Pairings/Characters: Clark/Bruce, Dick
Genres: Challenge, Fluff, Holiday, Romance
Summary: The World’s Finest ring in the New Year.
Date Of Completion: December 1, 2012
Date Of Posting: December 27, 2012
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 804
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Written for the World’s Finest Gift Exchange. Prompt F34: Superman spots Batman doing a stake-out on New Year’s Eve. He decides to check in and see if he can help out and for my 2012 DCU Fic/Art Silver Bells Winter Holidays Challenge. Prompt: Church Bells, New Year’s Eve. Also written for saavikam77’s 2012 DCU_Freeforall Winter Holidays Challenge. Prompts: No. 3: Twinkling lights/Star/Sparkle, No. 5: New Year’s Eve/Resolutions and No. 20: Crystals/Glitter.
This story takes place early in Clark and Bruce’s relationship.
On a night so clear,
Is always better
When it’s with the one
“Ringin’ In The New Year”
Snow fell softly, the stars glittering in between for that brief moment high up in the stratosphere. Superman was pleased that he could see such a beautiful contrast. His cape fluttered upward as he gazed down at Earth.
It was beautiful during any season, but always seemed especially picturesque during the holidays. He allowed himself to listen to the sweet sounds of church bells and the raucous gaiety of revelry as midnight crept closer. They were already celebrating in the eastern half of the world, but in America, the countdown was continuing.
He swept Metropolis with his telescopic vision and was relieved to see nothing major requiring his attention. The city’s police and fire departments were taking care of minor incidents.
Curiosity brought his attention to Gotham. He knew that benighted city was a horror show on Halloween, but relatively quiet on Christmas. New Year’s Eve could be a different story.
He also admitted to himself that he was interested in seeing Batman. The Dark Knight intrigued him. Taciturn and brooding, he was an enigma.
Superman flew down to Gotham, enjoying the sensation of cold snowflakes on his skin. He loved Earth’s beauty, his super-senses enjoying Nature in all its glory.
As he came closer to Gotham, he felt momentarily cut off from the natural world. Concrete, brick and steel were Gotham’s elements. Instead of rich earth he smelled crumbling concrete. Forbidding stone gargoyles hunkered atop tall buildings of brick and stone instead of majestic trees. There were parts of the city that were darker than thickly-wooded forest and Superman wondered if those sections ever saw the sun.
He swooped through the chilly canyons formed by dark buildings. He could hear rats of the animal and human kind scurrying in the shadows. Metropolis was no utopia but even its worst areas never seemed quite as sinister as Gotham.
He flew toward downtown, staying in the shadows himself. Crowds glittered below him as they anticipated midnight. Superman saw a flutter of black cape high atop the Braddock Building. He flew around the other side of the building while keeping an eye on the brightly-lit ball at the top of Wayne Tower. He alighted on the roof of the Braddock Building and walked around to the front. The sounds of revelry drifted up from the square below.
He had only met Batman early this year and still tried to figure out the man. He appeared anti-social even beyond the Bat-schtick, yet Superman sensed that it wasn’t his true self, at least not entirely. For one thing, Robin was absolutely devoted to him. If he was a sour grump all the time, that bright child would never be able to show such affection or loyalty. He obviously saw something the rest of the world didn’t, and Superman trusted his judgment.
Batman growled as he came around to the front of the roof, “What are you doing here?”
“A Happy New Year to you, too, Bruce.”
At Batman’s subsequent growl, Superman nearly laughed. “No one’s around. Trust me.” He smiled in amusement at the other man’s huff of annoyance. “Where’s Robin?”
“I thought you knew everything.”
“Very good snark there.” Superman was too cheerful to let Batman’s grumpiness dampen his mood. Besides, the Dark Knight’s tone sounded a bit less than genuine.
You like pulling my chain, don’t you?
They watched the crowd below for several minutes as people laughed and waved noisemakers and generally had fun. Ever mindful of Gotham’s criminal element, they kept their eyes open.
Superman gently folded his hand over Batman’s, half-expecting the Gothamite to pull away, but he made no move. Superman smiled. He had guessed right.
A bright sparkle of light appeared on the next rooftop. The circus of colors somersaulted over to their rooftop and Robin chirped, “Hi, Superman! Happy New Year!”
“Hi, Robin. Happy New Year.”
At Batman’s grumble, Robin laughed. His adoringly affectionate look at his mentor confirmed Superman’s instincts. He and Batman approached crimefighting very differently, but underneath the surface differences they were very much alike.
The glittering ball began to drop as the crowd chanted, “10…9…8…”
Robin eagerly leaned over the parapet.
The ball was close to contact.
Superman squeezed Batman’s hand.
Batman squeezed back.
“…1! Happy New Year!”
The ball hit the contact point and exploded in a glorious shattering of light as the sparkles showered down on the happy crowd. Church bells rang out in a joyous cacophony as Robin cartwheeled and Superman was gifted with a small smile from Batman just before he drew him into a kiss. Robin laughed and back-flipped as the New Year looked very bright, indeed.