title: Dangerous Comfort
fandom: DC Comics
characters/pairings: Bruce/Dick
rating: Teen
warnings: kissing
summary: Batman knows Robin is off-limits, but can't help thinking...
notes: this takes place when Dick is Robin, and young enough for Bruce to consider off-limits. i'll leave the exact age for you to decide, but i'm personally placing him at about 15...
also, i've written a batman and a weiss kruz/knight hunters (an anime) version of this fic, since the main image that inspired the fic applied to both. just noting that on the off chance that someone saw both versions and thought, plagiarism! since i use two different pen names... both versions are on the site, of course.

Bruce stood in the doorframe watching his young partner for a moment, silent and cautious. Dick sat on the bed, shaking. Bruce cursed himself, and then every criminal he could think of, and then all the gods he could name but didn't believe in, and then himself again.

Dick had been pushing himself for the past several weeks, working night and day helping Bruce track down the Joker and Two Face while still keeping up with his school work. When he did stop, it certainly wasn't like he was resting. He was having nightmares again. Only natural, considering all that the boy was going through now and had gone through to get here, but still...

At once, Bruce wanted to go in and comfort the boy, and he wanted to walk away and pretend that he had never been there. There was the big brother/father side of him that wanted to shelter and protect Dick. That side of him confused Bruce terribly. He wasn't the sort of person who sheltered and comforted others; he was the sort that delivered justice to those who lurked in the dark, preying upon the weak. But, he found himself taking care of and protecting Dick. It confused him.

There was another side of him that reacted to Dick in a way that Bruce simply refused to acknowledge. He knew that the boy had 'attached' himself to Bruce simply because Bruce was his 'savior' and his mentor, so it was only natural that his young partner would look up to him, and admire him. But, he was still very young, despite his maturity and strength, and Bruce knew...

He had to be the big brother/father. That was the role that he could fulfill in Dick's life.

Silently, he entered the room and sat on the bed, putting his hand on Dick's shoulder. Dick started, surprised to see him there, and then relaxed.

Bruce felt himself shudder as the boy relaxed into his grip.

"Bruce... I'm sorry! I know that I need to... I should pull myself together, I know, there's a mission, I know! It's just..." Dick couldn't look up at Bruce, his slight frame shaking.

Bruce tightened his grip. "Dick. Don't apologize. Take your time. There's no shame in being human." The words sounded alien to Bruce, but Dick needed to hear them, he knew.

Dick's lip quivered, his arms coming to wrap around his body in a self-hug that made the boy seem even smaller than he was. "I want... I want to be like you, Bruce. I'm trying. I am."

Bruce found that he knew no words to express what he wanted Dick to know. Instead, he placed his hand on Dick's cheek, the curve of his face seemingly molded to the contours of Bruce's palm. Gently, Bruce rubbed his thumb across Dick's cheekbone.

Dick became electrified. With a quick motion, he turned his face so that his lips touched Bruce's palm, and his hands came up to hold Bruce's hand still. He kissed Bruce's palm with the sort of passion that only an innocent can show to a hand.

Bruce's eyes widened slightly. It was so pure and clean, this gesture of love from his young teammate, and yet...

The predator in him became hungry at the sight. The soft heat of Dick's tender lips inspired a craving in Bruce he knew...

He knew he must deny.

Pulling his hand away abruptly, he pushed back a foot, separating himself from Dick. Dick deflated, his pale face turning away from Bruce, shame coloring his cheeks.

Bruce bit his tongue.

With one finger, he gently raised Dick's face and slowly lowered his face to Dick's. He felt his whole body shiver with Dick's, as Dick's eyes went wide and his mouth formed a small 'o.' He placed a kiss on Dick's forehead, all of his strength and willpower pulled together to prevent him from dipping lower with his mouth, his eyes closed tightly to shut out the temptation of Dick's mouth.

When he pulled away, he was rewarded with a look of pure bliss.

It was wrong, he told himself, that he should not only allow, but encourage, this sort of reaction in the boy, but he couldn't help it.

Dick was desirable. Was it his fault, then, that he desired the boy?

Standing, he tried to smile, but it didn't happen. It would have looked strange anyway. "Get some rest, Dick. You've earned it."

Walking away, he tried not to notice that Dick touched the place where Bruce had kissed him with an almost reverent expression of contentment arranging his features.

Leaning back against the wall in the hallway, he reminded himself that Dick was young, too young still, and that he had a responsibility to be a role model for the boy.

Dick wouldn't be too young forever, though. And if Dick still cared for him after Bruce was no longer his role model...

It was a dangerous way to think, Bruce knew, but he also knew it was the only way he could think.

The predator in him was already busy visualizing.