Batman sloshed through the sewer, thoroughly disgusted with what was floating around and what was clinging to his costume and boots. Killer Croc was long gone, and Batman was not going to catch him, at least not without a helluva lot of effort. Sighing, he flipped his cape back and kept walking.
& & & & & &
Two hours later, Batman was wringing out his sopping-wet cape, giving up as the rain pelted down. He walked with squishing boots to the Batmobile, pulling out an old blanket from the trunk and putting it on the front seat. He sat down and drove for home.
Killer Croc was safely in custody, though it hadn’t been an easy collar. Batman felt chilled to the bone.
Gotham gloried in this weather: harsh, driving rain like icy needles on the skin, everything wet and mouldering like the city itself.
Batman drove to the outskirts of the city. Even when Wayne Manor appeared brooding against the dark skies, it was still home.
He drove into the Batcave, groaning as he got out of the car. Plodding toward the showers, he took off his costume and was in the middle of his scrubbing when he suddenly felt a telltale rush of air.
Seconds later, he was slightly dizzy and unsettled, sure signs of a super-speed trip at low intensity. He was in his bathroom upstairs with a warm robe wrapped around his body.
Water was running in the tub, the scent of rosewater light and delicate. Yellow rose petals floated on the water, shimmering from candlelight cast by candles surrounding the tub.
His lover was smiling. “Tough night?”
“You could say that.”
Clark removed Bruce’s robe, helping him into the warm tub.
“Just lay back and relax and let me do all the work.”
Bruce closed his eyes, letting the clean water wash over his body like a waterfall as Clark’s hands washed him down. He could feel himself relaxing, all the soreness and tension flowing out of his tired muscles. Light flickered behind his eyelids, the rich scent of roses tickling his nose as he felt the petals caress his skin.
Clark’s soothing voice lulled Bruce into near-sleep. He felt strong arms that could lift the world lift his body out of the tub, dry him off and wrap him in a big, fluffy towel, and carry him over to the bed. Those same strong arms surrounded him as Clark joined him in bed.
He was surrounded by love.