Someone had thrown open the windows in the library; the blast of cold air stung his face and cleared his head a little. He dropped heavily into the nearest chair, heedless of how fragile it looked, and rubbed at his eyes. He should have anticipated this. The shock the Lorders had administered them had been calibrated to knock out Kryptonians and Amazons--it was more than a little surprising that he'd survived it at all. Between that, the various blows he'd taken in their brutal battle, and the painkillers he'd downed so that he could actually dance that evening if necessary, he was undoubtedly working at the very edge of his physical tolerance. That was nothing new, nothing less than he expected of himself, but tonight...if it had been anyone but Svarek, he would have had Alfred call with regrets. Even a playboy like Wayne, however, couldn't decline an invitation to one of Svarek's soirees.
He looked up through the windows at the stars, automatically calculating where the Watchtower would be in its geosynchronous orbit. The Martian was manning it alone that evening. There was a lot of work to be done there, decommissioning the weapons the Lorders had added, but the League had come to an awkwardly unspoken agreement to put it off, at least for that night. He would have objected, should have objected, but he'd seen the same thing in every pair of eyes. They'd all been eager to scatter. Eager not to have to look at one another. No one wanted to think about what they'd learned. It had been too much of a shock.
Except for him, of course. The only person who had surprised him in the Lorders' dimension was himself.
He realized that he was still clutching the glass in one hand. He lifted it, fingers squeaking on the surface slick with condensation, and downed as much of the gin as he could swallow at once. A little liquid ran out of the corner of his mouth. He wiped at it clumsily.
He should go to whatever gloomy bed was waiting for him here. There was so much to be done in the morning: data from the portal to analyze, Lex's weapon to deconstruct, contingencies and countermeasures to reconsider in light of their new information. All vital work for Batman. After all, he'd want to be as useful as possible when the League took over the Earth. He was sure that without his best efforts, they'd never be able to gain the kind of sophisticated political control they would need.
Right. He took another gulp of the gin, ignoring the fact the room was beginning to drift ever so slightly around him, like a mobile in a gentle breeze. Had Superman even allowed him to keep the Kryptonite in their brave new world? Probably not. Or maybe he had--once he'd realized that Batman would never use it. That would amuse the other Superman, Bruce thought.
He'd seen the costumes on display in the Batcave. He hadn't asked his other self, but he knew what that must have meant. He still had never thought he'd be won over--worn down--by so little. Earth's last line of defense had turned out to be a fifth column.
He wouldn't be surprised if he'd had to deal with Dick and Barbara himself, if only to save them from the fate of the rest.
"Are you as bored as I am?"
The lazy drawl came from the direction of the door. Bruce didn't look, didn't have to. "I'd think you'd still be thrilled to be anywhere but your cell, Lex."
Lex laughed and strolled into the room, his shoes clacking slowly on the hardwood floor. He stood against the wall of books across from Bruce's chair--the habit of prison, Bruce noted, not to leave your back exposed. "Svarek is the greatest financial genius of our day, but I'd rather stare at the walls at Stryker's than attend another one of these parties."
"I'm sure you'll get your wish soon enough."
"You know, Bruce, I've never understood why you don't like me. We're colleagues. We both stood to make a fortune from the military applications of that unit. There was no reason to be such a milquetoast about it."
"And I told you I wasn't interested in those military applications, and you went ahead and investigated them anyway. Until the Joker and Harley spoiled your fun, at least."
"Ouch." Lex drew the word out as if he was tasting it. "You've gotten more pointed since I've been away."
He was right. Bruce was letting the mask slip. He tried to recover. "I've had a lot to drink."
"No, you haven't. You've been nursing that one martini all evening, very carefully."
"You've been watching me?" That set off a faint alarm. He groped for reasons Lex might be keeping an eye on him, but they slid away into the dizziness, and he was too exhausted to chase them.
"I did say I was bored."
"Very bored, if you're wasting your time monitoring my alcohol consumption."
"I noticed you came to the party alone. Still pining over Lois?"
"What about you?"
"I've moved on to greener pastures. It is fairly difficult to compete with," Lex paused, "the Man of Steel."
Of all the subjects in the world he did not want to discuss with Lex Luthor that evening, Superman stood at the top of the list. "That must be true, if he's got even you doing his bidding now."
Lex's eyes flashed. "That was a temporary alliance. Don't be fooled by appearances."
"I haven't been. I know that despite your supposed surrender of control of LexCorp, the first thing you did upon release was call Mercy Graves and start giving her orders."
He was hoping that the crack would set off Lex's temper, make him storm out, but instead Lex laughed again. He set his drink down on the nearest table and made a slow, idle circuit of the room, finally coming to lean on the gilt-encrusted back of Bruce's chair. "Bruce, you're remarkably interesting this evening," he said, his hand dangling, fingers close enough to Bruce's temple that they would brush it with the slightest move by either of them. "Why don't you come upstairs with me?"
Bruce turned, heedless of the hand, and looked up at Lex, sleek and massive. That rumor was true, then, and maybe those as well. It would be a good way to investigate--
Lex's thumb brushed the top of his cheekbone, the rest of his fingers threading into his hair.
It would be a good way to forget.
He wouldn't have to worry about respecting Lex in the morning.
Lex swung the heavy door shut behind him with a slight grunt. The room was Svarek's idea of English luxury, which meant dark wood, overstuffed chairs, and far too much bric-a-brac. It was almost as oppressive as the Louis Quinze downstairs. Bruce dropped onto the edge of the bed at once, shedding his jacket; it seemed impossible to stand up even a minute longer.
"Now then." Lex looked down at him. "Who passed you that information about Miss Graves?"
"I have my sources."
"Was it Batman? I thought--"
Bruce felt a brief flash of sympathy for all the people he'd subjected over the years to the interrogation of his own relentless mind. He didn't want to think, to fence, to worry about the intricacies of the underworld and superhero politics. "Did you really invite me up here to talk shop, Lex?"
Lex laughed. "Fair enough." He caught Bruce's tie in his fingers and yanked him upwards to kiss him.
Bruce Wayne did not, as a rule, dally with men. It would have attracted too much, too undesirable a kind of, attention. Instead, he tumbled giggling, superficial heiresses, the occasional cynical older woman who would form no expectations. The sheer largeness of men, their mouths, their hands, their thighs--in his mind, the sensations of these were tangled up only with the adrenaline and shuddering shock of battle. Lex's kiss was all invasion, and Bruce pictured in his mind falling backwards, flipping Lex over him, rolling over and having his hands at Lex's throat. The image was accompanied by an imaginary voiceover, Oracle issuing urgent tactical bulletins in his ear. He shut her off, shut it all off, and concentrated on feeling, unswathed by layers of analysis: the slight, delicious constriction at his throat, the heavy warmth of Lex's fingers on the back of his neck, the bluntness of his tongue, the smell of cologne and alcohol from both of them mingling together. The sensations gave him something to cling to in the giddy swoop of the room. He groaned faintly as Lex pulled away, and the sound seemed to be coming from somebody else.
"That's greedy, Bruce," Lex said, as he slid his fingers under the knot of Bruce's tie, pressing in against the Adam's apple.
But Lex's own voice had thickened, and Bruce could see clearly the outline of his cock against his trousers. Lex had been in solitary confinement at Stryker's for six months, with no...outlets for release. He had probably already fucked Mercy to within an inch of her life; Bruce envisioned it as if it were grainy surveillance footage from Mercy's office, shot from an angle that obscured almost as much as it revealed. Mercy leaning over her desk gasping, her hair knocked free and tumbling forward over her shoulders, expensive jacket unbuttoned just enough to let her breasts swell into view with each thrust, turning the sleek corporate outfit into an obscene parody of itself. Lex ruthless from behind her, eyes open to take in the reflection from the window, groping freely with his huge hands, driving them both against the desk again and again. That clearly hadn't been enough. Well, Lex's appetites were legendary.
Bruce could have reached out and touched him, curled his fingers around his cock, made a bid for control. But he didn't want to struggle. All his struggles lately had only made matters worse. It was much easier to sit there stupefied as Lex pulled first his tie free, then his own. Lex gave the fabric in his hand, two pieces of silk glinting richly with intricate and competing patterns, a speculative look. Bruce wasn't sure he was going to ask, but he didn't want to be asked, so he laid himself back on the bed instead, propped on the pillows, letting his arms fall outward.
The bed's surface was firm; it bore him up like an offering. Lex cursed appreciatively as he surveyed Bruce's body, and Bruce couldn't help it, he smirked a little. Then Lex was straddling him, pushing down with his weight as he lifted a wrist to tie it to the headboard, and Bruce forgot to smirk. No one could completely immobilize him with a scrap of silk, but Lex's knot was a good one, enough to light up his nerves with a feeling of helplessness. He arched against it automatically, testing the knot, and Lex ground his hips down, cock now openly hard against Bruce's belly, saying, "Ah-ah, Bruce." That was good, so good he could relax into it as Lex tied his other wrist and sat back to admire his handiwork.
Lex's eyes were heavy-lidded, his breath coming fast, his hand resting lightly above his own cock. Bruce looked down at himself, his chest thrust forward invitingly by the angle of his arms, his disordered evening clothes, his cock obviously straining against his pants, and it was like looking at the body of a stranger. A stranger free of Bruce, free of Batman, free to go into the bedroom of Lex Luthor and just fuck. Caught and not having to catch back, bound and not having to escape, held down and not having to struggle away. Able to just float in the wrongness and the heedless risk of it all, and want more--and know Lex was going to give it to him.
But Lex didn't move closer, not right away, and so Bruce looked back up at him. Now there was a faint smile playing on Lex's lips, even as Bruce could see the strain in the muscles of his neck. Of course, he recognized. Lex was savoring the moment, testing himself--trying to see how long he could wait. Lex's appetites may have been legendary, but they'd never been his weakness. Automatically, taunts came to Bruce's mind, words to provoke Lex beyond endurance and into fucking him, but he let them pass, unused. Better to wait.
"I always knew you were good-looking, Bruce," Lex said, "but I had no idea how gorgeous you'd actually be, once someone got you out of that foppish shell." He reached out and ran one hand over Bruce's flank, slowly, and his eyes widened as his fingers skimmed the hard muscle beneath the shirt there. "Even better. You look soft, but..."
He raised his hands to the placket of Bruce's shirt and tore, sending buttons flying, revealing Bruce's muscled chest.
"...there's a prize hidden inside."
Lex slid his fingers along Bruce's abs, a tickle distilled to its most dangerous and sensual, and a noise escaped from the back of Bruce's throat. Then he curved his grip over Bruce's hips, and his left hand brushed against one of the scars. He caught a quick intake of breath and leaned forward, both hands moving to exploring Bruce's back, capturing every inch of the damage, probing hard into the scarred flesh. His touch sent confused and irregular impulses down Bruce's nerves, almost unbearable in their invocation of pathways long left dormant and now thrilling to activation; he saw stars, tasted blue, his arms jerking convulsively.
"Bruce," he breathed in his ear, warm and low, almost triumphant, "oh, Bruce. You've been holding out on us."
Dazed, Bruce said automatically, "Horse-back riding. I've been thrown--"
"Please. Don't insult my intelligence."
The intimacy of Lex's knowing hands roving over his scars, Lex's mind insinuating itself around him, only made him harder. He knew that he would be utterly unable to account for his back without becoming Batman, pulling himself completely out of Lex's grasp--and the moment. So he said nothing, willing Lex silently to accept it. Lex might be smart enough.
And he was. "It's all right," he murmured after a beat, hands moving again, finding the zipper in Bruce's pants. "You don't have to tell me. Not until you want to."
"Oh, no." Lex shifted his weight and pulled at the fabric, and Bruce lifted automatically to let him get the pants off, then the briefs. "I like it that you have secrets, Bruce. It's interesting. It makes you that much more of a challenge." He pushed Bruce's knees up towards his head, curling his body to expose him. "This is good enough for now."
Lex fucked him at a slow pace, clearly straining to keep it steady. Bruce spread himself gladly to the pressure, embracing even the discomfort in his shoulders, wanting to let it blot out his consciousness. He stared glazedly at Lex's smooth scalp, which soon beaded with sweat, and let each thrust come closer to obliterating him.
Despite Lexís self-restraint, those thrusts gradually sped up, until he was pounding into Bruce without pause, and it was better to take than a pummelling. "Ah--God--" Lex gasped raggedly and finished, his fingers digging into Bruce's knees as he came. He rested there for only a minute, panting, before pushing himself backwards, letting Bruce's legs drop some. Then he took a deep breath and looked up at Bruce, smiling wolfishly, the smile of a half-dozen pitched battles over the years. Beneath the suits and the corporate trappings, Lex was a fighter. Someone who would never give up.
Without waiting, he seized Bruce's hips in his hands and took his cock in his mouth. Bruce groaned and kicked out in surprise, and he could feel Lex chuckling around him. The vibrations drove him crazy; the impulse to grab Lex's head was strong--but he couldn't, not like that, couldn't even pump well with Lex holding down his hips, and so he could only throw his head back and let it happen. Lex wasn't going for subtlety or style, just a fierce suction that Bruce thought might turn him inside out. All of Bruce's muscles trembled on the verge of spasm, and then gave way. The orgasm seemed to go on forever. Lex, determined to take it all out of him, wouldn't let go, and when he was done, Bruce felt like there was nothing left to give up.
Some time later, Bruce opened his eyes and looked at the ceiling. He felt purged, clean, almost blank. His wrists ached, and his back, but the world was finally still around him.
Lex was dozing lightly next to him in a magnificent animal sprawl. When Bruce shifted his weight, though, he opened his own eyes. "All these years," he rumbled. "Who would ever have guessed?"
"Not many people," he conceded. "How did you?"
"A confirmed bachelor at your age? Let's say the odds favored me. Though I must say, I had no idea just what I'd find."
Bruce grimaced slightly. That was true, and required...consideration.
Lex put one hand on Bruce's abdomen, testing its resistance, idly teasing downwards. Bruce felt the strong urge to capture it, wrestle, retaliate, and knew his cock was rising again. "I want you to support me when I run for president next year, Bruce."
He snorted. "Because we had sex, Lex? That's not really how it works."
"No. Because you saw those...those other Justice Leaguers. You know what they could do if they chose to. We need to be ready."
He wondered if Bruce Wayne would be expected to argue the point. He knew he couldn't. "Why me?"
"You're strong," Lex said simply. "I missed it before, but now I know. I want you as an ally, or at least a neutral."
Lex Luthor as an ally of Bruce Wayne--it was a ridiculous thought. Almost as ridiculous a thought as Batman, firm foundation of a fascist alien regime. Until now, he'd never seen Lex as anything other than the typical greedy megalomaniac that wasted so much of the League's time. The past forty-eight hours had brought him suddenly into extreme close-up, shown Batman the nuances. He'd known. He'd known even before the League had come to him for help, when the rest of the world had been fooled. He'd handed over the gun. And tonight...
The day was coming soon when the Earth might need all the help it could get. It would be wise to be ready.
"Agreed. But we'll have to discuss terms. Later."
Lex grinned. "I hope you won't rule continuing to do this out of the package," he said, shifting to let his arm drape over Bruce's waist. "That would be a pity."
Bruce shut his eyes, rolling over into Lex's grasp. "We can negotiate that, too."
He would sleep here tonight. In the morning, there would be a great deal to do. He could do it, now that he had a back-up plan.