|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|
Well...I'm back. *cough* Yeah.
...I'M REALLY REALLY SORRY FOR NEVER UPDATING THIS STORY. Dx I hope you guys can forgive me.
He was standing in this rushing myriad of people - of children, mothers, fathers - of truth - of lies, his figure solemn, his charcoal hair twisted and bleak, his skin milky in the sunset.
"How could you? You promised you'd stay."
"I know -"
"But you seemed to have forgotten."
Cold little pricks on his shoulders told him it had begun raining. Clark swallowed.
"I'm sorry? I'm sorry? Don't give me that bullshit, Kent -"
"I thought I was Superman?"
"One problem at a time."
It wasn't as though he were leaving on purpose. It wasn't his fault. It wasn't, really.
The thunder let out a low, slow hum in the distance.
"Say something else other than 'I'm sorry,' Clark!"
Well - what was he supposed to say? What was the magic answer to her question? He wasn't Superman anymore, why did they still expect him to read minds? Why couldn't Lois -
"Ah," he groaned.
It was a sharp pain brought Clark back to his surroundings. He clutched at his chest and a pitiful noise slipped through his lips. Hands clenched, eyes creased. Eventually, the bout of pain vanished.
Clark had been standing - now he was on his knees, panting slightly. A bitter mixture of frustration and disgust at this realization washed over him. Such a feeble disturbance had sent him tumbling down.
Without warning, the weakened Kryptonian screamed.
How could he have let this happen? How could Superman have let this happen?
He screamed and screamed and felt his mind begin to break from all of this. Lois. Lois. Lois. Lois. Lois. Lois. He didn't know how long he'd been screaming before he'd caught the attention of the nurses.
Cold, latex hands touched him, tried to soothe him. When he fought back, more hands blossomed out of the corners of his little world. They restrained him. They struck him. They sedated him.
Richard roamed the hospital's glossy halls.
He passed shut doors and open ones - the open ones filled with life or faded life; a family surrounding an ill loved one, offering words of love and encouragement; a man holding the hand of his sleeping spouse; a mother pushing hair out of her little one's eyes; or a single spirit looking at the ceiling, swimming through their loneliness.
A thought struck him.
Clark had no family to surround him. Richard bit his lip. Clark only had his adoptive, human mother. His Kryptonian family had perished when he'd been but a baby.
His grim demeanor softened into a sad expression. More realizations trickled in.
Clark had no wife - being Superman meant that saving others would always taken up your time. Clark had no space left for marriage in his life. No space left for commitment. "Forever yours" was nonexistent in a God's world.
Where did Clark live? Richard wondered. Maybe he'd flown back to his mother's home in Smallville every night. Probably not. Even for someone as fast as Superman, it would take too long. Besides, crime didn't just happen during the daytime. It happened everywhere, all over the world, at all different times.
Images of Kent arriving at work on some days flitted through his mind. The dark circles beneath those blue eyes; the tired, aching manner in which he'd moved for a days after the earthquake. Where had Clark ever stolen the chance to sleep?
"Careful - the man's volatile, but don't pull those straps too tightly. He's a hero, after all."
Richard's head snapped in the direction of those voices. They floated from past the corner. He broke into a run and slid to a halt: security guards were surrounding the fallen body of (Richard craned to see the face, in vain) a nondescript, fully-clothed man and lifting him into a wheelchair. When they stepped out of the way, Richard felt his heart freeze.
Clark was dead.
No - perception of reality returned - he wasn't dead, thank God, he was just...sleeping...unconscious. He was just really, really, really pale.
What happened? Richard thought anxiously. Lois had passed out earlier when she'd been screaming at Clark and Clark had called the nurses to take her back to her room. He'd had been supposed to stay in bed and rest. Instead he took great risk to leave - where?
Damp hair and rain-stained clothes told Richard that Clark had been outside.
But - why?
He studied the swollen cuts adorning the man's throat, slowly drifting up to a bruise marring his upper cheek.
Then, unexpectedly, Clark's eyes opened. Their gazes met and Richard jerked back in surprise. These eyes weren't Clark's - they were Kal-El's.
They were bright and violent and unrecognizable, melting with agony.
To escape it all, the alien whispered. To leave it all behind.
And Richard understood.