.

.

No matter what he does, Jeremiah knows it's gonna end the same way. Gordon assures him a safe house outside of Gotham, and the protection of his most trusted, faithful officers.

It's their blood that spills warm upon the floor-tiles, gleaming blackened in the moonlight.

Jeremiah steps out from the apartment's corridor in a bathrobe, hugging his arms over himself, his features tightened. His twin whistles cheerfully in the semi-darkness, perched up on a counter-top and swinging his legs, picking the gore off the beds of his fingernails. The tip of the kitchen knife glints silvery just as the moon's face.

"Do you… remember… that game we used to play?" Jerome glances over to him nonchalantly, asking this with a theatrical flourish of his knife. One of the nearby officer's twitches, gurgling, their eyes rolling up marble-white. "With the safety ropes?"

When he doesn't reply to him, Jerome's ugly, scarred grin widens. "Oh, c'mon…" he insists, his voice deepening and gravel-rough. "You remember."

Jeremiah's own mouth presses into a flat, white line.

"… Pretending to hang ourselves for a joke," he mutters, looking away.

"And what a joke it was!" Jerome crows out. "Scared the bejeebus out of that poor little animal trainer. I've never seen anyone throw up so spectacularly in my life!" When he jumps back on his feet and approaches his twin, Jeremiah backs up, visibly quivering.

He never wanted any of this — to be successfully discovered by Jerome, or for someone get hurt or antagonized. People are dead. Jerome should have been locked away in the holding cell. Forever.

The cool, silvery edge of the knife's blade lifts, pressing gently over the round of Jeremiah's cheek. "Hey now… relax," Jerome tells him conversationally, managing to crowd his twin up against the armrest of a worn, tweed couch. "I ain't gonna kill ya…"

"Then what do you want?"

"I want you… to show your true colors." Jerome's eyes are bright with deranged and hellishly livid emotions. "Like the manipulative little shit that you are."

Jeremiah's gut twists. "I'm not YOU," he mutters again, this time defensively.

"We're more alike than you think, baby brother."

He doesn't know what makes him think it's logical, but Jeremiah unfolds an arm and reaches out, examining the other man with the same bright eyes, tracing his fingertips carefully over a ridge of dense, pale scarring to Jerome's forehead. And his brother lets him, keeping the blade on Jeremiah's cheek but softer, like a sweet, hungry pressure.

"Jerome…"

Maybe it's too much, too quickly after being separated for too long. He feels it — that ache and loss mingled inside a roaring, intimate fury, when an unsmiling Jerome lunges in, cupping the side of Jeremiah's face, kissing him hard enough to rattle their teeth and jaws upon impact. Patience couldn't be a virtue for Jerome. He allows Jerome to overtake him, their lips crushing, sucking, opening and gasping and slickened in hot spit.

Jeremiah's quivering returns, when he pulls back, dazed, with his glasses skewed, cringing and feeling the hardness of Jerome's nose nuzzling playfully against his own.

"See what I mean…?"

No. No, he can't.

As if sensing the struggle, Jerome grins and taps the flat-end of the kitchen knife lightly against Jeremiah's own forehead. "You will… … oh, you will soon enough," he promises, stepping away and tossing the knife carelessly onto the floor, beginning to laugh.

Jerome goes back the way he came through the ninth story window, crawling out with an exaggerated, open-mouthed wink in his twin's direction, vanishing into the moonlight and shadows.

It'll end — just not the way Jeremiah, or his brother, wants.

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Gotham isn't mine. Requested by a friend who thought I would chickenshit out on doing this SO TAKE THAT. I WIN. I WINNNNNN.