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The Advantages of Having a Twin

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To say that Bruce Wayne is seething would be an understatement.

It's a rare gift, it is, being able to see Bruce Wayne this angry. Being able to watch as the anger and madness that usually curls beneath the surface bubbles up for all to see.

That fact, the fact that there are others present to see such beauty makes Jeremiah’s lip curl. This is his. This rare display of emotion is all for him, all because of him. They don’t have the privilege to witness such magnificence. It makes him itch to whip out his gun and pop the heads of the men, the women, his men, his women who huddle in the dark corners of their latest hidey hole, praying not to be noticed by the whirling cloud of darkness that a furiously pacing Bruce Wayne makes.

“How could you,” Bruce growls, spinning to once again face Jeremiah, coat fanning out around him like an overlarge pair of wings. It makes a thrill shoot up Jeremiah's spine. He has to shift his position, before he cocks his head, lips thinning into an indulgent smile. Bruce grits his teeth, snarling, eyes burning with a fire that threatens to burn down all those who stand in his way. God he's beautiful. God would Jeremiah love to be burnt. “He's your brother. How could you have left him.”

“A pawn. A glorified pawn if anything.”

“A human being.”

“An extra. A stunt double in our show.”

“Family. A part of ours. A part of us.”

“A malfunctioning prototype.”

Mine.

Jeremiah's heart stills at that. A lump forms in his throat and breathing seems a chore.

Mine. Mine. Mine. No. No. NO.

“He made his choice.” It's hard getting words out around his clogged throat.

“He took your place. And you stood by and let him.”

The world blurs for just a second. “Would you rather I took his place, Bruce”

Bruce swallows. His anger dying, if only a bit. “I’d rather they not have either of you. I’d rather you stop using Jerome as your own personal scapegoat. I’d rather you talk to me before you decide to throw what's mine to the sharks. I'd rather you show a bit more concern over the fact that Jerome could have died. I'd rather you be a bit more grateful that Jerome was willing to get hurt for you.”

Jeremiah has to resist the urge to roll his eyes. For someone so painfully smart Bruce could be so painfully dull at times. It was endearing, really.

“Jerome wasn't willing to get hurt for me. He was willing to get hurt for you, Bruce. Always for you. They would have killed me and you would have withered away. And Jerome? Jerome would be alone. Again.” Jeremiah says, tilting his head and regarding Bruce, with his tightened fists and his dark clothes, and even darker scowl. Splattered in the red of Jeremiah's twin's blood. Angry and painted in blood, Bruce Wayne is beautiful. It makes Jeremiah want to surge forward, press his lips against Bruce's and taste Jerome's blood. Feel Bruce’s hands around his neck, Bruce's anger in his fists against his skin, until Jerome Valeska is nothing but a blur in the background and all that consumes Bruce's mind is Jeremiah Jeremiah Jeremiah.

But before he can, before he can take that final step forward a soft, quivering voice pulls Bruce's attention away from Jeremiah. Jeremiah considers gutting them alive.

“Sir, B-boss. Mr. Wayne, sir, he's stable, sir. He should recover well, sir,” says the quivering man who acts as their medic, a one time applauded surgeon at Gotham General. “And if he doesn't there's always plan B,” the man titters.

Jeremiah wants him dead.

Bruce nods. One quick jerk of his head, before he whispers a quiet ‘thank you' and stalks past the man, without a glance in Jeremiah’s direction.

Jeremiah grits his teeth. The anger that had risen when Bruce had first stumbled through their doors, arms full of a heavily bleeding Jerome Valeska, lips pressed to Jerome's temple as he whispered soft things for only Jerome's ears, moving past Jeremiah as if he was nothing, boils up once again.

He shoots the doctor.

To say that Jeremiah Valeska is seething would be an understatement.