“I’m too old for this Edward.” Oswald looked up at the bright lights illuminating the foggy evening air behind the entrance.
The two criminals stood outside the gates of a carnival stopping at Gotham for a short visit, something that was somewhat out of the ordinary for the normally gloomy city. Then there’s the fact that no outsiders had ever really dared to bring any business into an area so known for their high crime rates, a city where the gangsters didn’t just get by, but thrived.
“Nonsense. There have never been any age limits on carnivals, I would even say they were originally made for the amusement of adults needing to let loose a bit after long workdays.”
Ed held out his hand, dressed in green leather gloves with the very ends of his fingertips decorated in a bright purple. Oswald accepted the gesture with a gloved hand matching his partner’s, only with inverted colors.
“Is there anything you don’t know unnecessary trivia about?”
“Do you mind?” Ed grinned, clearly pleased about his own intelligence.
“I suppose I’ve got used to it by now. It can even… Prove useful at times.”
“Oh you’ve grown soft of your snarky remarks with time then Mr. Penguin?” Ed chuckled and pulled Oswald close into his chest, attempting to ruffle his hair before Oswald pulled out of the slight embrace, only just saving his carefully styled hair unharmed.
“Watch it! I might bring them back for doing that.”
“You know I thought you’d stop with power display of your hair as you got older.”
“That would make me look awfully uncivilized wouldn’t it? To keep up such a high end sophisticated appearance only to drop it for the sake of… Age? Now now, Edward you’re making a fool of yourself.
Here I thought you liked my sense of style.” Oswald raised an eyebrow.
“You’re missing the point.” Ed gave him a kind smirk before stopping their slow walk across the carnival grounds. Far too focused on each other rather than the supposedly “exciting” site around them. Having seen far more heart racing events in their days, this was not even remotely impressive, even though it was fairly unfamiliar for citizens of Gotham.
Oswald almost walked past Ed with the sudden halt, looking back with confusion what had ripped his attention from himself.
He found Edward looking up at a big ferris wheel, decorated in lamps of every color, slowly spinning, making it’s rounds. His eyes was glued to the illuminated circle and Oswald held back the impulse to make a remark about his eyes sparkling.
“May I pick your mind for what’s spinning in it right now, quite like that wheel?”
Ed seemed to consider for a long moment before answering.
“As you might know, Gotham used to have our own fun park before Joker claimed it as his own personal grounds. But once, it stood there full of life and lights much like this.
My family had just moved to Gotham and the city was yet to get their claws of corruption into them. So they took me there, as a gift asking for forgiveness for making me leave my friends.” He paused for a moment to look at his beloved with a strained smile of acknowledgement.
“Yes, I used to have friends. When I was four years old!” A nervous chuckle added to his nervous posture that had started to tremble.
Oswald wrapped his arm around him, not bothering to care about the public display of affection at the moment. Being there for Edward proved far more important.
He didn’t say anything, encouraging Ed to continue and finish his story, something he rarely did. If he did share something from his past, even less his childhood, it would be brief, emotional and cut short. This was rare, and what’s more it was brave.
Ed inhaled deeply through his nose, then breathed out of his mouth in a slow motion, a well known breathing exercise to calm down and collect yourself. Something he desperately needed at this point. It was not like he did not want to tell Oswald about himself, they had come further than him to worry that his terrible childhood and so called family would scare him away. No, but after years of resent, pain and attempts to hide the truth even from himself. It was anything than easy to actually speak the words.
“They took me all over the park, but by the time we go to the ferris wheel. The queue was long and it was getting late.
I cried and cried and they had to drag me home, ever so embarrassed over their spoiled child.
I realized later that was the start of it, when they decided I needed more discipline. Such a bittersweet memory…”
A few stray tears had made their way over Edward’s cheeks, Oswald raised his hand to catch the hot driblets, drying them off with a gentle stroke of his thumb. Followed by soft kisses replacing each escaped tear.
He pulled back, holding Ed’s face with one hand to align his gaze to meet his own, forcing those deep sad brown eyes to find comfort in his seagreen ones of safety and reassurement.
“Do you wanna go?”
“The line is long… No we should… This was a bad idéa, we should probably head back home. You need to get up early for that meeting a-” His rambling got stopped with a prompt finger against his mouth.
Once Ed’s arguments were stopped Oswald let go of his hold, left the taller man and headed to speak to the one in charge of the ride.
Nygma was not able to hear the conversation and too far away for the possibility to read their lips. He could however see the silent debate happening over the heated hand gestures and the infamous glare of The Penguin. It was clear the workers of this event were outsiders, or they would have stepped aside by the mere sight of the notorious criminal.
In short another man stepped in, probably a superior to the machine worker, he came stomping, most likely furious that someone tried to buy their way ahead. He almost had time to lay a hand on Mr. Cobblepot to lead him away, but he startled back, as if suddenly terrified, eyes going wide.
Yet again Ed was too far away to actually see it, but knowing Oswald he was losing the little patience he had been able to build up over the years. Having realized that his outbursts of rage ending in a bloody mess was far from efficient in all situations, not to mention a bother to clean up.
Therefor he had taken a more business approach to try and use his wealth to bribe his demands into reality. When that didn’t work, he had replaced the hidden knife in his cane to the much cleaner way of disposal and threat of a small handgun equipped with a silencer. The argument had probably advanced to the last resort of Oswald Cobblepot getting his will through, like he always did. Ed smirked, feeling his anxieties running off him, being replaced by the warmth building from Oswald’s dedication.
Oswald came hobbling back to him, leaning heavily on his cane but a wide smile of success painted on his lips.
“You’re such a sentimentalist as always Oswald.” Ed told him while shaking his head and taking the arm offered Oswald offered him to hold.
“Guilty.” He sheepishly replied, his smug grin still glowing.
As they strolled towards the wheel, workers were pushing the line and civilians aside, along with escorting those who just finished the ride away. Leaving a straight line leading to one of the booths.
Edward opened the door of the circular shape and helped Oswald up before getting in himself. Oswald waved his hand to the workers of authorization to go on and start the ride, and soon engines started and the mechanism had the oversized wheel spin.
Ed was already hanging outside the booth in delight and Oswald had to pull him back by his collar to make sure he didn’t bang his head into something.
He finally settled into his seat and looked around in awe on the lights, the view, taking in the whole experience truly as he was a child again, getting to go onto the ferris wheel at last.
Soon the cubicle had reached the top, where the ride came to a halt for a chance for the passengers to stop and admire the view for a minute.
But the only thing Ed had eyes for was the bright kind eyes looking back at him with such warmth and love it seemed impossible if you knew what the man was capable of. Yet he allowed himself to soften, just for Ed, by the bond of love they shared.
Edward leaned over to Oswald’s side and grabbed his coat with both hands to pull him into a heated kiss, flaming with the passion that never seemed to burn out.
“Thank you…” He mumbled against Oswald’s lips before pressing his own back into them, completely unaware that the wheel had started spinning again, slowly making their decent back to the ground.