Title: On the Bright Side
Disclaimer: I wish the characters were mine… oh how I wish it! But they are not, they are property of Warner or DC and all the usual suspects… Just writing for fun.
Category: Clark / Jason
Summary: If you think it carefully, there's always a bright side, even to kryptonite poisoning. Set around a year after SR.
On The Bright Side
Breathing deeply still hurts.
Eyes still closed and the world too silent for my liking, I do notice that at least the nausea, dizziness and off balance are gone, not that I'm standing to begin with. Lying on the couch, feeling the early morning rays of sunlight making contact with my skin, I'm reminded that I'm alive. Terribly sore, but alive. Besides, sunlight is the most wonderful sensation right now.
I'm home, getting my strength back after a particularly nasty encounter with my enemies' favorite weapon: Kryptonite. It's all very vague now, it always is after being exposed to the green glow of 'home', and bit by bit I will get back a larger picture of what happened. Something I dread, because I know there will be a lot of Lois being in danger trying to save me for a change.
But for now, she's back in the streets, maybe at the office, maybe at the hospital, covering for Clark Kent while Superman is somewhere out there, recovering for this latest criminal plot.
I miss her, and I worry about her, knowing that I'm not in any shape to help her out of trouble, and that the whole world knows I'm not going to be there for at least a few hours today. Yet things have to be done, she has to go on, and I have to lay still so the warming rays of light work their magic on me.
"Are you awake?" the whispered question comes from the other side of the couch making me open my eyes. Bright blue eyes look at me with worry and apprehension; eyes too young to be either, my heart says, and I can only stretch my arms signaling for him to come.
Jason eagerly does, trailing with him his favorite stuffed animal, Mr. Fox, the same that my Mother gave him last Christmas. He's growing so fast, I tell her, and both she and Lois tell me he's growing just fine. Both are right, of course, but I can't help thinking I'm missing so much. That I've missed so much.
He comes all the way to the other side of the couch, and standing in front of me, still whispering he asks, "Are you okay? Mommy said not to wake you up…"
Hhmmm… it means Mommy is not far away and will be back very soon, having left Jason to my care, even if I'm barely ambulatory right now.
"I'm going to be fine," I tell him in the same whispering voice, and he rewards me with the brightest of smiles, making this moment perfect.
And then he lands on me.
He half takes my breath away, and my entire body protests the violent collision, but all I say out loud is barely an Ouh… and I patiently wait for him to get comfortable on my chest. I never notice these things on any given day, so it's shocking to stay still and endure, just for the sake of having Jason on my arms, calming his fears and warming my heart.
There's something about being sick, I admit, that has its bright side: I feel things I hardly ever feel. My stomach rumbles with hunger as it tries to supply the energy the sun is not yet giving me. My eyes feel heavy for want of sleep; and I understand the weight all parents carry every time they pick up their child, not worrying about how heavy the burden feels as they so lovingly take it into their arms.
I feel pain, and cold, and weakness, but it shows me what everyone else feels. It makes me closer to humanity in some unexpected way.
"Do you think he'll grow up?" Jason asks, not exactly in a whisper, but not far from it. His eyes are set on Mr. Fox as if he's wondering what the future holds for his beloved toy.
"Do you want him to grow up?" I ask him in return. Now that he's settled over me, I move a bit so my sore ribs won't complain so much. The sun is slowly working on me, and it slightly tingles as I hold Jason's head as he contemplates if Mr. Fox wants to grow up or not.
"Do you think he'll like flying?" he asks instead, the question taking me aback.
I have not taken Jason for many flights, fearful of unwanted eyes seeing Superman carrying a child too often. But for all our short trips, he seems to love the idea of flying. So why Mr. Fox would be doubting the experience?
"I don't know…" I slowly said, his blue eyes leaving the object of his fascination and staring at me, clear and curious and too serious for his own age. "Do you like flying?" I pointedly ask. He enthusiastically nods, maybe thinking I can take him up on a short flight since I'm home and Mommy is not.
He stops, and his eyes look at some point on my chest. "But maybe he'll get too sick to fly…" he adds, whispering again.
Is he wondering about growing up, being able to fly, and then getting sick like I am today? Is the future so frightening he doesn't want to grow up? The thought shatters my heart.
He doesn't ask much about what he'll be able to do, or when he'll be able to do it, though he knows all of my powers by heart. He knows I did not get them all at the same time, and he has a pretty good idea of the events that got me to Earth and why do I have a mom in Kansas –who gives him stuffed animals, and cookies and has the coolest farm in the world.
But the fact that he doesn't ask doesn't mean he doesn't watch.
He's got a brilliant mind and very perceptive eyes. He's also got memories of sinking ships and worrying parents, who fear Luthor will one day tell the world the truth. He's got an uncertain future, where no one knows if he'll be able to fly, or when, or what else he'll be able to do.
His eyes light up again, mischievousness bighting through as only Lois' can, "and he'll stay home and spend the day with me," he conspires , wrapping Mr. Fox and me in his tiny, yet strong arms.
With a short laugh I can hear Lois' voice in my head telling me that I should realize he's also got an overworked father, who seems to only be around the entire day when he cannot go out and save the world every five minutes. With no way to even hear if there's trouble out there, I'm pretty much stuck to the coach, granted, but I'm not going anywhere right now no matter what.
I'm going to be around and make you proud of your dad, I silently vow, as he laughs with me when I raise him high in the coach. He's too heavy for my arms in this moment, but I don't care. I'm going to watch you grow, I promise myself as he extends his arms and closes his eyes, pretending he's flying. My arms give up and he lands once again on me, laughing and hugging me, oblivious of my aching body, just happy to have me around.
And I readily admit that, on the bright side, being sick is not really all that bad.