Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Alfred, Dick
Genres: Angst, Drama, Hurt/Comfort, Romance, Slice-Of-Life
Rating (this chapter): PG-13
General Summary: Constant rainy weather begins to affect the World’s Finest.
Chapter Summary: Clark’s exhaustion worries Bruce.
Date Of Completion: August 14, 2014
Date Of Posting: September 3, 2014
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1494
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
All chapters can be found here.
RAINY DAYS AND NIGHTS
Sometimes get you down,
Lift your face to the sky
Before you fall and drown.
Sebastian & The
Moby Grape Records
Clark touched down lightly on the immaculate grounds of Wayne Manor, his cape fluttering down around his shoulders. He had done a quick X-ray scan, and no one but the family was around.
Rain came down at a steady pace, soaking into the ground and spattering on the pool cover. Shoulders slumped, he stared dully at the sky. Wiping his face with his hand, he entered the kitchen.
The smell of baking gingerbread perked him up a little. “Hello, Alfred.”
“Ah, hello, Master Clark! Busy day?”
“Very.” Clark wiped his boots on the small rug by the door.
“Just leave your costume in the hamper, sir, when you shower.”
Clark smiled. “Of course.”
“Tea and gingerbread at four, sir.”
“Thank you, Alfred.” Clark left the kitchen and entered the foyer. A bowl of fresh red and pink flowers were set on the pier table, their pleasant fragrance tickling his nose. He heard the clink of chandelier crystals far overhead and looked up.
“Hi, Clark!” The boy swung on the chandelier and landed on the grand staircase’s balustrade, promptly performing handstands as he kept pace with Clark as he ascended the staircase. “Raining pretty good, huh?”
Dick wiggled his legs and Clark held out his arm. With a dazzling smile the boy put his hands on the muscled arm and did an excellent handstand. Clark marveled at the boy’s perfect balance. Dick giggled as Clark continued down the hall. When he reached the master bedroom, Dick flipped down to the floor.
The boy cocked his head. “Are you okay, Clark?”
“Sure, Dick.” Clark ruffled Dick’s hair. “That gingerbread should be just about ready.”
“I know; I can smell it.”
“What, do you have super-smell?”
“I don’t need it for gingerbread!” Dick said cheerfully. He dashed off down the hall and Clark shook his head fondly as he entered the bedroom.
“Well, hello, stranger.”
Clark began to unfasten his cape. “Nice to see you, too, honey.”
Bruce snorted. He was stretched out on the bed, propped up against double pillows. Wrapped in a dark-green robe, his hair was wet as he read through the papers on his portable writing desk. The nightstand lamp cast a soft glow for better reading on this dark day.
“Taking your business to bed?”
“Until you get here.”
“Hold that thought.”
Bruce watched Clark disappear into the bathroom. He frowned slightly. His lover had looked tired.
Not surprising, since he’s been on the go for a solid week. Even a Superman can get tired.
He watched the rain sparkle on the windows as he tapped his pen against the desk. His mind returned to Wayne Enterprises business.
As he worked, he listened to the sound of the shower. His fingers curled around the pen as he ran it down the list of figures on his yellow legal pad. He double-checked the numbers, scribbled a note, and set aside the pad. He riffled through the remaining papers and stuffed them in his leather briefcase, including the pad, and set the briefcase between the bed and nightstand.
The water was shut off in the shower and Bruce interlaced his fingers behind his head. Clark came out of the bathroom, draped in a towel while using another to dry his hair.
Always the Greek god.
Bruce reached over and shut off the lamp. “Come to bed.”
“It’s only three-thirty in the afternoon.”
“Are those your Midwestern sensibilities peeking out?”
“You mean I object to sex in the afternoon?”
“Really, Clark. How very Kansan.”
Clark chuckled, tossing the towel in the bathroom hamper. Bruce wiggled his toes and Clark threw the second towel, climbing into bed. Bruce was about to shed his robe when his companion yawned and promptly fell asleep.
Bruce sighed. He removed his robe and pulled the covers up, sliding down and fixing the pillows. The smell of gingerbread wafted upstairs.
Bruce woke up and checked the digital clock on the nightstand. It read 4:13. It was as dark as if it was 9:00 on this summer’s night as the rain had intensified.
Alfred will have dinner ready in a few hours but will have a snack available now. Should I let Clark sleep? He’s so exhausted.
Bruce brushed the curl off Clark’s forehead. Was it his imagination or were there circles under Clark’s eyes?
He carefully slid out of bed and dressed. He chose comfortable, casual clothes and left the bedroom.
Downstairs in the kitchen he joined Dick at the table. Dick was already into the plate of gingerbread in front of him with a glass of buttermilk.
“Smells great, Alfred,” Bruce said.
“Thank you, sir.” Alfred placed a plate and glass of buttermilk in front of Bruce. “Is Master Clark coming down?”
“He’s tired.” Dick picked up a square of gingerbread and ate half of it in one bite.
“You think so?” Bruce asked.
Dick nodded. “He doesn’t have that sparkle.”
Bruce hid his smile. “I think you’re right.” The wind rattled the windowpanes as the storm intensified. He put two pieces of the treat onto his plate. “He’s not his usual sunshine-y self.”
“A pity.” Alfred put on the kettle for tea.
“You didn’t say something to him?” Dick asked, suddenly suspicious.
“No, why would you think that?”
“Because tact is not always employed by you,” Alfred cut in.
“Hmph,” Bruce said as Dick grinned while Alfred turned on the stove.
After finishing the snack, Bruce looked out the window. “The storm will keep crime down. We’ll take the night off.”
Dick celebrated by eating another gingerbread square.
Thunder rumbled, shaking the house as it cracked. Lightning flashed as the rain came down in torrents. Bruce was pleased at his decision to stay home tonight. As long as there was no word on the criminal grapevine about shady activities coming up, he felt that going out would be a waste of time.
The fire crackled in the living room hearth as he and Dick discussed last night’s patrol. He sat in his favorite chair while Dick sat cross-legged in front of the fire. Time passed pleasantly as the mantelpiece clock ticked steadily.
“Shouldn’t you check on Clark? He’ll miss dinner,” Dick asked.
“You’re right.” Bruce stood. “No more snacking before dinner.”
Dick pretended to pout as Bruce left the room. He knew that Dick would obey him.
The kid has a gargantuan appetite, but he’s a perpetual motion machine. He burns up energy all the time.
Bruce climbed the staircase quickly and strode to his bedroom. He quietly pushed open the door, walking inside. Clark was still asleep. Bruce debated whether to wake him up.
He sure looks like he needs the rest.
Clark started to wake up, blinking as he looked up. His hair was endearingly mussed as the sheet slipped down to his waist.
“That’s right.” Bruce sat on the bed. "Are you up to coming down to dinner?"
Clark yawned. “Sure. Never want to miss one of Alfred’s dinners.”
Bruce smoothed out the sheet. “Are you all right, Clark?”
“Just a little tired.” He smiled sleepily.
Bruce pulled at his collar. Why does he have to be so sexy? He stood and said, “Dick and I aren’t going on patrol tonight. The storm is getting worse.”
“Mmph.” Clark rolled face-first into his pillow.
Bruce had to smile. “Hurry up, it’s roast beef.”
“Thank you, Alfred. Always glad for a warm, homemade supper on a rainy night.”
“You are quite welcome.”
Clark ate a good-sized portion of roast beef, baby carrots and russet potatoes with butter and chives. Bruce was pleased. A good appetite indicated good health.
Dessert was apple pie, which amused Bruce. Alfred had made all of Clark’s favorites. Clark was animated with his eyes sparkling.
After clean-up, they retired to the living room. Dick turned on the television and stretched out on the carpet as Bruce and Clark sat on the couch. Clark yawned and curled up on the sofa, resting his head on Bruce’s shoulder.
“Star Trek again?” Bruce asked Dick.
The boy grinned. “Sure, why not?” The teaser came on. “Cool, it’s Journey To Babel.”
“Takes you only ten seconds to guess.”
Dick giggled and blissfully watched as Ambassador Sarek and his wife Amanda met Kirk, Spock and McCoy.
“She’s got my name,” Dick said.
“Who does?” asked Bruce.
“Lady Amanda. Her maiden name is Grayson.”
Clark smiled. “You’re a true Trekker.”
Dick smirked and watched as the commercials ended and Act One started.
Clark was interested but gradually fell asleep right after Amanda told the story of Spock’s sehlat, “Sort of a fat Teddy bear.”
Bruce’s concern came back. He had seen Clark tired before but this seemed excessive.
Tomorrow, he would get answers.