mithen: (World's Finest Kiss)
[personal profile] mithen
Title: We Are Gathered Here Today
Characters/Pairings: Kal/Bruce, Lex Luthor, Lara, Alfred
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Bruce takes Kal to Earth for a weekend while Lex plots.  A continuation of the From This Day Forward series.
Word count: 3700

"You'll bring back some of that white truffle oil you keep talking about, Mr. Pennyworth?"  Lara's question halted the trio as they stepped forward toward the portal.

Alfred smiled reassuringly at Kal's mother.  "Most certainly, Mrs. El."

"We're running low on chocolate, too," she said, concern creasing her brow.

"Master Bruce is unlikely to let me forget, ma'am."

Lara's attention shifted to Bruce.  "Oh Brucie.  Must you go back to that horrible place?  And take my dear son with you?"  She wrung her hands almost comically.

Bruce looked like he was fighting an urge to pat her on the shoulder.  "The terms of the treaty were that for every three months on Krypton, I get a weekend back home.  It won't be so bad, yrra."

Lara beamed, as she always did when Bruce called her by the affectionate term for "mother-in-law," even though his pronunciation was still (deliberately) abominable.  "Well, do make sure to bring me a present!"

"I wouldn't dream of forgetting.  I've got some perfectly fabulous hats in mind for you," Bruce said, waving his hand at Lara.  For some reason it always made Bruce laugh like mad later when he acted like that in public, using words like fabulous and darling and making his wrists loose.  When Kal asked him why, he just shook his head, still laughing.  "It's a cultural thing," was all he'd say.

Lara cast her son one last nervous glance.  "Do be careful there, Kal."

"Of course, Mother."  Kal did his best to look reluctant and sad, but the truth was he was anxious to get through the portal.  The last time he had been to Earth he had hated it--the noise, the crowds, the dirt and chaos.  But since getting to know Bruce he'd started to see a...certain appeal to some disorder.

Together the three of them stepped through the portal.

A Kryptonian's first impression of Earth was usually not so bad, actually;  the portal emerged in a fairly isolated spot in what Bruce called the Catskill Mountains.  Besides the pavilion created for arrivals, there was little all around but gently rolling hills. 

Kal fought off a wave of dizziness as he stepped off the dais;  the transition from a red to yellow sun was always a little strange.  He could feel the strange pale radiation glancing off his skin, making his nerves tingle:  an unnerving but not entirely unpleasant feeling.  Suddenly Bruce was there, slipping an arm around him to steady him, and Kal almost gasped at the casual touch, reminding himself that it was perfectly acceptable here.  "Right this way, sirs," said the attendant, who seemed not at all fazed by the sight of Bruce's arm around Kal as he led them to a car.

"They should move the portal closer to Gotham--or some city, at least," grumbled Alfred as he slid behind the wheel.  "It's still three hours until we're finally home."

"You know the portal here and the one on Krypton can't be moved," Bruce said absently as he helped Kal into the back seat.  He walked around to the other side and got in. 

Alfred rolled his eyes in the rearview mirror.  "Yes, yes.  Only one spot on each planet has the correct ley lines to sustain the energies of the portal, you've told me, sir."  He sighed slightly.  "I just would like to be home quickly."

Bruce pulled his gloves off with a flourish, then reached out to remove Kal's as well.  Even through the tinted windows, the sun seemed to be flooding Kal's senses, expanding them like ripples on a pond.  He could hear the slow, sinuous scrape of cloth on skin as the gloves came off.  He closed his eyes, focusing on controlling and limiting the vertiginous blossoming of his powers.  Bruce's heartbeat thundered in his ears, a rush of blood along veins like a river of life.  Taking a deep breath, he opened his eyes slowly and found Bruce looking at him;  when their eyes met he could hear the faint whisper of Bruce's pupils dilating, a tiny rustle of desire.

"It's so much," he whispered. 

"Yes," Bruce agreed.

: : :

By the time they reached Gotham, Kal had overcome most of the disorientation.  Bit by bit, he felt more normal;  sounds and scents and sights weren't crashing in on him so uncontrollably.  But he wouldn't have required enhanced senses to hear Bruce's sigh of wistful happiness as they pulled through great, wrought-iron gates and onto a gravelled drive.  Soon a huge, rambling building of brown stone came into view.  "Welcome home, sir," said Alfred.

"Welcome home, Alfred," said Bruce.  He looked at Kal.  "You too, my husband."

Home.

It didn't feel exactly like home as Bruce showed him around, although the space and silence of the Manor reminded him of the great compound of the House of El.  But Bruce's stance was different here--more relaxed, less on guard.  Kal was surprised to realize that on Krypton Bruce had taken to holding himself as a Kryptonian would, and that here on Earth, in his own home, his posture was more human.  More alien.  And yet...it seemed right for him.

"First, let's change into some human clothes," Bruce said, taking him up a flight of stairs into a room with a huge oaken bed.  Kal suspected that was going to be their bed, but he couldn't quite bring himself to ask.  Bruce rummaged through a chest of drawers and came up with a brilliant red sweater.  He held it up in front of Kal, tilting his head.  "Brings out your eyes," he said.  "Try it."

The sweater was thick and soft--a little tight in the chest, but not overly so.  The strange clothing items humans wore that encased their legs were a little harder to manage, and Kal ended up almost falling over getting into them, to Bruce's amusement.  He re-arranged Kal's hair absent-mindedly, long fingers stroking.  "You look good."  Bruce was already changed into a dark gray shirt with little pearly circles on it that Bruce called "buttons."  Kal reached out and fingered one of them.  The temptation to undo it was quite strong.  How humans lived with such temptations, he did not know.

Bruce smiled and took his hand, pulling him toward the door.  "We're doing Chinese take-out tonight since Alfred hasn't had time to restock the kitchen.  It should be here any moment."

Apparently "Chinese" was a Terran word for "burn."  Kal's newly-sensitive senses went into overdrive at the mix of exotic flavors and scents;  despite the pain on his tongue and lips, he dug into another little white container.  Fortunately the little wooden sticks were rather similar to Kryptonian utensils.  "This is delicious!" he said around a mouthful of sweet, hot crunchiness.  "This General Tso must have been a great, great man."

Bruce just laughed and took another mouthful.

The tour ended in the evening, on what Bruce called a "widow's walk"--a tiny veranda at the top of the roof.  From it, Kal could see the faint twinkle of moonlight on the sea, far in the distance.  The wind sighed through the trees.  Far off, he could hear the sounds of the city, but somehow it didn't intrude on the silence all around him. 

"So let's see it," Bruce said, looking at him, and Kal startled and blushed a bit, wondering what he meant.  Bruce laughed a little.  "You can fly here, can't you?"

"Oh, you're right," Kal said.  He looked down the four stories to the ground.  "Are you sure starting from this high up is a good idea?"

"You're invulnerable too, remember?"  Bruce's eyebrows tilted wryly.

He hadn't.  "Well then."  He closed his eyes and concentrated on the alien magnetic field he could feel flowing around him, focused on letting it waft him up.

"Nice."  He opened his eyes to find himself a few feet above Bruce. 

"This isn't that hard, actually," he said, letting himself drift in the air.

"Good time to practice," said Bruce.

"Practice?"

"Well, I've almost got the anti-grav belts figured out.  The costumes are almost ready.  And I think we agree that Gim-En is almost certainly doing illegal animal breeding for his studies.  I think it's almost time for Nightwing and Flamebird to make their first appearance."  He looked at Kal, who was listing a bit.  "That won't do."

"It won't?"

"You're going to be the rebirth of a legendary hero, come back to Krypton to right wrongs and fight injustice!  You can't look like a holographic reporter."

"But I am a holographic reporter," Kal said, feeling silly.

"You're Flamebird, protector of the innocent.  Say it."

"I'm...Flamebird, protector of the innocent."  It sounded weak in his ears.

Bruce crossed his arms and shook his head.  "You have to mean it."  Taking a breath, he suddenly seemed to take up almost twice as much space.  His head was flung back, and when he spoke his voice seemed to boom.  "I am Nightwing, scourge of the wicked!"  He pointed at Kal imperiously.  "Somewhere on Krypton there's a man who's breeding dogs with three heads and birds with one eye, left to suffer for his twisted dedication to a false god of science!  Shall such cruelty, such injustice, be allowed to stand?  Answer me!"

Kal tried to match his tone, his posture.  "By the mercy of Yuda and the justice of Rao, it shall not!  So says Flamebird, protector of the innocent!"

Bruce tilted his head.  "Not bad.  The costume will probably help too."  He beckoned.  "Come here." 

Kal floated closer.  To his surprise, Bruce stepped off the widow's walk and into his arms.  Kal braced himself for them both to plummet to the ground...and found himself holding Bruce as lightly as a feather, with no effort at all, both of them floating lazily above the ground.

Bruce pressed closer.  "This is nice," he murmured in Kal's ear.

"Yes," Kal managed, as the riot of reaction from the contact raced through him.  Their kiss was slow and sweet and silent as the wind and moonlight around them, another slow blossom of sensuousness opening up within him, expanding from him into the strange pale air that surrounded and held and embraced them.

Earth was beautiful, Kal realized.  So beautiful.

: : :

"Why are we here?" hissed Kal.

"I told you, I wanted to expand your cultural experiences," Bruce said, rummaging through a bag.  The sun outside was bright, turning the silky cloth structure around them into a blaze of color.  The sounds of children laughing and screaming and water pounding sand filtered through.

"I thought that meant, you know, visiting a library or studying wildlife or something."

Bruce snorted.  "You can think of it as studying wildlife if you like." 

"Those people out there were wearing nothing!"

"This isn't a nude beach, Kal.  Although we do have those as well," Bruce added as an afterthought.  "They were wearing swimsuits.  Like this one."  He tossed Kal a scrap of black cloth. 

Kal stretched the tiny piece of not-really-clothing between his hands and tried not to bolt.  Bruce looked up and seemed to take pity on him.  "Okay, that one's mine.  I brought you something a little more conservative."  He handed Kal a marginally larger handful of cloth.

"This isn't any better!"  It wouldn't even cover his knees, Kal thought in despair.  And his chest would be completely bare!  He would--

Kal's train of thought derailed as he watched Bruce shimmy into his very small black swimsuit and he couldn't remember where it had been once he was done.  Now all he could think was that everyone would be able to see just about every inch of his husband.

Bruce seemed able to read his expression.  "I promise, Kal, I'm not going to get unduly ogled.  This isn't that unusual."

Kal swallowed.  "Bruce, there is no planet on which the sight of you in that is not unusual."

Bruce blinked, then laughed.  "Cultural practice, Kal.  Get the suit on."

The sun on the sand was blazing, but not as blinding as Kal's embarrassment as the two of them left the cabana.  He stumbled along after Bruce, not daring to look up.  But then a little boy, barely old enough to walk, collided with the back of his legs and Kal got too lost in picking him up and dusting the sand off him to feel self-conscious.  The boy laughed and toddled back to his mother, and Kal realized no one was staring at them.  He raised his eyes;  they were surrounded by people all dressed like they were, all showing obscene amounts of skin, and no one seemed at all shocked.

Bruce laid out two bright blankets and they sat down on the sand.  Kal lost himself in watching the array of humanity going by, wondering at the variety, the richness of it all--every shade of color, every size and shape, people laughing and crying and flirting and arguing and touching each other as if it were perfectly normal.  It was dizzying. 

Beside him, Bruce rolled over onto his stomach with a hedonistic sigh, letting the sun bathe his back.  Kal tore his eyes away from the sight eventually and realized that somebody was watching them.  A man in a swimsuit small enough to match Bruce's own was taking in the sight of Bruce dozing in the sun with an extremely appreciative smile.  As if he felt Kal's gaze on him, he looked up into Kal's eyes and his smile widened ever so slightly, enough to show teeth.  Then he went back to admiring Bruce.

Kal felt his hackles raise and had to swallow hard, aware that under that bright yellow sun his angry gaze could do more than intimidate the ogler.  Not that he seemed the least bit intimidated.  He was practically licking his lips!  Kal was just about to stand up and go over there and--

"Could you put some lotion on my back?"  Bruce's voice cut into his rage-fogged daydream.

"I'm sorry?"

"The sun's radiation will burn human skin if we're in it too long.  There's lotion in the bag for it."

"Oh."  Kal rummaged in the beach bag until he found a little tube of white lotion.  Squeezing some on his hands, he began to rub it into Bruce's back.  Bruce sighed under his kneading hands, skin glistening with lotion and sweat.

Kal glanced up and saw they were still being watched, although the man looked a little annoyed now.  Kal took a malicious pleasure in prolonging the lotion application as much as possible, running his hands over every inch of Bruce's back, caressing the shoulderblades like wings, tracing each tender knob of his spine.  He let his fingers slip under the waistband of Bruce's swimsuit just a little, then slid his hands down to smooth lotion along the backs of his legs, letting them trail across the spandex-covered curves in the interim. 

When he looked up again the man had taken out a book and was assiduously reading it, or pretending to.  Kal grinned to himself.  "Roll over," he said.

Bruce grunted.  "Can't."

"What, too relaxed?"

"After that?"  Bruce's voice had a smile in it.  "Being relaxed is not the problem at all."

"What-oh."  Kal started to laugh as he realized.  "You go out in public in such tiny bits of clothes, but it's taboo to have an erection?  How odd you humans are."

After a moment, Bruce snorted.  "I guess it is kind of odd when you put it that way," he said.  "But I'm still not rolling over for a while."

: : :

For their last night on Earth, Alfred cooked them a special dinner of Thai curry--"Since you seem to have developed a fondness for spicy foods, Master Kal," he explained.  "And a slightly more edible version for the humans at the table," he added, putting a bowl in front of Bruce.

"How much spice did you put into his?" Bruce asked after taking a bite, fanning his mouth melodramatically.

"You don't want to know, sir."

"No, I don't think I do," Bruce said, watching Kal wolf his portion down.

"I'm sorry we have to go so soon," Kal said between bites.  "It must be awful to have so little time here."

Bruce looked thoughtful.  "It's not as bad as you'd think.  I've got a lot of work I'm in the middle of there that I'm anxious to get back to."

"But the food," Kal said.  "And the...the freedom, the openness, the...everythingness of it."

Bruce narrowed his eyes.  "Since when have you become a fan of Terran culture?"

Kal's smile was a bit sheepish.  "There are aspects to the culture that have redeeming qualities."  He sighed.  "Krypton must feel so...narrow in comparison."

"There are...compensating advantages," Bruce said.  "The science, and the love of science and rationality...it's refreshing sometimes.  There's a lot less superstition than here on Earth.  It's a very enlightened, compassionate civilization in many ways."  He shot a glance at Alfred.  "And I've never been exactly a cuddly or demonstrative person, so the emotional restraint is sometimes...soothing."

"It's a shame there's so little contact between our civilizations," Kal said thoughtfully.  "There's a lot we could learn from each other."

Bruce's smile was wry.  "I wish more people agreed with you."

: : :

Three weeks later

"Shield it!  Cover it!" 

Lex Luthor clapped the lead casing back over the green rock, and Jhal Farad-Ko lowered her hand from her face.  The fervor in her eyes almost matched the glow from the crystal.  "At last," she breathed, "This will change everything."

It had taken the two scientists months of work to find the exact radiation that interacted with certain Kryptonian crystals to turn them a bilious, poisonous green that sapped the strength from Luthor's wife.  At last they had their weapon to wield against the lily-livered fools who believed peace was possible between the two races.

"We shall call it Jhalite," Luthor's wife whispered, caressing the lead shielding.  Lex had imagined something more along the lines of "Luthorium," but he was willing to give Jhal her moment of triumph.

Her opinion wouldn't matter much longer anyway.

Once they had enough of the green mineral, they would detonate a quantity of it at the Terran gate, while similarly poisoning the Kryptonian-side gate with anthrax, which had no effect on Kryptonians.  Poison those two plots of land, and no commerce would be able to get through.  Most Kryptonians would welcome the act as a blow for freedom from the dirty apes that called themselves Terrans.  The gates would never be re-built.

It would take a few more months...enough time for Luthor to figure out how to use more of this wonderful crystal technology and smuggle it through to Earth, to be waiting for him on the other side when the gates were destroyed.  And with the loot he'd taken from Krypton...well, what he could achieve on Earth would be limited only by his imagination.

Lex smiled.  He had a very vivid imagination.

"Lex?"  Jhal was frowning as her hands danced over a keyboard.  Lex growled to himself as he always did when he saw one of those damned aliens using their machines with such alacrity.  If only Kryptonian weren't such a cursedly opaque language!  The impossibility of learning it had left him far more dependent on his wife than he had ever wished.  Luckily her goals matched his, for the most part.

"You might want to see this," Jhal continued, opening up a hologram in the middle of the room.

Two masked figures hovered in mid-air above the University of Kryptonopolis.  Hovered!  Lex's attention was immediately seized.  One figure, dressed in a red tunic with ornate sleeves that dripped yellow and gold cloth like flame, held his arms aloft.  He announced something in Kryptonian, his voice like a clarion, commanding.  Jhal hastily translated into English, her voice a murmur behind Lex.  "Kryptonians!  We are here today to expose the cruelties of Gim-En!  In secret he has been twisting and tormenting animals for his own research, leaving them to suffer and die for his selfish ends."  Behind the figure, a billboard-screen lit up with images that could only have been gotten through infiltrating a laboratory.  Lex found the images intriguing, although he supposed the less scientifically-minded might find them a little stomach-turning.  The gasps of horror from the crowd below seemed to indicate he was correct.

The second figure, dressed in a form-fitting outfit of indigo and black like shadows molded to his lean and muscled frame, moved forward.  "Such abuses of the law and of compassion shall not stand.  Such crimes will be brought to light."  His voice was low, but carried easily.  "So says Nightwing, scourge of the wicked."

"So says Flamebird, protector of the innocent," said the other figure.  And with a flicker of motion they were gone.

"Nightwing and Flamebird," said Jhal behind him.  Lex turned to see her staring, eyes wide with shock.  "Nightwing and Flamebird."  Her head moved back and forth in blank negation.

Lex crossed over to her and grabbed her shoulders, shook her;  she flinched and cried out, pulling away.  "Don't be superstitious.  They're just men, just Kryptonians," he snarled.  "And we have a weapon to use against them if they come after us."

Jhal composed herself, flinging her head back, breathing deeply.  "Yes," she said.  "They're just...just men."  But there was a shadow behind her eyes, a flicker of uncertainty, and Lex knew he'd have to keep a closer eye on her in the future.

"They can't stop us, Jhal," he said.  "The link between Krypton and Earth will be severed, and no one dressed up in silly costumes is going to prevent it."

: : :

In a cave nearby, two men in silly costumes were celebrating.  "We did it!"  Kal was jubilant, short of breath, still high on adrenaline.  He pulled Bruce into a fierce hug, the multicolored lights of the crystals painting his face with blue and red and yellow.  "Nightwing and Flamebird.  You were beautiful, so beautiful--"  his hands were in Bruce's hair, buried in shadow.  "--My beautiful dangerous alien."  His mouth traced the patterns of light on Bruce's skin, as cloth was discarded and forgotten, lost in a web of brightness.

Shadows and light shivered around them, chasing each other.  Catching each other.  Over and over.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-06 02:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] seiberwing.livejournal.com
Kal's "innocence" is absolutely adorable. And yay capes and justice!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-06 03:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
Kal is a great deal of fun to write here, lol. I'm a little relieved Bruce didn't take him to a nude beach, he might have imploded...

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-06 02:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fictionalknight.livejournal.com
heee! :) Great new part -- I missed this series, it's such a nice once, I'm glad you're continuing it! :D

I was totally giggling with glee when I realized that Batman was Nightwing, because...well...I'm sure you can figure it out, can't you? I'm about as subtle as a two-by-four on a good day, so I'm certain none of my fangirl reactions come as a surprise to anyone anymore. ;) Anyhooo...just to say that that little "detail" totally made me happy. :D

And the part at the beach.... hee! I'll be seeing images of them in swimsuits all day, in my head. :D Thanks for that! It was so cute, with Kal being all jealous and borderline overprotective - I love him like that. *pets him*

(have to ask, though, is it Jhal or Zhal, or are they two different people? - or do I just need a little more caffeine, this morning?)

I certainly hope there will be more in this series. :D This part was a lot of fun!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-06 03:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
I was totally giggling with glee when I realized that Batman was Nightwing...

Usually in Kandor I believe Kal is Nightwing when he's being a superhero there (and Jimmy is Flamebird!), but it seemed impossible to imagine Bruce as Flamebird, lol. No way is he wearing orange and red.

(have to ask, though, is it Jhal or Zhal, or are they two different people? - or do I just need a little more caffeine, this morning?)

Oh man...*snicker* My beta totally failed me! Thanks for the catch, I've got her name fixed. I'd better check the next chapter too...

There should be two more chapters to this, we'll see where that leaves Kal and Bruce! :)

Glad you liked it! I'm having fun writing it, although I'm writing the series where Kryptonians are evil bastards at the same time and I think it's giving me whiplash, lol...

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-08 06:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fictionalknight.livejournal.com
Usually in Kandor I believe Kal is Nightwing when he's being a superhero there

Yep :) That's the first thing that struck me about the "role-reversal" and then the irony of "Batman as Nightwing" hit me, and I was giggling like a fool... (and I'm still totally hoping to see Nightwing as Batman in the comics -- I should go check spoilers for that, in fact. *lol*)

Glad you liked it! I'm having fun writing it, although I'm writing the series where Kryptonians are evil bastards at the same time and I think it's giving me whiplash, lol...

Ooooh! Does that mean more of that series soon, too? *does a little happy dance at the thought*

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-08 06:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
Ooooh! Does that mean more of that series soon, too? *does a little happy dance at the thought*

*grin* I'm almost done the final chapter (there ended up being eight, that seems to be pretty much my default length!) So I'm hoping to be able to start posting it next week or not much later than that, assuming the beta isn't too awful, lol....

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-08 06:38 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-06 03:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bengleman.livejournal.com
Whoo! This makes me blatantly happy! *does a dance*.

The fact that Lex can't learn Kryptonian where Bruce can makes me happy, as does the assumption that Nightwing and Flamebird are both Kryptonians who can be defeated by "Jhalite": whoo boy won't that be a shock!

The beach and Bruce giggling over his own gay act whilst Kal stands oblivious is made of win! As is the ending!

You win the internet!

x
B.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-07 11:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
The fact that Lex can't learn Kryptonian where Bruce can makes me happy, as does the assumption that Nightwing and Flamebird are both Kryptonians who can be defeated by "Jhalite": whoo boy won't that be a shock!

Oh, I'm very happy Lex's inability to learn Kryptonian stood out. I was very happy with that--I wanted to stick my tongue out at him, lol. Nyah!

Bruce enjoying playing up the gayness is another thing I'm fond of for some reason. I'm writing another scene like that right now (for a different story) and just having way too much fun with it...)

I'm glad you enjoyed! This series is one of my favorites to write right now...

augh!

Date: 2009-02-06 03:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pink-paranoia.livejournal.com
This was so adorable. Have loved the entire series so far.

Re: augh!

Date: 2009-02-07 11:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
Yay, thanks! I love writing Kal and am having a lot of fun with him. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-06 03:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ranger-girl0301.livejournal.com
Love this, for so many reasons!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-07 11:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
Thank you! I've been having a lot of fun with it, I hope it shows. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-06 05:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elenorasweet.livejournal.com
Buaha, I get an immense sense of satisfaction in knowing that Bruce penetrated the mystery of the Kryptonian language, and Lex is still floundering and depending on his wife.

Also, I like Jhal, I believe. As much as one can like a diabolical villain.

(Nice work coming up with a devious plot for them, btw!)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-07 11:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
Buaha, I get an immense sense of satisfaction in knowing that Bruce penetrated the mystery of the Kryptonian language, and Lex is still floundering and depending on his wife.

Hehehe, I'm so glad that came through. I got a lot of petty satisfaction from Lex being all "It's too hard!" lol.

I rather like Jhal too! In the long run, I think she's less motivated by greed than Lex is--Lex wants the portals closed for the sake of Earth, but he's not going to let that get in the way of looting Krypton either...

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-06 06:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] snake-easing.livejournal.com
It was fun to see Kal on the beach (showing his knees!).

Also, Luthorium! Ha ha. It didn't occur to me until I saw a comment that you set up a confrontation where Kal will be incapacitated by the green stuff and Bruce will get to save him.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-07 11:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
It was fun to see Kal on the beach (showing his knees!).

Showing his knees! So shameless! :D

It's funny, Nightwing being immune to "Luthorium" does turn out to be important, but I didn't see it until I was working on the ending two chapters from now. :) Everyone else spotted it before I did, lol...

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-06 07:07 pm (UTC)
bradygirl_12: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bradygirl_12
Kal on a beach! Outstanding! :)

It's a good introduction to Earth culture with the casual show of skin and the sun, sea, and sand. :)

And Chinese! LOL!

You gave a good description of Kal's powers coming on-line. :)

Jealous Kal is always fun. :)

Lex's plot sounds interesting.

I enjoyed Nightwing and Flamebird's debuts, and, yes, Kal must wear the flamboyant colors! ;)

They really could learn a lot from each other, Earth and Krypton. The science and rationality is a good thing, but the repression isn't, and Earth could use a little less superstition and more rationality.

Perhaps someday...! :)

I do like Jhal, too, villain or not. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-07 11:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
I loved writing Kal's powers kicking in--it's got to be so disorienting and cool at the same time. There were so many possible choices for shocking situations to throw Kal into! Someone else suggested dancing, and I have to admit that could have been really sexy too. They might have to come back...

I'm enjoying showing Krypton and Earth as being kind of balanced in what they can bring each other, like their scions. :) Glad you're enjoying it too!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-06 07:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starsandsea.livejournal.com
Eeeeee! *hearts this verse*

You know, I've been wondering if you were going to have Bruce and Kal visit Earth together... lol.

"We're running low on chocolate, too," she said, concern creasing her brow.

"Master Bruce is unlikely to let me forget, ma'am."


Hee! Chocolate is the most important resource Humans brought to Kryptonians. :p

For some reason it always made Bruce laugh like mad later when he acted like that in public, using words like fabulous and darling and making his wrists loose.

*giggles* Oh Bruce, you're so silly! :D

Alfred rolled his eyes in the rearview mirror. "Yes, yes. Only one spot on each planet has the correct ley lines to sustain the energies of the portal, you've told me, sir." He sighed slightly. "I just would like to be home quickly."

Hee! *hearts Alfred*

Even through the tinted windows, the sun seemed to be flooding Kal's senses, expanding them like ripples on a pond. He could hear the slow, sinuous scrape of cloth on skin as the gloves came off. He closed his eyes, focusing on controlling and limiting the vertiginous blossoming of his powers. Bruce's heartbeat thundered in his ears, a rush of blood along veins like a river of life. Taking a deep breath, he opened his eyes slowly and found Bruce looking at him; when their eyes met he could hear the faint whisper of Bruce's pupils dilating, a tiny rustle of desire.

Ooooh, I really liked that bit! The way you showed Kal gaining powers was beautiful! :)

Kal reached out and fingered one of them. The temptation to undo it was quite strong. How humans lived with such temptations, he did not know.

Hee! *glomps Kal*

Kal tried to match his tone, his posture. "By the mercy of Yuda and the justice of Rao, it shall not! So says Flamebird, protector of the innocent!"

*pets Kal* They're so cute, rehearsing their lines! :)

"Yes," Kal managed, as the riot of reaction from the contact raced through him. Their kiss was slow and sweet and silent as the wind and moonlight around them, another slow blossom of sensuousness opening up within him, expanding from him into the strange pale air that surrounded and held and embraced them.

Oooh, pretty!

Kal stretched the tiny piece of not-really-clothing between his hands and tried not to bolt. Bruce looked up and seemed to take pity on him. "Okay, that one's mine. I brought you something a little more conservative." He handed Kal a marginally larger handful of cloth.

Awww, Kal! Kal, Kal, Kal... Have I mentioned that he's utterly adorable? :p

Kal felt his hackles raise and had to swallow hard, aware that under that bright yellow sun his angry gaze could do more than intimidate the ogler. Not that he seemed the least bit intimidated. He was practically licking his lips! Kal was just about to stand up and go over there and--

Oooh, and now it's jealous!Kal! Hee!

"And I've never been exactly a cuddly or demonstrative person, so the emotional restraint is sometimes...soothing."

*pets Bruce*

"We shall call it Jhalite," Luthor's wife whispered, caressing the lead shielding. Lex had imagined something more along the lines of "Luthorium," but he was willing to give Jhal her moment of triumph.

Luthorium. Kryptonite is so much better. :p But they've developed Krpytonite, oh noes!!

Once they had enough of the green mineral, they would detonate a quantity of it at the Terran gate, while similarly poisoning the Kryptonian-side gate with anthrax, which had no effect on Kryptonians. Poison those two plots of land, and no commerce would be able to get through. Most Kryptonians would welcome the act as a blow for freedom from the dirty apes that called themselves Terrans. The gates would never be re-built.

Meeep!

If only Kryptonian weren't such a cursedly opaque language! The impossibility of learning it had left him far more dependent on his wife than he had ever wished.

Heh. :p

Shadows and light shivered around them, chasing each other. Catching each other. Over and over.

Ooooh, so so pretty! Nightwing and Flamebird, yay! *dances*

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-07 11:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
You know, I've been wondering if you were going to have Bruce and Kal visit Earth together... lol.

I couldn't resist! Kal was just too much fun there...

Hee! Chocolate is the most important resource Humans brought to Kryptonians. :p

Well, besides Bruce! :)

Ooooh, I really liked that bit! The way you showed Kal gaining powers was beautiful! :)

It would probably be really scary if you weren't with people who made you feel safe...but it could be so cool as well.

And I had way too much fun with jealous!Kal, lol. He was so annoyed!

(I've finished the last two chapters of this, whee! I got on a roll...)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-06 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] crimsonquills.livejournal.com
Ooooh, the beginning of Nightwing and Flamebird! And their nemesis.

And the two of them on the beach was such a fun scene. *g* Jealous!Kal discovers the benefits of sunscreen. :-D And it was nice to see Kal develop a little respect/appreciation for Terran culture.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-07 11:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
And the two of them on the beach was such a fun scene. *g* Jealous!Kal discovers the benefits of sunscreen. :-D And it was nice to see Kal develop a little respect/appreciation for Terran culture.

I did kind of like Kal's passive-aggressive lotion-application, lol. And having him won over a bit by Terran culture is important--you can't love your mate and hate where they come from, in some ways, I think, and that goes both ways for them. I've had fun writing that progression in both directions...

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-07 06:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] crimsonquills.livejournal.com
And having him won over a bit by Terran culture is important--you can't love your mate and hate where they come from, in some ways, I think, and that goes both ways for them.

*nods* Yes, exactly. It's something that occasionally drives me nuts in other fic. "I hate everything your culture stands for! But you're different." Even if there's reason for me to buy into that rationale, I'm still left with the sneaking feeling that the relationship isn't as solid as it could be, in the grand scheme of things.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-08 05:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
There are obviously times you love the person for transcending their culture, but...there has to have been something there to produce the person you love. Not to mention no one has no happy memories of their culture, growing up there and so on, and you wouldn't want to rag on all those as well.

(My cultural relativism insists every culture has something worth celebrating! And it's fun to find it!) :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-08 07:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] crimsonquills.livejournal.com
There are obviously times you love the person for transcending their culture, but...there has to have been something there to produce the person you love.

*nods* My thoughts exactly. I have a hard time imagining a complete culture in which every single thing, without exception, is negative (in one sense or another). I'm not sure that such a thing is possible, at least not in this lifetime.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-06 09:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lilacs-roses.livejournal.com
Very nicely done. ... I'm wondering if Kal is going to be on Earth when Lex implements the plan and that's how we get Batman back and Superman begins...

But then again... we are AU :)

Looking forward to more.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-07 11:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
Alas, in this AU I think Batman and Superman never come into being! Nightwing and Flamebird will have to be the closest approximations...

Glad you're enjoying!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-06 09:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xantucis.livejournal.com
Wonderful series!

Bruce leaving Clark wondering over cultural things... *snickers*

And the whole beach scene was simply great! :D

I liked the peek into Luthor's married life; it makes me curious about Jhal and her backstory. ;)

You have already two more parts planned?!
May I friend you, so that I don't miss them (as if that would happen... ;) can't believe I didn't ask yet, I'm such a slowpoke! ) ? <3

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-07 11:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
Poor Kal, I tormented him with the beach scene. But he got his revenge, getting to run his hands all over Bruce... :)

In fact, I finished the last part today! It still needs to be betaed though, so we shall see where it ends up. :) Please friend away! *grins*

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-06 10:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladymordecai.livejournal.com
Oh, they're wonderful and adorable and YAY.

Bruce's insistence on practicing the voices and the declarations was hilarious, and Kal's wide-eyed reaction to American culture was fantastic. And his reaction to spicy foods, hah!

Then there was Lex and Jhal. The terrifying moment when they discovered/created Kryptonite (and won't it be interesting when Kryptonite doesn't affect Nightwing...) was well done. The news report that Lex couldn't understand because of the opacity of Kryptonian--I had a "Bruce understands it! HAH!" moment of triumph. Also, moment of triumph for Jhal's reaction. Costumes are important.

Well done.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-07 11:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
Bruce's insistence on practicing the voices and the declarations was hilarious, and Kal's wide-eyed reaction to American culture was fantastic. And his reaction to spicy foods, hah!

Imagining the practicing the right announcement style just cracked me up. It doesn't really come naturally to this Kal at all...

The news report that Lex couldn't understand because of the opacity of Kryptonian--I had a "Bruce understands it! HAH!" moment of triumph.

Yay! I had a spiteful "Nyah!" at Lex's expense there and laughed. :D I think canonically he's never figured Kryptonian out, and surely he's smart enough to and has access to it...I can only conclude he has some kind of mental block at learning a hated language.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-07 01:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theclexfactor.livejournal.com
Ok, this has officially become one of my favorite series.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-07 11:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
*grin* Thanks! Once I got into the rhythm it became just loads of fun to write... I'm glad you're enjoying it too!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-07 01:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] liarashadowsong.livejournal.com
^_____^ Yay! The introduction of Nightwing and Flamebird! And the introduction of Kal to the culture of Earth! And he loves spicy foods, that's such a cool little detail. And his reaction to swimsuits (I'm assuming Bruce was wearing a Speedo, and Kal trunks) was just perfect. And now we know what Lex and Jhal's dastardly plot is! This is so awesome!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-07 11:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
And his reaction to swimsuits (I'm assuming Bruce was wearing a Speedo, and Kal trunks) was just perfect.

You assume correctly! I think they were even pretty baggy, conservative trunks, but poor Kal still was shocked, so shocked. :D

Glad you're enjoying, it's been a blast to write!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-07 07:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] liarashadowsong.livejournal.com
Baggy trunks, even? Oh, wow. Poor Kal, though.

Also, I forgot to mention earlier that I love how Bruce learned Kryptonian excellently (and even partly reveals this knowledge to his in-laws, albeit with a forcibly bad accent), while Lex struggles to learn it. I mean, Lex is supposed to be a brilliant super-villain type, but but his strengths are generally implied to lie toward science, business, or both, but never really mention languages. It's nice to see a noticeable weakness for him that isn't his ego (bwahaha Lexie-poo, hubris is your one true weakness!), and is so believably written. ^_^

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-07 02:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hitokaji.livejournal.com
Ekkk...I think I missed this series of yours too. I've gone back and read everything from the begining and I LOVE it so far! ( Still hadn't finished the whole series yet. ^^! )

I really like all the details about Krypton and Kryptonian culture you put in this series. Very real and interesting!
Another excellent series of yours! ;)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-07 11:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
I had impossible amounts of fun coming up with Kryptonian culture. I love it so much... (which is why I can't help but be delighted by New Krypton!)

I'm so glad you're enjoying it!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-07 06:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] batfan-sarah.livejournal.com
bwee! i love this story so.

poor kal - his brain was totally overloaded on all the exposure and touching and almost nakedness.

so cute!

kudos, ms. jen. a lovely chapter as always!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-07 11:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
poor kal - his brain was totally overloaded on all the exposure and touching and almost nakedness.

I know, the poor boy. There were so many fun possibilies, I would have loved to send him on a tour of all the ways Terrans touch each other. :D

Thanks for reading and commenting!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-07 10:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skund.livejournal.com
This is fantastic! I love Kal's reactions to human culture, trying to apply logic to our wacky ways. And getting all hot and bothered on the beach! Bruce is really bringing out the fire in him. Can't wait to see the further adventures of Nightwing and Flamebird! XD

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-08 05:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
Nightwing and Flamebird take Kryptonian society by storm with their awesomeness! :) I had so much fun writing them on the beach, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-07 07:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] evo-spider.livejournal.com
Oh hell no! Lex and Jhal are seriously planning to do such a thing?

Well forget that. Nightwing and Flamebird are gonna have to step their game up if they gotta deal with these two haters.

I gotta say though that I liked the culture clash moments that Kal had on Earth. I can't wait to find out what will happen next to the costumed heroes.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-08 05:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
Lex and Jhal are trouoble! Bruce and Kal will have to be ready for them...

I've enjoyed writing the culture shock things so much! Poor Kal, lol...although I think he adapted very nicely. If he had to stay longer it could have become a problem, though. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-12 03:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] plingo-kat.livejournal.com
Eee, I love this series. Did I ever tell ou I loved this series before? If I didn't, I'm telling you now. I have come out of lurkdom, drawn by awesome fanfic (of which all of your is, btw) and the S/B love. LOVE.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-02-12 07:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
Awww, thanks! I'm so happy to see someone coming out of lurkerdom in the S/B fandom! We're a friendly, spandex-clad place... :)

And I'm glad you're enjoying the series! I'm hoping to post the next part this weekend!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-03-02 12:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] saavikam77.livejournal.com
Kal's shock at the beach was highly amusing. :p But I love so much that he came to enjoy Earth. Too bad they couldn't stay longer, though...

And Lex's plan... Oh, he is gonna be in for a world of hurt. O_o

On to the next!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-03-02 02:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mithen.livejournal.com
A longer sequence with Kal's culture shock would have been fun! I'm sure they happen and if I come back it would be fun to write them. Someone mentioned going dancing! Oh my, the decadence... ;)

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