by: Vampira Maxwell
Disclaimer: I do not own Young Justice or any of the characters therein. I am not making profit or gain from this fanfiction.
Beta'd by: XXXMystery
Dedicated: To my friend Tabitha. One of our role plays inspired the training aspect of this fic.
Superboy was doing his best to learn what Black Canary was teaching him. They usually worked inside, that's what their training area was for, but this time they were doing some stuff outside. Mostly to give a bit more of a real-world simulation. Outside, the ground would crater beneath Conner if he fell or jumped with too much force. Outside, he had to account for the elements, which could easily throw off an attack or misdirect a projectile. But, mainly it was the earth that Canary wanted to utilize right now.
Conner still hadn't learned that creating miniature earthquakes and large craters in the ground was not good for all of their missions. Especially stealth missions and he'd already shown that he wasn't above creating that much noise and disruption during such missions. He had to learn not just the importance of stealth, but also how to be stealthy.
It wasn't easy for him. He was a clone of Superman and he'd never been meant for such things. He was meant to be a hard-hitting weapon. Being able to land quietly, without leaving a trace of his presence behind afterward, was not something he'd been created with in mind.
This didn't mean he couldn't learn it, though. Canary had a soft spot for him and was glad that he was now willing to learn and try his hardest. He was serious and he'd already gotten better. Those craters weren't as large as they once were...
A fair distance away Superman was quietly standing by a tree, watching the practice taking place. He was impressed with Superboy's drive and determination, with his commitment to learning and getting better at what he did. He was actually shaping up to be a pretty good teammate for everyone. He had had major doubts about that from the beginning. He was glad that he'd been proven wrong.
Ordinarily, Conner's heightened senses would have been able to pick up on Superman's whereabouts, especially since he was so close. But, he'd managed to turn down the volume on the sounds that didn't matter, and he wasn't concentrating on looking for anyone who was not Black Canary. Superman knew this because whenever Superboy picked up on his presence, he immediately tensed up these days and went back to his old bad attitude, silent and angry and aloof. He'd stop whatever he was doing and leave, no matter what adult was there with him.
"You should try to talk to him when he's done." the deep voice came from behind Clark, actually startling him a little. Apparently, he'd been so engrossed in watching Conner that he hadn't bothered to notice Bruce sneaking up on him. Damn ninja training...
"I don't think that's a good idea. He hates the sight of me."
"Only because you act like he's poison." Bruce commented, for once giving a candid and straight answer.
"I do not act like he's poison."
Bruce didn't comment.
"I'm sure when he's done he'll want to go inside." Clark continued.
"You are allowed in there, you know." Bruce reminded.
Clark turned to glare at him. He'd been doing that a lot lately. It didn't seem to intimidate Bruce the slightest bit.
"It's not too late." Bruce said, ignoring the glare. "He just wants a father figure he can look up to."
"I'm not his father." Clark said, firmly, almost angrily.
"And, I'm not Robin's father, but that doesn't stop me from treating him like my son."
"At least you got to choose."
Bruce bit his tongue on a sarcastic remark about victimhood and childishness.
"You have the same abilities that he does. You have abilities now that he's going to acquire later, even if he isn't aware that he will. But, I guess when the time comes Diana can pick up your slack and teach him how to control his flying abilities." okay, so Bruce wasn't entirely above the sarcastic remarks. He was getting sick of this attitude of Clark's. This was not Conner's fault anymore than it was Clark's fault. Blaming the boy was not fair and, it was not right.
"That's a low blow." Clark said, indignantly.
"He thinks you hate him." Bruce said.
"I don't hate him..."
"He thinks he's not good enough and that's why you treat him like he's made of kryptonite."
"I've never once said anything like that to him. Why would he think that?"
"Its not my place to say. Maybe you should ask him." Bruce suggested.
Clark glared, not at all amused at the attempt at psychology.
The training session was obviously ending now and both superheroes stood silently, watching as Canary patted Superboy on the back. She smiled, obviously telling him he'd done good, and then giving him tips on how to practice until their next similar session. It was how she worked, plus Clark could hear it.
When Dinah left and Conner was putting his shirt back on after having taken it off to train, he started to head inside only to be intercepted by Robin who had been watching and was congratulating him on a job well done and offering help if he ever wanted it during practice on his own.
As they watched, Kid Flash came out to do the same in his own slightly obnoxious but oddly endearing way. And to mention that dinner was ready. That boy was always hungry.
"Then again, maybe I was wrong." Bruce said with a shrug as he turned away.
"What do you mean?" Clark asked, blinking and looking away from the happy scene.
"Maybe, he really doesn't need you anymore."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Bruce was taking a lot of time out of his days and nights to lecture him on this and now he was saying he'd changed his mind?
"Maybe...you missed your chance." he elaborated as he walked away.
Clark frowned as he thought that over, turning once again to look at the teenagers. All he found was empty space; they'd already gone inside. Even Conner, without so much as acknowledging his presence.