Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Kal-El/Bruce, Dick, Jonathan/Martha
Genres: Romance, Fairytale
Rating (this chapter): PG-13
Summary: When Prince Kal-El falls under a spell, can the Dark Knight save him?
Chapter Summary: Bruce undergoes the second Trial.
Date Of Completion: June 1, 2008
Date Of Posting: July 9, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 977
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Happy Birthday, starsandsea ! :) When I think of your writing, I often think of fairytales, so this came to mind. ;)
All chapters can be found here.
THE SECOND TRIAL:
Top of the mountain,
The second task
Must be rushed.
The face of the Prince
For his True Love,
And Heart’s Desire.
“The Tale Of
The Sleeping Beauty”
14th Century C.E.
Dick held out a small blue flower.
“What do I do with this?” Bruce asked. A night’s sleep and he felt better but was wary.
“Take it to the top of the mountain.”
Bruce looked up at the snow-capped mountain and groaned.
“Place it on the altar you will find there and grind it within the goblet. There will be a pestle for you to use. Don’t lose a single petal! Once done, place the crushed petals in your haversack and come back down the mountain.”
Dick smiled. “Yes, always an ‘and’. You can take your time coming back down as nothing will accost you.”
“But going up?”
“Be very, very wary, and complete your task before sunset.”
Bruce looked at the sunrise and groaned again.
& & & & & &
Martha tended the flowers around the bier with a heavy heart. The enchantment allowed her to imagine any flower and it would appear, fresh and never wilting.
“Kal,” she said softly as she gazed upon his sleeping face.
The young boy they had taught to farm and cook and who had grown into a fine young man was lost to them through evil.
A tear slid down her cheek as she began to gather the fruits and vegetables that magically appeared at the foot of the bier every day, the only food keeping her and Jonathan and their neighbors alive. She would leave enough for the Archers to eat.
She turned and Jonathan entered the grove. “What is it today?” he asked.
“Tomatoes.” She held out a ripe beefsteak specimen. There were other sizes, cherry and grape, and smaller versions of the large beefsteak.
He took it. “Good and firm.”
They picked the tomatoes in silence, their rags a sharp contrast to Kal’s shining armor.
“Hmm?” Jonathan was carefully placing a tomato in his basket.
“Why would the Enchantress cast a spell that fed us while putting a blight on the land so that hardly anything grows?”
Jonathan looked at Kal’s peaceful face. He put his arm around Martha’s shoulders.
“Maybe she did not.”
Kal’s golden armor seemed to shine a little brighter as more tomatoes replaced the ones that Jonathan and Martha had already picked.
& & & & & &
Bruce scrambled up the rocky soil as quickly as he could. He was allowed his sword but wore his cloth shirt and leggings, armor impractical as speed was of the essence.
He kept a wary eye as suggested by Dick. He grumbled, “You had better appreciate this, Kal,” his disgruntlement covering his worry that Kal-El would not reciprocate his feelings.
A blow to his back sent him sprawling, frantically grabbing his haversack where the flower was kept. He twisted around and saw a hideous troll raising his spiked club. How the hell had he not heard the creature’s approach? Shorter than him, the creature was all powerful muscle and unfortunate attitude.
He drew his sword and the battle was joined, Bruce despairing of victory as the troll caught his shoulder with the club, crying out as the pain shuddered down his arm. Twisting away, he managed a blow to the troll’s midsection, then thrust the sword in.
An inhuman howl cracked through the air, then the troll dissolved into dust, blowing away in the wind.
Bruce staggered, cursing the pain in his shoulder, proceeding up the slope.
& & & & & &
He stumbled, coughing as he fumbled for his canteen when he heard it.
The beat of wings.
He looked up and gasped, a huge bird swooping down, wings enfolding his body as talons sunk into his leg. Cursing, Bruce took out his sword while trying to avoid the beak that was attempting to peck his eyes out. He could feel his feet leave the ground.
A flurry of thrusts and feathers struggled for dominance, Bruce finally sinking the sword into the bird’s body, yelping as the talons opened and he tumbled to the ground.
He checked for his haversack and painfully climbed to his feet as shadows lengthened in the late afternoon.
& & & & & &
There! The ridge!
Despite the pain he heaved himself over the top.
A stone altar was set in the middle of the rocky surface and Bruce hurried forward. The sky was beginning to redden as the sun started to set.
Bruce placed the goblet on the altar, carefully removed the thistle-like flower for his haversack and tucked it into the goblet, grimacing as the wind nearly blew the flower away. He couldn’t lose a single thistle or all his efforts would be for naught.
Quickly he picked up the pestle from the altar and began a tight, circular motion. He’d seen Alfred do this in the kitchen many times.
He was aware there was more going on here than his own desires. If he failed, Kal would remain enchanted, and so would his Kingdom.
But then, if he was not Kal’s True Love, it would be all for naught.
Dusk was turning to darkness as stars twinkled brighter in the violet sky.
Bruce finished and set the goblet down, swearing as his tired hands nearly tipped it over. He hunched over and emptied the crushed flower into his haversack, closing it just as the sun dipped below the horizon.
Exhausted, Bruce curled up on the hard ground for a rest.
& & & & & &
Dick was waiting for him at the base of the mountain the next morning.
“Two down, one to go,” he said cheerfully.
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