A/N: OK, before I get into stuff about the fic you are currantly looking at I want to say that my other fic 'Blurred Identity' has to be scrapped early because I suffered a major computer crash a few weeks ago and was totally unable to save anything from the big recycling bin in the sky. Blurred Identity will eventually be taken down and replaced once I get time to work on the rewrite, which both myself and my beta feel is a much stronger story than the original, so hopefully we are right;)
All that being said, I can now talk about this fic. I wrote it a few days ago as a way to blow off steam and crawl out of a pretty fucked up headspace after a very rough few weeks. It didn't help my emotional state much but I seem to have produced an alright piece of fiction, so I hope you guys like it.
Now for some particulars about the story (I know what you're thinking: is he EVER going to get to the fic or is this just some cleverly disguised authors note? lol.): It is set post SR and written from the perspective of Jason as he follows in Clarks bootsteps.
Now, ON WITH THE FIC!
When I was a kid I idolized Superman just like every other five year old. To be able to fly and lift cars and take anything that anyone could throw at you, especially since I was such an ill child, appealed to me. Not to have to watch what I ate for fear of it killing me, to be able to go outside without my ever present inhaler being in easy reach, was like a dream. And then I began taking more and more after my father.
I was seven years old when I defied gravity for the first time, even if it was for just a split second. By that time I had outgrown all of the frailties of my childhood, and even some of the regular frailties that plague everyone else, so mom had no problem with letting me go play outside at recesses.
Superman had just made another iconic save and it was plastered everywhere, The President's daughter had managed to fall off the Hoover Dam and next thing anyone knew Superman was setting her down on solid ground with a friendly smile and a warning about obeying safety signs. The picture was taken as he was setting down, just as his foot was reaching for the concrete. So the hot new game on the playground was to jump off the gazebo and fly like Superman.
Everyone else took a running start and leapt off the wooden slope with their arms out and feet back, bodies held rigid in defiance of gravity. Unlike myself, none of them had ever flown with Superman, they didn't know how relaxed he was. He was as comfortable in the air as anywhere else. So it was my turn to jump and I took a big breath and just hopped up into the air. I hung there for just a second, just enough for me to know what I'd done, and then I met the same fate as everyone else, except I got to go home because I hit my head sort of hard on the way down.
After that it seemed like I was practically becoming my father's clone. By the time I was sixteen it was getting hard to tell us apart, except for the sickly pallor that had sapped the vibrancy from his features. If he had still been in perfect health back then we could have been mistaken for twins.
By the time he died, wasted away is more like it, in a mediocre room in Metropolis General Hospital I had already made up my mind that Superman would die with him.
I wanted a better fate for myself. I wanted more than to be hunted to extinction by a psychotic billionaire, spending and giving my life in service to the world only for it to turn its back on me when I got too sick to continue, praising him while he was a God only to abandon him when his divinity failed.
Uncle Perry had tried at first, coming out of retirement to write long winded articles about how we should all be ashamed of ourselves for abandoning him after he'd done so much for us, but eventually he fell silent and the Planet was soon to follow.
It was just past my twenty first birthday when I made my first save. A little boy was lost, he couldn't have been more than six years old, and he was crying for his big sister to come get him. I won't go into the details of how exactly he had become lost except to say that, as unlikely as it seems, it really was an innocent mistake. But the thing about this that inspired me to begin helping people, or at least considering it, wasn't the profuse thanks or the tearful hug of gratitude, but the realization that that boy had been lost for nearly an hour, in broad daylight on a crowded street, calling for help and no one did anything. Where was the conscience? The caring? Where was the love? Or the hope? Hadn't there been a time not so long ago when it wouldn't have been such a big deal for someone to do the right thing?
It was with thoughts like this weighing on my mind that made me wear The Suit to a charity costume party the following week. OK it wasn't the suit but it was close enough. The colors were all the same even if the material was a nearly nonexistent cotton fabric. The suit didn't fit quite right but with my stature it still looked pretty close. Except that you could see the design of my tee shirt and pants through the fabric. It was still my way of trying to bring back some of that old hope and determination to save the world that had just been budding as my father was ailing. I had no idea just how much I would succeed with that simple act.
The party was set to let out around eleven at night so things were going pretty good when that airliner fell out of the sky. I don't know if the suit had me channelling Dad or something or maybe it was how people had been keeping in character and calling me 'Superman' all night, but as soon as we'd gotten wind of what was going on I beat a path for the door, being extra careful not to bump into anyone or anything lest my more prominent Kryptonian traits cause undue harm to those around me.
If anyone had been paying attention to me I'm sure they would have thought I was an uber-klutz and a world-class screw up.
I was surprised by how well-made the flimsy suit actually was, the cape stayed attached through the whole flight there, even surviving the transition from sub to supersonic speeds and the storm cell I rocketed through on the way across the country.
The plane itself was a wreak; thick inky smoke spewing from a half dozen areas and red orange flames flicking from the engines.
Having never caught an aircraft before I went with logic and got right underneath it and grabbed onto the outer hull and essentially dragged the plane towards the runway, which required extensive use of X-ray vision because that inky smoke I mentioned earlier was spewing directly over me. The source of the smoke turned out to be a smouldering hydraulic line so I left it alone, still not wanting to have my face plastered all across the news-media, like no one would notice a falling airplane being caught for the first time in over half a decade. I set the plane down as gently as I could manage and high-tailed it out of there. I think I broke the sound barrier almost before I had fully let go of the plane.
As it turns out, I was more successful in my endeavours to remain anonymous than I could have hoped. Even though pictures and video footage were everywhere I was almost completely obscured. Of the thousands of photos there were only a handful where you can sort of see a blur moving up through the smoke to catch the plane and then there are only a few extra photos where you can see an oddly coloured smudge in the smoke, and of course the blur leaving the scene, but that was barely visible in the waning sunlight.
For weeks after that I noticed a bit of an oddity. As soon as people started proclaiming that Superman was back, things sort of changed. Like a reminder of what humanity could be, people suddenly started trying just a little harder to be good to one another. There were reports of attempted muggings and other petty, and not so petty, street crimes being thwarted by average people who just wanted to help. But when the real Superman never came back things started to taper off. So I began going out, in the Halloween costume at first and then in the real suit. I always operated at the edge of perception and was super careful to stay out of the public eye. Often there were reports of a red and blue blur streaking around saving people but nothing besides eyewitness testimony to support them.
After a time I noticed that I began feeling the urge to become more brazen, just come right out into the public eye and say 'hi there.'
I stubbornly fought this urge but nevertheless I began thinking about it: What would I say? How would it go? How would I act?
Somewhere along the way I decided that I wouldn't be exactly like dad, with his "good evening miss lane" and "don't worry miss. I've got you." It must have been a misplaced sense of pride. If I was going to follow in dads footsteps and wear dads suit and do dads job, I would at least put my own spin on it.
And then there was my first truly public save. There was a big banquet of sorts going on to celebrate the Metropolis First National Bank being granted the prestigious title of 'richest bank in the world' with almost twice as much cash and gold stored there than any other bank on earth. Even the Swiss ones couldn't compare.
The save started with an attempted robbery getting out of hand. A group of commando's barged in and started waving the guns around going through the usual routine: firing into the air, having everyone lay face down, having some frightened employees load up duffel bags with cash and carry them onto the roof to be loaded onto a helicopter. Things got out of hand when the robbers tried to load the hostages into the bird as insurance. There was a confrontation and suddenly the hostages were huddled against the ledge as one gunman closed on them, he was ignoring his cohorts cries to get in so they could take off.
It was an overcast day so I was hiding in the clouds, keeping an eye out just in case things escalated. And they did. The gunman opened fire and I watched for barely a fraction of a second as the bullets crept slowly towards their frozen targets.
Being shot was an odd sensation. Not painful or overly frightening, or even all that damaging. Just odd. But it wasn't half as odd as hearing that first gasp of "Superman?" after the bullets had bounced off my chest. Just like dad had always done I was standing tall but relaxed, Dad had always believed in this quiet sort of power as a way to intimidate criminals. Somehow it was always more intimidating for them to see bullets bounce off his chest without causing him any harm than it was to see him push his limits to lift some great weight or beat some formitable monster.
I heard a scuff and a shriek from behind me and in an instant I was over the ledge as well, effortlessly catching the young lady in mid fall. You would think something like catching a person without hurting them would be hard but it is actually kind of instinctual. Much of being a hero is instinct, the rest is just having the courage to follow your instincts.
As much as I had always said I wouldn't talk like dad did, I found myself doing it anyway. In fact, watching the footage, I have a hard telling weather it was me or him!
When I set the girl down I told her "It's alright Miss. You're safe now."
The robbers were easy to subdue, they basically gave up. Before I did anything they had laid down their weapons and kneeled with their legs spread and their fingers interlaced behind their heads.
As the SWAT team exploded through the door and took control of the situation one of them took a moment to thank me. I responded with a simple nod and "I'm just glad I could help." Before soaring into the air to wear off the adrenaline rush and let my heartbeat settle down.
After that I began intervening in more and more situations. Not a great amount, just the really tricky ones. Don't get me wrong, I kept an eye on as many of them as I could, but I only stepped in if I absolutly had to.
Being as I loved to fly and was already 'outed' to the world, I took to flying around, all over the place, and just being seen. Just the fact that I was there seemed to inspire people. Looking back I wonder if I didn't do it because I subconsciously understood how to use Superman's greatest ability, even if I didn't yet understand that that was the ability to inspire hope.
It was on one of my leisurely flights, when I happened to be in Metropolis when I noticed my Step-Father standing on the roof of the Daily Planet. I set down to talk.
We chatted for a while. Catching up on each other's lives and making comfortable small talk, until he asked for an interview. He joked that he could have the Lois Lane come up and interview me, since interviewing Superman was sort of how she made her name.
Mom came out and we talked a little before she reached for her voice recorder. I nodded my assent just as a rather difficult disturbance caught my attention. I picked up off the ground and was about to turn away when she asked if this meant I would be around more often.
I didn't recall if she had turned on the recorder and I was unsure if this was a mother asking after her son or a reporter asking after the worlds touted saviour so just before I rocketed away I gave her a wink and one of dads most famous quotes:
"I'm always around."
A/N2: Big thanks to the DarkPrince for test reading this for you guys. Believe me, the state I was in when I penned this, you guys are damn lucky he got a hold of it first.
A/N3: I hope you guys liked my little catharsis, remember to review because I'd love to hear what you think.
And finally: A/N4: Dear God: Fuck you. I hope you were fucking miserable when your only begotten son died on the cross. Asshole. (Don't ask. He knows what he did. The prick)
Now review and go on about your lives.