Chapter 9: Super fluff / Epilogue
Clark was the first to speak. "Bruce, they were—"
"Don't, Clark," Bruce warned, "Just don't."
Clark wanted to protest, but he just didn't have it in him right now. They hung their heads in sadness.
Diana placed a gentle hand on each of their shoulders. "If you need anything, you know where to find me." She quietly retreated, looking back at them more than once, and a few minutes later they heard the sound of the Javelin leaving the Cave.
Neither man spoke for a few minutes. Finally, Clark sighed and flew over to set Batman's giant penny back upright. Bruce followed his lead and wiped off the rocky debris from one of the workstations. They worked silently side-by-side to restore the Cave to order for some time before Clark remarked, "So that was Andrea?"
"Yes." He had been thinking about her, of course.
"Seeing her was pretty tough."
"Please, Clark," Bruce retorted, "I'm not in the mood to be psychoanalyzed by you right now."
"It was tough for me," Clark corrected him, "Imagine how much easier my life would be if I had someone like her around to share the responsibility of keeping you from turning into a hopeless recluse."
"No one asked you take that responsibility," Bruce snapped.
"I know, but it's my favorite thing to do. You're my best friend, Bruce. As difficult as you make that, I enjoy being around you because I love you."
Bruce looked at Clark and nearly rolled his eyes at the sight: Clark was levitating inches above the ground and one of the recess lights in the Cave illuminated him in a shaft of bright light. All he was missing was a harp and a halo.
"In a way, I'm glad that this happened. It gave me a lot of hope to see that you at least have the potential to be happy."
"Kent, having a wife and kids is your idea of happiness, not mine."
"Point. But I'm more focused on the emotion of 'happiness' rather than the route you take to get it. See, it is possible for you to be happy and be Batman at the same time. I've been right all along!"
Bruce considered what his unsolicited angel was saying and came up with an idea to repay Clark for all of the *annoying* (but very gruffly and very secretly appreciated) help he had given him over the years. "There may still be one way for me to be happy in our universe." Clark's whole face perked up; he resembled an eager puppy who had just been hinted a rare treat in Bruce's unfinished statement. "Marry Lois."
Clark blinked twice.
"It's not a secret that Batson and CJ didn't always get along with their fathers, but they had great relationships with their uncles. It's too late for me to have a Batson, but you, Clark – you can still have a CJ."
"Bruce, I just don't know if it's the right time to ask her to marry me, especially after this CJ incident. We could have had a seventeen year old kid by now! What if I've waited too long?"
"And you say I'm the one who's afraid of being happy. Your excuses are getting boring."
Clark furrowed his brow as he reflected on what Bruce was saying now and what Batson had said earlier. His heart was beating furiously because it was so *clear* how silly he had been for the last seventeen years! Before Bruce knew what was happening, Clark had his arms wrapped around his torso and was giving him a squeeze in almost the exact manner that CJ had hugged him right before he left. It was because he reminded him of CJ that Bruce groaned and gave him two deliberate pats on his back before straining to be released.
Clark let go serenely. "It's time for us to be happy, Bruce!"
The truth was that Bruce had been doing some thinking of the melancholy, regretful sort, but what Clark said made him almost *hopeful*. But I'm the goddamn Batman, he protested weakly to himself as he descended in the Watchtower landing bay the next day.
Just as he thought, Wonder Woman was alone in the Dormitory Deck A lounge watching a Greek soap opera that she regularly followed. When he walked in, she lowered the volume of the TV and smiled at him. "If you're here with the official paperwork to make me the Commander of the Justice League in this universe, I have to tell you that I don't hate the idea," she joked.
"Ha ha," Bruce intoned. "I'm actually here to thank you. We couldn't have sent the boys home without your help."
"My pleasure. I enjoyed meeting Batson and CJ." She leaned forward. "And Batwoman? She was Batson's mother?"
"Andrea Beaumont. We met in college, got engaged, then she suddenly left with her father when he got in trouble with the mob. She came back years later to exact revenge on her father's killers. Died fighting the Joker."
Diana leaned back. "I'm sorry." She pushed her hair behind her ear. "Thank you for sharing that with me. I'm beginning to see why you are the way you are."
That Diana, she thought she knew him so well. Well, she did, actually, which was why he could never intimidate her into silence. Perhaps it was time to try something other than intimidation with her. He reached under his cape to produce a single red rose, which an amazed Diana accepted wordlessly. Sometimes, he rather liked rendering her speechless.
However, she quickly gathered her wits about her; with narrowed her eyes she pointed the rose at him. "I hope you know that this doesn't mean I'm going to give you a son," she stated.
It was his turn to be speechless.
"…At least, not right away," she finished with a wink as she sensed him squirm. She gently brushed the petals against the skin under her nose. "This is beautiful, Bruce. Thank you. What's the occasion?"
It was now or never. He sat across from her. "If somewhere there's a Bruce Wayne who can balance a wife, a son, and a godson with being Batman, I figure this version of me can afford to go out on a date with someone he's wanted to for a long, long time."
Diana's cheeks turned a scarlet that rivaled the rose. She had given up trying to talk to Bruce about the obvious, glaring chemistry between them after their embarrassing conversation the night of the Circe incident, so naturally this profession of his was nothing short of a thunderclap.
Bruce saw this. He stood, but instead of exiting the lounge he took a seat next to her and turned up the volume. "I have five minutes," he said, "Did Antigoni find out that Pavlos is in love with his bone marrow donor's wife?"
Diana's mouth fell open.
He was enjoying this immensely as he used a single finger to gently lift her jaw back into place. "Maxie Zeus has been watching this show for years, and I've been watching him for years," he explained as he reveled in his victory for this round.
Clark arrived at his apartment late the next day. He had spent all morning securing his parents' and General Lane's approval to propose to Lois. His parents had been kind and supportive, and even his future father-in-law had conveyed his pleasure by stating, "It's about damn time, Kent."
He figured he'd wash up and then invite Lois to dinner at Bessolo, where he'd ask her to marry him! He was just deliberating whether he should call ahead and ask what kinds of foods he could hide an engagement ring in when he walked into the living room and saw Lois herself waiting for him!
She stood up at once. "Clark!"
"Lois! How long have you been here?"
"Oh, you know," she shrugged, playing it cool as she raked a hand through her hair, "since last night."
Clark noticed her smudged makeup, the empty bottle of wine, and the pile of Whitesnake CDs by the stereo and realized that she wasn't exaggerating. In one fluid motion he strode towards her and pulled her in for a tender kiss.
"I'm sorry I lied to you, Lois," he said, resting his forehead against hers.
She stroked his cheek. "I'm sorry for reacting the way I did. You would never lie to me without a good reason. I should know that."
"I think… I was afraid to tell you the truth. But I'm not anymore." He took her hand and guided her to the sofa. "CJ wasn't my cousin. He accidentally ended up here from another dimension. His parents are Clark Kent and Lois Lane."
Lois's eyes widened. Her hand flew to her mouth. "He was our son?"
"From another dimension," he quickly reminded her.
"Great Scott, Smallville!" she cried, borrowing one of his childhood expressions, "Why didn't you tell me?"
"…I thought it would scare you away. I was thrilled when I found out, but – well, it's no secret that I've always cared about you a little more than you've cared about me."
"Don't exaggerate, Clark. That's not true!"
"But it is. You see, Lois," he said as he dug around in his pocket, "I've been carrying something around with me every day ever since the day we went out on our first date."
Lois's heartbeat quickened as she realized what was about to happen.
"Because even though it was a lunch date – which according to Jimmy meant you were trying to blow me off – I knew that I wanted to be with you for the rest of my life." He slid off the couch and kneeled before her. "Well, I've got nothing to lose right now, so I'll be honest: I've known that since the day I met you."
Her hand flew to her mouth again when he presented her with a glittering, gold diamond ring. "Lois Lane, will you marry me?"
Pulitzer Prize-winning Lois Lane, an acknowledged and celebrated master of words, found herself struggling to search for one them – until she remembered a word that would work perfectly in this situation. "Yes! YES."
Victorious, Clark shot straight up to give a couple of celebratory fist pumps in the air… and dropped the engagement ring in the process. "Uh oh," he said when he realized what had happened.
Lois just gave a crazed laugh, violently happy as she was. They spent the next minute on their hands and knees searching the camel-colored carpet for the ring before Lois finally suggested, "X-ray vision!"
"Oh right! There, right behind you!"
"Aha!" she declared triumphantly as she swiped at it and handed it over to Clark.
He slid the ring onto her finger and the two laughed a little breathlessly.
"Would you marry me as I am?" he suddenly demanded. He was dressed in a red flannel shirt and jeans; his hair was unruly and his glasses were missing; he smelled like sweet hay and Kansas sunshine and even a hint of bergamot. He couldn't have been more of a contrast to Lois in her khaki Stella McCartney suit and Manolos.
"Fortunately, yes," she admitted, grinning…beaming. The two leaned forward and shared an impassioned, jubilant kiss sitting cross-legged on the floor, their whole shining future unfurled before them.
It was a very happy Clark indeed who had his Lois snuggled up against him in bed that night. He was wearing a freshly-laundered pair of his college sweats, while Lois's smelled like the strawberry Yoohoo he had accidentally spilled on her earlier. It was a lovely smell, though. They were admiring the look of their engagement ring on her finger when they heard the balcony doors open. Clark, nearest to the balcony, turned over while Lois snaked one arm over his waist from behind him and rested her chin on his shoulder to see who was there.
"Congratulations," said Batman, holding up a cell phone (the exuberant number of exclamation points on the screen were visible even from a distance).
Lois looked at Clark and then punched his arm. Hard. "Oh jeez, Smallville, you told him over a text message?!"
Clark blushed. "I was too shy to say it out loud!"
"What am I getting myself into?" muttered Lois loud enough for Clark to hear, but her grip around him tightened.
Batman spoke. "When you two have a child, I'm going to be the godfather."
"Of course," agreed Clark at once, trying not to let his expression betray his surprise and delight, "We wouldn't have it any other way." Lois squeezed his hand in agreement.
To their increasing shock, he continued. "You're going to let me pay for their education and any years they may want to take off to backpack through South America."
"Bruce, that's too generous—"
"You don't get a say in the matter." Clark gave a little yelp of terror. "And you're going to invite me to at least one Thanksgiving or Christmas per year."
"…Wow! Well, we were making Thanksgiving plans for Smallville this year—"
"AFTER the kid is born," growled Bruce.
Clark obliged quickly. He couldn't believe that Bruce was expressing his feelings as it was. He knew that Bruce was a softy somewhere deep inside; maybe now Lois would believe him when he said it.
"Back to patrol?" asked Lois, amused (and touched) at this exchange.
"No. Paris. I have a date." He turned to leave from the balcony, but then looked over his shoulder. "One last thing," he added to the stunned couple.
"Anything," said Clark earnestly.
"Come up with a better name than Clark Jr."
The last thing Bruce heard as he left was Lois roaring, "I let you name our kid CLARK JUNIOR?!"
"Though friendships differ endless in degree,
The sorts, methinks, may be reduced to three.
Acquaintance many, and Conquaintance few;
But for Inquaintance I know only two—
The friend I've mourned with, and the maid I woo!"
That's it! Super fluffy happy endings for all! I'm going to miss Batson and CJ :( However, if you want to read stories about Clark being adorable, I've written way too many of those *shameless plug*!
To the highly attractive, SILENT followers of this story: I'd love to hear what you think! Don't make me feel silly by not obliging me a little :) Thanks for reading the Super Sons! Hopefully it piqued your interest enough to make you want to pick up an old issue featuring these two crazy kids next time you're at your LCBS!