Pairings/Characters: Bruce/Jim, John Blake, Jordan Madison
Continuity: The Dark Knight Rises
Genres: Angst, Drama, First Time, Hurt/Comfort, Romance
Spoilers: Yes, for The Dark Knight Rises.
Summary: In the immediate aftermath of explosive events, Jim searches for Bruce.
Date Of Completion: August 17, 2012
Date Of Posting: August 19, 2012
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC and Warner Brothers do, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 2271
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
That the sun shining down
Upon the water
Is the best time of day,
But for me,
The moon shining down
Upon the sea,
Is the best time of all
For you and me,
Because let the gaudy sun
Have those who pay
But I love
The quiet moon,
Like an enigmatic rune,
Its face shining down
Upon the sea.
"The Watery Moon"
Jim watched the mushroom cloud blossom and his heart sank. His suspicions about Batman’s identity had been confirmed mere minutes ago by the Dark Knight and now he’d lost him to a horrific death.
I’m sorry, Bruce.
The citizens of Gotham slowly came out of their houses and other hiding places and looked around tentatively, then broke into cheers to join those who had gotten the word and were on the bridge and in the tunnels. Jim jammed his hands into the pockets of his coat, unable to join the celebration. He stared out at the ocean, remembering that the Manor was located by the sea. With both Bruce and Alfred gone, what would happen to that big, empty house now?
Funny the things you think about at a time like this.
Jim remembered the nights on top of the GCPD headquarters as he stood by the Bat-Signal, drinking coffee with the Batman as they discussed their latest case, and all the times that Jim had been out in the streets but feeling protected as he’d sensed the Batman nearby. He’d missed that the last eight years. Batman…Bruce…had come back and now their camaraderie had been cruelly snatched away again. The weight of his grief was crushing him, especially since he’d realized…
“Commissioner!” John Blake waved from the bridge.
Jim waved back. He was glad to see the young detective and his boys from the orphanage safe and sound.
John cupped his mouth and called, “The boat! Take the boat!”
Jim looked out at the roiling sea. There were no boats out there, thank God. Suddenly, he realized just what John was saying. He looked back at the young man, who nodded with a smile.
Jim waved again and ran down to the docks where a patrol boat was berthed. He saw its pilot standing on the dock and said, “Madison, let me have your boat.”
“Sir, you can’t go out there. The radiation…”
“Don’t worry, I’m not suicidal.”
The craggy-faced officer frowned. “But what, sir?”
“I’m playing a longshot.”
“I can pilot the boat for you.”
“It’s okay, I can do it.”
Madison shook his head. “It’ll be choppy out there, sir. The aftershocks will make it rough.”
“I know. Thanks, Jordie.”
Jim hopped down on the boat, starting the engine after Madison cast off the line for him. Jim piloted the boat out into the open sea.
Jordan Madison was correct about the choppy waters, the police boat riding high on the waves. He kept an eye out for fine mist or ash, glad that his jacket was heavy and that he had gloves in his pocket. He quickly put them on and turned up the collar of his coat.
He wasn’t suicidal, as he had told Jordie. He had no intention of sailing into Ground Zero, unless…
He saw no signs of the Batplane or of a lone figure in the water, but he continued searching.
The sun began to sink as the short winter day began to draw to a close. Jim looked over at the shoreline and saw the Manor looming up against the sullen sky. A flash of insight led him to turn the boat toward the cove nestled at the base of the cliffs. He set the boat to idle and flicked on the searchlight but nothing happened. Cursing, he ran to the bow, leaning over and squinting into the gathering gloom.
The rocks seemed to shift in the dusk, fooling him momentarily. He strained to see, cursing his weak eyes. Glasses or not, he had difficulty with distances. The waves crashed endlessly against the rocks while a lone seagull screeched high above.
He was beginning to consider searching elsewhere when he saw a shadow move and heard a splash.
The rasping voice was so weak that Jim barely heard it.
Jim bemoaned the lack of the searchlight. He peered in the direction of Bruce’s voice, the moonlight shining down upon the sea. He spotted the black-clad figure floating in the water.
Jim threw a line into the water and Bruce grabbed it. Jim pulled and Bruce helped as he clambered up the side. His cape was tattered and his cowl pushed back. The Kevlar was torn in places. He fell over the side into Jim’s arms.
Jim held Bruce close, stroking his hair. “It’s all right, Bruce, it’s all right.” He held on tightly while Bruce returned the embrace.
“Thank you, Jim.”
Bruce sounded like the little boy Jim remembered from so long ago. Jim released Bruce and removed his coat, putting it around the younger man’s shoulders as he gently caressed his cheek. The memory and gratitude shone in Bruce’s dark eyes.
Jim put an arm around Bruce’s shoulders and brought him up to the wheelhouse. “You don’t glow in the dark, I hope?”
Bruce chuckled. “No.”
Jim noticed the lines of pain around Bruce’s mouth and the cloudiness in his eyes. “Where are you hurt?”
Surprise flickered in Bruce’s eyes. “My back,” he rasped. The scratchiness of his voice was due to stress and pain, not the Batman affectation. He clutched his back. “It might be injured…again.”
“We’ll take you to the hospital,” Jim said, an eyebrow raising at the word ‘again’. He took his arm away from Bruce’s shoulders and began to turn the boat toward Gotham.
Bruce’s hand shot out and closed around his arm. “No, take me home.” At Jim’s dubious look, he said, “Please, Jim, I have no one else to help me. Alfred…left me.” For a minute, the little boy was back.
Shocked, Jim said quietly, “But what about your back? I f you’re really hurt, I can’t help you.”
“You can help me out of the suit, and if I have to, I can go to the hospital with your assistance.” Bruce squeezed Jim’s arm. “Please, Jim.”
Jim knew that he was in trouble when those big, hazel eyes beseeched him. Sighing, the older man said, “All right, Prince. Your wish is my command…for now.”
Bruce smiled and let Jim’s arm go but stayed close.
Jim piloted the boat into the cove and was grateful that the Manor was secluded. He helped a tired Bruce up from the dock and to the Manor. They went in through the kitchen, Bruce picking the lock.
“Remind me to add lockpick to your skills repertoire,” Jim said as he flicked the switch on. “No lights?”
“They turned the electricity off. Apparently National Grid disapproves of non-payment of bills.”
Jim helped Bruce into the living room, pushing off the couch’s dropcloth. The whole mansion looked ghostly with the white sheets covering every stick of furniture.
It’s like living in a tomb. How can he stand it all alone?
Bruce sat gingerly on the couch. “Thank you.”
“Yes, well, you should get that suit off and let me check your back.”
Jim knelt and took Bruce’s boots off. He looked up and felt humbled at the adoration he saw in Bruce’s eyes.
He’s hurt and vulnerable, that’s all it is, but his lonely heart wanted more.
He helped Bruce out of the rest of the suit, fumbling with buckles and straps as Bruce helped. Finally, the suit lay on the floor, the silken cape spread out. Jim urged Bruce to lean forward and bit his lip as he saw the bruises and scars on the well-muscled back. He ran his hand down the slightly chilled skin, looking for any injuries.
“Is my vertebrae all right?”
“It’s not sticking out, is it?”
Jim felt queasy but ran his hand over Bruce’s spine. “I don’t feel anything out of place.”
Bruce breathed a sigh of relief. “Good.”
“Do you have any food in the house?”
“Just some bread and cheese. Oh, and some fruit. I can’t keep much of anything with the refrigerator shut off.”
“How’s your wine cellar?”
“Still full of wine.”
Jim smiled, trying not to ogle the fine body so close to him clad in only a pair of running shorts. Dark, wet hair was falling in Bruce’s eyes and Jim impulsively brushed the silky locks back. Their eyes met and Jim felt impulsive again. He leaned forward and kissed Bruce.
Again Bruce sighed, but this time it was one of happiness. Jim’s heart soared as he pulled Bruce close to him. After the kiss he ran his hands over the younger man’s smooth back, grateful for the lack of injuries.
Bruce’s eyes shone with love and longing, and Jim knew in that moment that he was the luckiest man on earth. He ran his fingers through dark, silky hair, smiling as he ran a hand down his companion’s broad chest. Bruce shivered at his touch and drew Jim’s coat off, his eyes sparkling.
Jim allowed Bruce to divest him of his clothes and was suddenly self-conscious. Living for months under the Occupation when meals were scarce had kept him trim, but compared to Bruce…
Bruce’s hands caressed his shoulders. “You’re in great shape, Commissioner.”
Jim chuckled. “Good clean living.” He placed a finger inside the waistband of Bruce’s shorts and slowly pulled down the fabric, revealing his lover’s cock. Looking appreciatively, he finished sliding the shorts down until Bruce stepped out of them. “The Wayne family jewels?” he teased.
Bruce laughed and returned the favor by stripping off his shorts, appreciation reflected in his eyes as Jim’s manhood was revealed.
“Absolutely jewels,” he teased, and Jim realized how different this smile was. Before, Bruce Wayne’s smiles had always been vapid and overly carefree, all part of the act, but now this smile was genuine. Jim felt privileged to see the real Bruce’s smile.
They touched each other, wanting and needing to express their love, but the love was there first. Bruce was pretty enough to lust after, but it was more than that for Jim. He had been in love with Batman for a very long time, he had realized even before his wife had left him. They had enjoyed a shared purpose from the beginning, he and the Bat, and others couldn’t quite get their devotion to Gotham.
As Jim drew Bruce close, he knew that they were doing the right thing as Bruce moaned, their cocks touching. Jim gently laid Bruce out on the rug by the fireplace and rubbed against the younger man as he caressed his face and shoulders, the friction between them sparking a nearly-shared orgasm while Jim smiled through his wave of pleasure.
Jim tended the fire he had started in the hearth, listening to Bruce tell his tale of his seven years of wandering and training with the infamous League of Shadows. Plates with breadcrumbs and the remains of cheese and apples were set aside, two wineglasses close by with a bottle of good wine.
Bruce spoke with regret about Ra’s Al-Ghul and in a moment of insight, Jim guessed that Ra’s had been more than a mentor. With one final thrust, he set aside the fireplace poker and turned back to Bruce, swallowing at the beautiful picture he made with his pale skin burnished gold by the firelight as he lay on his midnight-black cape.
“So it wasn’t a drunken Brucie who burned down the Manor nine years ago?”
Bruce shook his head ruefully. “No, it was Ra’s payback for burning down his dojo.”
“I thought something was fishy about that.” He shrugged as Bruce looked at him inquiringly. “You were a wastrel, but burning down your ancestral manse seemed a little out of character even for Brucie.” He felt warmed at Bruce’s pleased smile. “And the plans to use Crane’s toxin and Bane’s occupation…it was partly directed at you?”
Bruce nodded, guilt passing over his face.
Jim settled next to him, pulling up the cape to cover their bodies. He leaned on his elbow as he asked softly, “Where were you for five months?”
Bruce swallowed and began a new story as Jim listened with growing horror. “Your back?” he rasped, running his hand down Bruce’s spine, suddenly needing to reassure himself.
“Is fine.” Bruce laid a hand on Jim’s chest. “I’ve never felt better.”
Somehow Jim was uncertain about that. “I saw you with your cane…are you sure? Your body has taken a beating.”
“I’ll be fine, Jim.” Bruce smiled engagingly. “You and I’ll serve Gotham together, just as we did eight years ago. And it’ll be easier now with the GCPD on my side again.” He looked at Jim with eagerness in his eyes.
Jim was still uneasy. He needs closer back-up on the streets than I can give him. I’ll have to work on that. Maybe Selina Kyle if she sticks around?
Back-up made him think of Alfred. I’ll find out what happened and get him back here. Bruce needs him. And I’ll talk to Lucius. We’ll get Bruce’s fortune back.
Jim smiled. “All in a day’s work, eh?” He stopped caressing Bruce’s back and grasped the hand stroking his chest, brushing his lips over the bruised knuckles.
Bruce laughed. “A typical day’s work in Gotham.”
Jim agreed as he pulled Bruce into a kiss as the fire crackled and the moonlight shone down upon the sea.