But yet so irresistible
August 14, 2004
Disclaimers: No one and nothing here belongs to me.
Spoilers: None, really. Owes a lot to "Desire," Devin Grayson's story from the Batman 80-page Giant #1.
Summary: Bruce and Tim bond.
Ratings Note/Warnings: NC-17. Contains content some readers may find disturbing.
Author's Note: The timeline on this one is a little vague. I think this takes place sometime before Teen Titans rebooted, but not all that much before.
Acknowledgments: To Jack, LC, Livia, and Weirdness Magnet for audiencing and
Tim sits at the kitchen table, absently turning his empty mug in small circles. Alfred's cocoa is a lingering warmth in his stomach and a sweetness in his mouth. Alfred himself has retired for the evening, and Tim is... well, a significant portion of his mind is curious about the evolution of definitions as it regards to Alfred's broad conception of the word 'evening.'
Another portion is hopelessly -- and usefully -- aware of the fact that he has no more than three hours to get home before his absence becomes problematic. He doesn't usually linger when a patrol ends early. Care is more important than nearly everything else.
Nearly, and that ties directly into what's occupying most of his thoughts. It was... a good night. Not quiet -- no night when Catwoman is doing her version of working could ever be called quiet -- but not especially traumatic, either.
Assuming nothing awful is happening right now -- which, granted, is a rather large assumption, but still -- no one died on their watch tonight.
Nightwing recovered the jewelry, Oracle tracked everything down that needed to be tracked down, and Detective Montoya slammed his target's face into a wall so he didn't have to.
And while some nights that sort of assist could be frustrating... well. Tim doesn't think it's a bad thing that he's rarely interested in committing acts of violence for the sheer hell of it. In fact, he's pretty sure it's a good sign.
But there's a certain sort of... lack, to nights like these, as well. He's grown accustomed to getting all the exercise he could ever need on the average night's patrol, and to the fact that, most of the time, any excess energy he's built up with the flood of adrenaline would be used in a timely fashion.
And while nights like this one aren't all that rare -- especially since he doesn't often work Gotham proper these days -- they're still odd enough that he's feeling a little restless.
That isn't what's occupying his attention.
The fact that he knows -- knows -- Bruce feels the same way, does. Because, while he can usually expect Bruce to continue his own patrols long after Tim has... taken care of enough of his own restlessness as he can, and even long after Tim has snuck back into his house and tricked himself into a restful-enough sleep...
It's a Catwoman night.
There are certain things that he'd never precisely needed an explanation about, despite a distinct lack of practical knowledge. And there are certain things he'd known about Gotham's night-focused inhabitants long before any of them knew he existed.
Before he'd understood nearly anything at all, he'd known perfectly well that the best nights to watch Robin -- Dick -- working solo were the nights when Catwoman was wreaking her own very specific brand of havoc.
And, while attempting to actually follow Batman and Catwoman had often proved to be more trouble than it was ultimately worth, for his tastes, there are other ways to learn more, and other things to learn, and...
Ultimately, there is no better indication that one set of their security feeds or another had gotten footage of Selina Kyle than the way Alfred specifically invites him for cocoa on those nights, as opposed to simply announcing to the Cave at large that refreshments were available.
A more-Alfred-than-Alfred way of saying "I believe Master Bruce would appreciate some time alone."
And it isn't as though he's resentful of it. Or, well, of anything more than the inconvenience, considering the fact that Tim has also grown accustomed to having the Cave to himself at times like these. On nights like these. And it isn't even as though his options are particularly limited.
There are a lot of ways a resourceful young man with a lot of freedom and regular access to the sort of vehicles which --
He probably shouldn't think about the cars right now.
He wants to think about the cars. So sleek and powerful and mutually possessive. There isn't a single Bat-vehicle he isn't expert at operating. Neither Bruce nor himself would have it any other way, after all. There also isn't a single Bat-vehicle for which the design isn't somehow mystically perfect for providing the feeling of being equally driven.
There's a hollowness to the manor on nights like this one, or rather the absence of the usual entirely irrational sensation that he's on solid ground. The manor, for all of its stately soundness in the wake of the rebuilding, is still only a marker for the people who know and camouflage for the people who don't.
The Cave stretches deep and broad and massive beneath his feet and several layers of excellent construction, yawning open in the same moderately disturbing invitation as ever.
Bruce didn't send him home tonight, after all.
And Bruce knows him well enough to know that, well... he knows.
It's just a question of how much plausible deniability both of them are willing to surrender for the sake of... restlessness.
It isn't a surprise to find himself already washing his mug. It is a surprise just how easy it is for him to open the clock, and move down the stairs and...
The Cave is dark -- darker than usual. The only lights are the one in the Case, the dimmest ones over the cars, and, of course, the ones from the monitors. Which are showing... precisely what he'd expected.
He hadn't made his approach especially subtle -- or even tried to. Bruce knew he was coming, and he's still...
Tim pauses just behind and to the left of Bruce's chair, cataloguing Bruce's posture -- a half-lounge, the relaxation of a large, reasonably well-fed predator -- with a reflexiveness that, tonight, is connected to something else entirely. The cowl is off, and, for some reason, the way Bruce's right leg is crossed over the right, with the ankle resting on the knee...
Perhaps it's the combination of posture and uniform. It's a Bruce Wayne pose, after all, but it's Bruce, and so it's not a pose.
Ultimately, it's very difficult to make his thoughts move beyond anything more specific than 'his legs seem very long, this way.'
And Bruce hasn't looked at him, or moved, or even acknowledged his presence. His attention is focused on the monitors, one hand on his chin, the index finger pressed to his mouth.
To someone who didn't know Bruce very well, it would, perhaps, seem as though he was merely deep in thought, with perhaps a touch of impatience. Tim knows Bruce far better than most, and so knows there's probably a reason why they're -- still -- watching Selina commit felonies on two monitors and simply move on three others.
He just isn't entirely sure what the reason -- reasons -- are.
And he doesn't want to be.
Not right now.
It isn't that he doesn't understand the attraction. As an enemy, there are few more dangerous. As an ally, few more valuable.
And Tim has ceased to be startled by her muscular acrobatics. Her training wasn't an equal to Dick's, but her original potential may very well have been.
"I heard Nightwing got to work at a circus tonight," he offers with a casualness he neither feels nor especially expects Bruce to believe.
He offers it to the silence, and waits, and then simply focuses on keeping his breathing reasonably efficient when Bruce does look at him.
Most people place far too much faith in the concept that the people who wear masks do so in large part to keep their emotions secret. While there is a certain validity to the idea -- there's rarely any percentage in allowing criminals to see how terrified you are at any given time -- it's also a simple truth that they all learned to hide their emotions anyway.
Masks or no masks.
And Bruce... Tim knows from experience exactly how innocuous Bruce can seem when he wants to.
Which is just another reason why the expression on Bruce's face now is so... affecting. The sharpness and the focus. Tim had surrendered a great deal of their deniability solely by allowing restlessness to lead him back to the Cave tonight. Bruce has done an excellent job of removing the rest.
His eyes make the word 'restlessness' into the most laughable of all possible euphemisms. He doesn't look wellfed at all, and the expression is as much of a question as anything else -- does Tim know what he's asking?
He does. And so when he can breathe steadily enough that he has some degree of trust in his ability to speak, he says nothing but, "that's who I'd like to see... tonight."
There's no need to say 'and who you'd like to see, too, I think,' and so he doesn't. And Bruce doesn't move, but his expression... shifts.
Sharpens even more, focuses even more. It's the difference between being thoroughly examined and being thoroughly devoured in a manner too metaphorical for a night like this one. It's...
It feels like something some part of him was waiting for, this opportunity to confess and to share. With Bruce. Who, of course, knows anyway.
Tim feels every minute of the time he's spent half-hard in his suit. He wants, very badly, to know what Bruce feels. So he steps a little closer, with no more intention than the declaration of intent -- he wants this, some part of this, please -- but Bruce hears that, too, or feels it, and Bruce drags Tim into his lap.
He sprawls reflexively, spreading his legs over Bruce's thighs and bracing his toes on the floor. On the monitor closest, Catwoman is smiling, and tossing herself backwards off a rooftop. Here, Bruce is cupping his wrists and squeezing.
And breathing against the back of his neck.
"I -- oh. Do it, Bruce..." The fact that he isn't entirely sure whether he's referring to whatever Bruce might have planned or the fact that he still hasn't changed the evening's... entertainment is almost entirely irrelevant. He likes that he said it.
And the way Bruce is pressing hard, tiny circles into his wrists through the gauntlets... Tim shifts, letting his toes leave the floor, letting his legs dangle to either side of Bruce's own.
And Bruce makes a soft sound that feels like an agreement to something Tim isn't sure whether or not he asked for, which is confusing right up until Bruce lets go of his left wrist and lifts the remote, shutting down every monitor but one and replacing the image of Catwoman running through an exhibit of undoubtedly priceless Egyptian jewelry with... "Oh."
It's... the date on the lower left of the screen is for a night three months ago. The light comes from the flash-bangs he'd used to even the odds against the team of would-be bank-robbers. It's strobic and difficult to parse in terms of normal combinations of light and shadow, but his body remembers that kick, and the smell of the blond's -- no, the other blond's -- cologne.
In the silence, he can't quite remember what the sound of the short bark of laughter he can see himself make had been like. He remembers the mild strangeness, because -- yes.
On-screen, he's staring up at the corners of the ceiling and --
"You didn't expect that much of an echo," Bruce says.
"I'd overcompensated for the flash-bangs."
The sound isn't non-committal so much as an expression of confirmed suspicion. Accordingly, the footage shifts to the infinitely better quality video of him training with the grenades in the unfinished southeast portion of the Cave specifically set aside for potentially high-damage work.
The earphones hang around his neck, and he remembers working until he was irrationally positive his eardrums were about to start bleeding, and the frustration of being forced to beg off patrol.
Mostly, he isn't remembering so much as thinking very carefully about the fact that he hadn't known there were cameras in that part of the Cave.
He doesn't realize he's moving until Bruce tightens his grip on Tim's wrists and... spreads his legs. The position Tim's in means that the move spreads his legs, too. "Oh. Is --"
The Tim onscreen rolls his head on his neck, and the footage shifts to another inferior camera. An ATM one, judging from the perspective and how completely useless the picture would be for identifying suspects. Really, there'd be nothing at all for him to remember the night by, save for the fact that the man on the ground is very obviously -- still -- writhing, and the Tim onscreen is rubbing the door of the car the guy had tried to jack rather... noticeably.
"That was a more thorough beating than most."
Tim's honestly surprised they aren't watching it, but... "I know."
Bruce releases his right wrist and reaches up to cup his chin. It's easy to forget how basically dissimilar the Bat-gauntlets are from his own. The texture is entirely different, designed for hands less naturally adept at fine work than those of young boys. It's slick and cool and somehow even more unnatural against his skin than the rough thickness of the Robin-gauntlets.
He tilts his head into the touch, but all Bruce does is pull him back towards him -- a little.
Enough that his exhale ruffles Tim's hair. "How much damage had he done to the car?" His tone is honestly curious, even under the amusement.
It was a Jaguar, Tim doesn't say. "Several hundred dollars worth. Assuming the woman's mechanic was honest."
"Hm," Bruce says, and places his hand back over Tim's wrist while the Tim onscreen pulls the woman into a hug.
The footage shifts, again, and it's just another installment of Robin vs. The Gangs. Correction -- another several installments. He recognizes at least five -- possibly six -- different nights.
"When do you do the editing?"
"When I have trouble sleeping," Bruce says, as if that's anything like a specific answer, and slides his left hand inside Tim's gauntlet, stroking his forearm the way Tim tends to stroke green Jaguars. His legs aren't spread enough for Tim to be able to notice the stretch in his thighs more than absently, and his forearms aren't particularly sensitive.
A part of his mind insists that he should find this boring, or at least find his lack of boredom disturbing -- narcissism would be, at best, inconvenient -- but... he isn't bored, and it isn't narcissism.
There's nothing particularly interesting about watching his own movements beyond the usual reflexive urge to catalog the ratios of the number of moves he'd picked up from his various teachers, and the usual usefully reflexive urge to look for areas of improvement.
But this isn't training, and it isn't even training-with-Bruce.
He blinks and bites the inside of his lower lip against the abrupt need to shift on Bruce's lap again, shift purposefully, because. It's a very specific kind of sex, a beginning to it, as obvious from the way there are no particularly good shots of the Tim onscreen -- yet? -- as it is from the way Bruce hasn't touched him anywhere but his arms and his face.
The next clip has the wider angle he could recognize halfasleep. There are no views in Gotham like the one from the roof of Central. He hasn't yet decided if the impression is more like being able to look out at the whole of the city at once, or more like the whole of the city being able to look in on you.
He doesn't think he ever will and... he squints. "The camera is in the actual signal?"
"On it. It needs to be replaced quite often."
Tim nods, and feels his hair brushing Bruce's jaw. And watches, because it isn't immediately obvious -- or obvious at all -- why this scene is supposed to represent an escalation. Even considering the fact that Bruce has far more focus on him than he would've guessed.
It's a soundless conversation with Detective Montoya, and a typical one in his experience. Her discomfort with him -- perhaps with the entire existence of Robins -- is perfectly visible, as is her immediate shift toward professionalism as they discuss... Tim checks the date, and the thickness of the folder in Montoya's hand. That would've been Riddler's last escape, and Bruce had been... elsewhere.
He hasn't yet decided whether that would've been League business in general, or Superman business specifically.
It's all routine, and he's almost convinced himself Bruce knows it, too, until the Tim onscreen reaches the 'do level best to increase goodwill toward vigilantes' part of the routine.
He watches himself step away from the signal, deliberately placing his back toward the roof-access door and spreading his arms. Montoya's natural wariness ebbs -- as ever -- with every moment the Tim onscreen fails to be backlit and shadowed, and Tim's body remembers the feel of her hand in his hair, ruffling it.
She'd smelled like coffee and, onscreen, her mouth is curving around the most sardonically-pronounced 'nino' Tim has ever heard.
And the reasoning is starting to become clear, because Bruce is shifting. Behind him, beneath and around him, if only in the potential. If they weren't wearing their uniforms, it's entirely possible that he'd be able to feel a noticeable increase in the heat between them...
In more than just his imagination.
"Bruce --" He cuts himself off. He doesn't mean to ask. At least, not yet. He wants to figure it out for himself, all of it, and -- "Oh --"
It still isn't an extreme stretch. It's barely a serious one -- especially not for Bruce -- but it's still... more. He wants to bend forward, or possibly just curl his legs under Bruce's thighs as much as possible.
This position, for all its intimacy, is more about everywhere he isn't being touched than anything --
"You like to... play," Bruce says, and there's a strain in his voice that Tim isn't sure whether to agree with or just find some way to encourage.
Tim has nothing to thrust against, but it's very, very hard to keep his hips still, just the same. Bruce's jock is inhumanly hard and good against his ass, and he knows it would be even better if Bruce actually thrust against him. He says, "Sometimes."
Bruce's hold tightens on his wrists again, and it's only sex because of the way Tim's reacting to it -- another nuance that deserves thought when he has more of a mind to offer the matter --
It's a question, and while the Tim onscreen tumbles with somewhat excessive energy off the roof of Central, while the camera offers an excellent view of Detective Montoya and the city spreading (or looming) beyond her, his mind has an even better view of how very little he plays around Bruce.
Whether or not they're working together. "Bruce. I want --"
Bruce's sigh is audible and rough, but all he says is "Shh. Watch." The chair creaks beneath them again -- Bruce is leaning in, leaning close, and it's suddenly incredibly important that Tim had removed his cape some time ago -- and incredibly short-sighted that he hadn't removed the tunic. Bruce's breath on the back of his neck isn't ticklish enough.
"What -- what do you want me to see?" Specifically.
Bruce hums against the back of his neck and this time it's entirely non-committal. Frustrating enough that Tim has to move, at least a little, though he has to admit that part of the problem is that he now knows exactly why that counted as an escalation.
An escalation specific to him, even though the next clip features one of his --
"I can't help but notice a surprising lack of attention, considering." More amusement, and each puff of air -- there's a difference between 'foreplay' and 'tease,' though he may eventually be forced to admit that the matter has more to do with timing than anything else.
The Tim onscreen is laughing with silently intense joy, because Dick has given up on sparring entirely. "I don't have to see this one," he says, and remembers the way the laughter had cut off in his throat, and the wave of gratitude that he'd been able to blame it -- however steeped in implication -- on the force of his body hitting the mats after Dick had thrown him to get better access to the more ticklish parts of his body.
"And you don't want to...?"
The 'why,' is unspoken, but still very much there, and Tim pauses with his head bent and his legs -- yes -- half-curled under Bruce's thighs. Physically, the message is almost certainly a mixed one. But that isn't the question.
Bruce is honestly surprised that this is making him uncomfortable, and he isn't sure why.
Tim swallows. "I... hadn't realized how much of a difference there was between the way I interact with you and..." Everyone else.
"I had," Bruce says and slips his hand out of Tim's gauntlet and around to his back. The stroke isn't meant to be soothing.
Which, of course, is infinitely more soothing than anything more innocuous could ever be. Bruce sees no problem whatsoever with Tim's... applied compartmentalization. Or, perhaps, had long since come to terms with it.
Another question deserving further analysis. Deeper analysis, when he can stop pushing back against the hand between his shoulderblades, when he can stop focusing on one very specific aspect of this little discovery:
"Part of the -- attraction of... of voyeurism..." He looks up, and watches Dick smile at the Tim onscreen, watches him smirk as he completely fails to connect the way the Tim onscreen is moving with the way he is. Both of them, right now and right then. "Transgression," he pants. "Illicit --"
"With the added attraction of speculation, of course," Bruce says, and slides his hand around to Tim's chest again, pulling him close and breathing against his ear. "You knew I'd see this, eventually."
"We were... on the mats. You -- always. Bruce, I --"
"It would be fair to say I've spent a significant amount of time considering your reasoning for giving me... this."
Oh. Oh, there's so much, and he -- Bruce's palm presses hard on the tunic's armor and then moves.
Back to his wrists, and the blessing is a mixed one. He can think enough to get at least some of his thoughts out -- "How... how often do you watch this? These."
But he also has entirely too much capacity to focus on the next clip.
An entirely different angle of the Cave, and clearly he just needs to accept that the entire place is wired for surveillance. He never should have assumed (but had he? Really?) that the design schematic would be based on efficiency rather than thoroughness. And, in all honesty...
It's not like he would've been able to avoid pointing at least a few cameras at the cars, and perhaps taking the time, every once in a while, to watch them gleaming mellowly in low light.
Or watch underaged vigilantes leaning one-handed on the hood of the car, the Batmobile, with the other hand shoved into the tights.
"Oh. Bruce --"
"Again, speculation." The hot, slow exhale against the back of Tim's neck is deliberate enough to make him shudder, more than anything else. Even -- "You knew that I'd know, Tim."
"I --" Didn't. He's not going to say that, even though it isn't entirely a lie, and certainly wouldn't be a lie-with-intent. Still. "I'd assumed your knowledge would involve some... some..." It's amazing how obvious the movement of onscreen-Tim's shoulder is. How... utterly impossible to interpret in some other way. "Some other form of deduction," he breathes.
Bruce laughs and drags the stubble on his chin over the back of Tim's neck, slow and -- it's rough and ticklish and -- "The simplest methods are not, necessarily, inferior."
He watches himself bite his lip -- no. He bites his lip and watches himself claw at the slick hood with curled fingers. The gauntlet was, paradoxically, protecting the finish. He was --
It was the same day as the last clip, only a few hours later, and he remembers remembering the way Dick's fingers had moved over his body, and he remembers what that shudder had felt like and he knows exactly how close he is -- was -- to coming.
Now... now he's just aching. More when Bruce strokes Tim's chest through the tunic, again, hugging him close. Bruce's mouth is firm and dry on the skin just behind Tim's left ear.
"I used to only have two cameras over there," he says, conversationally, and shifts away enough that he's hardly pressed to Tim's back at all.
His thighs are burning, and he looks down to find that he isn't just curling his legs under Bruce's anymore, he's clutching Bruce's thighs with his calves and. He can't stop his hips from jerking. Even though he still doesn't have anything but the motion, even though he's watching himself do it. "Bruce --"
"You never chose the same... position, twice."
'Routine is dangerous, and potentially deadly,' offers the firm, entirely innocuous and steady Bruce-voice in his mind, and Tim laughs before he can stop himself. "I -- some habits --"
"What were you imagining, Tim?" The stroke over his chest is firm and rhythmic. Promising. And Tim... he knows.
Because the Tim onscreen is so close, and he's never just thinking about Dick's fingers when he's that close. There are rhythms, routines to this, a... groove his mind slips into when --
You. Fucking me, over the car -- he opens his mouth and the words don't come out. He swallows and tries again. "You -- your hand. On me." He feels himself blushing -- harder -- and jerks his chin toward the monitor, where he's noticeably and forcibly trying to slow down.
And Bruce... pauses, just for a moment, his palm resting lightly over the 'R' on Tim's chest. And then he moves and Tim feels himself pulsing pre-come in a sexualized panic reaction he didn't realize he had. But Bruce just moves his hands back to Tim's arms and tugs off the gauntlets.
The left, the right.
Bruce's thumbs are hard and dry on Tim's pulse-points and he says, "It's a curious fact about masturbation..."
Tim gasps and watches his recorded self shudder and spill all over the hood. White on black and he couldn't possibly have been as flushed then as he is now. "I --"
Squeeze. "When fantasies are utilized, they rarely maintain... narrative consistency. A single image, however desirable, is rarely the only thing on the subject's mind."
The fascinating thing -- he hadn't realized Bruce could lecture in a voice like that one. It throws every moment of his training into an entirely irrational suspicion. Tim knows Bruce hadn't sounded like that, not ever, but --
He bites his lip again and the image on the monitor goes black for just long enough for Tim to feel relief before the picture switches to another day, another... he watches himself pull off his boots and belt -- everything rough -- before climbing on the hood, lying on his back and --
"In other words," Bruce says, and forces Tim's thighs further apart with the spread of his own, "I don't believe you've told me everything."
It's absolutely true, and the fact that he doesn't mean to be less than clear just makes it frustrating. More frustrating. He watches himself arch up slowly, and even if he didn't know precisely what occasion that was, he'd still... know. It's --
"Who was supposed to be watching this, Tim?"
"I." He has to say it. He has to. "Dick always wants me to be less... subtle." Even though he wasn't talking about this. Even though he doesn't know --
Bruce squeezes his wrists hard. Too hard, for long enough that it's honestly painful, and Tim grits his teeth and watches himself stroke the hollows of his own hips.
His skin remembers how that felt. He'd never really considered the possibility that the gauntlets could be ticklish. "I --"
"It's an interesting interpretation of Dick's desire for less... opaque communication." There's a smile in Bruce's voice, and that's too much. It's his own fault for not just saying it, how the way Dick is is as much of a desire as the way he moves and smiles and touches and --
He remembers a boy who performed because he loved it, and who loved it because performing was what he was. And it didn't have anything to do with the people watching -- not really -- and Tim had always wanted -- so badly -- to have something like the same feeling.
"It's ... it's just -- that isn't me," is what comes out of his mouth, and the moan is no more frustrated than the words themselves. He wants --
"Shh," Bruce says, and presses Tim's wrists flat to the arms of the chair, stroking the backs of his hands before pressing his own palms to Tim's thighs. Escalation. Comfort. "You were... testing a theory, perhaps?"
"I --" He breathes and forces himself to relax his legs' grip on Bruce's thighs from a clutch to a hold. "Yes." The Tim onscreen drags a hand up the center of his chest, slow and... obviously. There's no sound, and he doesn't often look at himself while laughing, but... it's still the most natural thing about the video.
Bruce rolls his hips up in a slow, controlled wave. The impression of absolute force, contained. It's an invitation.
Tim licks his lips. "That's how he does it. Sometimes."
Bruce's inhale is sharp, and his hands tighten -- spasm -- on Tim's thighs. Interesting.
"You don't have footage of... that."
Bruce digs his thumbs into Tim's thighs and then lets go, reaching for Tim's hands and twining their fingers together for a long moment before stroking the entirety of his forearms. "Strangely enough, Dick never felt the need to masturbate on my car."
And what about your bed? Or his apartment. Or -- "Hm," Tim says.
Bruce flips Tim's arms over until he can stroke and scratch at the palms of Tim's hands. "When."
He knows what Bruce is asking. "I watched both of you for years before I ever met you," he says, in the steadiest voice he can manage.
Bruce sighs, quiet and low. They both know Tim isn't just stating a fact they're both fully aware of. There are... layers. "You were... very young," Bruce says, and it sounds like a question.
"I wanted to know everything."
Bruce's lips press hard against the back of his neck, and he strokes the insides of Tim's forearms, up and down. Tim watches and...
Once, during No Man's Land, he'd woken up far too early. The cold should've allowed him to sleep, but he'd been too well-trained for that. He may actually die of hypothermia one day, but it won't be because he'd forgotten himself and fallen asleep. But that night... he remembers the way it had been surprisingly difficult to move, and the way all the pains that should've had time to fade overnight really just hadn't. And he remembers Bruce slipping out of the satellite-cave's shadows and crouching in front of him, and saying,
"The generator needs to recharge," and chafing his arms, and his legs, and his face until Tim had gone back to sleep.
The motion Bruce is using now isn't quite the same -- it's much less efficient -- but Tim is suffering from the same irrational certainty about it as he'd had about Bruce's training voice. He could've had this then.
This same... he doesn't have words for it. Rightness and safety and understanding are all right and all entirely lacking. Movement on the screen catches his attention -- his taped self is slamming his head against the windshield. He remembers how, at that point, he couldn't decide whether he was feeling the impact or hearing it. "I was so frustrated," he says, before Bruce has to ask. "I was -- I couldn't imagine it, anything like... I kept losing the thread."
Bruce presses his arms down firmly for a beat before reaching for Tim's tunic. Opening it, and --
He doesn't slide his hands inside. "Bruce..."
"I know," he says, and kisses the back of his neck, wet and soft.
"I knew you were frustrated, too. It made this one... uncomfortable to watch."
Tim's going to laugh about that just as soon as he can stop gasping.
Bruce is already laughing, somewhere beneath his voice. "And yet..."
Onscreen, he's squeezing his eyes shut, and his mouth is open. It wouldn't take a lip-reader to understand the cursing, and then... "This is the part you like, Bruce," he says, and watches himself shifting, moving sharply until he's kneeling on the hood of the car, one hand in his jock and one in his mouth.
"I know it by heart," he says, and this time his voice is a smile and a question.
"Because you know -- you think you know -- what I was picturing."
And this time Bruce actually laughs, quiet and breathy, and moves his right hand back to play with Tim's own. With the fingers Tim is sucking onscreen. "I have my suspicions. And inferences.
Tim watches Bruce's hand instead of the screen. He doesn't need to see it. You don't have to masturbate in front of mirrors -- or crowds, or cameras -- to have a good idea of precisely what you look like when you're doing something that familiar. "Yes?"
"Mostly," Bruce says, and pauses. And pauses the video, just as the Tim onscreen is throwing his head back. "You're very beautiful."
Tim examines the slightly grainy image critically. "I look like I'm being electrocuted, Bruce."
"You're still a virgin," Bruce says, as though it answers everything.
Tim rolls his eyes. "Yes, but I know --"
"You knew exactly what the Clench did to human bodies before you were afflicted, as well," Bruce says, and uses his left hand to curl Tim's into a loose fist.
And... that had been unpleasant. "Point taken."
"And also..." Bruce starts the video again, and Tim watches himself gasping silently, shouting silently around the fingers in his mouth.
He still hasn't touched his dick -- in either temporal plane -- and the resonant ache is something like the sexual torture version of standing between two mirrors. "Bruce --"
"I can -- easily -- imagine making you look just like that. Just that... pained."
"I -- oh."
"And now," he says, squeezing the fingers of Tim's right hand and scratching a path up the inside of Tim's thigh with their lefts, "it's effortless."
Bruce nuzzles the lowest edges of Tim's hairline, and kisses him there four times. "Was it Dick in your mouth?"
And if Bruce had asked that question before the Tim onscreen finally pushed his jock aside... But he didn't, and Tim won't lie. Not... not now. "It was Kon. Superboy."
'The clone,' is what Bruce doesn't say -- out loud, anyway, and Tim has the simultaneous urge to apologize and attack, followed, as usual, by the frustration of disagreeing with Bruce in such a fundamental way.
He waits, instead, and eventually Bruce pushes Tim's left hand back to rest on the arm of the chair, and strokes the inside of Tim's thigh with just his own hand. Large and hard and warm, even through Tim's tights.
Not as warm as Kon's would be. Infinitely more possessive... probably.
"It's an... older fantasy," and Bruce's voice is soft with implied compromise.
Tim takes a deep, shuddering breath. "One of the first. About him."
Bruce strokes hard at the crease between Tim's thigh and abdomen with his left hand, and his right is almost worrying at Tim's fingers. "He's taking you."
The sound Bruce makes can only be described as dangerous.
"It's -- he wouldn't --"
Bruce stops the tape entirely, and Tim blinks at the black screen.
After a while, Bruce moves his hands to Tim's shoulders and pushes. Gently. Without letting go.
Tim stands and turns, cautiously, and Bruce's face is... difficult to describe. He tugs on Tim's shoulders -- again, gently -- and Tim straddles him again. Waits.
Bruce cups his chin and tilts Tim's face up and says, "I apologize."
And he could ask which part Bruce is apologizing for, but right now... right now it doesn't matter as much as having this. "I accept," he says, and Bruce's lips part and Tim wishes Bruce would spread his legs again. Spread his legs again. "Bruce..."
Bruce strokes Tim's lips with his thumb, hard and slow. "Would you tell me what you want me to do to you?"
The stress is only implied, but it's still there. "I -- mm --" Bruce's thumb in his mouth, pushing in, sliding out, pressing down on his tongue, and Bruce's eyes are wide and hungry and... they look like they should be black. The blue is almost painful to look at.
"Would it be... should I tell you what I want?"
Easier. He was going to say -- Bruce's other fingers are splayed over Tim's cheek, curling under his jaw, urging -- suggesting Tim tilt his head further up and back. When he does, Bruce's thumb slides out entirely, and Tim says "Yes," and it doesn't matter what he's answering.
Because Bruce pushes his thumb back in and slides his other hand down to the base of Tim's spine. Steadying him before he spreads his -- their -- legs.
Tim moans around Bruce's thumb and tries to keep his eyes from --
"No, close them. I -- like that. Oh, Tim..."
Tim curls his hands into fists at his sides and waits and --
"You're in your room. Here."
He's fourteen. He's fourteen and his mother is dead and his father is never going to wake up and he lives in the Manor, with Alfred and with Bruce.
"I wanted to come to you, Tim. I wanted to..." Bruce's voice is a hoarse whisper, belying the steadiness of the thumb pushing into his mouth.
There's more than one reason for his eyes to be closed.
"I didn't know what I wanted. You were so very strong. I..." Bruce slides his thumb out of Tim's mouth and trails it wetly over his chin before pushing his hand into Tim's hair and pulling him close. "I watched you sleep," he says, lips brushing Tim's own with every word.
"Bruce --" It feels like a kiss, the motion of his mouth --
"I touched your hair. And then I went back to my room, and..." He drags his mouth up over Tim's cheek, tilting Tim's head down and breathing against his eyelid. "When I closed my eyes I was holding you again. And you were just as... you always knew what you wanted from me."
He thought he had. He... oh, but back then he did know. "I thought I wanted everything from you, Bruce. It..." It made so much sense.
Bruce's laugh isn't entirely humorless, even with the tonelessly raw tone of it. "Tim," he says, and kisses his forehead before pushing him back.
Not too far -- just far enough that it must not be awkward at all for him to push the tunic open further, to un-tuck Tim's t-shirt and stroke his way up Tim's chest.
To make him shiver. The physical reactions make perfect sense -- he's been aroused for so long that he's over sensitized, and the light touch is a tease. Emotionally --
"Shh," he says, and presses hard, holding Tim steady with the hand at the base of his spine. His hands are warm and hard and rough, and the twisting pinch to his nipples is a relief.
Even though he's shouting.
"I wanted you to laugh, Tim."
Dick backflips across the surface of Tim's mind, and Bruce pinches harder.
"I wanted you to fight me, Tim," Bruce says, and --
It isn't Dick at all.
"I wanted to see... what you would do," and Bruce lets go and grabs his hips instead. "Tim."
He doesn't know what to say. He doesn't... he'd never gotten to see that, and it seems as though this would be a terrible time to remind Bruce of the others. He opens his eyes and Bruce moans.
And kisses him hard.
And keeps his eyes open, and Tim's trying -- he wants to. He has to think about this, how to go about this, because he's never been able to imagine Bruce with the others without slipping into the most viscerally satisfying fantasies.
Not even fantasies. The images were always... so much.
And he's never done it seriously, and he can't do it now, because Bruce is staring into him like a mystery, like a question, and it doesn't matter if Dick or Jason would do it, he has to buck and groan and -- open.
He already is.
He wants to see what Bruce will do.
After the tongue stroking his own and the narrowed eyes. After the tightening of those hands on his hips and the --
Abrupt pause. Hm. "Bruce?"
"You're studying me," he says, and his voice is a strange, almost frightening mix of surprise, amusement, and pride.
Tim raises an eyebrow.
"I am surprised, but..." Bruce's smile is sharp. "I shouldn't be."
That's nothing but truth. Tim rests his hands on Bruce's shoulders and shifts, pushing down until he can feel the stretch in his thighs again, and feel Bruce's jock rubbing against his own. "Is it frustrating? We could wind up just... waiting." It's surprisingly easy to picture them here, like this, simply watching each other and -- The fact that it would have next to no relation to the sort of control games he's imagined is...
"I think a better description for it is 'rather too excitingly amusing,'" Bruce says, and releases the catches on Tim's belt before pushing the tunic off entirely and shoving the t-shirt up to bunch beneath Tim's arms. He pauses for another moment, staring, and Tim wonders if the attraction is to his breathing or to his flush. And then Bruce lifts him, holds him up and scrapes his stubbled cheek over Tim's nipple.
"Amusing, but ultimately... implausible."
"Bruce." In his fantasies, he tells Bruce to bite him. He begs in no uncertain terms, because he can be both endlessly coherent and perfectly silent. He opens his mouth, and even the moan is choked, and his hands spasm on Bruce's shoulders.
Bruce breathes hot on his skin. "You're here, with me."
"I -- yes --"
"I have you," he says, and lays his tongue flat against Tim's nipple, flat and wet and not rough enough.
Tim jerks his hips against empty air.
"And I have a... fair idea of what you want." The warning is as blatant as an inexperienced fighter's telegraphed moves, but Bruce's teeth are hard and his hands are rough, and Bruce only bites harder when Tim's hands spasm again.
"Somehow, I find myself caught between the urge to hush you -- and thus feed into your more explicit fantasies -- and the urge to do everything possible to make you scream."
There's absolutely nothing he can say to that, right now, which is awful, because it's the sort of thing that could lead to an interesting discussion if Bruce wasn't dragging his teeth across Tim's chest and biting his other nipple.
If Tim wasn't shaking and gasping.
He's going to come in his tights, and the thought shakes something free, opens something, and Tim understands with perfect, sex-desperate clarity that the pain from his jock is no more intense than Bruce's ruthless bites. That the bites are making him harder, hotter.
The pain is --
"Good. It's -- Bruce --"
"Yes," Bruce whispers, and pulls back with one, last sucking kiss to the claw marks Killer Croc had left below his left pectoral, setting him down on his feet and holding on for just long enough for Tim to remember how to stand. The look on Bruce's face is sharp, focused and calculating, and Tim's hands twitch at his sides.
He uses them to get rid of his t-shirt, instead. And there's nothing surprising whatsoever about the fact that Bruce immediately focuses on his face as soon as Tim starts pushing his shorts and tights down.
"Tim. There's... so much."
He nods, because opening his mouth is just -- he can't.
"Yes," Bruce says again, and pulls Tim's jock down to bunch with everything else before Tim can do it himself. And strokes the hollows of Tim's hips with a sort of deliberate hesitation.
And Tim had every intention of begging, but the noise he manages is strangled and wordless.
"I could easily grow addicted to conflicts like these," Bruce says, and smiles at him with his eyes.
And pushes him back to sit on the console, crouching to remove his boots and everything else. Getting them... out of the way.
Tim's thighs twitch and Bruce makes a soft humming noise. "I told you to trust your instincts, Tim."
The sound of his own laughter is cracked and breathless, fading into just another groan when he does pull his knees up and plants his feet. If he thinks about how exposed he is --
"Don't close your eyes, Tim. Not now."
- then he'll whimper, high in his throat, just like this, because Bruce is staring at him, making all of this so much more real than it had ever been before. Making him more real. He can't actually stop whimpering.
Clearly, at least one of Bruce's 'dilemmas' has been solved.
And perhaps the other one, too, because Bruce slips the lubricant from his own belt while Tim watches him, slicking his fingers and tossing the tube aside with a tellingly careless flick of his wrist.
Tim can't say the words.
Tim has to curl his fingers and toes and brace himself and push forward. He isn't sure whether he wants it to feel like a demand or a plea. He isn't sure it matters with Bruce's left hand cupping his face and Bruce's right --
Another wordless noise, small and throaty, and it's just one finger, and he's done that -- Bruce undoubtedly has the footage to prove it -- but it's.
It's Bruce, staring down as Tim stares up, stroking his lip and pushing in.
And into Tim's mouth with his thumb the next time he gasps. Tim sucks hard, gratefully. He doesn't have to talk, or even try. Bruce knows. Bruce wants --
"You look... drugged," Bruce says, and any effort Tim might have made to change that -- any idea toward effort -- becomes moot when Bruce slides his finger all the way in.
And his thumb.
Bruce's gasp shows his teeth. "The unspoken is as tempting, as rife with potential as everything else. Your face... you look, right now, as though you would allow anything."
Tim moans around Bruce's thumb and Bruce thrusts. The last time Tim had made a sound like that, he'd taken a blow to the abdomen from a metahuman.
"And the urge to interpret, of course. Your sounds."
Bruce finds a rhythm with both hands quickly, easily. Far more effortlessly than Tim can follow, because Bruce's finger twists on every stroke, and the pad of Bruce's thumb is moving over his teeth.
"Your... responses." Bruce gasps again and pulls his finger out sharply, and Tim bites Bruce's thumb helplessly. He's afraid to breathe too deeply, because every exhale comes out low and loud, because --
Nothing could have kept that scream in. Bruce's fingers, two of them, and they're slick, but Bruce's fingers are long and thick and in him. Opening him --
Fucking him, and he grunts rhythmically around Bruce's thumb, drools around Bruce's thumb, and he wants --
"Come for me, Tim."
And that's the oldest thing, the best thing, and Tim feels his skin heat absolutely everywhere and fucks his mouth on Bruce's thumb. He's brutally, painfully aware of his untouched dick, of the way the edge of the console is digging into his spasming palms.
Of Bruce, so close -- no. He's leaning closer, because Bruce is taking his thumb away and --
Tim gasps, and it sounds like he's yelling, or begging. He is. And he looks up, and Bruce makes a soft, low sound that makes something in Tim's chest seize, or break, or need, and the next thrust of Bruce's fingers makes his eyes roll back in his head.
"I know you can, like this."
"Yes, just -- oh --" Inside, inside, and Bruce is --
"It's just one of the more tempting things about you," Bruce says in that roughly seductive voice, that amused voice, the one he'll hear --
"Always -- I --"
"Please -- I -- Bruce --"
Breath on his ear, teeth, and Tim leans into it, bucks against Bruce's hand and needs. And --
Bruce's tongue and the slick, wet slide of it and -- "You don't look like you're being electrocuted, Tim."
He looks like he's being fucked.
He grunts and comes and shouts and flexes around Bruce's fingers, gasps and --
"More. Bruce --"
"Yes," he says, and pushes in one more time, holding his fingers there, holding Tim there. Opened and fucked and...
"Put your arms around my neck, and -- Tim."
He can't tell whether Bruce had lifted more or he'd jumped more. It doesn't matter. He has his arms around Bruce's neck and his legs around Bruce's waist and Bruce is still inside him. And smiling at him with his eyes.
"Bruce --" Twisting, pushing, and Bruce can't get any deeper like this, but that's an intellectual concern. Tim's body is telling him something else entirely.
"The car," Tim says, and maybe later he can yell at himself for just how embarrassingly obvious that was, but...
Bruce looks so pleased. He pushes his free hand into Tim's hair and yanks Tim's head back and kisses his throat.
Sucks his throat and -- they're moving. He can't see anything but the roof of the Cave through his half-closed lashes, but every step is just fucking him more, and Bruce is tasting him, biting and kissing him, laying him flat on the cool, smooth hood of the car and --
The difficulty is in convincing his body it's anything remotely close to a good idea. Once that's done... His body knows exactly how to get comfortable on the hood of a Bat-vehicle. It's just one of those skills he'll never actually have the opportunity to discuss with anyone.
Bruce pulls out and strips off the suit in a double-handful of fast, efficient motions, then rests his knee next to where Tim has his right foot planted.
He's naked and... entirely and obviously focused on just how naked Tim is. Or perhaps --
"I miss the Redbird," he says, with a certain corrupt sort of wistfulness that Tim can entirely identify with.
"You could get me another, but..."
"It really wouldn't be the same," and Bruce crawls onto the hood of the Batmobile, crawls up and over him, and the car's shocks groan and sigh companionably beneath them. Bruce's dick is hard, wet against Tim's abdomen.
Hot against him, and Tim arches up. He'd never even considered the possibilities of this, the feeling of contrast... though the hood won't be cool beneath him for very long. Not like this.
Bruce nuzzles his cheek and presses down, slow and inexorable, until every breath is a struggle. Tim wraps his legs around Bruce's waist again and... skin. So much of it, and so much of a difference. Bruce drags his mouth over Tim's own and kisses him softly.
And thrusts hard.
"Yes, Bruce --"
"I wonder what expression will be on your face when you wash the car this time."
"Probably something --" The next thrust is just as hard, and Tim has to catch his breath. "Similar." Assuming he doesn't use his tongue.
"Hmm, perhaps," Bruce says and licks Tim's tongue.
They're moving the car. Bruce is moving the car, and moving him, and Tim's skin makes loud, squeaking noises against the finish. Just another sexual obscenity, like the wet, sucking sounds he's making around Bruce's tongue.
Like the avid look in Bruce's eyes, and the way Tim knows his own look precisely the same.
And then Bruce pulls out of the kiss, grinding hard against him for not long enough before crawling back down off the car. Tim follows, rolling onto his hands and knees and... pausing.
Bruce is stroking his own dick and watching him. "Bruce," he says, more to give himself time to start thinking again than for any desire to talk.
It makes Bruce's eyes narrow and Tim is abruptly aware of the image he's presenting. He's naked, on his hands and knees.
He's crawling over the hood of the car toward Bruce, and the fingers of his right hand are curled over one of the headlights.
Almost claw-like, really.
Tim isn't sure whether he wants to laugh or move, and Bruce's dick looks painfully hard. He settles for crawling just a little closer and pointedly raising an eyebrow. "I don't know how to use a whip, Bruce."
"You were always... always a very fast learner," Bruce says, and gasps when Tim covers his hand with his own.
And gasps again when Tim digs in to the back of Bruce's hand with his short -- suddenly regrettably so -- nails.
And moves his hand away, letting Tim wrap his fist around the base of his dick. Panting, and -- "Tim."
"Meow," Tim says, and uses the flat of his tongue on the head. One lick, two, and Bruce growls and shoves his hands into Tim's hair and pulls.
The noise he just made was probably too high-pitched, but he doesn't really think Bruce particularly cares. He braces his free hand on Bruce's hip and sucks as hard as he can, and --
Big. His lips are stretched and he can't do anything with his tongue but feel Bruce.
Call me 'Selina,' he thinks, and makes another entry on the list of things he should probably think very deeply about sometime much, much later.
For now, it feels much too good to smile around the ragged thrust of Bruce's dick, to rake his nails down the hollow of his hip and choke on his own low moans.
Again, and again.
And look up into Bruce's wide, shocked eyes.
When Bruce pushes him off, his knees are shaking and his fingers are digging into Tim's scalp. The kiss is messy and hard, knocking Tim back until he's sitting on his heels, and Bruce's hand shakes when he wraps it around Tim's dick.
"That was a surprise," Bruce says with a breathy laugh in his voice and a vicious squeeze.
"I... improvised. Bruce --"
"You always do," and Bruce's kiss is fond and his hand is absolutely ruthless. Absolutely --
Tim moans into Bruce's mouth and bucks up into Bruce's fist, fucks Bruce's fist and clings to Bruce's broad, sweaty shoulders.
Bruce stares into his eyes until Tim closes them.
And he doesn't stop kissing until Tim stops moaning.
When Bruce pulls away this time, Tim lets him. The vast majority of his energy is currently devoted to not falling off the car and braining himself on the Cave's floor. Bruce ruffles his hair and moves toward the workbench, coming back with a towel. It is, presumably, for --
"I thought about offering to let you lick my hand clean, but..."
Tim snorts and balances more comfortably. "It just wouldn't feel right unless I was wearing the lipstick, Bruce. And I don't even know the shade."
Bruce's expression is just a knife of a non-standard design as he wipes his hands clean. "'Bastet's Plum,'" he says. "If I'm remembering correctly."
The fact that Tim is, actually, making a mental note about it doesn't have to imply anything in particular. His life has, after all, included a nearly endless amount of positive reinforcement for his more obsessive tendencies.
Like Bruce's eyes on him.
Like the cars.
Tim grins to himself and jumps down off the hood, stretching and wondering --
"You have another hour and a half," Bruce says. He's eyeing the contents of Alfred's cleaning cabinet dubiously. "Perhaps two."
Tim nods and starts gathering up the various pieces of his uniform. The jock is... pretty much a loss.
The chair smells like both of them.
The remote... well, the remote is right --
There. Bruce has an armful of cleaning supplies and an entirely serious look on his face, despite still being naked.
Hm. Washing the car naked. With Bruce.
Tim puts the remote back where he found it.
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Title: But yet so irresistible
Author: Te [email] [website]
Details: Standalone | NC-17 | *slash* | 54k | 08/15/04
Characters: Tim, Bruce
Pairings: Tim/Bruce (Tim/Dick, Tim/Kon, Bruce/Selina)
Summary: Bruce and Tim bond.
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