By LaraMoon <email@example.com>
Submitted March 2007
Summary: In the fourth story of the author's "Clark Kent is Batman… NOT!" series, Clark Kent meets Bruce Wayne. Will the World's Greatest Detective recognize the Man of Steel?
Well… what do you know. Looks like I gave in to peer pressure after all. (But, BTW, you guys owe me some serious chocolate now!) This is the fourth installment in my "Clark Kent is Batman… NOT!" series.
This is pretty much set during "I'm Looking Through You." So there's a little bit of a time warp here as this story follows "Cut From the Same Cape" only alphabetically. If I had realized you guys would keep asking forever (and that I might actually be able to come up with more), I wouldn't have done the revelation so early. Eh.
Bruce Wayne would not have been interested in this charity auction under normal circumstances — it was in Metropolis, for one thing — but he'd been made a fool by Lex Luthor last time they'd both attended the same event and he was more than ready for payback. So when he heard that Luthor was going to be one of the bachelors auctioned off that evening, he had readily accepted. Even better was the thought that he wouldn't even have to spend a single penny in order to have the better hand. He was fairly certain that, considering his reputation, he'd easily bring in the biggest amount of money. Very easily.
But Gotham City's billionaire playboy was in for quite a few surprises!
The first bombshell was that the auction was a benefit for the Luthor Foundation for the Blind. While that wasn't a bad thing per se — it was still a charity and a worthy one at that — given its name, this meant it was one of Lex's many tax shelters and helping Lex Luthor earn money wasn't something Bruce Wayne especially liked to do.
The other surprise of the evening had to do with another bachelor who was being auctioned off. Superman.
Bruce — as Batman — had been meaning to get in contact with Metropolis' resident superhero. And Bruce — as himself — was hoping for an opportunity to get his picture taken with the guy. Not because he actually wanted to own such a cheesy piece of memorabilia, but rather because he could use it as proof that Superman and Bruce Wayne were two different people.
Finally, he found himself face to face with the Man of Steel.
"Have we met before?" Superman asked Bruce. He looked at the man facing him and examined his features closely. The shape of the nose, the curve of the jaw and that small mole on the side of his nose, next to his right eye.
"I don't think so," Bruce answered. He frowned and tilted his head to the side, looking at Superman as closely as he was looking at him. He'd seen him somewhere, he was sure of it. Definitely a picture. Somewhere.
Perhaps Superman had an alter ego, just as Batman did, Bruce reasoned. Maybe this was the person he recognized. Batman was as shady as Superman was flashy and so Bruce deduced that, whoever Superman really was, his other identity would be a polar opposite of this one. Superman's alter ego had to be as subdued as Bruce Wayne was flamboyant. It was only logical, especially considering the Last Son of Krypton didn't bother with a mask. Whoever he was, though, Bruce just couldn't place him.
"Actually," he told Superman with an amused grin, "a lot of women I meet seem to think that I'm you."
For some reason, Superman had not seemed to find it even remotely amusing. He'd raised his eyebrows and had mumbled, "You're kidding?" as if he'd just been told that the Earth was actually at the center of the Universe. Bruce wished he was kidding. Oh, how he wished he was. As much as it suited him that people had no idea he was Batman, it annoyed him to no end to have women falling all over themselves thinking he was the Man of Steel.
The last surprise of the evening came when, still reveling in the knowledge that he'd brought in over twice as much money as Lex Luthor had, Bruce Wayne learned that he had not succeeded in bringing in the biggest amount. The $25,000 that he was auctioned for was only half the amount that Superman brought in.
All the way back to Gotham that evening, Bruce wondered what would have happened if he'd shown up as the Dark Knight, instead. He guessed he probably would have won. Women totally went for the dark and disturbed type! Besides… Superman wasn't even in the same league as he was! Batman was a brilliant detective and an accomplished martial arts practitioner. The aptly named Man of Steel was just a big bunch of indestructible muscles. Nothing was a challenge to him; it all came free and easy and he flaunted it all over the place in that flashy costume. Annoying overachieving showoff. That's what Superman was.
the way to Gotham City simply to meet a source, under normal circumstances — but Lois Lane wasn't just anyone and she'd used all the power of conviction she possessed in order to make sure she would get what she wanted. She had batted her eyelashes exactly three times and Clark had readily accepted. Even better was the thought that he'd be spending an entire weekend with Lois. He was certain that this was easily going to be the best weekend of his life. Very easily.
But the male half of Metropolis' best reporting team was in for quite a few surprises!
The first bombshell was that this was going to be an express round trip. And while that wasn't necessarily a bad thing — he wouldn't have to make up another ridiculous excuse in order to go back to Metropolis in case of an emergency — this meant that he'd only be spending a very limited amount of time with his beautiful partner on this trip.
The other surprise had to do with someone else who was routinely spotted wearing spandex tights and a cape. Batman.
Clark — as Superman — had been meaning to get in contact with Gotham's resident superhero. And Clark — as himself — was hoping for an opportunity to get his picture taken with the guy. Not because he wanted to own such a cheesy piece of memorabilia, butrather because he could use it as proof that Batman and Clark Kent were two different people.
Clark got his wish of meeting Batman late that evening. He'd been walking in a seedier part of Gotham with Lois when he had heard someone calling for help. Even though he was technically in the Dark Knight's jurisdiction, he could not ignore the call. Making up one of his patented bad excuses, he ran off to offer assistance.
It didn't take very long for Clark to find himself face to face with Batman, who was also answering the call.
"Hey, haven't I met you before?" Batman asked Clark in a low voice. He looked at the man facing him and examined his features closely. The shape of the nose, the curve of the jaw and that small freckle right above his lip.
"I don't think…" Clark started. He frowned and tilted his head to the side, looking at the Caped Crusader as closely as he was looking at him. They definitely had met before, Clark realized. Suddenly, it hit him.
"Hey, you're Sup…" Batman started
"You're Bru…" Clark said simultaneously.
"Clark? Where are you?" came Lois' voice from somewhere further down the alley. She was far enough that she had to shout. Neither of the men could see her yet.
"Right here," Clark yelled back. "She doesn't know," he told Batman in confidence.
"Please tell me she's not your wife," Batman said, his eyes wide.
"Oh, no. Partner. We work together. Why?"
"Ah, just someone I know… Forget it. And she doesn't know that you're…?"
"Actually," he told Batman with an amused grin, "she thinks I'm you."
"Me? I guess that explains why people also think I'm you. But seriously, you mean to tell me that you work with her and she hasn't seen through a pair of glasses and that insanely ugly tie? Is she blind?"
"Blind? Are you kidding? She's one of the world's best investigative reporters. Keeping this from her is one hell of a balancing act!"
"Clark?" came Lois' voice. She was a lot closer now. Close enough for them to see her and her to see them. "Oh, my God! Is that Batman? You better be getting an interview from him now, you hear me?"
"Hey, hold on!" the Caped Crusader exclaimed, recognizing the woman who was quickly approaching them. "That's Lois Lane? You mean? You're… Lane and Kent?"
Clark nodded, feeling suddenly embarrassed. Of what, he wasn't sure. Probably because of the fact that Batman appeared to be exerting enormous amounts of effort not to burst into laughter.
"Don't worry, pal, your secret's safe," said Batman as he disappeared into the night.
"That was Batman, wasn't it?" Lois asked Clark as she finally got to where he was standing.
"What was he doing here?"
"Uh, actually, I was almost assaulted by a couple of thugs. He… um, he saved me?" Clark offered.
"Oh, Clark! Are you OK? They didn't hurt you, did they?" She looked at him with an air of concern. Maybe Clark really wasn't a superhero, she thought. He most definitely wasn't Batman, anyway.
"Yeah, I'm all right, Lois. Batman showed up just in time. Really."
"Thank goodness for small miracles!"
"I told you I wasn't Batman," Clark said with a lopsided smile. He was more than relieved to know that Lois would finally be dropping the subject.
As he stood vigil atop one of the tallest buildings of Gotham City that night, Batman couldn't help but laugh. No wonder Superman wore a flashy costume! His other self was so subdued that he let himself be pushed around by a tiny little woman. A tiny little woman with nice, long legs, but nonetheless a woman. Keeping up appearances had to be one hell of a challenge to him, all right. Exceptionally gifted impersonator. Yeah… That's what Superman really was.
Bottom Dweller's Note:
Did you recognize my Bruce Wayne? I doubt people would mistake him for Superman, but this incarnation of Batman was Christian Bale. That little mole he has on the side of his nose was just the perfect parallel to Dean Cain's cute little freckle above the lip!
Did you also recognize the "someone I know" that Batman was talking about? The one whose wife doesn't know he's a superhero? That's Barry Allen, aka The Flash. He was married for a whole entire year before he worked up the nerve to tell his wife about his secret identity. The joke was on him, though, because Iris already knew — Barry talks in his sleep! ;)
"World's Greatest Detective", "Dark Knight" and "Caped Crusader" are all nicknames for Batman, taken from the comic books. Just as "Man of Steel" and "Last Son of Krypton" are nicknames Superman has been given in the comics.