"Are you all right?" Batman asked Superman, a touch of concern in his gravelly voice. "You seem distracted."
"Oh? Um... Sorry. It's just that Lois's latest crusade to try and find me the perfect date is driving me a bit mad," Superman said with a shrug. "Every since I came out, she's been trying to fix me up with every guy she knows, and--"
"Ever since you...what?"
Though Superman couldn't see his eyes, hidden behind the lenses of his cowl, he could tell that Batman was genuinely surprised. "Came out. You know...? Of the closet," Superman explained. Then, frowning, he added, "I thought you knew?"
Batman stood staring at Superman for a moment before finally saying, "Well, I had a feeling there was a closet involved, but I wasn't aware that you'd decided to come out of it."
"Actually, I was outed by one of the gossip columnists a few weeks ago. Same difference in the end, I suppose." He shrugged again.
"Wait... Which one of you are we talking about?"
Barely hiding his laughter, Superman replied, "Which one do you think? Otherwise, I'm quite certain you would have seen headlines in all the newspapers I can think of..." Sighing, he went on, "Anyway, since then it seems like Lois's new mission in life is to find poor Clark a boyfriend."
"That bad?" Batman asked, clearly amused.
"It's a disaster! The last guy she introduced me to turned out to be perfectly straight, only terribly shy..." Superman shook his head. "I've run out of ways to explain to her that she's wasting her time and that I wish she'd drop it."
"Then just tell her you've met someone already."
Eyebrows shooting up to his hairline, Superman stared at his friend for a moment. "You're kidding, right? I can't lie to Lois!"
"Oh, like you don't already do?" Batman gestured at Superman's outfit. "She doesn't know that you're Superman, does she?"
"Well no, but that's different," Superman replied immediately. "Besides, I don't lie about that. I haven't told her, but I haven't specifically told her that I wasn't, either. In any event... this is Lois Lane we're talking about - if I tell her I'm already dating someone, she'll want to meet him and then probably cross-examine him or something equally awkward and embarrassing."
Batman cocked his head to the side, apparently deep in thought. "It shouldn't be that hard to find someone who'll pass that test... You know, I bet I could introduce you to--"
"Oh no! Not you too?" Superman protested, looking at his friend in disbelief. "I don't want you fixing me up with anyone any more than I wanted Lois to try. I swear, if I have to go on another blind date, I think I'm going to lose it."
"Yes, but I know you a lot better than she does, don't I?"
Superman shrugged, defeated. "I honestly can't believe I'm having this conversation with you of all people..."
"Give me three days to find you the perfect date," Batman suggested. "At least one who'll be convincing enough for Lois." When Superman seemed to hesitate, he added, "Look, if it doesn't work out, I promise to make it up to you."
Hopeful, Superman asked, "Like lending me the Agusta?"
"All right," Batman agreed. "If that's what makes you happy, I'll lend you the Agusta."
"Don't forget to fill up the tank," Superman told him with a crooked smile before flying off.
Three days later, Clark was sitting at the bar in small but fancy Italian restaurant, nursing a tall glass of gin and tonic as he waited for a guy whose name he didn't even know. Bruce had told him to just show up, and that his mystery date would find him.
From the moment he'd sat at the bar, Clark's mind had started filling with fantasies of the nice, long ride he'd be taking on Bruce's Agusta motorcycle. He was so caught up in his daydream that he barely noticed when the man himself sat down next to him at the bar.
"Hey there," Bruce said cheerfully.
Startled out of his musings, Clark turned to him and frowned a little. "What are you--?" Understanding immediately flashed across his features. "Oh, I get it. Couldn't find anyone, could you?"
"Of course I found someone." At Clark's raised eyebrow, Bruce smiled and said, "Me."
Clark sighed. "I suppose if anyone could fool people into thinking that we were dating, it'd be you," he said. "Except for the fact that everyone knows you're as straight as one of Ollie's arrows." An odd wave of relief and disappointment washed over him at the realization that this wasn't going to be an actual date - at least, not that kind.
Bruce frowned somewhat, then very seriously said, "Well, maybe it's time I told everyone the truth, then."
Clark's jaw all but dropped to the floor, and he stared eyes wide at the man sitting next to him for the longest time before his thoughts finally caught up with him. "But what about the girls, and the parties, and...and the girls...?" he asked, confused.
"It suited me to let people believe that was who I was," Bruce explained. "I simply chose not to contradict them."
But Clark hadn't really been listening. His mind was already racing, worried about this being an actual date and, oh, what if there was to be a goodnight kiss? Because this was Bruce... Oh, heavens, it was Bruce!
All of a sudden, something occurred to Clark that hadn't before... He took a nervous sip from his glass, then asked, "So, all along, you were trying to send me on a blind date with...yourself?"
"Not exactly," Bruce confessed. "I really did set out to find you the perfect date. Except that when I started thinking about it, I realized I didn't much like the thought of you dating some other guy." There was an awkward pause after which, eyes fixed on an imaginary spot on the bar, he said, "Not that I'm vain enough to think that I'd be your perfect date, either..."
As if he'd suddenly remembered something important, Bruce stuck a hand in his jacket pocket. "Speaking of which," he said, pulling out a set of keys and handing them to Clark.
"The keys to the Agusta," Bruce explained with a shrug.
"Oh." Clark looked from the keys all the way up to Bruce's face. "I believe the deal was that you'd lend it to me if things didn't work out." He closed a hand over Bruce's and went on, "I think I'd like to find out if maybe they could."
A small, uncertain smile tugged at Bruce's lips. "Should I start preparing for the Lane Inquisition, then?"
"I promise I'll make it up to you..." Clark offered tentatively.
"You already have, Clark," Bruce said after a moment, his smile now broad and sure. "You already have."