The Little Things
by Darth Stitch a.k.a. Jedi Skysong
Disclaimer: Superman belongs to DC and all that jazz. While I've read my share of Superman comics, y'all can tell I'm taking things entirely from the new movie. I like that little boy - his role in the movie was handled just right and here's hoping no one takes the Cliche Route and makes him a surly, obnoxious, rebellious teenager in the sequels.
Warnings: Lots of SPOILERS for the Superman Returns movie. Consider yourselves warned.
Grown-ups, five year old Jason White decided, were pretty dumb sometimes.
Well, that didn't include Daddy, who was prolly one of the smartest people in the world, 'cos he always helped Jason with his homework and made it fun and not boring and all - although Jason liked doing math and science stuff, 'cos they were more fun than getting pushed around in gym class. And that definitely didn't include Mum, 'cos she noticed EVERYTHING, especially if Jason got his socks on wrong or forgot to brush his teeth. A good reporter, Mum said, never misses the little things. They can miss out on a Good Story that way or tell a Wrong One and that was a Very Bad Thing.
So Jason figured out that all the grown-ups were pretty silly watching Superman on the TV, when the truth was, he was right there with them and they didn't pay him the slightest bit of attention.
Jason wondered why the grown-ups couldn't tell that Superman was right there. Even if he wasn't wearing his suit and his big red cape, Jason could definitely tell because he could see all the little things. He'd spotted them before, when he was looking up at Mister Clark after they had just seen Superman on the TV. Superman was very tall and even now, wearing ordinary clothes like Daddy did, he stood out among all the other grown-ups. And he had the same nose and the same mouth and even the same eyes, behind those glasses. And he was still pretty strong and very fast, because he once caught Jason in his arms when Jason put on a red blanket and jumped off the desk, yelling, "Look, Mister Clark, I'm SUPERMAN!"
It was a good thing Mum or Daddy hadn't seen him dothat or he'd be in Big Trouble, for sure.
Mister Clark laughed and said "Golly, I didn't recognize you, Superman. You must have been in disguise!"
"Shhhh!" Jason shushed him. "That's a secret!"
Mister Clark nodded gravely. "It's okay. I'll never tell."
Jason beamed at him.
And then Mister Clark said, "You do know you're not supposed to do that right? You might've gotten hurt."
Jason shook his head. "Nope. M'okay. 'Sides, I knew you were gonna catch me."
And that made Mister Clark smile and Jason knew that it was the same smile as Superman's.
Thinking about that made Jason realize that maybe Superman was going around in disguise. Because even Superman had to do other things when he wasn't flying around and doing neat stuff like lifting big ships and catching airplanes and stopping trains and saving people. And Jason figured that maybe Superman was a little boy once, just like him and his Mum wouldn't have called him Superman then so maybe Clark was his real name.
And Jason really liked Mister Clark, even before he'd seen Superman, because Mister Clark was very nice to him and talked to him, not like some of the other reporters in Mum's office because sometimes they gave him mean looks (and Mum said that was because he was bothering them while they were working). Sometimes they just patted him on the head or tried to pinch his cheeks and make silly oohky cutie sounds and Jasonreally hated that.
Today, however, Mister Clark had been out of the office all day and Jason knew he was doing Superman things on the TV and that meant Mum and Daddy had to stay up late in the office to write stories about him. Superman had saved Mum and Daddy and Jason once and they had saved Superman too, because he fell in the water and was very, very sick from that icky green crystal thing stuck in his back. And Mum had taken Jason to see him in the hospital and Jason gave him a kiss, just like Mum did, 'cos he knew kisses made things all better and it was true, because Superman got all better after that.
Jason knew he was supposed to be sleeping in Daddy's office while Mum and Daddy worked in the Borg Room (why a room should be named that way when there were no Borgs from the Star Trek show in there, Jason could never understand). But he snuck outside and that was when he saw Mister Clark finally come in.
Mister Clark was looking at Mum and Daddy in the Borg Room and Mum laughed at something and kissed Daddy on the cheek and Mister Clark looked a little sad at that. Then, he took a step forward and tripped over something and his glasses fell to the floor.
Mister Clark could be really clumsy sometimes, just like Jason was.
Jason ran and picked up the glasses and said, "Here you go, Mister Clark." He had to look way, way, waaaaaay up because Mister Clark - well, Superman, was really big and Jason was still little. When he was grown up, Jason decided, he was going to be as tall as Superman.
Superman knelt down so Jason could see him properly and he was pale and Jason thought again how odd it was to see Superman in Daddy-kind of clothes instead of his superhero suit. "Th-thank you, Jason."
And then Jason remembered that Superman was supposed to be in disguise so he went forward, tiptoed and whispered into Superman's ear, "It's okay. I'll never tell."
He felt Superman hug him tight, just for a moment and then, when he was released, he saw Superman put on his Mister Clark glasses.
At that point, Mum saw them and Jason knew he was going to have to go to bed (or at least sleep on Daddy's couch) and she picked him up and told Mister Clark that she hoped Jason wasn't bothering him. But of course, Jason knew he was never a bother, not to Mister Clark.
As his Mum took him back to Daddy's office, he looked back over her shoulder and waved at Mister Clark, "Good night!"
Mister Clark waved back and although Jason was already too far away to hear, he thought he heard Superman whisper, "Good night, son."
- end -