Hey everyone! Before you read the fic, let me introduce myself. My name is D. Taína. My native language is Spanish, so if you run into any grammar errors, that's the reason. I'm always trying to improve my English, so if you notice anything wrong, don't hesitate to let me know!
This is the first time I post a Superman fic to the site. It's also the second story I've ever written about him. I hope to post the first one soon. Anyway...
I usually write stories about Gargoyles, but I'd been going through a major writer's block for years. Nothing seemed to cure it. Well, I absolutely fell in love with the movie "Superman Returns," and I figured... since I like the movie so much, and I've been suffering from writer's block for years, maybe writing for a different fandom will help me get over it! So here's the result.
I had no real plot in mind when I started writing the fic. I was coming up with the story as I wrote along, hoping that being spontaneous would cure my writer's block. There will definitely be some surprises in store for you. Heck, I don't even know what's going to happen!
And I've rambled long enough. Sit back, enjoy the fic, and please review!
EDIT: I've re-uploaded the story with some corrections!
"The Day After"
Clark Kent slowly made his way into the newsroom, ready for another day at work. As usual, nobody paid attention to him as he slowly walked to his desk, bumping into people and biting back hisses of pain. He mumbled an apology every time he bumped into someone, even though he just wanted to scream. Why did his wound still hurt so much?
He'd awakened from his coma the night before and he had yet to regain his full strength. To top it all off, he hadn't slept a wink. He still hadn't found an apartment and he'd been sleeping in outer space for short periods since he got back, but he couldn't do that last night. He was so weak; he worried that being in outer space for prolonged periods of time would be dangerous. Also, he was up all night thinking about Jason and his future with Lois.
Even flying to the sun didn't help as much as he hoped it would. He sighed and resigned himself to his fate. His wound would take time to heal. And then there was his broken spirit. He'd never felt pain like this before. It was a whole new experience for him. At least he could learn from it…
He slowly sat down at his desk, squeezing his eyes shut and biting back a cry of pain. He planted his elbows on his desk and buried his face in his hands. He should've called in sick today, but well… he missed work on Friday and he couldn't afford to be absent from work another day. Thank goodness he had the weekend off.
He rubbed his temples, groaning low under his breath. He was miserable. He needed a bed… now. What he wouldn't give for a bed…
His eyes had started closing by themselves… until Lois sneaked up behind him and placed a hand on his shoulder. "Hey, Smallville!"
His eyes flew open and he jerked to a sitting position, something he regretted a split second later. He felt pain shoot up his back and it took every ounce of self-control in his being not to shatter the armrest. OH MY GOD, the pain…
Lois stared at him curiously. "Clark? You okay? I didn't mean to startle you like that!"
"It's okay," he said, and his voice came out in a tiny whisper. "I just, um… uh… fell down a few days ago." Boy, that was the understatement of the century. "It still hurts."
"Clark, you're a klutz, you know that?" she teased.
"I know," he whispered, holding his right side, taking deep breaths.
Lois watched him intently, then appeared to wave off a thought. "You look like you're having a rough morning. Tell you what; you sit right there… I'll go get you some coffee." He mumbled a 'thank you' and she left to get the coffee. He felt a silly smile forming on his face. This was the first time she got him coffee…
He was dozing off again when Lois came back with the coffee and placed it on his desk. "Here's your coffee, Clark! Careful, it's scalding h--"
He mumbled another 'thank you' and downed the scalding hot coffee all in one gulp. "Thank you so much, Lois. That's just what I needed."
Her jaw dropped. "Clark?"
"Yes, Lois?" he asked, pushing his glasses up.
"That coffee was scalding hot," she said. He stared at her numbly, then looked as if something dawned on him and he contorted his face as if in great pain. He cried out and quickly fanned his mouth in an attempt to get Lois off his trail.
She quickly patted him on the back. "Clark, maybe you should go home. Did you get any sleep last night?" She surprised herself by how much she cared about Clark Kent. Usually, she never gave him the time of day, but it pained her to see him like this, especially after seeing Superman in a similar predicament, albeit much worse…
"No, no… I have a lot of work to do. I'll be okay. Really," he smiled at her. He let out a heavy sigh and his eyes closed by themselves again.
Obviously, she wasn't going to let this one go. "Clark, did you sleep?" He looked at her, then bit his lip and averted his gaze. His silence told her all she needed to know. "You look like crap." He just mumbled incoherently, probably agreeing with her, then something hit her. "Did you find a place to live yet?"
He sighed heavily. "No, I'm still looking."
She sighed. "Oh, Clark. Why didn't you come to us if you needed a place to stay?"
His eyes widened and he stared at her in disbelief. Was Lois offering to share his home with him? He could spend time with Jason… "I, uh… didn't want to be a bother."
"It's not a bother. I'm sure Richard wouldn't mind either, but I'll talk to him either way." He nodded understandingly, though he felt a pang of jealousy inside. "But Clark, this can't go on. You're barely sleeping and you're tripping more often than usual," she said, the last part with a hint of a tease.
"Thank you for the offer," whispered Clark as he tried to stay awake.
"Mr. Kent!" Clark took a deep breath and let it out as Jimmy rushed over to greet him. "You disappeared on Friday and never came back! We didn't know what happened to you and… uh… Mr. Kent? Are you okay?"
"Exhausted," he managed to say. And being still helped deal with the shooting pain in his side. He really shouldn't have sat up so quickly…
"He fell down a few days ago. He's not feeling very well," said Lois with concern in her voice. It was so rare to see Clark in this state. He was always so healthy.
"Was it on Friday? That'd explain everything," said Jimmy.
Clark didn't say anything to that. Yes, it was on Friday, but he couldn't tell them the truth. They'd want him to go to a doctor or something.
"Oh, I almost forgot! Chief wants to see you both!"
With a heavy sigh, he slowly stood up, trying not to show any signs of pain, and slowly made his way into Mr. White's office. Lois followed close behind; surprised that Clark would take the initiative. He's always so shy…
He sat down heavily and bit back another hiss of pain. Oh god, he just wanted to go home. Maybe he could stay at his mother's until he was well…
Lois sat down next to him, looking him over worriedly. There was something about him that reminded her of someone…
"Kent! Snap out of it!"
He jerked his head up and looked around wildly for a few seconds, then blinked furiously and stared at the angry boss before him. "I'm listening, Mr. White," he said, forcing his eyes to stay open.
"As you know, Superman escaped from the hospital last night." Suddenly, Clark looked interested. "Lois, I want you to get me an interview with Superman. I want to know everything about his health, including information on who did this to him!"
"Chief, I don't think Superman would appreciate…" but she was interrupted by Perry.
"The public deserves to know! And Kent! I want you to find out who was responsible for that landmass that Superman threw into space."
"Did it settle into orbit?" he asked groggily.
"Where have you been, Kent? It was all over the news!"
"Oh… Mr. White, I don't think I should go anywhere near that coast. The kryptonite…" He was so exhausted that he'd momentarily forgotten himself… quite literally. Clark Kent could never mention his aversion to kryptonite, and he went and did it anyway.
"Kryptonite? So what, Kent? You're not Superman!"
Lois could only stare at her coworker; the wheels in her head turning. Clark almost gasped in horror at what he'd just said to Perry, but thankfully, he was interrupted again. "The public needs to be informed, and you two are my best reporters. Got it, Lois? Kent? This is front page news! Get going!"
"Yes, Chief," said Lois, eager to get out of there as soon as possible. She had a sneaking suspicion and she was going to get to the bottom of this. "Come on, Clark." Quickly, she stood up and walked out of Perry's office.
He groaned under his breath and stood up slowly, then made his way out of Perry's office, clutching his aching right side. "Uh, Lois, I'll be back in a minute…"
"Hurry back!" I'm going to get to the bottom of this…
He hurriedly made his way to the bathroom and, making sure that there was no one around, lifted his shirt and examined his stab wound in front of a mirror. Luckily, he saw no blood, but the area still had that sickly green color that worried him. Sighing, he tucked his shirt back into his pants and came out of the bathroom.
He returned to his desk and sat down heavily. "So, Lois… How is Jason doing?"
"He's doing great," she said.
Lois turned to look at him. Was Clark jealous? It didn't make sense, but she could've sworn he sounded jealous for just one second. "He's fine. Why do you ask?"
"Well, I haven't seen him today…"
"Today's his day off."
"Oh," he said, simply. He sighed. He wanted to see Jason, but if it was Richard's day off, then he probably wouldn't need to bring Jason to the Daily Planet. He was disappointed, but he tried not to let it show.
"Clark… you really don't look so good," she said, worried. "Come on, I'll drop you off at my house and you can get some rest."
He looked genuinely surprised, but extremely grateful at the same time. He truly felt as if he was going to pass out sooner or later and he needed to lie down. "Lois… I really don't want to be a bother…"
"You won't be a bother. Besides, I've been feeling… charitable… ever since Superman put his life on the line for humanity. It kinda brings out the best in us," she said with a smile.
They only lack the light to show the way… he thought, and smiled broadly, even if she considered helping Clark Kent 'charitable'. "Thank you, Lois. It means a lot to me."
"Don't mention it. Now let's go. I'll work on the Superman angle while you're off in Dreamland." He chuckled, then clenched his teeth as he stood up. He clutched his right side again and followed Lois into the elevator.
She looked at him suspiciously as they entered the elevator. "So… did something happen to you during the earthquakes?" Why was his right side hurting? Why did he come to work on the same day that Superman left the hospital? The wheels were turning…
"I told you, I fell… but it's nothing. I'll be fine," he said, leaning against the wall for support. He couldn't wait until they were outside. He desperately needed the sunlight to replenish his strength.
"I see. Say, I wonder how Superman's doing," she said, abruptly changing the subject, startling Clark. "He escaped from the hospital and never went back. I hope he's okay."
He groaned. "I'm sure he's… fine."
"Really, he should've spent the night. They could've run more tests and found out if he was fit to leave the hospital…"
Oh god, this elevator is so slow… Finally, he heard the elevator stop. He eagerly left the elevator, hoping to bathe in the sun's rays outside, if only for a moment. He went through the revolving doors and hurriedly stepped out of the building, only to discover… that it was cloudy. His jaw dropped.
"Huh, looks like it's gonna rain…" she commented, glancing at him with a raised eyebrow.
His body deflated right then and there. He was in a lot of pain, and his only relief was the sun… and it was cruelly blocked by gray clouds. He looked at Lois, who just smiled at him, and realized that he couldn't sneak off and fly away to greet the sun. Not to mention that he wasn't wearing the suit…
"What's wrong, Clark?"
"I really wanted to see the sun," he said, honestly and with a hint of sadness in his voice.
"It's okay. YO, TAXI!"
He took deep breaths to steady himself. The wound was throbbing and he felt great pain every time he moved. Oh, Lex Luthor would pay for stabbing him like that. He would see him behind bars…
"Hey, Clark! Get in the cab!"
Once they were both seated and on their way to Lois' house, he desperately looked out the window for a glimpse of the sun. But there was nothing. He felt his forehead and was surprised that he felt cold. He clutched his side even harder and tried not to think about the sun. He looked at Lois, who was talking to someone on the phone, and allowed himself to close his eyes and rest, if only for a moment.
She felt the car come to a stop. She looked over at Clark, who was slouched there with his mouth open, asleep. "Clark? Hey, Clark! Hello?"
His eyes fluttered open. "Wha…?"
"Wake up, sleeping beauty. We're here," she said, smirking.
"Oh…" He discreetly tried to wipe away the drool that had pooled around the edge of his lips. Then he straightened his glasses and took a deep breath. "Uh… Lois, please, allow me to pay. It's the least I can do," he said as he unbuckled his seat belt.
She glanced at him, and put away her wallet. "Well, if you insist," she said with a smile.
He pulled out his wallet. "How much?" The driver told him, and so, he gave him the money and got out of the car.
He stood in front of their house. He had seen it before, but it looked even more majestic from the ground. "You have a very nice house," he managed to say, even though he was in great pain. He wondered if Jason was inside, but to be honest, he just wanted to go to sleep.
"Yeah, you should see the bill. Come on, I'll get the guest room ready for you." She led him to the couch and motioned him to sit down. "You want a drink or something?"
He felt weak at the knees, so he quickly sat down on the couch and breathed a sigh of relief. "No, thank you," he said, and she left to get his bed ready. He just wanted sunlight, but he wouldn't have that until he could sneak away. And he was much too tired to make the attempt anyway. Even now, he could feel his eyelids closing. He bit back a cry of pain and clutched his side again. He looked at his hand and saw smudges of blood on it. His eyes opened wide and he just shook his head, disbelieving.
He was so cold. His body was trembling and he felt a terrible weakness. He gasped for breath, and then dropped to the floor unconscious.
A Few Minutes Later
"Clark, I got the guest room ready for you and… OH MY GOD!" She ran to his side and tried to shake him, but his muscles felt as hard as steel. She jerked her hands back and looked at him, confused. Since when was Clark so strong?
She remembered that he had been complaining about his right side, so she turned him over and examined the area. She gasped when she noticed the smudges of blood on his shirt and she quickly removed his tie, jacket and shirt. She tossed them aside, and when she turned to look at him, she gawked at how chiseled his chest was. She let her eyes wander down his chest and to his torso. He was so incredibly well-built. Could it be…?
She shook her head to clear it, and turned her attention to the wound. It was a greenish color and looked like a… stab wound? She gawked at him again. You're Superman?
She rushed to take off his glasses, the final piece of the puzzle, and as soon as she caught sight of his face, she dropped his glasses to the floor. Oh. My. God. All this time… Superman had been right under her nose and she never even noticed it! She felt angry at being deceived, but then she heard him moaning in pain, and her anger vanished… for now.
"Ugh…" He slowly sat up and quickly grasped his side. "Where am I?"
"You're in my house," she said, trying not to let her emotions show.
"Oh… Gosh, I guess I must've fainted…"
"You fainted," she stated, not believing how someone like Superman could faint. He must be in serious pain…
"Sorry," he murmured, and reached up to rub his eyes. He froze on the spot and his eyes opened wide, and she couldn't help but smirk to herself, if only for a little bit.
He looked absolutely terrified. "My glasses… I… I can't see without my glasses!" He searched for them frantically one-handed, as the other was holding his side in pain, trying to hide his face from her the whole time. He wasn't particularly successful at it, seeing as how both his hands were busy.
Oh, PUH-lease… She rolled her eyes as she watched him frantically search for his glasses as if his life depended on it. She saw them lying next to her and picked them up, dangling them from her hand, feeling a strange sense of satisfaction at having caught him red-handed. "Clark?"
He looked at her while shielding most of his face with his hands, and saw the glasses in her hand. "Oh… Uh…" He quickly took them from her and shoved them on his face. He quickly averted his eyes, not daring to look at her.
She didn't know what to think. But she did know one thing… he was hurt and she was going to help him. Now was not the time for questions. "Come on, get up." She helped him stand up, trying to ignore his cries of pain. "I'll take care of that."
She was going to take him to the guest room, but she remembered that her room had a large window and that he would need the sunlight. So, she changed her course and took him to her bedroom, to which he visibly protested.
"Lois, please, not your…"
She didn't even let him finish. "It has a big window and the clouds should be clearing soon. You'll get the sunlight you need." He stared at her in horror for a moment, but she averted her eyes. "Just shut up and get into bed."
She pulled the covers back for him and watched him take his shoes off and stagger into bed, holding his side in pain. She draped the covers over him and went to get her first aid kit. She sat next to him on the bed and ordered him to sit up. He quickly obeyed and she started cleaning the wound, but he hissed loudly and jerked away from her.
"Oh come on! You're supposed to be Superman! You can take this!"
"Lois, it's not that. It's the only vulnerable part in my body and it really hurts. The kryptonite…" He didn't need to say the rest.
She was glad that he wasn't trying to hide the truth now. "I know this must be the first time in your life you're experiencing pain and all… but come on. Shut up and let me take care of you. And don't you dare move away again!" He complied, hissing in pain every time she touched him. He didn't feel much better physically. But Lois taking care of him, even when she was yelling at him to shut up, made him feel better emotionally.
She finished cleaning the wound and looked him straight in the eye… or glasses. "Get some rest. We have a lot to talk about when you get up," she said coldly.
"Lois, please understand, I… I…" He knew his secret was out in the open now, but he didn't know what to say to her. How could he tell her that he'd always dreamed of telling her the truth, but was afraid for her safety? How could he tell her that he didn't mean to hurt her?
"We'll talk later," she said, and turned to leave.
"Thank you," he said, truly grateful that she took care of him.
She turned to look at him, and to his surprise, she walked back into the room. She stood next to him, staring at him, until she finally took the glasses off and placed them on the nightstand. She stared at him for a while with an unreadable expression on her face that unnerved him to the core, then left the room.
He sighed helplessly. He wanted to talk to her, but to be honest… he was so exhausted that he just wanted to sleep. He curled up on the bed and tried to get comfortable. But he couldn't. It was the bed she shared with Richard. He wanted to go elsewhere, but he knew that, no matter how angry Lois was at him, she still wanted him to get better. He closed his eyes and before he knew it, he was asleep.
Lois was sitting at the table, drinking a cup of coffee, lost in her thoughts. Clark was Superman. How could she have been so blind? All this time, he'd been right under her nose. And he'd fooled her by, of all things, wearing a pair of glasses and saying 'swell' a lot. She was supposed to be a Pulitzer-Prize-winning reporter, but she couldn't even see past a pair of glasses. Man, I feel stupid…
This was the story of the century! She knew Superman's secret identity! She sighed deeply. Well, even if it was the story of the century, she couldn't do anything about it. But there was one thing she could do. As soon as he was well, they were going to have a serious talk about their relationship. And this time, she knew where to find him.
She picked up her coffee mug, and noticed it was empty. She sighed and went to get more coffee, failing to notice Richard standing at the door with his arms folded over his chest.
"Lois, why is Superman sleeping in our bed?"
To Be Continued
OooOOooOooo! The plot thickens! Well, I'd really appreciate it if people left me reviews. I'm still new to the Superman universe and all! Thanks for reading and I hope to have the next chapter up in a few days!