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The Light Within A Blackhole

Chapter Text

 

 

Shadows settle on the place that you left

Our minds are troubled by the emptiness 

Destroy the middle, it's a waste of time

From the perfect start to the finish line 

 

____________________________________________

 

At the age of five Jerome had never really given much thought on soulmates. He knew that his mother had one, because of the scars littering up the inside of her arm. The caved in discolored skin read out the phrase, ' It's nice to meet you'. He only ever asked about it once, which had earned him a slap across the face and then she kicked him out of the trailer. So he grabbed jeremiah's small hand and made the trek over to Mr.Cicero's trailer.

 

 The man was an old blind guy masquerading around as a fortune teller. Sometimes he would let the twins stay in his trailer when their mother was in one of her moods. All he asked in return was that Jerome help pickpocket some of his customers as he read their fortune. When Jerome and Jeremiah arrived the old man was sitting in a lawn chair in front of his trailer, he raised a hand to greet them. It pissed Jerome off to no end that the old shit somehow always managed to know they were there before he would even make a noise. It made pranks on him very difficult. 

 

"What'd you do this time Jerome?" The man asked. 

"Nothing. All I did was ask a question." He grumbled under his breath. Mr.Cicero raised an accusing eyebrow at him. So he and Miah sat down and told him about what had happened. Well, more like Jerome explained what happened, Jeremiah never really liked talking to anyone other than his twin and their Mom. 

 

When he finished talking the old man grumbled a little bit and then started explaining soulmates, of course he dumbed it down a little so two five year olds could understand it. So he told the boys that soulmates are the one person you are destined to be with, the one person who will love you more than anyone in your whole life. Both the twins nodded in understanding so he continued on explaining next what soulmarks are. 

 

"When you turn eighteen, black words will appear on your wrists." He pointed to his own wrist where Jerome could make out the top of a few letters under his coat sleeve. 

"They are the last thing your soulmate will ever say to you. When the words are spoken they change from black and become scars." He can hear Jeremiah gasp from where he's sitting beside him so he reaches his hand over and wrapped it around his baby brother's. 

"Do they hurt?" Miah's soft trembling voice asked. 

"Only a little." The old man reassured him. 

 

"Your mom was really rather unfortunate, she only ever met her soulmate once right before he died. That's why she got mad when you asked about it. It makes her very sad." 

Jerome couldn't quite understand why her being sad made her mad at him, sad and mad were two different emotions. He decided not to think about it too much, his mom often did stuff that didn't make any sense. 

 

Later that night him and Jeremiah were sitting in the tree by their trailer while their mother had a friend over. His twin had been looking at his wrist all day and Jerome could see the tiny cogs in his brothers brain moving at full speed. 

"So what do you think your soulmate will be like?" Jerome asked. 

"I want you to be my soulmate. I think everyone else is stupid." His brother's quiet voice answered back as he locked his hopeful eyes on Jerome. 

"I already love ya more than I love anyone else. Just you wait, Miah. We're definitely gonna be soulmates, I promise" He said before he placed an over dramatic looney tunes type kiss to his baby brother's temple. Making a loud kissing noise as he did so. 

 

____________________________________________


It's funny how sometimes we don't even notice the moments that change us forever until years too late to stop them. The night Jerome's whole world stops turning the same way isn't even all that different from usual. His mother had left earlier that evening and it was dark out now. As per usual when their mom was off getting drunk, he was getting Jeremiah and himself ready for bed.

 

Miah was missing their mother severely, Jerome couldn't really understand why. Their mother really was a bitch, all she cared about was drinking and the stupid men she brought home with her. But even so, Jeremiah loves her. He wonders for a moment if it's because their mom has never raised a hand to hurt him, but pushes that thought away quickly. His baby brother is a big softie, that's all it is. He's a bit of a softie too he supposes because his chest aches a little as he sees the heartbroken look on his brothers face. So he devises a strategy quickly, brushing his teeth and singing at the same time always manages to put a smile on the genius's face. Sure enough a few seconds after he starts the song, the other seven year old is smiling so big you can see where he lost his tooth last week. Jerome had to steal a dollar from a stranger so that when he checked under his pillow in the morning he'd still believe in the tooth fairy. 

 

"See this is why your gonna be my soulmate." Jeremiah said loudly. "You always make me smile." 

 

"Don't be stupid, Jeremiah." Their mother slurred from the doorway to the bathroom, neither of the boys had heard her come in. Guess they had been too wrapped up in Jerome singing to hear her. 

 

Jeremiah quickly wrapped his arms around their mother as he let out a squeal of delight. Jerome stood as still as a statue in her gaze. She was home early, and alone. Which always meant it was gonna be a really bad night for him. 

She patted Jeremiah's head lightly as she said, 

"Jerome's not gonna be your soulmate ," she practically spat the last word out. "Jerome won't ever have a soulmate. Who would ever love a piece of shit like him." The words dripped into Jerome's veins like poison, infecting every part of him. They hurt more than anything she had ever said to him before, because part them rang true. 

 

Because somewhere deep in his heart, he knew that Jeremiah would never be his soulmate, because Jeremiah held the sunlight within his mouth and all the stars in the sky within his eyes. 

 

Jerome is a blackhole, and no light shines there. 

 

____________________________________________

 

It's a couple months later when Jerome kills his first animal. The first time was an accident, he was playing a game where he chased a squirrel with a baseball bat, he thought of it as an arcade game they had at the circus once. Whack a mole or somethin. He had done this before and normally they were just too fast, he just liked scaring them anyway. Jeremiah had been sitting in the shade of a nearby tree reading a book. He never much cared about what Jerome was doing when it came to the animals. 

 

Jerome swung his bat at the squirrel and instead of taking off like they normally do it just froze, most likely in fear. And the wooden bat hit it making a crunch sound as it collided with the animal. Jeremiah's head swung up at the new noise only to lock eyes on his twin brother's surprised face, then he looked down at the dead animal at the boy's feet. 

 

He thinks he should be disgusted or scared as he slowly gets up to walk over to him, but instead he finds that he is just curious and some other emotion he doesn't even begin to want to put a name too. 

 

He is halfway to his destination when Jerome starts to lift the bat into the air again and then smashes it back down onto the squirrel. There's another crunch. It's silent for a moment, the boy with the bat never taking his eyes off the animal, and then Jerome starts laughing. Laughing like this is the funniest thing he's ever seen in his life. The laugh in itself is something else altogether, it's this weird creepy cackling sound that Jeremiah has never heard before. 

 

Jerome swings the bat over and over again until the squirrel is nothing but a pile of bloody goo and fur. He never stops laughing.

 

Jeremiah is positive now that he should be scared, but again all he feels is curiosity. When Jerome turns and looks at him with an unending smile and the blood covered baseball bat still in his hand he thinks about how this boy looks nothing like the brother he knows. The one who holds him after he's had a nightmare and spends every moment trying to make Jeremiah laugh. He looks nothing like the boy who promised to be his soulmate. That thought is what makes him keel over and lose his lunch in the grass. 

 

____________________________________________

 

Over the next two years Jerome kills a couple more animals, a couple of alley cats and a dog.

 

Jeremiah still talks about soulmates sometimes but never again does he say he wants Jerome to be his soulmate. 

 

Jerome pretends it doesn't hurt as much as it does. It's a little after midnight and their in a different tree in a different state, and the nostalgia must be getting to him cause the words that slip out of his mouth surprise even him. 

"So what do you think your soulmate will be like?" The words don't sound the same anymore cause instead of playful curiosity they sound a bit hostile. It's quiet for a few minutes and Jerome's about to tell him to forget about it but stops when his brother starts speaking. 

 

"I think they're gonna be smart and nice. Probably have brown curly hair. And they'll be really really brave." His brother whispers to the stars. 

 

Jerome feels ice water in his veins. 

 

Something rolls down his cheek. 

 

He reaches up and wipes away a tear. A sob comes boiling up through his throat, and spills out of his mouth before he can stop it. Except when it comes out he isn't crying at all, he's laughing. And deep inside in some far corner of his brain something breaks. In that moment he loses something he doesn't think he'll ever get back. 

 

____________________________________________

 

We are the reckless 

We are the wild youth

Chasing visions of our futures 

One day we'll reveal the truth 

That one will die before he gets there 

 

_____________________________________________

 

"So what do you think your soulmate will be like?" Jerome asks him. The word you had almost slipped past his lips when suddenly he could see the squirrel again, could see the baseball bat, the look on Jerome's face, the laughter that still haunts his sleep, and most of all his own morbid curiosity. A chill runs up his spine. 

 

The word you gets stuck in his throat like gum. Instead he thinks about who he really needs in his life. A protector. A friends. Someone who doesn't carve up animals in their free time.

 

"I think they're gonna be smart and nice. Probably have curly… brown hair. And they'll be really really brave." 

 

There's a choking noise to his right. And when he looks over his brother is touching his face. 

 

And then the corners of his lips climb up his face and that laugh. It's the same, the same one that haunts his dreams. 

 

____________________________________________

 

The unhinged laughter becomes a regular fixture in his life after that. 

 

Its starts off slowly after that, so slowly if you weren't paying attention you would miss it. 

 

He wakes up from a nightmare crying, one filled with dead animals and laughter. In his dream he ran to Jerome only when he reached him, he disappeared like smoke, and when he looked down the mess of blood and guts was at his feet. The baseball bat was in his own hands. And the squirrel. The squirrel wasn't a squirrel at all, it was Jerome. 

 

He sits in bed staring at his brother's sleeping form. And he's crying still but he doesnt move to wake the boy he shares the twin sized mattress with. Instead he lays back down and closes his eyes. 

 

____________________________________________


They don't talk about soulmates anymore. 

 

Jerome doesn't talk to him unless he has too. 

 

Jeremiah pretends he doesn't hear his brother crying when they go to sleep. 

 

Their mother kicks them out of the house and Jerome wanders off and stumbles back into the trailer hours later smelling like blood. 

 

Jeremiah tells their mother when Jerome  smashes one of the trailer windows. He feels a little bad when his mom beats Jerome for it, then he remembers the squirrel and he doesn't feel so bad anymore. 

 

Jerome starts pissing their mother off on purpose, and he laughs the entire time she beats him.

 

Jeremiah doesn't even look up from the maze he's drawing when his mother smashes a beer bottle across Jerome's head. He doesn't help pull the glass out of his scalp later that night either. 

 

Jerome keeps walking when the bullies from the circus start to beat the shit out of Jeremiah, even as he calls for his twins help. 

 

There's missing animal posters everywhere in the town they've been staying in this week. 

 

Jeremiah falls down a flight of stairs and he hears his brothers laugh the whole way down. 

 

Jeremiah pretends he doesn't see the look in his brothers eyes as they pass a kitten on their way to the cigarette store. 

 

Jeremiah does notice the next week when that same look is focused on him. 

 

That's when he started coming up with the plan. It doesn't take much really, on their tenth birthday jeremiah takes a cake knife and cuts a small shallow gash across his neck. He cries on his mother's shoulder for hours after. When Uncle zach come over he watches from his mother's arms as the brute of a man pushes his twin to the ground. The two boys lock eyes, and for only a second Jerome is his brother again. He looks confused and heartbroken, and most of all terrified. And then Zach's boot makes contact with the ten year olds chest and just like that his brother is gone. By the time he's done with Jerome four of his ribs are broken. The whole time his twin is screaming and laughing and crying. Jeremiah feels nothing. 

 

When he lays down in bed that night Jeremiah chokes on his guilt. He doesn't sleep, plagued by the whimpering coming from the living room where he knows Jerome still lays immobile on the carpet. 

 

A week later he lights his own bed on fire while Jerome is in the bathroom. He wakes his mom screaming. 

 

The next night Uncle Zach's in his room, waking him up quietly and getting him in the car. 

 

The first night at saint Ignatius is the first night in a long time he doesn't dream of blood and laughter. Instead he dreams of Jerome surrounded by starlight and tree branches. 

"I already love ya more than I love anyone else. Just you wait, Miah. We're definitely gonna be soulmates, I promise" Echoes through the air. Jerome's smiling, a real smile. 

 

Jeremiah wakes up crying. 

 

Jerome wakes up alone in cold bed, and thinks to himself, she was right all along. I am not the type of person who gets to have a soulmate.  

 

____________________________________________

 

And if you're still bleeding 

You're the lucky ones 

'Cause most of our feelings, they are dead and they are gone 

We're setting fires to our insides for fun 

Collecting pictures from the flood that wrecked our home

It was a flood that wrecked this

And you caused it

Chapter Text

I'm still alive but I'm barely breathing

Just prayin to a god that I don't believe in 

'Cause I got time 

While he got freedom 


_____________________________________


Jerome didn't even know it was his birthday. He had been in solitary confinement for awhile after an incident in the cafeteria. 

 

Now he was playing his new favorite game, freak out the guard till they snap. You see they always had at least one guard outside his cell during the day and they weren't allowed to talk to him, doesn't mean they didn't listen though. And some of these people had really weak stomachs. 

 

So he was about halfway through a very detailed story of the time his uncle dipped his hand into a boiling pot of chicken stock when he felt a small tingling sensation in the bones of his wrist. He quickly pulled his shirt sleeve up to reveal the pale unmarked skin below his hand. 

 

He was about to pull his sleeve back up and go back to his story when the tingle turned into a burning as words started to brand themselves across his right arm. Very precise cursive letters appear one by one as if written by some invisible hand. He stares in wonder for a moment or so before he bursts into uncontrollable laughter. That bitch might have got him with a zinger in the end when Mr.Cicero turned out to be his father, but this right here. This was the real zinger. With these eight words he had proven her wrong. Even after he had killed her, it was as if she had gotten the last laugh, but now… now as he stared at those burning black letters he had finally won. 

 

He supposes this means it's his birthday, this means that eighteen years ago to the hour he was born. And for a second he finds himself thinking about how in fifteen minutes another boy, most likely across the world will be receiving his own set of black words. Then he sees the cold unfeeling look in his twins eyes as their uncle broke his ribs under his boot eight years ago, and takes pleasure in the fact that he's almost certain no words will appear on Jeremiah's wrist. 

 

And after all this time it feels like that is the first true victory, that his mother's precious "perfect" child is the one who is defective. And the child she saw only as a monster is the one who has a soulmate. He picked himself off the ground by the cell door and sat down on his bed. Tracing an outline of his soulmate marking. And let's himself think of the one thing he has never really allowed in his mind. He thinks of a person out there with his last words to them on their wrist, and he wonders if they'll love him despite the blackhole swirling around inside his mouth. 


_____________________________________



Harleen Quinzel is probably one of the only interesting people who work here. She manages to seem genuinely interested when he tells her in detail how he split his mother's throat open with a hatchet, and doesn't lose her lunch when he details some of the torture of his childhood. Her whole demeanor is mostly indifferent no matter what he tells her which annoys the crap out of him. It's become a game of sorts, he tries to crush her sanity. She tries to break his resolve to not tell her about his feelings.

 

When he first got here he took one look at her and decided that the kitten story would probably be the fastest way to get her to break. He had just finished describing in detail the way this pretty white kitten had acted as he cut its leg off and to his surprise she had no reaction just an impassive face as she asked him the regular "and how did that make you feel?" therapist question. To which he shrugged and moved on. 

 

Today was different however, instead of her waiting for him to talk she started the conversation. It threw him through a loop. 

"So I see, you received your soulmate mark."

He looked down at his wrist, sure that he had covered it pretty well before he had come in here. To his confusion, it was still hidden beneath his sleeve. He raised a questioning eyebrow at her. To which she answered with a tap on his case file with her fingers. 

 

"May I see your wrist?" She asked. He saw no reason why not so he rolled his sleeve up and placed his arm in her outstretched hand. 

He watched as her eyes traced the sentence he knew by heart by now. 

"They have very pretty handwriting." She says, he smirks at her clever use of the word they instead of saying he or she. 

"That they do." 

"Why do you think they're saying that?" She asks. 

"Isn't it obvious?" He starts to smile "It's because I'm going to kill them." He starts the cackle as the words leave his mouth. 

 

He watches Dr.Quinzel gulp. He laughs harder. It's the first reaction he's gotten out her in the entire times he's been locked in this shit hole. Maybe she's his soulmate, or maybe she just hopes she is. 


_____________________________________


What am I supposed to do

When the best part of me was always you 

And what am I supposed to say

When I'm all choked up 

And you're okay. 

 

_____________________________________


Jeremiah was in a much different circumstance when his words came in. He was still living with his adoptive parents, waiting for the building of his new underground home to be finished. The one hundred acre maze was set to be done next year. 

 

Amelia and John, his adoptive mother and father had decided to throw him a birthday party to celebrate one of the most important birthdays you could have. He had sent a letter to his mother a couple years ago asking what time he was born so when the time came He, John, Amelia, and his best friend Ecco were sitting around their coffee table in the living room staring intently at his wrist. The seconds dragged on like years as they all waited. 

 

Just as he started to become sure that the anticipation would push him into a heart attack and kill him, a burning sensation encased his right wrist like a red hot iron shackle. 

 

And then a dark black letter T traced it's way across his skin in wild chicken scratch penmanship. And then an H. When the final letters had finished writing themselves, a strangely drawn explanation point finished the sentence. The four occupants of the room were silent as they each studied the sentence. And then Amelia pulls the string on a party popper and the three others start celebrating loudly. Congratulations being thrown around along with the wishes of a happy birthday. He wishes to join them in their joy but he can't seem to pull his eyes away from the sentence. 

"What does it mean?" He asks no one in particular. He gets an answer anyway. 

"It means they love you, of course." Ecco smiles at him. 

 

Maybe they're a doctor or something because the writing is barely legible and seems a bit all over the place. He hugs Ecco and then Amelia. 

 

Later that night as he's laying in bed he starts to think about the man he used to share this day with. It's hard to think of Jerome as a man, in his mind, his twin is still ten. Logically he knows they are both eighteen now but when he tries to imagine what on earth he looks like now he can't pull it up. 

 

He throws himself out of bed and walks over to the bathroom attached to his room. He stares into the mirror, pulling his glasses off, ruffling his hair, and then he does his best to match one of Jerome's signature smiles. It looks pathetic, a poor imitation of the twin he remembers. 

 

He wonders where his brother is, what his wrist says, or if it says anything at all. 

 

He knows that jerome was arrested for murder a few years ago, knows that he killed their mom. When he read what happened he felt a strong mix of emotion, sorrow at the loss of his mother, hatred for Jerome and for what he'd done, and most of all relieved. Relieved because he was right, his brother really was a psychopath. Everything he did was justified in that moment. He no longer had to feel that guilt. 

 

Even though he knows what he did, he has no idea where Jerome is now. He didn't finish reading the article. Because some part of him was afraid that if he knew where his brother was incarcerated at he'd find himself visiting him. 

 

Because under the surface there was a large part of Jeremiah that missed his twin, his protector, his soulma- ' No that's incorrect' he reminded himself. 

 

Jerome was not and never will be his soulmate. 

 

Jerome was a cold-blooded psychopath who wouldn't hesitate to slit Jeremiah's throat for the fun of it. 

 

He goes back to bed. That night he dreams of an eighteen year old Jerome sitting in their tree, a dead squirrel in one hand and Jeremiah's heart in the other. He won't stop laughing. Weirdly enough when Jeremiah wakes in the morning, he is oddly calm. 


_____________________________________


You took your suitcase, I took the blame

Now I'm tryna make sense 

of what little remains 

'Cause you left me with no love 

With no love to my name

Chapter Text

I think I, I think I finally

Found a way to forgive myself

From mistakes I made in the past

I think that's the first step, right?

You agree?

 

_____________________________________


"Hello, brother~" Jerome's gravelly voice rang down the concrete corridors. He comes around the corner and his eyes land on the object of his affection and loathing. Part of his brain is confused for a minute. In his head he had been picturing a ten year old, not the lanky awkward man before him. 

 

"So, how ya been? Oh, you look great." He laughs. He does look great, he guesses that's how he would look now if not for all the scars.

He wonders what Jeremiah thinks of them. Does he know about the man who cut off face? Does he know that another human had once worn the face only they are supposed to share. 

 

"To think I used to be the handsome one, right?" He laughs again. 

"How'd you find your way through the maze?" Jeremiah asks him. Oh his brother always was the type to skip straight to the point. 

"Oh, bro, we might not look the same anymore, but we still think the same." It's true even with the fifteen year separation he can still see how alike they really are. The madness resides in both their eyes. He jabs his brother in the temple with his finger and tries not to think about how it's the first time he's touched the other man in fifteen years. "Plus, you used to draw those stupid things all the time as a kid. I paid attention." 

 

He can still remember the feel of the paper and see Jeremiah's smile as he tried to puzzle his way through his twin's maze. It fills his heart will sorrow and longing. He never thought they'd end up here. 

 

"Hey, uh, hat head, take crane, find Jimbo and his bearded sidekick. Kill them." With that his two partners set off down the hallway, leaving him alone with his long lost brother.

 

A giggle bursts up through his throat as he stares at Jeremiah. 

"I've been waiting for this moment for fifteen years, ever since you ran away in the middle of the night like a coward." 

 

The day Jeremiah left was probably the worst day of his life, and that was saying a lot. 

 

"You're insane."

 

"Yeah" 

 

"And I tried telling Mom, but she didn't want to listen to me. You blame me for everything that's gone wrong in your life, but the truth is, Jerome, you were born bad." 

 

Jerome nods his head with an angry pout. Is it too much to ask for his brother to have given up on this shit a long time ago. 

 

"Born bad, huh? So, that's why you made her think that I tried to kill you, right?" 

 

"Yeah, we both-" 

 

"What was it again? What was it? I put a blade to your throat." He pushes his hand against the younger twins throat. "No, no, no. I tried to light you on fire." He jabs Jeremiah in the chest. He just can't seem to keep his hands off him. 

 

"We both know you wanted to." The younger of the two yells in anger. 

 

"Yeah, that was a funny story, wasn't it?" 

 

"Okay, maybe it didn't happen exactly like that, but I didn't have a choice and I was right." 

 

"Hmm?" 

 

"You killed our mother." 

 

"She did deserve it though. After that whore his you away, she gave up on me, poisoned by your stories. You turned everyone I ever loved against me. My own flesh and blood!" Something that looks an awful lot like guilt mixes with the fear in the younger twins eyes. 

 

"I guess it's like what they say, we all could go insane with just one bad day. I guess with you it's more like one bad spray. You'll see." Jerome laughing maniacally. He jabs Miah in the gut with the barrel of his gun. It's just so good to see him after so long, he feels as if he's been missing a huge chunk of who he is and now with Jeremiah here. He almost feels complete. 

 

"What are you gonna do to me, Jerome?" Jeremiah asks. A burning pain resonates through Jerome's wrist, and for a moment he's afraid someone is attacking him, then he realizes. The words that had just spilled out of his brother's mouth were the same ones that had branded themselves on him seven years ago. 

 

Of course it was him. 

It had always been him. 

The only person on this earth he had ever loved with all his heart and soul. 

 

"Come on. I'm gonna kill ya, of course. But first… I'm gonna drive ya mad." 

Liar. I don't want to kill you. I've never wanted you dead. Not you. Not you, who has sunlight in your mouth and starlight in your eyes. Baby brother do you know you are the only light I've ever known? I would never want the only good thing that's ever happened to me, dead. He thinks. He wants to say it, but the word clog his throat and refuse to leave his lips. 

 

"But don't worry, you won't be alone. All of gotham will be joining you, too." Comes out instead.

Suddenly his two partners come charging down the hall screaming about pesky little Jim Gordon. 

 

"These guys just don't give up, huh?" 

Harvey Bullock's war cry alerts him of how close his enemies really are. Jeremiah tries to run, but he catches him and yanks him back with an arm around his throat and places the barrel of the gun against his baby brothers temple. 

 

"Get any closer, and I splatter him! I'm gonna splatter broski." 

 

"No, you won't. If you wanted him dead, you would've killed him already." The detective yells.

 

Jerome giggles as he thinks how funny it is that Jeremiah claims he's so smart yet Jim Gorden seems to be the only person in this room thinking logically.

 

"He's right. I'll see you soon." He kisses his brothers head the same way he did all those years ago, on a night made of stars and promises. 

 

Part of him aches as he let's go and wonders if this will be the last time he holds his brother in his arms.

 

It's only as he's making his escape that he remembers that those words he just heard, those will be the last thing Jeremiah says to him. He supposes that means one of them is about to die. A change of plan seems in order.

 

_____________________________________


I've dug two graves for us, my dear

Can't pretend that I was perfect 

Leaving you in fear

Oh man, what a world, the things I hear

If I could act on my revenge, then, oh, would I?

 

_____________________________________



"Well, look who decided to show up. We were starting to get nervous, especially the mayor here. My guest of honor. Please, take your seats on stage." Jerome says from where he stands on stage. 

 

Jeremiah watches as bruce starts making the trek up toward the stage, into the clutches of his insane twin. He knows he is supposed to follow Bruce but he can't seem to get his legs to work. He's terrified. His eyes look toward the stage and lock on his brother's. 

"Come on, don't be shy." Jerome says in an almost kind voice. 

 

His legs start moving and he's making the slow walk to the stage. The stage where his brother will likely kill him. God, he's nauseous.

 

"We don't have all day." The insand twin says into the microphone. 

 

"Hi, brother." Jerome purrs at him. He gives an irritated smirk in response. The older of the two licks at the scars on his lips. Jeremiah tries to ignore the butterflies in his stomach that creates. 

 

What are they waiting for? Aren't they close enough now that the police can fire the shot that stops Jerome? 

 

He ignores the dread that comes with the idea that Jerome could die at any second. Now is not the time. So instead he tells himself over and over that Jerome is a murderer. It doesn't change anything. 

 

He hears gunfire go off, he closes his eyes.  He thinks his heart stop. 

 

He knows that when he opens his eyes Jerome will be gone. That's a good thing, I won't have to run anymore. So, why does my heart ache so much? He thinks to himself. 

 

He doesn't want to open his eyes. 

 

"I had my guys take out the best vantage points last night. So they've been watching your little swat team all day." He hears Jerome's voice ring out. 

 

Relief floods his veins. 

 

No, he shouldn't be feeling relief, he should be terrified. 

 

His eyes pop open. Sure enough Jerome is still standing, not a mark on him. 

 

"Now, Bruce, Brother dear. Get up on stage. It's time to get this party really started, huh?" 

 

He starts walking again. 

 

When he gets to the stage his brother directs him to which chair to sit in. Jerome even fastens the collar around his neck while he has some henchmen fasten a similar one around Bruce's neck. 

 

The collar causes a sharp pain in his neck as its fastened on, the pain is gone in a matter of seconds. Jerome leans down and places a gentle kiss on Jeremiah's temple before he wanders over to the front of the stage to address his captive audience. 

 

"No parent will admit it. But everyone's got their favorites. Right, brother?" Jerome takes his own seat in between him and Bruce. 

 

"The one who cleans their room, does their homework, doesn't try to kill everybody. Little Mr.Perfect here." Jerome point the hand holding the detonator at him. "Yeah, he was that guy. He got adopted by rich folks. He went to the top schools, then a top college. Meanwhile, I got dragged through the circus by my depressed, alcoholic mother. Forced to clean up elephant dung every day." 

 

"Who cares?" A man cries from the crowd. 

 

"Do you know how big those things are, folks?" 

 

Jerome's looks at Bruce but quickly focuses all his attention back on Jeremiah. 

 

"But I know something, that mommy and daddy, they never knew." 

 

Jeremiah's heart starts pounding in his chest as he looks into the eyes of the man he both adores and despises. 

 

The crowd melts away with these next six simple words, Jerome isn't even talking to the crowd anymore. He's speaking directly to Jeremiah. 


"You're as crazy as I am." 

 

He wants to scream that he's wrong. Wants to beat his brother until he takes those words back. Instead he says nothing. Cause somewhere deep inside him there's a part of him that knows Jerome is right. 

 

His older brother is standing up now. 

 

"It's in your DNA. See, we got the same blood running through us." He says as he gestures between the two of them with a knife. 

 

"We are practically identical. You are a killer. It's your nature. Stop trying to fight it." His voice is gentle as he cuts the restraints off Jeremiah. 

 

Jeremiah's heart aches, Jerome's voice sounds so soft as If he was just trying to help Jeremiah. It reminds him of their childhood, when all he had ever wanted was to be near Jerome.  

 

Jerome's lays the handle of the blade into Jeremiah's hand gently, their fingers brushing, it sends goosebumps up his arms. And when the weight of the knife settles in his hand it felt as if it had always belonged there. 

 

Why does he fight this growing darkness inside him? Why not give into it and be free like Jerome? Why not be free with Jerome? 

 

"Take your best shot." Jerome says, all the gentle kindness from his voice gone. The smile and laughter are back. He finds it doesn't bother him so much now as it did when they were children. 

 

He lunges forward knife ready to cut through Jerome's marred skin. He knows he doesn't want to kill Jerome just wants to hurt him. 

 

He doesn't get the chance, Jerome clocks him across the face and he goes down hard. 

 

Jerome is laughing again. 

 

Jeremiah can hear the screams of panic coming from the crowd. 

 

Jerome kicks him in the gut. 

 

"That was so good. I love ya!" Jerome yells as he delivers another kick to the stomach. 

 

Jeremiah gasps, those words. No. Those were the words from his soulmate. The last thing his soulmate will ever say to him. No. No. No. 

 

Jeremiah's arm starts burning. He knows this means the crazy manic handwriting on the inside of his wrist is turning into scars. 

 

He looks up from where he's curled up on the ground and locks eyes with Jerome. 

 

Gunshots ring out through the air. 

 

His brother is smiling, but deep in his eyes he looks so unbelievably sad. 

 

Another gunshot goes off. Blood explodes out of his twins shoulder. 

 

And Jerome is falling. 

 

Jeremiah watches as his brother shuffles away, he tries to reach out with his arm. 

 

Trying to reach his soulmate before he's gone for good. He's trying to cry out but his mouth refuses to cooperate. 

 

Don't leave me please. Jerome, God please don't go. This will be the last time I ever see you. 

 

And then Jerome's gone, people go running after him. 

 

Jeremiah starts to cry and for the first time he feels utterly alone. 


_____________________________________



Some kill, some steal, some break your heart

And you thought that I would let it go, 

and let you walk

Well, broken hearts break bones, 

so break up fast

And I don't wanna let it go, 

So in my grave I'll rot

Chapter Text

Our time is up

Your eyes are shut

I won't get to tell you

What I needed you to know 

It's dark enough 

And all my love could never bring you home

 

_____________________________________

 

The air was cold on the roof top and Jerome was watching the people on the street as they scattered in fear. He felt a pleasant sense of fulfillment ease into his gut as a man pushes someone else over in his haste to escape. That's all he ever really wanted, to show them all that they aren't as safe and sane as they claimed they were. Of course that's not all he wanted. He wanted them to tear each other apart like the filthy animals they are.

 

So he waits patiently for the blimp to get in position. 

 

"Hands up." The annoying do gooder Jim Gordan yells from behind him. 

 

Jerome turns to face the man whose foiled all his evil plots, still clutching the shoulder good ol' Jimbo put a bullet in only minutes earlier. 

 

"Beautiful, isn't she?" He looks up to the blimp in the sky. "Just give me a second. Gotta call the pilot, tell him he's in position." 

 

Gorden puts another bullet in his wrist causing him to drop the phone. He can hear the pilot on the speaker. Jerome looks down at his wrist and wonders if the bullet grazed Jeremiah's pretty handwriting. He wishes he had a gun so he could return the favor. Everything hurts, his wrist, his shoulder, his heart. But he knows he's felt worse. 

 

"Not cool." He laughs. He has to laugh, he feels so empty inside he doesnt think he could manage any other emotion. "Doesn't matter." 

 

It does matter. Jeremiah and Jerome, one of the two of them are not going to survive this day, he can feel it. And he's losing too much blood. And if it's going to be him, he wants to go out knowing he left a trail of madness and chaos in his wake. He chuckles again. 

 

"Too late anyway. Bombs away!" 

 

He doesn't even feel the third bullet, just the impact. He knows he is teetering a little too close to the edge. Knows nothing soft is waiting to catch him in the streets below.

 

Nothing soft has ever been waiting to save him. 

 

Everything around him is in slow motion, he watches as Jim's face turns into a look of sadness. He wonders if the detective will mourn boy he couldn't save from the darkness. And then his thoughts turn to Jeremiah, as they always do. He wonders if his twin will mourn him. Will he even grieve his blackhole of a soulmate? No, Jeremiah will be glad to be rid of him. 

 

He laughs, the world and its cruelty can be so predictable sometimes. He always knew he'd die alone and in pain. It's the only thing that fits for someone like him. 

 

"Funny." 

 

He tilts over the edge and instinct kicks in and he reaches for something to grab onto. 

 

I'm not ready to go just yet. 

 

Jim Gordans head pokes out over the railing. He looks a little afraid. 

 

"Quite the dilemma, Jim. Are you gonna let me fall and die… or are you gonna pull me up and arrest me? What's it gonna be?" He raises his hand up to the man. "A lawman or a murderer?" 

 

The man seems to consider for a moment then lowers his hand. 

 

Jerome tries to reach up and grab it but the pain in his shoulder refuses to let his arm go any higher. 

 

He could fight to drag himself high enough to reach safety but instead he thinks about the man down there in the streets somewhere who wears his same face. 

 

One of them has to die today. 

 

He sees Jeremiah's sweet face drawing out a new perfect maze when they were children. His heart warms a little. 

 

There was never really a choice anyway. 

 

He lowers his hand and laughs. His real laugh. 

 

"Good old Gordan. Always playing by the rules. That's why I'll outlive you. That's why I'm loved, 'cause I don't give a damn about the rules." 

 

"It's a long way down. You sure you'll outlive me?" The man looks as if he's talking to a frightened child. Jerome feels frightened. Afraid his plan won't work, terrified he'll go back to that empty nothingness he visited before. 

 

"Oh, I'm sure. 'Cause I'm more than a man. I'm an idea, a philosophy. And I will live on in the shadows, within Gotham's discontent." 

 

His fingers start slipping. He thinks of Jeremiah. Of his plan. 

 

"You'll be seeing me soon. Au revoir." 

 

His fingers release the cold metal bar. 

 

In his final moments he dreams of a tree somewhere far away, surrounded by stars and warmth. A safe place where his soulmate still loved him. And that smile made of sunlight.

 

He's happy even as the darkness consumes him. 

 

_____________________________________

 

There's no more stars to find 

And I'm too far behind

And I'd love to let you go

You're all that's on my mind

 

_____________________________________

 

He knows what is waiting for him around the corner. 

 

Knows that just a few steps away a body is laying on top of a car. 

 

He considers going home. 

 

Part of him believes that if he doesn't see it, it won't be true. That If he just goes home, in a couple days Jerome will be on the news for doing something horrible again. 

 

Believes with all his heart and soul that somewhere in this world his older brother, his protector, his other half, is still breathing. 

 

He walks around the corner in the direction of the car. Of the body . The body that can't possibly belong to Jerome. 

 

He has to know. Has to know If this is real. It can't be real. 

 

God don't let this be real. 

 

He feels empty. The first thing he sees is red. Red blood on a white glove. 

 

Jeremiah is shaking. 

 

The body has a grin stretched out across its face. 

 

He locks eyes with Gordan. He feels a tear slide down his cheek. He wipes it away. 

 

He dons the mask of Zander Wilde, pretends for a moment that he is not Jeremiah Valeska instead he is the cold and unfeeling architect. 

 

Not the man who just lost his soulmate. 

 

He walks slowly over to- to… Jerome . And pulls a blood covered sleeve down his twins  wrist. Revealing a bullet hole just above the scars. The scars that spell out in a handwriting he recognizes as his own. ' What are you gonna do to me, Jerome?' 

 

He can't breathe. 

 

Bile churns in his stomach. 

 

Fight or flight response kicks in and he starts frantically searching for an exit. Any escape from this terrible reality. Jerome isn't dead. He can't be dead. 

 

His feet take him down the street. Away. 

 

Someone calls his name. He turns. 

 

His eyes meet with none other than Bruce Wayne. 

 

He says something about work. 

 

Jeremiah fights back the urge to hit the boy. He can see in Bruce's eyes that a part of him is glad to be rid of Jerome. His own eyes dart and look around at the onlookers. Not a single person standing around the body of his soulmate is mourning. 

 

No one looks sad. Relief instead takes up the faces of the crowd. 

 

In this moment Jeremiah hates them. Hates them with a white hot burning. 

 

He wishes he could tell them about the boy who came before the monster. The one who's favorite color was yellow because it reminded him of the sun. And who loved the tigers in the circus the most. 

 

The boy who kissed Jeremiah's scabs to make them feel better. And scared away the nightmares. 

 

He wishes he could tear them all apart, the way the world tore Jerome apart. Make them see the world through his twins eyes, and then maybe they would understand how Jerome was just reacting to a world already on fire. 

 

How before he had ever worn the title villain he had first worn the title victim. 

 

Most of all, he hates himself. He loathes himself because he used to value being one of them so much that he cast Jerome away. 

 

Bruce offers to fund Jeremiah's work. 

A plan starts developing in his brain. A plan of building bombs disguised as generators using Wayne enterprises money. 

 

He shakes Bruce's hand. 

 

"Thank you." The words come out sounding as cold and empty as he feels. 

 

Anger bubbles in his gut like venom as he walks off into the night. 

 

_____________________________________


The door has barely clicked behind him when a scream rips it's way out of his throat. He can't see. Can't breathe. 

 

Part of him thinks that if he can just scream loud enough, Jerome will hear him on his way to hell and will turn around and come back for him. 

 

He screams again. And again. And again. Until his voice give out. Until the darkness takes him under. 

 

When he wakes up he's laying on the floor. He's still sobbing but he feels as if he ran out of tears to cry a long time ago. 

 

It feels as if a hole has been punched through his chest. 

 

Empty and alone he manages to drag himself back into sitting position. And then standing. 

 

His fingers wrap around a whiskey glass and he pours himself a large amount. Ready to get so drunk this all becomes like a bad dream. 

 

He looks around at the papers and blueprints hung on every surface. 

 

They seemed so important before. They don't matter. None of it ever mattered. 

 

Jerome should have mattered. He should have gone to see him, in arkham. Hell he shouldn't have run away in the first place. Part of him always thought they'd have more time. 

 

How did it all go so terribly wrong?

 

He's tired. So unbelievably tired. 

 

He turns to head to his bedroom when he spots a purple box with a pretty white ribbon tied around it placed on his desk. 

 

The tag reads " from Wayne Enterprises." 

 

He thinks about about abandoning it and just going to bed. Curiosity gets the better of him though and he opens the present. 

 

It's a box that reminds him of his childhood in the circus. 

 

He flips open the clasp and the box flies open. A clown head pops out. 

 

A bright purple gas sprays him in the face. It tastes like cotton candy and lemonade and reminds him of Jerome. 

 

There's a burning pain in his brain and for some reason in the soulmark on his wrist. 

 

There's a quiet laughter coming from the box. 

 

His vision is getting blurry. 

 

"Hello, brother." His heart jumps at the sound of the voice. 

 

"Didn't think you could get rid of me so easily, did you?" 

 

Relief spreads throughout his body, so Jerome knew this was going to happen? And he had a plan? 

 

"See, I knew when you said those words that my days were numbered, but you…." 

 

His brain is getting fuzzy. 

 

"your my soulmate which changed everything. This gas was a special mixture I had made just for you. I found a doctor with experience with soulmate experimentation." 

 

His legs were getting weak and he feels himself starting to fall.

 

"He found a way to move my consciousness into your brain. So now we can rule over Gotham. Together." Jerome's laugh sounds distant as he loses himself in a sea of darkness. 

 

_____________________________________

 

We're both too young 

To live and die this way

A sunny summer day 

With so much left to say

 

 

Chapter Text

 

I had a dream

I got everything I wanted

Not what you'd think

And if I'm being honest

It might've been a nightmare

_____________________________________



Jeremiah wakes sitting up with his back pressed against something. When he opens his eyes he's greeted by a sea of star light.  

 

"Took you long enough." A scratchy voice calls from next to him. 

 

He turns his head and he loses the ability to think as his eyes are met with a familiar blue. 

 

"Did you miss me?" Jerome asks, his voice devoid of all his usual bravado. Instead he seems unsure of himself from where he's perched atop a tree branch. 

 

His own voice surprises him by replying. 

"Yes." 

 

Jerome looks off into the distance. 

"So I guess the universe took that promise to heart, huh?" He whispers as he drags a thumb over his soulmark. 

 

"Am I dreaming?" Jeremiah has to ask. 

 

"This would be more like a nightmare, wouldn't it?" 

 

"Not really." 

 

"Why?" 

 

"Your here." The younger twin blushes as the words come spilling out of his mouth. He isn't quite sure why he's embarrassed, this isn't real after all. 

 

Jerome laughs his insane cackle and suddenly all the grief inside Jeremiah's chest dissipates. 

 

"This isn't a dream, although you technically are sleeping. Nah, I'm just inside your big genius brain now." His older brother says with a manic grin on his face as he leans back and rests his head against the tree trunk. Somethings off about his smile though, it doesn't quite reach his eyes. 

 

"How do I know your telling the truth? How do I know I'm not just losing my mind?" Jeremiah remembers the gas,  but he also remembers Jerome' voice telling him they'd be merged together. 

 

"You can't know for certain. You're just gonna slowly lose your mind trying to distinguish fantasy from reality until you go completely mad." 

 

Jeremiah's stomach sinks and Jerome laughs. 

 

"I'm just kidding, Miah. You can talk to the dude who made the gas, he's real and he'll tell you all about this shit. His name is Dr.Strange. He used to be in charge at Arkham." 

 

His heart speeds up a little at the use of his childhood nickname. 

 

"Okay." He's still unsure but there's not much he can do at the moment go discern if this is real or not. 

 

_____________________________________



Thought I could fly

So I stepped off the golden,

Nobody cried

Nobody even noticed

I saw them standing right there

Kinda thought they might care

 

_____________________________________



"Did you cry?" Jerome asks. 

 

"Huh?" 

 

"When I died?" 

 

Jeremiah wants to tell his brother to fuck off for picking on him with something so serious but when he looks over Jerome looks so serious and sad it hurts. 

 

"Yes, of course I did. Did you think I wouldn't?" 

 

"Thought you hated me." His voice sounds heartbroken and so unlike the man he knows that it kinda makes Miah want to throw up. 

 

He longs to reach out and touch Jerome. Just to let him know he isn't alone. 

 

His hands move on their own accord and wrap around Jerome's gloved fingers. 

 

They make eye contact but neither of them tries to stop the other so Jeremiah continues and lets his fingers trail to where they so desperately want too. They reach up and pull up the sleave of the man's jacket to reveal the words ' What are you gonna do to me, Jerome?'

 

He traces the words with his thumb and his older brother gasps.

 

He reaches up and trails his fingers across the scars of his face. 

 

"Did it hurt?" He doesn't know why he's doing this. Why he needs to touch, to feel the damage caused in his absence. He could stop, yet he doesn't want too. He spent a lifetime ignoring the way he feels, and he's done. 

 

"Not really, I've dealt with worse." 

 

Jeremiah leans closer and connects his lips to the disfigurement on Jerome's jaw. 

 

He feels hands wrap around the back of his neck but he doesn't push him away. 

 

He places another kiss on both of his eyes. 

 

And then his lips land on the scar tissue trailing away from the man's lips.

 

Jerome's eyes are wide and focused intently on him. He's looking at him as if Jeremiah is the single most amazing thing he has ever seen in his entire lifetime. 

 

Neither of them is quite sure who leaned forward but suddenly their lips were locked together as if the other person was their only chance for breathing. 

 

Maybe the light could shine from within the blackhole. 

 

It wasn't perfect, one of them being dead after all. But there, surrounded by a thousand shimmering stars it was the closest thing to perfection either of them knew. 

 

And that was good enough. 




_____________________________________

 

I had a dream

I got everything I wanted

But when I wake up, I see

You with me

And you say, 

As long as I'm here

No one can hurt you