The Big Three

All characters are owned by DC comics

Clark heard movement in his apartment. He'd had a fitful sleep and was emotionally exhausted. He didn't want to get out of his bed; he didn't want to move at all, but he heard movement. Part of him didn't care, actually, most of him didn't care. Clark had bigger problems, bigger more painful problems, but he turned his head when he heard someone come into his room. It was Diana, aka Wonder Woman, but she was in civilian clothes. She was wearing black Capri pants and a pink t-shirt with 'Princess' written on the front.

"You're awake," Diana said softly.

"Yeah," said Clark.

"We were worried about you," said Diana.

"We?" said Clark.

"Bruce is here. He's in the kitchen. He's making you breakfast."

"I'm not really hungry."

"It might make you feel better."

"I doubt that."

"I'm sorry, Clark."

"How long have you two been here?"

"Bruce found out late last night and he called me. We came over right after that."

"You didn't have to come."

"Yes we did," said Diana. There was a pause in the conversation, a heavy, grief-filled pause. In that pause, Clark noticed the smell of the eggs Bruce was making. Diana noticed how tired Clark looked. Clark never looked tired. Clark never got tired, not even after a big battle had she ever seen him look so drained. She reached out and held his hand. He continued to lie in bed. Any stranger looking at them would think he was dieing or at least gravely ill. Bruce peeked his head into the room.

"He's awake, Bruce," said Diana.

"Hungry?" asked Bruce.

"No," answered Clark.

"But he has to eat anyway," said Diana.

"Diana . . ." Clark began.

"Please eat, Clark. Do it for me, so I know you're okay." said Diana.

"I'm not okay," said Clark, which shut everyone up. Bruce left and returned with a plate of scrambled eggs.

"Eat," said Bruce.

Clark picked up the fork and his hand was shaking. He didn't have the energy to eat. He stuck the fork in the plate and put it on his end table.

"Clark . . ." started Diana.

"I can't, Diana." Another silence fell on the three. Bruce sat stoically in a chair he dragged near Clark's bed. He was wearing a black t-shirt and jeans. Diana was sitting on the side of the bed. Clark was sitting up in bed with a white tank top and navy blue sweat pants. In addition to looking tired his hair was mussed.

"I'm sorry Clark," Bruce said.

"I don't want to talk about it."

"Did you get any sleep at all?" asked Bruce.

"A little, but it wasn't very restful."

"Nightmares?" asked Bruce.

"Yeah," said Clark. Bruce already knew the answer to the question. Clark had been whimpering in his sleep for a good part of the night.

"How did you two get in here?" asked Clark.

"You gave me an emergency key, remember?" said Diana.

"Why does she have an emergency key?" asked Bruce.

"In case of an emergency," answered Diana.

"In case of an emergency, you could rip off the door. I should have the emergency key. Why don't I have the emergency key, Clark?"

"Because you can pick every lock known to man, and a few known to aliens," answered Clark.

"I still think I should have the key."

"No, I'm the key holder. You're the maker of eggs and the payer of bills," said Diana. Diana then began to eat the eggs.

"Those are for me," said Clark.

"Well, you're not eating them."

"He might want them later."

"Yeah, I might want them later."

"Whoever heard of eating eggs in the middle of the day? It's morning or nothing," said Diana.

"That's ridiculous," said Bruce.

"You're ridiculous," said Diana.

"I am not ridiculous."

"I think you are."

"You are."



Clark's shoulders were shaking.

"Clark are you laughing or crying?" asked Diana.

"Both," said Clark, through laughter and tears.

"Awww, Clark, it's okay," said Diana, "We brought you something."

"What?" asked Clark.

"A pound bag of Skittles, and a pound bag of peanut butter cups, the bite-sized kind," said Diana.

"I don't see how a diabetic coma is going to make me feel better."

"Never underestimate the power of sugar," said Diana.

"So how'd you two find out about this?"

"Lois called me," said Bruce, "she told me what happened."

"I still can't believe it. I can't believe this happened," said a newly depressed Clark, "I thought we were going to get married. I didn't even see it coming." Clark was crying. Nobody looks good crying. It isn't like in the movies where we see a close up of the actor or actress looking beautiful, but with some tears on their cheeks. This was the type of crying that contorts your face and makes it hard to breathe.

Diana was incredibly uncomfortable. She had never seen Clark cry; she had never seen any man cry. "I'll get the candy!" said Diana as she ran out of the room. Bruce got out of his chair and lent Clark his shoulder. Clark calmed down a little and Bruce spoke.

"What happened?"

"I asker her to marry me and she said yes," said Clark, by this time Diana had returned with the Skittles and practically ripped them open. She offered the bag to Clark who declined her offer. "She said yes until she found out who was on the other side of the cape."

"I'm sorry Clark," said Bruce.

"What a witch," said Diana.

"She's not a witch, Diana," said Clark, "she's a wonderful woman. She just doesn't want me."

"But she said yes. I don't see how she could say yes and then decide she doesn't want you," said Diana

"She's got her reasons, I guess."

"Did she at least give you an explanation," said Bruce.

"She's just not in love with me or she's only in love with half of me. Or she's only in love with an image of me." Clark said the last sentence quietly.

"No one's eating the candy, eat the candy," commanded Diana. Clark partook of the bag of Skittles, but Bruce still declined.

"Some of us can get cavities."

"You're always playing the mortal card," said Diana as she ate some more Skittles.

"Well, I am mortal," said Bruce.

"I'm mortal," said Clark, "I'm just special. That's how my mom used to put it."

"She makes you sound retarded," said Bruce. To Clark's own surprise Clark started laughing.

"I'm going through the worst moment of my life and you're calling me retarded," said Clark.

"I didn't call you retarded. I said your mother talks about you like you're retarded."

"I don't even think you can call people retarded anymore," said Clark.

"I know that," said Bruce, "they're special, like you."

"Did you just call me retarded again?"

"No one's calling you retarded, Clark, you're special."

Clark was still laughing and since laughter is contagious, Bruce and Diana joined him. They laughed the kind of laughter between friends that snowballs until no one can stop. The kind of laughter they couldn't share at the Watchtower because they were leaders there, leaders with images to protect. Not just Batman's frightening detective image, but the Amazon princess' elegance and regality, and the Man of Steel's steadiness in every sort of peril. If only their enemies could have seen them. The three most fearsome heroes on the planet, giggling like school children over the word "retarded."

"You two are in a pretty homoerotic position," said Diana.

"What!" said Bruce and Clark.

"You two are in a homoerotic position," repeated Diana.

"We're just sitting next to each other," said Clark.

"Yeah, but before you had your head on Bruce's shoulder and he was comforting you; it was cute and homoerotic."

"Ignore her, she just learned that word recently, so she's using it on everyone," said Bruce.

"I think there's sexual tension between you two," said Diana.

"Clark's just vulnerable, and I can't help how attractive I am," said Bruce.

"I'm not gay for you Bruce," said Clark.

"I've seen the way you look at my finally crafted body," said Bruce.

"Bruce, when did you get so conceited?"

"I've always been conceited. You just haven't noticed."

"So let's see, I lose the love of my life, then my best friends come over to "comfort" me, by calling me retarded and gay, not that there's anything wrong with being gay, or retarded for that matter, but you guys stink at cheering people up."

"Actually we're amazing at it, because if you'll notice, you're smiling," said Bruce.

"Yeah, but I still hurt."

"That's not going to go away for awhile," said Bruce.

"But we'll be here for you until it does, Clark," said Diana

"Or until we're sick of your whining," said Bruce. Diana responded by hitting Bruce, playfully.

"He doesn't mean that," said Diana.

"I know," said Clark as he put his arm around Bruce, "He's just afraid everyone will find out what a big sweetheart he is."

"And you wonder why Diana thinks we're gay," said Bruce.

"I was just joking, although there was a rumor about you two not that long ago," said Diana.

"There are always rumors," said Bruce.

"I heard a rumor about the three of us," said Clark.

"The three of us?" said Diana, "What could the three of us do?"

"Think about it," said Bruce.

"What? World domination?" asked Diana.

"Think again," said Clark.

"What? What? Tell me."

"Why don't you think about it for awhile," said Bruce, "and I'll go get the peanut butter cups."

"Bring milk," said Clark.

"What? What could the three of us be doing? What?"