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Touchstone, Command, and Pivot

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The first time it happens, John doesn’t plan on it.

They’re fighting in an alley, rain-slicked and grimy, and John’s combat boots are having difficulty finding purchase on wet pavement. If Bane is having the same trouble, he isn’t showing it. He isn’t even breathing hard although his shoulders – those fucking massive slabs of muscle – seem to heave more than usual when he lunges in, intending to smack John’s head into the brick wall behind. John dodges out from beneath Bane’s arms; whirls back around to deliver two quick jabs under Bane’s ribs.

Bane grunts as the blows land and he twists – fast, inhumanly fast – sending a punch toward John’s face that John barely manages to avoid. He flinches away – fuck, fuck, no, wrong move – and that allows Bane to follow up with another punch, and John’s only option then is to take it, turning away to absorb the hit against his side. Better that than a direct hit to the sternum. But the blow still knocks all the breath out of him, rattling his bones, and John staggers.

He’s been doing this Nightwing gig for six months and he’s gotten far, far better at it than when he first started.

But it’s still not enough to save him.

Bane presses his advantage, brings his elbow up and around, strikes John in his side a second time. A third strike, straight to John’s cheekbone, makes his head snap back. He feels his skull crack sharply against brick and shit— Bane’s managed to knock him across the alley.

Spots in his vision. Acid-bitter taste of blood on his tongue.

Bane grabs John by the arm and spins him. Slams him up against the wall and grinds John’s face against the brick with his other hand. John twists in Bane’s grip, tries to kick back, but Bane simply kicks John’s feet apart and then hefts, lifting John off his feet completely.

John hangs there – feet dangling off the ground and his chest and the side of his face scraping the wall – completely helpless, as Bane lowers his head over John’s shoulder. The cold bristling mask brushes John’s neck and John jerks, thrashing wildly, because fuck it, even if it’s futile, he’s not going out without a fight.

“Fuck you, fuck you—” John spits, impotent rage boiling in him.

“An invitation, Blake?” Bane asks. It sounds almost idle save for the sinister curl lurking immediately behind it, but John freezes at his name. How does Bane know his name—? The sudden fear makes him buck harder, snapping like a feral animal.

Fuck you. It’s a threat. I’m going to fuck you up—”

Bane leans back slightly. John feels Bane’s fingers curling in his hair and then Bane slams his head against the wall; not hard – not nearly at his full strength, John’s still conscious – but enough to make his point.

John blinks stars out of his vision again as Bane says slowly, “Do you feel like you’re capable of that?” He moves the hand on John’s arm up to John’s shoulder and squeezes. John feels the bones grinding together, and Bane’s fingers are blunt, aching points of pain—

God. Oh God. Bane’s going to kill him, and John knows there’s nothing more he can do. He sags in Bane’s grip, slowly, reluctantly, hating himself for every uncoiling muscle.

Bane makes a contemptuous, satisfied sound at his ear and says, darkly amused, “What did you hope to achieve in fighting me?”

“You’re a murderer. You’re a terrorist. You deserve to be in prison.”

“And you thought you could accomplish that?”

“I wasn’t just going to let you go,” John snaps. "And there'll be others who’ll come after you, even if you kill me."

A dry, pronounced chuckle. Bane is silent for a full minute before he says, no louder than a hollow murmur, “I will not kill you, John Blake. But I will offer you information, and then a choice. We are in pursuit of the same man. He is a former member of the League of Shadows and he fled like a coward when the fighting was over. Fled, while his brothers were rounded up like cattle and fed to your country’s pathetic prison system.

“But I have found him, Blake, whereas you are still sniffing about like a dog, trailing further behind while he amasses more victims. He will kill more, unless one of us deals with him. So the choice I offer you is this. Leave him to me to deal with as I see fit—”

“Let you murder him, you mean? Fuck no. That’s the easy way out for you people. No. He’s a piece of shit who should go to prison along with the rest of your—”

Bane’s hand moves from John’s hair to wrap around his throat and he squeezes until John’s voice – John’s breath – slides out in a whine.

“Do not interrupt me again,” Bane warns. John drags a breath in past the pressure. Bane doesn’t release him, maintains that bruising grip around his throat as he continues. “Leave him to me to deal with as I see fit, or—” his voice turns predatory, dark, “—submit to me, and I will give you his whereabouts and let you deal with it as you see fit.” Another hissing breath and then he lets John's throat go, hand returning to John’s head to pin it in place.

John swallows. “Submit to you?” he asks, even as ice water sluices through his veins and fear roils in his gut. Bane can’t mean—

“Submit to me,” Bane says mercilessly. “Lower yourself to your knees, offer your body up for me to use as I wish. Do so, and I will give you your quarry.” Bane shifts closer, crushing John further into the wall and it's then that John feels it. The length of Bane’s hardness pressing up against his ass.

Fear, naked and unadulterated, locks John’s body up and he gasps out, “What— what kind of sick fucking choice is that? Why would you want to—”

Bane snarls, actually snarls, like an animal. He shakes John once, hard. “You dare ask why? You are Gordon’s pet and Bruce Wayne’s successor. Dual insults to her memory and for that you will be punished.” He pauses, taking in deep, furious breaths. When he speaks again, his voice has only a thin veneer of control. The threat of violence behind it makes John shudder. “Make your choice. Save yourself and accept the death of one man hanging about your neck. Or sell your body for information on his whereabouts and preserve your much-vaunted morality.” The sneer in his voice is palpable.

Johns trembles, still held aloft by the strength of Bane’s arms alone. He can’t get away; Bane won’t let him get away. He has to make a choice, but he can’t.

He can’t do this.

John wants to scream, or cry, or beat his fists bloody against the wall. He’s tempted to save himself. He’s so very tempted to save himself, which is the entire point of Bane’s fucked up game, he knows.

Bane wants John to fall. He wants John to break.

John’s not going to give him the satisfaction.

“Put me down,” he says, masking the tremor in his voice as best as he can. “I’ll—” his voice falters as his throat dries out. He has to swallow repeatedly before he manages to say, “I’ll submit.”

Bane’s laugh is low and menacing as he lowers John back to the ground. But he doesn’t let go and he doesn’t let John turn around. The hand on John’s head moves to caress the side of John’s face, his neck, in a grotesque parody of affection. John doesn’t flinch. He bites his tongue instead. He won’t beg Bane to please, please let him go.

He won’t give Bane that, not on top of what Bane’s going to take from him.

It feels like an eternity – John doesn’t turn his head to look, but he can feel Bane’s eyes on his body – before Bane growls, “Put your hands up against the wall.”

Hands shaking, John obeys. Another satisfied sound from Bane and his left hand settles around John’s throat again, not squeezing this time, as the hand on John’s shoulder moves to slide along John’s chest and then down. The muscles in John’s shoulders tighten as he fights the urge to flinch. That doesn’t deter Bane at all and he keeps sliding his hand down until he’s cupping John’s dick through the uniform in one big hand.

John’s uniform isn’t as heavily armoured as Batman’s was — he doesn’t have the muscle strength to move about in a full Kevlar and titanium-fibre suit — so he can feel every caress and rub of Bane’s fingers as he—

“What—” John chokes out, jerking away involuntarily.

Bane’s hand flexes around his throat in warning before relaxing. “There’ll be no blanking your mind and pretending it’s not happening to you,” he says, sinister. “If I am to have you, I will have you alert, aware of what I’m doing to you. To that effect, I will not come until you do.”

John wants to retch. “That wasn’t part of the deal—”

“The agreement was that you let me use your body in any way I wish. And this is how I wish to have it,” Bane says, unyielding.

Christ. Defeated, John drops his head forward to rest against the wall.

Bane chuckles, pleased at the show of surrender, and he moves his hand from John’s throat to brace himself against the wall. He knows John isn’t going anywhere now. “That’s better, John,” he says, and John knows Bane’s using his name deliberately, ensuring John stays grounded in his head, in his body. Bane’s a sick, terrifying son of a bitch and John’s fucked up, he’s fucked up so badly in thinking he could best Bane in a test of wills.

Bane’s hand starts working at John’s cock again, rough, grasping strokes through the uniform. John squeezes his eyes shut. He can’t get it up. He can’t, but he has to— fuck

But he does get hard. Bane works him relentlessly until his body responds, little licks of sensation at first, growing until he’s swollen and stiff against Bane’s palm. The first full bolt of arousal takes him by surprise; it shoots along his cock, gathers in his balls, before racing up his spine. John lets out an involuntary, punched-out gasp, and Bane makes a faux-soothing noise in response, massaging his palm against John’s cock like he’s easing away an ache. Except each movement sends sweet, hot sparks through John, and it feels good, so fucking good that John’s rocking forward into Bane’s hand, over and over, panting and hating himself for it. John’s jaw drops and there’s pressure in his throat as he tries to suppress his groan. Tries to suppress it and fails, oh God

Bane’s free hand cups his jaw, turns John’s head so he’s looking into Bane’s eyes as the humiliating sounds keep pouring out of his mouth. “Keep your eyes open, John,” Bane says, at the first flutter of John’s eyelids. John’s eyes widen obediently – he has to obey – and Bane holds his stare. John can see everything in Bane’s eyes: lust and fury and satisfaction and hard, savage spite. The shame ignites in John’s chest, almost as strong as the pleasure. It makes him pant harder, moan louder and, oh Jesus, he’s sick, just as sick as Bane is.

Bane shifts even closer, crowding John against the wall, rubbing himself against John’s ass and it shouldn’t feel good, but it does. John rocks his hips back into that hardness then forward into Bane’s hand, cursing himself all the while because what the fuck is wrong with him?

Then Bane’s hands let him go entirely and John can’t help the frantic noise that slips out. Bane laughs at that, malicious and pleased that he’s reduced John to this— this desperate, mewing slut. “Patience,” he says with mocking gentleness, as he reaches into a pocket.

John freezes when he catches sight of the lube packets. The smile in Bane’s eyes is terrible and cruel when John raises his eyes to meets them. “You didn’t think you found me by chance, did you?” he asks. “I’ve been waiting, John. And you came to me so very willingly.”

John can’t move. It feels like his limbs have turned to stone, though his cock continues to throb, unabated. Even his horror isn’t enough to make his dick go down (he’s so fucked in the head) though it effectively holds him immobile as Bane strips the lower half of his uniform from him with quick, sure movements. He’s been stupid – worse than stupid – and he’s let himself be trapped by Bane—

The sound of foil tearing catches his attention. Bane’s fingers are shiny-slick in the meagre light from the end of the alley, and John chokes on his next breath as Bane trails a finger down the crack of his ass, musing. He slides half of a finger in – stopping at John’s ragged breath – and simply pumps it shallowly, slowly.

“Do you regret it now?” Bane taunts as John shudders. “Do you wish you’d chosen otherwise?”

No, John thinks. He wouldn’t be able to live with himself if he'd chosen to let a man be killed by Bane, no matter how depraved that man may be. “No,” John forces out.

Pitiless pleasure in Bane’s eyes. “Good,” he breathes, and he pushes two fingers into John.

John shouts at the intrusion. It’s too much, too soon. Bane obviously doesn’t care. He pumps his fingers at the same constant, ruthlessly slow pace he'd used before. John squirms against the feeling, gets a warning growl in response, and goes still again.

But then Bane does something – changes the angle or crooks his fingers – something that sends a white-hot jolt straight down John’s cock, makes his toes curl, and John’s arching, shouting for an entirely different reason. He rocks mindlessly back onto Bane’s fingers and that wins him a hiss of satisfaction from Bane. Shame and humiliation are a distant shadow in John’s head, dwarfed by the suddenly urgent, insistent ache in his cock and John reaches down thoughtlessly—

Gets slapped hard for it. “Did I say you could do that?” Bane asks, all casual confidence, still working his fingers inside John. John shakes his head mutely, but Bane says, “Answer me, John.”

He wants John to talk. John doesn’t think he can talk past the mind-blurring pleasure, he just wants, keeps rocking onto Bane’s fingers as a whine claws its way up his throat. But he’s mindful of the slap, knows he’ll get another if he doesn’t respond soon, so he opens his mouth and— “Ah— ah fuck, God—” he babbles.

“That isn’t what I asked,” Bane says, keen enjoyment plain to hear.

“You didn’t,” John gasps out finally, “You didn’t say I could.” God, oh God, he wants more—

“Good,” Bane says again, and pulls his fingers out.


John arches unthinkingly after him, stunned and desperate. Bane runs a hand down John’s spine, fingers tracing the vertebrae. It's a sharp contrast to the callousness he'd just displayed.

“If we had found you first,” he says, seemingly to himself, before trailing off. John glances over his shoulder at Bane, but keeps his hands braced against the wall. Bane looks pensive; too still. For a moment, he looks almost— vulnerable. The look changes the instant he catches John looking. Bane's eyes harden and his shoulders pull back. He shoves John roughly until he’s facing the wall again.

John hears the snap and clinks of buckles and straps being undone, hears more foil crinkling. His heart thunders in his ears and, all too soon, Bane is behind him again. John locks up entirely when he feels the blunt press of Bane’s dick – thick, blood-hot – at his entrance.

“This will go poorly for you if you don’t relax,” Bane says, threat and arrogance mingling in his voice.

But he’s right. John knows he is, so he forces himself to take deep, steadying breaths. Clamps down on the fear that threatens to overtake him.

Bane pushes into him, inexorable, and it hurts. John makes an agonised sound against the blunt pain, wants to pull away. Knows it will only end badly for him if he does, but wants to anyway. Bane doesn't stop at all. After what feels like an eternity of pain, Bane bottoms out in him. John can feel Bane’s breath rasping through the mask against the back of his neck.

Bane shifts his hips once and it’s— it’s painful but mainly just awkward. Bane does it again, then again, rocking a little harder each time, a growl escaping from him as he does so. And this is— it’s not okay, in no sense is it okay – not in the slightest – but John can handle it if this is all it is. He can let Bane use his body like this. He can just check out of his body, despite what Bane said—

As if reading John’s thoughts, Bane’s hand reaches around and wraps around John's dick and John’s traitorous fucking body moves into the touch.

No, John wants to say. No, no

And then: fuck and God yes, as Bane moves at a different angle and slides his hand up John’s cock at the same time. Pain and arousal twine together in a spark that grows and races along his nerves. That haze of good God yes pervasive pleasure sinks into his skin. John feels hypersensitive as Bane crowds him against the wall, keeping his body still and pushing John’s head down, as he fucks him in fast, sure strokes.

John pants, thought-blank, but hyperaware of everything. The sweet-painful-good shock with each stroke of Bane’s cock inside him; the shiver up his belly as Bane works his hand up and down John’s length; the rasps and groans in Bane’s voice as he fucks into John recklessly, hissing words that John hears but doesn’t understand— he doesn’t understand anything beyond the hard, feral, possessive tone to them.

John rocks himself up onto his toes, drops himself back down as Bane fucks upward. It’s gone hard and brutal; John’s being pushed to the brink of what he can bear and he wants more— he wants to come, it’s just out of reach and he realises he’s begging. “Please, please, fuck, please—

Bane snarls and slams into John harder, squeezes John on the upstroke and yes, fuck yes

John comes with a sharp cry, shudders running the length of his body. Bane fucks him through it, unrelenting, until John’s shivering, twitching away involuntarily, overly sensitive. But Bane doesn’t stop, all his attention focused on his own pleasure now. And John doesn’t want to, but he can’t help focusing on the feel of Bane’s bulk between his legs, the overwhelming strength of his body. It makes him breathless and aching in ways he can’t understand, doesn’t want to understand.

Bane’s sounds are growing rougher, harsher and John can feel the huge muscles in Bane’s thighs tensing. He’s right on the edge and John wants him to come and he doesn’t; he wants it to be over and he doesn’t. But his body takes over with an instinct older than mankind and he lifts his hips – meeting Bane's again, thrust for thrust – and, with one particularly vicious roll of his hips, Bane comes. His thrusts turn erratic. One of his hands comes up to cover John’s hand where it’s still braced against the wall, clenching it painfully as he rides out his orgasm.

And then it’s over.

John collapses against the wall, stunned, letting it hold him up as Bane pulls out without care. He’s gasping roughly for air. They both are. The hand covering John’s is trembling slightly and John stares at it, uncomprehending, before risking a glance over his shoulder at Bane. Bane’s eyes are glassy and blank. There’s no sense of the predatory power he'd possessed before.

He looks just as wrecked as John feels.

Finally, Bane pulls away entirely. John stays against the wall, hands still up against the brick. He doesn’t want to move yet, doesn’t want to make himself any more aware of his body after being fucked past hypersensitivity. He remains motionless as Bane cleans himself up, puts his clothing to rights. By the time Bane’s done, his breathing has evened out to something more like its usual steady rasp. There are shuffling, rustling noises. Bane presses something into his hand then moves away.

They don’t say anything to one another.

John waits until he’s certain Bane’s gone then looks at what’s in his hand: a scrap of paper with an address located in the Narrows.




The first time it happened, it wasn’t because John had planned it. That’s all on Bane, and John was just trying to do the best he could with the limited options he had.

He tells himself that when Bane appears a week later with new information – about a thief who breaks into homes and leaves a trail of stolen goods and broken bodies behind – and holds it above John’s head with the same deal. He tells himself that the third time it happens too. But for every time after that—

John’s got no excuse.