There are plenty of stools open at the bar, but the shadow standing to Jim’s left doesn’t move or take a seat. Jim gives it a second before twisting in his seat to glance up and over his shoulder, half expecting one of Maroni’s goons, or maybe one of Fish’s chisel-faced hangers on. He should probably be relieved that it’s Alfred who’s staring down at him, thin-lipped and unamused.
“If this is how you lick your wounds, you’re worse than the boy,” Alfred says. “Who, by the by, is the one who told me where to find you.”
“How did--?” Jim shushes himself and knocks back his drink. The ice clinks as he drops the glass back to the bar and signals the bartender for a refill. “Nevermind, I’m not sure I want to know.”
“Not a very respectable place for a police detective, is it.”
Alfred's tone is undeservedly harsh; Rocco’s isn’t that much of a dive. In his shirtsleeves and tie, Jim doesn’t stand out in here. Alfred on the other hand, in his three-piece suit with an overcoat draped over his arm, is busy earning himself more than his fair share of appraising glances.
“Keep an eye on your watch,” Jim says out of the corner of his mouth, though most of those lingering looks have nothing to do with petty thievery.
“When you’ve finished drinking yourself into a stupor, may I offer you the car, detective?”
Alfred tips his head slightly. “Jim.”
The last Sidecar had pushed Jim from glowing to buzzed and this one wasn’t any lighter on the brandy. It’s maybe a little overly sentimental to be downing Barbara’s favorite drink, but this week hasn’t exactly been full of his best ideas. Jim sips at it and pushes back to sit arms length from the bar. The squaring of his shoulders brings some attention back to him. Licking the corner of his mouth gets even more pull. He flashes a half-smile and toasts the good-looking businessman at the other end of the bar. “Well I didn’t come here only to get sloshed.”
“No, I suppose you didn’t.” Alfred drops a heavy hand onto his shoulder and claims the next barstool over. He orders himself a pint and proceeds to watch like a disapproving hawk as Jim gets another lowball set in front of him.
Before long the flirting looks and free drinks dry up with Alfred brooding beside him. Jim rolls the ice around in his glass, water swirling into the liquor as it melts. His head swims, pleasantly free of worrying about anything other than whether or not he was going to get laid tonight. Speaking of which-- “You’re cramping my style.”
“That was hardly my intention.”
Gotham has a way of twisting a man’s intent around on itself until it resembles a pretzel--a lesson Jim’s swiftly learning. He swipes a thumb across his glass. Christ, he hopes dark and handsome over at the end of the bar is looking to hook up. Jim spares a glance, disappointment dragging at him when it turns out that yeah, the guy is--with a skinny blond in a sweater vest who’d been quicker to make a move. Jim scrapes his teeth over his lip, scouts the rest of the room but ultimately turns back to Alfred, who seems unconcerned that everyone in the place probably thinks the guy’s his Daddy. “Yeah? Well, unless you’re offering me a ride along with that ride...”
Alfred leans in conspiratorially, and Jim jerks back, eyeballing him warily while at the same time unable to avoid catching a whiff of subtle aftershave. In a very deliberate manner, Alfred inclines his head and says, “And if I am?”
When the surprise wears off his face, Jim touches his glass to Alfred’s. “Well then,” Jim murmurs, working towards a grin. “Bottoms up.”
Alfred takes the long way back, giving Jim a chance to sober up. They roll past stretches of neon-lit sidewalks full to the curb with glitzy clubgoers while on the next block the only color comes from graffiti carelessly scrawled between shuttered storefronts. Rich and poor by turns, all of it built on rotting bricks while the citizens of Gotham go about their business oblivious or uncaring.
Souring, Jim tears his eyes away from the scenery and fixes on the rearview mirror. A passing streetlight sweeps across Alfred’s face and Jim’s reminded by a visceral twinge in his guts that the man’s agreed to fucking him. Sure, it might’ve just been a way to get him into the car and on his way home, but if it isn’t--
Heat rises under Jim’s collar, and he loosens his tie and pops open the first few buttons of his shirt. A fresh thrill zips through him when he catches Alfred looking back at him in the mirror. He slouches, knees spreading wide, feeling good and desirable for the first time since he and Barbara split. He makes a silent bet with himself about how this’ll go, wondering whether or not Alfred’s the type to lay back and tell Jim to get on with it, or if he’ll insist on rolling Jim onto his belly and fucking him into the mattress.
“D’you have a big cock, Alfred?”
“I hope that’s not your sole requirement when you choose your partners.”
“No. No, far from it. Just a bonus.” Jim snaps his mouth shut before it gets him into more trouble. He’s not a size queen, and he’s not that shallow. He’s also not accustomed to being this drunk. Tomorrow is going to be full of regret, but right now he’s not so far gone that he isn’t half-hard already and a good stroke or two away from getting it all the way up. “I don’t normally do this, you know.”
“This,” Alfred says, dry as the Sahara.
“You know.” Jim gestures around the car.
“Accept the kindness of others?”
“Ha, ha. I meant go out looking solely to hook up. It’s been a rough week.”
“Believe it or not, I figured that out on my own.” Alfred mutters something else under his breath too quiet to catch. The muscles of his jaw twitch, the corners of his mouth tightening.
Jim stares out the window again. He taps a fingernail against the glass. “Maybe you should’ve been a detective. How’d you feel about switching places for a while? Work my cases, babysit Bullock. I can fix the kid’s cucumber sandwiches and make sure he stays off the roof.”
A moment later, the car slows, dragging Jim’s stomach down with it. Maybe Alfred’s changed his mind and plans to throw him to the curb for letting his mouth run. When the engine’s soft purr goes silent, Jim’s heartbeat turns deafening, echoing through his skull in a steadily rising beat. He slides across the seat, rubbing at the back of his neck before he reaches for the door handle. If he’s lucky this isn’t the end of the line at all. Even a blockhead like his partner can tell that Alfred’s more sandpaper than satin, the grit of London streets hiding beneath that perfectly pressed suit. With the outbursts Jim has seen, the impulsiveness Alfred must try very hard to quash, Jim can imagine Alfred hauling him out to bend him over the back of the car right here.
Jim presses the heel of his hand against his temple, muttering under his breath because Christ he is drunk. He’s not a grunt on leave anymore. If a beat cop were to catch them, that’d be bad to say the least, and the department doesn’t think too highly of him right now. Jim fumbles for the handle again; the door swings open before he finds it.
Moving preternaturally fast, Alfred swoops down, cutting a sharp silhouette between Jim and the rest of the city. The crisp white of Alfred’s collar stands out bright against his skin in the warm light of the town car’s overhead bulb. Jim stares, mouth agape, brain rewinding and going right back to dwelling on what it’d be like to be face down across the trunk with his pants around his ankles. Alfred, he decides, can keep his clothes on. Damn, but the man cuts a fine figure--trim waist and long legs accentuated by that high-end tailored shit that probably feels like wearing a cloud.
“Well, shove over,” Alfred says.
Jim blinks, reconciling yet again how crudely Alfred speaks when he looks so prim and proper. “No romance?” he says, making room.
"Now I know that's not what you were out there on the lookout for."
"Oh yeah? Well why don't you tell me what it is I want since you're playing detective?"
Alfred says, "I’m not playing at anything,” and the amusement tugging at the corners of his mouth gets a small smile out of Jim to match. No, of course not, Jim thinks. Alfred might do the cooking and the cleaning, but it’s Bruce who has the mind for puzzle games and detective work. Alfred is the muscle.
It’s too bad Jim couldn’t coax a few crude words out of him, but his mind helpfully fills in the silence as Alfred slides in beside him. In his head he can hear Alfred growling a promise to fuck him until he can’t see straight, while in reality those rough edges are nowhere to be seen. Right now Alfred’s sharp as a razor and sleek as silk in turns, and Jim desperately works on the mechanics of how to get his pants off at the same time as hauling Alfred on top of him.
One minute he’s kicking off his shoe as Alfred sets a knee in the footwell and rips a condom packet open with his teeth, and in the next Jim’s got one leg thrown over Alfred’s shoulder. Blunt fingers help push the slick tip of Alfred’s cock up into him, and he squirms to take the whole of it faster. It’s a little too much too soon, but he doesn’t really care, and he swallows down the spreading ache as his body adjusts. His grip on Alfred’s back wrinkles the silk and he splays his hand out, no chance to apologize before Alfred’s mouth nudges against his own. This close, Alfred’s aftershave smells even better, A hint of clove simmers beneath crisp citrus, distinctly masculine in a way that fits Alfred perfectly. Jim smiles briefly before opening his mouth to the push of Alfred’s tongue, giving up a kiss as easily as he’d gone on his back. It feels surprisingly good and right, and of all the people to end up with, Alfred seems...safe.
The pleasantness of hazy thoughts and the slow lick of Alfred’s tongue exploring his mouth gets tangled up and burnt to ashes by the lightning crackle that comes with a hard snap of Alfred’s hips. He fights the reflex to tighten up and the next hard thrust gets him melting into the seat as Alfred’s shuddering groan interrupts their kiss. Hearing a partner’s enjoyment has always done it for Jim, and his whole body comes alight, fireworks on his skin. A quiet sound slips from his own throat as Alfred’s attention falls away from kissing and into pounding him hard.
Jim’s shoulders wedge up against the door and he scrabbles for a handhold. The seat that had felt a mile wide ten minutes ago now feels smaller than his old dorm room twin. He clutches the edge of the buttery leather seat and wraps his other arm in the dangling belt, doing everything he can not to slide halfway into the footwell with each slamming thrust. There are better ways to do this; more clandestine ways that don't include hanging one leg out the door and the scrape of Alfred's shoe on wet asphalt. Jim doesn't spare more than a second for the thought of stopping long enough to rearrange limbs.
Warm gusts of breath brush across his cheek as Alfred slows back into a steady rhythm and moves into kissing him again. Jim though-- Jim can’t seem to catch his own breath, and turns his head to the side to suck in hasty breaths. His knuckles ache gripping the nylon of the seat belt and dimly he becomes aware of how Alfred is watching him.
“How’s the view?” Jim says, tone more breathy and more accusatory than he’d have liked.
Alfred’s mouth curves and his hand slides up Jim’s bare leg. “Would rather a better look at you, but this’ll do.”
The drag of Alfred’s hand continues up the whole length of his body, past the rucked up mess of his shirt to his shoulder. The pressure there pins him in place, and Alfred leans back a bit to look between them at where Jim’s dick is hard and leaking all over the tails of his shirt. There’s a hint of shine on Alfred’s trim waistcoat too, and Jim can’t help but think about what it’d be like to make a real mess of him--to have him drive all the way back to that fancy manor house with his perfect fucking clothes smelling like spunk. Let no one ever say that Jim is too much of a boy scout not to--
“How’s it feel?” Alfred says, interrupting Jim’s dirty fantasy.
“How. Does. It. Feel.” Alfred turns a smile, punctuates each word with the snap of his hips. Slow or fast, he has the leverage to give it to Jim hard, and Jim feels too full for his own skin.
Everything is intense, too much to handle, and if Jim’s honest to a fault on his best days, when he’s drunk he can’t even hope to pretend like he isn’t overwhelmed. He loses his hold on the belt, sweat-damp hand smacking to Alfred’s shoulder and gripping there instead. The taut muscle beneath the crispness of Alfred’s shirt is pure tease. If they had more room, he’d haul him closer and see about stripping some of the layers away.
But they don’t have more room, and there was a question he was supposed to answer. Jim blinks rapidly as he hears it again echoing in his skull, something that isn’t quite shame crawling under his skin. "I'm hard for it, aren't I?" Jim replies, jerking his hips up so that the smack of his dick against his belly will be proof enough.
But Alfred clucks his tongue, and Jim’s face goes hot with embarrassment when Alfred begins to laugh. “Answering a question with a question is something a schoolboy does, mate. Now I know you’re pissed, but come on, tell Daddy what his cock does to ya.”
Jim’s eyes go wide, an involuntary breath sucked in so quickly he chokes. That gets another short bark of laughter out of Alfred, and Jim turns redder still. He laughs it off even as he struggles to describe the flutter in his belly that accompanies the gritty pleasure of being fucked open.
“Feels good,” he says, finding it almost impossible to say even that much. “It’s good.”
“Is that all you can come up with?” Alfred taunts. He shoves deep and holds there, as if silence and stillness will help Jim find the ability to say something more. If anything Jim’s at even more of a loss knowing that every shift and twitch of his body clutching tight around Alfred’s cock can be felt. He fumbles for a grip on Alfred’s arm again, wrinkles be damned, and braces his foot against a seat back to buck his hips up, only a faint whine in his throat to let Alfred know precisely how good it is.
Alfred chuckles softly, takes pity on him and doesn’t ask for more. His mouth goes near Jim’s ear, and his voice deepens into an even rougher purr. “Put a hand on it already, kiddo. We can’t sit on the curb all night.”
It’s like there’s a magnet holding his fingers to Alfred’s bicep--that and the words take a second or two to register--but when he gets with the program, he’s slapping a hand on his cock so quick it earns him another chuckle out of Alfred.
“Atta boy, Jim.”
Jim blames the sudden high that gets him moaning on the buzz of alcohol in his veins, but when Alfred brushes a kiss against his jaw and says, “That’s it, give it a good tug for Daddy,” he knows he’s lying to himself. Desperation makes his grip sloppy, that and Alfred is in him really damn deep, slamming into him with the kind of stamina Jim’s only dreamed about. He tightens his hold, wet cock sliding into his fist driven there more by the force of Alfred fucking him than any work of his own. His teeth feel like they’ve turned to cotton, his limbs shaky and weak, and Jim wants to howl because he’s pretty damn sure he can’t come like this.
“You first,” he pleads. “I need you to-- Oh, fuck.” Jim shudders as Alfred lets his left leg drop, pinning it against the seat as he stretches over Jim to brace his hands on the sill of the door. It’s not nearly as claustrophobic as it is comforting. The body-warm leather curling around his side is easy to imagine as another body, soft yet steady, and for a moment he thinks of Barbara. The knot of sensation winds into a tight ball in Jim’s chest and he swears between gasping breaths as the reward of orgasm slips further away.
“Should I stop?” Alfred asks, when neither coaxing or goading helps. He doesn’t quit moving though, not even when Jim lets out a little growl of frustration and the furrow in his brow deepens.
Jim shakes his head; he’ll figure out how to make things right another time. Right now he’s going to make sure Alfred comes--inside him. “Don’t stop. I want to feel it.” The admission makes his ears go hot, or maybe it’s Alfred’s smirk and the way he says, “You’ll feel it, all right.”
And he does, Christ, he feels that first thick swell of Alfred pumping him full of come like a shock to the system. He’s sure he imagines the rest, ‘cause a hard scraping kiss at his ear overrides his nerves. He groans, reaches down to feel where Alfred’s buried in him, and the quiet, “Your turn,” that’s whispered against his neck makes the whole of his spine tingle.
Alfred pulls out far too swiftly and collapses to sit perched on the edge of the seat. He skims the condom free, ties it and tosses it out the still-open door without a care.
Alfred looks sidelong at Jim as he tucks himself back in his pants. “Send me a ticket,” Alfred says, shutting the door before reaching for Jim’s bent knee. He shoves Jim’s leg off the seat, forcing him to twist more towards sitting and giving Alfred room to settle comfortably. “Sit back and let’s see if we can’t get you off, yeah?”
The hand that slides down Jim’s belly to grasp his cock is gentler than he anticipates; the feathery touch pushes a shiver through his entire body. “Close your eyes,” Alfred tells him, and after a moment’s hesitation he does.
It’s so much quieter with the door closed, city noise dimmed while inside every sound becomes amplified: the harshness of his breath, the spit-wet slide of Alfred’s fist on him, and then the crinkle of another condom wrapper ripped open between Alfred’s teeth. Jim sinks a little deeper into the seat as Alfred rolls it on him, his head tipping back as he lets the anticipation ride like adrenaline in his veins. He wants to open his eyes and look down when he can tell that Alfred’s head is lowering into his lap, yet he focuses instead on the sensations, the feel of being freshly fucked and the rush of hot breath before Alfred’s mouth closes on him.
Fingers creep up the inside of his leg, and Jim’s knees go as wide as they can to invite the caress that turns into the press of fingers at where he’s still wet with lube. “Oh. Oh, God,” Jim gasps, clenching up as Alfred’s fingers circle at his hole.
“Too sore?” Alfred pulls off to ask, and Jim shakes his head, rasps out a jumble of words that add up to: “Keep going, like that. Just...touching. It feels good. Really good.” Most of it he’s sure made sense, while the rest fades into a moan as Alfred dives right back into the action. The stroke of Alfred’s fingers is vastly different than being fucked, and the way he sucks dick is--
Jim’s hand clutches at the door when Alfred stops again, all the pressure and perfect heat leaving him at once. He groans, squirming to lift his hips up, needing more. Alfred slips a hand into the space at the low of his back in subtle encouragement, mutters something that Jim doesn’t catch, and then it’s the wet slide of lips down the whole of him again and enough hard, sucking pressure to make him forget his own name.
The fingers between his legs press harder, grind against his taint and it’s close to being too much again. Jim bites the heel of his hand, his arm pressing against the chill of the window, and he imagines what it’d be like if he wasn’t wearing a rubber, if afterwards he could taste himself on Alfred’s breath. If Alfred knew how much he loved that, he might pull Jim into his lap after, come still thick on his tongue and let Jim lick it right out of his mouth. Might say, “Next time, maybe there’ll be two mouthfuls for you.”
Jim muffles a groan in his own palm as the hand at his tailbone skids down, urges him to push up, to let go and fuck Alfred’s willing mouth. Body jerking, Jim slaps a hand to the roof of the town car before he bites through his palm. He moves his hips gently, rocking lightly to meet the shallow bobbing of Alfred’s head. If he felt too full before, now he feels too hot, like there’s a whole sun burning low in his belly. Fingers trace their way back up his spine, callused tips skidding along sweat-slick skin, and the pressure that’s been building inside Jim goes off like a firecracker. Jim fucks into Alfred’s mouth as he comes, keeps fucking until he can’t bear it, and if he’s practically clawing at the roof one moment, in the next his limbs are too heavy to keep up. Jim’s hand comes down on Alfred’s neck, slipping beneath the stiff collar of his shirt, and he laughs shakily as Alfred picks himself up.
“That was amazing,” Jim says, giddy and relieved and panting like he’s just run an uphill marathon.
Alfred produces a handkerchief and presses it into Jim’s hand. “My pleasure,” he says. His gaze flicks all-too-briefly to Jim’s mouth, before he returns Jim’s smile and adds, “Shall we be off, then?”
The thought of going back to his own place isn’t all that appealing. At least living at Barbara’s for months meant that the roaches had realized food wasn’t going to magically appear and they had for the most part abandoned his place for the neighbors’. “Yeah, I’m beat,” Jim says, lying through his teeth. He avoids looking at Alfred as he cleans himself up, awkwardly wadding the condom up in the handkerchief before glancing around in the shadows for his shoe. “Where are we? Near Bricktown? If so, you should probably go up a few blocks towards Canal.”
He honestly believes Alfred buys it until the guy is sliding back into the drivers and turning around to skewer him with a glance that says it takes a lot to pull the wool over his eyes. “You realize I was sent to fetch you. Unless you have serious cause to object, you’ll be a guest of Master Bruce’s tonight. There’s a room prepared for you.”
Shimmying back into his pants, Jim stubbornly refuses to simply accept, even if he finds that he wants to, badly. “I can’t always be there every time Bruce needs someone to hold his hand.”
“From what the papers say, I think it’s the other way ‘round this time.”
Jim winces. The gossip column, of course.
“One night, Jim. It’s not much to ask.”
When Jim doesn’t answer, Alfred starts the car and makes the left to take them towards Canal.
Jim tucks his shirt tails in, knowing he doesn’t look nearly as put together as Alfred does, and he crams the handkerchief into the same pocket that holds his keys. The dig of metal through the thin lining of the pocket feels strange, lighter without the heavy brass key and the narrow fob for Barbara’s building. He swallows thickly. It might still be the pleasure lingering in his veins, or it might be that the idea of walking into the cold damp of his apartment again is too awful to bear, but Jim ignores the panicked kick of his pulse and leans forward to tap Alfred on the shoulder and point towards the bridge that heads out of the heart of the city.
One night, he decides; he can give them that.
“Breakfast is served at 8 o’clock sharp,” Alfred tells him, and this time the look in the rearview is laced with a recognizable fondness. “Best you be prompt. The girl has a habit of squirreling away more than she needs.”
“Thanks,” Jim says. He means to say more, but it seems more effort than it’s worth. He closes his eyes, listens to the hiss of the tires on slick pavement instead. Eventually he sprawls out, reveling in the way his body reminds him of the way Alfred had touched him and fucked him. “One night,” he says suddenly, as if by accident he might end up staying longer. “One. That’s the deal.”
“Of course, sir.”