Author's note/disclaimer: They're not mine, and they're not gay. But the thought of them in bed together makes me giggle.
Warmth. That was the first thing Bruce was aware of as his mind slowly breached the surface of consciousness. He was warm. He was in a warm bed. That was funny, since be didn't particularly remember going to bed. And, stranger still, he was pretty sure that it wasn't his own bed that he was in. Before he could do any more analysis of his present situation, his mind raced back to the last thing he remembered…
An explosion. He frowned. Whenever he woke up like this without having gone to bed of his own volition, the last thing he remembered usually was an explosion, or a cloud of toxic gas, or a crowbar on a collision course with his skull.
But wait-- there was something else in his memory now—someone, who had been there when the bomb detonated, someone who had… shielded him.
Superman. He'd been rescued again by that other caped crimefighter, most likely flown to safety, embarrassingly unconscious in Superman's arms. And now he was here, wherever 'here' was, and once more he was waking up alive… when by all rights he should have been dead.
The warmth was nice. But he couldn't sink back into sleep, not without knowing where he was.
Bruce opened his eyes. The room looked vaguely familiar—bland, modernly functional furniture, neutral colors, obviously a private residence but a respectably clean and organized one, showing little of the clutter of everyday life. Really the only thing in the room that merited a second glance was a rumpled heap of matte-black fabric on a chair that he identified as his cape. And then something caught his eye—something that instantly made him realize where he was:
Clark's glasses were sitting innocently on the bedside table, right in front of Bruce's nose. Of course. So this was Superman's apartment, or rather, Clark's.
Suddenly Bruce heard a noise that sounded a lot like sheets rustling, and he felt the mattress move under him as if someone else on the bed had just rolled over. As further evidence that that was in fact what had just happened, the blankets that were covering him shifted and were pulled halfway off, exposing one of his knees and one of his elbows to cold air.
Bruce wasn't actually surprised that he wasn't alone in the bed—but of course it took a lot to surprise him. Since this was Clark's apartment, Bruce was sure that Clark himself would be able to vouch for whoever was there. Now that he knew where he was, and knew that he had survived the previous night's adventures, Bruce's only concern was getting back under the warm blankets so that he could go back to sleep.
With one hand he took hold of the edge of the covers that had been stolen from him, and gave a little tug. To his annoyance, he reclaimed not an inch of blanket. Scowling, Bruce upgraded his tug to a hearty pull, and still, the stolen covers would not yield. He started to pull even harder, heard the distressed popping of seams—the topmost layer seemed to be a quilt of some kind—and abruptly realized that he was about to rip the poor blankets apart. Well. If the stubborn covers could not be moved forward, Bruce would simply move back.
He started by scooting his hips backwards, and was neither surprised nor concerned when his butt bumped into something that was most likely someone else's butt. Next he pressed his hand down into the mattress for leverage and inched his torso backwards, until his back ran into a wall. The wall flexed slightly with the unmistakable motions of breathing-- and therefore, it was most likely not a wall at all but actually someone else's back. Who the 'someone else' was still didn't concern him—all he was aware of at the moment was that the other person's back was soothingly warm and constituted a comfortably firm surface to rest against.
Resolving to go back to sleep, Bruce leaned heavily against his anonymous bunkmate's back, unconsciously enjoying the feeling of safety generated by the contact. He was balanced on the final threshold of sleep when it occurred to him that something was wrong. What was wrong was that something was a little too right. The cozy surface he was pressed up against was too perfect, too comfortable. The reason was because Bruce's entire back fit against it, which could only mean that the person in the bed with him was bigger than him—or at least, had a slightly broader back. Which was absurd, really, since Bruce knew that he had a very broad back.
Bruce didn't waste any mental effort speculating about who his huge bedfellow might be. Instead, with cold eyes narrowed almost to slits, he raised his head, and looked over his shoulder.
Under the circumstances, Bruce realized that the bulky, square-ish shoulder and the head of slightly tousled black hair that he glimpsed out of the corner of his eye could belong to only one person. He was in bed with Superman—or rather, since the man of steel appeared to be wearing plaid flannel pajamas at the moment, he was in bed with Clark Kent.
For a long moment he didn't do anything. Didn't scowl, didn't scramble away, didn't even allow his eyes to widen. Then, gradually, he started to feel angry. He couldn't think of a single good reason for being in Clark's bed. Sure, Superman was a bit naïve and old fashioned, but he had to realize that two straight men sharing a bed just didn't happen anymore, with the possible exception of certain scenarios such as college ski trips. Bruce knew that some people thought Batman was gay, and that didn't really bother him. He knew that some people even thought he was gay with Robin, which didn't really bother him either, since it was completely untrue. And as for Clark, well—Bruce knew a thing or two about acting, and had seen Clark around Lois, and knew that his love for her wasn't an act. So why had Clark dragged Bruce into bed with him?
Bruce's brain reeled through the list of potential causes of uncharacteristic snuggling: Love potions. Hallucinations. Nightmares. Hypothermia. Wanting to fool a low-end thermal-imaging device by leaving one heat signature instead of two. There had to be a reason.
"Clark," he said, a little hoarsely. There was no response. Lowering his eyebrows and flattening out his frown, Bruce began to brood over his options. He immediately rejected the idea of just getting up and leaving. He simply had to hear Clark's explanation for this. And getting out of the bed would feel like a retreat—it would be a concession, an admission that he had felt threatened or uneasy, and Clark was the last person that Bruce would be intimidated by. No, Batman was certainly not afraid of Superman. He would stay put, and await that explanation.
Darkly, Bruce imagined the other man waking up and greeting him with a cheerful 'good morning!' or even an 'oh hi! how did you sleep?', and he decided that if the first word out of Clark's mouth was anything but a 'sorry' accompanied by an appropriately embarrassed expression, he would punch him in the face.
As if stirred by this silent promise of violence, Clark rolled over again, and before Bruce could say anything he felt a heavy arm settle around his waist.
This was too much. He clenched his teeth in outrage. The pleasant warmth of the bed and his unexpected companion's big body became unbearably hot as indignation surged through his veins. This was ridiculous. He tried to shove Clark's arm away, but Clark only tightened his hold on him, like the automatically defensive reaction of a sleeping child when someone tries to pry a favorite bear out of their grasp. Clark pulled Bruce in a little closer, forcing a half-cough from him as the air was pressed out of his lungs. With stronger feelings of annoyance than anxiety, Bruce realized that Clark could easily shatter his ribcage if he squeezed him much harder, and might just as easily crush him to death.
Mustering his strength, Bruce drove his elbow backwards into Clark's stomach as hard as he could.
This produced an unencouraging "mmn" sound from the sleeping superhero.
"Wake up," Bruce growled ferociously, in the voice he usually reserved for directing one-worded questions at criminals. "Clark!"
"Mmh. What?" Clark answered.
"You're crushing me," Bruce informed him, his voice like ice.
"mnh. Sorry," Clark mumbled, lifting his arm and allowing Bruce to escape. The corner of Bruce's frown wavered a bit as he recalled his intentions to punch Clark in the face. Clark had said 'sorry' after all—but Bruce decided that wasn't good enough. Turning over so that he and Clark were facing each other instead of spooning, he drew back his fist and 'KA-POW!'ed Clark's chin.
"Ouch," Clark exclaimed—more as a reflex than out of actual pain, Bruce suspected sulkily. Clark was awake now, and propped himself up on one elbow. Bruce copied his action so as to keep their eyes level as he fixed Clark with his coldest glare. Clark wasn't amused. "What was that for?" he asked crossly.
It was such an aggravatingly innocent question that Bruce let his fist fly again—only this time, Clark caught it, and squeezed it with enough force to crack Bruce's knuckles all at once. "Stop," Clark said, half asking and half commanding with that perpetually kind-sounding voice of his.
"Let go," Bruce growled, sitting up as Clark complied. Clark looked up at him, puzzled and trying not to feel angry.
"What is wrong with you?" he asked at last.
Bruce gave him the deadliest look he could manage. "I'm not your plaything."
Clark's eyebrows rose and his mouth fell halfway open. Then his expression turned serious. "I never thought you were, Bruce."
"Then maybe you'd like to explain to me why I woke up in bed with you."
An incredulous 'is that what this is about?' passed silently across Clark's expression, and then he set his jaw. "You've got some nerve," he accused. "I saved your life last night." His voice faltered and it was obvious that he had almost stopped himself from adding "…Again."
One side of Bruce's face contorted into a sneer. "You're really sick if you think you've got the right to sleep with everyone you rescue. Or is that how they do things on Krypton?"
Clark was offended. Bruce knew he was offended. And in a fleeting thought, he wondered why his body wasn't already smashing through the nearest wall.
But Clark managed not to hit him or burn a hole through him, and instead, he laid back down and heaved a long-suffering sigh. He folded his hands behind his head.
"You were really out of it last night, after that bomb went off," Clark began to explain. "I didn't want to leave you at a hospital since they would've taken your mask off you and recognized you. And since you told me that Alfred's in Europe this week, I didn't want to leave you all alone in your house. So I brought you here, and I put you on the couch over there." Clark indicated the couch with a toss of his chin. "You went right to sleep. And, since this is my apartment and my bed, I went to sleep here. In the middle of the night, you came stalking over here and woke me up."
Clark took the liberty of imitating Bruce's voice perfectly for the next line of the story: " 'I'm sleeping here,' you said. 'No you're not,' I said, but you didn't answer. You just swept back the covers and tucked yourself in. You were asleep again before I could say another word. At that point, I reasoned that you'd had a pretty bad day, and it would've been heartless of me to wake you up again to put you back on the couch. Then I even considered going over and sleeping on the couch myself, but…" Clark's voice changed pitch slightly, betraying his embarrassment: "…I thought about how people would laugh if they heard that Batman kicked Superman out of his own bed. So I decided to stay right where I was and let you sleep wherever you wanted—and whether that was in bed with me or hanging upside down from the ceiling, I didn't particularly care."
He took a deep breath, and continued. "The next thing I know, you're attacking me and accusing me of, of… molesting you or something. I'm sorry, Bruce, I know things in Gotham are bad, but, you gotta understand… it never crossed my mind that sleeping—uh, next to you would have made you think I was some kind of crazed alien sex monger. My mind just doesn't work that way."
Clark finished his story with an injured sort of look in his eyes, his mouth a small, grim line. For a long moment, neither of them spoke. Bruce's anger had completely evaporated, leaving him feeling much colder than usual. Still sitting up, he looked down sternly at the man of steel, who closed his eyes as if he intended to go back to sleep.
"When I insulted you," Bruce muttered at length, "you should have hit me."
Without opening his eyes, Clark smiled a little, and then shook his head no. Glaring at Clark in his flannel PJs with their rustic plaid pattern, Bruce was suddenly conscious not only of the psychological chill in his heart, but also the physical cold of the room. And he remembered how warm he had been, when he had first woken up. He stared at the space next to Clark on the bed.
And suddenly, he decided to lay back down. He exhaled, softly but audibly, as his head settled on the pillow. He felt old and tired. Warped, too-- by years of dealing with dark thoughts and dark deeds. He tugged the blankets up to his chest. Gazed at the ceiling, repentant.
He spoke in a curt, low rumble. "I'm sorry."
"It's ok," came the mild reply, as Clark rolled to his side, giving Bruce a little more room. Bruce let his eyes fall closed.
He was already starting to feel warm again.
And the warmth was nice.