Scent of a Woman

by Darklady

Disclaimer: DC owns the Bruce and J'onn. I just mess with them. OK?

Location: Chicago's J'onnverse

Note: Yes - I stole the title. No real reference to the movie, I just liked it.

Rated: PG

Batgirl snapped her line and spun twice before she dropped to a near-silent landing on the sanded floor of the Cave. Not as flashy as Nightwing - or even Robin - she disregarded the final arms-up pose and instead stepped wordlessly over to the platform where Batman was standing.

The Dark Knight watched the lithe figure with narrow-eyed interest. "You've been working with Dick. Good."

Batgirl said nothing, merely held out her hands to take the heavy utility belt Batman had just removed.

Batman passed it over. "Thank you.... J'onn."

Three frozen seconds, a shrug, and the thin black form softened and and shifted into a larger shape in brilliant Martian green.

"How did you do that?"

Batman said nothing.

J'onn carefully laid the utility belt on its designated hooks, pausing to give Ace a slight pat before passing the little pet back to it's master." You did *not* see the substitution. I would have noticed the shift in your thought patterns."

J'onn checked the ceiling approach. Nothing there either. He alone might have overlooked some human detail, but Cassandra Cain was literally flawless in matters of perception and they had worked together for over a month on this particular illusion. That, more than anything, was the reason that J'onn had been *certain* that this was the time he would finally trump the Bat. So? Where was the clue?

"You accepted me as Batgirl until... just after I landed. So..." J'onn's eyes shifted as he scanned the floor - first in normal then in infrared vision - apparently seeking some betraying detail in the feminine boot-prints. There was none that he could determine, but... "Wrong weight? Balance? Some personal detail?"

"Long experience with a sneaky Martian." Bruce pushed back his cowl letting J'onn see the amused sparkle in his blue eyes. "Perhaps I've just come to know you that well."

"No." J'onn sent out a discreet tendril to check the floor for beam sensors. "You never fail. Even before."

Bruce considered a moment. "Do you really want to know?"

J'onn shifted into his Alana form. "If I am failing..."

Bruce stripped off one glove and brushed his bare fingers over the slim wrist. "Never."

"Then why can you - and only you - inexplicable see through every form I have ever taken." Alana pressed one delicate hand against the callused palm. " I can pass for human in front of the best scanners LexCo labs builds. I can fool Kal, even when he is using his vision. I once got my cat form past Zauriel - and he is supposedly able to read souls." Pale pink-tipped fingers spread, wrapping themselves around their brown companions. "Only you somehow identify me every time."

Bruce leaned closer. "I'm not sure I should give away my advantage."

Alana raised her head. "Bruce."

Bruce lowered his lips. "Smell."

"What?" The green form snapped suddenly back.

"J'onn." Bruce pressed forward, a narrow half-grin twitching at one corner of his lips. "You can *look* like a human - but you never smell like one."

J'onn frowned. "If my atmosphere is offensive..."

"It's not." The twitch spread to a full smile. " And that's just it."

"I fail..."

"It's not *how* you smell - it's that you *don't* smell." Bruce pulled the Martian form forward. "And despite all the billions spent on cosmetics and hygiene - we do." He ran his hands over the broad green shoulders. "Human's are... I suppose you would say *wet*. We sweat. No matter how careful we are, or how clean we try to be, by the end of a long day...." Bruce rested his cheek against the thick green neck.

J'onn lifted his hand to touch the sable curls. They *were* damp. And when J'onn breathed in? He had not considered before, but the hours of labor under nomex and kevlar had given his lover's skin a certain... saltiness. Not an unpleasant spice, but...? He licked the tip of Bruce's ear, savoring the discovered taste as he considered... "Is that why you always want to meet for lunch?"

Bruce nodded. "Hottest part of the day."

J'onn shifted, moving infinitely small shapes and combining stored organics until he could match the sample he had taken. "Now?"

Bruce stepped back, laughing. "Now we *both* need a shower."

J'onn absorbed the fluids back to his common form. "Now I'll have a chance?"

"No." Tossing his cape on to the monitor room rack, Bruce headed for the cave stairs. "Now I'll just have to work harder."


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