The Never-Ending Battle

By I.A Watson



“I don’t get it,” Becky Truman admitted, flicking through the hardback classic Superman archive volume with genuine puzzlement. “I don’t see what she sees in him.”

Matt Lindley paused in the kitchen doorway and wondered if he was actually dreaming, given the surreal situation he was in. Not only was an incredibly hot blonde curled on his sofa but she was leafing through his comics collection and seemed to want to discuss it. “What’s not to like?” he answered. “The guy is Superman.”

“So?” Becky shrugged. “All this reporter woman knows about him is that he’s big and strong and goes around fighting baddies. The only time they ever meet is when she’s been stupid and got herself into danger and then only long enough for him to smash though a wall and save her and then fly off again. I can see why she might want to jump his bones as a super-stud, but not why she’s so hooked on him.”
“Because he fights a never-ending battle for truth and justice,” Matt argued.

“That’s not it,” Becky countered. “Look, every day she’s sitting next to…” (pause to check the text) “…Clark Kent, right? He’s not that different to Superman, except for the specs. He’s a crusading reporter, he even acts like Superman in a suit apart from pretending to be a klutz. And she won’t give him a sniff - except when she thinks he might really be Superman, and then she’s only interested in doing a story that blows his secret. What a bitch.” Then Becky remembered her own circumstances, and added, “Er, how’s your nose?”


Matt had stuffed a lot of tissues up it to stop the bleeding. He’d changed his t-shirt for one that wasn’t torn, and he was holding a frozen microwave meal to his swelling cheek. “Okay, I guess. I don’t think it’s broken or anything.” He carried the steaming mug he’d prepared into the room and put it down on the table before Becky. “Here’s your coffee.”

Becky Truman looked at the Spider-Man mug with some astonishment. “Wow,” she grinned. “In all the times guys have taken me back to their rooms for coffee, I’ve never actually got coffee.”

That sent Matt Lindley into another spiral of panic and self-doubt. “Er…” Finally he was honest. “I don’t know what to say to that. I don’t have girls up here very often.” Ever, he should have said.

Becky looked around the comic-strewn room. The walls were covered with film and superhero posters. Books and CDs were stacked in precarious piles, and there was a relatively sophisticated computer set-up on the desk with a Simpson’s screensaver. A discarded pizza box was stacked beside, not in, the bin, and unwashed clothing lurked beneath the furniture. “Really,” she told Matt. “You don’t say.”
Matt wished now that she’d just drink her coffee and go. He hurt quite a lot after his beating, and the encounter with the hot blonde wasn’t really going that well after all. “Are you okay now?”

“Sure,” Becky lied. “I don’t think Jason would have really hurt me anyway. He was just a little bit drunk. He wouldn’t really have hurt me.”

I wish you’d told me that before I got involved and had the crap kicked out of me, Matt thought. “He seemed pretty insistent on having… well, on you going into the parking lot with him.”

Becky shut her eyes and sighed. “What do you want me to admit? That I was stupid to go out with Jason Burden, to ignore all the stories about the way he treats his girlfriends? That I overestimated my ability to stay in control of the situation when he started to get too pushy in the 7-11? That if he’d dragged me back to his car he might have raped me? Okay, I admit it. I was stupid. I was in trouble. I probably needed some help even if I was too proud to admit it, and if you hadn’t come and got the shit kicked out of you then I might have been hurt instead, alright? Is that what you wanted to hear?”

“I, uh, I didn’t mean to upset you,” Matt stammered.

Now Becky’s brilliant blue eyes were on him. “Sure you did. You wanted to remind me that I owed you, big time. You wanted to prompt me to pay my debts, right?”

Matt swallowed. “I don’t understand.”

“Yes you do,” Becky countered. “Look at all these comics. How many times does the hero save the girl? And what’s the fantasy behind it? It’s the oldest story in the world, isn’t it? I saved your life, princess, and now you have to fuck me in reward. That’s why I’m here on your couch, right? You’re just trying to figure out a way to make me recognise my debt.”

“No, no it’s not like that at all,” Matt told her. “It’s… well, okay, I can’t say I haven’t had a few fantasies, but I didn’t get involved with Jason just to, well… What I mean is…”

“It’s okay,” Becky conceded. “I do owe you, so I’ll go to bed with you. But you wear a condom, and I don’t do anal, right?”

Matt leaped forward at her, but it was to stop her unbuttoning her blouse. “No. No, that’s not what I want. You don’t owe me anything. You sure don’t owe me sex.”

The girl paused and looked at him in puzzlement. “Now I don’t know what to say. I don’t think I understand you at all.”

Matt Lindsey glanced across at his Captain America poster for inspiration. “You’re wrong about the comics,” he explained. “Well, not wrong, because rescuing the girl and the girl being grateful is an incredibly powerful teenage boy’s fantasy, especially for those of us that aren’t that popular with girls in the normal sort of way. But that’s only half of it.”

Becky Truman sipped her coffee. “Go on,” she said.

“Well,” Matt breathed, “the other half of it… Superman never actually takes advantage of Lois, does he? I mean, she’s probably willing, right? She’s got a huge crush on him, for whatever reason, and she owes him her life hundreds of times over, and given his powers he could take any woman he wanted whether she liked it or not, right? But he’s always the perfect hero, and he just flies off with a jaunty salute. That’s the other half.”

“But it doesn’t make any sense,” Becky objected. “In real life people just don’t behave like that.”
“I do,” Matt replied. “I am.” He forced his eyes away from the tantalising view he was getting from her half-open blouse.

“That doesn’t make any sense either,” the girl continued. “I know you want me. I’ve seen you in class looking at me when you think I’m not looking at you. All the guys do it. You’ve never said anything to me ‘cause you knew I’d turn you down, but you’ve wished. You do want me. You might even have laid on this very sofa and jacked off thinking about me. So here I am on a plate for you, and within reason you can do anything you want with me, so why don’t you?”

“Because there’s something more important than screwing the heroine,” Matt answered. “When Superman flies away leaving Lois’ pants intact, she realises that there’s one guy out there who’s really doing what’s right for no other reason than it being right, not for any ulterior motive. Then the next day she bickers with Clark Kent without ever knowing who he is. But we know. And we all kind of hope that one day she’ll find out as well, and then she’ll realise…”

“…That she’s utterly underestimated the quiet, mousy guy she’s known for so long, who could have had her backwards over a fence but didn’t because he’s better than that, and that she’s been wrong about Clark all the time, because he really is the one for her,” Becky understood.

“Yeah,” Matt admitted. “Something like that.”

Becky looked at him. Even without the tissue up the nose and the swollen eye he wasn’t that much to look at. “What about Clark?” she asked. “What does he see in Lois?”

This one caught Matt off guard. “Lois?”

“Yes. She thinks Superman’s hunky, righteous, maybe she’s all the more attracted to him because he’s not the kind of guy who would take a reward fuck off her. Maybe one day she’ll see beyond Clark’s glasses and see he’s the one for her to keep. But why should Clark be interested? She’s bitchy, snoopy, shallow, she won’t give him the time of day in his secret ID. What does he see in her other than a pretty face and a hot body?”

“I think… he sees past all that,” Matt considered. “I think he sees the quest for truth that makes her an intrepid girl reporter, and the fiery passion for justice that sends her out to chase down gangsters and supervillains. He sees the keen intelligence which actually gets her into the adventure ahead of him quite often. I think he sees her more accurately than she sees herself, and that’s what’s attractive to him. He doesn’t want a quick one-night stand off her and then on to the next bimbo. He wants a woman he can love, an equal, a partner, and he sees in Lois those qualities which he most admires.”

“Oh,” Becky said. “I see.”

At last Becky stood up and refastened her blouse. “I’d better be getting home,” she told Matt. “I’d appreciate it if you didn’t tell anyone about tonight.”

“I’m not going to boast about being beaten up by Jason Burden,” he promised her.

“I don’t mean that part,” Becky blushed.

“Oh. Sure. Not a word.”

She was in the doorway before she asked, “What happens when Lois finally does work out about Clark and Superman?”

“It starts when Clark asks her out and one time she says yes,” Matt replied.

“And does it work out?”

“They get married,” Matt answered.

Becky raised one perfect eyebrow. “Whew! And all because he asked her out one time and she saw something in him worth finding out about, huh? And it turned out to be true love, lifetime stuff, not just cheap reward sex.”


Becky shrugged. “Well, I gotta go. See you in school on Monday.”

“Goodnight Becky,” said Matt, as the woman of his dreams walked out.

“Goodnight, Clark,” she answered, and closed the door.






Original concepts, characters, and situations copyright © 2008 reserved by Ian Watson. The right of Ian Watson to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the UK Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved.