title: Down With Love
fandom: DC Comics
characters/pairings: Dick/Garth, Dick/Roy, Dick/Kyle, Dick/Clark, Dick/Bruce
rating: Mature
warnings: sex, promiscuity
summary: Dick makes a decision - he's had it with love.
notes: i saw the movie Down With Love, and then i decided to write this.
...that note prolly isn't necessary. anyway...
this fic is dedicated to my beloved minion, Sue, whose birthday i missed. wah! but here ya go, luv. enjoy! *snuggles*

It was morning in the cave, which meant that it was dark and clammy, and Bruce's back was killing him. He wouldn't say so, of course. That would only invite trouble. But, the human spine was only intended to take so much pressure and torture in a lifetime, and that was back when a lifetime was only about 35 years.

Bruce was 36.

He used the pain to keep him awake, and he went through the files of the FBI database, sorting through looking for matches and updating his own files as he did every morning.

Dick was here, taking a shower. That was something that happened regularly now that Dick was back, and it pleased Bruce. Dick belonged here, with him.

That thought began and ended with that simple declarative statement, and Bruce's rigid control prevented it from ever taking the next logical step. Dick belonged here, but he was living in an apartment downtown, so any time that Dick did spend here was progress toward the ultimate goal of having Dick back here.

Bruce continued to work, letting the sound of the water of Dick's shower ease his muscles as if he were under the spray with Dick.

When the water stopped, Bruce's fingers paused over the keyboard, momentarily lost as the train of thought motivating them disappeared into mist.

The soft, repetitive clatter of the keys became the only music in the cave, and Bruce became mesmerized by the dull syncopation of the rhythm, so much so that Dick managed to take him by surprise.

"I've been thinking about it, and I've made my decision."

Bruce spared Dick a glance from the corner of his eye, barely moving his head so that the screen still had the bulk of his attention.

Dick was still dripping wet, the lower half of his body casually covered by a thin towel that was so loosely knotted, it appeared ready to abandon its task. All of Dick's muscles were defined and highlighted by the sheen of moisture, and his hair was inky black. Dick ran a hand through his sopping wet hair, pushing the curling locks out of his eyes.

Bruce continued to watch Dick from the corner of his eye, the keyboard's melody slowing down.

"I'm sick of trying to play the games. It's all useless anyway, given our lifestyles. So, I've decided." Dick leaned back over the railing that closed off that part of the cave from the lower level, which served to display his body better. He crossed one foot over the other, which made the towel separate a bit more, revealing one leg almost all the way up to his waist.

Bruce paused in his typing.

"No more relationships. No more trying to find 'love.' Love is just a distraction, right Bruce? From now on, I'm going to concentrate of my 'career,' and just forget about love." Dick nodded twice, resolutely.

Bruce stopped breathing for a moment, which was really a silly thing to do, as he still needed to breathe. Coughing to cover his foolishness, he turned ever so slightly so look at Dick. "Won't that ultimately be... frustrating for you?"

Dick laughed, and the sound startled Bruce imperceptibly. "I said I was giving up on love, not sex. It's the new modern way of thinking... sex á la carte."

Dick was instigating. Bruce knew that. It was in his posture, in his body language, in the way he smiled when he spoke, in the way his eyebrows were arched over his eyes.

Bruce was not the sort of person who could be manipulated easily by others. He was not the sort of person who could be stimulated by the machinations of others. He could see through it all, of course, and distance himself from their emotional entanglements.

Dick was not usually like this, though.

"Sex and love don't really have anything to do with one another, anyway. Sex is a physical need, like hunger. If I'm hungry, I eat. And if I get horny, I can get laid without all the baggage." Dick sighed, putting his arms over his chest. "It's just so much easier."

Bruce turned back to the computer. He was almost positive Dick was trying to get a reaction from him, and he was almost sure that he knew what kind of reaction Dick wanted. Knowing that Dick was trying to get him to act in a certain way made him want to act in the opposite way, and he never stopped to think how petulant that was. "Sex á la carte isn't exactly safe, now is it?"

Dick shrugged, sighing contentedly. "Sex is never safe, really. I mean, that would imply a great deal of trust, wouldn't it? And how many people in the world can you really trust that much?"

Bruce refrained from commenting.

"And I'm always careful, so that's all you can do, right? Just practice, keep the equipment in top condition, and hope for the best... Like free-falling... it's thrilling."

Dick's voice had trailed off into wistfulness, and Bruce's eyes narrowed involuntarily.

Dick straightened up. "Well, I should get dressed and get home. It's been a long night. Send me those files when you're done, so I can go over the floor plan before night. Thanks, Bruce." Dick put his hand on Bruce's shoulder, and squeezed slightly.

Bruce flexed his fingers over the keyboard, and he kept clenching and unclenching his jaw.

Dick was not usually the type to be manipulative. Unless he wasn't trying to manipulate Bruce. But surely that was the point of that whole display. Unless he was honestly just talking to Bruce, using him as a soundboard.

He hated how Dick could just reach out and touch him like that, without warning or preamble.





Bruce smiled patiently at waiter. The young man had clearly grown tired of refilling his iced tea glass. Bruce could hardly blame him. It had been refilled six times now. Barbara fidgeted next to him, mindlessly chatting when something popped into her head, but her eyes never met his completely.

Barbara was still a bit afraid of Bruce; this was something that he fostered. She had been most useful on a number of occasions, but she would never be able to fulfill the role of the person who should have been occupying the empty seat across from him at the table.

Dick had agreed to meet them for lunch at the Ivy Courts Country Club so that the three of them could investigate the possible connection to the Riddler's latest scheme.

He had agreed to meet them twenty-five minutes ago.

Barbara was in the middle of her list of favorite places to go for breadsticks when Bruce's cell phone rang. It was Dick's cell.

"Where are you?" Bruce always believed in getting to the point.



+

Dick pushed away the hands that were trying to pull him down. They were beautiful hands, lithe and strong, and Dick succumbed to them even as he resisted. "Bruce, I'm so sorry that I'm late. Have you ordered an appetizer?"

The flickering bluish lights from the aquarium that arched over them dimly illuminated his acquisition's densely muscled body, and Dick could not suppress the urge to dip down and taste the peaked nipple below. A shiver shook his and his playmate's bodies.



+

Bruce narrowed his eyes. "We were waiting for you. Where are you?"

Barbara leaned closer to Bruce, as if she would be able to hear his conversation from her seat. Bruce did not spare her a glance, turning his head slightly. He was inexplicably uncomfortable with her possessive interest in Dick.

In turning away, he caught sight of a familiar face.



+

Garth arched up, and nibbled on Dick's neck delicately. Dick nearly groaned at the touch of his mouth.

"Well, funny thing happened as I was on my way to join you. See, I was walking near the pier, and I found this rare, beautiful fish out of water."

Garth laughed soundlessly, and pushed Dick's phone away long enough to kiss his lips.



+

"Really," Bruce dryly replied, his eyes tracking the movements of the man in the long red jacket.

That man had been seen with the Riddler two nights ago.



+

"Yes," Dick ran his hand down the center of Garth's torso. "And so I was naturally concerned. But it was such a rare fish, I have to confess, I wasn't sure if it was a freshwater fish, or a saltwater fish."

Garth's nimble fingers dipped into Dick's skintight leather pants, running his fingers around the waistband. Dick leaned down, grinning, to taste Garth's neck.

"So, naturally, I rushed him over to the aquarium right away."



+

"Naturally," Bruce drawled, nodding to Barbara to follow the man as he left the restaurant, heading toward the offices of the country club.



+

Dick leaned back as Garth divested him of his pants, applying his mouth to the newly exposed, heated flesh. Dick bit back a gasp, and concentrated on his conversation.

"It seems, though, that the perky fellow is something of a... ah... sucker, and he's gotten, well, attached to me."



+

"I see," Bruce commented darkly. Barbara slipped surreptitiously down the same hallway that the man went down, her own cell phone out, as if she were making a call, though it was really taking streaming video for later perusal.



+

"Yes," Dick had to control his breathing carefully as Garth's tongue undulated against his cock. "And it seems that the only thing to do, now that he's in his natural environment, is to, well, let nature take its course. So I won't be able to join you for lunch."



+

"I see," Bruce watched the table that the man most likely came from, memorizing the distinctive features of the two other men and the woman.



+

"As soon as I've gotten him off, I'll join you for the clean up."

Garth grinned wickedly at him, right before he took one of Dick's balls into his mouth.



+

"Fine."

Bruce stood up and casually walked past the table that the man had been sitting at, dropping a small bug as soon as he was within recording range.

He did not envy the Riddler that night; Bruce felt certain that he would have a lot of tension to work off.





Alfred fussed over the table settings, coming back to the dining room from having checked on the kitchen.

Leslie and Tim were already seated, discussing the latest video game.

Bruce stood by the window, his hands clenched behind his back, his eyes watching the gate to the main entrance to the Manor with the intensity of lasers.

Alfred was about to sit down next to Leslie to join their conversation when the phone rang.

Bruce furrowed his brow, staring even more intently at the gate.

"Master Bruce?" Alfred offered the phone to him on a platter, his eyes downcast subserviently.

Bruce scowled and picked up the phone.

"Where are you now?"



+

"Bruce, I feel as badly about this as you do. I hope I haven't ruined Alfred's dinner, but something unexpected has come up."

Roy smirked as he lubed Dick's cock up reverently, his eyebrows wiggling, making Dick grin.



+

"Oh?" Bruce bit the inside of his cheek to keep his sarcasm in check.

Alfred came back from the kitchen, this time carrying three dinner plates, gorgeously loaded.



+

"I bumped into a lost Indian boy downtown. You can imagine my distress."

Roy straddled Dick's hips, positioning himself with care. Dick used his free hand to take a firm hold of Roy's cock, causing Roy to groan deeply, from his chest.



+

"Of course," Bruce replied snidely, sitting down to his dinner with annoyance.



+

"So I'm going to have to help him get to where he belongs. I'm sorry."

Roy pushed down on Dick's cock, taking it in a few inches. His torso was bent over Dick's prone body, and Dick could not resist pushing himself up so that he could take a nibble of Roy's nipple.



+

"Well, I'm sure you'll do your best for the scout." Bruce angrily used his fork to sever a bite of chicken from the whole of the breast.

Tim watched Bruce's violent gesture with wide eyes, and Leslie lowered her face to hide her amusement.



+

"Oh, I will," Dick purred, pumping his hips up to get in further to Roy's tight body.

Roy gnashed his teeth together, his head thrown back, as he pushed down in time with Dick's thrust.

"See you later for patrol?"



+

"Fine," Bruce spat, pushing the little button on the phone to disconnect the call as hard as he could.

It wasn't as satisfying as slamming a phone down.

"I guess Dick isn't coming, huh?" Tim pushed his peas around his plate, keeping his chin up as he talked.

Leslie snickered demurely. "Well, not yet he isn't... But I'm sure it won't be too long before you see him again."

Bruce stabbed his bite of chicken.

He would not admit, even to himself, that he had been looking forward to Dick's visit even more than Tim had been.





Bruce drummed his fingers on the tabletop. This was getting to be a habit. A habit he was willing to break for Dick.

Breakfast at Tiffany's. A cliché, for certain, but there were reasons for it as well.

Bruce and Dick got into the habit of having breakfast together after a particularly bad night under the masks when Dick was just Robin. Bruce would call Dick in late for school, and they would go out to eat, just the two of them. It was a habit that Bruce was leery to start with Tim, as Tim needed more structure in his academic life. Bruce firmly believed that.

He never even suggested it with Barbara. It had actually never occurred to him.

But as soon as Dick got back, they started their tradition again right away. At first, Bruce found that Dick was actually pleased that it was just the two of them, even if that meant the conversation was a bit stilted, as they weren't getting along very well at the time. It confirmed for Dick that Tim, or Barbara, was not a replacement.

It was important to both of them that Dick understood that.

Last night had been brutal. Dick had nearly died; Bruce was still anxious. He wanted to have breakfast with his partner, to release some of his stress.

Bruce scowled. God alone knew how Dick was releasing his stress.

The phone rang. Bruce considered not answering it.



+

Kyle smiled up at Dick as Dick's fingers ran down his belly. They were both nude, reclining comfortably on Dick's futon. Kyle reached up and put his hands loosely on Dick's arm as Dick continued to let his fingertips run over Kyle's skin.

"Bruce? I'm sorry I'm late, I got a little tied up."

Kyle grinned, and his ring flickered.



+

"Tied up, you say." Bruce's voice was flat and dry. He picked up the small menu, and glared at it intensely.

It was very irritating to him that it didn't burst into flames.



+

Kyle leaned up to kiss Dick's collarbone, his neck, and then dip down to taste Dick's nipple.

"See, just as I was getting in last night, I found this... lantern. It was quite unusual, so I was looking for the owner."

Kyle put his hands on Dick's waist and pulled him down for a long, deep kiss.



+

Bruce picked up his coffee and downed half of it, even though it was scalding hot.

"A lantern, you say?"



+

"Yes, and since I didn't get home until late, I'd really like to - ah..." Dick threw a leg over Kyle's waist, and ground his hips against Kyle's. "I'd really like to get to bed, if you don't mind?"



+

"Why would I mind?" Bruce ground out. Why would he mind? It was certainly none of his business.



+

Dick sighed as he pushed his body down into Kyle's. "Thanks, Bruce. I really am... We'll meet for lunch, ok?"



+

Bruce ignored the apologetic tone to Dick's voice and maintained his anger. Even though he knew he was already forgiving him.



+

Dick smiled, and put his hand on Kyle's cock. "Thanks for understanding, Bruce. See you later." He tossed the phone aside and just looked down at Kyle.

Kyle grinned up at him wickedly. "So, have you found the lantern's owner yet?"

Dick raised Kyle's ass up a little, licking his lips as he sized up Kyle's body. "I think I'm ready to make a claim."

Kyle laughed as Dick smoothed his hands over Kyle's stomach. "Are you?"

Dick grinned as he leaned down to taste Kyle's neck. "Yes I am..."



+

Bruce stared forlornly at his menu, not seeing the words.

This was supposed to be their time together.





Once again, Bruce sat in front of the batcomputer, his fingers dancing over the keyboard in a mechanical tap rhythm. Once again, Dick was in the shower.

It had been nearly a month since the last time Dick had been in the cave, and made his announcement. Nearly a month, but it seemed to have been a busy one for Dick.

Bruce could no longer pretend to be unaffected by his partner's actions. The truth was simple; he was hurt. It did not require any additional thought into the matter, as the facts were straightforward.

Dick's promiscuity was hurting Bruce.

The water turned off, and Bruce felt himself tense in his chair. He had not been sleeping lately, which was not entirely unusual for him, but it did make him feel the tension across his shoulders more acutely. He had been subsisting on energy bars and protein drinks, which was also not unheard of for him, but it was making the slight throb in his left temple more pronounced.

He had barely spent an hour total with Dick in the past week outside of their nightly jaunts, which was certainly not too bad considering their track history, but it made the ache when he thought of Dick running a towel over his wet body unbearable.

His attraction wasn't an issue. He knew that he had never felt anything like this when Dick was his ward. Something had changed while Dick had been gone, and that indefinable something changed the fundamentals of how they related to one another. Attraction wasn't a problem; it was simply a matter of chemistry.

It was everything else. It was the way they bickered over every little detail, the way that Dick resisted him, rebelled against him, the way Dick competed with him that made the idea of action difficult.

It was the way Dick instigated things that made Bruce paralyzed.

Selena was less complicated than Dick in these matters.

Of course, the real issue was that there was never any chance at all of Bruce really loving Selena, whereas he knew that he already loved Dick, and so it was just a question of acting on that attraction, that impulse.

It was like the flap of a butterfly's wings - a simple, natural action that might potentially yield tsunami-like consequences.

Dick strolled out of the showers, oblivious to Bruce's quandary.

"It was a good night." Dick toweled his hair aggressively, leaving the inky locks scattered over his head. "I like the quieter nights, when there are no 'supervillains' to hunt down. Just some honest, good work getting rid of rapists, murders, and drug dealers."

Dick was grinning at him, but Bruce was ignoring that. It was incongruous to his thought processes.

"Bruce? You ok?" Dick came to stand next to Bruce, looking down at Bruce's face with concern. "You seem tense."

Bruce grunted.

Dick's hands, still warm from the shower, were now digging into Bruce's aching muscles. Bruce wanted to deny them, but he could already feel his body responding to the touch, like electricity dancing over his skin. He felt like he was being scorched, and he only wanted to sustain the sensation.

"God, your muscles are like steel cords," Dick complained softly. "You are wound up tighter than a nun. You shouldn't let yourself get this way; this is how you get hurt."

Bruce groaned, and leaned into the hands that were melting him into jelly. He wanted to lean away from the hands, but there seemed to be some sort of connection between his flesh and Dick's that he could not break. As he had been thinking, attraction was never the problem.

"You know, you do too much. I mean, I know you're you and you can do more than ten ordinary men... But with the Justice League now, and raising Tim, and everything else... I'm here for you, Bruce. I'm here for Gotham. You don't need to feel like you're in this alone."

Dick sighed when it was clear that Bruce was not going to respond. He hadn't expected him to, really. But there was no point in hoping if you didn't think that this might be the time when his expectations would be wrong.

Shaking his head, Dick dug his thumbs into the muscles of Bruce's shoulder. "You know, you big leaguers are all the same. I was telling Big Blue this last night; if you don't take time off to relax and unwind, you're going to burst. And that's not a joke in our line of work. People are depending on us. People are depending on you. People care about you, Bruce. I mean, if nothing else, get laid. It can be... a good release."

Bruce felt like his blood had been turned to ice. He felt like his heart was going to break out of his chest. He felt like his brain had been replaced with a porcupine. And all the porcupine could say was, "You had sex with Superman?"

Dick's hands faltered, then lifted off of Bruce's skin. For a moment, Dick floundered, trying to fix on something to say. He stared down at Bruce's piercing eyes with confused apprehension. "I... well, that is..."

"Superman. You and Superman?" Bruce turned his chair to face Dick, and Dick automatically stepped back to give him room.

Dick's hands waved uselessly, as if he could shoo away Bruce's anger. "Well, I mean, he... he came down yesterday, but it was no big deal. This is what I mean Bruce - forget about love, relationships, and just focus on what your body needs. Your body needs release. So does mine, so does... It's... It's just sex á la carte."

Bruce slammed his hands down on the arms of his chair, and growled as he stood. "That's it!" Dick tried to back away, but Bruce was on him in a second. "I've had it with this... this game you've been playing. As far as I can tell, there are only two options: either you really believe this down with love shit, or you are just trying to instigate something with me."

Bruce backed Dick up against the railing, putting his arms around the other man to steady him. Bruce's face was pressed nose to nose with Dick's, their eyes mere inches apart, consuming one another.

"If the first is true, than you can have your sex á la carte with me. And if it's the latter..." Bruce picked up Dick into a fireman's carry, and hauled him up the stairs, into the Manor proper, and up the main staircase to Bruce's bedroom.

Dick did not try to resist, as Bruce's arms around his waist were like steel girders, locking him down. He didn't try to speak, either, as the position that he was in only afforded him a good view of Bruce's ass, so he contented himself with that and waited until Bruce was done with his macho move.

Bruce slammed the door behind him with his foot, and dropped Dick in the middle of the bed forcefully. Dick bounced, trying to regain his composure, but there wasn't time. Suddenly, Bruce was on top of him, pressing his hands to the mattress, and pinning his legs down so that they were immobile.

Staring down at Dick with an intense passion Dick had only dreamed of, Bruce claimed his first taste of Dick.

Dick was now breathless, but Bruce was just gaining steam.

"I'm going to tie you down to this bed. I'm going to take all the stress relief I need from your willing body. If you need anything from me, ever again, I'm going to give it to you, on my terms. You wanted to start something? I hope you thought this through.

"Because I don't share. I don't take breaks. And I don't ever give any less than all that I have. You are mine now, do you understand?" Bruce expected Dick to respond with fear. He expected Dick to push him away.

He should have known better.

Dick smiled, brightly without subtext. He pushed up so that he could lick Bruce's chin with the tip of his tongue. "I am yours, Bruce. And you... You have always been mine."

Bruce did not have to respond to something so obvious.

Things moved fast from there. The towel that was meekly trying to conceal Dick's erection was tossed aside, as well as Bruce's sweatpants. It took little time at all, though it felt like his hands were in the way and that time was motionless, and soon Bruce was crashing into Dick's body, the force of his thrusts shaking the whole bed, even though it was as old as the house itself, and nearly as massive.

In fact, Bruce felt like the tectonic plates were grinding and mashing against each other beneath their overheated bodies, keeping time with Dick's screams, until nothing less than a volcanic climax burst through.

Their bodies sticky with sweat and semen, Bruce pulled Dick into his arms, pressing him tightly to his chest, and he fell asleep.

Dick grinned as he felt Bruce's breathing even out. It had been one hell of a fun experiment, and he definitely approved of the results. He would have to tell Barbara about it later.

If she was intent on chasing after the Martian Manhunter, she might appreciate a few tips.








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