“What’s an angel like you doing looking so blue?” were the first words out of Batman’s mouth when he woke up; falling after the battle with Mister Mxyzptlk.
“Bruce?” Superman croaked.
“Wow,” Bruce breathed. “What a lucky man I am to wake up to such a sight.” His fingers started to trail along the shocked man’s arm.
“I’ve seen the most magnificent views atop mountains and along seas and yet none quite as breathtaking as you, my dear.”
Bruce’s adoring gaze cut through the poor hero like Kryptonite.
“How are you feeling, Batman?” he managed to choke out.
Bruce smiled warmly and settled a hand on his. “Don’t be so formal, love. Please. Call me Brucie.”
It was then that Superman realized – they were in big trouble.
Bruce drifted in and out of consciousness in the following hours. And each time he woke up, he flirted incessantly with whoever was in the room.
“He’s definitely not in his right mind,” Diana concluded.
“You don’t seem too broken up about it.” Clark looked warily at Bruce who was making pretty eyes at Dr. Palmer. Ray, to his credit, continued with his medical examination even if he was blushing furiously.
“It’s likely not permanent.” Diana shrugged.
“How do you know?” Clark didn’t want to entertain thoughts as horrifying as Batman being stuck in Brucie Mode forever but in the past hours Bruce has been steadily laying on the innuendo. Very heavily. It has Superman scared.
“Mr. Mxy hardly ever does something permanent. It is interesting how he cursed Bruce and not you,” Diana pointed out. “He usually likes torturing you.”
“Oh, believe me…” Clark spared a glance back to Bruce who caught him looking and blew him a kiss. “I am plenty tortured.”
When Bruce was deemed fit enough to be released from the med bay, he started wandering through the base. And right into a meeting.
“What’s going on here?” Bruce peered curiously at the assembled Justice League members. His voice was void of any emotion which made Clark think that whatever spell Mr. Mxy cast Bruce was starting to wear off.
“A briefing of your encounter with the fifth-dimension characters,” Diana answered. “We did not include you because we thought you’d still be resting.”
“Resting in that stingy med bay? When the most exquisite beings in the universe are all here in one room?” Bruce’s voice was smooth. “I think not.”
Clark was thankful he was already sitting because his knees were getting weak.
“I think I like this new Batman,” Shayera said.
“My my… a compliment from an actual angel. You’re making me blush.” Bruce winked.
“I don’t know what’s going on,” Hal said with a grin. “But I like it.”
“What else do you like, fly boy?” Bruce asked with a smirk.
Hal’s eyes lit up with mirth and an answering flirtation—Clark decided to shut it down before things went a little too far.
“I think you should sit this one out, Bruce.” Superman stood and went over to escort Bruce out of the room. “Maybe head back to the Manor and go to bed?”
“Are you gonna take me home, stud?” Bruce purred. “Because I have absolutely no problem with being bedded by extremely handsome men.”
“Let’s go!” Clark was red as red can be. The rest of the League tried to hide their amusement albeit very poorly. “Alfred’s definitely worried about you by now!”
“Oh my! You sure are enthusiastic.” Brucie breathed. “Not that I’m complaining of course.”
Superman all but rushed Bruce off to the transport and teleported him to the Manor. Alfred seemed shocked at Bruce’s cheery, “Hello Alfie!”
“What do we have here?” Alfred looked curiously at Bruce who had his arms wrapped around Clark’s middle in a sideways hug.
“Bruce is unwell,” he answered.
“I disagree,” Bruce purred in Clark’s ear. “I’d say I’ve never been better.”
Alfred cleared his throat.
Bruce sighed and detached himself from Clark who was very relieved and at the same time devastatingly disappointed.
“Best to sleep this off in your room—alone and deal with this in the morning,” Alfred decided.
Brucie, surprisingly enough, complied without complaint.
“See you around, love.” Were Brucie’s parting words and gave him a hearty pat on the butt. Clark watched mesmerized as Brucie sauntered through the cave and up the elevator.
“It’s likely not permanent. He’ll be stuck in Brucie mode until whatever condition Mr. Mxy thought of is met.” Clark didn’t know if he was trying to comfort more Alfred or himself.
“Any clue on what that is?”
“Very well.” Alfred seemed unfazed.
Superman felt awkward.
“We are going to have our hands full with him,” Alfred mused. “But I guess it would be a rather entertaining couple of days.”
And it was a very entertaining couple of days for everyone except Clark. Everything was more or less back to the usual way things were save of course for a flirty Batman milling around headquarters.
Bruce was still a brilliant tactician and detective in whatever head space he was in. The difference was that instead of speaking in grunts and gruff, curt comments, he spoke in a sultry warm baritone and peppered in as many compliments, come ons, and innuendo as possible.
“How do you go out as The Bat of Gotham while you’re…” Green Lantern tried to find the right words but decided on, “Like that.”
“Alfred told me to just keep my mouth shut,” Bruce said airily. “Honestly it’s fine. I can do better things with my mouth anyway.”
“You are just the worst,” Hal snorted.
“If it means I get to hear that beautiful laugh of yours, then I might be doing something right,” Bruce replied with a wink.
Superman groaned internally. He hoped desperately that this would all be over soon.
It was not over soon. As the days passed, Clark tried avoiding Bruce who didn’t seem to get the memo because the man stuck to him like glue.
It wasn’t that he was upset about it. Really, Bruce was his… well, Bruce and he wanted to help him through this curse. However, his curse made him feel all flustered and blush so hard his face might as well be on fire.
It was like Clark couldn’t go anywhere without Bruce being there. It was a pleasant and awful kind of torture.
At the Watchtower, Bruce hung around the monitors during Clark’s shift making comments.
“I’d love it if you’d watch me with such rapt attention,” Brucie would say.
Clark only stared at the monitors harder.
After missions or training simulations, Bruce would go up to him and say something along the lines of: “They don’t call you man of steel for nothing, huh?” or “You can fly, lift buildings without breaking a sweat, shoot lasers out of your eyes… is there anything you can’t do? Can you do me?” or “Faster than a speeding bullet? I hope that doesn’t mean all the time.”
The Daily Planet was no longer safe since Brucie decided to drop by more and more often being a general nuisance.
“Mr. Kent my favorite reporter!” Brucie would exclaim then whisper, “I can give you a private interview if you’d like.”
Even his apartment has been invaded by the terrifying thing that is Bruce’s persona.
“Fancy meeting you here, Mr. Kent,” Bruce said lying on Clark’s bed.
“What are you doing here?” Clark’s eyes bugged out of his head.
“Little bit of business. Little bit of pleasure.” Bruce winked and licked his lips. “Which one would you prefer, hot stuff?”
What’s frustrating about all of it was that Bruce was himself throughout all of it. Just a bit more aloof and a lot more flirting.
Everything would have been fine if he wasn’t so fucking attracted to that dumb handsome idiot.
With his stupid face. Sexy body. Biting wit. Clever tongue. Striking intelligence. Bruce was just so goddamn attractive, Clark hated it.
It was why he was so bitter every time Bruce would flirt with the rest of the League.
“You know if Batman was here, he’d say something about professionalism.” Clark grumbled as he watched Brucie and Wonder Woman banter back and forth. “We were having a meeting.”
“Batman is here,” Diana pointed out. “And the meeting is over.”
“Here. There. I can be wherever you want me, babe.” Brucie blew kisses at Clark.
Superman was wrought with despair.
Brucie seemed like he wanted to take things a step further tonight and went right up Clark’s space.
“Come now, sugar. Don’t be so glum.” Brucie was so close he was practically sitting on Clark’s lap.
“Bruce, you better stop or I’ll—” Superman started to threaten.
“Or what?” Bruce challenged, mischief shining in his eyes. “You’ll hold me down? Pin me against the wall? Tie me up? What are you going to do?”
With every word Bruce inched forward until their noses almost touched. And with every idea Clark got redder and redder.
Bruce smirked at a blushing Superman.
“What are you going to do?” Brucie repeated in a suggestive whisper.
“Leave,” Superman squeaked out and made good use of his super speed.
Diana laughed as she watched Superman flee from Brucie’s advances. She turned to look at Bruce pouting and softened her expression.
“He’ll come around,” she said with an encouraging smile.
“You think so?” Bruce looked positively hopeful.
It all came to a head a few days later when Clark couldn’t take it anymore.
He may have accidentally snapped at Bruce and yelled at him to “shut the hell up and leave him the fuck alone” end quote. It was a product of mixing unrequited feelings, insecurity, and jealous. He didn’t mean to take it out on Bruce.
Bruce replied with a mild, “Okay.” Then walked away.
Ever since that day he barely caught sight of Bruce. He should’ve been relieved but all he felt was dread.
He would hear Bruce’s laugh from somewhere in the Watchtower, but when he speeds to the sound Bruce isn’t there anymore.
Clark has screwed up.
Superman finally found Batman staring off—quite literally – into space. Bruce stood in the observation deck looking like his usual grim self. Oh, how Clark has missed that look dearly.
“Hi,” he said.
Bruce clenched his fists but said nothing. He didn’t even turn around.
“So, you’re just not talking?” Clark looked at Bruce cautiously like any moment he’ll pounce.
Bruce simply shrugged.
Clark accepted this as answer enough and stepped beside him; staring into the deep dark abyss of space too.
“I wanted to apologize,” he said. “I know you can’t help being… like that… and I shouldn’t have yelled at you.”
Bruce merely hummed in acknowledgement.
“C’mon, Bruce can you please just say something?” Clark turned to look at the object of his affections and turmoil. Bruce’s jaw was set, and his shoulders squared. It looked like he was trying very hard not to let any words slip out.
Clark sighed drawn out and deep. But most of all tired. It was time to come clean.
“Can I just please explain why I—um… Why I’ve been so uncomfortable about this?”
Bruce inclined his head minutely telling him to go on.
Clark took a deep breath and just spilled his guts. “It’s because I like you!”
Bruce finally turned to look at him; bewilderment painted across his features.
“I mean of course I like you! We’re friends but I find you very hot—and What I’m trying to say is—” Clark had to stop himself because words were quickly failing him. He closed his eyes to try and gather his thoughts.
And if it saves him from seeing Bruce’s handsome features turn to pity and kind rejection as soon as he figures out what Clark was trying to say then that’s just another reason not to look.
“I know that you flirting with everyone—with me is just a part of your Brucie persona. I know I shouldn’t take it personally when you do but I can’t because I’m secretly hoping you mean them.
And every time you turn that stupid charming smile you on me feel queasy. But not in an uncomfortable way. I mean I am uncomfortable it’s just that— I like it. Then, you turn to someone else it just sucks because I remember you don’t really mean it and I really really want you to mean it.”
Clark paused but he needed to get this out because really what was there left to say but the truth?
“I don’t know when I started feeling this way but I’m in love with you.”
Clark’s heart was hammering in his chest. He was nervous. He was waiting for the inevitable. He was waiting for Bruce to scoff, for him to walk away. He was waiting…
He felt Bruce’s fingers brush gently against his cheekbones. He opened his eyes and Bruce was standing closer than before. Their faces were only inches apart. He looked at the other man’s eyes and he didn’t see pity. He didn’t see rejection.
Clark surged forward and closed the gap—he kissed him.
Bruce kissed back and when they pulled apart, fell unconscious.
“What happened exactly?” Diana asked again.
“We just were talking, then he just fainted.” Clark left out one or two details but that was basically the gist of it.
Diana narrowed her eyes. “Do you want me to bring out my lasso?”
“Okay, so maybe I kissed him. Then, he fainted.” Clark’s face was burning from embarrassment.
Diana’s eyes widened, then she laughed. “Oh, is that so.”
“It’s not funny, Diana! I might have killed him!”
“Relax,” she soothed. “Dr. Palmer said Bruce’s vitals were fine and that he’ll probably wake up soon.”
Clark nodded as Diana left the room. He sat on the chair next to Bruce’s bed and watched him sleep hoping he would wake up soon.
When Bruce woke up, the first thing he said was: “You couldn’t have done that sooner?”
“What?” Clark blinked.
“You really waited three weeks to kiss me? I was stuck in Brucie mode for three fucking weeks!” Bruce seemed furious.
“Oh, yeah. You’re back to your good old self.” Then, realized. “And hey! What do you mean?”
Bruce sighed but calmed down a little bit. Only a little bit though.
“Mister Mxyzptlk told to me that he wanted you to confess your long-harbored feelings for me and to and I quote ‘get some’ and the only way he saw that ever happening was if he cursed me,” Bruce explained. “And I gotta say I’m on his side on this.”
“Am I being punk’d or something?”
Bruce fixed him with the glare he didn’t realize he missed so much.
“So, all I had to do was kiss you and you would have been cured?”
“Why didn’t you just say?!” Clark yelled.
“I did say!” Bruce yelled back. “I said multiple times! In varying detail!”
Clark thought back on the past couple of weeks and true to form Bruce was right. Bruce did tell him they should kiss.
He said that all the time.
Clark buried his face in his hands. “Oh my god.”
Bruce patted his head.
“I forgive you.”
An awkward silence filled the room. Neither of them sure what to say or do next. Clark was too focused on his supreme embarrassment and Bruce let him stew in it for just a few more moments.
“Do you feel the same way?” Clark finally asked.
Clark lifted his head up in surprise and Bruce smiled.
“Where do we go from here?”
“How about a date?” Bruce suggested.
“Your treat?” Clark teased.
“After what you put me through?” Bruce scoffed. “Definitely not.”
“Yeah.” Clark nodded feeling giddy. “I get that.”