AN: This is a hurt/comfort song fic between Superman and Superboy (not a pairing) that takes place just after the end of Auld Acquaintances.
Disclaimer: I do not own Superman, Superboy, or the song Superman by Five for Fighting.
It was mid day and even though the sun was shining brightly, the cold January breeze left Metropolis city at freezing temperatures. Superboy and Superman sat awkwardly beside each other on the roof of the Daily Planet building. It had been a week since the fight between the Young Justice team and the JLA and they were still a bit shaken from it. The League was quite upset to have been taken control of, especially the mentors since they had to fight their own protégés. And Superman was still very concerned about the missing 16 hours. Though he was happy to finally work up the nerve to talk to his clone.
In an attempt to get to know Conner better, Superman invited him to come to Metropolis so they could spend the day together. Truth be told, Clark was still very wary of his teenage clone and so far had made little progress in getting the boy to open up.
Some birds, pigeons to be exact, took flight from the building across the street from the Daily Planet. That's when Superboy decided to speak.
"What's it like to fly?" he asked looking up at the sky as the pigeons flew by. Superman stared at him for a moment, not knowing what to say.
"I'm not really sure how to explain it." is all Clark could come up with to say. He immediately felt bad after looking over at Superboy's disappointed face.
I can't stand to fly
I'm not that naive
I'm just out to find
The better part of me
"Honestly," Superman started. "I don't like to fly." Noticing Superboy's confused look he explained. "All my life I've known I was different from everyone else, even before I found out I was an alien. When I fly, or use any of my powers for that matter, I feel like, like an outsider, like I know I don't belong." Clark said with a faraway look in his eyes. He then looked towards the sun. "I get my powers from Earths yellow sun. Krypton's sun was red so my powers aren't normal even for a Kryptonian. When I first got my powers, I didn't even feel like myself when I used any of them, especially flight. For a long time I didn't feel like I am who I'm supposed to be. Being Superman and helping people has helped me find who I need to be, but sometimes I still feel like I haven't found who I really am." Clark then realized what he was saying and who he was saying it to and got very embarrassed. "Sorry, that was just a little too depressing; I didn't mean to say all that…"
"It's okay." Conner didn't know what else to say. Frankly, he was very surprised to hear that his genetic parent felt that way, and even more surprised that he was the one Superman had told this to. Because Superman had opened up to him, Superboy felt obligated to do the same.
"I feel that way sometimes too."
I'm more than a bird, I'm more than a plane
I'm more than some pretty face beside a train
And it's not easy to be me
"Do you? Do you really feel that way?" Clark very seriously asked Conner, looking him dead in the eye. "Do you really know what it's like to be seen flying and always thought of as 'Look, it's a bird! No, it's a plane! No, it's Superman!' Do you know what it's like to be looked at as the perfect person and be admired and have everyone expect you to be flawless!? And do nothing wrong!? And to never make mistakes!?" Superman asked getting quite upset.
"….uuuhh…. n-no, no I don't know what that's like…" Superboy answered awkwardly, not knowing what he had said to upset his genetic parent. He had never seen, or heard of, Superman having an outburst like that. Conner, feeling guilty for upsetting Superman, looked down sadly at his hands.
"Of course you don't know what it's like; you don't even have a year at life experience…" Superman stopped after looking to Superboy and noticing the sad look on his face. "I'm sorry, I know it's not your fault. You were created for the sole purpose of becoming me one day. But it's not easy to be me."
Wish that I could cry
fall upon my knees
Find a way to lie
about a home I'll never see
"I never asked for an easy life. Heck, I never asked for life at all…." Superboy replied.
"None of us get to ask for life, or what life they are born into. That's something no one can control."
"Yeah, I know it's not something to be sad about but I wish that I could have chosen my own reason for being created."
"I wish I could have chosen. Chosen whether or not to be born to a dying alien race, whether or not to be sent to Earth, whether or not to have powers, etc. etc." Superman continued. "Don't get me wrong, I love my life and I wouldn't change a thing about it, I just wish I could have chosen it for myself. It's hard to be born into a race of people you know nothing about, to not know your own parents and that you never will know them. To always know that you don't belong and knowing that there is somewhere that you do belong but that the place you belong doesn't exist anymore. I have a home that I can never belong to; a family I will never see…." Connor remained quiet as Superman continued speaking, "I really shouldn't think that way though; my adoptive parents love me so much and I think of them as my birth parents. They loved me as their own even though I had the potential to be dangerous."
It may sound absurd, but don't be naive
Even heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed, but won't you concede
Even heroes have the right to dream
It's not easy to be me
"I know what that's like." Conner responded to the 'potential to be dangerous' part. "The first time I met Robin, Kid Flash, and Aqualad I attacked them but now we're all good friends. They accept me and understand me for who I am."
"You're luck for that you know. Growing up, I had people who cared about me but no one who understood my problems as a super powered teenager. It was hard to deal with not understanding anything about myself. But you have people like you who understand your problems. You have people who will help you in figuring out where you belong. That's more than I ever had when I was your age. You don't have to figure everything out the hard way."
"I'm grateful for all my friends and everyone who helps me with all my issues but no one can understand how it feels to not be your own person. To be a cheap knock-off of someone else, it makes you feel like you're stealing someone else's life. Who can understand that? I'm kind of selfish for thinking that aren't I?" Superboy says with a humorless laugh.
"What makes you think that's selfish?"
"Well, like you said, I have so many people who will help me with whatever I need but I don't feel like they really understand me so I never ask for their help."
"You never ask for help?" Superman didn't want to seem like he was prying but he sincerely wanted to know as much about his clone as possible.
"Not if I can help it. It makes me feel… I don't know… weak. I'm a hero, I shouldn't be weak."
"I'm weak sometimes."
"But you're the strongest man on the planet." Conner said disbelievingly.
"Physically, yes, I'm one of the strongest. But I have emotional weaknesses but that's not all ways a bad thing. Besides, even heroes have the right to bleed."
"Really, it's okay to be weak, even when so many people are counting on you to save them?"
"Occasionally, yes; I mean no one is perfect."
"But everyone makes us out to be."
"That's because we don't have the excuse of 'we're human, we make mistakes'. We really don't have it easy."
"I sometimes wish I were human." Connor looked down dejectedly. "Is it wrong to feel that way?"
"There's nothing wrong with thinking that. It's okay to dream. Just don't dwell on things you can't change."
Up, up and away, away from me
It's all right, you can all sleep sound tonight
I'm not crazy, or anything
"Well, it's getting late so should probably go now." Clark said though he didn't really want to leave but he had a lot of work to do.
"Alright," said Superboy, "It was nice talking to you… and stuff. Maybe we could do this again sometime?" He asked awkwardly.
"I'd like that." Clark smiled then flew away. Connor made his way to a concealed zeta tube and returned to the cave thinking that maybe he could get a good night's sleep for once.
I can't stand to fly I'm only a man in a silly red sheet I'm only a man I'm only a man Its not easy to be me
I'm not that naive
Men weren't meant to ride
With clouds between their knees
Digging for kryptonite on this one way street
Only a man in a funny red sheet
Looking for special things inside of me
Inside of me
Yeah, inside me
Inside of me
In a funny red sheet
I'm only a man
Looking for a dream
In a funny red sheet
And it's not easy
I'm only a man in a silly red sheet
I'm only a man
I'm only a man
Its not easy to be me