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Glass Heart

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Tim’s last thought before losing consciousness is that he’s dying.

One moment he’s on the roof of one of Gotham’s skyscrapers, Oracle’s voice in his ear informing him that Nightwing is on his way to join in the pursuit. Tim – Red Robin – stays put, wary as always as he’s scanning his surroundings quickly, making sure he’s not followed, that the area’s clear. All results come out as negative and he’s sliding the cowl off of his head a minute or two later, letting out a breath of relief he’s been holding far too long, perhaps since the mission has started hours ago. Tim wouldn’t be himself if he wasn’t sure. He’s expecting Dick to appear any second now.

What goes wrong then, he doesn’t know, not until it’s too late. What hits him is small, not much bigger than a medical needle, and Tim would have laughed at his incompetence and the underwhelming picture of it all was his body not going slack the next instant, sliding off the roof like a discarded rag doll.

He registers his cape all around him, dancing madly in the wind as Tim is falling and falling, arms and legs useless and mind foggy, begging to shut down completely. He fights, but the urge to close his eyes is overwhelming – and it’s a curiosity, he thinks distantly, how in that moment he’s not able to fear for his life, how he’s not really feeling much of anything at all. Bruce, Dick, his mother, the Wayne manor, Alfred…Jason; it’s all in front of his eyes, filling him with sadness that’s far too remote to be associated with what’s about to happen once his body hits the ground.

Everything’s surreal.


Tim has just a second or two in-between dream and reality to ponder whether he’s dead or not before cold water hits his face, startling him fully awake. His eyes can’t yet open not to mention focus, but his heart is already hammering in his chest madly at the heavy smells in the air all around him – dirty and menacing, odors that certainly do not resemble those of his family in the slightest. Nor do they resemble anything he really acquaintances with, not even the streets of Gotham. Tim’s mind is sluggish, but it’s trying its best -- he doesn’t seem to be in his house or on the street, obviously not in a hospital if the smell of general lack of hygiene surrounding him is any indication…where is he?

A laugh cuts through the silence, a sharp, strangely familiar sound that speeds his pulse even more.

Tim’s eyes snap open and don’t instantly land on anything substantial, hands and feet ready to push off the surface he’s been lying on and spring into action – just to realize that he can’tmove any of them, that his movements have been restrained to less than a bare minimum. His eyes flicker down his body, skipping through the torn and filthy Red Robin costume, fabric clinging to his skin uncomfortably, and slightly relieved to see the rest of him intact, Tim glances at his bound wrists and ankles. Sprawled on a…bed, he supposes, a simple mattress that’s been holding him captive for what must have been hours -- his body feels tired and sore from being unable to change position for too long.

"Did the good old Batsy allow his little bird to wander off so far all by himself?”

By the time his mind puts a face to the voice, Tim’s absolutely terrified. A man circles his form and appears in his field of vision, bright red paint smeared from one corner of his mouth to another, angry scars standing out even more than they’d normally do in the faint light of a bulb hanging above Red Robin’s body.

It cannot be…

"No greetings? I’m almost…’’ It’s the Joker, it’s him, oh my God, Tim’s mind screams and his body goes completely still upon the realization, white, pure panic overcoming his senses for a moment. The man must have sensed exactly what Tim’s been feeling by now, there was no way that his Omega body would give him enough courtesy to conceal the emotion. "…offended.”

All he can do it stare, stare with transparent horror as the Joker pulls out a knife and tosses it in his hand casually, humming to himself.

How…? There was no way, no way in hell that he’d been followed and captured as easily as this in the middle of Gotham, with Oracle in his ear and Nightwing on his way. Not to mention by the Joker himself. After what happened to Jason, the Bat never, ever sent anyone from his family near the Joker’s domain again. Tim shrugged off his paranoia back then, thinking that…that he was safe, somehow, having backup and keeping to the shadows, never in the open, never too close to the enemy. Red Robin was more than aware of the fact that when it came to the hand to hand combat, he somewhat lacked in comparison to Dick and Damian, that he should stick to being the brain of their operations more than anything else. He’d never go against Bat’s orders if there was even a shade of possibility that Joker was involved.

Tim goes over everything that happened during their last mission in a flash, and there’s just nothing off, nothing out of the ordinary in what he remembers. Where did the dart that hit him come from? Why?

What did they want?

Except that with Joker, the question was more of what he will do rather than what he wanted. Because no matter how concussed Tim knew he still was, there was no doubt in his mind that what the criminal eventually desired was causing harm to everyone and anyone associated with Batman.

"Cat got your tongue? Or did you hit your head a little too hard? My apologies for that," the Joker chuckles, voice even darker in the dim light. The knife finds its way to Tim’s neck, but he notices the light, almost casual grip – wrist certainly not positioned to stab him, not right away. "I’d hate to spoil the fun by causing you more discomfort than necessary before we actually start getting to know each other better."

The knife slides down his neck in a painful but shallow stab; cutting through his uniform and stopping at the ribs.

"You are probably wondering what you’re doing here, dear Robin bird.’’ The Joker says conversationally, the knife digging into Tim’s rib suddenly and drawing a yelp from the boy’s throat. ‘’The answer is…"

In an instant, his lips are near Red Robin’s ear, and Tim cannot suppress a shiver running down his spine at his own vulnerability. "The answer is, because I know you are curious – that you were never my target. I’ve spent months – months, really – thinking about that one perfect way of getting to the Batsy like never before, setting his mind on the right track. I thought to myself: something incomparable with the grief he’s familiar with would do just fine, wouldn't it? His involvement with that...hero-friendy of his, Nightwing - as they call him, gave us…and everyone really, a perfect opportunity to do just that."

Tim opens his mouth and stares. The Joker pushes himself up and smiles so wide it’s profoundly uncomfortable. "Nightwing…?’’ Tim struggles to find his voice, frowning at how small and pathetic it sounds. He is scared, so scared.

“Do not take it personally, but in the end he proved much more difficult to capture than you, birdie boy. The opportunity might be lost temporarily, but...patience does it. With your aid, surely.”

And with that, Tim is left alone.


He doesn’t know how much time passes until the Joker is back again. Tim’s famished, thirsty and cannot feel his muscles anymore. His mind is so frantic he’s afraid he’ll snap, but Batman taught him better. Bruce taught him to believe in himself and to not be afraid.

But he is.

The Joker…there’s not even a minute without Tim going back and forth in his head about what happened to Jason after he’d been captured. A year spent in captivity, enduring every sort of torture – a full year in which Bruce failed to find him. The Joker said that Nightwing was his primary target, that getting to him would break Batman like nothing else – was he aware of their relationship then? That Nightwing was Batman’s mate? As far as Tim was informed, no one but the family knew.

What will happen to Tim?

There is tingling just beneath Tim’s skin, slight warmth that could be felt no matter how much he tries to ignore it.
This was just…so, so bad. Shit.

Heavy steps startle him. Tim curses at himself for getting so lost in his own head that he dropped his guard down to that degree. Not that being on guard would save him, but still.

"Pretty bird is awake."

This time Joker is accompanied by a few men, hired goons no doubt, and his smile is even wider than the last time Tim saw him, which is very alarming.

The suddenly overpowering smell of Alphas in the room is suffocating and terrifying.

One of the goons unceremoniously grasps and guides Tim’s head to look at the corner of the room, and the boy gawks, bewildered, as another man pushes a dirty mattress to the ground and positions a stand with a camera in front of it. There’s a solid looking metal pole in the ground, just beside the mattress, and a chain attached to it doesn’t leave nearly as much to the imagination as Tim would have liked in that moment.

"I hope the accommodation will be to your liking," the Joker chuckles, and the next second the goons are all over Tim, undoing his restrains and hauling his frail body up and towards the mattress. He thinks he should at least pretend to put up a fight, but there’s not even one spark of energy in his limp, strained body. He feels like a doll again, just like back then, falling and expecting the impact…


Just as his body hits the mattress, the Joker gesticulates and Tim’s bloodstained uniform is being torn away from his form. It’s then that he actually decides to will his muscles into any sort of movement, struggling weakly against heavy hands that manhandle him in a very humiliating manner. The fabric drags unpleasantly against his cuts as it’s being discarded, leaving Tim naked and panting on the dirty cot. One of the men grabs his neck then and snaps something around it before Tim can react, something that connects by the chain to the metal pole he saw earlier. A collar, he realizes as his hands shoot up to touch the object.

"Much better now. Get the poor birdie something to wash with." The words are unusual to his ears, somehow. Tim isn't entirely sure why. The Joker closes the distance between them with unhurried steps, eyes locked with him. "I guess we can talk about your identity later, hm? Timothy Drake…Wayne."

Tim draws his legs up his chin and winds an arm around them to remain at least a shred of modesty, pointedly ignoring the grin Joker makes at the gesture.

“Things are looking so much better than I first anticipated, I must say. Famous names get publicity like nothing else, you see.’’ Tim’s puzzled for a second, but then Joker points to the camera stand beside the mattress and he pales. “I think you’d agree.”

Tim’s breath hitches and he knows, he knows that he’s oozing dread and hysteria and distress that his Omega pheromones so unhelpfully supply at the moment, that he’s unable to stop himself from being just as fragile as his anatomy tells him he should be. In that moment, Tim wishes that he died from the fall.

“Poor thing,” the villain says in a cheerful voice, just in time for one of the goons to bring a bucket of water and set it on the ground near Tim. “If that makes you feel any better, I am not planning to kill you, no, no. You are probably thinking about your older…resurrected brother right this second, going through all the horrible scenarios that might just happen to you, since you’ve been brought here to me – but rest assured. If you won’t struggle, I’ll keep hurting…maiming you to the minimum.”

“Why am I here? To flush out Batman?” Tim asks quietly, irrationally proud of his voice not breaking in the middle of the sentence. The Joker is a beta, but Tim’s quite sure the villain can read his pheromone shifts and body language just fine anyway. It’s cold and goosebumps rise on top of his bare skin. “You mentioned Nightwing.”

The man clicks his tongue as if displeased, but the smile’s still in place. “For one of the greatest detectives, you sure are a disappointing little boy. You should be fully aware what is expected of my guests by now, Timothy Drake.” He’s getting closer and closer, pointy shoes nearly touching Tim’s foot. “Entertainment.”

The room fills with chuckles then, Joker’s men laughing in the dark, where Tim’s eyes cannot reach them. His stomach turns.


 


In the Wayne manor

Jason takes off his helmet and tosses it to the side before slamming his fists down on the table, making Dick’s elbows jump at the motion. “The fuck happened out there?!” he shouts, voice hot and frantic, Alpha pheromones raging and oppressing Dick’s Omega instincts. Jason’s body is screaming at him to submit, and boy does he put his full Alpha force into it without thought, but the eldest just shakes his head. Dick meets Jason’s eyes -- but not without some difficulty. He looks exhausted, Jason notes, a shadow of his usual self. “What did you do?”

Dick doesn’t have an answer to that. He was supposed to meet up with Tim to continue their pursuit of some minor criminals they’ve been after a few nights before, but arrived to no sign or trace left of the other Omega. Oracle informed him that Tim’s transmission had been cut abruptly in a rather worried tone, but it wasn’t until a few hours later than Dick and the rest of the family started to truly panic at Tim’s disappearance.

“I didn’t – Jason, look –“ Dick doesn’t know what to say. Jason’s enraged, eager to put a blame on someone’s shoulders and Dick truly doesn’t want to be a scapegoat this time, not when it comes to this, to Tim. “I’ve been…everywhere, I searched for him, Oracle did, too. It’s been minutes between his com being cut and me arriving to the site, it’s just…it shouldn’t have been possible.”

“You just…fuck, you --!”

“Master Jason!” Alfred raises his voice just as the other male slams the table again. “Master Dick is not at fault here. All we need to concentrate on is finding Master Timothy.”

Before something bad happens is left unsaid.

It’s then that Bruce emerges from the Batcave, expression grim. All eyes turn to look at him, but all he does is wave his hand and sigh. “Nothing yet.”

Dick cannot suppress a whimper that escapes his mouth at the despair painted all over Bruce’s face, the guilt of not being able to protect his son. He reaches out and brushes Bruce’s cheek lightly, putting all the Omega calmness he’s able to muster into the touch. “We’ll find him.” He says, not allowing himself to believe otherwise.

Bruce nods shortly.


 


Tim is grateful that the water they brought seems relatively clean and scrubs at himself after he’s left alone. There’s some bread for him, too, and he’s picking it up and bringing to his lips tentatively. They wouldn’t poison him, he thinks, and if he doesn’t eat he’ll die anyway, so there’s little choice in that. He chews the pastry and frantically tries to plan.

The metal snapped around his neck seems solid, just as the chain that connects it to the pole. He cannot move much, maybe twice an arm’s reach, but it’s enough to allow him to lie down and stand up, which is good. He tugs at the restraint, but as expected, nothing budges.

He’s alone for at least few days, although it’s difficult to tell the time without being able to glance through a window. Joker’s goons bring him food and water, and that’s about all the interaction he gets. No questions asked and none answered, left all by himself, he wonders.

And thinks about his family, even though every memory of them hurts. Will he ever see Bruce again? Dick? Barbara? Even Damian, God, Tim didn’t think he could possibly miss the brat as much as he does now.

Jason. His…something. Brother. Friend. Tim’s mind wanders to maybe a week before his capture, a peaceful moment in the manor when Jason put an arm around his shoulders and sniffed at Tim’s neck in a strange, intimate manner. They’ve…started something months ago, definitely, with small touches and words that didn’t quite fit in Tim’s mouth just yet; with brushes of lips against skin. Nothing more. Jason was complicated as it was, an Alpha but not seeking out partners, not sleeping around, not really seeing anyone as far as Tim knew. He was locked in his own head, still suffering from what had been done to him, still too raw to express affection…except towards Tim. Those little moments with Jason, they meant everything.

Tim is what one might call an Omega in the world ruled by Alphas. His fatherly figure Bruce is an Alpha, Bruce’s blood son Damian is an Alpha, Jason is an Alpha. With Alfred being a Beta, the only Omega beside himself in the manor is Dick, his eldest brother. A person Tim always looked up to and considered his idol, an Omega mated with Bruce.

Dick was impressive for so many more reasons other than being Bruce’s beloved. His polished, acrobatic moves were an act of beauty in themselves; every time he swirled in the air, striking his foes down, audiences gasped, Tim included. He seemed to be followed by paparazzi the most out of Bruce’s wards and never failed to impress, always smiling, charming and disarming. Everyone loved him, everyone wanted to be him or with him, and even Bruce’s bite blooming on Dick’s neck couldn’t stop them from trying. And beside all of that, Dick has never, not even once, failed to be a brother to him.

Which brings him to the fact that Joker hoped to capture Nightwing instead of Red Robin, but for some reason still settled with Tim. Until when, exactly? With your aid, the Joker said, and that thought unsettles him more than anything.

He knows, Tim thinks, he obviously knows about Nightwing's relationship with Batman. What could Tim being here contribute to Nightwing's capture? Were those empty words? Does the Joker think that Bruce cares about him more than he did about Jason, hence the kidnapping? Perhaps he simply wants to shatter another Robin in front of Batman’s eyes, to demonstrate yet again how powerless he is? If that is the case, why is Tim left alone for days? What are they waiting for?

In the back of his mind, Tim is reminded what exactly he and Dick have in common – they are both Omegas. The tingling in his abdomen is back at the thought, spreading warmth through Tim’s whole body and it’s then that he stills.
Is that what they are waiting for…?

Tim’s eyes flicker to the camera positioned in front of the mattress and out of his reach. Dread rises in his throat and then sinks to his stomach as he watches the object, mortified.


Chapter Text

Tim remembers being shocked at seeing Dick with Bruce for the first time; peeping into the lounge at night for no actual reason other than chronic insomnia and restlessness he felt back then. Two shadows moving together startled him, and his first thought was that Bruce invited someone over, an Omega he didn’t know – but that thought was quickly discarded as he recognized the outlines of Dick’s lean body, straddling Bruce’s lap in what could only be described as a passionate embrace. The mixture of their smells was quick to follow, filling Tim’s nose with sweetness and heat, a unique fragrance he wasn’t quite used to. Tim blushed at the realization of what was happening, young and inexperienced and slightly hurt that Dick wasn’t just his now, that he became something else, something more. Tim didn’t know or want to categorize what he felt looking at them, but the thought pained him for a few long months.

Seeing them now, Tim knows that Bruce and Dick are made for each other. The lingering pain is still there, somehow, but it’s no longer directed at their closeness or the irrational emotion of being left out, it’s just something that clings to Tim’s skin no matter what he actually thinks or feels. It’s loneliness, partly, the realization that the only Omega in the house – their pack – beside him already has a partner. It’s an animalistic sort of longing that makes him ashamed, slightly, and every time he looks at Dick, he tries to reason with his instincts and remember that his brother worked hard for what he has, that he deserves every shred of happiness and more.

Jason becoming a considerable part of his life is something Tim knows he desperately needs. He craves something, not exactly a romance, but he does crave proximity, he craves Alpha scent in the air that’s there only for him and him alone. He accepts them as something nameless, a possible promise for the future, and every time Jason’s fingers brush against his fair skin, Tim feels calmer, more complete.

 

Nothing is happening for days, and the time stretches into eternity as he tosses and turns on the dirty mattress. There might be an opening somewhere in the room he’s been kept in, he thinks, but it’s impossible to do anything with the chain locking him in place. If only he could get that thing loose…

One day, his meal is not delivered by one of the bland goons of Joker’s.

“Wow!” an excited female voice exclaims in his general direction as the door swings open and Tim jumps on the cot, insides clenching. He instantly feels even worse about being left without clothes. “The little bird himself, finally I get to see you up close!”

The small tray of food is thrown on the ground carelessly, water spilling everywhere as the woman crouches down in front of him in such hurry that Tim begins to worry examining him was on top of her to-do list today, which is definitely not good.

“You know who I am, right?” she drags every syllable into an almost-song, lips stretching and showing a row of white teeth. Agitation is raw and plain in her Alpha smell, uncontrolled and wild as if she never learned how to control it. And of course Tim does know her, but he stays quiet, observing.

“No? Boo!” she laughs not at all cheerfully, poking a finger into his calf. “Puddin’ said you’re something special, birdie boy. That we’re going to have so much fun together…I couldn’t wait so I just came to visit you!”

The scary thing about Harley was that in some ways, she was even more insane than the Joker himself. More unstable. Her moves altered between chaotic and calculated without any real pattern, unpredictable just as her moods.

“I’ll tell you a secret, but shhh!” she whispers suddenly, hand half-covering her mouth in a theatrical manner as the words leave her lips. “Puddin’ didn’t really want you at first, not at all. He was sooo passionate about capturing the other birdie boy, the bigger one! He your friend?”

Tim suppresses a shudder, refusing to show any reaction. He wants Harley to talk, though, there’s always a chance that she’ll share information the Joker himself wouldn’t – so he cocks his head to the side, imitating interest.

“That Nightwing person…” she continues, eyes that are staring holes at Tim suddenly going darker, “If he was here, I’d fuck the life out of him. He’s hot as hell, way too good to be a possession of the grumpy old Batsy. Or maybe he’d come willingly, what do you think?”

Tim’s positive she’s just trying to intimidate him, but the superficial relief that Dick is not there with them is now washing through him in cascades. He cannot even imagine Quinn putting her hands on his older brother.

When there is no reply coming from Tim, Harley pouts and gets to her feet. “Ph, fine.”


After some time, Tim falls into a routine – few hours of sleep, several being awoken to the feverish itching beneath his skin and excruciating hunger twisting his stomach into knots, not really relieved by the sporadic pieces of bread he’s getting. His muscles are deteriorating, not used to being slack for extended periods of time, and with them goes the last flicker of hope Tim had about getting out of this place by himself.

Having no information on the outside world and his family, not to mention being deprived of most sources of stimuli he’d be exposed to normally – daylight, comforting smells, human contact - proves to be much harder on Tim than he thought possible. He’s almost yearning for the Joker to come back, to break the agonizing silence and talk to him. His head’s swimming; it’s ridiculous.

Except Tim has a feeling no one’s coming in the next few days at least, not if they are really waiting for what he thinks they are. Deep inside, he dreads the moment like he’d probably never dreaded anything in his life; desperately wishing that he could take his suppressants. It’s getting increasingly difficult to will his head to think straight, the haze of upcoming heat already creeping at the edges of his subconsciousness. He’s desperate for something, but at the same time well-aware that whatever’s going to happen will probably be much worse than his current state.

Tim was on tablets, meaning that every single day he had to take his dose dutifully and without delay. Missing one wouldn’t be too disastrous normally, not that he ever did miss any – but even if he did, he’d just make up for it once he arrived in the Wayne Manor. Surrounded by the smells of his family, the general feeling of safety would contribute to his pheromones stabilizing and going back to normal in no time. He knew Dick suppressed his heats too, in the same way that Tim did – and supposed that with Dick’s head, he’d probably forgotten his dose more than once while getting lost in a particularly exciting mission. Nonetheless, both him and Dick were fine, never really caught by surprise in unfavorable circumstances before – now that Tim thought about it, his own heat didn’t hit for over a year now. He’d almost forgotten how it felt like.

Well, is beginning to remember now, with warmth spreading through him more and more each passing second, the feeling getting truly uncomfortable.


 

Ever since Tim’s disappearance, the patrols are strained and uneasy. Bruce’s research comes down to nothing, not even a single trace of the Red Robin in Gotham or even outside the city. The stress is taking a toll on all of them, and yet another night in a row, Nightwing is patrolling with both Damian and Jason covering him. Just when they’re about to head back, traces of dawn low on the horizon, Dick catches a sight of something with the corner of his eye, a familiar looking piece of fabric poking from a garbage bin in one of the alleys they’re passing over.

“Hold on,” he says to Damian before he’s jumping down to push the bin open and examine the material, heart in his throat.

He’s rolling the fabric in his hands, and soon enough both Jason and Damian are behind him, peeking through Dick’s shoulder.

It was, undoubtedly, a fragment of Tim’s cape.

Later, Bruce scans the piece in the Batcave and yet again doesn’t come up with anything substantial, not even after one whole day of thoughtful investigation. They scour the area multiple times, peeking into nearly every corner and warehouse – and there’s just nothing, no other lead. As if Tim disappeared into thin air, not leaving as much as a puff of smoke behind.

Jason’s absolutely distraught, Damian unnaturally quiet. Bruce does his best to conceal his emotions, but the smell surrounding him makes Dick sick and before he knows it, he’s suiting up and sneaking away from the Manor, away from all of them and into the night.

Dick spends hours desperately searching for anything, even though he knows there’s no option that Batman has missed anything, not if the traces aren’t fresh at least. The piece of Tim’s cape seems planted on purpose, perhaps to agitate them, much less likely to pinpoint to Red Robin’s location, but he still has to keep trying.

He’s unbelievably tired around 3 am in the morning, and afraid that he’ll slip and fall from a roof, decides to head back to his bike and back home. What he doesn’t expect is a dark figure looming over his motorcycle in a relaxed manner.

Nightwing stills, already alarmed from afar.

“I know you’re there, Big Bird,” a male voice calls to where he’s crouching on a steel canopy, sounding unbothered. Dick recognizes the voice immediately. “Just wanted to talk to you about something you’ll probably find more than intriguing.”

Slade.

What did he, of all people, wanted with Dick?

Reluctantly, Nightwing jumps down and closes the distance between them warily, Escrima in both hands. He’s reading Slade’s smell with disturbing clarity and knows that the man's not likely to attack - but holds onto his weapons nonetheless, standing tall and proud in front of him, refusing to show any sign of submission.

Slade’s without mask, looming over Dick’s motorcycle as if it belonged to him, oozing satisfaction and a note of non-too-subtle excitement. Nightwing’s not exactly afraid, never had been, but Slade is a tough opponent, and if it wasn’t for his soft spot for Dick being an Omega, the situation between them would probably look much different. He witnessed firsthand what Deathstroke is capable of, after all. His work wasn’t pretty.

“What do you want?” Dick tries, already having a feeling that the conversation is not going to go smoothly. Slade smiles at him in an unpleasant way, not budging.

The air is tense. Nightwing suppresses an urge to shift, knowing better than to show uneasiness. Slade ogles him shamelessly, head to toe, gaze lingering in places Dick’s not at all comfortable with.

After a long moment, the older man snorts and runs a calloused hand through his hair, pretending to be deep in thought. Dick clenches his teeth.

“Let’s say, theoretically, that you could possibly gain some information on the Red Robin’s whereabouts …” Slade drags his words, a satisfied glint in his eye at how Dick’s face tenses immediately, pupils dilating. Omegas are truly delightful creatures, he thinks; so domestic, so caring about their pack. Toying with Dick’s instincts might become his new favorite thing – not even cracking skulls can compare to the look he’s getting right now. “What can you offer to make me share?”


When the door opens again, it feels like Tim’s been alone for months. His body’s slick and disgusting, covered in sweat and grime he wasn’t able to rub off with his hands and water alone; dirt clinging to him like a second skin now. He knows he’s reeking of heat and desperation, eyes stinging and watering threateningly. He’ll be damned if he cries in front of them.

The Joker takes his time to approach him, a gruesome sound of metal grinding through the stone floor and ringing in Tim’s ears impossibly loud. It’s a crowbar, he realizes, instantly reminded of Jason once again; as if the man wasn’t constantly on mind – of what he’s been through, of how much he suffered from the same hands that now rest casually in front of Tim’s eyes, white gloves grasping metal almost lovingly.

“How are we doing today, Red Robin?”

His hero alias sounds all wrong coming from the Joker’s slit mouth, twisted into something darker; into something Tim almost doesn’t recognize. There’s shifting behind the man and Tim can’t help but follow the sound with his eyes, noticing how the goons are back, too, nostrils flaring and sniffing the heat-induced air surrounding him like hounds cornering their prey. They look crude and insignificant, typical low-budget hitmen of Gotham that followed any coin and any master. None of them would pose any threat to the Red Robin in the field, they’d be lucky to do as much as touch him. Tim does his best not to breathe their sent in, but his lungs are heaving – and it hits him, the oil, the steel, the arousal. He feels sick.

“Not begging yet, little birdie?” Harley bursts into a high-pitched laughter, emerging from the shadow and draping herself all over the Joker. So she's there, too. “I could smell it even from outside, y’know! Makes me wanna climb all over you and...hmm. Are you wet?”

Tim grits his teeth at the mockery, feeling as if his own sweat suffocates him. He is unsurprisingly drenched in slick, the slippery feeling between his thighs something he has almost forgotten, and happily so. He’s exposed and vulnerable, not even a shred of clothing to cover himself with, and a small voice at the back of his head whispers that it’s the most pathetic and terrifying situation he’s ever found himself in, that this is the time to be scared.

“Open up and show us, hm?”

Harley’s Alpha voice is more difficult to resist than he’d like to admit, but all of Bruce’s training would be in vain if Tim was unable to control his basic instincts. He won’t lose control, not even in heat, and if that was what they were hoping for – they’re in for a disappointment.

“Now.” Harley’s voice is strangely calm as she slams her open palm into Tim’s head, giggling at the way he falls back onto his hands. The blow is definitely going to leave a nasty bruise, but Tim isn’t stupid enough to hope it’s the only mark they’ll leave on him. “Or should I just grab your pretty little – “

“Harley, Harley,” the Joker cuts in, and Tim’s eyes snap in his direction just in time to notice the man fiddling with the camera, turning it on and playing with the buttons for a while. He almost forgot about the thing, but now that what’s about to happen seems more than real enough to panic, the cold dread floods Tim’s heart with redoubled force. “The birdie here is a delicate thing, do not rough him up like that, without any finesse. No teasing, yes? My good girl.”

The room lights up suddenly, and for the first time since he’s been locked Tim can actually see what’s around him. The wall facing him is... not just an ordinary wall, he realizes, it’s a gigantic screen that’s now showing what must be a view from the camera the Joker brought – because the next moment Tim knows he is staring right at a gigantic picture of his own terrified face, hollow cheeks and dusty skin. His breath hitches.

“Oh, that?” The Joker’s quick to notice his reaction, of course. He’s smiling and patting Harley’s hair as he sets the camera back on the stand, the woman arching into his touch, thirsty for affection. “It would be a shame if we couldn’t see exactly what we’re showing to our audience, isn’t that right? Can’t risk a bad shot of that pretty face!”

Tim swallows against the bile that rises in his throat at the chuckles that the Joker’s last statement evokes in the room. His goons are getting closer, and from the corner of his eye Tim counts a total of ten men, ten Alphas that were surely promised a piece of him, in one way or another.

“With Batman, you see…it’s a complicated situation right there, oh yes. Slaughter civilians in his town – he’ll swear justice, touching blabla words that are far from...stimulating. Capture his lover – he’ll give you that utterly boring, Bat-blank look, void of any emotion and totally useless in the long run. No matter what I do to gain his attention, and we all know how much of a busy man is the Batsy…our little game gets stale, and it’s high time to freshen it up. What would instigate an emotion in that head of his? Would would make the Batsy finally clench his fists on my throat?”

Tim breathes out heavily, skin burning like raw fire despite the cold air. If there is one thing he knows, it's that Bruce won’t become what the Joker wants him to. "Nothing."
But the villain remains unfazed, not looking at Tim anymore but turning to face the camera, “You’re surprisingly coherent,” He comments, matter-of-factly, and then adds, “I guess we’ll find out. Either way, this is going to be fun…for me, probably not as much for you and your Batsy-birdy friends.”


Chapter Text

Where the hell were you, Bruce wants to yell as soon as Dick shows his face one day later, we were worried sick, but the words die on his lips when his mate slips under the covers beside him and presses himself to Bruce, trying to cover as much skin with his own as possible. It’s a much younger Dick he recognizes in the gesture, a boy who turned to Bruce every time he needed comfort because there was no one else who’d embrace him and say that everything was going to be alright.

“Where did you go?” Bruce says instead, the tone of his voice soothing and gentle towards the Omega in his arms. Dick stays uncharacteristically silent – usually he’s the talkative one, especially in bed. “Damian wanted to run right after you, it took everything we had to keep him in the Manor.”

“Half surprised you didn’t let him,” Dick smiles against Bruce’s arm, one hand sneaking under the other man’s shirt. “Can only imagine what he’d do to me if he caught up.”

“I know better than to lock you up,” the Alpha murmurs, breathing in Dick’s sweet scent. “I trust you.”

 

“Eh, Timbo. Look at ya,” Jason murmurs, and reaches up to circle Tim’s mouth with his finger suddenly, forgetting about the game for a moment.

Tim’s controller falls out of his hand as he jumps at the motion, startled. “Jason, what the – ! Hey!”

“Cream all over your face. You eat like a vacuum, not sexy.”

“Wow, thanks. Warn me next time so I can brace myself for all that flattery.”

The other man just shrugs, grinning. He ruffles through Tim’s dark locks, purposely ruining the hairstyle Tim somewhat worked hard on this morning, knowing that they’ll be spending time together. He huffs, making a show of turning his back and slapping Jason’s hand away.

“Sure will,” and Jason is, Jason’s impossible, that’s the problem Tim has with the man. Out in the streets of Gotham, it’s easy to forget that under that mask, under the Red Hood, is a man that can warm him as easily as this. The man that sits on a couch with him in the Wayne Manor now, humoring Tim by playing some silly Nintendo games. “Ready for another round?”

“Always.”

Tim thinks he can get used to this, used to the feeling of being with an Alpha like Jason. With Jason. On the couch, forever –



Tim has never resented being and Omega, far from it. His own biology was something he accepted just as easily as he embraced those around him, free from prejudice concerning Alphas, Betas and their traditional gender roles. Dick played his part in that too, being the forgiving big Omega brother Tim wished everyone could have, always eager to share advice and steer his attention away from holding baseless grudges. Growing up surrounded by Alphas was not as hard for Tim as it was for other Omegas, and for that he was forever grateful to Bruce – for allowing him into his house that soon became a home; a safe hideout he could always come back to in time of need. Tim, just as Dick, was never pestered about his secondary gender within the walls of the Wayne Manor, never questioned or exposed to any danger other than the Robin activities. Bruce did everything within his power to protect his sons, to make sure they had what they needed. The umbrella of fame and wealth that was the name of ‘Wayne’ attached to his ‘Drake’ worked like a charm most of the times, in his favor far more often than not.

Which is partly why it is so much harder right now for Tim to accept being reduced to…this.

Writhing. Needy. Feral.

Except he isn’t, not exactly. They obviously think he’s nothing more than an animal now, with a collar around his neck and slick dripping down his legs; an animal that’ll surely make a show out of begging for this. But Tim’s well-trained enough not to lose himself even during heat, to at least not give them the satisfaction of seeing his befuddled self being a –

Bitch. Enjoying that?”

Tim’s momentarily stunned when one of the thugs approaches him. This might be the first time he actually hears such a derogatory word used towards himself, and it doesn’t quite register at first. It feels more bruising than the hands pinning him down, shoving his face into the dirty mattress with little ceremony. He closes his eyes, hell-bent on tuning himself out of this – out of whatever’s about to happen to him.

“Welcome, welcome! So happy to have you join us tonight!” Tim’s remotely aware of rough hands pushing him down and applying pressure to his upper back, forcing his torso further into the cot. His eyes shoot open at the sound of Joker’s voice. His skin is crawling with dread.

“Quite a show we’ve got prepared for you, if I am to say so myself. But oh, where are my manners? Let me introduce our special guest first – the young hero of Gotham, Red Robin himself! At our service, isn’t that right, Timothy Drake-Wayne?”

Trying to twist his head enough to look at the man proves to be somewhat of a struggle. Tim hears his collar click and pop open, the man above him removing it from his neck short after. There’re hands on his hips, forcing his lower body upwards, and –

Everything’s in his head all at once, in a short moment of pure panic that Tim allows himself to soak up: he is recording this, everyone is going to see, oh my God, my identity, it’s all over, I am over, all my fault, I failed, I failedIfailedIfailed –

And it’s brilliant, in more ways than one, because as much as Tim’s certain Joker couldn’t care less about who the Red Robin really is, he’s perfectly aware that everyone else does.
“Our young guest is very…impatient, you see. We seem to have a situation.”

He struggles weakly against the fist in his hair, the fact that they’re not even binding him back a humiliating reminder of how useless he is to everyone now, to Bruce, his family, to himself. Joker steps aside and Tim stares straight at the camera lens, teeth clenched.

“You’re sick.” His voice comes out as a pitiful, miserable whimper of someone who’s already lost and Tim instantly regrets opening his mouth at all. It doesn’t matter – there’s nothing he can do, not really, but simply accepting their hands on him is something he doesn’t think he can do.

“Now, now,” the Joker coos, smiling his toothy smile at the camera, visibly pleased to have invoked a reaction. “We cannot have you talking like that to your hosts, birdie-doll.”

The thug slides his hand down Tim’s face and clasps it around his neck, squeezing. His other arm winds around Tim’s waist, forcing his knees up to rest on the mattress while the weight of his upper body rests on his forearms. Tim doesn’t even have a moment to register that he’s on his knees in front of them, rear in the air, before black spots start dancing in front of his eyes, lips futilely gasping for air. He’s trying to push the man off him, but all it does is inspire laughter from the rest of the thugs.

“You’d think that after the first one, Batsy would keep his birds close by – but no. Makes me wonder, late at night – does he even, you know, care about them at all? Does he care about their deaths? Does he mourn and then get over it, live on? One down, on to the next…” The grip on Tim's neck loosens and his gratuitous moan fills the air. “…oh well. ‘Never say the same joke twice’, was it? One Robin in the body bag, what about this one here? The one we’ve got on such a gratifying display?”

It cannot be happening, it cannot be happening to me, please, please someone –,

-save me-

“I thought to myself – if that’s how it is, why don’t I help the old Batsy out this one time, like one friend to another?”

Chuckles. The thugs get closer to him; observing, curious, lustful. His skin’s slippery and warm under the abrasive palms that move to rest on his exposed buttocks and a shudder of horror runs down Tim’s spine at Joker’s next words, “Returning not one, but two…three more Robins – now, that sounds like something that’d make him grateful for life! A supply not easy to run out off, hm? Luckily for us, Timothy here is very willing to lend a hand...and other parts of his body, to make it happen.”


Chapter Text

Tim is gone for three weeks now.

Without him, the last link between Jason and the rest of the batfamily gets loose. He knows he has to get away from them, to breathe in the air of Gotham and get his head straight enough to think. Not too far away, Jason still trusts Bruce’s equipment more than anything he’d be able to put together himself, but far enough to plan in seclusion of one of his safe houses. Without Damian’s murderous side glances, without Dick’s motherly ‘everything will be fine’ bullshit, without Bruce giving him the I know he was something special to you, I’m sorry look.

Red Hood doesn’t exactly regret not being a popular enough guy to get away with asking people for favors as effortlessly as Nightwing, he can put bullets in a few arms and legs to get his answers just as quickly.

Which is precisely what he intends to do.

Someone has to know something about Tim, and with all honesty Jason expected Bruce to hear from his captors by now. If Tim was still alive, that is…

Beautiful, strong, brilliant Tim.

He shakes his head. Of course Tim is alive. Little point in eliminating the Red Robin without making a show out of it – wasn’t that what the bad guys usually wanted anyway? An applause for their doings?

That’s what Jason chooses to believe. Those keeping him will speak, eventually.

Jason gets to his apartment to get full geared up, and as he tucks his guns into the holsters he’s briefly reminded of how ridiculously mortified Tim looked when he first visited this place. “It’s a total mess, Jesus,” he’d say, picking up Jason’s bloodstained shirt from the floor, scrunching his nose. “Don’t you, like, clean in here? Ever? Never?”

“Never is more like it,” he’d answer playfully, just to tick him off. “Promise to make this hole presentable if you ever decide to come nest here, though.”

“Ha-ha. Thanks but no thanks.”

Jason’s never said it out loud, but he always appreciated how true Tim was around him, about everything. He was a planner, independent and intellectual, a brilliant mind and an undeniable asset to the Wayne Enterprises. He was the Red Robin. He was a little brother to Dick and the best son Bruce could ever ask for. He was, and Jason was pretty sure the whole Gotham would agree, one of the hottest Omega catches in town.

And he was with him, more often than Jason could ever ask for, just to spend time together doing nothing in particular. No masks, no criminals, no masterminding – which meant a lot, taking into consideration how Tim was practically living and breathing for his vigilante persona - just them, lazing around and building something that felt…peculiar to Jason. A connection he didn’t think he’ll ever have with another person; especially not with an Omega. Even admitting that much to himself felt dangerous, as if Tim could shatter before his eyes at the mere acknowledgement that he was something more than a friend – so Jason did what he did best and tried to play cool around him, not exactly pushing them, not wanting to yearn for something he could lose. They were together, in a way, more than friends but not exactly boyfriends, a state in-between that had to be addressed sooner or later, and God, Jason wanted it to be something more, something real and tangible –

Thinking about it now seems foolish, somehow. Painful. Tim’s – Tim’s somewhere, alone, no doubt in danger. And all Jason can do is run around Gotham like a headless chicken, with not even a single idea of where to search for him. Hell, they don’t even know who took him.

There’s an unsettling feeling in his gut, a hunch that something really, really bad is going on. That Tim needs him now.

"Hold on, Babybird."


He heads out.

 

 

Tim puts everything he has, every last shred of energy, into the kick. His foot lands on the thug’s nose with a crack, and he uses the moment of general stupefaction to spin himself around and deliver another blow to the man’s jaw, then the side of his face. The thug gives a high-pitched shriek that would make Tim smirk under any other circumstances, but right now, his only driving force is survival. There’re fists shooting towards him, but Tim grabs them before the hit lands, and pulls, elbowing the second man in the stomach, at the same time kicking out again and sending a third attacker to the floor. They really are weak, he thinks briefly, frantically fighting off the hands that grab at him. They would be nothing if this fight was fair at all.

A thug grabs him by the shoulders, faster than Tim has a chance to react, and punches strong enough to stun him for a second. Blood trickles down his nose and chin, dripping onto the mattress, and Tim’s trying to push himself up, but they’re all on him now, pinning him down, and he’s trapped between their bodies, unable to move. He hisses; furious and exhausted and terrified, and he’s wishing, almost wishing that they’d just end him here and now.

“As you can see, Mr. Drake-Wayne is very lively. Which is a positive sign, indicating that he won’t pass out too soon once we start having fun with him.”

The Joker strides forward then, grin in place, and grabs a fistful of Tim’s hair, tilting his head to the side in a sharp yank. “One thing I like about the Robins is the tough act they put on – and how they cry for their daddy Bat to come save them soon after. Don’t hold back on me, pretty birdie.”

“Fuck you,” Tim coughs up, clenching his jaw so hard he’s half expecting the bone to break. “Fucking psycho.”

“That being said…” the Joker continues, as if Tim didn’t say anything at all, “We can’t have you squirming around like that, can we? A disobedient child deserves punishment.”

A gun is pressed to his cheek, cold metal against burning skin, but Tim refuses to acknowledge the threat of it. Rage twists his features as he stares back, body twisting in a futile attempt to yank his arms and legs free. “We both know you won’t kill me,” he spits, turning his face and pushing the gun along with it, “So spare me this bullshit.”

“Dirty! Who would have known? Timothy Drake-Wayne seems like an obedient little Daddy’s boy on the TV, a pampered heir to the Wayne fortune and all... Guess the media are lying to us yet again.” His hair is pulled harder and Tim can’t help a small gasp building at the back of his throat at that, “I might not blow your brains out with this just yet,” the Joker suddenly murmurs, much too close to his face for Tim’s comfort, and the gun slides lower, poking at his leg. “…but I can bust both of your knees, making sure you never walk again. It’s all up to you, really.”

Tim sobers up at that, body stilling. He doesn’t doubt that the Joker will do as he says, the sick bastard that he is, probably enjoying himself all the more if Tim gives him a slightest reason to actually hurt him to that extent. He briefly wonders if it matters at all, if he’d just finish him off anyway after all of it is over, breaking him and then putting a bullet in his skull like he did with Jason.

His silence seems to be an answer enough, because the next moment Joker grins and lets his head hit the mattress, patting Tim’s hair in mock affection. “That’s a good boy.”

Tim feels blood coagulating around the edges of his nose and lips as he’s once again brought to his hands and knees, and this time he trembles all over in semi-shock at the realization that there is no escaping it, this is really happening. His heat-induced fever is spiking, droplets of sweat sliding down the small of his back as his skin is grabbed by calloused hands, and it’s just – something he doesn’t deserve, he thinks bitterly, blatantly cruel and so, so unfair.

He dares a glance at the man behind him – big, bald, pretty hard to look at in all honesty – and gets an ugly smirk in return. “You really fucked up my friends over there, Princess.” He comments, dragging his fingers down Tim’s hips. “If you don’t make up for it good we might have to hurt you back in return.”

Tim bites back a scream when he’s entered in one sharp thrust, the man plunging into him so hard Tim almost loses his balance and falls on his face. Another pair of hands catches him by the hair and twists, and Tim recognizes the man he kicked in the nose before, all bloody and swollen now, undoing his fly in a haste and pushing his straining erection to his lips. “Suck,” he growls, yanking harder, “Suck, you fucking bitch.”

Excruciating pain shoots up his spine at the stretch he wasn’t prepared for, the man behind him going all the way out just to hit back home with renewed brutality every time, pounding into his flesh mercilessly as if his life depended on it. Tim cries out loudly and jerks away from the fingers nearly tearing his hair out, earning a slap to the face, then another. Dried blood mixes with a freshly drawn one as his bottom lip gets split, filling his mouth with the taste of iron. Tim’s stomach rolls dangerously at the feeling of warm liquid coating his teeth and dripping down his chin.

“You know how they call you behind your back, Mr. Drake-Wayne?” the man fucking him groans, building up the speed of his thrusts even more, “Virgin-Tim…cute, ain’t it?” and then leans down, draping himself over Tim’s back, and pants into his ear, “That true?”

“Not anymore,” someone chuckles.

Shame and humiliation burns bright on top of Tim’s cheeks as the man comes inside him, and another takes his place a second after. “He’s so fucking wet,” the thug comments with a hint of amusement to his tone, pushing both thumbs into his abused hole and stretching it. “Wow, man…all leaking your filthy spunk now…his own slick, too. Fucking hot.”

“Heh,” the first man gets up, but doesn’t zip his pants back up. Tim’s half-closed eyes follow his movements sluggishly. “Fill him up till he feels like exploding. Gotta put a kid in that belly after all.”

They laugh at that and Tim gets backhanded again, with a, “My patience is wearing thin, suck or you gonna regret it” command, but he still refuses to open his mouth, to acknowledge being hit at all.

“He doesn’t want your ugly dick, Buster,” the second man slams into him and Tim distantly wonders if he’s bleeding, if the wetness between his thighs is more than just semen and slick, his head already doing a mental calculation on possible internal injuries, “Get lost, stop ruining that pretty face if you can’t even get him to suck you off. Timmy here is a Gotham elite, ya know. Gotta treat him right.”

Timmy, Timmy

Tears he’s been holding back so desperately finally spill down Tim’s face at the affectionate nickname. He remembers just how perfectly the same words fitted into Jason’s mouth, formed against his neck, hair, jawline. He’s not that Timmy anymore; not the Timmy that was held and appreciated and rooted for. The little, precious ’Babybird’, the young but proud heir to the Wayne Empire. The thought stabs him harder than anything, drawing an uncontrolled, heartbreaking yelp from the back of his throat.

“Hope it’s my kid,” the man behind him moans, fingers digging into Tim’s thighs painfully as he too comes inside him. “With your blue eyes and black hair, little doll.”

The next second Tim knows he’s bending down and retching; spitting not much more than clumped strings of saliva but still gagging on them. Without hands holding him up, he collapses face-first onto the mattress.

 

 

Dick is in his Nightwing costume when he meets Deathstroke again, and this time the man is fully geared up himself, waiting for him in one of the dark alleys of Gotham city.

“And here I thought you will not come, Big Bird. The Bat not keeping you on a leash?”

Dick is glad for his domino mask hiding the sharpness of his gaze from the other man. “Save it, Slade.”

“For now. Follow me.”


Chapter Text

“What…? Why are we here?” Nightwing half-whispers, staring at a middle-sized, derelict warehouse Slade’s been pointing towards. They’re in an industrial area close to the Western edge of Gotham, an area Nightwing’s more than familiar with – he’s familiar with every corner and nook of the city, after all – and absolutely nothing seems out of place. It’s quiet, eerily so – an air of abandonment, staleness, rain-soaked soil.

He was called in to check on an alleged drug trading in the exact same area approximately two weeks ago, but the intel got cancelled as a false call and re-scheduled to another place before he managed to investigate. Nightwing gives Slade a puzzled look, and says, slowly, “There’s nothing here.”

“No, there is not,” Slade agrees, gesturing for him to follow as he jumps onto the roof and balances himself on the brim of it, searching for an opening in the tiling Nightwing already knew was there. “Not anymore, anyway.”

They hop down, Nightwing falling quietly to his feet next to the other man. He glances around briefly, shabby walls and broken tiles, cracking lightly at each step they take. Not a trace of a living soul.

“What is this?” He demands, slightly annoyed at how cryptic Slade has been during this whole trip to what seems like a middle of nowhere. Was he playing games with him?

Deathstroke stares at him for a long moment, before reaching to one of the pockets and pulling out a small, paper item –

“A card?” Nightwing questions, jaw going slack and eyes widening slightly under the domino as he grabs the object in his gloved hand and turns around, disbelieving. It couldn’t be… “What…”

“Sorry, Big Bird.” Slade offers, but his voice is far from apologetic, far from expressing any emotion at all. He gives the other a minute, and then adds, “Had a job to complete, a small thing not so long ago. Found that thing plastered to the wall in here, quite a deliberate gesture to be accidental, you know? I ain’t got any unfinished business with the Joker, hell, I ain’t got any business with that clown at all. So I figured it had to be left here for someone else to find…”

“For me,” Nightwing says automatically, frozen in place. He stares at the Joker card, white glossy paper with a “J” letter written in gold and what seemed to be a dried bloodstain at the side of it. “I was supposed to finish a job in here, but the mission got aborted.”

Slade clicks his tongue at that, the sound getting muffled out by his helmet, but loud enough for Dick to hear.

“The Bat was my first thought, to be frank. And you know just how much I care about my Big Bird right here, his right hand of righteousness…so I took the thing and ran a few tests on that stain, hoping for a blood sample match popping up,” the man’s voice suddenly gets firmer as he continues, “And it did – Timothy Wayne, that rings a bell?”

Dick’s hand shakes, so he balls it up into a fist and slips the card into his suit’s pocket, for later investigation. Could Slade be lying to him? He desperately wished he did, in that moment, but it didn’t seem likely. Slade knew well enough that Dick would hunt him down and probably attempt to kill his ass behind Bat’s back if he did, and there was nothing for him to gain out of a bizarre scheme like that anyway.

He’s speechless, air knocked out of his lungs at the horrifying thought that it was the Joker that had Tim, undoubtedly keeping him captive for all that time.

And that Dick failed him.

He refuses to say anything for a long moment, hectically weighting his options in his head, but Deathstroke cuts his train of thought impatiently. “Come on, kid. I know he’s your lil cute brother. I know he’s Red Robin, too. There’s no one around you I don’t know, dare I say. Had a feeling that the young Drake-Wayne CEO is not exactly on holidays, contrary to what the press reported…”

That card was meant to be found by me, Dick thinks, looking through the warehouse yet again. Were they trying to lure him into some sort of a trap? If yes, why? What did he matter to the Joker? And why all of this happening
Now?

Slade puts a hand on his shoulder and sighs. “I know you probably don’t want to hear me saying that, but it seems like you dodged a bullet by not coming here like they expected you to, kid. Would probably end up the same way the other Robin did.”

“You're right - I don't want to hear it. Any of it.” Dick spits bitterly, head spinning. He feels like he can get sick just from standing on his feet alone.

“If your brother’s still alive –“

“Don’t,” Dick interrupts, a nauseous combination of rage and fear creeping up his spine and wrapping itself around his heart like a snake. “Just don’t.”

 

 

Dick feels like he’s on autopilot when they reach one of Slade’s safehouses, not far from the site they just visited. His heart’s beating madly in his chest, mouth going dry as Slade leads him into his living room, hand on his waist. “Ready to pay up for the favor, Big Bird?”

Dick really isn’t. He couldn’t be any less into it in that moment, not only because of his fear for Tim, but also the thought of Bruce, of betraying his trust. He wants to be mad at Slade, he wants to say that he needs to find Tim and rolling around in Slade’s bed while the Red Robin is out there somewhere is beyond ridiculous.

“More like considering whether I should just kick you in the balls and get outta here,” he mutters, pushing Slade’s hand away.

“I don’t think that’s gonna happen, kid. Even if you wanted to run away…too late for that now.”

“Oh yeah? It’s not like you actually told me where Tim is,” he argues, but knows it’s all pointless. “Isn’t that what you promised?”

“I promised to give you a clue, which is more than the Bat himself managed to do so far, isn’t it? A little more gratitude would be appreciated.”

“As if.”

“There’re places much more accessible to those not of a hero origin,” Slade says after a moment, voice serious. “I’ll help looking for him.”

Dick opens his mouth to protest, but in the end just stares at the man pointlessly. “Why?” he asks, and feels hollow inside as Slade sighs and sits on the sofa, urging him to follow. “To keep me?”

“I know I can’t keep you just as well as the next guy,” A calloused hand reaches up to brush Dick’s cheek gently, and then moves down his neck to touch the swell of his mating bite. Nightwing winces at the feeling. “Doesn’t mean I don’t want you. Perhaps even more.”

“Look –” Dick says, and realizes that his throat’s awfully dry, “It’s not going to happen more than once. I won’t go back on my promise and disappear, but I can’t – this can’t continue. I’m mated, Slade. No matter what happened between us before, what’s going to happen tonight… it’s over.”

“That I know, kid.”

 

 

Tim realizes now what it means for many to be an Omega on the streets of Gotham, a city so dark and vile even the presence of Batman's not enough to cure its sickness. He is a toy to them, a pheromone-bomb that begs to be violated, used, hurt - and then cast aside like a piece of trash. His hair's being pulled, legs spread, mouth pried open with impatient, rough fingers, and he's nothing, nothing except a fuck, not even a human being. He wants to laugh at the thought, the type of manic, obsessed laughter he sometimes allows himself to let out behind closed door, when no one's watching, when no one's there to watch him keep up the appearances, the posturing. When he feels like he's done, like nothing can fix him anymore - and this time, that much might actually be true.

For all the talk about getting him pregnant, Tim doesn't get knotted until what he thinks is a day two of his heat. Reality slowly escapes him, and soon enough the hurt, the misery, the hopelessness of it all gets pushed to the back of his head, leaving only a nagging ghost of a memory behind. It's difficult to think past the pleasure his traitorous body demands, even harder to stop rubbing himself on the mattress like a desperate little whore they all call him. A particularly remote part of Tim is dryly amused at how wrong he was assessing his heat endurance before, giving himself all the credit he apparently didn't deserve.

The feeling of discomfort his body is forced to endure resembles that of his mission-gone-bad, 'there's nothing in my head but this' trance. Uniform sweaty and tight and utterly disgusting, clinging to him in all the wrong places. Anxiety gnawing at his heart. Inability to focus. Tim wants to rip off his own skin with his fingernails with the same urgent anger he peels off his Red Robin costume after everything goes to hell.

He's raw and bloody and beaten up but he wants, he wants and he loathes himself so much he could vomit.

He is drenched in alpha pheromones, their smell all over him, sending a confusing, falsely positive signals to his intoxicated brain, coaxing him into believing that this is what he wants, this is what he needs.

The unnatural stretch of a knot forming deep inside of him for the first time makes Tim feel like he's on the verge of hysteria. He's never really - never been intimate with anyone before, even outside of heat, and the thought of what's being done to him is so horrifying and surreal he's half disbelieving, even now. Even milking that unknown man's cock with his insides, waiting for his knot to go down.

There's never been a good enough time for romance, never a good enough opportunity, never a good enough partner. Tim was somewhat used to being courted by his Beta and Alpha co-workers in the Wayne Enterprises, but even hyper aware of their attempts, flattered to some extent even, he never cared to respond in kind. He had good looks, attractive for an Omega physique, money, the name of Wayne. He was resourceful enough to take advantage of all that on daily basis, but never like this.

At least until re-discovering himself after Jason came into the picture. Jason...with his long fingers gripping Tim's shoulders, lips twisting in a playful smirk as they fought about all things insignificant, feet nudging his under the table when they dined.
Tim forces himself to focus on that feeling, as a form of self-punishment more than anything else, and summons Jason's face in his mind. The feeling of regret that he lost so much so quickly and so terminally.

He feels impossibly full, semen flowing out of his abused rear as the man pulls out and gets up. Tim can nearly see his own stomach deflating at the sudden loss of mass inside of it and winces, involuntarily running his palm through the soft skin there. Are they really planning on fucking him until he gets pregnant? How long could that take? Would Batman manage to find him? What about Dick?
Tim's never been much of a crier before, but soon discovers that swallowing hot, angry tears gives him at least some sort of mental escape he's in desperate need of as the men mount him over and over again.