"Look, Bruce is under no obligation to tell me everything." Jaclyn rolled her eyes at Pete. "If he wants to tell me, great, but if not, I don't care."

"Really?" adult Bruce said a bit louder than he intended. Over the years, so many of his relationships with women dissolved because of his own need to keep secrets. Finding someone who would be alright with that would have been refreshing.

"Yes, really," Jaclyn said.

"You know who he probably told? C.K. I bet he tells C. K. more than he tells you." Pete folded his arms. "You should dump him. Give another guy a chance." He looked her in the eye with a raised brow and an intense stare.

"You are way out of line, pal," adult Bruce said to Pete with a raised voice.

"If I didn't know better, I would think you were trying to steal my boyfriend," Jaclyn said in a calm manner.

"What? No!" Pete declared rather loudly with a hint of disgust in his voice.

"Why else would you be trying so hard to turn me against Bruce? But it is not going to work. I love him. I have been dating him for about six months. C.K. has known him for years, so of course they will have their secrets. But that isn't something I need to worry about."

"Years?" adult Bruce mumbled to himself. He was certain he didn't know C.K. from the original timeline, so this friendship must have been caused by a butterfly effect from whatever superman did.

Pete let himself out making a hasty exit. Jaclyn rubbed her hands together in rapid succession indicating she was all done with that.

"Did you really mean everything you said," Bruce asked Jaclyn.

"Yes, all of it except the part about Pete trying to steal my boyfriend," Jaclyn said with a nod. "I only said that to shut him up."

"Nicely done," adult Bruce snickered. "Do you really think your boyfriend knows who Kal-El is?"

Just then, there was a knock at the door. "Pete is back already. Figures he wouldn't really leave," Jaclyn muttered to herself. She knew Pete's deal; he had a crush on her and was trying to break her and Bruce up so he could have his chance. Then she decided to do something to rub it in his face. She stood at the door, knowing that Pete was on the other side, turned to Adult Bruce and spoke loud enough that anyone behind the door would hear it, "Yes, Bruce probably does know who Kal-El is, but I don't care about that. I only care about how amazing he is in bed." Then she turned around and opened the door expecting to see Pete. Her jaw dropped. "Oh, hi dad," she said with a forced smile.

Her father just glared back at her. His face went flush, and his hands formed tight fists. "What brings you here," Jaclyn asked.

Her father grunted at her finding himself, temporarily, unable to speak. Then he addressed adult Bruce. "See that C. K. gets this. He left so fast, but my brother wanted to thank him for his help cleaning up after yesterday's cook out. I didn't expect to find my daughter here."

"Sure," adult Bruce agreed.

"You are coming home with me now young lady," Jaclyn's father demanded of his daughter.

"Tell Bruce I will see him later," Jaclyn said.

"No, she won't. Not for a while," Jaclyn's father insisted, then he grabbed his daughter by the arm and escorted her out.

"I am very disappointed in you," Jaclyn's father said to her as they both got in his 1981 Oldsmobile cutlass 4-door supreme station wagon.

"Dad, please. I didn't…" Jaclyn started to say.

"I know what I heard. Don't try to deny it now," her father said.

"And before you and mom got married you never," Jaclyn began to say.

"So, do you really think Bruce Wayne is going to marry you?" He started the car. They both buckled up and began to drive away. "Don't be naïve. He will dump you just like he did every other girl he ever dated."

"I have been with him longer than any of his past girl friends," Jaclyn admitted. She watched in the side mirror of the car as Wayne manor appeared to get smaller the further away they got.

"He told you that and you believed him?"

"No, Lana did," Jaclyn said.

"You know what? I don't care what Lana said. You and Bruce have only been together for what a few months?"

"Six months."

"So, you think most couples who get past the six-month mark, end up happily ever after?" Jaclyn's father scoffed.

"It was enough time for me to realize that I love him, and for him to realize he loves me," Jaclyn said.

"Oh please. Since you started dating him, I read up on him in the papers."

"You mean the tabloids? Now there is a reliable source," Jaclyn said sarcastically.

"Where there is that much smoke, there has got to be at least a little bit of fire. Face facts. Bruce Wayne is nothing but a playboy. Girls are like cars to him. He will ooh and ahh over a really pretty one, take it for a test drive and then he is on to the next one. He has probably already taken several others for a test drive while he was dating you. And now that you let him take you, it is just a matter of time before he dumps you too."

"Doesn't matter. Last night was the best night of my life," Jaclyn said. The later part of that was true, and she wanted to rub it in his face, but the former was a lie. It would definitely matter and hurt her if her father was right about Bruce. She only pretended not to care in hopes that it would shut her father up.

And it worked. Her father groaned without saying so much as a word. Then he turned on the radio. General Zod's broadcast played, followed by an announcer. "Anyone with any information at all concerning Kal-El's whereabouts or how to contact him, is being urged to contact state and local officials." He turned down the volume as the DJ gave lots of phone numbers to contact. Then he turned to Jaclyn. "Sooo…. Your soon to be ex-boyfriend knows who Kal-El is."

Now that aliens were a confirmed reality, Bruce rethought his plan to talk to Alfred. He realized he would no longer have to worry about sounding crazy talking about aliens. He joined Alfred in the study. The teenage boy, identified as Bruce's best friend, was there seated at a desk across from Alfred.

"C.K. is it?" Bruce asked and the teenage boy nodded. He passed him the envelope that he got from Jaclyn's father.

"I told him he didn't have to pay me." C.K. placed the envelope down on the desk. "But I am glad you are here because there is something I wanted to ask you. Is this General Zod the alien threat against Bruce?"

"How did you…."

"Alfred told me."

Alfred's eyes briefly opened a little wider and his mouth gaped open. Then he forced a smile and nodded.

"Ok!" Adult Bruce noticed Alfred's changes in expression. He stared at him for a few seconds and shook his head. "General Zod is a threat to the entire human race but unlikely to go after Bruce specifically. It is Kal-El that is after him."

"No! That can't be true," C.K. insisted. He visibly became more tense.

Then the door to the study swung open again and teen Bruce walked right in. He was about to ask something, but he caught C.K.s' last words. "What can't be true?"

"He says…" C.K. pointed to adult Bruce. "Kal-El is trying to kill you."

"Ha, ha, ha." Teen Bruce burst out laughing. "Ah, no. If he were really trying to kill me, I would obviously already be dead."

"It is true," Adult Bruce declared. "It would only take him about two minutes."

"Two minutes?" teen Bruce laughed again. "And what would he do with the other 119 seconds?"

"Probably regret the terrible mistake he just made," C.K. said.

"It is no mistake," adult Bruce declared. He couldn't help finding this odd. Both boys seemed to understand how dangerous this alien could be, but neither seemed scared in the slightest. "He went back in time, hellbent on killing." Then he pointed to his past self. "He even had the nerve to call it an act of mercy."

"Ha, ha, ha. Wait, if Kal-El came from the future, does that mean you're from the future too?" teen Bruce chuckled.

"Yes," adult Bruce admitted. "That is the real reason Alfred didn't recognize me."

"Who are you really?" Alfred asked.

"What year are you from?" teen Bruce chuckled some more.

"Are Bruce and I still best friends in the future?" C. K. asked.

"I will answer all of your questions, but one at a time," adult Bruce said. He pointed to Alfred first. "If I told you who I was, you wouldn't believe me, so see for yourself." He picked up a piece of paper and touched it in several places. "Take this to Commissioner Gordon and have him run the prints. He will tell you who I am."

He placed the paper down on the desk in front of Alfred.

Then he turned to teen Bruce. "2017."

Then he turned to C. K. "To the best of my knowledge, you and Bruce never even met."

"If I had never met C. K., yeah, my life would… Suck," teen Bruce said.

"Likewise," C. K. smiled at teen Bruce. Then he looked at adult Bruce. "If I had realized how awesome he is…" He pointed to teen Bruce.

Adult Bruce couldn't help himself but to be cynical. He wondered if by 'awesome' C.K. actually meant 'rich.'

"Thanks. I realized how awesome you were right away," teen Bruce said.

"Thank you. If I had the chance to do it over again, I would have stuck around and got to know you right after that first time we met," C.K. said.

"Yeah, I remember. You left like a bat out of hell," teen Bruce said. "You were so fast."

"Wait till you meet Barry Allen," adult Bruce said with a smile. "He is the fastest man alive. Although he probably hasn't even been born yet." That smile disappeared as the memory of Superman killing Flash set in.

"Speaking of meeting people, I probably never would have met Jaclyn either," teen Bruce said.

Adult Bruce looked on puzzled. This didn't jive with what Jaclyn told him about how she met Bruce. That had more to do with Tiffany then his best friend. He was going to say something about it, but C.K. spoke up first.

"What? I had nothing to do with you meeting Jaclyn," C.K. said.

"Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you. Her father came over and took her home. He overheard her saying something about you being amazing in bed," he said with a bit of a snicker.

"Crap!" teen Bruce said.

Alfred's jaw dropped and he was about to say something, but C.K. spoke first. "I am sure Jaclyn was just kidding about that." C.K let out an awkward chuckle. It was obvious to adult Bruce that he was just trying to cover for his friend.

"Yeah, but if her father believed that joke, it will be a long time before I get to see her again," teen Bruce said, his lie sounding a bit more convincing than his friend's, but still not enough to fool his older self.

Nor did it fool Alfred, from the looks of it. "We will talk about this later, Master Bruce." Alfred loosened his collar and shifted in his chair, "For now, we should focus on Zod."

Adult Bruce nodded in agreement as CK turned to him, "So, you're the time traveler here. If Zod gets what he wants, will he leave in peace?"

"No, not a chance," adult Bruce said at the same time teen Bruce said, "I doubt it."

Teen Bruce continued to speak. "You can trust this General Zod about as far as you…" C.K. smirked at teen Bruce, which made him laugh. "Trust him as far as I can throw him. Just think about the wording he used. Surrender yourself to me… Not exactly the words of someone looking for a long lost loved one. If Kal-El turns himself over to Zod, he will probably kill him."

"Better one than millions," C.K. and adult Bruce said at the same time.

"No, no, no," teen Bruce said. "Kal-El is probably the only one who even has a chance of stopping Zod."

"In my time, Kal-El and Zod had a massive fight, and destroyed much of Metropolis, in the process," adult Bruce explained. "Thousands of people died."

"Is that why you told Jaclyn to get out of the city in 2015?" C. K. asked.

"Yes," adult Bruce said, then he remembered that C.K. wasn't even in the room when he said that. He was going to ask, but C.K. spoke first.

"We need to make sure this doesn't happen again." Then C.K. looked at teen Bruce. "Do you think you can call…"

"I was just thinking the same thing." Teen Bruce picked up a cordless phone and started to dial. Then he got an answer on the other end. "Hello…. Yeah, Tiffany and I are doing just fine."

"Where is Tiffany?" Alfred asked.

"She is upstairs, showing Lana her new stuffed animals," C.K. said.

"I will go get her," Alfred said. Then he left the study.

"Yeah, C.K. is here and Alfred is going to get Tiffany… Yes, we heard General Zod's message. That is what I was calling about…. Afraid so... Thanks." Then teen Bruce repeated what adult Bruce told him only moments earlier to the person on the other end of the phone. "Think there is anything you can do about encouraging people to evacuate the city?" He paused again. "Thanks, I love you too. Bye."

Alfred returned with Tiffany.

"Where is Lana?" teen Bruce asked.

"She said she was going to take a shower," Alfred replied.

C.K. ran his hands through his hair and scratched his chin, clearly nervous.

"Hey, C.K., come here for a sec," teen Bruce called his friend over. CK rose from his seat and joined his friend in front of the painting. "Check out, ah, this painting. She is a beauty," Teen Bruce said with a smirk as he pointed at the painting of the Wayne family on the wall, the same one that adult Bruce did his best to ignore.

"Yeah...Very beautiful..." He couldn't help but to blush and smile.

Adult Bruce recognized that look of disapproval on Alfred's face. It was similar to the look he got when he told Alfred he planned to go to war with Superman, but less harsh. He wasn't sure why Alfred would be upset at Bruce for showing a friend the painting of the Wayne family that also happened to include Tiffany.

"You should join Lana," teen Bruce suggested, "You both could use a relaxing bath. This alien invasion threat is taking a toll on all of us."

"Enough, master Bruce. Stop trying to corrupt this fine young man. You are being a bad influence on him," Alfred said.

CK blushed even harder, sat back down, and turned his head away from the painting on the wall.

"I really need to keep an eye on you," Alfred said, still holding Tiffany in his arms.

"You are doing a great job already of spoiling any fun I could have with my girlfriend." Teen Bruce couldn't help but to let out a small chuckle, and Adult Bruce knew why. His younger self found a way to sleep with Jaclyn at Wayne Manor the night before without Alfred realizing it. He wanted to scold his past self for it, but he realized he did the exact same kind of thing when he was his age.

Then the phone rang. "Hello," teen Bruce answered, still laughing. "Oh, hi Jaclyn, sweetie…. Yeah, I heard." He gave a nervous laugh, and his cheeks went pink. "Yes, of course, I know who Kal-El is, but I can't tell you because no matter how I feel about you, I won't betray his trust in me… Glad you understand. I knew you would. That is one of the many things I love about you."

C.K. smiled at teen Bruce.

"Jaclyn! She left! No goodbye hug..." Tiffany pouted with a bit of sadness in her voice.

"I'm sure she didn't mean to, Tiff," teen Bruce said, "Wait, I'll put her on speaker phone so you can talk to her too." Then he addressed Jaclyn. "Tiffany is a bit sad she didn't get her goodbye hug from you."

"Hey, princess, I'm so sorry... It was my dad. He practically dragged me away, and I didn't have time to say goodbye to anyone, but next time, I promise to give you a double hug to make up for that!" Jaclyn said.

"Ok," Tiffany said. "Wove you."

"Love you too! Oh, and another thing, Bruce, just to clarify, I don't care who Kal-El is. It is my father that insisted I ask," Jaclyn admitted. "He also wants me to break up with you."

"What? Why?" Teen Bruce raised his voice.

"He says it is just a matter of time before you dump me too, like you did every other girl before me," Jaclyn said. "After…. Well, I am sure you know what the tabloids say about you."

"The tabloids are full of it!" C.K. exclaimed.

"Exactly! Your father is wrong. True I have dumped a lot of girls, but the tabloids are wrong over the reasons."

"Yeah, he had good reasons for all of them," C.K. said.

"For example, one of them thought she would help herself to mom's jewelry collection," Bruce said.

"Selina Kyle?" adult Bruce guessed.

"Who?" teen Bruce briefly stared at him.

"Never mind. You probably haven't met her yet, but you will."

"Another was a completely snobby little bitch. One day when Tiffany wanted me to take her to the zoo, she said," Then he changed his tone to mock her. "Why should we be stuck taking the butler's little brat to the zoo? Shouldn't he do it on his day off?"

"That is a pretty good impression." C.K. laughed. "Glad you didn't keep that one." Alfred nodded in agreement.

Then teen Bruce returned to his normal voice. "Needless to say, that didn't last. Even if Tiffany really were Alfred's daughter, I still would have dumped her for that."

"She isn't?" adult Bruce questioned in a voice just above a whisper. Then he realized Alfred never said Tiffany was his daughter. He was taking the word of a three-year-old. He wondered whose kid she was and why was she in this house?

"If I may," C.K. began to say. Teen Bruce nodded. "I think Bruce realized you were special early on. When he came back from vacation, he was eager to show off your picture as this incredible girl he met."

Something about the word vacation stood out to adult Bruce. He never went on a vacation after the death of his parents, let alone met a great girl during one. Of course, Alfred tried to take him on vacation, but that was something he would not allow. Maybe his friend C.K. talked his past-self into going. That could explain why teen Bruce believed he never would have met Jaclyn were it not for him.

"Thank you for that. I was doing the same with my friends," Jaclyn admitted. "Raving about the awesome guy I met on vacation."

"He talked about you, non-stop. So of course, I wanted to help him find you again," C.K. admitted. "It would have been the least I could do after Bruce set me up with Lana." C.K. glanced toward the large painting on the back wall. Alfred muttered something under his breath that adult Bruce didn't quite catch. C.K. blushed and turned away from the painting again.

"In all honesty, if it were anyone else, I was going to set Lana up with, I would have chucked the idea right after I met her and just asked her out myself. After I met you, Jaclyn, I was really glad I didn't do that. You are just as perfect for me as Lana is for C.K.," teen Bruce said. "The first time you met Tiffany, you made her feel like she really was a princess. You have always treated the people most important to me with respect."

"Yep, you have always been nice to me too," C.K. said.

Teen Bruce rolled his eyes at his best friend. "You too? I said the people who are the most important to me. You think there is any chance you are not already included?"

"That is very true," adult Bruce nodded. "Just because I told you I was friends with Alfred, you were very nice, even invited me to the cookout. Thanks."

"You're welcome. Honestly, when I looked into your eyes, there was just something familiar about you. You reminded me so much of Bruce, my Bruce. That is why, against Lana's better judgement, I trusted you right away," Jaclyn said.

"Oh!" C.K. muttered to himself. He picked up the envelope that adult Bruce had given him from Jaclyn's Uncle and really stared at it intently.

"But I wasn't that nice to Pete," Jaclyn admitted sheepishly.

"Yeah, after what Pete called you, I don't really care what you said to him," teen Bruce admitted.

"Yeah, I will have to talk to him about that. Sorry," C.K. said sheepishly.

"It wasn't your fault," teen Bruce said.

"I better go," Jaclyn said. "I love you. Bye."

"I love you too. Bye-bye," teen Bruce said as he ended the call. He put the phone down.

"Could I borrow that phone for a minute?" C.K. asked. "I should probably, ah, give my parents a call."

"Sure," teen Bruce passed the phone off to his best friend.

C.K. took the phone and the envelope that Jaclyn's father brought over. He left the study and closed the door behind him. Teen Bruce took a seat and Alfred let go of Tiffany.

"From the timeline I came from, something terrible happened to the Wayne family on June 26th of 1981," adult Bruce said doing his best to keep his voice down. Tears formed in his eyes. He looked over at the large painting through watery eyes. The colors in the painting seemed to run together, making the painting look more abstract.

Teen Bruce frowned. "Mom got shot?"

Adult Bruce was taken aback, "M- Your mother got shot, but your father survived?"

Now it was Teen Bruce's turn to be shocked. "I lost both my parents from where you came from? Thanks to- God, that's not what happened here. Mom and Dad are both alive and well. The biggest tragedy from that night." Teen Bruce formed air quotes around the word tragedy. "Is mom's favorite lamp broke."

"Oh, that night! Yes, I remember." Alfred nodded and blushed.

"I did notice the lamp missing," adult Bruce said. He stared at the large painting on the wall and smiled with the realization that both his parents were alive and well. "Is Tiffany your sister?"

"Yes, of course," teen Bruce said.

"Mr. Wayne is frequently away on business trips, so she decided I'm her second daddy and calls me that. At first, I was hesitant to accept that honor, but Mr. Wayne doesn't mind. So I'm honored, and we don't bother to correct little Tiffany," Alfred explained.

"Mom actually likes it that others mistake her for the butler's daughter because it makes her less of a target," teen Bruce added.

"Oh." Bruce nodded, while fighting back tears. He would love to get to know his baby sister, but she wasn't part of his original timeline and he really didn't have time for this. He needed to focus on his mission. "Still, I would like to know what happened that night."

"I don't really remember that much detail," teen Bruce said sheepishly.

"Did you forget you have a photographic memory too? I already knew that from my own timeline, but you showed it when you remembered that a lamp broke that night, a very specific detail," Adult Bruce stated, "also, you had a pretty accurate guess when you said your mother could have been shot that night. Let's start there."

Teen Bruce blinked several times and after a pause that lasted far too long for adult Bruce's patience he finally said, "My d-dad grabbed the c-criminal's g-gun before he could s-shoot mom and saved her. It was too much of a close call, so I don't like to remember that night. That's it."

"You almost had me there. Too bad I am basically a human lie detector myself," adult Bruce said. Teen Bruce's lie was nearly perfect. If he wasn't literally the same person as his younger self but more experienced, he wouldn't have realized it, "Please, tell me the truth now."

After another pause, teen Bruce finally said, "... I really can't talk about it." He shifted himself in his chair. "I made a promise to someone that I wouldn't."

Adult Bruce took a deep breath. 'Of course, I know who Kal-El is..' the words of his teen-self echoed in his head.

"Someone saved your parents that night and that someone is…" adult Bruce paused.

Then Superman's words echoed in his head. 'Consider it an act of mercy, which is more than you deserve.'

"Kal-El, right." Adult Bruce swallowed hard.

Kal-El had saved his parents from death. He remembered a time long gone where many, even Alfred, regarded Superman as a hero and thought Bruce was wrong in believing he was a threat to mankind. Could Kal-El be trying to start over again as a hero? No... He vividly recalled Superman as he murdered Barry Allen not too long before going back in time. Kal-El didn't know the meaning of mercy. That would never change.

Saving his parents instead of killing his younger self... He must have had an ulterior motive. What's better than killing a powerful and resourceful enemy? ... Making a powerful and resourceful ally. Superman was just using him. He had to make his past-self see that this apparent act of mercy was in fact an elaborate scheme to manipulate him. He realized Superman's plan had already worked out and convincing his younger self of the truth wasn't going to be easy as the words from his past self-echoed in his head, 'I won't betray his trust in me.'


I would like to thank everyone who favorited, followed and-or reviewed this story. I would also like to thank CSGT for all his help with this story.