Bring It On, You Asshole
By Cyril de Ciel
Warning: Foul language.
A/N: Hey, guys! Sorry for the long update, but as I promised in my profile, I won't abandon any stories that I may post. Thank you very much for all of your encouraging and kind reviews. I apologize that I can't respond to each one personally because I'm overloaded with work, but rest assured that I have read each one. Again, thanks! Hope you enjoy this chapter!
Throwing his suit jacket on the back of the couch, Bruce sighed as he sank into the plush cushions. His eyes were closed and his head was tilted back, the back of his neck supported by the couch, when the soft voice of his butler broke through his meditating thoughts, "Young master? Is something the matter?"
He peered upside down at Alfred who stood at the doorway with a tray of the afternoon tea in his hands. "Just relaxing."
Alfred quirked an eyebrow as he entered the living room and placed the silver tray on the coffee table beside the young man. "Come now, young master. You got a new secretary today, didn't you?"
"How did you know?"
The butler ignored his question. "I have not seen Mr. Potter in years. It's good to see him healthy after so long."
"How do you know his name?"
Again, Alfred ignored him. "He's a nice young man, isn't he?"
Bewildered by how his butler was steadfastly disregarding his questions, Bruce finally sat up on the couch. "How do you even know Harry? I didn't even know I was getting a new secretary today much less who it was going to be."
"Unlike you, young master, I read through your papers when I organized them for you," Alfred replied with an arch of his eyebrow. He poured the tea and added the usual dollop of sugar before handing it over to Bruce.
"I wasn't at my best when I signed those documents," the young man lounging on the couch muttered as he accepted the steaming cup of his favourite tea.
"You were inebriated," Alfred said wryly.
There was no response from his young master who was quick to disappear behind the teacup.
Chuckling, Alfred adjusted the folded napkin resting on his forearm as he straightened. "Do take it easy on young Mr. Potter. Now then, if you'll excuse me, young master, I need to prepare dinner."
Bruce reappeared from behind his cup at those words just as his butler was about to leave the room. "What? But you didn't answer my question about how you know Harry."
The old man paused at the door. "You address Mr. Potter by his first name already?"
Bruce refused to allow the blush to make its appearance on his cheeks and raised an eyebrow. "And why not? I'm his employer. I can call him by his first name if I want to."
Alfred's lips twitched. "I see." Then with a slight bow, he left the room.
"Him and his mind games," Bruce muttered to himself, taking a bite of a biscuit. Just as he swallowed, it dawned on him. "And he never answered my question!"
Grabbing another biscuit off the silver tray, he downed the rest of his cooling tea and strolled out of the living room, down a long hallway, and into his personal study. Without pausing in his steps, he moved over to the bookshelves and after playing several keys on the grand piano, a click was heard before the shelves swung quietly open to reveal a dark elevator that lit up the moment he stepped in.
The old elevator creaked as it slowly descended underground. Stepping out of the lift, he made his way immediately to the large circular desk lined with computer screens monitoring for any stress calls on radio/TV frequencies. Bruce slid into his seat and with a small push, rolled over to the desk while swiveling around to face forward. He picked up a silver earpiece and settled it into his ear, his other hand already occupied with typing out some program codes to log into the locked system. Once the password was accepted, he rose from his seat, the earpiece in his ear beginning to receive radio transmissions from the devices he had installed in the more dangerous parts of Gothum.
Within minutes, a black, heavily armored tumbler slammed out of the waterfall situated off the perimeters of the Wayne properties, and roared down the deserted dirt road.
Securing his latest subdued criminal against the telephone pole close to a police station, the sudden beeping in his ear alerted him and he stood quickly to his feet. The cries of a mother pierced through him and with a furious growl, Bruce vaulted over a wired fence and swiftly heaved himself up an emergency escape ladder and climbed to the top to the roof of a building. Without losing time, he broke into a sprint, leaping from roof to roof with silent feet and leaving behind nothing but a whisper of a breeze.
By the moment he reached the district where the distress calls were coming from, he could make out a lithe figure moving like a whirlwind and dropping a few of the charging men like flies in heartbeats. Recognizing the raven hair and the flashing emerald eyes immediately, fury like no other erupted from deep within Bruce's chest, a menacing growl rumbling forth from his throat without his conscious control as he saw the degenerate lash out with a kick aimed at Harry's chest.
Without another thought, he dropped down from the top of the building and before he even landed fully with a heavy crunch on the pavement below, he was on the move again. Lunging forward, his gloved hand wrapped around the attacker's throat in a vice-like grip, his fingers digging into the soft flesh like claws as he slammed the shocked man head-first into the wall on his left. Fucking trash, he thought vehemently while glaring darkly at the crumbled form.
Detecting a sudden movement from behind him to the right, Bruce tensed—only to blink once in surprise when Harry slammed into his back. He felt the faint tremor that went through the smaller man's body when Harry blocked the blow meant for him, and moving on instinct, Bruce curved his arms around his waist to support him. For a moment, his mind went blank at the feeling of having Harry in his arms; and though his armor was thick, he imagined that he could feel the younger man's body heat searing through the material and burning into his skin.
The quiet words of gratitude snapped him out of his temporary still-state and Bruce's arms slipped off Harry's waist as his mind reared in horror at himself. He watched as his new secretary felled the remaining standing man with a well-placed kick. A muscle jumped in Bruce's cheek while he moved to secure the thugs for the police he had anonymously notified minutes before he dropped into the scene. That he would slip so out of control as to lose his mind in fantasy in the middle of a fight…Harry James Potter was dangerous.
Beep-a-beep! Beep-a-beep! Beep-a-beep!
Blearily opening his eyes at the irritating sound of the alarm attempting to blast holes through his brain, Harry groaned and flung his arm out. His groping fingers finally sought out the annoying device and shut it off. Muttering darkly under his breath, he brought his forearm up to rest against his eyes. He was still tired. After the episode last night, the questioning at the police station had taken longer than he thought it would. After getting the story from the mother, they almost basically drilled him on his identity, where and how he learned to fight—trying to determine if he would later present a threat to the general public (even though he had used said skills to save a woman and her children mere minutes earlier). Then, they tried to charge him on the account of carrying hidden weapons on his person. But when he showed them his legal documents stating his license of possessing said weapons, the officers scoffed and declared them faux. They didn't believe what he claimed to be: Harry Potter, Bruce Wayne's secretary and bodyguard.
- Flashback -
The brown-haired officer, with 'Wilton' engraved on his nameplate, scanned through the papers with his partner before he snorted and tossed them on the metal table. "These are obviously forged," he declared.
Harry reigned in his exasperation. "Look, those are authentic, legal documents. My name is Harry James Potter, and I have the right to carry the knives on me as stated in that license. I was a police officer in Britain"—okay, so that wasn't entirely true, but he couldn't say that he was an 'Auror', so a policeman was close enough—"I know how to handle those weapons properly."
"That doesn't mean that you can wield them here. This is not Britain."
"That license is valid universally. It's been verified with your government before I crossed borders since, as Mr. Wayne's official secretary and bodyguard, it is imperative for me to have the means to protect him."
Wilton leaned back into his chair and crossed his arms across his chest, a skeptic expression on his face. "You're still seriously standing by that excuse?" he asked incredulously. He made no attempt to hide his scanning of Harry from head to toe with his eyes—a look appearing in their depths that instantly set Harry off on an edge in disgust. "How can a slender young man like you have the ability to guard someone as prominent and important as Mr. Wayne? A small person like you…" he mocked.
Harry merely arched his eyebrow at the insult, somehow feeling that he was channeling a bit of Malfoy as he stared the other man down. Refusing to let his anger show, he said simply, "I want my phone call."
"Going to call for a lawyer now that you know you've been caught?" Wilton scoffed. "Typical."
He ignored him and nodded in thanks at the other officer who handed him a cellphone. Dialing the number quickly, Harry spoke, "Sir? This is Harry Potter. I defended a woman and her children against some degenerates who were threatening them, and now I'm at the main police station in the Clock Tower district. However, the officers here do not believe that my papers are authentic." He paused, listening to the other on the other end of the line before he nodded, "Yes, sir, understood."
Harry hung up and handed the cellphone back.
"What's this? The lawyer not going to take the job?" the brunet officer sneered.
"Wilton, that's enough," said his partner. "Stop being such an ass; he saved the mother and her kids."
"Shut up, Ian. That still doesn't change the fact that he was carrying weapons and in possession of illegal documents too," Wilton shot back. He leered at Harry, "Guess you're all mine to lock up in the cells with the other delinquents."
Emerald eyes locked on the mocking policeman in a hard stare. "He will be here in less than 10 minutes."
Wilton stood. "I don't give a damn. You're still going to the cells. Get up."
Harry did not move. "I have the right to wait."
"He's right," Ian spoke up when his partner looked like he was about to wrench Harry out of his chair anyways. "It's only 10 minutes, Wilton. Let's just wait for his lawyer, or the boss won't like it if he gets a complaint from Law Department."
Wilton scowled but sat back down, muttering under his breath, "Damn Gordon."
Harry mentally catalogued the muttered name for later perusal. The higher-ranked policeman sounded like someone who obeyed the law and demanded the same from his subordinates, and in a city like Gothum, it would be noteworthy to take that into account.
Nine minutes passed in silence in the interrogation room with Wilton starring unabashedly at Harry, who in turn, ignored him and reined in his urge to wipe off the lustful look on the officer's face. Ten seconds before it hit ten minutes, the brunet lost control over his patience and abruptly stood to his feet. "That's it! Time's up. Get up!"
Wilton stalked towards Harry and angrily grabbed his arm just as the tenth minute came into fruition. The door slammed open with a resounding BANG!— and strolling in like he owned the place—"Do take your hand off my secretary. I hate signing papers reporting harassment."—was Bruce Wayne.
In his shock at seeing the Prince of Gotham in person and what his presence meant in connection to his captive, Wilton obediently withdrew his hand without conscious thought. "W-What—" He cleared his throat and tried again, a dark flush rising up his neck at his initial stammer. "Mr. Wayne, sir, what are you doing here?"
Every inch the cocky businessman that he was, Bruce ignored him. He turned to face his intended target and arched an eyebrow. "You just finished your first day of work several hours ago, and you're already in trouble?" he smirked, his eyes trained on the emerald-eyed young man glaring at him. "You're supposed to be my bodyguard, and yet, here I am rescuing you."
"I called Mr. Fox, Mr. Wayne," Harry said through gritted teeth, the smug look on Bruce's face getting to his nerves—not that he would ever openly admit that the expression suited him, and that it looked much too sexy on his defined features; features that he could see his tongue tracing and—He mentally hexed himself back into reality when his boss's voice entered his hearing again.
"Ah yes, Lucius. He had an unexpected meeting that he had to oversee so he called to inform me of the situation."
"A meeting at this hour?" Harry asked incredulously.
"We have international clients," Bruce replied promptly with a quirked eyebrow again. "And time zones do exist, Mr. Potter."
Harry smiled, and if his lips seemed a little tight around the edges, he didn't care. "Of course. Now, can we get to the point why I called Mr. Fox in the first place?
The tall businessman slipped a hand inside his jacket and withdrew folded papers. He held them out, handing them to the closest officer which was Ian. "These are the photocopied versions of the contract that Mr. Potter holds with me. He is, indeed, my secretary and bodyguard."
Ian perused through the documents before looking back up at Bruce with a satisfied smile. "Yes, sir, everything seems to be in order. Mr. Potter is free to go."
At that, Wilton seemed to spring back into life from his previous frozen state when Bruce had completely ignored him and his questions. "Wait! He can't just leave like that! A photocopied version of the contract is not enough to clear him of being in possession of forged documents and of hidden weapons!"
"Do you hear yourself, man?" Ian shot his partner a disbelieving look. "The contract clearly states that Mr. Potter is who he claims to be, which verifies the fact that his documents are not 'forged' as you've been adamant to declare. He's free to go."
Hard blue eyes pinned Wilton into place, cutting him off with the harsh glare. "You do realize what time it is right now?" Bruce drawled. "It's 3 in the morning, and my lawyers are extremely bloodthirsty when they're woken up at this ungodly hour."
The dark glint in Bruce's eyes sent chills down the brown-haired officer's neck, and he broke out into a nervous sweat. However, when Harry moved to walk past him towards the businessman waiting for him at the open doorway, his arm went up to stop him.
Reflexively, Harry's right hand shot out and clamped onto Wilton's wrist. He shifted his weight back on his left leg as he pulled the officer's arm down and forcing him to stumble forward—right into Harry's raised right knee. It all happened so quickly that it left Wilton coughing and clutching at his aching stomach, his eyes staring uncomprehendingly at the concrete floor as his brain struggled to understand what had just occurred for him to be in his current position.
Harry glanced at the other officer who did nothing to help his gasping partner lying on the ground. Ian caught his eyes and he shrugged, a hint of an amused smile playing on the corners of his lips. "From what I saw, it was self-defense. You're free to go, and he was trying to obstruct your right to do so."
Harry nodded once in thanks and then, both he and Bruce walked out of the police station without another hindrance.
- End of flashback -
A frown creased Harry's forehead as he stared up at the ceiling from his bed. He recalled the lift back home that his boss gave him in his sleek new Koenigsegg CCX. He could practically feel the smugness oozing from Bruce as they drove in silence to his flat. He had refused to turn his head to look in the other man's direction, opting instead to stare out the window. When they arrived, he imparted his gratitude with a sincere "thank you" and moved to get out of the car.
"You owe me one, shorty," his boss had said just as Harry closed the door. He had whipped around on the spot, but the Koenigsegg had already pulled away from the curb with a rumbling purr of powerful engines.
Harry went to bed last night with a scowl.
He abruptly shook his head to rid himself of the irritated gloom that had begun to fall over him and glanced at the alarm clock again—only to bolt out of bed with a loud cry. "SHIT!"
In less than ten minutes, he was rushing out of the door with a toast clenched between his teeth. Glancing at his watch as he ran out of building, he growled and swore. "Gah, damn it!" He swerved sharply into an empty alley and after casting a Disillusion spell on himself, he Apparated. Appearing moments later in another alleyway just a block away from Wayne Enterprise, Harry checked to see that all was clear before he cast the counter-spell and his figure shimmered back into view.
Without wasting another second, he broke into a dead sprint out onto the sidewalk and pelted towards the looming building constructed of glass and titanium further down the street.
When the elevator door closed behind him with a melodic ping!, Harry slumped against the mirrors making up the walls of the elevator with a ragged sigh of relief—he'd just made it in time with 3 minutes to spare. As he watched the numbers light up one after the other, he took a deep steadying breath and straightened. Harry tugged his suit into place, smoothing out the errant wrinkles, and ran a hand through his hair in a futile attempt to tame it into some semblance of order. The presidential level lit up. He squared his shoulders and straightened his back as the elevator doors opened, and he strolled into the foyer that greeted him.
Setting his briefcase down on Mr. Fox's—no, from now on, it was his desk, Harry took off his jacket and hung it up in the small, unnoticeable closet hidden in a corner on the far side of the wall on the left. He glanced at the clock. Bruce should be arriving in several minutes. At the thought, an annoyed scowl appeared on his features as last night's events came into mind again. Harry shook his head, mentally slapping himself. No, he refused to let him get one over him. Harry was not going to break. He slid into his seat, took out the necessary papers from his briefcase, and started to work.
However, when the sound of the elevator reaching the presidential suite reached his ears not mere fifteen minutes later, a frown made its way across his face without his permission. Harry managed to wipe his expression clean into a pleasant mask just before the doors opened and Bruce stepped out.
Harry stood and greeted him politely, "Good morning, Mr. Wayne."
"Hm, it would be if I hadn't been woken up at an ungodly hour this morning to get a particular someone out of trouble," was Bruce's bland response as he unceremoniously dumped his briefcase and Armani jacket on Harry's desk—right on top of his keyboard and the 'shut down' button, consequently erasing all of the work that Harry had been doing since he came in.
A muscle jumped in Harry's cheek but he bit his lower lip and said nothing, somehow maintaining his polite smile.
Bruce arched an eyebrow. "Is something the matter?" he asked.
You know exactly what you just did, you bastard, Harry inwardly seethed at the sight of the smug smirk pulling at the taller man's lips. Outwardly, he shook his head. "No, everything's fine, thank you."
"Good." Without another word, Bruce moved towards his office, but before he entered his bureau, he paused by the door and turned around. "Ah yes, there's something I would like you to do."
"I haven't had breakfast yet, and I'm craving for authentic French cuisine right now. You have one hour."
"You can't do it?" Bruce's lips curled again into another smirk. "Because if you can't, then that would be an inability to fulfill the specific criterion of a secretary who is required to be able to carry out a direct order from me under all conditions. I'm certain my lawyers would be able to use that legal aspect to nullify your contract."
"Not necessary, Mr. Wayne," Harry gritted out between clenched teeth. "Your breakfast will be ready for you in an hour."
"See that it is," was Bruce's parting shot before he disappeared into his office.
How the bloody hell am I going to get an authentic French breakfast ready and delivered here in only an hour? Are there even French restaurants open at this time? Harry thought numbly, standing stock still for several seconds. Then, the image of the tall man's smirking face flashed in his mind and he felt irritation like no other flare up within him again. This time, he did not attempt to smother it; in fact, he welcomed it and urged it into a burning inferno. Harry glared darkly at the closed doors leading into Bruce's bureau.
Fuck it. Challenge accepted.