In the sky
The clear evening sky over Metropolis was not unknown to have its resident fly boy zooming about. While most people lived their life on the ground, rarely bothering to look to the skies, there were a few who made it a point to sit and watch. Certainly not to star-gaze. Artificial stars blocked out the real ones in cities like these.
But if a body was patient and watched long enough, that person just might catch a glimpse of the Superman himself.
Kevin Cole was very patient. Unusual for a boy his age, but he was. Every night, long after he was supposed to be in bed, the nine-year old boy would scoot out to his apartment balcony with his ginormous pair of binoculars, sit down on the lounge chair and wait. Watch.
He'd started doing this months ago, after Superman saved his dad and some other fire fighters. To the little boy, his dad was his hero. But Superman was his dad's hero. That was someone he wanted to see.
The odds of Kevin actually seeing Superman, despite his frequent flier miles, was incredibly low however. He would have to be flying just so low at a figuratively slow speed in just this particular stretch of sky during this certain time. The odds were against him. Eventually, he might come around, but he more than likely would not.
It's very hard to kill a child's faith though.
At a quarter past twelve, a dark, tiny speck a distance off caught Kevin's attention. He brought his binoculars to his eyes and watched as the speck came toward him, looming larger and more definite. The light from millions of city buildings all around him showed what he was looking for.
A bright, red 'S' stamped on yellow and blue. His red cape breezed behind him.
Kevin leapt out of his chair and to the balcony rail in a single bound. He whooped and hollered, not caring that he was probably waking not only his parents but the rest of the apartment tenants as well.
If Superman hadn't heard, or ignored him, that may have very well have broken his little, hero-worshipping heart. What Superman did instead was not only see him was swoop down, smile, and wave at him as he went by.
Bug-eyed and gaping, Kevin could barely even breathe. He thought he might need an inhaler, which was odd as he was not asthmatic. His mom was going to kill him for being up so late. His dad was probably still sleeping like the dead and would never notice he was missing. It was worth it though. Superman just waved at him. Superman waved at him! Despite his impending doom, Kevin felt like the luckiest kid on the planet.
Superman continued his patrol over Metropolis. On a large scale, crime was at a low, and Justice League members like him had more time to spend in their own cities. He flew towards the down town area once more before he would call it a night. Things were so quiet, he almost thought he might pack it in now.
Until a sound caught his attention, and he looked over his shoulder. Even from this distance, Superman was able to identify his fellow flier.
His new costume held to his original colors of black and red; the 'S' in the center of his chest stylized a bit more jagged on a plane of yellow. That was new. He'd also forgone a cape. Superman had heard there'd been something like a fight over that detail. Rather than jeans, he'd upgraded to a cloth alloy fashioned with some of the material Batman used for his suit.
Unsure whether to hail the boy or not, Superman slowed his speed minutely and waited for him to make the approach. Within moments, Superboy came to fly abreast to him. He greeted his superior.
"Hail, Kal-el, Master of Games."
Superman looked at him surprised.
"You've heard about that?"
"Wally was there."
"Right. He did well on that mission. Kept a level head."
"So he brags."
Kent nodded his head. "I see you've had some changes made to the crest."
Conner smirked, running a hand over the symbol. "It's just a logo. It's not like it means anything, right?"
Superman almost said something. It doesn't mean anything? Of course it did! It was his family crest. What was he thinking? Then he remembered.
He was the only one who knew that. He hadn't even told Bruce that. How did he expect Superboy to know? That would require more than the occasional, idle chatter they'd had over the years in between their long periods of silence.
The silence that followed now was as awkward for him as it'd ever been. He never had quite gotten used to being around Superboy. He was always too aware of what he was. Superboy didn't seem to notice the tension, however. Just when he was about to bid his farewell –
"Wait up," Superboy held up a finger and stopped mid-air as his other hand went to his ear. "What's up, Meg? What? …No, I couldn't have possibly have heard you right. Say it again…Has Wally been hitting the Red Bull again? Tremandous? That's worse than Mr. Fantastic!"
Superman hovered awkwardly, aware that he was listening in on both sides of the conversation – He was changing his name? – , but unable to do anything about it. He considered the boy before him. Although, boy might be pushing it. They'd found Superboy ten years ago. Technically something like eleven, physically twenty-six, he'd come a long way from the kid he used to be.
He was a full-fledged member of the Justice League, along with the rest of the former Young Justice members. Kaldur, however, now mentored Young Justice in place of Black Canary. Young Justice was still Batman's team though. Always would be.
Superboy floated absently while he spoke to the person – M'gann – on the other end of the com link.
"Tell Cassie and Rose that it's not funny when he's like that…Well, yeah…maybe a little… Okay, a lot, but Rob shouldn't have put it on Youtube in the first place…Nightwing, Robin, whatever he's calling himself now! But do you remember how much damage he caused last time? Just try to contain him, and I'm on my way."
Superboy turned back around and held his hands helplessly. "Sorry. YJ business."
"You do realize that you're not actually a member of that team anymore?" he asked not unkindly.
He rolled his eyes, drifting farther from the original Man of Steel. "Tell that to the Bat. But whatever. I misspoke. Family business then."
Superboy turned halfway to go and gave Superman a mock salute with an easy grin.
"Later, old man."
As his clone flew farther and farther to become nothing more than a speck among the city lights, Superman frowned. He couldn't help but feel he was missing something. Or he'd already missed it. Shrugging it off, he continued his rounds before going home to his apartment. He had a big day planned tomorrow.