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Till The Lights Go Down

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The Manor is empty, a kind of emptiness that’s oppressive, heavy, suffocating. Bruce Wayne sits in the kitchen, eyes gazing unfocused on a cup of coffee that’s long turn cold, and wonders how things ended up like this. Dick, Jason, and now even young Tim are gone, slipped from his fingers. It’s only him and Alfred, and it’s been close to an hour since his butler had taken off to run some errands. It’s just him.

It’s his fault. His crippling loneliness is the product of his failure, his inability to hold on to, to protect, and to care for those closest too him. Dick left him after barely turning seventeen, fleeing to Jump City, creating the Titans, and eventually shedding the mantle of Robin. All his fault. Bruce knew he was stifling and demanded too much of the Boy Wonder to the point that Dick was begging, pleading for independence. He remembers that night all those years ago, the last night Batman and his first Robin were together on patrol. The wind was howling across the rooftops of Gotham as Robin screamed angrily at Batman, and he just stood there, taking it and not saying a word. He vividly remembers the sting of pain as Robin ripped off his mask and his “R” patch, hurling them at Batman before hurling and flipping himself off the rooftop and out of Bruce’s life.

He was even worse with Jason—cold and distant—when the boy from the streets craved so obviously the attention and affection of anyone, but particularly of Bruce. Jason was violent, brash, and wild, and clashed often with Bruce. The dominance that Jason carried as an alpha was potent and loud in contrast with Dick whose dominance was softly demanded and expected. Still recovering from the loss of Dick, Bruce pushed him away when he should have held him close. And then Jason had died. His fault again, his biggest failure as both Batman and a guardian (if he could even call himself that). And then Jason was back someway and somehow but as Red Hood. Bruce couldn’t even rejoice the apparent resurrection of his son because Jason hated him, wanted nothing to do with him, and made it known.

And finally there was Tim. The soft-spoken, genius beta became his third Robin, and Bruce was determined not to be a fuck up for once in his life, and not only train this boy to the best of his ability but to care for him, but Tim was drifting away too, spending more and more time in Bludhaven with Dick and Jason, Nightwing and Red Hood. The worst part was that Bruce didn’t even know why. He didn’t know where he went wrong, but the occasional day Tim went to visit his brothers turned into days at a time to weeks at a time.

So here he was. A failure of a guardian. A failure of a hero he supposedly was trying to be. And a failure of an omega, almost pack less and starving for the bonds he once held with his sons—or his wards as he probably should call them. Bruce blinked, lifted the coffee mug to his mouth, and took a long sip of the bitter and cold drink. His hand twitched, aching to call Alfred and ask him to hurry back to the Manor—the errands be damned. It was getting darker outside, and the darkness only did worse for Bruce’s thoughts. 

 

Chapter Text

“Batman,” Diana’s voice cuts through, startling Bruce out of his thoughts. He looks around the round table at the other members of the League, Superman, Aquaman, Flash, Martian Manhunter, and Green Lantern, all who looked at him expectedly. He had been consumed in his thoughts again and obviously missed something important.

Bruce clears his throat from beneath the cowl, shifting uncomfortably in his seat. “My apologies.”

From his peripheral, he sees Wally smirk. “I wonder what you were thinking about, Bat —”

“We were just discussing,” Diana cuts back in, “our next course of action in response to the numerous to the numerous high profile omegas going missing in the past months. A few have shown up dead recently, and the circumstances of their death hint that something extraterrestrial might be at play.”

“What makes you suggest that, Wonder Woman?” Superman asks, brows furrowed.

Batman’s hand nervously fidgeted underneath the table. He knows realistically that the knowledge of his dynamic was carefully concealed under scent blockers, scent neutralization patches, and suppressants, but Diana suddenly mentioning omegas to him had him blinking in surprise. To anyone and to everyone, he smells nothing more than the scent of his soap and daily cologne, both as Batman and as Bruce Wayne. Apart from Aquaman and Wonder Woman, the rest of the League also neutralized their scent to better conceal their identities from the rest of the world. Bruce zoned back onto the conversation.

Diana’s voice turned serious and solemn. “I have been in contact with multiple sources, and the bodies found are almost unrecognizable. If it’s not something extraterrestrial, whatever is killing these omegas is not human.”

“And these omegas? What makes them high profile?”

“Either ties to royalty or nobility or in many cases lots of money or fame. All around the world: Bucharest, Nice, Stuggart, Shanghai, and Rio to name a few.”

Bruce finally spoke up, desperate to get this meeting done, jump into a Javelin, and head back to the Manor, where it was safe. God, why was he so on edge? “We’ll need autopsy reports and lab results from one of the deceased, if not multiple. Diana, could you send me all the information you have on the all the victims?”

“Yes, of course. Batman—”

“If that is all, I must leave.” Bruce hastily stands up and makes his way towards the exit, his cape billowing behind him. He hears Diana sigh in disappointment as the door quickly shut close.

Bruce hustles down towards the hangar bay. He doesn’t make it too far when he hears the deep rumble of Clark’s voice close behind him. “Bruce, stop.”

It wasn’t spoken like an order, and from Superman’s perspective Batman and Bruce Wayne is an alpha or perhaps even a beta. Bruce knows Clark isn’t trying to order him, an omega, but he throws a glare over his shoulder still, slowing his step but not stopping. Clark easily catches up.

“Are you- are you,” Clark stumbles, something like concern laced in his voice.

“What,” Bruce snaps, not in the mood to play guessing games. He needed to get back to the Manor, to the Bat Cave or his bedroom. Yes, the Manor was lonely, but the Watchtower, orbiting in dark and cold space, was even more lonesome. He wanted to curl up in his nest and sleep. Wow, was he stress nesting?

“We’re concerned, Bruce. About you. You’ve been off.” Clark’s voice was soft, and he was giving Bruce that look, pretty blue eyes shining with pity.

“We?”

Clark huffed. “Diana and I, but I think most of the League has noticed something off.”

Bruce rolled his eyes. “Talking behind me back now?”

Suddenly, Clark was grabbing Bruce’s elbow, forcing Bruce to stop. Bruce violently shook him off, a snarl almost ripping from his throat. “Don’t touch me,” Bruce warned, his voice dropping an octave.

“Stop avoiding my question!”

“You haven’t ask me anything.”

“Are you okay?” The Man of Steel’s eyes were soft. It made Bruce’s stomach twist uncomfortably.

“I’m fine. Now leave me alone.”

Bruce turned on his heel sharply, continuing towards the hangar bay. Thankfully, Clark didn’t follow.

---

When Bruce arrives back at the Manor hours later, he is surprised to hear Alfred’s voice flitting through the expansive house. Bruce follows the sound to the kitchen where he is even more surprised to find Tim sitting at the granite countertop, elbows propped on the table and chin resting gently in the palm of his hand. The Beta has a wide, goofy smile splayed across his face, and Bruce’s heart jumps in his chest at the sight of his Robin so carefree and happy.

Bruce walks slowly into the kitchen, the conservation halting awkwardly. “Master Bruce, would you care for dinner?” Alfred asks. Bruce eyes the servings of meat and steaming vegetables before him, a plate already prepared and sitting before Tim. Were they waiting for him?

Tim eyes him curiously, head tilted to the side as he regards the omega. Bruce felt his skin prickle at the sight of Tim’s deep brown eyes so intently focused on him. Tim had grown up fast since Bruce had first adopted him when he was barely thirteen. Now eighteen, his Robin was now a grown adult, tall, muscular but still so lithe, and incredibly handsome. Bruce turns his attention back to Alfred, shaking his head.

“Thank you, Alfred, but I have eaten already,” he lies, a second from turning on his heel to stalk back towards the Bat Cave, where he could curl up safely in his nest that laid there.

“Would you still sit with me at least, Bruce?” Tim inquires, eyes still calculating and analyzing.

Bruce doesn’t even try to think of an excuse, nodding and quietly slipping into the chair besides Tim. A month. It had almost been a month since Bruce last saw Tim, sat down with him and ate dinner with him. He craves to just lean over and rub his cheek against his beta to reinforce the pack bond between them that had been dwindling and weakening. Omegas were more sensitive to pack bonds and needed more reassurance, but Bruce had no idea to ask for that reassurance without looking weak. So he doesn’t.

“What brings you back to Gotham?” Bruce asks hesitantly.

Tim laughs, a light and airy laugh that pulls at Bruce’s heart strings. He misses that sound. “I live here, don’t I?” the beta jokes as he begins to shovel Alfred’s delicious cooked meal into his mouth. Bruce’s eyes are immediately drawn to Tim’s pink lips. His mouth goes dry.

“You could have fooled me,” Bruce responds, attempting to joke back, but his voice just sounds strained and hurt. He cringes.

Tim’s smile does not waver. “Okay, okay. If you want the truth, I got into a little argument with Jason and Dick. I decided I needed to take a breath away from them if you know what I mean.”

Bruce’s heart clenches at the mention of his first and second Robin. It’s been even longer since those two have come to visit the Manor and him. Dick has called him sparingly, but always on manners related to business.

“What do you mean by little?” Bruce asks even though he really wants to ask how the two are doing.

Tim waves his hands. “You wouldn’t want to hear about it. It’s stupid, but I was hoping we could get back into the swing of things if you know what I mean. Batman and Robin back at it again in the streets of Gotham.” His voice is bright and hopeful. Bruce melts and gives him a small smile.

“I would like that.”

---

Later that evening after catching up with Tim, Bruce finally retires to his nest, a small room tucked away towards the back of the Bat Cave. Secluded. Warm. Safe.

He curls into himself into the small cot, surrounded by dozens of pillows, blankets, and items of clothing from his “pack.” Dick and Jason had left some shirts and jackets behind that Bruce had guiltily added to his nest, but the scents have long gone from them. He scavenges through his nest until he finds one of Tim’s shirts that had been left in the laundry, unwashed and smelling strong of the beta, like the ocean and lavender. Soothing.

He buries his face into it and his mind is consumed of thoughts of his Robin: training together, fighting together, laughing together, living together. His body flushes with heat as he thinks more about the beta. About his soft, dark, curling hair, his deep eyes, his strong shoulders, and those lips. God, those lips. So pink and warm. He imagines those lips on his neck as Bruce bears his neck to him in submission. He tosses and turns as he feels his underwear start to dampen and his cock stiffen. He wants to—needs to touch himself, but he doesn’t. It’s a line he won’t and can’t cross if he is thinking about his ward. It’s wrong.

Bruce whimpers and keens as he feels slick start to slide down the back of his thighs. He turns on his back, the friction of the cot against his cock becoming too much. He tosses the shirt away, clenches his eyes shut, wills those images of Tim away, and forces himself to sleep.

 He doesn’t.

Chapter Text

Dick loves kissing Jason. It’s one of his favorite things. Jason is wild and violent and kisses exactly like that. He loses his breath every time those warm, plump lips meet his own. Like now, for example.

Jason presses him against the back of an abandoned warehouse. They’re supposed to be on patrol, but Dick couldn’t resist him, and needed to feel that warm, hot mouth on himself. Jason licks into his mouth, and Dick signs in pleasure, letting him inside. It’s rough, all tongues, teeth, and salvia. Dick slides a hand into Jason’s chestnut hair, gripping onto the thick locks before yanking down, pressing their lips even harder against each other until he’s sure they’ll both bruise.

He feels the growl bubbling inside Jason’s throat, and he can’t stop the smile that spreads across his face. Jason breaks away, green eyes dark and pupils dilated as he stares down at Dick.

“Shit, Gray. You fucking drive me nuts,” he whispers right against Dick’s lips. His breaths smells like ash and smoke, but Dick can’t bring himself to care.

Dick arches up, pressing his chest flush against Jason’s own and smirks. He brushes his lips against the shell of Jason’s ear, dropping his voice down just a pitch. “Kiss me again,” he says.

Jason obliges, attacking Dick’s neck, nipping, sucking, and biting. Dick melts, a soft moan tumbling from his lips as he grinds his hips against Jason. The other alpha bucks against him, hands sliding from Dick’s waist to grip painfully at his hips.

Dick chuckles. “What’s gotten into you, little wing. You seem more worked up than usual.” It‘s supposed to be lighthearted and teasing, but the way Jason briefly tenses against him, Dick instantly knows something is not right.

He pushes against Jason’s broad chest, worry spiking when his replacement refuses to meet his eyes. “Jay, what’s wrong?”

Jason’s head is turned away, and Dick can see the clench of his jaw and practically hear the grind of his teeth. Dick’s expression softens. “Is this about Tim?”

The prolonged silence is all the answer Dick needs. He cups Jason’s cheek and offers a reassuring smile. “He’ll be back soon, you know? He’s just shocked is all, which is understandable.”

Jason runs an angry hand down his face, taking a step away from Dick, away from his touch. Dick’s hand falls limply to his side. He finally meets Dick’s eyes, an unreadable expression marring his features.

“How do you know?” Jason asks, voice uncharacteristically soft and hesitant. Dick shrugs.

“It’s Tim,” he says merely.

Jason shakes his head, frustrated. “No, no. How do you know, Dick? You saw his face. That didn’t look like a face that plans on coming back anytime soon.”

“He was shocked, Jay. He’ll register it soon and process it soon. Then we can talk about it, and he’ll be back.”

“He walked in on us fucking, Dick. He wasn’t shocked. He was disgusted!” Jason explodes.

Dick doesn’t respond immediately. Eyes wide and mouth slightly agape, he stares at Jason in wonder. Jason who is breathing heavily, fists clenched and cheeks so flushed that he can tell in dim light.

“First,” Dick begins slowly. “We weren’t fucking. We were making out. Our clothes were still on.”

“As if that hardly matters,” Jason grumbles.

“Second,” Dick says, voice rising and taking a step towards Jason. “Do you honestly think he’s disgusted, Jay? You think he would think that way? About us?We’re not really brothers, and Tim knows that.”

“We’re both alphas, Dick,” Jason says matter of factly. His eyes twitch as if he’s uncomfortable admitting that fact.

Dick laughs for real this time. “You think Tim is grossed out by the fact that we also like the same dynamic?”

Jason hesitates. “Yes.”

Dick closes the distance between them, grabbing Jason by his shoulders and giving him a slight shake. “Don’t be stupid. I know you know that Tim is smarter than that. He’s not some bigot.”

Jason huffs, calming down slightly. “Yeah, I know, but...his face though. He looked so betrayed or something. I can’t even describe it.”

“He’s probably upset we didn’t tell him. He did have to find out on his own.”

A small smile finally works it way on Jason’s lips. “I hate that you’re always so rational.”

Dick pushes himself on his tip-toes, pressing a chaste to Jason’s swollen lips. “That’s why you love me.” Jason’s smile widens more.

“And there’s no need to worry. He’s with Bruce in Gotham.”

Jason’s smile disappears as quickly as it came. “I don’t know why you told me that. That gives me all the reason to worry.”

Dick slaps his chest. “It’s good that Tim has a reasonably good relationship with Bruce. He deserves a figure like that in his life.”

“And we didn’t?” Jason throws back.

Dick’s breath catches in his throat. He doesn’t have a response for that. “He’s trying,” Dick says softly.

Jason gives him a quizzical look. “You’re the one to say that? He’s been reaching out to you the most, and you shut him down almost every time.”

“I’m trying too. That’s more than you.”

Jason shrugs, waltzing over to his discarded red helmet where Dick had thrown it earlier in a fit of passion. “Let’s go. I’m done talking about the Bat.”

 

—-

“Let me,” Bruce says gently, leading Tim towards the nearest seat in the Batcave, situated in front of dozens of screen displays with numerous case files pulled up on them.

Tim presses a warm cloth to the wound above his brow and chuckles. “Bruce, it’s fine. The crook got a lucky shot, but it’s not that bad.”

Bruce tosses his cowl to the side, before rummaging through some cabinets in search of the suture kit. They were both still clad in their respective Batman and Robin uniforms, freshly back from patrol and busting a drug ring that had been smuggling new illicit and dangerous drugs into Gotham. The smugglers had been ill trained and easy to take down, but there were a few dozen of them, and Tim had been slightly overwhelmed, allowing one of them to get a good swipe at him.

He hadn’t even noticed until the fight was over and he realized he had been seeing red the entire time. Not because of the cloud of anger but because apparently wounds to the face bleed a lot. Tim could even till behind the mask that Bruce had been horrified before Tim quickly reassured him that he was fine.

Now back at the Batcave, Bruce didn’t appear any less concerned. “It’s a small cut, Bruce,” he says softly, attempting to soothe the nervous omega.

“It’s still deep, Tim,” Bruce grumbles, stepping away from the cabinets and back over to Tim, suture kit and a bottle of hydrogen peroxide in hand. He kneels before Tim, and Tim’s mouth goes dry at the overtly submissive pose. God, Bruce probably doesn’t even realize. Omegas don’t naturally submit betas, it’s something that is usually saved for alphas. Bruce doesn’t even naturally submit to anyone. The dozens of girls of all dynamics that hang off Bruce’s arms at galas, charity events, parties, and on the covers of hundreds of magazines have all been apart of carefully constructed facade of a playboy billionaire.

Tim doesn’t respond. He doesn’t even know if he could. It feels like his brain is short circuiting. Bruce takes the cloth from Tim, dabbing at the wound with cotton balls and hydrogen peroxide. He flips open the suture kit, taking out the suture needles, thread, and scissors. Bruce works with practiced efficiency, threading the cleaned wound with expediency and accuracy. After he’s all stitched up, Bruce still dabs at the threaded wound, cleaning his forehead of all the dried blood.

Tim grabs Bruce’s wrist, and he instantly stills. I’m fine, now. The words die on Tim’s lip as he looks at Bruce, really looks. From close up, Tim can see how gaunt the omega’s face has become. His cheeks are hollow and sunken in, the skin under his eyes an ugly purple, and skin a sickly yellow. Bruce always looks stressed, but now he looks just sick. How did this happen in a month? Or was the happening sooner, and Tim just didn’t notice?

He’s about to ask Bruce what’s wrong, but he stops himself, knowing the Bruce will just give him some evasive answer, so he says the next thing that comes to mind.

“Dick and Jason are together,” he blurts before he can think twice.

Bruce blinks slowly, caught off guard by the random outburst. “Shit, I’m sorry. I don’t know why—“

“I know,” Bruce says simply, gently removing his wrist from Tim’s grip.

“What?!” Tim gasps, standing up suddenly, chair flying back. “How the fuck am I the last to know?”

Bruce clears his throat, gracefully rising to his feet. He opens his mouth, but Tim speaks again before he can.

“And how do you know, Bruce? Jason and Dick don’t even talk to you.” Shit, where did his filter go?

Bruce appears unfazed. “They didn’t tell me, Tim. I just knew. I could tell from the start that there were feelings there.”

“Oh,” Tim says dumbly.

There’s a pregnant pause. “Is that why you left? Are you upset that they are together?”

Tim groans. “No, no. I don’t care that they are together. It’s just...” Tim trails.

I wish they were with me, too.

“I just wish they told me. I thought we were closer than keeping secrets from each other.”

Bruce gives him a small, sad smile. “They probably didn’t know how to tell you. They must have been scared on how you would react.”

Tim blinks. He hadn’t thought of that. Him abruptly leaving probably hurt them. He didn’t even utter one word before packing up his bags and racing back to Gotham. Tim scratches the back of his head.

“I should probably talk to them, huh?”

Tim cannot really describe the expression that briefly passes over Bruce’s faces besides panic . Tim is briefly confused before Bruce quickly schools his features into one of indifference.

“That would be good, but I think that can wait until the morning. You should wash up and sleep. It’s been a long night.”

For the second time that night, Tim wants to ask Bruce if he’s okay. More than anything, he wants to hold Bruce in his arms and feel his heart beat against his own. Before, he could act on those desires, Bruce is turning around and stalking towards the back of the cave, and out sight.

“Goodnight,” Tim says to no one.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Loss of appetite. Trouble falling asleep. Anxiety. Difficulty concentrating. 

Those are Bruce’s symptoms, and they are worsening, gradually but noticeably. Busting the drug ring last night was more difficult than it should have been, his limbs had felt heavy, his reaction time was slower, and his concentration was obviously compromised to the point that he hadn’t noticed that Tim was practically surrounded and needed assistance. After the last smuggler had fallen, Bruce had been horrified to see Tim’s face drenched in blood. His fault, again.

His symptoms could point to a myriad of things. Difficulty concentrating and anxiety could mean a concussion. Loss of appetite could point to a weakened immune system so possibly the early stages of the flu? Trouble falling asleep could indicate insomnia. It could be anything, and Bruce would hate to self-diagnose himself, but he really didn’t want go to a doctor or worst a therapist.

But who was Bruce fooling? He was an omega, and all of his symptoms suggest bond starvation. Bruce runs a trembling hand through his hair as he reads the causes and prognosis of the ailment, lips pulled into a thin line.

Bond starvation refers to the decrease of hormones in an omega who is experiencing or has experienced weakened pack or mate bonds. Weakened pack or mate bonds can be caused by death in a pack or family, violence or tension in the household, or prolonged long distance between the omega and other members of the pack. Bond starvation alone is not fatal, but has correlation to an increased rate of suicidal ideation and suicidal thoughts in omegas who do not receive help.

Bruce signs, leaning back in his chair in the Batcave and crossing his arms of his chest, as he process the information. The good news is that he hasn’t been having any suicidal tendencies, so he must be in the early stages. Even better, Tim is back and no matter how much it hurt Bruce’s ego, he would try to reform their fraying bond. Tim would be accompanying him to a gala tonight in downtown Gotham, and even though Bruce hated entertaining Gotham elite, it was a good opportunity to get closer to his beta. 

Bruce hates that his dynamic biologically relies so heavily on the other dynamics. Through this own blood and sweat and in the wake of his parents’ murder, Bruce has carved a place for himself in Gotham, both as Bruce Wayne, the billionaire CEO of Wayne Enterprises, and Batman, the nighttime vigilante and founding member of the Justice League. Now, his biggest barrier is that fact that he’s suffering from bond starvation because of his lack of interaction and touch with an alpha or beta. 

Bruce checks his watch and curses. They should be leaving soon. He closes out the all the tabs related to bond starvation and omega health on the Batcomputer display screens. He would read up on it more when he had the time. Just as he was about to grab his suit jacket and make his way upstairs, the sound of his name cuts through the silence. 

“Bruce,” he hears Tim call. Bruce does his best not to appear startled. He notes that his situational awareness has decreased as well with his concentration and focus. Tim should not be able to sneak up on him, especially when he wasn’t even trying.

“Sorry, Tim. I’ll be ready in one—” he trails off as he turns around and registers that Tim is simply clad in a pair of jeans and t-shirt, a duffle bag slung over his shoulder. Bruce raises an eyebrow.

“Where are you going? We have that gala in less than an hour, and you’re not even changed,” Bruce asks. Tim looks everywhere but his eyes as he shifts his weight uneasily from side to side.

Tim clears his throat. “I’m catching a bus back to Blüdhaven tonight. I need to talk to Jason and Dick.”

Bruce suddenly goes cold, and he feels his heart drop in his stomach. He doesn’t let it show on his face however, retaining a neutral expression. 

“Don’t you think it’s best that you guys give each other a little room to breathe? It’s only been two days. Maybe you should call them first,” Bruce suggests, gripping the back of the chair so the beta won’t notice his trembling hand. He just got him back; he can’t leave now. 

“This is something I should do face to face. And the longer I wait, I think the worse things will get.”

“I can arrange a ride for you tomorrow morning if you want?” Bruce reasons before attempting to sound lighthearted. “We have that gala tonight, and I’d hate to go without a date.” His laugh is weak and discordant. 

Tim doesn’t even crack a smile. “I’m leaving now, Bruce. I’ll call you when I get there.” There’s a pause as the two just stare at one another. There’s a look in Tim’s eyes that’s all too familiar; it’s the same look that was in Dick’s eyes all those years ago on that rooftop. A look that says that he won’t be coming back. But Bruce won’t just stand there and take it this time.

“No.”

Tim raises an eyebrow, tilting his head in way that tells Bruce that he’s calculating and analyzing the situation. 

“No?” Tim echoes.

“No,” Bruce reiterates. “You can’t.” 

Another painful silences elapses between the two before Tim finally responds. “And why can’t I, Bruce?” Tim’s voice is low, not its usual chipper pitch. The only indication that Tim is angry. Bruce swallows, praying he words this right.

“You said it yourself. Batman needs a Robin. We’re a team.”

Bruce thinks about his life five years ago when he thought Jason was dead, when Dick and him were the most distant, and he really thought the loneliness was going to eat him alive. Then came along Tim Drake, bright, young, and so smart. Tim was a literal shining light in the darkness that had consumed him at the time. Batman needs a Robin. That’s what the thirteen year old beta had told Batman, and he was right. 

In truth, Bruce needs Tim. He hadn’t felt this lost since five years ago. He can’t lose him. 

Tim’s eyes soften, and for a glorious moment, Bruce is sure that Tim will drop the bag and things can go back to business as usual. 

“I’m sorry, Bruce,” he says. Bruce bites the inside of his cheek. “Jason and Dick need me too. I can’t leave family behind.”

Tim turns and leaves. 

—-

It’s a Friday night, so that means it’s pizza night at Dick’s apartment. The two alphas were sprawled across the couch, limbs tangled up and munching on some good-ole, greasy, cheese pizza from the local pizza diner. The lights were off as the watched in content and comfortable silence Good Will Hunting

Jason hummed in delight as Dick ran his fingers through his hair. Dick had been right. He had been worked up lately, and he was insanely grateful that Dick was able to calm and soothe his chaotic thoughts. Tim would be back soon. He just had to be patient. Give the kid at least a week, and if they haven’t heard anything then they would reach out.

Jason was just about to grab another slice when there was a knock on the door. They both still.

“You expecting anyone, Gray?” Jason asks hesitantly.

Dick shakes his head. “No, I’m not—“

Jason practically falls of the couch when there’s a second knock more persistent this time. He rushes to the door and flings it open, relief seeking into his bones when he sees Tim standing there, fluffy black hair, big brown eyes, and duffle bag at his side. Tim scratches the back of his head awkwardly. “Jay, look. I’m sorry—“

He doesn’t allow the beta to say one more word before he’s pulling the boy into a bone-crushing hug. Tim drops his bag and wraps his arms around the older alpha, both of them soaking in each other scents. Dick chuckles, pulling them both in from the hallway and shutting the door behind them.

“Barely even two days, Tim. We were gonna give you a week. Bats got on your bad side?” Dick jokes as Tim and Jason finally pull away from each other. 

Tim gives them both that heart-shattering, charming smile that’s he so famous for. “Believe it or not. Bruce kind of talked some sense in me and made me realize some things.”

“Well you’re just in time,” Dick muses, pulling the beta back to the living room and pushing him down onto the couch, Jason following close behind. “We just ordered some pizza and a 90s movie marathon is on. It’s your kind of night.”

Tim grabs Dick’s bicep, his face more serious than it needs to be. “What’s wrong, Timmy?”

“I need to apologize,” Tim admits. 

Jason groans, kicking his feet up on Dick’s coffee table and leaning back. “There’s no reason for apologies. It’s not like you hurt any of our feelings.”

Dick gives Jason a look over Tim’s shoulder at the blatant lie. Jason shrugs.

Tim shakes his head. “No, Jay, we should talk about this! I shouldn’t have just walked out without saying anything. I know that must have hurt you guys too.”

Dick smiles. Not talking about feelings was something that Jason and Dick had picked up from Bruce. Dick was happy that Tim hadn’t also gained the nasty habit

“Look, Tim. We’re sorry. We didn’t want to make you uncomfortable. We should have told you—.”

“Jay, stop.” Tim’s face is serious as if he’s not sure if he really wants to say what he’s about to say. “You guys don’t make me uncomfortable. And yes, I wish you guys told me sooner. But that’s not actually why I was upset.”

Jay raises an eyebrow, on edge again. Dick rubs Tim’s back soothingly. “You can talk to us, baby bird.”

Tim takes a shuddering breath in, and Jason can hardly believe the words that come out of his mouth. 

“I was jealous,” he whispers. “I am jealous,” Tim corrects, gaze focused on the TV screen in front of them. He‘s wringing his hands in his lap, obviously nervous and awaiting their reactions.

Dick grabs Tim chin, forcing their eyes to meet. “Tim, what do you mean?”

“You know,” Tim answers vaguely.

“No, I don’t. You’ll have to be more—“

Tim grabs the back of Dick’s neck and smashes their mouths together. Jason sits there in awe as he watches beta kiss the living daylights out of the alpha. Dick is rigid at first before he slowly melts into the kiss, and Jason instantly feels himself harden. Shit, that’s hot. He’s not gonna lie. Jason and Dick have both talked about their mutual attraction towards the third Robin, but they would never have guessed that the feelings were reciprocal. 

Tim pulls away from Dick, both their mouth red and slick with saliva. Tim turns to Jason, and Jason cannot tear his eyes away from those lips. “Timmy,” he whispers before the beta is grabbing him and pulling him into a ground-breaking kiss. 

Tim tastes so sweet, so different from kissing an alpha like Dick. His lips are soft, supple, and so pliant under his own. Jason’s wandering hand finds its way around the pale column of Tim’s slim throat, not squeezing just holding him there. Tim gasps nonetheless, and Jason takes the opportunity to plunge his tongue inside, exploring the boy’s warm and wet mouth. 

Jason is practically high off all the hormones that are wafting through the small apartment. He can smell Dick’s and Tim’s arousal so distinctly, and he can feel his mouth begin to water. He gives Tim’s neck a light squeeze, and the beta gives him back a beautiful whimper. Jason breaks the kiss to look at the third Robin, mouth swollen, eyes clenched shut, cheeks red, and bulge pushing at the front of his jeans. 

“I wish you said something earlier, Timmy,” he whispers, voice rough from arousal. Dick presses against Tim’s back, one hand rubbing across his chest and the other making its way up his thigh. Tim’s breath hitches as he stutters, “P-Please.”

Dick smiles, dark and sinful, as he licks a long strip behind the beta’s ear. His eyes are mischievous and hooded with desire. “Please, what?” he asks, teasing. 

“Touch me, please. I want it so bad.”

Jason would have never pegged Tim as a begger, but it’s a nice surprise nevertheless.

Dick’s hand comes to press against Tim’s front, and the beta bucks up into his touch. Dick chuckles. 

“Don’t worry, baby bird. We’ll take care of you.”

Dick pops open the front button.

—-

Bruce is drunk. 

Not the fake drunk, he sometimes pretends to be when he either isn’t in the mood to talk to the stiff collar, upper class Gothamites or when he’s trying to make a scene. 

He’s the kind of drunk, where he’s trying to forget. I can’t leave family behind. Tim’s words echo hauntingly in his mind, bouncing of the walls of his brain, driving him insane. Was he not family? Apparently not.

Bruce takes another clumsy swig of his champagne from his flute, the bitter taste of self-pity burning his mouth. Why is he feeling so sorry for himself? This was his fault. 

A woman is draped over his arm, clutching at his arm and talking his ear off even though he can’t make out one word the woman is saying. He can’t remember her name nor tell if she came with him or just fell all over him when he arrived. He doesn’t care. He downs the rest of his drink, before shaking her off and handing her the rest empty glass.

It’s too bright in this godforsaken ballroom, the bright lights reflecting off the thousands, glittering chandeliers, and worsening Bruce’s mood even more. Why did he even come? He wants nothing more to go back to his nest and pretend this night never happened.

He stumbles out of the ballroom, ignoring the few people who try to get his attention for a small chat. He drags himself through the luxury hotel lobby before finally stepping out into the cold night. He should call someone, Alfred or his chauffeur, to get home. Home. It doesn’t feel like that. It’s so lonely at the Manor. His nest only gives him the illusion of safety. Tim, Jason, and Dick. They are home. God, he misses them.

He begins trudging down the sidewalk, no destination in mind except somewhere he can think. His phone feels heavy in his pocket, practically burning a hole into his thigh. He wants to call Tim. He’s pretty sure the beta isn’t upset that he told him he couldn’t leave. If he confesses what he suspects to be true, Tim would understand and come back. He might insist that Bruce see a doctor, but it would be worth it if Bruce didn’t have to go back to that lonely, suffocating Manor. He doesn’t want to force the boy to choose between him and being with Jason and Dick (he would lose every time anyway), so he would obviously let them all come back.

Bruce tries to imagine all three of his Robins back, and something warm blooms in his chest. 

He steps into a nearby alley and hurls his guts into a trash can.

When that’s over, he wipes his mouth clean with cuff of his suit. He reaches into his pocket and dials Tim’s personal phone number, continuing to make his way down the sidewalk, completely oblivious to the van that is cruising at his pace on the other side of the road. Bruce doesn’t know how long he’s been out, but it’s enough time to for him to wind up in the rougher parts of Gotham. He doesn’t care at this point, the alcohol muddling his brain.

It automatically goes to voicemail. “Shit,” Bruce curses. It’s so cold he can see his breath. He calls again. It goes to voicemail again. Bruce wants to slam his phone against the pavement.

God, he’s out of control. He hates being an omega, subject to these fucking irrational biological inclinations. So emotional, so weak.

His phone rings, and he answers without even checking the caller ID. “Tim?” he answers hopefully, praying his words don’t sound too slurred.

“It’s me, Master Bruce,” Alfred responds over the line. It’s not the voice Bruce was expecting, but the beta’s warm voice does ease his nerves.

“My apologies, Alfred. Is there something you need?”

“Sir, it’s nearly one o’ clock in the morning. Is there a time I should expect you back by?”

Bruce checks his watch, but the numbers were beginning to move and dance across his sight. He hums in acknowledgement.

“I hadn’t realized, Alfred,” Bruce says. He glances down the street to where an old motel sign fizzles loudly. “I’ll be staying at a hotel tonight. You can expect me back sometime tomorrow morning.”

“Yes, sir. Are you alright?”

Bruce takes in a shuddering breath, ready to spill everything to Alfred. His mouth snaps shut. Control. He would have control over himself.

“I’m perfectly fine, Alfred. Just tired. I’ll see you in the morning.” He hangs up.

As he shovels his phone back into his pocket, Bruce finally feels the presence at his back, a presence that’s been there longer than it should be. Shit, he’s just realizing this now.

Too late, he tells himself as he feels an arm twist around his neck, throwing his body in the closest alley. Bruce grunts as he slams into the concrete. Bruce is up however before anyone else can land a hand on him. He’s trained himself and his other Robins how to fight while feeling the effects of different drugs, alcohol would be no different. There’s three men, judging from their size and build, blocking his exit from the alley. Bruce glances behind him to unfortunately see a concrete wall. He’ll have to fight.

His mind is already swirling, trying to reason who these men are and what they want. They don’t have any apparent weapons and Bruce is obviously not dressed at the Batman, so Bruce knows they know they are dealing with Bruce Wayne, the playboy billionaire.

“What do you want?” Bruce growls.

The men are hooded and clad in all black, including black boots and gloves. They don’t move a muscle, not until, a blue van comes screeching to a stop from behind them. The windows are dim, so Bruce cannot make out any of the features of whoever is behind the wheel. A kidnapping, then. He’s thwarted kidnappings before, mostly of crooks trying to take off with Dick when he was younger in exchange for ransom money. They never succeeded, but Bruce has never dealt with someone trying to kidnap himself.

He waits for them to make the first move, and they do.

The biggest one approaches him first, and Bruce immediately recognizes that he’s dealing with trained fighters, not crooks looking for money. The big man’s punches are calculated, precise, and powerful. Bruce dodges the first one, and is able to land a swift kick to the stomach for a counter, but the man is able to grab his ankle before Bruce can retreat and gives it an awful twist. Pop.

Bruce grimaces, but doesn’t hesitate to slam his elbow against the man’s nose. Blood explodes from the man’s nose, and he stumbles back, letting go of Bruce. Bruce’s ankle is throbbing, and he hisses in pain when he sets his foot back down. Not good. He can’t put too much pressure on the ankle; he’ll have to fight off balance.

He doesn’t have time to devise a plan of attack before the other two are on him, punching and kicking with a terrifying ferocity. Bruce does his best to evade, but he’s cornered with nowhere to go. Just as he knees one in the groin, the other lands a perfectly placed punched right to Bruce’s temple. The world tilts, and Bruce suddenly finds himself face first on the pavement, head screaming in pain.

Someone turns him over, and Bruce briefly blacks out as two more punches are landed, one to the eye and the other to the mouth. Bruce puts his hands up to protect his face, but the bigger one is back, pulling back the one that had knocked him out.

They whisper something angrily to each other. And wow, that is not a language that Bruce has ever heard in his life. And he has studied dozens of languages.

Bruce turns his head to the side, spitting blood that had pulled in his mouth. “What do you want from me?”

Bruce didn’t expect a response, and they don’t give it to him. He struggles as two of them latch onto his upper body, and the other one grabs his legs.

“Let me go, you fuckers,” he yells, in a desperate attempt that someone will hear him and call 911. Bruce’s heart is beating wildly in his chest as real panic sets in.

The van’s door slides open, and Bruce’s eyes widen when he sees a gurney with leather straps, an IV, heart monitor, and two other figures, also dressed in black. Surprisingly, he is gently placed on the gurney, as the two new figures tear off his suit jacket and white button up before quickly strapping the leather restraints across his chest, stomach, arms, and legs. Bruce headbutts on of the men holding him down. That earns him a leather restraint around the forehead.

He twists and turns, but the restraints are thick and hold. “What do you want?” he asks for the third time.

This time, he gets an answer. One of the figures, pulls their hood off. It’s a woman with white skin, red hair, and purple irises.

“What the hell,” Bruce whispers, not even trying to hide his astonishment. Batman would have been unfazed because Batman has dealt with invading alien robots before, and actually works with an alien, goddess, and merman. He reminds himself that he is Bruce Wayne.

The woman shushes him, resting a cold hand on his sternum. “It is best if you do not resist. We do not plan to hurt you or hold you for long. We merely seek to perform some tests.” She speaks with a light accent.

Bruce spits in her face. There’s a pause as the woman, creature, reels back in disgust and calmly wipes her face. Then in the next second, there’s a stinging pain across Bruce’s cheek as the woman slaps him. Definitely, not fully human. If the eyes weren’t already a dead giveaway. He feels wet, sticky blood drip down his cheek, and he glares at the woman and the gaudy ring perched on her thin finger.

“It’s a good thing you’re a fighter,” she purrs, leaning down until they’re practically nose to nose. “Batman.”

Bruce doesn’t change his features. He’s dealt with a few accusations in the past of posing as the vigilante especially since he publicly funds the Justice League, but they’ve all been dismissed as mere gossip. He’s not going to give this woman the benefit of the doubt.

“There’s no reason to try and pretend you’re not. Just, as there is no reason to try and pretend you’re not an omega either.”

Bruce’s blood goes cold. The woman giggles, a sharp nail resting on the underside of his chin. “We’ve been watching you for a long time, Bruce. We have to make sure you’re the perfect match.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” he hisses.

“Of course you don’t, but you will soon.” Her nails runs down his neck, to one of his four mating glands. Bruce’s muscles flex involuntarily. “Despite your age, you’ve remained in peak physical condition. You’ve managed to amass yourself a small empire here in Gotham. And not to mention... you’re just so handsome.”

“From the looks of it, you seem to be suffering from bond starvation as you humans describe it, but that’s no problem to us,” she continues as another figure, a woman too also with vivid purple eyes, hands her a bottle. She pops open the cap and squirts a cold gel onto Bruce’s chest and stomach, her even colder hand spreading it evenly.

“Who is ‘us’?” Bruce asks tentatively, attempting to squeeze whatever information he can out of this woman.

She raises an eyebrow, smile pulling at the corner of her lips. “You can call me Myra. That’s all I’m telling you. Now shut up if you know what’s best for you.”

She snaps at the other woman in her own language, and the other quickly gets to work, sticking electrodes all over Bruce’s torso. The van remains stationary to Bruce’s surprise. They don’t plan on taking him anywhere.

He hears the heart monitor come to life just as he feels the prick of an IV in his hand.

“Just gonna take some blood, Brucie. Hold still,” Myra jokes.

Bruce doesn’t have much mobility in his neck, so he can’t actually see the syringe dangling from Myra’s hand, but he does feel it. They take several vials from him to the point where Bruce’s vision is becoming foggy and distorted. Coupled with the fact that Bruce mostly likely has a concussion, he feels himself about to drift away any second now.

They talk over him, in English or their language, Bruce can’t tell. If it’s a few minutes or an hours, he cannot tell either.

He’s startled back to reality when Myra taps him on the nose. He glares. “One more thing, and then you’ll be done. We need to test your reaction to our aphrodisiac.”

Aphrodisiac?! Bruce squirms, but Myra merely laughs. “We won’t touch you, Bruce. Don’t fret.”

There’s a prick at his neck, and the effects are almost immediate. Bruce has faced Poison Ivy’s dangerous and mind-altering pheromones before, but her concoctions always took a little time work their way into the blood stream. Whatever Myra gives him is five times as powerful.

Bruce whimpers as he feels his slick soak the back of his pants and the gurney beneath him. Myra giggles again. “That’s what I hoped for.”

Fuck you Bruce tries to stay but it comes out as a wheeze. God, he feels like he’s sucking wind through a straw. Myra’s finger make it way back to his throat, and he flinches hard.

“That’s expected. All four of your mating glands are swollen. It must be painful, pressing down on your windpipe.”

Bruce is hot, so hot, sweat beading at the edge of his hairline. He’s in heat.

Myra presses a cold kiss to his forehead, and Bruce resists the urge to hurl again, afraid he’ll choke and die on his own vomit.

There’s another needle pressing into him, as Myra whispers, “Goodnight.”

The world goes black.

Chapter Text

Tim wakes slowly, daylight escaping from behind the curtain to softly fall across his face and rousing him from his sleep.

Smell. The scent of sex and sweat hangs heavy in Dick’s bedroom, heady, strong, and intoxicating. Eyes still tightly shut, Tim breathes in a lungful of the aroma, relishing in the memories from last night.

Touch. He’s a little too warm. Dick’s cotton sheets are twisted and entwined uncomfortably around Tim’s limbs, and after another second or two of clarity, Tim becomes distinctly aware of the two hot bodies nestled in the heap of sheets and blankets. Dick’s sleeping face rests on the pillow across from Tim, mouth slightly unhinged and snoring softly. Jason is behind, broad chest pressed against Tim’s naked back and arm slung over and curling gently around his torso.

Sight. Tim’s groggy eyes flutter open, squinting in the harsh sun. He lifts his head slightly, peering over Dick’s shoulder to read the clock perched on the nightstand. 7:20 AM. He huffs. It’s a Monday, and Tim usually spent Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday working long hours at Wayne Enterprises back in Gotham.

These past few months, it had been a pain commuting from Bludhaven to Gotham and back, but it had been worth it. Soon after Tim decided to take a gap year after high school graduation, Bruce had surprisingly come to him with an offer—to head the entire Wayne Securities branch as executive manager. It was and still is a daunting task as an eighteen year old, but it was a blessing to be able to harness his computer skills towards something other than vigilante work.  

He usually reported in around 8:00AM, but he supposes he can call in sick, much too content in the confines of Dick and Jason’s embrace despite the heat. Dick rolls closer, groaning and mumbling gibberish under his breath before quickly falling back into deep sleep. Tim can’t help but giggle, smothering the sound into his own pillow.

Jason’s arm tightens around his waist. “What’s so funny, Replacement?” a voice rough from both sex and sleep ghosts over his ear. Tim involuntarily shivers, the hair on the back of his neck rising.

“Dick looks so cute while he sleeps,” Tim whispers.

Well, Dick always looks so cute. Pale skin, dark lashes, pink lips, and hair as dark as the night sky. Social media and gossip magazines went crazy for the first adopted son of Bruce Wayne, crowning him the second most eligible bachelor right behind Bruce himself. Dick was public with his dynamic unlike Bruce however so the title of “alpha heartthrob” was also added to the list.

Jason hums in agreement, slowly sitting up. “He’s going to be late for work.” He gives Tim a mischievous look, and something curls in his gut. Jason leans down, pressing an open mouth kiss to Tim’s jaw. “Shall we wake him?”

Tim’s breath hitches as Jason yanks the sheets from his body, exposing the beta’s naked, slender body. Jason growls before leaning over and smothering the younger boy in a motley of kisses and bites, starting from his neck to his chest, belly, and finally to the sensitive insides of his quivering thighs.

Tim lets out a beautiful moan, heat rising to cheeks as the alpha slowly spreads his thighs, kisses slowly making their way to where Tim truly wants them. He’s already hard, the typical horny teenager he is.

“Yes, Jason,” Tim groans, hands fisting into the sheets in anticipation. “There,” he squeaks as Jason swallows his cock whole.

Tim’s spine arches as his whole world tilts in a daze of pleasure. He wants to clamp his thighs shuts in response, but Jason’s grip is bruising and unrelenting. Jason makes quick work, hollowing out his cheeks and bobbing up and down. Tim cannot stop the cacophony of noises that spill from him as he feels that familiar ball of pleasure build in his stomach.

Jason’s rough and calloused hand caresses his stomach, nails slightly scratching the soft skin. His hand moves lower and lower, a thick finger swiping over Tim’s hole, and Tim sees stars, gripping onto Jason’s shoulders as he cums with a shout.

Tim guesses he must have blacked out for a second because the next thing he registers is Dick’s amused face hovering above his own. “That’s a nice wake up call,” he says, wide smile on his face.

Jason collapses back down on the other side of Tim, licking his lips, he says, “You got fifteen minutes to get down to the station, Dick.”

Dick’s eyes widen, and he clambers off the bed in a hurry, cursing when he reads the clock that now says 7:30AM. “Thanks, Jay,” he grumbles as he throws his closet open, scavenging for a pair of trousers and tie.

Dick had been working at the Bludhaven police station as a detective ever since he officially retired from the Titans and working as Robin. Now he was Nightwing by night and Detective Grayson by day.

Tim rolls out of bed after him much to Jason’s dismay who whines in protest. “I have to make a call to Wayne Securities, so they know I won’t be coming in today.”

He stands up on slightly shaky legs, his whole body still tingling from the blowjob Jason had given. He quickly finds his underwear from where it had been discarded last night, slipping them on, before retrieving his jeans, phone still safely tucked in the back pocket.

(2) Missed Calls.

Tim raises an eyebrow in his confusion when he unlocks his phone and discovers that both are from Bruce’s personal cell. Two missed calls, no text messages. If Batman needed Robin, he would have been reached him through the Oracle communication network. The calls were timestamped at 12:45AM and 12:47AM, odd times especially considering that Bruce wasn’t out on patrol. Was he calling to talk about Tim’s increasingly long absences from Gotham? To berate him or ask that he come back?

The truth is that Tim misses Gotham, misses Bruce, misses Alfred and the Manor whenever he stays in Bludhaven. The past five years had been grueling—working as Robin was not easy, hard on the body and mind, especially considering Bruce pushes him to the limit every day in training. It’s what he wanted, it’s what he begged Batman for, when he saw Batman spiraling out of control and into a darkness that nobody but Robin could pull him from.

But then he started getting closer Dick Grayson, the first Robin and Boy Wonder. Tim was in awe when he first met the man, but then he had started getting closer to Dick in a way that only Robins could understand. And then, Jason had come back from the dead, resurrected from a shift in reality and the Lazarus Pit. His relationship with Jason had been… rocky at the start (well, he tried to kill him), but coming back to life can have scary effects on someone, so Tim doesn’t blame him.

Now, Tim was torn between to cities and between the people he loved the most, Jason, Dick, and Bruce. Tim knows Jason and Dick don’t hate Bruce. They just…butt heads a lot…about almost everything. But he know, he knows without a doubt in him mind that the three want to rekindle their relationship. They’re pack, after all. A very dysfunctional pack with some issues to work out, but a pack nonetheless.

He calls back.

The phone rings five times before an automated voicemail clicks on. Tim sighs before deciding to simply message.

Tim: Everything okay? Do we need to talk?

He stares at the text for an unnecessarily long time. Dick peers over his shoulder, wearing grey trousers, a white button down, black tie, and badge hanging around his neck.

“You and Bruce good?” he asks.

Tim nods his head. “I just missed some of his calls last night.

“Huh,” he says vaguely.

“I think something is wrong with Bruce,” Tim blurts. Shit, he’s making a habit of blurting out whatever is on his mind.

Jason sits up against the headboard, hands behind his head. “What do you mean?” He looks worried.

“He looks like he hasn’t sleep in ages. I think he may be sick. Flu, maybe? I don’t know,” he rambles awkwardly.

Dick pats him on the shoulder, reassuring smile across his face. “I’m sure he’s fine, little bird. Bruce looks like the walking dead most of the time.”

“I don’t know guys,” Tim whispers. “You should see him.”

He’s met with a heavy silence. “All three of us should go and visit the Manor soon. I think Bruce and Alfred would like that. We haven’t been all together as a pack in over a year. It would be good for us.”

Good for Bruce goes unspoken.

Dick face is soft, and Jason looks like he’s contemplating. “We’ll talk about this later, alright? When I come back tonight?”

Tim nods mutely, silently knowing that they wouldn’t talk about it. Dick gives him another smile before grabbing his bag and turning towards the door. He stops, hand braced on the doorknob, as Tim’s phone rings suddenly and loudly.

Alfred the caller ID reads.

Tim doesn’t hesitate and answers the call.

“Alfred? Is everything alright?”

“Hello, Master Tim. Do not worry, but Master Bruce has been hurt.”

---

Four white walls is what Bruce registers when his heavy eyelids peel open, flinching at the bright lights. His mind is mush, only pain filtering through his senses. Pain in his ankle, pain across his face. He tries to move around but his limbs feel like lead and a sharp tingling sensations rockets through his muscles.

He hears voices around him, but he feels like he’s underwater, voices muffled and time moving slower. He hears someone calling his name, incessantly but gently.

“Mr. Wayne? Mr. Wayne?”

He groans in response.

“Go fetch Dr. Hamilton. He’s waking up.”

His eyesight finally clears, the room he is in coming into focus and clarity. A hospital room. He’s lying on a hospital bed with thin paper sheets and large blue blanket, IV in his hand. There’s a woman too, a nurse judging from her outfit, and she’s giving Bruce a tight-lipped smile.

“Where am I? How did I get here?” are the first thing Bruce asks, attempting to sit up. His voice is scratchy and coarse, a small tightness and soreness still in his throat.  The nurse places a palm against his chest, softly but Bruce still uncharacteristically flinches, expecting a cold touch but instead receiving a warm one.

The nurse retracts her hand automatically. Her name tag reads Sierra. She’s short and petite, flowery scent wafting from her naturally. Omega.

“You’re at Gotham General Hospital, Mr. Wayne. An ambulance brought you here late at night in response to a 911 call. You were found, beaten and unconscious in an alley.”

“Who called? Who found me?” he asks with more urgency. There’s a terrifying blankness in his mind. He vaguely recalls the gala last night and attempting to call Tim. Alfred had called him perhaps as well. There was somebody following him as well—more than one?

“We were not given that information, Mr. Wayne, but the police officers who were on the scene may be able to tell you. I’ve written down their names for you, and they would like for you to come down to the station as soon as you are feeling better, so they can finish filing a report.”

“Why can’t I remember anything?” he growls, upset at how vulnerable he feels.

The omega nurse swallows. “Dr. Hamilton should be here any second to explain things more in depth.”

“Tell me now.”

Sierra sighs. “We took some blood samples to run some tests, and found traces of multiple drugs. Phosphodiesterase and yohimbine are common substances found in aphrodisiacs. We also discovered benzodiazepines, a drug that is both a sedative but can effect short term memory. That coupled with the high level of alcohol in your blood would explain the memory loss you are experiencing.”

Sedatives. Aphrodisiacs. Memory loss. Who would do that to him?

“Aphrodisiacs?” he repeated dumbly.

“You were found in a drug-induced heat, Mr. Wayne.”

Shit. Just as Bruce was about to open his mouth to bribe the nurse and whatever doctors also knew into silence, she consoled him.

“Please do not worry. We have a strict confidentiality policy and a need-to-know basis here. Only I, Nurse Laura, and Dr. Hamilton who treated you are aware of your dynamic status, and it will remain that way.”

“Good,” Bruce grumbled.

At that moment, the doors to the hospital room opened, a young doctor with dark skin emerging, followed by an even younger nurse. He shuts the door softly behind the two.

“Good morning, Mr. Wayne. I’m Dr. Hamilton,” he greets brightly, pulling up a chair to Bruce’s bedside. He gestures to the other nurse standing behind him. “This is Nurse Laura, and I’ve seen you already met Nurse Sierra.”

Bruce nods, and Bruce is glad that the doctor registers he wants to get to business immediately and leave. The doctor doesn’t smell of anything, and Bruce is almost comforted by the fact that his dynamic is masked by scent inhibitors.

“Well, your injuries weren’t too severe considering the highly vulnerable state you were found in.”

Bruce reads that as, we are surprised you weren’t raped. He grimaces.

Dr. Hamilton shuffles a couple of papers in his hands, glancing at them briefly. “Deep bone bruising alongside your left cheekbone, jaw, and eye socket,” he notes, and Bruce lifts a hand to touch the tender and sensitive skin there. “As well as a second degree ankle sprain indicating a tear in the ligament there.”

Bruce glances down to his ankle, wrapped tightly in white gauze half way up his calf. It throbs uncomfortably.

“I recommend resting for a couple days, if not a week. You will be given crutches to get around. Do not forget to ice, use compression, and elevate. After a week, begin slowly easing into rehab. I have a list of exercises and stretches you should do to regain mobility and strength back in the ligament.”

Bruce briefly zones out. He’s been dealing with much worst injuries on his own, and knew the best methods to get back on his feet as quickly as possible.

“What concerns me is the results from your blood test.” Dr. Hamilton’s smile falters.

“Nurse Sierra has told me the results already.”

Dr. Hamilton shuffles around his papers again. “Well, there were chemical compounds that we weren’t able to identify.”

Bruce stiffens. “Our lab had multiple looks at it, but found no matches. We’ve already sent the blood results to another hospital in hopes they can cover for our gap in knowledge. We will notify—”

“May I also receive a copy of the results?”

The doctor looks puzzled at the strange request but relents. “Yes, we can do that, Mr. Wayne.”

“Is that it? Can I go now?” Bruce rips the sheets away from himself, swinging his feet over the side of the bed and catching sight of his folded clothes on a nearby seat.

“Two more things, Mr. Wayne,” the doctor says, stopping the omega.

“The blood test also revealed a surprisingly low level of omega hormones in your blood,” he began.

Bruce couldn’t help the heat that flooded his cheeks. “Bond starvation, I know,” he grits through his teeth. He really wants to go now.

Dr. Hamilton nods in agreement. “The aphrodisiacs caused a skyrocket in your hormones, but when they began to flush out, it dropped back down low, causing a drop. A bad one. You might not remember. We had to sedate you again.”

Bruce is really embarrassed now. He runs a hand down his face in sheer humiliation. Drops, caused by multiple sudden shifts in hormone levels, were essentially nervous or mental breakdowns. They were common in alphas and omega, not so much in betas who naturally had more even and consistent level of hormones.

“For a man your age, Mr. Wayne, bond starvation and omega drops are extremely dangerous. I’ve prescribed not only naproxen for your ankle, but omega hormone supplements. The supplements should help mitigate some of the symptoms you are no doubt experiencing: depression, anxiety, slowness and tiredness. These supplements however do not address the root cause of this ailment. I can recommend a number of therapists or counselors—“

“No.”

The doctor sighs again. “Very well. The supplements should not be taken with heat suppressants or birth control however, since both nullify the effects of the supplements.”

Bruce curses again.

The doctor gives the omega a sad smile, and Bruce feels nauseous at the display of pity. “Now, which pack member can we call to pick you up? Is one of your sons available?”

Bruce shakes his head. “I’ll make it back myself,” he mutters, bitterness pooling in his gut. “Please, leave so I can get changed.”

No one moves.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Wayne. Our hospital policy says that omegas victims of assault or abuse are not authorized for release unless a pack member can pick him or her up. Who can I call for you?”

Now, he really was a damsel in distress. Bruce resists all urges of screaming, and somehow calmly gives the doctor Alfred’s phone number.

A half an hour later, Bruce was settled in his car, Alfred at the wheel, crutches in the back seat, and prescriptions and blood test clutched tightly in his hand. The silence was tense as Alfred pulled out of the hospital’s parking lot. He was at least thankful that his stay at the hospital had stayed under tight wraps from the media.

Alfred breaks the silence as expected. “Master Bruce, are you willing to explain to me now what has been going on with you?”

“I was attacked, Alfred,” he answers.

Alfred raises an eyebrow, giving the omega a long look. “I suspected as much, sir. An adversary of Bruce Wayne as opposed to Batman I also assume,” the beta retorts.

Bruce huffs. “Everything is pretty much blank from last night, Alfred, but I’ll figure it out. I’m going to find out who drugged me, what drugs they used, and what they want.”

“I know you will, sir. I was actually more concerned with how you have been doing these past few months. Even before last night, you looked awful.”

Bruce rests his head against the window, staring blankly at the Gotham streets in the morning sun.

“Master Bruce,” Alfred presses, not a trace of humor in his voice.

“Bond starvation, Alfred,” Bruce finally answers, voice thin. “I’m sick.”

“Sir,” Alfred begins, at lost for words. “I’m sorry,” he finally says.

Bruce lets out a humorous less chuckle. He turns to Alfred, and really looks at the beta who has been by his side forever. A friend and role model.

“Do not blame yourself, Alfred, please. I’ll be fine.”

“Perhaps, you should talk to Master Tim or Master Jason—”

Bruce shakes his head vehemently. “Maybe eventually. I think I need to sort this out by myself at first. Anyways, I have some other things to worry about.”

He looks at the blood test in his hands, and thinks back to his last meeting with Justice League, to what Diana had mentioned. It was time to take a look at those files she sent him.

Chapter Text

After spending the whole day and night mulling over the case files, reading them and rereading them to find connections, patterns, and clues, Bruce finally decides to retire for the night and try to sleep, something that had been escaping him of late. He forces himself back upstairs, deciding to distance himself from the Batcave and more specifically his nest, which always brought on inappropriate thoughts that he wasn’t quite ready to face.  

His footsteps and the tap of the crutches echo ominously through the Manor, and a strange sensation sluggishly crawls over Bruce, the sensation as if he is being watched. Each shadow looks menacing and each turn through the hallways has him holding his breath, listening in anticipation for someone other than Alfred on the other side, just waiting for the perfect moment to jump out and attack, seizing the opportunity to take advantage of his vulnerability.

He climbs into bed and just lies there on his back for too long, duvet pulled to his chin. He closes his eyes, but his mind is moving too quickly, picking up on every sound from inside and outside the manor. It must have been hours, but Bruce slowly feels that familiar darkness pulling him at him, lugging him deeper and deeper into slumber.

Bruce cannot remember the last time he had a nightmare.

He’s faced the creatures, villains, and monsters that haunt most in their sleep in his reality , so sleep was usually blissfully blank and devoid of those terrifying images and visions he was plagued with as a child while he slept, sadly no sweet and innocent dreams came to grace him either.

This time is different.

He’s standing in complete darkness, the darkness extending into what seems to be eternity in every direction he faces. There’s an inhuman coldness weighing in the air, filling his lungs and squeezing them painfully with every calculated breath he takes. A part of Bruce knows this isn’t real, but that sensation returns like cold fingertips creeping up his spine and curling around his throat. Someone is watching him. He knows.

He starts running, something that Batman would never do, but that omega flight instinct is hitting him full force, and he runs . His limbs are heavy, and it’s like waking up in the hospital again, everything blurred and moving in slow motion.

His feet slam against the obsidian floor, and his lungs beg him to stop, choking and convulsing on that strange cold air. Bruce doesn’t stop, and can’t stop. Not until, a tendril of darkness and smoke slithers across the ground, wrapping painfully around his ankle and pulling his feet from underneath him.

Bruce falls, expecting the ground to catch him, but he falls through , catapulting through an inky abyss. A scream is caught in his throat, but no sound dares to come out.

Smoky, dark tendrils encapsulate him, wrapping around every body part. It’s everywhere, around him, over him, in him, this darkness.

And the only thing Bruce can think as the blood in his veins hardens to ice, is cold.

Cold. Cold. Coldness .

It kills him.

Bruce jolts as he wakes up, scrambling to turn on his bedside lamp. A slew of whimpers fall from his lips as he fumbles with the light switch, but soon the soft, yellow light floods the room, chasing out the darkness.

Bruce usually finds comfort in the darkness. It was his solace as the Dark Knight. Now, he was pressing his hand to his mouth to stop those awful, pathetic, little whimpers from spilling out.

When he regains a semblance of control back, he removes his hand, and to his horror, discovers it is wet. His whole face is wet. He’s crying.

A growl rips from his throat as he furiously wipes his face dry and tears of his covers. He storms into his bathroom as quickly as he can while on crutches, flipping on the switch, and ripping back the shower curtain. No one.

He scavenges through all his cabinets and drawers for anything— bugs, cameras, trackers, listening devices. Nothing.

He goes back into his bedroom and throws open his closet, yanking down his clothes from their hangers, and searching for the same things but to no avail.

He goes to the next bedroom, a guest room that is rarely used and does the same thing, rips of the bed covers, digs through the closets and drawers, and even presses his ear against the wall to see if he can hear the mechanical whirring of a listening device. Nothing .

Bruce goes to the next room and repeats.

He makes it through all eleven bedrooms and seven bathrooms before storming downstairs to his study and does the same thing. He’s almost in a trance, body moving on autopilot. Papers and folders are strewn all about the floor by the time he moves to the kitchen. He’s opening the pots and pans cupboard when he stumbles back, a memory hitting him.

Bruce drops his crutches, and they clang loudly against the polished, wooden floorboards. He stumbles briefly before settling himself on the nearest chair.

A woman. Red hair. A ring.

The images flash painfully across his mind like a film on repeat with no context or explanation. He sits there dumbly, trying to make sense of it all.

A hand rests on his shoulder, and Bruce luckily resists the urge to flinch, recognizing Alfred’s subtle but fresh scent. His body relaxes, sinking into the warm touch.

“Master Wayne,” Alfred says cautiously. “Would you like to explain why you are up at three o’clock in the morning, tearing apart the manor when you should be resting?”

It’s not a question. His voice is light and cautious but demands an answer.

“I had a feel—I thought someone was watching us here in the manor,” Bruce admits, his own words sounding stupid to his own ears.

“And you do recall, sir that you have a high security system installed that has always worked effectively?” Alfred presses.

Bruce runs a hand through his hair. “I know, Alfred,” he whispers. “The doctor said anxiety is a symptom of my…sickness.”

He doesn’t want to say those two words. Bond starvation . It screams of weakness and desperation.

“This is not anxiety. This is paranoia.”

Alfred’s words are sharp and cutting, and there is an apology at the tip of Bruce’s tongue before he can help it.

“My apologies. I’ll clean—”

“I am not admonishing you, sir. I’m simply concerned.” He takes in a heavy breath. “I’ve called Master Tim.”

“Alfred…” Bruce tries to say, but Alfred continues.

“I knew you wouldn’t tell him or your other wards about what is happening. I refrained from telling him about your ailment, but mentioned to him that you were attacked by an unknown adversary. He was shocked and upset you didn’t tell him as well as Master Dick and Jason.”

“I do not want to worry them,” Bruce defends.

“They worry the most when you drift from them and create this barrier. In the morning, I would call Master Dick and invite them all over for dinner.”

Bruce opens his mouth to object, but Alfred can read his face, and presses harder.

“Call them,” he reiterates simply.

Bruce shuts his mouth, and Alfred gives him a good squeeze on the shoulder. Bruce wants to hug the man, but the two had never been that tactile. He smiles in return instead.

“I suggest taking a shower sir before going back to bed. Your night escapade had you working up quite a sweat.”

Alfred’s hand drops from his shoulder, and the beta turns around, heading back upstairs. Bruce glances down and runs a hand down his shirt, which to his surprise is soaked in sweat, the wet shirt sticking to his skin.

He frowns. He doesn’t feel hot. In fact, he feels very, very cold.

---

Bruce somehow manages to go back to bed, his sleep devoid of anymore nightmares thankfully but fitful. He tossed and turned all night and woke up to what seemed to be every thirty minutes are so, his body unable to just rest .

When the clock read 7:00AM, he finally gave up, heading back down to the Batcave to investigate more. Bruce sits in front of the Batcomputer now, calculating eyes reading into a particular case file , Ines Naudi from Andorra , a small microstate nestled between France and Spain.

Ines Naudi was a distant descendant of the royal family that used to rule Andorra centuries ago. She was popular in Andorra but relatively unknown globally. She was the newest case file, a mere two weeks ago.

Her body was delivered back to her family’s estate.

Yes, delivered . In a wooden crate to be exact according to the police reports.

Some of her organs had been messily ripped out through her stomach, including the poor woman’s uterus. The attached photos were stomach-curdling, and her murder was the least gruesome. She was at least recognizable.

The case file that Diana had dated as the earliest, seven months ago, was a popular singer from Rio de Janeiro, Lucas Guimarães. His autopsy report was extensive, and his body was unrecognizable. He was only identified based on fingerprints.

There was a total of seven case files. All omegas, and all linked to fame, money, or royalty as Diana had noted. Other connections were sparse. Blood tests and toxicology reports varied.

Lucas Guimarães’ blood was clean. Five other case files had traces of phosphodiesterase and yohimbine, the aphrodisiacs that were used against Bruce as well. Rohypnol and other sedatives, such as barbiturates and narcotics, were also discovered. All the drug and chemicals found were common date-rape drugs used mostly against omegas, making Bruce almost second guess the connections.

Yes, all of the bodies were gruesomely murdered, but never the same way twice, which was usually the tell-tale sign of a systematic serial killer or killers. Some of the victims had been missing for weeks while with others, there was no time gap before they were registered as missing and when their body was either delivered or discovered. It was messy. Inconsistent.

Ines Naudi’s blood test had Bruce’s mind spinning however. At the bottom of the extensive list of drugs was the following: Unknown(s). With the note “pending further analysis.” Bruce sat back in his chair, a heavy weight settling over him.

He would hate to conflate his own problems with a Justice League case, but a quick search into Andorran news confirmed his suspicions about the uncanny similarities. Ines Naudi had gone to the police several times before her disappearance, hysterical and neurotic, claiming that someone was “following her.” She had no evidence nor coherent explanation, so no official report could be made. With the royal’s death, there was now a full fledged investigation. 

Bruce glances at his cell, Alfred’s words ringing in his mind.

He glances back at the Batcomputer, creating a mental list of all the missing information and holes.

No clear motive. Bruce didn’t even trust Diana’s assessment that this was done by a species other than human. Yes, the unknown drugs were disconcerting, but didn’t necessarily point to extraterrestrial. The scope of the case files was also disorienting. The seven files were from everywhere, and the targets were oddly specific. This group, and Bruce was now considering this a group, had plenty of resources to be able to track down and carefully plan the murders of these omegas. 

If this was the same group targeting him, then he would first have to take another blood sample of himself, hoping that whatever he was injected with was still in his system. Tim could probably analyze it better than the Gotham hospitals.

Second, he would have to find video footage of his attack as quickly as possible. He’s sure Dick does plenty of coordination with the Gotham police department and could easily access that information.

Dick. Tim. Jason.

He sighs and picks up his cell, scrolling to Dick’s number.

He calls.

His phone rings five times before he hears a click. Bruce sighs, expecting to hear Dick’s usual voicemail, but instead he hears Dick’s soft, charming voice filter through, “Bruce?”

He sharply takes in a breath, mind faltering and blanking, ready to just leave voice a Dick a voicemail. He sits there dumbly, trying to gather his thoughts as quickly as possible.

“Bruce? You there?” Dick asks again, and Bruce snaps out of it,

“I-I’m here,” he stutters uncharacteristically. “It’s good to hear from you.” Why is he being so awkward?

He hears Dick chuckle deeply on the other line, and Bruce’s cheeks heat. 

“Is there something you need?”

Invite them over. Ask them to come back. Tell them about about the bond starvation. 

Those are things Bruce should talk to Dick about, but of course, he doesn’t. 

“I need your help,” Bruce starts, switching to business mode. “I need you to access some things in relation to my attack.”

Dick cuts him off. “How are you feeling?”

Bruce halts, not fully comprehending the question at first. “How am I?” Bruce repeats. His mouth suddenly feels dry, and he swallows. “I’m alright. I should get off these stupid crutches by the end of the week.”

“You’re on crutches?”

“Yes. It’s just an ankle sprain, nothing to worry about.”

Dick hums, clearly thinking. Bruce wishes he could see his face. 

“What do you need me to do?” Dick asks after a moment, and Bruce switches back to business.

“First, I need you to access Gotham’s police report on my attack.”

“Bruce, you can do that on your own, you know? Police departments are authorized to release information that concerns your attack to you.”

Bruce shakes his head. “I know, but whoever called 911 requested to remain anonymous, so they won’t tell me.”

Dick sighs. “Yeah, I can do that. Anything else?”

Bruce gets the feeling that he may be bothering Dick, but he continues.

“You know the Motel 86 in downtown Gotham? The one right across from the Robinson Apartment Complex? I need you to gain access to their security footage.”

“Bruce, what happened?”

“What do you mean?”

“Alfred made it seem like you were just mugged? Is there something more?”

Bruce reads the connotation in Dick’s words. Batman-related?

“No. Nothing of that sort. It’s just…”

Does he mention the unknown drugs in his blood?

“I was unconscious for awhile, and I don’t know what whoever hurt me did to me,” he says, hating the tremor in his voice.

They worry the most when you drift from them and create this barrier.

“They used heat inducers on me,” Bruce reveals.

There’s painful silence between the two, and Bruce is about to second guess his decision when Dick finally speaks. 

“What the fuck?” the alpha growls. “Why didn’t you tell me this earlier, Bruce? Did they—”

“Nothing happened,” Bruce quickly reassures, hating the sound of an upset alpha. “Which if anything confuses me more. There seemed to be no motive. Perhaps they just wanted to scare me, which is plausible, but I would like to know.”

Bruce would hate to admit it, but there was a small part of him that was scared. He hated being vulnerable and weak. A group was able to completely catch him by surprise, and what’s worse is that he doesn’t know who or why

“I can do that, Bruce.” Dick’s voice is tight with anger. 

“Thank you, Dick.”

Another pause.

“Well, I guess I’ll call you—”

“Dick,” Bruce interjects. 

“Yes?”

Bruce nervously taps his heel against the floor of the Batcave. 

“Would you, Jason, and Tim like to come over for dinner this Friday?” the omega asks in one breath. “You haven’t been to the Manor in awhile, and Alfred—”

“I’m sorry, Bruce. This Friday is not the best time for me. I’ve already—”

Bruce doesn’t want to hear an excuse. “That’s alright. Just wondering. I’ll talk to you later.”

Dick chuckles again, and Bruce both loves and hates what the sound does to him.

“Bruce, I’ve already made plans for this Friday night, but I’m sure we can do next Friday.”

“Next Friday?”

“Yes, next Friday night. We’ll all be over.”

Bruce ignores the warm feeling the blossoms in his chest. He confirms a time with Dick, and they hang up. 

Bruce sets down his phone. He imagines his Manor full again, and he can’t help the small smile that works its way to his lips. 

Chapter Text

Dick has a lot on his mind. 

He’s wondering what food he’s going to order as soon as he gets off patrol. He and Tim ate some Chinese together for lunch, so definitely not anything Asian. Maybe Italian, or he could swing by the local deli and grab a sub. Maybe he should grab three—just in case Tim and Jason are awake by the time he gets back to the apartment. 

He’s also thinking about work. He’s thinking about the stack of cases that sit on his desk, and the long hours he will have to spend going over the evidence. Rapes, murders, muggings, a few disappearances— he’s got the whole nine yards. The sudden sharp rise in organized crime in Bludhaven is also affecting his other work— as Nightwing. 

He leans over the rooftop of the Midtown Exchange building, the cold night air sweeping through his hair as his eyes scan the skyline and the nearly empty street below him. 

What is really consuming Dick’s thoughts is Bruce, and more specifically, his discoveries. 

Or lack thereof. 

He had taken the drive to the Motel 86 Bruce had described with his badge gleaming brightly around his neck and politely asked the receptionist to show him whatever security footage they had from outside from three days ago.

Just conveniently , the motel dumps their footage on a 48 hour cycle, so Dick went across the street to the Robinson Apartment Complex and asked for the same thing. The little old lady at the front desk led him to the back and showed him where they kept the tapes, fortunately all dated and extending weeks back. 

Dick played the one from three days ago, hoping any of the angles would catch anything suspicious related to Bruce’s attack. He scrolled forward to a little past midnight, and let the tape run. 

He watched with rapt curiosity as the tape began to play before suddenly jumping from 12:30AM to 2:00AM. He frowned before replaying the tape again, and again, and again . The lady shrugged, pushing her glasses back up on her nose before saying, “I don’t know honey. I just sort the mail.”

He stormed out of the place before heading to the drug store next door. They dumped their security footage on a 24 hour cycle. He went to burger joint next door. Their taped jumped randomly between times as well. He visited about six places of business before heading back uptown to some swanky seafood restaurant.

He leaned over that desk, face almost pressed against the glowing black and white screen. The concierge stood behind him, checking her nails and to his joy, not asking any questions. At 12:40AM, he saw a glimpse of Bruce passing by the restaurant's front doors, stumbling and obviously intoxicated. 

Huh . Bruce didn’t usually drink, and definitely was not in the habit of getting drunk and strolling down Gotham’s streets so late. 

I think something is wrong with Bruce.

Tim’s words had resurfaced suddenly in his mind. Bruce has always had his...issues. Some he dealt with better than others (by not dealing with them at all). However despite that, Bruce always maintained a degree of control and composure. 

Dick filed that information away in his mind, smiled and thanked the woman before abruptly leaving. 

The Gotham Police Department was no more helpful. Commissioner Gordon had been briefed about Bruce’s attack but was hesitant to reveal all the contents of the report to Dick with the concern about “conflict of interests.” Dick had rolled his eyes and insisted before the Commissioner folded. 

Dick jotted down the phone number and left in hopes that he finally had a lead. An hour later, he called the number and cursed when a machine’s voice notified him that “the number you are trying to reach is unavailable or no longer in use.” 

A burner phone. 

Now, things were getting too suspicious. 

Dick takes in a lungful of the Bludhaven air, mind whirring and restless. Was Bruce not letting on more than he knew? Dick didn’t think so. The omega did not sound at ease, and Dick had carefully picked up the waver in his voice the longer Bruce talked about his attack. 

Dick had called Bruce right away and told him everything. The omega had been oddly quiet, and swiftly hung up. 

He admonishes himself. He knows Bruce nor the rest of them typically adhere to traditional pack dynamics, but he regrets not rushing over to the Wayne Manor sooner to offer his support. He’s the alpha of the pack after all, and he knows Bruce is the last person who needs protecting, but something in his instincts is calling him. 

But his own pride is pulling him back.

Heat inducers. 

Dick can’t take his mind of that fact—for two reasons. 

First, it completely terrifies him that Bruce was in such a vulnerable state to be manipulated and used. It shocks him too that he made it out with just some bruises and an ankle sprain. 

Second, it’s Bruce in heat . When Dick was Robin, the omega had been extremely private about his heats to the point of even leaving the Manor to hole up in some exclusive hotel for a week if it meant that Dick nor Alfred would catch the sight—or whiff—of him. Then Bruce eventually went on suppressants, and Dick had come to not even link Bruce with heats. 

Dick had only helped one omega with their heat before, Koriand’r. He couldn’t even put into  words the feeling and desire that had pulsed through him being so close to an omega in the throes of heat, being trusted to take care of her. It was indescribable. 

Now, images are running through his head of Bruce. Dick wonders what he would look like—flushed, sweating, panting, crying? Would he even be coherent? What an absolute rarity it would be to see Bruce submit. 

Even with all these things turning over in his mind, Dick still hears the cautious footsteps behind him, poised to attack.

He spins around, metal baton centimeters from his potential attacker’s neck. 

“Pretty bird,” Slade chuckles, hands up in mock surrender. “What’s gotten your panties in a twist? It’s just me.”

Dick doesn’t move his baton, eyes narrowing dangerously, but Slade just laughs again. “Don’t worry, pretty bird. I’m not here to play this time.”

Dick reluctantly lowers his weapon. “Deathstroke,” he greets curtly. 

“Oh come on, Dicky. I thought we were on a first name basis by now.”

“Don’t same my name.”

Slade shrugs. “I prefer pretty bird anyway.” He lifts a hand to Dick’s cheek in an attempt to caress to the smooth skin there. Nightwing bats his hand away in annoyance. He’s always known that Slade has had a certain infatuation with him, extending all the way back to his time as Robin too. It never failed to make his skin crawl. 

“If you don’t need anything, I’ll be on my way,” Dick growls, shouldering past the mercenary. 

Slade follows him. “I can’t talk to my favorite hero?” Slade taunts, humor dripping from his lips.

Dick doesn’t dignify him with a response, picking up his pace before he leaps and flips onto the adjacent rooftop, hoping Slade will catch on that he does not want to talk. 

Slade is the alpha Dick hates and hopes he never becomes, an alpha who uses his dynamic as a weapon. His scent is violent, eye watering, and Dick has seen the way the mercenary revels in the way people squirm when he enters the room.

Slade follows him with ease. 

“Okay, okay,” Slade calls after him. “You win. I found you because I was worried.”

Dick does not slow.

“There’s been a lot of talk underground about your family if you catch my drift. Specifically, that daddy of yours.”

Now, Dick is interested. Slade was one of the few outside his pack who knew Nightwing’s identity. He didn’t worry too much about it anymore. He knew Deathstroke’s real name as well, and he doubted that the mercenary would ever out him. He sighs and turns to face Slade. 

“First of all, don’t call him that, but keep talking.”

Slade hums thoughtfully, crossing his arms over his massive chest. “I feel like I should get something in return, baby boy. Information is expensive,” he purrs. 

“What do you want?”

Dick hates Slade and his games. 

“What about a kiss?”

“I can give you a punch instead.”

“You drive a hard bargain, princess, but my original price still stands.”

Dick walks straight up to Slade and grips the other alpha’s chin in his hand, twisting it violently to the side and planting a feather light kiss to the cold metal of Slade’s mask. 

“That’s all you’re gonna get, so don’t push it,” Dick warns, shoving Slade away from him. 

He can’t see it, but he knows Slade is smiling underneath that mask. Slade sits down on the ledge, and Dick tries not to imagine himself pushing the alpha over. 

“Multiple informants have approached me that some people are attempting to gather as much information about Bruce Wayne, and they have been doing this for the past month or so.”

“What kind of information?”

“The usual. Friends, family and pack,” Slade gives Dick a pointed look at this before continuing. “Hobbies, personality, daily schedule. And some more odd stuff like health history, blood type, and dynamic . The list goes on and on.”

“Have you been approached?”

“I might have, but don’t worry, pretty bird. I would never do anything to hurt that Brucie of yours.”

“And the people who approached you? Who are they?”

Slade strokes his chin as if he is contemplating. Dick really wants to punch him. 

“Didn’t really introduce themselves. They were an odd bunch though. Even gave me the shivers .”

“What did they look like?”

“Can’t tell you much there. They wore all black and refused to show their faces. Don’t know if they received much help. I, for one, like to know who I’m working with, but they were offering big money, so who knows? Somebody probably helped them out and did some snooping.”

Dick feels sick. This might be worse than he imagined. He would have to tell Bruce as soon as possible. 

Dick nods, deciding it is time to head back, taking off in a full sprint, ignoring Slade’s insistent calls. It was Thursday. He would see Bruce tomorrow. 

By the time he slips back into his apartment, sweaty and with neither Italian nor sandwiches to eat, he’s ready to collapse into bed, clad in Nightwing suit and all. 

To his surprise, Tim and Jason are still up. Dick peels off his domino mask as he slides through the window, eyes adjusting to the sudden light as Jason flips on the light switch. 

“Shit, Jay,” Dick curses, shutting the curtains behind him. 

Jason looks like he just woke up, hair resembling a bird’s nest. Tim is sprawled out on the couch, eyes wide and awake. 

“What are you two still doing up?” Dick aks, unzipping his suit. “And doing on the couch?”

“Tim wouldn’t let me sleep. He keeps asking me stupid questions,” Jason grumbles, dragging himself back over to the couch and collapsing next to Tim.

“They’re not stupid,” Tim deadpans.

Dick yawns. “It’s too late for this.”

“What are we?”

“What are we?” Dick echoes, finally shrugging off his skintight suit and stowing it away.

“See? I told you. Stupid question,” Jason grumbles again, eyes tightly shut and stray blanket pulled over both Tim and him.

Tim rolls his eyes, and gives Dick an expectant look. 

Truth be told, Jason and Dick never put a label on their relationship, never really felt the need. They were mostly monogamous, but they always talked about everything. Tim was the prime example of their flexibility. 

Dick turns the lights back off, squeezing on the other side of Jason. Why they weren’t in his much bigger and more comfortable bed was beyond him. 

“We’re together, Tim. That’s really all there is to it,” he answers.

“Were you guys even interested in me before I kissed the both of you?”

Dick huffs before giving Tim a reassuring kiss on the temple. “Yes, little wing. Jason and I had actually talked about our mutual interest in you. We always tell each other when we think other people are attractive.”

Dick snuggles closer into the warmth. “Now go to sleep.”

“Who else have have you guys been interested in?” 

Jason groans into the arm rest. 

“If I tell you, will you go to sleep?”

Tim nods.

“Uh,” Dick starts as he racks his brain. “Donna Troy? Wally West?”

Both betas, both insanely gorgeous. Jason, Wally, and him had hooked up a couple of times but nothing serious. Tim raises an eyebrow, clearly not expecting those two. 

“Gar Logan and Barbs,” Dick continues. They were both omegas, sweet and beautiful.

Dick blames what comes from his mouth on pure exhaustion and the fact that his mind had been running all night long. “Bruce—shit.”

Jason bolts up, and Tim just looks amused. 

“Really, Dick?!” Jason says shocked that Dick would let a thing like that slip. 

It’s not that weird. Most packs that aren’t based on actual family bloodlines develop sexual and romantic bonds. It’s different for their pack because in the public eye, Bruce Wayne is their adoptive father and Tim, Jason, and Dick are technically “brothers” even though those parental and sibling bonds never actually fostered.

“If it’s any consolation, I think everyone who meets Bruce is at least a little bit attracted to him.”

Dick raises an eyebrow at Tim now. “Even you, Timmy?” Dick teases.

Tim’s blush is all the answer Dick needs. 

“Okay, now that we have established that we all get a hard on for Bruce, can we please go to sleep.”

Dick chuckles, pats Jason’s cheeks, and finally closes his eyes. The three of them drift off into blissful dreams, wrapped in each other’s tight embrace. 

---

The nightmares did not stop. They visited Bruce almost every time he closed his eyes, the same black abyss with the same smoky monster. And the cold . Oh, the cold was unbearable. 

Bruce would wake in a cold sweat on the better nights, shaking but mind clear. On the bad nights, he would wake paralyzed in fear, the strange coldness sitting on his chest like a weight. On the worst nights, he wouldn’t be able to catch his breath, and he would drop hard . He would stumble from his bed, legs collapsing beneath himself before he could reach the lights, and he would just lay there, curled in a tight ball, darkness enclosing him on all sides.

Alfred obviously noticed. Nothing escaped the man. Bruce could barely eat without feeling nauseous, had horrendous dark circles under his eyes, and had developed a sickly yellow pallor to his skin. Alfred pressured him to go see the doctor, and Bruce obviously refused.

The only control Bruce was able to take back was his time as Batman. Exactly a week after his attack, he was back on the streets of Gotham, patrolling and keeping the city safe. It was harder than it should be, running low on sleep and with no Robin to protect his back. 

After one in particular hard night of patrol, he had collapsed in the Batcave, exhaustion rattling his bones and shivers racking his body. He slept there that night, on the hard ground and still clad in his kevlar suit.

The next morning, Bruce had called Leslie Thompkins, the only medical professional he truly trusted and spilled mostly everything. He carefully avoided talking about his attack and the mysterious drugs, but told the women about the bond starvation and his new symptoms. 

“Fever, chills, chest pressure, and loss of appetite are all symptoms of the flu, Bruce. Bond starvation sometimes has the tendency to weaken the immune system which could explain why your symptoms are as bad as they are.”

That was Monday. He had thanked her and immediately tossed his suppressants and birth control. He had taken a handful of the hormone supplements even though the instructions only called for two per day. 

Now it was Friday, and Bruce felt a little bit better.

He had even talked to Diana about the case files, but with no more activity on this adversary’s side, the Justice League was at a standstill. Bruce would wait patiently for them to strike again, and then he would have them. Things would go back to normal. 

Bruce fidgets nervously at the dinner table as Alfred finishes up plating the food when he hears the front door opens. He hadn’t even realized that Alfred had buzzed Dick, Jason, and Tim through. 

Bruce stands as the three of them enter the kitchen, and he feels as if all the oxygen is sucked from the room. Alfred greets them all brightly, obviously missing them as much as Bruce had. 

Jason and Dick look different, older and more mature. Jason stands eye level with Bruce now, shoulders rolled back and head held high. His chest has filled out and he exudes the power typically of an alpha. 

Dick’s hair is longer, his bangs almost sweeping across his dark blue eyes. His smile is wide and bright as he hugs Alfred warmly.

Tim is the first to greet him. “Long time no see,” he jokes. “I’m glad you’re doing alright,” he says, referencing Bruce’s attack. 

He shrugs, not in the particular mood to talk about it. “It’s good to see all of you again,” Bruce says genuinely. 

Jason and Dick finally meet Bruce’s gaze. 

“Fuck, you look like shit,” is the first thing Jason says.

Dick smacks him upside the back of his head, viciously whispering something in Jason’s ear. 

Bruce clears his throat awkwardly. He had taken a long hot shower, hoping that would improve his appearance, but it looks like that failed.

“Ow,” Jason grumbles under his breath. “Um, what I mean to say is that you look kind of sick, Bruce. You okay?”

“I’m recovering from the flu, but I’m fine.”

That’s when Bruce notices the bags. Dick catches sight of his expression and answers.

“I didn’t really see the point in only coming for dinner, so I hope it's alright if we stay a few nights?”

Bruce blinks. He was not expecting that, but is pleasantly surprised. 

“Yes, of course as long as you guys want.”

This is still your home is what he wants to say but decides that’s too sappy. 

Alfred shushes them, ushering them over towards the table, where the food sits, hot and steaming. 

It’s...nice. 

Bruce didn’t know what he was expecting. Stilted, uncomfortable, and one-sided conversation perhaps. Maybe even furious screaming and arguments. There’s none of that. Probably because of Tim who seems just so bright and happy, bridging that gap between Bruce and his first two Robins. 

Conversation is smooth, and Bruce truly realizes how much he missed their presence. The oppressive stillness and silence of the Manor had evaporated, leaving the omega feeling a bit floaty. He doesn’t know if its the hormone supplements or the fact that his home—his nest—is no longer empty. It’s most likely both. 

That night after hours of catching up, everyone finally retires to their rooms. 

Bruce is happy and finally goes to bed without that familiar dread and sensation that someone is watching him. He shuts his eyes and is swept quickly away into sleep.

Another nightmare is there to greet him. 

Chapter Text

Jason should be asleep.

He’s always had some trouble sleeping. Growing up in the east side of Gotham so close to Crime Alley meant always being vigilant, always looking over his shoulder, always being cautious. 

Even when Bruce took him in, he had trouble with sleep. He had nightmares about his mom, her convulsing and dying on the living room in front of him of an overdose. He would be paralyzed, not able to do a single thing to help her. 

The nightmares were the worst when he came back. Dying really fucks with your mind. He was terrified of closing his eyes and never opening them again. He was terrified of the endless, infinite darkness, of no longer existing. 

Sometimes he would see the Joker and that god-awful clown smile, hear that manic laugh ring through his head. He would see that crow bar, gleaming overhead, as it came down over and over again, exploding pain everywhere. 

The nightmares waxed and waned, never leaving him, but sometimes becoming manageable. Bearable. 

Tonight sleep just wouldn’t come to him.

He slid from the warmth of Dick’s bed an hour ago to pace and down a glass of water. Now, he had wandered back upstairs and he promises he just so happened to be strolling by Bruce’s room when he heard it. 

Whimpers. 

Jason is not above eavesdropping, so that’s exactly what he does. The alpha holds his breath, pressing his ear up against the door. Yes, his ears are not fooling him—omega whimpers.

Coming from Bruce’s room. 

Jason hates to admit that his mind heads straight for the gutter. He imagines Bruce, relaxing against his satin sheets, beautiful and fit body bare and flushed, back arching and fingers stuffed into his dripping hole. 

Tim’s stupid questions last night had reminded of his stupid, little crush he has harbored for Bruce for years , all the way back to his time as Robin. Bruce and him often fought. Hell, the first time they met, Jason through a fucking tire wrench at the Batman when he caught him redhanded, trying to steal the Batmobile’s tires. 

He often denied Bruce’s orders, and Bruce had yelled at him plenty of times for being too brash, too violent. But Jason Todd idolized the man, so he may be a bit of a knot head when it comes to Bruce.

Jason doesn’t know what to do. He could turn around, go back to bed, and pretend like he never heard a thing. That would be the best thing to do to respect Bruce’s privacy. 

Or he could knock on the door, but why would he do that?

Or he could take a peek.

Jason thinks his curiosity will be the death of him, so he chooses probably the worst choice, and turns the door knob, opening the door a crack and peering into the dimly lit room.

What he sees is not what he expects.

Bruce’s bed is empty, the sheets and blanket almost thrown completely off. He just barely makes out the sight of Bruce’s head on the other side of the bed. His back is pressed up against the side of the bed; he’s rocking back and forth, fingers tightly wound in his thick black locks. 

Whimpering. 

Jason probably stands there dumbfounded for a solid two minutes, eyes blinking rapidly and trying to decipher what he’s seeing. 

Is Bruce dropping? 

Jason has come across many omegas in a midst of a drop. Living on the streets meant seeing a lot of things he probably shouldn’t have seen so young. Things like beaten, disowned, or homeless omegas, robbed of the pack bonds that are usually so crucial to an omega’s sanity and health. 

He’s broken up numerous sex trafficking rings, and found omegas who were in drops for days .

Bruce looks like he’s dropping, but it’s so dark that he isn’t sure if his mind is playing tricks on him. 

“Bruce?” he calls, knuckles rapping lightly against the wood of Bruce’s door.

The sounds stop instantly. 

There is no response. 

“Bruce?” he calls again, pushing the door open a tad wider.

“Please don’t come in,” Bruce finally answers, voice rough but thin.

Jason freezes, half of his body leaning over the threshold. 

“Are you okay? I thought I heard—”

“I’m fine. Sorry I woke you up. I’ll be more quiet. You can leave now.”

Bruce is curt, and the finality of it pains Jason. Jason doesn’t budge, eyes staring at the back of Bruce’s head, praying that he just turns around, so Jason can see what’s wrong. 

“Are you dropping? Bruce, I heard you—”

It’s a stupid question to ask an omega who might be in the midst of dropping, but he doesn’t know how to approach the situation. Bruce and “dropping” just don’t associate themselves in his mind. 

“I was just talking to myself.”

It’s a horrible lie, especially coming from a man who has perfected the art of lying. Jason can hear the waver in Bruce’s voice, the sound of a dam about to burst wide open. 

“Bruce,” Jason says, voice dropping a pitch. 

Bruce stumbles to his feet and stalks over to the door, not meeting Jason’s gaze once.

“Goodnight, Jason,” he whispers before shutting the door in Jason’s face.

The click of the lock resonates through the Manor.

Jason won’t stop staring at him.

Tim, Jason, and Bruce are in the forensics lab in the Batcave as Tim hunches over a fluorescent microscope, carefully adjusting the settings to better analyze Bruce’s blood sample. He’s been doing that for the past fifteen minutes; Bruce is becoming anxious.

Of course, both of them don’t know it’s Bruce’s. The omega had vaguely explained to them the Justice League case he’s working on, only mentioning the brutality of the murders, its focus on omegas, and some strange drugs. They didn’t ask anymore questions, and Bruce was grateful for that. 

Tim hums to himself as he increases the brightness, face pulled taunt in concentration.

Jason is still staring at Bruce.

He stared at him during breakfast. He stared at him during lunch.

Now, he’s sitting in the corner, arms crossed over his chest, staring holes in the back of Bruce’s head. 

Bruce is humiliated, and is really trying his best to forget the fact that Jason walked in on him in one of the worst situations imaginable. He was a mess last night—a pathetic mess— and Jason saw him like that. He could hear the pity in the alpha’s voice.

He doesn’t know what Jason is thinking. He’s not sure if he wants to know. 

Tim hums again, and Bruce shifts uncomfortably in the chair.

“What blood type is the victim?”

“A,” Bruce quickly responds, not sure why the information is valuable.

A is obviously his blood type.

Tim nods, leaning back from the microscope to furiously type on the laptop next to him. He goes back to microscope after another minute, humming continuously.

Jason has not taken his eyes off Bruce.

The omega dares a peek back at the alpha. Green-blue eyes stare back at him, unflinching. Bruce swallows, mouth going dry. He breaks eye contact immediately. 

“Strange,” Tim drawls, rubbing at his eyes. 

“What is it?” Bruce presses.

“Well, the hospitals weren’t able to identify what’s in this victim blood because it doesn’t even resemble standard molecular compounds.”

“Well...what does it look like?”

“Well, I was looking for any mutations in the plasma that might indicate what kind of drug I am dealing with. I thought I was looking at the antigens that are produced by red blood cells, but not all of the antigens resemble A antigens.”

Jason stands up at this, coming to peer over Tim’s shoulder. “What are you saying, Timmy?”

“Well, antibodies are proteins produced by the plasma that fight off bacteria and viruses; it is an essential part of the immune system. There are two types of antigens and antibodies found in human blood, A and B. Some people only have A, others only B, some both, and some have neither, and they are O. “

“So, you’re seeing some B antigens when there should only be A or what?”

Bruce remains silence, conversation heading where he doesn’t want it to go. 

“Well, that’s the thing. These antigens and antibodies resemble neither A or B. It’s something completely foreign or from a different species entirely.”

“What does having the wrong antigens and antibodies mean?”

“That means the victim was given the wrong blood.”

Bruce’s blood goes cold. All of a sudden, he can hear the blood rushing through his veins, hear the beat of his heart, thunderously loud. He finally speaks.

“What kind of effects can that have?”

“Blood incompatibility is very serious. The first symptom is a sense of impending doom.”

Jason breaks out in laughter at this, breaking the tense atmosphere. 

“Impending doom? That’s an actual symptom?”

Tim nods, uncharacteristically serious. “It’s a real medical symptom. People who have suffered from severe allergic reactions, poisons or toxins, seizures, and heart attacks have described the sensation of ‘something bad’ about to happen. They’re experiencing most likely a flood of catecholamines, hormones associated with stress.”

Jason looks mystified as he plops down in a chair. “That’s it? Stress?”

“No, that’s only the first symptom. Fever, chills, aches, and common flu-like symptoms follow usually. If the body’s immune system does not attack the foreign cells and the foreign red blood cells split and multiple, jaundice, the yellowing of the skin and eyes, will most likely occur and then eventually blood clotting.”

“How long does all of this usually take?”

Tim shrugs. “Two days maybe before things get serious and the patient needs to be rushed to the ICU. But these aren’t normal human antigens, death could be instantaneous, not fatal at all, or more slow moving. Bruce, were most of the victims experiencing these symptoms?”

No, just him and Ines Naudi. 

“Yes. That’s very helpful. Thank you, Tim.”

Tim shrugs again. “It’s no problem. I’ll run some more tests to test for calcium, sodium, and glucose levels. But I think you’re dealing with something alien.”

Diana is right. Bruce nods, mutely. His mind is running a thousand miles per hour. He’s experiencing an ABO incompatibility reaction, and he might die from it. It’s been more than two weeks since his attack, so maybe he’s already dealt with the worst of it. 

A woman. Red hair. A ring.

The visions of that strange woman has Bruce feeling jittery. He needs to do something to keep his mind and body busy.  

He stands up, muttering another thank you to Tim under his breath before he slides out of the lab, automatically heading towards the training room. He needs to punch something.

Jason follows him.

He walks into the training room, grabbing a roll of tape and wrapping his knuckles and wrists quickly. Jason stands in the doorway, watching Bruce like a predator. Bruce ignores him.

He waltzes up to one of the punching bags and begins hitting, turning his mind off. 

Well, he tries.

“You’ve lost weight,” Jason comments. He sounds closer, right behind Bruce.

Bruce knows. Every bite of food tastes like sand and weighs heavy in his stomach. If he can muster the strength to swallow down everything, he’s usually vomiting it up within the hour. 

Bruce swings harder, frustration thumping in his veins. 

“You smell different too,” Jason continues. 

That has Bruce faltering for a millisecond. It’s almost been a week since he’s been off suppressants and birth control. He also hasn’t applied any scent blockers for the past two days, but he hadn’t realized his omega scent had been coming through. 

Jason grabs his shoulders, spinning Bruce around.

“Let’s spar. We haven’t done it in awhile.”

Bruce rolls his eyes. “I am not fighting you, Jason.”

Jason steps back into a fighting stance, raising his fists to his face. 

“What? Why?” he taunts. “Getting too old?”

Bruce usually isn’t so easily baited, but Jason has been getting on his nerves all day. He lunges with a jab before he can think better. Jason blocks with ease, stupid cocky smile on his face.

Jason counters with a high kick, but Bruce dodges just in time and is able to land a solid hit to Jason’s chest. He stumbles back with an oomph

Bruce uses Jason’s second of unbalance to swipe at his feet, and Jason falls back. The omega straddles the alpha, but Jason grabs his shoulders and uses Bruce’s momentum to flip him over.

They both scramble to their feet, panting and sweat begining to bead at their foreheads. 

Jason’s nose twitches, and Bruce wonders if his scent is becoming more pronounced with his sweat. Jason has never been around Bruce not on his suppressants, has never smelled his natural omega aroma. 

They circle each other for a moment, both waiting for the other to strike. 

Jason strikes first; Bruce fades right. 

They go back and forth awhile, neither completely gaining the upper hand. Bruce’s mind feels clearer, and he would hate to admit it, but it’s mostly a side effect from the alpha pheromones wafting through the air. 

Bruce doesn’t know how it happens, but before he can react, Jason has him pinned to the mat, face down and splayed out. Jason has both of Bruce’s writs in a death grip, his body and weight pressing into Bruce’s from chest to toes. 

Bruce struggles for a minute, but Jason doesn’t budge. The omega sighs and taps out reluctantly. 

Jason doesn’t move. 

Bruce then fully realizes the position the both of them are in—a pinned omega under an alpha. It suddenly feel ten times hotter in the room. Bruce clears his throat, turning his head to the side to get a better look at Jason, which in retrospect was a bad move, exposing his neck and mating glands in a typical submissive posture.

“Jason, you can get off me now,” Bruce protests weakly. 

The alpha pheromones are rolling off Jason in waves now, and Bruce’s head swims. His body almost goes limp in Jason’s hold. This is not good .

“Jason,” Bruce says again, voice light and almost pleading. 

“Shut up for one second, Bruce,” Jason growls, and the sound is so close to Bruce’s ear that his next protest dies on his tongue. He holds his breath in anticipation. 

Bruce feels Jason hot breath ghost across his neck, and Bruce cannot help but squirm, a whine rising in his throat that he quickly squashes. 

Bruce should tell Jason no , but it’s been so long since he’s been scented, so long since any alpha has held him down and marked him.

When he feels Jason cheek press against his own, he shudders, relishing in the gentle touch. Bruce tries to hold completely still as Jason rubs his cheek across Bruce’s neck, jaw, cheek, and glands. He’s soft but firm with his touch, and a haze falls over Bruce, and he forgets about everything. 

He forgets about his attack, about the case, about his illness.

It’s only him and his alpha. 

His alpha.

Bruce cannot help the moan that tumbles from his mouth when he feels Jason hot lips against one of his glands, which are rapidly swelling, begging for a bite. The alpha softly nips at the juncture between his shoulder and neck.

“Fuck, Bruce. You smell so good.”

Jason’s voice is rough and heavy with arousal. 

Bruce is speechless, brain functions literally at 0%.

The omega cries out in pleasure as Jason licks a long wet strip from his neck to his ear, the act so primal, so possessive. He feels his underwear slowly soak with his wetness, and he would have been embarrassed if he didn’t feel Jason’s own arousal pressed against his ass. 

Wow, he’s big.  

He wants, needs Jason to take him here and now. Bruce has never been with an alpha, has never had submissiveness demanded out of him so naturally, so easily. 

“I can smell your slick, Bruce. How badly do you want this?”

Bruce arches his back, pressing his ass back against Jason’s bulge. A growl rips rips from Jason’s throat as he ruts back, and the friction of the mat against Bruce’s front combined with the hardness of Jason is too much. 

A cascade of whimpers fall from his mouth. It’s been so long since anyone has touched Bruce like this, like he was desirable, worth protecting. His eyes sting with tears, but he blinks them back. 

Bruce continues to grind his ass against Jason as the alpha begins to bite and suckle against his neck, no doubt leaving a mess of marks. He wants this. So bad

His pants are no doubt soaked by now. His hole clenches at the thought of Jason just pulling down his pants and underwear in one go and plunging his cock into Bruce’s warm, tight heat. Bruce doesn’t even realize he’s shaking. 

He imagines Jason knotting him, and yearns to experience the sensation of something that huge pushing him apart for hours, pumping warm cum into his hole. He knows alphas typically don’t  knot outside of an omega’s heat, but he wants it. 

Bruce begins rutting against the floor with a new frenzy without an ounce of shame. 

One of Jason’s hands finally lets go of Bruce’s wrists to instead wrap around Bruce’s throat. Bruce gasps as Jason squeezes violently, all the breath leaving Bruce’s lungs at once. It’s overwhelming.

He cums. 

Just as Dick opens the door wide to a trembling, sobbing Bruce. 

“Hey guys—oh shit.”

Bruce wants to disappear. Forever.

“Uhh. Dick, it’s not what it looks like,” Jason says without an ounce of confidence in his voice.

It’s exactly what it looks like. The sweet scent of Bruce’s slick and cum hangs heavy in the air, mixed with the strong and potent smell of Jason’s pheromones. Jason still has his hand wrapped around his neck.

Fuck .

Bruce throws off Jason, cringing horribly as he hears the squelch of his slick. His face is on fire, and he cannot bear to look at Dick’s face. The high he was on for a moment is now crashing down all around him. He stumbles to his feet, shoulders past Dick, and practically sprints to his room. 

---

Jason is outside of Bruce’s room again. 

He’s been outside of his room all night. 

Bruce didn’t show for dinner, and Dick gave Jason an accusatory glance when Alfred told the three of them that Bruce wasn’t feeling well. The three of them ate in silence, Bruce’s absence hanging heavy on them. 

After Bruce had stormed out, no doubt with a new hate for Jason stirring in his gut, Dick had been nearly speechless. 

“Really, Jason,” he said, exasperated. “Without me?”

Jason was upset too, upset that Dick had the chosen literally the perfect moment to walk in on Bruce and him. He hadn’t meant to take things as far as he did with Bruce. He just wanted to scent the omega, something that he usually never did. 

But fuck . The sounds that Bruce was making? He wanted to mount Bruce right there. 

Now, it was eleven o’ clock, and Jason had been sitting outside Bruce’s room for over an hour, mustering up the courage to knock and apologize. 

Bruce is probably sleeping, but Jason knows he won’t get a lick of sleep if he doesn’t at least try. 

Jason stands up and knocks twice. He waits patiently. 

There is no response. 

He knocks again. He waits two minutes. Not a sound.

“Bruce, open up,” he calls, knocking louder and more insistently. 

No answer. 

“Fuck it,” Jason curses, throwing open the door since he has little to no boundaries. 

The room is empty. Huh .

The door to Bruce’s bathroom is slightly ajar, a sliver of light sweeping into the dark room. Jason approaches, footsteps light and cautious. He grasps the doorknob and pulls it open to a sight that confuses him. 

Bruce is kneeling over his bathtub, head submerged in water. He’s grasping the edges of the tub in a white-knuckle grip.

Jason grabs the back of Bruce’s shirt, and pulls him from the freezing water. Bruce is pilant and shockingly does not protest or even say a word. He just kneels there, cold water dripping from his soaked hair and wetting his shirt and the tile floor beneath him. 

“Bruce, what are you doing?”

“Trying to wake myself up,” he responds. His speech is slow, tired. 

Jason grasps Bruce’s chin, forcing Bruce to meet his eyes. 

Unfocused. Dilated. Foggy. 

A drop. No doubt. 

Jason sinks to his knees, coming to Bruce’s level. He’s helped several omegas out of drops. Some had been hysterical; others catanoic. He’s also seen alphas leave omegas in drops. Omegas can come out of drops naturally by themselves, but then it will be so much easier the next time for the omega to drop.

How long has Bruce been dropping? And why?

He peels of Bruce’s wet shirt. The man is shivering. Jason grabs a white, fluffy towel and begins to dry off the omega. 

“Can you tell me what happened?” Jason asks softly. 

“Had a nightmare.”

When did Bruce start having nightmares?

“I get those a lot too.”

Jason wants to ask Bruce what his nightmare was about, but decides he doesn’t want Bruce to dwell on it. He berates himself. Tim had told both him and Dick that he thought something was up with Bruce. Jason almost didn’t want to believe him, but the beta was right. 

After Jason dries him off, the omega continues to shake and quiver. He stands Bruce up, and Jason watches as he sways dangerously on his feet before practically collapsing in Jason’s awaiting arms. The alpha basically drags the omega to his bed, tucking the warm blankets around him.

Bruce still shivers.

“I don’t want to go to sleep.”

Jason’s heart breaks. 

“I’m not going to leave you. Don’t worry.”

Jason kicks off his shoes, and slides into bed behind Bruce, wrapping an arm around Bruce’s torso. He knows if Bruce was in sound mind, he would not have allowed this to happen, but Jason will enjoy the chance to take care of his omega. 

Shit , did he really just think “his omega”?

Bruce’s skin is icy cold and peppered with goosebumps, but he relaxes into Jason’s embrace, eyes fluttering shut. Jason doesn’t say anything, just allows his presence and warmth to soak into Bruce’s skin. In the morning, he will talk with Dick and Tim. 

For now, he’ll hold onto Bruce as long as he needs. 

Chapter Text

Bruce wakes up with an unfamiliar heat simmering underneath his skin.

It drags him from his sleep, rousing him from blissful blankness. The first thing he notices is that Jason isn’t lying in bed with him, but the spot next to Bruce is still warm, indicating that the alpha didn’t leave too long ago.

Bruce resists the urge to pout. A quick glance over at his clock tells him that it’s almost past noon. Bruce usually never sleeps this late, and Jason probably had stuff to do.

A hint of humiliation still lingers from yesterday from both Dick walking in on the both of them rutting and Jason once again finding him in the depths of a drop. He knows the alpha has questions, no doubt confused about what he saw.

But the warmth that blooms in his chest at the security and stability he felt last night has Bruce wanting to crawl back into the alpha’s embrace and forget about everything. He imagines Jason’s strong, thick arms caging him in, shielding him from the world.

The next thing Bruce realizes is that his underwear is soaked in slick. 

The omega huffs indignantly as he shifts around, a deep ache shaking his bones and pulling a small cry from his lips. Bruce throws off his sheet and looks down, cheeks flushing at the sight of the outline of his erect cock in his pants and a little stain of slick between his thighs. The back of Bruce’s brain wishes Jason was still here to take care of him. 

Without any preamble, the omega shucks off his pants, whimpering as the cool air brushes against his warm skin. Bruce goes quickly to work and plunges two fingers in his weeping, pink hole, an unabashed moan ripping from his vocal cords.

The memory of yesterday floods his mind—of Jason scenting him, kissing his neck, holding his wrists so tight Bruce couldn’t even budge, of pushing that wonderful cock right against the cleft of his ass. 

Of Dick walking in on them. But instead of storming out, Bruce imagines Dick stopping him and throwing him onto his hands and knees right there on the mats without a word. 

“Where do you think you’re going?” the Dick in his mind would eventually say. 

The two of them would fuck him there.

Jason would pound him from behind, fingers digging into the flesh of his hips, leaving marks and bruises that would last for days. Bruce’s stray hand wanders to his neck, fingers pressing against the red and purple hickeys Jason left at the base of his neck, so close to a mating gland. He lets out a high keen, fingers curling and dragging against his prostate oh so nicely.

Dick would force his mouth wide, one hand gripping the back of his neck and the other fisting Bruce’s hair. He would fuck his mouth without pause until he was a drooling, crying mess. Bruce wonders what his skin would taste like, what his cum would feel like down his throat. 

He would be good for them, and they would praise him for it, for pleasing his alphas. 

Bruce adds a third finger, mewling softly at the burn of the stretch. He wonders how big Jason would be. The feeling of him pressed against Bruce yesterday had been daunting but had the omega twitching for more. Bruce hopes he would be able to take all of him. 

Bruce finally grasps his own cock, red and swollen, pumping furiously to the images of Dick and Jason using him. It takes two strokes before the omega is sobbing in release, his climax hitting him hard, images of the alphas cumming deep inside him.

Bruce lies there, breaths coming in shaky gaps and thighs quivering in pleasure.

In one second, he’s floating, head spinning and body as light as a feather. 

In the next second, he’s crashing down as an enormous wave of guilt and shame washes over him.

He feels gross. He doesn’t even know if Jason, Dick, or Tim even experience any sort of sexual desire or attraction for him. Yes, Jason and him had humped each other like horny puppies yesterday, but a part of Bruce knows that Jason was just reacting naturally to his omega scent and the position both of them stumbled into. 

Bruce is well into his forties, gray hair beginning to pepper itself slowly at his temples. Jason and Dick are in their early twenties, and Tim just barely eighteen. Eighteen .

He looks down at the semen drying on his stomach and cringes. He feels like an old, perverted man, lusting after his Robins. He feels dirty.

Bruce rolls out of bed, beelining towards his shower and stepping into the cold spray of the water. He washes his body vigorously, ridding his body of any evidence of his shame. 

When he steps back out, there is still a hum of heat under his skin and a curl of arousal in his gut. Bruce blinks, realization dawning on him. 

He’s in pre-heat. 

So soon?

He’s only been off suppressants for a week now, but he supposes the new onslaught of alpha pheromones he’s been inhaling has brought about an early heat. Bruce feels his heart pick up in pace.

It’s been years since his last heat.

Heats are high on his list of things he hates about being an omega. The fact that he becomes so weak, lethargic, and obedient to any alpha’s or beta’s whim is terrifying. His pre-heat usually lasts two days before he loses most of his coherency and falls into the grips of desire. 

Bruce opens his medicine cabinet, staring at his bottle of suppressants for a second too long. He could down a handful right now and thwart his heat. The side effects would probably be painful, but he considers, fingers twitching against the granite countertop. 

He sighs and instead grabs his scent blockers and inhibitors, sticking the transparent patches to his collarbone and spraying the scent neutralizing mist all over himself. 

He would make arrangements at the Essex Hotel as soon as possible, where he could suffer through his heat in privacy. 

Bruce goes back to his bedroom, ruffling through his closet. He pulls on a pair of jeans and flinches, the rough texture rubbing against his skin in all the wrong ways. 

He forgot how sensitive he becomes during pre-heat. 

Bruce throws off the jeans and decides on a pair of sweats and a high collar cotton shirt. 

He wants to be productive today, so he leaves his room, bounding down the stairs to his study. Bruce opens the door to find Dick sitting at his desk, arms crossed over his chest and quizzical look across his features. Bruce freezes, door slamming shut behind him.

“We need to talk.”

---

Dick feels like a valuable piece to the puzzle he’s constructing in his mind is missing. 

This is what he knows.

First, Bruce was attacked by unknown perpetrators, who used heat inducers on him and God knows what else. He’s pretty sure he is the only one Bruce has told about the heat inducers part. He imagines telling Tim or worse, Jason, and worries about their reactions. 

Second, he knows, courtesy of Slade, that some group of people have been gathering various information on Bruce. Most likely the same group of people who attacked him. Something that Bruce does not know. 

The attack was premeditated and served some purpose. He just knows it. 

And thirdly, he now knows, courtesy of Jason, that Bruce has been experiencing nightmares and fucking drops .  

Drops

Anger stirred inside of Dick when Jason told him and Tim. Dick had seen an omega drop once, Garfield Logan—Beast Boy. It was after a particularly bad fight during his time with the Teen Titans. Raven was hurt badly, and Gar had blamed himself. Dick and Victor found him curled in one of the bathtubs in the tower, shaking and deadly silent. 

Dick hated the sight. 

However, Dick is not sure if Bruce’s attack is the sole cause of his nightmares and drops. The man has been fighting as Batman for a long time, and those two things had never come up before.

Unless Bruce has been hiding this for a long time.

So, he decides to corner the omega with the mission of squeezing out the truth. 

“We need to talk,” he tells Bruce when the omega slips into his study.

Bruce freezes as the door shuts closed behind him, clearly not expecting Dick to be there waiting for him. There’s a flush to Bruce’s cheeks, which looks good on him, especially considering that the omega has harbored a deathly yellow hue all weekend. 

Dick’s eyes dip lower, eyes ghosting over Bruce’s neck, frowning when he realizes that Bruce specifically picked a shirt that hides the marks Jason no doubt left. He likes the idea of Bruce marked up. His eyes go lower, widening at the sight of Bruce’s chest—nipples hard and areolas swollen obscenely from behind his thin shirt. 

Dick gulps, willing his eyes to go back up to meet Bruce’s gaze. The blush on Bruce’s cheeks intensifies, and Dick realizes he’s been caught staring, and that Bruce is still waiting for him to say something. The omega speaks first.

“Dick. If this is about yesterday, I am sincerely—”

Dick cuts him off, waving his hand. “I really don’t mind.” It was probably the hottest thing he’s seen so far. “It’s about your attack.”

Bruce’s demeanor shifts, and Dick can literally see him becoming closed off. 

“It’s concerning that all the video tapes in the vicinity of my attack were obviously tapered with, but I think this was a one-time thing to scare me, so there is no need to worry. I’ve almost forgotten about it.”

Dick tilts his head, detecting the lie. He really doubts Bruce has “forgotten” about it. The man is always committed to getting to the bottom of things, and the lack of closure and information must be frustrating him. 

“Well, I haven’t forgotten about it. Is there anything you aren’t telling me?” Dicks words are slow, calculated. His hands are gripping the arms of the chair dangerously tight. 

It’s Bruce’s turn to offer a quizzical look. “No.” His voice is sharp and confident. 

Dick pushes. “Are you sure you don’t remember anything about the attack? How many people? Weapons?”

Dick is sure that Bruce is withholding information. 

Bruce clenches his jaw. “Are you accusing me of misleading you about my attack?” Bruce’s voice is deadly low, clearly upset at Dick’s probing questions.

Dick groans, rising to his feet. “Of course not, Bruce.” He sighs. “I just don’t think you are telling me everything you know about that night.”

“You know as much as me.”

“Bullshit.”

Bruce raises an eyebrow, challenging Dick. Dick takes a step towards the omega.

“For example, I know that you didn’t tell me you were drunk that night.”

Bruce’s facial expression does not change in the slightest. “I didn’t think it was important.”

“You never drink that much. What was going on?”

Bruce’s eyes flutter shut for a brief moment. Dick doesn’t know if he’s trying to calm himself down or if he’s imagining that night all over again.

“Nothing was.”

“Stop fucking lying to me.”

Dick’s temper is rising. He hates conversations like these, like he’s talking to a brick wall. Bruce’s next words are quiet, almost inaudible.

“I was upset.”

“About what?”

Bruce rolls his eyes. “Nothing you should concern yourself with. I’m over it.”

Dick takes another step towards the omega. “If something has been bothering you, Bruce, you can tell us. You know that, right?”

Bruce doesn’t say anything. Dick takes another step until there only a few feet apart. 

“Right?”

“Dick, you haven’t been to the Manor in over a year, Jason even longer, despite my attempts to invite you both over multiple times. Tim is now basically moved out too. When we talk on the phone, it is usually always about work. So, no. I don’t typically think to talk to you guys when I’m upset.

Dick opens his mouth, but no words come out. He does not know how to respond to that. He didn’t even know Bruce felt like that. 

“It’s alright though. I know I haven’t been the most...kind guardian over the years. I didn’t really make the Manor a place that you would want to stay. That’s my fault. I am not alone however. I have Alfred.”

Dick nods, dumbly. He’s never been at a loss for words this bad. This was not how he wanted this conversation to go. Dick knows he should say something comforting, but a feeling akin to shame settles in his stomach. So, he changes topic like the idiot he is. 

“People have been gathering information about you.”

Bruce blinks, clearly shaken at the random comment. “What?”

“A group of individuals have been inquiring about various aspects of your life. They have been asking mercenaries, spies, gangs, and other criminals for information about you as Bruce Wayne.”

Bruce’s mouth hangs slightly agape as he slowly processes the news. 

“And how did you gather that information?” Bruce asks. 

It’s a simple question, but Dick hesitates long enough to become suspicious. 

“Just someone else in vigilante life. Doesn’t matter, but Bruce, I think you are—”

“A name. Please.”

Dick rolls his eyes. “He likes to remain anonymous, okay?”

Bruce shakes his head. “I don’t know if what he is saying is true. I don’t know if this person can be trusted.”

Dick curses at his slip. And no, Deathstroke typically cannot be “trusted,” but the man rarely lied, especially to Dick. 

“You can trust me though, can’t you?”

“Yes, of course. I do. And if you trust me then you would tell me.”

Dick groans. He hates when Bruce uses his own words against him. He knows Bruce won’t like the answer. He knows it, but does it anyway. 

“Deathstroke.”

If looks could kill, Dick would be six feet under. 

“When did you get so buddy-buddy with a murderer?” Bruce’s words are cold and hurt. 

Dick throws up his hands in exasperation. “This is why I couldn’t tell you!”

“You are listening to a man who kills for money, Dick. He will say anything to fulfill his agenda.”

“What fucking agenda?!” Dick snaps. He’s in Bruce’s face now, but the omega remains stationary, as still as a statue. “Please enlighten me, Bruce. I don’t like him a whole bunch either, but just because he kills does not mean his words mean nothing.”

“That’s exactly what that means, Dick. He has no morals.”

Dick also knows that is untrue. Slade does abide by some type of ethical code even though Dick may not agree with the contents. He doesn’t tell Bruce that though. Slade is not worth defending. 

“I don’t give a fuck about Deathstroke, Bruce. I am just worried about you.”

“There is nothing to worry about. I told you already. I. Am. Fine.”

Both of their voices have raised in volume, and he prays that Tim, Jason, and Alfred are far away enough not to hear.

“Then why the hell are you having nightmares and dropping ?”

The only words to describe Bruce’s expression is betrayal. The omega takes a slight shuffle back, eyes widening and expression twisting into something painful. 

“Jason told you that?”

It’s phrased as a question as if the omega cannot believe that Jason would share such a thing. Dick wants to feel regret, but can’t muster up the feeling. He’s glad Jason told him. 

“And Tim,” he continues. “Because it’s something we should know as pack .”

Dick nearly spits the word out, trying to shove in Bruce’s stubborn head that not only are they family, they are pack. 

Bruce’s eyes harden at the words. “You aren’t entitled to know every little thing about me. I deserve some goddamn privacy.”

There’s a growl bubbling in Dick’s chest. “You want us to pack up our bags and leave then? You’re fucking bipolar, Bruce. One second, you’re bitching about us never coming over, but you have this fucking wall around yourself and won’t let us in.”

Dick knows his words are cruel and out of line, but he’s so angry . Bruce is rapidly blinking his eyes. 

“You have this fucking martyr complex, Bruce! It’s like you love suffering all alone and are physically incapable of showing any feeling. It’s fucking infuriating, and you’ve done it for years, Bruce. Years .”

He’s nearly chest to chest with Bruce, having pressed the omega all the way against the study room’s door. 

“I’m sick of it. Fucking sick of it. And I know Jason and Tim are too.”

Dick finishes his rant and realizes how hard he’s panting. Bruce and him had fought before, but it usually consisted of Bruce berating Dick and not the other way around. 

He expects Bruce to explode or worst storm out and ignore Dick for the rest of the day. He does neither. 

“Please don’t leave.”

His voice is shaky, almost a whimper. He’s never heard Bruce make a sound like that. He feels weird. He doesn’t like it.

“I-I uhh didn’t mean to make you feel like that. I’m s-sorry.”

In all of his years of life, Dick had never heard Bruce stutter. He never imagined he would. He has also rarely heard Bruce apologize. Dick temporarily thinks he’s been transported to an alternate dimension. 

Is he scaring Bruce?

He takes a small step back, realizing he was probably too close and too loud. He also realizes Bruce is trembling, eyes downcast and looking at his shoes. 

A typical submissive omega posture to placate an angry alpha—voice small, body still, and eyes downward. 

“Bruce, please don’t...do that.”

Bruce is rubbing his biceps in a comforting gesture; it makes him look small. He doesn’t even look like he registered what Dick said. He begins rocking back and forth on his heels, teeth biting onto his bottom lip.

“I’m sick.”

Dick feels his whole world tilt. His mind goes blank before a thousand questions and scenarios run through his mind. Cancer? Heart disease? Infection? Bruce dying?

He can’t fathom it. Bruce dying. He knows that his whole pack is involved in a dangerous profession, and it only takes one patrol or mission for things to go drastically wrong. He experienced it with Jason. 

He doesn’t know if he could go through it again.

“A-And I’m not just saying that to force you to stay. I don’t want to corner you guys to be with me. I’m...actually sick.”

Dick doesn’t know if he should jump in and say anything or just let Bruce ramble. He chooses the later.

“I kind of already had a feeling before, but um the doctor said that my omega hormones are low. Dangerously low.”

Hormones naturally decrease as one ages, but this is obviously more serious.

“I’ve been feeling...s-sad for no reason really. Also I’ve been anxious and paranoid. Food tastes awful, and I hate leaving the house. I just want to curl in a ball and d-disappear sometimes. I just started having these drops, and I’ve been trying to deal with them on my own, but I guess I’m too loud sometimes, and I wake up Jason and bother him.”

Dick knows that’s not true. Jason struggles with sleep on the occasion and likes to pace to make himself tired. 

“The doctor said it’s bond starvation, but I’m d-dealing with it. I’ve stopped taking my suppressants, and I’m on hormone supplements, so I’ll be fine. I’ll be fine.”

Bruce sounds like he’s trying to convince himself rather than Dick.

Bond starvation.

Everything makes a little more sense.

And everything feels a whole lot worse.

He knows omegas feel pack bonds much more acutely than the other two dynamics, but Bruce was never the type to get attached. 

He was fucking wrong, and now Bruce is sick with bond starvation because he’s been neglecting his duty as alpha.

To protect. To care.

He still hasn’t said anything, mind moving a million miles per hour.

“My...heat is c-coming. It should be here in two days, so I’ll be going tomorrow to nest and all t-that. But please don’t leave. D-Don’t leave.”

That explains the flushed cheeks and swollen chest. Dick doesn’t even have the mental capacity to fantasize about Bruce in heat, the term “bond starvation” keeps turning over in his mind. 

“Bond starvation?” Dick echoes like an idiot.

Bruce nods, head still down and staring at the ground.

“Bruce, would you please look at me? I hate that.”

Dick raises his gaze to Dick’s face but still cautiously avoids his eyes. He sighs. He won’t press more.

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s not your fault.”

“I think by the very definition of bond starvation makes it my fault.”

“Please...don’t say that.”

He should touch him, reaffirm their connection, but he also just did scream at the omega and force him in the fucking awful demure mindset. He doubts that his presence nor his touch would bring much comfort. 

“You shouldn’t be alone for your heat.”

Bruce should know that too. Heats—biologically—is a period in which an omega’s fertility is at its peak which leads to heightened sensitivity, swollen chests, and stronger scents to attract alphas or betas for mating. Typically, omegas gain a considerable amount of weight leading up to their heats—ten or fifteen pounds—to balance the fact that they will spend a lot of energy during their heat.

Bruce has noticeably lost weight. Coupled with the fact that heats are meant to be spent with another, bond starvation will only amplify the loneliness of a heat spent in solitude. Dick doesn’t even think Bruce will be able to properly take care of himself. It’s been years since the man has gone into heat.

“Jason would love to help you,” he offers. Or me. Or Tim. Or all of us.

Bruce shakes his head. “That would be inappropriate.” 

Dick raises his eyebrow, images of Bruce shuddering and moaning as he climaxed underneath Jason still very vivid in his mind. Bruce realizes this and clears his throat.

“Yesterday was a mistake. It won’t happen again.”

“A mistake? Why?”

“Dick, you guys are practically my so—”

“Please don’t say that word unless you actually view us that way.”

Bruce keeps his mouth shut. That’s what Dick thought. 

“We’re pack. It’s perfectly normal to feel this way about each other.”

Bruce is wringing his hands. “I’m almost double your age, Dick. I don’t want to force you guys into anything because you think you have some sort of obligation towards me. It makes me feel like a—”

Dick shuts him up with a kiss. 

It seems like the right thing to do considering that Bruce is stubborn enough not to see that all three of his Robins want him. 

It’s a simple kiss at first, just both of them pressing their closed lips against each other, but then Bruce makes this beautiful, quiet gasp and Dick cannot resist taking advantage. He deepens their kiss, hands coming up to wrap around the omega’s waist and in turn the omega’s hands grasp at Dick’s shoulders. 

Bruce’s mouth is surprisingly soft and pliant as he follows Dick’s lead. The alpha brings their bodies close until they are pressed against each other, and Bruce gasps again, this time sounding more pained.

Dick pulls back, worry lacing his voice. “I’m sorry. Did I—”

“No, no, um. My…” he gestures to his chest, and Dick once again looks at those gorgeous, puckered nipples peeking through his shirt. “They’re a bit sensitive,” he finishes. 

Dick has an idea.

He pushes the omega up against the door, hitching his cotton shirt up until its bunched underneath his armpits. “Dick, what are you doing?”

The alpha shushes him. “Can I touch them?” he asks, leaning down, warm breath fanning over the pink nipples. After a moment of contemplation, Bruce nods wordlessly. 

Dick takes the left nipple in his mouth, sucking gently on the warm skin. 

And Bruce makes this amazing keen in the back of his throat, the sound going straight to Dick’s cock. 

Dick’s other hand comes up to pinch the right nipple, rolling the pink bud between his fingers. Bruce whimpers, fingers carding through Dick’s hair as he puffs his chest out. 

Dick alternates between the two, sucking and biting on one and abusing the other with his hand until both of Bruce’s nipples are red, puffy, and shining with the alpha’s saliva. Bruce pants, leaning heavily against the door to keep himself upright.

Dick’s eyes travel lower to the bulge in Bruce’s pants. He must be wet too, and one long sniff confirms Dick’s suspicions. The sultry, sweet scent of omega slick is thick in the air, and Dick’s mouth waters. He wants to taste, bend Bruce over his own desk, face down, and lap up his wetness. 

Dick grips the waistband of Bruce’s sweatpants about to rip them down when Bruce suddenly grasps his wrist. “Wait, stop.” 

Dick instantly stills, wondering what he did wrong.

The omega licks his lips and pushes his shirt back down to cover his torso. “I think you and Jason are sending me into an early heat. I need at least a day to prepare and all.”

“No need. We’ll take care of you.”

“Dick,” Bruce says seriously. “I am not exactly comfortable spending my heat with...anyone. I especially don’t want you guys seeing me like that.”

“Like what?”

“No control. I’ll do anything someone tells me to do without a second thought.”

“We would never do anything to abuse you or take advantage of you.”

“I know. Of course, I know, but I’m still not...ready to share a heat with someone. Please respect that.”

Dick nods. Heats were almost a sacred thing. That’s why he felt so blessed that Kori had trusted him to take care of her, but he would never tell an omega how to spend his or her own heat.

That doesn’t mean he wasn’t immensely worried about Bruce’s health.

“Don’t hesitate to call if something goes wrong then.”

Bruce nods as soon as there is a knock on the door. Bruce straightens up, smoothing out his shirt even though it’s almost pornographic the way his nipples show through. 

“Come in,” he calls.

It’s Tim. His bright, shining face peeking from behind the door. He looks at Dick then at Bruce then back at Dick, and something in his mind clicks, a pink hue rising to his cheeks. 

“Am I interrupting something?”

They both shake their heads. Tim gives them a disbelieving look, but doesn’t question them further. He takes a deep breath in, and his blush reddens, obviously smelling the scent of arousal around them. 

“Uh, Bruce. I finished the rest of the blood tests for that case you are working on if you want me to show you?”

What case?

Bruce smiles, “Yeah, that would be great.”

Bruce follows Tim out, leaving Dick stranded in the study room, mind still twirling. 

Why does he still feel like he’s missing a piece of the puzzle?

He’ll have to do his own investigating.