A/N: I can't wait for the new episodes in June... UGH come faster! So anyway, a Young Justice Story- yeah. Enjoy! Review! Also, I don't own any of the characters mentioned.
It was times like these she really believed she should live in a small town, far away from heroes and their problems.
Or at least not be on the top floor of one of the most abused buildings in town during some show of power.
The roof shook from some type of superhuman force, and she felt the all too familiar dust of the plaster ceiling falling on her now upturned face. Another rumble, this time much closer, sent a lot more dust and some actual chunks of plaster. She looked down, grabbing the USB she needed, and tried to run to the door, but a loud crash from somewhere nearby made her fall to the ground. In an instant, the roof began to cave in on itself from the repeated beatings. She instinctively threw her arms up over her head, praying to anything that would listen that by some miracle, someone would notice that she was here and keep the roof of the Planet from killing her.
If there was one time Superman needed to be over protective and rescue her, it was now. It was so now.
She heard the beams and roof cave around her, followed by a loud grunt, but felt nothing out of the ordinary. Lois Lane opened her eyes, and found herself staring at the back of someone who most definitely was not Superman. Strong like Superman, but not clad in blue and red.
"Are you hurt?"
"Then, if you don't mind, could you move so I can let the rest of this drop?"
She blinked in surprise, and then tore her eyes away from his back to look down at the rest of his body, which was struggling to keep the roof from killing her. Ripped black shirt, blue pants, boots. And young. Definitely young. "Sure," she responded. "I'll just move over to your right…" she did as she said, and the mysterious, strong, t-shirt clad boy let go of the section he was holding, turning to cover her so no falling debris could do anything harmful. His blue eyes met hers, and she gasped.
It may not be Superman, but damn he looked just like him.
"Are you okay, ma'am?"
The kid was breathing pretty heavily, and looked like he was pretty worn out.
"Are you okay?"
"Wha-" His question was interrupted by another rumbling, which shook the building and caused something else in the ceiling to loosen and fall. "We need to get out of here before this whole section collapses," he muttered, and then turned back to Lois. He stared at her for a second, almost as if he was trying to figure out whether or not he should make her take the stairs or carry her out or what.
Lois held out her arms, looking impatiently at the boy. He stared back at her, confused. "The fastest way out is through the gaping hole in the roof, and I can't fly. If you would be so kind," she said, gesturing with her arms. Realization passed over his face. He then picked her up and drew her into his arms, turning his face toward the sky. She felt him tense and then crouch, using his legs to kick off into the open night.
"I just thought I'd warn you," he with strained breath said as they neared on the roof of the next building, "that I can't fly, either." He stumbled as he landed, but kept his hold tight on her body. She looked at him with alarm, but he grinned. "It's kind of my first time doing that with someone in my arms. Now, if you could tell me where you live, or at least point me in the right direction, I could get you home."
She lifted her arm and pointed him in the right direction, which luckily was away from the brutal fight. Lois wanted to ask him questions, but she could tell the boy was struggling already trying to stay conscious, and talking would not help his condition. So they leapt through the night in silence, the boy breathing heavily and Lois clinging to him.
It was a miracle that they ended up making it to the roof of Lois's apartment before he passed out. He had just set her down and was about to take off again when he swayed and fell backwards, his body slamming against the roof with a thud. She stared down at him, and saw the torn insignia on his chest. His shirt was pretty much in tatters now, and it looked like it had been burned by something near his shoulder. Lois lifted up the fabric slightly, and saw a charred black wound. Whoever this boy was, he needed help, and he certainly was no danger to her. She would take him to the apartment for tonight, and let him rest.
"I can honestly say I was not expecting this when I asked for something to save me," she muttered, bending down to pull the boy's arm around her shoulder so she could lift him.
Superboy groggily opened his eyes. Sunlight streamed in through a window, which was the first sign that something was wrong and out of place. The second sign was the loud voices, which seemed to be arguing echoing down from somewhere in the building.
"Lois, why on Earth is he sleeping in the guest bedroom?"
"I had to put him somewhere, Clark. He was exhausted, the poor kid. I wasn't going to leave him on the roof of the apartment."
He blinked more rapidly as his brain kicked into gear, going through and processing what happened last night. Clark? Lois? Where was he?
"How did he even get on the roof of the apartment complex?"
He heard the woman sigh. "Because, Clark, he brought me here. I was in one of the top offices of the Daily Planet last night when someone's battle made part of the roof collapse. Right when I thought I was going to die, this kid is standing in front of me, holding the stuff back. He saved my life, Kent. Then he saved it again by getting me out of the building and away from your fight, despite being injured. He saved my life. There was no way I was just going to leave him after that."
There was a pause, a lull in the conversation. He could hear the drum of fingers upon wood and a rhythmic tapping from someone's shoe on tile.
"Superboy, now that you're awake, could you come out here, please?"
Superboy heard the man sit down as he himself got out of bed, following the command of what he identified to be Superman. He was somewhat shocked to find that he was shirtless, but remembered that his shirt had been torn when he had gotten hit by that weird energy last night.
He walked out of the room and down a small hallway, finally coming out into the living room. On the other side there was a kitchen with a dining area, where the woman from last night and Superman were sitting. The woman, who was holding a white mug, smiled as he walked into the room, and Superman just sighed.
"You can sit down," the woman said. "I'm Lois, by the way. Lois Lane."
He took the seat furthest away from Superman and desperately wished he had a shirt. "I'm, uh, Superboy. Nice to meet you?"
"Superboy. Clever," she said, raising an eyebrow at Superman. "Really, Clark, you didn't even bother giving him a name to go by? Come on, Smallville, I thought your mother raised you better than that."
Clark looked from her to Superboy and then back again. "I haven't had the time to-"
"Bullshit," Lois refuted quickly. Her glare was hard and cold and Clark seemed to cringe away from it. "You've got the time for it. You just-" she glanced over at Superboy, and then back to Superman. "We will talk about this later, okay, dearest?"
Superboy noted in very slight amusement that Superman actually looked quite ashamed of himself when Lois called him out on his treatment of his clone. Superman looked from Superboy to Lois and then back to Superboy again. Clark seemed desperate to change the subject. "Superboy, I already called Batman to let him know that you are here and you are safe; the rest of your team knows, as well. Now, do you mind telling me what happened last night?"
Blue eyes met blue eyes, and then Superboy dropped his gaze. "I assume you know that we were assigned to watch something going down at S.T.A.R Labs last night," Superboy said quietly. Clark nodded, and then looked over at Lois, who rolled her eyes.
"Fine, fine, this will go into the section of my brain that houses stories I can never investigate."
"Good," Clark shot back. "Continue, please."
"We were observing the lab when a man appeared above the lab, almost as if through a portal. He went after the workers, so we started attacking. He was a lot stronger than we had assumed, I guess, and he was beating us pretty bad. I tried attacking him, but somehow, whatever he was using to hit me was doing damage. His final blow before you came hit me in the shoulder, and it knocked me pretty far across Metropolis. It hurt."
Superboy looked over at Superman, waiting for an explanation. Lois cleared her throat, also clearly waiting for Clark to say something. Clark glanced over at her, and she was again giving him her pointed glare. He wished she wasn't here for this; she was making his dealings with Superboy more complicated than they needed to be. He could tell from the phone call that he had received this morning that she was not happy he hadn't told her about Superboy, and when he said that he wasn't exactly happy about having the boy around, she had chewed him out.
To respond, Superman looked at Superboy's fully healed shoulder, and then back at him. "The man was Black Adam; he was after another Leaguer. He uses magic, and you seem to have inherited my inability to withstand magical attacks," Clark said. "You may go on."
"Anyway, I landed near the building Ms. Lane was in. By that time, you and someone else had come to take care of… Black Adam, but you guys were getting dangerously close to the building, and from the way it shook, I could tell that part of the roof was going to fall in. I did a quick scan of the building, and saw someone almost directly below the weak spot where a… magic bolt had just hit. The only think I could think of was making sure that person was okay, and I kind of forgot about the pain. So I jumped, and somehow landed without shaking the building whatsoever. I was just in time. The rest, I think she told you," Superboy concluded.
Lois set down her mug of coffee, and then reached out to touch Superboy's shoulder. "I knew you were injured," she said. "And you still came to save me. Thank you."
"Yes, thank you, Superboy," Superman said. "I am… We… You saved Lois's life, and for that, I am truly grateful. You helped her without knowing who she was, but only, uh, knowing she needed to be saved, and that shows that you are truly becoming a, um, hero." Superman got up, and got closer to Superboy, before awkwardly putting his hand on Superboy's shoulder. "Uh, keep up the good work."
"Uh, thanks?" Superboy responded. Clark just nodded, and then went over to give Lois a kiss before leaving.
Lois and Superboy stared at the door for a few seconds. "Well, that was completely awkward," Lois said, turning to Superboy.
"He doesn't like me very much," Superboy replied by way of explanation.
She stood and walked over to the kitchen. "It's okay; I annoyed the living daylights out of him when we first met. I'm pretty sure he hated me. And now," she said, holding up her hand with a ring sitting on the fourth finger, "we're engaged. He'll come around, kid. He may be resisting now, but he knows that you're a good person." Not to mention the conversation she and Clark were going to continue about Superboy whenever Lois next saw Clark. She started rummaging through the cupboards, finally pulling out some pancake mix. "Are you hungry, Superboy?"
He nodded. "Yes ma'am."
"Seriously, kid, call me Lois. You sound so much like Clark that hearing you call me Ms. Lane gives me the creeps. And since you are hungry, I will make pancakes. I could use something other than coffee, myself," she continued as she began to mix the ingredients together.
"Sorry," he apologized. "And thank you."
"No problem. You saved me, after all, Superboy. Making delicious flapjacks is the very least I can do for you- I would do more, but I think you'd keeping saying 'No, you don't have to do that' and 'No, a simple thanks is enough'!" She glanced over and found him staring at the table, clearly amazed that she had predicted his response. She grinned. He was more like Clark than either one would admit. "And if you want a shirt, I know Clark leaves some spares in the guest room for emergencies. While I'm being all domestic, you can go take a shower. The bathroom is the second door on the left. There are towels under the sink."
Superboy nodded, and then went back to the room to get a shirt before heading to the bathroom. Lois hummed while she mixed the ingredients and got the griddle from its hiding place. He emerged ten minutes later to the delicious smell of breakfast. Lois was smiling as he sat down, and she placed some of the pancakes in front of him before grabbing herself a plate.
They ate in silence for a few minutes. Lois was studying the boy in front of her, and Superboy ate, feeling pretty self-conscious.
"You're rather cheery for someone who almost got killed last night," he said, making a desperate stab at conversation.
She chuckled, and responded, "You'd be surprised at how many times I come face to face with death. Most of the time, though, I can get myself out," she added. She neglected to mention that most of the time she was the one who got herself into those problems.
"You know how to fight?" he guessed after swallowing a mouthful of pancake.
"I'm a journalist. There are a few skills that you need to know in order to get out of a sticky situation. It also doesn't hurt to carry pepper spray."
He tilted his head slightly and crinkled his eyes. "Pepper spray?" he asked uncertainly.
"You know, small can with the press of a button releases a chemical that burns eyes? It pretty much sucks for people who aren't invincible to almost everything. You can't tell me you've never heard of pepper spray." He shook his head, and she could tell he was embarrassed. "Seriously? That's… what do they teach you kids in school these days?"
"I don't go to school. I, uh, know pretty much all that I need to know," he said.
It was her turn to stare at him, confused. "If you don't go to school, what do you do all day?"
"I watch TV or train. There's not much to do where I usually stay," he responded with a shrug.
Lois shook her head and scoffed in disbelief. Really, Clark was keeping this kid hidden away, and for what reason? Did he think that this kid was evil? Or was he just alarmed that someone had taken his DNA? If so, that was no reason whatsoever to push him away. "You don't go out much, then?" she asked.
"Unless we receive an order from Batman, no, I do not go out."
"And so when you're in your little secret hideout, you train and watch TV. Do you train with Clark or do you all have the same trainer?" Lois was just trying to make friendly conversation; if he only did two things, then he would only probably want to talk about one or the other. But as soon as she saw his face fall and watched his hands tighten around the fork, she knew she had hit a nerve.
He didn't answer her, and she didn't prod him any further. He finished the rest of his pancakes in silence. She took up his plate and set it in the sink. He was touchy when anything involving Clark came up, just as Clark was awkward when anything involving Superboy came up. Clark, she knew, couldn't see him as anything other than an invasion of privacy. Superboy probably couldn't see himself as anything other than a disappointment to his genetic match.
What the boy needed was his own identity. Something to separate himself from Clark, and something that would show Superman that Superboy wasn't him.
"Conner," she said as she walked back to her seat. He looked up, his eyes crinkled in the same confused stare he had been giving her almost the whole morning. Lois was grinning widely. "Your name- how about Conner? I think it has quite a good ring to it."
"I don't see why I need-" he started, but was quickly cut off.
"I need to be able to call you something other than Superboy. I mean imagine me calling you Superboy when I take you out to lunch the next time you're in town. So what do you think of Conner?"
His mouth had opened slightly, and the disbelief was evident. She knew he thought she was crazy. "It's okay, I guess," he replied. "What made you think of it?"
"It just seemed to fit you, that's all," she said.
He just accepted her explanation and was still mulling over the name she had bestowed on him when a knock came from the door. "I'll get it," Superboy said, standing.
Lois just shook her head and stood up herself. "You, Conner, are a guest in my humble, uh, abode and shall be treated as such. Anyway, if it's someone I know, it would be way too much trouble to explain why I have a teenaged boy answering my door." Superboy sat, and Lois walked over to the door, opening it to find a green skinned girl with red hair.
"Hello, ma'am. My name is Miss Martian… I'm here to collect my teammate; I was told he was staying in your home."
"He is," Lois said. "Would you like to come inside? He and I were just finishing up breakfast." The girl nodded, and Lois moved aside, letting her walk into the apartment. Lois noted with interest that Conner smiled immediately upon seeing the girl, and his eyes suddenly contained a warmth that she recognized. "What is with you Kryptonians finding people with double letter initials attractive?" she muttered. Clark was especially fond of the double L- Lana Lang, Lois Lane, and (she knew) there were many others. It seemed Conner was partial the double M- Miss Martian.
The girl went immediately to his side. "Are you okay? We were all really worried last night until Batman told us you were with a friend. I know you got hit pretty hard…"
"M'gann," Conner started, "You don't need to worry about me. I'm fine. Ms. Lane was kind enough to let me stay in her apartment. Thank you, by the way," he said, turning his gaze to Lois. "I really appreciate everything."
Lois smiled warmly. "There is really no need to thank me. It pales in comparison to what you did for me, and I still feel like I haven't thanked you enough for last night. Now, you should probably hurry along back to your clubhouse- I wouldn't want to stand in the way of you watching TV and training. But you know, if you ever get bored of those two things, you're welcome here. Metropolis might not be a secret fort, but I hear it has some fun things to do- you know, like movies and malls and whatever else teenagers do these days."
Conner stood, and he and M'gann made their way to the door. He stopped when he heard Lois laugh.
"But hey, the next time you're in town, come find me. We will go out for food and talk some more, okay Conner?"
M'gann looked from Lois to Superboy, clearly puzzled. "Conner?"
"It's my new Earth name as you would call it, Megan," he said.
Realization and understanding swept across her face. Her slightly opened mouth turned into a smile. "I like it!" M'gann proclaimed. "It sounds like you."
Conner smiled, and Lois knew that the name would stick. "Thanks," he responded. "And Lois, I will."
"Good, because if I find out that you were in town and you didn't- Super or not, there will be consequences. Serious. Consequences," she threatened.
He just chuckled and opened the door. M'gann walked out first.
"Oh, and Conner?" He turned to face Lois, who was walking toward him. "Thank you. Thank you for saving me. Thank you for getting me home. And thank you for being yourself around me, I enjoyed talking to you. You're an incredible kid, and you're a great hero. I know that one day, I'll be seeing you in the paper, with some new upstart journalist building her career off of following your heroic and amazing deeds." He looked confused again, but Lois figured that one day, he would get it. She stopped in front of him, and pulled him in for a hug. She felt his body tense and then relax. She let him go, and watched as he walked down the hall to rejoin his teammate. She didn't shut the door, even after they had walked up the stairs.
She liked him a lot. The kid was a born protector, and reminded her so much of Clark. But then again, unlike Clark, he seemed pretty unsure of himself- something which probably wasn't helped by Clark's obvious discomfort. Lois knew, though, that Clark was coming around. She just hoped Clark would come to his senses before Conner decided that he didn't need Superman's approval or didn't want to follow in the path of someone that disliked him. Lois shut the door, and walked back inside.
Sitting on the counter was the red S, the only scrap of Conner's shirt that she had saved. Lois picked it up and stared at it with a smile on her face.
"You'll make a fantastic Superman one day."
A/N: So there's my take on a Superboy acceptance story. I thought it would be interesting for him to meet Lois. Not only would she probably like Superboy, but she could be the extra push Clark needs to see that he's just being ridiculous by not accepting the kid. I also liked the idea of her giving Superboy the name Conner. :D
Review please? Comments and critiques are loved.