But, yanno… I’ve always loved the Batman/Robin dynamic… in fact, that’s why I wrote Under the Rushes AND The Bitter Moon Saga.
So, if we’re going for fanfic on that post of Batman writing the graffiti, let’s do a little bit of that. (Robin, to me, is a very consensual twenty-something. No boy-wonder ickiness, trust me.) I’ll be honest, the last few days have been a lot of me being tired and bitchy and out of it–and crying about a trip to Tahoe that I want to take but am not ready for while I work urgently to catch up with shit that got left in the dust this summer AND make up to the kids.
So, yeah. Personal stuff is exhausting– let’s write some fanfic!
* * *
“Nice, Bruce,” Robin said caustically, squealing his back tire in an effort to get out of that back alley.
“What did I do now?” Batman’s voice rang in his head, using his helmet intercom. They were on patrol, different quadrants of the same shitty area. Robin didn’t know when, and he didn’t know how, but he knew that Bruce Wayne, the Dark Knight himself, had to be responsible for that little bit of pettiness he’d just seen on the side of a brick wall.
“What do you mean, ‘now’?” Bruce had sounded out of sorts, even for Bruce–but that “now” had been important. “What did you do before?”
The crackle over the intercom was not promising, and Richie Grayson listened hard to see if he could hear the irreverent roar that was the Bat-cycle.
“You blamed me for him leaving,” Bruce said after about four blocks of patrol had passed–probably for both of them.
Richie swallowed a quick retort, and thought about what that meant. “You were an asshole to him,” he said, laughing. “But you weren’t the reason he left.”
“You thought I was,” Bruce insisted. “But I swear, Robin, I never wanted Cal-El to leave Gotham. I begged him to stay.”
But… but… “But why would you do that?” Riche asked. He saw a thug in an alleyway, backing a girl against the wall. Oh fucking hell. Without hardly slowing down he spun the bike into the alley, locking the front wheel and spinning a donut that whacked the thug to the back of the alley with the rear tire. The girl screamed and ran, which meant she was smart, and Robin hung out for a few glaring at the asshole who’d been ready to harm her. The asshole stayed down, still breathing but obviously out cold, and Robin decided to leave him. He wasn’t hurting anybody now was he?
“Why would I beg Cal-El to stay?” Bruce said, as Robin peeled out of the alley and back on patrol. He’d had his own silence–he must have been dealing with his own scumbags.
“Yeah. I mean–you know. He was sort of into me. I’m not dumb, I know that.”
“Well, yeah,” Bruce said. For a moment, Richie thought that would be all, and he cursed the bastard’s reticence, and that iron-fucking-lock on his own emotions.
“You shouldn’t be stuck here with an obsessed old man and all his fucking demons,” Batman snarled at last.
Oh. Oh hell. The graffiti was making so much sense now–even the pettiness of it, the shitty location, all of which made sure it would never be seen.
“Superman sent him away,” Robin said after a moment, heart hurting for the grim, brooding, snarling Cal-El who had only wanted some kindness, any kindness, from his “father”.
“Clark likes you,” Batman said with a sigh. “He didn’t want you getting hurt.”
Great. Everybody’s looking out for Robin, nobody gives a shit about Batman. It did give him wiggle room on the asshole front, that was for sure.
“I’m calling it a night,” Robin said after a moment. “Meet me back in the surgery.”
“Are you hurt?” All concern.
“Not physically,” Robin snapped back. “And not me.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Jesus, Bruce, just call it a fucking night! Nobody’s out, and we’ve got some shit to clear up.”
The intercom crackled off, and Robin wondered if he’d be back by dawn or not. It didn’t matter. Robin would be there, in the “surgery”, which had, among actually medical necessities, a nice, comfy, well-used bed that didn’t make much noise and didn’t echo in the Bat Cave.
Batman knew that bed. Robin knew that bed. They’d been in that bed together.
Cal-El had never had cause to use that bed.
It was time that Bruce knew, once and for all, where his loyalties would lay.
He got in about an hour after Robin–torn up, because Bruce couldn’t seem to ride a patrol without losing blood and skin.
Robin was waiting–wearing nothing but a towel after his shower.
Bruce walked to the medicine cabinet after he’d stripped off his armor, and started hunting up stitching supplies. Robin hopped off the bed and sighed.
“Let me,” he directed, and Bruce shook his head.
“I didn’t want him to leave,” he mumbled before sitting on the bed, shoulders slumped in defeat.
“Me neither,” Robin said, approaching with the antiseptic and the needle and thread on a little tray. “But not because I want to leave you.”
Bruce looked at him through eyes bleary with exhaustion and sadness. “No?”
“No.” He set down the tray and started cleaning the wound. “I mean, I may have to some day–I won’t lie. You’re an autocratic fuckhead, Bruce. You just confessed to asking the guy to stay so I could cheat on you– that’s some sick shit.” His motions were gentle, when his wounds were not. “But that’s not going to change how I feel.”
“Like I’m an autocratic fuckhead that needs to stay the hell out of your life?” Bruce asked, his voice leaden with self-loathing.
Robin bent and kissed his temple, wanting the wound dressed so they could tumble in the bed together. He wanted the comfort, the heavy muscles, the relentless sexuality that Bruce only released when they were naked in the same space. “Like I love you, you stupid autocratic fuckhead,” he whispered in Bruce’s ear. That big predator’s body went completely still, and he stroked the side of Bruce’s neck, as though to gentle a jungle cat. “And I love what we do together. And I want to keep doing it until it blows us apart.”
Bruce let out a groan, and Robin straightened up and, satisfied that the antiseptic/anesthetic had time to seep in, he began to stitch the wound. Bruce didn’t say anything, just regarded him from those burning dark eyes, tracking his every facial expression as he worked.
The tension built in the room, with every breath, with every stitch, with every heartbeat.
Robin wondered, his mind growing fuzzier as his chore got closer to done, if they were going to have to replace the bed this time.
It would be totally worth it if they did.