Title: Time And Place (4/4)
Pairings/Characters: Clark/Bruce, Tim, Dick
Summary: Down through the years, across time and space, Clark and Bruce’s love endures.
Word Count: 1083
All chapters can be found here.
Date Of Completion: January 9, 2007
Date Of Posting: January 9, 2007Chapter Four
The Modern Era
New Year’s Eve, 1999
A wind blew through the canyons of Gotham, skittering debris through empty streets.
This neighborhood was far from Gotham’s Gold Coast or Knickerbocker Square where people
gathered to ushered in the New Millennium.
On a decaying rooftop, the Bat waited, cape swirling out around him.
A swooshing sound announced the arrival of Superman. Batman didn’t turn around.
Batman turned, a grim statue in bitter winds. “Why aren’t you in Metropolis?”
Superman crossed his arms, his red cape billowing in the night. “That’s not much of a
Batman shrugged. He turned back to watching the streets.
“You don’t want some company when the new century arrives?”
Batman raised infrared binoculars to his eyes. “The new century begins in 2001, not
Superman smiled slightly. “Technically, yes, but no one seems to care.”
“Maybe they should.”
“Where’s Nightwing and Robin?”
“Patrolling other sections of the city.”
The coldness of Batman’s voice saddened Clark. Dick had been right. Bruce was slipping
away from them.
His heart ached. He’d thought that they were beyond this. A hard-won friendship had
turned to love, a strange, wonderful relationship he didn’t want to lose.
“It’s pretty rare, a whole new century.”
“Yes, I don’t expect we’ll see the next one.”
A jolt coursed through Clark.
He looked down at the rooftop, the ancient tarpaper curling up in spots.
“Why don’t you go home, Superman? Your city is the perfect place to welcome in the
Hurt stabbed through Clark. He supposed he should be used to it by now. Everyone
should be. Lately Bruce had been pushing his loved ones away at a pace amazing even
Batman turned his back on him. Hurt turned to anger.
“Fine, Batman. I’ll go. What was I thinking of, coming to celebrate a New Millennium,
even if technically incorrect, on this rotting rooftop when I could be enjoying myself
in Metropolis? Why would I want to be with a man who pushes away everyone who lov…cares
about him? You and Nightwing barely speak even though he still worships the ground you
walk on. He knows your faults and still loves you. The same goes for Robin, Oracle,
and Alfred.” Clark tried to stop the hurtful words, but they were spewing out of him
like lava from a volcano. “I don’t know what your problem is, Batman. I know you were
hurt badly as a child but you vowed to help others so they would never feel that pain.
I know you need that pain to be the Bat, but you also are surrounded by people who
love you, yet you prefer to be alone. You never let us in, and eventually, hope fades.”
Clark clenched and unclenched his fist as he faced the black-clad back. “I thought we
had something special. Maybe I was wrong.”
His heart ached as he thought of the progress he had been making with the man he
considered his best friend…and more. “Fine, I’ll leave your precious city. I’ll ring
in the new century back home. Maybe Nightwing and Robin will join me after patrol.
Have a Happy New Year, Batman.”
Clark flew up, up, and away, wondering what would happen in the new year. His heart
would always want Bruce, but he just couldn’t go on like this anymore.
The voice could only be heard by Superman. He immediately sped back to the rooftop.
Batman faced him, the grim visage still unreadable. It was silent here, Clark’s hearing
tuned into the revelries in Metropolis and Gotham, the sounds of the farm in Kansas, the
quiet rustle of Nightwing and Robin as they patrolled other parts of the city.
Clark waited, determined that he would not make the first move, only to be rejected yet
again. That was his resolution for the new century.
Seconds stretched into minutes. Clark’s hope began to fade for the last time, and he
prepared to leave.
Hope blossomed again. Clark took a step forward, tentatively holding out his hand.
Bruce grasped it, then slid their bodies into an embrace.
Clark listened to his lover’s heartbeat, anger draining away to be replaced by joy.
When they finally broke apart, Clark joked, “If I knew all it took was chewing you out,
I would have done it a long time ago.”
Bruce’s mouth quirked as he took out his communicator. “Nightwing.”
“Take Robin under your wing and go to Knickerbocker Square before midnight.” Direct l
ook at Clark. “The whole family will gather there.”
Surprise and pleasure laced Dick’s voice. “Will do. See you there, Batman…and Superman.”
Clark felt a giddy warmth spread through him. Once Bruce made a decision, he went full
throttle. He nearly laughed at the quirk of a smile on Bruce’s face.
“That boy is sometimes too smart for his own good.” Bruce replaced the comm unit in his
Clark smiled. “He’s special, all right.”
Clark wasn’t naïve. He knew there would be more arguments and misunderstandings. You
didn’t break the habits of a lifetime in one night, but it was a start. And it looked
like he had scared Bruce. Good.
“Can I hitch a ride?” Bruce asked.
Clark nodded, holding out a hand.
The family gathered on the rooftop of Wayne Industries. The square below was packed
with people. While Tim excitedly pointed out to Bruce the montage of world scenes on
the giant screen set up on the Gotham Gazette building, Dick slipped over to Clark’s
Dick lightly touched Clark’s arm. “You know you work miracles?”
Clark laughed softly. “Sometimes I amaze myself.”
Dick’s grin reminded Clark of the young, laughing boy who had once worn the bright Robin
Clark nodded. Pulling Bruce back to the human race affected so many people beside just
Excitement bubbled up from the crowd below.
Dick squeezed Clark’s arm.
Dick joined Tim at the rooftop’s edge.
Bruce glided over to Clark, long cape fluttering out behind him.
“You are allowed one scolding per century.”
“Ah. Then I’ll get another one after midnight?”
Bruce cocked his head.
“Technically, not until after midnight next year.”
Clark laughed and pulled Bruce to him, his arms a steel band.
“Happy New Year!”
Clark and Bruce kissed, long and hard, Dick and Tim grinning at each other.
“Happy New Millennium, Dick.”
“Happy 21st Century, Tim.”