Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Bruce/Dick, Clark Kent, Ollie/Dinah, Diana Prince, Hal Jordan
Rating (this chapter): PG-13
General Summary: After the Winter Ball, the media storm hits.
Chapter Summary: A happy Bat is good for the JLA.
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Date Of Completion: March 10, 2008
Date Of Posting: March 15, 2008
Word Count: 1029
Author’s Note: Dick is over 18 in this story.
The entire series can be found here.
Bruce looked over the specs as he drank coffee in the Watchtower cafeteria. There was a low rumble of conversation as other tables were filled with heroes eating lunch.
He was sitting at his usual table in the corner by the window, the Earth rotating far below, the sunlight pouring down on the planet.
Another kind of sun appeared beside the table.
“Hi, Bruce.” Clark slid into his customary seat. This table was both his and Bruce’s, courtesy of their long-standing friendship, and the fact that many heroes tended to avoid Batman when he was grumpy, which was frequently. Clark put his plate down on the table as he tilted the tray to rest by the third chair.
“What’s today’s special?” Bruce asked.
“Oh, a tomato-and-lettuce sandwich with a little mayo, and a side of fries.”
“Simple tastes, eh?
« I’m a man of.” Clark’s grin spread to Bruce, who couldn’t help himself. Then again, he was smiling a lot more lately. Not so grumpy.
“Are those the specs for the new Javelin?”
Bruce nodded. “Once Michael and I finish them, we’d like to get you and Hal land J’onn to build it out in space.”
“No problem.” Clark took a bite of his sandwich. “Mmm, the mayo’s fresh.”
“How about the tomato-and-lettuce?”
“They’re always fresh. Mom and Dad don’t grow bad vegetables.”
Bruce shook his head fondly. Despite being one of their greatest superheroes and a star reporter to boot, Clark would always be a farmer at heart.
“Glad that the JLA contract is keeping them prosperous.”
Clark grinned. He drank some lemonade and then asked, “How are you and Dick doing?”
“You mean with the barrage of negative press?” Clark nodded. “Fine. We’re used to the paparazzi camping out in front of Wayne Enterprises and even at the gates of the Manor.”
“They don’t always camp out at both places, do they?”
“Not every time, but haven’t you heard? We’re big news.” Sarcasm edged Bruce’s voice.
“I know,” Clark said softly. “Need to talk?”
Bruce shook his head, then stopped. “Maybe.” He sighed. “I don’t regret coming out, Clark. I love Dick and don’t want to hide that fact anymore.”
“You shouldn’t have to.”
“But you’ve seen the reactions.”
“Not all bad, Bruce.” Clark smiled. “People believe what they want to believe. As long as you and Dick know the truth, that’s all that matters.”
A little smile quirked Bruce’s lips. “And you?”
“Of course! Superman sees all, knows all.”
Bruce laughed. “No argument there.” He put his pen down and frowned slightly. “Though I do worry about Dick. He’s going to be dogged at school when the semester starts up again. Right now he’s only faced the hordes outside of Wayne Enterprises and the Manor. School is a whole different thing.”
“He’ll handle it.”
“You sound very confident.”
“I am.” Clark ate a French fry. “Bruce, that boy was born to be in the spotlight. Paparazzi and nosy reporters don’t faze him. And he’s wanted to be with you a very long time.”
Bruce crossed his arms as he leaned back in his chair. “I just…the names hurt.”
Sympathy shone in Clark’s blue eyes. “I know. But to be honest, hasn’t he heard them all before?”
Bruce sighed. “I suppose you’re right.” He rubbed between his eyes. “It’s just that we’ve gotten the double whammy now. I think I made a mistake not having us come out to the superhero community first.”
“That might have helped, but has anyone really given you any trouble?”
Bruce’s gaze roamed over the other heroes. “No.”
“There, you see?” Clark happily took another bite of his sandwich.
Bruce supposed that Clark was right. Except for a few looks of discomfort, most of the heroes seemed to be genuinely happy for him. He hoped that was the case with the Teen Titans. He didn’t want Dick to lose the leadership of that team. The Titans meant a lot to his young lover, and he was immensely proud of Dick’s consummate skill in leading them.
He was just afraid of the people out there who liked nothing better than to hurt others they deemed different, and gays were different to a lot of people.
But he had been tired of hiding Dick like he was some dirty little secret. He wasn’t, and he’d be damned if he went on like that. Dick deserved all the happiness he could give.
He just hoped he could give what Dick needed.
“Got anymore of that tomato-and-lettuce?”
Clark grinned and was gone in a blur, back with a plate and a fresh sandwich. Bruce smiled and they settled in for a leisurely lunch.
& & & & & &
Ollie, Dinah, Diana, and Hal were sitting several tables over. Ollie smirked.
“Thank God for Dick Grayson!”
“Why do you say that, Ollie?” asked Dinah as she ate her tuna sandwich.
“Haven’t you noticed?” Blond eyebrows went up in amusement at Dinah’s puzzled look. “The Bat isn’t as cranky as he used to be.”
She grinned, and Diana and Hal chuckled.
“Very good for us, eh?” Ollie said as he glanced over at the corner table, Bruce actually laughing as Clark’s eyes sparkled.
“Dick is good for Bruce,” Diana said as she took a forkful of Greek salad.
“That boy brings light to Bruce,” Hal added, happy for his old friend.
Ollie drank his coffee. “Roy says that Dick has been happier than ever, if you can believe that. That kid has always been bright sunshine. He must be blinding now!”
“Good! Exactly what Bruce needs,” Dinah said.
“Let’s hope they can survive the media onslaught.” Hal frowned.
“What a terrible thing!” Diana said and drank her iced tea. “Love is love. Why your society tends to obsess over love that is not what you consider ‘normal’ astounds me still.”
“Considering you came from an all-female island, I can understand that,” Hal said with a smile.
Diana winked at him, and Dinah laughed. Ollie said, “Batman and Robin can handle it. They can handle anything together!”
They all looked at Bruce, whose relaxed happiness could only mean good things for the Justice League.