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This is my only other Jason Todd fic - and it's a lot happier. Almost sugar-fluff. Almost. This is one of three short stories that evolved from an SKH suggestion of "over the hood of the Batmobile". I decided that would make a great starting point for a character study of the three Robins. The other two are elsewhere on this site. They are not - however - a series. So you are not REQUIRED to accept that all three Robins are.... ahem.

Men and Boys

by Darklady

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters. DC does. If I owned the characters,Jason Todd would still be living in Wayne Manor. If you get my meaning.

Location: NOT!!! Hornetverse. AU - possibly eggblue's world - but likely someplace a lot more healthy. Which is still maybe sort of sick.

Rated: R

Pairing: Batman/Robin

Note: The Robin referred to here is Jason Todd. In this AU Jason was never adopted by Bruce. Therefore - no incest. We clear on that? Thank you.

(Those with age of consent issues hereby have my permission to extend the DCU time line so that Jason is 18 in this story. )

Archive: To the archives of this group.

"Nice wheels."

Not a strange phrase to hear from a teenage boy - but this particular teenage boy was Jason Todd, and the car that basked in his approving gaze was the Batmobile.

Bruce looked up from the monitor screen to watch his young partner pace out the length of gleaming midnight enamel.

It was a struggle to suppress a smile. The new machine was impressive. When the last Batmobile had been destroyed in a battle with Mr. Freeze, Batman had taken the occasion to implement a whole new design. This car was longer than the last one. Smoother. With the aerodynamics built into the body itself, rather then relying on fins like the last one.

Dick had called it a phallic symbol on wheels.

Not the worst thing he had called Batman's recent choices. Dick was convinced that his own departure from the Manor had sent Bruce on some wild bachelor frenzy. Why else, he had insisted, would Bruce have even considered marrying the Catwoman.

Bruce wonder at that himself. It had seemed like a good idea at the time. Now?

He looked again at the young man who was now leaning through the Batmobile's low-pitched blast windows to stroke the leather crash-seats.

Dick had had a few things to say about that choice too. Not that he objected. Not really. Dick's love for Bruce had always been more fraternal then possessive. And Dick had been far more willing then Barbara - or even Alfred - to admit Jason's qualifications as the next Robin. Heck, Dick had even given Jason his old suit.

Batgirl had been... less understanding. It wasn't that Barbara objected to the way Batman ran the Cave. Unlike Dick, there she agreed with Batman 100%. She just thought that when it came to his personal decisions Bruce Wayne was...well, crazy was one of the words that had come up. Pushing forty had been mentioned as well.

Not that he was. Quite. And not that it mattered. Quite.

Gotham Gertie had had a few things to say as well. Nothing exactly libelous. Worse luck. A little voice from Bruce's darker side whispered how nice it might be to find something on the old witch that could get her arrested - or at least fired.

Batman ignored it.

Let them talk. He had earned his midlife crisis. Not that he was middle aged , yet, but...

"Let me drive?" Jason's voice cut through the reverie.

The drivers door was open now, and Jason was leaning back against the padded arm with his legs dangling out onto the launch ramp. Long, hard-muscled legs that even the loose cut of the gray sweatpants could do nothing to disguise.

"No." Bruce answered automatically.

Automatically, but...he considered briefly... correctly. Jason wasn't ready yet for that powerful an engine. He hadn't had the experience with civilian cars - and even trucks - that Dick had had at the same age.

Jason gripped the roof bar and power lifted himself out of the seat. "Let me drive the car upstairs?"

The new Lamborghini Diablo. That had also been delivered today. Dick would tease him about that too. A red convertible was such a classic indulgence. Nonsense. The delivery was reasonable excuse for having a closed car carrier on the property.

Besides, he had promised Jason a car for school. And now that his grades were getting better?

Bruce waved off the question. "Perhaps."

Jason shrugged - like the answer didn't matter - but Bruce could read the sudden sparkle in the boys eyes. Just as easily as Jason could read the real meaning in Bruce's voice.

They both knew Alfred would be spared chauffeur duty tomorrow morning.

Pushing into a one-handed press that highlighted every ripple of his firm chest, Jason swung over the roof until he could land chest-down on the gleaming hood. He scissored his legs. "Want to christen this one?"

Opinions be damned. A man needed some reward in life.

Shutting off the monitor screen, Bruce strode over to the car.



KKR 2002

That's it. Just another little bit of Bat-smut. I mean ... 'character study'.

Oh - and the title of this is less dirty then it sounds. It's taken from the old saying. "The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys."

And - oh again - the bit about Bruce being engaged to Catwoman. That's cannon. (Because my imagination has it's limits.)

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