Notes: This is for the 'Super Development' challenge on the Young Justice Fanfiction Challenges forum. I encourage all to go and check it out!
Standard Disclaimer(s) and all that.
When Superboy agreed to accompany Megan to the mall, this is not what he had expected.
Hell, he hadn't even known what he was agreeing to. The red head had simply scuffed her shoe on the ground and looked up at him with warm brown eyes and the word 'sure' had slipped out of his mouth. He hadn't even heard what she said.
Kicking at the white tile floor, Superboy let out a frustrated groan. How long can one person look at kitchen utensils?
"Excuse me, but is that seat taken?" a well-dressed older man with graying hair asked.
The man was, of course, referring to the extra spot on the red bench Superboy was sitting on, just outside of the kitchen supply store.
"Uh, no," Superboy responded awkwardly.
The man seemed to take the awkwardness in stride and sat down beside Superboy, gently laying his shopping bag on the floor beside him.
"I do say it is strange to see a young man sitting outside of a kitchen store. Are you waiting on your mother?"
Superboy scratched his head, "A friend, actually."
He didn't know why he felt compelled to answer the man. Perhaps because of the boredom, he thought.
"Forgive me, I haven't introduced myself. Alfred Pennyworth," the man extended his hand.
Superboy frowned. He didn't actually have a name… Taking Alfred's hand regardless, he said, "Nice to meet you."
"As it is to meet you, young sir."
Not wanting to the conversation to end, Superboy asked the first thing that came to mind.
"Why are you at the mall?" Cringing slightly, he added, "It's just…that you seem classier than that." The man was, after all, wearing a suit.
Alfred smiled. Master Dick had enthusiastically described his teammates to him on the evening of the creation of the Young Justice League, and when Alfred had noticed the one called 'Superboy' he couldn't resist taking the opportunity to meet him.
"The mall has a very good clock shop here; their products are very resilient."
"Why would you need a resilient clock? Don't they just keep time?" Superboy arched a brow, leaning forward with his arms resting across his knees.
"Some are also set to sound an alarm at specified times. The masters…don't particularly care for waking up if the sun isn't already high in the sky."
Superboy smiled, "I know a few people like that."
"Don't we all?"
Megan took that moment to exit the kitchen store, arms filled with bags and spewing apologies. "I'm so, so, so, sorry. I just completely lost track of time and—
"Oh, hello Megan! You're in the middle of a conversation. I'm so sorry, sir," Megan directed the end at the man speaking with Superboy.
"Oh, it is no bother. I was just about to take my leave anyhow," Alfred assured the excitable Martian, turning to Superboy he said, "It was a pleasure meeting you."
Blinking, Superboy got up, "You too. If you'd like, I could carry your bag for you."
The man was so congenial. It was the least he could do.
Alfred smiled, "Thank you; but I do believe your friend would find you more of assistance." He nodded toward Megan, whose arms were laden with bags.
"Okay," Superboy shifted, slightly disappointed to see the man go so soon, "Goodbye."
Alfred smiled and nodded, taking his leave.
"Again, I'm really sorry. You must've been so bored waiting out here," Megan apologized, brushing her hair from her face.
"It wasn't that bad," Superboy smiled, watching the man disappear from sight.