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When The Stillness Bends (the Off The Bridges We Fly remix)

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Even as a child, Jason incessantly picked at his scabs. A bad habit, one of many. Wounds took twice as long to heal, maybe longer, since he could never bring himself to leave them alone, no matter how much his mother chided him. And there's another one of those terrible habits: he doesn't listen to well-intention advice. Not like he's getting much of that anymore. His circle of friends isn't exactly extensive, and the number of people who haven't written him off as a lost cause even smaller. There's Alfred, Dick, Bruce...


The sun is almost about to rise behind the Gotham skyline, and Jason's crouched down on a rooftop, hidden from view behind a gargoyle, helmet in his lap. From this angle, he can see Bruce, in cowl and cape, and the new kid in the alley below. They're talking a mugging victim down, the mugger sitting against the opposite wall, all wrapped up for the police. Jason doesn't pay too much attention to him, or to his replacement in that newfangled, reworked costume. He's watching Bruce.

In the past week, Jason has been to the Cave four times, which is more than times than in the previous six months or so. He knows Bruce noticed that derivation from the norm. He's rather certain Bruce also noticed all the little touches, arm or shoulder or neck or thigh or the back of his hand. Jason wasn't trying to be subtle. And yet Bruce hasn't said anything. Hasn't reprimanded Jason. Hasn't told him no. Hasn't cleared up any possible misunderstandings.

And that leads Jason to the conclusion that there aren't any misunderstandings.

He keeps watching as Bruce and the new Robin climb back into the Batmobile. Given the time, they might finally head home. Jason sighs and puts the helmet back on, reaching for the grapple gun at his side.

Jason knows Bruce's routines. He'll send the new kid to bed, insist Alfred call it a night too, then do his logs, check the police chatter again, clear up the Cave, and finally trot upstairs himself for a few hours of sleep. More than one night, Jason snuck back down into the Cave despite being ordered to get some rest for the school day ahead of him. He remembers exactly how long he has to wait in order to get Bruce alone. He requests entry to the Cave for some bullshit case-related reason, and like all the other times this past week, Bruce allows it. Jason finds him at the computer, the suit strewn on the ground behind him, replaced by a t-shirt and loose sweatpants.

He doesn't move when Jason saunters up to the back of his office chair, his attention still diligently kept on the multitude of screens before him. His typing is the only sound in the cave, the clack-clack-clack of it echoing in the wide space. He finishes up his log entry before he swings around on his chair, arms crossed in front of his chest, and hefts an eyebrow at Jason.

Jason cocks his head. “What is it, old man?”

The long breath Bruce takes in speaks of an attempt to hold onto his fraying composure. He looks Jason over, and Jason endures the scrutiny. Maybe tonight's the night, when a decision will have to be made either way. Bruce might put him in his place and ban him from the Cave, or he might do nothing of the sort. Fifty-fifty, Jason guesses. Maybe sixty-forty in favor of the ban. And honestly, Jason has fought worse odds.

Bruce stands up slowly, and Jason can practically see the fresh scrapes and bruises concealed by the fabric, new hurts layered onto the old scars and the broken bones that have never been given enough time to heal. The years have worn Bruce down. His age is written into his posture, his movements. Gotham is a whimsical lover, and she takes far more than she gives.

“You're not here for the smugglers at the docks,” Bruce assesses. He doesn't move a muscle; his face betrays no emotion. “And yesterday, you weren't really here for the possible extension plans of that drug kingpin from Metropolis.”

Jason grins. “So what do you think I'm here for, then?”

Bruce scowls, attempting to push past him, alpha-male shoulder brush and all, but Jason grips his upper arm and holds him back. He half-expects a fight, wouldn't mind that route, but instead, Bruce freezes. He exhales again. “Don't,” he says, the single word pressed out between clenched teeth. “Don't.

It's been years since Jason has listened to Bruce's commands in anything that's not a life-or-death situation in the field. He has no intention to start again now. He swings around on his heels, building himself up to his full height, and meets Bruce's eyes. He lifts one hand and brushes the tip of two fingers across Bruce's lower lip, feels a slight tremor run through the other man at the touch. He brings their lips together. Bruce flinches away from him, a move so unlike him that it makes Jason's stomach lurch with excitement. He did that. He's gotten Bruce off-balance.

He wraps an arm around Bruce's neck and pulls him back in, and this time, the kiss is returned. A sensation rolls through him and he's not sure whether that's arousal or self-satisfaction. He hasn't thought this far ahead; the point isn't even whether or not Jason wants Bruce like that or not. He wanted to know. He'd figured the rest would slot into the place once that bridge got crossed.

Jason presses his hips forward. Bruce takes a step back, and Jason uses the momentum to walk him towards the nearest wall. They're still kissing; Jason is breathless with it, bordering on lightheaded, but he won't be the one to break the kiss. He won't back down. He won't make it so easy for Bruce.

Bruce's back hits the wall, and Jason steps in between his legs, pushes his leg up just enough to rub it against Bruce's crotch. He's hard, and that means Jason was right. Jason won. He could leave now and just keep this victory forever, summoning this moment whenever Bruce makes him feel like an unruly child, a shameful wayward son.

He could, but he won't.

The flimsy sweatpants Bruce is wearing offer little to no resistance when Jason works a hand into them, neither does the man himself. It seems like Bruce has gone into some sort of shock, body pressed to the wall, his hands too, palms flat, his eyes following Jason's every move. And because there are some lines even Jason won't cross, he pauses before he weaves his hand past the waistband of Bruce's briefs.

“Tell me to stop,” he says, loud and clear, and his own voice reverberates in the large space, sounding almost like it might bounce off the walls and grow louder, alert everyone to what they're doing down here. But there is no one else. There's only them. “Tell me to stop if you don't want this.”

Bruce's lips remain in a thin line, almost as if he'd say too much if he'd open his mouth to say anything at all, but he pushes his hips upwards. He can't hold Jason's gaze when the latter seeks out eye contact for confirmation, looks away and down, for once soaked in the kind of shame and joy and joy at his own shame that he always accuses Jason of, and Jason moans with the sight. A twist of his hand and there they go, his fingers wrapped around Bruce's hard length, stroking none too gently.

He wants to yell and scream, order Bruce to watch, to stop escaping, but there's no need. Bruce's cock is hard enough to slice stone, his erection searing hot to the touch, slick precome leaking constantly down the shaft, and even without the images, his body will remember every single detail, Jason's sure of it. He imagines more than one lonely night from here on out, Bruce's hand around himself, thinking of this moment. Thinking of him, the dirtybadwrong intrigue of it all. He rubs his thumb over the wet mess of Bruce's slit, and revels in the long, deep moan that forces its way out through clenched teeth.

Jason weighs his options; a fuck might have the biggest impact, but didn't bring lube or condoms and he's in no mood to improvise on the logistics. More than a hand job, though, definitely, and so he lets go of Bruce's cock, producing a distraught whine, and sinks to his knees. He peels Bruce's clothes down around his ass, lets them fall to pool around his ankles. Two fingers around the base of Bruce's cock for the right position and he leans forward, ready to go –

“Jason, oh god, no, no, you shouldn't,” he hears Bruce stammer, ineffectively batting at Jason's head with one hand, but this late resistance is half-hearted at best. Jason grins up at him, as devilish as he can make it, tongue peeking out, and their eyes finally meet just as he licks the latest drop of precome from the head of Bruce's cock.

The hand that was batting at him only a moment ago curls into Jason's hair, hard. Bruce closes his eyes, head tipping back against the wall, and clamps his mouth shut again. He legit shudders when Jason seals his lips around him, head bopping up and down in a fast and messy rhythm. The point he's making here doesn't require finesse. Neither of them needs to last. That it's happening at all is more than enough.

Soon Jason's jaw starts to hurt, spit trickling from the corners of his mouth. He works the zipper of his jeans down one-handed and gets his free hand around himself, moans around Bruce on purpose. He curls his tongue around the tip just so, and that's all it takes – Bruce attempts to push Jason off him with the very hand he'd used, up until now, to keep his head in place, but Jason resists. He swallows Bruce's release and only then lets himself be pulled back. He kisses the last droplets of white from the slit, then wipes the mess of come and saliva from his mouth with the back of his hand.

He's still hard; he'll take care of that later.

Right now he puts himself away and rises to his feet, one eyebrow cocked at Bruce, who's still staring at him as if shell-shocked, naked from the waist own, one hand extended in mid-air like he wants to reach for Jason but isn't sure he's allowed. As his arousal recedes, soiled cock softening against his thigh, a growing horror creeps into his expression. Of course he'll blame himself for this whole encounter, the weight of the world kept in an iron grip on his back, the exact same way he blamed himself for all of Jason's failures.

Jason knows better than that, knows his fate pointed south long before he ever met the Bat. He's pretty sure Bruce knows that, too, somewhere inside that thick skull of his. It doesn't really matter, not anymore. Jason is a different person these days. He owns every single of his mistakes with pride, and he knowingly piles on more every single day.

“So long, old man,” he says with a mock-salute and turns. He hears clothes rustle as Bruce must have broken from his stupor, pulling his clothes back up, but he doesn't hear footsteps. Bruce doesn't say anything either; no apologies, no excuses, no reprimands.

For once, Bruce lets him go quietly.