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A Heartfelt Apology

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Ed entered the bedroom late in the evening, without knocking. He knew full well that there was no need to. After all, it was Oswald who had asked him to join him upstairs after dinner. Oswald was seated on his armchair, by the bed. He had meant to greet him standing by the window, hands clasped behind his back and eyes wandering over the wide grounds of the mansion outside, but his bad leg seemed to have other plans.

He watched Ed shrug off his coat. He couldn't say he didn't see why he had his fair share of admirers, both in the brighter and darker corners of Gotham. Oswald wondered about the lingering glances Ed must attract whenever he made his appearance in one of his flashy green suits more often than he would have liked to admit, and never without a subtle pang of jealousy sparking in his chest. This time, at least, he had glass of fine wine helping him shoo away the bothersome thoughts. He lifted it, then took a long sip before addressing his guest.

"You're late."

Ed took off his bowler hat and hung it on the rack. "I had to review the last few details for my next performance. Sunday morning, Gotham's Central Bank will wake up with an empty vault."

Oswald clicked his tongue. "And a conveniently placed clue for the GCPD to find, I suppose."

Ed chuckled, amused by his display of disapproval. "Don't tell me the picture of our old friend Jim, running around like a headless chicken trying to solve my riddles, doesn't amuse you in the least."

"That's not the point!" Oswald snapped back. "Of the six men you borrowed from me last time, only one made it back in one piece. And what for? A dramatic exit!"

"So that's what you wanted to talk about!" He exclaimed. "I should have known. Well, if it's an apology you want, you can have it: I'm sorry. I should have told you what the plan entailed. Or at least warned you beforehand."

"You know, Ed," he said, making a point of not looking directly at him as he nursed his wine, feigning indifference for the man standing before him. "I always thought a proper apology should be made on one's knees."

A flicker in Ed's eyes. "Of course."

Oswald put the glass down. They stared at each other. The moment that would decide their fates for the rest of the night had come. And it all depended on Ed. Would he choose to rebel against his implied command or to resign himself to sweet, sweet submission?

The way Ed grinned as he closed in made him think he had settled for the first option. It was only natural he would choose to defy him, if only to witness the reaction of the scorned king and have a good laugh at his expense. Still, Oswald wasn't able to hide his disappointment. What was on its way to becoming a displeased frown, however, changed into a surprised expression once Ed lowered himself to his knees in front of his chair. It took him a few seconds to shake off the disbelief from his features and reprise his role.

"You're not a lost cause after all," Oswald mused, the shadow of a satisfied smile appearing at the corner of his lips.

Ed, still not shedding his confident demeanour, smirked back at him. Oswald idly wondered how long it would take to have him drop the façade and revert to the fidgety, nervous young man he was before the Riddler came along. The Ed whose glimpses he would catch every so often, when he felt comfortable enough around him to let his guard down.

"I am truly sorry," Ed spoke, stressing each word with an affected, theatrical tone. Not too different from the inflection he used to taunt the hopeless enemies who tried and failed to stand in his way. Oswald, of course, had no intention of settling for such a blatant lack of sincerity.

"Good start," he praised. "But I believe you can do better than that."

Once again, the suggestion remained implied. Ed was much too smart not to take the hint.

He bowed his head and Oswald braced himself for what was to come, fingers digging in the armrests of his chair. But if he expected him to just give in and comply, he was mistaken. Ed placed both hands on his knees, then ran them up his thighs in excruciatingly slow motion. His knuckles brushed almost accidentally against his belt buckle, before he repeated the same movement in the opposite direction.

Accidentally. Oswald cursed himself for having even considered the possibility. With Ed, nothing was accidental. It was all calculated, carefully planned and prepared, from the smallest details of his next big heist, to the deliberate, torturous teasing he was inflicting on him in that very moment. And if he still had any doubts about that, looking down at him would have been enough to dispel them. The lighting of the room was dim, but the shadows couldn't seem to hide the grin that still lingered on Ed's lips.

"You think you're so smart, don't you Ed?"

Ed quirked an eyebrow at him. "I'm not sure of what you're talking about."

Of course, he should have seen it coming. It was just like Ed to decide to play along, but always at his own rules. Oswald's right hand left the armrest to cup Ed's cheek, gently but firmly tilting his head up. He allowed himself a short moment of self-indulgence, running his thumb over the sharp line of a cheekbone, savouring the feeling of soft skin under his touch.

"With a brilliant mind such as yours, one would expect you to know when an order cannot be negotiated," he said. "I suggest you to change your attitude this instant."

Ed's gaze was full of mischief as he stared right back at him. "An order? Really, Oswald? Since when are you in the position of ordering me around?"

Oswald opened his mouth to reply, but was interrupted. "Then again, you are the king of Gotham. And I've been living in Gotham my entire life. Does that make me your subject, I wonder?"

With that, Ed removed his gloves - one finger at a time, before casting them aside. His hands made quick work of Oswald's belt, which soon joined the gloves on the floor. Oswald was vaguely aware of lifting his own hips to help Ed pull down his slacks and underwear, more instinct than actual conscious effort, just enough to leave him exposed. Whatever tinge of embarrassment he always felt at the thought of laying any part of himself bare for Ed to see, it disappeared soon enough.

Because suddenly Ed was on him, mouth impossibly warm pressing a kiss to the tip of his cock. It took all of his willpower not to come right there and then. For all his efforts, he still didn't manage to stifle the whimper that escaped his throat when Ed's clever tongue licked a long, wet stripe along the side of his erection. He then took hold of the base with one hand wrapped his lips around him, taking him in as far as he could and forcing him to let out a strangled moan.

Eyes squeezed shut, head thrown back and lips parted, Oswald found himself panting and cursing under his breath in no time. The sounds he tried in vain to hold back mixed with Ed's own eager moans as he worked in earnest to push him over the edge, all his previous attempts at keeping him on his toes thrown to the wind.

When he hollowed his cheeks and swallowed hard around him, Oswald all but shouted. Ed repeated the movement once, twice, and that almost sent him over the edge. Thankfully, he was fast enough to reach out and tug at Ed's hair to signal him to stop. "Enough!"

This time, Ed complied without hesitation. After he slipped his mouth off of him, he asked: "I thought you wanted me to make it up to you?"

Traces of his smug attitude were still visible in the small curl of his lips as he spoke, but there was nothing he could do to hide the faint blush that had risen in his cheeks. His glasses were askew, something he hurried to fix by adjusting them on the bridge of his nose.

"That's your problem," Oswald said. He let his hand slide lower, abandoning Ed's hair to grab at his tie instead. "You always think too much."

Ed opened his mouth to protest, but whatever witty remark he had come up with was destined to remain unspoken. Oswald tugged at his tie and pulled him closer, so that he was half-straddling him on the chair. He didn't waste a second more to press his own lips against his.

A shiver ran down Oswald's spine when Ed enthusiastically reciprocated the gesture. It was obscene and, had he been in his right mind, he would have cringed at the mere thought of tasting himself on the other man's tongue. But the rational part of his brain was fighting a lost battle against the voice that screamed how much he wanted him, and how he wanted him now, and if he had to sacrifice his self-control for that to happen, then be it!

"On your feet," he murmured on Ed's lips.

Ed followed his order without hesitation. For the first time since the beginning of their little game, Oswald caught a glimpse of impatience in his body language. He smiled to himself, pleased. Ever-chivalrous, Ed offered him his arm when it was his turn to get up. Oswald accepted it.

After that, it would have been hard to tell who pulled who down on Oswald's king-sized bed. One moment they were standing by Oswald's ornate chair a few feet from the bed, only their hands touching, the next they had tumbled on the mattress in a messy tangle of still-clothed limbs. They had somehow managed to kick off their shoes in the process and Ed had discarded his suit jacket, but that was about it.

In the blink of an eye, Oswald found himself half-sitting against the pillows, Ed kneeling between his spread legs. He was grinding against him with slow, languid movements that made the both of them sigh in pleasure. And yet, it wasn't nearly enough to satiate their craving for each other's body. The craving for more.

"Many enjoy me and few seek to banish me, but no one can resist me. By fire I was born, by fluids I will heal. What am I?" Ed asked, after dragging his lips along Oswald's jaw. The question was followed by a small nip at the soft underside of his chin.

Oswald huffed in frustration. Unbelievable how he retained enough logical thinking to come up with one of his riddles even as they both struggled to keep their hands and mouth's off of each other.

He made a half-hearted attempt at looking for the answer, in vain. His brain refused to cooperate. "I don't know."

Ed's laugh rung low in his ears. "I'm sure you do. You just need to think a little harder."

Oswald grabbed a fistful of his dark hair in retaliation and pulled, forcing his head back to gain free access to the column of his throat. Ed winced in surprise, but the shaky exhale he let out when Oswald's mouth claimed the pale skin of his neck let him know that the gesture wasn't entirely unwelcome. He kept kissing and sucking his way down, until he met the rumpled collar of Ed's shirt. Oswald huffed in annoyance. The shirt had to go. But before he could unfasted the buttons, he needed to loosen his tie. And it was just while his fingers worked around the knot, that he was distracted by a sudden thought. A very intriguing thought.

He must have remained silent for a while as he contemplated the idea, because when he looked back up at his lover, he found him staring at him with a quizzical expression on his face. "Oswald?"

He didn't answer. He sprang into action instead. Taking advantage of the momentary surprise, he rolled them over, so that Ed's back was flat on mattress. Still holding the loosened tie in his hand, he used the other to coax him into raising his arms above his head.

"What are you--"

Realisation dawned on him the moment Oswald looped the tie around his wrists. His pupils, already blown with burning arousal, went even wider. Oswald tugged at the knot to test its hold. Pleased with the lack of give, he moved on. The next step, naturally, was securing the excess fabric to the headboard.

Once his work was complete, Oswald sat back on his heels. He unconsciously licked his lips. It was a sight he needed to commit to memory - Ed with his dress shirt half unbuttoned, cheeks flushed and hair in complete disarray. And of course, his wrists tied together above his head, leaving him at his complete mercy.

As if sensing his thoughts, Ed looked up at where his hands were bound to the headboard and tested the restraints. When they didn't budge, a frown appeared on his face. Oswald raised an eyebrow at him. The silent question was obvious: Is this alright? Ed seemed to think about it for a moment. Eventually, he nodded. It was all Oswald needed.

He moved to be on top of him, his bad leg aching with the effort. Oswald knew he would regret it later, but for the time being he couldn't bring himself to care. The moment he was above him, Ed arched his hips. Oswald hissed at the feeling of Ed's arousal brushing against his own. He placed his right hand on his, forcing him down flush against the mattress.

"All in due time," he chided.

Ed shot him a look that was probably meant to be defiant, but the effect was somewhat ruined by how visibly restless he was, itching for contact with Oswald's body. "I never pegged you for a patient man, Oswald."

"I'm not," he admitted. "But some things are just worth the wait. Revenge. And lust, of course."

"Which one is this?"

Oswald chuckled. "A bit of both."





Oswald dedicated the next minutes to slowly taking Ed apart.

He started with his hands. Let them roam all over Ed's body, fingertips tracing invisible patterns on heated skin, blunt nails grazing the most sensitive spots only to feel him holding his breath under his touch. The path he had drawn with his fingers was then followed by his lips and tongue and that got him even more interesting reactions. Ed would twitch and whine when Oswald sucked a bruise at the base of his throat, and he would groan in barely restrained frustration whenever his mouth got too close to the hem of his slacks, refusing to go any further down. When Oswald bit at the juncture between neck and shoulder, Ed let out a proper scream. A loud, delicious sound Oswald knew he wouldn't be forgetting that easily.

He had to remove his trousers, at some point. As much as he appreciated the sight of a very dishevelled Ed, aching with want with most of his fine clothes still on, fumbling through layers of fabric wasn’t exactly what he had in mind. He opted for leaving him his briefs, though, simply slipping his hand inside them to reach between his cheeks. He pressed one, then two slick fingers inside him. By the time two fingers became three, Ed was shaking. Oswald recognised all the tell-tale signs of his approaching orgasm, from the way his brows were furrowed to how his breathing had suddenly sped up. Letting him come so, that wouldn't do.

"Tell me what you want," Oswald said. He left a kiss on his shoulder, letting his teeth graze the skin just to feel him shudder beneath him.

"You proved your point," Ed's breath was shallow and hot in his ear. "Don't make me say it. Please."

Oswald raised his head to have a better look at him. Desperate - there was no other way to describe him. Pride swelled in his chest. The great Riddler, the man whose ingenious schemes always had the authorities dumbfounded, the man whose sharp wit and brilliant mind placed him one step ahead of his enemies, reduced to a mess of sweat and wrinkled clothes. His pleading eyes behind the lenses of his glasses just begging for Oswald to take him. How could he refuse?

Oswald nodded. "Very well."

He wasn't a cruel man. Ruthless, maybe, but not unsound to such a lovely display of submission, or to the pretty picture Ed made with his usually pale skin marked by countless love bites. He was going to be merciful - that's what he told himself to avoid confessing how impatient he was. One step away from giving in, abandoning all self-control and surrendering himself to pleasure.

Ed's thighs parted easily under his touch. He didn't have to do much more than nudge at his knees for them to fall open and let him settle between them. Utter surrender, making Oswald bite his lower lip in anticipation. He didn't even bother to remove his own clothing. He just tugged down his trousers a little more and hastened to take his neglected erection in hand and line himself up.

He took a deep breath. He saw Ed do the same, chest rising then falling again. Oswald took another, for good measure. Then he pushed in. Ed's body reacted immediately, tight, hot, drawing him in. There was no way Oswald could hold back a pleased sigh as he sunk slowly into him, soon echoed by Ed's little huffs of pleasure. Only when he bottomed out did he stall, giving Ed all the time he needed to adjust. He might enjoy playing the role of the harsh lover from time to time, but hurting him, actually hurting him was the last thing he wanted.

Oswald's eyes flickered down, drinking in the scene that unfurled beneath him. The tie keeping Ed' wrists in place was strung tight, but it seemed like it would hold. As to Ed himself, well, he looked positively wrecked. With his eyes shut and his mouth open in a silent gasp, he was obscene in a subtle way that catered to some of his most private fantasies.

"Ed," the other man's eyelids fluttered open at the sound of his name. "May I--"

"Please." There was a discrepancy between the inherent meaning of the word and the way he uttered it, an almost growl coming from the back of his throat.

Oswald wondered if he should punish Ed for his attitude. Asked himself if he should protract the torture a little longer until he learned to behave, until profanities slipped out of his always oh so clean mouth. It would have been an interesting exercise indeed, but he ultimately decided to save it for another occasion. He wasn't sure he would have had the presence of mind necessary to carry out the punishment, now that his own legs where shaking with the effort of holding back, the act of restraining himself getting more and more difficult by the second.

After a brief hesitation, Oswald gave a few experimental rolls of his hips, little more than grinding against his lover at first.

"Not to sound unappreciative..." Ed's voice trailed off. He was panting like he had run a thousand miles and still his witty eloquence wasn't failing him. Oswald made up his mind to change that. The less coherent he would be when he was finished with him, the better.

Oswald grinned down at him. "Is there something you wanted to ask me?"

"Indeed," Ed's teeth were bared in a sarcastic sneer. "I would be very grateful if you got on with it already!"

The words were punctuated by a downward shove of his hips. Seeing how eager he was to push himself back onto him, Oswald decided to take pity on him. He started with a series of shallow thrusts, which soon grew deeper and faster as he worked up a rhythm. The sudden change was met with a breathless 'oh yes', followed by a proper moan by the time Oswald picked up his pace.

"Is this satisfactory?" Oswald asked mockingly, in between ragged breaths.

"Oh dear," Ed muttered. "Yes, that's it!"

Urged by Ed's enthusiastic response, Oswald set a relentless pace, pulling out almost completely before slamming back into him with renewed fervour. There was no way he would ever get used to the feeling of being inside Ed. His entire body was on fire with the thousand little shocks that ran down his spine for each time Ed squeezed tighter, pushed himself back harder. There was nothing more exciting than the knowledge of being wanted just as much as he wanted Ed in turn. It was something that felt so new and intoxicating even time after time they fell into bed together.

Feeling himself close to completion already, he pulled out. Ed's response was immediate. "Oswald, don't you dare--"

"Shh, wait."

Rearranging their position turned out to be a lot more difficult than he had anticipated. With his brain swimming in pure arousal, it took a few tries to get them exactly where he wanted. Eventually, he managed to pull Ed's hips higher on his lap, so that he could press in at a whole different, deeper angle than before. The movement was met with a small 'umph' of appreciation from Ed, who wrapped his legs tight around his waist.

"I think you forgot who's in charge, here," Oswald teased. The stern tone he was going for was tainted by just how husky and full of desire his voice was.

"How could I?" Ed snorted, nodding back at his bound wrists to emphasise his statement. His attempt at a snarky remark was foiled the moment Oswald took hold of his hips once more and set a punishing pace. "I was merely-- oh my. That's-- yes, yes, right there!"

Once they got back to it, it was quick and dirty. All sense of restraint left behind, Oswald drove into his lover with complete abandon, Ed shifting under him in the strenuous effort of meeting his thrusts as well as he could with his hands bound to the headboard. The grip Oswald kept on his waist was firm, the small bruises left by his fingertips would go on to compliment the ones his mouth had left along Ed's neck and down his chest.

"So good," he found himself moaning, praises spilling almost of their own will from his lips. "You're so good for me, Ed."

"Yes, I'll be good," Ed sighed in response. "I'll say please a-and thank you and whatever...just-- just don't stop!"

Had he not been too concentrated on Ed's obscene symphony of moans and disconnected rambling, Oswald would have been embarrassed by the utterly undignified sounds he himself was making. He had tried holding the back, at first, but all he obtained was a bleeding lower lip and the urge to let them out even stronger than before. Ed, for his part, had abandoned any pretence of coherent thought and finally given himself over to pleasure, his witty remarks replaced by strings of unintelligible pleas and demands for more.

When he felt a familiar tension start to coil up low in his stomach, Oswald leaned forward to catch Ed's lips in a messy, open-mouthed kiss. The tension snapped. His hips stuttered and the intensity of the orgasm that washed over him made him tremble from head to toe. When he came back to himself, he had his forehead pressed against Ed's.

Ed who soon started squirming under him, trying to find some relief by grinding up against Oswald's thigh. At that, Oswald was persuaded to sit back and ease out of him, gently. Then, he reached out to loosen the knot keeping Ed's wrists tied together. As soon as he was freed, Ed crawled in his lap, pressing close to him. Chest to chest, Oswald could almost feel his frantic heartbeat against his own skin.

"Oswald," his breath hitched. "Don't leave me like this."

He was desperate and shaking and yet he couldn't bring himself to say it out loud. Oswald, please, let me come. It didn't matter. Oswald appreciated the sentiment.

"I want you to finish yourself off. Can you do that?" In spite of the way it had been worded, it wasn't a question. Ed was too far gone to challenge it.

Oswald's eyes darted lower to see Ed wrap a hand around himself, still hard and aching. He stroked himself with fast, uneven movements, growing louder with each second he approached his climax.

"Come for me, Ed," he murmured. "I know you can."

Ed let out something halfway between a moan and a helpless sob. And that was it. Oswald felt his body tense, then slowly relax against him.

"Good man," he praised, rewarding his effort with a tender kiss on his temple.

They lay like that for a while - Ed slumped against him with his face buried in his shoulder as he tried to catch his breath and Oswald tracing lazy patterns on his back, the tips of his fingers dancing over the damp fabric of his dress shirt.

After what felt like a pleasant eternity spent basking in each other's warmth, Ed lifted his head. He seemed on the verge of saying something and Oswald fully expected him to launch into one of his frantic monologues, to babble a series of disconnected facts until he was able to get a hold of himself and formulate his thoughts coherently. Unlike him, Ed had always been rather talkative after their private activities. But when he opened his mouth to speak, what came out was surprisingly short ad concise.

"That was...intense."

Oswald, who had had plenty of time to second guess himself after the initial euphoria had started wearing off, felt something clamp around his stomach. His brain worked in earnest to find a way to justify himself, but all he managed to say was something along the lines of: "Was-- Was it too much? It was too rough, wasn't it? It's just...I got carried away and-- I'm so sorry!"

"No, no, no! Don't apologise," Ed hurried to reassure him. His hands settled on Oswald's shoulders, squeezing them in a soothing gesture. "You misunderstood me. What I was trying to say is...I liked it, I really did. In fact, I wouldn't be opposed to doing that again. That's how much I liked it."

Oswald blinked. Once, then a couple of times, trying to make sense of what he had just heard. The knot at the pit of his stomach dissolved instantly just as a smile started to grow on his lips. "That can be arranged."

Ed grinned, clapping his hands together like a child who has just been promised a treat. "Wonderful! I was thinking we could do it in your office, next time? And I know, I know your policy on sex in your workspace, but think about it! You can have me tied to your chair and then we can..."

There it was. The river of words that somehow had managed to stay contained while Ed was still recovering had finally broken the dam. Oswald struggled to follow his rapid train of thoughts, to the point that he was forced to interrupt him. "Ed?"

Stopping mid-sentence, he blinked back at him behind the fogged-up lenses of his glasses. "Yes?"

"Slow down."

Ed chuckled lightly. "My bad. I guess that is a conversation for another time."

Without another word, they rearranged themselves, so that they were cuddled up to one another under the bed sheets. They would have to get cleaned up, eventually, but for the time being they were quite happy with laying there, not doing anything but exchanging small kisses every now and then.

Sometime later, it was Ed who brought up the matter first. "I think I need a shower. Care to join me?"

Oswald considered his proposition. It was inviting, to say the least, but his body ached at the mere thought of sliding out of bed already and crossing the short distance that separated the bedroom from his private bathroom. "Later, perhaps."

Ed hummed in agreement. "Later it is."