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your heartbeat in a thousand miles

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The giant space squid wraps a tentacle around Kon's shoulders, pulls him into the hot tub, and asks to penetrate him anally, and Kon is so impressed that he's able to translate all those slippery vowel sounds into actual words that he doesn't even freak out until he wakes up. And then he gives a full-body shudder and decides to never again watch any hentai before bed.

He rolls over onto his back and covers his eyes with his forearm. Something woke him, and it wasn't just his subconscious defending him from tentacle sex. He closes his eyes and widens the filters he's learned to keep on his hearing.

Bart's in the rec room, switching between three movies and eating popcorn. Everyone else is asleep. He can hear the rustle of Cassie's sheets as she rolls over, her heartbeat and breathing steady and sure. He could be in there with her. Maybe he should be in there with her. Even though they'd had good reasons for it, maybe this whole breaking up thing is the worst idea ever if it leads to him dreaming about having sex with giant space squids.

He hears a soft splash, and then another, the steady sound of someone--Tim--swimming. He's pretty sure that's what woke him up. He glances at the clock on the night table--4:43 am. Late even for their resident night owl.

Kon rolls out of bed, scratches his belly, and heads to the pool.

Little curls of steam rise from the surface of the water, and Kon figures that what's comfortably cool for him is probably chilly for everyone else. In the weird turquoise light, edges blurred by movement and mist, Tim looks like an alien himself as he glides through the water. He's stripped down to swim trunks, and Kon can see every old scar and new bruise on his pale skin, like a map to a place he visited once but has never been able to find again.

Kon lowers himself to sit on the edge of the pool and dips his feet in. If Tim didn't know he was there before (unlikely, but within the realm of possibility), he does now. He keeps swimming.

Kon can handle that. He leans back on his hands and looks at the moon. He's pretty sure it's waning, the knowledge a holdover from the days when he'd tried to piece together a coherent timeline for Wendy by paying close attention to the phases of the moon. (It hadn't worked, but it had been entertaining for a while.) Even with the light pollution from the city, if he focuses, he can pick out various stars and constellations--he's less familiar with those, mostly because except for the Big Dipper, none of them actually look like what they're supposed to be. He figures the information is somewhere in his head, but since he doesn't need it right now, he's not going to go digging for it.

Normally, he'd try splashing Tim, or at least talking at him until he got some kind of response, but for some reason--maybe because it's the middle of the night--Kon is content to just sit and watch him swim for a while. Tim's heartbeat is loud in Kon's ears and steady, barely elevated; he's not pushing himself.

Kon should probably be embarrassed that he knows exactly what Tim's heartbeat sounds like, whatever he's doing. He can hear it from further away than he'll ever admit, tracks it automatically when they're together, and sometimes, even when they're not. He doesn't tell Tim, because it's kind of creepy, even if it's totally the kind of creepy Tim would understand. He figures it's what woke him up, as much as the splash.

He kicks his feet back and forth quietly, enjoying the way the water slides against his skin. The last thing he wants is Bart cannon-balling into the pool while Tim is working out...whatever it is that Tim is working out. He can admit to himself, at least, that he likes having this time alone with Tim, even if they're not actually interacting. He's missed it, and he knows Tim has, too.

Tim flips over and kicks off the wall, sleek and sure as a dolphin. When he finishes his lap, he props his elbows on the edge of the pool next to where Kon is sitting and looks up at him. Lit from below, with his hair slicked back off his forehead, he looks different in a way Kon can't put a finger on. Unfamiliar. The word beautiful pops into Kon's head and instead of ignoring it the way he usually would, he considers it carefully and decides it fits. It's late and he's tired of lying to himself.

Tim's mouth is pink and wet, and his eyelashes are dark and spiky and beaded with water. He blinks, as if to clear them. Kon wonders if the chlorine stings. Tim doesn't give any indication that it does, but Kon wouldn't expect him to.

"Hey," Kon ventures before the silence can get too awkward.

"Hey." Tim rests his chin on his hands. Kon can see the skin on his shoulders starting to goose-pimple. "Trouble sleeping?"

"I was having this weird dream." He stops and shakes his head.


"Giant space squid."

The left side of Tim's mouth quirks up for a second. "You shouldn't watch tentacle porn before bed."

Kon snorts. "I know that now." He waits, but Tim doesn't say anything else, so he says, "You?"

Tim shrugs. He dips down under the water, leaving only his hands visible against the ghostly white paint of the edge of the pool. Then he pops up, shaking his head, water from his hair spraying Kon's skin.

"Hey!" Kon yelps, more because he's surprised than because he cares about getting wet, and then remembers to keep his voice down. "You sure you're okay?"

Instead of answering, Tim wraps his fingers around Kon's ankle and pulls Kon into the pool. Kon totally could have stopped him; he just chose not to. That's his story and he's sticking to it. He comes up sputtering and planning his revenge.

Tim's mouth curves in a small, satisfied smile that would probably count as a big shit-eating grin on anyone else. "I am now."

All thoughts of revenge disappear. Tim's eyes are dark, his skin washed blue by the underwater lights. Looking at him makes Kon's chest hurt. In this weird, suspended moment, it's easy for Kon to lean forward, close the distance between them, and press his mouth to Tim's.

Tim's lips are cool, and when Kon brushes them with his tongue, they taste like chlorine. He can feel Tim go rigid with shock and then relax into the kiss, his mouth opening on a sigh. For a long moment, Tim lets himself be kissed and Kon accepts it for the gift that it is, sucking on Tim's upper lip and then fluttering his tongue along the roof of Tim's mouth. He wraps his arms around Tim and hauls him in, hungry for the feel of all that slick, wet skin against his. They're pressed so close together that Kon feels the shiver run through Tim; it makes him feel like the sun is rising in his chest, under his skin, burning in his veins. There's a loud pounding in his ears and he can't tell at first if it's his heart or Tim's, but he really wants to know.

Tim's breathing is ragged when they come up for air, and Kon focuses long enough to listen, to thrill at the way Tim's heart is racing the same way his is, that he's having the same effect on Tim that Tim's having on him.

And then he doesn't have the time to concentrate on that, because Tim hooks his legs around Kon's thighs and his arms around Kon's neck, fingers tangling in the short hair at his nape. He sucks on Kon's tongue and Kon thinks he might explode from how good it feels, might just go supernova and take out half the city with him.

"Tim," he says the next time he's able to speak. "Jesus, Tim."

Tim laughs softly against his mouth. "Kon," he says. "I'm okay now."