Pairings/Characters: Clark/Bruce, Lois Lane, Perry White, Jimmy Olsen
Genres: Fluff, Romance
Summary: Natural talent is to be admired. Bruce admires Clark’s natural talents. ;)
Date Of Completion: June 3, 2015
Date Of Posting: June 3, 2015
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1143
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: Happy Birthday, mithen! :)
“I present to you the recipient of the Adele Martin Simmons Award, Mr. Clark Kent of the Metropolis Daily Planet.”
Applause filled the ballroom as the tuxedoed and gowned guests smiled and nodded. Bruce clapped at a pace that was more than polite as Lois, Jimmy and Perry enthusiastically honored their friend and colleague.
Bruce watched affectionately as Clark rose from his seat and went to the dais, pushing up his glasses on his nose. His tuxedo fit, as Lois had insisted that he could not accept the Simmons Award in a rumpled tuxedo. She had taken him on a shopping expedition despite his protests and now he looked handsome as he accepted the crystal award. He smiled shyly at the audience, unsure of himself but Bruce thought it was endearing.
“Smallville sure doesn’t fit the aggressive reporter stereotype,” said Lois.
“No, that’s right. He sure doesn’t.”
“Humanitarian reporting is such a skill. Anyone can write about crime or the latest deed by Superman, but it takes real skill to write about poverty and injustice, just what Adele Martin Simmons wanted.”
“It’s certainly a prestigious award,” Bruce agreed.
“The most,” Perry said. “Not bad for the paper, either.”
“Certainly not,” Bruce agreed. “As owner of The Daily Planet, I approve of prestige, especially when it’s well-deserved.”
Perry smiled. “Never hurts.”
Jimmy said, “Clark’s about to speak.”
They all paid attention as Clark began his earnest acceptance speech. Bruce half-listened to the speech, concentrating mainly on Clark. His lover was the epitome of a modest, humble man who stumbled a little over his speech but somehow managed to hold the attention of this roomful of professional cynics.
It’s the passion. They can tell he’s not a phony, and what this cutthroat crowd appreciates is someone who’s genuine.
Of course, it was a turn-on to watch that shy, bespectacled man and know that he was the most powerful man on the planet. His heart rate sped up as he thought about it. He quickly sipped from his glass of water.
“…as Ms. Simmons demonstrated, reporting on those who need their stories told is of paramount importance in our profession. With a stroke of the keyboard, we have the power to tell these stories.” His blue eyes were intense behind his glasses as he spoke with conviction. “We should always use our skills to not just get the story, but know why that ‘get’ is important.”
The applause filled the ballroom as Clark let it go on for a minute, then said, “Thank you,” and sat down at the dais with his award.
Bruce’s hands tingled as he clapped hard. He finished his sole garnished with parsley and lemon and drank his wine, listening to the table chatter while his eyes remained on Clark.
“So, do you agree, Boss?” asked Lois.
She jabbed him with her elbow. “I said do you agree?”
She rolled her eyes. “Forget it, Perry, he’s too busy mooning over Clark to pay attention.” She resumed her conversation with the feisty editor.
Dessert was served: peach cobbler with whipped cream, and Bruce knew that Clark was enjoying it. He allowed himself the indulgence of both savoring the decadent dessert and ogling Clark.
Discreetly, of course. Alfred would not approve of making a spectacle of myself.
After dessert there was dancing and mingling, and Bruce whirled on the dance floor with various female partners, but he finally begged off and went in search of Clark.
He found him outside on the balcony. Moonlight glittered off the crystal award, shaped like a rose. It was extremely good work, each delicate petal a work of art in itself.
“So, how does it feel to win the Adele Martin Simmons Award?” asked Bruce as he leaned on the railing next to Clark.
“Very good,” Clark said softly.
Bruce looked at him. “The dinner wasn’t bad, either. Jumbo shrimp on a bed of cracked ice is always a winner.”
Clark smiled. “Agreed.”
He continued to gaze out over the brilliant lights of the city and glanced upward. Bruce wondered if Clark was thinking how much brighter the stars appeared from the Kent farm instead of being dulled by city lights.
“What are you thinking?” Bruce could no longer contain his curiosity.
“Oh, just that…” His fingers traced the intricate rose petals "…this is something I earned, not Superman.” He glanced at Bruce. “I suppose that sounds selfish.”
Bruce smiled fondly. “No, it sounds human. And you’re right, Superman has nothing to do with this.”
“It wasn’t even for a Superman story. It was about the series on Suicide Slums.” Moonlit glitter reflected off his glasses. “This was my natural talent.”
“Your writing, you mean?”
Clark nodded. “Biologically, I have superpowers under Earth’s yellow sun, but any Kryptonian has that ability. My writing’s different. I’m good at math and science but my true passion growing up was writing. I kept a diary and wrote something in it every day, even if it was just a line or two. I wrote stories and dreamed of writing the Great American Novel someday.” He chuckled. “I still dream that.”
Bruce rested his chin on his hand. “I know what you mean. I gave Dick necessary training but his gift for acrobatics was still natural, much like his skill with people and his ability to wear anything and attract women and men.”
Clark laughed as he looked at Bruce. “Very true. Much like your talents.”
“Mine?” Bruce made a dismissive gesture. “All my skills were developed for the Mission. That’s not talent.”
“I can debate you on that, but if you never conceived of your Mission you’d still have something natural.”
“You’d still be the World’s Greatest Detective.”
Bruce opened his mouth to protest but closed it. He considered what Clark had said and a warmth spread through him “Maybe you’re right.”
“Of course I am! If you weren’t Batman, you’d still solve everything that came your way. Detection can be learned, but the instincts can’t. Looking at a set of clues and making an insightful judgment is natural, not learned.”
Bruce beamed, a tad embarrassed at such a reaction. “Speaking of natural, that’s what I want to see.”
Bruce put his hands on Clark’s shoulders. “You, as in au naturel.”
A big grin spread across Clark’s face and he pulled Bruce in for a passionate kiss.
Later that night, Bruce got his wish.
Clark au naturel is better than jumbo shrimp, he thought with a smirk as he looked at his sexual smorgasbord laid out for him on the bed, which was not cracked ice, illuminated by the moonlight streaming in the Manor bedroom’s tall windows.
The crystal award glittered on the dresser as laughter drifted across the room with the rustle of silk sheets.