Characters (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Dick, Alfred
Rating: (this chapter): PG-13
Spoilers: For Superman/Batman Annual #2
General Summary: The mysterious Socrates will test the mettle of the World’s Finest while Dick observes the possibility of a Clark/Bruce romance. This story takes place during the events of the Superman/Batman Annual #2 and begins after Clark has lost his powers during the first confrontation with Socrates. He has come to Bruce to ask for help in being trained as a human crimefighter.
Chapter Summary: A cheerful start to the day suits Clark, Dick, and Alfred. Not sure about Bruce. ;)
Date Of Completion: May 15, 2008
Dates Of Posting: May 31, 2008/July 7, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1071
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Written for the S/B Big Ass Contest over on wfslash hosted by tmelange . The story won for Best Use Of Dick (LOL!), Best Use Of Source Material, and Best Overall Story! :)
All story chapters can be found at http://bradygirl_12.livejournal.com/13235.html.
Also, check out the fantastic story illo by labuenaventura ! :)
SUPERMAN IS SITTING AT MY BREAKFAST TABLE
Superman is sitting at my breakfast table.
I still couldn’t really believe it. The most fantastic, incredible hero on the planet and he was in my house (sure, technically it’s Bruce’s, but it’s mine now, too), eating Alfred’s bacon and eggs.
We were eating in the kitchen, sunlight streaming in through the windows. Alfred was more than pleased at Clark’s presence, happy to cook a double order.
Clark grinned sheepishly. “Sorry, Alfred, I forgot that without my powers, my metabolism isn’t up for a huge order.”
“Not to worry, Master Clark. At the smell of bacon, I expect Master Bruce to…”
A grunt from the doorway brought our heads around. A half-asleep Bruce was standing in the doorway, hair mussed and robe haphazardly pulled on. He shuffled forward, slumping into his chair. Alfred set a laden plate in front of him.
I couldn’t help but grin. Bruce ate healthful food to keep him in shape, but he had his weaknesses.
Bacon was one of them.
Bruce concentrated on his food while the rest of us talked. Clark was wearing his glasses this morning. Sure, they were dorky, but they seemed to fit his face.
“Bruce said you grew up on a farm in Kansas.”
“Yes, right outside the town of Smallville.”
“Smallville?” I had a fit of the giggles. “Sounds…what’s that guy’s name…Norman Rockwell?”
Clark smiled. “You could say that. And you grew up in a circus?”
I nodded. “One of The Flying Graysons!” I said with pride.
“You’re a natural-born flier.”
“Really?” Excitement flitted through me. “You really think so?”
“Yes, I really think so,” Clark chuckled.
I desperately wanted to ask to fly with Superman but bit my lip. I quickly glanced at Bruce. Maybe when he wasn’t around…
I mentally kicked myself. For a moment I had forgotten that Clark could no longer fly.
Was it because even though Clark looked, well, ordinary, he still had the aura of Superman around him?
I glanced at Bruce again. He was practically inhaling his coffee. I was certain that he would scoff. Bruce didn’t quite trust Clark.
Well, I trusted him, and I’d bet that Alfred did, too.
Bruce growled, “Training starts today. We’ll see what you’ve got, farmboy.”
Oh, boy. I was gonna have to run interference.
& & & & & &
I warmed up on the mats, somersaulting without barely a thought. I turned back and saw Clark walking into the gym, dressed in work-out clothes. I blinked.
Wow! Muscles on top of muscles. No wonder Clark wore those dorky suits. Baggy, too. Good disguise.
Bruce was right behind him. His eyes looked Clark up-and-down.
Hey! Was he checking out Clark’s…?
I rubbed my eyes and Bruce said, “We can start with some simple wrestling exercises. Dick, let’s start our routine.”
It was easy to get through our routine. I’d done it a thousand times before. Bruce and I knew each other’s moves so well it’s like second nature. Bruce says it’s vital for our work and I agree, but I like to think we’re partners in more than just crimefighting.
Feint, parry, thrust…
I had Bruce on the mat before I could say, “Holy WWF, Batman!”
Clark laughed at my pun. “Pretty impressive.”
I beamed at him, puffed up at the praise. Getting praise from Bruce was like pulling teeth. Clark seemed happy to give it.
“My pun or the move?”
He grinned. “Both.”
“Your turn,” Bruce said.
I stepped back and watched.
Clark was tentative and Bruce was short with him, which puzzled me. Bruce was a demanding teacher but was pretty patient. Why so snippy with Clark? He didn’t have powers anymore. He was like us now.
Clark had good moves, but he was holding back. I guess a lifetime of restraint would do that to you.
“You’ve got technique but you don’t have power. Don’t hold back,” Bruce growled.
Clark wiped his brow. “Sorry, Bruce. Holding back isn’t something I can just turn off after a lifetime of habit.”
“You’ll have to…”
“I’m not sure I want to.” Clark massaged his shoulder. “If I get out of the habit, I’d kill the first person I punched when I get my powers back.”
Bruce slung a towel around his neck. “Who said you’ll ever get your powers back?”
I saw Clark’s wince and felt sorry for him. To grow up with powers and then have them taken away, maybe forever? That can’t be easy. I wished that Bruce wouldn’t be so blunt.
“We should work on technique,” I suggested. I hopped onto the mat, ignoring Bruce’s frown. I love Bruce a lot, but sometimes he’s awfully pigheaded. “Let’s try that first move again.”
Clark was more relaxed with me and did just fine. Bruce harrumphed and said, “Let’s go for a run.”
I could see that Clark was tired. “How about detective work instead?”
Bruce looked at me but said, “All right.”
I blinked but took my opportunity when I saw it. “I’ll just go shower.”
“Lunch first before lessons,” Alfred said firmly. He had just entered the gym.
Bruce threw up his hands. “Fine!”
Clark and I exchanged an amused look. Once Bruce had left the room we burst out laughing, a smile on Alfred’s face.
& & & & & &
By the end of the day, Clark was really tired. I wondered if he ever got tired as Superman.
“We should review the detection techniques,” Bruce said as we finished dinner.
“Aw, c’mon, Bruce. This is Clark’s first, okay, second night at the Manor. Can we have a movie night?”
I must have been living right because Bruce opened his mouth to protest, then closed it. Clark, Alfred and I looked at him, waiting.
I grinned and gave him a hug. Bruce needed hugs.
“Oh, Master Clark, there’s no need…”
“Are you kidding, Alfred? Ma and Pa would be scandalized if I didn’t help you clean up.”
Clark helped Alfred clear the dishes, and I picked up my plate. The three of us ended up laughing and joking in the kitchen, Bruce in the study on the phone.
I guess you could say that Clark seemed pretty ordinary, and he was. I really wanted to meet his parents. They must be really special. They’d raised Superman!
Ordinary or not, he’s still Superman.
And sitting on the couch in my living room.