"Forty-six gallons of blood on the wa-ll," a deep throated voice bounced off Oswald's cell walls erratically, making him twitch, "forty-six gallons of blo-od!"
Jerome drew out the o's in blood for a good fifteen seconds making Oswald's hands convulse against his bed in need for violence.
"Take one down, pass it around," Jerome switched to a funeral march mid verse and Oswald stared at his ceiling in agony, "forty-five gallons of blood on the wall!"
After this verse there was silence, the echoing screams of the insane once again heard in Oswald's cramped cell. His lip curled as he waited for the inevitable. The time between verses always varied making Oswald even more on edge than the off tune monstrosities Jerome sang. There was no timing, no semblance of order in the tunes, tones and breaks.
It. Was. Driving. Oswald. Mad. Oswald had no reference for time but he assumed about four minutes have passed before Jerome sang again, this time in a high soprano;
"Forty-four gallons of-"
"SHUT UP!" Oswald screeched; spit flying from his mouth as he faced towards the grate at the bottom of their shared wall. His body spasmed on his bed in need to throttle someone while Jerome's cackle rang from his cell bleeding into Oswald's like an unwelcome hyena.
Jerome's stretched smile appeared through the bars, still giggling.
"Is that any way to treat a new friend, Os-wa-ld?" His voice was filled with all the disappointment of a parent who caught their kid stealing candy at the grocery store. The guffaw that followed this statement made it obsolete however and Oswald turned his head into his pillow and groaned.
"Hey—uh," Jerome paused, and Oswald could imagine him doing an unnecessary gesture, he didn't even have to take his head off the pillow, "why don't we play a little—game."
The way he said game implied that anyone who wanted to live should avoid mentioned game at all costs. Oswald lifted his head off his pillow to glare at the ginger man giving him an overly excited, double thumbs up.
"No." He growled, petulantly turning his entire body to face the wall and away from the insane man he was forced to share a completely unnecessary two way grate with.
Jerome growled menacingly but his tone was light and cheery as he replied, "Don't be like-that."
Oswald refused to reply and Jerome was, at last, blessedly silent. He let out a long breath and he relaxed against his bed. The wrinkle between his eyebrows finally smoothed out and his lashes fluttered against his face. He could hardly hear the shouts of the inmates anymore.
"Ninety-nine gallons of blood on the-"
Oswald's scream of outrage reached a pitch so high Jerome whistled, impressed. With dexterity not often associated with the man, Oswald threw himself in front of the grate and hissed. Jerome didn't even blink at the reaction and rested his head against his fist pleasantly.
"You stopped at forty-four." Oswald ground out. Jerome's stretched face twisted in mock confusion, using his free hand to gesture to himself.
Oswald spluttered, enraged, "You've started over five times already!"
Jerome gasped and rested his hand over his heart in shock, "Have I?" he whispered, scandalized. Oswald made a sound similar to a dying squirrel and gripped the bars, his knuckles turning white as his fingers curled around the separate squares.
"You-stopped-at-forty-four." He emphasized each word clearly and with so much force his lungs hurt from the exertion. Jerome wiped away an imaginary tear;
"What would I do without my bu-ddy here to set me straight?" Jerome gushed, throwing his head back on the floor, swooning. He sighed dreamily before his demeanor switched and both his hands shot out threading them around Oswald's keeping them attached to the bars between them.
Oswald gasped in surprise and anger, immediately trying to pull his hands away from the grid. Jerome's black eyes were steady and his smile expanded slowly while Oswald thrashed, yelled and spit unintelligible insults in his face.
"Oh, Ozzie," Jerome growled his name low in his throat, making Oswald fall silent, "you really are a hoot."
He let go of Oswald and laughed, clutching his sides, his hiccups of laughter making Oswald's head throb as he inspected his bleeding fingers. He took the time to suck on each cut giving the rusted grill a suspicious look while muttering insults, actively ignoring the laughing ginger in the cell over.
Jerome stopped his hysterical chortling and shimmied closer to the grate giving Oswald a heavy lidded look; "So much self righteous anger bottled up in such a wittle bird." Jerome cooed.
Oswald squinted his eyes in disbelief, his jaw falling open at Jerome's sensual tone. He started shaking his head willing the scenario to fly past his head like it wasn't happening.
"No." He uttered in contempt, squeezing his eyes shut and holding up his bloodied hand shakily, "please, just…no."
Jerome pouted and once again threw his head back dramatically; "Oh mother," he prayed reverently," rejected again!"
Oswald didn't dignify that with a response and drug himself a bit away from the grate his bad leg suffering from all the thrashing he did. Silence rained down once again, or at least as silent as Arkham was ever capable of being.
Jerome was lying on his back, his knees the only thing visible from Oswald's side of the wall. They swung back and forth and Jerome spoke contemplative; "I really thought you'd be the one."
Oswald raised a silent eyebrow and hugged his knees, cursing every person who was the catalyst in him being back in this hell hole and chumming it up with this ginger nightmare. He ran his tongue along his teeth and glanced at the man surprising himself by responding.
"I don't do friendships," Oswald spat out the word like the poison it was, "and I most definitely don't do…romance."
Jerome laughed at this. It wasn't the quick, maniacal, and high pitched cackle Oswald had gotten used to in the last twenty-four-something hours. It was long, deep and drawn out, each laugh pronounced clearly;
"Ha-ha-ha-ha," It was almost like a whisper, or a promise. Jerome brought his head up in view of Oswald and threaded his fingers through the grate like Oswald had done minutes prior.
"You're. Not. Getting. It." He rested his forehead against the grate, his scarred skin puckering and twisting against the metal. Jerome closed his eyes, his jaw shifting back and forth, exhaling roughly.
"This city is going to burn." He growled, the imagery springing up from his closed eyes causing him to sigh wistfully. Jerome opened his eyes and Oswald was entranced by the endless black depths that seemed to vibrate in his skull.
"Gotham deserves chaos." Jerome continued to whisper, Oswald leaning forward to hear better, "Isn't that what you want?"
A bitter smile infected Jerome's face and Oswald stared at him, words from a dying Fish echoing in his brain; "You make this city yours, or you burn it to the ground."
Oswald was in Jerome's face a second later, the grid still separating them but doing nothing to obscure his harsh breathing that was invading Jerome's face. He barred his teeth;
"I want it."
"Then you," Jerome smashed more of his face against the bars, showing teeth, "should want…me." He growled and pulled back, his fingers still cradling the bars, and tilted his head, "You know?"
Oswald sucked in a breath and Jerome let out a bone chilling howl of laughter and watched as the man convulsed till tears streamed down his face. Despite the earlier tussle Oswald threaded his fingers through the metal once more, the bars warm from Jerome's fingers, and watched with obsessive interest.
The man stopped in his jest and giggled, eyeing Oswald coyly; "Won't you play a game with me Pengy?" he simpered, another dry cackle escaping his elongated lips.
Oswald smiled indulgently, the corners of his eyes wrinkling and the blue in his eyes becoming sharp. He rested one finger on the corner of his lips adopting an exaggerating thinking pose. The blood on his finger left a mark on the corner of his mouth as he brought it away returning his hand to the bars and leaning forward, as close to the bars as Jerome had been just seconds before.
Jerome blinked his eyes in attention his black eyes occasionally darting to the splash of red on Oswald's pale face. The blood which was now shifting with Oswald's opening mouth, making Jerome look back at the others eyes which were like chips of ice and sparkling in dark amusement.
"Ninety-nine gallons of blood on the wall, " Oswald started to sing softly while Jerome started to laugh lowly, the air between them becoming thick, "ninety-nine gallons of blood."
"Take one down," Jerome breathed.
"Pass it around." Oswald snarled.
"Ninety-eight gallons of blood on the wall!" They finished together, their insane laughter drowning out all the other in mate's cries and pleas, the sound carrying and twisting, causing all those who heard to shiver in dread at the promise it rung.
AN: These two are going to wreak so much havoc and I cant wait. R&R