After, part 1
Disclaimers in "part 0"
I can sense that he does not want me to realize this, even as I feel his resignation that he could not hide conscious thought from me. Still, I continue to drowse lazily beside him, letting him try.
It is an impressive display of bodily control. His breathing has not changed from that of sleep. His body against mine still radiates the heavy lassitude of one at rest. He even manages the faint motions of a person in the grip of a dream, although not the dream which I know awakened him.
But his plotting is as clear as if he were whispering in my ear.
In a way, I am relieved. In the last week, he has scarcely had the energy for such thoughts. He has refused to let the weariness of his body interfere with the chores of the Bat, even though he has bitterly protested my return to duty. Only the nightly return to this shared bed, deep in his stronghold, has soothed him. I have reassured Alfred he only needs time, that the normal routines of Bruce Wayne will reassert themselves.
It eases, but does not squelch, the older man's worry.
Bruce stirs a little, and I accept my cue, beginning to shift form to answer the desire of his earlier dream state. I am almost surprised to hear him say, "No."
"Bruce?" I ask, wondering if he has given me the task of monitoring his wakefulness in order to hide deeper plottings.
He takes a deep breath and rolls to face me. His eyes are serious as they look over my face, finally meeting my eyes. "Stay in your trueform."
I hesitate, suddenly nervous. I would take any form for him - he knows this. But when he is... amorous, it is not the asexual Martian he desires. He wants my mind to animate my flesh, of course - and sometimes even provokes a hint of green from me - but...
He strokes my brow soothingly. "I want to understand..." He trails off, and I pick the thought from his mind. He feels he has been slighting me over the past months, and I sense this idea has been buried deep in his mind since we returned from Mars, only now coming to consciousness.
I open my mouth to protest, and he lays a finger across my lipless mouth. Half of my whole, he projects at me. He cannot manage the Martian verbally; the language was not made for a human tongue. But mentally? He utterly disarms me with it, assuring my acquiescence.
He nods his approval and lifts his body from the bed, peeling the light blankets from both of us. I worry for the chill of the cave, but he seems not to feel it, focusing only on the green skin he is uncovering.
My nervousness intensifies. I do not delude myself that my trueform is a thing of beauty to human eyes - even ones who regard me with the soul-deep love that comes from Bruce. Do I risk his revulsion? But he would notice any shift I made with disapproval, so I lie still, letting him run his hands down my thigh to push the blankets down further until I am entirely bare.
As is he. I have lived on earth long enough to appreciate human beauty, and he is beautiful. I confess that in our early acquaintance, I watched him closely, subtly correcting the musculature of my Martian Manhunter form to match what his body revealed. Strong, solidly built. Little by way of body fat to obscure the sculpted muscle. I am captivated as always by the subtle shifts of his body, the way each tendon becomes briefly visible as he turns and moves his arm this way, stretching the skin oh so slightly before a new muscle is engaged.
He is kneeling now, his eyes studying me. I would feel like a lab specimen but for the way I can feel him memorizing me rather than cataloguing me. His penis rests, full but not yet stiff, on one thigh, and I feel relieved that it does not shrink at the sight of me.
He reaches out his hand and rests it on my hip, just beside the place where my legs meet my body and a smooth expanse of flesh reminds us both that Martians are not remotely human. Neither male or female, on this world I am nothing. He trails his hand down to brush his fingers across that flesh - curious, I feel, and - aware of my thought, I realize with a start.
"Not nothing," he reassures, cupping the space where my genitals would be if I had such a thing. Whole, he adds mentally.
His hand moves away, and I feel bereft as he moves further down the bed, his movement barely stirring the air around me. "Close your eyes," he tells me, and I obey. I can feel the signature of his mind as clearly as if I were seeing him, know where he is in relation to me.
But I am still not quite prepared for him to lift my foot when he does.
He says nothing, merely strokes my flesh softly from toes to mid-shin, urging my cells to relax. When he is satisfied that my body is calmer, he begins examining the shape of my foot, carefully running his fingers the length of every toe, tracing the uncallused outlines, the unlined soles. He brings my foot closer to his face in the dim light; I can feel his breath in puffs of warmth. Then the softest wetness against the smallest toe, and I realize he is tasting me, using his tongue to explore details his less sensitive fingers might miss.
A Martian's body is not like a human's. It is more like a large colony of cells, each possessing its own small vestige of my total consciousness. Now every cell in my toe declares rebellion, each jostling for a space on my surface, longing to feel the rough nubs of his tongue.
I don't know how he realizes this, but he does. He lifts his mouth and sets a steadying hand on my knee. Patience, he orders forcefully.
I open my eyes a fraction, peering through the darkness at Bruce. His fingers trace circles against my knee as he clucks his tongue.
"Keep them closed," he reminds me.
I obey, but the glance has reassured me. His skin has a warm flush washing its surface, his lips are curving into one of his thin smiles. I anchor on the mental image of that smile, disciplining my wayward cells. Each in turn, I promise, knowing Bruce will not render me a liar to myself.
My focus on this task is so complete that I again am unprepared for Bruce, whose lips now touch the very tip of the next toe. I am unable to suppress a full body shudder when he parts those lips to touch me with his tongue.
Again his mouth slowly claims this tiny part of me, and his lips close around my toe to enable a soft suction from his mouth. I struggle for stillness and control, my world for the moment reduced to the sensation that connects our bodies, and again he pulls his mouth away - languidly this time, letting my toe come free with a soft pop. Again the steadying pressure on my knee, but this time with a soft chuckle.
"I begin to appreciate why someone would want to give a blow-job."
My eyes fly open, and I realize my toe has expanded hungrily in its desire for his mouth. I panic - bad enough that he should have to deal with me as asexual, a disaster if he should begin to worry that I challenge his sense of identity, if I should be too "male."
I will my foot back into its normal dimensions, turning my face to one side with a sense of burning shame.
"J'onn." The Voice. In our long acquaintance, he has rarely used it on me, sensing rightly that it would not have the desired effect. But the intent behind it gets my attention, and I face him.
He is frowning, and I wince at the expression.
"J'onn," he says again, this time gentling the word. The hand on my leg begins stroking my flesh, and I feel him shift his hold on my foot to run his thumb across my sole. He presses his lips to a third toe in a brief kiss, then rubs his cheek over the top of my foot. The late night stubble scratches against me, a potent counterpoint to the earlier softness of his mouth.
I squeeze my eyes closed, fearful of what new reaction he will bring from my flesh, striving for a conscious control more difficult for having been surrendered already.
J'onn. This time a mental tone I cannot ignore as he changes hands on my foot so he can reach to grasp the ankle of my other leg. He settles my second foot between his own legs, nestling it in against him so I can feel how he is still hard. Let your body react, he directs. Feel me.
Once again he returns his attention to my toes, this time swirling his tongue around the middle digit, his thumb still stroking my sole. I groan softly, reluctantly obeying him and allowing the response of my cells to the pleasure of his lips. I force back my fear, and I feel...
Against my other foot, I feel a twitch, a stiffening of flesh. His mouth engulfs my toe, and I curl the toes of my other foot, brushing them along his length. His stifled moan vibrates in my cells, and I feel his thrill.
Control, I understand suddenly. It excites him that I am not entirely in possession of my own body, that I have ceded that power to him. There is a dark undercurrent to his lust, trustingly laid out for me as much as I am naked before him.
His mouth moves on in its exploration, claiming the next willing digit. His free hand is caressing the top of my other foot against him, and it is all I can do not to meld around the firm flesh, to blend into his body and sweep into his bloodstream. That is not what he wants - not yet.
He has moved on to my largest toe, now, and I stretch the other four to brush along his cheekbone. They slide with the slickness of his saliva, and between his legs there is another jump of flesh bouncing against my sole. I tickle the smallest toe into his ear, and now he shudders and answers this contact with a firmer suction of his mouth.
This action distracts me from all other sensation, and I lean my head back, a low rumble escaping my throat.
Then suddenly there is a new feeling, the brush of his teeth over my flesh, shocking enough to my body that the nip telegraphs itself from cell to cell so I can feel it shooting through me. I arch my back, floating over the mattress now without conscious volition.
A guttural sound penetrates the haze of pleasure, and I realize I have curled my right foot around him, surrounding his organ in a tunnel of pressing flesh. I feel him shift, thrusting into my foot with his motion, and one strong arm curls around my left leg as he lifts his mouth to gasp.
His breathing has grown more ragged - hot breaths tickle the sole of my left foot. I writhe, inadvertently tightening my hold on his hardness. He tightens his arm in response, locking my left leg against him. I can feel the muscles of his chest against my calf and I ripple against him, eager for any touch. His fingers stroke my inner calf, and I am dimly aware that he is urging me to calmness. His desire is confounded, however, by the messages of his body.
I take a deep breath, able to still myself, although I still float above the tangled bedsheets. I want to touch him, to meld with him, but I abide his will, waiting for the invitation. I am beginning to understand. He wants to know the Martian body, to see my pleasure separate from my will, to control my pleasure.
I am not sure which of us is more startled by his next action.
His tongue runs the length of the sole of my left foot.
My right sole mimics the action precisely against him, a firm glide of wet roughness over encased flesh.
He freezes, desperately fighting the tightening of his testicles at the unexpected sensation. After a moment, he breathes, "Oh, god... J'onn..."
I press my left foot against his cheek in inchoate response.
We stay still for a full moment longer, and then he begins working my sole in earnest, his tongue tracing over it and prompting more licks from me, every action with the exactly mirroring reaction.
I squirm, scarcely able to prevent my body's yearning toward him. Not able, truly, for my arms stretch out to tangle fingers in his hair and brush against his scalp, pulling that eager tongue closer, urging him not to stop.
His hand that had rested against my right foot comes up, claiming my wrist and pulling my right hand away from his hair. Our palms press together, and I know without opening my eyes that his grip on me is white-knuckled in its intensity. His hips are rocking, adding the friction of tiny thrusts to the tonguing action that mimics his every lick.
I want to be in his mind. Desperately. I know my consciousness presses against his, but I am nearly powerless to restrain it. It is his will holding me at bay, a not quite articulate mantra playing across my mind... not yet not yet not yet...
Abruptly, he stops, pulling my foot away from his mouth.
I moan a protest and open my eyes to look at him beseechingly, giving him a longing squeeze.
He is sweating, his skin ruddily flushed, his breath catching in his throat.
But he sees me open my eyes.
"Close them," he growls, an almost animal sound. His hand wraps around my left foot, squeezing against it.
I tighten my left hand in his hair, knowing I am pulling it almost painfully, but feeling urgent now in my need for him. He gazes sternly at me, refusing to respond until I do as he has bidden, and I reluctantly close my eyes.
I can feel his dark satisfaction.
And then all I can feel is the sudden enveloping of my toes in his hot mouth.
My body bucks; our clasped hands blend together as my grip tightens to bone crushing and long schooled instincts fade my fingers to intangibility before I can hurt him. This part of me dances in his bloodstream, flowing through fast pulsing veins toward his heart as the cells of my right foot continue their mimicry. They close over the head of his penis, and as his tongue glides over my toes, so do mock tongues slide over him, tasting the liquid that has gathered.
I know that he can taste it, too, as strands of my being find their way to his brain, joining our senses. A muffled cry sounds from him to be released from my throat as he suddenly begins to thrust against me and I can feel every nerve, the rough-smooth-wet-slick sliding of flesh against flesh burning almost unbearably to the very core of my being. The vein where I hold him pulses, inviting the flow of green through a new line into bodies growing less and less distinct from one another. We are in each other, throbbing in a joint rhythm that neither of us can resist.
No memories this time as our consciousness becomes one and the building pressure explodes in a river absorbed eagerly into our greener part, a hot jet rushing through eager body much as that same body thins itself into rushing bloodstream.
No, no memories. Just us... one... whole... healing...
And self spins into oblivion.
He is collapsed against me when I find myself again in my body, his cheek resting against my belly as his body sprawls face down between my legs. I twine my legs around his waist and stroke my fingers through his hair. He nuzzles against me in a half-conscious state, and he eventually turns to wrap his arms around my thigh and cuddle it to him. A thrill hums through my body, and I let my consciousness ride on the pleasure of being with him. I almost sigh when he finally moves, lifting his head to leave my belly exposed to the cool cave air.
As much as I know him, I still am surprised when he lowers his face to plant a tender, lavish kiss on the empty space between my legs. "I never got even halfway here," he remarks in self-referential amusement.
I am warmed - physically and mentally - by the sentiment, and I chuckle as I tighten my legs around him and reach my hands to his shoulders to urge him up face to face. He gazes at me with unguarded emotion, and I gratefully rest my lips on each eyelid in turn, feeling him shudder softly with the pleasure of contact. "Just think," I murmur into his ears, "of all the nights of exploring you have left to do."
He grins and ducks his head coyly against my neck, squeezing me to him as hard as he can. I run one hand the length of his spine from neck to tailbone, enjoying the shivers that accompany the motion. I cup my hand under the curve of his backside, cradling his body to me. His hold on me relaxes slightly, and I can feel him drifting back toward sleep.
He brushes one more kiss against my chest, and in my mind I hear him finish the phrase with which he began my seduction: Whole of my half.
I smile and kiss his head in mute agreement, and I allow my mind to follow his into slumber.