It’s as if I’ve become a fly on the wall, able to observe everything like the eye of a camera. And I watch a man with dark hair and dark-rimmed glasses take in the room before him.
He’s new. The duffle bag in his left hand makes that obvious.
He glances from bed, to bed in the large dorm room and I can tell by the way he pulls his brows together he’s not sure which one is meant to be his.
Can’t blame him.
The other inhabitants seem to have taken over every spare surface with their laundry.
I’m about to offer my assistance, when he sets the duffle bag down and takes the stairs two at a time to the small loft which houses two more beds.
These are clearly taken too.
He runs a strong hand through his hair and lets out a sigh. There’s something familiar about him. He removes his glasses to clean them. And I finally figure out who he reminds me of.
Only he doesn’t just remind me of him. It is him.
Not a bird, not a plane.
My lips tug upward as I watch him transform back into Clark Kent, placing the now clean glasses back on his face.
With another sigh, he moves back down the stairs and his blue eyes land on mine. “Any idea which bed is meant to be mine?” He asks.
I have no idea!
I try to think of something funny to say, to keep the mood light. But before I can think of anything to say, the door opens and we both turn.
It’s another man, his smiling face, warm and welcoming. He reminds me of Bucky Barnes before he went crazy. “You must be the new guy.” He says and introduces himself to Clark Kent.
The two talk about their classes and majors. Journalism and Homeland Security. They seem to get along and they’ve pretty much forgotten all about me.
Or perhaps I am the fly on the wall again, observing everything like a movie.
There’s a knock on the door and before either can turn to answer it, a short, round man stands in the doorway. Danny Devito, no, The Penguin is standing there. Complete with cane and top hat.
He lifts the cane and points it at Clark Kent. “Don’t be fooled, boy. This is Superman! You have your orders.”
A moment of confusion passes across the other man’s face, before a smile is plastered in it’s place and he goes stiff as a board. His hands come up around Clark’s arm, clamping down like a nutcracker.
Only Superman isn’t so easily broken.
The Penguin is laughing and dancing, “You’ll be bested by him, Superman. He’s a new villain. I’m calling him Nutcracker Soldier, only he cracks bones instead of nuts. Do you like it?”
Clark Kent, looks down at his arm and back up at The Penguin and the Nutcracker Soldier.
Time seems to freeze for a moment and I realize I’ve forgotten how to breath.
“It won’t work, you know.” Clark Kent says. There’s something about the way he says it that I know it’s true and I’m not the only one. “And I’m not your enemy. The Penguin is.”
Another look of confusion passes across the Nutcracker Soldier’s face and his grip loosens.
It’s enough to give Clark Kent the advantage.
As quick as a blink he’s out of reach and no longer hiding behind his glasses.
He’s all Superman now, right down to the red shiny boots. His red cape furls perfectly behind him and I catch a look of awe on the other men’s faces.
“I won’t fight you.” Superman says, “We’re brothers. We should be fighting The Penguin and his kind.”
For a moment I think they’ll unite, but then The Penguin, like the villain he is, shoves Nutcracker Soldier and he moves to attack Superman.
They move about the room, the Nutcracker Soldier trying to land blows and Superman trying to deflect him. They move with such speed it isn’t until they’re both hovering out the window that I realize they’ve both been flying.
My heart breaks to watch them fight when I know they shouldn’t. They’re roommates after all! Maybe even meant to be friends.
Just like Captain American and the Winter Soldier!
I have to say something.
They need to stop.
I move to the window, my voice raised, trying to get their attention, but before I succeed the familiar buzz of an alarm calls me away.