Pairings/Characters: Clark/Bruce, Dick, Alfred, Kristin Wells
Summary: An old film reel chronicles the public and private lives of the Kent-Wayne family, aka The World's Finest.
Date Of Completion: December 27, 2007
Date Of Posting: December 30, 2007
Disclaimer: I don’t own 'em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1941
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Written for the World’s Finest Gift Exchange for Claim F53: Clark and Bruce in a home movie. Either they are watching it together, or someone else finds it and watches it. Rating: Any. I chose to set the story in the Silver Age, as the home movie theme made me think of the old-fashioned projectors and screens. Hope the requester likes this! :)
Kristin Wells is the historian from Elliot S! Maggin’s Superman novel, Miracle Monday, and some comics appearances in the 1980s.
The lights were dimmed as the projector started up, the clickity-clack of the machine the only sound in the room. Images began to flicker on the screen.
& & & & & &
The camera pans across palatial grounds: colorful gardens with a marble fountain splashing merrily in the center. Trees bend their branches as a strong breeze blows apple blossoms around, creating a snowy-white tableau against the background of the white-capped ocean. Fluffy white clouds scud across an azure sky.
A young boy somersaults into the frame, laughing and dressed in a yellow sweater and jeans followed by two adults, both smiling.
Clark turns back to wink at cameraman Alfred as Bruce and Dick continue walking to the seawall.
Bruce and Dick on the trapeze in the gym in Wayne Manor in prefect sync. Clark appears, floating as he joins the routine, mimicking their movements. Despite the absence of sound, Dick’s giggle is obvious.
Summer sunshine bathes the Wayne Manor backyard, Clark stretched out on a lawn chair as he sunbathes. He wears a swimsuit, soaking up all the rays possible. The camera lingers lovingly on Clark, his Superman curl resting on his brow. He isn’t wearing his glasses.
The camera shakes slightly as it is placed on a tripod, and Bruce enters the frame. He approaches the lawn chair with Bat-like stealth. He sits on the edge of the chair, enjoying the view. He reaches out and brushes the curl aside.
Sapphire-blue eyes flutter open, then a smile appears on Clark’s face. Bruce leans down as strong arms slide around him as they kiss.
Batman and Superman in the Batcave, Batman waving the camera away, Superman winking at the cameraman. The Kryptonian looks bright in the Cave’s darkness, his cape falling like a shimmering scarlet waterfall. Batman frowns at the camera again, Superman sliding an arm around his shoulders and turning him away, throwing another wink over his shoulder.
Superman flying lazily along the turrets and spires of Wayne Manor, his cape fluttering out behind him on a summer’s day. He performs aerial acrobatics, looping and turning and twisting, a smile always on his beautiful face.
He swoops down to the ocean, plunging into the waves and surfacing like a playful dolphin, flying with a flock of seagulls, then landing atop a buoy and affecting Rodin’s Thinker pose. Mischief twinkles in his eyes.
Clark and Bruce resting their arms on a railing overlooking the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. The thundering water paints a magnificent picture of power, and Bruce slides his arm around Clark’s back, Clark turning his head and smiling at his companion. They kiss, then start walking down the sidewalk, the Falls as backdrop.
Now it’s the American side, as the camera pans down to the Bridal Falls. Closer to the Falls on this side, the lens clearly captures the pounding of the water over rocks, tiny figures in yellow and black slickers below as they walk the wooden walkways in the Cave of the Winds tour.
Down at the Bridal Falls as two slicker-clad lovers head for the waterfall. Clark takes the camera and films Dick running in his yellow slicker under the water and emerging out on the other side, laughing and drenched. Dick turns back and goes back under the water, then takes the camera again and films Bruce and Clark’s journey through the water, Clark in yellow, Bruce in black.
Gorgeous flowers fill the screen, arranged in precise, neat patterns on the Canadian side at the Horticultural Gardens. Red and yellow roses mix, and the grass is green and bright as the sun blazes down. Clark walks to a patch of yellow roses and leans down and inhales the scent, Bruce coming up to rest his hand on Clark’s back.
A Japanese family strolls by, the father clicking away on his camera, and a woman in an Indian sari walks past the lens.
A very long, tree-lined pathway. The trees are towering and twist their branches to interlace high above walkers’ heads. Clark and Bruce stroll down the path, holding hands and dwarfed by the size of the trees.
The Falls at night, viewed from the Canadian side. Clark and Bruce are watching the colors change in a slow pattern of every ten minutes: yellow-to-red-to-green-to-blue-to-purple.
The colors play over their faces, illuminating a sense of wonder and joy. Happiness radiates from them, Bruce sliding his hand over to grasp Clark’s. Clark’s delighted smile causes a smile on Bruce’s face.
Dick smiling and laughing as he bounces on his feet at the railing, Clark grinning at him. Dick pretends to jump on top of the railing for a handstand, Clark shaking his head fondly. He puts his arm around Dick’s shoulders, winking back at cameraman Bruce.
Daytime again, and the Maid of the Mist excursion boat suddenly foundering at the foot of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, a blur of red-yellow-and-blue zooming down to lift up the boat, rainbows sparkling in the mist and on Superman’s suit. The rescued sightseers cheer as Superman brings them back to the dock, the superhero holding the boat up just above the water as everyone disembarks, then gently setting it down and doing a quick repair of the damaged hull. He flies off with a wave.
Clark rejoining Bruce and giving him a kiss, wisps of rainbows stills sparkling in his hair. Bruce’s smile is radiant as he keeps Clark close.
Bruce opening the piled-up birthday presents in the living room, Clark teasingly ruffling his hair while Dick sits at his feet, handing him the gifts. Bruce pretends annoyance but anyone studying his face can see his happiness. Clark kisses him, Bruce’s eyes sparkling.
Superman, Batman, and Robin shaking hands with President John F. Kennedy in the Oval Office, Robin nearly performing cartwheels in his excitement. Batman keeps a hand on his shoulder but allows a fond smile to cross his lips while Superman and JFK exchange grins.
A gleaming, expensive Porsche going up the driveway of the Kent farm, Jonathan and Martha coming out on the front porch to wave their greetings. Hugs and kisses all around as Clark, Bruce, and Dick get out of the car (Dick hands the camera to Clark to film his greeting). An old, beat-up truck and a new, blue, 1961 Chevy with tail fins are parked at the side of the house.
Clark smiling as he blows out the candles, Martha giving him a kiss on the cheek as Jonathan cuts the pink-frosted cake. The warm farmhouse kitchen includes Bruce and Dick, brightly-wrapped presents piled high on the counter next to the radio.
A shot of the wind blowing scarlet, gold, and orange leaves off the trees of the Manor. Dick is flying around, grabbing leaves as he cartwheels across the lawn. Clark and Bruce walk through the frame, Clark suddenly grabbing Dick and flying up with him. Dick laughs and flies for real, Bruce shaking his head in pretended exasperation.
The camera pans across a long, redwood picnic table covered with a paper tablecloth printed with red, yellow, and green balloons. Real balloons of the same colors are tied to trees, bobbling in the wind.
Dick bounds into the picture, followed by Clark and Bruce as they seat themselves at the table. Other adults enter the picture and greet Dick. He happily receives the greetings of Dinah, Ollie, Diana, and Hal as Alfred appears with the birthday cake. Dinah and Ollie sit next to Clark and Bruce, Roy hopping onto the bench next to Dick. The redhead giggles and Dick closes his eyes to make a wish, blowing out the candles.
A close-up of the cake reveals ten candles and pink frosting festooned with fresh strawberries. Clark removes the candles and begins cutting the cake.
Trick-or-treaters at the Manor’s front door, several children wearing Superman, Batman and Robin costumes. Alfred hands out the candy, enjoying his task. Candles flicker in the eyes of the Jack O’Lanterns, delighting the younger children.
Batman on a Gotham rooftop, cape billowing out behind him. A luminescent figure floats down from the sky, Superman’s scarlet cape fluttering up on the breeze.
A slight smile is on Superman’s face as Batman talks all business, stopping abruptly as Superman kisses him. Batman lifts his black cape and conceals them from the camera’s prying eye.
Snow falling outside as Clark and Bruce sit on the couch, Clark’s arm around his lover. Dick is stretched out on the floor, reading a book. A fire crackles in the fireplace, a plate of homemade Christmas cookies at his elbow.
Clark spies Alfred filming them and waves, Bruce rolling his eyes. He is placated by Clark nuzzling him, Dick grinning as he lazily eats a cookie.
A giant, glittering Christmas tree filling the screen, decorated with ornaments that are delicate, handblown glass; gaudy plastic; and homemade. Silver-and-gold garlands festoon the tree, topped by a shining star.
The camera pulls back, showing the chaos of scattered wrapping paper as the Kent-Wayne family celebrates the holiday in traditional fashion. Jonathan and Martha sit on the couch, Dick rummaging under the tree grabbing more presents, Clark and Bruce sitting on footstools, Bruce sipping from a mug of coffee, everyone dressed in their pajamas and robes.
Clark and Bruce walking along a beach on a winter’s day, barefoot and jeans rolled up, Bruce reaching over and grasping Clark’s hand as the sun begins to set in a wild palette of pink, orange, red, and yellow streaks across the sky.
& & & & & &
The reel reached the end, the spool spinning with a flapping noise.
“Lights on.” Kristin Wells rose from the couch and shut off the projector, removing the reel.
She could have watched the modernized copy: clean, pristine, using 31st century technology. She preferred the technology of the older times. It helped preserve the feeling of the past. It was why she preferred watching old movie classics like Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon in ancient black-and-white instead of colorized versions.
This reel was one of many from the World’s Finest collection. Later films would include sound from camcorders, but Kristin liked the early films in the old-fashioned film cans. She loved the past, one of the reasons she had chosen the profession of historian.
One of the questions about the collection was whether splicing the superhero scenes in with the private lives had been done by a member of the family for private viewing, or at a much later date when the revelation of their secret identities could no longer cause harm.
The films and tapes were invaluable in superherology studies. Kristin’s specialty was the World’s Finest team.
Home movies provided a contemporary snapshot of an era and the people in it. Not frozen in time like a still, the films moved in time. She noticed the clothes, cars, customs…most of all the family interactions. Superman and Batman were the most famous superhero couple of all time, raising the young Dick Grayson, who was a major superhero in his own right as boy and man.
Kristin smiled as she filed the canister in the special vault that preserved the precious films.
Tomorrow, she would take out the films of the Kent-Wayne wedding.