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Temper, Temper

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Dick’s temper is a fickle thing, consuming the man in bursts of rage, sometimes blinding him of his surroundings. As the oldest brother and a leader, Dick often sets impossible standards for himself, and Tim imagines that the constant efforts to meet those standards must take a toll on him.

Especially when he doesn’t really talk about his own problems, no matter how good he is at listening to others.

Maybe that’s what fuels his infamous temper episodes; his tendency to pile it all up inside until everything boils over, angry and hot as melting lava. What he needs is for someone or something to pull the right trigger, and he’d explode in its wake.

Rule number one is; don’t touch his family.

So when a gunman had put a bullet through Robin’s shoulder, Nightwing had reacted badly. And by badly, Tim means that the perpetrator had been transformed into a grotesque pulp under Nightwing’s fists. Tim is too preoccupied with keeping Damian from bleeding out, so he can only watch the scene unfold as if watching a horror flick, screaming out for Dick to stop every now and again.

Fortunately, Red Hood is right there with them, as he is the only one with sufficient physicality to pry Nightwing off the unconscious thug. It still isn’t easy, though, because a feral Nightwing is a thing of terror; strong, skillful, and determined. Tim watches with wide eyes as Hood has to practically pin Nightwing to the ground to get him to fuckin’ stop this, N, c’mon, get ahold of yerself, yeah? This ain’t you.

The hardest part is always the aftermath; watching as Dick slowly regains clarity, for reality to finally sink in. He leaps as far away from them as he can, his whole body tense, until his eyes finally land on his victim. Even through the whiteouts, Tim can practically see the widening of sky blue eyes, the dawning horror in their depths.

“Di— Nightwing,” Tim stutters, almost forgetting to use proper codenames due to how shaky he is. “Robin’s okay,” he tries to soothe, “the bleeding has stopped. Now the first priority is taking him to Agent A asap. Would you, would you like to...?”

Dick is deathly still, incorporating the bat-stillness so perfectly that Tim can’t even be sure that he’s breathing.

“The bastard’s alive,” Jason suddenly says, and Tim turns to find him crouched next to the thug, pressing a finger to his pulse point, “weak, but alive. ‘M gonna take him ‘n the rest of the gang in, babybird. You go take care of,” Jason vaguely gestures to Damian’s limp body and Dick’s figure, still plastered to the wall and eerily still. “Take ‘em back to base.”

Tim is grateful for Jason’s ability to delegate in the wake of that, and decides to follow because it’s the best direction to take. First, though, he has to get Dick to move.

“Nightwing,” he tries again, injecting as much vehemence as he can into his voice, “let’s go. You also need medical attention.”

“Do not be ridiculous, N,” is Damian’s voice, surprising Tim because he’s been silent this whole time, “get moving. Now.”

It takes three seconds for Dick to finally move. He looks as graceful and intimidating as always in Nightwing’s regalia, not even a slump in his shoulders as he approaches Tim and Damian.

“You okay, little bat?” Dick asks, and the practiced smoothness of his voice makes something clench in Tim’s chest.

“I am not weak,” Damian bites back, “nor incompetent. So your worry is unfounded.”

Trust Damian to put an expression that is the perfect crossover of a fond smile and a wince on Dick’s face

“That’s great,” he sighs out, clearly relieved, “can you take him back to A, Red? I’m gonna go fly for a bit.”

Dick doesn’t even wait for Tim’s answer before he’s off in a flurry of black and blue. His speed is, as always, impressive. But that was a little—

“That was rude,” Damian voices it out for Tim, and the older man looks at him in amazement. “What? I can admit when someone is being unnecessarily rude, Red, and that was a prime example. He should have waited for your assent.”

Tim chuckles, “thanks, I guess? Seriously, though, you okay? Need me to carry you?”

Damian bristles at that. “I do not know how you seem to miss this, Red, but I am taller than you.”

“By an inch,” Tim shrugs, perfectly fine with the fact that he is officially the tiniest out of all of them (he can still kick their asses if he put his mind into it, anyway), “can still carry you without problem.”

“No need,” is Damian’s crisp answer, and then he’s on his way toward their ride, not even glancing back to see if Tim’s following.

Tim doesn’t bother to hide his grin. He hurries to keep up with the younger man after throwing a quick salute to Jason.

 

***

 

By the time Damian is patched up and rested, Tim is in the middle of writing up the mission report. When he gets to the part where Dick almost beats a criminal to an early grave, he hesitates. He takes a deep breath and types it up with professional detachment, but he can’t help the small twinges of worry that settle inside of his chest.

His mind inevitably goes back to Dick; his brutality, his shock and horror at the realization of what he has done, and his obvious attempt at avoiding the rest of the bats.

Tim sighs, and is in the middle of contemplating to call when his phone pings.

It’s a text from Jason.

Literate Criminal Warlord: done w cleanup
Literate Criminal Warlord: will b there tmrw to finish up report
Green tights not panties: Thks Jay
Green tights not panties: U ok? Any injuries?
Literate Criminal Warlord: nothin i cant handle
Literate Criminal Warlord: demon brt?
Green tights not panties: He’s fine, is going to bed bc school night
Literate Criminal Warlord: kay
Literate Criminal Warlord: u gonna go after dickie?

Tim winces. There was a time where Jason Todd couldn’t read through him, but they’ve obviously grown past that.

Green tights not panties: ...yeah
Green tights not panties: Any advice? (´・ω・`)

The emoji is his attempt at lightening the topic, but he’s pretty sure that Jason would see through that, too.

Literate Criminal Warlord: how should i know ur the one whos all buddy2 w him
Literate Criminal Warlord: ur too nice to even bother tbh

Tim sighs for the umpteenth time that night, but he doesn’t bother to justify anything. Dick is his brother. Of course he worries.

Green tights not panties: Yea, would be nice to get some insight from u tho
Green tights not panties: U don’t think like most ppl so

He waits in silence, clutching his phone because holy shit, he really doesn’t want to offend Jason or anything.

Literate Criminal Warlord: ha ha ur right i guess
Literate Criminal Warlord: just
Literate Criminal Warlord: dont let him bullshit u w that im fine im the oldest i can handle shit melodrama

That pulls a laugh out of Tim, a single tingling sound. God, sometimes he’s so glad that he and Jason have patched things up.

Green tights not panties: LOL ok bro u don’t hv to remind me abt that one
Green tights not panties: Thks tho. For everything
Literate Criminal Warlord: keep it bbybird
Literate Criminal Warlord: cough pepperoni pizza cough
Green tights not panties: LMAO done
Literate Criminal Warlord: 3 boxes u piece of shit dont play w me
Literate Criminal Warlord: u gonna finish 1 anw
Green tights not panties: Alright2x
Green tights not panties: See u tomorrow Jay

They don’t bother with goodnights or whatever and the good luck is implied, so Tim sucks in a breath and prepares himself for a trip to Dick’s apartment.

 

***

 

The room is dark.

Tim lets himself in with the key that Dick has given him, and calls out to the darkness, “Dick...? It’s Tim. You there?”

His call goes unanswered, so he ventures further into the apartment. He eventually finds Dick’s slouched form, curled up on the couch with his head between his legs. He’s still in Nightwing’s uniform, and there’s a new gash along his arm that Tim hadn’t remembered seeing.

He must have launched himself into a fray or two after leaving his brothers.

Tim inhales and braces himself, using the most obvious excuse to approach Dick.

“Dick,” he calls, scooting closer to the older man, “hey, c’mon, you’re hurt. Let’s get you cleaned up and patched up, okay? Kit’s in the usual place, right?”

Tim moves to stand up and grab the first aid kit from the usual cabinet, but a hand on his wrist stops him. Suddenly alert, Tim turns to look at Dick, brows furrowing.

“Di—”

“I was so afraid,” Dick blurts out, “so, so afraid of losing him. And angry. Fuck, I was, am so angry because how dare,” the hand tightens its grip, and Tim has to hold back a wince, “how dare he hurt Dami.”

There’s darkness in his voice, weighed down by sadness and hopelessness and God knows what else. Tim tries to calm his thunderous heart and reminds himself that this is Dick; his brother, his partner, a comrade he can lean on and trust in and his anger issues notwithstanding, Tim would trust Dick with his life.

“Dick... It’s okay, man, come on. The worst of it had passed; Jason told me the man would live and Damian is okay—he’s sleeping it off—so it’s time you—”

“It was just like that time with you,” Dick continues as if Tim hasn’t spoken, “with you and that fucking clown, fuck, Tim, I thought I’d lost you.”

At the confession, Tim’s eyes go wide. He didn’t know Dick is still hung up on that.

“And it was just... Everything went dark, Timmy. Dark and disorientating and so blissful, that for those few seconds, I felt like I could do anything, could get away with anything, fuck the consequences, and shit, that’s so messed up, isn’t it? We can’t be like that—can’t lose our tightly reigned control—especially with our line of work. Bruce has drilled that ideal into my head for at least half my life and what did I do? Dishonor all that by going to town on a lowlife.”

The laugh that grates itself out of Dick’s throat is bitter, hollow, and everything Tim wants to wrench out of him and discard to never be seen again. It’s rare, so rare to see the older man lay himself bare like this, and Tim still can’t decide if it should be considered a gift or a curse. Should he be the one to be trusted with this? He’s not sure if he qualifies, and inevitably thinks of Bruce, Damian, Kori, Jason, Wally— an endless list of possible people that Dick should have had this discussion with. He’s not the pinnacle of mental health to begin with, and Tim is so awkward with forming his emotions into words. Logic and facts come easy to him but emotions are more than a little tricky.

He doesn’t know what to say, so he tries to offer comfort by touch instead.

He lets his arm circle around Dick’s shoulders—so wide and sturdy, ones that allow him to give the best, all-encompassing hugs—and gives it an encouraging squeeze. Dick doesn’t actually respond, just droops further and lets out a sigh that’s heavier than the world. At least he allows the contact, and Tim is grateful for that small comfort.

The silence that follows isn’t necessarily uncomfortable, but it doesn’t feel like it resolves anything, either. Tim sneaks a peek (as best as he can in the darkness) at Dick’s face, and even though the older man’s breathing seems to have evened out, he’s still wearing that shuttered, broken down expression.

Fuck, but Tim still needs to speak, doesn’t he?

“Look, Dick, I, um,” he starts, not knowing where to begin so he just blurts out his brother’s name and hopes for the best, “you know I’m not good with words and comforting people and all that—it’s more your lane but you can’t do that right now, obviously, because you’re the one in need of comfort but wow I’m not implying anything negative by that, man, I swear, I just really—”

“Timmy,” Dick cuts him off, there’s the beginning of a smile in his voice and he finally sounds like Dick again, “you’re rambling.”

“...right,” Tim admits, red faced, “sorry ‘bout that, but what I mean is,” he takes a deep breath, “it’s only human, Dick. Anger, sadness, losing control, those are what humans feel. We’re not... We’re not the best people when it comes to dealing with emotions, I know, and I acknowledge that. I’m not saying that what you did is permissible, but it’s also...not incomprehensible, you know? And I know how much Damian means to you, so...” He trails off, not knowing how to continue without letting something like old bitterness that should be buried deep by now seep into his voice.

Dick is looking at him now, and without the domino, his eyes are as wide and bare as the blue sky. The staring contest goes on for at least half a minute, until Dick breaks it.

“You, too, you know.”

Tim blinks. “I’m sorry?”

“I would’ve... I would’ve reacted the same if it was you who were,” Dick twists his mouth into a scowl, clearly unwilling to be vivid with his words, “in immediate danger. Maybe worse.”

A hand settles on the slope of Tim’s jaw, careful, weighty. Tim can’t will himself to look away from Dick’s eyes.

“Definitely worse, fuck.”

Silence falls again, but this time it’s loaded; with things unsaid, with questions unanswered, with emotions unvoiced, with an undercurrent of something, bubbling to the surface in a moment of weakness. Dick’s eyes fall to the stray hand he has on Tim’s skin, and then they proceed to widen as though he’s only realized that he’s put it there. He abruptly lets the contact end, avoiding eye contact with the younger man.

“Dick.” Tim hears himself say, even though he’s not sure how to continue. He just needs to let the familiar syllable fall from his lips, a testament of this moment. That he’s not dreaming it all up. It’s hard to convince himself without the grounding warmth of Dick’s touch.

Dick bites his lip in frustration, touches the back of his ear, ruffles his hair (the anxiety triad), and continues to speak in a strained whisper.

“Tim, I, I’m such a bad man. I almost beat a guy to death and— What the heck are you even doing here? Fuck, you’re not supposed to—” And that’s when Tim notices the tremor of Dick’s gloved hands, most likely not caused by that nasty gash that’s beginning to grate on Tim’s nerves.

“Look at me,” he braves himself, taking the injured arm and grips it tight, making sure Dick can’t, won’t run from him. “You’re not a bad man. You’re human, Dick, you feel emotions and you drown in them, and sometimes the water is deeper and murkier than usual, but you managed to overcome it. And that’s what truly matters, okay?”

Dick looks at him with wide eyes, a confusing mix of amazement and solemnity, and Tim trudges on.

“This,” he gestures to the injury, “was earned from an attempt to save a life, to make a change for the better, to give hope for people. Not just this one, Dick, but all those scars you have all over your body; a proof of what you’re—what we’re—doing. So don’t you dare call yourself a bad man.”

Before the older man has any chance to reply, Tim closes the scant difference between them and meets Dick’s gaze straight on.

They have been close before. Tim can easily recognize the blues of Dick’s eyes—different from his or Jason’s or Bruce’s, the brightest and most encompassing out of all of them—the sharp cut of his jaw, even that little scar tissue near the bridge of his nose. They have been close, but never like this; not with a palpable tension between them, so charged with the need to let it out, but also the necessity to keep it in, with the anticipation of the future, but also the fear of the unknown.

Tim makes his choice, and prays for Dick to follow.

“It’s long overdue, don’t you think? So take it, Dick,” Tim dares, standing on his tiptoes to accommodate a not-quite-kiss, his lips hovering over Dick’s, “take what you need.”

 

***

 

Dick’s sheets smell like him; skin, sweat, body wash, a hint of aftershave, and if you concentrate, there’s a bit of leather there, too. Tim’s mind eye supplies him with the image of Dick, still in his vigilante getup, passing out on the bed without preamble due to utter exhaustion. The image is a bittersweet one because it’s a testament to how overworked his oldest brother is, but also more than a little funny because Alfred wouldn’t approve.

He unconsciously lets out a chuckle.

“What ‘s it, Timmy?” Comes the man’s voice, breathed into his ear in between soft groans.

“Nothin’, just,” Tim tries, wiggling a bit under Dick’s weight, “thinking ‘bout how Alfred would flip if he found out that you go to bed in uniform.”

Dick actually stops moving at that. “Can we not. Bring up Alfred, please, baby? I’ll go soft real fast and that’d feel like disrespecting you. Especially when you feel,” a well-aimed thrust that makes Tim want to melt into the soft bed beneath them because fuck, please, please, do that again, “so, so gorgeous around me.”

Tim wants to reciprocate, say something equally cheesy about how right Dick feels inside of him, how he’s been storing his hopes and dreams of this moment in the deep, dark corners of his subconscious, and how glad he is to be the one Dick depends on. And yet, Dick scrapes his teeth along his nape, and the hint of canine on sensitive skin makes Tim embarrassingly incoherent.

“You meant what you said, didn’t you, Timmy?” Dick suddenly asks, and Tim thinks it cute that Dick can’t seem to stop using that particular nickname during sex.

Tim sighs, a content, happy sound, and mumbles, “what’d I say?”

“That I’m,” Dick stutters, and Tim can feel his sharp inhalation against the skin of his shoulder blade, “That I’m not a bad man.”

As soon as the sentence is out of Dick’s mouth, he continues his efforts at robbing Tim of his lucidity. The movement of his hips is purposeful, powerful, and a tiny pang of jealousy settles itself inside of Tim amidst the onslaught of sensations (so good, it’s so fucking good and he can’t believe that Dick is the one making him feel this way) because Dick has been with so many people, so experienced and so benign when it comes to sharing his love.

And yet here he is, whispering his insecurities into Tim’s skin and hiding his face between the younger man’s shoulder blades. Tim is aware that he shouldn’t read too much into it because he’s only providing comfort and nothing else, but it’s so easy to lose himself in the idea of being the one who—

What was the question, again?

Sex makes him brain dead, apparently, and Tim curses himself for being so easy.

In the wake of his inquiry, Dick is still moving in a way that makes it hard for Tim to even breathe, and Tim realizes that maybe, maybe Dick is anticipating the answer as much as he’s afraid of a rebuttal. Tim stifles a sob against his arm at a particularly deep grind, grants Dick a few more thrusts, and then steels himself.

He puts some power into jelly legs and braces himself on his knees before finally pushing back against Dick’s thrusts, squeezing his insides for good measure. The older man isn’t expecting it, if his choked gasps are any indication.

“Dick,” Tim begins, continuing to move against Dick until they find a rhythm that works best. “I meant it, okay? You’re not bad. You’re so good, so good to me. You’re making me feel so, ah—” he breaks off into a moan when Dick’s teeth close around the meat of his shoulder. He has to wonder if this is a habit of some sort, and feels himself clenching down around Dick’s length at the idea.

Even in the throes of passion, his brain supplies him with messages of not enough, and Tim knows what it’s referring to. Tim knows that the comfort derives from sex will not be enough, not for the long run. The shadows of guilt would still hover behind Dick’s back, weighing him down and clouding his sunny disposition, refusing to disappear until the older man finally feels like he has atoned for what he has done.

Tim makes a mental note to hack the hospital’s database for that thug’s daily report. Hopefully, the information would give some semblance of closure for his brother. Later.

For now, this is what he gives him.

(Because Dick needs the assurance, needs to be told that one single mistake wouldn’t ruin everything, wouldn’t contort the image of Dick Grayson that he has worked so hard to build. In the wake of something so horrid, Tim can’t blame him. Can’t deny him what he needs.)

“I also said to take it, didn’t I?” Tim reminds him in a heated whisper. He takes a hand from around his waist, traces his lips on every single one of Dick’s bruised knuckles and hums when Dick abruptly changes their position, dragging Tim backwards so he’s now sitting on the older man’s lap.

The length inside of him is driven impossibly deep, and Dick swallows Tim’s moans of pleasure into his mouth before the younger man can let it out. The sound of skin slapping against skin gets loud, but Tim can’t register it with how Dick’s kissing him; open-mouthed and messy, like he wants to consume him.

When they finally part, Dick continues to pepper kisses and bites on the planes of Tim’s neck while the younger man’s mouth closes around an earlobe, licking and sucking before finally speaking.

“Take it,” Tim pants against Dick’s ear, “take what you need, come on. I can handle it. Everything. Anything.”

In response to that, Dick lets out a little sob against the skin of Tim’s throat. When he opens his mouth again, his voice sounds wrecked.

“You’re mine, aren’t you?” Dick whispers, a desperate plea, “you’re mine. My Timmy.”

“Yours,” Tim assures, “I’m yours.”

 

I know it hurts
You know
I’d quench that thirst


 

 

Jason’s rage is a thing that’s been dragged out of the deep, dark swarm of the Pit, engulfing blue eyes with flecks of green and adding brutality to the already powerful way he moves. It makes him feral, vicious, almost mad, but beneath all that is still traces of Jason Todd, clinging desperately to his humanity with clawing fingers.

Tim feels the force of his desperation, feels the pressure of Jason’s fingers on his hips as he’s pushed further up the wall, their hips colliding in a violent mockery of sex. Yet he clings as tightly as his counterpart, his legs a vice grip around Jason’s hips, unwilling to let the other man draw back completely.

It’s been a bad night for both of them.

Red Robin and Red Hood had been preparing for the drug bust for almost two months, working together by pooling their resources and doing what they do best (hacking and undercover work for Tim, prowling the streets for tips and information for Jason). When the lackeys had been brought in and the recipe (it was a nasty one, and Tim had made sure to eliminate the chemical composition from the face of the earth) had been destroyed, they were finally ready to cut off the head of the operation by taking down the boss. Sneaking into his house was easy—seriously, drug lords have the worst security systems—and Red Robin had been confident that bringing the man in would also be a piece of cake.

They didn’t expect the man to be in the middle of shooting a woman full of holes.

The corpse was almost unrecognizable, but Tim remembered the blond hair and that particular built, and he recognized her to be the boss’ wife. The woman was nothing like Jason’s mother, but Tim heard the rapid acceleration in Jason’s breathing, the sound ragged and tinny through the synths, and it was clear enough of a warning.

The Pit’s influence had been pushed to the fore.

It brings them to the present, and Tim really has no time for flashbacks when he can feel everything so vividly; the nails digging into his hips, the heat of Jason’s ragged pants on his skin, and the heavy weight of his cock, dragging against Tim’s insides and lighting his whole body on fire—

“How fuckin’ dare,” Jason growls the words into Tim’s throat, “those fuckin’ drugs coulda killed hundreds if it ever hit the streets ‘cause that scum has no regard for human life, you fuckin’ asshole.” He emphasizes the word with a powerful thrust, fucking a whine out of Tim despite his best efforts to bite his lip and keep the noises in. “Dude’s a lunatic who enjoys killing women, ‘n you protected that piece of shit. How dare you stop me from shootin’ his throat, you fuckin’ sad excuse of a motherfuckin’ Saint.

Ah, yes. That had happened, hadn’t it.

“But we stopped them,” Tim pants out, laying the fact in between bated breaths, “we made sure of it, Jay. We stopped the whole operation by taking it down to the smallest trade, and trust me when I say that we haven’t missed anything because you’ve been so damn thorough— ngh! Fuck, fuck, there, God, right there, don’t stop.”

The change of angle puts the weakest spot inside of him under constant assault, and it doesn’t help that Jason is now moving his hips in short, jarring thrusts, robbing Tim of his coherency.

But fuck if Tim’s going to stop trying.

“You don’t— ah, ah, Jay, let me fucking finish—” the request trails off into another broken moan, but Tim grits his teeth and tries again, “you don’t need to kill him, Jay, ngh, ah, slow down for a bit, you fucker, listen to me!”

With great efforts, Tim slams his heel into Jason’s waist, making sure not to use his whole strength lest he’d break bone. Jason groans, and Tim uses the opportunity to seize Jason’s face between his palms, meeting his gaze at pointblank.

“You made sure to eliminate the whole drug ring, I made sure that the recipe is lost in the void for eternity, and mark my fucking words,” Tim pushes an urgent kiss onto Jason’s mouth, and hisses, “that fucker will get what he deserves, and you don’t have to be the one to deliver it to him.”

Tim knows that Jason can hold onto that statement, but the older vigilante only frowns in its wake. The expression on his face is a confusing mesh of anger, sadness, and a tinge of helplessness, making Tim’s chest tighten.

“No, babybird,” Jason argues, but the growled words sound weak even to Tim, “you shoulda let me end him. That’s the only way.”

Tim’s eyes narrow at that, and he bares his teeth at Jason before dragging him into a bruising kiss. It’s more of a biting contest than a kiss; teeth clamping down on lips and tongue, knocking against one another painfully. Breathing becomes second priority as the two of them let themselves drown in the act, until Tim has to come up for air when Jason starts moving again.

For a minute, Tim lets himself be manhandled, a willing victim to Jason’s heat and need and passion. And then he remembers that he has a point to drive home, and takes Jason’s dominant hand in his. Before Jason can react, Tim sucks two fingers into his mouth, feeling the rough texture of callouses and tasting the grit of ash and gunpowder on his tongue.

(And it makes him shiver, how Jason is still able to hold his whole weight with one arm out of commission.)

The older man halts his movement at the gesture, and even through lowered eyelids, Tim can practically see the way Jason’s eyes get darker, needier, and Tim knows he’s already won.

“I won’t let the blood of that lowlife taint your fingers, Jason,” Tim snarls, biting down on the digit he has in his mouth, “never again, Jay. Not as long as I breathe.

The promise is delivered in vehemence, an assurance, a vow, and the grip Jason has on Tim’s hips get tighter.

“But it’s still there isn’t it,” Tim says, an irrefutable observation instead of a question, “you still need to work it out.”

And there is no need to confirm what Tim is referring to.

Tim abruptly surges forward, trusting Jason with his whole weight. The older man lets out an oomph at the suddenness of the movement, but obliges and pulls Tim closer, lets the smaller man press his head against sturdy, scarred chest. Tim’s heartbeat is faster than usual due to exertion, but the sound manages to calm Jason down a hairbreadth. He lays a kiss on an old scar (“Don’t beat yourself up about it, Jay, it’s been years and I’ve long forgiven you.”) and closes his eyes, feeling the press of Tim’s lips on the top of his head.

When Jason leans Tim back against the wall, their gazes meet. Tim gives a small, tired smile at the visible longing in Jason’s eyes. They haven’t returned to their usual color; the flecks of green have faded, but haven’t disappeared completely.

“Now take it,” Tim lets his head fall back, giving Jason free access to the arch of his neck, “take what you need, and for the love of God, don’t you dare fucking hesitate.”

The invitation couldn’t have been clearer.

Jason charges forward like a lion that’s been let free from her leash, all barred teeth and feral eyes and God, he’s so beautiful—

“Mine, babybird,” he snarls, carving his mark onto Tim’s skin with persistent mouth, “yer mine.

“Yours,” Tim assures, “I’m yours.”

 

I’ll quench your thirst
Just chase the high and stop your doubting


 

 

Damian’s need for violence corresponds with his need for acknowledgement.

To be fair, it’s not like he’s lacking in that department; Dick gives it to him benevolently, pride and joy radiating from his pores at every single one of Damian’s achievement, Bruce’s is evident through his enveloping hugs, while Jason shows it in a more casual manner—pulling Damian into a noggin or offering him a crisp high five after a successful mission. And yet, Tim observes, Damian still hungers for it.

That little complication may or may not be Tim’s own fault, because he sure is bearing the brunt of it now.

The slap hurts. It should, with the amount of force Damian puts into it, and Tim is grateful that he wasn’t biting his lip or grinding his teeth when the younger man’s palm collided against his cheek because the damage would have been so much worse.

“Where did your mind wander off to, Drake?” Damian sneers, his face contorting in displeasure, “how dare you think of anything else when you are on your knees for me.”

Ah, yes, that’s happening right now, isn’t it? Tim registers the pain in his cheek as well as the dull ache in his knees. He’s been kneeling for a solid four hours, shoved down by the neck as soon as they had entered the privacy of Damian’s office. The wait for Damian to be finished with his work had been bearable, but it also hadn’t been Tim’s idea of a fun time, so he had unknowingly spaced out at one point.

Unfortunately, Damian has finished with his work while he’s off in another headspace.

Tim curses inwardly, and tries in a soft voice, “I’m sorry for spacing out, Sir, I won’t do that again.”

He surprises himself when he realizes that he’s genuinely remorseful. Maybe it’s the idea of letting Damian down when he’s the one who has promised to be obedient.

“You lie,” Damian spits out, “nothing out of that mouth but lies, Drake. Lies and spite, especially for me, because you just cannot bear the idea of me being superior to you, can you? So much so that you had to humiliate me in front of everyone.

Damian is referring to how Tim had turned his idea down in the most recent board meeting. In his defense, he had explained in great lengths about how Damian’s vision is brilliant, characterized by his ambition and progressiveness (an evidence of how he has truly moved on from the ancient ways of his grandfather). Despite all that, Tim had argued that the implementation of it would prove to be difficult and quite disadvantageous for the time being. He had stressed that the company is not yet ready, but would be more than ecstatic to utilize Damian’s idea in the future.

The board had sided with Tim because, well. Damian might be more business savvy, but Tim has worked with the members of the board for longer than he has. When it comes to office dynamics, experience often takes precedent to innovation.

Damian had not been happy.

The curl of strong fingers around his neck had been predictable, but Tim isn’t about to tell Damian that, especially not when he’s so obviously pissed off.

“I cannot believe every single one of them,” Damian continues, “always groveling under your feet like you are some kind of royalty, blindingly following your orders, actively trying to please you. Exactly what have you done to earn that kind of respect, Drake?”

It’s an exaggeration. Most WE employees respect him, yes, but that doesn’t mean they put him on a pedestal. Tim still gets an almost weekly lecture from Lucius, and even Tam, whenever they feel like he’s been performing poorly. They’re just more comfortable with him than with Damian because he’s worked longer and the younger has a reputation for setting impossible standards, be it for himself or for his coworkers.

“Sir, I—”

“Shut your slut mouth,” Damian growls, and Tim’s jaws close with a painful click.

Damian looks down at him with anger still burning behind his gaze, and Tim steels himself to do whatever is necessary for him to finally work it out. To be perfectly honest, Tim is still baffled that he has managed to rile him up like this, despite his best intentions.

He’s been lost in his train of thought again, apparently, because he almost doesn’t register the quiet thud; the fact that Damian has thrown something right in front of his kneeling form. He looks down, puzzled, and breathes out a soft gasp when he realizes that he’s looking at a ring gag. Oh.

“Put that on,” Damian orders, “and do not use your hands. I will buckle the strap for you.”

Tim flickers his gaze upwards to watch Damian’s reaction, and finds that the other man is still as a statue. His arms are crossed in front of his chest, the shape of them perfectly defined even through the suit jacket he’s wearing. Tim has to admit that out of all of them, Damian is the one who exudes power and control so effortlessly, no matter what persona he’s currently wearing.

Tim bends down to pick up the gag with his mouth. The curve or his lips fastens over the ring easily, and he lifts his head to present his slack mouth to Damian, the buckles of the gag dangling from his mouth. Tim is pretty sure that he looks ridiculous more than anything, but he honestly can’t read what’s written on Damian’s face.

The hands that move with experience and precision to fasten the buckle are the definition of clinical, but Tim can feel the way Damian’s fingers linger on his nape, a touch of possessiveness in their wake.

“You really are,” Damian says, fingers leaving a trail of heat along Tim’s neck, “as infuriating as you are exquisite.”

When his hand reaches the dip of Tim’s collarbones, scratching over the sensitive dips and hollows, Tim can’t help but to gasp. That’s when Damian decides that he has had enough teasing, because a brush of thumb against his Adam’s apple is Tim’s only warning before a strong hand closes around his neck.

It’s not painful, not really, but maybe it’s only because he’s registering less sensations now that his brain receives less amount of oxygen. He can still see clearly, though, and his vision is carpal-tunneled to the green of Damian’s eyes; wild green and bright, filled with passion more than anger now, and Tim can almost close his eyes in contentment.

However, when Damian puts more force and squeezes, Tim makes a choking sound, wet and pitiful because his mouth is forced open by the gag. In response to that, Damian hesitates, and Tim can practically feel him breaking character. That won’t do.

Damian jerks his hand back, and in a flurry of fast movement, Tim unbuckles his gag and catches the younger’s hand while it’s still in reaching distance. He proceeds to lay a kiss on its palm, shutting his eyes when Damian allows the contact.

“You know my signs, Dami,” he mumbles against the skin of Damian’s palm. He flicks out a tongue against calloused skin and traces upwards, finally closing his mouth around the younger man’s middle finger and sucks, going as far as the first knuckle. It’s partly because he wants to prove to Damian that he can take it, and partly because he loves seeing the surprise in Damian’s eyes melt into lust. “You’ll know when to stop, and you’ll stop when I tell you to stop,” Tim speaks around the digit, keeping eye contact with Damian, “until then, you can take anything you want, however you want. Don’t hesitate.”

Tim releases the finger with a resounding pop, and looks up at the younger man. He doesn’t know what Damian sees in his eyes, but he hears the sharp intake of breath. He hopes that’s a good sign.

“Such a harlot,” Damian finally bites out, even though Tim is pretty sure that a derogatory comment shouldn’t be said with such soft eyes.

He doesn’t say that thought out loud, though, only nods his consent because in this scene, Damian is always right. Tim tilts head back and opens his mouth in invitation, suppressing a shudder at the way Damian’s eyes darken.

The younger man mutters a curse in Arabic (or is it something else? Tim can’t be sure) and picks up the gag. The ring fits easily into his mouth and the strap fastens itself with a resounding click. Long, powerful fingers thread through his hair, and Tim feels heat bloom at the base of his spine when Damian yanks, not bothering to be gentle.

“You’re mine, Timothy,” Damian growls out, “mine to touch, mine to hurt, and mine to put back together again.”

Tim can’t answer through the gag, so he hopes that the look in his eyes can deliver the message.Yours, Tim assures, I’m yours.

 

Flying like a streamer
Thinking of new ways to do each other


 

 

Masochistic tendencies.

Tim reads the words in passing as he flips through the case reports, and winces.

He touches a dark bruise beneath his collarbone, one that’s been given by one of them. He can’t remember who, but he cherishes it all the same. Does that make him masochistic; to revel in the marks his brothers have left on his body?

It’s not like he likes pain; he hates it as much as the next vigilante. Pain is a way of life, a necessity, and something that Tim has chosen to live with when he decided to wear the cape. He doesn’t feel anything particularly pleasant (or even pleasurable) when his skin is broken and his flesh is torn. Or burned. Or sliced off. In his line of work, the possibility is endless.

He can admit that he only enjoys it when it’s associated with his brothers, and even then, only on special circumstances.

Well. Maybe the term is quite accurate to describe him, indeed, because he isn’t masochistic, but he does have a tendency for it. He inhales through his mouth, and lets out the breath in a wispy sigh, curling further into his seat and touching another one on his thigh—vaguely bearing the shape of a handprint.

The marks on his body are many things. They’re maps; connecting a bite mark to Dick’s teeth, red welts to Jason’s nails, and a bruise to Damian’s palm. They’re memoirs; of a night gone bad, of a life they had failed to safe, of broken sobs and whisper kisses, of small comforts in their harsh, jagged world. They’re reassurances; of Dick’s inherent kindness, no matter how explosive his episodes turn out to be, of Jason’s humanity, still intact despite the Pit’s influence, of Damian’s significance, because Tim is bad at showing his appreciation through normal, conventional ways.

As for Tim, they’re absolute proof that no matter who leaves—by choice or under unfortunate circumstances—they’d still have each other to turn back to. He knows that it’s stupid to cling to the aftermath, collecting marks instead of saying something that truly matters (three syllable words, too heavy, too weighty, he doesn’t even know if he deserves to use it), but he also doesn’t know how to do it any other way.

The declarations of possession (“Mine, mine, Timmy,” “Mine, babybird,” “Only mine, Timothy,”) are funny paradoxes, and Tim ponders about them as he cradles his face in his palm. He doesn’t even know if it counts as cheating or something of that sort because he needs to be committed to cheat and he doesn’t really see what they have with each other as something as mundane as commitment. Nevertheless, whenever they utter that one syllable (mine), he just can’t seem to deny them. So he readily agrees, and he wonders what—

“Drake.”

It’s Damian’s voice, effectively interrupting his inner monologue. The younger man hovers just two feet behind him, and the body language is so uncharacteristic of him that Tim can’t help but to frown.

“Don’t hover, Dami, that’s creepy. Come help me with this,” he gestures at the work he has in front of him, and manages to hide a grin when Damian buys the charade. He’s still grumbling about how Tim is an incompetent when he sits down by his side and Tim chuckles because that’s the Damian we all know and love.

They type and archive and cross reference in silence for a few minutes, efficiently working in tandem. Tim won’t admit it out loud, but Damian is his favorite person to do computer work with, because he’s all business and no play. Call him a prude, but some works need to be done with minimal distractions.

“All done,” Tim finally declares, stretching his arms heavenward, “now we can catch up on—“

Tim’s eyes go wide because he hasn’t been expecting the touch, but Damian’s hand is warm on his skin. His fingers ghost over the mark under the collarbone—the one he’s been touching earlier—and oh. So that one is Dami’s.

“Stop that,” Tim warns before Damian can say anything, “you know as well as I do that it won’t be a problem for me to stop you at any given time, right?”

Damian frowns, his expression cloudy. “But Grayson and Todd—”

“Understand the concept better than you, apparently, because they’re not pestering me with stupid questions.”

It’s a lie. Tim still remembers a scene from approximately two weeks ago, where he had let Jason and Dick have him simultaneously after a particularly bad night—child prostitution rings are the absolute fucking worst. Predictably, he had ended up with more marks than he usually does, some of them downright vicious and angry.

They had been so grossly attentive with him, repeatedly asking whether or not he was comfortable, or if he was sure of what they were all doing, and honestly. He isn’t about to admit to them that he needs it as much as they do (no, he can’t be needy, can’t be clingy, can’t let himself get too comfortable with the attachment because the separation would be ten times more painful—), but he can say with confidence that he won’t go back on his words and promises.

Seriously, they should get with the program.

Damian is peering into his eyes, attentive and watchful and critical, everything Tim honestly can’t deal with right now, so he gets up from his seat and tugs the younger man along.

“C’mon, brat,” he urges, earning an irritated glare that he brushes off easily, “movie night. Time to unwind, get that stick out of your ass, whatever. I’ve asked Jason to put The Black Stallion on Netflix so we can watch that first; if you can win against Dick in rock-paper-scissors, that is.”

Damian gets that competitive gleam in his eyes, and Tim bites on the insides of his mouth to keep from grinning. “You better root for me, Drake, because God knows we do not want to sit through that godforsaken Ferris Bueller and his attempts to skip school.”

Tim finally laughs out loud at that. “It’s a classic, Dami! You can’t deny that it’s funny.

The other man only scowls at him, making vague hand gestures while muttering humans, like that’s supposed to explain his apparent dislike. Maybe it does, and Tim grins as they make their way out of the cave.

Dick and Jason are making popcorns and tortilla dips in the kitchen (read as: Jason’s making the food while Dick plops his ass on the counter, doing his best to annoy his brother) when the younger bats arrive. Dick’s eyes light up at the sight of them, and he proceeds to make grabby hands at Damian, which the youngest wholeheartedly ignores.

He manages to grab Tim by the arm, though, and Tim yields to his fate as he slots himself into the space between Dick’s thighs.

“Hi, pretty bird,” Dick coos, “all done with work? Thought you’d never grace us with your presence.”

“Ha fucking ha, Dick. I need to sort out some Titans business and there’s that case that you—“

“No work business on movie night, sugar, keep yer end of the agreement,” Jason cuts him off, not even looking up from stirring the mixture in front of him while he does so. The mixture that smells heavenly, and Tim pokes his head nearly into the skillet, prompting Jason to curse and push him away.

“That smells nice, Jay.”

The older man only scoffs. “Who d’ya think yer talkin’ to, babybird.”

“No need to get all arrogant, salt bae.”

“’m workin’ my ass to cater to yer needs, babe, so you have to deal with this attitude or get the fuck out.”

Dick is the one who laughs amidst their banter, and Tim shuts him up with a headbutt. The older man proceeds to make pitiful sounds that Tim is decidedly weak for, and he kind of hates himself for opening his arms for Dick to burrow into. But the older man’s warmth in his embrace also kind of makes everything a little bit better, so there’s that.

He feels soft lips on the juncture between his neck and shoulder, and oh. So those are Dick’s. The older man is doing a really great job at keeping him distracted, because he lets out a squeak when he feels hot breath on the back of his neck—just when did Jason finish the sauce?

The mouth on his nape is tracing along another set of bruises, ones that Jason had left. Tim actually remembers that one because he had been the one who had asked for them. And yet Jason, being Jason, is actually acting like he’s the one who should apologize for it through soft kisses and soothing fingers, and Tim wonders if it’s possible to choke on emotions because he sure as hell feels like doing that now.

Tim closes his eyes under their attention with the sound of Damian setting up the movie as background noise. He knows that it won’t be long before their youngest would decide to join the weird aftercare pile. Tim wants to argue, vehemently deny them of whatever this is that they think he needs, but he’s just finished work and he honestly doesn’t have the energy right now.

Whatever. He can get even by setting their Netflix to play Heathers on repeat. They can groan all they want while Tim stares at J.D.’s pretty, perfect face. Tim’s not a fan of any quote that shamelessly exploits the word ‘love’, but he can get behind J.D.’s Our love is God, let's go get a Slushie any day. 

 

 

Feel your body closing, I can rip it open
Suck me up, I'm healing for the shit you're dealing
Smoke on your skin to get those pretty eyes rolling
My thighs are apart for when you’re ready to breathe in
Suck me up, I'm healing for the shit you're dealing
High motherfucker, get your mouth open, you know you’re mine