Chapter 1: Meetings
Bludhaven, early evening - the stars would’ve been coming out if you could see them through the thin film of smog hovering over the city like a greasy blanket. Sunsets were always gorgeous here, a riot of pinks and oranges and reds, but nights were universally grim. On cloudy evenings the whole sky lit up an unnatural orange from the light pollution, and Dick had to pull all his curtains shut to get any sleep. Lucky for him, he’d been scheduling most of his sleeping hours for the early morning, right between his day shifts as a legitimate officer of the law and his night shifts as something a bit darker.
He was covering for a friend tonight, working a little later than he usually would. That was fine - it’d been a slow week. He’d planned to take the night off, even. There was a pizza place down the street from him, and every night as he swung out over the rooftops to start the evening’s work, the smell of cheese and grease drifting up from the tiny storefront made his mouth water. He figured he’d end his shift with some easy paperwork and treat himself to a pie and a movie. Maybe phone up a few people he hadn’t talked to in a while.
The last thought brought a familiar ache, and he disguised a sudden grimace with a yawn. He hadn’t heard from Bruce in a while. Hadn’t expected to, really. He was busy, as usual - even moreso with the new kid. It’d be too weird to call him, and too weird to drop in unannounced, so Dick had kept his distance and reminded himself every day that it’d been his choice to strike out on his own.
He shook off his moment of melancholy and forced himself to focus on the job at hand. Slow week or no, this uniform was as important as the suit and mask, and he had a duty to stay alert the whole time he was on the beat. He paused at the next street corner, watching rush-hour traffic roll by, taking stock of the pedestrians walking home or looking for somewhere to stop in for dinner. A young couple paused to ask him directions, and he got more smiles than suspicious looks from passers-by, which cheered him up quite a bit. These people had no reason to trust their city’s cops, but he’d already made a reputation for himself as one they could trust. It was nice to have some public good attached to his real face, for once.
The sky above grew darker, and Dick turned to head back to the precinct, his shift nearly up. Nothing more ominous than a traffic accident had happened recently, so he felt justified in his plan to take the night off. You couldn’t work 24/7 and keep your energy up - well, unless you were Bruce Wayne, but Dick had learned a long time ago that he wasn’t.
It was early yet for Batman to be making an appearance in the shadows and dark corners of Gotham. Just as well, then, that he wasn’t in Gotham.
Not that it was sufficiently late in the night for vigilantes to be making an appearance in Bludhaven, either, even if that city was (against all odds) in worse shape than its sister city, but Batman wasn’t here for business, as it were. Not for cape-and-cowl, business, anyway. Bruce didn’t often take time to organise personal matters, but this —
This was important. If he allowed himself to be frank about it for even a moment, he could admit that much.
And he could certainly acknowledge that it was important enough for him to justify an early departure from the office that evening. Bruce hadn’t actually said anything about his plans for that night to Alfred, but the man had served dinner with an infuriatingly knowing smile, anyway. He’d always been irritatingly omniscient like that.
Dick used to call it Butler Radar, but the boy — no, Bruce had to correct himself, he was a man now, a devastatingly beaut —
Batman cut that thought off before it could complete, distracting himself by swooping silently onto a roof and examining the dark city around him. Maybe he didn’t have Butler Radar, but he had his own sources of information, and his own ways of finding out what he needed to know. He’d learned that Dick was still out on patrol that night, in a quieter part of town, or what passed for it in Bludhaven, at any rate. He’d learned that this was not Dick’s usual routine. And he knew, based on the surrounding landmarks and buildings, that he’d arrived in the neighbourhood that Officer Grayson was meant to patrol that evening.
It didn’t take him long to find Dick. He was difficult to miss, between the shining epaulettes of his uniform, and that unmistakably fluid grace he possessed even while engaged in something as prosaic as walking.
With his mark located and identified, Batman made his way to ground level. He stopped in a dark alley, his cape making only the barest of whispers as the shadows enveloped him.
Even a relaxed Officer Grayson was more alert than your average beat cop, and he’d been trained from a young age to respond to the nearly inaudible rustle of Batman’s cape. It’d often been the only indicator of his position in a room full of goons, and knowing where Batman’s foot was going to land next was as important to staying alive as being able to calculate a bullet’s trajectory. Even so, it was hard to tell whether he’d heard what he thought he had, and it could well be wishful thinking playing tricks on him.
Still, the uniform gave him license to investigate without feeling totally foolish about it. It was probably just a nest of rats poking around in the garbage or a cat hunting for said rodents, and Dick prepared himself for disappointment as he turned down the dark alley. Without nightvision lenses it was hard to make anything out in the gloom, but he hesitated in reaching for his flashlight. If it was Batman - and he was sure it was, now, was sure he could sense him standing there - shining a light on him would feel a little sacrilegious.
“Isn’t it a little early for you to be out, boss?” he said, hoping he wasn’t talking to shadows. Or to rats. He really didn’t want to get friendly with Bludhaven’s rats.
“It’s never too early for justice.” It was exactly the sort of ridiculous line that most people would take far too seriously, and indeed had done in the past. But despite all the conflict in their relationship, Bruce still trusted Dick to know him well enough to take it for what it was: a deflection, both serious and not, and spoken by a man who always struggled to voice his true thoughts.
His true thoughts being: that it was good to see Dick, healthy and up to par with his sensory awareness.
It was unsettling, too, as Bruce realised just how long it had been since they had seen each other last. There had been a time — years before when Dick was still small for his age, when he had still worn red, green and yellow — that they had spent more time together than apart.
Batman took a step forward. It wasn’t enough to completely close the gap, and he was still shrouded in darkness, but it was a step forward, nonetheless.
If it’d been anyone else - Wally, or Babs, or even Supes - Dick might’ve risked a hug. Bludhaven was a pretty isolating place, and standing in front of the man for whom physical affection was an anathema, Dick realized just how long it’d been since he’d gotten anything more than a friendly shoulder pat. Not that he was likely to get any of that here. Hell, even a handshake would be too much. Dick stepped further into the alley, as much to keep them both concealed as to get closer to Batman - it wouldn’t do to have the reputation of being overly friendly with Gotham’s favorite vigilante.
“Well, you’re not going to find much excitement here tonight. I know, I know, a quiet night in Bludhaven - try to contain your shock.” He was babbling, as usual, but it was the only way he could cope with the notion that Bruce was here to see him. There was no other logical explanation. Batman didn’t take random patrols outside his city unless something big was brewing.
But maybe that was it - maybe he’d picked up on something Dick hadn’t. He was still the master, after all. Dick felt a twinge of excitement at the thought, and wondered if it was more about the prospect of real work, or the thought that Batman might want to team up with Nightwing again.
“So, what brings you down here?” he asked, resting a hand on his hip and trying to look casual. Batman had probably already picked up on his rising heartbeat and dilated pupils, but he could at least make an attempt to cover up his feelings. “Don’t tell me it’s the ambiance. The eu de garbage goes away a little when it gets cold, but that’s not saying much.”
If Bruce had a legitimate, Batman-type reason to be in Bludhaven, it would have been easy to brush off Dick’s jokes with a serious comment or order. As it was, Bruce almost made up an excuse, something about needing Nightwing’s help to check up on a possible lead in Bludhaven or other. The words didn’t quite form up, though. What he did manage was a slight lift of his mouth. Not quite a smile but — a concession.
Albeit one that Dick would remain completely oblivious to, standing in the dark in civvies as he was.
After all the miles he’d crossed to bring them together again, the final gap that remained between them seemed — insurmountable. Maybe it should have been as easy as taking another step, but this sort of thing had never come easily to Bruce.
If his ex-lovers were to be believed, this was a long-established fact. Even so, of late, being around Dick was one of the few occasions that had Bruce genuinely regretting it.
When he finally spoke, it was neither here nor there, not quite in Batman’s usual growl. “Alfred misses you.”
“Alfred?” Dick couldn’t quite fight off a grin, reading the subtext as clearly as if Bruce had said it aloud. “You came all the way out here to tell me that Alfred misses me? I’ll tell you what he misses - having someone around to appreciate his cooking.”
Of course, he couldn’t come right out and say he’d missed Bruce, too. The last time he’d tried that it’d ended in disaster, and he hadn’t been back to the Cave since. He hated dancing around the issue, feeling like he was trying to reel in a fish with dental floss - too much or too little and Bruce would escape him again.
“Hey, if you want an extended rooftop pow-wow, I can run home and slip into something more comfortable.” After a beat, he realized what he’d just said, and was grateful that the darkness probably covered up the flush creeping up his neck. “The cop uniform’s great, but not so good for flying,” he added, scrambling to explain away his awkward phrasing.
“That can wait.” It would be too easy to escape behind their masks, and return to comfortable territory. Perhaps later in the night, Batman and Nightwing could make a patrol together. The prospect certainly pleased him, very much. Before that, however — Bruce had arrived in Bludhaven to see Dick.
He clenched a fist in its gauntlet, contemplating the other man. Even through the haze of night vision lenses, Dick’s grin was luminous.
Batman stalked forward, making a quick decision and not allowing himself any second-guesses or hesitation. All he was doing was reaching out to touch Dick’s shoulder. It was hardly as dramatic as he’d made it out to be earlier.
Bruce cleared his throat, once, twice. “You seem to be doing well.”
Dick felt his heart stop at the solid, sure grip on his shoulder. He must be deeper in than he’d thought if a shoulder pat was enough to shake him. Even though he was a man grown, Batman still towered over him, all solid muscle and leather and armor plating. Now that he was closer, he could smell Bruce under all of that, the faint hint of his aftershave lingering like a reminder that he was still human. It hadn’t changed in all the years Dick had known him, and it triggered a sudden wash of memories and homesickness. Dick knew logically that familiar smells were tied strongly to memories and that he shouldn’t be surprised at his response, but it still brought home how much he’d missed being around Bruce.
“I like to think I’ve done pretty well here,” he said, falling back on words again to cover up his feelings. He tucked his thumbs into his utility belt just to have something to do with his hands, to keep from doing anything stupid like trying to hug Bruce. “The PD here needs a lot of help. There’s no Gordon to keep ‘em in line, so I thought I’d try working from the inside as well as out. This city doesn’t have as many crazies as Gotham, but I’m starting to think every other person here is some kind of pimp drug-dealing murdering loan shark.”
It wasn’t that Bruce had expected a similar display of affection from Dick, necessarily. But where Dick usually reacted beautifully to physical contact, his reaction just then seemed uncharacteristically… cautious.
Given the way they’d left things during their last encounter, it was probably just self-preservation on Dick’s part. Bruce could hardly hold that against him.
And he was probably holding on to Dick’s shoulder for longer than necessary, at that. Even after so long, the touch was as comfortable as coming home. Through the protective material of his glove, Bruce could feel the thin fabric of Dick’s uniform shirt, and below that, sharp bone and tense, corded muscle. It was time to let go, though. Bruce allowed himself a gentle squeeze, before sliding his hand down to Dick’s elbow and making to pull away.
“Bludhaven PD could do far worse than you,” he noted. The uniform certainly looked good on Dick, highlighting the lean planes of his body. He almost said as much, before catching himself. It would be inappropriate to voice such thoughts.
Bruce’s touch sent fire down his nerves, and Dick felt his knees go weak at the innocuous shoulder squeeze. The brush of fingers down his arm to his elbow seemed downright obscene. He felt a familiar heat in his gut and wondered if he was blushing, if Bruce could tell. Dick felt a momentary surge of panic at the thought, the adrenaline doing nothing to curb his budding arousal. This wouldn’t be the first time Bruce had caught him in such a state, and more often than not the situation in his pants - or booty shorts, or bodysuit - was caused by the man himself, but he’d gotten incredibly good at shrugging it off and making excuses when he needed to. Right now, they were the only two people in this alleyway, and he sure as hell wasn’t getting off on anything else around them.
He made a mental note to get laid as soon as humanly possible after this, fooling himself into thinking it’d help.
“You should come around more often,” he said, recognizing the faint but noticeable strain in his voice and knowing Bruce would, too. “When the pursuit of Justice allows, anyway. There’s this really great pizza joint, and-“
I miss you.
The words stuck in his throat at the memory of the last time he’d said them to this man. Instead, he forced a smile and clapped Bruce on the shoulder, trying not to think of the powerful muscle and beautifully scarred skin beneath his armor. “And Bludhaven could use an appearance or two from the Bat,” he finished a bit too heartily. “Give ‘em something to think about.”
The prospect of working with Nightwing, or doing something as simple as getting pizza with Dick, filled Bruce with a sudden warmth. The touch of Dick’s hand just sent it all pooling in his stomach. He tried to ignore it, noting instead the disconnect between Dick’s words and body language. Dick was tense, strained, almost — uncomfortable? Bruce could not imagine that Dick had issued his invitation out of mere politeness, but even as a boy, he’d continually strived to make others happy. Bruce hadn’t done nearly enough to appreciate that quality in him.
Regardless, his answer would have to be sufficiently non-committal. Enough for Dick to deflect, if need be, without too much embarrassment for either of them.
“I can spare the night,” Bruce said, finally. His voice came out soft, but they were close enough that Dick would still hear it.”If that’s what you want.”
Only then did he realise that his own hand still held a light grip on Dick’s elbow.
Dick laughed before he could stop himself, the warm, almost startled sound filling up the dank alleyway. If he wanted? There was nothing he wanted more. Bruce was hedging his bets as usual - it was just like him to read Dick’s invitation as mere courtesy when in truth Dick was halfway to grabbing his cowl and laying one on him, propriety be damned.
“You’d have to lose the cape and cowl,” he said, tugging the edge of Bruce’s cape. “You’d give the pizza guy a heart attack otherwise. Though, I bet he’d love Batman’s portrait up on the wall next to Brando.”
Dick’s radio crackled to life, and he groaned quietly when he realized he should have been back at the precinct ten minutes ago. “Speaking of which, I need to head back down to the station. Can I meet you somewhere, or should I just assume you know where I am at all times?”
The pleasant sound of Dick’s laugh sent all sorts of impulses racing through Bruce’s mind, and other areas further south. He went with the least dangerous one, and said, “I can take you to the precinct. We can meet there when you’re done.”
After all, it was his fault that Dick was late. His grapple hook and de-cel line would get Dick there faster than walking. Though Dick was in civilian clothes, the night darkness and Batman’s cape would give them enough cover.
Dick’s eyes widened in momentary surprise at the offer, heart speeding up as he thought of Bruce’s arm around him the whole way back to the station. It was a good thing that an adolescence in booty shorts had given him pretty good control over his body’s reactions, or things could get very awkward indeed.
“Sure thing,” he said, grinning wide. “Though I think I’m a little bit heavier than usual in all this gear.”
He stepped back and checked the clasp on his utility belt, then spread his arms slightly so Bruce could get a good hold on him. He’d been carried home plenty of times, but usually he was unconscious or bleeding out. This would be a much nicer experience.
Batman brought out his grapple with one hand, and slid the other around Dick’s waist. Dick wouldn’t be as light as he was during his Robin days, but Bruce had managed heavier burdens with less incentive.
“It’s fine,” he said, pulling Dick close to his side, and wrapping the cape over him. Even through the kevlar armour, he could feel Dick’s warmth. It was both familiar and reassuring. “We’re not travelling far.”
He wasted no time in shooting the line, and bringing them airborne.
There was a special thrill to flying under someone else’s power. He quite literally trusted Batman with his life, so there was no fear as his feet left the ground - only heat and adrenaline and joy. He wrapped one arm around Bruce’s waist and kept himself as compact as possible, trying not to think about how very, very close they were. Instead he focused on the rush of cold, clean air, the sight of the city lights below, the momentary feel of weightlessness as Bruce swung out across the dizzying gap between buildings.
Of course, even the thrill of flying couldn’t completely block out the reality of Bruce’s powerful body pressed tight against his own. He could feel his muscles moving beneath the armor, could hear his deep and even breathing, could practically see his focus and concentration as he gauged distances and angles in his head. Watching him work was sometimes enough to take his breath away - watching him this close almost did him in completely. He only hoped he’d be able to wipe all signs of arousal from his face when they landed.
They couldn’t speak while in the air; the rush of wind and ambient city noise would easily drown out any words. This was fortunate, because it left Bruce free to focus on maintaining his breath and heart rate at steady levels. Of all the times Bruce had done this before — mostly for people they rescued, or the occasional villain grabbed by the scruff of the neck — it had never felt so intimate.
It was not long before they landed at the station, Dick by now half-pressed to his chest. Bruce did not let go immediately, out of habit. Most people needed an additional second or two to readjust to having solid ground beneath them. Dick never would, of course, not least due to his acrobatic training, but —
This was the point where Bruce would normally break the moment, stop himself from saying or doing anything regrettable. For once, he found that he… just didn’t want to.
Dick’s heart was pounding so hard he was afraid it’d crack a rib, and he was sure Bruce could tell how tense he was. Maybe more than that. Bruce’s arm was still around him, holding him, his big hand curved neatly over his hip, and it’d gone on way too long to be anything else but-
But what? Could he even dare to hope that Bruce was -holding him-, without any excuses or explanations?
He stopped himself short, afraid of scaring Bruce away, of giving him any more time to think. Instead, he did what he’d wanted to do since he first dropped down into the alley - no, far longer than that. Without giving himself room for fear or hesitation or second guesses, he reached up to grab the neck of Bruce’s cowl and - not so much pulling him down as pulling himself up to meet him - pressed a hard, hungry kiss to his lips.
Chapter 2: Conversations
Bruce’s first thought was — not a thought at all, but a physical reaction, a deeply visceral one that had arousal firing up his entire body. For the longest time, he’d not allowed himself to even think about this, about the possibility of this. Having Dick pressed up willingly against Bruce, kissing him, wanting him, almost felt like — like being smacked up by a concrete block, like he’d been the previous week when taking down a smuggling ring. Both knocked the breath right out of him.
His second thought was. Still not a thought. Instead, Bruce threaded his other hand through Dick’s hair, pulling them closer as he returned the kiss with fervour.
Rational, sensible thinking would have to kick in eventually, probably sooner rather than later. But it could wait. At least until Bruce had tasted everything he could of Dick’s warm, soft lips.
It was everything he’d thought it would be, and infinitely more. He could hardly believe it when Bruce pulled him closer, but he took every inch he possibly could from the moment, clinging to him like he could get out years of repression in one long, desperate kiss. Some part of him caught on to how absurd they must look, a beat cop kissing Batman out behind the police station, and a warm laugh bubbled up from his chest, escaping every time he broke from the kiss for a breath. He was feeling too much all at once and wanted it all, wanted to hang onto this moment forever.
His radio crackled to life, sandwiched between their bodies, and Dick jumped back with a startled curse. He fumbled with the little black box, trying to remember where his brain was and how to speak like a normal person, then cleared his throat noisily and flashed Bruce an apologetic look before answering.
“This is Grayson. I’m headed back now, over.”
The kiss had either gone longer than it should have, or it had ended too soon; Bruce wasn’t in the right frame of mind to figure it out. Even though they’d pulled apart, everywhere his body had touched Dick still tingled with heat and want.
He gave Dick a sharp nod, not trusting himself to speak. There was a terrifying fragility in all this, in opening himself up this way. Part of him was tempted to leave, and return to Gotham, but — no. Not this time.
He’d call up the Batmobile; change out of the Batsuit and into civilian clothing. What the next step after that would be, he wasn’t sure, but he could deal with that when Dick came back out.
“I’ll be back in ten. Maybe fifteen,” Dick said, still grinning. He knew he probably looked pretty foolish, but he had no control over his face anymore. He could still taste Bruce on his lips, his mind buzzing as it tried to sort out the fact that he’d just kissed Batman. Hard. With a little bit of tongue. And Bruce had liked it, so much so that he’d kissed him back.
He made his way inside the building before he could get distracted again, and didn’t realize how truly goofy he looked until he walked into the main office and everyone turned to stare at him. He paused, scratched the back of his neck with a sheepish expression, and then waved. ”Hey, guys. Uh. Nice night, isn’t it?”
One of the senior officers looked him up and down, smirking at his very obvious dishevelment. Dick hadn’t even thought to comb his hair down. He could’ve said that it was the wind and not Batman’s gloved hand that’d mussed it, but either confession would be equally damning.
“You got a little delayed, Grayson. Girl trouble?”
Dick figured the easiest rout was to play along, so he gave an exaggerated sigh and held his hands up in surrender. It was only half a lie, anyway. ”Ok, you got me. It’s true. How did you guess?”
The other officer made a little pair of ears with his fingers. ”World’s greatest detective, right here,” he said in an absurd bass growl.
Dick laughed just a little too hard at that, then chucked an empty pencil cup at him, effectively ending the conversation. They’d tease him about it for a while, but office gossip was short-lived, and they’d forget about it soon enough. He rushed to change and neaten his hair a little, wishing he had time for a shower, but the longer he delayed, the less likely Bruce was to still be waiting for him.
Once he’d exchanged his neat uniform shirt and slacks for a leather jacket and jeans, he slung his duffel bag over his shoulder and made for the rear exit, not wanting to draw further friendly fire on his way out.
There was a security in wearing the cape and cowl that was difficult to step away from, but Bruce had already made himself too vulnerable to do anything else at that point. Backing out now would only push Dick away even more, and even all Bruce’s famed ability to isolate emotion and feeling wouldn’t be able to cope with that.
Changing out in the middle of a somewhat unknown city was not the safest thing, but neither was anything else he had done that night. Bruce tried (and failed) not to contemplate it too much as he pulled on a shirt and black trousers, before doing his best to dampen the smell of leather and kevlar. Kissing Dick had been equal parts breathtaking and terrifying and exhilarating, not unlike a freefall. It made Bruce realise that maybe, for once, he was weary of over-thinking and analysing every word and action. Maybe he could try do what Dick always said, to move forward and just let things… be. To not get stuck in a rut because he was constantly looking back.
Bruce sent the Batmobile — and Batman, too, in a way — back into hiding, and as he did so, Dick exited the station. He looked even better out of uniform.
Bruce looked good all the time, no matter the occasion or what he was wearing. Dick had seen him in some truly amazing getups before, but not a single one had changed the fact that underneath, he was a strikingly handsome man.
Even so, Dick had his favorites. Shirtsleeves and slacks topped the charts, giving him a hint of Bruce’s vulnerability without sacrificing any of his powerful masculinity. The number of times he’d fantasized about popping open his shirt buttons one by one-
Better not think about that. He had a first kiss to rationalize.
Dick walked over to meet him with as much relaxed nonchalance as he could muster, which probably wasn’t much. “You stashed the car?” he asked, wondering where he’d hidden it this time. For a beast of a machine, the batmobile was surprisingly stealthy.
“The pizza place is within walking distance. I’ll show you some of the sights along the way. And by sights, I mostly mean buildings with intact windows and streets you can walk down without getting jumped.”
For someone who usually had no trouble slipping into the suave, playboy persona, Bruce suddenly found himself struggling for words. Dick would see through the Brucie mask immediately, and not least because they were standing very close together.
“So — not unlike Gotham’s sights,” he said eventually, as they began walking. (Walking — that was certainly novel for him.) A smile would probably be appropriate at this juncture, but all he managed before giving up was a grimace. “Do you… visit this place often?”
It occurred to him that he didn’t know much about Dick’s life, beyond his police career or night job. Though it was probably best not to mention the extensive surveillance equipment he had set up to keep track of his various charges. He only used that for official, Bat-related purposes.
“Not often enough,” Dick replied. “The delivery guy has the key to my building, though. I order in all the time. It’s faster than going out - I can grab a bite in between getting home and suiting up.”
He set out in the direction of home, duffle bag slung over one shoulder, his free hand in his pocket. Even on a quiet night, even walking next to Bruce, he was alert and aware of his surroundings. He glanced towards every unexpected noise, looked down every dark alley, ready to spring into action if necessary. He wasn’t particularly paranoid - just well-trained.
“It was weird learning to feed myself after I left,” he said as they passed by yet another late-night bodega. “I had some fun adventures with canned pasta and ramen noodles.”
This time, the smile came easily. “I’m sure you had fun indulging in everything Alfred’s banned from his pantry.”
Bruce tucked his hands into his pockets, keeping part of his attention focused on the streets around them, as much as on navigating his conversation with Dick.
“You’ve done well for yourself,” he said, nodding a little, as they crossed a street towards Dick’s apartment building. “Much better than I would have, in your place.”
It didn’t cost him much to make this admission, not after the moment they shared just minutes before, behind the police precinct.
“That’s not completely true. Hold your applause until you see my apartment,” Dick said, but glowed under the praise anyway. It was a rare thing, even when he was talking to Bruce rather than the Batman, and it never failed to make him smile. It was like the sun coming out on a cloudy day.
Dick’s apartment was small but reasonably well-kept. The front door let into his small living room with its standard assortment of furniture - sofa, TV, coffee table piled with work papers and books. Dick normally would have chucked his duffel bag on the couch and forgotten about it, but this time he took a detour to toss it into his bedroom instead, figuring that smelly clothes and gym shoes wouldn’t do much for the ambiance. He grimaced when he realized that his room was a mess with clothes piled in the corner and his sheets rumpled up in an unkempt ball in the middle of his mattress, and then he had to question why that mattered in the first place. Was he planning on Bruce seeing his bedroom?
He shut the door and came back into the living room before he could take that line of thought much further. Bruce looked incongruous standing in the small space, and Dick wished the kiss behind the precinct had lasted just a little longer, had gone just a bit further so that he could throw pretext to the wind and jump him the way he wanted to. That was what would’ve happened with anyone else. The kiss should’ve broken the wall of tension keeping them apart, leading to hesitant but good-natured making out, but this was Bruce. You didn’t just make out with Bruce.
“It’s not much,” he said, gesturing at the space, “But better than I could have done on my own. Alfred made a few calls when I moved out here - but, hey, you probably already knew that. Can I get you anything? A drink, maybe?”
Bruce opened his mouth to decline, but then found himself hesitating. Maybe a drink wouldn’t be a bad idea, even if alcohol and sodas were out of the question.
“Water’s fine.” He almost followed Dick into the kitchen, before catching himself. It wouldn’t do to hover.
Instead, he looked around Dick’s apartment, marveling a little at how it illustrated the differences between their lives were now. Where Bruce still lived in his family home, doing the same things he’d done when Dick had first come to him, Dick was living on his own, in a new city, with a fledgling career at that. Not for the first time, Bruce was struck by the fact that his little acrobat had… grown up into a fine, promising young man.
As if that hadn’t been obvious when Dick had pulled him down for a kiss that was a little fierce, a lot hungry, and not innocent at all. But Bruce wasn’t complaining. He really, really wasn’t.
Waiting on the couch for Dick would be the normal thing to in this situation, he figured, and so wandered into the living room area. Never mind that his life had never been conventionally normal, even before that terrible night his parents died. It didn’t mean he couldn’t try for it now, and he folded his large frame onto the couch just as Dick ambled back into the room.
Dick used the momentary privacy of the kitchen to try and compose himself. After spending most of his life living in the same house as Bruce, he shouldn’t be so nervous about having him in his apartment - but he’d kissed him. And being apart from him had only made him realize how desperately he wanted to be near him. And now he knew Bruce wanted the same thing - it was enough to make a man’s head spin. He took a sobering drink of ice water, then came back out into the living room with two glasses, the pizza menu, and a smile.
Small talk should’ve been easy. It wasn’t like Bruce was a stranger to him. But every subject seemed to lead right back to the elephant in the room - their brief but extremely significant kiss behind the police precinct. It was like walking on eggshells, trying not to bring it up or make Bruce feel awkward. It was like that moment had been the final nail in the coffin that housed their former relationship, and Dick was at a loss as to how to move forward.
At last, the pressure became too much for him. He couldn’t duck the subject anymore. Someone was going to have to bring it up, and it damn sure wasn’t going to be Bruce.
“Look, about what happened earlier, behind the station.” He scratched the back of his neck, trying to figure out what he wanted to say. ”I hope that was ok. I mean, it felt ok, to me. I kind of figured it was. And it’s been something I’ve wanted to do for a pretty long time. But if it’s not, we can just… well, maybe not forget that it happened, since you have a mind like a steel trap, but maybe move on from it. And that’d be ok, too.”
The last part was a lie. Dick didn’t know what he’d do if Bruce picked that option.
“Dick,” Bruce said, wryly. “I’d hardly have followed you back here if I wanted to forget what happened.”
He took a deep drink of his water, before setting his glass on the coffee table. Dick threshing out the situation, in that sheepish, endearing way of his, had been enough for Bruce to understand the own tangle of emotions circulating in his own brain. They were still a tangle, of course; he was just made that way. But at least now he knew, for certain, that he wanted to see where this new path might take them.
And it wasn’t fair of him, really, to leave the heavy lifting to Dick. He shifted closer, placing a hand on Dick’s knee. The smile twisting his lips was a little crooked, but it was a start.
Chapter 3: Explorations
The smile would’ve been enough for Dick, would’ve kept him going for a good long while. If all he got out of the rest of the night was that one small, crooked smile, he’d have been happy. The touch to his knee, the open invitation - that was more than he thought he deserved.
“I guess that’s true,” he said with a sheepish smile of his own. Emboldened by Bruce’s response, he moved closer to him until their legs were touching, feeling once again like he couldn’t breathe.
“Think we should try again?” he asked, grinning lopsidedly at the catch in his own voice. “We haven’t even ordered the pizza yet, so no interruptions this time.”
Bruce’s heart hammered loudly in his ribcage, surely loud enough for Dick to hear given their very close proximity.
There was an errant lock of hair falling into Dick’s eyes - Bruce knew it well, it was the one constant of Dick’s dark hair, even if the length often changed. There had been an occasion or two previously (more than that, if he was honest), where he had wanted to push it aside, stop it from obscuring Dick’s blue eyes. It occurred to him then that maybe he now had permission to do just that.
It was soft. Dick’s face was even softer, when Bruce’s fingers brushed the side of it.
“Let’s consider that first time as practice,” he said finally, just barely managing to keep his voice steady. He was still smiling.
That was all the invitation Dick needed. He reached out to lay his hand on the back of Bruce’s neck and closed the last few inches between them, brushing his lips with a tentative, questioning kiss. In the heat of the moment it’d been easy to take what he wanted - now he was a touch more cautious, waiting for Bruce to let him know that it was still ok. He could feel the callouses on Bruce’s fingers against his cheek and the soft, short hairs at the back of his neck, the heat of his body radiating outward, the solid muscle of his thigh pressed against his leg. Now he could pay proper attention to each and every sensation, trying to memorize the feel of Bruce’s body so close to his own.
Bruce didn’t hesitate to return Dick’s tentative brushes with a firmer kiss, though he took care to keep it tender, still. His free hand reached out to curl over Dick’s hip, gently pulling him inward.
It was easy to get caught up in the sweet warmth of Dick’s mouth, but Bruce didn’t let go of himself completely. Part of his attention stayed focused on their surroundings, and on every reaction Dick made to Bruce’s touches. Each breath, each tremble. He catalogued them all, with the thought of making this as good for Dick as he could.
Dick found it harder to pay attention to anything beyond the immediate. He was caught up in the taste of Bruce’s mouth, the rough warmth of his hands, and somewhere at the back of his mind a small voice was still buzzing in disbelief that this was actually happening. Any second he’d wake up alone in his bed again.
But the kiss carried on, and the dream didn’t end, and Dick melted slowly into Bruce’s arms, wanting to feel him everywhere. He almost climbed into his lap but stopped himself short, clinging to one last thread of moderation. If this was real, they had plenty of time. No sense in rushing things, even if his body wanted nothing else.
Dick broke away first, breathless and flushed, still smiling wide. His eyes held a gleam of excitement and anticipation, and his body was tense with the effort of holding back. His hand lay against the back of Bruce’s neck still, and the other had come up to twist in the fabric of his shirt, clinging close to him. Their faces were mere inches apart, and Dick could still taste Bruce on his lips.
“Practice makes perfect, right, boss?” he said, unable to keep from chattering even when his brain felt like it was slowly melting.
Bruce almost laughed; it didn’t surprise him much that Dick couldn’t keep quiet even during an intimate moment. He’d always been a little irrepressible. Bruce, on the other hand, had always been more comfortable with communicating through actions rather than words. One of his hands still cradled Dick’s face, and he slid it back to card through Dick’s hair. The raven locks were silky under his fingers, and he caressed them, trying to commit the feel of them to memory.
“You always did better with practice,” he agreed, after a moment, the corner of his mouth quirking up.
His gaze was drawn to the sharp line of Dick’s jaw, and Bruce pressed his lips there, trailing kisses down to the tantalising hollow of throat just below. It was tempting to start sucking the delicate skin there, to make his mark, but it seemed… territorial, and maybe a little juvenile. Bruce didn’t know if Dick would appreciate it, so he busied himself with kissing and tasting, for the moment at least.
Dick sucked in a sharp breath as Bruce’s lips grazed a particularly sensitive spot, fingers tightening in his hair and shirt, pulling him closer still. He was eager and pliant in Bruce’s hands, tipping his head back to expose his throat, arching into his touch with natural grace. There was no hiding how aroused he’d become from just the lightest of touches, how fast he’d responded to Bruce’s closeness - every line of his body, every movement, every shaking breath shouted it. He combed his fingers through Bruce’s hair, snaked an arm around his back and leaned into him, eyes closed in bliss. And still he couldn’t shut up - every breath brought a string of murmured encouragements, words without meaning except to ask for more.
He wasn’t about to let Bruce have all the fun, though. He snatched a moment between kisses to return the favor, ducking down to nip at Bruce’s neck, showing far less restraint than the other man. This time he couldn’t stop himself from climbing halfway into his lap, pressing him back with hands on his chest to give him better access to his strong jaw and neck and broad, powerful shoulders. He undid the first few buttons of his shirt to give him more bare skin to play with, greedy for every inch he could get. The floodgates were open - the small voice of his conscience telling him to go slow was drowned out by the thundering of his heart in his ears and the heady taste of Bruce’s skin.
Every eager murmur out of Dick, every response he made, travelled like sparks through Bruce’s nerves, straight down to his gut. Having Dick sprawled over his lap, so warm and willing and close — it was almost too much, in the best possible way.
“Dick.” Bruce choked back a groan, letting his head fall back onto the back of the couch. Dick’s mouth burned hot on his skin; every nip of teeth sent his heart stuttering.
He shifted to bracket Dick’s hips with his hands, squeezing them. Not entirely sure if he was encouraging Dick to climb over proper, or warning him. Dick always did leap before looking… but sometimes that was just what was needed.
And jump he did, safety nets be damned. He took the sound of his name and the hands on his hips as an invitation and moved to straddle Bruce’s legs, steadying himself on his shoulders. He was already hard and was sure Bruce could feel it, especially when he leaned in to kiss him again and pressed their bodies closer together, but he wasn’t worried anymore. Even if Bruce needed him to stop now, if his emotional walls didn’t let him go any further than this, at least he’d know how Bruce felt.
“I’ve wanted this for so long,” he said, just barely above a whisper. “You have no idea how many nights- well, ok, maybe you do.”
He sat back a moment to take in the sight of Bruce beneath him and felt his breath catch. It was almost too much to take in. His heart felt so full of love for him that he thought it might burst, like he couldn’t contain the depth of feeling he’d kept hidden away for so long.
Bruce was his safety net. This time, as always, he’d leaped out into empty air and Bruce had been there to catch him, to carry him safely to ground.
Bruce’s eyes fell shut, and he drew in a deep breath to try and compose himself. There weren’t many things that left him thunderstruck, but — damn. He could feel Dick’s willingness and interest, pressing against him, and Bruce’s own body was quick to respond.
Add to that the frank honesty of Dick’s confession —
When Bruce opened his eyes, it was to the sight of Dick looking down at him with naked longing and desire, and he was certain his heart stopped. Dick was the most beautiful person he knew, inside and out, and here he was, telling Bruce, showing Bruce, how much he wanted this.
Bruce ran his hands up and down the sides of Dick’s body, rubbing his skin through the thin fabric of his shirt. “Dick… I want you,” he admitted, his voice low and rough. “But is this what — is this where you want to…”
He couldn’t quite finish his sentence; not having the courage to vocalise those particular thoughts. But Dick would know what he meant. He always did.
A warm, happy laugh bubbled free of Dick’s chest and he curled up close against Bruce’s chest, hiding his face in the crook of his neck for a moment. He felt like he’d never heard sweeter words than those, his whole body aching with need as Bruce’s words rolled over him. But Bruce was right, as usual - his cramped sofa was no place for this, whatever ‘this’ turned out to be. Dick had been with enough men to have some idea of how these things usually played out, but he genuinely didn’t know if Bruce had. Even the relationships he’d had with women during the time Dick had known him seemed a bit stunted.
“I’ve never wanted anything more, trust me,” he said, meeting Bruce’s eyes again with a reassuring smile. “But maybe… maybe we should take this somewhere more comfortable.”
He slid off of Bruce’s lap with great reluctance, and when he straightened up the state of his arousal was obvious, straining against the front of his jeans. Never one to resist an audience, he took the opportunity to strip out of his shirt, stretching his arms and arching his back a bit more than necessary to show off the lean muscles of his body. His jeans rode low on his hips, exposing a trail of dark hair trailing down below his navel.
“You coming?” he asked, raising a brow, just the hint of a tease in his voice.
When Dick stood to lead them away, Bruce suffered a brief moment of panic. Thinking that maybe he was doing the wrong thing, here — that maybe he’d come to regret this, or Dick would, or they’d both end up hurting each other again and leave their relationship completely beyond repair.
But he supposed those were always possibilities, in any relationship. They were both adults, this was willing and consensual on both sides and —
Bruce lost track of it all the moment Dick took his shirt off. Ever the performer, clearly. Bruce stared at Dick’s rippling muscles, the graceful curve of his back as it arched into a stretch, the lean, angular lines of his hip bones as they dipped into his jeans… Bruce swallowed, hard, and tried to get a hold of himself. This was ridiculous, he was acting like a teenager. Batman would not be impressed.
He unfolded himself from the couch, nodding his answer to Dick’s question. He need a moment to adjust the hang of his trousers, which were starting to get uncomfortably restrictive, but very quickly after that, he pulled Dick to him for a kiss. It was nowhere near as gentle as his kisses before, this was one was all teeth and tongue and more than a little messy. Enough to make sure that Dick would be gasping for breath when he cut it short.
“Lead the way,” he said, allowing himself a smirk.
Dick went weak at the knees at Bruce’s display of force, digging his fingers into his shoulders and drowning gladly in the pleasure of it. He wanted whatever Bruce had to give him - tenderness, roughness, anything in between. He was equally entranced with the strength of his arms and the solid, overpowering size of his body as he had been with the gentle touch to his cheek and the questioning kisses to his throat. He was indeed left gasping, his eyes hazy with pleasure and want, too overwhelmed for cocky teasing - for the moment.
He took Bruce’s hand and walked backward towards the bedroom, pulling him down for another blistering kiss after only a few steps. Somehow they managed to make it to the door, stumbling and groping and moaning, and Dick had to fumble with the doorknob for a full fifteen seconds before he could remember how to open it. He no longer cared about the state of his bedroom, except to shove the sheets into a pile on one side of the headboard - he had eyes for nothing but Bruce.
Bruce pushed Dick such that he fell on his back onto the bed. He looked so inviting, his lithe body stretched out half-naked just for him, and Bruce thought it was a view he could look at forever. Which wasn’t to say that it couldn’t be made even better.
“Take your pants off for me, Dick.” It came out almost like Batman’s growl; desire turning his words gravelly and his breathing ragged.
Bruce kicked his own shoes off, and started fumbling with the buttons of his shirt, almost tearing it off in his impatience to remove it. It might have helped to look down and see what he was doing, but he didn’t — couldn’t — take his eyes off Dick.
“Oh, fuck, Bruce.” The command alone was enough to make him moan. That voice shot straight through him, triggering his instinct to obey in a completely new context, and he hurried to shuck his jeans, tossing them haphazardly off the bed. He was wearing tight black briefs underneath, the thin fabric straining to contain him. He’d decided straight off that Bruce was either going to have to command him to take those off, too, or strip them off of him himself - either option would be fantastic.
“Need some help with that?” he asked, looking Bruce up and down with obvious enjoyment. He got up on his knees and moved to the edge of the bed, working at the last of Bruce’s shirt buttons, staring with undisguised want at each inch of skin that was exposed to him. When he reached the lower-most button, he let his hands drift even further, looking up at Bruce’s face as his fingers brushed his cock.
“If you wa—” He cut off halfway, grunting as reflex and habit had him trying to keep from bucking. It had been a long, long while since anyone had touched him like that — intimately, not just with physical desire, but underlying affection.
His hands shifted to hook over the waistband of Dick’s briefs, sliding back and down to cup the generous swell of his ass. Bruce had caught himself staring at it one too many times, over the years, but it felt even better under his hands than he had dared to imagine.
“Do I need to ask you to take these off, Dick?” Still a little throaty, though he aimed for a dangerously casual sort of tone. Even as he spoke, he leaned inwards, into the touch of Dick’s fingers, and his head bent toward Dick’s ear, licking the delicate curve of it.
Dick wanted to say yes. He wanted to hear Bruce order him around in that deep, commanding voice, but he was still aware of how new this all was, and he didn’t want to scare Bruce off with something he wasn’t ready for. Instead, he followed the unspoken order, unzipping Bruce’s fly and sliding a hand inside. He groaned and tipped his head back with pleasure when he felt how big he was. He’d always suspected, but he’d never let himself stare for long when he caught Bruce in the shower, and he hadn’t even been aroused then anyway.
He shoved his pants down his hips and stroked him through his briefs with both hands, then wrapped his arms around his shoulders and pressed against him, rolling his hips in slow waves. The friction felt incredible, even though they were still separated by a few layers of cloth.
“I feel like I should have some kind of corny innuendo here,” he managed, his voice strained, “But for once, I’m completely out of words.”
Bruce couldn’t no longer choke back his groans, and he was probably going to leave Dick with bruises, with the way his fingers dug into the other man’s skin. But he couldn’t let go, not when Dick was grinding up against him like that. Not when he could still feel the heat of Dick’s palms, rubbing him through his briefs.
“I’d rather hear you,” he rasped, between panting breaths, “Making other types of noises.”
And he did, he wanted to hear Dick moaning and whimpering under his touch, everything. Still, Bruce didn’t give Dick a chance to answer; he moved in to reclaim his partner’s mouth in a kiss, even as he maneuvered them both onto the bed proper. It was tricky to press Dick into the mattress while also maintaining the rough slide of their mouths and bodies, and then try and get his own pants off on top of all that — but Batman had gotten himself out of trickier situations, after all.
When they parted, both of them gasping desperately for air, Bruce moved to brace himself on one of his hands, the other one cradling Dick’s face. Dick looked even better like this, flushed and squirming under him, and Bruce let his gaze wander, down down the sculpted lines of his pectorals, his slim hips, muscular thighs. The black of Dick’s briefs suddenly seemed out of place on the expanse of his golden, scarred skin, leading Bruce to finally reach out and push the scrap of fabric down and away.
Chapter 4: Reunion
Thank you to everyone who has read, commented and left kudos so far! Hope you enjoy this final chapter. :)
Dick obliged him gladly, trading words for gasps and moans and whimpers. He was just as loud and expressive with his voice as ever, a finely-tuned instrument under Bruce’s hands, silenced only by the other man’s mouth - and even then, just barely. Dick never quite stopped moving, either, whether he was grinding up against Bruce’s body or simply squirming on the sheets, like he was feeling too much to contain. He dug his fingers into Bruce’s skin, grabbed and held onto him like he still couldn’t quite believe what was happening to him. There’d be time for tenderness later - now he just wanted the resilient strength of him pushing back against his hold.
He squirmed out of his briefs, his cock laying full and heavy against his stomach, and he stretched again for Bruce’s benefit, arching his back and curling his toes and moaning. It was an obscene display, and Dick almost wanted Bruce to stop him, hold him still and kiss him silent again.
“This is all for you, boss,” he murmured, sliding his knees along either side of Bruce’s hips and combing his fingers through his hair. ”Always has been.”
“God, Dick.” Bruce breathed out through his nose, completely fixed on the movements of Dick’s body. Stripping him completely bare only seemed to have heightened his gracefulness. It certainly showcased his flexibility.
“You shouldn’t—” He pushed Dick’s legs away, spreading them apart as he leaned back to rest on his knees. “— say things like that.”
Or Bruce didn’t know what debauchery he would end up having to be accountable for. It was almost too incredible to believe that Dick was sprawled out right in front of him, laid out for him to have his way with. But even with desire flowing hotly through his blood, racing to his groin, Bruce’s vision was as clear as ever.
All of this was real, not some heady fever dream that would leave him with blue balls and a distinct sense of self-loathing. Because Dick wanted Bruce, maybe almost as much as Bruce wanted Dick. And a large part of Bruce hungered to just take everything Dick offered and get on with it, as fast and hard as possible, but — this was a little new to him, still, and he didn’t want to ruin the experience for Dick by being too rough and fumbling and hasty.
Bruce slid his hands up the insides of his partner’s thighs — the skin there almost seemed to burn — before moving to the juncture with his hips. A little tentatively, Bruce wrapped a palm around Dick’s cock, gently thumbing the slit.
Dick was utterly without shame or self-consciousness. When Bruce pushed his knees apart he spread them for him gladly, never once worrying about his appearance or endowment or skill. He was comfortable in his own skin, and all it took was one look at Bruce’s expression to tell him that he was more than good enough for him.
And Bruce - he was beyond perfect. He seemed to know just how to touch him, but maybe that was because Dick had been starved for it for so long. His cock twitched at the touch to his thighs, and he squirmed ticklishly as Bruce’s fingers trailed up his warm, sensitive skin, every nerve alight from his toes to his fingertips. When Bruce’s hand closed around his shaft, he had to bunch his hands in the sheets to stop himself from thrusting into his fist, but he didn’t even try to stop a cry of pleasure from escaping him. All Bruce had to do wastouch him. The teasing friction against the head of his cock seemed enough to drive him mad. He worried he might embarrass himself by coming too quickly with just the slightest of stimulation, but banished the concern almost immediately - so what if he did? He had a pretty short recovery time, and he was sure Bruce would enjoy watching.
He forced his eyes open and looked up into Bruce’s face, unfocused and panting and flushed with need. ”Come here,” he said, half moaning the words, propping himself up on one elbow and reaching for Bruce’s shoulder. ”Come down here with me, please - I want to touch you.”
There was only one response Bruce could even think to make to Dick’s request, and there couldn’t be any other, not when he was naked and beautiful and pleading for it. Pleading, just to touch Bruce. That was almost too much.
He would comply, just — not yet. Firmly, he pushed Dick’s hand away from his shoulder.
“Patience, Dick.” Using his command voice to hide the way his entire body was starting to tremble with restrained need was probably cheating, but it was always effective for Batman in any situation.
Resting his free hand on Dick’s hipbone, and so restraining him, Bruce began to pump Dick’ shaft in the other. Dick seemed perfectly sized for his palm, and Bruce was torn between watching it or keeping his eyes locked on Dick’s face. He went with the latter, fixed on the way Dick’s eyelashes fluttered on each stroke, the way his mouth parted every time Bruce’s knuckles brushed over his balls. Each little response helped Bruce gauge how fast or how hard he needed to move his hand. He had already seen so much more of Dick this night than he might have hoped, but he wanted more, and he wanted it right then — Dick completely undone by his touch, maybe even calling Bruce’s name when he came.
Without Bruce to hold onto, Dick stretched his arms above his head and dug his fingers into his poor, helpless pillow, clawing at it and the headboard. Bruce’s hand on his hip kept him from thrusting, even, and he was left with whatever pace the other man wanted to set. Every time Bruce twisted his hand up over the head of his cock he thought he would come, but it wasn’t quite enough, and the next stroke was just a fraction of a second too slow to finish him. Even more than the mere physical pleasure, Dick knew that Bruce would’ve had to have honed his technique on himself, and the thought of Bruce touching himself like this was incredible.
To Dick it felt like hours, but it couldn’t have been more than minutes before he was spilling himself out over Bruce’s hand and his own stomach, calling his name over and over with each crashing wave of pleasure. His whole body was pulled taut, his back arched in a graceful curve, his toes digging into the sheets, his head thrown back and his eyes shut tight.
“Beautiful.” Bruce hadn’t meant to say it out loud, but it fell out of his mouth anyway, soft and almost reverent. It was always incredible, watching the way Dick’s body move regardless of what it was doing, but there was such a fervent, eager passion in the way he gave himself up to Bruce — almost like the same passion he had brought to Robin, now to Nightwing, and always to everything significant in his life.
There was something profound there for Bruce to contemplate later. For the moment, he let go of Dick, very carefully, and moved up the bed to draw him into a loose embrace. He was still hard, painfully so, but it was a discomfort he could put up with. Taking care of Dick was surely more important.
Even though he was still struggling to catch his breath, hearing Bruce call him beautiful brought a glowing smile to Dick’s face. As soon as Bruce was down on his level, he rolled over to twine his arms around him, laying his cheek against his chest and breathing a long, shaking sigh of contentment. His orgasm had left him feeling fuzzy and warm and happy, and he curled up close to Bruce the way he would any other lover without a thought to Bruce’s usual reluctance to accept gestures of affection.
“Thank you,” he murmured, half muffled by the shelter of Bruce’s arms. ”That was… perfect.” It didn’t matter that it was just a hand job or that he hadn’t lasted long - it was the man he was with, more than the act.
Dick could feel how hard Bruce was against his leg, and he didn’t intend to leave him wanting for long. As much as he wanted to stay wrapped up in Bruce’s arms, he wanted to make him come more, and as soon as he caught his breath (which didn’t take long at all - he’d had plenty of training to speed up his recovery time), he was back to exploring Bruce’s body with eager hands. He nudged his shoulder to coax him onto his back, laying half on top of him.
“Roll onto your back for me,” he said in between kisses to Bruce’s chest and shoulders.
“You don’t have to…” The protest died on his lips as Dick began kissing his way down Bruce’s body; it wasn’t like he could pretend that it didn’t have any effect on him with the way his breath hitched and his toes curled. Not least when Dick was so warm and enthusiastic.
Still, Bruce was a little uncertain. His hands, which rested somewhat tentatively on Dick’s shoulders, fell away as he shifted to lay on his back. He didn’t know what to do with them — he didn’t know what to do. He wasn’t a novice to sex, not really, but. This right here, with Dick, was different. Dick was different. Special.
Eventually, Bruce rested one arm on the bed, and lay the other on Dick’s hair, just a light touch. It was all disheveled, and knowing that he himself was partly to blame was… spine-tingling.
“You seem to know what you’re doing,” he commented, brushing stray locks of hair away from Dick’s eyes.
Dick felt Bruce’s hesitance in every line of his body, from the expression on his face to the way he tensed almost imperceptibly beneath his hands. He hid a tender smile behind another string of kisses, working his way back up until he found his mouth again. Leaving Bruce’s remark unanswered for the moment, he tried to kiss away his nervous tension, taking things a little slower this time. Everything still felt incredible to him, but for Bruce the second-hand afterglow would’ve worn off more quickly. Dick didn’t want to give him time to overthink things just yet.
When he’d kissed him breathless again and felt him relax a little, he pulled back to look at him, tracing his thumb along his jaw and smiling at the faint color in his cheeks. Anyone else would probably have trouble picking out the signs of arousal from his expression alone, but Dick knew his face better than he knew his own and was proud and pleased of the effect he’d had on him.
“I want to, Bruce,” he said, easing his hand down his body but stopping short of his hips. ”I can’t even tell you the number of times I’ve played this moment out in my head. But if you’re not ready - if you want to wait, I can wait.”
Bruce had to let out a little laugh at that, though it was mostly directed at himself. He knew well how difficult he could be, even if he didn’t often acknowledge it. That Dick had put up with him as much as he had was a frequent source of wonder.
He touched Dick’s throat, rubbing his pulse. It was still throbbing, but nowhere near as much as Bruce’s own. “I don’t want to wait,” he said. It wasn’t difficult to smile down at Dick, and pull him in for a thorough, tender kiss.
“But you might need to be a little patient with me.” More than he already was, at any rate. As a show of earnestness, Bruce guided Dick’s hand downward, encouraging him.
“I can do that. You just tell me what you need.”
Dick slid down Bruce’s body to give himself a little more room to work, but he stayed close to him, pressed against his side with his leg hooked around one of Bruce’s. He wanted to give him his reassuring presence and something to hold onto if he needed, and from where he was he could see Bruce’s face perfectly. Dick could already feel his cock stirring to life again, but he ignored it just as Bruce had done, focusing all his attention on him.
He let out a quiet groan of pleasure when he closed his fingers around Bruce’s cock, loving how hot and heavy and thick he was. Seeing was one thing, but touching was another entirely, and his toes curled as he thought of all the things he’d like to do to Bruce now that he finally had him. Dick had been fucked before - it had seemed like the thing to do the first time, and he’d enjoyed the experience quite a great deal. He wasn’t sure he could take someone Bruce’s size, but the thought of trying made him squirm.
Dick started off slow, lavishing attention on Bruce’s full length, trying different techniques and paying attention to which ones got the best reaction out of him. It was hard not to scoot all the way down between his legs and put not only his other hand but also his mouth to work, but he didn’t want to break away from him just yet.
In some ways Bruce had to remind himself not to hold himself back, but to try and completely release his constant need for control, for once. It wasn’t easy. After all, taking control had been his main (only) coping mechanism after the death of his parents. After his life was left in jagged, broken shards.
At the end of the day, though, Bruce trusted Dick. Almost more than he trusted anyone else. They were… partners.
So Bruce closed his eyes, and let himself suck short little breaths every time Dick touched the sensitive head of his cock. Groaned softly whenever the younger man twisted his palm around Bruce’s cock, or changed the speed of his strokes. Clenched the sheets, arched his back. A remnant of fear lingered about showing so much of himself, but it did feel wonderful to be touched, and so carefully attended to… most of all because it was Dick doing those things.
A small part of Bruce still held back, it probably always would, but it just meant that Dick would have to work on him a little longer. They had time.
By paying close attention to Bruce’s reactions, Dick quickly picked up on just the right way to touch him. It was magic, pulling these reactions out of him. To think that he’d put the observational skills Bruce had taught him to use on the man himself, and in this way - Dick had to hide a smile, afraid of giving Bruce the wrong impression. All of the lessons he’d learned about body language told him the things Bruce couldn’t voice aloud the way Dick did, and he felt like he was in on a precious and closely guarded secret.
The closer Bruce came, the quicker Dick’s breathing got, his gaze darting from Bruce’s face to his cock and back again. He couldn’t get enough of the sight of him, of the sounds he was making, the way he moved - even the way he held back was beautiful.
“God, you’re amazing,” he said, his voice a hoarse whisper. “Please, Bruce - I want to watch you come.”
When Bruce groaned again, it was loud and unrestrained. That Dick felt so much for Bruce was both terrifying and astounding, but even as a boy he’d loved so strongly.
Bruce couldn’t try to distract Dick or hold him off like before, and he didn’t want to. Because Dick didn’t want him to. There in that moment, it was reason enough.
He reached out to Dick’s shoulder, squeezing it hard to reassure him. As Bruce let go, his head fell back onto the bed, and his mouth opened not so much to speak, but to almost moan breathlessly. “Dick.”
It took only a few more seconds, a few more strokes, before release overcame him in a long, shuddering climax. In those seconds, all of his barriers were truly down, and the only things filling his mind were the waves of pleasure cascading through him, and Dick: Dick jerking him off, lying there so handsome and perfect even while begging Bruce to come. God.
When he could formulate a vaguely clear thought again, Bruce reached out to pull Dick close. They were both hot and sticky, but Dick fit so well in his arms. And though expressing the depth of his feelings in words was beyond Bruce — not least because he was still out of breath — he could try to pour it in the way he held Dick, stroked his back, let their limbs tangle together.
Dick didn’t expect an eloquent outpouring of feelings. A small part of him didn’t even expect to be held, so he took every gesture of intimacy and clung to it, basking in Bruce’s warmth and nearness. There was so much he wanted to say, so much he’d been holding in for so long, but he kept it inside a little longer, knowing that Bruce wasn’t ready for it - not yet. And if he never was, Dick thought that might be ok, too, now that he’d had this much of him.
He kept silent for a long while, matching his breathing to Bruce’s until it slowed, listening to the steady beat of his heart. Unbidden, his mind turned to the countless times he could’ve lost him, and he fought back a shudder at the thought that, but for a few scant inches of clearance or a few millimeters of body armor, they might never have made it to this point.
“I’m glad you picked tonight to come check up on me,” he said at last, smiling against Bruce’s chest. ”This would’ve been way less fun if I had a date with a crime lord or something.”
“No, I suppose not.” Bruce had to smile at that. There weren’t many things he did for leisure, that didn’t ultimately serve a purpose for Batman’s mission, but this tryst with Dick had left him warm and loose-limbed, and for that moment at least, indulgent. Bruce hardly ever actually slept with any of the women he took on dates; it had seemed wrong to use them in that way when all he had been looking for was a way to support his ditzy playboy reputation within Gotham. Besides, he had always thought it would be a distraction from his real work.
Certainly the few sexual encounters he’d had in recent years had never ended with him actually spending the night with anyone. Whether or not he would spend his entire night in Bludhaven was… uncertain, as yet, but Bruce wasn’t so emotionally ungenerous as to leave Dick right then and there. Certainly not while he was draped over Bruce, all lithe limbs and pliant muscle, everything about his body language signalling only of happiness and contentment. Bruce recognised that because he felt those things, too.
He helped Dick pull the sheets over them both, keeping their bodies intertwined in a messy embrace; Batman and Nightwing would have to make an appearance on the streets eventually, but there was no reason they couldn’t take a nap before it. Bruce wasn’t used to this physical closeness, but he thought that this would not cost him too much to do.