By Mary P. Potts aka Queen of the Capes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: December 2012
Summary: Superman’s having vision problems? Why doesn’t he just wear glasses?
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“I need WHAT?”
“Run that by me again?”
Dr. Klein sighed in exasperation. “Glasses. Glass-es. Little frames with glass lenses in them, that are worn on the face to improve eye-sight.”
“I know what glasses are, Dr. Klein,” Superman grumbled irritably.
“That weaponized beam that Parker hit you with apparently caused damage to your corneas,” Klein explained further, “making your eyes hyperopic, which is why you can no longer clearly see objects that are close to you.”
Superman raked a hand through his hair. “Look, Dr. Klein…”
“That’s a lamp,” Klein informed him, causing the superhero to sheepishly turn a few degrees so that he was actually facing the scientist.
“Dr. Klein,” Superman tried again, “there must be some mistake.”
“There’s no mistake,” said Klein, shaking his head. “You need vision correction, Superman. Otherwise, I don’t see how you’ll be able to keep on doing this.”
Klein patted his hand. “There, there, Superman,” he said. “It won’t be so bad. Lots of average people wear them.”
“I know,” said Superman.
Klein pulled him in the direction of the door. “Just come with me, and we’ll see if we can figure out a prescription for you. The sooner we get this settled, the sooner you can get your life back to normal.”
It was all Martha Kent could do to stifle her giggling. Jonathan had already given up trying to hide his amusement. “You know, dear, they really don’t look bad on you,” she said.
“Mo-o-om,” Clark whined.
“I think they make Superman look smarter,” she continued, causing her husband to burst out laughing.
Clark sighed. “That’s it. I’m calling Bernie about those contacts we discussed.”
Superman landed behind the hold-up man and grabbed his gun before he had a chance to react. The clerk and the few customers who had been in the convenience-store cheered. “Is everyone here all right?” he asked them.
There appeared to be no one injured among them. “We’re okay now, Superman,” said the clerk. “Thanks!”
“Good,” said Superman, smiling. “In that case, I’ll just escort this gentleman here to…oh no.” He suddenly grimaced, much to everyone’s confusion. “Um, could nobody move, please?” he asked. “I…um…I think I just lost…um…”
A young woman, spotting a glint nearby, bent and picked up the fallen lens. “Is this yours?” she asked.
“…yeah,” said Superman, sheepishly. “Thanks.”
“I never knew you wore contacts, Superman,” said a man.
“Uh…” said Superman.
“You should switch to glasses,” said an older woman. “I think they’d make you look cuter.”
Now Superman was positively blushing. He mumbled something indecipherable, and then flew off to the police station with his charge.
“Look! It’s Superman!”
“Superman will save us!”
Clark landed in the main lab of the Cadmus facility, amidst the throng of panicked scientists. “What seems to be the trouble, gentlemen?” he asked them.
One of the scientists pointed to a flashing display on a nearby screen. “It’s the reactor on level 3,” he said. “It’s ruptured somehow, and if we can’t get someone down there to fix it in the next 60 seconds, this entire compound could be blown sky high!”
“Leave it to me,” said Clark.
It didn’t take him very long to find level three, and sure enough, there was a large cylinder in the middle of the floor, connected to a number of pipes, one of which had clearly broken down the middle. It would be easy enough to weld it shut. He focused on the crack and hit it with the full force of his heat vision. The alarms soon stopped blaring.
Now, the room was completely blurry.
Clark winced. He blinked away a pair of useless, melted globs and tried to feel his way toward the door. He had just reached what must have been the hall when a blob moved toward him, becoming even blobbier as it approached.
“Superman?” it said. “Are you all right?”
Clark tried to smile nonchalantly. “Of course,” he said. “I’m perfectly fine. Er…which way is the exit?”
“Oh, you can’t miss it,” said the blob. “It’s just down this hall, past the intersection and around the next corner.”
“Good,” said Clark.
“It’s clearly labelled,” the blob added helpfully.
“Of course it is,” Clark said, nodding. “Well, er, goodbye!”
He left via the ceiling.
He tapped on the window.
“Come in,” she called.
He stepped inside. “Good evening, Miss Lane.”
“Superman!” she said, giving that broad, soppy grin she reserved only for him. “I was hoping you’d drop by.”
He couldn’t help but smile back at her. She was addictive, this woman. “I just wanted to make sure you’re all right,” he told her. “That stunt you pulled earlier—”
She waved a hand dismissively. “Oh, just a few nicks and scratches,” she said. “I’ll be fine. I’ve been through worse. How about you, though?” she asked, suddenly looking at him intently. “Have you been all right lately, Superman?”
His eyes widened in surprise, and he gulped. “Pardon?”
“I’ve been hearing all kinds of odd stories about you, lately,” she went on, reaching up to lay a hand on his crossed arms. “Is something going on with you?”
For a while, he eyed her window longingly. Then he sighed. “I’ve…been having a little…adjustment issues,” he admitted.
“Adjustment issues?” she echoed.
“That brush with Parker damaged my eyes,” he told her. “They’re hyperopic, so I’ve had to start wearing contacts. The problem is, I keep losing them or melting them…one time both at once.”
Lois shrugged. “So switch to glasses,” she said, patting his arm encouragingly.
He stiffened. “Lois…”
“No, really,” she said, smiling up at him. “They’re bigger, so you wouldn’t likely lose them as easily, and you could always pull them down when you had to use your vision gizmo. At the very least, you should start carrying a pair for those times when—”
“Lois,” he interrupted, “I can’t wear glasses.”
She looked at him in puzzlement. “Why not?” she asked.
Now he was really getting uncomfortable. If he had any sense, he’d leave right now. “I just…can’t be seen in glasses,” he muttered, already regretting the words.
Lois glared at him. “Superman!” she snapped, clearly appalled. “I can’t believe you! You, of all people, letting vanity get in the way of saving millions of lives?”
He latched onto this. “Yes,” he said, nodding. “It would look stupid, Lois. I have my image to maintain.”
She shook her head, and then patted him on the arm again. “Superman, don’t be ridiculous,” she said. “I can’t imagine anyone who would look better in a pair of glasses than you.”
He squirmed uncomfortably.
“In fact,” Lois went on, oblivious to his sudden distress, “I bet they might even enhance your features a little. Make you look smarter, more sophisticated…” She smiled at him, clearly studying his face intently. “In fact, I think I can just picture—” She lapsed into silence. The smile faded.
Clark looked at her, nervously. “Lois?”
“We’ll talk to STAR Labs about getting you Lasik,” she said.
THE END. :)