With fear and sweetness
by Te
March 6, 2008

Disclaimers: Not even close to mine.

Spoilers/Timeline: References to various storylines, mostly older. Takes place in a nebulous 'now.'

Summary: The family, the protocol, and the grey areas.

Ratings Note/Warnings: Sexual content which does and doesn't dovetail with the content some readers may find to be disturbing. I'm serious this time, folks.

Author's Note: Sequel to Sport us while we may. Takes place a couple of days after the end of that story, and will not make any sense without it.

Acknowledgments: Much love to Jack, Mildred, and Pixie for audiencing, encouragement, and a large amount of hand-holding.


It's late, and Tim's body is telling him that winter is coming.

The bite of the wind is a large part of it -- making Tim miss his heavier tights, if not the way the old gauntlets had breathed. But --

There are other things.

It's quieter than he's gotten used to for this hour, streets emptying of everyone save for the people with nowhere else to go and those few criminals finishing up their night's work. Every hit feels harder and more dangerous, as if the cold is making his targets potentially brittle --

He has other reasons for being careful with his blows and strikes, not least of which is the fact that Cassandra is still his partner on the street. Right now, she's a deeper patch of shadow behind him and to his left, silent and watchful.

It's the end of their patrol, but she has yet to call for a break first. Bruce had obviously been very clear, with her, that he was to be... some variety of controlled. Watched, of course, but also held back from his...

From at least some of his urges. He hadn't seen Jason tonight, or the night before. They haven't followed the lead he'd given them, and -- and.

He and Bruce have yet to talk in depth about what he'd done when he was *working* with Jason, and it's possible that they never will, that Bruce is waiting for Tim to settle in his skin again, settle back into being the sort of Robin he's supposed to be.

It's --

It's *more* than possible, really, and, in the end, Tim isn't surprised that Bruce would leave it like this. Tim knows that Bruce trusts him, and knows that Bruce's beliefs when it comes to right and wrong are strong enough, go *deep* enough that the man would trust an otherwise right-thinking vigilante like Tim to find his way back to them.

His sixteenth birthday had been, in some ways, an expression of that particular trust, and on top of that are the other concerns, the other things their relationship has become. Bruce...

Gotham never feels more like Batman's city than it does in the wintertime, when the nights are black and clear and everything seems sharper and harder, more *sure*...

He --

He doesn't want to go home, tonight.

Bruce needs him. Bruce *loves* him, trusts him, wants him -- needs him.

Needs him --

This morning -- this *afternoon* -- Bruce had been there when Tim woke up, and it had been such a shock that he'd rolled himself out of bed and had already started heading toward the bathroom before he'd realized the shadows were wrong -- different.

He'd stopped, right there, and curled his toes into the carpet -- and crawled back into bed. Bruce's expression had been wry, his lips pressed together on something --

Tim doesn't know what that something would've been. He hadn't known what to *do* with himself in daylight -- he could feel it behind the heavy curtains, he knew it was *there* -- with Bruce right there. With themselves, right there.

In the end, he had reached for Bruce's hand, and watched his own hand get a little swallowed, a little taken.

He'd said something brief and meaningless about how good it had been last night, how much he'd needed... things Bruce had already known. He'd made it painfully obvious that he was at a *loss*, and, after a moment, Bruce had nodded and let him go.

They'd spent the rest of the day moving parallel to each other, and then it had been time for patrol.

He doesn't want to go home tonight.

He has another few days before it's time to head back out to the Tower -- he doesn't want to be there, either --

"Restless," Cassandra says, and shifts to let her cape brush and drag against Tim's ankles. "Too late for more patrol?"

"Too late," Tim says, nodding, and catches a fold of her cape between his fingers --


Oh, that's... a part of him wants that *very* much, right now, wants everything Cassandra can teach him -- there's so *much* --

And Cassandra is smiling behind her cowl, reaching for her grapple. They'll go to the bikes, they'll -- go to the Cave. Cassandra pauses. "No...?"

Tim shakes his head. "I -- I'm going to Jason. Tonight."

"You can't --" Cassandra frowns and reaches for him, wrapping her small, powerful hand around his wrist.

Tim doesn't try to back away.

"Not his *way*. You --"

"I know. I don't plan on -- working," Tim says, and tries to sound reassuring --

"You don't *know* that. You are -- you're confused and scared and hungry. You want to *hurt*."

Does he? No -- it's not a question. It's *Cassandra*, and she knows too much, she always knows too *much* --

"*Please*, Robin --"

"I don't -- I don't want to hurt. Anyone else."

She squeezes Tim's wrist and tugs, moving closer -- "*Robin*."

She's making him as much as she's calling him, defining him -- trying to help him define himself? "I was Robin with him, too."

"Not always. I *saw* --"

"Sometimes I was just Tim. And -- I know you don't always like Tim, but I need -- I need."

"*Bruce*," she says, and releases his wrist to run her fingers along Tim's gauntlet spikes --

"Not -- right now. I can't." And isn't it enough that I'm not following Jason's leads? Haven't I --

Cassandra moves back and -- away. Or perhaps he means that Batgirl does.

"I'll come back," Tim says, and it sounds weak to his own ears, but --

Cassandra nods. And flies.

So does Tim.

The fact that he didn't call in weighs on him as he goes. Cassandra will tell Bruce what she knows if Bruce asks, and the tracers on Tim's uniform will confirm her information, but --

Those are just facts. Just... pieces of something which couldn't really be called the truth. He owes Bruce more than that -- a *lot* more than that, especially given how much Bruce had just *accepted* from him.

He'd accept this, too. He'd --

It's *Jason*.

Bruce *understands*, and Tim knows it, and knows that Bruce even wants it with at least a part of himself. It's just that it would be an ugly, insulting lie to pretend that this is somehow *all* Bruce wants from him. Needs from him --

Tim taps his comm. "R to B."

"Batman here."

"I need... something else. Tonight."

Silence, and Tim tries to focus on his flight, on all of Gotham's chilled and sleeping life. He can -- he doesn't have to --

"B, I --"

"We'll talk. Later."

Tim blows out a breath, and he can already feel it, already feel himself some variety of close to Bruce, naked for Bruce and explaining everything he can, as *much* as he can --

"Batman out."

Tim flies, and it doesn't take long to reach *that* warehouse, to move through the traps and make sure he's caught by every camera until he reaches the roof access door and can...


Something --

It would be some variety of amusing if Jason were already asleep. It would be anything *but* if Jason is just sitting there waiting for him to leave, waiting for him to make a bigger jackass out of himself than he already had.

Jason had *given* him this, *shared* this, but that was when he was drugged into someone fearless. Right now, it feels like all he *has* is fear, that someone had replaced his body with it --

Maybe just his skin.

Tim lays his hand flat against the door and takes a breath, closing his eyes behind the mask and wanting, needing so damned *much* -- movement --

"Come to borrow a cup of sugar, birdboy?"

Jason, behind him and -- his hands are on Tim's shoulders. Tim turns his head --

And Jason spins Tim and shoves, bouncing Tim's back off the door --

Reflex to shift into a ready position, to start to --

Jason catches Tim's hands and pushes them back against the door -- "Is *that* what you came for?"

"I --" The funny thing is, it seems like an honest question. Tim flexes his wrists in Jason's grip and looks up. There's a smile on Jason's face, but there are other things there, too. He almost seems unsure about something... "I came for you."

Jason squeezes Tim's wrists. "Yeah...?"

Tim shakes his head. "I think. I think I don't know what I want, tonight, and..." Tim bites his lip -- stops. "Jason."

The smile slips, a little -- "Sure I'm the one you need to see, Tim?"

Sure. If he was *sure*, about *anything* -- Tim laughs, softly and flexes his wrists again. "I -- I can't stop thinking about your scent," is what falls out of his mouth entirely without permission --

"My *scent*, hunh...?" And Jason's mouth is open, just a little -- he squeezes Tim's wrists one more time and then drags his fingers up Tim's forearms, presses his thumbs in the hollows of Tim's elbows -- "Maybe you should come closer. Take a good whiff."

It's -- it's a *relief* to be hard, some part of Tim rejoicing at having something familiar to *work* with -- Tim pushes off the door and steps close, reaching up to stroke Jason's chest, press and feel for the body armor -- he's not wearing his jacket. He'd come from inside to *meet* Tim up here --

Jason raises his arms to the sides and looks at Tim, lips still parted, dark in the uncertain light --

Tim presses his face to Jason's shoulder, breathes and moves down -- clean fabric, the armor, hints of sweat -- Tim feels himself shaking and strokes down Jason's sides, breathes *deep* --

"How's that," and Jason's voice is low and a little rough, a little --

Tim slides his hands under Jason's shirt just to see, just -- he has to --

Jason sighs. "Go on, take another deep breath. I'm right here."

"Y-yes. You are. You -- Jason," Tim says, and Jason has to be feeling Tim's breaths through his shirt now, has to be able to *feel* how even his breathing really *isn't*. "Leather, gun oil, *sweat* --"

"All of the above, birdboy... I." Jason lowers his arms, wraps them around Tim and pulls Tim closer, pulls him *close*, until the options are down to breathing in Jason and not breathing at all.

Tim's fingers are busy learning the catches on Jason's armor, and once that's done Tim has to keep them *moving*, keep -- if he stops, or even slows down, he'll start working to get Jason *out* of the armor, and a rooftop -- even this rooftop -- is profoundly not the right place for that --

"You startin' to figure out what you want, yet...?"

It's not an invitation to work his groin against Jason's thigh. It's -- it's just *not*, it can't be, but Tim's doing it anyway, and --

"Oh, that feels like a yes. Heh." Jason shifts, strokes Tim's arms up to his shoulders --

"Don't -- don't push. Not yet. I." Tim doesn't know what comes after that, just that it's *something*, and --

And Jason's hand is in his hair, pushing through to Tim's scalp -- the gloves are rough-textured, cool --

Tim takes another deep breath and swallows back saliva before pushing back against Jason's hand, tilting his head back --

"You want me to kiss you, kid?"

Tim licks his lips and lets himself focus on Jason's mouth, still hanging open a little, still -- he can taste Jason's breath. Something sweet like fruit, something -- "I want -- I want everything I can have. Jason."

Jason touches his tongue to his upper lip -- "Then say it."

"Kiss me. Touch me. Take me inside and just -- please. We can --"

Contact. Kissed -- *contact*, and Tim's body is too busy screaming and *needing* to let him really *feel* it, at first --

But then Jason pulls back and licks Tim's lips, and the cool air has just enough time to hit and make Tim *stiffen* before Jason's kissing him again. It's hard and it's slow, Jason almost grinding their mouths together, Jason's tongue stabbing into Tim's mouth --

Tim moans and starts undoing the catches on Jason's body armor --

A beeping sound, and Tim wonders which of his alarms are going off and whether or not he can get away with ignoring it -- the door is opening behind them and Jason's walking them in, still kissing --

Jason kicks the door shut behind them and bites Tim's lip --

"Jason --"

"C'mon, start walking down the stairs," and Jason slips the gloves off before pulling his shirt off over his head and letting them all drop over the side --

And Tim gets a little stuck on Jason's arms, the flex and release of the muscles there, as he finishes opening the armor --


Focus. He can -- focus. He just. Tim shakes his head a little and reaches for the catches of his cape, starts walking backward down the stairs and just -- watches.

The armor hanging from the fingers of Jason's right hand -- dropped, too, and Tim ditches his cape and keeps walking, does *not* stumble when Jason starts yanking on his belt. He gets the gauntlets off, the tunic, and Jason stops --


He frowns and shakes his head --

"What. Tell me," Tim says, and starts to move back up the stairs --

"Keep -- don't stop stripping down, kid. I need -- let me see you."

Tim blushes hard and yanks off his undershirt, tosses it over the banister -- "There's something. You should --"

"Tell you. I -- heh." Jason's smile is rueful and a little distant, and for a moment he looks up to the ceiling. The lights pick out the faintly different shine of his scars as he shifts, as he breathes --

Tim deactivates himself. "Jason. I don't want -- I just want to be *with* you --"

"You are. You -- that's the problem, kid. You're *with* me, and I'm... right here fucking dying for it --" Motion --

Contact, and Tim keeps his feet by moving back and down as fast as he can, treating it like a spar on uneven ground until his back is to a wall and Tim can focus on something other than just staying upright, can really *think* about how hard he is, how --

Dying for it. He.

"Jason, I -- fuck," Tim says, shaking his head and laughing --

Jason's eyes aren't unlike Bruce's as he stares down at Tim, as he reaches to cup Tim's face, tilt his head back again --

"I want -- I want to. Reassure you, somehow, but that would involve --"

"You actually feeling assured. Yeah, I get you. This is --" Jason licks his lips and kisses Tim again, stroking down with one hand to Tim's hip, cupping and squeezing -- "C'mon, hump me again, show me how much you *need* this, birdboy --"

Tim wraps his leg around the back of Jason's own and pushes, grinds -- finds a rhythm that locks him between serious jock-related discomfort and the kind of heat that makes it *worthwhile* --

Another kiss and Jason strokes around to cup Tim's buttock, strokes and squeezes *there*, and Tim gets his arms around Jason's neck, pushes into his hair and groans into the kiss, does it again --

Again --

"God, fuck -- *naked*," Jason says, stepping back --

Tim grabs him by the waistband of his pants and yanks him close again --

Jason laughs and lets Tim open his pants before catching Tim's wrists and pushing them back. "Keep *stripping*."

Right. That's -- he's the one wearing the most, right now, and -- right. Tim shakes it off as much as he can and toes off his boots, takes off his belt -- pauses.

Jason isn't reaching for it, this time, but he's looking at Tim, seeing -- what? That he'd hand it over again? That he knows *exactly* what that means?

"I need you, Jason --"

Jason pants and frowns again -- "Jesus, kid, you --"

"Take it, Jason. Let me see it in your hand, again. Let me --"

Taken, and Jason rubs a thumb over the buckle, holds it so *tightly* -- "Is this what you want?"

Tim -- works on his breathing, shudders at the feel of sweat in the hollow of his spine... "Just -- the *look* of it --"

"It's more than just the look --"

"Yes, of course, Jason -- but. Your hand. *Yours* --"

Jason's smile is narrow and sly. "Just mine for tonight, Tim?"

"I --" Tim raises an eyebrow. "I suppose we could see if Barbara would like some company --"

"Little. Whore." Jason's eyes are almost *glittering* --

"With -- excellent taste," Tim says, and shoves the shorts, tights, and briefs down, gets them off with his socks --

And Jason is right there, cupping Tim through the jock and making Tim's penis twitch, making him *wince* --

"You're still wearing too many clothes, Jason --"

"What happens if I want to tie you down?"

Tim flashes on the memory of himself hanging from the bar by a zip-strip while Bruce spanked him, cut off the oxygen to his *brain* --

And Jason leans in and licks Tim's ear -- "Bruce already did that, I know. He never once tied *me* -- well. Not after the first time."

Thought. Thought could be a useful thing, a -- Jason still has him by the *jock* -- Tim breathes and cups Jason's shoulders, squeezes -- "Did it... not work out?"

"Heh. You'd have to ask him how he felt about it. It was the night he brought me -- brought me back to the Cave."

*Thought* -- "He tied you *up*?"

"And gagged me. Must not have liked the things comin' out of my mouth," Jason says, whispers soft and low -- the kiss just beneath Tim's earlobe is gentle enough to make Tim shiver -- "Like that?"

"I think -- yes. I -- the two of you didn't... not that *first* night?"

Jason kisses him there again, licks -- "That would've been pretty damned disturbing, birdboy. You've got a *nasty* turn of mind --"

"You love it. I -- Jesus, Jason -- *oh* --"

Another kiss, the scrape of Jason's teeth -- and then Jason is freeing Tim from the jock and backing off again. Tim follows because he *has* to, curling his fingers into the waistband of Jason's pants and briefs and pulling them down while Jason kicks out of his boots.

Naked, finally -- no. They still have their masks on. They still -- it does and doesn't matter. Tim reaches for his --

"Leave it on," Jason says, and traces the edges of it.

Tim closes his eyes behind the mask -- "I don't have to."

"You sayin' you *don't* want Bruce to watch? To know every little thing you're doing? That that *doesn't* make it okay for you...?" And Jason strokes down to Tim's mouth and traces *that* --

Tim licks Jason's finger. "A lot -- a lot of things make this 'okay.' If the word can be used. Jason -- mm --"

Jason's finger in his mouth, pushing in slow and sliding back out --

In again, pressing down on Tim's tongue -- Tim opens his eyes and watches Jason's expression shift to something almost blankly hungry, *focused*. He reaches up to cup Jason's hand in his own and goes down on the finger, sucking and bobbing his head --

"Oral little fucker..."

Tim bares his teeth and scrapes them along the length, needing a little more when his teeth catch a little against Jason's knuckle --

"I *don't* want you to suck me off tonight, actually," Jason says, and takes his hand back. "Get on the bed."

"I..." Tim shivers again and breathes, moving to the bed. The same sheets are on as before, unless Jason just has identical sets -- no. The smell of him there --

Tim shoves his face into the pillow and breathes deep, wishing he wasn't already naked, that there was something else he could take off, another way to lay himself *bare* --

"Jason, you should..." Tim takes another breath and turns over onto his back, resting on his elbows and -- He was going to say something. He's almost *sure* he was going to --

Jason is at the foot of the bed, one hand wrapped around his penis and the other around his sac, squeezing and stroking so *slowly* --

"Jason. Jesus. I --" Tim shakes his head and reaches for himself --

"No, don't do that. Not -- not yet. What were you going to say?"

Tim digs his fingers into the duvet. "Come here? Touch me? Let me taste you *somewhere*? I'm honestly not *sure* what I was going to say, and you --"

Jason squeezes himself *hard*, both hands --

"Jason, don't *waste* that --"

Jason's laugh is breathy and honest, and he tilts his head back, stroking his penis a little faster --

"*Please*, Jason --"

"No, I --" Jason lets himself go and crawls onto the bed until he's over Tim, until --

Kissed, and this time Tim thinks Jason has to be able to taste the need in his mouth, the acid tang of it which is making Tim stab with his tongue, reach up to *pull* Jason's hair -- break --

"I want the real begging. When you're so lost to it that you just want more of what I can give you, what I can make you *take*."

That -- that's entirely understandable. It's. Tim rears up and bites the line of Jason's jaw --

"Oh -- fuck yeah, kid, show me somethin' --"

It's not Tim's best flip -- it ends with Jason nearly perfectly situated to flip them right back *over*, but Jason's laughing and seems inclined to *let* Tim, and *that* --

Tim leans in and licks Jason's chest, looking for the salt of him, the bright sharp *taste* --

Or just a nipple, and he remembers --

He can't *not* remember --

Tim bites down *hard* and Jason bucks --

"Ah -- fucking *hell*, that's good --"

Tim moans and sucks, licks his own saliva away with the flat of his tongue --

"Again, c'mon --"

Another bite and Jason cups the back of Tim's head, cradles it almost, and Tim keeps up the pressure this time --

*Jason* moans and starts to pet Tim's nape, restless and light, and Tim doesn't know if he can keep doing this. His own nipples feel like spikes digging into the meat of his chest, and he can just imagine the *pain* --

He pulls back and Jason moans again tightens his grip on Tim's neck -- "Jason, that -- I don't want to --"

"Hurt me...?" Jason laughs and grips Tim *hard*. "Not like I'm askin' you to do that to my *dick*, kid. I'm not Superman."

"Still, I --"

"C'mon, move to the other nipple, let me feel those sharp little teeth of yours. Don't make me beg for it..."

Beg. He... Tim grinds against Jason's thigh --

"Yeah, you're hot for it. You want to mark me up a little bit, get a little of your own back..."

"Jason, I --" Tim pants and *sucks* Jason's other nipple, sucks hard and licks, scrapes his teeth --

"Don't fucking *tease* me --"

Tim groans and bites, holding the pressure and reaching down between them to stroke Jason's penis, squeeze it and just -- *feel* --

"That's it, that's -- fuck, it feels like you're yankin' on my dick from the *inside* --"

And Tim hears himself *whining*, and maybe that's some of the begging Jason wants to hear, because he strokes down to Tim's buttocks and squeezes, *spreads* Tim --

"Want you, God, *want* you --"

Tim pulls off -- "Please. Please, just -- *oh* --"

Jason *moves* Tim, makes Tim thrust and grind -- Tim tries to brace himself on his hands but can't quite find his *balance*. Just -- Jason's thigh between his own, big and hard, scarred and warm --

"You feel so good, Jason, you're making me -- I --" Tim squeezes Jason's penis again --

"Ah -- Hard little body on you, nothin' -- nothing even a little bit *extra* on you -- Jesus fucking -- come *here*," Jason says, and flips them back over, shifts until their penises are lined up and *thrusts*, once and again --

Again --

Moves again and --

Kissed, hard and wet, messy and *loud*, because both of them are moaning as they lick each other, stab at each other -- Tim wraps his legs around Jason's waist -- break --

"Wait, no, just --"

Tim nods and works to convince his legs that they *want* to be flat on the bed -- no. The best he can manage is to plant his feet with his knees up, spread -- "*Did* you want me restrained, Jason?"

"Yes. No. Shit, I --" Jason knocks his forehead lightly against Tim's own and laughs. "My turn not to know what I want..."

"Start with 'everything' and go from there...?"

"Still haven't... gotten you on your hands and bony little knees --"

A different and rather literal empty space inside him wants Tim to be *aware* of it. "Jason, I -- I want you to fuck me, come in me this time -- mm --"

Kissed again, and Tim has to dig in with his heels to keep from wrapping his legs around Jason again. It's not enough to cup his shoulders, to scrape his short nails down over the scarred-uneven surface of Jason's back, to stroke and rub --

Jason's penis is a hot weight against his abdomen, and Jason -- he can't smell anything *but* Jason like this, old from the bed and new from all the sweat, the pre-come, the *sex* --

Tim sucks Jason's tongue -- and rears up to keep sucking it as Jason starts pulling back --

And Jason pushes him down and rolls *off* --

"Jason, *please* --"

"Stay there a minute," Jason says and gets up off the bed entirely, moving to one of the wall racks -- de-cel lines.

Tim snorts and reaches down for his penis, giving himself a squeeze and a slow, *lingering* stroke while Jason gathers the line --

Jason turns around and Tim smiles, giving himself another stroke, another squeeze --


"How does he not spank you every single fucking *day*?"

"The sheer *number* of times I've asked myself that same question, Jason..."

Jason snorts and comes back to the bed. "All right, you *like* it too much, I get it. When he wants to punish you he probably gives it to you slow and sweet. Gentle so you can barely feel those big hands on you..."

Tim -- blushes. "I -- I'm not sure he means it as punishment."

Jason pauses and just -- looks at Tim. And then flips the lenses up on his mask --

Right, yes, they can *do* that. Tim shakes his head and flips his own lenses up, and Jason's eyes are... blue. A *rich* blue, completely unlike any of the rest of them. Right now, they're also thoughtful --

"You feel guilty that you can't like it the way he wants to give it to you."

Jason would know. "I -- yes," Tim says. "I try -- I try and I *keep* trying, but I always end up fighting him --"

"Cursing him, begging..." Jason shakes his head. "It's not your fault you're not wired for it."

"Mm. I'd be rather more... comfortable if I was entirely sure that he knew it wasn't *his* fault, either," Tim says. "How do you want me?"

Jason smiles. "Hold out your arms -- forearms together."

Tim raises an eyebrow and does it -- and Jason wraps Tim's wrists and forearms in coil after coil of de-cel until he can't do much more than flex his hands. Bruce and that *t-shirt*...

"Heh. Bruce did you this way?"

"Not -- seriously," Tim says, and brings his arms up over his head. "My legs...?"

"Need to be mobile, birdboy," Jason says, and strokes up Tim's inner thighs --

Tim spreads as wide as he can --

"Fuck, you look good like this. In my bed, waiting for whatever I want to give you..."

"I must admit to having some... preferences."

"Heh. Course you do," Jason says, and slips two fingers into Tim's cleft, rubbing *hard* --

"Oh -- God, that *burn* --"

"He still hasn't fucked you. I'd wonder what the hell he was waiting for, but I kinda think I *know*," Jason says, and presses hard against Tim's hole --

"Ah -- enlighten me --"

"He's waiting for you to sit *still*, kid. To be *sure* you want it from him, knowing -- and you *do* know -- everything he'll want in return."

"I." Need. That *need*, and the way Bruce looks at him now, everything Bruce gives him and everything Bruce wants him to *have*. Home, and -- home. Tim nods and closes his eyes, arches his hips up into Jason's touch --

"Yeah, you know. And it scares the hell out of you, because *you* aren't thirteen years old and crazy in love, wanting just everything you can have from the biggest, the baddest, the *best*..."


"It's okay, you know. It's... heh," and the smile on Jason's face is almost gentle as he pushes and rubs. "Neither of us are thirteen, anymore, and *he* wouldn't want us to be."

Tim squeezes his eyes shut and just -- heats all over, wants all over -- "Jason, I -- would you..."

"Would I what?"

Tim -- opens his eyes again. "He misses you so much. You *know* he does, and I --"

"Stop," Jason says. "I -- look, I *know* I let it get just this far, but this is where I draw the line. Okay?"

An order and a request at once -- and maybe, also, just a little bit of a plea. Tim bites his lip and nods, and Jason nods back -- and covers him again.

The kiss is slow and easy, but not particularly gentle. It's a feeling kind of kiss, or -- something to get them back on the same page, back to wanting the same things, and maybe back to being *just* two people. Jason is bracing himself on one hand and cupping Tim's face with the other, not holding him still for the kiss so much as just holding *him* --

And this is something --

Perhaps it's something else he should feel guilty for, because this kiss isn't all that different from the ones Bruce wants to give him so *often*, but it's easy to take just the same, warming and *satisfying*, as opposed to enervating --

It's Jason, and that means a playing field which may not be *level*, but still has nowhere near the number of cliffs and craters as the one he shares with Bruce. As the one he *needs* to share with Bruce, because anything else would feel too strange, would take too much away from his sense of *self* --

And Jason hums into Tim's mouth and gives Tim more of his weight --

They can move together, touch each other this way, and --

With his arms tied, he *has* to move all of himself just to get it something like right, to get as much of Jason as he can, feel Jason's thighs against the insides of his own and kiss, suck --

Jason hums again and starts moving *harder*, driving against Tim and making the bed rock --

Tim feels himself trying to flex his arms, trying to move them -- he wants to touch Jason, and he'd *known* he would, but he's remembering the way Jason had *asked* for it the last time, remembering the feel of Jason's sac in his palm, soft and warm -- Tim moans --

And it's *loud* when Jason breaks the kiss -- "That. Just like that, birdboy..."

"Like -- you want me to be loud. You --"

"Wanna make you scream for me, cry out *loud* --"

"Jason, I --" Tim bites his lip --

And Jason *grinds* down against him, shoves the moan right out of Tim's body --

"God, *yes* --"

"*Hell*, yes," Jason says, and grins. "I'm gonna suck you, and then I'm gonna finger you --"

"*Please* --"

"And *then* I'm gonna fuck you, nice and hard. Make as much noise as you want. Make as much noise as *I* want," and Jason leans in and bites Tim's lip, holds it and pulls until Tim is leaning in for it, licking out to catch Jason's lip, his teeth --

Kissed and Jason's slowing down, holding Tim down with his body and just --

Holding them *right* there, and Tim groans against the need to wrap his legs around Jason, to *encourage* this, more of it --

And Jason kisses his way to Tim's cheek, licks him there and shifts, dragging his mouth down over Tim's jaw to his throat -- "Jason, bite -- bite me there --"

Jason growls and does it, not quite in the same place as Tim's healing bruise but still --

Pain and *heat*, suction -- can Jason feel Tim's pulse with his tongue? Is it making him harder? "Oh -- yes --"

"You are -- heh. Pretty much never going to be anything but covered in bruises. You know this, right?"

Tim opens his eyes and licks his lips. "It was difficult, at first, but I'm gaining acceptance, day by day -- mm --"

Jason's thumb in his mouth, Jason bracing himself on one hand over him and *pushing* his thumb in --

Tim moans around it and *bites*, watching the way Jason's eyes narrow, the way his lips part just a little bit more --

"*Sweet* little mouth..."

And Tim knows he's blushing *and* flushing, feels himself heating up all over, needing to sweat or just -- rub against something bigger and harder than himself -- Jason --

"Suck it. C'mon, show me how you want me to do you..."

How he wants... how *does* he want it? He can't say he's ever had a *bad* blowjob, and preferences for this sort of thing can be so -- mutable. Tim shakes his head and keeps biting --

"I *know* you don't want that --"

Right, he has to -- Tim opens his eyes again -- he needs to stop closing them --

Jason sighs and rocks his hips, penis sliding against Tim's own --

Tim groans and closes his eyes -- *opens* --

"You don't -- you don't know."

Tim shakes his head and licks Jason, sucks the tip of his thumb hard --

Lunges for it when Jason starts to pull back -- "Fuck, that's pretty. Okay, I'll give you a little..." And Jason splays his fingers against Tim's cheek and squeezes, thrusting in with his thumb over and over --

And the moaning -- Jason likes it. Jason *wants* it, the way Tim just wants more -- "Jason --"

Another kiss, and this time Jason fucks Tim's mouth with his tongue, pulls back for long enough to get his thumb back in and then starts fucking Tim again, holding his mouth open so that every moan is slurred, *wet* --

Tim swallows, tries and fails to catch Jason's tongue --

And feels himself relaxing *and* tensing at the thought of just lying back and taking this, *letting* Jason --

Jason has a *plan* --

Jason licks the saliva from Tim's chin, makes him wetter and moves back to Tim's throat, bites and sucks right over the scar --

And the feeling of strain in his arms tells Tim that he's trying to move them again, trying to touch even though he's not sure what his hands actually want to *do*. Pull Jason's hair again? Stroke his shoulders? Hold him *still* when he starts to *press* against Tim's throat with his tongue -- "Jason, I -- oh, don't *stop* --"

"Wanna be choked, Tim? Bruce ever --"

"*Yes*, but -- just -- pinching the arteries. I --"

Jason's *hand* pressed against his throat, forcing Tim's head up and back, pressing *hard* until it feels like Tim's tongue is a little too big for his mouth -- Tim's penis twitches *hard* --

And Jason presses even harder, pinching a little --

Bruises and bite-marks --

*Ligature* marks --

"Kinky, kinky..." And Jason sounds thoughtful, *interested* --

"Can't -- just --" Tim's voice is a whisper, hoarse and low in his own ears --

"You... you wouldn't stop me even if you weren't tied up. You *want* this..."

Tim nods as much as he can, tries to *focus* on Jason, on the look on his face --

Something that almost looks like *hurt* -- "You... God, you shouldn't trust me like this, shouldn't want me --"

Tim snarls and *bucks* --

Jason pins him harder, *looks* at Tim --

"Brother," Tim mouths, and nearly bites his tongue when Jason *shoves* against Tim's throat --

"Fuck, don't -- fucking *hell* -- and you're smiling. Psycho little bastard. Fucking little *whore* --"

Tim bucks again, moves as much as he can until Jason eases the pressure against Tim's body -- *not* his throat -- and Tim spreads his legs *wide* --

"Jesus, I get it, I fucking --"

Black fuzz around the edges Tim's vision, softening everything, making it dark --

"I -- I still want to *hear* you --"

Tim *wants* to whimper, but he can't really -- can't -- no air and he's scared, he's -- he's *frightened*, and that's --

"You look -- do you have any *idea* how you look right now?"

He can come like this. *From* this. Jason's weight on him, the feel of himself spread, Jason choking off his air and staring down at him, shaking his head and licking his *lips* --

"God, I --"

Kissed, and it's gentle, slow --

Black --

Wet and *soft*, and Jason's hand is shaking on him, Jason's kissing Tim's lips one at a time, back and forth, over and over --

Black and Tim's so warm, so full --

Tim's bucking, spasming under Jason, wild and he can't -- he *can't* --

"*Fuck*. Jesus, baby, you -- make me stop, make me --"

Black *wave*, and Tim feels lifted, moved and held, rolling for it, through it, *into* it --

"-- still with me, still -- you're loving this, you -- I love it, too, Tim, I... can you come for me like this? Can you --" And Jason rocks his hips against Tim, fast and hard, fast --

Tim wants --

Tim *has* --

And this time the wave seems to take him farther, right out of his body until he can almost see himself, see the two of them naked on Jason's bed, so close, so *warm* --

"-- it, Tim, baby, come on, come for me --"

Tim opens his mouth to beg -- no, he's trying to breathe, trying to gasp and feeling the block. He wants to struggle -- no --

"Show me this, *give* me this, I can't -- fucking *God*, I can't --"

Trapped, helpless --

Held and *wanted* --

Black, so much of it, he'll never -- no way out, no way to have anything but more, no --

"-- Tim, *please* --" Kissed and Jason's still shaking, shaking *more* --

Oh --

"Please, Tim..."

Scream, he wants to -- he opens his mouth and there's nothing, *nothing* --

And then he's coming, shuddering all over and fighting against the black, against -- he feels like he's opening, like he's drawing the black *in* with all the screaming he can't do, with everything --

"Fuck, Tim, I want you so much --"

Black, and --


The first thing -- pressure.

All over, pressure, and Tim settles into it, warm and --

No, he's supposed to be struggling against it, supposed to --

Air, filling his lungs and making him feel a little like an oddly-shaped balloon --

And Jason is giving him mouth to mouth. All right...

Tim smiles and slips his tongue in --

Jason moans and rolls them until Tim's on top, awkward with his arms tied until he can get his elbows down above Jason's head and -- kiss. More. This time, Jason lets Tim suck his tongue, lets Tim...

He's laying back for it, *letting* Tim, and so Tim takes the kiss he wants, slow and hungry as he shifts and *thrusts*. His penis wants him to take another minute or two, but it feels too good to slide through his own semen on Jason's abdomen, to grind and make a mess of things the way he's doing with the kiss.

Jason cups his buttocks and helps Tim find a rhythm for it --

Jason *moans*, and Tim realizes that Jason's penis isn't getting *any* attention with them in this position. Tim pulls back --

"Come back here --"

"I want -- I don't want to *tease*, Jason --"

"Then kiss me again, let me -- show me..." And Jason squeezes Tim hard, spreads him again until Tim has to gasp --

Yes, kiss Jason again, and again, go down on Jason's tongue and lick the underside, lick Jason's lips and *bite* --

"God, yeah, keep going. Keep -- Tim..."

Jason's voice is so low, so *rough* -- "Jason, I want --"

"I know, I know, Tim, just --"

Another kiss, and this time Tim can't stop himself from fucking Jason's mouth, from -- what would it be like to fuck Jason with his tongue? Has anyone done that for him since Bruce? Would he like it?

And -- to be *inside* Jason, knowing he couldn't hurt him, that it could just be more pleasure they can have --

Tim feels himself twitch and moans, deepens the kiss and moans *more*, because Jason is spreading him with one hand and rubbing the edges of Tim's hole with the fingers of his other hand. Just -- stroking and teasing, making him --

He's going to be hard again *quickly*, and Jason is sucking on *his* tongue now, little pulses to match the sharp-hot feel of those fingers teasing him, heating Tim *up* --

"Jason, please -- please *fuck* me --"

"I was *going* to suck you --"

"You got distracted. Entirely understandable, and we can do that some other *time* --"

Jason's laugh is low and kind of -- sweet.

Impossible not to smile for, not to just stay right here and search Jason's face for every trace of humor, every moment of *connection* --

And when Jason stops laughing he just smiles, and starts rubbing around Tim's hole in slow circles, hard little circles --


"I don't *like* breaking my promises, birdboy."

Baby. Jason had called him *baby*, and that -- it feels like it's just hitting him, just --

He doesn't even know how he *feels* about that particular pet name, but --

Jason had used it for him, because Jason had to call him something that would maybe mean more than even his name -- Tim shakes it off and smiles a little wider. "I like to think you're... running a tab."

Jason looks at Tim's mouth for a long moment -- and then back up to Tim's eyes. "I keep breaking promises, you keep feeling like you have a right to come visit me here...?"

"I -- I'd hate to impose," Tim says, and wonders if the old flush had faded enough for the new blush to show.

"Heh. You still don't get to interrupt my beauty sleep."

"Of course not," and maybe if Tim pushes *back* a little against those fingers --

Jason stops holding Tim open and drags his hand up over Tim's back to his shoulder --

Tim tilts his head --

And Jason pets his throat. "Do you have *any* idea how much I want you, kid?"

Baby -- "I think. If it's anything like -- I think it's the kind of want that doesn't go anywhere, no matter what you do. I think it doesn't matter that I'm right here and naked for you --"

Jason laughs. "Oh, it *matters* --"

Tim -- doesn't bite his lip. "You know what I mean. What I'm *saying* --"

"It got to be too much for you. You were too cold, too fucked-up in your own head --"

"*Yes*, Jason --"

Jason cups Tim's jaw and squeezes. "You know I had to wait for you to come to me. I couldn't just -- you *know* that."

Oh. Just -- "I. I know it now."

Jason stares at him for a long moment -- and then strokes Tim's face, his mouth --

Tim closes his eyes and kisses Jason's fingertips.


"Yes, I -- yes."

"You're here now. You..." Jason takes a breath, and it sounds shaky and a little harsh. "Neither of us have to wait for anything, anymore."

And that -- it's what he wants. It's what he *wants*, and it's so much, all at once -- Tim moans and *licks* Jason's fingers, tasting his own sweat --

And Jason's other hand -- Jason pushes *in*, hot and dry, *rough* --

Tim pants and clenches helplessly --

"Oh, yeah, Tim -- heh. You know, when B *does* start fucking you -- he's not gonna stop. He won't be *able* to."

"Ah -- I've learned to have a lot of faith in Bruce's *control*, Jason --"

"Because he's so damned hard to get in the sack. He's *never* carried you to bed, or, I don't know, *covered you in fucking bite marks*?"

Needs him, wants him -- Tim knows, he *does* know, it's just -- "I guess. I -- sometimes it's hard to. Remember --"

"Because you're so busy being convinced you're not *really* the one he wants. I -- heh. Whoever's Robin *after* you will totally be convinced that *you're* the one he wants the most. You realize this, right?"

"I." Tim shakes his head, opens his eyes -- and the expression on Jason's face is all rueful humor, like he can *absolutely* believe that Tim is just that -- stupid. Tim smiles back. "Perhaps... I'll defer to greater experience."

"Oh, I think that would be a *real* good thing to do, birdboy," Jason says -- and *crooks* his finger --

"Oh -- *fuck*, Jason --"

"Because this is fun and all -- really *very* fun, especially when I can make you curse -- "

"Fuck me. *Do* me. Don't worry about hurting me, or -- I don't -- God, *please* --"

"I can't *help* but think it'll be even more fun when I'm *not* the only one giving you what you really need --"

"Yes, I -- I need, I want -- I love it, Jason, I've been thinking about -- *oh* --"

Jason *twisting* his finger -- "When you really have to *think* about what you're giving up by coming here, what you're *denying*..."

("I can never deny you.") "Ah -- I -- Jason, please --"

"It's not *easy*, Tim. It can't be, it can't ever be --"

And Tim's banging his bound arms against the wall, clenching his hands into fists -- "Jason, *don't* --"

Kissed, and it's hard, so *hard* --

Not as hard as the way Jason's fucking him with that finger, burning him and *taking* him, and Tim can't stop clenching, can't stop --

He groans into Jason's mouth and works his hips for it, twining his fingers together and squeezing hard for the feel of the de-cel line cutting into the muscle of his forearms. Jason is fucking Tim's mouth just off-rhythm to his finger, Jason's still cupping his *face* --

Break and Jason squeezes Tim's jaw, forcing Tim to tilt his head back a little. Tim closes his eyes and takes it, wants *more* even though he's starting to feel a little raw inside --

"Still with me, kid?"

"Nowhere -- else --"

And Jason licks the line of Tim's jaw, bites him there the way Tim had bitten him -- pulls out slow. "Let's get you on your hands and knees."

"I think that's an *excellent* plan," Tim says, and rears back until he's kneeling over Jason, until he can look and just -- look.

Tim holds his bound arms between them, tries to move them enough to see as much of Jason as he can. He's tall. He's *big*, scarred and pale and watching Tim right back. His eyebrows are up, and just --

"I would really love to fuck you sometime, Jason."

Jason's eyebrows get a little higher --

"Of course, I'd settle for you letting me use my tongue --"


Tim blinks, focuses -- takes a moment to just *feel* Jason's hands moving on his thighs, stroking and squeezing --

"Because you *wouldn't* say that if you hadn't done it already -- not like that."

Tim feels his mouth falling open -- licks his lips. "You know me --"

Jason waves a hand. "We've *established* that, birdboy. Never supposed to be strangers," he says, shaking his head and laughing. "God, you -- Who was it? That clone of yours, maybe? He looks like he'd be good for it. Loves *you*..."

"His name is Kon-El --"

"Ooh. And you're willing to fight for him, too. Heh. Don't worry -- I've got no beef with the guy. He's a *toddler*, and you've got a *lot* of damned kinks." Jason squeezes Tim's thighs again, digs his nails in a little and *scratches* --

Tim's hips pump --

"*Was* it him?"

"Ah -- no. Kid Flash," Tim says and -- blushes. That really wasn't... he'd sent Bart an e-mail, just a hello with a song from a CD he'd always meant to see if Bart would like. Bart had sent him a *letter*. School, what it was like living with the Garricks, a briefly *sharp* mention of Wally --

Jason *taps* Tim's thighs with his index fingers. "And you're not telling me his name -- or *Kon-El's* civilian name. All right. Maybe I'll find out for myself..."

Tim raises his own eyebrow --

Jason laughs. "You are so... do you even know how *scattered* you are? Bits and pieces of you all *over* the place..."

Steph -- no. Not here. Tim closes his eyes and flexes his arms as much as he can, just to feel it, be here --

"And I totally asked for it. All right. You rimmed the kid, fucked him at the Tower... really *gave* it to him because you needed it, and maybe he needed it from *you*. You've known him since you had that *other* team, kids too young to be Titans..." Jason sits up on his elbows and smiles wryly, hair falling in his face. "You want a piece of me."

"I..." Tim shifts until his sac is dragging against Jason's penis. "Mm, I -- it was just a thought --"

"*Don't* do that. Don't you pull back from me," Jason says, sitting up all the way and shoving one hand into Tim's hair, tugging hard until Tim's eyelids feel heavy, and he can feel himself getting harder --

"You make that sort of thing... intriguingly difficult --"

"So don't even *try*... kid."

Baby? Again? Tim smiles slowly. "All right. I can't think of anything I wouldn't want to at least *try* with you, but you... looking at you like that, sprawled out under me..."

"Heh, I..." Jason wraps his hands around Tim's bound arms and pulls them up above Tim's head. "*Somehow*, you just don't seem to be in the right headspace."

"Oh... Jason, I..." Tim can smell himself, smell *them* -- and yes, wasn't he supposed to be getting on his hands and knees?

That *burn*, and his body wants him to remember it, wants him to know that it's been *days* since he's had Jason inside himself --

"Oh -- fuck. Jason --"

"Just that fast.." Jason squeezes Tim's wrists through the de-cel line and strokes down Tim's arms, up again --

"I'll -- keep them there."

"Yeah, you will," Jason says, and kisses Tim again, sucks his lower lip and bites *hard* before pulling back.

Tim licks his lips -- no blood. "Do that again."

"Toppy little bitch," and Jason reaches between Tim's legs and cups his sac, squeezes --

"You *inspire* me --"

"You're different with them. Your little supertoddlers. They don't get to see you like *this* --"

"They're -- they're not family --"

Jason squeezes *hard* --

"*Fuck* --"

"That *wasn't* what you were going to say, birdboy. Didn't Daddy tell you not to lie to me?"

Tim pants a little -- what does this look like to Bruce? What does he see in Jason's face, right now? Is it something Tim's missing? Could it *possibly* be more than what Tim's seeing? Just -- the *amusement* and the hunger, and the sense --

Jason's so *comfortable* like this, and Tim --

Tim leans in against the tug on his hair --

Jason tugs harder and kisses Tim, licks his mouth -- and bites Tim's lip again, holding it between his teeth until Tim's flexing his arms with the need to wrap them around Jason and hold on, until his penis twitches and his eyes start to roll back in his head -- break --

"Jason, *please* --"

"God, you --" Jason kisses him *again*, shoving his tongue in -- fucking Tim's mouth and moaning a little, and it's abruptly *vastly* important that Jason hasn't come, yet, and Tim has to push against him a little, *feel* him -- crawl closer and *press*.

Jason hums into Tim's mouth and thrusts against him so *slowly* -- Tim clenches his fists and just -- listens to his body. The coil of need low in his belly and yoked to the base of his spine, the feel of Jason's penis against him, making his skin seem *relevant* as opposed to simply conveniently present --

Tim smiles into the kiss and stays *right* where he is --

And Jason yanks Tim's head *back* and licks his throat, sucks and kisses -- breathes.

Tim shivers and *wants* to moan, wants to just -- "Jason..."

"You can -- you can fuck me, sometime, kid. Show me..." Jason *licks* Tim's throat and up over his cheek to his ear, sucks on the lobe and pants there. "You already know I like it..."

"Oh... I. Bruce..."

"Yes. Yeah. He used to do me until I couldn't *talk*, couldn't breathe or think..."

Tim -- he doesn't think about it. He can't even -- he can *feel* it, like he's living in Jason's skin or Bruce's, like he was *there* in the dark, like -- "Oh God, Jason --"

"You wanna take me like that, Tim? Wanna drive me right out of my head, teach me what love feels like..."

Tim groans and it turns into a growl as he rubs his cheek against Jason, feels Jason's stubble scraping and dragging on him, *hears* it --

"You don't have to tell me why they don't get you just like this, why you're *gentle* with them --"

"I'm -- Jason, I --"

"I already *know* you're afraid. You're -- heh. You know you belong *right* here, in Gotham, where *everybody* is at least as fucked-up as you are. As *broken*," Jason says, nuzzling Tim's ear and breathing hot and damp --

So *good*, but -- "I'm afraid -- I'm afraid a lot of the time. Nearly constantly. There's always something --"

"Something like the possibility that they'll look at you in *just* the wrong way if you're ever a little too honest?"

Tim hisses between his teeth and rears *back*, feeling a few hairs let go from his scalp --

"Stay with me, now --"

("Come back to me.") "Don't --"

And then Jason moves --

Moves *Tim*, and he's on his stomach on Jason's bed. He bends his arms up and tries to get his knees under him --

And Jason is *on* him, rocking in Tim's cleft -- "Has he done this to you?"

"I -- between my thighs. Jason, I -- I wanted thighs like *yours* --"

"We *all* have our little dreams, birdboy," Jason says, laughing and rocking again, again -- pulling out and lying on Tim, pressing Tim down on the bed and making breathing seem optional, or possibly just a bad idea entirely.

Warm, sleek and *big*, animal. Jason's scent is all around Tim now, and Tim can't keep himself from shifting, trying to push up and get *more* --

"Now, where was I? Oh, yeah," Jason says, and licks the back of Tim's neck.

"God --"

"You think I don't know what it's like? All those clean, fresh faces and wide, bright eyes. Sunshine and bright colors *everywhere*, and never -- ever -- being able to stop knowing that you *don't* belong."

"I -- fucking *hate* thinking about the Titans when I'm in Gotham, Jason, we can -- why don't we focus on --"

"I'm not done, kid. This is *important*," Jason says, and *bites* the back of Tim's neck --

And this is going to rewrite things, this is -- this. Tim thinks about telling Bruce everything, about needing to and *not* needing to, because Bruce already knows, already *understands* --

No, he doesn't, not everything, but --

But it feels so *good* to have Jason's breath heating and cooling his skin, to know that the only thing Jason can taste is *him*, and all the *sex* they're having, everything. Just --

"They're a part of you, and they *have* parts of you. And they think they love you. They think you're their *friend*."

"I -- I *am*, as much as I can be, I love them so much -- oh God, don't *stop* --"

Jason *licks* Tim, sucks -- "But you can't give them everything."

"No -- no. I want --"

"Not like you can give it to *me*," and Jason rolls *off* --

"Fuck, come *back*, Jason --"

And Jason grabs Tim's thighs and spreads them *wide*. Tim feels the mattress shifting and pants, thinks about Bart, Bart who wants so much, who begs for everything, anything --

So lean and so hungry, and Tim can't *feed* him, can't -- "Oh -- *oh* --"

Jason's mouth on his *sac*, hard and hot, *wet*, and Tim kicks, tenses and pants and listens to Jason moan.

Jason had wanted to *taste* him. Jason had been thinking about this, wanting *him*, wanting everything Tim can give -- but. "They do want me, they -- I could make them understand if I just... give it to them slowly, one piece at a time don't pull *off* --"

Jason bites Tim's cheek and sucks hard, once -- "Do you seriously believe that?"

Honest question. It's. Jason's *curious*, now, and that means it would be a good time to actually *use* his brain -- Tim laughs into the pillow and bangs his head. A few times --

Jason laughs and strokes Tim's buttocks. "Any time now..."

"Oh, *fuck* you --"

"*Later*, I said," and Jason spanks him *hard* --

Tim gets up on his knees -- *starts* to get up on his knees, but Jason pushes him right back down. "Fucking *tease* --"

"Answer the question, birdboy. It's -- heh. I'm trying to get to *know* you, here."

"You already --"

"Have the *gist*, yeah, but now I want the details," Jason says, and pushes Tim's thighs apart again, holds them there until Tim relaxes --

Tim sighs and thinks about it. Everything he's done with Jason, everything he would've done with or *without* Jason. Blood and fear, and the way it had felt like an answer. The way he knows -- *knows* -- what Bruce has planned for his please-God-*eventual* demise --

Does Jason see that in him? Would he believe it?

Tim wants to turn over, look at Jason -- see him, again, and read everything he wants in those eyes which are so much different from his own... and it would be one hell of an excellent distraction. He wouldn't have to think of a *thing*, then, except for how to get more *touch* --

"*Stay* with me," and Jason cups his sac again, presses down with his thumb --

"I'm trying to -- I'm trying to figure out what I believe."

Jason -- Tim thinks he can *feel* Jason frowning -- "It's that hard?"

"It's." Tim flexes his arms and stretches his calves. "I think you can understand why I don't spend very much time thinking about -- this."

"I *liked* the Titans just fine. Roy, Kory, Donna... I was never one of them. And *you're* not --"

"I am. Kind of --"

"Tim --"

"They're *mine*," Tim says, and "let me --"

Jason pushes Tim's thighs back together -- it feels like a *tragedy* -- but Tim can turn over on his side *enough* to look at Jason, meet his eyes and maybe live in that frown just a little.

"They're mine," he says, again, "Kon and KF. I..." Tim laughs a little. "I didn't -- quite -- raise them, but I helped train them, I know their fears and their needs. I know how to take them down should it ever become necessary, and I know that they trust me to do just that. I've been a part of Kon's life since a few months after he was *decanted*, and not much less for KF's time out of the VR chamber. I... Jason..."

Jason shakes his head. "And see, *this* is where I could maybe say something about you *not* screwing them, too, but... shit. I hear you. They're yours."

"*About* that... I. I'd *like* to say that I didn't know how I was going to handle the question of sexual relationships with them when I got back to the Tower, but... the rules are different there, and -- no, that's not it, either. I *know*. I know what it feels like now. What it *tastes* like."

Jason laughs softly and strokes Tim's hip. "Sometimes, you *really* remind me of Bruce."

Tim smiles. "I've been in love with Robin all my life, Jason."

Jason stiffens and squeezes Tim's hip -- relaxes and smiles. It's not a very good smile, at all. "You ever wonder where we'd be if Bruce had given it up for Dick way back when...? If there'd been just one more reason for him to not let go?"

It makes him think of Kon and Bart. Cissie and Cassie and the others, too. They would've been... Greta would've been better without him. And. His father still had money when the Obeah Man had kidnapped him and Tim's mother. The world is a lot friendlier to *rich* orphans than it is to poor ones. Even the world of Gotham. He can't...

"Yeah. The streets for me. For you... some court-appointed guardian. Maybe one of your father's partners. Would you be a little corporate raider now? Living in the daylight world while Batman and Robin did their thing forever and ever?"

Steph -- "I. I tried. To bring them back together after everyone thought you were dead. Bruce and Dick --"

"It was too late for that the second Bruce put me on the street. You... you didn't know your big brother then. How hard he worked to *make* it too late."

("Say that again.") "That doesn't mean Dick isn't still in love with Bruce. When I told him that Bruce and I had gotten involved..."

Jason laughs again and leans in to kiss Tim's hip, mouth the thin skin over the bone -- "Even I was never stupid enough to do that."

"He *had* to know --"

"Doesn't mean he had to *think* about it... little brother."

Tim *flexes* -- "Jason --"

"Fuck. Remind me not to say that again unless I -- fuck."

"Unless you *mean* it, Jesus *fuck*, Jason --"

Jason drags his teeth over Tim's hip and kisses him again. "C'mon, let's --" Another kiss, and another --

It's an apology, a promise -- and Tim's arms flex with the need to cup the back of Jason's head, hold him there --

"Tell me the rest. Tell me why you think you can have your little meta-Robins and still be *you*."

"I... KF's in love with me."

Jason *bites* Tim's hip -- "What the hell are you gonna do about *that*?"

"Love him. Just -- he knows it's not... that the two of us aren't. I can't let him go, but I can push him just far enough away --"

"To keep him right where he is. Fucking Christ, Tim, that's not --"

"It's not -- good. But I could show him the real me, too. And he'd -- I know what he'd do to himself to accept that. What he'd *change* about himself --"

"And that's another way to lose him. Ever think it would be better that way? Better for *him*?"

Tim closes his eyes. "Yes."

"But you can't. You --" Jason kisses Tim's hip again and strokes up over Tim's back, presses with mouth and hand. "I don't judge you."

"I. Thank you."

"And Superboy?"

"Trusts me implicitly with the most important aspects of his life. He'd *question* me if I crossed the line in front of him, but it's possible that I could convince him. I've... I've gotten to see a world where that or something like it happened."

"Did you like it? That other world?"

"It made me sick to my stomach, Jason -- but the possibilities remain."

"And you won't stop calculating with them *anytime* soon. All right, so you *can* give it up this way for people outside the family. You have to risk breaking them -- and possibly the whole fucking *world* -- to make it happen, but..." And Jason pulls back and rolls Tim back over onto his stomach. "I stand corrected."

Tim spreads his legs. "Mmm, the tangy bite of a brutally delivered reality check. *Just* what I like with my sex."

"If I make you come hard enough, you'll start *loving* it," Jason says, cupping Tim's cheeks and -- spreading them.

"I -- I'm willing to test this. Theory. Jason --"

"You've got a pretty little hole, you know that?"

"I. Um." Tim feels himself blushing, and -- he's squirming. Just that fucking *fast*.

"Trust me on this one. Lookin' at you like this makes me feel like a dirty old man. Bruce has to just *cringe* a little when he's got you open this way, when you're begging him to *take*..."

"I'm not -- I'm not that *young*, Jason. You're only --"

"Two and a half years older, yeah, and you've been around the block, but... mm. I really *should* spank you for giving this up to *Superman*."

Tim smiles. "He really is a good and fascinating man, Jason. It *hurts* him that you never... ah. Gave him a chance."

"Yeah, well, he's a *big* boy. He can live with it. And -- damn. I kinda want you to hold yourself open for me, but... I think I'll manage," Jason says, and lets go with one hand -- strokes. Right around.

And around -- "Ah -- God, such a *tease* --"

"Gonna beg for me, baby?"

Baby. *Baby* -- baby brother? Tim shivers and tries to push into the touch --

"Stay *down*."

"*Fuck* --"

"Heh. Cursing is *kind* of like begging with you, but... not good enough, little loverboy, needy little *whore*," and Jason sounds like that's the best thing in the world, the best *possible* thing to be --

"Jesus, I -- I like to think of myself as *generous*. Un -- ah. Unconstrained?"

Jason squeezes Tim's buttock and lets go -- slaps down *hard* --

"Ah -- ah -- okay. I'm a slut. I'm -- I'll give it up for anyone, do anything, love to be -- to be on my fucking *knees* --"

And Jason slaps him again, laughs and does it *again* --

"*Jason*. Let me be on my knees for you, let me -- let me *show* you --"

"You just -- you'll play it *any* way I throw at you, won't you? God, what the hell did your parents *do* to you?"

Tim squeezes his eyes shut -- no. "They *left*. And they kept leaving. Over and over again. They never even *guessed* what I was doing with my nights, Jason -- before or *after* I was Robin. They barely noticed the bruises and scars, they didn't *see* me --"

"I see you just fine. I -- *fuck*, Tim, you didn't have to *answer* that question --"

"Yes, I *did*. You know me, you have to *know* me --"

"I will. I do. I -- fuck --" Jason's panting now, stroking *hard* with his finger, squeezing Tim --

And the cool air is making his cheek feel *hot*, skin tight and abused, *raw* -- "Just don't *stop* --"

"I know what you need. You don't -- God, you drive me fucking crazy," and Jason's shifting, moving the mattress -- leaning in and kissing the back of Tim's neck, covering Tim, heating him up --

"Please, Jason, please, you know you can -- I'll tell you anything you want to *know* --"

Jason bites down *hard* and strokes Tim's arms, squeezes them where they're bound -- "Tell me how to *stop*, you psycho little freak --"

Tim laughs because he has to, bucks and laughs *more* --

"Thought so --"

"It's *easy*, Jason. Just remind yourself how easy I am, how *many* different places I spread it around, how needy I am --"

"Damn *fucking* inconvenient, is what you are," and Jason kisses the back of Tim's neck again, licks it and kisses his way down Tim's spine, scraping his teeth and sucking his way *down* --

"Never get enough, never sit *still*, never let you *go* --"

Jason growls and spreads Tim again, licks right up Tim's cleft --

"Ah *fuck*, Jason, no, I can't, I didn't *shower* --"

"*Dirty* little slut. That's okay, baby -- I'll get you *nice* and clean," and Jason licks him again -- Jason *spits*, right on Tim's hole and licks it up --

"Oh my *God* --"

"That's right, *let* me hear you," and Jason kisses Tim's hole, hums against it -- *flicks* his tongue --

"Jason -- *Jason* -- I need -- I need you --"

*In* with his tongue, just a little, just -- Jason pulls back. "Say that again."

Tim opens his mouth and *groans* --

Jason licks his cleft again -- "Come *on*. Say it --"

"N-need you, need you so *much*, Jason, used to -- God, I thought I could feel you watching me from the fucking Case, feel you *with* me --"

Jason growls and *bites* Tim's cheeks, back and forth --

"Fuck me. *Fuck* me, *please* --"

"This *first*, kid," and Jason slips his tongue back in, *stabs* it back in, and Tim tenses all over, feels himself wanting to shift, move, *run* --

"Oh --"

And Jason's holding him so wide, air cool on his cleft, drying saliva and *sweat* -- Jason's *tongue* --

"Please please --"

Jason's *fucking* him this way, one stab after another and Tim can't stop clenching, can't stop -- he's *writhing* now --

"Oh, God, Jason, I *can't* --"

Jason moans and digs his thumbs in, kisses his hole with his tongue --

Oh, his tongue --

Tim can't -- he needs to *move*, get away from this, not let Jason -- oh, but Jason *wants* this, wants him to be *just* this crazy --

"I *need* you, Jason, brother, brother *please* --"

And Jason says -- something, something slurred and *wet*, dirty and *wet*, and Tim hears himself crying out --

His arms hurt and he realizes he's trying to get free, just free enough to claw at the *sheets* -- "*Brother* --"

Jason moans again and pulls *out*, pants against Tim's hole --

"Oh -- oh -- now? Please -- Please, I need you inside me, I --"

And Jason moans *again* and sucks Tim's sac --

Tim's *legs* are shaking and he's clenching, needing -- he's so *hard* and he can't -- he doesn't know --

He's humping the *bed*, and Jason lets go of one buttock to stroke Tim's cleft, *slide* through it --

Tim sobs on a breath and tries to push back, tries to *stop* himself from pushing back --

"Jason, I *can't* --"

"You don't -- you don't have to, I've got you, I --"

*In* with his finger and Tim shouts, bucks and shouts again for the slick push, the burn *deep* inside him, and Jason goes back to sucking Tim's sac, scraping his teeth *there* and kissing and *kissing* --

"Taste so good. *Feel* so good -- they all want a piece of you, just a *taste* of this --"

"Get me *open*, Jason, stretch me out, I want -- I *need* --"

"No one could say no to you like this, flushed so red and sweating for it, begging for it --"

"*Brother* --"

"Tim, *please*," and Jason twists his finger, crooks it and Tim yells, pounds his arms against the bed and tries to get up on his knees --

Jason doesn't stop him this time, and it's -- God, it's a *relief*, even though there's nothing touching his penis, anymore, even though Jason's still pressing *up*, stroking Tim's hip with his other hand -- *fucking* Tim with that finger, in and in and *in* -- "Jason, *yes* --"

"Tell me. Ah, fuck, tell me you need *lube*, 'cause I -- fuck, you're so tight, so *hot* inside..."

Jason wants. Jason *wants*, and -- what would it be like? How much difference would the pain make? He'd be able to *feel* Jason for days --

"Tim. Tim, c'mon, I -- I let it get too close, *I'm* too close --"

"Jason, I -- I told you not to worry about hurting me -- ow *fuck* --"

Two fingers, sweat and saliva and Jason twisting and pressing, *rocking* his fingers until Tim can't help but find the rhythm, take it for his own --

"Burns. It -- oh *fuck*, Jason --"

"Yeah. You -- you'd love this if I let you. If I *made* you. I... Christ, Tim, c'mon, take a little *control* back, here --"

Tim coughs out a laugh and rocks harder, feeling the pain twist through him in jagged little spikes and wires, feeling the burn make him *sweat* --

"Come *on* --"

"You could. Consider taking responsibility. For your desires."

"Like wanting to fuck you *raw*? Already there, kid. Already -- Jesus. I *don't* want to make you bleed, but I..." Jason's panting hard, voice *twisting* --

Bart. He'd -- could he make Jason feel the way he did after Bart? Oh, but it had felt so good, so -- no, *no*. Tim growls -- "Lube. I need --"

"Fuck, *fuck* -- breathe, then. Just -- deep breath and I'll pull out slow."

Tim nods and tries to focus, tries to be in his body as opposed to skating all over his own surfaces, thrumming and buzzing with the *electricity* -- he breathes and *groans*, it feels like Jason is taking something important *with* him --

"Breathe, c'mon, any slower and this'll feel worse --"

"I know. I -- I'm trying, Jason, don't worry, just --"

"God, you're shaking for it, dripping pre-come on my fucking comforter --"

"I'll lick it *off*, Jason, just hurry, please hurry --"

"Need to kiss you again, feel you against me -- I want *everything* from you," Jason says, and --

*Out* and Tim's empty, clenching, still burning from the friction-memory, still -- "Everything -- I'll give it, you can have it, just *fuck* me, don't make me *wait* --"

Jason laughs, shifts -- Kisses Tim's *hole* again, licks in, humming and laughing -- so sweet and slick and *good*, better then before -- and he grabs Tim's penis and *squeezes* --

"*Jason* --"

"Right fucking *here*, you crazy little bitch, I -- it's not gonna last the first time. The *first* time. You hearin' me?"

"*Yes* --"

"Lube's in the -- the drawer -- oh, fuck, you're *tied* --"

Tim lunges up onto his knees and *reaches*, and getting the drawer open is easy enough --

Jason's panting and *laughing* --

The drawer is *deep*, though --

"I swear, I will *get* it --"

"Shut *up*, Jason," and Tim knee-walks a little closer and *shoves* his hands in --

"Bottle, not --"

"Got it," Tim says, and tosses it back over his shoulder -- and Jason grabs him around the midsection and *hauls* him back --

"I needed that, birdboy. Little bit of cold water *right* to the tackle --"

"We -- ah. Live to serve," Tim says, and rubs himself back against Jason, warm skin, slick with sweat --

"Still not lettin' you blow me tonight --"

"Then just -- stick your fingers in my mouth, just for a second -- ah --"

Bite, right to the side of Tim's throat, hard and *wet* --

"Jason -- *mm* --"

Three fingers *in*, fast and sudden enough to make Tim choke a little, make everything jump and *flex*, inside and out. Tim sucks *hard* --

And Jason pulls out and shoves Tim back down onto his face, and Tim barely has time to get up on his elbows and steady himself before Jason's *in* him again with what feels like two fingers, *slick* fingers -- "Cold --"

"Fucking *deal* --"

Tim laughs and rocks for it, needing Jason to go faster, needing -- *that* twist, right there, reminding his body that this could hurt, that this will take him places nothing else *can*.

He's going to be full, he's -- it's Jason, and a part of Tim is thirteen, or maybe a little younger than that, a part of Tim is on his knees because he's never imagined this any other *way*, and the hand Jason has on his hip has a green gauntlet, and -- no.

He's here, *right* here, and this bed only smells like the two of them, and there are guns here Tim's never fired and knives that have drawn the blood -- of the guilty -- time and *again*, and it's still -- "Oh -- brother..."

"Wait 'til I'm *inside* you, you fucking pervert," and Jason *fucks* him with his fingers, fast and *sharp*, less slicking Tim than *promising* --

"I could be. Ah -- oh, this feels --"

"*Don't* tell me --"

Tim laughs again and *clenches* around Jason --

Jason moans and pulls out, spills more lube over Tim's hole --

Tim hisses and *jerks* --

"Hold still, Tim, just -- let me get inside you --"

"B --"

"And do *not* say a word until -- oh fuck, Tim, fuck, I'm so *hard* --"

Tim feels himself *twitch* and bites his lip, tries to stay *still* against the press of the head against his hole, so blunt and *warm* under all the lube --

Just --

That *press*, pressure --

Jason pushing *in*, so slow, so fucking slow Tim can't --

Tim whimpers through his teeth --

"Oh, *fuck*, Tim, I know you want to -- I want to hear you --"

"*Jason* --" And the rest is a shout, because Jason *shoves* in, all the way *in*, sac slapping against him --

"Fucking *God*, you're not supposed to be this *tight*, still --"

"I -- ah --" Tim clenches hard and shouts again --

Jason shouts and squeezes Tim's hips, pulls Tim *back*, and Tim wants to claw at the sheets, wants to --

All he can do is twine his fingers together and squeeze, toss his head and clench *more* --

"Tim, fuck, Tim, *don't* --"

"Sorry, I'm sorry, I can't -- you feel --"

"I *won't* pull out, I promise, promise you --"

Tim gasps and tries to *breathe*, tries to convince his body that it knows how respiration works, how to do things other than hold Jason *tight* --

"Oh, you feel so fucking *perfect*, Tim --"

"Jason, please, I -- please don't *wait* --"

"*Breathe*, c'mon, do it for me, let me feel you --"

Another gasp and Tim groans. He doesn't think he can do it and Jason needs him to, Jason doesn't want to hurt him, doesn't -- Bruce's eyes on him, Bruce seeing and hearing this, knowing Tim can't --

"*Please*, baby, come on..."

Tim breathes, shuddering all over and feels himself relaxing, feels -- tense again, he can't, he --

Jason groans and *rocks*, moving Tim --

Oh, that -- *that* -- he breathes and shakes, relaxing again --

"*There*," and Jason pulls back and *shoves* in --

"*Jason* --"

"Right there, right *here*," and Tim can feel Jason's fingers digging into his hips, feels himself leaking pre-come and bobbing heavy, needy --

And Jason's so *deep*, so -- he can't make himself get past it, not the feeling or the *fact*, just -- so -- "In me, Jason, *in* me --"

Jason moans and squeezes Tim's hips so hard it feels like they should *creak* --

"Jason, you -- more. *More* --"

"Trying -- can't come yet. Not -- not fucking *yet* --"

Tim clenches *again* and struggles against the hold on his hips, tries for more -- "*Please* just do me, this -- just the first time, just --

Jason rocks while Tim's still clenched, rocks them both and shoves a shout right out of Tim's mouth --

Another --

"Oh, you fucking -- say it. Tell me, come on --"

"I *need* you, I -- your scent, your skin --"

"My -- my fucking *dick* --" And Jason's laugh sounds strangled, desperate and so fucking good as he rocks them, back and forth and --

Tim's still *clenched*, but he can breathe, he's -- Jason's not going *anywhere*, and maybe it's his turn to sound strangled, because the second he relaxes, Jason is *thrusting*. No pause, no hesitation --

No sound except for the slap of Jason's sac against him, and their panting breaths, just off-time *enough* --

It's too good for anything else, too --

Oh, so *smooth*, so slick and hot, thick and *hot* --

"Jason," Tim whispers, *begs* --

"Yeah, oh -- oh God, *Tim* --"

"Please? Oh -- please come, Jason, let me *feel* it --"

"Shh, shh, I -- " And Jason makes a sound like he's been punched, squeezes Tim's hips and does it again --

Changes the rhythm to one hard shove after another, and they're rocking the bed again, rocking Tim breathless, mindless -- "I -- *in* me --"

"Tim --"

"So *deep* --"

Another low grunt, and this one turns into a moan, long and low, and Jason strokes up Tim's sides, squeezes Tim's obliques and --

"*Jason* --"

-- leans over Tim, covers him -- no, he's shoving his arms under Tim's shoulders and pulling Tim up, back --

*Down* onto his penis, and this -- so -- Tim shakes his head and *grinds* down, searching for Jason's rhythm, trying --

Jason kisses Tim's ear, pants and moans and *fucks* up into him hard and fast, and the best Tim can do is take it, try to shove himself down for more, try for *more*.

Inside. *Inside* --

"Need you, Tim, need you right here --"

"*Yes*, Jason --"

"With -- with *me* --"

And there's no rhythm anymore, nothing even close to it. Just one thrust after another until Tim's sobbing with it, desperate to make it *better* for Jason, as good as it can be -- "Please, Jason, *please* -- ah --"

Jason's teeth on his ear, Jason panting and making a sound so high and *lost* --

Heat. Heat and Jason's *flexing* inside him, shaking *against* him -- "Oh, Jason, *yes* --"

And Jason clutches Tim hard and keeps shaking, sucks the shell of Tim's ear and keeps *shaking* --

"It's okay, it's -- oh God, I *feel* you, Jason --"


Tim clenches --

"Oh God, *please* --"

And Tim feels himself flush all over, feels himself flex and *need*, but he doesn't know what it is other than *this*, he doesn't -- Tim shakes his head and presses as close as he can, flexes his wrists and -- "God, Jason, I want to hold you --"

And Jason shifts his grip on Tim, strokes Tim's sides again and kisses the back of his neck, the side of his throat and up into Tim's hairline, over and over -- "Stay right here. Just -- here."

"I." Tim nods and blinks, tries to find -- something like a *place* in this, something to do with the feel of Jason inside him, the feel -- "God, Jason --"

"I know. I -- heh, Do you wanna come now, or do you wanna wait until I'm fucking you again?"

Again. More -- and Jason's stroking Tim's thigh, now, fingertips trailing lightly closer, closer... Tim covers Jason's hand and brings it up to his throat --

Jason twitches inside Tim and groans. "I can't -- fuck, I don't think I can do you like that again tonight, Tim..."

"Oh. Oh, I -- I wasn't. All right, I *was*, but --"

Jason laughs and licks behind Tim's ear, kisses him there -- "'But...?'"

"Just. Just the feel. Would be -- if you held me. Held me like that."

"Tim," Jason says, and *cups* Tim's throat, presses just enough --

Just enough. Tim swallows and doesn't press forward against Jason's hand -- much.

"One day, I promise -- I promise I'll fuck you with my hand on your throat. If you don't get *Clark* to do it first, that is..."

Tim smiles. "Well... you're the one giving the man ideas."

Jason shudders -- stops. "Like he *didn't* have it, already. Kinky little fucker. You're totally getting off on the idea of him listening to this, maybe watching us from fucking *space* --"

"I'm -- ah -- sure he has other things to attend to, Jason --"

"Which is a *yes*," Jason says, and squeezes lightly. "Is it the tease? Or do you just want to *share*?"

Tim closes his eyes and thinks about -- all of it. The way he'd *performed* for Clark... it's hard to even imagine that now, for all that Clark has seen all of him and touched, *known* --

Jason lets go of Tim's throat, pushes between Tim's thighs, and cups his sac, bouncing it on his palm and squeezing gently. "Want my little theory?"

"I -- yes, Jason..."

"*I* think you want everyone you're fucking tangled up with each other, because that'll make it easy for you to -- heh -- skate your way around, never getting too deep, never getting too *close* --"

"I *want* to be close, I want --"

"Sure you do -- you don't just want it, you *need* it. But it won't stop you from running a little, every chance you get --"

"No. Not from you. And I -- I'm trying to stop. To figure out how to stop."

Jason is silent for a moment... and then he kisses Tim's shoulder, slow and wet. And moves his other hand to Tim's penis, strokes and squeezes, strokes again --

"Nn -- Jason --"

"I think... sooner or later you're going to reach a *point* in your little adventures --"

Bruce. *Bruce* --

"-- where they're either going to push you away in favor of someone who'll stick *around* --"

"I --" Steph. "I don't --"

"Or they're gonna drive themselves a little crazy trying to figure out. Figure out how to *keep* you. God, Tim, I... you feel so fucking good around me, so tight and hot --"

"Then stay in me, fuck me again, don't -- don't let go -- *oh* --"

He can feel Jason *shifting* inside him, feel -- Jason *thrusts* and moans -- "Too soon. Too fucking soon, but --"

"Good. It's -- so good, Jason --"

"Have to. Just have to figure you *out*, just a little --"

"I'm not -- just ask me, I'll tell you. We --" Tim shocks himself a little with a laugh, feels himself clench --

Jason moans and bites his shoulder --

"We have a lot to catch *up* on, Jason -- oh fuck, your *hand* --"

"Wrapped around you nice and tight... mm. Wanna watch you come for me again, watch you lose that twisty little mind --"

Tim hears himself panting and -- pumps his hips, just -- oh, that slide of Jason inside him, that burn, just a little -- he's so *slick* inside, and there's come and lubricant on his thighs --

"You came *here*. You --"

"To you, I came to *you*, Jason, *please* --"

"Fuck, yeah, I -- you feel me? You feel how hard I'm getting for you again?"

Tim grinds himself down, up again, pushing into Jason's *fist* --

"Oh -- do that again, come on --" Jason grunts and squeezes with both hands, and Tim can't --

Tim *shouts*, and he hadn't expected it, hadn't -- he's so close again, so -- "Jason --"

"Still right here. C'mon, keep moving, get me ready for you..."

Tim closes his eyes and does it, *moves*, flexes his hands because he can't reach back and wrap his arms around Jason's neck, can't reach down for the sheets --

"Oh -- oh, *yeah*, that's -- fucking perfect," and Jason strokes Tim faster, makes Tim *work* faster, work *for* it --

And Tim feels himself trying to clench against Jason, but he really -- not when he's moving, not when he can *have* this. Jason wanted to see Tim *ride* him, and this --

This has to be close, has to be just --

Jason squeezes *again* and Tim doesn't know what that sound was, doesn't -- was he trying to say something?

"The sounds you make for me -- never -- nothing like you, nothing --"

"P-Please. Please let me -- or. I don't know. Jason, I don't *know* -- ah --"

Another bite to the side of his throat, lingering -- Jason tongue on him and Tim wants to sweat more, wants to feel salty and *good* against that tongue --

Wants -- "Oh, Jason, *please* --"

"Don't stop, Tim. Don't -- keep moving for me, I'm almost there, just -- ah *fuck*, Tim --"

Clenching, he's -- he can't *stop*. It burns, and it -- it *aches*, and now he *is* sweating again --

"Fucking little *vise* --"

"Jason, sorry, just -- your voice, the things you *say* --"

"Like it when I talk dirty, yeah, I figured that *out*," Jason says, and lets *go* --

"No -- oh fuck, I need to *come*, Jason, I --"

"Heh. *Wait* for it, kid," and Jason strokes Tim's chest, pinches Tim's nipples and *rubs* them with his thumbs --

"I -- Bruce does -- he --"

"Likes to play with you here, yeah. Me, I just want to *tease* you a little bit --"

"Jesus, I -- *Jason* --"

"Until you start working your hips for me again --"

Tim moans and tries to stop clenching, tries to move and just -- Jason's *fingers*, pulling and twisting -- a different kind of burn like this, something that highlights everywhere Jason *isn't* touching him right now, and oh --

He feels so --

Three *different* aches. Inside him, his penis, his nipples -- Tim bites his lip and tries to move anyway, rocking them a little --

Jason moans and pinches *hard* --

"*Jason* --"

"Just -- a little more. A little -- don't stop, don't you fucking *stop* --"

And the pain blurs into something solid, something holding him, or -- maybe it's what lets him move, lets his grind and rock, *release* --

Jason growls and *shoves* them down until Tim's flat on his stomach and screaming, arms stretched out over his head --

"Angle -- push -- oh *fuck*, Jason --"

"*Right* now," and Jason growls and covers Tim, *thrusts* in --

In --

*In* --

"Oh God oh *fuck*, Jason --"

"Not gonna stop. Not -- what you fucking *do* to me --"

And it's harder, *more*, Jason bracing his hands to either side of Tim's head and just --

One thrust after another, over and *over* --

Tim clenches --

"Let me *in*, you little cocksucker --"

"*Please* --"

"You like the burn, like the feel of me pounding into you, *fucking* you open --"

Release and Tim screams again, tries to push up, work his hips --

Jason bites the back of his neck and Tim gasps and *shakes*, just --

In him, shoving pushing thrusting --

"You *want* this --"

"*Yes* --"

"I want -- God, fuck, *say* it, Tim --"

"I want this, I want you so much, so much, Jason, please don't stop, *please* --"

And when Jason bites this time he groans and holds on, hips slamming against Tim, moving him with every thrust, every --

The *burn*, and Tim thinks he could die from this, live in this, take this and keep *taking* it. Jason feels massive inside him -- he's clenching again, and the pain just makes it better, makes it --

Jason's *whimpering* now, and Tim can't stop struggling for more, can't make himself stop trying to push up onto his knees. He just -- he needs *leverage*, and Jason isn't letting him have any, isn't letting *up* --

So fast, so hard and *fast*, and Jason lets go of the back of Tim's neck and shifts, changes the angle --

Jason shoves his arms under Tim's shoulders and holds him there, so tight, so --

"Jason, tell me -- tell me *you* like it --"

"I love it, I fucking -- I can't *stop* --"

"Oh --"

"Fucking *love* it, and it's -- God, so long, so fucking *long*, and you --"

"Brother. *Brother* --"

"So *good* for me, so -- I can feel how much you *need* it --"

"*Yes* --"

"Harder now, have to --" Jason groans and *grinds* against Tim's rear, tightens his hold on Tim's shoulders -- "Say you're ready --"

"Anything, please, *anything* --"

"Good little whore. *My* little whore --"

Brother, he wants to say it again, wants to make Jason *hear* it, but the only things coming out of his mouth are moans, because Jason is *driving* into him, shoving Tim against the sheets and grunting, *taking*.

Tim tries to separate the feelings from each other, tries to focus on just the way he's starting to feel raw, or the way it seems like his whole body is being fucked and *filled*, or the way every breath seems to change it, flare through him like a struck match --

He can't. It's all one *thing*, and he can't --

He --

He hears himself *wail*, and has just enough time to shove his face into the sheets before he's doing it again, and again --

Another *bite* and Tim clenches and *screams* --

"Let me -- let me *hear* you --"

Tim turns his head and sobs, shakes and begs -- tries to beg but he --

Another wail and *Jason's* shaking -- "It's all right, baby, it's -- you're so fucking *good* --"

Tim sobs and bites his lip --

"*No*, Tim --"

Tim opens his mouth and now Jason's fucking the sounds out of him, rhythmic and desperate, burning him up all over, stroking him and loving him, making him into something that *fits* --

"Need you, baby, need -- come for me, let me feel you come for me --"

Tim nods and can't stop doing that, *either*, and he -- Jason wants, and the duvet is so soft, damp from him, slick like Tim's *thighs* --

Bruce is going to see him like this, Bruce is going to *smell* him like this and know -- or maybe he's listening right now, watching through the mask cam, even though all he can see is the wall, Jason's flexing arm --

"Bruce --"

And Jason growls and fucks Tim *faster*, and Tim thinks he can feel the burn in his *hair*, and he can't stop -- can't --

He can *see* Bruce fucking Jason like this, taste their sweat and *need*, feel himself as a part of it, something almost necessary even as he moans like an animal. If he could just call Jason's *name* again, it would be --

"*Do* it, Tim, do it while I'm in you, while I can feel you clenching around me, hear you scream for it --"

Something hard, something -- it *hurts* and it's everything he *wants* -- "J-Jason, I'm so close, I'm so -- please *please* --"

And Jason bites Tim again and holds him, growling and fucking, breathing hot and so -- so damp --

The shiver turns into another *shake*, and this time it doesn't stop, this time he --

Orgasm hits like a *blast*, and Tim can almost feel himself getting knocked right out of his body, right --

Someone's screaming and it burns, cracks and turns into one gasp after another --

"*Tim* --"

And Tim realizes he's tensed all over, inside and out, that Jason can barely thrust so much as shove and *rock*, that Jason *needs* him to just --

And the collapse hits almost as hard as the orgasm, sending him back down into the sprawl Jason's shaping with his body. Everything in Tim is buzzing, thrumming with the orgasm until every thrust feels both like something as natural as breathing and something so sweet he has to beg for more.

Plead and sob for Jason --

*Beg* -- "*Please*, Jason --"

"Damn, I -- *damn*, you feel --" And Jason groans, loses his rhythm --

"Oh -- I want you to come --"

"*Tim* --"

"Need it, need you, Jason, need you right here, I --" Tim licks his lips and clenches on purpose --

"*Fuck* --"

And does it again, and again, as rhythmically as he can --

"Jesus, Jesus fucking -- so *tight* --"

"Burns. It -- feels --" Tim laughs and feels himself shuddering --

"Tim... Tim, I'm so -- want you so *much* --"

Tim nods against the sheets and keeps clenching, coughs out a groan and shakes more -- "Just want to keep you *in* me --"

"Hungry. Needy, so -- I've got you, and I'm not -- not letting *go* --"

And that sounds so -- Bruce holding him, whispering against Tim's throat, pressing Tim down against the bed -- no, Jason. Jason and his scent all around, the feel of him opening Tim, holding Tim close and panting rough and loud --

"Don't stop squeezing me like that, don't --"

Tim nods again and tries to breathe with the same rhythm Jason's using, tries to stay right at that *level* -- it makes his penis twitch *much* too soon, but the sound he makes --

"Should be *recording* this, you -- oh fuck, Tim --" Jason grips Tim harder and *slams* in, shaking -- coming and groaning --

"*Jason*, oh -- stay there, just --"

"*My* line, ah -- oh God --"

Tim twines his fingers together and squeezes hard enough that his knuckles crack. Just -- that *heat*, the feel of Jason twitching inside him, getting him wetter, slicker --

And a very specific variety of *dirtier*. Tim smiles and rides the feeling, taking as deep a breath as he can before Jason collapses on top of him. Mm. Tim catalogues himself a little --

Slick inside and out, pressure against him, an ache which seems to spread from his hole throughout most of his *body* -- "Sitting down is going to be interesting for a while."

Jason's laugh turns into a moan as Tim kind of *rolls* himself beneath him --

And moans himself, because Jason slips *out* a little --

"Oh -- fuck, not yet. Come on, gimme another little squeeze --"

They gasp together, and the endorphin high is fading enough that the discomfort is distinctly *sharper*. Tim feels himself tensing a little and stops trying to match Jason's harsh respiration. Breath *control* would be better for this --

"Heh. Yeah, you're *not* going to be able to handle me staying in for all that long."

"I can *take* it, Jason -- oh --"

Jason scrapes his teeth along the back of Tim's neck again, licks him there -- "Yeah, you can, but -- you don't have to."

"I want --"

"*I* want to look at your eyes a little. *See* you. You can't possibly still look as good as I think you do now that I've blown my load a couple times."

Tim snorts and clenches again --

"*Fuck*, that's just *mean* --"

And he's -- wincing. Definitely wincing. "I... I kind of feel like I should be mad at Bruce for not training me to deal with *this* kind of discomfort."

Jason laughs. "Yeah, he's obviously... gettin' pretty lax. Amateur."

Heh. Tim shifts until he can lift his bound arms -- and both of his middle fingers.

"Promises, promises," Jason says, and slips his arms out from under Tim. "Keep breathing."

Tim nods -- and possibly his eyes are *crossing* at the feel of Jason pulling out, because it seems to take much longer than the physical realities would *suggest* --

"I know, baby, God, do me a favor and heal *quickly*."

So they can do this *again* -- yes. "I don't think -- did I tear?"

"No blood, but you're probably *good* and raw inside," Jason says, shifting and -- cupping Tim's buttocks in his palms.

*Spreading* Tim again --

"Red and a little swollen. I probably shouldn't still be thinking this looks *pretty*, but maybe I have a few kinks, too."

The blush feels so *useless*, and really kind of random considering everything else, but -- it's absolutely there. "I really don't know how I feel about the fact that I'm now going to be spending quality time wondering if my *hole* is attractive."

"See, that's the *thing*, birdboy -- you don't *have* to wonder," and Jason lets go of Tim's cheeks and crawls up the bed until he can lay beside Tim. He's on his side, resting his head on one fist -- and reaching for Tim's face with his other hand. "The blushing kinda weirds me out, I have to admit."

"I can't really -- I mean, I could say something about how I'm really not used to that particular *variety* of attention, Jason, and it would be *true* -- but I can't seem to do anything about the blushing --"

"You realize you didn't blush *once* when you were high on that no-fear crap. That's kind of... heh," and Jason taps Tim's cheek. "It made it *look* like you were for real about everything, that there wasn't even any *shame* --"

"I *was* telling the truth the whole time -- ah. To you."

"Tim --"

"Some truths make me uneasy, Jason. Whether or not they *should*," Tim says, and pulls his bound arms under himself until he can kneel up and -- leak. Distinctively. He makes a face --

And Jason laughs -- really rather a lot. "I *told* you. What, didn't Clark come in you?"

"Well... yes, but. There were certain... ah. Devices."

Jason covers his face and peeks out between his fingers. "Do I even *want* to know?"

"Just for -- sanitary purposes, I --" Tim blushes *harder* --

"God, *look* at you. I'm back to feeling like a dirty old man, here --"

"Well, so long as that doesn't *stop* you, we'll be fine," Tim says, and shifts until he can sit down -- "Oh -- God. That's wonderful and *awful* --"

Jason snickers, "C'mon, lay on your side, you'll be fine. And I already know you *sleep* on your stomach."

Tim raises an eyebrow and shifts, thinks... Jason wouldn't have been able to get close enough to the manor for that sort of observation without tripping *something*, and while he doesn't think Bruce is entirely above keeping something like that to himself... "My father's brownstone...?"

Jason nods and cups Tim's shoulder, strokes his upper arm --

Tim raises the other eyebrow and flexes his hands as much as he can.

"What, you're telling me you *can't* get out of that?"

The knot is an awkward position, but he can still use his teeth on it. Jason is watching him *do* it, which is...

It is and *isn't* the same degree of pressure as would be there if it was something Bruce had done to him in the name of training.

It's a matter of getting the long end out from under the coils without tightening the knot any more than it already is, and then he simply has to work on the knot itself -- easier than it could be because the material won't soak up any extraneous saliva and swell --

"And you would seriously gnaw your way out of that if I didn't do anything. Jesus, kid --"

"Training never stops --"

"Yeah fucking yeah. Lean back," Jason says, and the blade slides perfectly *between* Tim's wrists but cuts nothing but the jump-line --

"You're going to need that --"

"I have plenty," Jason says, and pauses, looking Tim over with a slight frown...

"Yes, Jason?"

"You're *not* training here. Not -- not now."

Tim reaches out, ignoring the pins and needles as best he can -- he can barely *feel* Jason with his fingers, but he can see himself touching, can know it -- "We can be. You could teach me a great deal."

Jason looks down at where Tim's fingertips are pressed to his chest and then looks at Tim again. And raises his own eyebrows. "And maybe I'd like to keep my secrets, birdboy."

"Mm. Certainly, that's a choice you could make," Tim says, and strokes up to Jason's throat --

Jason laughs and catches his wrist. "Can you even *feel* that, right now?"

Tim smiles. "Barely. But I can *see* what my hand is doing, and that's... satisfying."

"Uh, huh, right. Freak," Jason says, and rolls on top of Tim, pinning Tim's wrist next to his head. "You can feel *this*."

"Ah -- yes. You're so --" Tim shakes his head. "Jason, I -- I want you to know that being here... means a lot. To me."

Jason squeezes Tim's wrist and licks his lips -- leans in and kisses Tim. He tastes like sweat and musk -- he tastes like *him*, and Tim can't help but think of Bart...

What is he doing right now? He's almost certainly asleep. He has school tomorrow -- today, while Tim will be sleeping... somewhere. Tim moves his free hand until he can just barely feel Jason's hair against his fingers and clutches, a little --

Jason moans and kisses him harder, and --

He's nowhere else. He shouldn't *be* anywhere else, and if he can't concentrate as much as he'd like, there's the current state of his rectum to blame. Tim laughs into the kiss and sucks Jason's tongue when he can catch it --

And Jason rocks against him and squeezes Tim's wrist harder, presses it down --

And Tim's arms are screaming a little about their -- relative -- freedom, now, so that's *another* distraction --

But none of it is anything against his own time sense, and the fact that, if he stays much longer, he'll be traveling in daylight. He doesn't have any civilian clothes here, and the bike -- the bike would *pass*, considering the speeds he plans on traveling at --

Jason bites Tim's lip and pulls back --

"Sorry," Tim says, wincing, "I just can't stop --"


"I." Tim blinks and -- he's staring, really, and not even at Jason's wet mouth -- except for how he *is*, now, and thinking would be *helpful* -- "Jason --"

"Just -- heh. A few hours. I'll wake you if you don't wake yourself. You're *already* late," Jason says and lets go of Tim's wrist to twine their hands together.

"I --" There's no question. There *can't* be any question, and the Robin in him just has to -- cope. "Yes."

Jason's smile is so... Tim reaches to touch it with his free hand -- and gets bitten. Lightly.

Tim smiles back and turns his head, and Jason brings their linked hands close enough to Tim's mouth that he can bite *Jason's* hand... he licks it, instead.

Jason sucks Tim's fingers and lets them go. "I should actually *let* you sleep."

"Because you don't require any actual rest yourself, of course. Certainly you don't train all day and patrol all night -- oh, wait."

"Bitch," Jason says and kisses Tim again.

This time it's not hard to *be* there for it, to really focus on the feel of Jason's lips moving against his own, Jason's tongue slipping in and out again, slow and wet -- wetter and rather dirtier when Jason lets go of Tim's hand and cups his face, slips his thumb *in* --

Tim licks it, presses his tongue against the short, even nail -- turns enough to suck it while Jason licks and kisses his cheek, over and over. Tim shifts for a better angle --

And feels things shift *inside* him. Knowing that it's a relative minuscule amount of fluid doesn't do much of anything against the *feel* -- he's blushing again.

Jason scrapes his teeth over Tim's cheek and laughs. "This is why I made Bruce use a condom most of the time, you know."

Tim pulls off. "You tell me this *now* -- wait. Most of the time?"

"Heh -- a lot of the time. A good, solid fraction..." Jason laughs. "Fuck off. Possibly I just wound up agreeing with Bruce that after patrol was the best way to handle -- this."

"Noted," Tim says, and rubs his mouth against Jason's thumb, presses against it -- takes it in his mouth again.

"*Did* you suck your thumb when you were a kid?"

"The nanny painted my nails with clear polish and threatened to take away -- take away things which were important to me. It was a highly effective tactic."

Jason raises his eyebrows again. "Things, hunh?"

Tim closes his eyes... and smiles. If anyone can hear this... "I had a poster. From Haly's Circus. The artist got Dick's eye color all wrong, but. After a while, I could tell my parents -- and the nannies -- that it was a collector's item. It was a reasonable explanation." He opens his eyes again and Jason's frowning.

"You had a poster, and you kept it -- shit, did you *see* Dick perform with his parents?"

Tim lets his smile do what it wants to on his face --

Jason winces. "You were there, too."

"Oh, yes. I'd gotten to meet Dick and his parents before the show. He was... amazing."

"And you just kind of *focused* on Dick for the rest of your life. I..." Jason shakes his head. "*That's* how you figured it out."

"It was in the news -- that Dick could do a move in mid-air that only a few people in the world could. When I saw Robin doing it years later..." Tim shrugs. "I was kind of... focused."

Jason shakes his head again, opens his mouth and closes it.

"Jason, it's not --"

"Jesus, kid. How the hell did Dick react when you told him all this?"

Tim lets his smile get a bit rueful. "To be honest... I think he was a little creeped out. We didn't really start getting close until after Bane broke Bruce's back."

"But I thought of you pretty often."

That voice --

Jason stiffens and pulls a gun out from under the pillow Tim's *lying* on --

"At ease, little wing," Dick says, and starts walking down the stairs. "I'm not here to start anything."

"You're also not *invited*, Big Bird, so why don't you just fuck off?"

Dick steps out of the shadows -- his hands are raised, slightly, and he's... in civilian clothes. "Hey there, little brother. Everything okay?"

Tim sits up on his elbows -- and winces at the stab and prickle of returning blood flow --

"You're hurt. Jason --"

"He's not *hurt*, Dick, Jesus, what the fuck are you doing here?"

Dick isn't looking at Jason, at all. "Tim --"

"I'm not hurt. I'm just... feeling some aftereffects, here and there."

"From that rough sex you like so much, okay, I don't need details," Dick says, sighing and turning to Jason. "We need to talk. We can do it here, or you can throw some pants on and come to the roof with me... but we're *going* to talk."

Jason flicks the safety off. "I don't recall God coming down to tell me you could set terms, Dickie."

"We can *make* this a fight, Jason, but at least two of the people in this room don't actually *want* that."

And Jason looks at him. There's a frown on his face that has Dick's name written all over it, but the one in his eyes...

The frown in Jason's eyes belongs to him. Tim holds Jason's gaze and reaches to cover the hand on the gun --


"Brother," Tim says, and watches Jason's eyes narrow -- and he can see Dick *shift* out of the corner of his eye. "I'll be here. It's... heh. Something I would've suggested. Eventually."

The expression behind Jason's eyes becomes something a lot friendlier to look at, rueful and more than a little amused -- "Right. This is what I get for hooking up with a family man," and Jason shoves the gun back under Tim's pillow and stands, moving to where he'd dumped his clothes.

Tim watches him walk, noting the Red Hood blend of swagger and danger, and, when he looks at Dick -- Dick is staring at him kind of *bleakly*. "Dick, it's all right --"

"I still get to worry about you," Dick says, quietly. "Especially when I have to come *looking* for you at this time of -- heh. *Day*."

Would it have been that much better for you if you'd found me naked in bed with *Bruce*, Dick...? No, he's not going to ask that question. Dick hasn't given him a *reason* -- no. "*Why* were you looking for me?"

"Just to talk. About Jason, mostly."

"Well, since you're *here*, Dickie, you can talk to him about me all you want," Jason says, and he's wearing last night's pants and an undershirt. "But I already told him that I was a dangerous killer and former smoker, and it didn't seem to get rid of 'im."

And Dick is looking at Tim as though there's something Tim can say, or do... "I. I'd always read that families without blood ties got along *better* than the others," Tim tries --

Jason snorts.

"If they can keep themselves from *acting* like blood families, yes," Dick says, and there's a smile in his eyes which *also* belongs to Tim.

Tim smiles back --

"Let's go, Big Bird. You're cutting into my afterglow, here."

"Jason, you *are* involved with Tim, now. Maybe we *should* talk in front of him --"

"Tim," Jason says, "in case you haven't noticed, Dick kind of gets on my fucking nerves, and that makes me damned impolite. Would you mind if I kept that *away* from you?"

Tim -- blushes. Vastly unhelpfully. He shakes it off as best he can and sits up further, swinging his legs over the side of the bed. "It dawns on me that the two of you have a prior sexual relationship. I'm going to guess that it didn't go well?"

"It wasn't --"

"I wouldn't call it a *relationship*, little --"

Tim raises an eyebrow. "Look, Jason, I think Dick wants to say a few protective things about me, and also a few threatening things about what will happen when and if you cross the line in a way Dick can pin you for."

"Well, that's kind of a *vast* simplification, Tim --"

"But he's got the gist, right?" And Jason seems to almost *will* Dick to look at him. Or possibly dare him.

Dick clenches his fists. "Yes."

"Dick, Jason wants to tell you that the way he lives his life is none of your business, that he'll fight you if he has to and would enjoy the opportunity, and possibly something about how I'm old enough to make my own decisions. It's probable that there'd be some blatantly sexual innuendo in there designed to make you feel uncomfortable --"

"Oh, highly probable, I'd say, kid. And maybe not so much with the innuendo, either --"

"Tim, you can't just -- have this conversation *for* us, though I certainly appreciate --"

"*I'd* appreciate it if the two of you just skipped to the part of the conversation where you talk about your *own* problems instead of getting Gotham -- or *me* -- involved."

Dick frowns.

Jason frowns, too -- and then snorts. "Yeah, probably more *efficient*, that way. Daddy would be proud."

"About Bruce," Dick says, and turns to Tim again. "Does he... he knows where you are, right now."

"I'd be surprised if he didn't, Dick, considering -- ah. Everything the two of us have discussed, recently."

"You talked about *this*?"

Right now, it would feel wonderful to look down at the sheets, and perhaps pluck at them a little bit. It's just that it would cause far more trouble than it's worth. "Yes," Tim says, shifting and biting back the wince --

Dick can see him doing it, and frowns a little more --

"*Yes*, Dick. Bruce knows everything I've been doing, and who I've been doing it with. I never tried to keep that secret from him."

Dick nods slowly, approving of the sentiment if nothing else. Tim turns to Jason... and Jason has his arms crossed over his chest and an expression that looks almost reflexively dark -- more so when he puts on an expression that is only technically a smile --

"We *could* talk about *your* relationship with Tim, Big Bird. How's it feel to bang your little brother? Does it give things a little bit of a kick?"

Tim frowns --

And Dick closes his eyes for a moment before turning enough that he can look at both Tim and Jason. "Yes, as a matter of fact, it does. But you would know that if you were man enough to take what Tim's trying to give you."

"Oh, I take *everything* he gives me. I love it -- and how much of why you're pissed boils down to you not getting it while it was good, Dickie? He wanted you for *years* and you did fuck-all about it --"

Tim stands up. "Jason, leave it alone --"

"Really fucking no. Dick comes here judging you -- and me -- for what we're doing and you know what? I'm *not* fucking happy about it --"

"That's *not* why I came here, Jason --"

"No? Then ditch the attitude problem and *deal* with this, because it's not going anywhere anytime soon, and --" Jason cuts himself off and looks down.

Tim raises an eyebrow and thinks about closing the distance between them, thinks about -- a touch would be good, something --

And Dick's smiling, just a little. "Like that, hunh? All right, I'm not gonna say a word, but --"

"You were good right up until the 'but,'" Jason says, and when he looks up there's something colder in his eyes.

It makes Tim -- he's already walking closer, and he can't seem to stop even when Jason turns that cold on him, even though he can feel himself blushing --

Jason shakes his head and reaches out -- and taps Tim's cheek. "I hate that."

"I'm working on it."

"Don't work *too* hard, little brother. I think it's pretty cute," Dick says, and the smile on his face is, actually, asking for a lot of abuse. It's a Nightwing smile *and* a Dick-being-his-namesake smile, and --

Tim snorts. "Cute. Yes, *that's* exactly what I want you to think of me --"

"You'll always be younger. And cuter," Dick says, shoving his thumbs in the waistband of his jeans and rocking on his heels. "You can't tell me you don't ever want to ruffle his hair, Jay, I won't *believe* you."

"The *difference* between you and me, Dick," and Jason drags two fingers down over Tim's cheek, "is that I try *not* to fuck the people who make me want to ruffle their hair. But then, I guess that's something you've got in common with the freakboy. Heh."

Another blush, and telling his body that that's not precisely helpful gets him exactly nowhere --

And Dick looks confused -- for a moment. "The Titans. But -- they're your *friends*, Tim --"

"Yes, they are, and can the two of you --"

"You *think* of them as being much younger than you?"

"They *are*," Tim says, and Jason is grinning like a *shark* and Dick looks like he wants to have a long, serious talk about the importance of being a Titan and also sexual predation. "Look, I -- what *happened* between the two of you?"

"Tim, you really shouldn't -- if you don't see a person as your equal, you really --"

And Jason is snickering, now. Wonderful. Just -- "*Dick*. If I'd gotten up the courage to hit on you when I was just starting out as Robin -- or if you'd been *around* while I was still in training --"

"Tim," and Dick is wincing --

"I still would've *meant* it. I knew what I wanted sexually long before I was *anyone* you could see as an equal." Assuming you do *now* -- no. "I don't see any great morality in making either Kon or KF wait for something *I* waited too long for. Now, back to you and Jason --"

"Too long, hunh? Had some time to really *think* about those kinks, birdboy?"

"Well..." Dick blows out a breath and rocks on his heels again. "You did kind of wait an insanely long time, yes."

Tim closes his eyes -- and doesn't pinch the bridge of his nose. "Well, then. Would *you* have made me wait, Dick? If I'd told you how much I wanted you? How much I loved you?"

Jason turns to Dick and raises his eyebrows. "How cute was he? Big blue eyes shining up at you as he tried *so* hard to be the best little Robin he could be...?"

"I --" Dick stops rocking. "He was a lot cuter than *you*, that's for damned sure."

Jason's smile is a little more honest, this time. "Heh. As I *recall*, I had to get you a little drunk first. Roy's homemade wine and that weird incense of Kory's..."

Dick shakes his head. "You didn't -- all right, I was definitely a little tipsy, but --"

"And we were talkin' about *Bruce*, if I recall correctly," Jason says, and strokes Tim's hair once before crossing his arms over his chest. "About training, some, but mostly about all the amazing things we'd ever seen him do out there."

"Jason, I -- I'm sorry. That never should --"

"Never should have happened? Or never should've happened the way it *did*? Because I thought we were doing pretty well right up until you rolled out of bed and started freaking out."

"I was seriously involved with *Kory* at the time, Jason --"

"And we both know that's not why you lost it on me, so..." Jason shrugs. "Let's leave it at 'it was a bad idea.'"

"It had nothing to do with..." Dick brings a hand to his face and scrubs hard. "You know I was really -- messed up, at the time."

"Yeah, I really do. And part of it was the fact that *I* was Robin --"

"And not me, yeah. I never should've taken it out on you. Not -- God, not like that."

Jason raises his eyebrows. "What are you saying, Dickie? You *don't* always try to fuck a guy's mouth bloody?"

Dick shakes his head and sighs. "I kept waiting for you to admit that you and Bruce were together. I kept *hearing* you say it, laying out exactly what the two of you were doing every damned night..."

"You know what I was waiting for? You to tell me how it was all supposed to work. How Bruce could be the *Batman* and still also be this guy who couldn't keep his hands off the fucked-up teenager just happy to have a *home*."

Dick rears back. "Jesus, I -- it wasn't like -- it can't have been like that for you. Bruce *loved* you, Jason, he still does --"

"Oh, I get that -- now. At the time, it was all a little bit *confusing*, and I just *knew* that you -- the first Robin, the *perfect* Robin would have it all figured out so I could finally *get* it," Jason says, walking back to the bed and sitting down.

Tim thinks very hard about making himself scarce for this, but... but. When he looks at Jason, he makes the 'stay' gesture. Tim takes a breath and stands still --

"Jesus, Jason. You never even *hinted* --"

Jason lets himself fall back on his elbows. "I was fourteen years old and fucking the *Bat*. You *knew* that. How much hinting did I really have to do?"

Dick shakes his head. "You loved him --"

"More than anything. But where *I* came from, we had a name for relationships like that."

Dick blows out another breath and just stands there. He clenches his hands into fists, and Tim would like, very badly, to have an answer to this. Just -- something he could say which would make everything clear and relatively easy for both Dick and Jason. But --

Bruce would be an entirely different person in Tim's mind if he hadn't been involved with Jason. And, possibly, so would Tim. *His* entire relationship with Bruce... he'd known about Jason, and had more than confirmed it for himself with the way Bruce had and hadn't looked at the Case, with the way he shut *down* whenever Jason's name *might* have the *possibility* of coming up.

It's -- he'd known, and he'd built himself into someone different, someone Bruce could maybe relax around, because there were no reminders, nothing that could bring that time back for him... but he hadn't really been thinking about Dick and Jason. If he had --

If he had, he never would've gone to Dick the way he did, and maybe things wouldn't look like this *now* -- he doesn't know. He starts to move back toward the bed --

"I wish -- Jason, I wish I had known. That I'd understood."

Jason shakes his head. "You couldn't have. Not then. And I got over it."

"You needed someone to talk to, and I wasn't it. I --" Dick turns to Tim. "You were right, little brother."

Tim sits down next to Jason. "I think I was a little too ignorant to be right on anything but the most shallow possible levels, Dick."

And Jason's looking at him. "Did you seriously lay a guilt trip on Big Bird for not taking care of *me*, kid?"

Tim bites the inside of his cheek. "I -- it was a somewhat... fraught conversation."

Jason laughs and, after a moment, so does Dick. It's suddenly very important that he's the only one naked in this room -- it is, in fact, reminiscent of some of Tim's more normal nightmares... Tim laughs a little, too. The only thing that would happen if we tried to retrieve his clothes *now* would be one or both of his *brothers* deciding it would be a good time to tease him into some variety of blush-related death.

Granted, that might ease the *mood* more than a little bit, but Tim doesn't feel quite that charitable. Instead, he curls his hands against the edge of the bed and waits --

"Jason --"

"Dick --"

Dick laughs again. "You first."

Jason nods. "I forgive you. You weren't *much* more than a kid yourself, and it's not like I really expect anybody to get over *Bruce*," he says, and strokes the back of Tim's arm.

Tim watches Dick watching that --

Dick nods. "I'm grateful, Jason. That's really... I'm grateful. And I'd like to have the chance to actually get to know you, this time around, if I can. After all, you're not going anywhere."

"No plans in that direction, no," Jason says, and sits up. "Look, I don't know if we could ever *be* friends, Dick. There's too much between us, and we fucked up *hardcore*."

Dick shrugs and spreads his hands. "There's no harm in trying. Especially if you stop *beheading* people."

Yes, that *would* be helpful --

Jason laughs, softly. "I had a point to make, and I really *don't* have any regrets, Dick --"

"Jason --" Dick moves closer --

Jason holds up a hand. "You people don't go far enough, and you spend way too much time reacting rather than acting. There are things going down in this city that none of you know *shit* about because you're busy taking care of the murders and rapes and beatings you *could've* kept from happening in the first place --"

"*Murder* isn't the answer --"

"Not even when it's Blockbuster, Dick? Yeah, I've been doing a little research, here and there. You didn't pull the trigger, but you didn't stop it from happening, either. He had your number -- more than that, he had your *name*. And how would you have felt if he'd had someone plant a few bombs at *Tim's* house?"

Dick winces. "The fact that I let Tarantula kill him -- it's not something I'm proud of, and I *do* have regrets --"

"Yeah. You *could've* just left him brain-dead," Jason says, and strokes Tim's arm again, squeezes --

"There are... other ways," Tim says. "You know that, Dick. You've been working closely with Roy for *years*. And -- we don't have to *kill* to make a real difference." And Dick is searching him hard, eyes wide and a little horrified. "Dick, I'm just saying that maybe we *need* someone like Jason in this city."

"And what about you, little brother? We *talked* about this --"

"And we didn't, actually, come up with one easy answer for everything. We *can't* treat all the criminals the same way -- we never *have* treated them all the same way -- look, I'm not saying we need to go out right now and put bullets in the brains of all our worst recidivists, but maybe it's time for us to take a good, hard look at our methods. Especially when we can *see* other methods actually working better," Tim says, and tries to keep himself from digging his fingers in against the mattress. For this conversation, control is paramount --

Jason squeezes the back of Tim's arm again and sits up. "Tim's not the only one looking at his methods. We had a *good* night together a few days back, Dick. We got things *done* -- and I didn't have to use my gun once."

"You crippled people -- one of whom is now dead, by the way --"

"Caught by the Massive," Tim says, and nods. Bruce had sent him that police report -- without a word. "We told him to leave town. Look, that gang *owns* large portions of the city now. Everything we tried, everything we did..." Tim shakes his head. "They just got bigger and more *entrenched*. It's past time we took the war *to* them -- and all the others, too. We're never going to get anywhere by pretending Gotham's the same city as it was ten years ago, Dick."

"And when we wind up making things worse, Tim? Jason? Right now, we have the police on our *side*, and we all know that makes things easier. What happens when they start seeing us as part of the problem? Neither of you *remember* what it was like when we had to fight the police for everything, when some of them took pot-shots at any cape they saw -- and that was when we were doing nothing but making things a little easier for them, when we weren't breaking any *major* laws."

"And who's going to bust our balls, exactly, when one of us finally breaks the Joker's scrawny neck?"

"We weren't *talking* about the Joker, Jason --"

"No, we weren't. You're right. Because you *beat* him to death, Dick. You can't pretend you don't have this in you --"

"I *know* I have it in me. I --" Dick cuts himself off and paces a short loop, around and around. "I've had these same feelings. I'm *not* denying that. But we walk a fine *line* here, Jason, and once we cross it, there's no going back."

"But there's going forward, Dick," Tim says. "And if we don't -- quite -- kill, if we take a run through these gangs until we've got their money and their drugs, if we *scare* them enough --"

"Then they'll take a trip to Bludhaven? There's no getting rid of these people. The best we can do --"

"The *best* we can do," Jason says, "is take this city back for the actual citizens. For the families who are afraid to open their windows at night or even their fucking curtains. They *need* us -- the cops can't handle it, even if none of them *are* dirty -- which we know isn't the case. And, in the end, we all know how to keep secrets. The cops don't need to *know* --"

"But they *will* know, Jason. The good ones will -- and those are the ones we need on our *side*."

Tim thinks of Allen and Montoya, of the way they'd pressed him on the Ivy issue... if they change their policies as a family, people like them will... what? How will they jump, if they can actually make a difference? Tim could use an ambitious Narcotics detective, and could conceivably get *close* to one, but the MCU spearheads the entire department... Dick has a point --

"*You* need them on *your* side," Jason says. "I'm not --"

"You are," Tim says. "Whether or not you want to admit it or deal with it. What you do reflects on the rest of us --"

"Changing sides again, birdboy? You wanna be careful with that. People might find it a little hard to *trust* you --"

"I'm not --" Tim winces and reaches to grip Jason's thigh. "I'd say we need to work on your paranoia, but I have to admit that I find it a little attractive --"

Jason snorts. "Seriously, kid --"

"*Seriously*, Jason. I agree with you. You *know* that."

Dick pauses mid-step. "Tim --"

"One *minute*, Dick, I -- I." Tim closes his eyes and breathes, just for a moment. That other world... that *future*. Is he taking his first steps along that road? Is this what his future self was trying so hard to tell him? That would be... deeply amusing. Tim smiles and opens his eyes. "In this war... we can't keep letting our opponents choose the battlefield. At the same time, we can't give up the advantages we do have..."

Jason covers the hand Tim has on his thigh with his own. "So do you have a solution rattling around in that pointy little head of yours?"

And Dick... Dick looks both curious and a little scared.

This is where Tim smiles reassuringly... if he'd ever actually developed a smile like that. He goes with what he has. "Baby steps. In the end, our best course of action is to take the GCPD *with* us on our... little journey. We could make real inroads with the Narcotics division, considering what Jason and I have given them lately. With the MCU, well, that's going to be up to all of us. The trick will be convincing them we haven't -- ah, gone rogue, as it were," and Tim squeezes Jason's thigh.

"Gordon won't ever --" Dick shakes his head and laughs. "I keep forgetting he isn't there, anymore. *Akins* doesn't trust us as far as he can throw us, in case you'd forgotten."

Jason smiles. "We get the people on our side and Akins tries anything... we have to remember, Dick -- we're not doing this to make friends with *cops*. We never were. Tim's right that they're -- that *we* need them not to try to kill us every chance they get, but, in the end, they're only a piece of the big picture."

Dick sighs again. "I can't do things your way, Jason --"

"Yeah, you *can* -- you just don't want to, Dick, and that's okay. You don't have to. Just stay out of... our way."

Tim manages to hold back the shiver and look Dick in the eye.

After a moment, Dick nods and... it's not quite a slump and it's not quite a release of tension. At the same time, it's both of those things.

Tim's body doesn't know whether it wants to breathe or fight, a little -- but Jason's hand is warm on his own.

"Little brother... Tim. *Were* you planning on coming home, tonight? I could give you a ride."

"Yes, and -- it's all right. I'll have to retrieve the bike myself, anyway."

Dick nods and moves close, reaching out to cup Tim's face. He strokes Tim's cheekbone with his thumb and smiles down into Tim's eyes. "Don't go too far."

Whose definition of 'too far' should he measure himself against? Tim closes his eyes and presses his cheek against Dick's palm --

And Dick strokes him there. "I love you, little brother."

"I love you, too," Tim says, and pulls away from the touch.

Dick nods and turns to Jason... and Jason is looking at Tim. There's something of a search in his eyes, but it's mild -- Jason has known from some definition of the beginning how Tim feels about Dick. Dick reaches out for Jason's hand, and Jason reaches past Dick's hand to clasp his forearm, instead.

Dick looks a little surprised, but he returns the gesture, and they nod at each other before Dick lets go and backs away. Tim watches him go. He looks tired when he turns, but no more so than the time of day would suggest --

And Jason's taking off his shirt. Tim scoots back onto the bed and lays down, and Jason is smiling at him by the time the shirt is off.

Tim smiles back and pulls one of his knees up. Abruptly, it's a lot better to be naked than it was. Tim can hear Dick still on the stairs, but -- but. He and Jason don't have *much* time, and he wants Dick to know this about him, if not to see it up close.

He wants Dick to know about Jason's skin sliding against his own, about the feel of his chest against Tim's own, and the fact that Jason hadn't waited until his pants were all the way off -- or entirely open -- before covering him.

The kiss is slow and seems to be more easy than either of them have any right to have, but --

But. Maybe it can be just that easy, maybe this sort of thing *should* be easier than trusting each other, or deciding how to go about living their lives... Tim doesn't know, but it feels good to do this, to *have* this. And to push his hands into Jason's hair and hold on while Jason gives him more of his weight, presses him against the bed --

This isn't going anywhere. Tim feels himself blushing and hopes Jason's eyes are closed. Jason wants more than the sex. Jason --

Tim yawns into the kiss. Damn --

Jason snickers and pulls back. "Growing birdboys need their rest?"

"It's so good of you to assume I'm still growing."

"Shit, I *hope* you are," Jason says, and bites Tim's chin. "I keep wondering how Bruce coped with how *small* you must've been, but Dick didn't fill out or grow for a while, either. Still, he had to know that *you'd* stay small."

"It's not the size, Jason, it's what you *do* with it," and Tim raises an eyebrow.

"Oh, you'll get your chance," and Jason cups Tim's cheek, strokes him the way Dick had...

Tim leans into *this* touch --

"I could see it. The way Dick looked at you, the way he touched you. The way you responded." Jason shakes his head. "I honestly don't know if I could've handled something like that way back when."

"I still wish you'd had that... option."

Jason nods and moves his hand until he can stroke Tim's mouth with his thumb. "I know. I think I'm starting to get a handle on you."

Tim smiles, feeling his lips drag against Jason's thumb, his callus there. "I suppose I'll have to work harder to be mysterious."

"The *goal* is to know everything there is to know, so that I'll always know what I have at my back, so I never have to *question*."

A part of Tim wants to fight that, or at least object -- he'd learned *early* that actually *knowing* Bruce would possibly -- probably -- always be at least a little beyond him -- but. He wants to know everything about Jason. It's only the larger parts of life which are fundamentally unfair. Tim nods and kisses Jason's thumb.

Jason pulls back, kicks his pants the rest of the way off, and rocks against Tim once, twice. It's slow and easy and has nothing to do with sex, though Tim doesn't work very hard to convince his hindbrain of this. It's much easier to move one leg until it's over one of Jason's --

"I love the way you feel, Jason."

"You feel hard, all over. No *give*. I wonder if that makes you work harder to give it up in other ways."

"I... I can honestly say I've never thought about it that way. But... there's a unique pleasure *to* 'giving it up.' You have some deeply compelling reactions, for one."

"Yeah? Well, maybe I should try it. Ask me something."

"I -- all right," Tim says, and squeezes Jason's leg with his own. "Did you ever consider going to Gordon for help after things went so badly with Dick?"

"You mean, tell the big, friendly cop that the bad man was touching me in my no-no places?" Jason's smile is sharp and more than a little dark. "You have no idea how happy he looked the first time Bruce dragged us to Central. I'm pretty sure he shits bricks whenever it even looks like Batman might not have a Robin."

He'd told Tim it was nice to see him again, just as if he'd only been on a vacation, as opposed to in training -- "Robin never dies."

"Apparently not. Who knows? Maybe Gordon tried to save Dick a time or two. It's not like Dick would have had *any* of that. Maybe he can't do his job unless he thinks we're *all* like Dick," and Jason rolls off -- slightly. He's still half on top of Tim, and he strokes Tim's chest. "It had to be tough to be him."

"Police commissioner in Gotham City... yes, I think so," Tim says, and yawns again --

"Go to sleep."

"Or you'll send me to the corner for a time out?"

"Or I'll start thinking about your pretty little hole again and wonder why I'm not *in* it."

Mm. "I'm not seeing my motivation, here, Jason --"

Jason rubs Tim's nipple with his fingertips... "The less I fuck you now, the *harder* I can fuck you later."

Logic is a beautiful thing, really. "Noted," Tim says, and closes his eyes.

"Hey, don't you want to get on your stomach?"

"I'll probably do it in my sleep once you move. I -- don't want you to move, just yet."

"Heh. I used to make Bruce lay on me for an hour or so after a good fuck, just to feel him slowly start tensing up, maybe start wondering what he's doing, why he's doing it..."

Tim cups Jason's shoulders and strokes, learning the scars with his fingers and palms... "He might've just been doing the Bruce version of enjoying the moment."

"Heh. It's *Bruce*, Tim. 'The moment' always lasted exactly that long. Well... no, all right, he could be... sometimes he would talk."

Tim raises an eyebrow and opens his eyes --

"Nope, keep 'em closed. You're starting to look a little bruised under the eyes."

"Thin skin. I'm actually quite well-rested, as these things go -- Jason."

Jason is licking the skin beneath Tim's eyes, brief laps followed by a wet stripe, followed by Jason's thumb brushing away the moisture.

"You could -- ah. Kiss me again."

"I *could*, yeah... yeah, I think I will," and Jason cups Tim's face again and kisses him -- softly. It's not hard and it's not very wet, and it feels very much like it's designed to help Tim get to sleep.

He's never really...

He thinks of Steph, and the handful of occasions when he'd slept in her bed. Never for more than an hour or two, always with her pressed against him in some way, even if he was in most of his uniform and she herself was reading, or working on her laptop...

Sometimes it had been like this, slow kisses that just got slower and softer until she ordered him to sleep and he'd put himself out, warm and a very specific variety of safe --

He's never going to have that again, but. But *this*. Would it be wrong to try to have something like this with Jason? Does he deserve it? Does Jason *want* --

He does, and he's been telling Tim that in every possible way. All right. Tim smiles his way out of the kiss and focuses on lengthening his respiration, slowing it down...

"There you go," Jason says, and shifts a little further off, close enough to kiss Tim's shoulder, but not his mouth.

Tim turns his head enough that he can catch some of Jason's exhales and keeps putting himself out. It's more like going down, past Dick, past the night's patrol. Past Batgirl and the sound of Bruce's voice in his ear, promising and accepting.

Past the ache inside him and the sense that his thighs might *always* be just this slick and disreputable, past the scent of Jason all around him, rapidly becoming so *familiar* -- in every sense of the term.

Tim smiles and lets it all go in the first meditation Bruce had ever taught him, because it really is just that important that Robin is able to sleep whenever and wherever he gets the chance.

It really is --

Something --

He's spinning and moving before he's really awake -- he doesn't know where he is, but his feet are on the floor and he's in a ready position. Now he just has to get his bearings -- Jason.

Jason laughing, actually.

Whoops. Tim stands down and pushes a hand back through his hair --

"Okay, I *gotta* know -- did you do that the first time you woke up in Bruce's bed?"

Heh. "Well, no. But I did the first several times I woke up in *my* bed in the manor. The first and second time I moved in," Tim says, and sits down on the side of the bed. "Is my body right about it having been a little more than two hours?"

Jason nods and rolls onto his side. "But you know that."

"I have to admit... I've been a little off, in terms of my time sense lately. Possibly aftereffects of the drug."

Jason frowns and looks Tim over... very much like Bruce would. "It was in your system a little more than a week, right?"

Tim nods. "I -- yes. It really did seem like a good idea to let it just stay there, at the time."

"No more blushes."

"Or stammering, or drawing back from people who were only trying to get closer..." Tim raises a hand and clenches it into a fist. "I felt like my own personal god."

"And Crane was planning... what? Release it in the subway systems at rush hour?"

"Got it in one. It would've been... I don't even like to think about how the rest of the *family* would've dealt with that drug."

"But *you* were just fine, of course."

Tim smiles. "You liked it rather a lot. Or would we be here, right now, if I'd kept flinching from you?"

"You *don't* have all that much body-fear. You wouldn't have survived this long if you had, kid --"

"And you wouldn't have survived this long if you weren't able to read every last bit of the body fear I have. I had no reason to trust you, but I was able to do it *anyway*, just because I wanted to. I don't know how to describe that feeling... I. I'm not going to try," Tim says, and strokes a line over Jason's chest, then an arc, then a loop --

Jason catches his hand. "It would've looked like you were lying. Everything you said tinged with *fear*..." Jason shakes his head. "You're right, it wouldn't have worked."

"Mm. And yes, I'm aware of exactly how fucked-up that is. But... I made my choices. And I don't regret any of them, except, perhaps, for all the lies I told Bruce."

Jason raises his eyebrows. "Yeah, he pretty much had to know that something wasn't right with his best boy... heh. You threw him off the trail."

"As best I could," Tim says, and twists his hand so he can twine it with Jason's own. "Some of the lies were... pretty despicable."

"Do tell."

"First I allowed him to think that I was working out my... my grief over losing my father. Then I encouraged him to question his own paranoia. Then I used what he knew about my... loneliness..." Tim shakes his head. "He says he forgives me."

"And you don't believe him?"

"*I* wouldn't forgive me. Not that easily. He knows, now, exactly how manipulative I am. For all he knows, I could have been using my honest regrets, playing them up for his benefit so that he would feel sympathy, so that he would -- touch me again."

Jason squeezes Tim's hand and tugs --

Tim lays back down. "I don't -- I think if I were to believe him, I'd have to forgive myself, too. That's asking a little much."

"He *wants* you, kid --"

"Tell me something, Jason -- are you trying to make things better between Bruce and me because you're waiting for me to pull back from you, or because you don't want to see a mistake repeated? Or --"

"Or maybe it just doesn't *sit* right, Tim," and Jason rolls over on top of him. "You looked good when you were sleeping. You didn't dream."

"I -- no. Jason --"

"Brother. But that's really *not* what you're asking for, from me. Not what we're *making* here, every time we open our mouths and a lot of the times when we *don't*," and Jason pins one of Tim's wrists. "You're right. None of this is going to feel *solid* until I know you're actually giving things a chance with Bruce, until I can be *sure* you don't want to just settle down and be his -- heh. Everything."

"Is that what -- no, I know the answer to that question, already." Tim frowns and flexes his wrist in Jason's grip -- Jason holds on tighter. "I don't think... 'settling down' that way would involve me giving up quite a lot. And --"

"Including me?" Jason grins. "Don't you want to bring me home, anymore --"

"*Yes*, Jason -- I. I wasn't including you, before."

"Just all those others. All right. You..." Jason sighs and kisses Tim's throat, pauses, and does it again, again --

Tim tilts his head back and Jason squeezes Tim's wrist *hard*. "Jason --"

"I know. I -- you need to get out of here," Jason says against his throat -- and lets go.

Tim pushes his hand into Jason's hair and tugs, just a little -- Jason kisses him again and rolls onto his back. "I -- did you sleep?"

"Some. I'll get more when you're gone."

And that -- sounds like something Tim doesn't know how to touch. Tim nods, sits up, and goes to retrieve the pieces of his uniform. The wipes in the belt help him be a little less *filthy*, and then he can get dressed.

He's doing up the catches on the cape before Jason makes another sound -- something soft, caught between a yawn and a small groan.

Tim turns back to the bed --

"It's nothing."

"Jason --"

"Go, get out of here. I'll find you."

And Tim *could* leave it like that... "Well. It is your turn," he says, and heads for the stairs.

Jason's quiet laughter follows him, riding his skin, or maybe the spaces just beyond it.

The sun is up when he gets out onto the roof, and it's possible that one of the reasons why he wants Jason back in the Cave -- if not the manor -- is to reduce the possibilities of Tim having to work through Gotham in daylight when he's not wearing the dubious safety of Tim Drake.

There are far too many shouts and people pointing at the sky as he flies, and really, he might have at least brought the bike *closer* to Jason's base... he shakes it off and moves as fast as he can without getting reckless.

When he gets to the alley where he'd stashed his bike, there's a homeless man curled up asleep next to it.

Tim gives him one of Leslie's cards, and the man volunteers that it's a wonderful bike, and that he couldn't think of any possible safer place to sleep, which is entirely reasonable. Tim gives the man his supply of energy bars and gets moving, taking one of the roundabout routes to Bristol in the hopes of avoiding at least some of the traffic.

The results are mixed, at best, but there's no one around the secret entrance, and that's enough to let him breathe a little easier.

The Cave is empty when he gets in, so Tim settles in to type up the night's report -- there's a document open with questions about his patrol. Cassandra had presumably given Bruce an oral report and Bruce is looking for more detail. There's something warm about that, or -- it's possible that he means satisfying. He's had years of crafting these reports, and he knows that he's more than merely adequate at doing so, but there's still something *extra* about those occasions when he knows *exactly* what Bruce wants to hear about.

And --

He's not done before the Cave stops being empty. Tim nods internally and keeps working --

"You might have slept first, Tim. There was nothing... urgent in your patrol."

"I sleep better when I have my reports finished, Bruce. You know that." Doesn't he?

Bruce makes a non-committal sound and moves... moves like Batman. Tim can't really tell where he is until he's behind the chair and *looming*.

Tim nods to himself again and keeps typing --

Bruce cups the back of Tim's neck and squeezes.

That -- Tim closes his eyes. "I'm almost finished."

"I don't mean to be... impatient," Bruce says, and it sounds like an apology, which -- no.

"It's all right. I just... I like the feel of that a little too much -- oh." Bruce has moved his hand to cup the *front* of Tim's throat. "I... Bruce."

No pressure. There's no *pressure*, but it's Bruce's hand. Larger than Jason's, warm and smelling faintly of the moisturizer that allows Bruce Wayne's hands to seem at least somewhat -- innocent.

Tim... what was he typing? He looks at the keyboard, but it doesn't seem to have any answers for him. The monitor is theoretically better, but -- "Ah -- Bruce."

"Did you close your eyes when he was doing this to you?"

Had he? "I... I'm not sure. Bruce --"

"The way he looked at you... he was *intent*. Waiting, perhaps, for you to stop him, for you to stop *trusting*, Tim."

"It felt..." Tim shakes his head, and shivers at the feel of Bruce's skin against his chin. He swallows --

Pressure. Not much, and perhaps somewhat reflexive -- released. "Would you give this to me?"

"I -- yes. If you. Bruce, you should --"

Bruce lets go. It's an illusion that it's physically harder to breathe than it was a moment ago, but a compelling one. And Tim can feel himself blushing -- Bruce's fingers on his cheek are only a confirmation.

"I suppose it was foolish of me to expect that you would take the opportunity to sleep --"

"Yes," Bruce says, and crouches next to the chair. He's wearing a robe and apparently nothing else. "Please, finish."

Tim shifts in the chair and winces at -- it's not quite pain, at this point. It's more like a heightened awareness centered *there* and spreading out all over Tim's skin. It feels like the uniform will chafe him, that everything -- including the air itself -- will cause discomfort. The only relief, his skin whispers to him, would be to rub against something else *just* that raw, and isn't it convenient that Bruce is right there?

Tim can feel Bruce looking at him, perhaps measuring --

Tim finishes the report and forces himself to go back over it twice, making sure he'd answered all of Bruce's questions to the best of his ability, and -- no, he can't actually make himself give it a 'readability' edit. Dick will just have to keep teasing him for being so dry. When he's done, he takes off his gauntlets --

And Bruce stands, spins the chair around, and crouches in front of him, this time, pushing up the sleeves of the uniform and examining the mostly-faded marks. He really does bruise *easily*, but this won't do more than leave his forearms feeling sensitive for a day or two.

Bruce checks them thoroughly, just the same, and -- he wouldn't be himself if he didn't need to do just that. When *he's* done, he simply strokes Tim's arms with his fingertips before bringing them together. Holding Tim *that* way -- "Did you want --"

"Yes," Bruce says, "and no."

"Ah -- elaborate?"

Bruce looks up at him from under his lashes, and... it's not quite an *accessible* look. It seems to be telling Tim that he's asking a too-obvious question, but -- he really isn't. Hm.

Tim frowns and tries to think about it more... Bruce has *established* that he likes tying Tim up and/or holding Tim down at least some of the time, and he's even chosen that particular style... no, he doesn't know. Tim shakes his head. "Tell me."

"You were unable to touch Jason as much... as much as you wished," and Bruce spreads Tim's arms again and tugs them toward his own face. "The ways you do and do not choose to touch are always... illuminating."

Hm. Well. Tim strokes Bruce's face with his fingertips, noting the roughness of stubble, the illusory sense of it being somewhat improbably cool and dry which is all about the fact that he'd been wearing the gauntlets for just long *enough*. He cups Bruce's face and strokes with his palms, pushes into Bruce's hair -- tugs.

"Always, Tim. Even when you are... testing a theory."

Tim blushes and watches Bruce's eyes narrow and thinks about -- well, he'd been touching the way he *wanted* to, but -- yes. He'd also been testing the idea that something so simple could be described as 'illuminating.' "I'm tired, Bruce. I -- I'm not really on my game, at the moment."

"Noted," Bruce says, in exactly the same tone of voice he'd use to tell Tim that he'd *only* be coming for him with punches and strikes, as opposed to both of those and kicks and dirty tricks, as well. Relativity as it applies to Bruce.

Batman. Both of them. Tim tries to blink away some of the fog -- he's always worse after a morning nap than one at *any* other time --

He focuses, as best he can.

"Bruce... would you tell me how you *feel* about everything that happened tonight?"

Bruce turns his head enough to kiss the inside of Tim's left wrist lightly. "Frightened. Aroused. Curious. Depressed. Hopeful," and he kisses the inside of Tim's right wrist. "Hungry."

He'd like to say -- even if only within the safety of his own mind -- that *only* Bruce could make a complete answer so ultimately *unhelpful*, but he knows that's not true, at all. Tim tugs until Bruce releases him and undoes the catches on the cape, pulls off his boots --

Bruce takes off Tim's socks and wraps his hands around Tim's ankles. Holds them. *Watches* Tim --

"I. Yes, I would."

Bruce nods and releases him, settling his arms on his spread knees.

Tim works himself out of the tunic and undershirt, stands to remove the shorts, tights, and everything else -- including, finally, the mask. When he's naked, Bruce nods at the chair again, and Tim sits down --

Bruce grabs Tim's hips and yanks him forward in the chair.

"Better, Bruce?"

"Much," Bruce says, and seems to scan him, or... it's possible that he's simply -- 'simply' -- planning his attack.

Tim sets his arms on the rests and curls his fingers down. It's... there is no part of him which didn't want to be *naked* for Bruce, for *this* as soon as he realized he hadn't planned to come straight home. The plan -- such as it was -- had only become more imperative over the course of the evening, and that...

He's not sure how he feels about that, or what it means --

No, he knows what it *means*. It feels like he's been hiding from Bruce for *years*, after years of trying nearly everything he could think of to make Bruce *see* him. It's -- it *is* imperative. It's just that physical nudity doesn't really touch the need within him.

Still -- it's a start.

"If you wanted to ask me... something, Bruce --"

"Are you in love with him?" And Bruce meets his eyes again. His own expression speaks of open curiosity and something... else.

Jealousy? Fear? It doesn't matter. He'd only offered honesty *implicitly*, but he'd still offered. "I'm not sure. Mainly because I haven't allowed myself to consider the question deeply. I'm reasonably sure I'm equally afraid of 'yes' and 'no.'"

Bruce cups Tim's knees -- strokes up Tim's thighs and grips. "I fell in love with him... quickly. It would satisfy something within me to say that it was only lust -- and covetousness -- at first, but... I don't remember not loving him. There was no one moment, no great insight."

Tim nods. It's Bruce, and it's Jason. He hadn't expected any different --

"Will you go to him, Tim?"

And that -- Bruce's tone, his name... he's not just asking if Tim plans another *visit*. Tim grips the armrests tighter -- no. He reaches out and touches Bruce's face again, tries to...

There's no shift in Bruce's expression, no slackening *focus* --

"He needs to change his methods, too, and I think he realizes that. I. I'm hoping I can be convincing. In every direction."

Bruce raises an eyebrow. "When I was behaving the way you're discussing on the street, you told Dick I was... out of control."

"You *were*," Tim says, and fights the urge to sit up. He doesn't need to change his body language for Bruce to *hear* him. "And control is what I'm talking about. *Measured* violence, just like --"


"I..." Tim nods. "When called for."

Bruce frowns and looks down between them, or -- hangs his head. Tim strokes Bruce's hair, presses hard against his scalp --

("Stay with me.") "Bruce --"

"The things Cassandra is teaching you. The... methods of torture."

"Yes," Tim says, and strokes Bruce again --

Bruce looks up, once more. "There are reasons why I never taught them to you. What we learn with our bodies can be difficult not to use."

Tim frowns. "You know I've never had difficulty avoiding the killing techniques Shiva taught me."

"You are a remarkable young man," Bruce says, and squeezes Tim's thighs. "You have always, always had control over yourself."

"You think I'm relinquishing that control."

Bruce raises an eyebrow. "I *know* that you have changed allegiances. You no longer believe what you once did with all of yourself. And you have never relied on half-measures when it comes to your beliefs."

Tim takes a breath and forces himself to *think*, as opposed to merely saying the first thing that comes into his head -- mindless protest, vehement and smacking of an effort to convince himself. Another breath -- "I'm Robin."

"Are you, Tim?"

For as long as I'm needed -- no, that's been a lie for a long time, though perhaps one of his more comforting ones. "I'm *Robin*," Tim says, and *clutches* a lock of Bruce's hair, pulling until Bruce's eyes narrow.

After a moment, Bruce nods.

Tim lets go --

"You've changed the definition, Tim."

Tim doesn't laugh. Now really isn't the time, but -- "I've been changing the definition since you put me on the street."

"Hmm. Since you came to me. To *us*," Bruce says, and strokes the length of Tim's thighs almost restlessly, pushing them apart and feeling the insides of them, making Tim exceedingly conscious of the thorough shower he has most assuredly *not* yet taken --

"Bruce --"

"The scent of you..." Bruce smiles, small and a little devastatingly. "It's familiar, Tim. It's not that I won't let you shower -- I know, I think, precisely how much you wish to do so, but..."

"Not yet."

"No," Bruce says, and leans in to kiss Tim's thighs, breathe against them -- "Not yet."

Tim pushes his hands into Bruce's hair again, trying to encourage, or just -- feel. His hands want him to know that Jason's hair is much thicker, that Bruce had shampooed his hair earlier but now it's dry, that he *could* grip and tug again, and have Bruce like it, want it --

*Study* it, in some ways, and use it to build his sense of Tim -- he doesn't really want to pull Bruce's hair. Not -- yet. Heh.

"Bruce, tell me... or ask me. I need to get a feel --"

"You're not quite *here*, yet," Bruce says, and *nips* the inside of Tim's thigh, kisses there... "I understand. You slept in his bed."

"I... I know it kind of misses the point, entirely, but I still wish I'd been more aware of that --"

"Jason watched you, leaned above you and touched your face... and then you turned over. You..." Bruce pauses and just breathes against him again, just --

It's entirely possible -- probable -- that Tim could get hard just from Bruce staying right there and occasionally doing things to his thighs. This manages to seem both reasonable and not, considering what Tim's been doing for the last week and a half. Tim smiles at himself and touches Bruce's temple -- gets his fingers kissed. "Bruce..."

"I'm going to want you with Cassandra for at least another week. I've already told her that I want her to continue to use at least part of her training time focusing on you, and on working with you to develop new interrogation techniques that would be... appropriate for the things you plan."

"Oh -- already. I --"

"You'd made your decision about Jason quite some time ago, Tim," Bruce says, and stands. "The fact that you didn't immediately become comfortable with it is not... unexpected."

There's nothing to say to that. Not really. Tim stands, too, and Bruce cups his face in his hands, leans in --

"Work with Jason. Continue to encourage... compromise. Teamwork."

"Yes, all right --"

Kissed, and there are certainly times when Tim wishes he were taller, but Bruce has never been -- heh -- short of admirable in terms of his ability to make the height difference meaningless, leaving instead a difference in scale, in *scope* --

Bruce kisses him the way he'd always imagined he would kiss Jason, or -- yes, or *Dick*, like it's the only thing he wants to do, like Tim is Robin and something greater, more --

It's a *convincing* kiss, though what, exactly, Tim is supposed to be convinced of --

Everything, definitely everything, and that -- Tim wraps his arms around Bruce's neck and jumps, get caught and held and -- carried. Well, yes, he *had* asked for just that, and yes, he *is* kissing a smile. Tim snorts and drags his lips against Bruce's stubble for the buzz of it, the slight pain --

"Jason never wanted me to shave before we made love. I'm interested in your stance on the matter," and Bruce kisses Tim's throat, keeps walking and nudges Tim's head back, presses *close* --

The feel of that stubble against his bruised skin, his -- "I -- I'm really not sure, Bruce. The stimulation is -- ah. Stimulating."


"But I'm not sure how I feel about stubble-burn on my face. It seems like something which could be problematic. Although Tim Drake *could* come out as openly bisexual."

"Mm. You could start escorting attractive young men to the various parties while I say egregiously stupid things about how open-minded I am."

Tim snorts again and thinks about it, *braces* himself --

"Oh, I *love* Timmy just the way he *is*, Steve-o. I've *never* thought these people should be *stigmatized* just because they're a little weird in the bedroom, ha, ha, ha..."

Tim shoves both hands into Bruce's hair and yanks *hard*, and when Bruce looks up his smile has become absolutely *deadly*, avid and sharp and a little stunning --

"Why, I remember that time back in boarding school... oh, *you* know how it's like with all those boys in ugly little suits, bending over to take a few for the house -- say, *didn't* Timmy go to boarding school for a while? I wonder if that's where he *caught* it --"


The smile gets a little more -- *more*, and Bruce pauses at the foot of the stairs. "Yes, Tim?"

"Just -- ah. Checking?"

"I *understand* your *needs*, Timmy. We can't all be normal --"

"I'm going to head-butt you in a moment, Bruce."

"Hmm. Would that be more or *less* conducive to the two of us making love...?"

Ah -- point. A good point, even. Tim smiles and shakes his head --

Bruce kisses him again, and begins walking up the stairs, stroking Tim's back and down to his buttocks, cupping him and pulling him *closer*, making that not-ache inside him sit *up* --

Tim pulls back and kisses Bruce's cheek, drags his lips against it again until he can kiss Bruce's temple, *feel* him. Soft terry and a lot of muscle, warmth -- "I'm not really going to let you carry me to bed again, Bruce."

"You could," Bruce says, and kisses Tim's throat again, "consider it a gift. In return for all of my understanding. Forgiveness."

"Oh, that's -- dirty. Bruce, really, let's talk about this --"

"I'm listening," Bruce says, and continues to walk them up the stairs --

"If we're to see each other as equals --"

"I would have *nothing* less," and Bruce *licks* Tim's throat, scrapes his teeth --

"Really, it would *help* if this sort of thing only happened on special occasions --"

"You're *very* special to me, Timmy. I don't know what I'd *do* without you, sport --"

And Bruce shifts *just* in time to make Tim's strike for his shoulder into something bruising, as opposed to actively paralyzing. Tim tries *again* --

"In fact, I was thinking we could hit the *town*, sometime, kiddo. You get the boys and I get the girls. It could be *marvy* --"

"Oh my *God*, Bruce, I think my penis is getting smaller --"

"Don't *be* like that, sweetheart, you know I *live* to make you happy," and Bruce continues shifting away from Tim's strikes, holds on *tighter* --

"Smaller and softer and -- gah --"

Bruce is *moving* him, shifting Tim in his arms until Tim is on his back and kicking -- no, he could go for Bruce's chest from this position. He does so, and he'd dearly like to know when Bruce had had the time to think up defenses against a small, determined opponent who just didn't want to *cuddle* --

"*Bruce*, I'm -- mostly serious, here."

Bruce pauses on the stairs and looks down into Tim's eyes. "Mostly...?"

"Ah -- I don't want to be carried through the manor like your *wife*," Tim says, and reaches up to get a little leverage on Bruce's shoulders, despite the fact that it completes the image a little too well.

"We could go back to me carrying you like my son," Bruce offers, and raises an eyebrow--

Tim suspects his expression is reminiscent of someone being forced to bite into an unripe lemon. "Or you could let me walk. It's not like I plan on taking a detour to New York --"

"Or Bludhaven, or... hmm. Any number of other places. Tim. I do enjoy carrying you quite a bit. It's -- more than simply the opportunity to watch -- and feel -- you protest."

Tim thinks about it... "I'm used to people finding my protests entertaining, in this sort of thing --"

"You usually don't seem to have trouble distinguishing me from Dick," and Bruce's eyebrow climbs a little higher.

Point. All right. "Possibly if I wasn't naked."

"Alfred is already asleep --"

"When has technical unconsciousness ever stopped Alfred from knowing *everything* happening here? And he -- well."

"He has taken an interest in our relationship, it's... true." Bruce frowns and sets Tim on his feet --

"Thank you --"

And kisses Tim, using the fact that Tim is on a higher step to make the kiss deeper, more -- more of everything, all at once, and... and Tim's hands *were* already on Bruce's shoulders. Wrapping them around his neck is more than a little necessary, as is licking Bruce's tongue and trying to encourage it to stab at him a little more --

Bruce hums into the kiss and strokes down to Tim's hips, slipping his thumbs into the hollows there and using the rest of his fingers to cup -- squeeze as he pulls back --

"It's an opportunity to hold you. I... if you'd like, I could be more... distracting."

Yes, they really are still talking about *this*. Tim laughs a little and licks his lips, thinks about it... "You enjoyed that post-coital affection with Jason more than he thought."

"That... wouldn't have been difficult to do. *You* understand the difficulties inherent to attempts to try to stop... thinking."

Tim smiles and cups the back of Bruce's neck. "We've shared a bed multiple times now. It hasn't been... difficult, I don't think?"

"You sleep gratifyingly deeply, considering how much time I spend watching you," Bruce says, and that very, very sharp smile is back. It's just that it's very clearly intended to... invite.

"Well, I... I would be lying if I said I wasn't still having disturbing dreams about falling into an endless black void, Bruce. It's just that now they're disturbingly *pleasant* --"

"Would you be more comfortable with me carrying you if I were wearing the suit, Tim...?"

Another invitation, far more specific -- "Mm. Batman and Robin -- *nearly* my first sexual fantasy," Tim says, and watches Bruce's eyes narrow, feels him *stroking* Tim's hips. "Ah -- I'm not eleven, anymore."

"No. And yet..."

Tim smiles. "I *don't* want the reminder. I -- I was a different person, then. Everything I loved, everything I wanted -- or thought I wanted..." Tim shakes his head. "Just this. Just *us*. Including the interruptions, arguments, and moments of staggering awkwardness."

"Let me carry you. I promise to never forget... that it's a gift."

And Tim feels himself blushing, and strokes Bruce's shoulders with his fingertips, finding the places which will bruise -- or perhaps he means the places that he'll have *marked*. "I think... I think I'm still figuring out what I want from you. From us, Bruce..."

Bruce nods, and never looks away from Tim's eyes.

"I think, sometimes, that it would be easier if we could just try everything at once, including the things which hurt my *mind*..."

And Bruce's expression gets sharper, *specifically* promising --

"I *absolutely* think that it would be a bad idea for Tim Drake to introduce his adoptive father to the joys of gay sex in a cloak room, sometime."

"And yet...?"

"Oh... um. Certainly it's something which should first be discussed in *detail*, Bruce --"

Kissed, again -- not very hard. Just enough to push Tim further up the stairs while Bruce holds, touches -- feels him, perhaps. The places Bruce had kissed on his wrists seem to want to *shout* at Tim, to make themselves heard against the rest of his personal sexual orchestra --

Tim bites Bruce's lip and the kiss gets harder, *more* -- and more than that when Bruce bites *both* of his lips, each in turn before scraping his teeth on Tim's tongue and squeezing his hips *hard* --

He's bruised there. Jason had left at least one reminder --

Tim pulls back from the kiss and brushes at Bruce's hands --

"Tim --"

"I just -- need to see. Something," Tim says, catching his breath and looking... there. Two finger-bruises on his hip. Bruce had undoubtedly noticed them immediately. The *question* is why he'd waited so long to touch them, or... why he'd waited until *right* then. He looks up, and Bruce is actually leaning *towards* Tim a little --

He looks, right now, as if he's been waiting all *night*, and that...

Tim licks his lips again. "Possibly... ah. Possibly I just needed you to look like you weren't having quite that much *fun* --"

"Tim --"

"Lift me. Against you --"

And Bruce does, balance perfect, strength making Tim feel like he *could* be eleven again, if only in the sense of waiting impatiently to break the five foot barrier --

And Bruce is walking them up the stairs again, *looking* at Tim, reading him and searching, too... "I don't -- the things in my mind right now are so *random* -- ah --"

Bite to his *collarbone* and -- "Tell me anyway."

"Ah -- my height, actually. I remember celebrating when I hit five feet --"

Bruce licks his collarbone, presses his tongue to Tim's suprasternal notch and keeps moving, pulls Tim *closer* -- "What did you do?"

"I. Ah. Bought myself a pastry I'd seen my mother eat once. Something... I can't remember the name. It was very *sticky*, and it frankly made me wonder about my dental health. And then I drank a lot of milk -- Bruce. Oh --"

Bruce *sucking* on his throat, leaving more marks, marks on *top* of marks --

Jason telling him that he'd always be covered in bruises and. Oh. "Bruce -- did you ever think about changing Jason's uniform? To allow yourself to mark his legs and thighs?"

Bruce shifts back with a wet sound -- "I was grateful there was something, some small *thing*, which allowed me to remember my control, with him."

In the study now, bright with the day's sunlight, blessedly *empty* -- "He let you do anything --"

"He demanded I do *everything* I wanted -- save, of course, when I tried to be too *gentle*," Bruce says, turning them and pushing Tim against the wall between two bookcases. The wall is cool against Tim's back and Bruce's robe is slipping enough to tease Tim with *skin* --

But Bruce is pressed too close to allow Tim room to rub himself against him, to do more than just grind with his hips and knock his head back against the wall a little --

"Please don't do that --"

"Bruce, I -- it adds to this. The sensation, the small break in feeling what you're doing, the way you look at me --"

"Then open your eyes."

Tim pauses and -- laughs. "Yes, that *would* be helpful. I..." Bruce is smiling again, looking up at Tim and taking *everything* in... Tim cups Bruce's face and just holds him, feels him and watches for every shift in expression as Tim works his hips, as Tim licks his *lips* --


"Tell me *why* you forgive me, Bruce --"

"Because I would've been tempted to the same things, and tell the same sort of lies. I hardly remember a time when I wasn't afraid of so much... it would be pleasurable to not fear you, Tim."

Tim opens his mouth and tries to -- Tim moans and tries to grind harder, get *more* --

"Because the alternative would include not having *this*, and having to know that you were letting others touch you, see you this way --"

"I could never have... I never mind you *watching*, Bruce."

Bruce's smile seems to stiffen, a little --

"I don't. It -- it feels like the only thing we're *good* at, sometimes. Like it's something we can always have, always know about each other --"

"You were going to take the mask off tonight. With Jason," Bruce says, and it's actually somewhat *stern* --

And it's possible that that shouldn't make Tim *harder*, but it's also the kind of 'should' which has so little place in the manor as to make the very *idea* of it laughable. Oh... Dad. Tim lets the smile onto his face. "An offer for Jason's benefit. I thought he would like... a gesture. Something to make up for my stammering inability to tell him, with no hesitation, that I wanted to be with him."

"*Needed* to be with him. I... all right, Tim. I have your permission, and I accept it, as well," Bruce says, and shifts Tim until they can rock against each other, until Tim can feel the hot *solidity* of Bruce's erection against his own --

"God, Bruce, I -- at the moment I'm wondering if I would *actually* enjoy you rubbing your penis all over my body, or if it's just something my brain is offering in lieu of critical thought."

"I would say we could try it as an experiment, but I suspect I would have difficulty not... lingering."

Where -- oh, Jason spreading him tonight, Jason *looking* at him and offering *compliments* --

"Tim. Tell me."

"Oh, I -- Jason. Jason's rather... enthusiastic appreciation of certain parts of my anatomy --" And Tim's cut off by a grunt as Bruce shoves him hard against the wall, and moves his fingers into Tim's cleft -- "Oh -- God, that -- I wasn't expecting --"

"You're raw," Bruce says, and it sounds just like all of those times when Tim's surprised himself with the depth of an injury and Batman has had to remind him *forcibly*, but --

"I -- it's more. It's *more*, Bruce, God, the way you touch me --"

"The ways you *allow*. I could never have made love to you this way *first*, Tim --"

"I know. I -- I'm beginning to ah. Understand. Oh --" He feels his skin prickle with fresh sweat, feels Bruce *stroking* his hole, back and forth and back again, just his fingertips -- Tim grunts again and tries not to bang his head against the wall, Bruce doesn't want -- Bruce --

"Open your eyes --"

"Sorry, I --"

"I *understand*, Tim," and Bruce bites Tim's throat and keeps stroking, keeps *rubbing*, and the friction --

He must still be swollen, red and -- and --

"Beautiful," and Bruce begins to drive against Tim, rears back enough to take a kiss that makes Tim feel clumsy, desperate and overly warm -- Bruce's tongue seems so deft, so *sure* in Tim's mouth --

Tim moans and holds on to Bruce's face, tries to make the kiss as messy as he feels, scrape his lips with Bruce's stubble --

"I used to believe -- tell myself -- that I could ease the hunger inside myself, that I could cool myself, soothe myself with Jason's body, Jason's *lusts* --"

"There's never -- it's never enough. And he loves you. He doesn't want me to *hurt* you -- *mm* --"

Harder kiss, almost vicious -- and a part of Tim is on that rooftop with Jason, feeling pain in his cheek and strain as his body tries to decide between fighting and giving in, between moving and -- staying still.

Tim wraps his arms around Bruce's neck a little tighter and rides the kiss, following it and feeling it until he can suck Bruce's tongue just a *little* every time he slips it into Tim's mouth, until the kiss starts to slow and soften even as the motion of Bruce's hips becomes harder and more *insistent*.

Tim thinks about having Bruce between his thighs, again -- no. In his cleft, rubbing against him where he's swollen, slick and hot -- Tim bites Bruce and pulls back --

And *yells*, because Bruce pushes in with his finger, dry -- not dry. He's still *slick*, but it burns like he isn't, and --

His eyes are closed again and he can *fix* that, it's just that the look on Bruce's face makes him yell *again*. Bruce's eyes are narrow and his mouth is open, his teeth are showing and Tim wants to kick, shake --

He clenches around Bruce's finger and squeezes his eyes shut. He *is* raw, and it feels so *much* like Jason, so much like Bruce himself -- he's not making sense in his mind and he feels himself leaking pre-come, possibly *on* Bruce's penis -- "Bruce --"

"You shouldn't. You shouldn't believe I don't long for this --"

"Oh, *please*, Bruce --"

"I will not hurt you --"

"Dammit, *Bruce* --"

"-- by *accident*," Bruce says, and *crooks* his finger --

Tim feels his eyes rolling back in his head, feels himself biting his lip and humming, groaning --

Jason *hadn't* really stimulated his prostate directly that much, as opposed to -- oh God, the feel of him, the way he hadn't stopped, the way he'd pressed Tim *down* against the sheets and taken and *taken* --

Bruce is *twisting* his finger inside Tim, holding Tim's hip with his other hand --

And now he's *fucking* Tim with that finger, slow and *hard* --

"Bruce, God, I -- not *here* --"

"Everywhere. Anywhere," and Bruce kisses Tim again, strokes Tim's thigh before pushing back to cup Tim's buttock and pull, spread him --

Tim pants into the kiss and clutches tighter with his thighs, tries to keep rocking his hips -- he can't quite find Bruce's rhythm, or -- no. He can't seem to *keep* it, and the position is only part of the problem.

Tim shakes his head and gets kissed on the cheek, licked at the corners of his mouth as Bruce keeps *thrusting*, hips and finger, and Tim --

Tim *whimpers* and shudders. "Bruce, please, I'm not -- I can't help feeling *exposed* --"

"To me, and *only* to me."

Tim squeezes his eyes shut -- opens them and tries again, tries to -- is he trying to stop? Trying for more? Tim shakes his head again and tries to talk his body into listening to him, or at least into providing more coherent reports. Something more workable than the sense that the burn is moving into his veins, flowing through him faster with every moment he fails to regulate his heartbeat, something less *itself* than the sense of Bruce as a wall he can throw himself against with no effect greater than his own loss of --

Of --

Some sort of *everything*, and Bruce is biting the line of Tim's jaw -- "I like. Oh, that --"

"You bit Jason here. Other places."

"I remembered -- ah. Bruce, let's -- many things would be *easier* in a bed --"

"You've left no marks here. You move through the manor like a *guest*," and that sounds like an accusation because it *is* one, but --

Tim laughs, a little, and feels himself blushing *more* -- "Bruce, this place is a *museum* -- *oh* --"

That thrust --

So *hard*, twisting and --

And his body wants Tim to know that he could be fucked again, that it's something high on the list of possibilities for tonight, this morning -- high and moving *higher*, even though he's too swollen to really get the benefits of relaxing --

("Let me *in* --") "Bruce --"

"This is your *home*, Tim. Take it. *Claim* it --"

"Ejaculate on the -- on the antiques? Bruce, really --"

Spun away from the wall, and the angle shifts enough to make Tim yell again, to make Tim aware of the way the furnishings devour the echoes not quite *enough* --

And then Tim's on the couch, naked and sweaty on the *couch*, and Bruce has one hand on Tim's chest and the other *working* between Tim's legs -- "Fuck. Fuck, *Bruce*, you --"

"Tell me."

"Don't --" Tim pants, tries to *think*, tries not to rub himself against the fabric any more than he absolutely *has* to -- "God, don't *stop* --"

Bruce's smile is something that needs a cowl to frame it, or steady it -- possibly *justify* it --

Tim stops trying to push up against Bruce's hand --

He hadn't realized he *was* trying --

"Bruce. You'll. You're going to make me come --"

"Yes, Tim. For me. For --" Bruce hums and reaches for Tim's nipple, twists it and pinches just hard *enough* --

"I bit him. I -- I remembered. What you said --"

"He enjoyed it. He wanted you. Hmm. Did you mark him, again?"

"I don't -- I don't think I did, or --"

"Cruel," Bruce says, and *pulls* on Tim's nipple. "But I know that wasn't your intention."

"Bruce, I don't think I can -- focus. You. The pain..."

"You're sweating, wincing even as you try to urge me faster..."

Is he? Oh -- he is. He can't stop moving his hips, and -- and now he's clenching and he can't hold back that *cry* --

"Or did you want me to take you harder, Tim? To make every part of you *sure* that this is happening, that *I'm* the one you're with --"

"*Bruce* --"

"Tell me. Tell me *everything*, Tim. I -- need to hear you --"

That -- but. "That wasn't what you were... going to say. I -- Bruce, don't *lie* to me --"

Bruce *laughs*, soft and low -- "All right. I want everything you'll allow me, Tim. I want to convince you to give me more than that, and more, until you've given me everything --"

"Oh -- oh, please --"

"And when you beg, Tim, I *ache*."

Another accusation, and one he can do even less *about*, because -- "Please. *Please* --"

Yelling again, because Bruce has incorporated a twist into *every* thrust. It's -- it's just one *finger*, but it's Bruce --

It's -- this *couch*, and the clock gaping wide, *sunlight* -- "Bruce, don't let me -- or --"

"I want you to come."

He -- he wants -- "Bruce, you sound too -- too *fucking* reasonable --"

"My apologies. Let me try to remedy that," he says, and *grips* Tim's penis --

"*Ah* --"

And goes down, swallows Tim *down* and doesn't stop *thrusting*, and a part of Tim is relieved -- he *won't* be ejaculating on the furnishings he used to read about --

He -- fuck, he's not *eleven*, anymore, but maybe a part of Bruce wants him to be, wants to take that from him, too -- no.

Share it, every moment they never knew each other, all the times they could have --

Never, never, and Tim knows his eyes are closed again, but he can't do anything about it, can't make himself *see* this, as opposed to just feeling the way he's fucking Bruce's mouth, shoving back on Bruce's finger --

The *burn* --

"Please. *Please* --"

And Bruce groans around him, sucks *hard*, and it feels like a different sort of wire running through him, a different, cooler burn or freeze or --

Jason had wanted to suck him -- like this? Something slower? Jason's mouth is softer than Bruce's, seemingly slightly wider, more sensual -- and Tim's biting his own hand, now, licking it and moaning, begging more --

Bruce can hear it, Bruce knows --

Bruce *wants* --

Bruce reaches up and grips Tim's wrist, *pulls* until Tim stops biting his hand --

"Bruce, I -- it's *day*, you can't make me -- oh, *fuck* --"

He has another hand, but it's possible that Bruce would stop sucking him, stop fucking him if Tim tried to muffle himself any more effectively than the way he's biting his lip --

Swollen there, too, and what does he look like now? At some point he'd thrown one leg over the back of the couch, and the other foot is on the floor, and he's *working* himself for Bruce, crying out every time Bruce shoves in, whimpering for every press of his tongue -- "I'm not -- I'm close, and I --"

Bruce scrapes his teeth so *slowly* along the shaft and Tim can't stop himself from shaking, banging his foot against the floor --

He can't --

He opens his eyes and Bruce is looking at him, watching every moment --

Tim tries to say Bruce's name again, tries to beg, but all that comes out is another wordless *shout* --

And a scream when everything tensed and coiled inside him seems to just --

He --

White-out, with the pain still making him shake and the intensity refusing to settle down to anything as simple as pleasure, anything he can *deal* with beyond not spasming so much he falls off the *couch* --

Bruce wouldn't let him fall.

And the first thing he notices is a scratching sound --

Which resolves itself into him clawing at the couch with his fingers. "God, I --" Tim lets go and shakes out his hand, opens his eyes and finds Bruce staring at him, and -- his eyes shouldn't be blue. The color isn't warm enough for that look, isn't *hot* enough --

Bruce licks his lips. Slowly.

It makes Tim's own lips feel dry and woefully *unused*. "I -- don't suppose we could go upstairs *now*...?"

Bruce continues to stare at him for a long moment -- and then pulls out slowly enough that Tim barely has to wince and moves off the couch to the clock. He closes it and then... stands there. Silent and still.

The robe is twisted a little to the side, exposing a large portion of shoulder. His legs are bare, long and powerful... and Tim catches himself stroking his own thigh. He sits up -- breathes through the sharp *feel* -- "What -- did I say?"

"A moment. Please," Bruce says, and seems to almost absently make the 'stand down' gesture with his right hand before letting it hang at his side.

Tim frowns and stands, moving closer until he can rest his hand against Bruce's back. The robe feels like a particularly annoying *lie*, and Tim -- thinks about it. And then reaches around to undo the knot at Bruce's waist --


"Or... we could stay right here. Or there's a chaise in the library I've personally had any number of sexual fantasies on while reading --"

"My *mother* liked that chaise, Tim."

Lemon-face. It seems a shame that no one is watching him do it. Still. "You did say I should... stake a claim," Tim says, and strokes Bruce's abdomen, getting a little lost in the warmth of his skin, the hair and the scars --

"You shouldn't -- I know I'm asking. Much."

"You also know that if I were entirely serious about my protests you wouldn't currently taste like my *semen*, Bruce," and it only takes a moment to shift enough that one tug sends the robe to the floor.

Bruce makes a soft sound and covers the hand Tim has on his abdomen, pushing just *slightly* until Tim can wrap his hand around Bruce's penis and squeeze. "Tim --"

"Tell me exactly what you want. Please."

Bruce sighs and braces his hands on the clock, and that's... an excellent reason to start stroking.

Additionally -- "When you were watching Jason and me... did you touch yourself?"

"Hmm. Viciously."

"You felt guilt."

Bruce grips the edges of the clock, rolls his shoulders in a way that seems almost tectonic --

"Bruce --"

"There was no way I could know that *you* wanted my... presence."

"You're always with me," Tim says, and immediately wishes he'd said it more slowly, more *seriously*, because Bruce shudders once, all over... Tim bites the tip of his tongue and squeezes the base of Bruce's penis, strokes back up to the head -- "There is... more to that."

"Tell me."

"At some point -- I *don't* remember precisely when -- I lost the ability to feel as though I could *escape* you --"

"You felt -- caged."

"'Watched' would be more accurate. *Known* in every respect. You teased me about my relationship with Steph. You would *look* at me whenever Dick came up in conversation..."

"Your." Bruce's breathing sounds rough, difficult -- "You had your family. I never --"

"Interfered. No. Not that. But, of course, there was that tunnel. You never seemed reluctant to use it."

"You'd be -- surprised," and Bruce sounds wry, *amused* --

"Oh, that's... mm. When I had nightmares, Bruce...?"

"You learned so *quickly* to have them silently, to control even -- even that. Tim."

"As an aside. I'd rather be sucking you."

And there's a *creaking* sound -- Bruce is gripping the clock hard enough that his knuckles are white --

"You'd rather be inside me."

"The sounds you made, tonight -- I couldn't see you move, but I could imagine it. Extrapolate from the way the feed jerked and slid. Tim. Have you considered that the lubricant Kal used on you probably had some sort of. Muscle relaxant."

"Ah --" Tim squeezes without thought or much in the way of *volition* -- Tim laughs. "Yes, well. That would explain... much."

"Mm. Perhaps you'd consider... convincing him to allow me to. Study it."

"I'll ask. I... tell me how you'd do it. How you'd fuck me --"

Bruce shudders and exhales. "Do you still prefer being on your knees."

Tim shakes his head -- "I'm honestly unsure."

"Then I would lay you on your back, in my bed. I --"

"Definitely not the chaise...?"

"She would hold me in her arms and read me children's books, Tim."

Is that a no...? No. Tim licks his teeth and strokes a little faster. "Tell me more."

"I would. I would use my tongue. I can't currently decide whether I would... hmm. Let you shower first."

"You found my protests amusing."

"More... it's more a matter of how quickly you *stopped*. Harder. Please."

Tim presses his free hand to the small of Bruce's back and squeezes just lightly enough that he *can* stroke --

"Tim... you've been using the hand-strengtheners," Bruce says, and the approval in his voice makes it a little difficult to breathe --

Tim pets Bruce's back and down over his buttocks, squeezes against all of that impossibly *hard* muscle -- "It seemed... ah. I'm glad you approve."

"Proud. You've always made me --" Bruce gasps and shakes his head, *pushes* into Tim's fist --

"More. Tell me more --"

"Open you. Stretch you -- carefully, but not slow. I would never... you've taught me not to tease you. You've taught me so *much* --"

"Bruce, you. You *made* me --"

"You made yourself. I only --" Bruce laughs again, so low and quiet -- "I will learn, one day, to merely take pleasure in. What you offer. The sense of yourself as someone -- some *thing* I could take possession of..."

"Sometimes, I want *just* that. I -- to be in your arms, to be *still* in your arms, to feel you --"

"Tim --"

"Wrapped around me, all through me -- please let me suck you. Right *here*. You can -- your hands on me, on my face and in my hair, Bruce. Just for a moment, and then we can --"

"*Yes*," Bruce says, *growls*, and lets go of the clock. Tim squeezes him one more time and tugs until Bruce turns and Tim can drop to his knees on the robe.

He opens his mouth --

Bruce closes it, strokes Tim's lips, his cheeks -- his eyes are closed. And then they *aren't*, and all of the heat is right there, all of the pressure, pleasure, hunger --

Everything -- Tim licks the length of Bruce's thumb --

"You. You know what I want from you --"

"Perhaps you could teach me," Tim says, "the definition of everything." And Tim opens his mouth again --

Bruce pushes in, slowly, giving Tim enough time to pant, get *ready* before he has to swallow --

And Bruce groans once he's in, staggers -- slightly enough that Tim can hold him steady, *touch*. He'd stitched the wound that had become *this* scar on Bruce's thigh when Alfred had been in another part of the broken city. Hurricane lamps and Bruce's low voice, murmuring random details of the work that still had to be done to keep Tim from panicking, or maybe just to remind Tim not to *shake* --

Bruce catches Tim's moving hand and grips it, twines their fingers together. His other hand is on Tim's face stroking so *lightly* --

Tim opens his eyes --

"I would -- I would *take* you with my fingers, urge you to come from that -- oh, Tim..."

Tim sucks and licks and keeps swallowing, trying not to get lost in the feel of Bruce's weight on his tongue, trying to stay *focused* --

"See you. Always -- the way you move for this, for your lovers. It becomes. Becomes *imperative*, Tim..."

Tim reaches up and grips Bruce's wrist just to feel the way the bones move, strokes back to his forearm and -- opens his eyes again --

"Yes. I -- the desire I feel -- I could easily become lost, become... you would take all my control, *break* it --"

Not all. Not --

"All that I can touch. That I have the *option* of releasing..." Another laugh, and Bruce pulls *back* --

Pushes *in* and Tim moans just to hear it choked *off*, *lost*, yes, and that's the best possible word for this, for the feel --

"I understand why. Jason didn't want this, tonight. You are... so focused. So steady and ruthless with yourself -- I."

*Pleasure*, Bruce, the feel, what I can give, what I can *take* -- Tim squeezes Bruce's hand and his forearm at once --

"Tell -- tell me," and Bruce pulls *back* --

Speech. Actual. "I think... it may be my favorite sexual act, Bruce. The pleasure I can give, the feel of being -- full. It warms me, and I -- I don't know. I just -- it doesn't feel like ruthlessness," Tim says, and Bruce's expression doesn't change or even *shift* --

Until he smiles. "Noted. Perhaps I'll go back to stating things I'm reasonably sure you won't feel the need to argue."

"Efficiency is an important concern. Lover."

Bruce pushes his hand into Tim's hair and yanks Tim's head back --

"Bruce, *yes* --"

"You stop at *nothing*, you use -- everything at your disposal --"

*In* --

"Ah -- you always have. There is no *safety* --"

Tim hums around Bruce and swallows, feels spit sliding down his chin and wonders if he could get hard again. For this -- for this he *should* be hard --

"I would have to... enter you slowly. Savor the feel of you around me, grasping and shamelessly hungry, if only with. Your body..."

Aching --

"You'd. Wrap your legs around me. Hold me that way, as well..."

Lost and hungry, so -- shameless? Yes, for this, for Bruce... Jason in him, cursing and pleading --

"Perhaps you'd cry out, curse me for staying still within your -- your *heat*..."

Almost certainly. Definitely -- Bruce --

"I *wouldn't* be able to wait for very long. I -- the flush on your cheeks, the way you'd try to rock and grind, *take* --"

All of him, *please* --

"All of me, all at once. Abandoned..."

Need, so much *need* for so *long* --

"If only for the moment, for the proof that I could. Could give you something you *wanted*..."

Tim can't -- he lets go of Bruce's forearm and holds on to his hip, instead, rubs it with his fingertips, his palm, presses and *grips* --

"You've closed your eyes again. I... I know, now, that you're not leaving me, leaving *this*. So watchful... you must *revel* in every opportunity to simply..."

*Feel* --

"Is it surrender?"

Tim scratches Bruce's hip, pulls back enough that he can *shove* himself down on Bruce again --

Bruce laughs and the sound cracks in his throat, becomes a moan -- "No, never. Never surrender..."

And Bruce's hands shake --

He shudders all *over* and Tim feels himself blushing again, wanting more, wanting --

"My. Control...." Another broken laugh, and then Bruce starts to thrust, unevenly but still slow enough for Tim to keep something of a rhythm --

Something like his *own* control, and perhaps this is what makes Bruce tend to discourage this, tend to want other *things*, but Tim can do so much with this, on his knees and taking, *taking* --

"When you did this... with Dick..."

Definitely blushing, because --

"In your bedroom. You were heedless, careless --"

Tim digs in with his nails --

"No...? For Dick, you have no rules. The things you allow multiply, grow and shift -- Tim. Tim, don't pull away, don't -- oh..."

Necessary to suck harder, to hold *on* even as he keeps his head still, held by Bruce -- it could be harder, more -- Tim reaches up to cover the hand Bruce has in his hair with his own --

And Bruce tightens his grip and starts to thrust faster -- "Obscene. Lovely. But perhaps... perhaps you can *understand* why I'd take nearly anything... other than you on your *knees*... You are yourself. You -- so strong, and I want -- "

Tim moans around Bruce, silently and not as Bruce thrusts in and out, allows him air and space and *doesn't* --

"It feels as though I should --ah. Already know you better than I do. It feels --" Bruce cuts himself off with a growl and thrusts even faster, in and in and *in*, and Tim can't stop himself from trying to moan, from trying to express at least a little --

It feels --

"Dangerous. *Reckless* --"

And now Tim's just riding the motion of Bruce's hips, just *feeling* it with his hand and his throat. His mouth feels swollen, lips trapped somewhere between numb and sore --

The sound Bruce makes is indecipherable, warming --

His hands are shaking constantly, now --

Tim opens his eyes --

Bruce tenses, shakes harder and comes, tightening his grip on Tim's hair painfully and --

He's not blinking and his breathing is impossibly rough, dangerous -- a good word for it. A -- the taste --

Tim swallows a little more slowly than he should, just to feel Bruce's semen on his tongue, feel it spilling out over his chin --


Tim clutches Bruce's hip and keeps staring up into his eyes, presses with his tongue and tries not to blink --

Bruce groans and releases Tim, pulling back and balling his hands into fists. Breathing.

Tim wipes his chin and licks his hand --

"Stand up."

He stands, and Bruce is right there, lifting Tim into another kiss -- a very, very messy kiss. Tim wraps his arms around Bruce's neck and, after a moment, his legs around Bruce's waist --


Tim takes another kiss and *deals* with being carried, making a command decision not to think too deeply about the time of day, about the *fact* that Alfred will be moving around soon, and -- is Cassandra asleep?

Does she like sleeping here? Does it matter to her?

Bruce bites Tim's lip and -- yes, all right, he *is* thinking about it, but -- "I don't think I can be blamed *that* much for a lack of narrow focus, Bruce."

"I might have merely been endeavoring to please," Bruce says, and his lips shine with saliva and his own semen...

Tim licks Bruce's mouth and considers it, considers it against the way Bruce's has one eyebrow raised -- no, he'd been a little too distracted for Bruce's comfort. "*I* might have merely been looking for a way to cope with this desire you have to haul me around bodily."

"Would you prefer it if I threw you over my shoulder? Perhaps across *both* of my shoulders?"

Oddly... hmm --

And Bruce shifts his grip on Tim's hips --

"Not *now*. I -- hmm. Just... it's an interesting *thought*, Bruce."

"Hmm. Noted," Bruce says, turning into the corridor that leads to the bedrooms.

It's dark -- it pretty much always is -- and that's so much of a relief that Tim actually has to shiver --

"I'll keep the curtains closed," and Bruce kisses Tim's cheek and strokes his back --

"I do want to wake up before it gets very late in the afternoon --

"Because you have an... appointment. Yes, I know." Bruce pulls Tim against his body --

They'd left the robe in the study. They'd left Tim's uniform in a *pile* in the Cave -- Cassandra's door is open. This doesn't necessarily have specific, now-intensive meaning -- as near as Tim can tell, she sleeps with her door open all the time --

Bruce pauses in front of the door and lets go of Tim with one hand and places that hand on the jamb.

Tim blushes --

"I'm okay," Cassandra says, and, "Sleep."

Bruce nods and Tim thinks very seriously about banging his head against Bruce's shoulder, but he knows that Bruce would make him stop before he lost consciousness -- and Bruce *does* close the door behind them when they get into his bedroom.

"Bruce -- was that *really* necessary?"

"She was sitting on the edge of the bed. Waiting."

Tim... hadn't looked. But. "And you're leaving it at that?"

"She knows not to keep potential problems secret, Tim," and Bruce lays Tim on his back on the bed and raises his eyebrows --

*Just* in case Tim had missed the implied rebuke. "Still --"

"I believe," Bruce says, and pulls the covers out from under Tim, folding them back, "she was worried about you. And waiting for some measure of certainty."

"I -- could I just take this opportunity to make another metatextual argument for keeping our less official activities behind closed doors?" And Tim shifts enough to make room.

"Hmm." Bruce crawls into bed and -- keeps moving until he has Tim's legs pinned. "You could allow her to become accustomed to some of the sounds you make."

Cassandra... *is* Cassandra attracted to him? Bruce has been somewhat *assiduous* about keeping their relationship in the open, but what if it's less a rejection of opacity than an invitation? He's almost *positive* that Cassandra is attracted to Bruce, but he has to admit that a great deal of that theory can be filed under 'just one of those things.'

Batgirl should not ever be immune to Batman, though she must certainly have far more inherent independence than -- Robin.

How will *Bruce* feel when Cassandra moves back to her own Cave? Is he planning on having her be a more official part of the family? There had certainly been *rumors* about Bruce Wayne and Cassandra Cain, but that had been some time in the past...

"I *am* available for conversation, Tim."

Oh... right. "Ah... I was wondering what your plans were with regards to Cassandra," Tim says, and shifts one leg out from under Bruce's to stretch it.

Bruce looks down and then up again... managing to express *vehemently* that Tim should put his leg back where it was.

Tim snorts and -- all right. He does it, and turns to face Bruce. "Perhaps I mean your *intentions*."

Bruce strokes Tim's cheek and then cups Tim's shoulder. "We discussed the matter of our mutual attraction some months ago. She didn't want... she was rather more interested in Batman than I could be entirely comfortable with."

That... makes sense. Tim nods and reaches down to scratch his leg -- ah, Bruce's hair is tickling him. Tim rubs his leg against Bruce's own until the feeling settles into generalized warmth, and... "Is she attracted to *me*?"

Bruce smiles -- not especially nicely. "Ask her."

And he really could've seen that one coming if he'd been slightly more awake than he is, at the moment. Tim nods and yawns. And -- no, he wants to know more. "*Do* you want her to stay?"

"I'm not at all sure how she'd feel about being adopted."

Which is a yes. Cassandra Cain-Wayne. Cassandra Wayne. *Sister*... sister. They could go to the parties en masse, and try to convince Cassandra not to injure the paparazzi too badly... hmm. "You've been romantically linked. It could lead to the more uncomfortable sort of questions."

"Bruce Wayne has never confirmed any of the rumors."

Tim raises his eyebrow --

"I'm aware that that, in itself, is meaningless with regards to some members of the press. I... I never expected Cassandra to remain with us as long as she has. For quite some time I imagined that she would strike out on her own as soon as she began feeling more comfortable with the wider world," Bruce says, and brushes his thumb against Tim's cheekbone. "It seemed like an easy -- an acceptable -- pleasure to be her escort into society."

That... it does make sense, and it explains -- perhaps better than anything else could -- why Bruce had kept her so *separate*, but -- "She's devoted to the Bat far more comfortably than any of us. Including *you*."

"Mm. Still. She was... young, Tim. Far more so than you were capable of imagining."

Touché. But -- "She's an adult now, and has already made her choices."

"Perhaps you can understand my... hesitation at asking her to make another," and Bruce cups Tim's shoulder and squeezes it before stroking down to Tim's hand.

"Perhaps... perhaps I could do the asking for you -- ow."

Bruce -- it's not really a glare. It just *feels* like one, and it doesn't lessen even when Bruce releases the pressure on Tim's hand.

"Or... not?"

"You would try to make this easier for me. You... Tim."

"Bruce. Dick used to... hint, a bit, about the difficulty he felt in terms of trying to figure out just what sort of relationship you wanted with him. And Dick demanded -- rather forcefully -- that I start thinking about Cassandra as a member of this family. If you *can't* say what needs to be said, if, somehow, Cassandra *doesn't* know how you feel about her... I could help."

And Bruce keeps staring, searching him and *staring*, but -- for this, it feels good. Feels like something... this is something he *wants* Bruce to know about him, an option Bruce *has* to know he has --

"Bruce, it's all right --"


"I -- not in this bed --"

"Everywhere," Bruce says, and pushes his hand into Tim's hair, tilts Tim's head back -- kisses his throat softly. "Always what I need, never questioning what I *deserve* --"

"I -- wouldn't say *never*, Bruce, but. We're partners. Theoretically, we can help each other... along with everything else. And. If you do that much more, I'm going to have difficulty getting to sleep -- ah --"

Bruce sucks Tim's throat, flicks his tongue against the skin once, twice -- three times before he stops and pulls back. There's a fair amount of amusement in his eyes --

"I *am* a teenaged male, Bruce."

"And I," he says, and moves back away, "am most assuredly not. I'll talk to her tomorrow, Tim. Perhaps while you're at the Clocktower. Sleep."

Tim rolls onto his back. "You, too. Please."

Bruce inclines his head and settles in the bed with one arm over Tim's chest.

Tim closes his eyes and immediately feels himself slipping, *just* as if he'd been physically exhausted and hiding that fact from himself for a variety of reasons which need not actually be explored to be remembered -- in detail.

Tim smiles --

Bruce makes a soft sound and squeezes Tim, just a little --

Tim lets himself drop.

He dreams of training, of a Cave that seems to stretch out infinitely, shadowed and empty --

He dreams of the Case, kneeling in front of it and trying to feel, trying to reach --

Jason pulls him away from it, gauntlet rough against his cheek and greener than spring could ever be in Gotham. His mind changes Jason's clothes a dozen times, more, but nothing settles --

He dreams of Jason's face, of the smile as they spar together. Tim falls and keeps falling --

He dreams of black all around him, featureless and so still he can't tell if he's falling or not. There are voices, though, things he could reach for, a home --

A home?

He feels himself moving, feels his mouth try to open -- gone.

He dreams of his father in his wheelchair, but his hair is too grey. He's angry, he's *so* angry, and there's nothing he can say, nothing he could possibly do to change that. It's over, and there's nothing he can *do*. He reaches, and --


The black comes back in force, drowning his father in a wave --

"Wake up."

Cassandra. He would've thought he'd remember going to bed with her -- Tim opens his eyes and Cassandra is sitting on the edge of the bed. She's wearing a t-shirt and a pair of Dick's workout shorts. Whether that counts as sleep clothes or workout clothes -- no, Cassandra sleeps naked.

Tim blinks himself to something like consciousness and sits up, sliding his hand out from under Cassandra's own. He pushes a hand through his hair, notes that his mouth tastes like he was doing something far worse than kissing attractive vigilantes and going down on one of them --

He waits.

"I -- wasn't going to wake you, but you were having a... nightmare."

Tim nods. "You were just... watching me sleep?"

Cassandra frowns and looks down at the bed. "No. Bruce asked me... to be his daughter. I don't know what he means. *He* doesn't know what he means. I thought... you know?"

"Ah. Well..." Tim scrubs at his face a little -- more awake *now*. "I think he *mostly* means that he wants you to stay here. Live here."

"*That* I know," she says, and strokes over the sheets, presses against the mattress. "I like it here."

"Better than your Cave?"

"Lonely there, sometimes," and Cassandra looks at him. "What *else* does he want?"

Sex? The occasional opportunity to drag Cassandra out in pretty clothes? Everyone within reach? All of the above?

Cassandra frowns at him and almost squints -- "You don't know, either."

Tim spreads his hands. "I have... theories."

She nods vigorously, gestures for more, faster --

Right, okay. "He's attracted to you, but he doesn't think you're attracted to... the person he sees himself being."


"Well, yes. And no. You know we're not always... Batman and Robin with each other."

She frowns again, but it seems to be more frustration than unhappiness or anger -- "*You* are. When... *you* are together, and not Batman and Robin. Not us. I..." The frown gets deeper --

Tim thinks about it. "It would be different if *you* were with Bruce? Or... you think it *should* be different for you and Bruce?"

She nods and the frown almost seems to melt from her face -- "What else?"

"Well -- he almost certainly really would like to be a father to you. In his own way. Despite anything he may have said or done which would suggest different --"

"Have a father," she says, and jabs at the mattress a little, a loop of strikes with no real target.

"So did I, Cassandra. It didn't stop him from..." Tim shakes his head. "It didn't stop him."

She nods more slowly this time, searching him again... "His... son?"

Tim feels himself blushing and resents it with every last bit of himself which isn't wondering why he isn't still asleep, because... because. Tim raises a hand between them and waves it back and forth. "Other things, too. Or -- mostly. Sometimes. It's exactly as complicated as you think it is."


"I don't think he trusted you not to leave him --"

This time, the frown is *full* of anger, and Tim raises a hand.

"He doesn't trust *any* of us not to leave him, not really. It just doesn't... it's something he's missing, Cassandra. Now that he knows you want to stay, I think he's also more likely to think you'll leave, if that makes any sense --"

"No," she says, and gives him a very patient look.

Well, that's certainly *fair*... "He doesn't want to mess up your relationship, so I think he was probably really awkward about asking...?"

Another nod.

"He wants us all to be together, Cassandra. I think that's... I think that's probably the most important part of all of it. And it would actually be easier for you to move in here as his daughter than for you to move in here as just... you."

"He said. I... I could live in the Cave. That would work also."

Yes, but... "You shouldn't live in the Cave, Cassandra. Either of them."

And her eyes get narrow -- she pats her chest.

Batgirl -- *but*. "Sometimes you're Cassandra. Cass."

"Steph," she says, and looks down at the bed again, hair falling to hide her face.

Tim frowns. "Did something... you went to see her, didn't you?"

"Yes," and she doesn't look up.

Tim swallows and imagines Steph being so angry that she wouldn't even want to see *Cassandra*, even though Steph knows... he'd told Steph that Cassandra missed her, hadn't he? It -- "Was it... bad?"

"No. It was. She was sad, but we had fun," and she pats the bed between them restlessly, like she's waiting for...

Like she's waiting for Tim to be angry. Tim covers Cassandra's hand with his own. "I wanted that for you. For both of you."

Cassandra looks up and searches him *hard* --

What would he do if it turned out that he was lying? How would he cope with himself?

But Cassandra smiles widely and clasps Tim's hand in her own, pinching a little.

Tim decides to go with it until she stills enough that he can clasp her forearm and she can hold his, until they can touch themselves where the spikes usually go... Tim shivers. It's an odd but real sort of nudity. "Perhaps you could be Cassandra -- Cass -- with more than just Steph."

"She *wants* Cass. Not Batgirl. Never -- almost never Batgirl."

Whereas they want -- he wants? "I think... I think it would be interesting to get to know Cass."

Another searching look, and -- it's really only what he deserves, but it's still hard to deal with first thing in the... afternoon.

"I do mean that --"

"You want... a sister?"

He's never had one. Never really... does Barbara count? Somewhat, yes, but... "You're one of *us*, Cassandra."

She tilts her head, and the smile on her face could never be called 'young,' in any way.

Tim braces himself --

"Like Jason?"

Tim laughs and thinks about pulling the covers up around himself, thinks about Bruce *not* being here, and wonders how much of that was his desire to speak with Cassandra and how much has to do with last night... all of last night. Every *minute* of it.

What would it have been like to have Cassandra *there* for that conversation with Dick and Jason? Would it have made things easier? For whom, exactly? And Cassandra is laughing, softly.


"We don't... we get this *wrong*. I've looked, all around," she says, and her gesture takes in a Gotham which is, perhaps, always all around her. "I've seen *families*."

"There are many different definitions of family, Cassandra. In fact, I was thinking of bringing you with me for at least some of my weekend with the Titans."

She raises her eyebrows -- he's honestly surprised her.

The fact that this feels like a victory over some difficultly-proportioned segment of the universe... is a fact. "The Titans are a family, too."

"Nightwing... Dick made them."

Tim nods. "In -- large -- part," Tim says, and moves off the bed. The ache has apparently decided to settle into something quietly present, and... Bruce had, at some point, brought in one of Tim's robes and laid it over one of the chairs. Tim slips it on and sits down. "You know -- you *know* you don't have to let Bruce adopt you, right?"

She raises a hand and waves it in the air. "He'll change if I say no."

Tim blinks. "Change how?"

"Move back. Away," she says, and closes the hand into a fist.

And that... he *wants* to protest that -- Bruce had been *assiduous* about allowing Tim space and time for his parents, to *be* with his parents, whether or not Tim had taken that opportunity... Cassandra is different. Cain is a murderer who'd reached right *into* their world... blood on the parquet. Tim frowns and shakes it off. "All right, you're... you're right and wrong. He won't *mean* to change --"

"Doesn't matter what he *means*."

"It does --"

"*No*, Tim --"

"Give me a minute here, okay?"

She's frowning, but she nods after a moment, gestures for him to go on.

"He'll realize from the start that he's treating you unfairly, and *will* work to fix that. He won't always... he's learned that he can't push us away and still live the way he wants to."

"You're sure?"

("I can't deny you.") Tim smiles. "Yes, I'm sure. All of it -- the fact that he'll back away and the fact that he'll come *back* -- is part of who Bruce *is*. It took me a while to get that, and a while longer to *deal* with it, but..." Tim spreads his hands again.

She watches them as though they're saying something much more important than anything coming out of his mouth, and... she could very well be right. Tim waits, and thinks about what he's going to do with his day. Getting *clean* is an imperative, but so is eating. He really should've paused to have a snack before doing his reports last night --

"I don't. I don't think I want to be a daughter."

Tim looks up, and she's drawing patterns on the sheets again and frowning -- but only slightly. "That's fair --"

"Sister. I want -- I could be his *sister*. Yours. Dick's."

Jason's? "What if... what if you were only a daughter on paper? Just to make it easier for you to live here?"

"Would that work? I -- *Bruce*," she says, and the gesture she makes is complicated, vigorous, and entirely comprehensible.

"I think it might *already* be too late to make him stop thinking of you as a daughter. It's just... who he is. But that doesn't mean you can't make him think of you other ways, too," and Tim pulls one of his knees back and up to his chest, then the other. He's not very sore or stiff, considering, and sitting down isn't as challenging as he'd expected.

He *is* sore there, but not, he thinks, in any way that will stop him from doing everything he has to... as opposed to everything he *wants*. And Cassandra is studying him again.

Tim raises his eyebrows --

"Sex. Always hurts?"

When done correctly... no, he's not quite that -- he's not quite that. "I enjoy it more when it does, sometimes."

Cassandra nods and generally looks exactly like she's filing that away for further -- and detailed -- study.

Tim -- blushes. It had to happen eventually. "Ah -- many other people wouldn't want it to hurt, at all. And I don't always --"

"Yes, I know," she says, and waves him off.

So that was to learn more specifically about *him*? Probably -- definitely. "Um..."

She raises *her* eyebrows.

"How do you *feel* about me and Bruce being... together. Sexually."

"He's happy. You're mostly happy." She gestures with her drawing hand -- twines her fingers together. "You love. I like seeing that."

And Bruce... Bruce almost certainly already knew that --

"I know you don't like being seen by me."

"No, I --" Tim winces and gives himself a moment to just -- roll his shoulders, stretch his arms a little... "You're right. But I'm working on that."

Cassandra nods and focuses on the bed, laying her palm flat and rubbing before bringing it to her face and inhaling deeply. And wrinkling her nose.

Tim smiles ruefully. "I never did get my shower last night --"

"Your scents... different together. I can't tell if I can smell Jason, too."

"Well, I'd be a little disturbed if you *could* tell, Cassandra --"

She stands up. "Should leave more marks. *Easier* marks," she says, and stretches her quadriceps.

"You mean... it should be easier to tell that Bruce and I are together from the places we share?"

"Should be... more like a *home*. More... intimate. Personal things." She shakes her head and frowns at him again, gesturing for more, for him to jump in...

Tim puts his hands up. "I'm not sure how to do it --"

"I asked Alfred. He showed me things. *Your* things, from your parents'."

Everything is packed away, still. As neat as he -- and Alfred -- could make it. His books, his CDs. Posters and museum prints. Everything of his father's, mother's, and stepmother's that he couldn't imagine throwing away. He has his clothes -- everything that still fits -- but. But. "I'm not..." Tim looks at his hands -- they're balled into fists. He opens them deliberately. "You think I should... unpack."

She looks at him like he's said the most stupidly obvious thing imaginable. It really is very... familial.

"I..." Tim stands up, and moves toward the bathroom.


He pauses at the door, and closes his eyes. He --

("I want more than that for you.")

Bruce... Tim scrubs at the door jamb with his palm for a moment and then looks back over his shoulder. Cassandra isn't quite reaching out for him, but there's something of that to the way she's looking at him, and... all right, yes. "You're probably right."

"You don't like that."

"No," Tim says, "I don't. But... it has nothing to do with the fact that you're the one who said it."

She nods slowly, and seems to... shift. Not her stance and nothing else that Tim can quite pinpoint, but -- she's Batgirl, now, and nothing else.

Pulling on Robin is reflexive --

"Jason, tonight."

"If we can find him -- or he chooses to find us. We've discussed changing methods, but I imagine there'll be a few moments of awkwardness as we figure out where the lines will be drawn."

"He said to trust you."

"I won't let us -- any of us -- down."

Cassandra nods at him and leaves, almost certainly heading for the Cave. It would probably be more efficient for him to eat, train, and *then* shower, but he can't really stand being this dirty any longer.

He strips off the robe and showers.

When he gets downstairs, Alfred informs him that he'd left a breakfast for him *in* the Cave, and that he'll be ready to take Tim into the city within two and a half hours.

More than enough time for him to do what he wants, which is to practice the new strikes Cassandra has been teaching him on the dummies until his hands don't feel like anything but weapons. Within himself, he plays a steady track of screams and curses, calls up the scent of urine and the unmistakable *difference* of sweat which is built on fear.

He thinks of Clark, and of how often *he* smells that. He has to wonder how much of it is his power and how much of it is the fact that he's alien. He has to...

Does it make it easier for him to be Bruce's friend? To be *around* someone who lives in, near, with, and *from* fear until it drowns everything else... it almost has to be a comfort to know that he can never be the scariest person in a room he shares with the Batman.

As for himself...

He's made people -- countless people -- fear him before, or... he's made people fear what he'd do to them. Robin isn't really *designed* to make people feel fear. Certainly that's not what Dick was about. Jason... Jason was different, but even he had been constrained and shaped by the role as much as he'd done his own defining and shaping.

Tim's about to change things, about to set out on a systematic *alteration* of everything that has come before, everything he had tried so hard to *be* for so long...

He's staring at the dummy. Someone is staring at him -- Bruce. Cassandra would feel entirely different. He looks up -- and Bruce is actually at the console with his back to Tim.

He's still staring.

Tim smiles, checks -- Cassandra is still on the weights. Tim shakes out his hands and goes to spot her.

Her form is perfect, her strength staggering for someone her size -- his size. She smiles at him and keeps working, and Tim lets himself continue to drift a little, marking out his territory in his mind as well as everywhere he knows Jason has worked. There isn't much in the way of overlap, and it might turn out to be easier to shift Tim's territory sooner than they'd all planned. The areas Jason works have real meaning to him, after all, and he wants to make this transition as easy as possible.

Then again, it's been a few days since Cassandra's territory has gotten any focused attention, and that's just not healthy for either them or for Gotham itself. They can discuss it once Jason is with them.

*With* them...

Tim shivers, internally, and smiles again --

"Satisfied." Cassandra is looking at him, and her expression suggests willingness to share pleasure.

Tim lets his smile become rueful. "More like... preparing to *be* satisfied. I think it's a good idea for us to work with Jason."

"Won't let him kill."

"I know. And... he'll know."

Cassandra does two more reps and then sits up. "You still don't know which side you'll be on."

Disturbing, but undoubtedly true. But... Tim touches his chest where the shuriken will be. And, in the end, if everything goes the way he *wants* it to go, if even *most* of it goes the way it wants him to go... he'll never have to choose.

Cassandra looks at him *hard*, but nods. And stands and gestures him down to the bench.

"You're not finished --"

"You need more *power*. For new things."

Tim raises his eyebrows... new tricks. All right. Even if Jason won't teach him, Cassandra *will*.

Tim settles down to work the weights.

After a while, Bruce joins them. The way he looks at Cassandra confirms that she'd agreed to go through with the adoption, and Cassandra squeezes Bruce's hand once. He's going to have an older sister. Tim tries to imagine explaining it to his father, but the Jack Drake in his mind still feels betrayed over Tim's *own* adoption, and --

There's nothing there but smoke and shadows, and the indelible image of the man's gravestone.

Tim keeps working, keeps breathing until he can let himself feel at least some of the look Bruce is giving *him*, until he can let himself live in it a little...

Does Bruce ever look in on Tim's things? Ever consider taking it upon *himself* to move them into Tim's room and around the manor? His own room? Tim can imagine it fairly easily. Some night when he was sleeping deeply, Bruce slipping out of bed and setting to work like the world's largest, most disturbing elf...

Tim laughs to himself and sits up --

"*You're* not done," Cassandra says.

"I know. I just..." Tim reaches up, and Bruce presses his palm against Tim's own and twines their fingers. Bruce's expression is avidly possessive and more than a little --

'Inviting' is too euphemistic. 'Demanding' is closer, but doesn't take into account everything between them, everything both equal and twisted. Tim pulls their hands close to his face and kisses the back of Bruce's before letting go and laying back down.

He gets back to work, and, after a moment, Bruce leaves -- presumably to put a team of lawyers to work to make the adoption a fact as soon as possible. Someone really should call Dick before Cassandra has to bear the brunt of his undiluted reaction... though it's possible he'd gotten *that* out of his system with Tim months ago.


Perhaps he'll call Dick from the Clocktower. That will undoubtedly be interesting on a number of levels -- and certainly distracting.

Cassandra lets him stop just when he's starting to ache -- and rubs him down with vicious efficacy before he can protest. It works well enough, and then he just has to shower and change.

He's tempted by the suits in his closet. He's --

He's *very* tempted, especially since Barbara had been both clear *and* indirect about making sure Tim knew he was still expected. But... he's not that Tim, not really, and it would be better to make his apologies while being as much himself as he can stand.