For once, nothing apocalyptic was happening in outer space, and on earth. Sure there were some fires that needed putting out and kittens to be rescued from a tree, but they were easy to handle. Most of the members of the Justice League were at the Watchtower, mingling with each other, chatting as they walked through the hallways, and of course the uncontrolled lovemaking in their respective chambers.
Shayera made her way to the cafeteria, where a lot of members were having their lunch. After taking a can of soda, some pasta and a few side dishes from their cafeteria lady, she spotted Clark sitting alone, having his lunch quietly after a very tiring deep space mission that went on for three days. He was having his lunch quietly while staring at the Dark Knight who was on the other side of the room, also having lunch.
"So," Shayera sat down beside Clark, who obviously was a bit startled by her sudden intrusion to his daydreaming. "When are you gonna tell him?" she stabbed a piece of penne pasta covered in red tomato sauce and ate it.
He tried to look confused. Had he been discovered? "Tell who? What?"
The hawk rolled her eyes. "You know, you're easily the most powerful man in the Justice League and on Earth, and you can't even tell Bruce that you have a thing for him," he continued on eating the pasta. It was nice. Better than last week's. She preferred red sauce over white and pesto.
"I didn't-it's not-Bruce-" Clark couldn't make a complete sentence, since he didn't know what to say first. True, he had liked Bruce for years, but he never had the courage to tell him. Even though he was Superman, it didn't mean that he wasn't human. He was human in a lot of ways, especially when it came to feelings. "I can't, Shayera," he finally managed to say, shaking his head, and going back to eating his pitiful lunch. Clark was getting sick of commissary food.
"Admit it, you liked him the moment he agreed to fund this second Watchtower. If only you saw the way you stared at him while he programmed our system," Shayera smiled at him. Her smile had meaning behind it. "It's funny. You, oh great and powerful Superman, leader of the Justice League, founding member and one of the original seven, can't tell the person he likes his feelings," she took a swig of the soda.
"It's not that simple you know," said Clark, also emptying his can of soda. He made a mental note to get another one.
"It is that simple," said Shayera, "you go up to him and tell him you like him. Or tell him you've been in love with him for years. Or, if you're not that blunt, ask him out on a date as Clark Kent. Fly over to Gotham, catch him as Bruce Wayne, and ask him out on a date."
"We're talking about Bruce Wayne here," whispered Clark, "I don't think I can afford anything he actually likes on a reporter's salary,"
"Then don't take him out somewhere expensive." Said Shayera, "You can cook. You prepare the food the two of you are going to eat. Redecorate your apartment for a night. Move your bed, take a table for two, and a candlelit dinner under the moonlight."
"How do you-"
"Know all these things?" she cut him off, "Clark, I've been on Earth for a long time now, and I know how to use the internet and the DVD player,"
"Oh, well…" Clark looked at Bruce, who gave back his tray to the cafeteria lady. "I don't know," he sighed. "I just…don't think I can tell him. He's Batman. He's the 'I don't have time to pursue a relationship especially within the team,' type."
"That doesn't mean you shouldn't try." Shayera put a hand on Clark's shoulder. "Look, carrying a crush on a person for years isn't easy. It's not only me who's noticed how you look at him. Of course, I haven't the slightest the idea if Bruce has noticed, but you know him, he couldn't care less who stares at him for hours at a time. But we know Clark, and you should make your move," she felt like a big sister to Clark. "It's hard to confess, I know. I've seen our members time and time again try to confess to the ones they like. You can do it, Clark. You're Superman after all," she smiled.
"Thanks, Shayera," Clark too, smiled a bit. "I'll guess I'll just have to gather up more courage then," he looked again at Bruce's table, and he was gone. "Excuse me," he got up, gave his tray to the cafeteria lady, and forgot the can of soda he made a mental note of.
Clark went straight to the bridge. He didn't even know why he went to the bridge. Bruce would most probably be in his own quarters fiddling with his own system there, but he still went to the bridge. He went over to J'onn, who was supervising the new members he'd deployed somewhere in New York, where a big fire was. "Have you seen Bruce?" he asked the Martian.
"He asked to be beamed to Gotham," answered J'onn. "I believe it's those times that he's been away from home too long,"
"Where are we going again?"
"For the last time, Kent. We're going to LexCorp Airfield to cover Bruce Wayne's arrival, and the charity event he's holding here," answered Lois exasperatedly.
"Why?" asked Clark, "Why us? Haven't we done that before? The first time he came here? Why can't we just cover the party?"
He was going to do business with Bruce Wayne. He was the last person Clark wanted to interview. He would probably blurt out something like, 'I'm in love with you!' Of course, Bruce would the first person Lois would want to interview. He'd only been home for two days, after three days on a deep space mission, and this was the kind of welcome home assignment he got.
"Ask Perry. Are you trying to get out of this assignment?" Lois eyed him. "If you don't want to do the article, fine, you can go."
"It's not that I don't want to do this article, Lois. We already did the last one. Why are we doing it again?" Yes, Clark didn't want to do the article, mainly because it was about the man he'd been in love with for the past two years.
It never made sense to him, on why he just had to fall in love with the darkest person on the planet. With the person who almost never gave a fuck about anything. With the person who'd probably give a fuck, but then the world would probably end if he did. Maybe because underneath that harsh exterior, behind the biting, caustic sarcasm and the insinuations that were almost always true, Bruce had the kindest soul, he had the most intelligent mind, and the biggest, loving heart he'd ever seen. And he looked up to him even more when he had heard about Ace, that child member of the Royal Flush Gang.
"I don't know, okay?" said Lois, stopping behind the other reporters who were so close to the jet named WAYNE that they looked like they wanted to go up the stairs and rip the door off the plane's body. "Just be ready when he comes out of that plane or comes up to us. We'll ask some questions, or we could arrange a meeting with him,"
Clark sighed. "Okay,"
The plane door opened, revealing a dashing man in one of the sharpest suits Clark had ever seen. Bruce Wayne stepped out of the plane, with his brilliant blue eyes and charming smile, and went down the stairs. He was followed by Oliver Queen in his own sharp suit, the billionaire from Star City.
Arrow? Thought Clark, Why is Bruce with Arrow? Clark didn't know if he was angry, or jealous. He didn't know if Arrow and Bruce were together but if they were, he regretted not saying anything. There was a twinge... not just a twinge, it was like his heart twisted in regret. He regretted every minute he was quiet and the chances that he didn't take. He wasn't angry at Arrow. He was angry at himself.
A young man, maybe in his teens, also in a suit like Bruce's, holding the hand of a handsome little boy, followed Oliver Queen. Behind him, also another child, maybe ten or eleven years of age.
Lois' eyes widened. "Why is Oliver Queen with him? Who are those boys?" she asked particularly at no one. "Are they his kids?" She saw Bruce walk past the other reporters, and the eldest boy carried the youngest into his arms, shielding him from the prying media. The youngest boy wriggled his way out of the eldest's arms, and ran to Bruce and held his hand. Bruce smiled and held the boy's tiny hand in his.
Clark put on a smile.
"Clark, Lois," said Bruce, approaching them with a smile. "It's nice to see you again." Tim hid behind Bruce's leg. He chuckled. "This is Tim, my youngest. And Jason, and Richard," Tim waved at Clark and Lois, and Jason and Dick offered hands, which the Daily Planet reporters shook gladly. "And Oliver Queen," Clark was almost reluctant to take Arrow's handshake, but he took it nonetheless, not showing any second thoughts.
"A pleasure to meet you," both Bruce's elder sons said.
"We've met," Oliver told Clark, "Don't know if you remember me, though,"
"I do," said Clark, "It's good to see you again, Mr. Queen," Clark knew they both knew who each other were, and Clark decided to just go along with what Arrow said. It was better that they didn't pretend to not know each other.
Bruce has kids, thought Clark. Three kids.
"Your kids!" Lois bent down a little to greet Tim. "Aren't you the cutest little thing," she said to Tim, who went red and went further behind Bruce. Lois chuckled, and straightened back up. "Aren't they just like their father. Handsome boys, Bruce,"
"Thank you, Lois," Bruce looked at Tim, who was shyly looking up at Lois.
"Mr. Wayne, Mr. Queen, your car," said the man in a suit who opened the limo door for them.
"We better go, Ollie," Bruce said to Arrow.
Clark didn't like it. He didn't like how Bruce said Arrow's name. It almost sounded affectionate. He was green with envy. So envious that he wanted to punch the archer in front of Lois and beat him to a bloody pulp.
But that wasn't him.
"I'll see you soon, Clark," said Bruce moving to walk away, "I trust you'll be the one who'll cover the event for The Planet?"
"Uh…" he started, "Yeah, yeah. Lois and I will be there," he almost stammered. It was okay for him to stammer at the moment, since he was Clark Kent after all, not Superman.
"I'll have someone pick you up," with another charming smile, Bruce waved goodbye, and Tim imitated him, shyly waving as they walked away.
Clark could hear the boys talking to him as they walked over to the limo. "Jeez, I hate it when you call me Richard," said the eldest.
"You're going to have to get used to it Dick," said Bruce, "This is business. Nicknames won't do,"
"Yeah, Bruce," said Oliver, "If nicknames don't work, don't call me Ollie in front of the Boy Scout," he chuckled a bit.
"Force of habit," he said before getting in the car himself.
"Kent? Are you listening to me?" Lois' voice darted through the voice of Bruce and Oliver, and shook Clark off his intent listening.
"What?" Clark looked at Lois.
"You know what, I give up. I won't say it again," Lois started to walk off the runway tarmac.
"Sorry, Lois. I'm just not myself," said Clark, following her. Not after what we've seen today.