"Bonding: Superman and Superboy"
Summary: Superman wises up and bonds with Superboy.
Author's Note: Based on the new cartoon on Cartoon Network.
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. I just wrote this story for fun.
Superboy bounced the ball three times, aimed, and shot—the ball sank into the net in a perfect swish!
It was Saturday and the others members of Young Justice had gone to their respective homes for the weekend.
Aqualad to Atlantis…
Kid Flash went to Central City…
Robin and Artemis went to Gotham City…
And Miss Martian went to…wherever it was she went to when she wasn't at Mt. Justice…
Superboy sighed. Everybody had somewhere else to go, but not him.
No…he didn't get a real home.
Because I'm not a real boy, he couldn't help but think.
A real boy had a home…a family…somebody that cared for and about him…
Heck, real boys had real names…
Even Pinocchio had a name, for crying out loud, and he was just a wooden puppet!
But not him.
Because he was just a clone.
Feeling the now familiar surge of anger and sadness well up him, he dribbled the ball to distract himself, aimed, and shot again.
Again, it went in with a perfect swish!
"Nice shot," a very familiar voice spoke from behind him. "I was pretty good at basketball myself when I was your age."
Spinning around, Superboy found the last person in the world he ever expected to see standing there.
Clark Kent, actually…the Man of Steele's civilian persona.
Dressed in blue jeans and a plain white t-shirt and sneakers, and wearing his signature glasses, his blue-black hair sticking up all over his head as if it was wind blown (and probably was) he was the identical (albeit older) book end to Superboy's own wind-tossed blue-black hair, solid black t-shirt, blue jeans, and sneakers.
"Um…" Superboy said, not sure what to say or do. "Thanks…I guess."
Clark smiled. "Mind if I take a shot?" he asked, holding out his hands for the ball.
Superboy nodded and tossed him the ball. Clark dribbled it a few times, aimed, and shot.
Superboy watched the ball sail over his head and land in the net—in a perfect swish!
Clark smiled. "How about that?" he asked, smirking. "Guess I haven't lost my touch, huh?"
"Guess not," Superboy said, quietly. He didn't quite look him in the eyes, though.
Clark grimaced, and then sighed. Stepping forward, he stood only a few inches from the teenager.
"I know I haven't exactly dealt with our situation very well," he told him, gently. "In fact, I've been a real ass about it…"
Superboy looked up, shocked to hear the usually straight-laced superhero swear.
Clark smirked, knowing what the kid was thinking.
"Batman's words," he explained, shrugging. "In fact, he told me not only have I been an ass, but I needed to get my head out of mine and start thinking about somebody other than myself…"
"He said all that?" Superboy asked, curiously.
"I'm paraphrasing," he told him, grinning. "Most of what he told me I can't exactly repeat."
"Why not?" Superboy asked, puzzled.
Clark just grinned. "Because my ma would wash my mouth with soap if she heard it," he told him. "Heck, she'd wash Batman's mouth out with soap for saying it!"
Superboy grinned at the image that brought to mind. He'd have to remember to tell Robin about it.
"And…he was right," Clark said, sighing. "I have been a real…well, you know…towards you…and all I can say is I'm sorry."
Superboy blinked, not sure how to respond to this. "Um…"
"I'd like to try and make things up to you," Clark told him, seriously. "If you'll let me…"
"Why?" Superboy asked, shrugging. "I'm just your clone…I'm not even real or anything."
Clark reached out and clasped him on the shoulders with both his hands, giving them a slight squeeze.
"You certainly feel real enough to me," he told him, seriously. "Why do you say you're not?"
"Because," Superboy said, in a typically teenage tone of voice. "Real boys have things I don't."
"Such as?" Clark asked him, crossing his arms over his chest.
"Like…" Superboy said, hesitantly, "...like a name…and a home…and a family…and…and… parents!"
Clark nodded. "You're right," he said, seriously. "A real boy does need all those things."
"See?" Superboy told him, sneering. "I'm not a real boy."
Clark took off his glasses, and suddenly Superboy was staring into the stern countenance of Superman (civilian garb or not).
"Yes," he said, his voice full of authority. "You are. You said a real boy needs a name, right?"
"Right," Superboy said, crossing his arms over his chest in a beligerant gesture. "Everybody else on the team has one…everyone but me."
"Then," Superman said, "its time you had one…or two, rather."
"Huh?" Superboy asked, confused.
"I have two names," Superman explained. "My birth name…given to me on Krypton by my birth parents; and my civilian name, given to me by my adopted parents."
"O-kay," Superboy said, clearly not understanding what he was getting at. "And this has what to do with me…?"
"You're going to have two names, too," Superman told him, firmly. "A Kryptonian name…since Kryptonian blood flows through you. And a civilian Earth name because you were born on Earth."
"But I wasn't born," Superboy reminded him, scowling. "I was created."
"Earth is still your birthplace, even as Krypton was mine," Superman told him, seriously.
"Okay," Superboy said, quietly. "What's my name(s), then?"
"One of my ancestors on Krypton was named Kon-El," he told him. "He was a great hero and was highly regarded. That will be your Kryptonian name. Do you like it?"
"Kon-El," Superboy said, trying it out. "You're Kal-El, right?"
Superman nodded. "Right," he told him, smiling.
"I like it, but what about an Earth name?" Superboy asked, curiously.
Superman put his glasses back on and smiled. He was once again the mild-mannered reporter.
"I was thinking Conner," Clark told him, smirking. "Conner Kent."
"But that's your name," Superboy said, frowning. "Kent, I mean."
"I know," Clark said, smirking. "Do you think you'll like it?"
"Conner Kent," the Boy of Steele said, and then actually smiled. "I can live with it, I guess."
Clark smiled brightly at that.
"Great," he said, rubbing his hands together. "Well, that takes care of that. Now, what else did you say? A home? A family? And…"
"Parents," Conner said, glancing back down at the ground.
"Yeah," Clark said. "Well, as for a home…my place isn't all that big in Metropolis…but I bet we could fix you up a room of your own in it."
Conner's head snapped up. "You mean…?" he asked, almost hesitantly.
Clark nodded. "Yep," he told him, smiling. "After all, I think it's high time we got you enrolled in school…"
"Yeah," Conner said, quietly. "Everybody else goes to school…even Miss Martian."
"Exactly," Clark said, smiling. "Now, you also said a real boy needs a family. Right?"
Conner nodded. "Right," he told him, smirking.
"Well," Clark said, scratching his chin. "How does a grandfather and grandmother sound to you?"
Conner frowned. "Huh?" he asked, confused.
Clark smirked, and then casually stepped to the side—revealing two people standing several feet back.
They were an older couple; the man wore overalls and the woman wore her graying hair in a tight bun. They were both smiling brightly at them.
"Who are they?" Conner asked Clark, curiously.
"My parents," Clark told him. "Ma and Pa Kent…well, Grandma and Grandpa Kent to you, I guess…"
"Real grandparents?" Conner asked, smiling.
"Yep," Clark said, turning around to wave. The Kents waved back, and then he turned back to the boy in front of him.
"They're one of the reasons I'm here," Clark told him. "Besides Batman's non-too-subtle hints, Ma and Pa also reminded me of something."
"What was that?" Conner asked him, curiously.
"I was an alien," Clark told him, quietly. "I wasn't from Earth, wasn't of their blood, or even human for that matter..."
Conner swallowed. He could hear the emotion in the older man's voice and it surprised him a little bit; that the Man of Steele would get so worked up about him.
"Ma and Pa could have chosen to ignore what they saw the night the rocket that brought me here crashed landed, but they didn't," Clark told him, seriously.
"So?" Conner asked, blinking.
"So, how could I betray all they've done for me by ignoring you?" Clark told him, smiling. "You who is of my blood…who did, no matter how it was done, come from me. The answer is, I can't. Ma and Pa raised me better than that, and I want to raise my son the exact same way."
"Your son?" Conner asked, swallowing.
Clark nodded. "Yes, my son," he told him, clasping him on the shoulder again. "Batman was right. You do need your father...you need me."
"Y-Yeah," Conner said, quietly. "I do."
Clark nodded, smiling. "So," he asked, curiously. "Are you a real boy now?"
Conner smiled. "Yeah," he told him, "I guess I am."
And he was.
He was Conner Kent of Earth/Kon-El of Krypton.
He was the son of Clark Kent of Metropolis/Kal-El of Krypton.
He was the grandson of Jor-El and Lara of Krypton, and Jonathan and Martha Kent of Smallville, Kansas…
He had a name…a home…a family…and especially a father.
Clark nodded towards his parents. "You want to meet 'em?" he asked him, curiously.
"You bet," Conner told him, smiling.
He wasn't just a clone, anymore.
He was a real boy.
"C'mon," Clark told him, wrapping an arm around him. "Ma packed a picnic lunch. You hungry?"
"I'm sixteen," Conner told him. "I'm always hungry."
Clark laughed. "I know what you mean," he told him, guiding him over to where their family waited.
"Do you think we could play some one-on-one later?" Conner asked him, curiously.
He knew Batman sometimes played basketball with Robin, after all.
Clark knew it, too.
"You bet," he told him, smirking. "Just be prepared to get your butt whooped, kiddo. I may be old, but I still got it. Remember?"
Conner smiled. "You're on," he told him. "Dad."
Clark smiled at that and gave his shoulder a squeeze.
"Hey, Ma, Pa," he called out to his folks. "There's somebody I'd like ya'll to meet…"
He glanced at the boy beside him, proudly. The boy beside him glanced back, equally proud.
"This is my son, Conner."