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air, you breathe, The

by Te

The air, you breathe
by Te
January 28, 2004

Disclaimers: The apotheosis of not mine.

Spoilers: None. Assume vague current Batman-Robin canon.

Summary: Batman and Robin vs. The Terrible Slash Clich!

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

Author's Note: Jack's bunny, I'm almost sure. I told Shrift about it, and she told me to make it a challenge. And so this story is for the first annual (ha!) Sex Pollen Challenge.

Acknowledgments: Shrift and the Jack also audienced, and gave many helpful suggestions and noises of encouragement. And then the Jack beta-read. Which is cool. :D

Feedback: Worshipped.


Tim has become fond of incendiary devices over the years. Not too fond -- that way lies madness, criminal activity, and even stranger costumes -- but fond, just the same. There are any number of occasions when small, containable fires and explosions come in handy, after all, and also...

Well, fire's kind of pretty.

He's not immune.

And fire's especially pretty when it's saving his ass, as it is now. Yet another Ivy-infected greenhouse, yet another case of near-death-by-vegetation. Just near enough to be annoying.

Tim has nothing in particular against plants, but he has to admit a certain level of satisfaction at burning Ivy's.

Hey, they attacked first.

And really, Batman's got the woman herself under control, so he's supposed to handle the clean-up. And maybe crack jokes. 'Burn, baby, burn' is just a little too retro, though. 'Whee' is probably inappropriate, considering the fact that some of the plants are actually screaming in pain with their little plant mouths. 'Ashes to ashes...' No.

He shrugs internally and keeps tossing his bombs.

He can hear Ivy cursing incoherently over his shoulder, so that's going according to plan.

Maybe they can start carrying napalm. He thinks about it while dodging some especially vengeful-looking roots.

Possibly too Apocalypse Now.

"You always HURT MY PLANTS."

Tim smirks back over his shoulder. "And you always state the blindingly obvious, but you don't hear me complaining." There, that wasn't bad. A little predictable, sure, but an opening line was -- Audrey III, trying to bite off his head.

He dodges, and Batman doesn't actually say anything, but there's a lecture in the line of his shoulders.

Right. Be careful, Robin. He gets it. He does.

But he's supposed to make with the snappy repartee. It goes with the tights and everything.

The mean green mother from... well, Gotham Heights, goes down with a snarl and a sploosh and he hears Ivy make that 'oof' noise that tends to mean -- yep. Another glance and Batman has her tied to a pillar, tranq gun poised to deliver the knock-out if she so much as thinks funny at a plant.

Which only leaves the rest of the clean-up. Fine by him, he's got homework. Homework that was technically supposed to be done before patrol tonight, but hey, it's only English. Poetry analysis can wait until he's firmly back in bullshit mode, and he still has to check to make sure all the evil-ized plants are burning.

And, because Batman is anal like that, that as many of the non evil plants are as safe as possible.

He goes into motion-detector mode, scanning for anything suspicious --

"Fire. It's always fire with you!"

"Fire purifies," offers the Bat in full sarcasm mode. Not bad. All sorts of literary allusions there.

But there's something kind of funny about the planter box in the corner. The bulbous little pods aren't moving so much as --

"Fire also generates, Batman."

"Masks," he hears Batman say, and yeah, he's on it, but he's also in it.

As in covered in it. Glittery blue dust sticking to his sweaty arms and face and burning the shit out of his eyes and why did he have the lenses retracted? And he hears something moving fast and drops instinctively.


"I'm good, but I can't --" He coughs helplessly and rolls, knowing there's a table around here somewhere. He feels roasted vines crumble beneath him as he goes. "I can't see."

"I've got you."

And he does, strong arms holding Tim tight to his chest, which is both embarrassing and reassuring, but -- "Ivy --"

"Gone. We'll deal with her later."

Well, it's not like he hasn't had long nights before. Batman gets him outside -- he can mainly tell by the cool air and the reassuring stink of car exhaust -- and sets him on his feet.

The plants are still screaming somewhere behind him and --

"Hold still."

Gauntleted hand on his face, gloved fingers forcing his eye open and there isn't time to do more than bite his lip before the saline solution hits. He keeps his teeth right there while Bruce goes for the other, and then just lets his eyes do all the crying they want. Better in the long run.

"Do I even... wanna know what I look like?"

"Hm. You might consider changing your name."

"Blue jay. Ha freaking ha. Just tell me this stuff washes off." He still can't see Bruce as more than a large, wavery outline vaguely in front of him.

"Keep blinking. And if it doesn't wash off... Bruce Wayne will have to come up with a good explanation for his stockholders."

"Aw, man, they got you, too?"

"I've given some thought to expanding the masks," he says, and there's something a little off about his voice.

"We need napalm."

"We need... hmm."

And he wants to ask 'what?' But mostly he kind of knows. Ivy doesn't just kick a guy when she can strangle him, too, and there's no way the blue junk was just a diversion. "We need to get back to the Cave."

"... yes."

Just a moment's hesitation, but there just the same. And everything he's feeling could just boil down to various endorphins except for how it really doesn't. He blinks and tries to focus. "Uh." Tries really hard, and the dark outline of the Batsuit solidifies for a second. "Batman?"

The outline shakes. No, the world shakes.

Or... no, he's definitely shaking.

Hard hand on his shoulder. "Steady."

Except that Bruce doesn't sound all that steady, even when he gives the command for the car to come find them.


And then he's being yanked in mostly a straight line, and the car resolves itself out of the hazy, smoky gloom. "I don't --"

"I know."

Bruce pushes him into the passenger seat, and Tim reaches for the belt and... misses. Twice.

He blinks and tries again and Bruce catches his wrists and holds them and does up the full restraints.

"I wasn't planning on jumping into traffic," is what he tries to say, but he doesn't think it comes out all that clearly.

"Trust me."

"Yeah, okay..."

Bruce gives his wrists a squeeze and shuts the door, moving around to the other side and doing up his restraints.

And this is important; there's a question here he absolutely should be asking, but the seat is soft and hard against his back and the straps are holding him down, and then Bruce says "autopilot, Cave."

And they're moving.


Or... no. Tim is, for some reason, pressing himself back against the seat and digging his fingernails into the dash like they were going fast. But they aren't. "Batman...?"

He gets a grunt in response.

He's usually pretty good at translating those, but this one is just kind of beyond him. If the straps would just stop touching him, he could figure it out. He knows he could. He struggles and hears himself making frustrated sounds, and somehow that just makes it... different.

Definitely different.

There's a clue here, and if he wasn't so hard he couldn't think --

"Tim. Stop that."

"I have to --" Except that thought just kind of dies, because, hey, he can see again. Mostly.

Mostly enough to see Bruce looking at him, absolutely rigid except for one hand which is... tugging at his own restraints. One big, hard hand.

There's definitely a clue here. He just needs help finding it. And Bruce is good at that learning process thing, so Tim reaches across and grabs that hand and drags it to where he needs it. And Bruce makes a kind of strangled noise that Tim can't hold on to, because Bruce is holding on.

To the straps between his legs, tugging them away from his crotch to leave room for his knuckles and this is it, this is exactly what he's been missing. Tim rocks up and reaches down, holding that fist in place and groaning. He's so hard and it's so good, rubbing himself on those knuckles. Even through the tights.

"I want to be naked."

"I know."

Which is an odd enough response that Tim looks over at Bruce... who isn't looking at him anymore. He's staring straight forward, jaw working and body set in this weird position like maybe he's pretending he doesn't have a right arm.

Even while that hand is moving, pushing hard against Tim's jock.

"Is this..." He frowns. He doesn't know what he wants to ask. He watches his own hands work, watches them petting Bruce's fingers, stroking and pulling them. Watches them tugging Bruce's hand out of its fist and turning it so that the palm is a faintly curved place he can thrust into. "Bruce..."

"Ivy. Poison... Ivy."

"I think she got us," he says, and that's the funniest thing he's ever said, especially since laughing makes the muscles of his stomach flex and pull and it's like every feeling in the world is flowing into his dick. He needs... he lets go of Bruce long enough to yank at the tunic, tugging it up far enough that he can tug his tights down, and the first touch of Bruce's hand on just his abdomen makes him groan.

"Tim --"

"Please. Oh, please..." It's not funny anymore. It's burning him alive and he shoves Bruce's hand under his jock and it's cooler. Better. The gauntlet. "Bruce, I need --" And the rest falls apart into a sob when Bruce wraps his hand around Tim's dick and squeezes.

"You have to hold on --"

"Can't. I can't, I'm sorry," and he is. He's fucking Bruce's fist and he's so sorry because he gets it. This is sex, and this is sex with Bruce, and he can't stop. Can't even keep himself from folding his hands around Bruce's fist to keep it there.

And it's dry and it hurts and he's burning so much, everywhere Bruce isn't touching him. Burning and needing and desperate and all he can do is bite his lip to hold in the scream when he comes.

It doesn't work.

But he can breathe again. He hadn't even realized he was holding his breath, but he can breathe again and forcibly unclench his hands from around Bruce's own. Sticky hands. He whimpers and holds them away from himself.

And this is Bruce's cue to say something, but all he does is slide his hand up off Tim's cock and.

Tim can't look away.

He's... Bruce is sniffing his fingers, other hand wrapped tight around the restraints. And licking. Sucking.

Tim hears himself gasp and realizes he wasn't breathing. Again. The burn comes back like a whip crack, slicing him open from his dick to his throat and he doesn't have time to so much as soften before the blood is pounding in his ears again. "Bruce." It comes out choked.

Bruce freezes. Pulls his fingers out of his mouth with a wet pop. Licks his lips. And opens his restraints.

"Oh, fuck." He manages to get through half of his own, and then there's a metallic flash and they're just gone, knife shuddering half-buried in the dash.

Bruce hauls Tim over the center console and into his lap and Tim has enough time to hope the autopilot's computer is really intelligent before Bruce is kissing him, hot mouth and slick tongue and hard teeth on his lip and jaw.

The suit's in the way and Tim yanks at it for a second before Bruce claws it open, tearing the collar and leaning in and sucking on Tim's Adam's apple for a breath-stopping moment before he moves on, sucking him a necklace of bites and Tim throws his head back and yells.

Pumping his hips against Bruce's chest and scrabbling for something solid to hold -- there. One hand on the back of the seat and the other on Bruce's shoulder, and Bruce's hands...

All over him. Sliding under the cape to squeeze his ass and yank the tights further down, down to his hips, yanking Tim down until he's straddling Bruce's lap, bruised by fingers and armor and needing more. "Bruce --"

The kiss sucks the air out of his body, the mind out of his head, Bruce's tongue fucking its way in and Bruce's hands pulling Tim's body against his own. Moving him, urging him on, and Tim has to fight to get his hands between them, fight himself to stop thrusting long enough to get at the catches of the Batsuit and down to skin.

Bruce grunts into his mouth and breaks the kiss long enough to take a shuddering breath.

"Tim." His voice cracks on the word and then he's biting Tim's throat again, hands flexing hard on Tim's hips until he can get past Bruce's jock, and he's hot and hard, thick in his hands and leaking, and Tim knows he's making fucked-up, hurt-sounding noises, but he can't stop until he gets their dicks together, until he can jerk them roughly.

No rhythm, and the car takes a turn hard enough to nearly throw him off, but Bruce just holds on and keeps sucking.

Moaning now, sounding hurt and desperate, and one hand slides back between his cheeks and strokes.

Once, hard, and Tim's dick spits pre-come all over them, all over his hands.

Slick and hot, and he leans in for an awkward kiss just in time for the car to swerve again, and it just drags his mouth over Bruce's cheek and into the weirdly spicy grit of Ivy's pollen.

And he knows it's a bad idea, knows it's just going to make it worse, but he can't stop licking, jerking them both off while Bruce pants and groans into his ear, licks his ear, rumbles, "you feel..."

But if he was going to say anything else, it's lost under Tim's shout as Bruce shoves one finger in. Just a little bit, and it's the come-slick hand, but it's not slick enough. It hurts and it feels wrong, but he couldn't stop moving his hips if he tried.

He can't try.

And every thrust of his hips pushes it in a little further, drives him up higher, blue on his tongue and venomous green in his mind and it takes a moment to figure out that it was Bruce who just came.

Tim's still hard, still moving in the slick mess of his hands.

And Bruce's finger is... pushing. Opening him.

"Bruce," and it sounds like he's begging, and he is, but Tim doesn't have any words left but "Bruce" and "please" and "please --"

"Don't move. Don't --"

And Tim gasps and the finger is all the way in, never coming out, never -- can't -- "Oh God --"

He comes, breathless and arching back, arching away, but Bruce wraps his free arm around him and pulls him in tight. And holds him still, Tim's face pressed almost too hard against Bruce's throat.

"Bruce --"

Bruce's finger crooks in either warning or acknowledgment, and Tim sobs into the sweat-salt of Bruce's skin. Licks.

Breathes and stays still.

The car rolls to a stop, but Bruce doesn't move until the ticking of the engine is audible, and then he half-falls, half-pulls them out of the car, holding Tim's head against him until they're on solid ground again.

The air of the Cave is fresh and cool, but the sex funk spills out after them like smoke, and Bruce doesn't take his finger all the way out of Tim's ass until Tim's bent over the hood. Then he pulls it out slowly.

"Antidote," he says, one hand pressed to the center of Tim's back.

"We... I... pollen. Allergic reaction." There's more there, he's so close, but his hands just keep trying to tell him how smooth the hood of the Batmobile is through the gloves. And his body wants him to know how solid Bruce's hand is, keeping him down.

"Yes," Bruce says, and he definitely sounds like he's got it, and for a moment Tim doesn't know whether to feel relieved or desperate, but when Bruce moves his hand, it's only to slide it down his spine, making Tim shiver.

Movement behind him, and then there's no time at all, just Bruce's hands on his ass, spreading him open and "oh fuck --"

Tonguing him. Kissing him there, inside, and it's wet, so wet, and his breath comes out on a whine.

The next breath on a groan, because Bruce is tongue- fucking him, holding him open and licking his way in, and Tim's knees buckle. He's bent over the car, but he's just not doing a good job of holding on with his hands. Sliding off is a danger, or would be if Bruce didn't have a freaking death-grip on his hips. Bruce's hands.

Bruce's mouth, hot and vicious and giving him not enough and too much and Tim shakes his head, dragging his face against the finish and leaving a trail of spit. The burn has him again, has him, and being hard is just another way to ache.

And even knowing what's coming isn't enough to help when it does. Because Bruce's tongue is slickly muscular and so good, but it isn't enough. Not long enough, not hard enough, and every thrust is a tease and he can't even push back on it because Bruce is holding on so tight.


Growling little purr that sends shudders up his spine and down his shaking legs.

"Bruce, please --"

Nasty wet noise and there's nothing but air and the feel of Bruce. Still holding him open and exposed and Tim feels himself flex and bites his fist against his own whimper. And then Bruce is moving again, pushing him flat against the car and -- "Hold on."

Tim does, curling his fingers into ineffectual claws and struggling to brace his feet. He hears Bruce taking something from the belt, and knowing what doesn't help, because the first cool touch of Bruce's slick fingers shocks a mostly breathless scream out of him, high and quiet and nowhere near enough to express what it's like when one slides in.

One, and fucking him from the start, slicking him up inside and making him gasp and rock, making him sweat, and the smell of himself overpowers everything else, everything but the raw, hot need that isn't going anywhere.

And Bruce slides in another finger and just works him, thrusting hard and brushing his prostate on every stroke, or maybe every other, he can't hold on to it. He's barely holding on to the car. All he can do is spread his legs and beg with every animal-stupid noise that comes out of his mouth.

All he can think is "he's going to fuck me. He really is," and he bites his fist harder and waits for it.

Wants it so bad he can't see, or maybe his eyes are closed, or maybe he's just blind, because there's nothing when Bruce finally pulls out.

Nothing when Bruce spreads him even wider.

And fucking stars, because the first nudge barely lasts a heartbeat before Bruce is pushing in, making him forget to bite down, making him yell. And Bruce just strokes a shaking hand down his spine and keeps going. Filling him up and working him open, and he thinks he might be crying and he knows he's shaking.

The shaking just rocks the feeling all through him, knocking aside the burn for something hotter and deeper and stranger.


The first real thrust makes him jerk.

The next drives him up on his toes, and he locks there, unable to move until Bruce grabs his hips and pulls him back and down, and he manages to catch himself on his hands, but that just means there's nothing to keep the scream down.

Or the next.

Or the next.

And the one after that cracks his voice, but he can't stop, because Bruce won't stop, and it's like nothing he's ever felt. More intense with every thrust, the way Bruce is moving him into it. Making him take it, and Tim claws at the hood and bucks and yells again and sobs until he can't stand his own voice.

Until he has to yank at one of Bruce's hands and drag it up over his mouth, and that's better, so much better.

Weird plastic taste of lubricant and the scrape of calluses over his cheek. Something to hold on to, to bite as Bruce keeps fucking him. Better than the car. Bruce in him and over him and on him, and Tim feels something... give. And he can breathe, he can feel his dick and the way the head is painting stripes of pre-come all over the car with every thrust. He can feel himself.

Fucked and lost and desperate, so desperate that it isn't even a surprise when the next hard thrust drives the orgasm right out of him.

Wet patter of his come on the hood and Bruce groans and holds on, tilting Tim's head back and pulling his hips in, fucking in hard and shallow and ragged, again and again until Tim thinks he might die like this.

Until he starts to want to.

And then Bruce jerks and comes, holding Tim in place until they both stop shuddering, and then for a few moments longer.

"This will be uncomfortable," he says, and Tim whimpers into Bruce's hand. Twice. "Can you stand?"

"Not... yet."

Bruce lowers him to his knees next to the car's front tire. "Don't move."

Tim nods and tries to catch his breath.

The feel of the injector against his neck brings it all flooding back, but the shot is over before he can tense, drugs rushing through him and knocking him pretty much flat, on top of everything else. There's a faint hint of motor oil down here, and Bruce is looming over him, cape half-folded in his hands.

"Anti. Antihistamines," he manages.


He hears Bruce shoot himself up and then nothing at all until he wakes up... on his stomach. He doesn't sleep on his stomach.

He doesn't sleep on hospital gurneys, either. He blinks awake, mind clear and body wired and weak. Or maybe the other way around. Bruce is sitting in a chair beside him, reading print-outs with his usual grim determination. His suit is pristine.

Tim sits up -- gingerly -- and looks down at his own. Perfect. And he's just about to have a major freak-out, despite the lingering burn in his eyes and his throat and his ass, when he sees the fraying thread over the 'R'. Spare suit. He goes back to breathing.

Much easier to freak out about Bruce -- or Alfred -- changing his clothes while he was dead to the world. "Uh."

"How are you feeling?"

Ten million ways to answer that question, but for that voice... "Sore. Vaguely hungover. I need coffee or food or both, I think."

Bruce reaches behind himself and produces a tray about a third denuded of croissants and fruit. And hands him a tall glass of apple juice. "Better than coffee," he says, and goes back to reading his reports.

And... yeah. He can go with this. He needs to eat, and start coming up with a lie his Dad can deal with. And... "School?"

"Your stepmother called in sick for you. She was highly sympathetic when Alfred told her about that stomach virus that came over you so suddenly. You're to call home as soon as you... feel better."

Another hesitation. Not much of one, but then Tim doesn't need much anymore. He finishes his croissant and slips down off the bed.

And looks at Bruce.

The papers rattle in Bruce's hands for a moment before he sets them down and folds his hands together. "Tim. About last night. We... we need..."

He rests his hands on Bruce's shoulders. Remembering and memorizing the feel of all that hot, hard muscle under his hands, only the Batsuit between them. He thinks about his hands and the shoulders and the suit, and he does not think about anything else. "You want to know what I think we need, Bruce?"

Bruce shudders and drops his head a little more before clenching his jaw. "Tell me."

"We need to repress as we have never repressed before. We're going to build a huge, wooden box, and then we're going to dip it in molten iron --"

"That won't work --"

"And then we're going to take our big iron box and shove everything that happened last night in it. Starting right from that chat you had with Ivy about fire. That's what we're going to do. Comments?"

Bruce blinks, opening and closing his mouth like a very large, very grim fish for several moments.


"No comments whatsoever."

"Good. Now I'm going to finish my breakfast over... there. And you?"

"Will keep cross-referencing these police reports until something cracks. Over here."

Tim nods in satisfaction and goes back to eating. And planning out Robin's First Flamethrower.

He thinks he'll put a little 'R' on it.


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