Rating: R for this part.
Word count: 1916 for this part.
Jim hadn't been this worried about a lunch in a very long time. In fact, he can't really remember, his dates with Barbara had been wonderfully awkward at first, but they quickly found their ease. And it didn't seem so terrifying them, in his mid-twenties, as the thought of, well, dating, seemed now, almost twenty years later.
He's even absentminded enough to switch the kids' lunches as he packs them, and Babs gets the peanut butter and jelly sandwich she proclaims to be too childish, and Jimmy is very much not impressed with ham and cheese sandwich he finds in his box.
He's quite ashamed for being grateful that Montoya is absent, as much as the cause for the absence is regrettable. But she would make fun of him for hours, or at least till the lunch break.
Bruce arrives few minutes earlier than Jim expects him, and if Jim hadn't learned how to read it, even that little bit, before now, he wouldn't have noticed the mirrored nervousness, the slight hesitation in every move. For the first twenty minutes or so, it's awful. And then Jim, from the lack of anything else to say, admits to the sandwich mishap, and Bruce laughs, telling Jim of how he caught Babs eating the peanut butter out of the jar some time ago, and she admitted that she really misses it, but can't be caught dead with 'kids sandwiches' in school.
They talk about everything and nothing after this, and it's so easy that Jim starts to think that maybe they have been already dating for months now, and he didn't really notice.
And after lunch, when Bruce asks if he should drive Jim back to work, Jim just shrugs, not looking up for a moment. "Actually, I think I'm in mood for some coffee."
Bruce looks at him searchingly, as if trying to figure out a puzzle, a hint of disbelieving smile in his eyes. "I know a place," he says, and as they make their way back to the car, his fingers brush the back of Jim's hand not at all by accident. Once they're granted the safe haven of the car's tinted windows, Bruce shifts closer, his hand cupping the side of Jim's face, still unsure, and Jim nods, his breathing harsh already, as if just Bruce's close proximity was enough to intoxicate him. He really hadn't felt like that in a very long time.
The third kiss is once again different than the ones before, they move together, closing the distance, Jim's lips parting even before Bruce's tongue can demand entrance. It's slow, almost lazy, as if they had all the time in the world, Bruce's fingers running through Jim's hair, then resting on the back of his neck, Jim's hand grasping the cloth of Bruce's shirt.
"That place you know," Jim mutters, and Bruce laughs, nodding against Jim's neck.
"Could be my place," he agrees, and waits until Jim smiles to let out a soft breath. "Jim, you better be sure," he says softly.
"I think I am," he says wonderingly. It amazes even him, but he is. This is a good thing, of that, he's certain.
Upon entering the Wayne Manor's kitchen, Alfred gives them one look, before turning to put the coffee maker on, and then nod at Jim on his way out. Jim could swear that the butler is smiling smugly, but he doesn't really feel up to calling him on it. "Do you sometimes get the feeling he knows too much?" Jim asks, and Bruce laughs, long and hard, shaking his head.
"You don't know the half of it," he says, and moves towards Jim, kissing him again, and this time there's a purpose in a way his teeth graze Jim's lower lip, in the way his hands just brush against Jim's arms, traveling down. Jim pulls him closer, stepping back until he can feel the kitchen counter behind him, the cold surface in stark contrast to the hot skin he just started to expose, pushing Bruce's tie aside.
"Jim," Bruce groans, low and harsh, and only makes Jim want to hear more, taste the sounds as they form on Bruce's lips. To his disappointment, Bruce moves away reluctantly, and there's a thoughtful look on his face that Jim doesn't really like.
"What is it?"
"I need to show you something," he says, and Jim smirks, but Bruce just shakes his head, holding back the immediate smile. "No, I'm serious. I should have told you a long while ago, but..." he shrugs, letting his voice fade. He pulls at Jim's hand, guiding him out of the kitchen and into the study, and Jim frowns all the way there.
"You're starting to scare me," he offers, trying for a light tone, but not quite getting there. Bruce walks to the piano in the corner, and Jim's frown deepens into a more confused one. "You play?" he asks, still watching Bruce carefully.
"A very little. Don't tell Babs, she'll try to make me practice with her." He plays a few notes, and Jim's about to say that it's indeed very little, but the words disappear when one of the bookshelves moves aside.
"Bruce?" he asks, and gets a serious look in return.
"Come on in," Bruce waves his hand in a grand sweeping gesture but he's hesitant, and clearly worried. Jim gives him another searching glance, and steps in, into what turns out to be a crude elevator, carrying them into deep darkness. Then the lights are turned on, and Jim gasps.
He sees the bike, first, it's parked to the side, but it's too familiar not to draw his eyes immediately. Only then he looks around; at the screens, the work tables, the cage with the suit. The realisation is immediate, he doesn't doubt his eyes. Bruce is Batman, the thought just explodes in his brain, as if he had always have the pieces to put this together, but it was only now forming the whole picture. He turns to look at Bruce, who's standing behind him with his shoulders slumped, his face twisted into a worried grimace.
"I'm sorry," he says, and Jim wonders about it, but before he can voice the 'for what?' that's about to roll off his tongue, Bruce continues. "I should have told you, but I didn't plan on..." he gestures between them awkwardly. "On a lot of things happening."
"What was your plan?" Jim asks curiously, he had wondered from the beginning, and with all the secrets coming undone, this is the moment to ask.
"I just wanted to be there. For the kids, for you... Batman couldn't. Bruce Wayne..." he's shrugging again, his voice distant and tight, and for the first time, Jim thinks he understands. He has wondered, many times, what exactly is driving Batman, what brought a man to care about the city so much. Pieces of the puzzle that were missing fall into their places, and the true extent of how difficult it must have been, everything, hits him, and it feels like his heart has stopped for a while.
Jim reaches out and pulls Bruce close, not a kiss, even though their lips are so close, but a warm embrace, foreheads touching, and Bruce's eyes are closed as Jim's hands on his back seem to work out all the tension. Slowly, purposefully, Jim pulls away, his hands working their way to Bruce's tie, easing it off. "Jim," Bruce starts, and Jim stops him.
"If you ask me if I'm sure, I think I'm going to punch you," he offers, smiling, and Bruce laughs softly, his breath caressing Jim's lips. "I've never been more sure," he adds, and his fingers start on Bruce's shirt button, undoing them slowly.
"Actually, I was going to say thank you," Bruce says, and then he's moving, pushing Jim further into the grand basement, towards the desk and the chair next to it, already working to push Jim's jacket off his shoulders, letting it fall to the floor.
Jim's almost lost in the sensations; Bruce pulls off his glasses, places them somewhere, Jim can't see where, and then everything goes blurry, moving fast. There's a distant sound of running water, a low hum of it accompanied by the fast sound of Jim's pulse, ringing in his ears. Bruce's lips trail a wet line down his throat, and the cold air of the room feels strange against the heated up skin.
His head rolls back, eyes half-closed, but he can still see the contents of the blurry room, and he turns away, laughing.
"What?" Bruce asks, and Jim kisses him briefly before answering, waving his hand vaguely in the general direction of the suit.
"I think it's watching us."
Bruce rolls his eyes, but his lips twitch in a smile he can't hold back, and he shifts, turning them both so Jim's back is against the edge of the desk, and it's not yet painful, just slightly uncomfortable, but Jim doesn't care, even if his back might resent him for that later.
"I'm pretty sure Batman wouldn't do this," Bruce says, sinking to his knees, efficiently working Jim's pants open. "He might have wanted to, mind you."
"I'm pretty sure I should be worried that you speak of yourself in third person," Jim says, his eyes closing, his lips parting. "But I'm not sure.... oh, god," he groans as Bruce starts stroking him slowly. Jim looks down at him, and Bruce looks up, almost smugly, but the smugness doesn't reach the eyes, they're soft and honest, and Jim's not sure what makes his breath speed up more, Bruce's hand, or the open and raw look in his eyes.
The first touch of Bruce's lips is like an electric current, shooting throughout his body, frying all his nerve endings, the sensations make his skin tingle and burn. After that, he's lost, capable only of reacting to what's happening to him, guided by Bruce's hands and mouth.
The next conscious thought he has, long while later, is that they really should have made it to the bedroom, because the floor is really cold and really hard underneath, and he really doesn't feel like moving. Bruce's hand rests on his chest, fingers spread, palm warm against his skin.
"I really don't want to move," Bruce mutters, and Jim glances at him in some surprise.
"Are you reading my thoughts?"
"Damn, I wish," Bruce offers, opening his eyes, looking at Jim searchingly. "So..." he starts, and Jim rolls his eyes, kissing Bruce's forehead.
"So, I'll need to get going. I have at least three hours of work to get through. And you are coming by at six, and you better not forget the books you promised Barbara."
Bruce nods, his lips brushing Jim's shoulder, and Jim thinks that this is surprisingly easy, not at all what he expected. He doesn't mind at all.