These moments, immortal
August 11, 2004
Disclaimers: Not even close to mine.
Spoilers: None, really.
Summary: Jason breaks a rule. Bruce fails to live in the past.
Ratings Note/Warnings: NC-17. Contains content some readers may find disturbing.
Author's Note: I'm pretty sure this isn't my fault. In fact, I'm pretty sure this is LC's fault. And Weirdness Magnet's. And everyone's but mine.
Acknowledgments: To the #deliciouscrack crew for audiencing and encouragement.
For all the importance it has had to his life, discipline is remarkably easy to forget. It's the pain you ignore to finish the job, the exhaustion that fades into false and blessed mania. It's the stale, terrifying taste of oxygen through a rebreather, and the way it becomes simple, ignorable necessity until he's finally able to remove it and breathe again.
Discipline was a fact, and one not unpleasant so much as well-seated -- firmly seated within him.
Dick had been the same, needing a bare few reminders. A partner, a friend, but never a child in his care.
Bruce could have such a thing, perhaps. Batman never could.
Jason is not Dick.
The boy sits beside him, not quite bouncing in his seat. The adrenaline always wears off slowly in the young, and the temptation is to revel in it, open himself to it. There are so many reasons why he needed a Robin.
Why he needed Jason.
Discipline was a fact, and the past-tense isn't nearly as unsettling as it should be, not with Jason drumming his fingers on the dash and humming something that seems jangled and discordant even in the boy's own pleasant tenor.
Jason has only just begun playing his music loud enough for Bruce to hear it without actually being in the boy's room. He can't identify the song, yet. He --
Jason's palms slap the dashboard in a sharp, sudden flourish, and the grin on his face is just a little too wide to be a private one.
Bruce breathes in, and breathes out again. Slowly. It's doubly effective, calming and forcing him to notice the smell of reasonably fresh blood as more than just a pleasant undertone to the boy's sweat.
The cut on his calf is shallow.
It shouldn't be there at all.
And... there. The memory is as clear, as vital as it should be. The sound of his own voice, the sharp, crack of 'Robin,' in the tone of voice Jason knows full well means 'wait.'
Jason's practiced, near-perfect flip as he moved in to take the man anyway, without so much as a pause.
The flash of the knife, whickering out of the man's boot-sheath and into Jason's bare skin.
Bruce feels his mouth tighten into a firm line and shifts into third as they move onto the private road leading to the Cave's secret entrance.
Jason starts to hum again -- a different song -- and Bruce can tell himself he doesn't hear it. Almost.
It's better and worse when they actually stop. He has the forethought to force himself to unhook his restraints before opening the roof, to give himself more time -- and he shouldn't need it, he shouldn't -- but it's also enough time for Jason to remove his own restraints and rear up in the seat to continue his drum solo on the car's ceiling.
"Come on come on --"
Bruce closes his eyes behind the cowl and pops the roof, the soft release of air nearly lost entirely under Jason's whoop as he vaults up and out, moving toward the tray Alfred has left for them. Bruce gets out of the car with as much control as he can manage. "Jason."
Jason blows on his mug of cocoa and nods at him. "Man, I bet this stuff would taste even better mixed with coffee."
"It's far too late for --" Coffee, he doesn't say. That isn't the conversation he wants to have, even though --
"I know, I know." Jason takes a long swallow, breathes, then takes another before setting the mug down just a little too hard. "It's not like I need it right now, anyway."
Bruce watches Jason eye the practice equipment, and, even from the side, the predatory gleam in the boy's eyes is perfectly visible.
Palpable as the banter he could easily indulge in. The desire to remind the boy of the term paper he needs to write before Monday morning while following him to the rings, or even the mats.
His own eyes want to gleam.
And Jason starts to turn, the corner of his mouth turning up in that expression that only misses 'snarl' because of the obvious, fundamental joy behind it. To call it a 'smile' would be nearly criminal, and Bruce --
No. "Jason," he says again, and he knows the tone of his voice is correct by the way Jason's expression freezes on his face. He doesn't --
He doesn't want to be correct and he has to.
Jason sighs and rolls his head on his shoulders, turning and planting his hands on his hips. "It's about the guy with the knife, right? Man, I knew you were too quiet."
"You disobeyed an order."
Jason doesn't -- quite -- roll his eyes. "It's a shallow cut and the guy won't wake up until they're arraigning his skanky ass. What's the problem?"
"It might have been a gun."
"I would've seen a gun. You know I can recognize a hidden piece from twenty paces. I could do that before --"
"That isn't the point." And Bruce wants to wince at the weakness of that, the.... He swallows, knowing the cowl will hide it. Part of him wants to wince at the weakness.
Jason's eyes are narrowed, obviously so. Another part of him entirely is thinking, again, about redesigning the mask. For Dick's expressions to be noticeable was one thing. On the street, Jason's expressions are often of questionable usefulness, telegraphing his desire to attack, and holding far too much of his own attention.
Jason's emotions are too much --
Right now, the boy is no more watchful and questioning of him than he is of himself. He can't afford to wait. If he's -- he has to. "Come here."
Jason doesn't fidget so much as shift. His stance is not so much defensive as rife with potential, with choices.
He cannot repeat himself, not for this, not now, and so he pulls the lower half of his face into something that has no real place here. Even in the Cave. It's an expression for the streets, for everyone who isn't them.
The fact that it works is a sickly relief at best, a compromise that leaves him feeling more broken than bent.
Bruce turns his back and moves toward the bench. Jason's pace behind him is steady, deliberate. A blank sort of...
It isn't enough to have this proof that the injury is minor. Not to any part of him. He sits down and Jason doesn't pause until he's standing in front of Bruce again. Close enough to...
To eye him in a near-perfect imitation of the way he studies microscopic evidence. The avid skepticism is a thin, fragile skim over the wariness that's making Bruce work to keep the right expression on his face. He sits up straight, and gestures at his lap, and.
Jason is not Dick.
There is no contrition on his face, and none of the fear and guilt that had made this necessary so very few times. That had made this -- in some terrible, insulting way -- easier, because they both knew --
"You aren't serious," Jason says, upper lip curling.
His heart is beating much too fast, and he isn't, he can't be. The choices spiral out in front of him like a dozen fever dreams at once. All the ways he could do this, all the ways he could end this, and go back to something like what he needs. All he would have to do is push back the cowl, show his face.
Surely Jason would know, would understand how little he wants this, that it was just important to --
"You are. Fine." Jason's voice is cold and blank and false, and he'd waited too long -- long enough for Jason to focus on the cowl, and Bruce's sweat feels slimy and cool beneath the thing.
And Jason lies across his thighs, bracing his palms on one side of Bruce's legs and his toes to the other. His body is heavy, palpably tense, and Bruce can't help but catalog the muscle he's developing, the strength and solid weight of him.
That night in the alley he'd been a vivid slash of color with hands that smelled of rubber. Tonight he makes the Cave seem like something sketched with lazy hands, a pencilled dream of nothing much important at all.
Sweat and blood.
Bruce stares down at the muscles flexing along the backs of Jason's thighs. Impatience, anger. He wants to be --
The first crack of his gauntleted hand echoes like a child's perception of a gunshot, making the air seem to thrum with everything wrong, everything that has no right to be possible.
Jason gasps, but doesn't make any other sound. Bruce's gauntlet sits black and obscenely possessive over the boy's shorts, and there's a voice in his mind screaming with disbelief. Not this. Not for his partner --
"One," Jason says, with growled deliberation, and Bruce's hand isn't a part of him, not really.
It couldn't be. There is no part of him that would take that as something right, something fitting. There is no part of him that could take that as a cue to continue.
"Two," Jason says, and the bats should be screaming, the perimeter alarms should be screaming.
They aren't, and it's --
One after another, as Jason's voice slowly begins to lose the ruthless even-ness for the wrong reasons. As emotion creeps in, jagged and forced. The gauntlet blocks all but the barest sensation of what he's --
He's not doing this. This isn't who he is, because who he is --
Curled in a corner of himself at the first time Jason shouts at the pain, hiding, trying to hide, trying not to hear.
Trying not to feel the jerk of Jason's thigh over his own, to see his foot kicking out helplessly -- he should never --
"Eight -- ah --"
Not this. Not this way, not this heat he can barely feel through the suit, as if he was some soft, pathetic thing stuffed into another animal's shell, as if he were imperfectly anaesthetized.
Nothing of him, because he's reaching, he's --
He reaches up and yanks the gauntlet off with his teeth, spitting it away and helplessly aware of the plastic taste of it, along with the tang of other men's sweat and blood. The wrong, and it lingers on his tongue like oil.
Like the way his bare hand lingers on Jason's shorts. The heat of him. The --
It's muted, too, and Bruce never thought he would ever -- could ever -- look at the Robin suit as something to hate.
Jason growls and jerks as though the nickname is just another blow. "I -- fuck, Bruce --"
Or perhaps it's his voice, which is no more familiar to his own ears than... Bruce shoves the cowl back and off with his other hand and breathes. He can breathe. He...
He can't move his hand. He --
He listens to Jason panting and feels the writhe that's just beneath the boy's skin, the fight, and the way he's resisting it, even now. Trying so hard to be... Bruce can't tell, he can't feel it, and he was wrong.
He can't breathe at all.
"Bruce -- are you --" Another growl, frustrated and low, and Jason's body moves on Bruce's lap with the depth of the breath he takes. "How many more," he says in that false, wrong voice.
And Bruce knows the sound he just made was as obvious as a scream, and then he knows it, because Jason makes a shocked sound and grinds his hips against Bruce's thigh. Just once.
"How many more," and the control is gone again, lost under noise, their heartbeats, the Cave, the --
"I --" He doesn't know what to say. There's nothing he can. The armor cuts into him precisely where he needs it to, and the pain is a mockery of what he deserves for the weakness. No --
For the act.
He listens to Jason pant and stares at his own hand, pale and half-flexed on Jason's... on Jason. "Oh," Bruce says, and Jason's moan is his echo and reflection. And the question -- even in this? -- is terrible with hope, even though it's a silent one.
This time, when Jason's hips flex against his thigh, the shift in purpose is unmistakable. The heat of him, even through the shorts, through Bruce's own armor...
"Jay," he says again, and squeezes, and tries to squeeze his eyes shut. He can't.
He can only watch as Jason tenses, relaxes, and half-twists, half throws himself off Bruce's lap. His stance is unsteady. His face is flushed and his lips are parted.
Bruce looks up into the boy's face and feels his hands curl into helpless fists, fingernails digging into his left palm. His right has the same absent blankness of the gauntlet. Still. He wants to take it off.
He isn't sure he deserves to.
He isn't sure he deserves to keep it on.
Jason's mouth twists and he rips the mask off his face with one angry, vicious jerk.
This, too, Bruce thinks, and he feels boneless, nearly liquid with terror and something else he doesn't have a word for.
Jason narrows his wide, bright (so lovely) eyes and searches Bruce's face for a moment more, and another. His face twists again, and Bruce feels himself leaning toward it, wanting to. The suit holds him as upright as some medieval cage.
"Bruce. You --" And Jason shakes his head and laughs something jagged and familiar as bone. And steps closer, cupping Bruce's cheek. The gauntlet is rough and cool. Jason's hand, beneath it, is hot and entirely ungentle. "Next -- next time, you... just fucking ask for what you need. Just --"
Bruce leans into Jason's touch, and his eyelids are heavy. He can feel them drooping... and then Jason moans and cups himself with his other hand, squeezes himself, and Bruce needs to keep his eyes open. Needs to -- He needs.
"Bruce -- God, I -- so fucked up," and Jason shoves the shorts down, lets go of Bruce's face long enough to use both hands, and they must be so tight, so painful, and it's enough time for Bruce to lean in.
For Bruce to breathe, and it's the same. It's Jason, and even his scent is more true than anything else in the world. So much thicker, coiling down into his mouth, all through him.
Bruce can taste him before he opens his mouth.
And then he can feel him --
"Bruce --" High-voiced, sharp and so real, so real. "Ah -- ah --"
Bruce goes down as slowly as he can, and it's still too fast, it's still perfect. The taste of him is so male, so alive. Hot and heavy on Bruce's tongue, sharp as the tug of Jason's hands in his hair, eye-watering and perfect --
"Suck me, Bruce, suck me --"
Bruce moans and lets himself fall to his knees, lets himself touch, and yank down the shorts even further, and Jason thrusts and stumbles, beautiful in his hands, hot, damp with sweat --
He pulls back enough to lick him, taste him and touch him that way, too, and Jason's gauntlets scrape over his scalp, Jason's hips buck and grind.
His name is a sighing moan, breathy and low --
And then sharp again, because this thrust is direct, demanding, and -- yes. Yes. He sucks harder and slides his hands up the backs of Jason's thighs, flexing at the faint scratch of hair and the few scars.
Every time -- so close, they're so close, and Jason's ass is hot under his hands, accusing and firm --
Perfect, he thinks. Jay, he moans around the boy's erection, muffled and desperate as Jason's own pained gasp. I'm sorry, I love you --
"D-don't -- don't you dare fucking stop --"
Jay, he moans again, and this one is choked off by the thrust into his throat, this one is silent and needful as Bruce's helpless, reflexive swallows. He squeezes and the next thrust is hard, nearly painful, and Bruce feels a few hairs let go. He'll leave them on the gauntlets for Jason to find tomorrow night. He'll --
"Bruce -- Bruce fuck --"
And they find a rhythm of Jason's working hips and his own gasping, greedy swallows. Find it and Bruce wants to hold it, but he's spilling pre-come into his jock and Jason is moaning constantly, endlessly, and the rhythm is gone like so much smoke, leaving only skin and sweat and sex.
"Open -- open y --"
Bruce opens his eyes to find Jason's look as wide and full as his own feels. No -- more. Jason has so much more than he ever could, is so much more.
Jason fills him and feeds him.
Throws his head back and shouts, spilling down his throat, onto his tongue when Bruce pushes him back just a little. Enough.
The small separation gives him the time he needs to settle his hands firmly on Jason's hips, to steady the boy even as he bruises himself with the taste of him, the feel of him slipping out from between his lips.
Bruce presses his tongue to the roof of his mouth and strokes the hollows of Jason's hips with his thumbs.
"Bruce." More of a gasp than a word.
More of an imperative than anything but, perhaps, the blood of people who were never supposed to die. Bruce yanks Jason close and down, feeling himself flare at the way the boy spreads his knees reflexively, the way he fits sprawled over Bruce's lap.
Just that quickly, Jason's eyes are wild again, bright and dangerous beneath their wide, deceptively soft beauty. Jason reaches for him and -- pauses.
And rips off his gauntlets before cupping Bruce's face in both hands and shoving him into position for a kiss.
"You -- you're so --"
"Yes," Bruce says, and takes another, sucking Jason's tongue into his mouth and tightening his hands on the boy's hips, pulling him in until both of them are whimpering. The armor isn't kind to either of them, right now.
The fact that it isn't meant to be is utterly irrelevant. They strip him together, Jason's hands firm and sure on the panel of his jock, while his own shake on the chest-piece. Jason pushes himself up on his knees and Bruce lifts his hips and Jason yanks --
And Jason cups his sac with one hand, fists his erection with the other, and squeezes with both at once.
Bruce moans and arches into it and watches Jason staring at his mouth. And then Jason looks up, and looks into him.
"What do you want, Bruce? Say it."
"You -- I want. I need you --"
Jason's laugh is breathless and real. "That wasn't what I meant," and the scrape of his calluses along Bruce's length is murderous and perfect until he slicks his palm with Bruce's pre-come, and then it's murderous and sweet. "But it'll do for now."
Bruce groans and jerks into Jason's hands. "Taste you -- all over --"
"Oh -- oh fuck, Bruce, what else?"
He's so full. So -- "Suck you again -- again --"
Jason jerks him faster and pants against his face. "Bruce --"
"I need -- oh, I need you -- Jay --"
Leaning in to growl against Bruce's jaw, to bite him there, drag his mouth up over Bruce's cheek to his ear.
Bruce waits for it, for the words that will save or maybe destroy him, but it's fitting that Jason only moans and works him faster still. Harder.
"Bruce..." The sound is soft and pained, and Jason's hands pause on him before he presses close. Half-hard again, hot against him, and Bruce groans and reaches between them to twine his fingers with Jason's own.
And arches again when Jason squeezes his hand with immediate encouragement, moans against Jason's throat and --
So close to his mouth. His other hand is still shaking and all but useless, but it's easy enough to rip the cape away and suck.
It's too high. Most of the boy's collars --
"Oh God, that's -- oh you're gonna break the fucking skin. Do it. Do it --"
It's right, it's so right, and nothing else could ever --
He can't ever let anything get in the way of this. Nothing is more important, and nothing more real.
Hand on his sac and hand on him, them. Together. They -- he has to hold on to this. He can't ever --
"Oh fuck fuck too soon --"
Bruce groans and forces himself to release Jason's throat. Some things -- "Does it hurt?"
"I -- Bruce, yes, don't --"
"Every night," Bruce says, and shoves his hand into Jason's thick, damp hair. It's curling with sweat and Jason is breathing like every gasp is punishment. "Every day. I felt -- I feel it --"
"Oh God -- oh -- oh fuck, Bruce --"
"It's the same. I -- I swear to you --"
Jason tosses his head and bucks, squeezes with both hands and shouts into Bruce's ear --
"I don't -- I don't know why -- Jay --"
"Doesn't matter. Doesn't --" Jason bites his earlobe and Bruce whimpers and comes all over their hands.
Jason freezes and cries out into his ear.
"Yes," and Bruce tumbles them to the floor, presses Jason down and listens to nothing but Jason's gasps and the rush of his own blood. More. More.
He presses harder and Jason fights the hold and bucks up against him and says "don't stop," and Bruce moves down and back and swallows him again.
He can do it with his eyes open this time, sated enough to take his fill this way, too, and Jason tosses his head back and forth, bangs it against the stone floor once, again, and shoves up into Bruce's mouth.
Bruce holds nothing on the boy but his wrists, and then only to feel the boy's pulse race dangerously, wonderfully.
Echoing his own, rhythm and counterpoint and the sweet heft of him on his tongue.
Flushed skin and strangled growls, and the ruthless reality of everything he is, cutting through Bruce's life and shoving into his soul. Demanding, and the only answer Bruce can give is yes.
Always, he moans, and the flex and twist of Jason's wrists in his hands, the sweat-slick slide of his skin and the scrape of his short, ragged nails over Bruce's knuckles --
Possession and inevitability.
Blood on his lip and come in his mouth.
Bruce crawls back up over the sprawl of Jason's body and swallows every moan he can, and closes his eyes to match Jason's own.
After a while, Jason squeezes his shoulders. It doesn't feel like 'move.'
He doesn't move.
"Bruce..." Jason whispers, and his voice is the same helpless question Bruce hasn't answered for himself.
He doesn't think he ever will.
And it doesn't matter.
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Title: This moment, immortal
Author: Te [email] [website]
Details: Standalone | NC-17 | *slash* | 21k | 08/11/04
Characters: Bruce, Jason
Summary: Jason breaks a rule. Bruce fails to live in the past.
Notes: Disturbing content.
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