Story [Superman] Remnants -- a series of short tales

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by AlwaysAround, Aug 21, 2008.

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  1. AlwaysAround Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2008
    I like to be efficient, so for the sake of saving space, I'd prefer to house these 3 vignettes under one roof. (It's okay if anyone posts between them. ;))

    Title: Remnant
    Fandom: Superman (film/comics/Animated Series)
    Genre: angst
    Rating: PG-13
    Characters: Kal-El, hint of Emil Hamilton and Kitty Faulkner
    Summary: The discovery of kryptonite has a much deeper significance.



    Knowing what it does to him, he still wants to feel it. If only for one last time, to make peace with what is left of his birthplace.

    He finds the color terribly ironic. Green is the color of life, renewal, perseverance. It even glows softly, suffused with inner light, a fragment of living emerald. The hypnotic miasma pulses behind his closed lids even as it lies safely shielded from him within a casket of lead. Such an unremarkable defense from such an exotic substance.

    The concept of mortality is generally not a welcome contemplation for most. This could not be further from the truth for him. He wishes to be here for humanity for a long time; he would not have chosen his path in life without a deep love for his adopted world. But there is no greater nightmare for him than the fear of eternity against the finite universe. He is the last of his kind in an alien environment. Even the most brilliant human minds with the most advanced machines can offer no real prediction of his fate, were it to remain unthreatened.

    He is now this much closer to the ones he protects. He too shares that most fundamental bond that all living things possess. Although like all others he hopes it is not untimely, it is the greatest comfort he will ever receive.

    One long-fingered hand runs hesitantly across smooth metal. He remembers the pain. It will not be pleasant, to say the least.

    Goodbyes rarely are.

    What was this meteor?s origin? From what city did it hail? Had his parents once trod upon this very crystal? Did they ever suspect that the miraculous material that sheltered them and housed their sciences could one day be poison to their child? Likely not, or else they would have warned him in their ghostly messages. The last vestige of Krypton is both a blessing and a curse.

    Professor Hamilton has been gracious enough to allow him this time alone. He and Kitty understand what this means to him, however wary they are. They still know so little, and given the consequences, they are not eager to find out. But he has made a bargain permitting them to observe his reactions, to test his limits while he submits himself willingly to exposure. This corruption of sunstone appears to be rare, perhaps the only such sample on Earth, but if any more were to fall into the wrong hands, it would be wise to be prepared with greater knowledge and experience.

    There is no sense in waiting any longer. Breathing deeply, he thumbs open the heavy latches and lifts the lid.

    Fierce, venomous agony washes over him. He forces his eyes not to squeeze shut and stares into its verdant heart instead. Within seconds his knees are buckling, and he lets his head fall as if in a reverent bow. This and a fortress in the Arctic is all that is left of his people, their hopes and dreams, their fallacies, their achievements, their failures. But their legacy lives still. A strangled whisper of requiem in a nearly dead language is a gesture of ceremonial consolation, but it is the life now being fulfilled that will truly honor their memory.

    He reaches out to touch the pitted, glassy surface, and recoils with a gasp. Immediately livid burns blossom across his palm, the normally perfect skin blistering as he watches in dazed shock. It should not be surprising that radiation otherwise harmful to him can scorch his flesh. But a different sort of pain clenches his heart with the realization that he cannot even touch what should have been a part of him.

    Torment of this nature is something utterly foreign to him. He vaguely recalls a brief time in his childhood when he was somewhat vulnerable to the new world around hi
  2. AlwaysAround Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2008
    A strange little story that was inspired by a drawing I made as a Christmas gift to a friend.

    Title: Snow Angels
    Fandom: Superman (film, Donner/Singer)
    Genre: angst, humor, slight AU
    Rating: G
    Characters: Kal-El, Jonathan Kent, Lois Lane, Jason White
    Summary: A lifelong tradition.



    It was white everywhere.

    The pale sun reflected off the pristine powder that blanketed everything in sight, making it sparkle, and he thought he?d never seen anything so beautiful in his very, very short life. He dropped to his knees and put his nose less than an inch away from the sparkles, seeing that they were tiny crystals, each one, and it made him so happy. Why, he couldn?t begin to fathom, but all that mattered was that it did. The white was beautiful and?right somehow.

    Pa scooped him up and made him giggle, and taught him how to pack a ball with these pretty crystals called snow. Then Pa lay down and started to flap his arms and legs about in the white, pushing it aside. When he stood up again, he?d left behind holes in the snow, and he said it was an angel.

    ?See there? I made the wings with m?arms and the dress with m?legs.?

    ?Whas n?angel??

    ?Someone very special. Sometimes they bring you good things, sometimes they help you. Sometimes they?re someone you love very much, makes life sweet and happy. Like you.? And Pa picked him up and held him tight, kissed his round rosy cheek, then blew a raspberry into it, unleashing another peal of laughter.

    ?C?mon, son, snow angels shouldn?t be alone.?

    He lay down in the white and flapped, and thought Pa must be an angel too then.

    ***

    The first snow that year was thick and heavy, and the following dawn bright and clear, almost as if the day was waiting for them as it had been every year before.

    He stood out on the porch, gazing out over the endless white, but he couldn?t move, couldn?t bring himself to step out there alone.

    Salty warmth fell to the earth at his feet, melting the flakes it touched.

    ***

    Only now, so many years later, did he understand why the white had completed his heart in a manner beyond thought. Standing outside, he turned to behold the great structure once more for the first time as a new man, entrenched in one of the only places on this world that somewhat echoed the place of his birth.

    White had no longer been of such importance to him as he grew, with vague dreams of a time before memory fading as he learned the diverse beauty of life on this little marble of blue and green. But it filled him again, healing the crevasse in his soul that had always remained agape, giving him the last piece of his identity that had been missing all along.

    The hard-packed snow beneath his boots crunched as he shifted, and he smiled.

    Deftly he removed the scarlet cape from his shoulders and cast it aside. With the carefree delight of the inner child he would no longer be so free to indulge in, he let himself fall onto the white and swung his limbs out.

    Not long after he left to take up his great mantle for the first time, the deep imprint refroze, and he would return to renew it occasionally as the elements wiped it clean; sometimes to celebrate, sometimes to mourn, sometimes purely for whim. But always to remember.

    ***

    The wind whipped around them as they flew, but he had never felt so steady and sure. She was the one keeping him aloft. She was his rock, his warmth, his home.

    Lois nudged him abruptly. Her eyes were trained quizzically on an irregular spot marring the white close to the Fortress. ?Um?is that what I think it is??

    He grinned. ?Oh. I almost forgot.? Gently their altitude began to drop.

    ?Snow angels should never be alone.?

    ***

    Young, innocent laughter rang out over the white once more, in harmony with the small boots that hastily trod across it. In lieu of frozen fields now stretched a river whose bank lapped gently against the small lawn that encroached it.

    ?Don?t get too close to the edge! And stay off the dock, it?s icy!?

  3. AlwaysAround Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2008
    And the last, my personal version of the "Jason divulges he's in on the secret" trope.

    Title: The Crayon of Truth
    Fandom: Superman Returns
    Genre: angst, slight humor
    Rating: PG
    Characters: Clark Kent, Jason White, Lois Lane
    Summary: A picture's worth a thousand words.



    Once upon a time, there were only three sounds in all the world that perpetually stood out above the rest for Clark Kent. He did not even have to focus on them; their presence had become so deeply ingrained in the back of his mind that they were a permanent fixture in his life, another part of his soul. The first two had been forged from the bond between a family, and the third from the love for a woman that a man knows is his destiny?in one way or another. Long before he had come to embrace the last, he had lost one. For all the madness that hearing so clearly and so far could inspire, there was no greater pain than silence in the place where his father had once dwelled. Over time he had learned to live with a single beacon by which to anchor himself to, and what became the new second eventually filled him with such joy and grief alike that there was no room for more.

    Now once again there was a third, and Clark could not have been happier to accommodate it.

    Beneath the clicking of keys, the humming of CPUs and printers and faxes, the dozens of conversations, Perry?s bellowing, the multilingual din of plasma TVs set to every possible news channel, the dial tone of phone buttons, the rustle of paper, the stomping of harried feet, and the slurping of coffee fluttered a tiny heart that was the most beautiful music he?d ever heard since?

    Across the aisle, Lois sighed irritably, twisting her foot under her desk as she was placed on hold for the fifth time in half an hour.

    Mother and son made a lovely harmony together.

    Jason looked up from his work, yet another drawing perched in his lap, to catch Clark?s gaze, and Clark had to squelch the urge to jump ever so slightly in his seat. There was something disconcerting in the way Jason always seemed to know when he was watching them. Something between guilt, giddiness, and panic swept through him, and he returned his son?s curiosity with a trademark dorky finger wave.

    His son. Those words instilled both disbelief and anguish. There were times when Clark felt he had no right to even think of this child as his son. He himself was the prime example of being nurtured in a foreign household. A claim of blood could be meaningless in the face of love, the love Jason already received from the man who had raised him for the past five years.

    The knowledge was still fresh enough, however, that Clark simply chose not to contemplate these harsh truths for more than brief moments. One day at a time, one hour at a time; that was the only way to continue for now. Keeping busy at both his jobs helped his mind remain occupied. He?in his heroic guise?and Lois hadn?t even managed more than a few awkwardly polite, business-related sentences since he flew away from her backyard in the middle of the night after being caught visiting.

    Returning to a world that had seemingly moved on without him and left him in the lurch was punishment enough. Returning to find that Lois had moved on and finally gained what he had been longing for more than anything was utter torment.

    Returning to discover that the very thing he had left in search for had been waiting for him back here all along was unbearable.

    But the one thing he could cling to in this exquisite mess he had made of everything was the fact that, no matter how many obstacles stood in his way, and how insurmountable some of them might be, Jason was still their creation. From the ashes of disaster and hopelessness had arisen a miracle. Whether or not their love was truly fated to be, it was undeniable, and its testament now sat in an office chair contentedly mowing down another set of crayons.

    The Last Son of Krypton was no longer such.

    As if on cue, Jason?s heartbeat
  4. AlwaysAround Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Deep in his chest, beneath the crest of the House of El concealed by a humble cotton shirt, Clark?s heart stopped, then began to pound so forcefully he feared that human ears could hear it.

    ?Jason,? he whispered, breathless.

    His son met his eyes again with simple, guileless purity, his small mouth curved in a strangely enigmatic smile.

    Clark?s eyes fell shut, denials rising to his tongue but failing to ever reach the air as his throat closed with emotion. He couldn?t let this happen. He couldn?t. But the relief in knowing that his child saw the truth was so fierce and exquisite he didn?t want to relinquish it.

    You hypocrite, he reproached himself venomously. You?ll let your son know while you keep his mother in the dark. Well done, Kent.

    How had Jason even found out?

    Once he opened his mouth with an affirmative, indirect or otherwise, there was no going back. There was still time for him to stammer, to laugh shakily and proclaim the heights of children?s imaginations. But if Jason was already perceptive enough to have made such a connection, there was just no fooling this kid. Period.

    With a flash of wry amusement Clark wondered what Lois would think of being upstaged by a five-year-old. But of course, he was her five-year-old.

    He released the breath he?d been holding in a great sigh before asking, in a low voice wrung hoarse by shock, ?How did you know??

    Cued by Clark?s drop in volume, Jason leaned in and whispered back, ?I saw you on the TV when you were standing right under it, and you looked the same. Just with glasses. And not your Superman clothes.?

    That moment a week before came flashing back to Clark in perfect recall. He?d caught Jason gaping up at him out of the corner of his eye and regarded him with a nervous smile, not paying much thought to the consequences of having his other self flashing across most of the TV screens in the bullpen right then. Goodness knows it happened often enough every day. A second later Jason had broken out in a minor asthma attack. Small wonder. Clark had been too occupied with being crushed by Lois?s disdain yet again, temporary and impersonal as it was, to pick up on the significance of that little event.

    It was amazing that Jason had kept it to himself all this time, that he had somehow intuited that it was the secret of all secrets, never to be uttered. This child was extraordinary in ways Clark hadn?t even dreamed of.

    He could see countless questions in his son?s eyes, and if he had already confirmed the revelation there was no need to deny them?within reason. There were answers he could not yet offer even now, and perhaps not ever. But now was not a good time to be discussing them, even with everyone around them thoroughly distracted by duty.

    Tonight. He would see Jason tonight. It pained Clark to think that there would not be enough time for them to speak in one night, but it was only the beginning. There would be other times, precious and treasured in spite of their brevity. He would make sure of that.

    Five years he had missed. It might as well have been an entire lifetime.

    Clark was fairly certain that the knowledge of his paternity had not been included in Jason?s observations, and that was something he would not be forthcoming with. It would only sow confusion and distress, or unwarranted affection toward him, not to mention such a heavy burden for a child so young. He would not be seeking to replace Richard?s role, for as agonizing as it was he knew it was not his place. He would be there whenever he was needed and permitted, but only as his diminished status dictated.

    Lesser men might have boasted that his power enabled him to shirk responsibility, to disavow this offspring as the mere result of a mistake and leave him behind without needing to answer to anyone. The very notion revolted Clark and ignited a cold rage in his belly.

    He wanted so desperately to embrace his son in gratitude, but Clark Kent had no business displaying such an intimate gesture toward a boy he only knew as the child of a co
  5. AlwaysAround Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Abruptly Lois?s heels struck the floor and her chair creaked as her weight left it. Clark tried not to focus on the sound of her wool skirt shimmying across the smooth skin of her hose-clad thighs as she made her way over to his desk. Quick as light and before Jason could even register it, he flipped the page containing the incriminating sketch over to bare another blank sheet.

    ?Hey, Jase, what are you up to this time??

    ?N-nothing, just?chatting,? Clark answered for him. Jason just looked up happily at her. He didn?t even need to try to evoke a halo floating over his head.

    ?Guy stuff, huh? If it?s paper airplanes again, give Gil a break this time, it?s Ralph?s turn to be tortured.?

    Lois bent down and pressed a kiss into Jason?s hair, smoothing the unruly waves. ?How about getting out of here for a bit and grabbing some lunch??

    ?Burritos!? he instantly crowed, earning an amused eye roll from Lois.

    ?You want that every day.?

    ?I liiiiiiiike them,? he whined, pouting adorably. Clark would never have been able to resist that face.

    ?Alright, alright, but tomorrow we have something else, okay? And the day after that. Burrito Week is officially over.?

    ?Awwwww.?

    ?No awwwwws, buster. Besides, you know they?re not going anywhere. Us grownups need variety.?

    ?Is Daddy coming??

    ?Sorry, Daddy?s really tied up right now.? She helped him hop off the desk and turned him to face Richard?s office, where Richard waved at them from inside and made a face while keeping his phone firmly glued to his cheek. ?But you need to eat, and so do I, and he said it?s okay to go. We?ll bring him something back.?

    ?Can Mr. Clark come??

    Lois blinked and Clark?s mouth went a little slack. He knew Jason wasn?t going to say anything incriminating, but right then he wasn?t sure he could handle being alone with the two of them.

    ?Um, honey, he might be busy right now??

    Or he could suck it up and take it like a man. And have a happy, carefree lunch with his son and the woman he loved, without the pain and uncertainty that their meeting later that night would inevitably bring.

    ?Oh, no, I was just finishing up! I?d love to join you?t-that is, if you wouldn?t mind?? He really needed to rein in the enthusiasm if he didn?t want Lois to start thinking he was a creep around her child.

    Thankfully she didn?t seem to notice, other than a mild puzzlement over why Jason was so smitten with him as of late. If anything, she probably took his poindexterish glee as a sign that he?d finally get a chance to regale her with ludicrous or coma-inducing tales of his globetrotting. ?Well, I suppose this?ll be a good time to catch up. We really haven?t had a chance to talk since you got back, have we??

    He hadn?t expected the lack of indifference in her tone. He knew she had so many things on her mind lately that his workplace alter ego couldn?t hope to compete with them, and while he?d missed the comfort of their friendship of years past, in a way her disregard of him had helped him keep his head on straight for the time being.

    Clark Kent had been gone for five years too. It was only natural that their platonic relationship would suffer. But unlike his other mistakes, this was something Lois could more easily forgive and resume. And if there was any way he could be there for her, he would.

    It was his one selfish indulgence as well. For scant blessed moments like these, she could be his. Right now, they could both be his. He swallowed thickly.

    ?No, we haven?t. That?d?that?d be swell, Lois.?

    She smirked and took Jason?s hand. ?C?mon you two, before Perry hollers again. Or something else blows up.?

    As they headed for the elevators, unbeknownst to Lois, Jason reached up and took Clark?s hand as well.

    Destined to be together?in one way or another.

    End.
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