"All men have something to hide. The brighter the picture, the darker
-Rupert Thorne, "Two-Face, Part I"
Bruce gathered Dent's fiancee up from the hospital floor. He'd come to see
Harvey, but it was too late for that. Thick, red curtains tangled up into
the wind at the end of the hall, whipping out into the dark. Bits of
a shattered mirror clung to the nubby fabric or lay upon the linoleum in
scattered dustings of glass. The frigid air creeping in through the open
window chilled them both.
She opened her eyes and took instantly to weeping. Bruce's gentle expression
was nothing like the horror-stricken visage--the horrifying visage--Harvey
had worn. She blinked hard.
"Bruce." She fixed her eyes on Bruce's face and kept them there as he lowered
her to the ground. She stood there, still gripping his elbows for support.
"I'm sorry, Grace."
"I know," she broke away from him and moved toward the end of the hall, feeling
the wind nip at her skin, "I think Harvey knows it, too."
"He and I were . . . close."
That was the least vague bit of information Bruce had revealed to Grace of
his relationship with her fiancee. He breathed a sigh of relief as her car
pulled away from the Wayne mansion. She'd had so many questions, and Bruce
wanted to avoid telling her much more than she already knew. Harvey had spoken
of him quite a bit, that much was certain. But what had he said?
Bruce shook his head and chained the door shut. Before all this, he'd only
seen Harvey get mad once, back in school. His anger had exploded in the room,
staining Bruce's flesh. The rage was crimson handprints squeezed into his
arms, blackberry-dark swaths of color criss-crossing his back, eyes deep
and brown as mud and swollen shut beneath puffy blue bruises. He remembered
the long drive home alone, but few details of what had made him get in the
car. Still, he recalled Alfred meeting him at the door and the older man's
strong hands around his waist, supporting him. He imagined he could still
hear the trickle of warm water into the tub as Alfred washed away the beer
and the blood, could still feel the sharp prick of the needle as Alfred
stitched back together skin Harvey had broken.
"Oh. Alfred," Bruce rubbed his left temple. "Sorry, I was just . . . I was
just thinking about an old friend."
Alfred wore the weary expression of one not accustomed to being made to speak
"That's quite alright, sir. I was inquiring as to whether you required anything
more before I retire to bed."
"No, Alfred. Good night."
"Good night, Master Bruce."
Alfred was halfway up the massive staircase when he felt Bruce's fingers
curve and close around his shoulder.
"Alfred--there is one thing."
"I do say, sir--this is a rather peculiar request, is it not?"
"I need to gather any information I can. Maybe there's something you remember
that could save Harvey."
Alfred spread out his hands, "But Master Bruce, your college days were a
very long time ago."
Bruce raised one brow and frowned in mock pain at Alfred's candor.
"Well, sir . . . they were."
"Alright, Alfred. Just tell me, when I came here that night, what did I do?
What did I say? About Harvey, about the fight, anything that happened? Do
Alfred sighed and sunk into the chair.
"Yes, sir, of course, I remember. I just don't understand why you would wish
to revive that particular memory. It's not exactly a fond one."
Bruce stared down at the kitchen table.
"Master Bruce, those are very painful memories."
"Don't you think I know that?" Bruce seethed with a smoldering frustration
he rarely felt directed toward Alfred. "Of course the memories are painful;
they are also the closest thing I have to any record of an early iteration
of Harvey's alter ego. I've blocked so much of it out."
Bruce dropped his head into his hands, his shoulders sagging under the weight
of his debt. "I have to remember. I know those memories will be painful to
me, but Alfred, I need you to help me remember."
Alfred paused a moment before he stood up and pushed in his chair. "Not just
painful for you, Master Bruce." He shook his grey head slowly. "I will support
you however I can in your efforts to save your friend, but I am sorry--I
cannot do this. "
Alfred walked softly to the door and bade the younger man good night before
he pushed it open and padded upstairs to bed, leaving Bruce alone in the
kitchen, brooding over a bowl of grapes. Fuck. Bruce guessed he hadn't given
enough respect to Alfred's feelings. It was good to be reminded of
just how much Alfred cared for him, but at the same time, it wasn't going
to get him any closer to finding the answers he needed for Harvey. Remembering
his nine o'clock the next morning, Bruce headed upstairs with a packet of
case studies; he would read himself to sleep.
Leslie Thompkins' office was empty apart from Bruce and the aging psychiatrist.
She'd agreed to see him on a Saturday because he'd sounded so urgent on her
assistant's answering machine. Whatever the matter was, she knew that if
she simply stayed home and slept in, as she had planned, she'd hate herself
later for not having made herself available to Bruce when he needed her.
Dr. Thompkins waved Bruce into her office, and he instinctively relaxed into
the sofa. She skipped the usual preamble--Bruce probably knew it by rote,
"You know, Bruce, you haven't wavered from our schedule in years. Never missed
an appointment, never changed the date or the time."
"That's right," Bruce's voice was thick and warm as the blood rushing beneath
his skin, "And I appreciate your seeing me now, especially on such short
"What's troubling you, Bruce?"
He didn't answer immediately; the two sat listening to drops of rain tap-tap
on the windows with gradually building intensity.
"Is it . . . Harvey?" she finally prodded.
Bruce looked up. "How did you know that?"
"It's all over the news what happened. Sooner or later, I expected you'd
need to talk. I know he was a close friend of yours."
Bruce stood up from the couch and paced the room, his thick black footsteps
beating a soft, steady rhythm. He stopped suddenly in front of the old woman,
gazing down at her. "I need to remember that night."
She sighed and tilted her head up at him. "And I figured you'd ask me for
"We've discussed the procedure before, so this time, I'm not going to try
to talk you out of it. Take these," Dr. Thompkins waved towards a small silver
tray with an array of pills laid out upon it, "and then follow me."
Thompkins walked out of the room and down the hall, with Bruce following
close behind. She unlocked a door, and when he had lain down on the cot and
fitted the memory apparatus around his head, she began to give him the standard
"Bruce, these memories are going to be extremely vivid. The events will seem
as real as they did when they were actually happening--while you are having
them, you're not going to know that
they are illusion."
"I understand, doctor." His voice was already heavy and drowsy with the pills'
"I'll monitor the procedure myself. Now, I am going to guide you into a hypnotic
state, taking you back to the time you wish to remember. You're safe here,
so I want you to just relax and let the pills do their job."
Bruce's hand lingered over the soft warmth of Harvey's belly, rising and
falling with each of the man's quivering, ragged breaths. The skin was silk
smooth, rich and smokey-dark as bourbon. Harvey's face glistened with sweat
as Bruce climbed on top of his body and gently licked the salty perspiration
from his nipples. Harvey's chest was firm and well-defined, covered with
light strands of soft, fine hair. A groan of pleasure escaped from his throat
as Bruce sucked first his left nipple, and then the right one, taking each
one gently between his teeth and teasing it hard. Bruce felt Harvey's cock
start and spring to life beneath him.
Bruce moved his lips up to Harvey's face. His friend's eyes were closed shut,
and Bruce kissed each of the quivering eyelids. He wiped away the tears flowing
down the sides of Harvey's face and disappearing into his hair. Harvey whimpered
quietly as Bruce dissolved the pain and pressure that had brought him there
to be comforted and touched.
"Shh . . ." Bruce kissed his cheek and then slid back down to Harvey's chest,
kissing his way down the soft trail of hair leading to the base of his cock.
He smiled slightly as he recognized Harvey's warm and sour smell. His hands
curved around the sides of his friend's torso, and he felt Harvey's entire
body shudder as his hips pushed up and his penis slipped between Bruce's
lips and into the pink wetness beyond them.
Harvey's musky scent curled into Bruce's nostrils as he slowly caressed the
man's cock with his tongue. The men fell into rhythm, Harvey fucking Bruce's
handsome face until his pain flowed
from him, a salty river emptying into Bruce's mouth. He swallowed it all
down inside him.
"Unh . . . Bruce . . ." Harvey laid his hand down at his side and gestured
for Bruce to move back up where Harvey could see him. He grabbed Bruce's
face and pressed his lips to the other man's, nudging them open and tasting
the warm saltiness that lingered on Bruce's tongue and clung to the roof
of his mouth.
Bruce kissed back, his own need gaining urgency. He guided his cock between
Harvey's smooth, hard thighs and pumped slowly. His mouth felt hot and full
with Harvey's tongue moving inside him. Harvey's hands ran down Bruce's back
and he grabbed hold of his firm,
tanned cheeks. Bruce felt the strong fingers knead his flesh--he pumped faster
between Harvey's thighs, and his whole body tensed and shook when he finally
came, burying his face in the pillow beside Harvey's head as he moaned and
screamed, lest anyone in the dormitory
should hear him.
Harvey woke up after a few hours' sleep to find Bruce sitting up in bed next
to him, his body still unclothed. Bruce was long and lithe, all taut, springy
muscle and flawless skin. Harvey turned over and laid a hand on Bruce's knee.
"Bruce, what's the matter?" he whispered.
A pause lingered between them. "This has to be the last time, Harvey."
Harvey shook his head in annoyance and did his best not to understand. "Last
time for what?"
"Last time for this." Bruce gazed down into Harvey's dark brown eyes. "Harvey,
this isn't me."
"What's not you?"
Bruce averted his eyes, choosing not to look directly into Harvey's pain.
"Bruce, what's not you? Is this about what that shrink told you? Don't tell
me you fucking believe her. What, so now you think we're both a couple of--"
"Look, that's not what I'm saying, Harvey, it's just--"
"You're my friend, Bruce. I needed a friend; that's why I came here tonight.
I needed someone to talk to. I needed someone to listen to me. One thing
just led to another, and here we are."
Bruce turned away, gazing into the dark.
"One thing," Bruce whispered slowly, "just always seems to lead to another
with you, Harvey."
"Look, Bruce, it's not like I fucked you up the ass, okay?" Bruce flinched
almost imperceptibly, but Harvey sensed it and softened his voice. "Look,
I didn't make you do anything you didn't want to do. We're just friends being
there for one another. What's gotten into you?"
"Harv, I just . . ."
Bruce stood up abruptly. He had just begun to pick his clothes up off the
floor when Harvey shot out of bed and grabbed his arm, yanking Bruce around
to face him.
"I said, What's gotten into you?" His eyes flashed in anger. Before Bruce
could answer, Harvey knocked him to the floor. He got down and straddled
Bruce's body, and delivered two solid blows to either side of his head. Bruce
fought down the urge to cry out as he felt one of Harvey's iron-strong hands
tighten around his neck--he couldn't be found like this, naked in his dorm
room with another man, under any circumstances.
"Now, here's what I'm gonna do, Wayne." Harvey reached up with his free hand
and grabbed a coin from the nightstand. "This coin comes up heads, I'm gonna
beat the crap out of ya for ruining my night like this. It comes up tails,
and I'm gonna fuck you so deep in your ass you're gonna feel it in your tonsils,
"Don't worry, Wayne." He winked at Bruce. "You'd like that."
Fractions of a second felt like years as Bruce watched the silver circle
turn round in the air and then thump down onto the carpet. Harvey picked
it up and a sly smile crawled across his face
as he saw what the coin prescribed.
A gentle hand touched Bruce's shoulder.
"Bruce? You can wake up, now. The drugs are wearing off."
"Leslie . . ." Bruce sat up as the psychiatrist removed his bulky headset
and handed him a glass of water. He took her hand in his.
"Bruce, would you like to talk about what you just saw?"
He nodded his head slowly.
"I hurt him so badly." Bruce withdrew his hand as the words came rushing
out. He held his palms spread flat and pressed side-by-side in front of him,
as though he could watch the anguish spilling from him pour into his hands
and pool there. "I wanted to abandon him. I should have known how that would
make him feel. God," Bruce sobbed, "my scars are proof of how much I hurt
"Bruce, you're not being fair to yourself!"
"Where's the recording?"
Dr. Thompkins pressed a button on her computer and ejected the CD she'd saved
Bruce's memories to, for him to examine later.
"Here's the disc, Bruce."
The CD snapped between his hands, and then snapped again. Bruce allowed the
pieces to fall to the floor in a brilliant, tinkling shower of plastic and
"Thank you, Doctor."
Dr. Thompkins stared at the shards that lay, useless, on the ground.
"Bruce, we need to go back to my office right now, so I can help you work
through what you're feeling." She looked up, but all she saw was a door swinging
"Master Bruce, Grace Lamont phoned while you were out. She asked that you
ring her at this number." Alfred passed a piece of paper to Bruce.
"Thank you, Alfred." Bruce regarded the note thoughtfully and then laid it
upon his desk, where he sat. "Alfred, do you know where I went this morning?"
"I have my suspicions, Master Bruce."
"I went to Dr. Thompkins' office."
Alfred merely nodded, one eyebrow expectantly arched.
"And now I have the memories."
"That was the idea, wasn't it, sir?"
Bruce brought his hands to his face and rubbed his eyes, as though by so
doing he could break up the tension he felt.
"Alfred, it all felt so real."
His butler listened silently.
"He was there; I could touch him and feel his skin against mine. There was
a light in his eyes that filled the room and shone over me, over him, over
everything . . .
"And Alfred," Bruce lifted his head from his hands and looked up at the silent
older man, "my nightmares are the only place I see him, now. He's there,
accusing me because I didn't save him when I could have. And in his eyes,
there is only the darkness--the same
darkness I saw that night before I came back here. To you."