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They had been together three years when Bruce finally agreed to try nesting in Clark’s apartment. He’d never seen Bruce set up nest before and it was strangely intimate to be allowed to watch as he paced the length of the flat, moved furniture inexplicably from one place to another, and distractedly ran the curtains up against his neck; adding his scent to Clark’s and redefining the territory as theirs.

 

He knew omegas often did odd things when they were setting up a new nest. It was oddly comforting to know, in this at least, Bruce wasn’t any different. Clark watched as he spent two hours irritably moving a lamp from one side of the room and back, disassembled and rebuilt the dining table, and boiled an obscene amount of water which was left to cool before being tipped distractedly down the sink.

 

It wasn’t until he started to move the bed from the bedroom that Clark intervened.

 

“Where are you taking that?”

 

“The living room,” Bruce answered gruffly as he hauled the frame towards the door seemingly oblivious to the fact it wouldn’t fit.

 

“Why?”

 

He paused.

 

“I rather like it in the bedroom,” Clark said encouragingly. “It looks nice.”

 

Bruce seemed to consider this then shook his head. “It feels wrong.”

 

“It feels wrong?”

 

“Yes,” Bruce snapped.

 

“Care to elaborate?” Clark tried.

 

“It feels wrong. I… I can’t explain it. Just help me.” Resumed his haul.

 

With a sigh Clark pulled the mattress off, propped the frame under his arm, and flew out the large sliding glass door onto the balcony. Drifted in through a simular door into the living room and lowered the wooden structure onto the ground. Bruce walked in and stared at it, chewing his bottom lip.

 

“There,” he pointed.

 

Clark obeyed.

 

“Towards me.”

 

“Like this?”

 

“No, not directly… yes that’s…” he hesitated. “No, that doesn’t feel… move it over there.”

 

Clark did as he was told, secretly relishing Bruce’s obvious… omeganess. It was a rare treat to see the other man exhibit any conventional expression of his sexual caste let alone one so domestic.

 

He hadn’t expected the man to want to change furniture but, in retrospect, he probably should of. When setting up new nests it was common knowledge that omegas could do anything from paint walls, rip up floorboards, and flood bathrooms, to simply dust or make a cup of coffee. In offering his apartment as a nest he was offering it to Bruce to shape into whatever felt comfortable for his heat. Perhaps to do that he needed to make a rapid mark on how it looked so it wasn’t just Clark’s apartment but Bruce’s. A place with his own distinctive mark.

 

He didn’t mind. Not really. There was something secretive and sensual about knowing he’ll always think of that lamp as the one that bothered Bruce; something intimate and romantic in knowing he’ll be smelling their mixed scent every time the wind blew in passed the curtains; and there was something strangely erotic, almost voyeuristic, in knowing that in a week when he invited Lois and Jimmy over for dinner they would be eating off the table Bruce had taken apart and reassembled while prepping for his heat.

 

“Left,” the man demanded irritably.

 

Clark complied.

 

“More.”

 

“Here?”

 

“More.”

 

“Here?”

 

A moment to consider. “Yes.”

 

He put the frame down and flashed into the bedroom to gather up the discarded mattress and sheets before flying back and dropping it into place. Bruce’s eyes lit on the bedding and the second Clark retreated he advanced to toy and tuck in the ballooning edges of the sheets. To Clark’s delight he also sank down and quickly rubbed his neck against the pillows, marking them with the rich scent of his preheat, before wandering off to glare at the lamp again.

 

There were entire websites dedicated to how annoying nesting omegas could be and endless jokes about slapping omegas and telling them to ‘deal with it’. It seemed stupid, childish, and inexplicably baffling. Omegas were rare and beautiful creatures and it was an honour to be able to not only share their heat but be allowed to watch them nest. Clark couldn’t imagine ever getting annoyed at…

 

“Hey!”

 

He flew out the window and caught the flying lamp. “This was a present.”

 

“I don’t like it,” Bruce growled.

 

“Well, I’ll put it in the closest. You don’t have to go throwing it out the window. What if it hit someone down there?”

 

Bruce’s look was withering.

 

“I don’t mind you destroying my things as long as you put them back together again.”

 

“The table was fine,” Bruce snapped. “I just needed to know how many parts it broke up into.”

 

“Why?”

 

“I don’t know.”

 

“Okay,” Clark drifted back into the apartment and quickly stashed the lamp safely out of sight. “Just don’t go throwing anything out the window, okay?”

 

“Are you telling me to ‘deal with it’?” Bruce sneered.

 

“No, I’m telling you not to throw things out the window.”

 

“Fine. You stop accepting… wrong gifts like that,” Bruce said and marched off to – worryingly – start pulling out everything from the fridge.

 

Clark felt his own wave of hormone induced uneasiness at the sight. He’d over stockpiled the fridge in a stereotypical alpha move but also specified it’s contents according to which days Bruce’s body will be able to consume what which in turn depended on how strong and how long his heat was. He didn’t mind Bruce pouring water down the sink but if he started pouring the milk…

 

He realised he was hovering, fists clenched at his sides, and bottom lip crushed between his teeth. With a conscious effort he dropped to the ground, turned aside, and tried to pretend he wasn’t watching with hawklike intensity to exactly what Bruce was doing with that food.

 

Four hours later the apartment was officially arranged to Bruce’s liking and he was sitting on the newly placed bed to watch The Grey Ghost reruns with a critical eye. Clark grudgingly admitted it was nice to sit on the bed and be able to see the majority of the apartment as he snuggled in beside Bruce.

 

“You know, I still don’t understand why you won’t nest at the fortress. It’s much safer.” He nuzzled beseechingly against his neck.

 

“You don’t want me to nest in the fortress.”

 

Clark frowned. “What’s wrong with the fortress?”

 

“Nothing,” Bruce rumbled. “You don’t want me to nest in the fortress.”

 

“Actually,” he replied defensively, “I do.”

 

Bruce dropped his head back against the headboard. “Clark…”

 

“Seriously, though. Why not? It’s so far away from anyone, it’s empty, and it has its own security systems. You’ll be safer.” He kissed the side of his neck. “I know it’s just stupid alpha instinct, and I know it’s too late now, but what about next time? It’ll make me feel better.”

 

“You want me to heat in the fortress,” Bruce said. “You don’t want me to nest.”

 

“I’m fine with nesting,” he countered. “I helped today didn’t I?”

 

“You’ve seen me nest in a new place now. I… do things.”

 

Clark chuckled and gently squeezed him in a friendly hug. “I have no problem with you moving things around, Bruce.”

 

“That’s not the problem.”

 

“What’s the problem?”

 

“Jor-El.”

 

Clark blinked. “I know you don’t like him but…”

 

It.” He snapped. “I don’t like it.”

 

“Yeah… but…”

 

Bruce turned to glare at him. “If I nest in the fortress I’ll be forced to delete your father.”

 

Clark eyed him incredulously. “Forced?”

 

Low. “I’m not nesting with two alphas.”

 

“He’s just software.”

 

“And that software called me a possession.”

 

Guiltly. “I told him you were more than that.”

 

“And it called me prized possession.”

 

“I didn’t know you understood so much Kryptonian.”

 

“I’ve been listening,” Bruce muttered.

 

Clark thought of his mate speaking Kryptonian - caring enough to learn it - and with a low groan mouthed hungrily at the side of his neck.

 

“Not yet,” Bruce growled, and slapped him away.

 

“Oh, come on. You keep complaining about how tacky this is,” nodded at the TV.

 

“Not as tacky as not being able to wait twenty minutes for my heat to start,” the man growled.

 

“You’re a lot closer than that,” Clark promised.

 

A nervous look filtered across Bruce face. “What?”

 

“You’re radiating heat,” Clark explained, “your eyes are dilated, and your gland smells… so fucking good…” he leant forward only to be pushed away again.

 

“I’m about to spend four to five days being fucked by you,” Bruce snapped. “I don’t need to start early.”

 

Clark rumbled his appreciation and ducked forward to lick at his gland under his jawbone. Caught the faintest dose of the enriching flavour that was Bruce already mounted in preparation for the coming crest of his cycle. They’d been bonded for years now and their mutual addiction to each other’s hormones was as strong as it was ever going to get. Yet, every time he tasted Bruce he swore he tasted better. So rich, so powerful, and so dangerously alluring he could die chasing that scent.

 

Bruce shoved him. Hard.

 

“Hey, we don’t have to have sex,” Clark said. “Or you can top me.” He smiled as Bruce turned his head slightly. “We can do that thing,” he crooned softly. “I’m the omega, and you’re the…”

 

“I need to talk to you first.”

 

Clark blinked. “About what?”

 

Bruce visibly gathered himself and pulled a small packet from his back pocket. He dropped in on Clark’s lap and glared towards the screen; arms crossed, and gaze resolutely away.

 

Clark picked it up and frowned. “What’s this?”

 

“My contraceptives.”

 

Clark stilled. “W-what?”

 

“Birth control,” Bruce specified, avoiding eye contact. “The thing I take that stops me…”

 

“I know,” Clark said. “I thought you had an implant.”

 

“I did. I got it out two weeks ago.”

 

Clark studied him. “Why?”

 

He shrugged. “Made me feel sick.”

 

“And you want me to give you these during your heat?” Clark guessed. “I can do that. One a day, right? With food?”

 

“Yeah, if you want.”

 

“If I…?” The implications of what Bruce just said hit him like a planet to the face. He stared at the small white packet nestled in his palm, at the cheery assurances of wild sex followed by a child free lifestyle plastered along it’s square cardboard base, and through it at the collection of small pills bundled inside. One had already been taken. For today, he realised.

 

“It’s up to you,” Bruce muttered, still staring firmly at the screen.

 

“But… we… I… you never…”

 

Bruce’s hand clenched into a fist beside him. “You can if you like,” he snapped. “It won’t be hard will it? Just slip it into my food. Or just put it in my mouth and tell me to swallow. I doubt I’ll know the difference either way. You can manage that right?”

 

“I…” Clark was still trying to remember how to breathe. “I…”

 

Bruce finally rounded on him, eyes blazing and cold. “You can manage that right?” He sounded like an adult speaking to an impossibly stupid child… child. A child.

 

“If y-you want me too…?”

 

“I told you,” Bruce growled. “It’s your choice.”

 

“But… do you?”

 

“It’s your choice!”

 

“Do you?” Clark pressed.

 

“For fuck’s sake,” Bruce snarled and pushed off from the bed. Clark watched as he marched across the room, ducked into the kitchen, and pulled the milk from the fridge. Some small part of his brain recalled there was a purpose for that milk. That he should tell Bruce not to drink it all. Or tip it down the sink.

 

“The one time I want you to be a fucking alpha,” Bruce muttered under his breath, well aware he could hear and was listening. “Can bench press skyscrapers but can’t manage to be an alpha just this fucking once.” He gulped a mouthful of milk, frowned in distaste, and shoved it back in the fridge with a snarl.

 

Sudden loss of appetite, that small voice sounded in the back of his mind, a sure sign of imamate…

 

Bruce grunted and hugged his side.

 

Clark bolted off the bed and quickly pulled him against him. “Come on, come to bed, it’s okay. I’ve got you. We’ll talk about this later.”

 

Bruce shoved out of his arms. “I’m not going to forget this just because I get a little pre cram…” his face flushed red and he staggered back against the counter. “Fuck…”

 

“Look, we’ll talk about this in a few days when it reseeds,” Clark suggested. “It’s alright.”

 

“I don’t want to talk about this in a few days,” Bruce hissed. “I don’t… shit… give me your wrist.”

 

Clark tore off his watch and offered his bared skin to the other man. Bruce grabbed it, pulled it up to his face, and licked at the alpha hormone clinging to his skin. “Don’t let this,” he muttered around the action, “undermine the fact,” another lick, “that you’re a,” tongue up forearm, “useless fucking alpha.”

 

Clark frowned. Tried to ignore the fact that while Bruce collecting the alpha chemicals off his skin was helping stabilise his heat it was also bringing up a flush of warmth to Clark’s groin. His body’s greedy reaction as it registered the scrape of teeth and tongue against his flesh.

 

“That’s not fair, Bruce,” he rasped. “You can’t just… just spring that kind of question on me. I… I thought you didn’t want to.”

 

“I didn’t.”

 

“Then what the hell happened?”

 

“It felt…” he worked his way up to the inside of Clark’s elbow, licking, sucking, and nipping angrily at his flesh “… I don’t know… okay?” Sunk his face into the crook of his arm, still holding his wrist in his hand. “It… I still don’t know. I’m still…” his brow puckered as his mouth started slowly working up Clark’s bicep, nosing aside his sleeve as he went. “I change my mind every second… I need you… I need you to choose. I need…” an oddly soft touch of tongue along the contour of his muscle. “I need you to be an alpha for me… just this once.”

 

Clark hissed through his teeth and Bruce looked up, read the peaked colour in his cheeks, and tipped his head back; offering his neck. Finally. Clark took the invitation like a drowning man seizing onto a low flung branch. He leant forward, roughly nosed Bruce’s head up and to the side, and sunk his teeth into his omega gland; already swollen and colouring with heat.

 

Bruce gasped in pain and Clark forced himself to loosen his bite as the delicious, divine, delicacy that was his mate washed over his tongue. He wished feverishly in that moment that he didn’t have superpowers and could bite Bruce as hard as he wanted to; wished he could clamp his teeth down hard and to milk the intoxicating cocktail of spiked sex hormones, omega sweetness, and the natural captivating musk that was entirely Bruce with enough force to make his teeth ache.

 

Bruce’s whole body shuddered and he moaned; writhing against him as another wave of heat thundered through his body.

 

“Give me the pills or don’t give me the pills,” he grunted. His voice vibrating against Clark’s cheek. “Just tell me, whatever you do.”

 

Breed him.

 

The flood of animalistic alpha driven desire that washed through him at the thought was frightening. For a moment the gravity of the proposal didn’t matter, the implications didn’t matter, and the prospect of parenthood didn’t matter. All that mattered was Bruce, flushed and fertile, trapped in his arms and between the too hard clamp of his teeth.

 

With a growl he flipped Bruce onto the kitchen counter and pulled his legs up around his hips. Bruce was shaking now, skin radiating heat, and breaths heavy and broken.

 

“Clark,” he rasped. “Clark that’s enough… I need…”

 

Clark reluctantly released his hold on his neck and arched up to kiss him; sharing tongues and returning some alpha hormone with a messy lock of lip for all of the omega he had just taken. Bruce arched up against him, near blinding Clark in a mushroom cloud of heat, and sucked greedily at his mouth; gulping, biting, and sucking Clark’s tongue. At this point the exchange was just raising his heat for what his body knew would come next.

 

Clark sat up, tore Bruce’s pants off in a blur of motion, and was struck by the overwhelming scent of his slick wet opening. Dripping. He was dripping. Open. Ready. Clark groaned and the man below him responded with a broken moan. He looked up. Bruce’s cheeks were red, eyes unfocused, and gland swollen purple under the fresh curve of his bite mark.

 

“Still with me?” Clark horsed.

 

“Yes, I… fuck…” he bucked beneath him. “Come on!”

 

Clark fumbled with his zipper, released his swollen cock, and pressed his head against the slick entrance of the other man. Entered him completely in one sure thrust. Bruce grunted and jerked his hips forward to meet him as his balls slapped against the wet skin of Bruce’s arse.

 

Clark leant forward, pillowed Bruce’s head on his forearm, and kissed him in the ugly, messy, way an alpha kissed to share the tang of hormones massing in his mouth. Bruce swallowed the invasion of tongue hungrily, pushed his own tongue into Clark’s mouth on the retreat, and wrapped his arms around Clark’s shoulders. The movement sent a new wave of his scent crashing into Clark.

 

God he… perfect… so… addictive, so dangerous, so beautiful…

 

When Clark drew back and nipped at Bruce’s neck again. Bruce ducked his head forward, hiding his gland under the line of his jawbone, and flashed his teeth.

 

Bruce… even in heat he was still… beautifully dominant. Even after all these years, after all the exposed inhibitions, all the blurred lines, all that they had been through together… he was still the fascinating, frustrating, man he had fallen in love with.

 

Clark obediently returned to their open mouthed exchange, rubbed his spare hand soothingly down Bruce’s quivering side, and rocked slowly but surely into him. Sped up as Bruce began grunting and bucking up against him. Broke his tempo and ground into him when the other man flinched around the swelling base of Clark’s cock tearing in and out of him. Came with a surge of heat and a long sure note of pleasure. He pushed as deep as he could into the other man and held himself there as his knot built and semen spilt.

 

Bruce hissed, bucked, and gnashed his teeth beneath him. Sweat beaded on flushed red skin, hair stuck to his brow, and his body trembled violently through either pleasure or pain.

 

“Hey,” Clark stroked the side of his face, “you okay?”

 

Bruce shuddered and turned his head blindly to lick at his fingers.

 

“Still with me?”

 

No response as he sucked Clark’s fingers into his mouth.

 

Clark smiled. “Guess not.”

 

That was okay. Bruce wouldn’t admit it but if he wasn’t on suppressants he usually dipped in and out of awareness like this during his heats. Sometimes only for a moment and sometimes Clark could cradle him for hours and all he would do was present his throat and snap demandingly at Clark’s lips. He guessed it was another symptom of being such a high level omega. There was a point the chemicals in his blood just became too thick to stay lucrative. It didn’t usually happen so soon but Bruce’s initial wave wasn’t usually so strong either.

 

Part of him loved seeing the loss of control, the trust that it took to allow himself that loss of control, and the distinctly omega behaviour he would exhibit only when in this state; especially the noises he would make. Another part of him missed Bruce being there, really there, with him during these times.

 

God, but Bruce’s preference for off heat sex was starting to rub off on him. Sex when it was all about want not need. About each other not each other’s hormones.

 

He gathered Bruce up and flew them to the bed. They crashed down on the mattress, bodies locked together, and he began a slow grind; pressing his still erect penis deeper into him and rubbing his knot against the tight pucker of Bruce’s entrance. Watched as Bruce’s eyes fluttered closed in a mixture of release and relief as his body began to dutifully absorb what it had been given.

 

The sharpened point of his cheekbones glowed a healthy red under a layer of sweat, his lips had swollen under their near constant attention and glittered wet and full in the dim tungsten light, and his eyes had shed their usual dark burn of destructive intelligence as they reopened to blink wantonly up at him.

 

He was the most beautiful thing Clark had ever seen.

 

A chiselled, angular, and perfectly imperfect masterpiece framed – just framed – by the primeval colouring of his heat. Because it wasn’t the smell of him, the taste of him, or the feel of his warm welcoming body wrapped around him and pressed under him… it was him. Just him. Just Bruce.

 

Clark couldn’t in that moment imagine anything more perfect that having him, holding him, and helping him through this for the rest of his life. Except maybe…

 

As his gaze began to lose the tunnel vision of orgasm he saw the rumbled sheets around him, the bunched pillows, and the discarded box of birth control he’d abandoned on the bed.

 

“Bruce?”

 

The man jerked at the sound of his voice and looked up at him under heavy lidded eyes. Eyes that focused on his lips with the intensity of a bird of prey spotting a field mouse. He lunged forward and attacked him in a tooth lined kiss, realised he couldn’t force open Clark’s lips, and with a tormented sound began to gnaw desperately at his closed mouth.

 

Clark sighed and allowed Bruce to penetrate between his teeth while he stared down at the abandoned box of medicine.

 

Bruce had said it was his choice. His choice. It seemed wrong that after so long being dictated by Bruce in all affairs to do with their relationship that the man now landed the most important decision completely in his hands. A choice he believed had been made years before they even met. A choice Bruce had made when he dedicated his life to his mission. To Batman.

 

Was it just hormones? Was it his heat? Would he wake up after a few days and regret giving him this control? Regret ever even suggesting he might want a family? Clark considered and rejected the idea. Bruce had said he’d gotten off his implant two weeks ago which meant he had to be thinking about this during the lowest point in his cycle. And, knowing Bruce, thinking about it meticulously.

 

By giving this choice to Clark he had admitted he didn’t have an answer, surrendered control, and left the one choice that should be ultimately an omega’s to his alpha. The irony was not lost on him.

 

Neither were the implications.

 

Between them they kept alive at least four identities; two of them secret, held two of the top leadership positions at the Justice League, and clocked in just enough time at the office to still be greeted by name; even if Bruce’s was plastered above the doorway. How could they begin a family like that? How could they deliver the attention a child deserved around their superhero lifestyle?

 

How could they do anything but try?

 

Because Clark wanted this. He wanted this with an urgency that spoke of his alpha instincts, with a desire to breed that clenched hot and heavy between his legs, and with a reserved honest sense of longing that echoed from deep within his chest. He’d always wanted children. Always. Even when his parents reminded him it was likely impossible because of his DNA, even when he’d dated Lana despite her alpha status, and even when he’d given up that dream to be with Bruce.

 

A dream that resurfaced in him; bobbed to the top like a cork bouncing naturally back to the surface after being forced underwater.

 

Children. Bruce and him. Theirs. A family…

 

Bruce was kissing him.

 

Not the hungry, desperate, abuse of tongue as he sought the chemicals in his mouth, but a passionate stroking of lip on lip. A kiss just like the ones they shared when not drowning in a cloud of pheromones.

 

Clark drew back. “Bruce! Hey.”

 

Groggily. “Hey…”

 

“How are you? Alright?”

 

Bruce twisted his head and rubbed his jaw and neck against the pillows either side of him; marking them.

 

“Bruce…?”

 

Breathlessly. “What?”

 

“About this birth control. I don’t know…”

 

A frown. “Birth control?”

 

Clark’s stopped. “Remember?”

 

Bruce blinked, focused on him, frowned. “The… one time I want you to be an alpha?” He muttered as if the words confused him.

 

“Yeah…” Clark encouraged.

 

Bruce seemed to warm to this like a tame animal to heartfelt praise. “I…” he paused to think. “You’re a… useless fucking alpha?” He tried hopefully.

 

Here but not here, Clark realised.

 

“Yeah,” he said softly and let himself slump down on top of Bruce. “Yeah, I am. That’s right.” He crooned softly. “Good work. You’re so good.”

 

Bruce purred and tightened his hold possessively around him, nuzzling into where shoulder joined neck to inhale Clark’s unique scent. He wouldn’t fall asleep. His heat was still too high. But while they were tied he was usually content to kiss, occasionally grind, and sometimes come traditionally as Clark stroked his penis. Half an hour later just when his knot began to subside Bruce’s soft shivering once more built to a violent tremble, his faint satisfied sighs melted into rough needy grunts, and a fresh flush of wet spilt down his legs. An almost perfect sync. They didn’t used to match so well, Clark recalled. When they’d first mated Clark often lost his knot before Bruce spiked or visa versa. Now they were bonded. In tune. Together.

 

They mated four more times before Bruce finally collapsed boneless onto the mattress and plunged without preamble into a deep drained dreamless sleep. Clark nipped him under the chin as he waited for his cock to shrink enough to slip out and then made a lap around the apartment; brushing against the exterior facing walls and doorways; marking the edge of his territory with a blatant warning.

 

It was a safety fence as well. If some emergency called him away and Bruce woke, no matter his state of mind, he wasn’t likely to wander beyond the boundaries set by his mate.

 

Once done, he gently stripped Bruce of his remaining clothes, washed off the excess sweat resting on his skin, and took ten minutes to carefully towel between his legs; removing the lingering slick before it could give him a rash. Bruce didn’t stir but his skin was still too pink and his heart too fast. The fundamental, natural, hormonally induced recovery sleep of an omega in heat.

 

Usually Clark would lie down beside Bruce after cleaning him; wriggle into his arms and drink in the scent of their mingled mating musk. The small white package still lying undisturbed on the mattress stopped him. A small, stark, reminder of what tomorrow would mean. Tomorrow would begin with a breakfast. It was up to him if that small white pill would be included in the meal. It was up to him… all up to him… and he was as lost as Bruce had been. As unsure. As torn.

 

It wasn’t the practical choice. It wasn’t the safe choice...

 

He turned away and scanned the room for more work to do. Noticed the TV was still on, now showing the late night news, and flew over to flick it off. Found a baterang hidden behind the screen. Frowned down at it and flicked to x-ray vision to scan the rest of the apartment. Three in the bathroom, eight in the living room, one in the vacated bedroom, and two in the kitchen. He wondered nervously if it was normal for omegas to stash weaponry while nesting and promptly queried the question into a search engine.

 

Not normal but not unheard of; especially in omegas who had a violent history, had been assaulted, or who had often experienced untended heats.

 

He grudgingly supposed Bruce fitted the bill.

 

He looked back over his shoulder at the sleeping man sprawled naked on the bed beside… swore and looked away. He needed to make this choice. Bruce had given it to him. Trusted him. Trusted him so completely he was willing to let him decide what would happen to his body.

 

Trusted him to chose if they were going to have a child. Trusted him without giving any overt inclination towards what he wanted.

 

Clark shed his clothes, jumped into his suit, and flew slowly around the world a few times before finally deciding what he would do. What he had to do. Because he couldn’t act without knowing what Bruce truly wanted. He couldn’t take away his identity, couldn’t take away Batman, just to serve his own dreams.

 

He flew back to his apartment, Bruce’s nest, and finally snuggled into the man’s loose limbed embrace.

 

He knew what he had to do.

 

Bruce slept for nine and half hours.

 

When he woke Clark was ready. He watched as Bruce’s body shivered back into life, his eyes opened, and he touched the side of his neck in pain. The bite mark on his skin was an ugly purple red and swollen beyond his heat.

 

“Sorry,” Clark muttered.

 

Bruce grunted.

 

“Water,” he said and offered the bottle.

 

Bruce wordlessly took it and with obvious distaste downed the whole thing with practised efficacy. Clark had always been thankful for that. Most omegas needed a lot more encouragement to eat and drink during these short lapses in their heat. Bruce’s years heating alone had taught him the importance of rehydrating and reenergizing despite his protesting body. Considering his lapses were usually only between five to ten minutes after he woke it was a life saver.

 

“Protein shake,” Clark said when he was done and pushed the cup into his hand.

 

Bruce drank this with the same mathematical efficiency; the same applied method. Pushed the empty cup towards him when he was done and rubbed his forehead.

 

“Fuck…”

 

“You alright?”

 

“What happened?”

 

“The usual.”

 

Bruce stretched, flinched, and returned a hand to his head. “I feel like I’ve just been hit over the head by a crowbar.”

 

That was his fault. He hadn’t made sure Bruce drank enough water prior to going into heat. He’d been distracted… distracted by a little white box on the bed sheets.

 

“Here,” Clark took Bruce’s hand and dropped a pill into it. “Take that.”

 

Bruce’s eyes fixed on the small object and a reserved look filtered across his face. He didn’t move.

 

“Don’t you want it?” Clark asked.

 

“I don’t know.”

 

Clark tried to read him. Couldn’t. He’d never been able to read Bruce. Had never been able to see through the stonewall mask that stood between him and his mate. He had to wait to be invited in or left outside.

 

“Come on,” Clark said softly. “We don’t have much time,” he cupped Bruce’s hand in his and brought it up to the man’s mouth; tipped it’s cargo behind his teeth. Bruce’s brow pleated as he tongued the pill uncertainly. Clark flashed into the kitchen, filled a glass of water, and ducked back to press it helpfully against his lips. Bruce neither resisted nor aided him. When the water flooded his mouth his eyes flashed with the faintest flicker of pained regret and reserved relief before he closed them and swallowed. Clark withdrew.

 

“You didn’t want that, did you?”

 

“I… I don’t…” Bruce wiped his mouth on the back of his hand. “I… it’s…”

 

“Do you want me to give you one tomorrow?”

 

“I…” he frowned. “Whatever you want.”

 

“You know,” Clark said, “the whole dominant omega thing you do is actually kind of hot.”

 

Bruce looked up at him. Features masked.

 

“And I suck at being a dominant alpha. Because I just gave you something you didn’t want,” Clark studied him, “right?”

 

He looked away.

 

Clark sighed. “I have a lot of superpowers but mind reading isn’t one of them.”

 

“I want it to be your choice,” Bruce muttered. Quiet. Reserved.

 

Clark had his answer.

 

“It was paracetamol, Bruce.”

 

The man stopped. Eyes flicked to him.

 

“For your headache,” he clarified.

 

Bruce’s gaze flashed black with understanding. “You manipulative bastard.”

 

“Hey,” Clark held up his hands. “I learnt from the best, and I wasn’t going to impregnate you without making sure it was what you wanted.”

 

Bruce’s look could freeze oceans.

 

His face was also turning red.

 

“You’re about to peak and you still need to go to the toilet,” Clark reminded him.

 

“Fuck you,” Bruce snapped. “You just… you…” he pushed himself off the bed. “You’re the worst fucking alpha,” he hissed. “The fucking worst.” Stormed passed him and disappeared into the bathroom.

 

Clark sighed happily and kicked off the ground to float on his back, pulled the birth control pills out of his pocket and tossed the box randomly away into the room. Allowed himself to marvel in the revelation. Bruce wanted a family with him. He wanted it. Perhaps he hadn’t even realised it. But he did.

 

Their relationship was exhausting to nurture but it was also the most rewarding thing Clark had ever done. It could be trying at times – especially when Bruce was in one of his pricklier moods – but it was still worth it because, Clark knew, Bruce was putting as much effort into it as him. They would fight, usually about small things, occasionally about big, and Bruce would get as frustrated as him, as tired, and yet every morning he was still there. Beside that simple fact nothing else seemed impossible.

 

Not even the prospect of a child.

 

When Bruce reappeared Clark zoomed in and stole a kiss before the man could object. “Do you want to marry me too?” Clark whispered. “Because I think my parents would…”

 

He’d expected Bruce to look angry… or half mad with heat. He looked neither. He looked afraid.

 

“Hey, you’re alright with this, right? If you want you can take the pill and forget this ever happened.”

 

“Do you want a baby, Clark?”

 

He considered Bruce for a long moment before answering. “Yes.”

 

“How long?”

 

He shrugged. “I’ve always kind of wanted kids.”

 

Bruce’s eyes met his. Alien in their open honesty. “But… a baby?”

 

Clark nodded dumbly.

 

“I… I’ve never wanted a baby before…” Bruce admitted. “It feels strange suddenly… I don’t know what… I’ve never really planned or… know… and the boys…”

 

Clark could smell his pheromones spike in an agitating sting of alarm. It triggered a responsive flush of protective battle hormones in him and he quickly swallowed them down. Bruce was afraid but it was not of anything he could blast away with heat vision. Turning alpha on him now wouldn’t help the situation.

 

“Why don’t we have a few, say five or six, see how you like it, and go from there?” Clark joked.

 

Bruce smiled, looked up and, finally, dropped his mask. Fear, uncertainty, and a familiar kind of grudging affection warred for dominance across his face. Among it all, like the cherry on top of a stack of multicoloured ice cream, sat a small but unmistakable spark of excitement. So much better than the remorse with a weary touch of stale relief that he saw after Bruce swallowed the pill.

 

“I think I’ll be okay with just one for now,” Bruce muttered. “If you want.”

 

As if following an unseen mark his body started to shiver, skin spike with sudden severe colour, and scent build to the alluring siren call of high heat.

 

“I do.”