Sullivan Kent and guest star
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Come with me, I'll take you there
To a place where you'll see
Everything you need to be the one
You need to be
And all of those things that you feared
Will disappear from you in time
Everything will become clear to you
When you see things through
Everything will become clear to you
Whatever's meant for you, you will find
-"Transformation," Phil Collins (Brother Bear)
Being awake really helped a guy save lives.
Sullivan Kent, a.k.a. Superman 2, swooped wildly toward an intersection where a bent, white-haired woman was inches away from being flattened by a tanker truck. He caught her up, as gently as possible, and moved her out of the way just in time, then deposited her on the sidewalk, again very gently, and blurred away before she could see him.
Barri Allen, he thought, had been right. He'd let himself way get too exhausted, and he hadn't been working at anything near peak efficiency. He'd really needed to sleep.
But now that he'd had an enforced break, thanks to Barri, his head was clear, and he was back in the game. He'd saved five people in the past hour. He thought with a small flicker of pride that Dad probably couldn't have done any better.
He looked down at the red S on his chest with a small flicker of regret. Dad had been able to let people see him, so they knew who it was who saved them. Sully hated the necessity of being a blur. His dad had worn this costume proudly, and with his actions had made it a symbol of truth and justice.
But unlike his father, Sully couldn't let anyone see him. He couldn't let himself become a symbol. His mom's life depended on him keeping his identity secret.
Problem was, as a result of doing good deeds shrouded in mystery, people tended to believe the worst of him.
Of course, he thought grimly, a lot of that was due to his mom, who was busily writing article after article defaming him. His mom had no clue that "Superman 2" was Sully Kent, college student and erstwhile party boy. She believed Superman 2 was some random stranger, trying to make a name for himself using Dad's reputation, and she was pissed as hell.
The most recent article had tried to pin a series of bank robberies on him, but over the past few weeks she'd accused him of quite a few serious felonies in the pages of the Daily Planet. He hoped that Barri Allen was right, and that he could make the Justice League believe that he wasn't a criminal, but just a guy trying to save lives. Because he really needed help here. Ever since his dad had died, the crime rate in Metropolis had spiraled out of control, and he'd finally come to realize that the biggest city in the world was too much for just one guy to patrol.
He tried to imagine what he could say to the Justice League to get them to help: Really, I know my mom says I'm a bank robber, but I swear, I help little old ladies cross the street all the time.
He rolled his eyes at himself. Unlike his father, he wasn't a Boy Scout, and never had been. He'd never been a really bad kid, but he sure as hell hadn't been a model of morals and decorum, either. He thought he'd grown into a better person recently, since he put the suit on, but he still wasn't anywhere near the guy he wanted to be, the guy he needed to be.
And problem was, a lot of Justice knew him-- well, the person he had been, before he put on the suit-- too well to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Then again, Justice wasn't made up of perfect people, his dad notwithstanding. There was Plastic Man, who'd made his living as a burglar, once upon a time. Green Arrow was a notorious womanizer with a tendency to inflict retribution for crimes that often came perilously close to terrorism. And Barri Allen's dad, the Flash, had been a street thief way back when, before he'd been recruited into Justice. So maybe...
His thoughts drifted to the beautiful redhead he'd left in bed. She'd been warm and willing and very close to him, and the boy he'd been until a month ago wouldn't have walked away from her. But the man he was now wasn't sure he was worthy of her, and wasn't going to use a woman he admired for sexual release.
Anyway, he didn't have time for a real relationship right now, and Barri deserved better than the wham, bam, thank you ma'am treatment.
But he still regretted leaving her behind.
He heard shots, three miles away to the south, and his pleasant memories of Barri scattered like dust on the wind. Automatically, he swung around in midair and zoomed toward the sound.
Too late, he realized grimly as he swooped down. There were two bodies on the pavement already...
But neither was bleeding. His heart lifted a little, and he dropped out of superspeed and surveyed the situation. Guns lay on the pavement beside the inert bodies-- which were unconscious, not dead. A woman was sprawled on the sidewalk, looking dazed and relieved, but perfectly intact, with no bullet holes to be seen.
Someone had come to the rescue before he had.
Cautiously, he dropped down into the shadows, wondering who was on his turf. Suddenly he remembered Barri Allen's words: Metropolis is in good hands, believe me.
He'd been so glad to get back to work he hadn't even bothered to remember that some other superhero was out here on patrol.
He lifted his head, scanning the shadows, listening. He heard a slow, steady heartbeat behind him, and turned.
"So," a raspy, low voice said. "We finally meet."
Sully blinked, trying to adjust his vision to see in the darkness. He had a lot of inhuman visual abilities, but seeing in pitch blackness wasn't one of them. But in the charcoal gray of the city night, he could see a lot better than humans could. He squinted, and saw a dark, shadowy figure in gray and black, wearing a cowl that covered most of his face.
Sully's eyes went wide. He was standing in front of a freaking legend-- a legend who, not incidentally, had created the device Barri Allen had used to stop him earlier. This was one of the founding members of the Justice League, and one of the best-known heroes in the world.
Suddenly Sully felt very young, and very much a pretender. He wasn't even worthy of this man's notice, let alone a conversation with him. And for all he knew, the man intended to apprehend him and have him arrested for the crimes he hadn't committed. Thanks to his mom, people had reason to believe the worst of him.
And even with no superpowers, if this guy wanted to take Sully in, he'd manage it. A sudden fear filled him, making his legs shake.
Part of him-- most of him-- wanted to just blur away, but he held his ground and stared steadily back at the dark figure.
"Hello, Batman," he said.