Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Steve/Diana, mention of Dick/Roy
Genres: Challenge, Fluff, Romance, Slice-Of-Life
Rating (this chapter): G
Claim: For the dcu_freeforall Challenge (Clark/Bruce)
Prompt: T 16; P 50: Ocean/Sea
Prompt Count: (8/15)
General Summary: Clark, Bruce, Steve, and Diana share a cottage at the beach.
Chapter Summary: As the day winds down, the heroes enjoy a cook-out under the stars.
Dates Of Completion: July 11, 2009
Dates Of Posting: July 31, 2009
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1086
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Written for my 2009 DCU Fic/Art Summer-By-The-Sea Challenge. Prompts: Too many to list! I used a lot. ;) Also written for saavikam77’s dcu_freeforall 2009 Summer Challenge. Prompts: 23. T16; P33: Summer & Special Prompt No. 3: Cook-out.
The By-The-Sea series is an umbrella title for various DC couples enjoying time by-the-sea. The entire series can be found here.
Day so bright,
"String Of Diamonds"
The sun was setting over the horizon, the sky turning blood-red as yellow, rose, and orange streaked the rippling water.
“Going to be a hot one tomorrow,” Bruce observed.
The smell of sizzling hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill was mouth-watering, Clark placing foil-wrapped ears of corn next to the meat.
“How come you don’t have an apron that says ‘Kiss The Cook’?” Steve asked.
“I left it at home.”
Steve and Diana laughed as Bruce rolled his eyes. “Don’t encourage him,” he said.
“But, Bruce, Clark is so cute when he’s happy.” Diana smiled at Clark, who winked back. “Perhaps you should try it some time.”
Bruce grumbled while Steve snickered. He felt as if he was in very august company, but was happy when he saw Diana’s gaze of adoration. He was very lucky, indeed.
“Anyone thirsty?” he asked as he rose from his deck chair.
He received three ayes and asked, “Beer okay?” More affirmatives, and he returned with four frosty bottles.
Diana fingered her seashell necklace.
“Where’d you get that?” Bruce asked.
“Steve gifted me with it when we attended the retro weekend last year at Rosebeach.”
“Whatever my Angel wants, she gets,” Steve grinned.
Bruce’s cellphone rang and he flipped it open, noting the name and number. Smiling, he said, “Hello, Dick.” He listened, a pleased expression on his face. “That’s great! I can’t wait to see you.” Bruce took a swallow of beer. “So everything’s going okay? Uh, huh. Good, good. It does sound promising. Listen, if anyone can do it, you can.” Love filled Bruce’s voice. “Okay, see you then. Oh, tell Roy hi for me, okay? See you soon.” Bruce flipped the phone shut. “If all goes well with their current Teen Titans mission, Dick and Roy should be able to join us in a few days.”
“That’s great, Bruce!” Clark flipped the burgers, then frowned. “We don’t have any cots.”
“No problem. That couch on the sunporch opens into a bed. Dick will love it out there. It’s unconventional, and the breeze will be cool all night. He’s not fond of the heat.”
“I’d say that’s why he still wears the green shorts?”
“Oh, please,” Bruce grumbled. “He likes to wear them for their own sake, though keeping cool is one reason.”
Steve privately thought the gorgeous Wayne heir was an exhibitionist but wasn’t about to voice it, though everyone probably knew it, anyway.
Not a bad thing. The kid’s got beauty and grace and should show off his body. His best buddy’s not bad, either.
He thanked all the Gods and Goddesses on Olympus that he was still in great shape, surrounded by all these fantastic bodies.
“Hmph. I should invite some women here. I will be surrounded by the male of the species.” Diana took a swig from her bottle.
“Oh, you’ll be the Queen Bee and love every minute of it,” Bruce scoffed as Steve and Clark smiled, Diana looking every inch a haughty Princess.
Clark scooped up the hamburgers and hot dogs and put them on plates, setting them on the round redwood picnic table in the corner of the porch.
Stars began to twinkle in the purple dusk as light winked in the lighthouse on the Isle of Shoals and everyone moved to the table, Clark going back to get the corn.
Diana was pleased at the conviviality of their little group. As Bruce had said, she felt like the Queen Bee, proud of her companions: each man beautiful, each with unique talents.
Cooking was definitely one of Clark’s talents.
“Mmm, this hamburger is delicious, Clark.”
“Thank you. I used Ma’s recipe.” Clark squeezed some mustard onto his burger. “I added a little bit of egg and bread crumbs to the meat.” He topped off the burger with ketchup, red onions, and pickles. “Also a dash of A-1 sauce.”
“It all combines to make things taste wonderful.”
“Mmm, I agree,” Steve said. He took another bite.
Bruce ate the salad that Diana had tossed together, a simple mélange of crisp lettuce, Italian plum tomatoes, cucumbers, and vinegar and oil. “Martha and Alfred could have a cook-off, and I couldn’t say who’d win.” He finished his hot dog and picked up a hamburger next, adding several ingredients.
Diana was pleased to see Bruce so relaxed. He was high-strung, like a racehorse, and needed to be gentled. She observed Clark’s smile and knew that he was the perfect person to do the gentling.
The moon was rising, its beams shimmering on the water. Laughter and love were at this table, and Diana considered herself very lucky to be a part of this fellowship. She had known such kindred spirits at home, and was grateful to have found it here in Man’s World.
She entwined her fingers with Steve’s, and he smiled.
The after-dinner clean-up went quickly with everyone helping, and they sat for awhile in the living room, admiring the view of the ocean.
“Cook-out food is the best,” Steve said.
“I agree with you, my love.” Diana yawned as she snuggled closer to Steve on the couch.
“Oh, dear, someone’s fizzling out.” Steve nuzzled his Angel’s hair.
“Oddly enough, our day was relaxing, but I’m tired, too,” Bruce said, yawning as he blinked.
“C’mon, Prince. Let’s get you to bed.” Clark held out his hand and Bruce took it, allowing Clark to help him up.
“C’mon, Princess.” Steve exchanged a grin with Clark as they helped their mates up the stairs.
Clark snuggled up next to a half-asleep Bruce. He was proud that Bruce felt so relaxed with him, allowing himself to be vulnerable instead of relentlessly alert. At this hour of the night, he would be starting patrol, but Bruce was actually allowing himself to enjoy his vacation and not worry about Gotham, left in Barbara’s capable hands.
“Mmm, I’ll be happy to see Dick,” Bruce said as he curled up against his lover.
“He’ll get things wrapped up. He’s the most gifted leader I’ve ever seen.”
“Roy is good for him. He’s utterly devoted to Dick.”
“Good man.” Bruce was half-asleep.
“He is. They both are.” Clark kissed Bruce’s temple. “I love you.”
Clark smiled as he pulled Bruce closer, happily falling asleep with his Beloved in his arms.