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Something unexpected

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“How long has he been at this now?” Barry asked idly, his eyes tracking the way Conner paced in the air, occasionally running a hand through his short hair and muttering to himself. Krypto was keeping pace with Conner, his tongue hanging out and tail wagging like it was some kind of new game they were playing.

“About an hour, but that’s just how long he’s been here,” Clark answered from his spot on the couch. He had an amused look on his face as the added one more tidbit of information for Barry’s benefit. “Ma says he’s been like this all week and she claims there are new air currents over Smallville because of him.”

“… You know, if we dusted him with some flour and put a cape on him, Conner and Krypto could pass off as twins.”

“Barry.”

Crossing his arms over his chest, Barry gave Clark a flat look. “I’m just trying to see why I’m here is all.”

Here, Clark gave a shrug, but the amusement didn’t lessen any from his eyes. “As best I can make out, Conner’s worried about asking Bruce for permission to marry Tim.”

That statement earned Clark a stunned look as the speedster took a moment to process the information he’d just been given. “Really? He’s going to ask Bruce first? That’s pretty old-fashion of him. I would have thought the kid would be the type to skip that step altogether.”

It was this statement that got Conner to stop in his mid-air pacing, causing Krypto to crash into his legs with a yelp. He looked at the two men as if they had just said something absolutely terrifying. That look, coupled with his current appearance, gave Conner a rather manic look, his eyes wide and panicked.

“Are you kidding?! This is Bats we’re talking about here! Bats! Do you even know what that means?! If I hadn’t just spent a week with Tim and his crazy family, okay sure! I’d totally skip out on dealing with Batman. But I did and I know and I do not have a death wish! Once was more than enough!”

“At least he’s talking to us now.” Clark wasn’t even bothering to hid his amusement now, grinning rather cheekily at his clone. Conner made a noise that could have come from Krypto and half-heartedly glared at him.

While that did clear up some things, Barry was still left with the question he’d started out with. “I still don’t see why you asked me to come here.”

“Because Conner said he wanted some advice on how to approach Bruce. And a second opinion that didn’t come from me.”

“He’s biased! Or brain-damaged from one too many hits with a kryponite bat or something! Clark actually suggested that I just ask like it was no big deal! Like I’m not trying to take away one of the man’s birds away from him! Which I’m not trying to, but the man is crazy possessive and I’m pretty sure he still hates my guts.”

“I would have asked Diane – “Clark began to say, but Conner interrupted him before he could finish with an empathic shake of his head.

“Dude! No! I do not need to be a human shot-putt again!”

“Okay, I think I see why you called me over.” Conner wasn’t looking for advice on how to deal so much with Bruce, as he was looking for advice on how to deal with in-laws. Clark and Diane were out as neither one of them really dealt with in-laws or impressing them. Clark gave Barry a beaming smile and stood up, letting the speedster take his place. Conner watched the two of them, looking slightly less manic now, but he still hadn’t stopped hovering.

“Why don’t you try seeing if you can’t calm him down and I’ll make something for every body to drink,” suggested Clark. Barry nodded his thanks and turned to give Conner a confident smile.

“Have a seat son and let’s see if I can’t give you some peace of mind.”

~*~*~

An hour and a half later, it was a much more relaxed, if still slightly tentative, Conner that was leaving Clark’s apartment and heading back for the farm.Clark didn’t have to be a fortune-teller to know that before the week was up, he was going to be dealing with a disgruntled Bat. He didn’t mind though, not when he thought about the reasons behind Bruce’s future sulk.

“You know, I’m really proud of him right now,” commented Clark, watching Conner’s flight with a fond smile.

“For being the first in getting up the nerve to ask our resident possessive Bat for one of his birds?”

“For being able to get to this point. He’s the first to make it far enough in life that he has worries like that. We didn’t have the greatest of starts, but I’m proud of the man he’s becoming.”

“The man he is,” Barry corrected. And Clark just had to smile at how right that sounded.