So, I've been promising this one since the beginning of Life After the Fall. This is the first chapter of what's looking like will be a lot of chapters- the original chapter four of Life After the Fall. I've already finished most of the next chapter and will probably have it posted around Wednesday. I can't make any promises about an update schedule, but I have a lot written, it just needs tweaking, but that can take awhile.

There are a few basics that are completely different from the usual canon that I should probably let you know about before you start reading... There is no Justice League in this, but Clark knows Bruce Wayne/Batman and Oliver Queen/Green Arrow-- they're friends and they help each other out when they can. Also- Clark had a little sister named Jessica, Jonathan and Martha's biological daughter who was five years younger than Clark. She died in a tornado when she was thirteen (Clark seventeen)-- kryptonite from the meteor shower that accompanied Clark's ship was unearthed in the tornado and he wasn't able to save her. Jonathan's death the following summer put the family through a rough time (Martha battling depression, Clark running the farm with the help of his uncles, Jonathan's brothers, while working on his degree in journalism). He met Pete Ross and Chloe Sullivan at Smallville High, close to how it happened in the first few seasons of Smallville, and a few others I'll introduce along the way. It only took him five years to learn everything the Kryptonian database had to offer, then Clark returned to the farm for a month before heading out to explore the world, writing humanitarian pieces and developing his language skills and journalistic talent. After three and a half years exploring the world and learning everything he could, he returned to Smallville and spent six months there helping out around the farm and developing the idea of Superman before moving to Metropolis. He was there for four years, partnered with Lois, before he left for Krypton. The plot of Superman I and II and Superman Returns are prettymuch intact, though I and II happen four, almost five, years apart.

Disclaimer: I don't own anything; I'm making no money out of this.

Identity Crisis:

Clark flew low over the crowd gathered outside the hospital. It was weird to think that they were all there to show support for him, for Superman. Of course, it was still weird to think of himself as Superman.

The crowd fell silent when they saw their caped hero floating towards them.

"Thank you," he said, just loud enough for all the people gathered to hear. He searched the crowd quickly, looking for familiar faces. Jimmy was there, standing with the rest of the press of to one side, his camera flashing. He didn't see anybody else from the Planet, though. His mother was standing about as close to the front of the group as she could be, tears streaming silently down her face. He hated to see her cry. He couldn't exactly go to her now, though.

Raising a hand above his head, he shot into the distance, the faint pop of the sonic boom rippling the airwaves of his wake.

The crowd stated thinning, then. Taxis swarmed the area, sensing the clients with that weird people-stuck-and-needing-transportation sense that all cabbies seemed to posses. A bus that was lucky enough to have paused on its route nearby found itself flooded with passengers.

Clark doubled back, coming to rest on the tall building across the street from the hospital. More busses were arriving, coming off of their usual routes to provide assistance; everything would flow faster after the huge group of pedestrians got off the street anyways. Clark pulled his cell phone out from the side of his belt and dialed one of the only numbers he actually used out of the numerous he had in his contacts file.

"Hello?" The voice on the other end was tired, tearful. She did not want to be talking on the phone.

"Mom?" The word came out sounding just as tired as Martha's had and he regretted it for a moment, wanting to be strong for her when she was so worried about him.

"Clark?" She gasped. He could see her below, searching the skies for him.

"I'm on the building across the way," he said, waving his glowing phone around form the edge so she could see him.

"I see you."

"I see you, too," he said, putting the phone back to his ear and disappearing into the shadows of the roof.

"Are you okay? What happened? Why did you just leave like that? I was so worried…" the last sentence was barely loud enough for him to hear through the phone, but he wasn't really listening to the receiver anyways.

"I'm fine, Mom, I wouldn't have left the room if I hadn't been…"

"Yes you would've," she interrupted him and he could see her smiling.

"You're right, as usual."

"I'm your mother," she said matter-of-factly, sounding much more like his mother than she had a few minutes ago.

"If you just wait down there, I'll drop down and get you as soon as the crowd clears."

"I'll be on the bus bench over here," she gestured, knowing he'd see, even though it made her look crazy to those around her.

"Okay," he flipped his phone shut again.

It took another hour for the crowd to clear away. A few felt the need to stick around and see if the hospital would let them in to see the bed that he'd been in, but the remaining police officers wouldn't hear of it.

"Ma'am, don't you think you should be getting home?" One officer asked Martha when she was the only one left; the last of the crazies had hailed a cab a moment ago. "I could call you a taxi…?"

"Oh, my son is on his way to get me," Martha assured him, seeing a red glint up near the roof as Clark hovered down towards them.

The officer left her alone, returning to his comrade to help dismantle the barrier they'd set up for crowd control.

"Hey, isn't that…"

"I think it is…" The officers said, shocked, when Clark came into the light, hovering down towards his mother, who was now standing on the edge of the sidewalk.

"Oh, my boy!" Clark heard Martha mutter under her breath as she reached for him. She clung to him and he returned the hug in favor.

"Mom," Clark said, ignoring the looks he was getting from the policemen. "Mom… look at me."

Martha looked up, letting him go and wiping a tear away distractedly. "What happened?" She asked, looking him in the eye and refusing to back down. "What happened?"

"Luthor happened," Clark said, unable to hide the deep rooted dislike, hatred, in his voice when he said the name. Martha looked a little surprise at the vehemence in his voice.

"He had a shard of kryptonite, he stabbed me, after… anyways, Lois pulled it out on the plane, but there were a few shards left in the wound. I put as much rock between me and that continent as I could, but… it was made of kryptonite and the normal rock fell away and the kryptonite in the wound and the kryptonite I was lifting too it all out of me."

"Took it out of you," Martha mumbled back at him. She began examining him, starting with his front before moving around to his side, looking for the mentioned stabbing. She sucked her breath in quickly when she saw the hole in the blue fabric, and the dried blood stain. A greenish bruise with a faint red line running through it where the shard had punctured his 'invulnerable' skin took the place of the usually creamy skin under the suite. She put a hand out to touch the scab, but Clark flinched away.

"It's a little tender," he muttered, his face telling her it was a little more than tender.

"So why are you out here flying around?" She shook her head, determination filling her eyes. "You should still be in that hospital- they're trained to help… What the hell were you thinking?! You could've died, Cl- Kal-El!" She frowned deeper, hating to have to use the name his biological parents had given him instead of the one she had chosen. Her eyes filled with tears again as she continued, "I couldn't even get in to see you! What were you thinking? What would I have done if you'd died?! I can't very well go to the morgue and request Superman's body so I can bury it next to his father! They'd think I was crazy just because you were too caught up in your own little mystery to tell that Lois Lane that you didn't just swoop in yesterday! We had to deal with a three year old with high fevers and an aptitude for pulling cabinet doors off when he got excited, and a thirteen year old who liked jumping off the silos to see if he would bounce…!"

"But I did bounce," Clark reminded her, trying to lighten her mood.

"Only because you had springy knees," she said without thinking and smiled. "Darn you," she said when she realized her anger was gone. Her voice was soft again, "Are you sure you're okay? You look a little pale… and that bruise…"

"When am I not pale, Mom?" He smiled and she shrugged. "It'll heal."

"But you are not going out and trying to do anything heroic tonight! You are bringing me home so I can make you a proper pot of tea and something to eat… you never eat right, Cl- Kal-El."

"Probably not," Clark said, knowing that it was a lost cause when it came to his eating habits and his mother.

"See, you're not well! You never let that go without a fight!" She smiled and he chuckled.

"Mom, I'm fine," he assured her.

"That's what you said after you woke up after you got home from your little intergalactic excursion. Then you ate half the food in the house and slept for another fourteen hours."

Clark just scrubbed a weary hand over his face and Martha looked at him as though that action proved her point, which it did.


"Enough of that," Martha said, wiping at her face again. "Now, you're going to bring me home, and you're going to fly slowly… You know I hate flying."

"You haven't flown with me since high school, Mom."


"I've done a bit more flying since then; I'm not quite so wobbly."

"Says the man who just fell so far he left a dent fifteen yards deep in the park," Martha said, shaking her head as she stepped onto his boots and tightly gripped his forearms. Clark grinned at her, but his eyes were haunted and Martha stopped smiling.

"Ready?" He asked, emotionless, back to being Superman instead of her son.

"Don't pull that trick with me, young man," she thought of snapping, but she remembered the policemen behind her, and just nodded.

"Goodnight, officers," Clark said, nodding to them. Neither of the men who were now several feet below them answered, though one's jaw snapped shut.

"I'm sorry, honey, I'd completely forgotten they were there."

"It's okay," he said, shrugging and making her grip his arms tighter. "Now they'll have something interesting to tell their wives."

"Still…" She didn't finish her sentence because he'd pulled her closer, wrapping his cape around her to protect her from the wind, and shot off into the sky. He could hear her heart racing, but he wasn't worried.

- - -

Officer Frank Harold had never thought he'd witness anything of that sort; he'd been on the force for twenty years now, and now he'd met, sort of, Superman's mother. He looked at Joe Thompson, the newbie officer he'd had as a shadow for the past month; he was a good kid, on his way to being a good cop. Joe had a little girl born just before Superman disappeared, the same age as Frank's oldest grandchild.

"Not a word," Frank heard himself saying as Superman and his mother disappeared into the clouds. "Not a word of this to anyone."

"No way," Joe agreed, nodding. "Who'd believe us, anyway?"

"Lois Lane," Frank replied in all honesty. They stood for silence for another few seconds, staring at the sky.

"Do you think we should tell her?" Joe asked, getting himself moving, loading the last of the plastic barriers into the trunk of their squad car.

"Lois Lane?" Frank asked, getting a nod in response. "I'd bet she already knows."

"I dunno, Frank… Y'think we should tell her anyway?"

"Next time we see her, then, we'll just pull her aside, right?"


And that's all they said about that.