bourdain again

anonymous asked:

I'm going through a real rough patch and if you want to write something cheerful you have no idea how grateful I'd be.

Flash sidled up to Superman on one of the Watchtower’s mezzanines, leaning against a rail. They looked at each other sidelong, then away.

“Wanna hear my new time?” Flash asked sideways, swaying as he alternated which foot held his weight, hands on his hips.

“There’s no way you beat my time,” Superman muttered, his arms crossed over his chest. His eyes were in the other direction, and both men went silent as the Lanterns walked too close. Superman and Flash gave them a nod of acknowledgment, then waited for them to be at a safe distance.

“Nine seconds.”

“What!” Superman dropped his arms, whipped his head around to where Flash was grinning and bouncing on his heels. “No way.”

Flat,” Flash said.

“There’s no way.”

“Check my heartbeat if you don’t believe me,” Flash said, tapping his insignia with his thumb. Then he frowned. “Actually, don’t, I’m pretty excited about this so my pulse is probably crazy.”

His heart always sounded like an angry hummingbird trapped between his lungs, but Barry was also a notoriously terrible liar, so it wasn’t as relevant as it could have been.

Dangit,” Superman said, crossing his arms again. He leaned back to scope out the area around them. No one seemed to be paying them much mind. “What time?”

“Eleven on a Saturday,” Flash said, looking even more smug. “You know I don’t mess around.”

“Tch!” Superman made an irritated sound, licking his canines. Then he snapped his fingers. “You forgot about–”

“Nnnope,” Flash interrupted. “I’m including the new ones in that, that’s the whole reason we had to reset our times, otherwise I’d still be at seven-point-four.”

Tch.” Superman drummed his fingers against his bicep. “Nine seconds,” he repeated, torn between irritation and awe.

“You know what that means,” Flash said, waggling his eyebrows.

Superman sighed. “Alright, where are we going?”

“I want soup.”

“Uh-huh.” Superman waited. Flash was waiting for him to ask. Superman was not going to give him the satisfaction.

“… in Saigon.”

“You’ve been watching Bourdain again,” Superman accused.

“It looked like really good soup!” Flash said, defensive.

“Fine,” Superman said, “but I am going to beat your time, and when I do–”

“Beat what, now?” Wonder Woman asked, having managed to approach them while they were distracted by negotiations.

“Nothing!” Flash and Superman said at once.

“We were just talking,” Superman said.

“About stuff,” Flash added unnecessarily. “Private, personal, man stuff.”

Wonder Woman’s eyebrows shot up. She was close enough for her lariat to hum on her hip. She looked Flash over. Flash started to turn red.

“Okay bye!” Flash said, and he was gone in a streak of red.

“Superman?” Wonder Woman asked.

“I should, uh. Hal…”

He wasn’t actually making any definitive statements, just stringing words together, and yet somehow it still managed to ring false. She watched him go, putting her hands on her hips.

She could practically sense it when Batman came up beside her, even quiet as he was.

“Do you want to know what they were talking about.”

“Do you know?” she wondered. He said nothing, so she turned to look at his face. It was as expressionless as ever, but she got the impression that he did not consider the question worthy of dignifying with a response.

He was Batman. He would never be so rude as to say ‘of course’ – but of course he knew.

“I wouldn’t want to invade his privacy,” Wonder Woman said cautiously.

“He’d tell you if you really asked,” Batman said. “They just like feeling like they have a special thing.”

“Oh.”

“Flash, especially.”

“I see.” She tapped on her lower lip as she watched Superman talk to one of the Green Lanterns. “So what’s the special thing?”

“Pick me up in the plane on Saturday and I can show you.”

She froze. Slowly, she turned to look at him. As always, being able to see him helped not at all. “Like a date?” she asked.

The corner of his mouth twitched. “More like a stakeout.”

“That could be like a date.” She was mostly saying it to tease him. Sometimes if she did it right, he turned pink and had to find a shadow to hide in.

“It’s usually not.”

“Why not?”

“I’m usually with the kids.”

“Oh!” Her eyes widened. “I didn’t mean–”

“It’s fine.”

She put her hand out to rest on his shoulder. “I would never imply–”

“I know.”

She took her hand back. “I’ll behave,” she assured him.

“You don’t have to,” he said, and she grinned.

“I’ll pick you up at ten,” she said, and she gave him an exaggerated wink as she walked away.

“It’s a date,” he murmured.


Why,” Wonder Woman asked, “are we in Florida?”

Batman was sitting beside her, and the plane was in a low hover. “Because as far as anyone can tell, this is the single biggest and busiest Walmart in the world.”

“I don’t think that explains as much as you think it does,” she said.

Batman held up a phone. A clock took up most of the screen. 10:59. “Watch,” he said, and he pointed out to the parking lot, vast and terrifying and teeming with people. She watched, and she had no idea how she was supposed to see anything in the crowd.

Finally, she spotted it. The motion too quick to be anything mortal. Would anyone on the ground notice anything more than a strong breeze?

“Oh! It’s the–” She snapped her fingers, couldn’t remember the word.

“Carts,” Batman supplied.

“Yes!”

In almost no time at all, every cart in the parking lot had been returned to one of the designated corrals. Batman pointed to something that he must have been using technology in his mask to see, because otherwise his eyes should not have been good enough. Wonder Woman was much better equipped to see Superman, standing beneath a tree and checking a stopwatch and scowling. He did some kind of motion with his arms and one leg that suggested he’d have thrown his hat to the ground, if he’d been wearing one.

“They introduced new carts,” Batman explained. “They don’t fit with the other ones, so it slows them down. Ruined their whole system.”

“They had a system?” she asked, giggling.

“No, here,” he said, tapping her arm to point again. “This is the best part. He’s frustrated.”

That’s the best part?”

“Watch what he does.”

She watched. Superman was gone again, more impossible-to-follow motion through the crowd. Things were moving. Large things.

“He’s fixing the cars!” she said, clapping her hands together.

“He’s fixing bad parking jobs,” Batman confirmed. “Because he’s mad.” There was a brief crooked curve to his mouth.

“He moved that one to a different space!”

“Illegally parked in a handicapped spot.”

“How fun.” Wonder Woman watched the people wandering through the lot, wondered how many of them had noticed what was happening and how many had disregarded it as nothing worth noticing. “Flash is the winner of this contest, then?”

“Consistently.”

“Is there a prize?”

“Clark buys him lunch. Usually somewhere he saw on a food show, since he can’t normally do that.”

“Why not?”

“Hm?”

“Barry can run anywhere, can’t he?” she asked. “I see no reason he couldn’t run to these places on his own.”

“He doesn’t like being alone in foreign countries,” Batman explained. “It makes him anxious.”

“Oh.” She returned her gaze to the parking lot. “How nice, then, that it all works out.” She frowned. “Is this weird?” she asked. “Spying on our friends like this.”

“I don’t think I’m the right person to ask.”

“Do you do this often?” she wondered. “Watch people have fun without you?”

“Define 'often’.”

Wonder Woman held up a finger in warning. “Zatanna taught me a trick.”

“That doesn’t sound good.”

“She says that if you ask me to define the parameters, it means the answer is bad.”

Before he could respond, there was a thump.

Superman was standing on the nose of the invisible jet.

He tapped a knuckle on the glass, until Diana opened the hatch. “Hello!” she said cheerfully.

“What are you two doing here?” Clark asked.

“We’re on a date!” Diana said.

“We’re not on a date,” Batman said.

“If you’re not on a date, can you give me a ride?”

“You’re out of our way,” Batman said.

“Nah, just drop me off in Gotham,” Clark said, slipping inside the plane, awkwardly floating between the two front seats into the back.

“You don’t even need a ride,” Bruce said, having to fit himself as far as possible into the edge of his seat so that Clark would have room to get by. “You can fly.”

“Yeah, and you can walk, but I don’t see you giving up the Batmobile.” Clark made himself comfortable in the back seat as Diana closed up the plane. “I’m craving Dimitri’s.”

“You’re too sober for Dimitri’s,” Bruce said.

“I’m always sober. You’re lucky I can tell this wasn’t a real date, or I would be really creeped out by the whole spying on me thing.”

“Don’t tell Barry we know about your special thing,” Diana said, pulling the plane out of its hover to ascend. “I don’t want to ruin it for him.”

“I won’t,” Clark assured her. “Hey, you know where we should go while we’re here?”

“No,” said Bruce.

“Where?” asked Diana.

“No,” said Bruce.

“Disney World!”

“No.”

Diana gasped.

“No.”

Clark put a hand on Bruce’s shoulder. “You can’t have come all the way to Florida just to see me,” he coaxed.

“I’m banned from Walmart, strongly discouraged from visiting Disney parks, and my parents are dead. I have no other reason to visit Florida.”