do this. He'd cut two knuckles on Bruce's teeth -- had he loosened them?

Bruce wasn't working them in his mouth in any way she could tell, but... how exactly would Bruce Wayne, billionaire playboy, explain bridgework? A skiing accident? An unfortunate encounter with a maverick croquet ball? The laughter feels like just another kind of vomit coming up her throat, and she swallows it back.

And gives Jason two of the knuckle band-aids that never actually stay on if you're anything like an active person. When she's done, he cups her cheek, thumb under her chin, and lifts her head.

He's smiling ruefully, but it doesn't quite reach his eyes, which are dark and a little bleak.

She'd just done an excellent job of ruining Jason's chances to regain his friendship with Bruce, and --

"Don't," he says, quietly enough that it's possible Bruce wouldn't hear. "Don't do that to yourself."

"Jason --"

His thumb is on her mouth now, and she -- she *knows* him. He doesn't want to hear how much she blames herself for this, and it would *hurt* him to hear it. If maybe not more than it hurts to keep it in.

Tim nods and swallows it *back* --

Jason nods, too, and pulls her in for a hug. It's not as -- as *firm* as pretty much every other hug she's had from him, but it's there, and a part of her can't help but live in it. Wallow in it like --


She rubs her face against his shoulder, and he hugs her tighter. A little. And then he lets go, and searches her face again. "You should change. Maybe go see Babs for a little while?"

That -- he wants her to go. He --

"Aw, shit, no, baby -- for a *little* while. I couldn't take it if you -- just. Come back, okay? Or meet me out on the street tonight if you need a little longer -- come *back*."

"I -- all right --"

And Jason cups the back of her head and leans in until their foreheads are touching. "You need to talk to someone who isn't -- really fucked in the head right now."

"What about *you*?"

"Well... heh. I'm kinda hoping you'll feel better enough when you get back that I can lay some serious shit on you. I just -- I need to talk, too."

Tim frowns and pulls back. "Jason --"

"*Later*. I promise. Right now you're too busy hating yourself -- just. Later."

Tim lets the frown get a little deeper and nods. Jason cups her face with both hands and deliberately -- it seems *very* deliberate -- kisses her on the mouth. It's soft and almost *careful*, and he licks both of her lips before kissing her again, a little harder.

She keeps her eyes open and watches Jason close his -- Bruce --

*No*. She wraps her arms around Jason's neck and feels him. The shape of him and his warmth, the way he moves to press his body against her own. Jason, who still loves her, even though she can't quite get to the feeling under everything else in her right now.

Jason who *needs* her, and that's better, that's *closer*, and if she'd known how much he needed her before, when they were only -- mostly -- Batgirl and Robin --

It feels like wasted time, the worst sort of missed opportunity, even though he swears she was *just* what he needed... Tim tightens her grip around his neck and breathes, a little, for the feel of his hands on her waist, cupping and squeezing.

This. She *needs* this, and she can't let it go -- except for how Jason needs her to do just that so she can be *better* for him. That -- it's a goal, and she needed one, now that all the blood is behind bandages. Tim pulls back, and Jason squeezes her one more time before letting go.

She goes to change.

Once she's in jeans instead of shorts and has a jacket on, she moves for the bikes -- but she can't keep herself from looking back. Jason is just standing there, staring at Bruce or perhaps at a space over his shoulder. Bruce is sitting still for it, and she can't tell where he's staring, at all.

There's nothing she can do here.


There's something Jason should be doing, and, he'll get right to it just as soon as he remembers what it is. Bruce --

Bruce is staring off into the middle distance like he can't figure out what *he* should be doing, and it makes Jason's knuckles itch with the need to --

It's just the blood, the light pain. He remembers the days when his knuckles itched more often than not, when it had seemed like a *reason* to fight and keep fighting, every chance he got. When it had seemed like his body was *making* him do it, driving him to it --

Had Bruce ever felt driven? Is that what had made him --

He couldn't taste Bruce in Tim's mouth. At least, he doesn't think he did. It could've been something too subtle for him to catch, he supposes, and maybe it's him, now, the way Bruce had wanted it to be earlier. Bruce --

Is still sitting right there.

Jason closes the distance between them and drops into a crouch at Bruce's feet. Bruce doesn't look at him, but the tension is thick enough that Jason can almost smell it, and -- he knows, right down to the bone, that if he threw another punch, Bruce would let it land.

Just like the first.

Right about now, Bruce would probably let Jason beat the shit out of him, and it's *just* like him to find ways to take the fun out of thoughts like that. Jason snorts --

And watches Bruce tense a little bit more. Tim's been gone for just about twenty minutes. It's just the two of them -- and Alfred, absent somewhere and probably hating Jason good and hard right now.

Maybe both of them.

"What --" Jason stops, because that had come out almost croaked. He swallows, and tries again. "I didn't hear enough of that conversation. What was it that finally... tripped your trigger?"

"She knew me," Bruce says. Fucking -- rumbles, quiet enough to seem half-strangled.

Jason nods, but it's more reflex than anything else. Most of him is busy turning those three words around and around in his head, tasting them and feeling them, testing himself against the *edge* of them.

There's so much Tim still doesn't know about him, or doesn't *believe*. So many ways he's surprised her, again and again and in the worst possible ways -- for *him*.

She'd thought he would reject her. She'd thought he *had* rejected her. But *Bruce*... she knew. "Down deep enough that you just -- couldn't."

"Jason. I don't think you want me to --"

"*Don't* -- tell me what I want and don't want," Jason says, and thinks about getting up again, about getting in Bruce's *face* again -- no, not that. He doesn't *trust* Bruce not to.


He doesn't trust Bruce not to do anything, including sit there mute and -- and fucking *broken* until Jason has to hit him again, hurt him the way -- it. He'd seen it all in his *head*. The way he would touch her, *need* to touch her. The way she would respond to it because she just wouldn't be able to *help* it, because she would love it, love *Bruce* --

She doesn't *know* enough to know that it's a bad, fucked-up thing to do, to try to do. She just sees the hero in him, the good man, the *best* man -- no. She sees more than that, or Bruce wouldn't have --

What *wouldn't* Bruce do?


Jason gives up and *looks* at Bruce, at the bandage on his face and the nothing in his eyes, the everything, the *waiting*. For more. From *him*. All that -- fucking *need*. And maybe there's a hole in Bruce, too. Something that's been there for decades, crying out to get *filled*, by anything Bruce could take. Including him. Them. He's not *safe*, and he never really has been. It's just that Jason was too blind to see it, that Bruce was too good at hiding it -- from him.

Not from Tim, and that -- Jason realizes that he wants to know *why*, that it would help something in him to be able to understand why someone who's barely known him for a month could *read* Bruce, when he's sitting here fucking *stunned* about the man who's been almost everything to him --

And something in Jason seizes, fucking *breaks* until he feels like everything inside him has been slashed through and *ripped*. *Not* everything to him, but close. Too close.

Everything strong and good, everything *fair*, like 'justice' wasn't just a weak little word, like something even as huge and dirty as Gotham could be changed, made better --

Something even as small and dirty as *him* --

Jason feels his face twisting again, rolls to his knees and feels it *coming* up from inside him, and he can't stop it, can't do anything but cover his face and try to keep it from spilling out all over him.

How is it supposed to work if they're all just fuck-ups with a little more training than the *average* fuck-up? How are they supposed to make *anything* better when they can't even --

Jesus, why is he still even *here*? Why can't he stop needing this place, and everything about it --

Bruce --

Bruce *moving*, and Jason needs to get the hell away from him, needs to give the *giant* fuck-up his space, because there's nothing Bruce can do about the gaping fucking pit inside him. No matter what he'd said, no matter what he'd promised with Jason's hand around his own, with all of the night to witness it, with --

Bruce's hands on his shoulders, and the pressure is too warm, too fucking *good*, and for a moment everything is almost right, because what if this -- all of it -- had just been another nightmare? What if the lights were about to come on, and Bruce would be there, right *here*, pulling him in --

"Fuck, *no*."

And Bruce freezes with his arms around Jason. Just -- freezes there.

Jason pulls his hands from his face and blinks until his vision isn't blurry anymore --

It's a different *kind* of hunger in Bruce's eyes, and a *plea* --

"You're. Seriously trying to *comfort* me. *Now*."

Bruce nods, and *he's* hardly blinking, at all, and Jason -- can't. He stands up and backs away, and watches Bruce drop his hands, watches him rest them on his thighs and look *down* again --

Jason laughs, and it sounds fucking horrible, but it actually feels a little *good*. "Don't think I don't appreciate the *thought*, B -- I. Look at me."

Bruce does, from right there on his knees, and there's no tension in him at all, anymore. Only a sense of *waiting*, because he's just as sure he should be rejected entirely as Tim is, just as --

He *should* be --

His *friend*, and the only family Jason has, except for Dick, and Dick wouldn't have ever been his brother if Bruce hadn't been his -- his. *Tim* wouldn't have ever been his without --

Jason feels his face twisting *again*, and -- no. Not that again. Not -- God, not until Tim is *back*, and he can -- Jason punches his thigh, and Bruce just keeps looking up at him, keeps --

"I want you *back*, B --"

"I know, Jay."

"I want --" Jason looks away, looks at the console, the beam, Dick's fucking *dinosaur*, and why had he ever needed *that*? He'd never asked, but Bruce had known he *did*, and so it was there. He turns to Bruce again. "You. You tried? You really tried to be there for me?"

Bruce closes his eyes and nods. Opens them again -- "I'm --"

"Don't *apologize* again, dammit, I -- I *know* you're sorry, that you wish everything was --" Jason cuts himself off and thinks about that almost-kiss, the brush of Bruce's mouth against his own, the feel of that hand on his face, that strong hand, perfect hand --

On Tim, because she's beautiful, because Bruce is already in love whether he knows it or *not* --

It was never supposed to be *like* this, and Jason can't get past that, can't ever stop *thinking*. They're all *fuck-ups*, all broken and empty inside, all twisted up in the ways that really *count*, and Bruce is on his *knees* for him.

The way he wants to be. The way he thinks he *has* to be, and all Jason wants is the warmth again, the rightness and the care, the safety and the -- fucking *innocence*, even though that hasn't belonged to him in a long fucking *time*.

And he can't have what he wants. He -- he can't. But he can be honest. "I wanted you to touch her. I -- it turned me on."

And *there's* the tension, right back where it maybe belongs. Bruce is looking at Jason like he doesn't know who Jason *is*, and that hurts, but it also feels a little like payback.

The smile on Jason's face feels awful. "Yeah. Thinking about you, about her -- oh, I'll tell her about it. I couldn't before, couldn't let her realize how fucked up *I* was, so I let her feel just that *bad*, let her leave her thinking she'd done something -- fucking unforgivable --"

"Jason --"

"I wanted to *see* it, Bruce, and -- there it all was. If I didn't know how much this was fucking with your head right now, part of me would think it was another *present*. Something a little more to the point than a fucking new *bike*."

Bruce stares at him for another moment, and then shakes his head. "You can't -- you can't blame yourself for your. For a moment's idle *fantasy* --"

"No?" Jason scrubs at his face with his hands and laughs again. "See, I'm not so sure about that. Because it was *just* like it was *in* that idle fantasy. You couldn't help taking her and she couldn't help *wanting* it, even though I was right fucking there *watching* --"

"Jason, no, I -- I surprised her, took advantage. She's so *young* --"

"Just the way you like 'em, B? No, no, forget I said that. This isn't really about *you*, anymore, and it's not even really about *her*. It's about me, and the fact that I'll apparently do *anything* to keep from thinking about you touching me. Wanting me and *needing* me --"

Bruce stands up and reaches out --

Jason knocks his hand away and jabs his finger at Bruce's chest. "I *pushed* her at you. She didn't want to. She was *afraid*, freaked out about you wanting her, but I still *pushed*. Because *I* needed her to make it better for me --"

"She'll do anything for you, she loves you so much --"

"And I *used* that, Bruce! I used *her* --"

"Jason, no, you can't --" Bruce shakes his head. "It's my *fault*, and only mine --"

"No, it *isn't* --"

"*Jason*. We can't *all* blame ourselves --"

"Why *not*?"

And Bruce *glares* at him, hard and -- actually kind of *incredulous*, exactly like he can't really believe Jason had just said that, and it's so damned *Bruce* that Jason can't really stand it. Or --

Well -- he's just so *shocked*, and Jason feels something bubbling up inside him, something --

And then he's laughing, hard enough that it feels more like *coughing*, and Bruce looks even more shocked, more non-*plussed*, and Jason snorts so hard it *hurts*.

"Jesus, B, your *face* --"

"My -- my face. I..." Bruce shakes his head again, and there's a light in his eyes while he does it, and his mouth twitches at the corners... he's going to laugh. He's going to laugh, and if he does, this fucking hysterical *fit* is going to get worse --

"Oh, no, Bruce, God, don't --"

"Don't... Jason, this is *ridiculous*, I..." His chest hitches, and the laugh comes out as a strangled little hum, and then they *are* laughing together, and Bruce's cut has to be bleeding again -- assuming it ever *stopped*, and it absolutely is ridiculous.

It's *not* that funny. It *is* all of their faults at once, and he'd sent Tim away to Barbara -- and maybe she'll be convinced to *stay* there this time, because if she's watching this, she has to know that he and Bruce really are *just* that fucked-up.

*That* at least breaks through the wall of stupid fucking *snickers*, and Jason can catch his breath and *look* at Bruce again. The light's still in his eyes, but he's searching Jason hard, looking for the next attack, the next *hurt* --

"I -- I need this to stop hurting, B."

Bruce nods, and Jason nods with him, ignoring the itch in his knuckles, that *watched* feeling between his shoulder blades --

And he realizes that he's been feeling that for hours, maybe weeks. Maybe since Bruce had -- confessed. Jason rolls his shoulders and tries to shake it off, tries to feel like he's *just* in his own body, the way Bruce is only in his own. Nothing has to happen, here, nothing has to come between them that they don't *want* --

Except that figuring out what that means and sticking with it is apparently beyond them.

"I need you to stop... being who you are?"

The light falls out of Bruce's eyes, but all he does is nod again, and *no* --

"That's not it. That *can't* be it --"

"It can," Bruce says, and reaches out again, just for Jason's *shoulder*, and what if he tries to make his point again? What if --

Jason would be able to taste the blood in Bruce's mouth, and -- he's had kisses like that before. Kisses from Batgirl, the first ones, those times when she'd tried to *knock* sense into him, make him behave even though her eyes were laughing -- he'd pushed too hard, back then, or... no. He'd taken her for *granted*, back then, assumed that she'd wanted to play with him, and that it had to be that way.

What had *Tim* really wanted, then? Had he made her change her mind? She was so young, and he'd been so fucking needy, greedy -- Bruce.

His hand *is* on Jason's shoulder, now, and there's a hundred different things Bruce could do to drop him, pin him, leave him broken and helpless --

Maybe he already is, and that's why it feels so *good*. If he turned his hand just a little, his thumb could be on Jason's neck, rubbing out the tension there and making him warm all over -- Jesus, no. Jason reaches up and covers Bruce's hand for a moment --

Bruce *breathes*, audible and heavy --

Jason brushes his hand away. "You can't -- comfort me."

"I know, I -- I should know that. By now."

But he still has to try, because he's *Bruce*, and -- he's Bruce. Jason curls the hand he'd used to brush Bruce's hand away into a fist, and --

It really had looked like Tim was *getting* somewhere, getting Bruce to be honest, open *up*, and now --

Well, now Bruce is *acting* like Tim had gotten somewhere, like he needs to be a part of Jason's life again, whether or not he thinks he can handle it. Or -- maybe he just can't stop himself, anymore? In *any* way -- Jason doesn't know, but -- "Bruce," he says, and stares into Bruce's eyes, really *focuses* until he knows, down deep, that Bruce won't look away.

Bruce's eyes are sad and open and just -- there. Jason doesn't have the words for it, *but* -

"What are you gonna do, Bruce? When you see her again."

"Leave. I -- unless."

*Twist* inside, and it shouldn't still be this strong inside him, this able to seize him, work him -- "Unless she wants you to stay?"

"Unless -- her *reasons* for wanting me to stay -- I." Bruce shakes his head. "Don't do this, Jason. Not this --"

Heh. That. Really -- "You think it would be any easier *not* to hear you say that you'd have sex with her? Make *love* to her, if that's what she wanted. God, the way you *kissed* her."

"She made me -- I was hungry. I was -- I'm not firm within myself, anymore, Jason. It's better if I --"

"If you're just not *here*, I know, but I can't stop needing you, Bruce. I --" Jason laughs. "Somehow I didn't think saying that out loud would feel as *true* as it does -- and you're reaching for me, again. Jesus, I just keep saying things that make you need to touch me, don't I?"

Bruce brings his hand back down to his side again, and he's *still* searching Jason --

Probably looking for anything like an *excuse*, because he *probably* can't help himself -- "I can't stop, Bruce. I can't -- all of these things are *true*, and I *need* to say them --"

"Perhaps... perhaps the way I need to tell you that what I feel for Tim is so close to what I feel for you, that I desire you as powerfully -- if you ever wanted --"

"A taste, Bruce?" Jason smiles and he knows it makes him look older, meaner -- "A little experiment? Like maybe if I just *felt* you I'd realize that it was all okay?"

That gets the tension back, more of it, and Jason knows that he was at least a little bit right.

"Bruce --"

"I only -- no. Tim was correct when she said that I didn't merely want to be understood, or even understood and -- liked. But right now... I want to give you *something*, Jay, I want to make you --"

"'Happy' is a little ways out of reach --"

"I *know* that," Bruce says, and reaches, hesitates and then reaches again, cupping both of Jason's shoulders and -- not leaning in. The *force* of that lack is enough to make *Jason* tense, and the air is full of so much potential. So much --

That watched feeling is back, that sense of himself as something observed and maybe half-taken because of it. Tim keeps it back, eases it by wanting him so *clearly* -- openly and honestly. She never holds *that* back from him, but Bruce does. He *has* to, and -- "Bruce, did you -- did I just not *feel* this before? Was it like this for you even... back then?"

"No. It was never this -- strong," and Bruce squeezes his shoulders hard, exactly like he's trying to work the knowledge *into* him.

Like -- like Tim. So *many* things -- "She's like you. More than she isn't. She's --"

"It's one of the reasons why..." Bruce smiles, soft and *painful*-looking. "It would not be so difficult did I not have proof that you could... love."

"Someone like you," Jason says, and swallows. "God, that's -- that's *ridiculous*. She's nothing like --"

"Jason," and it sounds like 'stop,' and it sounds like 'think about it.'

Like Batman at his most patient, because he knows Robin *can* get it if only he tries hard *enough*. "Jesus. I --" And it hits, hard and sudden. What Bruce would do, what he *could* do to make Tim back up *hard*. "You profiled her. Right there."

Bruce nods and -- doesn't squeeze Jason's shoulders again.

"That's how -- that's how you hurt her. You just laid her all *out*, all of the things that fucking -- drive her and *hurt* her every day --" Jason shakes his head again and thinks about backing up, about twisting away from Bruce's hands and *hitting* him again, because -- "You can't *do* that, Bruce. She's got so much shit going on in her head, and you *know* that --"

"I was -- I knew that. I know that. And I'm not excusing myself by any means, but -- she knew me. And she made that... very clear."

"By which you mean she profiled *you* first --"

"And then pressed her -- numerous -- points."

And Jason looks into Bruce's eyes again, searches them and finds something like quiet, something like *acceptance* -- and pride, because Robin figured it all out, and that always, always, makes Bruce happy. Whether or not the Bat is.

He's known about *that* little split in Bruce's head from the very fucking beginning. Just -- the memory of how everything about Bruce *changed* the second Jason had agreed to be trained to be Robin, stuck in that chair with his shoulders aching from being tied the fuck *up* --

Watching Bruce peel the cowl back for the first time, watching Bruce smile and fucking *thrill*, and knowing that he was in for it now, that nothing would ever be the *same* --


"Yeah, I -- yeah. She's really incredibly fucking *smart*, you know... of course you know. She laughed, but sometimes I think of what it would've been like if *she* was your Robin --"

"She's Batgirl," Bruce says, low and kind of *dark*, and -- what?

Jesus. "Are you -- you're seriously jealous of *Babs*? You want -- what, me to be your... your fucking *boyfriend*, and Tim to be --"

"Both of you. I would have..." Bruce shakes his head. "You shouldn't --" And Bruce makes a sound and squeezes *hard* again, and the sound is a cry and a laugh at once -- "I don't know why I keep pretending that I don't want you to know absolutely everything about me."

Everything. And -- "There's always more. Isn't there?"

"I know it must seem so to you. I've... I've been --"

"Fucking *lying* all the time. Because what you were saying, what you were giving *out* was 'better' than the truth, right?"

Bruce nods again and... strokes down to Jason's upper arms, slow and firm, just the way Tim does when she's mapping him out, planning her attack --

Jason shivers and watches Bruce's mouth fall open on something that -- isn't a word. Just something else *true*. "Bruce -- no."

And Bruce lets go of him in an instant, steps back just the way Jason knew he would --

Jason nods and reaches up to rub the back of his neck, pinch at the pressure points a little and breathe, think -- something. "You -- you kind of *have* to tell me about Dick. The *truth* --"

"I called it... sympathy. Empathy. The inevitable result of close contact with someone who desired me. I'd never... there'd never been any other boys for whom I had those feelings.

And Jason really wants to call bullshit on that, it doesn't *work* that way, but -- it's Bruce, who isn't even hesitating right now, not for anything. So -- "Not even one."

"No. Not since I was... of an age," Bruce says, and the smile on his face is rueful and so fucking sad --

Jason tenses, because he knows and he doesn't want to, doesn't -- "Don't, Bruce --"

"You know that Harvey and I attended the same schools," he says, ruthless and implacable as Batman at his worst, his best --

And Jason knows he looks fucking *sick*. "You didn't just. He wasn't just your friend."

"We never... but no, he wasn't."

Jason pinches himself harder for a moment, just to make the pain outpace everything else, just for a *minute*. He'd killed Jason's father. Tortured him and pumped two shots into his brain and then dumped him in the river, and Jason's never going to know why.

Bruce's best friend. Bruce's -- love.

And a part of him is actually laughing about it, about the fact that Bruce's taste has *really* fucking improved since then, but -- fucking A. "You never got over him. Even though he went crazy and started -- started *killing* people --"

"I don't think. I tried, Jason. You -- have no reason to believe me, I know."

He knows. Jason nods and drops his hand back to his side, thinks about running until the bone-fucking-weariness he feels becomes something more like true *exhaustion* --

But Gotham needs him tonight, and every night he can pick himself up and deal, and every night he can't, too. Who knows? Maybe Arkham's revolving door is functioning again. For now, though... the sun's still up out there, and Bruce is still right *here*. Waiting.

Wanting -- to give Jason something, or maybe everything he can get away with before Jason calls a stop. He opens his eyes and wonders when he'd closed them -- and Bruce is, in fact, a little bit closer.

"Trying to comfort me again?"

"You never let me. Not after you found out that Two-Face had killed your father."

Two-Face. And that's -- that's a gift, right there, especially because he can *see* how much it hurt Bruce to say. He shakes his head. "You were supposed to tell me as soon as you knew. That report -- I checked the date on the file. You'd known even before you picked me *up*."

Bruce nods. "I knew that the man... I'd promised myself, when your father's body turned up, to check on his family. His son --"

"Did you?"

"I never got the chance before I met you. And once I realized you were -- once I allowed myself to realize that you were *that* Jason Todd, I didn't know how to tell you that I'd failed."

"You didn't even -- my Dad was strictly two-bit, muscle --"

"And I knew of him, knew his face and his record... it would have only been a matter of time before I tried to... make his acquaintance. If I'd been more focused on Two-Face's activities --"

"I -- Dent. Just go ahead and call him Dent, Bruce, I know -- I know."

And Bruce curls his hands into fists to -- keep himself from reaching out, again. Jason nods and looks up again, because he knows... he'd known that saying that would make Bruce *need* again, and he'd said it, anyway, said it *just* that way, because sometimes the man with the money needs a little push to know what he wants to do, and sometimes if you push just the right way --

Shit, *no*. Jason fists his own hands and punches *both* of his thighs --


It's not *like* that. It's *not*, and all of this is proof, all of this -- it's what it *is*, and he's *not* twelve anymore, and Bruce isn't a fucking john. It would be *easier* if he was, because then all the rules would be *clear*. He'd know what he was here for, what he was *in* for, and after a while it would all be over -- at least until the next time.

All he knows now is that there's always *more* to this, that it just keeps getting deeper and stranger and harder. And thinking that, somehow...

It makes things easier, easy enough to let him take a *truly* deep breath and maybe... maybe relax, just a little.


"Yeah, I -- I'm kind of... settling in, a little."

"I... I noticed. I'd wondered... why."

Jason smiles and turns it on Bruce, a little. Watches Bruce search and study -- and squeeze his fists together a little tighter. "You can touch my -- my shoulders, again. If you can."

Bruce nods and does it -- not too slowly. Firm and warm again, and maybe a part of Jason is always going to *really* relax for that, to think -- with animal instinct and animal stupidity -- that everything is going to be all right.

Nobody ever said he wasn't *well* fucking trained. Jason laughs and steps closer, shaking his head for the look of surprise on Bruce's face and wrapping his arms around Bruce's waist, hoping for a sigh and getting a shudder.

Jason nods against Bruce's chest. "We don't do this."

"I wanted -- no."

"You wanted to. And you were afraid to," Jason says, and turns his face and just -- smells Bruce. Home and male and that annoying sweet crap he wears to be Bruce Wayne, worse for actually being kind of pleasant.

It makes him think of telling Bruce that Tim had asked about his feelings around perfume, but he knows -- *knows* -- that that would lead to Bruce buying a dozen terrifyingly expensive scents for Tim to try, and Jason would have to smell each and every one of them, as opposed to smelling *Tim*.

He laughs again, instead, and squeezes Bruce harder. "We're doing it now. What do you think?"

"That you're beautiful, that your body against mine is too close to what I've dreamed. That I love you, and that I want to *have* this with you, this closeness, *this* intimacy and only --"

"Don't lie, B."

Another shudder. "That I want to want it. I --" Bruce lets go of Jason's shoulders and wraps his arms around him. "Jason."

It sounds like so much more than just a name, and a part of Jason is shuddering, too. It's just that it's on the inside, and there's nothing Jason can do about it. "I -- I hug Tim all the time."

"Yes. She never seems happier than when she's wrapping her arms around your neck, and waiting for you to pull her closer still..."

"Is she -- she's so *small* --"

"Barring anything unforeseen, she should grow at least another five to six inches."

Jason blinks, but -- he *had* been wondering. He laughs *again* -- Bruce holds him tighter. "That's it?"

"I believe she takes after her mother, in terms of body type."

"And hopefully nothing *else*. God, the things she's told me about her parents -- they weren't. They weren't any good."

"It's not. My place to judge."

"Meaning you were watching the whole time Babs was training Tim, and you *knew* that the Drakes were never there for her --"

"I had... wondered."

"And now you know for sure," Jason says, and squeezes Bruce hard. "You can't tell her about this stuff. She -- she needs to believe that they were better, I can *see* that --"

"I already. I'm sorry, Jason."

"*Shit*. Apologize to *her*," Jason says and pushes back -- Bruce holds him, and Jason feels his heart skip. "Bruce --"

"I will. Only -- only a moment more, Jay. Please --"

This time, the shudder makes it out of him, and Jason can't not think about Bruce leaning in, about that spot on his mouth Bruce had brushed with his own --

Not far from the cut he'd left on Bruce's mouth, and Bruce is still holding on, not pressing himself against Jason, but holding him *still*. "Bruce..."

And Bruce shifts -- he's cupping the back of Jason's head with one hand, and *now* they're pressed together, and the smell is telling Jason that it's all right, that he's warm and something like --

Safe? *Really*?"

"*Bruce* --"

And Bruce lets go and steps back, turns away -- "I'm sorry."

"I -- I started it --"

"*No* -- don't. Don't think that way. Please."

Jason raises his eyebrows. "It got you to look at me again, though, didn't it?"

Confusion, anger -- all that *want*, and Jason had been pressed against it -- not close enough to be sure. Not with Bruce still in that jock, and -- he's not going to shudder again.

"The thing is -- you *can't* tell me not to think that way, B --"

"It's the worst sort of -- I'd *be* the worst sort of monster if I allowed you to think those thoughts, much less *believe* them."

"Except for how you keep saying -- in a million different ways -- that I -- that *we* control what you do. That if we push you or try to be with you, we're fucking *asking* for what we *get*."

Bruce frowns *hard*, shaking his head -- "That's not -- that isn't what I *meant*, Jason, it's --"

"You can't *have* it both ways. Either you can deal with us or you can't --"

"I can't --"

"And we're *not* taking that for an answer, so -- try again," Jason says, and crosses his arms over his chest.

Bruce looks down at the floor between them. "'The situation is untenable.'"

"Uh, *yeah* --"

"That's what -- that's what Tim said to me, earlier." Bruce sighs and looks up. "Even now, Jason? When I've *proven* --"

"That you could *stop* kissing Tim, even though she was kissing you back --"

"You were right *there*, and I --"

"That you could let me *go*, even though I was pressed against you --"

"Only after I -- Jason, *please*. I don't *trust* myself, and your trust -- oh, Jason, your trust *fills* me, warms me and makes me need, makes me *hunger* --"

"So *live* on it a little. Let me have -- what you can give me, what we can both stand --"

"I want you so *badly* --"

"And one day, maybe the next time we spar, you're going to pin me, and kiss me because you -- you can't stand *not* to, and maybe I'll." Take it. *Feel* it, *taste* -- "Maybe I'll freak right the hell out, and maybe I'll laugh because I saw it *coming*. I -- I *know* now, Bruce."

"You *don't*. What I dream, what I fantasize when I see you, when I see the way you touch Tim, your eyes in the moments before you touch Tim, her *mouth* --"

"It's a pretty little mouth, all right. And she knows how to *use* it --"

"*Don't* --"

"*Don't* pretend you don't *know*, Bruce," Jason says, and starts jabbing with his finger, because he's just that *close* again. "That you don't know what happens in your own fucking *home* --"

"*Our* home --"

"*Yes*, Bruce. *Ours*. Yours and mine and Tim's and Alfred's, meaning all of us have to *live* here, with each other, and with your -- your crazy fucking *love*."

And for a moment Bruce just stands there, panting as if it was a really *good* spar and Jason had managed to hold his own for long *enough*, panting and *staring*, and Jason stares right back.

"I *know*. And so does Tim," Jason says, and shifts his hand until he can rest his palm against Bruce's chest, feel -- feel the *hitch* in his breathing and wonder what the *fuck* he's doing --

In the half-second before Bruce is kissing him, *really* kissing him, and Tim must've felt *just* like this, pushed and fucking *taken*, because Bruce's tongue is in his mouth, Bruce's tongue is *moving* in his mouth, and Bruce is staring, trying to *will* him into pushing back, moving *away* --

Just a taste.

Just --

And Jason feels himself curling his fingers in against Bruce's chest, feels himself relaxing, opening --

And Bruce moans, long and *low*, and Jason feels himself fucking *twitch*, fucking *seize*, because it's a kiss, and none of the johns --

Bruce isn't --

Oh, God --

Jason closes his eyes and lifts his tongue against Bruce's own, slides them together and there's an ache, in his jaw and in his balls, because Bruce is cupping his face so *gently* even as he keeps kissing *hard*, as they keep kissing, keep --

Bruce moans again and Jason shudders, all over, because this is what Bruce *wants*, this is -- what he needs, and Jason can't --

He *can't* --

Push back, back *off*, *stop* --

And somehow the kiss is over again, and Jason's lips are wet and Bruce's mouth is wet and just a little redder than it was, and Bruce --


Confusion and hunger, confusion and *hope* -- Jason shakes his head. Licks his *lips* and tastes Bruce, shudders again and shakes his *head* --

"I... go, Jason. Just -- upstairs, or --"

"Bruce --"

"Please," he says, so quietly, and -- "For now."

Jason swallows and tries to figure out what his body is telling him, tries -- messages from his stomach, his mouth, his fucking *dick*, and every one of them has something *different* to say.

And for a long moment they're only staring at each other, and there's a dark spot in the middle of the bandage Tim had put on Bruce's face, and --

"For now," he says, and what he really means is '*fuck*, Bruce,' but that's a lot less helpful than the other.

Bruce nods -- and reaches out to touch Jason's mouth. *He* swallows, and there's a moment when it's just the feel of Bruce's fingers against Jason's lips, light enough that Jason could maybe forget how fucking *powerful* --

Except that he can't forget anything. Bruce's hand, Bruce's fingers, and all he has to do is open his mouth to make this into something --

Or not even that. If he shook his head, if he let his lips *drag* against those fingers --

And Bruce's eyes are wide, focused and watchful, waiting for a *sign* --

And that, more than anything else, brings Jason's *brain* back online, because no matter what else happens *when*, he's not fucking Bruce on the mats today. Jason closes his eyes and steps *back* -- and turns around and walks for the stairs. He's not *that* hard, and it doesn't hurt to walk.

It doesn't.

And if he can feel Bruce's eyes on him as he goes -- well, he knows now. Better than before.

He -- really needs to talk to Tim.


She's known that Barbara has the Cave wired since not all *that* long into her training. What Barbara chose to *share* from those cameras has always been a matter of both pleasure and conjecture. What will it be this time? If it's Jason, does it mean she's been a *very* good Batgirl?

And what, of course, is Barbara trying to say -- above and beyond the shallow -- 'shallow' -- lessons about partnership, obedience. Or the *truly* shallow moments of 'why, yes, those are some very attractive males.'

Tim can barely remember the days when she'd been *embarrassed* about how well Barbara had known her sexuality, without asking even *one* question about it. And, well.

Barbara knows *her*, over and above absolutely everything, so Tim isn't at all surprised to find a cup of tea -- hot -- waiting for her on the worktable closest to Barbara's primary station. It's even in the square Borg mug Dinah had purchased for her after a mission which had -- against all likelihood -- sent her briefly to the Star Trek museum in Las Vegas.

It's not that she's all that much of a *fan* of Star Trek, but she's always been quite satisfied to read as 'giant geek' to Dinah. It tends to make her scratch lightly at Tim's buzz --

Dinah hasn't seen her since she started growing her hair out. There are *going* to be comments, especially if Barbara tells her *why* she's growing her hair out, and --

Jason had sent her here to get her head together enough so she can *be* there for him, and she's not supposed to be thinking about Bird on Bat -- hijinks. Tim frowns to herself and sips her tea. Barbara is studying footage from... Helena, judging by the speed and height of the pans.

Helena never seems to know quite what to *do* about Tim, other than the -- reflexive, at this point -- attempts to get her to stop being a vigilante and spend more time in school. She wonders, for a moment, how she would react to the statement, 'but it's summer *vacation*,' or possibly 'all the cool kids are doing it --'

"What are you thinking, Tim?"

Tim sighs and sets the mug down, runs her finger along the rim -- "Too many things."

Barbara hums and types something -- the views on the monitor change to the Cave, where Jason is staring at Bruce and Bruce is staring at absolutely nothing.

Tim winces. "Could you -- not?"

Another hum, and the monitors are blank. "Tim."

"I -- yes."

"Are we going to talk about what happened today...?" Barbara's voice is... cautious. Tired. *Strained*, and really, what must she be *thinking* about her?

"Maybe. I think I should go. Jason sent me here and I just --"

"You came here, *because* Jason sent you, and never mind that we've been friends since you showed up in my *hospital* room --"

"We weren't really friends at the *time*, Barbara --"

"Shut. Up," she says, spinning her chair and just -- *advancing* on Tim, and she really didn't want to upset *Barbara*, but apparently it's just going to be that kind of --

No, she can't be flip about this, or about anything. Being flip had cost her -- almost cost her --

Cost her.

Tim looks down at the table, places her hands flat and stands. "I'm sorry."

"Sit *down*, Tim, or I swear I'll break your hands."

"Barbara --"


Tim sits, and Barbara reaches across the table and takes Tim's hands in her own, squeezing hard enough to grind the bones together. She can twist free, but not without damaging one or both of them. Barbara has always *insisted* on Tim's hands being as powerful as she can make them, and she's really just going to *keep* babbling in her head, because she's trying like hell to avoid thinking about -- about.

"Are you ready to listen, yet?"

"I -- yes," Tim says --

"Then look at me."

She does so, and Barbara... doesn't look angry, at all. She looks *worried*, and sad, and -- "I'm sorry, Barbara, I didn't mean to -- I just, I don't think you should have to deal with this, too."

"Why don't you let *me* decide what I want to deal with?"

That's... all right, she *was* trying to protect someone who booby-traps the backs of her wheelchairs. Looked at in that light, she should be glad she isn't twitching on the floor recovering from a tazer-hit. Tim smiles ruefully. "Okay."

"*Good*," she says, and eases her grip. Slightly. "I don't *like* Jason having to tell you to come here when you're hurting, Tim."

"I -- I wanted to *help* --"

"Because you were doing such a good job of it up until that point?"

Tim winces --

"I'm sorry, no, you're not ready for that kind of talk -- yet." Barbara sighs and squeezes Tim's hands. "You have to tell yourself -- right now and *repeatedly* -- that this is your home, *too* --"

"Barbara, this is *your* --"

"Fine, I'm not going to try to fix you all in one go. It's *Batgirl's* home. Now say it."

"It's -- this is Batgirl's home."

Barbara nods. "Again."

"This is Batgirl's home. Barbara -- it's not Batgirl's *problem* --"

"Isn't it? Did you think I'd never flirted with Bruce before? Never thought about those big, strong hands on my hips, maybe peeling me out of my uniform one piece at a time?"

The images are -- definitely images. And -- "So you did see -- everything."

"*Someone* doesn't call all that often. I get my information where I *can*," Barbara says, dropping Tim's hands and leaning back in her chair. She rests her cheek on one fist and drums her fingers on the table. "I didn't think he would do it. Even when you got *right* in his face like that..."

Tim winces again. "Certainly, I... didn't see that coming."

Barbara nods. "Tim --"

"I'm sorry, but -- you and *Bruce*? What about *Dick*?"

"He was a lot younger than me, little girl. And beautiful, and brave, and *besotted* with me..." Barbara smiles, rueful and a little distant. "*Every* time I thought about doing more than kissing him -- briefly, chastely -- I wished I'd been raised Catholic enough to be able to go to confession."

But -- Batgirl and *Robin*. It's -- she'd *seen* them together, and all right, Dick was shorter, but there were the heels to consider, and he wasn't *that* young. He -- he was *Robin* --

"Ooh, I've just blown your little mind, haven't I," Barbara says, and her smile is the kind of mean that has come to mean a very particular kind of warmth and comfort.

"Batman isn't supposed to --"

"Kiss little girls? *Very* true, but --"

"I'm *not* a little girl --"

"Oh, honey. Tim. *You* -- will *always* be *my* little girl. I recommend you start getting used to that. Back to Bruce --"

"Barbara --"

"*Tim*," she says, and taps the table twice with her free hand. "Focus. You're fourteen years old and your parents were just murdered. You're Batgirl, and you're strong and brave, brilliant and even *wise*, more often than not... but you're young. And Bruce was out of line."

Difficult Truth Day. Perhaps she should mark it on her calendar. But -- "I kissed him back."

"Mm, I picked that up, even without the play by play -- and blow by blow -- Jason demanded. And if I'd been in your shoes, and Bruce wanted to..." Barbara sighs. "*Possibly* I would've managed to remember that Dick was right there -- it's very, very hard to forget about Dick when he's anywhere within five hundred yards --"

"I didn't -- I didn't *forget* about Jason --"

"Not even for a moment? Bruce's tongue in your mouth and his hand creeping up your thigh, warm and hard and -- oh, let's call it 'fervent --'"

"Barbara -- do *you* want Bruce?"

"I'm very, very attracted to him, and he knows that very, very well. Happily, I grew *out* of actually *wanting* that man."

"I -- oh."

"Did you seriously expect that question to *stop* me?" Barbara shifts and leans in close again, taking just one of Tim's hands this time. "We *really* should've had the sex talk."

Tim blushes, and the only surprise is that she *hadn't* before that point. "I did *have* sexual education -- and the internet."

"Nuh-uh. The *other* sex talk. How to negotiate your hormones *and* your mask. Dinah gave it to me, and it was very helpful. Her mother gave it to *her*, and -- apparently it was deeply traumatic," she says, and waves a hand. "Try not to mention it."

"I -- okay..."

Barbara laughs, out loud and louder behind her eyes. "Oh, *Tim*. I thought... you were doing so *well* with Jason. I thought it would all just work out for you, the way it kind of singularly fails to do for *most* of our colorful little community."

"He -- I think he forgives me, but --"

"Oh, he does. He *loves* you, and no one understands better than him what a *force* Bruce can be. Well, perhaps Dick... but that's another conversation you're going to want to avoid until you're older, or, at the very least, paralytically drunk."

"Dick... and Bruce?"

"You -- have been really *very* focused on Jason. Sometimes I trip over *how* focused..." Barbara shakes her head. "Never mind me, never mind Starfire. Bruce is now and has always been the most important person in Dick's life, and that is and isn't because of the whole Batman and Robin *thing* that Bruce and Jason are failing to negotiate so spectacularly."

Tim frowns. "Jason is *trying* --"

"And so is Bruce, in his -- way." Barbara squeezes her hand. "Here's the important thing: it *is* always better to be with someone who knows all of you, who *loves* all of you -- and I know you get that. Instinctively, perhaps. Or perhaps being in love with Jason Todd since you were barely *pubescent* makes a difference."

Tim looks down at their hands. "You always knew."

"Was I not supposed to? You were hardly subtle, Tim."

"Well, no, that's not it. It's just that --" Tim shakes her head. "Never mind."

"No, this is important. Tell me." It's an order, and it's Barbara. No one's orders will ever be more *important* -- not even Oracle's. Not even Jason's, really...

"I -- you were the first person who really knew me. Knew *me*. Not Tim Drake, Good Student, Good -- Son."

"Oh... honey," she says, and squeezes Tim's hand again. "Sometimes I wish you could've had my father --"

(" -- because you weren't raised by your parents as much as you were *housed* by them.")

"What is it? What made you make that face?"

"I --" She's still looking down at their hands, and she should look *up*, but -- she can't. "One of the things... one of the things Bruce said to me just before... um. Before."

"Oh... that. God, that immature *bastard*," and Barbara touches Tim under the chin with her other hand and lifts up. "C'mon, stay with me now, Tim..."

"I'm all right --"

"No, you're not, but I'm not going to fight you too hard on *that*, either. You always bring me so *many* issues at once -- do *not* take that the wrong way. By which I mean, stop thinking you're a burden to me *right* now."

Tim closes her eyes for a moment, opens them and Barbara's giving her the very, very *stern* look, used mostly for those times when Tim has overextended herself on the weights or something of that kind. "It's very -- difficult."

"Yes, I know it is for you. And -- so does Bruce. But he didn't have to say it like that, and he didn't have to say it *then* --"

"My parents --"

"Did a number on you, and you're probably never going to be convinced that it's not your fault in one way or another, are you?" Barbara sighs. "No, you don't have to answer that question. Just -- Bruce was out of line *there*, too. You don't treat your allies like the perps, no matter *how* much they annoy you."

Tim winces again. "That -- the same rule would apply to *me* --"

"Well," Barbara says, and smiles. "He was *asking* for it."

"I --"

"Batgirl *always* trumps the boys, honey. I thought you *knew* that."

Well... well. Put *that* way... Tim smiles, a little. And tosses her hair.

"*That's* better. Now. After years of apparently crippling self-denial, Bruce has decided -- no, that's not right. Bruce has *lost* the ability to control -- all of -- his baser urges toward the *very* attractive young vigilantes living under his roof. Do you need to get out of there?"

("Come *back*.")

"Jason --"

Barbara squeezes her hand *hard*. "Do you. Need to get out of there."

Which means -- think about it. *Actually* think, with more than just her hormones and her -- her heart. Except for how that's not really any kind of *possible*, because --

What would she do without Jason curled around her every night? Without the Cave and everything she can do there, everything she can learn from -- Bruce. Assuming he doesn't run away again. Run *harder* this time, because of that -- everything. And Jason...

Jason beside her, Jason covering her, Jason *in* her -- oh God, *please*, every night. She'd do anything for that, to *keep* that, and -- and.

Barbara sighs again. "For a minute there, I thought you were actually going to think with the brain *above* your neck."

"I *was*, Barbara. I just -- ah. Stopped."

"Sometimes..." Barbara laughs, softly. "Part of me wants to remind you, *again*, that you *are* very young, and there's a reason why it's called *first* love --"

"I'll never --"

"Easy there, honey. The *rest* of me has to admit that Jason makes for a *very* good boyfriend, and he's probably hell on wheels in the sack. Yes?"

Tim blushes again and nods.

"Mm," Barbara says, narrowing her eyes and drumming her fingers on the table. "Those *thighs* of his. I swear he went from being a scrawny little nothing of a punk to *that* in an *eyeblink*. Certainly, I have *no* difficulty whatsoever understanding all of those *bruises* of yours -- and his. Good girl, by the way."

"Ah -- thank you?"

"Heh. Dinah is *especially* proud of you for that one on his jaw."

Batgirl would mention, perhaps, the suck-mark on his sac. Certainly Barbara would approve -- and probably Dinah, too -- oh... hell. "I... do my best. And I feel confident that, once the school year starts, I'll find other places to... stake my claim. I've already made certain inroads to that end."

Barbara's smile is broad and *gleaming*. "*Very* good girl. You have to keep them in their place, or they'll walk all over you."

"How... how did you manage that with Bruce?"

"Oh... that." Barbara's smile turns rueful. "We flirted, Tim. Once, he threw me down and covered me to protect me from a bomb blast and he stayed a little too long, breathed a little too heavily against my cheek while I blushed and heated up *all* over. There are times when I still think of that night, and what might have happened if I'd turned my face enough to let him breathe against my mouth, or if I'd arched, shifted enough to let him *feel* me..."

Tim shivers. "That sounds really... very."

"It remains one of the *veryest* moments of my life... but it never went any farther than that, and I could never be *sure* that what he felt was more than a passing lust, a spark built on adrenaline and close contact -- and *part* of the sex talk is about that, and why it's important to choose the moments when you allow that to move you *carefully* --"

Tim nods. "I imagine... well. One wouldn't want to do that with someone you cared too *much* about, if you weren't already involved."

"Exactly," Barbara says, and strokes Tim's hand with her thumb. "I used to worry so *much* about you and Jason, about you finally giving up and letting him... and then having to always worry if it *was* only adrenaline -- or only Batgirl -- for him... anyway. Bruce -- it never went that far with us, and I think it's better that it didn't, and not just because it would've hurt Dick deeply."

Tim nods. "Tell me."

"Bruce has had a lot of pain and loneliness in his life, and he never -- quite -- got to the sort of emotional maturity which would make him truly decent boyfriend material. He's possessive and *ob*sessive, and the truth of the matter is that he has a very thin skin. You've seen that for yourself."

"I hurt him... and his first response was to hurt me back."

"Precisely. You *also* don't treat the grieving, underaged girl in your home like woman grown with all the attendant defenses."

Tim frowns. "I don't *want* him to treat me like a child, Barbara --"

"You're sexually attracted to him, and flattered by his attentions, and maybe you've even thought about making love with him. But it would be a *commitment*, Tim, and make no mistake -- he never *really* lets anyone go --"

"*Dick* --"

"Dick would be back here in a heartbeat if Bruce ever called, and, deep down, Bruce knows that *very* well. And so, perhaps, does Starfire..." The distant look is back in Barbara's eyes, and she's frowning, and...

"Are you jealous of her? Of Starfire?"

Barbara smiles wryly. "Because she took my beautiful boy away? Sometimes. Sometimes *very* jealous, and regretful. I could've had him, and now I can't. But if I'd had him... well, then I would've *had* him, and had to deal with him, and the knowledge that I'd never truly be first in his heart." Barbara sighs and lets go of Tim's hand, rolling close enough that their knees touch.

Tim slips out of the chair and crouches at her feet, instead.

"Oh, Tim. Your hair really needs to grow much, much faster than it is."

"Please *God*, yes. When I don't feel like a hedgehog, I feel like a *sea* urchin."

"There *is* a certain resemblance, yes. Have you considered getting some product and spiking it out? At the very least, it would look intentional."

Tim rocks on her heels. "I've... it's not really my look...?"

Barbara pets her hair, rubbing it back and forth almost idly, and Tim can't really help relaxing under it. There have been so many times when Tim was out of the uniform but not out of the makeup, tired and wired from her shorter patrol while Barbara was still being Oracle for Batman and Robin, for Huntress and Canary. And Tim would just crouch there and breathe, let Batgirl flow out of her skin until she was Tim Drake enough to be *able* to go -- home.

This is not so different, even though Tim Drake is maybe something he doesn't really have to be, anymore. Tim Wayne...? No, not that, but... *Tim*. Who Jason needs. Tim evens out her breathing --

"It *could* work for you, Tim. The look, I mean. A little piece of Batgirl sharpness for your day to day existence..."

"Batgirl... flows."

"Hmm. But you can't deny that she also *stabs*, honey."

Tim thinks about it -- and realizes that what she's really thinking about is whether Jason would like it. Oh... God. Tim snorts. "I think -- you should probably be making fun of me, Barbara."

"Because you're worried that Jason wouldn't approve of *every* little thing you do...? Oh, Tim. How do you think he'd feel if he knew you were worried about pleasing him so *often*?"

That -- she -- Tim frowns. "He likes -- the results."

Barbara strokes Tim a little harder. "But the journey you take to *get* there would really... well, I think it would hurt him. He'd rather have you imperfect than have you *changing* yourself for him."

It's -- too true. Uncomfortably so, and she doesn't want to hear that, to deal with that -- "It's *better* to be perfect for him, as perfect as I can be. He needs --"

"He needs *you*, in every way. And you know just as well as *I* do that it would hurt him badly to know that you've been holding yourself back even a *little*."

"I --" Tim bites her lip. Barbara is... Oracle. And Oracle isn't really ever wrong about things like this. "I'll keep it in mind."

Barbara strokes down to the back of Tim's neck and squeezes. Approval, threat --

"I promise," Tim says, and pushes back against Barbara's touch. The first regular touch she'd ever really *had* -- Tim sighs and closes her eyes, and, after a moment, Barbara stops squeezing and starts petting again.

"Oh, Tim... I love you. Do you understand that? Can you?"

Tim blushes, and looks down at the floor. "I... I like it. When I can -- feel it."

Barbara sighs and keeps stroking. "Some of the things Jason says to you... about how you were there when he needed you most, how you made things *better*... Tim, you helped *define* me, helped me change from being Batgirl with a bit of Barbara Gordon inside to being Oracle, and a different sort of Barbara entirely --"

"I never -- I never wanted to *change* you, Barbara --"

"But I needed just that. Needed to leave things to the young, the *whole*, to give up on bitterness and pain..." Barbara sighs and reaches down to cup Tim's chin, lift up until Tim is looking at her. Barbara's expression is wry and kind of -- kind of *deep*, and full -- "Of course, I haven't really given up on all of that, entirely. Part of me will *always* be Batgirl, living in you when you wear the suit..."

Tim nods as much as she can --

Barbara nods back. "You let me do that -- perhaps a little too much -- but I'm grateful for it. I *care* about you, and if I lost you I would be... I don't want to think about it. But I need *you* to think about it, Tim."

"I -- I'll never. I love *you*, Barbara --"

Barbara smiles, narrow and fond. "So act like it. Don't ever -- don't ever make Jason *send* you here."

Tim blushes and thinks about protesting -- there's nothing to protest, not really. She bites her lip and nods.

"Okay. I know all of that didn't really sink in, but... you're *you*, little girl, and I know you'll be thinking about it. That's all I can ask."

Tim nods again, pushing a little against the feel of Barbara holding her chin up --

Barbara lets go and goes back to stroking her hair. "*Bruce*. I -- Jason is all right. He's going to prove to you in a million different ways that he still loves you, still needs you... that he absolutely *understands* --"

"Even though he shouldn't."

"Oh, Tim. All right, but -- try to focus on believing him when he promises that everything is all right between the two of you. If nothing else works, go with the fact that it would hurt him to see you doubt."

Tim winces, and -- yes, that would be... That's Jason. Always needing her to be *sure*, needing her to *understand*... "All right. I'll -- I'll try."

Barbara laughs softly. "If I'd known he'd be *this* good for you... I don't know. Batgirl *does* have an image to maintain, but he is... something else, entirely. Hell, if *I* had known he could be like this... but no, he was so *very* young, and I'd already had my share of that." Barbara sighs and scratches lightly at Tim's scalp.

"That makes me feel... when Dinah does that I always feel a little like a mascot."

"Hmm. In a good way?"

"*Very* good," Tim says, owning it and -- admitting. "Batgirl can't really be a Bird, but... well."

"*I* say who can be a Bird and who can't. You really ought to have your ears pierced, anyway. Batman's comms are far inferior to my own."

Tim smiles. "Well... the cowl does cover them..."

"And Jason would love it," Barbara says, low and -- *deeply* insinuating.

Tim thinks about it... about those dresses and *suits*, and really... Tim *could*. Simple small hoops for when she needs to present as male -- and the spiked hair really *would* go well with that -- studs for Batgirl, and... something else, something perhaps *extravagant* whenever she could... dress up. Jason would absolutely love everything about it. And so would she. Tim smiles again. "I'll do it. Perhaps I'll... make it a date. With Jason."

"Hmm, of course you will. But you'll take *my* studs with you."

And Barbara will be in her ear constantly for the weeks it takes before she heals enough to be able to wear *other* sorts of earrings. "That would be... really great."

"Oh, yes. And it would keep you from forgetting I'm *here*, little girl."

Tim blushes. "I don't -- I didn't *forget*. It's just that --"

"Jason is very, very distracting, yes. One day I'm going to *show* you the footage I have of you watching my footage of that boy, and you're going to set yourself on *fire* with those blushes."

"I -- ah. Probably, yes. It's not my fault that you had all the *best* footage --"

"Hmm. *Such* a wonderful motivational tool. If *I* had had footage of Bruce and Dick working out... well."

"But -- you worked out *with* them sometimes, didn't you?"

"Mm-hmm, but..." Barbara rests her hand on the back of Tim's neck again. "We were always suited up for it. It was Batgirl, Robin, and Batman, and that's -- different. Less intimate."

Intimate. That... Bruce wearing his suit and showing her that kata, pulling her into the right positions, moving her and *showing* her... yes, that had been intimate. Too intimate, perhaps?

For *whom*? She --

"I don't... I don't really know what I'm going to do about Bruce. I mean, I *need* him to help train me --"

"He does know so very *many* useful things, but... Dick would happily help train you. And the things *he* knows are more suited to you."

That... Tim thinks about commuting to New York, about meeting the Titans and seeing how they work together... "I... you know that Dick wants me to be a Titan."

"Mm. He already talked to me about that. He wants you to lead a *new* group of Titans, Tim."

Tim blushes and *blinks* -- and tenses enough that Barbara starts rubbing her neck. "I don't think I could... I mean, Batgirl belongs to *Gotham*."

"Does she...? There is, of course, something to be said about tradition, and I never really had the patience -- or desire -- to be part of Dick's other family, but... you're a different person, Tim. And there is a need."

Need. Always the most important thing, the thing which -- should -- drive her. "I suppose I could... perhaps on the weekends. But that's also when Gotham is the most *dangerous*."

"Tell me something, Tim," and Barbara presses down at the base of Tim's neck.

Tim looks at her, and Barbara's eyes are a little dark and very, very serious. "I'm listening."

"How many of your objections boil down to being afraid of exposure?"

Tim starts to look down again -- stops. Breathes. "I'd have to work very closely with them. Training, group showers --"

"Batgirl never needs to *ask* for her privacy, Tim --"

"I know that, but -- it would be *dangerous* if it got out that Batgirl... wasn't. And I would be --"

"The laughingstock of the cape community?"

Tim feels herself blushing and nods. "I know that there are a lot of open-minded people in the community, that we tend to be -- by necessity -- *more* open-minded than the average civilian --"

"You're Batgirl, Tim. *You* are, and it doesn't matter what anyone thinks, or what anyone says --"

"Easy for *you* to say, Barbara," and it comes out a lot more bitter than she wanted it to, but --

"*Yes*, Tim. It *is* easy for me to say, because you're incredibly well-trained -- if I do say so myself -- talented, and an *experienced* operative. You already know -- *very* well -- how to work with others, and the fact of the matter is that the Titans could give you the one thing you need that you *don't* have."

Tim frowns and curls her hands into fists -- tries to keep from gouging at her palms with her short nails. "Experience with metas."

"Precisely," Barbara says, letting go and moving the chair until she can look down on Tim without twisting. "Look at me."

There has only ever been one way to respond to that tone of voice. Tim does it --

"You need this, and Dick would be *right* there to help. His own team is running smoothly enough that they don't need him at all times, and -- it would be an *excellent* way to put a little distance between you and Bruce without abandoning him altogether."

And that distance would only relate superficially to the actual miles involved, she thinks. She doesn't really have all the information she needs to make a true *conclusion* about this, but...

A Batgirl who was also a Titan would almost have to seem less *available* than a Batgirl who wasn't. Which begs the question -- how much distance from Bruce does she actually *want*? Tim swallows and forces herself to think about it. Learning from Dick would be incredible on pretty much all levels. She'll never be able to do *half* the things he does, but he could also teach her much more than even Selina had been able to do. It would also -- unless she ruined things entirely -- allow for the two of them to grow closer, maybe even *close*.

Dick is very important to Jason, and -- he's Dick Grayson. Perhaps one day she'll tell him about the hug he'd given her, and... watch him boggle, if she's lucky. No, that was the worst day of his life, and she'll have to remember that if she's going to --

*Is* she going to?

Bruce is not her teacher, and Bruce *can't* do some of the things he was trying to teach *her* how to do. Dick could do all of them, and... and.

Barbara is watching her patiently, letting her work through all of this on her own in much the same way she had encouraged Tim's skills at detection -- *forcing* Tim to rely on her own mind.

"I think... if I go, I'd take Jason along. He already knows these people --"

"*Not* the ones you'd be working with," and Barbara hits one of the buttons on her chair console.

Tim looks, and the monitors are filled with incredibly young-looking people, labeled with what Barbara knows about their powers, abilities, and weaknesses. And... "Do we know how Superman *feels* about having a clone?"

"What we *know*... is that Superboy is based out of *Hawaii*. Not Metropolis or Smallville."

Tim nods slowly. It's an answer. The speedster has a mentor, the archer *had* an incredibly inappropriate mentor. It must be all the more painful that it was her own mother. Conflicting. Wonder Girl has Wonder *Woman*, of course, but... "Are they all operating?"

"With various degrees of success. They need cohesion. Discipline."

"And you really think I could --"

"Batgirl," Barbara says, "will not be denied."

Not ever. But. "Tim is more than a little intimidated. And -- it's not that I would hide *behind* Jason. That would be awful and irritating for *both* of us."

Barbara hums again and reaches to catch Tim by the jaw, turning Tim back to face her. "You let Jason take the lead in social situations far too often. It's not that I can't understand the temptation -- he's quite a charming young man, for all that he shows no inclination to stop cursing like a sailor -- but *that* sort of behavior won't do for your team."

Her team. "They don't -- they don't even know that I'm --"

"They've *all* heard of Batgirl, and really -- trust me on this -- they'll be *expecting* you to take control. Especially with *Nightwing's* blessing. Of course, you'll need a few new things. A better bike, a -- slightly -- different uniform..."

Oh -- ooh.

Barbara laughs. "Oh, yes. You didn't really think I'd let Robin outshine you for long, did you?"

"He just *got* the bike --"

"And I knew full well that Bruce was working on it. Yours hasn't been finished, yet, but I have no doubts that you'll find it... satisfactory." And Barbara's smile is broad and sharp again.

Tim returns it with one of her own. "And the uniform?"

"See for yourself," Barbara says, and gestures toward the false wall behind which they keep Batgirl's things.

Tim rolls to her feet and goes, opening the keypad hidden behind what actually *is* a functional light switch and punching in the code. The wall rolls back and...


The cowl is almost exactly like Bruce's, and it will blank out her upper features entirely. There's a space for the wig to spill out, but -- it can be sealed off. The color is a gleaming black, menacing and faintly insectile, save for the boots, belt, gauntlets, and bat, which are a richer gold than what she's had before.

She checks the boots -- a chunkier heel, practical without being unglamorous, and -- yes, the blades are still there. The spikes on the gauntlets are much harder and less flexible -- absolutely weapons in their own right. There's room for more *things* in the belt, and there are even slim pockets in the boots. She could carry extra blades in there easily.

The armoring is about the same as the old uniform -- a little more hardcore in the chest and through the back...

"Am I allowed to purr?"

"Well," Barbara says, "I can't promise to react as favorably to the sound as Jason does."

Tim snorts and catches herself reaching for her own shirt in order to strip off and change. It's not really time for patrol, yet.

It will be -- soon. Tim resists the urge to lick her lips and gives *in* to the urge to stroke the lines of the new uniform.

She'll look very, very good next to Robin.

She'll be absolutely *terrifying* on her own. Tim raises up onto her toes and looks Batgirl in the blanked-out eye. "Hello, there."

Batgirl, of course, doesn't say anything back, but the way the light gleams on the material makes it seem as though she cocks her hip, daring Tim to feel that, *be* that --

Tim shivers, and listens to Barbara laughing at her. Home?

Home is where you go to be quiet, and to be loved that way. Barbara doesn't love that way, and neither does Jason.

Neither does *Bruce* -- "I *still* don't know what I'm going to do about Bruce."

"I *gave* you options, honey. What you're really saying is that you don't know how to explain to yourself what you *are* going to do."

Tim frowns and lets the uniform slip from between her fingers to hang on its own, again. "I'm not... I love *Jason*."

"But Bruce is so very -- very -- tempting. Are you ready to check on them again, yet?"

"I..." It would be really, really useful to know what situation she'll be walking back into. "Yes," she says, and turns to the monitors just in time to see.

"Oh, *my*," Barbara says, and brings up other views --

Other views of Bruce *touching* Jason's mouth. Jason's *wet* mouth, and Bruce's mouth is reddened -- he's bleeding from that cut --

And Jason turns and walks away, up the stairs, and Tim knows that Barbara has limited access to the manor proper, but she still hears herself making a frustrated noise when she can't see Jason, anymore.

Bruce is watching him go --

Bruce is touching his own mouth and shivering, and -- they'd kissed. He'd *kissed* Jason, maybe the way he'd kissed her, and Jason hadn't --

He hadn't looked *angry*, or disgusted, or even really scared. He'd looked shocked and a little hungry, a little confused, and that's not really --

Good enough? Tim bites her lip. There's pain in her hands, and she realizes that she's clenching her hands into fists *hard*, and --


"I can't believe. I -- *what*."

Barbara laughs again, but there isn't a lot of humor in it, and she's not laughing at *her*, and --

"Barbara, I don't. I don't understand."

"Batman and Robin," Barbara says, and rolls close again. "And I know that's nothing like the explanation you actually *need*, but --"

"Roll it back. I want -- I want to *see* --"

"Do you? Tim --"

"Now, Barbara. Please."

And Barbara does it, and -- it's there. Bruce's shaking hands, and Jason closing his eyes. Bruce moaning, and moaning again --

Jason pushing back.

He'd said -- he'd *said* that he wasn't punishing Bruce for kissing her. He'd been *aroused* by the thought of her having sex with Bruce, and this -- this. But -- the things he'd *said* about how Bruce's feelings made *him* feel, the sickness and the *pain* there -- how?

And what is Jason doing now? Is he thinking about that kiss? Wanting more?

One of the monitors is on current time, showing Bruce back working at the console, expressionless and focused.

Barbara pushes a button and a dark monitor comes to life with the image of Jason on his bed with his hands over his face. And then he brings a pillow --*her* pillow -- to his face and lays down with it there --

And then he rips it from his face, stands up, and starts to pace, in and out of the camera view.

"I should have planted more cameras."

Barbara snorts. "Oh, I have *quite* enough for my needs in this bedroom."

Tim blushes, but -- "I have to see his face. I have to know what he's *thinking* --"

"You have to talk to him, and -- by the looks of things, he needs to talk to you."

Tim nods and she's already moving for the elevator --

"*Tim* --"

"Barbara, you *said* --"

"*Wait*," she says, and rolls over to him, reaching out --

Tim gives Barbara her hands and tries not to look as impatient as she *feels* --

"Figure out how you're feeling. Do it *now*."

"I -- but --"

"*Now*. *Before* you leave, and --" Barbara growls, softly. "Jason *did* send you here to get something like your control back."

And Barbara is going to find a way to make him pay for the *nerve* of that, and she's going to be right to do it, because -- because. Tim nods and forces herself to think about it, to replay the kiss in her mind --

And she's feeling Bruce kiss *her*, again, the force of it, his teeth on her lip, pressure and *desire*, obvious and incredible -- *focus*.

Jason had been pushing Bruce again, had been trying to make Bruce understand, which means that he wasn't angry, anymore, that he was still -- he needs Bruce, in ways that Tim can't touch. He's *loved* Bruce since before he had any idea Tim *existed*.

They're partners and friends, and becoming lovers must seem, to at least a small part of Jason, to be just one more step, and a small one, at that. And --

It makes her afraid, more than anything else. It --

("Deep down, you have no real idea why Jason loves and desires you as much as he does, and you're convinced that, one day, he'll wake up and realize he could have had someone *truly* worthwhile.")

And Tim feels something welling up from inside her, something *awful*, and it'll probably be a noise, something loud and impossible for her to deny once it's gone --

She swallows it back and tastes acid, feels *hurt*, because what if Bruce had been *warning* her? What if --

("I would never try to take him away from you, even if such a thing were possible.")

What if he doesn't have to *try*? Jason -- Jason wouldn't have reacted so *badly* to Bruce confessing his feelings if there wasn't a commensurate level of *possibility* within him, if he wasn't capable of -- of. And Bruce...

She *knows* how he kisses, how he seems to almost *devour* -- it had felt so *good*, good enough to make her lose herself for moments, and Jason had looked...

He'd looked like he'd felt at least something like the same thing. Bruce is older, more experienced. Handsome to the point of *beauty*, if not in the same way that Jason is. He's -- big and sure and powerful. More brilliant than the vast majority of people in the *world*. He's *Batman*, and of course he can take what he wants. Of course Jason would give up on being hurt and frightened and take what's on *offer*.

Bruce can't -- and *won't* help -- himself, and Jason's right *there* --

Barbara squeezes her hands and Tim swallows again, rips her hands free and hugs herself --

And some useless traitor part of her mind can't stop reminding her of Bruce pinning her --

Bruce's hand on her knee, rubbing up to her thigh --

Bruce's tongue in her *mouth*, and how it had felt to *suck*. This time, she can't keep the noise back. It's a growl, and all she can do is bite her own fist and think about *hurting* someone, about making someone else, *anyone* else feel just this small and useless. Jason is *hers* --

Except that Batgirl and Robin doesn't mean everything she'd dreamed it did, and apparently never did.

Except that she'll never be Bruce, never be that -- that --

"Tim --"

"*You* wanted me to figure out how I *felt*, Barbara!"

And when she looks, Barbara is wincing as she reaches for her --

Tim's still hugging herself. "I'm sorry. It's useful. It's -- it's useful, and I'm just. You were right. The last thing Jason needs is for me to." Fall all over him. Demand that he love *her* when Bruce is right there for him -- "I'm. Maybe I shouldn't go back --"

"*Tim*, you..." *Barbara* growls and grabs Tim's wrist, yanking on it until Tim lets her hold it. "I should have really..." Another growl. "Okay, think about your feelings while remembering that Jason *loves* you."

"He --"

"*Look* at him. Right now."

Tim looks up at the monitors -- her bedroom, now, and Jason is crouched in front of her incredibly full closet, reaching out to touch -- one of the new pairs of heels. She's never so much as tried them on. *Bruce* bought those for her, and --

"Who is he pining for right now? *Use* your brain, or I *will* break your hands, this time."

"I -- he wants to talk to me."

"To *you*, yes. More than that -- I'd think he's wishing you were there right now for him, for him to *talk* to, *be* with --"

"But he's thinking about -- he let Bruce *kiss* him --"

"And so did you, little girl." Barbara shakes her head. "Did it really take that little to make you forget who *you* loved?"

She can *hear* what Barbara is saying -- she's all but crushing Tim's fingers, and *not* hearing isn't even remotely an option -- but. "I'm not Jason. I -- you don't know how much he *needs* Bruce --"

"Bruce is his partner. *You're* the love of his *life*. I -- God, I think I could *murder* Bruce right now --"

"So could I."

"I -- oh, that's *much* better. *Be* angry at him, Tim, because he sure as *hell* deserves it right now."

Tempting. *Very* -- just. How could he? How -- but she knows exactly how he could, because she used to have so very many fantasies about how she could approach Jason as Tim, how she could try to charm, to seduce --

And almost certainly ruin *everything*, because she wouldn't have been able to bring herself to tell Jason the truth if he didn't figure it out for himself. Of course he *would* -- she's just not *that* good -- but oh, she would've tried anything to have him day and night, and the *only* thing that had stopped her was fear.

Bruce is too... Bruce isn't afraid of anything but rejection, anymore, and that's just not enough to keep him from trying, over and over, because *Jason* keeps trying, because Jason wants --

"Ow --"

"*Stop* getting buried in your own *fears*, Tim. There's no -- there's just no percentage in it, and when you *do* it..." Barbara closes her eyes and almost looks a little sick --


"When you do it," she says, without opening her eyes, "you're no good to anyone."

And that *thing* is back, crawling up her throat and wanting out, wanting -- she twists and *rips* her hand away, feeling something let go in her hand before it snaps back into place, before she --

She. She's not --

She's *not*. Tim takes a breath, and stands to attention, swallowing back everything until she can look Barbara in the eye.

If she opens her eyes again. "I'm sorry," Tim says. "I'll -- do better."

If anything, Barbara looks even sicker, but -- she nods. And opens her eyes. "All right. Facts. One, you and Jason are in love. Two, Bruce wants both of you, and is definitely in love with Jason. He's *probably* in love with you, too, but we don't know that for sure, yet."

There are things Tim could protest, but -- this isn't the place for that, and Barbara isn't wrong on the face of things. She -- isn't. "Three, both... both Jason and I are attracted to Bruce and. Care for him."

"Four, Bruce deserves *neither* of you, and a swift kick in the *balls*."

Tim frowns. "That's not -- relevant. To the matter at hand."

"Yes, it is. Because if the two of you *don't* keep that in mind, Bruce will be able to keep running roughshod over your relationship. He's *not* a part of the two of you, Tim, and should have nothing whatsoever to do with how you two decide to go on."

Tim raises an eyebrow. "It's his home."

"Yes, and it's a very, very *big* home. No, let me start again," Barbara says, leaning back and steepling her fingers. "It's his home *and* it's yours and Jason's, as well. If *Alfred* doesn't mind what you and Jason get up to -- and he's the one who does the *laundry* -- then Bruce doesn't get to have a say."

Tim feels her mouth wanting to twist and stops it. "He invited me there, Barbara. I have some obligation --"

"Not to set fire to the antiques or gouge holes in the walls. You are *not* his -- daughter."

("You're *my* little girl.")

Tim blushes and feels herself slipping again, wanting Barbara's hand in her hair, wanting -- God, a hug, but she's supposed to be dealing with herself, and all of this --

"Tim," Barbara says, and her voice is gentle. "I know that you can't -- I don't expect you to view all this purely scientifically."

"I'm sorry, I know I'm not --"

"You're -- oh, honey, you're *fine*. I just need you to stop thinking of yourself as Jason's consolation prize. Or Bruce's. Or *mine*, for that matter --"

Tim bites her lip and stares at the floor, glares at it until she has something like *control* back. Only -- when she looks at Barbara, the gentleness is all over her, the welcome and *acceptance*, and what would her parents think of her now?

Her mother had never had respect for people who couldn't control their emotions. So much *contempt* every time her father had gotten truly angry, and that -- she should be *better* than this by now, and --

Tim looks down again and *breathes* --

"Think of Jason, Tim. Think of his arms around you, the way he smiles at you..."

So bleak and sad after that kiss with Bruce, so disappointed, and there had been fear, too, because he somehow thought he could lose her to -- Bruce.

"Think of the way he all but *smothers* you in your sleep, until you have to spend *minutes* just getting out of bed in the morning."

And yes, Barbara would have seen that. Barbara always used to check on her, and someday, someone will move into her parents' townhouse and never, ever realize that their home is wired from top to bottom. Barbara always -- always *wants* her, needs --

("But I needed just that.")

"Think... oh, hell, Tim, just try to remember how you felt this *morning*."

Warm and -- so warm, so perfect and beautiful for Jason, always for -- and Tim realizes, with something like a sense of *breaking*, that she's doing exactly what she didn't want to do, forcing Barbara to push for her, *work* for her... and that it has everything to *do* with her not wanting to do it.

Jason would be the same --

("Neither Barbara nor Jason allow it and I won't, either.")


Tim looks up, and Barbara's almost *pleading* -- she's not going to look down again. She's -- going to deal. "Barbara, I think I'm... a little too fucked-up in the head."

Barbara's expression becomes... definitively wry.

"I think... I never really think of myself as having self-esteem problems, but apparently... um. Crap," Tim says, running a hand back over her... not a buzz, at the moment. She drops her hand back to her side. "The worst part of it is, I think, that I'm *obvious*."

"That's the worst? Really? Because I was thinking it would be the fact that you can't ever really just accept the fact that people care about you, and *need* you to be exactly who you are."

"Not *exactly* --"

"Dammit, *Tim* --"

Tim holds up a hand. "*Not* exactly. Because what you really need from me, right now, is to be a lot less... convinced of my own failings. And a lot more like Batgirl."

Barbara frowns, pulling out an escrima stick and spinning it restlessly -- "I would very much like to protest that in the name of everything remotely psychologically healthy --"

"But you can't, because Batgirl *is* the healthy one. At least -- in that way."

Barbara looks a little like she'd just taken a bite of something painfully sour.

Tim spreads her hands and lets herself lean back against the wall. "The *problem* is... that there's been a little too much of *me*. For that, I'm entirely willing to blame Jason."

"I --" Barbara laughs and taps her thigh with the stick, shaking her head. "There *can't* be too much of you. Batgirl is what you *do*, and yes, a large part of who you are, but --"

"You still want Tim? Are you sure? Because I'm here to tell you that Tim Drake has some serious *issues*, Barbara."

Barbara raises her eyebrow. "And you *won't* be doing your best to fix that? As quickly and as *ruthlessly* as you can?"

Tim smiles. "You know I just don't feel entirely *right* if I'm not keeping myself busy."

"Mm, well... just keep in mind, while you're going at your psyche with a scalpel, that Batgirl isn't the one with the wonderful sense of humor, the kindness, the empathy, the passion --"

"Batgirl's pretty passionate --"

"*Not* like Tim," Barbara says, and gestures up and down with the escrima stick. "The only thing Tim *needs* to lose is the self-loathing and attendant fears, anxieties, and neuroses."

"Is that all? Just give me a moment, then -- there," and Tim stands straight again and turns, slowly and perhaps a little grandly. "Now where were we?"


Tim sighs and closes the distance between them. Batgirl would move smoothly into the hug she knows is waiting, and perhaps leave a bit of lipstick on Barbara's cheek. Tim isn't quite so smooth, but Barbara is right there, just the way Batgirl said she would be, warm and strong, and -- "Jason *really* likes the way you smell, by the way."

"Clearly a young man of taste and distinction," Barbara says, and kisses Tim's cheek.

Tim -- Tim takes a moment to hold onto the hug, to the *warmth* and, yes, acceptance of everything she is. Everything *good* that she is --

Barbara sighs and strokes Tim's back. "That's better, you know. If I don't get my regular hugs I start thinking about calling Dick over, and that would never, never do."

Tim laughs softly and pulls back, dropping into an easy crouch again. "You *could* call him. I have the strong suspicion he wouldn't be averse."

"Mm, yes. Did you know -- Roy got him drunk one night and he called me, and explained in lengthy, lugubrious detail how Starfire had offered a threesome with me."

"I -- goodness."

"Indeed," Barbara says, and lightly traces Tim's cheekbones with the stick. "There are times... there are times when I feel lonely, apart from the living, beating heart of our community."

Tim nods. She -- knows that.

"*Batgirl* -- should never be shut up in a tower. Or locked down in a Cave, for that matter. You've stopped even taking *runs* outside, and while a certain delicate pallor suits you..."

Tim looks down, but only for a moment. "I hear you. I -- I'll go to Dick about being a Titan."

"Oh, *that* I knew. It's the *rest* I'm not all that sure about."

"The rest?"

Barbara raises an eyebrow. "There's a difference between living *with* your loved ones and living *in* them. Don't get me wrong -- I wish you came here more often. Dinah *misses* you, and Helena is starting to grumble about overworked teenagers, again. But you also needed to go *out* more. The city is alive in the daytime, too."

Tim frowns. "It's not like I ever did much more than training and patrolling when I wasn't... when I didn't *have* to be just-plain Tim Drake."

"Yes. And that needs to change. One day a week, two to three hours. You can even take Jason with you -- he could *use* it."

"I --" They could go to the park, or to a show, or a movie... what's *playing*? They could *date*, and that would be... "All right."

Barbara nods and pulls the stick back. "Good. Now back to your feelings. Where are you in your head?"

There's a lot -- she could easily get lost again in all of the *things* around Bruce and Jason, but... she doesn't have to. "I'm jealous. I'm angry with Bruce. I'm angry with myself for still *wanting* Bruce, and it doesn't make it better that I'm only the last in a long line of people with the same problem. I want Jason to be happy, no matter what, but I *really* want that happiness to be about *me*. I don't *think* I need it to *only* be about me, but I could be wrong.

"*Bruce* thought the only thing he wanted was to have Jason understand and like him, and he's one of the most brilliant men in the world."

Barbara smiles. "Love makes you stupid. It's in the manual."

Tim nods. "I want -- I want everything to be okay, and I *thought* I knew how that would work -- Bruce coping with his... his *desires* enough to be a part of our lives again -- but obviously that just isn't likely. I'm -- determined to find a way to *make* things okay, no matter what I have to do."

"No matter what, Tim...?"

Tim searches inside for chinks in that argument and finds none. She knows that doesn't mean that there aren't any, but for now... for now, it works. Tim nods.

Barbara sighs and tucks the escrima stick away, folding her arms together and leaning in. "Remember that you have *options*, Tim. Including *not* having sex with Bruce."

"I -- really didn't say anything about having sex with Bruce, Barbara --"

"No...? My mistake," Barbara says, and smiles wryly. "Don't let him own you. Jason has you to keep him safe, but you..."

Tim frowns. "By that reasoning, I have *Jason*."

"What you have are two *compelling* men who are not immune from getting so tangled in their own emotions that they can't see the people in the way of their flailing."

"Jason isn't really --"

"*Think* about it, little girl."

Jason *isn't*. It's just that sometimes the passion in him spills over, and he can't keep himself from lashing out. He hasn't at *her*, physically or otherwise, but it's there. If it wasn't, Bruce wouldn't be bleeding. And wouldn't be savoring a kiss while he does so. Tim gives up and nods. "Noted."

Barbara nods and leans back again. "There's nothing else I can do, or say. Go get Jason's head on straight for patrol -- there's someone I want the two of you to visit tonight."

"Bullying and intimidation?"

"Oh, yes," Barbara says, and her smile is Oracle's. "There's another several of the new uniforms waiting for you in the Cave, thanks to Alfred. You have an hour to get back there and fix Jason up before I'll expect you out on the street."

Tim stands. "Noted, Oracle. And -- thank you."

"You're welcome," she says. "Now go."


Jason's bedroom has a view of one of the private roads leading to the manor, and he spends way too much time staring at it, despite the fact that it *is* only one of the roads that Tim might take.

For all he knows, she's still decompressing with Babs -- and she really needs that. Hell, *he* needs that, but -- but.

What he really needs right now --

That *kiss*, and Bruce's moans, and Bruce's hands on him so *gently*, when only a few moments before he'd been clutching Jason --

Part of Jason feels like he ought to have a better picture of things right now, and he *does*. Bruce is *just* that far gone with wanting and needing -- them, but at the same time he's not going to just *attack* out of nowhere. He needs to be pushed for that, and Jason has a pretty fair idea of where all those buttons are.

At the same time, though...

At the same time, he doesn't really know how it would go. 'It.' He's used to being able to size a person up sexually with a couple of glances and maybe a few moments of conversation. This one will go at it like they're seconds away from declaring sex illegal, that one will just lie there and take it, no matter what you do or don't do... and so on, and whatever.

If anything, Bruce is hitting him, right now, in the same places Tim does, because, at this point, he's never completely sure *what* Tim will do, or want, or tell *Jason* to do. It's always something new, and sometimes it's a small thing -- wanting to be bitten instead of stroked, wanting to bend over instead of bending herself in half, that kind of thing. It's just that sometimes it's a really *big* thing --

Or maybe it isn't, in her head. Maybe things like this morning are just the natural extension of what goes on in Tim's mind when it comes to sex. This leads to this leads to *this*, and never mind if the top of Jason's head wants to fly right off.

And Bruce -- well. One second clutching, one second *shaking*. Moaning for a *kiss*, but not pressing his advantage, at all, and certainly not giving Jason any hints -- beyond the verbal -- of just how hard he is. In all honesty, Jason wouldn't be surprised if Bruce had gone right back to *working* after all of that, after a taste of *both* of them.

He *could* be jerking off to footage of Jason and Tim and sparring, or he could be hacking into the feed of the camera Jason had *watched* Tim plant in here -- like it was the most normal thing in the damned *world* -- but he could just as easily be doing something else. Anything else.

And -- Jason really wants to *know*. How it works in Bruce's head, how he *wants* it to work -- what he'd *do*, given the chance. Because...

And that's when Jason realizes that he's sitting here actually *thinking* about it, wishing he had more fucking *data* so he'll know what he's doing when he crawls into Bruce's bed and... and.

He'd really like to know when he'd made *that* fucking decision. It's not the only thing he wants to know, but it's right up there near the top of the list. He needs to talk to Tim *badly*, needs her reason and her calm, the way she has of laying things out all neat and orderly like the menu for the world's most anal restaurant.

A little from column A, a taste from column B... Jason snorts to himself and stops pacing. He's directly under the camera, and a very fucked-up part of him tells him to move just a *little* --

There, now Babs can *see* Jason making an asshole out of himself, and Tim can, too -- if she's still there. If she's watching.

If she -- Jesus, what if she had watched that kiss? What would she *think*, after watching him lose his shit *entirely*? She *should* be pissed, and he's actually all set to deal with that, to *accept* that -- after he hugs her and smells her and hugs her *tighter* in the seconds before making his confession, but --

If she already knows, he's kind of fucked. She might decide *not* to come back, and really -- pissed would be the *best* possible reaction, then. He could grovel and push and camp out by the Clocktower until she forgives him if she's *pissed* -- it would sure as shit get him away from *Bruce* -- *but*. She could be something *other* than pissed.

She could be upset, *hurt*, confused and maybe jealous, too. She -- she's *like* that, full of little sore spots, *raw* spots where she *can* be hurt even though Batgirl doesn't have anything of the kind.

Bruce had *already* worked those spots in her, and how convincing had Jason really been that everything was all right? He'd told her to come back, almost *begged* her, too, but it wouldn't be too far off her mark for her to *just* remember Jason sending her away.

And the thing is... this is her *home*, now, and they'd done a pretty good job up until right now of *making* it that way for her, and certainly Alfred had helped, but Bruce...

Jason wants, *very* badly, to believe that *Tim* wouldn't believe he'd throw her over for Bruce, that no matter what, *nothing* could put that in her head, not after all the times they've made love --


So he watches that lonely little road, better-maintained than ninety-nine percent of the streets of Gotham, and he *keeps* watching, and he starts pacing again, and that's how Tim finds him when she walks into Jason's bedroom.

"Oh, thank fucking God," Jason says, forgetting everything in an instant at the sight of her, jeans and a t-shirt and jacket, nondescript as anything except for that little line of trouble on her forehead, except for her eyes and mouth and cheekbones and hands, except for *her*, and she flows right into his arms as soon as he pulls. And she sighs, going up on her toes so Jason can bury his face against her neck and just -- hold on.

She's clutching his shoulder with one hand and pushing the fingers of the other into his hair, and Jason's just about to go with the idea that things will be okay -- he's been *trained* to go with the idea that things are okay when she does that, but --

She doesn't say anything, and she's just -- holding there. Not squeezing and not tugging, breathing evenly and quietly and not -- "Tim...?"

"I'm here."

Jason pulls back, waiting for the tug on his hair that would tell him she's not *ready* for him to go far -- it doesn't come. "I -- are you? I mean -- we should talk."

She searches his face, but only for a moment before she nods and -- tugs his hair much too lightly.

Jason winces. "Maybe... maybe you should talk first."

"I'm sorry -- I'm sorry," she says, shaking her head and pulling back. "You... Barbara gave me something of an assignment, and I'm finding it hard to work on it while still... being here, with you. Which is ridiculous, considering, but --"

"What assignment?"

"I -- apparently I need to grow some native confidence within myself and slash away fourteen years of self-loathing and doubt. I..." Tim's smile is small and brief and painful-looking. "It's a little difficult while I'm still thinking of... everything."

And that... okay, Babs is probably the only person -- alive or dead -- with anything like the *right* to push Tim that way, and it's not like Jason doesn't wish she *was* as confident as Batgirl more of the time, but... everything. "But -- are you *okay*?"

Another quick smile, and it does and *doesn't* look better, like maybe Tim is just swallowing the pain a little --

Jason shakes his head and cups Tim's face, brushes her cheekbones with his thumbs and thinks about -- "Okay, maybe this is out of nowhere, but I never really thought I'd have someone like you in my life. You -- I know there are things about you that are kind of fucked-up, and I wish they weren't there, but I don't think there's anything *wrong* with you. Okay?"

Tim closes her eyes and just breathes for a moment, a little less evenly, and then she turns against Jason's palm and presses the tip of her tongue to the center of it. It's not the sexiest thing she's ever done -- that spot's still owned by the time she'd torn open Jason's pillow while shouting at him to fuck her *harder* -- but it's still -- really damned distracting.


She sighs and kisses that spot on his palm, once and again, and again, and then she turns back to face him and opens her eyes. "I saw. The kiss, I mean."

Jason swallows and nods, and -- whatever's on his face makes Tim wince and reach up to touch his cheek.

"Jason, I -- I'm not. Mad at you."

"You -- you really could be. I mean, I wouldn't --"

"I think Barbara wants to geld Bruce," she says, slowly and kind of *cautiously*...

And Jason realizes that at least part of her is waiting for serious disagreement, for Jason to *defend* Bruce, and -- hell. He smiles, just as cautiously. "There's chemical castration, but I'm not sure how Bruce would look with a set of tits on that chest of his."

Tim blinks and opens her mouth -- closes it again and looks *exactly* like she's picturing it -- "All of that *hair*..."

"The Batsuit would need a serious redesign," Jason says, letting go and backing off to sketch it in the air a little -- on *Bruce's* scale.

"Oh -- dear," she says, and the light in her eyes says she *wants* to laugh, but everything else says she's not going to, yet.

So... Jason moves close again and cups her hips, this time, knowing that it's a message for her to wrap her arms around his neck, lean back to look at him with the hair that isn't there swinging, the lipstick that isn't there *gleaming* --

She covers his hands with her own.


"Just -- a moment, Jason. I mean, I know you want me to be okay, and maybe I even should be, but -- I have to know what you *want*."

"You," Jason says, and squeezes hard enough to make a few of the bruises under her clothes sit up and take notice.

She narrows her eyes for that -- and then pulls back with everything *except* her body, until she's blank with waiting, and nothing remotely like actual *patience*. "What *else*. Or... fine, I'll say it. Do you want him, Jason?"

Dammit -- "Do *you*?"

The blush is an answer, but she never looks away from his eyes, and -- yeah. Jason knows, now, in his bones, that she'll never touch Bruce again unless he *really* pushes for it, unless he -- seduces her.

Which he *can* do, all too fucking easily, and where does that leave *him*? "Tim... maybe we should skip past asking ourselves that question, because --"

"It's a really *important* question, Jason --"

"And we both already know the answer," he says, and strokes her hips, up and down, until she tightens her grip hard enough to hurt.

"You -- *how* do you want him, Jason? The things you said -- the way you *looked* at him --"

"I know. I really -- I know, and this... God, baby, I know this has to be fucked up for you --"

"But you've already made your decision. You're *going* to have sex with him."

"I --" Jason squeezes again --


"Shit, fuck, *yes*. At least -- I think so. If it doesn't freak me out too badly. If I can stand to *feel* all those things, those good sex *things* even when it's Bruce touching me --" Jason lets go and covers his face with his hands, digging in a little with his fingers and -- trying to feel Tim.

She's right there, waiting for him to deal and angry, yes, and confused *and* hurt, all the worst things --

"You -- you worked so hard to make it *better* for me, make me deal --"

"I -- it's. My fault?"

Jason's stomach drops and he rips his hands away, grabs for her shoulders -- "No. Not that. Not -- you never made me want him, made me *capable* of wanting him, or -- fuck."

The line on her forehead looks deep, *painful*, and she's frowning. "Then what is it, Jason? What -- what *did* it?"

"Nothing did. Or -- everything. The way he was talking, the honesty and the hunger and the -- all these little fucking *things*. Fuck, baby, I feel like I should be asking *you* what happened."

"Because I never had... because I've always been... attracted."

Jason swallows. "Always? Really?"

Tim looks down and nods. "I've... thought about it. At Barbara's and on the way back here. There's something -- I was never attracted to Batman in any way save the intellectual, but Bruce has been... something different."

"'Something different' kind of says it all for me, too. He's not *like* those fucking johns, and even though I'm saying that and *believing* that, part of me feels like a fucking idiot, because maybe I'm just fooling myself --"

"And the rest of you is arguing against that... strenuously," Tim says, nodding and shrugging off Jason's hands --

"Please, baby --"

"Not. Not right *now*, Jason, all right? I just need to think without getting lost in the way you *feel* against me," she says, and gives him the stand-down gesture.

It makes Jason fucking *hurt*, but -- he can deal. He watches her move through his room, touching the bureau and looking up at the few paintings on the walls -- things he'd picked out from the massive and kind of frightening storage areas when Alfred had *insisted*. She isn't looking at him, and she's keeping the same few feet of distance between them, and she's obviously -- thinking.

It's what he'd wanted from her, what he'd --

Almost what he'd needed. Jason keeps his hands at his sides and doesn't ball them into fists and doesn't fucking *chase* her --

And when she stops, she does so with her hand on the closet door. Her expression isn't too far from one of Batgirl's. That quiet, firm little 'this is interesting' look that usually comes right before she says something devastatingly true about whatever target they're investigating.

Jason braces himself --

"You're in love with him."

"I'm in love with *you*, Tim --"

She shakes her head and uses her free hand to tell him to stand down again.

"Tim --"

"I'm not... I'm not denying your feelings for me --"

"Then why are you using fucking *weasel* words, baby?" And Jason knows the look on his face is probably fucking awful, but --

Tim smiles, and it's nothing that would ever be on Batgirl's face. It's small and it's *old*, and -- "Because I have just a few issues...? Jason, you have to understand: I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with the fact that you love Bruce, and certainly *Barbara* would understand --"

"*You*, Tim. You're the one I need --"

"But you don't deny that you need Bruce, too -- and you shouldn't try to start. There's really no percentage whatsoever in lying to yourself," she says, and *then* moves close again.

Jason clutches her hips, and this time she does wrap her arms around his neck and let her head fall back a little.

"But you love me, too."

"*Yes*, Tim --"

"I can believe it when you touch me like this --"

"You need to believe it all the *time* --"

"You and Barbara are in accord," she says, and her smile is sharp enough to be Batgirl's. "Bruce is, as well. Tell me -- did you talk about me with him?"

Jason feels himself blushing. "I --"

"What did you say? What did *he* say?"

"I." There's danger here, somewhere, like maybe he'd wandered into a lake with a lot of deep water and nasty things living in it. It's -- she's not touching him the *right* way, somehow. There's something else here, something darker in the way she's letting the missing hair swing, in the casual grip of her arms around his neck. "Tim... what?"

"I'm trying to live in this feeling again, Jay. I... you're so very beautiful, and kind. Loving and open, and you never want me to lie to you, never want me to be anything but who I am --"

"*Go* with that --"

"Except that there are *issues* there, Jason. Part of who I am is a twisted little mess full of contradictions and cruelty..." Tim shakes her head. "Tell me what you talked about?"

"How he'd hurt you with that... I know he profiled you."

Tim nods. "What else?"

"I asked him what he'd do about you now. How he'd *act*. He said he'd try to avoid you, but that if you ever showed any signs of wanting him --"

"I do want him, Jason. I want -- there's a thrill there, and something deeper than that. A place he could touch me..." Tim snorts. "That sounds far more obscene than what I'd meant. He's... I wouldn't have been able to profile *him* well enough to piss him off if there weren't so many ways that the two of us were alike."

Jason winces again. "Yeah, that came up, too. He said that it was one of the reasons why things were so hard for him, now. That I could... that I could love someone like you."

"And, thus, like him," Tim says, and curls a lock of Jason's hair around her fingers. "It should make me feel better that you have... something of a type. It should make me feel more secure."

"But it doesn't."

"It's extremely difficult not to imagine you deciding to go with the -- ah. Original model. The *perfected* model."

"Tim, dammit -- you're not *that* much like him. There are things you have that he doesn't, things you are that he *isn't*. You're --"


"That, *too*," and Jason growls and *yanks* her against his body --

"You have to understand that I can already *hear* your protests, Jason, and even feel them, but... it's hard. And maybe it will be hard for kind of a while. At least until I finish up Barbara's little assignment."

"How -- how are you going to do that?"

"As quickly as I can? I don't know, Jason. Some habits are *hard* to break, and I... he said he'd try to seduce me?"

"He *wants* you. The way he wants me --"

"Not that --"

"Tim, *please* try to -- I don't know. Just --"

"Shut up and cope? I'm *working* on it. And I -- I have a confession to make, Jason. I know it's going to hurt you, and probably piss you off, too, but..."

Jason closes his eyes for a moment and strokes her, squeezes her -- opens his eyes and nods.

"It's easier to believe in Bruce's... affections. It --"

"Easier than *mine*?"

"Yes," Tim says, and never looks away from Jason's eyes. "They're... simpler. Easier to understand. They feel a lot like *mine*, frankly. He's intrigued by me, possibly even fascinated. He knows you care about me, and that you don't give that lightly. He knows that I find *him* attractive, and that can't help but be... both flattering and *moving*, in a way. There's something almost ouroboros-like about it, or perhaps I mean incestuous," and Tim's smile turns wry and much, much darker. "Now that I've spent some time considering the matter, I have no trouble whatsoever imagining how it would go. How he'd touch me, and how I'd need to touch him. What he'd want to show me and what I'd want to show *him* --"

"Tim, that -- that doesn't sound *healthy*."

"And your mutual attraction with Bruce does?"

"I -- fuck, *no*, but --"

"I'm sorry, I'm not being fair to you. I -- I know this has to be incredibly hard for you. I know it when I *think* about it. When I don't think -- when I just let the image of that kiss roll through my mind, over and over... well, you're Batman and Robin. And Barbara gave me something of an education about *that*."

Jason closes his eyes again. "Bruce -- he told me that it was there, with Dick. That Dick wanted him and he'd -- felt it. Told himself that it was just -- fucking sympathy pains or something."

Tim tugs on his hair until he opens his eyes again, then she nods. "It would make sense. It's so *easy* to pretend that the things you feel don't really *belong* to you, that they can be brushed aside as meaningless, that they have nothing to do with who you really *are*... well."

Jason frowns. "I -- kinda have to disagree with that."

"Yes, well, you *would*," Tim says, and her smile is fond, affectionate and -- distant.

"Tim... come back to me."

"I'm here, I promise --"

"You *aren't*. You're -- holding back something, or maybe just holding back *you*, but you're not really... I can't feel you."

Tim raises an eyebrow, looks up and down --

"You *know* what I mean, Tim."

And it seems like Tim is just going to keep doing this, *being* this person who can be pressed right up against Jason and not feel it with all of herself, not *give* --

"*Please*, Tim --"

But the calm on her face starts to crack a little, and the smile fades and twists to something uglier and more painful -- Tim squeezes her eyes shut and yanks *hard* on Jason's hair --

"*That's* right --"

And Tim sobs out a laugh, loud and kind of horrible. "Jesus, I -- *Jay* --"

"God, baby, I don't want you to hurt, but I think I'd really fucking prefer it to you pretending that nothing touches you --"

"*Everything* touches -- I --"

"So let yourself *feel* it, Tim. The good parts, anyway, and this -- this is *good*, right here, with us..." Jason slides his hands over her ass, up her back. He cups the back of her head and holds it, pulls her head against his shoulder and holds her *there* --

"I just -- I can't *lose* you --"

"But you can push me away? One fucking *scary* thing at a time about Bruce? Jesus, baby, you don't have to *act* like him, too --"

She tenses hard in his arms. She stops *breathing* -- but then she laughs, again, and it still sounds terrible, but --

She's right there. She's right *here*, and that means all the important things are okay, no matter what. "We'll make it *work*," Jason says, and pulls back enough that he can kiss her forehead, over and over. She's still pulling hard on his hair, and she's rubbing her face against Jason's shoulder --

She's not crying, but she could be. Part of Jason *wants* the tears, more proof that she's still feeling everything, but that wouldn't be -- she fucking hates to cry, and Jason can't really blame her, at all. She's here *enough*.

"You won't lose me."

"God, we're such -- do you ever find yourself wishing you could skip past being a teenager entirely?"

Her voice is thick, but now's the time to *ignore* that. "Yeah, well, I *would*, but Bruce isn't exactly a ringing endorsement for adulthood."

That gets him a better laugh -- and a bite to his shoulder.

"Have I ever mentioned that I fucking love the way you communicate, sometimes?"

She bites him a little harder before she lets go. "That was for Barbara. She approves of my program of marking you up."

"So do *I*, baby --"

"Hmm. Barbara's approval is *different*, Jay."

"And she looks better in tight sweaters, yeah, *I* see how it is," Jason says, and pulls back just enough to smile down at her.

She smiles back, eyes dark and a *little* hollow, but filling up with every moment. "Jason. How Barbara looks in a sweater is hardly a concern of mine."

"I *have* always kind of wondered about that --"

"No, I -- I'm not sexually attracted to women. I never have been."

Jason nods and strokes her hair, watching her eyes narrow in that *good* way that means she's living in as much of her body as she can stand. Loving it, too. "Okay, so no threesomes with Babs. It'll be tough, but I think I can let go of that fantasy without crying in my cereal too much."

"Threesome with -- and you don't even *eat* cereal. You. I." Tim's blinking at him and making kind of a fish-face.

Jason grins and waggles his eyebrows.

"You might as well suggest a -- oh. Oh," she says and the fish-face is completely gone, leaving something that looks like a fucked-up blend of fear and *fascination* on her face.


"You want... all of us. The two of us with *Bruce*."

And the *first* thing that wants to come out of his mouth is *no*, and also *hell*, no, because that wouldn't help *anything*, that would only make them all -- all.

They'd be there *together*, and Bruce would have to deal with both of them at once. Bruce wouldn't be able to *separate* them, whether or not he actually tried, because they would all be --

He'd be able to watch Bruce touching Tim, watch Tim feeling it and wanting it and taking *more*, and when Bruce touched him, Tim would be right there to ease him down from whatever fucked up ledge he got himself up to. He'd be able to live in Tim's pleasure, see it apart from himself, and. Bruce's, too.

And Tim is nodding slowly -- swallowing and her eyes are so *wide* --

"Tim -- I." He has no *idea* what to say. "Help?"

Tim pets his shoulders, strokes his chest, and she's not meeting his eyes, but she's very obviously *thinking*, and Jason feels just fine letting her do that.

It's what he needs from her right now, more than *anything*, because the only thing *his* brain is doing is throwing up image after image of the three of them together in Bruce's big, big bed. Bruce kissing Tim's throat, Tim biting Bruce's hip --

Bruce kissing him again, deep and hard, and his hands wouldn't be shaking this time, because he'd know that Jason was there for the long haul. He'd know that he could take his *time*, and maybe Bruce and Tim could share him between themselves, one kiss after another until he was begging for it, fucking dying for it, anything --

"God, please, Tim --"

"It's only -- we'd have to make it clear, from the beginning, that we were trying it *out*," Tim says, slowly and almost *excessively* clearly --

Meaning that part of her is expecting him to protest that, and really -- "No, I know, it's -- yeah. That," he says, and feels like a *complete* idiot, but Tim still takes a really *deep* breath and relaxes. "I -- it's not like. Uh. I've never really -- with more than one person before."

Tim nods. "And I... well. You know. Um. Something Barbara said about Bruce, about the way he -- doesn't let go. Once he has something. Someone."

And he *really* doesn't want to think about fucking *Dent* right now -- Jason pushes a hand back through his hair. "Uh -- yeah. He's not really much for goodbye."

"So this might... it might make things *worse*, Jason. If we don't -- or if *one* of us doesn't want to, when it's all said and done."

Fucking -- ouch. "Yeah, that would be... kinda fucked-up. But if you still wanted Bruce and I didn't, I wouldn't -- I think I could deal."

Tim raises an eyebrow. "For one, you've given me reason to *doubt* that. And for two -- I was thinking about what would happen if *I* didn't want to, anymore."

And that's just -- well. "Baby, one -- you *can't* know how insanely jealous I get without also knowing how much I *love* you. And two... well. I. Could you deal?"

"I -- all right, you have a point, but..." Tim strokes up to Jason's shoulders again, squeezes and frowns. "Are you *sure* you'd be all right with me having sex with Bruce on my own?"

"Honestly, Tim, I think I could just *watch*. Like -- a lot. I don't know *why* it turns me on so much instead of making me insane, but... fuck, baby, I just want everything to be okay, and all of us to be *happy*. And if it would make you happy to be with Bruce -- and I *know* it would make *Bruce* happy --"

"I think..." Tim laughs, high and sharp and a little cracked. "I can't help thinking about waking up alone in your bed, knowing that you're with Bruce instead of. Instead of me."

Jason nods. He can see it. Hell, he can almost *feel* it. Only -- if it were him waking up alone, he'd *know* that he could just go to Bruce's room, be there *with* Bruce and Tim even if neither of them ever touched him, even if he didn't *want* to be touched. Tim really *doesn't* know that, yet, and maybe that means they shouldn't.

Starting something like this without *knowing* you can handle the follow-through is probably just as stupid as jumping into a room full of gunmen without backup. The fact that they have to *do* that sometimes is no reason to act like fuck-ups with their personal lives. Just --

"I can't lose you, either, Tim --"

"You *won't* --"

"And you won't lose me, and I'll never -- I'll do my *damnedest* to make sure I never do anything to hurt you. Including -- including having sex with Bruce without you."

Tim blushes. "No pressure or anything."

"What -- oh. Shit, I -- fuck," Jason says, and squeezes her hips again. "I meant --"

"I know what you meant," Tim says, and the smile kind of twitches at the corner of her mouth. "I just... really don't want to be in the way of anything that makes you happy."

"Yeah, well -- that *doesn't* mean I want you -- or need you -- to jump into a threesome that freaks your shit out."

"It's more -- the aftermath. That worries me."

Jason raises his eyebrows and strokes up to Tim's waist, just enough that he can rub her abs with his thumbs. "Meaning you'd be okay with the actual threesome?"

"I..." Tim nods, blushing hard and --

"Man, I really want to know what's making you blush like that --"

"Just -- ah. Thoughts. Bruce's hands. The way you -- might -- look if Bruce were to... jerk you off."

Jason swallows, and now he's blushing, too, and -- yeah. "Earlier I was thinking... Bruce's mouth on your throat. You always like it when I... and maybe he'd. Suck on one of your bruises."

"Oh. I." Tim blinks rapidly and pushes her fingers into his hair again almost absently. She bites her lip --


"Just. He would. The two of you. He loves you so much. He wants -- he has to want to just -- taste you. All over."

Jason shivers. "Not sure. Not sure I could handle that. But -- the way he bit your lip."

"Pressure, and -- it was very light --"

"Didn't have to be."

And there's the tug on his hair, the *best* one, because it makes Jason roll his hips against her a little. She sucks in a breath. "Um. What could you. Handle?"

"His hands, I think. Just his hands. So long as he wasn't too -- uh. Gentle."

Tim licks her lips -- pushes up onto her toes, and Jason *thinks* she's hard, but it's hard to tell --

"I wish you wore tighter jeans, baby --"

"Impractical, but -- I'll consider it. Would you let him touch you -- finger you?"

Jason feels himself twitch and grunts. "I. Think that was a yes. Tim --"

Tim moans and rocks against him, turns her hand enough that she's scractching his scalp *while* she pulls his hair --

"Jesus, yeah, and I -- I want his hands on your hips. I want him to -- hold you *still*."

"Oh -- fuck. He could. When he was pinning me today --"

"Were you thinking about it?"

"*No*," Tim says, and looks up into his eyes, and her eyes are wide and pleading --

"Okay, okay. It's just -- I was. The way you -- you tilted your head back, and he leaned *in*, and I just -- it drove me so crazy, got me so *hard* --"

"You. Was that what you were thinking about in the shower?"

"Jerking myself fucking *raw* and trying -- heh. I was trying *real* fucking hard to *stop* thinking about it. But -- you always make these *sounds* for him --"

"Oh, just --" Tim bites her lip again, *hard* this time, and Jason thinks seriously about backing her against a wall, making her stay up on her toes while he jerks and thrusts against her --

"What, baby?"

"I -- the only way I can stay *in* those spars is to let go, and I wind up. I don't even really pay *attention* to the sounds I make --"

"Vicious little growls, fucking *predatory* cries -- fuck, baby, just thinking about you making those sounds for Bruce --"

"But don't I make them for you?"

"It's *different*," Jason says, and walks them to the nearest wall, lifts her --

"I'm up, I'm -- but -- we have to *patrol*, Jason --"

"And we *will*, baby, but --" He kisses her, *letting* himself think about Bruce doing it just like this, pushing her against a wall with his body --

No, he'd have to lift her to do it right, and her legs would be around his waist, and she'd have to *feel* him, feel how hard he was making her --

Jason growls into her mouth and pulls back --

"*Jay* --"

"Up and *on* me, baby."

Her eyes get wide again, *narrow* again, and there's that heat, that fucking *fire* as she *braces* herself with one arm around Jason's neck and jumps, wrapping herself around him just where he wants it, just where he *needs* it --

"*Fuck* yeah," and thrusting is less optional than *breathing*, because they're dressed, but she can still feel him --

"Jay -- *Jay* --"

Right there. *Right* there, and this almost has to be easier for her, pretty cock all tucked away where she doesn't have to *see* it -- "Yeah, this'll be fast. I -- heh. Promise."

Another moan, and her ass feels so good in his hand, so tight and hard under those good-*boy* jeans --

"Fucking love seeing you dragging it --"

"Dragging -- what. Oh. Ah -- Don't you think this is rather -- unisex?"

"Not the way *you* were wearing it," Jason says, and that probably needs an explanation, but he doesn't really have one. "Just trust me, baby -- oh, yeah, trust me and *hump* me --"

She growls and does it, fast and hard --

"You feel me?"

"*Yes* --"

"You want more?"

"Jay -- *always* -- *mm* --"

And kissing her like this is almost too easy, almost too -- she's right *here*, and he feels like an idiot for the way he keeps thinking it, but God, it's so perfect, always so --

He sucks her tongue into his mouth and *grinds* against her, slowing it down a little, making it *hurt* for both of them --

She groans into his mouth -- she *bites* him, hard, and does it again and again, all over his face, the line of his jaw --

"Love you, baby, love you so *much* --"

"*Do* me --"

"*Fuck*, yes," and now he's slamming her against the wall, lifting her a little more with every thrust, and the shorts he's wearing are the sweetest fucking torture and her jeans are the nastiest, the *best* --

"Want you, always *want* you," and it sounds like an accusation, like she's *pissed* at him, and the only way to respond is to go for her throat, her pretty, pale throat --

And biting her there makes her shake, sucking makes her moan and curse, growl and *buck* --

"*Jay* --"

"Gonna come for me nice and fucking hard?"

"Right -- right in my *pants* --"

"Oh, *yeah*, get *dirty* for me, baby. You know I'll lick you clean --"

Another moan and she's pulling his hair hard enough to bring tears to his eyes, fucking *digging* her knees in against his sides and *riding* him --

"You can do *anything* to me, Tim. You can -- God, one day I want you to fuck me, just -- when you *can* --"

"I -- oh. Oh, Jay --"

"Want you inside me, filling me up and fucking me *raw*, giving it to me the way I give it to you --"

"Need *you*, Jason, need your -- your touch --"

And it's a little awkward to hold her ass with only one hand, but there's something she likes, something she *never* asks for, not since the first time, but -- he puts his free hand on her throat and kisses her again, and no one can ever tell him groans don't have a taste, that they aren't sweeter than candy and twice as wonderful.

He presses hard and her mouth just *falls* open for him, and he licks her tongue, her lips and her cheek --

"Always gotta *taste* you, baby --"

The sound she makes is choked, fucking *strangled*, because that's what he's doing to her, that's what he's *taking* from her, and he's leaking more pre-come with every thrust, and the thing at the base of his spine is *screaming* for her --

"God, the way you look right now -- all flushed and sweaty, mouth wide open and your eyes closed -- look at me --"

"Jay," she -- she fucking *mouths*, and her eyes are wide and her pupils are *blown*, just a little bit of that blue showing around the black, that pit of *hunger* --

"Nobody like you, nobody can do me like -- oh, fuck, I'm *close*, baby, do you want me to kiss you again? Bite you?"

She nods, sharp little jerks messed up by his hand on her throat --

He bites her lip the way Bruce had, not too hard and just holding it while he stares at her --

"*Nnh* --"

And then she's rigid against him, eyes rolling back in her head as she spasms and comes. Jason moans and lets go of her lip, kisses her again, instead, holding onto her throat to try to make her orgasm *last* a little as he pumps and thrusts --


A whisper, hoarse and breathless --

Jason eases off on the pressure and she gasps and jerks again before going almost limp -- everywhere except for those thighs locked around him, and Jason *knows* this has to be hurting her at least a little, but he can't stop.

Can't -- she's always so *good*, and now she's looking at him, staring deep into his eyes --

"Yes, Jay. *Always* yes --"

He groans and cups her ass with both hands again, squeezes *hard* --

"Think about being inside me, or -- or having Bruce inside me --"

"Oh, *fuck*, Tim --"

"Do you think he's watched us? He could easily hack Barbara's feeds from that camera. He could -- he could know exactly how you do it."

"I -- bending you in half the way I do -- your legs on his shoulders --"

"Would you --" Tim licks her lips. "Would you tell him to do it harder?"

"*Tim*," and he thinks he might look a little *betrayed*, because that's -- it's *too* hot, too *much* -- "Bruce shouldn't -- oh, fuck, I bet he'd feel so fucking *good* for you, baby --"

"Having you there would be better --"

"Never leave you, never -- oh, please keep talking --"

Sharp noise, and Tim arches against him -- "I'd hold your hands. Or -- you could hold my wrists down against the mattress --"

"Fuck -- *fuck* --"

"I'd *fight* for it, Jay, I'd -- make him leave more bruises --"

"Fucking *mark* you, and -- oh -- so *close* --"

"*Do* it, Jay, come for me. Come for *us*."

And for a second he *knows* Bruce is right there in the doorway, that he's watching this, that he's heard *everything* and now he's going to take what he wants, finally take what he *wants*. And Jason turns and he's *not* there, but it's still too much, too perfect --

"Jay --"

"*Please*," and it's the last word Jason can say before the orgasm takes him, rocks him down to the bone and leaves him shuddering and spilling, fucking *blasting* his shorts and sending his brain out with all the spunk.

Just --

*Fuck*, he thinks, when words are an option again, when he can think about things other than his dick. Like the swampy *mess* in his shorts, and the fact that Tim has to be dealing with the same problem. He looks down -- yeah.

*Giant* wet spot on her jeans. Mm.

He kisses her again and slides his hands to her thighs, squeezing before giving them a push.

She drops to her feet --

And Jason drops to his knees, pressing his face against her jeans and sucking hard.

"Oh -- Jesus, Jay --"

"Waste not, want not," he says, licking -- no, not enough of the *taste*, salty-sweet and exactly what he needs. He sucks again, and after a moment she reaches down and pushes her fingers into his hair again, digging in with her nails and *pulling* him against her.

"You -- are the dirtiest *possible* boy," she says, and she sounds fond and just a little blown.

"You only say that 'cause I eat you out every time I get a chance," Jason says, and opens her pants.

"Eat... wow, that is a *filthy* way to put it -- *oh* --"

She's wearing *boxer briefs*. He has to suck those, too. Not too much on her dick, though. Just enough for her to feel the nudge of his nose, his chin --

"Bruce bought me quite a few panty-gaffs. I'm not sure if I'm glad I'm not wearing any of them or *not*."

"Is *that* why you're not wearing any? Bruce freaked you too much?"

"I -- kind of? I have to say -- I wasn't thinking very deeply after I saw my closet."

Jason nods and peels the boxer-briefs down, licking lightly at the come smeared here and there --

"Oh -- ooh. Jason, I --"

"Just getting you clean, baby. No time for a shower before patrol tonight," he says, trying to sound innocent enough for her to let him keep going.


He looks up and grins. And licks her again, just to see -- mm, the *right* kind of tension, the kind that's all about how she's *feeling* this, as opposed to *thinking*.

"Mm. I..." She frowns and shakes her head, tugging a little on his hair.

Jason licks again, getting a somewhat broad smear of come just -- mmm. All over his tongue. "Yeah, baby?"

"You should -- do that fast."

Okay, so she's *starting* to think. Jason nods and licks more, fast little laps that leave her wet, shiny in a way that *could* be thought of as cleaner. But -- he thinks about it. "Would you let Bruce have this?"

"I don't... um. It's hard enough with *you*," she says, and tugs him *purposefully*.

Jason stands and kisses her briefly, just long enough to suck both of her lips in turn. "But -- I thought it was easier?"

"Easier to *think* about. Easier to *believe* in -- though I have to say you've done an excellent job convincing me that you like -- that."

Jason grins again. "*Good*. And -- okay. I won't let myself think about Bruce going down on you."

"Jay --" She blushes. "You don't have to regulate your *thoughts* for me."

"I know, baby -- but if I don't let myself think about it, then I won't make myself *want* it."

"I -- noted," she says, and smiles. "Kiss me again?"

Jason does, and it feels like she's trying to tell him something in the way she's kissing him back. It's not hard, but it's deep and a little aggressive, a little sharp along with all that *sweet*. It's a kiss Jason can fall into, and he does, a little, stroking her bare hips and giving as much as he gets until she pulls back, panting and turning her face against his shoulder.

"I -- you should know, Jason. I'll do anything for you."

And *that* -- there's only one response. "Then do me a favor and only do the things *you* want to do, because that's what I want from you the most. It would kill me if I thought I always had to be second-guessing whether you just did something because you thought I wanted it. Or needed it, for that matter."

She turns to face him again, searching his face -- she nods, and it feels like a promise.

Maybe she'll even be able to keep it.


There's no sign of Bruce -- or the car -- when they get down to the Cave, but that's really not a surprise. Tim's tempted to see if she can track down what he was last working on -- or looking at -- but the prospect of it having anything to do with what she and Jason were just doing is more than a little daunting.

Instead, she merely signs in as raptor and scans what he's left for her. It turns out to be a joint effort with Barbara -- she'd picked a few members of the Massive, a gang currently sprawling over larger and larger areas with no real sign of letting up -- and there's a great deal of information from both her and Bruce.

She was already aware of the leadership and had a rough idea of their management structure, but this is more than just names, aliases, addresses, and known accomplices. This is broad -- if tentative -- information about hangouts and significant others, as well as a great deal of speculation on internal politics, and --

When Jason joins her at the console, she realizes she'd been taking her *time* with this. She's not even suited up, yet. She hasn't even gone at herself with one of the *wipes* -- "I. Sorry, Jason, but this is --"

"Looks like he wants us to ruin someone's night, in our own *inimitable* fashion," Jason says, and strokes her face with gauntleted fingers.

Tim hums to herself -- had he seen the new uniform? No, he would've mentioned it. "It certainly seems that way," she says, and calls up the images and spec intel on three lieutenants.

"The one in the middle *used* to be a hitter. Before your time."

Tim nods and memorizes his features, which are almost mask-like save for the bullet-graze scar on his temple. He shaves a line in his hair along its path, or, at least, he used to. "You know them better than I do. They're not from my territory."

"Tough, organized, armed like a damned paramilitary force."

"We take the big ones singly, if we can."

"Yeah, that's how I'd do it," Jason says, and -- "you look fucking *tiny* in that chair, baby."

"Hmph. I have my *own* workstation at the Clocktower," she says, and stands, shifting the robe on her shoulders.

"You should make B give you one here. He totally *would* -- you're *built* for the brain-work side of things."

It's a thought -- and suddenly, it's a thought along the lines of just *what* she'd have to do for Bruce in order to get a Cray. Possibly it would involve convincing Jason that he'd *like* to be married to his adoptive father. Or possibly it would just involve something she could do in one of those new dresses. Tim smiles to herself and heads for the uniforms.

"Hey, what was *that* about?"

"Lascivious thoughts about  Bruce, supercomputers, and pretty dresses," Tim says, over her shoulder.

"Computers work for you? How much time have you been *spending* with Babs?"

Tim laughs and shrugs off the robe, grabbing a wipe from just the right pocket on the belt and dealing with the worst of the stickiness.

"I'm *serious*, baby. I don't know if I could take it if you decided we needed to start typing at each other every night," Jason says, and "whoa."

"Isn't it, though?" The Batgirl undergarments are in compartments right near the uniforms themselves, and there's a sense of removing things from their shrines, but that's mostly irrational.

She *knows* Barbara doesn't see the clothing that way, and *probably* Bruce doesn't, either. Though if it were her providing a space for Batman... hmm. Tim strokes the gaff and thinks, idly, about Bruce doing the same. Perhaps more surprising than it should be, it's a very easy image to call up in her mind.

Probably he wouldn't be sniffing anything of hers unless it were dirty, and even then -- hmm. Probably.

"God, you're gonna look -- no contacts, tonight, I guess?" Jason is stroking the cowl almost absently while he looks at her.

And, perhaps, *looks* at her, because there are few things that seem to fascinate Jason more than watching her put on Batgirl's underwear. Including those times when she's twisting herself into interesting new positions. "No contacts. I think I'll feel some variety of *naked*."

"Yeah, well... this suit looks like it needs to be *poured* on you, so..." The leer is friendly and mild.

Tim slips into the gaff and sighs, reaches in to adjust --

Jason hums.

"Down, boy."

"I didn't say anything," Jason says, and the leer is *just* a bit more purposeful.

Tim raises her eyebrow and puts on the bra with the built-in falsies. "There *is* actually more armor in the new suit than what I had before, Jason."

"Uh, huh, and I can *feel* the padding on the hips. *But*. Barbara was totally listening when you said you wanted something sleek and black."

"Barbara," Tim says, and moves into a quick kata to get used to the slight weight and somewhat more that merely slight *fact* of her breasts, "is always listening."

"Man, I never get used to how you keep those things in *place*."

"Practice. And perfect tailoring."

"Yeah, but -- you don't even wind up with welts on your chest."

"You've never..." Tim thinks about it. "Go ahead and check the internal armoring in the upper part of the suit."

Jason does, and makes a soft sound... "Damn, it's *perfectly* sized for your rack. I guess... you're held in place?"

"Mm-hmm," and Tim puts on the light and entirely practical socks that allow her boots to be nothing but comfortable. When she stands straight again, Jason's handing her the top.

"Slips right through my fingers..."

"As it should," Tim says, and the new suit feels like... oh, it feels *good*, and Tim wonders if she had maybe grown a quarter inch or something since the last time she was measured for the *old* suits. Maybe gained a few pounds of muscle?

She doesn't know, but there's nothing quite like the *perfect* fit. And... Barbara hasn't *taken* her measurements since she'd moved into the manor, and neither had Bruce. Is Bruce capable of that degree of estimation?

The answer, of course, is 'he's Batman.' Tim smiles to herself and reaches for the tights --

"Damn. Just -- damn. You're still you, but --"

"Am I, Robin?" And Batgirl deliberately pulls the tights up *slowly*, flexing her calves and thighs --

"Uh -- well, not *now*..."

Batgirl laughs softly and stands straight again --

"No. Let *me*," Robin says, and shoves her -- gently -- to the bench.

Tim sits down and crosses her legs, kicking with her toes pointed until Jason catches her ankle and squeezes.

He'd put the lenses down in his domino, and his leer is blank and somehow larger than life. Robin. And when he slips her boot on --

The soft sound of it manages to dominate everything, except for how they're both breathing a little too roughly, and *that's* clear --

The boot is perfect and heavy on her, more heavy than the new heels would account for -- hmm. She tugs her ankle away from Jason, twists and *presses* with her heel --

*Two* knives.

Jason -- Robin whistles appreciatively, and his smile is deep and dark.

She gives him one of her own, retracts the blades -- easier mechanism -- and lets Jason put on her other boot. When he's done, he moves back into a crouch and raises his eyebrows behind the mask.

Batgirl rolls to her feet and pulls on the cowl, sealing the space where her hair won't be tonight.

And then she turns and walks over to the vehicles, perfectly sure that Robin is following at her -- deadly -- heels.

They split from each other when they get to Gotham proper, and a part of Tim --as ever -- goes with Jason. It's possible that Jason feels the same pull, just as it's *probable* that it actually makes things as much easier for Robin as it does for Batgirl.

Roaring through the streets until they reach their respective territories, and there's nothing but the city and the night -- and all of the possibilities therein. It's early enough that there are some shouts, a few people pointing as she drives past. Misplaced daylight people, for the most part -- the night people *know* who she is.

And -- maybe it *isn't* so much for Barbara to be sure that the kids she wants Tim to help mold into useful operatives will know who she is. Gotham is just *one* city, but it's big and influential, famous and infamous at once...

Perhaps her heroes have to be the same.

She parks the bike three blocks away from an area she *knows* will be full of dealers and flies for the rooftops, instead. The new suit makes her feel as dangerous and as frightening as Batman; losing the feel of the wind around her eyes makes her feel *invulnerable*. None of those things are strictly true, but she has to admit that the feelings... *inform* the way she moves in to dish out a little punishment.

She's just that much faster, that much more vicious and inclined to laugh at her targets and their knives, their guns --

Lost to two of her batarangs *just* that fast, and it's *tempting* to open up on them with her heel-knives, but these are really just kids. Out too late and with too little hope for a better future.

If she beats them badly enough, frightens them enough --

Well, there's always *hope* that they'll try a different way, if far less of it than she likes to think about.

She dumps the guns, retrieves her batarangs and moves on -- veers at the sound of breaking glass and the sight of a body being tossed through a plate glass window.

When she gets down, there's a bar fight *well* under way, with no sign whatsoever of who had started it. She gets the few non-combatants close enough to the -- functional, for once -- fire exit that they can make it out on their own and wades in.

Within seconds, she's wearing enough cheap booze -- and something expensive, too, by the smell -- to be disgusted on *top* of being pissed, which makes it convenient that the protocol for situations like this is to take down absolutely *everyone*.

She breaks a chair over the head of the man currently trying to strangle someone who could easily be his brother, breaks another against the legs of the man trying to rush her, dances away from his collapse and then starts *really* fighting, striking and moving, kicking and snarling --

When it's done, it turns out that there were really only six people fighting, and while the part of her which is *always* watching the angles knew that, the rest of her is still a little surprised.

She zip-strips everyone moving and the two who are snoring, taps her comm --

"Got it," Oracle says. "There's what looks to be a gang-related brawl two blocks south. Use your tear gas."

"Noted," Tim says, popping in her rebreather and flying, tasting plastic and stale air, cutting through fresh and living, *loving* --

She flies *over* the mass of milling bodies -- noting the lack of residential occupation nearby -- and takes a quick count. Yes, tear gas. She comes back for another flight, drops three canisters, and doesn't wait. It's windy enough tonight that the gas will dissipate fairly quickly, and, for things like this, not *enough* of the combatants run away.

Too much to prove.

She drops men as she goes, aiming for that spot on their jaws, that spot at the backs of their skulls. She's using her infrared lenses against the gas, and for this, speed is absolutely of the essence. She needs to get as many of them down before --

"Fuck, it's *Batgirl*!"

Before. The gas is still working for her, because even the people smart enough to try breathing through their shirts can't *see* through them. It's just that there's a new spirit of cooperation among her opponents, and that could get nasty *quickly*.

("Always get yourself out. No matter what.")

It's not that bad *yet*, but it could get there. She starts using the spikes on her gauntlets, right and left and center. There's someone else's blood on her face, and the shouts and curses are strangled things, loud and fervent. There are at least two people vomiting that she can hear, but neither of them are around *her*.

Bodies everywhere, all with violent intent, and suddenly there are two men -- in opposing colors -- coming at her with knives out and ready to use. And that...

Tim bares her teeth and backs up a step, another --

They come for her and she leaps, using their backs as a springboard to get up and over, and now she has a little room to work. She uses her kicks, old and new, and *keeps* that room, but now she's hearing bones break and teeth snap every time she connects, and the screams are more purposeful.

She's ruining a lot of faces, and she can only hope that none of these men were hoping for a modeling career to retire on after their lives of crime.

More retching, more cursing -- a click, from behind, and Tim dives and rolls, feeling the breeze of that gunshot on more of an intellectual level than anything else -- the shot wasn't aimed at *her*.

She takes out the gun with a batarang and gets up again, fighting --

No one's coming for her --

And then the sound of sirens *registers* --

"You're clean," Barbara says in her ear. "Get out of there."

She goes, noting that at least some of her erstwhile targets are heading north into Batman's territory. She wishes them the worst of luck and keeps moving.

After that, things are mostly routine. There are a few new faces on the stroll at the western edge of her territory, and there's nothing for her in the stories of what had happened to the missing old faces -- just the usual tales of prison and disease.

She offers the usual cards -- and if she didn't know which of the girls were new she'd *know* by the way they actually read them before tucking them away -- and has the usual moment of waiting for one of them to call her on the fact that she's not a *real* girl, that she's --

The truth is, they don't care. These women are in *her* territory, but everyone knows that the prostitutes of Gotham --*all* of them -- are Robin's beat. Sometimes when she comes around, one or two will *ask* her where Robin is, but that doesn't happen tonight.

She keeps moving.

She finds and hurts dealer after dealer, leaving them trussed up for the police with the evidence of their business placed neatly on their chests -- or their backs if they've pissed her off enough.

She stops a purse-snatcher and nearly gets vomited on by a mugger who'd had a big -- Italian -- dinner.

Oracle sends her to plant a few bugs in a darkened office tower, and Tim listens to her -- mostly -- speculation about the CFO's money laundering habits.

The night passes, and things are quiet enough that Oracle sends her to "play with" Robin after she finishes her mid-patrol break.

She finds him on the rooftop with the best three-sixty view of his territory. He's crouching in a shadow, and there's a tear on the thigh of his uniform.

He lets her stitch it closed for him, and his kisses taste like the dry, generic berries of Batman's chosen recipe for the energy bars. Tim settles in to enjoy them, and the feel of the wind against her cheek.

Their time.

"Good night? You kinda smell like tequila."

Tim gives him the basics on her evening, and he returns the favor -- the tear happened when some gorilla on PCP had thrown *him* through a plate glass window.

"I gotta say, that gets old pretty fast."

"Happily, I can only imagine," Tim says, and pulls her palm-top.

Jason gestures. "Thought you had all that stuff about the targets memorized already."

"I do, but... I know so little *about* these people."

"What's to know beyond the whole 'drug-dealing, murdering scum' thing?"

"Batman wouldn't have given us all this information if he didn't want us to use it."

"To most efficiently track down and *punish* the people in question," Jason says, reaching around to stroke the back of her neck.

"Mm. You miss the wig."

"With that new uniform... you're a shadow without it. *Batman* is less fucking subtle."

Tim smiles. "It looks good next to yours."

"*You* look good next to *me*, baby," Jason says, and leans in close to read over her shoulder. "Who are we looking at?"

"Antoine 'Little Dog' Brown."

"The ex-hitter, okay. He liked using knives on his targets, but the last time *I* ran up against him, he was doing just fine with a nine mil."

"Mm. Perhaps Batgirl should give him a few knife scars."

"Love the way you think, baby. And look, says here that he's been spending his down time with someone other than his regular girl. Tch. Romance is dead."

"Somehow I'm failing to have sympathy for the criminal element," Tim says, and keeps scanning. "Where does Batman find the *time* to get all of this information? Where does *Oracle*?"

"I don't know about O, but -- he doesn't *sleep*. I told you that already."

"Yes, but -- do you suppose he spends some of his patrol-time *just* gathering intel? Do you think we should, too?"

Jason shrugs. "You're the almost-Bird. I have a few regular contacts here and there, but none that could get me information like *this*."

"Yes, precisely. Hm. I suppose there's something to be said for having us to do the night-to-night grunt work, as it were, while Batman and Oracle work on the fine-tuning, but... I think I'm going to request some time *just* to build up better contacts."

"Yeah? You know the street needs you, too."

"I know, but... anything can happen, and usually does, Robin. We *need* to be as deep into things as we can go."

"Nasty thoughts, there."

Tim turns to look at Jason --

"No, I know. That's an *extremely* pointy point you got there, baby. I'm hearing you. For now, though..." Jason stands up and offers his hand.

Tim takes it and lets herself get hauled upright --

"God *damn*, you look good enough to -- heh. Eat."

"Mm. Keep that in mind for later --"

"*No* problem," Jason says, and heads for the edge of the roof.

Tim watches him leap, all power and the kind of grace that has to be *fought* for --

Tim runs and leaps, herself, and then it's just a matter of getting to their bikes and meeting up again, moving into more residential areas and hunting down their first man. They know the car he usually drives, that the title for it is in the name of an ex-girlfriend with no criminal record whatsoever. She'll never try to claim it.

There's no sign of it at the first place they look -- a restaurant favored by the Massive's upper management -- but they get lucky at the girlfriend's apartment building. Specifically, in the parking garage.

Jason pops a tracer under the bumper, Tim reflexively checks that the license plates haven't been switched.

The girlfriend lives on the eleventh floor, and they slip back outside, fly for the roof, and rappel down on opposite sides of the building --

"I've got a dark window," Jason whispers in her ear, and it's exactly as much of an invitation as it should be. Tim climbs back up and comes down on Jason's side. By the time she gets there, Jason has it open. He gestures her in, and the first impression -- with her night-vision lenses down, and she already *loves* this cowl -- is of a great deal of space. She's in a living room. No bookshelves, but a state of the art entertainment center, crowned with a plasma TV.

One of the first lessons of this life is that crime pays a *lot*, when you get right down to it.

Everything's quiet.

Jason gestures her to take the east doorway while he takes the north, and -- dining room. The furniture looks like teak. The art throughout is pure African nostalgia. Not much in the way of authenticity, to her eye, but there are some very nice pieces.

She moves into the kitchen, and finds Jason examining a truly inspiring knife rack. Either one of them is a chef, or Little Dog *really* likes sharp objects. She knows where she's putting her money.

The bedroom smells faintly of sex, which, considering what they're here to do, is a little queasy-making. Tim slips the nine millimeter out from under Little Dog's pillow, Jason zip-strips the woman -- helpfully sleeping on her stomach --

She wakes up -- "Whuh -- *hey* --"

Little Dog immediately reaches for the gun, turns and reaches for the night-table when he can't find it --

Tim breaks his nose. "Good instincts, though."

"What the *fuck*?" He tries to go *over* the woman --

"*Good* question, dogshit," Jason says, and cracks him in the jaw -- hard enough to break it.

"Oh, bad form, Robin."

"Shit, sorry. They just don't *make* scumbags like they used to."

Tim shakes her head sadly. There's enough light coming in from outside that they should be able to see it. "He's not going to be able to talk to us."

"*Damn*," Jason says. "I guess it's a good thing we're not here to *listen*."

Little Dog is still kneeling on his struggling girlfriend, looking back and forth between them and attempting to hold his face together. It's altogether pathetic.

"You should probably get back on your side of the bed," Jason says, and --

Little Dog rolls back on his ass and tries a kick. It's not bad for an amateur, but it's more than weak enough for Tim to catch it and twist his ankle hard. It doesn't break, but she gets a very interestingly liquid scream.

"That was pretty stupid, dogshit. I mean, we were gonna fuck you up a little more, anyway, but still. You tried to hurt my girl. Now I'm gonna have to --"

Little Dog flinches back, but he doesn't get far enough away to avoid the hit that cracks his cheekbone. And, by the looks of it, his ring finger.

Now he's *really* trying to hold his face together, and -- yes, the fight's gone right out of him.

"Is it sinking in that you're not going to be very attractive, anymore?" Tim tilts her head to the side. "You don't have to answer, of course, but I'm curious."

"She's got a real enquiring mind," Jason says, and shoves Little Dog off his girlfriend, who's currently crying and muttering something that sounds like variations on 'I didn't do anything.'

"Are you listening, Little Dog? I hope you are, because we have a tight schedule tonight. We're not here to truss you up for the police, or to get you give us information about your operation. We know enough about it for our current purposes."

"What she said, dogshit," and takes the gun from Tim and tucks it away. "We're here because you're a fuck-up, and you're fucking up in *our* city. We just want you to know that we're watching you, and that we can do *this* --"

Tim's moving before Jason gestures, spinning into a kick that leaves a slash right across his forehead. Two slashes.

"-- anytime we want. Get it?"

Little Dog nods frantically, screaming and bleeding and generally looking like the wreckage of a man. Mission accomplished.

"Good," Tim says --

Jason uses a very attractive chair to break the very attractive window next to the bed. Their targets flinch, and Tim has to work not to do the same. That -- really wasn't in the script.

But Jason is out the window, and the only thing to do is follow, and follow him to a rooftop with a good view of the parking garage.

Tim raises her eyebrow -- remembers that Jason can't *see* that, anymore --

"I know, I know, I could've hurt someone just walking down the street, and I -- shit," he says, and pushes a hand back through his hair.

"Tell me why."

"Oh, that really wasn't BG-voice -- shit. I don't know, baby, it just really *got* to me that time. That huge fucking apartment, all their little fucking *toys*, and that guy has more dead bodies on him than your fucking shoe size. Than *mine*."

Tim nods and walks up, resting a hand on Jason's shoulder. "There's something to be said for making people like that less attractive to rental agencies..."

Jason snorts. "I -- I *wish* I was thinking about that. Just -- damn. I'll do better, I promise."

Tim nods, squeezing Jason's shoulder and promising herself that she'll come up with something to add to the script to ease feelings like that for Jason. Maybe they could've smashed the TV or something... she'll fix it.

They crouch down in the shadows together and wait.

After a couple of minutes, Jason says, "I don't know, baby. He *might* have actually had the brass to call nine-one-one."

"Anything is possible, I suppose, but... let's wait another minute or two."

Jason nods, and they listen for sirens together. Nothing, and more nothing --

And then Little Dog's very distinctive vehicle is pulling out of the garage. *Slowly*.

Tim pulls her scope, and -- yes, Little Dog is driving the car, alone, with what looks like most of a bed sheet wrapped around his head. The nearest hospital is in the other direction.

"Nice call, baby," Jason says, walking off the edge of the roof. Tim follows quickly, and they get to their bikes. Tim pulls her palm-top and calls up the tracer signal -- there.

They follow at a distance, pausing to check Little Dog's progress at stoplights.

Eventually, he leads them to another luxury high rise -- and this one doesn't belong to a lieutenant, at all.

She and Jason share a grin. There are only a few windows with light at this time of night, but they don't hit the jackpot until the fourth, and yes, that *really* is Jaheem Erickson, presumed war-leader of the Massive, holding forth in his kitchen with a gun in one hand and a cell phone in the other. Little Dog is bleeding quietly in a chair.

Tim opens up her mic, and turns on the recorder.

They get a repeat of what they had done tonight, and a lot of suggestions from Erickson on what the Massive should do about it, including keeping their street dealers strapped at all times, which would be a lovely thing to give to the police. Leveling a weapons charge on top of possession-with-intent on someone only getting a *taste* of the Massive pie would be an excellent way to get a witness for the prosecution.

It would be dangerous on a night-to-night level, too -- for civilians as well as *them* -- but --

They wouldn't even have to wait to bait the trap. The bangers would be baiting the trap *for* them, and all *they* would have to do is give the police the heads-up --

No, it looks like whoever's on the other end of the line -- and Tim is very, very sure that it's the Massive's version of a CEO, Robert "Big Boy" Sterling -- is putting the kibosh on that plan.

It *sounds* like Erickson is getting the call to watch and *wait*, and that's interesting. And may or may not last after she and Jason do their thing, but...

They're already at war with the gangs. It's just that they're not letting them have *clean* victories, anymore.

Most of her believes that, and is fine with everything they do, besides. The rest worries, and hopes to come up with a better way. It's not an especially optimistic part -- guard, armed, walking in and grabbing what looks like a bottle of cranberry juice from the refrigerator --

Erickson shouts him out of the room, and Jason turns to her and raises his hand.

Five, four, three, two --

One, and Jason's swinging out on his line and kicking in the window with all the power at his disposal. Tim follows and immediately moves for the door to the kitchen.

The guard stupidly comes in high, and Tim trips him easily, then bangs his face against the floor twice. After that, he's easy to zip-strip --

Or he would be if the second guard wasn't coming in at a run --

Tim whips back and two shots hit the refrigerator, which groans ominously. Tim pulls a batarang, trusting Jason to handle Erickson and Little Dog on his own, tosses and hits the second guard's wrist instead of the gun.

He fumbles but catches it by the barrel, and that's more than good enough. Tim jumps on the first guard hard to discourage him from moving too much, kicks for the second guard's gun hand, misses --

Kicks again and takes him in the jaw --

Again and he's grabbing for his privates --

And the first guard bucks, forcing her to flip back and spin into a kick that moves the first guard's nose distinctly to the right. She tosses another batarang -- and the guns are down, even if the guards still have some fight in them.

She punishes them for it, using the kicks that break bones to drop them into a heap of themselves before double-striking for their necks. A few minutes of paralysis is enough to get them zip-stripped, and --

Jason is standing on Erickson's neck and holding the cell phone. Little Dog is unconscious, possibly due to the pain of having both of his shoulders dislocated. It's *really* not his night.

Erickson is zip-stripped, and -- Jason turns up the volume on the cell.

"What is it? What's happening? Jaheem! *Jaheem*!"

Jason smiles, lazy and slow, and brings the cell to his mouth. "Hey, fat boy?"

"Who the *fuck* is this?"

"I go by Robin. Your boys can't come to the phone right now."


Tim gestures at Erickson --

Jason holds up a finger and smiles a little wider.

"Your motherfucking pansy ass is *dead*, and so's your girlfriend, motherfucker --"

"Uh, huh, yeah, you know what? We're tracing this call. We're coming to *your* house next."

The silence, this time, is deeper. More -- satisfying. Tim rocks on her heels and crosses her arms under her breasts.

"Still there, fat boy? No? Aww, he hung up," Jason says, and *throws* the phone down onto Erickson's face. A bit of tooth goes flying, but nothing else. "Hey, good phone. I'll have to get me one of those," and Jason moves his foot off Erickson's neck, and crouches beside him. "Now, I'm not telling you how to run your business, but dogshit over there led us *right* to you. You might wanna do something about discipline in this outfit of yours."

"*Fuck* you, White boy. And I'll fuck your bitch *for* you."

"That so? See, I'm thinking what *she's* got'll bite your dick right off for you, but I guess you could try."

Tim clicks her teeth together. Twice.

Erickson shudders -- but gets himself together pretty fast, all things considered.

"Here's the deal, Jaheem -- and why don't *you* have a nickname I can fuck around with, hunh? -- we're gonna fuck your shit up a little. *Then* we're gonna fuck your *shit* up a little. How's that work for ya?"

No response.

"Cat got your tongue? That's all right -- you won't need it," Jason says, and throws three quick jabs that leave Erickson looking like he'd just been run over. After, Jason examines his work, poking at the man's broken nose, pushing his lips back over cracked teeth -- "You hungry, BG?"

"Always, Robin."

"'Cause I'm feeling like some *ribs*," and he backs off, leaving Tim room to kick in the ribs on Erickson's right side.

Two of them, judging by the cracking sounds. She does the same on his other side, and then Jason spreads Erickson's legs.

He fights, but he has nothing like Jason's *power*, and --

"I don't think you'll be fucking me today," Tim says, and stomps. Three times.

The screams are loud and heartfelt, and the guards are struggling uselessly. Are they done? She turns to Jason, who looks like he's thinking about hurting Erickson even *more* --

"Let's see what kinds of toys he has," and Jason moves deeper into the apartment. Tim thinks about giving him a moment, but -- she has to follow the sounds of crashes, the sounds of breaking *things* --


Oracle. "I'm here, O."

"One of Erickson's neighbors called nine-one-one five minutes ago. You're about to overstay your welcome."

"Noted," Tim says, and finds Jason with a *baseball* bat -- where had he? It doesn't matter. "Robin," she says, using Tim's voice because she *knows* it cuts through, that it *has* to cut through --

Jason pauses mid-swing and blows out a breath. "Got it. One more?"

Tim nods, and Jason smashes a mirror, then tosses the baseball bat aside.

Tim makes a command decision not to think about the old-looking stains on the head of the bat, and they get out of there, driving away from the sound of sirens and toward their next target for the night.

It turns out to be another man sleeping peacefully next to his girlfriend, and Jason stays on script throughout, whatever had gotten into his system apparently gone again, and Tim tries not to think about it --

Tim tries to *think* about it, with the parts of her mind not currently lost to the rumbling growl of the bike, to the feel of blood drying on her cheek again, to Jason, so beautiful and always so *dangerous*, and part of her knows that he *wouldn't* have lost it like this if he hadn't known he had her for back-up, but the rest of her knows that he's not supposed to lose it at all.

Not with her, and not with the things they're doing that might as well *be* designed to ease the angry, raging *thing* inside him, and -- not with *her*.

It winds her up and makes her tense, and *she* winds up kicking their last target too hard, hard enough to make him spit blood that may or may not be from the kicks he'd taken to the mouth --

"I *love* it when you're nasty, BG."

He can't see the way she's looking at him, but he still pauses, still gives her the 'later' gesture, and when they *do* stop --

"What is it, baby?"

"You. You're too -- angry."

Jason purses his lips. "You were laying the hurt down pretty hard --"

"I didn't mean to. I -- I'm a little. Tense."

"I can see *that*," Jason says, and catches her by the hips, pulls her in close -- "I'm okay."

"I don't. Believe you."

Jason squeezes her hips hard. "I'm *okay*. Sometimes -- I need a little more --"

"It's supposed to be -- I'm *with* you, Robin --"

"BG, I -- Tim," he says, flipping the lenses up and *looking* at her, and --

Willing her to look at him, to see the calm in his eyes, the ease and the -- it's love, and maybe it always is, and that's enough reason to flip her own lenses up, to *show* him how much she's worried.

"I -- I think I maybe have a lot on my mind?" And there's a laugh in his voice, and Tim can't really --

She smiles, ruefully, and touches his face with her gauntlet. Robin is *still*, and will always be, the bravest, the strongest, the most beautiful -- and sometimes the most terrifying.

"It's *okay*, baby --"

"You can't really -- you can't let yourself go like that, *Robin*. Not on the street."

Jason frowns. "It's -- is it too much for you?"

And now *he* sounds scared, and. Is that really better? Tim shakes her head. "You make me... sometimes you make me. Worry."

"Hey, no, we're a *team*, baby, it's okay --"

"It's not *okay*. Not when I can *feel* you wanting to hurt them more, wanting to *torture* them --"

"I wouldn't --"

"Wouldn't you?"

Jason squeezes her hard -- lets go and turns away, walking a few steps and. He doesn't punch his thigh, but it's probably because he knows his gauntlet would just slip against the material of his tights.

He looks as upset as she feels, as *wound*, and the last thing she wants is to make it harder for him to settle down -- "Jason," she says, quietly --

"I know. Fuck, I -- I don't *like* going easy on these fuckers. Sometimes I want you to fucking *take* their eyes with those knives of yours, sometimes I *need* to just -- hurt and hurt and *hurt* them, as much as I can, and holding back feels like pinning my fucking *dick* back -- no offense."

"Ah -- none taken? Tell me -- tell me what I can do?"

Jason covers his face with his hands. "It's not supposed to be... you know. You're supposed to take those thoughts *away* for me."

"Should we maybe... ease back?"

"*No*. I *like* making these fuckers scared, making them blow their money on guards, making it so they can't ever fucking *relax*." He pulls his hands away and looks at her. "Don't you?"

"Most of me does. I... sometimes I wonder if we can finish what we've started, or if this will make it harder on the civilians -- you heard Erickson talk about arming the street-level dealers. And I know that'll make them easier to put away, but -- God, giving these kids *guns*, Jay..."

Jason's face twists. "I know. I really do know. I *still* think it's a good plan, especially since we've been letting some of these fuckers just slide for so *long* --"

"We're not supposed to be the *punishment*."

"Aren't we?"

Tim draws back, she can't really help it. "Jay --"

"*Think* about it, Tim. Some of these people are *never* gonna get caught until one of their underlings shoots them and takes over. The Feds go after the mob guys, sure, spending time and money on wiretaps and undercover agents and all that, but they don't give a *shit* about the gangs that are eating this city. There's only *us*, and we can give the cops a hand here and there, and sometimes we get lucky and catch a shipment or something, but the big boys? All sitting pretty. *All* of them. And if the cops can't punish them..."

"We can. I..." Tim swallows, and feels something opening up beneath her feet, or maybe just inside her. Maybe -- "Batgirl isn't supposed to --"

"Batgirl," Jason says, and stalks close again, cupping Tim's chin and tilting her face up -- "*Batgirl* -- is supposed to be whoever you *say* she should be, baby. This is you and me. This is *us*. Not Bruce, not Babs. *We* make the rules."

"I'm not. I don't think I'm comfortable with that." Be *honest*. "Entirely."

And Jason smiles. "Well, it's pretty fucking scary -- no argument there. But between the two of us -- we can make these fuckers want to *leave* Gotham. And maybe one or two of them will be dumb enough to hit Star City, and Oliver fucking Queen can put an arrow in their eyes. How 'bout *that*?"

Tim opens her mouth -- closes it again and tries to *think*, tries to -- "You still can't be wild. You can't be *angry*, Jason, or -- *you* can be angry, but *Robin* can't."

"I..." Jason narrows his eyes. "The sheer *number* of fucking times Bruce has told me to be cool on the street, that he's *benched* me for *not* keeping my cool -- you looked scared of me, for a moment there."

"I was scared *for* you --"

"Don't lie, baby."

Tim bites her lip -- stops and tries to think shallow thoughts about her lipstick, about the fact that he keeps touching her *bloody* cheek, like maybe she should have a new accessory -- "I -- fuck. I was scared of what you would do, Jay."

"Because maybe it would be something you wouldn't be able to forgive," he says, quiet and small.

"I would always -- I *love* you."

"I know you do, Tim, and I can -- it's always in me, now, you know? I can always *feel* it. And I think, maybe, that I was taking it for granted a little, tonight. That I was -- assuming things about you." His smile is wry and dark. "And those pretty little knives in your pretty little boots."

Tim smiles back cautiously. "Just -- we have to draw a line. *We* do. There's no one else."

"Just us."

"Just us," Tim says, nodding and stepping closer, and closer still until Jason puts his hands back on her hips and pulls her in close, breathing against her forehead.

"I'll do better. Because of you."

It should be because of *him*, but -- Tim takes a breath and tilts her head up. "I trust you, Jay." Please don't make me stop.

He frowns like he'd heard *all* of that and nods, squeezing her hips the right kind of hard and kissing her forehead through the cowl.

Tim closes her eyes for a moment. "I think if I call Oracle she'll tell me that I'm done for the night --"

"Oh yes, I will. Be *careful*, little girl."

Jason's eyebrows go up. "She's telling you something?"

"Ah -- I think she might have heard our... most recent conversations. Plural, that is."

"Uh -- oh. Um. Hi?"

Oracle's laughter is the same grating *goad* as it always is, making Tim want to stand straight and Batgirl want to go hipshot and arrogant --

"Ooh. I do like being able to see you through Robin's eyes."

Tim blushes --

"Do I wanna *know* what she's saying? Like, at all -- and she just told me to be quiet. Okay, I can do quiet," Jason says, backing off and deliberately looking up at the lack of stars.

"I'm listening, O."

"Remember, if nothing else, that there will never be a point when you can't say no. On the street or off."

"I -- I'll try --"

"*Don't* try. *Remember*. I know you can, Tim. Remember the ultimate rule, and remember -- you're no one's martyr save my own."

Tim. She -- Tim swallows. "I'll remember."

"Oracle out."

Tim feels herself wanting to slump in *relief*, but she breathes, instead, and after a moment Jason is right there.


Tim nods and squeezes his hand.

She spends the ride back thinking of -- too many things. Too many *possibilities*, but she thinks Barbara would be proud of her for all the ways she imagines saying no, all the different moments she can think of where she could pull away from Bruce, or Jason, say the *word* no and leave the bed --

Except for how all of those fantasies include her looking at Jason and seeing hurt, upset, *disappointment* --

He never *lies* to her --

"It's *going* to be okay," Jason says through the helmet radio.

Tim laughs softly. "Or else?"

"Fuck, yeah," and Jason weaves his bike a little in front of her, picking up speed --

Tim does the same, rolling up until they're next to each other --

"We'll just -- we'll see how it *goes*. And the second it gets too freaky for me, I'll let you know, and *you'll* do the same, yeah?"

"I -- and then what?"

"And then we'll leave. *Together*."

And that's enough. It *should* be enough -- "And try again another night?"

"Or *not*, if it's too fucked-up. It's not like -- Bruce'll *know* that we're freaked out and just -- *trying*. I'll tell him, okay?"

"Okay," Tim says, and pushes her bike up a little faster --

And they're racing, just like that, *using* the empty streets the way they were meant to be used. Jason's bike has a lot more power than the one she's using now, but it doesn't have quite the same level of pick-up. Tim holds the lead for a good, solid three quarters of a mile, but Jason's gaining on her with every breakneck curve, and by the time they get to the private roads, Jason's in the lead and there's no way she can catch up without pushing her bike well beyond spec.

*Not* done when they're just playing.

She watches Jason pull into the Cave and wonders, idly, what Bruce's neighbors here in Bristol *think* about the sounds of powerful engines in the wee hours of the morning. Could they be telling themselves that Bruce is just putting one of his legions of sports cars through its paces?

Bruce's reputation leaves room for both eccentric and *erratic* behavior, and really, she's had years to appreciate 'Brucie Wayne' for the masterwork he is. She'd been obsessed with Batman and Robin for years *and* moving in Brucie Wayne's social circles, and she'd still never twigged until she'd broken *Dick's* cover.

And there are probably dozens -- maybe hundreds -- of *adults* in Gotham who've been trying to learn Batman's secrets for even *more* years, and they've never done so.

He's six foot three inches tall, built like a tank, and periodically shows up to parties with mysterious bruises and scars... and no one would ever guess. No one. Part of that is the natural stupidity of the human race, but...

Tim parks her bike and pulls off her helmet, reflexively scanning for signs of Bruce even though she knows Jason has already --

"The car's in," he says, from right next to it. He strokes it with his gauntleted fingers and searches her hard.

Tim nods. "Shower."

It's probably the quickest one they've ever taken together, certainly the most *efficient*, and -- there's nothing keeping them down here. Not really. Or -- no.

She types up a quick outline of a report for both Oracle and Bruce, Jason behind her and rubbing her shoulders -- she doesn't really feel *tense* so much as... full of waiting. Full of -- something.

Or maybe so empty she *feels* full... Tim shakes her head at herself. "I don't think that will help, Jason. I'm kind of... well."

"It's helping *me*, Tim -- okay, no, that's a lie."

They laugh together and Tim stands, walks into his arms. "We don't have to do this," she says. "*You* know that, right?"

Jason sighs and cups her waist. "My *brain* knows, but... the rest of me was willing you to type faster."

"Are you really that --"

Jason takes her hand and brings it down to his penis. He's semi-hard, but she's seen him harder just from having had a patrol and a hot shower. "It's not that," he says.

She nods, and she thinks it's probably the best possible sign of her *own* state of mind that not even touching Jason here is making her anything but -- tight. Wired. *Something* --

"Are *you* hard, baby?"

Tim smiles up at Jason ruefully, thinking about all the times her penis has been a *problem*, all the different *ways* it has been a problem, and now she's just... well. "A bit less than you."

"I think... that won't last," Jason says, and his eyes are a little wide, not distant so much as -- young.

Tim nods and squeezes Jason reflexively --

Jason laughs and kisses her, slow and so soft that it would be easy to forget his rage tonight and the discomfort that's running through both of them. Or maybe she's just telling herself that, because really -- she's not forgetting anything. She bites Jason's lower lip and shakes her head a little before letting go.

"Are we going to go looking for Bruce if he's not in his bedroom?"

"I --" Jason laughs again. "Okay, I just got an image of us hunting him through the manor with our dicks hanging out."

Tim raises an eyebrow. "Perhaps the most fraught game of hide and seek in the history of the game."

"Heh, yeah," Jason says, and gently brushes her hand off his penis. "If he's not there, he's not there. It's not like I ever get enough of spending time with you. Hell, maybe we can go check out those new clothes of yours."

Tim hums and thinks about it, about Jason rolling stockings up her legs -- about Jason *shaving* her legs for her, slow and perhaps a little... worshipful. She can easily imagine Barbara showing that footage to Dinah and Dinah *vowing* to make Oliver do the same for her... Tim smiles and nods. "All right."


"Yes," Tim says, stepping back and heading for the stairs. She can feel Jason moving behind her, but she can't quite feel him *watching* her move. He's thinking, probably about as many different things as she was on the drive home, and that's -- okay. Better than.

They don't meet Alfred in the manor, and it seems like no time at all before they're in front of Bruce's -- closed -- door.

Tim rests her palm against it. "Do we knock?"

"He knows we're here," Jason says, voice quiet and somehow *tight*.

"Still --"

Jason reaches past her and raps on the door twice before pushing it open, and then his hand is pressed between her shoulder blades. Tim takes a breath. She can't see anything but well-appointed bedroom -- no, there's a light on, and that *means* something, and --

She walks in, and for a moment she can't feel Jason, at all, and a large and loud part of her is wondering if this was some kind of joke, if Jason's sense of humor had depths to it that she hadn't imagined -- Jason's hand is *still* on her back, and she needs to stop panicking -- now.

She turns toward the bed, and Bruce is there, thumb holding a book open. She can't read the title from here, but the book looks both old and well cared for, and Bruce is looking at them.

Bruce is -- she can't read his expression. It's not that it's blank, it's just that what's there is -- what? Surprise? Apprehension? Outright fear? None of that seems quite right. None of that seems to *match* everything else about him -- that he's sitting up in bed, that there's no bandage on his mouth, that his chest is bare and his hair is damp.

A part of Tim is *only* filing away the knowledge that Bruce neatens his hair even when he's just going to bed. The rest is waiting, because Bruce keeps looking back and forth *between* them -- his eyes settle on Jason, and Tim tries to be quiet and at least a little subtle about taking a deep breath.

"Bruce," Jason says, and strokes over to Tim's arm, down to Tim's hand. He squeezes. "We've been... I don't know how much you've been listening to, how much you've been watching --"

"Nothing -- today," Bruce says, and sets the book down on the night table.

There's something like relief in feeling a part of herself peel away from the rest to dwell -- only -- on the fact that Bruce apparently didn't have a *bookmark* to hand --

How ridiculous, exactly, is she going to be? Tim growls to herself and draws herself up internally -- and nearly loses the game entirely when Bruce turns to her, when she can *see* the way he's looking at her, the hunger and *hope* -- "Maybe," she says, and strokes a hand down the lapel of the robe, "maybe there are limits to how much we *need* to tell Bruce, right now."

And Bruce *swallows* -- and turns back to Jason, *searches* him, and it must feel like being touched, like being held -- or held *down*.

"Uh -- yeah. Maybe you should think of this as... kind of an experiment?"

"An experiment."

Somehow, she's forgotten how *rich* Bruce's voice could be, how -- solid, or -- she doesn't know, but -- "We don't know -- how this will work," and she moves closer to the bed. In reach.

"We don't even know if you would *want* us to --"

"I do," Bruce says, and it sounds like he's confessing something terrible, something that should hurt everyone in this room, and Bruce's hands are flat on his thighs, but --

They don't have to be. "I want. *We* want..." Tim bites her lip and reaches for Bruce's hand. He lets her take it, lets her lift it to her hip --

And then everything is moving much too fast. Just -- Jason had *moaned*, soft and low, and Bruce had squeezed, turned --

Tim's half on the bed, one knee between Bruce's thighs and her other foot on the floor, and the hand Bruce *doesn't* have on her hip is pressed to her chest. He'd nudged the material of the robe aside and he's touching her, and he has to feel the way her heart is beating, has to *know* --

"Jay," Bruce says, and Tim turns to look back over her shoulder --

Jason is crawling onto the bed, seeming to focus only on the movements that bring him closer to both of them until he's there, kneeling by Bruce's other thigh, close enough for Tim to reach out and touch -- "I guess... heh. I guess this is where you show us what *you* want, B."

Bruce swallows again, staring at Jason -- and turning to stare at her. He *strokes* Tim's chest, and his palm is dry and warm, *big*. "I want... so much."

"Yeah, I... we get that. Right, Tim?"

Tim nods and covers Bruce's hand with her own, watching Bruce's eyes narrow, his lips part -- "It's just. We don't really know -- ah. How much we can take."

"Of course. Of --" Bruce inhales sharply. "I understand. I'd like to..." He moves his hand from Tim's chest to her other hip, squeezes both. "When Jason touches you this way, you move closer."

"I -- yes. Would you like --"

"Sometimes, you merely allow him to *move* you closer."

"Oh, I."

Jason makes a soft noise, and Tim can see him toying with the tie of his robe out of the corner of her eye. This is already -- it's already *good* for him, already arousing --

"It's only... I'd like to know if it's a... trigger, for you, Tim. If it's the positioning of his hands, or the pressure he exerts. Or --" Bruce's nostrils flare and he shifts his hands --

He's pressing against her with his thumbs, and the robe is in the *way* -- "Bruce. You should."

"Tell me. Please."

Jason exhales. "She wants you to do it. She won't know how it feels if you. If you don't."

Tim watches Bruce shudder, feels it going all through him, and this must be so *much* for him, so. He has to wonder what will happen if he makes a misstep, or perhaps he *knows* what will happen -- or thinks he does. Tim licks her lips. "Bruce. Do it."

And the motion is too fast, too -- she's pressed against Bruce's chest, outside leg flailing -- she sets it down on the bed and turns her face against Bruce's shoulder, shifts enough to straddle Bruce's legs comfortably --

"Oh. That?" Jason sounds as surprised as she feels. "Just -- I was expecting a kiss."

She can feel Bruce's breath hitching. This close she can feel everything. Almost everything, and there's only so much she can move her upper body -- Bruce is almost *crushing* her against his chest, holding her tight with both arms -- but she can still *move*, and it only takes a moment to roll her hips forward, edge *closer* -- "Oh."

"He's hard," Jason says, and it *sounds* like he's stating a fact, but --

"He is. He's. I felt him. Twitch."

"Oh... fuck. I haven't. I want..."

She can't see Jason, anymore, but she can feel him moving -- there. He's next to Bruce, bracing one hand against the headboard and looking... looking them *over*.

"She likes. She likes to be able to move a little there, B..."


"She's not going anywhere, yet. Right?"

"Right," Tim says, and squeezes Bruce's hips with her knees -- there. He doesn't let go entirely -- his hands are on her shoulders, stroking down her arms, up her arms and back *to* her shoulders --

Tim rolls them in their sockets and brings her hands up to Bruce's face, stroking his cheeks and frowning a little at the feel of stubble. Mostly, she realizes, she's avoiding meeting Bruce's eyes again, because --

No, if she's going to *do* this -- Bruce's eyes are almost wondering, and... "You can't really believe this is happening."

"I'm... currently going over the evening in my mind to see if I can truly be sure I wasn't exposed to some sort of hallucinogen."

Jason snorts. "It's possible, but -- we're still here. You can... I really want to see you kiss her again."

Bruce nods and wets his upper lip with his tongue. The question in his eyes is both obvious and clear.

Tim nods and leans in, brushing her lips against Bruce's own once, again -- again and Bruce is cupping the back of her head, hand so large it makes her feel like a child, or... perhaps it's the kisses. So light, and when he exhales she tastes coffee --

"Oh -- God, B --"

And then he *does* kiss her, and it's firm and -- she doesn't know. There's a sense of warmth everywhere they're touching, and a kind of sweetness, too. It's not like the kiss from earlier, even discounting the bite. It's --

He slips his tongue into her mouth and Tim feels herself blushing, because somehow a part of her had forgotten that this was a possibility, this -- *penetration*, and now she's thinking about Barbara, about how *she'd* wanted this and Bruce had known, wanted --

He'd *have* to have wanted --

But it's her, and Bruce is tasting her, tickling the roof of her mouth and coaxing at her tongue, and Tim hears herself making a sound that's neither protest nor any other message in particular, or -- she doesn't know, and Bruce is still *tasting* her, still --

She sucks his tongue in something like self-defense, and Bruce tightens his grip on the back of her head, pushes up and raises his knees against her back, holds her *close* --

"Oh *fuck*, B, that's. It looks like you're already having sex, already making *love* to her --"

And this time the noise she makes *is* a protest, but she doesn't know who or what or *why*, she -- he's fucking her *mouth* with his tongue, slow and steady and *ruthless* --

And that has to be Jason stroking her back, but it doesn't feel like he's trying to calm her down, as opposed to -- Tim curls her fingers in against Bruce's cheeks, digging in a little with her nails, and Bruce strokes back down to her hips and starts to *move* her against him, and that --

God, *more* power than Jason, more --

She moans and feels herself wanting to open for this, to already *be* open, because --

"Fuck, yeah, like *that* --"

And she wants to know how Jason had known how much she'd like this, how much she'd *want* this, and -- black blooming in her mind. She's not breathing. She sucks in a breath through her nose and Bruce pulls *back*, sucking hard on her lower lip and making a sound of his own, low and -- and *appreciative* --

"So sweet. So -- my turn," Jason says, and Bruce stops kissing her, stops *moving* her, lets go of the back of her head --

Jason turns her to face him and kisses her *hard*, moaning into her mouth and stroking her cheek, her ear --

They're still close enough to Bruce that she can feel his breath, and -- he's watching. He couldn't be doing anything *but* watching, seeing this and seeing them -- Tim nips Jason's tongue and he moves his hand to her throat, stroking and squeezing just a little, just *enough* to make her moan again --

Bruce sighs and squeezes her hips --

Jason squeezes her throat *rhythmically*, licks her mouth thoroughly and brings his free hand up to cup the back of her head. He wants her to stay right where she is. He wants --

He stops squeezing her throat and strokes down her chest, pushing the robe open wider and catching her nipple between his fingers.

Tim grunts and bites Jason again -- and Jason pinches her hard, the way he almost never does unless he's *that* turned on, and -- that kiss, or maybe the way Bruce was moving her --

He wants to see her *taken*, and it occurs to Tim, with all the force of a *powerful* truth, that part of this kiss, this *touch* -- it's for Bruce, designed both to teach and to turn *on*, and that -- Tim growls and bites Jason *hard*, pushing a hand into his hair and *yanking* --

Jason moans and bites her back, pinches and pulls on her nipple until Tim has to move, has to --

She's pressed against *Bruce*, and that means he's feeling all the ways she's moving, feeling her getting hard --

("You're a beautiful, brilliant, and *dangerous* young woman --")

Tim pulls back from Jason, brushing his hands away --


He looks confused. He -- and Bruce is watching *closely*, everything -- his eyes are a little narrow, and Tim blushes and wishes she'd thought to be at least a little dressed for this, maybe *just* a gaff --

"Tim, are you okay? Is it too much?"

*Yes* -- only. The head of Jason's penis is showing out of the folds of his robe, and it's dark and slick, and Bruce --

She turns back to him and searches his face, his *eyes*. He's *trying* to look blank, she can tell that, but -- it's a failure. Not a complete one -- it would fool anyone who couldn't feel him, didn't know what he looked like in the moments just before a kiss -- breathing. She needs to keep *breathing* --

"Tim," Bruce says, and lets go of her hips --

"No - oh." He's moving his hands to the ties of her robe, and he's -- not opening them. Just.

"Hey, B, wait a second --"

Bruce nods. "Perhaps. Perhaps if Tim could see herself the way... the way we do."

Jason grunts and rests one of his hands on Bruce's. "That would be pretty fucking sweet, but I'm not sure..." He turns to look at her. "Can it happen tonight, baby? Can you trust us?"

Us, and perhaps it's right that Bruce hesitates where Jason doesn't, at all --

"I mean, *is* it the gender thing that's fucking with you?"

Tim blushes *again* -- nods.

Jason nods back. "And the position's not helping, because you know B can *feel* you."

"I know I should -- I'm sorry," she says -- and Bruce cups her chin and turns her face until she's looking at him --

"A part of me only wants to show you," he says, and his thumb is on her mouth. *Lightly*, but --

"And. And the rest?"

Jason laughs softly. "She likes -- tell her, B. Tell her what you want to *do*."

Bruce's eyes almost seem to *flare* -- "I want to touch you, stroke your skin. I want to hold you against my bed and taste you. I'd like to learn everything that makes you -- vocal."

"Oh. Oh --"

And Jason's other hand is on her shoulder. "He wants to make you *forget*, and so do I."

Tim starts to turn back to Jason -- Bruce stops her --

"I want to watch Jason making love to you. I want *permission* for that --"

Jason moans -- "Jesus fucking Christ, B, let her. Let her *see* --"

Bruce lets go, and Jason has shrugged out of the robe. He's naked and so *hard*, and -- she can say no. She can leave, and Jason would come with her, no matter how much he wants to stay -- no. Right now he wants to *see* Bruce with her, wants to -- Tim shakes her head and bites her lip.

She should be *better*, should be. It shouldn't matter how hard she is, how obvious and hungry -- no. It *should* matter, and it does, because both of them, right now, want her *pleasure*. Want her moaning and writhing, begging -- "Please," she says, and gasps because Bruce twitches again, because Jason reaches down and *squeezes* himself --

"Oh, baby -- "

"Beautiful," Bruce says, and never looks away from her face when he opens the robe, when he pushes it back over her shoulders and just -- exposes her.

The same body, the same old *lie* --

"*Listen* to him, Tim --"

("Tim. Move back.")

And Batgirl would -- she doesn't know. She doesn't *know*, and it feels like the first time that's been true in well over a *year*, just -- she laughs and it sounds cracked, *desperate* -- and more than that when Bruce strokes up over her abdomen, her chest --

Bruce pinches her nipples and *rubs* them with his thumbs, his hard and callused *thumbs*, and Tim feels herself flushing with heat, skin prickling with sweat because he could squeeze at any time, he could --

And Jason brushes Bruce's hands aside, but Tim's still -- she's panting a little now, and the robe is pooled on the bed, brushing against her skin because she's moving, rolling her hips against Bruce and staring at neither of them --

Her eyes are closed. She -- she could be anyone like this, so long as she was still Tim, still the -- the *person* who can't be still right now, can't do anything but *want* at the feel of Jason tugging her away from Bruce, making her crawl further onto the bed, turn --

"Open your eyes, Tim."

She does, and Jason's right there, eyes wide and dark and lips parted.

"Just me, baby."

"I -- Bruce --"

"Moving up behind you and -- pitching a *hell* of a tent in his pajamas. I'm trying to figure out if I'm pissed that he's not naked -- and now he just stopped. Too far *away* -- there you go," Jason says, and Bruce's hands are on her shoulders again, his thumbs pressed to the back of her neck, and --

She could say something. "This is. I think this is better? I -- didn't mean for that to be a question."

Jason lifts her chin and smiles at her, so *gently*. "Yeah, you always do better when nothing's touching your dick until -- until. Bruce kind of *has* to be dying a little because you're not on him anymore, but he can deal. Right, B?"

"Yes," Bruce says, and he's rubbing Tim's shoulders, massaging firm and kind of terrifyingly perfect.

Tim moans and reaches up for Jason's shoulders, so broad and familiar. Jason strokes her face.

"I *know* that feels good. God, it's been too long since you've given *me* a rubdown, Bruce."

"I'm sorry. I -- I couldn't."

"Because you needed this, I know -- I know that now. But you've got *her*, and you can feel her relaxing, feel her *letting* you make her relax --"

"A gift," Bruce says, and moves his hands down her back, rubbing and pressing as he goes, and Tim thinks about Barbara's hands, and the way they were always businesslike for this until the end, when she would stroke Tim a little and tell her about the work for the next night, or about whatever game had caught her attention --

And Jason shifts closer, nudging Tim's knees further apart with his own. She can feel her penis bobbing, but it's not especially *important*, not with the way Bruce is making her feel almost liquid, and not with the way she can feel Jason watching her, wanting --

"I love you so much, baby..."

Tim opens her eyes and tries a smile. It feels all right on her face, and Jason grins back.

"You should be careful. He can put you to *sleep* like that if you let him."

"Barbara is -- ah. The same. She said... she said Bruce had taught her, using Dick as their... canvas, I suppose --"

"Problematic," Bruce says, and moves back to her neck, "as Dick was loath to show any sign of discomfort when Barbara slipped, or missed her mark."

Jason laughs. "Yeah, I just *bet*. You must've had to practically *beat* him into shape when she was done with him."

"Somehow, he always seemed to feel it was worth it."

Jason laughs more, and Tim thinks about how it must have been. Bruce guiding Barbara's hands on Dick, Dick lying on his stomach and trying not to moan or make too much of the wrong sorts of noises. How had Barbara felt for that? Did Batgirl feel like a weight or a relief?

Right now, Batgirl is the woman who's *waiting* inside Tim, waiting for her to do the things that will make Bruce and Jason -- her *men* -- behave the way they ought. And that's the same as it always is -- fingertip bruises and bite marks, a hold she can fight against and the feel of being *filled*, taken again and again until Batgirl feels whole in her skin, until Tim feels like she could take on the world and lay it flat beneath her heels, or --

She wants to *see* Bruce, perhaps even more than she wants to feel him. And more than that -- she wants to be *able* to look at Bruce without needing to hide from him. A *hell* of a tent, Jason had said, and -- she doesn't have to keep *both* hands on Jason's shoulders.

She reaches back with her right, squeezing Jason with her left, and -- Bruce's thigh, broad and covered with cool silk, woven too tightly for her to be able to feel his *heat*, but --

"Tim," Bruce says, and pauses with his thumbs pressed to her nape.

"I'd like to feel you."

"Oh, you should *really* let her," Jason says, and looks back over Tim's shoulder. "Hey, it's not -- you were making her *ride* you before, B. What's wrong with Tim giving you a little hello squeeze?"

"Escalation," Bruce says, and moves his hands from Tim's shoulders. "I would. I would want more."

More. A lot of potential in that word. A lot... Tim licks her lips and looks back over her shoulder, but Bruce has turned away. "Bruce," she says, and thinks her voice might be too *short*, but --

It makes Bruce meet her eyes. The anger, perhaps, should be frightening, or at least intimidating, but -- she knows it's not for her.

She continues stroking up Bruce's thigh, *not* lightly -- "You should know... it wasn't *either* of you that made me stop, before --"

"And if you need to stop again?" Bruce covers Tim's hand with his own. *Stops* her.

Tim frowns. "I think... Jason could tell you how to keep me from getting lost. In myself."

"Fuck, I -- I really could, Bruce. If nothing else, it would keep me fucking *focused* on something more than... Jesus, you look huge next to her, B."

Bruce makes a soft sound and squeezes Tim's hand. Not hard enough to hurt, just hard enough to... make a point? Or maybe it's nothing like that. Maybe it's just something he *had* to do, right then.

"Please." Like she had to say that, and -- "I want. It always helps, Bruce. Knowing how aroused Jason is. Being able to *feel* it."

"The sheer fucking *number* of times in the past year I would've been happy to strip down for you and let you get a squeeze, baby..."

Tim turns to smile at Jason -- and feels Bruce moving her hand. *Up* his thigh. "Oh. Bruce..."

"If. I want to help," Bruce says, and he still sounds angry, but it's buried under hunger, and --

How long has it been since anyone had touched Bruce sexually? Tim thinks of the way she'd kept *pulling* Bruce's hand to her knee, *making* him touch -- she's blushing again, and the silk is still in the way, but -- heat. *Some* heat. Not enough. She frowns and tries to get inside Bruce's pajama bottoms --

"*Tim* --"

"This -- wouldn't be a problem if you were wearing *cotton*, Bruce. I want to *feel* --"

Jason snorts and strokes *Tim's* thighs. "Better let her, B. It's for your own *good* --"

Bruce growls, low and sharp, catching Tim's hand again and making her breath hitch --

Jason's eyes are wide -- "Oh. Yeah, Bruce, just..." His laugh sounds a little lost and almost *hurt*. "I've seen you in the shower a thousand fucking times, but -- damn. You look good."

Tim twists and looks -- Bruce is holding Tim's hand and kneeling up, pajama bottoms shoved down his thighs, and -- of course he was naked under them. She'd *known* that, but -- licking her lips would send perhaps more of a message than she *wants* to right now, *but* --

Big. *Thick*. Dark and rising, slick *just* at the tip -- she looks up and Bruce is staring at her, staring *into* her, and it almost seems like he's *daring* her to want to stop, to reject him, but. She tugs against his grip on her hand until he lets go, and then she wraps her hand around him. And --

It's good like it always is, power and vulnerability in her hand at *once*, and it's all she can do not to *stroke* -- no. She can. She *should*, because she wants this and Bruce wants *her*, and it's almost something she can feed on, something to fill that space that's so irritatingly *nebulous* inside her, something she can feel but never *touch*.

She needs other people to do that for her, she needs --

"Tell. Tell her how you like it, Bruce," and Jason's voice is so *rough* --

Bruce tenses, and Tim can see him curl one of his hands into a fist -- probably the other one, too.

"It's all right, Bruce. I -- really like the way you feel," she says, and *works* him a little, squeezing after every downstroke. She's doing it slowly, probably *too* slowly --

"Tim. Your hand, on me --" The hitch of his breath is audible --

"*Fuck*, you -- I can *feel* that, I -- give it to him faster, baby --"

"*No*," Bruce says, and covers Tim's hand with his own. "Not. Not yet."

"No?" Jason sounds incredulous. "That -- that *has* to be a giant fucking tease, B --"

"I want -- there are other things I want first."

That sounds like... quite a lot, at once. Also not *enough*, though -- "What were you going to say?"

Bruce looks down at her again, and the heat in his eyes -- it seems like it should be blinding at least one of them. And he lifts his other hand to Tim's throat and -- squeezes.


Oh, *fuck*. That -- Jason watches Tim's eyes slip most of the way closed, watches Bruce *nod* -- and the thing is, Tim is *still* stroking him, slow and -- fucking *slow*. "Bruce. Jesus --"

"You were showing me, before. Offering," Bruce says, and his hand -- Tim can't move her head at all with his hand there. Bruce is actually forcing her to tilt her chin up, because his hand is that *big* on her throat.

And Bruce had just said something, actual words that need to be *responded* to. "Uh -- yeah. I guess I was. A little --"

"A little?"

"Rather -- ah. More than a. Oh. Bruce," and Tim closes her eyes all the way, shows her *teeth* --

"You don't do this... often," Bruce says, and that's a question, even though it doesn't sound like one, even though Bruce isn't even *looking* at him --

Hell, he can't *blame* Bruce. Tim looks like *more*, and a lot of it, still twisted around, and the look on her face is almost a *snarl* --


*Focus*. "Yeah, I. She never... asks. I mean, it's hard to get her to ask for *anything* specific, but this... sometimes I forget how much she likes it." Likes it enough that she's hard as a fucking rock and fucking *twitching* --

"It seems... difficult to credit," Bruce says, and his voice would almost be fucking *conversational* if it wasn't so *rough*.

And -- "Well. She can be pretty distracting. There are... you know we do. A lot of things," Jason says, squeezing her thighs because he *has* to --

"True. And yet this seems as though..." Bruce sighs and squeezes *harder* --

Tim's moan is *choked* --

"Bruce --"

"It could be almost innocent, if offered the right way, at the right time, Jay --"

"It's *never* innocent. She's -- I don't even *know* what makes her like this --"

"Need it, I think," Bruce says, and starts petting her face with his other hand, dragging his fingertips over her cheek, her forehead, her mouth.

"You look." Jason shakes his head. "I'm getting way too fucking hard --"

And Bruce *looks* at him, hand *paused* on Tim's mouth, and that's --

He really -- he'd *asked* for *just* that look. Jason fights back the urge to lick his lips. "I'm not -- you *really* shouldn't lose focus, right now."

Bruce nods --

Tim laughs, breathless and high. "*Jason* --"

"Like *you're* ready for him to stop --"

"We could make this -- ah. More equal. Somehow I feel secure in my assumption that Bruce wouldn't... mind."

And Bruce smiles, small and *sharp*, tugging at the cut at the corner of his mouth -- and squeezes her throat again, *holding* it this time --

Tim punches the bed with both hands, does it again and opens her mouth on a yell that doesn't have any *air* --

"Fuck. *Fuck*, Bruce --"

"She's so beautiful," Bruce says quietly. "So -- hmm. Vicious," he says, and pushes two fingers into her mouth --

And Jason winces for Tim's bite, because it's hard and *grinding*, and she's going to break the *skin* if she doesn't stop -- but maybe Bruce should be wearing marks from both of them. Maybe --

Oh. Tim's *sucking* Bruce's fingers, trying to take them deeper -- no, biting them *again* --

"Jesus, Tim, open your eyes --"

She does, and they look wild, unfocused -- they're rolling a little like she can't remember *how* to focus, and now Bruce's mouth is open, now they can both hear him breathing, because this is getting him *just* that hot --

"Do you want to suck him off, baby? Have him in your mouth?"

She opens her mouth wide, and Jason can't tell if that's an answer of just a frustrated gasp. Bruce is fucking her mouth with his fingers, in and *in* --

He loosens his grip on her throat and Jason takes a breath -- he hadn't realized he was *holding* his breath --

"Tim," Bruce says, and *strokes* her throat with his thumb, pulls his wet fingers out of her mouth --

Tooth marks, and they're *going* to bruise --

"Bruce," she says. "I... I think I need. More."

Bruce raises an eyebrow -- and turns to Jason.

"Uh. That usually means -- harder. More. More of a *push*, if that makes any sense."

Bruce nods and Tim closes her eyes again, pants and tenses --

"Or -- wait. Tim?"

"I -- it's an interesting experience to be discussed in this way. At this... sort of time," she says, and smiles *before* she opens her eyes again.

Her pupils are blown and she seems to be almost looking *through* Jason -- or just deep enough into him to see the exact fucking shape of the need in him. "Jesus, you drive me crazy, baby. I -- I *know* you weren't even trying to that time, but --" Jason reaches for himself and *squeezes*.

"Oh. Jay -- *nnh* --"

Bruce just squeezed her again. He --

"God, B, are you trying to make her come *that* way?"

"It would be dishonest for me to say the idea hadn't occurred to me. And yet," Bruce says, letting go and reaching down to grab Tim's hips, instead. "I want more, as well."

Tim blinks and nods, and Jason's nodding, too, and Bruce sighs and *lifts* Tim, turning her and laying her out on her stomach beside them.

She pushes up onto her hands and knees --

Bruce rests his hand on the back of her neck. "I would say you're giving too much, again, but I believe you're *entirely* aware of the consequences."

And that -- sounds like a conversation Jason wasn't privy to, which pretty much means that it's the one they'd had before that *kiss* --

"Ah. It would be far more accurate to say that I'm *hopeful* about the consequences."

Bruce laughs, a humming chuckle that sounds so purely happy Jason almost wants to *leave*. This is -- this is for *them*, for all that Jason is right here, for all that he *knows* they would happily let him *in*. Jason shakes his head and moves back, a little --

And Bruce looks a question at him.

Jason gives him the later gesture and nods at Tim. The length of her, the sweet little curve of her ass --

The bruises and bite marks Bruce is stroking now, pressing down on them lightly, just hard enough to make her shift and gasp. Bruce moves until he's behind her, and now Jason can't see her. He thinks about staying right where he is, not calling *attention* to himself --

Tim moans, long and low, and Jason moves to the side, needing Bruce to not *stop* whatever he's doing to make her sound like that --

Oh. He's holding her cheeks apart. Holding her *open*, and Tim's panting and digging her nails in against the comforter, eyes squeezed shut --

"Jay, he -- oh, I *want* --"

"It's okay, baby. It's -- you look so *good*..." And he can feel Bruce looking at *him*, but -- not *now* -- "You've got her open, B. You can't make her wait like that --"

And Bruce groans so *loud*, and Tim's eyes are wide and almost *panicked* --

"It's *okay*," he says, and he doesn't know who he's talking to, doesn't know what *he* wants other than more of this --

And Bruce leans in -- kisses her, and it must be soft because she's panting harder, *straining* almost --

And he knows the exact *second* he pushes in with his tongue, because Tim's mouth falls open on a shout and her fingers splay wide.

Of *course* Bruce would want to do this, of course he'd *need* to, and Tim is already shaking for it, hanging her head and groaning, wanting it --

Bruce's *tongue*, and Jason knows how it feels in his mouth, knows the strength there, the slick *push* --

Bruce groans against her, *into* her and she kicks back, toes pointed -- brings her knee back down to the bed and shakes harder, and Jason wants --

"*Talk*, baby, just -- say something --"

"Can't -- can't talk when he's. You *know*."

He *does*, but -- "Just -- try for me?"

"W-wet. So -- faster than you do. And he's. It's *wet* --"

"He wants you, he fucking *loves* this --"

And Bruce *nods* against her, moans again --

Tim *growls* and shakes her head, and there's fresh sweat on her temples, more on her back --

"Tim --"

"*Wet*, Jason, all through me, like -- like he's getting me *ready*, and I -- oh *fuck* --"

And Jason has to *wince*, because Bruce is squeezing her hard, groaning softly again and still *fucking* her, and that's what --

Oh, God. "I want it," Jason says, licking his lips, "I want to see Bruce fucking you, baby --"

She throws her head back and *yells*, beating at the bed again with her hard little fists, muscles tensed and flexing, releasing only to flex again, *again* --

"Don't -- don't make her come this way, Bruce --"

"*Please* --"

And Jason has to squeeze himself again, has to *stroke* and squeeze, moan and *want*, because Bruce pulls *back* --

"Oh, no, oh *God* --"

Bruce licks his way up her *spine*, pausing at her neck to bite --

And Tim drops onto her elbows and grunts, dick twitching *hard*, and there's pre-come connecting it to her abdomen, more connecting it to the bed -- Jason swallows back saliva and watches Bruce *covering* her, and holding her with his teeth --

"Please, I'm so -- I can't feel --"

Bruce pulls back again -- bites her shoulders and licks there, licks his way to her spine again, and that has to feel like --

"It's a tease, B, you're teasing her --"

"*Not* my intention," he says, and his voice is so rough and low, his dick is so *hard* --

"Fuck, do you want her to beg for it?"

"I --"

"Please, *in* me, I need -- oh Jay, *tell* him --"

And Jason opens his mouth, but -- Bruce leans in and rumbles something against her ear. "Hey, what --"

Tim's laugh is cracked and *loud*. "He's telling me to be more confident. More *assertive*. Fucking *fuck* me, Bruce, or I'll cut your *balls* off -- *oh*, yes --"

Biting her ear, he has to be -- and damn, if she's breaking out the threats, she must *really* want --

Does he? Would he want... it's been so long since he's been rimmed, and the last time wasn't anything he wants to think about -- no, Bruce is biting her back again, rubbing and squeezing her ass --

"Don't fucking *tease* me --"

"Don't tease *me*," Jason says, and he's moving before he can think about it, edging past Bruce and feeling his eyes on him, shifting until he's in front of Tim and can stroke her face, pet her swollen mouth as she growls and wriggles, tenses --

She pushes up onto her knees. "*Bruce* --"

And Bruce's hand is around her throat again, just that *fast*. It feels more like he's holding her still than doing it to get her harder -- fuck, he hasn't *seen* her this hard since --

This morning, in the seconds before he'd taken her into his mouth and sucked for all he was *worth*. She's *close* to wanting that kind of touch, if not quite close enough to ask for it, and Bruce --

Bruce is close to something, too. He looks like he's *aching*, and he's staring at Tim like she's the reason why. She *is*, at least for him, and more so when she reaches up to wrap her hands around his forearm, digging her short nails in and *glaring* --

And going suddenly and fucking *gorgeously* limp when Bruce squeezes.

"I. Jay," Bruce says, and his mouth is open and he's *focused* on her. "Are you sure you want --"

"You *heard* her, B --"

And Bruce looks at him -- he looks desperate, so fucking *hungry*...

"Are you afraid of hurting her? Is that...?"

"I want. I don't want -- I've already taken so much, Jason --"

"She *wants* you. And I need --" Jason squeezes himself hard and tries to *think*, because the second Bruce loosens his grip, Tim will be going crazy again, getting *angry* again -- "Bruce, I never make her wait if I can help it. She just -- she doesn't *need* that, she never needs to *doubt* --"

"No, not that. I -- are you *sure*? Both of you?"

And Jason almost needs to laugh, because Bruce is seriously asking them this while gripping Tim's *throat*. He has to still be *tasting* her and he's seriously -- "Bruce. *Look* at her."

For a second Bruce only keeps staring at him like Jason has all the important answers *and* is keeping them secret, but then he looks down again and -- "Oh," he says, and reaches with his other hand to touch Tim's face again, pet her mouth.

Her expression is so twisted up with need she almost looks *hurt*, and Jason *knows* that look on her. She was so *close*, but now she needs something hard, something to push her past all the nasty things in her head, all the things that reach up to hold her *back*. Jason opens his mouth to say so --

But Bruce stops touching her mouth and wraps his arm around her waist, instead, lifting her and holding her against his body, kissing her hard and still holding on to her *throat*.

Tim wraps her legs around him and kisses back, moving as much as she *can* with Bruce holding on like that, which isn't much --

The kiss looks hard enough to bruise them both -- Bruce's cut is bleeding again, just a little --

Tim pulls back and *licks* the cut, and Bruce leans in to -- he *has* to be biting her throat. It's the only thing that would make her need to throw her head back *quite* like that.

"Oh, yeah, Bruce, Tim -- don't *stop*," he says, because Jason's stroking himself steadily now, because Jason can *smell* them, almost taste them --

And then Bruce sets her down on her knees again, turns her to face Jason and -- reaches for the drawer in the night table.

"Jay," she says, panting and blinking, almost weaving a little, and there's a *bright* red mark on her throat.

"He gave you another hickey, baby..."

"I -- yes?" And Tim laughs and wraps her arms around Jason's neck, rubs her face against his shoulder. "It's -- it's so good. I can't really believe... but you knew."

"I knew it *could* be good," Jason says and kisses her forehead. "I knew -- I could see how he *felt* about you, and I knew you were starting to feel for him, too --"

"Probably before I did. I don't... oh, Jay, is it *okay* that I want him this much?"

And Jason looks past Tim to see Bruce *pausing*, bottle of lubricant in his hand and eyes on both of them -- mostly Tim. "It's good. It's *right*, because it has to be better if we're all going the same *kind* of crazy," he says, to both of them --

Tim laughs and bites his shoulder. "Is it the same kind? Because if we're *all* desperate to be fucked right now, then at least one of us has to be disappointed."

Jason snorts. Bruce -- looks distinctly *speculative*, and catches Jason's eye before looking down at the bottle again.

It's a tease -- the kind designed to make Jason laugh a little more, but it's also the absolute *truth*, and Jason honestly isn't sure which of them Bruce wants to be in the middle. It's a *damned* good thought, but... not now. Not *yet*. He gives himself another hard squeeze, lets go, and strokes his way down Tim's back to her ass and spreads her again --

"Oh..." Tim kneels up and looks back over her shoulder --

Bruce catches her by the cheek and jaw and kisses her again, pulls back and licks her mouth, her cheek --

"Hey, no fair stealing my moves --"

"Imitation," Tim says, "is the sincerest form of flattery. Bruce -- should I call you a puppy, too?"

Bruce growls like a fucking *Rottweiler* and bites Tim's lip hard enough to make her *yelp* --

Or maybe that's just what he's doing with his hand, because Jason can't see it, but he *can* see Bruce's shoulder flexing, and -- damn. "Are you in her with your fingers, B?"

"One finger," Bruce says, and nips her cheek, turns her back to face Jason and bites the back of her neck again. "I'd forgotten how warm..." He shivers and *looks* at Jason. "Does she make you feel?"

"All the *time*, B. And not just when I'm doing that."

Tim moans and tenses -- *shouts* --

"Oh, her prostate?"

"I find myself wondering," Bruce says, kissing her forehead, "if she's ever moved to... pretend."

"No --"

"I *can't*, I -- please, Bruce, do that again -- *oh* --"

"There are... things I could do, Tim. Things I could make you believe, for the course of your... trance."

Tim makes a sound like she's been punched. "You -- you want to hypnotize me?"

"Only if you were comfortable with the idea," and Bruce licks her ear, nips the lobe. "I *want* your comfort," he says, and --

Jason feels himself -- feels *that*, and he wants to stroke himself again, wants to live in the image of himself kneeling up for Bruce, *spreading* for Bruce while he whispers in his ear -- he squeezes Tim's hips *hard* --

"I. What would you tell me. What -- suggestions would you plant?"

"Your beauty. You are... lissome. Gracile. I would work to convince you of these things. And, perhaps, that *this* feeling --"

"Ah -- *please* --"

"-- had to do with the stimulation of your g-spot," Bruce says, and --

That's actually kind of fucked *up*, but Tim's just getting more turned on, clawing at Jason's shoulders and trying to shove back against Bruce's hand. And -- "Is that really what you want, baby?"

"It -- I want to be *able* to pretend, to know -- just for a few *minutes* -- that everything is right, everything -- beautiful --"

"It would, of course, be tempting to *force* you to see your own body as something correct and, yes, beautiful --"

"No -- oh. *Harder* --"

"As you wish," Bruce says, and Tim shouts, throws her head back and shouts again, and it can't be just one finger, anymore, because this is just too -- perfect.


"It'd be pretty fucking sweet if you loved your own body, baby. Even for a little while," and Jason tries to catch Tim's eyes, tries to make her *see* him --

She's gone, clutching at Jason's shoulders and *bucking* for every single one of Bruce's thrusts, taking him just as deep as she can. Jason feels himself twitching again, because he *knows* what that feels like, how hot and fucking terrifying it is to make Tim go wild.

It's like --

It's *just* like she doesn't have any other sexual experience, anything to tell her to keep control of herself even a *little* bit. Not for this, and Jason wonders if Barbara ever watches it go this far, what it *means* to her to see her girl lose it like this for Robin --

For *Batman* -- Bruce, and when Jason looks up, Bruce is staring right at him, and it looks like he's trying to say something, trying to communicate with the raw hunger in his eyes, the *pleasure* he's taking from doing this to -- Jason's girl. Jason's *love*.

Jason shakes his head -- he really can't *take* that look without going even crazier than he already is --

Tim yells again, and it could be Bruce's name or it could be just another noise. Bruce *has* to be hitting her prostate with every stroke, and Jason has never really been able to make himself do that, as opposed to focusing on getting her open, getting her ready...

He looks at Bruce again --


"Yeah, I..." Jason laughs and strokes the hollows of Tim's hips with his thumbs. Can she even *feel* that right now? "You want her --"


Jason takes a breath and swallows, licks his lips. "You should -- take. She's not going to get any more ready than this --"

"Nnh -- *more*," and Tim pushes her hands into Jason's hair, leans in and snarls, and Jason *knows* he's going to get bitten hard if he goes in for a kiss, and that means he can't say no. Not even a little.

He presses his mouth to hers, and -- gets licked, hard little laps with the flat of her tongue, and Tim's laughing and muttering something incomprehensible -- Jason hears the word 'like' -- "Yeah, I like it, baby, I love it --"

"Jay, oh -- kiss me *hard* --"

*That* he can hear and understand, and maybe it's completely necessary to press his body against her own, thrill and fucking *need* at the feel of her dick sliding and shoving against his abdomen, fucking his skin a little because she can't help herself --

He kisses her as hard as he can, daring her to fight him for it, bite -- there, and Jason grunts and licks her until she lets go of his lip, shoves his tongue in and tries to get something like the same rhythm Bruce is using --

It makes her shake all *over*, claw at him like she can't quite firm her hands enough to get a grip -- and Jason realizes that he's sweating a little. He isn't even *doing* anything and he's getting heated up, fucking *oiled* for this. Tim is *slick* against him, almost fever-hot while she sucks his tongue, scrabbles for purchase and fails, keeps trying --

Jason moans into her mouth and feels her *seize*, shake harder, and she's starting to lose her own rhythm, bucking ragged and random. Jason pulls back -- "Bruce, *now* --"

Bruce groans and -- his free hand is on Jason's arm, squeezing hard, stroking, and Jason knows that he just had to touch, had to *feel* that this was all right, that he really could --

"It's okay, B. It's -- fucking *great* --"

"Y-yes. Oh please oh fuck -- so *close* -- *mm* --"

And kissing Tim again has to be one of the best ideas Jason's ever had. She's opened right up for him, coaxing his tongue deeper into her mouth --

She wants this so *bad* --

She yells again, almost *screams* into his mouth, and had Bruce switched off that fast?

Jason kisses her deeper for a moment and pulls back --

Bruce has his eyes squeezed shut and one arm working in a different *way* -- oh. "You're slicking yourself up, B?"

Bruce nods and opens his eyes, and he looks as wild as Tim does, as close to the fucking *edge*, only Tim is actively trying to get control again, eyes moving rapidly behind the lids while she pants and shudders --

"Try. Try to go in slow. If you can. Just -- she's gotta get used to you --"

"Yes, of course you're right. You -- Jay," Bruce says, squeezing Jason's arm again and stroking down to Jason's hand.

Jason squeezes it and nods, and Bruce smiles, a little -- it's just that all the hunger and *crazy* makes the smile seem almost like an afterthought, or maybe something less *real* than everything else. He's too far gone to just be *happy*.

Maybe that comes later.

Jason swallows and pushes his hands back off Tim's hips a little to spread her open wide --

"Nn -- oh. Oh --" She's panting and shaking her head, shaking all over and still *clutching* -- "Please --"

"Yes," Bruce says, "*please*," and he shifts closer --

"*Jay*. I can -- feel. He's so --"

"Big? Yeah, he's pretty fucking hung, baby. You can take him --"

She laughs, quiet and *hoarse* -- "The bigger they are, the harder Batgirl likes it, or -- God, *pushing* --"

Jason moans and tries not to think about shoving in, about backing up and bending her face into his lap -- "Nice and slow?"

"T-torture. Oh --" And the sound goes on and on, and Jason knows Bruce is pushing in, one long fucking *stroke* --

Jason pets her with his thumbs and looks over her shoulder -- Bruce has his eyes closed and he's biting his *lip*, tensed and fucking *straining* -- "Jesus, Bruce --"

"Slow. Is what you said --"

"Please," Tim says. "Oh, please, *please* --"

Jason pulls her open wider. He can *feel* it, the way it must seem like Bruce is splitting her wide open, the heat and the pressure --

It's been so *long*, and then he hadn't been able to enjoy it, hadn't dared to ever *let* himself -- no, not *here* --

"Tim," Bruce says, and squeezes Jason's hand again, keeps *pushing* -- and then he's pressed against her back and she's not focusing on *anything*. Her eyes are wide with something that looks like shock and smells a little like fear --

She blinks and laughs, laughs and *groans* -- "Oh -- my God. Oh, Bruce. You're --"

"Beautiful girl," and Bruce lets go of Jason's hand and strokes Tim, pulls her back against him, reaches down and spreads her legs over his *lap* --

"Jesus, B --"

"*Bruce*," and Tim's reaching out, trying to find something to grab, looking for something *solid*, and Jason lets go of her hips, loses something important in his mind at the feel of Bruce's skin against his knuckles, Bruce's bare *skin* --

And Bruce has her hands up over her head. He's holding her wrists with one hand and stroking her chest, her abdomen, stroking up to her throat and *squeezing* again --

"Fucking *A*, Bruce --"

"I have to. I -- so lovely. Jason, would you touch...? Does she want -- Tim, tell me what you want --"

The muscles in her arms are flexing *hard*, but she doesn't really seem to be *fighting* -- "C-control. More. You have --" She shakes her head hard. "Bruce, *inside* me --"

"Your warmth is... intoxicating. But the same was true when I had only the feel of your body under mine for training purposes, when I was only dreaming of this, your skin --" Bruce kisses her arms, licks the insides of her elbows -- *bites* --

"Oh, *please*, I -- *tell* me --"

Jason nods, fucking -- tries to find *words*. She's so *flushed*, and there's a bead of sweat rolling down her cheek. Bruce's hair is mussed -- and his hips are rocking, steady and hard and *moving* her --

"Nn -- unh -- *Bruce* --"

"I want you to *move*, Tim, the way you do for Jason. I've dreamed -- please, Tim --"

She shouts and does it, pushing up onto her knees and *driving* herself down and back, shouting again and tensing hard --

"Fuck, baby, does it hurt?" And that's maybe the stupidest question Jason has ever *asked* --

"Y-yes. Jay -- he's so big. I'm --" Choked off because Bruce is squeezing again, and Tim relaxes and opens her mouth for a silent rush of *air*, and Jason's stroking himself again, staring --

He can't fucking bring himself to *blink* --

"Yes, Tim, oh -- beautiful," and Bruce twists and *thrusts*, and this time her dick bobs, leaks more and the head is fucking *gleaming* in the lamplight --

She shakes her head and kneels up again, biting her lip before she shoves herself back down, not as hard this time --

Bruce lets go of her throat and she sounds like an *animal*, desperate and fucking *taken* --

"You're making me so hot, Tim, you're making me -- God, I wanna do you when Bruce is done, wanna fuck you so *hard* --"

"*Please*," and she sounds like Tim and she sounds like Batgirl, and Jason can't decide whether that was a plea or a *demand* --

"Yes, yes, for you -- though it would be a lie to say I wanted only this. The lies come too *easily*," Bruce says, and thrusts again, *again* --

She tilts her head back against him and *keens*, working her hips off-rhythm and --

Jason can *see* her trying to do better, trying to *match* Bruce even as she shudders and begs with her entire fucking *body* --

"Tim, tell me I can suck you, baby, make you come in my mouth --"

"*Jay*, he's -- I can't stop --"

"Neither," Bruce says, and licks her arm again -- "Neither can I. No, more than that. I won't stop, Tim, I -- I have you, now. I know your scent and the feel of the you, the *taste* --" And he's squeezing Tim's throat again, just -- thrust and squeeze and thrust, and Tim's working herself faster, thighs flexing, fucking abs *tensing* --

"Bruce, Jesus, don't -- let her be loud, I always need her to be *loud* --"

"I only want -- she *enjoys* this, Jay. The feel of her around me, *clenching* around me -- so strong --"

"Bruce, please, for -- for me, I --" Jason squeezes himself the way Tim does, curling his fingers in -- "Please, Bruce --"

"*Jay*," and Bruce's eyes are fucking *burning*, they should be hurting him, they -- they're heating up the whole *room* --

But he lets go and Tim wails and shakes her head, shudders and cries out again, and now she *is* trying to yank her arms out of Bruce's grip --

"Tim, *let* me -- "

"N-no, please, you have to -- Bruce -- *Bruce* --"

Bruce lets go and she throws her arms back, wraps them around Bruce's neck and rubs the back of her head against his chest --

"Like *this*," she says, and gasps out a laugh, another cry, and Jason's leaking fucking steadily now, slick as anything and hard enough to *break* something, like maybe that tight thing at the base of his spine, that fucking blade of fire cutting him down the middle, making him *need* to spill --

"You give so *much*," Bruce says, stroking her chest, pinching her nipples and still *thrusting*, and --

"You feel. So good. Jay, he feels -- I can't --"

Jason moans and lets go of himself, moans again and crawls closer on his fucking knees -- "Let me *suck* you --"

"Oh -- please, it's -- the *burn* of it --"

"All through you, baby? Me, *too* --"

Bruce groans and wraps one arm around her, pulls her *tight* against him -- "I could be -- consumed. Lost to this, I --" He keeps petting her with his other hand, twisting her nipple, tugging at the hair under her arm, dipping a finger into her navel, and she's still working her hips, still *taking* him like it's nothing --

No, like it's *everything*, like it couldn't possibly be better --

"*Please*, baby --"

"D-do it, suck me, suck me *hard* -- *oh* --"

And having her in his mouth is as good as it ever is -- better because Bruce is making her thrust. She can't hesitate, can't *stop*, and Jason grabs her hips again and holds on, gets *fucked*, and it feels like finally, feels like every time she's ever let go for him --

For them --

Jason moans around her, licks and sucks, *tastes* her and fucking drools for it. There's already spit running down his chin, and the only thing wrong is that it won't last, *can't* last --

Her hand is in his hair -- no, fuck, it's *Bruce's* hand, holding him against her mound, making him *take* it, and what is it costing him to not be able to touch her anymore, to give this to him?

Tim's grunting for every thrust now, hard and fucking *raw*, and Bruce --

God, he's *petting* Jason's hair now, moaning almost loud enough to drown out Tim, and maybe he's quieting himself to *keep* from doing that. Maybe he knows --

He *does* know how much Jason needs her sounds, and he has to need them just as much, just -- he needs --

Jason holds on tight to her hips, holds her still for just long enough to catch Bruce's rhythm, to make Tim growl and struggle --

And then he *shoves* her into Bruce's thrusts, one after another --

"Jay --"

"*Jay*," she says, and -- "Thank you, oh -- don't stop, please don't *stop* --"

Jason sucks *hard*, and she's shaking in his hands, twitching in his mouth, and all he can smell is her, all he can taste is *her*, but he can feel *Bruce's* hand start to shake as he pets him, as he pushes his fingers in and *pulls*. And Jason knows that he's not trying to make him stop, that he's just pulling the way Tim does, making Jason *feel* him, and oh, God, Jason *wants* --

Tim's not making noise anymore. Sometimes she gets quiet right before she comes, but this is *too* quiet -- Bruce is choking her again, giving her what she wants and making Jason fucking *painfully* aware of every last little noise Bruce is making, every hungry little grunt and *pained*-sounding groan --

Sex, it's *sex*, and some part of his brain is *just* that slow, because it's hitting Jason hard. It's Bruce, and it's his girl, his Tim between them, and that's not enough to take away from --

He could be sucking *Bruce* --

And Tim goes *rigid*, still enough that it's a little *hard* to keep pushing her onto Bruce's dick --

She comes in his mouth, jerking and shuddering, hot and fucking sweet, salty and right --

She comes *screaming*, and Bruce had let *go*, and she sounds like she's being tortured, like she doesn't want it to *stop*, and Jason sucks her as hard as he can for as long as --

"*Ah*, no, no please, Jay --"

He yanks himself back, feeling Bruce's hand tighten in his hair before he lets go -- and covers Jason's hands on her hips. Now they're *both* pulling and pushing her into his thrusts, and Bruce isn't saying a word, anymore. He has his head down and his eyes closed and he's moving like a *machine*, slamming into Tim over and over again while she pants and gasps, whimpers --


"So much. He's -- I don't know if I can take --"

And Bruce is *crushing* Jason's hands against her hips, growling and not doing anything *like* stopping --

Jason swallows. "It's okay, baby, you're good, you're --"

Tim sobs and reaches for him, pulls him close, and every thrust shoves her against his body, every thrust makes him harder, *need* more* --

"Jay, please, *please* --"

"I know it hurts, baby, I know --"

Bruce groans -- "I'm sorry, I'm so -- I can't stop --"

Tim sobs again and buries her head against Jason's shoulder, and now every thrust makes her face drag against him, get him wet with sweat and spit, maybe -- maybe *tears*, and that shouldn't make him harder, but part of him is wound up tight with Bruce, that need that hasn't had any fucking *outlet* --

God, he'd *known* Bruce never had sex with anyone, but it means a whole fuck of a lot more *now*. There had to be someone, but it sure as *fuck* was before Jay's time, and -- If anything, it should be making him *faster*, but -- how many times had he jerked off *today*? Thinking about this and knowing he'd never have it --

"*Please*," Tim says, and she's shuddering again, sobbing with every *breath* --

"C'mon, Bruce, you gotta come, you have to -- she *needs* you to come --"

"*Jay* -- she feels. So close around me. So *tight* --"

"Come for her, B, come for *us* --"

Bruce grunts, and he's gripping so hard Jason's hands *hurt*, and he knows he's leaving more bruises, that they *both* are --

"Show us, Bruce, c'mon, give it to us, we *need* --"

And Bruce cries out, *slamming* in and stilling -- shuddering --

"Oh -- *oh*," and Tim's shaking her head against him --

Bruce is coming, and his groan is weirdly muffled -- Jason looks up and he's *biting* Tim's neck, right at the place where it joins her shoulder. That's -- really going to leave a mark. Jason breathes in a relief his body is insisting he *shouldn't* feel, and, after a moment, Bruce's hands are shaking enough that Jason can slip his own out from under them.

He cups Tim's face and kisses her softly, over and over until her breathing starts to even out again. He can't keep himself from kissing her cheeks, from licking out to taste --

She shivers and Bruce does, too.

Jason cups the back of her head and pulls her against his shoulder, and just -- he can *wait*. She has to be okay, and never mind what his dick is telling him about how *open* she'll be when Bruce pulls out --

Jason does his own shivering --

"I'm sorry," Bruce says. "I -- I didn't want to *hurt* --"

"Don't," Tim says, and her voice is a hoarse whisper. "Don't apologize for that."

Jason looks up -- yeah, Bruce is looking at him, searching him and *questioning* -- "Hey, listen to the lady."

Tim laughs -- groans and shivers again. "God, I feel -- that was --" She shakes her head and pushes back against Jason's hand.

Jason lets her up, and she turns to look at Bruce --

"For a moment, it didn't seem like you would ever stop..."

Bruce nods and reaches up to touch her face -- drops his hand again --

"No, I -- touch me?"

Bruce swallows and does it, and it looks -- incredibly gentle. *Light* --

Tim hums and drags her cheek against Bruce's fingers. "I think I was -- it wouldn't have taken much longer for me to start getting hard again --*oh*, that -- twitch." Tim swallows and shivers. "Bruce..."

"Tim," Bruce says, and strokes her cheek. "Please. If we do that again, sometime, I would -- I would have more control."

Tim's smile -- Batgirl's smile is lazy and broad enough that Jason can see a great *deal* of it, and he can't keep himself from pressing closer -- "Would you, Bruce? It seems as though that would be a shame..."

Bruce -- it's not *quite* a growl, but it's enough of one to make Jason moan --

"God, fuck -- kiss her again, let me *see* --"

And Bruce fucking *takes* her mouth, biting her lips -- Tim bites him *back*, licks him and laughs, groans and shudders, and her mouth is open enough that Jason can see Bruce slipping is tongue inside, slow and --

It looks almost vicious, or -- something, he doesn't really have words for it, just the *sight* of it, and the hollow of Tim's cheek as she sucks --

The way she *opens* when Bruce *bucks* -- Bruce is still *hard* after that, and Jason's starting to feel a little jealous, intimidated, hungry --

Everything at *once*, and especially more of that sound Tim is making, low and almost too continuous to be a moan. "Jesus, yeah, I -- I need. Fuck --"

Tim tears herself out of the kiss and turns back to him, rubs his shoulders and *presses* against him --

"Oh, baby, fuck, I -- I don't know what I *want* --"

"You -- you said something about fucking me --"

"Fuck, no, you gotta be *way* too fucking raw for that, right now -- *ow* --" She'd fucking *lunged* for his jaw, biting him *right* on the spot that's apparently never going to *get* to heal -- "Baby, I --"

"What you *want*, Jay --"

"I know, I know, it's just --"

"I'd like to. Touch," Bruce says, and Jason sucks in a breath --

Bruce's expression is serious, and there's a different kind of hunger there, quieter and deeper at once. Jason licks his lips. "Yeah? How?"

"Anything you --"

Jason shakes his head -- "I'm too hard for general fucking statements, B. *Tell* me."

"I. If you would let me," Bruce starts, and -- stops.

And it's not that Jason doesn't *get* it, but --

Tim shifts. She's reaching back to stroke Bruce's face, push into his hair a little and tug, and part of Jason wants to protest -- that's how she comforts *him*, but -- it makes Bruce close his eyes, stroke her sides and *press* against her again --

Tim gasps and Bruce opens his eyes again -- "Do you need me to pull out?"

"Ah -- eventually. But you should tell Jason what you want, Bruce. I want to -- we both need to *hear* it."

Bruce nods and kisses her fingertips. "Of course, yes... Jason. Jay, if you would let me wrap my hand around you, let me feel --"

Jason grunts and -- hell. "Are you sure you weren't listening earlier, B? That's -- heh. That's what Tim said she wanted to see."

"Oh," Bruce says, and kisses her hand again, reaches for Jason. "Come closer?"

An invitation and a *plea*, far more of the latter than the former, and it's a weight on Jason's shoulders, or on something deeper and less easily *shifted*. Bruce *wants*, wants to make him come --

Pretty much the only person who's made him come in nearly a *year* -- whether or not she was *there* -- is Tim, and -- that's not it.

It's that it's Bruce, and that he *is* moving closer, and -- Bruce's hand is on his face.

"May I?"

Jason nods, and somewhere along the way he'd gotten a little softer -- he knows why. Still, it *lets* him be still for Bruce's fingers tracing his features, for the look of wonder on his face -- "Fuck, Bruce, you have to be used to us being here by *now* --"

"Do I...? I'm sure you're right, Jay, but somehow..." Bruce sighs and strokes Jason's mouth with his thumb, turns back to Tim, and, "would you touch him, as well?"

Tim smiles back over her shoulder and takes Jason's hand in her own, twining their fingers together and sighing when Jason squeezes. "I'm sure, between us, we can keep Jason... still."

Bruce smiles and it looks like it hurts in the best possible way. "If that is what he wants --"

"Tell me -- tell me more about what *you* want, B. Come on, let me start getting used to it?"

And Bruce looks down at Jason's dick, stares hard enough that Jason feels like he *should* be feeling it, feeling held, fucking *gripped* --

"Bruce --"

"I want you in my mouth, Jason. It was the first desire I -- no. It was the first *coherent* desire, something more than the simple desire to touch, to *feel*..."

"I -- oh. I." Jason swallows. "I think I. God, your mouth, B..."

Bruce looks up again -- *slowly*, and this time it *does* feel like being touched, like being *raked* --

Tim's short nails and the way she scratches him, the way she fucking *claws* when she needs to, when he needs her to -- he can't see Bruce doing that, but. Maybe Bruce would use his teeth. And *that* makes his scraped knuckles itch, makes him stare at that cut at the corner of Bruce's mouth. The one he'd *put* there. It looks raw and it looks like it could bleed again at any moment.

Like maybe when Jason pushed his dick between Bruce's lips. Jason moans --

And Bruce wraps his arm around Tim again --

"Oh, I --"

Bruce *pushes*, and fuck, is he -- "Are you *still* hard, B?"

"Softening. Somewhat," he says, and smiles again. It's better this time, and -- "For some entirely unknowable reason, my body seems disinclined to give up on the idea of more sexual contact."

Tim hums a laugh and -- Bruce narrows his eyes and *grunts*.

"Oh, God. Did she just squeeze you again?"

"Yes," Bruce says, and turns to her. "Tim. *Do* you want me to pull out?"

"It would be... it would facilitate my getting into a better position to watch. And you getting into a better position to... well."

And Jason thinks about that 'well.' He -- he *tries* to think about it, but there are too many images for it, including a recurring one of him on his hands and knees while Bruce just -- takes him. Like he must have wanted since the beginning, or -- had he? "Bruce --"

"I want everything from you, Jay. Everything I can have, and some of the things I think I never can..." Bruce shakes his head. "Those, at least, are mostly emotional. And there are... physical concerns," he says, and rests his hand on Jason's thigh.

"Wait -- what do you think you can't *have*? I --"

"You trusted me implicitly. Perfectly, before you knew. Before I lost so much of my *control*. I do not think I can have that again, and yet also have this --"

"We wouldn't *be* here if we didn't trust you," Tim says --

"Yeah, *that*, B --"

Bruce shakes his head. "You trust me to need you, to want and, perhaps, to love you," he says, and squeezes Tim with the arm he has wrapped around her body. "You trust me *enough* not to hurt you... or do you, still?"

Tim reaches up with her free hand and wraps it around Bruce's forearm. "Batgirl has always been well assured about the fact that some hurts are... intensely desirable."

And Bruce narrows his eyes again, *bucks* again --

Tim moans and squeezes with both hands -- "Yes, I -- I think I do need you to pull out. Mixed message and all."

Relief and disappointment, fear and hunger -- Jason feels dizzy and *unprepared* for Bruce pulling out, even though Tim is breathing deeply, relaxing --

More when Bruce brings his hand to her throat again, forcing a gurgle out of Tim's mouth as he pulls out, slow and steady and ruthless. Tim pants when he's all the way out, squeezes Jason's hand again and turns to look at both of them. "I'm somewhat worried about that particular... reflex."

"So long as you don't use it on the street, I'm sure you'll be quite all right," Bruce says, and *strokes* her throat. He's smiling, and Jason -- can't see any new marks, save for the one near her shoulder.

He reaches out to touch it, and Tim looks into his eyes. It's a question, and Jason swallows and nods --

"Press it...?"

He does, and *both* she and Bruce are breathing audibly -- Bruce has an incredibly respectable semi, slick and shiny. It really doesn't look like he's getting any softer, and Jason --

Jason reaches out and wraps his hand around Bruce --


It almost sounds like Bruce is *scolding* him, which is fucking ridiculous --

"*Your* turn, Jay," Tim says, digging in against Jason's inner thigh with her nails and *raking* them down.

"Uh -- fuck. I. I'm just kinda -- I can't believe you had that *in* you, Tim."

Tim raises an eyebrow and looks down at Jason's hand, Bruce's pretty hard *dick* -- "I have to admit that I'm somewhat... ah. Impressed. With myself."

Jason grins and strokes Bruce a little -- just to get *used* to it -- just because he *can*, and Bruce cups Jason's face again, strokes his cheek with his thumb -- "What's that you said before, baby? The power of motivation?" He looks up, and Bruce is staring at him *hard* -- "She wanted you, B. Like I -- or maybe a little more than I do. I don't know. You feel -- really good. Warm. And I can smell you all over this bed, and part of me just wants to lie down and let you do what you *want* --"

"Please," Bruce says, and just keeps staring --

Jason takes a breath -- and watches Tim move closer to Bruce, watches her reach up to cup his shoulder while she strokes his chest. It's a little strange to see her doing it, or -- to see the *way* she's doing it, frowning in concentration as she almost... marks him out.

Learns him, and, again, it's one of the ways she touches him. When she's a little restless after sex, when they don't have time to get fancy. It's possessive as hell, and it *really* soothes Jason, and he's not at all surprised to see that *Bruce* -- isn't really soothed at all.


She runs her hand through the hair on his chest, back and forth and back again, circles his nipples --

He covers her moving hand, and Jason squeezes him. Just -- he can't *not*, because Tim has that little line on her forehead, and Bruce is totally just *getting* how she can be.

How she can *own*.

Jason squeezes again and gets a grunt out of Bruce, a little -- *little* -- push -- "B, she's trying to... well, she's memorizing you just in case --"

"I won't. I will be here," Bruce says, and frowns at her. "You're being very... distracting."

In response -- and it totally *is* a response -- Tim leans in and bites Bruce's upper arm. And *then* she says, "in a bad way? Jason seems determined to make this *your* turn."

Is that what he's doing? And Bruce frowns a little more and looks at him, confused and curious --

"Hey, I got laid *twice* today *and* jerked off, B. I'm feeling fucking crazy right now, but I could definitely..." Jason shrugs and smiles ruefully. "You feel really good in my hand. You look like... it's *not* pure sex, because that would feel different. You look like a lot of different really fucking good things, and I'm just realizing that this can be *okay*. Over and over, like being punched by someone with magic fucking knuckles or something. I -- I love you."

Bruce -- stares. Kind of a lot, and Jason knows things are going about a hundred miles per hour in that brain of his, and that there's nothing he can do but just let it go. Or -- well. He could start stroking a little faster, a little *better* --

"God, how the hell did you *always* know when I was jerking off in the shower or in my bed? You never walked in on me *once*."

Bruce raises his eyebrow. "There have been times when you've explicitly *told* me you were going to masturbate, Jay --"

"Yeah, but not *every* time, and -- wow. I feel like I should apologize --"

"Not -- not for trusting me," Bruce says, taking his hand off Tim's and wrapping it around Jason's, instead. "And -- I came to know your body language when you were feeling aroused."

"It really is -- distinctive," Tim says, and starts stroking Bruce's chest again, this time not just circling *around* his nipple --

Bruce sighs and closes his eyes, and -- no, Jason wants --

"Keep looking, B? At Tim if not at me --"

Bruce opens his eyes again, and he looks -- open. *Wanting* more than hungry, or -- it's different. Deeper again --

Jason shakes his head. "You had your head down, your face hidden, toward the end when you were fucking Tim. I couldn't *see* --"

"I'm -- I'm sorry. Jason, would you..."

"Faster? Harder? Both?"

Bruce nods, and his lips are parted, obscene with that cut there --

"Tell me -- when you knew I was aroused --"

"I would try to -- I would fail, every time, to back away immediately. There was nearly always a moment *after* I knew when I moved closer, if I could. When I tried to *feel* your arousal, learn it and make it my own. The flash of your eyes, the tension in your shoulders. Your scent."

Jason swallows and nods. "And Tim?"

Bruce smiles again and turns to look at her. "Easier *and* more difficult. There are times when it seems you don't *know* how aroused you are, Tim."

Tim blushes and pinches Bruce's nipple --

Bruce moans softly and strokes Tim's hair, the back of her neck --

Tim lets her eyes slip half-closed and pushes back against the touch, just like she does for Jason and... maybe for Babs, too? Do they touch?

Jason strokes Bruce harder. "Tell me how that works, baby. Tell *us*."

"I -- ah..." Her eyes are tracking fast. She's *thinking* about it, which may or may not mean -- "I'm really not sure."

-- an honest answer. "C'mon, Tim, you have to know a *little*. Your fucking *underwear* wouldn't have it any other way."

Tim glares at him -- shakes her head and laughs. "All right. I was really just *starting* to get -- ah. Aroused all the time when I started training. It became... background noise. Something to ignore so I could be better, stronger, faster..."

Bruce nods and keeps stroking her. "I'm familiar with that... protocol."

Jason snorts. "*I'm* not. When I get too hard I *have* to stop --"

"You're far more naturally physical than... either of us," Bruce says, and looks *to* Tim --

Tim smiles again and nods at him. "Sometimes I'm jealous of how easily Jay lives in his body --"

"Yes," Bruce says, and -- "yes, just that," and he turns back to look at Jason -- and so does Tim.

"Okay, Jesus, putting me on the spot, much? What about Dick? *No* one lives in their body more than Dick does."

Bruce raises his eyebrow -- and starts to thrust into Jason's fist. "You don't find that he lives equally well in his heart?"

That -- talking about Dick while they're doing *this* -- he'd totally started it. "Uh -- I. I guess? You know him better than I do --"

"You're uncomfortable," Bruce says, squeezing Jason's hand and frowning -- Tim's frowning at him, too, moving away from Bruce just enough to cup his shoulder --

Jason shakes his head again. "Jesus, you guys are just -- you read me too fucking well. I'm *okay*. It was just -- weird talking about Dick all of a sudden. He's not -- here."

Tim raises an eyebrow. "Would you like him to be? You *are* the one who said you'd be rather jealous if I ever --"

"That's -- different," Jason says, and Bruce looks fucking *intrigued*, even as he keeps Jason's hand still on his rock-hard dick -- "And you have way too much *control*," and Jason squeezes Bruce *hard* --

Bruce sucks in a breath. "Jay --"

"Yeah, I know, I *know*." And part of his brain -- an extremely fucking *whackjob* part of his brain is trying to imagine this working with Dick here. Dick touching Tim, kissing her maybe while Babs kissed Bruce --

Babs wants to fucking *stab* Bruce, and Dick is so -- he hasn't even let *Kory* convince him to have a threesome, so -- really no.

Jason smiles ruefully. "Got a little distracted there. You should probably --" Give me something better to do with my mouth, Jason *doesn't* say, and the head of Bruce's dick is *right* there, and it would be fucking dirty to --

Hell, he's *had* his mouth there. A *lot*, and he'd be tasting Bruce's come even before --

Jason groans. "Okay, maybe a *lot* distracted --"

"About... Dick?" And Bruce is searching him *hard* for all that his voice was quiet and about as gentle as it ever gets.

Tim's searching, too, cautious and her own kind of quiet.

"No, I -- not that time? Bruce, I really want you to -- maybe this is a really stupid question, but have you ever wanted my mouth --"

"Yes," Bruce says, and fucking *twitches* in Jason's hand --

Jason nods, and Tim reaches down to brush Bruce's and Jason's hands off Bruce's dick, wrapping her own hand around the base, instead --

"Tim. Jason, I won't let you -- it's not. Sanitary."

Jason snorts. "Says the guy who rimmed my girlfriend out with a fucking open *wound* on his mouth --"

"I was planning to disinfect it thoroughly --"

"Just as soon as we let you go, yeah, I know. You gotta have wipes or something up here for when *you* jerk off, B -- hey --"

Bruce moves *away* -- but only to his bedside table, and yeah, he has wipes. Those *disinfectant* wipes, and that's not going to taste good at *all* -- but it's definitely something to watch Bruce taking Tim's hands in his own and wiping them clean. Tim has a fucking *bemused* expression on her face.

And Bruce pulls another wipe and looks at Jason. Jason laughs and offers his own hands -- "You know, this is doing *nothing* for the part of me still trying to cope with the fact that you're my fucking *father*, B."

Bruce -- tenses. Freezes *up* and winces --

"Oh -- shit, no, I'm sorry. I didn't mean it... like that."

Tim's wincing, too, but she gets control faster. "Finish what you're doing, Bruce," she says, and strokes Bruce's forearm, squeezes his shoulder. "Go on."

For a *long* moment it looks like Bruce is just going to *stay* frozen, but he eventually starts up again, wiping Jason's hands thoroughly and tossing the used wipes in the wastebasket. And *then* just kneeling there, with the most important part of the job -- as far as Jason is concerned -- undone.

"Uh, B..." He's not looking at either of them. Jason looks at Tim --

Tim nods and takes another wipe, herself, wrapping it around Bruce and -- not really cleaning so much as *stroking* him with it.

And that's gotta feel too cold and kind of awful, besides, but it's not like he can't see her point. And Bruce is shuddering in the *right* way, tensing up and releasing the tension with every breath, and, yeah, getting harder.

Getting just a little *bigger*, and it's making Jason's mouth water even though he can *smell* the goddamned disinfectant, and -- Bruce still isn't *looking*.

Jason crawls closer and reaches up to cup Bruce's face, stroking his cheek and needing a little at the feel of Bruce's stubble, the *sound* of it...

There are other places he could be feeling that, other --

"It's okay, B. You -- it's your turn to trust *me* --"

"I've always --"

"*Not* always," Jason says, and forces Bruce to face him. "I *remember* that fucking -- that fucking *balcony*..." Jason shakes his head. "We're past all that, for better or worse, and I want -- would you kiss me again?"

"I can't --" Bruce takes a hitching breath and reaches down to cover Tim's hand, and Jason can *see* Bruce trying to make himself stop her, and he can see --

Bruce shudders when he twines his fingers with Tim's own, maybe just at the *feel* of pushing those slim fingers apart, pushing her legs apart -- "Fuck, B, what can't you do?"

*That* makes Bruce look at him, and Jason raises his eyebrows. Just, come *on* --

And he can't wait. He cups Bruce's other cheek, too, leans in and kisses Bruce *hard*, forcing Bruce's lips open with his own. He shouldn't have to *do* it this way --

Bruce moans into his mouth, opens and wraps his arms around Jason, clutching with one and shifting the other until he's cupping the back of Jason's head. Jason slips his tongue inside, and God he *knows* that taste. His good girl, his best girl, and Jason's licking fast and wet, no finesse at all --

Bruce sucks his tongue and pulls Jason *close*, rocks against him and licks Jason's tongue --

Jason opens his eyes and Bruce's are closed, seeking behind the lids as he holds, as he fucking grips and kisses, takes --

Finally --

*Finally*, even though it's only been a few moments, even though it's been forever -- Jason moans, too, and closes his eyes again, *feels* it, eases back enough that Bruce can slide his tongue into *his* mouth, can fuck him that way, over and over --

And now they're both moaning, and their dicks are glancing off each other, slipping and sliding, and it's only going to take a moment before Bruce pushes him down to the bed, before Jason gets held *down* by this kiss, by Bruce's huge, perfect body --

Jason lets go of Bruce's face and strokes his body, musses Bruce's hair a little more and feels -- scars and hair, skin and *heat*, and now they're rocking together, finding each other's rhythm and losing it again, finding it again --

Bruce eases his grip just enough to reach down and grab Jason's *ass*, squeezing and rubbing, cupping and holding, and a part of Jason's mind is remembering that first rubdown, remembering the moment when Bruce's hands just kept working their way *down* --

The sound he'd made when Bruce starting rubbing his ass, the way he'd *hated* himself because Bruce would think he was asking for it, and all the good things would be over because Bruce would --

Bruce *would* -- only the touch was clinical then and it's really *not* now, it's as possessive as Tim gets, as *he* gets, and his dick wants Jason to know exactly how hard Bruce is, how big and hungry --

Jason sucks Bruce's lower lip and wonders what Tim is thinking. She's -- she's watching this, and is she worried? Can she see how much Jason is losing it, how much he's letting Bruce *take* --

Jason pulls back, fighting a little against Bruce's grip --

Bruce groans and *shakes* --

"Ah, *fuck*, B, I just -- I need Tim for a minute --"

"I'm here," she says, and, "it's okay," and Bruce turns to her, shoving Jason *back* a little --

"Hey --"

And Bruce reaches for Tim and *lifts* her close, effortless and fucking *rude* -- he's kissing her neck, licking her and sucking there --

He's still got a grip on Jason's upper arm, and there's *no* way to break it, just like there's no way for Tim to get away from the arm around her back, the way she's almost bent *backwards* -- "Jesus, B --"

"I *want*," Bruce says, and licks up over Tim's cheek, bites her jaw --

"Oh -- oh, God, Bruce, *let* us -- *mm* --"

The kiss bends Tim back farther, makes her kick -- and Jason can't stop himself from tugging her legs straight, making it easier for Bruce to kiss her down to the bed, stroke her side and down to her hip --

She's getting hard again, and Jason wants --

Is it that he'd said he needed Tim? Is Bruce trying to show him something? Trying to prove -- Jason doesn't know, but he can't stop stroking her thighs, can't keep himself from spreading them, shifting around to get *between* --

He licks her cleft --

Tim bucks and *shouts* into Bruce's mouth, muffled and harsh, and God, Jason can *taste*, her and Bruce, and the lube is a fucking *whisper* under it all, just a little too sweet, and it makes him lick more, suck a little on the thin skin --

"*Jay* --"

That was Tim, and she's writhing a little, fighting -- Bruce is moving, and Jason looks up in time to see Bruce kissing her hip, licking her there and getting closer to her rising dick -- "Fuck, Bruce, is it *easier* than me?"

It makes Bruce pause, and they're *all* panting, and Tim has one hand in Bruce's hair like she was either trying to push him off or urge him on --

She sits up, bracing herself on her other elbow -- "If he won't answer -- I seem to be some sort of... look, a lot of me doesn't *mind* the two of you taking out your sexual frustrations on me, but --"

"It's not that," Bruce says, and kisses her hip again, again -- "It's not -- entirely that."

Jason's laugh sounds fucking *cracked* to his own ears, but -- "Yeah, baby. You know I can do this all day --"

"Yes, well, let me see the two of *you*. You were doing quite well for a moment --"

"I -- it got to be a little too much. I was worried -- I was worried about you," Jason says, and strokes her thighs a little more.

"Oh... Jason. I'm. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't jealous at all, but -- ah. You've both been... deeply reassuring. And I..." Her smile is wry and looks a little painful. "I won't be completely reassured until... after."

Jason nods and -- that makes a lot of sense. It's just that -- "That wasn't... the only reason I was worried," he says, and watches Bruce close his eyes, fucking *hang* his head a little -- "B, it's just --"

"You don't. Have to explain, Jason."

And Tim tightens her grip on Bruce's hair --

"I really *do*, because -- part of me is still getting *used* to you. You're making me fucking nuts, and it feels incredible -- but then part of me is back being fucking twelve and it gets... hard."

Bruce nods and closes his eyes, jaw *tight*, but --

"Hey, you trusted *Tim* enough to keep going."

"She didn't -- you pushed me, Jason --"

"Yeah, I -- I know," Jason says, and kneels up, "and I get -- *now* -- that that's always gonna make you freak, but I really did *need* to check on Tim for a second."

Bruce looks up, searching again --

Jason nods and reaches out, covering the hand Bruce has on Tim's chest. "Let's -- compromise? A little?"

Bruce nods. "Tell me."

"I do -- you let me do what I want, with you, let me suck you, and then we see what I can handle... after."

Bruce shudders -- and presses a soft kiss to Tim's hip that looks like a promise. Tim lets go of Bruce's hair, and Bruce moves until he's sitting back against the head of the bed, dick bobbing a little and looking like the meal Jason *wants*. Jason lets himself *keep* looking for a little while, taking in Bruce's long legs, his chest and shoulders, the big hands he's gripping the pillows with --

His face, hungry and *dark* with so many doubts, his eyes and his mouth. Bruce.

Jason nods and grips Bruce's thighs, tugging until Bruce spreads them -- and that's the sound of Bruce gripping the pillows *harder*. "Hey, I -- I already made Tim rip up a pillow once. Any more than that and Alfred's gonna *hurt* me, B," he says, and tries a smile.

Bruce just looks at him, he almost seems confused, like maybe Jason was speaking another language for a minute there. Jason swallows. Okay. It's like that -- he'd known it was like that.

"Uh... you know. Tim doesn't ever thrust enough when I'm sucking her. I always have to -- have to *pull*."

Bruce shudders -- and nods.

"I can't -- can't really pull on -- fuck, if I keep this up I'm gonna make myself nervous again --"

Tim's hand in his hair, gripping tight and tugging. She's beside him, and what does it look like to Bruce? Like they're both going after him -- oh.

"Gonna help me out with that monster, baby?"

"Certainly the idea wouldn't have occurred to me without your mentioning it," she says, and takes Bruce in *hand* again, and God --

"Part of me thinks you should always be holding Bruce for me *just* like that."

"Noted," she says, turning to him with a smile on her face and something a little shakier in her eyes, or -- no. *Most* of her has totally *dealt* with the idea of Bruce and sex, and she's trying to make it easier for him, and she's not sure she's doing it.

Jason wraps an arm around her waist and squeezes once. And then he slides his hands up Bruce's thighs and leans in. Disinfectant, yeah, but it's not as bad as he'd thought it would be. All that pre-come -- his *and* Bruce's -- is really helping out a lot, and... and. Jason takes a deep breath and just nuzzles the head, breathing on it a little --

It occurs to him, sudden and *loud* inside his head, that he could take his time with this the way Tim never, never lets him. He could lick and suckle a little until *all* the disinfectant smell is gone, until it's just him and Bruce, and Tim's hard little hand.

He nuzzles more, licking the slit --

Bruce moans and *arches* -- slams himself back down, and -- hello, reality. No *way* he can take his time right *now*.

There's a later. There will *be* a later, and Jason takes the head in, takes *Bruce* in, and he shudders hard, leaks pre-come onto Jason's tongue. Tim's shifting beside him, squeezing -- oh.

She's right there, sucking Bruce's shaft with her eyes closed -- sucking *hard* by the look of her cheek, and Jason takes her cue --

And Bruce arches again and *groans* -- "Please --"

Jason feels something seize inside, something -- he *needs*, and the ache in his dick that had mostly been letting him alone really *isn't* anymore. Tim's *mouth*, and she's sliding it down -- up again --

She kisses the corner of Jason's mouth, licks the place where it's touching Bruce's *dick* --

Jason moans --

"I -- beautiful. So -- please --"

Bruce is *incoherent*, and they've hardly done *anything*, and that's not *right*. Just -- he knows how to do this and he knows how to do it *well*, and the second Tim slides her mouth back down to her hand, fucking *kisses* her way back down --

Jason takes more, feeling Bruce stretch his mouth wide open, and he's limiting what Tim can do, but he really needs --

Tim takes her hand away and *licks* the base of Bruce's dick, kisses it -- bares her teeth and *scrapes* --

And Bruce is arching up again, holding himself there and, the only sound is air, hitched breaths and the wet noises Jason is making around Bruce's dick. He slurps and pulls back, sucking hard and stabbing at the slit with his tongue, *shoving* at it and swirling his tongue around and around. Down more -- and more, because Bruce is back down to the bed, Bruce --

Bruce *sobs* and Tim moans, pulling away and shifting, moving --

Bruce's next moan is muffled, and Jason knows Tim is kissing him, probably petting and trying to soothe, probably --

God, *Tim*, and he wants to see that, wants to see her in Bruce's arms again, loving it because Bruce is just that good for her, Bruce knows just how *beautiful* she is... and Tim knows that Bruce is worth it, worth everything in Jason right now, and more, besides.

Jason takes Bruce's dick in his hand and goes down until he's kissing his fist, swallowing and drooling, wanting and fucking *needing* --

Tim makes a high sound -- moans, long and low, muffled again, and whatever Bruce is doing to her is *just* that good. He can't bring himself to look up. He doesn't want to lose *focus*, because this is --

He's only done this with *Tim* since --

It's *Bruce*, and how much he wants this, it's the way that his hips are rocking now, trying to pull *away* -- Jason grabs Bruce's hip with his free hand and pulls him *in*, and it's just like trying to move a fucking building with one hand, but he keeps at it until his bicep is straining --

Bruce pushes just a little and Jason's dick twitches, Jason moans and nods as much as he can, letting go of Bruce's hip and reaching down and between for his sac, instead --

Tim gasps --

"*Jay*," Bruce says, loud and fucking *starved*, and Jason wants Tim to make Bruce put his hand on his head, wants to have been smart enough to tell him to do that, himself -- he can't pull off. Not now.

Bruce is pushing so *gently*. It hardly feels like *thrusts*, at all, but it's doing what it's supposed to do, making Jason's mouth feel used in the best way, making Jason swallow and swallow and *swallow*.

The disinfectant smell is just the undertone now, something sharp to measure the *thick* scent of Bruce's need against, something to keep him from losing it entirely as he sucks and licks, squeezes Bruce's sac rhythmically --

Tim whimpers and Bruce gasps, again --

Again --

Again and it turns into another moan, makes Jason have to just -- he moves the hand he had around the base, sucks in a breath through his nose --

And the next thrust takes Bruce right *in*, all the way, and for a second Jason thinks he's going to come, it's just that --

Bruce is *inside* him, so thick and hot, so fucking *good*, and Jason uses his free hand to stroke Bruce's thigh, pet him a little, just -- stay right *there*, and the moans are muffled again --

No, Tim is making sweet little noises, rhythmic and fucking deadly, rhythmic as Jason's squeezes --

"Jay -- Jay, he's -- his finger. Inside me --"

Jason groans deep in his chest, tries to breathe and *can't*, tries to suck harder and just drools more, just --

That has to fucking *hurt*, but she sounds high on it. She sounds -- whimpers and little cries, over and over, and control comes back like a shot --

No, it's not control, at all. He just *has* to suck, has to keep swallowing and holding Bruce *deep*, grind his face against Bruce's mound and squeeze *hard* until he starts thrusting again, hard little pushes that make Jason feel exactly as fucked as he is --

"Oh, God, Jay -- Bruce -- *mm* --"

Another kiss, then, and Jason doesn't know if Bruce is fucking her mouth with the same rhythm that he's fucking *Jason's*, but he *believes* it is. Bruce would *have* to, and --

God, she's still making those noises, *right* into Bruce's mouth -- she's gotta be rock hard again, starting to *need* again --

He needs Bruce's hand -- oh --

There, on his head, shaking and petting, gripping and *releasing*, and Bruce's thrusts are getting ragged enough that Jason has to help a little, *ride* Bruce a little, let him slip out of his throat --

Gasp and go back down, take him back and slide his tongue against the underside --

Would Bruce want his teeth?

Bruce biting him and sucking his lip, fucking his mouth like this *had* to happen, holding Jason *tight* --

Jason squeezes Bruce's sac in warning --

Bruce shakes all *over* --

He bares his teeth and tries to open wide enough that it would just be a graze, just a little *touch* --

Tim *screams*, wordless and high --

"*Please*," Bruce says, and his hand is a weight on the back of Jason's head, he's cupping and holding Jason *still* while he thrusts, pushes and shoves his way right down Jason's throat.

Right -- where he belongs. And Jason feels himself flushing, feels himself sweating, and the comforter is too fucking *soft* against his dick, Tim sounds the best kind of tortured --

And Bruce is holding him and shaking so much it feels like he's going to fly apart, or Jason is. *Please* he thinks, and squeezes Bruce's sac every time he thrusts in, and the lack of a rhythm is starting to get to him, make him feel like anything can happen, anything can *take* him over the edge.

Maybe the next thrust, maybe the next time Tim whimpers so *sweet* -- and this thrust is so hard it *moves* Jason, but Bruce's hand is right there, holding him where he needs to be. Jason presses up *hard* with his tongue, swallows again --

And Bruce sobs again and comes, spurting hot and perfect down Jason's throat. He works Bruce's sac as much as he can, covers his teeth and *squeezes* with his lips, waiting for the sound, the push --

It doesn't come. Bruce just pants and keeps holding Jason there, fucking *wracked* with full-body shudders that make Jason ache in sympathy -- no, he's just *aching*, and Bruce *has* to want him to pull off soon.

Doesn't he?

Hell, he's going to need to breathe again --

Tim makes a soft, almost questioning sound, and Bruce sighs and moans.

"I." Bruce swallows with an audible click. "I need. I need Jay to stay. Just a little longer," he says, and lets go of Jason's head.

Jason nods and distracts himself from the lack of air by wondering how Bruce is holding Tim, wondering if he's still -- no, he has to have stopped thrusting with his finger, because Tim is mostly quiet save for her hitched breathing.

Does she want to get fucked again? If Jason tried it, it would be much too hard, but... Bruce can't. He's already starting to soften enough that Jason has to *hold* Bruce in his mouth --

He slips out of Jason's throat and Jason breathes, sucking air through his nose as hard as he can --

And Bruce is still shuddering every few moments, but he's also petting Jason's hair again. *Just* petting, and Jason could pull back at any time. Jason works his jaw as carefully as he can and Bruce slips his hand down to work at the hinge, a little.

Jason looks up -- Tim's up on her knees on the pillows, straddling Bruce's arm. He's still inside her, but he isn't thrusting anymore, and he's got his head tilted back and his eyes closed. Tim is resting her head against Bruce's shoulder. It seems like too nice a picture for him to be a part of it, too...

No, Tim *looks* calm, but her dick is trying hard to reach her abdomen, and Bruce...

Bruce looks like he's just *living* in this moment, apart from everything save for the feel of Jason on him -- and Tim, too.

Jason smiles around Bruce's dick, and maybe Tim can feel it, because she turns to look at him and smiles right back. And shifts, just slightly --

And gasps, because Bruce flexes, pushes -- opens his eyes. He looks pretty much completely -- heh. Blown. Jason smiles a little wider and raises his eyebrows.

Bruce opens his mouth -- closes it and nods, and his eyes get narrow as Jason pulls off, and he turns to Tim.

"You... Bruce. You look like you're completely surprised to find yourself in this position," Tim says, and she's laughing *under* her voice, that little kinda *musical* thing she does that Jason *used* to think was pure Batgirl.

Bruce seems to be considering that -- or something like it -- himself. Or maybe he's just thinking about the feel of her abdomen and chest against his free hand as he strokes, touches --

Almost *snatches* for Jason when he moves to kneel up. Jason catches his hand. "Not goin' anywhere, B."

Bruce looks like he's going to say something *this* time, but -- no. Another nod.

Tim cups Bruce's face and strokes his cheek. Jason knows what that stubble feels like, and... he's never *asked* Tim about it, but he pretty much always keeps himself shaved clean. Not that he has anything *like* Bruce's ability to grow hair. He's watched Bruce going at himself with a straight razor before some party or whatever countless times, and he's seen Bruce stubbled as *hell* beneath the cowl after a couple of long nights more, and --

He's totally babbling to keep himself from jumping one of them. Maybe both.

"We should," Tim says, and presses her thumb against the -- unwounded -- corner of Bruce's mouth. "Jason really should get some... attention."

Bruce nods again, turns to kiss Tim's thumb, and presses hard against her sternum.

Jason knows it's a warning, and Tim does, too. She takes a deep breath and Bruce pulls out -- Tim winces and twists.

"Okay, baby?"

"It seems as though that should've been easier than it was," she says, reaching down to hold Bruce's arms while she backs out of the straddle.

Jason shakes his head. "It's always harder the second time. Even when it's just a finger."

"Mm. How did we not manage to illustrate that point, ourselves...?"

"Dumb luck," Jason says, and reaches for her. "Plus the fact that there are about a million different things I wanna do to you every minute of every *day*."

Tim moves into Jason's arms and kisses him, and Jason *knows* that noise was for the taste of Bruce's dick in his mouth. She's never tasted him when he's been with someone else. She's -- well, of *course* not, but it still feels huge, important...

It *is* important, and it could even be dangerous, but she seems willing to go with the fact that Jason had just sucked Bruce off, seems to know that he still wants and needs her, still *loves* -- or she's faking it *just* that well, and he knows she can *do* that.

Sometimes she slips and he can see the doubts in her, the *fear* that goes right through her, but if she didn't slip, he'd never know. And maybe she'd prefer it that way. He pulls out of the kiss and reaches down to grab her ass, grind her against him a little -- "Love you, baby."

"I love you, too," she says, and kind of *quirks* a smile.


"You realize that one day you're going to slip and call me that while we're in *school*. And there will probably be witnesses."

Dick's heard him call her baby. Bruce, Alfred, Babs. Whoever Babs shares her *footage* with -- "Okay, maybe, but I can handle it if you can," Jason says, and squeezes her ass nice and hard. "I could use an excuse to beat up some of my classmates."

"Hmm. Rather like shooting fish in a barrel, don't you think? With a bazooka, that is."

"So I'll do it blindfolded with one hand tied behind my back."

"And your legs hobbled. And perhaps a couple of fingers broken."

Jason snorts. "C'mon, now, you can't tell me you haven't wanted to kick the shit out of some of the people at *your* schools."

Tim looks down and smiles -- reaches down and *grips* Jason's dick -- "Stop being distracting."

"Uh -- Jesus. *Just* like that -- fucking hell, baby, what -- what are you gonna do to me?"

"What are you going to do *for* me?" And that's Batgirl, through and through, and when Jason looks up over her shoulder -- Bruce is watching fucking *avidly*.

Jason grins a little loopily. "You see what she does to me, B?"

Bruce pulls one knee up and rests his arm on it, letting his other knee fan out to the side. "It's intriguing to watch."

He'll just *bet*. And it's not like they've been trying to hide at *all*, but -- still. Babs isn't the only one who has this place wired. "How often *do* you watch?"

"When I can't control myself."

Just like that, calm and honest, and Bruce, more than anything else, looks *satisfied*. Not in that smug way that Jason can't help feeling after pretty much *every* time with Tim -- and sometimes just *whenever*, these days -- but still... "You... do you think we're *done* with you?"

*That* makes Bruce's eyes get a little wider.

Jason nods. "Yeah, come here. I want... I want to try something," Jason says, and looks at Tim to make sure she knows that he's experimenting a little, make sure she's *up* for it --

Her eyes have that deep kind of burn that say she might *hurt* him -- but only if she *really* likes what Jason has in mind. God, yes. He kisses her nice and soft and gets bitten pretty much immediately, gets growled at and gets his lip tugged *hard* for a moment.

"Fuck, yeah," and Bruce is right there, on his knees and looking at both of them like maybe he's trying to figure out exactly how *he* fits. Jason turns back to Tim. "You ready, baby?"

Tim raises an eyebrow and nods, so Jason brushes her hand off his dick, groans at the loss and grabs Bruce's hand.

"Both of us, B. Hold us *together*."

Bruce sighs and Tim makes a soft sound, and her head shake seems reflexive and *is* abortive. She nods and closes her eyes --

And Bruce takes them both in hand, in that big, *warm* hand -- "Fuck, *B*. How many times have you wanted just *this* --"

"I can't answer that question, Jay, it's -- too much. For Tim, however... no more than twice a day since she's been here, with us."

Tim blinks rapidly and *searches* Bruce -- closes her eyes and makes an *animal* sound when Bruce squeezes.

Jason's not doing any better. "Fast and hard. We both like --"

"Yes, fast, and I -- please, my --"

And Bruce's free hand is around her throat *just* that fast, and she's twitching against him, pushing against the grip Bruce has on her -- Bruce moans and starts to stroke, and it's *not* fast, but it's hard enough that Jason has to grab Tim's shoulder for balance.

Tim's got a grip on Bruce's thigh -- "Oh, it's -- oh, I can feel --"

"Yeah, baby, this is what I want, this -- c'mon, *fuck* against me a little --"

"Jay --"

"Please? I think -- Bruce would like to see that --"

"*Yes*," Bruce says, squeezing Tim's throat just a *little* -- she can still pant and make little noises, and she does, bucking up into Bruce's fist. Her expression isn't the best, but -- no.

"It's okay, baby, it's -- you look so beautiful like this, so. You look like you can drop me without missing a fucking beat, so angry and so gorgeous --"

"Not -- nn. Not angry at *you* --"

"Just the same," Bruce says, and, "may I kiss you again? Both of you --"

"Yes --"

"*Yeah*, do it --"

And Jason's reaching for it -- it's just as soft as he'd kissed Tim, and he *knows* what Bruce wants. He sucks Bruce's tongue hard, shoves it out of his mouth and bites Bruce's lip and sucks that, too -- gets his upper lip bitten and groans, fucks into Bruce's hard fist, fucking *perfect* fist --

And Bruce is gone and Tim is growling loud enough that Jason *knows* she's getting the same treatment, even though he can't really see past Bruce's head --

Bruce *grunts* --

Tim's growl gets very fucking literally choked off, and she's thrusting faster, and Jason wonders if this is how he can get her to fuck him, one day. Just -- straddle her with one hand wrapped around her throat until she can't help but fucking *pound* him -- he's thrusting faster, too. Leaking and it's slick between them, wet and *hot*, and Bruce is squeezing with every stroke --

Bruce is pulling away from Tim and licking his lips -- he's bleeding again, and hell, it's probably good for the *cleanliness* of the wound, but --

"C'mon, again, B," and Jason reaches out to cup the back of Bruce's head, tries to focus --

Focuses on kissing, and the obscene taste of Bruce's blood in his mouth, metal and hot --

"My. My turn," Tim says, and she's panting -- flushed in the second Jason can see her before Bruce is going for her. She hums and *that* gets choked off, she freezes -- jerks and spasms. She's *close*, and Jason *knows* how she kisses when she gets like that, desperate and so *sweet*.

Bruce moans and pulls back, and the blood is smeared on his *chin* --

"Come *here*, B -- mm, oh yeah --" Bruce is licking him, his cheeks and his chin and his mouth, shoving in deep and stroking faster --

Tim whimpers and those are her hands on them, on Bruce's hand. She's not pushing or guiding, she's just touching and yanking her hands away, over and over.

Jason reaches to grab one of her wrists, moans because she growls again, and --

"*Bruce* -- *hnn* --"

Choking her again, he's -- God, and it makes her hands shake, and maybe her whole body is. Jason *can't* stop moving his hips for it, and she feels so good against him, Bruce's hand feels like coming fucking *home* --

He tries to follow when Bruce pulls back, and Bruce lunges back in and kisses Jason *hard*, almost punishes Jason with it, and it's his turn to shake, to grip and release, need --

Pant helplessly when Bruce pulls back again and turns to Tim.

Tim's eyes are *squeezed* shut and she's trying to breathe, trying to gasp -- Jason watches Bruce slacken his grip and Tim almost *whoops*, opening wild and unfocused eyes and shaking her head --

"*More*, Bruce, Jay, I --"

And Bruce kisses her, kisses her face, this time, licks her jaw and her ear, *fucks* her ear with his tongue --

"Holy fucking *fuck*, that's hot, B --"

"I -- my *ear*?"

Jason laughs and it turns into a groan, another -- Bruce is squeezing them harder, stroking them *faster* -- and he's kissing Tim again, pushing her *back* with it, and she's scratching at Bruce's scalp, yanking his hair and thrusting *hard* --

"Baby, so good, so fucking good, always want you fucking me --"

She moans and it's muffled, so hot, so --

She's flushed all the way down to her abdomen, and there's sweat gleaming in her hair, and Jason's not going to *last* -- "Fuck, *please* --"

And Tim is shouting and Bruce is *on* him, fucking Jason's mouth hard and saying -- something. It's slurred and low and Jason can't quite understand it, and he can't bring himself to make Bruce slow down.

He can't --

Tim shouts again and comes, spurting hot and slick, making Jason wetter, hotter --

Another shout, and Bruce *has* to be squeezing her too hard, right now, but he's still kissing Jason, still licking, biting a little --

Bruce pulls back -- "Love. I love -- and I --"

And he turns, and he's kissing Tim all over her face, squeezing her throat and whispering more --

"Beautiful girl, beautiful, you must tell me --"

"*Bruce*," and it's so low that Jason almost thinks it was him saying it -- Bruce lets go and --

"Jesus fucking -- *B* --"

Oh, he's got Jason again, *just* Jason this time, and he has just enough focus to see Tim *slumping*, and then it's just -- white-hot and harsh, perfect --

He's scrabbling at Bruce's arm, his shoulder --

Bruce is kissing him so *hard* --

So hot --

"*Fuck*," and Jason's coming, one shot after another until it feels like he's shooting his own spine, until he's jerking like he's having a fucking *seizure* --


Until he's laughing so hard he can barely gasp, or maybe it's the other way around. Just -- "Fuck," Jason says again, shaking his head and trying to clear it a little, enough that he can *focus* on more than just the feel of Bruce's loose grip on his dick.

Staying *right* there, and maybe if Jason had been needing this for that long he'd be exactly the same way. Jason lets his head fall back and works on catching his breath, and once he's got a little control back he wraps his hand around Bruce's own and squeezes -- *lightly*.

"Okay, B?"

"I. Yes," Bruce says, so *quietly* -- and pulls back.

Jason stretches, feeling something tight in his back let go with an incredibly satisfying pop. He looks, and Bruce is kneeling right there looking down at the comforter -- the really fucking stained comforter -- no, he's looking at his sticky hand.

Tim's sitting on her heels with her hands flat to her thighs, watching both of them.

*Now* -- they kind of have to talk. But first --

He grabs Bruce's wrist and tugs his hand up to his mouth, licking away Tim's come and his own.

Tim narrows her eyes and parts her lips a little.

Bruce looks up at the sound, or maybe the feel --

Bruce looks up and his eyes are almost *hollow* with hunger, like maybe he can't decide whether he wants to be doing what Jason is doing, or -- something else. Maybe a lot of *different* somethings.

Jason pauses with Bruce's ring finger in his mouth and pulls back, deciding against doing it slow with a nice, wet pop at the end. "That soon, B? Already?"

Bruce closes his eyes, and the tension is back in his jaw and shoulders.

Jason looks to Tim and she nods, crawling closer until they're kind of bracketing Bruce. She puts one hand on his chest and Jason covers it with his own, brushing at the nearest scar with his fingertips. "B..."

"You don't have to. You've both." More tension, and it's so obvious that he's *fighting* himself and -- this was really supposed to make things *better*. For all of them.

"Bruce," he says, and pushes Tim's hand. She starts to rub him a little, and Jason moves his hand to the other side of Bruce's chest and does the same. "It's okay."

"Certainly, I'm feeling several different varieties of okay. Even if Jason really *could* have warned me about that bit of... manipulation."

Manipulation. *Really*. Jason snorts. "Should I apologize, baby?"

"Oh, I... I just don't feel as though you're sensitive to my needs, anymore, Jason. I'm deeply hurt. I may even give Barbara the okay on having both of you castrated."

Jason snorts *hard*. "Fucking ow, Tim --"

Tim smiles, broad and *mean*. Pure fucking Batgirl. Or maybe he means Babs.

And Bruce still has his eyes closed. "C'mon, B. Tell us what you need. I'm guessing it's not more sex, considering the state of your tackle, but... we're here."

"Yes," Tim says, "we are."

"There should be... there should be a point at which one's needs have traveled so far beyond the line between comprehensible and ridiculous that they stop being... needs," Bruce says, and opens his eyes. He looks at both of them. "You should go, and be together. I'm -- I am not." And Bruce's mouth is a hard line, and the anger is back in his eyes.

"God, that looks fucking *poisonous*, B --"

"If you're. You're turning on yourself, again. If nothing else, you must realize by now how difficult that is for *us*," Tim says, curling her fingers in and scratching *hard*.

"Really yeah. You kind of need to fucking *relax*. You were going to, before. You had already *started* relaxing --"

"That was when -- Jason, Tim. I don't want you to go."

"So why the hell did you *tell* us to -- oh."

Bruce winces, and yeah, that really was *nothing* but honest. And he'd planned to -- well, Jason hadn't really done much planning beyond *doing* this, though a part of him had to have assumed they'd be going back to his or Tim's room after, or he wouldn't really be *surprised* now. Right?

And Tim is looking down, now, but he can see her eyes tracking, see her looking over the lists and charts in her head -- it's really her call. "Tim...?"

"I -- I'm going to need to have some time *just* with Jason," she says, and looks up again. "It doesn't have to be right this moment."

If anything, Bruce looks even *worse*, and -- Jason gets it. He really does. They'd just made him expose *another* huge and fucking needy place inside him, and that never doesn't suck. At least with Tim, Jason always knows that she *wants* his need.

But *she* knows exactly what Bruce is feeling, and that's clear by the frown line on her forehead and the way she isn't scratching so much as stroking again. "We could... ah." Tim stops stroking and crawls up the bed, lying down with her head on one of the pillows.

Oh... yeah? Okay. Jason crawls up and lies down, too, and pats the great big space between them.

Bruce -- curls his hands into fists, and Jason's just about to sit up and start *hauling* on the man, but --

"Please," Tim says, and she sounds completely honest, and maybe a little hungry, herself. She always likes... she almost always lets him hold her after sex, and it's not that she doesn't let him hold her at other times, but it's *different* when they've made love.

That's when she talks about all the real things inside her, and it's when she's gentle because nothing else feels right. And that's exactly what *Bruce* is going to get, because Jason had left that space --

He can live with it. He can... Bruce should have things like this, too, and maybe... maybe he should have as much of Bruce as he can handle. Just to know, just to be able to touch any time he wants and know how much it means, *feel* it --

And when Bruce lies between them, he's stiff as a fucking *board*, as all the armor he's not wearing --

Heh. That's *one* way to put it. Tim turns on her side and throws a leg over Bruce's, and Jason does the same. After about a minute of that, Bruce sighs and relaxes all over.

And puts his arms around them -- lightly.