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18 August 2011 @ 05:32 pm
[ f i c ] Through Another Lens - Tim/Kon  

Title: Through Another Lens
Fandom: DC comics
Pairing: Tim/Kon
Rating: PG-15
Summary: Tim may not take photographs anymore, but the art of looking at everything and everyone in search of a shot is ingrained into him. What he doesn't realize is how it looks to Kon, who sees Tim looking at everyone but him.
A/N: For the Tim/Kon meme prompt: "Look at me, would you, please?" Like most of my fics, it was supposed to be a couple pages long, tops. But then I had to go all in-depth about ~feelings~ and relationships and reality.

When they’re alone together, everything is perfect. The setting sun is dripping hazy warmth across Tim’s laughing face in the Tower’s living room as Kon grapples him off the couch in an attempt to win back control of the remote. He could cheat and use his TTK, but sliding his hands along the lean muscle of Tim’s arm to pin it behind his back and wrapping his legs around Tim’s waist to keep him in place while he strains to reach the remote in Tim’s other hand is much more satisfying. Rolling on the ground with hands wandering everywhere and rock-hard bodies pressed against each other with the feel of muscles bulging and straining, and Tim’s hipbones digging into Kon’s thighs and the noises that come from each other’s mouths, gasps and grunts— is a fantasy in and of itself.

Tim nudges his hip up against Kon’s and Kon’s grip fumbles as he throws Tim a scandalized glance at the sudden rush of heat that goes through him. Sneaky bastard. Tim’s face shines as he bursts out in laughter again and Kon mock-growls and wraps his legs tight enough around Tim to cut off his laughter, bending down to drive his lips against Tim’s and with the distraction, swipe the remote from Tim’s hand.

“And victory goes to the all-mighty Kon-el!” He raises his hands in triumph, and Tim pouts, though the corner of his mouth is twitching upwards. Kon loves these moments, when Tim laughs uninhibitedly and he feels ridiculously proud to be the reason for it. He feels like he’s riding on a cloud, where everything is working out right, and he can see from Tim’s eyes that he’s feeling it too.

“No fair, you used dirty tactics.”

“I was following in your footsteps, Red Loser.”

“Oh, now you choose to follow my example, Superdouche.” Kon smirks at him and Tim rolls his eyes and shoves at Kon. “Now get off me, I think I’m losing circulation in my extremities.”

“Including this one?” Kon’s hand wanders lower and squeezes. Tim throws his head back, mouth opening soundlessly and hands clenching.

“Except that one,” Tim gasps. He lifts his head to lock his gaze on Kon, and it’s all the encouragement Kon needs.

Kon smiles, and everything is perfect.

--

It’s when they’re in public that Kon begins to have second thoughts.

He didn’t pay it much mind at first. After all, it was obvious they were both happy, and no one would ever even dream of Tim being anything less than faithful.

Kon’s not so sure now.

It doesn’t make any sense because Kon knows Tim, and he would have bet his life on Tim being the most monogamous goody-goody nerd kid he’s ever met, but Kon can’t find another explanation for Tim’s roaming eye.

It happens every time they go out. They walk down the street and Kon is rambling about something, and Tim will respond with all the appropriate gestures and expressions, showing that he’s still paying attention to what Kon is saying. But Tim is amazing and brilliant and he probably only needs one hundredth of his brain to pay attention to Kon. The problem isn’t that.

The problem is that he’s looking everywhere but at Kon. He’ll stare at a group of girls on the street corner waiting for the light to change, or he’ll throw a glance at this impeccably-dressed salesman in the mall, gaze lingering on the neatly-groomed scruff. He outright ogled this pretty blonde with a much-too low checkered shirt last time they went out to eat, and yeah, Kon himself might have waggled his eyebrows at her, but dude, it’s Kon, he’s always been that way, and he doesn’t do it all that much now that he’s in a relationship. Tim, on the other hand, does it constantly, and it’s Tim, the Boy Virgin, the upstanding beacon of morality, the one who wriggles uncomfortably at PDA and blushes at explicit sexual jokes, and…and it makes Kon feel crummy and unappreciated and insecure as hell. 

Is it that Tim doesn’t find Kon all that attractive, after all? Or is Kon really just a best friend, and Tim is just in a relationship with him because it’s convenient and fun? Does he see it as a fling, a pretty intense fling, sure, but nothing more, and is already looking for someone else? Is Tim really so cold-blooded, logical and calculating to a fault, that he’s sitting there looking for future possibilities when the one who would take a bullet for him and die all over again is sitting right across the table from him?

He suddenly doesn’t feel like eating anymore. His stomach is cramping with anxiety, and the fork makes a clinking sound as he sets it down. Tim’s attention is on him immediately.

“You’re done already?” Tim stares at Kon, reading him effortlessly, and his eyebrows dip down. “What’s wrong?”  

Kon can’t speak. The hypocrisy is killing him. One second staring out the window, away from Kon, staring at God-knows-who, the next pretending to be all concerned over Kon like Kon’s the center of his universe. The worst part is how well Tim feints it. He looks so honestly concerned as he looks from Kon’s half-eaten steak to his face, which damn, must be showing it all.

“I… I don’t feel so good. Can we go home?”

Tim nods immediately and calls for their check. The way he gives their waiter a once-over from head to toe is almost enough to make Kon lose his lunch completely.

--

Kon starts coming up for excuses so that they can stay in.

“Aw man, no, I’m tired today.”

“I’m sick of take-out, let’s make our own food today!”

“How about staying in and watching a movie on the couch?”

“I bought a new video-game, you gotta check it out, bro.”

But when Tim starts pulling the heavy-duty teasing with a side of strategically-placed pouts, Kon gives in.

It doesn’t take long for him to regret it and his paranoia to build. Tim is shameless about it, staring at every other person that crosses his way, and Kon knows Tim, he sees that he’s analyzing them, probably deducing favorable or unfavorable traits from the glimpses he gets of them, probably building his ideal partner in his mind piece by piece while half a foot away, Kon dies over and over again watching him watch other people.

--

He talks to Cassie about it. Predictably, she seems disbelieving at first.

Tim?” She tucks a few loose strands of hair behind her ear, wiping her forehead and pulling a fallen bra-strap back over her shoulder.  “C’mon, it’s… it’s Tim. You’re the world to him, it’s obvious to anyone who sees you two interact.”

Kon wipes his own forehead and lets himself fall backwards onto the sparring mats, noting absently that there’s almost no trace of resentment left in her voice at all. Her fingers work nimbly to rewrap her lasso and toss it over her shoulder. She walks to stand over him, one foot on either side of his waist, and looks down at him.

“Talk to him. He’s … well, not honest I guess, but he’ll talk to you calmly and rationally through it. There’s gotta be an explanation for it.”

--

Kon tries, and this is how it goes:

This time they’re at an arcade, because Kon has to show Tim the ass-kicking he’s capable of in this new knock-off-Halo zombie game. Kon’s racking up points like crazy, pointing the plastic gun at the screen, and when he finishes the level with a whoop and turns to high-five Tim, he finds that Tim has his head tilted to the side, staring at something intently.

Kon follows his gaze, and his stomach drops to the ground, dragging his heart along with it.

There’s a group of skinny, cute Asian girls dancing one of those Korean dancing pads, decked out in colorful tights and fluffy shirts with tiny little booty shorts, identically dressed save for the color schemes of each of their outfits. The laser lights of the arcade give them a surreal appeal, drawing neon patterns across their clothes and faces.

Kon… Kon can’t take it. He feels horribly self-conscious all of a sudden, bulky and huge like a caveman and yeah, so they’ve all joked that Tim’s pretty much asexual, or more like Kon-sexual considering he’s the only one he has (had) shown interest in, but these girls… they fit Tim so much better. Kon can see Tim with a cute petite Asian girl that will get all his nerdy jokes and appreciate his lean, muscled body. Not that Kon doesn’t, but Cassie’s joke that Kon’s body must totally make Tim feel insecure about his suddenly comes to mind. Is that it? Has Kon not shown enough appreciation for Tim? Does Kon maybe keep Tim from feeling masculine and in-charge, at least physically? Kon had never thought Tim would even care about that.

Kon swallows, and instead of saliva, it feels like acid is dripping down the walls of his stomach as he stares at Tim. Tim, who is perfect. He’s… he’s smart, and understanding, and he’s always calm and always puts Kon in his place and speaks straight to him and sees him for who he is and never shied away from him, even after finding out about his mixed heritage. Tim, whose smiles are rare and beautiful, and chews raw the erasers on his pencils and likes peanut butter a little too much and can beat Kon at Halo. Tim, who needs someone to cheer him up and keep him from secluding himself in guilt and depression.  Tim, who fits so perfectly in his arms when Kon lifts him up to fly him somewhere. Tim, whom Kon is completely head-over-heels in love with.

“Tim…”

It comes out as a strangled noise, but Tim jumps and immediately turns to Kon.

“Ah, sorry, I was spacing out, what—”

“You were staring. At those girls,” Kon hears himself say. “You do that a lot.” He doesn’t know how his voice isn’t breaking and he isn’t shaking. Probably because his brain feels like someone just shot an ice blast and froze it.

Tim’s eyes widen and he blushes, ducking his head and rubbing the back of his neck. “Um, right, er, I was just looking at— um, so what score did you get?”

His reaction confirms everything Kon has been dreading. Kon passes the gun to Tim and excuses himself to go to the bathroom with empty words he doesn’t even remember. The only thing he remembers is the way his heartbeat drowned out everything as he dry heaved over the sink.

--

“Wanna go out for dinner?” Tim asks, lifting his head from Kon’s shoulder to smile at him.

 Kon shifts uncomfortably. “I’m not feeling so hot, can we just walk around the island?”

Kon feels horribly guilty at the way Tim frowns and brushes the back of his hand against Kon’s forehead, checking his temperature. He glances up at Kon, eyes dark with concern.

“You’re kinda starting to worry me, man. You’ve been feeling sick a lot lately, but I can’t find anything wrong and you said you don’t know what it is, right?”

“Must be the season.” Kon shrugs it off. Tim leans up on his tiptoes to peck Kon’s chin.

“Well, let’s just chill on the roof then, and hopefully you’ll feel better.”

Kon sighs in relief and wonders how long he can keep this up.

--

Kon knows he’s in denial, telling himself it’s just a little road bump. Not a big deal. All couples have some. He knows he should bring it up, or do something about it, but he can’t. Not when everything is perfect the rest of the time. Not when Tim’s head is resting comfortably on Kon’s side as they both read the intel for their next mission.

They’re in Kon’s room now, with a few slices of pizza Bart graciously left for them. It’s Friday afternoon and they’ve only been in the Tower for an hour or so, mostly lounging while they wait for the other members to get here. Tim still smells like Gotham and Kon still smells like a farmhouse in the middle of Kansas.

Tim suddenly sits up, rolls over and crawls to lie across Kon so that they’re both lying on their stomachs, perpendicular to one another, except Tim is lying on Kon’s back.

Kon turns his head and laughs, liking how Tim’s paper shakes with the force of his movements and Tim lets out a little ‘eep’ as he bounces up and down.

“Is that comfortable?”

Tim smirks at him, blue eyes twinkling without the mask to hide them. “Not as much as I’d thought, actually. I just wanted to be touching more of you.” He reaches out to place his warm hand on Kon’s shoulder blade and rub his thumb in a simple motion of affection. “I like feeling you breathe.”

“Wow, did you get hit on the head today, man? That’s sappy even for you.” Kon feels his chest expand with warmth at the admission. Kon may act like he’s all tough and macho, but he’s really just like a big puppy that needs to be shown constant love and attention. Cassie called it ego-boosting, Kon calls it reassurance.

It’s Kon’s turn to feel the bursts of pressure against his lower back in time with Tim’s bright laugh. There’s a dull thwack as Tim swats Kon’s head with the files. “Here I am trying to throw you a bone and be nice, and this is how you repay me? You’re just jealous because I’m more in touch with my feelings.”

“Oh, that’s believable, coming from one of the bat family.”

“Dick,” Tim replies, and it’s only by his all-too-smug grin that Kon realizes that’s a double-entendre.

“I am not. And dude, your brother doesn’t count. He’s the exception to all the rules in that family.”

“Jason.”

“Okay, no, seriously, we’re not playing this game, I don’t know that guy well enough for this.”

Tim laughs and rolls over, and Kon has to wriggle to make himself more comfortable because Tim’s back is kind of bony and their vertebrae are sort of grinding against each other. Tim holds the papers up to the light, hair falling back from his face to brush the carpet, and continues reading, lips moving as he makes mental notes. Kon turns back to his own papers since his neck is starting to hurt from craning his head back to watch Tim.

“Hey,” Tim says after a few minutes, reaching out to poke Kon’s side. “I had a crummy week. You wanna go out, get a bite to eat and check out that new Flash movie?”

Kon tenses without meaning to, which sucks because Tim’s on him and feels it completely. Tim rolls over onto his hands and knees, careful to not wrinkles his files, and gets off Kon, crawling forward to lie next to him. “I’ll take that as a no… how come?”

Kon hates all this lying he’s been doing; he can’t keep on doing this, and Tim is looking so honestly curious, his blue (autumn-sky-blue) eyes peering at Kon so ingenuously that Kon’s brain decomposes and doesn’t know how to answer.

“Mmpff,” is all Tim has time to say as Kon rams his lips onto Tim’s hard enough to bruise, covering his mouth and part of his chin and keeping Tim still with the grip of his hand on the back of his neck. Kon rolls over, dragging Tim along on top of him without letting go of his mouth. Tim’s hands are clutching his shoulders, digging into his t-shirt, part response and part question, but Kon ignores it and rakes his tongue along the line of Tim’s bottom teeth, bites his upper lip and relishes the sound of Tim’s heartbeat stuttering and the way his breaths are getting heavier and heavier, so that pretty soon breathing through his nose won’t be enough. Tim’s knees dig against the side of Kon’s waist and Kon runs hands up the back of spandexed thighs and palms Tim’s ass, squeezing the firm muscle at the same time that he pushes his tongue as far as he can down Tim’s throat, swallowing the needy, almost pained sounds Tim makes as Kon suffocates him. Tim tastes like warm cheese pizza and the cool bright taste of Gatorade, and feels like hot, wet, slick Tim, and Kon knows every crevasse of his mouth like his own palm at this point, and he takes his sweet time crushing Tim’s lips so that his tongue can scrape through every single one of them.

He’s being rougher than usual, but he’s only ever known how to use force to vent his frustrations.

He used to have a stupidly irrational fear of losing Tim because of their jobs, that he’d have to go through what Tim went through when Kon died. Now he’s afraid of losing Tim to someone else, and the thought makes his blood curdle cold with fear and hot with anger. He lets Tim break away, panting and looking bewildered, long enough for Kon to growl, “You’re mine,” and abruptly push Tim backwards, between Kon’s thighs, as Kon climbs on top of him and pins his wrists above his head. Tim is slim and even his muscles can’t make up for his small frame. Kon is able to hold both his wrists together with a single hand, and he takes advantage of it, scraping the side of Tim’s neck with his teeth while he uses his other hand to dig his fingers into Tim’s hip, holding him in place as Tim begins to struggle.

“Kon, hey, Kon—” Kon silences him roughly, covering Tim’s mouth with his own, feeling Tim’s tongue pushing in vain against his, hearing the whistling of sharp breaths  going in through his nose since Kon isn’t letting them get through his mouth. Kon hooks his shins over Tim’s to keep his feet from kicking out, and Tim can’t fight against his strength, can’t do anything when Kon grinds his palms against Tim’s wrist and hipbone, drawing a sharp whimper from Tim, and a part of Kon’s brain is telling him to ease up, to slow down because he doesn’t want to hurt Tim, but the other part wants to mark Tim as his, show him where he belongs. Tim is his, he can’t be anyone else’s. Kon died and came back and all he wants this time around is Tim. His body feels like there’s lava running through his veins and he has to release all that energy and heat in any way possible before it burns him, blinds him. He pushes Tim’s wrists further up, barely hearing the sound of Tim’s skin getting friction burn from the carpet, focused instead on forcing Tim’s back to stretch out and arch up until he feels Tim’s chest pressing against his own. His hand glides up from Tim’s hip, nudging under his shirt, dragging his nails along the ripples of Tim’s abs in a way that makes Tim shudder and a moan to vibrate in the cavern of their joint mouths. He pulls Tim’s bottom lip, tugging it painfully downward until it slips loose from between the pinching of his teeth. Tim makes another high-pitched noise of protest as Kon’s mouth fastens immediately on the side of his neck and begins sucking, breaking blood-vessels and making his mark, tasting salt and Gotham soot. He can hear Tim’s clothes chafing against the carpet, the low, feral grunts coming out of his own throat in tandem with the frantic pounding of Tim’s heart.

Apparently all Tim needed was to get his mouth free long enough to get a few full breaths before counterattacking. Kon feels Tim’s muscles contract a split second before Tim somehow twists one of his legs out from under Kon’s to knee him in the gut at the same time that he slams his temple against Kon’s forehead.

“Fuck!” Kon falls back, wrapping his arms around his stomach only to unwrap them immediately to press them against his forehead. The blows weren’t truly all that hard, considering he’s nearly invulnerable, but it was the shock factor that did him in. Tim scrambles out from under him, breathing heavily and body poised to fight, eyes narrowed in anger and… Kon feels his stomach churn at the sliver of fear in them.

“What the hell was that, Kon?” Tim spits out, fingers brushing against his hipbone as if to rub away the pain. Kon can see an angry red mark standing out lividly on the otherwise pale skin of Tim’s neck. Tim’s lips are swollen and bruised, and there’s a the shiny smear of saliva and blood on the corner of his mouth. Kon’s stomach shudders and his blood cools immediately as if ice-cubes had been dropped down the back of his shirt, making him force down bile that threatens to come up.

“You— you never said stop,” he says, and immediately wishes he hadn’t said anything. What a stupid, pathetic excuse; he heard the noises Tim was making, he knew he wasn’t enjoying it, but Kon kept on going anyway.

“You didn’t give me a chance to say it,” Tim snarls, standing up with less grace than he usually has. He’s still breathing hard and his hand rubs his temple as he winces, and Kon feels bad because it had to have hurt Tim at least five times as much as it hurt Kon.

“I’m sorry, Tim, really, I just... totally lost it. I… I haven’t been feeling—right lately, and when you said— I just wanted to keep you—I mean—” Kon is babbling, not sure how to explain because he doesn’t want to actually explain and have to bring it up, but what he just did is unforgivable, and Tim is looking so hurt and betrayed right now—

“Kon…” Tim’s voice breaks slightly now that it’s not snarling, and Kon realizes it’s faintly hoarse. “You… you were hurting me.”  

Kon feels ashamed. He staggers to his feet and tries to grab Tim’s hand, but Tim snatches it away, backing up a few spaces. It’s just as well, because Kon realizes that he has no right to touch Tim after the way he treated him. He was borderline abusive, and he feels vertigo hit him at the realization. Is that… is that something Luthor would have done? Is that his Luthor DNA finally showing through?

There’s a soft noise as Tim sags into a chair behind him, rubbing his wrists, which Kon notices are also red and will probably bruise with the force Kon was using to hold them. Kon falls back to sit on the floor, staring blankly at the carpet, watching tiny little tremors run just under his skin as the world tilts around him. He fucked up. He fucked up bad. He doesn’t deserve Tim.

They sit there for a few moments in silence. Kon’s brain is running through a litany of self-loathing and fighting the paralyzing clench of fear that he’s finally showing signs of Luthor, which spares Kon from seeing the way Tim licks the blood off his lips and close his eyes, gritting his teeth as he massages his forehead.

“I… I want to understand what happened, Kon,” Tim finally says, voice barely above a whisper in the quiet of Kon’s room, with Kon’s bed at the side, messy and undone from the week before, the leftover pizzas and the tangled Xbox cables lying just a few feet away, and it seems so wrong to have all these stupid, everyday things surrounding him when he’s having one of the worst moments of his life.  “You’ve been acting off… ‘not feeling right’, for a while, and… if it’s going to lead to this, then we need to talk about it because—” Tim  draws in a shaky breath and his voice thins out to a wavering thread. “I trust you. I never thought you, of all people, would ever do that.”

Kon’s mouth drops open and he stares at Tim as the sentence reverberates in his head. Suddenly, a wave of energy surges through him and he rises, ignoring the way Tim draws back, fists clenching at the unfairness of it all—

“You never thought I’d do that? That’s rich, considering I never thought you of all people would—” he freezes.

Tim snaps back defensively, “That I’d what? What have I done?”

Kon’s vision swirls. His brain wars with whether to say it or not and even though he doesn’t think he’s ready, it tumbles out of his mouth anyway, “Cheat on me.”

Tim’s eyes widen, impossibly, beautifully blue, pupils dilated so that they almost swallow that blue as he digs his fingers distractedly through his hair, “What are you talking about, Conner? I’ve never— I would never dream of cheating on you—”

Kon closes his eyes, and cuts him off, hating how defeated his voice sounds, “Tim, man, don’t even give me that. I— I don’t know if you’ve actually done it, I don’t think you have, but dude, how else am I supposed to take the fact that you’re always staring at someone else when we go out? It drives me insane. You’re always staring at some other chick or some other dude, when I’m right next to you! How do you think that makes me feel? You know what I’m thinking every time we go out?” Tim appears too shocked to respond, so Kon continues. He chokes on his words, and they come out low and rough and desperate, “Please, would you please look at me?”

Tim looks like he’s not breathing, mouth agape and face beginning to blanch. He blinks a few times, closes his mouth, and stares at the floor shaking his head slowly back and forth. Kon doesn’t know what else to say.  Months agonizing about this, and when the moment comes, he doesn’t know how to tell Tim all the self-doubt that has crept up on him, all the insecurity that has been nagging him. His stomach is threatening to empty itself out and the dizziness is still going strong, keeping him scrambling for a tighter grip on the carpet to ground him.

Kon watches Tim stand up like a dead man, body limp and lifeless. He paces back and forth in front of Kon, his movements slowly becoming more agitated as his mind whirls. Kon tries to watch him, gather any sort of clue from him, even though his pacing makes the vertigo worse.

Tim stops, turned away from Kon, and finally speaks, “I’m… God, I’m so, so sorry, Kon. Look, to— to start off, I… I’ve never even thought of cheating on you. Ever.”

Kon feels the rubber bands squeezing his heart pop at Tim’s words, and he begins to sink with relief. It’s pathetic how easily he takes Tim’s words at face value and thinks, thank God, without even thinking to question then what was all the staring about?

“I thought… I thought it was obvious how important you are to me. Just…” Tim takes a shuddering breath and Kon watches him reach up to scrub furiously at his face. Kon suddenly wants to see Tim’s face. He could use his x-ray vision to do so, but the thought of Tim actually crying terrifies him, so he resists. Tim’s shoulders rise as he takes a deep breath and turns around, hand still covering his eyes. For now, the miserable curve of his lips in combination with the undeniable regret in his voice is enough to reassure Kon that this is real and Tim really does mean it and all his fears have been dispelled.

“Kon… I— I do stare at people. But it’s… God, it’s so stupid and I was always kind of embarrassed about it so I never mentioned it. It’s— it’s for photography.”

Kon’s brain short-circuits and his mouth spews out, “What? You’re kidding, right?”

That startles Tim into lowering his hand to look at Kon, and indeed his eyes are suspiciously shiny. Tim looks back down and clenches his fists. “I’m not lying, Kon, I swear. You… you remember that I used to do a lot of photography, right? I don’t anymore, but I still think about it, and...” he digs his hands through his hair though Kon can hear the scratch of his nails on his scalp and paces away again, and Kon is absently struck with how much this must be bothering Tim if it’s reducing him to pacing and moving as opposed to standing rock-still. “Jesus, Kon, I can’t believe this. I never gave a second thought to how it’d look to someone else, I can’t believe this whole time I’ve been… I’ve been hurting you…” he looks at Kon with eyes begging Kon to believe him and forgive him without knowing that Kon has already done so. “I’m sorry, Kon. I wish you’d told me sooner. I’m really, really sorry.”

He looks like he’s about to cry and that cannot happen or Kon will lose it, so he stands up immediately, non-functional brain be damned, and wraps his arms around Tim because above all he is or isn’t thinking, it’s what feels right.

“Stop hugging me,” Tim says while burying his nose against Kon’s shoulder. “I’m the one who messed up. I should be hugging you.”

“You’re too guilty, guilt-ridden, whatever,” Kon answers easily, and he knows it’s true. If Kon had the fleeting thought of not deserving to touch Tim after his horrible mess-up – and he still thinks so, but he also doesn’t have the willpower to stay away from Tim— then he knows drown-me-in-my-own-guilt Tim is definitely thinking the same thing.

Tim wraps his arms around Kon’s waist and lets himself be held. Kon’s body feels oddly stable with Tim’s weight pressed against him, and Kon realizes it’s because he’s been shaking this entire time. His stomach is settling now that he’s grounded by Tim, and he has a moment of appreciation for what he thought he was so close to losing.

“How long had you been thinking this?” Tim whispers.

Kon’s arms jerk. He hesitates, because he knows the answer will probably make Tim feel even more guilty, but he also knows that Tim finds a certain amount of relief from simply knowing all the facts. “I started noticing a couple dates in but I was in denial for a while.”

Tim groans and presses his face against Kon’s chest, “Jesus, Kon, why didn’t you say something? That’s why you’ve been acting off, isn’t it? That’s why you kept finding reasons for us to stay in.”

“I was so scared of losing you to someone else,” Kon admits, one arm tight around Tim’s back while his other hand rubs little circles into the back of Tim’s head and keeps it pressed against his chest.

“You won’t,” Tim says fiercely, squeezing Kon’s waist tightly, and Kon feels a dizzying mix of relief and warmth at the intensity of Tim’s words. “Kon, you’re the only one I ever think of. All the time. In fact, sometimes I wish I thought of you less because you’re a really bad distraction to have when I’m talking to Batman.”

Happiness bubbles up in Kon and comes out as laughter as he takes Tim’s face with both hands and tilts it up to kiss him. He’s so much more careful this time, just enjoying the softness of Tim’s lips before he nudges Tim’s mouth open slightly and presses gently, murmuring low in his throat and feeling Tim’s grip on his shirt slacken as his hands settle lower on Kon’s hips. Tim’s hands suddenly squeeze Kon’s waist and lower to hook on his belt, and cool air rushes in between them as Tim leans back, eyes remaining shut for a second longer as if Tim’s reluctant to break it off.

“Wait, Kon. I’m not done.”

“Killjoy,” Kon murmurs, stroking Tim’s hair affectionately. God, he doesn’t know how everything went from worst moment of his life to nearly bursting with happiness. He supposes being reassured that he’s not in fact being cheated on really is a mood lifter.

Tim places his hand on Kon’s cheek and begins rubbing his thumb back and forth in a motion so soothing and careful that Kon finds himself moving his head in the opposite direction in order to prolong the sensation. “I want to say so much more, Kon. I…” Tim smiles crookedly, a stain of red seeping under the pale skin of his cheeks.  “I wish I could tell you how much you mean to me, but I don’t think it’ll actually come out of my mouth, even if I try. But what I feel for you, Kon, is… strong, to say the least.” The intensity of Tim’s blue, blue eyes— and God, Kon gets sucked into them every time without fail— is enough to tell Kon just what Tim means by that exactly, and Kon’s breath fizzles out for a second.

“Like… bro-code-breaking strong?” Kon breathes out.

Tim nods, and says, very seriously, “Like chick-flick movie strong. Do you see why I can’t say it out loud yet?”

Kon swallows and nods. Tim nods back, satisfied, and continues.

“I want to apologize, because my inherently closed-off personality led me to never saying what was on my mind every time I was looking around. In my defense, it’s something that’s almost second-nature at this point when I’m out in public, and how… how do you explain that you find the contrast between a bustling street and a perfectly-poised young woman interesting? Or that the way the shadows cross a striped shirt is fascinating? Or… I have a thing for curves, and girls happen to have a lot of those.” Kon snorts at that, lifting an eyebrow, though he’s amazed to hear such… artsy things coming out of Tim’s mouth. Tim blushes faintly. “Shut up and let me finish. Kon… I—I feel terrible that this whole time you’ve been agonizing over this.” Kon opens his mouth to counter that, because ‘agonizing’ is a pretty dramatic word— “Don’t even try to refute it. I knew there was something wrong, but you’re usually worse than Bart when it comes to keeping quiet about something that’s bothering you, so I bought your excuses, thinking they must be true if you hadn’t yet brought anything up.” Disbelief leaks into Tim’s voice, “Kon, you went through months worrying about this?” Kon bites his lip, shoulder rolling into a shrug, and Tim shakes his head. “I promise I’ll try to communicate better, but please let me know next time. You could have avoided all of that if you’d brought it up sooner.”

“I did. Try, I mean,” Kon says, shifting uncomfortably. “And that only made it worse, cause you were embarrassed that I’d caught you staring, at the arcade, remember? But you didn’t say why you were embarrassed, so to me it was all the proof I needed. There was no way I’d imagine it was because of something like photography.”

Tim thunks his head against Kon’s shoulder, “Ugh, I’m sorry, I just didn’t think you’d be thinking I was… and wait, now that I think about it, I’m mildly offended that you’d even think me capable of cheating.”

Kon rolls his eyes and flicks Tim’s ear, earning a yelp, “Dude, what else was I supposed to think? It’s not like I hang out with weirdo artsy types all the time who stare off into space for ‘spiritual’ reasons or something, looking at stripes and colors.” Tim rolls his eyes but says nothing, which Kon knows means he’s conceding the point to Kon.

“So, is... is everything alright now? Anything else I can clear up for you?”

Kon shakes his head and nuzzles Tim’s bangs. His body feels like jelly, and he really wants to sit down. He drags Tim backwards until they bump into Kon’s bed and fall onto it, and then they lie there, legs hanging off the side of the bed and breath mingling between them with Tim lying cocooned in Kon’s hold. Kon closes his eyes, breathes in the mix of Gotham smoke, Batcave dankness and the thread of coconut shampoo that Tim uses. It may or may not be all that good of a mix, but it’s Tim and that’s all Kon needs.

“We’re both such idiots, aren’t we?” Kon says at one point.

Tim does that breathy, quiet laugh of his and whispers, “Undeniably so.”

They lie in silence for a while after that, though Kon can tell that Tim’s eyes are still open and he’s probably staring at the spot on Kon’s collarbone he’s currently tracing circles on. Kon lets himself focus on the feeling, like a cobweb brushing along his neck, as his body sinks into the mattress with the weight of his emotional exhaustion. He feels like rubber. He feels like he just evaded a death trap set by giant evil talking gorillas hell-bent on killing him. Not like they haven’t seen weirder things.

Tim’s finger pauses, just for second, above Kon’s Adam’s apple.

“Quit thinking about it, dude,” Kon says without even opening his eyes.

“Who said I was?”

Kon can totally hear the sulk in Tim’s voice and answers with a smirk. He nudges Tim’s forehead with his chin. “Hey. What other things do you look at for your photos?”

Tim resumes tracing patterns on Kon’s neck, humming thoughtfully. “It depends. It’s whatever strikes me. Composition, negative space, color and contrast. I like black and white photographs because they’re less busy, and allow you to look at shapes and forms better, they’re… elegant. But sometimes—at the arcade there were those girls, all looking exactly the same but with different-colored clothing, and the neon lights were making patterns on their faces, so I take, or used to take, a number of color photographs as well. And then there’s something about catching a specific expression or capturing a particular movement… and you know you have a sliver of that person’s essence captured forever.” Tim ducks his head slightly at Kon’s completely dumbfounded expression. “C’mon, Kon, this is why I don’t talk about it. It’s embarrassing.”

It takes a moment for Kon to figure out what to say. “No, dude, it’s not. It’s… Tim, I’ve never heard you talk like that before.” It’s beautiful. “I like it. I didn’t know you ever thought about stuff like that. I mean… I don’t know anything about art or photography, but… I like it.” He peers at Tim’s eyes. “You should start taking photos again. I’d love to see them.”

There’s a tiny little pleased smile curling the edges of Tim’s mouth and Kon feels satisfied. He closes his eyes again and sweeps his hand up and down Tim’s arm, feeling fine hairs and hard muscle under his palm. Tim’s breathing evens out and his pulse thrums on, strong and steady.

 “You know, your pacing made me laugh. I thought that was a Dick thing.”

“Yeah well, maybe it rubbed off on me.”

“I’d never seen you do that before.”

“Well, I’m not usually mortified and guilt-ridden by what an idiot I’ve just been. Kon, I’m… I’m ashamed that I put you through that.”

Kon swallows and his body automatically seizes up. He opens his eyes but avoids looking at Tim. He looks instead at the wrinkles on Tim’s shirt and a loose strand of hair, too short to be Tim’s, caught in the dip of one of the wrinkles.

“Speaking of shame… Tim…” He doesn’t know how to continue. He doesn’t know how to say I will kill myself before hurting you like that again, I promise. It’s terrifying. Nothing really happened, but even coming that close is a startling reality-check for Kon, because with his strength and anger combined… now he knows it’s not such a stretch to see himself taking advantage of someone, and the thought makes him feel sick all over again.

Tim looks down at his hands again, which are fisting the hem of Kon’s shirt. “Kon… I’m not going to lie, I’m… not happy about that. At all. If it weren’t for the fact that we haven’t slept together yet, I would have been afraid of just how far you were going to go without me being able to stop you. I still trust you, because you’re you and I know it’s eating you up inside. But I can’t say that it won’t cross my mind if things ever get heated between us again, and that basic fear reaction… I can’t control that. But I do trust that there won’t be a repeat, that you won’t let it get to that point again, because I know you won’t let yourself. And before you even think about it, no, I don’t think this means you’re turning into Luthor.” He raises his eyes to give Kon a slight reassuring smile, though his eyes retain their seriousness. “I’ll make sure to say ‘stop’ as soon as things start to get out of hand, deal?”

Kon nods blankly, not sure if he loves Tim more for his honesty or his forgiveness.  He realizes all of a sudden that neither of them have actually said that they forgive each other, but it isn’t needed. Between them, some things are necessary and some things aren’t. It’s like that dumb cliché about actions speaking louder than words. Tim smiles at him, more wordless forgiveness, and when Kon doesn’t respond, he frowns and nips Kon’s bottom lip.

“Alright, no more thinking about it. I think we’ve both learned our lesson and can move on, can’t we?” Tim pushes Kon over on his back and climbs over him, and the sharp look in his eyes begins to stir Kon’s blood like a fire being stoked, but for once, Kon isn’t interested in listening.

“Nah, man, none of that.” He tugs Tim’s arm out from under him so that he falls against him, making Tim yelp in surprise and let out a short ‘oof’ when he lands on Kon’s chest. Kon wraps his arms tightly around him, feeling the solid shape of ribs and muscles and lungs expanding. He loves Tim’s weight on him, heavy and comfortable like a thick woolen blanket. “I just wanna lie here for a while, that cool?”

Tim looks a little dazed, because yeah, since when does Kon turn down an opportunity like that? It’s not long before his shock is joined by a dusting of pink on his cheeks as Kon stares at him with all the affection he can possibly pour into the expression. Screw the bro-code.

Tim is here, finally looking at him, and it’s all Kon had asked for.

 

--

 

Hours later, after they’ve done nothing more than lie side-by-side trading lazy, sloppy kisses and quiet words, Tim is still watching him, propped up on one elbow as he pets Kon’s hair. Kon feels himself fading into sleep and fights it long enough to murmur, “Tim… next time we go out… can you tell me what you’re seeing? I wanna see the world like you.”

He gets a soft kiss in response and the knowledge that Tim is looking at him and only him.

 


 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
We're only several miles from the sunanimegoil on August 20th, 2011 06:06 am (UTC)
*A*

Thank you!

My brain is quite flattered at your marriage proposal. ♥ It thinks it might be a good match.

OMG, I reworded that line like, five times, cause it was always too elegant, so to speak, for Kon, and I wanted something that really sounded like him! D: lololol.

Mixed feelingsgemfyre on August 19th, 2011 01:43 am (UTC)
Oh wow, that was beautiful.

You describe those emotions so perfectly, I think I've felt all of them at least once.

*goosh*
We're only several miles from the sunanimegoil on August 20th, 2011 06:25 am (UTC)
Thank you! What I was going for ;)
(no subject) - bakayaromaniac on August 19th, 2011 06:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
We're only several miles from the sunanimegoil on August 20th, 2011 06:17 am (UTC)
I WANT TO. This Tim/Kon meme is a trove of golden prompts! I think writing this fic officially made me a fangirl - Kon's so beautifully in love >.<
Ladellejotsalot on August 19th, 2011 06:53 pm (UTC)
There were so many things right about this story. Honestly, I'm still a little wrapped up in how much I adored it. The way that you write (in general, your style is really nice) and the way you portrayed both Tim and Kon's emotions was brilliant. It's like you hit the nail on the head with every metaphor. It was almost as if the simplest of their thoughts worked as the glue for their relationship and for the meaning behind the story. I wish I could go back and pull some bits I thought were particularly amazing, but unfortunately I'm leaving this review from my phone. I just really wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed this.

You are a very talented writer. The flow was perfect, and your characterization was really enjoyable. I hope to read more of your work soon, and thank you for putting this on the web for me to stumble upon!
We're only several miles from the sunanimegoil on August 20th, 2011 06:20 am (UTC)
♥ Thank you so much for your comment! The prompt spoke to me, lol. There were so many things I wanted to address in this fic, and yeah, it was a very ... thought-process-heavy fic, where it was their thoughts that pushed the story forward. I loved the way your phrased it though - the simplest of their thoughts worked as the glue for their relationship. I'd never heard something like that.

And btws, totally friending you back because I need more comic fans on my f-list :(
Ladellejotsalot on August 21st, 2011 02:27 pm (UTC)
Haha! It's just so neat how you were able to phrase things so simply and make me think, "Man. I TOTALLY know what he's feeling!"

Wahoo! I need more comic friends, too. I only just got into DC this year, but I've made quick work of snatching up as much stuff as I can. Are you mainly reading Batman? I noticed that you also wrote a fic with Dick/Tim, which I fully intend to devour soon...

We're only several miles from the sunanimegoil on August 27th, 2011 03:19 am (UTC)
kjdfskj I don't know why I didn't get your response in my email!

Yeah, I just got into DC.... in February or somethin? So I'm still fairly new. Just added you to my flist too, btws :)

I'm sticking mostly to Batman because I find the Robins fascinating, and there's SO MUCH CANON, omg. Of course, if you know Dick, you know Roy and Wally, and if you know Tim, you know Kon and Bart and Cassie, but at a more superficial level. Maybe someday I'll check out other areas (the Arrow Clan is love) when I have time lol.

I'm in love with Tim. Tim/Dick is my OTP but Tim/Kon is so awesome to write because Kon is such an honest character ♥

scrollgirl: dcu tim/konscrollgirl on August 20th, 2011 01:08 am (UTC)
Here via delicious. Wow, that was ridiculously and wonderfully beautiful and angsty and honest! I love that Kon had all these doubts, because for all his brashness, there's an underlying streak of insecurity. And Tim's mind is so fascinating--this is the first fic I've that explored his photography in terms of art, and not as part of his stalking habits. Really love that they deal with Kon's aggressive behaviour and forgive one another so easily.
We're only several miles from the sunanimegoil on August 20th, 2011 06:24 am (UTC)
Via delicious? Sorry, but I have no idea what that means, lol.

♥ Kon was amazing to write. I feel like he really allowed for the fic to happen because of that plausible insecurity he could have.

I was actually really nervous about Kon's behavior- that's the closest to non-con I've ever gotten so I was like, seriously, how did this come up?

that explored his photography in terms of art, and not as part of his stalking habits

*chokes on laughter* He's never going to live the stalking thing down, is he? I actually did read one once that dealt with his photography as an art, and it was a pretty good fic. If I can find it (it was during my spree of reading everything Tim-related I could find, so it was very disorganized) I could link it to you?
scrollgirl: dcu tim/konscrollgirl on August 20th, 2011 08:14 pm (UTC)
This is delicious, a bookmarking system that a lot of fandom uses. (Here's Tim/Kon tagged fic on delicious.) It's actually going to close down soon, so fandom has been busy trying to move its bookmarks over to diigo or other similar sites.

Kon's a hothead and I can totally buy that he's so frustrated and hurt that he'd want to "mark his territory", so to speak. I do think he'd have stopped before he got close to getting Tim naked--not that that excuses what he's already done--and IMHO he definitely would have stopped if Tim verbalised his "no".

No, no, little Timmy is never gonna live that down. *g* Ooh, yes, please link me to any good Tim-fic you can find! Thanks!

Edited at 2011-08-20 08:15 pm (UTC)
We're only several miles from the sunanimegoil on August 21st, 2011 12:51 am (UTC)
(oooh, shiny bookmarks)

Yeah, Kon is definitely too nice of a guy to ever -really- take advantage of someone, so yeah, I had to figure out how to make it plausible and not right, but not where he seriously did something totally unforgivable, even if to him it was too close to that line for comfort.



Here's the link!</i> I'm glad I found it - it's a really interesting fic, and I totally think it's something that Tim would do. So in character and just... really different. Oh, I forgot to mention it's actually Dick/Tim at the end, but it's so incredibly interesting that you should check it out anyway and see where it goes.
Amalthiaamothea on August 20th, 2011 06:41 am (UTC)
I could not stop reading your story once I started. I felt for the guys.
LadybBlkRose: Connor Kon Kentladyblkrose on August 20th, 2011 06:55 am (UTC)
I...I...I'm in awe! This is so perfect. You captured Tim and Kon's voice so true and clear it's as if they were make of crystal and your words filled them up and colored them in. Balancing Kon's brashness and agression with his insecurity was classic but you didn't go cliche' with it. You kept it fresh and personal. Tim's distractedness (I know but it works) is classic but again you added the artistic portion of photography to make this real. I loved the way they slipped between being bro-s and being in a relationship, the rough-housing and the kissing without loosing any of their essence. And you kept them so honest, the good, the bad, and the ugly in each of them met head on, apologized for and forgiven. Brilliant!
Thank you for sharing this. It was a very very very enjoyable read.
We're only several miles from the sunanimegoil on August 21st, 2011 02:07 am (UTC)
Hahaha, that's a good way to put it, 'classic'. Cause I think cliches are fine to use, as long as you work to keep some aspect of them original and fresh, and 'classic' sounds nicer than 'cliche' when explaining frequently-used tropes.

I loved the way they slipped between being bro-s and being in a relationship. And you kept them so honest, the good, the bad, and the ugly in each of them met head on.

I'm really glad it worked and you got everything I was trying to get across! ♥
codebronzecodebronze on August 21st, 2011 07:55 pm (UTC)
I loved this so much,I can't really express it in words. It had me close to tears the whole time, and Kon's insecurity was so heartwrenching and perfect. I felt for Tim, though-I'm into photography too, and I'm always staring at stuff. I wonder how that looks to other people XD Lovely fic, thanks for posting it!
We're only several miles from the sunanimegoil on August 21st, 2011 10:15 pm (UTC)
Hahaha, I think it's the curse of art people. We make weird comments and look at weird things for reasons that other people just can't fathom XD

Thank you so much for the lovely comment ♥ I'm really glad it reached that emotional level for you, lol.
codebronze: wc partnerscodebronze on August 23rd, 2011 12:14 am (UTC)
How can it be a curse if it's so much fuuun? XD

and thank you so much for your lovely story! (Did I call it lovely already? I think I called it lovely already. oh, well--it deserves /two/ lovelies!)
We're only several miles from the sunanimegoil on August 23rd, 2011 04:02 am (UTC)
*hugs all the lovelies possessively* oh, i'm greedy for lovelies ♥
Minumi: Floresitaminumi_hime on August 31st, 2011 11:05 pm (UTC)
I wanna say something intelligent but I'm kind of incoherent with glee at that ending.

kAWIOFHURhgdjfuhkjdsfh;lw

This was really intense and beautiful. I loved how you described things. The moment with Kon losing control was really nerve-wracking. My stomach clenched, and I just kept thinking, Kon, what are you doing? NO.

I like that it was brought up again too, after they settled things about Tim's staring. I'm glad that it wasn't magically forgotten.

The ending was just. UGUGUUUGUUU~~ Perfect. T^T
We're only several miles from the sunanimegoil on August 31st, 2011 11:43 pm (UTC)
♥ x infinity.

Yeah! A lot of fics just conveniently forget things or 'magically' make things better - and to a certain extent, I did too, cause I just wanted closure even though Tim could have remained mad and not accepting of Kon's behavior, and things could have remained really uncomfortable on both of their parts, but yeah, I didn't want to just forget that Kon had crossed that line.

Thank you for your comment ♥
Sumeiiasweety8587 on September 8th, 2011 11:13 am (UTC)
You....are such a brilliant writer. No seriously, you are! THAT was fucking brilliant. I'm still in tears over this! I think the best part was that the issues/problem that were brought up, were resolved in a proper manner and not hand waved or glossed over or super glued ("hey its broken!" "bring the glue, we'll just shove it together and it'll be brand new!" no it wont T_T)

And i cant help but say this...KON LET ME HUG YOUR PAIN AWAY ;A;
We're only several miles from the sunanimegoil on September 8th, 2011 08:03 pm (UTC)
Kon and Tim need so many hugs T.T

Thank you so much for your comment ♥ I'm really glad you got what I was going for - the whole not just hiding everything under the rug and pretending things are fine thing. (though I still kinda did it cause i couldn't bear to have it end sadly T.T)
Sumeiiasweety8587 on September 8th, 2011 08:13 pm (UTC)
they can have all of mine *hugs them both tightly*

sad endings are usually well and good for me but they leave me craving for closure and that is just...a bad bad feeling y' know? I GET the angst angle of it but...more of just yells "BUT HOW DOES IT GET RESOLVED?! /shakes screen!" so this? is just beauty in words <3
shadydarling: thisisponymeshadydarling on July 18th, 2012 10:36 am (UTC)
Glorious
Beautiful and wonderful and ouch "You… you were hurting me". Hit me right in the heart. Lovely amount of angst - this is just my kink :) Thank you!