by Te
March 19, 2004

Disclaimers: Not mine. Not even close.

Spoilers: Takes place some vague, nebulous time
after the Murderer/Fugitive arc. Slightly less vague
spoilers for Robin #100-101.

Summary: Negotiation is an art form, and a game.

Ratings Note/Warnings: NC-17. Content some
readers may find disturbing.

Author's Note: Weirdness Magnet again. She got
me thinking about Bruce's occasional bouts of...

Acknowledgments: To the Magnet, Reilael, and
Jack for audiencing and helpful suggestions. Jack,
lovely thing, also provided a title.


Tim isn't sure when Bruce decided to do it.

Knowing Bruce, it was probably months ago -- or even
longer. It also probably doesn't matter. It's just
something for his mind to hold on to -- to *try* to
hold on to. A defense mechanism, and a reasonable
one, at that. When all else fails, when you're under
some form of attack and there is no immediate
defense or escape, bury yourself in distraction.

Any distraction.

"I want you," Bruce says again, even and low, and
presses two fingers beneath Tim's chin.

He isn't holding Tim's head up -- not really. There's
no stretch to excuse or explain the tension in Tim's

Tim wonders if the moment of decision would have
been recognizable -- no. It *would* have been.
He's a detective, and while he isn't -- yet -- as
good as Bruce, he's good enough.

It was, perhaps, some moment when his back was
turned for one reason or another.

Bruce cocks his head at Tim, just a bit. He's
waiting for a response.

'What' would be a placeholder, and make him
sound foolish, besides. A stammer would be
beneath him. 'I know' would be honest, but
perhaps not honest enough. He hadn't, after all,
been sure until just this moment.

Tim raises an eyebrow.

Bruce... smiles. And strokes the underside of
Tim's chin until his fingers are just below the
very tip.

The gauntlets are off. The *suit* is off. Bruce
is wearing slacks and a sweater. This, perhaps,
should have been another clue. He hasn't seen
Bruce without the suit very much at all since he'd
moved back in with his father.

There is a message in this, though Tim isn't --
entirely -- sure what it might be.

He doesn't allow himself to swallow, even though
he wants to. That would be a message, too.

"This is a problem."

Bruce raises his own eyebrow, a mocking
impression of surprise. Another message, really.
That isn't 'Bruce Wayne's' surprised face, at all.
"Is it?"

Tim blinks. Once. "Yes."

Bruce strokes his chin again, following the line
of Tim's jaw. His fingers are large, and blunt.
Suggestive. "Why?"

"It's *my* responsibility to delineate the reasons
why this is a bad idea?"

"Why are you answering a question with

"Why not?"

His heart was pounding before Bruce kissed him,
but there's no way Bruce could have known that,
as the suit is almost entirely on. This is comforting.
Bruce's tongue is slickly insistent. Teasing. Tim
stills himself, as far inside as he can reach. To
still himself on the outside would be another
message. Perhaps even a goad.

Bruce's tongue is very wet.

The thought is imbecilic.

Bruce pulls away and Tim blinks, again. And
resolves to put on his mask *first* from now on.
"Will that be your response every time I answer
a question with a question?"

Bruce smiles, again. Behind his eyes. "No."

"Good to know."


Tim presses his tongue against the back of his
teeth, and then does it again. It's faintly comforting.
"The fact that this is a bad idea hasn't changed."

"Nor has the fact that you haven't told me why."
Bruce presses his index finger against the top edge
of the seam on Tim's collar, and slides it down.

Slowly. He pauses where the cape splits to expose
Tim's tunic.

"I'm greatly curious as to your reasons."

He's teasing.

Tim has never quite known what to do with a Bruce
who teases, as opposed to lecturing or merely
glaring. Or staring.

He should've taken the staring more seriously.

Bruce slides the finger up again, and doesn't pause
until he's touching Tim's throat. Pressing against it,

Tim swallows, and Bruce narrows his eyes and --

"We're partners. Adding a sexual aspect to our
relationship would make things... unnecessarily
complicated. I'm underage. I'm seeing someone --"

Bruce laughs. A low, rolling chuckle that makes Tim
want to take a step back. It isn't a Bruce laugh
*or* a Batman laugh. Not one that *he* knows.
"Tim," he says. "I want *your* reasons."

Tim shifts his stance. "Those *are* my reasons.
Some of them. I --"

"Affronted," Bruce says, and strokes Tim's cheek
with the backs of his fingers. "An interesting choice."

"It isn't --"

Bruce leans in and licks him, from the corner of his
mouth to his ear. And then slides his thumb
through the thin trail of spit. Tim stiffens, and strains
 to keep his eyes from widening.

"Will that be your response every time I lie?"

"No," Bruce says, and his eyes... glitter.

"I don't want to do this."


"I'm not attracted to -- oh."

His cape is on the floor. Tim blinks down at it
stupidly for much too long. Until Bruce presses his
fingers beneath his chin again.

And forces his head back up. His expression is...
avid. A sort of happiness that doesn't quite touch
amusement, and is somewhere far to the left of
anything peaceful. Tim stares.

"Lie to me again, Tim."

It's a suggestion. "No."

"Then tell me the truth."

Tim sets the tip of his tongue between his teeth and
bites down. And breathes.

Bruce stares at him. *Considers* him.

And then slides his hands into Tim's hair and tilts
his head back and to the side.

The collar will hide the mark Bruce is probably
leaving. Most of his shirts won't. Tim doesn't moan,
even when Bruce scrapes at him with his teeth. But
he gasps. And the air of the Cave is cool on the spit
Bruce leaves behind when he pulls back.

That isn't why he shivers.

Bruce tilts his head forward again, and Tim waits for
him to let go of his hair.

He doesn't.

"Will that be your response every time I'm silent?"

Bruce's smile is sharp and predatory. His teeth are
white and shiny with spit. "No. Tell me the truth."


"Because you don't want to." It isn't a question.
Bruce slides his hand through Tim's hair, mussing

Tim frowns and Bruce presses harder, and it's... an
interesting feeling. He's never had his scalp
massaged. It feels...

He isn't sure how it feels, other than... pleasant.
Relaxing. Tim considers twisting away, but isn't
entirely sure what message *that* would be. Not
to Bruce, anyway.

Tim locks his knees instead.

"It's an interesting question. *Why* you don't
want to tell me the truth, that is."

"Perhaps I simply don't feel as though the situation
requires that degree of honesty."

Bruce tightens his hand in Tim's hair, just on the
edge of pain. "Perhaps I should offer my own

"No." Tim breathes. "Please."

The kiss is bruising, hard enough for Tim to be able
to focus on the pain of Bruce's teeth, as opposed
to... everything else. But then 'everything else' is
a much larger concern, because Bruce's other
hand is *inside* his shorts, and his tights, and is
tracing the edges of his jock.

Hiding his arousal was never truly an option, but
Tim had hoped... the *degree* of it --

Tim moans into the kiss and Bruce cups him, rides
him with the heel of his hand, and it isn't
uncomfortable enough, even through the jock.
Harder, Tim thinks, and feels what would probably
be distinctly hysterical laughter try to bubble its
way out of his throat.

He clenches his hands into fists, wishing his own
gauntlets were off. His fingernails are short and not
at all ragged, but the press of them to his palms
would be a useful distraction.

And when Bruce pulls out of the kiss, he catches
himself trying to follow. Barely catches himself.

Bruce breathes against his ear. Hot and damp
and maddeningly *steady*. "You shouldn't beg."

"I was asking. Politely."

Another of those low laughs. And... it isn't sweet.

They remind Tim of things like syrup because of
their thick, liquid quality.

"Then you shouldn't be quite that polite."

"*Fuck* you."

Bruce slips his hand out of Tim's hair at last, but
Tim doesn't have time to regroup before Bruce is
yanking his tights and shorts down. Cool air on
his thighs and Bruce's hand off his jock for *just*
long enough to pull that down, too. Tim bites his
lips hard and looks away. The floor, the dinosaur.


He bites his lip harder when Bruce begins to
stroke. When he tastes blood, he stops wanting
to gasp. And opens his mouth to try again.

"Is there anything I *could* say to make you
stop?" He doesn't -- quite -- stutter.

"Yes," Bruce says. "And you know exactly what
that is."

And he drops to his knees, gracefully as ever, as
ever despite his size.

And swallows him.

Tim hears himself groan and feels himself *shake*
and the worst part -- or perhaps the funniest -- is
that Bruce is absolutely correct. He does know
what it would take. What *breed* of honesty the
man wants for this.

Of course he would --

"Oh God --"

-- want *blood*. No. Blood would be easy. Tim
gives him blood every -- every fucking --

So tight. So --

He *knows* the truth, as useless as it is. As sad
and --

His hair is soft, thick. His moans make Tim's dick
spasm and *twitch*. His eyes are blue and sharp
and focused and Tim's are, too. He'll keep them
that way as long -- as long --

"No --"

He wants to hear Tim *say* it. He wants to hear
how bad Tim wants this, even though it's fucked
up and stupid and needy and *predictable*. How
fucking *scared* Tim is of starting something he
won't want to stop. He wants --

"*No* --"

His tongue laid flat against the underside of Tim's
dick. His hands big and hard and *hot* on Tim's
hips. His --

His fucking *mouth*.

"*Bruce* --"

Tim closes his eyes and bites his lip and comes in
Bruce's throat. And then Bruce pulls back and
catches the rest on his tongue and Tim's knees
shake and shake and he does *not* let them

He shoves Bruce's face away and fixes his clothes.

Tries to. His hands are shaking. Tim glares at them
until they stop, but before he can reach for his jock
again, Bruce catches his wrists.

"Look at me."

Tim breathes. Waits.

Bruce squeezes.

Tim looks.

Bruce's mouth quirks. Once. "I want you."

"It's fair to say we've *established* that."


Control is, often, a thin skim of ice over a stagnant,
stinking pond. Tim hears himself panting and can't
decide if it's better or worse that the pound of his
own heart almost -- almost -- covers the sound.

To his own ears, anyway.

Bruce hears it, sees it. Of course he does.

And presses his thumbs against the insides of Tim's
wrists. "Words can be... difficult," he says.

Tim narrows his eyes.

"Why don't you show me what you want?"

Make it an order.


Tim twists his wrists out of Bruce's grasp and grabs
his shoulders, big and hard and warm and obvious
through the stupid, soft *sweater*. He pushes and
Bruce lets him, lets him lay him out on the stone floor.
Bruce reaches for him, but stops when Tim looks him
in the eye.

And folds them behind his head.

What he wants. Fine.

Tim shoves the sweater up to bunch under Bruce's
arms, and the t-shirt, too. And touches.

The flats of his palms first, to get himself used to the
feel. Muscle and sparse, dark hair that tickles a bit.
Scars interrupting every sweep. There's no pattern
to them, and this is frustrating despite the fact that
it would be disturbing, otherwise.

He knows the story behind each of them. Those he
was there for, those that have been used obliquely
as teaching stories, those that were never
mentioned at all, and so tell their own stories.

Every little secret.

Bruce is better with them. Safer.

He focuses his touches on the ones he has specific
reason to know and understand, so not to tempt
Bruce to explain -- now that he's in this novel little
*sharing* mood.

"You're perfect," Bruce says, the tone of his voice
idly pleased, as though this were a comment on
the weather, or the engine of one of the vehicles.

Tim considers and rejects several responses before
settling on, "I'm just fucked-up in a way that works
for you."

Bruce smiles at him with his eyes. "Possibly."

Tim moves back until he's straddling Bruce's hips,
and pauses. He knows what position would feel
best physically right now. He knows what position
he wants to be in. He isn't sure which would be
better. He settles for teasing himself, lowering himself
just enough that Bruce is pushing his tights up against
his balls.

And then a little more.

He uses his fingertips on the hair low on Bruce's
stomach, the thick line of it leading under the
waistband of Bruce's pants. He strokes it until his
fingertips tingle, until he catches himself making a
futile effort to smooth the path of hair over a looping
scar he shouldn't be aware of.

He narrows his eyes and shifts his hands to the cut
of Bruce's hips, dipping his fingers beneath the
waistband to follow it on both sides, and then out

Bruce's breathing is steady, but deep. Tim thinks
about it.

"You like my voice."


"When I... say something sexual."

"There's a certain attraction."

Tim licks the edges of his teeth. "Because I sound

Bruce doesn't so much as flinch. "Because you never
say anything -- at all -- without a very specific

"You..." He thinks about it, scratching half-
consciously at Bruce's abdomen. It should be obvious.
It isn't. "You want me to lose control."

"Among other things."

Tim breathes in and out. It's not as effective as it
could be. He can smell his own drying sweat. He
can smell Bruce, and he knows enough about the
mechanism of sensation to know that he's tasting
Bruce, too.

Both of them.

He licks his teeth again, and decides. Looks Bruce in
the eye. "I've thought about you fucking me."

The light in Bruce's eyes is no more dangerous than
it ever is in Batman's. It's different, just the same.

"I wondered if you would be gentle."

Bruce shifts beneath him. Slightly.

"I wondered *where* you'd do it. And if you'd want
me on my back, or on my knees. Up against a wall.
Bent over."

"What do you want?"

"I haven't entirely decided."

Bruce slips one hand out from under his head and
rests it on his own chest. An invitation.

"I've thought about... other things."


Tim lowers himself a little more. "Yes." It would be
most comfortable if he just rested his weight on
Bruce. And then it wouldn't be 'comfortable' at all.

Bruce doesn't move, even when Tim starts to
rock. It makes sense. He knows he's being very
obvious about... acclimating himself. He wants.

"There needs to be rules. Of behavior." Bruce is
obviously, pornographically hard beneath the
trousers. If he were to tug just slightly on the fabric,
the outline of his erection would be...

Only slightly more obvious than it is now.

This isn't fear. Tim has been afraid almost more often
than he hasn't been, for many years. He knows the
feeling, understands it and even welcomes it,
because when he's afraid he is... part of something.
Part of *it*.

Moving through the world as he should.

This is something else entirely, which is, of course,
terrifying. And thus comforting. Tim smiles at himself,
and reaches down between his own legs, between
Bruce's body and his half-lowered tights. He cups
Bruce through his trousers, and strokes him with
his fingertips, and then his palm.


Something like a warning, though far more
ambiguous than it could -- obviously -- be.
"Boundaries, Bruce," he says, and squeezes. Heat.
*Size*. "We need them."

"I've had... ideas."

The slightest hesitation. Tim adjusts his grip and
squeezes harder. "Your ideas are often disturbing."

"So I've been told."

It would be easier -- and more effective -- if Tim
were to open Bruce's trousers. There are, as ever,
other concerns.

"I won't do anything you don't want," Bruce says.

I want you to lose control. Far more than this.
Tim bites the inside of his lip. There's too much
wiggle room in Bruce's statement, but Tim isn't
sure how to object without saying too much. He
frowns to himself and stops stroking.


Listens to Bruce breathe. It's like listening to want,
to the breathy, toneless exhalation of hunger.
Tim wraps his fist around his own dick and
squeezes, and watches Bruce's eyes narrow.

Bruce's hand is moving on his own chest, sliding
down, sliding up. Tim wants to suck those fingers.
He wants Bruce to --

"Full veto," Tim says. "Of anything, at any time,
for any reason."

Bruce doesn't blink. "Done."

"And no... hesitation."

Bruce slides his hand lower again, following the
center line of his torso. Getting... closer. "And
when you want to be convinced?"

"I'll let you know." It's a victory, of a sort, to keep
his voice steady. Almost entirely meaningless,
though -- he can feel precisely how flushed he is,
and the tunic won't hide the rhythm of his
breathing. Not from Bruce's eyes.

"All right."

He's far too confident. Tim forces himself to stand,
moving slowly in an attempt to mask his reluctance
to actually *fix* his clothes. He can't even take his
hand off his dick. Not with Bruce just lying there,
and entirely too naked.

No one who'd ever seen Bruce's eyes look like this
could ever trust him. But then...

Tim stopped *trusting* Batman a long time ago.
Their partnership isn't about that, and won't ever
be again. And Bruce had probably understood that
far, far sooner than he had. ("Of course *you'd*
think that...")

Bruce isn't even trying to make Tim trust him now.
It makes things more difficult in precisely the right
way. It's... yes.

He balances on one foot to take his boot and sock
off, and then the other. He pushes his shorts and
tights down, and deliberately doesn't look at Bruce
with more than just the edges of his vision.

Tim can't, actually, ignore the input, but there's a
certain degree of plausible deniability that works
for this. When he's naked from the waist down, he
looks up again. Bruce is still at a distance, and still
on the floor, but he's sitting up now.

His belt is a coil of leather beside him, and his
trousers are undone. He's braced on one hand,
while the other...

Tim watches long, blunt fingers slip along the bulge
in Bruce's boxers, not quite slipping within the gap.

Bruce's gaze is on Tim's face, and his smile is a
sharp and faintly sardonic afterthought. Tim
squeezes his own dick *hard* and shifts his stance
until he feels balanced again. Bruce pauses, eyes
narrowed, before resuming the slow, even strokes.
Tim gives up -- a little -- and strokes his own dick.

And has to close his eyes, because while he had
expected his body to be more... reactive than usual,
he had still underestimated Bruce's *effect* on

Bruce hums, low and appreciative.

Of course he'd like to watch.

"I always... suspected." Tim's voice cracks on the
last word and he swallows and breathes.

"Tell me."

"The seductiveness -- it was either supposed to be
a lie or an accident. Or an accidental lie of Batman
d-deciding -- oh."

Bruce is there, of course or at last. Some closing
sentence fragment that would fit, that would be in
character or --

"*Oh* --"

Bruce's hand is on his balls, cupping them. Sliding the
loose skin back and forth and back and -- this close
Tim can smell him, and feel the *heat* of him, and
he can't decide which is more intense.

He rests his free hand on Bruce's bicep and leans
forward, just -- the sweater is still rucked up. Bruce
is *keeping* it rucked up, and Tim's forehead doesn't
feel any more feverish than the skin of Bruce's chest.
He strokes himself faster and drags his face over
Bruce's chest.

Bruce's other hand is in his hair again. Petting him.
"You were saying?"

Tim pants and hears himself make a garbled,
strangled sound, and Bruce... purrs. And slides his
fingers back behind Tim's balls.


"Theory I'm... w-working on."

Bruce presses up *hard* with his fingers, and Tim
rises up on his toes and drags his lips across Bruce's
skin in a panting scream.

"You... *Bruce* --"


"How real you are. How much of you is... is... oh.
*Yes* -- "

Bruce's fingers move rhythmically, ruthlessly,
unevenly hard circles that make Tim shoot pre-
come until he's almost *too* slick for himself. "Keep
going," Bruce says, and his tone is somewhere
between encouraging and *hungry*.

"You. Create each other. Constantly. Bruce and
Batman and Bruce. You -- ohhh." He pants against
Bruce's chest and spreads his legs wider for Bruce,
who's slipping one finger *in*.

Just a finger, but Tim's never -- it was entirely
theoretical. He's.

"Oh, Bruce."

Bruce's other hand tightens in his hair and Tim can
feel him panting, feel the faster, ragged motion of
Bruce's chest against his face and taste new sweat
and feel -- opened. *Invaded*. He strokes himself
faster, *harder*.

"You *play*, Bruce. It's a... it's a fucking *game*.
And you stopped playing for -- oh God -- oh
*God* --"

"Shh," Bruce says, and starts to pet him again, but
it's nothing compared to the thick, hard finger
*moving* in him.

"No. N-no --"

"*Yes*," and Bruce shoves in *hard* and Tim's on
his toes again, moaning again, and coming all over
his own hand.

And Tim pants and grunts when Bruce pulls out
and lets himself be moved. Lowered to the floor
and turned over on his stomach and pushed until
his knees are bent beneath him. He braces himself
on his elbows and breathes.


When Bruce slips in again, his finger is slick and
openly, obviously *testing*. "You stopped playing."

"Did I."

No pause, but this isn't about Bruce showing him
anything, or teasing. Bruce can't stop now. "Yes.
You decided you'd be nothing but Batman -- ah --"

Two fingers, and Tim feels himself sweating, feels
his body *want* to shake. He flexes hard around
Bruce's fingers and groans. Louder when Bruce
spreads him open with his other hand.

"And you... you were so fucking *pissed* that we
didn't understand, right? That we didn't get with
the new *program*."

Bruce doesn't respond -- with words. His fingers
twist and scissor inside Tim, opening him up and
stretching him out. Making him *useable*.

He's going to be hard again soon. "You punished
us for it. Right up until you decided we were
more useful with you than not."

Pause. "It wasn't."

Tim hides a smile against the floor, but doesn't
elide it entirely from his own voice. "A working
theory. Keep going. Keep -- nn."

"You want this."

"Yes. And you don't really know how much --
*yes* -- much of it is a game anymore. But you
know you can play it with *me*."

Bruce digs the fingers of one hand into Tim's cheek
and fucks him harder with the other. "I can do a
lot of things with you."

A charmingly obvious statement, and an obvious
*gift*. Tim works himself back on Bruce's hand
and... breathes. *Lets* himself feel it. Those
fingers, those *weapons* in him that are reduced
to blunt trauma instead of surgical precision.

Bruce crooks them and Tim opens his mouth and
lets the scream fall out, lets himself be right here,
even though there's nothing to be afraid of but
his own need. The floor is cold on his knees and
Bruce's heat is too *close* and this was *never*
what he wanted from Bruce.

This was an idle fantasy and a slightly less idle
question and a game to be played within the safety of
his own mind, scenarios spooled out and rejected,
one by one, until he was *over* it.

Bruce didn't give him enough time, but then Bruce
has always demanded their schedules be his own.

It's no one's fault but his own.


Another crook, another little scream, and Tim
wonders if he's old enough for this.

Laughing just makes him seize and spasm, makes
him flex around Bruce's fingers and groan, and Tim
shifts to rest more of his weight on his left arm and
reaches down and back to grab his own dick.
"Please," he says, at the feel of his thumb sliding so
perfect and hard over the slick head.

"Don't... be so polite," Bruce says and pulls out.

And Tim laughs again and chokes on it, because
Bruce is pushing *in*, slow and steady and --


It feels impossible. Breathing is about rhythm and
sense, not this loud, panting whine.

Bruce's stroke over his back is both meaningful and
perfunctory -- a fundamental truth: this is all the
comfort he can allow.

"*Please*," Tim says again, because he can't not
say it, because it makes Bruce slam in to the hilt,
because Bruce has to *know* it's too much, too
fast and so can't think *anything* disturbing about
Tim's scream.

"Tim --"

"Please. Please, Bruce..."

"Oh," Bruce says, and seizes his hips and pulls out
and slams in *harder*, and he'd laugh again if he

He can't. It's too... it's too...

It's too much like being on his knees in the
*Batcave* getting fucked by a Bruce who just
doesn't care anymore.

Or who doesn't care about the *right* things. Tim
pants and lets Bruce hold him still, because
struggling is just a way to get fucked harder, and
not --

Not yet. Not.

"*Please*," he gasps, and Bruce *pulls* him into
the next thrust, and the next, and Tim's clawing
at the floor and jerking himself just this side of
spastically, because he can't take his hand off his
dick and he can't find a rhythm. He's graceless,
helpless, nothing but a mind in a body too
fuck-stupid to be remotely useful.

"Oh, Tim..."

And he's still better than Bruce.

The advantage of being the object. Of being --
desired --

"Ah -- *Bruce* --"

He's up, pulled back against Bruce's chest, and he
twists and shifts and Bruce *growls* against the
back of his neck and thrusts *up*.

Tim throws his head back and screams and pushes
against Bruce's hold on him and gets pulled
*down*. He can't scream again, because he can't
get *air*. Bruce's arm is an iron bar around his
chest and Bruce's other hand is all *over* him.
Petting and squeezing and stroking and he never

Never --

"Oh God *please*, Bruce --"

"No." Gritted into Tim's ear and Bruce knocks Tim's
hand away from himself and strokes him too slow
and too hard.

"Bruce -- *oh* --"

"It's too much for you."


"You're afraid."

"Yes --"

"I won't stop."

Tim comes so hard it *hurts*, and Bruce
*squeezes* him. "Oh *God* --"

"Not even now."

And he doesn't.

He sucks on the back of Tim's neck and shifts his
hand away from Tim's dick to brace Tim's hip
again, and -- *in*.



Tim feels his eyes roll back in his head, watches
his vision darken more than it should, and sucks
in a hitching breath. Another.

Grabs at the arm Bruce has locked around his
chest and *writhes* --

"Yes, Tim."

It's not a word that comes out of Tim's mouth. It's
barely a whimper, pathetic and high.

"You're beautiful," Bruce says against his neck and
bites him, digging in with his teeth a little harder
on every down-stroke.


"I could have... taken you. On the ground. You
know when."

Tim whimpers again. "Wasn't... *awake* --"

"Yes." And Tim can feel Bruce *smile* against
him. "This is better."

"Wow. I -- *nnn* -- really --"

"Hate me?"

"Yes," he says, and forces himself to flex around
Bruce's dick.

Bruce grunts.

"*Yes*." And he does it again, again, and it's a
little easier every time.

And even easier when Bruce starts to shake.

"I hate you, Bruce," he says, and finds a rhythm
that makes Bruce moan, makes his rhythm brutal
and ragged and helpless.

Bruce squeezes him harder, squeezes the *breath*
out of him, but Tim can still move his hips.

And he does. "You like it. You want -- *fuck* --"

The bite on his shoulder has to be hard enough to
break the skin, and it *hurts*, and Bruce doesn't let

Sucks him and licks him and of course it had to be
this fucked up. Of course it had to be this *sick*,
because it's Bruce, and it's *him*, and he's half-
out of the Robin suit -- out of everything but what
was all but *identical* to the *old* Robin suits,
and he's everything Batman needs.

Tim laughs again, and Bruce shifts and pushes
him down again, *holds* him down against the
floor and settles himself above him and pushes
his legs wider apart and fucks him.

Just like that.

Tim waits, and takes it, and breathes as deeply
as he can.

"Oh, *Batman*."

Bruce jerks and *whimpers*.

And slams in one more time.

And comes in him.

Bruce's body is heavy and hot and sweaty on him.
Uncomfortable, inescapable. Tim shifts enough to
get his arm under his face, and feels Bruce shudder
above him.

And shudders himself when Bruce kisses the back
of his neck. Softly.

"Don't do that."

Bruce laughs against him, and pulls out slowly,
moving -- not enough. He's kneeling above Tim,
straddling his hips and stroking him. Or... it's more
of a massage.

Tim relaxes into it. "Patrol soon."


It feels like an incomplete thought, but Tim really
doesn't want to encourage introspection right now.
They've both spent too much time thinking too
*deeply*. And look where that had gotten them. He
rolls onto his back and -- winces.

"You're going to want to take it easy on yourself."

Tim snorts. "Noted," he says and arches his head
back so Bruce can rub blood back into the bruises
on his neck.



Bruce strokes his throat with his thumb. It makes
Tim want to try to purr. And then that thumb slides
up over his chin and presses down.

Tim looks at Bruce obediently.

"Perfect." And Bruce says it like he'd rather be
burning it into the skin of Tim's forehead.

Or his ass. Tim raises an eyebrow. "Right up until
I actually start wanting... *that* from you."

"Perhaps." Bruce's smile manages to be both sharp
and fond.

"What am I to you? Really." The question is out
before he can stop it, but... he *does* want to
know somewhat more than he doesn't.

Bruce rubs circles onto Tim's chin with his thumb.
His hand smells like come. His eyes are...

Tim stretches experimentally beneath him and

"In some cultures, an interesting emphasis is put
on the nature of a gift. A status awarded to the
person whose gift to another expresses both
affection and knowledge of the other's self. The sort
of knowledge that precludes mercy, or gentleness."

Tim blinks. "I'm a back-handed birthday present
from the universe."

"It's a working theory."

Tim bites the inside of his cheek to keep from

Bruce smiles at him again.

"Patrol," Tim says.


And Bruce stands, and offers his hand to help Tim

Tim takes it, and focuses on the night ahead.


He spoke as though the dropping of the cloak and the
donning of the hide had been the most unconscious
and happenstance of acts. "It was a gift. From a friend.
I like it. Cloaks are supposed to blow and ride out
behind you on the wind -- but ours are too heavy. It
takes the glory out of soldiering." With a black glove,
he caressed the face beside his own, with its sealed
lids, its bared fangs. "And it will remind you, no
matter how pleasant I seem, really, I have teeth."

-- Samuel Delany, _They Fly At Ciron_