Humility comes with learning to forgive and loving thy enemy. Jeremiah has known nothing else but obsession and love for every aspect of Bruce Wayne — restless, devout and writhing.
A day came where Gotham fell. It's what needed to be done, and Jeremiah planned for Bruce to hunt him down on his own, lurking in stench and filth and blackness of a city without the heavenly light of stars. Bruce's nemesis — his responsibility, his source of guilt and fixation.
No matter if it's a push, or a pull, the momentum is theirs. They'll find each other.
There's a dense, hot-heavy thickness to the air, lingering inside Jeremiah's nostrils. The motel room is unimpressively standard, with its frosty lamplight and the stained quilt-top, its cramped, dusty spaces. He yanks on his white, satin button-up, eyeing his wrists and fingers and his arms.
They're as deathly pale as his features, chemically altered thanks to Jerome's last prank on him. But… Jeremiah has noticed it developing up towards his arms, further down his neck.
He's adapting perhaps. Jeremiah's body will be overtaken by the sallow, ashy-pale color.
Bruce has mentioned nothing of it. He rarely says much of anything when they're confronting each other in alleys or warehouses, now that Jeremiah considers it. Nothing but regret tinges Bruce's presence, his dark-eyed, solemn gaze. "You can't save me," Jeremiah told him once, grinning like a mad man after a savage punch. Fresh, bloody saliva dripped between his teeth.
Oh, it would be so simple to explain with madness. Jeremiah doesn't believe in that result.
After finishing with his dress-shirt, carefully sliding each button into its proper alignment, and slipping on his trousers, Jeremiah picks up his customized switchblade off the lamp's bedstead.
With a slight thumb-press, the blade springs open without a click, gleaming and steel-silvery.
He returns to the mattress, climbing on with a knee bracing his weight and staring dully at its lone occupant. Bruce looks far younger in the throes of a deep, dreamless sleep, his cheeks rosy, and his brow lacking the usual wrinkles. The flat of Jeremiah's blade strokes gently over the line of Bruce's muscular torso, over his narrow, naked hip, without breaking any skin apart.
There's a vulnerability to Bruce, in how he kisses — in slow, steady laps, parting his mouth and allowing Jeremiah to push his tongue fully inside him, to wreck him mercilessly.
To revere him, to lick the drops of precum oozing from the tip of Bruce's cock, stretching open those puckering, tight muscles with his red-leather gloved fingers and feeling the grip of Bruce when he clenches and moans, and it's somehow far better than the actual act of fucking.
Bruce stirs a little, his eyelids quivering when the blade runs over his navel, the tip nudging him. Jeremiah dabs his forefinger over the tiny weep of red, sucking it clean musingly.
The stirring becomes a wild, noisy thrashing. Jeremiah recognizes it as a nightmare, dropping his weapon and pinning Bruce's arms down to the mattress, calling out to him. The other man wakes with a shouting, garbled cry, nearly throwing Jeremiah's off, breathing hard and perspiring.
Jeremiah's sickly yellow-green eyes blink, as Bruce stares up at him, visibly beginning to calm down.
"It's only me, Bruce," he replies softly, matter-of-factly, releasing him. Jeremiah hesitates, for only a split-second, and then bends over him, pressing a set of dry lips against Bruce's hairline, and then the top of his head, cradling and petting Bruce's warm, sable hair. "Goodbye."
All they have is blood and rainwater and motel rooms echoing with their howls. Friendship is too vulnerable as a concept between them — just like Bruce's good, too-good heart.
When Bruce attempts to get up, to stop Jeremiah from leaving the motel room, he chucks the opened, piercingly-sharp switchblade in Bruce's direction and turns away. It misses him, as intended, embedding into the moldy, thin-frame wall, right above the space of Bruce's shoulder.
They can't change.
And he prefers it this way.