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Dust and Darkness

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“Dude, are you okay? You’ve been extremely… I don’t know, listless, lately,” Roy said, sitting in Dick’s office chair and throwing a wad of paper up into the air.

“I’m fine,” Dick sighed. He took a slow sip of his flat and watery soda that was left over from lunch. “Just tired I guess.”

“You sure?” Roy asked, raising an eyebrow. “You didn’t have any major cases this week,” he pointed out.

Dick just shrugged.

“Look,” Roy said. He stopped spinning and tossed the wad of paper away. “Why don’t we go out tonight, hm? A club somewhere fancy. Drinks on me. And maybe you’ll meet some hot chick, and… relax a bit.”

Dick gave Roy a tired smile. “Thanks for the offer, but I’m not really feeling it.”

“Seriously?” Roy asked, a bit dumbfounded. “Dude, what happened to you? You used to jump at the opportunity to get out and meet other people, especially if it came with drinks and the promise of some good sex. And now you’re not feeling it? What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

“Roy, please, I just don’t want to go.”

Roy rolled his eyes. “Please don’t tell me a man in his sexual prime who used to have girls on both of his arms every weekend suddenly lost interest in sex? You lived for sex, Dick!”

Dick frowned. “You make me sound like a slut.”

“You kind of were.”

Dick just sighed. “I just am not...” he gestured helplessly. “I don’t know!” he huffed. “I do like sex, but it’s just… doesn’t have the same appeal as it did before.”

“So find something more exciting.”

“Like what?” Dick asked, rolling his eyes. “Public sex?”

Roy scoffed. “No, watch some porn, dude. There’s tons of kinky stuff out there, and there’s bound to be one for you, if not more.”

“I don’t have the time to watch porn, Roy. In case you’ve forgotten, most of my free time is spent sleeping. Or hanging out with you because you’re a clingy and needy friend.”

Roy grinned, eating  a soggy fry, also left over from Dick’s lunch. “I find no shame in that,” he said. He suddenly gasped. “I have an idea! Look, I have this- this friend. He’s… got particular tastes. I could ask him to show you the ropes, you know? Find out what you like.”

“Roy, really-”

“Just meet him,” Roy said. “I’ll shoot him a text, but he’s really cool about this stuff, so tonight should be totally fine for him. Be ready by eight tonight, ‘kay? I’ll pick you up.”

“Roy-”

Roy stood up abruptly and spun on his heels. “Bye, Dickie!” He walked out of Dick’s office with a casual wave of his hand. Dick sighed as he left.

It was useless arguing with Roy.

~

Dick tugged uncomfortably at his shirt. He had no idea what to wear, so he just went with his usual club-going outfit: a white t-shirt a few sizes too small, a pair of dark blue skinny jeans that hugged his legs, and a black leather jacket. Usually, Dick felt pretty good dressed like that, leaving little to the imagination, but of recently, he just felt… exposed.

Dick felt like all eyes were suddenly on him, and he felt self-conscious. Dick had been raised a performer. He had never felt self-conscious before, not even when he was a pimply, gangly teenager with raging hormones.

Dick was not very sure when it happened, but sometime in the past year he started shied away from the spotlight more and more.

“Is what you’re planning illegal?” Dick whispered as Roy led them into a shady alleyway. “In case you forgot, I work for the GCPD?”

“I haven’t forgotten,” Roy said. “In case you’ve forgotten, your job is the reason we’re here.”

Dick frowned. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Roy did not answer as they came up to a closed door with a metal screen in front of it. A dim lamp shone outside of the door. Roy knocked three times. A few seconds later, the door opened.

A tall, buff man stood on the other side. He looked at Roy, glanced at Dick, then back to Roy. He grunted once and opened the door a bit wider. Roy smiled and pulled the metal screen door open as well.

He stepped inside, and Dick followed. Roy led him confidentially down a long hallway lit with dim lights of varying shades of red, orange, and yellow.

They came to another door. By the door was a ticket booth. A bored lady sat on the other side. She looked at Roy.

“Name?” she drawled out.

“Oh, you know me, sweetie,” Roy said. “No need to play coy.”

“Name?”

Roy sighed. “Roy Harper,” he said. He jerked a thumb at Dick. “He’s a guest, with me. Don’t worry, I already confirmed with Jay this time, so he should be on the list too. Dick Grayson.”

She looked through the papers on a clipboard. Then she nodded and pushed a button. A little light above the door turned green.

Roy grinned. “I don’t know why you insist on doing this every time, Stella.”

The lady, Stella, smirked. “Just protocol, Mr. Harper. I’m just doing my job.”

“Diligent as always. I’ll put in a good word for you with Jay,” Roy called as he slipped through the door. Dick gave Stella one more glance before slipping into the door as well.

They went down another short hall then down a flight of stairs.

Finally, they come to a heavy metal door. Roy grinned at Dick. “Ready?” he asked.

Dick shrugged. “I literally still don’t know where we are. You could’ve brought me to a cult meeting for all I know. But I guess, yeah.”

Roy laughed loudly. “It’s much better than a cult meeting, I promise,” he said. He pulled the door open.

Dick’s eyes bugged out when he saw what was inside. It was a BDSM dungeon; there was no doubt about it.

Dick nearly took a step backwards, but Roy was behind him. Roy pushed him forward into the expansive room. The door shut silently behind them, and Dick’s eyes jumped around the room absorbing everything.

A woman dressed in black latex and four inch stilettos walked past with a man on a leash, crawling on his hands and knees, naked save for a thick, studded collar around his neck. She gave Dick a wink as she passed.

On the opposite wall, there were two women strapped to a wall, one facing forward, the other facing the back. Both were naked. The first woman had clamps on her nipples and weights hanging down on them. Dick winced just looking. The other had red welts all down her back, on her ass, and the top of her thighs. A shirtless man stood by her, running a whip over her bruised flesh.

And in yet another corner, there were tables. Two women sat talking and drinking. One woman had a man on his knees, sucking on her fingers. The other woman had a smaller girl sitting on her lap, and she was playing with her hair while she talked.

All around the room, there were several things going on at once, and it was completely overwhelming.

“Where the hell did you bring me, Roy?” Dick asked under his breath, unable to tear his eyes away from the scene.

Roy laughed. “Don’t look so scandalized. You’ll end up offending someone. Just act natural. Besides, it’s okay to watch. Some people like being watched, but we have other business to attend to.” Roy grabbed Dick’s wrist and started pulling him into the room.

Dick stumbled across the room, trying his best to keep up with Roy’s long strides. He felt like everyone in the room was watching him, noticing how he stood out in the crowd. They ended up in front of the bar, where a pretty blonde lady stood.

“ST!” Roy said, sliding into one of the stools. “Care to mix me a drink?”

The girl snorted. “Apple juice or a cherry Coke?”

“Whiskey dry, pretty please.”

“You’ll have to go to Jay for that,” the girl said. “I only serve the non-alcoholic drinks out here.”

“You can’t… I don’t know, sneak some for me?” Roy asked.

“Rules are rules, mate. You step in here, you follow them.” Her eyes landed on Dick. “Oh, hey. New?”

Dick should have smiled, but he winced. He sat down hesitantly. “That obvious?” he asked.

The girl laughed, her voice loud. Dick shrank a little lower, afraid of the attention she would attract. But no one looked over.

“What’s your name?” she asked.

“Er, Dick,” he said.

“Dick, huh? Strong name,” she noted. “Want something to drink to calm the nerves? Can’t give you alcohol, since those are the rules, but I can grab you some ginger ale?”

Dick swallowed and nodded. “Yes, please.”

The girl nodded and turned around for a few seconds to get Dick’s drink. She slid the glass across the bar and winked at Dick. “On the house,” she said. “For newbies, the first drink is always free.”

She turned back to Roy. “So, what’s your business here tonight?” she asked.

“Just showing Dickie around,” Roy said, clapping Dick on the back, nearly spilling his drink. “He’s been having some… issues in the bed department, so I thought maybe it was time for a little change.”

“And you didn’t tell him you’d be bringing him here?” the girl asked.

“He’d never of said yes!”

“No wonder he looked traumatized!” she chided.  “Look, it’s totally fine if this isn’t your kind of thing, okay? Roy’s a bit… impulsive sometimes. If you’re his friend, you know that.”

Dick smiled. “Yeah, I do,” he said.

The girl smiled and patted his arm. Then she scoffed. “Oh, how rude of me! My name’s Stephanie, by the way. But everyone around here just calls me ST because apparently Stephanie is too long to say, Steph is too long to say, and ST is just right.” She rolled her eyes. “But call me whatever makes you comfortable.”

Dick nodded. “Thanks,” he said.

Stephanie nodded. She jerked her head towards the back. “Jason’s in the back. I think he’s doing a demonstration right now, if you want to take Dick to go watch. If he wants to, that is.”

Roy rolled his eyes. “C’mon, Dick. Let’s go. She’s just trying to ruin our fun. But we’re not going to let her!”

He grabbed Dick’s arm and started pulling him away again. Dick gave Stephanie a small wave as he was pull through yet another door.

He stepped into a room with a long bench. There were several people sitting on the benches, some alone, others with a companion of some sort. In front of the bench was a large glass wall, and on the other side, a brightly lit room filled with racks of what looked somewhat like torture weapons: whips, paddles, canes, handcuffs, and other things.

“Sit,” Roy whispered.

On the other side of the glass, there was a man, shirtless and wearing only black, leather pants. His skin glistened with a thin sheen of sweat, and he absently ran a hand through his hair.

And kneeling before him, naked and completely tied up in ropes with intricate knots was a young man. He was blindfolded, thin strands of blond hair falling in front of the blindfold. There was a ball gag in his mouth, slick with spit.

Dick realized that the glass was a one-way mirror, having witnessed and done enough questioning to recognize it. The shirtless dom and the younger sub could not see their spectators. Dick’s throat went dry.

The dom finished knotting up the last ropes. Then, he ran a red cord through the knotted ropes and a second later, the sub was suspended in the air, helpless and on display for everyone to see.

His legs were tied so they were spread apart, and gave him no room to close then. The dom checked his suspensions before giving the blond sub a light push, sending him spinning in a slow circle. Dick could see the sub’s hard cock, and he saw a glint of metal around its base too.

He swallowed hard, unable to tear his eyes away. Dick watched with undivided attention as the dark haired dominant, his muscular arms, and tanned chest shining with sweat, teased the blond with vibrators, rough strokes on his leaking cock, occasional slaps on his pale ass, leaving a bright red handprint until the submissive was crying under the blindfold.

Finally, the dom took off the cock ring and pressed a vibrator to the spot between the sub’s balls until the young man came with a choked cry.

Once the sub calmed down enough, the dominant gently lowered him and undid the ropes. He took off the blindfold with care as well as the gag. Dick watched in amazed wonder as the previously cruel man wiped away the sub’s tears with the pad of his thumb, ran his hand through the messy blond hair and smiled softly. He helped the submissive to his feet and helped him into an adjoining room. Dick got a quick glimpse into it and saw that it was a bathroom. The two disappeared inside.

Someone else came in and started putting away the ropes and the toys used during the scene. The other spectators stood to leave. There were two pairs of male doms with male subs, a lone female, two other males the walked out hand in hand, but there was no obvious roles of power between them, and an older man with an older woman, which surprised Dick a little bit, but he had seen enough in his life that the idea of the elder generation being into the rough BDSM life was not that high up there, though he was considerably new to the whole BDSM thing.

“So what’d you think?” Roy asked, his voice snapping Dick out of his stupor.

“Of what?” Dick asked dumbly.

Roy rolled his eyes. He gestured to the room through the glass wall. “That.”

“It was… something interesting.”

“Seriously?” Roy asked. “Geez, Dickie, maybe you are incurable.” He stood. “C’mon, I’ll go introduce you to Jay.”

Dick followed Roy from the viewing room through a discreet door painted to match the walls. They made their way down a narrow hall, and into yet another room. Dick was starting to wonder the extents of the place. It looked like a back room of sorts.

The young blond that had been tied up earlier was lounging on a couch, legs kicked up over the armrests, texting on his phone and his teeth clamped around the opening of a plastic water bottle. He glanced up when Roy and Dick walked in.

“Oh, hey, Roy,” the boy said, his voice distorted by the bottle. “Here to see Jay again?”

“When am I not?” Roy snorted. “He in his office?”

The boy nodded, going back to his texting. Roy passed him, grabbing a donut from a box on a table with other refreshments. He pushed the box towards Dick, but Dick shook his head. Roy shrugged and bit into his donut.  Roy walked to yet another door, slightly ajar. He knocked.

“Jay!” Roy shouted loudly around a mouthful of donut and sprinkles.

“Harper, I swear to god, if you took the food that is meant for refreshments for my doms and subs, I will knock you into next week.”

Roy pushed the door open wider and stepped inside. He grinned. “You wouldn’t,” he boasted. “You love me too much.” He swallowed. “How’s your wrist, by the way? You looked kind of strained back there.”

“It’s getting better. Still a bit sore, though.”

“Your fault for putting off all those papers.”

“I didn’t want to sign a paper every few minutes, so I just let them pile up, so I could sign and approve them all at once. It’s called working effectively.”

“It’s called not thinking about how signing three hundred papers could hurt your wrist because you’re not an author or a famous singer who is used to autographing hundreds of things at a time,” Roy countered. “Anyway, I wanted to introduce you to someone.” Roy poked his head out of the room and waved to Dick.

Dick followed him inside hesitantly.

“This is Dick,” Roy said. “Dick, this is my other best friend, Jason.”

Dick smiled a little and reached out a hand for Jason to shake. Jason, the dark-haired dominant who had been working with the blond sub, just raised an eyebrow. He had been toying with a cheap ballpoint pen, biting on the back of it with his perfect teeth. He let the pen hang there as he stared at Dick.

Dick eventually let his hands drop.

“Jason’s allergic to meeting new people,” Roy explained, patting Dick’s back. “Don’t be discouraged.” He sent an obvious glare to Jason. “Even though I did ask him to tell you a bit about the stuff he’s into.”

Jason snorted. “That’s very unspecific, Roy,” Jason said. “That could range from telling your friend here about how I prefer tea to coffee, or that I write my name with my right hand but sign it with my left.”

“Huh, I always did think it was odd that your signatures were smeared,” Roy said thoughtfully. “Anyway, sit, Dickie!” He forcefully pushed Dick down into the small stool by Jason’s desk. “Now that you’ve gotten to know each other, you,” he pointed at Jason, “play Dr. Jason, professional sex therapist or something, and you,” he shoved a finger in Dick’s face, “uh, you can be… sexy client or something.” He smiled proudly. “And I’m going to raid your alcohol stash, Jay. I’ll be back once I’ve gotten a significant amount into my body.”

He left the room then.

They sat there in awkward silence for a minute. Dick kept his eyes trained on the painting of a large vase of flowers opposite him. He could feel Jason’s eyes burning holes into him.

“So,” Jason said. “Dick, right?”

Dick blinked at Jason. “Uh, yeah.” He met Jason’s intense gaze for a split second before he had to look away. Dick felt his face growing hot. Maybe it was because he just watched Jason sexually tease a boy who looked no older than twenty to tears, but he could not look him in the eye. Inspector Dick Grayson of the GCPD had suddenly disappeared, holing away to some dark recess of Dick's mind.

“Roy mentioned you had problems getting it up with vanilla sex?”

Dick’s flared redder. “I do not,” he said indignantly. “Sex just isn't a priority in my life anymore, nor do I have the time to indulge.”

Jason let out a dry chuckle. “Stand up,” he said suddenly.

“Sorry?” Dick asked, eyebrows raising.

“I said, stand,” Jason repeated.

Slowly, Dick stood up. Jason’s eyes looked him up and down, and Dick could just feel him criticizing him in every way. Jason turned slowly in his chair, spinning it around to face Dick fully. Jason flicked his pen onto his desk.

“Spin,” he commanded, twirling his finger in a small circle.

Dick opened his mouth to ask why, then decided against it. He did a slow circle, still self-conscious about the fact that Jason was just watching him, and Dick had no idea what he was looking for.

“Hm,” Jason said, making a small noise in his throat. “Kneel.”

Dick choked aloud. “I’m sorry?” he asked.

“I don’t like repeating myself,” Jason said. “Kneel.” He tapped the ground in front of him with his shoe. “Right here.”

Dick let out an outraged laugh. “Excuse me? Look, I don’t know who you think you are, but you’re crazy if you think I’m just going to let you push me around like you did with that boy out there. Whatever you’re thinking, that’s not me. I’m sorry Roy brought me here because it was obviously a huge mistake.” He turned to go.

“Stay,” Jason said from behind him. His voice was much softer this time. Dick had his back to him, but he did not make any move to go to the door. “C’mere, Dick.”

Dick turned around at an agonizingly slow speed, but he did not step any closer to Jason either.

Jason just laughed softly. “Come here.”

Dick walked forward a few steps, arms crossed, a scowl on his face.

“On your knees now,” Jason prompted.

Dick opened his mouth once more to argue.

On your knees,” Jason said before Dick could argue back. He raised his eyebrows pointedly. Dick’s mouth snapped shut, and he did not move for a second, just glaring back at Jason defiantly. But Jason’s gaze was stronger, more practiced. Dick quickly looked away. His shoulders slumped, and a second later, Dick found himself on his knees in front of Jason. “Good,” Jason said. He did not sound smug, but more… approving. Dick felt a rush of happiness surge through him.

Jason’s hand came up and rested on Dick’s head. Dick flinched slightly at the touch, but as Jason ran his fingers through Dick’s hair, he found it almost relaxing.

“Good,” Jason said again. “Turn your head up a bit, Dick,” he said, continuing in the prompting, soft voice. A light tug with the hair on the back of his head and Dick’s head tilting up towards Jason. “That’s it,” Jason praised. “Perfect. Absolutely perfect,” he whispered.

Dick let his eyes squeeze shut hard, Jason’s words rubbing him in the wrong way. He did not like it.

“Shh…” Jason said soothingly, almost as if he sensed Dick’s distress. “Don’t think, Dickie. Just breathe… and focus on my touch. That’s it, just like that. Feels good?” he asked.

Dick let out a soft puff of breath from his mouth. He nodded shakily.

Jason let his hand trail down the side of Dick’s face before dropping away completely. “You can get up,” he said, still keeping the same soft voice.

Dick opened his eyes but found Jason no longer staring at him. Dick stood, his legs feeling a bit weak. Jason slid a small card across the desk to him.

“I’m just going to come out and say it,” Jason said. “You’re perfect sub material, Dick. If you want to consider it, give me a call. I’ve always got a place for subs-in-training or those who want to work here permanently, like Michael, outside.”

Dick took the card, but he said nothing.

“It most likely will go to voicemail, but I’ll get back to you within a week,” Jason promised. He smiled at Dick again, not unkindly. “Seriously, think about it.”