Bruce liked it best in the dark. Batman relied on shadows and the night to hide his movements, to let him do the things he did best. But even when the cowl was off, Bruce shied away from the light. The first time they kissed, in one of the gardens behind the Manor, dawn had not yet broken, and Clark saw the moon reflected in the dark of Bruce’s eyes. The first time they had sex, Clark reached to turn on the nightstand light and Bruce caught his wrist. He had kissed the soft skin there and shook his head, pulling him close again.
It didn’t matter, of course. Even in the dark – the blinds drawn shut to hide that beautiful view – Clark could see Bruce clear as day and they both knew it. Bruce had been the one who had insisted that Clark go through several rounds of physiological tests after he came back. (Now that you’re back, Bruce had said, conveniently forgetting to mention where Clark came back from. Clark preferred not to think about it either.) Bruce had, naturally, been the one who reviewed all of Clark’s test results. As such, Bruce had to know that even with the lights out, Clark could see everything. Bruce knew. Clark knew that Bruce knew. They both kept up the lie. It was probably for the best, Clark reflected. Undone by kisses, Bruce’s features softened and he looked happy. Contented. Clark didn’t know how to talk to Bruce about that. (About wanting to make Bruce happy all the time, not just in the dark.)
If they kept the lights out, they could pretend there was nothing to talk about.
Clark wanted to kiss each scar that Bruce kept covered, lathe his tongue all over that perfectly human body. Clark wanted to touch him forever, feeling the muscle shift under his fingers, the shiver when Clark touched him right. Clark wanted to see Bruce bathed in the soft light of his bedside table lamp. Clark wanted to see him shiver in the light of the morning sun, each ray kissing the silver of his hair. Clark wanted so much.
Clark wished he knew what Bruce wanted.
Bruce wanted Clark. Clark knew that. But Clark didn’t know how he wanted him. He wished he knew how to ask.
On the outside, nothing had changed. At the League meetings, Bruce would glance at Clark and shake his head. He’d chuckle, sometimes, when he found Clark’s suggestions too juvenile. His gaze wasn’t any softer than it had been before. On the rare occasion where they would meet in a civilian context, maybe Bruce let his eyes linger. Maybe Bruce’s comments were just that more risque. Clark couldn’t tell.
But in the night, when Clark listened to the world and breathed the thin air of the upper atmosphere, Bruce would call his name. No, not call. He would murmur the name, like Clark was just an afterthought, like it wasn’t anything he really wanted. And Clark, like a dog called by Pavlov’s bell, would make his way across the bay.
Bruce waited for him on the dock, watching the sky and looking out for Clark. In his worn sleep pants and plain t-shirt, he looked just as enchanting as in a ten thousand dollar suit. The moonlight caught on his sharp features. He curled his fingers around the hem of Clark’s cape and pulled him down.
‘Can’t sleep?’ Clark asked, pleased at the way Bruce wrapped an arm around his waist to hold him closer.
Bruce traced his thumb along the curve of Clark’s eyebrow, over his cupid’s bow. Bruce kissed him, slow and indulgent, intimacy for the sake of it, eyes closed and pressed together.
‘It’s early yet,’ Bruce said, scraping his teeth over Clark’s lower lip, licking into the kiss.
It was two in the morning.
They kissed. Clark didn’t think he could ever get tired of the way Bruce kissed him, like he was the memory of a perfect dream, like he was something Bruce had longed for his entire life. Bruce made small satisfied sounds and, their legs entangled, allowed Clark to lift them up, carry them inside the house, all the way to Bruce’s ridiculous bed. Not too soft. Not too hard. Just perfect. (Just like their kisses. Just like Bruce.)
Clark sat, straddled over Bruce’s hips, and worked off his cape. Bruce’s hands were on his thighs, thumbs working north in a way that made Clark bite the inside of his cheek. Bruce’s eyes were three-quarters closed, a sleepy smile on his lips. His hair had fallen into disarray, elegant and scandalous all at once. He looked divine.
Bruce grabbed the crest on his chest and pulled him down for a kiss, an arm around his waist again, and he rolled them over, Clark flat on the bed, Bruce’s thighs pressed against Clark’s sides. Bruce squinted in the dark and dove down for another kiss, his fingers cupping Clark’s face, his mouth wet and welcome. It took an eternity for them to lose their clothes, but Clark didn’t mind. There was something titillating, something exciting, in roaming his hands under Bruce’s shirt, soft cotton against the back of his hand, hard muscle under his fingers. Bruce seemed content to kiss Clark further into the pillows, his hands in Clark’s hair, tangling and untangling. Clark gasped at every kiss peppered down his throat.
When Bruce pulled back, Clark missed his closeness, but was rewarded with the vision of Bruce’s muscles moving under his skin as he pulled off his shirt. He shucked off his pants, and Clark couldn’t help but smile at the fact that not even Bruce Wayne could take off his pants elegantly when in bed. Bruce was all panes of muscle and scars that Clark wished he could kiss better. Clark wanted to touch him forever. He smoothed his fingertips up and down Bruce’s chest, sides, arms. Bruce worked Clark’s clothes off, interrupting the work to plant kisses on his bare skin. Clark hoped something would grow there.
Clark closed his eyes; he didn’t need his sight. His other senses were enough. He stroked his fingers down Bruce’s scarred back, brushed his mouth over the side of Bruce’s neck, pressed his thigh against Bruce’s. Outside, the lilac bloomed, its smell bright and sweet. Inside, the air was filled with sex and sweat, cut with the musk of Bruce’s cologne. Clark licked over Bruce’s skin, tasting salt. He kissed him, Bruce’s mouth tasting of mint and sleep, meeting Clark’s kisses with just as much fervour. Bruce wrenched sounds from Clark’s throat and rewarded him with small, beautiful, broken sounds of his own. They didn’t speak. They kissed and touched and Clark was drunk on it, the way Bruce could utterly undo him with his unyielding and careful hands. They clung to each other, moving in perfect tandem, working so well together. Bruce led and Clark followed. Just like it should be.
Afterwards, Bruce slumped down onto the bed next to Clark, resting his head on Clark’s arm, breathing hard. Without thinking about it, Clark pulled him closer, folding him into an embrace. Bruce didn’t argue and instead settled into the new position, his toes pressing against Clark’s shin, his body flush against Clark’s side. The silence felt warm, the quiet contented peace of summer nights. Soon, Bruce would tell him to leave, but Clark wanted to stay as long as he was allowed in this periphery of reality, where he could pretend that Bruce wanted just as much from Clark that Clark wanted from Bruce.
‘Stay the night.’
Bruce breathed the words over Clark’s collar bone. Clark felt the invitation melt into his skin, secured by Bruce’s mouth brushing over his shoulder. Bruce had never let him stay before. Clark felt his heart jump. Bruce must have heard. Clark nodded, his chin bumping against the top of Bruce’s head. Clark rubbed his fingers over the spot, the touch an apology. Bruce huffed a laugh and settled his head back on Clark’s chest, wrapping himself around him.
Little by little, Bruce drifted off, his breath evening out into a low gentle snoring. (Clark tried to convince himself he did not find the snoring endearing. He failed.) Clark fell asleep with a hand on Bruce’s head, Bruce’s cheek pressed against Clark’s heart.