From his office, Tim Drake looked out over the half of Gotham City facing the pier. On the other side of the vast body of water, the rest of the world began. It was a metaphor for how he felt, parts of the world were always in view but out of reach. In spite of the sunlight streaming in, he felt the dark creeping in around the edges. Everything about his life seemed tinged with it.
"Sir, your one o'clock is here."
Never was the voice at the door more grating than when he wanted to be alone with his thoughts. Still, his life he chose meant the time he had was not always his own. He turned away from the glass with a heavy sigh. Dressed in a tailored blue suit, his handsome assistant also wore a sympathetic expression.
"Can I ask you a question, Jacob?" Tim said, coming around his desk. "Does this ever get so tedious for you that you want to fling yourself off the roof?"
"Every day brings new challenges. My cranky boss is always sending me for coffee he could make himself and asking me stupid questions about whether I want to sky-dive from the roof of a thirty-story building without a parachute. Always something new, sir."
Tim smiled, thankful for the bit of levity. "Does it ever tire you out, being a world-class smart-ass?"
"If it did, I wouldn't be so good at it. Should I let your appointment in or should we discuss the possibilities of your leaping from the roof a bit more?"
"Let them in. Also, if you want to maintain your reputation as a resident miracle worker, find me something fun to do tomorrow. I don't care what it is as long as it gets me out of the office for a few hours and away from all this."
"I'll see what I can do," the young man said, adding a knowing smile. "Some warning, you're going to want to brace yourself for this one."
Instead of fleeing back behind his desk, Tim slid both hands into his pockets and stood his ground. The door closed behind his assistant, allowing him a few minutes to himself. He needed to shift from daydreaming of escape to work mode. Moments later, the door burst open to admit a woman big enough to tear the thing from its hinges, in spite of her small stature. She stood just over five foot, two inches tall with a sleek, asymmetrical haircut and a brilliant stripe of jungle green in her black hair. The high heels she wore added four-and-a-half inches to her height but took away from the electric blue pantsuit she wore. Both arms were open as she came through the door.
"Darling! I cannot tell you how long I have waited to take this meeting with you! We are going to create so many good things together! I just know it!"
"Ms. Klein, good to meet you," Tim said, offering a hand.
"None of this Ms. Klein business, Timothy! I insist you call me, Velvet!" She rushed forward, taking him into a constrictor-like hug. "Let's get things started, shall we?"
Choking on her perfume, Tim did not have time to hug her back before the woman let go of him and moved to one of the two chairs in front of his desk. Knowing it was best not to argue, he took a seat and gave her his undivided attention.
"Now, the software we're going to need has to be versatile enough to last through two years without update. People do not want to be updating all the time when there is so much life to be lived."
Tim wanted to agree so he nodded, but could not find this life she spoke of. "We can engineer software that updates itself."
"Too invasive! No, we need a sort of subtleness lost to the world, today. I'm sure, someone of your caliber and temperament understands subtlety."
"I understand it, I just don't know if it applies to software. You're wanting your product to stay current. In order to do that, you're going to need to have an aggressive edge and you're going to want to keep your edge as your company grows."
"Darling, I always have the edge!"
"Waynetech means to make sure you keep it."
Velvet Klein let out a long peel of throaty laughter. "I knew you would see things my way, Timothy! Together, we are going to make Klein a name in fashion!"
Thinking of the label in his own suit, Tim smiled but said nothing. The new seller's app he was developing for the Velvet Klein Fashion House would mean global exposure for the company and for him. He knew not to kick a gift horse in the face. Instead of correcting her logistical fallacy, he let her continue on, telling him about her vision for what the app could do. Most of what she wanted was not possible but he did have to hand it to her, she had vision.
Perched on the head of an angry gargoyle, Nightwing watched the shady trio of men enter the corner market down below. No car on the street meant they would not be making a quick getaway, if their plan was to rob the place. If they were there to shop, they did not need one of the wire baskets by the front door, nor did they stop to browse the magazines there, as well.
"Five to one they're going to boost some beer," he said, watching the trio through slim-lined binoculars. "They can't be twenty-one, even with their ages combined."
"Like you never boosted beer when you were underage."
"I was drinking wine at dinner while being underage, Little Bird."
"Do you have to call me that?"
"No. I could think of a dozen other things I could call you. This is just the nicest, at the moment." Nightwing turned toward the other occupant of the roof. "What the hell is wrong with you, anyway? You've been testy and short all night."
"A new client at work, the same old thing. They want me to do the impossible and then they get angry when I can't. Just a lot of pressure, is all."
"You have to learn to let things like this go. It's the life you chose, after all. Nobody forced you into corporate work, you chose it for yourself."
"I know I did but it's such a grind, these last few days. I just need some time away, to adjust myself and see if I can't find something to smile about again."
"You need to find someone to share your bed with a few nights a week," Nightwing said, focusing back on the market and the mysterious shoppers. "It would do you some good to release some hormones. It would do the rest of us some good, as well."
"I don't think I want to know what you mean by that."
"No. You don't." After a pause, he stood up. "It's go-time. Punk number one just dropped a forty into his jacket and punk number two is talking up the cashier to cover for him."
Nightwing smiled. "Oh, yeah! I want to test out my best Bat-voice!"
Both leapt from the rooftop and fell several stories before extending their cables to catch their falls. Nightwing took the back portion of the street, arriving in the alleyway just as the would-be robbers did the same. The first fell with a well-timed bolo. Red Robin stopped the second with a sweeping motion of his legs, toppling the crook. Nightwing was waiting, arms crossed and a stern look on his face, when the last thief reached him.
"Forty in a bottle isn't worth forty behind bars, young man."
Red Robin groaned. "That was terrible."
Nightwing shrugged. "It was all I could come up with. Performance anxiety, what can I say?"
"Are you guys going to arrest me now?" The kid asked, holding out the beer. "It was for my older brother, not for me."
"We're not going to arrest you but you're not keeping the beer, either. You and your friends are going to take it back and apologize to Mr. Martz for ripping him off!"
"Or, we call your parents," Red Robin added. "Steve."
"How do you guys know my name?"
Nightwing chuckled. "It's on the back of your shirt, genius."
"Not the best thing to wear to a robbery," the other hero said, also chuckling. "You and your friends need to return the beer and call it a day, Steve."
Several minutes later, the three young people recovered from their having been detained. Nightwing and Red Robin escorted them inside where they returned the stolen beer and apologized. Afterward, they left on their way home, leaving the heroes standing outside the market.
"You need to get a hobby," Nightwing said. "Something to occupy your mind. It'll help."
"My assistant is working on this."
"Do you even hear yourself? Your assistant is working on a hobby for you?"
"You're right. I'm pathetic."
The older male put a hand on the other's shoulder. "You're not pathetic. You're in a very deep rut. You need to find a way to get yourself out of it."
"I'm not saying I disagree. Maybe something will come along soon."
Stepping off the elevator, Tim was met with an abundance of noise. Hammers, machinery, and the steady pounding of head after the walk to his office. Just outside the door, dressed in heather gray pants, a lilac shirt, and dark violet vest, his assistant was straightening the knot of a white tie. He held up a hand as Tim approached him.
"Before you say anything, I have to tell you, she got here even before I did. In fact, I found her in there when I went in to deliver the Planet. Second, the work on the foyer will be done soon. The work up here, however, will take about a week. It can't be helped."
"Morning, Jacob," Tim said, raising an eyebrow. "Who got here before you did?"
Ahead of the other man could answer, a loud bang echoed through the upper floor. Without knowing what it was, Tim thought he could guess. This became his priority, driving him to walk into the almost-destroyed lobby area, his assistant following behind him.
"I told you, it could not be helped," the assistant said. "The work order came from Bruce Wayne."
"Did he happen to say why?"
"The R and D department is being restructured so the other portion on this floor is being converted to offices. They're moving the whole finance department up one floor, as well."
"Damn. This will take a week?"
Another loud bang, the result of a second section of wall being removed, sounded. Instead of coming down in pieces, it came down as one solid slab. Precise demolition was a marvel for Tim, but it was noisy. Already, the fuses around a larger rectangle were being lit in two places. All of the lobby furnishings were gone, the floor littered with debris and dust. The regular elevator to the outside was cordoned off by two pieces of clear, thick plastic.
"One other thing? You have three hours of something different this afternoon, starting at twelve thirty. You're supposed to get there by one and I suggest showering before you go."
Tim turned to face the young man, a bewildered look on his face. "Showering?"
"Also, you might want to make sure you're wearing underwear. You'll be taking your pants off."
"Taking my...pants off?"
"Timothy! Darling!" Velvet Klein's voice broke through the noise. She floated toward him, an eclectic blend of fuchsia, white, and bright blue. "I have been waiting forever! I brought over the design for the app and a few sketches to implement into the introduction screens! I also brought bagels!"
"Right," Tim said, dreading the rest of the morning. "Jacob, would you make sure we're not disturbed for the next few hours? You'll need to push back Victor Stone and the man from Westchester. I can see them first thing tomorrow."
"Already done." The young man said. "Remember, you need to be out of here by twelve-thirty. I've already given the address to your driver."
"Mr. Pennyworth insisted on taking you."
"He knows what this is all about and I don't?"
"I thought you might need some persuasion, so I took the liberty."
"Of course you did." He turned in toward the other male. "In two hours, come and rescue me with news of an urgent phone call. I'm serious – do not leave me in there with this woman until lunch!"
"You can count on me."
Resigned to his fate, Tim allowed himself to be led back to his office by the gabbing, gossiping woman in the fuchsia and blue suit. She kept him occupied for the next hour and a half, leaving him half an hour to collect his thoughts before his assistant showed in another, less vocal, client. This was, by far, the easiest meeting of the morning, lasting only thirty minutes. Free to tie up any other loose ends, he returned the morning phone calls, then slipped into his private washroom to do as his assistant suggested. Once his shower was complete and he was dressed again, he gathered a few things and departed. On the way out, the well-dressed assistant gave him one final word of advice.
"Don't wear your I'm a businessman face. Remember, this is supposed to be fun!"
Puzzled, he continued on to the elevator. Behind the plastic partitions, the noise level dropped by an easy two decibels. While waiting for the doors, he noticed the pieces missing from the wall now taking shape into office doors and doorways into other areas. Bruce was always making these kinds of snap decisions and, as a rule, he did not mind. This one, however, cut into his part of the business and affected his clients. A little notice would have been nice. The doors opened before he could begin to fume on this.
Outside, beside a stylish, non-descript car, Alfred Pennyworth struck an elegant figure in a traditional double-breasted chauffeur's uniform and hat. A tip of the hat greeted Tim as he came out of the revolving door of Wayne Enterprises. Tim smiled, the first in some time.
"Good to see you, Alfred! It's been a while."
"Twenty-two days, eleven hours, and a scattering of minutes, Master Drake."
"Drake-Wayne," Tim corrected him.
The man took hold of the door and opened it. "You should really decide one way or the other, sir. Either you want to hold onto who you were or embrace who you are." He raised an eyebrow, almost challenging opposing comment.
"You know where I'm going?"
"I haven't a clue," the man said, his voice even. "I've only just donned this uniform and took up the service of driving young men to their appointments. Please – enlighten me as to our destination."
Tim got into the back seat, realizing the man's attempt at sarcasm. "Just drive, old man!"
"Very well," Alfred said, closing the door. "I shall endeavor not to collide with any of the many buildings lining the sidewalk."
The ride to their destination took half an hour. Alfred opened the door again to reveal a renovated warehouse with banks of new windows and a fresh coat of khaki-colored paint. Tim exited the car and looked around at their destination. The driver closed the door and activated the security system. He took the lead, reaching the outer door well before a still-confused Tim. The two of them went inside and up a short flight of stairs, also the recipient of a new coat of paint.
On the second floor, the room opened into a large studio space. Several stations were set up all around the place, some with just a stool in front of a multicolored backdrop, others with couches and settees, draped with cloth and a few pillows scattered about. All over, tall stands of bright lights, as well as, overhead lights and several reflectors stood on thin black legs.
"What...the hell?" Tim said, shaking his head.
This new voice caught the attention of a slender, wiry young man with disheveled brown hair already walking in the direction of the door. Upon seeing his new arrival, his demeanor changed to one of excitement and enthusiasm.
"Oh, hey! You're early!" He said, extending his hand. "I'm Peter Parker, your photographer for the day. It's good to have you in front of my lens!"
"You're here for your shoot, right? Your assistant just texted me that you were on your way."
"My...shoot? For what?"
"Vogue is doing a fashion spread for the C.E.O.s of Fortune 500 companies. When we didn't hear back from you, we thought you declined. Mr. Abernathy said he just misplaced the invitation and you had accepted after all. I'm glad."
"Yes. Alfred, remind me to kill Jacob Abernathy when we get back to the office."
"Homicide at four. Noted, sir."
Peter gave him a knowing grin. "You did decline, didn't you?"
"I did. Twice. This kind of thing just isn't me. Getting make-up done, wardrobe, and all those lights? I'm not too into being the center of attention like that."
"You're our youngest C.E.O. You've been included in the text, you might as well have your picture taken and be included in the spread."
"Jacob mentioned something about my having to take off my pants?"
"The magazine sent over some clothes," Peter said with a chuckle and a hooked thumb toward the furthest part of the studio. "Sorry there're no changing rooms, though. You'll have to just change by each of the clothes racks."
"I haven't agreed to do it."
Peter smiled. "You haven't left, either."
"I'll circle the block," Alfred told him. "After taking in a movie. Have a pleasant time."
Not able to stop the man from leaving, Tim turned back to the photographer. "No one else here?"
"Not for another hour. We'll go ahead and get your solo work out of the way, if you'd like. The station with the blue-gray background will be first. The silver Armani would look best on you."
"How long have you been a photographer for Vogue?"
Peter led the way to the station in question. "Two years. I was a news photographer before then. Print is dying out so I went where the money is."
Sunlight came in through the banks of windows, adding to the brightness of the place. This area of the warehouse was not as open, the rack of clothes blocking off a good portion of the light. Tim stepped behind it, examining the suits. Several shirts hung alongside them, some casual pants, jeans, and a small collection of underwear on their own hangars. He touched one of these, indicating a bright pair of blue briefs with someone's name on the waistband. Peter seemed to read the question on his face before he could voice it.
"Yeah. Pick a color you like and slip those on before you dress. Those guys are sponsoring the shoot and even if it's just a hint of waistband, they get their advertising dollars back."
Peter began working with a camera mounted on a tripod. Tim loosened his tie and slipped it over his head. At the same time, he got out of his shoes. The shutter release startled him. When he turned, Peter was smiling at him.
"Candid shots. Vogue does online pieces too, so I have to have all kinds of content. Don't worry, I won't get any skin," he said, the smile growing larger. "Unless you want to show some."
Tim continued getting out of his shirt and pants. Stripped to his underwear, he hesitated. "I'm wearing the same kind of briefs, do I have to change out of them?"
"If the waistband has the same name, you don't have to worry." Peter looked up from the camera lens. "Unless you want to change into a different color than white."
Don't put on your I'm a businessman face, Jacob told him. Fun. This was supposed to be fun, he reminded himself. Hooking his thumbs into his waistband, he shoved his own briefs down and stepped out of them. The first pair of red briefs had a white band along the waist and one down the center. He slipped these on, then adjusted himself. On a whim, he turned toward Peter, who was watching him with a broad smile.
"What do you think?"
"You don't want to know what I think."
"Come on, tell me."
"I think your penis looks tremendous in those." Peter smiled, tapping the top of his mounted camera. "If this were any other sort of shoot, I would be snapping away, just to capture it."
A broad grin came over Tim's face. "You know, Mr. Parker, I could have you fired for sexual harassment, making comments like that."
"Yeah, I'm sure you could. Or, you could have a seat on the couch over by the window and let me take a few casuals of you while there's no one else here."
"I don't think so," Tim said, taking a shirt from the rack and slipping it on. "This is a little too casual for the C.E.O. of a major company."
The photographer waited until the white shirt was in place before snapping a photo. "Come look," he said before his client could get angry with him. He pointed toward a monitor. "Really. Just have a look before you say no to these kinds of pictures."
More than reluctant, Tim came to the monitor station where the single image of him putting on the shirt was displayed. It was tasteful, the white shirt crisp and dignified. The sliver of skin down the center was no worse than a number of ads out. Peter's finger traced the image, rounding over his pecs and down to the first bump of abs.
"Just a hint of sexy. This picture could be you getting up and dressing for the office."
"It could be, sure."
"Or, undressing after a long, hard day."
This brought about genuine laughter. "Don't start. You sound like a friend of mine trying to set me up with the first warm body to come along." He went back to the rack of clothes where he took the pants of the silver-gray Armani. Stepping into them, the shutter-release sound came again. He did not bother to look up, just continued putting on the suit. Peter began snapping all sorts of different photos. By the time he was dressed, there had to be an easy two dozen. Peter directed him to the center of the backdrop and instructed on how to pose. It did not take long for him to lose whatever hang-up he might have had about this. It was, he admitted to himself, fun. Being able to look goofy in a few of the photos, to pose with a basketball as though he were shooting free-throws in a thousand dollar suit, it made his smile genuine.
"You're a natural at this. Once you let go of yourself, I mean."
Replacing the basketball, Tim avoided the compliment. The door to the space opened, admitting a slender blond with pale skin and an easy, confident demeanor. After closing the door behind him, he crossed the space to where Peter and Tim stood. He gave them a dazzling, easy smile before extending his hand to Peter.
"Sorry, I was running behind. Draco Malfoy."
"It's all right, Mr. Malfoy. We were getting along well enough on our own. I'm sure things can only get better now that you've arrived. Have you met Mr. Drake?"
"Drake-Wayne," Tim corrected him, extending his hand to the blond. "I read your financial paper in last month's Forbes page. Nice work."
"Thank you. Silver-gray looks good on you. Best I stay in the suit I wore, I think."
Peter smiled, indicating the backdrop to their right. "I think you're right. Emerald green is your color. Mr. Drake, would you mind waiting with Mr. Malfoy while I reset the space for lighting?"
Draco clapped a hand on Tim's shoulder. "He won't mind. We'll talk about the latest interruption of income to the Apple I-devices in favor of WayneTech devices."
Several minutes later, when the gray, black and white background was lit in a flattering way, Peter brought Draco into the space and began posing him. Afterward, he took the lead and began posing himself in flattering ways which Peter captured. After several dozen shots, he slipped off the fitted jacket and tossed it to Tim, who caught it. The two of them exchanged smiles before Draco began loosening the knot of his tie. Tim watched the blond unbutton the first two buttons and then slide both hands into his pockets. Peter snapped a few photos, prompting the release of more buttons.
"Excellent," the photographer said, taking the camera from the tripod. "Mr. Drake? Want to come join him? You can keep your shirt buttoned."
Draco moved to the back of the space while Tim stepped up. He felt strange being with someone not too much older than himself but be the more mature one. Draco removed his shirt but kept his tie on, allowing a few shots. Tim glanced at the smooth, pale skin of the blond, but kept his eyes forward while having his own shots taken. The photographer was much more professional than he thought he would be, directing them toward the best light, correcting their angles, pairing them together in a more flattering way.
At the close of the shoot, Draco dressed in his flattering emerald suit once again, the shimmering silver tie knotted at his throat. Taking it upon himself to walk Tim to the ground floor, he thanked the photographer for the both of them.
"It was my pleasure," Peter said, shaking his hand. "Thanks for the extra shots, by the way."
"Maybe, if we get a chance to work together again, I'll make it more interesting."
Tim ignored this, wanting to get on with his day. Mixed emotions left him feeling uneasy and giddy, at the same time. He wondered which of the emotions would win out.
"You guys are NOT going to believe this!"
Bart distributed the copies of Vogue throughout the common room of Titans Tower before Conner had a chance to put his shirt back on. Coming up from the weight machine, he glanced at the cover. Tim, dressed in a silver suit and dark blue tie, looked up at him with a pleasant expression bordering on a smile. His name was splashed across the bottom in elegant, bold script. Conner picked up the magazine and began flipping through the pages.
"One-forty-three!" Bart called out, laughing.
Page one thirty-nine showed a full-body shot of Tim in a flattering, tailored suit. Someone with very pale skin without a shirt stood blurred in the background. The adjacent article talked about the various C.E.O.s of major companies but all Conner saw was the smoldering look on Tim's face and the hint of a shirtless male behind him.
Page one forty-one showed Tim in an open shirt, the smooth curve of his right pectoral in stark contrast with the white garment. Conner's gaze lingered on the pale flesh, on the hint of pink which was Tim's nipple. An odd shiver went through him. At the bottom of the picture, near the page number, the sharp indention of Tim's hips disappeared into black pants. Conner felt a warmth spread through his groin.
"Robin's all growed up!" Bart cackled, falling onto the sofa, letting the magazine fall to the floor. "Oh, man! He is never going to live this down!"
Still seated on the weight bench, Conner turned the page. Two photos of Tim were overlapping, one with the shirt open, the other with it buttoned half-way. Conner focused on the open shirt, the slope of Tim's pecs, the hard ridges of his abs, and the sweet, sharp curve of his trim hips. He followed the "V" until it disappeared into his pants. The warmth in his groin intensified.
On the opposite page, Tim stood in profile, dark hair falling into his face. His neck and shoulders were relaxed, not tense and hard. They tapered to his lower arm, then a wrist, then to the hand holding the fastenings of his silver suit pants. Pecs rounded at an angle, easing into his abs. Pale pink nipples crowned each slab of lean muscle, standing out from his flesh. Conner followed the angle of Tim's body, gliding over the hard abs, lingering on the deep navel and dark hair growing around it. The designer's name stood out on the waistband of the black briefs but Conner saw only a barrier to the rest of Tim's beautiful, pale body.
"I've bought extras so we can give them out!" Bart shouted and laughed. "I can't wait to get the copies back from the office place! I'm going to plaster his room with them! Robin – in his undies – for all the world to see!! Hilarious!"
Conner did not find it funny seeing Tim's lean, hard body on display. Until this moment, he only ever saw Tim as Robin, their leader. His thumb grazed the bottom portion of the page, wondering what it would be like to touch the soft hair on Tim's stomach, to follow the hair – with his mouth, to where it disappeared into his briefs...maybe beyond. The warmth in his crotch spread to his dick, swelling the flesh and making him feel hot.
"Oh, man! I just thought about something! There have to be more pictures online!!" Bart was up and running to the computer. Seconds later, the monitor was filled with the photos from the Vogue article. "I knew it!! Holy crap!"
Conner took in the picture of Tim standing in the center of a gray, white, and black backdrop with his shirt open, an odd expression on his face, the same blurred figure in the background. The expression made him look as though he were caught in the middle of something. Another picture, also of Tim with his shirt open, looked as though he might have been taking his clothes off. The figure in the background, still blurred, stood closer, almost touching. The second figure was shirtless. Still another of Tim without his shirt with someone else's thumb through the belt loop of his suit pants looked out from the magazine. The thumb was a simple gesture loaded with sexual overtones. Conner's hard dick throbbed against the front of his jeans. He imagined himself standing behind Tim, his shirt off, his thumb in Tim's belt loop.
"I can't wait to see our resident pin-up boy! I wonder if he'll sign my copy!" Bart erupted into peels of laughter.
Wally, Roy, and Jason were laughing, as well. Conner wasn't laughing. He found nothing funny about what he was looking at, nor what he was thinking about while looking at it. Seeing Tim this way awakened all sorts of feelings he thought dealt with a while back. Rather, put aside, he reminded himself.
"Isn't this hysterical?" Bart, still laughing, punched him in the arm.
"Yeah," Conner said, his attention still on the pictures. "Hysterical."
Realizing he was still holding the magazine, Conner went back to retrieve his shirt before leaving the common room. This was not the time to be standing around laughing with the others. The swelling in his pants, the swirling emotions in his head, these were things he did not think he could process. Stopping by his quarters, he tucked the magazine under his mattress before putting his shirt on. Dressed, he stepped out of the window of Titans Tower and sped out into the city. He needed to clear his head and think things through. Being around Tim was going to be difficult for the next few weeks.
"We have to prevent them from reaching the dock!" Red Robin gauged the distance, then turned back toward the open street. "Cyborg, see if you can find the frequency of their engine and shut it down! Impulse, do a sweep and make sure no one is injured!"
"I'm on it, shirtless leader!"
Behind the mask, Robin rolled his eyes. "Enough of the chatter. Focus on the job."
"I can multitask, oh, great Stylish One!"
"Good grief, give it a rest, already!"
Speeding forward, into the bank, Impulse smiled. "No one's left inside the lobby. I'll do a sweep and then chase down the truck."
"No, stay there. Do a sweep of the whole building. Superboy's got the truck."
"Cyborg, here. The engine is not computerized but I did manage to hack into the boat's systems. Even if the truck reaches the dock, there's nowhere else for it to go!"
Seconds later, Superboy touched down on in the center of the street. "They're not going anywhere, trust me! I've got them!"
Unable to turn in the narrow space, the truck continued forward, stopped only when the grill smashed into the Boy of Steel's outstretched hands. The hero's fingers closed around the grill, twisting the metal into useless nothing. Inside the cab, both the driver and the four others in the back lurched forward. One of the passengers knocked themselves out on impact. Coming around to the side door, Superboy tore the thing from its hinges and would have removed the thugs right away, were it not for the barrage of bullets he faced. Each one tore a strip of his shirt away until he was left wearing a garment made of red and black ribbons.
"Oh, for crying out loud!" He said, looking down at his exposed chest.
"Don't worry, I'm sure Robin has an extra," Arsenal said, opening the back doors and taking out the first two thugs. "He's not using them, anyway!"
"You all are a riot," Robin said, turning to the band of thugs he and Cyborg apprehended. "Do you think we can get through the rest of this operation without one more joke?"
In a cloud of dust, they were joined by a smiling Impulse. "Yeah, because I'm pretty sure Rob's got a photoshoot to get to! Maybe this time, he won't bother with clothes, at all!"
"Enough!" Robin shouted, reaching his limit. "This is serious! These guys almost made off with half a million dollars' worth of tech! Focus on the job, please!"
Admonished, Impulse did a full sweep of the area. Cyborg, very near where Robin secured the last of the thugs, finished rendering the equipment inert without damaging it. Arsenal and Superboy removed the other thugs, zip-tied their wrists, and sent in the call to the local police department. Their wait-time was not long, as the police were in pursuit of the robbers.
"Let's go home," Robin said, already on the way toward the jet hovering over a nearby building.
"Can we drop you at Vogue?" Impulse shouted after him, still snickering.
Now without his shirt, Superboy lifted the younger male off the ground to face him. "That's enough! You've been at him for the last week, it's not funny anymore – got me?"
"Yeah...I got you." Impulse swallowed his next comment, thinking it best he keep it to himself.
The hero's hard pecs flexed as he dropped Impulse back to the street. Taking to the air, he reached the hovering vehicle before the others, entering just after Robin. He found the other hero in the pilot's chair, preparing to leave the area.
"Don't let those others get to you," he said, taking the other seat.
"You need to start bringing extra shirts," Robin told him by way of deflecting. "The last thing we need right now is the press snapping pictures of you and plastering them up on the 'Net."
Superboy held up both arms and flexed, hardening his biceps and chest. "Why? You afraid of the competition from a real stud?"
For the first time all day, Robin smiled. "Not you, too."
"At least you know I'm trying to bust your balls," the other hero said, punching in their destination. "The others aren't either. It's just pretty out of character for you."
"Maybe I'm just tired of doing things in-character for me. I just thought it would be fun to let loose a little and do something unexpected."
"Was it? Fun, I mean."
"Wearing an expensive suit, posing like a supermodel, being paid attention to for something other than what I could give somebody? Yeah. It was pretty fun."
"As long as you had fun, then screw those other guys!"
Robin released the automatic controls. "Yeah. Screw them." He glanced at his teammate, taking in the other's expression and the hard slope of his slab-like pecs. I'd rather screw you, he thought to himself, forcing his eyes forward.
Velvet Klein was standing near the window, sipping fresh coffee when Tim came into his office. Watching in the glass, she waited until he came behind his desk to face him. She was wearing a smile he knew all too well so he braced himself for what this would mean for him.
"Our sales are climbing! We're working with a distributor from Malaysia for some excellent textiles! The best part is, they contacted us – through the app!"
"Great! I could use some good news, this morning."
"Darling, are you still worrying over those photos? It's been a month! The fervor over your young, firm torso has been good for your business numbers! It sends a very clear message about how you view yourself as a person and shatters the idea serious people can't be sexy! Besides, you're only young once – why not do all you can to preserve it in whatever form you can!"
"Speaking of preserving," Jacob began.
"No." Tim waved him off.
"No...what?" Velvet inquired, turning toward the assistant, who had been with her since her arrival half an hour prior. "Tell me, young man. I'm dying to know!"
"After the Vogue photos, Attitude magazine has been asking for an interview and a five-page spread. We've turned them down twice."
"Why on Earth would you turn down free publicity?" Velvet turned to Tim for the answer.
"It isn't publicity I need," he told her, taking a seat. "I'm a Technology C.E.O., not a cover model!"
"Darling, you could be both! Many people, these days, have multiple careers! You had the third highest selling cover of the year. This says something!"
"People are desperate for mediocrity?"
She waved his answer away, coming back to refill her cup. The bright, emerald-green suit and its orange blouse would have been garish on anyone else. "Stop it! Young man, call those Attitude people back this minute! Tell them Mr. Drake accepts!"
"Drake-Wayne," Tim corrected her.
"That's another thing!" Velvet said, turning to face him. "Either be a Wayne or a Drake! You are not married to Bruce Wayne, you are serving as his C.E.O. of this particular part of the company! By hyphenating your name, all you're doing is telling the world you need the Wayne name to legitimize yourself."
"Which you don't," Jacob added.
Velvet raised a hand in triumph. "Which – you don't! Embrace yourself, Mr. Drake! All of yourself! Embrace the young genius, the corporate mogul, and the delicious press morsel you are! Modesty has its place but not when you're bringing in clients for your business, just by taking your shirt off!"
"She is right," Jacob said. "Four out of the five new clients we've signed mentioned the Vogue piece. It isn't the only reason, I know, but it is a factor."
"All right. You've worn me down. I'll do the interview." Tim shook his head. "Contact the Attitude people and let them know."
"Just...did." The assistant said, sending his text. "You've made the right choice, sir.
In the back seat of the car, Tim fussed with the hem of his coat. From time to time, he glanced out the window at the passing scenery. Gotham passed in grays and blacks, his mind attempting to process what was happening to him. Not only was he going to do a second photoshoot but he was going to do it knowing full-well the attached interview would be one of the most probing he had given – ever. Bruce said nothing about the Vogue pictures. The Titans said plenty but he remained silent. Dick said nothing.
"Am I making a mistake?"
Without missing a beat, Alfred answered. "No, you are making a name for yourself, one apart from anyone else's, one which will establish you for who you are, not for who others make you into."
"Any words of advice?"
"Will you heed them if I offer them?"
"Take a chance, Alfred."
"I will tell you the same thing I have told the other three young men who came before you. The path you choose in life is one unique to you. Therefore, you must be sure the path is as easy as it can be for you and those you choose to bring along with you. This does not mean your path is free from struggle but there is no need to create adversity just for the sake of doing so."
"Should I be doing this photoshoot?"
"The word, should, is dangerous. It puts undo pressure on a soul. Do the shoot, young master. Do it with your clothes on – or off, but do it with your dignity in place. Whatever choices you make, own them."
Some few moments later, the car pulled up to a bleached building with tall windows on its fourth floor and an austerity which Tim did not care for. Alfred opened the door and walked him into the building. They were shown to a spacious studio area set up much like the warehouse set but with much less natural light from the outside, in spite of the windows. Two singular areas were set up with backdrops but there were no racks of clothes. Alfred reiterated his words from before, then took his leave. Tim wandered to the windows, going over it all in his head.
When the door opened again, it admitted a familiar face. "Hey! It's you again!"
"Mr. Parker," Tim said, turning. "You do get around, don't you?"
"As a photographer, I do," the brown-haired young man said, coming over to one of the tripods. "I don't want to comment in any other capacity, for fear it might incriminate me."
"I thought you were a Vogue photographer."
"I am. They're the ones signing my checks, anyway. Still, I was requested for this shoot."
"Me!" Draco Malfoy answered, coming through the door. "Do I have perfect timing – or what?"
A low-burning ember sprang to life in Tim's lower stomach. As the silver-blond walked forward, he felt the heat begin to spread up into his chest and down into his groin. In the tight black briefs, he felt the first pulse of his dick strain the material. Confident strides brought the blond into the center of the room, both hands out on either side of his slender, fit body.
"I like the heat you captured before, Mr. Parker. Since this is a little more relaxed, I thought you could do the same here." Draco's thick British inflections were much more relaxed. "Mr. Drake, think you can handle the wardrobe for this shoot?"
Draco chuckled, going over to two silver briefcases on a table. He opened the first and held up a pair of emerald green briefs with a bold white band around the waist. "You seem like someone who would look good in green. What do you say?"
Tim caught the briefs, his eyes still on Draco. "You're kidding, right?"
Peter answered. "I'm afraid not. You're holding the only wardrobe you're going to need."
The blond was out of his shoes, socks, and tie when he answered. "You do know what sort of magazine Attitude is, don't you?" He let his shirt fall open, revealing a slender, pale torso.
"Not...really. What am I missing?"
Like a serpent, Draco crossed the room to where Tim stood, with a slow sensuality to his movements. Two fingers slipped the first button free on the stiff white shirt. "It's a publication celebrating the male form, mate. In this case, yours and mine." The back of his fingers slid inside the shirt, his coolness a startling contrast to the heat Tim felt. "Together, maybe?"
"I don't...think so. I mean...it wouldn't be good for our...uh, the corporate image."
"It's a new world out there, Mr. Drake. Our corporate image needs to be shaken up. It doesn't need to remain stale and stoic. We don't need to remain what our predecessors were." Two more buttons were undone, then the last one, Draco's fingers still inside the shirt. "Be bold, Mr. Drake. Make bold decisions with this shoot, the same as you do in business."
Tim felt warm breath on his chin, his cheek, and the exposed flesh of his collar. He felt the cool fingers against his lower stomach, the tips of which were sliding into the waist of his pants. Part of him wanted to let this handsome blond do whatever he wanted while another part wanted to stop him, to remind him they weren't alone. The loud sound of the lock being turned startled him, made him jerk his head over to where Peter was coming away from the door.
"Thought we could do with some privacy," the man said, his easy smile in place. "Unless you want me to unlock it. I want you to be comfortable."
Draco used the fingers of one hand to lead Tim to the first backdrop. As in their previous shoot, Draco stood behind Tim, but this time, the thumb he hooked into the belt loop found its way into his pants. The press of his body against Tim's was subtle this time. Even the hearty bulge in his stylish gray slacks did not just graze Tim's ass, it nudged hard into him so he felt it pulse.
Peter's first photo captured an awkward Tim Drake and a rather predatory Draco Malfoy. "You might want to take a breath and let it out slow. Take in your surroundings and let them be a part of you. It sounds all crazy until you do it."
Tim nodded, clutching the green briefs in one hand. Behind him, the young man's torso pressed into his back, the coolness heating up. Draco's free hand brought his shirt down on his shoulder, prompting Peter's second and third photo. The gentle graze of a smooth chin against his neck caused Tim to jump. Peter's next few photos captured an awkward, yet comical, exchange. This helped relax Tim. His first few solo shots were good ones. Draco needed no prompting to pose for his own. He stood with his back to Peter, flexing his shoulders and arms to cause the muscle to be more prominent. Tim watched. His attention was fixed on this slender boy but his mind wondered what he would look like with more definition, more muscle. What would he look like with darker hair and three inches on his height, he wondered, watching as Draco undid his belt. Peter captured the moment, as well as the fastening of his suit pants and the coy slide of the tight garment down his narrow hips.
"Mr. Malfoy, do you want to just—"
"Yes, Mr. Parker, I came dressed for the occasion." Draco said, cutting him off.
The blond moved to the middle of the space, the subtle lighting drawing out the easy musculature of his lean body. Already divested of his shoes and socks, he pushed his suit pants down over his trim hips. They pooled at his feet and he stepped out of them. White light on either side of him turned his already pale skin to ivory, the curves of his pecs and abs becoming a dark cream. He stood naked, arms out to his side, hands opens toward the ceiling. Peter's camera captured every turn of his complete rotation. His profile was impressive, just as his back view. Both globes of his firm ass were held high over two thick columns of lean muscle. His calves were hard and flexed.
"We'll have to figure out how to cover you," Peter said as Draco was coming back full front.
"A serpent," Tim said, watching the other's hard body move. "It's elegant but dangerous. Done the right way, it will test well among the audience. No fangs or anything like that, just a curved, emerald serpent, placed over the..."
"Cock," Draco finished with a smile.
"Your turn, Mr. Drake. Be bold. Strip."
The one-word command made Tim shiver but he was not sure why. "I'm not getting naked."
"You don't have to," Draco told him. "I've already been assured the cover of The Naked Issue. All you have to do is select a fetching pair of briefs and show off your very nice backside."
"Ass," the blond clarified. "You can do that, can't you?"
Again, Draco crossed to Tim and hooked his fingers into the waist of his pants. His other hand undid the fastenings and slid the zipper down with a soft rasping whisper. With his back to Peter, the blond allowed his hand to slide into the slacks. What he found raised his eyebrow.
"Mr. Drake...you scoundrel."
"Habit," Tim said, feeling himself thicken as the fingers touched his bare flesh.
Draco leaned close, allowing his fingers to glide along the length. "Whatever will you do? If you were to drop your pants now, Mr. Parker would get quite the eye-full, wouldn't he?" His first two fingers slid under the plump head, gliding through slick wetness. "My, my...we are wound up, aren't we?"
"I'll give you both the room for a few minutes. I'll get us some snacks."
Moments later, when Peter was gone, Tim found himself a roiling mess of emotions. Draco's hard, lean body now pressed against his own, their collective pale flesh lit by the soft lights. One hand continued to work itself along Tim's engorged dick, a thumb collecting from the head what Draco would use for lube to finish him off. Like a bird, trapped in the eyes of a cobra, Tim could not look away as the hand worked its delicious magic on his body. Such cold compassion in those clear eyes, it made him want to abandon himself all together and let this pale man take him right here on the floor.
"Be bold," Draco told him, leaning into him even as Tim rose up on his toes. "Do it, Mr. Drake. Do what your body is screaming for you to do."
Pressed against Draco's body, Tim panted, sighed, then groaned. The sound came at the same time he did. Against his better judgment, he allowed this beautiful Brit to continue stroking his hard dick until he was now spewing his hot load all over himself and the other's hard, nude body. He held hard to Draco's shoulder, gasping again as the hand did not stop moving.
"God..." Tim sighed.
"Thank you," Draco said, smiling. "Good of you to notice."
"I need to...I mean, we need to get cleaned up."
The blond's smile grew wider, much more predatory. "Leave that to me," he said, dropping to his knees in front of a stunned Tim.
With his back against the wall, Tim closed his eyes against the sensations flooding his body. Both hands tangled in the thick blond hair and he had to force himself not to move his hips for the next few moments. What began as a sly little moment was now a mind-blowing revelation for him. The warm lips closed over his shaft, the hands rubbing his thighs, these things felt so very good to him, so right. The only thing which felt wrong was not the sensations, not the reawakening of his dick in the other young man's mouth. Rather, it was the young man in question.
Nimble fingers of one hand slid down slick skin, under a firm, pink nipple. Between the thumb and forefinger, the sensitive skin was held and teased until the tingling sensation this brought about spread through the massive chest. Other fingers glided back and forth along the firm, pulsing length of what anyone who saw it would call, a beautiful cock. Conner looked down at himself, smiling at the implications, the same ones he always thought of when he touched himself. Long ago, Victor confirmed what he always wondered about. The full length, girth, and everything else about his sizable Super-Cock was just like Clark's. It gave him a strange sort of thrill to stroke himself with this thought in mind but now, standing in the warm stream of the shower, it was not Clark he thought of.
The online pictures of Tim's Attitude spread played over and over in his mind. They were two weeks old but, because of Bart, they were everywhere in the Tower. After removing the first batch, all two hundred and twenty of them, Tim gave up. They would just be replaced. This meant Tim's hard pecs were plastered on every door of the cabinet in the kitchen, his harder abs were present on the fridge and oven doors, and the slim, narrow curve of his hips could be seen on every other door of the place. There were even full-sized posters on the shower stalls in the gym locker room, all copies of Tim's three full-bodied nude shots. He covered himself with a wadded-up pair of green briefs but he was nude in all of the pictures. The magazine did not post a single photo of Tim in clothes.
Not one, Conner thought, stroking his throbbing cock.
A hard pounding on the outer door startled him. "Come on! Get out of there! I just got back from a Joker run and I'm covered in goop! You can jerk off some other time, man!"
Roy. Crass and oblivious of boundaries. "Fuck," Conner swore, abandoning his cock. "There are other showers, you lazy jack-ass!"
Pushing open the shower door, he took just enough time to towel himself off enough he would not trail water after himself before opening the door to the shower room. Roy's hand was in mid-knock and impacted his bare chest with a thump.
"Ouch! Warn a guy, why don't you? What were you doing in there, anyway? Jerking off over your new boyfriend? Thinking sweet thoughts about Ti—"
Conner had Roy by the throat and was propelling him across the hallway in seconds. The impact on the other wall was like a bullet being fired in close quarters. "That's enough! No more, do you hear me? I don't want to hear another word about the article or what Tim said! I mean it!"
At the other end of the hallway, Bart, Victor, Wally, Garfield, and Jamie were gathered, all of them coming to see what the noise was. Conner dropped the redhead, then took a step back, allowing him to regain his footing and a modicum of his dignity. Still angry, the naked teen gave them all a withering stare and dared them to say anything.
"As for you punk-ass bitches, I want all those pictures GONE by the time I get back. Got me?"
Wally and Bart disappeared.
"It isn't as bad as you think. The few clients we lost, we didn't need them anyway."
Tim said nothing. "Has Bruce called?"
"No. He did send over a package."
"I know. I just thought maybe he would call."
"Are you going to open it?"
"Soon." Tim turned back to the file on his computer. "Any word from Velvet Klein?"
Jacob looked dejected. "Not for a while."
"We're going to weather this storm, just like we have every other one." Tim was resolute in this, as was evident by his tone. "Let's move forward, all right? It's the weekend, so there won't be too many people left at their desks today. Monday, we start calling around and rounding up the clients who have open jobs. We ask how their—"
"Sir? If I could interject something? I think you might be over-thinking this. Your announcement hasn't had the negative effect you think it's had. In fact, it's been the opposite. A lot of people are e-mailing us in support of you. This downturn in business follows the trends we've seen during this time of year. It has nothing to do with the Attitude article."
"So, I'm being paranoid?"
Jacob nodded. "Yes, but I would never have said those words. You're worried about putting your private life out in the public."
The door to Tim's office opened, revealing an unexpected visitor in a long black coat and brilliant emerald green scarf. Draco Malfoy was smiling as he came inside. "I would have cleared my visit with your assistant but I can see why this was an impossibility."
"I'll just step out," Jacob said, already going to the door. "Would it be all right if I left early? I have an appointment at six and need to change."
Tim stood. "Sure. I'll see you on Monday."
Draco waited until the door was closed to come out of his coat and scarf, leaving them in a chair. "I'm in Gotham for a few days on business, I thought I would come by and have a chat."
"I think you know."
The blond nodded, coming around the desk. "Being true to who you are is a noble thing. Revealing who you are to the world is a brave thing. It's rare to find noble, brave people in the corporate world, Mr. Drake. I'm glad to know they still exist."
"Not to put too fine a point on this but what are you doing here, Mr. Malfoy?"
"I came by to tell you how admirable I find your actions," the blond said, slipping his hand under the white silk tie Tim wore. The backs of his fingers were pressed into the other's chest. "I'm putting together a sort of elite group of businessmen, those of likeminded interests, and I want you to be a part of it all. I even brought a proposal."
"Where is this proposal?"
"On a flash drive," Draco said, slipping his fingers down the tie. "In my pocket."
The smooth sexuality of the man excited Tim. His bold brashness never failed to excite him, to make his dick rock-solid. Now was no exception. The fingers on his stomach slipped into his shirt, igniting a warmth which spread into his groin. Their eyes were locked on one another.
"You'll handle the tech for this group, all of our communications software, even the security systems, if you want to devise the algorithms. You'll be an equal partner among five others."
"I suppose this group has a buy-in?"
Draco's nimble fingers worked the buttons of Tim's shirt loose, allowing his hand to slip inside against his skin. "One hundred thousand dollars, to help fund the start-up."
"How long do I have to think about it?"
"The weekend," the blond said, his hand going over the furry portion of Tim's stomach.
"How many others have signed on?"
"Three," Draco answered, leaning in close. "Myself makes four."
"Why do you want me?"
"First, because you're good at what you do." The hand dipped lower. "Second because I think your keen mind would be an asset to us."
"Third, because I can persuade your sixth member."
Draco's smile was beautiful in its mischief. "Smart boy." The hand found the absence of underwear and Draco's smile widened. "You weren't kidding about old habits, were you?"
"I never joke about serious things."
The blond withdrew his hand and rebuttoned the shirt. "Neither do I. I want you onboard for yourself and your skill alone. If you bring this other party with you – excellent. If you don't, I'll find a way to bring him on, myself. Take the weekend, think about it."
Withdrawing a slender silver case, Draco put it on the desk. Tim looked at it , recognizing it as a WayneTech drive, one with built-in encryption. The challenge was clear. He would need to break the encryption in order to read the proposal. His eyes returned to Draco's own clear ones. No malice, no cunning, just the sexy sort of mischief that kept his dick hard.
"There is one other thing, one I don't want to sway your decision."
Tim raised an eyebrow. "Which is?"
In a motion too quick to stop, Draco's hand caught the back of Tim's head, bringing their lips together in a savage, sweet kiss. Tim was caught off-guard but found himself responding before he knew what he was doing. His hand caught Draco's chest but not to push him away. The kiss stretched out between them, long and easy.
Using his thumb and index finger, Draco wiped his mouth when the kiss was finished. "That one little aspect of our negotiation was non-negotiable."
"I could see that," Tim said, smiling.
"What you've done with the Attitude article has opened a very big door," Draco said, going back around the desk and gathering his things. "Things are going to change for you, now."
"You know I'm going to investigate this group before committing to it."
At the door, the blond gave a knowing nod. "If you didn't, I'd rescind the offer. The other players in our little game are in the proposal. Accept, and you'll meet me at the enclosed location on Monday. Decline and you can wipe the flash and send it back by messenger to the Gotham Five Star."
Tim watched the blond let himself out, then close the door behind him. For the next half hour, he pondered the idea of putting in the drive and figuring out the message. There was a lot to think about either way he went with this. At last, he stood and left his office, letting his feet carry him through the now empty offices of the upper floor and into the lobby where the work had ceased for the day. The bright gold letters proclaiming this WayneTech were gone and precise holes for doors were cut into the wall. Braces were in place so he went through one of the doors to see the demolition work on the other side. Large portions of walls were gone here, too.
"Everything is changing," he said, going to one of the windows. All of Gotham was beginning to darken as the evening came. He turned back to gaze at the open space. "For the better or worse, I don't know."
The knock on the window caused him to jump. Turning, he was more than surprised to see a rather perturbed Superboy – floating just outside the window. Even without the ability to hear what he was saying, Tim understood the jabbing of the finger toward the window release. He moved to open it, allowing the other hero to glide into the open room.
Superboy thrust a physical copy of Attitude at a stunned Tim Drake. "Is it true?"
"I can explain. It was—"
"Just answer the question, is it true?"
"Don't dance around the subject, Tim. This is serious. I'm serious."
Tim let his head dip. "Yes, I'm gay. I should have said something a long time ago but I didn't even admit it to myself until the shoot."
Conner flipped to the article. "And this?"
Color rose in Tim's cheeks. "All of the teasing I got from the Vogue pictures. I never meant to embarrass you, I swear! It just slipped out."
"Is it true?" Conner asked, allowing the magazine to fall to the floor. "I'm your celebrity pass?"
Tim found himself pinned to the outer wall, several feet off the floor. The rest of his admission was swallowed up by Conner's hard, soft lips on his. One hand held the collar of his shirt, the other was working the fastenings on his pants. Tim kissed back, caught in the grip of the hero and the moment. Something felt very right about the timing and the aggression felt right. Suspended in the air, he kicked off his shoes, letting them fall to the floor, as well. Conner's hand managed to loosen his pants and he was able to squirm out of them, as well.
"I can explain," Tim gasped as soon as the kiss was broken. "Roy and the others just would not let up! The crack you made about my briefs, the shirtless pictures...it was just too much."
"No more talking," Conner said, his free hand reaching back to pull his shirt up and over his head.
Another kiss forced Tim into silence. Conner's broad, bare chest pressed into his, pinning them both to the wall. They managed to get Tim free of his shirt, letting it fall to the floor. Putting his knees on the wall, Conner created a place for Tim to rest. Leaning back, the broad-shouldered hero was able to look at the slender young man's beautiful body, now divested of his clothes. His hands pressed into the soft curve of Tim's pecs, caressing them. Each of his thumbs rounded over a nipple, causing them to rise into soft, hard nubs. He smiled at this reaction, repeating it as he kissed Tim again.
More than just the kiss felt right about what was happening. The urgency, the sense of need, the abject lust in the way Conner approached all of this, it felt like years of pent-up feelings being released. Naked, sitting in Conner's lap, the two of them suspended in mid-air, it was just the sort of craziness he expected from his life.
Conner hoisted Tim's slender body up on the wall, supporting his weight by gripping his beautiful ass. This brought his likewise beautiful dick up to a position where he could slip the head into his mouth. This time, when his thumb moved, it was between the firm cheeks of his ass. Tim jerked his body forward, pushing his dick further into Conner's warm, willing mouth. Looking up, the muscled hero swallowed more and more until his nose was brushing the wiry softness of Tim's trimmed pubic hair. The resulting gasp was worth his effort. He wasted no time in setting up a specific rhythm designed to hold Tim at this current state of excitement.
"How...did you...learn this?" Tim gasped, riding the waves of pleasure now coursing through his body. Both hands held tight to Conner's broad shoulders. ""You're...oh...too good at this for it to be your first time doing it!"
Pulling off the throbbing shaft, Conner grinned. "You really want me to waste time telling you how I learned to do this?"
Tim took hold of the boy's head, pulling it back to his aching member. "No. Carry on."
Holding Tim's firm ass in both hands, he brought the other male away from the wall, flying them into the center of the room. His mouth continued to work along the entire shaft, his tongue tracing a singular vein, then dipping into the fullness of Tim's balls. Their bodies rotated as he serviced the naked executive, using every oral trick he knew to excite and stimulate. Moving beyond the now-turgid dick, he kissed his way up Tim's torso, moving his mouth over the flexing abs, up to the pecs, capturing a nipple in between his teeth. Extending his arms allowed Tim to lay back, letting him relax and enjoy the sensations Conner was sending through his body.
First, the full length slid into Conner's mouth, the hard veins pressed into his tongue. The spongy head hit the back of his throat and he swallowed it, allowing for more. Tim squirmed in his arms, making soft little sounds. Each of his legs rose up, coming up onto Conner's shoulders, his bare heels hooked behind the boy's head, now. Unable to help himself, he began working his hips back and forth, using Conner's warm mouth as a personal pleasure receptacle. Enthusiastic noises from Conner made him speed up his pace. His right hand threaded through Conner's thick hair, guiding him.
Conner moved as he was directed, his mouth sucking hard on the tender flesh. Both hands moved up and down Tim's naked torso, his fingers massaging the tense, tired muscles. They rotated in a slow, easy circle, high up off the floor. At one point, Conner let both of his shoes fall to the floor. Then, using just his feet, he got himself out of his socks, all the while moving his mouth back and forth on Tim.
"Slow down," Tim gasped at one point.
"No," Conner said, continuing to mouth and kiss at the warm shaft.
"Fuck," the slender hero sighed, his hips still moving along with the mouth.
Allowing his fingers to dig into the softness of Tim's ass, Conner held to the boy this way as he began pushing the full length into his mouth and throat. Each time he pulled his mouth up, he sucked as hard as he could. Tim squirmed in his hands, one foot now on his shoulder, attempting to push him away. His other foot flattened on the other shoulder and Tim's hips rose to their highest point. This drove his full length down Conner's throat.
Conner held him there, swallowing several times, using his throat to massage the few inches there. He felt Tim's body tense seconds before pulling his mouth back to where he could hold the head against the roof of his mouth by flattening his tongue against it. Tim gasped. Conner moaned.
"You're...super at this," Tim groaned, letting his legs relax around Conner's shoulders.
One long burst of warm cum shot against the roof of Conner's mouth. Tim's hips jerked twice, sending more of the same into the young hero's mouth and throat. Conner savored the warmth and salty sweetness of what Tim had for him. One hand held the other's back while he massaged the fullness of Tim's balls, coaxing out everything he had within them.
"Good gods, Conner...you're draining me!" Tim groaned again, emptying himself. One leg climbed the side of Conner's hip, rough denim greeting him. "Take...your pants off."
"You're not the boss of me," the hunky hero growled, lowering them both to the floor. "You don't get to give orders here, Mr. Drake."
Tim was playful in his response. "It's still my company, Mr. Kent!" He took a step back, causing the other hero to come forward. "I could have you escorted from the building with just one call."
Conner smiled, rubbing the bulging center of his groin. "Do that and who would take care of this?"
"Whoever taught you how to do what you did a few minutes ago."
Stopping in a cone of overhead light, Conner undid the first button of his jeans with two fingers while his other two fingers took firm hold of his right nipple. Like a strange, erotic dream figure come to life, he excited his own body enough for the swelling in his crotch to become obscene. When it threatened to tear his jeans, he flexed his chest.
"Come over here," Conner said, his voice low and commanding. "Take my pants off."
"You're not fooling anybody. This whole tough-guy thing isn't you. It's got Roy all over—"
A single word made Tim shiver. "What if I don't want to?"
Conner smiled, working his zipper down. "Oh, you want to. The article says you want to. Your shallow breathing and rapid heartbeat says you want to." His smile widened. "Your raging boner says you want to. Come on, take my pants off."
Tim took his first few steps toward the cone of light. "It's not raging. Don't flatter yourself."
"Hey, you were the one who said it." Conner spread the flaps of his jeans, exposing his dark pubic hair. "You said I was your celebrity pass, the one person you would give a pass to do whatever he wanted to you, whenever he wanted. I'm choosing my time right now, Mr. Drake. Take my pants off."
"Looks like you're doing a good enough job without me."
"I just started the process. You do the rest."
Another step brought Tim closer to the cone of light and the thickness hinted at in the top of Conner's jeans. They looked at one another even as Tim's fingers grazed the lower portion of muscled stomach, the portion covered in a light dusting of hair. At this casual touch, Conner flinched but then flexed his lower stomach. Tim smiled, letting his fingers trail upward, gliding over the smooth muscle. Their eyes were saying what they weren't, Conner's daring Tim to go further with Tim wondering if he should. This whole thing felt strange, like it was part of a dream he was going to wake up from any moment.
"I may have lost an important client over all this," he said, his fingers going to the deep cleft between Conner's impressive chest muscles. "Being honest with the world and all."
"If they're going to leave over your being honest, were they worth having?"
"Jacob said the same thing."
"Jacob?" There was a tinge of annoyance in Conner's voice.
"My assistant. He's been telling me the same thing for the last two weeks."
"Smart guy," Conner nodded. "I'd listen to him."
Tim stepped into the cone of light, near enough to Conner to feel the tremendous heat coming off of this body. He touched the smooth line of the hard jaw, following it up to the lobe of his ear and into his hair. Both he and Conner were quiet for the next few minutes, the sounds of their heartbeats the only one they shared. Tim stood up on his toes to kiss Conner's full lips, a quick, sweet kiss.
"Thank you for coming," he said in a low whisper. "I wasn't sure how you were going to react to the article. I was afraid you were going to be mad."
"Oh, I'm mad all right, just not for the reasons you think." Conner's hands slid down the sides of Tim's naked body, settling on his hips. "I'm mad at myself for not acting on how I felt a lot sooner than now."
"Are you mad at me?"
"A little. You could have talked to all of us about this, you know. Instead, we had to find out something really personal about you from a magazine article."
"It just slipped out. I was talking about my personal life, about the stress I was under and it just came out without me knowing what I had said. That led to the celebrity pass question."
Between them, Conner's jeans fell further on his hips, freeing his erection. He smiled. "Sorry. It just slipped out."
"What do we do about it?"
The larger of the two pulled the smaller one closer, engulfing him in thick, strong arms. His head bent down and he began kissing along Tim's neck, delivering little shivers as his mouth moved up. "Are we here alone?"
"Security is walking the downstairs floors. We're alone for the next half hour or so."
"Take my pants off," Conner whispered, kissing the sensitive area behind Tim's ear.
Tim was already pushing the denim the rest of the way down the trim hips. "Do you always get your way by being this bossy?"
"No. I get my way by being this sexy."
Conner shook his lower body just enough for his jeans to fall around his ankles. Kissing Tim, he managed to get free of them, then began walking the two of them forward until they hit a wall. His mouth did not stop moving, nor did Tim's hands. They kissed and groped one another, each one attempting to touch and kiss every part of the other.
Tim felt the rush of a long-time fantasy beginning to take shape, as well as the fear of something going wrong afterward. They worked together, their actions outside of this place would have consequences. Still, his body was making quite an argument for throwing all of those concerns right out the window and letting Conner have his way with him. Before, when Draco was here, all he could think of was Conner, even though the blond's hands were the ones on his body. During the Attitude shoot, when Draco was touching him, he thought of Conner. Now, he had the real thing in front of him and he did not have to rely on fantasy.
His right leg rose up as Conner turned them into the corner. "I want you," he managed to say without choking on his words. "I've always wanted you."
Those words fueled their lust. Conner's hands slid down Tim's back as Tim's legs rose up on his hips. Using the slick liquid oozing from the head of his cock, Conner began priming the right ring between Tim's firm ass cheeks. He was gentle there but rough in his insistent kissing and biting of Tim's tender lips and neck. In this moment, nothing tasted better than the smooth skin, damp with nervous perspiration. As he kissed, Tim's body became less rigid and far more pliant. Still, he did not rush anything about what he was doing. This was going to be the perfect expression of how they felt toward one another, one they would remember for years to come. Only when his fingers slid forward without any hesitation or resistance did he withdraw them in favor of the blunted head of his cock. It was placed at the entrance, part tease, part opportunity for Tim to back out. When the relaxed ring slid down over the head, Conner knew the decision was made.
"Don't...hold back," Tim said, a knowing smirk on his handsome face.
"You set the pace and I'll make sure I won't."
With both legs around Conner's waist, Tim took the lead, using his upper torso to push down on the surprising girth seeking to invade him. He could not help but smile as he felt his insides being filled. Conner's strong arms were braced in the corner, allowing him to do all the work. His own shoulders were also braced in the corner, giving his lower body the freedom to move his hips. Conner's entire length took some time to get inside of him and he was going to relish every inch. With his eyes lost on the smooth skin and curving muscles, he filled himself in the best way possible.
His whole body was locked in place, legs and arms spread, his back straight and still. Conner made a framework out of himself, one Tim could use to maneuver on. The amazing sensations going through him as Tim's legs rubbed against his hips, as his heels dug into the cushion of his asscheeks, they were almost as good as the tightness closing over his cock. Best of all was the lustful, drunken look on Tim's handsome face as he filled himself. He wanted to kiss him, to take the pouty bottom lip between his teeth and pull on it in a playful way but watching Tim take him was far more desirable. The pleasured sigh when he had it all up in him was even more so.
"Oh, yeah," Tim sighed, letting his head rest against the wall.
"Show me how to do you," Conner told him, kissing his forehead, then his nose, then capturing his mouth. "Show me how to make you feel amazing."
Realization dawn on Tim's face as he began moving his hips in a low, easy motion. The full length slid out of him and he focused on the few inches which gave him the most pleasure. Conner's size was more than he thought, more than he could handle in this position so he took what he could and enjoyed it. Taking hold of Conner's nipples, he tugged on the sensitive nubs until they hardened, then he gave them each a playful pinch, enough to make the muscled hero gasp.
"How is it you can stop a truck and not flinch but this makes you gasp?"
Dipping his head, Conner kissed Tim again. "Intention," he said with a smile. "One intends to hurt me in a different way than the other."
A few more moments of Tim's lower body instructional and Conner slipped both hands under the firm ass, taking them out of the corner and into the air again. Leaning back, he brought his knees up, giving Tim something to lean against. Putting both arms behind his back, he watched the slender body begin bucking up and down on him. Tim's knees dug into his side as he began riding harder. Conner's lower body was assaulted, Tim's hands pulling on his hips, grinding with his own. Both of them were awash in waves of intense pleasure of their own making.
Dark hair fell into Tim's eyes as he rode the hard length. Glancing at the floor some few feet below them, he grinned at their placement. Leave it to Superboy to make even this experience unforgettable, he thought, pushing himself down further each time. The hard muscle on Conner's torso tightened each time he sank down, letting him know this was as good for him. Each upward motion of his hips made him gasp or sigh.
"I think you've got it now," Tim said, leaning down and kissing the hard cleft of Conner's chest. "Why don't you take over."
"Yeah?" Conner asked, already rising.
"Do I have to spell it out for you?"
Conner nodded, a playful look of defiance on his face. "Yeah. You do. I wanna hear you say it."
"All right. Use your hot muscled body for something other than stopping trucks! Use it on me, anyway you like! Fuck me, Superboy!"
"What a dirty mouth you have, Mr. Drake!"
Holding him by the waist, Conner flew Tim into a nearby wall, forcing the full length of his cock forward. As they impacted, his partner gasped in a good way. A few long strokes and he turned them toward a stand-alone cubicle wall. This impact cracked the thing down the center and made Tim sigh. Heels dug into his ass, letting Conner know he was doing things just the right way. Lowering themselves to the floor, he increased his thrusts until his pubic hair scraped Tim's ass each time he thrust inside him. This brought them both to a point where they had to pause for fear of exploding before they were ready. Conner's mouth found Tim's and they shared long, deep kisses in the meantime.
Conner's hard body flexed as he got to his knees, his hips working back and forth in a low, easy motion. Tim's right leg stayed around his waist but the left one fell away. He was going to use what little leverage he could to push into the thrusts. Bringing himself up onto his elbows, he could watch Conner's internal struggle on whether to go full out or take his time. Tim enjoyed watching this because it told him there was more at work here than lust. Conner continued to feed his lust, true enough, but he tempered it with compassionate kisses and playful bites to Tim's neck and both of his nipples.
It was with his mouth full of the latter that he brought them up off the floor and forward, into the side of a desk. Tim gasped, feeling the hardness fill him. "Bugger me," he whispered, gripping Conner's shoulder and pushing back against the next thrust.
"Bugger, huh?" Conner asked, still thrusting them forward until they hit another of the standalone walls. "That's...new."
Tim bowed his back, pushing down. "Foreign...influence."
Getting to his feet, the muscular hero held the other by the hips. Tim's heels slid down the backs of his legs, like a sexual spider monkey, desperate to hang on. Walking them further, he took hold of one of the support beams while working his full length deeper into the tight sleeve Tim offered. His balls tightened, drawing in against his groin. His breathing became shallow as he started increasing the pace of his thrusts.
Sighs turned to groans as Conner's hips got faster. Finding himself atop a desk one minute, then pinned to the wall the next made Tim groan, as well. The depth and speed of Conner's thrusts into him varied according to where they were and how stable the area was. This sort of attention to their surroundings was another indication Conner cared more for Tim's safety than his own pleasure.
Near the window, the super boy's threshold for restraint reached its limit. One hand took hold of the window frame while the other held Tim's waist. His knee pressed against the glass, as did Tim's back and ass. Conner's other foot was on the floor, steadying his hard body as he delivered the last few thrusts of his hips. Inside, he felt the full length of his cock expand.
"Oh..." Tim gasped, feeling the same thing.
"Yeah," Conner growled.
The first volley of cum hit what Tim felt was his throat. "God, this is...amazing! You feel amazing!" He meant the lust-fueled words coming out of his mouth. His body was alive all over from the well-kissed length of his neck to the ends of each of his curled toes.
Pinned between their sweaty bodies, Tim felt his own shaft swell. Until now, he had not realized how hard he was, how excited his own dick was at all this. Just as Conner's cock released its second burst of hot cum, his own dick released itself. Thick ropes of liquid splashed the two of them, connecting their bodies by thick ropes of cum. Neither of them stopped pressing against the other, even after the glass around Conner's palm spider-webbed outward.
"Fuck, that was..."
"Intense," Tim finished.
Conner answered this by taking Tim's mouth with his own again. This kiss was deeper than the others, more intense. It conveyed all of the feelings the powerhouse could not with words or actions. As his lips moved, his tongue slipped into the other's mouth, anxious to know what his desire tasted like. Tim felt the passion go through him, making him shudder. He held to Conner's broad shoulders as he returned the kiss with everything he could. Inside of him, he felt the full length of cock, unwilling to go down, even with his recent load cooling. This was what he envisioned his first time with his long-time crush would be like, intense and passionate.
"You all right?" Conner asked, leaning back.
"I'm way more than all right."
Light kisses fell on Tim's neck as Conner eased himself back. "I didn't hurt you, did I?"
"No more than I wanted you to."
Conner brought them into a nearby office chair, the weight of his body pushing it into a desk. "You're sure? The last thing I want to do is hurt you."
Adjusting himself, Tim kissed him. "I'm good. Really, I am."
Conner wrapped his arms around the other's lean body, bringing their chests together. Tim's head tucked under his chin, one hand coming to rest on his chest. A few pieces of broken ceiling tiles fell to the floor as the two caught their breath.
The following day, Tim stepped out of the elevator to find the large plastic partitions back in place and the work crew doing minor clean up on what was once again the lobby.
"What are they doing back? I thought they were working in the office space."
Jacob stood nearby. "They arrived to new, and extensive, damage." The boy smiled, holding out a copy of what Tim knew to be the Daily Planet.
They exchanged a glance before Tim took the paper and glanced at its front page. A color photo of Superboy hovering outside the WayneTech building made him lose all coherent thought and speech for the moment.
"Dating?" Tim asked, when he found his voice. "Does this say...we're dating?"
Jacob just nodded.
"How did this...who wrote this?"
The assistant tapped the bottom of the article. "Clark Kent. There's an online version with a few more photos of Superboy being let into the building. Outside security cameras caught the entrance – and the exit. The one where Superboy is leaving holding his shirt...and your tie."
"You're not serious!"
"I wish I wasn't. Also, Mr. Wayne has called twice this morning."
"Oh, god. Is he pissed?"
"It's hard to tell with him. He sounds the same whether he's angry or not."
"I did not need this, today."
"One other thing you're not going to need. Ms. Klein is waiting in your office."
"I'm going to need something stronger than coffee this morning," Tim said, handing the paper back. "Issue a broad, no comment to anyone calling here about this. I am not going to give anyone the satisfaction of making me the day's soundbyte. I'll return Mr. Wayne's call as soon as I deal with Ms. Klein and whatever might have brought her here."
Coming into the office, Tim's senses were assaulted by the electric green dress Velvet Klein was wearing. Its collar was as high as the neckline was low. Her hair was piled on her head in large ringlets. When she saw him, she gave him a broad, knowing smile.
"Darling! Not only do you have bravery, you have excellent taste in young men! Superboy! To think of the heights he must be able to take a body!"
"What can I do for you, Ms. Klein? Velvet?"
She brought out a slender pad and placed it on the desk. "I'm having a little difficulty with the device and its auto upgrade."
"Why? I thought you said the software was working just the way you wanted."
"It is but there is a problem when it upgrades." She tapped the screen. "It's linking back to WayneTech for the information it needs and, well, you can see what happens then."
On the screen, Tim watched Superboy fly up to the window where he surprised him the night before. Velvet's manicured nail tapped the information at the bottom of the screen. He felt his stomach drop into his shoes.
"It's linking the device to the security cameras." She said, no trace of malice in her voice. "You mentioned this being new software. Have you installed it on any other devices like mine?"
"Just one," Tim said, going over to his desk. "Could you excuse me just one minute? I need to make a phone call. If you could wait outside with my assistant?"
"Of course," she said, already walking toward the door.
The device he made for Velvet Klein used the same sort of upgrade systems as the device he personalized for Clark and the Titans. If they were all linking to the WayneTech security servers, it would explain how the camera footage made its way to the others. It would also mean Bruce had seen it firsthand, just like the others did. he dialed the number, cursing himself for not being more careful. No wonder Bruce had called twice already. He was pissed, and for good reason.
"Tim. I was just going to call you...again," Bruce said when he answered. "Your assistant said you received the package I sent but that you hadn't opened it."
"A lot has been happening, I just didn't have time. I wasn't ignoring you."
"I can see from today's headline in the Planet a lot has been happening. If you had taken the time to open the package, you would have seen I sent the corrected schematics for the security portion of the new personal devices."
"Right. I'm sorry. I'll open it right now and start making the changes to the code."
"No need. After getting the security footage, I implemented the changes via the special uplink. I've also deleted the copies of the footage from the team's devices. Ms. Klein's will be gone by the end of this phone call. You're welcome."
"In the future, you might want to examine your priorities. It's important to keep your head in the business at hand. On a side note, I wanted to tell you I was very proud of your Attitude interview. You showed genuine courage."
"Alfred told me about it," Bruce said, deflecting. "The part about your celebrity pass, he said, was quite the highlight."
"Look, I wanted to explain...about Superboy."
Bruce broke in before he had a chance. "I guess I'm going to have to make an exception to the no-metas rule, aren't I?"