Needs

By Adrian Tullberg


"Bruce?"

The Batman was in one of his fouler moods, not looking away from the screen to acknowledge the World's Most Powerful Man.

"What?"

"It's Jimmy."

"What has Olson done?"

"He's ... developed some strange abilities after being exposed ... well, bitten by a radioactive spider."

"Metahuman mutation isn't my speciality."

"However, training street level heroes is."

Batman carefully saved his work, got up, and started stalking towards Superman.

"Nobody else can show people in that particular powerset how it's done, and quite ... frankly ..."

Batman had drawn up eye to eye, not blinking with a barely suppressed rage.

"... I don't ... have ... the time..."

"The time."

"Ah ... yeah ..."

"And I ... have all... this ... free time..."

"Um ... it's more..."

"Everyone, Clark. Everyone comes to me. Funding for their new group? Me. A new secret identity? Me!"

"Ah, about that ... Diana's having a bit of trouble staying in character ... last I heard, she was so nervous she couldn't operate a gas pump..."

"None of you - nobody thinks about my wants! My needs!"

Superman didn't bother to wipe the spittle from his eye. "Ah ... I didn't know..."

"I don't like stating the obvious Clark..."

Superman slowly raised a hand, and slowly patted Bruce's shoulder. "I ... if you need ... anything..."

Defying the laws of physics; Batman's eyes narrowed even further.

"Actually Clark ... there's one thing ... that only you can do for me."

Superman's mouth started to twitch upward in the type of smile that reflects pure terror.


Tim Drake watched the activities below him at the Bat Computer.

Batman was slobbering, grunting, even drooling while Superman stood there, mild embarrassment on his features.

"Something of concern?"

"Bruce got Superman to do it."

"Wha..." Alfred Pennyworth glanced downward. "... ah. Well, I'm not surprised. Master Bruce can be persuasive when he wants to be."

Tim looked down, and realised how long it had been since he'd had some of that.

"You think he'd let me have some?"

"I doubt it. You of all people should know how possessive he is."

"He can't have the whole thing."

"Trust me; he has, he is, and he will ... and ask for seconds."

"Not fair."

"Maybe you could ask Ms. Sandsmark to assist in this endeavor?"

Tim turned away, depression starting to settle in. "Trust me Alfred, the only person who could help me like that is Bart."


Batman mopped the edges of his mouth with a linen napkin, trying to regain a semblance of dignity.

Superman rolled his eyes. "You'll help Jimmy then?"

"Send him here ..." Batman looked at the mess on the table. "... I'll take care of him."

Superman nodded, and took off.

Batman licked what remained off his gloved fingers.

Worth it. Every second.

For this, for what he wanted - needed - only those like Superman were fast enough. Powerful enough.

Pity that the best pizza place on the planet was in Italy.