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Gotham Pride

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Gotham, being Gotham, had a few (rather understandable) issues with things like large public gatherings, well-known celebrity locations, bold public statements, and ...colorful flamboyance, and so Gotham had never had a Pride Parade. It just seemed too risky, for so many reasons.


But this year, of all years, someone, somewhere decided to risk it. They'd asked Wayne Enterprises to sponsor because Bruce was probably the highest-profile non-straight man in the city, and after an extremely thorough investigation into every aspect of the parade, every person related to it (and every person related to them), Bruce and Wayne Enterprises agreed.


Well, he agreed to sponsor, he hadn't agreed to be in the damn parade.


The boys hadn't seen it that way, though.


"It's being a different kind of hero for the youth of Gotham," Dick had said. "You're the most well-known bisexual non-villian in the city; this is your chance to show them they can be anyone."


"It's going to be an excellent chance to raise awareness for the LGBT-teen center the Wayne Foundation is building in the Narrows," Tim had said. "The one we're definitely not calling the Wayne-bow House, Dick."


"Protection for the parade has already been arranged, Father," Damian had said. "There are enough of us that you may act the drunken fool during this ...demonstration."


Jason hadn't said anything, but a rainbow bat-symbol lapel pin had appeared in the cave under mysterious circumstances, which Bruce felt was statement enough.


And that was how Bruce Wayne found himself climbing onto a float shaped like the Gotham skyline, wearing a quarter of the amount of clothing he usually did (even at his most Brucie), and clutching a rainbow-colored cocktail that was somehow leaking glitter. Dick was on the float, too, but hiding on the other side of the miniature Wayne Tower, since last time Bruce had seen him, he'd dumped a tube of glitter in Bruce's hair. If he got glitter in his cowl from this…


Bruce took a sip from his cocktail. Yeah, that wasn't a virgin one like Dick had assured him it would be. His eldest son was really pushing limits today.


The float lurched into motion, splashing some of the sticky-sweet drink onto Bruce's arm and shifting the glitter there around. Bruce stared at it, wondering if it was better or worse that the mess was just on his skin. The float lurched again, and this time alcohol made it all the way to his clothes. Bruce sent a brief Bat-glare in Dick's direction, and then downed the contents of his cup. It was way too much sugar way too fast, but at least it wouldn't spill again. He tossed the empty plastic over the top of Wayne Tower, and heard Dick's grunt of protest as it landed square on his head.


That done, Bruce turned to wave at the gathered crowd, plastering a giant grin on his face. After all, he was here, he was queer, and he was supposed to make them cheer; he might as well do his job. The crowd cheered and waved back, chanting his name.


It was exhilarating in its own way, heady and empowering to know all these people loved you in this way. There weren't a lot of moments like this in Bruce's life, but when they did happen, he felt like he understood some of where his villains were coming from; they wanted this all the time, demanded it, craved it, this heady feeling that all eyes were on you, that everyone wanted to have you or to be you.


Actually, Bruce lowered his hands and glanced around, wishing they'd at least let him bring his communicator; this was exactly the sort of situation that would draw out the Joker, or the Riddler, or even Tetch. Any one of those drama-druggies was bound to be dropping a bomb or setting off a gas main, or--or--


There was a collective gasp from the crowd, and fingers were pointed to the sky.


Alarmed, Bruce whirled around, hands going for weapons he wasn't carrying (and maybe the one batarang he had managed to hang onto). There was a streak in the sky, growing bigger and closer until it was right overhead, where it stopped and waved cheerily at the crowd to enthusiastic response.


"Superman," Bruce muttered to himself, the tension in his body shifting from pre-fight stress to emotional stress. He'd let Robin be in charge of protection for Pride, and Damian knew Bruce's feelings about metas in Gotham, so he wouldn't have invited Clark on his own accord. Which meant that one of the other kids suggested it (probably in such a way that Damian thought it was his own idea), and, since it wouldn't have been Jason , that meant it was either Tim or Dick, and they both--they both knew . Presumably; it wasn't like they'd ever talked about it. But Tim was good at piecing together scant information, while Dick knew Bruce , had known him forever. And Dick was already pushing boundaries today.


"Sorry I'm late," Superman shouted, and the crowd quieted a little bit. "But I'm here now; Happy Pride, Gotham!" He flew in a loop in the air as everyone cheered, and then drifted down onto the Gotham Skyline float beside Bruce. The blue of his costume was lighter than usual, almost purple in shade. His cape, likewise, was closer to pink than red, and the inside of it was now a rainbow that rippled in the breeze. And the whole thing shimmered like he'd also been dumped with glitter. The overall look fell somewhere between utterly absurd and really fucking sexy .


Bruce ground his teeth through his smile. It really wasn't fair that the boys--however many were in on this--would send the straight object of his longest, strongest crush to torment him at Pride when...when...wait. Bruce took another look at Superman in all his sparkling pink rainbow costume. "What are you doing here?" Bruce asked.


Superman had been smiling and waving out at the crowd as the float crept up the street, and he half-turned to Bruce as he spoke. "Well, Metropolis Pride was last weekend, so when Robin asked if I'd be willing to show up," Clark shrugged a shoulder, and then turned back away.


"That's not--I mean what are you doing here? " Bruce tried a different set of emphasis.


Superman's smile disappeared, and he fully turned to Bruce. "Are you...asking if I'm gay? Pride is for allies, too, you know."


"I know that," Bruce said impatiently.


There was a minute where they both just stared at each other. The float passed along a park, and the crowds were larger and louder, cheering when they saw who was on the Gotham Skyline float. Bruce could hear Dick yelling at the crowd on his side of Wayne Tower, and them yelling back at him, but it wasn't really important right now.


"Cl--Superman," Bruce demanded when it was clear he wasn't going to continue unprompted. It was a mark of how distressed he was that he tripped on Superman's name. Because this was a vital piece of information that he could have used years ago. Or at least months ago, after that whole thing with Lois blew up. Dick might claim he was out of touch with his emotions, but Bruce Wayne wasn't an idiot when it came to sex. He would have asked for this if he'd even suspected he could have it, and damn the consequences.


Superman sighed, and the glitter on his costume shimmered. "Fine, if it's so important that you know, I'm xenosexual. Not a lot of Kryptonians around, anyway."


Bruce raised an eyebrow, and flicked a wave at the crowd watching them.


Superman lifted his chin defensively. "They're debating adding a new stripe to the rainbow; bright green for xenosexuals like me."


Bruce's second eyebrow joined the first, and he nodded slowly, still waiting for Superman to finish.


Clark sighed. "Also, I'm pansexual, even if I've mostly just dated women." That was defensive, too, and Bruce realized Superman was new to being out, which might explain why Bruce hadn't known. When Bruce didn't respond right away, Superman snapped, "What are you doing here?"


"Everyone already knows I'm bisexual," Bruce said slowly, to give himself time to think. He'd been wishing for a chance like this. Well, maybe not exactly like this, with the crowd, and the crepe paper, and the miniature clocktower at his elbow, but a chance to have a chance with Clark. He'd be an idiot not to take it. And if Clark didn't respond favorably, well, Bruce could blame it on Brucie and Pride and maybe even that glittery drink. "I'm bisexual," Bruce repeated, "But turns out I'm xenosexual, too." And then he stepped into Clark's personal space, wrapped an arm around his neck, and went for a kiss.


There was only a few inches difference in their heights, but it was enough that the kiss wouldn't have worked if Clark hadn't bent down into it, sealing their lips together to loud cheering and whooping from the crowd, as well as a number of sharp cracks and bangs that Bruce really, really hoped were firecrackers, and not...well, this was still Gotham.


After they had kissed forever, or maybe for just a few seconds (it was hard to tell right now), they pulled apart. "I wish you'd said something sooner," Clark said.


"I didn't know," Bruce said, looking away, back to the regular Gothamites that lined the parade route. They were mostly waving like mad and cheering. Then the cheers started to cling together into comprehensibility.


" KISS! KISS! KISS! " They were chanting.


Bruce decided to listen to them, tangled his fingers in Clark's hair, and dragged them back together. The crowd went wild again.


"Ha!" Dick laughed, peering around Wayne Tower to see what the fuss was. "About damn time."


Bruce whipped away from Superman, and pointed his finger at his eldest son. "How much of a hand did you have in this?"


Dick held up his hands placatingly. "How much do you think, B?"


Which meant not that much, but he was willing to take the fall for his brothers.


"I will instruct Alfred to buy only Wheat Thins and Cheerios if you do not tell me everything you know right now ."


Dick looked pained, but before he could respond, Clark laughed, and pulled Bruce back around. "It's Pride, Bruce; figure it out later."


Dick slipped back to the safety of the other side of the Gotham skyline, and Bruce and Superman went back to waving at the crowd--for a little while, at least. Until the chanting started again, and Clark encouraged Bruce to wrap his legs around his waist, lifting him off the ground. And Bruce had been on the other side of this position, but it was actually just as nice being the one held as the one doing the holding; wrapped around his partner, no space between them, free access to necks and lips and ears. Yeah. This was...this was super.


Kissing Superman was like making out with sunshine, like holding the moon, like, like...floating on air.


“Bruce! Bruce!” Dick’s shout penetrated through the haze, and Bruce pulled away from Clark’s lips to look over at Dick, holding onto one of the Bank Towers and waving frantically from the back of the float.


The back of the float.


Bruce glanced down at the asphalt drifting a yard or so below their feet, then behind them at the increasingly alarmed faces of the approaching band that had been following the skyline float.


“Superman,” Bruce said, nudging his head up from the hollow of his neck with his shoulder. “The float’s over there.”


Clark glanced up. “Uh, whoops,” he said, and flew them back to the float, much to the amusement of the crowd.


They managed to stay on the float for the remaining mile of the parade, and they even managed not to be making out for the entirety of it, just, oh...maybe two-thirds or three-quarters or so.


They were waving the last few yards to the designated final parking lot, though, and as the crowd disappeared behind some large trucks, barricade horses, and scowly security people, Superman turned to Bruce and rubbed the back of his neck. "I don't want to presume or pressure you or anything, but was this just a Pride stunt, or…" He flushed red.


“Bruce Wayne making out with Superman was definitely a Pride stunt.”


Superman's shoulders slumped, and he turned away.


But Bruce cleared his throat, shifted his weight slightly, and cursed himself for the tell; he was Batman, he wasn't embarrassed. “Anyway, there is a certain reporter I thought was straight who I should ask out for dinner. If I were to see him today.”


Those broad shoulders straightened back up with a sparkle from his uniform, and Superman turned on one of his thousand-watt smiles, finally meeting Bruce's eyes. “I hope you see him later, then.”


"So do I," Bruce said, and watched as Superman took off, shouting a farewell to the crowd as he did a few loops overhead, trailing glitter. "This whole city is going to sparkle forever ."


"It'll be very pretty and wholesome," Dick agreed, coming up beside Bruce, apparently thinking his role in everything had been forgiven.


"At least until it collects in the sewers and gains sentience, learns that it was cast aside and vows vengeance on the city's population," Bruce pointed out, hopping down from the float. One of the parade managers popped up as he did so, directing the two of them over to the side of the parking lot and between two trucks.


"You're such a pessimist. Can't you just enjoy something shiny for once?" They continued to banter as they followed directions out of the parking lot and over to the stage, where Bruce had been asked to give a few words. The crowd was deeper there, even backstage, and at one point Dick disappeared, only to return a few minutes later holding a pair of pink drinks with glowing ice cubes.


"Where are you even finding these?" Bruce asked, though he accepted the one Dick shoved at him. "They are so…" he struggled to find the right word. "...vibrant."


"It's Pride," Dick said, saluting him and taking a healthy swallow of his own drink.


Bruce didn't even need to taste this one to smell the alcohol wafting off of it, but before he could object, he heard the mayor say his name, and someone hustled both him and Dick out onto the stage.


"Hello, Bruce," Mayor Roys said when Bruce landed at the microphone. "I hear you've had a rather exciting Pride so far."


Brucie waggled his eyebrows and smirked. "Don't be jealous. There's plenty of me to go around."


Apparently the aging Mayor hadn't expected that, because she just blinked at Brucie for a moment before continuing. "Wayne Enterprises is one of the biggest sponsors of Pride this year, and everyone has been wondering what your motivation was. You're not really known for your LGBT activism."


Bruce took a moment to drain his drink, mentally discarding the pre-written speech Tim had made for him, and preparing his petty revenge. "Well, Mayor Roys, I have to say that one of the foundational reasons is that I love Dick." He paused and pretended to drunkenly consider his words. "By which I mean my son, who is Dick. But not a dick, except sometimes, like when he was a teenager. He also likes dick, by which I both do and do not mean himself, and--"


"Ooookaaaay," Dick said pulling Bruce back from the microphone, and taking his place. He knew Bruce was faking being drunk, but he also knew Brucie was only going to make it worse and worse. "That's enough of that, Bruce."


Brucie winked at him and handed Dick the cup with the still-glowing ice cube in it, then stumbled a few feet further back on the stage.


Dick grimaced at the used cup in his hand and set it down on the podium. "You'll have to forgive him; Brucie is very proud of Gotham today. A whole parade, and not even one murder!" He got a cheer for that. "Now, Ms Mayor, you've asked why Wayne Enterprises decided to sponsor Pride this year, and the answer is mainly that we were asked. Wayne Enterprises and its subsidiaries have been looking for more ways to support LGBT culture in Gotham; we're already an equal opportunity employer that looks very poorly on discrimination of all kinds, but it's recently become apparent that we need to do more than just that. Supporting Pride was an easy and wonderful way to do so. Another way that the Wayne Foundation is looking to help those in the LGBT community is that we are opening a new LGBT+ center on the edge of the Narrows; The Wayne-bow House, if you will." The audience laughed, and Bruce tuned out on listening to the rest of Dick's speech, his petty revenge complete. He still needed to worry about glitter monsters, but overall the day wasn't turning out half-bad.


Dick finished the speech, and they both slipped backstage.


"I can't believe you did that," Dick said as they went.


"How much did you have to do with Clark's presence on the float?" Bruce asked again.


"Hey," Dick defended himself. "I just didn't warn you, it was Tim who-- Oh. Oh, you bastard ." Tim would still be able to prevent 'Wayne-Bow House' from being the center's official name, but now he'd never be able to stop anyone from calling it that.


Bruce hmmed inconclusively, watching the people hovering around off the back of the stage. Wait, wasn't that--that was-- "Holy shit," he breathed.


Dick looked from Bruce to where he was looking, then did a double-take. "Isn't--isn't that Clark ?"


"Yessssss," Bruce drew out the last sound, mostly because he forgot he was making it. Clark was wearing the most awful wonderful rainbow plaid short sleeve shirt, which was open to reveal a black sleeveless shirt that was so tight it made his supersuit look baggy. He also had on a pair of faded and torn jeans that hugged him just so , his hair had been tousled with some sort of glittery product, and his glasses were a narrower rectangle that actually fit his face. Bruce might be drooling.


"You are really predictable sometimes, know that?" Dick asked, probably rolling his eyes--certainly Bruce couldn't see it with the way his own eyes were glued onto Clark. "I don't know how you managed to hide this from him or from anyone ever ."


"Now it’s permitted," Bruce said, as Clark finally, finally made his way through the crowd and stood in front of them. Clark paused a few steps away and Bruce realized they were due for some more neck-rubbing and red-blushing and weight-shifting and general awkwardness from the Man of Steel, so to head that off, he finished the distance between them and leaned right onto Clark's chest. "Whoever made that rainbow plaid needs to be stopped."


Clark laughed and wrapped his arms around Bruce, and just like that things were perfect and natural, as if they had always been this way. "Hello to you, too," Clark said, and they shared a kiss--a quiet kiss like a stray ray of sunshine through the leaves of a forest, the sort you'd give a long-time lover after a few hours apart.


Dick made a disgusted sound. "I need another drink." He vanished into the crowd.



They meandered the booths and entertainments over the next few hours, with Dick reappearing occasionally with some new sparklier drink.


“Is your son trying to get you drunk?” Clark asked after the latest glass was shoved into Bruce’s hand and Dick had disappeared again.


“It’s part of my cover,” Bruce replied. “Bruce Wayne always with a drink, never seen ordering a virgin one.”


“And no one wonders about Dick ordering all of those ...concoctions without alcohol?”


“He grumbles something about underage brothers when questioned.”


“Never mind that they aren’t even here today?”


Bruce shrugged. “They’re around.”


Clark let it go, and then nodded at a nearby restaurant. “I believe you said something about buying me lunch?”


“I said dinner, but we can do lunch first,” and breakfast after, and as many meals as Clark would let him after that. But that was getting ahead of himself, so for now they turned off the road into the dark and cool little bistro. They split up; Clark to find a table, and Bruce to order food.


When Bruce was done at the counter, it took him a moment to find Clark in the crowd, and when he did, there was another ...gentleman leaning way into Clark’s personal space and murmuring something to him.


To be honest, Bruce couldn’t blame him for trying, but Clark looked pretty uncomfortable.


Bruce stepped in-between them, and held up his hands to stop the stranger. “Back off; don’t you see how uncomfortable you’ve made him?”


Clark sighed in relief. “Thanks, Bruce.”


The stranger frowned for a split second, then grinned in realization. “Bruce Wayne? I didn’t realize you’d laid claim to him, but I’d be game for a threesome.”


Clark turned as red as his cape and stuttered unintelligibly, trying to hide himself behind Bruce.


“Oh my god, he’s adorable!” The stranger coo’d, leaning to the side for a better look at Clark. “Where did you find such a precious—“


Bruce had had enough. “We’re exclusive, not interested in a threesome, and the door is over there.” Bruce pointed pointedly.


“‘Exclusive…’” the stranger echoed. “You’re dating? But, Brucie, what about Superman? Does he know you spent the whole morning making out with the Man of Steel?”


“What?” Clark said in confusion as he brought his thoughts back into alignment with the conversation. “You were ...making out with Superman this morning?” His tone was clearly inauthentic, but at least the stranger wouldn’t know why.


Bruce nodded. “The whole length of the parade; I thought you said you watched it.”


“It was crowded, and I was pretty far back; I couldn’t see much from where I was.” That sounded authentically annoyed, at least.


“I’m sure someone took a video of it for you, dear.”


Clark grinned. “Hot.”


“So he’s fine with you making out with someone else, but me even suggesting a three-way makes—“


“First of all, you don’t get to judge our lives,” Bruce snapped at the stranger, holding up a finger. “And secondly—“


“—Superman’s on his exceptions list.” Clark interrupted Bruce with the perfect solution. “Granted,” he added, scratching his chin, “I didn’t really think he’d ever get the chance to make out with Superman, but I agreed to let him have the list, so I can’t exactly object now.” He shook his head sadly. “Tragedy of having a celebrity boyfriend, I guess.” He leaned towards the stranger conspiratorially. “This is the third person he’s managed to make out with from that stupid list.”


Bruce gave an open-handed shrug. “I like to make practical choices, what can I say. It’s not like I added Batman to my list like some people I could name.”


“I managed to make out with you, didn’t I?”


“Was I on your exceptions list in your last relationship, then?” Bruce asked, suddenly wondering how much truth was in this conversation. “I thought you were single.”


“I’m not sure it’s safe for me to answer that,” Clark said, and then exclaimed with too much enthusiastic delight when their food arrived a moment later. The stranger had slunk off sometime during their banter, and, for a little while they got to enjoy their meal in peace and small conversation.


But then Dick appeared as they were finishing. “Ooo, potato chips.” He helped himself to the rest of Bruce’s as he sat down, no rainbow drinks in sight. “Before you ask, B, the city is fine. Joker attempted to break out from Arkham, but apparently he said something homophobic on his way to the door, and, if you can believe it, the very inmates who had been helping him escape turned on him, locked him up, and called the police. And Ivy was doing something suspicious on the east end of the park, but it turned out to just be plants that release glitter as pollen, and a really dilute form of her love-pollen.” He held up his hands as Bruce started to look alarmed. “ Really dilute. Like, Tim and Damian both got the full dose of it, and all that happened was Tim hugged Dami, and Dami hugged him back .” Dick shook his head in amazement.


“That doesn’t sound—“ Bruce began.


Dick waved his comment off. “The reports will be filed by tomorrow morning, don’t worry. And great cover with the exceptions list idea, Clark.”


Clark looked uncomfortable. “Lois used to use it, when…”


“Well, now everyone knows snogging Superman was just some sort of stunt, and that you two have been together for at least a few months.” Dick peered at them. “Which is news to me.”


“We haven’t been.” Bruce said. “You know that.”


“Well, ap par ently this lunk here—“ he pointed at Clark “—told the guy you spurned twenty minutes ago that you’ve slept with three people from your exceptions list, and that guy tweeted alllll about it to his five thousand followers, using the Gotham Pride hashtag, which is now trending alongside #BruciesExceptions.”


Bruce rubbed his temples, wondering how much of his headache was this and how much was sugary day-drinking.


Clark looked stunned. “I should—text Lois.” He pulled out his phone.


“What are we doing for damage control?” Bruce asked.


“Well, popular theory is between four and five months ago, which is when you last, ah…’went to the Maldives,’ and just before that is the last really openly public fling with someone else who definitely wasn’t a celebrity.”


“That’s not really what I meant by damage control.”


Dick nodded. “Did you know Tim has a secret folder of you two making googly eyes at each other that goes back for years ?”


Bruce hadn’t known, but he also wasn’t surprised, because that was the sort of thing that happened when your son was better at technology than you were.


“I didn’t—“ Clark stammered, “This is all new to me, I never made googly—“


Dick scoffed. “Clark, please, the moment anyone tells you an emotional story you get all googly-eyed at them. And as any fanfiction writer can tell you, you just need to catch the right one thousandth of a second for anyone to look like they’re about to kiss. The real question is why Timmy’s been collecting these photos, and also what else he has.” They all sat silently for a moment, contemplating that statement.


Then Dick slapped his hands on the table and stood up. "Well, I'll leave you two alone, but before I go, I have this for you, B," he held out a long coat.


The coat was black, just as Bruce preferred, but it was also made of some sheer material and covered in tiny rainbows . Dick just held it out and smirked until Bruce slowly accepted it, bat-glare useless because Dick knew he'd won this day.


"Your phone and communicator are in the pockets, as well as a few other tools," Dick said. "But we've got the city covered for the night, if you and Clark want to…" he nudged his chin up and smirked again, then did a patented BatVanish before Bruce could even decide if he was upset.


Clark's phone buzzed with a reply from Lois, and while he was distracted, Bruce slipped the coat on; it went nearly to his ankles, didn't fasten in the front, and had some serious swish. If only it weren't covered in rainbows, Bruce might have liked it.


He stuck his hands in the pockets to inventory what was there. His communicator and phone, of course. A mini single-use grapple gun. Three batarangs, a rebreather, one of the lead-lined kryptonite boxes, two flash-bangs, a can of shark repellant, and a frankly alarming quantity of condoms and single-use lube packets. He hoped it hadn't been Damian who packed this coat.


He also hoped he never learned who did pack it.


Getting his communicator out of his pocket without also freeing a handful of condoms (which were both slippery and sticking to his skin) was a bit of a trick, but Bruce managed it. Then he paused with it on the way to his ear, already able to hear the teasing, the ribbing, the death threats, the debt collections, the terrible puns, and everything else that passed as "banter" among his assorted children and associates.


Bruce glanced up at Clark, who was frowning down at his phone as he tried to translate a string of emojis, then back down at his communicator. Back up again. An evening off here and there was okay. And the boys said they could handle it.


He stuffed the communicator back into his pocket, and sidled over to lean his head on Clark's shoulder. Clark nuzzled the top of his head somewhat absently as he remained focused on his phone. That wouldn't do, so Bruce plucked the phone from Clark's hand and shoved it in the pocket with all the condoms.


"Bruce…" Clark halfheartedly protested.


Bruce shook his head and kissed him thoroughly. "Now," he said, pulling back enough for just a few words to slip between them, "Your castle or mine?"