OrJack is Smarter Than He Looks... At Least In Regards to Spot Conlon
Author: M_K Yujji
Summary: Jack knows Spot better than Spot knows himself sometimes...
Spoilers and/or Warnings: Minimal. This is written to be the flip side of the original story, though, so it's very important to read that one first.
Title, Author and URL of original story: In the Alley by The Second Batgirl
People called New York the city that never slept, but Jack Kelley thought that was mostly just something passed around by the people who’d never lived there for any period of time.
The city slept.
Things got quiet.
Almost peaceful even.
He grinned as he stretched his arms up towards the sky. From his nesting perch atop an old warehouse roof, he could almost see stars if he stretched his mind and imagination far enough. Past the dreary glow of lights. Past the heavy hang of pollution and fog. All the way to Santa Fe, maybe, if he tried hard enough.
A small laugh escaped.
He was nothing if not an optimist.
The distant sound of a city clock marking the hour made his smile soften as he pushed himself up. He was going to be late, but that was okay. He always was.
Spot always waited.
It wasn’t really a test because Jack knew that Spot would keep waiting as long as he kept showing up.
Jack knew Spot better than Spot knew himself, sometimes.
As he slid down the fire escape to the street below, his thoughts circled around the Brooklyn leader and all of the things he was pretty sure Spot didn’t know.
Sometimes Spot looked at him, usually when he didn’t think Jack was aware of his gaze, with such wonder and confusion that it just about took Jack’s breath away.
He knew Spot didn’t understand why he kept showing up at their meeting spot, why he accepted less than stellar treatment in return for his own high regard.
He knew that when Spot pointed out how far up in the clouds Jack Kelley usually kept his head, he was reminding himself that his lover was a dreamer who intended to go places far, far away from New York City, Brooklyn, and Spot Conlon.
It was Spot’s way of maintaining distance, his way of building a wall and keeping things between them from getting too deep.
Jack thought that promising he would stick around for good might make it easier for Spot to let go and accept that things between them had already developed past the physical into a genuine emotional entanglement, but as a rule Jack tried not to lie to the people he cared about.
And Spot was probably the person Jack cared about most in the entire world outside of his dead mother.
With a smile, Jack looked up at the sky. He couldn’t see the stars at all from the street level, but that hardly mattered to him. He didn’t need to see them to know that they were up there just waiting for him to find them again.
Spot was a lot like the stars, he mused.
Hidden and distant but always there, the most steady and reliable things in Jack’s life.
As he made the last turn, the smile grew into a blinding grin at the sight of Spot standing there, chewing lightly on one thumb nail, scowling at the wall like it would suddenly reveal why he was being kept waiting again.
He’d known Spot would be there, but every now and then he worried that maybe this time would be the time that there was something more important to the Brooklyn leader than waiting for Jack.
Spot looked up then and Jack couldn’t help the warmth that seemed to burst through his chest. This was the most important stuff he knew that Spot didn’t.
He knew how muscles tight with doubt and frustration relaxed at Jack’s jaunty steps and cheery whistling.
He knew the way Spot’s eyes grew lighter whenever he realized that Jack had shown up once again.
He knew the way those lips twitched into a hesitant smile in response to Jack’s grin no matter how hard Spot tried to maintain the scowl.
He knew the gentle reverence that battled with impatient passion.
Spot Conlon was more than just an average street thug. He was smart and talented and he knew people.
He probably even thought he knew himself just as well as he knew the people around him, but as much as Jack downplayed his own sharp mind, he knew people too.
And he knew Spot Conlon.
“You’re late again, Jackie boy” Spot groused, even as he pushed Jack against the wall, all carefully controlled strength, dominating but never hurting.
Jack couldn’t help but laugh softly as he slipped his arms around Spot's neck and let himself be manhandled. “Punctuality was never my strong suit, Spot.”
Well worn complaints and cheeky responses that doubled for questions and reassurances.
The rough scratch of brick against the back of his shirt was familiar, comforting, even, though he thought he might like the novelty of a bed some day.
Maybe someday, when Spot wasn’t so skittish about everything, he’d even suggest it.
He laughed again, against his lover’s mouth and ignored the questioning look it garnered.
One day Spot would finally realize what Jack had always known.
The rough and tumble Brooklyn leader was cautious with his heart and slow to let anyone near it, but he loved with the same fierce completeness he did everything else.
Jack could put up with the walls and defenses until then because he knew that the love they hid were already his.