Title: Seventeen Times Superman Asked Batman Out
Author: Takebuo Ishimatsu
Pairing(s): Superman/Batman, obviously ;)
Summary: …And one time Batman said maybe. Written for Help_Japan for ilovetobefree.
AN: Yes, I realize that HJ was almost a year ago. This is SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUPER late. I'm so sorry. -_-0
AN2: I used strikethrough & then realized that FF doesn't support it, so anything that should be striked out is read as *strikethrough*blah*strikethrough.* Sorry for the ugliness.
Despite what some others might think of his usual naiveté, it had never escaped Clark's notice that what he and Bruce shared was just a little on the side of odd.
While other couples spent their time going to movies and delving into extreme sports, they preferred visiting crime scenes (when Bruce wasn't snarling at him to get the hell out of his city) and throwing each other through walls (in the name of training, of course).
While other couples gave each other pet-names and looked for exciting new ways to express their love to one another, they threatened each other with bodily harm at some of the more…creative pseudonyms they'd come up with and searched for new subjects to argue about before the old ones got too stale.
While other couples enjoyed making love all through the night and then snuggling all through the day…well, the sex part was rather nice for them as well, but it was a miracle if Clark could get Bruce to rest comfortably in his arms for more than five minutes before trying to shove him out of bed with a gruff, "Don't you have some falling damsel to catch?" (Luckily, Bruce's attempts were usually quite unsuccessful, considering he wasn't all that easy to move when he didn't feel like moving. He'd only fallen face-first on the floor three or four times.)
And, while other couples regaled their families and friends with fond memories of their numerous dates and overall time spent together, they had the "17 Times Superman Asked Batman Out on a Date and One Time Batman Said Maybe" list taped to one of the dinosaur legs in the Batcave.
He still wasn't entirely certain why Dick had placed it there after so many years of watching the "drama" unfold, but he had a feeling it had something to do with the "demon child" and the phrase "Patience is a virtue."
1) Superman asks Batman out to dinner and a movie and *strikethrough*sex*strikethrough* coffee.
Perhaps the truest example of Clark's Boy Scout nature was the fact that the first time he'd asked Batman out, he'd really only intended it as friends. Co-workers, even, if you went by Bruce's definition of their relationship at the time.
He'd thought that the odd look the other Leaguers had given him was due to the fact that he'd actually had the guts to ask Batman if he wanted to spend some of his precious time on something other than fighting super-villains, analyzing how to best fight super-villains, training his Robin to fight super-villains and generally improving himself in order to fight more super-villains.
It hadn't occurred to him until much later that asking another man to dinner and a movie, with unintended innuendoes for what they could do afterwards, was really a rather awkward situation waiting to happen.
Over a decade later and still no one believed he'd only been implying that they could go get a late coffee after Godzilla.
2) Superman insults Batman's team and manages to invite him to a game in the process.
The second time Clark had asked Bruce for a little bit of his time, he'd made certain that his intent was clear and that Bruce had no doubts as to whether he was asking him on a "man date" or a "I want to do naughty things to you afterwards" kind of date. Even if he did admit to himself that the idea of the latter wasn't as unappealing as it should have been.
So, two weeks after the first failed attempt found Clark casually mentioning to the other man that he'd won tickets to the epic Metropolis/Gotham showdown. After which he'd not-so-subtlety added that the Sharks were certain to kick the Knights' butts for the third time in a row and wouldn't it be nice to have someone with him for the wonderful moment?
Bruce had tensed at the insult to his city's team, narrowed his eyes dangerously at him, and then simply turned back to his computer with a muttered, "That's unlikely."
Clark had left with a sigh, knowing the conversation was over. He'd made his way back to the Planet, where he'd asked Lois to go with him instead.
Which, of course, turned out to be one of the worst ideas he'd ever had. Even knowing Lois, he hadn't expected her to be quite so…vocal during the game. However, knowing Lois, he wasn't surprised that they'd managed to get themselves kicked out when he'd allowed her to talk him into trying to sneak into the locker rooms for some exclusives.
3) Superman asks Batman to a movie (again) but this time without the dinner and *strikethrough*sex*strikethrough* coffee.
The third time he'd asked him out had been more of an attempt to insult Luther than an actual try, made during the heat of the moment while in the midst of a battle of epic proportions: the Justice League versus the Injustice League. Or, as Flash would say, during an average Tuesday afternoon.
He'd mentioned going to see a movie after they kicked the others' butts; perhaps something with a little action since the Injustice League didn't seem able to provide it.
Joker had immediately chimed in that "Batsy" could do so much better than "all buff and no gruff" and had instead recommended a threesome between the two and Harley. Then he'd added that he could even "bring the kid for a little extra fun" and the Dark Knight had hit him hard enough in the face to knock him out for four hours.
Needless to say, Bruce had driven off without giving Clark an answer, and he'd instead spent the night with Flash after the younger man had awkwardly asked if his invitation had been an open one.
It'd been an enjoyable occasion, if not the one he would have chosen, even if Wally's wife still had pictures of them drooling on each other in their costumes when they'd fallen asleep on the couch ten minutes into the film.
4) *strikethrough*Superman invites Batman and Robin to an amusement park.*strikethrough*
*strikethrough*Superman uses an impressionable young child to get into Father's pants. *strikethrough*
See first line.
His fourth invitation for Bruce had come in the form of a hyper child in green panties after Clark had hinted to the boy during a combined Superman/Batman mission (with a side of Robin) that it'd be nice for the three of them to go to some sort of amusement park together. Something, you know, normal for a change.
Bruce had told the child that, as much as he'd just love to hang out with "Uncle Clark," he had important things to do (unlike some people) and that his little Robin was free to go with the Boy Scout if he wanted to.
Dick had "whooped," Clark had sighed, and Bruce had given the Man of Steel a look that told him he might as well not bother coming back at all if he didn't return with his ward safe and happy.
Of course, as luck would have it, Dick had been temporarily kidnapped by sexual predators for a few hours, but had returned himself unharmed to the frazzled Kryptonian's care after kicking their butts.
To this day he still didn't dare tell Bruce.
5) Superman asks Batman out to lunch.
By the fifth time he'd asked Bruce out on a "date," he'd come to expect the rejection and honestly would have been shocked if the other man had said yes at the time. However, by that time, he'd started to consider it a bit of a challenge and had harbored no illusions of Bruce not considering it the same. And he did so love challenges.
So he'd asked Bruce to try out the new diner with him, the one at the corner, just outside of the Gotham precinct, and the Bat had said no.
He'd been disappointed by the rejection, but he'd found himself smiling anyway.
6) Superman kidnaps Batman in the hopes that romance will ensue.
*strikethrough*In other words, the alien is not to be trusted. *strikethrough* (Sorry Clark, you know how he is.)
The sixth time Clark asked Batman out on a "date," things hadn't quite gone to plan.
In fact, if someone had asked him at the time to rate the interaction on a scale of one-to-ten, with ten being the absolute worst, he probably would have just said it was "apocalyptically disastrous" and left it at that.
Let's just say that pulling Bruce out of bed at the "ungodly" hour of noon with bold-faced lies of giant caterpillars and a possible Braniac infection hadn't been his brightest plans to date.
Especially considering he'd then had to fly the man back to Gotham in awkward silence after a rejected lunch invitation.
Still, he did feel it prudent to point out to Lois while retelling the story later that the man hadn't brought out the Kryptonite, so he supposed it wasn't the worst thing that could have happened. Granted, they'd been in the middle of the Fortress garden and there'd been no Kryptonite around…
7) The world will never know…
(Actually, I was just going to ask him if he had time to help me on a case).—S
(You should have said so.)—B
(You didn't give me the chance!)—S
*strikethrough*Clearly the alien lacks persistence. *strikethrough* See rest of list!
8) Superman invites Batman to breakfast. Batman says no. So Superman invites himself instead.
The eighth time around, Clark had felt he was a little more conscientious of Bruce's tastes and personal obligations. He'd made certain to make sure his invitation was a reasonable one that the Dark Knight couldn't dismiss off-hand due to lack of sleep or a need to patrol.
Of course, it didn't stop the man from turning down his request for a private breakfast date, even one at such a reasonable time, i.e., three o'clock in the afternoon, but it did at least earn him the right of not being forcibly removed from the premises when he'd shown up anyway.
Then again, the coffee pot he'd threatened to take with him might have had something to do with that.
9) Superman asks for Batman's help on patrol. *strikethrough*And Bruce conveniently "forgets" to mention that he had a conference in India that night. *strikethrough*
Alfred didn't tell me until the last moment.
Indeed, I'm certain that's exactly how it happened, Master Bruce.
The ninth time Clark had tried to get Bruce to go somewhere with him had been somewhat of a success.
That is, if one considered "success" being the billionaire falsely agreeing to see him and then sending his son in his place.
"So, the Boss says I'm supposed to 'patrol' with you," Robin said, making air quotes around the word, "until he gets back or until you decide you don't really need our help as much as you thought you did."
Clark sighed. "Something came up?"
"Weeeeeeeell…" Robin shrugged and gave him a smirk that was almost contemplating being innocent.
Clark sighed again.
"I know, I know. I'm not exactly the World's Greatest Detective, but if you need any car's tires jacked, I'm your man," Robin said, trying to lighten the mood.
Clark smirked, "I can think of one car in particular."
The boy gave him a cocky smile, "Piece of cake."
10) Superman gives Batman a kitten in the hopes of bringing about world peace. (Or something like that.)
Clark's tenth invitation had come in the form of a small black kitten named Tomato, whom he'd unceremoniously set down in the broody man's lap in the Batcave.
Unsurprisingly, Bruce hadn't been amused and had demanded he remove the furry little creature immediately or face his unending wrath.
Clark had steadfastly refused at the time, insisting that if Batman wouldn't ever go with any of his fellow heroes to the numerous charities they'd been invited to, the least he could do was watch the animal Clark had been entrusted with by the Humane Society of America when Superman did.
He'd not-so-subtly thrown in there after that that if Bruce went with him to the World Peace Convention that night, then he supposed he'd have to give the kitten to someone else to watch instead.
Bruce had given him the Raised Eyebrow of DOOM in response, and promptly turned back to his computer and proceeded to ignore him for the rest of the hour until Clark had finally had to leave for the convention.
As far as the goddamn Batman went, Clark still felt Bruce had taken his invitation rather well.
11) Catwoman asks Batman for some alone time. But not really.
If Clark had known how much trouble that little kitten was later going to cause, he would have seriously rethought "giving" him to Bruce. He probably still would have done it anyway since Bruce's permanently affronted look which he'd worn for an entire week after the fact had been hilarious. But he would have rethought it.
As it had turned out, the Batman liked cats well enough, just so long as they weren't scurrying around his chair while trying to jump on top of his computer in order get the bats down off the cave ceiling. So, the Dark Knight had called in an old "friend" and had handed over Mr. Fluffy Cuteasabutton (as renamed by Bart) to Selena Kyle.
Of course, as luck would have it, BatCat (as renamed by Tim) had scampered over to try and catch Clark's cape when he'd arrived at that exact moment to ask Bruce if he wanted to see a hockey game with him. The little furball had managed to knock over one of Bruce's chemical vials onto Selena, which then reacted with a rare Egyptian cat artifact she'd "liberated" from a museum earlier that day.
When the smoke had settled, the room had contained Batman, Krypto the Second (as renamed by Conner), Catwoman and Superman. Or, Superman and Catwoman, seeing as they'd somehow managed to switch bodies.
Bruce had sighed and looked to the heavens as if asking "Why me?" Sir Arthur John Gielgud (as renamed by Alfred) had also looked up, but Clark figured the little guy had still been trying to figure out how to get to the yummy-looking creatures that were nested up there.
Running a hand through his (her?) hair, Clark had jokingly asked Bruce if he wanted to go to a hockey game with him now.
The Dark Knight had actually given him a slightly considering look before stating, while looking in Selena's direction, that he his "preferences rested elsewhere."
The woman had snorted at that and it hadn't been until months later that Clark had realized the man hadn't been talking about superheroes and villians.
12) Superman attempts to serenade Batman and melts Superboy's brain in the process.
*strikethrough*You assume he had one in the first place. *strikethrough*
What have we said about playing nice with others?
Don't patronize me Grayson unless you wish to awaken one day without a spleen.
What have we said about threatening to take people's organs while they sleep?
The twelfth time Clark had asked Bruce out had been interesting, to say the least. He'd been hopped up on some strange dust that a visiting dignitary from Zaxipron 7 had sprinkled on his head as a sign respect. As luck would have it, he'd had some sort of allergic reaction to the dust and had ended up feeling rather…lovestruck.
Unable to control himself, literally, he'd sped away from the room and in a heartbeat had been outside Bruce's window, singing about how he wanted to walk with him under the moonlight (never mind that it'd been nine in the morning) and wouldn't he please fly away with him?
Lady Luck had seemed to only marginally hate him that day since Bruce hadn't actually been home and thus hadn't seen when his song involving "Batman" and "toucans" and a "love fan" had morphed into a rather racy rendition of "I Love You Always Forever."
Unfortunately, Connor hadn't gotten it quite so good from the dear Lady and thus had come to one of the manor's windows with a look of abstract horror on his face.
Clark had turned his attention away from his own singing long enough to hear Tim shuffle up behind the other boy and murmur drowsily that if he ever dared to wake him up at nine in the morning with lewd bellows of love, he'd better have flowers with him made out of "fucking rainbows."
Connor had all but whined, "I hate my life," in response.
Clark had only sung louder after that.
13) Superman asks Batman to dinner, gets stood up, and then gets asked back in return.
Why must you interfere in Father's love-life, Grayson? It is clear he is not interested.
Of course he's interested! He's just a grumpy, broody, para/
(Hmm…the rest of the note looks to have been scribbled out by someone else.)
The thirteenth time Clark had tried to ask Bruce out, had been one of his more romantic attempts, if not one of the more basic ones. He'd left a box of Valentine's candy on his desk by the Batcomputer with a simple note asking, "Dinner?"
As usual, he hadn't actually expected a response, let alone a yes, and so he he'd been both surprised and not when Batgirl showed up to his apartment instead.
"Hey, Supes, just wanted to stop by and say thanks for the chocolate."
"Oh?" he answered almost absentmindedly while stirring his stew. "He gave them to you?" He wasn't bothered by the news, though he'd been expecting the Bat to give them to Dick or Alfred. He'd have to ask what Stephanie's favorite kind was just in case for next time. Or, maybe he'd just get a deluxe mix box and be done with it.
"Actually, Dinah swiped them and gave them to Ollie. I guess she'd forgotten to get him something."
Clark smiled and shook his head. Oliver was definitely the romantic one of that relationship.
"So you came all the way to Metropolis to say thanks for a box of candy that wasn't meant for you and which you got none of anyway?" he asked, confused.
"Actually, I came all the way to Metropolis to see Kara, no offense."
Clark nodded, a knowing smile gracing his face. It seemed all the Supers but him were having good luck with thatfamily.
"Aaaaaaand Dick asked me to give you his while I was here," she added, holding out a fancy white envelope.
"Oh?" Clark looked through the envelope with his X-Ray vision, just in case it was a private matter. He blinked at what was inside.
"An invitation to the annual Valentine's Day gala? I thought reporters weren't allowed?" Clark asked, knowing that the rich and famous had routinely shut out all others for this special day, hoping to find love without hundreds of watching eyes. Really, the whole thing was like a big match-making party.
"They're not. But, Clark Kent, the man that Dick Grayson, Bruce Wayne's ward, supposedly owes a favor to, has been given a special exception."
Clark nodded, noticing the girl's emphasis. If the richest man in the United States, and then some, said it was fine with him, then it was fine with everyone else, no questions asked.
Actually, just one question.
"Dick owes me a favor?"
Batgirl shrugged, "Probably not, but you certainly owe him one now. Have fun, big guy!"
Before she could dart out the window, Clark called out to her, "Wait!" She gave him a questioning look.
"Might as well not let it go to waste," he said, holding out the soup that he'd speed-scooped into a large carrying bowl.
The girl gave him a thankful smile and Clark couldn't help but feel proud of both girls for finding someone so wonderful to fill their lives. Now, if only he could get his own…
He hummed as he went to his closet to find one of his better suits.
14) Superman takes advantage of Dick's awesome invitation to put some moves on Batman after the party.
The fourteenth time he'd tried to ask Bruce out had come the morning directly after attempt number thirteen. After a night of quiet conversations hidden away from the rest of the guests and even a private dance in one of the manor's empty rooms, which Bruce absolutely refused to admit he'd enjoyed, Clark had been invited to stay the night by Alfred. The elderly man had claimed it was much too late for "poor Mr. Kent" to walk home by himself.
The detective had given both of them an unimpressed look but hadn't pointed out that there was no "walking" involved when it came to "poor Mr. Kent." And, so Clark had found himself in one of the manor's extra rooms. Which had just so conveniently happened to be located right across from Bruce's. Apparently, Alfred had been cleaning all 28 others and they weren't available at the time.
The next morning Clark had decided to be daring and do something his mother probably wouldn't approve of if she ever found out.
He'd snuck into the other man's room, though he seriously doubted Bruce hadn't noticed his entrance, and boldly asked the man if he'd enjoy a moment of his company.
Bruce had popped his head up from one of his pillows, given him a bleary-eyed once-over, full of serious contemplation, and then snuggled back down with a mumbled "nocturnal" something or other.
Clark had just sighed and wandered downstairs to help Alfred in the kitchen.
15) Superman just gets bolder by the day!
In other words, the alien forces himself upon Father's person in a horribly failed attempt to woo him.
I wouldn't necessarily say it failed, Little D, considering the eventual outcome…
For the last time, DO NOT CALL ME SUCH RIDICULOUS PET NAMES, GRAYSON!
You're cute when you rage, in a homicidal demon sort of way.
Upon reflection, years afterwards, Clark was fairly certain that pushing Bruce up against the wall in the Watchtower cafeteria and ravaging his mouth had been one of his more "likely to get him shanked with an artificially rusty Kryptonite fork" plans. Especially considering the, you know, people eating in there at the time.
At least it'd gotten him a mumbled something about "party…not pussy-footing around anymore" as the man had stalked off.
Or he could have been reciting the word "Kryptonite" in every one of the million-odd languages the man knew. It'd been kind of hard to hear over the rush of excited, "You owe me twenty bucks."
"So, how'd it go?" Oracle asked through Clark's JLA comm-link.
He smirked, "Well, he didn't send me crashing through the salad bar, so I suppose you could consider it a success."
"It actually worked then!" Clark smiled at the sudden appearance of Dick's voice over the link.
"Of course it did, despite all of his own hiding and sometimes outright deception, the Boss has always appreciated bluntness in others. Granted, I calculated that there was a 72-percent chance he might castra-"
"Yeah, yeah, we get it," Stephanie's voice came on, over-riding Tim's voice before he could continue. Clark frowned.
"Move over, I need to add this development to the files," Tim huffed, the sounds of him trying to shove someone(s) out of the way coming clear over the link. Clark's frown just deepened.
"Tell Dick to move!" Stephanie replied.
"Nope," Dick said.
There was an annoyed sigh, "Why don't you just sit in my lap, Mr. Green Panties? Let Tim have the chair."
"Why, Babs, I never thought you'd ask!"
Clark shook his head and turned his comm-link to a different channel. As much as he loved that family, he did worry about them sometimes. Especially if they thought they could hide secret love files on from Bruce on the man's own computer.
16) Superman faces Broody #2 in a fight for love!
I am not broody, Grayson.
The sixteenth time Clark had asked Bruce out had been…awkward, to say the least.
He'd entered the cave with a pie, in hopes of blatantly bribing Bruce to go see the upcoming meteor shower with him. Unfortunately, Bruce had been in the middle of a glaring contest with a boy about half his size while Alfred calmly held a tea tray nearby. Clark had wondered at the time if perhaps the old man wanted to be a witness if either one suddenly went missing.
Bruce looked at him after a moment, before shaking his head. Clark sighed and set the pie down on the computer desk.
"If you would be so kind as to take that up to the kitchen, Master Damian?"
"Ttt. Make Father do it. I require some words with…Superman."
Bruce and Alfred shared a look before the Dark Knight nodded and did as he was asked.
Damian walked around Clark with a sneer on his face, clearly unimpressed with what he saw.
"So, you are the one that Grayson has been telling me is trying to woo Father," before Clark could respond the boy continued, "You will put a stop to your nonsense immediately."
Clark couldn't help but smile, despite the words. The boy was a little rough around the edges, but definitely the son of the goddamn Batman.
"And why must I stop, if I may ask?" he'd replied, trying to keep the amusement out of his voice.
Damian's gaze traveled to the safe that Bruce kept the Kryptonite in and Clark wondered if he was about to threaten him, before the boy simply responded with, "Because you are not worthy of him."
Damian gave him a narrowed-eyed look and Clark continued, "But neither is anyone else. So, I figure, it might as well be me."
He'd given the boy a very Clark Kent shrug and had flown off after that.
17) Superman asks Batman to breakfast and Batman says…maybe.
The last time Clark had asked Bruce out had been shortly after the man had returned from the "dead."
"The sun's coming up," Clark said unnecessarily, knowing that it was close to time for the other man to head to bed. He didn't want to leave Bruce. Not after…
"We could get some breakfast?" he asked, his voice almost pitiful even to his own ears.
"No. I have to meet up with Selena. We have a few kinks to work out for Batman, Inc. And I'm not available for lunch either," Bruce added the last part as he saw Clark's mouth opening again.
"Of course," Clark murmured in return, staring at the arising sun; one of the few beings on Earth that could do so without risking blindness.
Clark turned to look at him, eyes wide.
"I promised Dick I'd go back to Gotham tonight. Things have changed, since Darkseid," he turned to look at Clark, "I've come to realize that I didn't spend enough time with those that are important to me when I had the chance. I'd like to change that."
Clark gave the other man an amused look, "Even Damian?"
Clark snorted and Bruce smirked.
"I'd want to spend some time with my family right now, but after that…," Bruce shrugged, "maybe."
"Maybe," Clark repeated, his voice just barely above a whisper.
Clark's gaze shifted back towards the sun, a true smile blossoming on his face.
After twenty-six years of "no" and one year of complete silence, he supposed he could live with that.
AN: So, in case anyone doesn't get it, all of the extra stuff on the numbers is other people writing on Dick's list of awesome Super/Bat romance. :)
Let me know what you think!
P.S. Yes, I am working on "We Meet Again"…slowly. So very slowly.