Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Clark/Bruce
Categories: Angst, Hurt/Comfort
Rating: (this chapter): PG-13
General Summary: The JLA battles an invading army on a distant planet. All chapters can be found here.
Summary (this chapter): Bruce tends to a wounded Clark, who returns the favor.
Date Of Completion: May 18, 2007
Date Of Posting: May 19, 2007
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 916
Author’s Note: This story was inspired by an illustration done by rai_daydreamer entitled “Protective” and can be viewed here. :)
Bruce quickly made sure that no enemy lurked about and then crashed through the underbrush, heart pounding as he ran to Clark.
He slid to his knees and felt for broken bones but found none. He turned Clark over, his heart skipping a beat as he saw the bruised face and pallid skin. “No, please, no,” he whispered as he tore off his glove and felt for a pulse in the neck. When he found it, weak and thready but there, he leaned back, eyes closing in relief and weakness draining his energy. For a moment he felt dizzy, then he gently tapped Clark’s face.
“Come on, Clark, come on, love, wake up. We can’t stay here. Please, Clark, wake up!”
Desperation seeped into his voice and he tried to keep calm, but he was afraid. Seeing Clark unconscious always made his gut hurt. Superman wasn’t supposed to get hurt! That was for mere mortals. He took off his other glove and chafed Clark’s cold hands, another detail that made him shiver. Clark’s skin was usually a little warmer than normal for a human because he was the Living Solar Battery, as Bruce liked to tease.
“C’mon, love, wake up,” he said softly, keeping his ears open for any sounds that might indicate unfriendly approach.
Clark’s hair was mussed, the curl falling a little haphazardly across his brow. His torn costume revealed cuts and bruises that would have to be taken care of back at camp.
“Clark, wake up!”
Maybe the desperation in his voice got through to Clark, who groaned and began to rouse, head moving and his hand reflexively closing around Bruce’s. Eyes fluttered open and Bruce pushed back his cowl.
“Clark, I’m here, c’mon, come to.”
Clark focused on his voice, their eyes meeting. “Bruce?” he asked softly, his voice weak.
Swallowing, Bruce said, “Right here.” He brushed the curl away from Clark’s eyes. “You took quite a nasty fall.”
Clark frowned. “F…Fall?”
“Yes, from the sky.”
Clark looked up, then his eyes widened and he struggled to get up. “I have to…have to get back up there!”
Bruce instantly pushed him back down. Since he could do it so easily, he was convinced he was on the right track. “Oh, no, you don’t. You’re too weak to stand on your own, much less go flying around.”
“But they need me!”
So do I. “Clark, be reasonable. Once we get back to camp and you have a chance to catch your breath, you can go back.” Damnit.
In this one moment, Bruce could care less about this ugly rock of a planet and its people. He cared about Clark and keeping him safe.
In the next moment, he knew that was impractical. As much as he would like to keep Clark from ever getting hurt again, his beloved was a hero, and that’s what heroes did. He understood that, but in this moment, he didn’t have to like it.
He eased Clark up to a sitting position, slipping his arm around him as Clark coughed, who then frowned as he saw Bruce’s bandages. He reached out his hand and lightly touched them.
“Ribs,” Bruce said in answer to the unspoken question.
“Bet they hurt like hell.”
A slight smile. “They’ve felt better.”
Clark’s next touch was to Bruce’s cheek. “You’re all scraped.” He reached down and took out a small bandage from Bruce’s utility belt. He applied the square to the scraped area, and a smaller one to the corner of Bruce’s bleeding mouth. Then he leaned forward and gently kissed the bruised lips.
Bruce closed his eyes, melting into the kiss. As Clark broke away, his lover rested his head against Bruce’s, his curl once again falling into his eyes. Bruce slipped the tattered red cape onto their laps, using it as a silken quilt, his arm sliding around Clark as his black cape enfolded them. For a space of moments, they gathered their strength, the sounds of battle distant as their hearts beat as one.
Finally Bruce said, “We have to go. But first…” He quickly cleaned and bandaged the worst of Clark’s cuts. "There. Let's go."
Clark nodded, allowing Bruce to help him stand. Wobbling, he clutched at his lover’s arm. “I…I guess I’m still a little woozy.”
Bruce looked up at the sky as he replaced his cowl. He wished he could see a yellow sun up there. He had never loved Earth more.
“You’ll regain your strength. First we have to get out of harm’s way.”
Clark nodded again, sliding his arm around Bruce, who held it while his other arm was around Clark’s waist. He had tucked the red cape into his belt, the scarlet folds creating a trailing sash as they walked. There was no way he was going to leave Clark’s cape on the battlefield to be picked up as some trophy of war by the enemy.
He cursed at the planet’s atmosphere playing havoc with JLA communicators. He would have to get Clark back the old-fashioned way with no help forthcoming.
They made some progress through the grass, stumbling once as Clark’s boot dipped into a hole, but Bruce kept him upright. Suddenly Clark stopped, bending over slightly.
“What is it?” Bruce asked anxiously.
“Just a…a little…nauseous…” Clark said faintly.
It was then that Bruce felt the ground shake. He turned just in time to see a flash of sunlight off silver before an explosion of energy ripped him apart from Clark…