Bats In The Belfry

By Black Dragon Queen


The bat cave was empty when Clark flew in later that evening.

He could have gone right out into Gotham proper to find Batman and to assist in dealing with any criminal activity going on but in truth, Clark was apprehensive to do so. Bruce would get offended again at Clark encroaching in his territory and Clark wasn't sure if he wanted to have that argument again so soon.

Lois' statement about Clark doing something nice for himself rather than his lover was still echoing in his mind and he some serious thinking to do. But first…

"Okay you lot. Home sweet cave." Lifting up his cape that he was holding in his hands like an impromptu sack rather than wearing, he opened the top to allow the small flying menaces to fly out.

Three of the bats instantly took off to parts of the cave unknown but Lex and the larger bat seemed content to remain around Clark. Or on Clark in the case of Lex who was still clinging to the side of the cape. The other bat at least had gone to hang off one of the wings of the batwing.

"Ah, master Clark. I see you brought back our wayward household members."

Spinning around, though not as quickly as he usually would so he wouldn't have to deal with a dizzy Lexington again, Clark watched as Alfred came down the stairs, a silver tea tray in his hands. "Alfred! Hi!"

An amused look crossed Alfred's face. "Hello to you as well. And welcome back Lexington, Colin." The bat on the plane shifted his wings before settling down once again. "I assume the others have been returned as well?"

"I had five in all," Clark informed him haltingly. "Including Lex and… Colin? I don't know how many you were missing…"

"No, five was the number of those who decided to have an adventure," Alfred confirmed as he set the tea service down on the side counter by the computer and started pouring a cup for Clark. "I do hope they didn't give you too much trouble."

"Trouble? Nah." Alfred stopped pouring in order to look up and raise an eyebrow at Clark significantly. Clark wilted. "Okay, they were a lot of trouble…"

"I do apologize for that."

"What? Oh no. You don't have to apologize for them…" Clark trailed off a bit before he let out a rueful chuckle as he accepted the cup and saucer. "Actually it was kind of fun."

"Truly? What mischief did they get into this time?"

Clark happily regaled what had happened in both the Daily Planet and the Tower and soon Alfred was chuckling right along with him. "I do hope Mister West was quite all right."

"Oh I think he was startled more than anything else," Clark admitted. "Lex seems to enjoy dive bombing anyone he comes across."

"It was not just Mister West?" Alfred sounded somewhat surprised.

"Oh no," Clark shook his head. "He jumped on Connor the second time I had to try and catch him to bring him home but I think we startled him more than anything else. And he's dove for me before but I think that was more to get away from Perry and Lois' purse." He was just bringing up his cup for another sip when he caught Alfred's bemused look. "What?"

"Nothing at all Master Clark. It's just encouraging to know that Lexington is making new friends."

Clark could only blink at that rather odd statement. "O-oh… well, good… I suppose." He went back to his tea only to realize that the cup was empty already. Alfred smiled again and lifted the pot in askance.

The tumbler was pulling in just as Clark decided to go for one of the small sandwiches that had been sitting on the service tray taunting him. Tim jumped out excitedly as Bruce followed at a more sedate pace. "Everything all right?" Clark called out and he was surprised to see Bruce start slightly at the sound of his voice.

"Oh, hey Clark!" Tim greeted him as he headed right for the tray of sandwiches. Clark quickly snatched two before the teenager got to it. "Come for the bat-kabob barbeque?" There was a sudden cacophony of chittering from in the interior of the cave at that statement.

"Everyone is present and accounted for," Alfred informed him as he poured another cup of tea and passed it onto Bruce who was pulling back his cowl. "I have prepared a light supper if you are hungry."

"Woo!" Tim crowed and quickly darted towards the showers as Bruce rolled his eyes

"It's there for anyone who doesn't think they are hungry as well," Alfred stated and Bruce hunched his shoulders slightly.

"I could go for a small bite if you could keep me company," Clark cajoled. The eyes rolled again but Bruce reluctantly nodded. Clark was getting worried as Bruce still had yet to say anything.

"Shall I make a tray for your room?" Alfred asked politely.

Clark went red but Bruce shook his head and Alfred left with a "very good sir."

Alone finally, save for the bats that were still squeaking in the back of the cave, Clark dropped a hand on Bruce's shoulder. "Everything okay?"

Bruce sighed and amazingly leaned back in the touch. "We handled it."

Clark hesitated, wanting to say that it wasn't what he meant but after a slight internal debate he settled for squeezing Bruce's shoulder again. Bruce's eyes peeked open again. "Food or bed?" Clark asked with a warm smile. "Or food in bed?"

Bruce graced Clark with one of his rare smiles but before he could answer, there was a sudden string of curses echoing out from within the shower and once again, Clark watched as three bats shot out of the locker room, Tim right behind them, another towel wrapped around his waist and shampoo suds coating his hair, carrying a large super-soaker water gun and alternating shooting the three bats. Tim had excellent aim but the bats had the agility as they dodged the streaming water.

Clark watched wide-eyed as Bruce just continued sipping his tea. "AND STAY OUT!" Tim bellowed. He watched the bats scatter before he turned back towards his shower and called over his shoulder: "let me know when Dick gets back with that sauce!"

Bruce actually lifted an arm in acknowledgement and Clark stared at him agog when here was a sudden tug on his sleeve. Looking down surprised he found Lex slowing climbing his arm like a tree, the expression on his small bat face practically screaming, "hide me!" to him.

There was a snort and a black-gloved hand plucked the bat off of Clark's sleeve. Clark went tense; waiting to see what Bruce would do but the billionaire simply downed the rest of his tea, cradling the bat in the palm of his hand against his side. "Shall we see what Alfred has prepared for us?" he asked as he set the cup back down on the tray.

Clark was startled of his stunned surprise. "Oh… right!"

Gathering up the tray in a daze, he followed Bruce, and Lexington, up the stairs and into the manor proper.