AN: Title is from the song Double Arrows Down by the Bombpops. Story is cross-posted from AO3.
The Batman is paying far too much attention to him for comfort.
Clark can't stop focusing on that, the worry circling inside his brain again and again until it makes him dizzy. He doesn't need the additional trouble; he's already dizzy.
Still, Clark had come back from the dead and immediately gotten into a fistfight with a god. (God? Alien? Alien god?) Some concern is probably warranted—and from the Batman's perspective, Clark is sure there must be multiple avenues to consider when it comes to Superman.
Clark doesn't know if he believes the Batman wanted to bring him back in the first place.
He loses his train of thought when the water-powered meta-human claps him on the shoulder, and Clark struggles to stay upright. He inhales deeply (not too deeply, he can't risk freezing his new teammates solid just because he breathes too quickly), and pulls the widest smile he can onto his face. He thinks he might crack in two.
Clark hates this feeling, the dissociation that comes with hypoglycemia. He can't afford any weakness in his control with as powerful as he is. His strength plays tricks on him when he's like this; there have been too many times he can't hold himself up, and then, when he tries to catch himself from stumbling, he's knocked a tractor into the neighbor's field.
The Batman still watches him.
Clark grins and nods his head once, struggling to keep his movements steady, and maneuvers himself away from the grabby Atlantean at his shoulder. Aquaman has far more strength than Clark expected, even for a metahuman, but he should not be able to make Clark stagger. Not unless something is wrong.
Diana is looking at him strangely now, too.
Clark can handle this if he gets moving. He manages to straighten his back and looks the Batman right in the cowl. How should he handle this? His new teammates barely trust each other, and they may have brought him back to life, but he retaliated by attacking them immediately after. Can he dare to trust them with this, a weakness as deadly to him as kryptonite?
Aquaman steps away and laughs uproariously at something Clark doesn't catch and moves to lean on Victor's shoulder next, seemingly uncaring of the metal in place of skin. Victor's eyes, both human and electronic, light up bright as the others gather around him to give their congratulations. There's some trust, but not enough for Clark to share something like this.
Clark finds his gaze has shifted away from the Batman and he corrects himself, hoping fervently he is moving too quickly for a human to notice his slip-up. But then, he is dealing with the Batman, who doesn't seem to play by human rules.
Clark tries to talk. His tongue feels almost too heavy for him to move; blood glucose, 1 vs super strength, 0. "We should—"
What can he say to hide his true needs? Can he say they should double-check for remaining parademons, even though Diana had declared them all dead? Making certain of it seemed like a Superman thing to do, didn't it? Clark usually would check twice (or more), if he wasn't so tired.
Before he can decide how to finish his thought, Barry beats him to it.
"Guys, I hate to break this up," Barry says, the words fleeing his mouth so quickly Clark is surprised the others can understand him, "but I need to eat something. Now. I mean, not like I'm hungry."
The Flash looks strained. His face is ghostly pale against the scarlet of his suit. He's twitching so violently the concrete underneath their feet starts to vibrate.
Does Clark ever look like that when he's sick? He hopes not. If he does, it's a wonder his identity hasn't been discovered sooner than it was.
"I mean, I am hungry. It's just…" Barry licks his lips as the others quiet their victorious celebration and turn to him.
Clark can hear the other man's heartbeat hammering like a hummingbird the size of a horse. It makes him stand out against the others, whose circulatory systems have started to steady after the battle. They all share a strength that Clark has rarely encountered before. Not surprising for an Amazon or an Atlantean, (and is anything surprising for a cyborg? Isn't all of it?), but Clark doesn't expect it from the Batman.
Then again, Clark remembers learning some professional athletes and musicians have heartbeats or breathing that are stronger or slower than the average human's, so maybe it isn't that strange. It still unnerves him.
A sudden wave of dizziness hits him, and Clark locks his knees to avoid swaying. He blinks, disoriented. He won't have to wait much longer until they are done with whatever they are still doing here, right? He can manage until then.
"I have reactive hypoglycemia," Barry says, and then repeats it four times.
Clark tilts his head. Interesting. So he's not the only one with both superpowers and health issues. It's ironic that of the five people who just saved the planet, two of them are about to fall off their feet because their own bodies fail to function.
"Why are you doing that?" he asks Barry as the Flash starts to repeat himself for the fifth time.
Barry stutters to a stop. His eyes dart around the entire group, then to Clark, then around again, and then settle on Clark. He's still twitching. It's mildly disconcerting.
"My perception of time gets screwed up when I'm low," Barry says finally. "I needed to make sure someone could understand what I was saying. I forgot you're fast, too."
Ah. Clark nods in understanding. He's experienced that as well. He's experiencing it now.
He glances at the others, who look curiously between the two of them. He wonders how quickly this conversation is going. He wonders how quickly his—their—blood sugars are dropping.
"Basically, I burn through a lot of fuel, and my body gives extra insulin to make up for it," Barry explains needlessly.
Clark knows this subject inside and out, although the others might need it spelled out. If they can keep up with Barry enough to understand what he's saying, that is.
Diana frowns. "Hypoglycemia?"
Clark's glad to know they're not speaking completely out of the range of human comprehension. He'll stay quiet about himself for now. He blinks back another wave of nausea, but he can't leave now, not when this is important. He can wait. He's still digesting the reunion meal he had shared with Lois only a few hours ago.
…Of course, he had been dead before then. He's also saved the world since then. Barry's not the only one who has burned up all his fuel.
Barry nods, the movement a blur. It's interesting to watch. Clark sees where Barry is standing at the beginning, he sees his head move down, he sees Barry's head go back up. He sees the red trail left in the air as the afterimage of the movement. He watches it fade.
Barry's already on to the next thing.
"Yes," Barry says. "Hypoglycemia. Low blood sugar. Actual low blood sugar, not like 'I skipped lunch and I'm cranky,' more like 'If I had a glucometer right now, my number would be below sixty.' Probably fifty. Or lower? It kind of got worse after the thing with the lightning. Anyway, I need to eat a lot more than I used to, and I need it a lot more often. So can we go somewhere else to finish this? Or can I go home?"
"Home" is on the other side of the planet. Clark could get there in a few minutes with his blood sugar the way it is at the moment, or a few seconds if he pushes himself. He wonders how long it would take Barry.
The Batman sighs and pulls something out of his utility belt. He hands it to Barry, who looks at him blankly for an entire second before grabbing it and ripping it open.
Clark smells sugar and strawberries. It's overwhelming, and Clark's eyes water. He realizes he's seeing double.
The Batman carries lollipops in his belt?
"Why do you carry that?" Aquaman asks. "Is that a lollipop? What, do you get low blood glucose too?"
The Batman stares at him.
Aquaman's face goes through a flurry of emotions, but he breaks the moment of silence first. "I don't care, I just think it's strange. The big bad Batman snacking on lollipops."
The candy is long gone. Clark watches Barry chew on the stick, getting every piece of sugar he can off. A dull pounding starts in the back of Clark's skull. Anyone who ever told him he's incapable of feeling pain needs to be here, right now.
The Batman speaks. "It can be useful to have in an emergency. Low blood glucose, people with diabetes, frightened kids, shock. I like to be prepared."
Clark can't help the snort that escapes him. He ignores the resulting glare the Batman directs his way.
Barry spins in a circle, turns back around, and waves the little stick. "I'm going to guess you don't have a bat-garbage bag in there?"
The Batman gives him a steely look.
"Right," Barry says. "I'll just hold onto this until I find one. Thanks, by the way. I should get going, though—that was a big help, but," he raises both hands. "Super speed doesn't play by the rules of normal nutrition. I'm going to need a lot more carbs and some protein in ten minutes or less."
"You didn't say anything about this," the Batman says flatly.
Barry blinks. "About what?"
The Batman is an imposing figure within Gotham City, in the fog and the muck, silently drifting among the gothic architecture in his dark suit. Standing here under the sunlight, in the strange, colorful wasteland the motherboxes had created, he's only slightly less imposing.
"You didn't say you had health issues."
"I do not," Barry says. "Well, ok, maybe, but don't you think the superspeed is the more important health issue? I'll admit that one is self-diagnosed, but it kind of stands out more."
"It's important for us to know about anything that could affect the safety of our teammates," the Batman says.
Clark's heart sinks.
The Batman, ignorant of Clark's internal struggles, continues. "Hypoglycemia affects coordination and brainpower. When mild, it slows down your reflexes. If severe, it can lead to seizures and death."
"I know that," Barry says, sounding tense. Some color has returned to his face under the mask, but he's still too pale and twitchy for Clark's comfort.
"What if you had experienced this episode during the battle?"
"I didn't," Barry hisses. "Ok, I'll admit this was more involved than my usual level of physical activity, but I can handle it. This isn't an episode. And I was fine before when we met Steppenwolf underground, and when we were…" He gestures at Clark. "When we were waking him up. You don't need to worry."
Clark grimaces. Even hypoglycemic and dizzy, Clark knows that is the worst thing Barry could have said right now.
The Batman keeps his voice flat. "What if your blood glucose had dropped when you were rescuing the civilians? What about when we were fighting Steppenwolf? You are not the only one at risk here. We relied on you. You should have informed us of this."
Clark tries not to wince. He should hurry up about whatever he's going to do about his own hypoglycemia; he wouldn't want the Batman to worry if Superman happens to pass out in a few minutes. "Bruce, leave him be."
The Batman turns toward him stiffly. "Clark."
The impersonal glare of those cold, glowing electronic eyes in the Batman's cowl threatens to send shivers down Clark's spine. Fortunately,
Clark never backs down from something he believes in.
"It's his business," Clark says. He tries not to leave any room for argument in his tone, although he knows the Batman will make room if he finds none. "Our lives are complicated enough; other people's health specifics are none of our business if it's not an immediate danger, and Barry made sure it didn't become that."
He raises his hand placatingly as the Batman tries to answer. "Nothing happened, Bruce. It's over."
The Batman stares, and Clark wonders if Bruce is seeing his slight tremors, the sure paleness of his face. It certainly says something about how distracted the "world's greatest detective" is if he hasn't started piecing the clues together yet, especially when the answer was literally handed to him moments before. Clark wonders if Bruce knows he isn't talking about just Barry.
Clark says, "None of us had time to share anything personal in the first place." He reconsiders and raises an eyebrow. "Unless y'all had a chance to talk before you woke me up."
The Batman doesn't say anything, so Clark assumes he's on the right track.
His tongue goes numb and the ache inside his skull worsens. Clark will happily crawl back into his grave if he throws up on anyone here today.
He sighs and gives a guilty grin. "I don't suppose you have any more candy on you."
Someone sputters, but Clark keeps his eyes fixed on the Batman. For a tense moment, Bruce doesn't move. Clark's awareness of time is definitely wonky right now, because, when the Batman finally moves, Clark has already counted to five hundred twice.
Or maybe Bruce is just taking his time to think things over.
Either way, when the Batman finally moves, it's to get a lollipop and hand it over to Clark.
"Thank you," Clark says. He tears the wrapper off with his teeth and shoves the entire pop into his mouth. The smell of strawberries hits him like a—well, not like a train, because he's been hit by those before and the trains always end up with more damage than him, but the smell hits him before the taste does.
And then it's gone.
As soon as the glucose enters his system, the craving hits—and that hits him harder than the cloying scent of artificial fruit. He feels around on his suit, but this is his Kryptonian suit, not his Daily Planet work outfit or his comfortable farm clothes. There are no pockets.
He needs food. He needs food right now. If he was home, he could get the boxes of crackers off his stash on the top shelf of the cabinets. Lois makes sure there's always something there for him for when he gets like this. Crackers and candy, for the glucose. Jerky, or cheese sticks in the fridge, for protein or for when he's eaten more carbs than he really needs to but he's still stuck with this awful, empty feeling. It's like he's never eaten before in his entire life.
"Clark," the Batman says. "We will talk about this."
The way he says it is a promise. When Clark's no longer starving and can focus, Clark thinks he'll be able to appreciate it better. Right now, he is not looking forward to it.
"Can I go home?" Barry asks.
Victor shakes off Aquaman and holds up a glistening metal hand. "Wait a minute. Superman has low blood glucose?"
"Superman has type 1 diabetes," Clark corrects. "If it's a vote, I would also love to go home now."
The Batman scowls. "You are not flying anywhere on your own with low blood glucose."
Clark pretends it's his super hearing that allows him to hear the unsaid, "Idiot," following the rest of the sentence.
"Wait a minute," Aquaman says. "Hold on. How the hell does Superman get diabetes?"
Clark's stomach aches up to his jaw, which shouldn't be possible, but it's happening. "I would rather not talk about it."
"You're going to talk about it," the Batman says.
Clark rolls his eyes. "At least buy me dinner first."
Several tense heartbeats pass. Clark can't find anything even remotely edible within miles with his vision—not his color vision or his x-ray vision. They're surrounded by nothing but warped metal and alien flora.
"Diana," the Batman says through clenched teeth. "You haven't said anything."
Clark tilts his head to watch the amazon. The movement increases his vertigo.
Diana watches them both with an amused expression. "You seemed to be doing just fine without me," she said. "What is wrong, Bruce? Do you need me to come rescue you from this conversation?"
She says it with a smile, but the Batman adjusts his stance, looking uncomfortable for the first time.
"You don't agree with me," he says.
Diana answers slowly. "I think dinner would be an excellent idea."
Batman grunts and abruptly walks off into the rubble.
Clark turns to Diana, who smiles at him winningly.
"I admit I am curious," she says, "but we can discuss that later. Let us celebrate first."
She glances at Barry, who doesn't seem to notice, and Clark is glad he's still aware enough to get her meaning (he hopes). He knows she might end up agreeing with Bruce instead of him, and he has no idea what Aquaman or Victor will have to say, but that can wait until their teammates are safe.
"Bruce!" Clark hollers after the Batman. "You're paying, right?"
He better be. Clark hasn't been able to cash a paycheck in months.
The Batman continues stalking away, but Clark can hear the motor of some sort of flying machine descending above them and Alfred's poised accent in Bruce's headset.
Aquaman turns toward the rest of them and slings his arm over Victor's shoulder once again. "If he's paying, does that include drinks, or are those extra?"
The moment Clark steps into Bruce's troop carrier (because, really, what else can he call it?), he finds the nearest chair and collapses.
"Hey," Aquaman says. "You mind not shaking the entire Bat-plane when you do that? I don't like turbulence when I'm not on a boat."
The inside of the carrier is blessedly cool, but Clark's head continues to throb. He turns onto his side in the large chair and wraps his cape around his head like a blanket.
The familiar feel and smell of the soft fabric are immediately comforting. Clark focuses on steadying his breathing. Eventually, his heart rate slows. The whispers of light making it through his cape don't attack his skull with their earlier determination.
He hears the others settle on the remaining chairs. They seem to be attempting to be quiet, and no one talks.
Something metal hits something else with a clang, and Victor whispers, "Sorry."
"Should we do something?" Barry asks. "I mean, is there even anything we can do for him?"
The plane lifts off with a hum. A cape swishes gently as someone walks to Clark's side and sets something down on the armrest of his chair. Clark smells apple juice.
"Drink," the Batman says.
Clark grunts and doesn't move.
Clark's starting to think Bruce and Lois can never, ever meet each other. He untangles his arm from the cape and reaches blindly for the juice.
He manages to grab it on the first try. He squeezes too hard.
Clark is immensely grateful he doesn't see the others staring from within the sanctity of his cape.
"Clark," the Batman says. "Sit up. I'll help you."
Clark shoots upright in the chair, pulls his cape down, and ignores the pain in his head to glare at the Batman.
"Shit," Aquaman says and jumps half out of his seat.
Bruce's cowl is off, and he looks horribly calm. He has a blooming black eye. There's an open panel on the wall next to him, and he pulls a second jug of juice out of it.
He reaches for a straw, but Clark snatches the juice away first.
"I don't need a straw," Clark says. "I'm not a child."
Bruce raises an eyebrow.
Barry coughs. "Um, irritability is a common side effect of low blood sugar. Just so you know. Also, can I have some of that?"
Bruce sighs and gets a jug out for Barry.
"I don't like lemonade," Barry says. "Not that I'm complaining, because you're being really helpful, but can I have literally any other drink?"
Bruce ignores him and points to the juice in Clark's hand. "Drink, or you get the straw."
Clark squeezes his eyes shut, counts to ten, and swallows his temper. Barry is right; irritability is a very common symptom of hypoglycemia.
Clark won't let it get the better of him.
"Sorry," he says, and then follows it with, "Thank you."
He drinks the juice.
Bruce walks stiffly to an empty chair and takes a seat.
The six of them are situated in a loose circle inside the roomy interior of the plane. Aquaman is nursing a beer. Victor stares at the ceiling.
"Actually, I did tell you," Barry says. His lemonade is barely touched.
"Tell me about what?"
Bruce looks exhausted. Clark is tempted to offer to share his juice with him, just to be annoying.
"That I need to eat more than regular people. I don't know if I said 'I have hypoglycemia' but I definitely said I have a faster metabolism," Barry says. "Which, same thing. Sort of. Anyway, you were wrong. Not that you meant to be wrong, but you were. Or you misunderstood? That was probably it. I mean—"
"You need to relax," Aquaman says. He sits back down and swirls his beer. "So you two got a little hangry. So what?"
Bruce sinks deeper into his chair. "I saw the diagnosis on your medical records, but there was no documented history of you having a recurrence of it after the incident with the lightning. I assumed whatever gave you the superspeed must have cured anything else."
Barry laughs. "I only wish. Does this mean I'm off the team?"
The air thickens.
"If you're off, then I'm off," Clark points out.
Victor tears his eyes away from the ceiling. "And me. In case you haven't noticed, I've got a long list of physical abnormalities."
"No one is off the team," Diana says.
Barry heaves a sigh. "Oh, good. I was worried I would have to pretend none of this happened, and I was finally starting to feel like we could all be friends. Like work-friends, but you know what I mean?"
Aquaman grins and holds out his glass. Barry tentatively reaches out with his lemonade, and Aquaman clinks them together.
"You people are weird," Aquaman says. "I dig it."
"Great," Bruce says. "We all 'dig' it. Alfred, are you ready?"
A large screen on the wall in front of Bruce clicks on, and Alfred's face appears at about ten times its usual size. "Yes, Master Bruce. I take it everyone has recovered?"
Bruce doesn't look at Clark. Clark feels mildly attacked anyway. "Yes, Alfred. Did you know Barry Allen is hypoglycemic?"
"It was the primary diagnosis on his hospital records. Have the superpowers extinguished or exemplified the issue?"
"It's still an issue," Barry says.
"I see. My condolences to you, Master Allen."
Bruce frowns. "Alfred. Did you know Clark Kent is a type 1 diabetic?"
Alfred, to his credit, didn't react. "I seem to recall hearing something about that. I admit at the time I thought it was a tool to convince people Master Kent was completely human."
"I only wish," Clark said. "Hello, Alfred. It's good to see you again."
"Hello, Master Kent. My congratulations on your survival this time."
Bruce snorts. "All right, enough. We'll see you at the mansion in a few hours. Let me know if there are any signs of remaining parademons anywhere."
Alfred nodded. "Of course, Master Bruce."
The screen goes black.
No one seems quite sure what to do now. Bruce ignores the rest of them to open a slim laptop and hunch over it. Diana pulls a cell phone out of somewhere, and from Victor's sudden change of facial expression, Clark suspects she's using it to privately talk to the cyborg. Barry sullenly sips his lemonade.
Clark takes a moment to appreciate the ache in his skull is disappearing and turns toward the Atlantean.
"I don't think I caught your name," he says. "I'm Clark."
Aquaman raises an eyebrow. "I know."
He doesn't offer anything else, so Clark ignores the distrust and continues.
"It's not that I'm diabetic, exactly," Clark explains. "My ma calls it pseudo-diabetes. When I was younger, we assumed it was type 1 diabetes. That's what I say I have because the symptoms are the same and the treatment seems to be the same, but I'm not human, and to be entirely honest, I'm not even sure I have what could be called a pancreas."
Diana, Victor, and Barry look up at that.
"When I discovered who I was—what I was—and about Krypton and the House of El, my birth family, I found a…recording my biological father left for me. He said this could happen sometimes when Kryptonians spend too much time under a yellow sun. It strengthens us, but it doesn't fix what's already wrong."
Even Bruce is paying attention now. The inside of the carrier is deathly quiet, and Clark's mouth feels dry. He has only ever told Lois this before.
"A yellow sun gives us superpowers and increases our natural strengths, but any genetic issues are also increased."
Bruce closes his laptop. "I'm sorry."
Clark shrugs. "There's nothing to be sorry about. Jor-El said the Kryptonians spent decades trying to eradicate all genetic flaws because of it, and eventually decided to just stay on Krypton. Anyone who had to leave wasn't gone long, or wasn't allowed to come back."
"Like General Zod," Bruce says.
"Hold on," Victor says. "Zod was diabetic too?"
Clark shakes his head. "Not that I know of. The Phantom Zone, the prison Kryptonians used for their worst offenders, essentially holds everything within it in permanent stasis. Zod and his troops weren't affected by yellow sun radiation until they entered our solar system. The powers come almost immediately, but latent health conditions take time to fully develop. I didn't get sick until I'd been on Earth for four years."
"You are strong to have fought this condition from such a young age, Kal," Diana says solemnly. "That kind of strength does not come from your arm or sun-given powers. You should be proud."
Clark doesn't know what to say to that. He bows his head awkwardly.
Auquaman leans forward. "Ok, but I don't understand how you got diabetes. I thought it was a food thing."
This, Clark knows how to answer. "Not quite. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. A person's immune system misidentifies their own cells as a foreign virus, and attacks. With T1D, it's the pancreatic beta cells that are destroyed, so we can't make insulin. We have to manually calculate and inject it."
"Insulin." Aquaman seems perturbed. "I've heard of it. What exactly does it do?"
"It's the hormone responsible for metabolizing glucose. Think of insulin as a key; it unlocks the glucose—sugar—in the bloodstream so cells can use it for energy. Without insulin, the glucose is there but inaccessible. It just sits in the blood while all the cells starve."
"Huh," Aquaman says. "So that's why diabetics die without it, then. That sucks."
Clark's Ma and Lois use stronger words when talking about it, but the point is the same.
"There's one thing I don't understand," Bruce says. "People with type 1 diabetes—if that's what we're calling this—need insulin injections. They also require constant monitoring of their blood glucose levels to calculate the correct insulin needs, which is done via multiple daily blood tests or a continuous glucose monitor embedded through the skin. You're physically invulnerable."
Clark grins. "Yeah, that made things tricky at first. My Dad figured it out. There's a sliver of meteorite in the casing of all my lancets and my syringe bag—just enough to break the skin, not enough to completely poison me. I can't use a CGM or a pump, unfortunately."
Bruce nods, but Clark sees a gleam of interest on his face. "What about inhalable insulin?"
"The simple answer is my insurance won't cover it." And hadn't that been a battle; Lois had raged for days on the phone, but nothing much had come of it before Clark's…accident.
Bruce grimaces. "There are programs to help with that, aren't there? I know Gotham has them; I can't imagine Metropolis doesn't."
"There are," Clark agrees. "We looked into it, but I'd rather leave those for the people who truly need them. I've done it this way for just about my whole life already. I don't see a reason to change it now."
Bruce squints at him. "Your skin is unbreakable and you rely on insulin injections to survive, but you won't switch to inhalable because you're 'used to it'?"
Clark exhales. "It's more complicated than that. If it was an even switch, I'd be more interested. But long-acting insulin is still necessary, and that's not available in any inhalable form yet. I'd also need to alter all my ratios; it's a completely different medicine. I don't have time for that."
"You could make the time if you wanted to," Bruce says.
He sounds almost disappointed, and it ticks Clark off, which is ridiculous. Clark is an adult. He's not going to lose his temper over this stupid disease now. He also really does not have the time; he has work, he has to be Superman, he has to help his ma out so she's not alone on the farm. He's engaged, which he still can't believe.
He's also alive for the first time in months. He keeps forgetting the interlude where he was dead. Getting used to breathing again is going to take up most of his time for the foreseeable future, even with super speed.
"Thank you for your input," Clark says.
Bruce gives him a steely look. "Fine. It's your life."
Barry clears his throat. "How many types are there? I mean, if there's a type 1, there must be more, right?"
"Type 2 is what most people think of when they hear diabetes," Clark explains. "It's defined by cells becoming insulin resistant; insulin is still produced, but it has difficulty entering the cells. Strict diet and exercise can be enough to manage type 2, unlike type 1, but there are still genetic factors involved."
"So that's where the food thing comes in," Aquaman says. "Things are making sense now. All right."
It's tiring to constantly explain himself and his health condition (or a modified version of it) to everyone he meets, but Clark counts this one as a win.
"Wayne Industries hasn't gotten involved with any insulin production yet," Bruce says, sounding distracted.
Clark's eyebrows shoot up. "Yet? You're planning to?"
"There are clearly ways to improve it. If we can't work with insulin itself, we can handle the technological side of diabetes management. We need something new to promote, anyways; things are getting too stagnant at board meetings."
Diana glances at Clark and hurriedly puts a hand over her mouth.
When he's able to speak again, Clark says, "Lois would love to interview you about that."
Bruce waves a hand. "Talk to Alfred. He'll set it up. Although I'll warn you; I'm not the most interesting to talk to about that kind of thing. I can put you two in touch with our lead researchers."
Clark isn't familiar with any medical tech Wayne Industries has produced so far, but he will look into it. He knows Lois will, too.
"So if you're diabetic," Aquaman points at Clark, "what were you again?" He points at Barry.
"Reactive hypoglycemic," Barry says. "It's the opposite of diabetes."
"So why were you both having the same problem out there?"
"Low blood sugar is a side effect of too much insulin," Clark says. "Or too much exertion with not enough glucose in the bloodstream. It wouldn't happen if I wasn't on insulin therapy, but I would also be dead, so."
Barry reaches across their little circle to fist bump him. Clark tries to be gentle, but Barry shakes his fingers afterward anyway.
"Speaking of which, I should thank y'all for bringing me back," Clark says.
Bruce leans back in his chair. "It's the least we could do."
Clark can't help his laugh. As he looks around at the others, he thinks this might be the start of something great.
AN2: my thought process for Clark is that he never carries his medical stuff with him as Superman because his skin-tight suit clearly doesn't have pockets, and he figures if he needs it, he can use superspeed to just zip home. obv doesn't work when there are super powered beings around and he's trying to be subtle.
also, in this AU, not every Kryptonian is genetically primed to get t1d, it's just all autoimmune diseases are much more common for Kryptonians when under a yellow sun. so headcanon however you please for your fav Kryptonian. 3
also when I watched the Snyder cut, i'm pretty sure Clark wasn't officially introduced to anybody, and while the others were screaming Barry's and Victor's names all over the place, nobody said Arthur's. So I'm going with Clark has only a vague idea who he is.