Title: Serenity Prayer
Warnings: Slash, angst, some smut.
Author's Notes: One of my earliest fics, recently re-edited. Link to accompanying fanart is on my profile page. Please review!
It's been years—not many, but it feels like an eternity.
Nightwing's standing on the rooftop across old Titans Tower, pretending to be scanning the surrounding area for trouble, pretending he didn't come here on purpose, pretending he doesn't know that it was on this day, three years ago, that Starfire disappeared.
A full scale guerrilla war could erupt on the street below and he wouldn't notice. It's Blorthog, and Nightwing figures he deserves one night to pine for the things that he's lost.
Everything falls apart, one way or another.
He could go in and visit Cyborg, who still lives here. But they would have nothing to say, and reminiscing would just make it worse. Besides, Nightwing vividly remembers the last time he tried to visit a Titan; Raven screamed at him, lost control of her powers, and nearly blew up the asylum.
Since then, Nightwing has kept to himself.
Things change, he thinks, only he must have said it aloud, because someone answers.
"Some things don't."
Nightwing's train of thought tumbles off its proverbial cliff, crashes and burns, yet he can't bring himself to look away from the Tower, even when he knows who's standing behind him.
"So here we are again. Just the two of us."
Even when Slade's hand closes around his wrist and pulls him close. "Feeling nostalgic?"
If he wasn't before, he certainly is now. Nightwing swallows hard. These are not the glory days, no matter how much he wants them to be.
"Don't look so miserable." Slade's other hand gently twists his hair. "You lost nothing of importance."
"My friends—" The word catches unexpectedly in his throat, his chest tightening.
"Nightwing," says Slade, reminding him again how different things are now, "you don't have friends anymore."
That hurts, more than Nightwing thought it would. On top of everything else, there's a horrible sort of déjà vu in all this.
"They're not your friends anymore."
Nightwing takes a deep breath and lets it out. "Why are you here, Slade?"
"Old habits die hard." Slade's finger strokes his pulse. "Why are you?" There's a challenge in his voice.
"This is my city. I swore to protect it." He can't help but wince at how mechanical the words have become.
"There are other cities that need you more." And then they're face to face, too close, and Nightwing can't believe how, even at five-foot-ten, Slade still seems to tower over him.
"Jump City…" he begins uncertainly.
"There are other cities that need you more. Surely your ex-teammates can handle this one." Slade cocks his head. "Ah yes, I forgot. One of them is insane. One is obsolete. One can't handle himself in a fight. And one…has been missing in action for three years."
Nightwing's screws his eyes shut. Starfire…
Slade is silent a moment before speaking. "Did you love her?"
Three years ago, that question alone would have been intolerable provocation. "Yes."
"The best thing that ever happened to you," says Slade, pulling Nightwing closer, "is her leaving."
Nightwing thrusts his knee into Slade's stomach and shoves him away forcefully, because that was too fucking far. Slade just smiles and straightens.
Nightwing's first punch misses. His second and third do as well. Slade dodges a kick and says, "Good," and Nightwing wants to hurt him even more.
On the seventh or eighth swing, his fist connects—actually connects—with the side of Slade's face. The realization doesn't sink in until he sees the crack in Slade's mask. Then he stops, and it's déjà vu all over again.
"Brings back memories, doesn't it?"
Slade calmly reaches a hand to the fractured mask and pulls it away, letting it clatter to the ground. Nightwing can't move.
When Slade grabs him by the arms and pulls him against his broad chest and kisses him hard enough to bruise, he's not sure he wants to move, because the last time he was touched—
But this is Slade, and it's different and wrong and dangerous and—
Everything he's ever wanted, and he can admit that to himself now that everyone else is gone, can't he? Slade's mouth is hot and humid and fits just right, and he's gripping Nightwing too tight, like he thinks he might run away if left to his own devices. Insanely, it makes him smile, wide enough to accidentally break the kiss. Slade smiles back, perhaps misinterpreting, and says, "That was for the mask."
Nightwing opens his mouth and Slade kisses him again, which is good because Nightwing has no idea what he was going to say and it's safer this way.
This time the kiss is longer and more involved. When Slade breaks it, Nightwing isn't the only one who's panting.
"And what was that for?" he gasps, and congratulates himself for retaining some level of coherency.
Slade's smile is back, but with a sharp edge. "Every time you've ever defied me. Robin."
Nightwing instinctively tries to back up, but Slade's grip never slackens. So he tries the other option and lifts his chin for a good glare. "I've defied you more than that."
Before he can blink, he's pinned full-length against the ground. Struggles are purely reflexive and eventually just for show as Slade's tongue presses it's way past Nightwing's parted lips and licks deep into the cavern of his mouth. He swallows a moan that he's sure Slade can taste, because when he pulls back, his expression is softer and harder at the same time. "You have," he admits, and his voice is deeper and richer than Nightwing has ever heard it.
When Slade's hands go to Nightwing's belt buckle, they don't shake—he's Slade—but they're forceful and scrabbling just a little. Nightwing's hands can hardly function, although he does manage to get the top part of his uniform off eventually, peeling it away from the adhesion of his own sweat.
Slade takes advantage of the appearance of additional exposed skin. Sensation hits Nightwing's nipple, first a wet warmth, then teeth, biting hard enough to leave indents that will stay for weeks. He gasps and arches, and Slade looks up with a peculiar quirk of the lips.
"Did Starfire ever dredge that sound from you, Nightwing?
Once, perhaps, he might have been unable to detect that hint of jealousy in Slade's layered voice. But things change; Nightwing has changed. He grips Slade's wrist and meets his eyes. "Leave her out of this."
"Of course, you were just a boy then. Just a sixteen—" He breaks off and looks at Nightwing again, tilting his head and giving him a narrow look, as though something has just occurred to him. "You're a virgin." He sounds amused, maybe even satisfied.
For the sake of his pride, Nightwing pretends it was a question. "Yes."
Before he can finish the word, Slade has Nightwing's pants down and is spreading his legs. "Good boy."
The chilly night air assaults his most intimate parts. Slade's finger strokes his opening for a moment, moving in slow circles, until Nightwing's holding his breath, and then the finger shoves in. Nightwing hisses but arches despite himself. It's not so much pain-edged pleasure as it is pleasure-edged pain, but that's the way everything is with Slade, he couldn't take it any other way.
Slade is warm and heavy, his tongue trailing lazily up to the crook of his neck. Nightwing's torn between two completely different sensations, one soft and wet, one sharp and intense and strange. Without his permission, his hands slide up Slade's back, then come down again, nails digging in retribution. Slade gasps and crooks the finger inside him, and Nightwing very nearly screams. God, he wants more.
Slade laughs, a little breathlessly. "How long have you wanted this?"
Nightwing closes his eyes at last. "Somewhere between never and always," he says, his voice strangely broken.
Slade slides the finger out slowly, gently this time, and Nightwing lets out a shaky exhale. He can hear Slade doing something, rummaging in his belt, which he's still wearing (Nightwing intends to rectify that). But before he can get his eyes open again, he feels something cold and wet, and then Slade's finger eases smoothly in, and out, and then there are two fingers and Nightwing nearly bites his lip clean through.
Slade chuckles and pushes deeper. Nightwing forces his eyes open and starts working on Slade's belt, and then his zipper. Slade is hard and hot like him, and moans in the most satisfying way when Nightwing pets.
The encouragement, however, is unnecessary. The fingers slip out, and half a second later, he's pushing slowly into Nightwing.
"Oh god--" Nightwing wraps arms and legs around Slade and buries his face in a broad, scarred shoulder, bearing the stretch, the friction, the shuddering heat that spikes with every roll of his hips. "How long—nghh—how long have you wanted this?" He wants to hear it so badly.
"From the first."
And with that, he gives another thrust and sets the rhythm. Nightwing tries not to moan because that would be an admission that he needs this, needs Slade, and he doesn't need anyone. Doesn't need a father, doesn't need friends, doesn't need a team, or sex, or warmth, or anything normal people need.
"As long as I'm
around…you are never alone."
But it's hard, because the sensations seem to be intensifying exponentially. Slade is not neglecting Nightwing's aching erection, stopping occasionally to for a teasing stroke, driving Nightwing to the brink of insanity.
"From that first instant, I knew I had to have you," Slade continues relentlessly, with a firmer, longer stroke. "I knew I could never rest until you were mine." He grinds down, hard.
Nightwing whimpers audibly, and doesn't even care. It's so incredibly wrong, being fucked by Slade while he can still see the dark broken windows of the Tower. He can't take this anymore, he needs to let go…
He turns his head and Slade's cracked mask is right there on the ground next to him.
And that's all it takes for him to come. Arching one last time, he feels Slade follow him into that beautiful mindless oblivion, and banishes that part of him that wishes it wasn't over so quickly.
"Relax, Robin. I'm not going
When Nightwing can think again, he's clutching at Slade's back, fingers clenched white. He lets go slowly, feeling every muscle in his body slowly relax, like wax melting from the flame of a candle.
For a few long minutes, nothing. Just the sound of heavy breathing, the feel of heat and relief, the taste of blood from his lip. When Nightwing finally speaks, his voice is unwound.
"Have to patrol now."
Slade rises and dresses, and Nightwing, with difficulty, manages to pull his pants back up.
"This isn't over, Nightwing."
And then Slade's gone and Nightwing turns back to the old Tower, only this time, he feels somehow less alone.
Some things change. Nightwing has been forced to accept that.
Some things don't change. And maybe Nightwing can accept that too.