The small, cramped apartment building creaks and groans with the barest shudder of wind. The badly lit staircase provides pockets of shadows and the exit light buzzes and blinks.
Victor stalks up the stairs, his boots absorbing any noise as he makes his way of the treacherous building. The doorman is already slumped dead behind a garbage can, out of sight.
A step creaks under his weight; the wood is rotten and ancient. He stops, pausing so he can hear any shuffling from the lowlife residents.
When a few minutes have passed, he resumes his climb.
His leg aches and protests with each movement, and the painkillers only manage to dull his shoulder. The stitches threaten to pull but hold together for now. He’ll need to finish this quickly before the pain takes over and he passes out.
301 comes into sight.
Victor shuffles up along the wall and glances down at the doorknob. It’s likely locked along the length of the door, maybe reinforced with a couch or cabinet to slow Victor down. He sighs internally and heads to the staircase, climbing upwards towards the roof.
The warm breeze fills his lungs. The fresh air is a welcome change from the stuffy, mouldy smell, and it clears Victor’s head. He takes a step toward the fire escape that comes down in front of 301's window.
His leg buckles and a sharp, mind-numbing pain shoots up his spine from his thigh. He cries out, collapsing onto the rooftop without warning. Victor clutches at his leg, gritting his teeth with a series of curses.
He takes a minute to catch his laboured breath before getting back up with a hiss. Shuffling forward determinedly, Victor makes it to the fire escape. The metal scrapes loudly together under his weight but Victor steps down quietly. The pain has started to subside.
The single window in the apartment leads out onto the fire escape. It’s not barred or blocked, but Victor bets it's locked as well.
Shuffling down the last few steps, out of sight, he grabs his handgun and fires two rounds into the glass.
It shatters and Victor wastes no time in reholstering and climbing through, positioning his hands away from the few remaining shards still embedded in the wooden frame.
The last man on Victor’s hitlist yells in panic, raising a shotgun at the intruder. Victor smirks before pouncing closer, smacking the barrel to the side with his forearm.
“You fucker!” Jamey spits, dropping the gun and throwing a heavy fist into Victor's abdomen. The hitman winces but doesn’t relent, grabbing at the kidnapper's clothes to throw him back against a wall.
Jamey grunts but the large man doesn’t give up, taking whatever hit he can and throwing them right back. He finally ends up kneeling over Victor’s body, knocking away the remaining handgun out of reach whilst holding the second against the hitman’s forehead.
“Man, you are one determined motherfucker, aren’t you? Should've known you’d come running. Too bad you’re gonna die now. Could've used a clever bitch like you.” Jamey taunts continuously, laughing when Victor grits his teeth and raises his head against the barrel to show his lack of fear.
“You talk too much.”
Jamey smirks and moves to hold down Victor’s struggling limbs. One knee comes down on the bullethole. Victor barely holds back the scream, as the fiery pain consumes every nerve.
“What’s the matter? Someone rough you up?” Mock worry stains Jamey's words as he digs his knee deeper into the toned, spasming muscle. “Good!”
“Fuck...You!” Zsasz spits through his harsh breathing, trying desperately to silence his whimpers. His hand grabs at the knife strapped to his belt.
“You know what? I’ve had enough of this! You die, right fucking now!”
The door explodes into shrapnel as detective Gordon shoots at the lock. The door swings open and the cop rushes in.
And then Jamey fires the stolen gun.
The shot rings in Jim’s head and he barely hears himself yelling “GCPD!” as he aims at Jamey. But his finger pulls on the trigger before the kidnapper can even turn to attack the detective.
Jamey crumbles down onto the floor, lifeless, missing an eye and a knife stabbed into his stomach.
“Victor?!” Jim sinks to his knees, drops the gun and cradles Victor’s slumped head. “Hey, can you hear me? Victor!”
Jim rushes to find the bullethole but there’s no blood to be seen. His hands paw at his chest before realising how firm and straight his chest feels. He desperately tears at the shirt, ripping the buttons apart.
“You son of a bitch...” Jim smacks his palm against the Kevlar vest and sighs at the tiny bullet embedded into the fabric. Relief washes over him as Victor groans and winces quietly.
Dragging a half-conscious hitman down several flights of stairs and into his car isn’t as easy as Jim had naively believed. He dials Harvey’s number and informs his partner of the corpse up in 301, promising to fill out the paperwork the following day.
“Come on, let’s get you home,” Jim sighs as he finally drives away from the mess of police cars and ambulances. Victor hums in agreement, and snuggles up further into the leather benchseat with several painkillers working hard to keep him quiet.
Rushed knocking crashes down the front door, tearing Oswald from his pleasant dreams.
He shuffles to the glass, noticing two figures. He opens the door widely, allowing Jim inside with a stunned sound. The detective carries Victor inside, cradling his unconscious body with such care as though the hitman is fragile glass.
“Is he... okay?” Oswald queries as he shuts the door and watches the detective lay his friend on the bed.
“Yeah, he will be. The paramedics gave him something for the pain.”
“Paramedics? What happened?”
Jim sighs and slumps down onto the couch, inviting Oswald to sit as well with an open palm.
“He was shot at point-blank. Whoa, slow down!” Jim exclaims in surprise as Oswald flies off the couch and into the bedroom.
The detective smiles tightly as he finds the mobster perched on his bed, one hand on Victor’s rising chest and the other gently holding his hand.
“If you’d let me finish, you’d know that he wore a vest. He’s gonna have horrible bruises but nothing else. Didn’t even crack a rib, lucky bastard. Os, he’ll be fine. Really.”
Oswald ducks his head at the new nickname and a small smile graces his lips.
“Thank you for going after him. Did he kill the target?”
“I did. Self defence. I guess you get your wish.” Jim admits, taking a seat beside Oswald. The adrenaline has faded by now, leaving the cop exhausted and aching for a shower and a sandwich.
“It was never my wish for Victor to get hurt.”
“It's part of the job. He knows the risks. But it’s over, right?”
“Yes, it’s over. Thanks to you both. Victor was right, you do make a good team.”
Jim raises a brow, stealing a glance at the sleeping hitman. “He said that?”
“Amongst other things. We share a lot. I don’t have many friends, Jim. He’s very honest, compared to many people I talk to, and I like that. It’s... refreshing and annoying at the same time,” Oswald raves with a giggle.
As if remembering where he is and who he’s with, Oswald clears his throat abruptly and stands up. He brushes away some imaginary dust and fidgets with the hem of his borrowed shirt.
“I should get him into something more comfortable.” He eyes the ill-fitting white shirt that covers the mass of bandages with scorn. Jim had thrown it on Victor in a rush, grabbing his spare clothes bag from the trunk of his car.
“Right, of course. I’ll leave you to it. I’m gonna grab a shower in the meantime.”
Jim can tell things will just get more awkward if he sticks around. He stands too and grabs the first thing in his dresser, before hiding in the bathroom.
Jim slumps against the door with a content smile. He can now put most of the worry and fear behind him and start to work out whatever the fuck is going on with his feelings. Great.
He steps towards the shower and twists the chrome knob until a gush of hot water splatters down into the tiny cubicle.
His jacket and tie get tossed on the floor and Jim glances at his reflection.
The circles under his eyes are heavier and larger, giving him a skull-like appearance. His carefully styled hair is mussed horribly and his body slouches over.
“You look like crap,” he hears himself say to the tired man in the mirror. The steam starts to creep across the glass, obscuring his reflection.
Not bothering to even check the temperature first, Jim strips down and steps into the scalding spray.
His skin reddens quickly, burning under the heat, but Jim doesn’t mind. He hardly feels the pain even when focusing on the tiny pinpricks water that hit his back.
Everything’s okay now. Oswald got his revenge and he'll soon be able to go home. Just keep it cool for now, he thinks as he grabs the shower gel he received as part of a set for secret Santa last year. Victor will forgive you and everything can go back to normal.
The thoughts fly around in his head, his mind desperate to cheer him up from the grumbling mood he finds himself in despite the positive end to his day. The cacophony of his shower routine stop Jim from hearing the door close.
“Mind if I join you?” Oswald asks loudly, hoping Jim will hear him. He stifles a laugh when the detective nearly jumps out of his skin.
“Oswald... why would you-?” Jim is glad his face is already red from the water. He stays facing the wall, trying to keep some dignity.
“I’m not blind, Jim. I know how you feel about me. I figured I should prove to you that I feel the same.”
Oswald smiles confidently, his eyes alight with mischief as he pulls his shirt over his head. The movement causes him to wince but the pained noise isn’t audible over the loud spray.
“So, I suggest you move over.”
“Your bandages...” Jim weakly protests.
He’s tempted to call the whole thing off, tell Oswald that he doesn't like him in that way, that they should stop before they can’t take back anything and regret whatever this is. He just wants to keep Oswald away from his destructive nature.
“I need new ones anyways.” Oswald removes the gauze quickly, leaving his pale chest in easy view for Jim’s sake. The detective traces every scar, old and new, with his eyes and the fresh wounds look to be healing well.
By the time Jim has finished leering at the small and slim expanse of skin, Oswald is already nude and stepping toward the shower determinedly. Jim lets him in with a shy smile and nowhere near as much confidence as the kingpin.
As long as we keep this simple...
The water drenches Oswald’s hair, flattening the thick strands across his forehead and eyes. Jim raises a hand to brush it aside, combing through the raven hair, and his fingers linger on Oswald’s skin.
The freckles scattered across Oswald’s face continue down his slender throat and torso, and Jim knows he wants to spend hours tracing and mapping each dot of that entire galaxy.
“You’re beautiful,” Jim whispers.
Oswald lets out a quiet laugh and takes the praise as an encouragement to move closer. His chest presses up against Jim’s and the cool contrast makes the taller man whimper. The detective wraps an arm around Oswald’s lower back, pushing him until there’s no space between them.
Oswald rests his head on Jim’s chest, just to the side of his heart. The lulling beat relaxes the smaller man and Oswald sighs contently, nuzzling at the warm skin. He daringly presses a soft kiss to it before giggling to himself.
“Oswald?” Jim observes him with a smile as he asks for the man’s attention.
When Oswald looks up with wide, expectant eyes, Jim tilts his head down to capture a kiss. The soft lips beneath his move gently, and Jim finds himself cupping Oswald’s face with both hands, his fingers drawing the kingpin upwards as he kisses down with as much force as he dares.
Oswald whimpers under the gentle touches and kisses back confidently, over the moon with how his evening is developing. He smirks internally at the little voice that told him to buck up and admit his feelings for Jim. He should listen to it more often.
“We should clean up,” Jim suggests as they finally break apart. He can’t stop Oswald from giving him tiny pecks across his neck and jaw but he doesn’t want to anyways. He’d imagined that Oswald would be gentle and romantic but not to this extent.
Oswald hums in agreement, unwilling to be parted from Jim’s tanned body for more than a few seconds. He sighs happily as Jim runs his hands down Oswald's back, the shower gel leaving blue trails where it hasn’t turned to bubbles. He lets the detective move across to his abdomen, always mindful of the wounds and rough stitches.
His favourite part of their shower adventure starts when Jim scoops up a handful of shampoo and easily dumps it over Oswald’s head. The cute shriek is worth the glare Jim receives and Oswald readies himself to scold the detective, but Jim starts massaging the fruity soap into his locks. The frown turns into a delicate yet sultry expression.
Oswald’s lips part and his eyes flutter closed as Jim works his digits into his scalp, tugging his hair and lathering it up appropriately. The kingpin refuses to be held accountable for the moans and whimpers that escapes him under Jim’s touch. No one’s ever done this for him so Oswald soaks up every second, leaning into the skilled hands like a demanding cat.
With an evil chuckle, Jim pushes Oswald back under the full spray of water. The sudden heat causes the mobster to yelp but Jim’s hands are back on him in an instant, and his lips silence any snarky comment. Oswald moans and melts into the embrace, kissing back fervently despite the water streaming down their faces.
The shower comes to an end and Jim grabs the nearest towel. He wraps it tightly around Oswald before fetching his own. His greedy glances start to get noticed more and more until Oswald abandons the task of drying his hair in pursuit of something more interesting.
He wraps his arms around Jim’s neck, ignoring the wet skin meeting his dry chest. Pulling the detective down into another dizzying kiss, Oswald leaves open mouth pecks across Jim’s lips.
Jim loses patience with the cute stuff and holds Oswald still long enough to slip his tongue past Oswald’s spread lips. The moan he earns echoes between them is deafening in the silent bathroom and Jim barely holds himself back from moving further than kissing. But his reasonable side knows that neither are ready for that, and he’s content with kissing Oswald madly until they are.
So much for simple.
Oswald eventually moves away and resumes his task, and ignores the quiet laugh from Jim. He knows the towel draped over his head would appear funny. As he gives his hair one final rub, he grabs the towel and wraps it around his waist. He didn’t have the foresight to bring fresh clothes in.
“Look in the mirror,” Jim comments between little laughs.
Oswald raises a brow but passes his hand over the foggy mirror. He smirks at his impossible hair as various unruly spikes decide to defy gravity.
“It's a new style I’m going for.” Oswald shrugs as he attempts the flatten his hair into a more sensible look. As he moves past Jim, a large hand ruffles his hair joyfully. “How dare you?” The comment is spoken with a large grin and an evil glint in Oswald’s eyes.
“Oh, I dare. What are you going to do about it?” Jim teases as he crowds the kingpin against the door.
Oswald’s eyes widen and a nervous smile crawls onto his delicate face. He bites his lip and pushes his hips forward into Jim’s, his intentions very clear and naughty.
“How about I show you on the couch?”
“Let's take this slow, Oswald. Please.” Jim hopes he'll understand and not walk away annoyed. He places a hand on Oswald’s hip to keep him back.
“Oh. Okay. Sure, we can go slow. I just figured since we’ve known each other so long, you’d be dying to make love to me. I know I am.” Despite the disappointment, Oswald takes a step back and nods like the perfectly behaved gentleman he can be.
“I am too. But I want to get to know you first. As Oswald, not Penguin. Hell, I don’t even know what your favourite food is or your favourite flower. I’ve messed up so much between us in the past, I want to make this right. You’re not just another person in my bed.”
“What am I then?”
“You’re my Oswald.” Jim leans down for a quick kiss but the mobster has other plans. All this romantic mush has gotten to him. He hugs Jim tightly, embracing the man he’s cared about for years at last. And then he proceeds to kiss the life out of Jim, tugging at his hair and clothes.