By LaraMoon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: June 2007
Summary: The sixth story in the author's "Clark Kent is Batman… NOT!" series. Once again, Clark meets someone who thinks he's Batman. Will he be able to set them straight without giving his secret away?
This is the sixth story in my little alphabetical series. You know, the one where people somehow keep thinking that Clark Kent is (*gasp*) Batman. LOL!
This is set during Honeymoon in Metropolis. But if you were looking for waffy or sweet or… oh, I dunno, hanky-panky… then I'm sorry to say you've come to the wrong story. But if you're looking for a giggle, you're likely to find a few in here. :)
In case you haven't read the stories that precede this one, you should know that Superman has met Batman before (in a story set at the time of "I'm Looking Through You") and both men know exactly who's hiding behind the other one's Suit.
Oh, and… um… this centers around the a-plot in HiM (Shock Wave, the tsunami, etc.) but everything might not be explained to its fullest here, just so you know. But then, everyone remembers *that* episode, right?
Last but not least, thanks to everyone who answered my question about super hearing and my request for… um… fish-related adjectives. (with special thanks to Paul, cause I used one of his suggestions. hehe!)
Clark Kent sat at his desk at the Daily Planet, trying very hard to remain patient. He was on the phone with a woman who was seemingly being difficult on purpose.
"An appointment?" he asked, eyes wide in astonishment. "You're serious? I need to make an *appointment* so that I can have a phone conversation with him?"
Perched on the corner of her partner's desk, Lois Lane had been rolling her eyes at him for the past few minutes, something which did nothing to help Clark keep his cool. Finally unable to just sit by and watch him get absolutely nowhere — at super speed, no less — she yanked the phone from his hand.
"Oh, give me that, Clark!" she told him, completely exasperated. "She's obviously giving you the run-around!"
"Yes, hi!" Lois said into the receiver, using her most condescending tone. "I'm sorry, my partner apparently hasn't made himself clear enough. This is a real actual emergency. We're not looking for an exclusive interview regarding your boss' latest conquest or his sexual exploits. The Daily Planet is not a rag."
"I'm sorry, Miss," the woman asked, pointedly, "what did you say your name was?"
"Lois Lane. Daily Planet," she sighed.
"Oh! I'm sorry, you should have said so right away," came the now friendly voice on the other end, "Of course Mr. Wayne will speak with you. I'll put you through right away."
"He will?" Lois replied, surprised. This had been much too easy, she knew. But, no matter, she had gotten through and that was all that counted. "See Clark," she told him, "that's how you handle pesky little secretaries." A victorious smile on her face, she handed the receiver back to her shocked partner and went back to her desk.
There was a click and immediately after, Bruce Wayne came on the line. He had an almost gleeful tone.
"Miss Lane!" he said. "What a pleasure! To what do I owe the honor of speaking to Metropolis' prettiest investigative reporter?"
"You're not speaking to her," Clark told him, his tone rather unfriendly.
"Oh… Kent," Bruce said, his tone now unmistakably petulant.
"I guess I should have you placed on my VIP list…"
"Yes, I rather think that would be a good idea, Mr. Wayne," Clark said, insisting on the word 'mister' in a dramatic way. "Of course, you might also want to consider giving me some other means of getting in contact with you. Just in case something urgent came up. You know… like today."
It was one thing to have to jump through these ridiculous hoops just to be able to speak to Bruce Wayne, especially considering both men shared a rather special common bond, but Clark was less than thrilled by the reception he was getting from the Dark Knight. Under normal circumstances, Superman would have just flown over to Gotham City and made his presence known by any means necessary, but considering the situation, it seemed safer that the Man of Steel keep within earshot of Metropolis.
"Spill it Kent," Bruce spat, somewhat annoyed. "You have my undivided attention. What's going on?"
"I'm calling with information about project Shock Wave."
"I'm sorry, what now?" the billionaire asked, obviously startled.
"Shock Wave. It's a project that Wayne Enterprises is investing billions of dollars in. Don't tell me you didn't know!" Clark rolled his eyes and sighed. Leave it to the World's Greatest Detective to be completely oblivious to what his playboy alter ego's company was dealing in.
"I… uh… Just tell me what the problem is, will you?"
Clark explained as best he could what this was about and Bruce immediately had his assistant dig up all she could find about project Shock Wave. After a few minutes of piecing the information together, it became apparent to both men that the situation was much worse than it was originally believed to be. According to the data that was available to them, it seemed obvious that someone was out to sabotage the system and that there was going to be an explosion of massive proportions, creating an equally gigantic tsunami which was likely going to take out half of Metropolis.
Less than 15 minutes later, Batman was soaring over Metropolis in his Batplane. He landed the aircraft quickly — and as out of view as he could — before rushing to the pier.
"What on Earth?" asked Batman as he met with the Man of Steel. The enormous wave that had formed a few seconds prior was now receding, apparently of its own accord.
Both men, it seemed, had gotten there too late. There was nothing left to do now but watch the events unfold. Someone else had gotten there before them and, somehow, had managed to avert the catastrophe.
"Your guess is as good as mine," Superman replied, shrugging. "I see someone apparently digging at the bottom of the sea, but that's as much as I can tell you. I suppose I'll go… you know, change… so I can get the story," he added, only loud enough so that the Dark Knight would ear.
"I suppose you'll be wanting a quote?" the Caped Crusader answered, a lopsided smile gracing his usually stony features.
"Are you planning on sticking around that long?" Superman teased back, flying off in a hurry.
About a minute later, Clark Kent arrived, running, at the pier. But Batman was nowhere to be seen. Clark looked around carefully, but could not find where he was hidden. He shrugged. Batman wasn't very newsworthy, anyway. Or at least, he wasn't today. Neither was Superman… Bruce Wayne, on the other hand, might be and so Clark hoped that the man had had the good sense to change back into his civvies as well.
His thoughts were interrupted when he caught sight of another man who was coming out of the water. Dressed in a loud orange and green wetsuit, he wore a rather annoyed expression on his face. Clark hurried over to see if he was OK. Once he got there, however, it became quite clear that whoever this was, he hadn't been out scuba diving. In fact, he was responsible for single-handedly stopping the impending catastrophe. Having finally recognized the man, Clark introduced himself.
"Wow! The press sure gets to the scene super fast in this place," the man replied. Clark tried not to cringe at the allusion to his speed; the man had no idea who he was talking to, after all.
"You're Aquaman, aren't you?" Clark asked, to be sure. He'd heard of the guy and was quite certain this was him, but had never actually met him before.
"Yeah, that's me," he answered, grinning widely. "Hey, wait a second. I know you! We've met before!"
"Us?" Clark asked, surprised. "No, I don't think so. I would remember, believe me, I would."
Aquaman stood there observing Clark, who was starting to sweat quite a bit now. He feared that by the time this interview was over, there would be one more person in the world who knew his secret.
"Oh, I've got it!" Aquaman said, excitedly. "I knew I'd seen you before! I'd recognize that chin anywhere! You're Batman, aren't you?"
Clark rolled his eyes. Not another one, he thought. What was it with people thinking he was Batman? His chin looked nothing like Batman's. Nothing!
"No… He's not. I should know," came a low voice, from behind them.
Startled, both men turned around to see the Dark Knight standing there. Neither of them had heard him approaching. Clark wondered for a second whether that was just a result of him having been distracted for a moment or because Batman really was *that good*?
"Huh…?" Aquaman asked, trying to make sense of this new information. He'd been so sure of himself. He knew he'd seen the reporter's face somewhere, but if he wasn't Batman, then where? "But your face looks so familiar…" he said, confused.
"Of course it does, Water Boy," Batman declared, looking smug. He extended an arm and pointed over to a tall building nearby on top of which sat a huge billboard adorning an equally impressive ad for the Daily Planet. "Kent here has his face — and his awful taste in neckwear — plastered all over the city!"
"Well, what do you know…" said Aquaman, staring at the promotional picture of Lois and Clark. "I guess I must have been too busy looking at the pretty girl on the poster to really notice you."
Clark turned to Batman and mouthed a thank you while Aquaman was still staring at the billboard.
The Dark Knight chuckled as he left the scene. "You owe me," he said, once he got further away, knowing that only Clark could hear him.
Bottom Dweller's Notes:
Force Majeure — yeah, I let myself use a French title here, because it fit the bill perfectly well. It means "Superior or overpowering force." and/or "An unexpected or uncontrollable event."