World's Finest
by Te
August 12, 2005

Thanks for audiencing, Jam!


There's a certain satisfaction to this -- beyond the sort Clark believes the young
man in his arms would understand.

While it is -- and has always been, and will always be -- quite wonderful to be
able to provide for a friend in need, there's an entirely different *sort* of
satisfaction to being able to do it because of qualities unique (or nearly so) to

And another sort altogether to being able to do it with a young man like this

"Time-check." Tim's voice is curt, and his tone would seem almost angry if Clark
didn't know he was gritting his teeth to keep them from chattering.

Clark shifts Tim -- only a little unnecessarily -- in his grasp. "Another hour, at

There's no answer to that, but then, he didn't expect one.

The structure they're in is large enough, and would, perhaps, be comfortable for
humans if the life support systems were fully-functional. As it is, there will be
enough oxygen to support Tim -- Clark won't need to breathe for another
several hours -- but not much else.

Including heat.

In truth, it may become necessary for them both to remove their clothes, since
every sense he has is telling him that this is merely a stopgap measure.

Tim's core body temperature will begin dropping soon enough.

He would've been able to fly for aid -- and a ship big enough for all of them as well
as the few Trictrian survivors they'd been able to find stasis pods for -- but...

The skimmer only had room for one pilot, and is, in fact, somewhat faster than
Clark himself can fly. And Bruce, left behind, would've been in much the same
situation as Tim -- save that he would've required more oxygen.


"I... can sense you... enjoying this. Far too much."

"Hypothermia *does* have psychological effects, Tim."

"C-C-Clark -- dammit."

Clark has no intention of suggesting Tim remove his clothes. Of course, it's entirely
possible that the boy will become *seriously* irrational before he makes the
suggestion himself.

They have a few minutes.

"Yes, Tim?"

"H-h-how. D-did. Dick. Deal with this."

Clark squeezes Tim somewhat harder. "Well, I..." He isn't sure, actually. Sometimes it
seems like a mostly pleasant hallucination to remember the days when he, Bruce,
and Dick had worked together as a matter of course. Certainly, he can't say he
doesn't understand Tim's frustration.

"N-n-n-never mind. Just tell me. This will never. Happen again."

"Really, Tim, our skills and abilities --"

"I hate you. A lot."

Clark strokes Tim's hair, taking the time to check Tim's ears. They're cold to the touch,
as opposed to human-cool, but the color is still a healthy red.

"S-superboy. I want. I'm t-t-t-tired."

"Tim --"

The sigh would've almost certainly been an impressive one, had it not been interrupted
by the chatter of Tim's teeth. "I know. D-d-d-dammit."

Tim succeeds at the removal of his cape and boots, but the tunic seems almost
beyond him. Clark helps, moving Tim's limbs where they need to go until he can wrap
the cape and much of his own top around everywhere he can't touch.

"N-n-not cuddling."

"Of course not."

"H-h-hate y-y-y-you. A l-lot."

"Of course. It is nice to have this opportunity to spend more time with you, though."


"I mean," he says, and breathes warm and as dry as he can against Tim's ears.
"We've never really had a chance to get *close*."

"T-t-*time*. *Check*."

"Still the better part of an hour, I think. Don't worry, I'll keep you warm."


Clark smiles. And cuddles.