|The Tragedy Known as Clark Kent
Author: the immortal slice of pie PM
The Daily Planet falls into utter chaos after Lex Luthor launches an attack upon it. Lois Lane arrives at the scene far too late - and who pays the price for this? Clark Kent.Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Family - Clark K./Superman/Kal-El & Lois L. - Chapters: 5 - Words: 9,448 - Reviews: 41 - Favs: 20 - Follows: 50 - Updated: 06-12-12 - Published: 05-31-11 - id: 7039040
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
This is my first ever attempt at this sort of fanfiction/oneshot, so please be kind. o.o
"Parachute" by Ingrid Michaelson would work as a beautiful theme/background song.
Clark clacked away on his typewriter, his blue eyes feverish and bright. The man's gaze was lit up with a creative light, Lois Lane noted, a light that only the truest of writers could have shown. His fingers seemed bent on remaining an indescribable blur to all, and he did not notice Miss Lane staring at him.
Wow. She couldn't help but blink in surprise. She knew Smallville could type fast - but this fast? What the hell?
Lois gave a nonchalant cough, attempting wake Clark out of his trance-like state in which he hunched over his work. The cough worked well enough - Kent jumped in his seat, startled by the intentional noise, and he was jarred enough so that he stopped typing. She watched him, as he stood up from his squeaky office chair, fiddled for a moment with his horn-rimmed glasses, and looked around the huge room. It took exactly two seconds for him to realize that Lois was staring at him.
"H-Hi, Lois!" When Clark flashed his trademark, absolutely dorky grin at her, she couldn't help but amusedly smile back. He had an enchanting sweetness about him, Lois thought, an untouched innocence that only a 5-year-old child could have.
"Hey, Clark," Lois said, as he walked up to her. "You've got quite a talent."
She watched conflicting emotions cross Clark's face - confusion, bewilderment, a tinge of pleasure, suspicion; even a little bit of fear. Fear! Lois almost laughed. She knew Kent was easily startled by a lot of things, but even then, why should he be afraid of a small compliment?
"Typing," She clarified, when he continued to stare at her in that odd, bi-polar way. "Typing. You're a good typer, Clark. Get it?"
This response seemed to send a jolt into the man, and his voice became very small.
That was it was it. A quiet, almost disappointed, little 'oh.' Lois was shocked as she saw Clark's china-blue eyes dull alarmingly fast within a second's notice. She was even more shocked when Clark turned and walked away from her. He seemed to have fallen into an extreme pit of gloom.
"Kent?" Lois could do little more than call after him in confusion. "Kent? What did I say wrong?"
"It's nothing, Lois," Clark sighed, and sat back down on the chair at his desk. "It's always nothing."
[The Next Morning]
"L-Lois - Lois!" Frantic, almost terrified voices brought her to consciousness. Lois blinked, yawned, and tried to translate the jumble of panicky words coming from Richard's lips. Richard - her fiancée.
"What is it?" She mumbled and turned in their bedsheets. "Richard - will you stop shaking me and tell me -"
"Perry just called," He gasped, looking terribly pale. "The Daily Planet - it's been attacked. People have been shot. The place is burning."
"WHAT? !" Lois emitted a noise that was a cross between a howl of disbelief and a screech of agony. Both were uncharacteristic sounds for the female reporter to be making. "It can't be...! I mean - I mean - S-Superman - he wouldn't let - let it -"
As she stammered and bumbled with her words, Richard threw on a work suit, clumsily knotted his tie, and slammed on his shoes - without socks. He turned and began yelling (in a very patient, kind tone) at her to get moving. But there was no response. Finally, when it was undeniable that Lois wouldn't move, he reached over, picked her up, and began carrying her out the door.
"Jason - darling - mommy and daddy are leaving early today!" Richard shouted up the stairs. "Breakfast is in the microwave! Make sure you aren't late for the school bus!"
"Mmm-hmmm..." Jason mumbled, but his parents were already out the front door by the time his sleepy voice drifted from the top of the banister to the first floor.
"Damn traffic!" Richard impatiently drummed his fingers against the handles of the steering wheel. He shot an anxious glance behind him, at his fiancée. "Don't worry, Lois, we'll get there soon."
Lois just stared at him. Her hazel eyes, once so brilliant, so fierce, were now glazed with a retrospective forethought.
"If Superman were here, he'd fly me straight to the Planet, in a blink of an eye. You, Richard White, are pathetic in comparison. Now let me out of this car! We are no longer destined to be married! Jason is my son and Superman's - not your's! Never your's! How could I ever love you - the nephew to a man who owns a newspaper company - when I love the man who has won every woman's heart in the world? ! This man can lift continent! He's exotic and has perfect hair! Not to mention he's good-looking!
"He wants ME, Richard White, ME. How can I possibly deny the strongest, handsomest, most-sought-after, perfect man in all of the world - NO - in all of the universe? ! I hate you Richard White! I'll never love you - "
Richard gasped as he emerged from his horrid daydream. He blinked, and then realized that Lois was screaming at him ("RICHARD, TURN AROUND!").
Faster than someone sane would dare to go, Richard White slammed his foot on the gas pedal and - giving a yelp of mixed surprise and delight - their car shot forward like a bullet. It took all of his concentration to weave the intricate, illegal path he created through the tides of people, cars, and miscellaneous, and even then, with all of his attention and focus, the car still received a few good scratches.
"YOU'RE A CRAZY MAN, RICHARD!" Lois shrieked as they bobbed and literally leaped over traffic. "BUT THAT'S WHAT I LOVE ABOUT YOU!"
He grinned, and continued to speed forward. It was quite their luck that no police officer had caught them yet.
[At the Daily Planet]
"Clark? Clark?" Through the chaotic web of screaming people and thick, poisonous smoke, Jimmy Olsen anxiously called out his friend's name. Jimmy had heard someone say that a man with glasses and black hair had taken a bullet. "CLARK?"
"J-Jimmy...O-Over here..." Mr. Kent's voice came out as an unusually weak whisper. Jimmy hurried to find him. "I'm...under the broken...broken desk."
Broken desk? He glanced around, overwhelmed by how many broken work desks there were. It took him a moment to spot the fleeting flash of a china-blue eye underneath a pile of wooden shards and jagged glass streaks. And then he ran.
Clark was just beginning to pull himself out of the wreckage.
"Mr. Kent!" Jimmy gasped, horrified by the long gashes of blood that stained Clark's face. "Oh - God - "
"It's alright, Jimmy," Clark said soothingly. "I'm fine - just a little wound in my shoulder."
But the older man's calm words could not mask the genuine agony he suffered. Jimmy pulled back, suspicion aroused, and scrutinized Clark as he struggled to a standing position. A low choke of surprise ripped itself away from Jimmy's throat as he saw the strange blue and red material revealed underneath Clark's torn clothing.
"C-Clark?" He whispered, while helping the man to his feet. He pointed at the most prominent slash of red that was showing from beneath Mr. Kent's shirt. "What is - What's that?"
Clark's eyes darkened. He looked at himself - for the first time in over an hour - and swore mentally. Damn it! The vibrant scarlet-and-blue Kryptonian silk for his Superman suit was visible, as deep scratches had cut apart his regular clothing. A crazy explanation would be required to satisfy Jimmy - but Clark barely had any strength to hold himself up (thanks to the bullet made of Kryptonite that seared into his skin), much less come up with a hair-brained idea in the blink of an eye. His knees buckled at the thought of Lois coming in last second and discovering his secret identity. Now that would suck.
"I-I can't explain t-today, Jimmy," Clark groaned, heavily relying on Jimmy as a weight support. He saw that the younger man was having trouble holding him up. "I'm...I'm sorry, I really am. But...I just can't..." Suddenly, Clark elicited a sound of pain through his clenched teeth. It took a moment for the agony of Kryptonite to pass. "...I'm just to exhausted...really, I am."
"It's alright, Clark," Jimmy said, trying to sound bright and cheery like his usual self as he helped the other man to the stairs. "...I'm gonna guess that you're Superman - but that's be stupid of me, right?"
He gave a weak laugh, attempting to be humorous so that Clark would feel a little bit better. But Jimmy's heart sank as he heard Clark moan.
"N-Never mind," Jimmy stammered, and took the first few steps down. "Let's just get out of here, before the building collapses."
For Clark, even with his friend's assistance, it was becoming huge struggle to merely stand on his feet. The hot, popping crackle of fire was the only sound Clark needed to realize that they were going far too slow. At the painstakingly slow speed of their descent, he knew that flames would tear them apart quickly enough. He had no strength left to fly -
And so, Clark halted on the seventeenth step, just staring at Jimmy. Jimmy stared right back. In fact, the young man's stare was incredibly similar to that of a furious, almost desperate glare.
"Go," Was all Clark could say. His cliquant eyes shone like reflective blue mirrors. "Please. Consider it a favor."
"I'm not going to be the one to say that Superman became a martyr!" Jimmy shouted. Apparent rage bubbled to the young photographer's surface. "You lied to all of us, and you still expect a favor on my behalf? !"
"Yes, I do," Clark replied, as his fists tightened with absolutely stubborn bitterness. "Jimmy - you don't have to tell anyone who Mr. Kent really was. Just play along with the rest of the world. Tell Lois that Clark Kent was shot and killed in an instant. Tell her that Lex Luthor would be deranged enough to kill anyone she or Superman was close to. Tell her that Clark remained a bumbling, shy, awkward coward till the end. Please...just...just tell her!"
With his final words there was a silent, ringing truth to them. Jimmy felt a cold, numbing horror grip him as he realized what Superman was about to do.
"No!" He cried - but it was too late.
Superman threw out his fist and - using the last reserves of his energy - pounded it into the stairway's side. There was great rippling shiver that ran down the Daily Planet's interior and exterior, and all at once, chunks of marble, glass, cement, and brick came raining down upon Clark Kent. Clouds of dust smothered Jimmy's throat and Jimmy, coughing, spluttering, and crying, was forced to back away from the destruction and run down the nearly-broken steps left solely for him.
Jimmy couldn't look back - or else, he knew, a guilt would poison him for eternity.
"Is that Jimmy? !"
Lois Lane gave a cry of relief as she saw - albeit dust-covered, winded, and unconscious on his feet - Jimmy Olsen come out of the midst of the flames. She and Richard White were the first ones to embrace his return.
"Hey, Jimmy, buddy!" She practically squeezed him into jelly with her death-hug, but she didn't care. Someone, she knew, someone was alright. "Thank God, you're alive!"
As she pulled back, her smile faltered. Jimmy's expression was so broken, so ravaged.
"L-Let go of me," He gasped. Jimmy pushed away from her and attempted to reenter the burning building, but Richard kept an iron grip on him. Jimmy began to struggle with the other man, but he was already too exhausted. He tried to explain himself. "I have to go back - he's - Clark - dead - it's all my fault - and - and Lex Luthor - Superman - too much, too many - fire - fire - fire everywhere -"
Jimmy collapsed abruptly.