Pairings/Characters: Clark/Bruce (Comicsverse)
Summary: Clark cooks an Italian dinner for Bruce.
Date Of Completion (First Draft): November 27, 2007
Date Of Posting: December 3, 2007
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1522
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: Written for the World’s Finest Gift Exchange for Claim F59: Slice of life domesticity, Clark cooking for Bruce, possibly with adorable, snarky innuendo. Either comicverse or crossover Superman Returns/Batman Begins movieverse. Rating: Up to R. :)
Bruce settled himself at the kitchen table, watching Clark as he chopped red, green, and yellow peppers at the counter.
The Metropolis apartment of one Clark Kent was more Spartan than the farmhouse in Kansas, but over the years Clark had added personal touches despite not spending a lot of time here. He was usually at The Planet or on patrol or at the Manor these days, yet he still kept this place as a touchstone for the city in which he lived and worked.
Bruce thought the yellow-sprigged wallpaper and pale yellow color scheme suited his friend. The dark walnut paneling and midnight-blue drapes of the Manor tended to look almost garish next to his shining lover.
Clark hummed lightly as he chopped the vegetables, dressed casually in jeans and a light-blue shirt. Bruce watched the strong hands as they held the knife and kept the peppers steady on the cutting board.
Bruce liked the view of his lover in profile, and rolled his eyes as he caught what Clark was wearing on his feet.
Clark laughed. “Linda gave them to me for my birthday. She found them amusing.”
“Hmm, I wonder how you’d look in a Playboy Bunny outfit?”
Clark wiggled his ass and Bruce laughed. “Just a little cottontail hoppin’ down the bunny trail.” Clark turned around and winked.
Bruce’s eyes sparkled. “Then I suppose you’ll want a carrot?”
“Depends on whose carrot it is.”
Bruce snickered. “Are you sure I can’t help?”
“Do you want to brave cutting up the onions?”
Bruce rose from the chair and got to work, taking out another cutting board and knife. The acrid sting from the onions produced the obligatory tears, but the taste would be worth it.
Clark returned to humming, keeping an eye on the water in the large pot on the stove. The sauce was in a smaller pot, and Clark brushed off the colorful sliced peppers from the cutting board into the sauce with quick strokes. Bruce wiped his streaming eyes and said, “And I suppose the next ingredient is…?”
“…tuna.” Clark took the two cans of tuna, used the can opener, and ladled the contents into the saucepot. “Cuts down on the acid, so say the Italians.” He grinned.
“You’re not Italian.”
“No, but Mom had a friend who was and she got the most marvelous recipes from her.” Clark turned on the burner and the sauce began to cook. “Here, I’ll take that.” He picked up the cutting board and dumped the onion slices into the tomato sauce. “Final touch.” He took two large beefsteak tomatoes, sliced them quickly, and then crushed them with a wooden spoon, adding them to the mix on the stove. “Now, once the water comes to a boil, in goes the pasta. I’ll have to keep an eye on the tomato sauce and make sure it doesn’t burn.”
“Who knew that Superman was Suzy Homemaker?”
Clark laughed. “It would be good for you to learn at Alfred’s knee, you know.”
Bruce grinned. “I’m rich, idle, and have a silver spoon in my mouth. Why do I need to know how to cook?”
Clark rolled his eyes but was amused. He took down two wineglasses from a cupboard. “Thanks for bringing the wine.”
“Now, that I can do.”
Clark chuckled and set the glasses on the red-checked tablecloth. “So you’re sure you’re okay with eating in the kitchen?”
“It’s fine, Clark. Contrary to popular opinion, I can eat in a kitchen.”
“Good.” Clark’s eyes were sparkling. “Because I don’t have much of a dining room.”
“Oh, you mean that postage-stamp-sized space with the card table and folding chairs?”
“Ha ha.” Clark wasn’t offended as he stirred the tomato sauce. “Set the table, would you, please?”
Bruce set out good china plates, red linen napkins, and everyday silverware. The plates had a sunflower design and he smirked. He wouldn’t have expected anything else!
The smell of the tomato sauce was growing rich and redolent, Bruce’s mouth beginning to water. He watched Clark at the stove and decided that a Clark who cooked was a sexy Clark. Just as he grinned at the thought Clark turned.
“What are you grinning at?”
“Shouldn’t you be wearing an apron?”
Clark smiled. “As a matter of fact, I should.” He went to a drawer and pulled out a full-length apron with the saying KISS THE COOK in big, black letters. He started tying the belt behind him when Bruce said, “I’ll do that.” He came up behind Clark and tied the ends together, brushing up against firm buttocks.
“Am I on the menu?”
“Well, in that case, we’d have to add meatballs and sausage now, wouldn’t we?”
Clark stuck his tongue out over his shoulder as Bruce laughed, hugging him as the Kryptonian stirred the sauce.
“Here, let me follow the directions on your apron.” Bruce butterfly-kissed the nape of Clark’s neck.
“Old Country Italian tradition calls this sauce ‘gravy’,” Clark said conversationally, picking up a small jar of oregano and sprinkling carefully over the pan. He pushed back slightly, Bruce gasping softly.
The water began to boil in the big pot, and Clark emptied the package of ziti into it. He stirred the pasta and added, “And this is ‘macaroni’, not pasta. But the old-time Italians forgive the evolution of the words. They just use the old ones.”
Bruce rested his head on Clark’s shoulder. He could listen to an entire history of macaroni/pasta as long as Clark’s charming voice was telling the tale. The rich smell of simmering tomato sauce spiced with oregano and the other ingredients wafted up to his nose. His stomach growled.
“Hmm, sounds like someone will be ready for dinner soon.”
Bruce chuckled and lifted his head, watching the bubbling red sauce. “I guess I should consider myself lucky: beauty, brains, and cooking skills.”
Clark laughed and pushed his glasses back up his nose as he said, “Pour the wine, will you, Bruce? Five minutes to go for the pasta.”
Bruce kissed his lover’s shoulder, then did as requested, watching the sparkling wine spill into the clear glasses. The full-bodied bouquet added to the rich smells coming from the stove.
Bruce sat at the table, amused at the chianti bottle that Clark had produced to set in the center, and struck a match, lighting it as Clark drained the pasta in a colander. He then ladled out two steaming platefuls of al dente pasta and generously covered them with the tomato sauce. He brought the plates to the table and shut off the kitchen lights except for a nightlight over the counter as he removed his apron.
“Should we have Italian music playing?” Bruce smirked.
Clark snapped his fingers and disappeared in a blur of blue shirt and pants, then was back at the table while Italian music played from the living room.
“I feel honored,” Bruce said as he lifted his wineglass. “To the cook.”
“Thank you,” Clark said with a smile, clinking his glass to Bruce’s.
Bruce dug into the pasta, an array of tastes filling his mouth: the spiciness of the peppers, the tang of the onions, and the unique flavor of the tuna, all overlaid with the hint of oregano.
“Perfect,” he declared as the rich flavor of the pasta also touched his taste buds.
“Thank you.” Clark was pleased.
The chianti bottle’s light flickered over the table, highlighting Clark’s blue-black hair and beautiful face. The food was exquisite, and so was the companionship.
“Oops, the bread!”
Again, superspeed and the warm, crusty slices of bread from the oven appeared, complete with a small dish of butter. Bruce added the bread to his plate, thinking that he had eaten fine meals in Italy but this was even better.
This meal was made with love.
“So, meatballs and sausage, eh?”
“Hmm?” Bruce looked up. “Oh, yeah. Definitely. Nice, round, firmly-packed meatballs, and long, sweet/hot sausages…”
Clark nearly choked while drinking his wine, spluttering with laughter. “The peppers spicy enough?”
“Onions nice and sharp?”
“That’s ‘tangy’, Bruce, not ‘tango’.”
Bruce winked. He ate a piece of bread.
“Now, this bread is crusty with a soft center.” Clark smiled sweetly at his companion.
“And this wine. Effervescent, bubbly, sparkling with joie de vivre…”
Clark’s eyes sparkled behind his glasses. He drank his wine and ate a forkful of pasta.
“Rich, redolent, full-bodied…and that’s the food as well as the wine.” Bruce dipped a slice of bread in the sauce.
“Mmm, the tuna cuts down on the acid of the tomatoes. Did you notice those tomatoes? Fresh off the vine: juicy, lush, firm, round…”
“You could really wrap your tongue around them.”
“Or bite gently, and drink in luscious juice.”
“I don’t mind acidic flavor, but it doesn’t hurt to cut it down a little now and then.”
“I enjoy sweet sausage, but hot sausage is really the tastiest.”
“Hmm, I think I’ll have to serve you some meatballs and sausage after this.”
“That would be…delizioso.”
Clark smiled as the wax melted down the candle of the chianti bottle.
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