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A Perfect Diamond

Pairing: Clark/Bruce
Disclaimer: The boys belong to DC and to each other, but not to me.
Notes: This story is an alternate version of the end of the Batman Adventures comic book, in which Clark is around for the events. You probably don't absolutely need to, but you might want to read some of the key scenes of the original here and here. It's a great read, better than my story by a long shot!
Continuity: Early Toonverse
Rating: PG
Summary: Batman loses all his memories since he was seven years old to an invention of Hugo Strange's. Catwoman finds him and enlists him as a jewel thief. Clark tracks him down and, along with Robin and Alfred, helps him gets his memories back.
Word Count: 3609

This was meant to be a sort of casual story, and the next thing I knew it was this long, plot-heavy monster. The plot parts kind of bang along awkwardly, I think, but there are parts that make it worth reading.



Clark Kent was in Gotham City, covering a story about a rash of diamond thefts that had been taking place over the last few days. At least, that was the nominal reason he was there. The real reason was a call he had received yesterday from Dick Grayson, his young, clear voice tense and worried.

"So you say you haven't seen him for two days now, Dick?"

"Yeah. And what's worse, there's been a couple of thefts of major diamonds. He might be stealing the diamonds because he hopes to find his memories encoded in one of them. I just wanted you to know, in case there started being rumors that Batman has gone rogue or something, that we're aware of the situation up here. I doubt it's anything we can't handle, but..."

Dick hadn't invited him to come to Gotham, but Clark was here anyway, standing on top of the building that he suspected the jewel thieves would hit next. He was still in civilian clothes; Batman never liked it when Superman was seen in Gotham, so Clark wanted to avoid the costume if at all possible. He leaned up against a chimney and watched the sun set slowly over the gothic skyline, so different from the clean lines of Metropolis. Batman wouldn't be pleased if he knew Clark was here. He probably should just go home. And he was just about to when Catwoman and a man dressed in gray landed practically next to him on the roof.

The man was definitely Bruce; Clark recognized the heartbeat immediately. Catwoman spooked when Clark stepped out of the shadows and retreated off the building, disappearing. She may be a thief, but she tended to try and avoid violent confrontations rather than provoke them. Clark decided to let her get away; he needed to focus on Bruce right now. He jumped and caught Bruce's foot before he could get off the roof and the two of them went down in a heap. Clark was startled when Bruce lashed out at him with a fist. He dodged it with ease, checking to make sure that Catwoman was out of hearing range. "Bruce! What are you doing?"

Bruce stopped to stare at him and Clark got his first good look at the other man's face. Something was definitely amiss, he could see that immediately. Bruce's jawline was all wrong in some way, and his body language--all of Bruce's usual guardedness and defensiveness seemed to be gone somehow. Then he spoke.

"You know my name? Who are you?" Clark took a step backwards. The voice was definitely Bruce's, but lighter, clearer...and yet certainly not the fake "Brucie" voice he used.

"It's me. Clark."

"I don't know you. Are you a friend of mine?"

The question, so open and simple, startled Clark still more, because he wasn't sure he knew the answer when it was put so directly.

"I...I work with you, Bruce. It's me, Clark." He felt an irrational pang at Bruce's lack of recognition.

The other man shrugged, his shoulders moving exaggeratedly--gesturing like a child, Clark realized suddenly. "I'm sorry. I have amnesia or something. I can't remember anything past when I was seven."

A moment while Clark took in the implications of that. Batman...with all the instinctive physical skills of Batman...but without the memories that drove him to be who he was. He realized Bruce was studying his face intently.

"You say you know me, and I want to believe you, but you have to prove it. Prove you're my friend. Tell me something about me that only a friend would know."

"Well, your name is Bruce Wayne, and you live at Wayne Manor with Alfred Pennyworth--" Bruce's face brightened and he nodded, but it clearly wasn't enough yet. What had Bruce told him about his life before the murders? Not much. "You love the Gray Ghost?"

A dazzling smile like none Clark had ever seen on that face. Bruce actually hopped up and down a couple of times. It should have looked silly. It didn't. "You like the Gray Ghost too?"

"Sure. I watched every episode."

"No way! Which one was your favorite?"

"Um...probably 'The Martian Moon Caper.'"

"Oh, I loved that one. The Martians were way cool. But my favorite was 'Crisis of Infinite Worlds.'"

"Isn't that the one with the alternate universe, with the evil version of the Gray Ghost?"

"Yeah, yeah! And in the end he realizes his mistake and dies to save the worlds. So cool." Bruce looked closely at Clark. Then he pulled off his cat-shaped cowl. Clark looked into the slate-blue eyes smiling warmly at him. The impression was distinctly weird. "Okay, I trust you. Will you take me home? I bet my parents are really worried." When Clark nodded, Bruce stepped forward and slipped his hand into Clark's. In his mind, he's a seven-year-old child, Clark reminded himself, it's perfectly normal for him to take an adult's hand.

Bruce's hand was warm in his, holding it tightly and trustingly. Clark swallowed hard and they started down the fire escape.

Before taking him to the manor, Clark insisted on getting Bruce into a change of clothes at the motel. He didn't particularly want to show up at the door with Bruce in a catsuit. Bruce stripped out of his suit unselfconsciously, chattering about comic books while Clark kept his back carefully turned. Inquiries about Catwoman were met with a transparently fake ignorance. Bruce had always been fond of the thief; it burned Clark up to think she might have taken advantage of him in this child-like state.

After a quick but vague phone call to Alfred reassuring him and Dick that Bruce was safe and on his way home, the pair got into Clark's little car and made their way to Wayne Manor. Superman could have flown there in moments, but Clark still wasn't sure he trusted this version of Bruce enough to reveal his identity, not if he was still protecting Catwoman. Now there was an ironic reversal: this Bruce seemed to trust him, but now he didn't trust Bruce. Bruce had found out he was a reporter and peppered him with questions about what it was like to write for the Daily Planet and travel the world, which kept them busy until they reached Bruce's home.

Alfred met them at the door, followed closely by Dick in civilian clothes. Bruce grinned and grabbed Alfred in a massive bear hug. "Alfred! Oh, I missed you so much." He lifted the butler right up off the ground in his enthusiasm. Alfred came as close to looking utterly astonished as Clark had ever seen him, and Clark quickly filled him in on what had happened before the older man decided Bruce had gone totally insane. Meanwhile, Bruce had put Alfred down and was eyeing Dick suspiciously. "Who are you?"

"I'm...um...my name's Dick--" He stopped as Bruce cut over his voice.

"Are you--are you my little brother?" The delight on his face at the idea was lovely--and painful for all three watchers. "I always wanted a brother."

"I'm...no, I'm not your brother. I live here with you, I'm kind of adopted, and--"

"Do we play together?"

Dick looked nonplussed. Clark knew how he felt. "Um, yeah, I suppose."

"Sounds like a brother to me." Bruce smiled almost shyly. Dick blinked dazedly. "Nice to meet you, Dick." He looked around. "Where are my parents?"

A pause. Alfred stepped up behind Bruce, reached out a hand for his shoulder, hesitated. Then he put his arm around Bruce and pulled him close for something like a hug. "Your parents are not here right now, Master Bruce."

Bruce smiled at Alfred. "Okay." He took Alfred's statement at face value, not noticing the silence around him. "Hey, Clark, I've got some great comics upstairs in my room, I'll show them to you, come on." He took Clark's arm.

"Bruce, I don't think we've got time for that now," Dick said carefully. "I think we need to head down to the, um, basement and do some research."

Clark moved toward the door. "Maybe I should get going now that I've gotten Bruce home."

"What? You're not leaving, are you?" Bruce looked disappointed; his shoulders drooped. "I thought you were my friend."

Brutal honesty goaded Clark to say, "I only said we worked together..." he trailed off at the hurt look on Bruce's face. He felt like he had just kicked a puppy. Did he look that way when Bruce said such things? And did Bruce feel as badly then as Clark did right now? Somehow he doubted it. He looked at Dick. "Is it okay with you if I come down?" He didn't want to assume he had the right to just walk into the Batcave.

Dick looked amused. "No problem, Clark." Bruce cheered up, and they headed to the old grandfather clock.

There was an awkward silence between the three "adults"--no one was sure how exactly to bring up the topic of Batman. Bruce's eyes grew wide as the clock swung aside. "A hidden passage! Wow!" He ran ahead into the staircase. When the other three men caught up with him, he was standing in the middle of the cave, staring at the computer, the cars and motorcycles, the swarm of bats circling. He charged up to the men. "That's Batman's car! This is the Batcave! The Batcave is under my house!" he yelled.

"You...know who Batman is?" Dick asked.

"Batman? Sure. He fights evildoers and protects the innocent. He's totally cool." His eyes lit with speculation and he grabbed Dick's shoulders. "Are you Batman? I live with Batman?"

"No, Bruce. Um, I don't know how to put this, but...you're Batman."

"...No way."

"It's true." Bruce looked at Alfred and Clark, who also nodded. Bruce grinned and flung out his arms, looking up at the ceiling of the cave.

"I'm the gosh darn Batman!" His voice bounced and echoed off the walls; bats flew everywhere. He looked around the cave again. "So this is all mine? The cars and computers and stuff? Man..." Dick pulled a Robin outfit out and started to put it on. Bruce goggled. "You're Robin?"

"You know Robin too?"

"Well sure, Batman and Robin, duh. Hey--" he turned to Alfred--"If he gets to dress as Robin, I want to wear the Batsuit. Can I?"

Alfred looked disconcerted at being asked for permission. "Of course, sir, if you would like to."

Getting Bruce into the Batsuit was easier said than done, without his memories of how to do it. Clark carefully looked at the computer screens while Bruce kept up a running commentary on the process: "So that buckle goes...here? And this--eeeee, Alfred, that's cold, yipes. The strap goes over, not under? Hmmmm. Is that--is that supposed to be so tight? Really? It's not very comfortable. Ooooh, the cape is way cool." There were rustling sounds as Bruce tried out various dramatic poses. Clark took this as a sign he could turn back around.

"Alfred, can I explore some?" Bruce started wandering about the cave while Alfred and Robin settled into a conversation, most likely about how exactly they were going to deal with a seven-year-old Dark Knight. Clark spotted Bruce climbing into the Batmobile and hurried over, a little afraid he'd hit the ignition and plummet to the floor of the cave. That would be an ignominious end to the man.

Bruce was sitting in the driver's seat, moving the steering wheel back and forth and making noises that sounded suspiciously like "vroom vroom" under his breath. "Do I really get to drive this? Wow, that must be so much fun." Clark climbed into the passenger seat. Through the windshield they could see Alfred and Robin looking something up on the computer.

Bruce leaned forward until his forehead touched the steering wheel, then turned his head just enough that Clark could catch a shy glimpse of blue eyes under slightly shaggy hair. "Um...why won't you say I'm your friend?" Clark sat, frozen, while Bruce continued, "You act like you're my friend, but--" He sat up suddenly and looked straight at Clark, his face alarmed. "I'm--I'm not a jerk as an adult, am I? Am I...am I, like, a total butthead or something?"

Clark found himself torn between laughter and tears. "No, no, Bruce. You're not a butthead," usually "You're a good man," he looked over at Bruce's handsome, earnest face, his hair falling a little in his eyes, "You're great, you're perfect--" his breath hitched suddenly in his throat and he repeated himself with a terrifying emphasis. "You're perfect." He suddenly desperately hoped Bruce wouldn't remember this later, wouldn't be able to remember the way his voice had caught, the way he had blushed, catching himself saying the truth.

Because he meant it. He meant it.

Ah, damn.

Bruce just grinned. Seven-year-olds are not the most adept at noticing unplanned declarations of passion. "So you are my friend," he said triumphantly, seizing on the most germane point.

"I'd like to think you're my friend." Bruce nodded in satisfaction and the matter seemed to be settled in his mind. Then his mouth fell open and he looked at Clark as if something new had occurred to him.

"So...if I'm Batman...that means I'm a member of the Justice League. That means I work with Green Lantern and Flash and Wonder Woman and Superman." Bruce let out his breath in a long sigh, staring into nothingness. Clark didn't generally imagine how the JLA members--how he--looked to most people, but for a moment he pictured how they would all look to a seven-year-old boy: bright and beautiful as angels, flying and speeding and swooping. Bruce's voice was low and quiet and filled with yearning. "That's so awesome"

"Nuclear awesome," Clark agreed, which earned him another dazzling smile. He had more than filled his decade's allotment of Bruce smiles in the last two hours. If the Dark Knight remembered all this, Clark wasn't going to see his teeth for months.

Robin approached the car. "We think it might be a good idea to go see Karl Rossum, Bruce." At Bruce's blank look he explained, "He's a scientist we know, he might be able to give us some information about what Strange is up to."

"Can I drive?"

"Um, no."

As Clark and Bruce clambered out of the Batmobile, Robin turned to Clark. "Well, Clark, I, um, I don't think we can take along anyone not in costume." A meaningful look. "We wouldn't want Dr. Rossum to see Bruce with his civilian friends."

Clark tried not to notice how Bruce beamed at the last word. "I understand, Robin. Good hunting."

As Robin got into the driver's seat, Bruce suddenly came up to Clark and threw his arms around him. "Goodbye Clark, I'm glad I got to talk with you."

The hug was utterly childlike and innocent. Clark patted him awkwardly on the back, feeling the cape slip under his fingers, the Kevlar steady beneath it. "Good luck getting your memory back, Bruce."

As the Batmobile purred out of the cave, Clark started to climb the stairs.

He knew Batman and Robin could take care of themselves, even with Batman's memory loss.

Superman wasn't really needed there.

He shouldn't.

The way Batman's jaw dropped when he saw Superman float down out of the sky made Clark feel fantastic. And then very, very small. That's great, Clark. Manipulating a kid's feelings so you can have the warm fuzzies. You're no better than Catwoman.

Still, he'd be able to hold in his mind forever the tone of voice with which Bruce said "Wow, it's Superman!" Dick shot him a look that could have been either amused or irritated; he'd clearly been learning his mentor's lessons well.

"Hi Batman, Robin. I was in the area and was wondering if you could use a hand?" Oh man, if Bruce remembered this later he would never let Clark live it down.

Robin rolled his eyes slightly. "Superman, we're on our way to see Karl Rossum. Batman has lost his memory and we think he can help us."

"Lost your memory? How terrible! Would it be okay if I tagged along?"

"Would it?" Bruce hopped a bit. Oh, Clark was going to pay for this. He looked at Batman, turning a quick handspring on the roof.

It would be worth it.

At Rossum's, Superman listened while they discussed memory being stored on diamonds. Batman perked up and announced he knew where to find a large diamond that might have his memory, then whispered in Superman's ear, and together they disappeared out the window. They returned about a half hour later with a large, beautiful diamond the size of a fist.

As Batman handed Rossum the diamond, Superman explained to Robin, "He wanted me to fly him there because it's quicker. But he made me drop him off a few blocks away and 'promise not to peek.'"

"We flew there!" Bruce interjected, grinning.

Rossum examined the diamond carefully. As he did, Robin stepped forward. "Dr. Rossum...when Batman gets his memories back all at once...there are some very bad memories there. Will he be ok?" Superman saw Batman swallow. To have to relive all those terrible memories at once...Superman felt clammy fear grip him. It would be so much worse than this young, cheerful version of Bruce could imagine. But Batman set his jaw.

"If I'm Batman, I have to have all my memories. I can't protect Gotham this way. I can't help the Justice League. I can't even get into this suit by myself right now." He glanced down ruefully at his chest. "So even if it's really bad, I have to know." He stepped into the machine's path. As Rossum went to activate it, Superman tried to give Bruce a reassuring smile, but inside his heart ached.

As the machine's effect crackled around Batman, he fell to his knees, then blundered in a mad panic around the room, crying out in terror and denial, his parents' murders coursing through his brain as if for the first time. Superman found himself at Batman's side without realizing he had even moved. He reached out to grab the other man, to hold him close and soothe him and help him cope with the memories...

And then he stepped back. These were Batman's memories. He had dealt with them alone before and he had to deal with them alone again. Bruce would never forgive him if he were to interfere, to prop him up when he needed to stand on his own.

But Clark felt like he was dying, watching Bruce grab the edge of a table and lean against it, his breath coming in harsh, hitching gasps.

"Are you all right?" said Robin.

A pause while Batman pulled himself up. "I'll manage." Batman's voice again, dark and low and deadly. He didn't ask what was going on or why Superman was here, which would seem to indicate he remembered the last few days, but his face when he looked at the Clark was as expressionless as ever. "Thank you, Dr. Rossum." He followed Rossum's rueful gaze around his wrecked laboratory. "I'll...cover the expenses."

On the roof outside Rossum's lab, Batman ignored the hovering Kryptonian and turned to Robin. "You head to Thorne's. I'll meet you outside in just a few minutes." Robin nodded and leapt off the roof lightly.

Moonlight poured down like liquid silver, limning the folds of Batman's cape in argent. It whispered silkily as he walked up to Superman, who looked up at the moon. "Well, now that everything's back to normal, I think I'll be heading back to Metr--"

"Clark."

"...Yes?"

"Back there in the lab. You wanted to hold me while I processed those memories."

"How do you know that?"

Batman reached out and took hold of Superman's hands. He gently unfolded one of them to reveal the half-moons bitten deep into invulnerable skin. He smoothed a leather-clad finger across the crescents. Superman tried not to shiver. "I know you, Clark. So why didn't you?"

Superman was having a hard time focusing, with Bruce's fingers running back and forth across his palm. "What?"

"Why didn't you comfort me?"

"There are some things people have to bear alone, Bruce. I know that. And--" the truth was hard to say; he made himself say it--"I was afraid you'd be angry if I presumed to be able to comfort you."

Batman let go of his hand and looked at him for a moment. "Thank you. Truly." And then suddenly he moved forward with liquid grace and put his arms around Clark. Hugged Clark. Except it wasn't really a hug, it was much closer to an embrace.

And it was neither childlike nor innocent at all.

Batman's voice was at his ear, velvet and smoke. "But you might have been surprised."

Then he stepped away to the edge of the building, readied a grapple. He looked back at Superman, still standing dumbfounded in the moonlight. He almost smiled, and he said one word, then was gone in a rustle of movement.

Clark stood a long time in the silver light, wondering what Bruce had been referring to.

The hug?

The fact that it had only been a hug and not become something more?

Clark's own words earlier?

Or was he referring to Superman himself? That was such a ludicrous thought that Clark almost laughed.

Whatever Bruce had meant, though, Superman would hold on to the sound of his voice, low and husky, murmuring that single word.

"Perfect."

Comments

( 60 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
cmer
Jul. 21st, 2006 09:20 pm (UTC)
*jaw drops open...wibbles...eyes tear up... speechless... no words*

I second to what merfilly said. I give up everything. I bow to you and Dan and Theresa, the Gods and Goddesses of Beautiful Slashy S/B fandom.
(no subject) - jij - Jul. 21st, 2006 11:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Re: Sample J'onn/Wally - jij - Jul. 21st, 2006 11:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Re: Sample J'onn/Wally - jij - Jul. 21st, 2006 11:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
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yamheads
Jul. 21st, 2006 05:05 pm (UTC)
Oh, man. You did this wonderfully. It's like you were one of the writers and you decided to do a alternative storyline where Clark just happened to be involved.

Also, the way you conveyed the change in Bruce was wonderful. :)
jij
Jul. 21st, 2006 11:05 pm (UTC)
a alternative storyline where Clark just happened to be involved.

An alternative storyline with sexy hand-holding...the best kind. :)

I think all the practice writing kidfic in the AU really helped, although this Bruce is even more cheerful than my kid Bruce. The first page before Bruce showed up took me about three days to write, and then once he showed up it was easy. :)

Thanks for the feedback! *whistles happily*
vespa331
Jul. 21st, 2006 05:19 pm (UTC)
Awwww, I love this! Now I really wish Clark had been there in the canon story. Even if DC will never outright acknowledge their love, I thought kid!Bruce was so sweet, it would have been fun to extend the story and have him interact with the rest of the JL. It broke my heart when Bruce had to get his memories back, but your version of the story makes it less painful. :) Very well written, especially the reexamination of Batman's relationships with Dick and Clark.
jij
Jul. 21st, 2006 11:08 pm (UTC)
it would have been fun to extend the story and have him interact with the rest of the JL.

It's true! I'd love to see how each member of the JL responded to him. I'd love to see how victoria_wayne showed him interacting with Flash, for example.

There are so many fun things you could do with this plot device.

It broke my heart when Bruce had to get his memories back, but your version of the story makes it less painful.

I just couldn't dwell on it too long...it was too horrible. I'm all with Clark here.
batfan_sarah
Jul. 21st, 2006 05:58 pm (UTC)
OMFG

Okay, so THIS:
"I'm the gosh darn Batman!"

I *sqeaked*. Out loud. For about 5 minutes.

Also, the bouncing, and the Alfred-glomping, and the "vroom vroom"....

And the "perfect". OMGOMGOMG.

This was the best thing to happen to me all day.

*walks on air*
jij
Jul. 21st, 2006 11:12 pm (UTC)
"I'm the gosh darn Batman"

That was all DaMo. *hangs head.* I told him I wanted to use the line from Miller but Bruce would never say goddamn, and he suggested that and I laughed for about 5 minutes myself.

Bruce was very...bouncy...in this one. I wanted to hug him very badly.
godiloveslash
Jul. 21st, 2006 06:01 pm (UTC)
"I'm the gosh darn Batman"

"I'm--I'm not a jerk as an adult, am I? Am I...am I, like, a total butthead or something?"

Man jen you've done it again, my brain almost exploded reading those lines, because I'm at work and can't laugh out loud.

And that hug woman, well damm you rock my world and such. Good job!
jij
Jul. 21st, 2006 11:14 pm (UTC)
my brain almost exploded reading those lines, because I'm at work and can't laugh out loud.

Both of those lines made me laugh out loud too. DaMo actually suggested the first one and Bruce said the second one, I didn't feel like I wrote it at all. :) He was very worried that Clark thought he was a butthead.

Glad you liked it! I had a lot of fun writing it.
calliopes_pen
Jul. 21st, 2006 06:45 pm (UTC)
Wonderful job, I loved it. 7 year old Bruce is just so cute!

If only Clark had been there to see the whole swinging from the marquee thing. *points to icon*

"I'm the gosh darn Batman!"

I loved that line so much--sounds like something little Bruce (outside the Miller universe, thank Heaven) would say.
jij
Jul. 21st, 2006 11:16 pm (UTC)
Sadly, I didn't write that line. :-( I was saying to DaMo, "It would be funny if Bruce yelled 'I'm the goddamn Batman!' but he'd never swear as a child..." He suggested the alternative and I giggled for five minutes and had to put it in. It was perfect for Bruce.
katethetigeress
Jul. 21st, 2006 07:23 pm (UTC)
*fails in joy*

And then suddenly he moved forward with liquid grace and put his arms around Clark. Hugged Clark. Except it wasn't really a hug, it was much closer to an embrace.
Hold him closer, Clark, he needs to be *comforted*. Stupid woobie.

This was so good!
jij
Jul. 21st, 2006 11:18 pm (UTC)
Clark was so confounded by Batman initiating a hug that I'm not sure he even got around to hugging back! He just stood there like he'd been hit by lightning. Silly man.
whitedestiny1x2
Jul. 21st, 2006 07:54 pm (UTC)
Guh. Absolutely amazing. I squee like crazy when Bruce is without a care in the world. He's so genuinely happy, and it breaks my heart when he has to get his memories back. But even at seven years old, he's already like an adult; he knows his memories are haunting but he also knows that Bruce needs Batman. "So even if it's really bad, I have to know." *sighs* Oh yes, and the ending. So, so . . . perturbing.

Haha, no, bad joke. :S Anyway, I was trying to get away from using The Word. But I don't know any other way to describe you and your fics.

Just perfect.
jij
Jul. 21st, 2006 11:23 pm (UTC)
So, so . . . perturbing.

LMAO, I looked at that sentence for literally about ten minutes, wondering..."Are they saying my stuff's per...verted? And is that a compliment? It certainly could be..." But I got there eventually. :-)

I love a happy Bruce. I probably need to stop warping the canon to find ways to make him happy for a moment, but it's so much fun. He tends to go ballistic when he's allowed to loosen up a bit.
(no subject) - toketsupuurin - Jul. 22nd, 2006 10:04 am (UTC) - Expand
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arch_schatten
Jul. 21st, 2006 09:37 pm (UTC)
o_O This was amazing!! I loved the story, and young Bruce, he's so bubbly and full of energy and smart! He's adorable! The descriptions at the end of the piece, Batman and Superman in the rooftop, are beautiful. The moon, the rustling of the cape... I loved this! I'm gonna end up quoting half the story, but there's too much great stuff not too.

"That's Batman's car! This is the Batcave! The Batcave is under my house!" he yelled.

The delight! Of course he would be delighted! I loved that line, Bruce loves being Batman! It's totally awesome! I love your kid!Bruce, Clark is so out of his dept with him

"I'm the gosh darn Batman!"

Bwahahahaha! That's my B!

Bruce was sitting in the driver's seat, moving the steering wheel back and forth and making noises that sounded suspiciously like "vroom vroom" under his breath.

The 'suspiciously' is the part that kills me. Like Clark can't quite believe it, but knows it to be so. This is adorable. My tinker!Brue is very pleased with kid!Bruce. The tinker spends a lot of time playing with his toys, and loves them. "vroom vroom" indeed.

"I'm--I'm not a jerk as an adult, am I? Am I...am I, like, a total butthead or something?"

Awww! A butthead! He is, though, unless you take the time to get to know him. In which case he still is, but he's also pretty cool. I loved Clark's answer, of course. Clark is so sweet, he makes me squee like the fangirl I am.

He had more than filled his decade's allotment of Bruce smiles in the last two hours. If the Dark Knight remembered all this, Clark wasn't going to see his teeth for months.

This part particularly got me. Clark is almost hanging to this open, sweet Bruce, wanting his aproval, his respect, his love. Clark's vulnerability is in the open with this bit.

These were Batman's memories. He had dealt with them alone before and he had to deal with them alone again. Bruce would never forgive him if he were to interfere, to prop him up when he needed to stand on his own.

I think this was very touching. Clark understands Bruce, and in some ways, he kind of doesn't (as Bruce makes him aware of with the hug ^o^), but that Clark would go this far to protect Bruce's wishes when it's obviously hurting them both, it's great. Maybe Clark is a lousy boyfriend (he totally is, ask T), but he's got a couple of things right.

I loved the ending, and the hug, and the story, and it wa great to read :D I loves this, and once again, you make me feel like I shouldn't be writing but finding ways to make you write more. Kudos!
jij
Jul. 21st, 2006 11:42 pm (UTC)
Clark is so out of his dept with him

He is, isn't he? It was major role reversal...now Clark's the one who's holding back and being distrustful and aloof. It totally threw him.

The 'suspiciously' is the part that kills me. Like Clark can't quite believe it, but knows it to be so.

Hee! You're right, the "suspiciously" is the funny word there. I can see Clark raising an eyebrow in disbelief.

Clark is almost hanging to this open, sweet Bruce, wanting his aproval, his respect, his love.

He was thrilled right down to his toes to have Bruce openly admiring him...and of course that made him feel guilty, poor dear.

once again, you make me feel like I shouldn't be writing but finding ways to make you write more.

But your stories are what makes me write more, because they give me plot bunnies and images that I want to use! Fandom is the closest thing to a perpetual motion machine around...at best we all inspire each other. Isn't that awesome? :-)
tmelange
Jul. 21st, 2006 11:31 pm (UTC)
Jen, I feel like this is the sweetest thing I've ever read, but more than that, I adore your proficiency with the little things, the attention to detail with the elaborations on characterizations -- for instance, when you say about Catwoman:

>>it burned Clark up to think she might have taken advantage of him in this child-like state.

...it's so insightful. A whole story could be written about this one observation alone.

I could go on and on about this story but suffice to say it is marvelous, and a welcome relief from my own angst-filled writings and other bothersome stuff. Simply put, this story was like sunshine. Thanks for writing it.
jij
Jul. 21st, 2006 11:48 pm (UTC)
A whole story could be written about this one observation alone.

Interestingly, I wasn't sure exactly what Clark meant by "taken advantage of" and whether he was wondering if they had had sex...I'm not sure he knew exactly what he meant either. :-) But he was pretty unhappy with Selina.

Poor Selina. If Bruce kept his memories in this version she could have a very angry Batman on her hands. I kind of hope the conversation in her apartment went differently this time, but I don't know.
(no subject) - tmelange - Jul. 21st, 2006 11:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - toketsupuurin - Jul. 22nd, 2006 10:01 am (UTC) - Expand
tmelange
Jul. 22nd, 2006 01:33 am (UTC)
Just read it again...I love this story... ;)
zarabithia
Jul. 22nd, 2006 05:28 am (UTC)
Perfect. Like this story? Because. Yes.

I loved absolutely everything about it - the characterization, the dialogue (so very them), the interactions, the fact that Bruce had hero worship. . .

That they were FRIENDS.

That Bruce KNEW Clark wanted to hold him.

"Perfect." Gah.

The G.Ghost. Aw. ;)

Dick being the one to call Clark. ;) My two OTPs meet.

I just love. Completely. It made my flu hurt less, so thank you.
jij
Jul. 22nd, 2006 05:56 am (UTC)
It made my flu hurt less, so thank you.

It's the amazing fic flu cure! Glad to be of service.

I pretty much always have your version of Dick in mind when Clark runs into him. :) Can't go too badly wrong that way.
cero_ate
Jul. 22nd, 2006 06:01 am (UTC)
That was cute and sweet and I'm glad I saved it for after work. It made me go 'ah'. Wonderful, beautiful and incredibly awesome. Perfect in fact.
jij
Jul. 22nd, 2006 11:41 am (UTC)
Thank you! *blushes* I like when I write after-work-worthy fic. :)
toketsupuurin
Jul. 22nd, 2006 09:58 am (UTC)
....I think I must be a horrible person. The mental image of Superman kicking a puppy had me howling.

"Lost your memory? How terrible! Would it be okay if I tagged along?"

Total kick. I can just see clark there. really SEE him. and in this case he's a TERRIBLE actor.

jij
Jul. 22nd, 2006 11:40 am (UTC)
I'm so glad that came across. I had a hard time keeping him from adding "chum," even. Robin was disgusted with him. :)

batty_gal
Jul. 22nd, 2006 03:05 pm (UTC)
YES! I love you, I bow down to you! Lovely, lovely, fic...
jij
Jul. 22nd, 2006 03:40 pm (UTC)
Aw! Your icon! It's perfect. :)

Glad you liked the story!
vipers_in_love
Jul. 23rd, 2006 03:08 am (UTC)
What a sweet, sweet story. I love the way you wrote kid Bruce, the phrasing and the hyperactivity, everything. He acted just the way I'd expect at that age. I especially loved the various bits of physical exuberance, like the handspring, the bouncing--they added that extra bit of kid-silliness to complete the picture. You made Clark's involvement plausible, as well.

"You're a good man," he looked over at Bruce's handsome, earnest face, his hair falling a little in his eyes, "You're great, you're perfect--" his breath hitched suddenly in his throat and he repeated himself with a terrifying emphasis. "You're perfect." He suddenly desperately hoped Bruce wouldn't remember this later, wouldn't be able to remember the way his voice had caught, the way he had blushed, catching himself saying the truth.

Couldn't agree more, Clark. Now I'll have that ringing in my ears..."You're perfect."

I also think I was as happy as Clark was at the thought of Bruce beaming at the sight of him floating down as Superman. So cute. :) And then we got a sexy Batman hug. Neither childlike nor innocent, indeed. There's an image to keep. (It's a wonder Clark didn't throw him down right there...missed opportunity, my man!) :)

I'm really glad you ran with this idea. The whole thing clicks in just the right way.
jij
Jul. 23rd, 2006 04:10 am (UTC)
I have a lot of fun writing Bruce as a kid. He was such a sweet kid, too. Clark was totally thrown off by him and it was a lot of fun to write Clark as the one off-balance for a change.

I'm glad you liked it!
sasha_anu
Jul. 23rd, 2006 02:57 pm (UTC)
Very, very good.

I love the interaction between the two of them and how they play off of each other.
(Deleted comment)
jij
Jul. 24th, 2006 04:24 am (UTC)
Aw, thank you! Clark was very thrown off-balance, in a cute way. :) He was a lot of fun to write, finding himself being the more grim, serious, and untrusting one.
(Deleted comment)
hinokumo
Jul. 25th, 2006 05:33 am (UTC)
Squeeeee!! I loved this! Perfect indeed :D
jij
Jul. 25th, 2006 05:40 am (UTC)
Aw, thanks. *blushes* Bruce had a lot of fun being a kid again for a little bit.
(Anonymous)
Aug. 24th, 2006 01:00 am (UTC)
Oh! I enjoyed this, (and the scans of the orj comic were also quite spiffy.)

--Aloe
jij
Aug. 24th, 2006 01:17 am (UTC)
The scans are fantastic, aren't they? I was completely inspired by them. I'm glad you liked the story, I had a great time writing it. It's so fun to imagine a Bruce who's happy...
crimsonquills
Oct. 25th, 2007 05:51 am (UTC)
Oh, Bruce as a seven year old. *squishes him* I love this: If I'm Batman, I have to have all my memories. I can't protect Gotham this way. I can't help the Justice League. I can't even get into this suit by myself right now. So even if it's really bad, I have to know.

So very Bruce, even as a little boy.

Thank you for sharing!
jij
Oct. 25th, 2007 01:25 pm (UTC)
I was just re-reading the Batman Adventures comics this idea was taken from...damn, those are good. So much to be mined for fic there... :)

Glad you liked!
tigriswolf
Mar. 28th, 2008 03:13 am (UTC)
*purrs*
jij
Mar. 28th, 2008 05:02 am (UTC)
*beams back* Thank you!
ceanshinythings
Sep. 30th, 2008 04:50 pm (UTC)
I recced this, and also Attachments, just to let you know. :) Really lovely fics.
jij
Oct. 1st, 2008 04:13 am (UTC)
Ahhhh, thank you so much! I'm in the process of updating all my fic links, so it's been kind of fun to re-enter (and re-read) some of them, and this was definitely one I enjoyed re-reading. :)
flyingcarpet
Oct. 15th, 2008 12:31 am (UTC)
I found this from ceanshinythings's rec -- it's great. I love seeing Bruce through the twin lenses of Clark's POV and the memory loss.
jij
Oct. 20th, 2008 11:50 am (UTC)
Oh, and I'm so glad you found me! *grins* I really enjoyed writing this one because yeah, it's fun to look at Bruce from a variety of angles at once. Thanks!
( 60 comments — Leave a comment )

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