I have never really read Superman stories, so this is new for me. If it's already been done, I apologize.
I appreciate any and all reviews. Thanks!
Thanks Kipling-Nori. BCBW! For-eva.
He Who Laughs Last
Clark woke up with a start. Sitting straight up in bed, he moved his arm up to his forehead to wipe his brow. He was covered with sweat, and his pajamas were clinging to his body.
He rushed over to the sink and splashed his face with cold water. Breathing deeply, he braced his arms on the counter, and tried to shake his head clear.
Finally feeling some semblance of calm, Clark looked up into the mirror only to see the letters CNF dripping in blood across the pane. Through the trickling ink, he was able to see his own reflection. The sight of his clothes nearly made him pass out. NO! NO NO NO!
"Clark. Wake up."
When he kept thrashing around on the bed, Lois got a glass of water and splashed it on his face. She had learned the hard way not to shake him while he was having a nightmare.
He sat up abruptly and turned to Lois; he looked awful.
Still too shaken up to speak, he nodded miserably.
"It's been two weeks. I think you need to see the doctor."
Clark thought it over for a while, before agreeing. "But no one can find out. Just me, you, and J'onn."
"Come here, Superman." Clark crawled over to his new wife, and Lois held him until he fell asleep again.
The Martian Manhunter looked grimly at Clark and Lois as they sat next to each other with their hands clasped together.
"The tests are inconclusive. I'm sorry, Superman."
"So I'm going to have to live with these nightmares?! Every time I shut my eyes, there's something sinister there. And they've been escalating. At first, it was just me walking around in public dressed inappropriately. But then.." he paused to steady himself, "my uniform turned into hair; or my arms got ripped off. Other times I'm watching television and these graphic, violent images flood the screen, and all I can do is cry. The worst is when my clothes change, so that they're covered with his laughing face."
"I don't know! But if he's not there, the letters CNF are."
"Perhaps it is cold nuclear fusion. Has Luthor been doing anything out of the ordinary?"
"No, he is under constant surveillance. If he were up to something, I would know. Besides, this guy looks nothing like Luthor. For one thing, he has a full head of hair."
"I'm sorry, Superman, but, as of now, I am unable to make any sense of your dreams. Perhaps, if you permit me to inform Batman, he cou-"
"Absolutely not. He is the last person I want finding out about this."
"The only other option is memory regression. If we can isolate the incident that started your dreams, I think they will no longer plague you."
"Are there any risks?"
"I will need to strap you to a gurney, and I will need to weaken you sufficiently so I can further break down your mind. Unfortunately, I will need to use kryptonite."
"Whatever it takes, J'onn. I trust you."
"And Superman, I suggest that Lois sleep alone tonight. I'm worried that your dreams will escalate further, and she could get injured."
Clark turned to look at his wife, his face crestfallen. "But J'onn."
Lois waved away his protestations. "Who wants to sleep in the same bed with her husband, anyway? It's not like we're newlyweds or anything."
"It is unfortunate, Lois, but we must take your safety into account. I promise to return him to you as quickly as possible."
"And then I can do whatever I want, right?"
Clark blushed and silently thanked J'onn for leaving without commenting on Lois's remark. God only knows the thoughts he was reading from her.
Close on the heels of the big green man, Lois pushed Clark out of the room. "Well, he only said we can't sleep together. He didn't say anything about the time before that."
Clark made sure Lois was tucked into bed before he took his place on the couch. He was so exhausted, he doubted he'd have another of those dreams tonight. He'd have to thank Lois later.
Stretching out, he buried his head into the pillow and drifted off to sleep.
Unfortunately, the laughing man was waiting for him, and he was holding kryptonite in his hand.
"Do you know why kryptonite makes you weak, Superman? I do!"
Clark tried to crawl away, but the man viciously kicked him to the ground. He grabbed at Superman's clothes with two strong fists.
"Nice pajamas. Did Lois give those to you?"
Clark looked down; it was as if his clothes had come to life, emblazoned with millions of laughing heads. He tried to shut his eyes, but even there the man's face followed him.
Clark's eyes popped open when the man ripped Clark's top off. To his horror, the villain started carving the letters CNF into his chest.
"Why are you doing this?"
"I could say it's because you're too cocky, but the real reason is simply because I can. What did you expect? That I'd start blubbering and confess that I had a horrible childhood, then come to my senses and stop? I do this because I want to do this. And that's all the justification you're going to get."
Clark wasn't able to answer him, because the man took the kryptonite and clubbed him over the head with it.
This time it was Clark that woke up Lois.
"I'm sorry, sweetie, but I have to go to the Watchtower. I can't be Superman if I'm living constantly in fear. I have to solve this problem now."
He gave her a kiss on the forehead.
"I understand. Come home soon."
"You know I will." Then he sped out of the room.
Three days later, Lois stood over her husband, lines of worry etched upon her face.
She turned to J'onn and voiced her concern. "But it's been so long."
"You're right. I know this is against his wishes, but we need to tell Batman."
"He's going to kill me."
"If we don't find answers soon, he will die anyway."
"It's that serious?"
"Not yet, but we can't afford to lose time."
"Ok, but let me tell Batman."
When she revealed all that she knew to him, Bruce just sat back and laughed at her.
"You have got to be kidding me."
She had never seen Batman laugh before, and that he would do so when her husband's life was at risk angered her beyond words. "How can you be so cruel? He's your friend."
Batman placed a patronizing arm on her shoulder, but he did try to reign in his mirth. "I'm sorry Lois, but it's so obvious and simple. If you had come to me earlier, I could have easily dealt with this."
"Well, stop giving yourself a pat on the back and go fix him!"
Without further ado, Batman strode confidently into the patient's room, leaned over Superman's recumbent form and whispered something into his ear.
As he made to leave, Lois stopped him. J'onn and Bruce could see the questions on her face, but neither man said anything.
"Aren't you going to tell me what you said?"
Stepping in to play diplomat, J'onn offered, "I think it would be best if you heard it from Superman."
"So, he's going to be alright?"
"Give him a few minutes, and he will be the same old Superman."
"Thank you so much, J'onn."
She turned to thank Batman, but he had already left.
"I can't believe I didn't figure it out sooner. But now it's all over, and I've been sleeping like a baby."
"So, Chuck Norris was the man in your dreams?"
"Yeah, it's ridiculous isn't it?" He looked up bashfully at his wife.
She playfully punched him on the shoulder. "Of course not. We all know you could take him on in a fight anyway."
It had actually taken a few days for Superman to get better because he had been exposed to the kryptonite for so long. Lois helped him to his feet, and they started to walk out of the infirmary together.
"What started all this in the first place?"
"One day, Wally said something under his breath, but I didn't pay much attention to it. Unfortunately, gossip on the Watchtower moves faster than Flash, and once Kara found out, the information was traveling down the corridors at the speed of light. Pretty soon I couldn't even walk down the hallways without people staring and whispering. Some of them were even giggling. Do you know how weird it was to hear a girlie high pitched laugh come out of Orion's mouth?"
"I can only imagine. But hopefully you will never have to hear that again."
"Yeah, and at least Bruce never found out about this. He'd never let me live it down."
"Right." Lois tried to walk faster. She had a feeling that if they stayed any longer, Clark would soon discover her betrayal.
She felt Superman shudder in her arms, as the most unnatural sound in the world echoed in her ears.
"Clark, I think we should go." Lois quickly grew alarmed when he didn't listen to her.
Not knowing who was around, he separated himself from Lois as he walked into the room of the sound's origin. Lois followed slowly behind him, dreading what she would find through that door.
They found the culprit laughing with at least ten of his fellow superheroes. They were all wearing t-shirts with the face of the man who had, until very recently, been haunting Superman's dreams. Each shirt had a different Chuck Norris Fact inscribed on it:
Some people wear Superman pajamas. Superman wears Chuck Norris pajamas.
Faster than a speeding bullet ... more powerful than a locomotive ... able to leap tall buildings in a single bound... yes, these are some of Chuck Norris' warm-up exercises.
The "S" on Superman's suit was woven out of chest hair taken from Chuck Norris as he lay unconscious from an intense Total Gym workout session. This is the true source of Superman's powers.
Chuck Norris invented kryptonite because he thought Superman was "too cocky."
Kryptonite has been found to contain trace elements of Chuck Norris roundhouse kicks to the face. This is why it is so deadly to Superman.
Superman once watched an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger. He then cried himself to sleep.
Chuck Norris had an arm wrestling contest with Superman. The loser had to wear his underwear on the outside of his clothes.
Later in life, Superman challenged Chuck Norris to an arm wrestling contest. Superman no longer has an arm.
Clark was only beginning to process what was going on around him when a man dressed in a sharp looking suit made his presence known.
"Hello, Superman. I heard that you weren't feeling well, so I thought I'd bring someone to cheer you up. Flash tells me you're a big fan of his."
The crowd of superheroes finally parted, and a man with the thickest beard Clark had ever seen in his life stepped forward.
"Hi Superman, want to arm wrestle?"
Chuck Norris playfully punched the Man of Steel in the gut. Clark marveled at how a man weighed down with a ten gallon-hat, jean jacket, leather chaps, and boots could move with such agility. He's like a cat.
Superman let out an uncomfortable laugh. "I think I'll pass. I'd hate to lose to you, Mr. Norris."
"Ok, well, maybe next time, son."
Superman turned to the formally attired man who had accompanied Chuck. "Remind me to thank you later, Mr. Wayne."
"Maybe you could put in a good word for me with Wonder Woman."
Kara piped up. "She already has a boyfriend, and I doubt you want to mess with Batman."
Flash sped over and handed Superman a very poorly wrapped package. "Here, big guy. Good to see you up and moving around."
"Well, I'm not that much better. Actually, I should probably be heading home. Thank you, Ms. Lane, for coming to see me. Tell your husband I said 'hello'."
"You're welcome. I'm just going to stay around here; maybe get an interview with Mr. Norris."
"Anything for the lovely little lady," the Oklahoman drawled.
"It was nice meeting you, Mr. Norris."
Chuck raised both of his hands in the shape of guns and gave the Man of Steel a wink. "Right back atcha. And please, call me Chuck."
And with that Clark took his gift and headed toward the Transport Room.
As soon as Lois entered their home, she was greeted by Clark's angry voice.
"I thought I told you not to tell him."
She kicked off her shoes and followed the sound of the noise. "I'm sorry, but I thought you were going to die."
"I feel like I'm going to die."
She finally made it to the room. "Oh, Clark, you're being a big baby. It can't be that bad."
Clark stood up, fully clothed in Chuck Norris pajamas. "Yes, it can. Look what they gave me!"
"Just because they gave it to you, doesn't mean you have to wear it."
Sensing where she was headed, Clark walked over to his unblushing bride. "What are you implying, Mrs. Kent?"
"That you need to get out of those pajamas. Now!"
Pretty soon the two reporters began their private interviews. And when they were finished, Clark fell asleep quickly in Lois's arms, and from the smiles on his face, it looked to Lois that he was reliving their earlier moments.
She laughed to herself. "Let's see Chuck try to interrupt his dreams tonight. They should make t-shirts about me and my powers."
As Lois tried to come up with a few of her own facts, she smugly grinned over the form of her sleeping husband. When she saw his lips moving, she leaned in to catch his murmurings.
"Die, Batman. Die!"
In case you didn't make the connection CNF is Chuck Norris Facts. I took all the "facts" from the internet.
If you have never heard of a Chuck Norris Fact, this story probably didn't make much sense.