Disclaimers: Not mine by any stretch of the
Spoilers: None, really.
Summary: Jason doesn't know what he's doing, but
he knows what he wants.
Ratings Note/Warnings: NC-17. Content some
readers may find disturbing.
Author's Note: The missing scene from "At
starving eyes." Yeah, that one. Almost certainly
won't make sense without reading that one
Title, again, from "An Exequy" by Peter Porter.
Acknowledgments: To Jack and LC for audiencing,
encouragement, and *patience*. Heh.
Bruce is looking at him in kind of a weird way.
It's not weird. There's a lot in that look he's used
to, a lot that he *remembers* from back when...
back then. Three years. And Jason knows Tim
wasn't lying about that, and he knows that it
*couldn't* have been any longer than that --
Bruce doesn't look a day older.
But he also knows that time stops meaning
much of anything at all on the other side of
And the look in Bruce's eyes says he knows that,
Not that it's a surprise.
Bruce and death. Bruce is... it's hard to put
Bruce knows about *that*, too.
He isn't touching Jason -- yet -- but Jason can
feel him *looking*, even with his back turned.
Feel him wanting. And that makes him feel the
way it always did. Like there's something *he*
needs to do, something he *can* do, that he
has to do because... because.
What he's here for, right? Sort of. Maybe.
He wishes he knew how to ask.
Somehow it seems like all that time *dead*
should've counted for something like a clue.
Though you probably only got clues if you...
He can't leave. He *won't*.
He's *home* now, in the Cave, and it feels
like it's been forever and it feels like...
Like if he turned around and looked over
*there*, he could see the grinning kid he
was forever and ever ago, asking Bruce how
he looked. In the suit.
That's in... no. He'd grown *out* of the
first suit. The one in that... that freaking
*case* was actually his third and... he
shakes his head, and there's a sound -- Bruce
wants him to *know* that he's coming
Don't say my name like that. Not. Not. Jason
doesn't turn around. "Where is it?"
"My first suit. The one I grew out of."
It isn't really the question he wants to ask.
It's not even in the first twenty. But... it'll do
for a start.
"I mean..." He turns his head. A little. Enough
to see Bruce out of the corner of his eye. He
tries a smile. "You keep everything, right?"
"There is... behind the suits. My suits."
"There's nothing..." Jason blinks. "You have
a hidden *room* in here? Just for the suits
we all grew out of? Wait, of course you do.
"They aren't trophies. They aren't memorials.
They're..." Bruce's voice is matter-of-fact,
and a little... Maybe embarrassed.
"They're yours." In their old house, when he
was little, before it had all gone to shit, they'd
had an attic. And his mother -- the woman
he'd *thought* was his mother -- had kept
boxes of his things.
Bruce's hand is on his shoulder, and it's
another one of the things he remembers,
even in *this* body. The gentle touch that
would make Bruce Wayne snort, or be
horrified, because it isn't gentle at all.
Not with hands like that.
Batman isn't good at being gentle.
"Jay. Please look at me."
Maybe Tim knows this touch, too. In some
way. In... he could ask. He could... if he
looks, kind of with the edges of this vision
that isn't like vision at all, because he can't
*actually* make his eyes turn around that
way, and anyway it isn't --
If he looks, he can see Tim curled up like
a baby in that freaky black pearl that is and
isn't Tim's mind. Their mind.
He knows that if he looks *too* closely, Tim
will wake up again, and --
He isn't actually ready for that, yet. He turns
around, and Bruce's hands are on his face
and he flinches. And Bruce looks like
somebody punched him. Somebody really
*big*, because, well, people punch Bruce all
"I'm. I --"
"Bruce. Um. It's... I don't think --"
Jason can *see* him steeling himself, and it's
just another... *he* shouldn't be able to see
that. He'd never been *able* to see that kind
of thing before. Like having a voice in his
head with all the answers, only not. Jason
stares at the floor.
"You're right, of course. I shouldn't... I..."
It's hard to listen to Bruce practically
*stammer*, and that little not-voice wants to
tell him about embarrassment, and how
emotional stuff is hard for Bruce, and it
feels like remembering and it feels like
*learning* and... he gets it. "Oh," he
manages. And tries to figure out how to
put it into words. Because...
Tim's little pearl has a few cracks now.
Jason's pretty sure they're his fault. He
catches Bruce's hands in his own and looks
at them. The gauntlets on *his* hands are
almost the same as Jason's had been.
Tim's hands are smaller, though, and Jason
had already *known* that they weren't really
used to doing the kinds of things he'd used
*his* hands for. He just hadn't really thought
of all the ways that was true. He can feel a
laugh bubbling up the back of his throat and
he swallows it back. "Bruce, I think. I think..."
He takes a breath and forces himself to look
up into Bruce's eyes.
*Searching* eyes, hungry, hopeful eyes.
And Jason can feel parts of his mind that
probably aren't his at *all* making guesses.
Making *judgments*. It's probably wrong
that it makes this much sense. "I'm here.
I'm *me* --"
"I know." And Bruce doesn't move his hands
so much as really feel like he's *about* to
move his hands.
"But this isn't my body --"
"I know that, too." And Bruce smiles at him
in a way that makes his heart twist and his
body... flinch. And Bruce isn't smiling
"Uh. I think." He really needs to spit this
out. "I think Tim's not really used to... this.
Bruce's eyes widen, and it's almost funny.
"I think..." And if he wasn't dead sure Bruce
hadn't been fucking Tim before, he would
Bruce backs off a step, letting go of Jason's
hands, and he's got his thinking face on.
"Er..." Jason pushes a hand through his hair,
and has to *stop*, because, really, how
much gel does one kid need?
And Bruce is looking at him with another faintly
amused smile, and Jason knows he'd seen all
His own move. Tim's body. His reactions,
"Yeah -- whoa --"
He doesn't see the strike coming at all. By the
time he sees *anything*, he's about four feet
away from Bruce, on an angle, and... holding
Tim's staff. He blinks.
"What the *fuck*, Bruce?"
"Testing a theory. That's one of the first
attacks I trained Tim with. He knows it so
well that his reactions are..." Another smile,
and Jason stares down at his hand -- Tim's
He's spinning the staff.
"Reflexive," Bruce says.
"Well, that's..." Not even remotely more
fucked up than any of the rest of this. Jason
laughs and pokes at the staff until he can
figure out how to make it retract again. And
tucks it away. "So... you see the problem."
"Tim's body doesn't... want the same things
Jason breathes and stares at the floor. They'd
never really *talked* about that. This. Any of
it. They'd never said it baldly.
Maybe they should've. "I don't. I don't even
know what I *was* to you, Bruce. I mean, I
Bruce grabs him by the chin, and his body
*itches* with the need to do... something.
Even more when Jason can see that Bruce's
eyes are just... naked. Full of raw *feeling*.
"I loved you. I will *always* love you."
"I'm not --" Alive. In the right body. Who you
think I am.
"You *are*," Bruce says, and kisses him, and
it's... it's the battle of the reflexes. Tim curling
and shifting inside him -- *fighting*, even
though he's still asleep -- and Jason...
Bruce always kisses so *seriously*. Even
when he was playing, when he was happy
and just wanted... whatever he wanted. Only
that's a lie, because he gets it now. Or Tim
gets it and is letting him in on the secret.
Nobody loves like Bruce.
Jason pants into Bruce's mouth and Bruce slips
his tongue in, and he *really* wants to know
what Tim's *deal* is. It's just a kiss -- a really
good, *hot*, kiss, and it's exactly the kind he
likes the best, where Bruce is holding on to
his face and just licking in, tasting him and
holding him still, like he can't get enough.
Only, one, he's not going to *ask* Tim, or
even think too much about it, because the
*last* thing he needs is for Tim to wake up
to *this*, and, two, if Bruce is tasting
anything at all... it isn't him.
He works his hands up between them and
*pushes*, and Bruce groans into his mouth
and bites his lip and Jason's knees don't feel
half as steady as they did a minute ago.
God, how had he ever...
Bruce's need is something palpable,
*physical*. Like he's being touched even
more than he is. Like he's --
"Jay. Don't make me stop. Please."
"Oh God --"
Bruce's hand in his hair, and the other
pushing *his* hands aside and reaching
down between them. Not even the feel of
all that gel cracking and all of that new,
different, *wrong* armor on this Robin suit
is enough to make it feel like anything but
Bruce touching *him*.
He feels the cape go, and Bruce's mouth is
on his throat, sucking above the collar of
Tim's -- his -- above the tunic --
"I missed you, Bruce," and it's the truth and
they're the only words that will come out
coherently, anyway, and Bruce growls
against his skin and tightens his hand in
And pulls back, stripping down fast and
The way he always does. For anything that
voice-that-isn't says, or maybe thinks. All
the missing time is on Bruce's body -- more
new scars than anyone should be able to
get in three years. Jason doesn't think the
man's nudity has ever felt this *comforting*
before, this *validating*, as if the cold dark
eternity that Jason's been trying to fight his
way out of is just as real as it always felt. "Too
long," he says, and Bruce looks at him like he's
just said the most painfully obvious thing
He laughs and feels Tim shifting and reaching
for it, for sound and meaning (life) and *uses*
it, pulling Bruce back to him and down into
another kiss. *This* makes sense. Everything
he'd ever done with his *body* had *always*
made sense, because Bruce was always right
there with him, or mirroring him, or, God,
*tasting* him. Like he can't get enough.
Tim's pulling back again, making Jason cold,
or empty, or... no. No, it doesn't matter. Mine,
he thinks, and sucks Bruce's tongue, and
rubs himself against all that *skin*. Heat and
life and pain.
*Mine*, he thinks, and the feel of it rolls
silently down and in, swallowing all the black
down and down where it should be.
Where Jason needs it to be.
Bruce breathes fast and hot against his mouth
and tugs on the suit the way he always did,
and... it doesn't work. Jason blinks and
remembers that it *isn't* his suit, and feels
another crack, another moment of -- no.
*Bruce* knows what he's doing, and gets
him out of the wrong, wrong suit, and the
way his fingers fumble -- a little -- is almost
as comforting as the feel of his scars under
"You see me," he says, and Bruce growls
and *stops*, one hand cupping Jason's ass
and the other on his face bruisingly hard,
bruisingly perfect, perfect as the way his
eyes pin Jason to the *world*.
"I won't let you go."
Jason's knees try to buckle and Bruce *lifts*
him, holding him against his body and yanking
at the tights and shorts and everything else
until Jason can kick them away and wrap his
legs around Bruce's waist.
Bruce is *hard*, his dick a slick, hot
inevitability against Jason's stomach. Jason
rocks against it and Bruce says "Jay," and
shoves a hand into his hair again, yanking
his head back and licking his throat,
dragging his *teeth* along the skin and biting
when Jason moans.
"I missed you," he says again. "I need you --
Fast, moving *fast*, and he's up against a
wall, his back is cold and Bruce is pushing
against him so hard that he can't breathe,
*biting* him --
"Bruce, yes don't stop --"
"I won't," Bruce says, and there's a wintry
laugh in his voice that isn't quite right, or
Bruce had always been so *happy* when
Jason liked it, but this seems less happy
than... he isn't sure.
And then he is. Bruce is mocking himself,
says that little not-voice.
Bruce is scared, Bruce couldn't stop if he
*tried*, what are you doing to us, what are
Jason ignores the shifting, the *twisting* in
the black. "I won't leave."
"No," Bruce says, and bites the other side of
Jason's throat, thrusting against him and
scraping Jason's back against the wall.
"I won't -- I won't -- oh *God* --"
Bruce's fingers in his cleft, and Jason shoves his
hips forward and hears himself whine and no,
okay, Tim doesn't, he *hasn't*, and it burns like
the first time, but that's okay, too.
Jason *remembers* the first time, and the way
Bruce had kissed him while he pushed *in*, the
way he always did, the way he's doing right
now. Licking his tongue and kissing him hard,
again and again, like distracting Jason from the
discomfort is an afterthought, and nowhere near
as important as just *kissing* him.
He moans into Bruce's mouth, he pants and he
*takes* it, and his mind knows what to make
this body do.
"Mine," he breathes against Bruce's mouth,
Groans, because Bruce pulls out and pushes
in again, one finger, big and hard *enough*
and fucking him, fast and hard and --
"Fuck *yes* --"
And Bruce holds Jason's body against the wall
with his own and *looks* at him and the smile
is right, it's *just* right. Wide and white and
fierce and hungry and Jason stares at it,
*into* it until his eyes start to burn, until he
has to throw his head back and dig his fingers
into Bruce's shoulders, until he has to just
It's not enough friction for his dick, but it also
doesn't really matter. It's too good.
It's everything he hasn't had in so *long*. A
body and *feeling*. Sweat on his skin and
teeth on his throat and the way he can't get
his lungs full and --
"Everything -- Bruce..."
Bruce pauses and shifts and *drives* against
Jason, knocking a breathless moan out of him
with every thrust and fucking him in time and
Jason gives up and lets himself sink a little,
lets himself *feel* it, and even though his real
back is against the cold, cave wall, his mind
wants him to feel the black, the shattering,
trembling (wrong) sweetness of Tim's
And he knows that the fact that Tim's still
'sleeping' has as much to do with what *Tim*
needs as what he does.
I'm sorry, he thinks, and comes groaning, all
over Bruce's dick and his own stomach.
Bruce shudders like some kind of localized
earthquake and doesn't stop fucking him,
doesn't stop thrusting against him, and his
dick slides through the come between them
and the smell of it --
Sex and sweat and Bruce and --
Tim, he doesn't say, he doesn't even want to
*think*, and he feels like he's going to be sick
and he feels like he's going to need to come
And he knows he will.
"Oh God, Jay..."
Jason holds on tight and moves with it, *takes*
And doesn't think about the black.
.And you alone of pure