Disclaimer: I don't own Batman, Superman, Justice League or its characters.
And here is it, the epilogue to warp up the story. I hope you enjoy it! 😊
Chapter 8: Epilogue.
Nine Months Later.
Clark stood once again at the door of the Wayne household, a black bag slung over his shoulder and dressed in a pair of denim, a plaid shirt, and a pair of sturdy boots.
It was impossible to ignore the nervous anticipation coursing through his body, but he did his best. This wasn't going to be the first time he spent time with the Wayne boys, but it would definitely be the longest.
A weekend camping trip. Two whole days alone in the woods with Bruce and his four sons. Clark was excited and dreading the whole thing in equal measures. What if the boys got tired of him or ended resenting him for intruding on their time with his dad?
Bruce spoke with them first to make sure it was okay for Clark to tag along and Clark made sure to ask them again just in case, but they could still change their mind.
He agreed to meet and get to know Bruce's sons because he was interested in Bruce, but that was no longer the only reason he chose to spend time with them. It took him no time at all to fall in love with the boys, each so different from the others and yet equally brilliant and endearing. He actually enjoyed being around them, and Bruce assured him his sons felt the same way. Sometimes, Clark could even believe it.
Even his parents approved fully of the relationship now.
Ma and Pa Kent hadn't been thrilled when he first told them about it. They supported him, just like they always did, but it was clear from the beginning they had their reservations about whether getting involved with someone responsible for four boys would be the best for him.
Clark couldn't say he blamed them. He had his doubts as well.
The first time he truly thought through about the fact getting involved with Bruce meant being involved with his sons as well was the night Jason and Dick crashed their date. He already knew about Bruce's sons before then, of course, but somehow that moment made it truly sink in.
Bruce was a dad to four boys that loved and needed him, and Clark would need to accept that and adapt to it if he wanted to have any kind of relationship with the man. Not only that, but he also had to be willing to form some kind of relationship with them and be part of their lives as well. Not as a parent, but a friend. As someone they could trust.
The fact all but Damian were adopted meant there was only one ex he would have to deal with, and she lived on the other side of the world. That was something to consider too.
He made a decision and soon enough his weekly phone calls to the farm were filled with stories of his time shared with the Wayne family along with stories of the Daily Planet and the few friends he had made in the city. Hear him speak about them allowed his parents to get to know Bruce and his sons through him, just as he was getting to know them too. And just like Clark did, they fell in love with the Waynes almost without noticing.
The last time he visited Smallville, Clark came back to Metropolis with a batch of cookies baked especially for the Wayne family, as well as the order to extend an invitation for Bruce and the boys to visit the farm whenever they were able.
He was yet to pass along the invitation to Bruce, though.
Of course he wanted Bruce and his parents to meet in person. With how much he spoke to them about Bruce and vice versa, it would mostly be just a formality. But- How soon was too soon to meet the family? True, he met Bruce's kids and Alfred mere days after their first meeting, back when a tentative friendship was still being formed- except Clark didn't have the excuse of overprotective sons demanding to get involved.
Clark didn't want Bruce to feel pressured to travel to the farm and make the boys do it as well, or that he agreed to go just because he felt he owe him or something-
Maybe he was just afraid to discover their relationship wasn't as solid as he thought it was. It had been only nine months, after all. Too short for what they have to be considered a consolidated relationship. Not that it mattered. Not anymore. Clark already decided he would ask Bruce during their trip and simply hope for the best. That was probably why he was so nervous about this.
The door opened before he could overthink further, and Clark was met with a familiar pair of deep green eyes peering at him from under thick bangs of dark hair.
The boy looked up at him. "You're late."
It sounded more like a pointed fact rather than an accusation, which did a lot to help Clark relax. Still, he offered the boy a sheepish smile. "I'm sorry. I didn't keep you waiting, did I?" He didn't think that was the case, but it was better to ask anyway.
"You didn't," Damian said curtly, stepping aside to let Clark in. "Richard and Timothy haven't finished packing yet."
Clark nodded, putting down his bag on one of the chairs in the entryway before turning his attention to the newest addition to the family, who was sitting dutifully at his master's side.
"Hey, Titus. How have you been, boy?" He knelt down and scratched the large dog behind the ears as soon as he moved closer with his tail wagging. Seeing the Great Dane only served to make him miss Shelby, the Kents' Golden Retriever, even more.
It didn't take Bruce and the rest of the family long to figure out Damian was a true animal lover, stopping their brothers from killing spiders or bugs and freeing them outdoors instead, and watching adoringly even the largest, less friendly dogs he encountered on the streets. He had opinions about what the local zoo should do to improve the quality of life of animals living in it and had carefully nursed a little robin back to health with Alfred's help.
Getting Damian a dog was the best decision Bruce could have made, even if he pondered the matter for longer than was perhaps necessary. But that was a dad being a dad, Clark supposed. Adding a pet to the family was a long term commitment, so even if Damian was a very responsible boy and the others were willing to help take care of a pet, it wasn't a decision that should be taken lightly.
Still, Clark was glad Bruce decided to do it. The mere memory of the video he received months ago, showing Jason, Dick, and Tim doing that old dog challenge, ending with Damian's cries in the background demanding they leave his dog alone put a smile on his face.
Clark would lie if he said seeing Titus for the first time hadn't been a shock. He knew for a fact he wasn't the only one surprised when rather than pick a cute puppy from the shelter to spoil and train, Damian chose instead an older dog abandoned by his previous owners.
The boy truly had a heart of gold, and he had gotten better at letting it show.
Clark found Damian watching him when he finally lifted his gaze and offered the boy a smile.
"Where's your dad?"
"He's upstairs making sure Timothy leaves behind all of his technological gadgets."
Well, that explained why they were running behind on schedule. Tim's love -or maybe even obsession- with technology was no secret. In the short time Clark had been visiting the Wayne household, it was rare to find Tim away from any technological devices, be it phone, laptop, iPad, or video games.
Bruce warned him this was going to be a cell phone-free trip, so Tim probably tried to sneak a few of his toys and was busted, prompting Bruce to search through his son's luggage.
"He's upstairs, right?" The boy nodded. Clark patted the dog's head one more time before getting back to his feet. "Do you mind if I go up there to ask him if he needs help with anything?"
"Alright," Damian replied with a shrug. "Come along, Titus."
Clark watched with a smile as the large dog dutifully followed his small master. It was until they were out of sight that he walked to the stairs. Once he reached the top, he found Alfred in the hallway.
"Good morning, Mr. Pennyworth."
"Good morning, Mr. Kent. Ready for today's trip, I see."
"I am," Clark agreed with a smile before adding, "and it's just Clark, please."
Just like he had gotten to know Bruce and his sons, he also got to know Alfred, so he was not oblivious to what that reply truly meant. That and Bruce warned him about the man's appreciation for proper decorum. He was British, through and through.
"You aren't coming with us?" Clark asked, looking down at the man's flawless suit.
"I have a previous commitment schedule, I'm afraid," Alfred said apologetically. "Nevertheless, I have no doubt it will be a pleasant and enriching trip for you."
"Alfred? Have you-" Bruce's voice echoed in the large hallway as he walked out of Tim's bedroom. "Clark. I didn't know you were here."
"I arrived a couple minutes ago," Clark explained, forcing himself not to stare at Bruce with the man's dad standing right beside him. It was not easy. At all. He was used to seeing Bruce in suits, and while he always was a sight to behold, there was something about seeing him in more casual clothing.
The smallest twitch in the corner of Bruce's lips told him he hadn't missed his struggle.
"That's good. I'm glad you're here."
Clark cleared his throat. "I'm glad to be here too."
"If you excuse me," Alfred said, breaking the silence. "I shall ensure the lads finish their duties."
Clark turned back to Bruce, more than a little curious to see him looking after Alfred with a frown on his face.
"What is it?"
Bruce's blue, almost gray eyes turned in his direction, his expression smooth. "Nothing."
Clark waited. Either Bruce would explain what was bothering him or he change the subjective entirely. Both possibilities were equally likely -as he had quickly found out- so he could only wait and see.
"Alfred has a date. That's why he's not coming with us."
He blinked in surprise. That was not what he expected. "Okay. That's good, right? I mean, it would be great if he came with us, of course, but it's good he has met someone. Right?"
"I- Yes. Of course."
Bruce frowned one more time. "He didn't tell me he had a date until now. And he refuses to tell me who he's going out with."
Clark opened and closed his mouth a couple of times but no words came out. He wondered if it was truly possible for Bruce to be oblivious to what was happening here. Would Bruce be capable of spying on Alfred's date if he didn't have a trip planned? Clark couldn't help it. He burst out laughing right there and then.
"What?" Bruce snapped.
"I love you," Clark declared as soon as he was able to speak-
And then he realized what he had done and the loopy grin was wiped from his face. They hadn't said the words yet. There had been a couple of times when Clark had been ready to burst them, but he had to force himself to bite them back because it wasn't the right time. It was too soon.
Clark was almost afraid to see Bruce's reaction, but he did it anyway. This was not the way he had expected his love confession to go.
Bruce was watching him, looking as vulnerable as the day they met nine months ago. The day he spoke to a total stranger about his worry about his sons and his doubts as a parent. So much had happened since then, and so little time had passed.
"You do?" Bruce asked softly.
"I do," Clark admitted just as softly.
Clark was unable to part his gaze from Bruce's beautiful bright eyes- at least until he realized he had to if he wanted to kiss him. And he wanted. Dear lord, how he wanted.
The kiss started gentle, with Bruce's trembling hand coming up to cup his cheek while Clark squeezed his eyes shut, trying to convince himself this was truly happening. Soon Bruce's teeth were grazing his lips, his tongue seeking entrance and thrusting inside as soon as Clark granted it. His fingers threaded Bruce's short hair, pressing their bodies impossibly closer as the kiss turned hungrier and deeper.
It was not their first kiss, of course. Except it was, in a way. It was different. It was especial.
"Oh. My. God." The words made them jump apart like a pair of teenagers caught doing something they shouldn't, which was a rather ridiculous thought. "Really?! Do you have to do that right outside my bedroom?!"
Clark didn't even dare look in Tim's direction, the heat and intimacy of the moment completely forgotten to be replaced by shame and mortification. Bruce, on the other hand, ignored his slightly fast breathing, swollen lips, and flushed cheeks as he looked at his son.
"Just take your bag downstairs, please. And Tim," Bruce called, waiting until the boy looked at him. "I will be checking it again once we arrive. Don't make me put you in my tent where I can keep an eye on you."
"Thanks but no thanks. I don't want to be caught in the middle of whatever stuff you're planning to do in that tent."
The boy's laugh filled the hallway as he ran toward the staircase.
Clark saw movement out of the corner of his eye and turned to find Dick standing at the door of the bedroom next to Tim's, watching them with mischievous eyes and a bright smile on his face.
"Okay then," The boy said cheerfully, winking before slipping back into the room.
Bruce sighed loudly but didn't speak, leaning against the wall as his breathing finally returned to normal.
Clark watched him, his own face still on fire even when his breath was mostly steady again. He wondered how he would be able to face Tim now. And Dick. And the rest of the boys too because he has no doubt Tim would explain exactly what happened to his other two brothers.
"Are you sure you still want to do this?"
Bruce could be talking about the trip, of course, but somehow Clark knew that was not the case. Even after nine months, even after telling him he loved him, Bruce was still waiting for the moment Clark would announce he'd had enough before disappearing from Bruce's life and the lives of his sons.
Had something like that happened before? Clark couldn't imagine anyone doing something so cruel to them, but it would explain why Bruce was so apprehensive.
Clark reached for Bruce's hand, squeezing it gently as he met his gaze. "I'm very sure I want to do this. And you?"
"I'm sure too," Bruce murmured after a moment's pause, lifting their joined hands to kiss Clark's knuckles.
Clark wasn't sure who moved first, but a moment later they were hugging, Bruce's face buried on his chest while he wrapped his arms tightly around him.
"Hey, old man! We're already down here, so if you and your boyfriend are done making out let's go!"
Bruce groaned against his chest, making Clark chuckle. He planted a kiss on his forehead before pulling away.
"Are you ready?"
Clark imagined the teasing, the gagging noises and the funny faces the boys would make when they saw him standing a bit too close to Bruce. He was surprised to find he was actually looking forward to it all.
Bruce's cheeks were dusted in pink and his blue eyes gleamed softly as they met his. Clark wanted nothing more than to kiss him again, and so he did.
They were holding hands when they finally walked downstairs where the boys were waiting.
a/n: And it's over. Yay! I sure hope the long wait was worth it and I want to apologize for taking so long to finish this. I had an outline for what I wanted to happen, but I just couldn't seem to get it right on "paper". I did try my best, so I hope the ending didn't disappoint.
I also want to give a huge thank you to those who stuck around, and for the kind reviews! Believe me when I say every one of them meant the world to me, and encouraged me to keep working on this fic. I tried to add a bit more Damian and Tim here, so I hope I did them justice. And I would love to know what you thought of the ending too, of course! 😉
Lastly, yes, I kind of want to write the Waynes' trip to Smallville, but have no plans to do it any time soon. There are plenty of drafts and half-written fics calling for my attention and I want to focus on finishing some of them now. If I do write more in this verse, I will be sure to link it here so you wouldn't miss it.