(This is based on a prompt on livejournal in the yj_anon_meme.)

In Heat

It had been embarrassing at first, when Superboy had just pushed him against the fridge at breakfast and started devouring him like a particularly juicy watermelon. The room had gone quiet (because obviously they'd all been there because it was breakfast!), for all of ten seconds before cat calls and laughter erupted. Of course it was impossible to dislodge Superman's freaking clone from his person, so Robin had to just stay there getting thoroughly snogged.

After that, it had become annoying. Conner didn't allow him even a toilet break away from him, standing right outside the stall until he came out again. While the last few years hadn't done too much to change the other's personality, he'd at least become more relaxed, more human. Right now he'd downright regressed, that confused (albeit admittedly cute) frown casting down his lips like it hadn't in months.

Now he was resigned, dragging the clone with him because he'd latched onto Robin's waist at some point mid morning and would not let go for longer than a few seconds.

After the initial amusement on the issue, and seeing that, no, it hadn't been a onetime thing; the rest of the team had begun to wonder what was going on. Of course (much to Robin's chagrin) The Red Tornado, chaperone as he was, had been called in. In turn the robot had informed Batman.

When Batman walked into the conference room he'd told the two of them to wait for him in, Conner growled deep in this throat and bared his teeth. Robin saw the shifting in the cowl that indicated a raised eyebrow before the man gestured for them all to sit. Robin tried to take a separate seat from Conner, but he was powerless to resist as he was pulled into the clone's lap. He shifted in a vain attempt at freedom before giving in and getting comfortable; surprisingly easy what with their still comparatively large size differences and Conner's beefy appendages.

"Superboy is in heat." Batman, never one to mince words, opened with. Of course Batman knew what was going on, that was never the issue; it was the -how- he knew that was always the mystery.

Robin grimaced and oh god Conner was chewing on his earlobe in front of the Goddamn Batman and he swatted the other away before it could do anything more embarrassing to where his blood was accumulating. "And it lasts how long?" He managed to ask as a hand tried to sneak up the front of his shirt instead.

Batman, managing to look both amused and disapproving at the same time, took a moment before he answered. "Anywhere from a week to a month. It occurs once every three years. Unfortunately once a Kryptonian has chosen their mate, they do not leave their side for nearly any length of time until the coupling is" he made a face "consummated."

Robin's face burned at the word 'consummated' before his blood fled in an entirely different direction. He was a sixteen-year-old boy, after all, and even the mention of gay sex (Robin being happily bi-curious) had his hormones doing flip-flops.

Suddenly Dick was recalling something from a while back, when he'd still been living at Wayne Manor more than just every other night. Twice Superman had come to stay with them. Of course there had been excuses at the time and they were so far between that he hadn't thought anything of it. He'd barely seen Bruce during the times Superman had been there, and at the time he'd figured that they were just in super research mode. At the time he'd been a non-hormone addled little kid.

And Robin put two and two together like he'd been taught by the world's greatest detective himself.

Oh god would the mortification and mental scaring not stop?

He couldn't help the hitch to his breath as a thumb flicking over a nipple disrupted his thoughts. He yanked on the hands that had both managed to sneak completely under his shirt, and they came away. The expression on Superboy's face, though, had him placing the arms back around his torso, just on the outside of his shirt this time.

"So I, what, have no say in this?" Robin spat, "I'm just expected to lie down and take it like some whore?" He hadn't really meant or expected to sound so venomous or angry. He felt more than heard Superboy growl again and his arms tightened around Dick's ribs, squeezing the air out. A strangled gasp and Conner relaxed slightly but he was still holding on tight and he'd buried his head in the crook of Robin's neck.

The look on Batman's face could have made the Joker poop his pants and Conner stiffened, even if he couldn't see it. "No." It was Batman's turn to growl. "They cannot force themselves on their mate. That would be counterproductive and against their nature." Despite his words there was a warning note to Batman's voice that Conner had better not force him. Batman may not actually kill people, but Robin knew for a fact that some things were worse than death; Batman knew -all- of them and could sneak into your room without being detected.

He shuddered.

"Now, Robin, put these on so I can have a word with Superboy privately." Batman held out a pair of heavy duty earplugs and one of those masks they gave you on planes to block out light. Dick only put them on because he had a feeling he did not want to be privy to this conversation.

Twenty minutes, three bruised ribs and an absent Batman later, Superboy had stopped letting him walk on his own.

"Seriously dude, put me down!" Robin demanded for the fourth time without any success.

"No." responded Conner, same as he had all those other times. At least he couldn't bruise any more ribs holding him bridal style like he was. His legs on the other hand...

"So what's the deal?" Wally asked when they entered the kitchen to get some lunch. Robin wasn't particularly hungry, but Superboy currently had control over his destination.

Conner opened his mouth to speak but Robin whacked him upside the head.

"Don't you dare!" He hissed.

"The entire team has been taken off active duty." Kaldur stated calmly, crossing his arms in a reproaching manner. "We deserve to know what is going on."

Robin resisted the sudden urge to bury his face in Conner's firm, massive chest and kept his lips locked in a white line.

"Hey, what's that?" Before Robin could react, Kid Flash had darted forward and snatched the sheet of paper from his hands. Dick reached for it and would have fallen out of Conner's arms had the clone not had such a good grip on him.

Wally's eyes widened significantly as he looked down at the list Batman had left. "Kryptonian Mating Habits?" he read the title, the disbelieving snigger obvious in his voice. He began to skim, reading bits of it out loud "Subject becomes clingy and possessive... may regress to a more primal method of communication..."

M'gann couldn't suppress her giggles, Artemis was outright laughing. Only Kaldur had any semblance of control remaining and a glance told him that was only because he was biting his tongue so hard he'd all but made it bleed.

"Heightened sensitivity to sexual stimu-"

Robin finally found his voice. "Conner, fetch."

Superboy darted forward, shifting Robin in his arms to free one and reached for Wally menacingly. Wally himself 'eep'ed and dropped the list before he ran away. Conner snatched it out of the air and turned to glare at their other three teammates, who promptly went back to doing what they'd been doing before Robin and Conner had come back.

Dick woke groggy; his surprisingly accurate internal clock telling him he'd only managed about four hours of sleep. It was also still dark out. Three days it had been like this, Conner following him into his bed as well as everywhere else. At least Bruce had relocated them to the Manor today, before he could suffer any more teasing at the hands of his so called friends. If he had to listen to Wally recite from that list one more time... stupid super speed memorisation...

Apparently Batman's rules about secret identities (he'd done so well hiding it for three freaking years) didn't extend to horny Kryptonians. Not only had his home been disclosed, but also his name and a portion of his back story. Conner had latched on to his real name like a fly to honey.

And on his lips it sounded so dirty.

Robin felt Superboy's now constant hard on press into his thigh and felt his own groin respond with a throb. According to Batman's information pamphlet... thing, Conner was now exuding some sort of pheromone that was keyed to his genetic signature designed to instil sexual arousal. This made him feel a little bit better about his own reaction (Conner did smell damn good) but that wasn't much consolation in the long run.

The fact of the matter was, sooner or later he was going to be overwhelmed by these pheromones. He was already pretty whelmed by them, considering his hormones were pretty messed up as per usual for a teenage boy. Above par hygiene had saved him from the horror of acne marring his pretty, pretty face, but this was one thing he couldn't escape.

Conner groaned behind him and Dick almost came.

Swearing, Robin turned over to face the taller, more muscular boy. He was not, NOT going to have a wet dream in Dick's bed while Dick was in it; especially while Dick was hard too.

"Conner." He said sharply, giving him a good, firm push just to make sure it did the job, even if it didn't actually move him much.

Superboy blinked stupidly for a few moments before he actually woke up.

"Look," Dick hissed quietly. Bruce's room, or Alfred's for that matter, weren't anywhere near his own, but that didn't stop him from being cautious. He was in Batman's home, for crying out loud. You didn't yell when you didn't want to be discovered doing something. "We're both not comfortable right now. I'm- I..." Dick took a deep breath and pressed on, trying to get right to the point before he thought about it too much. "Look, how about we just jerk each other off and get back to sleep?"

Robin pretended to ignore the almost euphoric expression on Superboy's face. He looked like a puppy that just saw his lead in his master's hands and knew it meant he was going for a walk. Lips descended on his own, licking and sucking and Robin allowed it for now, because it -did- feel good. He even kissed back, figuring he was wasting the opportunity to increase his skill in the area if he didn't.

Then hands were down his pants on the entirely wrong side of his body, fingers prodding unwanted areas.

Dick yelped and pulled away. "Shit man, no. We're just going to jerk each other off, ok?"

Ignoring the kicked puppy expression, Dick shoved a hand down Conner's pants (the right side) and fisted him, watching those cheeks flush and eyes squeeze shut as he moaned again. Using his other hand, Robin moved Superboy's onto his own erection, guiding his first few strokes until they had a rhythm going.

Both boys moaned and groaned and panted, sharing messy kisses until they both came hard and fast into each other's hands. They lay there panting, regaining the ability to move. Conner almost sounded like he was purring (which was good that he was expanding on his repertoire of animals to imitate, those puppy comparisons were getting repetitive) in pleasure, snuggling closer and not letting Dick go, even to clean them both up. They were going to be so gross in the morning...

At least he could go back to sleep now.

Alfred seemed to think food would fix everything. Or perhaps cooking just calmed his nerves. As they sat in the kitchen eating lunch, he kept shooting Conner thinly veiled British glares as if just by touching him Superboy was taking away whatever innocence Dick had left. Of course food did help - especially Alfred's food. Dick plucked another piece of chocolate fudge off of the plate in front of him and popped it into his mouth.

A week in and Dick wasn't entirely sure that Conner -wasn't- taking away his innocence just by touching him. That smell had gotten stronger as the days went by, and more than once had almost overpowered any objection he'd had to his ass being used for anything other than its intended purpose.

Of course it hadn't yet. Heavy petting, desperate grinding and some frotting were as far as he could bring himself to allow. Knowing that Bruce and Alfred knew what was going on, and where it would lead did wonders for killing his libido.

Of course Conner had become a lot more persistent with the whole inappropriate touching in public thing, even if he did let him walk on his own again. Dragging the other around with him was a whole lot better than -being- dragged round.

The doorbell rang and Alfred went to investigate, as was his job. The kitchen was right below the front door to give Alfred easy access to it as he needed to have (Didn't want guests to have to wait too long), which gave Dick a pretty good vantage point to hear what was going on.

"Good afternoon, Alfred."

"Master Clark! It is a pleasure!"

There were sounds of a coat being removed and stashed in the appropriate place before the polite conversation drifted away then came back much more defined. Robin tried to remove himself from Superboy's lap, which wasn't something he'd tried to do again since that first day. Of course it was still futile, but it was the thought that counted, right? That and he didn't want any more people privy to the embarrassment of his current situation, even if they already knew.

"Dick, Conner." Clark greeted them as he entered the kitchen.

The growling and over protectiveness started again as the man's gaze lingered on Dick for a little too long as far as Conner seemed to be concerned. Superman's gaze didn't redirect, though, until he'd finished his assessment. Robin had the most uncomfortable feeling that he'd just been violated in some way and it probably had something to do with the other man's x-ray vision.

"Ribs!" Dick wheezed and Conner stopped hugging him so tightly. He'd just barely recovered from the last protective squeeze of death; he didn't need his ribs re-bruised so soon.

"Conner, humans are fragile." Clark scolded, back to being Clark Kent and not the world's saviour. "You have to control yourself at all times, otherwise you'll hurt him."

Conner whimpered and his hold relaxed even further. Dick groaned in embarrassment, letting his face fall into his hands. He had a sneaking suspicion that Clark was here to add his own two cents to the matter. As if Bruce's talk hadn't been enough.

Alfred had made their guest up a plate of food before leaving them alone to talk. Clark settled himself down in a chair opposite them and seemed to be trying to find the most relaxed pose he could muster, if the fidgeting was any clue. Eventually he settled for crossing one leg over the other and started to dig into his lunch.

It was Conner who broke first, much to Robin's surprise. "Why are you here?" He asked, managing to keep most the rumble from his voice. Dick wasn't entirely sure how much progress the pair had made over the years, but it had to be some at least for Clark to hand over his family name to the boy. They still seemed a little bit awkward, though, but that could just be the current situation.

"I just thought I'd stop by; see how you two were going. Do I need much of a reason to see my, er, son and the boy I've watched grow up?"

Dick raised an eyebrow.

Clark caved. "Ok! So Bruce told me you weren't exactly accepting the situation and called me in for damage control. He's just worried about you - the both of you, actually." The man removed his glasses and rubbed at the bridge of his nose, a nervous habit more than anything, Robin guessed. Replacing the glasses, he took another bite of Alfred's cooking. No one could resist Alfred's cooking for long.

"I'm handling it." Dick bristled at the implication he couldn't handle himself. It was besides the point that Bruce was entirely right in his assumption. That did not mean talking about it would solve anything.

"Are you though? It's been a week and you still haven't..." Clark trailed off, letting Robin fill in the rest on his own. That's what he'd been doing staring earlier; checking to see if they'd actually had sex yet. "Bruce didn't take nearly as long to-"

Dick threw his hands over his ears and squeezed his eyes shut. "Lalala! I'm not listening! This is not happening. I am not talking about this with my dad's lover- Oh god I did not just say that out loud!"

He could feel Conner's glare burn past his shoulder and on to the room's other occupant. 'Father' or not, apparently his 'mate' came first right now. There was silence for a long while as Dick clamed himself down and eventually removed his hands from his ears.

"I'm just saying," Clark resumed when he was certain he would be heard properly again, "that you will regain a lot more freedom once you allow your mind to do what your bodies want to, need to. Not to mention shorten the duration of his cycle. I know you've already done some... stuff. It's not much more of a stretch in will to give in completely. Conner has already been well versed in the mechanics and how not to hurt-" Cutting himself off (Dick had given him his own glare that would rival one of Batman's most fierce), Clark chucked a little. "If you need to talk, I'm only a call away; so is Bruce. You've got access to both sides of the equation in any case."

Dick didn't dignify that with any sort of answer, and lunch was finished with silences and awkward small talk.

"You know how to find me." Clark reaffirmed as they showed the man to the door.

Dick nodded once, curtly, so he would be left alone, then they were saying their goodbyes and shutting the door behind their guest.

Which was just as well, because Dick needed to have a nice long think about the turn his life had taken.

It was five days later that Dick finally gave in. He had begun to have particularly vivid dreams the night after Clark had come to visit, and they were both hard again almost immediately after getting each other off. During the day Dick was all but walking around in a daze, thoroughly intoxicated by the cloying smell that clung to Superboy like water.

Conner seemed to sense the change in him, because he was wide awake immediately (even though both of them no longer got much real sleep), and actually let him go for a moment. The sounds of him riffling around in a draw were loud in the dark, quiet room and the bed squeaked as he returned.

Lips caressed the back of his neck gently, hands running up and down his stomach like ghosts. He could feel Conner pull up flush against his back, hard muscles shifting and rippling in the most enticing ways. Those lips shifted to his earlobe, nibbling, then down to his jaw and the particularly sensitive spot on his neck that Conner had found on day six and had been exploiting ever since.

It all felt so good, and it most certainly wasn't a physical revulsion that had kept him from allowing this. Dick had spent his formative years in Gotham City - seeing the worst crimes humanity was capable of. He'd seen injury, death, destruction, riots, hate crimes, murder... he'd seen rape... and this felt much too like rape for him to just relax and go with it, even if he wanted to.

He knew that this wasn't Conner's fault. It was all genetics and hormones. So far the other youth had stopped whenever Dick told him to. He tested boundaries, but didn't step over them. Any and all actual sexual conduct had been initiated by Dick himself. He should have felt empowered by this, but all he felt was that suffocating feeling that he couldn't escape this even if he wanted to.

And that was the root of the matter; Dick felt like he had no control over himself, and control was all he'd ever had.

Dick wasn't super powered. All his skills had been trained into him, learnt and earned over time until he could hold his own against all but the strongest Superheros and Villains the streets had to offer. He was a Flying Grayson, Robin, a member of Young Justice that could not be done without. He could keep up with Batman! Had been doing so since the age of nine!

Suddenly he couldn't trust his body anymore. It wanted Conner like it needed to breathe and that scared the shit out of him.

A moan escaped his lips, breathy and wanting. He'd been hard before Conner had started touching him like this; now he was in physical pain at the need to be touched. As if sensing this, one of his companion's hands moved to run blunt fingernails up and down his arousal. Dick twitched, just stopping himself from bucking wildly, seeking more contact.

Conner kept things slow, exploring his body like he'd never seen it before. Clothes had been discarded at some point and Robin stared up at that broad, naked chest, then down the body hovering over him. Conner was large, but not impossibly so. He thought about the next step in the matter and almost bailed, losing some of his arousal before lips descended on his own.

Tongues danced desperately, one trying to comfort and sooth, the other trying to regain some semblance of control. They broke away for air and Dick inhaled a huge breath of that heady perfume, it had changed somewhat, and he felt his head clear a little from the haze it had been keeping him in.

A hand pushed his hair out of his face and their eyes met for long moments. Then Conner was kissing his way down, touching and tasting again until he reached his destination. Superboy took him entirely into his mouth in one go and Dick came immediately. Conner swallowed it all, the contractions of his throat stroking Dick back to life.

His well honed senses didn't miss the pop of a lid being released, or the soft squirt as something was squeezed out. Dick felt fingers probing around the tight ring of muscles just beyond his balls. Conner's tongue had taken to licking up and down his penis, just enough to reduce him to a moaning, whimpering pile of goo but not bring him over the edge. It didn't stop the sharp sting as one of Conner's fingers entered him. Dick gasped, fighting against any negative reactions. He had made the decision to do this and he would see it through.

The pain went away slowly, overtaken by the pleasure again, until another finger was added. Conner pressed them in deeper, scissoring and twisting, looking for something. His fingers curled and blinding hot bliss encompassed his entire being. It almost drove him over the edge for the second time, but not quite. By the time Dick could think again a third finger had been inserted and he felt like he wasn't going to get much more stretched then he already was.

Those fingers retreated and Conner returned to kissing him, saliva mingling and dribbling down the sides of his face. His hips were lifted and something else probed at his ass, seeking entrance. Dick gasped, eyes scrunching shut and hands fisting the sheets, lips stiffening into a white line.

Then he wasn't on his back anymore.

Conner looked up at him, eyebrows furrowed in a worried, pleading sort of look. He still looked gruff, almost always looked gruff, but there was something desperate about him now, gentle and begging. Superboy took up his hands, threading their fingers together and letting his forearms rest on the matrass.

Dick blinked down at their new position, him crouched over Conner. The other was trying to lay still, gripped Dick's hands firmly and pulled down as if to show him that his own weren't going anywhere. Conner was practically trembling with the effort to keep his hips from thrusting upwards, though from that position there wasn't really much he could do unless he threw Dick off first, or changed their position drastically.

A wry smile slowly stretched over Dick's face. Conner was still the Alpha male, the dominant participant, but Dick now had power over their movements. Something snapped then, whatever was keeping him from enjoying this and he repositioned himself. There was already a condom on Conner's member (something Bruce had been driving into him since he hit puberty and had no doubt spent a good portion of his lecture talking about) so he carefully lowered himself down on it.

Dick couldn't help the sharp hiss as the larger object breached him. It was slick with gel but it was still a struggle to get the head to penetrate. Dick kept going though, until he was half way impaled. Stopping there to catch his breath, the youth was finally able to open his eyes and look back down at Conner.

He almost came again.

Conner had his head thrown back, cheeks flushed and lips slightly parted in a silent moan. He was taking in small, sharp breaths, eyes fluttering. Dick slid up a little, then back down, trying to get lower this time. Conner's lips rounded then relaxed as if he was trying to speak but had forgotten how. It was damn hot.

Dick didn't take his eyes off Conner after that, slowly getting used to being stretched and filled. It was a strange feeling, but not without its own sort of erotica. It wasn't until Conner was completely buried inside him and Dick changed position slightly to lean forward a little that he found the true charms of bottoming.

His movements sped up and Conner found his voice, gasping and grunting as Dick pulled him in and out. He hit that spot about one in every three downward thrusts. They were both enjoying this, he realised, and it was ok. No horrible mental scarring, no feeling like he was Superboy's bitch.

Dick pulled his hands free to rest them on Conner's chest instead, for better leverage. Conner took that as permission and one of his own took to Dick's hip while the other began pumping Dick's cock.

"Dick..." Conner growled and pulled down hard. In the morning he would have a hand shaped bruise on his hip but right now all he could concentrate on was the way Conner's penis throbbed against his prostate as he ejaculated. It brought him over the edge too, and they both rode the waves of pleasure, twitching and jerking until Dick flopped boneless onto Conner's chest.

And Dick couldn't help but smile.

Dick's eyes flew open the next morning, heart giving a small jump before he realised he didn't actually have a time to be up by, even if it felt like he'd slept much too long. Several things came to his attention after the initial shock of having slept through the night (and well into the day). One, he ached in places he didn't know could ache (which was significant because he was an acrobat and they were crazy flexible), and two, he was cold. And -alone-.

Stretching out for the first time in weeks, Dick sighed and flung an arm over his eyes. He'd slept with one of his best friends, and he didn't regret it. Dick wasn't entirely sure which part fazed him more. He was pretty certain he was supposed to feel something more than he did, but even if his body felt used, he could still remember the pleasure that made it so worth it. So this was why sex was such a big deal - something people killed over, paid for, stole...

His stomach gave a loud rumble and he heard the toilet flush in the en-suite. Conner was uncharacteristically cheerful as he came back into the bedroom, still completely naked. Dick soaked up the sight for a moment before he realised what he was doing and that he was still naked too. His cheeks burned and he sat up, pulling the sheets around him in a protective cocoon.

Undeterred, Conner wrapped him in a hug, sheets and all, then drifted towards the door to the hallway like he was walking on air.

"Whoa there big guy!" Robin jumped to his feet, latching onto Superboy's arm like he could actually stop the clone of steel. "No way you're going out there in your birthday suit, because that would be like announcing to the world that you and I- And I don't want Alfred getting snarky, you know how he can be; all British and snarky and dry wit not to mention Bruce because, damn, that would be just embarrassing even if he has seen both of us naked before because, you know, he raised me and had you tested a while back and he's probably got video surveillance on the entire house, except in here because I checked for bugs but oh god I haven't done that since I got back so maybe he installed some to make sure you don't-" A semi-hysterical bubble of laughter erupted from his throat as he realised he was babbling. "The point is, let's get dressed then we can go down for break-" he glanced at the clock, "lunch..."

Dick managed to get Conner to put on a shirt and his jeans at least, though that the other boy failed to put on his boxer briefs didn't escape his notice. Robin himself dressed properly (utility belt included like always) after he'd gone to the bathroom to relieve himself, clean off anything gross and put on copious amounts of deodorant in lieu of a shower.

As soon as he was back out in the main room, Conner took his hand and began to lead him down to the kitchen. Dick was even allowed to sit in his own chair, though Superboy still sat much too close, every now and then nuzzling at him with his nose. All the while a stupid little smile planted itself firmly on Conner's lips.

He couldn't bring himself to look at Alfred, because Alfred would know. Alfred always knew everything that happened in their family, even if you tried to hide it; especially if you tried to hide it. Dick didn't regret what he'd done, but that didn't make it any less awkward knowing that others knew.

"Master Bruce?"

At Alfred's alarmed cry, Robin immediately looked up and to the door. Bruce was leaning against the doorframe, still in his Batman costume (something he almost never did up in the main house). He looked like he'd tangled with The Joker, Twoface and Penguin at the same time and with this job Dick couldn't be sure that wasn't what had happened.

He'd obviously been shot at least once, and the protective layer of fabric was ripped and bloody in places. Dick was on his feet instantaneously, rushing forward to help get the man into a seat. Before he could though, he found himself engulfed in a near bruising hug, Batman's cape falling around them as he was pressed into Bruce's chest.

His guardian's heartbeat was strong against his cheek, and he was warm even if he smelt metallic with blood. It was such a rare occurrence to receive physical affection from this man that it stunned him for a moment, before Dick, too, raised his arms to hug back.

In the arms of his Surrogate Father, Dick allowed some of the mental trauma and stress to escape. His body shook a little as he drew in shuddering breaths, though his eyes didn't do anything more than prickle. They clung to one another, sharing something undefinable that even Conner didn't interrupt or protest.

They stayed like that for a long time, until Bruce collapsed to his knees. As if a spell had been broken, Robin jumped into action, placing his mentor's arm around his shoulder and getting him into one of the kitchen chairs. Between himself and Alfred, they stripped off most of Batman's gear and clothing, and began patching him up. There were quite a few gashes that needed stitches, and Alfred used a pair of surgical tweezers to pry the bullet out of Bruce's arm.

Dick was privately and shamefully thankful for the distraction. The concentration needed for the medical procedures pushed almost everything else out of his brain and he was allowed about an hour free from anything but focus and concern for Bruce's well being.

Conner watched him the entire time, a hungry focus of his own in his eyes.

Clark burst into the kitchen when Dick was finishing the last set of stitches while Alfred wrapped up some they'd already done in bandages. He looked confused for a moment then was immediately at Bruce's side, a hand on the other man's shoulder. Dick thought that sometimes Clark forgot Batman was actually completely human. Hardly anyone ever saw him like this, bruised and bloodied (the only thing broken was a finger and even that was only fractured) and covered in bandages. Bruce had cultivated Batman's reputation much too well.

No one said anything as Alfred forced Bruce to eat something, then had Clark carry him to one of the ground floor guest bedrooms. When Clark came back alone there was an awkward moment before he smiled and the world righted itself a little.

"Congratulations are in order!" He beamed, ruffling Dick's hair and clapping Conner on the shoulder. "I knew you guys would get there eventually!"

Dick had a feeling that this was why Clark had come over in this first place, if the gift basket he'd dropped by the kitchen door was anything to go by. Strategically bypassing any contemplation of -how- Clark knew, Robin tried to smile, even if it came out as more of a grimace. It was the thought, right? ... As long as it didn't turn into a 'you lost your virginity to a man, yay!' party and there wasn't anything too embarrassing in that basket he could stomach it for a little while now that he'd had time to come to grips with it slightly.

Conner went to inspect the basket, since Clark didn't seem inclined to remember it as he began updating them on the happenings of the week. Dick watched him begin to pull things out and steadily grew a reddish-grey colour as his if his face couldn't decide if it wanted to drain or fill respectively in horror or embarrassment.

There was a distinctly R rated theme to the things Conner was setting on the floor; lube, vibrators and toys, books with naked cartoon people on the front... Dick slapped a hand to his forehead and let out a terrific groan. "Clark, tell me you aren't seriously giving us that stuff...?"

Surprised out of his chatter, the man looked over his shoulder at Conner before turning back to Dick the picture of innocence. "I thought about all the things we could have used the first time I went into heat with Bruce and got them for you. I recon you have about another week before Superboy comes out of it so I want you two to enjoy it as much as possible."

"Too much information..." Robin groaned... great, now all he'd be able to think about around those things would be Bruce naked, possibly underneath an equally naked Clark. Shuddering, Dick derailed that train of thought.

"They're not exactly something someone should be giving to a sixteen-year-old..." The look on Clarks face was too much and Dick found himself sighing again. "But we're an exception... Conner, can you take those up to my room before Alfred sees them?"

Conner gave him a long, evaluating look before putting everything back into the basket and left to do so.

"Now about those terror threats...?"

Superboy's heat lasted three weeks, two days and ended abruptly. Dick woke one morning alone and after a search of the house didn't turn up his bedfellow, he called Young Justice HQ to have M'gann tell him that Conner was in the training room and what on earth was going on? Robin hadn't answered, instead excusing himself and hanging up.

It was almost surreal to be alone after just over three weeks of almost constant contact. He took a shower by himself, cleaning almost too thoroughly after their final romp last night. By the time he got out, his skin was pink, he was cleaner than he'd been in months and he was starting to get just a little bit lonely.

Alfred found him later on in the Batcave doing pull ups. He hadn't had much of a chance to exercise properly over the last few weeks and he was just a little bit out of shape. It was frustrating but he was never one to give up. Dick would just work extra hard to get back into perfect form.

He hadn't been to school the entire time either, which wasn't exactly something he missed (what the hell was he going to learn there that he didn't already know or couldn't learn on his own from books or the net), but it was a part of his secret identity and he needed to keep up appearances. That and Bruce seemed to think he needed to socialise with kids his own age who couldn't throw him though walls or read his mind.

So Dick spent the next week back at school fending off rude remarks, concerned 'friends' and simpering teachers. He also spent the time he wasn't at school training until Alfred force-fed him dinner and crammed him into bed so he could do it all over again the next day.

-Finally- he was allowed to go back to Young Justice HQ. Nearly a month away and he was all but dancing in his seat as they pulled into Happy Harbour in the Batwing. Bruce (who hadn't stayed bedridden nearly long enough for anyone's liking except his own) had insisted on accompanying him even if he had to skip some work to do so.

They were welcomed by Red Tornado, their arrival obviously not announced or expected. Robin left the adults to their conversation and went off to find his friends.

He'd figured they would have guessed at least a little of what had happened, even if Superboy hadn't said anything since his own return. They were smart people and M'gann had that empathy thing going on that she couldn't control. Certainly that list Kid Flash had memorised had been enough of a clue. He expected teasing again but it wouldn't last too long. They all adapted well and there weren't any prejudice against gays here as far as he knew.

Robin found everyone in the living room/kitchen, since they'd only been put back on duty when Superboy had returned and probably hadn't had a mission since then because Batman had been a little out of commission. M'gann noticed him first, jumping into the air and flying over the furniture to reach him. She hugged him while Wally slung an arm over his shoulders and Kaldur verbally welcomed him back since the others didn't seem to be inclined to do so.

They laughed and caught up for several minutes until Robin looked up and noticed Conner watching him. "Robin." He said, inclining his head, then stood up from the wall he was leaning against and left the room.

Dick watched him go, a little too stunned to react in time to stop him. What the hell? It was like they hadn't just spent three weeks humping.

"Hey," Miss Martian said after a moment, trying to break whatever tension and awkward silence the pair had just created. "It's almost time for training with Black Canary. Why don't we all head on over?" She smiled and took Robin by the arm. He could almost feel the sympathy rolling off her in waves like he was the one with psychic powers.

Forcing himself back under control, Robin laughed and started their conversation back up with practised ease. He pretended his heart didn't contract painfully when Conner all but ignored him during training.

Okay, this was getting downright frustrating.

"He won't even talk to me anymore!" Robin whined, stuffing another of M'gann's (now only slightly burnt) biscuits into his mouth. She was getting better at remembering they were in the oven, but she was still working on being able to tell when they were done. At least they weren't underdone like last time.

They were sitting in Wally's room and had been reading comic books in lieu of doing their homework.

Wally nodded, nibbling at his own biscuit. M'gann had taken to baking one tray for the team and another solely for Wally. Wally's was usually gone by the end of the day, though the group one lasted at least three. "Why don't you confront him about it? Dude, you're having a lovers spat; isn't that what you're supposed to do from the get go?"

"This isn't even a 'lovers spat'!" Dick pointed out. He'd long since gotten used to Kid Flash calling them lovers in some form. It was his new thing apparently. "We didn't even fight about anything; he's just ignoring me for no reason..."

"Well maybe you need to ask him why he's ignoring you then." Wally eyed Dick's plate of treats which was now bigger than his own until Dick pulled them a little closer to his person.

Robin sighed. "It's not even so much that he's ignoring me... avoiding is more like it. He'll greet me but then he'll start up a conversation with someone else, or leave the room. He volunteers to pair with someone else on a mission. Even during training he stands on the opposite end of the line to me..." Robin took a large swill of his chocolate milk and ate another biscuit. "And I -have- tried to talk to him about it. Whenever I try to get him alone he makes some BS excuse and runs off..."

"That sucks, man."

They sat together in silence for a while, eating Miss Martian's biscuits.

"Why don't you ask Batman? He's got that creepy 'I know everything' thing going on." Kid Flash said suddenly.

Robin opened his mouth to tell him that was the last thing he wanted to do but paused, closing it with a loud click. Wally had a point, really. Batman had been in this situation whenever it had started for him. That and he did usually know everything. "I can't believe I'm saying this but I think you're on to something."

Batman would be coming to get him in about an hour. Dick could talk to him then.

Dick met Batman in the hanger. Superman was with him. Robin looked from one man to the other then focused on his guardian. "You have the entire building bugged, don't you?"

"No, only the kitchen, living room, hallways and training rooms. To bug your sleeping quarters would be an invasion of privacy." Batman deadpanned. "I heard from Black Canary that your relationship with Superboy has become strained. There are some things Superman and I need to discuss with you."

Frowning, Dick let himself be led into a meeting room. It was small but it got the job done and was sound proof even to Kryptonian ears. Batman did like to be thorough and he had helped design much of the renovations to their base after they reclaimed it.

"Tell us the situation." Batman commanded when they were all sitting down.

"He's been avoiding me." Robin began, pulling his legs up to his chest in his seat and ignoring the scolding look Batman gave him. "Sure he was grumpy before but at least he could hold a conversation with me. Now he says hello and runs out of things to say before we even get going, then gets the hell out of there like I'm a bomb about to go off."

"I see." Said Bruce.

"Perhaps he just feels awkward?" Superman suggested.

"Well yeah, ya think? That's kinda obvious." So far this conversation wasn't helping in the slightest. Clark was fidgeting and Bruce was even more uptight than he normally was. Maybe they were withholding information from him. "What I want to know is if this is normal behaviour. You two don't seem at all awkward even if you're not all chummy. And for that matter, if you two are sleeping with one another why don't I see you at the house more?" Dick looked to Superman who was making an effort not to meet his eyes.

"You're hiding something from me!" There was no denial.

Batman and Superman shared a look, then returned their attention to Dick.

"After I passed puberty and went into heat that first time, outside of it I feel very little in the way of sexual arousal. We remain friends, yes, but our relationship is only physical when I'm in season." Superman said, crossing his arms over his massive chest.

"Why didn't you tell me that when all this started?"

"We decided to wait and see how Superboy's human DNA reacted with his Kryptonian genetic makeup." Batman explained. "We didn't want to say one thing and risk being wrong. There was always the chance that Superboy would continue to feel sexually stimulated outside of being in heat."

Dick was quite for a long while, processing that information. "So I'm just some... some -Fuck Buddy-?" He said at last, voice dangerously quiet but quickly rising in volume. "That may float your boat Batman, you're convinced no one could ever love you, but I'm different! I can't just let someone use my body for a few weeks every three years for the rest of our lives without some deep emotional attachment!"

"Richard, I know it's hard to accept but when I-"

"I'm not you!" Dick screamed, ripping his mask from his face and taking some skin with it. "I'll never be you!" The teen turned and bolted out the door.

Neither man tried to stop him.

"Er, Robin, where's your mask?" Artemis looked up from the book she was reading, though something in his expression must have worried her because she put it down completely right after seeing it. "Robin, are you alright?" She asked, coming to meet him at the door to the living room.

A grin stretched his lips. "I'm just peachy; though call me Dick, that's my name, Richard Grayson, Dick Grayson! HA! There I've told everyone so no more secrets, screw Bruce and his rules." There were several shocked expressions at that. He'd been much too stringent about doing what Batman told him over the years. "That's right, Bruce effing Wayne, playboy business entrepreneur is the Goddamn Batman, see that one coming because I sure as hell didn't when he took me in after my parents were murdered in front of me and you know what, mild mannered Clark Kent is Superman, I can go on, go on, name a superhero and I can tell you who they are, Batman's got files on all of them, even all of us, even me because he's a control freak who can't trust anyone, not even himself because he never got past his own parents being killed in front of him, which is why he's Batman in the first place and he expects me to deal with all this shit even though I'm only sixteen! And you know the funny thing?" A giggled slipped past his lips unchecked. "I tried to be just like him and got dragged into the same gay alien love-fest as he did and now I don't even get to choose who I spend the rest of my life with because the world is conspiring against me is some massive 'let's screw over Dick' conspiracy!"

His words dissolved into laughter and he almost felt like he'd been exposed to Joker's laughing gas, except he hadn't been and the laughter shifted and now it sounded more like sobbing. Maybe he'd finally lost it. Hell, with his life and the stuff he saw on a near daily basis it was a wonder he'd managed to stay sane this long. Dick sank to his knees, burying his face in his hands as tears burned his eyes.

It wasn't even just about Conner anymore. It was the death of his parents, the loss of everything he'd known to become Bruce's ward, Robin, everything about his stupid life that just had to keep going wrong!

Dick felt several pairs of arms encircle him and he reached out, exchanging his hands for someone's chest (M'gann's by the feel of them) and clinging to what he thought might have been Kid Flash's shoulder and Artemis's wrist. A cool hand rested large and comforting on his back which could only be Kaldur, but there was no Superboy even if he was standing off in the corner like usual. Really he hadn't expected there to be but he couldn't held that small hope that perhaps breaking down would, well, break down whatever walls Conner had built between them.

They let him cry himself out in the protective cocoon of bodies. Dick hadn't ever really felt younger than them before, but right now it was strikingly obvious. While he was still a tenuous sixteen, they were eighteen and up, all pretty much legal adults. Buried underneath them he felt small, not something he liked, but it was still somewhat comforting. Perhaps he needed to feel like a kid just then, with the adults looking after him.

"M'gann, could you please take Ro-Dick to his room." Aqualad helped pull Dick to his feet, allowing Miss Martian to take his arm and lead him away. He felt dizzy and his head pounded like someone has stuffed it full of high density polyurethane foam, but he had to admit, his heart felt just a little bit lighter. He had friends that he could count on no matter what and that was something he hadn't had before becoming Robin, joining Young Justice.

"Now." He heard Kaldur say before they left earshot. "Conner, we have to talk." It might have been his imagination but he thought he heard twin sets of knuckles crack threateningly as Wally and Artemis voiced their agreement.

Emotionally drained, Dick couldn't muster the will to do anything more than lay on his bed throwing one of his non exploding shuriken into the air and catching it; rinse, repeat. For all it was a dangerous pastime (especially in the dark), he found the rhythm of it to be the most relaxing thing he could do right now.

He couldn't help but run through possible medical and physiological names for what he'd just gone through. 'Temporary psychotic break' was a little too extreme. More likely it was just stress and emotional turmoil with a little bit of teenage rebellion thrown in for extra flair. Still the world hadn't ended and when all was said and done he was still Dick and all his problems were still there.

There was a knock on his door. He didn't get up. Batman had tried coming by earlier, to take him home. Robin had upgraded the lock on his door so that even the Batman himself couldn't hack his way in without the proper equipment and a fair bit of time. It consisted of a combination of DNA, retinal and finger scans as well as three separate verbal passwords (all with voice recognition software), and two manually inputted codes that changed order depending on what day of the week it was. Call him paranoid but he had been raised and taught by Mr Paranoid himself. It was just Bruce's thoroughness getting the best of him.

But this knock wasn't the same as Batman's. It wasn't even Clark, though it was similar and Robin groaned when he realised who it had to be. "Designation: visitor, Superboy B04," he droned reluctantly. Better get this over with now so he could go back to wallowing in his angst. "Access granted, code 50351X." The door fwooshed open.

The brightness of the hallway almost blinded him for a moment after the near pitch blackness of his room with the lights out. Dick dropped the shuriken, though it just bounced harmlessly off the chest plate of his Robin suit and rolled away on the floor and under the bed.

Conner stood in the doorway awkwardly. Dick called for the lights to go on and he came into sharp focus. Turned out he hadn't come empty handed. Not only did Superboy have a bouquet of roses, but also a box of chocolates and a hard cover copy of 'Young Avengers: issues 1-12'.

His movements seemed stilted as he got down on one knee and presented Robin with the gifts. Dick took them only because Conner probably would have stayed there like that until he did. Having sat up, he deposited them on his pillow but not without looking them over with an appraising eye. The comic was probably Wally's idea, the chocolates Artemis and the roses a joint effort but mainly M'gann. She was overly fond of her human traditions. None of it was just Conner though; he was much too socially awkward to think of any of this.

Six red roses, thornless; Dick wondered if Superboy knew what that meant.

"I apologise for causing you any undue pain because of my inability to process simple emotions." Still on his knees, Conner said this like he'd been forced to memorise it and read it back several times until it lost all meaning. He also looked more and more constipated as he went along. "Please don't think that this is because I don't care about you because-because-Arg! I can't do this!" Jumping to his feet, Superboy ran his fingers through his hair roughly.

Dick raised an eyebrow.

"They told me that I had to apologise to you and I get that, really, but I can't say all that pretty crap! You're not going to accept it..." Conner scowled and began to pace. The room wasn't all that big and he got four steps until he had to turn around and go back the other way.

"You're right, I wouldn't." Dick confirmed. "Why have you been avoiding me?"

Superboy stopped and stared at him, expression a mix of so many emotions it would have been easier to list the ones that weren't there. Mainly he looked conflicted and confused. "I- you're- we-" Conner tried several more times to form actual sentences with similar results until he let out a rumbling growl and went back to pacing.

"It- it was so easy when I was- you were there and I could almost feel you! I knew exactly what to do, how to do it. It was almost like it wasn't me in control!" He took some deep, desperate breaths before launching back into the tirade.

"Batman told me I might not feel attracted to you afterwards. He said Superman doesn't feel aroused most the time and I don't want to be any more different than I already am! I can't fly! I can't shoot lasers from my eyes! I'm supposed to be his clone but I-I'm just so imperfect!"

Superboy paused again, fists clenching and unclenching. Some of the fight seemed to leave him but the tension in his body remained. Conner hung his head, studiously not looking at him. His voice was less of a growl when he spoke again. "What if you only went along with it because I was being so pushy? I didn't want to force you into anything but the feelings were just so strong I couldn't stop myself. I tried Dick, I tried to stop myself but I just couldn't!"

Dick didn't dare say anything for fear of startling Superboy out of whatever mood had him actually spouting his thoughts and not running off.

"Every time I see you now my heart constricts painfully and I know it's your fault somehow but I can't work out -how-." Conner's voice broke with emotion. "I can't think, I can't breathe and I'm terrified I'll say or do something wrong and scare you away but I'm doing that anyway! You're so- and I can't even remember how I was so gentle when- and what if you want him and not me because I'm not even a shadow of what I was when I was- I just want-mfh- "

Dick cut him off the only way he could even consider right now. It had been so long since he'd felt Conner's lips on his that it was almost as intoxicating as the long gone pheromones Superboy had been excreting. They both reacted on instinct, the kiss quickly turning to open mouths and battling tongues. Dick tightened his fists in Conner's hair while muscled arms surrounded him and pulled him so close his feet left the ground.

They clung to one another, even after their passionate kiss had ended. Dick probably would have had to be pried off with a crowbar by Superman himself but Conner showed no sign of letting go either.

"If I seriously didn't want it I would have found a way to get out of it." Dick whispered after a long time just standing there. "My utility belt really does hold everything." It even held a small sliver of kryptonite in a very heavily metal lined pocket where its effects could not escape. Slip that out and render Superboy unable to move, then run off somewhere. "Can't have sex with someone if you can't find them." A small, sincere chuckle left his lips and he wrapped his legs around Conner's torso.

Conner sat them down on the bed then, since it would be more comfortable that way. Robin settled in his lap, still facing him and holding on tight.

"So the problem isn't that you're not attracted to me anymore, it's that you are." He stated, because there needed to be some sort of clarification. "You do realise that's far better than the alternative! Hell, it's probably the reason Batman's always so cranky."

"So you're... not mad at me?" Conner's tentative, hopefully voice was almost too damn cute to endure, almost.

"You bet your life I'm mad at you, just not for the reasons you think. I'm mad you didn't just tell me this stuff and avoided me all this time! I'm mad that you still think you need to be Superman for anyone to like you!" Dick sighed and let his head fall onto Conner's shoulder. "I'm not mad that you still feel things for me. Hell, I wanted you to, I expected you to. I would have been angry if you didn't."

"Oh..." Dick could almost feel Conner's embarrassment rolling off him in waves. He understood that the clone still hadn't gotten the finer points of social interaction, the genomes either didn't think they were important or hadn't gotten to them yet. That made it just a little bit easier to forgive him.

"It's incredibly corny to actually say this but my heart constricts painfully whenever I see you too." Dick laughed and it was much closer to its usual jovial sound. "And it's definitely your fault in all the best ways."

They kissed again, long and sweet, though neither of them seemed inclined to take things further than that just yet. They were essentially at the beginning of their relationship, as if the sexual stuff hadn't happened. This was how it was supposed to start; tentative kisses and awkward, cliché admissions. This was what Dick wanted in a relationship.

They broke apart and stared at each other for a long moment, almost in awe, until Dick broke it with a grin and reached for the chocolates.