Clark Kent looked out the window of his apartment wondering how he continued to get himself into these situations. He was a decent guy, he thought, not bad looking, yet his luck with women was non-existent. Lois was pissed at him and didn't even want to see him. Diana seemed interested in Bruce. His mind fleetingly thought of Zatanna, but he wasn't even sure how he would approach her. Besides, she was probably already seeing someone, he thought.
He was Superman. You'd think that would be like finding a golden ticket for the Wonka factory, but it wasn't working out that way. To make matters worse, gorgeous women surrounded him wherever he went. Just in the League alone, he couldn't walk down the hallway without being bombarded by stunning women of all shapes and sizes.
The thing was they didn't see him as another guy that might be interested in being more than teammates. They saw him as Superman, this larger than life iconic figure. He didn't even have the bad boy thing working for him, as Bruce had long ago staked a claim to that title.
The ladies loved the bad boy, or at least that was the general consensus from all the conversations he was forced to listen to. It was actually kind of depressing to listen to women he found attractive refer to him as a buddy or like a big brother or uncle. He was the same age as most of them, yet they treated him like some elder statesman. Even Wally was getting more action that Clark was. Here it was Saturday night and what was he doing?
He'd already done his patrol of the city and things were quiet. That meant another night spent alone in his apartment. He could go out as Clark Kent, but it seemed he had the mild mannered thing down so well, he was invisible, even when he didn't want to be.
It was probably for the best really. It wasn't like he could have a relationship with a regular girl anyway. One tiny slip and he'd probably cripple any normal woman. That tends to limit your dating pool considerably when you have to fear for your date's life every second. There were just so few women he could actually be himself with and most of them were already taken.
So here he was, a pretty good-looking guy in his twenties living like he was planning on joining the priesthood. Absently, Clark thought maybe he'd been too quick to dismiss Maxima's offer. Oh, sure, she was incredibly annoying and arrogant, but at least he'd have a date for Saturday night. Na, he thought, even he had limits to what he was willing to put up with for a date.
A knock on his door pulled him from his 'woe is me' tangent. It was probably one of his elderly neighbors needing his help with something. He opened the door to find Power Girl, Karen Starr standing there.
"Hey, Clark, I'm glad I caught you at home," she said. She walked right passed him and into his apartment.
"Yeah, what are the chances of that?" He muttered under his breath as he closed the door. She was wearing a long, loose trench coat and the look on her face told him she was not happy. She slumped down on the sofa and crossed her arm in front of her.
He hadn't seen her in months, as she was spending more time in New York and less around the League. She was a Kryptonian like him, except from another universe. If or how they were related, he'd never quite figured out. Everyone just assumed since they were both Kryptonian they must be related. Having a million other things on his mind at the time, Clark went along with it, referring to her as his cousin. It seemed easier that way.
"So what brings you to Metropolis, Karen," he asked.
She started and stopped several times, as her anger threatened to spill over. Finally she just said," people are just so stupid!"
"One of those nights, huh?"
"Yes!" She answered, her frown getting even more pronounced.
"So do you want a Coke or something and we can talk about it?"
"Yes, wait, no, whiskey! Do you have whiskey? Give me a big glass of whiskey," she replied. "Whiskey fits the kind of mood I'm in!"
"Whiskey? Are you sure you wouldn't prefer a soft drink or even coffee?"
"I'm over twenty one, Clark!" she fired back. "I'm a grown woman, I think I know what I want!"
"Whiskey it is," he quickly said. No use pissing her off more than she already is. He went into the kitchen and found a bottle of whiskey someone had given him as a present when he's turned twenty-one. It had dust on it, which he quickly blows it away. Taking a glass down from the shelf, he went back and poured her a shot. She gave him a look that said she was not pleased.
"What are you saving it for a special occasion? Pour me a real drink."
He added another shot to the glass, but that didn't satisfy her either. She reached over and took the bottle from him and poured a rather healthy amount into the glass.
"You act like this stuff is made of gold, Clark," she grumbled, setting the bottle on the table. With a sigh, he moved over and sat down next to her.
"You're not having any," she asked.
"Not right now."
"Come on, Clark, it's Saturday night, live a little," she sarcastically said.
"Alright, "he replied, getting up and getting another glass. She poured him an equal amount of whiskey.
"Chin don." She offered as a toast and then took a big swallow.
"Les Paul," Clark replied and took a swig.
Power Girl began to cough and gasp for air, as the whiskey burn it's way down her throat. Clark reached over and lightly patted her on the back trying to help. It took several moments, but she finally got her breath back.
"Smooth," she managed to say. Clark had to smile, but didn't comment. She took several deep breaths before finishing the glass. As she started to pour another, Clark reached out and stopped her.
"Why don't you tell me what's going on, Karen?"
"Is this like some special whiskey or something," she asked. "Is that why you're being such a skin flint about it?"
"No, but I'd like to hear what's bothering you," he replied. "I tell you what, talk to me and then you can chug the rest of the bottle. Deal?"
She smiled for the first time since she's arrived and even chuckled a bit
He waited, but she seemed to be having difficulty starting. She got up and started to pace back and forth. He sat waiting for her to begin.
"You said something about people being stupid, care to elaborate?"
She stopped and turned to look at him.
"Why don't people take me seriously, Clark," she asked. "I mean I was elected chairwoman of the Justice Society, for God sake! Doesn't that prove I'm capable?"
"Who's not taking you seriously?"
"Wildcat. He talks to me like I'm a teenager," she replied. "It's just not him, either. One of the other members called me Kara the other day. Kara! Can you believe it?"
She took off her coat and tossed it onto one of the chairs. She was wearing her uniform.
"Do I look like Kara to you," she asked, turning to face him.
"Um, ah, no," Clark replied, a little uncomfortable with where this was going.
"It's not just that, I don't seem to get respect from anyone," she continued. 'I'm one of the most powerful members next to you, but no one seems to remember that!"
"I'm sure you're just overreacting, Karen," he offered. "Wildcat is like that with all the women in the League. He's old school. He thinks he's being chivalrous or something. Don't let it bother you."
"I'm not overreacting, Clark," she protested. "It's everyone. I can see it in the way they look at me! I think even Kara gets more respect than I do and she's still a teenager! It's like they don't see me as a grown woman or something!"
"I don't think that's the problem, Karen," Clark offered.
She turned and looked at him for a moment. He didn't meet her eye. She put her hands on her hips in frustration.
"It's my chest, isn't it?"
"I'm really not comfortable having this discussion with you," Clark replied.
"Come on, Clark, you can be honest with me, I'm a big girl. I see the way everyone looks at me. It's like I don't have a head most of the time!"
"I'm sure you're exaggerating," he replied.
"Oh, really? You're the only one that doesn't stare at my chest, Clark. I think I even caught Batman take a quick look once," she protested. "Why is that? I mean Diana's wearing a swimsuit for Heaven sake, but she doesn't have the same problems, does she?"
"Again, not comfortable with this conversation."
If she heard him, she didn't acknowledge it and continued. She came over and dropped down into the seat next to him. The frown on her face deepened.
"You'd think I was the only woman any one had ever seen with large breasts! It's so frustrating!"
Clark could see how much this was troubling her and mental kicked himself for not at least trying to help. She was his cousin or whatever, but she was also his friend. The least he could do what offer her his support.
"Look, I don't know what to tell you, Karen," he began. "You're a beautiful woman and it's hard not to notice it. If you want I'll talk to some of the members in private about treating you with more respect."
"Thanks, Clark, you're a good friend," she smiled. "Why can't there be more nice guys like you?"
"That's me, the nice guy," Clark said with a fake smile. The thoughts that had been running through his head before she came returned. Nice guys don't get the girl, he thought to himself.
"You don't have to talk to anyone. It would probably just make it worse, anyway. Besides, it's just not that, it's my whole life. When I'm Power Girl I can't get guys to stop looking at me, but when I'm just Karen Starr the only ones that look are guys I don't want to look."
"Secret identities have their drawbacks, I know," he admitted.
"It's not even like I wanted to go out with a regular guy, but it would be nice to be asked once and awhile," she said.
"I know what you mean."
"I'd probably break a regular guy if I did go out with one," she lamented. "Here I am, an attractive woman in her twenties and what am I doing on a Saturday night? Crying about my troubles to you. How sad is that?"
"Now I need a drink." Clark slumped back into the sofa as she'd just described his exact situation. She looked over at him and saw the glum expression on his face.
"Oh, great, now I've bummed you out with my problems," she said.
"No," he shook his head. "It's just that you described the exact situation I find myself in tonight."
"You? But you're Superman," she replied.
"And you're Power Girl."
"I figured you had lots of dates just lining up to go out with you," she admitted.
"Maybe in my fantasies, but not in this reality," he replied. "I sort of thought the same thing about you, Karen. I figured you must have to beat them off with a stick. I mean, come on, you're gorgeous."
Power Girl found herself blushing at his compliment. It was such a revelation to find out he was in the same situation as she was. She's always seen him as Superman, this larger than life hero. It was a shock to learn he had the same problems as everyone else. She turned and looked at him as if she were seeing him for the first time.
"I don't get it, you're a good looking guy. Why hasn't someone snapped you up by now?"
"You tell me," he said. "How is it you're still single?"
They sat there looking at each other. It was as if they were really seeing the other for the first time. A wild thought came into Clark's mind. He tried to push it away, but it kept coming back. Finally, he figured what the hell.
"Karen, do you want to go out somewhere tonight? With me?"
"Are-Are you asking me out, Clark?"
"Well, it is Saturday night and I'm kind of tired staying here alone again. Do you want see a movie or something?"
"Wouldn't it be weird, us going out together," she asked.
"I guess," he admitted. "Hey, at least I'd look you in the eye the whole time."
She laughed and started to warm to the idea. He was a great guy she already knew that. It would be nice to be out with someone she didn't have to worry about slipping and crushing by accident. Why not, she thought to herself, it beats sitting home alone feeling sorry for myself.
"Okay, Clark, let's do this," she said and then quickly added. "The movie, I mean."
Her face turned red the way the words sounded in her brain. When he chuckled, she felt even more embarrassed. She wanted to fly out the window at that moment, but he gently reached over and touched her shoulder.
"It's okay, I knew what you meant," he said to her. "A movie sound nice."
"Okay, but I'll have to change first," she managed to say. "Why don't we see the movie in New York since that's where I live?"
They stood up and both found themselves nervous suddenly. Clark glanced over and saw her sneaking glances at him. Might as well get it out there, he thought.
"So a date, huh? You sure you're okay with this? It's not too weird, is it?"
"I guess we'll find out, won't we," she offered. "It's not like we're really related, you know."