* * *
As Superman, he admired NightWing and held Dick Greyson in considerable esteem. He knew what a demanding perfectionistic nightmare Batman could be, both as a colleague and a lover, and he didn't blame Dick for kiting off to New York to start his own gig.
As Clark Kent, he wanted to kick the little shit's liver in for not getting it.
There had been a fifteen year difference between them--Bruce Wayne had broken it off, given him his own practice as it were, because he hadn't wanted to be the boy's world.
It was the oldest, dumbest reason in the book--the wounded warrior brush off, the noble no--and Dick had been too callow, too young, to see it for what it was.
Clark Kent has spent the next five years chasing one very stubborn millionaire as a result, because that aggressive little snot had broken Bruce's heart.
So turning to Dick Greyson was sort of the last resort, the thing Clark Kent refused to do, until he'd exhausted all other avenues.
"I have no idea."
"You asked me an hour ago, Clark. All we know up here is the censors indicate he's still alive and his vitals aren't in distress."
Clark growled. "We don't have a lock on location?"
"No, because he disconnected the lock on location because he's an asshole. You know he's an asshole. Why does this surprise you?" Diana knew very little about emotionally constipated men--even heroic ones. Sometimes Clark wanted to be mean and suggest she actually fall in love with someone not the long-dead and sainted Steve Trevor, just so she could show more patience with his problems, but then, he wouldn't wish this awful gut-churning worry on a snake, much less his best friend.
"I'm not surprised that he's an asshole!" he retorted. "I'm surprised that he's missing."
She grunted and fiddled with the keyboard at her workstation, which was usually code for Diana is bored and humoring you, so get ready to have the screen go black. "Did he tell you he was going somewhere?"
"Did you ask Alfred?"
Clark was hovering, like he did when wearing the tight leather outfit, and he shifted from foot to foot, even as he hovered. "I did. He said he didn't know where he'd gone, but he was expected back an hour ago."
"Did he seem worried?"
"No, Diana, he didn't seem worried. But Alfred is used to seeing him come back in tiny pieces, so not much worries him."
"Okay, okay--don't snap my head off!"
Clark scrubbed fingers through his hair and sighed. "I'm sorry," he conceded. He didn't want to tell her that he'd been expecting something like this. "I was rude."
"Has he been showing any signs that things are off?" she inquired delicately.
Hell. "Nightmares," he said shortly.
Suddenly she stopped fiddling, and her bored expression took on the overtones of compassion. "It's been almost a year since the bomber," she said softly. "That?"
"I think there's a scene from that in there," Clark told her bitterly. "Did you know he was abducted as a child? He remembers part of it, but I looked it up. He was four years old, and he almost drowned, and sometimes he dreams about that and--"
"His parents?" Diana's antennae were practically vibrating--or they would have been if she'd been born with any. "Wait..." She grunted, and sent him a link.
Clark pressed the link and studied it, appalled. "Oh hells. It's pissing down rain outside. Do you really think he'd be--"
"In the rain, grieving over his loved ones?" she asked archly. "He saw them gunned down in front of him. Clark? Clark? Goddammit. At least say good--"
"I'm in the air. I'll be out of contact for a few. Please don't listen."
He heard the distinct sound of her com being shut off as he zoomed through the sleet to the tiny alleyway behind a theater, in what was now the shitty side of town.
Batman, scourge of the night, terror of the ungodly, was sitting crosslegged under an overhang. He wasn't wearing his cape and cowl--not this night--but was in a pair of sopping wet black jeans and a black turtleneck, with super shiny boots.
Superman recognized that stance--meditation, deep thought, brooding. Two red roses lay crossed in front of him.
Lightly he touched down, not wanting to intrude, but thinking Bruce had been there for hours.
His fingers and lips were bluish, and Clark knew he could take a lot of punishment--but why? (Besides, he got super weird when he was sick and God, could they just avoid a replay of the teddy bear incident? That would be tremendous, it really would.)
"You're not supposed to be here."
Asshole. He hadn't even opened his eyes.
"Don't care, really."
Oh that got his attention. "This is important--"
"That you torture yourself? That your self-flagellation continues? That you sit here and grieve again for your parents' deaths and for the death of the happy child you could have been?"
Bruce stood up, so wet he didn't even bother brushing himself off. "I beg your pardon?"
"Yeah, no. Not by yourself. Not for hours. What in the hell?" Irrational anger flooded his veins, but Clark figured Bruce was such a stubborn, irritating asshole, irrationality might be his best defense.
"This is my time of grieving!" And in spite of the fact that he wasn't wearing his mask, his voice sank deeply, like Batman, and Clark got a first row seat to the depths of the darkness he masked with his costume.
He'd seen this show. Not his favorite, but he could see it through till the end.
"Fine." Clark continued to hover, just two or three feet up, arms crossed in front of him. "Deal me in. I'm off com. How long we in for?"
Bruce Wayne gaped at him, his lower lip full and vulnerable in a way it probably hadn't been as a child. "I'm sorry--you're what?"
Clark crossed his arms. "You know--you've been gone for about four hours--you're moving stiffly, I'd say you spent three and a half of them here. The Batcycle is hidden behind that dumpster over there, so you're planning on a dangerous ride home. You obviously can't be trusted to be here by yourself so I'll hang with you. How much longer?"
"What?" His voice rose to a shriek.
"How much longer," Clark repeated, like he was stupid. "How much longer do I have to wait and watch you suffer in the rain alone. I'll do it, I just want to know how long we've got, because if we're going to be here until you get hypothermia, I need to tell Alfred to set up."
He was expecting the swing at his midsection, and even as he landed, he expected the one at his jaw. He blocked both--strong, hard punches, in spite of Bruce's mortality, he still trained like a boss--but they both knew even if he landed them, Superman could pretty much withstand anything Bruce Wayne in jeans and a turtleneck could dish out.
The fury of the succeeding blows was almost a relief--a temper tantrum, and some of the blows landed--a particularly hard one to his nose that stung--and Clark just fielded them, took them, let Bruce exhaust himself. When the final haymaker went wide, he opened his arms and took that muscled, struggling body into his embrace, holding, just holding, until Bruce Wayne went limp in his arms.
"I hate you for this," Bruce muttered.
"I know you do." Oh God, he was so cold. He was shivering, and Clark was afraid he'd squeeze too tight, destroy his fragile mortal, just trying to keep him safe from himself.
"I was trying to tell them I was..." Oh. Oh--the hardest word of all.
"Happy," Clark whispered near his temple.
"Yeah." Clark could feel the heat of tears against his neck, but he didn't say anything. They stood there, in the rain, until his breath grew normal.
"Hold on," Clark said. He hit his intercom. "Alfred, could you hit auto drive on the cycle and call it home."
"Yes sir. Anything else?"
Bruce's shivering was almost out of control. "We'll need the steam room heated."
"My pleasure, sir. I'll start dinner as well."
"Thank you Alfred." So easy to get used to that man, taking care of their every need.
"How am I getting home?" Bruce asked, teeth chattering.
"You are home," Clark whispered, hovering them both in the air for a moment before he titled forward and took off.
Naked, in the steam room, Bruce stared straight ahead, heart obviously in a far away place, as they sat warming up. Clark was about to tell him to snap out of it, when Bruce turned suddenly, back in his own body, vital and present again, and kissed Clark hard on the mouth.
Clark responded, hands coming up to Bruce's ribs, wanting to touch but not sure if the touch would be welcome in the humid heat.
Bruce grunted, and then the richest man in Gotham slid down to his knees before Clark Kent, tugged his towel out of the way, and engulfed his cock in one thrust. Clark grunted, tugging on his hair but not hard. God, yes! He'd been worried and frustrated and angry! And as his hips bucked, body responding to Bruce's tongue and gripping fist, he felt that emotion, that worry and frustration, channeled into the passion of fucking Bruce's mouth.
For his part, Bruce was swallowing him past his gag reflex, drooling, stroking, like he needed cock to live.
Maybe he did.
Clark went from zero to flying in a few thrusts, in a few strokes, and when he came, Bruce took it all, swallowing everything, , letting only a little out to glaze his lips.
Bruce grunted, tilting his head back, and then looked down at his lover, who was staring at him hungrily, come coating his mouth, dripping from his chin, like that had not been, wouldn't ever be enough.
"Shower," Clark commanded, lifting him by the armpits and zooming out of the steam room. He barely remembered to turn it off on his way out. Then they were in the shower, water cooler after the room, soap slick as Clark used it to make his fingers slippery enough to penetrate Bruce as he splayed his legs, face pressed against the wall.
"Yes," Bruce begged roughly. "All of it."
"Don't want to hurt you," Clark ground out, thrusting in and out of him but feeling the swell and ache at his groin. He was hard again. He needed--needed all of it. Needed Bruce's submission, his domination, all.
"Just fuck me," Bruce snarled. "C'mon, Clark--I know you know how!"
Bruce topped--almost always. But not this time. Not tonight. Clark sheathed himself as gently as possible, and Bruce thrust back. Gah! Hot! He was so hot inside! Like the turmoil in his heart heated all of the other places as well! Clark thrust again, and again, letting some of his inner animal take over, being humanly rough. He locked his hand against the back of Bruce's neck and growled, not having the words for the anger, for the pain of watching the man he loved suffer, of not being allowed to help.
Bruce didn't have any words of his own, but he reached down between his legs and let his orgasm do the talking. His back arched at Clark's next thrust, and his scream of climax, of rage, echoed through the shower like the slap of their wet flesh. Bruce's asshole rippled around Clark's cock, and Clark bit his own hand so he wouldn't crunch through flesh and bone by biting Bruce's shoulder.
Even as he screamed and collapsed, exhausted, at Bruce's back, he knew this wasn't over--not this night--not by a longshot.
They made it out of the shower and to the bed--this time Clark topped, and used lube. They managed to clean up before cleaning up became sixty-nineing, Clark hovering over Bruce's body, swallowing him down, in spite of his amazing width. They were still breathless from sixty-nineing when Clark had to take him again, howling into the mattress, inarticulate as hell.
Dawn found them, bruised, despoiled, dripping and exhausted, sprawled naked on the bed. Clark wasn't sure if his cock had one more fuck in it for his entire life and he didn't want to tempt fate by asking it for anything else for the next ten to twelve hours.
"I've got one question," Clark panted as sunlight crept in through the gauze drapes because they'd forgotten to close the backup drapes the night before. "One question, and I'll never mention it again."
"Just show up when you're not want--" Clark nipped his earlobe. "Okay. Fine. Question."
"Does Dick know?"
Bruce grunted. "Yeah-- that was the fight that drove him away."
Inside, Clark's heart began to beat regularly for the first time since the day before. "I'm not going anywhere," he mumbled.
"I figured," Bruce pulled in a deep breath, the settling kind of breath a man made before he fell asleep.
"Do you mind?" Clark asked, his heart stalling in his chest now. He'd been accused of a lot of brave things, but that had to have been one of the bravest, asking that question.
"You earned it," Bruce said. He fumbled for a button on his nightstand, and the blackout drapes chugged around the giant bay windows. "You can put up with me for this long, you earned about anything."
"Just want you," Clark said. He'd tell nobody, not even Diana, about the little happy dance his heart was doing right now. He had Bruce, and Bruce was happy. About that other thing? That petty jealousy thing? Nobody would ever need to know.