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The Silence In Between

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Kon stretched out on the bed and put his hands behind his head. "That," he declared, "was awesome sex."

Tim's mouth quirked in a small smile, but he didn't say anything. 

Kon looked over at his boyfriend. "Okay, what's wrong? Please don't tell me that wasn't awesome for you, too. My ego just can't take it."

"I thought your ego could withstand anything," Tim's smile widened. He pressed a kiss to Kon's lips. "It was awesome for me, too. Better than I'd imagined it could be. I just…" His smile faltered. "I've got something I need to tell you. Something that happened while you were… gone."

Kon pushed himself up onto his elbows. "Tim, please tell me you weren't thinking about Cassie just now."

Tim winced. "Not Cassie. And not during sex."

"Tim, you can tell me anything. First, we weren't even together before I 'died' and second of all, I died. You didn't owe me anything."

"I owed you a lot," Tim said quietly. "But that's not it. Kon, you need to know what I've done."

"Nightwing," Kon guessed, sitting up against the headboard. "It was Dick, wasn't it?"

Tim blushed. "I am completely over that stupid crush," he said. "Dick's my brother now. I wouldn't - he wouldn't -"

"Rose," Kon guessed. "She's had a thing for you forever, I wouldn't blame you for giving in."

"No," Tim said, his face reddening further.

"Zachary Zatara," Kon said.

"What? No!" Tim said. "Why would he be so bad?" He slipped out of bed and pulled on his pants. "Kon, stop guessing, please." He ran a hand through his hair. "It's so much worse than you can imagine."

"Come on, Tim, don't be dramatic," Kon said. "It can't be that bad. Not like it's Ra's al Ghul or -" he stopped when he saw Tim's face. "Seriously?"

"I told you it was bad," Tim said miserably.

Kon scooted to the edge of the bed and grabbed Tim's hand. "I'm sorry. It's not like I'm one to judge about dating supervillains. Remember Knockout?" He tugged Tim toward the bed, but Tim pulled his hand away.

"You thought she could be good," Tim said. "I knew Ra's wasn't." He sat down at the edge of the bed.

Kon stretched out his tactile telekinesis and wrapped the bedcover around Tim's shoulders. "Tim, I don't care what you've done," he said softly. "I love you no matter what."

Tim looked at Kon, startled.

Kon shrugged. "Well, I do."

Tim's mouth quirked up on one side. "I love you, too."

"So talk to me," Kon said.

"Are you sure you want to know?" Tim asked.

"Yes," Kon said. "You're worried about what I'll think, so tell me, and then you'll know." 

Tim touched the blanket around his shoulders. "I was in a bad place."

"I remember," Kon said.

Tim shook his head. "That was later. After. Believe it or not, I was even worse before I found out you and Bart were alive. Half the people I loved were dead and the other half thought I was nuts. I wasn't Robin anymore. I didn't know who I was. Ra's al Ghul was the only person in the world who believed me when I said Bruce was alive."

Standing on a balcony in Baghdad, Ra's ah Ghul's voice in his ear, three ninja-assassins in the room behind him and realizing, for the first time in weeks, that he wasn't alone.

"I was crossing lines right and left. I wouldn't kill or let anyone else kill for me, but anything else was fair game. He came to me, he offered me so much…"

"Timothy," said that deep, aristocratic voice. A hand caressed his face. "Rule with me and I will give you power like you've never seen, riches that will make your Wayne fortune look like pocket change and pleasure, Timothy, the pleasure I could give you…"

Tim shrunk into himself. "I didn't take anything else he offered. Only sex."

His hair, greying at the temples. Lines on his face. Seven hundred years and these were the only signs of aging. But his hands, oh, his hands had seven hundred years of experience and his body, his lips had Tim arching in pleasure, gasping and aching for more.

"Was he, uh, better than me?" Kon asked.

Tim managed a smile. "No," he said. "Kon, I dreamed of touching you for years. Nothing could be better than the reality."

Ra's was different. Harder, crueler and willing to do things Tim had never dared imagine. He pushed Tim to his limits and left him there, quivering, waiting for Tim to beg to go over the edge.

Tim begged.

"Did he hurt you?" Kon asked.

Tim shook his head.

Only in ways that gave more pleasure than pain. Tim turned the tables, too. Ra's tutored him in power and Tim learned his lessons well. He had Ra's ah Ghul, Head of the League of Assassins on his knees. Tim's fingers tangled in his hair and the killer of thousands yielded to his will.

"Would it happen again?" Kon asked.

"No," Tim said. "Never again."

Not unless he reached bottom again, lost, alone, struggling to find a place in the world and desperately needing the touch of another human being.

Kon patted the empty pillow next to him, and Tim laid down next to his boyfriend.

"Can you forgive me?" Tim asked.

Kon ran his hand through Tim's hair and kissed Tim's forehead. "You didn't do anything wrong," he said. "Supervillain or not, he's a person, and I'm glad you had someone there when you were alone."

"He's a terrible person," Tim said. "He's a killer, and worse."

"Then I'm glad you didn't marry him," Kon said lightly. "We all make mistakes and bad choices." He paused. "Was this part of your punishment?"

"I wasn't punishing myself, Kon," Tim said. "Not exactly."

Guilt twisted tight in his belly. "You deserve this, Timothy," Ra's said. "You deserve…" his hand slid lower, pressed inward, and Tim gasped. "Satisfaction."

This was exactly what he deserved. Not the touch of those now dead or of those who had betrayed him. Just this one lover, one with hands dirtier than his own.

"Of course not," Kon said quietly. He cupped Tim's cheek in his hand and kissed him.

"I was in a bad place," Tim said again. "I'm not now." He shucked off his pants and slid under the covers with Kon.

"I could give him back to you," Ra's said. "The clone. It is within my power." 

"Not from you," Tim said. "I won't let you corrupt him."

"Oh, Timothy," Ra's smiled. "I'll let you do that."

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