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Between Dreams

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"I thought I'd do you the courtesy," the Superman said. "Rather than letting you find out via breaking news along with everyone else."

He smiled amiably, apparently heedless of the way Bruce clutched his mug of coffee, and of the way he had taken only half a breath since the Superman had come sweeping through the rising mist to ruin his breakfast. The sunrise limned him in gold and his cape billowed around him as though underwater, on the brink of defying gravity as brazenly as its owner.

The toe of one red boot left ripples on the lake's surface. Bruce watched them spread and disperse.

"Could you lay off the numinousness?" he said.

"That's an impressive ten-dollar word for so early in the morning," the Superman said, but his brow creased, as though trying to decide what might be the least god-like way to stop being god-like. The indecision in him put Bruce at further unease, as did the moment when he lifted into the air and alighted onto the decking a half-meter from where Bruce sat, rattling the boards. The lake peaked into waves at his passage, and then settled again, sloshing against the deck's pilings.

Bruce slowly, carefully, put his coffee cup down. "I can afford it," he said.

"Bruce." The Superman clutched the edge of his cape in one hand. "Can we talk?"

Bruce rested his elbows on his knees, then put his face in his hands. "No," he said, muffled. "But you can help yourself to the toast."

*

Bruce's nightmares had never truly abated, but they seemed to uptick again in the wake of Superman's res— resurgence. Restoration. Revival.

Return.

Thankfully they weren't the same vivid, portentous ordeals that had sprung from Bruce's obsession, but they were often cast from the same mold, and just as unsettling for it. They still involved an empty planet, and chains, and still involved the Superman, and sometimes involved his fist. It always involved Bruce's heart, one way or the other.

(The worst ones, though, they were busy and public and involved firm hands, the cool hum of a server tower pressed against his cheek, and a forgiveness he'd not yet earned.)

*

It was on one of those dreams that Bruce shouted himself awake, his subconscious ferociously resisting a moment of surrender. He strained against the vestiges of it, only to find a firm hand in the center of his chest, easing him back to the mattress. The Superman knelt over him, his cape draping over the bed in luscious folds.

He wore an expression of gentle concern; his eyes caught color from the prismatic sunrise, and in the liminal space between dreams and wakefulness, Bruce almost reached for him—but then his head cleared and the morning rushed to greet him unkindly, all the sweaty physicality of it.

"What are you doing in my house," he rasped, with as much authority as he could muster while naked and on the cusp of involuntary orgasm.

"I'm sorry," the Superman said, shifting back but not removing his hand. "I thought you—I heard you calling for me."

"People call for you all day, every day. Do you go sit by their beds?" Bruce's throat was dry and his voice cracking, but he didn't dare reach for the glass of water on his nightstand. A cursory check-in with his body confirmed that even the drag of the sheets would be enough to finish him.

"No. Uh. Yeah, they do," the Superman said. "But mostly they don't use my real name."

Bruce felt his dream split open, his secrets threatening to spill with every throb of his pulse.

"You don't sleep well," the Superman said. Clark said. That was the name on Bruce's tongue when he was being exonerated against the cold glass of Luthor's server-room walls. "I can't help knowing about it."

"You could if you tried," Bruce said.

Clark ducked his head as though he could be abashed. "It's okay," he said. He touched his own cheek in notation. "I have nightmares about you too, sometimes."

The hand on Bruce's chest slid up, over the sweep of his collarbone and to the vibration of his blood, beating in his throat. Clark's thumb pressed into the soft underside of Bruce's chin, his fingertips resting lightly below his ear, and Bruce fell into a conditioned stillness. He was acutely aware of how easily Clark could snap his neck. He had more than a few reasons to do so.

He brought his own hands up, one around Clark's wrist, the other tightening in his hair, and came, untouched, with a deep shudder.

"Oh," Clark said—a small, awed noise. He watched Bruce's face as he recovered, and then leaned in to kiss him on the corner of his jaw.

Bruce cupped the back of Clark's head, turned his mouth to his ear and murmured, "Get out."

*

After that, maybe he learned to filter out Bruce's louder dreams. For all his dilated pupils and quickened breath, the imposition of his kiss, Bruce wouldn't let himself imagine Clark listening in earnest. The world with a Superman couldn't be a world without privacy. The repercussions of his existence—his persistent existence—were terrifying enough.

But maybe that was what had stayed his hand lately, whenever he needed the kind of release that raw violence couldn't, shouldn't, bring—and maybe that was why he found himself once again on the crest of orgasm, the dream-sound of his ribs cracking in his ears and Clark's name ringing off the glass walls of his bedroom.

Walls that shone with a colorful blur.

"Okay," Clark said, leaning over him. "I honestly thought you were in trouble this time."

Bruce gathered a fist in the front of his uniform. Clark let himself be drawn down, until their foreheads rested together. "I am," Bruce said.

Clark cupped the back of Bruce's neck while he caught his breath, and leaned in as though to kiss him.

Bruce could smell himself. His thighs were sticky. "Jesus," he muttered against Clark's lips.

"Not by a long shot." Clark eased Bruce's fingers loose so he could slowly pull the sheets away from him. His cock was already beginning to soften. Clark knelt, depressing the mattress with knees and hands, and nuzzled gently at its slick length.

"Can we?" he said, breath warm on Bruce's over-sensitized skin. "I'd like—I think it might help."

Bruce let his head fall back and his legs fall open, and with somewhat suspect eagerness, Clark took him in his mouth. His pliant, hot mouth with teeth that could bite through steel. It strained a formless noise out of him. It was far from the worst torture Bruce had endured, but there was a unique frustration to it. If he were twenty years younger, he would maybe think about getting hard again.

He gathered a handful of Clark's hair and willed his body to obey.

Clark sucked him delicately, playing his cock across his tongue until Bruce's toes were curling, his heels digging into the bed in an effort to alleviate the borderline intolerableness of how gentle he was, until he was limp and clean and on the verge of making some truly mortifying noises. He'd pay good money for the careless scrape of his teeth, but Clark just let his cock slide from his mouth and brought his tongue down further instead. Bruce bucked, twisting his fistful of Clark's hair, and wondered what kind of nightmares Clark had that would precipitate this.

Clark pinched the inside of his thigh in response. "Keep still," he said.

"Well, that's not going to do it," Bruce said, between gritted teeth. God, if he were twenty years younger. Ten, even.

Clark curled his mouth against Bruce's skin and rested two fingers on his hipbone, pinning him with ease, then pushed his legs further apart. He was enthusiastic and comprehensive with his mouth, holding Bruce's thigh still as he slid his tongue tight inside him. When he pressed a thick finger in alongside, Bruce almost believed he might come a second time anyway, wet and soft, just the convulsions and the endorphins and his own injudicious fantasy made flesh.

But—Clark abruptly stopped and sat back on his haunches.

"Is this what you dream about?" Bruce asked him.

"Not at all," Clark said, with slightly more gravitas than the situation warranted. The outline of his cock was stark against the tight form of his costume. Bruce brushed his fingers over the thick impression of it, and Clark's eyes fluttered shut. He blindly guided Bruce's hand to press into the crease between his hip and groin, and his costume peeled away. Some kind of material suspended in a bio-electromagnetic field; smart textile; responds to kinesthetic signals; beneficial applications for the Suit? the part of Bruce's brain that never shut the fuck up helpfully rattled off.

And Clark's cock fell unrestrained, full and heavy. It was as human-looking as the rest of him, if a hint more generous than those Bruce had thus far encountered, and wetter than he could have hoped for. Bruce reached out and touched, stroking the firm curve of it. Clark gasped sharply, and it made Bruce wonder just how sensitive he was, if Clark could read the whorls of his fingerprints.

Instead of turning him onto his stomach, Clark spooned up behind him. He felt Clark press his mouth to the side of his neck, and made a low noise in his throat—this was a little more intimate than he had anticipated. Nightmare, indeed.

"Oh, shush," Clark said, and lifted Bruce's leg, pulling it back over his hip, arranging his knee into the crook of his elbow. Hauled about like he's no more substantial than featherdown. He'd never been with someone who could genuinely overpower him—so often he'd had to pretend, to hold back—and now, here was Clark. He could do it as easily as breathing.

He could give Bruce everything he deserved, and then, maybe, forgive him.

Clark's cock slid in the crease of Bruce's thigh, smearing him with its copious precome. Kryptonian biological quirk? Something he'd ruminate on later, probably at length. For now, he felt Clark's fingers stroke over him one more time, spreading the wetness around before retreating; the rounded head of his cock nudged at him instead.

Bruce angled himself, arching his back.

"Is this—"

"No," Clark said, voice tight as he inched inside of him. "Not this, either."

"Fuck." Bruce rolled his hips, pulling Clark further into him with sweet rills of not-quite-pain, stridently setting the pace when Clark pushed back.

Clark exhaled a loud breath against Bruce's ear. "I'm—not going to last if you keep doing that," he said.

"So much for the Man of Steel."

Clark snorted. One hand came to rest on Bruce's hip, the other already spread over the contour of his ribcage. His palms were smooth, veins on the back of his hand raised with the warmth, his skin flawless. No grazes or cuts or bruises, though Bruce knew he had halted a locomotive with them only yesterday.

He bit delicately at the tendon in Bruce's neck and in the same instant drove him onto his cock. Bruce teetered where he was balanced on the pleasure-pain knife-edge, but that would never do for penance so he matched Clark's thrusts, brute-forcing himself headlong into that second orgasm. Soft as he might be, he wasn't quite dry. Clark's hand moved over him as he clenched through it, smearing the gush of clear ejaculate across his stomach, fingertips digging into the tender flesh below his sternum.

Bruce turned his head so they could kiss, leaning back and throwing his whole weight into it. Clark kissed him in return, and didn't shift an inch. Bruce bit at his mouth, and he barely seemed to notice, just cradled Bruce's jaw and kept fucking him inexorably.

"Not—like this at all," Clark said, then inhaled sharply and swallowed. He clung to Bruce and pulled out to rest his cock on the inside of his thigh. Bruce could feel him pulsing against the soft skin there, and the heat of it as he came heavily over his thigh and stomach. Clark's breath shook out in a satisfied sigh.

He'd like to have watched, but Clark's fingers still held his jaw, keeping Bruce's face turned to his own.

"Let go," Bruce muttered.

He was unmoved by Clark's sheepish little smile as he obliged, but somehow Bruce still couldn't manage to shift himself—either his face, or his leg from where it was draped over Clark's hip. He sighed and closed his eyes. The morning sun fell through the lakehouse's windows in a vast slab of heat.

He already knew he was going to blow off his ten o'clock.

What time was it? It might already be too late for that.

Too late for a lot of things.

"So, what are they?" Bruce asked.

"Hmm?" Clark sounded as lethargic as Bruce felt. Interesting—orgasm apparently had a soporific effect on his kind, too.

"Your dreams."

"Hm." There was a smile in Clark's voice. "Easier to show you. If you think you can handle it."

Bruce cracked an eye open and raised an eyebrow with it. Clark grinned brightly at him—then the grin faltered, and he lifted onto an elbow suddenly, listening to something beyond Bruce's ken.

"I have to go," he said. "Sorry." He lifted Bruce aside and flitted to his feet; he was dressed faster than Bruce could track, red cape swinging around him when he leaned over and kissed Bruce's shoulder with absurd familiarity.

Bruce glowered and brushed him off but Clark persisted, kissing the furrow of his brow instead, a casual benediction.

"Don't say it."

"Sweet dreams," Clark replied, and with the soft drag of fabric and a cool draft, was gone before Bruce could lodge an objection.

The after-impression of him faded, and Bruce found himself in an unreal solitude, his familiar surroundings made strange by the time of day and his state of mind. He closed his eyes and felt his body ache pleasantly, and wondered if he were about to fall asleep, or wake up.

***