Having sex with Jason is such a terrible idea that Bruce can't believe Dick is doing exactly that.
Having sex with Dick is such a terrible idea that Bruce isn't surprised at all Jason is doing exactly that.
It's Alfred who confirms it, after Jason brings Dick to the Batcave for medical care yet again. It takes guts on Jason's part to keep coming here, Bruce grudgingly admits. And maybe an intense fear of what Bruce would do to him if he let Dick die.
"There have been some…interesting developments," is what Alfred says, when he mentions it to Bruce later. He raises his left eyebrow when he says it, which always indicates doings of a scandalous nature.
Bruce hits the button to replay the recording of their latest visit. Dick's too messed up with pain and drugs to really give anything away, but Jason's body language is an open book. Bruce had seen it coming, but--
"I had hoped Dick would be smarter than that," he says, feeling old, feeling tired, feeling like he hates being right about everything all the damn time.
Alfred nods in sympathetic agreement as he gathers up the tray bearing the remains of Bruce's sandwich and coffee. It truly is a shame what Dick is doing, his face seems to say. Bruce indulges in a moment of silent commiseration.
And then Alfred says, "Oh, foolish me," pausing at the door, raising his left eyebrow. "I nearly forgot to tell you that Miss Kyle called while you were out."
"Dick and Jason are having sex," Bruce says to Selina, a few hours later, once he catches his breath and the afterglow starts to fade, which is generally when they start talking shop.
"Oh, thank God," she says, falling back onto her pillow dramatically. "I was getting tired of acting like I didn't know."
He props his head on his hand and watches her stretch and yawn. They're both aware they'll always have secrets from each other, but this one gives him pause, until he remembers he told her Dick was in favor of their relationship. Selina never forgets things like that. He weighs it in his mind for a second, and decides it's not a dealbreaker; if he'd asked her about it, she likely would have told him. He just hadn't asked.
He'll ask now, though. "How long have you known? Who else knows?"
She shrugs a shoulder. "I've known for a few weeks. Since then I've heard about it from Ivy, Oracle, Slam, Lex--"
"Lex Luthor knows?"
She looks surprised that he's surprised. "Bruce. They're fucking like bunnies in every alley, doorway, and abandoned building they can find. People see things, and people talk."
Bruce sighs and flops over onto his back. This is so much worse than he'd imagined.
"I thought Dick--" he starts to say, before he remembers where he is.
"Had better judgement?" she finishes for him.
He looks over at her warily, but she isn't offended. Actually, she looks like she's enjoying the hell out of the situation. She'd enjoy it even more if she knew that was the second time he walked right into that trap today.
She gets off the bed and tugs on his arm. "No more sulking over Dick's sex life. Let's take a shower."
He takes her hand and lets her pull him to his feet. "I'm not sulking," he says, careful to make sure it doesn't sound sulky. As soon as he stands up, one of Selina's cats--the petite white one that adores him for some reason--hops up on the bed and curls into a crescent on his pillow.
"You're going to get all weird and obsessive about this. I can tell already."
"He's having sex with Jason," he feels compelled to reiterate as Selina leads him into the bathroom, because she doesn't seem to understand the gravity of the situation. He lets the weird and obsessive thing slide. It's an old argument.
He turns on the water and lets it warm up while she digs through the narrow linen closet for towels. When he gets the water just how she likes it, he takes a moment to admire her very nice backside--from two different angles, thanks to the bathroom mirror--before he says, "It's not like he doesn’t have other options."
"Maybe he has a taste for danger," she says, cutting a sideways glance at him in the mirror, catching him looking at her.
"He can get that anywhere," he says.
"Maybe it isn't about what he can get from Jason," she says, depositing a stack of fluffy pink towels in his arms. "Maybe it's about what Jason needs from him."
He doesn't confront Dick.
Three nights later, he waits on a sagging second floor fire escape, trying not to listen to the moans coming through the broken window. It's over thankfully quick.
Dick and Jason only talk for a minute or two once they're done, a quiet rumble of conversation that Bruce chooses not to hear. Dick laughs, once. It's a low, easy sound, and that's worse than anything else so far, hearing Dick sound so...content.
Dick should have that, just not this way. Not with this person.
Bruce waits for Dick to leave the warehouse before he goes inside. He makes no effort to be stealthy, skirting piles of junk, avoiding a jagged hole in the floor. Jason makes no effort to stop him, or to flee.
He's leaning in the corner, one foot braced against the bricks, standing at that particular angle they all learned in Robin 101--how to look out a window without being seen. His face is striped with shadows from the window frame, but otherwise completely bare.
He looks young and vulnerable, and even after all this time, Bruce has an immediate urge to fix that about him, but it's just a twinge. A vestige of feelings long dead, habits ruthlessly quashed. It's not as hard having him around as everyone else seems to think--Jason's been a ghost on Bruce's heels for years. He's just doing it a little more literally these days.
"You can just glower at me and I'll consider myself chastised," Jason says, but there's no smirk, and he doesn't look away from the window to see Bruce's reaction. Bruce can't even remember another time when his reaction wasn't Jason's first concern.
He came here to confront Jason, to take out a little of his anger and disappointment on him, if he's honest with himself. Jason's indifference to his disapproval, the fragile lines of his naked face, have thrown him. He's not sure what's happening here, so he doesn't say anything. Sometimes the best strategy is to wait to act until you have more information.
Another minute passes before Jason pushes off the wall, putting mask and then hood into place, until whatever it was he just let Bruce see is tucked safely away again. He stops at Bruce's shoulder as he walks by, close enough that either of them could kill the other in at least five different ways by barely moving at all.
"I know you want me to stay away from him," Jason says. There's no defiance, no taunting. Just words spoken plainly. "But not even Batman gets what he wants all the time."
He takes two steps, pulls his arms in, and drops straight through the hole in the floor. His landing is nearly silent, and Bruce gets another twinge, this time of misplaced pride. A few seconds later he hears Jason's bike rumble to life out on the loading dock, and then he's alone.
Out of habit, he moves to the spot where Jason was standing, and looks out the window.
There's nothing out there except busted-up streets and rotting buildings, oily puddles glistening under a nearly full moon. Nothing moving anywhere, except one graceful shadow off in the distance, growing steadily smaller as it leaps lightly from rooftop to rooftop: Dick Grayson.