Whatever part of him had thought this was a good idea, James swore never to listen to it again.
Even here, outside of the club in its side alley, the music still managed to reverberate through the air. It was relentless- low, tuneless bass loud enough to pulse in his chest like a second heartbeat.
He'd been in good spirits when he'd entered the building, but the rush of a possible romantic encounter had quickly been knocked aside by the sheer volume and density of the crowd inside. Everyone else had seemed so at home, dancing in such close quarters, shouting their conversations over the music. James had felt like a total outsider.
So, figuring he might as well cut his losses before he felt any worse, he'd slipped back out onto the street, hugging his jacket. Now it was just a case of waiting for a bus, or a taxi, or something. Whatever got him back to their base the fastest.
"How much you charging?"
James jumped, his back grating a little against the wall he leant on as he turned his head. The voice was teasing, smooth- and uncomfortably familiar.
Sauntering up to him was a slim man, and it only took one glance at his draping purple hair to confirm his identity.
Harley stopped a few feet away. "Well? How much?" he pressed.
"What are you talking about?" James asked, frowning. This guy played games, and he knew it.
A look of mock sympathy on his face, Harley answered: "Oh honey, you look like a prostitute." James balked.
"I- I do not!" he protested as heat rose to his cheeks.
Harley scoffed. "Please. A twink in skinny jeans and combat boots, loitering at the front of an alley? All that's missing is you spinning a sign that says 'soliciting' up in the air."
"I'll have you know that my taste in fashion is impeccable!" James retaliated, praying that the mortification he felt wasn't making its way into his tone. It was a good thing he hadn't let Jessie and Meowth dictate his outfit- if they'd had their way, he'd be standing there in a sequinned tank top and mini shorts. He'd tried to explain to them that going to a gay club did not mandate looking as gay as humanly possible.
"I didn't say you don't look good," Harley said, smirking. "I just said you look like a hooker."
James blushed again, but this time it wasn't just his embarrasment that spurred the reaction: the flattery played a part, too.
Why was that? Why did the other man's offhand comment- one that barely constituted a compliment, anyway- please him in that way?
"So, what are you doing skulking out here, then?" Harley went on, his raised eyebrow accentuating his curiousity. "I saw you back in the club, and then out of nowhere you beeline for the exit."
"I..." James hesitated as he weighed up how much to disclose. "I just wanted to have some fun, meet a few people. But... It wasn't my scene."
"Hm." Harley regarded him for a few moments, and then pursed his lips, coquettish. "Well, if you're looking for fun... We can have it right now."
For a moment, James was too stunned to respond. Was he serious? Was he really hitting on him?
"W-What-" he stammered, then cleared his throat, flustered. "Are you trying to trick me or something?"
"Don't flatter yourself- I wouldn't waste my time on that," Harley replied. "I just figure that if we both want a little action, well, why not act on it?"
A little action. The words sent James' head reeling with excitement and nerves- the offer was so sudden, so blunt. And undeniably tempting.
Harley strolled past him, heading further down the alleyway. "Your choice- James, is it? I'm not going to lose any sleep if you walk away, so don't worry on my account."
The Rocket stared at his back. His thoughts were a jumble of conflict; would he be able to live it down if his team mates found out? And on the other side of the argument, if he walked off now, would he be able to shake off the regret?
It was out of the blue, inexplicable, but he wanted to be intimate with this man- this obnoxious, conniving man. Thinking about touching him, the desire spread to James' groin in the first flutter of arousal.
So, against every better judgement he had, he followed him.
Harley stopped behind the cover of a dumpster, and turned, grinning. He reached a hand up to the lapel of James' jacket, tracing the denim.
"You're lucky you're pretty," Harley told him, his face close enough for his breath to warm James' skin. Then he closed the gap, and opened his lips to meet James'.
The kiss was relatively gentle at first as they both tested the waters; James felt his heart punching a quick rhythm as Harley's lips pulled at his, the faint taste of flavoured lip gloss on his mouth. With the initial courtesies decidedly out of the way, Harley added his tongue to the mix, then moved his head to bite down gently on James' neck. He was pleased to draw a whimper from the Rocket as he nibbled and sucked at his skin.
A few seconds later, he withdrew, and they both caught their breath.
Upon opening his eyes again, James had been met with Harley's expression of faint triumph, something which both turned him on and sparked the rise of a new desire. He wanted to turn the table- make him the one craving more.
He readied himself, preparing to play the character of someone with both more confidence and experience than he could claim, and glanced to Harley's crotch.
"Do you want to...?"
James let the question trail off, hoping he sounded more alluring than he felt. Harley let out a short laugh.
"You're quite the hussy, aren't you?" he said, and James worried that that was the end of the encounter, that he'd screwed up the moment- until Harley rolled his eyes, and added: "Come on then, get on with it!"
James studied the man, admiring for the first time the little details of him; the silkiness of his hair, soft around his face; the rounded tip of his nose; his pale blue eyes, overflowing with superiority. Ever eager to please, James obliged, sinking to his knees on the concrete.
He reached forwards to unzip Harley's trousers, looking up for permission a final time before easing his fingers under the waist of his boxers. When his touch found the hard shape of Harley's cock, the thrill of anticipation flared up again. He was really doing this, and it felt incredible.
After slipping the briefs a few inches down Harley's hips, James moved his head forward and ran his tongue down the length of the exposed erection. He flicked his eyes up, delighted to see the other man closing his eyes in pleasure.
"Oh you little tease," Harley mumbled, groaning as James closed his lips around the head of his penis. He ran his fingers through the kneeling man's hair, and then gripped it, pulling him closer.
Now it was James' turn to feel victorious: Harley was desperate for him, already unable to stifle his moans. Between his own motions and those of the hand holding onto his hair, he eased into a steady rhythm, amazed at the reaction he was causing. The ground was cold and hard beneath his knees, but he couldn't have cared less.
Harley's back shifting against the bricks, he gasped, tipping his neck back to the sky. He could feel the pressure building, intense and wonderful and-
James realised that he was close, felt it in the man's shudders. He bobbed his head back and forth a few more times, and then pulled away. The last thing he wanted was to grant Harley the satisfaction of coming all over his face- that would tip the scales of power back the wrong way.
Too caught up in it all to protest, Harley merely removed his hand from James' scalp to grasp his cock, and finished the job himself with a breathy moan.
James stood, admiring the aftermath of his work with a satisfaction he hadn't been expecting. He watched as Harley recovered, his breathing still heavy as he pulled his boxers up again and zipped up his fly.
"Well, at least your mouth's good for something," he remarked, smirk back in place.
As he finished readjusting his clothing, he reached into his pocket, and pressed something into James' palm. James looked down to see money in his hand.
"Wha- Hey, no!" he exclaimed as Harley started to walk away. "I told you, I'm not-"
He looked down at the note again.
"Five dollars?! I'm not that cheap!"
"You didn't even finish me off," Harley retorted calmly. "I deducted for that."
"Hey, wait-" James jogged after him, holding out the cash. "I don't even want this!"
Harley paused, and turned his head to look at him. A devious smile spread over his lips.
"You should take it," he told James. "It's probably the most criminal thing you'll ever get away with."