In the hollows of his love
November 11, 2003
Disclaimer: Not mine, man.
Spoilers: Vague ones for "Hearts and Minds."
Summary: Love is a many-splendored thing.
Ratings Note/Warnings: NC-17. Contains content some readers may find disturbing.
Author's Note: This story... well. It has a lot to do with the many conversations with LaT and Livia about Flash's character, and it has a lot to do with the image Chaos & Raven put in my head of Wally at a Bruce function, but mostly? It has to do with the fact that I'm still helplessly obsessed with "A Better World." More notes at the end.
This story is part of the 'Unanticipated' series, found here: http://teland.com/o-index.html#unan
Read that first.
Acknowledgments: To Bas, the Spike, Livia, and Jack for audiencing.
Feedback makes me happy. firstname.lastname@example.org
He's wearing... something nice. He wishes he knew the names. It's not quite a shift, he doesn't think -- it gathers too much at the waist. It's a little like the things the Amazons wore on Themyscira, if they'd been fashion plates as opposed to women who could -- and would -- kick his ass just on general principle. It's... flimsy.
But it's mauve -- not pink, not purple, he knows that much -- and it's silk. Cool on his skin.
Wally isn't wearing much under it.
The shoes are hideously expensive. That he also knows, because they aren't uncomfortable even though they're strappy and stylish and pretty. They have the potential of being uncomfortable, but he thinks he's got a few hours.
Maybe he's just getting better at walking in them, in that sort of hip-centric way that's less about swinging than about holding a certain posture.
The necklace isn't quite a choker. It rests above his collarbone, cool and heavy with the metal shine of platinum. There's an amethyst set in the exact center. The earrings are also platinum, but they're only studs. The piercings haven't healed enough for something more... extravagant (and won't, for a while -- it takes a lot to scar someone with a metabolism like his), and he knows this frustrates Bruce the way he knows.
That he's the most beautiful woman in the room.
And there's a part of him that's freaking out about that, definitely.
It's not the dress, or even being out in public in it -- he thinks he might have done this anyway, at some point, just for the sheer hell of it.
It's what it means -- seems to mean -- to Bruce.
It's the fact that it clearly means a whole hell of a lot.
Because here he is, at some party that only the rich and beautiful and powerful people know about, that the rest of the world will only find out about from next week's carefully selected society pages -- he's had his picture taken exactly three times, with Bruce at his side -- and he's.
Well, he's with Bruce.
And a week ago that wouldn't have made any sense at all, because even though Batman had finally told him who he was -- and, okay, getting introduced to a guy's butler shouldn't feel like meeting a girl's parents, but there it was -- it hadn't really meant anything to Wally.
Well, more than, "hey, he trusts me! Batman trusts me! Neat!"
But now... now he's getting that there's a lot more to it.
That Batman -- Bruce? -- had been trying to tell him just that in their weird little computer room dance. Batman might know how to dance like that, but Bruce is the one who taught him.
Bruce is... someone entirely else, in that way that should be horrifying.
And it is.
Just... not now.
Hard hand on his elbow, soft touch. Esme touch, because that's who Wally is, tonight.
"Would you like more champagne?"
And it's... It's not even the same voice.
He knows that a computer would point out all the ways it was, but Batman is never that gentle, even when he's kissing Wally. Never that... soft.
He smiles, and looks at Bruce from under his lashes in a way he hadn't had to be taught. In a way that just feels right. "Mm. Sure."
And Bruce's eyes are right. Or, at least they should be. They're the kind of pale blue that's sharp as anything, the way they draw knives in comic books.
But Batman's cowl has the same kind of reflectors his own do, and so the eyes belong to no one but Bruce.
He never sees them unless they're smiling.
And Bruce leads them over to one of the wandering wait staff, and plucks two flutes of champagne, and...
He doesn't hand Wally's over right away. He offers it, with something like a bow. Amused, but not even close to mocking.
In that way where everyone who was watching the little exchange is either smiling or raising their eyebrows or looking really fond.
Bruce catches him looking, and pulls him in close, even though the dance area (he can't think of it as a dance floor, not quite) is way over there. Bruce's hand is at the small of his back, and Wally has just enough time to see his face... shift into something familiar, something that makes Wally want to vibrate Esme off his skin, before there's a mouth against his ear.
"It's okay." Batman voice.
And no, he's not going to get used to this anytime soon. The gaff is, abruptly, very noticeable, and Wally takes a breath. "Hmm?"
"It's just... Bruce is a playboy. They all know it."
Wally holds on to the confusion, holds tight, but then Bruce starts rubbing small circles with his thumb. Batman-force, Bruce-action. He's getting the hang of the differences, he is, but Batman-Bruce-whatever feels good.
He lets his head dip -- almost -- to Bruce's shoulder. "What does that mean?" And his voice is... he doesn't know what it is.
"Some of them are amused. They see you as my latest, beautiful conquest."
"Some of them are jealous. They want to know why they don't look as good as Bruce does in a tuxedo." A smile against his cheek, and a brief kiss that turns into a nuzzle. Wally is, abruptly, aware of his hair -- his hair, only Bruce had seemed to take the floppy blondness as an excuse to style it. Maybe as a goad. His head is the most naked part of his body right now. "Why they'd never look as beautiful as you do in that dress."
"We can't stay like this as long as I want to. Not here. Not yet. But... Wally." The barest whisper, sound somehow much less important than breath, heat. "Some of them see the way I am with you, see how beautiful you are, and they know -- they think they know -- that I'm falling in love."
And Bruce pulls back, smiling two entirely different smiles with his eyes and his mouth.
Wally knows which one the others see.
And he knows that both smiles are for him.
It's movie night at John's place, and it would be good -- he likes it when GL kicks back, even beyond the fact that he likes John -- except that Wally's pretty sure this movie night has a purpose.
Though he chooses to believe that John's not making a comment about anything with the selection of "Beauty of the Beast," as opposed to just being his usual, giant dorky self.
He smiles to himself as Angela Lansbury starts singing.
Wonders, idly, if John's ever going to get around to making him watch Old Yeller -- Wally had just managed to replace it before he noticed it was gone, and yes, he likes having superspeed for more reasons than just the usual.
He wonders if John will cry.
Probably -- it's a crying kind of movie -- and Wally's not sure if he'll tease him about it or not.
On the one hand, Big Butch Marine Guy losing it for a dog = Funny.
On the other hand, John's never had the remotest amount of shame about the fact that he's also Big Butch Sensitive Guy, and it's just not as funny mocking someone who understands that they have issues. Or... who doesn't think of them as issues at all? Maybe.
It's one of those things that used to seem simpler.
John shuts the VCR off as the credits roll.
"Always. Why do you ask these questions?"
John rolls his eyes -- a really odd thing to see when the eyes in question are bright green and glow, and why had he never thought about that? -- and heads for the fridge. "One day you're going to say 'no.' And I want to be there for that.
A smirk tossed over one of those ludicrously broad shoulders. "So I can make sure you're not in the process of dying."
"Ha, ha. I'll have you know that I always say no to bad beer."
"Well, yeah." He grins and catches the bottle on the fly, and doesn't even have to look up to catch the bottle opener. One-two punch, that's John.
They drink in silence for a while, John putting the tape in the rewinder and idly flipping through his collection. "Have I made you watch "Lilo and Stitch," yet?"
Wally snorts. "You know, I've been through your tape collection, GL."
Small, half-secret smile. "Yeah?"
"Yeah. I happen to know you have things rated PG. PG-13, even."
"Kid, when your life is rated R for violence and disturbing imagery..." And he's a little more serious than he should be.
Wally raises his hands in surrender. "Okay, okay, you've got a point. I just..." He's not sure what he wants to say.
"Hey, when it's your turn, you can pick the movies."
And it's Wally's turn to smile a little secretly, because he knows about the tapes in the back of John's closet, and John knows him well enough to know that he knows. "Anything I want?" And his voice is kind of a surprise, because... well. There's only one person he uses that voice with.
He can see John hearing it in the set of his shoulders. In the fact that he takes a little -- a little -- too long to turn around. "Yeah, kid."
And there's a moment where they're just looking at each other, and Wally's not so much thinking as... picturing.
And then John shakes his head and stands up without putting in another tape. His face settles into those hard, even lines that make the difference between John and GL. "Wally."
He considers pretending not to notice, because, yeah, he knows what's coming. Stares at the man's jeans-clad legs for a little longer than he has to before meeting his eyes. "Say what you need to say, man."
It makes John raise an eyebrow at him, but he just sits down. On the chair, not the couch.
It's almost funny.
"So. You and Batman."
He doesn't have to make this easy. And it's not quite his own voice in his head, even though it's a voice he really understands. It sounds a lot like Esme. "Yeah. Me and Batman."
"Don't take this the wrong way, Wally, but... the hell?"
And for a moment he wants to take it in just that wrong way, because, hey, he's good enough. But he knows John, and he knows that isn't even remotely what he means, and it's gotten really hard to even pretend that it is. In a way that only has a little to do with all the sex they're not having. He takes a breath and forces himself to look in the man's eyes. "It's not that weird."
John just raises an eyebrow.
"Okay, it is that weird." Does Batman ever follow him when he comes here? Plant little bat-microphones in weird places? Batman hadn't been anything but open about his voyeuristic tendencies. He smiles to himself. "But... not in a bad way."
John nods slowly, like he understands everything Wally's not saying, even though there's just no way.
And maybe that's the newest thing about all of this, because he'd never thought he ever could have secrets from John.
"I guess I'm just a little surprised, Wally. He... doesn't seem like your type."
"Well... once you get the mask off, he looks like any other man." And this time he knows for sure that John's not hearing everything.
Because he's laughing. "You got his mask off? I swear, I used to think that man would get married in the cape and cowl."
Wally grins. "He's a surprising kind of guy, John."
John polishes off his beer in a long swallow. Belches quietly and gives Wally the big-brother look. "Yeah, well, if he surprises you too much..."
"You'll kick his ass."
"Through a wall." And the big-brother look fades into the just-us-guys look and John snags their empty bottles and heads for the kitchen again.
Comes back with the case and sets it down next to Wally with a smirk that isn't entirely right. "John?"
"Kid... just remember that I'm still here. We all are."
I still don't know whether to call him Bruce or Batman, he doesn't say. I don't think I ever will. He's... he's really fucking kinky, John. Wally nods.
"Bring on the Disney."
Batman kisses the back of his neck, makes love to it like it's the only part of Wally's body he can reach, like it's the only part that matters.
In the mirror, he can see the pointy little bat ears behind his shoulder, pointed jauntily toward the door.
In the mirror, he can see everything.
He's naked, sweating. Hard enough to use his cock as a weapon.
Wally hadn't even known there were mirrors like this in the Tower, and never expected Batman to own one. Bruce, now...
He has an image in his mind of Batman carefully packing this huge, dark, antique monstrosity in the Javelin and flying it up here while they were all gone or asleep. Had Alfred helped?
He's sure it means something, something really big and maybe scary that it's here now, in Batman's stark, disinfectant-clean, and impersonal rooms. He's learning more about Batman every day, and it's always something damned interesting. Puts that first conversation into a seriously new perspective. All that control. All the things he didn't say. But...
Even Batman's tongue hurts a little now.
He's bitten and sucked at that one spot for a long time, now, and Wally's raw.
Cold air on drying spit, hot tongue where he's bruised and aching.
He wants to touch himself -- he knows Batman likes to watch the way some people like to, well, breathe -- but he needs both hands just to brace himself on the wall to either side of the mirror.
He needs to wait for what happens next.
"You taste so good --"
Growl bitten off in his skin, bitten off hard, and he thinks he may be bleeding.
Knows it when Batman's makes a tiny, hurt noise and grabs him by the waist with those big, hard hands.
Batman licks him, sucks at whatever wound he just made, and Wally watches his cock spit pre-come, watches it happen almost before he can feel it. "Bruce..."
And Batman's clutching him hard, like Wally knew he would. He's not sure if it's because they're in the Tower, or because he's wearing the suit, or God only knows what else.
He just knows what it does to the man when Wally says one when he's supposed to say the other. "Touch me, Bruce..."
Hands on his hips with hard, bruising force, and Batman licks his way up to Wally's ear.
Bites the lobe.
He's not paying any attention to the mirror, but Wally is.
There's a jacked-up superhero behind him.
There's a Batman with his teeth lodged just under his little platinum earring.
"Wally." Growled out like a threat.
And for a moment, he can't look away from his own eyes, because the expression is so strange. Wild and different, even beyond the black-pupilled lust. He watches himself reach out one, shaky hand to touch his reflection.
Watches Batman watch him, face blank in exactly the way it goes before he's about to cause someone serious physical pain.
Watches it change. Not a softening so much as a small, vastly important internal quake.
And Batman is grabbing his arm, stroking the skin with his thumb for a long, ball-tightening time before pushing it back to the wall.
Stroking his hips.
Licking the bruises on the back of his neck.
Letting go just long enough to take himself out of the tights with a hiss that would be yell on just about anyone else.
And then Batman guides the head of his cock between Wally's cheeks and... strokes.
Up and down.
And Wally can't even remember what game he was playing, because -- "God. Oh, God, Batman --"
And he bucks his hips, tries to push back even though he's not slick, not even close to ready, but Batman has him. "Fuck --"
"You. You have to see..."
Sliding so slowly, until the whole strip of skin feels like it might burn, until his ass is clenching, wanting. "Fuck me, oh fuck me please --"
Another of those hurt sounds, good sounds, but Batman doesn't stop. "Watch what you do to me, Wally. Watch."
And Wally does.
Sees the flush spill down his chest like wine, like blood.
Sees himself biting his lip and vibrating.
See his eyes, wide and desperate.
He can't look away.
John watches him from the other side of the Javelin.
They're on their way back from yet another planet Wally has to put on his list of "no, never again, and also no," and they're all pretty banged up.
Alive in that way where there hasn't been enough time for them to be shocked about it.
Not that there's ever enough time.
Batman's doing the piloting, just like some big tentacled thing hadn't thrown him through a wall, just like that sort of thing happened every day.
And it's not like he's having issues about Batman's lack of super anything -- it really doesn't make a difference.
It's just that a large, greedy part of him is wondering how much the man will be up to, tonight.
Superman's watching Batman.
But then, he always does.
When he'd asked Batman about it, he'd gotten one of those pure, dark little Batman-smiles of the kind he rarely gets anymore without Bruce-leavening. And he'd compared Superman pretty darned unfavorably to, in order, a neurotic old woman, a stalker, and a dangerous alien menace with issues.
Wally had asked him if that meant they had slept together.
Batman had blinked, stared, and laughed.
And kissed him in that hard, slow, nasty way that Wally's beginning to really appreciate, cowl leaving little welts on his face.
He grins to himself and puts his feet up on the back of Hawkgirl's chair, dodging tired punches until she gives up.
He can feel John's half-amused little scowl like heat on the side of his face.
And he could say something here, make a joke, or just make an insulting comment about the alien life forms they've just spent the better part of a week beating up. That would, undoubtedly, drag Superman's attention (kicking and screaming) away from Batman, and maybe make John throw something at him.
He doesn't feel like it.
A part of him knows that there's something inside him, something different and new, and he thinks he should maybe spend some quality time figuring it out.
But touching that thing, that new thing just makes him...
It's something like calm, the kind of calm that used to only sink in after a long, successful battle where the good guys won, and he'd had the time to eat seventeen or eighteen cheeseburgers, and also he'd jerked off at least once.
It's also something like... growing up.
In a way he'd never thought possible, where he can still have all the fun he wants, even though he knows things.
Fucking Batman is like nothing he's ever had before, nothing he'd ever considered.
Dating Bruce is an education.
And there is a distinction, oh God there is, even when Esme is packed away in Bruce's closets.
Even when Wally isn't sure whose tongue is in his mouth.
Because he's always sure that there's something dark and hungry, something alive behind those knife-blue eyes.
Something all for him, just waiting to be named. Waiting for Wally to push and pull and tease it into the light, so it can spill all over him like oil.
There's a part of him that wants him to spend serious time stepping back and looking around.
But that part sounds like GL at his most annoying, when the stick is shoved so far up his ass that his head's gone pointy.
Wally snickers to himself.
That part's no fun.
Batman kneels between his legs, naked and sweating.
He's squeezing Wally's thighs hard, hard enough that he can't feel the itch of his hair growing in again.
Squeeze, release. Squeeze again.
Wally doesn't think he realizes that he's doing it.
Batman has been staring into his eyes for a while now, and it's a little freaky, but really, not much more than the usual.
The leather straps hang from the bedposts, empty and insinuating.
Wally's wrists are sore.
And Batman looks like he's forgotten that he's allowed to touch him. That, really, he can do it any time.
It's... really kind of interesting.
He strokes over the line of Batman's jaw and stares into eyes that must be Bruce's, because Batman never looks scared.
Never looks unsure.
He wants to know what it is about this that's done it.
He has his suspicions.
Something in the way Batman had touched him when he was tied to the bed. The way the hunger that's always there had looked like...
Like it could fall right out of his eyes if he wasn't careful.
Like it could rip Wally to shreds.
Something in the way the other Batman had been with him, all tender and desperate.
He think he gets it.
There's some essential Batman thing about love -- this kind of love, anyway -- that has nothing to do with hearts and flowers and Dianas and Supermans.
That makes 'possession' into the best kind of dirty word.
Wally grins, and pushes his thumb against Batman's lower lip.
Pushes hard enough to feel the teeth hidden beyond the Bruce-mask.
"It's okay," he says.
And Batman shivers and groans and sucks his thumb into his mouth, closing his eyes.
With Batman, nudity doesn't have a damned thing to do with skin.
Wally stands up, nudging at Batman's shoulders with his knees, just a little. Playing.
Holds on to his stiffening cock with his free hand and strokes it as slow as he can manage.
"Open your eyes, Bruce. Yeah, like that."
And Batman's sucking turns purposeful, turns hard and hungry and just a little maddening.
Wally presses down on the man's tongue with the edge of his nail and slips his thumb out.
Brings it to his own mouth while Bruce watches.
Licks it, just to see the man shake.
"I really had no idea, did I?"
And Batman shakes his head dumbly, lips wet and slack.
Wally nods, not -- entirely -- sure what he's agreeing to. "Suck me."
Batman swallows him down, groaning around his cock.
And it's hot, so hot and wet that Wally thinks his spine is gonna melt. "Don't. Don't close your eyes."
Batman grabs his hips and pulls, and it's all he can do to keep his knees from buckling, because, God, so fucking tight, and sex is about the body, sure, but it's also about this, right here:
The wide, reckless shine in Batman's Bruce-eyes, filled with nothing but worship.
Wally stares at himself in the mirror -- just a normal, bathroom one this time, bracketed with fluorescent lights and cold as anything else in the Tower.
Being here is like being swallowed into a very specific part of Batman's mind, and he can't for the life of him figure out how the hell he hadn't known that.
How the others still don't.
Because Batman bleeds into everything he does, bleeds every minute of every day.
He's a force of nature, and Wally can't help but wonder about the man's sidekicks. What they looked like before he got a hold on them.
What they look like now.
Because Wally looks...
Same hair, same cheekbones, same jaw.
But that new, strange thing is in his eyes now, and in the shape of his mouth.
It's not just in him, it is him -- and Wally knows that has everything to do with Batman.
Batman's sweet, acid-etched love, endless and unquestionable.
And maybe... maybe it would've happened anyway.
Maybe some unfinished part of Wally had just been waiting for someone to come along and love him, love him so ruthlessly that everything else burned away. Every young, young fantasy.
Every stupid insecurity.
Every pathetic little thing, until he's left like this.
Pared down to nothing but a knife-blade of Wally, with maybe just a touch of Wally-is-loved.
Because he is loved.
And right now?
That doesn't feel anything but right.
Wally grins at the sharp, sharp Wally-thing in the mirror.
And wonders if there's anyone else he should peel like an onion, just to see what they taste like.
Maybe... maybe John.
Other notes: LaT and I spent a lot of time pondering the nature of Lorder!Flash. What he'd be like, and if he could really exist. I didn't think he could. I still don't, really.
But the process of writing "Reflections" showed me how it was possible, just possible, to bleed a little black into Wally's soul.
And how Batman could do it -- would do it -- without even trying.
Like, by accident.
Because it's really cute when the lion plays with the kitten, but it never ends well.
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