runespoor: an extreme close-up of jason's maskless, emotionally open face. (oh jay | took me away from you)
[personal profile] runespoor
Title: disaster in the making
Pairing: Bruce/Jason
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Everyone can see it.
Notes: Takes place when Jason is Robin. self indulgent outsider pov + identity porn.

The girls let the kid hang out. He's not there very often, and they don't target the same customers.

He's at that age where if he were a girl, he'd start being competition and they'd have to run her off or take her under their wings serious, and Paul would want in into her cuts, but Jay brags he can take care of himself.

Which is fair, even if Sally sometimes puts her hands on her hips and says something about staying in school.

Jay's always got an answer ready – swears he's doing his GED, he'll only re-enroll if his teachers look like them, or that he did and hey, tomorrow's not a school day!

He's kind of a smart-ass and kind of a punk, in that inevitable way that all Gotham kids get, Gotham either grinds the spunk out of them and the survival instinct in, kids who know it's better to hide and close one's mouth and live to see the morning, or the brazenness of a rebel – if you're gonna die soon at least leave a hell of an impression. Gotham makes mice and sparrows, with no room in-between. People say the mark of a kid is they're not aware of their own mortality; maybe it's true in other places, but all Gotham kids know they come with an expiration date.

Sometimes it makes you want to shake the reckless ones by the shoulders and yell at them, specially if you've got kids of your own, and you don't want to see them end that way. Other times there's not much you can do. Not everyone's got family. Jay's from Crime Alley, and if he does his work out here in the East End, chances are he hasn't got a home. Or not one he'd care to go back to. So it's his life, his choice.

Anyway, mostly he just hangs out. Sits on the porch and chats, and they let him because he lets them hit him for smokes every once in a while.

Once or twice he's had bruises on his face. Some nights he moves like he's sore, and they can't always keep from telling him to be careful, and sometimes he shakes his head with the cynical gleam in his eye – like talking's all well and good, but a kid's gotta eat – and sometimes he grins and opens his arms wide, sprawling, and says that he is, he really is!

And there's really no way to open up the eyes of someone that love's made blind. They all got experience on that front.

So they shut up and hope it won't end with tears and a dead body.

Tonight's a bad night. They know, because he barely spat a hello before throwing himself down on the porch's steps, and he hasn't looked up from his Game&Watch console since he got there.

Then this guy approaches, striding like he's got a purpose, and the girls make half-hearted attempts to approach him. He looks like he's kinda a hurry, but after he's done with whatever's got him running, maybe he'd like to come back and have a good time. They can't see his eyes behind the shades, but he walks between them like he doesn't hear a word, and goes straight for Jay.

He stops and stands before the kid for a while, and neither of them says a word.

Tension's clouding around them, and Sally and Teresa are doing their eye-thing, gauging how likely it is there'll be violence. That would all kind of suck, mostly because Paul would wanna get involved (bad for business), and Jay would not want anyone butting in. With a discreet nod and tap to her wrist, Teresa extends two fingers. Two minutes before reminding Jay that if he wants his private business to stay that way, he shouldn't drag it in the open.

“Whatever you want, old man,” Jay says without a glance. Is the guy Jay's dad? His lousy boyfriend? Pimp?

“Are you goin' to freak out on me again if I say 'you'?”

Well, that answers that question.

Jay snorts. “If corny lines made everything alright, then we wouldn't be here.”

The guy shifts. Here's to hoping it doesn't come to blows. He's built like he can take and dish out some serious damage, once the suit's terrible polyester stops fooling you.

“You're playing with that toy I got you,” he comments, easy as you please. Detached and meaningful.

Jay's fingers still on the console, and his shoulders tense.

“So? You want it back?” He tries for unconcerned, but he just sounds defensive. Unsure.

“Nothing like that. I like that you enjoy it.”

Jay huffs, and his shoulders shake with a short, silent laughter. “Really, Matches?”

He looks up, finally, to look the guy – Matches – in the eye. The locks of hair falling over his brow don't cover entirely the bruise on his temple, or the circles under his eyes, but he's smiling.

Matches reaches out, pauses in mid-air like he's giving Jay time to move away, but Jay doesn't, doesn't stop him, and Matches' hand ends up in Jay's hair, Jay's head tilted and his eyes closed.

“You know I do,” Matches says, in a deeper voice. Bedroom voice, from the tone and the way Jay's breathing hitches. His hand's still in Jay's hair when he asks, “y'got what I asked you?”

“Of course.” Jay doesn't bat an eye. “What d'you expect?”

Heavy hand of Matches' patting Jay's cheek. “Nothing else, Jaybird.”

“You have the worst petnames,” Jay comments, grabbing Matches' thick wrist with one hand. His other hand is putting the console back into his pocket.

“Do I?”

Matches' voice rumbles, amused, and Jay relents. “Heh. Guess not.”

For a second, they're still. Then the kid breaks the moment, grips Matches' sleeve and pulls himself up. “C'mon. Let's go home.”

Matches' hand rests on Jay's shoulder as he follows – guides – the kid to the car stopped at the corner. Sally can't help but glare at the guy, but what can you do? Jay's smiling at all the girls as he leaves.
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Runespoor

October 2014

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