Pairing: Jim/Bruce, possibly others
Rating: PG-13 for now.
Word count: 1499
Jim could tell something was up when Bruce was making a lot of noise in the kitchen at a damned six in the morning. Bruce Wayne getting up before noon was an unusual occurrence in itself, but this was bordering on surreal. And, judging from the sounds of clinking cutlery, dangerous.
"What's going on?" he asked, making it downstairs, and suspiciously looking around, partly because of Bruce's kitchen adventures, and partly because Biscuit once again stole his slippers during the night. Jim took to hiding them under the bed, and, on one occasion, in the side table's drawer, but that didn't help.
"Coffee," Bruce drawled, holding out a mug, his arms extended almost defensively, the oversized mug serving as a shield.
Jim accepted it with a certain dose of suspicion, but he was not a person to question large quantities of coffee handed to him first thing in the morning. "Did you get the paper on your way in?" he asked absently, running his hand through his hair, trying to achieve a different effect than a complete chaos and failing miserably.
Bruce didn't answer for a while, and when Jim finally looked up, he had a strangely guilty expression on his face that he proceeded to hide under a wide grin. "Coffee first," he said decidedly.
"Bruce," Jim muttered.
"Why are there news crews camping outside our house?" Jimmy asked, coming into the kitchen and walking up to the fridge, rummaging for the orange juice.
Jim could feel his eyebrows sneaking up almost to his hairline. "Bruce?"
Bruce sighed heavily. "Fine. But remember that you actually like me," he muttered, retrieving the newspaper from, inexplicably, the oven, and handing it to Jim.
It took a moment for his morning blurry vision to focus on the headline, and then another long moment for the words to make some actual sense. "Bruce," he said again, this time a plea for Bruce to make it disappear, or admit it was an elaborate hoax, or something.
"I can explain," Bruce said mournfully, and proceeded to do so immediately, words rushed as if he was worried Jim was going to stop him any second, and in a very painful way. "They got a hold on some pics of me and Babs, and they assumed what everyone assume when they see me with a pretty young girl, and some woman from Gotham Times called me to get a quote about it, assuming that considering ours," he gestured between them "rather public friendship this must be quite serious, and asking about upcoming nuptials or whatnot, and I might have said that this would be rather problematic considering that I've been living in sin with Babs' father for quite a while now," he finished, breathing out, and Jim looked at him, blinking.
He glanced down at the newspaper again, skimming the text. "God, you actually did say 'living in sin', didn't you," he muttered.
"At least I wasn't misquoted," Bruce offered cheerfully, and Jim threw him a glare, not feeling any satisfaction when the smile melted away.
"How many journalists?" he asked Jimmy, then made his way to the kitchen window, to look out for himself. He groaned. "I don't think I have enough ammo in the house. How unfortunate," he added mournfully, and raised his hand to stop Bruce, who stepped forward, explanation forming on his lips. "Any chances they're not camping outside Babs' appartment?"
Bruce shook his head. "I'll call Alfred, he'll send a car to get her," he offered and Jim nodded, downing the rest of his coffee and looking wistfully at the tin. First things first, however, he thought, moving to search for his cell.
"I'll call Babs," Jimmy volunteered, slightly too amused for Jim's liking.
"Jim," Bruce started again, but stopped when Jim waved at him angrily.
"Not now," he turned on the cell, wincing when it announced forty three messages. "I have to deal with this mess now," he muttered, squashing down the pangs of guilt at the sight of Bruce's crestfallen face, walking back to the bedroom, listening to a message after a message. One was from Montoya, with congratulations, and he silenced her after three seconds. One from the GCPD press liaison, requesting he called her as soon as he got the message to work on the official statement. The rest was from various newspapers and tv stations, asking for interviews.
"Fuck," he muttered, using one hand to search for a shirt while the messages played on.
"Sorry," Bruce said quietly behind him, and Jim didn't startle like he once would, he got used to being sneaked on, even comfortable with it. He turned to watch Bruce sit down on the bed, tiredly rubbing the back of his neck with his open palm, eyes fixed on the floor. "I should have thought this over," he added, and Jim stopped the message from someone over at Gotham Tonight and carefully placed the phone on the table.
"I don't..." he shook his head, not entirely sure what he was going to say. Bruce's expression wasn't helping, even with his eyes down, and hair falling over his face, Jim could see the look, and it was uncannily resembling the one the damn dog had after Jim yelled at him about stealing his shoes again. He almost snorted at that.
Then, slowly, he moved to sit next to Bruce, their shoulders brushing slightly. "Living in sin?" he asked quietly, shaking his head. "Really, Bruce."
"The conversation kind of got away from me," Bruce admitted, and that at least Jim could understand, he didn't even want to think how he would react if some journalist suggested this to him. "And, well, you have any words that would sound better?" he asked tiredly and Jim nodded, his palm resting comfortingly just above Bruce's knee, feeling the warmth even through the layer of clothing.
They had pretty much avoided the entire issue of defining the relationship and it worked well so far. Jim was always pretty hopeless at this, Barbara used to joke about it all the time, and Bruce wasn't that much better at communication.
But there were other ways to convey what he couldn't quite say, and he leaned in, just as Bruce instinctively shifted towards him, the kiss landing at the corner of Bruce's mouth, soft and slow, at least until Bruce moved further forward, deepening it quickly. Jim groaned, as the shirt he just put on was on the best way to be discarded again.
"Cough, cough," Jimmy said pointedly from the doorway. "I'm glad you made up and all, but if there's a chance of this becoming louder than intended you should know the journalists with a recording sound equipment are still right outside. And there are some people with delicate sensibilities and no desire to be scarred for life still inside," he added, turning to walk back downstairs. "I called Babs, she'll be here soon," he added over his shoulder, and procedeed with shaking his head sadly.
"They're going to completely destroy my lawn, aren't they?" Jim muttered, buttoning up the shirt again.
"Bright side, Jim, at least it's the lawn and not the rose garden," Bruce pointed out, suspiciously pleased, and Jim glared at him.
"Are you making fun of my hobby?" he asked suspiciously, and Bruce grinned unrepentantly.
"Yes. It's only fair, since you make fun of mine pretty much constantly."
"Yours involves designing everything to fit a shape of a bat. It's just that little bit disturbing," he muttered, choosing a tie and succeeding in getting it around his neck before Bruce tsked at him and pulled at the tie, sliding it off.
"You must be joking," he muttered, and picked up a different tie, proceeding to put it on Jim and tie the knot. "Did I miss the part where you're colorblind?" he asked pointedly and ignored the glare completely. "I don't think you can avoid giving a press statement," he added seriously, getting back to the main issue.
"I know," Jim sighed, reaching to correct the fit of the knot against his neck, his fingers covering Bruce's for a brief moment. "I have a lunch with the Mayor, and as much as I hate getting an input from her on a personal matter, the statement should wait until I know what she thinks of it."
"I'll try and get rid of the press for now. Promising them a press conference should do it," he muttered, not looking quite happy about it.
Jim didn't feel so happy about it either, the thought of having a press conference about his personal life was pretty damn irritating. He wondered briefly how on earth did he arrived at a point like this, and then Bruce squeezed his hand lightly and he remembered.