Another thing about the recent heat wave Jim isn't accustomed to, is waking up in a room filled with sunlight. The fact that Bruce's bedroom has an entire wall of windows is only strengthening the effect. He closes his eyes again, and takes a moment, enjoying the warmth on his skin. It will turn into a frying pan later in the day, but the mornings are nice, especially the mornings started in silk sheets, with Bruce's arm thrown over his stomach, Bruce's even breath tickling his neck.
"Good morning, Master Gordon," comes from the doorway in the already familiar crisp British tone, and Jim doesn't startle, and doesn't fluster. He used to, in the early days of...well, this, but now he just idly wonders how on earth Alfred always knows when he wakes up, and always has breakfast ready by this time.
"Good morning, Alfred," he says, and carefully moves Bruce's hand away, and sits up, reaching for his glasses from the night table.
Bruce mutters something inaudible, that sounds a little like 'nocturnal', and shifts to the other side. Jim glances at Alfred, who's smiling slightly, tilting his head as he places the tray on the bedside table. It's not the first morning like this, and Jim's not the only one to find Bruce's reactions to sunlight amusing.
As Alfred makes his way out, stopping just to pull the curtains even more open, eliciting a groan of protest from Bruce, Jim reaches to poke Bruce's shoulder. "Morning."
"Middle of the night," Bruce protests, burying his face in the pillow.
It calls for the stronger incentive, Jim supposes. He reaches to pick up a coffee cup from the tray, and brings it closer to Bruce's nose. Alfred's coffee is nothing short of divine. Quite probably worth selling your soul for. Bruce's nose twitches, and he opens one eye. "That's low."
Jim waits, holding the cup until Bruce snorts, and pulls himself up, reaching for it. "That might be the case, yes. It always works, though."
Bruce doesn't dignify it with an answer, just glances at him over the rim of the cup. It could be called a glare if anyone could summon a glare while drinking Alfred's coffee. No one can. Jim just smiles back, and pushes his glasses up his nose, opening the paper, and reaching for his own cup.
At first, he didn't feel comfortable with this, the whole breakfast in bed idea, the morning paper. It took Bruce a while to convince him to enjoy it, and it took some rather dirty tricks to keep him in bed past six am. Not that he minded the choice of said dirty tricks. Quite the opposite. But the slight discomfort remained for a while, and even now it felt a little strange. Thankfully, he got over the first impulse to bury himself under the covers and pretend to not be there when Alfred comes in.
He studies the newspaper, taking a long look at the first page's headline and turning it over quickly. "It's the hottest summer in the last fifty years, apparently."
"You don't say," Bruce mutters, and looks into his coffee cup, as if wondering where had all the coffee gone.
"And apparently, you disappearance last night suspiciously coincided with an up-and-coming pianist Joanna Johnson's leaving the party. Inquiring minds want to know if there's a bigger story there."
"Inquiring minds can go stuff themselves," Bruce suggests pleasantly, and looks pointedly at Jim's coffee. "Are you drinking that?"
Bruce sighs, and makes an expression strangely resembling a pout. Jim almost laughs, then reaches to take Bruce's cup out of his hands, and pours half of his coffee into it. Bruce smiles his thanks, taking the cup back, fingers brushing Jim's, then downs the coffee in one go. Jim just rolls his eyes and then turns them back to the newspaper.
"I'm never sure whether I'm glad no one notices that my disappearances coincide with yours, or insulted by it."
"Be glad," Bruce mutters, and looks at him pointedly. "So, what's the bad news?"
"Excuse me?" Jim tries, and probably doesn't quite manage to keep the surprise convincing.
"First page. You only skip it when the news are really bad. So, what is it?"
Jim sighs. He's never been a very good liar, and he's never been any good at bluffing either, and even when he had learned to at least keep his expression straight and unmoving, he still wasn't going to win any poker games any time soon. And keeping anything from Bruce was bordering on impossible.
"It's not exactly news, if it's not true," he mutters, and folds the newspaper back, revealing the first page, big block font accusing Batman of a series of violent murders in the last few weeks.
"We should look into that," Bruce says, his voice level and even. He has an excellent poker face. "Two could be a coincidence, and the heat wave brings the insane out of people more than usual, but it's escalating too quickly."
"Bruce," he says, placing the empty cup on the table.
Honestly, sometimes the eyeroll is not only justified, but entirely necessary. He goes through his mental list of things to say, things he wanted to say for a while now. It's been almost a year since their great lie, and back then, Jim assumed it was to be temporary, just until they figure it all out. But the time had passes, and nothing had changed, and he's tired of this all, and if he is tired, then Bruce must be exhausted. He is even more tired of not saying anything, and off all the 'I'm fines' he hears.
He pinches the bridge of his nose, and pushes his glasses back up. "We'll look into it," he says, and tells himself off for being a coward.
Bruce nods, and folds the newspaper in half, reaching over Jim to place it on the table along with his cup. "I'll see what I can find and get back to you," he pauses, inches away from Jim's face, studying his expression thoughtfully. "Don't."
"Bruce," he says again, and is slightly irritated at his inability to keep his voice unshaken. Bruce reaches out to take his glasses off, fold them carefully and put them aside, leaning to rest his forehead against Jim's, closing his eyes.
"Don't," he repeats, and it's not forceful, and it's not loud, but it resonates throughout Jim's body, even though it's just whispered against his lips. Jim closes his eyes as well, his breathing already hastened. "Don't say anything," Bruce mutters, lips brushing Jim's, and this is the whole point, Jim thinks, as if saying it out loud would make it more real, make it more painful.
He doesn't say anything, the only sound leaving his mouth is a low sigh as Bruce's lips cover his, soft and determined. It's not the way to work this out, he knows, but it's a way, and right now, when Bruce's tongue coaxes his mouth open, he has hard time remembering why it's not the best one. Bruce tastes strongly of coffee, not surprisingly, and Jim deepens the kiss, reaching to rest his hand on the back of Bruce's neck. He can feel the faint echo of the pulse under the palm of his hand.
Bruce shifts closer, moving his leg over Jim's, his whole body relaxing, molding into Jim's, as if trying to get closer than it's physically possible. Bruce's fingers tighten on Jim's shoulder, short fingernails leaving faint red crescents on his skin. They'll fade soon, but for the moment, Jim welcomes them, it's a sign, however minute, that Bruce isn't quite as fine as he pretends to be. That he needs this, needs Jim, and however low, it's a heady feeling, almost intoxicating, to be the one needed.
"Jim..." it's both a plea and a demand, as Bruce bows his head, Jim's name whispered against his neck. Jim throws his head back, the line of his neck exposed, and Bruce trails it down with his tongue, his teeth. The mark he leaves down on Jim's neck, on the edge of his collarbone, will last longer, will be there through the day, and tomorrow. That's something.
The covers slipped off them, but even just the cotton and silk of the underwear make too much layers now. Jim's fingers search for the waistline of Bruce's boxers, clumsily he tries to push them down, off. Bruce moves, trying to help as much as he can, but they mostly just interrupt each other, their hands tangling between them, brushing against skin and material, and Bruce groans, teeth scraping Jim's neck, and it's enough to make Jim's hips twitch, pushing closer, needing more.
"Jim," Bruce says again, as if it was the only thing he remembers, the only thing he holds on to. He kneels above Jim, straddling his thighs, his body bowing forward, tense and expectant, as his lips rest on Jim's forehead for a moment, before his fingers run through Jim's hair, tilting his head back. They're moving in sync now, the same rocking motion, designed to bring them as close as possible, as close as one can be to another without piercing skin, without spilling blood, even though it's too late for such qualms.
"Not close enough," Jim mutters matter-of-factly, and startles at the sound of his own voice, hoarse and rough. Bruce nods, eyes wide and glazed over, the same intense desire reflected in him.
The mood shifts, as if they passed the invisible barrier, and maybe they did somehow, because there's only one way to go now, and they both know. There's no discussion, no banter they're accustomed to sharing before this takes place, no carefully formed questions of who, how. Jim leans against the headboard, steading himself, Bruce shifting closer again, spreading his legs just a little bit wider on Jim's sides. Their cocks rub against each other, and Jim bites his lips to keep himself from groaning loudly, bites just hard enough to taste copper. Not yet, he thinks, and tries to talk himself out of coming so soon. Not yet, not before what they both need, not before this.
He reaches to steady Bruce's hips, hand on each side. Bruce leans forward again, licking at the small droplets of blood gathering on Jim's lower lip. It tingles, as if numb and vibrant at the same time, and Jim moans softly, the sound licked off along with blood, resonating deep in Bruce's throat as a hoarse groan.
It's almost insane, how different his name can sound every time Bruce says it, or whispers it with reverence, and it sounds like a prayer, and it sounds like everything. His hands move almost on their own, gentle caress down Bruce's sides, then up again, then back. Each journey, his fingers move closer to the spot, over the low of the small of Bruce's back, then lower. At some point, Bruce just huffs impatiently, and moves into the kiss again, and this time it's rough and demanding and messy, teeth and tongue, and Jim has to fight back, give as good as he gets.
He moves his hand, finally, just the tip of his finger, but it's enough to make Bruce flinch and shudder, and move closer still. The drawn out sounds he makes sound just like Jim's name, over and over again, but it's hard to tell over the ringing in Jim's ears, as Bruce reaches out, fingers tightening around Jim's cock, every stroke brushing his own in passing. It's almost too much, or it's just enough, and Jim can't think, can't even make out Bruce's face through the haze, all he can do is close his eyes, and push in, just that little bit more, and it's enough. Bruce's hand moves faster, without rhythm now, just abandon, and then the world moves, or stands still, Jim can't tell the difference, but he's spinning, light exploding before his eyes.
Everything is still then. Just the sound of two heartbeats, racing, two breaths slowly calming down from the high. Bruce moves gently, not quite making it to his side of the bed, half-drapped over Jim, his face buried in Jim's neck.
Jim waits until his breathing is even again, or as even as it's likely to get after this, and shifts to place a dry kiss on the closest patch of Bruce's skin, which just happens to be his forehead.
"I guess I should call in late. I'll probably won't be able to move until lunch."
Bruce chuckles warmly, lips moving over Jim's skin. "Oh, good. We have a lunch date planned anyway."
There's something else Jim wants to say, but the words don't quite form on his lips. That's alright, for now, he thinks. It can wait.
on to Part Two