A/N: Hey y'all, I'm officially back! And yes, I realise it's been a long time since I updated Code Red CRITICAL MASS, and I will get to it as soon as I can. Busy as always, and then I was without a computer for a while, but hey, that's all in the past, so here I am.
I'm trying something new here, an AU take that begins with a different ending to the S: TAS episode 'World's Finest' allowing me to explore the DCAU with a SMWW angle to run with my version of a Justice League series, as were the stipulations of a challenge at the SMWW group. So I give you Ch1 of Cael's Cut: The Justice Chronicles.
Standard disclaimers apply. Superman and Wonder Woman, and all other syndicated characters are the intellectual property of DC and Warner Bros. The lyrics, as well as the chapter title, are lifted from Eric Clapton's song 'Blue Eyes Blue', from the OST of the Richard Gere-Julia Roberts starrer 'Runaway Bride'.
I owe a big debt of gratitude of course to the one and only Angelic Enchantress, without whose beta and help, all my work would be vastly inferior, and who yet insists she can't write her own fic. Maybe you guys can help me persuade her.
Rating: PG 15 to be on the safe side, for some action sequences and the fluff of later chapters.
Well, here we go….
Cael's Cut: The Justice Chronicles
Ch 1: Blue Eyes
I thought that you'd be loving me.
I thought that you were the one who'd stay forever.
But now, forever's come and gone
And I'm still here alone.
He floated above the clouds, still as a rock, completely oblivious to the frigid wind at that altitude. It was just as well. He didn't feel angry. He didn't feel betrayed, not by either of them. He just felt numb. And he stood there, half hoping that if he stayed that way long enough, he'd freeze on the outside and resemble the husk of a man he felt like at that very moment.
Clark Kent had loved her. He'd loved her from the second he'd laid eyes on her. She however, had been head over heels over his blue eyed, cape clad alter ego.
You were only playing.
You were only playing with my heart.
I was never waiting.
I was never waiting for the tears to start.
She had time only for Superman. Clark was just the nice guy who went home alone at night, with only a dog for company. He of course, had been the eternal optimist, actually hoping that she'd love Clark for Clark's sake.
It was you who put the clouds around me.
It was you who made the tears fall down.
It was you who broke my heart in pieces.
It was you who made my blue eyes blue.
Who Oh - Never should have trusted you.
He'd been such a fool. She'd played him like a harp, stringing him along without a thought for his feelings, and he'd let her. He only had himself to blame.
He thought she'd loved him. As it turned out, she'd just loved the idea of him, and had turned and breezed past him the second Bruce had walked out that Learjet. And Clark and Superman had both been left holding the pieces.
I thought that I'd be all you need.
In your eyes, I thought I saw my heaven.
And now my heaven's gone away
And I'm out in the cold.
First Lana, and now Lois. He was beginning to think he had really rotten luck with women. And of course, when you threw an elusive billionaire into the mix…. now that he thought about it, he should've seen it coming, super-vision or no super-vision.
Four hours ago, Siegel and Kutzberg International Airport, Metropolis:
Bruce Wayne stepped out of the black limo onto the tarmac where his Lear was taxied, once again alone. She'd broken it off with him once she'd learned of his secret. Not that he blamed her. Truth was, he didn't want to burden anyone he cared about with that cross, and so he'd taken it stoic as ever. Lois deserved better.
And so one could imagine his surprise when the US Army Hummer rolled over the tarmac, revealing Lois Lane, waiting to meet him. All things considered, he'd say she was taking this quite well.
He waited, not sure what to say, not ready to hope against hope that she might reconsider and join him. He'd been burnt enough for a lifetime.
She smiled at him, a warm smile, and he felt a glimmer of hope, "My offer still stands Lois. Any chance you might change your mind?" It was a long shot, but he felt compelled to take it.
Her smile became smaller, and despite the warmth in her violet eyes, the sadness in her voice was palpable, "I adore you Bruce," she placed her hand on his cheek, then looked down, ashamed for hurting him like this, leaving him out in the cold when things got too serious, "But there are things I'm not sure I want to know about you."
Bruce stood there, unwavering despite the twisting of his gut, "I understand." There was nothing left to say, so he turned towards the plane. He was more than a little taken aback to spot the large bespectacled man in the loose suit, and once more he wondered how he managed to pull off the disguise, hiding in plain sight.
He thought he was the master at this, but Bruce had nothing on Clark. They were a long way off from being friends, but they had a newly acquired mutual respect after their recent joint-op.
"Come to ensure that I leave?" Bruce's mouth was pressed into a thin line, a mild edge to his voice. The taller man knew he was an unwelcome visitor, but then this was his turf, so it was a moot point.
"Actually, I thought we made a pretty good team," Clark smiled congenially, then the smiled faded, "Not that I want to make it a regular affair."
Bruce nodded, his face set in stone. It was just as well. They'd probably never see eye to eye anyway, and he wasn't much of a team player, "Take care of her for me Clark."
The bigger man looked at him sympathetically. As relieved as he was that Lois was staying, he genuinely wished Bruce would find his happiness. Everyone deserved that, even a man of darkness, "I will Bruce. Take care of yourself."
There was the briefest shake of hands, both men mindful that it was only their alter egos that knew each other. A billionaire philanthropist and a reporter were at opposite ends of the social spectrum.
With no more goodbyes to say, Bruce trudged wearily towards the waiting business jet. The plane seemed a mile away, the unpleasant reality of his situation coming back to hi him again.
Clark walked back over to Lois, placing an arm around her shoulders and giving her a sympathetic squeeze, "How are you holding up?"
"As well as can be expected Smallville, but thanks for asking," She looked up at him, a small smile on her lips, but Clark saw that her eyes were brimming over with unshed tears.
She didn't need Superman right now. She needed him as a friend, and as relieved as he was to still have a chance, it pained him to see her like this, "I know. It's never easy Lois." He patted her shoulder, "You'll still find someone, I promise."
"That's the whole problem Smallville. I found him, but…" Her voice trailed off.
This was his cue, Clark thought, as he played his familiar part, that of her friend who she confided in about Superman, "You know, if your gut tells you he's the one, there shouldn't be any ifs and buts." He'd learnt that he couldn't take it for granted that she'd stay. Tomorrow, he'd reveal himself to her, and then, depending on her reaction…
"You know Smallville, you're right." She brightened up considerably, "I have a flight to catch."
Clark blinked, the befuddled look he'd perfected firmly in place, "Y- you do?"
"Yes!" I'm going with Bruce!" Her words hit him like a Kryptonite gloved punch to the gut. This was not what he had envisioned to say the least.
"Goodbye Clark. Thanks for everything," She leaned up on her toes to peck his cheek, then smiled brightly as she shouted, much more alive than she had seemed a second earlier.
Bruce stopped at the sound, thinking he'd heard someone call out his name. Over the din of the turbofan engines, he couldn't be certain.
He turned, and saw Lois waving and running towards him, and was hit by a whirlwind that collided with his lips.
Clark Kent watched all this in stunned silence, a mute and invisible spectator, a wraith who felt like he was in the Phantom Zone, the world around him giving way.
You had me believing.
You had me believing in a lie.
Guess I couldn't see it.
Guess I couldn't see it 'till I saw goodbye.
A/N: So, there it is. Sorry for the short chapter, but this is just something of a prologue, leading onto my version of the events of the DCAU. My main goal with this fic is to address certain episodes that in my humble opinion were rather skewed in their handling of characters (*cough* This Little Piggy *cough*), and to redress the suspect treatment of Clark's character by Timm and Co. as well as Diana's. More than once, I got the distinct impression that the producers didn't have any concrete role for her other than to act like a lovesick teenager and drool herself silly over Batman, and I personally think the pairing of such diametric opposites is a terrible, tired cliché. Hopefully, I'll be able to do justice to my vision, no pun intended.
Until the next chapter, take care.