kyrene_writes: (SR: supermen)
[personal profile] kyrene_writes
Fours medium-length drabbles, written for a challenge.

Richard + glasses

When he'd been a child, he'd worn glasses. Now he used contact lenses; more to make his life easier than for aesthetic reasons, though he wasn't entirely unaware of the fact that he looked better without glasses.

No one knew, other than Lois, and he had to doubt whether she'd even noticed in all the years they'd shared living quarters. A bottle of saline solution on the bathroom counter wouldn't be of much note to a determined reporter gunning to bring down the kingpin of Metropolis crime, or catching the city's mayor in the misappropriation of the public's money.

It was no big deal. A lot of people had worn glasses as children, and then had gotten contacts or had surgery and no longer needed them. He certainly wasn't alone in this.

But he thought that he was probably the only one who had noticed that while Clark Kent's glasses were dark, the thick frames distracting from the rest of his face, the lenses were nothing but plain glass.

No prescription. There was no warping of the flesh viewed through the frames. The glasses were for show only.

Or for the opposite of show, more like. Because they were there to hide, not to clarify. As disguises went, they weren't all that impressive. But they had worked. Had worked so well for years that Lois Lane, the woman who had borne Superman's child, who worked with Clark Kent every day in the bullpen of the Daily Planet, had noticed nothing.

Apart from the glasses and a quick costume change, there wasn't much to choose from between Clark Kent and Superman. And Richard couldn't figure out why he was the only one who saw it.

Of course, he'd always had very good vision. Even when he had been a child, wearing his own glasses.

Clark + steno pad

With so many reporters switching to handheld recording devices and laptop computers, cell phones and palm pilots, there was something old fashioned, almost archaic about his insistence on using a simple pen and paper to capture most of his stories.

The fact that he could get the words down on the paper faster than any human reporter could have might have had more than a little to do with this choice, of course. No need for shorthand when you could transcribe as fast as anyone could speak.

But there was something about the scratching of the pen over the pad, the tangy scent of ink that his super-smelling picked up, mingling with the faint acid on the paper.... It was something that made him feel like he really was a reporter. And that was something that a piece of electronic equipment couldn't duplicate.

Besides, Perry had filled the bullpen with computers, all buzzing and humming and he could be excused if he found them a little intimidating, because by all logic, they ought not to work. In fact, they often didn't, and he had to consider himself amused by the foibles of the humans who chained themselves to a device that so often failed them. But, oh, the modern reporter couldn't work without their computer!

He'd never had any problem with a pen and a pad of paper. At least, not since the last time he'd gotten too excited and squeezed the pen too hard.

But that was a gaffe that he tried not to dwell on.

Let the others have their toys. He took notes that were actually notes. And if he was considered old fashioned for this, then so be it.

Jason + binoculars

It was really cool, being able to see things far away as though they were close up. Daddy had said that the binoculars were very expensive and to be careful with them, but he was still allowed to play with them, so long as he didn't take them outside.

Which was no fun, really. He wanted to look up at the face of the moon and see if he could see the footprints of all the astronauts. He wanted to zoom in close on the clouds and see if they were really made from water droplets, like his teacher said. He wanted to watch the plane take off and be able to see Daddy's face while he flew, instead of only seeing the back of his head.

It was tempting, to disobey just a little, to take the binoculars only a little bit outside....

But a promise was a promise, and he'd rather use them inside than not at all. And he could see most of what he wanted from his bedroom window. He was always extra careful then, slinging the strap around his neck. Because dropping the binoculars out the window would be even worse than taking them into the backyard. Even if it was an accident, and Daddy forgave accidents, he would have been careless, and that disappointed Daddy. So he was always extra careful.

He thought that maybe the next time Superman came to visit, he'd ask him if he could see things far away, like with the binoculars. Superman could see through things, and could burn things with his eyes. Surely he could see things at a distance as though they were close. Superman could do anything.

He had to use binoculars, though. And if he kept watching, maybe someday he'd catch a glimpse of Superman flying off to the rescue somewhere.

He was glad that Daddy let him play with the binoculars. Even if they were expensive.

Perry + fine china

There was a reason he always drank his coffee in a thick pottery mug.

When he had gotten married, his wife's parents had given them a set of fine china, petal thin and delicately patterned.

He'd told his wife that the things were too nice to be used, but she'd insisted.

He'd given the entire set a year, given himself a week before he broke the first piece.

Within two days he'd shattered a teacup, leaving it too near the edge of the table while snapping his morning paper open.

To her credit, his wife wasn't too upset, though she did ask him to be more careful. And he tried, he really did.

A saucer went next. Left on the floor beside his chair, it crumbled to powder under his heel. He hadn't told his wife, but she'd known that it was missing.

One by one, other pieces followed, going to the crockery cupboard in the sky. The sugar pot and the cream pitcher lasted the longest, but he somehow managed to shatter those, well within the year he'd given them.

For their first anniversary, he bought his wife a stainless steel set of sugar and cream containers, four sturdy ceramic mugs, a dozen roses, and a gold bracelet that he couldn't really afford.

For their first anniversary, his wife made him a mug in her pottery class. It was a little lopsided, ridiculously thick, but she swore that he wasn't going to be able to break it.

Twenty-four years later, and he had his coffee in it every morning. He hadn't so much as chipped it.

He might not be used to handling the finest things in life... but he knew how to hold onto what was really, truly, at the end of the day important.


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February 2015

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