Summary: Dick belongs to Bruce.
Date Of Completion: January 18, 2008
Date Of Posting: January 23, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1218
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: Happy Birthday, ladybugkay ! :)
Dick was curled up comfortably in the huge bed, Bruce’s body pressed to his back and his arms around Dick as he slept. Dick could feel his breath tickle the back of his neck.
Rain drummed on the roof as Dick let his eyes drift closed, snuggling even further under the covers. The thick quilt and blankets kept the raw cold of the January day at bay.
Dick was a hugger and employed his tactile senses to their utmost. Back in the circus, he had delighted in the smells of peanuts and popcorn and hot dogs that were offered daily to the incoming public. He could close his eyes and walk through the entire area where the individual trailers were housed and knew which trailer he was passing just by smell: Hungarian goulash, Italian spaghetti and tomato sauce, Polish kielbasa, Irish stew.
The sights were all bright and spangly: costumes, sets, the sequined bridles and harnesses on the horses and elephants, the garish colors of the Big Top.
The sounds were the squeak of the trapeze and the roar of the tigers, the call of the elephants and the chatter of the monkeys, the toot of the clowns’ horns as they practiced and the clop-clop of the horses as they readied for their trick rider routines. Sawdust crunched under ballet-like shoes as Dick headed for the trapeze.
The tastes were sweet cotton candy and sizzling sausages and Romany sweetbreads.
The touches came in the forms of the spikes on the rigging that were climbed to the platform, the hard trapeze bars as his hands curled around them, the distinctive texture of an elephant’s skin as he visited Zitka, his gentle favorite.
The world of the circus shimmered and disappeared to be replaced by the Gothic Wayne Manor and its matching city.
The quiet was what had hit him first when he had arrived at the Manor, Bruce’s hand on his shoulder. Alfred’s kind eyes had soothed his grieving soul a little, and it rained the next day, drumming loudly on the roof, nearly drowning out the sound of the grandfather clock in the hall, that was nearly as old as the one in the library.
The ocean was a pleasant companion, Dick learning very quickly to accustom himself to its steady, relaxing rhythm, falling asleep to its sound as he tried to adjust to his new surroundings.
Eventually, the squeak of bats and rustle of wings were added to his retinue of sounds.
And the tastes were good here. Alfred’s cooking was five-star, and Dick had learned to love new foods with gusto. When Alfred had found out that he had yearned for old favorites, he had sought out the recipes and made them, Dick happy, though he never said that the Romany sweetbreads lacked a certain flavor. His mother had baked them, and she had added a secret family ingredient which Dick couldn’t remember.
The smells of Gotham at night were distinctive: moldering garbage, standing rainwater, dust crumbling from bricks.
The sounds were screams, curses, drunken revelry, the hurried sound of fearful footsteps as a potential victim tries to leave the darkness and get to safety.
Sometimes there were footsteps following, and that’s when he and Batman made their presence known.
Not all was bad. Gotham was beautiful at night high above the city amongst the gargoyles and buttresses, darkness hiding a lot of sins. The lights in the fancy new high-rises blazed and the nightclubs were booming, but Dick always preferred the sound of the wind high up on the roof, Batman’s cape whispering silken around him as they sat and watched.
Bruce was starved for touch. A man so isolated for so many years, walled off emotionally from everyone but Alfred, he had slowly begun to learn to allow pieces of himself to show. When Dick had arrived at Wayne Manor, his senses had been partially dulled through grief, but he recognized a kindred spirit, and had known they shared a bond from their first meeting that horrible night at the circus.
His life had revolved around Bruce and his life as Robin was at Batman’s side.
There had always been a closeness between them, and when Dick grew older, he had understood just how deeply it had run.
Bruce had always been protective, worrying about him and slipping into his room in the middle of the night just to watch him sleep, as if he was a will-o’-the-wisp and would be gone in the morning.
He understood the devastation when your world shattered, your parents who had loved you unconditionally gone in the wink of an eye right in front of you, the grief tearing you inside, leaving a hole that would never be quite filled again.
But there was love in other places, other people. Dick had always welcomed love. Bruce was fearful of it.
Dick was determined to help Bruce shed that fear.
It wasn’t easy. Bruce was controlling and possessive, and Dick had to take a stand even as a child when he felt that he was being treated as less than an equal partner. Even as young as he had been at the start of his Robin career, he had known that the partnership wouldn’t have worked if Bruce and Batman hadn’t let him pull his weight.
Bruce was a quick learner.
And Dick didn’t really mind the protectiveness. He liked it, craved it, needed it. It made him feel loved. Safe. Happy.
When Bruce came close to smothering him, he gently pushed back, letting him know. And Bruce would respect him, and learned to pull back on his own.
Dick allowed Bruce his control. He had a good taste of his own control as leader of the Titans, and he was the Batman’s equal, but he was always ready to follow his lead. Obeying Bruce was as natural to him as flying off a rooftop.
He had Alfred and Clark’s help in opening Bruce up to joy again, but it was their times spent together on patrol, them against the world, that cemented that bond and gave Bruce his new freedom.
Dick liked to chatter. He spoke most often in the Batmobile, Bruce nodding and smiling indulgently, and there were quips and teasing while running over the rooftops and in battle.
Then there were the quiet times, when neither spoke.
They used their bodies to speak.
Sight, to keep each other in view.
Sound, to hear the rustle of capes and the thrum of heartbeats.
Smell, the scent of sweat and hints of cologne used in their other lives.
Touch, ungloved hands sliding over silken capes or skin exposed.
Taste, the uniqueness of mouths and skin while two capes mingled to shield them from the world.
Dick sighs contentedly in the bed he shares with Bruce. The strong arms around him are not smothering, nor annoying, nor trying to keep him pinned to a place he doesn’t want to be.
The strong arms around him are keeping him safe, happy, and loved.
He is Bruce Wayne’s.
He is Batman’s.
He belongs in this bed, in the master bedroom, in Wayne Manor.
He belongs in the Batmobile.
He belongs by Batman’s side on the streets and roofs of Gotham.
He belongs to Bruce.
And Bruce belongs to him.