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Forms of Encouragement

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Bruce is doing pull-ups. He is naked, sweaty, his shoulders burning and sore, and he is… calm. There is nothing in his mind but the here and now, the contraction of his heated muscles and the rep count.

The count the Clark is keeping for him, that is. Clark's farmboy sweet voice in Bruce's ear. Clark's thighs, noticeably corded with muscle but not buff, wrapped around Bruce's waist to increase the weight.

Clark is fully dressed, in his suit. The fabric is not of this earth and the texture is inescapably divine. Somehow at once like silk, spandex, and soft skin. Like Clark's soft skin when his cheek brushes Bruce's as he murmurs, "Forty-Seven, Forty-Eight, Forty-Nine…"

Selina did this with him once, sort of, sitting on his back while he did push-ups and reading erotica aloud, warning him that he'd be punished if he got too distracted. She was all talk. Bruce had pretended not to be disappointed.

Clark is not all talk. In fact, he is only the minimum amount of talk necessary, until after. It's taken some getting used to. Bruce hasn't previously had a lot of experience with aftercare until this thing they all have together. He's been unequivocally missing out, big time.

Each of them have their own style with Bruce, but they all also know that he needs a set routine to function, unless that routine is drastically disrupted by something else first. In the past, with things like this, Bruce's partners have wanted to change that about him. That ends very badly for everyone. But none of his new… lovers? None of his new lovers have attempted. He doesn't think they will, and his surety of that grows with every touch, every look, every annoying one-word text.

Today he is working out with them. He will not come today, or come close. At least not on purpose. They might, but only with each other. This isn't about sex, today. Though of course it's not… not about sex. It's complicated. Bruce has stopped attempting to categorize it. After all, there are six of them, all with two identities each, at least. There's no way all of them will fit into one box together.

Bruce lifts one more time, and Clark catches his mouth. Obligingly, Bruce holds the position so that Clark can kiss him - even more otherwordly and sensual than the fabric of his suit against Bruce's bare skin could ever hope to be. Bruce's shoulders burn, his abs starting to feel it too, and the sweat drop making its way down the deepened valley of his spine between the tightly contracted muscles of his back tickles. In Bruce's current mindset, it feels deliberate. Like a tease. Clark's tongue slides along the roof of his mouth and Bruce moans, rough, deep in his throat. He feels keenly the cool air on his damp skin, warm from his exertion and from Clark's embrace, weak under Clark's power, and irrefutably strong that he could hold him up.

"Sixty," says Clark against Bruce's mouth, and slowly detangles himself, floating away by increments until Bruce is on the pull-up bar by himself. When he nods, Bruce lets himself down.

-

Diana likes to work with him. To, as she says, have his success be the reward for hers (and, implicitly, the inverse). It's ab day for her, and therefore for him as well. She sits on the floor, feet flat and knees together, and looks up at him. Her expression is somehow both coy and openly welcoming. They all have something like that about them, all enigmas, in their own ways. Bruce supposes none of them can really be categorized as individuals either.

"Kneel, my pretty boy," Diana directs. She says it both as a tease and as a genuine compliment. Bruce smiles, and kneels by her feet. Diana opens her legs so that she can look at him without obstruction. She is fully dressed as well, like Clark was, and the pteruges of her skirt flutter around her thighs, drawing Bruce's eye to the very much non-traditional sparkly pink lace panties she is wearing underneath.

"Do you like what you see?" she asks him, amused.

"Yes," he answers, though of course she already knows. She smiles warmly in return.

"Me too," she says, and looks her fill. Bruce watches her watch him kneel for her, lets himself feel her heavy gaze on him without having to perform for it. Each complementary feature and each flaw she has seen before. She still likes to look. He likes to let her.

Finally, Diana instructs him, "Put your hands flat, by my ankles." Once Bruce has done so, she giggles softly - something that, at the beginning of their acquaintance Bruce would never expected to be a sound she'd ever make. Although, this is no acquaintance . Diana rubs their noses together briefly, and cups Bruce's face in her warm calloused hands to look into his eyes. Hers are one of the richest browns Bruce has ever had the pleasure to see in his mortal life, and at the moment they are shining brightly at him in unbridled affection. He's not allowed to get uncomfortable with the emotionality and so, conveniently, he doesn't. Instead, he just gets to let it make him feel good. She's very skilled at what she does. They all are.

When she's decided they've met their quota for soul-staring for today, Diana very efficiently braids her gorgeous hair out of her face (making sure it brushes against Bruce in the process, because she knows he likes the way it feels). Then she lies back, stretches her arms out above her head, and tells Bruce, incongruously stern, "On your toes, pretty boy." Bruce takes in a deep, slow breath and lifts his knees up, lets it out just as slow as he settles into proper planking position. As he completes her request, Diana presses her own knees back together, tucks her hands underneath her head, and folds her upper body into her lower to brush her nose against Bruce's again.

"Good boy," she praises him. Her accent makes the phrase so much more decadent than if it were said by someone, say, English. Her rich vowels, soft consonants, the warm and familiar tone of her voice slide along Bruce's skin with the same level of intimacy that Clark's body had covered him from head to toe. He sighs, shivers.

"Thanks," he says. "I try." His voice is husky, rough, but not yet strained from the effort of his position. Knowing Diana, it will be. She snorts indelicately at his cheek, another sound that acquaintance had not prepared him for, then tells him, "Count." Ah, apparently she'll be wanting to hear it when his voice gets tight, maybe even wobbly.

"One," he breathes out on what is almost a laugh. What will be, someday.

-

Bruce meets Arthur at the salt pools. Arthur will have him under water today. Most things Arthur does with Bruce he does in the water. For one, Arthur is the one out of them all that enjoys a good blatant power play the most. For another, all six of them know very well that sensuality really gets Bruce there , as it were, and there is no more luxurious feeling than that of warm water on bare skin. The first time Arthur fucked him it was in the water, and Bruce can say entirely without exaggeration that the experience changed his life. (Then again, most things Arthur has done have changed Bruce's life. Arthur just tends to be monumental, as a person.)

Arthur is leaning against a stylized marble pillar with his gigantic arms crossed, armored but shirtless, tattoos/scales on display. He's gorgeous. Intimidating. Bruce back-talks him a lot. It's a little bit a knee-jerk defensive reaction to Arthur's immovable presence, but also a little bit because Arthur knows just how to make him eat it without going overboard (ha) and sometimes Bruce really needs that. That's a pretty good summation of what things are generally like between Arthur and Bruce all the time.

Arthur stares at Bruce for a long minute, taking in Bruce's body a piece at a time with an expression that is purposefully and entirely neutral. Finally, he wades into the water, and it rises to meet him like he was missed.

"We're sparring," he informs Bruce. His voice is deep, firm. Not to be argued with or questioned to any degree. Bruce lifts one corner of his mouth and doesn't move from where the cold of the tiled floor is soaking uncomfortably into the soles of his feet.

"Not exactly fair for me to spar you in there," he protests, affecting a jaunty tone. Being a brat. Back when Bruce first started getting into this kind of scene, guys like Arthur called him SAM. They weren't all wrong.

"Yeah, well, life isn't fair, is it? Or evolution wouldn't have stuck you with being a hairless ape," Arthur shoots back without pause. The water rises further. Later, Bruce will wonder how. For now, he just pants a little when Arthur adds, "Now get your pink hide at my hand before I tan it." Bruce's feet don't feel cold anymore as he obeys, slipping into the water and taking steady breaths as it scoops him along the length of the pool and presents him to Arthur. Arthur looks down his nose at Bruce and firmly plants one huge, hot hand on Bruce's ribs - bondage and embrace, both.

"Take a deep breath, little mammal," he warns, the falsely menacing tone making Bruce shiver in anticipation and almost tripping him up enough to not take in the amount of air he knows he'll need. With a gentle blub in his ears, the water rises above Bruce's head.

They spar. Arthur of course moves with unrestrained grace and breathes easily, while Bruce is impeded by the water resistance and is not-so-slowly using up all the oxygen he just took in. Arthur remains unimpressed by visual cue, as per their play, but Bruce knows he's doing well. Of course, if he lived a thousand years he'd never beat Arthur in these circumstances. But he's doing well. When the game is over, Arthur will tell Bruce his areas of improvement, rub and kiss out the soreness in his body without pretense. For now, his stoicism challenges Bruce to work harder, to do even better, and soon Arthur will take it just that little bit too far like they both need him to and Bruce will lash out in frustration, and Arthur will show him back to his place.

When they finally get there, Arthur knows before Bruce does. Bruce lifts his leg for a kick, not noticing how his eyes are pinched and his teeth are starting to show, and Arthur grabs him tight under the knee and presses him very suddenly against the wall of the pool. It's very difficult not to gasp at the dual sensation of the sharply cold tile wall against his back and the solid heat of Arthur along his chest and in between his legs. Helplessly, Bruce pushes his pelvis forward into Arthur's hard belly, makes a sound that he can't hear through the density of the water.

Arthur slides his mouth over Bruce's jugular. His tongue is roughly textured like a cat's (like a fish's). He takes the delicate skin in between his human teeth and just as he begins to bite down the water level sinks down to just below Bruce's nipples so that he can take a breath and moan for real. Methodically, Arthur sucks and licks what will undoubtedly be a very vivid hickey into Bruce's throat while Bruce does his best to stay still and the water tickles at his chest. He turns his face to the side, tilts his head back a little, to give Arthur as much access as he wants, and Arthur rewards him with low growls and bright nips of pain. When Arthur is satisfied with his work he grips Bruce's chin none too gently between his thumb and forefinger, and turns Bruce's face to the other side.

-

When Bruce gets to the weight room, Vic immediately starts laughing at him. It's not hard to imagine why. Bruce's face feels hot so his cheeks are probably pink, his whole neck is tender and tingling and he can still feel Arthur's teeth so there might be visible indents, and in his birthday suit like this the semi he's still sporting is not exactly discreet.

"He really loves to work you up, doesn't he?" he says, grinning and shaking his head ruefully. Bruce just shrugs with an answering curve of his lips and counters, "So do you."

"True enough," Vic agrees easily, and then gets down to business. Insulated wires wind from him to Bruce and stick themselves onto his chest with the electrodes at their tips. It will never stop being at least a little bit jarring to Bruce, all the different ways that Vic can touch him. The strange and incredible intimacy that is having his vitals fed directly into someone else's body. Into Vic's body. A steady beeping starts up in Vic's left arm, and he claps Bruce on the shoulder and says decisively, "Free weights. Get to it."

Bruce gets to it. He kneels on the padded weight bench, one arm holding him steady and the other rhythmically lifting and lowering a fifty pound dumbbell for his warm up. Vic used to insist Bruce start lower when they lifted together, but then Bruce would get tired (and cranky) before he'd made any gains. Vic had made fun of him for being old. His taunts were not entirely inaccurate.

It's only once Bruce has moved all the way up to his target weight that Vic starts touching him. At first just the subtlest kiss of a fingertip across Bruce's stable shoulder blade that would almost not have been noticeable if Bruce hadn't been wound so tight waiting for it. Even that feather light brush against Bruce's skin has the beep in Vic's arm speeding up, and Vic laughs again.

"Steady," he reminds, gentle and amused, but definitely aroused too. That tell tale husk in his voice makes it anything but easy for Bruce to get his heart rate back down to its baseline.

The next touch makes its way from Bruce's hairline all the way down to his tailbone, where it pauses until Vic has to prompt Bruce to breathe with each rep. It's one of Vic's synthetic fingers, silicon soft like skin but cold, and the pressure isn't light but isn't yet firm either. Even as Vic pauses in between his teases and Bruce only sees him moving in his peripheral vision, Bruce's heart skips a beat, making Vic huff out another laugh. Bruce is not very good at this game, despite all of his diligent training.

Next, Vic places a full hand on Bruce's lower belly. Bruce's rep falters and he moans, the beep in Vic's arm races.

"Steady," Vic admonishes again, and Bruce obediently gets back to it, counting out his breaths to make sure they're even. Vic keeps his hand there, sweeping it minutely back and forth, ending the motion lower and lower, until it's time for Bruce to switch arms.

-

Barry's job is the cool down. Of course that only applies to the workout, and not Bruce himself. Bruce will not be cooling down. Not until tomorrow. Probably. Maybe.

Barry has been running. He's getting faster. Though obviously he was already so fast that Bruce's unenhanced eyes can't perceive the improvement, the Watchtower has it documented. Bruce enters what seems like the empty track room, but for the circular gust. Barry appears without warning at Bruce's side, only very slightly winded.

"Heya, Bruce!" he chirps, his hair bouncing with his enthusiasm. "Have fun?" Bruce only gives him a baleful look, and internally delights in the peals of laughter that earns him. "You're such a brat," Barry informs Bruce fondly when he's done.

"Says the Millenial," Bruce mutters in his best Leonard McCoy voice, and Barry sets off into giggles again.

"Alright, Old Man," he finally gasps out, laying a delicate hand on Bruce's bare back to direct him. "Tree Pose."

Barry doesn't tease with finesse like Vic had, gratuitously running his hands all over Bruce's body as he guides him through stretches they both know Bruce is already an expert at executing. He even stands behind Bruce when Bruce is in Downward Dog and pulls him back by the hips. It heightens the stretch of course, but that wasn't the goal. By the time their session is nearing it's end, Barry is putting Bruce into positions that would definitely not be found in a yoga studio.

Bruce is hard again, keyed up from being teased like this by all of his partners all day long, when Barry finally says, "I think you can go farther than that," kneels so that his legs frame Bruce's ass, grabs the meet of Bruce's thighs, and pushes them closer to Bruce's chest, leaning over him with a very naughty grin. Bruce groans as Barry folds all the way down to give him a sloppy kiss. When Barry pulls back, he's grinning even wider than before.

Barry presses himself in closer to Bruce's ass, fitting his covered hardness right up against Bruce's perineum, breathless with delight. He's happy, and heated, and he purrs excitedly, "Just you wait and see what we're gonna do to you tomorrow."

Bruce can't wait.