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pure addition out of nothingness, A

by Te

[Story Headers]

A pure addition out of nothingness
by Te
March 10, 2004

Disclaimers: So very much not mine.

Spoilers: Specifically for "A Better World," vaguely for "Fury."

Summary: Batman has some free time on his hands, these days.

Ratings Note/Warnings: NC-17. Possible disturbing content.

Author's Note: I'm playing games with canon again. In this case: Tim. This isn't the Tim from the comics, but he isn't entirely his self from the cartoons, either. Call it a blend.

If this is the sort of thing that bothers you, you should probably give this a miss.

Title from Rilke (thanks Reilael!):

"...the reality of any joy in the world is indescribable, only in joy does creation happen (happiness, on the contrary, is only a promising and interpretable pattern of things already existing); joy, however, is a marvelous increasing of what already exists, a pure addition out of nothingness."

Acknowledgments: Shrift and Weirdness Magnet made the bunny, and made it grow. They, Livia, and Jack audienced and gave many helpful suggestions.

*

It seemed a small thing, relatively.

A reasonable choice among the many left to him in this world, in this life. A chance to do some good, and to, perhaps, remember where he'd once been.

Who he'd once been.

He had been given a second chance, perhaps unintentionally by the others, almost certainly not from... him.

His other.

Though it would be the height of self-delusion to believe the man had anything quite like this in mind. Which is his problem.

Batman smiles to himself, and steps through into the Gotham of his memory. It's dark, and dirty, and thrumming just beneath the skin of its stone with crime and misery.

Excitement.

The other Lords had been terrifyingly naive -- childish -- in their desires to work on an unrepressed world after all the time and effort they'd put into remaking their own, but... there was something to it.

A smile in the crack of a dealer's arm -- and he remembers not to dislocate it too badly. He's in the old suit, and he's using the old ways.

He isn't here to... trespass.

His own Gotham...

It wouldn't matter what suit he wore. Any good he would do, in any way he would do it, would be instantly negated by the -- somewhat
understandable -- urge of the populace to tear him into his component parts.

The days following the Lords' disappearance, the first tentative news reports...

Well. The chaos has passed, along with everything Bruce Wayne could do to help abate it. The people have spoken, and bled, and spoken again. Their new order is done, and... he isn't sure how he feels about the relief, or the smallness of it. There is little he is sure of, really.

He isn't here for self-examination, either.

What he is here for... his breath catches in his throat. Red, and yellow, and green. The flash of a white-toothed grin as the boy swings far, far too low over a busy intersection. He'd spent a great deal of time and effort checking his facts, shifting the views on the portal until he was sure -- the other is on Watch tonight.

Nothing short of disaster will bring him back to earth tonight. Back to Gotham.

He hadn't needed to check anything at all to know where Robin -- Tim -- would be. To remember it, because it was Wednesday, and while the boy was admirably careful about the danger in setting predictable routines, he had always favored the East side on Wednesdays, for reasons of his own.

He had never asked why. At first, because it seemed unimportant, and then...

He shakes it off and watches the boy settle on a warehouse roof overlooking the river. The cape settles around him perfectly, until the only thing visible about him is his pale face, and the small motions as he eats what seems to be an energy bar. Lunch break.

Batman slips around to the boy's far side and makes his way to the roof silently and -- he hadn't actually meant to surprise him. The habit of a lifetime.

Still, there's something to be said for the sight of Tim not quite pausing as he chews the bar, for the casual shift to allow his other arm freedom for -- it would be a throw.

Batman smiles to himself and deliberately clears his throat.

That makes the boy pause. A careful, thoughtful one just like any other. "Hey," he says, and moves to tuck his half-eaten energy bar away.

"Eat. There's no rush." Batman crouches beside him on the edge of the roof, forcing himself to focus on scanning the area, even though he knows the boy would've done it -- and done it well -- himself.

"Mm." Tim finishes the bar quickly, and tucks the wrapper in the pocket he uses for non-useful detritus.

When he and Batgirl had found the uniform -- what had been left of it -- there had been two empty energy bar wrappers, and the perfectly-removed cap from a soda can. Analysis had shown it to be from a grape-flavored Zesti.

Batman closes his eyes behind the mask, just for a moment.

"So... should I even ask why you aren't on watch tonight?"

"No," he says, honestly.

Tim laughs, quiet and brief, and smirks at him. "Right. Let's hit it."

He thought there would be... difficulty. That he'd need time to accustom himself to the feel of working Gotham with a partner, or to working with a partner at all. Being with the Lords had been -- always -- something else entirely. But Tim matches his rhythms expertly, or perhaps he matches Tim's... it's difficult to tell.

They'd only been partners for a few years before... before Arkham, and it has been more years since then, but his body remembers this. The sound of a second grapple, the way and time to bend so that Tim could use him as a vault for a kick, the spin that leaves his back bare and unprotected save for the brilliant, ruthless, dedicated boy behind him.

There is only one thing wrong, and it is himself.

They'd always worked silently, save for whatever information it had been necessary to share with words, as opposed to gestures. Warnings, mostly. Sometimes, Tim would offer commentary on whatever seemed amusing, but he'd never done that as often as Dick.

Tim's jokes were often just a dryer form of silence. Comforting, usually -- before. He understands the urge to speak within himself, to coax more words out of the boy. His memories are brief, stark, and overused. He had not paid enough attention.

And while he'd had time -- so very much time -- to grieve, being here now, faced with one quiet, implacable proof of the boy's continued existence after another...

He is a starving man at a banquet.

Tim lands on the roof of the GBC tower in a crouch. When he stands, he stretches. A half-conscious signal that he needs a rest.

Batman remains in his own crouch and watches Tim rub absently at one shoulder. Not absently enough. "You were hit?"

"What? Oh, no, not tonight. Just a strain from the weekend."

Gang activity close to Tim's own school. He'd watched Tim make the other boys sincerely regret shifting their territory. He isn't sure whether the other knows, or not. Better to assume he does. Still... "How bad?"

Tim shrugs, and Batman knows the boy wants him to watch the way his face doesn't wince, so he focuses on the boy's hands, instead. The slightest clench of the other fist.

He narrows his eyes. "Take --" Tomorrow off, he can't say. "An aspirin."

Tim grins ruefully at him. "Can't for another hour."

Batman twitches internally, filled with a sudden, misplaced loathing for the other. He had, after all, left the boy on his own precisely as often as the other does, trusting in him to know his limits and accede to them.

He watches the boy do slightly more extensive stretches, no longer bothering to hide the soreness. After a while, he slips his staff from his belt and extends it, doing a moderately showy pass before tucking it back into place and looking at him again.

He has to be in character, enough not to raise suspicion. He has to -- he shakes his head. "Rest."

Tim stills, and it's as good as a blink. Batman stares at him, knowing the cowl and his own habits well enough to know that it will be perceived as a glare, even by the boy. After a moment, Tim shrugs again -- carefully -- and crouches.

He eats another energy bar, and Batman forces himself to turn away. The boy would be accustomed to watchfulness in the other, but he must not... push. Already, he has more than he'd ever thought he could, just in the sound of Tim's steady breaths.

"There's a new after-hours place I was going to check out tonight."

"Drugs?"

"Well, probably. Mainly I want to check because it's owned by someone named Darrow -- new player. He's nowhere in your files."

Yet. Eventually, Nightwing and Robin will be instrumental in bringing him down on racketeering charges. Nightwing will wind up with a bullet graze on the outside of his left thigh. Robin... Tim will add to his transient collection of bruises.

The other will be helping Superman with one of those endless, pointless battles with Luthor and his minions, far, far away.

He forces his face to remain neutral, but he doesn't trust himself to speak.

"Batman...?"

"Mm."

"Are you... you seem different, tonight."

It would be foolish to pretend otherwise. "I've been... thinking."

Tim snorts and joins him on the edge of the roof. "I'm shocked, really. Anything I need to know about?"

The unspoken question is the same as it always -- was: 'are you actually going to talk about it this time?'

There is no expectation that he will. He -- the other -- has worn that sort of thing out of the boy. Had done so years before. But he wants to, this time. So much.

If he keeps staring out into the night, he will eventually speak despite himself. He looks at the boy, instead, and...

It's a mistake. Tim's face is clear and free of judgment, nearly as open as it ever gets, with or without a mask. He wants to tell Tim about this -- or ask him whether he knows how affectless he can be, how his truest, most obvious expressions -- smiles or otherwise -- are only used when the mask is on.

If he'd ever consciously decided on what his Tim-voice should be, or if it was the real one. The boy had moved so easily into this life, more naturally than either of the others. He wanted to tell Tim how it used to give him pause, the sort of hesitation he had never allowed himself to dwell on, because every moment's thought about how dangerous this life could be for the boy, body and soul, was another reason to push him out of it.

To protect him, if only from himself.

There are so many questions he can ask, but the only important one is both foolish and utterly pointless.

Why did you kill yourself, he doesn't say, and strokes the boy's face.

"Bruce...?"

The Joker was locked away, deeper than they'd ever managed before. Leslie had said you were safe to leave the hospital. You were free of us, of all of it, and Batman hears himself groan from somewhere behind his own prickling skin and feels himself move, and Tim's mouth has the blandly sweet and artificial taste of the energy bars, but his lips are soft.

Batman slides his hand into Tim's hair and tilts the boy's head up and back, deepening the kiss and swallowing the first breathless, shocky sounds. He tightens his grip in the boy's hair and coaxes his tongue into his own mouth and sucks. The sounds are better now, more sure, and Tim's hands land on his biceps lightly and carefully.

Settle there and squeeze, once, and Batman lets the boy pull out of the kiss. Batman has only ever heard the boy gasp in pain, before.

He waits.

"Oh. I..." He watches Tim bite his lip in a moment of viciously endearing frustration, and has to remind himself not to pull harder on his hair.

"It's all right," he says.

"All right. All right? I -- Jesus, Bruce. Is this what you were thinking about?"

"Yes," he lies, and presses his other hand beneath Tim's chin.

"I..." Tim swallows, and his composure is clearly rattled.

Batman strokes a soothing path over the boy's chin, and the small stretch of throat left exposed by cape and collar. He'd always meant to design something better, something safer, but even through his gauntlet there is a smooth tautness to the skin that makes him hunger.

And hunger more when Tim tilts his head back slowly, offering.

It would be so very easy to open a portal remotely, to -- no. He's only visiting. He's --

"Bruce..."

"Yes."

With his hand here, he can feel the boy swallow. "I never thought you would."

Batman blinks, behind his mask. "I... tried not to be obvious." Even to myself.

Tim grins, face tilted up to the sky. "I am a detective."

So easy, and the people didn't hate Robin, had no reason to hate him, Tim could -- he growls at himself and buries the mindless, greedy hunger in a bite. Tim jerks and stills, tensing, and --

"Oh," he says. "Oh..." and this one is more of a moan. Tim relaxes into his touch and arches his head back further. It must be painful now, though perhaps less so than Batman's teeth.

He can't leave marks. He wants to --

Batman forces himself to switch to sucking kisses, and Tim reaches between them and unhooks the cape, opens his collar and slides his hands over the cowl, fingers digging in for purchase.

Batman -- he designed Robin's uniform, and while the boy had made additions and alterations of his own, the basics remain the same. The boy's skin is hot and faintly damp beneath the tunic, even through the t-shirt.

"Oh," he says again, and presses against Batman's searching hand. Batman kisses him one more time, on the thin skin beneath the boy's ear, and pulls back. The roof of the tower is flat, the wind strong enough up here to clear away most of the grit. He lowers Tim down, pushing his head down against the tangled fall of his own cape, and works on the boy's uniform more.

Opens the tunic, pushing it wide over Tim's chest and sliding the shirt up.

"Bruce, yes --" Broken with a bitten-off moan when Batman licks the boy's nipples. They were already hard, and they get even harder beneath his tongue, reddened peaks of flesh that Batman has to bite.

Tim clutches at the cowl again, slipping on the material and whining high in his throat.

Too much.

Batman pulls back long enough to push back the cowl, flexing at the boy's gasp, and then those hands are in his hair, stroking it and mussing it, and Batman leans in again and licks the boy's chest.

Not as thoroughly as he would like, but... it's not the time. He catches one of Tim's wrists and presses it back against the roof --

"Bruce --"

And kisses the boy's armpit wetly, getting a laughing gasp and tasting deodorant. Not what he wants. He lets go and crawls down Tim's body, shoving his tongue into the boy's navel, and the sound this time is a strangled, half-desperate groan. And he can smell the boy's arousal.

He curls his fingers into the waistband of Tim's tights, and Tim lifts his hips immediately. Trusting, wanting -- he could have had this, and he never did. He never --

He can have it now. He will have it now.

He cups his hand over the boy's jock and squeezes, and Tim whimpers and shakes his head. It isn't a no. Tim covers Batman's hand with his own and presses harder, curls his fingers around Batman's hand --

"Please, Bruce, please make me come --"

It's a gift, another one. Easier to take than the boy's reflexive trust of this cape and cowl, this face and voice.

The other hasn't done this. The other has never heard Tim moan like this. This belongs to him, the way nothing else in this world ever could. Batman pulls down the jock and hides the savagery of his smile in the shallow bowl of the boy's hip.

The hands in his hair are gauntleted, but clever just the same, tugging and stroking and petting him without reserve or hesitation. Robin.

He swallows the boy down, and feels himself clench at the sound of his open scream. The boy shifts, slightly, and the next scream is muffled. Batman looks up around his mouthful and watches Tim bite his own fist. Of course he would remember care and control, even in this.

Good soldier.

Batman cups the boy's hips and pulls back enough to suck hard on the head, to taste him, sweat and pre-come and raw, unapologetic maleness.

The shouts are louder now, even with the boy's fist in his mouth, and Batman wraps his hand around the base of the boy's dick and focuses his attentions on the head, sucking and licking. Kissing as hard as he wishes to, harder than he'd let himself kiss the boy's mouth.

Lips bruise and swell obviously.

Tim's free hand tightens in his hair, then spasms.

Batman understands, and tongues harder at the slit until Tim shouts again and comes in his mouth, his body a lean, tensed bow. Batman swallows and licks until the boy whimpers, and then pulls off, setting him down against the roof and stroking his thighs to soothe him.

And then simply stroking him, peeling off his own gauntlets with his teeth to better feel him, all of him. Smooth, faintly damp skin and the smoother fabric of the uniform. Tim slips his fist out of his mouth and watches him, shifting to allow Batman better access to his ribs, the insides of his thighs, his pectorals and throat.

His mouth is swollen despite Batman's best efforts to the contrary, and Batman has to force himself not to see the fact as permission. He will not make it worse.

He strokes the boy's cheeks and kisses him as gently as he is able, and Tim licks the taste of himself out of Batman's mouth and makes a soft, satisfied sound.

Batman pulls back and straightens the boy's hair.

"Bruce... I want... can I..." Tim shakes his head and smiles secretively, quietly.

He's mocking himself. Batman brushes another lock of hair off the boy's forehead and Tim looks at him steadily.

And raises and spreads his knees, planting his feet.

Offering.

"I want you to," he says, after a moment.

It takes him outside of himself, and forces him to see it, everything. A rooftop, a man, a boy. The boy is still mostly dressed, but no one could ever doubt what he'd been doing. The man is entirely dressed, save for the bare hands he can't seem to remove from the boy's body.

Not even for a moment.

It shouldn't seem so beautiful.

He slips his free hand back between Tim's thighs, cupping his face with the other in case he should try to turn away.

Tim doesn't. Looks at him steadily, and only tilts his chin up a little when Batman cups his sac.

"I used to wonder," Tim breathes. "What I was to you. Why you... you never opened up to me, even though I was your partner..." He slips his hand down around Bruce's own, and squeezes.

Gasps when Batman squeezes, too.

"Oh... I get it, Bruce. It's... it's scary." Tim swallows and pets Batman's knuckles, and watches him steadily. The mask doesn't dull or diffuse the intensity of the boy's gaze.

It never could.

"I trust you," Tim says, calmly and easily.

I'm not the one, he doesn't say. Because... because shouldn't he be? He knows now, understands so much more than the other does. Than the other can. He knows precisely what he has in this boy, even if it's only here, exposed to a Gotham that doesn't deserve... anything.

Batman releases Tim's sac and guides their hands down, together. Presses Tim's fingers against his own hole and watches the boy's forehead crumple, his lips part.

"Beautiful," he says, and Tim moans, low and quiet, and spreads his thighs even further, arching up into his own touch.

Tim slips his middle finger in, and whimpers. Too much.

"What --"

"Have to use my other arm, just..."

The shoulder. He'd forgotten. Inexcusable. He lifts Tim so that he can remove the boy's t-shirt entirely. The bruising is only nominally severe, but extensive. Batman sets his hand flat and gently rubs the blood back into it.

"Hey, now, don't get distracted..."

"Unlikely."

Tim laughs and strokes Batman's arm, his chest. Pushes against Batman's hold to sit up enough to reach down and cup him through the suit. "Then... do that later. Do me now."

Batman raises an eyebrow at the boy. "You're... playful."

"Sometimes. You know that."

"I'd forgotten."

Tim frowns. "You're... busy with the League," he says, and doesn't quite look at him.

He is. He... was. Batman cups the boy's chin and tilts his face back up. Tim's expression has smoothed to blankness and patience. The decision is made. "I'm going to find you. More often." Every time the other is safely away.

Tim smirks at him. "That's a threat."

Batman slides his hand back between the boy's legs and presses up hard behind his balls. "Yes. It is."

Tim's growl is quiet and serious. "Good. That's -- mm."

He wants, very badly, to watch the boy fingering himself, but his control is eroding far too rapidly for that. Another time, he tells himself, and it makes his heart pound, painfully. Joy is just another exercise, another way to hurt yourself if too much is given after too long.

"Bruce..." the boy says as Batman lays him back down. "Oh," when Bruce lifts his legs over his own shoulders.

The taste of him is dark, powerful. Obvious in a way very little is on the boy. Tim doesn't allow himself obviousness, and taking this from him is an intimacy beyond the act itself.

You're giving me your pleasure, he doesn't say, because it's obvious, and because he isn't sure whether he'd be able to keep it from coming out an accusation. Partners. They are... partners.

And no team, no matter how well-meaning, no matter how competent, could ever come close to the importance of a true partnership. How had he ever forgotten?

Tim's thighs tighten around him, and his heels drum on Batman's back through the suit. The boy's fist is back in his mouth, and the scent of arousal deepens and sharpens again.

Tim had taken the oath, freely and solemnly.

Tim had given him this years before, and it was only his own distraction and stupidity that kept him from realizing what he truly had in this fine, dangerous, beautiful boy. He will rectify the situation. He will --

"Oh please, Bruce, please --"

"Yes," he growls against the flex of the boy's muscle, and holds him through the trembling until Tim has control again. The lubricant is a new design, but he'd put it in the old bottle. He doesn't think Tim is familiar enough with the feel of it on his own skin for it to make a difference.

And Tim is... distracted.

Flushed and shifting, moving, neither quite writhing nor closing his thighs. He is comfortable with his exposure to Batman's eyes. This is for him.

Batman swallows a gasp and forces himself to be careful, though he knows neither the boy nor his own needs will allow him slow.

"Harder. More."

He gives the boy two fingers and slows down anyway, just to -- yes. Another growl, and Tim keeps his feet planted and thrusts up and back onto him, forcing him deeper, forcing him faster --

"I like it. I -- Bruce --"

He crooks his fingers on every back-thrust, and the boy is hard again, erect and leaking on his own abdomen, fingers curled against the surface of the roof and. Batman can't wait, any longer.

He releases the panel on the groin guard and pushes down his own jock. Tim's face is avid, expressive and focused. Watching him as he slicks himself, and there's a shocking, sudden temptation to spend himself like this, all over the boy's body. More than the pleasure of his own bare hand; it's another thing he wants.

Another thing he could have.

"Later," the boy says. "Tomorrow. Or the Cave. Or -- just fuck me now, Bruce. Or... God, you're so sexy."

And Tim frowns and slips his good hand between his own legs, slips his fingers in and watches Batman stroke himself.

"Do it. Do me -- oh, your face..."

He doesn't know what he's showing, and there's a reflex to repress it, whatever it may be. But he owes the boy his own honesty. His hunger.

And the way Tim's looking at him...

Batman feels himself breathing raggedly, hears himself, and growls and bats the boy's hand away from himself and guides himself in, one long, hard push that makes Tim whimper and jerk beneath him.

"Legs up," he says, and the boy doesn't hesitate, despite the fact that he's obviously still trying to accustom himself to Batman being inside him. He wraps his legs around Batman's waist, flexes and pulls, holding him deep.

"Oh --"

Batman strokes the boy's chest and throat and rocks, slowly. Not a thrust, not yet, and the boy whimpers every time, whimpers and squeezes him, and he can't --

He leans in, bracing his hands on the roof on either side of Tim's head, and Tim grabs his hair and arches up and in, kissing him and... moving.

"Not yet, not --"

Tim kisses him again, gasps against Batman's mouth, and takes a slow, deliberate breath. "Now," he says, and lets himself fall back against the roof, smiling lazily and pumping his hips up against Batman's own.

So beautiful. So strong and faithful and alive, and Batman stops trying to hold back. It would be another lie, and he will be as honest as he can be. The boy strokes his naked cheek with his gauntlet and Batman turns and kisses the palm and rides him, fills him and uses him and gives him everything he has.

"Bruce, yes."

It feels like another order, and Batman listens, thrusts harder and faster until he's moving the boy, but the roof is no place for that.

He pauses long enough to roll them over, and Tim groans and sinks down on him, scratching at the chest of Batman's suit and gritting his teeth.

Batman reaches up to stroke his hair, his face and throat and everything he can reach, and Tim meets his eyes and rises up on his knees.

And rides him, faster and harder with every move, and Batman catches his rhythm and lets himself groan.

Again when the boy cries out and spills pre-come between them.

"Oh, Bruce. Oh, Bruce, it's so good..."

There is no denying that. He wraps his hands around the boy's hips and forces himself not to guide him. It's enough to feel Tim moving on his own, to watch the roll and flex of muscle, to feel it beneath his palms.

The motions become ragged soon enough, though, and Tim's sounds are both frustrated and heartfelt. "I can't. I -- ah -- please, Bruce, help me --"

He hears himself moan and it's irrelevant, meaningless beyond the need to squeeze the boy's hips (too hard, don't mark him, don't --) and move him, to feel Tim tensing and relaxing in his grip every time Batman pulls him onto himself.

Tim covers one of Batman's hands with his own and wraps his other around himself. And strokes himself hard and fast while he stares down at Batman, lips bitten and frozen into a fierce snarl.

It's too much, and Batman can feel orgasm building in him, rolling through him, forcing him to be brutal, and when Tim's mouth falls open on a shout, Batman comes, deep inside the boy's body.

And then pulls him down hard, and holds him there.

Tim is silent save for the gasps, and the way a few of them randomly catch on a low note in his chest.

Batman watches, and listens, and feels something small and terrifyingly important within him stretch and snap when the boy throws his head back and groans, coming all over the chest of Batman's suit.

Tim stays in that position for a long stretch of time, breathing hard and tensing, relaxing. He's testing himself, checking himself over with silent, reflexive efficiency. Batman lies still and enjoys the sight of it.

Partners.

Eventually, Tim rolls his head on his neck, right and left, and then hums, low and probably mostly to himself, and pauses, just for a moment, before looking down at Batman with a searching sort of seriousness.

"We're not done," Tim says.

Batman raises an eyebrow.

"I mean, tonight I have to get some sleep, but..."

"Tomorrow," he says, and then tries to remember the timeline he's so thoroughly wrecking. It would be... not watch, but... ah. Aresia is going to break out of prison.

Tim nods at him, and Batman can feel the boy smiling behind the mask.

Aresia is going to get out if he has to help the woman. Batman reaches up and traces the edges of the boy's mask with his fingers. The choices have been made. There are reasons he could use, things he could tell himself about the boy's safety, about the timeline not being worth saving, but...

He doesn't need to lie. Not to himself.

Tim catches his hand, and presses it over his own mouth. Batman feels the boy smile, and feels him stop before he pushes Batman's hand away again.

"Have to -- ohh." He stands, swaying a little on his feet. "Have to do that slower."

Batman smiles at him, helplessly, and forces himself to dress. And not to hinder the boy in his own dressing.

"Are you heading back home, or..."

Home. Alfred, and -- for a long, terrifying moment, he knows he looks precisely as stricken as he feels, but Tim never looks up from fastening the catches of his tunic.

Saved by his own well-earned reputation of neglect. He doesn't actually think it will last. Tim is a detective.

"I have to get back to the Tower, tonight," he says.

Tim nods, half-absently. "Then I'll see you when I get back from school." The smile this time is professional and faintly distant.

Tim is a detective, and... Batman kisses the wrong, terrible smile off the boy's face with thorough care, and presses his re-gauntleted thumb to the boy's lower lip. Kisses him harder, and chooses to believe it will make a difference when the time comes. "Yes," he says. "You'll see me."

He leaps from the roof, enjoying the feel of the boy's gaze on his back until he slips around a building, another. Deeper into this black memory of Gotham.

He pauses to break the jaw of a gunman running from a liquor store. He places a fading, perhaps dying junkie under the first functional streetlight he finds. And calls 911 for good measure.

He opens a portal, and walks into the silence of his Cave. There is a lot of dust, and a lot of work to be done, but... Batman walks to the cases instead, and stares into the blankness of the mannequins behind the empty masks.

He asks them to understand.

end.

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Fandom:  Justice League
Title:  pure addition out of nothingness, A
Author:  Te   [email]   [website]
Details:  Standalone  |  NC-17  |  *slash*  |  29k  |  03/10/04
Characters:  Bruce, Tim
Pairings:  Bruce/Tim
Summary:  Batman has some free time on his hands, these days.

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