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Time is just another dimension with a Legion ring on your finger, Blur thought, sighting their quarry ahead. The fact that the rings allowed flight as well as time travel was just an added bonus to an adrenaline junkie like her. Putting on another burst of speed, she rapidly outdistanced the others and landed in front of the target. It was just so ridiculously easy for her that she couldn't resist a chuckle. "Gotcha."
Their current nemesis sneered at her, taking advantage of her short-lived amusement to fire a bolt of energy at the spot where she had been standing... but Blur lived up to her name, and he'd barely begun to comprehend her escape when she kicked his knees out from under him. A lucky swing backward connected, and Blur was thrown across the alley.
She heard an angry bellow, followed by the familiar yelp of villainous surprise, both of which causing her sardonic grin when she picked herself up. Right on time. That would be Xenoblaze, protective as usual. :Are you all right?: came Saturn Girl's concerned voice in her mind.
:Fine,: Blur sent back almost absently, and started to leap back into the fray. The air tasted of ozone, which meant Live Wire was keeping their villain on his toes. But by the time Blur got to the fight, Cosmic Kid was already there, and the villain was discovering an uncomfortable fact: it wasn't wise to wear an all-metal power suit when facing someone whose powers were magnetic.
Their leader spoke shortly. "Get the ring." Saturn Girl's face was set in a scowl, telepathically preventing the foe from firing his weapons. Of the assembled group, Blur was the fastest, and she had the ring off their foe before Xenoblaze could take a step. The villain disappeared, snapped back to the 31st century, and Blur dropped the Legion ring into Cosmic Kid's outstretched hand with a grin.
That smile had turned the heads of mundane boys and young heroes alike, but Cosmic Kid was not known for his levity, and his thanks were grave. Knowing when she was beat, Blur allowed herself a tiny sigh; Cosmic Kid was handsome, his costume colors appealed to her sense of style, and she'd always been a sucker for long black hair on a boy. Oh well.
All in all, the emergency pinch-hit had become a job well done, and Blur felt pretty good about herself. At least until Xenoblaze said irritably, "I wish you'd quit getting ahead of us like that - he could've hurt you, you know."
That he would chose to ruin the moment was no surprise. She hid a smile; that's just the way the dynamic worked. As if she would want it any other way. "Puh-leez," she sighed aloud, rolling her eyes. She turned to him, her long black coat swirling to reveal the black bodysuit beneath, and added, "I could've dodged him in my sleep, Xenoboy."
He ground his teeth and glared at her with real exasperation. "For the last time, just call me Z!"
She snorted, hearing Imra's amused chuckle in the back of her mind, and seeing Garth smile. The Legion of Superheroes had its share of unwanted names, and they knew she was about to deliver a verbal smackdown. "Okay, Z, but there's two problems with that. One, Xenoblaze doesn't even start with a Z, so people will think you can't spell. And two, that's what the League calls Zatanna." She cocked her head, and Imra started laughing a moment before Blur added, "Although I know where I can find fishnets in your size..."
The horrified look on his face was totally worth it. "You are sick, you know it." He pursed his lips in irritation, crossing his arms to give her a scathing look. "Then again, we are talking about someone who wanted to call herself Stiletto."
Blur just looked back at him, crossing her arms and pouting mockingly in response. Rokk interrupted their banter before it could go any further; he and the other Legionnaires knew these two could trade insults for days. "We need to return you both to your own time. We're too far back; there were no costumed heroes in this time."
That seemed to startle both of the heroes currently behaving like children. They had been so caught up in the retrieval of their quarry that both had forgotten that they had travelled to the past. "Really? Just how far back are we?" Blur looked around; she and Xenoblaze had followed the Legionnaires blindly, not knowing where or when they were going. But this looked strangely familiar... A little frown tugging at her lips, she spotted a newspaper lying on the ground a little ways up the alley, and quickly went over to examine it.
"Before you two were born," Garth answered. "I think."
"You're right, we need to..." Xenoblaze started before Blur was next to him, grabbing his arm. Taken slightly aback, the boy shot her a puzzled look.
"Holy shit. Look at this, Jase! Look at this!" Hazel eyes wide in absolute wonder, She was shoving the newspaper she'd spotted in front of his face. From the way she just stood there watching his face, she was too excited to say anything else. Which was all too unusual for his twin sister.
But the minute he glanced down at the front page, Jason's jaw dropped. "Oh my God." That was the Daily Planet, and the headline was 'Caped Wonder Stuns City'. Stunned, he looked up at Kala, who was already grinning to beat the band "Oh. My. God. Kal... Kal, this is..."
His sister was already vibrating with excitement. "I know, right? It's Mom and Dad. It's not that old," she said excitedly, then whirled on Rokk, her eyes blazing. "Oh God, what day is it? What day of the week, I mean?"
"Friday," he replied, not betrayed any of their excitement. "Kala, you can't interfere..."
The girl was beyond listening; she cut him off with a literal scream of delight. "I don't want to interfere! Are you kidding me? Rokk, if I'm right, tonight's the interview! The interview, 'I Spent the Night with Superman', it happens tonight!" She was looking at Jason now, stars in her eyes, and it looked as though Jason's enthusiasm was growing just as high.
Only one chance to rein them in; once Jason agreed with her, he knew it was a lost cause. It was one of the very few problems of working with both of the Kent twins together. "Kala," Rokk spoke up sternly. "We should leave, now. If either of your parents sees us, we could drastically alter history."
Support for their idea came from a quarter he should have expected, yet had hoped would stay silent. No such luck. "C'mon," Garth was saying. It seemed Kala's excitement was contagious. "This is the first interview he ever gave!"
"Come on, Rokk. This is once-in-a-lifetime. Seriously, this is the one Mom always talks about." Jason's eyes were shining. It was all too clear that any chance of talking he and Kala out of it was going down the drain. "The one where she really fell in love with Dad. Who could turn that down?"
"We have to see this," Kala said in the heels of his words, giving Rokk one of her patented pleading looks. "This is a historic moment - you want to see it, too, right? We'll just stay well out of their way. Please?"
There was a pause before he spoke and, to his credit, Rokk managed not to sigh. "If he hears you," their leader said doubtfully, but Imra was already smiling. The moment he'd backed down from absolutely not, the argument was as good as won.
"He's in the process of falling madly in love with my mother," Kala replied with a expressive laugh. "Trust me, I don't think Daddy would hear a brass band going by, much less some kids talking."
"This is spying on your parents, you know." Rokk sounded thoughtful, leaning toward being convinced, but still trying to find a way out of it.
"Spying? When Mom's gonna write the whole thing up and publish it tomorrow where everyone in Metropolis can read about it? Please," Kala grinned at him, all too aware of what he was trying to do. She looked to Jason with a keen light burning in her eyes, laughing and pulling him by the arm. By now, her brother was just as keyed up. "Come on, Dopey, we need to find a roof to hide out on before the interview starts. Daddy might not pay attention to us talking, but he'd sure notice us flying."
* * *
They were settled in at a good spot for viewing - well, for Kala and Jason, anyway. The distance was too far for the three Legionnaires, but they had been promised a running commentary by the two with super-vision. All of them had changed back into civilian clothes - for Kala, that simply meant taking off her mask. Now the five teens lurked on the roof six buildings away, waiting for Lois to come out on the balcony.
With the way things had gone in recent years, Kala and Jason were a little nervous about this. And as usual, they dealt with it by harassing each other. "I still think you should've gone with the green costume, Jase," Kala taunted, smirking. "We could call you Iguanaboy. The mean green machine."
"Shut up, Elvira." This kind of heckling was so normal for the twins that the Legionnaires didn't even react when Jason snapped back at her.
"C'mon, Dopey, we could've gotten Grandma to sew the spikes down the back for you. And a nice long tail, green with black stripes."
"You wear enough black for both of us." Jason scowled at her, noting the bodysuit and boots. "Anyone who sees you probably thinks you're Bat Clan."
"Yeah, I should get a cape to go with the mask. Or, hey, maybe even a cowl, too." Kala replied with a shrug, not insulted in the least. "Uncle Bruce did say I could visit Gotham anytime I want. We don't want anyone to guess either of us are Dad's. Maybe we'll make them think I'm just another of Uncle Bruce's legion of kids."
Jason rolled his eyes extravagantly, giving a snort of laughter, and was about to comment further. Whatever he was going to say, however, was lost when Kala suddenly sat up straight. Her gaze was trained out over the expanse between them and the balcony at the Reeve Plaza penthouse. "Oh my God, Jase. Jase, she's coming outside," she whispered in a shaky voice. It wasn't often that Kala was so in awe she was shaking.
All five of them waited breathlessly, Kala and Jason focused on the terrace. A moment later, a young woman with dark hair appeared, seeming herself to have a serious case of nerves. From this far away, the twins could make themselves believe that she was someone else. That was, until she turned to look up into the night sky worriedly. Her gaze was far above them, but she faced them and both Kala and Jason felt as though they had been struck in the chest. They'd only seen her this way in pictures and those had usually been posed. They'd never seen an expression quite like this on her face. "She's so young," Jason murmured in spellbound amazement.
Kala felt her heart break a little bit. There had been time in the past that she'd scorned her mother and her mother's past. Looking at the anxious young woman who would be her mother pacing that balcony that Kala had grown up playing on, she couldn't help feeling for her. "Not too much older than us. I sometimes forget that she was this age."
For a few moments, nothing much happened. Lois set out the wine and her note-taking materials, fussed with the arrangement of the table, and checked her reflection in the glass of the door. But the twins were captivated, describing everything in an under-voice.
Jason saw his mother - though she wasn't yet his mother in this time - check her watch, and both twins heard her mutter irritably, "Eight o'clock, he says. Eight o'clock, eight o'clock. Huh, some friend." They knew that tone, the stressed-out sound of aggravation, well enough to see how nervous she was. "Story of my life, Cinderella bites the dust." Before they could do more than mutter commiserations while she drank deeply of the wine, Jason saw a flash of red. He shook Kala's shoulder as Superman made a graceful - and silent - landing on the parapet.
"Good evening, Miss Lane." At the unexpected sound of his voice, Mom almost shattered the wine glass, slamming it down hastily. Kala and Jason had to control another round of excited chatter; they'd seen photos of their father taken around this time, but seeing him in person, even at a distance, was very different.
Lois was trying so hard to act casual that Kala buried her face in her brother's shoulder, snickering uncontrollably. Few people had ever seen Lois Lane put off her game, acting like a flighty romantic fool over any man. But this ... she was ridiculous. Preening when he noticed the dress but trying to downplay it, laughing at herself for being so insistent that he stay, and generally so very adorably in love that Garth groaned as the twins described it.
Superman was trying to keep it professional, but even Kala could see the grin on his face, and her super-vision wasn't as good as Jason's. When he turned their banter to the topic of the interview, Lois tried to force herself to be a reporter instead of a woman in love. For that she needed to calm her flustered nerves, and she reached for the cigarettes on the patio table.
Jason had to laugh. "We know where this is going. The very first instance of him telling her not to smoke."
"Ah, the birth of a grand tradition," Kala murmured in reply, grinning at him. She peered closer at the dress and added, "So she really did buy it vintage. Geez."
They both chuckled at the use of supervision to monitor Lois' lungs, and passed the old family joke on to the Legionnaires. Even Rokk seemed to be enjoying himself at last, fascinated by this glimpse into a part of history they'd read about but never visited. And Garth was delighted by Superman's casual comment of, "I never drink when I fly." As if alcohol could affect Kryptonian metabolism!
"Nice place," Superman was saying then, having walked up to the open French doors that lead into Lois' apartment while she was trying to get herself together at the patio table.
Unable to help herself, Kala hissed out, "Glad you like it, you'll be living there once you marry her! Although we are all grateful that her decorating skills got better by then. What was she thinking? Ick!" Kala was wrinkling her nose in disbelief when something occurred to her, "Oh my God, Jase, do you think he was thinking what I think he was thinking?"
That earned her a sharp look from her brother. "Knowing Dad, probably not." Jason hit her in the arm, scowling. "He's just being polite, Kal, you sicko." She stuck her tongue out at him as Lois tried to redirect to the interview, and Jason looked around to see his mother discomfited yet again. "Oh my God, look at her!" Jason exclaimed, as Lois got tongue-tied and shy when Superman pulled out the chair for her. It wasn't that the twins had never seen them like this before, just never to this extreme.
"Look at him," Kala practically cackled. "He's driving her nuts and he loves it! Oh my God, Dad, cool it before she blows a gasket!"
"Well, uh," Lois was saying, "let's start with your vital statistics. Are you married?" She sat up straighter to look at him, her hazel eyes intent, the answer blatantly important to her.
Kala fell backward, clutching her sides and wheezing. "Priorities, Mom! And what about your Rules of Reporting, huh?" she managed to gasp, as Jason dropped his forehead against the parapet.
"What?" Garth whispered, as Superman replied in the negative.
"First question: are you married?" Jason muttered, and the other boy burst out laughing.
Kala stifled another giggle. "Second question: do you have a girlfriend? Mom, please! Make it obvious, why don'tcha!"
Superman's reply startled a short bark of laughter from Jason, and he repeated the line for everyone's benefit. "Uh, no, I don't, but, uh, if I did, Miss Lane, you'd be the first to know about it." Superman's hand rose to his mouth as if in shock at that risqué little comment, azure eyes dancing, and Lois just looked amazed.
"They are unbelievable," Kala cackled. "Geez, Jase, I'm surprised we're not about two years older than we are! UST, anyone?"
Lois asked about his age, and got an evasive reply, which she allowed to stand - not normal behavior for Fearless Reporter Lois Lane. But this looked a lot more like Madly in Love Lois Lane, and Jason smiled fondly at his parents. Seeing this interview was a recipe for warm fuzzies...
...until she asked how big he was. Jason's jaw almost hit the concrete. Kala, on the other hand, collapsed into another fit of giggles. It was all she could do to not fall over and kick her feet in hilarity. Lois corrected herself to ask his height, but they all knew where her mind was. Imra read the information out of their minds and started snickering too, which thoroughly annoyed Garth. "C'mon, we can't all hear a whisper five blocks away!"
While Imra filled him in, Kala and Jason managed to pick themselves up again. "I can't believe she's got it this bad. I mean, she's admitted it before, but geez," Kala murmured, grinning helplessly as Lois fumbled a few more questions about his vital functions. Vital to her interests, anyway.
"I can't believe this. I can see why Mom says so much of this never made it into the paper," Jason replied, shaking his head and ignoring the heat in his cheeks. "I'm surprised she even had enough to print!"
Superman's proximity was clearly flustering Lois, so she got up and walked away to ask about his powers. Superman, of course, followed her, replying calmly about his x-ray vision. Lois asked about invulnerability, which the twins quickly realized was a red herring: she meant to call him on the x-ray vision. And did so with a question that seemed to startle Lois herself with its audacity. "What color underwear am I wearing?"
Jason's expression was a study in horror. To his sister, he couldn't have looked any more mortified if he tried. She herself was biting her lip, sniffling back tears of laughter as Superman looked very serious. Still trying to hold it in, Kala reached over and shut his jaw for him. Lois quickly apologized for embarrassing him, and he told her about the lead planter obstructing his vision. "So that's how she found out," Kala said thoughtfully through giggles. "I always wondered how that one came up. Yeesh."
Lois segued distractedly to asking him about his name, turning away as she did so, and Superman said quickly, "Pink." Lois turned around, confused, and then he gave her a significant look downward, raised his eyebrows, and repeated it.
Kala had never seen her mother look so chagrined, and she wheezed laughter again as Lois very deliberately put the planter between them again. Jason, meanwhile, was groaning, "Aww, Dad! That was wrong!"
Since the twins were so engrossed, Imra had taken over telepathically transmitting the interview as they saw it to Garth and Rokk. That meant the two boys got some of the twins' reactions as well, and Rokk looked a little distressed at the level of hilarity Kala felt. Even now she was telling her brother, "Don't worry, Iguanaboy, someday you'll like a girl enough to pull a stealth panty check. And I think we both know she's not going to mind, either." Kala knew all too well of who she spoke and knew he did, too.
It had the predictable reaction. "Shut up," he growled self-consciously, as Superman turned the tables and apologized for embarrassing his future wife.
Everyone settled down during the explanation of Superman's Kryptonian origins, Kala only commenting, "Daddy was right; it really didn't faze her at all... He's from another planet, and all she cares about is how to spell it, just like he said. No wonder they were perfect for each other." Of course, Lois had to ask if he liked pink, but by then the teenagers had gotten used to the unusually high degree of mushiness and only rolled their eyes when Superman said he liked pink very much.
Tongue-tied again, Lois managed to save herself by asking why he was here, and his reply seemed to bring her back to her snarky senses. It was clear in the next moment, when he said he never lied, that she was overwhelmed. And not just by landing the interview of the century; this was a man who was simply too good to be true, and here he was flirting with her. Little wonder Lois stumbled over her questions.
When she asked how fast he could fly, Superman managed to parlay that into an invitation to fly with him. Kala dropped her head onto Jason's shoulder. "Oh no, you know how they get when they fly ... and this is the first flight, too!"
"Not the first," Garth corrected her. "The first flight was when he caught her, when she fell out of the helicopter."
"Yeah, but that was different," Jason said.
Kala summed it up, "It's the first time they flew when her life wasn't in imminent danger." Meanwhile, Superman was gently pressuring Lois; she was too stunned to believe this was really happening, and he had to take her notepad and lead her to the edge of the terrace.
Clark finally got mentioned, and Kala sighed. This was way back when, before her mother even knew that her best friend and the hero were the same man. It was sort of sweet to see Superman tossing out little hints, asking if Clark was her boyfriend, and Lois completely missing it in the surrealistic moment. "Wait, wasn't Mom still dating Dr. Marrin then?" Jason asked.
The reminder made Kala sock her brother in the shoulder. "Eww, hush! Was would you even bring that up?" she snapped at him, making a face. "I don't even like to think about that on a normal basis; now is even less appealing. Keep your ickiness to yourself." That said, she turned her gaze back to her parents. What she saw there made her shake her head with another snicker. "I can't believe how out of it she is!"
As Superman took off, they heard Lois yelp, and Kala and Jason shared a wry look. They had grown up with a mother who was accustomed to flight, who made the takeoffs and landings look elegant and polished. Mom had never lost the gleam of wonder in her eyes, but it was obvious these days that flying with Superman was no longer a novelty.
This ... this was a Lois who clung to Superman's arm and hid her face against his shoulder, all too aware of the ground yawning below her. A Lois who was just having one of her earliest experiences with the man whose fate was bound with hers. A Lois who had no idea what the future held for her. "Oh, Mom," Kala sighed.
"She's actually scared." Jason sounded amazed as they watched the pair soar ... toward them.
So enthralled were they that Rokk's hiss of "Get down," started them and all five dove for cover mere seconds before Lois and Superman flew right over their heads. The teenagers kept still until they were sure the reporter and the hero were far, far away. "Enough now. That was too close," Rokk said firmly, and all of them knew there would be no negotiating with him this time.
But in spite of that, Jason couldn't resist one last glance as they turned to leave. He saw Kala looking over her shoulder, too, and both of them caught sight of their parents flying above the clouds. Superman held Lois' hand tightly, and she soared with her arms out and a delighted smile on her face.
Kala caught his eye, and the two shared a look full of warmth and amusement. "D'ya think they have any idea?" she asked.
"Not a clue," Jason chuckled.
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