A/N: I'm not entirely sure where this came from but my muse decided that I needed to devote the majority of my writing and mental energies to this idea, so here it is. I hope you guys like it.
Disclaimer: I don't own Superman, I am in no way affiliated with anyone who does and I make no money from this. In fact all I gain from writing is (hopefully) useful reviews as well as relief from my own special brand of mental unstability.
Also, if any one has problems with the obvious religious (I spelled that wrong didn't I?) connection I have just one thing to say: This is a Fan-fic sir (or Miss, depending) if I REALLY wanted to bash on the Christian faith I would make a movie with a rubber poop-monster in it ;)
To those who had known him not so long ago, the idea that he had any limitations was as alien as the idea of actual aliens was before he had arrived. But he could remember it vividly, the last time he had felt limited.
To those who didn't know him, Wallace Rudolph West was a study in impatience and never ending boredom. But to those who did know him he was like a Zen master, infinitely patient and mellow as a sedated tabby cat. If you put things in perspective a little bit, because Wallace Rudolph West was also The Flash; the Fastest Man Alive.
Fast to the point where he could wake up in the morning to the sound of his alarm clock, turn it off and then get out of bed and put a few dozen eggo's into his army of toasters, get dressed, brush his teeth stretch out any morning kinks, follow behind the incompetent-but-good-natured paperboy and put every ones papers on their porches, knock on Missus Habadacher's door and get back to his apartment before the sound waves from his alarm clock finished bouncing off the walls in his bedroom. Then wait forever, eat his waffles with enough syrup, jam and peanut butter to feed a small country and then he'd be on his way to Missus Habadacher's so he could visit with her before he had to be on his way.
A sad smile graced his once-iconic features.
Wallace West was fast to the point where he could literally run on water, and his mind was no exception. Before Wally, Barry Allen had been the Flash and he had once joked that he was 'faster than the speed of thought' but he meant that he was faster than the speed of human thought, because if anything physical were to move as fast as Wally thought it would probably break the universe.
Wallace West was fast to the point where he had a legitimate reason to fear that he would die in a sea of living statues; living out his entire life in between the blinks of an eye.
The smile fades. Not so long ago people would scoff at the idea that he was limited by anything, let alone his own powers. After all he was completely unparalleled in strength and endurance and durability. And Speed.
But once he had been weaker, and slower.
Zoom was arguably the most dangerous criminal to have ever lived. Because for Zoom, time moved slower almost to the point of not moving at all. And at the time Superman was slow, not even fast enough to keep up with Wally when he really cut loose. But it didn't matter because no matter how fast he moved, time was still constant for him. That wasn't the case for Zoom. And Wally was so damn fast that it didn't seem to matter.
The two were an even match; with Wally moving as fast as he could and Time moving as slowly as Zoom could make it, the two might as well have been regular humans moving at regular speed in a sea of living statues. Then it happened. Wally pushed himself just a little faster, and completely shattered the barrier that separated him from the Speed Force just as his fist connected with Zoom's jaw.
Zoom was knocked out by the faster-than-light-speed haymaker and Wally vanished in a red blur. Never to be seen again. The group mourned, as did the world. They had known about the Speed Force since the first time Wally had almost disappeared into it after saving the world from Brainiac, they just assumed that this time he hadn't been able to resist the pull of a speedsters ultimate paradise.
But he knew different. The mind was faster than the body. Always. And Kryptonians were no exception. His body hadn't been fast enough to react but his mind had been fast enough to process. He knew what happened to Wally, but he couldn't bear to tell the others. Wally had died living out his greatest fear. His last seconds in existence were spent aging rapidly. Even to Superman it had only seemed like mere moments, but to Wally it had been a literal lifetime.
A tear welled in his eye and was lifted off his face to freeze in the frigid expanse of black nothing around him. Kal-El looked to be in his mid to late sixties, but he had stopped aging eons ago when his body had absorbed enough sunlight to become completely invulnerable. Even to Kryptonite.
And now here he sat on some desolate rock floating in some random part of the universe. It was all but impossible to tell where he was. Most of the stars and suns were dead; or close to it.
The peoples who had existed in the later part of the universes lifespan had thought him a god. And by then he was. He had absorbed so much yellow sunlight that even flying into a red sun laced with all manner of kryptonite had posed no problem for him. For eons he had been a god amongst mortals.
And now here he sat, a God perched upon his dead throne, floating about his dying universe. He recognized the signs of entropy. Everything was ending. The universe was running out of energy.
In the distance, one of the last stars winked out in a burst of faded light.
The universe would soon be ended and here he sat, a God with still limitless power. He could feel it pulsing within his being; less than it was just before flying into the Kryptonite laced red sun, but still so much greater than it had been afterwards.
How long had it been since the last people had perished? He honestly couldn't say. It could have been hundreds, even thousands, of years. Or it could have been mere seconds. Since there was no longer anyone left to compare himself to, things like Time or speed or strength no longer mattered. Was he moving at super-speed? He didn't think so but there wasn't anything to measure himself against to know for sure. Since the universes energy had all but evaporated things had stopped. There was no more heat, almost no light. There was almost no movement.
Or was there still enough energy for the universe to be moving rapidly but since he was moving at super-speed he couldn't tell?
Did it even matter?
Kal-El no longer wished to ponder the circumstances of his existence and instead retreated into his mind, seeking memories of happier times to bolster his flagging spirits.
"It's like you weren't even trying!" Lois screamed as she saw the news footage of his last fight with Doomsday, just hours ago.
"You're getting too old Clark." She told him, "You're not as strong and fast as you used to be. You should have let Kara handle him. Or even Jason, he's more than capable."
That was before Lois died. When they still thought that he could die.
"Honey how did this happen!?" Superman was cradling Lois like she was an infant, sobbing almost like he was one himself. A rapidly expanding dark spot growing on her stomach as blood pooled on the floor. The paramedics were watching Superman weeping over the dying wife of Clark Kent in the Lane-Kent family home.
"It- it was a ff-freak accident, Clark." He didn't care that the world would soon know that Superman and Clark Kent were one and the same. Ma and Pa were dead, and now Lois was going to be to. Jason was fully involved in League business, mostly working off-world with the Lantern Corps when they needed someone who could stand up to, and even thrive in an abundance of yellow energy.
"The neighbours propane tank exploded, sir." One of the paramedics said, "We responded as fast as we could but..."
"God, why wasn't I here to save you?" the paramedics went to wait outside, it was obvious that he wasn't talking to them.
"You had to stop the meteor from hitting the moon and raining death on us all."
"No I didn't." He confessed, "Kara, or Jason, or John could have handled it. I wanted to be there."
"What." Even with the lifeblood leaking onto the floor, the fifty-something Lois Lane-Kent could still muster the effort to be angry at her crying husband.
"I wanted to be there. And it wasn't even for noble reasons."
"It's alright, Smallville." Lois tells him, "It's in your nature to help people."
Clark took several quivering breaths.
"Everyone thinks of me as this normal man with all these abilities." He told her, "they think I'm just a guy who can move fast, or call upon great strength when I need it. But I feel myself getting more powerful with each passing day. It's not like when I was a teenager and I could only muster the energy to use some of my abilities sparingly. They're always active now, straining to get out and it takes a real effort to rein them in. I'm not a normal guy who can be strong when I need to, or be fast when I need to, or be invulnerable when I need to. I'm a strong and fast and invulnerable guy who always has to be careful to tone it down so no one gets hurt." Lois didn't hear him. "I just wanted to cut loose a bit."
"Mr. Kent, she's passed." One of the paramedics was shaking him. Clark released his too-tight grip on his wife.
"No sir." The boy answered immediately. Clark had lost his head for a moment and forgotten to reign in his strength, now they wouldn't be able to have an open casket funeral for Lois.
Not long after that his invulnerability had gotten stronger. Until only his son and Kara were strong enough for him to feel, and then not even them; it was like he was wearing armour, he no longer registered physical contact.
He shouldn't have been surprised. When his invulnerability was just developing it hurt like all hell when he got shot, it left bruises for weeks. And then bullets didn't hurt anymore after a while, and neither did explosions. And then he could take a full on punch from Doomsday or Darkseid and barely even feel it.
And now Kryptonite; his only weakness, wasn't.
He could just make out the faint light glinting off the frozen teardrops that hung in front of him. He had retreated into his memories in search of a happy place to visit for a while but he couldn't really remember very much anymore. Being as old as he was it was no surprise that his memory was failing. It liked to come and go, leaving almost everything a blur except for random bits of his past. He still knew everything, he just couldn't remember it. Like he was recalling the telling of an experience as opposed to recalling the actual experience.
He searched his mind for a memory that he actually remembered.
He was a little more than eight years old, he was sitting between his parents in their old pick-up as they drove home from grocery shopping.
"Do you think God ever gets lonely?" he had asked.
"Why do you ask?" Jonathan had asked; he was brought up in a Catholic home and Martha was raised by a big city attorney so they had decided not to push religion on Clark, but if he was curious, then it would fall to Jonathan to help him.
"Because Julie was saying that her mom told her that humans couldn't talk to God." Clark told them, "She said that God had to have a special angle to talk to people for him. It must bo so lonely."
It wasn't long after that when Jonathan began reading to Clark from his Bible. For the life of him he couldn't remember the entire passage anymore, but a small smile crept across his face as the first hope he had felt in ages swelled in his chest. In his youth he had been too modest to even consider thinking about something like this, let alone actually try it. He floated away from the rock he had been sitting on and raced over to where he had seen the star extinguish not so long ago.
He didn't know how far he had traveled but he eventually came upon a cloud of dwarf star matter and began the task of gathering it all up. Time didn't really exist anymore, at least not in any measurable way, so he didn't know how long it took but eventually he was able to gather up some of the material and compress it into a ball about the size of a quarter. He prayed it would work for just a moment before he hit it with heat vision. The material slowly began to glow and it suddenly burst into a brand new star.
Emboldened by this small success he used more heat vision, pouring more of his accumulated energy into the newly formed star. As the amount of energy in the star grew, so did another form of energy that had long ago diminished to nothingness: Gravity.
More of the nearby dwarf star matter began drifting towards Kal-El's creation allowing the tiny, tennis ball sized star to grow as he poured more energy into it.
He didn't know how long he had been working but the tiny star had grown into a large sun. His own internalized energy had barely been skimmed to create this new sun, a yellow one that he could feel bolstering his already great power.
The sun was now completely self sustaining, and as one of the only points that still had any gravity in the universe he could feel the pull tugging gently at himself, but he had the power to resist it, nothing else in this vast expanse of nothingness did. And every rock, star and planet skeleton was soon drifting towards his expanding star.
Towards the end of the lifecycle of every star there comes a time when the stars gravitational pull is no longer strong enough to counteract the outward push of the electromagnetic forces present in every single atom of matter. This was known as a supernova; a final and sudden explosion of all of the stars accumulated energy. Kal-El had to intervene several times so that his sun would not reach critical mass and burst apart on him.
He had been working so long, and his sun had grown so great that light had been cast to the farthest reaches of the nothingness around him. He pressed his vision into forever and could see that nearly all of the matter in the universe had been absorbed by his creation. No longer could it be called a sun, now it looked more like a combination of a cloud, a kaleidoscope, a ball of lightning and a starburst all at once.
It begins to pulse and shimmer as it reaches a state of near-critical mass, collapsing into itself before exploding and then being drawn right back into itself again. The last of the universes matter is drawn into the firestorm and it becomes even more violent, flickering like a candle flame about to be extinguished.
He uses more heat vision, but soon realizes that it isn't energy that the firestorm lacks to reach critical mass, it is matter; the last of which is himself.
He feels weaker than he has in eons, but goes towards the shimmering multicoloured monstrosity with no fear. After all, so what if he failed? Who would know? And so what if he succeeded? Would anything even come of it?
As he enters the monsters aura of radiant energy he is both surprised by the strength of its gravitational pull and flooded with energy as his body begins to absorb all of the monstrous star into himself. To someone who hasn't felt any physical sensation in longer than he could remember the searing pain was foreign and agonizing but beautiful in its ferocity.
He was in the center of the star now and his body was becoming accustomed to the influx of energy after slowly giving it off for so long. All he could see around him was a brilliant, blinding light; blinding even to his eyes, so he simply relaxed his body and allowed outside forces to keep him steady while the energy continued to pour into him.
After a time he became aware that every muscle in his body was tense, straining with massive effort against the power he now contained. He opened his eyes and saw nothing, but his body continued to throb and pulsate with the immense power within; all the power in the universe.
His muscles were energized and fresh and he knew that he could remain like this forever and hardly even notice it but something dawned on him: He had created a near-supernova by allowing all of the matter in existence to pout into a star that he had created, a star that hadn't quite reached critical mass before he entered and absorbed it. Therefore, the uncomfortable pressure in his body was all of the matter and energy trying to get out, but he was containing it.
He wasn't sure where the realization came from but he perceived himself to be made entirely of this energy now; his physical body, as it had existed for millions of years, gone into oblivion.
He knew what would come next, what must come next, and he thought of a new universe; young and bursting with endless possibilities for life and discovery and conflict. Would it be anything like the one he had known? He only hoped that he would be alive and able to guide and protect this new universe.
He loosened the tension of his muscles and felt the energy react to his change of being, he knew what would happen if he relaxed completely and the prospect excited him.
He still couldn't remember the entire verse but he spoke the lines he knew just before allowing the energy of his being to spring forth into a new universe:
Let there be light.
A/N: There it is, hope you like it. Now stop reading my crap and go look for good authors (theres some really amazing ones in the 'Excellence in Superman Fanfiction' community *cough cough* Kala Lane-Kent, repmetsyrrah and Shado Librarian *cough, cough*)
Retorical: The rubber poop-monster thatI mentioned at the top is from Dogma, written/Directed by Kevin Smith (someone else I am in no way affiliated with, outside of being a fan)
Peace, take care of each other