Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Clark/Bruce
Rating (this chapter): G
Warnings: Sap alert! :)
General Summary: The perfect day turns into a perfect evening.
Chapter Summary: Clark and Bruce enjoy fresh seafood on the wharf.
Date Of Completion: July 13, 2008
Date Of Posting: July 25, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1233
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Written for my 2008 DCU Fic/Art Endless Summer Challenge.
All chapters can be found here.
“SEAFOOD IS SUPPOSED TO BE AN APHRODISIAC, RIGHT?”
Lobster boats bobbed in the water, the clang of buoys a rhythmic chiming to the putt-putt of motors and the hiss of steam from the cooking shack. One of the boats docked at the far end of the wharf, the crew unloading dripping traps filled with lobsters.
Workers dumped clams into boiling pots, and the smell of frying haddock and cod mingled with French fries and onion rings. The sizzle of hot dogs and hamburgers was sharp, an alternative for non-fish fanciers.
Clark and Bruce stepped onto the wharf, both dressed in jeans and casual shirts, Bruce in dark-blue, Clark in light-blue. They both wore sneakers, Clark’s more scuffed, and Bruce had put on sunglasses against the glare of the late afternoon sun.
Clark glowed after a day of sun and sea, Bruce enjoying the view. Clark had run a comb through his hair and it was soft and wavy, tantalizingly close to his Superman curl but not quite.
There was a good crowd here at the Lobstermen’s Co-op. A line stretched out from the main shack, people busy choosing their lobsters.
One of the pots outside the shack held steaming ears of corn. Bruce smiled at Clark’s look of interest.
“Going to see if New England corn can compare to the Kansas variety?”
“Oh, I’m sure the Kansas brand is superior, just as I’m sure the fish here is waaay superior to Kansas fish.”
Bruce laughed. “Point taken. I think I’ll have some corn with my lobster and clams.”
They entered the shack, Bruce picking out a large three-pound lobster. “You want one smaller, Clark?”
“I want that one.”
Bruce’s eyes widened. “Four pounds. Well, never let it be said you have a bird’s appetite.”
“From what I’ve seen, neither does Dick.”
Bruce smirked. He paid for the dinners, an expensive price tag as lobster wasn’t cheap, and they had selected pretty hefty specimens. No matter. What was the good of money if you didn’t use it to make people happy, especially loved ones?
Clark purchased two frosty cans of Coke from the vending machine, and they walked the length of the wharf, choosing a weathered gray picnic table at the end.
Clark rested his elbows on the railing, gazing down at the play of light on the water. Bruce joined him, watching the activity in the harbor as they drank their sodas.
“Enjoying yourself?” Bruce asked after a few minutes of comfortable silence.
“There’s excellent lobster all up-and-down the coast. We’ll head down to Boothbay in a few days. On the way we can stop at Lincolnville for the best clams in Maine.”
Clark laughed. “I bow to your Down East expertise.”
Bruce grinned. “If I need a guide through the Kansas cornfields, I’ll defer to you.”
Clark gave an exaggerated sigh. “There you go with your East Cost snobbery again.”
“Can I help it if you’re plaid flannel and I’m Abercrombie & Fitch?”
“Oh, boy. Somebody’s silver spoon is showing.”
Bruce chuckled as he watched a seagull land on a buoy, balancing perfectly as the marker bobbed in the water.
“And what’s wrong with my silver spoon?”
“Nothing, but you have to use a lobster pick here.”
Bruce smirked, very relaxed as he followed the progress of a yacht heading out to sea for a sunset cruise.
Years ago he would have fought any ‘need’ for a vacation, losing that sense of relaxation that Dick had taught him while his young partner had still been a child.
Clark had helped bring it all back to him, time off treasured by the Kryptonian, who with his super-senses got so little of it.
Bruce cherished just standing here next to Clark, not saying a word as they watched the harbor activity. Unless aliens decided to invade Earth in the next week, the World’s Finest was on vacation.
“Order 61, the first part of your order is ready.”
The tinny loudspeaker voice carried over the hubbub of the other diners.
Clark put his Coke on the table. “I’ll get it.”
Bruce sat at the table, enjoying the view as Clark walked down the wharf. It never ceased to amaze him that this man dressed in jeans and off-the-rack shirt, hair slightly shaggy and eyes framed by glasses, projecting an air of shyness and occasional clumsiness, was the most powerful being on the planet.
And he was definitely one of the Top Ten in the universe, too.
That thought boggled him. The power that Clark wielded could have made him a god if he’d chosen to use it as conqueror rather than savior, yet he delighted in simple pleasures like this, eating lobster and clams on a wharf on the Maine coast.
Bruce had spent enough time in Smallville to understand part of the reason: Jonathan and Martha Kent. They had given an alien child from the stars love and protection, and had nurtured that sense of responsibility that Clark’s good heart had embraced.
How did I get so lucky, getting this man in my life?
Clark put the tray on the picnic table with a flourish, and he and Bruce settled in to eating the freshly-steamed clams. Except for noises of, “Mmm, good,” and “Delicious,” they concentrated on dipping clams into the sweet butter after washing off the sand, savoring each bite.
When the second part of their order was called, Clark volunteered to get it again and Bruce cleared off what they’d already eaten, more clams waiting in the paper cartons to be consumed.
Bruce watched with amusement as Clark walked back between the rows of tables, carrying the tray with their food, the four-pound lobster causing a stir, dwarfing Bruce’s three-pounder.
Clark seemed unaware of the attention, smiling at Bruce as he headed for their table.
“Looks like you’ve got a whole clambake.”
Clark chuckled as he set the tray down with lobsters, corn-on-the-cob, onion rings, coleslaw, and two new cans of Coke.
They arranged their food, Bruce picking up a nutcracker and placing it around an enormous claw. The crack was satisfyingly loud, a huge piece of meat easily pulled out and dipped into savory butter.
“Mmm.” Bruce allowed his taste buds to revel in the sweet flavor.
Clark glanced around, saw that he was no longer the center of attention, and took the opportunity to casually crack the bigger claw with his hand instead of the nutcracker.
Clark grinned as he dipped the meat into the cup of butter.
“Oh, Bruce, this is incredible.”
Bruce opened a clam, cleansed it in a cup of water and then dipped it in the butter.
“Definitely not frozen fish sticks.” He winked. “Seafood is supposed to be an aphrodisiac, right?”
Clark laughed and ate more lobster.
Each dish was to be savored: the sweetness of the lobster, the strong flavor of the clams, the fried tartness of the onion rings and sharp bite of the coleslaw, and finally, the golden taste of sun-ripened corn, all washed down by Classic Coke.
A light breeze blew across the wharf, ruffling Clark’s hair. He was enjoying every bite, smiling at Bruce.
“I love you,” Clark said softly, the piercing cry of a seagull echoing over the water.
Bruce smiled. “I know.” He ate a piece of lobster. “I love you, too.”
Clark’s smile matched the sun on this bright day, Bruce very happy.
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