Lacking an Anchor: Chapter the Next (aka Part 10)
TN:(Finally another Piece, it’s been long enough...
The Next Morning
“Regular fluorescent bulbs in red and a glowing green rock that is not kryptonite?” Batman asked curiously.
“That's what I need,” Xander agreed.
“You want two things that resemble threats to superman, but actually do nothing?” Bruce clarified, trying to figure out his plan.
“Precisely,” Xander agreed, more than happy to leave Batman in the dark.
“How do you plan to set this up?” Batman asked.
“With your help, of course.”
“You think I'll help you set up a friend...” Batman began coldly.
“If it’s in his own best interest, yes.”
“I'm listening,” he replied after a couple of moments of tense silence.
It was much easier to sneak up on Superman than it was on Batman. Super senses only detect things when you look for them and while Batman was always expecting to be attacked Superman was a lot more trusting. Being damn near invulnerable to harm may have had a touch to do with that.
Xander tapped Superman on the shoulder and handed him a glowing green rock when he turned around. “Have some kryptonite.”
Metal blast doors slammed shut at either end of the hallway as the Watchtower's lighting turned blood red and the Kryptonian recoiled from the rock he'd automatically accepted.
“The high intensity red sunlight bulbs should have already neutralized your powers making the kryptonite harmless to you,” Xander said blandly.
Superman paused, realized he wasn't feeling the usual pain and weakness kryptonite caused him, and flung the rock down the hall. “What do you want?”
“For you to stop interfering whenever me and 'Tea get close to one another,” Xander replied bluntly.
“I have a responsibility-” Superman began.
“You gave up all rights to act as a parent when you didn't step forward and hid the knowledge like you were ashamed of her,” Xander interrupted once more.
“I'm not ashamed of her!” Superman denied, getting in Xander's face.
“Then why the fuck does she have an open panel in the front of her costume?!” Xander demanded, dropping his axe and shoving Superman back.
“What?” Superman asked as they began to circle each other like a pair of teenage boys in a schoolyard fight.
“If you're not ashamed of her why doesn't she wear the S for the house of El?” Xander asked, throwing a right at Kal El's head.
Having trained with Batman (who’d told him he needed to rely on himself more than his powers) under artificial red sunlight, Superman quickly blocked and struck back.
A glancing blow to the chin rocked Xander's head back, but he took some satisfaction in seeing Superman have to shake off the pain from blocking Xander's punch.
“Kara wears the symbol of the House of El and it's brought her nothing but trouble.”
“How so?” Xander demanded as he accepted a blow to the left shoulder, protecting his head from a powerful jab.
“It's not fair to make her live up to standards even I don't match!” Superman said and Xander had to duck a haymaker that would have taken his head off.
Xander's uppercut actually lifted Superman off the ground an inch and made him stagger back, but when he tried to capitalize on it Superman reminded him this wasn't a boxing match with a kick that slammed him back into the wall.
“I've seen Kara in tears because she thinks she's not living up to her family name – that she's disappointing me somehow,” Superman growled out. “As if I could be anything but proud of her.”
Xander recovered and got a shoulder into Superman's midsection and slammed him into the wall, knocking the wind out of him. “Then why shouldn't Galatea get the same opportunity to make you proud?”
“She does!” Superman said, unloading a left that nailed Xander's right eye.
Knocking Superman's arms apart Xander stepped forward and head-butted him, bloodying his nose.
A raised knee caught Xander in the chest and was quickly followed with an elbow to the back that slammed him to the ground.
“Spell out why she didn't get the El,” Xander wheezed, kicking out and connecting with Superman's right knee from the ground.
The floor rang as Kal El's head connected with it, so Xander climbed to his feet and awaited Superman's return to his feet and his answer.
“If I could I'd rip the El off Kara's chest and tell her to walk her own path. Galatea has that chance and I won't take it from her; I'm prouder of them both than I can say.”
The two exchanged a flurry of blows, mostly punches as Xander considered Kal El's words. “And your continued cock blocking efforts?”
“Well, I don't approve of you,” Superman admitted, digging deep into the lessons Batman had given him in hand to hand combat and nailing Xander with a series of left jabs before a feint allowed him to lay Xander out with a solid right. “I mainly don't want her first time marred by injuring the person she's with.”
Xander watched the ceiling and waited for the stars in his vision to fade. “And yet we've managed to get through this entire fight with you upset and me not receiving a single serious injury, despite the fact that I'm human and you're kryptonian.”
“The red sun bulbs helped,” Kal El said blandly.
“Actually I got them from the dollar store where they're described as Shagadelic Red,” Xander replied.
“The kryptonite?” Superman pointed out.
“Is just a glowing green rock. Where the hell would I get kryptonite?”
“Where the heck would you get a glowing green rock?” Superman replied.
“I asked Batman for one; as long as I don't ask for anything that would actually harm you he's pretty generous.”
The lights returned to normal and the hallway unsealed itself, opening the blast doors and allowing two Kryptonian girls and a human dressed as a bat to enter.
Kara hugged Kal El so tight he winced. “Easy on the ribs, I think he bruised them.”
Galatea stood over Xander, who looked up at her with a smile on his face. “If you were wearing a dress I could so look up it right now.”
Bending down she scooped him up bridal style. “I can't believe you went hand to hand with him over me.”
“Yeah, how did you?” Kara asked, setting Kal El down.
“I was making a point with mood lighting,” Xander said, snuggling into Galatea’s arms. “Your powers are under subconscious control, so unless you want to hurt someone you won’t … or rather you won’t hurt them more than a human would accidentally.”
“This was your proof of concept,” Superman nodded in understanding.
“And a way for Kara and Galatea to hear what you really think of them,” Xander said agreeably. “And they don't have to worry that you were just being nice.”
“You risked Superman accidentally smearing you against a wall for me?” Galatea asked.
“Yep, and I got a lot of ouchies to kiss better too...” Xander said with a grin.
Batman handed Superman a handkerchief to wipe the blood from his nose. “Glad to see you remembered my lessons… eventually. We'll have to schedule a refresher course.”
“I didn't think I was that bad,” Superman said.
“He was holding back and you still barely beat him,” Batman pointed out.
“You were holding back?” Superman asked Xander.
“I don't … huh, yeah I guess I was,” Xander admitted. “But that's mainly because you aren't a demon I was trying to kill, you're someone I was trying to beat some sense into. I'm not really skilled … fighting people, especially if I'm not trying to cause serious injuries to them.”
“And I'm … I've never been in practice fighting people who can match my strength and speed,” Superman admitted.
“You were both more interested in what was being said than fighting each other,” Batman interjected, pointing out what he thought was a major flaw in their fight.
“The fight was really just punctuation,” Xander admitted.
“Bloody punctuation,” Kara muttered, cleaning Superman's face much like Ma Kent would have done, using spit and a handkerchief.
“Just be glad we stopped peeing on things to mark ownership,” Xander said.
“I think someone needs a nice hot shower and a massage,” Galatea said, leaving with Xander.
“Beautiful and brilliant,” Xander declared with a smile. “How'd I get so lucky?”
“You probably did something really good in a past life,” she replied.
“And when were you going to tell me I had a daughter?” Kara asked once they'd left.
“By our people's laws a clone would be considered a daughter and you're much more familiar with them than I am,” Kal protested.
“True, but that's dodging the issue.”
Superman sighed. “When I look at you I see the little sister I always wanted,” he admitted. “I didn't want to jeopardize that, even if it was selfish of me to keep the truth to myself.”
“Awww!” Kara kissed him on the cheek. “I think of you as a big brother too,” she said, giving him a big hug then vanishing in a blur of speed.
Batman watched as Superman slowly keeled over. “Over Emotional Female Hug of Doom?”
“Over Emotional Female Hug of Doom,” Superman agreed, recalling Flash's description of crippling affection that only females were capable of.
“Need a hand?”
“Turn on the sun lamps and let me heal?” Superman suggested, lying there staring at the ceiling.
The hallway lighting intensified tenfold as yellow sunlamps kicked on making Superman sigh. “Thanks.”
Grundy signaled to his men to gather around. “Grundy fight bat while you collect money and jewels.”
“Gotham charity parties are always loaded,” one of the men agreed with a grin.
“How you gonna draw the bat to you boss?” another asked.
“Grundy going to wake others,” the giant replied. “Noise and screams bring bat.”
“You can raise zombies boss?”
“Need chicken and rum,” Grundy said, “rest easy.”
“Geeze Supes,” Flash exclaimed as he stood watch in the monitor room. “What happened to you?”
“Galatea's boyfriend and then an OEHD from Kara,” Superman claimed, feeling much better after 10 minutes under some sun lamps.
“The guy with the axe?” Flash asked. “I thought he was human?”
“He is,” Superman replied, but before he could say more everyone was hit with a telepathic wave that left them weak in the knees.
“What was that?” Wonder Woman demanded, having just arrived on the teleporter.
“It’s an empathic projection from Galatea,” Jon replied, shaking his head.
“Empathic?” Wonder woman asked, before shuddering and grabbing a rail to keep her feet.
“Kryptonians have powerful psionic gifts,” Jon replied. “For instance their heat vision is just a form of controlled pyrokinesis.”
“Well, can someone stop her?” Flash asked, lying on the deck. “I think most of us need to change shorts already!”
“I'll get it,” Jon volunteered, phasing through the floor.
Flash climbed to his feet. “Is there any power you kryptonians don't have?!”
“Is this part of the make love not war philosophy that was prevalent in the sixties?” Wonder woman asked. “Because, if so, I can imagine it being very effective in crowd control.”
“The expression of our Kryptonian gifts varies by family lines and environment,” Superman said. “Empathic projection isn't rare, but it’s rarely this strong.”
“I need a coffee,” Wonder woman decided. “Would you care to join me?” she asked Batman, grabbing him by the hand and ignoring any protests he might have made as she drug him to the teleporters.
Flash blinked. “She has a unique way of asking.”
“With Batman it’s always best to be direct,” Superman replied. “Besides she prefers the coffee Alfred makes for the Bat Cave and Batman is more… emotionally comfortable there.”
“Huh,” Flash said thoughtfully.
Jon phased back through the floor, looking like a male combination of Xander and Galatea. “I tried shielding them, so I wouldn't have to interrupt, but the broadcast was on such a narrow frequency it tore through my shields like it was armor piercing. So I popped in and claimed to be their child from the future; talk about shocked.”
“I probably would have gotten away with it, but I couldn't keep a straight face. I let them know what was going on and they agreed to use Bruce's place, since the only person within range of her broadcast down there is Alfred and he can go out for lunch,” Jon explained.
“Didn't Wonder Woman just drag Batman down there for coffee?” Flash asked with a grin.
“I believe she did,” Superman agreed, trying to keep a straight face.
“I'll mark them as off shift,” Flash decided.
“Good call,” Jon agreed. AN: Typing once more by godogma!