Chapter 1: Three in the Bed (cuddling while in bed)
Clark's bed is cramped, but that's just the way he likes it.
Cuddling While in Bed
Clark's bed in his apartment is a decent size, thank you very much. Just because Bruce grew up a king-size goose feather monstrosity of a bed, it doesn't meant everyone else did.
And yes, Bruce's twelve feet wide bed at the Manor is amazing, with plenty of room for the three of them. Even the bed at Diana's place has enough space for them to lie down next to each other without touching. But he likes his bed. It's comfortable, reinforced enough to survive his powers (for the most part) and it's cozy. When it's the three of them, they have to be close together, or else they won't fit. It's selfish, but he loves it.
It's an excuse to hold Bruce close, who'd otherwise grumble and roll away if he tried that in Bruce's own bed. This closeness between them, the physical intimacy, it's important to him. The fact that Bruce allows them this close means he trusts them. And Clark knows that, logically at least. He knows that they, the Trinity, are built from trust, united by it. He knows this, knows that there's an unbreakable trust between them, but it's this closeness that truly shows it. Bruce lets himself be vulnerable around them, sleepy and needy and affectionate. He can be soft, he can yield to them, he can surrender. Surrender from Bruce tastes like love.
And Diana, Clark knows how much she misses this. Close quarters, constant companionship, it’s something that she took for granted back on Themyscira. But here, in the world of man, touch was something few would afford. So now, with Bruce and Clark, she takes every moment she can to touch. Clark revels in her small touches, and Bruce is surprisingly tactile when he allows himself to be.
Sleeping in each others arms, like they are right now, is such a comfort, even if the cramped bed isn't exactly the most comfortable. Clark nuzzles against the back of Diana's neck. He’s so lucky to have them.
Diana elbows him in the ribs, trying to turn in his grasp. “Sorry, my love,” she says, now facing him, “but I’d rather not sleep on the floor.” Clark tightens his arms around her.
“I'm buying you a bigger bed,” Bruce grumbles from behind, the sound reverberating through Clark's chest. Bruce says it every time they’re all piled into Clark’s bed, but he’s yet to make good on his word.
So instead, Clark grins. “I thought size didn’t matter.”
“Lies, all lies.”
Clark snorts. Size queen. “I like this one,” he says, a little defensive.
Diana stretches a leg across Clark's hip, snuggling closer. “I have to say, I agree.” The friction against Clark’s cock is delicious. He hums appreciatively, rocking forward against Diana.
“Insatiable,” Bruce mutters against Clark's shoulder, and he’s not entirely wrong. Maybe tomorrow morning they could show Bruce just how much.
Diana lays her head on Clark’s bicep, smile tugging at her lips. “You know you love it.”
Bruce grunts, his embrace tightening. It’s as close to a yes as they’ll get right now.
“Get some sleep,” Clark says with a kiss to Diana’s forehead.
Sleep: he doesn’t really need it himself. He only ever bought the bed because the room looked bare without one. But this, falling asleep embraced by his lovers, it’s paradise. He gets to wake up to the press of Bruce's erection against his ass, Diana's head pillowed on his bicep, assured of their presence. He gets to wake up knowing they are here and he is loved, what more could he want? Certainly not a bigger bed, that's for sure.
Chapter 2: Let It Snow (cuddling while it snows outside)
A few days before Christmas, the trinity is bunkered down at the Fortress. The snow brings a flurry of memories, some good, some bad, and some new.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
“It’s snowing,” Clark says like the excited five year old that he his. He’s standing by the bedroom window that looks out across the tundra, curtain pulled back as he peers outside as if he’s looking for Santa’s reindeer to fly by. His sleep pants hang low on his hips, or are they Diana’s pants? Their respective wardrobes have become a free-for-all as of late, but Bruce can’t bring himself to mind.
Beside him on the bed, Diana wakes from her half-sleep. She rubs her eyes like a sleepy child, her hair fanned out wildly against the pillows.
Bruce smiles at her, all soft. It’s nice to have a sleepy morning in together. “Good morning,” he murmurs, pressing a kiss to her temple.
“Good morning.” Eyes half shut, she grins up at him, before smacking him the face with a pillow. She doesn’t even try to hide her laughter.
Bruce rolls his eyes and sits up. Despite the climate, the inside of the Fortress is still comfortably warm. He kicks off the sheets and finds he’s wearing a pair of Clark’s boxers. With a shrug, Bruce slips from the bed and paces across the floor to the window. Stopping beside Clark, he pauses and glances outside. White on white on white. Clark was right, it certainly is snowing. They’re far away enough not to be touching, but close enough for Clark to know he’s there. Absentmindedly, he traces his fingertips lightly along Clark’s side.
“It’s so pretty,” Clark says, and Bruce has to agree, only he’s not watching the snow. Snow is well and good, but Bruce is more focused on the way the softened light falls against Clark’s unmarred skin. Clark’s face almost glows, his cheek and brow bones illuminated by the gentle morning light.
“Diana, come see.” For a farm boy, Clark certainly loves the snow.
Bruce hears Diana pad across the room, her footfalls light on the bare Fortress floor. She comes to a stop between Bruce and Clark, gazing out the window. Bruce expects to find hands on his hips, or the teasing trail of fingertips along his spine, but Diana stares blankly outside, lost somewhere else completely.
“Di,” Clark says, with a hand on her shoulder, “Di, are you alright?”
She doesn’t answer, and that in itself is answer enough. “The snow.” A crystalline tears slips from her lashes. “It’s beautiful.”
They don’t ask why. They don’t have to. Sometimes it’s the little things, like snowfall or pearls, that hurt the most. Bruce understands that; they all do. Clark goes to shut the curtain, but Diana shakes her head.
Bruce rests his head against Diana’s shoulder, trying to share some comfort with her unencumbered by words. The fabric of his own t-shirt is butter-soft against his cheek. Clark presses his and Diana’s temples together in an intimate gesture, his hand coming up to rest against the small of Bruce’s back. Together, they stand by the window in each other’s arms, watching the snow fall.
The glass fogs from their shared breaths. Diana reaches out with an index finger, drawing one curve, then another, in the fog. A love heart, Bruce realises. It’s a little lopsided, but still a heart. Bruce can’t hide the way his breath catches in his throat.
Clark’s hand leaves Bruce’s back and touches the fogged love heart. In the space inside, Clark adds: B + C + D.
Bruce buries his face in Diana’s shoulder to smother the words that threaten to leave his mouth. It doesn’t matter; Clark says them for him. “I love you,” he murmurs, and then, “let’s get some breakfast.”
Hope you enjoyed! Comments and Kudos are always welcome!
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Chapter 3: Welcome Home (reunion cuddles)
After an off-world mission kept Diana and Clark away from Bruce for over a month, they head over to the Manor to surprise him.
Bruce isn’t really big on surprises, but this isn’t exactly a surprise, per se. Or at least, that’s what Diana tells herself as she and Clark enter Gotham’s air space. She turns up her nose at the harsh smog. Gotham hasn’t changed much in the month or so she and Clark had been off-world on a League mission.
It’s not a surprise that they’re back, Bruce briefed them via videolink when they arrived back at the Watchtower a few hours earlier, but it is a surprise that they’re showing up at the Manor tonight instead of in the morning like they’d planned. And as much as Bruce doesn’t like surprises, this one should be well-received.
They land in the expansive gardens of the Wayne estate, trying to remain unseen. Diana glances over at Clark, and there’s a smile on his lips that he can’t hide. She feels the same herself, excitement bubbling within her. She’s used to not seeing her boys every night, not with the lives they all lead. But even with Clark by her side, being away from Bruce for so long has being hard, and she knows Clark feels the same. As they make their way to the front of the Manor, she takes Clark’s hand in hers.
Despite the late hour, Alfred appears at the door to let them inside. “Welcome back, Ms Prince, Mr Kent,” he nods and politely doesn’t mention the way they try and fail not to rush to the stairs.
As they turn down the corridor to Bruce’s bedroom, Clark gives Diana’s had a gentle squeeze. Bruce’s door is open. She and Clark make to enter, but pause on the threshold. Bruce is in bed, asleep, but he’s not alone.
In the middle of his bed, Bruce is surrounded by his small army of children. Dick is at Bruce’s side, as always, head nestled against Bruce’s bicep. Damian takes Dick’s other side, his body facing the door. If anyone wants to come for his family, they’ve got to go through him. Jay is slumped in an armchair that he’d acquired from who knows where. His feet rest on the bed, his argyle socks snuggled against Cass’s side. Cass herself is stretched across the end of the bed, protecting Steph’s sleeping form with her own. Curled up impossibly small by Bruce’s feet, Tim twitches in his sleep.
“Kent, Prince,” Damian says, his voice rough with sleep. “Aren’t you rather early for brunch?” Even in the dark, Diana can see the questioning squint of his gaze. Slowly, the other vigilantes begin to wake at the noise.
“Hey, sorry to wake you.” Clark rubs at the back of his neck. “We just wanted to stop by and…”
Bruce grunts. “Are you coming to bed or not?”
It’s not the first time Bruce has asked, but it’s certainly the first time he’s asked like this. Diana barely stifles a laugh. “I don’t think there’s room.”
After a few grumbles and a lot of shuffling, the bats reposition themselves to make room for the two. It’s a little cramped, well, a lot cramped, but Diana can’t bring herself to care. Bruce’s family is the most important thing to him, there’s no doubt about it. So the fact that he’s letting her and Clark join them, it’s...it’s the greatest show of trust she can think of. A knee to the base of her spine, an elbow to her rib: it’s a small price to pay.
“Welcome home,” Bruce says, and his children murmur the sentiment in varying degrees of coherency.
Home. Diana can’t fight the smile that stretches across her face.
Chapter 4: Hold Me (last cuddle)
“Hold me,” Bruce says, and it sounds like a prayer, “please. Hold me until the end.”
Old age catches up with Bruce. Clark and Diana do what they can to help.
I cried so much writing this, so apologies in advance. Also, warning for discussion of death.
Bruce’s joints ache, pain searing from his wrist to the cuff of his shoulder blade as he stretches his arm out. “Come here,” he says, voice gravelly and growing weak.
“Bruce,” Diana says slowly, her tone saying ‘no’. She hasn’t aged a day since they met, all those years ago. Clark too, looks almost the same. His jaw is clenched impossibly tight, stubble dusting across the taut muscle and sharp bone there, at least a few days worth of growth. He’s worried about Bruce, and Bruce hates himself a little for it. Diana hides her concern better, but it’s still there.
After all these years, Bruce should be used to it, the way Diana and Clark worry and fret over him. It only got worse when his age started to show and theirs… didn’t. But now, he can’t really blame them for worrying. He suppresses a cough, teeth grit against the pain. Dying is certainly something to be concerned about. Though Bruce isn’t as worried for himself as he is for Diana and Clark. Bruce clenches his eyes shut, trying to keep the tears at bay. Diana takes his hand, giving a gentle, reassuring squeeze. He used to hate their gentleness, but right now gentle is all he can take. He’s fragile, weak, and so damn cold. “Hold me,” Bruce says, and it sounds like a prayer, “please. Hold me until the end.”
They share a look before they climb into bed beside him, careful not to jostle him. With the two of them pressed against his side, Bruce has never felt more safe, even on the brink of death. This time, it’s no exaggeration. The doctors expected him to kick the bucket a fortnight ago, but here he is, still as stubborn as ever. Diana and Clark haven’t left his side.
Clark and Diana settle, holding him close like he’s made of porcelain. He needs to get the words out before he shatters. “You’ll look after the kids for me, won’t you, and Gotham, and-”
“Of course,” Clark says, squeezing Bruce’s hand, “always.” He’s made them promise him that, time and time again, but he needs to make sure.
There’s so much he wants to say, that he feels like he should say while he still has the chance, but there’s only one thing that falls from his lips. “I love you. I love you both so-” he breaks off with a cough. His ribs and throat burn at the convulsion. “Ow.”
There’s a whimper from Clark, and Bruce feels hot tears soak the collar of his shirt. “No tears,” Bruce says, like the hypocrite that he is. Another coughing fit wracks his body, his eyes watering. “No tears for me, remember?” He feels Clark nod against his shoulder. “Good.”
Diana strokes a hand against his gaunt cheek, not mentioning the tear tracks she finds there. “Can we get you anything, my love?”
Bruce shakes his head. He needs them here with him. “Stay. Hold me.”
The arms around him tighten. “Always, Bruce. For as long as we can.”
Chapter 5: Cold Hands, Warm Heart (cuddling for warmth)
After a night on patrol goes sideways thanks to an attack by Mr Freeze, Bruce seeks warmth (and comfort) from his partners.
Winter has reared its ugly head here and I am so cold, so now I’m making fictional characters suffer too. Please enjoy.
Victor Fries was having a bad day, it seemed. Bruce grunts as another blast from the ice cannon hits him square in the chest. A very bad day, then. Bruce’s chest aches, and it’s not from the ongoing attack. Not physically. Fries had been doing so well; he hadn’t had an incident like this in months. Bruce had thought -hoped- that maybe Gotham’s Mr Freeze would finally rest.
He’d been patrolling by the warehouse sector on the western side of town when Fries had shown up. The containment suit was new, as was the ice cannon that the rogue had been toting. Another blast narrowly misses him as he leaps from his perch and onto the concrete in front of Fries. “Enough. I thought we were past this.”
“This is far from over, Batman.” He's far from talkative tonight, and that frustrates Bruce further.
“Fries,” the Batman growls, “end this and let me help you.”
But the villain only chuckles, taking another shot. Bruce shoots a grappling line up to the top of the adjacent warehouse roof, swinging out of the way. The blast misses him, but the edge of his cape turns white.
The last blast damaged the insulation of the suit, Bruce didn’t need Alfred’s voice through the comm link to tell him that. Another attack, and any semblance of the suits heating system will fail. Bruce grit his teeth, sending another batarang Fries’ way. The shot is easily deflected, but that's just what Bruce intended. He just needs to dodge one more shot…
Fuck. His left shoulder bears the brunt of the ice blast, the chill etching its way through the suit and beneath his skin. “Is that all you have left, Caped Crusader?" Fries taunts, “You are losing your touch.”
Bruce tries to form a grin with his numb lips. “Am I?”
Fries is about to speak again when another batarang lodges itself in the muzzle of the ice cannon. The small explosion sends Fries to the ground, his body still.
Bruce bites back a sigh and forces himself across to Fries’ body, ignoring the ache that stretches through his chilled limbs. Fries is unconscious but unharmed, according to the vitals Alfred supplies. After checking that the containment suit is still intact, Bruce restrains Fries and cuffs him to the warehouse wall.
The Batmobile is waiting for him in a secluded alleyway, close but it feels miles away. Each step send flaring pain through his body. His left shoulder is frozen in place and his phalanges refuse to curl. He slips into the driver’s seat, his cape squeaking against the upholstery. With numb fingers, he switches on autopilot and the car’s heating.
By the time he arrives back at the Cave, he’s certain the earlier symptoms of hypothermia have faded. He’s still freezing though, like he took an impromptu dip in Gotham Harbor in the middle of February. He exits the car and steels himself. Diana is waiting for him by one of the Cave’s workbenches, sharpening a batarang to a precise angle.
“You didn’t have to wait up,” he says, dragging himself over to her.
She just shrugs without looking at him, checking over the sharpened point of the batarang with a caliper. Satisfied, she places the weapon in the finished pile and picks up another.
A blue and red blur flies into the Cave, a sheepish grin visible on his face once he slows down to regular human speed. “Hostage situation in Belarus that couldn’t wait,” Clark apologises, as though he has anything to apologise for.
Bruce grunts but doesn’t bother with his usual lecture about the lives they lead. He’s too tired. So very tired. He leans against the workbench, trying to subtly hold himself upright.
“Bruce, you’re shaking,” Diana says, reaching out for him. “What happened?”
“‘M fine. Suit needs some modifications.”
“Bruce,” Diana says, more demanding than before, “why is there ice on your suit?”
He looks down, and surely enough the the Bat on his chest is subdued by a frosted sheen. “Fries. Nothing I couldn’t handle. The suit hasn’t been subjected to that kind of hypothermal energy for a while.” He sheds the clothing in question, pointedly ignoring the ice crystals that scatter to the floor. He can’t hide the goosebumps that form across his skin, or the violent shivers that wrack his body. He should be warming up, not getting colder. This isn’t good.
“Shower. Now,” Clark says before zipping from the room.
“Come on, my love.” Diana wraps an arm around his shoulders and Bruce allows himself to be guided from the Cave. The movement helps a little, but the arm around his shoulders and the body pressed against his side offer more warmth.
The sound of running water echoes through the open door between the master bedroom and the en suite.
The bathroom is steadily filling with steam as Bruce enters, Clark already waiting by the shower door.. Diana helps Bruce out of the last of his clothes, folding them carefully and setting them on the edge of the vanity.
“Let’s get you warmed up,” Clark says as he tugs Bruce under the shower’s spray. Bruce hisses as the water makes contact with his skin. It burns like acid against his frozen flesh, but he cannot move away. He bites his cheek and forces himself to stay still. His skin turns pink beneath the cascading water, but it’s not enough. The heat is too shallow, warming his skin but not his aching bones beneath. A body presses up behind him, and he tries not to melt against it. Clark holds him steady, whispering soothing words that get drowned out by the falling water. The skin beneath Clark's hands is the only place that feels warm .
Bruce is guided from the shower, head fuzzy and body somehow boiling and frozen at the same time. Diana holds out a towel for him, but Bruce makes no move to take it. Instead, he steps closer, allowing her to dry him herself. He can't stifle a laugh as she ruffles his hair.
“Come on,” Clark says, taking his hand, warm spilling from his touch. In the bedroom, the covers are pulled back, a pair of pyjamas piled at the foot of the bed atop the folded comforter. Bruce ignores the clothes and slips into his bed. Diana and Clark follow, but it's not enough.
“Cold,” he says, his voice small. Diana hushes him, her hand running up and down his left side in a soothing manner. He curls toward her fingertips, every inch of his skin screaming for more contact. Clark is a solar-powered battery and Diana always runs hot; skin to skin contact would be perfect. He grabs blindly for his lovers, trying to get them closer, trying to get them to understand.
“I need-” His face scrunches up in the effort to get the words out. “I need you close.”
They seem to get the message, well-versed in reading between what Bruce says and means.
“It's okay,” Clark reassures, removing the last of his clothes. Diana follows suit, shedding her armour and returning to bed.
Bruce gasps as his body is pulled back, flush against Clark's broad chest. Diana crawls closer, stretching across Bruce's front. They radiate heat but it's something else that warms him. Sandwiched between them, he’s a heatsink stealing away their warmth. Or maybe not stealing, if it's freely given.
Chapter 6: Do I Know You? (cuddling between strangers)
After an accident mid-battle, Bruce from an alternate reality swaps places with Clark and Diana’s Bruce. This alternate Bruce is from a reality where the Wayne's were never murdered, Bruce never became the Bat, and he never met Clark or Diana. The trinity deal with the fallout.
for the prompt 'cuddling between strangers'
alternate universe Bruce is such a mama's boy <3
“Hey B,” the man above him smiles. He’s dressed hideously in plaid and denim, but his features aren’t necessarily unattractive: a strong jaw, clean-shaven, with windswept hair across his forehead. His eyes are ridiculously blue, so surreal that they have to be contacts. “How are you feeling?” The hand wrapped around Bruce’s own gives a gentle squeeze.
Bruce rips his hand from the man’s grip. “Do I know you?” he snarls, teeth bared just like his mother taught him. The full, Martha Wayne effect requires blood red lipstick, but Bruce makes do, narrowing his eyes sharply.
“Bruce?” The man’s eyes are wide, hurt evident in his gaze. He takes a few steps away from the bed, like Bruce’s words had been a blow to his gut.
Maybe Bruce should try that tactic next. He tries to leave the bed, to get out of this place, but he gets tangled in an IV line. It looks like a hospital, but it can’t be. It’s not nice enough to be a private room at Gotham Private hospital, and he’s the only patient so it can’t be a more public ward. Alarm bells are ringing in Bruce’s aching head. “Who the fuck are you? Where am I? Answer me!”
“Bruce, hey, calm down,” the man says. His hands are held up in surrender and he tries to step closer. “There was an attack, but you’re safe now. We brought you back to the Watchtower to keep you under observation. Did you hit your head or-”
A woman barrels into the room, a mane of untamable black hair spilling out from beneath some kind of tiara and down to her waist. She’s gorgeous, almost as tall as the man above him, with legs that could snap his neck given half a chance. She frowns as she crosses the room to stop at the man’s side, a hand at his elbow. “Kal, what’s wrong?”
“Bruce,” the man says, like it’s the only thing he can say. “Something’s wrong with Bruce.”
The woman comes closer, and at the lack of any protest from Bruce, she sits down on the edge of the bed. “Bruce, my love, are you alright?”
Love? “Am I meant to know you? This lady here is certainly not someone I could forget.” He winks up at her, but the woman seems unfazed by his charm.
“What’s the last thing you remember?” she asks, brow furrowed.
Bruce thinks back. “A gala. My mother was throwing a ball for the 25th anniversary of her Arkham project.” And instead he’s here, of all places? His mother will be so disappointed not to see him in the crowd...
“You mother?” The surprise they both show seems to be sincere, but Bruce can’t pick why. If these people know him, or think they know him, they must surely know of his mother.
“Uhh, yeah. Martha Wayne, nee Kane, Gotham socialite, billionaire and raging philanthropist? She was on the cover of Time last month? Surely even a disaster like you,” he gestures to man, “saw that. It was everywhere.”
“He must be from an alternate timeline,” the man says lowly to his companion, a thoughtful expression stretched across his features. “Maybe in a reality where we never met. That electrical anomaly Ray reported might have switched this Bruce with ours.”
“Should I get the lasso? That way at least we can confirm his story, and figure out what exactly caused the supposed switch.”
Switched? Oh no. Are they serious? What kind of crazy physics would be needed to create that kind of cross-time transferal? “Oh God,” Bruce mutters, “I’m in some crazy alternate dimension with some very attractive people people who are very into bondage.”
The woman turns sharply to look Bruce dead in the eye. Was that too far? Her gaze is piercing as she demands, “what is my name?”
Bruce wracks his brain but comes up empty. “Like I said before, if we’d met I certainly wouldn’t forget it. I always remember a pretty, well, a pretty everything.”
It’s a compliment, but the woman seems resigned at his words. Odd. She purses her lips for a moment before schooling her features. “My name is Diana, and this is Clark. In our world, you are... very important to us.”
Important. There’s so much he could read into that. The woman -Diana’s- vague words are hedging a deeper truth, and he doesn’t need to be a detective to figure that one out. “So this other me, was he your boyfriend or something?” he asks the woman. Both Clark and Diana nod. “Wait what?”
Diana smiles despite the sadness in her eyes. “There are some people that call us the trinity, and we are, in more ways than one.”
Again with the vague answers. His mother would say that these people are hiding something, or maybe that they’re so used to hiding this. His mother. Panic washes over him, ice cold. “Why were you surprised about my mother? Where is she? Did something happen to her?” The sheer thought of something bad happening to that women makes his eyes burn. Blunt nails dig into his palms to try and stave off the tears. He’s a grown man, for God’s sake, but damn it , where is his mother?
“Bruce,” Diana says, a hand running up and down Bruce’s spine, “we will get you home, and you will see her again. I promise you that.”
“Where. Is. My. Mother?” He grits his teeth, ready for a fight. If these people claim to know him, they know he won’t settle for anything less than the truth.
“She isn’t here, Bruce. There’s no Martha Wayne here anymore.” Clark puts a tentative hand on his shoulder. When the man moved closer, Bruce isn’t sure. “She, uhh, she died.”
Bruce feels the colour drain from his face. “What?”
Clark takes a heavy breath and continues, “She and your father were killed when you were twelve. Their deaths made you -our Bruce- the man he is today. His dedication to justice comes from what happened to them. That’s why we were surprised to hear about your mother.”
Dead. Both his parents, dead. He digs the heels of his hands into his eye sockets. “No. No, no, no.” Bruce gasps, trying to get air into his uncooperative lungs. The rational part of him that always sounds like his father tells him that it’s not his parents, not his mother, but it does little to stop the onslaught of sobs that wrack his body.
Strong arms pull him close and into a tight embrace. From either side, Clark and Diana hug him, hold him as he cries. “I’m sorry, Bruce,” Diana whispers into his hair, “I’m so sorry.”
Bruce just nods and cries harder against Clark’s chest.
Chapter 7: Just a Dream (cuddling for comfort)
Diana has a nightmare and she seeks comfort with her boys.
I've got to stop making Diana upset, my bad!
(for the prompt cuddling for comfort)
Diana wakes gasping, her lips and eyes flung wide. The bodies beside her seize, coiled tight and ready to leap into action. She tries and fails to keep her breathing even, chest aching with the effort. The last remnants of her dream melt away into the crevices of her mind, waiting for the next night to rear their ugly heads. She can't remember what it was, but she knows it will be back as soon as she closes her eyes once again. She remembers battle, betrayal, and her lovers’ faces, and another wave of panic washes over her.
"Diana?" Clark hovers a few inches above the mattress, startled into action. Once he establishes there’s no external threat, he drifts back down onto the bed beside her.
"It's fine," she says, trying to turn away from her lovers, "it was just a dream." Just a dream, as if that made her panic and terror any less real. Just a dream that had her heart racing like she was mid-battle. Just a dream that made her ready to reach for her lasso to remind her of what was real.
They all have their own nightmares. It's not something they can hide, not from each other. Bruce’s leave him silent, frozen in terror. Touching him in the midst of a nightmare is the worst possible course of action. He fears loss, he fears failure more than any harm that could come to him, but each touch during his dreams is a threat that he cannot stand.
Clark's are louder, cries of anguish and terror. Diana know those more accurately. Dreaming of the ones he couldn't save, no matter how many times he's reminded that he can't save everyone. But that's Clark, determined to follow a mission he is doomed to fail.
And Diana's own? Too much pain, too much war. Lately the faces and names on either side of the battle are her lovers. Nothing would destroy her so fiercely as that. After a nightmare, she needs anything, everything that her loves are willing to give her. Touch, comforting words, just their presence.
"Diana?" Bruce this time, voice rough with sleep. In the dimness of Bruce's bedroom, she sees each movement he makes. Bruce telegraphs each movement, as if he expects her to bolt from the bed at any given moment. Maybe he does, but all she wants right now is the arms of the men she loves wrapped tight around her. His hand lands on her shoulder, and she melts into his touch. “Come here.” Their arms embrace her, engulf her. In their arms she is safe, she is protected. She's one of the fiercest warriors on the Earth, and she is defeated by her own mind, the visions of futures impossible to occur. She is defeated by the thought of how love could destroy her, could tear her apart.
But it's just that, a dream. The faces of her lovers, shadowed in the night, are taut with concern and a simmering fear. They can't save her from her dreams, none of them can do that for each other, but they can save them from themselves. All they can do is offer support, be the comfort that they all desperately seek.
"Thank you." Her voice is roughened with tears she can't remember shedding.
Bruce's arms tighten around her waist. "We love you."
"I love you," she says against Clark's chest, "I love you both so much."
Clark presses a kiss to her forehead. "I'd do anything to keep you safe. I'd do anything to protect you."
She tries to bury closer to the warmth of Clark's chest, reaching behind her for Bruce's hand.
It's usually Bruce who ends up smothered in their embrace like this, after a rough night on patrol, or a rougher night with his own demons. A fresh batch of tears brim at the edges of her eyelids, burning as she tries to stop them from falling. But no, this is where she can be weak. Tears slip down her cheeks and soak Clark's pyjama top. She's safe here, surrounded by love, and she believes faithfully that even the nightmares can't get her here.
"Try and get some sleep, Di," Clark says against her temple, "we'll be here when you wake."
She feels Bruce nod against her, his murmured words muffled by her shoulder.
Sleep. She's not sure she's capable of sleep, but laying here, embraced by her lovers, just breathing together as one, it’s more than enough for her.
Chapter 8: Happily Ever After (post-coital cuddling)
Sex with Diana and Bruce is amazing, but Clark's also a fan of the aftermath.
In which Clark loves aftercare and the softness that sex leaves in its wake.
For the prompt 'post-coital cuddling'. There are vague references to sexual activities, but I believe it is still appropriate to rate this as T. If you feel otherwise, please let me know!
Clark is such a sap in this and I love it (I hope you do too!)
Diana melts into the sheets, lips parted on a sigh. Clark and Bruce pant above, kneeling between her spread thighs. She grunts as Bruce moves away, face scrunching up for a fraction of a moment that Clark doesn’t miss.
“Di? You good?” Clark asks, reaching down to stroke a strand of hair from her face.
She nods and smiles up at him lazily, dazzlingly. “Always, my love. Especially when I'm with you both.” It's ridiculously cheesy but he can't help smiling with her.
Clark releases his hold on Bruce's hip to brace himself against the bed, still cupping Diana's jaw with his other. Boneless and unsupported, Bruce tumbles down on top of Diana, drawing a laugh from the Amazon beneath him. A chuckle slips from Bruce's lips, and then another. Soon, both he and Diana laugh in earnest in their post-coital bliss, their chests shaking with the effort.
Clark rolls his eyes as he’s pulled down on top of his lovers and into their tight embrace. It’s not like he can complain. After all, it's right where he wants to be. Well, almost. There's something warm and sticky smearing across his hip bone, the sensation a lot less sexy than it was to cause the mess. Time to clean up. He tries to leave the bed and their makeshift cuddle pile, but Bruce's arms tighten around Clark's torso, keeping him immobile. Not that Bruce could ever hold Clark by force alone, but one word was more than enou gh to keep him still. “I need to clean up your mess,” he says, trying to extract himself from his lovers’ hold.
“ My mess,” Bruce rumbles, indignant with a sly smirk, “you're the one who started this.” He had, he can't really deny that. He'd come back from assisting evacuations in Peru to find Bruce and Diana fresh from the shower, and arousal that burned at the sight of his lovers all supple and slick had him sweeping Diana off her feet. So perhaps he had started it, yes, but did that make it his mess?
Diana adds her two cents to the argument, eyes closed and smile building. “It's an least one third your mess, Clark.”
He chuckles at that, warm affection spilling out with the sound. “Whoever's mess this is, you're going to hate having it stuck to you in the morning.” And both Clark and Diana will be stuck with Bruce's whining.
“Fine.” Bruce concedes and shoves at Clark's shoulder playfully. “Go.”
Clark heads to the bathroom, only slightly using some of his super speed to get there. He cleans himself up quickly, before rinsing the cloth under the faucet.
In the privacy of the bathroom, he uses his heightened senses to evaluate the state of his lovers.Bruce hates it when he does it, he can always tell when Clark's using his powers to monitor them. They assured him that he's never hurt them, but he has to check, has to be sure. He's not sure he could forgive himself if he ever did. Heart rates are normal, no signs of stress or bodily harm. The tendon Bruce strained on patrol earlier that week seems to be healing well. He breathes easy, reassured, his anxieties following the stream of water as it coils down the drain.
After wringing out the excess dampness of the cloth, Clark heads back into the bedroom. Approaching the bed, he flips on the bedside lamp to get a better look at the task at hand. Bruce nuzzles against Diana's neck, trying to get closer to her to block out the light, and something in Clark's chest tightens at the sight. He’ll never get used to this, seeing such softness, such opened from them in these intimate moments.
He touches Bruce's flank, hand splayed against Bruce's flesh to alert the man of his further movements. He nearly got kicked in the balls the first time he tried to clean up a drowsy Bruce after their activities , and he'd rather not risk it again. Bruce nods against Diana's shoulder, alert and anticipating the touch.
Clark wipes down Bruce's stomach and thighs, and Diana’s abdomen where Bruce has smeared their mess across her skin. He likes this part, the aftermath, making sure his lovers are safe and cared for and clean. Even when it's like this, tender and slow, he still goes through with it.
It's not just cleaning, it’s caring in the deepest sense he can imagine, with each touch immersed in such reverence. It's the closest he gets to worshipping his lovers, tied with the act of sex itself. I care about your pleasure, says sex, but this says, I care about your comfort, your safety, your minds. I care about you now and I care about you afterwards, I care about you always…
With his lovers clean and the cloth discarded, Clark switches off the bedside lamp.
“What, no bedtime story?” Bruce snorts as Clark slips between the sheets, bracketing Diana's body with his own.
“Would you like one? Once upon a time, there was a princess,” Clark says as he presses a kiss to Diana's hair, “and two handsome knights.” His arm falls lightly across Diana's body, his hand resting against Bruce's hip.
“Do they get a happy ending?” Diana murmurs, already half asleep.
Clark's smile wavers. A happy ending, for the three of them? He wants it more than air in his lungs. “Of course they do,” he says, with a promise stronger than steel, “they all lived happily ever after.”
Chapter 9: i will not fear the dawn (cuddling as they wake up)
"Bruce wakes up with a headache and no memory of the night before. It's certainly not the first time it's happened, and he doubts it will be the last, but he hasn't had a morning like this since... in a long time. At least he’s in his own bed, the plush mattress as recognisable as his own scent on his sheets. But there’s another scent, something familiar that his fuzzy brain can’t pinpoint just yet."
for the prompt 'cuddling as they first wake up'
After a fear toxin attack, Bruce wakes up with some unexpected visitors in his bed.
Bruce wakes up with a headache and no memory of the night before. It's certainly not the first time it's happened, and he doubts it will be the last, but he hasn't had a morning like this since... in a long time. At least he’s in his own bed, the plush mattress as recognisable as his own scent on his sheets. But there’s another scent, something familiar that his fuzzy brain can’t pinpoint just yet.
The mattress moves on either side of him. Oh. The bodies beside him murmur and shuffle against the sheets. Again, not the first time he's woken up like this, surrounded by last night's exploits, and again, it hasn't happened in a while. He can’t have been out last night, not as Bruce Wayne at least. The headache is still there, but there’s no accompaniment of nausea, so it can’t be a hangover. What happened?
He cracks open an eyelid slowly, flinching at the sunlight glaring through the open drapes. Either Alfred has come in to check on him, like he has these last few months since the funeral, or he didn’t close them last night. He scrunches his eyes shut, taking a deep breath or two, before trying again. The bodies beside him must feel the tension returning to his body, waking quickly. All Bruce can see is a jumble of limbs and inky black hair.
"B?" The nickname melts against Bruce's shoulder, the rumble of Clark's voice reverberating through Bruce's chest.
"Bruce?" Diana now, her hair ticking the back of Bruce's bicep as she turns to face him.
"You're okay, you're safe," Clark says, his lips brushing Bruce's shoulder as he speaks, "how are you feeling?"
His breath hitches. He's in bed with Clark and Diana, with no recollection of the night before. The first half of that thought is a dream come true, but the gap in his memory? Shit. "What happened?"
Diana's brow furrows. "You don't remember?"
He pauses a moment, wracking his mind for something, anything, before shaking his head. What has he done? He resists the urge to lift up the blankets to see if he was still wearing pants.
"What's the last thing you do remember?" Diana says, her hand sliding across Bruce's bare abdomen.
"We didn't-" They wouldn't have, surely. He'd remember that. God, as if he would ever be able to forget if they did that.
But Diana cuts off his line of thinking, knowing exactly where his mind would go. "What do you remember?" Her tone is insistent.
There's a haze, but he remembers a cold sweat drenching every inch of him, a pain that wouldn't ebb. He remembers panic, like a flurry of bats, and the taste of bile on his tongue. "Scarecrow?" he asks, but he'd pretty certain of the answer.
"New strain of fear toxin," Clark says, and as if guessing Bruce's next thoughts, he adds, "everyone else is fine, it looked like you bore the brunt of the attack." Bruce nods, reassured. "Tim and Alfred were working on an antidote, but-"
"Not fast enough," Bruce rasps, throat raw. "That's why you're here." Here, at the Cave. It doesn't explain why they're here, in his bed. In his arms.
"They needed some help to restrain you while they worked on other things. Seems you're still a bit of an escape artist even when you're hallucinating."
Bruce shrugs. There’s no point denying it. Maybe he’ll speak to Nightwing about some more suitable restraints, or maybe Clark and Diana could help?
"You would not have hurt anyone in your state, so we could not sedate you." Or rather, they would not. Bruce is thankful for that, both that he didn't hurt anyone, and that they respected his wishes, even in the state he was in. "Besides," Diana adds, "the antidote was ready soon enough."
"And you were," Clark pauses, a blush rising on his cheeks, "a little attached to us, so we stayed."
Attached. Bruce rolls the word around his mind. It’s not something he’d use to describe himself, or his relationship with anyone else really. Attachments get people hurt, they get people, good people, good soldiers, killed. Bruce swallows, trying to dislodge the lump forming in his throat, and tries to remember last night to occupy his mind with other things.
He remembers Superman and Wonder Woman, fists raised, chasing away the bats and scarecrows and demons. He remembers arms around him that didn't dissolve into snakes or chains, arms that he clung to so tight he would have bruised them if they were human.
He remembers a voice, too small to be his own, begging them not to leave, not to leave him behind. He remembers warmth, not scalding heat, engulfing him, protecting him. He remembers Clark and Diana keeping him safe from his own mind. "Thank you," he says, in that same small voice, and he'd hate himself for it if he wasn't so grateful for them.
"Always, B." Clark's arms tighten around Bruce's torso, and it's then that Bruce remembers he's still in Clark and Diana's arms.
He can’t exactly complain, not even with the elbow nudging a bruised rib. Having Clark and Diana in his bed, in his arms, he never thought it possible, even as platonic as it is right now. "I didn't do anything stupid last night, did I?"
Diana scoffs, but her smile is soft, "other than trying to take down Scarecrow without backup, no."
"We're okay,” Clark adds, “and more importantly, you're okay."
Bruce grunts at that, unsure how else to reply, but there's still a question on his mind. "I see why you're here at the Manor, but why are you in my bed?"
The blush across Clark’s cheekbones deepens. “I did say you were a little attached.”
Oh no. Bruce groans, muffling his suffering with the pillows.
“Maybe that is something we should talk about?” Diana says thoughtfully.
Bruce lifts his face from the pillows to catch a glimpse of Diana’s expression, his hair falling across his forehead in the process. “What is there to say?” he asks, and he hates how callous it sounds.
She smiles at him, a little ruefully, and tightens her arms around his waist.
Pulling both Bruce and Diana closer, Clark says, “you know you can trust us, right?”
But Bruce already does. He trusts them, explicitly and wholly, and the notion doesn't terrify him anymore. If he's honest with himself, it hasn't for a while.
The memory emerges of their names on his tongue, his hands reaching out for them, and the word “stay”. Attachment. Bruce can't deny it. He trusted them enough to see him at his most vulnerable last night, and he begged them to stay. And they did; surely that means something?
But he trusts them, trusts them not to be spiteful with that responsibility. And he trusts them enough that he doesn't have to stifle a yawn, or hide the way his eyelids droop.
“Go back to sleep,” Diana murmurs, her words like warmed-over treacle, “you're safe.”
He trusts her, trusts them both, so he does.
Chapter 10: Secrets Like Shadows (cuddling in front of the fireplace)
For a creature of the shadows, Bruce is certainly drawn to the light.
Sequel to 'Tears Like Secrets'
for the prompt 'cuddling in front of the fireplace'
Woodsmoke fills his lungs and tastes like home. Cross-legged, Bruce sits by the fireplace in the den, a blanket draped around his shoulders. He’s not kneeling this time, though his knees still aches from keeping the same position for so long. It’s familiar though, sitting here by the fire, and right now familiar is just what he needs. He thinks of the days he spent in front of this fireplace, the hours spent staring into the flickering light, the seconds spent thinking of touching each amber tendril… no. His childhood winters, spent before the roaring heat, drying his soaked clothes and tear-stained cheeks. Some days it was the only thing that could warm him.
Bruce jerks as the fire pops like a gunshot. The bodies beside him murmur at the disturbance, but don't wake. He'd already been by the fire when they arrived, eyes unwavering from the flames. They had sat beside him, wordless and content to stay by his side, embracing him as much as they could before sleep claimed them. Clark and Diana, at his side, it’s poetic in a way. A tragedy, too.
Bruce sighs, but it does nothing to dislodge the weight in his chest. It’s been a week, maybe longer, since the last time they found him here. The secret, his secret, exposed to the world. Well, to Clark and Diana, but it’s much the same. They’re patient with him, like he’s a wild animal, hurt, who’d rather die than seek help from another. Maybe that’s how they see him, scared, a threat to himself. Maybe he is.
He thought this was fine, that it could just blow over. Clark and Diana knew his vulnerabilities, respected him for them, and Bruce was willing to move on. His feelings would subside, they’d have to, and the trinity could continue without any messy emotions in the way. At least that’s what he hoped. Bruce thought it was fine, and it was, until, of course, they made a proposal. If it were anyone else, if it weren’t Clark and Diana, he would have laughed or punched them in the face. How dare they suggest that they could… no. He can’t even think about it. Bruce never thought that they would ever reciprocate, resigned himself to the fact. And now...
There’s so much that he wants, so much that Clark and Diana would be willing to give him, but he can’t, he can’t, because then he’d want it all. Bruce scoffs at the flickering flames that send shadows skittering across the floor. Drawn to the light, as always, and it will be his downfall.
The light was a weakness, a snitch. It brought him down, exposed him to the world. Secrets stay safe in shadows, but the light, the light always drew out the truth. It takes light to show Clark and Diana’s peaceful smiles and to see what he’s done to them. He made them love him, this wreck of a being. Wasn’t it bad enough that they knew how he felt, that he loved them? Wasn’t it bad enough that they were willing to be civil to him? No, they had to be… them. How dare he make them fall in love with him?
Under the cover of darkness, he’s safe. It blankets him, tucking at the corners around his frame. And he, a watchman, revels in the dark. It fashions him a cape, a cowl, an alias. He’s safe behind a mask, relatively of course, but his identity, his core, his secrets, they are wrapped up in masks and shadows tighter than a noose.
Clark and Diana weren’t exactly big on masks. Two beings of such light and hope and joy, they make Bruce dream of hopeless things like love. And the light, oh the light, could he dare to touch? Never. The notion of purity makes him scoff, but he knows his hands will sully the light, snuff it out between his fingertips. He can’t do it, not to them.
Bruce knows he’s not cut out for this, is adamant about that. He’s a heat sink, a void, a fucking nightmare to deal with. He wakes in the nights, covered in sweat, and it’s not the darkness clutching at his throat, but the sliver of moonlight through a gap in the blinds, edging closer like a garrote, taut and gleaming. It’s not Clark or Diana holding the weapon, he’d have to let them into his bedroom first, but himself and only himself. And he knows it, knows it , but he can’t bring himself to loosen his grip. Night after night, he retreats to the shadows, safe from the light. Safe, but at what cost?
The fire's dying down, just coals glowing, blinking slowly. He can either stoke it, add some more logs and keep the fire going, or let it die with dignity, here and now. He can end this, he can let them go and save them from themselves. They'd be happy together, just the two, with their light and their hope and their love that overflows the very confines of their souls.
Diana nuzzles closer against the thigh she's using as a pillow. Without thought, Bruce’s hand comes down to brush her hair away from her face. He runs the back of his fingers across her cheekbone, his touch feather-light. Clark’s breath is steady against the exposed skin of Bruce’s neck, each gust of warm air a reminder of the trust built between them. He could be so happy with them. Or maybe happy isn’t the right word. He can be, is, happy on the good days. His family is a blessing he can never forget. And with Clark and Diana, he can be another kind of happy, cherished. He sighs, eyes clenched tight. No, he has to let them go.
It’s not the dark that scares him, it's never been the dark. For someone who lives lost in shadow, he doesn't fear the dark.
If there’s one thing that scares him, it’s the light.
Chapter 11: Heartbeat (cuddling while someone is crying)
Clark wakes up alone, unable to hear his lovers' heartbeats.
For the prompt 'cuddling while someone is crying'
Clark wakes up gasping, a scream not far behind. A mission, an ambush, an attack. The League? He jerks into alertness, sitting up. He looks around, finds himself in a familiar bed. Bruce's bed. Clark sighs in relief. He's okay, he's in Bruce's bed at the Manor. It was just a dream, a memory, something in between. He takes a shuddering breath, the ache in his chest still present.
He looks down at his chest, bare except for a gauze pad taped to the centre. Gauze? What on Earth happened? Clark prods the padding with his fingertip and flinches. “Ouch,” he mutters after a delay. He's hurt, but he doesn't remember any Kryptonite during the fight. There's no muzzy headache that usually accompanies Kryptonite exposure, so the injury can't have been caused by that. So what happened? And where is Bruce? Diana? Is everyone okay? He takes a breath to try and calm himself. They must be fine. He'd know if they weren't. Wouldn't he?
Clark tilts his head, listening for any activity in the Manor. Nothing. That's odd, usually Alfred is cleaning or cooking at this time. Maybe Bruce gave him the day off? There's no sign of any of Bruce's kids, though that's not unusual.
He tries again, this time searching for Bruce's heartbeat. Nothing. Clark scrubs a hand across his face. Where could he be? Bruce had threatened to find a way to stop Clark from hearing his heartbeat, but surely he couldn't have? He would have said something, he wouldn't have just dropped off the radar like this. Not even Bruce could be that cruel. No, it has to be something else, some other reason.
He listens out for Diana this time, and still nothing. No no no. This can't be. He tries further, another star system, maybe. Nope. His mind races for an explanation, but he can't think right now. Panic washes over him again and he's caught in the undertow, sinking beneath the swell.
Why can't he hear them? Why can't he hear anything? He opens his mouth to speak, but all that comes out is a choked-off cry. Another tumbles from his lips, then another, until he can't stop the onslaught of sobs breaking free from his throat. Where are they? Tears spring to his eyes, stinging aggressively, before falling from his cheeks. Clark turns to his side, curling in on himself. Something pulls at his chest, the skin uncomfortably tight, but he just brings his knees up closer to his chest. He can't hear anything beside his own shaky breathing and sharp sobs.
He doesn't know how long he lies there until he finally hears something outside the room, footsteps approaching. Two. The door opens with a muted creak. "Clark? Clark's what's wrong?" Diana. She's at his side in an instant, one hand at his waist, the other stroking his hair away from his face.
There’s a brief moment of relief as he registers her presence, but as Clark tries to listen, he finds no heartbeat there. Her touch, a touch he knows so well, is warm, but she can't be real. "No. No, you're not her." Clark shoves against her, this fake Diana, but she doesn’t budge. He tries harder, but fake Diana is as immovable as the real one.
Fake Diana frowns at him, her brows knitted together so similarly to the real Diana. “Clark, it's me, it's Diana. I'm right here.”
Lies. More hands come up to his shoulder, firmer, larger. Bruce. Bruce and Diana are here, but they can't be them. They have to be imposters, androids, phantoms, something other than his real partners.
He can’t fight them. The the lack of breath in his lungs and the tightness in his chest leave him unable to resist the fake Bruce and Diana. Together they position Clark’s pliable body so he's sitting up, knees drawn up to his chest. "We're right here," fake Diana says, her hand coming up to cup Clark's jaw. “What is wrong, my love?”
But Clark is too far gone. He shakes his head, loosening her grip. No. "I can't hear," he sobs, "I can't hear your heartbeats."
Fake Bruce takes Clark's limp wrist, splaying Clark's warm hand across fake Bruce's chest. Beneath his fingertips, there's a steady pulse thrumming below the skin. Bruce's heartbeat, clear as day, resonates in Bruce's chest and against Clark's palm. Clark slips his fingers beneath Bruce's shirt, skin against skin, trying to get closer to that heartbeat, a heartbeat Clark could recognise anywhere. Reassured, Clark meets Bruce's eyes, finds an open sincerity amongst the the dark blue. "I'm right here, Clark. I'm okay. We're okay."
Clark nods, words lost to him. He turns to Diana, and yes, she's shining with energy, vibrantly alive, and Clark's crying again in relief. They’re here, they’re real. Diana's hand is warm within his, and gives a comforting squeeze. She takes his fingertips and presses them against her inner wrist, pulse jumping beneath his touch.
Ma’s voice helps make the world small, but Diana and Bruce’s heartbeats remind him that the world is still there. They soothe him, draw him back to himself, and after a few deep, hiccuping breaths, he feels more like himself.
Clark scrubs the back of his hand across his eyes and swallows thickly. "What happened?" There are a few scenes running through his head, but they’re fuzzy, muddled like a memory of a dream.
"League battle in Metropolis. No fatalities, thank the gods," Diana says, but doesn't elaborate further.
Clark frowns. That answered one question, but there are a million more. What happened to him? Why is there a bandage across his chest? Why can’t he hear their hearts? Another wave of panic surges upward, and Clark tries to tamp it down.
It’s Bruce that fills in the blanks. "Your powers were nullified during the attack, some strain of temporary magic. According to Zatanna, they should return in the next twenty-four hours."
Clark nods, trying to take in the information. His powers will be back, but not soon enough. A lot can happen in a day, especially in a city like Metropolis, so many people could-
"Kara and I are working together to keep an eye on Metropolis," Diana says, "we will take good care of your city, I promise."
Clark trusts her, Kara as well, and he knows they can watch over his city, protect it in his stead. There's still an ache in his chest, somewhere beneath the wound, at the thought of not being there to protect the city he vowed to. No, he thinks, and takes a deep breath, he can’t do this to himself. Not now. He needs to recover and there's nothing he can do to quicken the process. "Okay."
The panic and ensuing tears drained what little energy he had. There's a solar lamp set up beside the bed, the drapes thrown back across the window letting the last dregs of afternoon sunlight into the room, but he's still feeling painfully weak. Clark lays back down on the bed, feeling his muscles groan in relief.
"You should get some sleep," Diana says, her free hand coming up to stroke through his hair. She makes no move to leave, though Clark knows that's what she means. He wracks his brain, trying to find the words to tell her no, to ask them to stay with him, but he comes up blank.
The mattress shifts as Bruce stands from the bed. "We'll leave you to it."
"No," Clark cries, the word leaping from his throat before he could think. "Stay,” pause, and then he adds, "please?"
Bruce eyes him for a moment, calculating. Always calculating. He sits back down on the edge of the bed, bending over to untie his shoes.
"Of course." Diana slips between the sheets and curls closer to Clark's side. Clark melts against her, his back pressed against her front.
Clark is pulled to Bruce's chest, strong arms keeping him warm and safe and loved. There’s a steady thump beneath Clark’s cheek, Bruce’s heartbeat, clear and even and reliable. Pressed between Diana and Bruce, he’s safe, tethered.
“You're okay,” Bruce murmurs, and it sets off a new wave of tears down Clark’s cheeks. Happy, this time, but tears all the same.
Diana hushes him, “we’ve got you, we’re right here.” She strokes a hand through his hair, content to ride out the emotional current with him. “We won’t leave you.”
“I know,” Clark says, tears spilling in relief, “I know.”
Chapter 12: Tactile (cuddling out of necessity)
A backfired curse leaves the newly-together trinity unable to be more than a few feet away from each other without suffering immense pain. (cue some unconventional hand-holding/cuddling inspired by the cover art of Trinity #5)
For the prompt 'cuddling out of necessity'
There are times were Diana really hates magic. Perhaps hate is a strong word, but this curse is tenuous at best. Her partners seem to agree. She stretches her legs out against the carpet, sitting with her back to the wall that divides Bruce’s bedroom from the en suite.
Bruce’s shoulder brushes against Diana’s, and a rush of warmth seeps between the contact.
“This is ridiculous,” he says, a gloved hand coming up to rub at his temples.
The toilet flushes in response. The faucet runs for a few moments, then cuts off. Footsteps. The door opens beside them. Clark steps through the doorway, and the niggling headache Diana had begins to fade.
“Constantine is off-world. Or in another dimension. Either way, we just need to sit tight until he’s back so we can sort this out.” Clark seems so confident, but Bruce just shakes his head.
And Diana understands; this is too much for Bruce right now. This thing between the three of them, it’s tentative. A few months ago, she would have thought this arrangement would have been impossible, despite what her heart desired. But now, with the three of them together, it’s beautiful. And of course, beautiful things aren’t always easy. This curse might have been a blessing if Bruce wasn’t so opposed to the idea of having her and Clark close.
“Bathroom break over?” Bruce snarls, too sharp to be playful, “I've got work to do.” He rises to his feet in a fluid motion, pointedly ignoring the way his knees crack at the movement. He’s out the door a moment later. Diana and Clark share a look before trailing after Bruce. There’s no point fighting, not if they don't want to be cleaning vomit out of the carpet. Again.
The curse, some magical mishap from the League villain of the week, meant Diana, Clark, and Bruce couldn’t be further than a few feet away from one another without intense pain washing over them. It was bad enough to feel it, but to watch her lovers experiencing such pain? It was the most excruciating form of torture.
As they follow Bruce down to the Cave, Clark slips his hand into Diana’s, their fingers intertwined. He understands, at least, understands the toll of this. Watching Bruce try and walk away has never gotten any easier for them.
Bruce seats himself at the Batcomputer, pulling up numerous snippets of CCTV footage and paying no attention to Clark or Diana.
“No patrol tonight?” Clark asks, intentionally keeping his tone light. They need to talk about the practical side of this curse, a talk that Bruce seems particularly keen to avoid. The thing is, of course, Diana thinks to herself, that Bruce can try to avoid this conversation, but he can’t avoid Clark or herself.
“I can’t patrol with you two stuck to my position. You’re too,” he gestures a hand to their costumes, “loud.”
Clark quirks an eyebrow, a half-amused smirk on his lips. “I’m sorry, Bruce, but I’ve seen Dick’s original Robin costume. Try another one.”
Bruce grunts and turns his attention back to the Batcomputer. “I’m a liability like this, needing to have you near me,” he says lowly.
And that’s it, isn’t it? Diana realises. Bruce doesn’t like to need . Bruce gives and gives and gives, and the moment he wants, the moment he needs something, he shuts down. This curse is a reminder of some inner conflict in Bruce, the hatred of need. He doesn’t have wants or needs, he refuses to, and when he’s reminded of such feelings, such desires, it wounds him. And now, faced with the fact that he must give into these needs, he rebels the only way he knows how, to deny.
“Bruce,” Diana says slowly, reaching a hand for his shoulder.
He twists out of her grasp without meeting her eye and stalks away. He makes it to the base of the stairs leading from the Cave before he doubles over, gasping in pain before sliding to the ground.
Diana is at his side in an instant and Clark isn't far behind. Their proximity should bring some relief, but Bruce curls up tighter into himself.
“Don't touch me.” His words are shards of ice, but Diana nods mutely. As much as she wants to touch, as much as she knows it will help, she refrains.
“Okay,” she says, hands held up in surrender. “Okay.” She sits down on the bottom step, right beside Bruce but leaving a gap between them that, despite herself, she still wants to bridge.
Softer now, weaker, Bruce grits out, “hurts,” and Diana’s chest aches in sympathy.
“I know, B.” Clark’s hand comes up, in a way Diana knows is intended to stroke through Bruce’s hair, but he restrains himself. He looks up at Diana, expression open wide and awfully lost. “I’m sorry.” Sorry for what, Diana isn’t sure.
Her lasso illuminates the scowl on Bruce’s features, bathing him in a golden light that seems fitting, even despite the pained expression.
“I think I have a solution,” she says.
. . .
The lasso is an extension of herself in many ways, far from just a weapon or a tool. At least the curse seems to agree.
Absentmindedly, Bruce twirls the perfect in his hand, nimble fingers weaving in and out. His gauntlets block most of the feedback from the lasso, but Diana picks up a few notes of emotion. Contentment, most prominent, and something that feels like trust.
One of Clark's arms stretches across her shoulders, the other taking hold of the lasso. He gasps as his bare fingers make contact with the glowing rope, a wide-eyed smile directed at Diana. And she can feel it too, the love her boys have for one another, for her, and she basks in that love for as long as she can.
Clark’s fingers tighten around the lasso, intermingling with Diana’s own. It’s an odd kind of contact, but it works for them. “Bruce?” she asks, after a bout of silence from the Bat.
Bruce hums lightly, subconsciously tugging on the lasso. “How are you feeling?” Diana asks.
“Better,” he grunts, and continues typing.
Better, Diana thinks with a smile on her lips, better together.
Chapter 13: Bleeding Hearts (cuddling while someone is sick)
Diana gets cursed by a spiteful fertility goddess, Clark and Bruce help ease her pain.
for the prompt 'cuddling while someone is sick'
Bruce wakes up early Sunday morning to the unmistakable sound of someone vomiting into a toilet bowl. He bites back a groan, this is not the way he wants to spend the morning. He sits up against the headboard, trying to orientate himself. "You okay?" he asks and scrubs a hand across his eyes. There's something sharply muttered in reply, but he can’t make out the voice.
But the sound is much too close, so that rules out his children. His bed is empty, two large spaces left in the sheets, so that leaves two possible suspects. Either option fills him with dread: an invincible alien or an invincible Amazon, neither should be able to get sick, let alone be throwing up in his bathroom.
Another hurl, another groan. Through the crack in the ensuite door, there's a mess of dark curls cascading around the rim of the bowl. Shit. "Diana?" Bruce asks, slipping from the bed. He tugs on a pair of boxers left on the floor, before crossing the room with hurried steps.
There's a gust of wind, the translucent white drapes dancing aside the open window. Clark's feet hit the carpet almost soundlessly. "What's wrong?" he asks, and he's answered with another bout of vomiting from the en suite.
Bruce ignores Clark's furrowed brow and keeps walking to the bathroom. Clark will follow his lead, he always does, cape floating softly behind him. Bruce pushes the bathroom door fully open, revealing the miserable sight of Diana kneeling over the toilet, shivering and clutching tightly at the rim. His chest aches at the sight, just like when his own kids are sick. He and Clark move to her side, but she makes no acknowledgement of their presence.
“Shhh, you’re okay.” Bruce brushes her hair away from her face, pulling it back so he can hold in like a ponytail in one fist. With his other hand, he rubs up and down her back, try to ease her shivering. She's only wearing one of Bruce's dress shirts and a pair of blue panties that peak out from beneath the tails as she leans closer to the bowl.
Clark sniffs and then frowns at them. "You're bleeding? Why didn't you say you were hurt?"
"I'm not hurt," she grimaces, a hand coming her lower stomach, massaging the flesh there. "Not like that, at least."
Bleeding? She wasn’t injured when she arrived at the Manor last night, and he’s certain nothing rough happened afterward, so what could it be? Bruce peeks a look into the bowl, mostly just bile now,nothing that resembles coffee-grounds.
Vomiting, bleeding, clutching at her lower stomach. Why could she be....
Of course. But she's never had one like this, not as long as he's known her. She's never mentioned it, and Bruce though Bruce was certain she had one. Amazonian biology isn't exactly that different from regular humans, but Bruce isn’t certain where the two differ. He makes a mental note to rectify that.
But Clark is still frowning, obviously confused and a little distressed. "So what is it then?"
Bruce grunts. "It's her period, Clark."
Clark blinks at him. "Okay,” he says after a beat, “so you're not hurt?"
"I'd take a stab wound over this," she moans, her back muscles quaking beneath Bruce's assuring touch. She retches again, but there's nothing left to throw up, it seems."Does this not usually happen or have I been missing something?"
"This is why you don't piss off a fertility goddess," Diana says, looking up at them finally. Her cheeks are flushed, but beneath it she looks awfully pale, skin lacking it's usual ethereal glow.
Bruce hushes her. "Lots of people go through this Diana, you'll be fine."
Diana snarls at him, and yep, that was the wrong thing to say. "Oh really? And what do you know of this?"
Bruce doesn’t rise to the bait. "Cass used to have bad ones too," he says, trying to sound soothing. Cass had been a mess the first time she had her period at the Manor, curled up in a ball refusing to move. It took a lot of coaxing, mostly on Alfred's part, to get her to take some tea and painkillers. Bruce sat with her, read with her, and heated her water bottle when it grew cool, on edge the whole time about the pain his poor daughter was in. He’d run her a bath, let her soak in there for over an hour, and when she emerged, pruney fingers and all, she shot him a grateful smile that he still cherishes.
"Can I get you anything?" Clark says, in that earnest farmboy way that can be nothing but endearing. Diana shakes her head, a few strands of hair falling from Bruce's grasp and framing her sullen face.
"Go ask Alfred for some tea and plain toast," Bruce says, a strategy forming.
With a nod of his head, Clark floats from the room and into the hallway. Knowing the Boy Scout, he'll stop at the library to read up about 'menstruation' and the image leaves the corners of Bruce's mouth tugging upwards.
Bruce lets go of her hair and moves across the bathroom to where the huge corner bathtub sits, white porcelain gleaming. The caddy on the ledge of the bathtub has everything, shampoo, conditioner, salts, bath bombs, bubble bath, and a lone rubber duck wearing a black cowl that Bruce is quite fond of.
"What are you doing?" she asks as the facet groans to life. No matter how much Bruce works on the pipes and plumbing, it still has that old creaking of an ancient manor home. "Running a bath," he says plainly, "the warmth helps soothe cramps." Bruce fiddles with the faucet, getting the water temperature just right. "Bubbles or no bubbles?" Diana doesn't reply, so he rummages through the caddy, taking the bottle and squeezes a generous amount into the quickly filing tub.
"You don't need to do this," Diana says finally, turned to face Bruce.
"No," Bruce concedes, "but let me do it anyway." He’s given so little opportunity to take care of the Amazonian warrior, and maybe it’s a little selfish of him, but he wants to take this moment to indulge her while he can.
Diana stands and moves to the vanity, where her toothbrush sits side by side with Bruce’s and Clark’s, and begins to brush her teeth.
"Have you ever had a period this bad?"
Diana shakes her head and spits. "I believe that's why she chose this punishment,” she says, before rinsing out her mouth.
"Punishment," Bruce states slowly, the question implied. Why would anyone think Diana was deserving of punishment?
"I may have said some things that she disapproved of," she says, "something about procreating and the human body."
Bruce says nothing, listening to the water running and letting Diana's words slip over him. Procreating, that’s certainly a can of worms. The tub is almost full, water lapping at where his fingertips rest, stretching a few inches below the rim. He turns off the faucet, satisfied with the amount of bubbles forming across the surface of the water. "Ready?"
Diana strips off her clothes with no shame, crossing the room to the bath. She steps straight into the tub, not bothering to test the temperature first. She trusts him, so openly, and the knowledge tugs at his chest, warm and assuring. Sinking beneath the bubbles, Diana sighs, letting the warmth engulf her. There's still a tightness to her jaw that comes and goes, but she begins to relax gradually.
He strokes a hand through her hair, just the way she likes. Or at least, he tries to. There's a few chunks of hair glued together, having fallen victim before Bruce's rescue attempt.
“My hair is a mess,” Diana says, and then softer, “I’m sorry.”
He doesn't move his hand, silently dismissing her apologies. "Let me," he says, and he feels Diana nod beneath his hands. Hands glide down her elegant neck, before pushing gently at her shoulders. Understanding, she sinks lower in the tub, fully submerging her head for a few moments.
Bruce gathers the shampoo and begins, bringing the liquid to a lather in Diana's hair. Diana moans, this time in pleasure, as Bruce massages her scalp with deft fingers.
Clark returns, leaning against the doorway. "Am I interrupting?" he asks, grin stretching across his lips. He's changed out of his costume, now in a pair of tan slacks and an abhorrent plaid shirt, glasses resting on the bridge of his nose.
"Always," Bruce grunts and continues his ministrations, washing the conditioner from Diana's hair. Diana snorts.
The next time he looks over, Clark has a pleased grin on his face and the toilet has been thoroughly cleaned, pleasantly citrus. Bruce nods his thanks. "Could you grab some clothes?" he asks, and Clark leaves and returns before he can finish his sentence. The corners of Bruce’s mouth tug upwards.
As the water begins to grow cool, Bruce grabs two fresh towel and holds one out for Diana. She takes it, wrapping it around her figure, tucking the corner tightly beneath the fabric in the space between her breasts. With the second, he holds it out and wraps it around her hair, gently wringing out her hair with the towel. Satisfied that her hair is roughly dry, he drops the towel onto the towel rack. He waits for her to leave, but she remains still. "Do you mind?" she says, and oh, right.
"Of course." Bruce leaves the bathroom, shutting the door behind him.
The bed is made, through the comforter is drawn down to the bottom, as though awaiting its owners' return. Clark's sitting on the edge of the bed, a tray with a plate of toast, a teapot and three cups sitting beside him, and a bright blue water bottle.
Clark holds out his hand, trying to draw Bruce closer. Bruce closes the distance between them, Clark's hand coming to rest against Bruce's bare stomach. "She's okay?" Clark murmurs, his ridiculously blue eyes wide, searching Bruce’s own.
"She'll be fine." As if Diana would let a bout of menstrual cramps stop her. But he understands, he feels it too, this anxiety crawling over his skin at the thought of Diana hurt. Bruce covers Clark’s hand with his own, fingers weaving between Clark’s.
Diana emerges from the bathroom, dressed in an old Metropolis U t-shirt and and a baggy pair of sweatpants that Bruce is certain belonged to him once upon a time. She perches on the edge of the bed beside Clark
"Try some toast, and if you can hold it down, we can try some pain killers." Bruce isn't entirely sure they'll work, but it's worth a shot if it helps ease Diana's pain.
She nibbles on a piece of toast, before her hunger gets the best of her, devouring the piece in only a few bites. “Okay that’s enough for now,” Clark says, taking the tray and setting it on the floor at the foot of the bed. “Alfred said one piece at a time.”
“I just want to sleep,” she says, sounding impossibly tired. Bruce might not know what she’s feeling right now, but he wants to take it all away.
“Sleep should help,” Bruce says, and Diana takes it as permission to crawl back beneath the covers. She takes Clark’s hand and tugs him closer, and Clark gets the idea, following Diana down onto the bed. Clark wraps his arms around her, tucking her head beneath his chin. She looks awfully small in her embrace, so unlike her Amazonian self. Bruce watches on, warmth spilling in his chest.
“Bruce?” Diana asks, turning in Clark’s hold to face him.
“I've got work to do,” Bruce says, which is true. Despite his insistence otherwise, Wayne Enterprise can't run itself.
Diana makes a sound of distress low in her throat. The water bottle is discarded on the sheets in favour of the Kryptonian space heater embracing her. Said space heater quirks an eyebrow at Bruce, his disapproval obvious.
Bruce hushes Diana, hushes them both, and with a grumble he slides back into bed. Diana wastes no time, reaching out with an impossibly strong arm, anchoring Bruce to the bed and his lovers. Looks like he won’t be leaving the bed for a while. He’s sure he can convince the CEO to give him a sick day.
Chapter 14: Just Roll With It (cuddling on the floor)
Bruce and Diana spar on the Watchtower, but get interrupted mid-fight. After all this time, Bruce has just learnt to roll with it.
for the prompt 'cuddling on the floor'
Sparring with Diana is always something. She's a warrior, first and foremost, with decades more training than Bruce could ever dream of having. He can best her, though. Sometimes. On the odd occasion. Okay, twice. Once when she was depowered, and the other… well let’s just say Bruce’s distraction techniques can be very persuasive.
She’s already won the first round, but that’s hardly a surprise. Diana has long since given up on going easy on him.
The Watchtower is quiet this time of day, most Leaguers either on mission or living out their civilian lives. Bruce prefers to train in the privacy of the Cave, but it isn’t fortified enough to contain the fighting force of the League’s two heaviest hitters. Not yet, at least. He’d rather not have to explain to the press why his house collapsed into an underground cave that may or may not be the secret hideout of an infamous local vigilante.
So instead, they spar in the Watchtower, Bruce in his full armour and cowl. His cape licks at his heels as he circles the mat, watching and waiting for Diana to strike. When he and Clark spar with her at the same time, that’s when the fun truly begins. Between the two of them, Diana gets a solid workout. But today, since Clark’s offworld on a diplomatic mission, it’s up to Bruce to hold his ground against Diana, solo. They’re all for solid workouts, inside the gym or elsewhere. Bruce shakes his head from the distracting thoughts and readies himself for the next attack.
One, two, thr-
Diana lunges forward in a direct assault, but Bruce is ready for her. She shoots him a grin before maneuvering out of his grasp, out of his range, before striking once again.
The fight goes on, fiery and fierce, only punctuated by the occasional grunt and the sound of skin or metal striking kevlar.
With a thigh around her waist, he twists and flings her body against the mat. She recovers instantaneously with a thunderous kick to his sternum, sending him sprawling. He uses the energy to counter her again, but she’s too fast, always too fast.
In a moment, maybe two, Diana has him pinned to the floor, the breath half-knocked from his lungs.
Diana straddles his hips, holding Bruce’s wrists in one hand above his head. “Do you yield?” she smirks.
“To you? Always.” Bruce's jaw clenches as her thighs tighten around his sides. Don't think about her thighs, he tells himself. Not here, at least. He'd yield to her and those thighs anywhere, but he'd much prefer the privacy of his bedroom, or at least a broom closet.
Bruce is about to flip them when they’re hit from the side by something. Or someone. The ceiling and floor swirl together as they roll across the sparring mat at a dizzying pace.
The come to a stop by the edge of the mat, Bruce sandwiched between two bodies. Laughter rings out through the room, but Bruce can feel the vibrations against his back.
He's back? There’s a warmth curling in Bruce’s chest that he can’t stifle.
He catches sight of Diana’s face, and despite half of it being covered by Clark’s cape, her eyes are glowing with joy.
Trapped in Clark's grasp, Bruce basks in that joy for a moment, only a moment. “Was that really necessary, Superman?” Bruce grunts, smothering his relief at Clark's return with snark.
“Yep,” Clark says, popping the ‘p’. “I just really wanted to see you.”
“Welcome back, my love” Diana says lowly. She worms an arm out of Clark’s grasp to brush his cape from her face. “We weren’t expecting you today.”
“I guess I’m just full of surprises.”
Bruce expects Clark to let go, but Clark, keeping to his word, doesn't let go. The openness of Clark's affection sets Bruce's teeth on edge, but he relents. Clark's allowed this, and maybe he is to.
“Are you guys done yet?” Hal calls out. Bruce cranes his neck and spots the Lantern leaning against the door. He hadn't heard Jordan come in. “Or do i need to hose the three of you down?” A construct glows beside Hal, a garden hose snaking around his form.
“Nope,” Clark says, rolling them again a few more times until he's lying flat on his back, Diana and Bruce half laying across his chest. “We’re good.”
Bruce grunts as an elbow (Diana's, he thinks) wedges its way into his side. He's ready to kiss that stupid smile off of Clark's face, but the only trouble would be reaching it.
Clark’s arms tighten around them, the warmth of his touch leaching through the layers of amour and padding of the Batsuit. Bruce has missed this while Clark was gone, missed the way he’d just scoop Bruce and Diana into his stupid Kryptonian arms and hold them, fiercely, and refuse to let go.
But now is not the place, not the time. Knowing Clark, he would have burst right into the gym, bypassing the debrief and paperwork from the mission. And Jordan is still loitering by the door, half amused smirk still etched on his face. Cuddling on the floor of the training room is bad enough, there can't be any more shows of affection. It's not good for morale, for their position as leaders of the League. As much as he wants to stay here, wrapped up in Diana and Clark, they can't remain.
“Let go,” Bruce grunts, “or I’ll let you figure out which belt capsule has the Kryptonite.” Clark finally releases them, albeit reluctantly.
Bruce is on his feet in an instant. He holds out a hand for Diana, who grins at him as he helps her up. Clark floats up from the floor, hovering close to Diana’s side.
“Come to the Cave tonight,” Bruce says low enough for only them to hear, his eyes drifting from Clark to Diana. Maybe then they can welcome Clark home properly.
They nod, understanding. Always understanding.
“It’s good to have you back, Superman,” Bruce says, a gentle hand at Clark’s elbow.
Clark beams at him. “It’s good to be back.”
Chapter 15: Just Friends (totally platonic cuddling)
It’s totally platonic. They’re just friends. Good friends. Great friends, who may or may not have some less than platonic feelings simmering below the surface.
for the prompt 'totally platonic cuddling'
It’s totally platonic, Clark thinks, with an arm around Bruce’s shoulders. So what if he is touching Bruce, it’s not like it means anything. He’s a tactile guy, and Bruce trusts him enough to tolerate the contact. Bruce doesn’t shrug him off, doesn’t even shoot a masked glare in Clark’s direction, and Clark can’t help the pleased feeling that settles somewhere in his chest. There’s nothing more to it.
It’s totally platonic, the way he spars with Diana, a smirk stretch across his lips. The way his heart flutters when she pins him to the mat, it’s nothing to be concerned about. Probably just adrenaline racing through his veins. What else could it be? He definitely doesn't throw the next round to get Diana to pin him to the floor again.
It’s totally platonic, Diana thinks as she presses a kiss to Clark’s cheek in greeting. The rest of the League, including Bruce, watch on, but she doesn’t care. The kiss is of friendship, nothing else, and Clark doesn't seem to mind. The pink tinge to his cheeks must be from the attention, she thinks and plans to avoid any further attempts. Until the start of next week's meeting, where, far from embarrassed, he is the one to greet her with a kiss.
It's totally platonic, the way she stays by Bruce’s bedside in the Watchtower infirmary, a silent vigil with Bruce’s cool hand settled in her own. Clark comes and goes, though he’s hardly the best at sitting still and waiting. No one questions it, or her, not even Bruce when he awakes to find her still holding his hand. She’s from another place, another time, and they accept she might be a little different, care a little more openly. Bruce gives her hand a faint squeeze, a thank you, before dozing again with a soft smile on his lips. Diana thinks nothing of it and intertwines her fingers with Bruce's.
It’s totally platonic, Bruce thinks, catching sight of Diana as she waltzes into the ballroom, the split up the thigh of her dress showing a gorgeous stretch of golden skin. It’s strictly professional, an appraisal of her uniform, so to speak. Tonight he needs her to be inconspicuous, or at least as inconspicuous as a woman of her beauty can be. It's business, not pleasure, though Bruce can't deny the rush of emotion when Diana greets Bruce with a kiss. Or when one of Diana’s hands slips between his, the other settled over his chest, ready to dance. It’s platonic, despite what the other guests and paparazzi might think (or what Diana was more than willing to let them think, with her hand slipping lower and lower down Bruce’s back), simply platonic.
It’s platonic when he feels a warmth settling in his chest as he watches Clark scoop an eager Nightwing into his arms, a tight hug in greeting that never seems to lose its childlike joy, even all these years later. It’s nothing new, their antics or the feeling it leaves Bruce with, it’s common whenever he thinks about the family. His family. The boys, Cass, Alfred, even Stephanie, and Diana and Cla- Bruce shakes his head. When did he come to think of Diana and Clark as family? Maybe that knock to the head on patrol last night was harder than he thought? Whatever it is, it’s nothing. It’s totally platonic, he insists, they’re just friends.
And it's totally platonic when, exhausted after another gruelling League mission, the Trinity escape to a private room, just the three of them. The other members don’t question it, they know there are some things that can only be shared within the triumvirate of leaders.
In Bruce’s room, where they usually end up, the world doesn’t feel so heavy. For a moment, drawn out for as long as they can, they share the weight between their shoulders, three pillars holding up the world instead of one.
It’s the quiet that they first notice. Even Clark finds the world quieter in here, the constant call of duty and danger and fear muted enough that he can think in peace. Peace is Bruce and Diana and him together, an island of their own. Peace is the calmness they bring, a silent understanding. Peace is the feel of them in his arms, embracing and embraced.
Bruce peels back the cowl, his sweat-dampened hair falling across his face. Diana brushes the locks back, her fingertips trailing along his cheekbone, a soft pink glow in her wake.
Clark settles on the comforter, watching Bruce’s body shake beneath Diana’s touch. It’s been too long, and if he was anywhere other than here, in their sanctuary, he’d curse himself for not noticing sooner. “Come here,” Clark says, arms held out wide in a welcoming call. Come here , he says, but it sounds like come home. Maybe it is.
Silently, they join him on the bed, arms and legs and hearts and capes tangling together into one, a pile of heroes cuddling together atop the bed. There’s a sigh that escapes the three of them at once, contentment settling in their limbs. This is peace, if only for a moment, a comfort that only they can bring. Bruce nuzzles closer to Clark’s chest, his nose pressing firm against the S emblazoned there. Diana’s hand cups his jaw, her touch radiant and hopeful and warm, and Bruce melts against Clark’s chest a little more. Clark tightens his hold around his two teammates, companions, lov... Friends.
The bed is big enough for the three of them, Bruce had made sure of it. He always seems to know of these things, to make provisions for instances that haven’t yet occurred. Diana thinks it’s his superpower. Clark knows that it is.
In each other’s arms, they are safe. What more can they ask for? A moment of safety, of comfort, if only just a moment, is more than any of them could ever hope for. They can’t spend long here, can’t hide from reality for more than a moment, but the moment spent together is more than enough.
No. It won’t ever be enough, but they won’t admit that. They’ll take all that they can, anything, because it’s more than they think they deserve.
It’s totally platonic, despite Hal’s jokes, despite what the rest of the League might think. It’s a reprieve, a way to ground them, tether themselves to one another so they don’t float away. It’s a victory in itself, defeating the battle of grief day after day, being here and being held and being loved.
There’s no denying that. But it's totally platonic, it has to be, because if it's not…
If it's not, they're not sure what to do.
Chapter 16: Here For You
It should be a happy occasion, but this year, it hurts. Diana and Clark do their best to comfort Bruce. (Set during Dick’s Spyral days)
for the prompt 'reluctant cuddling'
Diana wasn’t expecting a call, but she takes it anyway, excusing herself from the meeting with the museum curator and stepping out into the hallway.
“Ms Prince? I hate to trouble you, but-”
Diana frowns, cradling the phone between her ear and shoulder. “What is it, Alfred?”
“Do you happen to know today’s date?”
It’s an odd question, even more so that Alfred is calling her to ask it. Diana’s no detective, not like Bruce, but she knows enough to take the hint. She wracks her mind, searching for meaning for the day. It’s not a birthday, not an anniversary of death, that much she knows for sure. Those are written on her calendar pinned to her kitchen wall. There are so many dates to remember. So that leaves, what, adop-
She knows what today is. It should be a good day, a joyful day, but it’s hardly ever that simple with Bruce and his family, and today is no exception. “Yes,” she says, “and he is?”
“He is,” he pauses, “he is better than I had hoped, but still…” But still affected, of course. Still in need of support.
Diana nods to herself. “Clark and I will be there shortly.”
“I’ll make up a fresh pot of tea,” he says, and then, “thank you.”
Alfred hangs up before she can reply. So that’s where Bruce gets it from.
Diana shoots Clark a short text: a name and a time, and heads to her office to fetch her coat.
Clark's waiting for her when she arrives in the Manor gardens, glasses sitting askew on his nose. She lands right in his space, correcting his glasses before pressing a kiss to his cheek.
“I still can’t believe he’s gone,” Clark says, and neither can she. But today, they need to be the resolute ones, the shoulders to cry on, so to speak. Bruce isn’t the type to cry, not like this. So she nods, kisses him again, and leads the way to the house.
They pause at the front door for a moment, a question coming to them simultaneously. Do they knock? Do they walk right in? Will they get taken down by a hail of Kryptonite if they do try? Alfred opens the door before they can decide.
Silently, he ushers them inside, the usual smalltalk absent, and Clark feels the need to fill it, mostly with worry. “Is there anything we can-”
“It's taken care of,” the old man says, and there's a heaviness in his eyes that Diana feels in her chest. Burying a grandson is too much. “He's upstairs. Though I'm sure you already knew that.” Alfred was never quite comfortable with their super senses in the house; apparently he has a monopoly on that trait.
Diana thanks him as he turns away and heads toward the kitchen. There’s so much more that she could -should- say, but there’s nothing that she can offer Alfred right now, not with words. But looking after his son, that’s something she can do. Always.
They find him in the sun room, sitting stiffly on the chaise, hands clasped in his lap. His knuckles are white and his breaths are forcibly even, but he looks the pinnacle of calmness.
“He didn’t need to call you.”
Diana shrugs. He’s right of course -Bruce usually is - but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be here.
“Can we sit?” Clark asks, and the tension in the room grows thicker and thicker with every breath. Asking is good, but Bruce doesn’t do well with questions, not questions like this.
Bruce doesn't reply, which is answer enough, so Diana and Clark sit on either side of Bruce, not close enough to be touching, but enough to let him know they’re there.
It’s a waiting game with Bruce, it always seems to be.
The silence begs to be filled, but there’s nothing to fill it with. All the empty platitudes had been said too many times, and the promise of ice cream, a staple of any good adoption anniversary celebration, doesn’t so sweet. So they sit there, side by side, in the silence of the sun room, watching until the night begins to fall. Bruce doesn’t mention it when Clark’s arm slides around his shoulders, doesn’t shrug off the touch, so it’s a start. Diana takes his hand in hers, letting him know it’s okay for him to ask for what he needs.
Bruce doesn’t ask, he never asks, but she and Clark have learnt a thing or two about Bruce and comfort in all their years together. They offer all they can give, and let Bruce be the one to make the decision.
He moves slowly, as if waiting for a rejection that he should know, by now, will never come. Too slowly, too afraid. Too hurt.
“Come here,” Diana says, clear in her compassion and intent, and it's all Bruce needs. Bruce hides his face in Diana's collarbone, an arm slipping around her waist. Clark brackets them from behind, one of his hands covering hers across Bruce's back.
In their arms, Bruce takes a deep breath that shudders on the way out. He won’t cry, Diana knows, not like this, but it is enough. This is what he needs.
“I miss him,” Bruce says eventually in Diana’s shoulder.
“I know.” Diana misses him too. The Manor is much too quiet without him, even if he did spend most of his time in Bludhaven in the lead up to... Yes, Diana misses him, misses his sweet smile, as jovial as it was when he was still wearing pixie boots.
Clark stays quiet, immediately suspect. “There’s something you’re not telling us,” he says eventually, “but I trust you have a good reason for that.”
Bruce nods. Diana doesn’t push. The truth will be revealed at some point, it always is, and she has faith in that. She has faith in Clark and Bruce, too.
The stillness of the room is only broken by Bruce’s yawn. “Would you like us to stay?” Diana asks, not because she wants to leave, but because she wants Bruce to make the call.
Bruce grunts, and Diana feels the muscles in his shoulders tighten beneath her fingertips. “I have to patrol tonight.” He pulls away from them, his cheek reddened from where it lay against Diana's shoulder.
“Oracle is taking care of it,” Diana says, “your team is taking care of it.” Let us take care of you.
Bruce eyes her for a moment longer before nodding. “You can stay.”
Diana’s known him long enough to read between the lines. Bruce wants them here, and the softening of Bruce’s brow feels like an admission.
Bruce settles in the arms again, his face pressed against Diana’s chest. “We’re here for you,” she says, her lips brushing against his forehead. Clark hums his agreement, rubbing circles low on Bruce’s back.
Soft enough that only they can hear, Bruce murmurs, “thank you,” into their embrace.
Chapter 17: by touch alone (cuddling in the dark)
The Trinity know each other loyally, truthfully, intimately, and wholly.
(cuddling in the dark)
Quote: “I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world.”
― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
It’s late when Clark makes it back to the Manor, late enough that even Bruce has returned from patrolling Gotham's streets. He counts the heartbeats in the Manor, eight tonight, as he hovers above the neatly mown grass. Dick is still in Bludhaven, Jason on the other side of the country, and Steph is sleeping over, curled protectively around Cass’ form.
This far out from Gotham's light pollution, the night sky is jubilant with glittering stars. Beautiful, always so beautiful, whether he watches them from Kansas, Gotham, Metropolis, or DC. But no, he can’t linger here under the blanket of stars. Two heartbeats, steady and true, draw him to the bedroom like a siren’s call.
He floats closer to the house, to just outside Bruce’s room. He’s long since passed the formality of using the front door on nights like these. The window is open, always open, or at least, open to him. He floats over the sill and closes the window behind him as quietly as possible. He doesn’t want to wake them, despite the inevitability of it. He can’t hide anything from them, nor would he want to, even in silence, they know him.
The bedroom, bathed in darkness, proves no obstacle. He knows the way to the bed without using his x-ray vision, know how many steps it takes to cross the floor. He knows where Bruce’s clothes fall, pooling on the rug, and where both his lovers lay atop the bed. Bruce faces away from the windows, prepared as always for the imminent sunrise.
He knows the way Bruce gravitates to Diana's warmth, knows the feel of that warmth himself, the memory of it spreading across his skin. The taste of it too, he knows it well, lips brushing her neck, her throat, her shoulder. Every inch of his lovers, scarred, stretched, smooth, he knows by touch, even the new marks, fresh and aching, he knows.
Clark hovers above the floorboards and inches closer to the bed. He can pinpoint the moment his lovers realise his presence, the hitch in Bruce's breath, the twitch of Diana’s right hand. Diana shuffles on the bed to make a space between herself and Bruce, just for him, and Bruce huffs softly in amusement. They make room for him, always, and the thought warms him more than he considered it could.
Clark peels off the suit, letting it fall to the floor without grace. Bruce will grumble about Clark making a mess in the morning, but Diana will remind him, lips against his shoulder, that he doesn’t have a leg to stand on. And Clark will laugh, kiss them both, and maybe keep them in bed a while longer. Those kinds of soft mornings are all too rare, and he cherishes every one he can share with them.
He slips into the space between Diana and Bruce, tugging the sheets up to his chest. His lovers curl against his sides, seeking his warmth like a pair of kittens, but he hardly minds, not when their arms wrap around his torso, their legs tangling together beneath the sheets. They fit together, the three of them, like puzzle pieces locking into place.
He doesn’t need to see the drowsy smile that spreads across Bruce’s lips, or hear the content hum from Diana, not when he can feel both against his skin.
“I’m sorry to wake you,” Clark whispers, and he is, truly. Bruce dismisses him with a grunt, a soft puff of air ticking the fine hairs of Clark’s back.
“Everything alright?” Diana’s hand strokes a stray strand of hair out of his eyes.
“Yeah,” he says, “go back to sleep.” The day is saved, for a moment at least, and now he can rest in the arms of his partners.
He knows them by their heartbeats, two calming beacons, like stars, that guide him home. Home. Not a place, not anymore. Two heartbeats, two sleepy smiles, and a love bigger than the three of them, that’s what welcomes him home.
He knows the by smell, by a scent that's become a culmination of the three of them. Bruce's soap, sweat, Diana's perfume, something sweet. He inhales again. Arousal. They'd fallen asleep waiting for him, their heated kisses melting away to soft, sleepy cuddles. He’d heard every second of it, and they knew it. Such teases, he snorts, but he wouldn’t have them any other way.
The feel of his lovers beside him, bare skin against bare skin, is as enticing as always. A kiss to Diana’s neck, just below her ear, and a hand across Bruce’s lower back would ignite that passion again in his lovers with ease. But Bruce is too tired now, though he would never admit that aloud, and needs what little rest he can get. Maybe in the morning, he thinks, an apology to them both for keeping them waiting. He can be so very good at apologising. Smirking into his pillow, he shuffles against the mattress, trying to still his thoughts of his alluring lovers.
Sure, sex is great, but this? This is real intimacy. Bruce let him into his life, his home, his family. Diana let him into her heart, after years of keeping the world, keeping love, at bay. Here they are, together, a miracle in the face of years of loneliness. The trust he is gifted, it is more precious than anything this world could ever offer him.
Their breaths even out as they slip beneath the covers of sleep again, but sleep doesn’t come so easily to Clark. He listens, feels their chests rise and fall with each breath. This is peace, he thinks, his liferaft in a storm. And he’ll cling to them, just as tight as they cling to him, and together, in the dark, they cling to each other in the safety of Bruce’s bed.
Clark stifles a yawn against the pillow, trying not to jostle Diana and Bruce, asleep once more. He’d know them anywhere, love them anywhere, and it's that thought that lulls him into a dreamless sleep.
Chapter 18: This Bwessed Awamgement (cuddling on the couch/loveseat)
The Wayne Family movie night doesn't go exactly to plan.
Co-written with the ever-amazing TantalumCobalt! I love them and you should too.
"Where is everyone?" Bruce asks Alfred as he enters the abandoned den.
It's Tuesday night. Movie night. So where on earth are his kids?
"I believe they all have previous engagements, Master Bruce. Nothing nefarious, though for Master Jason I cannot be one hundred percent certain." It’s a fair call, Bruce concedes.
"But it's Tuesday," Bruce mutters, and he can't pretend he isn't hurt. There's no one to pretend for. Only Alfred, and he’d see through it in a heartbeat.
The bowl of popcorn Alfred sits on the coffee table looks entirely too big for one person. Bruce glowers at it and it’s mockery of his disappointment that none of his children can make their weekly movie night. He pulls out his phone to check whether any of them left him a message, but no, not even Dick, who is usually so good at calling or texting to apologise if something else has come up. Strange.
The doorbell rings and Bruce brushes past Alfred to answer it.
"Where the hell have- oh." Bruce can’t hide his disappointment.
Clark and Diana stand on the doorstep, slightly startled by Bruce's accusations. "Hey B, are we late?"
"Dick said any time after seven but we got caught up with a bank heist and then there was-"
"It's fine." He steps to the side to allow them to come in.
Clark and Diana exchange glances before stepping inside. They wait while Bruce closes the door then follow him back down the hall to the den.
"Where are the kids?" Clark asks, surveying the room.
"I was going to ask you the same thing."
Diana turns to him sharply, evidently surprised by his tone. "Richard said-"
Bruce rubs the bridge of his nose. "I think we've been duped."
Clark's brow pinches together. "Duped? Duped how?"
"Tuesday night is family movie night. My family are nowhere to be seen, and instead you two show up. We've been duped."
"Well, I don't see why we can't have a movie night by ourselves," Diana suggests, "even if it wasn't our intended plan."
Clark nods. “I’d like that,” he says, stupidly sincere smile on his face.
Bruce grunts. “Fine. Make yourselves at home, I guess,” he adds, a touch sarcastic since Diana and Clark are doing just that. Taking off layers and kicking off shoes, reaching for the remote, the bowl of popcorn.
“What are we watching?” Clark asks. He’s flicking through the film catalogue on the TV. In the otherwise dark room the blue light from the screen plays across his face, different film covers throwing shades of red and yellow and green that bring his features into sharp relief.
Before Bruce can process the question, too busy staring, not quite believing that he could take two steps closer and kiss that jaw if he wanted to, Diana speaks up. “Ooh was that The Princess Bride? I love that movie.”
“Bruce?” Clark checks.
The idea of watching a romantic comedy, even one as heavy on the comedy as The Princess Bride, with Clark and Diana… It feels a little more like a date than Bruce is comfortable with. They haven’t been on a proper first date yet; Clark and Diana deserve five-star cuisine and all the pampering money can buy for a first date, not a simple movie night.
“Sure,” Bruce says, “It’s a good movie.”
Clark hits play then takes the seat beside Diana on the sofa, and though there’s space for three, Bruce takes the armchair to the left. He wants to join them, to settle comfortably in that space between them and feel their warmth surround him, but there’s something nagging at the back of his mind that has him curling in on himself on the lone armchair. It’s all so new, though according to Dick it had been a long time coming, and Bruce isn’t so sure where the boundaries lie.
“What?” It comes out harsher than he intended.
Diana and Clark look at him with the same expression. It’s unnerving to say the least. Bruce has faced down countless enemies, but an unimpressed, partly-amused glare from his, well, his partners , has the power to knock him off beat.
“B, what are you doing?”
That earns him an eye roll.
“Come here,” Diana says, and Bruce is hardly one to disobey her.
Bruce sits stiffly between Clark and Diana, not touching either of them. They do not have the same reservations, leaning into him as soon as he’s settled back against the cushions. Relax, Bruce tells himself, but he can’t make his body obey. He’s too aware of his partners, too aware that they’re his partners now. The last time they watched a movie together… Bruce can’t even remember when it was, but they were firmly in the ‘only friends’ territory then. He’d fantasized about something more back then, but now that he has it he isn’t sure how to act.
The movie begins, the electronic beep of the boy’s video game fills the room. Clark is watching with rapt attention, Diana with a smile on her lips, but Bruce can’t focus on the film. He can’t work out whether it’s perfume or the scent of her shampoo but Diana smells amazing. Coconut and something, some combination of scents that Bruce wouldn’t mind waking up to.
Clark slings an arm across the back of the sofa, fingers brushing against Bruce’s shoulder. Bruce tries not to flinch, but the gentle touch sends sparks through his body. They fizzle into a strange feeling in his chest, something warm and light, like dancing flames. It’s just Clark, a casual touch that’s nothing new, but it’s everything new, uncharted romantic territory. It’s just Clark, he reminds himself, and tries to slow his racing heart. But that’s the problem: it’s Clark.
Diana laughs at Fezzik’s rhyming. Bruce can feel it as well as he can see it and those flames in his chest begin to dance more madly. He’s sure no one has ever laughed as beautifully as Diana does.
Gradually, they gravitate closer, until both Clark and Diana have an arm around Bruce, snuggling against his sides. The warmth of their embrace, their laughter, their love, has Bruce’s head spinning. He lays his head on Clark’s shoulder, trying to keep the wondrous smile off his face. On the screen, the clergyman is preaching about “tru wuv”. Bruce tangles his fingers with Diana’s. He could stay in the moment forever and be perfectly content.
By the time the credits roll, Bruce’s eyes are drooping. He tries and fails to stifle a yawn.
“It’s getting late,” Diana says as she strokes a hand through Bruce’s hair. “Would you like us to leave?”
Never. He wants to ask them to stay, but do they want to? There are so many questions, so many uncertainties, and Bruce hates dealing with the unknown. “One more,” Bruce murmurs, his word half muffled by Clark’s shoulder. “Please.”
“You choose.” He’s fast asleep before the opening title finishes playing.
Bruce cracks open an eyelid at the sound of light footsteps, well versed in the creaks and groans of the old hardwood floorboards. “Alfred.”
The butler smiles down at him with a rare smile that Bruce doesn’t see nearly enough. He’s carrying the comforter from the end of Bruce’s bed tucked beneath one wiry arm. “I’ll let Master Richard know his plan went well. Master Jason however, owes me twenty dollars.”
Bruce blinks up at him sleepily. “Why’s that?”
With a well-practised flick, Alfred unfolds the comforter and lays it across the three vigilantes laid out on the sofa. Just like when Bruce was a child, Alfred is tucking him in, only this time he’s book-ended by a respective boyfriend and girlfriend. Ugh, it’s like he’s a teenager all over again, but he’s too sleepy and too comfortable to care.
Alfred’s upper lip quirks for barely a moment, but Bruce catches it nonetheless. “You three never made it back to your room. Good night, Master Bruce,” he says, and tucks the blanket under Bruce’s chin. “Ms Prince, Mister Kent.”
“Night, Alfred,” Bruce says, lids too heavy to keep open. He snuggles under the blanket, closer to his two lovers. Not bad for a first date, he thinks, before drifting off to sleep.
Chapter 19: Rubba Dub Dub (Three Heroes in a Tub) (cuddling in the bath)
Clark is fascinated with Bruce's huge bathtub.
For the prompt "cuddling in the water/bath"
Tantalum-Cobalt is amazing wow.
It’s no exaggeration to say that Bruce Wayne has a lot of money. And money can certainly buy a lot of big things. He’s got a big house, a bigger estate, a big family, a big… bed. And apparently, a big bathtub. More of a hot tub, really, with all the bells and whistles and room enough to fit three people comfortably.
Clark’s never seen a bathtub big enough to comfortably fit himself inside, let alone to fit more than one of him. It opens up tantalising new possibilities for getting clean, perhaps while not alone. Clark has been thinking about them since the first time he saw the tub.
Clark floats to Bruce’s bedroom window, opening the latch and flying across the sill, making a beeline for the bathroom. The spacious bathroom is filled with afternoon sunlight, spilling in through the frosted glass window. It’s all sleek granite and tile that Alfred keeps so polished Clark can see his face by his feet when he looks down.
Bruce should be at work for another few hours and the rest of the house quiet. That giant bathtub beckons Clark forward. The taps don’t squeak when he turns the water on; the plumbing in Wayne Manor is much better than his mid-tier apartment.
Clark opens drawers and cupboards while the tub fills with water. He’s not sure what he’s looking for but he knows it as soon as he sees it. A single bottle of bubble bath, hiding behind a pack of new toothbrushes and a box of tampons, still with the safety seal intact. Bingo.
Clark turns back around and finds the tub has filled almost to the top. Another excellent thing about Wayne Manor’s plumbing: the best water pressure Clark has ever had the pleasure of experiencing. A few squirts of bubble bath then he quickly turns the taps off and strips, kicking his clothes into a rough pile.
The water is a little too hot but that doesn’t bother Clark. He climbs in gracelessly, water splashing over the side, soaking into the ridiculously fluffy bath mat. Oops. He probably shouldn’t have let the water run so long. It comes up to Clark’s neck when he sinks down, feelings almost silky from the bubble bath.
On the shelf beside the tub, three pairs of eyes stare at him. Three little ducks, all in a row, dressed respectively in armour, a cowl, and one with a very familiar hair curl.
What on Earth? A peel of laughter bubbles from his lips, unnaturally loud in the echoey bathroom. Of all the things he expected to find in Bruce Wayne’s bathroom, rubber ducks weren’t even close to being on the list. Maybe they belong to Bruce’s kids? They’re all a little too old for bathtime friends, he thinks, but it’s not like he can judge.
He sets them down on the surface of the water, watching them bob across the light waves he makes with every movement. Batman and Wonder Woman bump together, rubber bills touching, and Clark grins in delight. He’s taking a bath with the Justice League’s trinity, what more could he want?
But wouldn’t it be nice if Bruce and Diana were here, if the real trinity were taking a bath together? As nice as the rubber versions are, Clark would rather run his fingers through Diana’s hair, feel Bruce’s muscles against his back. Lips against his neck, his cheek, hands massaging hard to reach places, slipping further and further down his back until-
Clark is broken from his daydream when he hears Bruce enter the bedroom, his oxfords light against the floorboards, naturally quiet even in his own home. Not that it matters since Clark heard his heartbeat before the car even turned up the driveway.
“Clark?” Bruce calls out, knowing, always knowing, although Clark has to concede the open window is a bit of a give away. That and the clothes strewn across Bruce’s bed.
“In here,” Clark says, even though it’s obvious Bruce already knows.
The door pushes open and Bruce leans against the frame, arms crossed, the fabric of his rolled up shirt sleeves pulled tight across his biceps. “What are you doing?”
“Taking a bath.” He suppresses a smile at the way Bruce’s eyebrow twitches.
“Clark, get out of the bathtub,” he grunts.
“No.” Clark sinks lower beneath the bubbles. They tickle under his nose and he sneezes, spluttering at the soapy water that goes up his nose. Bruce just rolls his eyes.
“How long have you been in here? It’s got to be freezing… you’re re-heating it with your vision aren’t you?”
“Maybe.” Clark’s lips are barely above the surface. “Join me?”
“I have work to do.” It’s a lie. If Bruce had work to do, he’d be doing it.
“I know your knee is acting up again. Come on, this will help.”
“Are you a doctor now?”
“Met U gave me an honorary doctorate.” Clark grins. “So yeah, guess I am a doctor now.”
Bruce rolls his eyes but starts unbuttoning his shirt. Clark couldn’t tear his eyes away even if he wanted to. Each item is folded meticulously and set on the lid of the laundry hamper, out of reach from the expanding puddle of water on the floor.
Bruce’s left knee is bathed in purple and blue as he steps into the bathtub, careful not to put weight on it. Clark winces in sympathy as Bruce sinks beneath the bubbles, sitting opposite Clark in the tub. Their legs tangle together, feet sliding along muscular calves.
“See?” Clark says, carefully avoiding Bruce’s injury. “This is nice.”
Bruce just grunts at him, his foot brushing past Clark’s knee and-
“Bruce?” Diana calls out from the other room, the sound of her heels clicking growing louder and louder with each step.
She stands in the bathroom, hands on her hips, eyebrow raised in disapproving half-smile. “Boys,” Diana says, her tone chiding, “we have reservations in an hour.”
Dang. Clark had completely forgotten about dinner. But food is the last thing on his mind right now. “Dinner can wait, come join us.”
Bruce hums his agreement; the reservation is in his name after all, and it wouldn’t be the first time Bruce Wayne cancelled last minute. Or was unfashionably late. It might be the first time it’s because he’s relaxing not working himself to death though.
Diana sighs and kicks off her heels. Clark beams at her, feeling more and more like the cat that got the cream. Even better, he’s the man that got Batman and Wonder Woman.
“You’re a bad influence, Clark Kent,” Diana says as she slips off her dress, letting it pool on the floor, along with her underwear.
“Who me?” Clark says, the picture of innocence.
Bruce snorts and holds out a hand for Diana to help her into the tub. More water sloshes over the side, creeping across the tiles and soaking into Diana’s pile of clothes.
“Come here,” Clark says, arms stretched out to receive them. When neither moves, he sighs, and reaches out for them. Clark pulls them both close, their wet skin sliding slickly together like well oiled machine parts. They fit together, the three of them, pieces of a jigsaw, snug and at home in each others arms.
The three little ducks bump into each other, Superman between Wonder Woman and Batman. Perfect , Clark thinks, smiling contentedly at his ducky counterpart from between his lovers.
Chapter 20: out of the limelight and into your arms (cuddling in the back seat of the car)
After another party with the Gotham elite, the trinity take a moment in the back of the limo.
for the prompt 'cuddling in the backseat of the car'
thanks to tantalum-cobalt for the ridiculous title, love it
“Goodbye Brucie darling,” Evelyn calls out from beneath the ornate marble archway framing her front door. She offers no farewell to Diana or Clark, not that Bruce had expected her to, but it stings nonetheless. Ever the perfect hostess, she waves for a whole five seconds before disappearing back into the fold of the party. The evening is still in full swing, though as Bruce would insist to the tabloids, a Gotham party was only a party as long as he was present.
The three of them walk side by side toward the sweeping loop of the driveway, their hands brushing together.
The hedge lining the drive rustles, and Bruce bites back a groan. “How many?” Bruce asks Clark, though he can already count at least three from the gleam of their camera lens.
“At least ten,” he says, “more.”
Diana nods. “Fifteen.” She’s been a hunter longer than Bruce or Clark have been alive and knows well the methods of those who stalk their prey.
They walk and they wait, knowing what’s to come. One flash, then another, and then too many count.
Bruce winces at the light as Alfred pulls the car around, the three of them using the vehicle as a momentary shield. Clark opens the door, holding it for Diana and Bruce before slipping inside after them. It’s only once the car door shuts that Bruce can breathe again. Another night, another party with the Gotham elite requiring the attendance of the Wayne heir and his associates.
The storm of paparazzi is something he’s never really grown used to, though he won’t let those vultures know that. No, he’ll smile all pretty with that Brucie Wayne charm and fend them off as quickly as he can, before Clark can get overwhelmed by the noise and flashing lights.
They certainly took enough pictures, maybe this time they can get Bruce’s relationship with Diana and Clark correct this time. No mistress, no boytoy, no cheating or one-off menage a trios. He loves them, and they love him, and each other, and he’ll shout it at those two-bit gossip hounds until his voice is hoarse if he has to.
The car pulls away from the imposing estate as Alfred sets course for home. The dividing wall between the driver’s compartment and the rest of the limo is in place, granting Bruce and his loves a moment of privacy.
Diana shrugs off her wrap and folds the sheer fabric across her lap. “Everything alright, my love?”
“Fine,” Bruce grunts, and for now it placates her, though he knows Diana isn’t fooled.
“Well that was certainly something,” Clark says, which means he hated every moment of it. Another shard of guilt wedges its way between Bruce’s ribs.
Clark loosens his tie and unbuttons the collar of his shirt, a sigh of relief slipping from his lips. The man wears shirts and ties every day for work, but it’s these evening affairs that seem to make Clark itch beneath every inch of cotton and silk. And it’s not like Bruce can blame him. Clark’s never been one for the spotlight, with or without the cape. Diana, too, isn’t fond of this, he knows, though she’s much more used to fanfare and social diplomacy than Clark.
Keeping up appearances is one thing, but drawing his lovers into the fold of Gotham highlife is another. They had agreed when he invited them, of course, but Bruce should have known better than this.
It’s not fair. Gotham is a cruel city, and it's elite aren't any different. They treated his partners like circus freaks, ogling at them when they think Diana and Clark can’t see. They whisper behind hands, sharp words in each other’s ears that must sound like raucous shrieks to Clark’s attuned hearing. They tore Clark’s shirt to shreds with spiteful tongues, damned Diana to the role of ‘exotic beauty’ before she even opened her mouth.
It’s Bruce’s fault for wanting to share his happiness, his love, with the world. Gotham doesn’t deserve Diana or Clark, and neither does he.
It’s not fair on them at all.
“I’m sorry,” Bruce says suddenly, his tongue too caught up with his train of thought.
Diana turns to him in the low light of the car. Her makeup is still immaculate, but there’s a tightness at the corners of her eyes. “Whatever for?”
Bruce stares down at his hands, fingers interlaced. “This isn’t what you signed up for.” This being the snobbery, the unwanted attention, the bitter words and feuds and hurt.
“It is.” Clark shakes his head. “B, dating you means dating Bruce Wayne, Gotham socialite and CEO. It means dating Bruce, single father of, how many now?” Clark jokes with a soft smile.
“Five.” Though that's subject to change, he must admit.
“Single father of five. And it means dating the Batman. We knew this when we started, Bruce, and I wouldn’t change it for anything.” Clark’s knee bumps against Bruce’s, warmth flooding the point of contact. Bruce presses his thigh against Clark’s, an answer to a silent question. The Kryptonian leans in close, flush against Bruce's side from shoulder to ankle.
“You have your own life, or lives, to lead. We just want to be a part of it,” Diana says, taking Bruce’s hand in her own. “With you.”
Bruce swallows, letting their words wash over him. He knows this, dammit, he knows this, but hearing it makes it a little easier to believe. They want him, all of him, and Bruce doesn't think he could love them more.
Diana lays her head on Bruce’s shoulder, the loose strands framing her face tickling the skin of his neck. “Wait until you meet the rest of my family,” Diana says, “this will look easy compared to them.”
A family of warrior women trained in battle for over a millenia sounds like a cakewalk right now, Bruce thinks, but he stays quiet and wraps an arm around Diana’s waist.
With his free arm, he pulls Clark against his chest, tucking Clark’s head beneath his chin.
“I love you.”
Bruce tightens his arms around his lovers, keeping them by his side as Gotham streams past him, smudged in shades of orange and grey.