Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Clark/Bruce, Dick
Series Notes: Well, it’s no secret that I absolutely love Darwyn Cooke’s The New Frontier! As I read it I got all sorts of ideas, and will collect them under the umbrella title, “The New Frontier”. Stories could range from slash to (gasp!) gen and het. :) I’d like to focus on many different characters within the framework of The New Frontier universe, or use it as a jumping-off point. All stories can be found here.
Rating (this chapter): PG-13
Continuity/Spoilers: Darwyn Cooke’s The New Frontier
General Summary: At the usual time and place, the World’s Finest meet.
Summary: Serious discussion turns to stolen kisses.
Date Of Completion: September 6, 2007
Date Of Posting: September 15, 2007
Disclaimer: I don’t own 'em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1202
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: This story will be told in three chapters, each from a different point-of-view of each member of the World’s Finest, with whom I decided to kick off the series. All chapters can be found here.
As Clark watched Dick rush toward the Batmobile, he chuckled, “Does that boy ever walk, not run?"
Bruce smiled. “He’s a dynamo, but he can be still as a statue when necessary.”
Curiosity lit Clark’s eyes. “That bright costume of his…it works even in the shadows?”
Bruce nodded. “Somehow it does. I’ll admit it. When he came up with that design, I figured it’d never work, but it does.” Affection laced his voice. “He swoops in and distracts and dazzles the bad guys, then I melt out of the shadows and they don’t know what hit ‘em.” He shook his head. “Circus brat.”
Clark laughed. “He’s a great kid.”
“He is.” Bruce caught his dark cape as the wind suddenly whipped over the bluff. “He shows empathy all the time. He was upset over the reason why we can’t visit Diana on Paradise Island.” At Clark’s troubled look Bruce added, “He only knows they were ‘hurt’ by men. I didn’t elaborate, but I’m sure he’ll eventually figure out just how they were hurt.”
Clark reached out and grasped Bruce’s gloved hand.
“How is Diana?”
Clark sighed. “She went back home because she claims she was pushed out.”
Bruce frowned. “Pushed out? Because of what happened in Indochina?”
“Partly, though the bigger reason is her trying to speak of it.”
Bruce studied his lover’s face. “You’re still disturbed by that, aren’t you?”
Clark looked down. “Yes.” He lifted his gaze as Bruce squeezed his hand. “What happened to those women was horrible, and I can understand why they’d want revenge, but it still bothers me that Diana stood back and allowed them to kill their captors.” He sighed. “I covered a lot of my confusion and shock by telling Diana I’d have to report her, and she was pretty angry.” Clark looked at Bruce. “I didn’t, you know. Report her.”
Bruce nodded slowly. “She’s a warrior, Clark. She’s seen many wars and many atrocities. She’s also from a different culture than ours.” He took a deep breath. “Rapists are dealt with severely in Amazon culture…and with good reason, considering their history.”
“I know. And…I can understand it, too. If you were hurt that way…” Clark swallowed. “…I’m not sure how I’d react any differently.” He glanced over at the Batmobile. “Or if Dick was hurt that way.”
A chill swept through Bruce. “We can only do our best, Clark.” His other hand briefly touched Clark’s face. “You could be hurt, too.”
Clark’s smile was beautific. “No one knows about Kryptonite except a select few. Not even the Government is aware of it.”
“I hope so.” Bruce didn’t like the idea of Federal types knowing Clark’s deadly weakness.
“Not that it would make a difference.” Clark shrugged. “I’m already considered a ‘Government lapdog’.”
Bruce frowned. “Who’s said that to you? Diana?”
“I’m sure she thinks it though she hasn’t said anything.”
Clark looked away. “It doesn’t matter.” A hawk dipped toward its prey in the valley below. “I couldn’t just give up being Superman. All my powers…”
“I know.” Bruce kept his hand tight on Clark’s. “You couldn’t just ‘retire’, any more than I could. That’s why we cooked up our plan.”
Clark’s smile was tinged with sadness. “You on the outside, me on the inside.” He rubbed his thumb over Bruce’s hand. “I have to wave the flag no matter what. When I allowed myself to become a symbol, I truly believed in what the Government was doing. I wasn’t completely naive, but I believed in America, but I think it was more belief in her people than Washington. I didn’t like the way things turned.
“Right after the War, things got tense, but we were making progress here at home: Truman desegregated the Army; they talked of universal health care; people had jobs and prosperity was coming back.” The hawk soared up from the valley, wings majestic as it flew toward the sun.
“Then the persecution of the mystery men began,” Bruce said.
“Yeah.” Clark sighed. “The Government trumpeted me as their point man to round them up.”
“But you didn’t.” Bruce’s voice was proud. “You let them go, helped them go undercover or retire in peace. All staged.”
“With your help.”
Clark’s sadness touched Bruce and he touched Clark’s face again. “You have it always.”
This time Clark curled his fingers around Bruce’s. He removed the glove and kissed his lover’s bare palm.
Bruce felt the old familiar tingle and allowed himself to be drawn in, Clark’s arm sliding around him as his own arm copied the movement.
Sweet lips met his and he hungrily tasted the beloved mouth. The breeze was cool upon his skin, but his lover was warm, a sun-charged furnace of passion.
“Mmm,” Clark breathed.
Bruce only pulled back because he needed to breathe. Clark’s sapphire eyes sparkled as the wind whipped their capes around their bodies.
Bruce allowed his fingers to run through Clark’s silky hair. They kissed again, Clark twisting him gently around so that his back was against the tree.
Suddenly, Bruce stiffened.
“What is it?” Clark whispered as they broke the kiss.
“We forgot that there’s a third member of the World’s Finest now.”
Clark’s eyes widened at the old, no-longer-used term, and remembered Dick’s presence.
“Let me go talk to him.”
Bruce was apprehensive as he approached the Batmobile. He wasn’t going to deny Clark, but he hated to lose the respect of his young charge. In a very short time, the boy’s regard and opinion of him had become important.
The passenger door was open, the police radio crackling softly, Dick relaxed with one leg bent as he listened.
“Dick, I want to explain…”
“You know, Bruce, back at Haly’s there were two trick riders who did an act together. Both guys lived in the same trailer and Mom and Dad said they’d been together for a lotta years. They didn’t date girls and didn’t care to.” Dick looked up, white lenses hidden in his domino so that his eyes could be seen. “Everyone in the circus knew it but we didn’t talk about them to outsiders.”
Bruce felt a surge of love for this boy. He gently laid a hand on Dick’s arm and nodded, a smile gracing his lips, a brilliant answering smile on Dick’s face.
“Robin!” Clark called. “Please come here. I have a gift for you.”
Excitedly Dick scrambled out of the car after Bruce nodded again. Strong young limbs brought Dick to Clark’s side in mere seconds.
“Whoa, you’ve practically got superspeed,” Clark joked.
Dick laughed. His lenses were still up and his bright, sapphire-blue eyes sparkled. Clark smiled.
“How would you like to take a flight?”
Astonishment, then pure joy shone in those unguarded eyes. Forgetting his ‘grown-up’ dignity, Dick launched himself at Clark and hugged him fiercely.
Clark gently ruffled Dick’s hair. Bruce was smiling.
Dick pulled back, so excited that he could barely contain himself. He looked up expectantly at Clark.
“Here, put your arm around my back and I’ll do the same. Ready?”
Clark chuckled and took off with a delighted boy passenger.
Bruce watched them go, love for both swelling in his heart.