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High on the Fumes

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“Straying a bit far from the nest, Dickiebird,” Jason says. He’s got one hand shoving his mask back up into his hood, revealing just his mouth and the sharp line of his jaw, while the other digs in the pocket of his leather jacket, fishing for cigarettes. A beaten-up carton gets waved in Dick’s general direction, offering a cigarette Dick never accepts. Not like this. Not in the Nightwing suit, at least.

They’re currently overlooking Crime Alley, seated on the edge of the roof, legs dangling over the side. Jason hadn’t seemed surprised when Dick had dropped down next to him on the ledge. But Red Hood wouldn’t be Red Hood if Jason didn’t know the coming and goings of the various vigilantes creeping on Gotham's rooftops at night.

“Ran out of bad guys my side of the pond,” Dick says in the easy way he says lots of things. The patented Grayson charm. “What can I say—I’m just that good.”

That actually pulls a laugh out of Jason. A genuine one. One that has his mouth stretched apart in a smile that makes Dick think beautiful.

“No criminals in Blüdhaven. I knew moonlighting as a police officer would be bad for you. Six months on the job and they’ve already got you on their payroll.”

“Thought you’d be proud of me for lasting as long as I did.”

“Sure thing, Princess.” There’s a fancy Zippo in his hand now, one Dick has never seen before, lighting the first cigarette of plenty to come. Dick wonders if Jason lifted it off some crook he left for dead. “You probably broke some departmental records. Most Blüdhaven cops are on the take before they’ve even stepped off Academy grounds.”

Dick chuckles the way you chuckle when watching your own house burn down to ashes, all your mortal possessions still inside. Blüdhaven is a corrupt cesspool with no fast and easy fix. Maybe not even a slow and difficult one—and she’s all Dick's. He stuffs the thought somewhere deep and hidden and eagerly shifts his eyes to Jason so he can forget. Just for a while.

It’s hard to read Jason’s face, hidden in the shadows of his hood, but the body language is clear; no apparent stiffness or major sore spots. Jason looks relaxed, if not a little tired, fingers nimble when they lift the cigarette to his lips. So the bloodstains aren’t his own.

“Slow night?”

Jason shrugs. “Petty criminals, mostly.” His lips tighten into a harsh line. “Some creep who thought he could set up shop and play pimp. Fuck that. My girls work for themselves.”

His girls. And that, Dick thinks, is the difference between Bruce and Jason. Bruce has his villains, his meta humans, and when that well runs dry there’s the League. A galaxy full of nemeses for him to fight.  Big players and even bigger stakes. Abstract concepts of freedom and peace, and the liberty of dealing in absolutes. Jason has his people. The concrete reality of kids not being cornered by predators and sex workers keeping money in their own pockets. And his people love him. Prefer the Red Hood taking an iron pipe to the face of their abusive ex-husband, their kid’s drug dealer, or the rapist next-door, to the untouchable Bat Symbol high up in the sky.

Maybe Dick’s been staring too hard or maybe Jason can tell he’s thinking of Bruce because the next time he speaks, he’s extra crass: “I need a cock so far up my ass I’ll be seeing stars, a good meal, and a shower with better water pressure than the usual geriatric-taking-their-midnight-piss nonsense that’s rife this side of the city.” He sucks long and hard on the cigarette, posture thoughtful, before releasing the smoke in a slow exhale. “Not necessarily in that order.”

Dick snorts. Maybe there’s more than just the one big difference. “That really something you wanna yell off the rooftops? Thought you were some big bad crime lord.”

“The fuck's that s'posed to mean, Big Bird?” Some might assume that toting around eight severed heads in a duffle bag once would make it hard to take the moral high ground on anything. Dick knows for a fact that Jason doesn’t really give a shit about either morals or the high ground but it doesn’t stop him from taking both and making them his bitch. “Think I’m weak for taking it up the ass? How ‘bout you dial back on the homophobia, you bigoted prick.”

It might be more impressive if Dick was a little less familiar with Jason and his rage. Jason doesn’t settle his actual grievances with his words. This is foreplay.

“Wouldn’t dream of it, Little Wing. Got the best thighs this side of the equator. Ain’t nobody calling you weak, babe.”

“Don’t you forget it, asshole.”

Dick hums, lowering himself onto his back, arms stretched high above his head. There’s a weird serenity to being verbally abused by Jason as the Eastern sky is starting to brighten. The sound from the street feels distant and Jason feels so close, their thighs mere inches apart. When Dick lets his head rest on his arm, Jason’s broad shoulders fill up half his vision and he knows if he buries his nose between his shoulder blades it’ll smell of leather and smoke and sweat.

Jason twists his torso towards him. “Were you even listening, Fingerstripes? Just told you I want a cock up my ass before the night is through. Need me to grab a pen and a piece of paper and spell it out for you?” Jason gives a depreciating grunt. “And Daddy dares to say that you’re the smart one.”

“Jesus, Hood,” Dick teases. “Can’t tell if you’re trying to go for seductive or insulting.”

“Shows how shit your instincts are. I’m doing both. You turned on yet?”

Dick shrugs good-naturedly, arches his back and gives Jason the Grayson smile, blinding, crooked, winning. “Little bit.”

There’s another laugh, another smile. Another beautiful in Dick’s head. Fuck, he’s so—God. Then Jason’s lying down beside him, shoulders brushing, and voice bleeding a warm: “thought you would be, you big slut.”

When Jason finishes his cigarette he kills what’s left of it on the concrete. Wordlessly lights another. The new Zippo burns big and bright.

Dick lowers one arm, carefully drags his fingers across the busted knuckles of the hand holding the lighter. Sometimes, those hands will leave red streaks on Dick’s skin and Dick won’t know if the person it came from is still a person at all. And he thinks Jason painting him with blood should probably bother him more than it does. But it’s hard sometimes, between the night job and the day job and the things he sees during both. Between Bruce, who puts principles before people, and Jason, who puts people before Bruce, is Dick, who doesn’t want to choose between either, who wants to have both—but let’s Jason mark him up with the blood from Gotham’s criminals, anyway. So, maybe he’s made his choice.

"Make me a coffee tomorrow morning," Dick says, Jason's hand warm beneath his own. "With those fancy beans. From that speciality shop where they roast and grind the beans on the spot and you watch them like a hawk 'cause you're both anal and a snob."

"Just the coffee?"

"Just the coffee."

"You're one cheap fucking lay, Boy Blunder."

“Only for you,” Dick says. "The Bat family discount.” Dick wonders if there’s a little something special in those cigarettes when that doesn’t get him punted off the roof immediately. The vicious elbow stab to the gut seems rather mellow.

“Asshole,” Jason murmurs under his breath. The vitriol dripping off that single word makes Dick honest-to-God giggle, chest feeling light like flying.    

He thinks they’ll stay here a little longer. Maybe one or two more cigarettes—all Jason. Dick will smoke after. After the sex, and the shower and the sleeping and the coffee. Long after the morning is gone. When Dick has been stripped of his suit for hours and Jason the same for his mask and guns. Then Dick will sit naked in the afternoon sun on Jason’s windowsill, grab that Zippo and smoke.

One cigarette. Just then.

Chapter Text

“When you gonna stop rubbing your naked ass all over my shit?”

“You like it when I rub my naked ass all over your shit,” Dick counters easily from where he’s seated on Jason’s windowsill.

His body feels warm and heavy in the afternoon sun, the taste of nicotine still lingering on his lips. There’s a sweet soreness to his muscles when he stretches his limbs, like a memory pressed upon his bones. Every languid fold and twist of his bare body are intently tracked by Jason's eyes and Dick basks in the glory of it all, his inner showman purring.

“I like being able to safely prep food on my own goddamn kitchen counters,” Jason grumbles, pouring himself a second cup of coffee; the first one Jason always tips back immediately like a shot of molten lava down his throat. “And for you to stop flashing your hairy balls to Mrs. Garcia across the alley.”

Dick drags his eyes up over the large slab of crumbling brick and barred up windows opposite Jason’s apartment. The curtains inside the three-story building have been closed on every single one of Dick’s visits. Dick doesn’t think that’s a coincidence. There’s much to be said for privacy when you like crawling in and out of windows at night. Maybe it's just an empty shell.

“Think Mrs. Garcia would be partial to a little more manscaping on my part?” Dicks asks. “You always seem to like it when I wax my asshole.”

“I also like it when you adhere to the most basic rules of hygiene but that never seems to fucking count for much with you.”

Despite his bitching, Jason’s made his way over with two cups of coffee, and being the magnanimous prick he is, hands Dick the small one. Jason then claims his own spot beside Dick, straddling the windowsill, thick thighs clad in grey sweatpants. Dick would lament him not being naked too if the fabric didn’t outline every part of him. Jason’s thighs are to die for. Dick would know. He almost has.

And, it’s funny. Despite the premature white streak and the three-inch bags under his eyes, Jason looks young in the sunlight. Without the masks and grime, a warm mug in his hand, Dick can almost pretend this is normal. That they’re two regular guys, shooting the shit, sharing a coffee, basking in the morning after—an easy arrangement. An easy fuck. Like Dick’s not covered in scars and Jason’s never been touched by the Pit. 

But they’re not normal. Nor do they don’t look the part.

Like the bruise that sits at the centre of Jason’s chest; wide, ugly, enticing. Blues and reds with yellow mottled at edges indicating it’s been living there for days not hours. A bullet. A deadly one, Dick reckons, had it not been deflected by Jason’s body armour.

In bed, between Jason’s thighs, Dick had rested his hand on the most violent part of it. Bore down and listened to Jason choke, grunt and groan. Dug the heel of his hand in even deeper to feel Jason locking up around his cock like a vice, orgasm hot and sticky on Dick’s abdomen. 

Sometimes, there’s a whole night sky on Jason's body, purple constellations littering his skin. Dick loves the art of them. Loves the dark look in Jason’s eyes when he catches Dick staring. Loves being a little mean for Jason. Making it hurt. Cruelty as comfort. Synapses too fucked up to tell the pleasure from pain.

Yeah. 

Definitely, not normal.

“You bruise so prettily,” Dick says, putting down his mug between them.

“Shut up.”

Hmmm.” Dick feels his lips stretch in a grin, teeth glinting playfully. “All that pale, battered skin.”

Jason's nails nip the meat of Dick’s calf in warning, the pinch stinging brightly enough to send sparks up Dick’s spine. Maybe Jason wants to make some bruises of his own. Dick doesn’t think they’ll compare.

“Don’t make me push you out the window, Dickhead.”

Dick grins wider, places two hands on Jason’s thighs and leans forward slowly so he can press a kiss to Jason’s chest. It tastes bittersweet, touching his lips to the darkest part of an old bruise he made worse. The steady thump of Jason’s heart underneath.

“Maybe you need to learn how to take a compliment, Little Wing,” Dick murmurs, curling out of Jason’s space to fold back into his own corner of the windowsill.

“Maybe I would,” Jason counters, “if it sounded more like a compliment and a little less like you gloating.”

Dick shrugs, picking up his coffee so he can nurse at the last dredges of it. There’s no eye contact for this part. “Just think you’re beautiful, is all.”

He knows Jason hates it; the sincerity in his words. Dick acting the nurturing brother to the Replacement and the Demon Spawn, the dutiful son to Bruce, the taboo lover with him and, Jesus Christ, Jason seems to despise the ease with which Dick falls into it. A kaleidoscope of identities. The eternal golden boy. The constant whiplash of it all. The way Dick pours himself into any desired shape, moulding himself to a person's need. 

“Any idea how fuckin’ whipped for me you sound, Batboy?” Jason asks, wearily. 

“What you gonna do if I am?”

“Tell you to get a fuckin’ hobby.” Jason sighs, confiscating his Zippo, the pack of Lucky Strikes Dick lifted from his nightstand.

Lit cigarette between his lips, Jason’s every bit the beautiful thing Dick accused him of being. Fucked up with a skin full of stars and a green haze to his blue eyes. As far from normal as the sun is from the Earth. Neither is Dick, don’t forget that, but hell, they’re fucking trying. What with the three o’clock sun warming the hand on Dick’s tanned calf, Jason smoothing the mark he’s dug in just before, seconds away from pouring Dick a second cup of coffee Dick had said he wouldn’t need. What with Dick feeling lighter than ever, closer to flying than he has in years, they’re fucking trying.

Just two broken Robins in a nest.