Thursday, December 21, 2017
#22 [2017/CBR9] "Waiting for Clark" by Annabeth Albert
"In a cartoon drawing, Batman and Superman are locked in an embrace, kissing. Superman is taller and clutching Batman to him. Batman has more muscles and has visible tattoos on his arms. Superman has broader shoulders and dark hair. Batman is stretching up to meet him and has one foot kicked behind him. Behind them is a graffiti-covered wall, and Superman's rainbow-lined cape swirls around them. The prompter specified that the picture is two men in cosplay costumes at a Comic Con convention."
The letter goes on to request that both men already know they are gay, are out of the closet, and are close in age. Annabeth takes the prompts and runs with them, creating a short, sweet love story between Clark and Bryce. Bryce is working a convention. He is dressed as Batman, and has friends helping him out to dress up and populate his booth. He doesn't know who is going to be Superman until he arrives and realizes it's one of his closest friends from college, Clark. The two had shared one kiss in college, but the timing never worked out and they never got together. Now may just be their second chance.
The main problem between the two is a simple lack of honest discussion. Sure, Clark has been off at Oxford and MIT while Bryce has been dealing with his dad's death. Bryce knows that Clark has better things to do with his life than wasting his life away, stuck with him. Clark's talent and ambition could bring him anywhere in the world. However, all they really need is to admit how much they care for each other, and the rest will work itself out.
Albert tells this story by alternating the points of view of the two men. I did find this confusing. I was already having a hard time keeping the names straight (a common problem for me), so switching the narrator made that even harder. As far as novellas go, I definitely preferred Blonde Date by Sarina Bowen, but this one was good enough for what it was.