IMPORTANT: While rape is mentioned and threatened in this fanfic, and there will be some dubious consent issues at first, there will be no actual rape in this story.
Standing off to the side to watch the show, as it were, Bane had to admit that he could see the slender beta's appeal as he stood straight and proud in the center of the room, wearing only jeans and frayed rope bracelets. The rope had been cut in the middle, but the ends that had been used to bind the man's wrists remained, a testament to his continued captivity. There was no need for him to be bound now, after all, surrounded as he was on all sides. Trapped. With nowhere to run and no one willing to say a word in his defense, much less come to his aid. He was all alone here.
A fact the beta was well aware of, though he pretended not to hear the voices that speculated loudly on his fate while others looked at the young man with hatred, malice, or in some cases lust and the hope that Wayne's whore would be thrown to the wolves, and be theirs to use until the man died one way or another. Though that comparison would be insulting to wolves in Bane's opinion.
Bane didn't allow rape in his ranks; his men well aware that they faced death for that crime. But that was his law, not those set down by Ra's al Ghul. And his lord held sway here, and this John Blake fate was not Bane's to decide.
The facts were simple. Bruce Wane was his lord's great enemy, and one al Ghul had yet to punish for his crimes. Punishing the Wayne's lover for the man's crimes was, for the moment, the sharpest blow al Ghul could deliver his enemy. Which meant the beta would be shown no mercy.
Little Bird, that was how Wayne had addressed the beta before them in a letter their spies had intercepted. An endearment, Bane surmised, whose origins lay in the tattoos on the beta's upper arms both inner and outer sides. The brown wings inked there spanned from shoulder to elbow, expertly done and suited for the surprisingly slender looking beta. Muscled, and in excellent shape, yes, but generally betas were more masculine in appearance, not to mention more muscular. Face wise the younger man would have more in common with an omega than a beta, which was probably half the man's appeal to Wayne. An alpha would always instinctively prefer to bed an omega over a beta. The gentle, fine boned features of this one would have appealed in that way.
And while up until this point the beta had been deliberately staring off into space, ignoring the lot of them, suddenly those dark eyes were aimed in his direction, Bane revealing none of his thoughts even as his regard for the beta went up. Especially when the beta continued to hold his gaze as the minutes ticked by, neither looking away until Ra's al Ghul's presence was announced, his lord coming into the room with Talia at his side.
Everyone went silent upon their entrance, Blake breaking eye contact then to stare defiantly in the direction of Bane's lord and his daughter, the beta apparently not the sort to cower or bow his head to an alpha. A disrespect in this case that had Bane itching to walk over there and demand that the beta show them both proper respect, but the crowd between him and the other man was thick, and his lord would take care of it himself quickly enough.
Once both he and his daughter were seated al Ghul turned his attention to Blake, studying the man for several moments before addressing him in English.
Apparently refusing to answer, the beta crossed his arms defiantly in front of him, his chin stuck out stubbornly as he attempted to stare down Bane's lord.
"A Beta that doesn't know his place. It seems your alpha has rubbed off on you badly, in more ways than one."
The beta actually snorted before speaking, finally. "You really are as insane as Wayne made you out to be, aren't you? And I don't need an alpha, particularly you, to tell me my place. My place is where you found me and where I'd like to be returned to, if it's all the same to you. I've known street thugs with better manners than you guys."
Rather than look insulted, al Ghul's lips curled in amusement as he set a restraining hand on his daughter's, Talia having risen slightly from her seat with cold fury in her eyes. "You have fire in you. And your eyes remind me of his. Full of demons, yet in denial about how best to use and harness them."
"I'll leave the killing of innocent people to you, thanks."
"I see Wayne's also thoroughly brainwashed you concerning us."
"Your men threatened the life of a child to capture me. That tells me plenty about you and the sort of people you have working for you."
A child, Bane thought, his mind rebelling against the very idea. And while a moment's discomfort at the idea crossed his lord's face, Bane's leader didn't comment, instead asking for confirmation that Blake knew why he'd been brought here.
"Your henchmen told me, yeah. I'm the closest you can get to punishing Wayne. All your other plans to get him back for blowing up your club house have failed, and killing me is the best you can do."
The beta had a death wish. A serious death wish.
Though perhaps the man was deliberately courting such an outcome, Bane considered, the boy thinking a quick death would be preferable to the possible alternatives. He wasn't necessarily wrong, either.
Apparently his lord thought so too. "Do you think to goad me into giving you a swift death? I have other plans for you. Would you care to hear them, or would you rather keep running your mouth, Boy?"
"You're going to recreate the death of your daughter's mother, and throw me to your rabid animals?"
Multiple jaws dropped, gasps echoed in the room, and like everyone else Bane felt as though he were frozen in place, unable to believe what the beta had just said. Had implied. Had dared to mention, as Talia's mother was never mentioned. Ever. Under threat of unspeakable pain followed by death.
"Bane. To me. Now."
The men in front of him parting for him like waves, Bane made his way across the room as he pondered just what he would be asked to do. The possibilities were endless, after all, though Bane thought he knew his lord well enough to have some idea of what was to come as he stepped up and onto the short dais to stand before his lord. Bowing his head Bane then moved off to standing to the side, waiting for his orders.
"Beta, I am not giving you to my men, no. I am giving you to Bane. To keep as his pet for however long he can tolerate you before he kills you."
Bane was grateful for his mask, which hid the dropping of his jaw. "Me, My Lord?"
"Yes, you, Bane. I trust that you'll have no problem breaking him for me. And that Wayne will enjoy the idea of his lover in your hands."
"YOU'RE GIVING ME TO BANE? SERIOUSLY?!"
The smile al Ghul aimed in the beta's direction was not a kind one. "Seriously, Detective."
Turning his head Bane looked in the direction of the man who was to be his pet, who stared back at him with a face that looked as stunned as he felt.
In their lands a human pet was a beta, gamma, or a disgraced omega that became the legal property of an alpha. A slave whose sole purpose in life was to serve his or her master in whatever way their alpha chose to use them. They wore, always, collars that identified their station in life which they could not remove, the key to it carried by their masters at all times. They had no rights to speak of and could not marry, everything they possessed belonging to their master's. They were also only freed from their servitude when their masters had no more use for them or upon their death.
After announcing what was to become of Blake Bane's lord had had the still shocked dumb man removed from the room to be cleaned up before delivered to Bane's quarters. And it was then that Bane had been presented with the collar and key he was to place around the man's throat later.
His lord hadn't come right out and ordered him to rape the other man, even if a sexual component to his ownership of the beta had been implied. His low born status and time in The Pit meant that Bane could never have an omega to call his own, it would never be allowed even if he'd been willing to sully one of the pure and delicate that way. And while he could take on a beta as a lover or even a mate, Bane had no interest in sharing his bed regularly with someone who either sought to use him for their own gain or who sought the pain they assumed someone like him would enjoy supplying. Ergo he preferred to pay for sex on the rare occasion he desired it. But his lord thought him too feral and 'savage' at times, and had strongly hinted in the past, and minutes before, that perhaps he could work some of his natural alpha aggression out on his new pet. Regular sex, he'd been told, was needed for the physical and mental well-being of an alpha as old and strong as he was.
Bane preferred meditation.
But regardless of his thoughts on the subject John Blake was now legally, in this country at least, his pet to do with as he wished. Or, in this case, as his lord wished.
Killing the beta would be preferable to raping him. Bane had witnessed enough rape in his first years in The Pit to last him a lifetime, though the horror of it had dulled to some degree as the years past. But never had he forgotten his promise to Talia's mother. A promise that he would never sink to that level of bestiality. That rape was a line he would never, ever cross.
He was a man who kept his word.
"You could kill him. Make it look like suicide."
Glancing in his second's direction Bane nodded his head in automatic agreement with that statement, the ways in which he could convincingly end the man in question and make it look self-inflicted endless thanks to his training and years of experience. Men had regularly found ways to take their lives in The Pit and on the battlefield, lest they be captured.
"He doesn't strike me as the type. Not in these circumstances. Not yet." He could certainly make the beta think death more appealing than life as his pet, that went without question, but he did not think that this John Blake was a weak man. He had the eyes of a man who would accept death only on his own terms.
"I could kill him for you."
"No. Leave him to me for the time being. I'll figure out what to do with him."
Not arguing, though Barsad gave him a sidelong look that contained a hint of worry, Bane deliberately changed the subject to what had been said during the rest of the meeting, which had revolved around plans and long term goals of their leader. None of them believed that Blake would get away, and be able to report back to Wayne, but al Ghul wasn't about to risk it.
That his fingers remained tightly wrapped around the metal collar he carried during the whole conversation, clenching and unclenching as he tried not to think of its future recipient, was something Bane did his best to ignore.
Walking into the bedroom a couple hours later, Bane scanned the room for threats, as always, before allowing his gaze to return and stay on the occupant currently tied up and naked in his bed. Hands and feet, Bane's impassive gaze made silent note of, the skin he could see around the rope a little red, but not so much that a great struggle to be freed had been made. And the man didn't struggle now, though he was practically spread eagle on the bed, with no chance of getting away from him and what he had to know was coming. What they both knew was coming, however vile and soul stripping that something was.
But the beta stared back at him with cool, accessing eyes that betrayed none of the fear that Bane's nose could detect even through his mask. Though even that was muted, suggesting that the other man didn't fear him and what was to come to the degree he should. Or the fact that Bane forbade rape among his men had reached this one's ears, and Blake was under the impression that Bane wouldn't touch him in that manner. That he was to be beaten and tortured, perhaps, instead.
"If I don't rape you he'll give you to someone who will take pleasure in doing so."
That was the truth his mind hadn't been able to escape no matter how hard Bane's brain had taxed itself, trying to come up with some alternative to this. But in the end he kept coming back to the fact that as least he could limit the damage he did to the boy's body, and that once they left here…well then what they did or didn't do was no one's business. He knew his leader would find some pretense to come and inspect the damage he did tomorrow, so there was no faking it now, but later they could both be spared excepted when he'd be expected to return and bring his pet with him.
Still holding his gaze, Blake didn't back down. "Might I suggest an alternative?"
Raising an eyebrow, Bane was willing to let the man stall for a minute or two. "An alternative?"
"You're not a rapist." The way he said it, it was obvious the beta wanted to remind both of them of that fact. "You're many other things. Many bad things. But not that. That's not a line you cross. And you don't want to add rape to your repertoire, either. And I don't want you to rape me, obviously. But I'm guessing that tomorrow al Ghul is going to want proof that you ripped my ass a new one, right?"
"Right. I figured." A new whiff of fear permeated the room, but still the boy was controlling and hiding any other physical sign of distress, which impressed Bane. For someone so untrained and shaped by a hell hole such as Gotham, Wayne's lover was strong in mind at least.
"Oh. Right. So I was thinking…that you and I could come to an agreement. One that would make tonight, and our future time together, a hell of a lot less traumatizing for the both of us."
Ah, not so much brave as delusional, Bane concluded. A common trait of those born in Wayne's city.
"I'm not an idiot so quit looking at me like I am one. I've had nothing to do but think about all this bullshit since they dragged me in here, and you're supposed to be the smartest and most cool headed of all al Ghul's goons. So listen. I have two demands-requests for you. And if you're willing to agree to them, then I'm willing to look at this as a sort of arranged marriage."
"An arranged marriage. As in it won't be rape if I'm a willing participant."
It took a moment, and then Bane saw where the other man was going with this. The beta was willing to allow Bane to fuck him, even perhaps to feign pleasure in the act, in exchange for certain favors aside from the obvious desire not to be forced. An option he hadn't expected, but should have. Many men had been willing to become a 'pet' to stronger men in The Pit, preferring to be the toy of one rather than be used by multiple men. It would appear that Blake was smart enough to know that his lover wasn't going to rush in to save him, and being coolheaded and logical about this was in his best interests. Bane's too, perhaps, depending on what the beta wanted in return.
"What are your demands?"
"The first is that you can't share me with anyone else or sell me off. I know what it means to be a pet; how they're treated and viewed by your people. I want your word I'll stay yours and only yours until I either find a way out of this or I die."
"It will be the latter."
"Possibly." The stubborn tilt of the boy's chin amused Bane. "But is that request acceptable to you?"
Bane saw no point in saying yes to something when the other demand had yet to be made and said so.
"Alright." Looking away, and breaking eye contact for the first time, Blake stared at the far wall for a minute or so before looking back to renew the contact. "No physical violence. You can tear me a new one verbally, treat me like a slave and your plaything in public and private, but no beatings. I won't be your punching bag. I won't be abused that way. Sex wise, you're my type, physically. In theory the idea of sex with you doesn't horrify me, provided you do understand the concept of stretching since I'm guessing your proportionate everywhere. You treat my body with respect, and I'll do your menial labor, key tow in front of your men even, to a degree, while providing you with regular sex. Since we're stuck together, I think you'll agree that doesn't sound like such a bad deal, given the alternative."
Opening his mouth to point out the obvious flaw in the beta's plan, Blake beat him to it.
"And before you point out that al Ghul's is expecting me busted up tomorrow, I know that, obviously. Just like I know I haven't taken it up the ass in nearly eight months, and I'm guessing you'd be hard to take even if my body was used to it. AND I bruise easily. Just get a good grip on my hips and I'll be plenty colorful and sore enough for him tomorrow."
A very loud silence.
"So, do we have a deal?"