Title: Proceed to Step Two
Rating: Adult, NC-17
Length: 2666 words
Spoilers: eh, not really
Warnings: slash, odd humor, angst, domestic bickering
Disclaimer: Not mine, seriously. All belongs to DC Comics.
Summary: Sometimes Clark just doesn't feel like it.
Clark had a bad day. A bad three days. An earthquake in Quraq and rescue mission that left him feeling desolate, drained and filthy. Rubble and bodies and so useless, just another emergency worker. The stinging shower and the unbelievable thread count of Bruce's sheets did little to erase the ache.
He just needed sleep.
"Move over," Bruce said not ten minutes later, Clark so close to drowsing. "You're in the middle of the bed again."
Clark mumbled and shifted as Bruce slid beside him.
And then Clark felt the hand on his shoulder, mouth on the nape of his neck, Bruce pressing against his back and hardening. Clark pointedly ignored him.
"You're not asleep, Clark, so don't pretend that you are," Bruce whispered against his shoulder. Clark could feel Bruce reaching back, the nightstand opening.
"Look," Clark said, even as he felt the now slick fingers moving down between them, "I don't feel like it so just stop."
"You'll feel like it in a minute," Bruce whispered, his other hand reaching around. "We can do it like this, you don't even have to actively participate. Fall asleep during. I don't care."
Clark's eyes flashed open, but he didn't turn, and he slapped Bruce's hand away. "I said no. Doesn't that mean anything to you?"
Bruce stilled, just a brief moment. "Apparently not," he said, as he rubbed against Clark. "Will you move just a little, Clark?"
Clark clenched, Bruce's fingertips narrowly escaping the top of his cleft. "Don't hurt yourself," Clark hissed, grabbing his pillow tighter.
"I have slept alone for too damn long not to be aroused by a warm body in my bed," Bruce hissed in return in Clark's ear and still pressed against his back. "You've had a shit day? Too bad. So have I. You're not the only one with a body count, Clark. I had my ass in the freezing rain all night and still couldn't save them. So yes, I want to fuck and you damn well better oblige."
"Funny," Clark said, very conversationally, but still facing away, "I could have sworn you said when I moved in here that I didn't have to pay rent."
The hand on Clark's shoulder gripped hard and then pushed away, Bruce rolling with it. "Get out of my bed and go sleep in your Fortress."
That did it. Clark turned, Bruce now on his back and staring at the ceiling. "Oh, so it's our bed when we do and your bed when we don't. But somehow it's never my bed when I want to and you don't. How does that work, you selfish--"
"Don't," Bruce said, still staring at the ceiling, voice still low. "Don't pretend that you want me more than I want you. Ever."
Somehow, the room tilted and Clark could only say, "What?"
"The novelty's wearing off, isn't it, Clark?" And Bruce put an arm over his eyes, swallowed.
Clark leaned up on his elbow. "Bruce, what are you saying?"
"You're not gay, Clark. I've been with enough curious men to know that curiosity doesn't last. First it's the excuses and then the apologies and finally the brush off."
Clark fell back to the pillows, stared up at the ceiling himself. "How--? I can't believe you! I say no one time and you, of all people, get insecure? I live here, you idiot."
"I can be very persuasive," Bruce said, arm still over his eyes.
Clark just laughed. "Give me some credit, Svengali. I can think and choose for myself. Besides, you've always been the ladies' man, not me. You can't tell me...How many did you kiss tonight at that benefit of yours anyway?"
"Three. Very brief."
That twist and turn, warm and cold at the same time, worked its way through Clark's chest to his throat. "You know that bothers me," he said, slightly hoarse. "I don't--"
"You've been spending more time with Diana lately," Bruce only said, cutting in.
"I'm allowed to have friends, Bruce. And no, I don't kiss them. Not with tongue."
"I can't come out, Clark. You know that. Even in my cosmopolitan set, it would be a detriment. Certainly business-wise."
Clark rubbed a hand over his eyes, now fully awake but still exhausted. "And what do you tell them about me? Am I the gardener? The pool boy?"
"You're a good friend on sabbatical from your job and finishing up your novel. You needed a quiet place, a retreat. I provided that since I have the room."
Clark's throat felt too tight now to get the words out, but he managed anyway. "So I'm your houseguest that pats you on the back for your womanizing. That's just great."
"My reputation has suffered, indirectly, from that." Bruce moved his arm away, but didn't look at Clark, just the ceiling. "I used to be known for certain...skills. Now I only kiss."
"Apparently, I have a satisfying mouth. So much so that questions were never asked about my disappearances...or my heterosexuality. I'm a cad and a gentleman since I never asked for the favor in return, and most of these women were quite delighted to see Bruce Wayne again as well as accompany him to certain events."
"You..." Clark could only blink.
"And this was a horrible necessity for your cover?"
"No, actually, I quite enjoyed it."
Clark closed his eyes. Bruce had...how many? Dozens? A hundred? Hundreds of women, over the years? Only half a charade and partially true. Bruce bent forward on the seats of limousines, in darkened hallways, verandas, hotel rooms, maybe even here. Here on this bed. Bruce on his knees pushing up a cocktail dress, stockings or bare thighs, pulling aside lace, satin. His mouth, oh God, his mouth, tongue slightly cool from his drink and warm breath...
"How does this make you anything but bisexu--"
"It wasn't love or lust, Clark, just--"
"What? You wanted to or you didn't."
"Fun. I don't know how to explain this to you. My desires have always been for men, with a few notable exceptions."
A few? So Clark started with the names, at least the ones he knew. "Selina," he said. "Talia, Vicki, Diana..." And this one really bothered him but he said it anyway, "Lois."
"Yes, yes, yes, yes and no," Bruce said. "Jesus, if we'd just...we would have been done by now and not having this conversation. I'm tired, you're tired." And he rolled over without so much as a good night.
Great. Now he was awake with Bruce's past and present rampaging through his head. Bruce leading some woman through these doors, kissing her, drink in one hand, pushing her back on the bed and him falling to his knees. He'd tease of course, kiss her ankle, rub her thighs...
He heard something shift and opened his eyes. Bruce, fully awake, stared at him shrewdly, his eyes narrowed. "You're thinking about it," he said as he glanced down. Down to where Clark began tenting the blanket, half-mast and rising. He moved closer, arm draping around Clark and mouth on his shoulder. "You're thinking about women, how they taste."
Bruce swung a leg over Clark, still between the sheets. "Keep on thinking," he murmured, lips now ghosting Clark's neck, hips slowly grinding. "It's all right. Interested now, aren't you?," he whispered. "Go ahead and think, I'll just look at you." And he moved, a gentle rock and hiss, arms braced.
Clark, eyes half-lidded and flush seeping down his chest, moved with him, cock to cock. How could Bruce think that this reaction hadn't been about him? His mouth and all the ways he could use it, silver tongue or harsh. Reaching up, he stroked Bruce's face, Bruce turning to kiss the inside of his wrist. Clark had to prove he was in this for real, even as Bruce was now reaching again to the nightstand, pushing Clark's knees up. Clark had to prove that he'd never be too tired for him, never tired of him, had to prove...
"God, you manipulative asshole!" Clark said as he bucked and shoved. "Get off me." Bruce missed the corner of the nightstand by inches as he landed at the edge of the bed. "I said no."
"You stubborn, pig-headed..." Bruce snarled, picking himself back up and leaning against the headboard. "You want to." He rubbed his hand over his face. "Jesus Christ, I just want to get laid and go to sleep and not have to deal with this domestic bullshit."
Clark, back now facing him again, raised one hand, rubbed his thumb and index finger together. "World's tiniest violin." Then he just extended his middle finger to get his point across. "You set me up. No cookie for you."
Bruce banged his head against the wall, teeth audibly grinding. "Go sleep on the couch."
"You go sleep on the couch."
"No, you...I am not doing this."
"Then skip step one, because you're not getting any, and proceed to step two."
"How am I supposed to sleep like this? You know that I--"
"Don't even start. Take an Ambien."
"I don't need a fucking Ambien, I need to get off."
Clark rolled over, took a small breath and blew. Little snowflakes curled through the air, small ice crystals on Bruce's eyelashes.
"Aim a little lower and put a mint in your mouth," Bruce said, wiping the frost from his face. "At this point, I'll take anything."
Clark only answered by rolling back over.
A few seconds later, Bruce said, "Fine."
And then a few seconds after that, Clark heard slow rhythmic sounds, flesh meeting flesh. Bruce was...
"Go do that in the bathroom!"
The sounds did not stop, only Bruce's voice now punctuating them. "My house...not going to...jerk off...over some...toilet.
Clark only stared at the wall. "Don't expect me to help."
"At this..." Bruce said, "I'm...an expert."
Clark succeeded in not laughing, but it was hard. Because then he would have to roll over and assist. And he was still pissed. But so was Bruce. Bruce could just be doing this mechanically, get a point across and win somehow. But the way he was going now, slowing down and small hitches of breath, he had to be thinking of something. Someone. Someone else.
So Clark turned as quietly as he could, cheating a little, rising millimeters above the mattress and shifting.
Bruce had his eyes closed, concentrating, legs slightly splayed, blanket and sheet pushed down, fingertips of his free hand tracing his chest, and the hand in motion almost feathery and then gripping. Whoever was in Bruce's head, he was worth drawing it out.
"Who are you thinking about?" Clark said softly. Bruce never really discussed his past, just hinted that he had one. From what Clark could gather, frequent one night stands, a few intense but short relationships all ending in heartbreak with mostly Bruce as the perpetrator but one or two that left him the one standing there. But this, this was all about fantasy. It could be anyone. And which would be worse, Clark not recognizing a name? Or recognizing one? It didn't matter. Bruce would never answer.
"You," he said.
Of course he'd say that. Just more guilt and manipulation.
"It's an old one," he said, a sigh, "But it still works."
"Tell me about it," Clark said, settling but only close enough to watch, not touch.
Bruce started to shake his head, and Clark was sure he'd mutter something about privacy, but he stopped. "Just my type," he said. "Muscular, determined...straight and unavailable...you were perfect...from the beginning...wanted to hate you."
Clark remembered Bruce's coldness, dismissiveness, his cape turning as he walked away. How that hurt. Everyone liked Superman. Except Batman. And the more he tried, conciliatory, the more Bruce scowled.
"Shameless flirt...flirted with everyone...and your blush...used to embarrass you on purpose...just to see it...so powerful...and you'd blush...Jesus, Clark...wanted to push you up against a wall...fuck you...and you'd go home to your girlfriend..."
His face against a steel wall, thrum of the Watchtower vibrating through his skin, Bruce's breath on his neck...that voice in his ear...gloved fingers shoving his cape aside...
Clark's hand wandered down, found its own rhythm and heat.
Bruce's head turned slightly, eyes half-lidded. "Clark," he said, "Just turn over."
Hand still moving, Clark said, "No, we're talking. This is like phone sex."
"We're not on the phone..."
"We talk or we stop."
"And they call me cruel." But Bruce only turned to his side, facing Clark, didn't move forward.
"So we're on the Watchtower..." Clark said, hand moving slightly faster at the thought.
"No, that...that's not how this one goes."
Clark heard the whisper of 'shut up' in there, so he did.
Bruce's eyes were open now, face only six inches from Clark. "You wanted to be friends...don't have friends...did it for you...only way to have..." He stopped talking, swallowed. "Can we stop?"
"No. Where are we?"
"Your apartment," he finally said. "You're with Lois."
"And you're watching..." Clark's had this one too. One night he forgets to draw the blinds and Bruce is on the rooftop across, binoculars, Clark can hear him, boot braced on the edge, the steady heartbeat. Somehow, Bruce silently comes in, needing him for something and stands in the bedroom door. His cameras...
"My. Fantasy." But Bruce didn't sound upset. His eyes searched Clark's, a silent question. Clark nodded and the corners of Bruce's mouth twisted up.
"You invite me to dinner."
And they had, a few times, Bruce always leaving with a clank of his fork and a barely polite exit. Things to do, he had said. Busy.
"Always took the edge off...at the hotel...first...always. But this time, I don't. She tells me to stay...that there's more wine...you've talked about it and...I follow the two of you back...to the bedroom."
They never had. Talked about it. So confused, Clark didn't dare bring it up. "Okay...and we..." Oh God, what do they do? Does Bruce just watch? Does he touch her? He goes down on her, like he said earlier. "You...your mouth."
"No...you," he said. "Your mouth on her, your hands...spreading her...thighs. I kiss her but...mostly watch. Work my way down to...help. I touch your back...run my hands...so close...and kiss you...accident...apologize...but I do it again...and."
"You let me. You're surprised, but you let me."
"You say, 'It's okay.' And you smile...and then..."
Bruce was close now, breath a rapid shudder, hand moving faster. "Clark...I can't."
"You don't have to. It's okay...let's just finish..." Clark inched forward, but still didn't touch.
Bruce's face twisted, the words a pained and ecstatic whisper, "You...tell me...you say..."
Clark wanted to stop him, but he could only watch, speed up his own movement. To see Bruce like this...
"You say that you...love me and I...say it back."
Clark broke the rules then, leaned forward and pulled Bruce in. "You're right. We're not on the phone. I'm here." And he kissed him, tongue soft and mouth open. Bruce pushed into it, came. Only two strokes more and Clark followed.
"We're a mess," Bruce said when they pulled apart slightly, Clark's hand still wrapped around Bruce's neck, their foreheads touching.
"Yes, we are," Clark said. "And I wouldn't have it any other way."