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Sincerely Yours

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Bruce was eight years old when he got his heart broken for the first time.

He should’ve done something. He should’ve walked in the other direction with his parents, turned around and avoid the alleyway altogether. He shouldn’t be here. He shouldn’t be standing under a black umbrella with tears pouring down his cheeks as Alfred clutched onto his hand like Bruce himself would disappear at any second.

In his other hand, Bruce grasped onto a bouquet of flowers. Irises were the ones he picked out because they reminded him of his mother’s eyes. But Bruce didn’t want to put them down. He didn’t want to put them by the grave of his parents because it made it real.

Bruce didn’t want the flowers to be ruined by the rain. The rain was pounding down immensely, sounding like bullets as it pattered against the umbrella. Bruce had a fear it would break and even if it did, he wouldn’t care. He didn’t want the flowers to be ruined.

He wanted to tell Alfred he would come back and put them there another time when it wasn’t raining but Bruce was afraid to talk. He feared that if he spoke he would choke on his words and break down into the sobs which were rising in his throat. His parents always told him it was okay to cry but Bruce didn’t want to cry since he knew once he started he wouldn’t be able to stop.

Bruce took in a deep breath. The air was cold and sharp, burning his lungs as he let go of Alfred’s hand.

He took a small step forward, the mud staining his black loafers as he continued to walk closer and closer. Bruce’s breath hitched as he approached the flat tombstone and his knees gave out. He heard a scream or a shout, but he wasn’t sure if it was him. It was hard to hear over the rain.

The flowers fell out of his hand onto the mud, making him cry harder. Rain crashed onto him like a wave and Bruce didn’t care. He wasn’t quite sure he cared about anything anymore.

He only knew one thing: Bruce Wayne will never cry again. He promised himself he wouldn’t. He couldn’t.

His father always told him showing emotion was what made him human, but Bruce realized in that moment that showing emotion made him vulnerable. Bruce Wayne could not be vulnerable.

Right now was the only exception.

A hand was placed on his shoulder but Bruce didn’t make any moves to acknowledge it. He wasn’t quite sure what happened next. He doesn’t remember being turned around and lifted off of the ground. He was picked up by Alfred, he knew that much, and Bruce his head in the crook of his neck, tears staining his skin as he cried harder realizing he got mud all over Alfred’s suit.

Bruce choked out an inaudible sorry, but all Alfred did was hush him and hug him tighter. He was carried off to the car where Alfred kept holding onto him. He heard the car door close and Alfred instructed the driver to take them back to Wayne Manor.

Bruce’s cries turned into sniffles halfway through the rather long and dreaded drive back home. Could Bruce even call it a home anymore? His home was elsewhere now, roughly ten miles back with wilted irises and mud surrounding it. His parents were his home but they were gone now and they weren’t coming back.

Alfred said something to him, but Bruce didn’t take in a single word of it. He swallowed down the enormous lump in his throat and took in a shakey breath as he spoke the first word he’d spoken since that night.

“W-What?” Bruce hiccuped now, not even recognizing his own voice. The voice was too broken, too coarse to sound like his.

“I was wondering if you would like anything to eat after you and I both take a proper bath. I can make your favorite chocolate chip cookies and hot chocolate. Or some soup if you would like, entirely up to you, Master Bruce.”

Bruce hiccuped again as he nodded, pulling back to look Alfred in the eyes. Alfred ran a hand through his wet hair as he gave him a sad yet kind smile. “Alfred?”

“Yes?”

Tears flooded Bruce’s eyes again but he swallowed down the rising sob in his throat. “Am I gonna be okay?” His words came out in a hoarse whisper. Alfred ran a hand through his hair again, more soothingly this time than the first.

“I’m sure of it.”

Bruce nodded at his words once more, resting his head against Alfred’s chest as he stared out the window. Cars were driving by them at crazy speeds, splashing water against their windows. He saw the city skyline through the sheets of rain and he knew it was only a matter of minutes before he would be back at the Manor.

“Would you like to help me bake?” Alfred asked him, making Bruce come out of his thoughts. Again, Bruce gave a nod and he felt a kiss be pressed against his head. He had a feeling he would be okay. Maybe not right now, but he would. Alfred would make sure of it, Bruce always knew that.

***

The second time his heart broke was unexpected.

Bruce was never overly fond of school but he was good at it. He grasped all the concepts easily whether they be math, science, English, or even something as complex as physics. Alfred always praised him about how smart he was and Bruce had never believed he was smart before, he simply paid attention.

But with Alfred’s words in his mind, Bruce got a bit too ahead of himself and asked Alfred if he could start a different school the fall before his tenth birthday. Alfred agreed since Bruce did some slight begging and went on and on about how much he wanted to be challenged academically.

Secretly, it was a way for Bruce to get out of Gotham, but he was wrong.

Alfred sent him to a prep school located in the heart of Gotham City. And Bruce hated it. A lot.

For one thing, the school, Gotham Prep, had a uniform which he wasn’t completely against at first, but the fabric of the material made his skin itch and his tie was always a bit too tight around his throat, giving him a sense as if he was being choked. He could only wear white socks and Bruce only owned black ones. Well, most of his wardrobe was black anyway but his school uniform was stark white with red accents. Ninety-nine percent of the time he wore the uniform, he felt like a candy cane.

Another thing that Bruce found himself hating about the prep school was the horrendous school lunches. Bruce didn’t pack his own lunch, although he really should, and didn’t want to bother Alfred to cook for him, so he subjected himself to buying from the school’s cafeteria. One would think the school would have decent food given the cost of tuition, but Bruce concluded that all cafeteria food was disgusting, no matter what school it was.

The only saving grace of his days was Selina Kyle.

Selina was different from the rest of the kids at Gotham Prep. For one thing, she didn’t wear her hair back like the rest of the girls or straighten it either. She had the most beautiful soft brown curls which framed her face nicely and let her blue eyes shine. The first time Bruce saw her he couldn’t believe how breathless he was. He had never had a crush before but he was certain this was what it felt like.

Selina didn’t follow the dress code either. She wore the uniform, but she wore a leather jacket as well which violated the rules. Bruce thought she was cool for that, afterall he didn’t like the rule himself, and decided he should join Selina by wearing his favorite black jacket as well.

Bruce wasn’t a follower by any means but this act of rebellion made him feel as if he had something in common with Selina in a way, even if it landed him a two-hour detention after school.

But one day, one lucky day where Bruce wore his jacket again, he was sent to detention and stuck in a classroom with Selina for the whole time. He couldn’t believe his luck, or the possibility of fate, but Bruce had never been happier to be in detention than he did in that moment.

The teacher, Mr. Al Ghul who seemed to hate Bruce’s guts, had left the classroom and Bruce sat right across from Selina, who was humming to herself as she drew a very detailed cat in her notebook in black pen. From what Bruce could see, the drawing was immaculate and he wished he brought his sketchbook too so he could show her the bats he liked to draw in his free time.

“Do you mind?”

Bruce blinked out of his thoughts and realized Selina Kyle had spoken to him, and Bruce was staring at her for at least a couple of moments like an idiot. “I-I-um,” he choked out, never hesitating on his words before.

Selina made a weird face and turned her head to the side as if she was studying Bruce. “You’re that new kid, right?” Bruce nodded, nearly forgetting that was what so many kids around here called him. “Cool. I’m Selina,” she introduced before going back to her drawing.

“Bruce,” he introduced.

“Do you like cats?” Selina followed up with and Bruce nodded.

“Yeah but I’m allergic.”

“Unfortunate.”

“I like bats though,” he piped up, wanting to continue on the conversation. “They’re kind of like cats, well like their ears kind of look similar.” Bruce nodded at his own words, wanting to slap himself for sounding like an idiot.

Selina looked at him again and smiled warmly, making Bruce’s stomach do a flip. “Yeah they are. Bats are cool.”

Bruce felt as if he was floating the rest of the day. He was picked up by a slightly disappointed Alfred that day and Bruce promised him he would never get into detention ever again. He wanted to tell Alfred about Selina, but Bruce kept his feelings to himself.

Well, almost.

As soon as he got back to the Manor, Bruce couldn’t stop thinking about Selina while he did his homework. He decided to take a pause, flipping a couple of pages in his notebook until he reached a blank page and started to write a letter to Selina.

Bruce boasted about how awesome he thought Selina was in the letter, how graceful and elegant she was, how captivating her cat drawings were and so forth. Bruce finished writing out his feelings after about a page of writing. He went to go find an envelope and looked up Selina’s address in the school’s directory, making the letter out to her to be sent as soon as possible.

Bruce set the letter down on his dresser, finished up his homework, and headed off to bed. Feeling a little bit too excited to sleep.

However the next morning, Bruce didn’t see Selina. At all.

He later found out that week that she moved to New York and Bruce felt his heart sink to the bottom of his stomach. He didn’t cry that night, but he shoved the letter in a black hatbox that belonged to his mom and hid it under his bed to be forgotten.

***
The summer before Bruce’s thirteenth birthday, Alfred came up with a grand idea to send Bruce to summer camp. And there, he got his heart broken for the third time.

Bruce preferred being in the comfort of his own home, exploring the basement to find the interesting treasures his dad kept down there. Bruce was never allowed down there when he was little, but now he spent most of his days there. Alfred wanted him to be outside and getting fresh air and sunlight so Bruce had to kiss his basement goodbye for two weeks.

He knew he was way too old to still be going to summer camp, but this camp was better than any other camp Bruce had ever imagined he’d go to.

For once, he actually made friends. Bruce was a complete loner but he was approached by a kid named Barry. Barry liked to run and was very nice, afterall, he was the one who came up to Bruce anyway. He was a talker though but Bruce enjoyed his company, discovering that Barry didn’t live too far from Bruce and would possibly be attending the same high school as him.

Aside from Barry, Bruce met someone else named Talia.

Talia reminded Bruce of a model with her high cheekbones, green eyes, and silky long brown hair. She resembled someone Bruce knew too, but he couldn’t pinpoint who. Nonetheless, she was quite fond of Bruce and hung out with him and Barry from time to time. Talia was witty like Bruce and sarcastic in all the right ways.

Bruce thought things were going great between them; he was hoping to turn their friendship into a budding romance since even Barry said Talia could like him. Bruce never let on to Barry that he had a crush on Talia, he kept that information to himself and to his next letter.

Bruce wrote a letter to Talia right after he finished writing one to Alfred and had every intention of giving it to her the following day.

Unfortunately, Talia avoided Bruce and he only found out why through Barry. Barry told him that Talia’s father didn’t want Talia to be around Bruce. He took the news pretty well, only punching one wall of his cabin, and shoving the letter in the depths of his bag before he moved it to the hatbox when he got home two weeks later.

***
Freshman year, Bruce was fourteen and met Hal Jordan.

Hal was loud, obnoxious, chaotic, but a complete fun and somewhat lovable goofball. Bruce expressed these feelings for Hal in one of his letters but he held off on giving it to him until the following Homecoming.

Bruce didn’t have any intention of going, but he heard Hal was going and Bruce somehow managed up the courage to ask Hal to go with him.

...but Hal asked Barry first.

Bruce was happy for Barry, afterall him and Barry had become very close in the time between the end of summer camp and high school by writing letters back and forth, so he didn’t make any moves to break them apart.

The only move Bruce made was he took the letter he wrote and put it in the hatbox along with the others. He wasn’t heartbroken over Hal or planned to get revenge on Barry. It was simply a crush and that crush faded, giving Bruce a chance to be happy for his friend.

He was a bit disappointed Hal didn’t like him back, but honestly, Bruce was used to that at this point.

***
The fourth time Bruce Wayne’s heartbroke was because of Diana Prince.

Diana was gorgeous and every single person in a fifty mile radius had a crush on Diana. And Bruce was one of those people.

Diana was a transfer student like Bruce was once himself so they immediately bonded over that. He had the luck of talking to her since Bruce nearly ran into Diana as she was looking for her classroom. She was nice and completely stunning, making Bruce nearly swallow his tongue every time he talked to her.

But Diana wasn’t interested in Bruce or anyone at their school. She had a boyfriend-Steve Trevor. Steve didn’t go to Bruce’s school and he was older than Diana too. Steve had already graduated high school and was now training to be in the Air Force. Diana always talked about Steve and how courageous he was. She knew as soon as she finished high school, which would be two years before Bruce since she was already eighteen and a senior, she would marry Steve Trevor.

Bruce hated his name and hated everything about Steve, even if he didn’t know him. Frankly, he didn’t care to know him either.

Taking out all of his frustration, Bruce wrote up a letter to Diana and told her how much better he was than Steve Trevor and he proved it too. Bruce did realized he did sound pretty pretentious and arrogant, so he shoved the letter in the hatbox along with the others.

He kept Diana as a friend though, only feeling the tiniest annoyance when he heard Steve’s name.

***
Bruce was seventeen when his heart broke for the fifth time and hopefully it was the last.

Gotham had gotten another transfer student towards the end of Bruce’s junior year. They were from Metropolis which was on the whole other side of the water from Gotham, and Bruce had no idea who the kid was and frankly, he didn’t care. He thought it was stupid for someone who lived in Metropolis to even go to a school in Gotham, but that wasn’t Bruce’s business now was it?

Well anyway, Bruce started to stay behind in school when the days ended, spending them in the library until dinner time when Alfred came to pick him up. Bruce still not driving wasn’t his fault-All the cars they owned were sports cars and Alfred did not want him to take any of those to school so that was the main reason why Bruce didn’t drive. And he truly wasn’t good at it, but he was good at everything else so it didn’t really matter.

Spending his afternoons in the school library weren’t ideal for Bruce’s friends who thought he was crazy for staying at school for so long, but it was beneficial for Bruce. The thing was, Bruce was coming up on the age where it was the appropriate time to take claim on Wayne Enterprises. The company has been ran by whoever was in command, but Thomas Wayne left the company to Bruce for him to someday takeover.

The day for Bruce to takeover the family company was nearly a year away and he needed to start getting a better understanding of everything now. He took all the papers he could find in his father’s office and studied them religiously, memorizing all the ins and outs of the company that he could. He knew it was a big step to be the owner of a major company at such a young age but he could do this. He was Bruce Wayne after all.

One afternoon when classes had finished early do to the end of the year, Bruce was trudging through one paper after another in the library per usual, taking notes on everything he deemed important, when he heard someone approach the table he was working at.

“May I sit with you?” The voice said, smooth and deep in a way that made Bruce feel funny. He looked up from his papers and didn’t recognize the student in front of him and Bruce recognized a lot of kids in his school too. This student was different though-Bruce could nearly see the Metropolis bleed off of them since he knew this student was certainly not from Gotham.

Maybe it was the fact that they were different. Maybe it was the fact that their brown nearly black hair made the perfect swoop. Or the fact that the blue shirt they wore clung to their chest and outlined every single toned muscle they had. Whatever the reason it may be, Bruce’s throat had gone dry and whatever words he was about to say went right out of his head.

Bruce gave a nod though and the person sat down adjacent from him, flashing Bruce the most gorgeous smile he had ever seen and he didn’t even know their name yet! Their eyes were a cerulean blue, shining brightly in the afternoon sun and looking even brighter compared to the blue shirt.

“I’m Clark Kent. I just moved here from Metropolis.”

Bruce was in love.

He didn’t let Clark know that. He talked to him though, a lot. Bruce sat with Clark continuously in the library after school up until school got out. Bruce made a promise to himself that he would try to make a move onto Clark in the fall because Clark was perfect. He may just be perfect for Bruce-scratch that-he was perfect for Bruce.

Yet low and behold, the universe had different plans since Clark was taken by the time Bruce began his senior year. Lois Lane, who had her heart set on being a journalist and letting everybody know, took Clark’s heart over the summer and kept it to herself. Clark seemed happy though and Bruce was happy that he was happy. He didn’t talk to Clark much anymore after that since Clark stopped talking to him. It was easier that way, but Bruce still wrote his fifth and last letter to Clark.

***
Dear Clark,

The soul purpose of me writing to you is because I know you’ll never read this.

I’m not good at expressing my feelings or talking about them and I choose to avoid them like you’ve been avoiding me.

Back to the point.

The point is, I like you, Clark. I know I don’t really know you that well but I do and I think if I had the chance I could actually fall in love with you. You’re smart, sweet, compassionate-everything that I could need to balance me out. It sounds ridiculously cliché, I know, but I could.

I’m not by any means philosophical either so maybe we just weren’t meant to be. Everything doesn’t always have to happen for a reason but sometimes it does. This happened for a reason and by this I mean you not being with me, but with someone else. I want you to know it’s okay to be with whomever you want, even if it isn’t me because I want you to be happy Clark.

And even if we can’t be together, you still make me happy. Seeing you in the halls, hearing your laugh as I pass by you. You make me feel whole in a way I didn’t even know I needed Clark Kent. That was cheesy sorry.

What I’m trying to say is that it's been a shitty horrible year for many years but meeting you somehow made it better. You came into my life like a ray of sunshine and made all the clouds go away. I cannot say a lot of people do that, but you do Clark and I hope that never changes about you.

Sincerely Yours,

Love,

Bruce

Chapter Text

“As the boyfriend,” Hal begun, red solo cup filled with hopefully just soda in the air, “I get to make the first speech,” he announced a bit too proudly and Bruce rolled his eyes, drinking from his own cup of water. “I saw that,” he called out and shot Bruce a look. “Just because you’re hosting doesn’t mean shit.”

Bruce gave him a dry look. “Can you please get on with whatever you have to say so I can get you out of my house?” He countered, hearing a snicker from both Arthur and Barry. Hal only huffed and ignored Bruce’s comment, clearing his throat as he began his speech.

“Bartholomew Allen,” Barry groaned and buried his head in his hands, “I’m so proud of you. Not only did you get an internship in a completely different state but,” Hal pretended to be choked up and Bruce rolled his eyes at the dramatics, “you’re gonna do great things for like five months. But you’re gonna come back and graduate with the rest of us and then I’m going to marry you Barry. I mean it this time.”

“This time?” Arthur repeated, exchanging a weird look with Bruce, who simply shrugged.

“I love you Barry and I’m going to miss you like Hell,” he concluded and set his drink down before he nearly tackled Barry into a hug. Bruce was pretty sure Hal was smuggling him, but it wasn’t his place to interfere.

“Jesus Hal give the man some air,” Arthur cut in, lightly pushing him off of Barry.

“You’re just jealous because you can’t do this with Mera.”

“Okay,” Bruce cut in and stood up, placing his hand on Arthur’s chest and getting him to back away from Hal completely. “I rather not have Alfred clean up a murder scene so,” he physically stepped in between them and Arthur huffed to himself and sat on the chair across from the couch.

“Please, Arthur wouldn’t kill me,” Hal continued on, despite Barry and Bruce’s look.

“You can’t swim Jordan.”

Hal cocked an eyebrow. “That a threat fishboy?”

Bruce pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed. He was friends with literal children. Well, two-thirds of them were children. Barry was the only rational one, besides Bruce of course.

“Guys it’s my last night in Gotham so let’s end everything on a high note,” Barry spoke up, finally. “I’m really going to miss you guys. Like I know I’ll be back before graduation but still. It’s going to weird not seeing you guys everyday or going to track, or watching Arthur kick ass on the swim team,” he went on and Arhur smiled to himself.

“You know you don’t have to go,” Hal told him and Barry gave him a displeased look. “What? You don’t! You could stay here with us, and-”

“And it’s too late,” Bruce mentioned and Hal groaned.

“Way to kill the mood.”

“Anyway,” Barry went on, shifting the attention back over to him, “I’ll see you guys in six months.” He raised his cup in the air. “Until then.”

The rest of them all raised their cups as well and clunked them together. “Until then,” they said in sync.

Bruce finished his cup of water and excused himself to the kitchen to get more, seeing Alfred was nursing a cup of tea at the kitchen table. “Barry’s leaving tomorrow,” he reminded him. Bruce found out the news of Barry getting the internship first. Barry told him over the summer and swore to Bruce to not tell Hal. Bruce agreed since he wouldn’t go against Barry’s words, but that didn’t stop him from telling Alfred.

“That’s right,” he hummed. “I’ll wish him goodbye on his way out.” Bruce nodded, going over to his fridge and taking out the already bottled water and pouring it into his cup. “You going to miss him?”

Bruce took a big gulp before answering. “Yeah, I just might.”

“You know it’s alright if you do,” Alfred started and Bruce sighed to himself, not wanting to hear the whole ‘It’s okay to be in touch with your feelings speech’ right now. He swore sometimes Alfred must think he was a robot. Bruce just wasn’t open about his emotions, nothing wrong with that.

“I know, thank you Alfred.” Bruce gave him a quick nod before he returned to the living room, seeing Hal and Barry were cuddling on the couch and Arthur was putting his jacket on. “Leaving so soon?”

“Yeah, gotta be home before my parents go out. Someone’s gotta stay with Orm.”

“Isn’t he like seventeen?” Hal called out from the other room and Arthur ignored him.

“See you tomorrow,” he told Bruce and turned to Barry. “Gonna miss ya.”

“You too, Arthur.”

“Say hi to Mera in your dreams for me!” Hal added and Barry gave him a light swat on the arm. “What? You know you were thinking the same thing.”

Arthur shook his head at them both and turned back to Bruce. “See you tomorrow. We’re gonna be seniors!” He said more excitedly and clasped Bruce on the shoulder before he left the Manor, closing the door behind him.

“I should get going too. Early morning and all,” Barry announced, getting off of the couch and stretching. “Drive me home?” He turned to Hal who stood up as well and nodded.

“Of course! I’ll go start up the car. See you tomorrow Bruce!” Hal nearly shouted as he ran towards the door and slammed it shut.

“You couldn’t take him with you?” Bruce teased and Barry shrugged, walking up to Bruce.

“I mean I could’ve, I’m sure Hal would go with me too, but who’s going to keep you and Arthur company?” Barry chuckled and Bruce let out a faint laugh too. “Anyway, I’m going to miss you, Bruce. I’m going to write to you though, like we did back at camp.”

Bruce smiled softly. “There’s this thing called Skype, you know.”

“Humor me would ya?” Barry laughed some more and wrapped his arms around Bruce briefly before stepping back. “I’ll see you soon.” Bruce nodded and Barry gave him another smile before he walked out of the Manor, the door closing softly behind him.

Bruce made his way back to the kitchen where he went over to the fridge and stared into it blankly. He was handling Barry leaving pretty well. Bruce was a little sad since he considered Barry his closest friend, but he knew he would see him soon. Six months would fly right by, he just knew it.

“Are you hungry or just pondering?” Alfred’s words snapped him out of his thoughts and Bruce grabbed a container of leftovers before closing the fridge. He wasn’t overly hungry, but Bruce didn’t really eat dinner yet and he knew if he didn’t soon Alfred would hound him too. “You alright?”

“Yeah,” Bruce grabbed himself a fork before sitting across from Alfred, “I’m fine.”

Alfred gave him a look that showed he knew Bruce wasn’t telling the truth, but he didn’t say anything and dropped the subject entirely. “Tomorrow’s the big day, first day of senior year.” Bruce nodded, shoving a forkful of leftover lasagna Alfred made the other day in his mouth.

“Last year and then I can start to run the company,” he said once he chewed and swallowed his food.

“Indeed,” Alfred agreed, a weird look crossing his face.

“What is it?”

Alfred shook his head as if it was nothing. He grabbed his mug and brought it over to the sink, rinsing it out and setting it down. “I’m going to head off. See you in the morning and sleep well.”

“You too.”

Bruce took three more bites of the lasagna before he threw the rest out and dumped the container in the sink. He headed upstairs and took a shower, throwing some sweats on and went to bed.

He stared up at his ceiling blankly, knowing it would probably take him awhile to fall asleep. He honestly couldn’t wait to get tomorrow over with since once he was done with tomorrow, then all of senior year would fly by and Bruce could rightfully run Wayne Enterprises. He was anxious about doing it, but he knew in the long run he would be fine.

***
By the time Bruce’s alarm had gone off, he was already out of bed and dressed. He stopped the alarm before it continued to blare at him and headed downstairs for some coffee.

He made his way to the kitchen once he was downstairs and saw Alfred had already made a fresh pot of coffee. Bruce poured himself a substantial amount before sitting down at the table. He scrolled through his phone as he drank his coffee, replying to any texts or social media messages he’d gotten throughout the night.

Bruce wasn’t big on social media and the only reason why he had it was because of his friends being on it. He honestly saw it as a distraction and strictly went on his phone during the mornings only. He had better things to do in his time.

A plate of hot pancakes was suddenly placed in front of him and Alfred had joined him at the table as well, a plate for himself in front of him. “Eat up, you don’t want to be late on your last first day of school,” Alfred said cheerily and Bruce stabbed his fork into the pancake and took a dainty bite.

“Is there a way where I can not go to school? I am eighteen and legally you cannot make me.”

“Education is not a compromise, Master Bruce,” Alfred said sternly.

“But I’m going to be running the company in a year from now. I think it’s safe to not take my senior year. No one’s going to care since I’m the boss anyway.” Bruce cut himself a bigger piece of his pancake and ate the whole thing. He regretted it of course because the pancake was still very hot and he was pretty sure he burned his mouth.

“Nice try, but you’re going to school.”

“Fine, but if you hear any complaints from me just know that you did ask for it.”

“Noted,” Alfred smiled.

Bruce finished most of his breakfast in silence before he went back upstairs to brush his teeth. As he was making his way back downstairs, he heard a honk from outside, indicating Arthur was here to pick him up. Arthur had always taken Bruce to school since junior year. Alfred was available sure, but Bruce always felt a little odd arriving at school in a limo.

“See you at three, Alfred!” Bruce called out as a goodbye before grabbing his bag and hopping in Arthur’s pickup truck. Bruce tossed his bag in the back and buckled up, looking around to see Orm wasn’t in the car like he usually was. “Where’s your brother?”

Half-brother,” Arthur corrected, “and he got a ride with one of his friends, thankfully. Like I get it, I’m the big brother and I gotta be responsible but Orm is such a cockblock, ya know? Like this is my year to finally ask Mera out. I think she likes me though. What do you think?”

“You guys argue a lot.”

“It’s called flirting, Bruce. She gets on my nerves, I get on her nerves, but God I would do anything for her. I’ve been crushing on her for like four years man, I gotta tell her before it’s too late.”

Bruce thought Arthur telling Mera how he felt was dumb. To Bruce, he didn’t see the point of someone knowing how one truly felt. All relationships end in heartache so was there really a point?

“Then go for it,” he replied out loud and Arthur grinned at him.

“You think so?” Bruce nodded. “Thanks Bruce.”

Arthur pulled into the school parking lot about five minutes later. They both got out of the car and Arthur caught sight of some of his swim teammates. He waved Bruce goodbye and Bruce headed on inside.

He made his way through the halls and over to his locker, dropping off whatever he didn’t need before heading straight to class. His first class of the day was History and was possibly Bruce’s least favorite subject in all of school. He already knew everything he needed to know and Bruce knew he wouldn’t be using any of the information in the future.

As the start of class came closer and closer, students began to flood in. Normally, Bruce didn’t give two shits about who was in his class, but he certainly felt something as he saw Clark Kent walk right into his classroom and made his way to the back of the room where Bruce was sitting.

Bruce’s throat felt funny and he pretended to be studying something on his notebook as he prayed Clark didn’t sit next to him. Yet Bruce was probably the least luckiest person in the whole wide world since Clark Kent sat right next to him.

Bruce didn’t dare look up to acknowledge him though.

He didn’t speak a single word to Clark or even glance in his direction for the whole class period. The only thing Bruce heard was him sniffling the whole time which was a bit annoying since if Clark had a cold or was sick, he shouldn’t be in school. Regardless, it really wasn’t Bruce’s problem.

***
By the time lunch came around, Bruce sat at his usual table with Arthur and Hal, who looked overly excited.

“You guys will not believe what happened!” He enthused and Bruce took a bite out of his crappy school lunch and stared at him blankly. “Did you guys not hear?!”

“Hear what?” Arthur asked.

“Clark and Lois broke up! Apparently, she wants to focus on being a journalist or something like that and doesn’t have time for-”

Bruce tuned out the rest of what Hal said as he connected the own dots in his head. He heard Clark sniffling so maybe he wasn’t actually sick, he was probably crying over him and Lois breaking up. If he was being honest, Bruce was a bit shocked hearing about their split because Lois and Clark seemed like the perfect couple. They were the kind of couple that would be married after high school and live happily ever after.

“And so many people feel bad for Clark,” Hal rambled on, “since he’s a nice guy and all and no one deserves to be dumped but come on! Like who is so stupid that they would break up with Clark Kent?! He’s like a walking piece of sexy on a stick! Outside of Barry of course, but man Lois is crazy for ever dumping him. He must not be that great as he seems, you know? Because why else would they break up?”

“Don’t know, don’t care,” Bruce said rather dryly and Hal threw one of his soggy fries at him.

“That’s because you’re allergic to relationships.”

“Hey,” Arthur said warningly, “clearly no one here is Bruce’s type so lay off.”

“Is that true?” Hal faced Bruce completely, his face growing serious. “You wouldn’t date anyone here?”

Bruce shook his head. “No and I don’t plan to. Excuse me, I need to use the bathroom.” He left the table before Hal could interrogate further and made his way towards the bathroom.

When he got there, he pushed the door open and halted in the doorway, seeing Clark was in there. Clark was leaning over the sink, his shirt hugging the toned muscles of his back that made a faint blush rise to Bruce’s cheeks. He felt guilty in a way too for looking at Clark like that while he was clearly crying in the school’s bathroom.

Bruce was staring far too long since Clark caught his gaze in the mirror and Bruce left the bathroom quickly. He sped down the hall and went to the other bathroom on the other side of the school.

***
“I want to die.”

Hal snorted at Arthur’s remark. “It’s not the end of the world.”

“She thought I was joking. Why would she think I’m joking?” Arthur asked to Bruce’s ceiling.

After school, Arthur had a crisis. He told Mera how he felt and she thought it was a joke. Bruce offered his room for Arthur to vent since Hal said it had a ‘mopey atmosphere.”

“Maybe try again,” Bruce suggested and Arthur groaned.

“I can’t.”

“Yeah you can. It’s called romance. Ever heard of it?” Hal said, getting off of Bruce’s desk and laying down on the floor, stretching himself out. “Just prove to her that you’re serious.”

“I agree with Hal,” Bruce said, not even believing he said that himself. “Be romantic.”

“See? If the guy allergic to romance says it then it must be true!” Hal exclaimed and Bruce gave him a displeased look.

“I’m not afraid of romance.”

“Okay then do you have a crush on anybody?” Bruce shook his head. “Ever?”

He shrugged. “I have.”

Arthur and Hal sat up fully and looked at Bruce with their eyes wide. “You have?!” They said in sync.

“Why didn’t you say anything?” Arthur asked first, his eyes looking like they were about to pop out of his head.

“We need to know who and why and-”

“And I don’t like any of them anymore,” Bruce said before they could pester him further. “So it doesn’t matter.” Well, if Bruce was being completely honest with himself, Clark Kent still made him feel a certain way. He couldn’t quite pinpoint what it was but Bruce did everything in his power to not worry about it since if he worried about it that meant he acknowledged it and Bruce didn’t want to acknowledge it since that made it real.

“Can we guess?” Hal asked and Bruce shrugged.

“If you insist,” he sighed, laying himself down on his bed and staring up at his ceiling, wondering why he even opened his mouth in the first place.

“Hmm,” Hal pondered, “me?”

Arthur chuckled. “Yeah right. I’m surprised Barry likes you,” he teased and Bruce laughed with him, getting a glare from Hal.

“You guys suck and I’m just guessing here!”

“Well you can stop your guessing because it’s pointless.” Bruce sat up and got off of his bed. “I’m going to grab some snacks for Arthur to eat his feelings with,” he excused, letting Arthur and Hal guess whomever they want about Bruce’s past crushes as he walked out of the room.

Bruce only told one person about one of his crushes and that was Barry because Barry was there! He saw Bruce daily and same with Talia. He didn’t think Barry would tell anybody and Bruce was very thankful that he didn’t. It wasn’t like he wouldn’t tell Hal or Arthur, he just didn’t want to deal with them teasing him about it every waking second. Arthur probably wouldn’t as much as Hal but Hal would tell the whole school and Bruce could not have that.

He made his way to the kitchen and grabbed a bag of chips and a large bowl, dumping the whole bag in there before tossing it out. He didn’t see Alfred in the kitchen so Bruce assumed he was elsewhere throughout the house.

Bruce grabbed the bowl and headed back upstairs, going to his room and setting the bowl in between Arthur and Hal. They both attacked it and ate like they had never eaten before. Arthur ate at least three huge handfuls before he abruptly stood up and announced that he had to go.

Arthur gave Bruce a wave goodbye before he headed out. “He alright?” He asked Hal, who was occupying himself with more chips.

“Yeah he’s sulking. I was in the bathroom while you were gone and when I came back he acted a little off,” he said once he finished chewing. “I think the whole Mera thing got to him.”

“Understandable.”

Hal shoveled a couple more chips in his mouth before brushing his hands off. “I should go though, I gotta Skype with Barry. See ya Brucie.”

Bruce grunted at his nickname but gave a small wave goodbye, watching as Hal walked out of his room before he closed the door completely. Bruce seized the chip bowl and ate whatever was left in it.

He felt bad for Arthur, truly he did, but Bruce didn’t know how to help. Hell, he couldn’t even get his own love life in order so he definitely should not be giving anyone advice. Bruce always found a way to move on from his crushes, he hoped Arthur does the same.

Chapter Text

Going to school the next day was a mistake.

Not only was Bruce insanely tired, but Arthur wasn’t going to school today since he was suddenly sick and now he had to have Alfred drive him. And when Alfred drove him, it led into the conversation of when Bruce should learn how to drive. Every. Single. Time.

Bruce was going to learn to drive after high school during the summer before he began working. Driving shouldn’t be that hard, right? Bruce knew how to do a lot of things so when he got to learning how to drive, he should be fine.

Alfred pulled the car around the back of the school entrance, per Bruce’s request since there were less kids and a less chance of being seen, before he stepped out of the car. “See you at three, Alfred,” Bruce dismissed with a wave and Alfred nodded.

“Have a good day!” He called behind him before Bruce closed the door and Alfred drove off.

Bruce crossed his arms over his chest mainly for warmth as he walked into school, making it halfway to his locker before his phone chimed. He pulled it out and looked to see he had a new email...from Diana. Bruce hadn’t heard from Diana in a few years and he rarely remembers handing his email to her as well.

He shrugged off any concerns he had and opened it up.

Bruce,

I received your letter in the mail this morning. I was a little flattered by it, but I am with Steve, as you know.

I see you as a good friend and would like for things to remain that way.

Diana

Bruce nearly dropped his phone right then and there but leave it up to some kid to roughly push past him and snap him back to reality.

Diana received a letter. How could she possibly receive a letter? Bruce never told anyone about his crush on Diana or the fact that he wrote a letter to her either. Something wasn’t adding up but Bruce kept cool as he continued to make his way to his locker, hoping Diana was the only one.

He knew deep in his gut that his letters were still at the Manor, safely tucked away in his box under his bed. Everything would be okay.

He let his thoughts slip away as he approached his locker, taking out some of his textbooks in his bag and swapping them out with others. Bruce began to do the same with his binders as he heard a voice clear next to him.

“Bruce, right?” Right? Who in this school didn’t know Bruce’s name? Everyone knew who he was, he was Bruce Wayne.

He set his binder down and turned to the voice, a little bit surprised to see Clark was standing next to him, an awkward and confused look on his face. “Yes?” He replied back, giving Clark a rather displeased look. For someone as cute as he was, he didn’t seem to be the brightest in this moment.

“Can we talk for a second?”

“We’re talking now.”

Clark’s mouth formed into a thin line before he looked down. “You’re right um hold on.” He set his backpack down and dug through it, pulling out a white envelope and handing it to Bruce. “I got this in the mail this morning.”

Bruce held his breath as he opened the envelope, praying to whoever was listening that this wasn’t the letter Brue wrote to him. He slid the paper out and unfolded, feeling his heart sink to his stomach as he realized it was in fact the letter.

“Fuck.”

“So about that-”

“It-It’s-” Bruce stumbled. He didn’t want to say it wasn’t nothing because it was something. He couldn’t get his way out of this one, could he? “I can explain,” he started.

“Bruce!” He turned his head in the other direction, seeing Hal was coming towards him with a letter in his hand.

“Shit. Come on,” Bruce slammed his locker shut and grabbed Clark by the arm, dragging him off in the direction of the bathroom.

“Bruce!” Hal called again and Bruce knew he was catching up to him so Bruce moved quicker.

He pushed his way inside of the bathroom and made his way into the stall, dragging Clark in there with him and locking them in.

“What are you doing?”

“Shh!” Bruce put his hand over Clark’s mouth as the bathroom door opened.

“Bruce? I have something to talk to you about,” Hal called out as he walked through the bathroom. “You in here?” Bruce remained silent and Clark was surely giving him a weird look too.

When he heard Hal walk out, Bruce took a step back and took the moment to wrap his head around everything. Someone sent out the letters, to everyone. Great.

“Why are we in the bathroom?” Clark asked and Bruce shot him a look. “Hey I’m just trying to make sense of all of this.”

Bruce ran his hand through his hair, frustrated. “I wrote some letters with the intention that they will never be seen but somehow they got sent out.” Clark gave a slow nod of understanding.

“So I’m not the only one that got one?”

“No, you’re not.”

“How many people?”

“I don’t know four? Five? It doesn’t matter. What matters is Hal got one of the letters and-”

“You have a crush on Hal Jordan?”

Bruce let out a deep sigh. “No, I don’t. I used to have a crush on Hal but Hal is dating Barry, one of my friends. God Barry better not find out,” he groaned.

“Just tell him the truth,” Clark suggested and Bruce shot him another look. “What? Honesty is important in a relationship.”

“You’re not helping.”

Clark crossed his arms over his chest and Bruce was going to pretend like he didn’t notice the way the fabric clung to his muscles. “Then can you let me go? I can’t miss first period.” Bruce didn’t respond. Instead, he kicked at the toilet. “How about you tell Hal you’re with someone else?”

Bruce grunted. “Like that will work. According to Hal, I’m allergic to relationships.”

“That doesn’t seem factually possible but alright.” Clark pondered for a minute, tapping his fingers against his jeans as he thought. “Lois and I broke up,” he mentioned and Bruce blinked at him.

“I don’t see how that is relevant.”

“Look, Lois gave me some...pointers on why she broke up with me. She said when I improve, I can get back together with her.”

“Okay,” Bruce said, not catching onto what Clark was getting at.

“Well, we’re still friends but the point is, you help me get back together with Lois.”

Bruce laughed. “And why would I do that?”

“I’ll help you with your Hal situation, and anyone else who got the letters. Who else did you send them to anyway?”

“None of your business,” Bruce clipped. “And why don’t you and Lois try couple’s therapy? I’m not going to play Cupid.”

“You’re right, you’re not. You’re going to play my boyfriend.”

“Your joking.” Clark shook his head. “You want me to be your boyfriend?”

“Fake boyfriend, just for a little bit. I show Lois that I’ve improved and can be the best boyfriend and you get to make Hal believe you don’t like him. It’s a win-win.”

Bruce gave a nod of understanding, thinking that could work. “Okay but before we agree to anything, I’m going to write up a contract.” Clark made a weird face at that but didn’t say anything. “Meet me at the coffee shop three blocks from here after school. Deal?” Clark nodded. “Good, now let’s go to class,” he shooed.

***
After an afternoon of ignoring Hal by any means possible, the school day was finally over. Bruce had sent a text to Alfred telling him he would be home a little late and he was getting a ride home from someone else. Well, Bruce hoped Clark would give him a ride home but he didn’t know for sure.

Bruce was currently sitting at a booth in the diner he mentioned to Clark earlier, nursing a cup of coffee while rereading the contract he made during his lunch period. Bruce wasn’t really up for any negotiations since he covered every aspect of what their fake relationship included. If Clark had a problem with that then it was his own problem.

He heard the bell on the door chime but didn’t look up as Clark made his way towards where Bruce was and sat across from him.

“Sorry I’m late, school parking lot is crazy,” he breathed out as if he was exhausted.

“Punctuality is a strong suit of mine, I expect you to do the same,” Bruce said rather coldly as he took a sip from his coffee before meeting Clark’s eyes. “Anyway, sign this.” He slid the contract over to Clark, who frowned at it.

“You wrote three whole pages?”

“Six technically. It’s front and back.”

Clark let out a faint laugh and shook his head. “I’ll have it back to you by tomorrow.” He furrowed his brow as he noticed something on the paper. “No kissing or physical affection? Bruce, how do you expect people to think we’re dating?”

“Word of mouth.”

“Okay well, how about we do kiss and show affection when we’re around people?”

Bruce shrugged. “If you say so.”

Clark gave him a slightly displeased look but dropped it when the waiter came by and refilled Bruce’s coffee. Clark ordered a slice of pie for himself and some hot chocolate before turning his attention back to the contract.

“You listed everything I can’t do.”

“And?”

Clark sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “Let’s make a new contract.”

“What? No. There’s nothing wrong with what I drew up.”

“There’s everything wrong with what you drew up. Look, let’s compromise, okay?” Clark turned towards his bag and dug out a pen and a notebook, flipping to a clean page. “Kissing and affection in school,” he said out loud as he wrote it down. “We should take pictures together too, post it on social media, that’s believable.”

“We have to take pictures together?”

Clark looked up at him and nodded. “It’s believable. Also, we’ll need to exchange numbers too. And I have to write you notes.”

“Excuse me?”

“Lois told me I should’ve been romantic and written her little love letters so I’m going to do that to you. At school where she can see I mean,” he explained. “You should write me letters too, you’re good at it,” Clark teased but Bruce wasn’t finding any of this funny. “Too soon?”

Bruce huffed and stole the paper and pen from Clark, writing down a note of his own. “No nicknames. Do not call me sweetheart or baby or-”

“Got it,” Clark interjected before he stole the paper back from Bruce. “You need to smile more,” he announced as he jotted it down. “At least around me since I am your boyfriend. Also we should go on dates since there is a slight chance we could be seen.”

“Fine.” The waiter came by to drop Clark’s order off and Bruce took the contract yet again and signed it this time before handing it back to Clark. “We’ll start tomorrow.”

“Okay,” Clark agreed as he signed the contract as well. He took a big bite out of his pie before he took his phone out and handed it to Bruce. “Put your number and address in there please. I’ll pick you up tomorrow morning.”

“Don’t you live in Metropolis?” Clark nodded. “My house is a bit out of your way.”

Clark shrugged and took another bite out of his pie. “I don’t mind.”

“Your gas money,” he mumbled before drinking more of his coffee. “Wait, how’d you know I can’t drive?”

“I see you come with Arthur every morning. Can I teach you?”

“You want to teach me how to drive?”

Clark nodded a bit enthusiastically. “Yeah, it’ll be fun. Come on.” He chugged down his hot chocolate, dropped a ten on the table before grabbing his things and walking out. Bruce shook his head and put some money down as well before following Clark outside into the parking lot.

Clark was leaning against a light blue and white truck, giving Bruce a bright smile as he held out his car keys for him. “I think you’re on a sugar high Clark.” Bruce gave him a weird look before he went around to the passenger’s side and got in.

“For that, I shouldn’t give you a ride home,” Clark said once he opened the door and got in the car.

“That wouldn’t make you a good boyfriend now would it?”

“I was trying to be a good boyfriend and teach you how to drive but you won’t let me,” Clark jabbed back before putting the car in park and driving off. Bruce started to direct him on how to get to his house when his phone started chiming with messages from Hal. “You gonna get that?”

“It’s just Hal, saying he wants to talk.”

“You can’t ignore him forever, B.”

“What did I say about nicknames?”

“You’re sure making this difficult,” Clark said under his breath but loud enough for Bruce to hear. “Look, just tell Hal it’s a prank.”

Bruce shook his head. “He’s not going to believe it.”

“Then tell him the truth. Say you meant it at the time but don’t anymore but you meant mine and now you and I are dating,” he grinned and Bruce rolled his eyes. “You did mean mine, right?”

“If I say yes will you stop mentioning it?”

“No. Look Bruce-”

“Clark it’s none of your business, alright? Now turn right up at that light and my house will be a half a mile down on your right.”

Clark obeyed his instructions and remained quiet the rest of the drive until they arrived at the Manor. Clark let out a gasp and Bruce cursed to himself, seeing Hal’s car was parked out front.
“Wow,” he awed, unaware to what Bruce was noticing.

“You’re going to need to come inside for a minute,” he told him bluntly and Clark snapped out of his trance, looking back at Bruce. “Hal’s here.”

“He’s really determined,” he noted before turning his car off and getting out. Clark quickly came around the side and opened Bruce’s door for him. “Don’t give me that look.”

“What look?”

“I’m trying to be a gentleman Bruce.”

“Lois isn’t around.” Bruce undid his seatbelt and got out, letting Clark close the door behind him before taking his hand. “Is this-”

“Yes, c’mon B.” Clark laced their fingers together before leading the way towards the front door.

Bruce was a little transfixed by how big Clark’s hand was compared to his. It wasn’t abnormally big or anything, but it was a little wider than Bruce’s own and was pretty soft too. He had to break contact though to dig out his house key and unlock the door. He hesitated a little before pushing it open and stepping inside.

“Nice place,” Clark commented.

“Thanks.” Bruce made his way throughout the house, walking over to the kitchen where he saw Hal waiting for him. “Breaking and entering?”

“Alfred let me in.” Hal eyed Bruce up and down cautiously before his eyes landed on Clark. And then Hal’s eyes went to their intertwined fingers. “That’s new. Something going on Bruce? Didn’t see you around school much today.”

“My fault,” Clark said apologetically as his hands made their way around Bruce’s waist and pulled him closer to him. Bruce would blush if he wasn’t annoyed, but he had to admit, Clark’s arms around him did feel nice in a way he couldn’t pinpoint. “I was hogging this one all day, can’t get enough of him,” he boasted before planting a kiss on Bruce’s cheek.

“You’re dating Bruce?” Hal looked horribly confused. “Wait you’re dating someone and you didn’t tell me? Does Arthur know? If you told Arthur before me-”

“You’re the first to know.”

“Yes!” Hal cheered and Clark chuckled against Bruce’s skin, making him shiver. “Nice prank though,” he said rather seriously as he set the envelope down on the counter, “you almost had me fooled for a second. See you tomorrow Brucie!” Hal waved goodbye to him and Clark before heading out.

“So he gets to call you Brucie?” Clark pulled away and Bruce made his way to the counter to grab the letter, but Clark beat him there and snatched it up.

“Give me that,” he demanded, his hand out. “Clark, give me the letter.” Bruce walked up to him, hand still stretched out.

“Can I read it?”

“No!” Bruce tried to take the letter but Clark put it out of reach. Why did he have to be taller than Bruce? “That’s invasion of privacy. Give it back Clark,” he nearly hissed and Clark looked rather amused. “You’re acting worse than Hal.”

“Ouch.”

“What’s going on?” Both Bruce and Clark turn their attention to the kitchen doorway, seeing Alfred was standing there. Bruce seized the opportunity and snatched the letter from Clark, shoving it in his back pocket.

“Nothing. Clark was just leaving, right?”

“Right. Bye B,” Clark turned to him and gave him another kiss on the cheek before walking out.

Bruce sighed heavily to himself knowing he would have a lot of explaining to do to Alfred.

Chapter Text

The news about Bruce and Clark being a couple spread like wildfire and Bruce knew he shouldn’t be surprised, but he was. He was surprised by how fast the news spread since it hadn’t even been a full day since they even agreed to be in a relationship.

Everyone was staring as soon as they pulled up into the parking lot. Clark came out first and opened Bruce’s door for him. Bruce thought it was highly unnecessary but Clark believed in chivalry or whatever and it was probably for him to make a bigger impression on Lois.

Bruce chewed on the inside of his cheek as Clark took his hand and walked with him inside, unaware of all the eyes on them.

Didn’t people have a life? What was so interesting about their relationship anyway?

Bruce felt a headache coming on and he really wished it was Friday. This week was starting to be too eventful and it had only just begun.

When they entered the school, the stares and whispers continued and Bruce let out a sigh of annoyance as he let go of Clark’s hand. He started to head in the direction of his locker when he felt an arm grab his and he turned to see it was Clark.

“What?”

“Where you going?”

“To my locker.” Bruce shrugged out of his grip and stepped more to the side so people could get around him and Clark. “I can walk there myself, I don’t need an escort.”

“Okay.” Clark looked a little disappointed by that news but he gave Bruce a kiss on the cheek and walked in the other direction. “See you in first period!” He called after him pretty loudly and Bruce rolled his eyes.

He made his way to his locker and dropped off his stuff, finding it quite odd that people were still staring at him. Well, it was something Bruce would just have to get used to.

“Hey Brucie!”

“Why me?” He asked himself as he closed his locker and leaned up against it, watching Hal come towards him with a big grin on his face.

“Why the long face? You’re dating like the school’s golden boy.”

Bruce shrugged and ran a hand through his hair. “Tired.”

“Ooh,” Hal said knowingly with a big goofy grin forming on his face. “Clark keeping you up at night?”

“No.” Bruce pushed himself off his locker and started to walk to class, Hal walking by his side. “How’s Barry?”

“He’s good. It’s been almost a week and I don’t know, I still feel weird about him being gone. And then Arthur like completely shut down after what happened with Mera. He’s been missing school because of it.” Hal shook his head, looking sad. “I told Barry about it and Barry said he’d try and talk to him but I just feel bad, you know?”

Bruce nodded in agreement. He knew how Arthur felt and rejection sucked ass. Arthur was pretty thickly skinned though so Bruce was a little surprised how bad he was taking it.

“Anyway,” Hal went on more cheerily, “what’s Clark like? Is he as perfect as he seems?” Bruce nodded, not wanting to say how annoyed he was with Clark the other day. “So...you’ve had a crush on him?”

“Yep.”

“And didn’t say anything?”

Bruce shook his head. “He was with Lois.”

Hal hummed. “Yeah makes sense. But you could’ve told us, you know. We wouldn’t have said anything.”

“And I take it you didn’t say anything about Clark and I being together too?” Bruce gave him a look and Hal laughed.

“Me? Tell the whole school Bruce Wayne, the guy who shows no interest in anybody ever, is dating the guy who looks like he was sculpted by God or something? I’d never.” Bruce playfully rolled his eyes and Hal laughed some more. “I may have let it slip to the track team when they were asking about Barry-”

“The whole track team?”

“No. Well maybe. Possibly. I told like five people and they may have told others...anyway, I gotta get to class. See you at lunch!”

Bruce waved goodbye and went to class, making his way to the back of the room where Clark was already sitting. He flashed a bright smile and Bruce gave a small one back as he sat down next to him.

He felt his phone vibrate in his pocket and Bruce pulled it out, seeing there was a new text from Clark. The text asked if Clark should start sitting with him at lunch now and all Bruce did was roll his eyes.

“You’re sitting right next to me,” he muttered as he slid his phone back in his pocket, “you could just ask.”

“Well maybe it was something I didn’t want to ask out loud,” he said a bit flirtatiously and Bruce only figured out why because a couple of people near them snickered. “Can I?”

“I suppose.” Clark smiled brightly in a way that made Bruce feel something, but something was no different than nothing.

***
Clark joining Bruce at the lunch table felt weird. Maybe it was because it was just the two of them, and Hal, who kept going on and on about how happy he was for Bruce and how cute of a couple they made and how everyone was talking about them.

Bruce wanted to hear something he didn’t know for once. Just this once.

While Hal was still rambling on, Clark’s hand nudged Bruce’s under the table and he met his eyes. Clark beckoned his head to the side and Bruce noticed that Lois was looking right at them.

Clark leaned closer and placed himself by his ear. “I’m going to go into my backpack and grab the note I wrote for you. Pretend I said something funny and laugh.”

Bruce did as he was told, letting out the faintest and fakest laugh he could muster as Clark handed him a note.

He leaned in to kiss him on the cheek, for show of course, as gratitude for the note. But Clark seemed to have the same idea and instead of either of them kissing each other on the cheeks, they accidentally kissed on the lips.

Bruce had never expected for his first-don’t judge-kiss to be in the school cafeteria where everyone could see while being in a fake relationship yet here he was.

What took him even more by surprise was how Clark kissed him again before he pulled away with that winning smile of his stretched across his face.

“Get a room,” Hal sung and Bruce threw one of his grapes at him, which he somehow successfully caught in his mouth.

This whole thing was a mistake, Bruce just didn’t realize how quite yet.

***
When Clark dropped Bruce off at home and did his whole regimen of opening up the door for him and walking Bruce to his front door, he was expecting Clark to leave after that. But no, Clark decided to follow Bruce inside.

“What are you doing?”

“I was hoping we could work on that packet we got for History together. If we work together we could get it done twice as fast,” he smiled hopefully.

“I work alone,” he deadpanned and headed upstairs to his room, Clark following behind him.

“Then why don’t we work on things you can’t do alone?” He went on and Bruce rolled his eyes as he made his way into his room. He dropped his bag down on the floor and sat on his bed, staring at Clark a bit tiredly. “I can give you driving lessons or-”

“Or you could go home,” he suggested. “You should get home before it gets dark.”

Clark let out a faint laugh. “It doesn’t get dark for another few hours, B.”

“Were you this clingy with Lois?” Bruce mumbled as he grabbed his backpack and dug out the textbooks and binders he needed in order to do his homework.

“No,” Clark replied as he sat down next to Bruce, “you’re an exception.”

“Lucky me.”

Bruce preoccupied himself with his homework and did his best to ignore Clark, who decided to stay and work right next to Bruce. Normally he wouldn’t mind the company since he usually worked on his stuff with Barry, Hal, and Arthur usually in the room, but something about Clark was different. Maybe it was the fact that Bruce actually kissed Clark and they didn’t really talk about it.

Did Bruce even want to talk about it? It was written in the contract so it technically wasn’t going against any rules per say…

“Okay I’m done.” Clark announced, snapping Bruce out of his thoughts.

“You’re done with all five pages?” Clark nodded. “Front and back?”

Clark nodded, showing Bruce the proof. “If we worked together, you could’ve had it done too.”

“Well, I finished it five minutes ago.” Bruce presented his finished packet and Clark frowned.

“Weren’t you working on it in class?”

Bruce shrugged and put his History stuff away, thankful that was his only homework. He ran a hand through his hair and laid down on his bed, staring blankly at his ceiling. Clark let out a noise of relaxation as he laid down next to Bruce.

“What should we do now?”

Bruce turned his head to the side to look at him and felt the faintest of blush creep onto his cheeks to see Clark was already looking at him. His eyes were piercing into him and he had the softest expression on his face, Bruce didn’t dare to look away.

He must be hallucinating or something since Clark’s hand came and rested itself on Bruce’s cheek. Clark leaned closer as well and Bruce didn’t know what he was going to do. But before Clark could do anything, Bruce’s phone rang.

Bruce turned away and dug his phone out of his pocket, seeing Barry was calling him. “I’ll be right back,” he excused and stepped into the hallway to take the call. “Hey.”

“Hey,” Barry replied smoothly. “How’ve you been?”

“Fine.”

Barry laughed on the other end. “Okay well, what’s been going on lately? I sent out a letter, did you get it?”

Bruce felt nauseated by the mere mention of any letter. The last thing he wanted to do right now was write, but he would make an exception for Barry. “No I haven’t but I’m sure I will soon. How’ve you been?”

“I’m good. A little homesick but the daily calls from Hal and my parents help.” Bruce nodded, not that he could see. “Anything new?”

“Uh,” Bruce peeked into his bedroom, seeing Clark had decided to take it upon himself and look around at the lack of items he had, “no not really.” He covered part of his phone as he stepped back into his room, giving Clark a weird look. “What are you doing?”

“This is a nice picture of you,” Clark said, holding up the picture or Bruce when he was six. It was from his first trip to Paris, standing in front of the Eiffel Tower. Bruce had a whole album of that trip which included all the pictures he and his parents took together.

“Please don’t touch anything.” He uncovered the phone and continued to talk to Barry. “Sorry, just Arthur messing around.”

Barry laughed. “That’s alright. Tell him I said hi, okay?”

“Will do. I’ll look for your letter,” Bruce promised, “and write as soon as possible.”

“Looking forward to it.”

Bruce hung up then and slid his phone back in his pocket as he returned his attention to Clark, who was still looking at the same picture.

“Something about that interest you?” Clark turned at Bruce’s question and gave him a sheepish smile.

“Its a cute picture. I’ve never been outside of the country.”

“I used to travel a lot when I was little, not so much anymore.” Bruce shoved his hands in his pockets as he stared at the picture as well. He smiled to himself as he remembered how happy he was then.

“Most of my traveling is going from Metropolis to Gotham,” he laughed and Bruce huffed in amusement. “Are you free this weekend?”

Bruce was quite taken aback by the question and the sudden change in topics. “What?”

“Are you free this weekend?” Clark repeated and Bruce nodded. “Mind if I take you out on our first fake date?” He gave Bruce another hopeful smile and Bruce nodded. How could he say no?

Chapter Text

Bruce turned up his nose as the smell of fish hit him instantly. He always hated the penguin exhibit at the zoo because of the smell, but of course, it was Clark’s favorite part.

When Clark brought Bruce to a zoo for their fake date, he was a little surprised. The weather was pretty cold for early September, but that didn’t stop Clark one bit.

Clark approached Bruce from behind and wrapped his arms around his waist, resting his head on his shoulder. He somehow gotten used to Clark’s affection already which was weird, but Bruce found himself relaxing into his touch.

“I always wanted a penguin when I was growing up,” he told him and Bruce smiled at that. “My parents settled for a dog instead.”

“I prefer bats myself.”

Clark laughed. “Of course you do.” He pressed a kiss to his cheek as they continued to watch the penguins jump in the water and wander around the shore. “They don’t have bats here unfortunately. What do you like about them?”

“They’re nocturnal, like me.”

Clark snorted. “Is that why you drink like five cups of coffee a day?” Bruce shrugged, biting down on his lip as he felt himself smile wider.

“You got a problem with me liking coffee?”

“Only if you start liking it more than me.” Bruce laughed and rolled his head to the side to look at Clark. He was smiling brightly at Bruce and before he knew it, Clark was kissing him.

Bruce turned around in his arms fully since it was more comfortable. He wrapped his arms around his neck and Clark pulled him closer. Bruce will admit he wasn’t the most experienced but Clark didn’t seem to mind one bit.

He pulled away after a couple of minutes since they were in a public place and Bruce didn’t want to scar any penguins…

Clark’s smile seemed wider than before as he pulled away and took Bruce’s hand, finally walking out of the penguin exhibit.

“Wanna go back to my place for lunch? I can cook up a mean BLT,” Clark offered and Bruce nodded.

“Sounds good.”

On their way out, Clark led Bruce to the gift shop. He didn’t really know why they were in there but Bruce was pretty sure anyone who loved stuffed animals would go crazy for their merchandise. Walls were filled with all the different species of every animal probably ever.

“Bruce,” Clark called and got his attention, seeing he was holding up a stuffed bat. “I think this has your name on it,” he tossed it to him and Bruce caught it. “It could be your pet bat.”

Bruce briefly turned away from him to grab a stuffed penguin off the shelf and handed it to Clark. “And this could be your penguin.”

“I’ll take it,” he grinned and Bruce playfully rolled his eyes at him. “I’ll name him Bruce.”

“Very funny.” He followed Clark to the checkout line, staring down at the bat in his hands. “I’m not naming mine Clark.”

Clark teasingly scoffed. “And why not?”

“He doesn’t look like Clark, he looks like a Ben.”

“Ben the bat,” Clark hummed as if he was pondering Bruce’s choice on a name, “I like it. And because I like it so much,” he took the bat from him, “I’ll buy it for you.”

“Clark,” Bruce began to protest but Clark brushed him off.

“It’s the least I can do.”

“Fine.” Bruce took his penguin from him. “Then I’m buying your penguin for you.”

“Fine.”

When Clark turned away, Bruce couldn’t help but smile and he wasn’t quite sure why.

***
“You live on a farm?” Confusion was in Bruce’s voice as Clark parked his truck in front of a small house which was surrounded by acres of land.

“I know it’s not much but,” Clark shrugged as he opened up his car door, walking around the front to open Bruce’s, “it's the only home I’ve ever known.” He took Bruce’s hand and helped him out, keeping their hands together as Clark led him inside.

As soon as Clark opened the door, Bruce didn’t even have a second to wrap his head around what happened. All he knew was there was a golden retriever suddenly pawing at him. He was panting and barking, looking excited.

“Krypto!” Clark shouted at the dog, wrapping his arms around his abdomen and pulling him away from Bruce. “That’s not how you treat guests,” he scolded and looked up at Bruce, flashing him an apologetic smile. “Sorry, he gets excited with new people.”

“It’s alright.” Bruce stared down at Krypto who was still looking up at him with excitement. He slowly reached his hand out to pet him and Krypto greeted his hand with a lick of his tongue.

Clerk laughed and let Krypto go when he calmed down. Krypto started sniffing Bruce and proceeded to bark at him. “He does this with everyone,” Clark explained, “come on.” He led him through the living room and into the kitchen. “You can wash your hands in that sink over there and I’ll get lunch started.”

“Don’t want my help?”

“Well like you B,” Clark pulled him close as he smirked, “I like to work alone when it comes to my cooking.” Bruce bit down on his lip and Clark licked his own. Clark leaned his head down and his nose brushed against Bruce’s, his breath tickling Bruce’s skin.

“Clark,” he said softly before clearing his throat, “no one’s around.” He wasn’t quite sure why Clark inched even closer then. Him and Bruce didn’t have to pretend right now, did they?

“I know.” Clark kissed him softly and Bruce kissed him right back. His hands came up and ran themselves through Clark’s hair, never realizing how soft it was until now.

“Ahem.”

Bruce froze and Clark pulled away, hints of red forming on his cheeks. “Mom,” he greeted the lady now standing in the doorway of the kitchen. “I thought you were working till three.” He cleared just throat and moved to Bruce’s side, keeping his arm around him.

“It was a slow day so they let me leave.” Her eyes landed on Bruce and Clark stepped forward.

“This is Bruce,” he introduced, “my boyfriend.”

“It’s nice to meet you Ms. Kent,” Bruce stuck out the hand Krypto didn’t kick and mustered up a kind smile.

“Sweetheart put your hand down, we hug in this family.” She smiled warmly and Bruce and gave him a hug. “And please, call me Martha.”
Bruce’s chest suddenly felt weird and his throat tightened up. He quickly cleared his throat and pulled away, flashing Martha another smile before returning to Clark’s side. “I’m going to take Krypto for a walk. Give you boys some...privacy.”

Once she left the kitchen, Clark looked completely embarrassed and Bruce couldn’t help but laugh.

“Please stop laughing,” Clark brushed past him to wash his hands before he gathered his ingredients for lunch. “It’s not funny.”

Bruce shrugged. “It’s a little funny,” he admitted as he washed his hands as well.

“How would you feel if Alfred walked in on us instead, hm?”

“It wouldn’t happen because unlike you, I’m careful. If I don’t want to be seen then I won’t be seen.”

“That why you stay in your room all day?” Clark teased and Bruce rolled his eyes.

“You’ve been talking to Hal too much.”

“I have to. He tells me everything I want to know about you.”

Bruce knew that couldn’t be good. “Like what?”
Clark began to make the sandwiches and Bruce returned to his side. “Well?”

“Not much.”

“Clark.”

“Bruce,” Clark turned to look at him, a sheepish smile on his face, “all he told me was that I make you happy since you used to be pouty.”

Bruce scoffed. “I am not pouty.”

“A little,” Clark admitted and Bruce shot him a look. “I don’t mind though, it’s a cute look on you.” He leaned over and gave Bruce a peck on the cheek and Bruce couldn’t be annoyed anymore, not after that.

***
Three weeks into the fake relationship and Bruce concluded Clark was the perfect fake boyfriend.

He brought Bruce coffee every morning from his favorite place, even though it was at least forty minutes from Clark’s house. He made Bruce happy in a way he could never imagine and even Alfred commented on his sudden brighter mood, and so did Hal and Arthur.

Arthur got over whatever rut he was in about Mera after a week and returned to his cheery self. He was thrilled over Bruce and Clark being together and seemed to forget about Mera entirely.

Bruce still hadn’t told Barry about him and Clark. He didn’t think it would be the best idea to tell him about a relationship that wasn’t real. Bruce let Barry guide their conversations anyway, it made things easier.

Clark continued on with the little notes as well, but Bruce never read them. He honestly didn’t see the point since they were probably empty. He put them all in his hatbox to occupy the space since Bruce didn’t know what else to do with them.

Lois, from what Bruce could see, didn’t seem all that upset over Bruce and Clark being together either. Bruce knew that wasn’t Clark’s goal and realized maybe him and Clark should end this thing before it’s too late.

Problem was, it was too late for Bruce.

He didn’t forget him and Clark weren’t actually dating, but sometimes he pretended what they had was real. It seemed all of his old feelings for Clark had resurfaced and it was impossible to ignore them at this point. Clark wasn’t helping either since he seemed to enjoy spending time with Bruce and kissed and hugged him when it wasn’t warranted.

It would be hard for Bruce to bring their goal back up since he enjoyed what him and Clark had. He enjoyed laying in his bed with Clark, talking about whatever as Clark ran his fingers through his hair and cradled his face to kiss him. He made Bruce the happiest he’s been in years and Bruce wasn’t sure if he wanted to lose that yet.

But he had to. Clark was meant to be with Lois not Bruce.

“B,” Clark’s voice was thick with sleep as he took Bruce out of his thoughts, “What time is it?”

Bruce glanced over at his clock. “Almost three.”

“In the morning?” Clark sounded worried and Bruce turned to look at him. He smiled as he saw how Clark’s hair was sticking up in fifty directions.

“Afternoon.”

Clark breathed a sigh of relief and pressed a kiss to Bruce’s head. “Sorry I fell asleep on you. I wasn’t being a very good boyfriend now was I?” He lowered himself on Bruce’s bed and rested his hand on his cheek. “How can I make it up to you?”

“I have a few ideas.”

Bruce smirked as Clark captured his lips into a searing kiss, pulling him even closer. It took Bruce a second to realize Clark just referred to himself as his boyfriend. He was sure it was just a slip up, it had to be.

Clark pulled him even closer than he already was, his hand teasing at the hem of Bruce’s shirt. Bruce’s breath hitched as Clark’s hand came up and under his shirt, running his hand over his abdomen. His hand was warm and lightly calloused, moving towards Bruce’s back and rubbing small circles there.

Bruce broke away for air and Clark started to kiss at his neck. “Clark,” he gasped out as Clark’s teeth lightly grazed his skin.

“You’re gorgeous Bruce,” Clark whispered in his ear as he pulled away from his neck and kissed him on the lips once more. Bruce felt fuzzy from the sentiment but he wasn’t sure why Clark said it. This wasn’t real and maybe Bruce should stop acting like it was.

He pulled out of the kiss and Clark ran a hand through his hair, resting his hand on his cheek. His eyes searched his face as if he was searching for the answers to what Bruce was thinking.

“What’s wrong? Is it something I just did-”

“No,” Bruce said quickly, “what we did is fine.” Clark nodded, waiting for Bruce to continue. He sat up and Clark rolled off of him, sitting up too. He took a deep breath. “Have you talked to Lois lately?”

Total mood killer. Bruce knew it. Clark knew it. But it was about time they started talking about their plan since they’ve both seemed to ignore it.

“No. I haven’t spoken to her since we got together.”

“Maybe you should.”

Clark’s expression faltered briefly to a frown but it left his face as soon as it formed. He leaned forward and gave Bruce another kiss before getting off his bed. “I should get going. See you tomorrow morning, okay? Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, Bruce.” He gave a small wave before he headed out.

Bruce stared up at his ceiling, already missing Clark’s touch. He was an idiot.

Chapter Text

“Is it ready?”

“Hand picked just like you requested,” the store clerk smiled as they handed Bruce the bouquet of irises. “I picked them out myself,” they boasted proudly and Bruce gave them a tight smile.

“They’re lovely, thank you.” He dropped a bill in the tip jar before he walked out of the store and got in the backseat of Alfred’s car.

He took off as soon as Bruce closed the door. The ache that has been with Bruce for years was making itself even more known than usual as he drove to the cemetery.

His phone vibrated in his pocket and Bruce pulled it halfway out to see it was a text from Clark. It was probably the tenth one in the past two hours he had sent him. Bruce never told him or gave him a heads up why he wasn’t at school today, but he didn’t feel as though he had to. Sure they were fake dating for about a month now, but he wasn’t actually dating Clark so it didn’t really matter.

Bruce sighed to himself as he slid his phone back in his pocket and stared longingly out the window. He wasn’t sure if he was ready to share that part of his life with Clark yet. He was surprised Clark didn’t know either since it was Gotham’s main gossip for years; guess word didn’t spread to Metropolis.

The car stopped and his heart sunk to the pit of the stomach, knowing they were there. He got out of the car and felt his eyes water with tears as he took three short steps.

A tear rolled down his face and Bruce quickly caught it with the back of his hand. He bent down and exchanged the dead flowers already there with the new ones. His throat felt tight as he stared down at the graves and he took in a shaky breath.

“I love you Mom and Dad.” His voice hitched at the end and Bruce swallowed down the lump he felt and cleared his throat. He glanced behind him to see Alfred was standing outside of the car, looking solemn. “We miss you so much,” he turned back to them and said. His lower lip started quivering and tears welled in his eyes, but Bruce wasn’t going to let them fall, not yet.

He placed his hand on the headstones before walking back to the car. He got in the backseat and waited while Alfred spent a couple minutes there as well.

Bruce rested his head against the window and closed his eyes, letting the tears fall then. He knew he should suck it up and stop crying but he cried every time he came here. He cried every year when the dreadful day came up again and again. He wouldn’t call it an anniversary since it wasn’t a celebration by any means. It was a day of dread. It always had been and it always will be.

He felt some sense of relief when Alfred got back in the car and drove back to the Manor. The ache was still there, getting duller and duller as Bruce got further away from the cemetery.

The first thing he would do when he got to the Manor was go upstairs to his room and take the longest hot shower ever. Then he would lay in bed for the rest of the day and return to reality tomorrow.

Driving back to the Manor was longer than Bruce had ever remember it being but he eventually was home. When he got out of the car, he froze as he saw a familiar blue and white truck.

“Shit,” he muttered under his breath as he caught sight of Clark not too far away. Alfred got out of the car as well and took the dead flowers from Bruce before disappearing inside. Bruce ran a hand through his hair and shoved his hands in his pockets as he approached Clark.

Clark walked up to him and Bruce mentally prepared himself for the series of questions which were about to be thrown his way. He wasn’t sure what he would say since it wasn’t something he wouldn't have an easy time dodging.

However to Bruce’s surprise, Clark didn’t say anything. Instead, he stepped forward and wrapped his arms around Bruce, pulling him into a tight hug. Clark didn’t say or ask anything, all he did was hug Bruce and Bruce returned it.

He rested his head on Clark’s chest and closed his eyes, inhaling his usual fresh scent. His chest was warm against Bruce’s cheek and his heart was beating strongly under his ear. He felt better, safer in Clark’s arms.

“Bruce,” he finally said softly and Bruce internally groaned, knowing whatever moment they were having was about to be broken in a single second. “Do you want to go inside?” Bruce was taken aback by the question but nodded. His hand found Clark’s and they walked inside together.

Clark took the lead and brought Bruce upstairs to his room. He took his coat from him and draped it on his desk chair along with his own coat. Clark took his shoes off and Bruce did as well since he laid down in his bed and faced his wall.

He felt a dip in the mattress and Bruce knew Clark had join him in bed. He felt his hands on his shoulders and gave them a comforting squeeze.

“Aren’t you supposed to be in school?” Bruce croaked out knowing fully well he probably killed whatever mood Clark was trying to build. He planned on spending the rest of his day alone but with Clark now here, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to be alone.

“I left,” he replied calmly and Bruce turned to face him, searching his perfectly gorgeous face for answers. “I couldn’t focus without knowing if you were alright.” His hand rested on Bruce’s cheek as he stared deeply into his eyes. Clark’s gaze was piercing and Bruce felt overly exposed, thinking Clark was reading his thoughts. “You’re all I think about, B.” He leaned down and pressed a kiss to his head.

“You sound like you’re obsessed with me.” Clark laughed faintly as he gave Bruce another kiss on the forehead before sitting up against the headboard.

Clark wrapped his arm around Bruce’s shoulder and Bruce moved to rest on him. “I just might be,” he whispered to himself as his fingers ran themselves through Bruce’s hair. Bruce’s heart felt like it was on fire then but he tried his best to ignore the feeling. “Have you eaten anything today?”

“Not hungry,” Bruce mumbled.

Another kiss was pressed to his head along with an arm now wrapped around his waist as well. “I’m not going to pry but if you want to talk, I’m here. I’m always here for you, Bruce.” His eyes immediately watered again and screw Clark for being so damn perfect. “I’ll stay if you want me to or I can leave, I don’t want to overstep,” he added.

Bruce sat up and faced him fully. He searched once more to see if there was anything else on Clark’s face besides care and adoration. Maybe he should tell him. Open up to someone since he couldn’t really run away because the relationship wasn’t real. It wasn’t a commitment Clark had to make either.

He took a deep breath. Here goes.

“My parents were murdered when I was eight.”
Pity didn’t even cross Clark’s face once and Bruce was thankful since it always did whenever someone heard about what happened to his parents. He was sick of pity, been sick of it for years. “Today’s the day.”

Clark didn’t say anything. He pulled Bruce close to him and gave him a squeeze. His chin rested on Bruce’s head as the silence built again, but it was a good silence. A comfortable one.

“I lost my dad last year,” Clark confessed himself a few minutes later. “That’s why I switched schools at such a weird time. Mom thought it would be best if I got a change of scenery and she was right. I met you.” Bruce could tell Clark was smiling, he could feel it. “God you were like a breath of fresh air, Bruce.”

“You remember that?” He looked at Clark to see he was in fact smiling and his eyes only spoke truth.

“Of course. I remember our times in the library, they were the best part of my day,” he beamed, “seeing you.” Bruce’s throat felt tight again, but not from a lump or anything, he was simply lost for words. “You were the first person who I met that didn’t treat me like I was the new kid. You were just...you. You were different from any person I had ever met, in a good way, I mean,” he chuckled.

Bruce was still not sure what to say, so he didn’t say anything. Was this Clark’s way of confessing something? No, it couldn’t be. Clark wanted to be with Lois in the end, he was just trying to make Bruce feel better.

It was about time this whole charade came to an end, wasn’t it? Bruce was into deep. He knew he had fallen for Clark all over again and Bruce knew this would hurt in the end. It always did.

***
Ending the “relationship” was easier than Bruce had expected it to be. Clark quickly made the decision for them both. The next day, not even after a full twenty-four hours, he saw Clark with Lois.

They were holding hands, hugging, laughing, and near kissing like they usually were, like how they were supposed to be.

The sight shouldn’t come as a surprise to Bruce, he knew it was coming. It was his impending doom for the last month but seeing it still cut his heart right in half. Clark was oblivious to Bruce’s presence as he usually was when he was with Lois, but Lois noticed.

She immediately pulled away from Clark and he finally caught on, but Bruce had turned right around on his heel and walked out of school.

His chest hurt so fucking badly and Bruce didn’t know why. It wasn’t like he was betrayed by Clark because their relationship wasn’t real but maybe the fact that it wasn’t real was the part that hurt the most.

He didn’t have an escape plan but he sure hoped he found Hal or Arthur to drive him somewhere. Anywhere away from this place and from Clark. Bruce could notify Alfred to get him, but he knew he wouldn’t get here in the time Bruce wanted him to.

“Bruce!” Clark yelled behind him but Bruce kept walking. He pushed his way outside into the crisp October air and the wind hurt his cheeks, making his eyes water. “Bruce!” He sounded closer and closer and before Bruce knew it, he was turned around.

“Don’t touch me!” Bruce hissed and shrugged out of Clark’s grip. “Stay away from me.” He turned around again but Clark reached out to him. Bruce spun around and swatted his arm off of him. He glared up at Clark, glared into those eyes he used to love staring into.

“B, let me explain,” he pleaded as his eyes shined with tears. “It’s not what it looks like.”

Bruce scoffed, ignoring the sob threatening to rise in his throat. “I don’t care. We used each other when we needed and now it’s over. We’re done, Clark.” He didn’t even give him a final look as he turned around on his heel and walked away.

Tears were begging to fall but Bruce wasn’t letting them. He wasn’t going to cry over Clark. He didn’t cry over any other person he had a crush on and Clark wasn’t going to be his first.

He kept his head down and his hands shook as pulled out his phone to send a text to Alfred. He wanted him to come as fast as possible but he knew no time would be fast enough.

Bruce wasn’t paying attention to where he was going since he accidentally bumped into someone and immediately recognized who it was.

“Brucie!” Hal enthused and Bruce was not going to deal with this right now. He wasn’t about to suck it up and talk to Hal about whatever, not right now. He brushed past him and kept walking. “Hey!” He heard running and Bruce was suddenly halted. He took a deep breath as he looked up at Hal finally.

He opened his mouth to speak but no words came out. Bruce didn’t know what to say. And even if he did, he was afraid if he spoke he would choke.

“Is Alfred getting you?” Bruce nodded and Hal chewed on his lower lip as he looked him up and down. “Mind if I? I-I think there’s something we need to talk about.” Bruce shook his head, not wanting to deal with anything right now. “Then can I at least give you a ride home? Please?”

“Bruce!” Bruce felt a weight pull his heart down as he heard Clark again.

“C’mon.” Hal wrapped his arm around his shoulder and quickly led Bruce towards his car. Bruce quickly let Alfred know to not come and felt a little bad about doing it, but he would apologize for it later. “Bruce,” Hal said cautiously as he started to drive, taking Bruce out of his thoughts, “did you guys break up?”

Bruce shook his head and cleared his throat. “We were never together.”

“Wait what?” Hal glanced at him before looking back at the road. “You two were never together?”

“No,” he stared out the window, seeing it was starting to rain. “It was all a lie,” he muttered, feeling some relief to finally get that off his chest. “I’m sorry for making you believe it.”

“Bruce, I don’t care,” Hal stated bluntly. “I don’t care if the relationship was real or not. I mean yeah it’s messed up that you both lied and I do want to find out why because I’m sure that’s interesting, but you’re not okay. Deny it all you want but shit, I can tell when something’s wrong.”

Bruce didn’t say anything, knowing Hal was right.

“Look, I know this is probably the last thing you want to hear right now but I’m gonna say it anyway,” Hal continued on. “You guys were probably the most in love couple I’ve ever seen. Like he really cares about you Bruce, I can tell.”

He shook his head, not believing a word of that. “He doesn’t.” He stared down at his hands and picked at his cuticles, fighting off sudden tears. “Clark doesn’t want anything to do with me. We used each other when we needed and now it’s over.” He sniffled and cursed at himself for doing it.

Hal rested his hand on his shoulder and gave it a comforting squeeze. “You don’t have to answer this, but do you love him?”

“I’ve only known him for a month, Hal.”

“And?”

“And it’s infatuation,” Bruce snapped. “We don’t love each other. He loves Lois, his girlfriend.”

“He’s already back with Lois?” Hal let out a low whistle and shook his head. Hal saying it out loud made it even more real and didn’t make Bruce feel any better. He knew that wasn’t his intention, but it still hurt. “We’re here for you, Bruce. No matter what,” he promised with another squeeze on his shoulder.

***
Hal, unfortunately, was wrong about that too. Hal was there for Bruce like he promised, Barry surely was too when Bruce told him what was going on, but Arthur wasn’t. Once Arthur found out the news about Bruce and Clark’s breakup, which was the next day at school, he made a confession of his own.

Bruce went to school for some stupid reason, but Clark didn’t. He was quite relieved to not have to sit next to him in first period or see him all day either. It made things a bit easier.

Anyway, Bruce was spending his lunch period with sulking in the library when Arthur approached him. He sat right across from him and had guilt swimming all over his face.

Initially, Bruce knew the conversation wasn’t going to be good, but he didn’t quite know the extent.

“Hey,” Arthur greeted with a tight smile. “I’m sorry about you and Clark.” Bruce shrugged it off, sick of the constant apologies he’d been getting from pretty much everyone. Random kids Bruce had never even spoken to before told him they were sorry. It was weird. “Hal told me by the way, that it wasn’t real. Don’t be mad at him though,” he quickly added, “it accidentally slipped out.” Bruce nodded, knowing that was typical Hal.

Arthur took a deep breath and cracked his knuckles, something he did when he was nervous.

“Look Bruce, I-I-um,” he rubbed the back of his neck, “I know about the letters.”

Bruce blinked. “What?”

“I found them, that day we were all at your house like months ago.”

“You were the one who sent them out?!” Bruce couldn’t help but raise his voice. He was in a library but that surely didn’t stop him. “Do you have any idea how private those were?! How they were supposed to not be seen?!”

“I hated seeing you so lonely.”

“Lonely!” Bruce shouted, catching the attention of other students. “I wasn’t lonely! I was perfectly fine and-”

“Clark helped you Bruce and you know it,” Arthur clipped and Bruce scoffed.

“Look Arthur I know you were in a pity party of one about Mera but you have no right to drag me down with you.” He gathered you his stuff and stormed out of the library.

It must’ve been Bruce’s Doomsday since he ran right into Lois. Bruce walked past her before she could say anything, like she had anything to say to Bruce anyway.

“Hey!” She called after him and Bruce groaned as he turned around to see Lois approaching him rather quickly. “Hey,” she said again as she came closer and gave him a small smile. Bruce crossed his arms over his chest. “Right well, Clark told me you wouldn’t-”

“I don’t care what Clark has to say.” He turned around but Lois put her hand on his arm. She slowly turned him back around and presented a piece of folded up paper. “What’s this?”

“It’s for you.”

“If it’s from Clark I don’t want it.” Lois nodded in understanding and tucked the note away in her pocket. “I wish you both happiness,” he said bitterly before walking away.

When he got home, Bruce went straight to his room and collapsed on top of his bed. It had been a long week but it was finally over.

His phone buzzed and he groaned into his sheets, knowing who it could be. He pulled it out and turned it off, tossing it somewhere in the room.

Bruce closed his eyes briefly and opened them back up as soon as he heard a knock on his door. He dragged himself out of bed and swung the door open, revealing Alfred. He was holding an envelope in his hand.

“This came for you. No return address on it.” Bruce nodded and took the envelope. “If you need anything, I’ll be in the kitchen.” Bruce nodded again and Alfred began to walk away.

“Alfred,” he called after him and Alfred halted and turned around. Bruce strode over to him and gave him a hug. “Thank you. For everything.”

Alfred hugged him right back. “It’s my pleasure.” He pulled back and gave Bruce a warm smile. “I’m going to make you some cookies and hot chocolate, no objections.” Bruce smiled at the request and pulled away, letting Alfred get to work.

Bruce returned to his room and flopped down on his bed, ripping the envelope open. He pulled out a piece of paper that specifically said to read before reading up. With an eye roll, Bruce began to read the letter.

Bruce,

If you’re reading this, it means you didn’t destroy this envelope so thank you for that, but it also means that I’m sorry. I know you’re probably way too angry at me right now to believe it, but it’s true.

I’m not writing to you to change your mind but I hope you do but I want you to know the truth. Honesty is very important to me and I’ve always been honest with you, always know that. I would never lie to you.

With that being said, everything I ever wrote to you was the truth. I meant every word of every note I written to you and I will always mean it. I know you said you never meant the letter you wrote to me, but I believe it to be true.

You said if you had the chance you could fall in love with me. Well B, I had the chance of getting to know you and getting to spend time with you. I had the chance to realize how amazing you are in just the short month that I got to know you. I knew you were special the first day I met you in the library and I was right. You are special Bruce. You’re special to me.

I love you Bruce Wayne.

Sincerely Yours,

Clark

P.S. I love you.

Chapter Text

Bruce felt like a zombie and hey, he might as well be one. After the not so long weekend, he was back in school and he was miserable.

It seemed everyone in school was staring at him and whispering while he walked past them. He knew what they were talking about and frankly, he didn’t care at all.

Clark’s letter didn’t help Bruce feel any better at all. It didn’t explain anything outside of Clark admitting his feelings which Bruce didn’t mind, but it didn’t take away from the fact that he never explained what happened with him and Lois.

Avoidance was Bruce’s best strategy at this point but he knew he couldn’t hide from Clark in first period. He would skip even though Alfred would probably kill him for doing so, but did he really have a choice?

The last thing he wanted was for Clark to come and talk to him and yet, to Bruce’s unfortunate luck, Clark was waiting for him at his locker. His expression was grim, completely opposite from his usual cheery self, and he caught Bruce’s eye quickly.

He gave Bruce an almost puppy-dog look of sadness and it was enough for Bruce to turn around on his heel and walk out of school. He would just walk back to the Manor, it wasn’t too far away. No point in bothering Alfred.

“Bruce.”

His name was snapped by Clark who wasn’t so far away as Bruce made his way out into the parking lot. His grip on his backpack straps tightened as he turned around. Students passing them by had already stopped to watch them and they last thing Bruce needed right now was an audience.

“Did the letter mean nothing to you?” Sadness was laced into every word Clark spoke and Bruce felt bad, truly, but it didn’t change anything.

“Telling me you love me doesn't make this any different,” he gritted out. “You didn’t explain anything that happened between you and Lois.” He wanted to mention Clark avoiding him too, but he’d save that for later.

Clark’s mouth formed into a thin line and he let out a sigh, looking off briefly before meeting his eyes again. “I asked her if we could just be friends because I love you.” Tears were shining in Clark’s eyes now. “Bruce, I’m sorry.”

Bruce looked him up and down; questions that were still left unanswered were running through his head and he was pretty sure he wasn’t ready to forgive Clark just yet. The truth, the real truth that had been gnawing at him for weeks was coming into light and Bruce was sick of avoiding it.

“You’re not over Lois.” Clark was a bit taken aback by the news since he looked a bit shocked by his question. “I’m not going to be your rebound, Clark.”

“You were never the rebound. Bruce, I want to be with you.” Clark’s voice was pleading at this point but Bruce knew the reality of this whole situation, Clark wanted to be with Lois, he knew he did. “Why can’t you see that? Why can’t you see that I feel terrible and I can’t sleep and I can’t eat and all I want to do is make this right.”

Something in Bruce’s stomach fluttered but he ignored it. “You avoided me. Ever since you started dating her you stopped talking to me and you did the exact same thing the other day.” He crossed his arms over his chest as he let out a breath, seeing it in the air. “I think it’s best if we go our separate ways.”

Clark scoffed and shook his head. “So this is it then? You’re going to walk away from us?”

“There was no us, Clark,” he hissed. “There never was and there never will be. You’re clearly not over Lois-”

“And you’re clearly scared,” Clark interjected as he took a small step forward. “You’re scared to let someone get close to you, aren’t you?” Bruce didn’t say anything. He only narrowed his eyes at Clark and chewed on the inside of his cheek, keeping his distance. “I want to be with you and I know you want that too.”

“You don’t know what I want. You don’t even know me.”

“Because you won’t let me in!” Clark exclaimed loudly which quickly caught more attention than needed. “You’ve built up this wall around you and you won’t let anyone in. Let me in Bruce, please.” He walked closer but Bruce took a step back.

“Goodbye Clark.” Bruce gave him a final look before he turned around and walked away.

He was repeating to himself over and over again this was the right thing to do. Bruce was better off without Clark and Clark could take the time to realize how he’s not with Lois and needs to be with her. This was the right decision and Bruce knew it was too, but he still felt crappy.

His phone vibrated in his pocket and Bruce pulled it out, seeing it was a text from Hal.

Yikes.

Hal sent a picture, which happened to be Bruce standing with Clark just now with big bold letters saying Bruce Wayne was a heartbreaker.

Wanna ditch?

Bruce snorted, knowing he was already on it. He texted Hal where he was and in a matter of seconds, Hal’s car was right in front of him.

Immediately, Bruce got in and Hal sped out of the school parking lot like the wreckless driver he was.

“Bruce Wayne, you are officially the worst person in the school.” Hal pulled up another picture on his phone of another meme of Bruce and Clark. “You dumped the school’s sweetheart.” He grunted at that remark, staring blankly out the window.

“Clark will be fine, he has Lois.”

“No offense Brucie, but you’re an idiot.” Bruce turned to Hal, shooting him a look. “If Clark wants to be with Lois then why is he trying to make things work with you?” Bruce shrugged, honestly not even knowing the answer.

“Infatuated? Rebound?” He guessed and Hal rolled his eyes at him. “He avoided me when he was dating Lois so, that says something,” he mumbled.

“They were dating for like two months, big deal.”

“Four actually,” Bruce corrected but Hal shook his head.

“Doesn’t matter. The point is, Clark loves you, Bruce. He doesn’t want to be with Lois, he wants to be with you.”

“You sound very certain.”

Hal sighed as he stopped at a red light and looked at Bruce fully. “Clark told me himself. He likes you a lot, ever since last ye-”

“Wait what? Last year? What are you talking about?”

“You didn’t know?” Hal answered his own question since something in his brain clicked. “Shit I wasn’t supposed to say that.” He looked away from Bruce and kept driving, keeping his eyes on the road.

“Hal what are you talking about?”

“Nothing.”

“Hal,” Bruce demanded, “What is it?”

“It’s nothing,” Hal repeated. “It's just some silly rumor that Clark had a crush on you last year but you’re well...you, and he never made a move and dated Lois instead since she liked him and he wanted to move on from you,” he muttered.

Bruce Wayne was a lot of things and an idiot was certainly not one of them, but right now was the only exception.

“What?”

“I’m just telling you what I heard, Brucie. It may or may not have been from Clark and it may or may not have been from a second-hand source.”

Bruce leaned back against the car chair and pinched the bridge of his nose as he let out a heavy sigh. “Hal why didn’t you tell me this last week?”

“Because you were upset and I promised Clark I wouldn’t say anything so don’t tell him I told you, okay?”

“Well we’re not on speaking terms so.”

“Good,” Hal said with relief. “Well not good for you, but good for me. Anyway, whatcha gonna do B?”

“I don’t know,” he answered honestly.

“Do you love him?”

“I don’t know,” he groaned and looked back out the window. “Can we talk about anything else?”

Hal sighed. “Fine. Why aren’t you and Arthur speaking?”

“Something else.”

“Clark or Arthur,” he offered. “Take your pick.”

Bruce’s jaw tightened. “Arthur betrayed me.”

“How?”

“You know that letter you got?” He glanced at Hal, who nodded. “Well, I wrote four more,” he confessed. “They weren’t meant to be seen but Arthur sent them out. He thinks it all worked out because Clark came into my life.”

Bruce clutched onto whatever he could grab as Hal abruptly veered off the road and violently parked his car on the curb.

He turned to look at Bruce fully, eyes wide. “Wait hold on. You told me you didn’t mean that letter you wrote me but you wrote four more and one of them was to Clark?” Bruce nodded. “Did you mean his?”

“Yes,” he admitted. “At the time, I meant all of them.”

“So you had a crush on me? Like legit?!” Bruce nodded and Hal cracked up. “Oh my god! When?”

“It’s not there anymore,” he snapped but Hal kept laughing.

“D-Does,” he breathed out before laughing some more. “Hold on.” Hal sat up straight and cleared his throat, regaining his composer. “Does anyone know?”

“Clark found out, but other than that, no.”

Hal nodded, a grin on his face. “I’m flattered.”

“Don’t be.”

“I won’t tell Barry, unless he already knows?” Bruce shook his head. “Okay cool well he gets jealous so I’m not going to say anything and he may kill you too.” Bruce shook his head and returned his gaze back to the window, feeling relieved to have the whole truth out in the open.

“That’s why Clark and I arranged this whole thing. I didn’t want you to find out and Clark wanted Lois back so, it was a win-win,” he explained and Hal gave another nod.

“So are you going to talk to Clark?”

Bruce rolled his eyes at the sudden topic change back to Clark. “We need space.”

“You guys need to talk but, I’ll shut up. It’s not my relationship.”

Bruce grunted. “That’s a first.” Hal gave him a playful punch on the arm and Bruce couldn’t help but laugh.

***
Trying his very best to be subtle and silent, Bruce slipped into the Manor as quietly as he could. He didn’t need to be lectured on skipping school right now from Alfred. Bruce knew it how important it was but he couldn’t be in school right now. Maybe he could be homeschooled for the rest of the year?

He made his way towards the stairs and halted as he heard a clearing of a throat. Obviously he was busted, but that didn’t stop Bruce from walking up a couple more steps until he turned to face Alfred.

Alfred didn’t look happy which was a given. His arms were crossed over his chest and he was giving Bruce a stern look. This couldn’t be good.

“I do believe your first period is starting right now.” Bruce dumbly nodded at the statement. “Is there a reason why you’re not in class?” Another nod and Alfred waited for him to go on.

Bruce bit down on his tongue. He knew he could tell Alfred the truth and Bruce had never lied to him before, and he wasn’t going to start now.

“Clark.”

“You’re avoiding school because of Clark?” Bruce nodded once more, feeling the hint of heat rise to his cheeks.

“It’s a long story,” he mumbled and looked down at his shoes, feeling awkward.

“Well,” Alfred spoke with more enthusiasm that was terribly fake, “since you’re opting out of school today you get to tell me all about it.” Bruce agreed with a nod, making his way downstairs and following Alfred into the living room.

Bruce set his bag down as he sat next to Alfred on the couch, trying to not feel ashamed under his intense glare.

He started from the beginning, the very beginning from when he wrote his first letter. Bruce told Alfred about everything and everyone. He told him about Selina, Talia, Diana, Hal, and eventually Clark. He informed him how he wasn’t talking to Arthur anymore because of the letters and his conflicting-not so conflicting feelings about Clark.

Bruce still had feelings for Clark, of course he still had feelings for him, but it didn’t mean they should be together. Him and Clark were too...different. He was a golden boy from Metropolis and Bruce was a brick wall. Clark was right about that, Hell everyone that knew Clark was right about Bruce not letting people in but they didn’t need to call him out on it.

But maybe being so different was what made them work because even in the short month Bruce actually got to know him, they weren’t so different after all.

Hal’s confession came back into Bruce’s head like a flood but if what he said was true, why didn’t Clark tell him himself? Maybe he was and Bruce never gave him a chance to explain; seemed like he would never know.

“Alright,” Alfred spoke finally after Bruce gave him a few minutes to take everything in, “It seems you’ve gotten yourself in quite a predicament.” Bruce nodded again knowing Alfred was spot on about that one. “If I were you, I would reconcile with Master Arthur. He’s a very good friend to you and perhaps his intentions were coming from a good place.”

Bruce sighed and ran a hand over his hair. “I guess,” he grumbled in agreement, “but he still shared something that was private.”

“I understand, but maybe you should see where he is coming from. Clark too.” And with that, Alfred got up and left the room, tending to whatever duties he had.

Bruce was thankful they didn’t discuss him not being at school right now, but he knew that was a conversation meant for later. He also thought Alfred would be a little bit more helpful on what Bruce should do and all their conversation did was make him even more conflicted.

He could easily make things right again with Arthur but Bruce wasn’t sure if he wanted to. He felt as though the trust between them was broken, even though it did lead to Clark, despite how that whole thing ended.

Clark was another story in itself anyway.

If only Barry was here, he’d know what to do. Well, Bruce would’ve been more worried if Barry was here since he did write a love letter to his now boyfriend.

Bruce’s head was starting to hurt and he felt as though someone was pounding on his skull with a large hammer. The pounding was getting louder and louder and it took him a second to realize the sound wasn’t coming from his head but it was coming from the front door.

Alfred was nowhere in sight so Bruce dragged himself off the couch and shuffled lazily and miserably over to the door. His headache only got worse as he opened it.

“It’s really not a good time right now.” Bruce rubbed at his forehead as he stared a bit tiredly at Clark, wondering why he hadn’t given up yet for the day.

“I didn’t like how we left things,” Clark said rather firmly. His jaw was tight and clenched, trying to compose a hard demeanor, but Bruce could see the sadness swimming in his eyes.

“It’s really not a good time,” Bruce stressed. He wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed and forget about all his problems until tomorrow.

Clark’s mouth formed into a thin line as he nodded in understanding. “Is there anything I can do to help?” Bruce banged his head on the doorframe and closed his eyes, feeling a slight frustration rising.

“No Clark, there’s nothing you can do to help,” he sighed and gave him a tired glance. “I need time to myself and clearly you don’t get that because you’re here. Why?”

“I told you-”

“Why are you actually here?” Bruce clarified and Clark took in a deep breath and let it out slowly.

“I don’t like how we left things,” Clark repeated calmly. “I know I’m the last person you want to see right now and believe me Bruce, the distance you suggested doesn’t sound too bad.”

Bruce sensed a “but” was coming, he could feel it. He waited a full minute and Clark didn’t say anything, to his surprise.

“You came here all this way to tell me you agreed with me?” Clark shrugged and Bruce rolled his eyes. “Thank you Clark for wasting-”

“I came here all this way to tell you I’m respecting your wishes. You don’t want to be near me then fine. I know what I want and what I want is you B, but if you need the time then I’ll give you the time.”

Bruce looked at him weirdly but knew what Clark was saying. “Don’t wait on me.”

Clark gave him a small smile. “Don’t tell me what I can and cannot do,” he countered and Bruce bit down on the inside of his cheek to stop the smile that was trying to form. “When you’re ready, I’ll be there.” Clark leaned down and gave Bruce a light peck on the cheek before turning around and walking to his truck.

Longing was pooling in Bruce’s stomach and filling him up from head to toe and he knew he still had so many things to deal with and work on but right now, maybe he should just give into his needs.

“Clark,” he called out without even consciously realizing it. Clark slowly turned around and looked at Bruce thoughtfully.

What Bruce did was so cliché and stupid and something that was written in a cheesy rom-com or a horribly plotted out fan fiction but he did it anyway.

He walked right over to Clark and wrapped his arms around him tightly. Bruce rested his face in the crook of his neck as he hugged him and Clark hugged him right back. He felt safe and warm in his strong arms and Bruce knew slowly, things would be okay.

“This mean what I think of means?” Clark broke the comfortable silence with and Bruce rolled his eyes at him again, playfully this time.

“Probably not,” he mumbled into his neck and Clark chuckled. “We have a lot to discuss.”

Clark pressed a kiss to his head. “I know.”

***
Bruce stared down at his phone. He had Arthur’s contact open for the past hour or two now and Bruce still didn’t call or text him.

“Bruce you’re going to give yourself a headache,” Clark mumbled. Bruce turned to give him a look and Clark gave him one right back.

“Your boyfriend’s right,” Hal agreed, shoving chips in his mouth. The crumbs that were scattered on his shirt and around him were eaten up by Krypto. “You need to call him.”

“First of all,” Bruce began, “Clark and I aren’t dating. Second, I’m not calling him.”

Hal grunted. “Okay then what are you guys? It’s been like a month and Barry’s gonna come home soon during the holidays and we’re going to need to do a double date because I already had one planned when you two said you were dating the first time.” He shoved another handful of chips in his mouth and Bruce looked away in slight disgust.

“We’re figuring things out,” Clark answered for them both. “Right B?”

Bruce nodded and sighed as he turned his phone off and slid it away. After Clark came to him after their fight, he was honest with Bruce and told him everything. Turned out, Hal was right about the whole crush situation but Bruce still wanted some time before he jumped back into a relationship with Clark.

They were basically friends, minus the occasional hugs and sometimes makeout sessions. Those were fairly rare even though Bruce was sporting a pretty big hickey on his neck which was mostly hidden by his sweater, thankfully.

“It’s complicated,” he mumbled in a reply.

“Not as complicated as you and Arthur,” Hal commented, uncaring that Krypto was currently licking at his face.

“If Bruce isn’t ready to talk to him then he doesn’t have to.” Clark got Krypto’s attention by grabbing one of his toys and got him off of Hal. “Shouldn’t Arthur try to talk to Bruce himself?”

Hal scoffed. “You’re not his boyfriend right now Clark and you don’t get to agree with him right now,” he tisked and Clark shook his head at him. “You do have a point but-I have an idea!”

“Oh no,” Bruce groaned and looked over at Clark for sympathy but he looked as equally terrified as Bruce.

“How about I call Arthur over here!” Hal suggested way too enthusiastically and immediately received a big fat no from Bruce.

“That sounds like a good idea,” Clark agreed and Bruce narrowed his eyes at him. “What? Come on Bruce, you two could at least talk. What’s the worse it could do?”

“I’m calling him,” Hal announced abruptly and stood up. He ran out of the other room before Bruce could catch him and Clark holding him back and nearly forcing him to cuddle with him wasn’t helping.

Bruce shifted in his lap until he was comfortable, resting his head against his chest. “You’re not making this any better.” Clark chuckled and gave him a squeeze.

“And what did I do?” Clark asked too innocently and Bruce cocked his head to the side to meet his eyes.

“You know.”

Clark only hummed in response, running his fingers through Bruce’s hair. “You’re not stopping Hal from contacting Arthur. Look B,” he turned him around in his lap, “I know how you feel. You don’t have to forgive him, but maybe try to talk things out. If that doesn’t work then you do what you have to do. Just remember, no matter what, I’m here for you.” Bruce nodded after his words and Clark gave him a sweet kiss on the lips.

Bruce relaxed in Clark’s arms and rested his head on his shoulder, an odd feeling forming in his stomach. He hadn’t spoken to Arthur in awhile and he wasn’t sure if he really wanted to.

“What would you do?” He asked Clark in a mere whisper. “If you were in my position I mean.”

“Well, if Hal wasn’t here,” Clark began and Bruce gave him a playful swat on the chest, receiving a chuckle in return. “Seriously though, I would forgive Arthur.”

“Really?”

Clark nodded. “You have to think if the friendship is worth it. Is it worth losing?” Bruce knew the question was rhetorical, but even if it wasn’t, he didn’t know the answer.

Chapter Text

Bruce tapped his finger steadily against the rim of his mug. He shouldn’t be here and every single part of him wanted to run out the door and never look back, but Clark wouldn’t allow that. Clark, who was sitting next to Bruce and basically keeping him captive in the booth they were in, was happily eating a piece of pie and sipping from his cup of hot cocoa every once in a while.

How he could eat at a time like this Bruce didn’t know but he was getting more and more anxious by the second. He was sure his coffee had gone cold now anyway and Bruce didn’t even take a sip yet.

He glanced at his watch to see it was a minute before eleven. That gave him at least one minute to get up and go. He could crawl under the table if need be and pray Clark didn’t notice.

A hand was on his shoulder and Bruce jumped, only feeling some sort of relief as he realized it was just Clark. Of course it would be Clark since who else could it be?

“He has a minute,” Bruce spoke up first, “and if he doesn’t show up I’m leaving and killing Hal for making me be here in the first place,” he mumbled and Clark chuckled.

“You’re not going to be killing anyone.” Clark slid his plate of pie over. “Have some, it will make you feel better,” he pressed a kiss to his cheek and wrapped his arm around his shoulder.

Bruce’s stomach turned at the thought of eating. He watched the front door of the café intensely, tapping his foot under the table in anticipation. “He’s not coming,” he turned to Clark and signaled for him to move. “We’re going-”

“Nowhere,” he finished for him. “Give him five more minutes and if he doesn’t show, then we can leave.” Bruce huffed and the comment and Clark gave him a look. “You did agree to meet up,” he pointed out and Bruce sighed, running a hand through his hair.

“I know, I just didn’t think it would’ve actually happened,” he grumbled as he rested his head on Clark’s shoulder.

Bruce checked his watch every second, waiting for those five minutes to go by. Clark’s phone chimed in the meantime and he pulled away from Bruce to check it.

“I-uh have to go,” he said suddenly and Bruce blinked.

“You’re leaving me here alone?”

Clark gave him a bright smile and a sweet kiss on the lips. “You’re not alone,” he smirked knowingly and the gears in Bruce’s head started to turn.

Hal probably got Clark to be in on this. Damn it.

As Clark left, Arthur walked right into the cafe and immediately met Bruce’s eyes. He slowly walked over to the booth he was at and Bruce turned his eyes towards his coffee.

He heard Arthur sit down but Bruce didn’t take his eyes off the dark liquid. “Hey,” Arthur greeted a bit awkwardly.

“Hi.”

The silence built and Bruce knew this was a mistake. For one thing they didn’t have anything to talk about and it was terribly awkward.

“Mera and I are together now.” Bruce’s eyes flicked up at the comment and Arthur’s face was solemn. “Been together for almost a month now,” he added.

“Good for you two. Glad it all worked out,” he clipped rather passively without meaning to.

“Thanks,” Arthur shifted uncomfortably in his seat. “How’ve you been?”

Bruce shrugged. “Fine.” Arthur nodded and looked down at his hands.

“Look Bruce,” he began, “if I’m being honest here, I don’t regret sending out those letters.” Bruce grunted, so much for sorting things out. “It helped you, like you’re with Clark now and-”

“I’m not with Clark,” he corrected him quickly and cleared his throat. “Where Clark and I currently stand doesn’t matter but what matters is you sent out information, private information that wasn’t meant to be seen and wasn’t yours to send out either.”

Arthur sighed. “Yeah I know.”

“Then why’d you do it?”

“Because I thought I was helping you out. I thought maybe if you had someone to be there for you in you know, a more than friend way, it would help.” Bruce nodded, letting Arthur continue. “I never meant to hurt you, Bruce. I just wanted you to be happy again. We all did, but we didn’t know how to do it.”

Bruce leaned back in his seat and stared out the window. He saw Clark sitting in his trunk and he felt a smile tug at his lips. “I’m happy,” he answered as he turned back to Arthur. “Happier than I’ve been in a while,” he said truthfully.

“I’m glad to hear that,” Arthur gave him a small smile. “I really am sorry though.” Bruce nodded and gave Arthur a small smile of his own. “We good?”

Bruce nodded again. “We’re good.”

***
December finally came which meant Bruce was officially on winter break, and Barry would be coming home soon for the holidays.

As usual, Bruce was going to have everyone over to hang out and have fun. He was expecting a slightly bigger crowd than he was used to since Mera and Clark were now coming this year too.

All the snacks and drinks were laid out and everything was ready. He only needed everyone to show up and they could actually have a party.

Alfred went out for the night per Bruce’s constant urging since the last place he would want to be was around a group of slightly rowdy teenagers. Well, only Hal was like that and when Arthur was there, he tended to join in on whatever Hal was doing whenever they weren’t bickering.

The knock on the door snapped Bruce out of his thoughts and he straightened his shoulders as he walked over and opened it.

“Miss me?” Barry greeted with a grin and quickly gave Bruce a hug before he stepped inside. “You haven’t changed a bit B,” he laughed and Bruce shrugged.

“I think you’ll be more surprised than you think.” Barry made a weird face at the statement as Bruce took his coat and hung it up for him. A pool of guilt formed in the pit of his stomach since he never informed Barry of anything that was going on. They wrote sure, but Bruce kept out as little detail as possible.

“If you and Arthur killed Hal while I was gone I don’t want to hear any part of it,” Barry called out as he walked into the other room and Bruce laughed quietly to himself as he followed him.

“Surprised you two didn’t come together,” he said as he flopped down on the couch and Barry shrugged.

“Maybe I needed to see you before everyone else.”

Bruce was the one who made a weird face now, but he quickly hid it with a straight face. “Any reason why?”

Barry shrugged again, leaning back on the chair aside from Bruce, trying to act nonchalant. “A little birdie told me you’ve been seeing someone,” he sung and Bruce rolled his eyes.

He really couldn’t tell Hal anything.

“Not officially,” he muttered.

“Still something,” Barry smirked. “Well go on, who is it?”

Before Bruce could answer, there was another knock at the door. He smiled smugly to himself as he stood up and went to go answer it, seeing it was Arthur standing with Mera.

“We’re not late, are we?” Arthur asked and Bruce shook his head, stepping aside to let them in.

“Nice place,” Mera complimented.

“Thanks. Barry’s in the other room,” he told Arthur as he took his and Mera’s coats.

Just as he was about to close the door behind them, a hand caught it and pushed it open, revealing Hal.

“Brucie!” He greeted loudly as he wrapped his arms around him tightly and made Bruce stagger back a bit. “Is Barry here?”

“Yeah he’s-”

Hal ran off before Bruce could finish and he shook his head to himself. He finished hanging up everyone’s coats and returned to the couch.

Everyone was in the middle of their own conversations and Bruce used the time to check his phone. It was almost seven and he knew Clark would be here any minute, but he usually came early so Bruce was a little surprised he wasn’t here already.

Speaking of, Clark sent him a text just now.

Come outside.

Bruce immediately got up and grabbed his coat, heading outside to see Clark was standing a few feet from the door, a smile on his face.

“And yet I thought you were going to be late,” he teased as he walked over to him.

“When have I ever been late to see you?” Clark beamed as Bruce came closer, wrapping his arms around him and pulling him close. “I got you something,” he stepped back and presented a gold gift box out of nowhere.

“The holidays aren’t for another week.”

“Just open it, B.” Bruce took the box from him and opened it up, finding it empty. “Well, do you like it?”

Bruce looked between Clark’s bright eyes and the empty gift box. “It’s a nice box,” he said as he kept his eyes on Clark.

“I figured you would need another one since I’m going to keep writing you notes.”

Bruce smiled and felt his heart flutter. “I would like that,” he tucked the box under his arm and reached his hand into his coat pocket. “I have something for you too,” he took out a white envelope and handed it to Clark.

“Another letter?” He chuckled as he opened it up.

“I think you’ll like this one.”

Clark read the letter quickly before meeting Bruce’s eyes again. “This true?” Bruce nodded.

“Every word.”

Clark bit down on his lip as he laughed with glee. “You sure about this Bruce? Because once you-”

“I’m sure,” he quickly interjected as he wrapped his arms around Clark’s neck and pulled him close, “I love you Clark.”

“I love you too.” Clark kissed him lovingly on the lips and all of Bruce’s insides melted as he kissed him right back.

A holler was heard from Hal and they pulled apart to see everyone was standing in the doorway, watching them.

“I’m going to kill him.”

Clark captured his lips again before Bruce could expand on that thought. The box fell somewhere in the snow as Bruce closed as much distance between them as possible as he kissed him back once more. Deep down, Bruce knew they would love each other forever.

***
The knocking on the door gave Alfred a headache. Maybe he shouldn’t have had so much to drink last night…

He took a sip of coffee and set his newspaper down, walking over to the front door to answer it. He knew if it was one of Master Bruce’s friends, Alfred couldn’t tell them his whereabouts since he wanted to spend a full day in Metropolis without being bothered.

Alfred opened up the door and blinked a couple of times, trying to recall who was standing in front of him since he didn’t quite recognize them at all.

“May I help you?” He greeted kindly and they looked him up and down.

“Bruce Wayne lives here, right?”

“And who’s asking?”

“Selina,” she introduced. “Selina Kyle.”