It is a beautiful day in Smallville.
Sunlight streams down on the luscious green fields and a cool breeze drifts lazily through the air, picking up stray leaves and scattering them through the air. Clouds, fluffy and white, hang over the horizon. Everything, from the clichéd Wild West buildings to the rusty, beaten up trucks, sings of Smallville's quiet, content, country town existence. Outside of the town, on the farmland, men are tirelessly working on their properties, each one accustomed to his own daily routine. The school is filled with children who do not have the desire or even the need for a well-rounded education, and who pass time by staring wistfully out of the windows.
And, overhead, a war is waging.
A boy is slammed into the ground with unbelievable force, a small crater appearing where he had landed. He is handsome, with black hair and blue eyes, wearing jeans and a black shirt bearing that unmistakable 'S' symbol. Blood is running down his face. He groans, clutches at his head, and looks up towards the sky. A white figure is racing towards him. With a roar, Superboy leaps upwards, pulling his fist back in preparation for a devastating punch. But before he even comes close to his attacker, two lasers shoot towards him and rake across his chest. He cries out in pain as the force of the laser beams once again sends him hurtling towards the ground. This time, however, he does not make impact. A hand reaches out of nowhere and grabs the front of his shirt. Connor finds himself suddenly hovering in mid-air, hanging helplessly by the black fabric. Two blue eyes, framed by those strange black sclera, gaze hatefully into his own. For a split second, the two clones stare at each other. It is eerie, seeing these two identical boys glare at each other with so much venom and loathing. The second boy, the one in the white suit, seems to falter for a moment. His deranged eyes seem to clear as he stares at the bloodied hero in front of him. For that one short moment, Superboy stares at Match and wonders if he will actually be able to survive this.
Then, whatever small shard of sanity had managed to enter Match's mind at that moment disappeared. He let loose an almighty roar and his fist smashes into his brother's chest. Superboy flies backwards, bouncing along the earth, leaving a crater each time he lands. He finally comes to a rest in the middle of a field, a moan of pain escaping his lips. Through blurred vision, he sees Match flying towards him. He screams as the lasers once again explode against his chest, and is only just able to register Match's fist preparing to slam into his face.
Connor closes his eyes.
Match continues to punch at the boy, roaring in fury every time his fist connects with Superboy's body. Finally, he relents, and stares down at the unmoving shape in front of him. A minute passes, and it is impossible to discern what Match is thinking as he stares down at his brother's broken form. Then, without a second of warning, he shoots up into the sky, arms extended. He does not look back at the carnage, at the wrecked fields and the craters in the ground left over from his fight. Within moments, he is simply a dot on the horizon.
Back on the ground, Connor's comm. link, miraculously unharmed by the fight, crackles to life. A man's voice, frantic and filled with panic, echoes in his ear.
'Superboy, can you hear me? I'm on my way,'
Connor's eyes flutter open, and a small groan resonates from his throat. The fingers of his right hand twitch towards his ear.
'Superboy, come in!'
Clark's voice is filled with a strange kind of fear. Superboy isn't used to hearing him sound so vulnerable.
'I'm coming, Connor, just hang on. Please.'
Superboy gives what almost sounds like a whimper of pain. His hand, shaky and pale, moves towards his comm. link with a painful slowness. He holds his finger against the small metal disc in his ear, and hears the quiet beep which tells him that he is online.
'Connor, is that you?'
He groans again, his lips unable to form words.
'Connor, come in!'
'Super…man…' he says, his voice coming out as a cracked whisper.
'Conner, don't worry, I'm coming. You'll be fine. Promise you'll be fine.'
Connor almost smiles at the request. Superman's voice has become nothing more than a distant echo, and the bright blue sky is quickly fading to black. He tries to speak again, to say something legible to Clark, but his hand has fallen to his side again and he can't find the strength to lift it. He stares straight ahead as the world begins to fade.
Superman is flying over Smallville now. He can see the ravaged farmland, the gaping holes in the ground, the burned trees. Using his super-vision, he scans the landscape, looking for Match, Connor, anyone. His eyes fall upon an unmoving shape in the middle of one of Ma and Pa's fields. An icy terror suddenly grips him, fills him with utter panic. He dives towards the place where Connor lies.
Blood, warm and sticky, covers his face and drips from the wounds in him arms. All that remains of his shirt is a tattered and singed piece of fabric draped loosely around his shoulders. His skin is shockingly pale. As Clark draws closer, the silence somehow tears through him and fills him with unimaginable fear. The absence of Connor's heartbeat is possibly the loudest, most terrifying noise he has ever had to endure. He suddenly wishes that Black Canary were here- that she would unleash a sonic scream which would rip through the earth and drown out the silence and maybe make him believe for a second that Connor's heart was beating, that his brother- his son- was still alive.
He races forward as the panic builds up in his chest and threatens to engulf him. He wants to turn around. He doesn't want confirmation of what he already knows is true, that Connor is dead and that there is nothing, nothing he can do to bring him back. But he is already at his side, falling to his knees next to his body, harsh, broken sobs already bursting from his mouth. He finds himself repeating the same word over and over again: no, no, no, no, no, muttering like a crazy man as he pulls the boy's boy towards him. He searches fruitlessly for a sign of life, for something, a small part of him still desperately clinging to the hope that everything will be fine. He whispers his name, Connor, and the only response he receives is that ever-present, oppressing silence.
The dread, the fear, the rage and the grief all suddenly rush forward and consume him, fill his mind, and the Man of Steel breaks down. He sobs uncontrollably as he clutches at the boy's body. His arms wind tightly around Connor's frame, holding the boy to his chest. The limbs of the corpse flop uselessly to the ground, cold and white and unquestionably dead.
A breeze picked up, and Superman's red cape whips around in the wind. It gives, as it is intended to do, a sense of power to the man, a regal air which announces to the world just who he is. It tells people that he is here, that he is strong, that he is a hero. But now all it gives is a sick sense of irony. It flutters in the air, a symbol of power encasing a beaten, broken man. At that moment, no-one could have mistaken Superman for a hero. He was simply a father, broken down in uncontrollable tears and clinging to the lifeless body of his son.
AN: Ahem. Well. The first fanfic I've written on this account turned out to be a big ball of depression. I just have a strange obsession with Superman and Superboy's relationship, and I wanted to write my version of Conner's death. I might add another chapter to this (probably on Luthor's reaction to Connor's death), depending upon how much people like this one.