One, Two, Three by Djinn
There are always misconceptions in the world. Always people who will think the worst of anyoneeven those who are heroes. There has always been talk, gossip, innuendo. "She can't be that innocent." "The way he looks at her when he has a wife at home is scandalous." "He's always there for them, the dark avenger." It was the way of the world to talk about them, to imagine them together. One and two, or one and one and one. They were called the trinity by some. They were labeled a trinity by others.
But their colleagues knew different. Their friends defended them. Wally and J'onn and John and Ray. Arthur and Oliver and Dinah and Shayera. They turned away from the whispers and said, "They're just friends."
Very good friends.
Amazingly good friends.
The friends lie now on a rug spread across a floor. The floor is in a room in the Fortress. It is warm and snug in the room, making it almost impossible to remember that outside is only ice and cold. And very far away from the people they know.
The three friends are alone. With each other. They are alone and naked with each other. They are alone and naked and touching each other.
There are no boundaries. He touches her, she touches him, and he reaches out to him. If this is a triangle, it is an equilateral one.
For one of them, there is guilt. He loves his wife. He loves her, and he'll go back to her after he showers. She won't question that he comes home smelling fresh. When you're a superhero, you work up a sweat; you get into things that are messy. After cleaning up her furniture and sheets and his uniform one too many times, she is grateful that he comes home clean to her.
But it haunts him. That she isn't enough. That she has never been enough. His beloved wife. He wanted her, he chased her, and all the time...all the time, there were these two. Waiting, watching. Wanting.
And letting go. They were together, Diana and Bruce. Together without him. When he left them to chase Lois, they closed ranks. He thought he was safe then. That they would never let him back in. But they did. One night, after a terrible battle, when Bruce had been hurt enough to take him to the Fortress. When Diana paced while he worked on their friendon her lover...on his lover too. His former lover. They were all alone, the three of them, Bruce getting better under their careunder their touches. Under his touch. It was too much. He slipped back, slipped down. Slipped in.
They were together again. And being with them, it gives him something he can never explain to Lois. Something that he can barely figure out himself. It finishes him, they finish him. Somehow, when he is with them, he is more.
He moves from one to the other, lets them move onto him, around him. He touches, he is touched, he watches. It doesn't matter what his role is so long as they are near him.
He loves them both. He loves his wife. He cannot explain the dichotomy, so he does not try. It just is. This is. They are. One, two, three people in love.
But it still haunts him. He can see her face sometimes, when he's lying awake watching them sleep. She waits for him, and she thinks they are planning or plotting or fighting, but all they are doing is making love far away from her. She can't get to the Fortress, not without him. He is safe here. They are safe here. Their secret is safe here.
He moves closer to Diana, kissing her breast, his hand reaching past her, to touch Bruce.
Bruce's eyes open; he turns to look. "Clark?" His face is so open, so relaxed. It is the only time he ever looks like this. When they are together, all three. Although maybe he looks this way when it is only him and Diana? He has never looked this happy with just Clark.
At least not since Clark left him and Diana to chase after Lois.
"Stop thinking about her," Diana says softly.
He is surprised she knows what he's thinking. He does not always give her credit for the insight she has into him. "I can't," he whispers, even as she kisses her way down his body, even as she takes him into her mouth.
Bruce watches, touching himself, then moving closer to Diana, taking her as she takes Clark. There are only murmured voices and sighs of pleasure and the sound of strong bodies moving. Clark closes his eyes, knows he is missing dinner, missing the late show, missing breakfast probably. It has been awhile since they were all together, since they could all sneak away and steal time from their calendars and the people who need them, who love themwho trust them.
Diana is staring at him with great compassion. She knows. She understands. He pulls her to him, kissing her, tasting himself on her. Bruce's hands come around, touching him. One, two, three. It is all he ever wanted.
Why did he run away? Why did he drag another one into this? She can never be part of this, never be the fourth. They do not need a fourth. They are three. Three, two, one.
He closes his eyes, and lets Diana's kisses take him where they will.
Diana watches Kal, sees the war going on inside him because it is reflected in his eyes. She turns to Bruce; he is still pressed against her, his arm around her waist, touching her breast. "You distract him," she says to him.
He is better at drawing Kal back from the edge. They lost him once. She is not willing to lose him again. She and Bruce are united in that desire. They must not lose him again.
Bruce eases over her as she moves away a bit. He brushes Kal's hair away from his face, kisses him softly. "Come back, my friend," he says.
Diana smiles as Kal opens his eyes. She has always been the thing he could not have, and in many ways he is used to resisting her. But Bruce has been in his life almost too long for Kal to resist him. His best friend. His lover now and for some time. She likes to watch them, knows they will draw her in eventually because none of them can stand to leave the others out. They are well-mated. And she thinks of them as her mates. Her men. Her husbandseven if marriage is an idea that does not resonate with her.
They are hers. She is theirs. She does not feel the need to explain it. When Kal left them, when he took Lois and tried to cleave to her, Diana was only with Bruce. He was hers, she was his. It was good. But it was not all, not what they both needed. It was not three.
Kal could never cleave to Lois because Diana and Bruce were in the way. Only Kal didn't realize that. He thought he could walk away and leave them behind. He thought if he ran hard and fast and long enough, he could outdistance them.
He was wrong. He was wrong because he is here now, touching and tasting them. He cannot help himself. They are his loves.
But he feels guilty. Bruce has talked to her of this, warned her of the possible ramifications. Kal feels guilty because he is guilty. He is cheating on his wife and with every touch that fact is brought homeif he thinks about her. Diana and Bruce do their best to keep him from thinking about her when he is with them. They keep touching him. Keep kissing. Keep talking in low tones, voices set to please, tongues touching skin, fingers rubbing over flesh, over bumps and dips and bulges.
Never stop loving each other. It is her mantra. It is their mantra. Or it should be.
She can see this ending again. She knows Bruce can too. Kal will call it off because, of the three of them, only he does not appear capable of living in a land where shades of gray rule. For him there is such starkness. White or black, right or wrong. She used to be that way. Until she wanted two men more than she wanted to be good, to be strong, to be innocent and heroic.
She is still heroic. She still fights, still protects, still gives everything to help others. She would die willingly, give up her life for the greater good. But she will not give up these two men. Soon though. Soon, she will have to give up one of them. Kal is breaking. Inside he is bleeding. And to save him, to save whatever love and regard they all have for each other, she will have to take Bruce's hand and let him lead her away.
They will be three no more. Only two. And one, with his other one.
No more three.
She sighs, and both men turn to her.
"Don't cry," Bruce says to her, a warning note in his voice.
"Don't cry," Kal says too, only his voice is helpless. Hurting like he also wants to weep.
She does not cry. And it is for both of them. She will be strong for Bruce if it will keep Kal from running away from them. She will be strong for Kal so he does not think of all the reasons he should run away from them.
And she will be strong for herself. Because this is her choice, and there is no running away from it.
Bruce watches Diana control herself. He nods slightly, sees her gaze soften She loves him. He does not doubt that any longer. He used to, used to worry that it was only Clark she wanted. But when he had her to himself, when she was the one who did not rush back into Clark's arms when he finally came back to them, who made him work for it, then Bruce knew she loved him as much as she did his friend.
He knows he loves her as much as Clark. He has learned to love her that much. But when Clark left them for Lois, he wasn't so sure. He took Diana to his bed; they became a couple, two-thirds of a triangle, trying to make their own love work.
And it did work. Once he stopped thinking of them as something that needed the support of three, like a table. He and Diana were not a table because a table with two legs cannot stand, and they stand fine.
But if they were a table, they would need at least three legs. And most tables have four. Their table though...it will die with four legs. Lois can never be brought into this. Not that Bruce hasn't thought of it, hasn't run the scenariosany and all that he could come up with. No matter how he spins the problem, she will not work as part of them. She loves Clark, she wants Clark. She never asked to be part of their trinity, never wanted to be, and still would not want it. She will demand that Clark choose her, and Bruce knows that Clark will.
It is why Diana looks so sad. Their time is winding down and she can taste it in Clark's kisses just as Bruce can.
Clark whispers, "I'm hurting her," and Bruce is not sure which "her" Clark is referring to. But then he says, "I'm hurting you too," and Bruce knows he means Diana.
"Kal, shhh." Diana has moved over to the other side of Clark. She is kissing him and her hand reaches for Bruce's, fingers twining as they slide their hands down and down and down on Clark's body. They touch him together, they take turns kissing him. One then the other. Clark's soft lips first on his, then Bruce is watching as Clark kisses the woman he loves. The woman they both love.
Only Clark loves two women. One man and two women.
"I love you," Clark breathes as their hands tighten on him, as Diana kisses him almost desperately.
"We love you," she says, and as she pulls back, her eyes meet Bruce's, and they seem to say, "We're slipping away."
Bruce sighs, and nestles in against Clark. "Tell us what you're feeling." He can tell when Clark tenses, as if he does not realize that Bruce and Diana can follow his thoughts.
"I feel good." His words are nice; his tone does not support them.
Diana meets Bruce's eyes across Clark's chest. She snuggles down too, sandwiching Clark in between them, keeping him warmkeeping him there.
"Kal. Please?" Her voice is low and a little scratchy the way it gets after this much sex. Bruce tries to memorize what it sounds like. Without Clark there cannot be this much sex. Without Clark he will never hear Diana's voice sound that way again.
"I can't do this anymore," Clark says.
The words are what Bruce expects. But they hit him like a bullet to the chest anyway, making his heart race, making it hurt. His lover can't do thiscan't be with him or Dianaanymore.
"You don't want us?" Diana's tone is forlorn, but Bruce knows she is acting. She knows Clark wants them. He wants them desperately or he would not be here now, lying on a thick, warm rug with them on either side trying to wrestle him back to earth. Trying to hold him down, hold him there. Close. With them. Loving them.
"I'll always want you. But Lois..."
"You don't love her the way you do us." Diana's voice is hard now. It's taken on the sound of defeat denied. She's fighting this. Not willing to go with what will be. She is digging in her heels and holding on for dear life.
"Let him go, Diana." Bruce closes his eyes, and he feels Clark's hand touch down on his forehead.
"My good friend. My best friends."
Diana is crying. The cries are deep wrenching sobs. Bruce looks at Clark, who is crying too, but they are silent tears that he lets run down his face.
Bruce does not cry. He will not let himself. He has seen this day coming since Clark first came back to them. Crying will not change anything. And unlike his two lovers, he will get no release from tears. He looks over at the clocks on the wall. It is only three am in Metropolis.
"We have time yet," he says softly.
Diana lifts her head; her eyes are red and puffy. But she is still beautiful. Still theirs.
By this time tomorrow, she will be his again. Bruce wishes he felt more satisfaction in that. He imagines she gets as little joy out of thinking he will soon be just hers.
"Do we have time, Kal?" She leans down, letting a tear drop onto Clark's face.
Bruce kisses it off. "Clark?"
Clark pulls them to him, kissing them as if he will never see them again.
"It's all right. We'll still be friends," Bruce says as he feels his ribs complain. "We'll always be friends."
Clark lets up a little. "I love you both. So much."
Diana kisses him, and Bruce watches as Clark's hands tangle in her hair, pulling her closer and closer, as if he will devour her. Then Clark reaches out for him, his hand finding Bruce's as if by instinct. And in that instant, Bruce knows this is not over.
He knows this will never be over.
There will come a day or a night when they find themselves back like this. After a particularly bad fight. Or when the others just won't see reason and frustrated the three of them withdraw. There will come a time when this day is far away and they let their guard down because they have succeeded in not falling back into being lovers.
They will be more assured than they should. They will start to touch each other again. Clark's hand on Bruce's shoulder, his hip brushing against Diana's.
And it will be too much. It will build and build and then finally their passion will explode and they will be back here. For a day, maybe a week, maybe longer.
But it will end again.
And then it will begin.
Bruce can see it all. He does not tell Clark and Diana. He does not think Clark could bear the idea of continued failure. He does not think Diana could bear the thought of continued waiting.
He finds he can bear both ideas just fine.
"We have time," he says again. And then he leads them back into loving. Into their last loving.