Pairings/Characters: (these chapters) Clark/Bruce (Clark does not appear in Ch. 1), Alfred Pennyworth, Ollie/Chloe (Chloe does not appear in Ch. 3, Ollie does not appear in Ch. 11-14), Martha Kent, Sam Cook, Alma Henderson, Rosa Marinetti, Clark/Lex (mention of Clark/Lex in Ch. 9), Bruce/Lex, Jenny Mallow, Lex Luthor, Adele Simmons, Tom Wilson, Cora Mallow
Continuity: Smallville & Batman Begins/The Dark Knight
Genres: Angst, Challenge, Drama, Mystery
Warnings: (Ch. 16: Violence)
Summary: An exhausted Clark and Bruce vacation in Smallville, where Clark’s sudden obsession over memories of his first love, Lex, causes insecurities to rise in Bruce. Meanwhile, an old enemy is preparing the way for a re-appearance for a final confrontation with the World’s Finest.
Beta: The fantastic me_ya_ri! :)
Artist: The marvelous ctbn60! :) Art can be found here on LJ and A03.
Dates Of Completion: September 11-October 19, 2011
Date Of Posting: October 25, 2013
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC and Warner Brothers do, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 23,277
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author's Note: Originally written for tmelange's proposed A Dark Knight In Smallville fanzine.
All chapters can be found here.
And life’s all aswirl,
Time to rest,
Nature knows best.
"Life Is Like
A Box Of Chocolates"
The Batman perched on the gargoyle of the Braddock Building, the old structure still as sturdy as it had been built in 1846. He liked the solid stone and brick beneath his boots. Solid like Gotham, which pleased him as only a native-born Gothamite would understand.
Patrolling his city grounded him, because all too often lately he felt as if he was being run ragged between here and the Watchtower. If it wasn’t monitor duty, it was an intense, time-consuming mission, sometimes off-world, and he barely had time to turn around, much less spend any significant time with Clark.
He smiled at the thought of his lover. They were two years into their relationship, and Batman was amazed that Superman was still sticking around.
He could have anyone. He and Ollie have great chemistry, and I know his history with Lana and Lois. Why is he sticking with a grumpy ol’ Bat?
His own love life before Clark was fairly barren. Rachel had been a true romance, but she had been the only one. He had enjoyed a casual off-and-on relationship with his old friend Lex Luthor during their college days, but that had been two rich kids coming together, understanding each other in ways no one else could rather than a bone-deep love.
Batman always felt sadness when thinking about Lex. He was a shell of his former self, and was insane, in the Dark Knight’s opinion. Lex had lost his memory because of the actions of his now-deceased half-sister Tess, which kept Clark’s secret identity safe, but Batman knew his old friend well. Lex was brilliant and a major threat, especially to Clark.
Batman wrapped his cape tighter around himself as he jumped to the rooftop, staggering slightly. He was bone-tired. Sleep was a precious commodity which had eluded him for the past month on a distressingly-frequent basis.
The wind was picking up, blowing in a strong gust as the silken folds of his cape escaped his gloved fingers, whipping out behind him as he spotted activity in the street below. He took out his grapple gun and shot out a decel line, his cape fanning out in a black backdrop as he flew down as gracefully as his namesake. He kept track of the potential mugger as the thug stalked his oblivious prey. Batman’s heart pounded as adrenaline rushed through his veins.
Unfortunately, he had misjudged his descent angle and crashed into the wall, pain slicing through his right arm and leg as he tumbled to the ground, unable to break his fall. Stunned, he lay crumpled in the dirty alley, the wind howling like a demented banshee.
POOR LITTLE RICH KID
He could have had the moon,
But when he did the swoon,
He sang a different tune."
RCA Victor Records
Bruce stewed as he glared at the little silver handbell on the nightstand. He simply refused to use the silly thing to summon his butler. It was the epitome of clichéd rich brat, in his opinion. Instead, he bellowed again.
“Master Wayne, really. Were you brought up in a fishmonger’s house?” The gray-haired butler shook his head as he entered the master bedroom.
“Alfred, I need to get down to the Cave.”
“I should say not. You will remain in that bed, sir, and the farthest you shall travel is to the bathroom.”
Bruce frowned. “I need to do some research.”
“I shall bring you your laptop.”
“I need the computer down there.”
“Master Wayne, if you attempt to get out of that bed I shall call Master Kent and have him sit on you if necessary.”
Bruce almost laughed. “You think you’ve got me right where you want me?”
“Most assuredly, sir.”
Bruce rested his head back against the headboard. “I’m bored, Alfred.”
“No doubt, but you must stay off that leg for the foreseeable future.”
Bruce grimaced. He had a hairline fracture in his fibula, his thigh a mass of bruises. He had quite a rainbow pattern of green, yellow, and purple under his pajamas.
“What would you like for lunch, sir?”
Bruce let out an exaggerated sigh. “Oh, I don’t know. Surprise me.”
“You are quite the brat, sir.”
“Better get used to it.”
“I have been for quite some years now.”
Bruce smiled as Alfred left the room.
His smile faded as he thought of the mistake that had landed him in this bed.
Stupid mistake. How could I have misjudged that angle so badly? He rubbed his face. I was lucky that mugger didn’t turn back and try and become a Big Name by finishing off the Batman. Man, I was incredibly lucky.
But of course, that was risk he took working alone. When he was hurt or in a jam, he only had himself to rely on.
Unless Clark is with me.
Lately, however, they barely had time to say hello to each other, much less work together. And their love lives? He couldn’t even remember the last time they had made love, and he was supposed to have a good memory!
Bruce closed his eyes and sighed just as the window opened and a whoosh! of cool air settled gently around him.
Bruce could hear the rustle of silk and felt warm lips pressed against his. He cupped Clark’s head and intensified the kiss.
When they finally broke apart, Clark said, “Whoa, should you be getting all hot-and-bothered right now?”
“I’m bored,” Bruce whined. “Alfred won’t let me down in the Cave.”
“With good reason, you idiot.”
Bruce opened his eyes and saw Superman in all his glory, blue green eyes sparkling as he gazed down upon his mortal lover. Very mortal in this case, he thought grumpily.
“It’s not idiotic to be bored.”
“No, but it is idiotic to want to trek down to that damp Cave with a bum leg and broken wrist.”
Bruce huffed. “My hand is fine.”
“Right, a broken wrist is fine.”
Bruce glared at his cast. Unfortunately, it was his right wrist, so even feeding himself was problematic, though he managed.
Clark sat on the edge of the bed, smiling at his lover. “You’re getting a vacation.”
“I don’t want a vacation.”
“Tough, you’re getting one, anyway.”
“Why are you and Alfred ganging up on me?”
“Because you deserve it, you stubborn idiot.”
“Again with the idiot! Watch it, Kent.”
Clark smiled. “I’m happy to watch you.” He drew Bruce into a kiss, Bruce enthusiastically responding.
“You are eager,” Clark said with laugh once the kiss was broken.
“For you? Always.”
Clark ducked his head shyly, warming Bruce’s heart. He still could not believe his good fortune that this incredible man loved him.
Clark looked up at him and said, “I’m bringing you home.”
“I thought this was your home,” Bruce said lightly.
“You know what I mean.”
“Smallville?” At Clark’s nod, Bruce protested, “I can recuperate here.”
“But you won’t relax.”
“Of course I will. This is home.”
“With the Batcave and all the other craziness around here.”
“You like it there.” Clark’s smile was charming. “It’s peaceful and quiet. You can draw strength there.”
Bruce was about to object again when he noticed the strain around Clark’s eyes. His lover could always recuperate physically, but mentally was another story. Clark had been on the go as much as he had been and would be the one to draw strength from the soil of the Kent Farm, just as he did from the Manor.
Clark’s smile grew brighter. “You won’t fight me?”
The Kryptonian laughed delightedly and drew Bruce into an embrace.
Maybe recuperating in Smallville would be just what they needed.
From where we came,
Gives us strength
For where we’re going.
Clark already looked as if he was relaxed as he drove to Smallville with Bruce next to him in the passenger seat. Alfred was taking some well-deserved time off to visit family in England, so Clark was playing chauffeur.
The rental car was modest but the ride was smooth, Clark able to navigate the bumpy country roads with skill. Smallville’s tiny airport had handled the Wayne Enterprises private plane, accustomed to accommodating LutherCorp aircraft years ago.
The scenery never changed, Bruce thought wryly. Acres and acres of corn stretched as far as the eye could see. The trees were starting to turn colors as September was on the calendar.
Clark whistled a jaunty tune, and Bruce was glad that his lover was so happy. Short of a galactic invasion, Clark would be on vacation, too. Kara had returned from the 31st Century and had established herself as Supergirl, so she would be taking care of Metropolis. Ollie had volunteered to help out his old friend and patrol as Batman…
“What, you don’t think I can be the Dark Knight?”
Ollie was sitting on the edge of Bruce’s bed. Bruce laughed while Ollie pouted.
“Ollie, you are an exemplary Emerald Archer. A Dark Knight? I don’t know about that.”
Ollie ran a hand through his spiky blond hair. “Bet Chloe thinks I can do it.”
“She’s your wife.”
“Listen, if you know marriage like I do, you know you’re less likely to get a thumbs-up from your spouse.”
Bruce smirked. “Sorry, never been married.”
“What do you call what you and the Big Blue Boy Scout are all about?”
Bruce frowned. “We’re not married.”
“I know you haven’t said ‘I do’, but you’re married, trust me.”
“I don’t buy it.”
“Yeah?” Ollie crossed his arms, brown eyes amused. “Did Clark move in here?”
“Did he bring you home to Mother?”
“Does Alfred consider him a second son?”
“Face it, Bruce, all you’re missing is the ring.” Ollie waggled his finger, his gold wedding ring glinting in the light.
They had reached the entrance to the farm, the wooden sign with the name ‘Kent’ carved into it atop the frame at the bottom of the driveway. Clark turned the Ford into the driveway, his eyes alight with anticipation.
Bruce had to admit that the yellow, two-story clapboard house was charming. Trimmed in white, there was a porch with a swing and two rocking chairs, and windowboxes with red and pink geraniums. A wreath made from brambles and red berries hung on the front door, and a black cat with piercing yellow eyes sunned itself on the porch, tail swishing back-and-forth. Several feet away the barn stood sturdy though weatherbeaten, its red paint faded.
Clark parked the car close to the house and shut off the engine. “Let’s get you inside first and then I’ll bring in the luggage.”
Bruce got out of the car, using crutches. The hairline crack was technically a broken leg, he supposed, but thankfully did not require a cast. Unfortunately, his wrist did, making it almost impossible to use the crutches with ease.
”I will not be carried like a bride over the threshold, Clark.”
“Spoilsport.” Clark smiled as he put a hand under Bruce’s right elbow and took away one crutch. “Use the other crutch and I’ll balance you.”
Bruce grumbled but followed Clark’s instructions. They navigated the short steps, and Bruce leaned against the porch railing while Clark unlocked the door.
“You lock your doors in Smallville?” Bruce teased.
“We didn’t when I was growing up.” Clark smiled at the cat, who looked at him coolly. “Hi, Midnight.” The cat yawned.
Bruce was still wrapping his mind around the fact that Clark had not been joking about not locking the doors when his companion helped him inside.
He remembered the first time that Clark had brought him home…
“Welcome, Bruce.” Martha Kent smiled.
“Hello, Mrs. Kent.”
“All right, Martha.”
The trim red-haired woman was warmth itself as she stood in the middle of the living room in a modest Kelly-green sweater and matching pants. The tantalizing aroma of pumpkin bread baking in the oven made his mouth water.
Clark brought in the luggage. “Glad you got away from D.C. for the weekend, Mom.”
“They tried to keep me there, but I dazzled them with my wit and wrapped things up early.”
“Does anything get wrapped up early in Washington?”
She laughed. “It’s a miracle, isn’t it?”
While mother and son bantered, Bruce looked around, noticing the slightly shabby but comfortable furniture, the red-yellow-and-blue hooked rug, the walls hung with pleasant landscape paintings and a shelf containing souvenirs. Closer inspection revealed a tiny dome and pylon paperweight from the 1939 World’s Fair, a small gold statuette of The Daily Planet, a plate from the Grand Canyon and one from Mount Rushmore, and another paperweight featuring Cinderella’s castle at Disney World.
“Let’s get you upstairs, Bruce,” Clark said.
“Yes, you must be tired.” Martha put a hand on his arm. “Get some rest, and supper will be in a few hours.” She laughed. “We eat early around here. Washington hasn’t cured me of that habit, I’m afraid.”
Bruce looked into the concerned face of his lover. “Yeah, just remembering my first time here. Your mother was here.”
“Yes, she was.”
“Will she be coming home this weekend?”
“No, she’s got an important party she has to attend.”
“More important than us?” Bruce pouted.
“It’s a State Dinner at the White House.”
Clark laughed as he helped Bruce up the stairs. “Are you sure you don’t want to sleep downstairs?”
“I’m not sleeping on the couch while you’re upstairs.”
“All right, Your Majesty.”
Bruce smirked as he hobbled along, Clark taking most of his weight. They reached the bedroom and Bruce gratefully sank down onto the bed.
“I know it’s not the size of that princely bed of yours at the Manor, but it’s comfy.”
Bruce airily waved his hand. “Go get my matched luggage, peasant.”
Clark grinned. “Yes, my Prince.”
Bruce chuckled as he flopped back onto the bed, the spread warm and scratchy against his skin.
Clark’s room never changed. The handmade quilt by Martha lay at the foot of the bed, the red-yellow-and-blue color scheme amusing him. There was a blue-and-yellow hooked rug on the hardwood floor, made by Clark’s paternal grandmother, and pennants on the walls for the Smallville Crows and Metropolis Sharks. A handmade wooden bookcase in the corner was crammed with books and the dresser was made of maplewood, like the four-poster bed. There was a windowseat by the window, more books in the small cupboard underneath.
The room was warm and modest, like Clark himself. It was as different from the room that he had grown up in as you could get.
Worry prickled his thoughts. They were so different, their childhoods worlds apart. Clark liked the simple things while Bruce was accustomed to the luxurious. Often their methods of crimefighting clashed. He and Clark were literally like Night and Day.
Can we survive like that? Why would Clark want to stick with a poor little rich kid? Especially one with so many issues that running around dressed like a giant bat is the least of my worries.
Clark appeared in the doorway, easily carrying all of their luggage.
He’s not even winded, damn him.
Feeling petulant, Bruce crossed his arms, mindful of his cast. Soft cast or not, it was a pain to wear.
Clark started unpacking, putting their clothes away in the closet and dresser drawers. Bruce sat up and watched the process, his leg stiff after the long drive from the airport. He rubbed his thigh, careful not to touch the area with the fracture. Hairline or not, it could still hurt.
“I’m afraid we’ll have to make do with my cooking for our vacation.” Clark opened another drawer.
“Better than mine.”
Clark laughed. “That’s for sure! You’re great with cooking up smoke bombs, but a steak or fish? Ouch!”
Bruce smirked. One thing about being a hazard in the kitchen, you were never expected to cook.
“What would you like for supper?”
“What have you got?”
“I’ll see what Chloe and Ollie left in the fridge.”
“Does it work out, having them stay here when they’re in town?”
“Sure. Chloe’s family home was sold years ago, and while they’ve got the penthouse in Metropolis, they’d have to rent here, and there’s not much to rent around town or in the outlying areas. I figure having them use the house when they’re in town helps keep the place up-to-date.”
“Martha plans to come back here after she retires, right?”
“Of course. This is our home.” Clark shut the drawer and zipped up the suitcases, putting them way in the closet. “I mistakenly thought long ago that to meet my destiny as Superman, I had to sell the farm, but luckily cooler heads prevailed.” Clark shook his head. “Chalk it up to temporary insanity. Selling this place would be like selling Wayne Manor.”
“I once said I wanted to burn the Manor down.”
Surprised, Clark’s eyes widened. He remained quiet, waiting for Bruce to continue.
“It was during my Angry Young Man phase, back when I was acting up so much at Princeton, they kicked me out.” Bruce smiled ruefully. “Imagine the irony when Ra’s really did burn it down.”
Clark put a hand on Bruce’s good leg and gently rubbed it. “I guess it’s just youthful ignorance. This farm and the Manor are too much a part of us to ever really let them go.”
Bruce smiled and put his hand over Clark’s, leaning forward to kiss him. When they parted, Bruce said, “I’d like chicken if you’ve got it.”
Clark went downstairs and Bruce lay back down, needing to sleep.
BEEF STEW AND GARLIC BREAD
When you’re down,
And feelin’ blue,
Some beef stew."
Bruce slept for the remainder of the afternoon, his exhausted body demanding rest. When he finally awoke, the light streaming in through the bedroom window indicated late afternoon. He listened to the sounds of birds and squirrels outside but could not hear Clark moving around downstairs.
Bruce allowed himself to absorb the peace of the house for about ten minutes, then levered himself off the bed, managing to make it down the hall to the bathroom.
Once he was finished there, he made his way back, bypassing the bedroom for the stairs. Cursing his leg injury, he was exhausted by the time he reached the foot of the stairs.
He was a wreck: damaged thigh, broken wrist and sprained ankle, none of which allowed him to perform ninja-like Bat-tricks. Put all together, he would be out of commission for at least another month.
He headed for the kitchen, his stomach rumbling. He found it empty, but there was a pot of something that smelled delicious simmering on the stove, and a quick peek inside the oven showed slices of garlic bread baking.
He looked into the pot, pleased to see carrots, onions, celery, and beef bubbling in the stock. His stomach growled again.
The kitchen walls were painted sunny yellow, and hanging plants spilled out over their pots, glossy green leaves climbing along the windowsill. A suncatcher in the shape of a sun sparkled in the window over the sink. The table and chairs were highly-polished wood, a yellow tablecloth set with a cobalt-blue vase of sunflowers and two place settings. The refrigerator held a collection of magnets, and he smiled at the Super and Bat magnets lined up next to each other.
He remembered his first time in this kitchen…
“I hope you like fried chicken, Bruce,” said Martha as he entered the bright kitchen.
“I like it fine.”
“Good. We don’t have it often because grilled or baked is better for you, but it’s an old family recipe. Secret herbs and spices.” She winked.
Bruce laughed. “Can I help?”
“You can peel up the potatoes and then I’ll mash them up.”
As Martha rolled the chicken legs and breasts in her own breaded mixture, Bruce used a paring knife to start peeling the big potatoes.
“This is a wonderful place you have here.”
“Thank you. It’s been in Jonathan’s family for generations.”
“I understand heritage.”
“Yes, I hear that Wayne Manor has been in your family for centuries.”
“Yes,” Bruce answered proudly.
“It’s a heavy responsibility, these family legacies.”
“Pretty much.” Bruce’s deft fingers quickly finished peeling one potato and started on the next. “What was it like to raise a super-powered boy here on the farm?”
“Oh, Clark’s childhood was pretty normal. His powers really didn’t manifest until his adolescence, though he was stronger than average and could certainly jump higher than normal, but he didn’t have to worry about heat vision or anything like that.”
“Must have been easy on you.”
“Heavens, yes! Can you imagine trying to catch a superbaby flying around the house?”
They both laughed, and Martha placed the last piece of chicken in the pan and put it in the oven. She closed the door and turned it on, taking out fresh stringbeans and putting them in a smaller pot.
“Clark had to adjust to learning that he was an alien, of course, once he became a teenager.”
“Ouch. Worse possible time.”
Martha smiled. “Tell me about it.” She sighed. “Despite their archenemy relationship today, Lex Luthor was a godsend in those early days. He was a true friend, just what Clark needed at the time.” She smiled. “Clark never forgets a friend.”
Bruce paused in the act of peeling. “Yes, Ollie’s mentioned their friendship. Chloe, too.”
Martha stirred the beans and went to the refrigerator, taking out the butter dish. “I know it’s hard to believe, but Lex wasn’t like he is now.”
“No, I believe it.”
She put the dish on the counter. “That’s generous of you.”
“I knew Lex before he came to Smallville.” At her surprised expression he said, “I went to school with Lex.”
“Ah.” Martha looked at Bruce “He was probably quite different form what we knew.”
“Pretty much.” Bruce kept peeling. “He was mocking, sarcastic and high-handed, but a lot of it was a defense against a terrible childhood.”
“Yes, I know,” Martha murmured.
“He was a good friend. We understood each other.”
Martha took the peeled potatoes and began mashing them in a bowl. “I’m glad. I always felt that Lex was more complex than people thought, and not necessarily destined to be a Luthor.”
“So what happened?”
She sighed. “I’m not sure. I don’t think he’s evil.”
“He’s tried to hurt Clark.”
She looked at him directly. “I think he’s insane.”
Clark came in from the barn before Bruce could respond.
“You really are daydreaming today, aren’t you?”
Bruce looked around to see a fondly-smiling Clark standing behind him. “Sorry.”
“Don’t be. Daydreaming can be relaxing, and that’s why you’re here, right? To relax.”
“Yeah, you’re right.” Bruce smiled. “Dinner smells delicious.”
“Thanks. I put some soup together with what I could find in the fridge. I’ll have to make a run to town tomorrow to stock up, but this’ll do for tonight.”
“More than do.” Bruce took a seat at the table. “So what do we do tonight? Quilting bee or talk about the latest crop prices?”
“Don’t be a city snob.” Clark’s eyes twinkled behind his glasses. He had grown so accustomed to wearing them that he often left them on even wearing them that he often left them on even when he was only with people who knew his secret identity. He liked Clark in glasses. He looked cute. “Get ready for a fine repast.”
Clark hummed as he stirred the soup, tasting it and declaring it ready. He ladled out two bowls and took out the garlic bread, the smell mingling with that of the soup. Bruce’s mouth watered.
“Dig in.” Clark sat down, breaking a piece off his slice of garlic bread.
“Mmm, this is really good, Clark.”
“Thanks. I’m no Alfred or Mom, but I can throw together a meal when I have to.”
“I approve of your ‘throwing together’.” Bruce avidly ate the soup, realizing how ravenous he was. “I suppose there’s pie for dessert?”
Clark grinned. “There’s some apple pie left over. Maybe I should try baking one tomorrow.”
“Let’s not get carried away.”
Clark laughed and broke off another piece of bread.
Bruce knew this vacation was good for Clark. He had seen the weariness in his lover’s eyes for the past month, sheer exhaustion in his body language. Even a Superman could get tired, and Clark had been going as non-stop as Bruce.
He hoped that any alien invasions would wait until after their vacation.
TOP HATS AND RACE CARS
Through the trees
As fireflies dance
And stars twinkle
In the light
Of a smiling moon.
The light was growing more mellow, and Bruce felt the same. Maybe it had been the beef vegetable stew or maybe just sitting in that cheerful kitchen with Clark, but Bruce was feeling very domestic. Alfred would approve.
After delicious slices of apple pie, Clark cleaned up and washed the dishes while Bruce sipped coffee at the table. He watched Clark perform his task efficiently, the big hands capable of smashing mountains handling delicate china with ease.
The sunlight limned his lover’s highlighting shimmering black hair and his light-blue T-shirt and jeans. He looked ethereal in the soft golden light, hazy and soft-lensed. Bruce sipped his coffee but watched the ripple of light play over the plants and gleaming sink.
The best part of this Impressionist painting was Clark. Sun-bronzed skin glowed in the light, his well-sculpted muscles shown off to perfection by the lack of long sleeves. The cotton fabric clung to broad shoulders and strong back, Bruce’s eyes traveling to the perfect buttocks encased in faded denim. His cock twitched.
“I figure we’ll need at least a week’s groceries, and once those run out I can run in for more.” Clark placed a bowl on the drainboard. “Mom’s got preserves down in the root cellar, so we can use some of those.”
“Maybe we could take a run to the diner if you feel up to it.”
“I’ll probably do an inspection of the fields. We sharecrop with the neighbors, so the farm is still productive and tended to.”
“That’s smart. It’d be a shame to let the land lie fallow.”
“It would be a travesty.”
“Yes.” Clark washed the last utensil and picked up the dishcloth. “Generations of Kents have worked this land. If it wasn’t for my powers, I might never had left here.”
Startled, Bruce asked, “Are you sure about that? What about The Daily Planet?”
“Well, that’s the $64,000 question. Would I be happy to just write for The Smallville Gazette while being a farmer, or would I still go off to the big city to make my fortune?” Clark picked up a dish to wipe and looked out at the fields in the rays of the setting sun. “I have to write. It’s a part of me, a passion that I’ve always had.”
“You’re good at it.”
“Thanks.” Clark smiled. “Mom and Dad told me about my notebooks always left around the house, filled with my scribblings. If I don’t write something every day, I feel like I’m going to bust."
“It’s a passion of yours.”
Clark wiped the plate, setting it in the cabinet. “I guess you’re right.” He chuckled. “Guess I’m a born writer.”
“All of us have a special talent.”
Clark finished the dishes and put them away, hanging the dishtowel up on the rack.
“Want to go outside for some fresh air?”
“What, that good ol’ country air? I’m not sure my Gotham lungs can take it.”
Clark smirked and tossed Bruce his jacket. “Gets a little cold out there.” Clark put on his red jacket, then helped his lover out to the porch.
Bruce sat on the swing while Clark leaned against the railing, listening to the crickets as a slight breeze ruffled the leaves on the trees. The moon was bright, illuminating the yard as Midnight yawned and padded down the steps, his tail switching.
“It really is peaceful here,” Bruce murmured.
Clark sat on the railing, one leg swinging back-and-forth. “It is.” He smiled. “No sound of the ocean, though.”
Bruce chuckled. “No, just a lot of crickets.”
“And fireflies.” Clark pointed at a display winking several feet away. They watched the intricate dance, a strong gust of wind scattering the fireflies.
“We’d better go in. It’s getting pretty cold,” Clark said.
Bruce did not argue, feeling the chill in his bones.
Inside, Clark started a fire in the hearth as Bruce stretched out on the couch. His leg was beginning to hurt after the day’s activities, and he gratefully accepted a pain pill, washing it down with hot chocolate.
They decided against turning on the radio or television. If Superman was needed, Chloe would get in touch with them. Instead Clark brought out an old-fashioned Monopoly board game and Bruce found himself having fun playing capitalist tycoon for an evening without worrying about real-life consequences for a change.
“I get the top hat,” he insisted.
“Okay, Mr. Moneybags.” Clark picked up one of the pieces. “I’ll take the race car.”
Bruce was ruthless in acquiring his hotels on Park Place and buying up the railroad but Clark was equally aggressive, winding up the winner.
“You’re quite the wheeler-dealer.”
“Only with Monopoly money,” Clark laughed. “I’ll leave the high finance to you.”
They headed upstairs after putting away the game, getting ready for bed. Clark helped Bruce get into pale-blue silk pajama bottoms, putting on a pair of dark-blue pajama bottoms himself.
“Do we have to wear pajamas?” Bruce pouted.
“We aren’t gong to have sexy times.”
“They aren’t that debilitating.”
Clark’s eyes sparkled as he climbed into bed with his partner. “A peaceful evening wasn’t enough?”
Bruce kissed him. “Not with you in my bed.”
Clark chuckled as he pulled Bruce’s pajamas and underwear down, cupping his cock as he rained butterfly kisses across the beloved face. Bruce groaned as Clark’s deft hand manipulated him, his hips rocking forward, ignoring the pain in his thigh. He stroked Clark’s shoulders, rewarded by his lover’s gasps as one hand slid down to fondle a nipple. Electricity jumped between them as Bruce groaned again, giving one last thrust as he came, Clark biting his neck gently.
Bruce panted, collapsing back against the pillow. “You haven’t lost your touch.”
Clark laughed, wiping his hand off with a tissue. “I hope not.”
Bruce touched Clark’s bobbing cock. “Let me return the favor.”
Clark happily allowed it, and Bruce was expert in bringing him to climax, eyes bright as he watched the emotions play across his lover’s beautiful face, rapturous at the moment of climax.
After cleaning them both up, Clark snuggled into bed with Bruce again, falling asleep almost immediately.
Bruce wrapped his arms around Clark, kissing his temple, as he stared out at the night sky before he too fell asleep.