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Jerome scaled up the side of Wayne manor like he had done it a hundred times before (of course he hadn't, it was only like 4 times). He pulled himself up to Bruce's window, hopping in and straightening his ratty coat, hoping to surprise the little shit. Sadly though, it didn't seem like the kid was in. He shrugged, he was already here, so of course he had to do something. He decided, like the generous soul he was, not to completely destroy the kids shit, but to just snoop around a little. He started at the bed, looking under the mattress and in the bedside drawer for something interesting, but came up empty handed. Boring. So he moved on through the dressers (silk, silk, linen, silk, cotton, silk, FUCK) and to the desk on the other side of the room.

The desk had two drawers on each side. In the top 2 drawers were just pencils and paper and little sticky notes, maybe some pages of notes on stuff he couldn't really decipher. The bottom drawers though required a lock. Finally, something interesting. 

After picking the surprisingly basic lock, he opened the first drawer. He found 3 journals and a bunch of loose papers, notes and files on things that seemed a bit deep for the prince of Gotham to worry his head over. Flipping through the red journal it seemed like a normal diary and apparently the boys first. The first entry was dated only a few weeks after his parents had died and Bruce said that he was only using the journal at a therapists behest. Fair enough. He read through some early entries, almost surprised at the boys first numbness, then anger and rage. It was almost impressive. Then he went through the later entries, mostly about morals and Gotham's underbelly, wanting to do better for the city, to help people. He seemed to be dancing around a subject that he wouldn't actually write down, making Jerome's curiosity burn. 

The next journal down was black and decidedly newer. He could see what Bruce had been talking about before, there were training schedules and schematics of Gotham, plans for the future, of bringing peace to Gotham by force. Huh, go Brucie go. Jerome always supported following ones dreams. 

The third was green and seemed well worn, not by age but by use, flared out and thick from things being stuck and glued to the pages. He opened to the first page and was immediately smacked in the face with himself. Rather, a sketch of himself, obviously redrawn over at least a few times when it had faded. He frowned. It looked like it had been drawn from memory, he was sure he'd never looked that genuinely happy in a photo before, and it was pretty good too. 

Flipping past, the next few pages were bits of information about him, probably off the news or that he could get off Jimbo, stuff anyone could get pretty easy online. He was honestly flattered. 

After, there were pictures of him from newspapers and magazines and news reports cut up and glued into the journal with little notes beside them about his clothes or what he was doing in the photo or any new injuries Bruce could spot. This was going a little bit past flattering. 

Then between the photos were journal entries. Bruce wrote about his hunt for more information about him, how he felt about everything that had happened, how he felt about Jerome, dreams the kid had had about him. And y'know, suddenly Jerome didn't feel like he should be reading this. He did anyway though.

Towards the end of the filled section, the photos tapered off and the journal entries got longer, Bruce lamenting his lack of real visuals of him and talking deeply about his ethics and morality and Jerome deeds as of late. Jerome frowned, this rabbit hole was certainly taking some turns. 

Jerome put the journal down on top of the desk, deciding to come back to those thoughts later. He shuffled through the papers under the journals, old files and paper scraps mostly, before moving on to the other bottom drawer. 

It was locked like the other, but once more it didn't really stand a chance. Inside was a USB, a small bottle of lube (fucking finally) and a little wooden box. He tried to open up the wooden box, but the lock was beyond even his skill. the USB might have been interesting if he had something to plug it into. The lube...now wasn't the time. He closed the drawers back up and picked up the green journal, flipping through it once more, looking at the fuzzy and distant photos Bruce had painstakingly clipped and pasted in this thing for who knows how long.

He was about to set it down when he heard steps coming up the hall towards the room. He gripped the journal tighter in his hand and made his way out of the window, hopping out just in time to hear the door slam open and a very familiar voice curse into the empty air. 

 

Walking back to his newest haunt, some decrepit apartment, Jerome decidedly did not look down at the journal clutched tight in his hand, as if not looking at it would make him forget he ever took it like a fucking idiot. Honestly, you’d think he’d be more used to thinking on his feet by now but no, he’s the same dumbass he was when he tried to pretend he wasn't stealing funnel cakes by sticking his hand in the oil. Dumbass. He feels the self hatred dissipate just that little bit when he climbs into his hideout via the window, tossing the journal down on an old chair and grabbing the nearest beer, not particularly caring that it was just laying around already open. Taking a fat swig, he jumped up on the counter and pulled out his phone, messaging a few goons he had bothered saving the numbers for, including the cute blonde chick, Frankie or Franny or something, who’d been hanging around recently. They usually hung around the apartment, but of course, even lackies need lived outside of him. The first to message back was the blonde.

 

J

Any of you freak take creepshots in your free time? 

F

Depends on whos pictures bein taken :3

J

Mine.

F

Oooh, ur in luck Mr.J i got a folder just for em

J

Oh, you lucky duck! I'm gonna need you to send me the best pics you got ASAP. i got a gift to give and you know how i hate giving gift cards.

F

No problem, sir! *salute*

J

At ease, kid.

F

[Image Received] [Image Received] [Image Received] [Image Received] [Image Received] [Image Received]

 

Jerome only had a vague idea of what he was doing, but hell, when did he really think through his plans? He was pretty smart, they usually went pretty well. He looked down at the journal, flipping lightly through thick, spread apart paged and down to the clean compact ones. Yeah, this was a bad idea. But god, it would be fun. 

 

The next time he found himself scaling Wayne manor, green journal clenched between his teeth, he could hear Bruce and the butler arguing about something in what he assumed was the study, Bruce yelling something about not going through his things and ‘I know selina didn’t take it, and you’re the only other person who goes in my room!’ Jerome winced, knowing he was sort of, kind of, directly at fault for the fight. Sucks. 

He continued on to the kid’s room, hopping in and looking around. Everything looked just as put together and cleans as last time he was there. The drawers were still full of clothes he would never be able to afford, the bedside drawer just a boring as before and the desk- well, the desk looked a bit different. 

There were different locks on everything for one, similar enough looking that if he hadn't been staring into them a few days before he might not notice. The papers that had been strewn around one drawer were piled together much neater and in folders, the kid apparently taking the opportunity to reorganize everything. In the other drawer, the remaining journals were standing in the back, making them just that bit harder to see if one were to just thrown the drawer open, and all the papers were in folders. The usb, the little box and the lube were completely gone, probably moved somewhere Bruce thought the butler wouldn't find them. It was kind of cute, thinking about the kid trying to be sneaky. 

But Jerome didn’t come here to see the kid get paranoid. He took the journal out of his mouth, jaw aching, and put it down straight and center on the desk, knowing Bruce couldn't not notice it. With his prime objective complete, Jerome flopped down on the kid’s bed, staring up at the pretty, boring, off white ceiling. Honestly, you’d think a kid this rich could afford a few posters. Maybe he just spreads his decorating out through the house or something, he's got enough space. Ooh, or what if he has a room that's entirely decorations. Like, boy band posters and cork boards of vacation photos and little sticky note reminders and old stuffed animals and whatever else teenagers liked to keep around. Well, maybe Jerome’s not the best judge of what most teenagers like, but he’s seen a lot of movies is all. 

Well, he was getting side tracked, wasn't he? Jerome tried to shut his brain up for a second listening to the silence to see if he could still hear the arguing from the floor below, but all he could get was the still silence of the big empty room, punctuated by the wind coming in from the window. How fun. Puttering, Jerome sat up, looking around the room for something to do before he had to jet.

He stood, purposefully rumpling the covers on the bed (something to remember him by) and rummaged through the dressers once more, pulling clothes out of their places and making a general mess of the space. Finding what he was looking for, he bunched the cloth up in his pocket and moved on to the closet, picking through the expensive coats and suits and more fucking turtlenecks until he found something that really struck his fancy, switching out his own dubiously smelling jacket. Not wanting to just take the kids shit and run, he opened the journal back up and added a little extra to the not he'd left.

With that done, he decided to jet before there was any chance he could be found, hopping out the window before he could talk himself out of it. 

-

Bruce slammed into his room, grumbling and tired and just wanting his shit back. In his angry bluster, it took him a total of 5 second to realize his room was not how he left it. Pressing his back to the door, Bruce scanned his eyes around the room, making sure there was no one hiding anywhere and trying to take in the damage. His bed was a mess, his closet was open and there were clothes thrown all around it, his drawers were a fucking mess and-

He stepped forward without thinking about it, eyes locked on the green journal he had been missing for a week. He knew very well he checked everywhere for it, Selina promised she hadn't taken it and he'd been with Alfred all day so who-? He picked up the journal, cover still hanging onto the barest hint of warmth from what he had assumed was it's thief's hand, that is, until he noticed the tooth marks just slightly indented into the spine where they must have held it in their mouth. He shivered a bit at the thought, but picked it opened it up anyway, just to make sure everything inside was as he had left it. It was immediately apparent it was not 

The drawing of Jerome he had painstakingly drawn and redone time and time again was drawn over once more, this time in much darker lines and, if the gritty texture of the paper was anything to go by, it had been coated with some kind of spray fixative. Nice, but worrying. Flipping through the photos and journal entries everything looked much the same, except parts of the information he'd copied down and even some of his journal entries had been annotated, commented on and corrected in purple gel pen. Bruce felt his chest tighten and his hands grow sweaty, not entirely wanting to believe what was happening.

After what he swore was the last page of his journal entries, it seemed like more pictures had been pasted in, ones he knew very well hadn't come from any newspaper or skeevy tabloid. He saw Jerome, obviously unaware the picture was being taken, holding a bottle in one hand while he sat on the back of a raggedy couch, laughing along with some small group of followers. In another image, Jerome looked serious, staring down intently at some mess of papers, brows furrowed dramatically. In another, one that almost made Bruce's heart stop, Jerome smiled up at the camera, obviously taking the picture himself, sticking his tongue out. There were pages and pages more, some annotated in that same purple pen, some taken by someone else some taken by himself. 

At the end, after the pictures ran out, there was a note. 

 

Heya brucie

 

Flattered as i am youre keepin such close tabs on me, theres no need to use such ugly pics (i'm almost insulted, its impossible to look this strikingly handsome at 190p). if you ever wanna get some real dirt on me, or even just a few pics, feel free to call ;3 (i don't think i have to warn you to keep this number our little secret. Huh?)  212/555/5653

xxx

J

 

Ps. I borrowed some of your fancy boxers and your nice denim jacket, hope ya don't mind >:9