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"Bruce? Bruce, can you hear me?"

Bruce slowly opened his eyes, blinking slightly as he realized he could fully make out the figures, even if things were just slightly hazy. His ears weren't ringing as much, but there was still a faint buzz sounding in the back of his mind, and he knew that by the time today ended, he'd probably have a big headache.

Why was he in the hospita-- oh right. He'd almost died.

And then there had been Gods. And a fight. Then...he'd said things.

Oh god.

Things. He'd said things. Out loud.

Things he hadn't intended on ever sharing with anyone. He must have really been on the brink of death. Taking in a deep breath, because really there was nothing he could do about it now, he assessed the situation. No one was inside the room beside him and...

And J'onn.

He stared up at the Martian with half closed eyes, taking in the way his body was slightly hunched over, and how just plain worn out the alien looked. The ringing in his ears increased sharply, causing him to gasp out in pain.

J'onn tensed beside him and after another second the ringing died backed down to buzzing, and Bruce quickly put two and two together.

"What...are you doing?" He kept his voice low, not wanting to break his concentration.

A few minutes passed without an answer, and just when he was about to ask again, only not as polite, the Martian replied, "You...don't recall much of what happened, do you?" J'onn paused at hearing the Bat growl and allowed himself a smile. If he was getting grumpy then that meant he was feeling back to his normal self.

Which was relieving, considering how he was close to dying not three hours ago. And all because of...

"J'onn--"

Right, there would be time to be angry later. Now he needed to explain things to Bruce.

Kind of hard to do, seeing how he needed to keep all his mental energy focused on the mental blocks inside Bruce's mind but he didn't really have a choice. His mate was getting more frustrated and if it kept up, then things were going to get really bad really fast.

So he gathered up all the energy he had left and tried to explain as best as he possibly could.

"When Martian Civilization was at its peak, there was some consideration as to what our future would be like. A prophet speculated that we would give up emotions for intelligence. It seemed very plausible due to the fact that some of us were considering it at the time. But what shocked us was what the prophet said afterwards. He said that due to our giving up emotions, we would soon loose interest in procreation, and as a result, we would stop mating." He paused to check on the mental blocks before continuing.

"Martians live a very long time but even we have our limits. If that were to happen, we would, eventually, die out. Our Gods refused to let that happen. Thus 'The Heat' was created. It basically causes us to mate. Anyone in Heat who consummates with another, will cause that other person to also go into Heat, thus continuing the cycle. The result is a rise in population. However, due to the strain it causes on our bodies, it only happens once every ten thousand years."

The blocks were starting to weaken so he added a bit more energy into them. At this rate...

He sighed. "Due to one of my Gods, H'ronmeer, I entered into heat eight thousand years earlier than I was expected to. When I made contact with you, you smelled the sweat, which has compounds similar to pheromones, and we then proceeded to mate."

Bruce's eyes narrowed a bit, as he took in what this meant. "If the Heat causes that much strain on your body then..." Slanted eyes widened. "It would cause a human's body to--"

J'onn nodded. "Correct."

"How is it possible I'm even alive?" Bruce asked, leaning back into the pillows of the bed, his mind racing.

While the alien didn't show it, he could still tell how aggravated J'onn was with the situation, as he said, "My Gods came up with a solution to the problem." The mental blocks were weakening immensely so he had to stop in order to concentrate. He'd never had this much trouble with anyone before and it was starting to frustrate him.

Bruce went to add his own assessment to the situation, when he felt a presence in his mind. Logic told him that it was J'onn, and that whatever he was doing was helping him, but it was instinct that caused him to push the force out with as much strength as possible, his training overriding his judgment.

In battle, that was a good thing, as it kept his body from being taken over by others.

But now, as the presence was shoved out and Bruce felt his senses suddenly explode and started writhing in pain, he found himself wishing his training wasn't quite so precise.

The second the metal blocks slipped and J'onn found himself being literally pushed out of Bruce's mind, the Martian was alert, his concern increasing as Bruce let out a scream. Considering the man's high tolerance for pain, J'onn knew that what his mate was feeling had to be very agonizing.

He forced himself to calm down and tried to sneak the mental blocks back in place...

"GET AWAY FROM HIM!" Came a shocking roar, and J'onn felt himself being shoved away from Bruce by Superman who then...

Proceeded to touch Bruce.

"NO!"

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I hope ya liked it. ;