Play, part 8

By Darklady and Chicago

Disclaimers in "part 0"



"Good work, Mars-man." Plas's voice was a cheerful chirp in the quiet cabin. "NASA shows the Pel-whats-it leaving the system."

J'onn's face smiled at the screen. "Thank you, Plasticman. We are heading back." Closing the channel, J'onn slid back around his seated lover.

"Bruce?" J'onn formed two lips, whispering into one soon-to-be-nibbled ear.

"Just... wistful." Bruce turned his face towards the lips. "When the plelloch comes back?"

J'onn snuggled closer around Bruce's shoulders. "It will, when your people are ready. And that day will come." Green fingers formed to walk up Bruce's spine. "You earthlings are a..." Soft lips came out to brush the back's of Bruce's knees. "Most promising species. Your descendants will be ready for it when it returns." J'onn finished, abandoning speech to close hotly upon offered lips.

There was a long silence.

"I know" Bruce said when his lips were free again. "But... none of them will be mine." He leaned into the green presence, physically and mentally insistent that his words were not a rejection. Merely a... truth. "Thirty generations of Waynes." Bruce whispered. "It ends with me. I guess I never confronted it before. I always assumed that someday... but... "

"You could..." J'onn sent the rather generic image of a human woman. "I would not... deny..."

"No. J'onn." Bruce's voice was light - reassuring. "I wouldn't take Talia up on her offer - even before I loved you." He pulled a bit of greenness even closer. "Besides... I have my son. Dick and Babs will make wonderful parents. If I really plot?" Bruce smiled, his mental patterns as close to humor as he ever came. "I can probably even convince them to take the name."

A soft chuckle sounded in his ear. "That will be a family drama worth watching."

Bruce snorted, capturing a tendril trailing down the line of his abdomen. "I can plot that anytime," he pointed out. "How often will I have you 45 minutes from Earth?"

A shudder rippled through J'onn as Bruce's fingers pressed into him and his thoughts opened along more carnal lines. "As often as you wish," he breathed.



J'onn drowsed against Bruce's shoulder, enjoying the soft play of Bruce's fingers over his scalp. Their lower halves remained entangled, still pulsing faintly in warm afterglow. "Penny for your thoughts?" J'onn suggested.

Bruce laughed softly and kissed the top of J'onn's head. "You were just in them," he pointed out.

J'onn snuggled more deeply into the arms Bruce brought around him, remembering the rare youthful memories that had come through this joining. "Mmm, so I was."

"Something troubling you?" More of a check than an actual concern.

"No," J'onn denied, planting a kiss on Bruce's collar bone and enjoying the trill that rolled through Bruce's body, not quite recovered enough to respond with more than warm pleasure. He felt ... sweetly wistful ... in J'onn's embrace. "Your mother was beautiful."

Bruce nodded. "I know. I forget, sometimes, the before..."

J'onn offered another comforting kiss, relishing Bruce's rare openness. "She would be pleased by the man you've become."

"Maybe," Bruce allowed. "Sometimes I'm not so sure she wouldn't rather have me safe somewhere with a society bride."

J'onn morphed his face into an acceptably beautiful woman's. "We could pretend," he suggested playfully.

Bruce gave him a little squeeze, mentally urging him back to greenness. "I would never ask you to forego your other lives. Besides, you'd get really bored."

"Probably," J'onn acknowledged, letting his fingers tangle in the curls on Bruce's chest.

"J'onn?"

"Hmm?"

"What did your mother name you?"

J'onn paused for a moment, considering. Then he said, "Have I told you how I met M'yri'ah?"

He felt Bruce stiffen beneath and within him, shame and regret flooding from his mind. "J'onn, I'm sorry-"

J'onn raised his head to kiss Bruce's lips, sending soothing thoughts with the contact. "It's okay, Bruce. And I know you know from our shared memories, but-" He shrugged, resettling himself against Bruce's chest. "I think there is power in the human way of telling."

Bruce nodded, his body easing, although still tensed. J'onn continued to stroke his chest, keeping his voice low and his thoughts gentle.

"We met on Apokolips. She had arrived there ahead of me, seeking to free the kidnapped children of Mars. She was young, still training in her profession, but her spirit - she had risked her life alone in an impossible mission, found allies on Apokolips who eventually found me and brought us together."

Bruce pulled J'onn closer and rested his cheek on J'onn's head. J'onn could feel him drawing up memories of M'yri'ah he had felt in their unions.

"I sent her home with the children once we had rescued them, and she promised to wait for me. I know she would have waited forever."

"She was brave," Bruce murmured.

"Yes. When she left me, and I bid her goodbye, she corrected me." J'onn closed his eyes, remembering her form disappearing into the boom tube. "She said it was never goodbye. 'Not so long as either of us is living.'"

"J'onn..."

"The name my mother gave me translates roughly as 'light to the light.' I often think I have not lived up to her hopes for me."

"You have," Bruce objected. "For me, for so many others."

J'onn sighed and tightened his lower body around Bruce's, turning his face to kiss his chest. "M'yri'ah was the last person to call me by my Martian name. It belongs to her, now. To share it..." He sighed again. "Forgive me, Bruce, but it would be saying goodbye."

Bruce loosened his arms and raised a hand to J'onn's chin, leading J'onn's face up to meet his eyes. "There is nothing to forgive," he said firmly. "Your love for M'yri'ah is part of who you are. Part of what proves you are the child your mother named."

"Oh, Bruce..." He leaned forward into a grateful kiss, enfolding himself in Bruce's love.



The jumpship floated high over the Lunar Watchtower.

"Docking expected in three minutes." Bruce growled towards the speaker as he entered the required codes. J'onn was firmly in place around him, and behaving in a remarkably armor-like fashion. Perhaps, Bruce quickly suppressed the stray thought, the last few hours had exhausted even Martian reserves.

"Bruce?" A very soft whisper inside the cowl.

"J'onn?" Surely he hadn't caught that mental impulse. J'onn was careful to keep only the most surface links unless invited in.

"The plelloch. They are... " J'onn leaned a bit of cape closer to Bruce's back. "Legend says that once - long ago - they ruled this galaxy. That they gave up power to gain happiness."

"A lovely moral" Bruce smiled. "If not one I..."

"No Bruce," The whispered voice took on a slight urgency. "I called it a puppy, but... the plelloch is not... only that. A mind that huge, that powerful..." J'onn's mental speech faded out along with the spoken.

"What?" Bruce urged, running his fingers over the thick gold Bat that was also J'onn.

"If it says it will return to play with our child...?" J'onn shivered a bit, clutching slightly against the enveloped body. "Plelloch do not lie."

Bruce's smile returned faintly. "And prophecy is often ambiguous." He flexed his body within the J'onn armor, as close as he could come to a reassuring hug in the circumstances. "And metaphors are not lies."

He felt J'onn process this as J'onn took over control of the ship and guided it into the landing bay. Then a soft kiss came from within the cowl at his temple. "You are right," J'onn decided.

"Of course I am," Bruce rumbled. "I'm Batman." He rose from his seat and descended into the Watchtower, enjoying the ripple of laughter that trailed around his body. Careful to keep the smile from his face, he made his way to his quarters, wondering when he would next have such a chance to play.



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