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The Sun and the Moon

Pairing: Clark/Bruce
Disclaimer: For some reason, DC claims the Sun and Moon belong to them. As if, but I will give them credit for trying.
Notes: The penultimate story in "Earth and Sky," and the last set in the "Absolute Power" AU. (Other stories here)
Rating: PG
Summary: Clark and Bruce face Clark's fifteenth birthday, his developing powers, and the Kryptonian dream-ritual of Tarukor
Word Count: 2767



Three things cannot be hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.
--The Buddha


Clark frowned and dodged a kick. "Tarukor? What's that?" He and Bruce were sparring on a tatami mat with their parents watching and giving pointers.

Lightning Lord was lying on the floor to better watch his sons' footwork. "It's a Kryptonian rite of passage. Semi-genetic, semi-cultural--that was a nice feint, Bruce. The night before the birthday that marks adulthood, Kryptonians spend a night in a hyper-real dream state, experiencing visions that usher them into full adult status."

Clark parried a blow from his brother, then attempted a throw, but Bruce danced out of the way, sticking out his tongue. "What kind of visions?"

"Bruce, don't taunt your brother. Apparently the visions can take many forms, but it's common for the dreamer to experience a whole imaginary lifetime of incredible detail and vividness."

"That's right," broke in Cosmic King from where he was lounging against the door, eating an apple. "That Kryptonian brat in the future, the one who called herself Kara. Didn't she claim that her whole time there was merely her Tarukor vision?" At Mekt's nod, Laevar took another thoughtful bite of his apple. Then his chewing slowed until he swallowed, looking annoyed. "Ah, grife."

Saturn Queen took the apple from his hand as she walked by. "What's the problem, Laevar?"

"I'm pretty certain I didn't remember any 'Kara' a few weeks ago." All three of them tilted their heads briefly, searching their memories. Then they sighed, almost in unison.

"Time travel," groaned Lightning Lord. "Boys, promise me you'll never get yourselves caught up in time travel. It'll really sprock up your head."

Bruce and Clark grinned at each other between feints. They had the most interesting parents in the whole universe. Clark's smile faded to a scowl. "Anyway, I don't want to do this 'Tarukor' thing. It sounds creepy."

"Unfortunately, you don't have a choice, Clark. All Kryptonians go through it on the equivalent of their fifteenth birthday, and yours is coming up next week. The best we can do is dig through our records, see what we can find out about it, and replicate the process as closely as possible for you."

Clark executed a smooth throw and pinned Bruce to the mat with one hand, then turned to glare at his father. "I don't like it."

"Son, you're almost an adult. Your powers have started to manifest themselves, and you're going to have to learn how to control them. You're a Kryptonian, and you have to remember that." Mekt's eyes went to the mat. "Let your brother up, Clark," he said softly.

Clark looked down to where he was still effortlessly, absent-mindedly holding Bruce to the mat with one hand. His brother was trying not to look like he was exerting all his strength to break free and failing. "Oh! I'm sorry, Bruce." He lifted his hand and Bruce sprang to his feet, breathing a little quickly.

Bruce arranged his gi and bowed abruptly to Clark, who bowed back more hesitantly . "Sparring with you hasn't been much fun since you got super-strength," Bruce said curtly. "And it's hardly useful to either of us. Might I suggest we train separately from now on?" He didn't wait for Clark's answer, turning and leaving the training room.

Clark ignored his parents' sympathetic looks. "I don't like it," he repeated sullenly to his father.

: : :

It had been an uncomfortable week since then. Bruce wasn't ignoring Clark, per se. But their conversations were terse and businesslike, and Bruce had thrown himself into studying computer security for hours on end. Clark had little to do but fret about his upcoming birthday and the Tarukor ritual before it.

He stood on the balcony outside his room, overlooking the lights of New York City, and cautiously tested the limits of some of his new powers.

His hearing had been good most of his life, but about a year ago it had become preternaturally sharp. He closed his eyes and concentrated. Three floors away, he could hear Bruce working in the computer lab, his breathing, his heartbeat. He could hear fingers tapping on computer keys. A chair creaked as his brother leaned forward slightly. He heard Bruce sigh softly.

About six months ago he had started to be able to use x-ray vision. He opened his eyes and focused them carefully until he could see the people below in their cars, in the subway rushing below the ground. He didn't look for long, because he knew that x-rays could harm people. But before he de-focused his eyes, he couldn't help but turn to look inside the building, just for one moment. Bruce was leaning backwards in his chair, rubbing his eyes wearily.

Super-strength had manifested just a month ago. Now he could bend steel, lift cars, hold his brother to the ground as if he were a doll. His fingers met in the steel railing, distorting it like clay.

He looked down the eighty-six stories to the ground. Why couldn't he fly yet? His parents told him he'd have even more amazing powers soon: heat vision, cold breath, super-speed, flight.

He didn't care so much about the other powers, but he wouldn't mind being able to fly away right now.

: : :

Bruce came into the bedroom to find Clark sitting on the bottom bunk, looking down at a model airplane in his hands. He tried to walk icily by his brother, but Clark met his eyes with a look that told Bruce conversation couldn't be postponed any longer. He sat down next to Clark with a feeling that was close to relief.

"I can't believe you still have that old thing," he said, indicating the airplane.

Clark twirled the propeller idly. "You remember it?"

"How could I forget? You were working on it the first night I came here. I told you it was stupid and stomped all over it."

"And then you punched me."

Bruce laughed, a little embarrassed. "Yeah. Great first meeting."

"Yeah, it was." Bruce hated it when he couldn't tell if Clark was being ironic or not. There was a long pause while Clark traced his fingers over the patched airplane. "I was so scared that night," he said softly, not looking at Bruce.

"You were scared? Why?"

"I'd grown up my whole life knowing that someday my brother would come. How he was so smart and brave and wonderful and important. I was so afraid that night. What if you didn't like me?"

Bruce cleared his throat. His cheeks felt hot. "That's a dumb thing to think, even for you." He saw the corner of Clark's mouth lift just a bit. "You're the most likable person on this stupid planet." The space between them suddenly didn't seem so large. Bruce reached out and gently took the model from Clark's hands, double-checking the old mended seams. He could do a better job now, he thought clinically. Next to him, Clark sighed.

"I wish...I wish we were really brothers."

Bruce pondered. Then his face brightened. "We could be blood brothers. That's better than real brothers anyway."

Clark cast him an oddly unreadable glance. "You'd do that?"

"Huh? Why wouldn't I?" Bruce got up and started to rummage through his desk.

"You wouldn't mind having...you know, my blood in you?"

"Well, it doesn't count as blood brothers otherwise, Clark, and I did suggest it," Bruce said somewhat distractedly. He returned to the bed with a penknife. "Here we go." He handed the knife to Clark. Just cut the palm of your hand a little, and then I will, and then we put our hands together and promise to be brothers forever."

Clark hesitated.

"What's wrong? Come on, don't be a sissy."

Clark touched the blade to the palm of his hand. Pushed. Pushed harder.

Nothing happened. The knife dented the skin but wouldn't go through.

Clark looked at Bruce's face, his own stricken. "I meant to tell you...just this week..." his voice trailed off.

Bruce grabbed the little knife from Clark and put it to his brother's palm. He drew it across gently, then with more and more force until he was sawing viciously at Clark's hand, slashing the blade across the unmarked skin again and again. Then he threw the knife across the room with something like a sob, glaring at Clark.

"Stupid alien! No one can ever hurt you! I can't hurt you!"

Clark considered Bruce's words. There seemed to be one sense in which they were correct, and an unfoldingly infinite number in which they were incorrect.

Bruce was continuing his tirade, shaking slightly. "Why do you have to be different? Why can't you just stay like me? All these powers, rituals, magic dreams...what if you don't need me any more, why would a Kryptonian need some human, what if you go fly away into space someday with our parents and leave me and I never see you again?" He flinched as he finished, as if hearing his own words had caused him pain.

Clark sat next to Bruce for a while, listening to his heart pound. Then he got up and retrieved the penknife, taking his seat again. He handed the knife to Bruce. "Wait a second." Cautiously, biting his bottom lip a little, he drew his own fingernail across the palm of his hand until beads of blood welled up. He felt Bruce flinch again next to him. He looked at his brother. "Your turn."

Bruce tore his gaze away from the red drops in Clark's hand and cut his palm as well. He held his hand out.

"What do you need me to promise?" said Clark.

"Huh?"

"What do you need me to promise, to make you feel better? I'll promise anything."

Deep blue eyes blinked. "...promise me that you'll never leave me and never give up on me no matter what. Ever."

"Okay, but you have to promise me something too. Promise that you'll never be afraid of me or hate me because I'm not human."

Bruce frowned. "Why would you need me to promise that?"

"Please."

Bruce looked at Clark with his eyebrows up. "You don't really--"

"--Please. Just promise."

Bruce matched his palm to Clark's so the blood from their cuts mingled. Clark squeezed his brother's hand carefully, just tight enough to be comforting, not hard enough to hurt.

They promised.

: : :

Clark sat on the round dais in the Watchtower, looking forlorn and lonely even though his family were all around him. Behind him the Watchtower windows stretched blackly, thick with stars. The information they had found said Tarukor should take place under as much starlight as possible, so here he was.

Bruce snorted. "You're going to enter a sacred, mystical, ritualistic Kryptonian dream-state...in plaid flannel pyjamas? Honestly, Clark."

Clark rubbed sweaty hands on the knees of his pyjamas, trying to soothe himself. The fabric felt warm and familiar under his hands. "I still don't think I like this. Can't we just go home?"

"Now, now," reassured his mother. "This is supposed to be a positive ritual, it's not going to be a frightening experience. You'll simply enter an enhanced sleep. It's nothing to be afraid of."

Clark scowled again. "I'm not even sleepy," he complained. "How am I ever supposed to fall asleep when I'm sitting here fretting and worrying and--" His eyes rolled up in his head and he fell over in a heap.

Saturn Queen caught Bruce's arm as he started forward. "We can't touch him now, not for the next twelve hours. That would disrupt the dream state, and could be quite dangerous to him." Cosmic King took a blanket and put it cautiously over the sleeping teen, careful not to come into contact with him. Eve pulled Bruce gently toward the door. "We shouldn't even be here; our research makes it very clear the dreamer must be left alone."

Bruce paused in the doorway and looked back once. Clark had pulled the blankets up under his chin. One flannel-clad arm dangled off the dais; starlight bathed his face. He was smiling slightly. The door slid shut between Bruce and his brother.

Two hours later, a slight form clad in black slipped into the room through an air vent. Bruce was pretty sure his parents were smart enough to have the door set off an alarm in their quarters if opened.

He stood near the sleeping form of his brother. Clark was lying on his side, his features soft in starlight. His brows were knit in concentration at the moment; as Bruce watched the expression melted to an affectionate smile. What was he dreaming of? Where was he going, all alone, without Bruce?

Clark shifted sharply and muttered something inaudible, looking worried now. Bruce found himself two steps closer to Clark, his hand out to comfort him somehow. He pulled it back with an effort. He wasn't going to risk disturbing Clark's sleep, he just wanted to...be nearby. To keep watch over him. He curled his fingers into his palm, brushing the healing scab there.

For an hour, then two, Bruce watched Clark dream under the stars. Most of the time his brother merely smiled quietly. More than once, however, tears crept from beneath his lashes and tracked silver down his face, leaving Bruce aching all over. Now and then his breath came faster and what was unmistakably ecstacy wavered across his face. Bruce couldn't even begin to figure out how he felt then, but he couldn't look away, either. Who was Clark dreaming of? What kind of life was he living? Was he living out a dream-life on Krypton as Kal-el, surrounded by other Kryptonians, as strong and bright and beautiful as he was?

It happened so suddenly Bruce had no chance to melt into the shadows: Clark's eyes opened, locked onto Bruce's as if he had known exactly where his brother was standing. Panic clutched Bruce's throat--he had messed up the ritual, Clark would get hurt, it was all his fault--

"Bruce." Clark's eyes were nearly lambent, gold-washed blue and shining. He smiled at Bruce as if they were in the middle of a conversation and he had suddenly realized something wonderful and had to share it. "Bruce. I've seen it." His voice was joy itself.

Bruce swallowed hard. "Seen...you've had a dream? Of another life?"

"A dream? A life? Oh, Bruce." A laugh like sunlight. Sunlight and flannel. "I can see them all. All the dreams, each one a story. There are so many, Bruce, so many." He laughed again, incredulously. "I was so worried that you wouldn't be there, wouldn't be in my dream. God, how stupid I am. Countless dreams, countless lives...and you're always there with me, in every one. Every single one."

Bruce couldn't move, rooted in place by a fierce joy like none he had ever felt before.

Clark's voice was dreamy and distant; his eyes looked into and through Bruce. "There was a dream where I was a samurai and you were a Japanese girl, a ninja--"

"--hey, why was I the girl?"

Clark's eyes glinted. "You're prettier than I am."

Bruce glowered to hide both his pleasure and his confusion as Clark continued. "There was a story where you wore a black trenchcoat and a moon on your chest, and I had white hair and a halo--" he ignored Bruce's snort this time, "--and a life where we flew a silver starship together and you were an alien with pointed ears, and I was the human, and a dream where we were warrior boys like birds, a condor and an eagle flying together, and a story where we were rebels together and you shot me three times and killed me because you couldn't trust me." He laughed tenderly at Bruce's wince. "And so many others, Bruce, infinite stories. Always together. The sun and the moon." His eyes drifted shut.

"Which one is real?"

Clark yawned. "None of them are real. All of them are true. All the good stories are true stories."

He fell silent and Bruce thought he had fallen asleep again, but then Clark opened his brilliant eyes. Held out his hand to Bruce.

Bruce stood still, yearning, not moving. "I'm...not supposed to touch you."

Clark smiled sleepily. "Don't be ridiculous."

Slowly Bruce stepped forward and took Clark's hand, let himself be pulled down onto the starlit dais next to his brother. Clark wrapped his arms around Bruce, curling up behind him.

Clark heard Bruce's heart beating, steady and sure next to him, always.

Bruce felt Clark's arms about him, holding him close and safe, always.

Around them they felt the universe weave and unweave itself as they slipped into sleep, darkness and light unravelling to be formed anew, over and over. The Sun and the Moon.

They dreamed together.

Always.

Comments

( 46 comments — Leave a comment )
tmelange
Aug. 19th, 2006 10:04 pm (UTC)
Yay! I've been waiting all day for this...now let me go read it... :)))))
victoria_wayne
Aug. 19th, 2006 10:13 pm (UTC)
I think those awesome references to that Elseworlds and other fiction makes this metafiction in a very cool way. :D

The whole thing was really enjoyable, and I've said it before, but; it was exactly the kind of story that I needed to read, that seemed to need to be written out of that storyline, and you've done a fantastic job. Thank you. :)
jij
Aug. 19th, 2006 11:11 pm (UTC)
that seemed to need to be written out of that storyline

It really did seem to be mandatory, somehow, to actively link it back into canon in some way. I'm glad it worked for you!
toketsupuurin
Aug. 24th, 2006 02:51 am (UTC)
AAAH! STAR TREK!

I'm better.

...not really.
jij
Aug. 24th, 2006 01:54 pm (UTC)
LOL, I couldn't resist. They map so well onto their counterparts. :)
(Deleted comment)
jij
Aug. 19th, 2006 11:14 pm (UTC)
LOL, there were a lot of rituals going around, weren't there? This will definitely fit my requirement for the "bond" challenge at worlds_finest. :) Lotsa mental bondage going around. I'm glad it worked for you--I loved writing this one! Clark was such a big woobie...
(Deleted comment)
tmelange
Aug. 19th, 2006 10:38 pm (UTC)
Ah, Jen, you made me cry! How perfect, how wonderfully you show what their love means to each other (everything) and how much Clark would be willing to forgive (anything). You've managed to use the AU to explain every crazy action that Bruce, on the canon side, has ever taken, and why, ultimately, whether it's Clark who has to go the extra mile, or Bruce, the two of them will always end up in lock-step, no matter the obstacle.

God! Where to start?

>>"I'd grown up my whole life knowing that someday my brother would come. How he was so smart and brave and wonderful and important. I was so afraid that night. What if you didn't like me?"

Aw, Clark. Doesn't this just say it all, why on the canon side he's so insecure?

>>He drew it across gently, then with more and more force until he was sawing viciously at Clark's hand, slashing the blade across the unmarked skin again and again. Then he threw the knife across the room with something like a sob, glaring at Clark.

And Bruce! They each are most afraid of being without the other. It's so...poetic.

>>Deep blue eyes blinked. "...promise me that you'll never leave me and never give up on me no matter what. Ever."

:sigh: Bruce. Even so young, he knows his own propensity for self-destruction.

>>Promise that you'll never be afraid of me or hate me because I'm not human.

It's so circular the way they will both have to rely on their promises in order for them to be happy, and that Bruce's use of the "human" card could have so many echoes.

>>"I was so worried that you wouldn't be there, wouldn't be in my dream. God, how stupid I am. Countless dreams, countless lives...and you're always there with me, in every one. Every single one."

Yes! :)) How wonderful. How glorious.

>>"There was a dream where I was a samurai and you were a Japanese girl, a ninja--"

:)) All of these references were marvelous.

>>Bruce stood still, yearning, not moving. "I'm...not supposed to touch you."

Clark smiled sleepily. "Don't be ridiculous."

Excellent line!

>>Around them they felt the universe weave and unweave itself as they slipped into sleep, darkness and light unravelling to be formed anew, over and over. The Sun and the Moon.

They dreamed together.

Always.

This part was pure poetry, Jen. Magnificent, moving. I can't believe the AU part is over...

Bravo.
jij
Aug. 19th, 2006 11:21 pm (UTC)
Yay, I made Theresa cry! ;-)

:sigh: Bruce. Even so young, he knows his own propensity for self-destruction.

Yeah, 14 years old and he already knows he's probably worth giving up on. The way the promises interlock--like, in the fact that both of them are promising not to do something that it's never crossed their mind to do--and echo into the canon side was very interesting. And all Clark's idea. I got to them sitting there with their hands cut and had no idea what they would say at that point, and Clark insisted that he was going to promise never to give up on Bruce. And I had to say, "Okay, Clark, if that's what you want." :)

I'm glad it worked for you on the AU side! *happy dance*
(Deleted comment)
jij
Aug. 19th, 2006 11:22 pm (UTC)
If I could invest half the emotion that this caused me in any fic...I would be blessed.

Aw, that's quite a compliment considering the amount of angst and passion there is in your stories!

"Scary and beautiful" is a good summary of the effect I was hoping to get so...you made my day.
arch_schatten
Aug. 19th, 2006 10:58 pm (UTC)
:D And you were fretting, tssk. This is a great follow up of Bruce being stupid in the past piece because it shows just how uncomfortable Bruce is with his humanity sometimes, just like Clark is uncomfortable with his alieness. Those two have to come to terms with their nature as much s they need to come to term with their relationship. I like that about the JLA, sometimes they all feel like outsiders... the same way everyone feels like an outsider (or maybe that's just me.. but I hope not!) on ocassion even when living a civil, normal life.

This was very sweet, I love Bruce's tantrum! and his teenager self is adorable and chatty and.. teenagery! /glomps him

Clark scowled again. "I'm not even sleepy," he complained. "How am I ever supposed to fall asleep when I'm sitting here fretting and worrying and--" His eyes rolled up in his head and he fell over in a heap.

Bwahaha! Oh, Clark, don't try to discuss with genetic kryptonian rituals. Tssk. This is adorable, and now I have this insane need to see the AU Clark go through pon farr. Silly Clark was probably never old enough... or.. I dunno (not sure how that one works..)

"--hey, why was I the girl?"

/glomps teenager Bruce. Bruce doesn't want to get the cooties!

why would a Kryptonian need some human,

Thank you very much for that one, by the way. Clark might strive for humanity, but as I was telling T, Bruce *wills* himself into godhood. But he's not one of them. He'll die, fade away, in all probability he'll be the first one of them to go. The Mission won't be over, but he won't be able to fight anymore. They'll be gods in their prime and he'll be old and dying. /hugs her Bat. My muse has issues about it, and this.. it pries the wound open carefully and exposes it. It's a great line for me.

And that whole exchange is lovely, because at first Bruce is offering to be blood brothers to sooth Clark's worries, and then all his worries come up when he can't even do one simple thing for Clark because of their differences. Not being able to hurt, and for the same reason, protect Clark, is a very Bruce-issue. Control freak that he is.

I loved it. I'm really looking forward to the end of the series, it has been a great ride. This is a great end for the Sun and the Moon side of the series, very hopefull even in a world where everything is skewed. Perfect.
jij
Aug. 19th, 2006 11:27 pm (UTC)
I love Bruce's tantrum! and his teenager self is adorable and chatty and.. teenagery!

Yep, this is the Bruce!muse I mentioned that's been sitting on my couch and throwing things at me because I made him be mean to Clark and he says he'd never ever hurt him like that.

Not being able to hurt, and for the same reason, protect Clark, is a very Bruce-issue.

Yep, if he can't hurt Clark, why would Clark need him around? I'm so glad you could see Bruce's insecurity here too. I felt I focused a bit too much on Clark's at times...but I think Bruce's temper tantrum and his worries as he watched Clark sleep balanced it out. They were both adorable little knots of worry and insecurity here...I hope I managed to get them smoothed out a bit.

Now for the canon-side mess... ;-)
(Anonymous)
Aug. 20th, 2006 12:23 am (UTC)
Wow... That was perfect, I want DC to buy your stories and then I could buy the best Comic ever!!
jij
Aug. 20th, 2006 01:01 am (UTC)
LMAO, thank you. Though they'd have to add some sequences where someone somewhere actually...you know...fought bad guys or something. :)

But it would still be a lot of fun to read it. :)
(Anonymous)
Aug. 20th, 2006 03:10 am (UTC)
why? I don´t need a fight scene if the plot is fantastic^^
Spix... I always forget to write my name*sob*
cmer
Aug. 20th, 2006 05:47 am (UTC)
Awww! I really liked this unique Kryptonian ritual you threw in for Clark's birthday... and what he cites that he saw in his dream are stories from the comics, yes? I love that, it's SO awesome, you made it look like the pairing is truly canon. Especially when you - he - cited that Elseworld story of Bruce being the woman. Eeee, Jen, this was fantastic! I'm going to miss Bruce and Clark being together in the AU. Truly, I will. :(

You will write spnoffs of this fic, yes? Yes? Yes, you will, I know you will. ;)
jij
Aug. 20th, 2006 10:10 am (UTC)
I'm going to miss Bruce and Clark being together in the AU. Truly, I will.

Me too! *sniffle*

On the plus side, they'll be together in the canon side after that, if I manage to wrap it up right. :)

Glad you liked the Tarukor! It really gets mentioned in "Legion of Superheroes" recently, and I couldn't help but grab it. :)
jij
Aug. 20th, 2006 11:33 am (UTC)
and what he cites that he saw in his dream are stories from the comics, yes?

Forgot to answer this. :)

Well, they start off there and move more and more into other Fire and Ice, Sun and Moon pairings in other fandoms. The first one is indeed the Elseworld "Shogun of Steel." The second is Apollo and the Midnighter from "The Authority," which is a Wildstorm title and thus sort of DC continuity. The third is Kirk and Spock from Star Trek; the fourth is Ken and Joe from Gatchaman; the last is Blake and Avon from Blakes' 7. All of those pairings have the same basic dynamic--passionate connections between people who are opposites in many ways and equals in all ways. :)
chameleongirl79
Aug. 20th, 2006 11:51 am (UTC)
I am so loving this series. This part was particularly lovely :)
jij
Aug. 20th, 2006 01:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I was pretty fond of this one. Glad you've enjoyed it so far...it'll be wrapping up Monday night. *sniffle*
chameleongirl79
Aug. 20th, 2006 01:20 pm (UTC)
*Wibbles* ;_;
(Anonymous)
Aug. 20th, 2006 05:25 pm (UTC)
You referenced Elseworlds, nicely done. And Bruce was very cute when he was worrying about Clark and his dreams.

I will be sad when this series ends, but I can't wait to see what you do next.
godiloveslash
Aug. 20th, 2006 05:27 pm (UTC)
the above comment was me.
vipers_in_love
Aug. 20th, 2006 07:09 pm (UTC)
Around them they felt the universe weave and unweave itself as they slipped into sleep, darkness and light unravelling to be formed anew, over and over. The Sun and the Moon.

They dreamed together.

Always.



That's just lovely, as is the whole story. Really. I got all sniffly. :)

You always write such smooth, on-target dialogue in your stories, and this one is no exception. They sound like themselves and they also really do sound 15. Their dynamic, even in frustration, rang true, as it has throughout the series. I also loved the symmetry of the blood brothers ritual; they both needed reassurance, and they both got it. And of course, their needs then are the same needs they have in the present timeline, which is really neat.

I also think that use of the Tarukor paid off very well...it was a great way to get at their shared future and permanent bond. Oh, and the mention of the ninja future was very clever--I remember reading the scans of that one. I also have to point out this passage for its wonderful language. Such a description.

"Bruce." Clark's eyes were nearly lambent, gold-washed blue and shining. He smiled at Bruce as if they were in the middle of a conversation and he had suddenly realized something wonderful and had to share it. "Bruce. I've seen it." His voice was joy itself.

I'm so impressed with the symmetry here, too. It's a mirror image to when Clark found Bruce sleeping by the pool, and Bruce woke up from his wonderful dream saying "Clark" in an intimate way, as though he'd been thinking of him. He looked as happy to Clark then as Clark looks to Bruce in this story. Such a nice tie-in.

The whole story's seamless, and it's an excellent completion of the AU portion. It's just right and feels quite satisfying. Kudos!

I love seeing how it's all coming together, all of the emotional threads from one 'verse to the next. I can't *wait* for the final story. I sure hope you'll be posting it soon. :D
jij
Aug. 21st, 2006 10:17 am (UTC)
It's a mirror image to when Clark found Bruce sleeping by the pool, and Bruce woke up from his wonderful dream saying "Clark" in an intimate way, as though he'd been thinking of him.

I wasn't even thinking of that consciously, but you're right, it does make for a good parallel, doesn't it?

their needs then are the same needs they have in the present timeline

Now that was on purpose. :) Or at least inevitable, because they will probably always have those needs in my stories no matter where exactly I write them. :)

I can't *wait* for the final story. I sure hope you'll be posting it soon.

It's done and has been for about a week now (good grief)...I'll be posting it your Monday night when I wake up here in Japan. One last night of tinkering with it...I'll be happy when it's finally out and in a fairly fixed form!
vipers_in_love
Aug. 21st, 2006 03:05 pm (UTC)
It's done and has been for about a week now (good grief)...I'll be posting it your Monday night when I wake up here in Japan. One last night of tinkering with it...I'll be happy when it's finally out and in a fairly fixed form!

Monday night! I love it when I get things I want quickly. :) Looking forward to it.
vejiicakes
Aug. 20th, 2006 07:14 pm (UTC)
Nyaaarg, somehow I missed this last one (stupid LJ, hiding jenfic from me T_T) or I would certainly have begun my commenting here. Becaaaaause...

There was a story where you wore a black trenchcoat and a moon on your chest, and I had white hair and a halo--

*SCREAMS* Yeah, if you hadn't mentioned it already in your Authority post and I'd read this before that, that line right there would've been my breaking point. (Terrible, I know, when every line you've written for this series has been gorgeously done and wholly emotionally involving and lately really really hurty, but that's me and my newly-adopted-fandom shyness..)

That said, I love how you write the children. Bruce being petulant and Clark being woobie and there's clearly so MUCH happening with these two, going through far more than many adults could handle and yet handle it they do, and still they're so distinctly children. Bruce's tantrum about Clark not needing him now that he's super powerful feels so much like a genuine Bruce!issue insecurity, but as a child, one that he actually allows himself to voice. And Clark, ever the vulnerable invulnerable boy.. *squishes*

This was lovely ^__^
jij
Aug. 21st, 2006 10:21 am (UTC)
Yeah, if you hadn't mentioned it already in your Authority post and I'd read this before that, that line right there would've been my breaking point. (Terrible, I know,

Not terrible at all...it's always fun to see your favorite fandoms referenced elsewhere! I'm just sorry you didn't get surprised by it thanks to my mentioning it. :)

And Clark, ever the vulnerable invulnerable boy.

Oh, what a nice way of putting it. He does make up in the emotional vulnerability what he lacks in the physical! And yes, I really enjoyed that having Bruce as a teen made it possible for him to voice his fears in a way no adult Bruce ever could.

sasha_anu
Aug. 21st, 2006 02:41 am (UTC)
I love Clark's eyes in this 'lambent gold and blue.'

I love how Bruce strikes out when he thinks that he'll 'lose' Clark, and how Clark gets all depressed thinking the same thing.

I love how Bruce breaks all the rules to see Clark despite the fact that he's not supposed to.

It's really cute seeing them curled around each other on the floor. And I laughed my ass off when Clark just suddenly 'shuts down' during his rant about the kryptonian dream thing.
jij
Aug. 21st, 2006 02:59 am (UTC)
I love Clark's eyes in this 'lambent gold and blue.'

Yeah, well, it's your fault for giving me a shining eyes fetish. :)

And I laughed my ass off when Clark just suddenly 'shuts down' during his rant about the kryptonian dream thing.

This made me laugh a lot too. Poor Clark in his flannel pyjamas, just falling over backwards in mid-sentence. It's got to suck being an alien sometimes.

I'm so glad you liked it!

cero_ate
Aug. 21st, 2006 10:30 pm (UTC)
Ah, so sweet, wonderful, sleeping in the stars.
carolandtom
May. 10th, 2007 04:13 pm (UTC)
My heart has been soothed, somewhat, by this final AU part, though Clark’s promise to Bruce in no way can give the other man a way out from the HUGE mistake he made in cannon. Bruce would be the one to bring that, Clark giving up on him, upon himself. And he hurt Clark so much by pointing out that he couldn’t be in a relationship with him because he was an alien. (Oh, the wound is still open and hurts!)

But back to this story, I was worried, when Bruce reacted so badly to Clark’s strength, that his jealousy of Clark’s powers would override his love for him. But fortunately they both spoke their fears out and they gave each other what they both needed. And I loved that you brough back the model airplane incident.

I loved teenager Clark sulking over his Kryptonian ritual and Bruce being concerned about him. I don’t think I’d like to read about the part of Clark’s dream where Bruce shot and killed him though! *Shudders* The scene with Clark sleeping and Bruce watching him was wonderful! Your talent for conveying emotions through the most beautiful and poetic images is astounding!

Great final part to an awesome AU!
jij
May. 12th, 2007 11:30 am (UTC)
I loved that you brough back the model airplane incident.

*grin* I remember way back when you commented on it thinking, "Oh yeah, he apologizes for it...way after any apology is kind of late, both in their time line and in the story progression!"

I did have a really strong image of Bruce watching Clark sleeping, and I'm glad that came through. I could totally imagine it, with the moonlight everywhere... *happy sigh*
ladybugkay
Jul. 2nd, 2007 12:22 am (UTC)
>>"I was so worried that you wouldn't be there, wouldn't be in my dream. God, how stupid I am. Countless dreams, countless lives...and you're always there with me, in every one. Every single one."

Their overwhelming joy and ecstasy at knowing they are always together is palpable here. All these two will ever need is each other.

Bruce's anger at his inability to hurt Clark here assumes a greater complexity in light of how deeply he wounds Clark in the preceding Art of War chapter.
jij
Jul. 4th, 2007 11:33 am (UTC)
Bruce's anger at his inability to hurt Clark here assumes a greater complexity in light of how deeply he wounds Clark in the preceding Art of War chapter.

*nods* Oh, yeah. It's a lot more poignant because he does hurt him so much. I really enjoyed (?) the way the two different storylines wove together at the end.
zolac_no_miko
Mar. 30th, 2011 08:58 am (UTC)
Clark's dreams- LOL. Apollo and Midnighter! (Gdammit I should read The Authority at some point.) Kirk and Spock! XDDDDD ...I didn't recognize the other references.
mithen
Mar. 31st, 2011 10:05 am (UTC)
Apollo and Midnighter, whoo! :D You know the Shogun of Steel one before it, right? (one of my next projects is a continuation of that, so it's on my mind lately!) Those two are just flat-out semi-canon Elseworlds, the rest (which are Star Trek, Gatchaman, and Blakes' 7) are kind of cheating and drawing on the archetypes. :)
zolac_no_miko
Mar. 31st, 2011 07:59 pm (UTC)
I've sort of vaguely heard of Shogun of Steel, I think I've seen it referenced or I kind of knew it existed, but I've never read it. Probably should at some point- if only for ninja girl Batman. ; )
mithen
Apr. 1st, 2011 02:48 pm (UTC)
zolac_no_miko
Apr. 1st, 2011 06:38 pm (UTC)
:DDDDDDD

...Yeah, is just me, or does DC kind of ship Clark/Bruce? Between this and The Authority....
mithen
Apr. 5th, 2011 11:16 am (UTC)
Don't forget the Incredibly Gay Space Worms!

I actually do think that there are canon writers who ship them, in a mostly-bromantic-but-if-one-of-them-was-a-girl-then-SURE sort of way. :)
zolac_no_miko
Apr. 5th, 2011 11:33 am (UTC)
...Incredibly Gay Space Worms...?

EXPLAIN!
mithen
Apr. 6th, 2011 12:36 pm (UTC)
Well, the space worms are only somewhat gay. The comic, however...

I present to you A Kryll Way of Dying, officially the Slashiest Comic Ever. :)
r3nlock
Sep. 18th, 2012 05:15 pm (UTC)
"a story where we were rebels together and you shot me three times and killed me because you couldn't trust me"

"a life where we flew a silver starship together and you were an alien with pointed ears, and I was the human"

these are comics? which ones? i'm familiar with the others but i don't recognize these.

wonderful story as always, this is the...5th? time that i'm reading it :)

just can't get enough
mithen
Sep. 21st, 2012 02:19 pm (UTC)
I confess I'm a big fan of pairings with roughly the same sort of fire/ice dynamic, so I indulged myself here by theorizing that two more of my favorites (Blake/Avon from Blakes 7 and Kirk/Spock from Star Trek) are versions of the same archetype. :)

I'm so glad you like this story and find value in re-reading it! It has some of my favorite scenes in it (that one being one of them).
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