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This Flightless Feeling

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The trip back to the hotel passes in a blur of city lights and aimless fretting. Oswald barely registers the outside world passing them by, following Jim into a cab and right back out again in what seems like barely no time at all, caught up in the constant replay of their exchange. Tirelessly, he picks apart Jim’s words to find some indication that this is all some terrible misunderstanding. That he’s misheard, that perhaps Jim is far more inebriated than he’d originally guessed.

But Jim crowds up behind him as they ride the elevator up to their floor, breaks Oswald’s focus from the fog of his own disbelief by resting along his back. Oswald staggers a little under the unexpected weight, shuddering at the cold press of Jim’s nose to the base of neck.

“Your leg okay?” Jim asks, tired but far more coherent than earlier, and Oswald feels an unexpected frisson of relief. Maybe, with Jim sobering up a bit, things will start making sense again.

Oswald sniffs. “It’s fine,” he lies.

Jim sighs, guiding them from the elevator when it dings at their floor. He carries his own weight as they progress down the corridor, all while somehow maintaining himself as a long line of heat along Oswald’s back. Until they reach the door, that is, and Jim cheekily shoulder checks him aside so he can be the one to open it up.

“Close your eyes,” Jim tells him slyly.

Oswald purses his lips, teeth chewing the inside of his lip as he tries and fails to quell his warring emotions. He trusts Jim, and that’s…problematic. There’s a good eight years between the man he is now and the optimistic people-pleaser he was in his thirties. There’s more than one reason for his absence from the public eye, why his inner circle is more limited than ever, why he prefers the empty quiet of his office to the sycophantic praise he used to covet.

It’s safer.

This proximity to Jim—no. Captain of Police in Gotham, because that’s what he is, and Oswald is King of its underworld and he’s done everything save admit it outright. Volunteering to show Jim exactly the kind of business he’s still capable of by handling this deal with Luthor, and maybe he’s been allowing himself to indulge in this fantasy up until now. But this. This is reality, like a bucket of ice upended down the back of his shirt, because there could be anything waiting for him on the other side of that door.  

“Hey,” Jim says, his voice quiet and soothing, and it gets Oswald’s attention. It always has. “I know, okay?”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean—”

Jim cuts him off by pulling him into an embrace. “If we start apologizing to each other right now, we’ll be standing out here for hours,” he whispers. “I wanted…”

He sighs, steps back from Oswald but keeps both hands on his shoulders. “I wanted to have this conversation when we got back. Oswald,” Jim takes a breath, gives Oswald the look—the one he gets when he’s about to take a huge risk with his own personal safety—and says, “don’t freak out.”

Oswald blinks. “That is literally the least calming thing you have ever said to me.”

Jim rolls his eyes, huffs exasperatedly. “Fine, no sugar-coating.” He licks his lips. “Oswald, I know. Okay? I know you, and I’m not—I’m not fine with it, alright? I’ll never be fine with it, but I accept it—”

His heart is threatening to finally desert him as he interjects, voice cracked, “You—you accept it? Accept what—”

Jim crowds him against the door. “Gotham is safer now than it ever has been, and the papers give all that credit to Batman, but you and me? I like to think neither of us are that naïve.”

Oswald licks his lips, closes his eyes. “Just tell me there’s not a goddamned SWAT team on the other side of that door—”

“You really think Gotham can afford to fund travel for its SWAT team?”

Oswald snorts, then bursts into a hysterical fit of laughter. “That’s not funny.”

“I’m hilarious.” Jim kisses him, chastely. “I’m gonna open the door now.”

Oswald exhales shakily, resolutely keeps his eyes closed and nods.

There’s another quick kiss, followed by the sound of a handle. The surface behind his back disappears as the door squeaks slightly on its hinges and then it’s quiet. Jim guides him gently into the room, and Oswald feels the tension bleed away, only to be replaced by a giddy sense of anticipation. The door shuts with a resounding clack, and Oswald’s eyes spring open on instinct.

He gasps, then blinks.

“Gloria set it up for me,” Jim says, his voice across the room and Oswald can’t remember him moving. His gaze flies to Jim’s uncharacteristically subdued lean against the minibar. The dimmed lights—a feature of their room Oswald had been hitherto unaware of—reflect warmly off the granite surface and Jim’s disarrayed hair.

The rest of the room is similarly lit, intimately. The bar itself decorated with scattered rose petals, a bucket of ice containing chilled champagne alongside two crystal flutes. There’s a covered tray on the dining table which has been draped in a white table cloth and set with dessert plates and a small, shallow candle. Oswald can only glimpse the bed just beyond the room divider, but it’s clear the blankets have been replaced and there’s a splash of red—more rose petals, he’s sure. Faintly, in the silence, he can hear the jets running in the hot tub.

Oswald swallows. “I don’t…I don’t understand.”

“No?” Jim asks, and it’s so hard to look at him, to see all that patented Gordon compassion directed at him for a change. Clenching his teeth, Oswald shakes his head. He wants Jim to say something else, offer an explanation, but he waits Oswald out and it’s a blatant detective tactic, but it’s all too effective.

He wrenches his eyes away. “When I agreed to bring you here,” Oswald quietly tells him, “I thought you’d be…”

“An asshole?” Jim provides and Oswald huffs.

“No…” he bites his lip, risks a glance in Jim’s direction, chooses his words carefully as he says, “I know you aren’t cruel, that’s not…”

He isn’t saying this right, and how typical is that? Oswald wants to laugh, he does a bit—a small, mirthless chuckle—and it sounds hysterical even to his own ears. He winces. This…who would want this? Want him? No one ever has, and it was all well and fine when it was still pretend, but Jim said…

He said.

Oswald turns to face Jim fully then, and the words just…fall out of him. “These things don’t happen to me, Jim.” He gestures to the room at large, the situation as a whole. “Good things—they don’t. They aren’t mine.”

Jim takes a deep breath, and the way he closes the distance between them can only be described as sauntering. “Is that all?” he asks.

Oswald huffs, indignant. “I’m—I am baring my soul to you, Jim. The least you could do is—”

“You’re not cursed,” Jim tells him, then squints. “Well, you might be. It seems to me your perspective on this,” he says, gesturing between them, “revolves around the idea that I fall under some category of ‘good things.’”

“Yes,” he replies, voice drawing out the vowel to emphasize the obvious.

Jim licks his lips, smiling self-deprecatingly, as he says, “I’m not a gift, Oswald. Thinking of it that way…you might be disappointed.”

“No,” Oswald tells him, simple and honest. Jim opens his mouth, an argument on his tongue, and Oswald holds up his hand and repeats, “No.”

Jim hangs his head, releases a rueful chuckle. “Some pair we make,” he says, raising his head. “You can’t accept that I’m in love with you, and I can’t accept that you won’t eventually realize I’m not worth all that devotion.”

Oswald feels the corners of his mouth quirk. “Or…” he shrugs, lets his shoulders fall along with the rest of his inhibitions.

Jim grins, reading him like a blinking neon sign, pushing into Oswald’s space just that last tiny bit. “Or, we can get over ourselves and enjoy our last night away?”

“I have been enjoying myself this week, I must confess,” Oswald tells him, an unfamiliar confidence creeping in as he dares to let himself believe it.

“Me too,” Jim tells him. “You made sure of that, didn’t you?”

There isn’t much he can say to that. Yes, he’s been spoiling Jim a little; he certainly hasn’t made any effort to conceal it. Oswald shrugs, unapologetic. “I have no regrets.”

“I have a couple,” Jim states gently. He holds up a hand to forestall Oswald from interrupting, correctly anticipating an objection. “Mostly that I haven’t got a snowball’s chance in hell at fully reciprocating. Not that we’re keeping score,” he’s quick to add. “Just, well.” He gestures around the room. “I wanted to do something nice for you.”

Oswald tilts his head, pressing his lips into a tense line. He’s never been in a romantic relationship, not really, though he’d tried with Ed. Gone through the motions, as he’d understood them, but looking at Jim he wonders if maybe there’s such a thing as being too generous. Edward had never said that the attention or the money bothered him, or made their friendship feel lopsided; then again, the differences between Ed and Jim are as vast as the ocean.

“You don’t have to make it up to me,” he offers, words finding their way out of his mouth as he pieces together Jim’s unspoken anxiety. “You just said we aren’t keeping score.”

Jim squints. “I…did say that.”

“But you were keeping score when you called Gloria this morning, weren’t you?” Oswald surmises. “You realize I don’t expect you to reciprocate—I haven’t expected you to reciprocate at all, actually. Which is…” he sighs, face heating as he confesses, “Which is why I may have…overcompensated somewhat this week.”

“Overcompensated?”

“Somewhat.”

Jim snorts. “How much were those suits, anyway?”

He runs his eyes over Jim’s form. “Worth every penny, I assure you.”

Jim rolls his eyes, but Oswald ignores him. Jim knows perfectly well what he looks like, Oswald’s seen him use his ridiculous jawline to get his way more than once. He sniffs, pushes around his apparent boyfriend and approaches the covered plates on the bar. There hadn’t been time to enjoy the buffet at the wedding, and he’s ravenous.

Curiously, he lifts the lid from the closest plate and hums his approval at what he finds. The dishes are set onto hotplates, and the smell of perfectly seared steak hits his nose. His stomach growls and he only barely contains the moan it provokes. He glances at Jim, finds him watching with an unnerving intensity. He’s still glassy around the eyes though, a little, and Oswald thinks maybe Jim could use some dinner to chase all those shots he consumed at the open bar.

“Hungry?” Jim asks, and there’s a peculiar note to his tone that immediately sets him on edge.

Edward once told Oswald that he eats like an untrained mongrel. They’d been in a mild turf war, back when he and Barb were trying to carve out a slice of the diamond district for their fashion business. That was just after he’d commissioned his tailor to expand the waistline of his suits. For the second time. He even remembers what he’d been eating at the time, when Edward barged in on he and Barb’s meeting—grilled chicken salad. It was an obvious, exposed kidney and Edward did exactly as Oswald taught him.

He replaces the lid. “No,” he lies. “Not for food, at any rate.”

Jim hums, moves to the bar to uncover the other dish. He reaches in with his fingers, plucks a sprig of asparagus directly from the plate and shoves it into his mouth.

“S’not bad,” he says, chewing and Oswald rolls his eyes before snatching a napkin and dabbing at the stray juice on Jim’s chin.

“I thought you were starting to sober up,” he laments. “How much did you drink—”

Jim catches his hand. “A lot,” he admits, “but not so much I can’t follow through.”

Oswald feels his face heat, diverts his eyes, much to Jim’s clear amusement. He sniggers at Oswald’s expense, lifts the hand he’s commandeered to press a kiss against the back of his fingers. His free hand creeps to Oswald’s waist, pulls him closer. 

“You done?” Jim asks, lips curved into a knowing smirk. On anyone else, Oswald might find it irritating, but he’s endeared despite himself. Always has been. It’s a fantastic opening to say something coy, play the game they’ve always played, context be damned. But…

But.

“I don’t…I don’t ever want to be done,” he says, far too honestly, but he’s said too much already. Earlier. Outside the reception, and Jim might be a lush but he isn’t actually a drunk. Not the kind that suffers from blackouts or bouts of convenient memory loss.

Jim’s eyes flit over his face before he closes the distance between them entirely, his lips gentle and slow. Like he has all the time in the world, like they both do and maybe he’s overthinking, it wouldn’t be the first time, but there’s a promise in there somewhere. A promise Oswald used to dream someone—anyone—would ask him to return someday and he jumps at the chance now. It’s foolhardy, goes against every survival instinct he possesses but this isn’t a faceless someone. It’s Jim, and Oswald’s not made of steel.

He opens his mouth, surges forward to deepen their kiss and Jim moans against his lips, lets Oswald lead him back a step. That’s…unexpected, and Oswald isn’t sure if he’s ready for that, but he’s nothing if not adaptable.

“This is all very thoughtful, Jim,” Oswald confesses, “but in case you hadn’t noticed, I’m incredibly easy.”

Jim snorts, huffing a laugh, but Oswald isn’t finished. “I know you feel guilty, and this is all very lovely, but I only want you. We can eat later.”

He pushes away then and makes quick work of crossing their suite to the bed. It’s terribly forward and horribly practical, but all this tap dancing around has whittled his patience. With practiced ease, he sets about freeing himself from his suit, singularly focused on the task, lest his insecurities find some fissure in his resolve.

Jim’s voice is close when he replies, having dutifully followed along. “If you’re easy, then what am I?” he asks bemusedly, his words accompanied by the soft rustle of fabric as it drops to meet the floor.

Oswald finds himself drawn to meet his gaze. Jim’s eyes are full of mirth, and other soft things that would be better spent on softer people, and Oswald isn’t selfless enough to turn away from it, no, but if there’s one thing he needs to make absolutely clear, it is this: “Worthy, Jim.”

It isn’t a response Jim had been anticipating, that much is evident by the way his mouth drops open slightly, his widening eyes. Once again, Oswald finds himself the recipient of Jim’s quiet awe. He rolls his eyes.

“Honestly, James,” he chastises with a tut, “you’re going to give me a complex—well, what’s one more I suppose, but that’s beside the point. Is it really so surprising? Between you and me, that is?”

Jim licks his lips, reaches back to nervously scratch behind his head. It’s an effort not to coo at him as if he’s a chastised puppy, standing before Oswald in nothing but his boxers and so charmingly disarmed. Bare. Vulnerable.

Oswald’s cock twitches in his pants, and he almost misses Jim’s response while processing the seven layers of wrong his growing erection might imply.

“It’s not that, not really,” he says, loosening up again and tugging those boxers all the way off. “I just…I’ve got a pretty long rap sheet, I guess. I don’t always think things through.”

Oswald wants to ask, ‘Why start now?’ but he won’t make light of Jim’s concerns. Even if they are unfounded. Instead, he shucks his own pants and reaches for his—God—his boyfriend, and what is this, primary school? The word alone makes him feel unsteady, but he presses forward nonetheless; the semantics aren’t important. It was only mere hours ago that he’d been under the impression his feelings were one-sided. Now, here they are discussing this relationship, negotiating in terms that may as well be a foreign language for all that Oswald understands the nuance.

“Do you really think I care about that, Jim?” He asks. “Me?”

Jim shrugs, plaintive. “Do you?”

“No,” he replies honestly, but he can tell it isn’t enough. It isn’t something he can just ignore or demand Jim simply set aside, either. And for all that he’s wanted—craved—this sort of intimacy, he is clearly terrible at it. He licks his lips. “I know it seems as though I should care more about…I don’t know, the differences between our levels of experience but…” Oswald shrugs. “Well, it’s human nature, isn’t it? It’s isn’t bad, I don’t think. It doesn’t make it any less significant between us, does it?”

This at least, earns him a grin. The softness returns to Jim’s eyes as he quietly replies, “No.” He gently shakes his head, “No, it doesn’t.”

Seeing Jim set aside his worries now leaves room for Oswald’s own trepidation. It isn’t the same crippling anxiety as the past few days, tinged with self pity and despair. Rather, it’s a giddy bit of nervous energy that washes over him like a tide. His stomach flutters, breaths come shallow as he sits himself onto the edge of the bed and watches Jim crowd toward him.

He feels ridiculous, his chubby stomach squished up obscenely. At least, it feels obscene where its heft rests against his thick upper thighs. His penis is soft now, pressed snugly there between it all and he wants to squirm away with how exposed he feels this way. All the lights are on too, which doesn't help to conceal anything, and it certainly doesn't feel sexy in the least, yet Jim is undeterred.

He climbs into Oswald’s lap, knees pressing craters into the mattress on either side of Oswald’s thighs. He’s suddenly preoccupied with making sure Jim doesn’t fall, hands quick to find his waist and hold him steady. Jim’s hands land gently on his shoulders in turn and Oswald is forced to tilt his head up in order to find that reassuring gaze Jim always has at the ready. It’s there, alongside endless patience, all the kind, tender things Oswald still remembers from that very first day. The things that are all about the heart of Jim Gordon, those things that make him inherently good. Too good for the dark places where Oswald keeps most of himself tucked safely away.

Jim pushes even closer, winds his arm behind Oswald’s neck, threads fingers into his coarse hair. Oswald slides his hands around Jim’s back, can’t keep one from straying down to gently cup the curve of his ass. He can feel the hard length of Jim’s cock pressed against his stomach, cushioned by Oswald’s girth and any discomfort he’d been feeling is swiftly ousted by how badly he wants this. Wants Jim.

“Fuck, I love this,” Jim tells him, breath catching as his hips roll just slightly, cock nudging against Oswald’s belly. “I love how you feel.”

Oswald swallows, suddenly uncomfortable all over again because—how? Oswald is mystified enough by Jim’s attraction, attributes it to the compatibility of their personalities. The idea that Jim likes this body, his body, mangled and misshapen, it’s…he can’t fathom it. Not at all. Not when he himself hates it so much. His chest feels tight suddenly, and he tries to breathe through it, eyes carefully averted. This is more familiar at least, the self-loathing that comes along for the ride every time Jim touches him with intent.

“Oswald?” Jim calls his name, and he knows he’s been caught. “Hey, come on, Oz. Open your eyes.”

Oswald hadn’t realized he’d closed them. “I’m fine.”

“You’re not,” Jim tells him, but he doesn’t move away. “Tell me.”

He’d really rather not.

“Come on,” Jim cajoles, pressing feather kisses to Oswald’s temple. “I told you my worries.”

It’s a trap. One of his own making, because this is what he’s wanted but that means…sharing. In the broadest possible context, because that’s what intimacy is, isn’t it? He’d been intimate with Ed, told him secrets, told him so many fears. The idea of opening himself that way again, all these years later, lodges a stone into his gut. Constricts his throat, and squeezes his chest.

He breathes in.

Lets it out.

“I don’t understand how you can find anything about this attractive,” Oswald admits, eyes watering even as he speaks. His voice hitches, but he manages to finish his thought. “I can’t even stand to look—why would you want…”

Jim doesn’t offer him platitudes, but he does effectively save Oswald from embarrassing himself any further. He can’t keep blubbering if Jim is kissing him, after all, sweet and perfect. He moans at the first touch of Jim’s tongue, thoughts effectively silenced as his focus is narrowed completely to chasing each and every sensation.

When Jim gently breaks free, he tucks Oswald’s face beneath his chin and squeezes him tightly. “The body is just a body,” he says finally. “It carries us around, gives us a window into the world, the senses we need to experience it.

“And I can’t change how you feel when you look at it, but,” Jim pulls away, just enough to drop a kiss to Oswald’s forehead, “God, I like looking at it, at you. I like the way you feel against my body, and I like how much of it there is to hold onto.” Jim sighs, a needy, impatient humid gust of air, and his voice turns ragged as he adds, “Fuck, Oz. I want to put my hands all over you and fucking squeeze, and the only reason I haven’t is I don’t want you to think I’m a fucking perv, alright? But I wanna dig my fingers into your skin, wanna bury my face in your belly, wanna ride you like a fucking wave—”

Oswald splutters, “Jesus Christ—”

But Jim isn’t finished, his chest is heaving, face red for how worked up he’s gotten himself, as he leans back and licks his lips. “I wanna feed you with my fingers, wanna dip my cock in that peanut sauce you like and watch you lick it clean.”

“Oh, my God.”

“I know!” Jim’s face crumbles and he looks instantly wrecked. “I know it’s…it’s sick, right? I don’t—it’s not a fetish, that’s not why I—God, I can’t believe I just fucking said that—”

Oswald vacantly listens as Jim stutters through his awkward discomfort. Jim has broken him with words, taken his synapses and yanked them out at the stem. It takes him several long eternities to plug them back in, and when his brain manages to come back online, Jim is looking at Oswald like he’s contemplating a jump from the nearest window.

He’s beautiful. Perfect. Oswald loves him so much. He opens his mouth to say so, and he does, in a way.

“Go get the damned tray,” he demands.

Jim blinks, mouth dropping open before he snaps it shut with a swift inhalation. “Yeah. Yeah, okay.”

He thinks he hears a muttered, “Holy shit” as Jim launches himself from his perch and back across the suite toward the kitchen. Oswald can relate; he’s effectively shocked even himself, but he carefully rearranges into position at the head of the bed. Briefly, he contemplates the blankets and hiding beneath them, but…

Jim’s words stick with him and somehow, it feels right. Oswald isn’t his body, and even if he isn’t always comfortable with it, it’s gotten him this far. It’s enough of an epiphany that he finds maybe…he resents it a little less. Enough that he doesn’t feel such a keen need to cover it up.

Besides, he doesn’t want to get food on the sheets. Dear God, he is really about to do this. No second guessing either, because Jim is back, a hot plate in one hand and a can of Reddi Wip in the other.

“Okay?” Jim asks, tentative, though he’s grinning like a goddamned loon.

Oswald swallows his apprehension, replies, “Starving, actually.”

“That’s good, because I’ve been thinking about this for a while…”

“How long is a while?”

Jim licks his lips. “You remember a few months ago when—”

“I’m sorry,” Oswald interjects, because he just has to stop him there. “Did you just say a few months? Months, Jim?”

“Well…” Jim squints, shrugging a bit sheepishly. “It wasn’t—I mean. It just…popped in there, you know?”

“I really, really don’t.” Oswald blinks, can’t seem to keep his lips from upturning into a grin that feels unbearably smug. “By all means, enlighten me, James.”

Jim rolls his eyes, but he’s far less bashful as he sits himself and his burden carefully onto the bed. “You made me dinner.”

Oswald feels his eyes widen, his face heating. “I made myself dinner,” he corrects. “You just happened to have impeccable timing—”

“Timing that you yourself insisted upon when I called to tell you I’d be stopping by,” Jim reminds, leaning forward before he adds, “or else.”

Oswald huffs, rolls his eyes. “Anyway,” he says, brushing those details aside, much to Jim’s obvious amusement, “you were saying…about your feeding fetish?”

Jim snorts. “Cruel,” he admonishes, but it lacks heat. It’s obvious that Oswald has no intention of doing anything other than indulging this interesting new turn of events. With that knowledge, apparently, comes a renewal of Jim’s confidence. It’s a good look on him, better than all that uncertainty.

Jim sniffs, but he lets it go, continues with his explanation. “So, you insisted that I join you, which I did because I was starving, and I didn’t have the energy to argue.”

“You would have lost anyway.”

“Exactly.”

“Okay, so we’re eating dinner, and what? You suddenly have the overwhelming desire to drown me in chocolate sauce and perform CPR on my penis?”

Jim nearly barks with laughter, while Oswald sits there a bit stunned by his own candor. “No, no,” he says, shaking his head, “it wasn’t like that. It was…well. It was the way you were eating.”

At this, Oswald’s good humor vanishes, and he straightens, suddenly very uncomfortable with this line of conversation. And his nudity. He’s almost completely forgotten, and if his erection hadn’t wilted already, it would certainly be doing so now. His attention is drawn away from his own spiraling train of thought when he catches back up with Jim’s explanation.

“…and I remembered when you were still running with Maroney and Fish, how thin you used to be. You looked like you were sick, or always about to be coming down with something,” Jim tells him, eyes soft with some wistful kind of fondness. “And whenever you got a chance to eat, you did it like someone was going to steal it right out from under you.”

The words pour out of him before he can stop himself, and he confesses, “They used to…” he breaks off, but now Jim stares at him expectantly and Oswald sighs. “When I was younger, my mother would pack me lunches and it wasn’t an uncommon occurrence that they would end up on the ground. If I didn’t manage to be first in line for lunch, find a place to hide and eat quickly, I—they would…”

He trails off, shrugging slightly as he frowns at his hands. All these years, and still it hurts to remember. He pushes it aside and adds, “I didn’t realize I’d made a habit of ‘stuffing my face’ until Ed pointed it out to me.”

“We do the same thing in the military,” Jim informs, and Oswald looks up to see Jim shrugging. “Except it’s MREs and stale water, but I promise you if anyone so much as looked at my crude protein sideways, I would’ve knifed them on the spot.”

Oswald snorts. “Please. You’d offer it up from some misplaced feelings of guilt and compassion.”

Jim ducks his head, but he doesn’t deny it. Instead, he says, “Maybe. Doesn’t mean it was easy to get out of the habit of woofing it down when I got back stateside. And you don’t realize you’re doing it until someone calls you out, and it’s embarrassing, but most people don’t know what that’s like. To not know if there will be a next meal or if you’ll even be able to finish the one you have in front of you.”

“Well, this took a decidedly unsexy turn, didn’t it?” Oswald observes morosely.

Jim sniggers. “I haven’t finished my explanation yet,” he argues, removing the lid from the hotplate. It’s a tasteful arrangement of grilled steak mini-skewers, and Jim casually plucks one from the plate, pulling a nicely roasted tomato from the end and popping it into his mouth. “See,” he continues, manner-less, as he eats, “I was ready to tear into it, but then I hesitated because I thought maybe…”

“You thought I was trying to poison you,” he recalls with an eyeroll.

Jim nods. “And so, I stopped myself from eating that first bite and I held it out to you instead, and the look on your face—”

Oswald groans. He knows what his face must have been doing that night because for a split second he recalls every fiber of his own mortification from all those months ago. He’d been flustered, Jim isn’t wrong, but he’d covered for it by leaning forward and carefully eating a small portion of every item on Jim’s plate with his own fork.

“You asked me if I was satisfied,” Jim says, leaning forward as he pulls a slice of grilled zucchini from the skewer. “I wasn’t.”

Oswald opens for Jim instinctively, lets him push the morsel between his stunned lips, fingers catching slightly on Oswald’s bottom teeth as he slowly retreats. At the last second, Oswald closes his mouth around the digits, and Jim’s eyes darken as he watches with rapt attention. Jim pulls his fingers clear, thumb playing along Oswald’s bottom lip as he chews and swallows.

“Good?” Jim asks, voice barely above a whisper.

Shocked by his own thundering pulse, the flutter of arousal in his stomach, Oswald can only nod wordlessly in response. Jim grins, a smug, wholly lascivious thing, as he feeds Oswald another piece, and another, and another. Oswald lets him, takes his time to savor the meal that Jim literally finger feeds him. All the while, asking if it’s good, if Oswald is enjoying himself.

It’s…different. He isn’t lying when he tells Jim he likes the steak, or the shrimp, or the vegetables. When his eyes slip shut, mouth closing around a rich finger full of whip, and he hums at its sweetness. He hears the unmistakable release of the pressurized canister and then there’s a wet, sticky weight against his shoulder, followed by the warm heat of Jim’s mouth.

It shouldn’t be as exciting as it is, but he’s been hard almost from the start. From the first bite of food, and so has Jim though neither of them has drawn attention to their shared predicament. While he can’t discern what it is about this peculiar exchange that does it for Jim, his own motivations are less mysterious. It’s not the food Oswald is excited about, but the attention. Jim’s attention, specifically.

He opens his eyes to find Jim haphazardly pushing their empty plate across the bed. It’s unsanitary, Oswald should scold him to put it away properly, but Jim is wholly focused on his task, and he can’t find it in him to offer any distraction. Instead, when Jim tells him to lay down, Oswald instantly complies, scooting down along the mattress warily eyeing the Reddi Wip.

Jim wiggles his eyebrows. “Ready for dessert?”

Oswald giggles, his reaction born of shock. He’s seen shades of Jim’s lighthearted exuberance all week, but this is unprecedented. Many of their acquaintances boast about their hidden, unplumbed depths—Oswald can’t count on one hand the number of times he’s been subjected to a droning soliloquy—but Jim has never been one among them. Of course, it’s always the quiet ones, isn’t it?

“You are full of surprises,” Oswald tells him, tongue loose with excitement and, dare he admit, happiness.

“Good ones, I hope?”

“Better than good,” he assures, grinning as Jim shakes the canister and points the dispenser at Oswald’s naval.

Jim grins. “I’ll take it.” There’s a pop and hiss, and then Jim is drawing a spiral out from Oswald’s belly button, round and round his stomach. He stops just shy of his chest, opting to dot each of Oswald’s nipples with cream before bending forward to lick him clean in the same order.

His tongue traces the pattern slowly, and Oswald fights to keep his breaths even. He didn’t expect it to feel so erotic, presumed it would feel more than a bit silly to indulge Jim this way. However, there’s nothing silly about the look in Jim’s eyes as he lovingly cleans the mess he’s made over Oswald’s nipples. He circles each bud slowly, before finally coming up to treat Oswald’s tongue to the aftertaste of his own skin and too much sugar.

Jim kisses him with that same focused intent, setting his weight over Oswald’s body like a familiar blanket. At last, his aching cock finds a measure of relief against Jim’s own arousal, providing a balm to the heady ache of his wanting. It’s more than enough attention to see him over the edge, but the heat of Jim’s body is gone as swiftly as it materialized.

Oswald groans. “What—”

“I told you,” Jim interjects, reaching over to the nightstand to withdraw their provisions. His grin is equal parts fond and predatory. “Like a wave, remember?”

Oswald blinks, and then he stops breathing altogether as Jim’s meaning dawns. His eyes flit quickly to the round curve of Jim’s backside, partially obscured by the angle of his body, and then completely out of sight when Jim turns toward him fully, having finished with rooting around in the drawer. He catches Oswald’s stare with a knowing smirk.

“See something you like?” he teases.

Yes, is the obvious answer, but Oswald can’t make his tongue unstick from the roof of his mouth. He is equal parts intensely aroused and scared to death, not that his body appears conflicted in the least. His cock aches for how badly he wants what Jim’s offering, has kept him up at night with fantasies of what it must be like…what it must feel like to—

“Hey.” Jim is kneeling over him now, knees planted on either side of Oswald’s hips, expression contrite. “We don’t have to do anything you aren’t ready for—”

“No! I’m…” Oswald forces himself to take a deep breath. Like hell is he going to pass on this opportunity. “I’m ready.”

Jim fixes him with a dubious look, and Oswald rolls his eyes. “I’m ready; just…I’ve never done that before. I don’t want to disappoint—”

It’s Jim’s turn to be fondly exasperated. “You could never be a disappointment, not here. Okay? I promise.”

Oswald scrunches up his nose in dissent, to which Jim huffs. “Look,” he says, “even if you come the second your dick touches my ass, I promise, there will be no disappointment. I mean, I’ll be flattered, but it’s not like we don’t have time, right?”

There’s something to be said for Jim’s blunt approach to intimacy, Oswald thinks. It relaxes him, all the same, and he finds himself nodding in agreement. “You’re right.” He then waves a magnanimous hand and says, “Please, proceed.”

Jim snorts. “As you wish, Highness.”

"Highness?" This-the banter-is familiar, at least. Oswald can do this. He hums, folding his arms behind his head as watches Jim reach behind himself. “That does have a lovely ring to it.”

“I bet,” Jim replies with a bit of a grunt as he opens himself up. He eyes flutter closed, and Oswald can’t see how many fingers he’s got stuffed inside, but Jim is biting his bottom lip and breathing very carefully.

“Jim,” Oswald says, unable to dampen his concern. Jim had been very patient, very slow, when their roles had been reversed. “Do you—do you want me to…”

Jim’s eyes slide open, and there’s no pain lurking behind the arousal Oswald finds there. “I’m good,” he promises, and it’s obvious there’s something there beneath the surface. Something Oswald doesn’t have a context for, but he has a sneaking suspicion Jim is going to help him build one. Over time.

A lot of time.

Time that he doesn’t have to contemplate now, as Jim withdraws his fingers, wraps them around Oswald’s cock to spread the slick still clinging to them. He braces himself on Oswald’s chest with his other hand and slowly, slowly Oswald watches until the tip of his cock is out of sight and then he sees nothing at all.

The pressure is immediate, and all-consuming. His eyes snap shut of their own accord, body going taut with tension. “Oh—oh God!”

“Easy,” Jim soothes, though his calm is belied by the unsteady stutter of his breath. “Breathe, Oz. Come on…”

Oswald moans, but it’s almost a sob. It’s not a sound he’s ever made before, the shock of it enough to distract him from the intensity of this new sensation. He breathes again, all at once, panting as he snaps his eyes open to find Jim slack-jawed and dazed, impaled on Oswald’s cock.

“Fuck.”

Jim chuckles. “Yeah. Feels real good, don't it, baby?”

They're both perfectly still for an uncountable number of seconds, and it’s nothing like he expected. It’s hot—so unbearably hot—and tight to the point of constricting. It’s isn’t completely unlike having his cock in Jim’s mouth, but it’s also not the same. Not at all. Jim’s body is fairly pulsing around his length, and Oswald’s hips twitch upward, just a little, on instinct. He isn’t prepared for the drag, the pull, and it punches the air from his lungs. Another choked sob escapes, and he doesn’t care what it sounds like. What it says about him, about his inexperience—none of it.

Jim hums, seemingly echoing his sentiment and then he rolls his hips. Oswald cries out, because that? That’s a hundred times more intense. Dear God…how the hell has he lived this long without…without this? It’s incredible, beautiful, perfect—there’s nothing else like it and suddenly it’s a sharp ache in his chest. He’s never known…

“Right here,” Jim tells him. “I’m right here. Stay with me, Oz.”

“S’hard,” he slurs, wholly unironically, chest squeezing, eyes blurring with unshed tears.

Jim kisses him then, hands sliding up to frame his face. “Bend your knees baby. Fuck me so I can keep kissing you.”

Oswald’s body responds before his brain does. “S’too much.”

“No,” Jim disagrees, “it’s not enough. Right? You want more, don’t you?”

Dumbly, Oswald nods. “Yeah…yeah.” He gets his feet planted onto the mattress and thrusts, gently, upward.

“Fuck.” Jim moans, and now he has something else to focus on, doesn't he?

“Like that?” He asks, tentatively.

There’s a hand in his hair, an unexpected tug that forces Oswald to meet Jim’s desperate gaze. He almost looks like he’s grimacing, like he’s in pain, teeth grit as he grinds out an order in true Detective Gordon fashion. “Harder, Oswald.”

Oswald gasps, steels himself against the growing pressure in his stomach, the ache in his sack, as he pushes upward again. His hips snap, bucking Jim’s pliant body. He does it again, and again, without a thought to anything beyond what he sees building behind Jim’s unfocused gaze, what he feels building in himself. It seems like it could go on forever, like he could fuck Jim for hours but the second he thinks it, it’s over. All at once.

“Jim!” he shouts, hips bucking almost violently as he pushes and pushes into heat and friction and Jim. “Oh! Fuck! God…”

He loses awareness after that, not sleeping so much as drifting. It’s a little disconcerting, when he comes back to himself, to be thrown so thoroughly by an orgasm. Granted, a very intense hitherto unprecedented orgasm, but simple biology all the same.

“Stop thinking,” Jim complains, drawing Oswald’s attention. “Enjoy the buzz.”

“Of course,” he acquiesces. He glances down and notes the come cooling on his stomach. Then: “Jim?”

There’s a grunt, which Oswald takes as permission to speak.

“That was…” he clears his throat, decides to go for broke. “I would very much like to do that again.”

“Uh-huh.”

“Soon.”

“Uh-huh.”

“Very, very soon, Jim.”

Jim sniggers. “Need a bath.”

Oswald’s lips tilt up into a genuine smile. He’d forgotten about the hot tub. “How would you feel about helping me with a little interior design?”

“Oz—”

“Think about it, Jim,” he interjects, before the man can put up the token fuss. “A nice hot bath at the end of a long day in a hot tub like the one in the next room. Anytime you like. No need to leave town to get there.”

For a minute, there’s a frisson in the air. One Oswald expects to end in rejection, but then Jim takes a breath and says, “That actually sounds really nice.”

Oswald’s smile grows, impossibly. “It does, doesn’t it?”

“You know what else sounds nice?”

“Hmm?”

“You, right now.” Jim chuckles. “Completely fucked out of your mind.”

Oswald can't contain he answering giggle, then sighs happily. “I love you.”

Jim shuffles over, from where he’s been sprawled out, akimbo, over the other side of the bed with one foot resting haphazardly over the discarded hotplate. He buries his face against the soft curve of Oswald’s hip, kissing it messily as he cuddles closer. “Love you too, you know.”

Oswald settles in though he’s aware they’ll have to get into that bath eventually. For now, he runs his fingers through Jim’s hair, content with the realization as it comes to him.

“I know."