Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Dick, Alfred
General Summary: After the coming-out announcement, how will the public accept the World’s Finest face-to-face?
Summary (this chapter): Batman and Robin’s first patrol in Gotham since the Press Conference.
Date Of Completion: July 11, 2007
Date Of Posting: July 13, 2007
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1658
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: The entire series can be found here.
Wind swept through the canyons of Gotham, carrying the stray bits of trash that littered the streets of this part of town. The night was clear and cold, Batman and Robin on patrol as they presently enjoyed a quiet night.
Figures scurried here and there, but no one made a move as to crime. The Dynamic Duo were silent, years of working together making conversation unnecessary at certain points, and it gave Dick time to think.
He had been thrilled with Bruce allowing Clark into his life as a lover as well as a friend. It had taking a little maneuvering on his and Alfred’s part, but they had managed it and with Clark as the prize, it wasn’t too hard after all. Dick was very pleased with the match. Clark was a close friend of his, too, and the man’s exuberance and joy for living was much like Dick’s own.
It was exactly what Bruce needed: a light to his darkness, much as he served in their partnership. He wanted Bruce to be happy, and Clark performed that service for him…
& & & & & &
Clark smiled as he accepted the teacup from Alfred. Earl Grey was tea he had grown very fond of in his Smallville childhood, his parents always keeping tea around, due to their combined English, Irish, and Canadian heritage. Alfred approved of a tea-drinker, of course.
The day was bright, made for Clark. He and Bruce and Dick sat at the round outdoor table, the ocean sparkling and the breeze mild, gently ruffling Clark’s hair. Dick and Alfred exchanged glances, Bruce grumbling over some problem with the JLA’s security system. He ranted, he raved, and he frowned as he sipped his tea.
Clark laughed. “Bruce, you’ll find the problem and fix it like that!” He snapped his fingers. “I’ve never seen anyone better at troubleshooting than you.”
Bruce snorted. “You flatter me, Clark. There shouldn’t be any bugs to begin with.”
Clark remained convinced. “You’ll find it.”
Bruce’s grumpiness eased as he drank more tea and Dick grinned at Clark, who winked at him.
& & & & & &
Lex Luthor’s threat to reveal his mentors’ relationship had caused their pre-emptive strike yesterday, and Dick decided that while it would no doubt cause problems, it could also be a positive thing. One, no more hiding, at least in their superhero guises, and two, positive role models for gays in general and youth in particular was a good thing in Dick’s book.
He smiled softly as he thought of Roy. Clark and Bruce were going to be the trailblazers, and he and Roy could benefit.
Most of all, he was glad that Bruce had found the happiness that he deserved.
Dick was feeling his own happiness as they flew over the rooftops, the wind against his face. Under the stars was like being under the world’s biggest Big Top. He loved the freedom and reveled in the career he had chosen so many years ago.
A glove on his arm alerted him to the street below. He looked down and saw a gang of five men quickly emptying out a jewelry store, the back door broken and half-off its hinges. The neighborhood was better than the one in which they had started their patrol, but this was not the high-end part of the city, either. The jewelry was probably good quality but owned by a small mom-and-pop operation and would clean them out.
Another touch on his arm, and Robin nodded. He swooped down, yellow cape fluttering up as he kicked the first man, who staggered back. Curses flew up as he punched the second man, smiling as he ducked another punch and kicked the third man in the solar plexus.
“Hey, kid, no wonder the Bat keeps ya in those short pants,” leered the fourth man, his stubbled beard framing a gap-toothed grin. “He likes pretty boys.”
Robin almost yawned. He’d heard insinuations like this for years. He swung away from another punch and delivered one of his own.
“Sorry, punk, I’m pretty, but not a boy anymore.”
The first man yelled, “You’re prancin’ around in pixie boots for a man who fucks Superman, kid!”
Robin ducked again, then threw a piledriver punch into the first man. Suddenly a shadow blocked out the streetlight from the end of the alley and two of the men dropped back, fear in their eyes. The fourth man sneered, “Here comes the Bat-faggot! Don’t be scared of a cocksucker, boys!”
Batman didn’t speak, his fists slamming into the taunting man, then the fifth man tried to aim a gun at him and that was kicked away, the robber howling in protest as he grabbed his wrist.
Robin picked up the first thug by the lapels and said, “Just spread the word, boys. Any man who can win Superman? All that power, that strength at his whim? Just think about what kind of willpower that takes.” Robin’s grin was savage, and he threw the thug against the wall for good measure.
One of the thugs disappeared, the last one rounded up by Batman.
A patrol car stopped and the two officers got out, running down the alley.
“Batman! Robin! Great work!”
Robin was wary as the officers approached. Policemen were not known for being exactly gay-friendly.
These two, however, only seemed concerned with calling for back-up and another squad car to handle all the thugs. Neither man seemed uncomfortable or awkward around the masked duo and Robin relaxed.
The Dynamic Duo took off over the rooftops, the officers handling the gang.
& & & & & &
As they flew, Bruce pondered over their encounter with the gang. He had not been surprised at the slurs thrown their way, and Dick was used to criminals implying he slept in his mentor’s bed. Instead of being insulted, he had always laughed at such comments.
Now, of course, there would be more lewd suggestions and comments, but Dick had answered all tonight with a clever riposte. He knew the language of the underworld. Crudely put, having Superman under his power would make him King of the Hill. They didn’t care about niceties or subtleties about equality or respect. All they understood was power and who controlled it. He silently apologized to Clark for the impression, but it could only help him maintain his control over Gotham’s underworld.
His thoughts drifted to Clark. Pride swelled in him as he remembered how confidently his friend had handled the press conference yesterday. Superman commanded respect for his openness and brightness, and Bruce wondered if his darkness could fulfill what Clark needed…
& & & & & &
Clark’s cape billowed out behind him. His face was happy as he floated next to Bruce, who was perched on top of one of Gotham’s many gargoyles. The night was cold and clear, stars twinkling as a backdrop to the alien hovering in the air.
Clark was made for the stars. Born far away on another planet, he had adopted Earth as his home and now counted one of Earth’s children as the one he loved. Bruce felt incredibly honored and hoped that he could live up to the perfect ideal gently riding the wind currents under his own power.
Clark looked at him and smiled like starlight.
& & & & & &
They came upon another gang, this time of four, threatening a young couple in a shabby section of town. Flying down, the Dynamic Duo attacked in perfect sync, the gang members throwing out homophobic slurs that were ignored. Batman and Robin made quick work of them, tying them up as they lay out cold.
“Th..Thank you, Batman, Robin,” said the woman, her male partner’s arm firmly around her.
“You’re welcome, Miss,” said Batman gravely, and the man nodded his thanks. Neither one seemed uncomfortable around him. Robin smiled as the police car drove up.
“Hey, guys, good work!” said the older officer as he ran over to inspect the trussed-up criminals. The younger officer seemed wary, looking at Robin with a quick up-and-down glance, frowning slightly.
“Thanks, Officer.” Batman stood close to his partner, aware of unsettled vibes coming from the other policeman.
“Aren’t you a little cold in that, um, skimpy outfit, Robin?” Disapproval dripped from the officer’s voice.
“Not especially, Officer.” Robin smiled. “Beating up scum like that keeps me warm.” He walked over to the other officer and helped him drag the criminals over to the squad car.
“Or Batman does,” the officer muttered so low that only Batman heard him. He looked up and froze at the stony expression on the vigilante’s face. He quickly went to help his partner.
& & & & & &
The night grew colder, Gotham singing her siren song. Batman and Robin flew silently, neither one discussing the encounters before.
Control had to be maintained. If fear was lost, all would be lost.
A third gang on this night was busy robbing a high-end jewelry store. The Dynamic Duo swept down, punches savage and Robin’s grin almost sneering as they tore into the crooks, who didn’t let loose with many slurs. In fact, they seemed to be more afraid than ever of the twosome.
As the police arrived and the round-up continued, Robin’s attention was grabbed by one crook who said, “Hey, kid.”
“That’s Robin to you, buddy.” Robin flexed his glove. “What?”
“How do you stand it?” whispered the criminal, a middle-aged man with sad eyes.
“What do you mean?”
“Working with the Bat.” The man shuddered. “He’s…He’s beddin’ Superman, for cryin’ out loud! The guy can’t be human! He’s got more balls than any of us schmucks.”
Robin grinned. “Exactly right, my friend.” He crossed his arms, his long, yellow cape half-covering him. “Never cross the Bat.”
The criminal grapevine worked as well as ever.
He and Batman flew off, a good night’s work done.