“Motherfucker,” Jason said into the dark, staring at the phone in his hand. “He fucking hung up on me.”
Beside him, the bed shifted, and the twist of sheets left Jason’s legs exposed to the cold. “Oh sure, don’t mind me, you just get comfortable,” he said. “I hate this family.”
“Who was that?” came the sleepy murmur beside him.
“It was—” Your fucking Psycho Dad, he wanted to say. Nothing made Dick madder than when Jason called Bruce your dad, and most of the time it was worth it. “No one, it’s fine. Go back to sleep.”
But the blue eyes were watching him now. “Was that Bruce?”
Jason hesitated. “Yeah. It’s fine.”
Dick shifted again, pulling the pillow underneath his head and tucking his arms up. He slept like a cat, in various stages of sinuous curls, and like a cat he responded to random caresses in the night. They didn’t sleep in the same bed often, but Jason was fascinated by it; he had never seen anyone sleep with such trust in their environment. Jason kept a piece in the bedside table and startled awake at every creak of the floorboard. Dick slept like his childhood had been spent with loving parents in the next room. Sometimes he wanted to punch Dick in the face.
“Why was Bruce calling you in the middle of the night?”
“’Cause that’s what he does. Leave it alone.”
The heavy fall of hair over Dick’s face didn’t hide the furrow of his brow. “What do you mean, that’s what he does?”
“He. . . I dunno, he just does it sometimes. He’ll call me up at like three in the goddamn morning and tell me some random-ass thing. Who the hell knows why he does anything? I got more to do than figure out his bipolar ass. Go back to sleep.”
He didn’t, of course. Those eyes were still watching him. “So just don’t answer the phone,” Dick said.
“Well, yeah, but what if it was important? Like, for instance, I know for a fucking fact I left my Destiny’s Child Greatest Hits Platinum Collection double-box set somewhere in that house, like a decade ago. What if he found it? I can’t ignore that call.”
Dick’s eyes were still just watching him. Cat-like, too, in their unblinking focus. Or maybe that was just too much time he’d spent around Bruce. “You know why he calls,” Dick said.
“Yeah, well,” Jason said. It was a lame response, but he couldn’t think of anything else to say.
“You know what’s funny,” Dick said. “You want people to think you’re some asshole sociopath, but in fact you are this basically nice guy. And everyone thinks I’m a basically nice guy, when I am in fact a complete asshole.”
“No argument here. You know what else is funny? It’s funny how maybe I understand what it’s like, when you think that someone you give a shit about is dead, and part of you believes it forever. Maybe I know how that feels.”
Dick was silent a minute. “Jason,” he said. “I didn’t—”
“Shut up, fuckface. You can tell yourself whatever you want. You can say you didn’t have a choice. But the truth is I would never, never in a million fucking years have done that to you. I would have sliced off my balls before I did that to you. I would never have let you think I was dead, all that time, when it was nothing but a fucking lie.”
“I know,” Dick said solemnly, and it wasn’t what Jason had been expecting him to say. They hadn’t ever talked about it, other than that time Jason had been kicking his ass for it, and that probably didn’t count as talking about it. Though in this family, maybe it did.
“Like I said,” Dick said, rolling over onto his back. “I know who the asshole is.”
They were quiet for a while. That’s not the same thing as saying I’m sorry, you cock knob, Jason considered saying. But this thing between them worked better the less it was examined, and demanding apologies was the sort of shit people did in a relationship, and they definitely did not have one of those.
“He okay?” Dick whispered, after Jason thought he had gone back to sleep.
“No. He sounded pretty fucked up. He wanted to tell me about some farmhouse he bought.”
“Oh yeah,” Dick said. “New Justice League retreat. That was supposed to be this weekend.”
“Must’ve gone great.”
“Well, you know Bruce. Just because something sucked the first forty-seven times you tried it doesn’t mean the forty-eighth time won’t be the charm.”
Jason started laughing, quietly. It wasn’t particularly funny, but there was something in Dick’s quiet resignation that struck him as hilarious, as well as the thought of Bruce’s pig-headed obstinacy, willing the world to bend to him. Who knew what shit he’d gotten himself into this time. There had been something in his voice, though. Something he hadn’t heard there before. He re-played it in his head. Something had happened. Somebody had done something.
Maybe he should find out where this farmhouse was and head up there. Maybe he should call Bruce back. It could be just a text. But what would it say? And what would happen anyway, if he went to this farmhouse? Likely Bruce would just tell him to get the hell off his property. But again, his voice. Something had been wrong in his voice. He couldn’t get away from the wrongness in it.
Bruce had mentioned the farmhouse to Dick, so maybe Dick had some idea where it was. Or Alfred would, for sure. Bruce was always making that mistake – assuming Alfred wouldn’t tell Jason any damn thing he wanted to know, whenever he wanted to know it. He could get up and slip on some pants, call Alfred from the car on the way. Leave a note for Dick. Except a note would be too much like a relationship thing, and Dick would have zero expectation of finding Jason in bed next to him when he woke, anyway.
“Jay,” said the soft voice behind him. He was sitting up, thinking about reaching for his jeans.
“Go back to sleep,” Jason said, without turning around.
“You’re gonna go find him.”
“Like hell I am. I got things to do, places to go. Not everything in my life revolves around this fucked up circus.”
“You know, a circus can be a very healthy place to—”
“For the love of shit,” Jason said, firing a pillow at him. Dick was laughing, softly to himself. Jason threw another one at his head, and Dick caught it.
“Just give him a call,” Dick said. “I swear, watching the two of you. Goddamn telenovela.”
Jason rubbed at his eyes, still hunched over, sitting on the side of the bed. “Fuck it,” he said, and he pitched his jeans in the corner. “Fuck him and his head games, fuck all that shit. I’ve been awake for half an hour in the middle of the night, and still ain’t no one sucking my cock. I’m gonna come my brains out, and to hell with everything else.”
“Sounds like a plan,” Dick said, his voice low and intent. Jason crawled over to him, straddled him. He gripped Dick’s hair and tilted his head back.
“Come on, suck it,” Jason whispered.
Afterward he lay in the dark and listened to Dick’s steady, even breathing. That had been pretty good, for middle-of-the-night fucking. His cock shoved down Dick’s throat, Dick choking on it a bit. He had arched back and gotten himself a nice thick handful of Dick’s cock, and worked it while Dick sucked him. Dick had shot first, because he had no impulse control. Jason had fucked his mouth through his orgasm, those lips gone slack around his meat, gasping. His mouth had still been partway open when Jason had come, and come had dribbled out around his lips, down his chin. Sometimes fucking Dick felt so good. The sight of his own come smearing Dick’s lips had made him come even harder, made it last longer. He had wiped his sticky hand on Dick’s chest.
He waited until he knew for a fact Dick was back asleep, back in full-on cat mode. And then he fumbled for his phone on the floor, and stared at the number. Any number of smart-ass things he could text him. I too find real estate intensely fascinating and I’m so glad you felt you could call my ass at oh dark thirty to talk to me about it. Or maybe just what the ever-living fuck, could you at least buy a book about how to be normal and pretend to read it? But instead he went with everything okay? and set the phone down.
He was almost convinced there wouldn’t be an answer. Had almost let himself drift back into sleep, curled around his own personal human feline comforter. Dick just got warmer and softer after a good fuck, even more inviting. Dick could write one hell of a kick-ass personal ad. Sucks cock like an airport hooker, cuddles like Hello Kitty on muscle relaxants.
In the dark, his screen blinked. Jason grabbed at it. Yes, was the terse reply. Jason stared at it.
“Motherfucker,” he sighed into the dark.