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Holy Hotness, Batman

Title:  Holy Hotness, Batman
Author:  Brynne
Rating:  Adult
Summary:   An alternate ending to "An Attempt to Tip the Scales".  Nathan and Haley take advantage of Nathan's batman costume.

Haley James had never felt like more of a freak in her life, and she was pretty sure that she had proof of the opposite in the form of pictures that featured really bad hairstyles and extremely questionable clothing choices. Yet still, here she is, absolutely, positively sure that she has never, ever in her entire life looked more a freak than she does now. There is just no way.

Brooke assured her that the naughty Sandy costume was the way to go, but that isn’t alleviating any of her doubts right now. Not when she’s standing on the sidelines of the party, once again relegated to the oh, so coveted role of outsider. She shouldn’t be bugging over it – that was her role for most of her life and she was never bothered by it, so what difference does it make now?

Well, it makes a damn big one, truth be told. At least then she was perfectly content with her life; she liked the way things were. She liked that it was her and Luke against the world with the river court boys having their backs. But it isn’t like that, not anymore.

No, now she’s standing here alone, looking and feeling like some sort of pathetic and pitiful little orphan Annie. Well, is there any other kind? She supposes not. She never cared about her social status on the notoriously shifty Tree Hill social ladder before because she never had a reason to. Now she has the best reason in the world: a husband. A family that could’ve been, a family that will be if she has anything to do with it.

And there’s her problem. It’s beginning to look more and more like she’ll have nothing to do with it, no say at all. Like Nathan will be the one to forever set the terms and boundaries and dictates of their relationship.

Maybe that’s only fair, though. Maybe she doesn’t deserve any rights that are typically awarded to both parties in a relationship. She can live with it, even though she’s pretty sure it sucks, well, balls. And she has decided that she really doesn’t like it when things suck balls. Which is pretty much everything for her right now.

The only thing going really great is her friendship with Luke. Being back here, having him to talk to in a way she hasn’t since before she married Nathan has been nothing short of the biggest blessing she’s received since Nathan came into her life. Life with Brooke was actually surprising in how…well, good it was proving. Say what you will about her, but Brooke is a great distraction, and that is a quality that Haley really appreciates in her right now.

But Luke and Brooke are embroiled in their own drama and aside from a too quick and now you’re on your own pep talk from Brooke, neither has been around much tonight. Oh, but Peyton has, and when Haley tried to make a friendly overture, once again, she got a figurative slap in the face for her efforts. But Peyton did let slip what Nathan was costumed as.


The hottest Batman ever.

The hottest Batman ever that won’t make eye contact with her. Yeah, that part sucks, a little. More than a little, actually. A whole hell of a – of a fucking lot. She’s been trying her damnedest to get his attention, but it’s becoming clear that there probably isn’t much she can do to gain the attention.

And then there is Karen. Karen, who is almost like a second mother to her, accuses her of stealing from the cash register. Of course, it didn’t take more than a second for her to put two and two together and get the four that told her she ought to confront Lucas for it before turning him over to his mother. So that’s something to look forward to, except totally not.

Sighing, she leans back against the bar, wondering again how she let Brooke talk her into the naughty Sandy costume. It makes her butt look flat, not that it matters though, when the one person you’d like to have looking at your ass won’t look at you period.

When the night can’t any worse and she’s convinced she is destined to another night of watching other people live their lives while she sits on the sidelines of her own waiting for Nathan, she falls flat on her face. Literally. As she tries to extricate herself from the mess of broken glass around her, he swoops in like the freaking superhero he’s decided to dress as and carries – yes, carries – her out of there.

Then, when she plays the glutton for punishment card and asks how he thinks she looks, he tells her that he doesn’t like her costume, that it isn’t her, and she feels the blow all the way down to her toes. She can tell he feels bad about the comment, and when he tries to take it back or qualify it or whatever, she cuts him off. She doesn’t want to hear some watered down version of the same thing, and she doesn’t want him to lie to her and try and say he likes it.

And so she runs.

She doesn’t exactly mean to take off like that, in a girly little fit, but she can’t help it. The weight of everything that has been piling up has become too much for her to continue holding up, and it all crashes down on top of her. It’s all too much all of a sudden, and everything she’s taken on herself since she’s returned – and maybe even before that – just can’t be kept in the air above her any longer.

Brooke finds her in the bathroom, and she goes off a little as she fights to keep the tears at bay – those can be saved for when she gets home and has put away the better part of a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. What Nathan said did hit home; a little too on the mark, in some ways. He was right, though; this isn’t her. She’s not naughty Sandy, she’s not the type who has ever thought wearing skin tight black spandex was a good way to go in terms of getting a man. Not that she’s ever gone about ‘getting a man’.

She’s just Haley, tutor girl extraordinaire. That’s all she has ever been, and that’s all she wants to be now. Why she’s tried to be more than that, she doesn’t really understand. She’s actually embarrassed that she tried to be more, tried to be what she wasn’t. Because if there was one fundamental belief that she held most of her life, it was that she knew who she wasn’t and she wouldn’t change for anyone.

Is it irony that the person she changed for ended up basically being herself?

And it was for herself. She knew Nathan didn’t want some fancied up, slutted up version of her. She knew that then, she knows that now, and he went out of his way to make that clear. So this was for her – feeding some Brooke-fed notion that if she dressed up, if she was someone else, then maybe Nathan would want her again. Would at least talk to her.

When she’s finally alone, she expects a mini-breakdown to come on. She’s half-anticipating the admission of defeat, the resignation to loss. It doesn’t come, though, and she has to shake her head at herself, simultaneously proud and horrified to realize she’s going to hang in there with Nathan for as long as she has to.

She won’t give up on him, even if he gives up on her, them, or himself. Even all of the above. Somewhere along the line – maybe since day one, she’s not entirely sure – she realized that nothing was more important to her than him, than having him in her life. Now she just has to convince him that they’re worth fighting for; that she can be worth fighting for again.

That’s the hard part.

It is always something, though, right?

When he finds her and kisses her in the hall, it’s like magic. The good kind of magic, not dorks pulling rabbits out of hats or hanging suspended in a clear box above Times Square for a month magic. The kind where the world stops around you and somehow, from somewhere, there are fireworks bursting in the most amazing colors and patterns and you just know that nothing could possibly be more right than things are in that moment. It was cold water on a hot day in August, peppermint ice cream and hot chocolate on a stormy day in December, hot sand beneath your feet while the cool waves crash over your ankles.

Perfection. Simple pleasure.

That’s what it was.

But then he leaves. Leaves! He doesn’t even say a word. That’s what kills her; that’s what cuts through the giddiness enough to have her wanting to chase him down and thump him over the back of the head for telling her he didn’t like how she looked and then turning around and kissing her. What? Mixed messages are never a turn-on.

That kiss was, though. God was it is a turn-on. If she could catch up to him, maybe she’d skip the head thumping and get straight to work on something far more interesting. Something that stood a better chance of capturing and keeping his attention on her for awhile.

Of course, the kiss and run left her stunned to the point that by the time she regained even half of her senses, he was gone. Damn him. In a good way, of course.

“Haley!” Brooke shrieks shrilly, breaking her out of her reverie, “What are you still doing here? You said you were going home?”

Trying to focus her gaze on her sometime friend, Haley manages attempts to wipe the dazed ‘I want to find my husband and fuck his brains out’ look off of her face. She knows it is there, how could it not be after that kiss? When Brooke looks at her knowingly – leave it to her to intuitively know when someone was kissed – she gives up the pretense of looking unkissed and unflustered. Not so easy, that.

“So Nathan kissed me,” she blurts out suddenly, unable to contain the pure and unadulterated joy. “And now I’m thinking of chasing him down and seeing if he’ll let me take advantage of him.”

Brooke opens and closes her mouth a few times, blinking owlishly. “Well, I’ll be fucked,” she marvels, “I really am rubbing off on you! This is excellent!”

Shaking her head, Haley can’t help but give her a small smile. “Um…it’s okay for me to chase him down now, right?”

“He kissed you!” Brooke bubbles excitedly, “Of course it’s okay!”

“See, he kind of didn’t say anything.” Brooke rolls her eyes, not seeing the importance in that. “And he left. He kissed and ran, Brooke!”

“Okay, take a deep breath, Tammy Faye,” Brooke counsels her as Haley is fanning herself with increasing agitation. Brooke was torn between laughing hysterically at her roommate’s dramatics and trying to find the poor thing a sedative and vodka.

“Are you listening to me?” Haley ploughs on, “He kissed and then ran off without saying another word! Just left me standing there!”

“You really need to calm down,” Brooke advises her with a crinkle of her nose, “I mean, God, if you were fluttering all over like that when he was here – hey, that wouldn’t chase him off. What is wrong with him?”

Throwing her hands in the air, Haley glares at her friend. “Well, if I knew that, maybe I’d be getting somewhere that wasn’t kissed and ditched, right?” Sighing, she leans against the wall. “Shit, what – do you think that was like his warped version of a goodbye kiss?” she asks, panic and hysteria welling up inside of her, “I – I have to go. I have to find him.”

“Go, find him!” Brooke encourages, marveling more than she’d care to admit at Haley’s resolve to fight for her man. Haley nods quickly to her, turning and running off. “Give us all some hope,” she whispers to her friend’s departing back.




He was nowhere to be found she decided a couple hours later. She looked for him everywhere, even his parents’ house. Deb was polite to her, telling her softly that Nathan hadn’t been home yet. Dan, who caught her as she walked down the driveway, was anything but.

As always, it was clear that, once an epically raging jackass, always an epically raging jackass. God, but she was pretty sure she hated him, wrong or not. How anyone puts up with him is beyond her, but then again, knowing both Nathan and Deb, at least those two can give back some of what they’re getting.

For once, she tells him exactly what she’s always wanted – to fuck off. She’s pretty proud of herself for that, relishing the look of surprised shock that crossed his face. The best part is the grudging respect that comes with it, even though she could really care less if she ever earned the respect of this heartless asshat.

She’d ditched the horrible Peyton-esque wig back at Tric, and if she ever saw it again, she swears she’ll burn it. That stupid thing has become the symbol for everything that went wrong tonight, and for everything that she’s brought on herself before tonight. So she’s still got the Sandy outfit on, but at least she’s not wearing the World’s Ugliest Wig.

As she wanders back towards her apartment, carrying the high heeled devil shoes in her hand, Dan’s words wash over her, and she lets them sink in. Slut. Fool. Hate. Better off without you. Never get your claws in him again. Stay away from him, or you’ll regret it.

The threats don’t bother her. The insults don’t really either, not when it comes right down to it. Not when she considers the source.

It was just the idea that maybe Nathan shares some of those views about her. That bothered her, that gave her pause, and that had her stopping in her shoeless tracks on a quiet and dark sidewalk, freezing her ass off. Dan had a way of getting to him, of turning Nathan around and changing things. The idea that he might have gotten to him, turned him around on this is excruciating.

“Shit,” she mutters aloud, stomping her foot, wincing at the pain as her bare foot catches a rock.

“You might want to be careful there,” Nathan’s deep voice comes from across the street. He had the luxury, and perhaps foresight, not to be standing under a streetlight like she is, so he could see her, but her him not so much.

Clutching her shoes to her chest, she whirls around, searching the shadows for him. When he steps out into the street, some of the light hitting him, she feels like her heart is going to burst out of her chest. Just seeing him does that to her.

“Uh, hi,” she whispers, words failing her now that he’s here and she’s here and no one else is here. Dropping her arms to her side, she stares at him as he approaches her, the somber mask of keeping his distance firmly affixed on his face.

“Hey yourself,” he nods, still completely clothed in the Batman costume that has had her mouth watering all night, “What are you doing out here, Haley?”

She blinks in surprise – actual concern from her husband? Novel concept, these days. Oh, good gravy, that costume. She was going to swoon, actually swoon. And all she knows about swooning is that it is what girl’s in cheesy romance novels do.

“Are you okay?” he asks as he approaches, and she’s sure her face must be bright red now with the heat of unfulfilled lust.

“Uh huh,” she chokes out, trying not to wonder what exactly, if anything – oh, please be nothing – he’s wearing under that costume.

“Hales. Why are you out here?” Oh, how insane is it that even in a rubber costume, she can still tell when his muscles are rippling? And rippling they are…Mmm.

“Huh?” she jumps, wincing when her foot again lands on a rock. Probably the same damn one, trying to torture her, she grouses. Even stupid pieces of mineral are out to get here these days. Can’t win. “I’m fine, nothing’s wrong,” she answers quickly when he keeps staring at her.

“Good to know,” he smiles, pulling the mask off, revealing the dark smudges around his eyes and his slightly sweaty, messy hair. “What are you doing here, Hales?”

”Oh, I um, wow, this is embarrassing now,” she sighs, her face heating up further, “I was looking for you, actually.”

“You’re looking for me, so you’re out wandering the streets?” he grins, quirking a brow up at her.

“Well, no, not exactly,” she mutters, more embarrassed now than ever, “I stopped by your house. To see if you were there. You weren’t.”

“No, I wasn’t,” he agrees, “Hales, why would you go there?”

“I – well, to see if you were there,” she smiles, shaking her head at him, “It certainly wasn’t to hang out with your parents. I mean, that would just be weird, right? Plus, there’s that whole thing where they hate me, and that’s kind of awkward.”

“Are you rambling?” he asks, smirking at her.

“Oh, no, that was a pre-ramble babble, kind of a warm-up,” she jokes, feeling some of the tension ease from between them. Which was sorely needed, in her opinion.

“Ah, that’s what I thought,” he winks, and she swears she can feel that wink all the way down to her bare toes.

“Um, Nathan? I’d – well, I’m sure you can guess that since I was going over to your house, I was hoping to talk to you, so this is really good, but I think I should go home now. My feet don’t appreciate this much,” she sighs, loathe to leave.

“Yeah, let’s go,” he nods, “I’ll give you a ride home.”

“Oh, no, you don’t have to do that!” she exclaims, “I’m fine walking back.”

“First of all, no you aren’t,” he corrects her with a pointed look at her bare feet, “No shoes, no jacket? Not walking. And second, come on, I wouldn’t offer if I didn’t want to, so don’t act like I’m trying to martyr myself or something.”

“O-okay then,” she agrees, following slightly behind him, trying to process, as he leads them back towards his house. “Gee, I hope your dad is still outside. It’d be so nifty to see him again.”

“Isn’t it a little late for sarcasm?” Nathan chuckles, glancing over his shoulder at her, “And if you say that wasn’t sarcasm, I’ll be majorly creeped out.”

“Oh, but Nathan, he’s so cool, who doesn’t want to hang out with him?” she teases him, catching up enough to jostle him slightly with her elbow.

Leaning down so he is at ear level, he whispers, “I’m not Nathan right now, I’m Batman. Didn’t you notice the rubber and the cape?”

She giggles at that, sure there is some dirty meaning behind it that she’s not quite grasping. Letting that go, she grins up at him. “Is that why I’m getting a ride in home in your – er, in the Batmobile? You’re in superhero mode, and you’re saving the damsel’s in distress feet?”

He winks at her, nodding. “Sounds like a good enough reason to me.”

She smiles, and while a part of her is screaming to start pushing him for answers about them, pestering him to tell her where they stand, she lets it go for now. This – this whatever it is, this is nice. Nicer than things have been between them for awhile now, and she’s not going to do or say anything stupid that will fuck that up.

“So, did you save any helpless children?” she asks, deciding that sticking to the neutral, teasing topics is a good idea, “Rescue any cats from trees? Stop Brooke from drinking enough vodka to turn her liver green?”

“Yes, yes, and no,” he smirks, “Batman can and will help and defend the innocent, but that does not involve risking life and limb to pry a liquor bottle out of Brooke Davis’s cold, mean hand.”

Haley laughs at that, cringing when she sees that Dan is indeed still in the driveway, now complete with basketball in hand. “Oh, son, good to see you found the trash. The can is right around the corner by the garage. Go ahead and toss it in there.”

Shaking his head, Nathan grabs Haley’s hand, a gesture so simple in what it says, tears actually threaten to fall. She keeps it together, though, and just gives his hand a gentle squeeze of appreciation. He winks at her, not teasing this time, just knowing.

“Shut up, Dad,” Nathan says so dismissively, that even Dan looks up, blinking at him in surprise. “Just – don’t talk to either of us, ever again.”

“Kind of hard, when you’re living in my house,” Dan retorts, anger seeping into his voice and posture, “Keep it up, Nathan. Keep it up.”

Shaking his head, Nathan just pulls Haley closer to him. She knows that she’s mostly just being used as a pawn here, but what does she care? She is flush up against Nathan/Batman’s side. She will be doing no complaining, thank you very much.

“I’ll see you later, Dad,” Nathan sneers at him, walking Haley towards the car. Neither say anything as they get in, fastening their seatbelts.

“Well, it was lucky that you came across me tonight,” she tries for levity, “Good opportunity to stick it to Dan, right?”

“Is that what you think this is?” he asks quietly, looking over at her in surprise.

“Well, I mean, wasn’t it? And hey, it worked out well. He could not have looked less pleased to see me,” she points out, keeping a smile pasted on her face.

Sighing, he nods. “Yeah, he was pretty much pissed,” he concedes, continuing to sneak glances at her out of the corner of his eye.

When they get to the apartment, she smiles over at him. “Thanks for giving me a ride, Nathan. Me and my feet really appreciate it. It was getting kind of cold out there.”

“Yeah,” he nods, his fingers running around the edge of the Batman costume at his neck.

Stifling the lust-charged groan that rises to her lips, she sighs, feeling bad. “God, Nathan, I’m so sorry. That costume must not be the most comfortable thing ever, and I’m keeping you here just sitting in the car. I’m sorry.”

“Don’t worry about it,” he insists, patting her awkwardly on the hand. Sighing, she nods and turns to open the door.

“Thanks, Nathan, for, um, everything tonight. It all meant a lot to me, even if you maybe didn’t mean for it to, it does. And if it shouldn’t, I’m sorry, but I can’t help but – “

Knowing her like he realizes he still does, he goes for the most effective measure of cutting off the impending babble by kissing her. Not a peck on the lips, either. This is a kiss. His lips slant over hers, and the second she grasps what is happening and gasps into his mouth, his tongue slides over the seam of her lips, pressing in.

His hands find their way up to tangle in her hair while hers lay limply in her lap. She’s afraid almost that if she participates, she’ll chase him off. She’s afraid to move. She’d give anything for them to stay like this, his lips on her, his hands fisting in her hair as they pull her closer to him, tilting her head for better access.

“Damn, Hales, kiss me,” he moans after tearing his lips from hers with the sole purpose of asking – and then begging, if necessary – her to participate in the kiss.

She doesn’t need a second invitation, and a split second later, she is just as active of a participant in the kiss as he is. Her arms loop around his neck, and she angles to get closer to him, wanting to feel the coolness of that really hot rubber suit through the thin fabric of her shirt again.

It doesn’t…work. The car is way too small, and between the parking break in the center console and the steering wheel, even Haley’s slight form can’t fit over onto his lap.

“Upstairs?” she asks, almost shyly even as she goes back to thrusting her tongue into his mouth, doing her damnedest to rub her breasts against him.

“You – roommate – can’t,” he chokes out, his fingers having left her hair to run up and down her sides, pausing high enough that he can caress the sides of her breasts with his thumb, causing her to moan and let her head loll back.

“Gone – Peyton’s,” she offers in an explanation as stilted as his question. “All night – not coming back.”

“Oh, thank God!” Nathan exclaims, pulling back and hastily opening his door to climb out. Reaching over, Haley grabs the mask to his costume, totally not embarrassed about the levels to which this is turning her on. She gets out of the car as well, the laugh that was springing to her lips at his over-eagerness dying when she sees the almost feral look in his eyes.

He pulls her flush against him, kicking her door shut behind them. “You’re sure she’s gone for the night?”

“Yeah, all night. They’re having a girly friend night or something,” she explains, trying to tug him down for a kiss. He resists, looking down at her curiously. “What, why are you looking at me like that?” she asks nervously.

”Why aren’t you there, then?”

“I – I wasn’t invited,” she mutters, blushing.

“Haley, why wouldn’t you be invited?” he asks, momentarily trying to ignore that she’s pressed against him, that the heat of her body is actually making the damned suit hotter than it was to begin with.

“It’s not a big deal, let’s just go inside,” she begs, her eyes pleading up at him as she tries to tug him towards the stairs.

“Shh, wait a minute,” he stops her, his right hand coming up to cup her cheek, making sure she kept her eyes on his, “Why not, Hales?”

“Peyton doesn’t want me there,” she finally admits, trying to sound nonchalant and unaffected by that. He knows better, though, and he can see that the effect of Peyton’s snub is similar to how she looked when Luke wouldn’t talk to her after he found out about them.

He wants to press her further, but everything in her demeanor screams that that is the last thing she wants right now, so he lets it go. “Well, who cares about her, right?”

“Right,” she nods, smiling tremulously at him as he wraps his arms around her waist, lifting her slightly against him. “Um, you still want to come in? If you don’t want to, I’ll understand.”

Dipping his head down, he recaptures her lips in a kiss so searing that it pretty much eradicates any doubts she might have had as to what he wants right now. As she slides her hands up his chest, she’s pretty much convinced now that the Batman suit has to go. It’s hot, yeah, but skin is hotter. Skin is so much better.

They walk up the stairs slowly, holding hands as they each get lost in their own thoughts, worries, and doubts. It isn’t lost on either of them how this is big, this changes things, but they’re similarly disinterested in the fallout right now. The present is so much better.

As soon as she gets the door unlocked, he’s shoving it open and swooping her into his grasp again, and the way he holds her makes her feel like he’ll never let her go again. She doesn’t let herself think about that, though, and how unlikely it is to be the case. No, tonight was a night for this, for them to be together without rehashing the past and questioning the future. She can feel that that’s the only way he’ll be sticking around.

He leans down to kiss her neck, and all conscious thought flies out of her head anyway. Letting her eyes drift closed, he is the only thing she can focus on. Hell, he’s the only thing she wants to focus on anyway.



“I lied earlier.” That gives her pause. Leaning back in his arms without breaking the grasp she has on his neck, she looks up at him with the questions in her eyes. “You always look hot.”

Blushing, she looks down at his chest, her fingers dropping down to trace over the contours of the suit. “You don’t have to say that, Nathan. It doesn’t really matter now, does it?”

“It matters to me,” he counters, “And I want you to know that. It was just – it wasn’t you, but that doesn’t make it less, you know?”

She pulls away from him a little, wandering towards the kitchen. “Want something to drink? I have juice and water and tea, but Brooke has beer and some hard stuff in the freezer.”

“Haley, I don’t need to have a drink to be around you. That’s not what you’re thinking, is it?” he asks.

“It might be now,” she mutters under her breath, suddenly positive that this is the worst idea in the whole history of ideas. But when his hand finds the bare skin where her shirt has ridden up, it really doesn’t matter how bad of an idea this is. She wants him, she needs him, and damn it, he is here for the taking. So she’ll just have to take.

She turns back towards him abruptly, throwing her arms around his waist and trying to guide his body with hers toward the bedroom. He’s not having it, though, and he stops them in their tracks. “Hales, what’s wrong?”

“I want you, Nathan,” she admits lowly, staring up at him through her lashes. He has to swallow hard to tamp down on the lust she’s arousing in him. “I want you so bad,” she whispers, pressing herself harder against him.

“Want you, too,” he grounds out, his hands sliding down her back to grab her ass and lift her slightly so that he can grind himself against her. “God, Hales, I need you.”

“Bed, please?” she begs, fisting a hand tightly in his hair to drag him down for a kiss. “Please, Nathan.”

“Yeah, bed,” he agrees, groaning at the friction walking with her hips cradling him just so is creating. “You feel good,” he grounds out from between his teeth, cursing the damn suit – you’d think it would be thick enough to act as something as a buffer, but no such luck.

She nods towards her bed, and he lays her down immediately, standing above her for a minute to admire the way her hair fans out across the pillow, the way her legs are moving restlessly as she waits for him to join her, the glazed look in her eyes, the way she lifts her arms slightly, holding them out for him.

When she grins and hands him the mask, he’s actually stunned into silence for a minute. Never in a million years would he have thought his Haley would be so into a stupid costume. “What?” she laughs, “It’s really hot, Nathan. I might’ve made a bad costume choice, but yours – yours was perfect.”

He laughs at that, motioning for her to move to one side so he can lie down next to her. “And now you want me to wear the mask?” he laughs.

Blushing, she tries to hide the embarrassment behind a giggle. “Maybe for just one kiss?” she suggests.

Grinning at the idea that his Haley has something of a fetish for him dressed in a superhero costume, he pulls the mask back on. “Does this do it for you?” he asks, dipping his down to kiss her.

“Okay, no.”

“No?” he repeats, lifting his head, “No?”

“The beak on that thing is going to take an eye out,” she complains, “So I guess I’ll just have to settle for kissing you mask-free. Which isn’t really settling at all.”

Shaking his head, amused, he pulls the mask back off. “Well, I’m grateful that you’ll kiss me without the mask.”

“I’d kiss you anytime, anywhere,” she sighs, feeling his breath on her cheek as he leans towards her again. “I wouldn’t even care what you were wearing.”

“So noble,” he breathes, his lips tracing over her cheek, letting himself get reacquainted with the skin that he feels like is now just a memory. She rolls on her side to face him, smiling at him as he hooks an arm over her hips, pulling her flusher against him. “I can feel you through this thing. I can feel your heat, your curves. Your heart beating.”

His fingers find the zipper on the side of the shirt she’s wearing, and he immediately sets to work sliding it down. When he sits her up to get the shirt off, she eagerly complies. And when the shirt is off, she couldn’t care in the least that he’s there covered from the top of his neck to the tips of his toes in a rubber Batman costume and she is kneeling above him in a strapless bra and a pair of pants so tight that nothing is hidden.

When she starts to lower herself back down on the bed, he shakes his head, rolling onto his back even as he guides her to straddle him. “Nathan?”

“Shh, I got you,” he promises, his fingers tracing teasingly over the skin of her belly, up over the slight indentations of her ribs, finally sliding between her breasts, playing with the little rosette in the center of the bra.

She stares down at him, hardly able to let herself believe that this is real, that it isn’t some incredibly realistic dream she’s having. Oh, because it feels like a dream; it’s like floating on a fucking cloud or lying on a beach and feeling that perfect warmth surround you. It’s the perfect dream, made better only because it is real. God, it is real.

“You’re so pretty,” he whispers, his awe at being here with her just as great as her own, not that she’d ever guess that. He slides his hand behind her head, urging her down against him, guiding her lips to his. His other hand is wandering over her back, teasing her by fiddling with the clasp of her bra. When he won’t undo it, she lifts herself up, reaching up to unhook it herself, tossing it to the floor behind her.

He groans, his fingers digging hard into her hips as he stares at her above him. To him, nothing could ever look more perfect that she does right now, on top of him like this. No top, her hair curling and tangling over her shoulders, the lust in her eyes. It’s all perfect. Gorgeous. He fucking loves it like he loves her.

“Touch me,” she pleads, wriggling on top of him as she leans forward slightly, her hands on his chest. “Nathan, I need your touch.”

Gritting his teeth, he lets his fingers dig harder into her hips as he shakes his head. Loosening his grip, he stares up at her as he lets his fingers skirt over the satin of her pants. “Hales,” he utters hoarsely, “I want to watch you touch yourself.”

She blinks in surprise, staring down into his eyes. Nodding slowly, she eases back so that she’s sitting straight up without her hands on his chest. Noting her reticence, he takes her hands in his, flattening them against her stomach before sliding them up over her breasts.

She gasps at the contact, and it jolts through his body like a lightning strike. God, he practically moans out loud just in reaction to the noises she makes. He bites his lip when she stares down at him intently, her gaze on his as he watches her fingertips circle her nipples before gently grasping them with her thumbs and forefingers, tugging lightly.

“Jesus,” he mutters, unable to look away, but knowing he should or run the risk of embarrassing himself. And having to explain himself to the costume place he rented this too hot, too stifling thing from. “You’re so fucking beautiful,” he mumbles, his hands running up and down teasingly over the inside of her thighs.

He wants to watch her face, see what she’s doing to herself, but he can’t take his eyes off her chest and her hands and her hands on her chest. It’s so perfect, so beautiful. When her head rolls backwards, her eyes drifting shut in ecstasy, he’s pretty sure he almost swallows his tongue. One of her hands starts to slide down her stomach, heading for the waistband of her pants. And as much as he’d love to watch that, he’s greedy enough to admit that he wants that part of her all to himself this time.

Ignoring her startled cry, he flips her over, pinning her to the mattress. She shivers when the coolness of the suit hits her bare skin, and he gathers her tighter in his arms as he leans down to kiss her chastely on the lips.

“Nathan,” she moans as his mouth and tongue trace languidly – too languidly for her – over her collarbone. “Lower, Nathan.”

Grinning against her skin, he takes his time breathing in her scent and tasting her skin. He slides off her so that he’s on his side next to her, one leg thrown across her hips anchoring her in place. Not that he thinks she’s going anywhere, but better to keep her as close as possible. Giving into the temptation, he traces his fingers over the waistband of the pants, occasionally dipping below the fabric to feel the smooth skin, teasing them both.

“More,” she moans, clutching her fingers in his hair, “Take that suit off, Nathan, I want to touch you.”

Ignoring her order, he dips his head down, his lips just barely grazing over the skin of her breasts as she guides his head downward. Giving in, he nips at the space between her breasts before turning his head to capture a nipple between his teeth, teasing her by grazing his tongue over it. When she arches up into him, he gives in and lavishes the attention that he knows she needs on her, sucking her flesh hard into his mouth.

Her moans serve only to spur him on – and get him squirming a little uncomfortably – and he rolls back on top of her, thrusting against her when her legs wrap around his waist. He bites down on her nipple – a little less than gentle this time, soothing it with his tongue before moving to her other breast and giving it the same attention.

Scooting down further, he presses kisses over her ribs as his hands came up to find the zipper on the pants. After a few seconds of searching, he gives up. “Damn it, Hales, I need these off of you now.”

She laughs breathlessly, her hands moving down to guide his to the zipper on the side. The laughter turns to a gasp as he jerks the pants down, leaving her lying there in only her thong. “I – I think you’re overdressed,” she points out shakily, trying to get her breathing under control.

”We’ll worry about that later,” he assures her as he traces his fingers up from her knees, high enough to have her squirming against him. He slides one hand up to cup her, delighting in the throaty moan that elicits.

He traces his tongue lightly over her belly, knowing that she’s just ticklish enough that this will get her struggling against him, which he loves. Sure enough, she’s wiggling and giggling as she fights against his tongue.

“Nathan, please take the costume off,” she begs, lifting herself onto her elbows to glare down at him, “Please.”

He grins up at her, his fingers brushing over through her panties, causing her mind to blank and forget what the hell she wanted other than what he was already giving her. He hooks his finger in the waistband of the panties as his other hand caresses her through them still, and tugs them down over her hips.

He kneels between her legs, sliding one leg up so the foot was flat on the bed. Leaning down, he kisses the skin on the inside of her knee as his fingers trace lightly up and down the back of her thigh. “So beautiful,” he says again, gazing down at her as he starts to trail his open mouth, wet and hot – so hot, down the inside of her thigh.

She can feel his breath on her, and she lets her head fall back in anticipation. To her surprise, he pauses long enough to take one of her hands and guide it back to her breasts, watching with dark eyes when she begins playing with herself as he wanted to see. “So perfect,” he mutters this time, dropping his head down, his tongue coming out to lick the inside of her thigh. Her hand stills on her breast as she holds her breath waiting for the touch of his tongue, waiting for the feel of his hands over her.

He complies, breaking out of the daze to lower his mouth to her, gently caressing her. His fingers part her, and for a minute, he lets himself wonder what the fuck he’s been thinking withholding this from himself, from her, from both of them. It’s so good, too good, and he’s been avoiding it. All those times Whitey wondered if he even had a brain rattling around upstairs, maybe he was onto something.

And ew, he just thought of Whitey. Well, that’s one way to let the tides of passion ebb back a little bit.

Shoving that thought out of his head, he returns his attention to Haley, his wife. He chuckles against her when she wiggles her hips to get him acting again, obviously having noticed that his mind was elsewhere. He places one hand on her belly, holding her hips in place as he dips his head back down, his tongue coming out to taste her.

Fuck. “Hales, god, you’re so wet, baby. And you taste so fucking good,” he tells her, lifting his head to watch her expression as he traces just the very tip of his finger over her clit, “Is this all for me?” Attempting to focus her eyes and her mouth opening and closing when he presses down harder on her, his head resting against her inner thigh, she whimpers, pretty sure she’ll never be able to form words again. “Come on, Haley, focus on me. Is this for me?”

The words penetrating the sexual haze that envelopes her, she nods jerkily to him. “Only you, Nathan.”

“Good,” he mutters, his head dropping down again, biting and nipping his way down her thigh. She moans when he places a sharp, sucking kiss at the junction where hip meets thigh, squirming against the restraint of his hand to press up against him.

Replacing the finger on her clit with his tongue, he groans at the second taste of her. He parts her legs a little further, smirking in satisfaction when she hooks one leg over his shoulder, pulling him closer to her. He brings his fingers up against her, teasing her by circling them around her entrance. “Nathan,” she grounds out in frustration, “Please!”

Giving in to her oh, so subtle demand, he slides two fingers into her, biting his lip at her hissed intake of breath, at the feel of her clutching his fingers. He works his tongue over her clit as he sets a slow pace with his fingers. Her hips are writhing against him now, bucking up hard against him when he sucks her clit into his mouth, flicking his tongue over it.

Her whole body is tightening and tensing around and against him, and he knows she’s close. “Baby, come on, let it go, for me, baby. Let it go,” he encourages her.

The combination of his words, his tongue, his teeth, his lips, his fingers, and his hand prove to be her undoing, and she lets out a scream, collapsing boneless back on the bed. “N-Nathan,” she moans, the leg thrown over his shoulder tightening hard around him, “Oh, God.”

“I got you, baby,” he promises, the arm that had been holding her hips down shifting to wrap around her waist. He presses one last open-mouthed kiss to her before laying his head on her stomach, waiting for her to recover.

“Nathan?” When he realizes she’s struggling to sit up, he moves to help her. “This suit has to go, like fifteen minutes ago.”

Shaking his head to contradict her, he grabs a throw blanket to wrap around her, pulling her to him. “Not this time.”

She wrenches away from him, disbelief in her eyes. “What? But how – I mean, why – oh, my God, did I–was this– “

“Haley, stop!” he commands, stifling a laugh, as he tries to ignore his painfully hard erection as he situates her on his lap. “Listen, Hales, don’t read anything into this,” he pleads, “I just – we have all the time in the world, and tonight I just wanted to be about you.”

Sighing, she leans her forehead against hers. “I know you want me,” she says quietly, “I’m not sure I really get this.”

He lays them back on the bed, himself spooning up behind her, damning himself for this stupid costume. “I want you more than I’ve ever wanted anyone,” he admits, tightening his arms around her, “Right this second, I’m practically going blind with lust. Lust just for you.”

Squirming out of his grasp to roll over, letting the blanket fall away – on purpose, he’s pretty sure, just to torture him – she faces him. “And we can fix that, Nathan,” she smiles at him, reaching up to trace her fingers over his cheek. “I want to see you, I want to touch you.”

He smiles back at her. “Haley, this isn’t about me, not tonight. Or I guess maybe it is, and I’m being selfish, but this is what I want for us tonight.”

Seeing the sincerity on his face, she sighs, giving in. “Okay, I guess I can accept that.”

“Accept that I just want to spoil you rotten by giving you countless hours of indescribable pleasure?” he grins, “Oh, you poor baby, you!”

“Shut up!” she laughs, shoving him lightly, “I didn’t mean it like that.”

“God, this bed is small. Is it a kid’s bed? It’s not even long enough to be a real bed!” he complains, trying to find a way to position himself so his feet don’t hang off the edge. “Haley, you must’ve saved a little money from the tour, why don’t you buy a real bed?”

“Nathan!” she laughs, “This is fine for me, and um, I guess I wasn’t expecting anyone else being in it, you know?”

“Not even me?” he asks, propping himself up on one elbow to look down at her. “Hales, you’ve got to cover up, babe. I’m not made of stone.”

Laughing, she pulls the blanket up over her breasts. Thinking of his first question, she takes a deep breath, trying to keep the smile on her face. “I didn’t know,” she admits, “I wanted to hope that we’d be together like this again, but I was scared that it wouldn’t happen. And even now that, um, it, happened, I’m still not sure what’s going on. God, things are crazy, Nathan.”

“We’re not over,” he smiles, kissing her shoulder, “We’ll never be over. It’s not perfect, we aren’t perfect, but we’re just starting.”

“I love you!” she blurts, spots of red coloring her cheeks.

“Oh, Hales, I love you, too.” He looks at her, twirling a curl around his finger. “It just takes time.”

“Time. I’ve got time,” she smiles. “Lots and lots of time.”

“Good. So, we’ve really got to get you a bigger bed,” he says again, giving up and letting his feet hang over the edge.

“Nathan!” she exclaims, laughing.

Nothing was fixed, for either of them. But they both knew it, and more to the point, both knew it would be possible to fix things. They just had to be willing to give it the time they needed.

And get a bigger bed.


The End