Title: Time And Place (1/4)
Pairings/Characters: Clark/Bruce, Dick
Summary: Down through the years, across time and space, Clark and Bruce's love endures.
Author's Note: All chapters can be found here.
Date Of Completion: December 29, 2006Date Of Posting: December 30, 2006Word Count: 688Chapter One
The Golden Age
New Year’s Eve, 1940
Clark looked down at the celebrating crowds in Chronos Square. Metropolis always put
on a show on holidays, but seemed to especially do herself proud on New Year’s Eve.
Clark looked over at Bruce, the dark-garbed hero watching the revelers. His friend
preferred the dark, brick-and-iron city of Gotham, steeped in the past, but perhaps he
recognized the bright, steel-and-glass city of the future as the place to be this night.
A flash of color caught his attention and he smiled as he watched Dick cartwheel across
the roof, then do a handstand on the ledge. The boy had perfect balance, even better
than him or Bruce. It still made him a little nervous, though. Oh, well, if Dick
started to tumble, where better than with Superman around?
“So, no Wayne Foundation ball tonight?” he asked Bruce.
“Bruce Wayne and his ward Dick Grayson are traveling in South America for the New Year.
They would have gone to Europe, but it’s pretty chaotic over there right now.”
Clark nodded. Bruce turned to watch his ward.
What a difference a year made. Last year Clark had met Bruce on the rooftop of a
crumbling old warehouse in Gotham. While a glimmering of friendship stretched between
them, the Batman was deeply wrapped up in his mission, having just appeared on the
crimefighting scene that year of 1939. Grim and unrelenting, he kept a wall around
himself that was difficult for even a Superman to breach.
Then, a change. Last spring Bruce had gone to the circus. He had come home with a
grieving child, and a new life for them all had been born.
Dick Grayson lightened the darkness that cloaked the Bat. It made things much easier.
The friendship between Superman and Bat was blossoming.
“How’s the boy doing?”
“He’s a quick study.” Bruce’s eyes were still following Dick’s every exuberant move.
“He’s got Alfred wrapped around his little finger.” Clark hid his smile. Alfred wasn’t
the only one. “Not only bright, but athletically suited for the job."
Clark’s hearing was always tuned to other events, and tonight he was monitoring the
crowds below. He also kept an eye out for pickpockets.
Yes, it had been a very good year, relatively speaking. After a long national
nightmare of the Great Depression, people were going back to work again and prosperity
was starting to ratchet up. The New Deal of the Roosevelt Administration had brought
new hope to downtrodden Americans. No more worries about losing the Kent farm, which
had been in his father's family for generations. And there was always the added bonus
of his friendship with Bruce and Dick. The costumed superhero community was growing,
and he was proud to have been the first one to come out. The only shadow that disturbed
him was the situation in Europe and the Far East.
“It’s almost midnight,” Bruce said as Dick leaped to stand beside him.
“I’ve got some celebration drinks for us.” Clark reached into his cape and produced
three champagne glasses and a bottle.
“Clark…” Bruce began.
“It’s sparkling apple cider.” Clark smiled at Dick’s bounce of delight. Neither he
nor Bruce drank very often, and Dick was underage.
Clark popped the cork and poured the cider into the champagne flutes. The crowd began
Clark handed Dick a glass.
Next, he handed one to Bruce.
Their hands brushed, Clark’s fingers tingling.
“Meet again here this time next year?”
“Sounds like a plan to me.”
“Absolutely, Clark!” Dick chirped.
“Let’s hope for peace in Europe and Asia, and America staying out of this war,” Bruce
Clark nodded fervently.
A very promising New Year.
“Happy New Year!”
The crowd’s shouts rocketed up to the rooftop as fireworks exploded, noisemakers were
shaken or blown, and people laughed and kissed and hugged. The World’s Finest Trio
drank their cider and Dick enthusiastically hugged them both, put down his glass and
cartwheeled across the roof in time to each boom! of the fireworks. Clark laughed and
impulsively hugged Bruce, who returned the hug.
Clark closed his eyes. Maybe by next year…
Breaking apart, he poured himself and Bruce more cider. They clinked glasses.
“To 1941,” Bruce said.
“To 1941,” Clark replied.
End of Chapter One