The night after the expo Laura and Clark were walking the streets. Both were kind of relieved since it got them away from the institute. Laura has sensitive ears and Clark's superhearing makes it hard to avoid hearing other people talk about them. Clark looks up and sees where Laura took him. He's not exactly surprised.
"I thought you said you were 18?" Clark asked.
Laura rolled her eyes. "I am, but a card in my wallet says Linda Lee Danvers is 21."
Clark looked her in the eyes and sees she's waiting for a response. "It will go nice with the one in my wallet that says Caleb Turner is 24." Clark never throws away good memories and as much as he hates to admit he actually has a couple happy memories from his Kal rampage in Metropolis. They go into the bar and Laura greets an elderly man with white hair in sunglasses.
"Hey Stan is my usual table open?" Laura asked.
Stan chuckled. "Linda you know I have that table open for you at all time in the back."
"So you two know each other." Clark said since it was pretty obvious.
Laura nodded. "I broke up a barfight a few months back."
Stan hands them a pitcher of beer and two glasses. Clark goes to pay but he stops them. "First pitcher is on me."
Laura smiled genuinely grateful. "Stan's nice he gives a free pitcher to new mutants or friends of them."
Laura and Clark went to the back and saw a pool table laid out specifically for them as Laura sets it up. "Do you play?"
"Yeah I know how to play." Clark replied as Laura took her shot and sunk two solid balls on break.
Black Widow is at work on the helicarrier she kind of wishes she was with Clint right now. There wasn't much to do for Stark except play secretary and beat up some overpaid security guards. She sees one of Shield's classified flags go up and sighs. Well at least she won't be here to feed Wilson.
She brings up the file and groans of all the stupid things. "Bozhe Moi. Colonel Fury we have a problem."
Fury enters the room and turns to the Black Widow. "Is something wrong Agent Romanov?"
"It's Mr. Green... he's state side." Natasha replied.
Fury rubbed his head. "Well at least the other guy hasn't showed up. See if you can find him before Thunderbolt does."
Clark and Laura were at the end of their first game as Laura bends over to sink the 8 ball while Clark still has 2 striped balls left. Clark stares at her she came out dressed wonderfully for the evening denim jacket and jeans black shoes and a grey wife beater showing her belly button. Clark watches as she sinks the 8 ball.
Laura smiled at it she won the first round. "Jacket please."
"What?" Clark asked genuinely confused they're not outside and she's already wearing one.
"You said you knew the rules you lost now hand over the jacket." Laura replied. "Unless you didn't know what we were playing."
Clark had a wry smile and took off his jacket. "Actually this isn't my first game of strip pool."
Laura rolled her eyes. "I believe you."
Clark just stared at her. "But I'm serious."
"No, no, I'm sure this is your millionth game of strip pool." Laura assured him.
Clark looked her square in the eyes. "Third"
Laura looked at him a crooked smile realizing he wasn't joking. "I never would have guessed."
Clark nodded. "Well for what it's worth I never actually finished one. I always stopped when I lost my shirt."
Laura looked at him. "Too scared"
"No, I had this big nasty burn scar courtesy of my father, would have raised too many questions if any of the girls had seen it." Clark replied.
"Do you still have it?" Laura asked.
Clark smiled and shook his head. "You'll have to beat me to find out."
Laura just looked at the table. "Your break"
Clark took a shot and Laura quietly gulped when he sunk 3 striped balls on break.
Professor Xavier entered Cerebro to see how the mutant population is doing. However he sees that someone else is using it for far less noble purposes.
"Do you really think Logan would appreciate you using Cerebro for something as petty as spying on his daughter?" Charles asked.
"Probably not but I'm protecting one of my students." Emma replied.
Charles looked at her sternly. "They are both your students Ms. Frost."
"She'll never be one of mine. She doesn't belong here Charles and you know it." Emma insisted.
Charles didn't budge. "Laura is welcome here just as much as any other mutant. And to point a fact you have done far worse in your hellfire days."
Emma rolled her eyes and removed the helmet. "The difference is I chose to stop she literally can't. I don't want to bury another group of students because of her and your naïve streak."
"I've said all I'm going to say." Charles responded as he moved to Cerebro.
Laura listened as Clark explained all about his red K bender which was pretty messed up and she agrees about it in the end Jor El is pretty much a genius in book smarts but an idiot in sense but Clark had his moments too so he wasn't without blame which he admits during the stones incident. However with the story she is distracted from the game as Clark sinks the 8 ball literally beating the pants off her. Laura rolls her eyes and drops her jeans leaving her in nothing but wifebeater, bra, and underwear. She's still winning though Clark is down to Jeans and underwear. She has to admit this has turned into a fun night but she also rolls her eyes smelling bourbon and cigars. She downs the last of the beer her and Clark can't get dunk anyway and takes one last look at Clark sans shirt.
"Put your clothes back on. We're going to have sleazy company." Laura warned.
Stan watched as seven men entered with combat jackets each a familiar strap on their arms that says FOH. "What can I do for you?"
"We heard there were mutants here,"
"What's a mutant?" Stan asked playing naïve, seriously who ever heard of a mutant.
One of them grabbed him by the collar and pulled him face to face. "Listen old man we'll burn this place to the ground now where are they?"
Laura and Clark emerge from the backroom. "Seven people against one old man didn't realize you were such a badass Stan." Laura said not taking her eyes off the friends of humanity.
"Well we all have our secrets." Stan quipped.
The man dropped Stan and walked to Laura recognizes her as one. "Get out of here we don't want your kind in our city freak. What gives you the right?"
"And what gives animals like you the right to bomb a bus full of kids?" Laura asked as she popped her claws.
"They weren't human." The man replied. "And we're proud of Father Jones for what he did. Your kind sure as hell isn't normal normal mutie bitch."
Clark bites down to control his anger."And what's normal?" Clark asked.
"Me a normal red blooded human you filthy mutie." The man replied.
Clark shakes his head. "No, you're not normal you have the same blue eyes I do. Yet all your friends are black."
"Well I am." Another one of them said behind him.
Clark looked him over and shook his head. "No, you got red hair ginger."
Clark looked through the rest of the Friends of Humanity. "Too tall, too fat, too short I'm sorry but what exactly is normal?"
Laura had a quiet happiness about the way Clark acted it was so un...Superman like of him.
The 'Friends' of Humanity had enough of Clark and one tried to punch him in the face. Clark simply caught his hand.
Laura looked at it this was going to be a fun night as she he retracted her claws. "Don't wreck the place."
Clark nods in agreement. Before tapping one on the head knocking him out. Laura flips over a pool table and grabs a pool cue hitting on them in the right knee and stomach before doing a 360 spin and hitting them in the back of the head. One grabs her from behind and she drives her elbow into his stomach knocking the air out of him. Clark grabs one of them when they try to break a chair over his back and throws him across the air to the floor missing all the tables. One of the friends of humanity hit Laura with a headbutt and instantly regretted it when his human head hit her adamantium skull. Laura glares at him and this him with a headbutt of her own when she sees the police pull up.
Four of the friends dog pile Clark and he takes a dive so they don't hurt themselves too bad hitting him on impact as they punch and kick. Clark just stands up and knocks them all back.
"Hands up all of you." A cop shouted.
Clark and Laura sat calm and cozy in their cell. "I thought this was illegal... co-ed cells."
"I think that's only for serious jail this is just a holding cell." Laura finished. "Besides even if it was we're mutants we don't get human rights."
Clark and Laura turned around and heard someone coming into the holding cell. Clark couldn't believe his eyes when he saw that of all the people on the earth that it was Lex coming to pay him a visit.
"What are you doing here?" Clark asked. He didn't get bailed out by Lex did he?
Lex looked at him from the other side of the cell. "Savoring the irony"
Laura turned to Clark. "This guy is your best friend?"
Clark rolled his eyes he used to be able to say that so easily. "Beats me one second he's acting like a brother to me… Next thing you know he loses Chloe… in the Antarctic."
"Considering how you look I'd say you had your own interesting time during the meteor shower." Lex replied.
"Yeah, mutation once you get past initial changes and what caused it. It's not that bad." Clark quipped.
To Clark's surprise Lex poked him in the eye and he moved quickly to save Lex's hand and started rubbing his eye. "Lex what the hell?"
Lex was surprised not that he would react to it. He figured those were contact lenses and hair dye but it all seems natural. "I'm sorry couldn't resist you look really different."
Lex, Laura, Clark, and the arrested friends of humanity turn when the door opens again. They see a strawberry blond with green eyes walking down and opened the cell for Clark and Laura. The others see this and are incensed.
"Why are you letting those freaks go? They assaulted us."
Jean Dewolff rolled her eyes she knows exactly what happened with trash like these guys. "Judging from the bar I didn't see an assault I saw bunch of drunks trip and Clark and Laura here were kind enough to help you up."
They slammed against the metal bars. "That's a lie you get forensics there and they'll show those muties assaulted us unprovoked."
"You want forensics to show that you're clumsy?" Jean asked putting up a dumb blond act.
One of them slammed their weight againstthe cell trying to grab her. "You're a liar and a mutie loving bitch."
One of the older cops comes down with white hair and walks right to the officer. "Dewolff what is the meaning of that racket you can hear it all the way upstairs."
"Your girl is a dirty cop."
Jean rolled her eyes. "It's just one of those hypothetical situations you hate so much sir."
"Then let's hear it." Captain Stacey insisted.
Jean nods and starts her story of events and points at the friends. "Say our 'friends' here found out a pair of mutants were having a night out at the bar. They entered and tried to strong arm Stan the owner of the place. Good old Stan doesn't budge and they attack him. Say Clark and Laura attack them to protect Stan, but they say its assault I get a witness statement that matches my hypothetical I'd have to arrest the friends for assault. Just as I would have to if anything happens to that bar now or in the future whether they press charges or not. Does that sound about right?"
Captain Stacy nodded in agreement. "That sounds about right." He turns to the friends. "So what really happened?"
"We tripped." They all said as one.
Jean let everyone out there wasn't enough to make a legal arrest since Clark and Laura were such better fighters but it should scare them off for now.
Lex walked the two out after Clark introduces him to Laura. "You know I would have vouched for the two of you. It's no big secret you have a hero streak."
Clark nodded. "Thanks Lex and we're grateful. So I take it Lana told you I looked different?"
Lex simply nodded. "She said you were going through some changes." Lex hands them their fake IDs. "By the way you forgot these. Take care of yourself Clark."
"You too Lex"
Laura stood there and looked at the fancy car as it disappeared. She turned to Clark and asked him something that's been bugging her since they got arrested. "Where the hell is your image inducer?"
Clark pulled up his pant leg revealing the device. "Switched it at superspeed when they frisked me"
Laura just walked quietly with him. "So what's next for Clark Kent?"
Clark acted like he was thinking but remembered well tomorrow "I'm going to Culver University."
"That's in Virginia isn't it?" Laura asked.
Clark nodded. "There's someone there I need to see."
Laura nodded. "Would you object to having a bit of company?"
Clark shakes his head. "I've been alone for 6 months if anything I welcome it."
Laura could understand that besides in the past two days Clark has had to fight off rampaging drones and the friends of humanity and according to Chloe Clark's life is always like this so it won't ever be boring. "Take us home I think we've done enough for one night."
Clark effortlessly picked Laura up in his arms and took off for the institute once they were out of sight.
Natasha was at the university the next day. She saw that she was too late and Thunderbolt had already set up a trap for the Hulk. Natasha rolls her eyes and keeps walking to another person. "Dr. Samson"
The man turns around. "That's me."
Natasha wastes no time and hits him in the solarplexus driving the air out of him. "Spero quod tu potes facere."
It took a couple seconds but Samson was able to speak again. "She underestimates how dangerous he is."
"And you underestimate her father's obsession." Natasha replied while leaving.
Once out of sight and range she pulls a phone out and is set to call Fury. However she sees a red and blue blur touch down on the roof and realizes Superman is on the scene the next few minutes are going to be very interesting.
Clark walked into the office of Dr. Elizabeth Ross with Laura right behind him.
"So what are we doing here?" Laura asked.
Clark shrugged. "The original work for the Hulk should be here.."
"Don't you think they would have taken that away?" Laura asked.
Clark nods because he would have he just would have destroyed everything instead of making the same mistakes like they're doing. "She loved him there's no way she wouldn't have let them take everything she would have made a copy for herself so she can keep working on a cure."
"Wouldn't they want her on board then?" Laura asked.
Clark shakes his head no. "They want better weapons no matter what they destroy. Armies, men of power they always want the best toys."
Laura couldn't argue after all she was built to be a genetic killing machine from Wolverine. "What about your friend Lex?"
"Tried to make some hypersonic shockwave but it self destructed and they later learned it killed all nearby marine life. He paid the right people off and it quietly disappeared."
Laura studied Clark. "No offense but you couldn't have learned all of this just from staying at the institute you have somewhere else you go too don't you."
"Something like that" Clark replied as he rolled his eyes. "Something's going on outside."
Clark runs to the window and sees a bunch of humvess chasing down the black haired Dr. Ross and someone else caught in the bridge whom they are shooting gas grenades at. Clark watched as smoke completely covered the bridge as he gasped for breath. He watched as the only thing that wasn't a piece of home that was able to beat him punch through the glass and the Hulk landed on the floor.
Clark just groaned this wasn't what he wanted. He wanted easy in easy out. Just once he would like things to go the way he planned it. "Stay here"
Laura rolled her eyes. "Do you honestly think that's going to work?"
"No... but I felt like I at least had to try it." Clark answered honestly as they moved for the door.
Clark and Laura watched the scene and Clark saw it as a familiar scene that haunted him from his training. Jor El showed Clark what would happen if the world would discover Clark Kent and Kal El were one in the same. Sure Lois and a lot of people he knew accepted it and it was great at first but eventually everything went to hell in a hand basket. He was blamed for everything merely for not being in two different places at the same time. This led to the result of the government trying to dissect him. Realizing what this was Clark chose to get involved seeing Hulk chasing a soldier who led him into the path of two trucks. The Soldier jumped up and over out of the way leaving the Hulk dead to rights as he's hit by two concussive blasts of noise.
Clark holds his ears in pain never being in so much pain in his entire life. Clark could feel something drip in his ears as he fell to the floor.
Laura smelled something that was outright freaky to her. She never smelled it before but it was similar she turns to find Clark on the floor and the new smell is his blood which is currently gushing from his ears. "Clark!"
"Make it stop." Clark pleaded.
Laura looked at the machine and rolled her eyes. Logan is either going to kill her or try to ground her for not inviting him. Laura ran to the truck claws drawn as she jumps on top of it and claws off one of the sound generators. She went for the other one but was quickly knocked off with a handgun shot to the chest.
Hulk watched the scene in shock. He saw one of the pieces of debris and threw it at the second generator smashing it to the relief of Betty. Hulk got to his feet and growled at the man that shot the girl that defended him.
Emil Blonsky smiled seeing the Hulk's face as he approached him. "Is that it?"
Hulk kicked him and Blonsky went tumbling before he hit a tree head on and just sort of collapsed into him self with nearly every bone broken.
Thunderbolt Ross even looked away from that one. If America can't have the Hulk he'll burn it. "Call in the bombers."
Clark got to his feet and heard the bombers he wasted no time and took to the sky as Betty walked to the Hulk.
General Ross saw it and his eyes shout up in terror. "Cease Fire"
The missile impacts in the sky and to their surprise they see Superman standing over it. Clark looks down and sees the three people he needs to take out of here. He moves in one swift stroke and collects all three as they disappear in a blur.
Natasha watched from the rooftops she figured Superman would have interfered earlier. It doesn't matter though. Right now she's going to need some help finding the Hulk again before Ross. And seeing the claws on the girl she has a pretty good idea of someone whom would be willing to help.
Laura's ID was just a mytho gag nothing more.
Ben I swear I had the bar scene planned since the beginning of the story.
Thanks for the reviews.
Up next: Natasha heads to Logan for help and Clark meets Bruce and discusses the other guy.