bradygirl_12 (bradygirl_12) wrote,
bradygirl_12
bradygirl_12

Fic: Beautiful Diamond (1/2)

Title:  Beautiful Diamond (1/2) (Fire)
Author: BradyGirl 
Pairings/Characters: Superman/Batman
Rating: G
Warnings: None.
Spoilers: None
Summary:  Batman must follow his heart to save Superman. 
Date Of Completion: January 30, 2007
Date Of Posting: January 30, 2007
Word Count: 2079
Disclaimer: DC owns ‘em, I just play with ‘em.
Notes: Written for the World's Finest Challenge #8: Heart of Ice.  All 
chapters can be found here.

I

 

FIRE

 

 

The grim figure struggled through the snow, his long, black cape billowing out behind
him.  His breath formed crystals in the frigid air, the stark whiteness of the landscape
broken by shadows of blue.

 

Bruce peered through the snow goggles, noting the sparkly mountains surrounding the
snowy plains.  The words stark beauty flashed through his mind.  He rubbed his arms as
he trudged ahead.

 

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

 

The fire crackled in the fireplace.  Bruce was settled in his favorite overstuffed
chair, hot chocolate in hand and a plate of raspberry sugar cookies on a small side
table.

 

He felt a rare sense of contentment as he watched the snow falling outside the study
windows.  Dick was doing homework at the round table in the corner, a plate of cookies
and cup of hot chocolate within his reach.

 

Alfred appeared in the doorway. “Sir, Master Clark is here to see you.”

 

Dick looked up, pleased anticipation on his face.  Bruce mirrored those feelings.

 

“Send him in, Alfred.”

 

Clark appeared a few seconds later, hair rumpled and glistening from the snow.  Bruce
blinked.

 

“Welcome, Clark.  Have a seat here by the fire.”

 

“Hi, Clark.”

 

“Hi, Dick, and thank you, Bruce.”

 

Clark settled into the chair opposite Bruce.  Within seconds, a plate of cookies and a
cup of hot chocolate appeared for him.  His eyes lit up. “Thank you, Alfred.” He ate a
cookie and sighed happily.

 

“What brings you by, Clark?”

 

“I wanted to get your opinions on some of Gotham’s movers and shakers.”

 

Bruce nodded, watching as Clark took out his notepad and pen.  He could probably just
commit the conversation to memory but the Kryptonian  liked to keep in the habit of
human methods.

 

Bruce wondered at the restraint of his friend.  All that power, always kept under
control, was admirable. 

 

All that power…

 

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

 

The silence was complete.  Most people would feel uneasy, but Bruce felt soothed. 

 

He was grateful for the insulated batsuit.  This Arctic-like cold had to be guarded
against.

 

He consulted his compass.  It was cracked, utterly useless, but it provided comfort to
him.  Even the illusion of technology calmed him.  He closed his eyes, took a deep
breath, and slowly rotated his body as he listened...

 

North.

 

He opened his eyes and started walking again.

 

The cold was beautiful in its own deadly way.  Bruce always appreciated power resting
beneath beauty.

 

His snowshoes allowed him easier travel as he walked across hard-packed snow.  His
inner sense indicated he was still on the right track.  One part of his mind stayed
alert, another part drifting back…

 

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

 

Bruce and Clark conversed about Gotham’s wealthiest, Bruce’s knowledge of the business
community and Social Register crowd equally deep.  As the Prince of Gotham, he was the
best-connected man in town.

 

Clark was a good reporter, asking the right questions.  His talent lay in
non-confrontational skills, the antithesis of a Lois Lane or other stereotypical
reporter images. 

 

Yet it would be a mistake to underestimate the mild-mannered reporter.  His affability
masked persistence, which eventually wore down his interview subject.  Despite Bruce’s
knowledge of his friend’s methods, he had nearly been caught a few times himself.

 

As Bruce talked, he noticed the firelight highlighting the planes of Clark’s face. 
The art patron in him appreciated such sculpted beauty.  If Michelangelo had seen Clark
Kent, he would have booted David out
the door.

 

Bruce hoped that the fire hid his blush.

 

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

 

Bruce listened to the silence as he journeyed.  He would reach his destination soon.

 

He unclipped the large tube attached to his utility belt.  Unscrewing the lid, he shook
out the contents.  Unrolling the parchment, he read its calligraphy carefully.

 

She with the Heart of Ice

Seeks beauty

In all

Its diamond strength.

 

Bruce’s mouth twisted. 

 

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

 

The Justice League gathered at the satellite HQ for their monthly meeting.  Members
were socializing for a few minutes before Clark called them to order as chairman.

 

Suddenly, a thunderclap left their ears ringing, and they shielded their eyes from a
bright, white light.

 

A woman of heart-wrenching beauty shone in the middle of the light, Bruce gasping as he
was sure that his eyes played tricks on him.  Was she made of… ice?

 

Clark staggered back.  She smiled a frosty smile and drew the astonished man to her with
a lightning-fast move that ended in a kiss.

 

Another thunderclap, and in that split second of flashing light, Bruce’s heart sank as
he saw Clark transformed to match the woman, who winked at Bruce before she and Clark
disappeared.

 

Bruce’s mouth hung open, other Leaguers equally stunned.

 

“Oh, crap,” said Zatanna.

 

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

 

Bruce read over the parchment again.

 

The Queen of Ice

Reigns over snow,

The Moon her totem,

Her palette cold.

 

Bruce peered up at the weak sun to the north.  He allowed his senses to stay focused on
the inner part of his being, a trick he had learned long ago in Asia during training
and which Zatanna had suggested he use on this journey. 

 

A lot of things were coming back to him.

 

He kept his pace even as he forged ahead.

 

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

 

Shock wore off quickly.  Bruce bellowed, “What the hell?” He stormed over to Zatanna.
“Who was that?
  And where did she take Clark?”

 

Zatanna was already thinking strategy. “She’s the Queen of Ice from another dimension.”

 

“What does she want with Clark?” asked Diana. “Or does that kiss tell us?”

 

Zatanna shook her head. “She already has a consort.”

 

“Maybe she cheats,” Ollie said sourly.

 

“No, she collects beauty.”

 

“Beauty?” Barry flexed a scarlet-clad hand. “Well, that explains why she took Clark. 
How do we get him back?”

 

“I’ve got to do some research.” Zatanna laid a hand on Bruce’s tense arm. “I won’t be
long.  Try and rest, Bruce.  You’ll need your strength.”

 

Bruce didn’t like the sound of that as Zatanna invoked a traveling spell and
disappeared.

 

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

 

Bruce was grateful for the lack of wind.  Even with insulation and other methods of
protection, wind could cut through a man.

 

He had to keep focused.  The unending vista of ice and snow, punctuated by glaciers and
mountains, could lull him into a near-narcoleptic state.

 

He allowed a part of his brain to diversify.  Memories were always good…

 

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

 

Bruce was surprised at how content he felt as the fire crackled.  Domesticity was not
usually his goal, but here he was, happy as Alfred bustled in the kitchen, Dick worked
on his homework, and he and Clark chatted in a relaxed fashion.  He could get used to
this.

 

He thought about the David imagery he had cooked up a while ago.  His analytical gaze
cataloged the living artwork seated in front of him: soft, silky hair the color of
midnight; the fine, strong nose; a mouth that smiled more often than not; the
incredible unearthly blue of the eyes…

 

“Bruce?”

 

“Hmm?” He looked at Clark, who was warm and smiling. Not cold marble.

 

“You look happy.”

 

Bruce focused on Clark’s smiling face.

 

“I am.”

 

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

 

Despite the unscientific methods he was using, Bruce didn’t question them. 
Zatanna had been an enormous help, guiding him through this mystical world.

 

He didn’t mind the monotony of the journey.  It gave him time to listen to his heart.

 

His mouth quirked as he realized that anyone hearing those words would find them
laughable.  The Batman with a heart?  Astounding!

 

Clark always knew differently.  He had been patient and kind and loving, reaping the
rewards of friendship.

 

He checked the parchment again.

 

Over time,

Over place,

One whose heart is true

Is the One True Love.

 

Bruce knew he could be the most focused being on the planet, but he could also
compartmentalize his mind.
 Single-minded focus would numb him on this particular
mission.

 

Listen to your heart.

 

Sunlight winked off the mountains, reminding Bruce of the computer simulations of
Krypton’s Jewel Mountains.
 Delicate beauty, dazzling beauty, diamonds against the sky.

 

“You’ll know the way”.

 

Bruce’s energy was restrained.  He couldn’t afford to expend any unnecessarily.  He had
to make this journey alone.

 

“Only you can save him”.

 

The silence was fortunate.  He didn’t have distractions to tune out.  All he had to do
was concentrate on Clark, whether in memory or in the purpose of mission.

 

Soon, my friend, soon.

 

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

 

Magically, a scroll and sheet of regular paper appeared.  Bruce grabbed the items as
they floated in the air of the satellite HQ.  He read the notes first:

 

Batman, the scroll will give you directions and a sense of your adversary, but first
know this: the Queen of Ice is not a typical ‘villain’.  She lacks certain ethics but
retains others.

 

As I said, she collects beauty.  She takes it as she sees it, and kidnapping doesn’t
concern her.

 

However, she gives her treasures’ rescuers a fair chance.  The Queen will put no
obstacles in your way.
 There will be no dragons, giants, trolls, or wizards in your
path.  However, you must come to her dimension alone.

 

You must listen to your heart as to where to go.  The directions will guide you to your
starting point. You will not be given any specific directions after you begin, though a
description of the landscape will be contained in this parchment.   

 

I cannot tell you where Superman is.  I can only transport you to your starting point.

 

Blessed Be, Batman. 

 

Suddenly, a light appeared, then winked out.  Left in Bruce’s palm was a small diamond.

 

“What is it, Bruce?” Diana asked.

 

“My teleport key.” Bruce looked at the Amazon. “I’ve got to prepare.”

 

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

 

When he was ready, the diamond had glowed, transporting him to a world of ice and snow. 
Out in the vast Arctic-like expanse, Bruce had felt despair until he had calmed himself.

 

Focus inward.

 

It had worked, his Zen-like training an aid to receiving the message he needed.

 

And now he continued his journey, glad for the lack of dragons and trolls.  He was
worried about Clark.  How the hell was he going to convince this Ice Queen to let his
friend go?

 

Clark was better suited to all this magical stuff.  He liked to go on instinct when the
situation called for it.  Bruce preferred facts, but he had to incorporate feelings into
the equation.  Even before Clark, Dick had taught him that.
  The lessons he had learned
from his ward had prepared him for the best friendship of his life.

 

Bruce frowned.  Feelings.  He certainly held feelings of friendship for Clark.  There
was a closeness he enjoyed, a meeting of equals despite a disparity in power.

 

Confidence soared in Bruce.  His heart was leading him directly to Clark.  He could feel
it.

 

He paused.  Odd that his heart would be the important element in all this, but he
decided not to analyze it for once.
 If anything, Clark had taught him that.

 

He trudged around a small glacial outcropping, stopping short.

 

It wasn’t exactly the Emerald City, but there appeared to be a sparkling grove of ice
far off on the horizon.

 

His heart leaped.  The parchment had described such a place. 

 

His pace quickened.  He was going to get Clark back.

 

Again that sense of puzzlement skittered across his mind but he focused on his
destination.

 

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

 

Bruce’s face reflected his awe.  The grove was a sparkling rainbow of trees in ice
form, their delicate beauty stunning in their complexity.  Crystal filigrees wove airy,
spiderwebbed patterns against the intense blue sky.

 

Bruce entered the grove.  Some of the trees appeared on fire, the sun creating prisms
of wild color.  He remembered Clark telling him once about firetrees he had seen on a
distant planet.

 

It was probably ironic that Bruce could speak so casually of other planets and not
feel disoriented in this other dimension.  As the Batman, he was a creature of the
elemental earth, tied to a city, much less a planet or galaxy.

 

How parochial, he though with a bitter smile.

 

Though, he supposed, as he glided past the trees, Dick would argue that bats were
creatures of the air. 
Big picture, Bruce.

 

Bruce’s mouth quirked in a lighter smile.  Clark would agree, of course.  The world was
his playground.

 

The trees grew thicker, nearly blinding him, but he saw a small opening in the copse
and slipped through, surrounded by dazzling ice.  Luckily he was not claustrophobic.

 

Gradually the thicket of trees revealed another small opening, and Bruce stepped
through it.

 

He stopped in utter amazement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 











 
Tags: beautiful diamond, bruce wayne, clark kent, dick grayson, queen of ice, robin, superman/batman
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