Edward had discovered the joys of sex only in his late thirties. Most of his life he had been of the impression that sex is something akin to drugs and people loose their minds to it, talking about nothing else sometimes like addicts. Especially people being not concentrated because of being horny had intimidated him.
After all he was a man of the mind and valued his intelligence and mental integrity over anything else. But Jervis had shown him that the act itself had many meanings and it did not necessarily mean that he had to be distracted.
His relationship with his partner was very passionate but they mostly enjoyed their time in that special way in the night when they both had finished all their work and were cuddling in bed together. Though sometimes Jervis could get quite raunchy and would approach Edward in the day as well. On occasion the detective would be sitting at his desk, not thinking of anything else but work and then suddenly there was a pair of tiny hands stroking his thighs.
It has been somewhat of an unspoken rule that if Edward said no, Jervis would retreat. But if he just watched the hands move it was definitely a yes. And Eddie found it very amusing that most people thought the Hatter to be a bad lover simply because of their prejudices.
But oh boy… Small but ohoho was certainly one way to describe Jervis. He wasn’t particularly well endowed, quite the opposite actually, but he knew what to do to drive his lovers crazy. Teasing just the right places, soft demanding nibbles on his skin, rubbing his soft hair against the soft inside of his legs…
Edward could not complain at all. It was especially intoxicating when the Hatter had one of his rare dominant streaks and would treat him a little rougher, grab his soft hips and making him bite the pillow…
Just thinking about it made him aroused. And while he had been having some problems with his libido after his last major health issues, Eddie had been feeling a lot better now. To both their joy.
And it sure was a beautiful end of the day to have his lover moan his name.
Whenever Edward looked into the mirror he used to see what was in the past. The little boy being abused by his father, the young girl he felt like when he was with his mother and the girls from the show she danced at, the young man who had just gotten into the videogame industry feeling joy at his first real job…
But now he could see what was in the future. Edward could imagine himself as Jervis’s bride in a beautiful gown, as an important person in Gotham’s society and even somebody who might be remembered.
After all those years of fighting and struggling, he had become somebody worthwhile. Somebody he didn’t flinch at seeing in in a mirror. No longer did Eddie had to fake his confidence since the detective actually felt good about himself these days.
People actually acknowledge his intelligence and beauty without him enforcing it in any way or asking for it. He had friends and people who valued his opinion and experience…
It was a good feeling. And the person he saw in the mirror made him feel proud. The insults and abuse of the past did not matter anymore. His father truly had been wrong. And this little realization made him more stable than he ever had been.
He pressed his delicate lips on the mirror, leaving a pink lipstick print before he walked out to go on about his day at the office. His bejeweled shoes sparkled in the dim light and for once his slightly glowing hair and eyes didn’t bother him.
They made him feel special.
Ever since the ghost of his mother had shortly spoken to him, Jervis was feeling troubled. The event had also called back memories into his consciousness that were painful. It had been so many years now, since that dreadful day…
~About 22 years ago~
“I’m home!” Oh the strawberries he had managed to buy for half their original price would be an excellent addition to the cake they had planned. With a gleeful skip in his walk he headed to the kitchen, confused that Eglantine Tetch wasn’t there to watch the oven. //Maybe she went to distract herself and forgot the time.//
After getting the base of the cake out of the oven he went to look for his mother. “Mom? … Where are you?” When he finally reached the small workroom and opened the door, he dropped the basket with strawberries, frozen in shock at the image that was unfolding in front of his eyes. There she was. Clearly dead. Her unresponsive eyes were half opened and a trickle of blood had dried on her face as it had flown out of her mouth. The crochet needles she had been working with were still in her hands.
“Mother!” after recovering from the initial shock Jervis had stormed over, kneeling down next to the limp body on the floor. If he was honest with himself it wasn’t much of a surprise. Mrs Tetch had been sick for a very long time now. But she had been so full of life this morning and now… The son didn’t bother to try and hold back his tears. Jervis had just lost the only person that had ever mattered in his 19 year old life. Nothing was holding him here now and he felt the need to run away. But first he’d make sure that his beloved mother would be resting well.
With shaking hands he grabbed the nearby phone and dialed the number of a local funeral parlour. He had to be strong now. This was not the time to loose his cool.
~Back in the present~
It had been quite a while since he had done this. Currently the Mad Hatter was writing a letter to his mother.
I miss you so much. It was nice to hear your voice again, but now I miss you even more. Singing with you while playing piano. Baking cake with you and go wander around in the fields. Collect flowers for the dining room….
While Gotham certainly has it’s nice sides, it is quite different from London.
But don’t worry about me. I’m with Jonathan and Edward. I told you about them before. They will take care of me.
I love you,
your Little Rabbit.”
When he had finished writing he walked over to the small fireplace and burned the letter. Now he felt better. Time to get Edward to eat something that had some calories to it. Same for Jonathan.
Edward had been feeling a little down so he had gone to sleep early. His eyelids felt heavy and it didn’t take long until he was asleep. Jervis had joined him so the Hatter was snuggling close beside him as he rested. Or tried to.
~~~~~~~~~~~~ Nightmare ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
He could hear Selina voice close-by. “Eddie. It is time~” When he open his eyes and looked down he noticed that he was wearing a very vibrant and beautiful dress, also a red veil. Queen of Hearts themed just like Jervis had planned for- … their wedding? “Of course.” He heard himself say that despite being inwardly stunned in surprise.
The bride was being led out the room and into the main hall of a big church. When he had walked to the appointed spot, Jervis was being led in. The Hatter looked quite handsome in the colorful ensemble he was wearing for this special occasion. Edward could feel his lips curl in a smile. This was just like he had hoped. In the crowd he could spot some acquaintances, a few colleagues and even Bruce Wayne had decided to come. Very unexpected but welcome.
Just as the priest asked if there were no objections to the marriage, somebody screamed “STOP THE WEDDING” and he could see police forces intervene and everything got chaotic. Edward lost sight of Jervis and got nervous and tried to flee, not easy in a big dress like this one. Where was Selina?
Suddenly he heard a gunshot and froze, feeling his blood turn to ice in his veins as he heard a pained groan from what was Jervis’s voice.
~~~~~~~~~~~~ Nightmare ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The former villain’s eyes shot open, he sat up in sheer panic at his nightmare and screamed. A few moments later the lights were turned on and not only Jervis looked at him, very much confused, but also Dr. Crane and the other Jervis had scrambled over at the scream.
"…. Nightmare." Was all he said before he got three sets of understanding nods and a pair of tiny arms wrapped around his waist and the other two men joined them in the bed for comfort.
Of course, Detective had noticed the tension between Braces and YJ. Especially since that incident where his mind had messed up and send the wrong nickname to his mouth. Calling Braces “precious little darling” had hurt himself just as much as it had hurt YJ. It had deeply ashamed him that he had slipped up on something that important. And he would fix this.
Hence he had invite the two younger men over for a videogame night. Not telling them about the other being there as well, to avoid any protests. It was pretty hard not to grin at the very confused looks of them meeting each other in the hallway on his security camera feed.
"What the hell is going on? Why are you here?" YJ almost dropped the case with his computer when he spotted Braces at the door.
"I am here for a vidyagameth night with Detective. Why are YOU here?" The younger Riddler immediately glared at YJ. Mostly because the sudden exclamation had startled him as well as making him feel wary.
"Actually >I< am here for a videogame night with Detective! You must be wrong." Braces would not be allowed to steal his Mom Riddler. He wouldn’t show how weak and afraid he felt.
"How dare you thaying that! I’m not wrong. I can thow you the record on my cellphone and-" Just as Braces had grabbed his cellphone from his shirt pocket, the door opened and a strict but affectionate voice was heard.
"Stop it. Both of you."
Braces and YJ looked over to Detective who was standing in the door frame, arms crossed and one eyebrow raised, hen they glared back at each other. What was going on? This was getting more and more confusing for them by the minute.
"I want you two to get along. So I invited you both. There’s no reason to be jealous of each other~" Stepping aside to let them walk in, he ignored their little glares and obvious display of stubbornness. Once they were all comfy and set up in the main computer room, Detective leaned in to give both of them a kiss on the cheek. "And now stop the glaring. Or are you going to ruin my night with silly fighting? Oh please. I know you are more grown up than that.”
That certainly seemed to solve the problem since none of them wanted to make the older Riddler angry. Or make him think that they’re immature.
And it was a surprisingly peaceful videogame night.
"Say, my dearest Queen of Hearts…"
"Am I attractive to you?"
That question caught him off guard.
Edward looked away from the big TV-screen and fixed his emerald green eyes onto the Hatter. Was he? Those amazing, big, blue eyes sure were pretty though. He’d say they’re just as beautiful as his own eyes, which was as far as Edward usually went with compliments.
But now that he thought about it more… There were more attractive qualities to the Hatter. His blond hair looked good on him. It was coarse and rough, felt almost like fur. But it fit him.
While his hands were heavily scarred on the back of his hands and the fingers, they were very soft on the other side. And so skilled and gentle..
His surprisingly strong build for his size was a nice extra as well. He could probably pick Edward up and carry him despite claiming not to be able to. Knowing Jervis, the Hatter was probably unjustifiably afraid of dropping him.
Also the freckles… They were not only adorable, they also looked very good on his skin. No matter if he was tanned or not they always were visible clearly. Edward reached over to stroked his thumb over one freckled cheek and smirked.
It was interesting how feelings for another person could change your view on them. Twenty years ago he’d have referred to the other as a miscreant for not fitting his standards for beauty that he projected onto himself.
But times changed.
"Yes… You are attractive to me, darling."
"No… I don’t have to mother all of them."
Edward had decided that.
Not all of the Riddlers deserved his affection and care. Actually few of them as he thought about it. There were many of them, but they all differed greatly.
More than he had anticipated. And not always in a positive way.
Several conversation over the past few days had shown him just how much. While he may have become more docile with age, he was still a perfectionist and a narcissist. Some of them just couldn’t live up to his standards or lacked potential.
Not to mention that only few seemed to care how Detective really felt about things or what he did. And the former villain was too devoid of energy to deal with such.
But the select few that were his… He’d make sure they are fine.
Even if not always visibly.
Jervis couldn’t deny that he was nervous to no ends, while Edward was getting operated on. Due to his lost bet, Puzzles was forced to join his tea party. That was a big plus and it kept him from nervously pacing around. The Riddler was wearing a headband with mouse ears, a tail had been clipped to the back of his pants and a fuzzy brown tailcoat had been put on.
It had taken some convincing but now he had a Dormouse.
"Would you like some tea, dearest Dormouse?" The young Riddler huffed and crossed his arms. Stubborn as hell, this one. Oh well. That meant more tea for him~
Jervis was tending to Jonathan, Lizzy was probably helping her father and Selina was busy with her V-troubles. So it was only them. And it was nice this way. Peaceful.
The Hatter had put on some lighthearted music, given Puzzles some Rubik’s Cubes so he could at least busy himself if he didn’t want to drink tea and talk much. The workshop was nicely decorated. After all he had made mushrooms out of cloth, lamps and flowers for it. It truly was a little piece of Wonderland.
His own little Wonderland…. His bunnies, Alistair and Charles were hopping around freely for once. They were trained well enough and wouldn’t destroy or get anything dirty besides their little corner. And seeing them hop around and play was truly a joy.
Everything that distracted him from the thought of his beautiful Queen being at the mercy of two other men… It was unsettling to him. What if they wanted to hurt Edward? Maybe agents of one of the many, many ‘secret’ organizations of Gotham?
No. Doctor Miller was a trusted friend and the other doctor was respected throughout the area.
"Would you like some teaaaaa?" He said it with a bit more force. Puzzles sighed and nodded. Yes. This was good. An obedient little Dormouse. Sweet, sweet times~
When a green light turned on the control panel to his left, Jervis knew that Edward was being brought back soon. It had finished and gone well. Or else it would be a red light and blinking.
Jervis stood up from his chair and walked over to fetch a few comfy things he had made for the occasion. “The Queen of Hearts is coming home…. I shall greet her with the softest of pillows. Would you be so kind as to help me carry them?”
The surgery had gone well. The doctor’s he had payed to replace his knee were experienced and able. They also managed to knock him out with anesthetics without too much risk. Nevertheless, a surgery was alway a strain…
Edward Nigma could still think while he was knocked out. He wasn’t sleeping. The detective couldn’t move, he couldn’t feel pain, but he was somewhat conscious. That was the case in almost every time he was being anesthetized by narcotics. Nothing to worry about.
So he just mused to himself. About life, about the things that had happened lately. Puzzles, Narci, YJ… All of them.
Would he return to being a mother? Most likely. He just couldn’t stop that. Be it because of his hormone problems or because he was being an sentimental old man as he’d put it, they were all his children, duty and responsibility now that he was not a Riddler anymore.
Luckily he had managed to somewhat mend a little with Puzzles. The kid sure was a sore looser though. When Detective was back to it, he’d probably need to guide Narci a little with his troubles… He’d leave Nash to the others. Edward would probably end up cooing over the kid too much and spoil him rotten. When the proclaimed mother was back, he’d also check on Arkham and Enygma, invite YJ over for tea and then take it slow for a few days. That should suffice for now.
Just curling up on the couch with Jervis and getting a gentle massage… That was a good thought. Yes. Distantly he could feel hands on his leg as they tested how movable it was. Seemed like it was almost over by now. They’d only need to align the nerves a little and sew the skin shut.
If he ever ended up not being able to walk, then he’d go back to Game Design. Yes… He’d easily learn the new techniques and needed skills. It just was in his blood, as much as asking riddles.
Many, many things to look forward to… Oh. He was being hauled onto a bed. Good. That means he could truly rest now. His eyes already were closed and he couldn’t open them due to the muscle relaxant. Maybe he should try and sleep. Just…
Oh, he had truly seen some horrible things. But survived them all, not necessarily for the better. Edward knew that he was a broken man and he wouldn’t deny it if somebody pointed it out.
His childhood had been enough of a trauma by itself to kill a man. With his father beating him senseless, breaking his bones, cutting him with the kitchen knives, burning his books when he found them, making him sit through detentions in school for ‘cheating’ even if the redhead had never even done so….
Looking back at it, Eddie wondered how he had even survived that. Other people would probably have curled up and died. Or ended up living institutionalized permanently for less. But somehow he had survived and pulled through. Ran away, changed his name, went through college and found a normal job.
A job he liked. Competitron Softworks had given him the chance to program videogames like he had wanted to and it had been a full blown success. Well until that corporate swine Daniel Mockridge had fired him and taken all his rights to the game. As he had been young and foolish, he had signed the contract without reading the fine print.
Afterwards he had wandered the streets of Gotham, restless on what to do. That was when Edward had first turned to crime. He had dyed his hair black and put in blue contact lenses to hide his identity so he could start anew.
Following a few small heists the young villain had met Echo and Query. Only then he had made himself known as the Riddler. Two years passed by until he finally decided to get revenge on Mockridge. It worked, but then Batman had been on his trails and also knew his identity.
Things only got worse from there. The endless cat and mouse game with Batman began. Beatings that his father couldn’t even dream of, breaking his own arm to flee from Arkham, there were just so many, many occurrences that had caused him pain. A specially noteworthy one was being possessed by a demonic book which caused him to kill several infants and a few grown men, including own henchmen, to catch Batman in a ritual.
And on that one faithful night where he had been diagnosed with the brain cancer the real trouble began. Hush. The Pit. Playing all the Gotham Rogues against each other like puppets. Being found out and horribly abused. Memory loss Nr. 1
Soon after came his first real reform which ended with him loosing his memories after being stabbed by the Clock King. Memory Loss Nr. 2
More cat and mouse play, being shot in the knee by a Mafia Boss, until Edward finally was able to reform for good when the strain of being a villain had become too much. When he had found that he just couldn’t keep up anymore.
After roughly twenty years of crime. Barely able to walk and so very worn down by all of it that even small things could set him off. His brain was damaged by the pressure from the tumors. The very thing he had relied on as his greatest asset was now broken as well.
So torn that he had to rely on others to calm him down, tell him to stop working and start eating. Edward Nigma was no longer able to take care of himself. And hadn’t even realized such, having lived in the illusion that he was just a reformed forty year old man. Nothing special about it.
But now it was very apparent that he was dependent on his lover. Dependent on his close friends and former colleagues to keep him going. That he could no longer say that he was truly free.
Standing in his nicely furnished and decorated office, looking down upon Gotham from the tower, Edward asked himself if it had really been worth it all. If he had not just wasted his life where he could have created great things with his intellect.
His worries and dark thoughts about the past were swept away by a small hand, belonging to Jervis, that tugged on his sleeve to signal him that dinner was ready.