DISCLAIMER: Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Cyborg was created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez. I do not own any of the main characters involved in this story. This story exists in my own fan-made continuity and should not be considered to be part of any already defined by the comics, television series, or movies, though it takes cues from other established continuities created for Superman and Teen Titans. Also, elements of Cyborg's back-story in this fanfiction are borrowed by the character Steel, created by Louise Simonson and Jon Bogdanove.
Clark Kent couldn't help but grin a little. Even when she was critiquing his work, it was always comforting to know that the most beautiful, brilliant, and strong-willed woman in the entire world was peering over his shoulder. On top of that, while he knew it was likely inherently wrong to feel this way, there was something about testing wills against her that he found enjoyable.
Sure enough, turning around to face her, there she was. Long dark hair flowing past her shoulders. Just the right amount of make-up that she wasn't overdoing it. A violet and black office dress. Black high-heels that he had heard other women at the Daily Planet say were to die for. But beyond all that, the mind, heart, and soul that made up the love of his life: Lois Lane. And, as per the norm when they were in the offices of Metropolis' #1 source of news coverage, she was here to contend with him.
En garde, Clark thought as Lois pointed a finger at his computer screen.
"THIS is the best news you could find to report on?" Lois asked, fighting the urge to snicker.
"Well, you've got all the best Superman stories as of late," Clark replied, taking a sip of his coffee. "And there's not much else to report on. Lex Luthor is behind bars, there haven't been any alien invasions in a while..."
And frankly, Clark couldn't be happier. Ever since Lex Luthor had lost his presidency and been put behind bars, things had been relatively quiet. Oh sure, a burning building here, a bank robbery there, even a terrorist that was foolish enough to try something in METROPOLIS, of all places, but as time was going by, there were less and less situations that came up that looked like a job for Superman.
"I know, but honestly, the new shopping centre?" Lois inquired, unable to stop herself from letting out a small laugh.
"Well, people have really been hyping it," Clark noted.
Lois folded her arms, smirking. "And by 'people', I assume you mean your cousin?"
Clark sighed, fidgeting with his glasses, something he only did when he was annoyed or embarrassed...or, in this case, both. "...Well, it's one of two things she'll ever talk about at the dinner table."
"Boys?" Lois guessed.
"Honestly, I wish," Clark grumbled. "No, it's about that company she wants to get started. I keep telling her it's a bad idea, but-"
"Now, why is that, hmm?" Lois prodded. "Don't tell me the man who voted for a woman in the oval office suddenly thinks a woman can't run her own business?"
Clark had to fight the urge to huff at Lois, teasingly or not, playing the gender card. After all, yes, he had voted for her. Even though she used to run an organization that worked to prepare for a situation where he'd need to be brought down. Even though she used to work with Lex Luthor. Even though a certain someone he knew told him it was a bad idea. He still voted for Amanda Waller. After all, she DID help to stop Luthor, and saw to it that he was put in the most secure cell that money could buy. And even when she did terrible things, she honestly did them because she felt she had to, for the American people. So, no, it was not because his cousin was a woman. It was because she was something else that could conflict a LOT with running a business.
"No, I just don't think SHE can run her own business at the same time as doing the OTHER thing she does," Clark whispered.
Lois simply shrugged. "Bruce Wayne does it."
"Yes, and one day it's going to be a problem for him too," Clark retorted, "assuming it isn't already. I'm telling you, that man can be-"
"GREAT CAESER'S GHOST!"
"Think news just popped up, Smallville," Lois muttered under her breath as Perry White's door was flung open.
"Reports coming in from down-town!" White yelled, Jimmy Olsen trying his darnedest to keep him calm. "Plasmus is on a rampage!"
"S-Sir, isn't Plasmus more a Jump City criminal?" Jimmy asked. "What's he doing in Metropolis?"
Perry turned to face Jimmy slowly, the vein in his forehead bigger than anyone had seen it since Luthor was sworn in as President. "...You know, Jimmy, you're right. Maybe the police have him confused with some other giant purple goo monster."
"...A-Actually, sir, I believe he's magenta..." Jimmy corrected as everyone else in the room prepared for the bellow to come.
"GET THE HELL DOWN-TOWN!"
"So, shall I catch a ride with Olsen, or do y-" Lois started to say, turning to face Clark, only to notice he was already gone. "...You wanna fly off without me...Of course."
The people of down-town Metropolis ran and screamed in terror as the ten foot tall slime monster toppled telephone poles, screeching at the top of its lungs. They'd never guess that this creature was once simply Otto Von Furth, a German mine worker. They couldn't possibly be expected to believe that this monster was actually a horrified human being, mutated into the magenta monstrosity by a former Nazi General, now forced to go into a rampage whenever he awoke, which was supposed to be never. Apparently, the people in charge of his containment at S.T.A.R. Labs botched their job, BADLY.
As Plasmus stomped along, a single mother and her child ran in fear, only to trip over a fallen pole. The mother checked on her son for a moment before looking up to see Plasmus looming over them, letting out a desperate scream for help as she covered her boy's body with her own.
Plasmus turned to face the source of the yell, just in time to receive a steel sledge-hammer thrown into his face, embedding into his gooey head. With an irritated growl, he grabbed the hammer and tossed it aside as the mother fled with her child. Plasmus then turned his attention to the thrower: A late-teens African-American in a Metropolis Monarchs jersey. The young man just stared at Plasmus in anger, not showing any fear whatsoever.
"How 'bout you pick on someone at least half your size?!" he yelled, picking up his sledge-hammer again.
Plasmus merely growled before spitting a wad of slime at the young man's sledge-hammer, knocking it free from his grasp. The boy could only watch as the slime suddenly unleashed some sort of super-acid that melted the hammer down completely, his eye twitching as some fear managed to find its way into his mind.
"...Ooohh crap..." he muttered as Plasmus rushed him, only to stop as he was within inches of being able to swing a slimy fist at him.
The young man ran for cover behind a car, staring in awe of what he saw. Holding Plasmus back by one of his sludgy hands was HIM. His eyes were filled with endless confidence, but still had a warmth to them. He was wearing a blue and red plated bodysuit of sorts based off of his old tights, right down to his yellow belt, red singlet, red boots, the long red cape, and of course, the red and yellow S emblem on his chest. There was no doubt, it was the Man of Tomorrow himself: Kal-El of Krypton, Superman.
"Okay, Plasmus," Superman said calmly, "we can do this one of two ways: You can go back into containment voluntarily, or I can make you."
Plasmus' only reply was to spit a wad of green fluid at Superman. The Man of Tomorrow saw it coming, able to dodge most of it, but somehow, a small trace of it still managed to splash across him. This should have been nothing to him, but very quickly, the Last Son of Krypton was noticing that his body was slowing slightly, like his strength was being sapped away. His eyes widened as he looked to the substance on his hands, realising it had a certain green glow to it he was all too familiar with.
Clark didn't have time to ponder how this was possible, however, as Plasmus quickly backhanded him across the street and into a parked van. "...Okay, that could've gone better..."
"Superman!" an all-too-familiar voice called out as he pulled himself from the van. Sure enough, standing not too far away, was Lois, watching the scene while Jimmy took pictures. One of these days, he knew he was going to have to do something about her constantly coming out and getting in harm's way...although what eluded him. He could seal her clothes to her chair with his heat vision, and she'd probably just strip out of them. That's how much dedication she had.
Plasmus roared as he leaped at Superman, his gigantic jaws coming down around him. Nearly everyone watching felt their hearts stop for a moment, but thankfully, only a moment, as a pair of red heat lasers fired out the back of Plasmus' body, followed by the magenta menace falling to the ground, Superman tumbling across the cement covered in purple and green goo. He was panting heavily, clutching his chest and trying his best to wipe the substance from himself as Lois ran over.
"What's wrong?!" she demanded.
"...Liquid...Kryptonite..." Kal-El replied in between gasps. "His body's...full of it...!"
"It comes in liquid form now?" Jimmy asked before looking back to Plasmus' body. "...Uh, Big Blue?!"
Superman groaned as he slowly made his way back to his feet, Plasmus having pulled himself back together and stomping toward them. Lois reached into her purse, pulling out a blue disc that Superman had given her for emergencies, and chucked it at Plasmus, causing it to explode and cover him in a freezing agent. Unfortunately, even that only seemed to slow him for a few moments, as he was quickly starting to crack free.
"Get out of here, Lois...!" Superman moaned as Plasmus was beginning to move.
"He'll kill you!" Lois cried. "Are you insane?!"
Meanwhile, the young man from earlier had managed to creep closer. He realised what was happening: Superman, his idol, was ready to sacrifice his life to stop Plasmus. He couldn't let that happen, but what could he do? Searching his pockets out of instinct, he found a wrench from when he was doing some construction work before basketball practise. This wouldn't do anything to Plasmus, but then, maybe it didn't have to, as he spotted a fire hydrant near Superman. If he could wash the Kryptonite from Superman's body, it could restore his strength.
Without any further hesitation, the late-teen ran to the hydrant and smashed it hard as he could with his wrench. Sure enough, water shot out, soaking Superman and washing the Kryptonite from his body. However, such an act did not go unnoticed by the newly-freed Plasmus, who roared at the boy before spitting the super-acid at him. Of course, Superman was faster than the acid. He just wasn't fast enough, as even though he moved the boy out of the way, much of his body was still sprayed, causing him to scream out in searing pain as he felt parts of his body start melt away.
"Oh my God...!" Lois gasped, Jimmy looking ready to hurl.
Superman's jaw dropped in horror at the sight before him. The young man had managed to save him, and he was unable to stop him from suffering this horrific fate. He was still alive, barely, but his body was being eaten away. Gritting his teeth, he turned and grabbed Plasmus by the monster's neck, the creature gasping as fear set in. With a powerful leap, Superman shot straight up into the sky with Plasmus before punching him hard, sending him hurling all the way into the river far off. Flying after, Superman watched as Plasmus lost consciousness in the river, reverting back to the sleeping form of Otto Von Furth. The Man of Tomorrow quickly dove in, retrieving his unconscious body, before soaring back to where he'd left Lois, Jimmy, and the slowly-but-surely melting boy.
"Get him into the van!" Superman cried, motioning to the one he'd crashed into before. "Carefully!"
Lois nodded as she, Jimmy, and a few on-lookers carefully carried the boy to the van, cautious not to get the acid-like substance on themselves, as Superman placed Otto in as well. The young man was groaning, weeping, would likely have been flailing if it were possible in his shape. His one good eye looked up to stare into Superman's sorrow-filled eyes.
"Stay with me, son," Superman ordered. "...Tell me your name."
The boy groaned, trying to hold on. "...V...Victor...S-Stone..."
Superman nodded, sliding under the van. "I'm flying them both to S.T.A.R. Labs! Call ahead and tell them to have Plasmus' containment tube ready!"
"Got it!" Lois replied, stepping back as Superman lifted the van up, careful not to rock it, and flew into the sky with it in the direction of S.T.A.R. Labs, Lois reaching for her cell phone. "...Get me S.T.A.R. Labs, now!"
AUTHOR'S NOTES: So, say hello to my new fanfic that I'll be working on for a while. I decided it was best to focus on this first before I did Will & Hope, since I wanna get this finished before the year's out, what with this being Superman's 75th Anniversary.
Anyway, let's get some details out of the way. First off, I feel the need to reiterate that this fanfic takes place in the same 'verse as Tales of the Caped Crusader. Also, I alluded to a few events like Lex Luthor becoming President and then losing his presidency and getting arrested. It's not QUITE Public Enemies, and yes, it IS a story I will be telling eventually, but like I said, I wanted to get Man of Tomorrow out of the way first.
Second, as I said at the beginning, this version of Cyborg will take a few cues from Steel. Specifically, he is inspired by Superman, and he does some construction work on the side of his usual activities (sports). In fact, you'll notice that at no point in this chapter did I refer to Superman as the Man of Steel. Remember that, I'll touch on it later.
Third, the suit that Superman is wearing is actually based on concept art for his appearance in Injustice: Gods Among Us. I actually think it looks like the best armoured re-interpretation of the Superman costume that I've ever seen. And yes, he DID wear the tights at some point in his career, and I will explain why he isn't currently later on.
Fourth, yes, Lois Lane knows that Clark Kent and Superman are the same person, and they are in a relationship. They aren't married YET, but they are dating. Why? Basically to prove a point: That even if DC felt they HAD to break up the marriage, Lois should still be Superman's main source of support. Heck, of everything that was wrong with the Man of Steel movie, I thought that was one of the best parts of it, was the role Lois had.
Fifth, Plasmus in this fic is pretty much a mixture of his comic book version and his Teen Titans cartoon version. Also, while I THINK the liquid Kryptonite he uses in this fic was a thing once or twice in the comics (albeit not with Plasmus), for this fic, we're just gonna roll with the idea that this is the first time Superman's ever come into contact with Kryptonite in liquid form.
Finally, as for Amanda Waller being President...you'll see why later. :)
Anyway, check in for the next chapter to see if Superman is able to save Victor, and if he can determine the source of the liquid Kryptonite Plasmus had in his body. Ja né!