Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Lois, Dick
Genres: Angst, Drama, Hurt/Comfort, Romance, Slice-Of-Life
Rating (this chapter): G
General Summary: Constant rainy weather begins to affect the World’s Finest.
Chapter Summary: Will the rain never end?
Date Of Completion: August 17, 2014
Date Of Posting: September 8, 2014
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1414
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author's Note: Both chapters can be found here.
THE WEIGHT OF THE WORLD
As the rain comes down,
Flowers lose their petals
As they wear sodden gowns.
Sebastian & The
Moby Grape Records
Rain seemed to be endlessly on the horizon, whether as a full-blown storm or a steady drizzle. Water dripped off eaves and saturated gardens while glistening on the gargoyles in the city. No one at City Hall had to make noises about water conservation in the suburbs as a permanent gloom seemed to hang over the city.
The rain had a hold on a great swath of the country. Metropolis was under the same clouds as the population grumbled, and wags declared it was time to start building Noah’s Ark.
Superman was kept busy with all the flash flooding in the area. He rescued people from stalled cars and diverted water from vulnerable areas. He seemed to be constantly on the move, and it almost became routine to see him at work. He was front-page news in The Daily Planet and led the evening news locally and nationally.
Business as usual, Bruce thought as he watched the TV in his office of Wayne Enterprises. The windows offered him a view of the storm as it rained down over Gotham. It was an impressive sight as dark clouds roiled high above the city and the rain came down in steady sheets, cascading over buildings and spattering far below over the sidewalks.
Bruce felt as if he was up in the clouds and the storm surrounded him. It reminded him of one time when Clark had flown them into a storm cloud…
Batman shivered. The air was exceedingly cool up here. Wisps of clouds touched his skin.
Superman smiled at his companion. His cape whipped out behind him as thunder cracked. Batman congratulated himself on not flinching. He nearly jumped, however, when lightning split the sky with a jagged bolt of energy. He could smell burning ozone.
“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” Superman murmured.
“Yes.” Batman looked at Superman. “Very much.”
Superman smiled. He flew them close to the major source of activity. Lightning flashed again and Batman felt a sense of awe. Nature at its best was laid out in front of him, and he knew that he was very lucky, indeed.
“If Robin were here he’d say he was getting a charge out of this,” Batman said dryly.
Superman laughed as he rolled them around into the next cloud…
Bruce shut off the TV. He liked to listen to the sound of the rain drumming on the roof. He let the sound soothe him as he worked on a new contract.
His phone rang and he picked up the receiver. He had not heard from Clark all day. Maybe…?
He was disappointed as a business acquaintance’s voice came over the line. He conducted business with the man and when he hung up, he picked up his cell phone.
Maybe I should give him a call.
He weighed the phone in his hand but finally decided against it. He knew how busy his lover was during this rainy weather.
The last thing he needs is a clingy lover.
Instead, Bruce thought about tonight’s patrol. He and Dick could not afford to take every night off, but they were doing shorter patrols. Crime was definitely down but had not disappeared.
His cell phone rang and he grabbed it. His eyebrow rose as he saw the identity of the caller on the screen. He accepted the call.
“Hello, Bruce.” Her voice held a tinge of frost.
“Gloomy in Metropolis, I take it.”
“I’m sure it doesn’t hold a candle to Gotham.” Before he could retort, she snapped, “What the hell are you doing over there?”
“I give you Smallville and he’s shuffling around here like one of the Walking Dead. You’re supposed to take care of him!”
Her anger radiated over the phone. Bruce winced. If Amanda Waller was a woman he never wanted to cross, Lois Lane was right behind her. Lois was fiercely protective of her friends, and Clark was her best friend and working partner.
“He’s been a little busy,” Bruce said, knowing she would understand his meaning.
“No kidding.” Sarcasm dripped from every word. “He’s supposed to be getting TLC from you. Honest-to-Aphrodite, can’t you be useful for something besides making your tailor rich? Come on, Wayne, get on the ball.”
She hung up and Bruce muttered under his breath. He had been put on notice. “Just what I need, Lois Lane threatening to kick my ass.”
He collapsed in his chair and stared moodily out at the rain.
Bruce was in the library, finishing up a cup of mint tea as he noticed Clark outside. Still clad in costume, the Kryptonian was standing in the garden.
Bruce was heading toward the French doors to ask Clark to come in when he paused. Frowning, he stared out the glass panes of the doors.
Something’s not right.
Even beyond the odd behavior of the past several days, there was something wrong. His gaze took in the scene with mounting apprehension.
Clark’s back was to the French doors, his head bowed. It was dark outside, almost like night despite it being only late afternoon. The hydrangeas and snowballs hung heavily from their stems, weighted down by the deluge of rain. Fat raindrops fell to the sodden earth as the steady patter of the storm hit the windows.
Clark’s exhaustion seemed to fill the garden. Melancholy tinged the drooping flowers as they seemed to weep.
The darkness isn’t what’s good for you. You’re not meant for it.
It was a simple thought but stunningly apt. The weight of the world settled down upon the shoulders of the man in the garden.
Suddenly Bruce moved, opening the French doors. Clad in his three-piece suit, he walked out into the rain. He circled around to face Clark and touched his shoulder.
Tears ran down Clark’s face as he lifted his head. Bruce’s tears mingled with the rain as the garden smelled fresh and earthy. He took hold of Clark’s shoulders and pulled him close, drawing the cape around the two of them. They stood motionless as the sky wept.
“So Clark was short on re-charging?” Dick asked as he offered Bruce the plate of freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies. They were sitting in the kitchen with Alfred putting in the latest load of laundry down the hall.
Bruce nodded as he accepted a cookie. Biting into its warmth, he explained, “He’d been kept so busy he didn’t even have time to fly up to the sun.”
Dick thoughtfully munched on his cookie as he set the plate down on the table. “So he got sadder and sadder as time went on.”
Bruce looked sharply at his young companion. Sometimes he forgot how perceptive this boy could be.
“Yes, it kind of…addled him.”
“Like people who get sad in the winter when there’s no sunlight?”
Bruce nodded again. “The more time he spent in the rain, the less he had the energy to fix himself. He was a little confused. It could be a Kryptonian thing.”
Dick chuckled. “That’s what you say when you can’t figure it out.”
Bruce raised an eyebrow. He definitely should never forget this boy’s perception. “Once I convinced him to gather all his strength and fly up to the sun, he was much better.”
“Good!” Dick’s cheerful voice was its own ray of sunshine in the gloomy kitchen. It was dusk and time to start getting ready for patrol. It was the best time of day, in Bruce’s opinion. “I don’t like it when Clark isn’t feeling sunny.”
“Neither do I,” Bruce said wryly.
He chatted with Dick a little more and then sent the boy off to finish his homework before going down to the Cave. He went to the library and opened the French doors, inhaling the scent of cool, fresh air. The rain had finally stopped.
The gardens were glittering as if they held jewels instead of flowers as raindrops still clung to leaves and sparkled in the earth like chips of mica. Bruce walked out into the lush surroundings and remembered his embrace of his lover just the day before. He heard a soft rustling of silk and looked up as Clark descended.
Melancholy had been draped over the Man of Steel, but ironically, Bruce had been his sun.