Play, part 6

By Darklady and Chicago

Disclaimers in "part 0"

NOW can I see it? the plelloch asked plaintively.

J'onn hesitated. A moment, he requested, finally returning his full attention to the half-sleeping man inside him.

Bruce, he said softly, running hands along his chest to rest finally on his shoulders.

Yes. Almost the Bat. A noble effort, J'onn thought, smiling to himself.

The plelloch has created an atmosphere where it will be safe for you if I open you to it. Are you ready-?

You're here. Total trust. J'onn had rarely seen Bruce so amenable to anything, and certainly not over such a stretch of time. He wondered if the plelloch's influence was tangible through their telepathic link, or if perhaps a plelloch could touch minds which could not really reach it. Either way, it merited mention.

I should warn you before we do this - a plelloch touches certain parts of the mind -

I'm sure it will be fine. That actually was the Bat, guarded, protective - and trusting. J'onn gave a happy squeeze to his lover's body.

Okay, here goes, he announced, at the same time admonishing the plelloch, Be gentle.

The plelloch gave an air of someone holding his breath as J'onn created a vertical split in his armored exterior, unfolding like rose petals to gradually reveal the treasure within him to the waist.

The plelloch waited with an appropriate air of drama.

Finally, Bruce was visible, and the plelloch stretched forward in thoughts, its ambience radiating total awe. Oh, it sighed, unconsciously brightening and beginning to writhe in excitement.

J'onn slammed closed around Bruce, hugging him protectively. I said gentle! he scolded, turning his thoughts to the man inside.

Bruce? His skin was flushed, his pulse hammering, and his mind - his mind held a fervent desire to be kissed. J'onn pressed lips to Bruce's mouth and was swept into a wrangling of tongues and a futile desire for Bruce to grope his arms around him.

For a moment, thought was impossible, then Bruce finally pulled back a little to catch his breath. "You did warn me," he breathed, unable for the moment to give his thoughts the same coherence words offered him.

Yes, J'onn agreed. But it is so undisciplined. I fear it will harm you.

Dimly, they both could hear the plelloch. Please, J'onn! I'll be extra gentle. Super gentle. It's so beautiful!

I'm willing to chance it, Bruce purred, leaning forward into his lover's flesh.

J'onn peeled back again - just a bit. Just enough to let Bruce's face and shoulder peek out from the cushions of green protection.


Just a flute-note of thought, playing through J'onn's mind and tickling over the top of Bruce's own consciousness.

It was, Bruce confessed. Bright circles of stars spun around him - eager but restrained. Pink clouds giggled; a giggle that tingled like champagne bubbles against Bruce's exposed skin. A... brightness... crept towards him, tremulous and slow as a perching butterfly.

If asked before, Batman would have insisted that it was impossible for a human to actually feel light. At least not and survive. But that was before. He could feel this. Delicate beams of light that somehow translated to pressure against his skin. Warmth - and force. Upon him. Around him. Within him. But still, it did not seem to burn. And J'onn did not intervene.

A touch of something not-quite-heard against his thoughts. Sweet, and fleeting, and followed by a wistful insistence rising up from J'onn. That also unheard - but more easily interpreted. Approval.

J'onn opened his cocoon a bit more, freeing Bruce's chest and arms into the glowing atmosphere.

The touch of a breeze. Truly a touch, as if the shifting air carried its memory back to some waiting audience.


The clouds curled up to cradle both him and J'onn, holding them with the tender awe with which, as an young child, Bruce had once held a newborn kitten. Another memory lost to time, but now Bruce could again see his mother's face smiling down as he raised the purring fur ball up to his cheek. How wonderful - mystical - life had been at three.

The living light touched his cheek again in that same way.


A sense of approval that so limited a creature had still understood so profound a point.

The clouds rolled back, and Bruce got the impression of intense concentration.

"Weeee pul-aaaay?"

Sound without a voice, singing out from all around him. Something between two thousand violins and the whisper of a mountain.

The call was so love-filled Bruce was tempted to agree, but J'onn was closing up again.

You would play too rough.

The impression of wide eyes. Large to plead and large to observe.

"Yuuuuuu pul-aaaaaay?" The clouds pleaded. "Ayyyy watcccch?"

J'onn paused, still open enough that Bruce was able to pull an arm free of his lover's protective cocoon and reach out to the plelloch around them. He could feel J'onn resisting the urge to pull him back in, warily allowing Bruce to interact with the creature on his own terms.

The clouds and light stretched forward tentatively, winding through Bruce's fingers and settling into his cupped hand. A mirror surface pooled on his palm, bulging with a surface tension beyond that of water. Liquid light, Bruce mused, marveling at it as his nerves were set tingling by the glissando of notes it played through his body. It looks like mercury, the Bat suddenly pointed out, appearing unexpectedly in Bruce's thoughts. The resemblance to the poisonous liquid almost prompted Bruce to pull back his hand, but there was no heaviness to the light. Only the whispery warm brush of softest down, a sensation so at odds with what his eyes told him, and so contrary to the alarm of his well-honed instincts, that he felt suddenly overwhelmed. His body seemed catapulted beyond control, bleeding into sensations too deeply felt and heard and seen and tasted to be distinguished.

J'onn stretched out a tendril with fluid quickness, startling the plelloch back. Careful, he admonished, wrapping around Bruce's arm and drawing it back in.

sorrysorrysorrysorry, the plelloch rattled as J'onn began massaging feeling back into Bruce's thoroughly numbed hand.

Shhh, J'onn quieted, curling a cheek down to rest on the top of Bruce's head. He didn't close up now, observing that the plelloch was keeping the atmosphere stable. Instead he unwrapped himself a bit from Bruce, forming torso and head and arms while allowing his lower half to remain as armor. He hugged Bruce to his chest for a long moment, giving him a soothing heartbeat to listen to as Bruce squeezed his eyes shut and regained a sense of equilibrium.

"Iiiiitttt iissss ... " A pause, as if the slide of snowflake against snowflake was seeking a word. "...huuurrrrrrt?" Concern flooded the air with a scent of burnt hair and overripe peaches.

Bruce opened his eyes, willing his breathing to settle. The now-calming maelstrom of sensation receded into a delicious euphoria, replete with the warmth of Martian skin beneath his cheek and the whisper of red sand sliding across a landscape. Pins and needles dancing through his palm and fingers blazed into a new sensation at every pressure from J'onn's massaging digits. A pulsing squeeze of the armor that still clad his lower half reminded him of the rest of his body, and of the body around him. He smiled against J'onn's chest and pushed himself away from it. J'onn let him go.

Bruce faced outward again, letting the plelloch see that he was unharmed. Then he opened his mouth. The light had a taste , relief like summer plums that distracted him for a moment as he savored it. J'onn twined arms around his torso, pressing a kiss to the back of his neck that brought him back to himself, focused his feeling. Then he spoke. "My name is Bruce."

Distant thunder behind the drumming of heavy rain echoed back to him. "Buuuh-rrrrooooossss." The sensation of being a sigh pressed around J'onn and Bruce, caressing already roused flesh. J'onn shifted, still protective, but also letting smooth green catch the short hairs on Bruce's body as he stretched his head forward to kiss Bruce's left cheek.

He was feeling it, too, Bruce realized. The raw excitement, the anticipation of pure joy, the desire to play. Bruce rested his head back against the Martian's shoulder to give J'onn access to his lips.

"Yeeeeeesssssss," the leaf fall whispered. "Puh-lllaaayy."

J'onn's mouth tasted of a desert spring, his tongue working agilely along Bruce's. He paused to allow breath, fingers running through Bruce's hair and brushing shivers through his scalp. I don't know that it can remain so controlled, he cautioned Bruce, resting his lips against Bruce's ear. Perhaps the jumpship would be -

Maybe, Bruce considered, pressing his back into J'onn's chest and shuddering at the simultaneous give and resistance of J'onn's body. It felt like a mellow clarinet solo on a humid city summer night. But could we try -?

I'm not sure I could react quickly enough to protect you if it gets too excited.

You would, Bruce stated firmly, curling his toes to pinch up J'onn's flesh between them and earn a nip to his ankle in response.

J'onn trailed the back of a hand down Bruce's cheek. He cannot fly, J'onn projected at the plelloch, and your touch must be a thousand times more gentle.

Bruce got the impression of a negotiation around him, the light dimming only to create a deeper intensity of color, clouds billowing at their feet.

What's happening? he asked, more curious than concerned.

As if in answer, J'onn shifted form around him, leaving his legs suddenly free and his feet standing on a platform. He wrapped one hand securely around one of Bruce's arms. We'll try it, he explained. Step down.

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