Incidentals: Waking up
summary: Dick needs to assert himself
notes: for rithy
His feet pushed back against the head of a gargoyle as Dick pushed into him. His head swam. The stars above him and the street below him swirled together into architectural lines of glass and steel. Dick's hand was on his bare belly, but that was it. He was just a slip away from falling. His fingers dug into Dick's waist. The kevlar, though, was hard to hold to, and when he turned his head, all he could see was the mask. This was craziness.
Just one slip.
Dick was moving his hips, moving Tim's hips, he was in total control, and Tim could only cry out. But it was crazy. He was naked out here... anyone could see him! Anyone sixty stories up. He risked taking one hand off of Dick to grab his cock. Dick's teeth grabbed his ear. He couldn't control his voice at all. It was like Dick was making him, willing him to scream. If he screamed, maybe he could come. If he came, he was sure he would fall. Fall all the way down. Would Dick catch him?
It was crazy.
A door slammed, and he heard a female voice yell, "I'm not going to listen to any more lectures! She's such a hypocrite! I did the exact same thing any of you would have done!" Tim lifted his head and opened his eyes, blinking blearily. There was a piece of paper stuck to his face. An insurance form. He looked around, confused. His desk at home, the paperwork he was working on, his computer...
Another door slammed, and then Dick came into the office. Tim rubbed his eyes, trying to seem awake. "Sorry, did we wake you?"
Tim just shook his head. Damn, that was a good dream, too. Was he too old for rooftop vigilante sex? It would be criminally unfair if Dick was still spry enough for it and he wasn't. "Angel's staying with us for a while?" His voice was leading. Unless he was more out of it than he thought, it was still Tuesday. Didn't she have school?
Dick sighed heavily and threw himself into the armchair. "She was suspended," he said quietly. "Fighting."
Tim raised an eyebrow. That sounded nasty, and yet he wanted to hear the whole story. He just believed in her, perhaps, or maybe he was so used to defending the oppressed that he saw oppressed everywhere.
Rubbing his hand over his eyes, Dick elaborated. "She says that there were some bullies picking on an autistic boy, so she was teaching them a lesson."
"Well, that's..." Tim started.
"She broke one kid's arm, another kid has a broken nose, and I don't really understand exactly what she did to the third kid, but he was taken out of school in tears, shaking, and muttering to himself. So. I guess. Not good." He looked balefully at Tim, the look in his eyes complicated.
Tim couldn't help wincing. He knew it wasn't good, and he knew that Dick couldn't be proud of her like that. He kept wanting to see the other side of it, mostly because otherwise, he was seeing their little girl beating some guys to a pulp.
He just wasn't awake enough for this.
"She and Babs had a big blowout. Like I've never seen two people go at it before kind of blowout. So." Dick looked both sheepish and scared.
"She's staying with us for a few days," Tim nodded.
"She's staying with us for a few days," Dick confirmed darkly.
"Dick... you know. You're going to have to talk to her. You're going to have to be firm. No matter what else, she can't just go around and break people. That's..." Tim shook his head. Well.
It was cathartic, but. Not for a girl her age, not in school. Wait. He was confusing himself.
Dick covered his face in his hands, and moaned softly. "Ves'tacha..." he plead.
Tim just shook his head, though. It was something Dick had to do at some point. And he knew it. Now was a perfect opportunity, assuming it wasn't too late. Authority was much easier to maintain than to assert. It had always been Babs up to now, but if Angel wasn't listening to Babs, then it was up to Dick to get through to her. "You know... deep down, she's not happy with herself, either. If she is, we have a bigger problem on our hands than broken bones. The best favor you can give her now is discipline."
"Tell me this isn't the time when I start looking back and feeling sorry for Bruce and all he went through with that annoying teenaged brat he tried to raise," Dick groaned, throwing his head back.
Tim's mouth quirked as he squelched a smile. "Believe me, I won't."
He came home to the sound of grunting, pounding, and slapping. He pretty much expected that Dick would need some time to work off frustration. He knew Dick's grunts, though.
He went into the training room, unsurprised to see Angel working over the punching bag like it was a drug smuggler. Tim sighed, and leaned against the door frame.
"Normally, I would say that this is a good way to excise your anger, but under the circumstances..." he started.
"Not you, too!" she growled. "I'm sick of everyone telling me what to do!"
"Like your mom?" he sighed. "Angel..."
"Tim, don't be a hypocrite like her. You know I didn't do anything wrong. I was just doing what we all do. Since when is it wrong to stop a bully from preying on the weak?" she spun on her heel and pointed at him, accusingly.
"When it turns you into a bully, too. Angel, those were just dumb kids, not criminals!" he tried to reason.
"Yeah, now! But someone who would push around a helpless kid like that...!" she hotly returned.
"And you believe that you can teach those brats to be better people by... breaking bones?" he quickly and reasonable countered.
"Like Bruce really cares about bettering people," she bitterly spat out, no longer able to look at him.
"He cares," Tim stressed. "If you know anything about Bruce, you should know that."
"Hmph," she turned her back to him. Tim ground his teeth together. He tried to remind himself that he was once a teenager... "Don't act like you think he's someone great. I may not know the whole story, but I can pick up on how you feel about him."
He balled his hand into a fist. Damn it all... "If you don't think he's someone great, then you shouldn't be emulating him. If you do, you should do a good job of it. Either way, you've got to find a better outlet for your anger, Angel. How can you expect us to trust you when you're out of control?"
"I don't need all of you to trust me," she spun on her heel. "I don't plan on waiting for my parents to die to join the fight! As long as I can helpful to my dad, I will, and as long as he trusts me, then everything is fine!" She jutted out her chin defiantly.
Tim resisted the urge to go over and grab her and shake her or... He took a deep breath. "We're all your family, Angel, and no one thinks anyone has to die, it's just... can't you understand how we could worry for you? Can you really and honestly tell me that you think what you did was right?"
She turned to look him in the eye... glaring at him... It almost broke his resolve. A child he'd watch grow from her infancy, looking at him with her father's eyes, and seeing an emotion... he didn't want to see...
"I'm home," Dick called out. Quickly, Angel brushed past Tim, and ran to her father. Tim dragged his feet following, but he got there in time to see Angel practically tackle Dick with a hug.
He didn't bother resisting the urge to roll his eyes.
"I missed you, Daddy! I'm so bored here all day... I miss school." She pouted at him. "Everything I do seems wrong. I was training and I got yelled at again. Can we do something together? If you need to patrol..."
"Slow down, slow down, chikni," Dick laughed. Tim ground his teeth together, and dug his nails into his palm. Dick hadn't said a word to her since he brought her home, and Tim had already talked to Babs, so he knew that Dick hardly said a word to her when they had gone to get her from school. "Of course it's boring. I guess that's part of the punishment..."
"Daddy," she pressed her chin to his chest and looked up at him lovingly. "I'd like to train with you. Or even... go out with you tonight. Since I can't go to school, it only makes sense. I could wear something dark and stay back unless you needed..."
"You're absolutely not going out on patrol with me," Dick said firmly, and thank god he was finally... "We can certainly train, though. We can go to the gym and work on the high wires. What d'ya think? You still have some moves to learn to be a full-fledged Grayson!" He playfully mussed up her hair, and she just... just laughed and nodded fiercely.
"Dick," Tim moved forward. "Maybe..."
"We're going, right?" Angel asked, tugging on Dick's arm. "Let's go, c'mon!" She smiled for her father, but it was an act. Dick could see that, right?
"Right, right. Sorry, Tim, we'll see you later!" Dick waved cheerfully at Tim.
Tim just shook his head.
He worked late. Not that he really had a choice, but he wasn't in a hurry to get home, either. He checked on his phone every half hour, though, so he could keep track of Dick and Angel. Fortunately, things hadn't gotten so bad that Angel would ditch her phone and tracker. They both had her in the same location - Dick's command center - all night long, until Dick came home and they both went to bed.
The fact that Dick allowed her to stay up pretty much all night tracking him and that they both went to bed before him just made Tim angrier, so he started to work on the paper he'd been writing. Efficiency of Triage and Treatment in Mass Trauma Incidents. Scintillating.
When he finally got home, and then only because his head nurse had threatened him with giving him a sedative if he didn't leave, it was well past dawn and Dick was in the kitchen making pancakes.
That made Tim angry, too, but there were also pancakes involved. Life was about tradeoffs.
Dick grinned at him a bit too widely and was watching him a bit too carefully. It made the hairs on the back of Tim's neck stand on end. It just wasn't right. "Long night, I guess? Hope everyone survived?"
"I imagine quite a few people, globally, died last night. It's the nature of things. You know this can't continue, right?" Tim glared, taking a plate of pancakes.
Dick made good pancakes. One of the few things he could cook. He must have learned from Alfred...
"Well... her suspension will be over soon and I think Babs is starting to cool off..." Dick hemmed. And hawed.
Tim slammed his hand down on the counter, causing his plate to jump. "Damn it, Grayson! Are you some kind of fucking coward? Or maybe you want your daughter to get herself killed? Or to become a killer?"
"Hey, wait a second..." Dick started, narrowing his eyes, but it was much, much too late for that.
"As long as you keep coddling her, she'll never see that she was wrong! Or at least, she'll never admit it! And she'll keep doing that sort of thing, and worse, and hey, I don't mind if you teach her to be a vigilante, but just think about it, you blockhead. Do you want her to be a vigilante like you or like... like... I don't know, I'm really tired, but like... Oh, the Huntress! Yeah, ok, do you want her to be like you or like the Huntress? Because this is serious!" Tim stood up and grabbed his plate. Yummy pancakes. "Because she needs you to lead her. If you don't take the lead... no one will be able to, and she'll end up... raising herself and doing whatever she pleases and... Hell, Grayson, everyone else can see it, can't you?
"We're losing her." He shook his head and turned to walk off. He didn't like arguing with Dick, but this was all beyond ridiculous. "I'm going to bed. I think I need a little time alone."
Not that... Dick was trying to stop him or anything, but Tim didn't turn to look to see the expression on his face, either.
He started to ignore his messages from Babs. It wasn't that he wanted to ignore her, it was just he couldn't keep going around in the same circles, over and over. He wasn't giving Dick the silent treatment or anything childish like that. He wasn't even sure he was capable of that, but his job just meant that he was busy a lot.
Never had to look for an excuse, at least.
He came back home the afternoon of the last day of Angel's suspension with pizza and hot wings. If it was just going to be what it was, and there was nothing more for him to do... well, there was no sense in him not making peace. Better to do what he could as a friend to Angel, after all. And.
He hated that it had been three nights since he'd last slept with Dick, even just... slept. It was starting to make him physically ill, to the point where he was willing to shovel down Dick's favorite pizza and those terrible hot wings to make him happy. To... let him know.
They were in it together, even if they didn't see eye to eye.
He put the pizza boxes down in the kitchen, but no one seemed to be around, so he went hunting. Downstairs, the doors to the workout gym were wide open. He was about to call out when Dick spoke.
"Sit down. It's... it's time we talked about all this."
"What do you mean, dad? We already talked about it. Let's..."
"Chikni. Sit down."
Tim swallowed hard, and quietly leaned against the wall outside the door. He'd... he'd never heard Dick use that tone of voice with Angel. Ever.
Clearly, it had Angel shook up, too. After a moment, he heard her plop down. "There's nothing else to talk about. They were jerks. Now, they'll think twice about torturing autistic children. End of story."
"I'm so glad that Bruce has had such a good influence on you," Dick rejoined wryly, and Tim couldn't help smiling. "But that's not even close to the end of the story, and you know it."
"That's not what this is about."
"You'd do the same thing! If some punks were harassing a kid, Nightwing would..."
"We're not talking about me. This is about you."
"So there are different rules! You just admitted it! A double standard!"
"Sit down, chikni," Dick said sternly. "And listen. I just said... this is about you. This isn't about me, or Nightwing, or rules, or what those boys did, or if they deserved it. This is about you, being so angry at school, you nearly beat some kids unconscious."
Silence. Tim bit his lip.
After a moment, Dick sighed, heavily. "I've been there. And. I know what it feels like. I know... that you can remember it all, too. How it felt. How they looked. They would fight back, or try, but then you had them at your mercy, and there was no mercy. And they were in pain, and probably begging..."
"Stop," she said, her voice weak and shaky.
His voice was unfaltering, though, even flinty. Tim... Tim wouldn't have been able to stay so dispassionate. "There's a lot of things about this whole deal, and it's true that you can't just play judge, jury, and vigilante whenever and wherever you please, but the most important thing, chikni, is... this is about you. About what kind of person you are, what kind of person you are going to choose to be. You saw a wrong being committed right in front of you, and I'm glad and I'm proud that you did something about it. But what you saw were children being violent and cruel, and your response... was to be violent and cruel."
Angel started to sob, and Tim's heart twisted and tore. Damn it...
"My beautiful love... my dearest heart..." Dick spoke more softly now, possibly because he was holding Angel close, letting her cry on his chest, kissing her hair. Tim stopped just short of actual spying. Eavesdropping... didn't completely count. "I know that you're a good person. I know that you are... well, you're amazing. And I know... you get frustrated, with your mom, with the 'rules,' with your own youth. With... probably a million other things I don't know about, and maybe half of those that I don't want to know about, but... we can't start to make this all right until you're willing to admit that it was wrong. But, baby, it was a mistake that you made. And we can make sure it never happens again. And we need to, because otherwise... if it keeps up, well. Then, it becomes more than something you do. It becomes something that you are. And you're better than that."
Tim pushed off against the wall, and walked quietly and steadily away. This was father and daughter time, and he'd already intruded enough. He was... feeling too many things, too. Pride, and shame, and amazement, and love, and sheepishness. He went back to the kitchen, set the oven to warm, and stuck the pizza and wings in there, and then he checked his mail on his phone. He replied to Babs, finally... telling her only that she could trust Dick.
He should have trusted Dick. But then, maybe Dick did need the kick in the seat. Still.
It was animalistic, and Tim actually welcomed that. They hadn't spoken since they dropped Angel off at her mother's, but he'd kept reaching out to touch Dick's hand on the stick... and when they got home, Dick just grabbed him, needful and needy and taking and wanting. It really got started in the kitchen, but they were now on the leather couch, and some... distant part of Tim's brain was thinking about how difficult that was to clean up, but it was smooth leather, and his back slid across it beautifully, back and forth, back and forth, like he might get seasick if he didn't have Dick's arms to hold onto.
He looked into Dick's eyes, and he grabbed Dick's hair, and Dick's thumb dug into his thigh, pushing his legs just that much further apart, and he cried out, and Dick pushed in, and he shifted, and Dick leaned down, and they nearly kissed, but Dick was moving once again.
Except, it never was, even when it was. Dick grabbed his cock and he squeezed down, and there was a shock of pleasure, and they made it last as long as they could, but they were just human after all.
Dick moved against him until they were both stretched out on the couch, under and above and together.
He combed his fingers through Dick's hair and kissed, kissed everywhere. Jaw. Neck. Shoulders. Lips.
That distant part of his brain, like that one part of the brain that stayed sober even after ten shots, kept spinning and spinning. Thoughts of... Angel and what was going on with her and her mother and then it wasn't like they never did this, but it was rare enough that he'd be a bit sore tomorrow and sometimes when they did this like this, he wondered about Dick's other lovers, because there'd been so many, too many, and he wondered if Dick did it like this with strangers or the other way, or the other other way, or if it even mattered.
Dick was kissing him.
He wondered, too, if Dick mostly bottomed for Garth, or Joey, but that was sure as hell something he never, ever really wanted to know. Because he liked to think that Dick being with him was somehow... more significant, or something. And he really didn't know why this stupid part of his brain was still trying to think. Dick was kissing him, and he hoped Angel was going to be ok. She was going back to school tomorrow, too. He wondered what that would be like. Damn.
"You... you heard. What I said to her," Dick said softly, clearly. His lips were against Tim's, and he pulled Tim closer, held him tighter.
That was a damned good feeling.
And. Oh. Yeah.
"Yeah. Sorry," Tim replied, caressing Dick softly. Kissing him more. Dick's hair was getting a bit shaggy. He liked it.
"No, I'm glad. It. I. You know, I wasn't... It..."
Tim knew that Dick was thinking, not because he actually knew like he could read Dick's mind, but right now, he liked to think he could. Like they shared a mind. Rental mind. Time share mind. "You said the right things, babe. You said what she needed to hear."
Dick closed his eyes, his forehead against Tim's. "Hardest goddamned thing I've ever done."
"I know, babe," Tim sighed, being the one, now, to hold closer. Tighter. "I guess that's why it was what she needed."
Dick squeezed his eyes shut, and then stretched out a bit, flattening Tim more and rubbing against him. "Yeah... well. I'm not quite done with you. Just. Need."
Probably a thousand things. Ten thousand things. And Tim could give Dick all of those things, whatever they were, because he wanted to, he knew. Not done. Of course not, not by a long shot. But he really was going to be sore tomorrow. Maybe that stupid part of his brain would shut up, though. "I got you," Tim grinned, rubbing Dick's back.
"Take your time. I'm yours, and all."