Disclaimers: Not mine at all.
Spoilers: Vague ones for older Batverse storylines, and
a bit of Red Hood business.
Summary: "Hate it when Mommy and Daddy fight, do ya?"
Ratings Note: Sexual content, content some readers may
Author's Note: Another riff on Gotham Tomorrow. Mary
really shouldn't leave me to my own devices. As ever,
won't really make a lick of sense without the others.
Acknowledgments: To Jack, Petra, and Betty for
accompanying me down the rabbit hole, yet again.
"Do you know how I came to be Robin?"
Jason frowns, a little --
"The fact that I never told you not being, in any way, an
impediment to your knowing, of course."
-- but not really as much as he wants to, or could. It's not
really -- he's about ninety-eight percent positive that, at
times like these, B doesn't actually mean to come off like
Bruce at his most what-the-fuck. If it ever slips down to
ninety-five --or lower -- things would be different, of
course. But for now... "You mean other than over my
"Other than that, yes," B says -- *Tim* says.
And that's really it, of course. The man's voice with the cowl
right there, with the *Cave* all around them, and there
were times when Jason --
There were a lot of times when Jason wondered if he was
the only one with a sense of *place*, even if his timing was
usually kind of fucked. Well, there was Alfred, but he
didn't really count. And it *does* happen less often now,
and Tim might *look* like he's just sitting there patiently
waiting for Jason to answer his out-of-fucking-nowhere
question, like, in his own time, but...
He's still Batman. Heh. "You stalked the whole *family* for
an unknown length of time -- I *know* it was before I
became Robin. I kicked, you watched a little longer, you
crawled out of the woodwork..." Right when Bruce
needed something -- if not you -- most.
And Tim smiles like every word of that was out loud.
He smiles kind of a fuck of a lot more than the one from
Jason's own universe did, come to think of it. Or maybe
he's just mellowing out with age. "Well?"
"Just about correct," he says. "I went to Dick first. I tried..."
Tim aims the smile at him, cold and knowing *and* inviting.
"I did my level best to explain to him that he *owed*
And Jason -- yeah, he pretty much has to blink. "You --
"As the rotting corpse of a fifteen year old boy."
Jason snorts. "Sick. Yeah, okay, so *after* he kicked the
shit out of you --"
"It didn't -- quite -- come to blows --"
"-- because he *would've* kicked the shit out of you if it
did. Jesus, B."
"Mm. He brought me back to the manor. I'm -- reasonably --
positive it was his intention to dump me on Bruce and go
back to his life."
Jason frowns, but he can't really see anything wrong with
that statement. After a moment, he nods. "But that isn't
"No," Tim says, and, if anything, the smile is a little wider.
"Two-Face was out. Dick went to give Bruce backup. Alfred
took me to the Cave to wait with him -- presumably to
keep an eye on me --"
"He had the *sweetest* shotgun."
Tim nods. "He taught me to use it, one day. Bruce never
really went far beyond handguns and rifles, of course."
Jason had never asked Alfred. He nods. "So what happened
"Bruce and Dick's transmitters went offline. I was terrified.
I... hn." Tim nods toward one of the Cases. "Alfred gave
me your suit to wear."
"Oh, yes. The tunic was practically a dress. The shorts gave
me entirely physical inadequacy issues for years."
Tim wants him to laugh, and it's not -- he can't, right now.
Tim nods, again like he's hearing what Jason can't even say
in his own goddamned head. "There was a house... well. It
was more of a bomb in the shape of a house. Bruce and
Dick were pretty well out of the game. Alfred -- and I --
saved the day."
"And then Dick dumped me on Bruce and went back to his
life. I didn't really see him for more than an hour or so at a
time -- he came to my mother's funeral, of course -- for
over a year."
For a moment, it's still -- on top of everything else --
For a good, solid *minute*, it's still kind of random that
Tim's telling him this *now*, though it's information Jason
could've damned well *used* -- once upon another damned
universe. And then Tim --
And then Robin gives that little grunt that means he's either
sprained one of his fingers on the bars -- again -- or that the
exertion's turning him on. Or both.
And then -- and then, well, Robin is right there. Jesus.
"You son of a bitch," Jason says, shaking his head.
"Certainly, that was my father's opinion much of the time."
"No -- fuck the little jokes, B. He's --"
Most of the time, it feels -- right -- that Tim is the kind of
person who can talk about shit like this, who can *think*
about shit like this, and still stay so cool fucking butter
If he's honest with himself, it still does -- he's the fucking
But he's also a fucking prick --
"B, if you seriously think I'm just gonna leave the kid here,
with *you* --"
"There's going to come a time when I need you elsewhere.
"Yeah, there will. But it's not today, *Tim*."
"No," he says, and Jason's not sure whether it feels weird
or not that it's the first time in the last twenty minutes that
Tim's looking *directly* at him.
Fuck it, he can look right back.
"No, it's not today."
He tells himself the kid smells different after he's been
screwing -- after he's *been* screwed -- by Batman, and he
does. It's just that it's the same smell he has when he's
been jerking off for a while.
(It's still different.)
Jason snorts air out of his nose and drags the kid in from
where he's curled around his own belly on the edge of
Jason's bed, because the last thing he wants to do is make
the kid think --
He doesn't even know, actually. It's just.
He doesn't know, but this feels better than everything else
in his head. More scars than Jason ever had on his back,
about the same amount he used to have on his legs.
The kid -- Tim -- says his uniform is a lot thicker than the
one he used to wear.
"Jason," Tim says, and then just kind of breathes against
his collarbone. Sometimes there's a lick, or a carefully light
bite, but if there was gonna be one tonight, it already
"You shouldn't --"
He's never actually going to tell Tim this, but when he's
about to be real damned honest about something, he
stutters, or growls, or both. Like he's giving up the damned
Cave. Jason slides his hand down to Tim's ass and squeezes,
once, hopefully distracting the kid from --
There. Tim's got both of his lean, not-especially-long thighs
wrapped around one of Jason's own. He isn't hard, but he's
fucking well got *reflexes*.
"Tell me," Jason says.
"You shouldn't fight. With Batman."
It's tempting to ask if he had to sprain his fucking spleen to
get that out, but Jason has had a little time to learn from
'counterproductive.' "Hate it when Mommy and Daddy
fight, do ya?"
That actually gets -- an almost completely non-pervy squirm
out of the kid.
"I'm not -- I'm not fucking nine."
Except when you absolutely are. Jason shakes his head and
scrapes his teeth over Tim's temple until he can get a little
of that thin, little-too-hot-all-the-time skin between his
teeth. When he bites, Tim groans, and digs his fingers in
over Jason's solar plexus. "Sneaky --"
After about two minutes, there's a bruise rising over Jason's
left nipple and Tim's pinned down and staring up. He's got
better night vision than Jason does, but he gets a lot more
fucking practice, too. Fucking -- Joker.
Jason shakes it off and shoves a knee between Tim's
"Are you my brother?"
"I'm not --"
"Are you. My brother."
For a second -- a long one -- Tim looks panicked. Looks
*scared*, and he can't even count the number of ways
that's fucking wrong (Dick would never), but the kid has
*exactly* as much family as Jason does.
Exactly as *nothing*. "Say it."
Jason shoves with his knee, hard enough to hurt, but not
much harder than that, and --
"Jason, *please* --"
"You are. You -- I don't know -- you are."
And it's scared-sounding and hurried and shaky and -- it's
there, it's *out* there, and that's not even close to perfect,
but it'll fucking do. "Yeah," Jason says, "I am."
Jason lets go and eases his knee back, and Tim lies there
and breathes -- pants, watching him or maybe even
searching him -- it's hard to tell, since Jason doesn't
usually bother with any of the lights this close to dawn.
Jason lets him.
"It's why you don't -- why you won't fuck me."
It's a question, but it's a real-damned-*Tim* question, so
it's also a dare to deny it. "Yeah. No. Maybe. There's
more to it."
"And I *did* fuck you, boywhore."
The glitter of the smile he gets is perfectly visible. "I like
Boy Whore better."
Jason snorts and scrubs a hand back through his hair. "Of
course you do. Look, maybe I just think *Robin* would be
better off if he could fucking own people *without*
bending over, every once in a while."
"You think I can't take care of myself?"
And that's more threat than promise, which is just right, in
its way, but sometimes Jason *does*, actually, like to get a
full four hours sleep without worrying about a knife aimed
at his fucking *eye*, so... yeah. Serious, now -- "Not all
the danger is out *there*, bro."
And the look Tim's giving him is about a million kinds of
protest, but it's just a look, and Jason's got his own.
And Tim looks away first.
Good. *Now* maybe they can sleep --
"You still shouldn't fight. With Batman."
It's a good enough night -- and two good enough *shots* --
that he winds up grinning through the blue-grey smoke
coming out of his nine, all thin and ominous like the
danger's still coming, instead of all over but the mop-up --
which *isn't* his job.
And then there's black at the corner of his peripheral vision,
and the faintest little *grunt*, and he's glad he's grinning.
He knows what Batman likes.
He spins the gun over his finger, holsters it, and lets
himself fall back into a lean against the door of the
bodega -- the glass is cracked, but the suit only *looks*
like it'll rip to shreds if Jason breathes wrong.
B prowls the place, stepping right over the ex-armed-
robbers like he hadn't checked for himself that they
were good and dead sometime when Jason wasn't
looking, and heading for the counter.
Just another family business -- Mom-and-teenaged-kid
cowering half-under the cigarette case with a roll of
scratch-off tickets hiding pretty much nothing.
B just stares at 'em, and, after another few seconds of
hitched breaths and whimpers, they say all the right
words -- exactly what happened, and a few heartfelt
promises not to tell a soul anything.
They're so good B doesn't even give them the smile of
piss-your-pants-now-worm, just walks right back out into
The boy stands when he's gone -- fast enough for Jason
to give him a little salute before he follows B.
Before he walks into the night and the nothing and the
*night*, and -- there, rooftop north-northwest, another
flap of the cape Bruce always used for drama and drag,
and B likes to use as a come-on.
When he gets there, B's dominated the only available
shadow, and... yeah. That's just fine, really. Because B's
expecting him to chest-up a little for it, but *Robin*...
He knows what Robin wants, too, and the crazy little
fucker isn't wrong about everything, all the time.
He crouches on the balustrade, tilting his head back
enough that the wind can fuck with his hair a little --
"That wasn't in the directives."
Jason grins at the sky. "It will be."
"You read ahead. I."
*Now*, Jason looks back over his shoulder. "I told Robin
I'd let him drive one of the cars if he hacked out something
interesting from your systems. I like the new directives, B.
It's about fucking time we take a stand."
"It isn't zero tolerance --"
Jason cuts him off with a hand wave. "No, and it shouldn't
be, because you've left just enough of the GCPD intact that
if we piss 'em off *too* much, they'll be a problem."
B -- *Tim* -- looks away, tensing up just enough under
the cape that Jason's almost sure he's seeing it, as
opposed to just feeling it.
"Come home. With me."
And that's downright interesting, but... "The night is
young -- hey. Shit..."
The suit's just fucking thing dart enough. The suit is.
He wakes up swinging, which is both satisfying and useful
information -- he wasn't restrained.
He's smart enough to keep himself from immediately
leaping down from the bed -- gurney -- he knows his legs
won't hold him anywhere near reliably for at least another
twenty minutes -- but he *is* still suited up, and he's got
everything to hand except the gun, which is --
Which is being handed to him, from behind and over his
left shoulder. By Batman. What the -- no.
"What the *fuck*?"
"I need to talk to you," B says, and comes around to face
him. And pulls off the cowl looking like Jason could do
something worse than giving him a double-tap to the
"Carrie didn't live with me," he says, and then stops.
And see, he's pretty fucking sure that it would be *useful*
to be patient right now, but he can't really manage that.
To his credit -- and he really fucking deserves some
credit -- he *just* cocks the gun and aims it. At Tim's
"Dick never -- and Steph. And Cassandra --"
"Dead or fucking AWOL. Not me. Not *us*."
"It's just. You should understand. Something," Tim says,
and stops *again*.
Jason leans forward, slowly, and carefully places the
gun against Tim's temple.
Tim just looks at him, silent and fucking -- fucking
"Fucking -- don't *do* that, B --"
And Jason has a moment -- another -- of what-the-fuck,
but then he doesn't, because the skin's crawling between
his shoulderblades. Robin. *Right*. He blows out a breath.
"Take it easy, freakboy. The grownups are talking."
Silence, and more silence.
And a little more silence --
"He have the boot knife?"
"The tazer. For metas."
The lethal one for *humans*, of course. "Good, because I
gave him that knife." Jason shakes his head, rolls his
gun-arm in his shoulder socket, and...
Watches Tim smile at him. It's small, and friendly, and
once upon a multiverse, a seventeen year old Tim Drake
never smiled at him like that.
Jason swallows, and holsters the gun. "So what do I need
"I don't -- it's not that I want you to go."
"No? Because --"
"Jason if the only thing -- Robin's a *fucking* mess. I
could kill you in front of him, and he'd still never -- he'd
still be mine. I'd just have to start -- beating him
regularly, or something. Maybe starving him."
He doesn't say 'I saw him first,' and he really doesn't bother
pointing out all the things wrong with that statement.
Because there's not enough.
"You know that. And you know that if I never wanted to
see him again, I could just give you the cowl."
Jason *also* doesn't shudder. "You're -- oversimplifying."
"Am I?" Tim cocks his head, slightly. "Perhaps a little. It's
just -- it's not the point. It's. I don't."
"You could spit it out any fucking time now."
And Tim doesn't look down, but... it's there. In his shoulders,
in the way Jason can *feel* the guy's hands twitching even
though they're hidden under the fall of the cape. And he
never wanted this. He never --
This isn't what he was trying to get *back*, and it's not --
"You know how I felt about Dick --"
"Anyone paying *attention* had to know -- fuck, *Bruce*
probably knew --"
"He teased me about it, actually. Fairly often. When we
were getting along. Like it was just something we could
Jason snorts despite himself. "Yeah, I -- I'm pretty sure
Bruce never got how fucking creepy it was when he'd give
me those meaningful looks when I was macking on some
Tim snorts -- quieter -- and pinches the bridge of his nose.
"I -- he actually *bought* my first girlfriend's family -- I -- "
"Jesus. Just. It got to the point -- before we started fucking --
I was actually rooting for Catwoman. Because there was a
*chance* he wouldn't try to *talk* to me about it --"
"Be glad you missed the family dinners when they *did*
"Oh my fucking --" Jason scrubs his hand over his face. "I. I
don't know if I want you to tell me or *not* --"
"Hn. Hnn. I -- Jason, I just. I wanted you to understand. I
just. Dick left me here, and all I had was Bruce. And it was
all I wanted for a while. Because it was Batman. Ah."
And that's -- a whole lot. Right there. "What? But --"
"I know you -- I watch you with Robin. He doesn't
understand why you keep -- trying. Not yet."
Oh. Well. Shit -- "I know that. I know --"
"You don't. Not really. You think you didn't have a choice
about how tied you were to Bruce. Right?"
"Well, I -- he had a fucking *leash*, and that's *before* --"
"Jason," Tim says, and it feels like a touch even though it
isn't, even though he's pretty sure he's never going to wake
up one dawn to find Tim an inch away from kissing him,
looming over every damned thing ever.
"All the people Bruce kept you away from... most of them
never even existed in Robin's world."
And. He knew that, too. Fuck. "You think he needs time."
"Yes. And I want -- I wanted that to be. Easier."
And that... had exactly as much in it as anything Bruce
never quite said. So much that he doesn't really know
what to say. Not until after he's got his hand on the catches
on the cape, after it's on the floor and Jason's other hand is
sliding over the patches of not-quite-stubble on Tim's cheek,
after Tim's cupping his face and kissing him with his eyes
closed tightly enough that there are actually a few lines
After Jason pushes off and breathes a little against a
damp-salty place behind Tim's ear. It smells like leather
and armor, and tastes exactly like...
"You taste the same, you know. It's fucking terrifying."
That's not what he wanted to say.
"Certainly I taste my own semen a lot less often."
Jason actually spits a little in Tim's ear. "Fuck, I'm -- not
apologizing for that at all. By the way."
"I'm not going anywhere."
Jason slides his hands down to Tim's shoulders and
squeezes, and pushes off a little more. "And I'll tell you
when I need you to make something easier on me."
Tim's right hand twitches, once, and then it's tucked under
the cape again.
It's kind of an answer, and Jason knows -- he thinks he
knows -- what it is. It's enough of an answer, anyway, for
him to nod. "So *why* did you fucking tranq me?"
"Yes," Tim says, and pulls on the cowl.
"Batman says you're not fighting anymore."
Jason grunts, which he thinks is a pretty damned coherent
response, considering the fact that he's waking up to
Robin -- Tim -- straddling his chest and fucking reeking
of... whatever the hell he'd been doing with Batman.
And naked. Definitely naked.
"Usually, you put something on, bro. Like... boxer shorts."
He would totally settle for boxer shorts.
"I haven't had a shower," Tim says, digging his knees a little
into Jason's obliques.
"Fucking obviously -- oh."
And Jason's eyes are still gummed shut with all the sleep
he's not getting, but he thinks he can guess what kind of
smile is on the kid's face. Smug and a little blank, because
Tim does a lot of shit on reflex, too.
"You want me to...?"
"I'm a dirty, dirty Robin."
Jason chokes a little and smacks Tim on the head, and
wonders, briefly and masochistically, how *often* B spanks
the kid, and Tim's knees are sharp and pointy and painful,
and, by the time they make it up off the floor, he feels
dirty enough on the *outside* to completely justify
It's not that there aren't times when he has to justify this
fucking little habit to himself, after all.
Most of the time, though, it just feels like the exact right
thing to do, one more way to get Tim used to him, to...
There are times when Jason's pretty sure Tim forgets he's
real, as opposed to that nebulous thing that fills in the
pieces that Tim can't reach -- for Batman.
"I'm gonna tell you something," he says, "about me."
"Mm," Tim says, and rests his head on his scarred, crossed
"I don't... I don't know what it is yet, though."
"Okay," Tim says, and when he starts to doze, Jason turns
the temperature of the water down just a little.
Just enough to keep it from getting to be real sleep.
He might figure it out before it's time to crash again, after