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Name Calling

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Clark knew that in his life as Superman he had seen a lot of strange and unbelievable things. Still he couldn’t remember seeing something this weird before.

Batman talking with Batman and both wearing what he had come to think of as the patented Bat scowl.

A shame that Tim wasn’t here to see his older brother having a face off like this with their father, although Clark expected this had probably happened before in the confines of the cave. He tried to smile at Damian who was standing at Dick’s side with his arms crossed over his chest. The boy gave him a sideways glance but didn’t react in any other way. Damian tended to be overly serious and at times even hostile, but Clark had a feeling that with two Batmen - what ever was the correct plural for Batman? - standing right before him, he just did not want to give anyone an opening.

He shifted his smile to the younger Batman. Dick had truly grown up to be a hero in his own right.

Not that Clark had ever harbored any doubt about that. He had seen the kid grow up over the years and there had been a lot of scenarios in his head about how Dick’s future would play out. Two scowling Batmen had not featured in any of them.

He cleared his throat to draw their attention and, of course, the Dick-Batman had the grace to turn and look at him. So there was still more than height, age and costumes that made these two different. Dick was becoming his very own Batman and Clark was glad to know it.

“You know I really think I should have a way to make it clear to whom I’m talking here. I can’t just go around calling both of you Batman now, can I?”

The corner of Damian’s mouth twitched in the beginning of a smile, but he managed to hide it before his family had any chance to notice.

“Why not?” Bruce-Batman asked, his voice the perfect, raspy growl that Clark had missed for all the time they had presumed him dead.

“It’s confusing and impractical.”

“Are you proposing that inventing more names will make this less confusing? Or do you want to assign numbers?” Bruce is already dismissing him to stare at Dick again. Clark smile only widens. He has missed the dismissiveness, too.

He still thinks this is confusing. Batman 1, Batman 2? How would that work out with even more of them around? And in a way that was what Tim and Bruce were planning. Batman A to Z?

“I’m still waiting for this to get less confusing, believe me.” Dick smiled, actually smiled, his lips forming a roguish smile beneath the cowl. An actual Dick Grayson smile. Something that only a short time ago he would never have associated with the Bat - not the in costume persona.

While you are waiting for the confusion to pass, maybe you and little D could take the time and check out the robbery at Ace Chemicals. Just a suggestion. Oracle out. Although she was talking directly to Dick and Damian, Superman’s superior hearing could pick up her computer generated voice without problem.

Dick and Damian. “Little D, huh?” he asked Damian, trying to sound sympathetic.

“It’s Robin!” Damian hissed into his own communicator, clearly embarrassed.

“Yeah, Robin, let’s go.” Dick had his own growl back in place, already switching right back to business. Richard Grayson had really grown into his new role and it was both frightening and strangely heart-warming to see his Robin fall in step beside him. They had grown as partners, too - something that almost nobody would have believed only a while back.

He turned to look at Bruce-Batman, smiling mischievously. Bruce’s jaw was set into a stony scowl again. “Forget it.”

“Oh come on. I call you B occasionally anyway and so does Wally.”


He folded his arms in front of his chest, pretending to give it some thought.

“What if I call him...”

“Kal, really, you are not calling anyone wearing that costume Little B. No room for discussion.”

Clark couldn’t help but chuckle at the defensiveness that had crept in. Handling this Batman felt so much more familiar, so normal. He let himself float upwards to indicate that it was time for him to leave, too. “All right, alright. You are Batman. He’s Batman I get it, Big B.” And he was gone before Bruce had even time to register his last words.

Super speed was really his favorite superpower at times like this.