AN: All right. It's official. Superman Returns ate my brain. I have SOOO many stories going through my head right now that if I don't do something about it, I might implode from the pressure. After reading fic after fic – my own included – that deals with the events directly after the movie closes, I started thinking about the many possibilities of the future for our cast of characters. I hate to say that my favorite one isn't exactly a happy one.
So here I go – off to do what no one has yet dared to do, as far as I know. I'm not sure just how long this will be. I'm not even sure how I want to end it. I can only promise that this will be different. If you are looking for a comfortable, happy ever after type scenario, then this is not the fic for you. Don't hate me for it. It got stuck in my head and wouldn't budge. As it is, let the angst begin.
Many thanks to Hellish Red Devil and htbthomas for the wonderful help on planning the story and beta reading my bad typing. This has been slightly reworked from it's original posting.
I never asked for this life. I never asked to be born the way I am. And I certainly never asked for the responsibility placed before me. It's inconceivable to even imagine that this is my life. I can't even begin to count the number of times I have wished to be someone else – someone normal.
I used to glance up at the sky and look out at the multitude of stars that shone down on the Earth from the Heavens and wonder where I fit in the universe. Somewhere, out in the distance, the remains of a planet float past those stars like driftwood in the sea. I used to wonder if that was where I belonged. Or did I belong here, on Earth, the only home I've ever known? I wish I had never learned about Krypton or the people who once inhabited that place. It would make my life a lot less complicated if I were nothing more than an ordinary human being.
Words run through my head – word spoken by my biological father about staying true to who I am and how to manage in this world. Words about being different, finding strength in the sun, helping others but not interfering with the course of history. That lecture has been repeated to me time and time again. It's etched into my brain so that I can never forget. And yet, as many times as I have heard those words, I've never fully understood them. I've spent my life trying to make sense of it all, and have come up short.
I hate it. I hate all of it. Why me? Why not someone else? I'm sure there is someone out there aching for this life. Every day I hear comments about how wonderful it must be to have powers that defy humanity. Oh sure, I'm really lucky to be able to get my work done in a fourth of the time. I'm really lucky to be able to hear conversations going on miles away. And even if I had been the biggest nerd in school, no bully could have ever hurt me.
But what people don't understand is how much I've had to sacrifice for these abilities I didn't ask for. I've gone through life hiding who I really am. I've lied repeatedly to people I cared about. No one really knows me, except my parents, and even that gets complicated. It hurts Mom and Dad to hear me talk about how much I want to be normal. Mom always ends up feeling guilty and Dad shuts down and tries to ignore it. That's why I started ignoring it, too. It's easier to pretend that everything is fine if we just don't talk about it.
But my biological father's voice rings in my head and refuses to let me forget. Every time I see him, I'm forced to recognize the alien side of my life. And I don't want to be an alien. I want to live and grow and love, not in the way he dictates to me, but in the way I choose. I want my life to be my own, not his. Besides, I could never live up to his expectations. I've tried…and I've failed.
That's why I don't see him anymore. I used to see him all the time, but once I realized the truth…once I determined the lie surrounding my entire existence…I started blocking him out. It was much easier than I anticipated. All I had to do was lock the window at night. I figured he'd break it open eventually, but he never did.
Served him right, in my opinion. He made the choice not to be with us. He had his chance to be a real part of my life, and yet he chose to stay distant. No amount of whispered lectures in the middle of the night could ever make up for the neglect I felt when I was younger – when I needed him there to guide me. That duty fell on the shoulders of another man – a more deserving man – the man I truly think of as my father.
The man who raised me as his son without ever making me feel less for not being of his blood. The man who loved and married my mother in spite of the mess she made of things by not telling him the full truth right from the start. The man who has never once said an unkind word about the absent alien who devotes more time to saving the lives of strangers than he does to the woman he once claimed to love and the son he left behind.
He. Him. That's how I refer to him. Not as the ridiculous nickname the rest of the world calls him, because there isn't that much about him that I find 'super.' He's super at flying away. He's super at breaking my mom's heart. He's super at looking at me with disappointment. I can't even think of him by his human name without being reminded of how good he is at telling lies.
But I didn't ask for this. That's what I always come back to. That's what gets me through the day. The things that matter most to me now are the things I have chosen – the life I have made for myself. I'm proud of what I've been able to accomplish, all things considered. And there is so much more I plan to do. As dark as the past has seemed at times, I can now see the brightness of the future. I plan to step into that future and not let the figure up in the sky cast a shadow over me. I will have the life he was never brave enough to live and show him once and for all what it really means to be a super man.