More Powerful - Chapter 1
- How Did We Get Here? -
Lois stood for what seemed like hours, staring up into the sky, watching the form of the man she loved grow further and further away. How did they get here? For the first time since she had seen him roar past the window of a once-doomed plane, she felt something other than shock in the pit of her stomach.
He'd been back for nearly a week now and she was still in a fog. Eating dinner with Richard, practicing piano with Jason, her mind and heart always seemed to wander home to those eyes that held her captive.
"I'm sorry I left you, Lois..."
His arms had been around her for the first time in five years, his lips inches from hers, so close she could feel his breath on her cheek. And yet there was this vast distance between them. And this distance was far greater than an ill-fated journey to a dead planet. Was there to be a second return? Or would she find herself alone and cold on an island of her own making?
Why couldn't they let things go back to the way they were? The stolen touches, secret smiles at the scene of what could have been a tragic event. She remembered the long talks on a rooftop tucked away in the sky of the bustling city, the lights of a million lives twinkling below them and his eyes sparkled with love, only for her.
Things were so much simpler then.
And then... he was gone.
And soon after... Jason.
Lois rubbed at her tired, sore eyes and wiped the last of many tears from her cheeks. Of all of her memories, all of the moments she cherished in her heart of hearts, there was a gap, a rift that left the greatest events of her life a mystery. The consummation of her true love, the conception of her son...
How did we get here...?
Lois let out a shaky breath and made her way slowly up the cobblestone steps into the house. In her bed lay a man who loved her deeply, but despite all his goodness and strength, left her wanting. There was a hole in her heart that could only be filled by someone whose real name she didn't know...
The father of her child.
The love of her life.
His expression was pained as he watched her slow progression into the house from his skyward perch.
He closed his eyes at her tears, knowing he was the cause of them. The wind played across his cheek, reminding him of a caress that had ended with a kiss so many years ago. He didn't have tears left to cry as he sighed from the very depths of his soul. How did we get here?
There was nothing he wanted to do more than sweep back into her life and take her in his arms and never let go, consequences be forgotten, and let love be enough... just this once. His father had told him once that his identity would come at a high cost, many sacrifices made, and he had met all of them head on, his love for this planet and these people spurring him on, to never falter... until now. This price seemed too great. The cost was too high. Every breath since he left her had come with pain; his heart beat was labored with sadness.
In those lonely years traveling in the darkness, it was the light of her smile, the smell of her hair, the melody of her laugh that kept him alive, that kept him hopeful. Without her, he wouldn't have had the strength to return after the crushing blow of the total loss of his homeland. But knowing she was waiting, waiting just for him, gave him something worth returning to. She would be his home. As long as she was there, he could bear being the last.
Then everything changed. Everything. And he was lost without her. Seeing another man take her in his arms after he had been the one to pluck her from the sky and from certain death. It was anguish to see her kiss him and smile at him. Good man though Richard was, his eyes flared with superhuman heat as he watched him take her hand.
And suddenly, a small voice.
…and his heart was rent into pieces knowing this was the fissure he could never cross.
He couldn't tear apart her family with this human, this... man.
How did we get here...?
And to be pulled from the brink by her voice, by the words that spoke life into his very soul...
"I wanted to tell you... Jason is your son."
His eyes opened as he peered down into the house. Jason was snuggled into his bed, a smile on his cherubic lips. Lois sat in the study, staring blankly at an empty document on her computer, her eyes shining with unshed tears.
In the distance, he heard the unmistakable pop of gunfire.
Drawing one more breath, he lifted his arms to the heavens and set about to guard the planet he loved so much.
To make the world even a small measure safer ...
For his son...