» Chapter 20 - Part II

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For a second, a very brief, loud second Tim thought Jason was going to confess, to tell him the truth, treat him as an equal for once, but it stuttered to a stop when Jason said- really said, with words;

"I'm in love with you."


I'm in love with you.

Not Easy there, tiger, or You're a fucking piece of shit, not even Shut up, princess.

I'm in love with you.

Tim feels his mouth open and realized with growing horror that he has no idea what he's going to say, nor can he stop himself. His brain isn't entirely online yet, but he knows he's in love with Jason too, so he can't muster any motivation to shut himself up. Jason looks just as horrified like he hadn't intended to say it out loud.

"Bitch me too, what the fuck," is the first thing he hears himself say, so much louder than he meant, and that would have been fine if only he didn't keep talking, "Meaning I'm in love with you too, not I also love myself, cause we both know that's not true. Also, that would be a pretty weird and egotistical thing to say, plus it would have zero contextual meaning in this conve-"

He's shut up, however, when Jason's lips cover his roughly, coaxing him into nothing more than quelled moans and little breaths.

"I hate you so fucking much," Jason says when there's enough space between them for words, and its a few more kisses before Tim can reply.

"I hate you too," he pants, and his hands have just found their way to Jason's shoulders when a comm goes off. They're close enough that they both hear it, there's no denying it, and Jason goes stiff under Tim's touch.

"I-" he starts, but trails off, unsure what to say, how to explain that he has to go, or even if he should at all.

Tim's mind flashes back to months ago when he saw the view from halfway down for the first time and lived to torment himself with it. He gulps in a breath of air, ducking his head and kissing under Jason's jaw so there's no chance of them making eye-contact when he says, "-Have to go. I know."

He doesn't know if Jason remembers, or if he even should have said that, but Jason's hands flex against his hips, squeezing the bruises there before he's pulling away. He closes the door behind him, and Tim sits down on the edge of his bed, elbows on his knees, hands clasped together under his chin.

One of the first things he had decided in his childhood is that it's lonely being a genius, that children's games aren't so much fun when you're not in a child state of mind. Being always infantilized by adults he couldn't help but see the idiocy of the common world in was painful, more than painful it became annoying; having his intellect acknowledged but never challenged, everyone refusing to concede that his mind was older than his body.

Wayne Manor was better. Bruce, Dickie, Jason- they understood. Perhaps, in the case of Dickie and Jason, it was the teenage-vigilantism that elevated them beyond the platitudes of the waking world- deeper than that maybe it was loss, but the fact stood they were different. They had aged beyond the physical, so it made it seem less wrong, somehow, when they shared a bottle of whiskey or admitted feelings of grief far too heavy than the world would have those of their age carry. He asks himself how something so simple as knowing two others in the sea of people who can think the same as him can feel like a revelation, hypothesis and theory and law and poetry all in the same breath, question and answer interchanging. He knows that it is because at the root of everything is understanding, and they share that.

Left On Read // Book TwoWhere stories live. Discover now