mithen: (Starry Night Batsignal)
[personal profile] mithen
Title: The Wonder That's Keeping the Stars Apart, Chapter Three
Pairing/Characters: Clark/Bruce, Lois Lane, Ra's al Ghul, Alfred Pennyworth
Notes: "Music of the Spheres" is a series set in the combined universes of "Batman Begins" and "Superman Returns." Other stories and notes on the series here.
Rating: PG
Summary: Bruce meets his captor, and Clark struggles to keep things together in Batman's absence.
Word Count: 1900

 
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)


Darkness and light flickered around Bruce for some time, meaningless. The world shifted, there was cold and then heat and then cold again. Darkness and light.

When he was able to drag himself out of his drugged stupor, his eyes focused very slowly on a rough-hewn rock wall. He was on a stone slab in a small cell that seemed to be carved out of solid granite. He started to sit up and the room spun dizzily, pain lancing through his head. Skull fracture, hopefully minor. It didn't look like he'd be getting much medical attention here.

Bruce took stock of the room by the dim glimmer of light from a recessed bulb far above him, just barely enough to see by. There was little to take stock of: gray walls and high ceiling, windowless. A stone slab hewn from the rock covered with a woven mat, a wooden bucket, nothing else. The walls and ceiling were rough but free of handholds. He was in a loose linen robe. He touched his temple, wincing. No connection, of course. Because there was nothing else to do, he pulled his cramped legs into the lotus position and waited, trying to still his mind.

There was no way to mark the time beyond his increasing hunger, but eventually an almost seamless section of the wall swung open and a man stepped through: Ra's al-Ghul, Henri Ducard, Bruce's mentor and betrayer. The man Bruce had left to die. Alive.

There was a small smile on his narrow face as he eyed Bruce, who continued to sit impassively. He was wearing the same simple clothes he had always preferred, his boots scuffed from long use, and carrying a plate of bread and dried figs. "You're looking well, old friend," said Ra's, putting the plate on the floor.

Bruce took a moment to sort through his emotions, to clarify and identify them before he answered: he was in pain, he was angry, he was worried. Beneath that he was curious about how--if--Ra's had survived. Beneath that, much as he was reluctant to admit it, he was relieved that the man who had taught him so much might be alive, that Batman was not responsible for his death.

"You're looking well too," he said.

Ra's smiled as if he knew what Bruce was thinking. "You're wondering if it's really me, if I'm an impostor or a twin or something absurd like that. No, I am very much myself," he went on, tapping himself on the chest. "And if you doubt me, I would remind you that the last words I ever heard from you were 'I won't kill you, but I don't have to save you.'"

"You got out of the train in time."

Ra's smile took on a smug edge. "Perhaps." He paced the room once. "You're wondering why I brought you here."

"Sort of. Though more why you didn't just kill me on the spot."

Ra's frowned, seeming hurt. "Bruce, you were--are--the greatest of my proteges. I've been monitoring you since my...return...and I have to admit I've been impressed." Another pace across the room and back. "You thwarted my plan. Forced me to...step back and reflect on my means and my ends." He sighed and turned to face Bruce squarely, the familiar eyes steady. "I was hasty, Bruce. I see that now. I've lived so long, seen so much lost to time...ironic, maybe, that one so young would teach me patience once more."

He extended a hand: the worn, calloused hand that had taught Bruce so much, had both bruised him and bandaged his wounds.

The hand that had destroyed his home, tried to destroy his city.

Bruce simply sat and waited, not breaking his former mentor's gaze, until Ra's lowered his hand again, his expression regretful.

"I'm not giving up on you, Bruce. I can wait." For the first time, a glint of the steel in those leaf-green eyes. "I can wait a very long time indeed."

The door swung seamlessly shut behind him, leaving only the dim glow of the bulb.

Bruce sat in the lotus position until his legs started to cramp, trying to keep his mind clear. But eventually, thoughts of Clark and Alfred began to leak into his enforced calm. How long had it been now? Days? They must be worried. Clark must be searching for him.

He uncurled his legs and stretched them, then picked up the plate of bread and figs. Drugged? In some ways it hardly mattered; he was unlikely to find another source of food and he couldn't risk being weak with hunger when Clark got here.

He ate slowly, trying to get the most from the food. Then he examined the plate: light wood, not ideal for lockpicks. He broke it anyway, hoping to salvage a usable splinter from it, although he hadn't seen a lock of any sort on the door. He hid the best fragment he could find beneath his mat on the off chance he wasn't being monitored.

Then he sat down again and started mental drills of Kryptonian vocabulary.

: : :

"Kent!" Perry White's bellow nearly rattled the windows. Lois tried not to jump and mostly succeeded. As Clark Kent rose from his desk and shambled into White's office, Lois bit her lip in concern. intercepting a similar worried glance from her husband.

Ever since Bruce Wayne had suddenly left on his sailing jaunt, Clark had become unreliable at work. He showed up late, left early, disappeared before meetings, went to the bathroom and didn't return for an hour. Even when he was sitting at his desk, his hands were usually motionless on the keyboard, his eyes glazed and blank. Watching him stand in Perry's office, his shoulders slumped and hangdog as the editor harangued him, Lois felt worry and anger mingle in her.

Clark came back out and sat down at his desk, staring at the computer screen blankly. Lois went over to him and put a hand on his shoulder, aiming for a reassuring pat. "He's worried about you, Clark. We all are."

"You are?" Clark's voice was dull and lusterless.

Lois swung his chair to make him face her. "Yes, we all are. Us. Your friends. We're here for you."

Clark scrubbed at his face. "I can't do this," he said indistinctly. "I can't--"

He stood up abruptly and walked back into Perry's office. Lois saw Perry's eyes widen as Clark spoke to him, saw him arguing vociferously, but Clark just stood there, shaking his head dumbly. After a while, he turned and left Perry in what seemed to be mid-sentence, coming back into the bullpen.

He stood in front of his desk for a moment, then pulled out his briefcase and opened it. He picked up the picture of him with Bruce and looked at it for a long moment, then put it in the briefcase. The photo of him with Jason followed. Then he put his Smallville mug in the case, his movements almost robotic.

"Clark, what are you doing?" said Lois.

"I quit," said Clark. "I can't do this. Something has to go, and this is the least important thing."

"The least important--" Lois looked back at Perry's office, where Perry was standing in the door, managing to look both belligerent and forlorn. "Clark, I know you're upset about Bruce, but you can't be that surprised that he--" She broke off as Clark swung his gaze to her.

"That Bruce what?" Clark's voice was very level, but Lois suddenly felt an uncomfortable prickling along her spine. She would have called it "frightened" if it had been anyone but meek, sweet Clark Kent looking at her that way.

"That he...might need some space. Some time...away."

"You think he's dumped me." Clark looked away from her and continued to pack his briefcase. "He hasn't. I'm going to Gotham to wait for him. He'll be back soon." He clicked the case shut. "He has to be."

He looked at Lois, his gaze oddly remote, as if looking at her from very far away in space. "I don't think I'll be able to go to Jason's Derby. Please tell him I'm sorry."

"I--" Clark picked up the briefcase and turned away before she could finish the sentence, striding toward the elevators.

He didn't look back.

: : :

There wasn't enough time to look for Bruce. Whenever he tried, there was an emergency somewhere. He'd be scanning the islands on the northern coast of Norway when he'd hear cries from a capsized ship. The temptation to ignore it would flash through his head, but then he would imagine Bruce's reaction to finding out he had let people die while searching for him. Other people had to come first.

Other people had to come first.

Gotham remained opaque and slippery as basalt, yielding nothing to him. People got hurt, things went wrong no matter what he did. Zsasz had killed again, was cutting another scar into his skin, a notch full of blood. Clark was failing Bruce's city. He was failing the world. He was failing Bruce.

He tried harder.

He had to try harder.

: : :

Alfred heard Bruce's voice as the lift descended: "An infrared spectroscopy of the footprint revealed trace amounts of phyllosilicate minerals, specifically a dioctahedral smectite. I believe it to be montmorillonite, which would indicate the suspect works in the oil drilling industry. A quick rundown of the major oil companies near the crime scene reveals that..."

The lift opened to reveal Clark floating in the air in the Batsuit, his eyes half-closed, drowsing as if wrapped in the sound of Bruce's voice issuing from the computer speakers. Alfred hesitated. He hated to wake the other man, but he needed to eat, too.

"Mister Kent."

Clark's eyes snapped open and his body dropped into a combat stance in mid-air. "What?"

Alfred held out the tray. "I've brought you a sandwich."

It was gone before he finished the sentence.

"I slept too long," Clark said. "You should have woken me earlier."

"You've been asleep for thirty minutes, Mister Kent."

"I don't need much. I'm going to patrol Gotham for two hours, then continue my search in the Austrian Alps."

"Mister Kent--" Alfred stopped as Clark looked at him, took a deep breath, and continued. "Mister Kent, it's been two weeks. I think we need to consider the possibility that Master Bruce is--that Master Bruce is--"

"He isn't." Clark's voice was inflexible, absolute.

"But--"

"He is not dead," Clark said. "I know it."

"You hope--"

"I know." Clark shook his head slowly, his eyes closed as if he were listening to something. "If he were dead, I'd know it. I'd hear--" He broke off as a cold chill slowly crawled up Alfred's spine. "He's alive." He opened his eyes and smiled at Alfred, but it was strained. "Trust me."

"You should ask your mother to come stay, to be here with you--"

"--No." Clark's headshake was emphatic. "I don't want her to...to see me like this. Please, Alfred."

Alfred started to say something, but the police scanner in the computer suddenly burst into life, announcing a bank robbery in Downtown Gotham.

"Gotham needs Batman," whispered Kal, touching the black emblem over his heart. "And I won't let Bruce down."

He was gone.

Alfred slowly made his way to the lift to go upstairs to the empty Manor, worrying his lip with unease.

: : :

The bulb glowed steadily, with no change to mark the passing of time.

Bruce practiced Kryptonian.

Zakh. Stone.

Wiro. Silence.

Vadh. Alone.

Zhao. Love.

Zhao.
 

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-19 11:34 pm (UTC)
dizmo: A simplified blob-like illustration of me. (Default)
From: [personal profile] dizmo
Oh, God, this chapter killed me. In many many beautiful ways. If that made sense at all.

Clark, just... Clark. *hugs*

*and Bruce, too, for that matter*

*starts picking up pieces of herself*

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-20 02:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
Aw, thanks! I think! I suppose if a story I write must kill people, I would rather it be in beautiful ways. :)

*helps with the picking up*

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-20 12:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] snake-easing.livejournal.com
Clark quit his job! Now that's impressive. I also really like breaking the wooden plate. Oh, Bruce...

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-20 02:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
I also really like breaking the wooden plate. Oh, Bruce...

Heh, I thought of you writing that scene, because I remembered your attempt at keeping Bruce in stasis and your realization that wasn't going to work because...well, the goddamn Batman. It's not finding a way to get these characters out of traps and locked rooms that's the trouble, it's finding ways to keep them in.

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] snake-easing.livejournal.com - Date: 2009-04-21 03:18 am (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-20 12:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladyivy.livejournal.com
*bites lip anxiously*

It's gonna get better, right?

*woobie eyes*

Right?

Oh this is just so sad right now. Poor Clark.

"Least important"

Not even a leave of absence, just quitting. Damn.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-20 02:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
There are only seven chapters, so I can promise a turning point in Clark's crisis, at least, quite soon! Though that will lead to other problems, of course....uh....and then a wrap-up! Yes! All will go fine. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-20 12:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] remielle.livejournal.com
:|

I'm hesitant reading it because the title indicates chapter 3 of 7 and I can't find chapter 2?

Is that a mistake?...

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-20 12:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
Hehe, once again I've failed to tag a chapter as part of the series! It's tagged now--and is at this link.

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] remielle.livejournal.com - Date: 2009-04-20 12:31 am (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-20 01:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rjunkie.livejournal.com
Bruce and Ra's al-Ghul have such an interesting relationship- it's making for really interesting motivation in terms of the abduction. (I had forgotten about the Batman Begins version of Ra's, I'm all about the Timmverse now)

Clark is taking this so hard. At least he feels that Bruce is still alive- that must help a bit. And Bruce's meditative practicing of Kryptonian while in captivity is such a lovely, albeit sad, image.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-20 02:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
Yay for Timmverse Ra's! He's so much crazier than movieverse in some ways, and yet still quite sane in others. I'm hoping to start a story with him and Talia in it soon!

And Bruce's meditative practicing of Kryptonian while in captivity is such a lovely, albeit sad, image.

I like to think it gives him some measure of peace at the moment and helps him center himself. But it is a lonely image, isn't it?

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-20 01:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fictionalknight.livejournal.com
ah, maaaaan!!! that is just... awesome. Completely.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-20 02:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
Thanks! *hugs* I'm glad you liked it.... *runs off to polish epilogue*

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-20 02:06 am (UTC)
bradygirl_12: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bradygirl_12
Wow! Clark quitting? That's serious! :)

And Bruce practicing Kryptonian is a lovely image.

Very Bruce to be relieved that he didn't allow Ra's to die after all, but is he going to be surprised when he learns the truth!

Clark is wearing himself to a frazzle!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-20 02:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
It did seem very in-character for Bruce to be glad at some level that Ra's isn't dead. Especially in movieverse they have a very complicated relationship!

And oh, I did love the Kryptonian drills. *happy sigh*

*pets Clark carefully* He is a bit frazzled...

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-20 02:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] laurapetri.livejournal.com
OMG Clark quit!!!!!!Poor boys in so much pain without each other

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-20 02:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
Fortunately for Clark Perry really doesn't want to let him go, so...well, if Clark can get his act together he'll probably still have a place there. (Though he'll probably have a dock in pay, but he'll survive).

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-20 03:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ficcyomens.livejournal.com
Oh Clark ;_;

((I'd leave a more lucid review, but I've got a bad cold right now :< Just...Oh, poor Clark, and he quit his job, and he's missing Jason's game and...;_;))

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-21 02:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
"Oh Clark" is a good review in my book! :) I hope your cold is better soon!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-20 03:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] annamariadv20.livejournal.com
Wow, this was intense!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-21 02:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
Thank you! I found this a very intense arc to write...

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-20 04:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] juniper617.livejournal.com
This is breaking my heart! Poor Clark, Bruce is the only person in his life who truly understands him. Bruce is the one person he counts on, and with him missing, Clark is trying to fix everything all at the same time, without, like, a plan. And poor Bruce, all alone,keeping his mind occupied with his Kryptonian zhao...

I have to say, Lois deserves some sort of award here for Least Tactful Response to a Co-Worker's Heartbreak: "Well, surely you can't be that surprised that he [dumped you]."

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-21 02:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
I have to say, Lois deserves some sort of award here for Least Tactful Response to a Co-Worker's Heartbreak: "Well, surely you can't be that surprised that he [dumped you].

Well...she did mean it as an insult to Bruce, not Clark (that is, Bruce is a jerk, not you're a schlump), but since she doesn't finish the sentence it does sound pretty awful, doesn't it? :-/

Things come somewhat to a head in the next chapter, at least regarding Clark's stress levels. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-20 05:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] goldenrat84.livejournal.com
It's a little scary how wrapped up in Bruce, Clark is.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-21 02:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
It is, isn't it? *nods*

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-20 05:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skund.livejournal.com
Wow. Another powerful chapter. I was really sad that Clark quit his job and he's withdrawing from his life. It's a very bat like thing to do - maybe Bruce has had a bigger impact on him than he realises. And Clark has had a big impact on Bruce.

"...he couldn't risk being weak with hunger when Clark got here."

That line killed me. A hopeful Bat and a brooding Clark. Wow.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-21 02:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
It's a very bat like thing to do - maybe Bruce has had a bigger impact on him than he realises. And Clark has had a big impact on Bruce.

It's interesting--this tends to happen when I write movieverse. Bruce has had three people he's trusted completely with his secret--four if you count Jim, who I think Bruce would trust with it if it weren't dangerous for Jim. Clark, on the other hand...in the movies the only person he's ever told his secret is Lois, and then he took it back. Only his mother even knows both sides of his life at all. So my movieverse Clark is a lot more isolated and paranoid, and movieverse Bruce a lot more grounded and trusting. They sort of come together in the middle.

And oh, I'm glad you caught that line you quoted--it killed me too, how sure he is. *pets him*

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-20 06:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sevais.livejournal.com
I'd have to agree with previous posts -- Clark's coping/not coping with the situation is going to have huge repercussions all around. All his lives, as Clark, as Superman, and now as 'substitute' Batman -- the hell to pay will be long lasting, I fear, and not the least from Bruce, of course, when he finds out to what lengths & personal cost Clark has gone and suffered.

As always, more please! Thanks!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-22 12:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
I'm trying to avoid too many spoilers in comments (I have failed at this before, lol!) But I'm glad you're looking forward to more! :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-20 07:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jlvsclrk.livejournal.com
I loved this chapter so much! Poor Clark, being driven to extremes by all the demands on his time. So sad that the Daily Planet had to go, but as he said it's the lowest priority right now. Sadder still that he won't make it to Jason's Derby, but understandable. But even so, he's going to crack if he doesn't get a lead soon. I love Alfred standing by so loyally, while Bruce steadfastly practices Kryptonian, especially the most important word. Zhao.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-22 12:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
*grin* I felt so stressed for Clark, writing this! I really channeled that feeling of letting too many balls hit the floor while you're trying to juggle everything, and having to cut back.

(It is the most important word! Bruce insisted on keeping it in mind!)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-20 09:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] phyrry.livejournal.com
Clark listening to recordings of Bruce's voice so he could rest just killed me. He's getting so co-dependent, but without Bruce the stars keep calling and that sure seems to be up there on Clark's list of fears.

*pat pat*

Meanwhile, Bruce is holding it together very well (though new!movieverse Bruce has always seemed a lot saner to me than mainline comicsverse), and you write Ra's al Ghul in nicely sympathetic fashion. Looking forward to the next chapters.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-22 12:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
Clark listening to recordings of Bruce's voice so he could rest just killed me.

Thank you, I added that much later because it seemed such a reasonable thing for Clark to do to try and sleep. I can imagine there would be something wonderfully soothing in just listening to Bruce describe clay. :)

Meanwhile, Bruce is holding it together very well (though new!movieverse Bruce has always seemed a lot saner to me than mainline comicsverse)

I totally agree--even with the events of TDK, movieverse Bruce has always seemed a lot more grounded and balanced than comicverse. That's part of the comics Batman's charm, of course, but it's fun to write him this way as well. :)

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] phyrry.livejournal.com - Date: 2009-04-22 04:36 am (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com - Date: 2009-04-22 08:19 am (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-20 03:37 pm (UTC)
ext_148128: (Default)
From: [identity profile] ctbn60.livejournal.com
So Ra's al-Ghul is willing to wait for Bruce. Exactly how? I am so loving this story. My heart is breaking for Clark. Quitting the planet had to be hard for him. Can't wait to see where you take them next.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-22 01:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
So Ra's al-Ghul is willing to wait for Bruce. Exactly how?

Until Bruce gives in...or Ra's finds a better option. ;)

I'm glad you're liking it, I'm very fond of this arc, I have to admit! :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-20 06:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starsandsea.livejournal.com
*wibbles a lot*

He started to sit up and the room spun dizzily, pain lancing through his head. Skull fracture, hopefully minor. It didn't look like he'd be getting much medical attention here.

Meeeeeeep!!! *huggles Bruce carefully*

Because there was nothing else to do, he pulled his cramped legs into the lotus position and waited, trying to still his mind.

*pets Bruce*

Beneath that, much as he was reluctant to admit it, he was relieved that the man who had taught him so much might be alive, that Batman was not responsible for his death.

*pets Bruce again*

"I was hasty, Bruce. I see that now. I've lived so long, seen so much lost to time...ironic, maybe, that one so young would teach me patience once more."

I don't know why, exactly, but the relationship between Ra's and Bruce has always fascinated me, so this fic is a real treat for me! :) ... when I'm not wibbling, that is. :p

Then he sat down again and started mental drills of Kryptonian vocabulary.

*huggles Bruce again*

Ever since Bruce Wayne had suddenly left on his sailing jaunt, Clark had become unreliable at work. He showed up late, left early, disappeared before meetings, went to the bathroom and didn't return for an hour. Even when he was sitting at his desk, his hands were usually motionless on the keyboard, his eyes glazed and blank.

*huggles Clark*

Lois saw Perry's eyes widen as Clark spoke to him, saw him arguing vociferously, but Clark just stood there, shaking his head dumbly.

No!!! Nooooooo!!! What are you doing Clark?!?!?!?!?

"I quit," said Clark. "I can't do this. Something has to go, and this is the least important thing."

No, no Clark!!!! Urgh.

"You think he's dumped me." Clark looked away from her and continued to pack his briefcase. "He hasn't. I'm going to Gotham to wait for him. He'll be back soon." He clicked the case shut. "He has to be."

Clark!! *wibbles* *huggles him*

He looked at Lois, his gaze oddly remote, as if looking at her from very far away in space. "I don't think I'll be able to go to Jason's Derby. Please tell him I'm sorry."

Oh Clark... Clark... *wibbles a lot*

Clark was failing Bruce's city. He was failing the world. He was failing Bruce.

Oh Clark, you're not... you're not. *huggles him again*

The lift opened to reveal Clark floating in the air in the Batsuit, his eyes half-closed, drowsing as if wrapped in the sound of Bruce's voice issuing from the computer speakers.

*sniffles* Oh, that broke my heart.

Alfred stopped as Clark looked at him, took a deep breath, and continued. "Mister Kent, it's been two weeks. I think we need to consider the possibility that Master Bruce is--that Master Bruce is--"

Oh Alfred!! *wibbles*

"I know." Clark shook his head slowly, his eyes closed as if he were listening to something. "If he were dead, I'd know it. I'd hear--" He broke off as a cold chill slowly crawled up Alfred's spine. "He's alive." He opened his eyes and smiled at Alfred, but it was strained. "Trust me."

Eeeeeep! Clark you're starting to scare me now...

Zhao. Love.

Zhao.


*sniffles and wibbles and...!!!*

This chapter broke my heart - What they're all going through!!! *wails* I really really hope Clark finds Bruce soon... *huggles everyone*

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-22 01:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
I don't know why, exactly, but the relationship between Ra's and Bruce has always fascinated me, so this fic is a real treat for me! :) ... when I'm not wibbling, that is. :p

I love movieverse Ra's! I'd never really written him before...he really respects Bruce a lot, it's very odd. He's a fun semi-villain (of course he doesn't see himself as one!)

No!!! Nooooooo!!! What are you doing Clark?!?!?!?!?

I knoooooow. Poor Clark! I'm really glad you liked the image of him sleeping in midair listening to Bruce's voice, that was one of my favorite scenes in this chapter.

Hehh, I'm having fun with the mid-arc angst in this one! Yummy angst...

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-20 08:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ccarroll003.livejournal.com
Oh I love, LOVE Bruce practicing his Kryptonian. His way of staying close to Clark. Also, I love your icon. The Bat Signal just fits so well. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-22 01:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
It's one of my favorite icons now! It fits all posts, just about. :)

I really enjoyed Bruce drilling Kryptonian--it was fun to pick just the right words. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-21 12:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] confusedkayt.livejournal.com
Ack! I lovelovelove Bruce's conflicted feelings about R'as, even now. He's such a twist-the-knife villain, at least in the movieverse! I totally hope he's learned his lesson, at least a little, but with just enough of an edge to torture Bruce ever after... Does this make me a bad person? Mayhap. :D

Also, Clark declaring the Planet to be the "least important thing?" What a succinct and powerful way to hammer home the terrifying seriousness of the situation.

I love Alfred's fear when he's suddenly so forcefully reminded that Clark is not human, how much more obvious Clark's otherness gets under this strain.

I am so totally gnawing my knuckles waiting for the next bit!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-22 08:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
Also, Clark declaring the Planet to be the "least important thing?" What a succinct and powerful way to hammer home the terrifying seriousness of the situation.

I really liked that line, somehow--just the feeling that things that really should be important can't be anymore, and it's obviously having a toll on him. Lois, Alfred and Gordon, each in their own ways, get to watch with more or less comprehension as things go on, which I found interesting to write.

Heh, I just tried to post the next chapter and Google Docs is being a bitch, so I have to wait until I get to my home computer to give it another try. But I'm hoping the next part will be up before you read this comment!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-21 03:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hitokaji.livejournal.com
Awww--poor boys. Bad Ra's! D:

It's sad to see Clark quit his job but I kinda have a feeling that Perry would understand him somehow. And it's nice to see Lois cared about Clark too!

Great chapter! I'm looking forward for more! :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-22 08:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
Poor Perry--he didn't really mean to bully Clark into quitting, lol. He's feeling kind of bad now. And Lois is tactless but I do like that she feels Clark deserves to get treated well.

Glad you're liking so far! More soon, I hope!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-21 06:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] evelyngreen.livejournal.com
I am so happy that you wrote in this universe again! I enjoyed its story quite a lot too. And I have been hoping since seeing the gathering at the Lane-White household that Lois and Richard could someday be let into the secret, :P I don't know whether you are going to let them know the secret, but I am hoping, *wink*.

Bruce needs more people to make him feel happier, he's so alone, I always ache for him. Even in Begins, it is so obvious that Rachel cannot provide him the love he needs, yet she can't be a friend to him like Lois and Richard no doubt can-at least in my opinion.

Anyway, I am looking forward to the next chapter.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-22 08:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
And I have been hoping since seeing the gathering at the Lane-White household that Lois and Richard could someday be let into the secret, :P I don't know whether you are going to let them know the secret, but I am hoping, *wink*.

I am kind of hoping so, someday, but if so it would be quite a ways down the road, I think. Clark is inflexible on the topic, lol. Bruce is, oddly enough, more open to it! But I agree that having Lois and Richard as full and equal friends would be really invaluable for both Bruce and Clark--they're good people.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-21 07:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ilovetobefree.livejournal.com
Skull fracture, hopefully minor. It didn't look like he'd be getting much medical attention here.
Ouch! My poor Bruce!

The scene with Bruce and Ra's al-Ghul was very well written.

Beneath that, much as he was reluctant to admit it, he was relieved that the man who had taught him so much might be alive, that Batman was not responsible for his death.
I was glad for this line. I like this way Batman’s thinking.

Then he sat down again and started mental drills of Kryptonian vocabulary.
I loved that. I loved the „bonding“ between Bruce and Clark expressed by this.

The scene in the Daily Planet – OMG! That was brilliantly described! I loved Lois there. I think you write Lois very well in this series. And in this scene – with her concern about Clark.
Lois bit her lip in concern. intercepting a similar worried glance from her husband. – I appreciated this sentence! Perfectly done!.

And Clark – so desperate (despairing or distressed - sorry, I don't know which term of this is the best fitting). Quitting his work – God, but I don’t blame him at all. I only hope things will get better and Perry are willing to bring him back. *Crosses fingers.* Just now, I understand he is fully concerned only about Bruce and effort to find him.
"I don't think I'll be able to go to Jason's Derby. Please tell him I'm sorry."
Oh, it was heartbreaking. I’m so sorry for Clark. I know how important is Jason for him.

Other people had to come first.
He tried harder.
He had to try harder.

You expressed Clark’s thoughts and feelings so well in these lines and in this paragraph (not only in this, though). *Hugs Clark*

"He is not dead," Clark said. "I know it."
"You hope--"
"I know." Clark shook his head slowly, his eyes closed as if he were listening to something. "If he were dead, I'd know it. I'd hear--" He broke off as a cold chill slowly crawled up Alfred's spine. "He's alive." He opened his eyes and smiled at Alfred, but it was strained. "Trust me."

I’m glad Clark is so sure Bruce is alive. (At last in front of Alfred.) Alfred needs this assurance.

Bruce practiced Kryptonian.
I loved that. And excellent choice of words!
Thanks a lot for this perfectly written chapter!
I can’t wait for more.
LS.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-04-22 08:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
I was glad for this line. I like this way Batman’s thinking.

I found Batman's not-quite-killing of him in the movie a bit uncomfortable, so I would like to think he rather regrets it sometimes.

And Clark – so desperate (despairing or distressed - sorry, I don't know which term of this is the best fitting).

Another good example of English and its crazy nuances! Actually I think "desperate" is the best of the three--"despairing" has more of a feeling someone has given up, and "distressed" is a little closer to just "annoyed."

I loved that. And excellent choice of words!

When I first imagined writing this arc, the only thing we were going to see of Bruce was his Kryptonian drills in the dark, so I spent a lot of time thinking about which words he'd be practicing. :) Later he insisted on having more scenes (and I'm glad) but I'd still put in a lot of time on the exact vocabulary, lol.

I'm glad you're enjoying it! I just tried to post the next chapter and failed (damn you, Google Docs coding!) but I hope to have it up in the next few hours...

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] ilovetobefree.livejournal.com - Date: 2009-04-23 04:27 am (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com - Date: 2009-04-23 07:43 am (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-01 04:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] crimsonquills.livejournal.com
I think one of the creepiest things about Ra's is how well he knows Bruce, and yet still sees him through a twisted filter in a lot of ways. He's more insidious than your average psychopath.

Poor Clark. People were bound to think Bruce was screwing around on him, which just prompts them to make entirely the wrong sympathetic noises. :-(

Also, I chortled at this bit: "An infrared spectroscopy of the footprint revealed trace amounts of phyllosilicate minerals, specifically a dioctahedral smectite. I believe it to be montmorillonite, which would indicate the suspect works in the oil drilling industry. A quick rundown of the major oil companies near the crime scene reveals that..."

...because I have edited papers on those minerals! LOL.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-05-01 12:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
Poor Clark. People were bound to think Bruce was screwing around on him, which just prompts them to make entirely the wrong sympathetic noises. :-(

I know, Lois really wants to support him, but she's bound to do it in a way that just twists the knife.

Hohoho, I was wondering if anyone on my flist would know enough about clay to know what Bruce was talking about! I hope he isn't speaking total gibberish, lol. Wikipedia is wonderful for handing over the specialized language needed for background detective work, but knowing whether it actually hangs together is another thing altogether.

(Edited to make that last sentence actually hang together, lol. I must be really tired...)

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