Lex Luthor leaned back in his leather office chair, a smug look on his face. Despite the best efforts of Superman and Batman, his lawyers had gotten him out of prison. The American legal system could be easily overcome if one had enough money. His first order of business had been to restore LexCorp to its former glory.
“Mr. Luthor?” came a voice over the intercom.
“Mr. Zpitlick is here to see you.”
“Ah, yes. Send him in.”
Hopefully, this meeting would help with his second order of business: destroying Superman and Batman. The mysterious Max Zpitlick had contacted him, saying that he had some very important information about the two heroes.
“Mr. Zpitlick. Please, sit down.”
The man had brown hair and eyes, was of average height, and was dressed in a non-descript brown suit. In fact, he looked completely average except for the strange purple bowler hat that he wore on his head. But no matter. Lex Luthor didn’t care about the man’s fashion choices; he wanted information.
“I detest small talk, so let’s just cut to the chase, shall we?”
“Okay then, Mr. Luthor. I have something you need.”
“Really,” Lex said, with an air of disdain, “and what would that be?”
Lex gave a bored sigh.
“Look, I’m a very busy man. Either get to the point or get out.”
“I have information about Superman and Batman’s secret identities.”
Lex burst into laughter.
“Superman doesn’t have a secret identity. He’s always Superman. Not just a mortal in tights like that Gotham freak.”
“But what if he did have a civilian identity? An apartment. Friends. Family, even.”
“He doesn’t. Believe me, I’ve looked.”
“Well,” the man said, pulling a manila folder out of his briefcase, “maybe you just haven’t looked hard enough.”
Batman steadied the plane with a final glance at Wayne Manor below. Alfred and Dick were probably baking Christmas cookies inside, or maybe wrapping a few final gifts. Maybe later they would drink hot chocolate and sit by the fire, safe from the cold and snow outside.
All he could do was speculate because he wouldn't be there.
Even though Bruce’s extensive training and three years as Gotham City’s Batman had proven him to be somewhat of a workaholic, it had never been his intention to miss Dick’s first Christmas at the Manor. But there didn’t seem to be any other choice.
Bruce reflected on the past few weeks as he maneuvered the plane through a flurry of snow.
It had started out slowly. First, LexCorp had set up a branch in Gotham. Then there had been the break-in at WayneCorp, and the stolen technology from the company’s abandoned weapons project. Luthor’s purchase of the media conglomerate that owned the Daily Planet. Luthor for some reason buying up half the small town of Smallville, Kansas. The attempted kidnapping of Dick Grayson. The mysterious derailing of the commuter train that Lois Lane usually took to work. Thankfully, Superman had been there to save everyone.
He was alarmed, but it wasn’t until he’d run into Luthor at a charity event that he’d realized just how serious the situation was. They had been shaking hands and saying goodbye, when Luthor had leaned forward and whispered in his ear:
“I know everything, Batman. I know all about Clark, too. And I won’t rest until I destroy both of you and everything you’ve worked for.”
Bruce’s expression had given away nothing, but a chill had run up his spine at Lex’s words and his sinister smile as he’d walked away. Bruce knew what Lex had done so far was just a small sample of what he had in store for them. After that incident, he had contacted Superman. They both knew they needed to take action immediately.
If his identity was discovered, the results would be disastrous. Bruce Wayne would be in danger and his ability to operate as Batman would be severely compromised. But he wasn’t the only one whose safety would be threatened. Alfred. Dick. Even Jim, Leslie, and Lucius.
So while he would much rather spend the holidays with the people he cared about, instead he would have to spend it protecting their safety.
He knew that Alfred and Dick understood, yet he couldn’t help being haunted by the sadness in the boy’s eyes when they’d said goodbye. Bruce remembered his first few Christmases after his parents had died, how the hurt had seemed even more overwhelming during that time of year. He had hoped his presence and understanding of Dick’s situation would help spare the boy some of that pain.
He’d try to make it up to him, somehow.
Right now, there was nothing he could do about it; he needed to focus on the task at hand. He could see the Metropolis skyline on the horizon.
It seemed so different from Gotham. Gotham, with her old-world charm, her shadows and darkness. Gotham, whose unspoken histories and secrets were embedded in stone gargoyles, in the bricks and mortar of crumbling buildings. Though Gotham sometimes seemed hopeless, the city had a quiet dignity.
But Metropolis… everything was so clean, and bright, and modern. It was so… open. And though it was the antithesis to everything he loved about his own hometown, he couldn’t help but be drawn into the brightness of the city. Or its protector.
Bruce sighed, trying to will his thoughts away from Clark, but knowing that it was impossible. He hadn’t been able to since the moment he’d laid eyes on the man. He remembered their first meeting, back when Luthor had teamed up with the Joker. He had been in a nightclub questioning a suspect when Superman had shown up, all disapproving Boy Scout in those ridiculous primary colors. He was so damn self-righteous, so quick to condemn Batman’s methods. But still, there was something about him, something that drew him in and wouldn’t let him go. He couldn’t help wanting to trust the man.
As time passed, he learned to see beneath the Superman exterior to the man underneath it all, and the truth was, he liked what he saw. Despite themselves, they had formed a connection. The more they worked together the more obvious it became that there was something brewing between them, even though Clark was always giving him that annoyed sigh and Bruce was always trying his damnedest to keep Clark at arm's length.
But there were a million reasons why it could never happen. He needed to focus, needed to keep their relationship strictly professional. His emotions were irrelevant.
Bruce sighed as he taxied the plane into his secret Metropolis hangar, preparing to take the “rooftop express” to their meeting point. Being forced to spend the holidays with Clark was not going make things easier.
“Thank you for meeting me here.” Superman smiled as Batman landed on the roof of the Daily Planet. He hadn’t planned on spending the holidays going after Luthor with the man who both frustrated him and turned him on beyond belief, but he was determined to make the best of the situation. It was almost Christmas after all, and little Christmas cheer could go a long way.
Batman only grunted. Superman chuckled, earning him a glare. He’d begun to get used to the man’s non-committal grunts. If he were honest with himself, he’d come to find them almost… endearing.
“Here,” Batman said, handing Superman a file.
“Is this what you’ve gathered so far?”
“Most of it.”
Superman sighed, but he was far from surprised. Holiday season or no, Batman wasn’t exactly what one would call “giving”. Despite the previous times they’d worked together, everything with him was on a need-to-know basis.
“You know, if we’re going to work together you might want to be just a little more cooperative.”
“If I’m going to work with you, it’s going to be on my terms. Deal with it.”
“We’ll see about that,” Superman said in a steely voice as he crossed his arms over his chest. His holiday cheer was quickly fading.
“Yes, I guess we will,” Batman challenged.
But underneath all the bravado, all either man could think was that this was shaping up to be the worst holiday in a long time.
Superman flew around the city in lazy circles, trying to clear his head. He’d expected to spend a quiet Christmas at home in Smallville with his Ma and Pa.
Instead, he was stuck with the most abrasive, impossible, beautiful man on the planet.
Although Bruce had been in full jerk-mode back on the rooftop, there were moments when he would let the mask down a bit and Clark was able to catch a glimpse of the man underneath. Or times when they’d work on a case together and be so perfectly in sync. Their methods were different, but their goals were the same. And even though they fought and argued and annoyed the hell out of each other, there was a bond between them that went beyond just being colleagues. More than anyone else, he felt like he and Bruce truly had the capacity to understand each other.
But really, the man was just too stubborn and too obstinate for it ever to work. Plus, Clark had his own responsibilities as Superman to think of. Although he was a much friendlier and more public hero than Batman, there was more to him beneath the smiling exterior. He had secrets too. He rarely felt able to show more than one side of himself to most people; it was rare that anyone saw the hero, the farmboy, and the alien in him.
As he flew past a series of skyscrapers, he remembered the conversation with Bruce that had led to this mission in the first place.
“There’s no time to waste. I have to stop him immediately.”
“You have to stop him? There’s absolutely no way that I’m letting you do this without me,” Batman said icily.
“I appreciate your concern, but I think I can handle Luthor on my own.”
“You think. That’s a first. This is my case too and I’ll be damned if I’m going to just stand by and let you ‘handle’ it. Not when there’s so much at stake.”
Superman rolled his eyes.
“Nice, insulting my intelligence. Well, you’re nothing if not a creature of habit.”
Batman only glared at him.
“Since you’re just going to do what you want anyway, you can help. I’d rather have you on my side than in my way.”
“Great. I just hope you’re in a better mood then, Mr. Scrooge.”
“Believe me, I have people I would much rather spend the holidays with.”
At that statement, Superman had raised an eyebrow. Batman always seemed to be the quintessential loner, not the type of man one thought of as ‘having people’. He knew that Bruce Wayne had a butler and that he’d recently taken in an orphaned circus boy, but he had no idea what either of them were really like or the depth of their relationship with Bruce.
Everything he learned about the Batman or Bruce Wayne only added to the man’s overall mystery. Though they interacted more and more, and often even worked well together, Clark never felt as if he really got to know the man any better. He was always holding something back.
Clark sighed and headed towards his apartment. It seemed no matter how many times he flew around the city, he wouldn’t be able to escape his thoughts of Bruce.
Opening the window, he quickly slipped inside the dark apartment. He took off his cape and then flopped down on the couch. Maybe he would write for a little while, or just try to sleep. He didn’t need to sleep as often as humans did, but it looked like tomorrow was going to be a very busy day.
Suddenly, he heard a soft shuffling sound. Focusing his hearing, he picked up another heartbeat in the room.
“Who’s there?” he asked, preparing to attack.
“It’s just me.”
Batman stepped out of the shadows and into the silvery moonlight that was pouring in through the window. Clark’s breath caught at the sight of him. The image was doing nothing to help him forget about how drawn he felt to the man.
“You should really invest in some better security.”
Clark rolled his eyes. It seemed Bruce always had to spoil things by opening his mouth.
“What do you want?”
“I have something for you.”
Clark raised an eyebrow.
“Here,” Bruce said, handing him two large envelopes. “This is everything I have on Luthor.”
Clark was speechless for a moment. Maybe Bruce couldn’t just come out and say “I’m sorry” like regular people, but Clark accepted the gesture for what it was.
“Thank you,” Clark said as he stood.
Bruce trailed off and they were left there in silence, staring at each other in the moonlight.
“I should be going. Busy day tomorrow,” Bruce said as his voice and expression hardened. He turned and quickly slipped out of the window without so much as a second glance behind him.
Clark smiled and looked down at the files in his hands. It didn’t matter that Bruce had run off scared. Something had happened in that moment. Something had changed and there was no turning back.
Maybe this mission wouldn’t be such a disaster after all.
Darkness had finally fallen and Superman and Batman hovered outside of the LexCorp facility in Metropolis. Although he’d been surprised that Batman had allowed him to fly them there, it felt nice to have the man in his arms.
“Can you see into the building?”
“No, Luthor has everything lined in lead. There shouldn’t be many civilians inside though. Maybe a few researchers at most. It is Christmas Eve after all.”
Batman nodded as they landed on the roof.
“Then let’s go in. We should split up. I’ll try and hack into his systems and find out the extent of his plans and just how much he knows about us. You go find the weapons he’s been building with stolen WayneCorp technology.”
“Wait. I don’t think it’s a good idea to split up now. We don’t know exactly what – ”
“No. We split up. It’s more efficient. Plus, I don’t need you looking over my shoulder.”
“Fine,” Superman answered tersely, but Batman had already begun making his entry into the building.
Batman’s fingers flew across the keyboard at the central computer. The room had been unguarded, and he realized he had most likely walked into a trap.
Maybe Clark had been right about not splitting up.
But he needed information; if it was a trap, so be it. He had walked into worse situations. He could take care of himself.
He smiled slightly as he broke through another firewall. The smile faded as sparks shot off the keyboard, shocking him into unconsciousness.
Superman moved through the compound, looking for his objective. He had memorized the building’s layout, but that didn’t really tell him what was in each room. For the first time, he wished that his costume was made of darker colors. Red, blue, and yellow weren’t really the best colors for sneaking around.
“Superman,” came a voice over a loudspeaker.
“We have your partner here in the control room. I suggest you come try to retrieve him.”
Bruce was in danger.
Superman moved quickly through the corridors, but he felt like he couldn’t move fast enough. He had to get to Bruce, had to make sure he was okay.
Superman arrived to see Lex standing next to the computer console. Beside him was Mercy, who had a gun pressed firmly against Batman’s temple. Batman’s hands were bound and his utility belt was missing. Mercy looked angry and her hair was sticking up in places, almost as if she had been electrocuted.
Superman weighed his options. He was fast, but the gun was pressed right against Batman’s head. And who knew what other tricks Lex had up his sleeve? He couldn’t risk it. He would have to wait and play things by ear.
Lex flashed a grin when he saw Superman enter the room.
“I knew you would come sooner or later. And I’m glad it was sooner. Ruining your Christmas will make my victory just that much sweeter.”
Superman crossed his arms over his chest. He was not impressed.
“This evening I saw a blip on my radar, a very fast moving one. And I knew it was neither a bird nor a plane. So we began laying a trap for you and your little friend here.”
“Get to the point, Luthor. What do you want?”
“What do I want? I want to take everything you have, everything you care about. I want you to feel the sting of defeat that you’ve made me feel time and time again. I want you to die knowing you have failed to protect the things and people you care about, that everything you hold dear is completely at my mercy.”
Superman clenched his fists in anger.
“Everything and everyone has a price, Superman. Perhaps I’ll continue to take over Mr. Wayne's illustrious company and use it to manufacture weapons. Buy his ancestral home and raze it to the ground. Adopt his young ward. And I have several plans for the small town of Smallville, Kansas. Such lovely people there, especially the Kents.”
“Stay calm, Clark,” Batman whispered in a voice so low only Superman could hear it, “There’s still a chance to maintain our secret identities. Just trust me.”
Superman nodded slightly, letting the other man know that he’d heard him. It seemed futile to keep pretending that he wasn’t Clark Kent, but if Bruce had a plan then he was willing to go with it.
Superman laughed at Lex.
“You think you have it all figured out, don’t you? I may be a lot of things, Lex, but I’m not Clark Kent. And he isn’t Bruce Wayne. Do you have any idea how ridiculous you sound?”
Lex laughed, too.
“I know the truth, Mr. Kent. Mercy, remove Mr. Wayne’s cowl.”
“I wouldn’t if I were you,” Batman said darkly.
“Oh, really?” Lex challenged.
“The cowl is insulated to protect me, but anyone else who tries to remove it now will receive an electric shock. Similar to what Mercy received when she tried to open my utility belt.”
Lex looked at Mercy.
“Oh, no way, Lex. This is where I draw the line.”
“No matter. Although I would have enjoyed exposing his identity to the world, I think I’d prefer to see him die today. You’ve always been a thorn in my side, Superman, but Batman has also become a problem. The damn Daily Planet has even taken to calling you the ‘World’s Finest’.”
Lex snorted derisively.
“Really now. An alien and a lunatic in a batsuit? If anyone is the ‘World’s Finest’ it’s me! And after today, there will be no one standing in my way...”
Superman pounded a fist against the glass case. It was difficult because there wasn’t much space and he almost hit Batman in the head. And with the red sun rays beating down on him, it was also completely useless.
“Hey, watch it.”
Superman sighed in frustration of more than one kind. They were trapped in a glass case with no super-powers, no utility belt, and a rapidly diminishing air supply. Lex was gone for now, to God knows where, but he’d promised to come back “to enjoy the show when things get interesting,” which Clark took to mean when their air was almost gone.
And to add fuel to the fire, the glass case was ridiculously small. There was barely enough room for them to turn around and he couldn’t move without feeling Bruce’s body or the heat of his breath on Clark’s neck.
He doubted Luthor realized what he had done, but intentional or not, the man was a master of torture. It was tempting to just give in and use their last bit of air to resolve the growing sexual tension between them.
But they needed to escape; the people they cared about could be in danger if they didn’t.
“So. I take it you have a plan then.”
“I always have a plan.”
“Hm. I guess not even certain death can stop you from being a smartass.”
“Just shut up and reach down to my left boot.”
Clark struggled and finally turned around to face Bruce.
Oh God. That had been a terrible idea.
Superman pressed himself as far against the glass as he could so that their lips or any other… sensitive areas… wouldn’t touch.
“Hurry up,” Batman said gruffly, but his breath was coming out harsher than usual.
Clark bent down quickly, trying to ignore just how close his face was to the man's crotch.
He found a small device in Bruce’s boot and stood up quickly once it was firmly in his grip.
“Here. What is it?”
“It’s a specialized sonic device. Emits a variety of high frequency sounds, including one that will break glass. Once he caught us, I figured we would be imprisoned. I thought I’d be using the lock pick in my right boot to escape and this to create a diversion, but we’ll have to change things up.”
Batman pressed the device against the glass.
“Cover your ears.”
The glass shattered and they both sprang to their feet. Bruce found himself feeling both relieved and disappointed to no longer be in such close quarters with Clark.
“I’m going to find my belt.”
“I’m going after Luthor.”
“No,” Batman said, placing a hand on Superman’s shoulder, “splitting up before was what got us into this mess. We do this together. We’re a team.”
A slow smile spread over the Man of Steel’s face.
“Yes. Yes we are.”
Their gazes met and lingered, Batman’s hand still firmly on his partner’s shoulder. They both wanted this moment to last longer, to have the chance to say the words that were still unspoken between them.
But this would have to be enough for now; there was still work to be done.
“They’ve most likely taken my utility belt to the Research and Development area.”
“I memorized the layout of the building, follow me.”
“Hm. You’re learning.”
Superman only grinned and began leading them through a series of corridors. They moved quickly; without Superman’s heat vision and Batman’s utility belt, they didn’t have any way to quickly disable the security cameras. Luthor would be after them any minute now.
“Here!” Superman called out, pointing to a room ahead.
“Damn,” Batman said as they stopped in front of the door. It was locked by Luthor’s hi-tech security system and he had neither the time nor the tools to crack the security code.
He looked around quickly, his eyes resting on the ceiling.
“Good idea. I can give you a boost to get in, but then I have no way of getting up there too.”
“Don’t worry, this won’t take long. Just trust me.”
I always have, Clark thought. He nodded to Batman and began helping him get into the vent. They moved quickly, efficiently focused on their common task.
Once inside, Batman moved quickly through the vent. Figuring he had traveled far enough, he found the opening and lowered himself out, landing quietly. He scanned the room, seeing a few of Luthor’s research technicians pouring over his belt. It seemed they had grown tired of being shocked and had upgraded from normal clothes to insulated body suits. So the belt’s defenses were still working then. This made him smile.
Silently, he approached the men who were so caught up in their work that they didn’t notice the intruder.
In their shock, the three technicians appeared to leap two feet in the air.
“You have something that belongs to me. Either you can give it back or I can take it. Your choice.”
“H-h-here!” the dark-haired man said, handing him the belt.
The Dark Knight quickly secured the belt around his waist, gave the terrified techs a patented Bat-smile (which he often thought to be even scarier than his Bat-glare), and exited the room.
“What are you so happy about?” Superman asked, seeing the smile on his partner’s face.
“Sometimes it’s good to be the Batman. Now, let’s go. Maybe we can use the computers in the control room to find Luthor. I’m sure there’s some kind of surveillance system.”
Superman led the way again as they ran down another corridor, then down a flight of stairs.
“Do you find it odd that he hasn't realized we've escaped? Or at least sent Mercy after us?” Superman asked as they ran.
“Yes, very. We’re almost certainly walking into another trap. He’s probably waiting for us.”
“You’re right. But it doesn’t matter. We’re a team. The World’s Finest.”
“I can’t decide whether you’re brave or just foolish. Or both.”
“Well, you’re about to find out,” Clark said as they came to a stop. They had reached the control room.
The door was open and they could see Luthor inside sitting at the large central computer console, Mercy standing at his side.
“Welcome,” Lex said as he turned around in the chair, “I’ve been expecting you.”
“No more games, Luthor. It ends here,” Superman said, crossing his arms over his chest.
“Yes. Yes it does, though not in the way you hope, Superman.”
Luthor stood and crossed the room to stand face to face with his arch-nemesis.
Batman glanced at Mercy who was standing near the console with her gun cocked and aimed at him. He smiled his most terrifying grin. This was going to be fun.
She fired the pistol, but he was ready for it. He ducked, rolled, and threw a perfectly aimed batarang and knocked the gun out of her hands. She lunged at him with a jab and flurry of kicks.
She was good. In another situation he might have liked to spar with her. But today, he needed to dispatch her as quickly and painlessly as possible. He dodged another kick and grabbed her in a hold. From there, it was just a few fingers to a pressure point on her neck and she was out cold. He laid her on the floor and turned his attention back to Clark and Lex.
“You think you’re some kind of hero, Lex.”
Luthor punched at Superman, but he dodged the blow.
“Even without my powers, you’re no match for me.”
Superman punched him hard, knocking him down.
“You’ve failed, Luthor. Just like you always do. You may have temporarily de-powered me. You may think you’ve discovered our secret identities. But you haven’t done anything except guaranteed that you’ll spend Christmas behind bars where you belong. And this time I’ll find a way to make sure you stay there for a very, very long time.”
“Bluff all you want, Mr. Kent, but I know the truth. But it was never about revealing your identities. Not today anyway. Today, was always about this.”
Luthor lunged. Batman made out a sharp, bright green object in his hand.
“No!” he yelled out, throwing a batarang in an attempt to deflect Luthor’s blow. For Bruce, time seemed to go by in slow-motion.
Until Superman’s anguished cry broke the spell.
Batman looked on in horror as Superman crumpled and fell to his knees.
“What did you do to him?” he barked at Lex as he ran to Clark’s side. His breathing was slow and labored, but the Kryptonian was still alive.
Lex grinned and held up his weapon, a dagger with a blade made of kryptonite.
“As much as I would have enjoyed witnessing your slow and painful deaths in the glass case, I had a feeling that you might escape. So I had this made. I also had this wonderful little lead-lined sheath made for it, so that Superman wouldn’t even be aware of its presence until I decided to strike.”
He laughed maniacally as he re-sheathed the bloody blade.
Batman felt wave after wave of rage wash over him. He couldn’t lose Clark now, not with so many things between them still left unspoken.
“Luthor,” he growled, readying himself to attack when he felt Clark stir next to him and begin to stand. Batman gasped and Luthor eyes widened as he took a step back in surprise.
“No. No! I felt it make contact!”
“It’s over, Luthor.”
Then with his last bit of strength, Superman gave Luthor a right-hook that left him an unconscious heap on the floor. He stood over Luthor in victory for a moment more before collapsing to the floor himself.
Batman dropped down to the floor next to his fallen comrade. Frantically, he pulled Superman’s cape back so he could better see his torso. He cringed when he saw the bleeding wound in his side.
“Damn it, Clark. You can’t die on me, not now.”
Though he managed to keep the despair out of his voice, he was at a total loss. The wound was bleeding profusely, the color was fading from Clark’s skin, and he didn’t know the first thing about Kryptonian physiology.
Bruce tore off his own cape and pressed it hard against the wound. With his other hand he activated a button on his utility belt which would call the plane to their coordinates. If he was going to save Clark, he would need to start by getting him out of there. It was nighttime on their side of the world, but maybe if he got Clark to a place with sunlight, his body would heal itself. The plane was fast, but he didn’t know if it could fly around the world in time. And even then, with the way the wound was bleeding the damage might just be too much…
“Bruce…” Clark muttered hoarsely.
“Yes, I’m right here. The plane is coming. Just hang on.”
“Bruce… the Fortress…”
“Your Fortress?” Clark had mentioned it in passing before, but Bruce had never been there.
“Yes…has… Kryptonian technology… will heal me.”
Bruce continued to press his cape against the wound until his belt beeped at him, telling him that the plane had arrived and was hovering outside the building.
“Hang on. I’m going to get you out of here. We just need to make it to the plane.”
But the question was, how?
Bruce was strong, but Clark was a heavy man, especially now that he was mostly dead weight. Bruce could feel the fear rising up in him as he glanced around the room, desperate for something, anything.
Lex Luthor’s ridiculous leather console chair. It had wheels.
He smiled grimly, thinking of how Luthor would feel to know that a symbol of his massive ego had been used to save Superman’s life.
Batman jumped up and wheeled the chair over to his fallen partner.
“Clark,” he said, his voice pulling the man back into consciousness, “I’m going to get you to the plane, but I need your help.
Clark coughed and nodded, trying to help Bruce pull him into the chair as much as he could.
Bruce’s muscles throbbed painfully, pushed close to their limit.
But the pain didn’t matter; they had managed to get Clark into the chair.
He took a deep breath and then began pushing the chair. Everything was a blur as he found the elevator, found the exit, called the plane to land beside them.
His arms ached, but he had to get Clark into the plane. He was just thankful he had designed it to be so low to the ground. He felt the adrenaline coursing through his veins. He felt the depth of his feelings for Clark, his belief in him and everything he was. He hoped that somehow, it would be enough.
Clark would not die. Not now, not like this. Not if he had anything to do with it.
He pushed and pulled until his arms felt like they might come out of their sockets. But it was all worth it to have Clark secure in the passenger seat, still breathing.
Clark was beginning to shiver and break into a cold sweat, but he managed to pull himself together enough to give Bruce the coordinates he needed. Bruce entered them and set the plane on autopilot. Quickly, he radioed the Metropolis PD, giving them a tip to find Luthor.
Then he smoothed Clark’s sweat-dampened hair back from his brow and whispered, “We’re almost there, just hang on,” over and over again like a mantra.Onward to Part 2