mithen: (Batman Loves You)
[personal profile] mithen
Title: Save the Honeymoon for Last
Pairing/Characters: Clark Kent/Bruce Wayne
Rating: PG-13
Warnings/Spoilers: None
Fandom: JLU
Summary: Superman and Batman are arguing after a battle. As usual. But Superman finds it harder to concentrate when Batman decides to take off his costume mid-argument.
Word Count: 1500

"--and I don't need to justify it to you."

"You never justify anything anyway, Bruce!" Superman didn't bother to keep the anger out of his voice. When it was the full League, he usually tried; but right now it was just the two of them in the Batcave and he was in no mood to try and be polite. "You rationalize, you ratiocinate, you reason away, but you never seem to get to the actual justification."

Batman grinned mirthlessly, a quick baring of teeth. "Ratiocinate. You must have done great on the SATs, Clark." He pulled off the cowl with a quick motion and tossed it onto a monitor. "Look, I'd love to argue all night with you, but I'm going to bed. I'm exhausted, I'm bruised and battered--"

"--Which you wouldn't be if you had listened to J'onn--"

"Yes, which I wouldn't be if I had listened to J'onn," Bruce parroted back, rolling his eyes and running a gauntleted hand through sweaty hair. "But then Bangkok would be a smoking crater, so overall I prefer this version." He was heading for the stairs, kicking off his boots as he went, pulling off his socks and dropping them on the floor. "Present from Dick," he said as he caught Clark's glance at the garish argyle socks. "They're warm."

Clark fought down an incongruous giggle and refused to get sidetracked. "You don't know for sure that the warhead would have made it to Bangkok. I was on my way--"

"You were a little busy with the warheads over Paris and Seattle, if I remember right," said Bruce, pausing on the stairs to glare back at Clark. He looked...odd, wearing the full suit minus only the cowl and boots. His bare feet looked terrifyingly vulnerable on the stone stairs, and Clark wondered suddenly if they were cold. "And I do remember right."

"I had it all under control," Clark said.

"This is absolutely typical of you," snarled Bruce, "You think you can handle everything without any help, and you're willing to let humanity pay the price." Bruce peeled off a gauntlet and threw it down between them, which Clark thought was frankly a little too on the nose.

"Oh, are we going to start comparing levels of control freakishness?" Clark demanded. "That's pretty rich, coming from the guy who hacked the alien computer and teleported himself up alone to fight a ship full of insectoid invaders rather than call in backup."

Bruce was at the top of the stairs at this point; he took off the other gauntlet and dropped it on the floor. "If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. This goes double for any team with Wally West on it, and triple for teams containing Kansan boys with God complexes."

"God complex? God complex?" Clark heard the sputter in his voice but no longer cared. He followed Bruce through the grandfather clock and into the library, ignoring Bruce's annoyed look. "J'onn specifically said to let Green Lantern handle it, and you ignored him. You could have gotten yourself-- I'd rather have a God complex than a martyr complex."

The cape whispered to the floor in a rustle of silk as Bruce unfastened it and stalked across the library. "I refuse to be shelved when the going gets rough, Clark! If you can't understand that, then..." He undid clasps and buckles as he walked, and bits of armor and Kevlar rained onto the Persian rug.

"Then what?" demanded Clark, although he began to fear he was losing the thread of the argument. Bruce was bare-chested now as he padded up the main staircase, and he was undoing the fastenings on the lower half of the costume now, and that was--quite distracting.

"Then what's the use of being on a team?" Bruce snapped, not seeming to care in the least that he was mostly naked in front of Superman. "If you don't trust me to make decisions and act on them, there's no point to our working together." He glared down at a recalcitrant strap, and it finally gave way.

The leggings of the suit came off and--Clark was relieved to see he was wearing some kind of underwear. Long breeches to cushion the armor--linen, from the look of it. Thank God. He was distracted enough already without having to see Bruce--

Without missing a beat, Bruce stepped out of the underwear as he reached the top of the stairs and continued stalking away from Clark in the full and glorious nude.

Clark gave up any pretense and simply stared at Bruce's magnificent backside.

"You don't have a snappy comeback?" Bruce glanced over his shoulder and Clark realized that he'd been continuing to argue all the way down the hall and Clark hadn't heard a word he'd said.

"Uh," he said. "What were we arguing about again?"

Bruce heaved an exasperated sigh and ran a hand through his hair. "You disapproved of my taking on an army of sentient seven-foot-tall ants."

If Bruce had for even a second seemed to be deliberately trying to throw Clark off by undressing, Clark would have left in a huff. As it was, however, there was nothing coy or flirtatious about it, just an exhausted, bruised man taking off his clothes.

Clark found it suddenly difficult to maintain his anger, for a variety of reasons. “I just...don’t react well to you being in danger, I guess,” he muttered.

Bruce was still fuming, however, and missed the shift in Clark’s tone. “Because I’m just an ordinary man?” He threw open the door to his bedroom and stalked into it; Clark, feeling suddenly out of his depth, came up to the threshold but didn’t cross it. “Because I’m not some kind of cosmic policeman or Greek god or invulnerable alien?” He kicked at the full length mirror with a bare foot, a motion that could almost have been described as “petulant” if anyone other than Batman had been doing it.

Clark realized that he could see Bruce’s full reflection in the mirror and averted his gaze hastily, but it did him little good when Bruce whirled and stormed right up to Clark, still standing awkwardly in the doorway.

“You don’t react well because I’m just flesh and blood, I’m not super-fast or super-strong or super-anything, is that it?” He threw his arms wide. “Because you don’t trust me, you don’t believe in me, you don’t have faith that I--” He broke off and looked more closely at Clark. “Clark, why are you blushing?”

Clark looked deeply into Bruce’s eyes, because at the moment that was the only safe place to look. “It’s not because of all that,” he managed. “It’s not because you’re ‘just’ human--my God, Bruce, you’re--you’re the most glorious--it’s because it’s--you.

Bruce’s eyes widened, and suddenly they weren’t a very safe place to be looking either, but Clark couldn’t possibly have looked away. “So...why are you blushing?” he repeated.

“You’re...uh...naked,” Clark pointed out.

Bruce’s eyebrows went up. “Is anything you’re seeing a surprise? I mean, I kind of assumed, with your x-ray vision and all, that--”

“--I’d never!” Clark felt his face getting hotter. “I’d never do that. Not to anyone, and especially not to someone I--”

“You…” Bruce prompted him after a noticeable pause.


“Respect,” Bruce repeated. There was a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. “Clark, you respect everyone, that’s part of what’s so galling and charming about you.”

Clark cleared his throat and finally managed to look away from the humorous affection in Bruce’s eyes. “Shouldn’t we be getting back to the argument? Isn’t this the point where you usually accuse me of being too earnest and gullible for my own good?”

Bruce held up a hand and started ticking off points, “Well, we’ve hit the god complex and the martyr complex, we’ve talked about trust and arrogance, that’s most of the major points we usually cover. I thought we were more at the point where you accuse me of trusting a flock of children more than my own teammates.”

“That’s not my strongest argument,” Clark mumbled. He would have looked down at his feet except Bruce was still right there, so he looked down and off to the side.

“Clark.” Bruce captured his face in his hands and turned it toward him; his smile was lopsided. “We know each others’ arguments by heart, we worry about each other constantly, we finish each others’ sentences--why exactly is it we have all the qualities of an old married couple except for one?”

Clark coughed. “Is that a proposal?”

“It might be the beginning of one,” said Bruce.

“It would be typical that we’d do that before the first kiss and after the years of bickering,” said Clark.

And then Bruce was kissing him, and his arms were full of a very nude and extremely energetic Bruce, and he was too busy to think of much else.

“I think I like this backwards wooing thing,” said Bruce when the kiss eventually broke. “For starters, it’s frustrating and counter-intuitive--”

”--Just like us,” Clark finished the sentence with him.

“But also,” Bruce went on after a rueful grimace, “It has once very large advantage.”

He put his arms around Clark again and whispered in his ear:

“It means we’ll have saved the honeymoon for last.”
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