Author : Current Superboy[7-29-10]

Rating : Everyone

Characters : Superboy

Credits : DC Comics for creation of characters.

Warm sunlight sparkled off the churning waves not far from shore. Swaying with the invisible tide of the earth, the water washed in and out, crashing and foaming as it collided with the sandy shore. In the distance the larger waves picked up, carrying surfers as the more relaxed crowd lounged obliviously on the beach. Content to work a tan rather than enjoy the cool water, they came in all shapes. Women in too skimpy swear wear, men in trucks or elastic underwear that showed too little. Larger men wearing the lesser of the two and eating quickly melting ice-cream from the vendors. For Hawaii, this was a normal day for tourists, and the heat and waves had drawn a crowd.

Standing back near a beach wall, one figure watched through round blue sunglasses. A pair he hadn't worn in years. His dark t-shirt tucked into his ragged jeans, he kept his arms crossed over his chest just content to watch the scene before him. Even the breeze kissing at his cheeks and hair didn't cause so much as a twitch of muscles. His only sign of life the rise and fall of his breathing. Behind the blue tinged world of his glasses small shapes rolled back and forth, fading in and out of reality like the rise and fall of a tide. Images of a blond woman with curled hair and a too-revealing bikini. A balding man with too much stomach and not enough buttons on his outlandish Hawaiian shirt to cover the gold chain or his chest hair.

They came and went. Different times, different places, but superimposed over the beach goers in front of him. The blending, the seeming, snapped beyond vision when a swimmer broke the surface and everything seemed to rush at him. Replacing the red headed tourist with a darker skinned woman with raven hair. Her orange suit clinging to her as she pulled the water from her hair. "What's wrong, kid? Afraid to get that hairstyle of yours wet?" Her smile, her laugh, it thundered over the sound of the waves and reduced the rest of the world to so much white noise. Stripping the years and causing a soundless roll of thunder to tickle his skin, making him shudder with a well of different feelings.

Shaking his head to dislodge the images he reached up, putting two fingers under the glasses to pinch the bridge of his nose. With his eyes closed he took steady breaths, feeling his heart rushing to pump blood through him. For several seconds it was just the breathing and the darkness behind closed eyes, and when he opened his eyes the world was how it should have been. Blue tinged by the glasses, but otherwise whole and without the sights in his mind's eye. Dropping his arms to his sides he felt the frown before he knew it was there and stared after the red head who'd actually emerged, laughing and talking to a small group of friends. It wasn't her doing. He knew that. But he couldn't take the reminder, "Tana."

With a small twist of his ankles and a push of an ability he didn't have the right words to describe to anyone else he shot into the air, leaving the beach behind. Higher in the sky, near the clouds the world was less distinct. Less chaotic. Extending his arms in front of him he flew lazily along the shoreline. Just watching the changing, but still similar scenes below. People sunning or swimming, some surfing, some just milling about. Over and over. The same thing. Looking away from the people below he flew forward, just content with the sky and the wind. A brush of something at his side made him look over, staring so close to the transparent outline of the dark skinned woman. "You always fly so fast! When are you going to learn to slow down?"

Recoiling he dropped several feet as the ghostly images scattered like so much dust. It took him a moment to right himself and he hung there, suspended above a small and gathering group of tourists. Staring up at the spot in the sky where he'd seen her. Below people were pointing and talking, some taking pictures, some yelling their greetings or offering various things. He barely heard any of it. Still ringing from the words echoing in his ears. Several feet down a man yelped and jumped back as the firecracker he'd lit went unnoticed because of the arrival of the super hero.

Jerking from the sound of the pop, his head whipped to the side and the world rushed away. A small metal room, the smell of the smoke and the frozen look of horror on her face. Locked in surprise and fear in her last moments he remembered his own voice, his own desperation. TANA! Stooping down he cradled her in his lap, rocking slightly as tears welled in his eyes. The hands on his shoulders, the smokey smell of burnt flesh from the collar she'd been wearing. It was as real as it had been. He knew it'd been two years ago, but he felt it in his bones. The same feelings, the same pains. And then the world rushed back in, reminding him he'd been crying again.

Looking down he squeezed his eyes shut and shot straight into the air, leaving nothing to hear but the sound of air almost tearing around his speeding form. Even the clouds and the sky were fuzzy, indistinct. Through the tears in his eyes he couldn't take the blue tingle from the glasses. Reaching up he plucked them from his face and held them up, starring at his own murky reflection. Her face seemed to be staring back at him. Afraid. Happy. Accusing. Furrowing his brow he managed a to make his voice work, if weak, "I'm sorry, Tana." Clenching his hand he smashed the glasses and let them go to drop into the ocean, flying on. Away from this place.

Away from the memories.