She's suddenly the leader of The Narrows and it all feels so . . . heady.
"Thank you, by the way, for saving my bacon," Ed says to her as he sips a grasshopper, his signature drink. He lifts the glass to her. "If it wasn't for you, I would have been toast – or more precisely, roast."
He laughs at his own joke.
Firefly had threatened to barbeque them all down to a crispy skin. Until Lee had taken her out with a pistol and some well-chosen words that was. Words that he had found endlessly amusing.
"And thanks for the drink," he says downing it with a wink before standing up and walking away.
Since her first proclamation of "drinks on the house!" about an hour ago, it's been getting quite rowdy in here. She's drinking too – but it isn't from pleasure – or pain. She's keyed up and in need of some kind of release. But she isn't sure the alcohol's doing the trick.
She watches Ed walk away, still adorned in the faux brushed satin suit that he wears when he entertains the people of The Narrows by mocking Penguin. It is dull and lifeless … but there is something about the way it fits him … the trim waistcoat, snug over impeccably fitting pants … and the way he moves in it. She shakes her head to clear the stray thought and asks the barkeep for another one.
Ed had crouched down before Grundy the moment Barbara, Tabitha, and Selina had taken off, abandoning their plans to kidnap Ed and take him to Penguin – which had been the entire reason that they and Firefly, Penguin's enforcer, had been sent The Narrows in the first place. Grundy, who was usually Ed's biggest protector, was terrified of fire and had been reduced to a sobbing mess on the floor of the arena once Firefly came blazing in and had remained so until she had been subdued and the other three were gone.
Lee had watched in amazement as Ed had reached out to Grundy to comfort him as soon as he was free of Barbara, Tabitha, and Selina's clutches - before doing anything else.
"Hey, it's okay big guy. Firelady can't hurt you."
Grundy eventually groaned, accepting Ed's words as truth, and said, "Grundy safe."
Ed had stayed with him until he was alright.
Amazing. Perhaps Ed could actually care about someone besides himself.
As Lee was on checking Grundy later, to make sure he hadn't been too damaged in the fight, Ed had stood behind her, amusing himself by reliving her melodramatic takedown of Firefly over and over. She'd never live that down.
"Hey Firefly, you're the only one who stinks around here," he'd say as he made his fingers into a gun, pretending to be her. Then he'd laugh and repeat.
She had rolled her eyes and tried to explain herself to him, but that's not what's caught in her memory right now. No, she remembers him standing behind her. And just how close he had stood to her head. She hadn't been facing him, but she had been thinking about exactly what his outfit looked like in that moment … the waistcoat, barely touching his waistband, sometimes exposing the button beneath, the coat with tails trailing down the side of his legs…
She shivers at the delicious memory. She might not have laid eyes on him directly, but she had felt his close proximity. And just how warm he was . . .
Lee had been pent up, restless, ever since Ed had convinced her to step up and take leadership of The Narrows – after they had both recognized the power vacuum that Cherry's demise had just left.
"If you don't do it, somebody else will. Probably worse than Cherry," he had said and pointed out that the people of The Narrows appeared to have already acknowledged her as their new leader. The looks on their faces . . .
Was this restlessness, this need, a power rush? Anxiety over the future? Or something else?
It didn't matter. She needed relief.
She finds him in the green room, not changed out of that suit just yet. Good.
She doesn't even give him a chance to finish, just presses him against a wall, knocks off his bowler hat to better reach the back of his head, and pulls him down for a kiss. Which he reciprocates. Deeply. She finds it a little disturbing just how easily he responds. Shouldn't he at least be shocked at her behavior?
He's greedily devouring her as much as she's devouring him. And they're both pulling each other's clothes off. Her green velvet jacket joins his coat with tails on the floor. She's opened his waistcoat and he's pulling her shirt over her head. That hideous purple patterned tie of his has GOT to come off. And it does in a flourish, just as he undoes her belt buckle.
They still haven't spoken, not even when their lips aren't locked in fiercely passionate battle. They just breathe heavily as the articles of clothing come off, one piece at a time.
She's nearly naked by the time her hand reaches the top of his waistband. Pants are all he's got left on.
They are forehead to forehead when he gruffly says, "Lee…"
"Mmm…?" She starts to undo the button.
He stays her hand. "Lee, wait."
"What is it?"
"I think I should tell you something."
"The night Kristen died –"
"Sorry." He puts his hands on her shoulders and then trails them down her arms to calm her before he proceeds. "That was the first time I ever –"
As a physician, she knows that many people lose their virginity much earlier in life than people are lead to believe - and others much later. Ed hadn't exactly been a stud muffin in his youth - she could tell. So she isn't shocked. "And?"
"And, well, I've only been with one other."
"No, Lee, you don't understand."
"Don't understand what?"
"That relationship was very short lived." A mask of sadness descends upon his face.
Since when can Ed feel sad? She had assumed that he was likely a psychopath and that those kind of emotions were beyond his reach. It had certainly seemed that way after Kristen's death. But she had been getting to know him on a different level down here in The Narrows. They had inadvertently become closer than they ever had been when they worked at the GCPD. And certainly, they were on more equal footing now that he was no longer her subordinate.
"I was only with her for about a week," Ed says forlornly.
"I'm sorry," Lee says and touches his face gently, honestly shocked that he's opening up to her about this. Never in a million years . . .
"So, I'm still practically a virgin, Lee. Go easy on me." An impish smile starts to replace the sadness on his face. It's a delightful thing to see. "I don't think I know what I'm doing."
"Oh, I'm sure you know plenty," Lee says and bops his nose. "But I'll be nice."
"Oh, you don't have to be nice. You can be naughty," he teases.
"We'll get there," she replies and gets to work on that button as his fingers loop themselves into the side of her panties.
What is she doing? It feels so good and she needs a release, but this is Ed. What is she going to do about this when they're finished?
He finds that spot again and her thoughts become a blur – she's nothing but a ball of goo within minutes. Crying out, the whole nine.
"I can tell you liked that," Ed says and bops her nose when she's finished. He's picked that up from her.
"Now just what can I do for you, Mister?" she asks, rolling him over.
"Oh . . . oh my."
"Never tried this one?"
He pounds up into her so forcefully that her breasts end up bouncing every which way as she rides him. They've never gotten this out of control before.
"Like the view?" she asks.
"I'm not sure I can concentrate on the view."
"Come on, I thought guys were visual."
"Not the smart ones."
She laughs so hard she stops. He can be so delightfully . . . different. "What floats your boat then, Ed?"
He rolls her over. "What do you think?"
She just shakes her head. She has no idea.
"Brains," he says softly and touches her forehead with his fingertip. "Which is why I'm so glad you're going to find a way to get mine back."
Now she just feels guilty. She pulls him down in order to bite his neck, burying her face in it so that he can't see her expression. She has no intentions of helping him with that.
He finds his way back inside of her and she arches and moans beneath him as he does. She had no idea what he'd been concealing in his pants - he can reach parts of her that no one else has. When this is over she'll have to refrain from letting herself get distracted by that. That's something else she has no intentions of doing. Starting something with Ed. She had just needed a release right now… That's all.
She can hear him growling in her ear, it almost sounds like snarling, as his hot breath permeates her hair, and the hand cradling her head tightens. Then he suddenly arches away from her and she can see his face as he finishes. His eyelids flutter in pleasure and his face has gone utterly slack. And then with a high pitched whine, his face scrunches up into what looks like a grimace of pain and he collapses on top of her.
He has filled her with warmth, and joy . . . but most of all, he has released her.
"Stay here," she says and rolls him over. She stands up and puts on a minimal amount of clothes.
"Okay," he says panting, lying naked on the green room floor as if he's stunned.
She heads down to her clinic.
When Lee comes back, Ed is sitting up, but still naked. He seems to mind getting caught naked just about as much as she does. Which is not at all. The green room isn't exactly a private place. She lets out a little laugh. Jim was often embarrassed about every little thing – even something as minor as kissing in public – and Ed's so different. It's refreshing. But it's also got to end here.
She joins him on the floor, a small syringe hidden within her pocket.
"Ed, I like this side of you."
"I like this side of you too, Lee." A smug smile starts to grow on his face.
Yeah, she doesn't need this.
With one quick stab of the syringe and a roll of his eyes, he plops back down onto the floor. She had given him a little bit of a drug she thankfully had in her clinic – one that had the quite helpful side effect of causing amnesia in regards to more recent events. Ed's not likely to remember what's happened between them. And that's the way she needs it to be because she doesn't want their dynamic to change - she likes what they've got going. And now that she will be ruling The Narrows she will need his – uncomplicated – assistance.
As she dresses him so that he doesn't wake up buck naked and totally confused as to how he got that way, she thinks about how she likes what he's becoming – he seems more like the earnest, innocent Ed that she used to work with all those years ago and less like . . . The Riddler. She doesn't like that guy. She knows he's holding Ed's brain hostage as a way to resurface. And it's why she won't help him.
"Sweet dreams," Lee says and kisses him one last time, hoping that those dreams don't feature her but if they do, that they aren't too naughty.
She lets herself out and leaves Ed sleeping peacefully on the floor of the green room, blissfully unaware of what had just transpired between them.
If you can believe it I found that I HAD to write this piece to explore Lee and Ed (pre-Riddler) having a sexual encounter as "research" (at least emotional research) for the multichapter Nygmakins future fic that I've been working on (it's set post-resurrection). It's 19K words so far and I'm not even halfway through! If I release its chapters at my normal length (2-3 pages at a time), it's going to be AT LEAST 50 chapters so I may decide to bulk up and drop longer chapters.
Yeah, I'm the strange one who has to write fic in order to wrap my head around another fic I'm writing! This is definitely not the first time I've done this. But you guys should be used stuff like that from me by now ... that's where all my fluff comes from. I write that stuff as a counter to dark stuff I'm writing in the background. So if you see a bevy of fluff from me you'll know that I'm working on something pretty harsh - so beware the upcoming fic! Or better yet, revel in anticipation if you take pleasure in the dark, painful stuff as much as I do . . .
Chapter 2: Inklings
A sequel to Forgotten Encounter from Ed's POV.
Ed's brain is not normal. Despite Lee's efforts he's starting to remember their forgotten encounter.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Now Ed's duties at Cherry's don't just include his infamous Penguin show - Penguin is now more hated than ever since his botched attempt to kidnap him - they also include advising Lee as she holds court as Queen of the Narrows, a job he is quite well suited for after his stint as Oswald's Chief of Staff.
But on the day she wears that green velvet jacket . . .
Something about it catches his eye, stirs a memory. She hadn't worn it since the night she took over The Narrows.
He can feel his fingertips racing up it, ever so softly, ever so gently. But then suddenly it's on the floor as his lips crash into hers -
"Ed," It's Lee's voice. In the present. Needing his help. "ED!"
He shakes his head. "Yes?"
"Thought I lost you there for a second," she says and smiles as if they share a secret.
And, perhaps they do.
That was a memory, not a daydream, not a snippet from one of the intensely erotic dreams that have been plaguing him every night since she had become Queen, causing him to wake up in a sweat, thinking about her in ways that he never had before.
No, that kiss had actually happened.
"Lee, you've got to fix my brain. Now."
"Ed, I told you I was looking into it."
"Lee, you don't understand," he says almost anxiously. "I don't remember . . ."
"It's affecting your memory now? That's new."
"What?" he asks incredulously. "You don't think it's affecting my memory?"
"I'm not in your head, Ed." She taps his noggin. "Only you would know that. And you haven't mentioned anything about it until now."
"But -" Wait. Doesn't she find it odd that nothing has been said or passed between them since that quite non-platonic kiss? Can't she tell that he hadn't even remembered it? Ugh, this brain fog is maddening. He can't think this through. She needs to fix him.
"But, what Ed?"
"Nevermind," he says, sighing. "Just nevermind."
"Well, you're in a pissy mood today."
"Thanks." He frowns and tips his head at her.
After a spectacular Penguin show - the crowd never gets tired of remembering his triumph and how their new Queen had saved him - saved all of them - Ed finds himself in the green room with a satisfied smile alighting his face, reliving every laugh, every clap, every cheer from the crowd. It's exhilarating. There's nothing like being onstage and the people of The Narrows just love him. They love her, too. It's just too bad a pesky little nuisance named Samson has decided to test her authority already. But, she's new to her position of power and that's the way of the world.
He sighs and removes his hat, takes a seat, and stares at the floor wondering if Lee's idea for resolving things peacefully with Samson will even work. He concludes that she's most likely grossly overestimating someone like Samson's magnanimity, but he'll give her the benefit of the doubt anyway. They'll try it her way first - but they need to have a backup plan in place. It would be foolish of them not to.
But as he tries to think of a plan, another memory comes to the surface . . .
His hands are flat against that very green room floor in front of him, Lee is beneath him, rocking in rhythm to his thrusting. A lock of his hair has fallen onto her sweaty brow and his nose dips down to touch hers as she reaches up to cup his cheek and he starts to pant.
"Ed," she breathes softly.
He grows hard just sitting there, remembering.
It had been more than a kiss. Much more.
"I don't think I know what I'm doing," he had said.
"Oh, I'm sure you know plenty."
He wasn't sure he agreed with her, but he dove in anyway, pulling down her panties and biting into her neck hard as she undid the button on his waistband, reached into his pants and began to . . .
He took in a deep breath, pulled away from her, and took a moment to get all the way undressed. Her hand was back on his cock in an instant. And then her mouth was.
His eyes rolled back into his head once she increased her pace, only having been gentle with him for a brief moment at the beginning, to let him savor it. But now her tight lips are popping over his head and down his shaft and back up again in a frenzy. When his legs start to shake she stops.
He joins her on the floor - collapses really, then pulls her onto his lap. He kisses her deeply as he trails a hand down her back. She shivers at his touch.
Then, leaning her back, he runs his hand from her neck all the way down to . . .
"Oh!" she exclaims in delight and smiles.
He returns her smile as his fingers find their way inside of her, her warm wetness engulfing them. It's obvious that she's been wanting this for a while - she's more than ready for him.
It takes a while, but he strokes her until he finds just the right rhythm and just the right place to touch her to elicit cute little squeaks of pleasure out of her.
But then suddenly, she calls out, "Ed! Ed! Ed! ED!" as she grasps onto him, her eyes boring into his. Then just as suddenly, she arches back and goes absolutely silent, as she writhes beneath him.
Is she even breathing?
"Oh, FUCK," she says and looks back up at him when she returns to the land of the living, panting hard. "Would you like to try that with your cock now?"
He sits bolt upright in bed, covered in sweat yet once again. But he knows that hadn't been just a dream this time. It is another memory, knocked loose in his head somehow. A memory of him and Lee having sex on the green room floor.
Wait. He remembers something else.
The morning after his narrow escape from Penguin's clutches - when all of Cherry's had celebrated with drinks on the house - he had woken up there. On the green room floor. He thought it had been from having too much to drink. But now he wonders . . .
"Lee, why -?" He stops himself. How would one word this anyway? 'Why are you completely fine with me acting like we didn't even fuck in the green room?' There's only one way that can come out sounding. Bad.
"Nevermind," he replies. "It was stupid."
"Okay then," she replies, all business, not even bothering to press him further. "Let's go pay Samson a visit."
Samson insults both of them. Calling Ed a has-been and telling Lee that he wants 30% of her earnings if she wants him to stay out of The Narrows. Ed advises her not to take it - the price is too high and he'll only want more if she gives in. But somehow in her mind, it's still an option.
As Ed follows her back to the clinic they're still talking about what to do with Samson. She opens the door and . . .
"Samson, you son of a bitch," Lee says as she surveys the damage to her clinic. It's been ransacked.
"Now do you see who you're dealing with?" Ed asks her. "I know you wanted to try this your way, but no more diplomacy, Lee. Take Grundy and end this."
She's crouched down in front of a shelf that remarkably still has some intact vials of medicine on it. "No, I have a better idea."
"When you roleplayed back in the day, what character class did you play?" Ed asks Lee but then interrupts her before she can answer, pointing a finger up into the air with a flourish. "No, wait! I know."
"The diluent, Ed," she says, pointing at the vial in his hand. "Please concentrate on what you're supposed to be doing."
"Yeah, real smart there, Lee, using another drug as a diluent." He begins to pour one of the drugs they had discovered intact in her clinic into a graduated cylinder. "And I thought I was the dumb one. You ever heard of actually diluting something with, oh I don't know, a solvent? Or water?"
"Ed, I don't need your running commentary on my methods. Now stop. Just work."
"No can do. If you want a nerdy lab rat at your disposal, you're getting the full package."
She rolls her eyes.
"Okay, back to roleplaying," he says, now looking for the drug she had asked him to dilute, shaking his head a little. He's no longer smart, but this way of mixing drugs just intuitively seems crazy to him. But he's no doctor - he's just gotta trust her on this. "I bet you played a cleric."
"Is that so?"
"Yes," he says with confidence. "You are after all a doctor, it's not out of the realm of possibility that you would have played a healer class in your youth. But, I'm willing to bet you weren't just any type of cleric, judging by what you're planning to do to Samson here."
"Is that so?" she says again, the corners of her mouth tugging up.
"Absolutely. I'm guessing you either played a neutral evil cleric despite the protests of your party OR - and this is even more likely - you played a cleric with a good alignment but were constantly in jeopardy of turning evil due to your little penchant for this type of torture here . . ." He indicates the vials they are working with.
"Well . . . " Lee pauses in her task to turn to him and say. "I was kind of known for getting information out of orcs, goblins, and various other undesirables by withholding bandages as they were bleeding out. Does that qualify as torture?"
"Yes! I knew it!" Ed exclaims, elated at being right. It makes him feel less stupid. He smiles wickedly. "So how did your character avoid acquiring an evil alignment? You must have at least gotten into trouble with the game master for doing evil deeds like that."
"Wouldn't you like to know?"
"Yes, I would."
"Fine. I dated the GM," she said wryly and then winked. "He went easy on me."
"Oh." Why did that suddenly take the wind out of his sails?
"Okay, Ed. It looks like you're done there with the poison. And I've got the antidote. Let's go 'torture' Samson into submission."
"More like mind-fuck him," Ed says dejectedly.
"Ed?" She gives him a strange smile. "Are you okay?"
"Fine," he grumbles. But he's not. He's just realized what she had done to him.
Oh, the day had gone well. . . For her. She had bested Samson, who had so easily caved once death was staring him in the face and only Lee had the cure.
But it had not gone so well for HIM. As Ed leans over the railing and watches the fight going down in the ring at Cherry's, he feels dejected. He had not performed his Penguin show that evening - he'd been in no mood for it.
Has-been. Has-been. Has-been.
The word reverberates through his brain. Perhaps he was. The people of The Narrows had seemed completely fine with him missing his show. There hadn't even been a peep of protest, just excitement to watch that night's fights.
He shakes his head.
She had obviously wanted to be with him and he with her . . . so why had she covered it up afterwards by doping him? Drugging him into forgetting?
Why was she so ashamed of him?
And there she is now, coming up to talk to him, flask in hand.
"Ed, why so blue? We had a great day."
"YOU had a great day. I did nothing to help," he says with self-pity.
"That's not true. I couldn't have done it without you."
"I'm not meant to be a sidekick, Lee."
She practically rolls her eyes at him. Bitch. He looks away.
"Samson is right," he says, continuing his pity party. "I'm a has-been."
"No, you're not." Lee proceeds to tell him that she hasn't been looking for a cure for him - not since the beginning when there had actually been some issues with his brain due to him having been kept on ice for so long. But now? "There's nothing wrong with you physically. Your condition is psychological."
She says this as if it is supposed to make him happy, but he only feels betrayed. "You lied to me. Why?"
"Because I was afraid if I told you the truth you'd go back to being who you were - The Riddler. And I like who you've become."
Ed, I like this side of you.
I like this side of you too, Lee.
And that's where it had ended. His last memory of their encounter.
He gulps, unexpectedly overcome with . . . What? Emotion? Does she actually like him? For who he is? Wait, who does she think he's become?
"Ed Nygma," she answers him. "The Ed that you were before. My friend."
Yes, so many years ago they were friends, colleagues . . . before he killed Kristen Kringle, before he framed Jim for her murder, landing him in jail and thus unable to be with Lee as she went through the unspeakable horror of losing her and Jim's child alone, before she'd punched him after his release from Arkham as he stood there in the hallway of the GCPD with a smirk on his face. Yes, before . . .
When he was just that nerdy lab rat and she was such a positive, smiling, almost carefree soul . . .
Neither of them can truly go back to that, but it's nice that she's looking beyond the darkness, beyond the madness that had descended upon him over these last few years. And she likes what she sees.
By the time The Riddler re-emerges to taunt Ed about it just days later, he has fallen for her. Completely.
And unfortunately, that now puts her in danger. He worries that his newfound feelings will cause her nothing but harm and he realizes that he needs to stifle them before they do.
But he doesn't want to. . .
FIN (for real now)
Thanks to doomed_copper for the beta!