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A Hero's Work

Chapter Text

Sleep hadn’t crossed his mind in days.

Staring at his comm unit, his eyes burned, blood throbbing through his head.  Bruce was somewhere in the south of Gotham, rounding up the last of the members from the newest upstart mafia that had dared to settle in his territory.  It left a bitter taste in his mouth, that he had had to call in the Bat for help on this.  He would have called Jason, but Hood had been out of country on an undercover mission for some time, and Tim was laid up with a broken tibia.

So, he’d had to resort to Batman. 

Dick couldn’t remember what their last fight had been about, but it hadn’t been pretty.  It’d ended with Dick storming out of the Batcave, wishing he’d never set foot in Wayne Manor.  But this last operation—Nightwing couldn’t handle it himself.  Not after he’d nearly gotten himself killed interfering on a gun shipment raid that had gone horribly wrong.  Since that night, he’d gotten maybe a grand total of three hours of sleep over the past five days trying to wrap up this case.

And now it left him with a throbbing head and blurred eyes and the bitter taste of Bruce’s smugness on his tongue.

When the rooftop he was perched on swayed beneath him as he watched the lights of the police cars below, taking in the thugs he’d hogtied for them, Dick thought it best to find the closest safehouse.  Though the problem with that was the closest one, not even his, was three miles away.  As soon as he took an unsteady step towards the roof’s edge, he knew he might not make it safely.

Especially not after the more brutal than usual fight he’d had with the men now being perp walked past the news media that had arrived ten minutes ago.  This particular gang had gained some questionable notoriety among the press during their rapid rise to power.  It led Dick to suspect some behind the scenes involvement.  Possibly of the Black Mask persuasion.

Jason was not going to be happy about that particular suspicion.

He needed to call Jason as soon as possible in order to set up counter strikes with Hood’s best nemesis.

His body at the moment had other plans.  Groaning, he leaned against the brick wall of the roof access stairwell of the old industrial building he’d staked himself on.  Dick scrubbed a rough hand down his face, scraping over his domino.  He could barely see through it, could barely see anything and if he was going to make the trek to a safehouse, he’d need to see.

It was nearly two in the morning, the city as close to quiet as it got, so Dick ripped off the domino, hissing at the sting of pulled skin.  Maybe if he closed his eyes for a few minutes, he’d be able to make it.  But no; the second he closed his eyes, sleep tugged dangerously at him.  He’d collapse right here on this roof.

Sighing, he tucked his domino away and grabbed his grapple.  At best, his footing was shoddy on the roof’s edge, but he aimed as well as he could, and took off.  A few times, he nearly plummeted to the streets, barely catching himself but he managed to make it a mile and a half before he had to pause, panting, on another rooftop.

Bent double, his hands grasped around his knees, he blinked desperately, trying to clear the blur.

“It’s unwise to swing around Gotham with a bare face, little bird.  Someone might see you.”

The deep rumble of a voice could have been a hallucination—a few of the buildings had been laughing at him for the past few hours—but the warmth that manifested beside him was all real.

“Slade?” he groaned, “How long have you been tracking me?”

“I was going to ask you the same question, seeing as you’re on the roof of my safehouse,” Slade replied, voice easy.

Dick, half-conscious, blinked again, struggling to focus on the two Slade’s prowling around him.  Tingles sparked up his spine as he tried to stumble back.  “What?” he rasped, barely catching himself as his own feet betrayed him.

The two Slade’s stopped just a foot before him, scowling.  “Did you hit you head or something, kid?”  A large, gloved hand waved itself in front of his face.  “Or did you have a run-in with some unfortunate narcotics?”

Dick, amazingly, managed to shake his head, though it made a headache flare to dull life behind his eyes.  “’m fine.  Go away, Slade.  Not in the mood.”

Where was Slade’s helmet?

“I can’t very well leave a naked little bird alone in big bad Gotham when he can barely stand,” Slade rumbled, closing the space between them.  Trying to compensate, Dick took a step back, only to miss.  Knee buckling.  Before Dick could make his unfortunate impact with the ground, Slade’s thick, well-muscled arm caught his waist.

“Slade,” Dick warned, barely able to clear his vision long enough to meet the assassin’s eye.  The entire line of Dick’s body was pressed flush against Slade’s unforgiving armor—but Dick knew very well what laid underneath.  And it was very dangerous.  In more ways than one.

“Little bird,” Slade returned.  “I think I’ll be taking you.  Just for tonight.”  His single eyes glittered.  “Unless you’d like to stay longer.”

Dick pushed lightly as his chest, but the iron around his waist wasn’t letting him go, and he was in no shape to take on Deathstroke.  “Slade,” Dick whined.

“Come on, kid.  You know nothing will happen if you don’t want it to, but we need to treat—whatever is making the Boy Wonder lose his footing.”  With a finality that made Dick’s stomach flutter, he was hoisted over Slade’s shoulder without preamble.

A chuckle slipped past Dick’s lips as he swung from the assassin’s shoulder, barely paying attention to the walls darkening around him.  The firm grip on his ass didn’t help anything as his headache throbbed.  He knew this probably wasn’t the best idea, but the times in the past he’d encountered the Terminator, nothing—bad had befallen him.  It was more the opposite of bad.

A door clicked shut quietly, startling him back to the present.  Around him, a very high-end condo surrounded him, drapes heavy and thick on every single window.  He was flopped onto a deep sofa that smelled of… Slade.  But that thought wasn’t allowed to come to fruition when sharp pain needled his side.  Dick touched a hand against the source, pressing to test the pain and it flared cruelly.

“Ow,” he croaked, palm smeared with red.

“That’s a nasty wound, kid,” Slade said, crouching beside the couch to examine the apparent knife wound in his side.  That probably wasn’t helping his state of awareness.  Blood loss never did.  Somehow, the older man had already retrieved a med kit, laid on the coffee table behind him.  “Your suit is going to have to come off.”

“Your suit has to come off,” Dick slurred but didn’t protest.  The suit was too tight against his skin anyway.  Laid out on his back wasn’t the best position to remove his skin tight suit from, but that didn’t stop him from trying.  Slade’s low chuckle shivered through his bones and then his hands were all over him, finding where Dick had started his hidden zipper.  Dick’s breath was labored as Slade managed to peel his suit off his arms, down his chest to settle around his waist.

Slade’s callused fingers framed the wound in his side.  When had Slade removed his own gloves?

“You’ll live,” he deemed, reaching behind him for antiseptic and bandages.

“Great,” he muttered, tossing an arm over his eyes.  Something in the back of his mind wouldn’t let him relax though.  Dick barely registered the sting of the antiseptic.  What was he forgetting?  Grabbing his comm unit, he brought it to his face, only to have it snatched away, tossed into some dark corner of the even darker room.  Dick didn’t know how Slade cold see what he was doing.  “Hey!”

“I don’t need you giving away the location of my safehouse,” Slade said plainly, working on taping down the bandage against Dick’s wound, just above his hip.

“I aldedy—already know where your safehouse is,” he garbled, blinking some haze from his eyes.  “That piece of tech is exce—excemsive; you can’t just throw it.”

“I’m sure it’s seen worse,” Slade replied, taping down the final piece.  “And I want you to know where my safehouse is, that doesn’t mean I want the Bat knowing.”

Heat gathered in Dick’s cheeks before he could help it.  Even though he’d turned his blurry gaze to the ceiling, it didn’t stop strong fingers grazing over his cheekbone.

“That’s a pretty blush, little bird.  I wonder how far down I can get it.”

Slade’s low comment was no help with his reddened face, so he just turned towards the back of the couch.  “Didn’t you want to figus—figshur—fig—” Dick couldn’t even finish with the lead in his bones, pressing his headache tighter.

“Figure out what’s making you act like you had a run in with Ivy?” Slade finished for him, which only made Dick huff in annoyance, hand drifting for his newly bandaged wound but only encountered Slade’s large palm.  Ready and waiting to snatch his hand up.  “Do you remember if you sustained a head injury?”

Dick was very aware of Slade drawing his hand towards his mouth, breath warm over his fingers.  A shiver crawled from his palm through his chest, all the way down his spine. 

“If I did, wouldn’t I not remember?” Dick teased, refusing to look as Slade’s lips drifted gently over his uncovered wrist. 

“Funny,” Slade murmured, “So not a head injury.  Your pupils looked fine as well,” he mused, almost to himself, even as Dick felt the touch of teeth against his inner arm. “When was the last time you slept, pretty bird?”

Dick turned, mouth parted to respond just as Slade cut him off.  “More than four hours.”

“I don’t know,” he sighed, eyes trained on the trail Slade’s mouth was tracking up his bicep, almost touching his shoulder.  “Maybe…four.  Days ago.”

“Now I know why you’re so loose,” Slade growled against his skin, mouthing at the junction of his shoulder.  It was too easy to just let Slade’s teeth nip at his skin, no doubt leaving rosy bruises in their wake.  Dick had to curl his hand in Slade’s hair, longer than his usual buzz cut.  Working his way down his pec, Slade took his sweet time, a giant hand sliding around Dick’s nape.  A possessive vice that held him in place, arching him up into Slade’s mouth.

Dick groaned, eyes fluttering shut as the heat of Slade’s tongue overtook his nipple. The hand that wasn’t cupping his neck was grazing delicately over his ribs.  A sharp flash of pain had Dick jerking, eyes cracking open, his moan strangled.  Slade’s tongue released his nipple, only for a moment.

“Cracked ribs too,” Slade chided, wet lips brushing up to the corner of Dick’s jaw.  Shuddering was a bone-deep reaction, Slade’s mouth so close to his ear.  “What am I going to do with you, pretty bird.”  It sounded more of a threat than a question, a threat that had sparks tingling down his skin.

Slade’s mouth drifted to the corner of his mouth, dropping a gentle kiss to his parted lips.  Sweat beaded along his forehead as he watched Slade through lidded eyes, breath hitched and uneven from the sudden jolt to his ribs.  When had he cracked his ribs?  Maybe it was one of his rough landings on the way over here.

“I’ll be right back.”  But before Slade moved to leave, he planted a firm, all consuming kiss on Dick’s parted mouth.  He moaned, arching into Slade’s firm grip, sinking into the harsh grip on the back of his neck.

Dick probably wouldn’t admit this fully rested or without Slade’s tongue down his throat, but—he loved the possession.  Loved having his control ripped away from him by Slade’s domineering.  It made him feel safe.  Not that the manor or Bruce or Alfred never made him feel safe, though now all those things were tinged with bitterness thanks to his and Bruce’s latest argument.  With Slade, it was just—different.  With Slade, he didn’t have to be the golden boy or Boy Wonder.  With Slade, there was no back and forth as they wrestled for control of a mission or a team.  He could just be Dick, just as Slade took him apart piece by piece without judgement and wrecked him.

Dick probably wouldn’t admit this fully rested or without Slade’s tongue down his throat, but—Dick loved getting fucked stupid.

Fucked so hard and long and deep he couldn’t even think straight.  It was honestly a relief to give up control, if only for a few hours.

As soon as Slade pulled away, he hated the cold that took its place, panting harder for entirely different reasons.  But Dick let him leave all the same, running his tongue over his lips to taste the reminiscent Slade and watch the assassin stride into the kitchen.  Eyelids heavy, once Slade was gone from easy view, Dick let them slide closed, hand drifting to the warm, throbbing nipple Slade had been teasing.

If his bones weren’t so heavy, Dick would have let Slade jump them.

He heard some clinking in the kitchen, then soft footfalls coming back towards him, them passing him entirely.  There’s no real focus left in him to follow the sound across the apartment.  His breathing evened out, mind drifting with static for a little while, but not fully letting go.  There was something—

There it was again, that tickling in the back of his mind.  He’d forgotten something.  He’d remembered it only a few minutes ago.  What was it?

Jason.

He needed to send a message to Jason.  If Dick’s suspicions about Black Mask’s involvement were correct, then Mask was not going to be happy about having his front gang dismantled and imprisoned.  And…Bruce.  He grimaced, he still had to contact Bruce.  The notion left his stomach roiling.

As soon as Dick moved to sit up though, a rock-hard hand pinned him on the shoulder.

“I leave for five minutes, and you’re all tense again,” Slade mused, setting down a glass of water, next to a cup of pills and an ice pack.

Dick shoved at the immovable hand.  “Slade,” his voice was more exhausted than he’d meant for it to sound.  “I have to go.”

There were a dozen moves Dick knew that could easily release him from Slade’s grip, but his body wouldn’t let him shift to even start them.

“I don’t believe you do.”  The shadows of Slade’s condo cut the assassin’s jaw in a sharp line, crystalizing his single storm grey eye.  “From what I saw on that roof, you’d be a streak on the pavement before you even got a block away."

Dick’s fingers closed around Slade’s thick wrist.  Sometimes he forgot how big Slade was—Dick’s fingers couldn’t even completely circle the man’s wrist.   “I need to get to Batman—”

“Running back to Daddy won’t solve the stab wound or sleep deprivation, kid.  You’re not leaving.”

When Slade’s hand withdrew, Dick moved, making a break for the comm across the room.  But he was caught pathetically fast, pinned face down on the carpeted floor, the assassin layered against his back.  Stab wound screaming.

“You can barely beat me on a good day,” he murmured against his ear, tongue darting out against the shell.  A shiver greeted the action.  “Let me take care of you, pretty bird.”  Dick was already panting again from the short burst of exertion, the burning in his side and ribs renewed.

Maybe Jason and Bruce could wait till tomorrow morning.  The dizziness behind his eyes agreed, so, he let himself go slack beneath Slade’s considerable weight.  God, he’d caved so easily.

And in reward, Slade leaned down to whisper salaciously, “There’s my good boy.”  Dick whimpered.  “Now let me take care of you.”

A short nod from Dick had Slade hauling him off the floor and bridal carrying him to the sparse, open bedroom across the room.  But they bypassed the bed, moving to the bathroom, where Dick slowly registered the sound of running water, head lulling against Slade’s armored chest.

The assassin had removed his katanas and other weaponry already, probably while Dick had been zoning out.

Slade set him on wobbly knees in front of the sandy tiled shower, already steaming.  He let Dick grip his shoulders for balance as he crouched to remove Dick’s boots and peel the rest of his suit off.  Dick could barely keep his eyes open through the whole ordeal.  But when his suit was discarded on the ground, Slade rose, wrapping a heavily muscled arm around his waist and lifting Dick into the shower like he weighed nothing more than a feather.

“The bandage,” Dick murmured, forehead pressed against Slade’s chest, eyes blissfully shut as the warm water hit his back.

“Is waterproof, little bird,” Slade reassured, hands already soapy and sliding over Dick’s sweat sticky body.  Dick contented himself in listening to Slade’s steady heartbeat as the man himself washed away the excess blood and grime, careful of the sensitive cracked ribs.  Slinging his arms around Slade shoulders, Dick rested his eyes—and possibly fell asleep for a few moments because suddenly Slade was flipping the shower off and toweling droplets of water off Dick’s hypersensitive skin.

Dick moaned quietly, a little discomfort, a little pleasure as Slade grazed further south.  But then he was being scooped up again, carted back to the bedroom.  Depositing Dick on the bed, Slade quickly retrieved the ice pack, water, and meds from the living room.  Damp hair curling around his forehead, Dick hissed at the ice pack against his ribs, bare skin to pack, but Slade made up for with a startling, smoldering kiss.  Grip back on his neck, a comforting weight as Slade’s hand pressed the pack against his ribs.

With a parting lick of his lips, Slade drew back, grabbing Dick’s hand to lay it over the ice pack.  “Stay,” he ordered, single eye holding Dick’s gaze without problem.  He only nodded.  And took the pills Slade offered him.

Once Dick had drained the glass, Slade carded thick fingers through Dick’s wild locks.

“Now,” Slade purred, still unabashedly naked in the dark room, and Dick could do nothing but give all his attention.  “You’re going to sleep as long as you can, and then I’m going to fuck you so deep into this mattress you’ll have no choice but to relax.”

Dick’s mouth watered at the thought, and his cock had similar thought, tightening against the scant sheet covering his crotch.

“Understand?”

Frantically Dick nodded, pathetically pulling at Slade’s equally damp hair when Slade’s rough hand grazed over his sensitive half-hearted erection, pleased smirk ghosting the older man’s lips.

“You should get to sleep, pretty bird.  Sooner we can take care of this,” Slade said, pumping Dick once, tearing out a tired whine.  But Slade released him, only to retrieve a pair of his own boxers.  They were comically large on Dick’s narrow hips, but they were enough as Dick slid beneath Slade’s surprisingly luxurious sheets.  It felt nice all the way down in his gut when Slade carded his fingers through Dick’s hair again, leaning down to tease his lips into a languid kiss.

Slowly parting his lips, Slade’s tongue swept into Dick’s mouth as his eyes fluttered shut, a heavy hand reaching up to grip the older man’s shoulder.  Dick’s head spun, making him glad he was laying down even as Slade pulled away, grey eye hazy.

“There’s my good boy,” Slade rumbled, thumb circling his cheekbone.  “Now go to sleep.”

All of Dick’s reluctance drained away as Slade switched to the opposite side of the bed and slid beneath the covers with him.  It seemed Slade still had work to do, as after he’d slipped into his own boxers, he grabbed a tablet from the bedside table and started flicking through it.  Dick wormed his way over to line himself along Slade’s warm thigh. Something settled deep in the pit of Dick’s stomach as Slade’s hand settled in his hair.

Slipping into unconsciousness was surprisingly easy beside this world-renowned assassin.  Especially with the thought of what was to come when he woke, but all the same, he dropped like a stone into sleep, curled around Slade’s leg.