title: First Impressions
fandom: DC Comics
characters/pairings: Batman, Alfred, Superman, Jimmy Olsen
rating: G
warnings: none
summary: Batman and Superman meet for the first time.
notes: for illmantrim, for a fic_on_demand request. no cameos, i'm afraid, and prolly not just what you were looking for... but still. ^_^

Alfred Pennyworth meticulously brushed out his employer's bullet-resistant cape. He made mental note of the spots where he would need to make repairs later, when they were back in the Batcave. Behind him, Bruce Wayne was in an undignified but necessary position, stretching out his muscles.

The clasp on the cowl would need to be replaced. Alfred quietly swapped it out for the spare cowl, and sighed. "So, how did your encounter with Superman fare, sir?"

Bruce snorted. "He's too big."

Superman gently touched down, toes first, and he put a rather excited Jimmy Olsen down.

"Wow, Superman, that was awesome!" Jimmy enthused. "The way you tore through those mutant scorpions was great!"

"Thanks, Jimmy, all in a day's work," he smiled, wondering if he would be able to escape before Jimmy got a chance to ask any questions.

"Man! Wish my job was that cool! You're the best! You just... stared at that fuse box, and then bam! It blew up!"

Superman nodded and smiled, and opened his mouth to tell Jimmy to take care...

"And was that really Batman you were working with?" Jimmy asked eagerly.

Superman grimaced.

"No subtlety. He wears a bright red cape, with a yellow 'S,'" Bruce growled. "He places himself above the law. He's a loose cannon."

Alfred considered. "According to the reports, sir, he's been quite an asset to the city."

"Reports," Bruce scoffed. "From who, that Lane woman? She's clearly infatuated. He just dove straight in without taking even a second to evaluate the situation. He's as big a risk to Metropolis as he is a help."

"Miss Lane has won several rather prestigious awards for her journalism," Alfred reminded gently.

"He clearly had no training. He's an alien. He was just... born with those powers. Strength that comes without an equal measure of discipline is dangerous."

"He's a lunatic, obviously. The commissioner of Gotham City should be ashamed of himself for not locking him up in Arkham. He put himself in the middle of an incredibly volatile and tense situation without any consideration for his own health, or the health of anyone else for that matter. He uses scare tactics and intimidation to coerce people into fitting into his own peculiar brand of justice."

"Can I quote you on that?" Jimmy asked, scrambling through his pockets for a pencil and a scrap of paper.

"There has to be something seriously wrong with a person who dresses up like a creature of the night to 'fight crime!'"

Jimmy bit his lip. "Well... I guess... But he does look really cool... And did you see those wicked ninja moves he pulled on that one guy?"

"He's no better than the thugs he beats up. He's just another crime boss, with his own agenda. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he really was a criminal, and the whole Bat persona was just a front to clear out competition!"

"Mm, but... didn't he save those kids from the tidal wave? Why would a criminal do that? And what would he even be doing here in Metropolis if that were true?" Jimmy scratched his head, truly puzzled.

"Oh, and don't get me started on that superior attitude of his!"

"I might be able to tolerate his incompetence if it wasn't for his attitude. Like some damned country bumpkin who thinks he's so much better than 'dem city folk,' because his ma and pa reared him up right. Moralizing to me about the rights of mafia hit men... I doubt he even had the slightest clue what was really going on there!"

Alfred sighed, and nodded. "Of course, sir." He was trying to compose a list of all the materials and supplies he would need to restock, but Bruce's rants kept punctuating his tally, making him lose his place.

"He thinks he can decide what is right and what is wrong, and impose that on everyone else. He has no respect for the law, or due process. He was even joking with the arresting officers! Do you know that the Metropolis area has the third lowest prosecution to arrest ratio in the country? Gotham's percentage is nearly twice Metropolis'! How many times are cases thrown out because Superman is the only thing linking the criminal to the crime? There has to be hard evidence! But I suppose logic like that would be beyond the blue boy scout..."

"Naturally, sir," Alfred droned, clicking closed the last of storage case for the Batsuit. For breakfast, he would order egg white omelets with chives and bacon. Bruce would need the protein, but he had to start watching his cholesterol. Even vigilantes were susceptible to heart disease.

"I can tell you one thing right now. I will never work with that freak again." Bruce nodded determinedly, and headed off to the shower.

"I certainly hope not, sir," Alfred sighed after him. "He gets you entirely too riled up."

"I could handle his interference if he was at least willing to concede that I know the territory better. This is my home! But he was so sure that he knew best, all the time..."

Jimmy took a small step back. "Yeah, um, I guess you are right. Well, I, uh, should probably get to the Planet. They're going to be worried about me..."

"He's reckless, arrogant, and insane. Clearly, this is not someone who should be allowed to roam the streets. How long before he just starts to attack jaywalkers! I mean, he kept quoting laws to me like they were all that mattered... He had no sense of compassion! He practically scared that old lady to death. And just because some lady is involved with a mobster, that's no reason to treat her like she's trash. Human beings deserve a modicum of respect! But step over the line, and he just writes you off! His heart is as cold and black as that damned cowl he wears."

"Yeah, he seemed kinda strict. Well, don't want to keep you from the next emergency..."

"I can tell you one thing, and you can quote me on this, Jimmy. I will never work with that nut again." He nodded firmly, and flew off.

That's good, Jimmy thought, slumping against the wall. Because you're kinda scary when you're ranting, Superman.