It had been haunting the Professor for a long, long time. At first he avoided thinking about it, but there were more and more stories, and he couldn't convince himself they were just that, stories. He couldn't exactly allow just anyone in the Casa de Papel. So, some days before the beginning of the training, he called Berlin and told him they had to talk. The guy didn't take it seriously, he never did. But when he arrived at the Professor's home and he didn't suggest a drink or some casual socializing, he knew something was wrong.
« We have to talk, Berlin. I have been hearing things… ». The Professor begins awkwardly, unsure if he wants to stand up or sit down in the old school living room. He finally selects to sit on the couch, and invites Berlin with a gesture. The man follows.
« You're been hearing things… Voices ? Like, do we have a Joan of Arc here ? ». He laughs, self satisfied. He never takes things seriously until they're ready to explode.
« I've been reading disturbing stories about your previous heist, and the one before, and… It seems you do things to people. ». The Professor tries to breathe, in and out.
« Oh, that ? Yes. I've killed people. Only occasionally casualties and innocents, but those too. I don't think you want to hear about it, but… », he shrugs, his gaze still frozen.
The Professor is annoyed at being so easily read. Yes, he is sensitive to graphic details. But he is worried about worse than that.
« I also hear… »
« I have to keep them afraid, terrorized even. I'll do what it takes. I don't mind. I'm not afraid of blood, though some are. Someone's gotta man up ». The barb hurts.
« Oh right, right… Big Bad Berlin isn't afraid of getting dirty hands. But that's not what I mean, and you know it. I saw footage. Your third heist, if I'm not mistaken. Before disappearing, you… grabbed a woman's hair, and you kissed her ? What the hell was that about ? ». The Professor is angry. Hostages are to be respected. He's jealous too, somehow, but he's not certain why.
« Wow wow wow, calm down, Professor Perfect. First, that was more of a bite », he shrugs, as if it was making things better. « Second, nothing to do with a heist. The admiration in a girl's eyes is just exhilarating, don't you think ? Or maybe you have no idea because despite all your plans, you're a goody two shoes deep down ». His eyes burn in anger, and in amusement.
« You cannot do any of that inside the house. Not under my supervision. I won't allow it. » Professor is nervous, fidgeting, ill at ease. He doesn't like that they have to discuss this. But he must protect his team, and his hostages, or the whole country will turn on them.
« I need to know exactly. Because leopards don't change their spots, and I don't expect you not to mess up somehow, over days and days of high stress and tension. I understand, I do », he lies through his teeth. « But I need to know… what it is about ». He gestures vaguely.
« You want me to talk about such personal matters, Professor ? I thought no intimacy… ». He laughs bitterly. For Berlin, sex and violence have never been that different. « What do I get if I talk ? »
« You get to participate to the best heist in… »
Berlin interrupts. « I don't care. You need me for that shit. No, if I tell you all – and believe me, I'll give you all the details that will hurt and haunt and you'll be wanting to beg me to stop but I won't – I want a night I won't forget ever ». There. It is said. Hopefully the Professor will freak out and defuse.
But he doesn't. « A night… ». He finally gets it. « You don't even know who the women who will join us are. And I cannot force any of them to be… ». He stops, on his own. He blushes, deep, and bites his lower lip as he can't hold the man's gaze any longer. Berlin wonders if he has ever thought of it. They've been close to kissing a couple times, or at least he thinks so. But it would really take something important for the Professor to cross that Rubicon. He still avoids his eyes, but he nods. He must really be desperate. Berlin smiles like a predator smelling blood, and his hand finds its way on the Professor's shoulder.
« So let's begin with the girls, since you were the one to bring them up. Ladies first ! It's not an easy task, with them. They hesitate, they play games – not that I don't. In the end most do fall for the bad guy with the very right look. Those who don't, you can push them »… He knows this will disturb the Professor, who attempts to put some distance between them on the couch, as if disgusted. Berlin's grip gets only stronger.
« Oh no no no no… I like that the girls bleed. The no return thing. The tears. Sometimes I imagine one of them is you. I guess most guys feel like an asshole fucking a girl who cries and justifying it with sweet words and promises that it will be ok. And then they dump her and she hurts even more but they can't see it so they don't give a shit. I say the average slut is prettier with tears down her face and, down her legs, blood and…». He mercifully doesn't finish that sentence.
The Professor blanches at the graphic description. He knows Berlin to be like that, though he didn't really label it. Still hearing him remorselessly describing it… Berlin pats down at his hair for an invisible audience.
« Berlin… I didn't know… ». He doesn't say if this is about the man's fantasies about him, or how bad exactly he is. He had to be doing it pretty recently still, he realizes. Berlin pretends he didn't hear him, he is good at that.
« But the boys… The boys… Oh, fuck. They want to prove themselves to you whatever happens they won't bail out or whine. Since you asked – oh, you didn't – I like them better. Their eyes, their mouth, the way they look at you like you're a fucking hero ! Girls have to be courted forever. The dudes can just be wooed with some heroic heist story, then you let them touch your pistol, maybe you teach them to shoot a bit, a good occasion to feel them up, press against them… And they'll be hard for you. So tight and warm and you don't have to play nice ».
Berlin is slightly out of breath, obviously enjoying the memories, and the hurt on the Professor's face. He smiles cynically. « No hot night for me I guess ? », he asks.
« I always keep my promises ». His voice is defeated, though. « You say boys, but you mean… I mean… They're over 18, right ? ». So much sweet hope to shatter.
« I swear, Prof, they're all out of middle school ». He brings a hand up. « Old enough as far as I'm concerned. If they regret giving it to Mister Berlin, then they can chalk it up as a life lesson and thank me for that. Older than I was when… ». He didn't really plan to confide about that, but heck. The Professor cranes his neck up, looks at him, curiosity definitely bordering on the unhealthy. He's not sure he wants to know about that, but…
« No biggy, Professor. Ask away. He was the first to take an interest in me. Taught me how to shoot, how to dress, everything. I had never even kissed a girl, you know. In those times, kids were much more innocent. Parents nowadays want to believe… ». He smirks. « I was probably a tad young, in retrospect, but you know what they say. First you want to be like someone, then you want to be someone, then you just plain want him. He bought me stuff, I had his full, undivided attention. I went dizzy when I smelled his cologne or when he touched me. He told me about the cops he shot down and how much money he stole while he… Of course, in the end, he died ». Berlin shrugs as if he doesn't care. He sees pity and horror in the Professor's gaze, some unhealthy hunger too, and he laughs again.
« Don't tell me you didn't enjoy hearing about that. I could show you, Prof, if you let me. What it was like for me. For those kids. Only a man knows what another man really needs». He's at least half hard by now, from the memories and the Professor's reactions. The other man shivers and, he assumes, hates himself now instead of resenting Berlin. He has to regret asking so many fucking questions that were none of his concern. When Berlin turns to face him, he notices his eyes are red. He's more affected than he would have thought, but he always underestimates how weirdly emotional others are.
« Hey, it's ok. I won't do anything to the high schoolers, you know, not even if… ». He doesn't go on. That lie is difficult, but he does hope to keep to his word this one time. For Prof. « Also, it won't hurt, I'll take it easy with you. Right ? ». He isn't sure this will help. It doesn't.
« I don't deserve anyone taking it easy. I selected you, I taught you, I couldn't save you from who you are ». Professor is taking the moral high way as usual, prefering to see Berlin as a victim. And himself as the messiah. Berlin leans in, whispers at his ear. « I'll be coming back tonight, boss. Won't do anything you don't want me to do, though I'm sure there aren't many of those ». He blows gently on the man's face, close enough for a kiss, but he doesn't. He brings up a hand to caress his cheek instead. « I'll tell you all about my best heist, handsome, though you've probably read up on it. This won't hurt as much as this convo, methinks. ». Berlin will skip on the bloody details, at least until the Professor is close enough to not care. Then he'll see how far he can push, give him the right kind of angst to keep things interesting. He imagines the Professor under him, mouth slack in pleasure, but silent tears running down his face, and he's harder than he has been in years.