Disclaimers: If they were mine, I'd spend a lot of time
with a stupid grin on my face. Like, even more than I
Spoilers: Of varying intensity for Secret Origins, The
Brave and the Bold, A Better World, Secret Society, and
Summary: J'onn does a little experiment.
Ratings Note: NC-17.
Author's Note: The number of people who specifically
asked me for this pairing is more than a bit shocking.
But, you know, this is *mostly* for Sarah and Livia. Title
Acknowledgments: To Molly, Bas, Livia, and Jack for
Feedback: Yes, please. email@example.com
Being a member of the Justice League has given J'onn a
surprisingly large amount of time to think.
He had, after all, first agreed to join Superman in the
hopes of being too busy to do any such thing.
However, the Tower is quite large, designed to hold far
more than seven people in comfort for an extended period
And most of the others don't choose to spend much time
there, when they don't have to.
It's a curious way to be, and for the time being he has
merely classified it within the vast and complicated
category of 'human,' despite the basic inaccuracy.
The only true human among them is Batman, and J'onn
has had a good deal of time and evidence to come up with
the conclusion that Batman is in no way... average.
He suspects he's going to have spend more time on earth
proper to acquire any full understanding of things.
And that is...
The idea is both tempting and terrifying.
He has told his team-members much of his past, of the life
he led before the endless, endless war, more than he ever
thought he would tell anyone, and yet he does not think
Difficult to say.
Deep within himself, he is still J'onn J'onnz, artist of some
middling talent, father and husband.
But though they *call* him J'onn, he thinks they must only
see the soldier he'd been forced to become. Guerrilla,
Hero, on this new world among these strange, soft-skinned
And it is pleasant, yes. Warming in a way that brings the
taste of Superman's memories of winter holidays to mind.
Pleasant, but not true, or not entirely true.
They make him feel very old, his team-mates. Alien in ways
he never would have suspected.
He does not pry -- it had not taken very long at all to discern
just how *tightly* most of them held to their secrets, or
those things they wished to be secrets, though they all went
about that privacy in different ways -- but it has become
abundantly clear that none of them have ever married, or bore
That even those of them who maintained lives separate from
the work of being a superhero never quite thought of those
lives as being as *important* as their work. Perhaps not even
He used to find it horrifying.
In truth, he still does.
What sort of men and women were they, to have the life
and wealth of an entire society at their fingertips and still be
able to *ignore* it?
He could understand, at least, if it were only Hawkgirl and
Diana. They, at least, had reason to feel as... separate from
human society as J'onn himself.
But Diana has never failed to throw herself into learning
humanity, all of it, and, on the other side of things...
Superman seems to have decided that J'onn's telepathy is
reason enough to relax his mental hold on his secrets.
He doesn't -- quite -- invite J'onn in so much as exhale,
internally, when they are alone.
J'onn knows the man was raised as humanly as possible,
that he has, waiting for him, a human life, a human family,
and even a chance for love.
Children, with a bit of luck and the judicious application of
this world's medical technology.
And it isn't as though he doesn't understand the man's drive.
It was, after all, partially his own fault that Earth was
denuded of defenses *other* than their surprisingly large
crop of superpowered beings.
It isn't even that Superman has abandoned his life as a
human -- he hasn't, entirely.
There were any number of people Clark Kent had to
telephone and reassure after Superman's return from the
It's just... very difficult to imagine himself in the man's
position, and imagine himself making anything like the
So much warmth, pleasure, *belonging* at his fingertips,
and he chooses... this. J'onn lives in the Tower, and yet
Superman is here nearly as often.
All of them have *lives* beyond the League, and yet they
always come back.
This is the way they -- all of them -- seem to define
J'onn doesn't think he will ever be able to define it as
anything but willful, ignorant madness.
None of them have any idea what it is like to be alone.
All of them, to varying extents, have *chosen* their
He does not think it has ever occurred to them that *he*
And yet, he is hardly superior in that, or even *different*.
He'd told himself he had designed his form -- *this*
form -- to be reassuring to the others and to humanity in
general. And it is... more than a little bit of a lie.
He'd had many, many months to study them from a
He is an artist, and his ability to shape shift is prodigious,
even compared to his lost race. He was not the first
Martian to use his own body for art, but he had been
accredited one of the best.
There is no reason for him not to be pink, or golden, or
He could easily have hair like Hawkgirl's, or Lantern's.
He is an artist, and he knows precisely what the work he
has created says to its intended audience: this far, and no
J'onn stares at his hands, bluntly sculpted in the barest
approximation of humanity he'd felt he could get away
There are reasons, *valid* reasons to keep them that
Reasons that are truly difficult to recall with the image of
his... other in his mind. Even the shallowest skim of the
man's thoughts had required effort he would've
And the shallowest skim had been all he could take --
his other wore his alien-ness from the others as a cloak,
even though he'd forgotten what it meant to be a
And in the face of that, what harm could there be in working
to avoid such a fate? Surely there is more terror in the
possibility of becoming *that* than there would be in some
small effort toward verisimilitude?
Why should this form *not* be more real to the touch? If
only to his own.
He concentrates, awakening nerves that he'd made
dormant mostly as a practical consideration upon shedding
On a daily basis, he can feel only just enough to make this
form, this *body* functional. This has proven useful any
number of times, as he sincerely doubts that he could
recover from a blow from, say, Live Wire, if his nerve
endings were wholly active. Certainly not as quickly as is
But there is no one on the Tower who would hurt him...
Martians had abandoned much of their *physical* sensory
heritage long before the War, long before he was born.
There were other things to be done with their bodies,
infinitely more things to be done with their minds.
But he is the only living Martian, now, and --
Something like a wave of sensation, almost entirely unlike
being electrocuted, save for its *one-ness*. The way
every millimeter of his body is.
He falls to his knees groaning, groaning louder at the
muffled, meaty thump of his knees on the metal floor.
The *cold* metal floor, and the air filtration vents blow
a constant stream of feeling all over his body.
He may have misjudged.
And if he could just *concentrate*, then... Then.
The floor is not entirely smooth. This makes sense,
considering Batman's attitudes toward efficiency vs.
aesthetics, and yet it had never occurred to him to
check. How can that be?
His fingers only *look* blunted and strange, but they're
really quite intelligent, in their wordless way.
A knowledge that has nothing to do with the intellect,
and very little to do with the soul.
The floor is rough, nearly painfully so to the tips, and
it's difficult to understand why there's no *blood*,
difficult to the point that he wants to stare at them and
be sure, but...
And what would it be like against the rest of his skin?
His *skin*, and how had he gone so long in this body,
this perfectly healthy and functional body, and been so
He runs one fingertip along the seam between tiles and
moans aloud. This is what...
Perhaps what a cut would feel like, before the pain.
He can't *think*, and suddenly, suddenly, it's all
beginning to make sense.
The way *they* are, human or simply humanoid, helpless
at all times to the endless amount of sensory input.
Is it any wonder they were so easily manipulated by
What *purpose* would they find in retaining strict control
of themselves when the world was... this?
He presses his cheek to the floor, reveling in the cold,
the mild grittiness. For a moment he wonders what
Mars -- *his* Mars -- would've felt like on this skin, but
it doesn't last.
He remembers the way the humans had looked/felt to
his hibernating mind, wrapped tightly, protected by
The Mars of today is not so different, environmentally --
"J'onn! Hey, man, are you okay?"
And it seems strange that there's no difference in this,
that Flash's light, brash voice falls on his ears as it
always does -- of course, the distance.
He eases himself upright, feeling the increased pressure
on his knees. *Feeling* it.
"I am well." He can't stop stroking the ground.
Flash seems... dubious, broadcasting something between
'yeah, right' and 'freaky alien' and 'maybe I should --'
before closing the space between them and crouching in
front of him and.
*Heat*. He hisses in a breath and rears back. *This* he
should've anticipated. The man's metabolism made him
noticeable even with everything dampened.
Now, he is...
"... okay, it's just me, what *happened*?"
Gloved hands on his shoulders, thankfully, or not, over
the cape. And how to explain this? "I am *well*," he tries
"No, you're really not. In fact, you're kinda freaking me
*out* here." A smile, one of the ones used when he is
It had been difficult to understand, at first.
Now, the familiarity is warring with the raw, physical
*fact* of him to create... what? He shakes his head.
"I am only... I have made an adjustment to my nerve
"And, see, every word of that was English, and
Breath on his face. He wants to ask Batman about the
human sense of smell, about the configuration of cells
necessary to make a pretense of it function. His own is
a bare sketch of an idea, leaving the impression of only
more heat. Damp this time.
His own skin feels very dry.
He leans in, desperate for *more* of the feeling, and
Flash's eyes widen behind the mask.
"Hey, what --"
"I brush my teeth every day!"
Too difficult to parse without help from his powers, but
the flood of 'do I need a mint maybe I should get
Superman do I *have* mints' doesn't offer much in
terms of clarity. "Your breath is warm, and damp."
Something like rolling in heavy smoke to be this close
to the man, and --
"J'onn, are you aware that you're kind of. Uh. Nuzzling
me? Or the air that's very close to me. Uh. Should I get
"You don't understand."
"Yes! Yes, that's *exactly* it. I bet --"
"Let me." And he doesn't *need* to touch the man to
make this connection, but his hands move entirely
without his command, cupping Flash's face -- smooth
soft smooth *warm* -- and his mind sinks *in*.
"Oh my God --"
*this is what I'm feeling what do you feel*
"Oh my *God* --"
*your breath your breath is warm*
*hard make me I'm so --* "J'onn, *please* --"
*i never knew but you did now show me*
And Flash makes a sound like he's being beaten, like
he's being shoved against a wall by some large and
brutal force, and yanks himself out of J'onn's hands.
Stares, panting hard.
"You. Can feel. Things."
"And... just now? I mean... this is the first time?"
"Yes. In this form."
Flash shakes all over, once. Reaches down between his
legs and -- stops. Jerks his hand back to the floor and
"Are you all right, Flash?"
*yeah just fucking FINE except that you really need to
touch me again so I can come in my PANTS* "Uh."
The work of a moment to get close again, to crouch over
Flash's body. "Where?"
*oh my GOD* "What?"
"Where do I need to touch you?"
Wordless *flare* of sending, but not meaningless, and
Flash is erect beneath his suit.
Some things can be intuited. He cups the rising swell of
flesh and hears himself growl. More heat. Of course.
Image of a hand around the man's penis, of *his* hand,
stroking... "J'onn, are you -- I mean -- oh *fuck* --!"
It would be easy to lose himself to this feeling, as lovely
as an illusion but still so *real*. Heat, moisture. The cold,
rough floor beneath his knees, and the lean -- beautiful? --
male arching and twisting beneath him. And yet.
*can't he can't be oh god stop*
He forces himself to pull away.
"*What*? I didn't mean -- I mean... oh Christ, J'onn,
you're making me..."
More wordless images, moving faster than his mind can
entirely catch. He is stroking Flash, he is touching him in
other places, he has his hands on Flash's face again, he
is... berating Flash?
"You... we shouldn't." *shut up shut up YOU shut up* "I
mean you're not yourself. Are you?"
"You believe... that I am under some sort of influence?"
It bears thought. He *has* acted impulsively. "I believe
I am not yet accustomed to this much sensation."
"Damn. I mean! See?"
"I do not, however, see a problem in this. We are neither
of us promised to anyone else."
"How did you --" *shut UP* "I mean. Christ, J'onn..."
And Flash *was* beginning to soften, but he grows again
under his gaze. Perhaps because of it? The gaze of a lover
is a powerful thing.
*i wonder what his mouth feels like*
He looks up again, and Flash flinches. "J'onn."
"I would like to feel you with my mouth."
*give up. now.*
And Flash is in his arms, straddling him awkwardly, and
the raw wash of *heat* makes him lose his balance,
sending them both to the floor. Flash's mouth is wet,
mobile, soft and hard and slick and *warm*. J'onn
opens his own mouth wider and --
*fuck not gonna get used to that just* Flash pulls away.
"You taste... just. Follow my lead?"
The motions are easy enough to mimic, the feeling...
Flash moves on him in a constant and obvious attempt
to get *closer*, finally settling his hips against J'onn's
It's something like a writhe, all designed to get the
most possible sensation to his groin.
Human males were obviously most sensitive there
and... hmm. Could he...?
"J'onn -- oh jeez oh *fuck* --"
A part of his mind is aware, even now. Flash's wrists
beneath his hands, Flash's body spread out beneath him,
their hips in motion, and J'onn has no idea if he's
calculated correctly, but any more sensation in his groin
would kill him, and less would be...
*kiss me oh kiss me again*
And J'onn doesn't bother to respond, merely gives in.
He isn't sure that the action of lips and tongue makes
this any better for *him*, but Flash has begun groaning
into his mouth, pushing up and closing his eyes.
His mind is an endless wash of image and *desire*, and
his body is a flood of sensation, each better than the
*and fuck he's a shape shifter he can*
He breaks the kiss to concentrate, giving himself two
Even with the mask, he can see Flash's eyes widen,
and he can *feel* that it's not fear.
J'onn smiles, and squeezes his wrists.
And reaches back to stroke the outsides of Flash's thighs.
Concentrates again, and the flesh coming out of his
ankles is nothing like hands, but he can *hold* Flash just
"Oh. Jesus. Christ."
Flash works entirely unconvincingly against his grip.
"You... are really very kinky, J'onn."
And he *could* point out that it was, technically, Flash's
idea, but it seems churlish. And his body doesn't care in
Licks his way into Flash's mouth --
And feels himself laugh more than hears it, a ripple of
motion throughout his body, and the way it presses
against Flash's own. Lengthens and forks his tongue
into something nearly his own.
Wraps it around Flash's tongue when the man bucks
Releases Flash's wrists and slides out of the kiss, rocking
his own hips and wanting *more*.
And Flash slurs out a groan and reaches for his face,
stroking over the ridges of his brow and staring up at him
with something like shock.
"I want." *i want to know what this feels like what you
Pours himself into Flash's mind, so open and *hungry*
for his own, and he has to *watch*.
Flash's eyes rolling back in his head.
Flash's body twisting and writhing and *shaking*
beneath his own, beneath all of his hands.
Flash biting his lip hard enough to draw blood and J'onn
hears himself hiss. He *wants* that.
Pulls on the threads of the man's soul as gently as he can
and twines them in his own and --
*never i never*
*inside has to need him*
*i am in you*
And Flash is *fighting* him, in a way that must be, *must*
be entirely involuntary. The reflex of a mind overloaded,
under and beyond that mind's simple, ecstatic desire for
more. And J'onn *knows* this is dangerous, but it would
be hideously painful to stop even without the burn and
helpless flex of his body.
*Flash, you must let go*
*feels you feel* "Oh *God* --"
Blood-hot splash against his abdomen --
And Flash is *thrashing* against him, using every bit of
strength he has, and it's a beautiful, terrifying moment:
All J'onn has to do is *move*.
He doesn't want to do so.
Flash, feeding him with the work and shift of his body
and feeding him with his *mind*, dying waves of
pleasure, ratcheting flares of pain, rising and rising into
its own kind of.
It's not pleasure.
It's not pleasure, at all.
Something like an explosion, low in his belly and
impossible to classify beyond the general, inexplicable,
sense that a part of him has died. His mind snaps away
from Flash's own, making him shout, making his body
tremble and dissolve itself back into his true form.
He braces himself on hands and knees, distantly grateful
for Flash's gasp of shock. His attempt to reach out with
his mind leads to *distinct* pain.
Using his body just causes him to fall on his side.
He lies there and breathes.
"I. Have a really bad headache."
"As do I."
Flash throws an arm over him, groaning quietly.
"Are you all right?"
There's a broadcast -- J'onn can feel it -- but he can't
make sense of the words. "... yeah. I think."
"I believe I failed to anticipate the consequences of this."
Brief, pained laugh, but Flash squeezes him. "Ya *think*?"
J'onn smiles to himself. "Perhaps I should give this matter
a bit more thought before continuing my experiments."
"Okay, see, laughing? Painful right now. Keep that in
"Maybe we could wear those headband thingies."
"Yeah, you know, the ones the gorillas came up with to
block Grodd's evil mind powers. It'd be kind of like a
condom for your brain."
J'onn chuckles and eases closer, sliding his own arm
over Flash's chest. Careful of his claws. "I have come to
understand that safer sex is important for your people."
More pained laughter, another squeeze. "Really, you
just need to stop that until my brain stops banging
against my skull."
"*God*, you're a liar. I'm telling on you. To someone.
When I can move. *Jesus* that was intense."
J'onn hums his agreement and closes his eyes.
Prods, idly, at the exhausted tangle of pain where his
If nothing else, this sort of thing will surely decrease the
amount of time he spends *thinking*.
His body buzzes and tingles.
His body beneath the shell.
"Hey, is the *door* still open?"
J'onn is content.
"You're right, I don't care, either."
J'onn waits until Flash begins to snore.
And then shuts himself down for a nap.