Genres: Romance, Slice-Of-Life
Summary: Bruce finds something rare and precious in his favorite bookstore.
Date Of Completion: October 26, 2008
Date Of Posting: October 28, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 637
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: Written for my LJ Second Anniversary Fic Request Meme for starsandsea. Pairing: Clark/Bruce. Prompt: Bookstore.
Bruce loved the slightly musty smell of old books. The shiny new stores were okay in their way with their bright lighting, neat shelves and sections, and eye-catching displays. When he wanted to grab the latest bestseller or a glossy magazine for his Bruce Wayne persona, Borders and Barnes And Noble were fine, but for special books…
Putnam & Sons had been an established business since before the Revolution here in Gotham. His family had bought countless books from this store over the generations: first editions, folios, and other rare literary gems.
The chain stores were more interested in selling overpriced coffee, computer games, and knickknacks. Putnam & Sons was interested in books, period.
The shop was arranged in sections, but not as pristinely as a chain store. Books were lined up on shelves but also stacked on tables and in the aisles. If someone wanted to read they could sit on a stepstool or lean against the wall. The true browser, according to Elias Putnam, didn’t need overstuffed chairs and lattes in order to read.
Bruce smiled fondly at the old man behind the counter. Elias was reading as he always was, glasses perched on his nose. A customer came up to the counter and Elias rang up the sale on the ancient cash register.
Should be in the Smithsonian, Bruce smirked. Elias, too.
One of the joys of browsing a bookshop like this was the discovery of a gem amongst all the tomes.
He wandered through the rooms, stopping occasionally to skim through a book, and turned a corner.
A smile crossed his face.
He'd found his gem.
“So, reading up on George Washington?”
Clark grinned as he continued reading an old brown leather tome.
“Abraham Lincoln, actually.”
“Ah. Good choice.”
Clark nodded as he carefully turned a gilt-edged page. “I’ve always liked American history.” His voice lowered so that only Bruce could hear. “It was a great way to learn about my adopted people.”
“Not surprising that Honest Abe is a favorite of yours.”
Clark smiled. “He was a great man.”
“You probably would have walked those two miles to give that penny back like he did when he accidentally overcharged that woman in his store.”
“Well, in those days a penny was hard-earned.”
Bruce laughed. “You would have done it.”
Bruce fondly slipped his arms around Clark and rested his chin on his lover’s shoulder. “So you’re a Lincoln scholar.”
“Well, Kansas was a battleground for pro-and-anti-slavery factions before the Civil War, and then a full-blown battleground during it. It wasn't called Bleeding Kansas for nothing. Dad’s family was on the anti-slavery side, and so was Mom’s.”
“An honorable legacy.”
Bruce watched as Clark’s hand lovingly ran down the vellum page. His lover reveled in the written word, whether as reader or writer.
It was a talent completely his, not due to his Kryptonian heritage or gift of the sun. Clark was a good writer and proud of it.
As he should be. Maybe he’ll write the Great American Novel someday.
“See, this book chronicles the way the troops looked at Lincoln, and also gives a really astute analysis of the American soldier on both sides. The illustrations are really beautifully-done.”
“Then it’s yours.” Bruce kissed Clark’s ear.
“C’mon, Clark, what’s the use of having a rich boyfriend if I can’t spoil you once in awhile?”
“You do spoil me.”
“Well, you deserve it.”
Clark smiled. “What’s got you in a such a good mood?”
“Okay, I can buy that.”
“As I’ll buy this.” Bruce plucked the book out of Clark’s hands.
As he walked away, Bruce looked over his shoulder with a smug expression, Clark’s look of pure love spreading warmth through him.
Clark was as rare as any first edition book, and just as precious to him.
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