Disclaimer: As always I own nothing but the original characters and plot ideas. Everything else is taken by people who actually get paid, luck them.
One Lump or Two?
Of all the conversations he and Bane had had since he'd come to be kidnapped and imprisoned in the terrorist's current place of residence, Blake was fairly sure the 'Why He Wasn't Allowed Alcohol Ever Again' speech was going to go down as one of the most amusing ones in his books. Mostly because he'd made it clear he wasn't a regular drinker, much less an alcoholic, but given how smashed he'd gotten the night before Blake could understand the impulse to lecture on the topic. No, what was really amusing about all this was the fact that Bane was lecturing him about all the reasons why he shouldn't become an alcoholic when really, he was going to be nothing but ash soon enough so it didn't really matter whether he got inebriated or not. In fact, some would argue that facing death while drunk would not be a bad way to go by any means. Though yes, the way he was currently scheduled to die meant that he wasn't likely to feel physical pain, but the mental sort was certainly on the menu given his failure to protect his city, his other regrets, and first and foremost the fact that he'd fallen for the man directly responsible for the fact that he was going to be blown to pieces in the first place.
Of course when he pointed out that he was going to die soon and his blood alcohol levels wouldn't mean a damn, Bane just got coldly angry at him and stated again, for what felt like the millionth time, that there would be no more alcohol for him.
"Since you stated at the beginning that you got rid of it all that's sort of a given, Bane. I mean it's not like I can just walk down to the corner store and get more. Sort of your captive here, remember?"
More glaring from Bane.
"You know...given that I'm the hungover hostage with a limited time left on this planet...I should really be the one making those faces." Not to mention Bane treating him like a kid really pissed him off on a number of levels, not the least because it was creepy as hell to be lusting after a guy who was suddenly talking to you like he was your disapproving father.
Still glaring, he was not in the mood for his cop's rapier wit at the moment, Bane tried to make that as plain as possible even though he knew it probably wouldn't have any affect on the other man. "I am not in the best of moods right now, Robin. It would be unwise for you to push me."
Blake couldn't help but snort at that, slipping deeper and deeper into his teenage skin since he was being treated like one anyway. "Dude, you weigh well over two hundred pounds, easily. I couldn't push you properly if my life depended on it. Which...it sort of does." Darkly amused by that thought Blake smirked a little before turning his attention back to their present conversation. "And anyway, since I'm not allowed to drink my days away anymore, what do you propose I do with all my free time?"
To Blake's way of thinking the most obvious answer from Bane should have been that he'd managed to occupy himself just fine before he'd gotten drunk on alcohol laced Jello-O, so yeah, Blake totally wasn't expecting the answer he was given.
"I'll spend more time keeping an eye on you. Barsad will take over some of my duties." It was playing with fire, Bane knew, but he had come to some decisions during the night and he refused to change his mind now.
"Wait...you're the head bad guy...according to comic book and action movie rules you have to leave me in Barsad's care. How are you supposed to continue to rule Gotham if your men see you becoming a glorified babysitter?!"
"You don't like being watched by Barsad, and my men are no concern of yours."
"That's not the point!" Throwing his arms up and over his head, Blake shook his head in disbelief over the fact that Bane apparently didn't see just how bad an idea this actually was. "You can't be around to babysit me all day! Do you have any idea how bad that would be? Have you not been paying attention at all?! You'll either kill me prematurely, I'll have to end myself prematurely to save what little sanity I have left at this point, or we'll end up having lots and lots of really fantastic sex, and then we'll both be fucked in really bad ways even BEFORE that bomb goes off!"
It was hard to tell, but Blake was pretty sure Bane was developing a twitch under his eye because of him. Oh yeah, he'd definitely hit a nerve there, and his self-preservation instincts were kicking in just enough that he knew it wouldn't be a good idea for that twitch to continue.
Better late than never, aka time to shut his mouth, Blake decided.
After several moments of silence, not to mention some clenching and unclenching of fists at Bane's sides, the mercenary finally spoke in a very controlled, measured tone of voice. "We will spend the next few weeks training you. That is all."
Forgetting all about watching his words as this new horror registered, Blake immediately started shaking his head in protest. "Oh no, no, no, HELL NO. Training...not that again, no way, no how! Don't you remember what happened the last time you got that idea into your bald head?"
"I have not forgotten." Bane was, in fact, fairly sure he couldn't forget what had happened that night even if he wanted to. "That will not be repeated. Do you not wish to become stronger, Detective?"
"In the grand scheme of things there's a hell of a lot of things I'd rather have, thanks."
"Well I have decided that this is what we will do. You will obey me in this."
"And if I don't?"
Knowing his quarry well Bane moved in close so that they were as close to being eye to eye as they could get. "If you don't I will turn all my attention to the people of Gotham. And they will be tested and laid to waste in your place."
Now it was his turn to glare, and oh did Blake glare as he traded death glares with Bane, Blake huffing out a few appropriate swear words before backing down and agreeing to the training. "Though let it be known that I'm going on the record as stating that this is going to come back to bite us both in the ass."
Bane had drawn up a schedule for the two of them, detailing how they would spend their time together every day, and though his bird had plenty to say about both the existence of said schedule itself and the contents of it, they both knew that Blake didn't have a whole lot of say in the matter so long as he had the boys' home to hold over the detective's head. And as much as he hated the idea of forcing Robin to do anything, and he did, this was for the man's own good even if Robin didn't see it that way.
Though one would think that the fact that he'd been willing to compromise his no desserts rule when it came to the meals they'd be eating would have earned him some credit in his detective's eyes, but no such luck. If they touched while in bed together during the first week of training it was purely accidental on Robin's part.
And while he missed the sexual contact more than he could say, the point of the matter was that he wanted to spend as much as time with Robin as possible while making the other man as physically and mentally strong as he could so that when the time came to leave Gotham in ruins, he would either be able to take Robin with him if he would come, or insure that his man lived to fight another day in another city. But since he had yet to figure out how to convince Talia to allow him to spare Blake either way when he didn't hold with their ideologies or support them, Bane thought it best not to clue Robin in about either possibility least he fail.
"I hate you. Just so we're clear."
Looking down at the detective, who was lying face down on the mat and once again refusing to move so much as a muscle, Bane didn't take the words personally at this point. Robin was stating that quite often these days, particularly when he they were sparring. Which was what they'd been doing up until he'd taken the detective down once again, with Robin staying down rather than getting up so that they could continue.
"You're fine. Get up."
"They'll be no dessert if you refuse to get up."
Blake found just enough strength to lift up a hand and give Bane the finger.
"Now you're just being childish."
"Am I now? Well then, Daddy, what are you going to do about it? Send me to bed without one of your disgustingly bland and healthy dinners?" Blake tilted his head to the side so that he could glare at Bane better. "Because I have no problem telling you where you can put that dinner, mon ami."
Glaring right back Bane ordered Blake not to call him Daddy. Given the feelings he had for the cop the idea of being called that was wrong on a number of levels.
"I'll call you whatever the hell I want with my dying breaths. And don't say I'm not dying, I could have internal injuries we're not aware of. In fact, I'd lay odds that there has to be at this point."
Shaking his head over how overly dramatic the boy was when he was even the slightest bit injured, Bane leaned down and slid his hands under the other man's armpits so that he could lift him up by them until he was standing straight while Robin just glared at him darkly while being held aloof.
"On your feet."
"You know, I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure even Barsad would tell you this is not the way to win someone's affection, Bane. If I were a girl I'd be attempting to rack you right about now."
"I believe I already made it quite clear that I won't tolerate you acting childish. You're a grown man." Bane shook Blake a little for emphasis. "Now take your feet and prepare to defend yourself."
Glaring, Blake nodded and when Bane let go the cop stayed up on his feet, bringing his fists up to defend himself. "If you want me to talk more adult I'd be happy to swear at you some more. In fact, you should really teach me how to curse you out in all the languages you know. I'd actually pay attention."
Rather than justify that with an answer Bane threw a carefully thrown punch, pleased when Blake dodged it easily enough as they began to trade blows again. The detective might bitch and complain constantly, but his bird was too smart and competitive not to be learning from these matches on top of building up endurance, muscle, and muscle memory. The matches were lasting longer too, though Blake had yet to come close to doing any damage worth mentioning. He of course wasn't trying to do real damage, though there were healing bruises and new ones Blake had to ice down and care for every night. Though he'd had to do that for the detective the first couple nights as his bird hadn't been up to doing much moving.
When the door to the gym opened they both turned to look in that direction, Barsad standing in the doorway, motioning for Bane to come to him.
Walking over to find out what his second wanted, Bane learned that Talia had ordered him to report to her current safe house immediately to speak with her. The reason why would apparently be explained to him when he got there.
Nodding his head in acceptance of his orders Bane turned to look over in Blake's direction, not even that surprised to see that during the very short conversation the detective had decided to sprawl out on the training mat rather than stand. Shaking his head over that sorry fact Bane considered siccing Barsad on him just to teach his Robin a lesson about just how much harder a taskmaster he could be, but decided against it. Selfish as it was, he wanted to be Robin's only teacher.
"I'm going out. You have the rest of the night to do as you please."
Blake's response was sarcastic and meant to be as annoying as possible. "Yay!"
Asking some higher power to give him strength where his bird was concerned, Bane left the room with Barsad following after him, leaving Blake behind to do what he wanted. As they headed towards the front door Bane gave the usual orders to keep an eye on Blake for him, and report any trouble to him immediately.
"Given the shape he's in at the moment, I doubt that will be a problem. Anything I need to patch up?"
Bane shook his head. "No."
Having reached the front door Barsad opened it for Bane. "I'll keep him safe until you return."
"I'll be back as soon as possible."
Barsad thought about saying that he knew that already, but he simply nodded and then closed the door behind his leader once Bane had stepped out. And though he wasn't remotely a religious man, Barsad took a moment to look towards the ceiling and sent up a short prayer to any deity that might be listening, asking for just a little more time.
Just a little more time to try and undo what Talia had put into motion.
Choosing to stay right where he was for a while, it wasn't like there was anywhere else in the house he'd rather be at the moment, Blake lay sprawled out on his back and wondered, not for the first time, if this was Bane's way of punishing him for not putting out. Because really, what else could he have possibly have done to deserve this? Unless of course this was by order of the supreme bitch who'd seen to it that he was exposed to Venom, Blake reasoned as he stared up blindly at the ceiling, but no, he was pretty sure this was all Bane.
And okay, no, it couldn't be the lack of sex because if it was Bane would or at least should have had the sense to realize that fucking each other's brains out was pretty impossible when just the idea made him want to whimper like a little girl, his body was that sore these days. He hurt in places he hadn't even known possessed muscles he could strain to this degree. Not to mention the fact that he'd been withholding hand jobs and humping since he'd been given the schedule that now dictated his life, and Bane wasn't stupid enough not to have made the correlation.
So really...what the fuck was this all about and was he going to be stuck with this until he was blown up? Because really, at the moment, he'd welcome the fucking bomb with open arms. Even the trip under the ice was looking good right about now, at least he'd be numb and wouldn't be able to feel his body as he became a human icicle.
Shaking his head over the thought, ow his neck, Blake forced himself to sit up and then slowly made his way over to the small fridge to get himself a bottle of water, which he chugged back gratefully before sitting down again, leaning his face against the mirrored wall so that it fogged up from his breath.
And turning his attention slowly to his reflection, he looked like crap, Blake addressed his reflection.
"John, I'm afraid I've been thinking."
Blake then answered in his best impression of Bane."A dangerous pastime."
"Yes I know. Oh this psycho twit, Bane acts like her servant, and both their sanities are only so so. Now the wheels in my head have been turning, since I figured she's like her looney old man. See I promised myself I'd get out of this mess, but right now I'm completely out of plans."
"And that sucks." Blake told himself, his reflection nodding with him in absolute agreement. "Plus talking to myself this way probably isn't a good sign either."
Forcing himself to his feet once more Blake very slowly and carefully made his way out of the gym, down the hallways, up the stairs, and going into his room stripped down and turned his attention to filling the tub with hot water to soak in. It was becoming a routine at this point, and utterly necessary.
Climbing in once it was full enough Blake leaned his head back against the rim and closed his eyes, trying his best to push everything aside and focus on the fact that he really needed to figure out a way to get a look at al Ghul's daughter. Not that there was a hell of a lot he could do even if he did know what she looked like and where she was, and it wasn't like he could email Gordon or a member of his former squad, but at least he'd feel like he was doing something if he could at least get more info on the person who was actually responsible for this whole mess they were in.
All he knew was that she was probably in her thirties, had crappy taste in perfume, and was crazier than a shit house rat.
And unfortunately this was Gotham...that wasn't that unusual.