Bruce had left for a hotel when Mia called Ollie. He hadn't wanted to force a confrontation between Ollie and his children, and being there when they returned would have done just that. He'd never been that fond of hotels, and with the sleep he'd gotten with Ollie, it had taken until late, late in the night for him to rest again. When he'd come awake early, he'd gone down to the hotel gym for an hour or so--long enough for Mia to go to school, and Connor to leave--then headed back over to Ollie's via a cab. He knocked, lightly, then let himself in with the key Ollie'd handed him with a wry smile. He'd had the same thought; namely, that Ollie apparently had more than enough keys to his place wandering around, but he'd taken it all the same.
Ollie was in, with Connor gone, just as Bruce had surmised. Arrows tended to work by day far more than Bats, after all. He followed the low level of noise until he found Ollie, and leaned in the doorway.
Ollie looked up and grinned at him. "Hey there."
"Hello," Bruce said softly, and moved over to settle nearby, drawing one foot up onto the seat as he watched Ollie's hands move, quick, deft motions--even in something as simple as fletching arrows, he was... captivating. //And your hormones are ruling your brain again...//
"Spend a good night in my city?" Ollie asked. He continued what he was doing, trying to finish this batch.
"I've definitely spent worse, at least... but... it could have been better, too."
Ollie looked over at him, eyes smoldering with desire. "Sure as hell could have been...but I had work to do, too."
"I know... did you hear me complain?"
That made the archer snort. "You never do."
"Where did you get that idea?" Bruce tipped his head to the side a little, curious.
"You just look baleful and move on in silence," Ollie said. He then flushed, eyes dropping. "Or you did."
Bruce leaned out, cupping his hand around Ollie's jaw. "Maybe that's where I made one of my biggest mistakes..."
Ollie blinked, shook his head, and then half-grinned. "Please tell me I'm not at the butt of a cosmic joke again. Maybe I need to check with the Spectre."
Bruce's fingers tightened, slipping back to catch the back of his neck, rather than his jaw, as his blue eyes flashed with dark possessiveness. "If anything, Oliver, the joke is on me... and I'd really rather you didn't. Call Hal, that is."
Ollie wanted to make a quip, downplay that jealousy, but he couldn't. To have that intensity, all of Bruce, focused on him? It made him shiver and press forward, lips finding those of his lover. Bruce moved, shifting on the couch to kiss Ollie deeper, moving his other hand back behind his shoulder.
Ollie, caught up in it, moaned. He seemed more than willing to repeat the day before. Bruce purred at that, low and harsh, and moved closer yet, one knee sliding behind Ollie's back, the other foot down on the floor to brace..
"Bruce," Ollie murmured, breaking from the kiss. "God, but I want you so damn much."
"Yes, Ollie," Bruce purred softly, against his lips, hand slipping through his hair gently. It was too easy to get lost in this, in want and need and the level of... security... Ollie brought.
"Come on...one awkward walk in is enough." Ollie slipped free of his work space, of Bruce, to rise and lead the way to his room.
Bruce nodded and followed, hand splayed low across Ollie's spine, knowing this wasn't why he'd come, but having difficulty caring when it felt so much like what he needed... As Ollie walked with Bruce up to his room, the thought of how right this felt mingled with sorrow that he hadn't held on longer to this before.
That they were both hungry had finally driven them both back out of bed, and Bruce settled with a hip against the center island as Ollie moved around the kitchen, watching the lines of his back--//god. Stop indulging the besotted teenager your body's turned into, would you?//
"So, how long..." Ollie trailed off as Connor came in, took one look at the 'boy' his own age, and frowned, just slightly.
Bruce turned, appraising Connor intently, seeing faint strain in the way he still held his shoulder, the fading trace of a bruise along his jaw... and the unhappy set of the young man who looked so much like Ollie, written darker and more exotic. "Hello, Connor."
A blonde eyebrow went up, and then Ollie caught his son's attention with a cough.
"Connor, son, this is my friend...visiting from Gotham." He wasn't sure if he should introduce Bruce correctly.
"It's not like this is going to get better, Oliver, go ahead."
That got under the cool exterior Zen completely. "No wonder..."
Bruce snorted softly, even as he looked at Connor curiously. "No wonder what?"
"No wonder I got a thorough training session." Connor returned the gaze evenly. "I'd be caught off guard too, were I to find someone I cared for with Kyle, so soon after a break up." He turned and headed for the stairs, his disapproval lingering in the air. It made Ollie sigh.
"They'll get used to it."
"They're admitting to that, now?" was Bruce's response. Last he'd paid attention to--that he could remember--Kyle was still dating Jenny.
"It goes back and forth. Jade has commitment issues."
Bruce thought about that, prodding at his memories, working at it for a few moments, then nodded. "I remember that, yes. It's in her file."
Ollie rolled his eyes. "Bruce...unless you want to walk the wrong road again, you might want to stop relying so much on cold files and get to know people personally."
"You've always been better at that than I am, when I'm not just acting..." he admitted after a moment. "...Which is probably one of the reasons I came."
"So what, we pack up in a truck and go see the rest of the League?" Ollie grinned at Bruce.
"One more reference to Hal, Oliver," Bruce let himself snap, "and you're not going to enjoy the results." That he was so far from ready to deal with the rest of the League was hopefully hidden by what he'd actually responded to.
Ollie laughed. "Okay, Bruce...whatever you want."
"I'd ask if you meant that... but I'm fairly sure I already know the answer," Bruce said softly, almost idly, straightening from that casual lean on the counter.
Ollie gave him a long look, head to toe, and nodded, admitting that Bruce was completely right. "We make the most backwards pair right now..."
Bruce tipped his head to the side, "Oh? Not so different from the first time, in some ways..."
"No....but we were pretty backwards then too." After all, normally it was the elder that was the more aggressive... and that was so far from the case.
"I suppose you're right... complaining?"
"Who me?" Ollie looked his lover over again. "Bruce, I'm the hedonist by nature, remember?"
"Mmm... it makes a nice contrast to my... what was it you called it? "Spartan ideas of comfort?""
Ollie cracked up then, laughing at the old jibe. "Yeah, that was it."
Bruce smiled at watching him laugh, and shook his head. "Are you about done with whatever horrible concoction you're making?"
"It's not horrible, and yes...so eat up...you might need it." Ollie waggled his eyebrows at Bruce.
Bruce snorted dismissively, but reached for a plate anyway.
Connor decided staying upstairs in the bedroom was probably his better bet, because, amazingly, his temper was up. He had been livid at Ollie's actions through the whole thing with Drakon, and now this? It was no surprise to him that Dinah had reacted so poorly, now that he knew. Because he had listened to Hal Stories from Roy, from Eddie, and it was getting repetitive to find that his father... the man he had wanted to be like, idolized, even; couldn't think past his gonads to see the hurt he caused.
It was a while... a good part of an hour, he realized, before there was a light rap on his door--one that was not his father's.
"Enter." He had meditated enough to have his center back.
Bruce stepped in, looking at him. "Connor." He glanced at the space of mat across from Ollie's son, and arched a brow slightly. "May I?"
"There is a place." It was taking most of the master's teaching to hold back the rage that had led to him entering the ashram in the first place. This whole situation felt... unnatural to him. If things had gone so poorly for Bruce that this was more than a temporary situation, why was he here, rather than with his family? Why had he come into the middle of a situation that was already only barely stable, and in the process, helped to hurt Dinah all over again?
Bruce dropped to match his positioning, settling onto the mat a decent space away from him. "I wouldn't have had Dinah walk in when she did for anything, Connor. She's been a friend for too long for that."
Connor had not expected that...but then, he hadn't expected the sheltering protection of the Bat's cape years before, or the help with Shiva's schemes. "I respect Sui Jerk Jai...I have much I could learn from her, and yet the more I learn of her, the more I come to not...like my father."
Bruce closed his eyes, and nodded once, listening to Connor's objections. "I can see how that would happen. Ollie... has made a lot of exceptionally foolish decisions where it comes to Dinah. Especially recently." His own lips set a little thin at admitting that.
"You did not willfully hurt her, but this action..." Connor dropped his eyes. "My father was a good man, in my mind. But I learn now, like with all heroes, he is very much just a man, and one of the more...common forms, at that."
Bruce bit at the inside of his lip, and shook his head. "Ollie is a good man--and I would say that rather or not things had turned back this way." He stopped, trying to figure out how to intercede in this mess he'd helped cause, before Ollie's relationship with this son became as damaged as the one with Roy. He wasn't going to have that be as much his fault as Roy was Hal's. He couldn't. "He gets as lost in his crusades as I ever have, and he does... forget that he's needed at home even more than he's needed out there." He looked out Connor's window, towards the dock districts of Star City, and felt a trace of Gotham's pull at his own heart.
Connor stopped, closed his eyes, and let the words filter in and out of his awareness. He savored them with every bit of patience he had learned, and then looked at Bruce. "Then it falls to me, to help him be less guided by his crusade, and more by his proper place. And right now...do you truly feel that being here, instead of forging ahead with your own family, is in the best interests of more than you and he?"
"Ollie's one of the few people I'm willing to trust right now, Connor. I'm stuck this way." He flicked a frustrated hand at his younger face and body. "I... am far from in the state, both mind and body, that I need to be, before I can come close to dealing with the rest of the community. Your father remembers me at this age well, when none of the rest of them do."
Connor regarded Bruce slowly, a slight sigh escaping him. "Do remember that my sister is in severe need of someone as a mentor, and I am but a learner myself." He paused, then looked even harder at Bruce. "Do not make her follow in the path of a true Speedy once more."
"I'm not Hal, to take him from the people he loves and that need him," Bruce took a breath, and shook his head. "I... am sorry, Connor. I had forgotten how bad my temper was."
"That is unfortunate. A house of four tempers that cook at varied degrees, but all rising hot is not a good situation."
"I didn't think I'd ever hear you claim temper, Connor..."
Connor flashed a brief smile, and looked more like his father than ever. "There is a reason I lived in the Ashram."
Bruce studied him for a moment, seeing that blazing resemblance--and was grateful that it seemed to be the protectiveness of Ollie's child that had stayed with him, rather than reactions he would have utterly hated himself for. "A point. ...Don't judge your father too harshly, Connor, when I'm the one that came to him for help."
Connor gave a sharp nod, then closed his eyes. "I must rest, so I can work at the mission tonight."
"All right, Connor." Bruce went back to his feet, and then back to his lover, easing the door closed behind him as he went. //No wonder he and Tim get along so well,// was the acid-edged thought in his mind.