calcus: ({Comics} Superman/Batman)
[personal profile] calcus
Title: Notice
Author: Calcus
Pairings/Characters: Clark Kent (Superman), Bruce Wayne (Batman)
Rating: PG for death
Warnings: death fic, pre-slash
Spoilers: Immediately Post-Infinite Crisis, with Kon having only very recently died. I'm afraid I don't know a huge amount about what happened immediately after Infinite Crisis. I know the basics and I've read through Wiki but please forgive any mistakes. :)
Disclaimer: I own nothing etc.
Summary: Superboy changed all our lives. Clark, post-Infinite Crisis.
Author’s Notes: For [livejournal.com profile] breakfastserial, who gave me the prompt and was awesome enough to read through it and hold my hand afterwards. :P






Clark pulled his black, thick-rimmed glasses from his face, rubbing his left eye, where a sharp pain was beginning to take up residence. He hadn’t slept since Kon had died. He had laid in bed for one entire night, listening to Lois breath next to him and could only see -- only feel -- Kon laying dead in his arms. Could only hear Lois breathing beside him.

He had never been prone to insomnia before.

On the computer screen in front of him was a single sentence, written for the op-ed piece that Perry had wanted.

Superboy changed all our lives.

He wasn’t entirely certain it was true. All he could think of -- all he could remember -- were the times he hadn’t made time for Kon. Had ignored him. Had looked at him and felt the painful knot in his stomach as he thought of what Kon was and what he wasn’t.

It was only as he was no longer entirely alone -- as he came back from the dead and found himself not alone -- that he realised exactly how alone he had been. How alone he still was.

He wasn’t supposed to feel alone lying next to his wife or at dinner with his parents. Standing with Diana, wondering what this feeling was, her placing a hand on his shoulder and squeezing gently.

She needed to squeeze gently.

He put his glasses back on and reached over to the phone on his desk and hit ‘1’ on the speed dial.

“Wayne.” A crisp voice greeted.

“Your phone etiquette could use some work.”

“Not all of us can be born in the Midwest.”

Clark snorted. “Yeah,” was all he could think to say.

Superboy changed all our lives. He gave us an example that we should all strive to emulate.

He delated the new sentence. It was generic. Impersonal. There had already been dozens of op-ed pieces talking about how brave Kon had been. He had been far more than that.

“Are you typing while talking to me? You know I hate that.”

“You type while talking to me.”

“No, I read while talking to you, there is a difference.”

“Not a huge one.”

Superboy changed all our lives. He positioned himself as a role model for young

No. Kon hadn’t been a role model. He would have been horrified at the idea. Kon had been...Kon.

Superboy changed all our lives. He lived with life with boundless enthusiasm and, despite the unique way he came into the world, was more

More what? He had no answer.

“Do you know what you’re going to do?”

He didn’t. It was strange to think that he now had...freedom. It wasn’t the sort he was used to. Not the air underneath his feet and nothing else. Standing, floating above the earth, unaided.

He felt like that now. It wasn’t nearly so comforting a feeling.

“I’m going to the Middle East,” He said, the words coming from somewhere far away. “Afghanistan. Going to do a series of pieces on life there now. I did a few not long after the Taliban fell, thought it would be a good follow up.”

He had thought, too, that it would be different, to leave somewhere feeling he had done all he could, done all he could have hoped to do. He would have a purpose, one that was tangible, and he would only be one man, not one man and one superman. There wouldn’t be the crushing responsibility for everyone and everything.

He would do what he could and then he would go home.

Superboy changed all our lives. He lived life with boundless enthusiasm and, despite the unique way he came into the world, had a deep and abiding love for this planet and its inhabitants. For all that he was not from here -- from anywhere -- he was, more than anything, of this place. Of Metropolis, of Earth.

He frowned. It wasn’t right and done wasn’t better than right. Not for Kon. He would do this right.

“You’re going where?”

“I’m trying to write this piece about Kon. It’s...not going well. I can’t seem to express anything new or real. It just feels -- contrived. Not...I don’t know.”

“Clark, you’re going where? You realise you don’t have your powers? That a bullet could kill you? Clark, are you listening to me?”

Superboy changed all our lives, by showing us what it was to be human. He showed us that not only was it possible to rise above your roots, to be more than what your maker wished you to be, but it was possible to rise above any and all reasonable expectations. He personified the ability to be more than what others expected of you.

If for nothing else, for this alone he was remarkable.

“It’s not working. I don’t know.”

“Clark, you don’t have to write Kon’s obituary. I think maybe you’re a little close.”

“It’s not an obituary, Bruce, it’s an op-ed piece.”

It had been three days. This would merely be one piece among many. Except it wouldn’t -- wasn’t. Kon had been a part of him, a part of him stolen and formed into a person he never took the opportunity to know as he should have. He was the closest thing to a child he would ever have and he had wished him gone and the universe had granted him his wish.

“Clark, I really don’t think you should go to the Mid East.”

“I’m a reporter Bruce. I go where they send me.”

Superboy changed all our lives.

It mocked him. There was nothing more to say. What more was there to say?

“Don’t be ridiculous. You’re Clark Kent, you go where you want too. Right now, as things stand, maybe you should consider going somewhere a bit safer. The world needs you Clark, powers or no.”

“I’m going to Afghanistan, Bruce -- and don’t try to tell me that everywhere you’re going will be safe. I know it won’t be.”

“Clark --”

“Bruce. I’ve made my decision. I’m not a child; this isn’t something that you can talk me out of. You know me -- I’m just as stubborn as you when I want to be.”

Superboy changed all our lives. He molded himself into the image of a hero so throughly that one never would have known that he was made, not born. That he was made to be a weapon, that he wasn’t what he appeared to be.

“Clark, would you stop typing for a minute and give me your full attention please.”

It was the ‘please’ that made him pause. “I -- fine. ”

“I don’t think you should go to the Middle East. I don’t think this is a great time to be away from your family. I’m sure your parents must be grieving as well and --”

“Bruce, I’m just going to the Middle East to do a job, not walk into a terror cell and nearly get myself killed. That’s more your deal than mine.”

He ran a hand over his chin, hands running over the rough stubble on his unshaved jaw. He needed to buy some razors. He wasn’t sure Lois would appreciate him borrowing hers; wasn’t even sure they would work properly on his face.

Getting shaving lessons from his father at 33 was going to be embarrassing.

“I have to go Bruce. I need to finish this.”

“I -- alright. I’ll email you the details of when the boys and I will be leaving, if you’d like.”

“I would, thank you.”

There was a long silence. “Call me if you need anything Clark.”

Superboy changed all our lives. He showed us what it was to be human and that it was not merely genetics or our places of origin that define who we are or what we do. He showed us that it was possible to transcend our origins, break through boundaries and live life as though those same boundaries did not exist.

He was far more than merely a hero or a role model. Those are abstract titles, titles that would distance him from us, from the people he choose to serve. He was a boy, who will never have the chance to become a man. It is not all he was but it is perhaps the easiest part of him to forget.


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