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Illusive Warmth

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“Hmm.  You know that drinking alcohol will actually make you colder,” Bruce says.  Batman says, because he’s not really Bruce these days until every last bit of the costume comes off.

Dick tips the bottle at him in a jaunty parody of a salute.  He does, actually, know that.  But it’s…  it’s been a bad day.

You could argue that every day in No Man’s Land is a bad day, but Dick usually tries to avoid too much pessimism when he’s working.  He’s not working now, though, and it doesn’t help that they’re in the middle of another cold snap.  One step towards spring is countered by two steps back towards winter, and the city is wearing him down.  Wearing them all thin and tired.

Dick watches Batman change clothes until he’s all Bruce, and he knows he’s staring but the pleasant buzz in his head doesn’t allow him to care.  He watches with detached amusement as Bruce walks over to where he’s sitting, cross-legged on one of the old mattresses they managed to drag to this hideout, and lets the man take the bottle out of his hand.  Watches as the cap is found and carefully twisted back in place, as Bruce places it in a cabinet with the medical supplies.  Vodka is good for more than memory loss in a place like this, when there’s so much to catch and tear at skin, broken glass and torturously twisted metal reaching out like fingers to grab at them around every corner.  Antiseptic can be hard to come by, and Dick feels guilty for a moment before shaking it off.

“You’re still capable of speech, aren’t you?” Bruce asks when he returns.  Dick thinks he sees amusement in the corner of his mouth.  Or indulgence, maybe.  Something strange and somewhat out of place.

“Had a long day,” Dick answers, even though it’s not the right response for the question asked, and lets Bruce manhandle him down to the mattress.  He asks, a beat after he should, “What are you doing?”

“It’s cold, and you’re only going to get colder.”  Bruce tugs the thick, woolen blankets over them both, moving Dick until he can wrap his arms around him.  It’s true, Dick knows.  The little wood stove is efficient, but it’s barely enough to take the edge off of the cold air.  Dick presses his face into Bruce’s chest, his neck, warming his cold nose on the surprisingly hot skin.  The sun is setting quickly, dragging light low and slanted through their hideout.  It’s not worth it to turn on the lights, to use up fuel for the generator on something as frivolous as vision.  Down with the sun and up with the sun, that’s their new motto.

Dick nuzzles his face into Bruce’s throat, pushing himself closer to his body.

“Dick.”  His name is as tense a warning as the way Bruce freezes, all over.

“I’m cold, boss.  I thought you were going to warm me up?”  Dick pushes his free hand under Bruce’s thermal shirt, up and over the scarred skin.  It’s so warm, almost feels like he’s burning against Dick’s cold fingers.  He can feel an answering burst of heat in his chest when Bruce doesn’t pull away.


“I’m so cold,” he whines, wheedling and teasing and only half serious.  He presses his hand flat against Bruce’s back, letting his lips drag against the stubble covering Bruce’s throat as he pushes his face closer.

“You’re drunk,” Bruce counters, matter-of-fact and oh-so-still.

“I am,” Dick agrees, insinuating himself as close to Bruce as he can manage without actually wrapping a leg around his waist.  “I’m cold, and lonely, and drunk.”  He cranes his head back to look at Bruce, whose face is still, eyes hooded in the rapidly falling light.

“But I’m not that drunk.  In fact, I can still hear that little voice in the back of my head screaming at me to stop.”

That twitch is definitely amusement.  “Perhaps you should listen to it.” 

Maybe he should, maybe he even would in any other circumstance.  But he is lonely, and so is Bruce.  All they have right now is the work, but that’s just slowly tearing them down, day by day, and all Dick can think is that Bruce’s hands are heavy and warm, solid and strong where they touch his body.  That this is just a token protest; if Bruce wanted to leave he would already be gone.

“Nah,” Dick says, smiling into the dark.  “That guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

Bruce laughs, nothing but a surprised huff of air, but it’s enough.  Dick leans in and kisses him, gets the angle all wrong on the first try, and then worries for a second that he tastes like booze once he gets Bruce’s open mouth against his.

Doesn’t think about anything at all after that, because Bruce is kissing back.  Rolling Dick onto his back and settling over him, covering him in warmth and insinuating a thigh between Dick’s own.  Bruce’s mouth is strong, just like the rest of him, but he doesn’t push, doesn’t demand, just kisses Dick gently and with great care, tongue tracing the line of his lips before delving inside.

Slow and considerate, and Dick feels like he’s being studied.  Learned like another sort of mystery, like Bruce is mapping out all of his responses in order to give him just what he needs and not a bit more.

If Dick was a little more drunk than he is he’d probably let him do it.  Lie back and think of Gotham and let Bruce do just enough to make him come.

He’s not that drunk.

Instead he sinks his hands into Bruce’s hair and deepens the kiss, sucks on Bruce’s tongue and grinds himself up, rubbing his own thigh between Bruce’s legs.  Tries to make what they’re doing as undeniable as possible. 

Bruce must need this too, affection, release, warmth and comfort, and they don’t—

“We don’t have—we don’t have to talk about this later,” Dick says, wrenching his mouth away, making Bruce’s lips slide across his face.  “If you don’t want to.  It can just be here.  Just for now.”

Bruce stops, stills except for the hand he uses to hitch Dick’s other thigh up around his waist, and maybe it’s a good thing that it’s gotten so dark that Dick can’t see Bruce’s face anymore, can’t do anything but feel the words as they’re spoken against his ear.

“When you’re doing everything you can to make me want this?  Want you?  It won’t be possible for me to forget this for a long time, Dick.”

The sound of his name, spoken with warmth and desire, makes Dick groan. 

They’re kissing again, as feverish as Dick wants to be as Bruce tugs both their pants down, as he can’t help but be when Bruce’s hand wraps around his cock.

When he can think again he returns the gesture.  Bruce is hard, heavy in his hands, and Dick is only disappointed that he can’t see it.  This would probably be easier if they were lying side by side, but Dick can’t suggest that when it would mean that he wouldn’t have this.  Bruce’s weight on him, Dick’s knuckles brushing the head of his own cock on every twisting stroke.

“Bruce,” he moans, and it comes out like a plea, a whispered secret, and Dick knows he’s said that name in exactly that way a hundred times, mostly in the safety of his own bed.  When he’s been too tired or too desperate to deny himself the fantasy.

He can’t deny it now, and he doesn’t need to, not with Bruce over him, touching him and moving him.  Kissing him and pressing him down, and Dick whimpers into his mouth and arches his hips up, trying to get the right kind of friction, the tension he needs

Bruce grunts, a frustrated sound, and rolls them over.  Dick doesn’t quite get a hold on his senses before Bruce wraps one big hand around them both.  It’s hot, slick and smooth as they slide together, and Dick has to catch himself on his hands to keep himself from collapsing. 

It’s so good, so sweet, and being braced on his hands means that he can move his hips, push himself into Bruce’s hand and against him.  Down, twisting heat up in his stomach and tensing his thighs.  A moan startles out of his mouth when Bruce reaches up with his free hand, unerring even in the dark, to brush his hair out of his face.

“I wish I could see you.”  Nothing but a whisper, but it sounds like it surrounds him, Bruce’s voice low and rough and everywhere.

“God,” Dick says, or means to say, but it comes out as nothing but another noise.  Muffled against Bruce’s mouth as he’s tugged down into another kiss.

Bruce’s mouth is hot and open, his hips moving against Dick’s own, the hand wrapped around them holding them in place more than anything else.  Pretty soon Dick stops thinking of anything at all.  He is nothing but motion, touch and sensation narrowing down to the orgasm building low and sweet through his body, heightened by every single sound that escapes Bruce’s iron control, whispered out between their lips.


That’s all it takes.  One word, his name again, and he’s coming hard enough that it almost hurts, slicking up Bruce’s hand as he tears his mouth away, gasping.  Bruce follows him over the edge, thighs taut under Dick’s own.

Dick is dimly aware of being rolled onto his side; of Bruce pulling up the edge of the sheet to clean them both up, tugging their clothes back into place and tucking them under the blankets. 

Dick is glad for the lingering buzz of the alcohol as he curls back into Bruce.  He doesn’t want to worry about this, not right now, and he doesn’t want to hope for anything in the future.  There’s a part of him who knows how futile that sort of hope would be, but before the thought can do more than tense up his shoulders he pushes it away.  Presses his face into Bruce’s neck and allows the even rise and fall of Bruce’s chest and the warmth of the bed to pull him under.

Tomorrow is another day, after all, and the work is more important.  Sometimes Dick even believes that.