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2017-06-05 06:32 pm (UTC)
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! When I saw you were working on a new MoS piece I was secretly hoping that maybe it would be my birthday gift and it was, and ahhhhhhhhhh! THANK YOU.
“I don’t know how to use this,” Bruce Wayne said blankly, staring at the compass.
Jason White took it from him. “See, you hold it like this, and the arrow points to north,” he explained patiently.
“But what if I want to go east?”
“Well--” Jason looked like he wanted to either giggle or roll his eyes, but he managed to do neither. “If you know which way is north, you can figure out that this way must be east.”
“Oh,” said Bruce. His eyes widened in epiphany. “Oh!”
“No, I never…” Clark shrugged, remembering: what if he couldn’t control his powers and set the woods on fire? What if he cheated in competitions without even realizing it? “I just never did.”
Bruce hoisted his backpack onto his shoulder. “He certainly was,” he said before Clark could say anything.
*draws hearts around Bruce*
Clark had asked with some uncertainty as Bruce revealed his haul, cheerfully cutting tags off a pile of L.L. Bean and North Face products.
Ahhh, I can see this Bruce doing that so clearly!
There was sun in Bruce’s hair now; not something Clark got to see often. The gold and copper lights among the dark waves made Clark want to press a kiss into them. Bruce turned and smiled at him--something caught between Brucie’s careless nonchalant grin and Bruce’s true warmth.
Oh, what a beautiful image that is!
He held it up, framing Richard and his son, bright and happy against the green vista and blue sky. “Say cheese,” he said, pressing the button to capture them in that moment forever.
Bruce reached out and took the phone from him. “You get in there too,” he said.
“Yeah, yeah!” said Jason, beckoning to him. Clark went and stood behind them, feeling awkward and unsure.
“Smile,” said Bruce.
“Whoo!” yelled Jason, throwing up his arms, and Clark found himself grinning as the shutter clicked.
Oh, how very bittersweet for Clark - I'm so glad Bruce took a picture of all three of them... :)
“I want to be a detective,” Jason said, and Clark felt his eyebrows go up. Jason had said something like that years ago, but Clark had never thought he was that serious. “I mean it,” Jason added as though someone had argued with him. “It’s what I’m going to do.”
Awww, Jason! *pets him*
“If you really want to do it, I’m sure you will,” Bruce said. There was no false chipperness to it, no tone of condescension; he met Jason’s eyes levelly and spoke to him like an adult. “You seem like the kind of person who won’t let anything stop them from their dreams.”
“Th--thank you,” Jason faltered, taken aback by this oddly serious Bruce Wayne. “Uh, what did you want to be when you were my age?”
Bruce smiled at him. “Believe it or not, I wanted to be a detective too,” he said.
“Oh.” Jason seemed to be having a hard time keeping a straight face at the image of playboy billionaire Bruce Wayne as a hard-boiled detective. “I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you,” he said politely.
“It worked out okay,” Bruce said. The firelight touched the small, secret smile Clark loved so much. “I got to meet Clark, didn’t I?”
*draws dozens of hearts around Bruce*
“I do, actually,” Bruce said. He was curled up on his side in his mint-condition sleeping bag that was far too advanced for a one-night trip, the kind of sleeping bag a wealthy and ignorant person would buy if they wanted to be on the safe side. “I talked to him some more while you and Richard were cleaning up. Apparently he’s looked up how to apply to police academies and everything. This isn’t just a childish whim.” A pause. “He told me he wanted to go to Gotham Academy.”
Clark felt something complicated twist inside him. “Really?”
“He says it’s the best.” A quiet chuckle in the rain-hammered dark. “He’s right.”
Awwwww! And Bruce falling asleep later, just... *melts*
“Come back safe,” he said.
“Always,” Clark responded. Their ritual farewells, the request they both knew they shouldn’t make; the promise they both knew they couldn’t keep.
Oh... Oh. *pets them both*
The storm roiled around him, rain whispering off his cape until he emerged on the other side, above the clouds. Looking down, he could see lightning turning the clouds translucent here and there. Then he turned his gaze upward and soared higher, the rain on his clothes turning to feathers of ice as the air thinned and the stars became clearer. They tugged at him, a crystalline siren’s song just beyond his hearing, but he refused to listen. Bruce’s heartbeat tethered him to the earth, the constant low drumbeat underpinning and defining all of the chaotic symphony of life below. Looking down, he listened, sorting through screams and prayers and cheers. Then he focused and darted downward once more.
Oh, and that was just THE most beautiful paragraph! *happy sigh*
He heard Bruce’s heartbeat under the rattle and roar of debris; seizing it, he calmed himself until he could pick out two others, shaky and rapid but steady. He dared a quick look back and caught a glimpse of all three of them between the flying rocks and branches: Richard had picked up Jason, and Bruce had more or less picked up Richard in the chaos, staggering behind a boulder for shelter.
Clark felt Bruce’s hand tighten on his arm as they limped away down the mountain. He squeezed back, knowing they both were thinking the same thing: Superman could come to save the day, and he will if necessary. But for now as long as we’re safe… just keep going like this.
Oh, and I just loved all the moment of silent communication they had throughout this story!
“You’re an honorary Eagle Scout to us,” Clark said, as the trailhead and parking lot came at last into view, and Jason beamed at him in shy delight.
“Ms Lane gave me her number,” said Alfred, producing a phone out of what seemed to be thin air. “She is your co-worker,” she said at Clark’s raised eyebrow, “and most likely to know what trouble you may be getting yourself into.”
“Bad things happen sometimes,” Clark said. “We get through them. You handled yourself really well. Thank you.” He ruffled Jason’s muddy hair and Jason gave him a wan smile, then turned to get back in the car with his father.
“The funny thing is, I actually was a Cub Scout. Never made it to Boy Scout, though. But I still remember the pledge.” He took a breath and recited in a sing-song voice: “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.” A pause as Clark pushed open the bathroom door, where there was already steaming hot water pouring into the tub. “Funny what the mind retains,” Bruce said sleepily.
“Well,” said Clark. “It sounds to me like you’re doing a good job of fulfilling that pledge.”
“I’ll be a squeaky-clean Eagle Scout in no time,” Bruce said, and kissed Clark, muddy lips and all.
Awww, and what a lovely ending!
Thank you so much for this, it was such a lovely present! *hugs*
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