A request fill for Jim/Seb's first hook up, which somehow ended up as a multi-chapter exposition regarding their living situation. Violence and copious cursing in the first half. Probably more violence and cursing in the second half, that and sexy times.
Title from "Her Ornament" by The Verve Pipe.
"Your services as chief of staff are no longer required."
Sebastian knew this day was coming. After three years of impeccable service, the boss would tire of him, find someone more suited for a job of managing god knows how many people, and he would lose his job and probably his life. He imagined Moriarty didn't let fired employees live. He wouldn't either.
In three years of service, this was only their third time meeting face to face. The boss liked to keep things as impersonal as possible; most interactions took place via text message or e-mail. The only other times they had met like this were when he was first promoted to chief of staff a year and a half ago, and another time on a rather odd occasion last New Year's Eve for drinks (Sebastian had spent most of his time working internationally so the boss didn't have to, but just happened to end up in London at the end of December. Most of the night had been a blur and neither of them wanted to talk about it afterward).
Now he was being fired. And probably killed. He reached for his gun. Then stopped.
The boss didn't even flinch, but rather kept speaking, "You're being promoted."
Sebastian grins out of confusion, "Good thing I didn't shoot you then."
"You wouldn't have. That's why you're being promoted."
"So what am I being promoted to?"
"It doesn't have a title. You'll be working more closely with me. A personal...assisstant, I suppose. Bodyguard. Assassin. Right hand man. Ehm, colleague. Got it?"
"You're wondering why on earth I would trust you of all people to work directly with me."
Sebastian didn't reply, but waited for an answer. Up until now, chief of staff was the top of the employee chain, and even in such a powerful position he hardly saw his boss. Suddenly he would be expected to work right next to this mastermind he didn't know, and who didn't know him.
Jim continued, "You're a smart man, Moran. Nowhere near as smart as me, of course, but intelligent as far as ordinary people go. You lack a moral compass, either that or you just don't care. Either way, you've a valuable talent for things of a violent nature, and you're the best of your kind. You don't pull the trigger unless I say and when you do pull the trigger you don't miss. That makes you dangerous. You're a threat to me. And I'm sure you know what they say one should do with their enemies."
"So we're enemies?"
"Not at the moment, but one day I'm sure I'll have to put you down."
"If I'm such a threat then why would you give me more opportunities to, say, kill you and take over this ring you're running? You're more valuable to me dead."
"Because you didn't shoot me just a moment ago when you thought you were being fired. I'm unarmed, Moran. There's no one here to protect me and I'm in no position to protect myself. You have a gun, you thought I was going to kill you, but you didn't take the opportunity to shoot me first. Any one of the other employees that come to me to solve their problems, the murderers and thieves and con men and madmen, any one of them would have killed me to save their own skin. Except you."
"Because I'm loyal."
"Because you're crazy," Jim widened his eyes and swirled his index finger near his ear, "Loyalty is a kinder word for it. Regardless, you're the only person for the job. So don't turn me down. There will be a raise in pay, travel will be covered as before, and I'm providing you with a flat here in London, all expenses covered. I'll text you the address when it's ready. That is all. Dismissed."
"Drinks to celebrate?"
"Good god, no."
"Shit, that's a high ceiling."
"Not quite the standard greeting, but good evening to you as well."
"And this is where I'll be living? This whole place. This is an entire floor of a building."
"Two floors, actually. That's why the ceiling is so high. Your books have been added to the library, your clothes have been burned and replaced with more suitable attire, and your furniture has been destroyed because I don't like it."
"You burned my clothes?"
"Dinner will be ready in an hour."
"Who's making dinner?"
"Your room is down the hall to the left."
"Are you really so thick?"
"No. Just. Yes. What? Isn't the whole flat mine?"
"Why would you need all this space?"
"I take back what I said about you being intelligent. You're a fucking moron. I own the entire building. I burned your clothes because they're gross. I destroyed your furniture because the flat doesn't need any more. I am making dinner because I am not incompetent. Your room is to the left because mine is to the right and the one in the middle has its own purposes. Better?"
"I'm living with you."
"Yes. Wasn't that understood?"
"Do you have anything to drink?"
The first month was...rough.
Work was work, just a bit more hands on, and Sebastian definitely preferred it to chief of staff. He traveled less, but got to wield the rifle more, and didn't have to deal with underlings as much as he used to. Work was the good part.
Living with the boss – Jim, as started insisting on being called – was the hard part. Jim was insufferable and impossible to please. His moods would swing unexpectedly from genial to violent, and he spent a good amount of time acting like a petulant child. A very dangerous, spoiled child. Sebastian came out of the first month covered in bruises and burns and scars, most of which had no reason to be there. If Jim wanted to have him around so much, he had a weird way of showing it.
However, it wasn't entirely bad. In general, Jim was good company. The past year and a half hadn't left Sebastian with much time for or interest in having a social life, and he rarely saw the same people twice. But Jim was interesting, which made the living situation a little more bearable. He was every bit as brilliant as he said he was, and was an excellent conversationalist. On occasion he would give Sebastian a run for his money and drink him under the table. And as it turned out, he lied about being competent in the kitchen, but Sebastian was happy to take over on that front. There were probably worse flatmates in the world.
"What did I tell you about bringing people back here?" Jim screamed, ramming his elbow into Sebastian's sternum, "You're perfectly well behaved for three months and now this blatant disregard for the simplest request! What the fuck were you thinking you stupid fucking bitch?" a back hand slap, then grabbed by the shoulders and thrown against the wall. His head cracked back. Oh god. Jim was going to kill him. A punch to the jaw, "Not even fighting back! If you're going to disobey one rule you might as well break them all! Go on, then; hit me!"
Sebastian didn't move.
"Fuck, do I have to do everything myself?" Jim shrieked before grabbing him by the neck and bashing their foreheads together. Sebastian stumbled forward and overbalanced him. They thrashed about on the floor, throwing punches, half of which didn't connect.
"There's the spirit!" Jim roared, halfway between laughing and gagging from Sebastian's hand around his throat, "I was afraid I'd – AH! – whipped it all out of you. How useless would you be then? I should have ended your pathetic fucking existence months ago."
"Shut up SHUT UP!" Sebastian screamed back, clapping his free hand over Jim's mouth, tightening the other around his neck. Jim writhed and bit down hard, drawing blood, then rolled out from under him, landing a kick to his stomach before crawling over to the couch.
Both panting, they stared at each other from a safe distance for a few minutes until they could breath evenly again. Blood was running from the corner of Jim's mouth, how much of it was his was debatable. They'd both have ugly bruised bumps on their foreheads soon enough. Sebastian's hand had deep, bloody bite marks down the middle, and his chest and stomach hurt like hell.
"You know what we'll have to do with them," Jim said, his voice worn.
"I think you already killed the girl."
Jim laughed, "Yeah, a bullet through the head'll do that. But the guy's alive still. Only got him in the shoulder and leg, I think," he started to try to stand from his spot by the couch, shaking a little on unsteady legs, "I'll let you do the honors. Come along. And put some trousers on, I'm tired of looking at your cock."
Sebastian stood to follow. It had been a stupid idea. He was drunk and high and when the couple propositioned him it was so hard to say no. The girl was pretty, the man could have been a model, and they said all the right things and touched him in all the right places. He thought Jim was still in in France. He hadn't bothered checking before he brought them to the flat. Jim barged in with a pistol right when he came, like he had timed it. Now there was a dead woman in his bed and a bleeding, bound man in the room down the center of the hallway that Jim said was for special purposes. Hence the dark carpets and walls.
"Shit," Jim grumbled, striding closer to the man. What was his name? Kevin? Whatever. Didn't matter, "I think he bled out already. Ah. Looks like I must've hit something a bit more vital than I thought. Whoops," he giggled, "Not all of us can be marksmen," he paused, considering what to do instead, "Cut off his head and put it in the fridge. Dispose of the rest. The woman too."
Sebastian zipped up his trousers and got to work. What a night gone to shit. The bastard was lucky to be dead already.
A month had passed since what was now affectionately termed as The Threesome Incident, and Sebastian hadn't been out of the flat once for pleasure once. Jim kept him close, worked him to the bone, brought him back exhausted every evening, found reasons to keep him in for the night. Maybe there weren't worse flatmates. Maybe Jim was it.
"You look wretched," Jim commented from the couch, "Do you even sleep?"
"Hn," Sebastian replied, his focus on the bottom of his empty coffee mug.
"I've been awfully cruel these past few weeks, haven't I. Have you learned your lesson?"
Sebastian glowered at him, but nodded.
"Tell you what. Take the day off tomorrow. Sleep or something. Then you can go out and get shitfaced and bury your woes in whatever snatch or arse you want. Just be ready to get back to work on Monday," he spoke like he was speaking to a child. Sebastian wanted to punch the smirk off his face, but a chance to sleep and a chance to fuck something that wasn't his own hand was too much to say no to.
So much for a day off. He spent the part of the day he was awake for feeling sick and sore, but still wouldn't pass up an opportunity to go out without Jim breathing down the back of his neck. The venture out proved worthless though, and he stumbled back to the flat at three in the morning having not enjoyed anything he wanted. He hadn't expected Jim to be awake as if waiting for him when he got in.
"Good night? Oh. Judging by the look on your face I'd say bad night."
Jim stood and walked towards him. The room was spinning. He just wanted to collapse and not wake up.
"You're not looking well," he stretched out his hands, placing one on each side of Sebastian's head, and rubbed his fingers into his temples a bit before carding them through his hair, which was sticky with sweat and product. He looked a little disgusted, but his features remained soft. Sebastian was too exhausted to care whatever the hell Jim was up to.
"You've lasted longer than I thought you would."
"Gimme anothrrr mnth nnd..." he didn't bother to slur through the rest of his sentence. His tongue felt like it was miles away. Jim was smiling up at him, "Youhv bg ahhz."
"For the sake of your bodily safety I'm going to assume you said 'big eyes' and not 'big arse'. I'm blushing, really. Oh no, how silly of me. I wasn't referring to how long you'd hold on to your job. What I meant was," the room was getting hazy, then darker, "How long it would take for the drug I've been working on to go through your system," his legs were going numb. All of his limbs were. Sebastian leaned heavily on Jim, who was surprisingly capable of holding his weight, "Several hours more than I hypothesized. But then, you are a resilient one, aren't you?"
"Shh. I know."
"Oh please, you're acting like you're the only person I tested it on."
"You just said that fifty percent of the trials ended in death!"
"Lower than I thought."
"Twenty percent of those being immediate death!"
"Not what I was going for. I'll have to work out the kinks."
"You're a bloody madman!"
"Really? Really? Well shit, I didn't notice. Here I thought I was a decent businessman and a loving husband. Gosh, you've just thrown me for a loop, you really have."
"A whole new perspective on things, like you've opened a door."
"To endless possibilities."
"Next time you do that, I will kill you."
Jim replied in a sing-song voice, "Not if you're already dead. Now be quiet and eat your eggy bread. You need your strength."
"I hate you."
"That's what makes it so fun!"
"I do what?"
"Have a big arse."
"Like you've shoved a pair of classroom globes down the back of your pants."
"Eat your goddamn french toast before I beat you to death with the skillet."
"It's amazing, really."
Jim jabbed him in the bicep with a fork.
They both smiled, and it felt something akin to friendship.
I figured that they'd be the kind to realize their friendship after beating the shit out of each other, getting drugged, and throwing around some fat ass jokes. What a beautiful friendship it is.