Betad by: morde24
Sitting on top of the daily planet; Clark, in his Superman persona, was lost. Well, he wasn't lost since he knew where he was in time and space; but he was lost in thought on what should be his next step forward.
He had gone and seen his Ma and Pa, but they both gave him the same advice and that was to speak with Bruce. But, instead of heading right over and speaking with Bruce, Clark took some time to gather his thoughts upon his favorite seat that overlooked his city.
As of right now, everything felt so calm and that was the issue for Clark. The world just wouldn't give him something that he could just punch in the face. Instead, it was offering him peace so that he had the time to go face his issues. His ears twitched at the sound of explosions: but as he turned and looked in the direction that it came from all he found was the Metropolitan SWAT team performing an exercise.
After sitting for another thirty minutes, Clark finally let out a sigh as the sun went down and shadows fell around him. Getting up with a grudge, that even in all of his time waiting, he recognized fate had better things to do today besides throwing some big bad his way.
Shaking away those thoughts, Clark shot off into the sky at hypersonic speeds leaving the world around him ignorant of his passing. Clark only paid attention to those attempting to trap him as he went beneath the waters of the east coast before then coming out into the Batcave.
Even with his sudden approach and decision to visit, Bruce was, of course, sitting in his chair brooding at the bat-computer. Alfred on the other hand was waiting at his side with a towel for his use.
Smiling at the kindly, older gentlemen, Clark accepted the towel with his thanks. Handing the towel back, Clark gave Alfred his thanks again before Alfred, the gentleman's gentleman, gave his reply upon leaving.
Stealing his resolve, Clark lightly walked over to Bruce as he still sat brooding at this computer.
"Bruce, we need to talk." Clark began but was then interrupted.
Bruce didn't even wait as he spoke, "I already have lawyers looking into the eviction from the north."
"Thanks but no thanks, this is about something else entirely," Clark stated, not too happy with Bruce already knowing about that situation while also already taking command of it.
"Then what is this about Clark, because I am currently busy," Bruce replied as he finally stopped brooding over his bat-computer and its lack of giving him a viable answer to his current situation.
"This is about you attempting to purchase the rights to my image and likeness," Clark replied with a little more heat as he took a step forward.
Bruce narrowed his eyes but replied with nothing. The fact that Bruce refused to speak only inflamed Clark's anger some more.
"Why Bruce? Help me understand why?" Clark asked, taking a step forward.
Bruce stared at Clark with narrowed eyes, then grunted once. "Then tell me, Clark, how is Superman going to own his name?"
"Honestly, that could have been worked out if I had known," Clark replied briskly. "It's something that you should have told me about. Not a decision you could just throw money at. Matter of fact, why the rights to my name anyway?"
Grunting, Bruce turned back around, "None of the League's equipment is cheap. Just the license deal from one of our names is not enough to break even with any of the Leagues expenses. Well, I wasn't able to get the rights with a few of my cutouts, actually."
"Wait, how many of the League's rights do you own?" Clark asked, surprised and clearly shocked. Bruce was silent but Clark was not willing to let this go at all. "Tell me, Bruce, how many?"
All Clark got in return was a shrug followed by silence before even that was broken by words.
"Green Arrow, Black Canary, and all three Lanterns, the money made from that pay for some of the League's investigations. Diana owns her own rights and donations from the proceeds from that go towards women's homes. All of the Robins rights pay for the Titan Tower."
Clark had to wave his hands stunned at the news. "Wait, wait, Green Arrow doesn't even own the rights to his own name?"
Bruce grunted once more, "No, it's in better hands."
Now that reply stroked Clark's anger, "That is not for you to decide, what about Martian Manhunter?"
"His Private Eye cover owns the rights and has also used the money to make some very good investments into Oreo," Bruce replied with his hands flying over his keyboard.
Still frustrated, but holding his tongue, Clark could only look up to see what Bruce was working on. On one side of the screen was the Joker, in the middle was Harley and on the other side of the scene was a search program. Keeping the grimace to himself, Clark could only shake his head. Of course, Bruce was looking for that madman, but he actually knew where Harley was.
If his memory was correct, he had last seen her having dinner with a group of people, one of them with green skin. Yet, Clark turned his head to look around only to be greeted with blank walls: of course, lead. Letting out a sigh, he flashed outside to take a look around before flashing back into the Batcave as he did not find Harley within the city of Gotham.
"She isn't in the city Bruce," Clark said while also hiding the smile he felt inside as Bruce started to type a little too hard on his keyboard. There was a ding before Alfred came strolling out of the elevator with a pushcart before him.
Reflexively Clark gave a light sniff before his face split into a smile as the aroma of Alfred's infamous tomato soup washed over him. Turning around, Clark walked over with a smile to offer some assistance to Alfred.
"Ohh Alfred, you didn't have to make us anything," Clark said while helping with the plates and utensils.
"Master Kent, you do look a little peckish and I am aware that Master Bruce hasn't had anything to eat besides those silly little things served at dinner parties," Alfred replied before placing a serving towel over one arm. With a flourish, he picked up the bowel of tomato soup.
Clark watched him serve Bruce as he was already on his second mouthful of tomato soup. Alfred placed Bruce's dish at his side before then placing a cup of coffee upon the coaster. Silence descended and all that could be heard was Clark's clinking of his spoon upon the plate.
Alfred strolled over with a smooth gait to his walk, "Would you like any coffee, Master Kent?"
"No thanks Alfred, this is enough, but I would appreciate another garlic roll," Clark replied with a smile.
"Of course, Master Kent."
Things went on for a while longer as Clark glared a hole into Bruce's back while Alfred gave his patented look of disapproval. Letting out a huff, Bruce finally picked up his spoon and started to feed himself. With a nod of the head, Alfred turned on his heels and left without another word.
After the meal had come to an end, Clark had waited around for Bruce so that they could continue the topic but, with the way Bruce was moving, Clark could see he was finished with the topic for the night and he would not have had any hopes for such a thing unless he brought it up himself.
Clark had finally had enough of Bruce ignoring him, so with a clearing of his throat, Clark started to hover in preparation to leave. Clearing his throat once more, Clark spoke. "Bruce, if it was just my rights that you had purchased, then we would have been able to work something out. Since it is not, then I will have to bring that up in the next meeting with the League."
Silence descended for a time before Bruce decided to speak, "You can do that, but nothing will change."
"And why is that?" Clark couldn't keep himself from asking.
"Because I won't be selling, if they were worried about their rights then they should have covered that angle so I didn't have to cover it for them," Bruce grunted. "Since I have the rights, they will stay within my control. Instead of worrying about others' affairs, you should be mindful of your own. Here is the contact information to the Wayne Tech pro-bono lawyers."
Grunting himself as his frustrations started to show, Clark hovered higher into the air, "That won't be necessary."
Before Bruce could get another word in edgewise, Clark had already moved out of the bat cave. A quick visit to Alfred had him sharing his goodbyes before he was on the move once more. Once Clark was finished, he cut across the North Atlantic ignoring some of the hovering stations across the snowy caps.
The reason why he had ignored the hovering stations was standing there in a metal suit of armor. The suit of armor was in a matte black color with glowing red signals. It did remind him of Luthors, but it looked far more advanced. The armor wore a billowing forest green cape with a stylized capital D upon its back.
As he got closer, Clark noticed that the cape went around the person's neck to be clasped in the front with two large golden-styled medallions, while the extra material behind the neck was clearly a loose hood of some sort.
Coming to a rapid stop, Clark hovered ten meters away from the man in the suit of armor that was clearly waiting for him. The reason why Clark knew that he was being waited on was because the stranger was standing exactly ten inches from the electronic camouflage system of his Fortress of Solitude.
With the life that he had lived, Clark was able to tell the difference between coincidence and deliberate action. The man in the armor stood facing the snowy land void of all life before raising one of his hands. There was a flash of light before what could only be described as a throne appeared behind the armored figure. Clark watched, stunned as the figure seated himself upon the throne which then began to hover before slowly turning around.
Temples furrowed, Clark attempted to x-ray the person only for his sight to be blocked by the armor. There was a faint scent on the wind that reminded him of someone but Clark was certain that couldn't be possible. Yet, when he sniffed once more, he was certain that he had smelled Power Girl. That shouldn't be possible, but the faint traces of dove body wash alongside a few other scents could not cover it.
This person before him had the scent of Power Girl upon him and one more.
Wait... "Doom?" Clark asked confused as he peered at the man seated on a throne far more advanced than any he had seen to date.
"Kent," Spoke the person seated before him. Now, that was a word that shook Clark to his core, but before he could say or do anything. Doom spoke once more with cutting words that sliced through him.
"Do not be so surprised, most if not all of those in power know who you are," Doom spoke with a lazy timbre to his voice as if what he was saying was a casual fact. Yet, to Clark, he could feel his heart hammer inside of his chest.
"What? How?" Clark stuttered his feet landing on the snowy tundra.
Doom tapped a finger upon the arm of his throne, the feeling that Clark was getting was one of pure boredom.
Sigh, "Those glasses of yours are not as foolproof as you may think they are," Doom drawled with a lazy wave of his hands. "Ohh please, the world has plenty of tracking and biometrics. With the amount of facial recognition that's out in the wild, it should have been clear that someone would have figured it out by now. It also doesn't help that you like leaving around your DNA after big fights, I'm surprised no one has just kicked your door down, honestly. "
"How many people Doom?" Clark asked with some panic now creeping into his voice.
"Enough," Doom replied with another errant wave of his hand.
The panic for Clark was starting to set in when a question came to mind, "How come no one has said anything?"
"Would that change anything?" Doom asked, still bored; but now Clark was getting the feeling that he was now enjoying himself.
Clark stood there thinking for a moment before he replied, "Yeah, that would sink my civilian ID and put me out to the public."
"Yes, but here is the thing." Doom started with a conspiratorial tone in his voice. "No one wants Superman 'out and about' 24 hours a day." He started with a chuckle. "The governments and villains all know that if they leave your cover intact. There is a solid 8-hour window of opportunity for them to do as they please. Also, no one is foolish enough to want to see what happens when you piss off a being capable of lifting a planet upon his back."
Clark stood there stunned with a face that looked as if it came from a kicked puppy.
Doom let out a sigh that was very audible for anyone within the area to perceive. "Lord Doom did not come here to grace you with his presence and speak upon your inability to keep your secret identity secret. Maybe if you take Doom's advice and stop leaving Lois Lane's home by the balcony as you fly to do your business Doom should not have to tell one such as you that hanging around the Daily Planet might give away intricate details about one's habits. Neither does Doom need to remind you of the fact that you have enhanced senses and should have been able to pick up the governmental teams arrayed around both homes in an attempt to keep track of the lone Kryptonian. These are things that Lord Doom should not have to tell one such as yourself."
Clark scowled before launching upwards with a mighty jump. The sound barrier broke, but Clark paid it no attention as he flew into lower orbit. Twisting around where he floated high above the earth, Clark squinted his eyes and strained his ears as he looked down upon his city.
He didn't like to use his powers in such a way, but the news that Doom had given him was beyond the pale. The first place that he checked was Lois's apartment, finding nothing, he then started to check the buildings within the area.
Since he knew what he was looking for, it didn't take long for Clark to find the proper building. It was a nice new high rise that was partially blocked by a building owned by a cutout subsidiary of Wayne tech. The building that he was looking through, with agents inside of, had a clear line of sight to Lois's apartment. They not only had advanced telescopes hooked up but also recording equipment.
On one of the video feeds, was the dinner that was hosted two nights ago. Perry, the editor of the Daily Planet, had come over with his wife while Jimmy had brought his girlfriend.
Anger burned in his chest as Clark found another team, and another before he had to cut his magnified vision. Just listening to them made him want to go down there and treat them as if they were criminals. Yet, he knew that he would not be able to get away with any of it.
"Invasive isn't it," Came a voice at his side. Clark whipped his head around, eyes burning with a fury that he couldn't unleash. At his side a little out of arm's reach was Doom. He sat there upon his throne above the world as if this was just another Tuesday for him. That alone unnerved Clark the most. Yet, that was pushed aside as he wanted some clarification.
He would think about how Doom was able to follow him with such ease later.
"What is it that you want Doom," Clark growled clearly angry and very close to unleashing it upon someone or something. The man before him sighed and Clark had to blink due to his confusion.
The man before him gave a solemn nod of the head, "Your eviction was of Luthor's doing, but Doom was the one who brought forth the idea of clearing the ice caps before fixing them. Doom's goal has always been to help this beautiful world that we live on to prosper, for it is the only one that we have. Yet, Doom is not of such a small mind to not have worked on a solution to help."
Clark watched as the man upon his throne pressed a switch to bring forth a hologram that they may both look over.
"Here is a small nation with mountains high enough to carry the same temperatures found within the arctic. I do believe that Kryptonian technology thrives best in such harsh climates.
Clark looked at the image and had to shake his head, "I can't take this Doom."
The man on the throne known to all as Doom looked at him hard, then spoke, "You can and you will, this is no handout. You will work for this by bringing down asteroid Gamma theta one three three." He said as the hologram rotated and expanded towards the asteroid belt.
"The resources harvested from this will pay for the mountain which will boost the nation's economy while also paying for your land ownership. The difference will then go towards your lawyer fees since everyone knows how unbearable your boyfriend can be."
Clark's head snapped around, "What?"
Doom grunted and peered at Clark with a piercing gaze. "Everyone knows how Wayne can be quite unbearable."
Clark's face scrunched up into a face. "Bruce is not my boyfriend." He ground out before catching his words.
Shaking his head, Doom just waved him off, "You will find that there aren't many secret identities that are actually secret. I do believe only the Joker might be the only one that doesn't know who is who. It's pretty much an unwritten rule not to rock the identity boat since no one wants to open that pandora's box."
"Be that as it may, please refrain from using them, they are secret after all," Clark spoke through gritted teeth. "Also Batman is not my boyfriend, I'm happily dating Lois."
Slowly, Doom shifted his attention from the planet below to gaze at Clark. He sat there staring at him for some time and Clark had to push aside the feeling of being examined from all angles as he held his gaze with the masked man.
"Hmm, that does make Doom confused." The man before Clark spoke slowly. "He has your DNA, your weakness, pays for your tech, covers for you, pays medical bills, owns the Daily Planet, owns the building that you live in, and coordinates most if not all of your encounters." Doom shrugs his shoulders drawing Clark's line of sight to his cloak. "Yes, you are correct, he is not your boyfriend. The man is clearly your husband."
Clark was stunned but was completely ignored as Doom pushed forward with his assessment and views.
"Doom is many things, but a marriage counselor he is not." He stated with a shake of his head. "Do not worry, for Doom always sides with the battered wife in such situations and shall endeavor to find you aid in your time of need. I have heard great things about Dr. Kennedy that I shall look into on your behalf."
Clark hovered there stunned before his brain finally caught up with his mouth. "Nooo… I mean, no that will not be necessary," Clark replied, face flushed in embarrassment.
Doom only shook his head in return, "It is alright, Harley vouches for Dr. Kennedy so Doom shall also vouch for such a person. Lord Doom sees the signs of a controlling husband in your life. It's alright to talk to someone about it."
Laughing at how ludicrous the situation was, Clark could only laugh it all out until his chest settled. If it wasn't Bruce, it was the government, and here was a man that knowingly consorted with villains offering him assistance. Wrong assistance, but it was assistance nonetheless.
"Look Doom, I'm not some battered wife, okay, but thank you for worrying," Clark stated with a hand on his chest, "I will take the information to that nation's embassy."
Doom gave Clark a look before slowly nodding his head in acceptance.
"Lord Doom is not a man that will come back and say that he has told you so, but since Doom has bedded Power Girl, Doom shall endeavor to keep you alive so that she does not have to cry over your passing due to lovers' resentment," Doom spoke before clapping his hands and vanishing.
All that was left in his place was a card with information on the asteroid, its payout, and much much more.
Clark's eyes widened as what he heard finally processed properly, "Power Girl, wait what?"
Yeah, Doom went to take a shower and then mess with Superman while offering him aid and sound advice. But I wonder how many people will catch on to some of the dope facts I dropped into the story.
If DC was far more advanced than our own world, there is no reason for heroes to be able to keep their secret identities when they leave DNA all over the place. Not only the DNA angle but also when they suddenly vanish and someone just so happens to reappear with the same body build, hair, and eye color.
Honestly, it's ridiculous, I for one just think that it's a very open secret and no one wants to rock the boat since without the Justice League the earth is basically DOOMED.
Now here is the self-promotion. If you are looking for early chapters or any of my other projects that haven't made it public yet. You should come and check out my patron. There are at least ten or more chapters of interesting things that haven't seen the light of day yet.
Let me know what you guys think about the chapter.
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