mithen: (Hand on Shoulder S/B)
[personal profile] mithen
Title: Begging for Mercy
Pairing/Characters: Clark Kent/Bruce Wayne
Rating: R
Warnings/Spoilers: None
Fandom: DC Comics
Summary: Clark Kent is captured and being interrogated by some mobsters. What they don't know is that Batman's listening in via communicator--and whispering in Clark's ear the whole time.
Word Count: 1900

“You’ve really got that timid, cowardly act down. I’m impressed.”

Clark Kent ignored the sardonic voice tickling his eardrum and looked up at his captors, tugging (very gently, so as not to snap them like peanut brittle) on the handcuffs holding him to his chair. “Please,” he said, his voice quavering, “I don’t understand what your problem is with me, gentlemen.”

The “gentlemen” in question--three men all sporting some combination of tattoos, broken noses, loud suits, and missing teeth--snickered cheerfully. “Mr. Mannheim says you been sticking your nose where it don’t belong,” sneered one of them that Clark had dubbed Stupid Tattoo.

“Mr. Mannheim says you got some information that don’t belong to you,” said the one Clark had named Bent Nose.

“Mr. Mannheim said you need to hand that information over,” said “Gappy,” cracking his knuckles.

“Someone’s apparently really gotten under Mr. Mannheim’s skin,” observed the voice in Clark’s head. “You seem to have a gift for that.”

Clark resisted the urge to snarl something under his breath at the voice. When he had agreed to wear this cochlear-implant communicator, it had been because he had wanted Batman to be able to overhear any evidence he managed to uncover about a possible link between Metropolis mob boss Bruno Mannheim and his Gotham counterpart Black Mask as quickly as possible. In retrospect, he thought rather bitterly, it should have been obvious that Batman would use it to deliver a constant flow of critique and sarcasm as Clark tried to go about his job. He’d been tempted to rip the thing about a dozen times just tonight, and never so much as right now; however, with his hands shackled to a chair and three thugs looming over him, his options were limited.

“Oh God,” he quavered, dragging his attention back to the crisis at hand: his impending torture. “Please. I don’t have the data on me. I put it on a USB.”

“Keep them talking,” Batman said. “Remember to find out about that arms shipment if you can.”

Annoyance sparked through Clark: as if he weren’t perfectly aware of why he was here!

“So tell us where it is,” said Gappy, “And we won’t have to hurt ya.”

Clark squeezed his eyes shut as if he were fighting back tears or nausea. He really didn’t want to get tortured--but mostly because it would be difficult to explain to his tormentors why knives slid off him and blowtorches had no effect. Maybe they’d try to waterboard him--he could at least fake the effects of that convincingly. “I don’t know where it is,” he stammered. “I--I gave it to a friend.”

“Clever,” Bruce’s voice murmured grudgingly. “Protecting a friend--that gives you an excuse to not give in immediately despite being a whimpering, cringing coward.”

Clark gritted his teeth at Bruce’s apt-but-stinging description, then forced himself to relax into slack-jawed panic again as Bent Nose lifted a hand sharply as if to slap him. Clark flinched away, all the while quickly calculating trajectories and impact, how to move his head so as not to break the man’s hand--but Bent Nose stopped, his lip lifting in a sneer. Psychological tactics first, then. Good. “Your friend’s just gonna bug out and take that data for himself, you know,” the thug said.

Clark felt a sudden impulse to remind him that his friend could also be a woman, he hadn’t specified--but stopped himself. If he said that they’d be knocking on Lois’s door within the hour. “No,” he stammered. “He’d never do that! He wouldn’t!”

“That shadow of doubt under the bravado--oh, that’s nicely done,” said Bruce. His voice was low and intimate in Clark’s ear, like he was whispering directly into it. ”You know, I so rarely get a chance to see you as anything other than sublimely confident. I’m rather sorry I’m not there to enjoy watching you act intimidated and overwhelmed in person.”

Clark sucked in a startled breath before he could help himself, and Stupid Tattoo laughed as if he were responsible for their captive’s reaction. Clark realized with some chagrin that they’d been talking and he hadn’t even been listening, distracted by Bruce’s voice buzzing against his eardrum like a dark wasp.

“That got a rise out of him, didn’t it?” Bent Nose gloated.

”I wonder,” Bruce mused.

There was a pause as the thugs loudly conferred about how to get the information from their captive (“Cigarette burns are always effective.” “Nah, man, I like to start with a broken pinky finger. More elegant, you know?”), and Clark tried to still his racing thoughts.

”I’ll admit,” Batman said abruptly, ”I’ve sometimes wondered what your voice would sound like when you were dealing with someone who left you feeling helpless and vulnerable.”

Clark took a long breath. Then he stammered “Please.” His captors looked at him and he said again, “Please. You’re--you’re scaring me.”

“Aw,” said Gappy, “Poor baby’s scared.”

“That’s a shame,” said Bent Nose, grinning.

“I’m powerless to stop you from doing anything you want to do and you know it,” whispered Clark.

“Oh,” said Bruce, and Clark closed his eyes to focus on the sound, like the whisper of a wing against the shell of the ear. “What would you sound like begging for mercy,” Bruce murmured.

“Please,” Clark said before he could think better of it. “Please don’t hurt me. I’m begging you. I can’t stand it.”

A low sound seemed to brush directly against his brain, something halfway between a gasp and a groan, and Clark felt himself tilting his head as if he could somehow rub his cheek against the sound of it. It would feel like velvet and crushed glass.

“That’s, uh…” Bruce’s voice was just a fraction more ragged than before. “That’s very convincing. Let’s hear some more of that.”

Clark was starting to feel lightheaded. Bruce’s voice seemed to be filling his mind with smoke, something narcotic and addictive.

Bent Nose was barking something at him; Clark tried to focus. The voices outside of his head seemed much less important than the one inside.

“I’m sorry,” he stammered, blinking up owlishly at them. “I’m so sorry, I’m trying, but I’m so afraid--I’m trying to do what you want, I swear.”

“Then tell us who has the damn USB,” snarled Gappy.

“Anything but that,” Clark moaned. “Please, don’t make me-- I’ll give you anything else you want, I’ll do anything.”

“Geez, look at him shivering,” grinned Stupid Tattoo.

“I wonder how you look with your eyes dark with fear.” Bruce’s murmur seemed to wander down his spine like silky claws. “Fear or desire, they can be so hard to tell apart sometimes. I wonder how you look with your fingers trembling.”

Bent Nose cuffed Clark lightly across the face; Clark was so distracted he almost forgot to move his head with the blow so he didn’t injure his captor. “I think you know who’s in control here, Kent,” he announced.

”Do you?” Batman’s voice whispered.

“Oh, I do,” Clark said fervently.

”If you’re turned on right now, ask them to undo your handcuffs.”

“Won’t you please at least let me out of these handcuffs?” Clark blurted out almost before Bruce’s sentence came to an end. “I promise I’ll be more...cooperative if you do.”

Bruce muttered something reverently obscene and Clark had to close his eyes again. He wasn’t sure how much longer he could keep this up; surely soon Mannheim’s thugs were going to realize his glassy eyes and short breath were not a result of fear.

“Look,” Bent Nose said abruptly, “This is getting boring. I say we work his family jewels over for a while, he’ll sing like a canary in no time.”

There was a quick consultation, but the other thugs seemed to be reaching the end of their patience as well. Clark sat, his mind racing: things had suddenly become more serious. It was going to be difficult to explain invulnerable testicles away.

It was going to be difficult to explain this stubborn erection away too, but that was merely embarrassing, not career-threatening.

“Now, gentlemen,” he stammered as they stopped debating and turned to him, “Surely we can reach some kind of compromise.” Maybe if he pretended to crack and gave them information that he knew led to no one? But what if they decided it applied to some innocent and that put them in danger? “There’s no need for extreme measures, after all.”

“We’re done with the talking,” said Bent Nose. “Time for you to squeal.”

”I think not,” murmured Batman’s voice in his ear.

And then the window exploded inward into a thousand shards of glass and a dark shape swooped into the room, cape spread like the wings of a dark angel.

A great deal of chaos followed; Batman took down Stupid Tattoo and Gappy easily, but Bent Nose had his gun out and was about to shoot at Batman when a sudden freakishly strong gust of air knocked it out of his hand. He looked around in confusion, but Batman’s fist to the side of his head neatly derailed his train of thought.

Batman stood in the middle of the debris-strewn room, the three thugs unconscious at his feet, and stared at Clark Kent, still handcuffed to the chair. Clark stared back.

“Don’t move,” Batman growled, bending to zip-tie the thugs and truss them up, then toss them out the window to dangle dizzily above the street for the police to find.

He turned back to Clark and found him still sitting, bound and unmoving. The corner of his mouth tilted upward very slightly.

“You should have waited until we got the information we needed out of them,” Clark snapped. “I could have found a way--”

“They spilled that information a while ago while they were chatting amongst themselves,” Batman said. “Weren’t you paying attention?” The annoyingly charming tilt to his mouth become more pronounced. “Were you distracted?” He strode forward to stand in front of Clark and looked at him for a long moment. Then he leaned close to Clark’s right ear--the one without the communicator--and whispered, “You’re trembling.”

His voice seemed to hit Clark’s brain in stereo, and Clark hissed in a breath. “Yes.”

“Hm,” said Batman. “So where were you before I so rudely interrupted?” He pulled back to look at Clark’s face and put his hands on Clark’s thighs, gripping them, letting the leather bite to the point of pain for any mortal. “Were you in terrible peril? Were you fearing for your safety? Were you overwhelmed and reeling?”

“I believe,” Clark said, “that I was roughly at ‘Won’t you please let me out of these handcuffs? I promise I’ll be more cooperative if you do.’”

“And will you?” Bruce’s lips brushed his at the question, and Clark had to hold himself back from surging forward and sending bits of handcuff flying around the room.

“I think you’ll find me very cooperative,” Clark murmured.

“And will I find you cooperative if I don’t let you out of those handcuffs?” Batman’s hands slid up Clark’s thighs, caressing.

“I think,” Clark managed after a moment, “That I’ll be cooperative no matter what.”

Bruce leaned closer and kissed him. “You sounded so sweet, begging for mercy,” he said against Clark’s mouth, and added with relish:

“I plan to make you do it a lot more before tonight is over.”
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