Pairings/Characters: Clark/Bruce (twice!), Dick, Alfred
Genres: AU, Romance
General Summary: Clark and Bruce meet their alternates in another universe.
Chapter Summary: Time to go home.
Date Of Completion: September 7, 2008
Date Of Posting: October 6, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1261
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Written for my 2008 DCU Snapshot Fic Request Meme for slvrbld747. Pairing: Clark/Bruce. Prompt: Meet Alternates. :)
This was originally going to be a short scene but it grew alarmingly! ;)
All chapters can be found here.
Back at the Batcave, reports were written up quickly because of the relative lack of activity.
Bruce felt at home here, the routine like his own keeping him grounded. The presence of Alfred and Dick soothed him.
The counterparts were a bit unsettling, but it wasn’t all that different from meeting their counterparts from Earth-2 or any of the other worlds, though he wondered at the odds that seemed to produce versions of him and Clark in every universe.
“Milk and cookies,” said Dick with a grin as he bounded up the stairs.
I couldn’t help but exchange my own grin with the others, and we followed Dick at a more sedate pace.
It was a comfortable gathering in the kitchen, Dick chattering brightly and amusing everyone.
When we prepared to go up to bed, Dick bounced up.
“I’ll show you to your room. Alfred put your bags in the guest room next to mine.”
“I know. I was up there before dinner.”
“I was before going down to the Cave,” my Clark said.
At Dick’s pout, Clark and I laughed.
“Lead on,” Clark smiled.
Dick nearly somersaulted in joy, bouncing up the stairs while Clark and I followed at a more sedate, albeit amused, pace.
We stopped at the door to my room.
“Here you go,” Dick said, opening the door with a flourish. “Right next to mine!”
I started to walk in.
So did Clark.
“Hey,” I said.
“This is my room.”
“It’s my room.”
Dick laughed. “That’s right! It’s both your room!”
Shocked, I found an answering expression on Clark’s face.
Now, I’ve had to share quarters with Clark before on missions, but hadn’t expected to do so here at the Manor.
Dick’s smile faltered. “You don’t like the room?”
“Well, it’s just that…” Clark said.
“Is there a problem?”
Our counterparts had come up the stairs, Bruce mirroring Dick’s frown.
“I think…they didn’t expect to share a room,” Dick said slowly, sadness suddenly filling his blue eyes.
“Oh.” Bruce looked surprised. “I’m sorry. We just assumed…”
“…that we were together?”
Bruce nodded. My Clark looked astounded. Bruce waved a hand. “I’m sorry. We thought that even if you have to be discreet in your world…we misread body language.”
“Dick, take Clark’s bag and place it in the guest room next to Bruce’s, please.”
“Sure!” Dick dashed into what had suddenly become my room…not ours. He was back out in a second, carrying the bag that Clark had used for his uniform on our trip from Metropolis.
“Have a good night’s rest, gentlemen. We’ll get you back to Metropolis in time for your transfer back home tomorrow.”
Bruce went into the master bedroom, followed by his Clark as we said our goodnights. Dick came out of Clark’s room.
“Thanks, Dick.” Clark looked slightly embarrassed. “Um, well…goodnight, Bruce.”
I could see Dick shaking his head as he said goodnight, disappearing into his own room.
I went inside the guest room, shutting the door behind me.
It was odd to be in a room in the Manor that wasn’t my childhood room or the master bedroom. I walked around restlessly, picking up and putting down knickknacks as I made a circuit of the room.
I really needed to get to sleep. We had to get up early tomorrow.
Slipping my robe off, I climbed into bed, curling up under silk sheets.
I wondered if I’d get to sleep easier if Clark was here beside me.
Forget it. Our time and world isn’t accepting of gay relationships. Sure, great strides have been made, but it’s lightyears behind this time and place.
Neither one of us needs anther secret to protect.
Sighing, I couldn’t help but think of Clark: his smile, his charm, his generous heart…and of course he was gorgeous.
Perfect in every way.
I fell asleep with a smile on my face.
I woke up frustrated, hard, and disgruntled. I took care of my little ‘problem’ in the shower, stumbled down to breakfast, appreciative of Alfred’s cooking.
Clark didn’t look as well-rested as he should have.
Dick’s bright chatter kept any awkward silences at bay, and our counterparts were cheerful, not mentioning last night at all, though I caught a pitying glance from the other Clark.
After breakfast we said our goodbyes to Alfred and Dick, Alfred warm and handing me a bag of chocolate chip and raspberry sugar cookies, which I took with a smile. Thank God for Alfred. I hugged Dick, who hugged back hard, and gently stroked his hair. He beamed up at me, sad to see me go but not letting it dampen his light. He did the same with Clark. We returned to Metropolis in the aircar, changing into costume in Clark’s house, which was really his and Bruce’s house, just like the Manor was his now, too.
While I changed into costume in the master bedroom, I took deliberate notice of how the room reflected both personalities: a print of Gotham’s Clock Tower on one wall, a photograph of the Kent farmhouse on another, a vintage poster advertising Haly’s Circus, most likely a gift from Dick, a brightly-colored handwoven quilt over the bed, probably Martha Kent’s work, and a tin of Belgian chocolates by the bedside, favorites of Alfred’s and most likely a gift to his sons.
My gaze fell on a silver-framed photograph on the dresser.
Bruce and Clark were dressed in dazzling white, splashes of color and glitter making me think of Dick again.
I picked up the photograph.
The look of love on both their faces was beautiful to see.
I sighed softly, putting the photograph back on the dresser as I left the room in a swirl of cape.
“Ready?” Bruce asked as he pulled his gloves on.
The field outside Metropolis was cool and green, the skyline close by, but we had privacy here.
This is where Bruce and I had been found by our counterparts.
I wished we could stay awhile longer, but there was a sadness in me, too.
I wanted what this Bruce and Clark had.
Was there any hope of getting it?
I made sure that I had a smile on my face as we said our goodbyes. Bruce always accused me of wearing my emotions on my sleeve. Well, I was going to try and turn that around, at least this time.
Finally, we were ready. Smiling, I shook hands with the other Bruce, trying not to notice his midnight-blue eyes or the touch of his strong hand. His smile was genuine as he bid me a safe journey.
My Bruce took my place as I moved on to Clark, who shook my hand with a smile.
“Get back and help your friends.” His voice was very soft. “We’ll be thinking of you.”
“Thanks. We’ll be doing the same.”
And it was true. I’d be thinking a lot about them here.
His Bruce was studying his small hand-held computer.
“Get ready. The time-spatial distortion is opening…now!”
I felt and saw the shimmer around me, my hand brushing Bruce’s as we hurtled back home.
I stared at the spot where our new friends had just vanished. I held on tightly to Clark’s hand.
“Do you think they’ll ever find happiness together?” Clark asked softly.
“I hope so.”
I squeezed my love’s hand as we turned and left to go back home.
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