Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Dick
General Summary: After the coming-out announcement, how will the public accept the World’s Finest face-to-face?
Summary (this chapter): Clark’s first patrol in Metropolis since the Press Conference.
Date Of Completion: July 11, 2007
Date Of Posting: July 12, 2007
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1401
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author's Note: The entire series can be found here.
Clark flew from Gotham, happy to have seen Bruce and Dick before he began his patrol. The memory of his kiss with Bruce lingered, bringing a smile to his face. It was worth all the stress of the day, dealing with the aftermath of coming out yesterday at the press conference for all the world to know.
He flew through the clear night air, stars twinkling as he leisurely returned to Metropolis. He began to feel a little nervous the closer he got to the city, but it was a just a routine nightly patrol, nothing to feel jittery about.
He knew that wasn’t true but tried to convince himself otherwise. Since he and Bruce had come out, they had only met the press, not ordinary citizens. He hoped that things hadn’t changed for the people who looked up to them, but he knew human nature.
Maybe it would be a quiet night.
He continued to fly over the city, keeping his eyes and ears open for trouble. Then he heard something.
He suddenly started to laugh. Of all things to start his night…! Chuckling, he swooped down and gently plucked the mewling kitten out of the tree, and brought it down to an anxious little girl on the sidewalk.
“Superman! Oh, thank you!” She gratefully took the kitten and hugged it, then looked up at him with wide eyes.
“You’re welcome, Miss.” He winked at her and flew up, up, and away, keeping his eye on her until she went into her apartment building.
He would have to tell Bruce about this. Of course his friend would make a sarcastic comment, but Clark didn’t care. Bruce’s sharp tongue had softened since their romance had begun, and he now did more teasing than snarking, though of course snarking was not completely out of the picture.
Clark thought happily of Bruce and their love. He couldn’t believe how lucky he was that Bruce loved him, too. He had feared that the love that filled his heart would be doomed to be unrequited. It had taken him awhile to get through the Bat’s defenses, but Dick and Alfred had helped, and he would be forever grateful.
“Hey, no problem, Clark. A happy Bat is good for us, too,” Dick had said with a wink.
Clark smiled as he flew. With Dick and Alfred on his side, Bruce had never stood a chance.
His super-hearing detected the sounds of sirens. Using telescopic vision, he located the fire in an old tenement building and, switching to X-ray vision, scanned the structure. The firemen on the scene were already getting people out as a second fire truck raced to help.
There! A figure.
Clark put on a burst of super-speed, arriving at the scene as a sobbing woman was telling the firefighters, “My father’s still in there! Please help him! He’s on the top floor!”
“I’ll take care of this, Chief,” Clark said, flying into the building. He easily located the old man, who was coughing violently and huddled in a corner of his bedroom, flames blocking his escape everywhere.
“Don’t worry, sir, I’ll have you out of here right away,” Clark said over the roar of the flames as he blew out the fire on the top floor. The old man blinked, then smiled even through his coughing fit as Clark swept him up in his arms and flew out of the building.
Cheers greeted him as he appeared, flying down and gently setting the elderly man on the sidewalk as the EMTs hurried up to him.
“Anyone else in there, Superman?” asked Chief O’Reilly, his blue eyes scanning the windows.
“I’ll do a last check, Chief.” Seconds later Clark said, “No one else.”
“I’ll give your men a hand.”
Super-breath helped blow out much of the fire, and the rest was taken care of by the firefighters. As the last remnants were put out by his men, Chief O’Reilly held out his hand. “Once again, thank you, Superman.”
Clark shook his hand. “You’re very welcome, Chief. I’m always glad to help out your brave men and women.”
Clark saw only smiling faces among the firefighters and spectators. He relaxed as it appeared that the coming-out announcement hadn’t changed things for these people. Grateful, he flew away, waving to the crowd.
He did a few loop-de-loops as he felt very light-hearted. Maybe things wouldn’t be so bad after all. More people were accepting of gays now. Perhaps the credit he and Bruce had built up would help them in the long run and after the novelty had worn off, people wouldn’t think twice of their personal relationship.
Clark knew that he might be candy-coating things but so far, so good. He let his mind drift to a recent afternoon…
& & & & & &
“Very peaceful here.”
Clark relaxed on the lounge chair as he and Bruce sat in the backyard of Wayne Manor. ‘Backyard’, of course, was not your postage stamp-sized plot of grass that most people had. The formal gardens stretched out for what seemed like acres, and even the lawn close to the seawall was of good size. Clark watched as a sailboat bobbed on the sparkling water, his body soaking up the sun. He had just gone swimming in the ocean and was drying off in the glorious sunlight, Bruce half in shadow under the shade of the large umbrella that jutted up from the round table.
“It can be.” Bruce’s eyes were closed as he relaxed in a chair, too, still wet from his own swim. “Today it’s a good day. Sometimes the ocean’s pretty restless, especially during the fall or winter.”
Like you? Clark wondered, a small smile touching his lips.
“Today’s one of those days where it’s just about perfect: sun, smooth seas, blue skies…” Bruce looked over at him and a small smile tugged at his lips. “Perfect.”
Clark felt very happy indeed as he reached out and touched Bruce’s hand lightly, getting a squeeze in return.
& & & & & &
A scream cut short Clark’s happy memory and he quickly tuned in to where it was coming from, then sped at super-speed to a high-rise apartment building. Horror touched him as he saw a small boy falling from a balcony to the street below. A quick burst of speed and he caught the screaming child and held him close, trying to soothe the terrified boy.
The boy clung to him, crying and shaking as Clark murmured, “It’s all right, you’re safe now, I’ve got you…”
He petted the boy’s hair, slowly flying down to the street, trying to calm the child down. The boy's arms were in a deathgrip around his neck. Gradually the boy opened his eyes and hiccupped, then his hazel eyes widened. “S…Superman!” he stuttered.
Clark smiled. “Yes, it’s me.” He put his hand on the little boy’s chest, glad to hear his heartbeat starting to get back to normal. “It’s all right now.”
The boy nodded, still wide-eyed at being rescued by Superman! Clark alighted on the sidewalk, a crowd gathered as a woman burst out of the building, closely followed by a man. She ran to the boy and snatched him out of Clark’s arms, hugging him tightly while
crying. The man hugged them both, the boy laughing and saying, “Mommy! Daddy! Superman saved me!”
Clark braced himself for the effusive thanks, already starting to smile, when the woman suddenly spat, “Keep your hands off him, Superman!”
Clark blinked. What…?
The boy’s father stepped in front of his wife and child. “Thank you for saving him, but don’t expect thanks for all that hugging and fondling you were doing!”
Clark was speechless. He simply stared, and the woman sneered, “No surprise from someone who sleeps with his own gender!” She turned and marched back to the building, the boy looking at Clark with troubled eyes as he clung to his mother.
“Go away, Super…man,” said the father, the emphasis on the last syllable clearly indicating a question about that.
Stunned, Clark felt a blush begin to creep up his skin, cursing the fairness of his flesh, and noticed several faces in the crowd agreeing with the parents. Others frowned, clearly appalled at what had just happened, and still others seemed shocked.
Sick to his stomach, Clark flew away, trembling slightly against the backdrop of stars.