There she was, falling.
Another "accident" at LutherCorp. Lots of these recently.
Lex was testing him. It was clear, learning his capabilities little bits at a time, at what Luthor considered small risks. Small fries.
It wasn't a small risk, not to Clark.
She was falling, and he was getting closer.
Half the distance past.
Halfway there again.
Half the rest of the way, and half the rest of the way, and half the rest of the way.
Time slowed down for Clark as he approached. Couldn't go too fast, or he'd break her neck. Couldn't go too slow, or he wouldn't make it.
So time slowed down, and he approached in that slow time, always slowing, always slowing, until he could orchestrate from nanosecond to nanosecond, moving his body into the position and speed and acceleration necessary to rescue her.
Nanosecond to nanosecond, femtosecond to femtosecond, halfway there.
And always the later half remaining.
And then it was over.
He was riding up into the sky easily, and she was in his arms, and she had stopped screaming, he had forgotten about the screaming until it stopped. And she gasped, and she saw the city around them from the sky, and the wind tossed her hair around until she couldn't see. And she fainted.
It always took so long, it felt endless. Like the last half would never come, like the relief of the float upward was so far out of reach.
But no matter how many halves of the distance he crossed, eventually there was one too small. Even for superman, there were distances too small.
"Have you ever heard of Zeno's paradox, Clark?"
"Yes, Jimmy. I have."
"There's an old joke; you put a mathematician and a plumber on one side of a room, and a beautiful woman on the other. You tell them they can cross half the distance to her as many times as you want. The mathematician is horrified. He says they'll never reach her. The plumber shrugs, says 'you could get close enough.'" Jimmy Olsen flashed a famous, dorky smile. "Mathematicians, right?"
Clark looked him in the eye, smiled and nodded. "It's a good joke Jimmy."
And he meant it.