Warnings: Happy fluff.
Word Count: 1846
Universes: Batman Begins/Smallville. And the Justice League.
Summary: It's the morning after the night before and the boys have the talk. No, not THAT kind of talk!
Note: This is going off from my AU fics and I need a name for that series. Reading Love isn't Logical and Loving Control first is recommended.
The fact that a panicked Bruce Wayne was totally adorable was pretty much proof positive that Clark was in love. Of course, all he’d said was, “OK. Now, what do you want to talk about?”
Those weren’t words that should have Bruce looking so twitchy. He’d been fine when they woke up and downright cheerful at breakfast. Clark’s normal optimism had resurfaced as well, though it had been years since he’d been able to apply it to a relationship. Now that they were in Bruce’s study and about to have the talk they’d postponed, he was behaving as if Clark was going to explode. Now Clark was starting to worry. What if Bruce had changed his mind? What if Bruce didn’t really want a relationship with him and was trying to come up with a graceful way to get out of this? What if- what if he just asked Bruce why he was acting like a nervous panther before they both descended into insanity?
“Bruce. Come and sit down.” Bruce sat on the couch next to him, a panicked look in his dark eyes. Clark took his hands, softly rubbing his thumbs over the scarred knuckles. “The only way this relationship is going to work is if we’re straight with each other. So, I’m asking you straight out: what’s wrong? ” Bruce was clearly about to evade the question, so he asked another, harder one. “Is it that you don’t want to be with me?”
Bruce was trying to present a cool, calm exterior. He was clearly failing. He knew they had to discuss things, but at the same time he was dreading hurting Clark again. Clark was right, miscommunication was what had gotten them into this and he really did need to -
“Clark, I want this. Us.” Clark visibly relaxed. “I just…I’m afraid.” Bruce mumbled.
“Afraid of what?”
“A lot of things. That I’ll screw up and ruin this. That you’ll hate me after this talk. That you’ll leave…” His voice was shaking and Bruce felt a moment’s shame at his lack of control. Clark did something and the world shifted, ending with him lying on top of a prone Clark.
“Is this better?” Clark asked. Actually, the physical contact did help, plus the knowledge that Clark couldn’t just get up and walk out. Or fly out. Bruce nodded. “Then let’s start from the beginning. We’ll both screw up because that’s what people do in relationships. We screw up, we fix it and we get on with it. Or else we end up becoming a Lifetime movie starring Tori Spelling, but that’s another issue altogether.” Bruce couldn’t help smiling. “Second, it’s impossible for me to hate you. Not without you becoming someone who isn’t Bruce Wayne anymore.” Clark’s eyes were sad, and Bruce wondered who Clark was thinking of. He shook it off as Clark continued. “Lastly, I can’t promise you that I’ll never die. What I can tell you is that I’ll never voluntarily leave you. I will always love you, and if there’s a life after this one, I’ll love you then, too.
“Are we clear on this?”
Bruce leaned over and proceeded to do his best to kiss Clark senseless. When he finally pulled back, looking down into Clark’s dazed green eyes, he said, “Yes. To all of that. And if I’m going to be coherent, I need to get off.”
“Can I help?” Clark looked utterly innocent and Bruce thumped his head against Clark’s shoulder, laughing.
“I just keep walking into those, don’t I?”
Clark in this mood was practically irresistible, but they really, really needed to have that talk. Bruce dragged himself upright, pulling Clark with him. “I have to say this now because otherwise I’ll chicken out and we won’t have this talk for another twenty years. Where to start- I didn’t tell you everything yesterday. When I first started this- thing, I did want control. Of me, not you. I didn’t like how attached I was feeling and wanted some way to make things feel safer. ”
Clark said nothing.
Bruce continued, convinced that he was making the biggest mistake of his life but unable to stop once he’d started. “I lasted telling myself it was just sex for about four hours. By that point I wanted to spend time with you and talk to you and…I’m sorry.” He stared down at their joined hands. “I hurt you and I’m sorry.”
“Bruce, look at me.”
He looked up, not really sure what to expect. Clark had every reason to be angry with him and he was…smiling?
“I figured it was something like that. I’m not mad, if that’s what you’re worried about. I’m relieved that you were willing to take a chance on something happening, because I never would have. We both screwed up here, you with the plans and me being too unsure to just ask you what was going on. Now we’ve admitted it and we’re fixing it. You’re forgiven.”
“It can’t be that easy.”
“Well, we could try couples counseling but we’d both get locked up. Or we can deal on our own. Look, our issues aren’t going away overnight and God knows we both have trunks full of them. We’ll handle things as they come up. What we both have to do is tell the other person when there’s a problem and not push them away. As you’ve noticed, I suck at that. But I’m willing to do it if you are.”
Bruce hadn’t taken a leap of faith since he was eight. Which is why he was totally shocked to hear himself say, “Yes.”
“Good. Now, what else? We might as well get it over with now so we can recover from the meaningful conversation and go do something guy-like.”
Clark wasn’t going to push him; he was taking Bruce’s word. Whatever he’d done in a previous life to earn this, Bruce didn’t know. He was very grateful, though.
“What you said yesterday.”
Clark tensed slightly. “Which part?”
“You said you were willing to do whatever I wanted. Did I do anything that made you uncomfortable?”
“No, of course not.”
“Okay, I could do without opera, but I’m willing to go if you want to.”
“You don’t like it?”
“Sopranos hurt my ears.” Clark admitted, sounding a little embarrassed.
“Then we won’t go.” Bruce said firmly. “I don’t enjoy it that much myself- the memories…” he trailed off. Clark squeezed his hand gently. “Other than opera, is there anything…” Miss Manners never covered how to ask your lover if he was uncomfortable bottoming.
“Bruce, since we’ve been together, there’s nothing you’ve done in or out of bed that I haven’t liked. A lot. Other than getting yelled at.” Bruce relaxed in the sunlight of Clark’s smile.
“Is there anything else?”
Bruce shook his head. “I think we’re done for now.”
“Good. Can we go do something that involves power tools? I feel the need to warp sheet metal the old-fashioned way.”
We can arrange that. But for you, wouldn’t the old-fashioned way involve heat vision?”
Clark shook his head. “I didn’t get my powers until I was a teenager. This is the old-fashioned way.”
Bruce stood up, pulling Clark with him. “Then let us go reclaim our masculinity.”
Clark snickered. “Shouldn’t beer be involved?”
“At this hour of the morning?”
“Live dangerously,” Clark suggested.
“Clark, we are not going to live out a redneck joke. That would be much too embarrassing.”
“What, you’ve never wanted to have your last words be ‘Someone hold my beer!’ Although ‘Y’all watch this!’ is quite popular, or so I hear.”
Bruce didn’t even try to hold back his laughter at Clark’s hopeful expression. The tickle fight which ensued led to even more pleasurable activities and left them both very relaxed.
After a day spent catching up on work, both mundane and superhero-related, Bruce was still feeling a little giddy. Having just finished dinner, he’d had to take a phone call. When he got back to the kitchen, Clark was helping Alfred do the dishes.
Bruce stopped in the doorway, leaning against the frame and watching his Clark talking quietly with Alfred. Clark had never been comfortable leaving Alfred to do all the work, quietly assisting him whenever he could without making the older man look like he needed the help. Bruce felt a little pang, knowing Alfred wasn’t getting any younger and that he worried about Bruce’s wellbeing. He couldn’t really reassure his old friend, though. At the moment Alfred was explaining some recipe to Clark and looking happier than he had in quite a while.
It had been a really good day. They’d worked on a modification to the Tumbler, in deference to Clark’s desire to bend sheet metal. The afternoon had been spent catching up on paperwork and doing research on Bruce’s part, while Clark prepped a couple of articles. He’d told Bruce that he kept several articles in different stages of being written so that if he needed to take off in the middle of the day, he had a workable excuse. Bruce decided to move another desk into the study for Clark’s use- on second thought, he would come up with a few possibilities and let Clark pick the one that suited him best.
Clark was listening respectfully to Alfred’s description. Bruce took the opportunity to admire the muscular lines of Clark’s body as he turned to pick up dishes and put them on the drainer. Hands that could puncture steel were delicately placing Spode within Alfred’s reach. Seeing the two men he loved most in the world standing together made him- happy. It was an odd feeling for him, and a part of him wanted to panic and push it away. However, he’d made a promise and he wouldn’t break it. Besides, a bigger part of him wanted to grab onto Clark and never let go.
“Putting him to work already, Alfred?”
“There’s nothing wrong with honest work, Bruce. Clark was brought up correctly, and in any case, there’s no pressing need to stand on ceremony within the family.”
Bruce’s throat closed. Alfred had dropped the formal titles for what was probably the first time in forever. Hearing his one remaining parental figure approve of his choice was both a relief and a pleasure he’d never expected to feel. Clark was equally moved, if his sudden blush was any indication. He reached over and lightly clasped Alfred’s arm. “Thank you, Alfred,” was all he said, but the two men shared a look that Bruce didn’t even try to interpret as anything other than conspiratorial. They were clearly plotting to take care of him. Somehow Bruce didn’t mind.
Bruce pushed away from the doorframe, walking over to stand behind Clark and pull him back into his arms. Clark’s broad shoulder made a comfortable resting place for Bruce’s chin. His warm hand came up to cover Bruce’s in an affectionate squeeze. “No, there’s no need.”
Right now, all was right in Bruce Wayne’s world.