Haunted

"He's been more of a father than you ever were! You were always worried about good ol' Dick rather than your own flesh and blood. Well how does it feel? Knowing that you've lost both?!"

"You, are dead to me. You might as well have stayed with your damn mother!"

"You've become the very thing we all feared you would become, and I couldn't have been anymore ready for this."

"This isn't right, this isn't what heroes do."

"Strength isn't everything. But unfortunately, you could never agree with that notion, could you, Clark."

"I believe in what we do Kal. But more than anything, I believe in you. You have never led us astray, never have you once been anywhere but at the vanguard.."

"I love you Smallville, and it's about damn time you came home too, you should never keep a pregnant woman waiting for long."

"Oh my god, Lois...You're...?"

"Yes Smallville, you did it. *Giggles* We did it."

"Next time you have a family, try not to get them killed Big Blue, eh? Hehehe."


Kal awoke with a roar, if he was back on Earth with his powers, no doubt he would have tore his entire surroundings apart. His hands balled into fists, his body sleeked in a cold sweat, hair mussed over his forehead, he ran his hand back over the thick locks, and didn't move a muscle after that.

It amazed him that even to this day he was still susceptible to the nightmares, which were mostly voices, with split flashes of the memories of which they corresponded with. His lip curled into a disgusted snarl as he recounted the pain, the punishment, every trial and tribulation that had led him to this self imposed exile.

"You had to have it all, but when was it ever enough, Kent?"

Kal's eyes were instantly drawn to a dark corner of the room that was to his terror, at his immediate left, his eyes drank in the sight of a dark cloaked figure that had belonged to a man that was no doubt, no dead, it was for all intents and purposes a ghost, a demon, a creature of the night. He for once in his life, knew the fear that many criminals that fell victim to the wrath of the Batman had known, from small time thugs to the puppeteer strings that moved them along, Kal could at this moment sympathize with them. His eyes wide as saucers, Kal was frozen solid as if he was in a deathmatch with Killer Frost, and was currently receiving an ass beating of a lifetime.

"No, no! You're dead, you're just-not real!"

"No, no, no. I'm all too real," The Batman lurked forward, into the dark hazel moonlight, and from what little Kal could see of his chin, it was horrifying. The skin was deteriorating, not quite peeling off, but not quite holding together. If what little skin Kal could see determined anything, it was that this was more of a walking corpse, than a man.

"At least in this life, I can show you just how weak and how all too human you really are." A punch quicker than Kal's eyes could follow struck him across the chin, making his head nearly turn a full 360! He had hardly ever felt the Batman's power while he was still in life, it was more like a battle of wills and smarts, with Bruce counting on the fact that Kal still had some humanity left in him to not go full Kryptonian and realize that he didn't need strength to finish off Batman, he just needed to pretty much catch him and blast him to hell with heat vision. It was a rather simple solution, and while it didn't necessarily mean that was too human or too less of a Kryptonian, for both men knew that if it came down to it, Kal would be the victor, it was more of a respect factor, one that time tested veterans harbored for each other, no matter what side of the battlefield they were on.

But this? There was no respect, there was no mutual footing, hell it seemed like this ghost was Superman this whole time, and that he was fighting his demon's off, but that was not the case, and much to Kal's terror, this was one demon he most likely couldn't overcome in one skirmish. The first shot was fired, and the battle had begun.

This was what it meant to be haunted.

"How does it feel? Now you're on the opposite end of THESE," the Batman was throwing hay maker after hay maker, much of the grace that he had possessed while alive was not present, he was straightforward, trading precision for old fashioned bar brawling, and while Kal was fighting back, it was basically boxing with shadows, because no matter how many hits that should have connected were thrown, they weren't even phasing him. For all intents and purposes, the roles were reversed, Kal was on the run from the Batman's relentless pursuit, and right when another punch was ready to descend down on him, the Batman opened his mouth and out came the incredibly annoying sound of Kal's Daxamite version of an alarm clock.


Kal immediately sat up and bolted out of the bed, ready for any surprise attack. In an old Kryptonian fighting stance his father's hologram had taught him long ago, he was ready to ward off his assailant, whether it was of this world or the next. But when he seen that there was no other presence in the crimson orange room, Kal wiped his face from the forehead down, his heart pumping rapidly in his chest. Glancing at the clock, he seen that he had less than two hours to head over to the gala, a sigh escaped his lips as he realized that he wasn't cutting a break anytime soon, "Can't even take a damn nap," he growled to himself.

He scowled at the mirror, silently cursing his past for what he knew would be the trillionth time, and prepared himself for the gala. He wondered why at all he was even going, besides him exchanging his condolences with the King and Queen, but that wasn't exactly what he was here for, if anything, it seemed like no matter where he went, war followed. Sometimes, he thought he was going crazy, that his increasingly "interactive" nightmares were playing on his perception of reality.

"Can I wake up now then? Please Rao?" He glanced upwards at the ceiling, in false hope that maybe his people's god was still out there looking over his last pure son. After a couple seconds he deduced that Rao wasn't listening and began his brooding once more, once again back on the topic of why he was going to this thing.

He knew that for the sake of appearances, he should go, since basically anyone who was anyone in this city was going. But what would the use be? He would just be attending a funeral in the guise of a celebration, and he didn't owe anyone anything, he had barely been here 2 months! But it appears that once more, his past was catching up to him.

Faora was here on Daxam, and she was once again in the thick of the folds of trouble. "That damn woman can never stay out of my hair, I swear. What are you even here for?" He grumbled, wishing she was here in front of him so that he could at the very least yell at her and tell her to get lost for good. But then he would have to deal with those cold steel orbs baring into his soul, her lips contorted in an evil, challenging smirk that Kal wanted very much so to wipe off...With his own.

"Aw, damn it."

He pinched the bridge of his nose in disgust, it had actually been a really long while since he had...been with anyone. And he was a man after all, no matter how much he didn't want to admit it, he was looking forward to a great many things tonight, and a big one was seeing her again. She may have been, for all intents and purposes a bitch to him in the past, he couldn't deny her beauty, her determination, her loyalty.

If she could defend a man like Zod to the end, despite his great many obvious faults, then she was either blind, or just frighteningly loyal. She was the arm that held up when your legs failed you, the friend that you wished you always had, a fierce enemy, that valued her own honor and strength to the point to where she would never give up, her bodily limits be damned.

He could admire that, he honestly could.

He only met one other woman like that, and he it was hardly a shocker that it wasn't Lois.

It was Diana of course, the one woman that had actually seen the darkness in him, seen him do horrible things over the stretch of an entire human lifetime, and not once did she ever turn her back on him, not even during the roughest periods, would she ever close her doors on him. And for the longest time, he wasn't exactly oblivious to her affections, but he was too enamored with Lois Lane to truly take in what Diana had so deeply wished to offer him. He wasn't sure where they stood after all this time that he had stepped away from the spotlight of the world, but she herself was in exile from the world of Men, and was back with her mother and sisters in her homeland of Paradise Island.

But Kal would never dare to openly compare Diana to Faora or Faora to Diana, for he knew both women would rather see him gilded than be compared to another woman, much less each other.

The attraction to Diana was clear as day to him, but what wasn't was his strange fondness for Faora and the way she seemed to snap her fingers and poof, he was off to meet Faora at the gala tonight. A word popped up in his brain that he hadn't used in this way since his days with Lois, but he refused to speak it out loud, I'm really not whipped, he thought with a frown, and for good measure threw on his Daxamite formal overcoat and under duster, the former being a deep navy blue buttoned up only in the middle, with his under duster fitting him perfectly like a second skin, which in turn was a darkish crimson. He found that even after all this time, these two colors meshed perfectly with each other, and had to take a look in the mirror to prove that this was really happening. It was the first time in a quarter of a century he had donned these two colors, and while this wasn't exactly Kryptonian armor, it definitely felt like it, it almost felt...right.

With a satisfied huff and smile, Kal was on his way out, ordering Kelex to turn off all the lights, and shut the blinders. All the while he instinctively made sure to not look into the dark corner to the left of his bed for more than a second.


A/N: If you guys are curious to know what exactly the "Ghost" in Kal's dreams looked like, Google: '"Blackest Night Batman".