Title: Exhausted and Bankrupt
Character: Clark Kent/Superman
Fandom: DCU: Superman Returns
Disclaimer: Am borrowing. Enough said.
Notes: This was written the M*A*S*H quote challenge. My quote was #37: "Frank Burn's toe tag: Emotionally Exhausted and Morally Bankrupt." (from the episode "Der Tag" of the forth season.)

The days had been long. Longer than he'd thought they'd be when first he started out to find answers about himself.

As he floated to consciousness, her voice, whispering in his ear low enough for only him to hear her greeted him. Words that changed everything in the space of a heart beat.

He had gone all the way to Krypton, seen where the planet had once orbited the star called Rao, to find answers, to find what had eluded him his entire life: his own cultural identity, his people. He had been greeted by rubble... debris. Destruction. The lingering remains of a planet long-since destroyed. Kryptonite in place of Krypton itself. A graveyard floating in space.

He had been gone for five years on a wild goose chase journey of discovery... only to find that everything he wanted, longed for, had been right where he?d left it: Earth. With Lois Lane.

Lois... and the son he hadn't been here to know he was going to have because he'd left so suddenly. Bent on finding answers and completely missing what had been right in front of him... if she'd known before he'd left. He wasn't certain of that.

It didn't change what now was... the reality of all he had returned to. He mother dating a neighbor, himself nearly staying on the farm instead of returning to Metropolis. Returning only to find that Lex Luthor had been released because of an unthoughtof loop hole. Lois... engaged to Perry White's nephew. With a son. Who was his.

He wasn't certain how long he had been unconscious when he finally awoke to find himself lying along in a hospital room, but he knew one thing for certain: Lois had been there, whispering a secret that explained her bitterness toward him. A secret that shouldn't have been a secret to begin with, that should have been shared between them as they both cared for their son.

It was something, as he gingerly got out of bed and dressed himself at normal speed, that didn't sit well. As exhausted as he was physically, Clark Kent couldn't help but feel as if he should have had a toe tag that read "emotionally exhausted and morally bankrupt." He had saved the world, nearly gotten himself killed or been killed on multiple occasions, but none of it mattered. Not now.

He was gone before anyone came to check on him again. His mother would be worried and waiting, and he had some things to tell her. He didn't know how she would react to it, but he never lied, and couldn't, about this to her. About any of it.