title: The Demon's Lover: Flesh and Blood
fandom: DC Comics
characters/pairings: Dick/Jason, Bruce, Tim
rating: Teen/Mature
warnings: magical sex
summary: Jason and Dick get to know each other a lot better, and Bruce comes home.
notes: this is the second of a three parter. this is also firmly in the animated series, as i've seen all the jason blood eps in the animated series, and can therefore feel comfortable writing him. as if that ever stopped me before... and if it helps anyone, just a reminder... in the batman ep with jason blood, billy zane was the voice of jason blood. rrar! i should have mentioned this before, but in this uni, Bruce and Dick have the animated series canon relationship. i won't call that father/son, but... ^_~
also, this series (last one, particularly) is for sarah. ^_^ happy birthday, sarah-girl!! *snuggles*

Jason stared at himself in the mirror. There were times when he could almost see the demon behind his eyes. If he stared at his eyes long enough, the red lines seemed to blur and widen, until all he could see was the red haze that covered his sight when the demon overtook him.

In less than five minutes, he was going to go on the first date in this century. Truth to be told, it would be his first date ever. Back when he was a knight in Arthur's court, people didn't really 'date' as much as they were married. He certainly never 'dated' Le Fey. Didn't even really woo her, unless foreplay could be considered wooing. Afterwards...

Afterwards, there was the shame of having betrayed his king, the fear of the demon within him, and the quest to destroy Le Fey. There was no time for romance.

So what had changed? Was one young man so alluring that he could not be resisted?

Was he not still the man who had betrayed the greatest king to ever live? Was he not still cursed with a demon? Was he not still charged with the quest to find and destroy the witch?

Resolve hardened Jason's eyes as the knock at the door drew him away from the mirror. He would not give into temptation. No matter how desirable Nightwing was, there was no way he could get himself involved in any entanglements. They would have dinner, they would talk, maybe they could be friends, but that would be it.

Jason slipped on a dark suede jacket on over his black turtleneck, and went to open the door.

Nightwing... No, Dick Grayson was leaning lazily against the doorjamb. He wore a silk black trench, over a silk shirt that just flowed from his shoulders, over tight, black leather pants. He winked at Jason before leaning in and stealing a quick kiss, and then he turned on his heel and headed for the elevator.

He was half way down the hall before he looked over his should. "Are you coming?"

Jason didn't want to interpret that sentence. Blindly, he checked to be sure that he had his wallet and keycard, and then he followed Dick mutely.

Resolve, in the meantime, gave up, and went to Tahiti for a quick vacation.

In the elevator, Dick smiled at him, almost shyly hiding his face as he peeked at Jason over his shoulder. His hair was tied back into a slick ponytail with a black leather strap, and Jason had to ball his hands into fists to keep from ripping that leather strap away and burying his fingers in that silky, perfect hair...

The coquettish glances were inflaming him, casting spells over his blood to heat up his body, tingling his spine and making his fingertips itch.

The ding that indicated the doors were opening made Jason jump almost high enough to hit the ceiling.

In the cab to the restaurant, Dick angled his body toward Jason as if they were having a quiet, private conversation, and his left hand, hidden from the sight of the driver by their nearly joined knees, ran up and down Jason's leg while Dick's piercing blue eyes teased and promised.

Resolve laughed at Jason from the beach while toasting him with a Mai Tai.

The restaurant was packed, with a line outside and a full lounge. But the maitre d' recognized Dick right away, and whooshed them away from the chaotic crowd, escorting them to a table in a shadowy niche, with only a few other tables in their line of sight. Dick smiled genially at the maitre d', and at a few people here and there throughout the restaurant, and some of the wait staff, and Jason had to bite back an urge to growl possessively.

The menu was in Japanese, with translations underneath. Jason stared at it for nearly a minute, not even trying to make sense of it. The kanji were pretty, and it was almost like an art print. Of course, finding anything to eat off of it...

Jason considered himself to be a cosmopolitan guy. He'd even been to Japan and China. 400 years ago or more, but still... He didn't think that anyone would consider him to be a yokel. But he simply hadn't the slightest clue how to order.

"Do you like Japanese food?" Dick wasn't even looking at his menu. It had been placed aside so that he could watch Jason easier.

"Er, I don't dislike it. Well, truth to be told... It's been a while since I've had it." Jason smiled in what he hoped was a charming way. Dick was throwing him off his game in ways he wasn't prepared to admit.

"Let me order for the both of us, then. As long as you don't have any objection to sushi?" Dick smiled coyly, and he seemed to be daring Jason to dislike sushi.

Jason cleared his throat and set his menu aside. "I don't mind."

Dick smiled brightly, and Jason was filled with the need to do whatever was necessary to see that smile again. "That's good. I was hoping you wouldn't mind eating things raw."

Jason watched Dick carefully, but the young man just glanced over the menu with a small smile gracing his lips.

It wasn't difficult finding topics for small talk, although forcing the words out of his throat was more difficult than Jason could fathom. It felt like his tongue was too big for his mouth, or perhaps his throat had constricted. Whichever, he worked hard at pulling out the words, trying to keep up with Dick's glib questions and mild taunts.

It was a relief in half when the waitress showed up; only half a relief as the young woman began politely flirting with Dick as soon as she neared the table. She giggled and bowed deferentially, and colored prettily when Dick complimented her.

Jason pushed his foot out to touch Dick's, and let their legs touch and intertwine under the small table. With pride, he smiled at the waitress, thinking that she could have Dick's pleasantries, but he would be going home with him.

Resolve pointed and laughed, and promptly left with no forwarding address.

After the waitress shuffled away, there was a pause in the conversation. Not really aware of what had been said before, Jason couldn't think of anything else to talk about, nor could he think of anything to do other than stare happily into Dick's perfectly blue eyes.

Dick leaned across the table, rubbing his knee gently against Jason's knee. "So. Tell me more about yourself. Where do you live?"

"Me?" Jason coughed and cleared his throat. It was completely unfair that a twenty-four year old man could be able to undo him like this. "Well... I have several homes, really. I have a townhouse here in Gotham, actually. But, since I wasn't planning on staying long, I haven't had it reopened."

"Mm. Well, plenty of time to rectify that error. And if you don't like staying in the hotel, you can always stay with me until your townhouse is habitable again."

"Presumptuous, aren't you?" Jason tapped his glass, scolding.

"Am I?" Dick returned, challenging.

Jason opened his mouth to respond, but then decided against it. "Well, I travel a lot, anyway, so I don't really have a permanent home. My work..." He trailed off. His work, his quest, really, was to bring Le Fey to justice. He had an obligation to his King, to attempt to rectify his betrayal. But when was the last time he had a really hot lead on the witch?

Looking across the table at the young man eagerly listening to his every word, he found that he didn't care.

He could feel the demon growling inside of him.

"I traveled for a few years." Dick's eyes fell to the side, his fingers knotting together. His voice sounded regretful and nostalgic. "I considered the world my home. For a while... well, it reminded me of my life with my parents. We were in a circus, and so the constant travel was... comforting, in an odd way. But after a while... I suppose I realized that I wasn't really traveling, as much as I was running away."

"Running away from what?"

Dick looked up, and shrugged, half smiling. "Not from what. From whom. And that would be me." He nodded slowly, and Jason had the sense that Dick had not told anyone this before. "I was running from myself, from who I was becoming. I was afraid... That I was going to grow up to be just like my 'father'." Dick smiled, a sort of laughing smile. "I think I was half afraid that I wouldn't grow up to be like him."

"Are you? Like him?" Jason put his chin on top of his folded hands, entranced.

Dick paused, thinking. "Yes. And no. More than I would like to admit, less than I would want to be... But it doesn't matter anymore. I know I'm never going to be him, for good or for ill. I have to be myself."

Jason nodded. He remembered thinking how similar and dissimilar Nightwing was to his mentor. But comparing Dick to Bruce... It was no comparison at all. Bruce was just a flimsy mask. Anyone with any sense or wisdom saw right through him. There simply wasn't anything to Bruce at all. That was the sacrifice he had made to be Batman. "I always believed... that in order to do anything worthwhile, you had to give something up. I know that, for myself, my life was... unextraordinary, until I was forced to make a sacrifice. I think, and I'm sure that Bruce would agree, that the balance you have in your life is truly... admirable."

Dick appeared completely taken aback. For a moment, he hardly could breathe with the shock. His eyes were wide and his mouth was opened just a little bit.

Just then, their appetizers came, and Dick was distracted by the need to flirt with the waitress enough to compose himself. Clearing his throat, he winking at Jason. Speaking in a low, conspiratorial tone, "You just want to get inside my pants."

Jason smiled back. "Yes, I do. But no, that's not why I said it. It's true. You really are... most impressive."

Dick actually blushed. It was most endearing. Jason felt his blood pump harder, and he focused on his food to keep from embarrassing both of them.

Mastering the chopsticks took up most of his attention, which was a nice change of pace from being preoccupied with his dinner companion. When he had finally gotten the hang of the chopsticks enough to look up while eating, he found serious blue eyes studying him.

"Thanks."

"For what?" Jason nearly dropped his shrimp roll as he tried to decipher Dick's expression.

"For... taking me seriously."

Jason put his chopsticks down, and smiled. Dick seemed so young... at the beginning of his life, with everything before him... all youth, and vigor, and beauty... Jason couldn't remember being at that point in his life. All his memories of his youth were tainted.

But Dick was pure. Jason had to fight against the feeling that Dick might be able to purify him. It was childish and romantic and...

Jason reached out and took Dick's hand in his. "Anytime." He traced a circle in the space between Dick's thumb and forefinger with his thumb, and he could feel it building between them. The energy was like a cyclone, hitting them both hard and fast, and suddenly, it was like their blood had been replaced with lava and ice, and every nerve ending had been turned to electricity.

He tried to pull their hands apart, but he couldn't. There was something brewing between them, and nothing could stop it. Dick's eyes widened, and his mouth opened slightly, his fingers clutching Jason's hand as his body shuddered perfectly.

Jason had to close his eyes and mutter a counter-spell before they came in their pants right there in the restaurant.

Dick grinned, reaching out to take Jason's hands in his. "Do that again." His voice was just above a whisper, bursting with mischievous mirth.

Scowling, Jason useless didn't resist the urge to caress Dick's fingers with his thumbs. "That wasn't supposed to happen."

"It's been a while since you've dated, hasn't it?" Dick grinned, wiggling an eyebrow. "That's exactly what's supposed to happen."

"Not until we get back to the hotel room!" Jason sputtered, trying to be indignant while his whole body flushed with the image of Dick coming underneath him.

Dick pulled his hands away, one corner of his mouth curled up knowingly. "Now who's being presumptuous?"

"You just..." Jason narrowed his eyes, trying to control his grin. "Very clever. But two can play this game. If you want me to do that again..." He ran one finger down the line of Dick's left thumb, stirring the blood under the skin and concentrating on the waves of energy circling around the point of contact between them.

Dick shuddered, his eyes fluttering shut, and he leaned closer to Jason. "Oh, that's nice."

"You are... incorrigible." Jason bit his bottom lip. "Luscious." He sighed, leaning closer to Dick. "Sleek..."

"Talk dirty to me, old man," Dick spoke softly, griping Jason's hands tighter. "And do it again."

"You kinky little..." Jason smiled, tracing Dick's lifeline with his fingertip.

"Your dinners, sirs." To her credit, the waitress was doing a good job of pretending not to be affected by their clenched hands.

Reluctantly, they released each other's hands, and focused on their food. They ate quickly and silently, their eyes almost constantly on one another, and the longer they watched each other, the faster they ate.

It was almost like they were racing each other.

They skipped the green tea ice cream, and other fancier desserts, and paid the bill with all due dispatch.

When they got up, they had to disentangle their legs in order to stand.

They walked in the general direction of the hotel, not wanting to wait for a cab to show up. Jason waited by the building while Dick hailed a passing cab. All he could think about was the feel of Dick's skin against his, and how much more skin he was going to touch before the night was over...

If he had felt that the cab ride to the restaurant was difficult, the cab ride back was exquisite torture. They walked straight to the elevator, completely of one mind. A pair of middle-aged business men were in the elevator with them for most of the ride up, so they continued to simply watch one another, the desire to touch becoming so strong it nearly overtook Jason's will.

When they were alone in the elevator, and the doors had slid shut to offer them privacy, Jason stepped closer to Dick's personal space, but Dick neatly stepped up to the door, looking at Jason over his shoulder with promising eyes.

Jason slouched elegantly against the back wall of the elevator. His eyes drifted down to where Dick's ass created an artistic ripple in the silk of his trench. He could extend the anticipation a moment or two longer, if that's what Dick wanted.

Dick didn't waste any time, but went back to the bedroom, discarding his trench along the way, sat on the foot of the bed, and kicked off his shoes. Jason stood before him, his jacket over his arm, looking down with a small smile curling the corners of his lips.

Leaning back on the heels of his palms, Dick looked up at Jason. "So, what kind of magic trick was that in the restaurant?"

Jason threw his jacket to the chair in the corner and sighed. "Well, I don't know exactly. It... shouldn't have happened. It never has before. I can only guess that it was..."

"Chemistry?" Dick teased, bringing his feet up to rest on the edge of the bed. "My father warned me about people like you, you know."

"Oh, did he?" Jason grinned, toeing off his shoes. "And what, exactly, did he warn you about?"

"He told me that Gaje who practiced magiks were untrustworthy. That they made deals with demons to get their powers." Dick slipped his socks off as he spoke, his eyes dancing as he watched Jason's reaction.

"You're Rom." Jason tried to reign himself in, and remind himself once again that this was a bad idea. The Rom were a hidden people, with connections to ancient things that no outsider understood. There were certain... dark spells that required the blood of a Rom. It was little wonder why his touch had elicited such a response earlier.

But then... think of how much more responsive they would both be if they were completely connected, if he were inside of the young man, or vice versa, how connected they could be...

Jason tried to remind himself of the dangers of such a deep connection, but Dick was slowly unbuttoning his shirt, and the promise of pleasure was so great, he could hardly stop to think, he was so busy pulling his turtleneck over his head.

"Is that a problem?"

The answer to the question was clearly yes, but Dick was now leaning back on his elbows, his shirt open, and Jason didn't care that much about anything else at that point. The very fact that his reasoning was clouded by lust should have been enough to stall Jason, even stop him, but he didn't pause to consider it.

Instead, he kneeled before the bed and slowly opened Dick's pants. Parting the leather reverently, he kissed the soft boxers underneath. Picking up the elastic and lowering it, he breathed over the revealed flesh, watching the cock harden.

Dick fell back against the bed, and lifted his hips slightly. Jason took the cue and slipped Dick's pants down, leaving him almost completely bare. Picking up one of Dick's feet carefully, he kissed his way up the leg, taking his time to taste Dick's skin as he moved up. Dick was breathing heavily, and his flat stomach was moving up and down, enticingly. Jason's hand went of its own accord to rest flat against the smooth, taut belly, fingers splayed out to maximize the amount of skin it could touch.

The energy between them stirred, and Jason gave into it, letting it saturate his senses, his whole being electrified by this alchemy they were brewing together. He was no longer aware of his actions absolutely. He knew that his mouth touched Dick's stomach, that his hands covered Dick's nipples, that their mouths touched, tasted, delved...

Dick's hands on his body only heightened the sensations all around him. He knew that Dick was taking his pants off, but he was far too interested in tasting Dick's neck to pay much attention. It felt like the world was spinning out of its orbit, but it was far more likely that they were just tumbling on the bed, rolling on top of each other and writhing underneath each other, their legs spreading out and rubbing together, their arms pulling each other's bodies closer and closer, until they were like one body with many limbs, all in constant motion...

Dick's body was so perfect like this, as if it were made for sex. His back arched gracefully, and when he moaned, he shuddered so that his skin seemed to shiver. His hair was now loose, though Jason didn't remember untying it, and the strands would stick to his face and his neck in thin, sweaty ribbons. And when Jason pressed his mouth to Dick's, he felt like they were breathing in the essence of life, and if he could just taste deeply enough, he might find everything he had been searching for...

The way Dick's dark lashes fluttered over his eyes was so sexy, and so Jason muttered a quick incantation, lighting a half dozen tongues of flame in a circle around the bed, so that he could see better. Dick smiled, groaning as he pushed his hips against Jason's, his body undulating under Jason's.

"Here."

The word seemed grossly out of place, and it took Jason almost a half a minute to understand what Dick was saying. He grunted as he took the tube of lube and condom from Dick's hand, and he could have sworn that Dick must have made them appear in his hand by a magic trick. Jason kissed and licked and sucked and tasted a meandering line from Dick's jaw to his groin, taking long, pleasurable moments, to worship the engorged organ he found there. The blood under the thin skin of Dick's cock was so hot and wanting, it made Jason feel things he hadn't felt in so long, he had been sure that that part of his psyche had long since died.

And the sweet song that Dick moaned and screamed as Jason lovingly prepared him was enough to lift even the heaviest of world-weary hearts. Jason felt like he was just 300 again, and the universe was begging to be understood.

Jason had three fingers inside of Dick, when Dick started to laugh. Jason pushed his fingers in further, wanting to hear the moans and groan and screams again, but it only made Dick laugh louder. Jason furrowed his brow, meeting Dick's eyes in confusion.

Dick grinned, and gestured with a nod of his head to the room beyond the bed. "I think you must be pretty excited, old man. Everything seems to be up..."

Jason glared at the room, and realized what Dick was saying. Everything that wasn't nailed to the floor was levitating above its proper location. The bedside table, the lamps, the chair, the television, the dresser...

Jason laughed, just a little, and put his mouth back on Dick's cock, to make the best use of his mirth.

Dick laughed again and again, louder and louder, the noise becoming hysterical and needy, and melting into a belly-deep moan that sent shivers down Jason's spine.

"Levitate... us... wanna... fly with you..." Dick panted, still laughing and moaning.

Jason did as he was told, thrusting into Dick as he lifted Dick into the air.

They rolled around each other in the air, spinning as if they were making love in zero G. In order to get the proper momentum to thrust, they had to cling to each other, and grab and pull at each other's limbs and body. It was raw and animalistic, and for the life of him, Jason could not figure out why he had never thought to do this before.

Dick came first, clenching hard on Jason as he threw back his head and screamed in Swedish. Jason thrust in quick, shallow motions, slowly lowering them to the bed again. Just as Dick's shoulders made contact with the sheets, Jason plowed into him, finding his own climax.

It may well have been hours later when, still tangled together, Jason was able to piece his brain together enough to lift himself up to kiss Dick.

The younger man was smiling slightly smugly at him, his arms wrapped firmly around Jason's shoulders. There were a thousand words on the tip of Jason's tongue, but all of them seemed unnecessary.

A few minutes of light touches, a quick vanishing spell to clean them up, and some light kisses, and they fell fast asleep in each other's embrace.





Jason woke up when the bar of sunlight from where the drapes didn't quite meet decided to fall over his eyes. It took a moment for him to remember why he was so pleasantly sleeping, but the warm body next to him certainly brought everything back quickly

Dick was all curled up on his side, his hair disheveled all around and over his face. His nose wiggled, rabbit-like, because of a one particularly persistent strand of hair that rested right down the middle of his face. His lashes were surprisingly thick, which Jason hadn't really noticed before, but asleep, they fell over his cheeks, and were amazingly sexy. Actually, Jason realized for the first time looking at him how stunning he really was. Of course, he had realized before that Dick was sexy and beautiful, but he had classic features that were perfectly proportioned, smooth, just touched with tan skin, and dark, rich hair.

Normally, his personality was so strong, you didn't notice how really fine he was. Jason smiled as he traced Dick's brow gently.

He didn't even realize that he was pulling Dick into an embrace until Dick's eyes sleepily blinked open.

It was a completely alien experience for Jason, to wake up with a warm body, to admire that body, and have another pair of eyes looking in his with obvious affection. He couldn't resist taking a few shallow kisses, their mouths closed but touching, just needed that contact, even if it was early.

Dick laughed when Jason's hands ran over his ribs, enticing his ticklish spots. Dick's finger came up to muss Jason's hair, normally so slick.

"Good morning." Jason didn't recognize his voice, but nothing that morning was recognizable, so he didn't mind.

"Morning yourself." Dick winked, cheekily, and ran a finger up Jason's side. "Sleep well, I trust?"

"Very." If Jason had been thinking about it, he would have tried to keep the emotion out of his voice, but it was too early to think about it.

Dick smiled quietly, his face animated so that his fine features were once again overshadowed by his charm. Jason nearly chuckled, thinking of how disgraceful it was for a sorcerer of his caliber to be overthrown by a gypsy's charms.

Then Dick groaned, and not the melodious groan of last night.

"Oh, we trashed the room a bit, didn't we?"

Jason's eyes left Dick for the first time that morning. The room did resemble that of a rock star's suite. The lamp was smashed, the bedside table was on its side, the tv was upside down on the floor, the dresser was face down, the floor lamp was in three pieces, the table and chairs were haphazardly tossed about, and the fake art from the walls was in pieces.

"This is all your fault."

"My fault? I think you were the one doing the levitating."

"But you were the one enticing me."

"Oh, I'm enticing, am I?"

"And stimulating," Jason sniffed, primly. "So it's not my fault at all."

Dick chucked, his hand warmly resting on Jason's hip. "I see. Well, I can pay the damages if you like, but I don't think they'll ever want to have you back here after all this, plus the noise last night. You're a bit of a screamer, you know."

Jason hid his blush by putting his mouth on Dick's chest. "Wait. I can fix this." He raised his eyes to catch Dick's, grinning wickedly.

He then began to trace ancient patterns on Dick's chest, while chanting softly under his breath. The pattern began to glow lightly, before it dispersed.

Dick shuddered, his whole body at full attention.

He didn't even notice that the room had repaired itself until after he was done ravishing Jason.





"What time do you have to be at the center?" Jason straightened the sleeves of his sweater, pulling them out from under his blazer so they were exactly a half an inch longer than the blazer sleeve.

Dick hopped, putting on one shoe and his coat as he tried to keep up with Jason. His hair fell over his shoulders messily, very unlike Nightwing's style, but in a completely new, sexy way. It was unfair that one young man could be so many different kinds of sexy. "Erm, I think... Probably about ten minutes ago. Ah well! Some things are worth the trouble." Dick winked saucily at Jason. "Anyway, I guess they won't mind if I go like this. All those old biddies can gossip about who I spent the night with."

As Dick hopped past, he kissed Jason on the cheek, winking at Jason again as he passed him to go to the door.

"Now, wait for me," Jason protested, smoothing his pants one last time.

"C'mon, old man," Dick teased, "I don't have all day to wait for you."

"Old... You know," Jason mock glared at him, "I'm beginning to think you have a kink."

Dick rolled his eyes. "You're only just beginning to think? Man, you're slow..."

"Slow!?!" Jason thwacked Dick on the rear as he caught up with him at the elevator. "I didn't think you thought I was being slow last night..."

"Well," Dick drawled as the elevator doors slid open, "you didn't take me in the restaurant like I wanted you to."

Jason glared sideways at Dick. "You're just trying to get a rise out of me."

Dick beamed, leering at Jason at the same time, somehow. "Is it working?"

Jason shook his head, decidedly looking away. "You have to be at the senior center. I'm not starting this with you now."

"Mm. You have a point." Dick stepped forward, leaning against Jason lazily. "Later, then."

Jason would have tried to deny the shiver that raced down his spine, but Dick was leaning against his hard enough to feel it, too.

They stayed like that until the elevator door slid open again at the lobby, separating reluctantly to let the people waiting on the elevator.

They walked together comfortably for ten paces, when Dick pulled to a stop. "Damn. I really am late. I should call ahead. I left my cell behind last night so no one could interrupt us. Could you ask for a cab for me?"

"No problem," Jason smiled back.

Dick paused, tilting his head to the side. "If anyone's complained about the noise, you can stay at my place until your townhouse is opened. I was serious about that."

Jason nodded mutely, smiling in what he felt must have been a goofy manner. Dick smiled back, only pausing for a moment more before heading to the bank of phones.

Jason was halfway through the lobby when he stopped dead in his tracks.

For a moment, he was frozen with fear, and then he started to formulate plans quickly. He could proceed through the lobby quickly, get outside, and get Dick's cab. Or, he could turn around. The former had the advantage of being less spineless, but the later had the advantage of being more foolproof.

"Jason! Jason Blood! I didn't realize that you were still in town!"

Jason sighed. Apparently, a full night of good sex had the effect of making him a little sluggish in the brain. Turning on his fakest smile, he took Bruce Wayne's hand, cordially. "Bruce, old man. When did you get back in town? I thought you were in Paris?" Jason was sure that Bruce was in Paris, after all, he had refused to help him when he had called...

Bruce fumbled, affecting his brainless playboy attitude perfectly. Jason hated his brainless playboy attitude. "Oh, just got back this morning, actually, but Lucius insisted I come to this breakfast meeting. I can't say I even know what was going on, but they make great omelets here. I would recommend their portabella mushroom ones, really. And how about you? No further business, I hope?" Bruce's manner was still foolish, but his eyes sharpened, the Bat peering through.

Jason smiled back, wondering how long Dick was going to be on the phone, and how long it would take to get rid of Bruce. The rest of his party seemed to be dispersing without him. "Ah, no, I'm just, er, enjoying a bit of a break. There are some, well, acquaintances in Gotham I'm hoping to catch up with."

The Bat relaxed, and Bruce smiled. "Well, great! Then we should have lunch! What are your plans? My schedule is pretty open. If you don't have anything for the morning, why don't you come back to the manor with me and we can...?"

"Did you get the cab? I called and... Bruce!" Dick came to a stop right next to Jason. His hair was wildly loose around his shoulders, he was wearing rumpled black silk and leather, was here, in Jason's hotel, late in the morning, in the lobby, shoulder to shoulder with Jason Blood.

The Bat's eyes narrowed dangerously.

Dick looked from the Bat to Jason, and back again. Taking a deep breath, he started to inch to the door. "Well... Er, I'd love to stay and chat, but unfortunately, well, I have to get going, late and all... Right. Well, I'll call you later, Jason, and, um, Bruce. Bye!" Dick shrugged helplessly at Jason before dashing to the door.

Jason was not so enamored as to not be annoyed with the brat.

There was the sort of silence that was normally found in a cemetery, and Jason stared at the carpet, wondering what kind of spell he could use to make the floor swallow him without attracting attention.

"Jason." Bruce's voice has lost all its playboy inflection. "Perhaps we should speak."

Trying to swallow the gigantic lump that had taken up residence in his throat, Jason nodded once.

Bruce weaved through the hotel expertly, signaling the maitre d' of the restaurant on the first floor that he wanted a private table as he walked back to the empty room in the back. Waiters immediately came to set up the table for Mr. Wayne and his guest, and they ordered a small brunch.

While they waited for the coffee, they sat silently, Jason staring straight ahead, his chin up proudly, his eyes as far from Bruce as he could get them without appearing to be avoiding the other man, while Bruce stared daggers into Jason.

At last they had plates and cups before them, all filled with scrumptious offerings.

They continued to sit, and ignored everything.

Bruce cleared his throat, demanding Jason's attention, which was given, grudgingly.

"I don't even want to know what the hell happened, I just want to know that it is over and that you are leaving."

Jason regarded Bruce levelly for a long, silent moment. "I have plans to meet with him tonight. I already promised I would call my housekeeper in Gotham to open up the townhouse."

Bruce's fist slammed into the table, causing all the plates, cups, and silverware to jump in fear. "No!" he hissed, venomously. "I can't allow this! That boy is my responsibility, damn it, and I'm not going to let someone like you hurt him!"

Jason narrowed his eyes. He didn't like it when other people took the role of the voices in his head. It was just bad form. "He's not a boy, you know, and despite what either of us think, it's pretty much his decision."

Bruce snarled, "Why does everyone feel it necessary to point out to me what is blatantly obvious! I know he's grown up, a man, but that doesn't change anything!"

"It changes quite a lot. Most parents understand that."

"What would you know about being a parent?" Bruce's nose was heaving with the exertion of his ire. "And what about Etrigan? How does he feel about Dick?" Bruce waited long enough to ascertain that Jason had no answer for that. "Why would you knowingly expose Dick to the demon?"

Jason stared sadly at his hands. It took a lot of effort to talk past the lump that was happily unpacking its furniture in his throat. "He knows, and he still chose to be with me."

"Does he know, Jason? Does he know as well as you?" Bruce got up, throwing his napkin over his food, disgustedly. "If you had any honor or sense of decency in you at all, you would leave, and spare Dick that pain you know you will cause him."

Bruce walked away in long, fast strides, leaving Jason behind to ponder the matter of his hands.





Dick placed the bottle of wine on the table, watching Jason from the corner of his eye. Since he had let the other man in ten minutes ago, Jason had refused to meet Dick's eyes, and had lurked in the background uncomfortably.

It didn't take a detective to figure out what was going on, but Dick had really hoped that Jason would be more determined than this.

"So," Dick spoke lightly, placing himself right in front of Jason's personal space, "what exactly did he say to you?"

Jason lifted his eyes reluctantly. Dick was wearing old, tight jeans and an open denim shirt. Jason had to swallow hard to keep his hands from reaching out and touching all that glorious flesh. "Only the truth, I'm afraid."

"Oh. Only that." Dick rolled his eyes and kept his temper in check, barely. He shook his head to keep from letting the frustration spoil his mood. "Well, can't argue with the truth, now, can I?"

Jason lowered his head, swallowing hard. It wasn't going to be easy to walk away from this... Dick was so sensual and desirable. Jason had to ball his hands into fists to keep from taking him. After what felt like eternity of keeping himself isolated, Jason found Dick's vitality completely addictive.

Dick put his arms around Jason's neck, and insinuated his body against Jason's. He rubbed his nose against Jason's subtly, and touched their mouths together, breathing deeply, before taking Jason's mouth in a long, penetrating kiss.

Jason's arms wound around Dick's frame of their own accord, slipping inside Dick's open shirt to pull Dick as close to his as possible. Dick abandoned Jason's mouth to worship his jaw and ear, whispering in between nibbles, "This is true, isn't it?"

Jason was left without reason, without restraint. He pushed Dick against the counter, and ravished him, dragging his clothes off as he let his hands and mouth roam freely over the exciting terrain of Dick's body. Just as it was last night, the skin-to-skin connection between them stirred and conjured, and before long, they were both naked and in constant motion as they moved over each other.

Dick's perfect blue eyes caught Jason. "In me. Prepare me with your touch..."

Jason understood, and hooked one of Dick's legs over his hip. They levitated slightly in the air, Jason taking the care to reign in his emotions so they didn't demolish Dick's apartment. His right hand went down to Dick's anus, his forefinger tracing the circle of muscle as he chanted into the sweat covering Dick's chest.

Dick groaned, and threw his whole body back, all the muscles in his body loosening with the magical heat of Jason's touch. Jason didn't waste time, there was no time to waste, he positioned himself, and with a plowing motion, he thrust inside of Dick's body, pulling Dick's hips down as he pushed himself up.

It was all too much, too fast, too hot... The next time that Jason was consciously aware of anything, they were on the floor of Dick's kitchen, the sweat on their bodies cooling quickly.

Jason leaned over Dick, smiling as Dick's bleary blue eyes blinked open, almost bashfully.

"Can't argue with that," Jason echoed belatedly.

They got up together, and Dick waved away all of Jason's attempts to redress. They ate the penne pasta Dick had made with their fingers, feeding each other, with Dick straddling Jason's lap, and when drips of sauce fell, they licked it up like kittens grooming each other.

Afterwards, they showered, taking their time to just run their hands over each other. Jason played with Dick's hair, washing it twice, and he would have washed it a third time, but Dick got impatient.

They made love for hours in the bed, moving slowly and deliberately against and with one another. When they were totally spent, they rested in each other's arms, watching each other affectionately as Jason toyed with Dick's hair.

Jason promised to phone his housekeeper in the morning to open up his townhouse.

It was nearly one in the morning, just as Jason's eyes were struggling to stay open, that Dick started to slip out of the bed.

Sluggish, Jason just barely managed to catch Dick's hand, his eyes questioning.

Dick chuckled softly, and kissed Jason on the forehead. "Patrol."

"But it's late."

"For some strange reason, criminals tend to prefer the night. I suppose it's a profession that attracts nocturnal creatures."

"But..."

Dick kissed Jason's forehead again, lingering. "Stay here. I'll be back in a few hours. Don't worry."

Jason pulled the sheets around his body discontentedly, wondering how in the hell he was supposed to not worry?





Nightwing landed silently, crouching low to the roof as he landed.

He was finding that he had become even more limber in the past few weeks, yet another benefit of having Jason in town.

Moving like a cat, he prowled into position at the corner of the roof. Everything felt fresh and new to him, and he was so much more aware of everything lately, as well. Part of it was the tingling just under his skin, as his flesh remembered Jason's magical touch. Part of it was just the lust for life that being regularly screwed gave a body. And part of it was the feeling that a curtain had been drawn back, and there was fresh light pouring into him.

His lips curling into a feral smile, he tracked his prey. The roof across the alley was lower, and he could see the two of them lurking there, their backs to him as they tracked their own prey.

Timing his jump so that he could catch the most air for lift, as well as mask his entrance with the wind, he was soon standing right behind that pair.

"Gotcha."

Robin jumped, turning and pulling out a batarang simultaneously. As soon as he saw who it was, his whole face lit up. "Nightwing!"

Batman had been in the ready position, but he only acknowledged Nightwing's presence with a faint sneer.

"So, what's cooking, boys?"

Robin was ready to launch into whatever exploits they were in the middle of, but Batman condescended to reply first. "Are you sure you have time for this? Maybe there's something else you'd rather be getting back to."

Nightwing bit his tongue rather than point out that Batman was being bitchy, and blithely replied, "Oh, I've always got time for a bit of the old ultra violence. So, what's on the docket?"

"Drug bust!" Tim could clearly not hold it in anymore. "We've been tracking a supply line all week. We've nearly got them completely boxed in. There should be a big deal going on in that abandoned store."

Nightwing leaned over the edge of the roof, close to Robin, ignoring the glowering Bat behind them. "Hm, sounds like a big deal. Good thing I stopped by. Where's Batgirl?"

Batman snorted indignantly, and Robin looked between them warily before answering. "She's covering some slave trade ring in Old Town. Girls getting snatched and sold. Strictly recon tonight."

Nightwing nodded, focusing in on the store with the lenses in his mask. Picking up a suspicious movement of lights, he signaled silently.

He took the rear, and let Batman and Robin charge in the front. There were twenty guys, mostly armed to the teeth, since Batman and Robin had been dogging their trail all week, but they were all sloppy and scared.

It was chaos for ten minutes, but some seamless teamwork between Nightwing and Batman brought down all the armed mooks, leaving just the clean up to do.

Twenty minutes after they first swooped down, and flashing reds and blues were sweeping the neighborhood. Robin went south, heading for the Batmobile, and Nightwing assumed that Batman was heading west, taking a circuitous route to the same place. That was how they had always done it.

So it was a bit of a shock a half a block later when he felt a hand on his arm pulling him into a doorway.

"We need to talk."

Nightwing didn't have to ask what Batman was talking about, but the gruff tone, the hand that was still on his arm, and the fact that he had been waiting for this conversation for nearly three weeks all added up to two very ticked men staring each other down.

Trying to, at any rate.

"Now isn't really a good time. We're still too close."

"This relationship with Blood ends now."

Of all the absurd things to say... "Really. That's funny, because I wasn't aware that you had any say over it."

"Damn it, Dick!" Batman had to be upset to use his real name like that, but the desperation ripping out every word did nothing to sway Nightwing. "This is dangerous!"

"I like danger." Nightwing grinned, intentionally teasing and infuriating his mentor with his flirtatiously irreverent tone.

"This isn't a joke!" Batman gripped Nightwing's arm even tighter, to the point of leaving bruises. "This is foolish! I don't know what you think is happening, but it will end badly."

"Unlike you, I don't make decisions about my love life based on their probable conclusion. And if you don't take your hand off of me, we will come to blows." Nightwing's eyes narrowed as each word dripped more and more venom.

"You will listen to me," Batman hissed as he tightened his grip, "and you will do as I say. Jason Blood is trouble."

Nightwing snarled as he shoved the base of his palm into the middle of Batman's chest, using the momentary surprise to slip out of Batman's grasp. "You didn't think he was too much trouble to set us up! And you didn't even think it was worth mentioning that he turns into a demon! If you were so concerned, you shouldn't have left me to cover your tail."

Batman's eyes narrowed. "I guess I know now that I can't trust you to handle things without supervision."

That stung, but Dick would rather have walked naked and covered with fire ants into the deepest pit of hell than let Bruce know how much that stung. "What's done is done. I'm an adult, much as you'd like to forget that, and I can handle myself."

"Can you handle Etrigan?" If Dick wasn't so enraged and hurting, he might have picked up on the note of pure terror in Bruce's voice.

"I can trust Jason."

"You can't," Bruce shook his head as he backed up a half a step, shrinking away in defeated exasperation. "You can't. Because even at his best, Jason is still just a casing for something sinister and terrible. No one could control that."

Dick felt the bile rising in his throat, but he just used it as fuel, spitting it out at Bruce with unerring precision. "You underestimate him. Just like you underestimate me. You honestly don't think I know how bad things could get. Well, you're wrong. I know better than you, because I'm the one that's looking into his eyes when he's fucking me. I know. But I don't care! Whatever the risk, whatever the cost, whatever pain I may or may not feel later on... right now is worth it. But you know, I could talk to you for a million years, and you'd never get it. Never. So let me make this very simple for you. I make my own choices. I will be with whomever I choose to be, and if you have a problem with that, it's your problem, because you don't have any hold over me.

"I walked away once, and I can do it again. Don't push it, Bruce. I thought we were getting to a point where we could be allies again, but if we can't, then I have no problem making you my enemy again."

Batman had to watch as Nightwing stalked away, because he couldn't move his arms or his legs, and he couldn't swallow his heart in time to even get any words out of his throat, not that he knew what to say.

So he watched Dick leave him behind.





They walked together to the door, Jason following Dick, Dick walking backwards, their legs moving together in pairs, their arms snaking over each other's bodies, their mouths attached.

They didn't stop when Dick's back hit the door, though Jason used the new position to gain some leverage, grinding his hips into Dick's

Dick moaned, low in his chest, but their mouths were still attached, so Jason could feel it in the bottom of his gut.

"I... have to go... work..." Dick spoke distractedly into Jason's mouth as there hands kept running into each other in their quests for stimulation.

Jason shook his head, whether in denial or in supplication, and sucked powerfully on Dick's lower lip.

Dick groaned, his hands finding the bottom of Jason's shirt. As his fingers re-explored the canvas of Jason's back, he tried to form coherent thoughts. "Work... late... already late..."

Jason tried closed his mouth three times before it actually took. His hands traced the top of Dick's soft jeans over and over again. "Late. Bad."

"Yes," Dick smiled. "Late bad. Tree pretty."

Jason let his hands wander up to play with the front of Dick's chest. "Five minutes."

Dick shook his head no, smiling as he pulled his hands away from the bliss of Jason's skin, grabbing Jason's hands. "Late."

"Late bad."

Dick nodded, and then he launched himself at Jason, throwing his arms around Jason's neck. "Sometimes... sometimes, when you touch me... it scares me. I don't ever want you to let go."

A great roaring hunger swelled up from deep, deep inside of Jason, and for a rocky moment, he felt like it was going to swallow him. He had to focus on his breathing before he could speak, and when he did, his words were hoarse, as if he had gone without water for a decade. "It scares me, too."

Dick slipped slowly out of his arms, their eyes meeting as he did, and Jason was nearly visibly shaking with the need to grab this young man, take him and never, ever let him out of his sight.

Dick didn't say another word as he slipped away, leaving Jason heaving, one hand on the door.

A coolness seeped into him, and Jason trudged away from the door, going directly to the bathroom. He ran the cold water until his hands were numb, and then splashed it over his face several times.

When he felt sufficiently cold, he gripped the edges of the sink and brought his face up to stare into the mirror. After only a minute, the fathomless depths of his irises pulled all of his awareness inward, until, at the very bottom, all he could see was black.

In the very center of the black, he saw only red.

Swallowing, he dragged himself away from the mirror, not bothering to towel off his face.

He wished he had the strength to leave, but he couldn't help but be grateful for his weakness.








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