He couldn’t believe it. He wasn’t even in a hurry! He had nowhere to urgently be, yet somehow, he, Clark Kent, just ran a red light on the way home from the station. His mother would be so disappointed in him.
By the time he realized the light wasn’t the right color, it was too late to put on the breaks – he was already completely in the intersection, so that would have just made things worse. Instead, he resigned himself to his stupidity and floored it, screaming in frustration all the while. He managed to hit a higher pitch when he heard the sirens behind him – no, he couldn’t just accidentally run the light, he had to do it in front of a goddamn cop.
Snapping his jaw shut to cut off the unholy shriek, Clark drove a little ways down the street so he could pull over in a parking lot. No sense in making the other commuters suffer, he thought bitterly. The sirens cut out as the squad car pulled up next to him, but Clark wasn’t really paying attention – he was rifling through his glovebox for his registration. He took a deep breath and plastered on the most pleasant expression he could manage before turning to the cop now standing outside his car and…and…
Two things registered simultaneously: one, he’d apparently been pulled over by Bruce Wayne, the guy he’d saved in that apartment fire and promptly flirted with, then didn’t see for months after he was released from the hospital, and two, this man had the most gorgeous laugh – it wasn’t particularly loud, but it was a deep, rumbling chuckle that sent shivers down Clark’s spine. The officer’s shoulders were shaking with the force of it, and he had his face cradled in his hand, covering all but the very edges of his smile. Clark didn’t think he could handle all this for much longer.
Finally, Bruce took a deep breath and dragged his hand down his face, revealing deeply amused cobalt eyes and the entirety of that stunning smile, albeit a bit more subdued. He propped both hands on his belt and cocked his hips.
“Fancy seeing you here, Lieutenant Kent,” he drawled, lips quirking.
“Not my proudest moment, Officer Wayne,” Clark admitted, flushing to the roots of his hair.
Bruce bit his lower lip, threatening to derail Clark’s train of thought again, but he immediately opened his mouth again, only to close it, seemingly caught by indecision. Clark just raised an eyebrow and politely waited.
Finally, Bruce sighed. “Look,” he started, “you ran a red light, that’s not okay, and you shouldn’t do it again, accident or not. But…” he paused for a moment, huffing a half-laugh. “I don’t think I can bring myself to ticket you, because that was the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time. I’ve seen some pretty amazing stuff on this beat, but you just blew it all out of the water.”
Clark blinked in confusion. “Funniest – what did I do?”
Bruce’s eyebrows shot up, nearly disappearing under his hat. “Oh, I don’t know, maybe you screeched like an angry pterodactyl as you crossed the intersection?”
Clark could feel the blood draining from his face. How could Bruce have heard that? He didn’t –
Oh, but he did. Clark had left the windows rolled down on his drive today – the weather was pleasantly cool, and he didn’t want to bother running his AC when the breeze could cool him off just as well. Which meant every car stopped at that intersection heard him shrieking like some kind of demented ferret.
He groaned and let his head drop to the steering wheel, silently praying for the ground to open up and swallow him whole. The only thing that made this remotely okay was that Bruce was laughing again, propping his forearm on the top of Clark’s car and leaning into the open window.
“Seriously Clark, what the hell? Dick couldn’t even get out of the squad car – I’m afraid he’s going to soil himself in there,” he chortled.
Clark reluctantly raised his head to look around Bruce and into the passenger seat of his car. Sure enough, Grayson was hunched over, forehead pressed to the dashboard, which he was pounding with one of his fists. The other arm disappeared at the bottom of the window, presumably wrapped around his midsection. He sat up for a moment to breathe, revealing a bright red, splotchy face with tears running down his cheeks, but then he looked over and met Clark’s eyes and burst out laughing all over again. Clark just sighed and unsuccessfully fought a blush.
“I…didn’t take it so well. It was a dumb mistake and I was upset at myself for making it,” he grumbled, staring at his lap.
Bruce gave him a few more breathy chuckles before he finally regained his composure, wiping at the corner of one of his eyes. “Clearly,” he gasped, huffing one last time. “But, like I said, just this once, I’ll let you off. No harm, no foul.”
Clark finally dared to look at Bruce’s face again, taking in the light flush high on his cheekbones, the curve of his lips, the eyes shining with unshed tears. He swallowed a lump in his throat and thought What have I got to lose?
“I really appreciate it, officer,” he said, keeping his expression innocent. “Is there anything I can do to repay you? Like, say, take you for dinner and a movie?”
He held his breath as Bruce pursed his lips, eyes narrowing at the nervous fireman. He leaned down and supported himself on the bottom of the window, bringing their faces so close together the brim of his hat almost hit Clark’s forehead.
Clark got nervous for a whole new reason when the officer’s lips curled into a predatory smirk.
“I think that sounds fair,” he murmured. “I assume you have the evening off? And tomorrow morning, if this goes well?”
“Yep,” Clark squeaked, eyes never leaving Bruce’s.
“Wonderful. I’ll drive. Expect me at 7,” he said, slowly straightening out and sauntering back to his car. Before getting in, he hollered, “It’s a date, Clark!”
The firefighter blushed all over again as Bruce climbed into his car, his partner smirking at him and punching him in the shoulder as they drove off. Clark took a deep breath and rolled up all the windows before starting his car and pulling out of the parking lot.
He’d have to be a lot more careful the rest of the way home today. He needed time to get ready, after all. He knew exactly where he’d be taking Bruce tonight, and he wasn’t about to let anything stand between him and their first proper date.