(Blackjack13) Part the Thirteenth

Before you met me I was a wreck but things Were kinda heavy. You brought me to life.

“Teenage Dream,” Katy Perry

Lips meeting lips in the darkness.  Bruce could feel Harry’s drying tears against his kiss, but he pushed forward slightly, feeling their torsos pressing firmly against one another, Harry nudging slowly into Bruce’s arms which came up to sling around his hips.  “I love you,” Bruce murmured, their lips brushing and Harry’s dark green eyes like black pools in the gloom of the night.  “So much.  My Blackjack.”

Harry’s eyelashes fluttered and then Harry was kissing him again and Bruce felt himself being guided back to the bed.  Shivering hands reached up and jerked at the hem of his t-shirt and he pulled up his arms obligingly, allowing the material to be pulled up and then thrown hastily aside.

They were kissing again, light, hesitant, Harry tasting his lips briefly, dousing them in salty wetness, gasping.  The back of Bruce’s knees met the bed and he fell backwards, uncaring when Harry fell soon after him, lying above him, a forearm resting just near his head and the other one pressed against his opposite shoulder. 

For a long moment their gazes met in the darkness and, hesitantly, Bruce reached up and began unbuttoning the waistcoat Harry still wore, careful of the precious maroon silk it was made of.  He shoved it off of Harry’s shoulders, allowing the billowing bronze shirt to be completely revealed.  Caressing the silk, he felt Harry shudder above him, his eyes becoming a smoky green. 

Bruce arched his neck upwards and Harry’s lips met his passionately and yet softly, a promise of the future and a comfort in the sadness and the joy of the moment.  “Love you,” Bruce murmured again, needing to reassure Harry that this was real, that this was love, not betrayal, that this was about them and their future.  “Love you.”

“Love,” Harry whispered brokenly as Bruce reached for the buttons of the shirt, undoing them with unhurried movements, slowly revealing Blackjack’s scarred skin beneath.  There were so many scars—so many stories—and Bruce’s fingers lingered against a brand in the top center of Harry’s chest, which looked like a locket and a chain had been charred into his skin.

“Does it hurt?” he whispered, but Harry just shook his head, leaning down to claim Bruce’s lips again, slightly more deeply, as Bruce ran his hands down Harry’s chest, opening the shirt fully.

With a few more swift movements, the shirt was sliding off of Harry’s back and onto the floor.  Agonizingly slowly, Harry settled himself against Bruce, their skin connecting, driving Bruce gently to insanity at the sensation. 

“Am I?” Harry asked tentatively.  “I’ve only—with her—and—“

“You’re doing perfectly,” Bruce assured him, arching up and sliding his hands up Harry’s spine reassuringly.  “Perfect.”

Harry looked at him skeptically for several long moments, his face half-immersed in shadow and then reached up over Bruce, sliding his hand underneath his pillow.

“What are you?” Bruce began to ask when Harry pulled out the Deathstick and waved it once in an intricate movement before settling it on the bedside table. 

“It’s so we don’t wake Teddy,” Harry confessed slightly, bringing a smile to Bruce’s lips.

“He’s too curious for his own good,” Bruce whispered, kissing Harry again, letting his hands rest on his sides and slide down to his trousers, playing with the hem.  “Is this all right?”

Harry hummed softly and Bruce lifted Harry’s hips to begin unbuttoning the trousers.  He felt Harry squirm against his hands and he slowed his movements, giving Harry time to adjust.  “I’ll be gentle,” he promised as he slid the trousers down Harry’s hips and down his thighs.  “We’ll be gentle.”

“It’s always been gentle—even—he was gentle,” Harry confessed, his voice thick with sadness.

Bruce stilled for several movements before kissing Harry deeply, shoving the trousers off all the way and thankful when Harry kicked them off.  All that now separated them were Harry’s boxers and Bruce’s sleep pants.  Their tongues languidly slid against each other, bringing shudders deep from within Bruce that threatened his self-control.  He wouldn’t frighten Harry, not now—not when they were—for the first—

His thoughts were snatched away from him when shaking hands brushed against his sleep pants and drew them down, revealing his cock to the darkness slowly.  The lamp beside the bed only gave enough light to read in a very small radius, hiding most of them in shadows.  Fingers slid against Bruce’s hardness in question, and Bruce’s breath hitched, bringing his own hands down to his sleep pants and shifting them down so they were tangled in his feet and the bottoms of his calves instead. 

“Does it hurt?” Harry asked when a gasp escaped Bruce’s lips.  His hand quickly withdrew, but Bruce held him still against him.

“No.  No, it’s wonderful,” Bruce assured him, his eyes shining.  “So wonderful.”

“Wonderful,” Harry repeated to himself dubiously, as if he couldn’t believe that anyone would find it wonderful.  His hands moved, brushing Bruce’s thighs briefly before they were once again settled on his hips and away from where he most wanted to be touched.

“You’re doing it,” Bruce reassured him.  “Of course it’s wonderful.”

Carefully, he reached up and settled his hands on Harry’s backside, pushing lightly so that their cocks rubbed up against each other, separated only by thin cotton fabric.  Harry hissed in surprise and Bruce gently kissed his cheeks, tasting the dried salty tears and reveling in it. 

“Wonderful,” Bruce assured Harry when Harry ground down slightly, pulling a moan from each of them.  “So wonderful.” 

After several more kisses, Bruce managed to slide Harry’s boxers down his legs, bringing their skin into closer contact.  Harry breathed heavily as he experimentally ground his groin against Bruce. 

“There,” Bruce soothed, his hands holding Harry above him.  He threw his head back in pleasure as Harry rubbed against him again.  “God.”

Becoming a little surer of himself, Harry did it again and again, and Bruce found himself kicking off his pajamas and hooking a leg over Harry’s hip, looking up into Harry’s dark green eyes and seeing both passion and fear mixed in with the hesitant love that shone out of them.  A moan escaped his lips as Harry’s lips lingered at his neck, the soft thrusts continuing and slowly torturing him. 

“Yes, yes,” Bruce sighed, his head lolling to the side before turning and capturing Harry’s lips again.  “Blackjack.”

The thrusts continued, Harry’s labored breathing in his ear, the feel of skin sliding against skin, and then a shiver swept through Harry and he was lost, Bruce following just a short moment after at the perfect sensation of Harry letting go.  “Blackjack,” he moaned out, clasping Harry to him and kissing the side of his temple.  “Blackjack.”

Harry clung to Bruce, his breathing heavy and erratic, and Bruce held him carefully, his leg still draped around him, pressing them together perfectly, as they were meant to be.  Whispering nonsense into Harry’s ear, Bruce caressed his back gently with his hands until finally Harry’s breathing evened out, his grip relaxing minutely before pushing himself away, his dark green eyes nearly black in the half-light.  A question lingered on his face, confusion, and Bruce smiled reassuringly up at him.

“I love you,” he swore, propping himself up on his elbows and bringing his lips just against Harry’s, lingering, his eyes searching for permission in his fiancé’s guarded gaze.  “Love you so much.”  Bruce kissed Harry languidly, his tongue gently coaxing Harry’s lips apart before slipping into his warm mouth, slowly exploring as Harry allowed himself to be kissed before his tongue hesitantly flicked against Bruce’s, eliciting a moan from both of them.  Bruce could feel shivers begin through his body and his member began to harden again at the promise of more, but he forced his body to quiet, knowing that it would be too soon for Harry to make love again, that they had already come so far and he wouldn’t selfishly ruin it when Harry was so confused and still lost.  “Love you,” he promised again, as he pulled away, looking deeply into Harry’s eyes.

A flicker of hope answered Bruce’s gaze.  “I didn’t hurt you?”

“No, Blackjack,” Bruce promised, offering a crooked smile.  “It was wonderful.”

Harry nodded slowly, digesting the information.  Carefully, he reached for his wand but Bruce stopped him, grasping his wrist gently. 

“Let’s stay like this for a while,” he murmured, looking at Harry plaintively.  “I’ve wanted—for so long—I’ll clean us later.”

Tension seemed to seep away from Harry and he sighed, reaching out and pressing Bruce back against the sheets and resting his head against Bruce’s chest.  “I’m glad I didn’t hurt you—I hurt—it was her first time and it hurt—and then Crane always promised it wouldn’t—but it did—I thought it was meant to hurt the person being loved.”

“No,” Bruce promised, his hand running through Harry’s messy black hair.  “It always hurts a woman if she’s a virgin,” he explained carefully.  “It can’t be helped, but I know you would have been gentle.”  He paused.  “It also hurts when you don’t want it—but I wanted it, Blackjack.  I wanted it.  I want any love you will give me.”

“I won’t hurt you,” Blackjack said adamantly, lifting himself and pinning Bruce with his dark, wild gaze.  “Never.”

“You won’t,” Bruce promised, trying to remain calm at the palpable self-loathing surrounding Harry.  “I’ll always tell you if I’m uncomfortable or in pain.  I swear.”  He reached out and cupped Harry’s face and ran his thumb over a falling tear.  “When two people love each other, what little pain there is doesn’t matter.  We’ll take care of each other.  I will never hurt you and I know you won’t hurt me.”

Harry held his gaze for several long minutes and then nodded carefully, lowering himself until he was next to Bruce, their noses brushing up against each other.  A shiver passed through Harry, and Bruce smiled.

“Let me clean us up,” Bruce whispered, leaning forward and kissing Harry gently.  “The Muggle way.”

A small smile quirked Harry’s lips and Bruce hurried to the large bathroom, grabbing a hand towel and running it under warm water.  Walking back, careful not to wake Teddy especially as he wasn’t wearing anything and covered in his and Harry’s seed, he crawled back into bed and ran the towel across Harry’s stomach soothingly. 

“Don’t go tonight,” Harry begged quietly, and their gazes met, and Bruce understood.

“Not tonight,” he promised, leaning forward and kissing Harry’s upturned lips.  “Not tonight when you’re in my arms.”  He lifted the towel from Harry’s abdomen and ran it against his own, shivering at the feel of the cooling water.  Throwing it to the side, he crawled under the covers, turning to Harry who was staring at him with half-lidded eyes. 

“I can’t lose you, too,” Harry admitted.  “I know that being the Batman—but I don’t want to lose you, too.” 

Bruce shuffled forward and pulled Harry into his arms, feeling their bare legs tangle together.  “I’m not going anywhere.”

“You’re human,” Harry whispered.  “All it takes is being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and a bullet shooting out of a gun.”  Harry shivered.  “Magic isn’t fast enough for that—and we were nobody.  Two kids in love and wandering beneath the moon, happy to be together.  You go out and look for criminals several times a week.”

“I wear armor,” Bruce tried to sooth.  “Military equipment.  It’s not the same.”

“No,” Harry agreed, snuggling closer into Bruce’s warmth.  “But you’re only human.”

“I’ll stop soon,” Bruce promised quietly, knowing he would never regret it.  “Even if they still need me, I swear I’ll stop soon, Blackjack.  Wayne Manor will be rebuilt and we’ll move out there with Teddy, and you’ll teach him how to fly his broom where no one will be able to see, and reporters will photograph us whenever we go out to dinner, but it won’t matter.  We’ll be safe.”

“Safe,” Harry murmured, drifting off to sleep.  “Safe.”

Bruce woke up to languid kisses and muttered curses, the feel of Harry’s hands against his legs as he tried to pull up Bruce’s sleeping trousers while he slept.  “Dammit—inquisitive children—“  A kiss placed lovingly on his chest.  “Wake up, Bruce.”

Bruce turned and smiled, his eyes still closed.  “I’m rather liking my dream.”

“Yes, well, it will turn into a nightmare if Teddy comes over and realizes you’re not wearing anything.”  There was a harsh tug of fabric, and Bruce could feel a rug burn developing on his thigh.  That wouldn’t be comfortable, and he doubted Harry would heal it with magic even if he begged.  He’d see it as rightful punishment or a reminder that he should always sleep with some form of clothing on. 

He really needed to whisk Harry off on honeymoon, where curious little boys had a room separate from them and someone to look after him in the mornings and evenings. 

Obligingly, he lifted his hips and heard Harry sigh in relief, the trousers being pulled up completely. 

“Better,” Harry grumbled, his hands lingering on Bruce’s hips, and Bruce carefully opened his eyes, looking up and seeing Harry gazing down at him fondly.  “You’re impossible.”

“I’ve been told that on several occasions,” Bruce answered, leaning up and kissing Harry good morning.  “Hey.”

“Hi,” Harry answered with a slight blush.  “Teddy’s stirring.”

“How do you—?” Bruce began to ask, but at the glint in Harry’s eyes he knew the answer—magic.  “It’s too early.”

“It’s nearly nine in the morning,” Harry answered with a laugh.  “He’s also a bundle of energy.”

“I wonder if I was such a terror growing up.”

“I’m sure Alfred would know,” Harry laughed gently, a sadness flashing through his dark green eyes. 

Carefully, Bruce reached up and stroked Harry’s cheek.  “Teddy will have a happy and wonderful childhood,” he promised.  “I wouldn’t allow anything less.”

“I know,” Harry sighed.  “I’m just worried about him.”

“That’s natural,” Bruce responded.  “You’re a father.”

Harry nodded, but a lingering sadness hung around him, peeking Bruce’s interest.

“Is there something else?”

“I—“ Harry hesitated, glancing at Bruce warily.  “She deserves a funeral—back home, among her friends.”

Bruce immediately relaxed.  “Of course she does.  She was a friend of yours—you loved her.”  The thought made his heart ache, but he pushed it aside.  Luna was a ghost of Harry’s past and he had several himself.  Harry was his now to love and to protect; while the past was hers, the future was his and Harry’s. 

“It would be back in the wizarding world, in England,” Harry clarified.  “I promised Teddy I’d never leave him, but I can’t bring him—it wouldn’t be fair to him, to put him among people who poisoned him—and Ginny—“

“Your girlfriend,” Bruce whispered.

Harry looked at him in surprise.  “Yes, she was,” he agreed calmly.  “We broke up before the final year of the war and I went into hiding.  And then, well, she didn’t love me enough to follow—just to poison Teddy.”

Bruce shifted, pulling Harry down into his arms, feeling the warmth of their bodies against each other.  It brought him comfort when he knew that Harry would be going somewhere he couldn’t follow, and he would have to be content and wait here in Gotham for Harry to return to him.

“We’ll sit him down and explain that you’re not leaving him.  We’ll be fine, the two of us.  With Alfred’s help,” he elaborated at the suspicious look in Harry’s eyes.

“You don’t even know how to cook,” he griped, causing Bruce to laugh.  “Promise me—promise you’ll be here every morning when he wakes up.”

“I always am,” Bruce murmured, burying his face in Harry’s hair.  “I always am, Blackjack.”

It took almost a week for Harry to arrange Luna’s funeral from Gotham before he flew out with the body for London.  He’d mentioned some place called Godric’s Hollow, where he said his own parents were buried, and Bruce felt a tug at the heart at the thought of this Luna resting with Harry’s family as if she were the one—he shoved the thought away from him.  Harry was his now, to be loved and cherished, and Harry was no longer a part of that world.  When the time came when their lives would end, he and Bruce would be buried together in the Palisades with Bruce’s family.  They would be together for eternity.

He briefly saw the invitations one morning on the breakfast table, addressed to a family called the Weasleys—Ginny, Ronald, Hermione—and then one to a Neville Longbottom.  The names meant little to him and he instead turned his mind to Teddy and his Latin studies and to the problem of a man who was robbing banks, wearing face paint to make himself look like a clown.

Teddy’s Pierrot doll caught his attention several times, but he decided it was just a coincidence. 

“Run the figures,” Bruce said into the telephone the day after Harry had left, Teddy curled into his lap, petting Dollface.  He had decided to stay at home almost the entire time Harry was away as Teddy was unused to being without Harry, except for the few outings he went on alone with Alfred.  “Lau’s proposal is interesting.”

He could hear Lucius laughing on the other side of the line.  “Consider it done,” he murmured, ending the conversation. 

Of course, with Harry gone, Teddy’s “accidental magic” ran amok.  Bruce and Alfred were helpless to correct the small things Teddy did, like turning all the lights permanently on when he had a nightmare of being poisoned.  Fortunately, Bruce had just arrived back from his nightly wanderings as the Batman, and despite the pain lacing up his spine, held Teddy as he cried himself to sleep.  In the end, he and Alfred had to remove all the light bulbs, burning their fingers in the process.

“Burn salve,” Alfred muttered to himself, glancing at his own blackened fingers and examining Bruce’s.  “Master Harry must have some somewhere.”

“Somewhere being the operative word,” Bruce laughed tiredly, nursing his fingers.  “I think we should just try the Muggle way.  I wouldn’t want to use the wrong—salve.”

“You are most likely correct, Master Wayne,” Alfred agreed.  “Cold water and aloe gel it is.”

Bruce woke up the next morning to sticky fingers and a head of orange hair as Teddy had migrated into his bed during the night, his wolf wrapped in his small arms and his eyes shut tight against the world.  Bruce couldn’t help but smile at the sight, falling in love with his son just a little more than before.

Harry called every day exactly at noon, Teddy always being the first to run to the phone, picking it up with enthusiasm and shouting into the other end.  Bruce had tried to explain that he didn’t need to shout, that Harry could hear him perfectly if he spoke in a normal voice, but Teddy refused to believe him, explaining that it was made by Muggles and so wouldn’t be that advanced yet.  Bruce had tried to contain a laugh and had taken to carrying around earplugs in case he got too close to Teddy during the phone calls. 

More Batman vigilantes were coming out of the woodwork, which bothered Bruce, but he set aside his worry.  Something would have to be done about idiots who thought they could be superheroes, carrying guns and shooting them at criminals.  Sometimes he wondered if it was all worth it, if he shouldn’t just walk away like Harry wanted him to, leaving criminals to people like Harvey Dent, who the press was already calling Gotham’s White Knight.

On the fourth morning when Harry was away, Teddy looked at Bruce seriously for several long moments, watching the way he moved.  “You’re hurt again,” he stated factually, turning back to his toast and pumpkin juice.

“No more than usual,” Bruce said, trying to laugh it off, but Teddy’s purple eyes caught him with a childlike intensity that was almost frightening. 

“Daddy heals you, but Daddy’s not here,” Teddy explained sadly, playing with a bit of crust.  “Does Daddy take care of you like he does me?”

“Yes,” Bruce answered without hesitation.  “Of course he does.  And I take care of your daddy, as well.  It’s what people do when they love each other.”

Teddy nodded sadly, his eyes filling up with tears.  “Who was she?  The girl he’s gone to bury?”

Bruce sighed, setting down his napkin and coming around the table to kneel next to Teddy’s chair.  “She was a friend of your daddy’s,” he answered simply.  “From the war, I think, and maybe before that.  Her name was Luna.”

Teddy’s eyes flashed in recognition.  “I heard Hermione and Ginny talk about her.  They said she was chasing Crumple-Horned Snorkacks somewhere in Europe.”

Bruce wasn’t quite certain what a Crumple-Horned Snor-thing was, but he nodded sagely.  “She wasn’t,” he replied carefully.  “She died and Blackjack—your father—has been trying to find her so that he could bury her like she deserves.”

“My parents died—my other parents,” Teddy whispered, pushing his plate away.  “I don’t think I like my other mother very much, though.  She would have poisoned me, too, I think.”

“No, she wouldn’t,” Bruce replied emphatically, placing his hands carefully on Teddy’s upper arms.  “I know your mother wouldn’t have poisoned you.”

“She was human,” Teddy argued, as if that answered everything.

“I’m human,” Bruce replied kindly.  “Daddy’s human, and we don’t poison you.  We would never poison you.”

“Yes, well, Daddy’s not really human,” Teddy explained.  “His father was a stag—and you, you’re really a bat.”

“I—“ Bruce began, but he wasn’t quite certain how to answer that statement.    “Don’t wolves kill bats?” he asked carefully, trying to make it into a joke but failing horribly.  Teddy was still staring at him with the same intensity, his violet eyes knowing and serious.

“No.  We’re carnivores and there’s not much meat on bats,” he answered rationally.  “Do you think—do you think I’ll ever be a wolf like my dad?”

“Well,” Bruce tried to answer carefully, getting up and sitting back down.  “Babbity rabbit became a rabbit, didn’t she?  And her father wasn’t a wererabbit.”  His brows crossed at the thought of wererabbits.  “Are there wererabbits?”

Teddy shook his head, a teasing smile on his face.  “Nope.  Just werewolves—and vampires.  And Veela, grindylows, unicorns, and many others.  There are house elves, too.  Grandma wasn’t wealthy enough to have one.”

Bruce’s head spun at all the information.  “Veela,” Bruce answered carefully.  “What’s a Veela?”

“Pretty women who turn into birds.  Daddy says they’re nasty when angry but Victoire’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother—or something—was a Veela.  She’s very pretty.”

“I’m sure she is,” Bruce answered indulgently with a smile.  “Teddy, you can’t tell anyone that I’m a bat sometimes.”

“Oh, I know,” Teddy answered.  “Daddy explained that it was more important than the Stat—Statue of Secrecy.”

“Statute of Secrecy,” Bruce replied, relieved that Harry had already taken care of the problem before he was even aware of it.  “And thank you, Teddy.”

Teddy smiled happily at him.  “You’re my papa.  You love me and Daddy.”

“Yes, yes, I do,” Bruce answered quietly, looking lovingly at his son.  “I love you so much, Teddy.”

A moment later and his arms were full with a grinning Teddy, their noses rubbing lovingly against each other.  This was his son, his child, Bruce thought happily to himself.  This beautiful boy who loved with his entire heart despite the cruelty he’d been shown, and Bruce would never put their small family’s happiness in jeopardy.

Soon.  Soon he would hang up the batsuit and leave it to mortal men in suits and ties.  Very soon.

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