Bat Snapshots 1: Meeting Clark

“I want you to stay here, okay? I know I promised a tour, but something came up and I have to attend. Don’t talk to anyone who doesn’t work here and don’t get lost. This is a large building, it’s easy for anyone to get lost, and I know how accident prone the two of you are,” Bruce repeated for the third time in an hour. Although he wanted to stay with them, Bruce had to attend to an unscheduled board meeting that was cutting into the day he had planned with Dick and Tim. This had been his opportunity to teach them about his job, what he did when he wasn’t home, but it was as accident prone as his sons and things always came up.

The boys watched as Bruce made his way down to what they assumed was a conference room. Tim, frustrated that they had nothing to do but sit around and wait in a boring and empty office, complained, “I can’t believe we actually have to sit here and do nothing.”

Dick looked down to his angry little brother, a side he rarely got to see, and couldn’t help but agree. “I know, Babybird. He said today wouldn’t be boring but it definitely is.” Wanting to be optimistic, Dick added, “We’ll probably find something to do if we look hard enough.”

They sat around Bruce’s personal desk trying to find something to do while Bruce worked with a room full of, what he called, incompetent employees. Every now and then a secretary would walk into the office and ask if they needed anything, but at one point they just found a key in one of the drawers and locked the door to keep anyone from bothering them. If they were going to be forced to stay here then they wanted to have some privacy.

Finding nothing to entertain themselves in Bruce’s piles of paperwork, Dick looked around the room to see if there was anything else. He did have a lot of papers, but only black pens that they couldn’t use to color or draw. Bruce didn’t even keep a tv in his office and there weren’t many games they could play while they had to maneuver around all of the furniture. Once Dick looked into the closet and found some sheets and blankets, he decided they could make a fort out of everything in the office. At the Manor, they would entertain themselves for hours while building a fort and there was no reason the same logic couldn’t apply here.

At first Tim wanted to move the desk away to give them more room by the windows, but when it was too heavy for them they rolled out the chair and put it in the center of the room. The floor lamps were moved from their place in the room’s corners to sit on either side of the chair. The couches were even heavier than the desk so instead they removed all of the cushions and used them to build the walls of their compound.

Looking at their work satisfied by their progress, Dick asked, “What do you think Dad’s going to do when he finds out?”

Tim responded with absolute certainty, “He’ll thank us for making his office more interesting.” He didn’t understand how Bruce could stay in the room for hours on end. Even though Tim liked peace and quiet almost as much as a boy his age could, this was just too much for him.

While they were making a few more aesthetic improvement, taking some paintings off the wall and books from their shelves, they heard a tapping on the window and felt a shadow pass over them. They turned around to see Superman flying right next to the building looking just as shocked as they felt. He was simply floating in the air and staring at them confused. No matter how much they might have wanted it, neither Dick nor Tim had ever imagined actually meeting the strongest person on the planet and they didn’t quite know what to do.

Eye’s not leaving the silhouette, Tim leaned onto his brother and whispered, “Do you think he’s here for us?” He were abstractly aware of the things the Justice League did, saving the world and all that, and he couldn’t imagine any other reason Superman would come by to visit. He didn’t really look like the kind of person who dropped by to visit complete strangers for no reason.

Dick considered the likelihood that they had done something bad enough that Superman would need to come and intervene and couldn’t think of anything. “What do you mean, Timmy? We didn’t do anything that bad.”

Tim knew that was true, but he still thought, “Dad might be upset about the office and he called Superman to take care of it. It might be one of his secretaries upset that we locked them out of the room.”

“We just moved some things around. That’s not enough of a reason for Superman to come here,” Dick assured him. Even as he said it, he was beginning to lose hope that this was just a stroke of coincidence and started to feel anxious.

They considered his motives in quiet murmurs, none of them taking into consideration that Superman could hear everything they were saying, until Tim asked, “Should we let him in? He’s been floating around for a few minutes”

To be honest Dick didn’t understand why Superman didn’t just come in the room himself. It’s not like Superman wasn’t strong enough to do anything he wanted. “Yeah, I guess so. It’s probably important for him to be waiting so long.”

He walked over and unlocked the window, letting the giant Kryptonian fly inside while he made his way back to his little brother. Even though he was incredibly excited about just being in the same room as the hero, Tim couldn’t help but feel like they were in trouble for something. Superman looked as frightened as them judging by the way he frantically looked around at the mess in the office and kept his distance from them.

The very first thing Clark did once he landed in the room was start asking questions. “Who are you and why are you in Mr. Wayne’s office?” He even used the stern voice Bruce had been helping him to scare the boys into telling him the truth.

It seemed to work as Dick quickly answered with a slight quiver in his voice, “I’m Dick, that is my brother Tim. Dad has a meeting to go to so we’re here waiting for him.” Dick thought for a moment and asked, “Why are you in Dad’s office?”

“Dad? Did you just call Bruce Wayne your dad?” Things were only getting more confusing as the day went on and he needed more answers.

“Yeah, he’s our Daddy,” Tim explained in a slow voice. Right now that was the only thing that made sense and he couldn’t see why Superman would focus on it instead of getting to whatever it was that brought him to Gotham.

Clark sat down on the only free office chairs in the room with shock written all over his face. He could never imagine Bruce as a father, definitely not someone who could raise two children. It also struck him that this meant that the boys had to have a mother and Bruce could actually have a long term relationship with someone without one of his many faults turning her away. This had to have been one of the last situations Clark ever imagined Bruce being in and one that had his reporter instincts screaming to find out more.

A few feet away the two felt a little proud of the fact that they had had such an impression on the hero, but not entirely sure what to do with their guest. The last thing they wanted to do was hurt Superman in some way and keep him from helping people.

Tim walked over to the hero slowly and asked cautiously held out his hand, “Do you want to help us finish our fort, Superman? We’re almost finished, but you could really help us.”

Looking around, Clark chuckled at the state of the room. These kids were definitely as resourceful as their father. “Is that what everything is? Your fort?” It certainly resembled some structure, but nothing like the things Clark used to build at his farm.

Dick was proud of their creation and knew that Superman could only make it better. “Yeah and we have to finish before Dad gets back. Do you want to help?”

“I don’t see why not.” He wasn’t here for an emergency, just a check up on League business, and he was already planning on spending the next few hours in Gotham. Clark could only imagine what Bruce would think when he came back. It wasn’t common for anyone to dare upsetting Batman, but looking around it looked like the boys were an exception.

Clark started by dismantling some of the existing structure. It took some assurance from him to convince the boys that they could put it back together any way they wanted, but they knew to trust him and his powers. They spent a good hour working on their fortress, even making it large enough for Clark to move around it without needing to crawl.

Once they were finished, Dick and Tim turned their full attention to Superman and his abilities. If Clark was being honest with himself, he enjoyed the way they fawned over him once he started dropping hints to just how much he could do. The super speed and flying were their favorites and he even gave them a small ride around the office going just fast enough for it to be interesting for them. None of them were brave enough to see what Bruce would do if he caught them flying around Gotham.

Once they were finished with the office, Dick loaned Clark the emergency credit card Bruce had given him to go and find some food for them to eat. He and Tim watched from their window as he flew around the city looking for their favorite Chinese take out. This time he was a little more discreet as he flew around the city and back up to the tower not wanting to draw any attention to himself.

When he finally flew in, the boys invited him to sit sit under inside fort and eat while they waited for Bruce to come back. It was the perfect opportunity for Clark to investigate more about Bruce’s personal life. He had to keep it from coming across as suspicious, an act he had honed as a reporter, and simply asked, “How’s Mr. Wayne? It’s been awhile since I’ve seen him.”

“He’s fine, but he’s working right now.” It wasn’t a question Dick was very interested it, so he asked, “How do you know him? He’s never mentioned knowing you before.”

Clark didn’t doubt that, he might not have even fully confessed his night job to the boys, so instead he told them about some embarrassing situations Bruce had found himself in. It seemed to be the right move because the boys forgot the fact that he hadn’t answered the questions and listened intently for any new information about their father. Even when Clark ran out of stories that aren’t too incriminating, the boys took over with embarrassing stories of their own. Embarrassing parties, embarrassing school trips, even embarrassing birthdays and Superman was definitely going to spread this around the Watchtower.

Unable to hold his curiosity in any longer, Tim eventually repeated Dick’s question. “Why are you here? You never answered before.”

Not entirely sure how much Bruce would be okay with him confessing, Clark went with something vague enough to not give too much away. “Oh, um, I had a to talk to your dad about some League business.”

That pulled Dick’s attention away from playing with his cape. “The league? You mean the Justice League? Dad knows the Justice League?”

Now, Clark felt like he’d dug himself into a hole. The boys had no clue was Bruce did in his free time and it might go on to bite him in the ass later. “Yeah, he does help us with some stuff every now and then. Mostly he’s involved with money stuff and PR.”

“Has he met everyone in the League?”

Feigning a contemplating look, Clark said, “I think he’s met most of the main League members. I can’t really say either way for sure.”

A little more serious, Tim asked, “Has he met Flash?”

Clark felt a smile crawling up his face. He should have considered that the boys would be interested in superheroes outside of Batman. It just seemed like Bruce would be careful to make sure that he stayed their favorite. “Why? Is Flash a favorite of yours?”

Now Tim had a little blush on his face before explaining, “I just think it’s so cool how fast Flash can go. I saw him running up a building once and I couldn’t even see most of him, it was just one big blur.” Thinking with a deep look on his face, Tim said, “He’s not my favorite favorite though. That’s Batman.”

“Yeah Bruce has met Flash before. They don’t really get along well, but they run into each other a lot.” He laughed a little to himself for making the joke but the others seemed to miss it.

“Has he met Green Lantern?” Dick knew Flash and Green Lantern were close, he had seen them together enough, and it wouldn’t be hard to think Bruce might have met both.

When Clark told them about this conversation, he knew Barry and Hal were going to be ecstatic. Any hero would be to know Batman’s own sons held him or her in such high regard. “Yes, he has met Green Lantern.” Deciding to take things one step farther, Clark told the boys, “Actually, I think both of them, Flash and Lantern, would love to meet you two. They love seeing new fans.”

Bruce found the extra key to his office just in time to catch what he assumed the boys leap up in excitement underneath the sheet they were using as a roof for their fort. It took him a few moments to get past the blockade they had formed around the door, but he was used to them using the same approach when they were trying to keep him out of their rooms. At first he didn’t think too much of the mess, he knew the boys would come up with something to keep themselves occupied, but a third, much larger, figure was visible underneath the same sheets. He cautiously decided to draw their attention to him and hoped the situation wasn’t as dangerous as it could have been.”Boys, I’m sorry the meeting ran lon-”

Before he could even finish, Dick and Tim ran out of their fort and toward his side. “Daddy, you didn’t say you know Superman!”

“Yeah! Why didn’t you mention that you knew the Justice League?”

Bruce had been expecting a strange conversation, but not one about the League. It was a subject he had done very well to avoid bringing up. “What are you two talking about?”

Everything made sense when Superman came out from underneath the fort and gave him a bright smile. “Hello, Mr. Wayne. It’s nice to see you again.”

Bruce wasn’t even trying to hide the fact that he was annoyed by Clark’s presence. He might not have been an assassin or villain, but he knew how to make Bruce’s life harder than it needed to be. Through slit eyes and with a harsher tone than the kids were used to hearing, Bruce asked, “What are you doing here?”

Clark didn’t miss the way the boys reacted to the sharp tone. They definitely hadn’t heard him as Batman before, but that was a topic for Bruce to confess in his own time. “I came by for League business and met your two sons. While we waited for you I got us something to eat and we finished working on the fort and got around to talking. I just finished telling them how Flash and Green Lantern would love to meet them.”

Bruce tried incredibly hard to keep the strain out of his voice, but even then the only thing he could manage was, “Oh really?”

Incredibly proud of the fact that he had such an effect on Bruce, Clark added, “If you want, I can coordinate a meeting with everyone. Flash and Lantern always love meeting fans.”

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