Disclaimer: I own nothing, okay, nothing.
Thanks to CampionSayn for Betaing and for continuing to inspire me, without you encouragment I'd never update and I'm sorry for neglecting you lately.
Yes this is Superman/Batman, Clark/Terry and you know what, their cute!
He was perfect.
To the world, for generation upon generation, he had been more than a hero; a savior. He was an idea, he was a symbol, he was something to aspire to. He never faulted in the fight for good; he never hesitated in saving the innocent. He was infallible.
Even the heroes, the immortal morals of past times, stumbled at his feet – at his gentle smile, his sky blue eyes, at his patient understanding. To his peers, he was something different. Not his origin nor his powers, but his wholesome goodness-because inside, he truly believe in human goodness although he wasn't one.
To the fledgling heroes of generation after generation, he was some sort of quasi-uncle; beloved, caring and so very open. Heroes, family, love or life, Kal-El would talk and help in just about anything, happily adopting a 'super-hen' identify to care for the people who become nephews and nieces to him.
In any form, Superman-and Kal-El-was perfect, never faltering or failing in morality.
Clark Kent on the other hand...
Terry could see, clearly and distinctly, what Superman, Kal-El, Kent (whatever you choose to call him) was. He saw the unwavering symbol of justice, law and order. He saw the agony uncle, the trainer and counselor of Earth's future protectors. He laughed because while Kent was many thing, "perfect" was not one.
He was so human, for such an alien. He saw, after his naive, hero-worshipping –"he's Superman!" - was shattered at the north pole – no, when he first realized Superman hadn't just betrayed the world, the League, but Terry's belief in him. He saw what Kent really was, what Bruce had seen and what he had liked in just an alien. He saw Kent and forgave him, for betraying them, for failing to be infallible. He forgave him for all the pain Terry felt when he tried to kill him and from conflict when Terry was ordered to stop him, however necessary. He forgave, but he didn't forget.
He saw the confusion, the heart wrenching sorrow in the black and white. He saw rage, bubbling beneath the surface when someone was hurt. Tasted the prejudice in the air when they dealt with Apokolips. The frustration when things were unbearably slow. For all his kindness and affections, the things that struck Batman the most was how similar Clark was to the rest of the world – he felt anger, rage, grief, suffering, prejudice and frustration but he rarely let it influence him, never let it control him.
That was what made him perfect.
A smile touched his lips as he leant back. It wasn't a kind smile, but a rather sarcastic, sardonic one, the sort that was more about laughing at you than with you. It was a Gotham smile and he was Batman.
Kal-El blinked as the last of the 'Big Seven' left, Merina as well, and he turned to discover that Batman was still causally draped over a chair. The full bodysuit, deep black and the splash of red might have been Bruce's uniform but Bruce would never have ever so casually sat with one leg over an arm, the rest of his body falling over the other. So teenager-ish and unprofessional... but Kal had seen Terry move from that pose straight into full battle mode in seconds, so maybe it didn't matter.
He only did it to piss of the rest of the League anyway.
"Where are my wise words of advice, Clark? Don't you love me too?" The boy – no, the man pouted childishly and pretended to be upset. Clark grinned, locking the door behind him as he stepped back into the room.
"You know I love you – Merina was simply...conflicted."
Terry snorted, "Conflicted? Either she asks Rex out or she stays single, the man is surprisingly good at missing subtle hints. Like someone else I know." He pretended to examine his nails (although, it might just be his claws) as he spouted off in an indifferent voice.
"Are you sure it's not just you prejudice talking?" Clark sat down, in the same seat he had sat in for forty or so years. Terry sat up straighter, offended.
"My feelings for Rex aren't the subject matter here – I know that man-he's hot-headed, quick to judge and oblivious to anything that's not five times bigger than it should be. He couldn't see that Merina likes him if she smiles an inch from his nose." Which she does everyday anyhow.
Clark smiled and the daring hint of a Gotham grin would have shocked anyone. But Terry didn't miss the small flash of red at the word 'feelings' in his eyes. "I was talking about your history with Merina, not your fights with Rex."
Terry rolled his eyes, though Clark couldn't see it behind the mask, "Oh? I thought you'd heard from Danny that apparently me and Rex's aggression comes from the fact we aren't willing to admit to liking each other. My bad." He said flippantly, settling back into the chair. Kal-El didn't say anything right off, his face rather bland.
In the end he managed to sent off a diplomatic, "Really?" without sounding like he was at all affected. Terry noted, amused, that Clark's eyes tended to change color, subtly, when he was angry, otherwise he might have been a tad more than offended and hurt by his colleague's indifference.
Terry tilted his head to the side, "Really? Personally I don't know what she's talking about – I mean I don't think I like Rex, and I don't think he likes me, at all, really." He paused, "Right? We fight a lot but that doesn't mean anything other than that we disagree." Clark made a rather strangled noise, his ears a pale pink.
Batman merely hummed in a low tune, and continued his verbal monologue, debating whether or not Danny might know something he didn't – whether nor not anything with Rex might work. He didn't look at Kal-El-who sat silently and listened to every word-he didn't stop to ask or to listen to Clark, but the man didn't interrupt at all. Simply stood and suffered until his eyes had a sharp red glint and his ears were a deep red, his shaking hands were hidden in the folds of his cape and his lips pressed together so tightly they would snap steel.
"...so do you think I should ask him out?" Terry was suddenly looking at him expectantly. Clark swallowed, his mouth dry and empty. Funny, he's listened to others ask him various varieties of that question and he's never found himself lost for words. Or with the need to hit something.
"I-I believe Merina is planning to ask Rex out, Terry." He started, his voice steady and smooth.
Terry looked amused, starting out of his seat, "I suppose I should hurry then, if I want to beat her..."
The man put his hand on the table and leant forwards, his face within inches of Clark's, half looming over him, "Right Clark?" His breath, warm and rich, a perfect blend, washed over Clark like a cat's purr.
"No." Simple, possessive and dark. "Don't ask him out."
A smile, pure and happy, stretched over Terry's face, shifting the mask. "Oh? Why not?"
Clark growled, reaching up to run his thumb over Terry's cheek.
"Jealous?" The younger man teased lightly.
Terry kissed him softly, enjoying the feeling of Clark tracing his jaw line. They pulled back and embarrassment graced Clark's face as he brushed a silvery lock out of his lined face.
"This isn't right," he muttered, leaning his head against Terry's.
"You love me, of course this is right." Annoyance laced his voice as the all too familiar argument threatened to start all over again.
Guilt flickered over his face like a shadow, "Your father would kill me." He whispered.
"Bruce doesn't decide what I do, if he has a problem he can shut up and deal with it." Terry ran a gloved hand over Clark's face; the man shivered and leant into it. "He won't care, Clark; I can look out for myself." A small kiss on his forehead.
"I don't want to betray him, Terry; he's one of my best friends." But I care about you too much.
Terry tilted he head to the side, his breath ghosting over his face, "How is this betraying him Clark? I love you."
One kiss and the issue was forgotten…for now.
No, Superman might be too symbolic to be flawed and Kal-El too good to be wrong, but Clark Kent had more than few human flaws – and Terry enjoyed being one of them.
Please tell me what you think!