Title: Moonlit Dance
Sequel to: The Date
Series: Requested Series
Pairings: Chruce, Chloe/Bruce
Xdoms: Smallville/Batman Begins
Summary: At the inauguration of the first Justice League Headquarters Bruce and Chloe share a special moment as they get closer and closer to what they could soon become...and of course the JL, the NOT nosy heroes, spy on them.
Tonight was the inauguration of the first ever official Justice League Headquarter, and like the mature adults that they were, the league had decided to inaugurate it with a party. While the league in itself was still considerably small, its numbers were growing steadily as more and more justice-seekers joined to fight the evil of the world.
Chloe Sullivan, Watchtower to all of the superheroes, smirked as she looked upon the group gathered, dancing and having a good time, sipping some drink she was sure Bart had spiked a while back. Normally Chloe would have scolded the boy for his mischievous behavior, but since tonight was all about having fun, she’d decided to let it slip.
Mossy green eyes went to those partying.
AC was smiling by the punchbowl, talking to Diana, who was Wonder Woman, their newest recruit. The young princess had been captivated by Aquaman, and had surprised everyone by joining him in his many protests, holding up the “FISH ARE OUR FRIENDS TOO!” signs and screaming the words along with him.
Kara and Jimmy were on opposite sides of the room, each talking to a person of the other sex, obviously trying to get the other jealous. They’d been having a little trouble ever since Shayera Hol, Hawkgirl, had joined the team and started batting her eyelashes at Jimmy--to everyone’s consternation.
Supergirl had surprised everyone with her insecurity and jealousy, yet Jimmy was showing the same traits now that she was talking to Ray Palmer, or Atom, as he was known to most of them.
Lois and Clark, god bless their souls, were dancing the night away in the middle of the dance floor, which was a show in itself because Clark wasn’t the best dancer. Lois had broken a couple of toes when trying to teach him to dance after they first started going out together, and the fact that she still took the risk of dancing with him just proved to Chloe how much her cousin was in love.
Dinah and Ollie were dancing much better than Lois and Clark, but they just didn’t have that chemistry, that thing that Chloe’s cousin and best friend had. Sure, she didn’t doubt that Dinah and Ollie were in love, but Lois and Clark were just so in love that it made everyone else seem a little off…and it could get sickly sweet (especially on Clark’s part) if one watched them for too long.
Bart had not only spiked the punchbowl, but had proclaimed himself DJ of the event, and was doing an incredible job at it. He was completely into his partying mood, and his mischievous nature only made everything funnier. Just for this event, he’d put on a T-shirt he’d bought at Atlantis, Bahamas, which said: Fish Do It Swimming…But Does Aquaman? The cheeky lil’ guy had then gone up to Diana and asked her if she wanted to clear the confusion--which earned him a slap behind the back of his head by both Wonder Woman and Aquaman.
Giggling at the memory, Chloe shook her head and left the room with the blaring music and went to the terrace and looked up at the night sky, enjoying the feel of the breeze on her skin, the music still audible yet a faint caress.
“I’m surprised to see you standing here and not out there dancing, Miss Sullivan.”
Looking up in surprise, Chloe turned, pressing her back against the veranda, and watched as Bryce Wayne materialized from the darkness. They were in a secured facility, so the heroes could go around in their normal apparel and not worry about their secret identities being discovered by their enemies.
“Mister Wayne.” She was proud at her ability to keep her voice neutral when the figure that’d been haunting her nights for a while now had appeared in front of her out of nowhere--which was usually how her fantasies began. “I thought you weren’t going to come here tonight--something about a banquet in your honor in Gotham City Hall?”
A faint twitch of his lips was his only acknowledgement of this as he went to stand next to her, leaning on the veranda, looking up at the darkness around them and seemingly forgetting her as she turned so she could better see him.
“How’s your arm?”
Chloe blinked, looking down at the arm in question in surprise. She’d had a little accident while helping Lois and Dinah get back at their men for having commented on Shayera’s beauty, but only Lois and Dinah had known about the accident.
How had Bruce found out?
“I have my sources.” He spoke with no emotion.
“And you obviously read minds.” She quipped before looking up at the particular constellation that had his complete attention. “Its fine, thank God I didn’t break it, just bruised it and left it a little sore. I’m fine now and it shouldn’t prevent me from manning the computers and helping everyone in their missions as I always do.”
“You always do.” He made a derisive sound in the back of his throat. “You’re always helping others, aren’t you? Isn’t that what got you injured in the first place?”
Stiffening, Chloe wondered why he was attacking her all of a sudden. Something about this reminded her of the time he’d come upon her having a business date with a witness, had believed her incompetent enough to know that the man she was dinning with had been on Lionel Luthor’s payroll, and had insulted her and wounded her pride.
Of course, he’d later left her a black rose and a note with the word sorry written on it, and had made some effort to be nicer to her…but it was as if he was sliding back into the reclusive, better-than-thou Bruce Wayne.
And she was getting pissed, because Bruce always seemed to have a special tone he used on her and only her, it was the: you-can’t-take-care-of-yourself-and-need-my-constant-surveillance-to-keep-you-out-of-trouble tone.
Sometimes she just really wanted to remind him that she had a lead on him, because while he had all of his nifty gadgets, she had her super-healing, and that even though she admitted to getting into trouble, she always got herself out of it, and healed herself up too.
So why was he always so patronizing with her?
“You know, sometimes I just want to slap you.” Chloe gasped, eyes widening in horror. She’d actually said that out loud!
And the blonde didn’t know who was more shocked by what she’d said, her or Bruce!
“Do you?” Bruce’s voice was a mixture of intrigue and amusement. “And what exactly is it that I do that incites your usually subdued violent tendencies?”
“I don’t know.” Chloe admitted mostly to herself, frowning because she’d asked herself that millions of times and hadn’t really come up with a decent answer. “I mean, I’ve been told I have the patience of the saints--I put up with Bart 24/7 for crying out loud--but you, you, you make me want to scream with frustration most of the time.”
She was so deep within her monologue she didn’t notice his dark eyes fixed intently on her, a pleased, somewhat smug smile gracing his features.
“And I don’t even know which you I’m mostly annoyed with!”
Bruce Wayne raised an eyebrow. “Which me?”
She looked up, blushing deeper as she realized that she’d spoken out loud once more. “Um, yeah, you have a lot of different you’s.”
He chuckled, definitely amused. “Really? Mind explaining that to me, Miss Sullivan?”
She felt a little unsure, yet decided to go ahead. He didn’t look annoyed, quite entertained, so he probably wouldn’t get offended if she continued. “Well, first of all, there’s Bruce Wayne. He’s the playboy that all Gotham knows. He’s on every magazine--each with a different blonde on his arm--and with wild stories of orgies and other scandalous things that the people of Gotham eat up eagerly.”
Bruce turned and leaned his back against the veranda, listening to her in silent interest.
“Then there’s Batman.” Chloe continued, growing more comfortable as she leaned forwards against the veranda, looking up at the stars and getting lost in their beauty. “He’s the complete opposite of Bruce Wayne, but has the same amount of media attention showered on him, yet unlike Bruce Wayne, Batman gets it because he frightens people. He thrives on that fear, on the shivers he gives people when they see him in every shadow within Gotham. He enjoys the advantage that gives him because he can use it to help them, but still, there’s darkness in his soul and he’ll never really get rid of it.”
Bruce stiffened as her words hit a little too close to home for comfort.
“Then there’s Bat.” She made a face at the name their fellow justice leaguers has given him, the name that didn’t fail to irritate him whenever anyone was silly enough to call him that to his face. “He’s the reluctant member of the Justice League who, while being reclusive, is incredibly bossy and takes his duties seriously--maybe a little too seriously--and maybe scares the rest of his team members at times, despite the fact that most of them have powers and Bat only has his gadgets and cunning.”
“Do I—scare—you, Miss Sullivan?”
She didn’t notice the odd texture in his voice, or the flash of worry that raced across his dark eyes; she was too busy looking at the stars.
“Heck no, I was fighting tougher guys in high school.” She smirked teasingly. “But Bat annoys the living hell out of me, that’s for sure. Like when he has to work with me while I’m Watchtower--always trying to tell me how to do my job better as if I haven’t been doing this longer than him. He’s very mature, responsible, yet comes off as believing he is somewhat superior, and that just irks me.”
Bruce winced, but yet again she didn’t notice.
Both didn’t notice that inside no one was dancing.
“She told him that?” Lois Lane asked in excitement as the group huddled together, pretending to be conversing, yet everyone was instead eavesdropping. Truthfully, Kara and Clark were using their super-hearing to each spy on one of the two on the balcony, and would repeat what said person had said. “I’m so proud of her!”
“I know!” Kara grinned in agreement. “Even Kal-EL is too frightened of Batman to say something like that!”
“The guy has Kryptonite on him,” Clark grumbled, not caring for the fact that Lois was nodding her head in agreement to Kara’s statement. “Excuse me for preferring not to tempt him to use it on me.”
Oliver Queen grinned from where he stood with his arm around Dinah’s shoulders. “It’s okay to admit your fear, Clark, we wouldn’t hold it against you. You’d still be our spandex-wearing Man of Steel.”
Bart, AC, Victor and Diana burst into laughter.
Clark glared at his blonde friend. “Oh? Is this coming from the man who was trembling in his leather boots when he found out he had to tell Bat that Chloe was going on that date? The same one that begged me to talk to Bat for him?”
“The same one who had first tried blackmailing his girlfriend into delivering the news to Batman for him?” Victor Stone smirked from where he was leaning against the refreshments table.
The smile was wiped from Oliver’s face. “Hey!”
“Now, now Ollie.” Dinah patted his chest soothingly before turning to Victor and Clark. “Now, you two shouldn’t tease him like that, he was honestly terrified. You should have heard him whining and pleading.” Finally, the smirk she’d been holding erupted fully on her face.
“Hey!” Oliver exclaimed again once he realized that his girlfriend wasn’t on his side as he’d initially thought.
“What?” Dinah asked, looking up at him with wide, innocent eyes, yet the mischievous smirk that curved her lips ruined the whole act.
“Why are we invading their privacy this way?” Shayera asked, as one of the newest members of the Justice League, she had yet to understand that the Bruce/Chloe get-together thing was a pet project of the whole group. Hawkgirl turned to Jimmy and ignored Supergirl’s growl as she reached out and placed her hand on his shoulder. “Shouldn’t we just leave them to do whatever it is they will do?”
“Normally I’d agree with you.” Jimmy Olsen announced sheepishly, rubbing the back of his head, shooting a look in his jealous girlfriend’s direction before smiling at Shayera. “But Bright Eyes is special to all of us, she’s important, and we’re making sure that Mister Wayne realizes this and we’re trying to help him do something before someone else gets her.”
“I doubt he’s going to let that happen.” Ray announced languidly, looking at his nails casually, ignoring the looks that got him.
“What are you talking about?” AC asked, frowning in confusion.
“Let’s just say that I might have asked Bat once while we were patrolling together if Chloe was seeing someone.” Ray confessed, cheeks reddening slightly at all of the wide-eyed expressions that earned him. “He told me she wasn’t seeing anyone and then made it a clear that he wasn’t going to allow me to change that.”
“He actually threatened you, amigo?” Bart looked absolutely delighted with this news. “Hombre, this is great news! The bat was jealous! Chloelicious has him wrapped around her pretty little finger and she doesn’t even know it!”
“But what about Chloe’s feelings?” Diana asked, causing everyone to look at her in confusion. The Amazonian princess frowned at them. “Do we know if she likes Wayne?”
“Well…” Lois dragged out the word for a second. “She hasn’t come out and said anything, but I’m her cousin, I know her better than anyone else, and I know she’s got the hots for Wayne.”
“Are you’re sure you’re not reading her reactions to him to suit your desires for them to be together?” Diana asked, hands akimbo.
Lois glared at the princess. “No one loves my cousin or has her best interest in mind like I do, so believe me when I say that if I truly believed that she didn’t have any feelings for Wayne I would be the first to tell him to back off!”
Diana’s eyebrow raised as she looked Lois straight in the eyes, and suddenly she smiled, obviously liking what she’d seen in the other woman’s eyes. “Good. I believe you.”
Lois smiled back.
The males in the room sighed in relief, although they’d sometimes wondered to themselves who’d win in a fight woman-to-woman between Lois and Diana.
Of course, that thought had always led to thoughts of mud and bikinis--and they’d known that both Clark and AC would beat the crap out of them if they’d let their fantasies take hold--so they’d quickly think of something else.
“Shh.” Kara suddenly hissed. “She’s talking again.”
There’d been a moment’s silence as Chloe just looked up at the sky. Bruce had taken the opportunity to enjoy the moonlight on her face and to think of what she’d said so far. He hated to admit it, but she’d been spot-on so far with her assessments of him, and he couldn’t believe that someone had paid that much attention to the inner him to notice things he’d always tried keeping secret.
Chloe had always fascinated him, but the fact that she was so perspective, that she could see the true him, it made his near obsession with her even worse.
Despite the fact that he should leave, give them both an out, Bruce didn’t want to. He wanted to continue hearing her voice.
“Are those my only me’s?” He tried placing a slight mocking sound into the last word so she wouldn’t see how shook-up he was.
“No.” She snorted, still not looking away from the sky. “You’ve got more alter egos than I don’t know what.”
He smirked. “So, who’s next on the list?”
“That was definitely be Mister Wayne.” She grinned, finally turning and looking at him, leaning her back against the veranda, the light from the party inside reflecting off of her golden hair and leaving the faint impression of a halo.
“Mister Wayne?” Bruce asked, eyebrow raised. Wasn’t that what she almost always called him? He enjoyed it when his first name slipped from her lips, but it only usually happened when he surprised her.
“Yes, Mister Wayne.” Chloe nodded. “He’s the true alter ego of Bruce Wayne. Despite the fact that he’s supposed to be some careless playboy, he’s also the owner and head of Wayne Industries--which he retook control of through shrewd planning and cold calculation--something no one would ever have expected from Bruce Wayne. Mister Wayne is the one who loves and takes care of his elderly butler Alfred, Mister Wayne is the one who instead of paying other people to do it, goes down regularly to his parents’ graves and maintains them himself.”
Bruce’s eyes widened in surprise. “How did you--.”
“You’re not the only one who has his sources.” She smiled brightly at him before continuing. “Mister Wayne is the one who donates to orphanages and other charity, Mister Wayne is the one who has given jobs to many of the people of Gotham who’d been without jobs and had no way to bring food to their children--that way bringing down the petty crime rate.” Her smile grew tender. “He’s a hero in his own right.”
Bruce gulped, needing to look away from her before he did something unlike himself…like kissed her…or cried.
“Then, lastly, there’s Bruce.” She whispered, all mirth gone from her voice. “He’s--never mind.”
He forced himself to look at her again and swallowed down his desperation. “No…tell me.”
She hesitated, eyes on the floor.
Chloe looked up at him in surprise before opening and closing her mouth and then speaking. “I—I don’t really know Bruce all that well, he’s the most quiet and reclusive.” She paused, as if unsure whether to continue or not. “He’s the one who saw his parents killed in front of him while he couldn’t do anything about it, he’s the one who left to all his riches and traveled the world, he’s the one whose thirst for justices drives all the other aspects of him to do what they do.”
Bruce tried to swallow, but his throat was constricted.
“He’s afraid to love, because those he loved the most died. That’s why he pushed away Rachael Dawes, because she nearly died during the outbreak in Gotham some years ago, and he realized how close he had come to losing someone else he cared about.” Chloe whispered. “I only see glimpses of him during the rare moments you let others in.” She paused. “He’s a beautiful person with great potential, he just needs to heal.”
“Will you dance with me?” He asked suddenly, hand outstretched, desperate to touch her, desperate to silence her voice and words in his head.
“What?” She asked, looking up at him in confusion as the music inside switched to a slow rhythm.
“Dance with me.”
Something in his voice must have given away his inner turmoil, because she gave him a sad smile and put her hand in his, allowing him to draw her to him and arrange them so that he was grasping her right hand and had his other wrapped around her waist.
Bruce closed his eyes when she rested her cheek against his chest and sighed softly as she allowed him to lead them in the slow dance.
How could such a little, lithe creature cause such dishevel within him?
“Awwwwww.” Shayera cooed as she clasped her hands to her heart. “They’re so cute together!” Apparently she’d decided that it wasn’t so horrible to spy on Bruce and Chloe, because now she was plastered against the window with the others, watching as the two on the terrace danced softly as if they were the only ones in the world.
“They’re not speaking anymore.” Kara announced, smiling slightly when Jimmy hugged her from behind, ending their silent feud and giving her cheek a loving kiss.
“They don’t have to.” Lois interjected with feeling.
“I know.” Dinah agreed whole-heartedly. “Just look at them, who needs words when they have that?”
The men of the group eyed each other questioningly before Clark finally asked what they’d all been wondering. “What exactly is ‘that’?”
The women all turned to him in horror as if he’d committed some heinous crime.
“Are you blind, Smallville?” Lois asked, obviously annoyed and embarrassed that her man couldn’t see what that was.
“Um, no?” Clark squeaked, looking smaller and more vulnerable than he’d ever looked before.
“Leave him alone, Lois.” Dinah surprised everyone by defending the Man of Steel. “Ollie’s just as clueless as he is and I try to only humiliate him in private.”
“Hey!” Ollie cried out once more. “I am not clueless, Di! I am the leader--.”
“—and founder of the Justice League and its future affiliates worldwide.” Dinah recited his speech in a drone-like voice, causing everyone to snigger because Ollie did use it whenever she mocked him in public.
Oliver crossed his arms over his chest and pouted at his other half.
“Boy, he’s so whipped, it’s scary.” Bart whispered to Victor, who nodded in agreement, ignoring the glare their leader gave them.
“Amen.” Ray sniggered, earning him a glare from Oliver.
The blonde leader turned to his blonde girlfriend. “See what you’ve done? Now everyone is picking on me!”
“Shush!” Diana announced from where she stood next to Shayera. “They’re talking again!”
“You’re a very good dancer.” Bruce’s voice caressed her softly.
“You’re not too bad yourself.” She snarked, cheek still resting against his cheek, enjoying the calming beat of his heart.
She couldn’t believe that she was dancing with Bruce, couldn’t believe that he’d let her get close enough to touch him.
Her dancing partner chuckled before stopping in mid-twirl and placing his hands on her shoulders, pushing her away from him slightly so that they were looking up at each other’s faces—his shadowed and hers bathed in the moonlight.
“Who are you seeing now, Miss Sullivan?” He asked, eyes searching hers intently. “Who is it that is dancing with you? Is it Bat or Batman? Is it Mister Wayne, or is it Bruce Wayne, or maybe even Bruce? Who am I tonight?”
What a good question!
Try as she might, Chloe couldn’t separate them tonight no matter how much she tried.
“Who am I tonight?” He seemed desperate to know the answer, yet hating himself for it at the same time.
Suddenly, Chloe smiled softly at him. “You.” She whispered. “Tonight you’re just you.”
A small, tender smile touched his face as she hugged his waist softly, returning her cheek to his heart and closing her eyes as they continued to dance in the moonlight, neither realizing that the music had stopped a long time ago.