"When someone else's happiness is your happiness, that is love"
-Lana Del Ray
The sky in Gotham was abnormally clear and bright. It seemed Gotham has rewarded her favourite dark knight by giving him the most beautiful weather that Gotham could have as his wedding gift.
The wedding was closed off to the public and only family and close friends could attend. But that did not stop the reporters and gossipers staying outside the Wayne Manor’s gate under the hot sun, just waiting to take a good shot of the new married couple for their juicy news.
Who could pass the chance to see the Prince of Gotham to finally getting married after decades of playing around? What was much more surprising was that it was not some rich pretty women or men, but a nobody named Clark Kent. To the world, their story was like a fairytale. Clark was the Cinderella, Bruce was the prince (even though the one receiving the end was Bruce). It was the wedding of the year.
The small band of musicians they hired started playing ‘When I Said I Do’ by Clint Black when he stood at the end of the white carpet. Bruce, in his black and white three piece suit, a bouquet of Lily of the Valley in his hand and another held by Alfred, walked down the aisle slowly. Damien’s head was tilted high as he took proud steps in front of Bruce while throwing red rose petals into the air and let it fall onto the white carpet. Kara was beside Damien, smiling giddily and looking beautiful in the white bridesmaid dress.
For someone like Bruce who claimed he liked darkness better than light, his first and certainly last wedding was surprisingly bright and filled with the colour of spring. The flower arrangements were mostly Gardenias and Hydrangea with white and red satin. The colours and flowers blended so well with the spring in the Wayne Garden Bruce’s mother used to tend.
Dick cried loudly, latching himself onto the annoyed Jason while sobbing about how his stepdad was finally marrying someone and be happy. Bruce chuckled silently at the irritated Jason, but he could see the hint of amusement and dried tears on him. Conner sat on the other side of Jason, soaking his suit with his tears as well. Tim’s grin widened when his eyes met Bruce’s, grabbing Stephanie and Cassandra’s arms so tightly just to keep himself from exploding out of excitement. Jim and Barbara were there as well as the whole Justice League founders. All out of their uniforms and dressed for the occasion.
Hal gave a whistle and was given a smack on the back of his head by Arthur, telling him to behave. Barry laughed and cried at the same time, with a camera in his hand because he wanted to preserve the moment. Not like that was not covered. They had Jimmy to do that job with a better camera, but it will never hurt to have another copy and version.
Bruce looked away and to the other side, catching Lois giving him a gentle smile. Martha and Jonathan Kent right beside her, hand in hand with tears down their cheeks as they watched Bruce walking down the aisle. Bruce almost stopped walking when he saw Selina sitting among the small crowd as well with her usual Cheshire cat smile, but much softer.
Finally, when he was halfway across the aisle, he looked at the end where the love of his life was waiting for him under the chiffon canopy with Freesias flowing down from the top naturally.
Clark, with his hair tamed back with gel and his dorky glasses, wore the Lois Purple suit Bruce has chosen for him. A small Baby breathes pinned on the side of his suit. The goofy grin and sunlight on Clark’s face only made him more attractive.
Diana stood there like the Goddess she was, wearing her formal Themyscira. Bruce was never a religious person, so making the vow in front of a Goddess would just be the same as vowing in front of the priest. Not like they needed that, all they needed were their family and friends to witness their vow for each other. J’onn stood at the side as the best man, holding the rings.
Blue orbs never left Clark’s brighter blue as he walked closer and closer, reaching the end of the carpet and stood under the canopy. Clark reached a hand out for him, replacing Alfred’s arm on Bruce’s with his.
“Make him happy” Alfred said with a steady voice, giving one last pat on Bruce’s shoulder before turning away to wipe his tears.
“He already has” the billionaire grinned.
In mere minutes they would be married. They would be sharing their love and life together as a couple. As husband and husband.
For the first time in his life, he had never been so happy.
He was.. happy.
Bruce paled as he dropped the bouquet of flowers.
He was happy.
“Bruce..? Bruce, what’s wrong?”
Clark was looking at him worryingly. From the corner of his eyes, Bruce could see a few standing up from their seats, looking alarmed.
‘You were happy’ a voice whispered from a distant. Followed by mocking laughter.
‘You felt happy’.
And his perfect little world fell apart.
The sky darkened with grey clouds covering the blue sky and the sun. The fresh flowers began to wither too quickly into dust and blown away by the wind too cold for spring. Just like the flowers, his family and friends began to wither away as well.
Bruce tried to look away, but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t. Stood there frozen as he watched the horrifying scene.
The familiar feelings came back to him too quickly. That feeling when he was laughing and grinning as he held both of his parents’ hands. That feeling when his father fell to the ground followed by his mother, soaked in their own blood.
When he did not deserve such amount of happiness and God snatched it away the moment he felt the happiest.
Bruce screamed in fear because he felt happiness.
The darkness slowly melted away, revealing Superman’s worried face.
“Bruce! Wake up! It’s okay. You’re okay. It’s not real” strong arms around him held him closer. “Shh... I’m here... It’s not real”
The vigilante slowly took in the surrounding, his fast heartbeat and his panting. There was still that chemical smell lingering in the air but it was fainter now. Behind Superman stood Diana and Barry, looking at him with odd sympathy and worry.
Oh. It was the fear gas. No wonder it smelled familiar.
Scarecrow was planning something no good again and the four of them had flown to the abandoned building at the edge of Gotham to stop him. Only to be ambushed by a large amount of fear gas. Batman should have seen this coming, but he was too preoccupied with the child kidnapping case he had not been sleeping for three days straight. He mentally cursed himself. He should have realised his own body’s limit.
He liked the way Superman was holding him. As if protecting him from harm with his invulnerable body and his gentle eyes watching over him.
Batman pushed Superman roughly away and jumped out of his reach because he had liked it.
“I’m fine” Batman growled, ignoring the pained look Superman was giving him as he stayed kneeling on the floor. “Where’s Scarecrow?”
“We took him out and will be taking him to Arkham later,” Diana answered him since Barry still looked a little shaken behind her.
Batman nodded and disappeared without a word like always.
“Wonder what Batman saw if he was shaking and screaming like that..” Barry said silently, still staring at where Batman stood a minute ago.
No one replied him, but they knew what they saw. The three of them was lucky they only inhaled enough not to affect them much, but Batman had been the one who stood the closest to the trap.
The Batman, lying on the floor with hands above his ears. Shaking and screaming as tears soaked through his cowl.
Silently, they agreed not to speak of it again. Ever. Even Barry kept his mouth shut tight about it.
The moment he realised he was in love with a certain Kryptonian, he slapped himself hard. He did not know about the existence of this feelings till he could no longer push it aside and decided to find out the cause of it.
He thought it was a new sickness, a reaction for humans towards Kryptonian. Heartbeats increasing, eyes lingering on that certain Kryptonian a little too long, the constant thoughts about him and the urge to touch those soft messy black hair. Deep down he knew what it really was, but he refused to acknowledge it until it grew too large to be ignored.
He was in love with Clark Kent and Superman.
Stubbornly he told himself that the feelings would pass. It will disappear within given time. But it never did. Then he told himself that it was a one-sided love, that he did not deserve to have the luxury of being happy because nothing good comes with him being happy. Clark deserved to be with someone better, to be loved back instead of being pushed away. Lois was the best candidate for him before she was courted by Diana.
It didn’t help that Batman started to see the love and longing in Superman’s eyes whenever dreamy blue eyes locked with his. The touches from Superman that lingered a little too long than necessary. The gentle cradle in his arms whenever he was too wounded to move on his own.
Once again Bruce stubbornly told himself that what Clark had for him would fade away in times. But it never did. It only made Clark trying to get closer and closer till he was within his reach.
Batman’s actions towards Superman became a little rougher, angrier, colder and more distant. But those failed to stop the Man of Steel from breaking through the second last wall Bruce built around himself.
Bruce was failing miserably from keeping Clark away from him and killing his own feelings.
There was no reason to give up keeping Clark away yet. Selina had been the one beside Clark to tear down that second last wall when she was with Bruce. Their relationship would have stayed and maybe take a step further if not for the last wall around Bruce. No one had been able to get that. It was the only wall that kept Bruce from being happy. The wall of sickness he called Cherophobia.
Selina never did succeed in tearing that last wall down. Both of them gave up eventually after months of trying to cure Bruce.
The vigilante was confident that the last wall would be able to keep Clark away.
Oh, how wrong he was.
The wall stayed when Clark first made a move during Valentine’s Day. When he came to Bruce with a bouquet of various flowers and a box. But it began to crack when the reporter kissed him for the first time in that cave.
The wall trembled when Clark managed to touch him without him flinching at every physical contact. Bruce would be lying if he said he’s not impressed. That progress had taken nearly two years. He should have known that Clark was more stubborn and determined than Bruce.
It began to crumble down when Bruce finally agreed to let Clark made love to him for the first time in Clark’s apartment. They were celebrating Clark’s birthday.
On the seventh year of their relationship together, Clark knelt down in front of him and presented him a ring and his whole life. Before he knew it, Bruce said yes.
Their wedding was held in Spring in the Wayne Garden. Most of the wedding planning was done by Lois, Martha and Alfred. They knew better than to trust either Bruce or Clark to plan this big day.
On that day, right before he was about to stepped onto the rose petals covered white carpet. He remembered the fear he saw from Scarecrow’s fear gas.
The scenery was the same as the one he had seen before. Alfred by his side, the band playing ‘When I Say I Do’, the Gardenias and Hydrangea with white and red satin, the same people he had seen in that illusion and Selina was here as well. Clark smiling under the flower-covered chiffon canopy and Diana making eye contact with her wife, Lois.
‘You were happy’ the same haunting voice said in his head.
‘You felt happy’.
Any second now that image will be gone. The sky will turn dark and this happy image will wither away into dust. He didn’t want to watch that happen the second time, so he did what he was best at for his whole life.
The bouquet of Lily of the Valley was dropped onto the floor from his hand and he ran back to the Manor. Bruce ignored the alarmed cries from a distance. All he knew that he had to get away from there, fast.
His legs didn’t stop until he was safely in the Batcave. He pushed the button and locked down all the entrance to the cave, cut off all communications and shut off anyone trying to reach to him. Bruce didn’t know how long he had stayed in the cave. Skin paler than before, eyes red and puffed from all those tears, throat sore and dry from not consuming any liquid and screaming. He was still wearing the same wedding suit and he was sure he smelled bad. He didn’t want to move, just stay in his temporary safe haven till he rots.
Unfortunately for him, Alfred decided enough was enough and he typed in the emergency code, went down to the cave and dragged Bruce back up for a shower and feed him.
He had stayed there for three days straight. It was only because he had trained his body that he had yet to die from dehydration and from all tears he had shed.
The wedding decorations were gone from the garden when he looked out from the kitchen. He didn’t hear from anyone for a week until Clark came knocking on his bedroom door with an understanding smile and arms still wide open to hold Bruce again.
It would have been the funniest moment in history. Bruce Wayne, AKA the Batman, had become a runaway bride right before he walks down the aisle to make a vow.
Clark never gave up on him, never hold it against him for leaving him standing there alone under the chiffon canopy.
Bruce had once told Clark to leave him for someone better. Someone who would not make him wait for almost a decade or run away on their wedding day. But Clark only laughed and said the same thing he had said seven years ago.
“I will cure you. I will wait for you and I will be with you forever because I love you. I love you too much to let you walk this path alone”
The billionaire could only fall deeper in love with the man he was already in love with.
Two years later, on their tenth anniversary, Clark proposed again.
This time, he held the Lily of the Valley tighter.
This time, he walked down the path with Clark together.
This time, he stayed and said.