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“Oswald,” Fish Mooney said, “would you entertain the gentleman, please?”

The gentleman was in his late twenties, his despair dissolving in his dry drink like ice cubes long forgotten. He was eyeing the low-lit stage, visibly bored with the dancers.

Oswald noticed that he was remarkably handsome, with big brown eyes and frustrated lips, but more importantly, he noticed the cheap suit and overdone haircut, and was quick to make a deduction: it was the one and only night at Fish’s the stranger could ever afford.

“Yes, Miss Mooney,” he said nevertheless. There wasn’t really any option with Fish but obedience.

Oswald grabbed the dinner table for balance, which he didn’t quite need. The moment he stood up he felt himself becoming transparent.

“May I ask,” he began, and Butch Gilzean seemed taken aback merely because he was still there, “who the gentleman is?”

Fish took her time to reply, humiliating as ever.

First, she put aside her knife, slender wrist glittering with diamonds. She pressed a napkin to her lips, gently, so her lipstick won’t leave a mark, and Oswald had half a mind to fucking flee. Fish was softly humming.

“Oswald, my boy; the gentleman is my guest.”

Oswald swallowed.

“Yes, Miss Mooney.”

“That’s all I care about, and all you need to know.”

“By all means, Miss Mooney.”

“By all means, Miss Mooney,” Butch mimicked him, and there was a shallow, snickering sound. Fish didn’t tell her men to shut up.

“You may go now,” Fish nodded as she returned to her dinner.

Oswald merely bowed his head, lips unable to form full sentences. It seemed that every single word of the English language could be used against him.
His face was red with shame, but as he walked away, his easy steps had a certain swagger. He carried himself with the air of importance and careless elegance.

Fish was a fool for caring for nobodies; and she was a fool for believing him to be one.

He stopped by the tiny, round desk of their precious guest, and the most peculiar thing happened: he didn’t need to greet him. He was noticed. The man focused his dark gaze on him; it felt like the sudden, dizzying flash of a camera.

“Evening,” the man said, measuring him.

Good evening,” Oswald chimed. “How can I be of your service?”

He was new to this. It was obvious, embarrassing and downright offensive, but the man didn’t seem to mind much. He cracked a shy smile and hold out his hand:

“I’m Edward Nygma. Would you like to sit with me?”

Oswald blinked, shaking Ed’s dry hands, his grip numb and stiff. He couldn’t quite recall the last time someone had merely requested his company.

Oswald sat down, back straight, eyes alert. Ed leaned in. He smelled of Sunday mornings, of soap and sunlight and coffee beans.

“How can I call you?”

“Dimitri,” Oswald huffed, trying to gather himself. Ed had a dull glow to him, like the dismissed light of leftover ember, which burns down the house if you don’t pay attention. His eyes were blazing.

“Dimitri it is,” he said.

“How do you like it here so far?”

“It’s my first time in a nightclub,” he confessed, taking a quick sip from his martini. He licked the taste away, checking out Oswald so blatantly that it was strangely comforting.

Oswald was wearing a dark suit with a white shirt and a maroon bowtie, as far from bespoke as it can get, but at least freshly ironed (bless mum’s heart). He tried to comb his fluffy hair into something at least resembling a hairstyle, and he hated it with all his being; the messy bangs were a muffled cry for help.

“How long have you been working in the nightclub business?” Ed asked, his voice devoid of the usual suspicion that Oswald was completely unequipped for his work.

Oswald shrugged, touched, but nevertheless, disappointed. Ed’s inquiry was all too honest. No flirtation. No challenge.

“Since I was seventeen.”

Ed made a strangled sound.

“Is that legal?”

“Well, I don’t pay taxes, if that’s what you’re asking.” Oswald bit his lips then, letting his gaze roam over Ed. “What do you do?”

Ed beamed.

“Can you guess?”

“Could you tell me, please?”

“Righto.” Ed waited a bit, probably for suspense. “I’m a forensic scientist.”

“Like, you’re working for the police?”

“I can’t arrest you, obviously,” Ed assured him. “No need to worry. It’s just, today was my first day with the GCPD.”

“So, you’re here to celebrate?”

Ed nodded, and looked around. It seemed like he’d forgotten where he was. Oswald felt a sting of hope in his chest, welcomed but sudden.

“It’d seem so…” Ed muttered.

“How’s it going?”

Ed’s cloudy gaze wandered back to Oswald.

“Much better now that you’re with me.”

“Yay,” Oswald managed, but Ed went on, unbaffled:

“I like you very much, Dimitri. Your smile is gorgeous. May I ask where your parents are from?”

“Pardon me?”

“These aren’t Slavic eyebrows, let me tell you,” Ed said, touching the left one with his thumb and following its path. His confidence wore off midway, and he dropped his hand to Oswald’s shoulder.

He patted it half-heartedly.

“How much?”, he asked.

Oswald realized Ed had taken him for a whore all along.

 

*

Oswald had standards.

He valued himself, and all that.

So he asked for a pretty high price.

 

*

It got quite complicated then.

The show was still on, and that’s pretty much what Fish meant by declaring her place to be a nightclub: some of the performers may or may not get naked on stage.

Therefore, as he was leading Ed through the luxurious corridors, he had to make some mental gymnastics to come up with a place which would pass for a bedroom. He was so deep in his desperate thoughts that he slowed down a bit. Ed’s arm was around his hips in an instant. Ever so casually, the man started to caress the prominent bones, pulling Oswald closer.

Oswald popped his tongue.

“Do you like it dirty, Ed?”

“I think so.”

“Good,” Oswald nodded, and with that, he pulled Ed into the nearest closet.

He fumbled for a light switch. Dusty blue beams illuminated Ed’s pleasantly surprised features. The closet was cramped, lined with metal shelves, and they stood pressed chest-to-face. Their height difference became very obvious. At least, it was easy to tell now that Ed’s interest had been genuine.

“What do you have in mind?” Oswald asked, brushing his hand to Ed’s crotch as if by accident.

“Depends; what does the price include?”

Oswald mentally kicked himself, then he did what did best: he came up with a blatant lie.

“Anything you wish. Doubles after half an hour.”

Ed weighed his choices. Oswald could almost see him buffering. Ed began to smile then, slowly, serenely, and Oswald shivered.

“I’d like to give you oral sex, if that’s okay with you.”

“You want to give me head and pay for it?”

“If you don’t mind.”

“Well,” Oswald said, slightly amused, “be my guest.”

Ed grabbed him by the belt, impatient, and Oswald lost his balance. He straight up headbutted Ed, who huffed a laugh, his breath ruffling Oswald’s hair.

Oswald couldn’t decide whether he was offended or aroused by Ed’s easy manner.

Ed was on his knees, hauling up Oswald. He hissed when Ed fucking put him on a shelf.

“You okay?”

“Nevermind. You’ve got a condom?”

“Yeah.”

Oswald shrugged.

“Proceed, then.”

Ed was undressing him. He unlaced his shoes, one by one, carefully stuffing the socks inside. By the time he got to Oswald’s pants he was certain that once it was over, he’d be very rich, and very, very tired.

Ed started unbuttoning his shirt, but he couldn’t get to the collar thanks to the bowtie. Oswald was wondering whether he should help him when Ed bit the bow.

He began to pull.

Oswald moaned, and it took him by surprise, but there was no helping him. There was something deeply erotic in the way Ed spat out the bowtie to the ground, uneven teeth a wet, white flash.

He was back on his knees again, forcing Oswald’s thighs apart. He leaned forward, licking Oswald’s cock through the soft fabric of his underwear while his fingers curled into the pale flesh of his legs.

Ed was enthusiastic, but he lacked finesse; nevertheless, the sight alone made up for it. His broad shoulders strained under his jacket, his lips lush and reddening, eyelashes fluttering.

Oswald had to catch his breath.

Ed disposed of his pants, damp now with saliva, and set to put the condom on him. He did it expertly, and Oswald began to hope that he might’ve been wrong - that maybe Ed wasn’t a total fucking virgin after all.

Ed swallowed him down.

He was a total fucking virgin.

“Mind your teeth.”

Sovvy,” Ed mumbled.

Oswald sighed, and looked down, realizing that it was essential to look down. Ed, even with Oswald’s stiffening cock in his mouth, still looked like an artwork you want to put on the mantelpiece.

He didn’t take off his glasses. The lens were foggy.

Oswald bit his lower lip and grasped the shelf above his head. He could feel Ed’s quick breaths, his fingers still digging into Oswald’s thighs. His tongue was lingering on the head of his cock, lapping, tasting, savoring. Ed pulled back a bit, softly nibbling on the tip, then he swallowed him down again.

He seemed like he was starving.

Oswald’s stomach was trembling. His whimpering was pretty much fake, but he wanted to encourage Ed. His hips buckled from time to time, and Ed made the most perfect choking sounds.

“Oh yeah,” Oswald panted. “God, look at you. You’re so damn handsome.”

Ed pulled back for a moment, and mumbled:

“You probably tell this to everybody.”

Oswald let out a laugh - it was a bit hysterical, but thinking about his sex life always made him hysterical. Ed winked as he set back to work again.

“I like you,” Oswald sighed, “and no offense, but you really suck at this. Pun intended. Wouldn’t you rather fuck me?”

Ed gulped.

Oswald felt so much respect that he managed not to choke to death.

“Well,” Ed said as he sat back on his heels, still coughing,“with pleasure, sir.”

 

*

 

What happened after was this: Ed handed over his business card to Oswald, with his name and phone number printed on it in green.

Oswald was glad to accept it. Oswald was also heaving and holding on for dear life onto the shelves, sticky with cum and sweat.

“Okay,” he managed. “I’ll call you.”

Ed was stark naked, covered in hickeys and bruises, his back scratched and clawed raw. He paid in cash and apologised for not having the exact change.

“Buy something nice for yourself.”

“I’m gonna buy like five million sandwiches.”

Ed chuckled, and kissed him.

That was the first time he kissed him.

 

*

Three years later Oswald was in Bullock’s truck, accompanied by two cartons of milk, an itchy blanket and a death sentence.

Jim Gordon pulled the trigger, but Oswald wasn’t killed. Dizzy and half-deaf, he fell into the icy river, swallowing his creeping smile as he began to swim with his busted leg.
Briefly, he was reminded of Ed hours later, wolfing down a stolen sandwich.

Ed used to hang around Fish’s place for a while. He ordered the same martini, sat at the same table, and waited; he waited long and undisturbed.

 

*

Oswald was wearing his best suit and his worst smile.

This was his moment, his grand entrance.

The lights were ideal, rich and golden as the blaze of baroque heavens. Following Montoya some steps back, he stepped into the century-old halls of the GCPD.

All eyes were on him within an instant.

“Holy shit,” Bullock said, completely ruining the mood, as always. Oswald was in a merciful mood; he forgave him.

“Hello,” he chuckled, and bowed. “I am Oswald Cobblepot.”

The effect was incredible - as expected; the attention on him electrifying. No one dared to move. No one dared to say anything.

“You son of a bitch,” Bullock broke the spell, and someone shouted:

Dimitri?!”

Oswald’s diabolic grin softened into something at least resembling a smile. Calm washed over the glory of his victory as his gaze found Ed. He was like Lot’s wife, staring and Sodoma with a fatal, frenzied need to see it (one last time.)

Oswald snapped his fingers, and pointed at Ed.

“Eddie’s coming with me,” he declared, and with that, he simply left. His shoes squeaked, and he wavered step from step, but he didn’t let it bother him. He closed his eyes, counting back: three, two, one…

There was rumbling, and someone yelled. Then he heard the echo of quick, even steps.