by Chicago

Disclaimers: Characters owned by DC Comics. I'm only playing with them a little, only for fun, and not for profit.

Continuity note: Set in the spring of Year 2 of the J'onnverse, a reasonable amount of time after the events of "Born on a Monday."

Canon note: J'onn actually wasn't on Earth during the 1940s, either canonically or in the JV.

Rated: PG-13

Bruce hadn't intended to sleep in the Cave. In fact, a part of him rather regretted he had. The first real warmth of spring deserved to be enjoyed, even if it did prolong his patrol to investigate noisiness that was only joy but could've been crime. But he had arrived home very near to dawn, and the Cave had the benefit of being eternally night.

He had dragged his weary body to the bedroom where he and J'onn often cocooned, where he had managed to keep Alfred from changing the sheets every single day. Something of the sand-dry desert scent of J'onn lingered between the covers. Bruce had curled there in the predawn after a perfunctory shower and slept for five hours.

He was able to manage such feats more often now than before. Before J'onn.

He was surprised at himself at how much J'onn had been in his mind through the patrol. He was reluctant to admit it, but there was something to the spring air that was affecting him.

He wasn't the only one; the Gotham night had featured many open windows and unquiet lovers.

But J'onn was busy in the southern hemisphere, likely in Tierra del Fuego today if Bruce remembered the loose schedule J'onn had mentioned to him. He could no more begrudge J'onn his sense of obligation to the wider world than J'onn could begrudge him Gotham, so he mentally closed down his wistfulness as he mounted the stairs to the Manor. J'onn had monitor duty night after next, and then he would be home, at least for a little while. The reunion would be sweet for the wait.

Alfred was dusting the study when Bruce pushed open the clock, likely by design rather than accident. "Good morning, Master Bruce. I took the liberty of setting out coffee and some breakfast breads on the dining patio given the niceness of the day."

"Very good, Alfred," Bruce acknowledged, forcing back a smirk. Yes, Alfred had clearly been keeping half an eye on the Cave. Alfred returned to his dusting in a clear gesture of dismissal - or rather, a clear order to go eat and get some outside air.

Bruce did not balk. He just made his way out to the mentioned patio, stepping through an opened set of French doors to take a seat at the cafe-style wrought iron table. The newspaper sat folded beside the breakfast china, showing not the first page, but rather the comics page.

The alarm bells in Bruce's mind barely had time to set him at readiness before his quick scan of the visible part of his estate smoothed his hackles. A corner of his mouth quirked into an almost-smile, and he turned back to the table. He lifted the pastry keeper and transferred two cranberry bran muffins to his plate before pouring himself a cup of coffee. He paused a moment to consider whether he should fill the other untouched coffee cup on the table, but he doubted he could juggle two cups of coffee with the muffins. Instead, he lifted his own cup by its saucer, raised the muffin plate, and made his careful way down the slight slope of the lawn.

Her bare shoulders were freckled, he noticed as he drew nearer the maillot clad beauty stretched across a brightly colored blanket. He could not see the color of her hair under the straw hat she wore, a curiously asymmetrical affair with a brim that rested close to her neck in the back but spread wide in front to shade the book she read.

He knelt beside her on the blanket and set the muffin plate on her book.

She made a show of starting, turning her head and craning her neck to see past the oversized brim. Between a small chin and a pert nose, a pretty bow mouth smiled pinkly. "There you are," she exclaimed, rolling onto a hip and raising her torso. She propped herself up languidly, and the smile still visible past the hat brim began to look more like a smirk.

"And here you are," Bruce rejoined, settling down cross-legged to sip at his coffee. "Nice hat."

The smirk took on a hint of rueful irony. "In the 40s this style was so easy to find..."

"You were wearing women's hats in the forties?"

He couldn't see her eyes, but he could still feel the withering look. She turned a little to reach for a muffin and settled back in a sitting position. "Sleep well?"

"Well enough that I should have realized you were here." It wasn't quite a reproach, but his tone wasn't as neutral as he had tried to make it either.

She tore a piece off the muffin and held it up to his mouth. The face under the hat tilted upward expectantly, and he indulged her, letting his lips brush her fingers as he claimed the small mouthful. His stomach rumbled in anticipation as he chewed the mouthful. He almost didn't notice, too captivated by her action as she brought a piece of muffin to her own lips.

He washed down his bite of muffin with another sip of coffee. "So who is this whose company I'm enjoying this morning?" he asked finally.

The hat raised again, and he caught a glimpse of spring green eyes. "April," she answered.

"April ...?" he prompted.

She laughed softly and pressed another bit of muffin to his lips. He accepted as she dropped the rest of the muffin back on the plate and stretched out on her hip again, unfolding pale legs that dimpled a little at the knee. "Just April," she replied with a hint of a tease in her tone. She let her supporting arm relax, stretching it flat until she lay on her side. Her hat fell off as she rested her cheek against her arm, revealing a mass of honey brown curls.

She was squinting against the midday light, and Bruce shifted as he took another sip of coffee, causing his shadow to shade her face. He watched the lines of her forehead smooth as he reached over her to retrieve her hat. "I don't think you can lie like that and wear this," he pointed out.

Her smile seemed the visual equivalent of a purr. "Guess you'll just have to stay close enough to block the sun."

He shifted closer. "How's that?"

Her hand reached out to hook over his thigh just above his bent knee. "Not bad," she replied. Her thumb traced a circle against his chinos.

"So just April?" he asked, watching the way the sunlight was playing spun gold highlights over her hair.

"Mmm," she answered, her thumb still continuing its circle. Her eyes were fixed somewhere in the vicinity of his chest, and her lips were still curled into a smile that suggested a cat that had been in cream. "More than one name seems a little heavy for the day, don't you think?"

Her nails were painted pink, he noticed as her hand crept a little further up his thigh. Her eyes had fallen half closed, but he could see her watching him from under her lashes. He took a final sip of coffee and set both cup and saucer aside. He reached a hand out to cup the swell of her breast through her swimsuit.

She shuddered. "Alfred might say something about propriety," she pointed out.

Bruce pressed his thumb over the rising nub under her suit before he moved his hand. "Alfred would have a point," he conceded, shifting onto his knees. He took her hand from his thigh and gave a gentle tug. "Alley oop," he suggested.

She was laughing as she followed his prompt and let him pull her into his lap. "Alley oop?"

"Matches the hat," he grunted, plopping it back on her head before he swayed up to his feet with her in his arms.

A little shriek of laughter escaped her as she caught at her hat before it fell and clutched at Bruce with her other arm. The laugh stopped, though, when Bruce leaned down and pressed his lips to hers. He had taken five steps before she pulled back. "Don't forget to watch where you're going," she reminded, her April eyes laughing.

He didn't smile, but he didn't shift his gaze from her face as his feet found their way unerringly to the breakfast patio and back through the open French door. "I am."

Something of April's playfulness left the woman in his arms as she tightened her hold on him and pressed her face against the join of his chest and shoulder. The straw of her hat crushed against his back in her hand. She spoke in Martian, her murmur barely audible. /"Half of my whole."/

Bruce once more kissed her, this time on the forehead, and her hair smelled of sand-dry desert. He answered in thought, not trusting his oral mastery of J'onn's language. /Whole of my half./

As he carried his "April" up the Manor stairs, he caught a glimpse of Alfred smiling approvingly after them.