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Pairing: Clark/Bruce
Disclaimer: The boys belong to DC and to each other, but not to me.
Notes:  "Nightwing & Flamebird" is a sequel to "Earth & Sky," all of which can be found here but is not necessary to understand this arc.
Rating: PG-13
Summary: The day after falling into Kandor, Clark rests, Bruce makes connections, and "Kal-El" has a bad morning.
Word Count: 3200

Kal-El, Last Son of Krypton, Lord and Supreme Ruler of Kandor, woke up slowly, stretching to his full length in his ornately carved four-poster bed.  He frowned to find himself alone.  "Tommy?" he called querulously.  "Tommy, where are you?"

Tommy padded into the bedroom, Kal-El's silk bathrobe draped over his arm.  His name wasn't really Tommy, of course, it was some silly Kryptonian name.  But Kal called every boy that shared his bed "Tommy."  Just like he called every girl who shared his bed "Lois."  Her wasn't sure why.  It just made him feel better, somehow.

Sometimes he made Tommy and Lois fuck each other in front of him while he watched, and that was even better.

Sometimes he killed them when they were done, with heat vision or cold breath or his shaking bare hands.  And that made him feel best of all.

For a little while, at least.

Tommy held the light bathrobe up for him to shrug into.  He patted the boy on top of his dark head and wandered out to the veranda to meet Mother for breakfast.  he leaned on the rail as he waited for her, looking out over his beautiful city, filled with his beautiful people.  He knew, because Mother told him so, that he had been a bad man, a small man, before she found him and made him king of the world.  When he had nightmares about that other world, late at night, Mother would come and hold his head in her cool, cool hands and make them go away again.

Mother had given him all this.  All he had to do was be a good son and a good king in return.  Rule his people.  Keep them good and pure.  Like him.

Kal-El frowned.  Mother was late, which was not like her at all.  He felt a twinge of worry and grabbed a servant's arm.  "Check on the Queen Mother.  Tell her I'm waiting for her."  He paced on the veranda, chewing thoughtfully on a piece of bread.  Something felt...off.  When the servant returned, trembling with terror, to tell him that Saturn Queen's door was locked and warded, he felt no surprise, only a fear that he hid from the cowering servants as he flew through the vast marble halls to his mother's room.

"Mother?" he called, tapping on the filigreed doors of horn.  "Mother dear, please open the door."  No answer.  Behind him, the palace staff had started to gather.  Kal-El felt an uncomfortable feeling squirm through his gut.  He knocked on the door again, then pounded, then finally started to throw himself against it with all his strength.

The wards were strong, but Kal-El was stronger;  he burst through into his mother's room.  She was lying on the floor, her red hair spread around her like a fan, sparkling dust thrown in strange patterns around her.  "Mother!" he cried, and rushed to gather her up.

She was so light in his arms, so light and pale...as he held her, she smiled faintly and murmured, "Kal-El..."

"I'm right here, mother!  Here with you!"  But Saturn Queen didn't respond, lapsing back into unconsciousness.

Kal-El stared wildly at the servants crowding around the door.  "Someone find a doctor!  Someone--please--"  His voice cracked, and the Kryptonians fell back at the look in his eyes.  He didn't care, he hardly noticed them, hardly noticed when an elderly woman finally appeared to fuss over the Queen Mother, to take her pulse and check her breath and declare her healthy, but in a deep coma.  Kal-El placed his mother on her bed and huddled next to it, holding her hand.  His head was beginning to hurt.

He needed his mother so much.

: : :

Bruce rummaged through the closet in Kal's tiny Kandorian apartment, shoving hangers aside.  "Don't you have anything in black?" he asked Clark irritably.

"I'm sorry, Bruce.  When I set up this apartment I didn't particularly expect to have you as a house guest."  Clark was lying on the mattress on the floor that served as a bed, watching Bruce through half-closed eyes.

Bruce sighed and pulled out something in silver-gray with a great many pleats.  "How often did you come here?" he asked as he pulled on the alien garments.

"I only made it back a couple of times.  Then there was the Crisis, and I couldn't come back for the last year because I couldn't get to the Fortress."  Clark's voice was grim.  "I failed them again."

"Don't," said Bruce.  "Don't start with the wallowing.  We're going to fix this place and get the bastards dirtying your name.  That's all you can focus on now."  He stood in front of Clark and peered over his own shoulder critically.  "I don't know...do you think this makes my butt look big?"

Clark laughed and broke off into a wince.  "Ow.  Don't make me laugh, the ribs hurt like hell."

Bruce blinked solemnly back.  "You are aware, of course, that you're one of the only people to ever tell me to be less funny."

Clark quirked an eyebrow at him.  "It is a little difficult to comprehend."  Another wince.  "You've got the money?"

Bruce nodded.  It wasn't much, but Clark had assured him that it would be enough to get some medicine and food.  "And the address."

"One more thing," Clark said.  "You're going to need a Kryptonian name."

"You're sure I'll be able to pass as a Kryptonian?"

"You speak the language well enough, and humans look identical to Kryptonians--you said the guard yesterday thought you were a Kryptonian."

Bruce looked at himself in a cloudy, somewhat warped mirror in the corner.  "He called me a True Child."

Clark growled something inaudible.  "Anyway, a name.  'Bruce Wayne' isn't going to cut it.  'We' is an acceptable last name--" He pronounced it like the beginning of "Wayne"-- "and 'Bru' or 'Brus' might work."

"Brus-We?  I guess that'll do."  Bruce looked over at Clark.  "And you?  'Clark Kent' is hardly Kryptonian, and it doesn't look like you're going to be able to use your true name."

"'Klar' is a common name.  'Klar-Ken' is pretty close."

"Brus and Klar.  Together again for the first time," Bruce muttered sardonically.  "We do seem determined to gather as many appellations for ourselves as possible, don't we?"  He headed to the door. 

Clark's voice paused him with his hand on the knob.  "Be careful, Bruce.  We don't know what we're dealing with."

"I'll be careful, Clark.  Just lying low, collecting intelligence, making connections.  Don't worry."

The door closed behind him.  Clark shifted on the bed, grunting at the splinters of pain in his chest.  "What the hell else have I got to do right now?" he muttered to himself.

: : :

The light inside Kandor was always odd to someone from a planet with a sun.  Diffused across the pearly-gray sky, it was sullen and red, flat and rather foreboding at all times.  As he made his way through the busy street, Bruce reminded himself:  I'm in a bottle right now.  A bottle in the Fortress of Solitude.  I'm only a few microns tall.  It boggled the mind.

What were the odds anyone would think to look for them here?  Superman and Batman had disappeared without a trace;  Kandor was not the first place anyone would go looking.  No, if they were going to get out of here it would have to be on their own.

He reached the square where the power-suited Kryptonians had murdered that woman last night.  Today it was bustling with life, small stalls hawking sweets and ornaments, throngs of aliens and the occasional Kryptonian wandering about and haggling.  It was as if the butchery in the darkness had never happened.

Yet even as he thought this, Bruce noticed that there was one spot in the square where no vendors hawked their wares, one place people skirted, bowing their head briefly.

The spot where the woman had died was left bare, unmarked and unadorned, but clearly noted by most of the passers-by.

So they weren't totally cowed yet, Bruce thought with satisfaction.

He stopped at a few stalls, examining the wares, keeping one ear on the conversations around him, reading the tone of the city.  By the end of an hour he had gathered that the imposter Kal-El had arrived in the city a little more than a year ago and had proclaimed himself the Savior and Ruler of Kandor.  He seemed to have the full range of Kryptonian powers--people spoke of his flight and his heat vision--despite the fact he shouldn't under the red light of Kandor.

Bruce also caught furtive whispers of a "Queen Mother," but they were few and hushed.  When people spoke of the Lord Kal-El, their voices were filled with fear and a strong undercurrent of loathing.

When they spoke of the Queen Mother, the overriding tone was dread.

Bruce eventually made his way through the square and out the other side, moving south past the park they had fallen into last night.  The buildings became more ramshackle here, leaning in on each other dizzily, the paint and plaster peeling off.

He knocked on a specific door.  No response.  He knocked again.  It opened just a crack.  "I need to speak to Basqat," said Bruce.

"Sez who?" growled a rasping voice, the speaker unseen behind the door.

"A mutual friend...from outside."

After a moment the door opened just enough to let him in.  He passed through into the dark--and found himself with a knife at his throat.  He spread his hands out.  "I just want to talk to Basqat."

The being holding the knife had a few too many eyes and a lot too many teeth, and glared at him silently.  "I'm a friend of Kal-El's," Bruce said.  "The real Kal-El." 

Half of the knife-holder's eyes opened wide, and the knife pressed slightly harder against Bruce's throat.  "Prove it," the alien muttered, his overabundance of teeth slurring his words slightly.

"If I were working for the imposter, this place would already be leveled," Bruce said coolly.  "But he told me to tell you that he would never so sully the memories of Gysla and Shire and Jigsaw, would never make a mockery of their sacrifice."

At the names of the three Kandorian aliens who had died helping Superman during his last visit, the alien with the knife made a sighing whuffling sound.

From another room Bruce heard a harsh voice:  "That sounds like him.  Yes."  A gray-skinned alien with large, dark eyes entered the room, staring at Bruce.  "You're telling me the current Lord and Savior of Kandor is not the Kal-El who fought with us?"

"Did he seem to be the sort who would set himself up as a tyrant in the world he had helped free?"

Basqat made a spitting sound.  "Who knows?"

"You should." 

The alien blinked at him, nictating membranes sweeping over his eyes.  Then he gestured, and the knife at Bruce's throat lowered.  Basqat turned and walked through the building, Bruce following after.  Eventually they emerged into a large garage filled with various kinds of motorbikes.  Basqat picked up a wrench and began to tinker on one of the bikes.  "Where has he been?  And why did he not come himself today?"

Bruce struggled with the reflexive tendency to lie, not to give too much away.  Kal had told him to be as honest with the rebel leader as possible.  "For the last year he has been powerless in the larger world, unable to come here.  And he is badly injured here, unable to move easily."  Discomfort wormed through him:  he had given away that Kal was nearly helpless.  Damn the man and his damn honesty, anyway.

"And who are you?"

"You may call me Brus-We."  The aliens glanced at each other, noting the evasion.  "I am also from the outside world.  I'm a...friend of Kal's, brought here by forces unknown."

Basqat made a huffing noise and tightened a gear.  "And what exactly do you want from us?"

"Can you help us access the hatch to the outside world?  The one you used last time?"

The alien crossed his arms and glared.  "Do you think we are idiots?  When the imposter came, we tried to send someone outside for help, even if it meant their death.  All the exits have been destroyed."

Bruce felt a slight smile touch his mouth despite the grim news.  "So.  You assumed he was an imposter immediately."

Basqat's eyes narrowed, and then suddenly his face split in a toothy grin.  "I wanted to believe.  I am glad it may be so, Brus-We."

"He'll come here himself as soon as he can to speak with you."

Suspicion again.  "Make it soon."  He kick-started the bike, frowning at the sound it made.

"It's running a little rich," Bruce noted, and the rebel leader swung his heavy gray head to eye him again.

"You know bikes?"

Bruce bit down the desire to respond glibly that he knew everything.  "I know bikes," he said simply instead.

Basqat handed him the wrench.  "Prove it."

A half-hour later the bike was running better and Basqat was looking very pleased.  "Come back tomorrow and we might find some more work for you."

Bruce wiped grease off his hands with a rag.  "How about those?"  He pointed to a corner of the garage, where two police power suits stood, propped against each other.

Basqat snarled.  "We stole those from the Praisesingers, but have been unable to modify them for use with non-Kryptonians." 

Bruce frowned.  "You don't have a single Kryptonian on your side?"

The toothy alien had remained silent until now, but at this he erupted into something that sounded like mangled swearing.  "Who of the True Children would possibly stand with us," he gnashed out as the curses eventually resolved into words.  "They all side with Kal-El and his Bitch-Mother."

Bruce found himself nose-to-snout with the alien.  "You don't ever call that pretender Kal-El.  He's not Kal-El.  Kal-El would never let this happen."  He took a deep breath.  "And there are always members of the dominant population who oppose the regime in situations like this.  Always."

The alien continued to sputter something about "stinking True Children," but Basqat raised his hand, saying simply, "Harrn.  Peace."  The other alien fell silent and Basqat looked at Bruce for a long moment.  "We have never been able to create connections within the Kryptonian community.  But perhaps that can change now."

Bruce knew there was a savage smile on his face.  "Perhaps it can."  he nodded toward the power suits.  "And you give Kal and I those suits and we can make a difference on the streets as well."

Basqat sighed.  "One step at a time, Brus-We.  Let me meet this person you claim is truly Kal-El.  Let us all start to talk strategy.  And we shall see."

Bruce knew when he had pushed as far as he could;  he hadn't really even expected to have Basqat trust him this much.  He nodded.

As he started to leave, Basqat spoke again.  "You'll need money."  Bruce paused, looking back.  "Work on the bikes for us and I'll give you a little.  Not much, but enough to get by." 

Bruce ignored Harrn's unhappy growling and nodded.  "I'll get Kal here as soon as I can."  He slipped out the door and back out into the streets.

: : :

Clark heard the key turn in the door and tried to get back to bed in time, but was unable to move fast enough.  Bruce stood in the door, two paper bags in his arms, glaring at him.  "What are you doing in the kitchen?"

"Just thought I'd check on the state of our larder."  Clark shrugged under Bruce's scowl, wincing.  "I couldn't stand to just lie there any more."  He gestured at the bags.  "What have you got?  And how did it go?"

Bruce pulled a bottle filled with orange powder out of the bag.  "First things first.  This is a pain-killer and sedative."  He poured a glass of water and dissolved some of the powder in it.  "Drink up."

Clark grimaced.  "I don't want to be drugged."

"Tough luck, hero.  You need to heal."  Bruce held out the cup implacably, and eventually Clark took it and drank.  "Let's get you back into bed," Bruce said as Clark pulled a face at the taste, and carefully got the Kryptonian back to the mattress. 

"There are two of them," Bruce said as he pulled a blanket over Clark.  "The man calling himself Kal-El and his mother."

Clark's eyes were bright and interested as he mulled this over.  "Theories?  Who has the power to drag us in here and the motivation?  Brainiac always is a possibility with Kandor.  Maybe the 'Kal-El' is actually a robot."

"Who's the woman, then?"

Clark shrugged slightly and winced again.  "Brainiac can take on a lot of forms."

"Could it be that woman, the one who pulled you in here last time?  She made a whole imaginary life for you, pretended to--"  Bruce broke off.

"--Pretended to be my wife?  Lyla?"  Clark sighed.  "She did it once, she could probably do it again, although I haven't seen a trace of her since Basqat and his gang helped me defeat her."  He yawned abruptly, then shook his head to clear it.  "Did you find Basqat?"

Bruce watched the clear blue eyes slowly filming over, the mouth softening, losing the lines of pain.  "I found him and he seemed to trust me.  He's given me a job helping out with the mechanic work."  He reached out and put a hand alongside Clark's face.  "But he wants to see you as soon as he can."

Clark leaned into Bruce's touch, his head heavy against his lover's hand, his breath growing more even.  "I'll try," he whispered drowsily, before slipping into sleep.

Bruce lowered Clark gently into a fully reclining position on the mattress.  Clark didn't stir at the movement, lost in drugged sleep.  Tentatively, then more surely, Bruce brushed his hands through thick black hair, with a tenderness he might never have shown if there were any chance Clark would wake to it.  He leaned down and pressed a kiss into the dark waves.  "You always do," he said softly.

Comments

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pinky_narf_zort
May. 1st, 2007 10:37 am (UTC)
Loving this series. Kandor has always been a favourite of mine and anything set in it or to do with it is an instant win in my books.

And dammit you've somehow managed to make Ultraman even more creepy to me. Insanely homicidal while still very much in love with his 'mother' seems so wrong yet so right.
jij
May. 1st, 2007 10:52 pm (UTC)
And dammit you've somehow managed to make Ultraman even more creepy to me. Insanely homicidal while still very much in love with his 'mother' seems so wrong yet so right.

Oh Ultraman. He just needs his mother. And Tommy. :) He's...kind of fun to write, in a weird way. Glad you liked him and Kandor! I've always been very fond of Kandor...
(no subject) - pinky_narf_zort - May. 2nd, 2007 02:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jij - May. 2nd, 2007 03:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
jij
May. 1st, 2007 10:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Clark and Bruce are sweeties here...Bruce especially, post "Earth & Sky," has become...amazingly mellow in some ways. Gl;ad you're liking them, and "Kal-El" is just a blast to write...an evil blast, but a blast.
dm_wyatt
May. 1st, 2007 01:02 pm (UTC)
I was wondering when you would update this...

Wonderful hurt/comfort... As much as I detest the usurper who is Kal-el in name only, I felt for his distress at seeing the Saturn Queen laid out like that. He was like a lost little boy...

But how can he have heat vision and cold breath in Kandor? The Saturn Queen's magic? It's a mystery I hope you don't wait to long to explain.

And Clark, poor thing. I hope he heals quickly, but I'm glad he has Bruce to take care of him until he does.

jij
May. 1st, 2007 11:01 pm (UTC)
But how can he have heat vision and cold breath in Kandor? The Saturn Queen's magic? It's a mystery I hope you don't wait to long to explain.

Well, according to the Supergirl arc it's because he keeps high-powered yellow sunlamps in his castle at all times and recharges every day. But more reasonably, it's because Ultraman isn't Kryptonian. :) He's a human who's been genetically altered by Kryptonians to have their powers, but he doesn't get his power from a yellow sun.

And oh, I'm enjoying Clark hurt and Bruce tending him very much. :) Glad you're liking it too!
(no subject) - dm_wyatt - May. 2nd, 2007 03:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jij - May. 2nd, 2007 03:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
wachey
May. 1st, 2007 05:10 pm (UTC)
Aww, the ending to this chapter is sweet :3 And that's cool! Bats got a job!

Looking forward to more!
jij
May. 2nd, 2007 03:11 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Bruce has a part-time job! :) Fixing bikes! *grin*

Glad you liked it...the next chapter's ready to go so more soon. :)
bradygirl_12
May. 1st, 2007 05:17 pm (UTC)
Another great chapter, Jen!

Matter-of-fact murder is the most chilling of all. Ultraman does it so casually. I *did* feel an iota of sympathy for him (he's being manipulated by Saturn Queen as she did Clark and Bruce) but believe me, that feeling passed quickly! :)

Bruce is the best man to get information and it's wonderful that Basquat trusts him even this much. And Clark will be the perfect one to convince Basquat the rest of the way. Damn that honesty, eh, Bruce? ;)

I like the scene between them at the end. Pity Bruce doesn't show that kind of tenderness when Clark is awake. :)

Can't wait for the next chapter! :)
jij
May. 2nd, 2007 03:14 pm (UTC)
Matter-of-fact murder is the most chilling of all. Ultraman does it so casually. I *did* feel an iota of sympathy for him (he's being manipulated by Saturn Queen as she did Clark and Bruce) but believe me, that feeling passed quickly! :)

Ultraman is...wonderfully creepy to write. I really enjoy him, in a strange way. :)

I like the scene between them at the end. Pity Bruce doesn't show that kind of tenderness when Clark is awake. :)

It's funny you mention that! :) Let's just say Kandor is good for him, being away from the Bat and his responsibilities a bit. He is surprising me in this one! :)

Glad you liked it!
starsandsea
May. 1st, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
Ohhh!! A new chapter!!!! *happy dance*

"Don't you have anything in black?" he asked Clark irritably.

*giggles*

"I don't know...do you think this makes my butt look big?"

*giggles even more*

Bruce bit down the desire to respond glibly that he knew everything.

Good Bruce. I don't think that would win you many fans right now.

"And there are always members of the dominant population who oppose the regime in situations like this. Always."

Bad memories Bruce?

Tentatively, then more surely, Bruce brushed his hands through thick black hair, with a tenderness he might never have shown if there were any chance Clark would wake to it. He leaned down and pressed a kiss into the dark waves. "You always do," he said softly.

Awwww. A lovely ending. I hope to see more of this soon! :)


jij
May. 2nd, 2007 03:17 pm (UTC)
Isn't he funny at the beginning? He so wanted to take Clark's mind off his worries, and if talking about clothes could do it, he'd do it. :)

You know, I hadn't even really thought about his memories from Absolute Power playing a role in that line, but it makes perfect sense! *grins and feels kind of dumb*

I liked the ending too...Bruce insisted on waiting until he was asleep to be sweet, but he can't resist Clark forever. :)
(no subject) - bradygirl_12 - May. 2nd, 2007 04:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jij - May. 3rd, 2007 04:37 am (UTC) - Expand
zarabithia
May. 1st, 2007 09:42 pm (UTC)
Evil Kal was delightfully wicked. *hides from him.*

Bruce found himself nose-to-snout with the alien. "You don't ever call that pretender Kal-El. He's not Kal-El. Kal-El would never let this happen."

Oh, BRUCE.

I *adore* this series and squee like a mad thing every time it gets updated.

jij
May. 2nd, 2007 03:18 pm (UTC)
Evil Kal was delightfully wicked. *hides from him.*

Poor Ultraman! Um, I don't exactly mean that, but he just wants to be home, even if he can't remember it. :)

Oh, BRUCE.

*snuggles him* I adored him sticking up for his Kryptonian here, I really did. I'm delighted you did too!
ladymordecai
May. 1st, 2007 10:10 pm (UTC)
Whee, new chapter! It's interesting that Clark hasn't had powers for most of the canon-side stories in this series.

My absolute favorite line in this chapter, and possibly best Bruce/Batman characterization line ever?

Bruce bit down the desire to respond glibly that he knew everything.

It's just--forget SUPERMAN taking over the world, it's amazing BATMAN has't done it yet! (or Oracle, for that matter)
jij
May. 3rd, 2007 04:41 am (UTC)
Whee, new chapter! It's interesting that Clark hasn't had powers for most of the canon-side stories in this series.

Argh, I knoooowwww...I felt so guilty taking them away again so quickly, but with Saturn Queen hanging out in kandor in the canon, I just couldn't resist...

It's just--forget SUPERMAN taking over the world, it's amazing BATMAN has't done it yet! (or Oracle, for that matter)

Certainly no one would ever know if they did, you know? It'd just...happen.

Glad you liked it!
(Deleted comment)
jij
May. 3rd, 2007 04:51 am (UTC)
Seeing Ultraman like that... made me consider not completely hating him for a moment. --I got over it swiftly.

LOL...he's a bad, bad boy, even if he really just wants his Owlman back at some level...

*cuddles Clark, who's not taking being injured very well*

LOL, he's probably still a better patient than Bruce, who I think would throw things at you... :)

You don't think of Bruce Wayne as someone willing to do vaguely menial work... but he's very good at a lot of it.

Ah, yes...I was wondering if people had kind of caught that repairing motorbikes might rankle just a bit. :) On the plus side, he does love to fix and tinker, and he knows it's an entry-level position to get at those tempting suits. :) Sheez, the series is "Nightwing and Flamebird" and I've finished five chapters without the title characters showing up now...LOL...

Glad you're liking it so far! I'm having fun with it!

carolandtom
May. 1st, 2007 11:47 pm (UTC)
This was wonderful! Oh, how much I love H/C and an injured Clark, and how beautiful the ending was! I'm happy we got an update to this fascinating arc.

I really like Bruce when he's tender to Clark, even if poor Clark can't notice. In this difficultg situation, they have each other and that's what matters.

Looking forward to more!
jij
May. 3rd, 2007 04:55 am (UTC)
I really like Bruce when he's tender to Clark, even if poor Clark can't notice.

Isn't it interesting that we always like to hurt out favorite characters? I so rarely write Bruce as the one hurt, so you can definitely see my leanings... :)

Glad you7re enjoying it! And having you re-reading Earth & Sky has been really interesting because you're reminding me again of how hard that year was for Clark, and reminding me that the repercussions of Bruce's actions might not be caught up fully with him yet...
cero_ate
May. 2nd, 2007 06:02 am (UTC)
*sighs happily* Love this verse and you so effortlessly draw us right back into it. First verse I ever liked Bruce/Clark in and so happy to see you working in it again. Lovely job as always and the end two paragraphs just made my heart sing.
jij
May. 3rd, 2007 04:57 am (UTC)
First verse I ever liked Bruce/Clark in and so happy to see you working in it again.

Aw! Thank you!

By the way, I'm still SO far behind on the flist but I can see I'm working my way toward an S/B story by you, which just makes me happy to look forward to. :)
cavaleira
May. 2nd, 2007 07:56 am (UTC)
"Brus and Klar. Together again for the first time," Bruce muttered sardonically. "We do seem determined to gather as many appellations for ourselves as possible, don't we?"

Haha, so true. I like their new Kryptonian names though, that was a nice touch.

Aww, and Bruce is doing such a good job taking care of his Clark. Another nicely done update, I'm enjoying this series.
jij
May. 3rd, 2007 12:43 pm (UTC)
Aww, and Bruce is doing such a good job taking care of his Clark. Another nicely done update, I'm enjoying this series.

He is doing a good job nursemaiding Clark! Kandor is good for him in some ways. :) I'm very fond of Bruce here, glad you like him too...
vigilante_wake
May. 2nd, 2007 07:06 pm (UTC)
My 'net is back now, so I'm catching up on everything!

Sometimes he killed them when they were done, with heat vision or cold breath or his shaking bare hands. And that made him feel best of all.

I found Ultraman to be amusing-yet-evil in his last appearance in this series. Now, I'm beginning to feel very creeped out. It took me a while to figure out why he would call all of the boys Tommy. And then I remembered that Owlman's name is Thomas. How pervy...

Kal-El placed his mother on her bed and huddled next to it, holding her hand. His head was beginning to hurt.

With Saturn Queen in a coma, I'm guessing that Ultraman will become rather vulnerable. Good for Clark and Bruce, not so good for Ultraman. I'm probably going to feel a little sorry for him when Saturn Queen attempts to replace him with the real Kal-El.

The image of Bruce in an outfit with "a great many pleats" is very amusing in my head. The entire "getting dressed" scene was great!

Bruce bit down the desire to respond glibly that he knew everything. "I know bikes," he said simply instead.

Ha! Not only does the Batman know everything, he is also the best at everything.

Clark heard the key turn in the door and tried to get back to bed in time, but was unable to move fast enough.

Aww! I love that Clark was trying to hide his non-resting from Bruce.

"Tough luck, hero. You need to heal." Bruce held out the cup implacably, and eventually Clark took it and drank.

*thinks briefly of the "Eat it, hero!" scene from The Outsiders*

You know that if their positions were reversed, Bruce would have resisted a lot more. They'd still be arguing at the beginning of the next chapter.

I like any theory that involves Superman robots.

And the ending? So "aww" inducing. Bruce is so sweet, even though he doesn't want anyone to know.

Thank you so much for writing!

jij
May. 4th, 2007 12:40 am (UTC)
It took me a while to figure out why he would call all of the boys Tommy. And then I remembered that Owlman's name is Thomas. How pervy...


Owlman/Ultraman/Superwoman is totally canon. :) In a disturbing, warped way...

I'm probably going to feel a little sorry for him when Saturn Queen attempts to replace him with the real Kal-El.

I suspect I will as well, which is...really weird. *grin*

The image of Bruce in an outfit with "a great many pleats" is very amusing in my head.

I love imagining Bruce in whatever Kryptonian clothing might be, I'm just very vague on the details myself. :)

And the ending? So "aww" inducing. Bruce is so sweet, even though he doesn't want anyone to know.

I really did like that moment. Bruce definitely has his soft side, especially after a year of pretending not to care for Clark much, and Kandor gives him a chance to indulge it a bit.

Thanks so much for reading and commenting and I'm glad you have your internet connection back!

arch_schatten
May. 3rd, 2007 02:15 am (UTC)
Freaky crazy Ultraman, I don't know if I should giggle or hide or what... I mean, on one hand, he misses Tommy and Lois.. on the other, he kills his lovers.. hrmmm...

He's a freak, allright. But the way he freaked at Saturn Queen's state, it did move me. Poor Ultraman. He really doesn't know what to do :( And I want to see if without Saturn Queen he remembers his Earth! Maybe he will! maybe he can give me Tommy back <3!

"We do seem determined to gather as many appellations for ourselves as possible, don't we?"

Yes, well. The identity porn is hard to fend off, Bruce. Too delicious to quit :P I liked how good they are working as a team -I mean, I know Clark is out cold right now, but they are bouncing off theories and giving advice and just.. working, you know? Teamwork for the win :)

"What the hell else have I got to do right now?" he muttered to himself.

LOL, aww, poor Clark. He could start planning the w-e-d-d-i-n-g... might make Bruce giggle like a schoolgirl yet. ...okay, I just freaked myself out with the Bruce giggling. Never mind!

He stopped at a few stalls, examining the wares, keeping one ear on the conversations around him, reading the tone of the city.

*purrs* Isn't he an awesome Jack Hawksmoore? Reading the city! getting a feel of it! Oh, Bruce. If you ever go meta, please be Hawksmoore. My city-fetish needs feeding... (I'm so sleepy, why am I sleepy? woe! I'm going to make crazy comments... ...crazier comments). I like the image of Bruce hanging out in pretty silver Kryptonian garbs and walking through the eerie city. I loved the descriptions of the sky and just how eldrich everything is (hehe, I'm stealing Jen's word!)

Bruce knew there was a savage smile on his face. "Perhaps it can."

Mmmmm, so pretty. Scary pretty. I love how self confident he is here, even knowing they are on their own, Clark is hurt, and they are fighting against Ultraman, Bruce is just dead sure that he and Clark will wreck havoc, win and go home. Doubt doesn't exist in his mind. I love that.

Tentatively, then more surely, Bruce brushed his hands through thick black hair, with a tenderness he might never have shown if there were any chance Clark would wake to it.

Well, tenderness *is* bad for the reputation... even if they are stranded where no one knows them and would never care. Ah, give up already, Bruce! Clark could use the tenderness!

And I just have to say that you self confident, savage, rugged but tender around the edges Bruce is made of awesome. Poor Clark, he spent the day worrying and laying down, must be driving him mad.

I'm really looking forward to see the boys start spreading mischief around the city and Bruce find the Rebells. There's gotta be rebells. And I didn't notice after Brady pointed it out, but yeah, ouch, memories. Ollie! *weeps* Much love for this chapter! thanks for sharing!
jij
May. 4th, 2007 10:57 pm (UTC)
And I want to see if without Saturn Queen he remembers his Earth! Maybe he will! maybe he can give me Tommy back <3!

I think Tommy's going to have to come swooping in and rescue him from Saturn Queen and the boys, LOL. Poor Ultraman...

Yes, well. The identity porn is hard to fend off, Bruce. Too delicious to quit :P

Yeah, he's complaining but you can tell he's totally like, "Whoo! Another identity to play with!" :)

I liked how good they are working as a team -I mean, I know Clark is out cold right now, but they are bouncing off theories and giving advice and just.. working, you know? Teamwork for the win :)

Thanks! I did want to make sure Clark didn't seem too darn helpless, you know? He gets to help with suit design later, too.

LOL, aww, poor Clark. He could start planning the w-e-d-d-i-n-g... might make Bruce giggle like a schoolgirl yet. ...okay, I just freaked myself out with the Bruce giggling. Never mind!

Even Brus-We does not giggle. He does plan weddings, though. Seriously, I don't know how I can resist a huge Kandorian wedding with all the crazy supporting cast I've accidentally added showing up...stop me, Mina!

Mmmmm, so pretty. Scary pretty. I love how self confident he is here, even knowing they are on their own, Clark is hurt, and they are fighting against Ultraman, Bruce is just dead sure that he and Clark will wreck havoc, win and go home. Doubt doesn't exist in his mind. I love that.


You know, I do think the pivotal defining moment of S/B for me is that moment in Absolute Power when they're surrounded by bad guys and Bruce is like, "I think we can take them. Do you think we can take them?" "You always think we can take them." "Yes. I do." Just...Bruce knows that if they're together, nothing will ever beat them. It's one of the few things in the world he's sure of, and that's canon. :)

Well, tenderness *is* bad for the reputation... even if they are stranded where no one knows them and would never care. Ah, give up already, Bruce! Clark could use the tenderness!

I'll be curious to see if I'll get cries of "OOC!" with the next chapter. *wants to post it! Is so far behind!*

And I so owe you email! *weeps kittenish tears* Thank you so much for commenting when I know RL is eating you alive...
batfan_sarah
May. 6th, 2007 07:49 am (UTC)
awwww....

jen, you just keep making me love you more.

i'm so glad you updated this :D

and oh, the tenderness from bruce...i mean "brus" was adorable.

*huggles them both, careful of kal's ribs*
jij
May. 6th, 2007 10:13 pm (UTC)
Brus is a sweet guy, LOL! Very, very different from Bruce. :) Glad you enjoyed him!
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