Living Dangerously

Though Wally has been in countless life-threatening situations, there were only a handful of times he genuinely feared for his safety, and one—only one—where he’d been absolutely certain he was going to die a violent death.

It started on an unbearably hot August afternoon. Bruce Wayne, being a spartan and a maniac, had never saw a reason to upgrade Wayne Manor with air conditioning (though high-tech computer terminals in the bathrooms, well of course that was necessary), and so Wally and Dick were camped out in Dick’s room, fighting for space in front of the fan.

“Don’t you have a pool?” Wally asked, panting and slamming back a bottle of Gatorade. “You’re rich, I know you have a pool.”

“Bruce had it drained for cleaning,” Dick said, elbowing Wally to the side. He closed his eyes and let the air blow his hair back. “If I had a pool to swim in, I wouldn’t have asked you here to share my misery.”

Wally scooted over and rested his chin on Dick’s head. “It’s still weird to hear you call him Bruce.”

Dick rolled his eyes. “The Batman had the pool drained, then. You’re ridiculous.”

“And you’re a terrible friend, and I’m bored.” Wally threw himself flat on the floor, savoring the very brief coolness of the hardwood. “We could take one of the bikes out, find somewhere with air conditioning. Or a breeze.” Dick, after all, had recently got his license, and with it access to Bruce Wayne’s impressive collection of vehicles, conventional ones that they could drive in broad daylight. Wally was itching to try one out.

“I don’t feel like going anywhere,” Dick said, and Wally wanted to strangle him.

“Well,” Wally said, “Did you just ask me over to sit around in your room and try not to die of dehydration? Because if you did then you are an even worse friend than I thought, bro.”

Dick grinned and laid down beside Wally. “For your information, that’s not why I invited you over, bro.”

“Oh?” Wally turned his head and cocked an eyebrow. “Did you have something interesting in mind?”

“Yep, Dick said, a mischievous glint in his blue eyes, and he grasped Wally’s tshirt and dragged him in for a kiss.

At this point, Wally perhaps should have stopped to wonder if perhaps it was a bad idea to make out with the Batman’s sixteen-year-old ward in the Batman’s mansion under the watchful gaze of Dick’s Batman posters. Four-and-a-half years of sexual frustration, proved this matter nearly impossible to concentrate on. Dick’s fingers crept along the side of Wally’s face, and “nearly” got tossed out the window, too.

“This is an aster,” Wally muttered between kisses. “I hate what you do to the English language, but this is a god damn aster.”

“I’ve been wanting to kiss you since I was twelve,” Dick said, slipping a hand up Wally’s shirt. “Does that make me a perv?”

“No, but me wanting to kiss you back makes me one.”

Dick kissed Wally’s neck. “That’s fine, then.”

Wally, now completely divested of his shirt, rolled over and raised himself up over Dick. He studied his face, the flushed cheeks and the full lips and the naked hunger in his eyes. My god, he thought, is this really happening? Dick dug his fingers into the hair at Wally’s nape, and that certainly felt real enough. The fingers that dug into his arm, those were real too, and it was a moment before realized that they weren’t Dick’s. Someone dragged him up halfway to his feet and shoved him across the room, making him his the wall hard enough to make his vision go starry.

Wally was about to yell at whomever it was who had barged in, when he suddenly remembered just whose house he was in, and who was the only likely person to walk into Dick’s room like he owned the place, mostly because he did.

“Batman,” Wally squeaked. Bruce was looking down at him with an expression Wally had never seen on his face before, and this was it, he was sure of it, this is how he was going to die. It would be slow and painful, and Bruce would bury his body somewhere below the Batcave, and Dick would leave a single rose on his grave every Sunday.

“Bruce!” Dick yelled, and Batman turned away, and Wally’s terror ebbed slightly as Dick told off his mentor. “I’m sixteen, I can do whatever I want with whomever I want!”

“Not under my roof you can’t!” Bruce yelled back. “We went over the ground rules, Dick!”

“When I was twelve!”

Wally, seeing the opportunity to beat a hasty exit while the two argued, quietly gathered his things and sped out the door almost fast enough to break the sound barrier. He should probably have been fearing for his life, or wondering where things stood between Dick and himself, or dancing with joy over a kiss he’d been waiting years for. However, he had only one thought as he made his way back home:

Dear god, the Batman saw me with a boner.

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