Bruce Wayne was an annoying son of a bitch.
The thing that rankled Arthur wasn’t the way his hundred-dollar haircut emphasised the silver of his temples, nor was it the sharp cut of his cheekbones. It wasn’t the conceited way he talked about thousands of dollars like it was pocket change. It wasn’t that he looked at Arthur with nowhere near as much fear as he should, considering what he claimed to know.
No, it was the smell of him, a heady arousal that had started growing when Arthur had put his hands on him.
Well, okay, there were two things. It was also the fact that Bruce Wayne’s cocky grin had made Arthur look at his thin lips and that, in turn, made him think that it might be fun to kiss those lips.
‘Let’s talk about this outside,’ Arthur said and he thought he sounded impressive, intimidating. Bruce crooked another sneer, something close to amusement in his eyes.
Bruce bid the village elder farewell with perfect Icelandic pronunciation and followed Arthur. In the claustrophobic space between two houses, Arthur drew to a stop and turned to the stranger.
‘Go on. Tell me why you’re here.’
Arthur crossed his arms. He watched as Bruce looked him over, his gaze lazily travelling over his body, unashamed in its thoroughness. After licking his lips (too distracting, definitely no good, Arthur thought and filed away), he opened his mouth. Bruce leaned against the wall, mirroring Arthur’s posture, and told him the most convoluted fairytale he had heard. He told him he was Batman. He told him there was a threat coming from beyond the stars. He told him that those with abilities would be needed to keep the world safe. He told him he was needed. He did all this in that rough, low drawl.
He sounded like he’d been kissing for hours and only just come up for air.
‘Well?’ Bruce finally said and cocked an eyebrow.
‘And why me?’ Arthur asked. Bruce said nothing. Arthur took a step closer. Another couple of inches and they’d be touching. ‘Why me?’
Bruce’s eyes were dark. Arthur had only seen that kind of darkness on the ocean floor. He understood that darkness. He couldn’t read Bruce Wayne at all.
‘Why not you?’ Bruce replied. ‘I said before. You’re the Aquaman.’
Arthur took the last step and pushed Bruce up against the wall. Bruce grunted, a soft swallowed sound that lit a fire in Arthur’s stomach.
‘I can smell you. You know that, don’t you?’
Arthur leaned in closer, brushing his nose along Bruce’s jawline. His beard was thick but soft, smelling faintly of sandalwood. He could smell Bruce’s arousal on his skin, cloying and hot, even out here in the cold. He felt Bruce shudder under him as he inhaled.
‘Of course I do,’ Bruce replied, the words delivered with the kind of confidence only middle-aged white men could pull off.
‘Is this some kind of game to you?’
From how Arthur had pinned him to the wall, Bruce had a couple of inches on him. He looked down on him with conceited eyes. For dangling half a foot off the ground, he sure was confident.
‘We all have our weaknesses.’ Bruce leaned his head back and offered Arthur a slanted smile. ‘What about you?’
Before Arthur’s mind caught up with his instincts, he had pressed his mouth against Bruce’s. His lips were chapped from days in the cold, but his mouth was hot, wet and warm and opening up easily. Arthur considered pulling back, asking if this was a fucked-up way to convince him. (But what could Bruce say that wouldn’t be a disappointment?)
Bruce kissed, biting and bruising. Arthur could barely keep up as Bruce roamed his hands under Arthur’s jacket, sneaking his fingers under the hem of Arthur’s collar. His gloved hands, slightly damp with snow, left tendrils of cold in the wake of where his fingers roamed. Despite everything, it was almost a surprise when Bruce’s hands found his belt.
Arthur opened his mouth but the protest died on his tongue as Bruce’s palm brushed against his cock, Bruce’s legs tightening around Arthur’s waist. He pumped him a couple of times, the leather cold against his skin.
‘Take the gloves off.’ Arthur said.
Bruce had the gall to chuckle against Arthur’s mouth and kiss him once before pulling away. He rested his head against the wall again, and, still framed by Arthur, pulled his gloves off, a smirk on his face. What an infuriating smirk. The gloves fell to the ground, quiet as snow. Bruce kept one hand on Arthur’s shoulder. The other he used to comb back Arthur’s hair and stroke his way down Arthur’s face. He reached back and pressed his icy fingers against Arthur’s neck, pulling him in for a kiss.
And, hell. What a kiss. Filthy and wet, Bruce’s tongue licking into Arthur’s mouth. Bruce pulled away from the kiss, a thin string of saliva connecting their mouths. Bruce released his grip on Arthur’s neck and spat into his palm. He reached down.
It had, admittedly, been a while since Arthur had had sex of any kind. Still, Arthur couldn’t remember the last time he’d been given a handjob that was this satisfying. Bruce jerked him off like it was his damn job. Arthur kept one hand on Bruce’s chest and he could hear the thrum of his heartbeat, his heart pummelling in his ribcage. Arthur raked his free hand through Bruce’s hair, mouthing his way up Bruce’s neck, licking hot kisses into his cold skin, his cheek tickled by the beard.
At some point, they stopped kissing. With their foreheads touching, they shared a breath, Bruce’s hot breath misting over Arthur’s beard. Bruce’s hand worked Arthur’s aching cock, the strokes both relief and torture. Bruce twisted his hand and Arthur grunted. Bruce repeated the movement. Again. Again.
Arthur had meant to warn Bruce, but the bastard did something clever with his thumb and Arthur came with the warning stuck in his throat, hard enough that when it was over he rested his head on Bruce’s shoulder, allowing himself a moment to breathe. When Arthur pulled back, Bruce disentangled himself, dropping back to the ground with surprising grace and letting go of Arthur’s shoulder.
From an inner pocket, Bruce withdrew a monogrammed napkin and began to clean off his hand.
‘I’m–’ Arthur began. Bruce glanced up at him, the expression on his face one of boredom. Arthur cleared his throat. ‘I’ll give you a moment. To, uh, put yourself together.’
Bruce smelled like sex and desire and it was all Arthur could do not to lean in and lick the pheromones off his skin. If they had been somewhere else, if Arthur hadn’t slept behind the bar of the pub the night before, Arthur would have hauled Bruce off to a bed, revealing what must be an impressive body under all of those high-end winter clothes. Bruce didn’t react to Arthur’s statement. Arthur tucked himself in and turned the corner.
He leaned against the wall, doing his best to look disaffected. He occupied his hands by fiddling with his jacket, and he hoped none of the villagers would approach him. Only a couple of minutes passed before Bruce reappeared. He looked utterly unruffled, his hair neatly combed back. There wasn’t a trace of snow on his gloves, again covering his hands. The stench of arousal had faded, replaced by the lingering smell of hand sanitizer. He looked at Arthur with impenetrable eyes.
Arthur didn’t know what compelled him to ask the question he hadn’t been able to ask before.
‘Did you do that to try to convince me?’
Bruce exhaled through his nose, the air rising in puffs like a dragon’s breath.
‘Did it work?’
Arthur didn’t know what face he made, but Bruce shook his head and looked away. The silence was embarrassing and stretched, uncomfortable and unending. The answer had left them at an impasse. This mission was insane. Of course a handjob wouldn’t change Arthur’s mind. But now the ball was in Arthur’s court. He cleared his throat and set off towards the water. Bruce had no trouble keeping up.
‘So let me get this straight,’ Arthur noticed Bruce’s moustache twitch in what might be a grin. It was a cheap joke, but it broke the tension. ‘So you do it like a bat? Like an actual bat?’