Continuity: Smallville/Batman Begins/The Dark Knight
Genres: Angst, Drama, Hurt/Comfort
Warnings: Violence, disturbing imagery
Summary: Clark and Bruce must survive the harsh world of the Phantom Zone.
Date Of Completion: December 5, 2009
Date Of Posting: December 17, 2009
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 940
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: Written for my LJ Third Anniversary Fic Request Meme for patrese_1. Pairing: SV Clark/BB/TDK Bruce. Prompt: Sand. :) She requested Smallville Clark and Dark Knight Bruce.
The entire series can be found here.
Clark winced as the stinging sand blew against his wounds through his thin, tattered clothing. He stumbled, strong arms keeping him upright. He mumbled his thanks, his words snatched away by the wind.
The harsh elements were a perfect commentary on this nightmare world.
His wounds throbbed as he fought to keep moving. They had to get to shelter, and soon.
Clark had felt pain before during the periods he’d lost his powers, but the wraiths’ talons had really done a number on his chest and back. He felt hot, which probably meant fever, especially as he had little resistance while de-powered. He didn’t have the normal build-up of immunity that a human did, considering it wasn’t necessary when he had his powers.
His companion stumbled, Clark reaching out to grab him. Liquid-brown eyes thanked him silently.
They continued on, weary as they fought through sand (nothing more tiring than walking through sand or snow) and tried to avoid jagged rocks and stones while keeping an eye out for the wraiths, Clark afraid that he wouldn’t survive another attack.
They reached a cave and staggered inside, going far enough to be unseen from the entrance. Clark stifled a moan as he was helped down on the hard ground, his back resting against a small, smooth boulder. He looked up at his ragged companion.
“I’m sorry, Bruce.”
His companion brushed hair out of his eyes, his face looking weatherbeaten from the sand and wind, but still beautiful.
“It’s not your fault,” Bruce rasped, coughing as the gritty air had affected his vocal cords. He sounded like his alter ego. “We both got…sucked into…this…this…”
“…Phantom Zone.” Clark grimaced at the bright red slashes across his chest, particles of sand clinging to his skin and wounds. His back felt like it was on fire, his chest not much better.
“How do we find water?” Bruce asked.
“There are springs all around. When…the Zone was designed, water was…included…”
Bruce coughed again. “I guess the harsh environment …was considered…just punishment?”
Clark nodded. “It was used…” he coughed “…instead of execution.”
“I might vote for execution.”
Clark laughed, groaning as pain flared. He grabbed his ribs. They were aching, but he didn’t think anything was broken, thank God.
Or maybe he should say Rao. Kara would be proud of him.
“I’ll get us some water.”
Clark grabbed Bruce’s arm. “You can’t go out there.”
“Clark, we need water.”
"We go together."
“You’ve got a fever and can barely walk!”
“We go together or not all.” Bruce started to leave. “If you leave without me, I’ll just come after you, on my hands and knees if I have to.”
Bruce cursed under his breath but returned to help Clark stand up.
They found the water by some miracle of God or Rao, and some greens that somehow had grown through the cracks of rocks.
Thoroughly sand-blasted, Clark and Bruce staggered back to the cave, Clark able to appreciate the irony of their choice of shelter.
Doesn’t matter where in the Universe you are, does it, Bruce?
Bruce helped Clark lay down again, Clark nearly numb with pain. Bruce was right. He had a fever.
“Let’s wipe you down.”
“You can’t waste water.”
“Don’t be ridiculous, Clark,” Bruce snapped. “You’re burning up with fever!”
Clark blinked away sudden tears. He didn’t like to get Bruce angry at him, and he was so tired and the pain was so bad…
“I’m sorry, Clark, I’m sorry.”
Bruce’s hands cupped his lover’s face and smoothed his hair, his voice worried.
“I’m sorry,” Clark mumbled. “Crying…that’s really manly, huh?”
Bruce laughed and kissed the top of Clark’s head.
“It’s okay, you’re allowed to cry with slashes across your chest and back and stuck in a weird, depressing place like the Phantom Zone.”
Clark laughed and clutched his ribs.
“Sweetheart, drink some more water.”
Clark obeyed, the water blessedly cool as it slid down his parched throat. He closed his eyes, his head throbbing.
He was burning, fire running along his limbs and through his veins. He was so thirsty, so thirsty…he was bone-tired, bones melting, bones cracking, so afraid, so afraid…the shrieks of phantom wraiths piercing his ears, his heart pounding as he saw his lover torn to shreds just inches away , the iron smell of blood strong as it splashed on him and he screamed, “Bruce!” with a raw throat…
“It’s okay, it’s okay, oh, god, please be all right, Clark, don’t leave me…”
Strong arms were wrapped around him as he shivered.
“Right here, love.”
Clark clung to his lover’s arm as Bruce cradled him to his chest. Blearily he saw a deep slash on a bare arm.
“Br…Bruce?” Clark reached out a shaky hand to touch his lover's arm.
“No…” Clark was weak but determined. “Bruce, you didn’t go out there?”
“I had to get more water for you.”
Clark sighed. “Oh, Bruce.” Long, elegant fingers petted his hair. “You’re crazy…to go out there alone…but I can’t fault your…loyalty.”
Clark could hear the smile in Bruce’s voice.
“That’s right, Clark.” He kissed the top of his lover’s hair. “We’ll survive this place and get back home.”
Clark closed his eyes and slid his arms around Bruce’s waist as Bruce pulled him close. He ignored any pain, feeling safe.
Despite the very real dangers they were in from vengeful phantoms and the struggle to find food and water, Clark was confident that they would do exactly as Bruce said.
Not even the Phantom Zone could stand against the World’s Finest.