Title: Chasing the Moment
Series:  Comrades in Arms
Author: Lacey McBain
Rating: NC-17.  Slash.  Wally/Bruce
Summary: The only thing standing in the way of Bruce and Wally is Dick. A bedroom farce with extra woobie.

Chasing the Moment

Wally can feel the wind tickling his face.  He’s barely moving, his body protesting the work it takes to maintain a pace this slow, but he doesn’t want to get too far ahead of Bruce.  Even if the man does own a jet-powered car, Wally isn’t in the mood to play hard-to-get.  Not tonight.  Not after a day that already seems longer than waiting in line for ice-cream in 100 degrees, and yeah, the lady psychiatrist had been swell, but simple questions weren’t really simple at all, and Batman had warned him about that.  About a lot of things, and Wally isn’t sure he understood exactly what Bats meant about Dr. Meridian being dangerous.  Until after. It’s frightening how much Bruce understands about people considering there are times when it feels like he understands nothing at all.

In the distance Wally can hear the roar of an engine, tires gripping asphalt in a relentless pursuit, and something in Wally urges him to run faster.  He’s never liked the thought of being chased—in his worst dreams he can never run fast enough, never outrun the reaching hands.  Blood-slick claws threaten to peel the flesh from his bones and tentacles slide around his legs, forcing him to stay interminably still.  It’s the stillness that scares him most of all.  Maybe the dreams wouldn’t be so bad if he believed those kinds of things didn’t happen.  But he knows better.  He prefers the dreams where he’s on a beach somewhere, sipping mai tais with little umbrellas and flirting with the blond pool boy named Fritz.  He wonders what Bats dreams.

All things considered, Wally thinks he should like the doctor less, especially since her name is Chase.  Maybe he should book an hour or two to ask her about a few things.  Why his dreams are full of quicksand and mud and streets made of ice.  Why he’s sure he can feel breath on the back of his neck, and his feet bleed rivers even though he hasn’t moved an inch.  Why there are enough monsters to populate a planet and not nearly enough pool boys with easy smiles.

He’d like to ask her why he’s always running.  Alone.  He isn’t sure he wants an answer.

The car is getting closer and Bruce must be doing 120 miles an hour easy, and Wally wonders, not for the first time, what he’s doing.  With Batman.  And more importantly, what Batman’s doing with him.

He’s known him for almost as long as he can remember.  Remembers when Dick was Robin, and Batman was a scarier-than-imaginable parent lurking in the background, occasionally leaping off rooftops and pulling their asses out of the fire, but mostly just there with the occasional stern glance or sterner lecture.  He didn’t think about him for a long time, except in relation to Dick.  Batman was just a shadow on the edge of their bright, exciting lives.

Except at some point it changed, and if Wally’s honest it’s been longer than he wants to admit.  Batman’s always been an axis, solid and stable, and Wally’s been orbiting around him like the sun for a long time now, burning with energy, trying to get closer.  And sometimes that energy reaches out and burns off a bit of the darkness.  He can see it in the way Batman looks at him.  The way he’s gotten through his armour and it scares Wally almost as much as it pleases him.  Almost.

He’s pretty sure it scares Bats too.  And that’s just … whoa.  He used to think Batman wasn’t scared of anything.

The car pulls alongside him, and it never ceases to amaze Wally that Bruce can still find his eyes even when he knows he’s just a blur beside him.  But there’s Bruce, looking straight at him, and his smile is focused and sharp, but not exactly Batman-focused and Wally wants to breathe a small sigh of relief.

He pulls off his t-shirt, and rubs a hand absently over the red suit and yellow lightning bolt of the uniform beneath.  Habit since the day he tugged off his clothes and realized he’d become the Fastest Streaker Alive .  Running naked never held much of a thrill for him after that.

Velcro is a brilliant invention and Wally tosses both pants and shirt through the open window of the car without slowing down.  Bruce just leans back to avoid getting hit by a flapping pant leg, and steps on the gas.  Wally’s still pulling on his mask when he realizes he can smell the burn of jet fuel and the car is nothing but a blur of blue exhaust on the horizon.  He knows Bruce is laughing, and suddenly he feels lighter than air.  It doesn’t even bother him that Superman and the doctor are soaring up above, watching them.

He lets Bruce set the pace.  The whine of the engine tells him the car is being pushed to its limits, but it’s an easy run for him.  He relaxes and lets himself be led.


The moon is high in the sky when Bruce pulls the car into the driveway of Wayne Manor.  He slows down at the last possible moment, tires sliding on the slick paved stones of the driveway.  It rained here earlier.  Not a surprise, but he considers changing the tires on this car to something with more traction.  He doesn’t use it much—it’s Bruce Wayne’s car, but occasionally Batman’s needed it in a pinch, and it wouldn’t do to spin out of control on a rain-wet street some night.

Bruce blinks and the red streak that’s been beside him most of the way home is now draped across the car, looking like the loveliest hood ornament ever.  Flash’s uniform is clinging to him in interesting ways, and Bruce wonders when he started noticing that for less-than-strategic reasons.  Wally tugs off the mask and shakes his hair free.  It’s damp, and as Bruce opens his door, he can smell sweat mingling with the rain and the heavy sweetness of night-blooming jasmine.

He doesn’t have a clue what to say.  He clears his throat as Wally just looks at him, open and smiling.

“Nice night for a run,” Bruce tries, and it sounds like a cheesy pick-up line.  He’s out of practice.

Wally stares at him for an instant, apparently sizing him up, and then bursts into startled laughter.  Bruce isn’t sure he gets the joke, but there’s an arm around his shoulders and suddenly he doesn’t care.

“‘Nice night for a walk’,” Wally says in some sort of accent that might pass for German if Bruce stuffs his ears with cotton.  “Didn’t figure you for a Terminator fan, Bats, although you’ve certainly got the attitude for it.  And the build.  The arsenal too.  And hey, we’ve done the time traveling thing before, what with the Justice Lords and all.”

Bruce cringes and doesn’t want to think about that.  The Justice Lords, versions of themselves turned against society to create “a better world.”  A parallel earth gone terribly wrong, and Bruce isn’t sure he wants to consider how close that world might be with Luthor now in power.

But the Lords didn’t have a Wally West.  At least not anymore, and he was never able to get it out of the other Batman exactly what happened to that world’s Flash.  It had to have been something terrible and traumatic, and enough to make them kill.  Bruce doesn’t want to think about that either.

The arm around his shoulders disappears, and there are hands on his biceps, squeezing him through his jacket, and Bruce looks down into concerned blue eyes.

“Hey, Bruce, don’t go all Batman on me.  I can run home if this is too—”

“No,” Bruce says firmly.  He doesn’t want Wally to leave, although he isn’t entirely certain he knows what to do if he stays either.

He makes a decision.

“How about a tour of the Cave?”


Wally’s certain the suggestion of a tour is Bruce’s way of buying time, but he’s okay with that.  He’s not entirely sure what’s happening between them either, so maybe taking things slow is not a bad idea.  It’s just not something he’s used to.

Wally slides into the car beside Bruce, and he’s momentarily grateful for the presence of bucket seats and a gear shift that clearly defines their spaces.  Wally pushes down the urge to reach across and lay a hand on Bruce’s thigh.  Even beneath dress pants, Wally can see the muscle definition in those thighs.  He doesn’t really want to test the car’s safety features by groping Bruce at 75 miles an hour, and Bruce is already driving faster than absolutely necessary towards what looks like a cliff face at the back of the property.

“Um, Bruce?”

Bruce looks like he has no intention of slowing down.  Wally grips the door panel as an alternative to Bruce’s thigh as the grey rock approaches at a speed that seems remarkably fast even by his standards.  Bruce’s quiet “trust me” is not nearly as reassuring as it should be, but he hangs on and offers a prayer to St. Vitrelus, patron saint of speedsters.  In between Wally’s silent plea and his gasp of surprise, the cliff disappears and there’s a lighted ramp opening into the Cave.

It’s been years since Wally’s been here, and even then, it was Dick who snuck him in, although he has no doubt Batman knows about that.  He’s never been asked to visit as The Flash, doesn’t have a standing invitation like Superman, and he can’t help but wonder what’s changed between them.  And when.  He’s certain he’s never come through the holographic rock wall—Dick blind-folded him and led him on a series of twists and turns through the manor and down a long staircase—but he can’t help but wonder what else is a trick of the eye, a disguise to keep people at a distance.

Batman’s always been too good at hiding, and Wally isn’t sure he can do this if Bruce doesn’t give him a sign.  Sure, he seemed okay with everything at the bar, although Wally’s pretty sure Dr. Meridian could get in some serious professional trouble for outing him to Bruce, but since he dresses up in tights and headgear with little wings, maybe it wasn’t much of a stretch.  Wally likes to think he’s more subtle than that, but it’s possible he’s been kidding himself.

Still, Bruce was flirting with him at the bar, when he wasn’t not-so-gently kicking him under the table—but maybe that was for the doctor’s benefit.  Wally isn’t sure what’s real and what isn’t.  Suddenly the world seems built on quicksand.

He peers upwards out the window of the car, and the walls disappear in darkness long before they reach the ceiling.  Shadows pass across the floor and he hears the leathery sound of wings.  Bats.  He isn’t really surprised.

Suddenly the window goes dark.


“Tinted windows.  You seem … distracted.”  Bruce appears to be in no hurry to get out of the car.

“I’m—I’m—”  Wally wishes his tongue was as swift as his feet.  He never trips over them.


“Were you just teasing at the bar?  Flirting with me for her benefit?  Or were you serious?”  Wally doesn’t have to say who he means.  It was never any secret that Bruce had a thing with Dr. Meridian, and Wally’s had entirely too much time today to think.  He doesn’t like to spend his days looking inward, but he also doesn’t want to be someone Batman uses for the greater good.  He wants more than that.

“Which scares you more?” Bruce asks evenly, and Wally knows the hurt shows on his face.  He’s never been good at pretending.  It’s part of why he wears a mask.  Except he’s not wearing one now, and Bruce is watching him carefully.  Wally looks away.  He hears Bruce sigh and there’s a hand on his arm.  “I wasn’t … playing games.  Not with you, anyway.”

“Sometimes it’s hard to tell.”

“I know.”  Bruce leans closer, and the blue eyes are clear and direct.  Every inch of space that disappears, Wally feels his heart beat faster.  “I’m not wearing the cowl, Wally.”

“Sometimes it’s hard to tell.”

Bruce’s mouth goes tight and hard for a moment, the mask falling back into place, and Wally wants desperately to take back the words, but he knows it’s too late.

“I guess I deserved that.”  Bruce is already moving away when Wally leans in and kisses him.  It’s not much of a kiss, fast and dry like the first spark from a flint, but it has the same effect and suddenly there’s so much heat between them Wally wonders if Bruce accidentally hit the switch when his hand grabbed for the dash.

Then there’s no time to think because Bruce’s hands are on his face, in his hair, and Wally can feel his whole body start to tremble as Bruce kisses him.  Hard.  His mouth is unrelenting and Wally finds himself pushing back as hard as he can, lips sucking and kissing Bruce’s until their teeth click together savagely, and Wally’s the first to reach out with his tongue and just push his way into Bruce’s warm mouth.

He gets nipped for his troubles.  Gently, and Bruce’s tongue slides over his, working it up and down like he knows exactly what he’s doing, and Wally’s pretty sure he does because every molecule in his body feels like it’s about to vibrate out of his skin.  He can feel window glass against his neck, and he isn’t sure when Bruce pushed him that far over, but there’s a tongue working inside him, stroking over his teeth and gums, tracing the curve of his cheek, and he’s wishing the tights hid a little more because it’s no secret what Bruce is doing to him.

“Wally.”  Bruce sounds breathless, and that’s new.  Wally grins and wraps his arms around him, pulling a groan from Bruce with his tongue.  He feels teeth against the corner of his mouth, a sharp bite of pleasure, and Wally’s head slams back against the glass again.  He thinks they’re going to break the window if they keep this up.  He doesn’t really care.

He’s always been about charm and smoothness and this just … isn’t.  It’s better than anything he’s felt before, and it finally makes sense when people talk about being desperate to get in someone’s pants.  About need.  Want.  He thought he understood, but he’s getting the idea they were just words before now.  Before this.

“Bruce.  God, I want--”

There’s a sound like a knock against metal, and Wally wasn’t aware Bruce had super-speed, but he’s back behind the wheel before Wally recognizes Dick’s voice outside the car.

“Bruce?  Are you okay?  Can you hear me?”

There’s the sound of something beeping, and Wally blinks in the bright lights of the cave as the roof of the car slides backwards.  Wally didn’t know it could do that.  He looks up into Dick’s concerned face leaning over the driver’s side window.

“Bruce, what’s going on?  Are you--?”  Dick’s got a hand on Bruce’s shoulder, and seems surprised to see him uninjured and out of costume.  It occurs to Wally there have been times when the car’s come home with an unconscious driver, slumped and bleeding in the front seat.  He remembers frantic whispered calls from Robin when Batman was injured, calls Dick made on an extension dragged into the linen closet because he wasn’t supposed to talk about it.  Because someone might find out their identities, their secrets.  It occurs to him how much they both trust him, and he doesn’t want to let them down.

“Wally?”  Dick looks back and forth between the two of them:  Bruce in street clothes, Wally in his uniform without a mask, and Wally wonders exactly what this looks like to Dick.  They’ve known each other a long time.

He fights back the urge to laugh and gives Dick a little wave.  “Hey.”

“Are you okay?” Dick asks, coming around to Wally’s side, apparently satisfied that Bruce is unhurt.  “Are you injured?”  He runs a hand across Wally’s ribs, which makes him squirm with laughter.

“I’m ticklish, Dick; I’m not hurt,” he says, pushing Dick’s hand away.   Bruce is doing his best not to look at them, and Wally knows without a doubt Bruce is filing that piece of information away for the future.  He expects “ticklish” will go in some unmarked folder labeled Flash:  Primary Weaknesses.  He wants to crawl under the seat.  Or better yet, slide the roof into place and go back to doing exactly what they were doing before Dick interrupted.

“Are you sure?  You’re out of breath, and you’re bleeding.”  Wally runs his tongue around the side of his mouth, and catches the taste of blood.  He rubs a hand across his lips.

“I—I bit my lip when I was running.”

Dick doesn’t look entirely convinced.  He glares through narrow blue eyes that look so much like Bruce’s Wally can almost believe they’re father and son.  Most people would never imagine they weren’t.

Dick’s attention shifts to Batman.  “Wally wasn’t in the car?  Have you been giving him a hard time?”

Bruce doesn’t even blink as he answers in a voice that seems to come from somewhere deep within the earth.  “Not at all.”

Wally squeezes his eyes tight because he can hear the undertone in Bruce’s voice, the one that says he wants to give Wally a hard time all right, and Wally knows exactly what that means.  Or at least he can imagine.  He pulls his discarded clothes into his lap in what he hopes is a perfectly innocent gesture.  The tights hide nothing.  Absolutely nothing.

“So what were you doing then?  You’ve been sitting in the car at least ten minutes.”  

Dick’s question sounds casual, and Wally hopes the tinted glass on the windows is the same kind rock stars use so no one can see inside.  He’d forgotten how obsessive all the Bat-family is, how closely they watch one another, and of course there would’ve been monitors and alarms and all kinds of things to tell them Bruce was back.  It only makes sense.

He can see Bruce reaching for the door handle, and he wants to scream at Dick to go away.  He wonders what Bruce would do if he yanked him back down onto the seat and kissed him.  It might not be an entirely unpleasant way to die.

“Were you guys fighting again?” Dick asks suspiciously, and Wally wants to protest because he and Bats don’t fight.  They banter, and sure it might not look like that to everyone else—it might look more like Wally talks too much and Bruce says his name through clenched teeth when he really means “shut up before I’m forced to kill you”—but Wally knows they have a rapport.  A connection.

“We were talking,” Wally volunteers, and Dick starts to laugh.  Bruce has silently escaped out the driver’s door, and Wally’s body is screaming with frustration for Bruce to come back.

“Talking?  Yeah, tell me another one, Wally.  You’ve met Batman before, right?”  Dick shakes his head and moves aside so Wally can get out.  “What were you talking about?”

There isn’t an answer that won’t lead to trouble.  “The Batmobile.  I’d never been in it before.”

“You still haven’t.”

Wally follows Dick’s pointing finger, and he can see the actual Batmobile sitting on an elevated ramp with a spotlight shining down on it.  He knew there were a bunch of different cars, planes, helicopters—Bruce is a freakin’ billionaire, after all—but he’d forgotten there’s a hierarchy to all things.  He hadn’t realized there could be a car that was blacker and sleeker than the one he was riding in, but he was wrong.  The other car looks like a black cat stretched out and ready to pounce.  Someone has polished the chrome until it shines.  This car, even with its jet-engine and its neat slidey roof, is just a poor imitation of the real thing.

It occurs to him that even Bruce Wayne’s car is a mask.  It’s a little disconcerting.  He didn’t used to think about stuff like this, and he blames the psychiatrist.  Completely.  Thinking is definitely becoming bad for his health.  And his love life.

Dick tosses an arm casually around his shoulders as they cross the cave.  “As soon as you get changed, we’ll pop in a movie and make a ton of popcorn.  Alfred hasn’t seen you in ages.  It’ll be just like old times.”

On any other day, Wally would be thrilled with the invitation.  He and Dick have been friends since they were teenagers, and it’s always felt like they’re the same age even if Wally’s a few years older.  He doesn’t get to see Dick much since they both left the Titans.  These days the Outsiders and the JLA don’t cross paths very often, and Wally knows he should be happy to have some time with him.  Dick’s still one of his best friends.

But he can’t stop himself from looking wistfully across the cave where Bruce has settled himself at the keyboard of a massive computer.  The blue light from multiple screens sends flickering shadows across the floor.

“What about Bruce?”

Dick shrugs.  “He’s not much for movies, but I’ll ask him.  Why don’t you go get out of that uniform?”

Wally hangs his head at the suggestion.  The thought of stripping out of his uniform had much greater appeal when Bruce’s hands were warm against his skin.

“I should really talk to Batman.”  Wally hesitates and turns back.  He wonders if Dick would forgive him if he just knocked him out.  Of course, Wally figures his chances of landing a punch on Dick are probably 70-30 in Dick’s favour, even with the element of surprise.  It’s pretty damn hard to take out one of the Bats, even if they’re “only human.”  Bruce taught everyone too well.

“He’s probably thrilled to get a few minutes of peace and quiet after the psych session with Chase today.”  Wally’s forgotten how Batman tells Dick almost everything.  Except the things that are generally most important.  “Man, I still can’t believe he let her do the evaluation.  That woman is nuts.  She even hit on me once.”

Wally figures he should say something to that, something about how he’s not surprised and make a disparaging comment about Bruce’s taste in women.  It’s what he would’ve done before, but now all he thinks is how every step is taking him further away from Bruce.  Bruce’s mouth.  Bruce’s hands.

“Bruce said he’d give me a tour.”  It feels like the pinnacle of lameness, but it’s the first thing that comes to mind, and Wally’s spent the day saying exactly what he thinks and he’s not sure he can stop now.  Chase didn’t exactly tell Batman he blurted out his secret identity, but it was still pretty clear.  Wally liked her better before the gin and tonics, although maybe he’s going to have to thank her for giving Bats a nudge in the right direction.  He is at the manor, after all, and that has to mean something.  At least he hopes it does.

Something inside tells him not to leave Bruce alone in the Cave.  Not after the kind of day they’ve had with the doctor digging around in their brains like someone trying to pry the last piece of almond from its shell.  Wally doesn’t really expect Bruce to tell him about his session with Chase, but he thinks he should offer anyway.  It doesn’t matter if Bruce was in control of the plan all along; something had to have gotten stirred up.  Wally remembers the words Dr. Meridian chose, and maybe he’s not always the brightest star in the sky, but he’s not stupid either.  Pearls.  Gun.  Blood.  Death.  Every word was aimed at Bruce like a weapon, and he shouldn’t have to be alone if he doesn’t want to be.

He wants Bruce to know there are options.

Like kissing him again is an option.  And one Bruce should seriously consider.  Soon.

“Wally?  You sure you’re okay?”  Wally realizes Dick’s got his hand on his shoulder again, and there’s a pair of tiny lines between his eyes that weren’t there before.  Wally pastes on his happy-go-lucky Flash face.


And Wally can tell Dick doesn’t believe him because he starts pointing out things in the Cave as they head for the stairs, as if the lack of the promised tour is what’s slowing Wally’s footsteps.  The giant penny.  The dinosaur.  The Penguin’s umbrella.  Dick’s worry-meter has just reached Def-Con 3, and Wally knows it’s only a matter of time before Alfred’s putting extra marshmallows in his cocoa and Dick’s letting him pick the movie.  Which on any other night would be sweet, but right now just makes him feel guilty.  If anyone needs extra marshmallows it’s Bruce.

“You’ll ask Bruce to come and watch the movie, right?”

“Of course,” Dick says and he’s not even bothering to hide the concern in his voice.  Now Wally knows he’s also guaranteed himself extra butter on the popcorn, and the prime spot on the couch, and he doesn’t want any of it.  “Go get changed.  You remember where everything is, right?”

Wally nods helplessly as Dick steers him towards the stairs and out of the Cave with an impromptu lecture on architectural features and natural rock formations.  His last glimpse of Bruce is a dark shadow silhouetted against the computer.  He climbs the stairs to the sound of wings and tapping keys.


It’s almost three hours later when Bruce pokes his head into the entertainment room.  Dick’s splayed out on the floor in sweats and a t-shirt wielding a formidable assortment of remotes.

Wally’s stretched out on his stomach on the couch, facing towards the TV, and Bruce can just see the reddish-blonde hair against the far cushions.  Bare feet are resting on the opposite arm rest, and Bruce wonders exactly how much of Wally is ticklish.  It’s something which requires further investigation.  For his files, of course.

The coffee table is littered with the remains of cocoa cups, and Bruce assumes Alfred simply gave up and draped a cloth over the table in lieu of coasters.  Wally drinks like a dying man, and Alfred would’ve been hard-pressed to keep up with the demand for cocoa.  And marshmallows.  And popcorn.  Flash’s fast metabolism is the trade-off for his speed.  Bruce knows the man would starve to death in considerably less time than a normal human being.  It’s always made him just a bit concerned about having enough supplies at the Watchtower.  He can’t imagine a Flash who isn’t healthy and hungry.  And alive.

He’s standing at the end of the couch, reaching for him before he’s realized what he’s doing.  He draws one long finger lightly along the bottom of Wally’s upturned bare foot.

He’s not disappointed by the response.  Wally’s nothing more than a blur of t-shirt and jeans as he bolts off the couch with a shriek that sounds a lot like “what the fuck!?”  Dick is on his feet instantly, a remote in each hand ready to throw like batarangs.  Bruce can’t help but feel a surge of pride.

The blur comes to a halt beside him.  Wally looks flushed and a little embarrassed.  And young.  “Jeez, Bats!  Trying to give me a heart attack?”

“Sorry.”  Bruce shrugs, but he knows he’s smiling.  Bruce has spent two hours staring at a blank computer screen, trying to forget the taste of Wally’s mouth, the way he seemed to almost vibrate when Bruce touched him, and it all comes rushing back with one smile.

Bruce knows he’s doomed.

He’s almost talked himself into believing it would never work, could never work, they’re too different,  and now all he can think about is touching him.  He’s known this man—this kid—almost as long as he’s had Dick in his life, and that should be telling him something, Bruce knows.  It’ll never work.

Bruce clears his throat.  “So, what are you boys watching?”

He knows it’s a poor choice of words as soon as he sees Wally’s smile slip.  He knows it before then, but he does it anyway.  Wally’s too young and too happy to be stuck with someone like him.  Bruce will have to convince him it won’t work.

Godzilla versus Mecha-Godzilla,” Wally says, settling back on the couch.  He pulls his feet underneath him and curls into a small, vibrating ball of energy.  Bruce wants to run a hand through his hair and tell him he’s sorry.  God, he’s so sorry.  He should’ve known better than to start anything like this.

“You don’t get enough of mechanized destruction and monsters at work, Master Wally?” Alfred asks as he sets a tray down on the table.  There are six tall glasses of milk, generous pieces of chocolate cake for each of them—three for Wally—and Bruce doesn’t have to ask how Alfred knew he was up from the Cave.  Alfred always seems to know.

“This is different,” Wally says around a forkful of chocolate cake.  The hand truly is faster than the eye.  Bruce reaches for his own piece and settles down on the opposite end of the couch.  Dick raises an eyebrow as he settles back down on the floor, but says nothing.

“Ah, I suppose it is.”  Alfred gathers up the empty mugs and popcorn bowls.  “It’s always different when the monsters aren’t actually trying to kill you.  Everyone needs a bit of entertainment now and then.”  Alfred looks pointedly at Bruce as he leaves the room.

“Alfred never gives up trying to get you to have fun, does he?” Wally asks as tiny Japanese tourists run smiling through the streets of some Japanese town Bruce thinks he recognizes.  Somewhere in the background a monster howls.

“He wouldn’t be entirely happy if he didn’t have something to prod me about.”  Bruce reaches for his milk, and his fingers brush the edge of an empty glass.  He blinks.  All the glasses are empty, except for the one clutched possessively in Dick’s hand.

“You snooze, you lose, Bruce.  You should remember that,” Dick says helpfully.  Wally looks sheepish, and immediately pulls the last glass of milk from his lips.  It’s half-empty, and Bruce has a strange moment of clarity when he knows Wally thinks it’s half-full.  He’s got a thin line of milk cresting his lip, and Bruce remembers Chase’s tipsy outburst about wanting to lick Clark’s milk moustache at the bar.  Bruce contemplates how easy it would be to reach over and …

“I’ll get you another glass.”  Wally’s standing again, pacing restlessly in front of the couch, and Bruce reaches up and grabs his wrist before he bolts.

“It’s okay,” he says.  “Really.”  He tugs once and Wally sits back down, closer than before, and Bruce forces himself to let go.  It’s an effort.

“You can share mine,” Wally offers, and he’s looking at Bruce with eyes that aren’t hiding anything at all.  Wally reminds him of a puppy dog that’s followed him home, and God help him, but Bruce wants to keep him.  Look after him.  Make him his own.

He reaches for the glass and takes a slow sip.  The milk is cold, and he drinks enough to feel the shallow coating on his upper lip.  He slides his tongue along it self-consciously and sweeps the milk away.  Wally’s eyes never leave his face as he hands him back the glass.

“Thank you.”

Godzilla screeches triumphantly in the background, and Bruce glances up in time to see the screen go dark.  Dick clicks off the TV with one of the remotes in front of him.

“You guys up for another movie, or should we call it a night?”

Bruce shakes his head.  “It was a long day.”  He eases himself off the couch, and turns towards Wally.  “You’re welcome to stay the night, you know.”  He keeps his tone as neutral as he can.

Wally swallows and blushes, and Bruce is going to have to teach him a thing or two about subtlety because Dick isn’t an idiot.  Before Wally can stammer out anything that might be construed as a reply, Bruce has said his goodnights and headed for his room.

His large empty room.  Alone.

It’s going to be a long night.


“Do you need anything?” Dick asks after they’ve taken the dishes to the kitchen and tidied up the entertainment room.  Wally knows Alfred will clean everything in the morning, but there’s no reason to make more work for him.  Alfred’s not getting any younger.

“I’m fine.  I’ve got the sweats you lent me, and I think I remember where everything is.”

They climb the curved staircase just as the clock strikes two.  Wally looks at the hallway lined with identical-looking doors.  Dick grins.

“You’re the first door on the right, Bruce’s room is at the far end of the hall, and I’m right in the middle.  I’m a light sleeper, so don’t worry; I’m sure I’ll hear you if you need anything.”

Wally’s beginning to think the whole world is conspiring against them tonight.  Two hours of Godzilla had almost gotten his mind off the frustration at being interrupted, but then Bruce walked into the room and touched him.  Wally didn’t think fear could make him hard, but apparently he was wrong.  And that thing with the milk—God, he’d almost pounced him on the spot.  He would’ve done it if he hadn’t remembered Dick was right there.  Of all the nights for Dick to be in Gotham instead of Bludhaven.

“Why are you in Gotham?” Wally blurts out as Dick heads down the hall.  “I mean, you don’t live here anymore.  Most of the time.”

Dick doesn’t seem to take offense.  He’s used to Wally’s occasional lack of tact.  “I just wanted to make sure Bruce was okay.  After Chase.”

“And is he?”

“He seems fine.”

Wally doesn’t know how Dick can tell, but he trusts him.  Maybe there’s some secret Bat dictionary that tells them what to look for, a sign to reading the codes.  Wally thinks Bruce was being pretty clear in the car, but since then, well, he isn’t quite so sure.  He wants to get to Bruce and convince him this is okay before he manages to talk himself out of anything good.  Wally knows how he operates.

And he isn’t convinced Bruce is fine.


Bruce tries meditation.  He tries Tai Chi.  Yoga.  He reviews the bones of the body, the pressure points that will render an assailant unconscious, the non-lethal ways to disarm an attacker.

He even tries sleeping, although it’s nowhere near the time he normally goes to bed.  Tim had done a cursory sweep of the city, and Clark had given it a once over and checked in before heading back to Metropolis.  Bruce was assured he didn’t have to go out, but he still feels restless.

He tries sit-ups.  Push-ups.  Handstands.

He considers masturbation, but as soon as he slides a hand beneath the thin silk of his sleeping pants, he knows it’s a mistake.  His mind is full of Wally, and he’d rather be hard and hurting than do this without him here.  It feels like a just punishment for not knowing what he wants.

He wonders if anyone would notice if he slipped into Gotham and worked out some of his frustration on a few would-be muggers and petty thieves.  He’s sure he can find one or two to pummel.

He tries classical music. Silence.  Reading.

Nothing helps.

He finds himself craving warm milk, and maybe it won’t help either, but it probably can’t hurt. Alfred used to make it for him when he was little, and he isn’t sure if he remembers how much honey to drizzle in the luke-warm liquid, how long to heat the milk so it doesn’t burn his tongue.  Alfred always made it exactly right.

He can always nuke it for a minute, just add some brandy and call it a night.

Maybe he’ll skip the milk altogether.

He pulls on a t-shirt and slips into the hallway on bare feet.


Wally wonders what he’s done to deserve this kind of punishment.  His routine is always the same.  He eats, he runs, he saves the world, he eats some more, he sleeps like a cat.  It’s not much, but it’s his life and he’s happy with it most of the time.

But tonight he can’t sleep.

It’s not the caffeine or the sugar.  He knows that.  It’s never stopped him from sleeping before.

And it’s not even the memories the psychiatrist stirred up.  The things that make him want to run and never stop, run until his lungs are aching and his chest is burning, and he can feel blisters forming on the soles of his feet.

Maybe it’s partly that.

Mostly it’s thinking about Bruce, six doors down and a world away, and Wally wonders if he’s fast enough to make it to Bruce’s room without waking Dick.  If Bruce will freak if he slips into his bed in the middle of the night.  He wonders if Bruce locked his door.  He looks down at the Gotham Knights sweatpants Dick lent him, the knees worn through to the skin on one leg, and Wally figures it’s not a classic look as far as seduction outfits go, but he could probably do worse.

He rolls off the bed and tugs his t-shirt back on.  The door opens with a groan, and he slips into the hallway.


Wally almost takes a header onto the carpet when an arm reaches out and pulls him into the shadows.  Long fingers stretch across his mouth and he can feel panic rising within him.  It’s like one of his dreams where he can’t move, except this feels entirely too real.  He starts to struggle.

“Wally, it’s okay.  It’s me,” Bruce whispers, and the fingers slide off his face, but they don’t leave his skin.

“Bruce,” Wally breathes.  “We’ve got to stop meeting like this.”  He doesn’t care if he looks weak, he leans into Bruce and rests his head against the other man’s shoulder.  Almost immediately, hands are on his back, stroking softly.  It feels so good.

“What’s wrong?”

Wally rubs his face against Bruce’s thin t-shirt and breathes, and Bruce, obviously concerned, pulls him closer.  “Wally?”

“I just needed to make sure you were okay.”

“Jesus Christ,” Bruce murmurs against Wally’s hair, and the arms around Wally’s back tighten.  “We’re so screwed.”

“Not yet,” Wally giggles, and he feels Bruce’s mouth press against his ear.  The breath raises the hairs on the back of his neck.

“Wally, this isn’t going to work.”  Bruce lets go, and steps back against the wall.  There’s nowhere to go.

“I’m older than Dick,” Wally says defiantly, lifting his eyes to Bruce’s.  He’s not quite as tall, but he’s not short either, and they both know he’s stronger than he looks.  “I know I can be a goof, but I’m not a kid.”

“I haven’t thought of you as a kid in a long time.”  Wally knows it’s true.  Bruce never treated them like kids.  Any of them.  Even Dick, although he knows Dick doesn’t quite believe that.  It’s different because Bruce was responsible for him.  Because Bruce was Batman and Dick was Robin, and Bruce hadn’t let anyone in since his parents died and Dick means everything to him.  Wally knows the story.  Everyone does.

“Then what was that earlier?  Huh?  Trying to figure out a way to push me away?  Hurt me before I hurt you?”

Bruce swallows hard.  “Yes, actually.”

“Oh.”  The honesty is unexpected, and Wally doesn’t know what to say, so he kisses him instead, pressing Bruce back against the wall.  The kiss isn’t gentle or tender, but it sends a burst of heat down Wally’s spine, and he thinks this could get to be addictive.  Bruce still tastes like milk and faintly of peppermint, and Wally licks across his top lip as if the milk were still there.

Bruce knows exactly what Wally’s doing.  He leans his head back against the wall, and lets Wally trace his mouth with an agile tongue.

“Don’t push me away, Bruce.”  Wally slips his hands down to Bruce’s hips and feels the smooth silk of pajama pants riding low.  Bruce’s hands are clenched tight at his sides, as if he’s afraid to touch him, and Wally slides his hands down and forces Bruce’s fists apart.  He weaves his fingers between Bruce’s, feeling the calluses on his palms, rubbing gently at bruised knuckles.  For a long moment neither of them moves, and Wally’s fingers trace patterns on Bruce’s skin, smooth circles over the backs of his hands.  Their fingers and palms push against each other, gentle yielding pressure, and Wally can’t remember feeling this connected to someone he’s barely touching.

In the middle of the hallway, a door slowly swings open.

“Shit,” Wally says, and races for the stairs.


“Wally?” Dick whispers into the darkness.  “Are you okay?”

“I couldn’t sleep,” Wally says, materializing in front of him.  He’s breathing hard as if he’s been running flat out, which he has—a quick trip down to the kitchen and back up the stairs with the last piece of cake in hand--and he knows it’s still going to look suspicious because Dick’s known him for ages.  He holds up the cake in explanation.  “I thought a snack might help.”

Dick nods, distracted, and lifts his head as if he hears something.  Damn freaky Bat-senses.  He stares at the unmoving shadow that’s Bruce.


“I was having trouble sleeping.”

Bruce slips into the moonlight and comes towards them, and Wally gets a better look at the way the silk clings to his legs as he walks, the way the black t-shirt is just a bit too tight, as if it’s not something he normally wears to bed.  Wally wants to slide his hands underneath the thin fabric and learn every inch of his skin.

“Hm,” Dick says.  “A regular epidemic of insomnia.  Maybe we should’ve watched that second film.”

“No,” Bruce and Wally say at the same time, and there’s silence in the hallway.  Wally can hear the tick of an ancient pendulum somewhere in the house.  The three of them are standing around as if this is perfectly normal.

“Good thing there was no Bat-Signal tonight.”  Dick’s glancing at the skylight that brings light into the hallway.

“I could use a Bat-Signal,” Wally says absently.  He realizes the other two are staring at him, Bruce with something between horror and amusement, and Dick with a sideways grin.

“And what would that look like, Wally?  A giant lightning bolt?”

“I’m just saying sometimes you need a clear signal.”  He glances at Bruce.  “A Bat-Signal can be a pretty useful thing.  I would think.  If one was looking for a sign.”

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Dick asks again, and Wally sighs and stuffs a piece of cake into his mouth.  Maybe it will stop him from saying anything else stupid.

“I’m going back to my room now,” Bruce says, and then he’s nothing but a shadow at the end of the hallway, and Wally wants to scream after him:  “That’s not a clear signal, Bruce!”  But he knows there’s no point.

Dick pats him on the shoulder and doesn’t appear in any hurry to return to his room. Wally hears a door close at the end of the hall.

“Goodnight, Dick,” he says, taking his cake and shutting the door to the guest room behind him.


He wants a clear sign, Bruce thinks.  I’ll give him a sign.

He slides open the window in his room and steps onto the ledge.  It’s about a hundred feet to the window into Wally’s room, and the only real obstacle is going to be getting past Dick’s window without attracting attention.  But he’s Batman.  He’s relatively sure he can manage it.

Especially now that he’s got something to prove.

So maybe this thing with Wally--whatever it is--isn’t the smartest thing he’s ever done, but it’s not the stupidest either.  That would probably be his relationship with Chase, and he’s certainly not looking for a repeat of that level of trauma.  It would’ve been fine if she’d stuck to wanting to get into his bed, but she wanted into his head, and worse, into his Cave.  It’d only been by accident she’d found out his secrets, and if he could go back and change it, he would.  She’s a liability.

But Wally.  God, Wally, is like no one else.  Sure, he’s always known Wally’s a sweet guy, a little goofy, but with a heart of gold, and for some reason he seems to have developed a crush on Bruce, and perhaps it’s more than a crush because he can’t deny the attraction between them.  And as crazy as it seems, he’s willing to give it a chance.  He can’t bear to see that hurt look on Wally’s face again.

Bruce eases along the eight-inch ledge as quietly as he can.  Dick’s window is closed, but the curtains are open.  Dammit.  Dick is quite possibly an even lighter sleeper than Bruce, and he’s going to have a hard time explaining his presence on the window ledge at two-thirty in the morning.  He wishes he’d brought the cape.  At least then he could call it official business if he had to, but this is going to look nothing except suspicious.

But if he makes it, Wally’s smile will be reward enough.

One foot in front of the other, and Bruce listens at the window of Dick’s room.  There’s a creak of the bed and the sound of someone shifting on the mattress.  Good.  Even if Dick isn’t asleep, the position of the bed will make it difficult for him to detect movement on the windowsill.  Bruce examines the relative position of the moon.  Dick might see the flicker of a shadow, but if he’s fast, it will be nothing more than a momentary darkness against the moon.  It’s worth the risk.

He leaps the distance, and lands softly on the other side.  Wally’s window is a short run along the ledge, and Bruce makes it easily, although he doesn’t understand why his heart is pounding in his chest.  It can’t be the exertion.  He has a suspicion it has something to do with standing on a ledge in front of Wally’s bedroom.  He must be out of his mind.

The window squeaks as Bruce pushes it upwards and steps inside.  He takes a deep breath and turns towards the bed.

“Wally,” he whispers.  The bed’s empty.  Wally’s nowhere to be seen.

Shit, Bruce thinks.  Where the hell is he?


Wally waits just long enough to make sure Dick has gone back to his room.  He hears the door close with a small click, and he knows it’s now or never.  If he waits any longer he’ll lose his nerve.  He’s not even sure what Bruce will do when he bursts into his room, but he’s willing to find out.  What’s the worst that can happen?

Well, utter and complete humiliation, but Wally’s willing to take the risk.

He eases open the door and takes a quick glance down the hall.  Then he runs as fast as he can, opening and closing Bruce’s door in a gust of wind.  He feels a sudden  burst of happiness as he realizes Bruce hasn’t locked him out.  Things are looking up.

Wally peers into the darkness, letting his eyes adjust.  The room has heavy curtains covering the wall of windows, except for one where the light is shining through and onto the white sheets of the empty bed.

Empty bed.

Shit, Wally thinks.  Where the hell is he?


In the room in the middle of the hallway, Dick sees a flicker of shadow dance across his window at the same time a rush of wind can be heard in the hallway outside his door.

Dick turns his face into the pillow, puts a fist into his mouth and laughs until tears are streaming down his face and his sides are aching from the strain.

Oh God, Dick thinks.  They’re perfect for each other.


Wally’s about to step back into the hall when he hears the sound of voices.  Dick … and Bruce?  No, not deep enough for Bruce.  Sounds more like Alfred.  Either way, Wally is more and more convinced that none of the Bat-Clan sleep.  At all.

He peeks out the window and ducks back inside.  Except for the gargoyle half-way down it’s a clean run.  He’s not all that keen about having to stop partway along a narrow ledge to navigate around whatever passes for architectural design on Bruce’s mansion.  Maybe he can just run up and over.  He doesn’t like to admit it, but he really doesn’t like heights.

He backs up to the doorway for a running start, takes a breath, and steps out the window.  He’s doing fine until the gargoyle reaches up and grabs him.

“Shit!” Wally blurts out as he finds himself seized by the wrist, even as his momentum carries him forward and off the ledge.  His feet are spinning on air when he’s slammed back against the wall with enough force to knock the wind out of him.  He gasps, but doesn’t move, and it takes him a minute to realize Bruce is standing beside him, back to the wall, an arm thrown protectively across Wally’s chest.

Neither of them says anything for the first minute.

“Maybe I’m going out on a ledge here, but were you looking for me?” Wally asks.  He glances down and immediately regrets it.

“You weren’t in your room.”  Bruce’s voice is a whisper, faintly accusatory, and Wally realizes they’re probably just outside Dick’s room.  The fun never stops.

“Neither were you,” Wally points out.  “So you thought you’d impersonate a gargoyle and wait?”

“I was … figuring out what to do.”

“By sitting on the window ledge?”

“I wasn’t expecting to be run over.”

“I wasn’t expecting to get banged against a wall.”  Bruce glances sideways with a wicked smile and Wally can feel himself blushing to the roots of his hair.  “I mean--”

“I know what you mean, Wally.”  The hand slides off his chest, and Wally has a breathless moment when he feels like he could fall.  He closes his eyes, and presses his palms against the stone.  Concentrates on keeping his back tight against the wall.  He can feel Bruce’s dark eyes on him, then a hand on his arm. “Let’s go inside.”

“Your room or mine?” Wally asks, and really hopes Bruce picks whichever’s closer.  Right now, he’d even settle for going in through Dick’s window if it would get them off this ledge.

My door has a lock.”

“Yours it is.”  There’s a long moment when Wally knows Bruce is waiting for him to move since he’s closest to Bruce’s room, and Wally can’t help wishing for a little Batman help.  A grappling hook would do, but he thinks he would’ve noticed that.  Still …

“I don’t suppose you’ve got a grappling hook in your pants.”  And Wally can’t believe he just said that.  It’s got to be the fear talking.

Bruce seems totally unflustered.  “No, I’m just happy to see you.”

If Wally wasn’t terrified of falling to his death, he might be more terrified that Bruce seems to have developed a sense of humour and is flirting with him shamelessly.

“I’m serious, Bruce.  Bat-hook?  Bat-rope?  Bat-something?”  Wally knows he sounds desperate, but he’s owned rulers wider than this ledge.

“Because that wouldn’t cause any suspicions at all.  Dick certainly wouldn’t recognize the sound of a grappling hook hitting the roof.  Just move, Wally.”

“I can’t,” he whispers, feeling worse than the time he accidentally shorted out the Bat-cycle’s GPS with a triple cappuccino.  He’s still not sure what Dick told Bruce about that little mishap.

“I’ve seen you run down the side of a twenty-story building.”  Bruce doesn’t sound upset, but Wally figures his chances of getting to stay in Bruce’s room are rapidly decreasing as Bats finds out he’s a big fraidy cat who can’t deal with heights unless he’s running.

“Not from a dead stop.  I need momentum to do that.”

“Can’t you just run along the ledge back to the room?”  Bruce sounds genuinely concerned.

“I can’t get my speed up, and … I have a little problem with heights.”  Wally turns his head and looks back the way he came.  He doesn’t like the thought of inching along a narrow piece of stone at a snail’s pace, and he’ll never be able to generate enough speed in the space he has.  His balance goes to hell when he has to move slowly.

“You probably need to work on that.  Low balance beams to start, then--”

“Bruce, can you set up my new training routine later?  I’d really like to get back inside.”

“What about vibrating through the wall?”  Wally can hear the brow-furrow in Bruce’s voice.  He’s trying to find a solution, turning Wally into a problem that has to be solved, and Wally’s never felt more like a kid in his life.

“Not enough space,” Wally confesses.  “My powers usually need a little wiggle room.”

“I’ll remember that,” Bruce says, and it sounds like he’s smiling.  Wally risks glancing over at him and sees Bruce looking down and shaking silently with laughter.

“Bruce, are you laughing at me?”  Silence, and Wally can feel the vibrations through the arm pressed beside him.  “You’re totally laughing at me,” Wally whispers harshly, and Bruce just shakes his head.  “You pick now to get a sense of humour?”

Bruce swallows his laughter, and Wally has only a moment to wonder when Dick’s going to pop his head out and ask what the hell they’re doing, when Bruce steps away from the wall.  He swings a leg out and around until he’s standing with his thighs braced on either side of Wally’s, his hands pressed against the wall beside Wally’s shoulders.  Wally can feel Bruce’s hard body pushing him back into the stone.

“Wally, just relax.”  Bruce’s words are breathed softly into his ear, and Wally thinks it shouldn’t possibly feel this good to have Bruce tight against him when they could both fall at any moment.

“I’m relaxed,” Wally lies.

“No, you’re not.”

Wally can feel Bruce’s breath against his cheek.  He’s about to ask how Bruce can tell, but then Bruce shifts and Wally bites back a moan as he feels Bruce’s erection pressing against his own.  Okay, not relaxed.  And apparently fear is a turn on for both of them.  Wally thinks he should probably be more concerned about that.

Wally feels lips brush his ear, and there’s a husky whisper against his skin.  “I’m not going to let you fall.  I grew up climbing around on these ledges.”

“Yeah, I’ve been meaning to talk to Alfred about that.”

“I’m going to swing my left leg around, so I’m standing on your right side, and then you’re going to follow me along the ledge.  It’s not that far, and we’ll go slow.”

“I suck at going slow, Bruce.”  Wally doesn’t know when he moved his hands to Bruce’s hips, but he’s holding them now and he can’t imagine letting go.  They’re pressed so close together, Wally can feel every breath Bruce takes, not to mention the hard groin against his.  He never wants to move from this spot.

Bruce leans in and gives him a slow kiss, lips soft and open, and Wally can feel himself melting inside.  The slow drag of a tongue across his lips, and he can’t stop the moan from seeping out.

“See?” Bruce murmurs.  “Slow can be good.  Trust me.”  He leans in and kisses him again, eyes open, and Wally wonders what he’s done to deserve this kind of patience from a man who’s notoriously lacking in that particular virtue.

Bruce’s voice is low and determined when he speaks again.  “I promise, I won’t let anything hurt you.”

Wally nods, and he wonders for a moment if Bruce is talking about something else, but the darkness in his eyes flickers away and is gone.  Wally puts it out of his mind and reluctantly takes his hands from Bruce’s hips.  How could he not trust Bruce?  He’s Batman.

Bruce shifts away, and Wally feels his absence like a cold wind along his body.  He takes the hand Bruce offers and starts to step sideways along the ledge, all the while listening to Bruce talking softly, coaxing him like a kitten up a tree.  It feels like it’s been hours when Bruce finally steps into his bedroom, and reaches up to pull Wally inside.

They stand in the dark and stare at each other.

The moment of truth, Wally thinks.  Now what?


In the hallway, Dick is overcome with laughter again.  If he strains he can just make out soft voices.  On the ledge.  He’s had to leave the room to keep from giving himself away.

He winces when he feels a sharp tug at his ear.

“Master Dick, I insist you cease these adolescent machinations this instant.”  Alfred is standing in the hallway in a blue robe and slippers, looking at him with the kind of disapproval Dick’s certain is only taught in British schools for butlers.  Alfred was clearly the top of his class in glaring.

“Aw, come on, Alfred,” Dick protests.  “It’s been ages since Bruce’s brought anyone home, and when he does, it’s Wally?  You can’t expect me to just let that one go.”

“Am I to assume you believe they’re an inappropriate match?”

Dick rolls his eyes.  “They’re a bizarre match, but no, I think they could be good for each other.  Bruce could seriously use some fun in his life, and Wally … well, Wally’s always better when he’s got a focus, something to ground him.”

“So your interference is merely for sport, then?”

Alfred’s looking at him with a steely gaze, and Dick sobers immediately.  He tries to explain.  “No, but they’re acting like a couple of teenagers.  I’m pretty sure they were making out in the car, and right now they’re on the ledge--”

“And you’re up way past your bedtime.”

“Alfred, I’m not twelve.”  Dick suspects there’s a certain amount of irony in the fact that he’s whining like a kid whose favourite toy is about to be taken away.  This isn’t going to end well.  He knows it.

“Your behaviour indicates otherwise, so I’m sending you to the Cave.  You may enjoy the sleeping quarters there for what remains of the night.”


“Richard John Grayson!”  Dick shuts up.  Alfred only uses his full name when he’s really angry with him.  “Don’t make me drug your cocoa.  You will retire to the Cave, and leave Master Bruce and Master Wally to finish out the night however they see fit.  Everyone here is an adult.  Is that understood?”

“Yes, Alfred.”  Dick follows him down the stairs.  In the distance he thinks he hears the sound of a window closing, and two sets of voices. In Bruce’s room.

He smiles.


“I guess I’d better get going,” Wally says, turning towards the door.  The solid floor under his feet makes him feel like running, and he’s not sure if he’ll ever be able to face Bats again, knowing he panicked on the ledge.

Bruce is standing in front of the door to the room like a seriously pissed-off Doberman Pinscher.  “No.”

“You don’t have to pretend everything’s okay.  I know I screwed up out there, put us both in danger.  If that’d been a mission--”

“You wouldn’t have been out on a ledge like that.  And it wasn’t a mission.”  Bruce is standing with his arms folded across his chest, and Wally wonders if he should tell him he looks exactly like Superman when he does that.  He decides against it.


Bruce steps forward and grasps him by the shoulders.  He looks into his eyes as if he’s making very sure Wally is listening.  “Wally, the only reason you were out there was because I was too stupid to let you in.  I’ve been trying to convince myself this is a bad idea--”

“I knew it!”

“--and yet all I want to do is touch you, taste you--”

Bruce moves closer and pulls Wally into a kiss.  It’s wet and sloppy, and Wally thinks it’s the best kiss he’s ever had.  He slides his hands under Bruce’s shirt and tugs the stretchy material over his head, tossing it aside.  Bruce’s skin is cool under his fingers, and he can feel the hard ridges of countless scars.  He drops his mouth to kiss them, walking Bruce back towards the bed.  Wally slips off his own shirt and pushes Bruce onto his back, following him as he shifts higher on the mattress.

“Is the door locked?”  Wally really doesn’t want to be interrupted any more tonight, or this morning, and he’s quite prepared to tell Dick to go to hell if the need arises.  Wally has other needs that are rapidly rising.

“Yes.”  A tongue circles his ear, and Wally feels like he’s just discovering feeling.  He pinches one of Bruce’s nipples, fingers brushing the scar tissue just above it, over the heart.  Bruce arches beneath him and Wally plants kisses along his sternum.  He traces the outline of each scar with his tongue.  There are a lot.  He knows that will bother him more when he has time to think about it, but right now all he wants to do is heal every hurt Bruce has ever felt.

“A locked door isn’t really a deterrent for anyone in this household,” Wally says.  After all, it was Dick who taught him how to pick a lock, bought him his first set of lockpicks.

“Dick knows better.”  Typically cryptic and Wally burrows into the space between Bruce’s neck and shoulder, sucking at the skin with gentle pressure, watching the blood race to the surface in a shallow bruise.  Bruce’s chest is warm against his, and Wally can’t imagine a more perfect feeling than this press of flesh against flesh.

“What did you do?  Booby-trap the door when he was a kid?”

There’s a sharp laugh from Bruce, and Wally bites his neck again just to get him to push against him.  Bruce is a big man, and every time he rocks up, Wally can feel his whole body lifting with Bruce.  It’s amazing.

“You did booby-trap the door, didn’t you?”  Wally thinks he may never entirely understand Bruce and Dick’s relationship.  Always adversarial, yet he’s never seen two people more committed to one another.  To family.

“A little flash-powder in a keyhole goes a long way.”  Bruce is whispering right into his ear now, tongue probing the curves, and there’s a gentle sucking that moves from Wally’s earlobe down to his neck.  He can feel himself gasping as he shifts and finds Bruce’s mouth.  Their lips slide together, and Wally isn’t sure when tongues and teeth became an entire language, but somehow he knows everything Bruce has been trying to tell him.  How afraid he is.  How much he wants him.  How this could be what they’ve both been looking for, and it’s terrifying and beautiful all at once.

Wally understands perfectly.  He also understands that they’ve been anticipating this for hours and neither of them is going to last.  He really wants to be naked, every inch of his flesh pressed alongside Bruce’s perfectly scarred body.  There’s an instant when dark eyes meet his as he reaches for the tie on Bruce’s pants, and then Bruce is helping him undo it, slipping the pants over his hips.  They’re not even off, and Wally’s reaching to touch, hand buried in the wiry dark hair around the base of Bruce’s cock, and Bruce arches into his hand with a deep moan.

Bruce kicks the pants away, and strokes his hands along Wally’s spine until he reaches the sweatpants Dick lent him.  Wally barely registers the movement as Bruce flips him over and strips the pants off.  He looks at Wally appreciatively before crawling back up the bed and bracing himself over top of him.

“I want you,” Bruce whispers.  “I have for a long time.”  He lowers himself against Wally and everywhere their flesh touches, Wally feels a flare of heat.  He pulls Bruce closer.

“Me too.  You have no idea how hard it’s been not to--”  Wally feels teeth on his neck, a tongue licking a slow stripe of moisture at the base of his throat.  “I didn’t want to ruin things.”

“I didn’t want to lose a friend,” Bruce says, and pulls back to look at him.  He brushes a red curl off Wally’s forehead and kisses the spot gently.  “I thought friendship would be enough, but--”

“I want more,” Wally finishes, and shifts so Bruce is forced to let Wally take some of his weight directly on him.  He wants to feel Bruce driving him into the mattress.  He’s hard and hot, and Bruce talking to him like this is maybe the hottest kind of foreplay he’s ever found.  Bruce has always been more talkative than Batman, but that’s not saying a lot.

Bruce’s cock is leaking against his, and Wally can feel the rough tickle of hair against his skin.  He adjusts himself so their cocks can slide together.  He know he won’t last long, and he’s going to have to explain to Bruce that the Fastest Man Alive thing is really just a nickname, and usually it’s not like this.  He does have stamina.  Really.

And an amazingly short refractory period.

He’ll explain when he can form coherent sentences again, when Bruce’s fingers aren’t between them, stroking their cocks together with a big, steady hand, fingers wet and warm.  Wally’s reduced to a series of sounds, some of which he knows are the letters in Bruce’s name, but he can’t seem to put them together in the right order, and he can’t bring himself to care.  Bruce is still kissing him, tongue fucking him while his hand relentlessly strokes them together, and Wally’s rapidly losing control.  He’s making hoarse sounds and so is Bruce, and Wally knows he’s the reason for that.  He can’t help but feel pleased with himself.

He starts to vibrate.  Just a little.

Bruce gasps, and Wally opens his eyes, but there’s nothing on Bruce’s face but amazement and pure lust, and Wally knows they’re both a second away from gluing themselves together with glossy white cum.  He plunges his tongue into Bruce’s mouth one more time, lifting his hips in a final thrust, and pulses into Bruce’s hand with a groan he knows Dick’s got to have heard.


Bruce’s breath is ragged and uneven, fingers slipping in Wally’s cum, and Wally wraps a hand around Bruce’s cock and rides out the rhythm with him in long, sharp strokes.  When he comes, Bruce shouts Wally’s name, and it’s the best sound in the world.  Wally kisses him again and again until Bruce is laughing around his tongue and telling him he’s amazing.

Wally wraps his legs around him, slips his arms around his back and locks his hands together.  Wally doesn’t want to take any chances.  He knows Bruce.  He’s going to hold on to him with everything he’s got.

Bruce grabs the corner of the sheet and wipes the worst of the stickiness away.  They roll together so Wally’s on top, and Wally likes the way they fit together here, like this, surrounded by shadows and moonlight.  Bruce’s hands tangle in his hair, then trace the muscles in his torso, and Wally thinks this might be what love feels like.  He starts to vibrate again.

Bruce’s arms tighten around him a fraction.  “It’s kind of like holding a purring cat,” he says, as if he’s always had lovers who vibrate when they’re happy.

“Got a lot of experience with that, do you?”  Wally can’t resist the urge to tease.  Bats never struck him as much of a cat person.

“There are slow nights even in Gotham,” Bruce confirms.  “And a lot of cats.”  His fingers trace circles on Wally’s back, causing little tremors of heat to surge through his skin.  “Besides, Clark seems to be uncannily receptive to the pathetic mews of treed felines, and he always makes me hold them.  I suspect he’s trying his own sort of pet therapy on me.”

Wally laughs and kisses Bruce.  It’s quite possible he’s been in love with this man since he was sixteen.  It seems like a reasonable age to fall in love, although it’s probably insane to wait all these years to act on it.  It’s not as if he’s just been waiting around for Bruce to get a clue, but he hadn’t wanted to hope too hard that a relationship was ever a possibility.  He was happy to work with him, to know him, to call him a friend.  To be close enough to breathe him in and carry those memories back to his room at night where he could weave his own fantasies in the darkness.


Wally realizes he’s been quiet for a long time, and that’s not usual for him, even after sex.  Bruce is pushing fingers into the muscles of his back, holding them there for measured moments.  He can feel his muscles loosening beneath Bruce’s touch.  Pressure points, Wally thinks, and he knows it shouldn’t surprise him, but he really hopes Batman doesn’t accidentally use the wrong one and cripple him when he really means to relax his muscles.  That could be hard to explain to the League.

This whole thing could be hard to explain if it comes down to it.  Wally can’t remember if there’s a policy on team members dating one another.  If there is one, he doesn’t want to know about it.

“I don’t want this to be a one-time thing, Bruce, so don’t even think of backing out on me now.”  Best to dive in and set the ground rules to start.  Wally thinks it’ll be harder for Bruce to get away if he keeps him pressed into the mattress like this, kissing his face and neck, trailing long fingers along his skin.

“I’m not good in relationships.”

“Tell me something I don’t know, Bats.”  Wally laughs.  “Jeez, you and Dick are way too much alike.”

Bruce stiffens beneath him, and not in the good way, and Wally reminds himself to keep family members out of the pillow talk.  He’s never, ever going to be able to say the word dick in a sexual situation with Bruce.  That would be just … too weird.

“Bruce?  You’re brooding.  I can tell.”

There’s an intake of breath, and Bruce’s eyes are taking an intense interest in the ceiling.  “You and Dick never …”  He trails off.

“No!”  Wally replies, horrified.  The thought has never even occurred to him.  “Dick’s all about the babes.  You know that.  Dick and I are just friends.  The way you and Clark are friends.”  Wally has a sudden sobering thought.  “You and Clark are just friends, right?  I mean, there’s always been talk about you guys, but I never believed it, and--”

“Wally,” Bruce intervenes.  “Clark and I are just friends.”

“Whew, that’s a relief because I really don’t want to imagine you and the Big Blue Guy--”

“Wally!  Is there an easy way to get you to stop talking?”

“Um, put something in my mouth?”

“Oh, fuck,” Bruce says, and kisses him hard, tongue pushing past his teeth.  Wally knows they’re both thinking of other things, and Wally starts to vibrate again at the thought of what it would feel like to go down on Bruce.  What it will be like to have him inside.  He knows it’s going to happen, and the thought sends a trill of happiness through his body. Wally can feel the vibrations start to get stronger, and Bruce swears and clutches him tighter.  Kisses him harder.

“Or you could gag me,” Wally supplies between kisses, and Bruce groans and rolls him over.

Neither of them says anything else for some time.


It’s almost ten when Wally decides to make a break for the kitchen.  He’s slept solid for the last few hours and now he’s starving.  Bruce isn’t exactly sleeping, but Wally suspects he doesn’t sleep much and they’d settled into a comfortable sort of touching that Wally would never have predicted.  He knows Bruce will try to push him away in spite of himself, and he knows now he’ll have to push back.  He’s starting to figure out Bruce is just a traumatized little boy in a scary bat-suit, and sometimes you have to hold him even if he thinks he doesn’t need it.

He does.

Wally practically runs into Dick at the top of the stairs.  The smirk is just a little too bright this early in the morning—Wally really needs to eat and mainline some caffeine before he deals with Dick.  Wally can guess he’s seen where he was coming from.  Yeah.  He takes a deep breath.

“Dude, I’m dating your dad.”

“Okay,” Dick says, and Wally lets out the air in his lungs.  That’s not what he expected from Dick at all.

“Okay?  Really?”  He’s pretty sure a squeak isn’t a dignified response, but it’s out there and he can’t take it back.

“Yeah.  I always knew you crushed on him.  And last night you guys were being so obvious--”  Dick stops, and Wally’s forced to re-assess the extent that Dick’s good looks and charm let him get away with murder.  They’re going to have to do something about that.  Something that involves a huge amount of personal embarrassment.  And possibly photographs.

“So you knew.”  It’s not a question because they both know the answer.

“Sort of.”

Dick’s backpedaling now, and Wally would find it more amusing if last night hadn’t been such a farce.  At least it ended pleasantly enough, but it bugs him that Dick would come between him and Bruce, even if he knows deep down it means Dick thinks they’ve got a chance, that they’d keep trying to be together.  It’s not as if Wally hasn’t done the same thing to Dick in the past—that extended stay at his apartment when he was dating Barbara really wasn’t entirely necessary—but they were kids then, and this is different.  Sneaking around was half the excitement.  Wally has a moment where it occurs to him he’s possibly the most emotionally mature of the three of them, and that’s a scary thought.

The hallway feels brighter when Dick smiles, and Wally just can’t stay mad at him.  He shakes his head.  “If you ever do that again--”

“What, you’ll ground me?”

“No, I’ll tell Alfred, and he’ll ground you.”  Wally has no doubt Alfred would do it too.  It doesn’t matter that Dick’s an adult who doesn’t even live here any more.  Alfred would do it, and Dick would obey.  Grudgingly.

“I’m not a kid,” Dick says, but there’s not much conviction in the words because he knows he’s been acting like one, and Wally suspects Alfred’s had a hand in tempering Dick’s attitude between last night and this morning.

“Neither are we.”  Wally wants to tell him this is the best thing that’s happened to him, that he feels more alive when he’s near Bruce.  He wants to tell him Bruce laughs more with him, smiles more, and doesn’t threaten to strangle him nearly as often as he used to.  Instead he says, “I think this could work out.”

Dick leans closer and Wally knows he’s talking to Nightwing now.  There’s something in the set of the jaw, the intensity that takes over his eyes.  “Don’t break his heart.”

Wally understands the threat that isn’t spoken. He imagines he’d do the same if Bruce was his father/mentor/partner/everything.  Wally holds up his hands in a gesture of surrender.  At the very least it may lure Dick into a false sense of security because Wally hasn’t forgotten that there’s still revenge to be exacted.  And it’s going to be sweet.

Wally pulls Dick into a tight hug, and then he’s gone, heading for the kitchen.  He knows Bruce is waiting for him back in the room.

He quickens his pace.


Dick looks up to see Bruce standing in the doorway of his room, wearing a simple black robe.  They look at each other carefully.  They’ve never talked much about this kind of stuff, and it still feels as awkward as it did when Dick was twelve and Bruce tried to explain the bats and the bees.  Dick figures it’s a miracle he’s not still a virgin given that particular conversation.  The book left on his bedside table later that night was infinitely more helpful and less scary.  He’d assumed it was Alfred who’d left the book, but as with many things concerning Bruce, he’d been wrong and only discovered it years later.

Bruce clears his throat.  “So, do we have your approval?”

Dick has to admit Bruce looks happier this morning than he has in a while.  The weight he’s been carrying lately with the Justice League and all the incidents in Gotham seems to have lightened a little.  Maybe it’ll be easier with someone else carrying part of the load.  And Wally’s got pretty broad shoulders.

“You don’t need my approval, Bruce.”

“I didn’t say I did.”  And that’s typically Bruce.  Dick feels the old flare of anger, but he stops himself as Bruce continues.  “But I’d really like to know what you think.”

Bruce never asks his opinion about relationships.  Cars and weapons, computer technology, Tim’s training and anything relating to acrobatics, but not relationships.  God knows Dick doesn’t have the best track record either.  He doesn’t know what to say.

“Dick.”  Bruce lays a hand on his shoulder.  “Your opinion means a lot to me.”

“I—I think it’s great,” he manages to get out, and he hates that sometimes Bruce can still make him feel like a kid.  He’s always looked up to him with something akin to hero-worship, and that was long before he realized Bruce thought of him as something more than Robin.  More than a sidekick.  That even if Bruce fumbled horribly sometimes, he was trying to be a good father to him.  Dick can forgive him almost anything because of the effort Bruce put into trying to do the right thing even when he didn’t know what he was doing.

“Your vagueness suggests--”

“Stop analyzing,” Dick says with some frustration.  “Wally’s my best friend and you’re my—look, Bruce, nothing would make me do a backflip quicker than seeing you happy, but I know you.  Both of you, and you’re going to spend half your time pushing him away and he’s going to run the first time he gets really hurt.  It’s got Disaster of Epic Proportions written all over it.”

“So, you think it’s a bad idea.”  Bruce frowns.

“No, I think it’s a great idea, and God knows Wally needs a billionaire to keep him from starving, but the two of you are as different as night and day.  You’ve got to hang onto him when he wants to run and he’s--”

“--got to stop Bruce from pushing everyone away when that’s the last thing he wants.”  Wally materializes beside Bruce, a half-eaten muffin in one hand, and a half-dozen danishes in the other.  There’s a carton of orange juice tucked under one arm.  “Yeah, we know.  Danish?”

Bruce smiles and plucks an apple danish from Wally’s hand and passes it to Dick.  “Have a pastry and stop worrying so much.  You’re going to give yourself an ulcer before you’re twenty-five.”

Wally leans back so his head is resting against Bruce’s shoulder.  “Did he give you the ‘if you break his heart, I’ll break your legs’ speech yet?”  Dick feels his face growing hot, and maybe this is payback for last night.  Yeah.  That’s totally what it is.  He supposes he deserves it.

“Not yet, but I expect it was forthcoming.”

“I never said that,” Dick protests as Bruce slips an arm casually around Wally’s shoulder, and the grin that spreads across his face is wicked.  Dick takes a step backwards.  Oh, they’re really going to make him pay for last night’s interference.

“I imagine it was implied,” Bruce says and Wally nods vehemently.  He’s going to get Wally for this.  Wally flutters his eyelashes at Bruce, and Dick wonders when he lost control of the situation.  “Oh, sweetie, he just worries about us.  You know how kids are.”

Dick cringes as Bruce cuddles—there’s no other word for it—Wally closer.  “We’re going to have to think of something for him to call you, dear.”

“Wally?” Dick squeaks out.  He suddenly feels like he’s been transported to a parallel world, and he’s going to bolt if he has to watch the smiling and cuddling any longer.

“No, that’ll never do,” Wally says.  “Maybe you could call me Uncle Wally.”

“Or Mom,” Bruce adds helpfully.

Dick glares at Bruce with a look that could wither old-growth forests.  “Okay, enough, you guys.  I’m sorry about last night.  I had no right to interfere.  I’m happy for you, and can we please all just go back to being oblivious?  Or at least me?  Please?”

“Well, you might want to get some earplugs if you’re going to be staying here,” Wally suggests, and Dick can’t help the horrified look on his face.  Sure, Bruce isn’t exactly his father, but he still doesn’t want to know what goes on behind his bedroom door.  He hasn’t honestly wanted to know since he was thirteen and he got a face full of flash-powder instead of a peek at Vicki Vale.

“You win,” Dick says, and heads for the stairs.  Wally’s babbling loudly about sound-proofing and sturdier mattresses and something about leather, and Dick’s about to put his hands over his ears and just run.  “I’ll see you later, and we will not talk about this.  Ever again.”

Dick thinks he hears Bruce’s rich laughter behind him, and he can’t help but smile.  It’s a nice sound, and he doesn’t hear it often enough.

He bites into the pastry Bruce gave him and follows the scent of coffee to the kitchen.


Wally licks icing off his fingers.  He’s lounging on the end of Bruce’s bed, watching him carefully dissect his pastry as if it might contain a bomb.

“I had the Bat-Hound sniff it before I brought it up.  Ace gave it the thumbs up, Bruce.  No explosives.”

“Hm?” Bruce says, looking over at him, puzzled.  Wally wonders if he remembers he even owns a dog.  He’s pretty sure it’s Alfred who takes Ace for walks.  He wonders if Bruce would notice if he put the dog in a mask and cape.  A utility collar.  It might be worth trying.

“Never mind.  So, you think Dick’s really okay with this?”

“He wouldn’t have been such a pain in the ass if he wasn’t.  He’s never had any problem telling me when I’m screwing up.”

“True.”  Wally’s listened to more than one rant from Dick over the years, and in some ways he feels like he’s already worked out a lot of the potential issues with Bruce through watching the two of them say exactly the wrong things to each other.

Wally takes a long drink of orange juice, and smiles at Bruce.  “You really need to invest in some instant coffee.  Alfred’s brewing a pot, but it takes forever.”

“It takes eight minutes to get a pot of perfect dark roast.  Instant coffee is swill.”

“You’re a coffee snob, you know that?”  Wally looks longingly at Bruce’s danish.  “Are you going to eat that or just torture it for awhile?”

Bruce glances at him and hands over the pastry without a word.  Wally makes a concerted effort not to eat it at super-speed.  He knows it’s a little disconcerting, even though Bruce has seen him do it a thousand times.

“So, sweetie, what do you want to do now?”  Wally bats his eyelashes at him and stretches.

“You do realize that was only because of Dick, right?  No pet names.”  Bruce is sitting entirely too far away in an over-sized leather chair, and Wally can’t shake the thought that his silk robe still drapes around him like a cape.  Apparently you just can’t take the Batman out of Bruce.

“You let me call you Bats.”

“I didn’t think there was any point in trying to stop you,” Bruce admits, and Wally grins.  Probably true.  He’s been doing it so long, he doesn’t think he can break the habit.  “But no other endearments or--”

“Or my death with be painful and slow, and you’ll make me suffer in excruciating ways.  I know the drill.”

“Exactly,” Bruce says, and Wally worries when he can’t tell if he’s joking.  He rolls off the bed, languid as a cat, and straddles Bruce’s lap, knees bent on either side of his thighs, bare toes pressing back against the edge of the chair.  A raised eyebrow is Bruce’s only response.

Wally leans in and kisses his neck, feeling Bruce’s pulse steady under his lips.  “So how would you make me suffer?”

Bruce seems to be thinking, which should be more disturbing than hot, or maybe it should be comforting that Bruce doesn’t appear to have a ready list of possible Wally-tortures at the forefront of his mind.  Wally takes it as an opportunity to slide his hands into the loose folds of Bruce’s robe and start a conga-line of kisses down his throat.

He doesn’t get far before Bruce has a firm arm wrapped around his waist, and Wally feels the light touch of a finger against the sole of his foot.  He swears, and would’ve bounced into the air except for Bruce’s grip on him.

“No fair,” Wally gasps, struggling in Bruce’s arms as that finger tickles him like a feather, and Wally squirms, breathless and laughing, not really trying to get away anymore.

“All’s fair in love and torture.”

Wally’s laughing so hard, he almost misses the L-word, and he knows it’s just an expression—well, except for the torture bit—but it’s Bruce, who chooses his words carefully and always means more than he says.  Wally kisses him and doesn’t care that he’s shamelessly wriggling because Bruce’s hands have moved to cup his ass and Wally hasn’t felt this alive in a long time.

“Master Bruce, I’ve brewed a fresh pot of--”

Wally’s across the room leaning against the fireplace mantel before Alfred finishes his sentence. He knows he’s flushed and breathing hard, and he rubs self-consciously at the hole in the knee of the sweatpants he’s wearing.  Someday he’s going to have to ask Bruce how he always manages to look as if he’s been interrupted doing exactly nothing at all.

“--coffee.  Master Wally, good morning.”  If Alfred disapproves at finding him here, it doesn’t show.  He glances at Wally’s outfit and makes a tsk-ing sound.  “I really wish Master Dick would part with those.  They’re in such dire disrepair, I fear one good tumble and they’ll be beyond saving.  The least he could’ve done was find you something that doesn’t look as if it’s been mauled by small rodents.”

Wally laughs and takes the coffee Alfred hands him.  It smells wonderful.  Maybe he’s going to have to get some of the fancier stuff.  He thinks of what’s in his kitchen cupboards at home—peanut butter and crackers and enough canned food to stock a nuclear fallout shelter.  He’s going to have to go shopping if he’s ever going to have Bruce over for dinner.  Or breakfast.  It’s a nice thought.

“--board meeting at 2:00 at WayneTech, and a charity benefit this evening, but you’re only required to make a brief appearance.  You should have adequate time to return to the manor and change into your tuxedo unless you feel it necessary to save Gotham on your way home.”

“I’ll try to refrain, Alfred.  I know how you despise it when I’m late.”  Bruce is sipping his coffee and glancing over a file folder Alfred has placed on the table beside him.  Wally can see columns of numbers running across the page.  Sometimes he almost forgets Bruce has another life.

“Very good, sir.”  Alfred turns and leaves with a warm smile to Wally.  Somehow he knows he’s got Alfred’s approval, and he’s surprised how much that means to him.

“You know,” Bruce says, “you don’t have to bolt every time someone comes into a room.”

“Doesn’t anyone knock around here?” Wally asks.

Bruce just looks at him.  “No, not really.”

For people who are notoriously paranoid about their privacy, they’re awfully casual about personal space at the manor.  Wally’s always known this, but it was never really a problem before.

“I’m not used to it.  And I don’t want to … embarrass you.”  Wally’s on his third cup of coffee already, and he might never go back to instant again.  He thinks he may have discovered heaven here at the manor.  Bruce, Alfred’s chocolate cake, and dark roast coffee.  He can die a happy man.

“You couldn’t embarrass me.”  Wally knows Bruce is lying through his teeth, and it’s kind of sweet.  “That’s not a challenge by the way,” Bruce adds with a smile, but he’s distracted by the pages in front of him and Wally figures it’s probably time to go.  For now.

“I should get back to Central City,” Wally says and he wonders if things are going to be awkward between them.  He’s got a hand on the door when he feels Bruce behind him.  He doesn’t touch him, but Wally knows he’s there.

“I wish neither of us had places to be today.”  Wally knows it’s hard for Bruce to say things like that, to take the risk.  He wants to tell him he’s not going to hurt him, but he knows it’s going to take time for him to believe it.  There’s a pause, and Wally can feel the heat from Bruce’s body.  “I do own the company, you know.  I could probably cancel the--”

Wally shakes his head and turns around.  “We both have lives, things to do.  I need to get home and feed the Spinster.”

“Huh?”  Bruce is looking at him like he’s speaking a different language.

“My hamster.  He spins around on that little wheel all day.  Seemed like a good name for him.”

Wally can tell Bruce is trying not to laugh, and then Wally’s being kissed again.  The door is hard against his back, and Bruce’s mouth is demanding.  It feels like he’s drowning in fire, and Wally doesn’t want to ever stop feeling this way.  Bruce kisses him like he’s the most important thing in the world, and Wally can’t believe he was afraid this was going to end before they even got started.

“Don’t leave yet,” Bruce whispers, and tugs him towards the shower, slipping his robe off as he moves backwards.  It falls to the floor with a soft sound, and Wally follows without a second thought because Bruce is magnificent by any definition, and he wants him like he’s never wanted anyone before.

He strips off his clothes and takes Bruce’s hand.


Bruce is nowhere near a blushing virgin, and yet this feels new.  He wonders if it’s because he knows Wally so well, more than his strengths and weaknesses, the things that could be exploited by an enemy.  He knows he likes peanut butter and Cheez Whiz on Wonder bread, and that he won’t eat brussel sprouts because they remind him of the aliens on Vespa 7 who tried to make him a ritual sacrifice.  He knows his sneakers are constantly coming undone when he’s wearing normal clothes, and he switched to cappuccino because he couldn’t remember if it was “espresso” or “expresso” that he wanted to order.  He hates his red hair and his freckles, loves his super-speed, and secretly watches Coronation Street with Green Lantern when there’s no one else around.  Bruce knows because there are cameras in every common area on the station and he pays attention.  To everyone.

But if he’s honest, he probably knows enough about Wally to qualify as a stalker.  A really obsessive-compulsive stalker with an eye for detail.

He chases a droplet of water down Wally’s chest with his tongue.  Teeth graze a nipple, and Wally’s fingers tangle in Bruce’s hair as he shifts to his knees, tongue marking a path through the pale hair on Wally’s stomach until he reaches the reddish mound at the base of his cock.  It’s beautiful and thick, and Bruce strokes it gently as Wally leans his head back and clutches at Bruce’s hair.

Bruce swirls a tongue around the tip, and Wally’s hips shift under his hands.  Bruce slides a wet hand between his thighs, pushes them apart for a better angle, and strokes his balls even as he licks the glistening head.

“God, Bruce,” Wally says, looking down at him, and Bruce smiles around Wally’s cock and sucks the head gently into his mouth.  Wally’s eyes flutter closed and Bruce can tell it’s taking an effort for him to stay still.  It’s hard for him to do anything slowly, and Bruce knows it.

“I never got to tell you exactly how I’d torture you,” he says, sliding off and stroking the head of Wally’s cock with his fingers.  It bumps against his hand enthusiastically, twitching with every stroke.

“No, you didn’t.”  Wally’s leaning back against the white tile wall for support and Bruce wishes he knew how to paint because he wants to remember exactly what Wally looks like at this moment.  Head thrown back, cock thick and heavy in Bruce’s hand, water beading on his skin like diamonds.

“This,” Bruce murmurs, as he opens his mouth to take Wally inside.

“Fuck,” Wally says, and thrusts hard enough to hit the soft palate of Bruce’s throat.  He opens wider, and holds Wally’s hips, forcing him to slow down, appreciate every stroke of his fingers, every slide of his tongue as Bruce sets a rhythm.  “Bruce, I can’t—I can’t take much more of this.”

Bruce hums an acknowledgement around his mouthful of cock and he can feel Wally begin to vibrate as he moves closer to climax.  The trembling moves through Wally like a wave and transfers to Bruce so that by the time Wally comes in Bruce’s mouth, they can both feel every vibration.  It’s the most amazing sensation Bruce has ever felt.

He slides up Wally’s slumped body, kissing him everywhere he can reach, and then he turns him towards the wall with gentle hands.  He takes the sponge and lathers it with soap, stroking it over Wally’s flushed skin.  Bruce traces patterns in the bubbles, slides a hand between Wally’s thighs, and the strangled “God, yes, do it” is all the permission he needs to slip a finger inside.

Wally’s relaxed and warm, and it doesn’t take much to spread him wider, and Wally’s talking to him about how good he feels and how he wants him inside, and Bruce thinks he can get used to the constant stream of conversation when it’s like this.  It’s encouragement and reassurance, and Bruce’s never been so sure he knew what someone wanted, but Wally’s not afraid to tell him and it’s easy to comply.  Two fingers, three, scissoring inside him, soap bubbles sliding down Wally’s back and slicking his ass.  Bruce’s wet fingers pushing deeper and faster until Wally’s breath is coming in ragged pants and Bruce knows it won’t be long for either of them.

“I want you inside me.  Now,” Wally says, and one hand reaches back to pull Bruce closer.  Bruce helps brace him against the tiles and then he’s slicking himself with soap and pre-cum, and spreading Wally as far as he dares.  There’s a moment of tightness where he can feel Wally’s muscles clench around him and then he’s sliding deeper, inch by inch, until he’s buried.

“You’re beautiful,” Bruce whispers against Wally’s neck, and he’s being nothing except honest.

“Move, Bruce.  I want to feel you moving.”  And Bruce moves because he can’t imagine not responding to that golden voice.  He slides slowly back and thrusts in sharply with a grunt of pleasure.  It’s been a long time since he’s done this and he knows he’s always enjoyed it, but this is so much more than what he’s known before.  He strokes Wally’s cock with one hand, not surprised to find he’s hard again.

“Fastest man alive indeed,” Bruce murmurs as he thrusts deeper.  Wally moans and pushes back into him, reaches down a hand to help him set a rhythm, and Bruce sucks water off Wally’s back as they move together.  He mouths Wally’s name against his shoulder.

Slide and thrust, slide and thrust, and Bruce can feel the pressure building, knows the precise moment when he hits Wally’s prostate exactly right, and the vibrations move through them again.  All he can do is stroke and slide and thrust and lick and suck and kiss until his mind empties of everything except this lightning burn of pleasure that threatens to consume him.

“Oh God, Wally,” he yells as his cock empties, and Wally’s yelling too, and he knows there’s semen spattering against the wall under Wally’s hand.  They’re both trembling—vibrating—and Bruce can feel the clenching and unclenching of Wally’s muscles around his shrinking cock, and he doesn’t ever remember it being like this.  This good.

Not ever.

And it terrifies him the way nothing else ever has.


Wally adjusts the Flash uniform one more time, the mask still dangling from his hand, as he waits in the main foyer for Bruce.  He’s not sure what a foyer is except a big empty space with not much purpose, but he’s not going to dwell on the fact that it’s the size of his apartment.  He’s not.

He looks up to see Bruce coming down the stairs in a tailored navy suit, perfectly put-together and Wally swallows awkwardly.  It’s hard to feel fashionable in red and yellow spandex.  He’s so used to Batman wearing a mask, sometimes he forgets exactly how stunningly attractive Bruce is when he’s playing the billionaire.  He tries hard not to shuffle his yellow boots on the Italian marble floor.

“You look great,” Wally says, and Bruce smiles at him.  

“So do you.”  It’s a Bruce Wayne smile.  A rich playboy smile, and Wally knows it’s hard for him to play these roles all the time.  It gets confusing knowing what expressions go with what disguise.

“Wally, you really are amazing.”

There’s a hand stroking his cheek, and Bruce looks apologetic and worried all at the same time.  Wally wonders if Bruce has any idea how vulnerable he looks right now, and he wants to tell him everything’ll be all right.  He settles for pulling him into a hug.  He can smell some sort of cologne that’s musky and spicy, and it suits him perfectly.

“I like the cologne,” Wally says into Bruce’s collar.  Bruce isn’t letting him go, and any minute Wally’s going to start worrying about wrinkling Bruce’s suit.  Wally tries to take a tentative step backwards, and can’t budge.  Bruce’s arms are like a vise, and that’s just weird because the man’s made a science out of keeping people at a distance, and all of Wally’s alarm bells are going off.

“Bruce?  Hey, I’m just going back to Central City.  I’m not going to disappear.  Promise.”  He tries to make it sound casual, but it really isn’t.  He just isn’t sure why.

“Don’t run away,” Bruce says, and lets go enough for Wally to fill his lungs with air again.

“I won’t.  Check the mail, water the plants, feed the Spinster, maybe save the world.  Nothing big.”  He wants Bruce to laugh.  Or even crack a smile.

“Just be careful,” Bruce says too seriously, and kisses him hard enough to make him take a step backwards, and suddenly Wally gets it.  Really gets it.  Why Bruce has been distant these last few months, but still keeping tabs on him, on all of them.  The Justice Lords scared him.  Scared him enough to pay attention to what they told him about the events that caused their world to change:  Luthor’s presidency, Flash’s death.

Fingers tangle in Wally’s hair and there’s never been a kiss so brutal and so loving before.  There’s blood from a broken lip in his mouth and if Bruce were the kind of man to cry, he thinks he might taste tears too.  But Bruce hasn’t cried since he was eight, and the closest he can get to saying he’s terrified is this kiss and Wally kisses him back and tries to tell him it’ll be all right.  Whatever happens, it’ll be all right.

He knows Bruce doesn’t believe him.  It’s obvious in the way he holds him, touches him, as if Wally’s already dead and just doesn’t know it.

“I’m always careful,” Wally says when Bruce finally lets him go.  “And I’m not running away, I’m just doing my job.  You have a couple of those too.”  Wally points at the silver briefcase sitting by the door.


“Bruce, I’ll be back as soon as I can, but I can’t stay here.  Central City needs me, just like Gotham needs you.”

“I know.”  Bruce seems to realize he’s being difficult, over-protective, and there’s a visible effort to relax.  The set of his shoulders doesn’t change.

Wally touches his face gently.  “I’m really fast.  I can be here in minutes, and I will be back.  Promise.”

“If you don’t, I’m coming to get you,” Bruce says, and Wally knows he isn’t joking.  

“Deal.”  Wally nods and kisses him again.  This time it’s slower, deeper, and Wally knows it’s going to be a long time before Bruce says anything about love, but somehow it’s right there in the way he moves, the way he kisses him.  There’s something like sadness too, and he wishes he could reassure Bruce nothing will ever happen to him.

But he can’t.  Bruce would know it’s a lie.

They step apart and neither of them says anything else.  Wally tugs on his mask and breezes out the door.  He turns at the end of the driveway to give a small wave.  He knows Bruce will watch him until he can’t see him anymore.

He wonders if he should check his suit for some miniature Bat-tracker, but decides it doesn’t matter.  Bruce protects.  It’s what he does, and it’s one of the reasons Wally’s always looked up to him, trusted him.  Maybe even loves him.

Wally turns towards Central City and lets the wind and the rush of speed empty his mind of thoughts.  Gotham becomes just a dark shadow behind him.

But he knows he’ll be back.

As fast as he can.


Feedback to Lacey
Return to Comrades in Arms Page
Return to Lacey's DC Fiction Page