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Bird-Brain and Kitten

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Dick expected Selina. The burglary has her MO written all over it. That’s the whole reason he bothered to call Bruce.

Now he’s wondering if he should tell Bruce it was a false alarm or just let the thief get away and tell his mentor the culprit was a big dude who overpowered him.

He watches the itty-bitty little cat burglar scurry out the 72nd floor window and gracefully make their way up to the roof. He sighs, spreads his wings, and soars across the gap between the two buildings.

Dick lands directly in front of a startled little cat boy with the cutest little white-tipped, fluffy black ears and a fluffy little tail that hasn’t elongated out from the triangular, baby shape. All of Dick’s instincts are screaming at him to tuck this tiny fluff ball in his arms, take him back to his nest, and snuggle him.

“Oh my god! Aren’t you the most precious little kitten!” He coos instead, smiling when the boy tries to snarl at him and it just comes out as a soft hiss, not threatening in the slightest, “What’s a sweet kit like you doing out stealing from a high rise?”

“Screw you, bird-brain,” the kitten growls, trying to blow his white fringe out of his eyes with a puff of breath. But coming from a 4ft. tall, 60lb. baby it’s nothing but adorable.

Dick’s hand flies to his heart dramatically, mockingly wounded. “Geez, kid, mouth like that… you must have been raised by the poshest alley cats.”

Dick thinks his joke is funny. But whatever flashes across the kitten’s bright, aquamarine eyes makes him feel bad about the crack.

“Hey, sorry. Let’s just return that golden sphynx statue and get you back to your folks, ok? I won’t even mention you to the cops, alright?”

The kid sneers. “Yeah, that’s real sweet o’ you, but I’m keepin’ the statue. I don’t got parents but my mentor ain’t gonna be too impressed if I just give up without a fight.”

Before Dick has the chance to ask ‘mentor?’ the kitten has launched himself across the space between them, ducked Dick’s instinctive incapacitating grab, braced his hands on the rooftop and used his momentum to kick both feet up into Dick’s chest.

The move sends him stumbling back a few steps, winded.  The kitten follows, not letting up, scratching and hitting and kicking. Between his surprise and the hesitation in hitting something so small, Dick just loses ground.

He’s just thinking he might actually lose, the feral little stray might actually get away, and Bruce will never let him live it down, that a baby kitten beat him, when there’s a sudden indignant squeak and the weight on top of him vanishes.

All things considered, Dick really shouldn’t think that the thief’s little noise is cute. Considering all the cuts and bruises he’s going to have, and his first thought seeing Bruce holding the little punk up by the scruff shouldn’t be ‘Aw, so adorable.’

“Good thing you called for backup, Robin,” Batman says, amusement ringing in his tone crystal clear.

Huffing, Dick gets to his feet but before he can say anything, sharp claws hook around his neck and his left arm is jerked up behind him.

“Hey, Bat,” Selina purrs from just over his shoulder.

Dick sighs again. The whole night’s a bust now. Or rather, not a bust.

“Catwoman,” Bruce all but groans.

“How ‘bout a straight trade, big guy? Let my kid go and I’ll let yours.”

Batman stiffens and eyes the small child he’s still holding up. The kitten is pouting with his arms crossed over his chest, legs dangling.

Dick grins at him and he hisses. Too freaking cute.

Your kid?”

Selina giggles as Dick snorts. Sure, the little one is a black cat with sharp blue eyes, just like Selina but there’s no way he’s her kid the way Bruce is thinking.

“Oh Bat, you’re too funny. You should be flattered. You made the young protégé thing seem like such a good idea. You started a trend.”

“Introducing children to a life of crime isn’t—“

“Isn’t exactly different than what you’ve done. Arguably, a little burglaring isn’t even remotely as dangerous as letting a kid fight the mob or costumed mass murderers.”

Bruce scowls at her. But, when she puts it like that, it’s hard to argue with.

“He was caught breaking and entering, red-handed with the stolen item—“

“He’s 12, Bat. You really going to turn him in? Think that will teach him anything?”

“Jesus, Selina, you’re training a—“

“Uh… B? I was—“ That’s the same age Dick was when Bruce made him Robin. Probably best to keep Bruce from saying anything too hypocritical.

“You’re not helping, Robin,” Batman interrupts, turning to look at the kid who’s starting to look pretty annoyed at being held in the air. “I’ll return him to his parents.”

“Uh, B—“

 “I don’t got any,” the kid growls in his cute baby voice and slams his little fist into Batman’s elbow. It may have worked if he was a little bigger and stronger. “Lemme go, you bloodsucker!”

“I’m… not a vampire.”

And the hesitant, serious way Bruce says it makes Dick and Selina burst out laughing.

In the end, Batman lets them both go, just like Dick knew he would, despite all his talk. Batman and Robin return the sphinx.

But it disappears three days later. Just like he knew it would.




“What kinda Robin has black wings anyway?”

Dick looks down at Jason sitting on the ledge to his right, munching on a chili dog, legs swinging out comfortably over the the sidewalk 60 stories below. He’s grown quite a bit over the last couple of years. No longer the little fluff ball who seemed to make it his mission to drive Dick crazy after that first time they met. Now he’s a lanky teen who hasn’t quite grown into his long limbs. Who still seems to have made it his mission to drive Dick crazy.

Behind them, Bruce and Selina are having yet another muttered argument about the Cats’ habit of stealing things. Dick doesn’t know why they have to go through the motions every single time.

“I’m not Robin anymore, kitten,” he says, affectionately ruffling Jason’s hair. The hiss he gets is a lot more vicious sounding than it used to be, even if there’s the hint of a low, rumbling purr in the back of Jason’s throat that he tries to cut off as Dick’s fingernails scratch lightly against his scalp and ears.

“Don’t call me that, bird-brain, I’m not a baby,” Jason huffs, slapping his hand away. “And you know what I meant. Just because you’re not Robin doesn’t change the fact that you are a robin.”

Dick takes a bite of his own hotdog before answering. “It’s a… defect? Mutation? Whatever the proper terminology, it’s just the way it’s been since I was born.”

“Does it bother you?”

“Not really. Most people think it’s neat or don’t say anything. Mostly it’s other robins who give funny looks but even then, I think it’s mostly just surprise when they find out I’m not a blackbird or a raven.”

Jason’s tail, which has finally lengthened out, brushes against the wings in question and Dick tries not to overthink the warmth that spreads out from that touch.

“Is Blüdhaven better than Gotham?” Jason asks after a moment of quiet.

The idea makes him laugh aloud. The cat boy gives him a funny look but is smiling in response to the genuine mirth. “No, kitten, not even a little bit. It might even be worse. The ‘haven is a shithole of the highest order.”

“Why do you stay there then?”

“Shitty places still have good people that need saving. And sometimes, just being a visible bright spot in the filth can help.”

Jason snorts. “Bright spot? You’re humility is astounding.”

“Oh come one,” Dick laughs, elbowing the kid lightly, “You know I’m the light of your life.”

The moment he says it he internally cringes. It’s a weird thing to say. Isn’t it? Even as a joke? Especially as a joke? Or does he only think it’s weird because he kind of wants it to be true?

The expression on Jason’s face is unreadable. Or maybe Dick just doesn’t want to read it. But it doesn’t look upset or disgusted so Dick will take it.

“You’re such a dork,” Jason mutters, shaking his head and digging back into his food.

They sit quietly for a time, just enjoying the rare cool, uneventful evening. It sounds like mom and dad are wrapping things up behind them.

“You never told me,” Dick says, turning his attention back to the younger teen, “How’d you end up with Selina anyway?”

“Wouldn’t you like to know,” Jason replies with a smirk.

Dick opens his mouth to respond when a sharp “Boys!” sounds from behind them, calling them to attention, back to their mentors.

“Catch you later, kitten,” he teases instead.

“Cats catch birds, feathers. It’s just the natural order.”




Dick tries not to read too much into the fact that Stray seems to find better marks in Blüdhaven after that. Tries not to dwell on the fact that he spends more time than he should chasing Jason across the rooftops, especially considering he never actually arrests the teen.

He tries to ignore the warm fuzzy feelings he gets when Stray goes out of his way to help Nightwing, when Jason finally shows Dick his face, without the goggles. Really tries to ignore it when they go undercover together at The False Face club and the little minx drags him to the dance floor and grinds against him in the neon before plastering his body to Dick’s, getting up on his toes (he’s grown but his growth never caught up to where it should have been) and smashes their lips together like he’s been dying to do it for years.

But Dick can’t deny his feelings when Stray—Jason—disappears. It’s weird to go a week without seeing the tight black leather, goggles, and fluffy, pointed ears. And suddenly it’s been months.

He and Bruce and Selina look everywhere, work every lead until it’s dead (which Jason is definitely not). Dick even enlists Slade, despite their… tumultuous history.

There’s no whisper of where he may have gone.

In the end, it’s luck more than anything else, that allows Dick to find him. Because he never gave up, never stopped searching. He even became a cop in Blüdhaven in order to have legal resources at his disposal. But none of his best efforts turned up anything.

Then, a series of top secret experimental weapons get swiped from labs all down the east coast. If Dick’s hunch is correct, the next target will be Stagg Industries in Blüdhaven.

So he stakes it out, doesn’t see anything unusual, no alarms sound, nothing to raise suspicion. Until he catches a shadow swinging across the gap.

The movements seem familiar but he’s probably just imagining it, it wouldn’t be the first time.

Until he lands on a roof and almost runs the thief over.

Dick’s breath gets stuck in his throat. “Ja—“

“Don’t,” Jason cuts him off, looking worried. Frightened. “Stop following me.”

“I… I can’t do that,” Dick says, confused, his relief and excitement quickly fading to worry himself, “You know that. You… you stole a weapon this time. Why? Where have you been?”

Jason is shaking his head the whole time Dick speaks. When he moves, it’s sudden and too quick. Damn cats. Even if Dick hadn’t still been working through the onslaught of emotions it would have been hard to counter. Before he knows what’s happened his wings are pinned and his hands cuffed.

“Cats catch birds, remember?” Jason says, the slightest hint of a smile tugging at the corner of his mouth before falling back into a sad frown. He swallows hard and scratches his neck saying, “You can get out of it, it’ll just take you a few minutes. Sorry, bird-brain, but I can’t have you following me.”

Jason kneels in front of him, rests his hand gently on Dick’s knee. Sharp teal eyes search his face, like he’s looking for something. Or trying to remember.

“Please, Nightwing,” he whispers, “I… I don’t want you to get hurt.”

Then he’s gone.

Dick escapes a lot faster than a few minutes and he’s a little insulted Jason thought it would take him so long.

He flies high. His dark wings and dark costume keep him practically invisible as he pick’s up a shadow darting between shadows until it reaches the harbor and takes a boat across the bay to Gotham.

Dick follows him all the way to Janus Industries and watches Jason slip into the top floor.

Reigning in his impulse to burst through the windows, take down Black Mask, and make Jason explain, is one of the hardest things he’s done in a long time.

But Jason’s words ring in his ears, I don’t want you to get hurt.

He needs more information.




“Remember that time I put nanites in your friends and coerced you into being my apprentice?”

Dick gapes at Slade across the scaffolding. Of course he remembers. Things have come a long way since then but he’s surprised the mercenary is bringing it up.

“Um, yes. Yes, I do. But I’m not here to reminisce about ‘the good ol’ days’, I’m here to—“

“To talk about your ‘friend.’ I know. I didn’t bring it up just to be an asshole.”

“Wouldn’t exactly be out of character,” Dick mumbles.

Slade just smirks. “I’m bringing it up because about a year ago, right around the time Stray went missing, I… procured some of the nanites for Black Mask.”

“You did what!?”

“Don’t get your panties in a twist, pretty bird,” Slade hums at him in that suggestive way that Dick says he hates. “You’re hardly in a position to be too self-righteous. Seems to me that you have more friends on my side of the morality line than your own.”

Dick scowls at the old wolf. “Are you saying that Roman Sionis somehow managed to get nanites into Stray and is threatening to kill him if he doesn’t steal for him?”

“Actually,” Slade responds, stepping forward and flipping his phone around for Dick to see, “Sionis put the nanites in you while the two of you were undercover at his club. And he’s using your life to leash the mangy kitten.”

Deciding to examine his very visceral reaction to someone else calling Jason ‘kitten’ later, Dick looks at the device. On the screen is some kind of imaging scan of his body and yep, there are the nanites swimming around in his bloodstream.

“Why are you just telling me this now? I asked you for information ten months ago.”

Wilson shrugs. “Didn’t make the connection until you said you saw the kid slipping into Sionis’s HQ.”

“Well thanks,” Dick says sarcastically, “Any idea how to get rid of them?”

“As a matter of fact…” Slade trails off as he approaches, tapping something into his phone, finally looking up to meet Dick’s eyes when he’s only a foot away. “They’re dead. They’ll be out of your system in a few days but they can’t hurt you now,” Slade takes hold of Dick’s chin and Dick allows it, better just to give the wolf his little victory, “No one messes with you like that except for me.”

“That’s weirdly territorial and disturbingly possessive. I’m not yours. We’ve had this conversation.”

Slade chuckles darkly and pats him on the cheek. “Sure kid. Whatever you say.”




Armed with this new information, and with the knowledge that Roman can’t use him to keep Jason in line, Dick briefs Bruce and Selina. They all spend the next week trying to find their stray cat and let him know he can come home, that he’s safe.

With every day that passes, Dick gets more and more frustrated that they haven’t run into him. He gets more and more anxious.

Finally, he can’t take it anymore.

Following the path he saw Jason take a couple weeks earlier, Dick sneaks into Roman’s penthouse. Desperately trying to ignore the implications of Jason having stayed in the crime lord’s private home for the last year.

Maybe he and Slade got this whole thing wrong. Maybe Jason wasn’t being coerced. Or maybe…

Or maybe Dick is going to murder Roman Sionis if someone doesn’t hold him back, he thinks as a half asleep, half naked Jason shuffles around the corner in nothing but a pair of too-large, black boxer-briefs that he has on backwards.

But it’s the teeth marks and bruises and scratches all up and down every visible inch of skin, especially the ring of purple around his throat, that has Dick feeling a little more homicidal than usual.

Jason freezes when he sees him, eyes going wide, and they stand there, just staring at each other for a long moment before Jason casts a worried glance behind him and creeps closer.

“What’re you doing here, dumbass?” Jason hisses at him, soft fur on his ears and tail standing on end, voice cracking, making Dick’s eyes flicker down to his neck again.

“I came for you,” he whispers, “Come on, I’ll ex—“

“No!” The panic and desperation in his tone breaks Dick’s heart, “No, Di-Nightwing… I-I can’t leave. I know this—this looks bad and you don’t really have any reason to trust me right now but I—“

“Jay, stop. I know about the nanites. They’re gone. Mask can’t hurt me and you don’t have to stay here one more second. I’ll explain more but,” Dick reaches his hand out to the younger man, “Let’s get out of here first.”

Jason’s whole body uncoils, the tension visibly seeps out of him. His shoulders sag, he exhales in relief and takes Dick’s hand.

Then abruptly his expression clouds. “My… my clothes… they’re in… in…”

Dick pulls him close. Thanks to his life on the streets before he met Selina, Jason may never make up the growth he lost during his youth. Luckily that means he’s light enough.

“The nearest safe house is only a couple blocks away,” Dick says, brushing his kitten’s little white streak off his forehead, “I can carry you there. If you want.”

Jason shifts uncomfortably, looking surreptitiously down at his marked up body and glancing back down the hall he came from where Dick assumes Roman Sionis is sleeping. Dick would love to storm into that room and give the criminal a piece of his mind—and training—but Jason is more important.

“Yeah,” Jason mutters finally, “I want.”




The first thing Dick does is call Selina and Bruce to let them know Jason is back. Selina understands that Jason may want to wait until he’s healed up a bit to see her.

There may not be much left of Roman for Dick to beat on once Selina’s through with him.

Jason spends nearly an hour in the shower. To keep his mind off why that might be, Dick checks the food situation, orders groceries when he finds it less than satisfactory (making a mental note to burn this safe house when they’re through with it), and fusses over his nest.

He’s fluffing all the blankets and pillows for a third time when Jason comes out of the bathroom, skin vivid pink from where he scrubbed it raw, drying his dripping tail.

Which suddenly makes Dick aware that he doesn’t have any pants for cats.

Hastily he rummages in a drawer for a pair of sweats and hands them to Jason.

“If you put them on, I’ll cut a hole for your tail,” he offers.

The smile Jason turns up to him is just as sweet and lovely as ever and when Dick kneels behind him, snips a slit in the fabric, and guides Jason’s long black tail through the new opening, Jason curls the fluffy black length around Dick’s wrist.

His heart skips a beat and heat floods into him from every direction.

It takes Dick a minute, after curling up in his nest, to realize that Jason has hesitated at the foot of the bed, twisting his tail anxiously and purposefully avoiding looking over at Dick’s area.

“Jay? Is everything—“

“Can I… can I sleep with you?”

Dick smiles at him and nods, waving him over.

Jason nuzzles close, nosing up under Dick’s chin, tail resting over Dick’s hip and twisting into the feathers of his wings.

Dick holds him close, absentmindedly scratching at Jason’s ears. He isn’t really paying that much attention, isn’t trying, but he’s pleasantly surprised when a soft, content purr rumbles in the back of Jason’s throat.

“Thank you, Dickie,” Jason mutters into his neck.

Tightening his arms, Dick coos into Jason’s hair, “Of course. I’d do anything for you, kitten.”

The purring gets louder.




The next few weeks are spent re-stealing all the weapons Jason had acquired at Black Mask’s orders. When Roman is arrested for being in possession of secret experimental military tech, he looks much worse for wear on the news. He’s missing a couple teeth and there are long, deep gouges carved into the black, ruined skin of his throat, scabbed over and definitely going to scar. Dick’s certain there are other marks, hidden by Sionis’s fancy suit, that speak to how out of his depth he was when Selina decided to make her displeasure known. And he has a sneaking suspicion that Selina may have crossed a line if Bruce hadn’t been there to pull her back.

Jason spends a week with her, she’s pretty much the only mother he’s ever known and Dick knows that she loves him like a son. He can’t help but wonder what Bruce would have done if Slade had taken advantage of him the way Roman had with Jason.

The wolf had never hidden his attraction, was always perfectly clear about his interest, even when it… wasn’t appropriate. But he’d never used the nanites to coerce Dick into his bed, had waited until Dick came later, willingly.

Then Jason is back, standing on the fire escape outside Dick’s apartment smoking, waiting for Dick to return from work.

“Hey, kitten,” Dick greets him happily, nudging closer until their shoulders touch.

The black fluff on Jason’s pointy ears bristles but Dick catches the brief hint of a purr that Jason cuts off.

“Hey. I, uh, was hoping I could stay with you. Again. Just for a little while. Gotham…” He pauses, scuffs his shoe against the grating, puts his cigarette out on the handrail and flicks the butt into the dumpster in the alley below, “Gotham is… I just don’t really want to be there right now, you know?”

“Totally,” Dick answers quickly, he’d rather Jason be close, where he can keep an eye on him, anyway. He reaches up, carding his fingers through his kitten’s curls, scratching his nails lightly against his ears until Jason leans into him, relaxed and purring softly. “You can stay as long as you want.”

Jason nuzzles closer. And closer. And closer. Until he’s plastered his whole body against Dick’s,

Dick scratches from his ears to his nape then lower. Petting his way down Jason’s spine until he reaches the base of his tail.

When he looks down, bright aquamarine eyes shine up at him, hopeful and sure. So he’s not completely surprised when Jason stands on his toes and nips at his jaw.

That’s all it takes. He’s been waiting. Jason disappeared two days after The False Face club. Two days after Jason had kissed him on the dance floor. Dick has been dying to ask if it meant anything but, with everything Jason had been through, he wanted to make sure he had the space he needed.

Closing the space between them, Dick captures Jason’s lips, slips his tongue into his mouth, and practically melts at the slightly rough texture of his kitten’s tongue.

He lifts Jason up and the younger man wraps his legs around Dick’s waist as Dick pins him back against the railing.

“I missed you so much, kitten,” Dick hums into Jason’s neck, sucking at the warm skin just to taste him, hands working at his jeans as Jason tries to work out how to remove Dick’s shirt with his wings in the way.

“May-maybe we should go inside,” Jason all but whimpers when Dick worked his jeans down to hang off one ankle, and his bare butt meets the cold iron of the rail.

Dick doesn’t really want to separate, to lose the warmth, the weight, the way Jason’s tail is twisted around his arm. So he turns them, spreads his wings out to wrap them both in darkness and presses Jason against the brick of his building.

He pauses to see if Jason objects but all he does is burrow back into the soft, satiny feathers with a purr and lightly knead his nails into Dick’s shoulders.

“You should know,” Jason purrs, “I’ve had a crush on you since day one. Everything you ever did was so good and kind… even when you got angry and your temper flared you were always careful to apologize… the more I got to know you… the harder I fell for you. I even waited… wanted you to be my first. I’ve been in love with you for years.”

Somehow Dick manages to peel his lips off Jason’s throat and shoulders and pull back enough to look at him. He’s blushing and obviously embarrassed but he meets Dick’s eyes steadily.

“I just thought you should know. In case… in case it makes you uncomfortable. I know it’s kind of a lot and I don’t expect you to feel the same way. I’d… I’d like to do this regardless… whether it’s a one time thing or whatever but… you should, you know, have all the facts.”

“Oh, kitten,” Dick breathes between pecking little kisses to Jason’s face, “I knew the first time I met you that there was potential here. I’ve just been waiting for you.”

They make out for a long while, rolling their hips together, the heat building under Dick’s skin so hot that he can’t contain it much longer.

The problem is, for all that he doesn’t want to break away, it occurs to him that out here, he doesn’t have what he needs to take Jason against the building’s façade.

As if reading his mind, Jason wriggles against him until he can reach his jeans, fishes around in the pocket for a moment, then presses a little foil packet against Dick’s chest. His blush turns scarlet when Dick takes it and sees what it is but Dick just smirks at him.

“You expecting to do this or—“

Something pained and mortified flutters across Jason’s face so quickly Dick can’t be sure he saw it at all.

“Hoping to. And I know you keep a condom in your wallet because you’re a walking cliché,” Jason says through an obviously forced smile that makes Dick want to pump the breaks.

But there’s no lie in the words and the smile turns genuine in the space of a heartbeat. For better or worse, Jason wants this and Dick isn’t going to pressure him into explaining something he obviously doesn’t want to get into.

So instead he jams their lips together again, pouring all the love and affection he feels for the little stray into the kiss, into the way he tightens the arm around his waist.

He gets the packet opened, smears it over three of his fingers, and grinds his teeth, hopefully unnoticeably, when the first digit slips in with zero resistance and the second follows too easily.

Jason gasps when Dick adds the third, finally feeling a little pressure, and he’s so fucking cute Dick has that urge to curl up with him in his nest again and never let him go.

He finds Jason’s prostate and makes certain to hit it on every move in and out until his kitten is trembling, tears in his eyes, nails digging into Dick’s shoulders, desperate little pleas leaving his lips on warm breaths.

“Dickie… please… wait-waited long enough…”

Grinning into Jason’s neck, Dick adjusts his hold so that he can get the condom from his wallet with his clean hand. Then he looks around, lost.


Huffing a little laugh, Jason snatches the packet from his hand and deftly rolls the latex sleeve onto Dick. The second Jason’s cool fingers touch the overheated, sensitive skin of his cock, Dick has to take a deep breath to get himself under control.

And when he finally sheaths himself in the soft, warm grip of Jason’s passage, feels his kitten clench around him, sees his pretty gemstone eyes flutter closed, dark lashes fanned out on rosy cheeks, he almost comes undone right there.

Fortunately he manages to last longer than that. Unfortunately it’s not by much. He pulls Jason up his shaft and back down, eating up the adorable little mewls and moans. Jason rolls his hips down to meet each thrust, gripping the humerus of his wings, fingers threading into the soft scapular feathers at the base, his tail curled tightly around Dick’s forearm.

It’s only at the last minute that Dick realizes he’s been neglectful. He wraps his lubed up hand around Jason’s cock, thumbing at the slit. The gentle touch earns him a shout, the cat’s pace stutters as he jerks forward, and Dick’s amazed when he comes after only a couple of firm tugs.

Jason’s wet panting and rhythmic clenching sends Dick over the edge less than a minute later. And when Jason keeps squeezing, can’t stop the vacillation of his hips, just milks every last drop from Dick’s sensitive cock, Dick can’t help but regret the condom between them. He makes a mental note to ask Jason about skipping them in the future. Especially considering he doesn’t have any in the apartment and he’d have to leave to get more.

When they’ve both caught their breath, Dick hides them from view as the make their way inside.

Jason goes to drop his bag in the guest room but Dick smiles at him and drags it and him down to his own.

He pushes Jason into his giant nest and crawls in after him, burrowing them both deep into the blankets before wrapping himself around the younger man and kissing every inch, humming a soft melodic tune as Jason’s purring gets louder and louder.

When he slips a finger between Jason’s cheeks to circle the swollen, puckered muscle, Jason tenses.

“I don’t have any more lube,” he says, sounding embarrassed in the darkness.

“Don’t worry, kitten, I have plenty.”

A small hesitation. “Condoms?”

Dick freezes. There’s something strangled and out of place in his tone. He pulls his hand back immediately, resting it instead on Jason’s hip and giving him a comforting squeeze. “I don’t have anymore. I can get some in the morning, if you want. But I’m clean and if you don’t mind, I don’t mind.”

A horrifying thought finally occurs to him. He’s sure Jason would have said something but…

“Jay, you’re not… Sionis didn’t…”

“No,” he answers, gulping audibly, “I… I’m good. I just… he didn’t… he didn’t like them. I thought... I just thought it’d make you uncomfortable. Knowing.”

Knowing that that slimy piece of garbage didn’t use condoms when he fucked Jason makes Dick feel all kinds of things. None of them for the reason Jason is worried about.

Unable to help himself now that the subject has been brought up, he recalls the look on Jason’s face at the crack about the lube.

“The only thing that makes me uncomfortable is the way that scum treated you, what he did to you. The fact that of someone having… well, most people forgo the condoms occasionally, I doubt you’re the first person I’ve been with who’s had unprotected sex before we got together. But uh, now that you mentioned it… um… you didn’t have that lube just in case. Did you?”

For some reason, Jason relaxes, the tension leaves him, and he snuggles closer before answering. “He didn’t care about that either. If it was there, he’d use it. If not, it… it didn’t stop him. I, uh, just haven’t gotten out of the… the habit of making sure I have some on me…”

Dick closes his eyes, spares a few seconds to vividly imagine someone gutting Roman in prison, then reaches a hand up to scratch Jason’s ears the way he knows the younger man likes.

“I don’t want your pity, Dick,” he says after a long quiet moment, “I just want you. But if I see it in your eyes all the time or we talk about it too much… I don’t know how long I can do that.”

Dick nods against his nape, taking a deep breath, inhaling the fresh, clean scent with a hint of something woody and earthly that has always been Jason.

“Ok, kitten,” he coos, “Let’s talk about something else.”

“All right.”

Dick pauses, considering. It’s funny how when you need to think of something simple and light to talk about nothing ever comes readily to mind.

Finally he grins against Jason’s skin again, so that he can feel the intent without seeing Dick’s face. “You still haven’t told me how you ended up with Selina.”

Jason’s low purr cuts off with an abrupt bark of laughter and he turns to face him when it subsides to a mild chuckle.

His bright eyes glint with mischief and his smile is the one that, after all these years, immediately screams trouble in Dick’s mind.

“I stole the tires off the Batmobile. Selina caught me when I was trying to dig up a fence. Said I had potential.”

Dick feels his jaw drop open. He remembers that, finding the Batmobile on blocks in Crime Alley.

“That was you?!”

They talk about that for a while, reminisce for a while longer, until they're both yawning and nodding off.

Eventually, after hours, Jason passes out in his arms and he can't help but smile down at him and whisper, "You're in my nest, kitten. I caught you."

Even if he knows that's not exactly what happened.