title: Black Coffee and Cigarettes
fandom: DC Comics
characters/pairings: Bruce/Dick
rating: Teen/Mature
warnings: smoking, mentions of various sexual acts
summary: Dick indulges himself in some bad habits.
notes: the title for this fic comes from a throwaway line in the Crow (awesome movie). when Darla is trying to make breakfast for her daughter (whose name escapes me at present) and when her first offer is sneered at, she comes back with, what do you have now? black coffee and cigarettes?
smoking is bad. as my mother's recent lung cancer scare proves... don't smoke.
also, this would be the third in a loose series of fics. the first is Dangerous Comfort and the second is Watching but neither of the other two are necessary for this. they are mostly joined by the fact that each has a mirror fic, in another fandom (Weiss Kreuz/Knight Hunters) under another pen name. so, don't think plagiarism on the off-off-chance that you come across both. both versions of the fic are on the site.

It's a bad habit, I know, but it's not one I indulge in often. It's something I picked up on the road, while I was gone. I don't remember when, exactly, I started, but I never really started.

And before I start lecturing myself, let me state it clearly; I haven't even finished a single pack so far, and I started more than six months ago, so it's not an addiction.

There's just something about how foul it is that makes me crave it sometimes.

I'm pretty sure Alfred doesn't even know. I know none of the Titans know, or else I would have been lectured already. Bruce doesn't like it, but he also doesn't like to lecture me anymore. I guess the occasional fuck makes it impossible for him to play father-figure anymore. Whee.

I've got my feet up on the chair opposite me, despite the fact that the wrought iron is cutting into my ankle. It's the position I want, not the comfort. It's early, still, the pre-dawn light clarifying everything, even the trail of smoke I'm making as I exhale.

Yes, it is a filthy habit. But bad habits are unavoidable.

Across the patio, Bruce is doing his morning forms. He moves elegantly, and I sort of wish there was a mist for him to cut through as he moves his hands and legs, because it would look damn dramatic. But he still looks good. He's wearing those long, white, silk pants that remind me of his days as a samurai. The fabric flutters around his flesh as he moves, and it looks good, like the slow-motion shots in a Hong Kong Kung Fu movie. Nice stuff.

His chest ain't half bad either, covered in nothing but the sweat from his body, and there's not much of that to cover him.

Just his morning exercises, but even though we were up working half the night, he still gets up at five to go through them. Woke me up, too.

Hence, the black coffee and cigarettes.

The coffee is still hot, enough to burn a little, but I swallow it fast. Cold coffee is pointless, especially this coffee. This isn't Alfred's coffee. This isn't a Kona blend, or a designer brew. This isn't even the stuff you buy at the doughnut shop.

No, this is scum. This is cheap, generic, disgusting swill, but it's bitter enough to make the cigarette taste palatable. Cheap coffee, cheap cigarette, and a finely toned man doing exercises not fifteen feet from me. Not bad.

I take another drag, and let the ashy burn bleed the sensation from my lungs. I push the air out slowly, tipping my head back, so I can watch the smoke come up out of me.

There was a time, not long ago, when I was ready to give in. When I was ready to throw it all over. When I felt, for the first time in my life, like I was alone, and I would always be alone.

It was not a feeling I was equipped to deal with.

In those days, this morning wasn't something I would have even dreamed of. I wouldn't have thought that I could have come back, much less found my way into his bed. I don't even know how it happened. One day, we were fighting in our usual casual way, and the next we were getting slick and dirty between the sheets.

Maybe that isn't too surprising. Maybe that's natural, almost.

But I know that I needed this. I needed more from him than before. I needed to grab him by the ears and put his face between my legs and get him to suck me off. I needed him to throw my legs over his shoulders and pound into me like a jackhammer. I needed to spread him out in front of me and make a feast of his body. I needed to be able to hold his naked body against mine and fall asleep reassuring him that this was ok.

Maybe that's a bad habit, too, but I can't help what I crave. Much.

He's finished his exercises, and comes over to me. He takes the cigarette out of my mouth and stumps it out without comment. I don't even look at him, but I smile. I guess he has his limits.

The sun is now rising over the waters to the east. Wayne Manor is situated on a cliff, perched like a watchdog, overseeing the city to the west and the ocean to the east. I always thought that it suited Bruce quite well, this perched position. Like him on the ledge of a building, watching over his city. I haven't always felt like this was my home. When I first came here, I thought the Manor was imposing and cold. I thought there would never be a time when I would feel a part of this place.

So I made this place a part of me, instead.

I ran away, but it didn't matter. There are shadows here that belong to me.

The man wiping himself down in the chair next to mine is one of them. He tried to deny it, and it nearly divided us. But he is, and he's slowly accepting it.

I'm not rushing it. I've got plenty of time. The sun isn't even half out of the water, yet.

"How's your breakfast?" He's being sarcastic, but that's the closest he comes to being funny, so I smile at him.

"I don't like coffee without cream." I tilt my cup and look disapprovingly at the contents, as if it were the fault of the coffee that it was black.

He furrows his brow in a manner that is so Bruce, I can only smile more. I take a swig, and then slide to the ground between his legs. I grin at him with a mouth full of coffee as I pull at the ties on his pants. He grins at me, and arches his back.

Holy mother of fuck, he is gorgeous.

I don't care if he doesn't say he loves me. Yet. I don't care if neither of us is really ready for anything more than camaraderie and sex.

Bad habits have their purpose.