Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Bruce/Jim, Alfred Pennyworth
Genres: Angst, Challenge, Drama, Hurt/Comfort
Rating (this chapter): NC-17
General Summary: They always thought that it would be Batman, not Bruce, shot down in the streets of Gotham.
Chapter Summary: Jim returns to the hospital after the press conference.
Date Of Completion: June 11, 2009
Date Of Posting: June 17, 2009
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC and Warner Brothers do, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1040
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: It seems that I can’t write Bruce/Jim without it turning into a trilogy! ;) I was starting to revise the second part of my other trilogy, Wings Of Darkness, but this plot bunny has been nibbling incessantly, so I finally gave in. When the Muses talk, I listen! Enjoy! :)
Written for my 2009 DCU Fic/Art Tabloids Challenge. :)
The entire series can be found here.
"YOU ARE THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO HIM"
Jim blinked. Maybe his hearing was off…
“C’mon, Commissioner, is it true? Are you and Bruce Wayne an item?”
How the hell…?
Expectant faces were looking up at him, and those damned television lights were glaring in his eyes. Montoya’s expression was sympathetic.
Can’t start sweating, or they’ll think I’m ashamed of…
“I don’t think that is an appropriate subject for discussion right now. Mr. Wayne is fighting for his life in the hospital, and I’m not going to talk about his sex life!” Jim tried to control his anger. The secret coming out wasn’t so bad, but he didn’t want to deal with it right now. “Now for some real questions?”
Jim understood the looks from the nurses’ station now, not to mention the excessive amount of media at the entrance, threaded with paparazzi now that he really looked. Even his cab driver had raised his eyebrows when he’d entered the cab back to the hospital.
He stood in the doorway of Bruce’s room, Alfred and Lucius looking up from their conversation. He checked Bruce, who was still unconscious, and walked in slowly, sitting down heavily in one of the uncomfortable chairs.
“Well, it appears that I gave away things when I was tending to Bruce on the street.”
Alfred nodded gravely. “But understandable.”
Jim closed his eyes and tilted his head back. “Will Bruce understand that?”
“Of course,” Lucius added. “It’s a salacious story right now, Jim, but things will settle down.”
“I doubt that.”
“Well, it’ll cool a little, at least.”
Jim sighed and brought his head up, opening his eyes. “I guess that’s the price of dating the Prince of Gotham.”
Alfred and Lucius smiled.
Lucius had to leave later that afternoon, and Jim and Alfred dozed in their chairs, dusk beginning to fall. They eventually roused when one of the nurses came in for a vitals check, and Alfred sipped the coffee that he had brought from the cafeteria, deftly dodging the questions thrown his way by a few enterprising reporters who had staked the place out.
“He’s a survivor, you know.”
Jim looked at the older man, grateful for the cup of coffee that Alfred had brought him. “I know.” He looked fondly at Bruce. “Any man who can fly around in a Batsuit and live to tell the tale must be.”
Alfred smiled. “Yes.” He looked down at his cup. “It wasn’t always so.”
Startled, Jim studied Alfred’s face. He waited for the older man to speak again.
“When his parents were killed, he curled up within himself. He had the nightmares, the guilt, and something else.” Alfred’s gaze met Jim’s. “He didn’t really care if he lived or not.”
Swallowing, Jim asked, “Did he…?”
“I suspected a few attempts, but it grew into more of a recklessness, continuing as he entered adolescence, and then by the time he reached college, he was taking wild chances, fueled by money and opportunity, and as he was recovering from one such outing in this very hospital, I asked him what he thought he was doing. He looked at me regretfully, fearful of causing me pain, but said that death didn’t scare him, because then he would be reunited with his parents, and the pain would go away.”
Jim’s breath caught. Oh, Bruce!
“I realized that he had to wander the world after that, had to find an outlet for his rage and guilt, but he might never return. Because he had all manners of fear, except the one that could keep him alive.” Alfred’s smile was gentle. “And then after he came home and risked his neck on the streets of Gotham, he met you...for the second time.”
Jim blinked, his coffee cup shaking.
“You are the best thing that ever happened to him. You understand his need to do what he does, to protect Gotham, to give your all to Gotham.
“Without you in his life, he would have died out on that street, just as his parents died in that alley.”
Jim looked over at Bruce, fear in his heart, then it melted away.
“I need him, too.”
Alfred sounded highly satisfied.
Alfred had gone for a walk, Jim slumped in his seat. Stars were twinkling outside the window. It was the Bat’s favorite time.
He felt himself falling into sleep…
“So, the Irish pub suited your fancy?” Bruce teased as they reached the Manor, entering the foyer.
Bruce suddenly took hold of Jim’s shoulders and drew him into a kiss. Heart pounding, Jim returned it. When they parted, their eyes spoke all that they needed to say.
They walked up the grand staircase and Jim was in Bruce’s bedroom for the first time. Dark furniture, antique vases and exquisite paintings on the walls…and a large bed in the middle of the room. Black silk sheets. And looked comfortable as hell.
They kissed again, falling to the bed, laughing and removing each other’s clothes, and Jim ran his hands over broad shoulders and strong biceps, fingers tracing scars on Bruce’s back while he kissed him deeply, aware of warm hands on his own chest and hips and back, and their cocks came together, electricity tingling through Jim’s groin and then they were thrusting against each other, desperate and moaning and happy…
Jim awoke, flushed from the dream and then realized he really could hear moaning. He immediately looked over at the bed and saw Bruce moving his head.
He was out of his chair and grasped Bruce’s hand, squeezing tightly. “It’s okay, I’m here.”
Bruce’s eyelashes fluttered, then pain-bright eyes looked into his.
“That’s right.” Jim raised the hand he held to his lips and kissed the fingers.
Bruce’s lips curved into a smile, sighing softly as he tugged and Jim leaned down to kiss him on the lips.
“I love you,” Jim whispered.
“Yes.” Hazel-dark eyes sparkled. “I love you, too.”
Alfred found Jim embracing his tired but smiling boy when he returned.
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