Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the characters that exist within the realm of the show. Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy own the Buffyverse. I do not own Plastic Man. He was created by Jack Cole for Quality Comics and was later bought up by DC comics.
AN: It's a little short, but it's here. For those of you who like timelines, this chapter runs to the end of season 1 of Superman TAS.
The Daily Planet...
“The Guardians of Tomorrow?” Lois asked Jimmy as she tossed down a copy of Newstime Magazine. Jimmy's handiwork graced the cover and the main story in the magazine was the public's reaction to having what equated to gods walking among mortal men.
“Hey, I sold the photos and pointed the reporter to some people who would be willing to give perspectives. He interviewed everybody from Crazy Steve, that bum up the road to the owners of that Noodle Shop Plastic Man frequents.”
“Who is this Ron Troupe guy and why isn't he working for us?” Lois asked.
“You're the reporter.” Jimmy shrugged. “I'm just the photo guy.”
Lois scowled. This needed some looking into.
Police Central....SCU division...
“These guys are getting tougher and more organized.” Detective Dan Turpin said as he stared at the crime scene photos. “The raids are faster and they have coordinated strikes at multiple targets at the same time to distract and drain not only our resources but the heavy hitters too.”
“Their Tech is getting boosted by something too.” Maggie Sawyer agreed. “This goes way beyond what even Luthorcorp or Queen industries are developing.”
“But where are they getting it?” Dan asked. “Better yet, who is supplying them?”
“We need to get a handle on this Intergang and soon. If we don't this city is going to become another Gotham.” Maggie said as she pinched the bridge of her nose. “Granted we don't have half the 'old family' connections Gotham does but this is supposed to be a city of hope not that... wasteland.”
“We'll break this Maggie. You know that. As far as we can tell everything still stems from Mannheim. He is probably the one who is getting the weapons for Intergang. We just need to catch him in the act and cut off the source.” Dan said.
“What if once we take Mannheim down, the gang starts infighting? A lot of innocent people will be caught in the crossfire.” Maggie asked.
“One step at time Mags. One step at a time.” Dan assured her. “Let me call the kid. He can get in all sorts of places we can't. Maybe he could dig something up.”
“Where would he even put a wire?” Maggie asked him.
“That... I really don't want to think about.” Dan admitted. “Still... we need all hands on deck for this. That means them too.”
Maggie nodded. “Call him. We can meet him at the usual place.”
Car 54 Diner....
“So... you guys need me to do what?” Xander asked the two detectives.
“Spy on Manheim. Tail him. Find out where he goes, who he talks to and where the hell he's getting these weapons from.” Maggie Sawyer explained.
“That whole Energy Hand thing was weird.” Xander admitted as he stared at the photos of one of the crimes he hadn't gotten to in time. “Can't be terrestrial tech.”
“You're thinking aliens? Really?” Dan asked.
“Look who I work with.” Xander shrugged. “It's either magic or tech so advanced it looks like magic.”
“Point.” Dan admitted. “Find the source. In the meantime, watch and make notes of everything.”
“Yeah. I gotcha.” Xander said as he sipped his coffee. “I will be in touch. You two gonna have the big guy do anything?”
“He can swoop in once we have enough documented evidence. If Mannheim has a meeting that you can give us a definite time on... we can have surveillance and back up ready to go.” Maggie told him.
Xander nodded. “I'll relay what I have to you two and the big guy. In the mean time... I'll be Mannheim's little shadow.”
“Just don't get caught kid. We have no idea if they have something that can you into a puddle of goo.” Turpin cautioned.
“That's been done before.” Xander muttered.
“What?” Maggie asked.
“I don't want to talk about it.” Xander said before sipping his coffee. “Still... this could get kind of rough. Rougher than it has been.”
“You don't have to do this kid.” Turpin told him.
“What else am I gonna do? Talk radio?” Xander joked.
“Don't even get me started on what's on the air waves these days.” Turpin sighed.
“He really doesn't like Leslie Willis.” Maggie told Xander.
“I don't really listen to radio.” Xander shrugged. “I'll take your word on it.”
Later, at one of Mannheim's many fronts....
“Our deal is over.” The man who called himself 'Kanto' said as he stared at Mannheim. “Even less than a month into our 'transactions' and you've already been compromised.”
“What?” Mannheim demanded. “All of my men are loyal to Intergang. What are you talking about?”
“We're being observed by a Nestene of all things. Rare. I believe you know him as... Plastic Man?” Kanto said with a frown. “I told you to be cautious concerning our dealings Mannheim and you still bring an enemy along with you.”
“That guy's here? ” Mannheim exclaimed. “Where the hell is he?” He said before turning to his men. “Find him. Now.”
His men nodded before they started to tear the place apart.
Kanto rolled his eyes. Plastic Man was an expert shapeshifter. While Kanto knew the being was here, he didn't know where precisely. He activated his Father Box and made the journey back to Apokolips. His master would be... less than pleased with the lack of a foothold here on Earth.
Hopefully, Kanto would survive this failure.
Plastic Man rolled his eyes as Mannheim's goons failed to find him. He only revealed himself when Dan and Maggie showed up with some uniforms to arrest the lot.
“Good job kid.” Dan Turpin told Plastic Man with a grin.
“Eh. I'm a little weirded out that the guy could sense me.” Plastic Man shrugged. “You guys got anything else for me?”
“Well... we got something.” Dan told him. “STAR Labs came to us earlier today. Seems some isotope has gone missing and they think they know who has it.”
“You know, that place really needs to do better psychological screening.” Plastic Man muttered.
“But then they'd be boring.” Dan grinned.
“Isn't that his line?” Maggie asked as she jerked a thumb at Plastic Man.
“Maybe we're rubbing off on each other.” Dan shrugged. “We need you doing recon and the big guy in case anything goes south.”
“I'll see what I can do.” Plastic Man told him.
One disgruntled scientist/mad bomber later....
“Well....” Plastic Man trailed off as they watched the shockwave of the bomb rock the ships in Metropolis Harbor subside. “That could have gone better.”
“You're telling me.” Superman said as he climbed up out of the harbor, tapping some water out of his ears as he did so.
“You've got crabs!” Plastic Man said as he pointed at Superman.
“Umm.... He's not kidding.” Maggie Sawyer said before she and Turpin started laughing.
Superman raised an eyebrow before looking down and realizing he really did have two crabs caught in his costume's outer... shorts. “Well I know what I'm doing for dinner.” He said as he extracted the two crustaceans faster than the eye could follow.” “Gentlemen, Ms. Sawyer.” He nodded before flying off into the night sky.
“Crabs.” Plastic Man and Dan giggled together.
“I'm going home.” Maggie said after she finished laughing herself. “You two handle the clean up.”
“Did she just call 'Not It'?” Plastic Man asked Dan after his partner had left.
“I guess. Come on, I'll get you a cup of coffee after I start the paperwork on all this.”
Clark's apartment, later that night....
“What on earth are you eating?” Lois demanded as she walked inside Clark's apartment right after he opened the door.
“Home made crab salad.” Clark told her. “Lois, what are you doing here?”
“I want you to read these.” Lois said as she handed a folder to Clark. “I must be slipping Clark because I've never heard of this guy until recently.”
“Ron Troupe?” Clark asked as he opened the folder. “What's the big deal Lois? He's another reporter and a wicked bridge partner.”
“He's competition. And what do you mean bridge partner?” Lois demanded.
“I have hobbies.” Clark shrugged.
“What are you, eighty?” Lois scoffed.
“I take it that means you don't want to be my Canasta partner this weekend at the retirement home I volunteer at.” Clark said flatly.
“That depends.” Lois told him.
“On what?” Clark asked.
“Two things.” Lois said. “One; do you have any more of that crab salad?”
“I do. What's the other thing?” Clark asked.
“My apartment building is being fumigated for bed bugs. Can I crash here tonight?” Lois asked him.
Clark shook his head. “You're unbelievable.” He said softly.
“Hey, I'm telling the truth.” Lois told him with a hint of a glare.
“I believe you Lois. It's just... nevermind. You can take the couch tonight. Did you bring a bag?” Clark said as he adjusted his glasses. In truth he was checking to see if she'd brought any of those nasty little insects with her.
“No bag. I didn't find out about it until I tried to enter my building. The Doorman stopped me.” Lois huffed. “Somebody isn't getting a Christmas bonus this year.”
“Exactly how many people do you want swearing vengeance against you?” Clark asked her.
“Hey, you can't be successful in our line of work without stepping on some toes Smallville. Remember that.” Lois told him.
“I remember you ditching me more than once for a story.” Clark told her. “Come on. The crab salad isn't getting any colder.”
Lois grinned. “So you know this Ron Troupe?”
“Nice guy. Does a lot of research for his writing.” Clark told her. “Why?”
“I think Perry should hire him.” Lois shrugged. “If he's gonna be competition, I at least want him under the same banner.”
“That's... an odd view.” Clark told her after he headed into the kitchen to serve her up what was left of the crab salad.
“I want to keep an eye on him.” Lois said through the kitchenette window. “You got any coffee?”
“Real or instant?” Clark asked her.
“Real if it's not too much trouble.” Lois said.
Clark nodded and pulled out his French Press. “Big and bitter right?”
“You got it.” Lois grinned.
“Give me a few minutes.” Clark told her has he handed her the salad and a fork.
“So, what did you do today?” Lois asked as Clark puttered about in the kitchen.
“This and that. Covered the bombing in the harbor. It was a joint effort with the police and Superman and Plastic Man. There was a disgruntled former STAR Labs employee that got his hands on something that he shouldn't.” Clark told her.
“The one time I take a day off.” Lois said around a mouthful of salad. “STAR labs really needs to do better screening.”
“The crazy ones tend to be the most imaginative.” Clark told her with a grin.
“Well that explains Plastic Man.” Lois said with a laugh as Clark handed her a large mug of coffee.
“Indeed it does.” Clark agreed. “Seriously, why are you here?”
“Perry kicked me out and Jimmy said no.” Lois told him “Plus we don't get paid until next Friday.”
“Ah. So the truth comes out.” Clark grinned.
“Quiet you. I know where you live and work.” Lois threatened him over her cup of coffee.
“And if I were a petty man I would have slipped laxatives into your coffee. But seeing as we are in my apartment and it's my bathroom, I've decided to withhold my own vengeance for the time being.” Clark told her.
“Well played Smallville.” Lois chuckled before pausing in her next sip of coffee. “Well played indeed.” She told him before downing the rest of the coffee.
She raised an eyebrow in challenge as she set the mug on the counter.
Clark just laughed.
So began the first chapter of Lois and Clark's unusual after hours relationship.