Two steps on the water
by Te
May 8, 2012

Disclaimers: No one and nothing here is mine.

Spoilers/Timeline: Vague references to old storylines -- especially Superman For All Seasons -- as viewed through an AU filter. Takes place when Clark is eighteen, which, in Teland, happens in nineteen-eighty-one or so.

Summary: It's the first day of school.

Ratings Note/Warnings: Sexual content which dovetails neatly with the content some readers may find to be disturbing.

Author's Note: A bunny which came to me while I was trying and failing to get to sleep one night. Sometimes insomnia isn't so bad.

Acknowledgments: With much love to Mildred, Pixie, Melissa, Britt, and my Jack for audiencing, encouragement, and assorted noises.

Length: 25,000 words.


It's not the first time Clark has been in the main Metropolis University library -- he'd visited libraries all over the Midwest and beyond once he gained the ability to speed beyond the vision of humans -- but it feels that way.

It's his first time here as a *student* -- his first day *as* a student! -- and it's been all he could do not to pin his ID to his new shirt, or perhaps to his new and freshly-ironed jeans --

Though that would seem to *demand* that people *look* at his jeans --

If not what's under them.

Clark blushes --

Remembers that he doesn't *have* to do that anymore just to look human --

He'll be eighteen in just a few weeks, and all sorts of adult males hardly blush, at all --

But it's too late to pull the blush back without looking even more strange. He sighs to himself, stops staring up at the high ceiling with its beautiful mural -- the art is quite *humanly* heroic -- and moves further into the library itself. He nods to his fellow students as he goes, and most of them nod at him, in turn.

No one looks quite as excited as he feels, but Clark was prepared for that. He has seen for himself that city people just don't get as excited for the weirdness and wonders that surround them at all times as *he* -- or anyone else from Smallville -- would. Of course, *Clark* gets excited for new births on the farm, and particularly symmetrical corn -- not to mention those moments when one of the cows shows emotion beyond ruminant placidity, or when one of the cats deigns to come close enough to him that he or she can be petted.

Most people become jaded when they're exposed to things -- even wonderful things -- enough. Clark has found that to be sad ever since Pa explained to him what jaded *meant*, but, well, not everyone can *be* excited all the time, and that's that.


There are tens of *thousands* of books in this building -- and even more in the other four university libraries scattered throughout the city. Clark, himself, has already read hundreds of them. He'd mostly focused on the books about religion -- Metropolis University's theology department is known to be one of the best in the country -- but he'd also read as many books as he could find about journalism -- he's almost *sure* that's what he wants to do with his *human* life -- and... sexuality.

He doesn't blush again.

He doesn't peer around like he's -- he's *guilty* of something. He's *allowed* in this place now, for one thing, and for another, there's nothing wrong with curiosity. Ma *and* Pa had said so *multiple* times. Though some of those times they'd looked worried.

Clark knows, now, that some of that worry had to do with the fact that, up until six months ago -- when Clark had figured out how to activate the AI --  none of them had any *idea* whether or not Clark would continue to develop in remotely human ways. Every time he seemed to digest food normally, or blushed around someone attractive, or *stopped* growing for some length of time was both a surprise and a relief.

There were other worries, though, and Clark thinks he knows what those were about, too.

He's had so *many* questions about sexuality, and while he didn't particularly *want* to pester his *parents* with them...

Well. Comprehensive sexual education just isn't *legal* in Kansas public schools, and if you weren't making crude jokes or just *hitting* on someone, there wasn't much in the way of available discussion with his peers -- well, no. Lana was always different. Lana got mad at him every time he made *her* blush, but he could *talk* to her, and be with her --

And learn with her in the loft of his parents' barn, and in the empty stalls of *her* parents' stable, and -- just a few times when her parents were out of town, but he was grateful for every one -- in her bedroom.

In retrospect, they probably *could* have used *his* bedroom at least some of the time, even *with* his parents right downstairs, but how do you even *ask* that question?

Certainly, none of the books he'd found had had any suggestions in *that* direction --

And he's blushing again before he can stop himself, or even --

Oh, dear. One of the librarians is *looking* at him -- or. He doesn't know if she *is* a librarian -- he's never seen her before -- but there's something about the *severity* of her bun that suggests just that.

Though it's possible that it merely suggests an affection for certain very specific varieties of sadomasochism --

And *that* feeling tells him that he's blushing even *harder* --

"Can I *help* you, young man?"

Clark winces. "No, no, I'm just... looking for..." He uses his speed to glance around --

And he really had walked straight to the sexuality section. Oh... damn.

"I think... I think I might be in the wrong section," he says, and tries not to look anything like... himself. He knows he's failed miserably when the woman lowers her chin and raises a really very well-arched eyebrow.

"Are you *sure* about that?"

Is it hot? He thinks it might be hot. He -- "Yes? Yes. I don't -- I've read these. Some of these! Recently! Not when I was fourteen. I mean! I've never been here before," Clark says, and tries to fill his mind with every piece of information the AI had gathered about common ways to deceive humans -- ah.

He widens his eyes and smiles ruefully --

"I'm sorry, ma'am. It -- well, it's my first day, and this library is very, very famous."

She narrows her eyes.

"And... well. I'm afraid I've just been wandering around like the bumpkin I am. My parents would be shaking their heads at me right now -- and not just because of what section of the library I'm in," he says, and ducks his head just so...

And the woman smiles gently and reaches up to pat his shoulder. "There is *nothing* wrong with educating yourself about the human body -- or the human condition, for that matter. In the future, however, you may want to spend less time mooning about like someone *woefully* inebriated."

Clark winces again, and tries for an embarrassed ear-scratch. It's not very hard, at all. "Yes, ma'am --"

"I'm Mrs. Henderson. If you *do* need assistance, you can find me at the reference desk, which is downstairs and to your left."

Clark smiles. He's not *entirely* sure how sheepish he should *be* at this point, so he just goes for 'some.' "Thank you, Mrs. Henderson. I'll remember that. Oh, and I'm Clark Kent."

She pats his shoulder again. "It's very nice to meet you, young man. Enjoy browsing," she says, and leaves him.

Clark waits until she's gone before sighing in relief and looking over the books like the old friends they are. Difficult old friends. *Uncomfortable* old friends that he couldn't really share with his other friends -- except in the most oblique possible ways --

("Anal *what*?"

"Ah... 'lingus.' It means -- I think it has something to do with the tongue. Like... ah... language --")

And Lana had snorted and swatted him with Clark's own math book.

("I know! I was hoping I *misheard* you!"

"I -- oh. Well. You didn't --"

"Where did *you* hear about it?"

"Oh... it was just something I overheard in the locker room --"

"Clark! Who the hell speaks *Latin* in the boys' locker room? Other than *you*.")

And Clark had blushed just as much as his body was *capable* of -- but.

("I'm not sure if they *knew* the slang term for it, Lana. I know *I* don't.")

Certainly, 'rimming' just isn't as beautiful a term, though he *had* appreciated the fact that some of the books *included* slang terms. Of course, those terms are almost certainly woefully out of date --

("I -- do you *want* to?")

There really wasn't *anything* he didn't want to *try* with Lana. She's beautiful, and smart, and was always so *protective* of him.

And, of course, she tended to make very, very wonderful noises.

Often, even.

Still, *expressing* desires like that --

It had been hard just to use the *word* --

("I -- I don't know."

"You don't know or you don't want to *say*?"

"Oh... Lana.")

And Clark had smiled ruefully and smoothed down the horse blanket before laying her down again --


"Both. And I can't help but remember that there are all sorts of things I don't mind talking about -- and rather enjoy doing.")

She'd giggled then, and mocked him for talking like a book when even his parents didn't --

She'd hummed and blushed, pink under the orange-brown of her freckles --

And then she'd wrapped her long, strong, and bare legs around his waist and said --


Clark shivers and -- stops stroking the spine of Psychopathia Sexualis immediately. It's really not a very *friendly* book, even translated to English, and --

As of the tenth of August, Lana was in Inverness, planning to backpack through the Scottish countryside with two other girls and one boy she'd met in her travels.

Clark has traveled all over North America, and even into the parts of Central America where it's not *egregiously* strange to appear to be a very *broad* Caucasian male with a height of over six feet. Just the same, Lana's travels seem strange and frightening and --

Depressing. Clark smiles ruefully at The Joy of Sex and moves on. Lana had responded to his secrets -- as many of them as he *knew* at the time -- with a hard, warm hug, and what had seemed to be a non sequitur about how she'd decided to defer entering college for at least a year in order to travel.

Clark had been far too focused on -- no. Clark had been far too *high* on how it felt to be honest with his very best friend, how it felt to be seen for what he was --

Seen and *known*, even though he'd barely managed to hover around her a few times. He's been able to *fly* other nights --

But even that's not enough to take away from the fact that, no matter what Lana had been planning in the privacy of her own mind, part of her decision to travel was almost certainly about getting away from *him*.

While she's sent three postcards since graduation, there hasn't been a single letter -- and Clark is absolutely sure there won't *be* one in the near future.

The postcards are so *breezy* and *shallow* --

Lana used to write him letters even when she would only go without seeing him for the length of a *study* hall --

And no one is smiling at him anymore --

Because Clark is frowning. Thunderously, by the feel of it. He fixes that *immediately* -- and finds himself looking into the most naked pair of eyes --

He isn't sure what that *means*, but --

But they're very naked. Very --

He's being *studied*, and -- had he changed his expression too quickly? *Moved* too quickly?

Clark tries a rueful smile --

And then notices that the naked eyes are a shade of blue which tends to make him think of the *edges* of knives in the more violent comic books, and that they're under *thickly* arched black eyebrows, and that there's a nose with a somehow *painfully* aristocratic bridge --

And a wide and relatively thin mouth --

And --

The man is actually *taller* than Clark is, and that's not *that* rare, but it's still not something he sees every day, and --

Well, he's almost as *big* as Clark, and that --

Clark's heart is beating faster. The blush feels like it's -- it's a *tidal* wave on the way to his *face* --

And, somehow, he has to let it happen. Or --

Not somehow. The man -- is he a student? A professor? -- is the most handsome --

Beautiful --

He's so --

Oh, and he's raising his *eyebrow*, only he's making every time *Clark's* done that look like -- like a pale and pathetic *imitation*, and Clark would really like to know how he's --

Well, his eyes are *less* naked now, and that's a problem. A terrible --

Horrible --

Clark swallows. "H-hello." Please be naked again --

Except that thinking that makes his X-ray vision kick in even though he's had that under control for almost two *years* now --

Oh, he's so *hairy* --

And he's broken his right ulna at least twice -- no, no, *skin*, and there are scars --

*Several* scars, and some of them look quite... quite *severe*, and he's not looking down, and he's not looking down, and he doesn't have *time* to look down --

Oh... my.

Clark looks up again --

And the man is smiling at him. *Wryly*. Only even *that* is -- "Bruce Wayne."

That's not *his* name -- oh. Right. And if Clark smacks himself the way he *richly* deserves to *be* smacked right now, he'll just be *more* obvious. So. "Clark Kent. You. You can call me Clark," he says, and offers his hand.

For a moment, Bruce only stares at his hand, and Clark wonders if he'd gotten dust on it from the books --

Not that the sexuality books ever get *too* dusty in libraries --

But Bruce smiles more widely and takes Clark's hand in his own. "Call me Bruce." His shake is firm, polite, and somehow *amused* -- no. That's the look in his eyes. Like -- like he knows exactly what Clark is thinking.

Which would be a very neat trick, really, because Clark isn't sure what he's thinking, at *all*. He lets go of Bruce's hand a fraction of a second after Bruce lets go of his hand. He tries. He tries to think of --

Something --

"Are you studying?"

Bruce laughs quietly. And lifts his left hand, in which there is a book. A book that Clark would've *noticed* if he wasn't looking at everything *else* --

The blush renews itself on his face, but --

Clark can't really care at this point. He just --

("What... what if a boy likes another boy, Pa? Or a girl likes another girl, I guess.")

And Pa had blinked rapidly and looked somewhat *panicked* that day in the east pasture -- but he'd recovered quickly, taking a deep breath and putting his John Deere cap back on his head instead of wringing it in his gnarled, wonderful hands.

("Well, son, that's a tough one. Not because it doesn't happen -- it happens all the time, really, though mostly in big cities --"

"Why cities?"

"Because... because people don't pay so much *attention* to other people there. Not to the people they don't care very much about, or to celebrities --"


And Pa had winked at him and ruffled his hair. Clark had still been short enough then that that was *comfortable* for Pa --

("Not that *I've* spent all that much time in cities, but this is what I've heard from *fairly* reliable sources, like your Uncle Jed out in St. Louis. Now, like I was saying, it's tough, because lots of people in places like this don't... don't *understand* how a boy could like -- or love -- another boy, or a girl love another girl. It makes them uncomfortable -- some even say it's against God's law, though how that could be when God himself made 'em that way, I don't rightly know... well. It happens, and people make their way as best they can. Is that a good answer, son?"

"Yes, Pa! Thank you!"

"Is there... ah... maybe... that Gillis boy you and Pete pal around with sometimes?"

"Ew, Pa! He smells like *feet*!")

Pa had *coughed* --

("And maybe Pete himself?")

And Clark remembers frowning and *thinking* about it, really putting his mind to the question of whether he wanted to kiss Pete, and maybe put his tongue in his mouth the way the high school couples did all the time, or --

("Well, I'd kiss him if he wanted to, but I don't know if I want to touch his, you know, privates.")

Pa had taken his hat off again, *wrung* it --

He'd done that a *lot* for Clark's questions after Clark became pubescent --

But he'd still pulled Clark in for a hug, and he'd never, ever backed down from his statements, not even when Clark confessed that he *did* think about boys as much as girls. Ma had been the same, and they --

Well, he thinks they're with him in *this* moment, because he's been staring at Bruce for much too long --

And the questions in Bruce's eyes make them *naked* again, somehow dark despite their color --

*Beautiful* --

"Do you... have a table?"

Bruce blinks in what seems to be surprise -- and then he nods to the nearest table, its broad surface covered with books and notebooks and pens. From this distance, it's easy to see that all of the books are focused on mysticism, but he knows that it *shouldn't* be.

"Oh... what are you studying? May I join you?"

Another blink... and his eyes gain a different sort of nakedness entirely. He looks sad -- no, that's not a good enough word. He looks *wounded*, and, when he turns to look out the window at sunset over Metropolis --

Which is beautiful every *night* --

-- he looks even more wounded. And -- and like there's a *weight* on his shoulders.

Clark winces. Even incredibly beautiful people who study mysticism and smile at desperate farmboys have bad things happen to them, sometimes. "I'm sorry. I'll leave you --"

Bruce holds up a hand -- and then turns back to face him. "I'm studying Eastern mysticism. And yes, you may join me."

*Oh* -- the wince feels like it *blows* off his face. "Thank you."

Bruce inclines his head, and gestures to Clark to lead the way. Clark takes the seat across from all the open notebooks -- one of them appears to be a *sketchpad* -- and gives himself a moment to watch Bruce move. He's graceful, and measured, and apparently not in any pain from any of his scars --

Oh, he's cracked three ribs, too --

Clark blinks away the X-ray vision again --

"Something in your eye...?"

It probably says something terrible about him that he really *appreciates* it when people tell his lies for him. "Yes. Probably dust," Clark says, and pulls out his brand new handkerchief. He turns enough that Bruce won't be able to see, then dabs his cornea with the monogram Ma had stitched on until he can tear a few times.

The AI seems to think he'll be able to work up tears at will as he grows stronger and more skilled with his control over his muscles and what *should* be his autonomic functions, but... he's not sure if he wants that ability. It seems too... inhuman. 

He turns back to show the tears and another rueful smile, and then dabs them away and sniffs. "Sorry about that."

For a moment, Bruce only stares at him *curiously* -- but then he nods once and smiles. "It's quite all right. Are you a student here...?"

"Oh -- yes. It's my first day," Clark says, and then wonders if that makes him sound too young. *Bruce* doesn't look that old, but -- "Ah... are you?"

"I'm afraid not."

*Damn* --

"I'm here studying for an independent project. The university administration was kind enough to allow me limited access to the libraries."

"Oh! Really? I didn't know they *did* that here with people who weren't professors or... or published academics, I suppose."

Bruce's smile is a private one, and he closes his -- his wonderful eyes --

"Or -- I didn't mean to assume. Have you published about mysticism?"

"No, and I doubt I ever will," Bruce says, and *then* opens his eyes again. "Clark..."

"Ah... yes?"

"How substantive a conversation would you like to have with me today?"

Clark knows his eyes are *much* too wide but -- "Very? I didn't mean to -- squeak."

"Truly...? I'd be more than willing to remain shallow and pleasant."

Clark frowns. "You... don't think you could remain pleasant if you allowed yourself depth?"

"The world is..." And Bruce looks down at his hands, and at the way the left one is stroking the page of the sketchpad. There's what appears to be some sort of Asian building on the page -- maybe a temple? He doesn't know -- "The world can be an unpleasant place."

"Even in libraries?" And Clark smiles for his weak little joke --

And Bruce closes his eyes again, but only for a moment. "Metropolis... is a painful city for me to be in."

"Oh. I'm very sorry. I... really haven't spent much time here. I... we could take the train somewhere --"

"Clark. Are you asking me out on a date?"

It --

It *shouldn't* be as scary as trying to discuss the use of light -- only light! -- restraints with Lana --

Or cunnilingus during her period --

Or --

It shouldn't be, so he won't *let* it be. "Yes," Clark says, and smiles ruefully. "You're very -- handsome. And interesting. And -- ah. Yes."

Bruce tilts his head to the side. "So are you, Clark. Why didn't you blush for that?"

"I --" Didn't want to. "I'm not sure --"

"Hmm. All right. If we're going to go out on a date -- or even stay here for a date -- substantive conversation is a must," Bruce says, and smiles. "I will endeavor to be as pleasant as possible --"

"I'd rather you be *honest*, Bruce. Um. I mean -- I *mean* that."

Bruce exhales somehow *hotly*. And nods once. "I don't attend any college, and I likely never will. I... prefer to travel and improve my mind and body in other ways. I have, in the past three years, visited fourteen countries other than this one -- though I've only spent *significant* amounts of time in France, Israel, South Korea, Japan, and Thailand."

"Oh -- wow. That must have been very expensive? I mean. It doesn't sound like you were doing a backpacking tour." And I think your suit cost more than my whole *wardrobe* --

Bruce laughs. "I was not, no. I am... an exceedingly wealthy man," he says, and it sounds like --

"Was that the unpleasant thing?"

Bruce smiles and raises an eyebrow. "You tell me."

"Well, I... I was raised on a small dairy farm --"


Clark blushes. "I -- know that's not very exciting. You must be accustomed to --"

Bruce waves his hand. "If it were up to my valet -- and former guardian -- the people I would be 'accustomed' to would be my so-called peers, nearly all of whom seem to have taken the wealth they were born with as proof of their basic superiority over the rest of the species. I've... left that life for now."

"I'm sorry for making you think of it --"

"It's not your fault, Clark. I'm... hmm. I believe I'd like to start again," Bruce says, and smiles wryly. "Please, tell me more about yourself."

"I -- I'll answer any question --"

"Will you?"

"Yes! But..."


Clark blushes. "I think. I think you might need someone to talk to, Bruce."

Bruce narrows his eyes -- and then looks very, very distant. Almost *cold*, really, and that's somewhat terrifying and upsetting --

"I'm sorry --"

"If you're truly sorry... you'll stop apologizing," Bruce says, and smiles again. "Especially for being astute."

"I -- oh. It's only that I don't want to *upset* you --"

"But you do want me to talk about upsetting things...?" And Bruce raises an eyebrow again.

"I... perhaps I didn't think that through."

Bruce's laugh is slow and quiet and *deep*. "Perhaps... hm. I will say two decidedly upsetting things which, I believe, will explain a great deal about me and my... moodiness. And then I will ask you to talk about yourself for a time. Does that suit?"

I'd like to kiss you *breathless* -- "Yes," Clark says, nodding and leaning closer because he *has* to.

"My first -- and only, to date -- lover lives approximately one quarter of a mile from here. While our parting was neither acrimonious nor even especially dramatic, it *was* deeply painful for me, as he did something truly unforgivable in my eyes -- did it apparently without pause or regret -- even though it was both illegal and immoral. I... my allegiance to both the law and traditional Western mores can be rather flexible in some ways, but... not for this."

What could it be? "I... and... he admitted doing it?"

"He didn't have to. He... looked at me after he had done it, and I knew he could see, in my eyes, how I felt about the matter. He smiled like something old and faintly reptilian, thanked me for our relationship, and escorted me to the door."

"Oh! I'm so sorry!"

Bruce's smile looks both internally and externally painful. "Thank you. The incident happened three years ago, when he was nineteen and I was eighteen. We had been seeing each other romantically for a little less than two years then. Perhaps... perhaps I should be 'over it' by now, but I am not."

"Well -- you loved him. Didn't you?"

"Very much. He taught me much about the world, and we shared with each other our hopes and dreams, our fears and rages and regrets... It seemed as though we were making love with every touch, however outwardly casual. Though I can't help but wonder, now, if I was deceiving myself. Have you ever found yourself doing such things, Clark?"

"Sometimes I think I've told more lies than *truths*, Bruce. *Especially* to myself --" And that was a blurt --

And he's blushing again --

"Um. I haven't lied to you."

Bruce laughs quietly again. "Yet...?"

("This one wishes to know when you will reveal yourself to this planet's inhabitants and begin the process of subjugation.")

Clark winces. "I... I have to be private. About some things --"

"But your sexuality isn't one of them...?" And Bruce leans his elbows on the table and steeples his fingers, which are long and thick, but still very *deft* in appearance.

They don't quite make Clark's fingers look like sausages, but they make them *feel* that way -- "I -- there's nothing wrong with homosexuality. Or -- bisexuality."

Bruce smiles sharply. "Many would disagree with that assessment. Some of those who would are physicians who have made intensive studies of the human mind and heart."

"My Ma and Pa say that God makes us -- all of us -- just the way we're supposed to be. We can choose to do right or wrong, but we can't choose who we actually *are*."

"And what do *you* say, Clark?"

Well... "I think... I think that if there *is* a God somewhere, or... or multiple gods, I guess..." Clark shakes his head. "I think if good and evil are as real and -- and *definable* as this table, then love can never *be* evil. No matter what it looks like."

"And what of, say, the love of gambling? Or the love of hurting others?"

Clark shifts --

Thinks about sitting up straight -- no.

No, because *Bruce* is leaning in, and his breath smells like very good hot chocolate, though it's clear that he consumed it at least two hours ago --

He's leaning *in* --

And he'd asked questions. "I think there's a difference between love and obsession, Bruce. And -- between love and addiction."

"And sadism...?"

"I've... studied a lot about sexuality..."


Clark lets himself blush again, but shifting would just take him *away* --

Even Bruce's *cologne* smells wonderful, and Clark *hates* most colognes and perfumes. So many of them smell like the sort of alcohol which can cause *blindness*, or just like the flowers people fill funeral homes with to cover the smell of *death*. *Bruce's* cologne smells like musk and something heavier than that, something like the sort of flowers that just don't *grow* in this part of the world --

"You need not answer --"

"I want to! I mean -- ah." Clark smiles ruefully. "It seems... it seems like there are all sorts of people who can... love each other with pain."

And Bruce's eyes are so *hot* --

So --

"So there are. Are you one of them?"

He'd wanted, very badly, to show Lana where the meteor rocks -- no. Where the *kryptonite* could be found. He'd wanted to show her that, and then have her, oh... scratch him, or slap his scrotum, or -- all sorts of things --

"I've never... um... tried."

"But you've wanted to."

It's hard -- very hard -- not to look down. But, in some ways, it's not hard, at all. "Yes. Did you... with your lover?"

Bruce gives him a very *hard* look --

"Or -- I could not ask that question --"

"Do I intimidate you, Clark?"

"Um. You're beautiful, rich, and *worldly*. *Literally*. My parents taught me to stick up for myself, and I know you're just as human as -- just as human as I am --"


"But -- *that*, Bruce. I don't think. I don't think it's strange for me to be intimidated. Though I could certainly pretend not to be."

Bruce raises an eyebrow. "Could you?"

Clark raises an eyebrow of his own. "Would you like me to?"

Bruce -- that's almost a *grin*. It seems so *wild* -- "Impressive. However, while pretence of that sort would be more... hmm... comfortable in some ways, it would also be terribly dishonest. Yes?"

Clark tries on one of Bruce's own smiles, and fights down his blush for it with everything he *is*. "Lies don't have to be -- terrible." And Clark is all set to *applaud* himself for that --

To just -- pat himself on the *back* --

"Will you lie so well once I've given you an orgasm, Clark...?"

Clark grunts and blushes twice as hard as he was going to blush before. Just -- he can *feel* that. "I. I. Um."

Bruce inclines his head. "Give me your honesty... and I'll give you my own."

Clark's heart is *pounding* -- "All right. I -- ah. I can do that --"

"You asked me a question."

"It won't be the only one. Just -- as an aside."

Bruce smiles again. "Good to know. Lex and I --"

"Lex? Lex... Luthor? Or -- I suppose there are all sorts of Lexes living in Metropolis --"

"You're familiar with him? And yes, Lex Luthor."

"Well -- um. He's *famous*."

Bruce raises an eyebrow again. "So am I... in some parts of the country, anyway." He laughs. "I believe this feeling is chagrin. Would you... please tell me what you know of him."

"Oh... well -- wait, you mean you're *famous*, *too*?"

Bruce waves a hand. "For terrible reasons. Please, I... I'd like to know."

"I. All right. I know that he's a businessman -- the CEO of LuthorCorp even though he's... well, *your* age. I know that a lot of people were worried that LuthorCorp would go out of business when Lionel Luthor was killed, but that Lex made all those worries go away... somehow," and Clark smiles sheepishly. "I don't really follow business news. Most of what I know comes from talk back in Smallville --"

"You're from Smallville."

Clark blinks. "Yes? You've heard of it?"

Bruce shakes his head and laughs wryly. "You originally learned about Lex Luthor for other reasons."

"Oh -- *oh*. I -- yes. I mean. It was my parents who took Lex and his father to the hospital the day of the... meteor shower." That I brought *with* me -- "I -- it always made me feel... better to know that he was healthy and successful even after what happened to him."

And Bruce's smile is almost *cruel* for a moment --

"I... said something wrong?"

Bruce blanks his expression *entirely* --

Clark can't keep himself from *recoiling* --

And then Bruce winces and raises a hand again. "I'm sorry. That was... my thoughts turned dark. Unforgivably so."

"You -- you can tell me --"

"No, I can't. I... ultimately, I have no proof of the terrible thing I'm certain Lex did, and I almost certainly never will. As such, all I can do is spread an ugly rumor --"

"They -- some people say he had his father killed. Is that. Is that the rumor?"

Bruce squeezes his eyes shut.

Clark nods. "They... they also say pretty terrible things about Lionel Luthor. I mean... I said them, too. There's a LuthorCorp fertilizer plant right in town, and, well, *no* one worked there who didn't *have* to. Not -- not that there's any excuse to murder -- um. Are you really sure?"

Bruce opens his eyes. "It's important to you that Lex remain... unsullied."

Clark... shifts. "I don't -- I'll probably never even meet him -- I'm sorry --"

"You have nothing to apologize for --"

"It's only... I don't want you to be sad."

Bruce blinks and smiles. "Is that what I am?"

"Well -- *yes*. I mean, you're other things, too, but -- I can tell. When people are upset."

Bruce tilts his head to the side and *stares* for a long moment, narrowing his eyes. The moment *lasts* --

"Ah... yes?"

"You seem both like someone who has many friends... and someone who has none, at all. Which is true?"

The latter. Definitely -- but. "I... had two friends in high school."

"You sound doubtful of that."

"I... wasn't always honest with them."

Bruce nods once. "And dishonesty will always create breaks -- fractures -- in intimacy, no matter how dearly desired it may be. I, too, had two friends in high school -- Lex, and Harvey Dent. They found each other distasteful for various reasons, but they gave me... much."

"But... you weren't honest with them?"

Bruce smiles ruefully. "None of us were entirely honest, Clark. I began to wonder if that weren't part and parcel of the human condition. That said, it often seemed as though Harvey knew everything *important* about me, and that Lex could 'read' me effortlessly. They said the same things about me."

"But there were still... fractures."

"Yes. Harvey never wanted to discuss the attraction we felt for each other in any depth, nor anything about his home life. Lex never wanted to discuss either the emotional aspects of our relationship or *his* home life. And I..."


Bruce looks *wounded* again -- and distant.

It's disappointing, but -- "It -- you obviously don't have to tell me *anything*, Bruce, but --"

"You believe I need to talk to someone...?"

Clark blushes *again*. "Yes."

"You're absolutely right. I never shared with them the content of my *deepest* hopes and dreams. I never shared with them my plans for the future. I shared my nightmares, but not their frequency or *ubiquity*. I never shared... my purpose."

"Why not?"

Bruce smiles ruefully. "Because I was afraid of their laughter, their approbation, their *rationality*... well. I have many fears, Clark. I always have had them. Even before... the other terrible thing I should tell you."

Could it be more terrible than *murder*? Clark swallows and nods. "I'm listening."

"I... hmm. Do you often do that? Listen, I mean."

"It's better than *talking* a lot of the time."

Bruce's smile turns sharp and *inviting*. *Pleased*. "I have my doubts about that."

"Oh -- um. Well. You're welcome."

Bruce laughs and inclines his head. "My father was the CEO of Wayne Enterprises and a skilled physician. My mother was the head of the Wayne Foundation -- a growing and successful charity --"

"*Oh*. I've heard of -- both of those. I just didn't think... um. Isn't Lex one of your direct *competitors* now?"

Bruce laughs, but it doesn't sound particularly nice. "We were going to turn our companies into something... something *cooperative* without being especially collectivist..." And Bruce turns to look out the window again.

At the new LuthorCorp building? It's still being *built* --

And that almost certainly doesn't *matter* -- oh.

Oh, no. Bruce had said *was* -- "Your... you lost both your parents?"

Bruce stiffens -- and then very obviously *deliberately* relaxes himself before turning and looking into Clark's eyes. *His* eyes are naked again, and the bleakness in them -- hurts.

"I'm so sorry, Bruce. I can't imagine --" Except for that *last* recording of Jor-El and Lara, when everything was shaking and the light was even more strange and *red* than it was in the other recordings --

And Bruce is frowning at him. "Clark? Tell me who you've... lost."

My *species* -- "Um. I was thinking of my grandparents. But. I don't think it's the same."

Bruce's frown grows deeper for a long moment, and Clark knows that he'd felt that lie, that someone like him maybe would *always* feel lies like that --

Bruce turns *away* --

And Clark clears his throat. "There were. There were losses I can't talk about. Too, I mean."

"Is the pain too great?" Bruce still isn't quite looking at him -- and Clark knows he expects another lie.

"No, Bruce. It's... I have to keep it a secret for other reasons."

Bruce blinks and turns to face him again, and this time his frown is thoughtful. "I'm a stranger to you."

"Less. Less so by the moment --"

"But still."

"I -- yes."

"I would like. I would like to not be a stranger to you."

And for a moment Clark can only see *this*. Long conversations, and flirting, and *learning* each other. *Touch* -- and it doesn't matter that he doesn't know what it would truly be like, because he knows what he wants and *hopes* it to be, and he'll tell Bruce *all* of it.

And Bruce will tell *him* --

And tell Clark about *his* dreams --

And Clark would share his secrets, all of his secrets, and he'd bring Bruce to the Fortress, and he would be impressed, but that's not as important as how *interested* he would be --

And Clark thinks he's going to beg --

He *knows* he's going to beg -

"It can't happen," Bruce says, and smiles ruefully.

Ruefully enough that Clark knows that at least some of -- of *that* was on his face. Clark looks down. "Oh -- of course --"

And Bruce's hand is on his *face*. It's human-warm and big, bigger than any hand that's ever touched him, *hard*. The urge to kiss it is sudden and as powerful as any riptide, any --

His hand smells like sweat he hasn't *shed* --

And Clark looks up and swallows, and he knows his eyes are wide, and he knows he's *staring* --

"I... am flying back to Gotham tomorrow morning, Clark. An hour ago, I was entirely pleased by that," Bruce says, and smiles more gently. "I'm sorry --"

"It's all right! You don't have to -- anything --"

"And you need not pretend to be... unaffected. I certainly am," and Bruce raises an eyebrow. "You pull me out of myself effortlessly, Clark. Do you think, perhaps, we could correspond?"

I can *run* to Gotham. *Quickly* --

"Or... perhaps that's ridiculously --"

"No! I mean. I'd like that. If we -- could write."

"Are you still in touch with your friends from high school?"

"With -- yes. But only... um. Lightly. Shallowly."

Bruce nods thoughtfully and seems to be studying him again -- "Spend the night with me."

Clark grunts -- "Yes."

Bruce strokes Clark's *mouth* --

Even the pad of his *thumb* is hard -- "Please --"

"My parents were murdered in front of me when I was eight years old," Bruce says, and that --

It *takes* a moment -- a very, very long moment -- to parse that as language that has nothing whatsoever to do with making love.

It takes another moment to stop *staring* and begin to -- stammer, not speak --

And Bruce covers Clark's mouth with his fingers. "There are, in fact, no appropriate verbal responses to that statement, beyond the pained sympathy someone as warm as you are must feel. Nothing need be said --"

"I *disagree*!"

And hushing noises come from three different directions --

But, for this, Clark *can't* blush. He -- "Bruce, are you all *right*? I -- I thought it was a car accident, or -- something --" Clark shakes his head. "Do you have other family? You said your *valet* was your guardian --"

"There are distant cousins in California. They wanted nothing to do with me. Clark --"

"I -- please answer my question? My other question --"

And Bruce looks at him -- nakedly. *Openly* --

"Please, Bruce."

"I haven't been 'all right' for a very long time, Clark. In my happiest moments, I remember the stink of their blood, and the feel of it cooling on my hands and knees and shins. The nightmares no longer come every night, but they do still come more often than they don't. Sometimes when they come, I become violent, and so it is dangerous for people to wake me from them. When I was fourteen, I broke two of Alfred's -- my valet's -- ribs that way. The guilt was..." Bruce smiles and drops his hand to the table --

And Clark takes that hand in both of his own, strokes and *squeezes* -- "I don't -- I'm pretty tough. And. And fast. I mean. If we. If you... dream --"

"Dreams are for waking, Clark. And for... the times when we are not alone. Sleep belongs to the nightmares. And the loneliness."

Clark swallows. "Did you... did you hurt Harvey, too? And Lex?"

"Harvey was my roommate for my last two years at Exeter. Lex and I rarely slept in the same rooms... I've hurt both of them, though only in minor ways."

Clark nods and squeezes Bruce's hand. He has to. He -- "Do you... Harvey is still your friend, right?"

Bruce's smile is -- much better.

Clark smiles in *relief* --

"Harvey was my first friend. We met when we were fourteen, not long after the beginning of our freshman year at Exeter. He is one of the best men I have ever known, and he was, by far, the best *teenager* I'd ever known." Bruce closes his eyes and breathes deeply, but in a somewhat strange way. It --

It almost seems like -- "Are you... remembering his scent?"

"Yes. We had the opportunity to visit with one another a month ago. He works very long hours during the summer to pay for his tuition and various extras --"

"Oh! He's not wealthy?"

"Not in the slightest," and Bruce's smile is rueful. "And he has never allowed me to help him in that way."

"Well, he probably doesn't want to feel like he's using you, Bruce."

"He's said exactly that -- and other things about it, as well. For me... it would be a gift to be allowed to help him with money." And Bruce's smile turns sharp, but still more warm than not. "And not *only* because it would allow us to spend more time together in leisure."

That -- "You... made that sound somewhat dirty."

Bruce shows his *teeth*. "He is beautiful in every measurable way -- and several of the ways which aren't measurable, at all --  and, while I would not injure anyone solely for the opportunity to make love with him, I would be sorely tempted."

"Did -- did you find Lex beautiful, too?" More beautiful? How beautiful am I?

Bruce's expression makes it seem like he'd *heard* that -- but he only nods. "Beautiful, fascinating -- in every sense of the word --"

"Oh. Yes?"

Bruce's smile is so *pleased* -- "You've made a study of etymology, Clark...?"

"Words are -- I like studying other languages. And English, too --"


Clark blushes. "I... read a lot of science fiction. And magical realism. But I'll at least try any book someone I care about recommends to me."

Bruce hums. "I've often thought that the world's educated population could be usefully separated into groups based on the pleasure any given individual took in reading. And I've always known which group I wanted to spend my time with."

"Harvey reads a lot, too?"

"Oh, yes. Though he tends to prefer non-fiction, and following the work of his favorite journalists. He's quite fond of one of the local papers here. The Planet, I believe."

Oh -- Clark grins. "It's a wonderful newspaper, Bruce. Even people who didn't like to *think* of city-life would read it back in Smallville. I. I've thought about working there one day."

Another pleased smile. "A noble profession."

"Not -- not for *tabloids* --"

"Tabloids are..." Bruce hums. "Perhaps not quite an angry wasp, but certainly at least as distasteful as the average pestilence-carrying fly --"

"*Yes* --"

"And you will not change the public's desire for such things even should you become as respected and widely-read as Nellie Bly," Bruce says, and raises an eyebrow at him.

Clark blushes, but -- "I would think someone in your position would be more passionate about them."

"Because I'm wealthy, famous, and decidedly bisexual...?"

"Well -- *yes* --"

"There have been many, many occasions when I've dreamed of a world without tabloids -- all the times Harvey and Lex refused to touch me with even *chaste* intimacy in public come to mind -- but... I think the world would be a very different place without them. And not necessarily a better one."

"Because..." Clark frowns. "Do you think of them as a necessary check on... powerful people? *Respectable* journalists are better for that --"

"But not for getting the stories disseminated widely and at speed. Like it or not, we are members of a species which appreciates a certain degree of... spice. We would not have enjoyed this conversation quite so much without the undertones of sexuality --"

I'm *not* -- no. "That's -- we're just being *honest*, Bruce. Many tabloids don't even *try* to do that."

Bruce smiles again and cocks his head to the side. "I've often thought that the human condition is something which is practically designed to encourage those moments when deeper truths are uncovered via lies -- judicious and otherwise."

"No, no, lies -- lies take away *intimacy* --"

"Can there be no truth without intimacy, Clark...?"

And there's something about that question which is heavier than the others, deeper and *more* -- Clark swallows. "I think it's possible that... that there are some true things that can be true without intimacy. But those things are -- cold."

"There is utility in cold."

"There --- there are better things than utility."

Bruce takes a quick breath. "I'd very much like to kiss you."

It feels like his *ears* are blushing -- "I want you to. And. I want to kiss you back --"

"Tell me... tell me how much experience you have with sexuality."

"I've. I've never made love with anyone -- male. But... um. My friend Lana and I made love... whenever we could."

"Was she your lover?"

"More... more of a very good friend. I kept a lot of secrets from her --"

"And are you keeping them still?"

Clark offers his own rueful smile. "No. But she wasn't happy when I told her. She wasn't... I think she wanted me to be more... normal."

"Are you speaking of your bisexuality? Or of other secrets, entirely?"

He *really* wants to squirm, but --

"You need tell me nothing... but I'd like to know as much as you can share."

That. *That*. Clark smiles a little more widely. "Other secrets. We would... she didn't want to talk a *lot* about my attraction to men, but I know it didn't bother her."

Bruce nods thoughtfully again -- "One moment," he says, and flips to the first page of one of his notebooks. He takes down the titles, authors, and publication dates of six of the books on the table, frowns at the other two, then nods to himself before looking up again. "I'll be done as soon as I return these books to their proper places."

"Oh -- I'll help --"

"Have you been watching me for long enough to know where they go...?"

"Well... no, actually," Clark says, and knows he looks sheepish. "I'll just... wait."

Bruce smiles. "I won't be long." He stands and puts the eight books away without actually *looking* at the spines for more than the length of a glance, which seems incautious --

But then he scans the entire aisle and nods, and Clark can't help but be sure that everything is in the proper place.

He stands, and watches Bruce put his notebooks away. He pauses with the sketchpad in his hand, and smiles -- oddly. "Would you like to see..."

"What? I -- no. I'd like to see anything you'd like to show me, Bruce."

The odd look turns heated -- *hot* -- for a moment which makes Clark wish his jeans were a lot looser than they are. And wish that the two of them were already... wherever Bruce wants them to go.

And then Bruce opens the sketchpad to a page showing a tall man with dark, mussed hair which looks very thick; broad cheekbones, *richly* dark eyes --

His smile is soft and wry at once --

His body is more rangy than either broad or lean. He looks very athletic -- the sketch shows him sitting up against a wall with a small towel around his hips and one knee bent, and his musculature is quite defined --

More so than Clark's own --

He looks beautiful. "Harvey?"

Bruce nods. "From my memory of the one time I shared a sauna with him. In that moment, he was about to tell me once again that we could never touch the way I wanted to, but that he loved me more than he knew how to express it. In truth, I knew what he was going to say before he spoke. That expression is... familiar."

"Does he... want to protect you?"

"And his future political career."

Clark can't quite keep himself from frowning --

And Bruce laughs softly and strokes the air above Harvey's cheek. "Gotham City has not had a truly honest and incorruptible District Attorney since *early* in the nineteenth century -- and there were some questions about him, as well. *When* Harvey takes that office for himself, he will do everything in his power to change it for the better. Until then -- until he *retires* -- he will do nothing to weaken himself --"

"There's -- there's no *weakness* --"

Bruce raises an eyebrow at him --

And Clark winces. "Except for the sort of weakness that opens a person up to being blackmailed or... voted out by bigoted people."

Bruce inclines his head.

"I don't. I don't know if I would be able to do -- that."

"In my experience... all too few people can."

"It seems -- wrong. He loves you, and you love him --"

"And surely secrets can be kept...?" Bruce smiles darkly and turns past pages which show sketches of hands, sketches of what looks like thick forest, sketches of buildings which look both old-fashioned *and* brand new --


"Exeter is a school where young men who get *caught* engaging in sexual acts are expelled for 'conduct unbecoming.' Four of our classmates had just that happen to them. Another two were simply dogged by rumor, innuendo, and violence for the length of their... education. The boys who were expelled were, on the whole, wealthy enough to be allowed to matriculate at other -- 'lesser' -- institutions of learning, but the rumors follow *them* for the rest of their *lives*." Bruce smiles at *him*. "And now you look horrified. I assure you that that's entirely appropriate, but... is Smallville so liberal?"

Clark -- blushes. "Mostly -- mostly just my parents, Lana's parents, and my other friend Pete's parents. Lana and Pete were the only kids allowed to play with me when we were young, because my parents were... outspoken. About some things."

"They sound like wonderful people," Bruce says, and his eyes are hot again, *wanting* --

And he turns the page to reveal -- Lex. Only he's not wearing a business suit, and he doesn't look like the CEO of a multinational corporation. He looks --

Clark swallows. "What..."

Bruce hums. "Is it the bellbottoms? The heeled boots? The blouse?"

*Yes*, but --

He's standing with his hands on his hips --

His lips are *pursed* -- "Is he wearing *makeup*?"

"Oh, yes. Once, Lex would answer the expression on your face with a carefully *cutting* bit of flirtation, an airy gesture, and, perhaps, a comment about how every *interesting* boy needs to relax sometimes."

"He did that at your school?"


"But --"

"He was never, ever relaxed. Before the two of us began our relationship, he made a point of presenting himself as... hmm... ravenously bisexual -- but he had never so much as kissed another male, and he engaged in public sexuality with females whenever possible. After we began seeing each other, he changed nothing about his behavior -- including his habit of mocking me to the boys who were convinced that Lex's *tapestry* of lies were the truth.

"While this was going on, he was cultivating the most powerful LuthorCorp employees, and quietly showing them still another tapestry -- though even now I can't say which possessed a greater proportion of honest threads. In this scenario he was the quiet, serious-minded, *business*-minded young man who knew absolutely everything about you, your family, and your desires for the future of your career. The other Lex was, when not an exaggeration made by people who were clearly ignorant about the 'true' Lex, simply protective coloration. It was known by everyone in those particular halls of power -- and others -- that Lionel Luthor held his son in contempt. Lex set out to confuse the issue -- *every* issue -- and to teach the LuthorCorp board of directors that Lionel Luthor was anything but infallible. After all, if he didn't know his own son..."

"That... um." Clark *knows* he's frowning too much, that Bruce *loved* the boy he's describing, but -- *When* was he *honest*?"

"With me," Bruce says, and smiles. "Though it did take rather a lot of effort on my part. Now... well. I find I hope there is someone he can give himself to. *Someone* who can know his heart, which is powerful and passionate and *young* --" The smile slips. "I suppose it isn't that, anymore. I suppose..." Bruce frowns and closes the sketchpad before tucking it away again.

"I. I don't know whether to ask you to tell me more about how he was with you or not."

Bruce closes his eyes and shudders, and then begins walking -- blind *and* graceful -- for the stairs.

Clark follows because he *has* to --

"Closer, please."

"Oh -- we'll get stuck in the doors," and Clark tries a smile --

Bruce hums and opens his eyes again, giving him a look that just feels incredibly -- tight. Like. Like a very strong hand -- "You shouldn't tempt me to acquire lubricant *before* we get back to my hotel, Clark."

"Yee -- ah. *You* shouldn't tempt my *knees* to stop working --"

Another hum, and Bruce steps out into the Metropolis evening, holding the door for Clark --

Clark steps out and looks around the way he *always* does at times like these --

"Does the sky seem very small?"

"Like a *postage* stamp. But... there are things just as beautiful as the sky," Clark says, and grins. "Where *is* your hotel?"

"Three blocks northeast. The Spectrum," Bruce says, and gestures for Clark to walk at his side. "I chose it because I always did when visiting Lex, and knew that the memories would be too painful to allow me to simply stay in my suite and brood -- as opposed to doing the studying I needed to do."

Clark winces. "That... works?"

Bruce laughs again. "I can be quite lazy left to my own devices, Clark. Sometimes I need to be... driven."

That -- "I think that *should've* sounded sexual, but it *didn't*."

Bruce *flashes* a smile at him. "I might have simply failed at innuendo."

"I don't think you do that very often. I don't think anyone who dates someone who wears pants *that* tight *can* fail at innuendo."

"You'd be surprised... but you're absolutely right. I wasn't speaking of sexuality at that moment."

"Then what?"

Bruce is silent for a long moment -- but then he shakes his head once and smiles. "I'm thinking of one of my secrets. Perhaps the deepest one. Certainly the darkest."

"Oh... have you... hurt someone? I mean, other than accidentally."

"Bullies, habitually, when I was much younger. That isn't it. You... would never cause deliberate harm."

It's not really a question, but -- "I think... I would try everything else first. I mean, most of the time all I had to do in order to stop people from fighting was... move them away from each other. Gently."

Bruce smiles *wider*. "I didn't gain my size until my teens, when I began growing rapidly and painfully. Hmm. You were always larger than your peers."

"Yes. Much," Clark says, and smiles ruefully, and then looks up at the old Davidson building, which was an office building, and then a hotel, but is now a handful of very large and expensive apartments. The style is Art Deco, and --

"Lex bought it last year, along with much of the rest of the block."

"... oh. The parts that are under construction?"

Bruce nods and doesn't turn to look at them. "Knowing him, the new buildings will be a match in taste and distinction to the Davidson... though he would prefer them to be much more modern."

And this... Clark takes a deep breath and squares his shoulders --

"Why do you need to be brave, Clark?"

"Because -- because I want to ask if I should distract you. I mean -- I *am* asking. That."

"Mm. Please do."

"Okay. I -- hm."

Bruce laughs. It's still quiet, but it *moves* him more than the laughs in the library had -- or.

Clark doesn't know. "I could... talk to you about --"

"When you made love to Lana..."

"Oh. Yes?"

"Tell me who she is. Tell me... what made her beautiful in your eyes."

"Oh. Well, she *is* beautiful. I mean, even when we were kids together she had long, thick, red-gold hair, and light brown eyes that were so..." Clark shakes his head and blushes, but -- "I loved her freckles. Other kids would make fun of her for them, but they seemed so strange and perfect and... um."

Bruce smiles. "Yes?"

Clark knows he looks sheepish *again*, but -- "When I was five, I had a *persistent* fantasy of drawing on her with a soft marker and um. Connecting all her dots."

Another *moving* laugh. "When did you stop having that fantasy?"

"Her freckles faded a little by the time we were in high school, and I... put the fantasy aside. But..."

"Do tell."

"The first time she took off her shirt in front of me... ah... the freckles on her chest had hardly faded, at all. I think it's *possible* that I'll grow out of the fantasy someday... but it won't be soon."

"So noted," Bruce says. "Is she tall?"

"Oh -- not very. Well, she's not *short* -- ah. She's just around five-six or so. And... medium in build. She has very... she is... ah..."

"You're growing more uncomfortable. Why?"

"You know, Bruce, it's very difficult to squirm effectively at this pace," Clark says, and tries a huff --

And Bruce laughs again. "Answer me anyway."

Oh -- that was an order. "Ah... it seems disrespectful."

"Because... you believe I'll think less of her merely because she had the great good sense -- and excellent taste -- to make love with you?"

He *can* stop this blush... but he doesn't want to. At all.

"I don't want you to be... the wrong sort of uncomfortable, Clark."

"There's a right sort?"

Bruce stops in the middle of the sidewalk --

Clark does, too --

And Bruce looks at him. *And* raises an eyebrow.

And -- and *looks* --

Well. "I've been *that* sort of uncomfortable since I first *saw* you, Bruce."

Bruce... looks him over. It's not that he *pauses* at Clark's groin, it's that it's obvious -- *tangible* -- that he *had* looked there, that he'd *seen* --

Well, *he* can't see through Clark's clothes, but -- at this point, he doesn't have to. At all. Clark licks his lips. "I'll tell you anything."

Bruce's eyes get darker, more heavy-lidded -- "Except for your secrets...?"

Oh -- "Sometimes. Sometimes I forget I have those secrets."

"Is it easier then?"

Is *what* -- no. "Everything is."

Bruce nods. "I agree. Let's continue," he says, and turns to walk once more.

"All right --"

"Tell me... everything you can stand to tell me, Clark. In return, I'll do the same."

And it's the *same* as what he'd said earlier, but it's also not. It's --

They know each other better now. They --

Clark licks his lips. "Lana... Lana's breasts are... very firm. She's... um. Firm all over. From riding and running."

Bruce sighs. "What made her laugh hardest?"

"Ugly people -- people who are ugly inside -- having bad things happen to them. Even if the bad things are... ah... *very* bad."


"Oh... that pronunciation is... accurate? And she could be very... wicked."

"For certain parts of West Germany, yes. You enjoyed that about her. It excited you...?"

"Ah... very much. She was... she would tease me -- mercilessly at times -- but only when we were alone together, and never with true cruelty. She would study me to see if her words were hurtful, and I learned to never hide that sort of thing from her, because once she knew, she would never take that tack again without being... careful."

Bruce nods approvingly. "What made her weep?"

"Her favorite horse Pegama -- a child's mispronunciation of Pergamon, but she doesn't remember why she wanted to name her that -- came down with a kind of colic and suffered terribly. The surgery would've been too expensive, and might not have helped..." Clark shakes his head. "Lana decided to shoot her --"

"She shot the horse herself?"

"Oh, yes. Pegama was her responsibility. She couldn't have afforded to keep her without her parents' help, but she worked very hard so that she could choose which food to feed her, and which blankets to put on her, and which brushes to curry her with... she loved Pegama very much. I wished, at the time, that she had let me, or perhaps our friend Pete, do it for her, but she refused it out of hand. She did let me hold her afterward, and wait for the people who would take the corpse away. I held Pegama's mane and tail so that she could cut them free and save the hair. She took a lock of it with her on her travels."

Bruce nods and leads them up the steps into a place... that Clark isn't dressed for. Oh, dear.

The *bellhops* look classier than he does -- and significantly less erect. There isn't even a single *janitor* in sight --

And Bruce puts his hand on Clark's shoulder and squeezes. "Harvey hates places like this, as well," he whispers. "I promise that I do not require you to embody -- or even to know -- the assorted foolishness and *frippery* that has become known as 'the social graces.' I --"

"You don't *have* to care --"

"Neither do you. If you wish to think of it this way, you are the chosen companion of Bruce Wayne. That already elevates you far, far above many other people... in the eyes of people who are, in many ways, objectively worthless. If you wish to think of it in a better way, you are kind, intelligent *and* well-educated, warm-hearted, loving, giving..." Bruce squeezes his shoulder more firmly. "There is no one in this place I would rather have at my side."

"I -- oh. I. Thank you --"

"Thank *you*," Bruce says, and pulls out a key -- card. Not just a key.

The only reason why he knows it *is* a key card is that it looks like what Ray Gillis had described being used by the higher-ups at the LuthorCorp plant. He's in a new *world* --

And Bruce squeezes him again. "Shall we?"

"Oh -- of course you don't have to check in or -- anything. Yes, all right."

"It's all right," Bruce says, and keeps his hand on Clark's shoulder as they walk across the -- beautiful -- marble floor; past huge, expensive-looking vases filled with expensive-looking *plants*; past people dressed in clothes that look so perfect that they had to be tailored *for* them --

Not just let-out or hemmed or something --

Even the eyeglasses -- on the people wearing them -- look expensive and fashionable and --

And they're in the elevator, which is big, shiny, and -- thankfully -- empty except for the two of them. Bruce slips his key card into the slot, little lights flash green, and then the elevator starts moving. Even *that* seems expensive, because it's the quietest elevator he's ever *been* in. He's almost sure a *human* wouldn't be able to hear the machinery, at all --


"I'm sorry --"

"What can I do?" And Bruce's expression is both troubled and *earnest* --

And Clark realizes that it's because of him. Because -- "I -- I want to show *you*... things."


If you saw my Fortress you'd *understand* how I feel right now -- or maybe you'd just adapt perfectly. That's possible, too -- Clark smiles ruefully. "I've only been in Metropolis for a few days, Bruce. I'm -- um. Really kind of a *bumpkin*."

"Not in the ways I've come to understand that term, but... you may have it as you wish," and Bruce squeezes once more and steps back --

"Oh -- no, don't --"

"We're here," and Bruce steps out immediately. They're in an entryway, not a hall --

Oh --

This must be the *penthouse* -- but Bruce gives him no time to boggle at that before he's pushing Clark back against the -- closed -- elevator doors and nuzzling Clark's *mouth*. "Tell me how I can make you *relax*."

Clark thinks very deeply about how to answer that question. He *does*. It's just that he's also kissing Bruce, and cupping his waist through his shirt, and kissing him --

And kissing him --

His mouth is so much *harder* than Lana's, so much that a part of Clark is only wondering if *Bruce* is human -- but Clark can feel his lips beginning to swell the way Lana's did if Clark kissed her very hard --

Clark *eases* the force of his kiss --

And Bruce hums *and* growls before shoving a hand into Clark's hair and tugging, pulling --

Clark tilts his head --

And Bruce kisses him like --

Like he wants to take over Clark's *mouth*, like --

Oh, he *can*, but this --

It feels like Bruce was *thinking* about kissing him, like he was planning it, dreaming --

Or --

Did Lex kiss Bruce this way? Is it Bruce's favorite kiss? Did he want to kiss *Harvey* this way? There's a strange -- *bizarre* -- lack of satisfaction to this kiss, and that's *very* confusing -- until it isn't.

Clark turns away from the kiss --


Clark opens his mouth and *pants* -- and then he can lick his lips and turn to face Bruce. "I think. I think I need to -- talk more."

Bruce raises his eyebrow, and *this* time it feels *exactly* like a big, hard hand on his genitals.

"I -- please. I don't..."

"Tell me."

Clark *grunts* -- "Oh. I. It's only... I don't feel like I know... quite enough. About you --"

"That was a lie. Please don't --"

"I'm sorry! I don't know enough about *us*. About -- about what we -- I don't know how to say it," Clark says, and winces hard. "Also -- ah. It's somewhat embarrassing --"

And Bruce covers Clark's mouth with his fingers, narrows his eyes. "You... need to feel that I'm making love with *you*, as opposed to with the men I have, in retrospect, spent the duration of our acquaintance obsessing about. Yes?"

Clark nods, blushes -- he tugs Bruce's hand away from his mouth. "It's not your -- I did ask. And I wanted to know."

"I... spent much of my formative years silent, and, apparently, forbidding of mien. In recent years, the emotional backlash from that..." Bruce shakes his head. "There are times when I can talk too much --"

"No -- please --"

"Tell me what you need. In as much detail as possible, please."

Clark -- well, that was a gasp. "I need. I need to touch you --"

"You may."

"I need to. I want your penis in my mouth very. Very much."

Bruce raises an eyebrow and smiles. "Many people find such things... uncomfortable, at least at first."

I *know* how big you are -- "Um. I'd still like --"

Bruce holds up a hand. "Please. Tell me what you need *before* we make love."

"Oh. I..." Clark licks his lips. "More. More of this. And -- other things? I don't know -- I'm sorry --"

"I suggest... we can retire to the bedroom and make ourselves... comfortable. And speak."

Oh... oh. "Yes. I -- please."

Bruce inclines his head and turns to lead them through the suite, which is just as big as it should be, but, oddly, *less* opulent than what Clark was expecting. It's more clean, more... spare, maybe?

Only that doesn't work, either, because all the furniture looks very comfortable. Maybe he means 'modern.'

The *lobby* was old-fashioned -- and *wonderful* -- but this suite is very much something from *this* part of the century. Everything is what his Ma would call 'tasteful' and what his Pa would call 'real nice,' but it's still --

Completely unimportant compared to the sight of the huge bed, the *wall* of windows, and Bruce shrugging off his jacket just as if --

"You -- you're not even a *little* uncomfortable? I -- oh. I didn't mean for that to be a question."

Bruce hums. "I think you did," and Bruce rests his jacket over the back of a very plush-looking chair. "In *answer* to the question..." Bruce looks him *over* again -- and begins to unbutton his shirt. "I want you. I want to learn *precisely* what will make you moan for me --"

Clark moans -- "Ah -- apparently that --"

Bruce smiles and shrugs off his shirt. "Noted. I want this night -- every moment of it."

"You -- yes. Yes."

"I want your body, Clark. The sight of it will satisfy me... for now."

And Clark's penis twitches much too *hard*. He wasn't expecting that and couldn't ease it --

And Bruce is staring at Clark's groin *hungrily* --

"I -- I'll take off --"

"*Nothing* you would prefer to leave on, Clark. Please," Bruce says, and peels out of his undershirt before sitting on the bed to remove his shoes.

"Yes -- all right." It's *incredibly* tempting to just *speed* through taking off his clothes. It's not that he can do it faster than he can think about it, it's just that it *feels* that way.


He could *show* Bruce, and then --

Then maybe he'd want to stay --

Even just for a little while *longer* --

Clark blushes and starts to remove his clothes. He doesn't --

"Will you tell me what you were thinking?"

"Um. Just... you," Clark says, smiling ruefully and fumbling with the buttons on his shirt.

Bruce hums, stands, and opens his pants before letting them fall. He's wearing briefs just like Clark's, and right now that seems almost *kinky* --

Because he's being ridiculous --

And staring at the way that Bruce's penis -- Bruce's *very* big penis -- is *stretching* his briefs out of shape, *straining* the fabric, and --

Not staining them, not *yet*, but --

"Tell me, Clark," Bruce says, and this time when he gets onto the bed, he just sits back against the headboard, showing himself big and beautiful and --

"You're so *hairy*," Clark blurts, then *winces* again -- "Sorry --"

Bruce laughs and strokes over his own chest --

"I'd really like to do that --"

"Then come closer."

"I... um -- I haven't been a virgin in nearly two *years*, but I still feel --"

"You are intoxicating, Clark. And I am very, very eager to see what you've learned of sexuality... and, perhaps, to teach you what *I've* learned."

"Oh -- God. Yes, *please*. And I --" Clark shakes his head and strips down to his briefs as slowly as he can *make* himself do it, folding his clothes on one of the other chairs and crawling onto the other side of the bed. He kneels facing Bruce and reaches out --

But he can't bring himself to touch until Bruce strokes his palm with his fingertips.

Clark shivers and presses his hand over Bruce's sternum --

And Bruce takes a *quick* breath and smiles. "Do you like it?"

"You -- you must know that I do --"

"Did you never enjoy having such things confirmed by Lana?"

Oh. Clark blushes *again*. "I -- right. I really..."


What to say? *How* to say what he wants to say without revealing -- oh. "I... I could see the hair on your wrists when you... um. Shot your cuffs. I was... you're an incredibly arousing man," Clark says, and strokes carefully with the grain of Bruce's thick hair. It's almost perfectly straight, and -- "I want..."

"Tell me."

"I want to rub myself all over you," Clark says, and then *blinks*, because that had come out almost *low*. Almost --

"Do you."

I -- "Yes."

Bruce breathes deeply and smiles. "Your musculature is... fascinatingly heavy. *Thick*. You are quite naturally *large*, and yet not in the least bit intimidating. You make me want to dress you in various styles until I can *make* you intimidating, and you make me want to bare you once again for my eyes. My hands. My tongue."

Clark grunts and --

He *has* to cup Bruce's pectoral and just --

If he could stroke Bruce's nipple -- like this --

Bruce sighs. "You were going to tell me something. Something that made you blush."

"I was. I was thinking about more, with you. More time," Clark says, and it's much easier to watch Bruce's chest rise and fall --

But Bruce lifts Clark's chin so that they can face each other --

Stare into each other's *eyes* -- "I want to apologize again --"

"Don't. I want more of you, as well. I want..." Bruce sighs. "I'm going to be traveling extensively starting just a few months from now."

"Oh -- more?"

Bruce nods. "There is more I must study, and that study cannot, for the most part, be done in this country."

Clark nods and tries not to --

"Don't hide your reactions from me."

Clark *grunts* -- "I don't -- I don't want to be *sappy*, or -- or burdensome --"

"You are neither. You are... so beautiful," and Bruce strokes Clark's mouth with his thumb, back and forth and back and forth --

"Please -- *mm* --" His thumb is in Clark's *mouth* --

"Suck. Please."

Clark's penis twitches *again* -- but he's already sucking, already *tasting*. Bruce tastes like salt and humanity, faintly like ink and paper --

"Your mouth is... very hot."

Looking innocent at this point would be a lie he's not *willing* to tell, so Clark doesn't look, at all. He cups Bruce's hand in both of his own and sucks, and licks and --

He's always wanted --

Clark takes Bruce's thumb deeper, and fills his mind with memories of Pete's smile, Pete's lanky body, the *blush* on Pete's penis whenever he would just *begin* to get erect --

But Pete is heterosexual, and had responded to Clark's careful, *hopeful* questions with surprise, then *rueful* humor. And gentle refusal. He could never have this with him, whereas Bruce is --

Taking it.

And breathing *deliberately* slowly. He --

Clark looks up -- and Bruce's gaze is right there, heavy and dark and *considering* --

Clark moans again and sucks hard --

"Shall I give you more of my fingers?"

Clark *grunts* around Bruce's thumb --

"Noted. And yet..."


Bruce pulls out gently. "I need more of your voice. Your *speech*."

Clark swallows and nods. "Tell me... what to say?"

Bruce parts his lips and *stares* -- and then he lets his eyes go heavy-lidded again and nods. And strokes a circle around Clark's left nipple with his thumb --

"*Oh* --"

"Tell me... did you ever want Lana to dominate you?"

"You mean... um..."

"Dominance and submission, perhaps combined with sadomasochism. I know you've... done the reading."

"I -- yes. I have. I spent... ah. A lot of time in libraries --"

"Answer the question," Bruce says, and pinches Clark's nipple *hard* --

Clark grunts again and shudders, pets Bruce's chest somewhat *frantically* --

"And put your hands behind your back."

"*Oh* -- I..." Clark swallows and moves his hands, feeling naked and --

Naked. Very --

Though not more naked than Bruce's eyes, which are hot and wanting and -- "I wanted -- I wanted her to hurt me --"

"All the time?"

"Sometimes --"

"And domination?"

"She um. She did that anyway. Effortlessly."

Bruce smiles *lazily* -- "Good boy."

"*Nnh* -- um. Bruce --"

"Shh. Speak only when you're spoken to."

"Oh, God --"

"Though you may make any non-verbal noise you wish."

The blush feels --

Clark feels red all *over* --

He's *staring* --

And Bruce touches his tongue to his upper lip for a second that feels like it lasts for an *hour* --

Clark opens his mouth -- he closes it again and lets himself whimper --

And Bruce shows his teeth. "Very, very good boy. Tell me... are you frightened of what I might do to you?"

Clark opens his mouth again -- closes it --

"No, speak."

Right, he *can*, he -- "Yes -- Bruce --"

"You may use my name freely... assuming you have leave to speak, at all," and Bruce twists and *pulls* --

"*Oh* --"

"Tell me about your fear."

"M-mostly. Ah. I don't want to *embarrass* myself, Bruce --"

"And how would you do that...?"

Clark looks down --

"No," Bruce says, and tilts Clark's face back up. "You may, at times, bend your head, or bow, or press your face to the bed, the wall, or the floor. However, you will not do any of the above when you have not been ordered to. Do you understand?"

Clark moans -- "Yes, Bruce --"

"Tell me about your embarrassment. Now."

And the twitch of Clark's penis for that is so *violent* that Clark thinks he might not have to --

"I do not wish to punish you so quickly... but I will."

Clark moans and tries to make his entire body express pleading -- no. No. He can tell. He *will* -- "I. I'm going to have an orgasm. Soon."

Bruce growls. "No matter what I do... or don't do?"

Clark knows he looks *miserable*, but -- "Yes, Bruce."

"Fascinating. Stand up, remove your briefs, and then crawl back onto the bed on your hands and knees."

God -- "Yes, Bruce," Clark says, and stands. It's not a surprise that he's shaking, and it's not a surprise that he's as erect as he gets when he's *inside* Lana, and it's not a surprise that *his* briefs are stained --

The *surprise* is how good it feels to take them off, to *have* taken them off --

To be naked. And naked for Bruce. Clark shivers and looks up, still bent at the waist, to meet Bruce's eyes before moving back to the bed --

"Wait," Bruce says, and stands himself.

Clark starts to get upright again --

"No, stay right there," Bruce says, and strokes Clark's shoulders, and his back --

His hands are so big they make Clark feel *normal* --

And then he's *massaging* Clark's *rear* -- "Mm. Your musculature is much harder than it looks. Do you know why...?"

Well, the AI hadn't managed to explain it very well, so -- "N-no, Bruce. I think -- is it strange?"

"Yes. But entirely pleasant. Get onto the bed now."

Clark does, *forcing* himself to be as slow as a human would --

"Good boy," Bruce says, as soon as Clark is settled on his hands and knees. "Reach back with your left hand and hold yourself spread for me."

For -- oh --  Clark groans and nods and *does* it, and the air seems much cooler than it had before, and Bruce's gaze seems much *heavier*, and -- and he's shaking again.

"Does *this* frighten you, Clark...?"

"I -- no, Bruce --"

"Why not...?"

Clark blushes and hangs his head, pants and breathes and tries --

The bed doesn't smell *enough* like Bruce --

He wants so much *more* --

And *then* he remembers. "Oh, God -- *nnh* -- *nnh* --"

Bruce is spanking his *anus*, he --

It's just three fingers, but he's doing it hard, so --

Is he going to hurt his hand? Should he stop --

"*Oh* -- *please*!"

And then the spanks get faster, faster and *faster*, and it doesn't hurt --

Clark *wants* it to hurt --

It would be *easier* if it hurt, because this *jarring* sensation is making him want to vibrate, to *work* until he finds the right frequency to keep himself from sweating, twitching, leaking and *jerking*. It just goes on and *on*, and Clark can't help moaning, biting at the sheet --

*Oh* --

He's not supposed to --

Clark *yanks* himself up, facing forward and wanting to beg, to plead for more --

Less --

*Different*, maybe, or maybe just something that will let him ejaculate *familiarly*, because Clark is getting harder by the moment, getting *needier* -

The world seems so *cool* --

And then it doesn't, at all, because Bruce is *rubbing* Clark's anus with his fingers, which feel even more thick and rough and wonderful --

Clark *whines* --

And Bruce hums *low*. "Tell me what happened when you made that sound for Lana."

God --

He's leaking so *much* --

"I -- she would smile --"


"Some. Sometimes with wonder --"

"That she could have such power over you...?"

Clark groans and nods --

"No. You'll give me your *voice*."

Clark *grunts* --

Leaks *more* --

"Yes, Bruce  --"

"Spread yourself with both hands, lower your face to the bed, and... brace yourself."

Clark cries *out* -- and follows orders.

He can *hear* Bruce moving along the side of the bed, but he's facing the wrong direction to be able to see anything. There's even too much glare from the streetlights to see Bruce's reflection in the windows --

"Your breathing is... rough. Are you frightened...?"

He knows so *much* -- "Of -- disappointing you --"

"Will you lose consciousness after I bring you to orgasm?"

"Oh -- I never -- that never happens --"

"Will you leave me after I bring you to orgasm?"


"Will you lose the ability to take more pleasure after an orgasm?" And Bruce is *behind* him again --

Bruce is waiting. "No, Bruce. Please, I -- you can do anything you *want* with me --"

"Then that's exactly what I will do. And I sincerely doubt I'll be disappointed at *any* point. Breathe in. Slowly."

"Yes, Bruce," Clark says -- and then moans before he can do anything *like* breathe, because he can feel two of Bruce's fingers pressed to his anus --

He can feel how *slick* they are --

Oh, there's no *time* --

Clark breathes, and it's ragged and rough --

Bruce tugs his fingers *away* --

And Clark doesn't say 'no' or 'please,' or '*please*,' even though he wants to very badly --

He wants other things more, and so he calms himself down as best as he can --

And knowing that he's doing it for Bruce -- for Bruce's *touch* -- is making him twitch *more* --

Drip on the *bed* --

Clark breathes, slowly and *mostly* evenly -- and then it *is* even --

"Good boy. Lana never touched you this way," Bruce says, and rubs Clark's anus with his *slick* fingers --

It's all Clark can do not to *work* his rear in an attempt to feel those calluses more, *again* -- "No, Bruce."

"You wanted her to."

"She. Her hands were very strong from --"


And the sense memory of Lana wrapping both of her hands around Clark's penis and squeezing *while* smiling --

So bright and wide --

It's sudden, shocking, and *moan*-inducing --

Bruce hums and -- and *tickles* Clark's anus --

"*Oh* --"


Clark *grunts* -- "Yes -- yes, Bruce. From riding. And -- she worked very hard at the feed store --"

"A strong young woman...?"

"Her. Her musculature was very -- um. Strong."

Bruce hums again and strokes *circles* around Clark's anus. "You're losing your coherence."

"I'm sorry --"

"I take that sort of thing as proof of a job well done. Or well begun, as the case may be. Do you want my penis?"

"Oh -- *yes*! Any -- in any way --"

"*Every* way...?"

"*Please*," Clark says, and it feels so good *to* say that Clark wonders if he's broken a rule, if he'll be punished, if the punishment will make him ejaculate as quickly as *this* undoubtedly will --

"Open for me *quickly*," Bruce says, and pushes in with one finger --

And Clark has to remember to clench only lightly --

"Hands... on the bed."

To *shudder* only lightly --


To claw at the *bed* only lightly --

"Clark. Let go."

"I --"

"*Do* it."

Clark whimpers and lets himself clench harder. It -- he *has* to --

Bruce catches his *breath* -- "Yes. Like that," and he starts to thrust --

And Clark whimpers again --

*Again* --

*Shudders* all over --


"*Yes*, Bruce!" And he does just that, rocking himself back and back and sweating, clenching randomly --

"You are -- mm. Less tight than I imagined. Tell me when you're ready for more."

Clark nods frantically, moans and --

And remembers --

But there's no way to brace for the feel of Bruce *slapping* his penis --

"*Nnh* --"

"Hmm. That... stung."

"Oh -- I'm *sorry* --"

"Shh. Do you need more?"

Clark *moans* -- "I don't know -- I mean. *Please* --"

"Will you obey me?"

"Everything! *Everything*!"

"Then tell me you're ready --"

"I'm *ready*!"

Bruce *shoves* in a second finger --

Clark *screams* -- and screams again for the way Bruce is slapping his penis again and *again* --

Not -- not *stopping* --

"*Please* --"

Bruce *growls*. "You know what you're supposed to do."

"*Hnh* -- *oh* --"

"How will you repay me, boy?"

And Clark can *feel* his eyes widening, and that makes it strange that he can't see, makes it painful and wrong --

No, he wouldn't be able to see Bruce *anyway*, wouldn't --

"*Answer* me."

Clark opens his mouth -- but nothing comes out but shouts, *yells* as Bruce grips Clark's penis and squeezes so --

So *hard* --

He can't *stop* shouting --

"Hn. I see..."

And then his body warns him, does its *own* shouting, and Clark has what feels like a *nanosecond* to flex himself *open* --

And then he's *tearing* the sheets as he ejaculates, as he shudders *brutally* and *bucks* --


And he wants to speak, wants to give, wants --

But then Bruce starts *stroking* him as he squeezes, starts *working* him as he *crooks* his fingers --

Oh, God --

He can usually make himself *stop* ejaculating at this point, make himself look *normal* --

"Hmm. Generous. Will you be so when I give you a second orgasm?"

He -- "*Yes*! *Anything*! *Unh* --"

"And... perhaps you'll be better behaved...?"

"Yes! I promise!" And Clark is nodding frantically and twitching, shaking and *twitching* --

The sheet has an eight *inch* tear --

And Bruce is still squeezing him -- but the strokes have slowed down, and he's no longer *thrusting*.

Clark tries to make himself soften at least a *little*, but his body only wants to respond to Bruce, only wants to *give* --

He shudders again and works on evening his breathing, on making himself *ready* for more --

"Good boy. Just like that," Bruce says, and releases Clark's penis -- and then there are wet sounds --

*Curious* sounds --

A *wetter* sound. "Your taste... I'm not sure I can describe it adequately. I find myself chagrinned by the fact that I've only ever tasted, before this moment, Lex's ejaculate and my own," and there's a *rueful* smile in Bruce's voice. "Do you taste yourself, Clark...?"

Clark swallows. "Yes, Bruce. I wonder. I wonder if I'm -- normal."

"Why is that?"

Clark *blinks* -- and blushes. Recover. He has to -- "I've always... felt strange. Different."

Bruce sighs and there are more wet sounds -- and then there are saliva-slick fingers on Clark's back, stroking and petting. "When I was a boy, I told Dr. Leslie Thompkins -- who had been my father's closest friend -- that I was fundamentally different from the other children, and thus couldn't be expected to live the way they did." He laughs softly. "Her response to that was... bracing."

"But -- you *were* different. I mean -- um --"

"Shh," Bruce says and strokes down to Clark's hip before squeezing hard. "Keep breathing. There are other things I wish to do with you before I take you with my penis."

Clark moans and *focuses* on his breathing as best as he can --

And Bruce pulls his fingers out slowly and gently --

And kisses the base of Clark's spine. "Beautiful boy. Give me just a few minutes."

Clark shivers -- "Yes, Bruce."

"Turn over onto your back and rest on your elbows with your legs spread as wide as you can."

Oh -- "Yes, Bruce --"

"*Don't* touch yourself," and Bruce pulls back and goes... presumably to the bathroom to wash his hands.

The thought of that makes Clark want to shiver, want to *help*, want to *examine* --

Asking the AI if all Kryptonians were perverts hadn't gotten him very useful answers. He's frankly afraid of what would happen if he *refined* his questions --

He gets into position and waits, wondering if it's worth it to lie on top of the torn sheet --

If there's *anything* he can tell Bruce that would at least be *mostly* true --

If there are questions he can ask that will show him more of Bruce, and more than that --

And, when Bruce walks back into the bedroom, all Clark can do is stare. He's naked now, and his penis is so *dark*. The upward curve is more pronounced than Clark has seen on any other penis, and it makes him want to spread wider, offer, *beg* --

He can't talk yet.

He *won't* talk yet -- but he'll meet Bruce's eyes and beg *that* way --

Moan when Bruce *smiles* --

And moan more when Bruce stops at the foot of the bed and just *looks* at him -- and begins to stroke himself. It's abruptly very, very hard to *decide* where he wants to look, and even harder than that not to use his speed to look everywhere -- almost -- at once.

Bruce's penis is so *slick*. Not as slick as his own, but still --

If he could *taste* --

"Tell me about your parents, Clark."

Clark blinks and looks *up*, and he knows there's an *incredulous* question in his eyes, but --

But everything is better when Bruce laughs. Just -- everything.

"I -- they're very kind. And wise. And -- they've taught me..." Clark shakes his head. "I miss them already."

"Will you visit them often?"

"Yes. Yes, Bruce --"

"Which of them do you favor?"

And Clark has to blink, because it just seems *strange* that Bruce doesn't already know --

But he could tell Bruce about Jor-El and Lara --

Except that Bruce would *notice* if he ever met the Kents -- and Clark really wants Bruce to meet them, and know them --

Bruce stops stroking and raises an eyebrow. "A difficult question...?"

Oh -- "I was thinking about my birth parents. I'm sorry --"

"You're adopted," Bruce says, sighing and squeezing himself. "How much do you *know* of your birth parents."

"Very -- very little. They're both dead. I didn't know anything about them until a few months ago."

Bruce narrows his eyes in a wince and nods. "I'm sorry."

Clark *wants* to shrug for that -- or at least offer the verbal equivalent of a shrug -- but he can't. "Thank you."

Bruce narrows his eyes more -- and the sudden *heat* in them makes Clark squirm -- "Be still."

"Mm -- yes, Bruce."

"You penetrated Lana with your penis...?"

"Ah. As often as she would allow it."

Bruce laughs softly. "Was it your favorite sexual act?"

"It. She would have orgasms faster and more often when I would... um. Make love to her clitoris with my mouth while penetrating her with my fingers. That -- that was usually my favorite."

"To give pleasure rather than to take...?"

Clark shakes his head. "But I don't know how to... express what I mean --"

Bruce hums and tilts his head to the side. "You wanted to, perhaps, live in her pleasure more than anything else?"

"Oh -- yes, that -- and her scent during and after an orgasm was very..." Clark doesn't squirm again. "I liked it. Loved it."

"You would bury yourself in it if you could."

Clark swallows and nods -- "Yes. Yes, Bruce."

Bruce strokes the underside of his penis lightly, then tugs on the foreskin. "Would it distract you to know more of my own sexual experiences?"

Clark opens his mouth and -- moans. And tries again. "Please, Bruce, I want to know everything."

Bruce nods and crawls onto the bed, kneeling up once he's between Clark's legs, and cupping his scrotum. "You want more of me."


Bruce squeezes *hard* --

Clark gasps and *bucks* --

"Be. *Still*."

Clark whimpers and drops, *holds* himself as best as he can without moving, without *reaching* --

"So aroused. So... mm. Of course, there's something to be said for the... human sexual peak, but..." Bruce begins to squeeze *rhythmically* --

Clark moans and feels himself break out in fresh sweat --

"You remain entirely impressive, Clark..."

"Th-thank you, Bruce --"

"How quickly will you lose control for this touch? Do you know?"

"I don't --" Clark swallows. "I think. I think I can keep control. Please."

"You enjoy this very much..."

"Yes, Bruce."

"You've wanted... to be *gripped*," Bruce says, and does just that --

Clark *groans* -- "*Yes* --"

"By a hand as large as your own... if perhaps not as strong."

"Yes -- yes, *please* --"


Clark moans and squeezes his eyes shut -- no, he has to *see* Bruce, see everything --

See the way he *smiles* when Clark opens his eyes again --

Clark feels so *red* --

"Lex is hairless, save for eyelashes and thin, nearly colorless eyebrows --"

"*Oh* -- ah --" But Clark remembers and shuts his mouth, *stares* a question --

And Bruce nods thoughtfully. "So those rumors didn't reach Smallville. All right. He preferred a more gentle touch here... though that became relative when he wished me to lose my control. I can't help but wonder whether my loss of control is something the two of us could have," and Bruce *holds* the squeeze --

Clark shudders and whimpers --

"Lex's flesh showed every mark, intentional or not. Yours... does not. Do you regret that?"

"Somet-- yes. I would like." Clark swallows and shudders *more* -- "I would like to be marked --"

"By me...?"

Clark doesn't -- arch. "Yes, Bruce --"

"Perhaps I should bite you here --"

Clark *grunts* --

"Perhaps... we should discuss my grip strength," Bruce says, and raises an eyebrow.

Clark frowns in confusion --

Bruce laughs quietly. "I'm using every ounce of force at my disposal, Clark. By rights, you should be screaming in pain... or using your prodigious strength to do something painful to *me*."

Oh. Oh --

"Will we discuss this, do you think...?" And Bruce begins to *pump* Clark's scrotum again --

"*Hnh* --"

"Perhaps... perhaps we could discuss the few other little things I've noticed...?"

"I -- please --"

"Shh," Bruce says, and swipes his thumb over the head of Clark's penis. He *licks* his thumb --

Narrows his eyes --

"On second thought, I find I lack the patience for such a discussion right now. Slap your penis for me."

"Hnh -- yes --"


Clark does it and shouts --


He does it again and *shudders* --

"The wounded look in your eyes... I would take it for myself."

"Yours --"

"Is it...?"

Clark nods frantically -- no. "Yes, Bruce. Yes -- please --"

"Again. Don't stop until I tell you to do so."

Clark moans and begins. At first, he can keep count, keep hold of something beyond the pain that seems to explode behind his eyes *before* it explodes in his penis --

But then he can only hold on to the look in Bruce's eyes, the lust and the hunger and the *desire*, and how they're all different *things*. He wants --

Bruce *wants* him, and it looks so *complicated*, feels --

But maybe that's what he's trying to express by making Clark do this. He *can't* give Clark pain without the me-- without the *kryptonite* Clark has in the little lead box hidden in his dorm room, but he can make Clark give it to himself --

He can --

Right now it's the *same*, and Clark wants him to know that, *needs* him to know that, know everything about how this pain is making him *feel* marked, feel --

Chastened and appreciated and desired and *owned* --

Oh --

Clark hears himself *gasp* as he keeps slapping himself, as a tear rolls down his cheek --

He won't squeeze his eyes shut --

He'll *behave*, and he'll *show* Bruce* he can behave, that he wants --

That Bruce can *have* everything --

Bruce sighs and *shifts*, *loosening* his grip on Clark's scrotum --

Clark *whimpers* --

And Bruce parts his lips and narrows his eyes -- "Tell me who *can* hurt you, Clark."

"You! You! If --" But he can't tell, he mustn't --

"Your secrets are..." Bruce growls and shakes his head. "I begin to see how such a fundamentally *honest* boy could lie to his lover -- could *keep* her from becoming a true lover with those lies..."

Clark whimpers again and nods -- no -- "I'm sorry, please, I'm *sorry* --"

"Shh. I should know not to ask such questions. Not while you're still slapping yourself..." And the light in Bruce's eyes is almost *covetous* --

No, there's no 'almost' about it. Bruce *wants* this, wants to give him *pain*, and it's only --

It's only one *night* --

It's so hard not to *reach* for Bruce, not to pull him close and whisper in his ear, whisper the way he dreamed of whispering to Lana when they were this naked, this sweaty and *ready* for each other --

I'm not what I seem.

I'm more --

Less --

But I want *us* to be more, and we can, I promise we *can* --

But of course he hadn't told Lana that way --

Of course he --

And the pang for that makes him groan, makes him --

She's so *far* --

She doesn't *want* him, anymore --

And -- maybe Bruce wouldn't, either. Maybe Bruce would be disgusted, and angry, and --

Clark groans again and he can't, he *can't* --

"I'm sorry," he says -- *moans*, and that's when he knows he's stopped, that he's pulled away and *moved* -- to the edge of the bed. He's.

He has his *back* to Bruce and his hands over his face --

He's shuddering and --

But he couldn't take it if another person left. He couldn't --

That *must* mean he's weak, and that he has to keep his secrets, has to --

"Clark... the Justice Society's headquarters are not far from Wayne Enterprises' headquarters. While I have never been -- to my knowledge -- quite *this* close to one... I am not unfamiliar with metahumans." And there is humor in Bruce's voice, *gentle* humor --

He thinks he *knows* --

And --

Couldn't Clark *allow* him to think it? It would -- *could* -- explain all of the strangeness, all of the --

He would --

It's only one *night* --

And the mattress is shifting behind him, and Bruce's heat -- so different from his own, so *human* -- is coming closer --

Bruce's big, strong hands are on his shoulders --

"There's nothing wrong with you, Clark. Even assuming... is that what you fear?"

Clark shudders --

Bruce *squeezes* Clark's shoulders. "I certainly don't desire you any less... though I must admit to a desire to study you," he says, and there's a laugh in his voice that says nothing --

The laugh doesn't know anything about the government laboratories his parents always feared --

That he was *raised* to fear --

And aren't there other laboratories? Other --

LuthorCorp has *defense* contracts. They make -- along with all of those other things -- *weapons* --

Clark shudders and tries to uncover his face, tries to think *rationally* --

He never should have let this *happen* --

And Bruce sighs -- and kisses Clark's temple. "Beyond everything else I have observed -- and deduced... no. More *important* than all of those other things is the fact that this topic makes you vastly uncomfortable. For all that I have demonstrated nothing of the kind, I do have the ability to keep my questions to myself --"

"You." Clark shudders again and drops his hand to his lap. His penis still stings. His -- he bites his lip --

Bruce nuzzles his temple. He -- "Tell me."

"You already -- you think you know everything there is to know about me."


"You do."

Bruce inhales once, deeply. "I don't think I know everything. I don't think anyone can truly know everything about someone else. But... I believe I know the gist of the secrets you keep, yes."

Clark bites his lip again --

Harder --

And Bruce's fingers are gentle as he tugs at Clark's lower lip, as he tries to get Clark to *stop* biting --


Clark allows Bruce to tug his lip free --

Bruce sighs and *strokes* it --

"I want. More with you."

"The feeling is mutual. But --"

"I can. I can run... between eight hundred and nine hundred miles per hour. For... several hours at a time."

Bruce inhales sharply. "Like... the Flash --"

"Sometimes, now, I can... fly," Clark says, and feels himself flushing, feels himself --

He's staring down at his own naked thighs --

He can feel himself flushing -- "There are... other things."

"Other than your strength and -- relative? -- invulnerability?"

Clark nods and squeezes his eyes shut.

"You need not..." Bruce's laugh is somewhat breathless. "I will admit to being desperately curious -- more so, even, than I was before -- but you need not tell me --"

"I'm not human," Clark blurts, and tries to -- no, he looks *ridiculous* when he tries to shrink in on himself, so he *won't* --

"The definition of humanity -- I believe it is far, far more broad --"

"I wasn't. I wasn't born on this planet," Clark says, opening his eyes and -- he can't make himself not focus on the mirror on the closet across from the bed --

He can't stop himself from studying the way Bruce *blanks* his expression so effortlessly --

So *completely* --

His hands are stiff and *still* on Clark's shoulders --

And Clark nods and brushes them away from himself. He --

He stands, and forces his erection to subside, wincing for pain that has nothing to do with slaps --

Bruce had *desired* him --

"How --" Bruce shakes his head once and sits on his heels. "Is your name truly Clark?"

"Yes. I should. I should go --"

"Do you wish to?"

Clark -- doesn't hug himself. He doesn't --

"Look at me. Please."

"I don't -- want to see --"

"Lana rejected you for this secret. You... frightened her?"

Clark inhales deeply because he *must* -- "You're frightened, too."

"You can... sense that?"

"I can... my senses are... strong. I can smell it."

And he can see Bruce nodding out of the corner of his eye. "It's quite frightening to be alone with someone demonstrably more powerful than one is --"

Clark growls and turns, glares -- "You knew that *before*!"

Bruce smiles ruefully -- and offers his hand. "Clark. You are... perfect. And I have consumed just enough popular science fiction to know fear because of that."

"I'm not -- I'm not going to take over the world! Or *destroy* the world! Or -- I just want to *help*!"

Bruce inhales sharply again --

*Searches* him --

"I *mean* it!"

"I know you do. I... I want..." And Bruce *snaps* his open hand into a fist and laughs painfully, turns *away* --

It's -- "Bruce?"

"And once again, I am faced with the terrible proof of my own *cowardice* --" And he growls --

Beats his fist against his *thigh* --

He'll *bruise* there --

"Don't -- don't hurt -- oh."

The broken bones.

The scars.

The hesitation and *fear* --

The... traveling? The *study*, because even though Clark can't really think of what Bruce would need mysticism for --

"You're -- you're training to become a hero. Aren't you?"

And Bruce is gritting his *teeth*. It --

"That's -- it sounds -- that's a terrible sound --"

Bruce stops immediately, but he's tensed all over. His fists are clenched and he's -- blushing.

As if -- "Oh... Bruce." And Clark can't --

He crawls back onto the bed, and he --

He *reaches* for Bruce, and cups his big, wonderful fists -- "It's... I know you might not want to touch me --"

"That *isn't* the problem," Bruce says, and he sounds almost *enraged* --

But he *smells* more frightened than anything else, more -- Clark swallows. "I've wondered. I've wondered if I would meet... other people who wanted to help."

Bruce shudders again --

He still isn't *looking* at Clark --

"I've wondered... there must be more people like... us --"

Bruce groans and squeezes his eyes shut --

He's blushing *harder* --

Almost -- no, he *is* shaking, and --

And he said he didn't mind Clark touching him. He *said* --

Clark hugs him, and strokes his broad, scarred back --

He's so --

He's human-warm, and beautiful, and his chest hair rubs and tickles Clark's chest with every ragged breath he takes and --

And Clark isn't going to be soft for very long. But. "If." He licks his lips. "I could... follow --"

Bruce growls again -- but he doesn't try to push away. He --

"Even when I can't... fly, I can hover. And. And I can run... across water --"

Bruce *grunts* -- and then pulls back to stare at him, to -- study him.

Clark blushes and just --

Just tries to *ignore* the way his heart is pounding, the way his whole body is sweating --

"I'm so scared," Clark blurts --

And Bruce's hand is on his face, Bruce is stroking his cheek, stroking his mouth --

"I... you... please say... something?"

"It seems ridiculous... but I have the strongest desire to promise you that I will protect you," Bruce says, and he's frowning slightly --

Still *blushing* --

Clark licks his lips. "It. It doesn't feel ridiculous. To me."

Bruce nods slowly, almost *painfully* -- "It never occurred to you to dissuade me."

Clark frowns. "No. Why? I mean -- why would I?"

Bruce's laugh is... lighter than it was before. More open, if incredulous. "Clark. You could crush me into unrecognizable *meat* without breaking a sweat --"

"Oh, but --"

"You never would, I know," Bruce says, *soothing* -- he shakes his head. "*You* -- and metahumans of various sorts -- are quite literally *built* for the life of a vigilante. I... am not."

"Um. Are you... no. You're graceful and *really* athletic and strong. I -- I can *tell* --"

"And I am, in fact, practiced in a few schools of martial arts --"

"Oh! That's --"


Clark grunts and *clutches* Bruce -- "Oh -- I'm sorry. I --" Clark closes his mouth and shakes his head.

And Bruce flares his nostrils and studies Clark again, looks *into* him. "When you softened your penis, you *didn't* take away your emotional arousal. Did you."

"I. I can't do that. I don't -- I might be able to do that -- I don't know how. Yet."

Bruce touches his tongue to his upper lip. "You could become erect again... very quickly."

"Yes. Yes, Bruce. But -- I --" Clark bites his lip --

And Bruce smiles. "But you wish to speak with me...?"

Clark shivers for that --

For --

For *all* of Bruce --

And he doesn't bother to stop his penis from starting to rise. "Yes, Bruce."

Bruce looks down between them, nostrils flaring --

Bruce *grips* Clark's face -- "You would follow me on my travels."

"I --"

"Yes or no."

Clark grunts again -- "Yes."

Bruce *touches* his tongue to his lip. "You... what of your studies?"

"I'm. I'm fast. I can." Clark swallows. "I can read a book in... minutes. Seconds if it's not very complicated --"

"And remember everything you've read?"

"Yes --"

And Bruce's smile is almost *savage* -- but. He smells happy. *Thrilled*.

Clark wants to lean *in* --

He pushes *slightly* against the grip Bruce has on his chin --

"No. Be still."

Clark moans -- "Yes, Bruce."

"Were you... valedictorian?"

"No. I... my parents and I agreed that I should... be quieter than that."

If anything, Bruce smells even *happier* --

Clark feels himself *twitch* --

"Oh... Clark."

"Yes. Please. I mean -- yes --"

"Tell me exactly what you want."

"I want -- I want to be your friend, and -- and your lover -- I know I'm younger and -- inexperienced --"

And Bruce's kiss is hard, too *hard*, he'll hurt his *mouth* --

But it feels too good to stop him, even if he were allowed, it feels --

Oh, he's *biting* Clark's lips, upper then lower and back again --

Clark moans and tries to lean closer -- no, he has to stay in *place*. He puts himself back --

"Good boy."

Clark grunts again and wants to beg, wants to --

He's as hard as he was *before*, and Bruce's hands --

He knows what Bruce's hands *feel* like --

He wants them all over his *body*, he wants --

Clark moans and stays still, stays *still* --

And gasps when Bruce bites his *throat* --

So *hard* over his carotid --

And then he pulls back. "Even here..." Bruce licks his lips and raises an eyebrow. "*Do* you have an Achilles heel?"

"No --"

"Would you tell me if you did...?" And that's a *tease*, friendly and -- and *open* --

"I -- there *is* a way to hurt me. I -- I brought it with me -- to school, I mean --"

And Bruce raises his eyebrow higher. "And you never used it with Lana?"

"I couldn't..." Clark swallows and shakes his head. "I couldn't figure out how to do it without telling her everything, and I was -- I was frightened --"

"Shh..." And Bruce narrows his eyes and licks his teeth. "I am... too curious by far."

"I -- I'll tell you anything --"

"Because you trust me?"

"*Yes* --"

"Or because I arouse you?"

Clark blushes too hard to -- to *stop* himself -- but. He can pull it back. He can *show* Bruce his *control* --

"Clark... do you have that level of control over all of your autonomic responses?"

Clark licks his lips. "Not yet. But the artificial intelligence that came with me to Earth says that I almost certainly will."

Bruce blinks --

Clark smiles ruefully --

"More. Now."

"Yes, Bruce. My parents -- my birth parents -- sent me to this planet when I was approximately two years old. There was the ship, the very large -- and incredibly flexible -- blanket I was wrapped in, microscopic and nanoscopic artificial organisms designed to make my life easier on this planet, and... a sort of pad. A computer, only... only very small. Smaller than the average glossy magazine --"

"That's -- no. Go on."

Clark nods. "Stored on that pad was the history of Krypton -- my species' planet, before it was destroyed along with all life on it --"

Bruce hisses between his teeth -- "All?"

"Yes, Bruce. My... my biological parents tried to warn... they weren't believed. And even they were deceived about how dire the situation was."

Bruce shakes his head. His eyes are -- his eyes are so *full* -- "There is nothing I can say."

Clark smiles ruefully. "You... um. I think you... know --"

Bruce presses his thumb to Clark's mouth. "I will... hold this. Within myself."

Clark shivers and -- no, not a nod. "Yes, Bruce. Should I --"

"Continue. If you -- *only* if it isn't too painful."

"It's -- it's not all right."

Bruce nods. "We can speak of other things."

"I want. I could only speak to my parents before. The Kents. The AI... the AI isn't very friendly."

Bruce blinks -- "It... he? She? Is truly sentient?"

"It is, yes. It told me I could choose a gender for it if I wished to, but I..." Clark shivers. "It seems... too much."

Bruce strokes Clark's mouth with his thumb, and cups his Clark's right hip with his other hand.

Clark sighs because he *has* to... "I'm. I'm more powerful every day. The -- I don't think. I mean. There might be an end. But I don't think so. It frightens me very much, Bruce. And. And so does the fact that I have... perfect control over all of it. *Thoughtless* control over most of it by the time I've practiced for a few weeks or months..." Clark smiles ruefully again and shakes his head. "Being alone frightens me more."

Bruce *presses* on Clark's lip with his thumb --

And Clark realizes that he hasn't softened himself for Bruce, at all, that --

He softens his mouth --

And Bruce blinks and narrows his eyes. "Explain that."

"Protective... coloration? I usually... do that. Around... people I'm close to. I don't know why I didn't with you --" But that's a lie. "I wanted. I wanted this."


"Please. Please -- more. You can -- I'll tell you --"


Clark pants -- "Yes, Bruce."

Bruce nods and studies him for a long moment, a moment that *stretches*. Clark is almost sure that the moment is at least somewhat artificial -- he can smell Bruce's renewed sweat and he can *feel* Bruce getting harder again --

But what does 'artificial' truly mean in a *larger* moment like this one? Bruce wants him to wait, so he *will* wait.

Bruce wants him to *feel*, so --

Oh, he'd feel *anyway* --

Clark moans *quietly* --

And it seems as if Bruce isn't blinking *enough*, it seems as if he doesn't have to, doesn't --

Bruce's eyes are so *hot*, and that *is* ridiculous, considering everything his own eyes can do, but Clark feels himself sweating again --

A *lot* --

Bruce flares his nostrils again -- "Your scent..." He smiles, showing teeth. "But I shouldn't be surprised to find it so unlike that of every other teenaged boy I've known, should I?"

Clark licks his lips. "No, Bruce."

A nod -- and Bruce moves his hands to Clark's nipples. "Beautiful boy. I don't want to lose you even for the length of time it would take for you to retrieve... the item. Whatever it is."

"It's --"

"Shh. But of course you could... speed there."

"Yes, Bruce --"

"Is that what you want? Still?"

Clark opens his mouth --

"Stop. Think about it," Bruce says, and raises an eyebrow that --

For a very, very long moment --

For what *feels* like a long moment, all Clark can think about is what it would feel like to press his tongue to Bruce's thick, dark eyebrow and *lick* --

"Clark. *Think*."

Clark moans and -- and does it.

He *could* make his erection subside again -- at least enough to get his jeans back on. He could go back down to that incredible lobby and just -- run.

It would take him *seconds* to get to his dorm, and get the little box, and bring it back.

And then Bruce could let him back up again --

And then Bruce could do *anything* to him, just --

He could make Clark *bleed*, even, and Clark isn't sure if he wants that or not -- no. He *does* want that. He wants to try it anyway, try *everything* that's sexual or can *be* sexual --

He'd always thought he'd have to use the kryptonite *alone*. He'd dreamed, of course, but he'd never really *believed* --

And Bruce is right here.

And Bruce is -- more than willing. *Better* than willing. Bruce wants to touch him and -- and *have* him --

Clark *groans* --

And Bruce raises his eyebrow higher. "Was that an answer?"

"I. I want everything." *But* -- "But..."

"But?" And Bruce *rubs* Clark's nipples with his thumbs, his hard and *callused* thumbs --

Clark twitches and *leaks*, twitches and *moans* --

"Tell me, Clark."

"Not. Not yet. Please."

Bruce pinches Clark's nipples and tugs *gently*.

"Oh --"

"Shh. You want other things right now."


"Be specific, Clark."

Clark winces and --

"Does the prospect of telling me what you want... hurt?"

"No! I. It's. It's not embarrassing. Or -- it is. It's not -- I just. I'm very aroused. Again."

Bruce laughs and shakes his head. "I'd noticed. Speak."

Clark groans. "If you. I want to fellate you."

"Yes...? How."

That question is *confusing*, but -- he can guess. He can -- "I want. I want to take all of you into my mouth. And my throat --"

"Do you know how to do that, Clark...?" And his voice is teasing, so --

Clark lets all of the blush out. Just -- all of it. "No, Bruce. But I know you could teach me."

Bruce hums -- and tugs Clark's nipples again --

Again --

*Again* --

Clark groans and *shivers* --

"Is that what I should do, Clark...? Teach you...?"

*Oh* -- "I think. I think you could teach me... a lot."

Bruce smiles again and *pulls* Clark's nipples --



Clark pants and nods -- no -- "Yes, Bruce. I'm sorry --"

"Perhaps I'm enjoying your... innocence."

Clark feels himself blushing *darker* -- "I'm. Um. I think I can be... very enjoyable. Then."

Bruce *laughs* -- "No. You've done just a bit too much reading for that, I believe."

Clark winces. "I'm sorry --"


Clark closes his mouth --

And Bruce nods. "Ignorance can have many of the same... *symptoms* as innocence, but they are not the same."

"Yes, Bruce."

"You already understood that... from the Kents?"

"Yes, Bruce --"

"I want to take you, Clark..."

Clark moans -- "Please. Please do."

"I want... there are no limits with you, are there. Not like this."

"N-no, Bruce. You could. You could do it... very hard."

Bruce pinches -- very hard.

Clark whimpers and arches *cautiously* --

"You'd give me anything tonight."

"Not. Not just tonight."

Bruce -- licks his lips. "The thought of you in my home... it's so very dark there, Clark," he says, and there's something bleak in Bruce's eyes, something... young.

It's frightening. It's --

It's *important* --

"I. I can see very well in the dark, Bruce."

Bruce shudders and flattens his palms to Clark's chest, strokes and almost seems to *measure* him --

"I --"

"I think..." Bruce licks his lips again and studies Clark, *searches* him -- "I think, perhaps, you bring a light with you wherever you go."

"Oh -- I'm just --"

"Shh. Back up. I'll tell you when to stop -- mm. I already miss your heat. Your phenomenal -- no, don't stop, yet."

"Yes. Yes, Bruce --"

"A little more -- there. Now cross your arms behind your back."

Clark does so, and it makes his shoulders feel too broad, and it makes his nipples feel *available*, and it makes Bruce feel even further *away* --

Bruce takes his penis in his hand, holding it by the base and -- offering it. "Bend down and take the head in your mouth, Clark."

Clark groans and stares, hands twitching --

He wants to *touch* --

He wants --

Bruce's penis looks so much *bigger* than it had when his hands were *available* --

"Clark. The longer you make me wait for your mouth... the longer I make you wait for my semen."

And that --

Clark hears himself make a high, *sharp* noise --

He bends down --

He nearly falls on his *face* -- but he can *hover*, he can let Bruce *see* --

Bruce *gasps* -- and hums. "Fascinating. *Down*."

"Yes, Bruce --"

"Take the head in *now* -- *nnh* -- Clark."

Oh. Oh, the *taste* --

So --

Clark was expecting it to be salty, like sweat, and it *is*, but there's also a sweetness that *must* be from the pre-ejaculate, and there is --

Something --

A *sense* of thickness --

Bruce is *laughing* -- is Clark doing something wrong? Clark looks up --

And Bruce is smiling down at him, laughing more and reaching to stroke Clark's cheeks, and the bridge of Clark's nose, and the skin beneath Clark's *eyes* --

Clark tries to put a *question* in his eyes --

"Perhaps..." Bruce sighs and shivers. "Perhaps I should've known you would immediately begin to suckle."

Oh. That *word*...

Clark is *blushing* again, and --

And his tongue feels *clumsy* --

"*Don't* stop."

Clark moans and shakes his head --

Nods --

Clark -- Clark *suckles*, and closes his eyes --

"No. Let me see you."

Clark *opens* his eyes --

And Bruce is still smiling, still -- "Such power in your mouth. Such... your lips are *hard*, Clark."

Clark *thinks* about softening them -- but. Bruce didn't say.

Bruce hums. "Good boy. Give me... all of your power. Suck *hard* -- *HNH* -- nn. I. I see that I... must..." Bruce growls and shoves his hand into Clark's hair --

*Pulls* Clark's hair --

"The pain is... *nnh*. Clark. Gentler now. Not your lips. Not -- " Bruce shudders -- and his penis twitches once --

*Again* --

And his eyes are bright, *wild* again -- "That was... exhilarating."

There's more pre-ejaculate on his tongue --

Clark moans and -- doesn't suck harder again, doesn't --

He tries for the level of suction Lana would use when she was trying her *hardest*, when she seemed determined to *force* him to an orgasm --

Bruce *pulls* Clark's hair --

Clark stops --

"No. Keep going. Keep..." Bruce sighs and tightens his *grip*. "Just like that."

Clark nods against the pull and does, licking and trying to *urge* more pre-ejaculate to leak by tonguing at the meatus and *around* the glans --

And this laugh is more... breathy. "You make me long to be as... generous as you are, Clark."

Clark blushes again, and looks up somewhat *sheepishly* --

And Bruce hums. "Take more. *Slowly*."

Clark moans and nods again, lowering his head and shivering for the drag of the glans against his palate --

So ticklish and strange --

Bruce sighs and *tugs* -- "Stop there."

Clark *whimpers* -- oh. He hadn't meant to *do* that --

"Mm. Gratifying. But I often enjoy a leisurely touch. I find I want my penis in your mouth for as long as humanly possible," he says, and smiles so *sharply* --

Clark whimpers *again* --

"Suck. As hard as before --" Bruce growls and throws his head back, tendons standing out stark and somehow *shocking* in his throat --

Clark tries a *rhythmic* suck --

"Hnh -- *HNH* -- oh. Oh, yes, I see... stop."

Clark groans and -- stops. Did Bruce feel the hesitation? Will he --

No, Bruce is panting and licking his lips, focusing on nothing at all. He *hadn't* felt the hesitation, which means Clark won't be punished --

Clark blushes and groans again --

*Again* --

And Bruce raises an eyebrow. "Yes, Clark?"

Clark knows his gaze is *pleading*, but ---

"Is there... hmm." And Bruce pulls him off. "Tell me."

"I. I hesitated. To follow your order."

A blink -- but then Bruce narrows his eyes. "Did you."

Clark shivers. "Yes, Bruce."

Bruce studies him for a long moment, and his breathing is... rough. Not ragged -- Bruce is too *controlled* for that -- but it's deep, and it seems to catch on notes with no *sound* --

Clark wants to feel, wants to press down on Bruce's chest and *feel* --

But mostly, right now, he wants the *dark* look in Bruce's eyes --

The *understanding* --

"You will not breathe... until I tell you to do so."

Clark grunts, and immediately feels every *second* since his last breath, every *moment*. His chest feels *tight* --

He --

He can feel his body trying to *hitch* --

There's a bead of sweat rolling down the shallow dip between Bruce's huge and *defined* pectoral muscles and Clark can't *smell* it, can't *taste* --

Clark *moans* --

"Yes, I think you see. Now take me in once more," Bruce says, and pulls Clark back down *slowly* --

So --

It's all Clark can do not to *yank* against Bruce's grip --

It takes so *long* --

Bruce holds Clark *still* when the glans is just brushing Clark's lips, holds --

A bead of pre-ejaculate is forming --

Clark can't *smell* it --

But he can taste, he can *lick* --

Oh, but the taste is so much milder without the ability to breathe in the scent, as well, so much less *complex* --

Clark whimpers and *shudders*, whimpers and *pleads* up at Bruce --

And Bruce's lips are parted, Bruce's eyes are *focused* -- he nods. "Yes, I imagine someone... mm. Someone with senses like your own would be... staggered immediately by the loss of even one. However temporarily. Does it ache, Clark...?"

Clark nods --

"Will you disobey another order?"

Clark shakes his head *frantically* --

"Will you... hesitate?"

"No! *Please*," and that -- that was *almost* the last of his air, but he doesn't need more, yet, he doesn't --

He can hold his breath for *minutes* --

He *can*, and the fact that it doesn't seem that way right now --

Bruce is staring down at him with a *small* smile on his face --

A *lazy* smile, just as if he *isn't* so aroused that he's leaking, that he's *twitching* and --

And *shaking*. It's just a *small* tremor, but it's *constant* -- does he know? Can he feel it?

It makes Clark hitch even more, makes him --

He *begs* with his eyes --

"Will you speak once more, Clark...?"

Clark shakes his head and shudders, *leaks* --

He's *staining* the bed, but --

"You *do* have an order *to* speak..."

And Clark -- groans. There's no air left in him, no --

He feels so *hot*, so --

And Bruce's fingertips are cool on Clark's cheeks as he strokes, as he --

Touches --

"There is... mm. You are something of a miracle, Clark. Does your body warn you when you're about to lose consciousness because of lack of... oxygen? Nitrogen? Whatever it is in this atmosphere that you breathe."

Clark nods and licks his lips. He doesn't breathe. He doesn't breathe --

"At the *first* such warning... pull back," and Bruce pulls Clark onto his penis --

On and *on* --

Until the glans is pressed is against the back of Clark's throat. He --

He's so big. He's so --

There's *more* of him, and of course Clark knew that there *would* be, that --

It feels like he's more flushed than he's ever been in his *life*. It feels like his eyes are on *fire* --

*Oh* --

Bruce gasps and *twitches* in Clark's mouth --

And Clark squeezes his eyes shut until he can remember how to force the heat vision back, until the pain is just pain, just a sting, just something *meaningless* when held against --

He's holding Bruce's penis in his *mouth* --


Clark *sucks*, and for a moment he's panicked, desperate --

He's not *supposed* to --

But then he realizes that he hadn't breathed, hadn't --

Hadn't done *wrong* --

Bruce is panting again, mussing Clark's hair and *shifting* --

Bruce is *laughing* -- "I want -- so much, Clark..."

You can *have* it --

"I want you to tell me why there's a red glow coming from behind your *eyelids*. And did I... did I see?"

Clark nods and sucks harder, *licks*, wants --

But Lana would *work* her soft mouth on his penis --

Lana would give the way --

The way Clark has always *wanted* --

Clark sucks harder and pulls back *slightly*, only enough that he knows Bruce will feel it when he goes back down --

Bruce growls and digs his *knuckles* in against Clark's scalp --

Clark reaches --

"*No*," Bruce says, and *yanks* Clark off --

Clark whimpers and tries --

*Tries* --

And then *remembers*, and *clutches* at his own wrists behind his back, begs, needs, *begs* --

"Is it too much for you, Clark...?" And Bruce looks so angry beyond the red haze of his banked heat vision, looks so -- so --

Clark can't *smell* him to be *sure* --

He's still *shaking* -- "*Answer* me!"

Clark shakes his head vehemently, licks his lips and arches, *tries* --

Opens his mouth and *begs* without words, without --

Without *breath*, and now his chest is *burning*, burning more than his eyes, now he's aching all over, *hurting* --

He'd just --

"You needed to touch me."

Clark nods -- nods and nods *more* --

"You can't. *Yet*. Do you understand?"

Clark nods so much he feels like he's going to fall *over* --

Oh --

Oh, is this?

But he still feels more hot than anything else, more *needy* than anything -- he's not going to pass out, yet, and he needs Bruce's penis, he'll do *anything* --

"I..." Bruce growls again and *yanks* Clark back down --

Fills Clark's *mouth* --

Clark's eyes roll back in his head --

His *skull* feels too hot --

And the *bump* of Bruce's penis against the back of his throat is the most important beat Clark has ever felt, ever *known*. No heart has ever --

But this --

Oh, but --

Clark hitches *hard* and sucks, because Bruce is *thrusting*, taking his mouth the way he said he wanted to, and it's slow --

It's slow and hard and *hard* --

Clark is *drooling* and he wants to stop, *needs* to stop, because it's making it even harder to *taste* Bruce --

Bruce isn't *leaking* enough, isn't --

But he's *saying* something --

"-- mouth, your. I... more. *Now*."

What was it? What *was* it? Clark whimpers *inside* himself and tries sucking harder --

"*No*, Clark. No. I see. I must be clearer. Must..." Bruce pants and growls again, *grips* at Clark's hair --

And the heat is fading --

And the *discomfort* is fading --

No --

Clark doesn't *want* to pull --

Black --

-- back, but he has to, he *has* to --

"-- your *throat*, Clark --"

Oh, no, he'd missed something *else* --

Clark pulls back as gently as he can and *pleads* up at Bruce --

Bruce *grunts* -- "You need -- air."

Clark nods and --

Black --

"-- *now*!"

Clark gasps and hopes it's the right choice, the right --

He *keeps* gasping, and he tries to see, tries --

No, he can *feel* his heat vision trying to go haywire. He squeezes his eyes shut until he can breathe more normally, until he can -- oh.

Bruce is *close*. He --

He *must* be, because his hand is shaking *hard* in Clark's hair and his scent --

It's so deep, so heavy and *rich* --

Clark moans and leans *in* --

And then there are two *thick* fingers deep in his mouth, long and knuckled, salty and *hard*, so much harder than Bruce's *penis* --

Clark whimpers and sucks, tries to *promise* that he'll be good, that he'll be *right* --

He *uses* his tongue --

And Bruce starts to *thrust* his fingers, pushing *in* and --

"Clark... are you... capable of focusing."

Clark nods and looks through his eyelids --

Bruce looks hungry and enraged and drugged all at *once* --

Clark feels himself *spurt* pre-ejaculate and moans again --

No, he wants to suck, *needs* to suck --

"Impressive. I. I will not be able to wait once I have your mouth again, Clark."

Clark nods and licks, and licks --

"I will not. Your mouth is incredible. Perfect --"

Clark shudders and -- and *takes* himself with Bruce's fingers --


Clark *whines*, but he does it. He can't take more punishment, can't --

He needs this *scent*, this incredible --

He can smell them both *together*, and surely that has to mean something, doesn't it?

Surely --

"You will -- you will gulp *as* you swallow, Clark. You. Did Lana never -- no, don't answer me, don't -- I *need* you," Bruce says, and stares at him as if he can tell that Clark can see him through his eyelids -- "Are you *ready*."

Clark nods --

Bruce *yanks* his fingers away --

And Clark forces himself to wait for Bruce's pull, forces himself to wait for every moment --

*Bruce* is gasping --

Bruce thrusts *while* he pulls --

And there's a moment when Clark reminds himself to slow down, to be *circumspect* --

But the moment passes, *obliterates* itself with the drip of *Bruce's* pre-ejaculate on the *back* of his tongue --

He has all the time in the world to take Bruce in.

He has all the time in the world to do it *correctly*, to *think* about the mechanism --

The *sharp* intake of breath --

The creation of *subtle* vacuum --

And -- yes. A careful swallow. A *gentle* swallow, because he doesn't want to *crush* Bruce --

Bruce still cries out *sharply* --

*Loudly* --

Clark looks up and *searches* Bruce for signs of pain which isn't pleasurable --

And then he can't do anything of the kind, because Bruce has both hands in his hair --

Bruce is thrusting and panting --

*Whispering* -- oh. Oh --

Bruce is saying Clark's name over and *over* again --

Bruce is --

Bruce is trying to hold him *still* and he's taking him, *slamming* in --

So -- so --

And Clark *knows* it's fast for a human, Clark had run all *over* the country looking for theaters showing pornographic films so he could build a *baseline* for what was a normal speed for the height of passion --

What could be *accepted* --

Clark wants more.

He wants --

And the image in his mind is so clear, so *tempting*. All he would have to do is *grip* Bruce's hips and move them for him, *force* Bruce to take him harder and faster --

Bruce is too *aroused* to stop him --

Bruce might *enjoy* -- but.

What if he didn't? Or -- what if he did, but Clark's disobedience was enough to make the enjoyment not *matter*? Clark shudders and digs his short nails in against his own wrists --

Holds himself *open* for Bruce's thrusts and *only* Bruce's thrusts --

No, he has to suck, *has* to, and he can, he can *catch* the shaft between his lips --

He can squeeze the glans with his throat --

Bruce cries out and *shudders*, and that's so perfect, so wonderful and *perfect* --

Clark squeezes Bruce rhythmically, squeezes him over and over --

And Bruce loses *his* rhythm almost *immediately* --

Bruce grips Clark so hard --

Oh, a human would bruise *badly* --

Clark sucks *while* squeezing --

"*Clark* --"

Yes, yes, please, *yes* --

And now the thrusts are ragged and *brutal* --

Now Bruce is *shouting* --

Clark feels sweat running down his *back* --

Every time Bruce pulls out of Clark's throat it's all Clark can do not to *lunge* --

But Bruce is holding him in place, Bruce wants *this*, Bruce --

Oh, Bruce *has* him, Bruce is *using* him, and it feels --

It feels so --

Oh --

Clark *yells* a half-second before Bruce shoves deep *again*, before Bruce *chokes* him -- and then Clark's ejaculating, shuddering and clenching on nothing, swallowing as gently as he *can*, but --

"*HNH* -- *Clark* --"

He's holding Bruce in his throat, he's --

Bruce can't *move*, and they're shuddering together as Clark ejaculates again --

Again and *again*, and nothing has ever *felt* like this, nothing has ever *approached* this panic and pleasure and -- and *wonder* --

"You -- your scent is -- let me *go*, Clark!"

He wants to --

He *never* wants to --

But Bruce *growls* as he yanks Clark's hair --

And Clark clenches and *gasps* --

"*Good* boy," Bruce says, and somehow Clark is on his *back* --

He doesn't --

He doesn't know how that *happened*, but Bruce is over him, kneeling over him and pushing his penis in --

So --

Pushing it *in* and *smiling* at him --

So *darkly* --

"Clark... that was beautiful. Don't breathe."

Clark nods and *stares* through his eyelids, through the *flickering* red that means his body doesn't know how aroused to be, doesn't know how to *stop* needing just *this* --

And this, this thrust, this --

Bruce isn't even bracing himself on the *headboard*. His balance is perfect, his body --

He's --

He's all but *riding* Clark's *face*, and Clark isn't sure how *badly* this would hurt a human, but he knows that it would, knows --

And Bruce, he thinks, wouldn't risk that *kind* of hurt, that --

Bruce can *have* this with him, and maybe it was even a fantasy, maybe --

And the red haze is gone --

Clark opens his eyes --

Bruce gasps and *grins*, wild and -- and *full* --

Bruce takes him even *harder*, and Clark nods, begs with his eyes and doesn't breathe even in the brief moments when Bruce is out of his throat, doesn't disobey, doesn't *move* except to suck, and lick --

"Such -- perfection -- " Bruce growls -- "I don't *want* to let go, and I have learned... so much of control --" Another growl and Bruce shakes his head, sweat flying as his eyes get *wilder* --

They --

He needs to see Bruce *lose* control --

He needs to feel it and *taste* it --

Clark *begs* and sucks *harder* --

"*Clark* -- *nnh* -- oh, sweet boy, sweet and -- no. No, you deserve everything, I -- your *mouth* --" And Bruce shoves his left hand back into Clark's hair -- and his right thumb into Clark's mouth *next* to his penis --

They shout *together*, but Clark is choked-off immediately --

Bruce is *tossing* his head --

The stretch is so --

Bruce is forcing him *open* --


Clark *slurps*, blushing hard for the dirty sound of it, the wonderful --

Bruce is shuddering and *staring*, *grinding* into him and --

And *staring* --

Clark sucks *harder* --

Smells *pain* in the brief instant Bruce slips out of his throat -- but then he's back in and he stays there, grinding in and in and --

Shouting again and -- oh, falling *over*, gripping at the pillow with his free hand and jerking --

*Spasming* in Clark's *throat* --

Clark swallows *hard* --

"*Yes* --" And then Bruce is groaning, long and low, *deep* as he shudders and -- ejaculates.

Clark blushes and swallows, swallows and *hopes* --

"I *want* --" Bruce groans again and pulls back *slightly* --

And Clark nods desperately and gratefully as Bruce spills on his tongue, as Bruce gives him his *taste*, which is gamy and thick and *clean*, so --

Bruce is still *spasming* --

Clark holds him still with his mouth --

Bruce gasps and growls and *sobs* --

And Clark clenches on nothing again, needs --

Needs more. Of *everything*.

But -- he can be still. He can --

He can take what he's been given and moan for it, *hope* for it --

It's so good, so wonderful to be able to lick and -- suckle.

Clark blushes more and promises himself not to look at *any* nursing mothers for at least a few days --

Not to look at them *that* way --

Not to look at them that way *much* --

Oh, but giggling with this much fluid in his mouth would be messy. He -- sobers himself. As best as he can --

But he's too late to do it before Bruce looks up and sees his eyes -- and raises an eyebrow.

Clark *grunts* --

Bruce smiles -- and hums. And pulls *out*, thumb and penis, and Clark can't quite keep himself from trying to follow --


"*Nnh* -- oh. Yes, Bruce," Clark says, and lies down again.

Bruce smiles -- more. It's not any wider, but the way he narrows his eyes is so *warm* --

Clark moans --

And Bruce hums again and *strokes* Clark's mouth with his thumb. "I knew, intellectually, that there would be neither swelling nor bruising, but..." He shakes his head. "Remarkable."

Clark licks his lips -- and Bruce's thumb. "I --" Oh, that wasn't a question. Clark shakes his head. "I'm sorry, Bruce."

"Good boy," and Bruce stretches lazily, *easily* -- and lies down beside Clark on his side with one big hand splayed on Clark's chest. "Is there any discomfort?"

"No, Bruce."

"And if we had used... the item?"

Clark shivers. "I've... bruised myself when I've used it. And... I've been wounded in other ways --"

"And the wounds heal as soon as the item is removed," Bruce says, *thoughtfully*.

It *isn't* a question, so Clark doesn't say anything. He just -- he *watches* Bruce, and studies the way his stubble is *significantly* thicker than it was even two hours ago, the way his chest hair is mussed but the hair on his head is still mostly neat, the way even distant *abstraction* looks sharp on --

But he's studying Clark in turn, again. He --

Clark swallows and waits.

And Bruce smiles again. "All right. *Now* I'm ready for you to tell me what the item is."

"It's... a piece of Krypton. Irradiated from the destruction and, possibly, from passing through some part of space the AI couldn't comprehend..." Clark shakes his head. "I'm not sure. The radiation is dangerous enough to act as a mutagen on some humans. My parents and I have been collecting all of it that we can find --"

"*How* do you collect it if it hurts you?"

Clark smiles ruefully. "Mostly I'm... um... the canary? When I fall over, I mark the place, and then my parents find... well. Most people think there was a very serious meteor shower the day my ship landed --"

Bruce inhales sharply --

And Clark knows what he's thinking about. "I... Lex Luthor was caught in it. It's why. It's why I always hoped he... was doing all right."

Bruce closes his eyes for a long moment -- and then opens them and shakes his head once, jaw hard and set. "You are not the cause of his -- moral failings."

Clark smiles ruefully. "I'll... ah. Take your word for that."

"Will you?"


Bruce laughs somewhat darkly. "Beautiful boy... while I am not *that* much older than you are, I have studied certain things extensively. One of those things is the nature of martyrdom."

Clark blinks --

And Bruce shows his teeth. "Martyrs tend to have the best luck saving people's *souls*, Clark. I believe you were hoping for something rather more tangible than that. Yes...?"

Oh -- Clark blushes again. "I think. I think I want to go back to church and apologize to *someone* for that, Bruce --"

Another laugh -- and this one is much better. "Let *me* take you to church. I'll show you the world's most beautiful -- and pointless -- cathedrals, temples, monasteries, mosques... et cetera. And then I'll show you the abject, grinding poverty which often exists cheek by jowl with such things."

"I'm not -- I'm not unaware --"

"No, you're not," Bruce says, and presses two fingers to Clark's mouth. "Forgive my cynicism. Please."

I think -- Clark kisses Bruce's fingers --

Bruce pulls them back *just* enough that Clark can speak comfortably --

"I'm not sure there are many things you could do that I *wouldn't* forgive, Bruce. You -- you're *making* yourself into a hero."

"And you're not...?"

"I'm... flailing around and -- I want you to teach me, to show me what I should be teaching *myself* --"

And Bruce presses his fingers to Clark's mouth again. "I want to make love with you daily, and I want to spend the time we're not doing so in conversation."

Clark grunts and twitches and --

And Bruce smiles. "That will not be -- entirely -- possible. But...?"

"I'm -- please. Just. You just have to tell me where to run to, Bruce."

Bruce sighs and leans in, kissing Clark softly, so --

He's being so *gentle* with Clark's mouth, and for a moment all Clark can think is that he's thinking of Lex, thinking of the man -- the *boy* -- who showed every mark and who would maybe *need* gentleness in a moment like this one, and Clark wonders if he should press harder, *urge* --

But when Clark opens his eyes, *Bruce's* eyes are *already* open --

Bruce sighs into his mouth and rolls on top of him, straddles Clark's hips and cups his face --

Smiles again, so brightly, so --

Clark is never, ever going to tell him how insane he looks when he smiles like that, but only because he might *stop*, and Clark's penis would never be able to forgive that. He --


"I. Yes, Bruce?"

"Tell me what you *never* want to do sexually, so that I may begin brutalizing the desire for it out of myself."

Clark *moans* -- "Nothing. There's nothing --"


"There's *nothing*. I want -- I want to at least *try* everything, Bruce, and I've been -- I've been. Hungry."


Clark winces, but -- "It's. Sometimes it's the same thing."

Bruce *grips* Clark's face. "Yes. I... then we will have everything. At least once."

"Is -- I don't want to do anything *you* don't want --"

Bruce *grins* again. "Then we won't... but my skin has ached with the need to be touched, Clark. With the need to be gripped, and stroked, and bitten, and caressed, and licked, and slapped, and --"

"*Oh* -- oh. I -- I'll do *anything*!"

"And so will I. And we will enjoy every moment of it we *can*, beautiful boy... but first we'll eat dinner."

"*Yes* -- what?"

Bruce laughs and leans back, resting his palms on his thighs. "You *do* eat, don't you...? Or... hm. I suppose your strength is far too prodigious to have anything whatsoever to do with diet and exercise."

Clark blinks and tries to -- no, he can think. He -- he *can* -- "The AI seems to think that radiation in Sol's wavelength is... is what makes me powerful. Krypton had a red sun."

"And? I'm not quite sure I follow."

Clark smiles ruefully. "I didn't either. The AI made me sound like a *plant*. But... um. I do eat. I like to eat! I eat... a lot. But I don't have to! I mean. If you want to eat --"


"Yes, Bruce."

"I would like to eat with *you*... and that's precisely what I'm going to do. Let me retrieve the room service menu. You should think of it as a list of suggestions, as the kitchens here are more than equipped to provide any number of things which aren't on the menu, at all. All right...?"

"Oh -- yes."

Bruce raises an eyebrow. "Tell me what that was."

"I'm not --" Sure. But he is. And -- Clark smiles ruefully again. "I'd really. I'd really like to kiss you again. First."

Bruce hums... and makes a come-on gesture. He --

Clark sits up *immediately* and it's like Lana the first -- several times. He doesn't know what to do with his hands, and he doesn't know how to hold his head, and he --

"Clark. *Do* it."

And then he just *is* cupping Bruce's face, cupping and -- and *molesting* his growing stubble as he kisses Bruce's human-hard mouth and kisses it again --

Again and *again*, and he can push *one* hand into Bruce's hair and grip, hold and *touch* --

He can slip his tongue *deep* and make love, taste and feel and *have* --

He can *take* --

And moan when Bruce shivers --

And *shiver* when Bruce opens his *eyes* -- and bites Clark's tongue.

Clark *groans* --

And Bruce pulls back *slowly*. "Lie back down and wait for me, beautiful boy."

"Yes, Bruce," Clark says.

And does just that.


Feedback lets me know you're out there -- and yes, I care about that. Feedback is how I connect to people, and how I make new friends and meet new lovers -- just ask the ones I already have sometime. Feedback makes all the hard work *more* meaningful, and *more* special, and *more* worthwhile. Feedback? Is the glue that holds my fragile sanity together, to be honest. Talk to me.

DW :: LJ :: E-mail