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Agonist, Synergist, Antagonist

by Te

[Story Headers]

Agonist, Synergist, Antagonist
by Te
March 23, 2004

Disclaimers: If they were mine, I'd be busy. I'm just saying.

Spoilers: Various little ones for various books. Takes place somewhere in a fudged current timeline.

Summary: It's a family affair. Okay, not really.

Ratings Note: NC-17.

Author's Note: The convergence of many a bunny. Third (and possibly last) part of the Natural Law series, located here:

Acknowledgments: To Jack, Reilael, and L.C. for audiencing and helpful thoughts.


Robin is spending a great deal of time in Bldhaven.

The thought is not a particularly ominous one -- Robin and Nightwing have nearly always worked well together, with little personal friction to make them anything less than absolutely effective. And Nightwing has never been unwilling to work with a partner, even one he didn't care for.

It has always been... soothing to watch Nightwing work with Robin. With Jason, certainly, and the reasons for that are both legion and (still) difficult to consider, and with Tim. To know that for all of their differences, Dick would be willing to allow Batman's partners into his life.

As though Dick would ever be petty enough not to, but... still.


Of course, there are other concerns.

Nightwing, despite his deeply social nature, is nearly as territorial as any of the rest of them, and he doesn't welcome intrusions into his city without reason. If he did require help, he would ask for it. And... it isn't as though he wouldn't ask Robin -- the boy is an excellent soldier, and no one could ever doubt it -- it's just that there is nothing he can find that would suggest Nightwing does need assistance.

And Oracle would not fail to share information if there was a need.

As for Robin...

His own patrols are being done. A few moments listening in on the police band is enough to confirm that much. A quick trip through the territories the boy has made his own sets it in stone.

If Batgirl were covering for him, the criminals left zip-stripped and occasionally labeled for the police's benefit would be more injured. The same is true for Huntress -- assuming she would.

Spoiler's work has never been so precise.

Still, with this much done, and at this time of night, Robin should be headed back to his home. And while it is certainly possible both that the boy would not wish to be home right away and that he would want to discuss whatever problems he may or may not be having with Nightwing -- and no one but Nightwing --

There are other concerns.

Wordless, for the most part.

Batman has learned to trust his instincts.

The trip to Bldhaven is only somewhat challenging. He does not wish to be noticed, but Robin's cycle is as riddled with tracers as all of their vehicles, and the boy has not removed any of them. This is reassuring on a number of levels. Tim has always understood the necessity of such matters, of course, but Batman has also learned to fear... recklessness.

Of any sort.

He follows, from the shadows, and fights the desire to wallow in aging memory. Better to rifle -- once more -- through more recent encounters, in case there was something he may have missed, or disregarded.

Batgirl had not expressed concern of any sort for Robin, and Oracle's reports, while ever detailed, had not included anything of special interest regarding the boy's movements.

Robin's own reports had, of course, included nothing to flag his concern, but the boy has always had a tendency towards a certain... protectiveness.

He has never wished Batman to worry about him, or have reason to do so. There has always been a possibility -- however small -- that this tendency would lead Robin to hide essential information, even despite the boy's equally powerful compunction toward safety.

He hasn't patrolled with the boy in... quite some time. There are reasons for this -- there are always reasons. The most recent business with Superman, a handful of his own
investigations. Robin's own investigations, and the fact that the boy has been more than capable of working on his own for years, now.

No Man's Land had been a terrible -- and terribly effective -- proving ground.

There is, however, a kind of sneaking, crawling sensation of 'excuse.'

There are other reasons why he has worked with Robin so little in recent months, and the vast majority of them are distressingly personal.

The simple fact of the matter is that he has been a less than adequate partner to the boy, and nothing remotely resembling a friend. He has never wanted to be a confidante to his partners, and it is nothing short of a relief that Robin -- Tim -- appears to have the same attitude about him, and yet...

It says very little about him, and, at the same time, it says far too much.

Batman frowns to himself and taps at the wheel. He will find out as much as he can, and then he will... confronting Robin about it might not be the best way. He will make a decision based on what he learns.

And he will, perhaps, make himself more available. There's a nasty sort of humor in the fact that 'make himself' seems so apt a phrase, even after everything that has happened over the years.

He should know better.

Knowing should be... easier.

Batman laughs behind his face and checks the movement on his internal maps. The red dot for Robin heads steadily south, toward Bldhaven's center. He allows the Batmobile to close more of the distance, counting on the increased population density to mask his own

The advantage to working within cities, even when they are not as large as Gotham.

The dot stops moving, and... Batman knows the location. Robin is either inside or near to one of the garages Nightwing has bought and adapted for his own use. He switches to monitoring the tracers within Robin's suit.

The boy heads east, and Batman follows in the car for some distance before leaving it in one of Bldhaven's innumerable filth-ridden and convenient alleys. His remote picks up Robin's signal clearly, and it's tempting to pick up the pace -- it's far easier to be subtle on foot, and even in the air -- and yet.

He has no tracers whatsoever on Nightwing, and while he could tap into whatever Oracle has on him, the act would raise too many questions.

He stays within the shadows, and moves slowly and carefully. He can't allow the mugging he passes to continue, but he does not use his own materials to tie the man in question, instead improvising with a handy length of discarded cable.

And continues the tracking.

The red dot has been still for sometime, in no special location that Batman can figure out. Perhaps the boy is doing some surveillance.

It would be in character for Nightwing to ask for help in observation, and to do it casually enough that it wouldn't flag Oracle's alerts or his own, and Robin would assuredly offer his own assistance.

Closer, and there's a flash of yellow from the rooftop of an unassuming brownstone. Batman heads for a neighboring building and climbs instead of using his jumpline. Security and subtlety. The boy knows the sound of a grapple far too well.

As does Nightwing, of course.


Perhaps the strangest thing about it is the refutation of his own expectations. He has had many, many years to train himself away from such things, to learn the often deadly dangers of assumption, and yet...

He never would have expected this.

Nightwing's hands are on Robin's face, cupping and tilting it for a better angle. Robin's hands are hidden by their bodies, and Batman thinks... He isn't sure what to think, because Nightwing's moan is shockingly loud (quiet for him, though) in the clear, cool night air.

He does not stop kissing Robin for a long time, not until Robin's left arm is around the back of his neck, and it seems...

A strange time to pause, but there is movement under the cape on Robin's right side, and Nightwing throws his head back entirely, and Bruce can feel that moan. He can...

He has all the answers he needs.

He dives from the roof, forgetting not to use his grapple until it's too late, and he feels his face trying to heat behind the mask.

No one -- neither of them follows.

It's entirely possible they are distracted.

It's time to go back to Gotham.


Batman waits within the Cave. There is a bookmaker on the West side he'd planned to visit tonight, but the little parlor isn't far beyond the edges of Batgirl's usual patrols, and she does not question the assignment.

Huntress was... suspicious about his request that she focus her attentions on Batman's usual areas of the city, but also didn't question. There is much to fear about the woman's control -- and lack thereof -- but she is an effective operative. Oracle has a line open into the Cave from her end, waiting for an explanation of the change in routine. He has closed it from his end. Oracle can be patient, for this.

And Robin, barring unforeseen emergency, had likely slipped out of his house to make his way here... between thirty and forty-five minutes ago.

Batman waits at the console.

It does not take long.

The boy is nearly soundless in his approach from the Cave's secret entrance, of course, but Batman has known this Cave and its particular qualities for far longer than any of the others, and Robin is not as careful as he could be, here.

The scrape of a foot along the ground, an exhaled breath.


His presence has been noted. Batman waits for the boy to say something, or perhaps express surprise, but... there's nothing.

And then noticeably less casual motion toward his equipment. Batman narrows his eyes and spins the chair around. The boy is stripping out of his street clothes with the same efficiency as ever. There is nothing in his body language to suggest... anything at all, really.

The marks on his skin are ambiguous. There's something ugly in the fact that he can't -- quite -- separate whatever bruises the boy has taken in fights from whatever bruises Dick -- Nightwing -- has left in his... their...

"It has to stop," he says, before he has entirely decided to speak.

Robin freezes, tights halfway up his legs. And then he finishes pulling them up before turning to face him, one eyebrow raised.

"It's... not a good idea."

A smile, and it's... far more of a Tim smile, if he's honest with himself. Robin's smiles are entirely more open. "I could ask what 'it' is, but one, I don't believe in being disingenuous, and two, I can only think of one thing I'm doing that you might disapprove of. So..."

"Then you already know that it isn't something you should be doing." Which is... a relief.

"No, I know it's something you wouldn't approve of. Which isn't the same thing at all."

"Tim --"

"Look, you don't really want to have this conversation, and neither do I, so... let's just not, okay?"

Bruce blinks behind the cowl.

Tim turns back to his suit and continues getting dressed.

Tim is, of course, correct. He doesn't want to have the conversation, and yet. Tim closes the distance between them, arms folded beneath his cape.

"I'll make it easy on you, Bruce. If I decide to stop? It won't be because of anything you can tell me."

It's not the sort of response he'd expected, though perhaps he should have. Tim does not have anything resembling the typical sort of attitude toward relationships. He has proven, time and again, that he is willing to put them where they belong -- in a secondary position to the mission.

He has not offered anything resembling a defense of his relationship with Dick, and even now he is nothing but professional. Waiting for Bruce to accept his firm -- and casual -- refusal to allow Bruce any inroads into his personal life.

Into... Dick's.

Tim narrows his eyes behind the mask, and cocks his head. Slightly. "And I'm not the one you want to protect, right Bruce?"

Tim is a good soldier, and an excellent detective.

Dick deserves... better. Bruce closes his eyes beneath the mask. "Fine. I was thinking we could patrol --"

Tim's laugh is sharp, brief, and sincere. "And now you actually want to patrol with me. Gonna get me good and tired, Bruce? Work me until dawn? Call me in on my night off?"

The idea has merit.

Tim takes a small, deliberate step closer. "I know you. The real you. I've been watching you my whole life, remember?"


"Give me a reason, Bruce. Just one reason. And we can make things nice and complicated."

Bruce crosses one leg over his knee and leans back, slowly, and with equal deliberation. "Most people who 'know' me also tend to know that it's not a good idea to threaten me."

"Most people have no idea what to threaten you with."

And that's a Robin smile, the reason for which becomes clear... immediately.

"What's the deal, Tim? I thought I was meeting you... Bruce."

"Nightwing." And Tim hasn't stopped smiling at him.

"These silent communicators sure are handy, aren't they, Bruce?"

"Yes. They are."

Movement out of the corner of his eye, and Bruce looks over to see Dick shifting on his feet, slightly. And it is Dick, even in uniform. Nightwing's energy is high, but far, far more focused. Dick narrows his eyes at Tim's back before looking back at him.

"You know, I'm not going to ask if there's anything going on, mainly because I'm not an idiot, so I'm just going to ask if there's anything going on that I need to know about."

"Good question, Dick." Tim isn't smiling at all, anymore. "Is there, Bruce?"

He can feel his jaw working and stops it. The best possible response is 'no,' or nothing at all. There is work to be done -- there is always work to be done.

But both of those answers would leave things precisely as they stand now, with Tim --

He blinks at the feel of a hand on his shoulder, large and warmer than it should seem through the suit. Through Dick's gloves. His sense memory has much to answer for.

"Bruce..." Dick's face is... twisted with worry. "What's wrong?"

He brushes Dick's hand away from him, registering and loathing the moment of hurt, and wondering how many times Tim has done something similar. "Nothing," he says, and stands, moving toward the vehicles.

"What -- wait, what?"

"He knows," Tim says, and...

Bruce doesn't stumble. A victory is not a victory unless it is complete, and Bruce had apparently not agreed to Tim's bargain fast enough for Tim's liking. He is not surprised. There is nothing to be done about it. He stops, and turns.

Dick is staring at Tim, shock obvious even with his mask. There have been times over the years when Bruce has thought not even a full cowl would help with that. This is one of them.

Tim nods back toward Bruce.

And Dick... tenses. There is the same sort of... reluctance in his body language as had been there when Dick had told him about his relationship with Barbara. The same trepidation, as though...

As though he would ever...

"Bruce. It isn't... I didn't --"

"Don't," he says, and tries not to see Dick wince. And if there was ever more concrete proof that this... thing with Tim shouldn't be allowed to happen --

Tim's only response to his glare is a raised eyebrow. Bruce can see Dick staring at both of them, and he can feel him not understanding the undercurrents. Because Dick has never truly trusted his instincts in regards to Bruce.

And it's something Bruce has used, with the sickly, heartfelt gratitude it deserves. And it will not last, unless... "Tim. I will not interfere in your... relationships."

"Funny how you've given me absolutely no reason to believe that, and every reason to believe the opposite, Bruce."

"Tim --"

Tim stops Dick with a hand on his chest, proprietary and still so casual. "No, Dick, actually I think it's time we have this out. All of it."

"No," Bruce says, and knows he doesn't sound as firm as he would wish.

"No? That -- that bullshit with Steph was one thing, Bruce, but I know you. If you couldn't stop fucking around with me with her, why the hell should I think you will now?"

"Because I keep my promises."

"And you're actually making one? About Dick?"

Dick covers Tim's hand with his own, as ever as though there was nothing profound about that sort of contact. He watches Tim feel it, and bites the inside of his own cheek.

"Tim, I think... I mean... aren't you the one who always says it's better when we don't try to make Bruce talk about this stuff?" Dick's smile is weak and false, and Bruce knows -- he knows -- the man can feel Bruce's eyes on him.

Tim's mouth twists into something harsh for a brief, terrible moment before settling back into blankness. "He's protecting you now, Bruce. What do you think that tells me?"

That he isn't yours. That you should stop.

And Dick is... it's something like an abortive hand massage, and Bruce can see Tim working to ignore it, and... it should be reassuring. That he isn't as unaffected as he wishes to be, but.

No one in Dick's life should be unaffected. They shouldn't try. He should have --

"He wants you, Dick. He always has."

Dick's hand freezes over Tim's own, and Bruce knows Tim is feeling that, too.

"He thinks I'm not good enough for you. And he's not going to deny any of it."

Bruce watches Dick breathe. Watches him flush, and tighten his hand on Tim's own, apparently hard enough to make Tim wince. He needs to --


Leave. He needs to leave, and stop staring at Dick. He hasn't been fair, even within the confines of his own mind. There is a great deal of difference between the emotion Dick shows when he's trying to be subtle, and the emotion he shows when he isn't, at all.

So much passion. Too much, even with his hand still tight around Tim's own. Even with Tim actively trying to get free.

"Dick. You should --"

"Shut up."

Tim jerks as though he's been slapped, and tenses hard under Dick's gaze.

"I don't know what game you're playing, but now I really want to." Dick turns back to him, and there's anger and confusion, and... Dick reaches for his mask, tearing at it, and a part of Bruce's mind wants to be snide, to suggest there'd be no difference.

That part is an idiot, and he still can't move. Or even look away.

"Dick, wait, you --"

Dick glares at Tim again, but Tim just raises his other hand slowly. He's holding the spray bottle of the solvent they both use. Dick takes it from him, and uses it, slipping off his mask and immediately turning the bottle back on Tim.

Who pauses for just a moment before turning his face up.

The intimacy is obvious, the symbolism frighteningly so. Both make it impossible to look away. Bruce watches Dick search Tim's eyes, and watches him nod as though they answer any questions at all.

And then Dick looks at him again, just as searchingly, and Bruce has to remind himself that he is wearing the cowl, that there's still room, still some quiet, cowardly hope of escape.


And all he has to do is stop staring at Dick's eyes and leave.

"I'm not going to pretend I know exactly what I want, Bruce. It's been too long for that. I don't... there's been too much. But."

Dick's uniform is much too thin, thin enough that Bruce can see him swallow. And Tim isn't trying to get away anymore. He's reaching up to cup Dick's face even as he looks a very clear, obvious dare at Bruce.

"Tim...? Wait --"

Bruce watches Tim brush one gauntleted thumb over Dick's mouth. Watches Dick's eyes widen, slightly, and listens to himself breathe like something hurt. Control. He has to -- there has to be something --

"Show him what he can have, Dick. Show me what I can have."

Dick's hand tightens again on Tim's own, but this time Tim doesn't wince at all. This is unacceptable, inappropriate, and obscene, and it's precisely as shocking, as compelling as it was to see it on that rooftop.

Dick kisses Tim with an anger that isn't nearly as brutal as it should be, and it's... there are questions that have no place within Bruce's own mind. How much of the hunger is natural to Dick, and how much of it is natural to Dick with Tim.

Wouldn't it make a difference?

He has never thought about Tim this way, not seriously and never with any degree of intent high enough to require repression. Because Tim has never had the sort of carefree passion that Bruce knows himself well enough to know he has a weakness for.

Nothing in Tim inspires weakness.

And there is an undeniable fascination in the way he accepts this kiss. In the way he moans for Dick, the way he moves up onto his toes and clutches Dick's shoulders.

An attraction in his hunger that is absolutely understandable, in precisely the same way that Bruce -- that none of them -- has never been able to hold back a smile when an opponent weakens visibly.

There is, perhaps, room for improvement in his partnership with Tim.

The only relief when Dick breaks the kiss and turns back to face him again is that he cannot possibly laugh. Dick's mouth is... wet.

Faintly swollen.

Bruce licks the backs of his teeth. Tim is no longer looking at him, his head turned to face somewhere past Dick's far shoulder. His breathing is steadier than Dick's, but also deeper.

Dick bites his lower lip half-absently, and reaches out. Bruce feels himself seize inside, and it's a tension that he knows, that he's resisted. But he had the crutch of Dick's lack of confidence about them, about this.

And all he has now is Dick's dark, heated gaze and the hand in his own and --

"Bruce," whispered against his mouth, into his mouth on a long, low moan, and Dick squeezes his fingers hard and licks his tongue. And shudders, once, half-opening his eyes before pulling Bruce in closer and deepening the kiss. He twists his hand free from Bruce's and curls it around the back of his head and -- pauses.

Pulling back.

Bruce feels his hands snap into fists and does not move.

Dick pants and stares at his mouth before looking up again. "Off. The cowl. You -- I'm not making love to the Bat."

The Bat doesn't deserve --

Bruce pushes the cowl back and hears a gasp. It isn't Dick.

Tim is... right there, still, eyes wide and unreadable, one hand still clasped with Dick's. He pulls it down while Bruce watches, slipping it beneath his cape until all Bruce can see is... motion.

And the flush rising on Tim's face.

And then Dick's other hand is on his face, and Bruce turns to find Dick smiling at him, open and rueful. The fingers slip into Bruce's hair, and it's an effort not to slip his eyes shut, just for a moment.

"I've wanted..." Dick's laugh is a little choked. "I never pictured it like this."

Tim snorts beside them, and then gasps while Dick's eyes narrow.

"What..." Are you doing to him. Bruce can't quite ask.

Dick's eyes widen again, though. "I'm... he's wearing too much armor. But I can still..."

Tim groans, shifting beside them, and Bruce feels his lips part.

"Do you want --"

It's far, far easier to kiss Dick again than it is to let him finish that thought. Desire is problematic precisely because it gets out of control so quickly, so easily. He never would've considered that sucking Dick's tongue would ever feel safer than... anything.

He isn't sure whether he wants to thank Tim or strangle him.

He sounds strangled, and Bruce cups Dick's shoulders just so... yes. He can feel the muscles working in the left one. The right when Dick reaches an arm around Bruce's waist and pulls him in that last, terrifyingly important step. And Dick bites his lip and then drags his mouth over Bruce's cheek, over to his ear.

"I want you. I want both of you, and I never wanted to want either of you. But Tim is hard in my hand and you feel so good it hurts and you can't stop. You can't stop."

Bruce hears a growl, and doesn't realize that it's his own until they're on the floor. He watches himself moving Dick, and it's the body he's wanted for much too long, all lean muscle and endless motion. The desire to hold Dick still is not new. The flare of hungry familiarity when Tim drops to his knees and grabs Dick's hips.. is.

He pulls Dick back against his chest and carefully, deliberately looks at Tim.

And waits until Tim drags his own eyes up from the temptation of Dick's form. There is...

Tim has been a good partner, and often a better partner than he deserves. And it is this feeling that he's craved the most with the boy, this mutual recognition of dark, wordless need, and a body between them, or before them.

The body had, before, always been bleeding -- if only externally.

Dick is... writhing. Rolling like a living wave in nothing like pain. Bruce wraps one arm around Dick's chest and pulls him back against him, pulls him in much too hard.

"Possessive," Tim says. "I'm shocked."

Dick laughs easily, and easily reaches up to curl one arm around the back of Bruce's neck, tilting his own head up and back. "Kiss me again."

Bruce uses his free hand to tilt Dick's chin up further and obeys, and feels himself start to sweat beneath the suit at the sound -- the feel -- of Dick's low, pleased moan.

And then Dick cries out loudly into Bruce's mouth and pushes closer, sucking his tongue, and Bruce opens his eyes.

Tim has worked Dick's tights and jock down around his thighs, and Tim is on Dick. Sucking him.

He wants --

"Oh... God." Dick clutches Bruce tighter, nuzzling wetly at his jaw.

He wants absolutely everything. He slips his free hand -- he cannot make himself move the other from around Dick's chest -- down between them, cupping Dick's ass, and the feel of him...

Smooth skin and muscle, heat, motion, and all of it so perfect, so much of everything he's tried so hard not to think about, not to need, and he can't -- He breathes raggedly against Dick's forehead and slides a finger down into his cleft.

"Oh --" And Dick bucks and Tim makes a small, surprised sound and looks up at Bruce.

Another flare between them, another moment of absolute agreement, and Tim slides his mouth from around Dick and Bruce pushes in, and watches Tim's eyes narrow at Dick's whimper.

Dick reaches for Tim, and it's perfectly reasonable, perfectly understandable. Dick's erection is dark and slick with spit, resting in obscene temptation against the darkness of the suit's top. But Bruce squeezes harder, presses deeper, and Dick jerks one hand back to clutch at his arm, rolling his head back and forth on Bruce's shoulder.

"God -- inside me --"

And Tim makes a hurt noise and stands, tearing at his own suit. He pushes the shorts off entirely, sliding them past his boots before yanking down the tights and his own jock. He has never seen Tim... like this. He needs... "Dick."

"Bruce. Bruce..."

He forces himself to stop shoving in with his finger, and Dick whimpers and opens his eyes.

Widens his eyes and stares at Tim. "Oh, yeah." The return of Dick's focus is immediate, and he reaches for the boy with an easy hunger even as he tightens his grip on Bruce's arm. "Come here. I want... yes..."

Tim slides one hand into Dick's hair and twines the other one with Dick's own, bringing it to his own hip. There is a curious comfort in Dick's desire for the boy, in being able to see it on Dick's face before he has to admit he can feel it behind his own.

And it's something infinitely better than comfort to bury his face against Dick's throat, to let himself feel the way Dick is flexing around his finger. To feel Dick want this, even as...

Bruce can feel Dick's throat working against his mouth, and looks up just in time to feel Tim's knees knock against the arm he has around Dick's chest, because Dick is sucking Tim in, groaning around him and pulling him in by the hip. His lips are stretched and wet. His ass is hot, tight, and Bruce thrusts helplessly against his own working knuckles.

"Dick," he says, and licks his way into Dick's ear and wants.

And Dick's whimper is muffled, but it must feel --

"Dick, oh fuck --" Tim sounds helpless. Desperate.

He fucks Dick harder and lets himself look at Tim, lets himself see the boy, arching away even as he pumps into Dick's mouth. His thighs are trembling, and the slap of his testicles against Dick's chin is almost mesmerizing. Dick's eyes are closed, and he's pushing back against Bruce's finger fast -- faster than he wants to do this, and Bruce bites Dick's ear and watches dark lashes flutter on Dick's cheeks and crooks his finger inside him.

Tim tightens his hand in Dick's hair and shouts, shuddering, and Bruce presses his face against Dick's throat again in time to feel him swallowing.

Tim sounds hurt, half-broken, and for a moment Bruce can't decide whether it's less intense than how Dick feels, pressed against him and moving, still moving, even when Tim drops back down to his knees and kisses Dick.

But then Tim works his hands under Dick's arms and between them, pulling, and Bruce does not want to know what his face looks like. Better to bury as much of that expression as possible against Dick's throat until he has some imitation of control back. When he looks up again, the darkly sardonic look in Tim's eyes tells him everything he needs to know about how well that worked.

"I want him down, Bruce. On me."

"Bruce..." Dick doesn't still, but his voice is almost pleading. It would be too much to ask for Dick not to be... fair isn't the word. He had chosen Tim, for his own reasons, and the fact that Bruce doesn't want to let Dick go now that he has him is no one's problem but his own.


He's almost sure he'll be amused tomorrow, assuming he manages to avoid ritual suicide.

He kisses Dick's cheek as softly as he can manage and forces himself to uncurl his arm from around Dick's chest. Tim makes a soft, greedy sound and pulls, yanking the tunic of his uniform up and spreading his legs around Dick's waist.

And Dick purrs and reaches back, grabbing Bruce's wrist and tugging until Bruce pushes his finger deep again. "Both of you. So sexy -- oh --"

Bruce lets Dick direct the motion of his hand for as long as he can, but Dick is also grinding down against Tim, and.

The suit hides nothing, not one shift of muscle, and Bruce will never be able to watch Dick twisting and moving without thinking of this. Without remembering this:

The way Dick groans when Bruce bats his hand away, the way he immediately braces himself and rocks back on him, the way he shakes when Bruce pulls out.

He strokes the backs of Dick's thighs, cups his ass, cups his hips and pushes down, grinding Dick harder into Tim. The boy gasps, and Dick feels so right in his hands, so perfect, and it almost hurts to take one hand away, even just for long enough to release the armor on his own suit and push his tights down.

Bruce bites his lip at the feel of his own hand, at the feel of his own slickness, and moves up over Dick's body. Heat beneath him, motion.

"Yes, Bruce, do it --"

"I'm still under you, Dick."

"You can take it, kid," and Dick laughs, bracing himself on one hand again and reaching back to clutch at Bruce's thigh with the other, and it's... too much.

Exactly right, and Bruce slips in between Dick's thighs, gasping at the feel of it, at the way Dick immediately tightens around him.

"Bruce --"

"What --" Tim's hands tighten on Dick's shoulders. "Oh. I can feel -- oh --"

And Bruce watches Dick dive in to kiss the boy, and licks the sweat beading above the collar of Dick's uniform and --

Thrusts --

"Jesus -- Bruce --"

And Dick shudders and takes his hand away from Bruce's thigh, bracing himself more steadily. Flexing around Bruce and working his hips in short, sharp motions --

"I can't -- Bruce, make me move --"

He growls against the back of Dick's neck and slams down, sliding in the sweat and pre-ejaculate between Dick's thighs, sliding too much and not enough, because Dick's thighs are exactly as powerful as they should be, because Dick is perfect, so perfect, and moaning into Tim's throat.

Tim's eyes are wide and focused on him and -- there is no reason to deny this, and no way when the head of Bruce's penis brushes against the boy on every thrust.

Tim shoves one hand into Dick's hair and... reaches up with the other, cupping Bruce's shoulder.

It's --

"Oh. Oh --"

And Bruce watches the boy rip his hand out of Dick's hair and shove it into his own mouth and knows exactly what he's trying not to say.


And not at all irrelevant, even with Dick's body working between them, even with the smell of Dick's sweat making him seize inside, making him need. Tim's hand on his shoulder is just another part of this.

Tim's hand on his shoulder is permission, and Bruce lowers himself, pushing Dick down, and Dick shakes and -- resists. Until Bruce bites the back of his neck, and Dick shouts something wordless and muffled by Tim's skin and Tim grunts and moans, breathless and squeezing Bruce's shoulder.

Bruce watches the boy's eyes roll back in his head and lets himself feel it. Soft skin and hard muscle, the scent of them, all of them, and the way Tim's sounds get quieter and more desperate. The bend in Dick's neck, and the way every part of him tenses when --


Beautiful. Both of them.

Bruce shifts just enough to balance on one hand and yanks hard on Tim's hair. And lets the sight of Tim's wide, shocky eyes drive him over the edge.

Tim gives him... not long enough. He digs his short, even nails into Bruce's shoulder and shoves until Bruce rolls off and away.

And then he shoves at Dick, who rolls to his other side -- leaving one arm over Tim's chest.

Bruce watches Tim glare at Dick, panting, and then Tim turns his attention to him.

Bruce raises an eyebrow.

"I can't believe you both came on me."

Bruce feels himself smile. "Complicated enough for you?"

Tim's eyes... flare. And narrow. His smile looks like Bruce's feels. "Why don't we find out?"

And the boy is far too spent for his moves to be anything but telegraphed, but Bruce isn't at his best, either.

And Tim kisses like a man forced to use his fists instead of a favored weapon, angry and game. Bruce bites the boy's tongue.


And kisses back, moving up and holding on much too tightly until they're both on their knees.

Desire is problematic.

"Wow," Dick says, and Bruce pulls out of the kiss to find Dick staring at both of them, one hand sliding half-absently down the center of his chest.

Tim makes a small, frustrated sound, and Bruce feels Tim's hand tighten in his hair. He doesn't have to look to know that Tim is staring at Dick's hand, too.

"That has to be the most fucked-up kiss I've ever seen. And I can't say I'm shocked, I'm just..."

Tim doesn't -- quite -- loosen his grip on Bruce's hair. "Re-evaluating your taste in men?"

Dick smirks at Tim. "I don't get to be the healthy one every day." And then he turns to look at Bruce, his smile... softening. "Right, Bruce?"

"I'm still waiting for my chance to be the healthy one," and it falls out of his mouth with nothing resembling thought, but Tim chokes and Dick smiles at him, open and genuinely happy.

Beautiful and terrifying.

Moreso when Dick crawls over to join them, wrapping a possessive arm around Tim's waist and not looking away from him.

"I can't believe you got him to make a joke," Tim says into Dick's shoulder.

"I kept telling you," Dick says, and casually pushes and pulls on Tim until he's... between them, Tim's buttocks settled on Bruce's lap.

Bruce blinks. "Is that... a suggestion?"

Dick just gives him a sharper smile, and rubs Tim's shoulders.

Tim looks back over his shoulder at him, eyes dark and almost entirely unreadable again.


There is... no way on earth he can rationalize this as an effort to improve his partnership with the boy.

The fact that it might doesn't speak well for either of them. But then...

Speaking well for them has always been Dick's responsibility.

Bruce lets himself smile. Wider when Dick tightens his hands on Tim's shoulders, when Tim narrows his eyes. He drags his fingers down the back of Tim's tunic.

And doesn't think about partnership at all.


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Fandom:  Other (Mixed Batverse)
Title:  Agonist, Synergist, Antagonist
Series Name:  Natural Law
Author:  Te   [email]   [website]
Details:  Series  |  NC-17  |  *slash*  |  36k  |  03/25/04
Characters:  Bruce, Tim, Dick
Pairings:  Bruce/Dick/Tim
Summary:  It's a family affair. Okay, not really.

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