Disclaimer: I own nothing. All Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters and DC Comics characters are the property of their original owners.
“And our next contestant is…Zander? Did I get that right? Okay, here’s Zander Harris!”
Mild applause from one or two members from the audience started the instant the young man walked onto the stage from out of the left wing of this theater. The applause didn’t stop; instead, it began to increase, as more and more people started paying attention, including elbowing their neighbors in their seats to look at the stage. None of those abruptly-nudged people seemed to mind, as these individuals joined in the enthusiastic clapping, even contributing shouts of approval, as the latest contestant came to a stop in the middle of the stage. Striking a heroic pose which involved standing in a one-piece blue costume with arms akimbo and fists resting upon his hips in the red trunks, the young man’s cape of the same scarlet color swept against the rear tops of equally-red boots.
It looked like they had a sure winner here in the Superboy Masquerade (Teenage Division) at Metropolis, Illinois. Held during the Superman Celebration in that small town in the upper Midwest which honored this DC Comics character in all forms every year, so far there’d been a couple of other Superboys before the current one on stage, but this guy was clearly the best. The costume was magnificent, done in flawless detail and indisputably from the finest materials possible. Just getting the perfect look of polished sleekness must have taken infinite pains. Even the cut of the crotch bulge managed to keep things decent enough for the comic pages themselves.
What really swept all the other competitors off the board was this entrant’s face and body. He had a sublime swimmer’s trim build, with smooth muscles rippling under the blue/gold/scarlet costume, giving the impression of great strength even upon the cusp of full adulthood. All the eyes of the audience (particularly the female members of every age) swept up from booted toe to dapper neckline, failing to find any flaws whatsoever.
Yes, that included the crotch, too.
However, it was the face that impressed everyone the most. He could’ve been Superboy’s twin brother. The resemblance was that close, down to the forehead spit curl. Excited whispers and debates began drifting throughout the audience, as they argued over what period to place him in, along with the artist of that time which had best drawn this character. “Silver Age, it has to be!…I’m thinking pre-sixties…Curt Swan? Nah, Al Plastino, maybe…”
All at once, everyone stilled, as the guy on the stage, who’d remained totally immobile now raised a hand, first finger extended in a clear call for the audience’s attention. There was a total hush in the arena, all there watching in curiosity, when the guy turned with the smoothness of an athlete, cape flowing along while revealing a superb butt in walking off. Actual sighs of regretful appreciation came from many there, of either sex, since the audience thought it was now over.
Then again, the contestant, after reaching the wing where he’d first entered the stage, only reached out to pick up something placed there, and then he turned back to head once more to the middle of the theater area. Facing the puzzled audience, this time holding horizontally in his arms a cloth roll composed of a blue material, the Superboy shifted his grip to the upper edge of the fabric cylinder, and after clutching this tightly in his fingers, a flick of his wrists unrolled the tube to the floor of the stage.
An immense roar of laughter swept throughout the entire theater, as all there saw a grinning Superboy holding in front of himself a large blue beach towel having a red trim along the edges, with a golden irregular pentagon having a capital ‘S’ in the center of this towel. It was clearly one of the souvenirs on sale during the Superman Celebration, and the audience had to give him points for using it as part of his presentation.
Yet, as this cheerful Superboy simply stood there, the amusement died out into mere chuckles, and then expectant silence as the audience sensed there was something more to come. Turning his head back and forth in a slow glance on both sides of himself, the Boy of Steel lifted the upper edge of the towel to just under his bottom lip, and then he abruptly smiled as widely as possible, revealing rows of gleaming teeth. They weren’t just gleaming; afterwards, several members of the audience swore they actually saw a glint of light bounce off a tooth.
Not that anyone had time to really think about this, considering what happened next. With another flick of his wrists, Superboy tossed up the towel’s edge so that it rose to just over his head, making him totally hidden for the mere fraction of the second it took for the entire towel to fall to the stage floor and reveal standing there…Clark Kent.
The entire audience surged to their feet, roaring at the tops of their lungs and beating their hands together at this outstanding example of what could be nothing but a quick-change magic trick, as they gazed at a perfect example of a sheepish, rather gawky teenager wearing plain black glasses and the clothing of a normal high-school student from the Midwest back in the 1950’s. Pushing back his glasses with a fingertip pressed against the center of these frames, Clark gave a self-conscious smile to them all, clumsily bent down to pick up the towel, and while struggling in holding the fabric under one arm, he walked off the stage, awkwardly waving goodbye with his free hand.
Waiting with masterful timing, the very last step by Clark Kent off the stage was a fake trip that sent him staggering out of sight from the audience, who responded with another immense standing ovation.
A day later, Xander Harris was driving down the Illinois highway, using a free moment during this to glance over at the passenger seat, where a very shiny and very large trophy was resting, with an actual blue ribbon pinned to this award. Turning his attention back to the road, Xander smirked to himself, *Hey, some people might think I cheated, but when you get turned by Chaos magic into a Superboy from the very beginning of the Legion of Super-Heroes era, whose only superpower this time was the ability to change into Clark Kent at superspeed, what else would any sensible guy do but just have fun with that?*
Coming to a steep hill in the road, Xander nudged the gas pedal, and as his Jeep zoomed upwards to the apex of the hill, the young man gleefully yelled, “Up, up, and awaaaaaay!”
Author’s Note: Yes, there is
a Metropolis, Illinois, and they do
hold a Superman Celebration there every year. However, this event ordinarily takes place at the start of June, but in this story, I pushed it further along a couple of months. Hey, I’m a fanfiction writer. I can do that.