Chapter One of Five
Superman Returns: Motu Corporum
Disclaimer: Superman Returns property of WB and Legendary Pictures. All other characters property of their owners(WB) and I don't own anything. Except the games I play with their hearts and I made up a reporter bar, but that's it..
Summary: A series of events after the movie dealing with the principle players and their lives after the movie.
A/N: SPOILERS FOR SUPERMAN RETURNS. CROSS-CANNON(sort of) SHIPPING EVENTUALLY AS WELL. This is based off of the spirit of a “loose” history that Superman Returns relied on. You've been warned to the best of my ability. :) Fans of “Earthbound” shouldn't fret as I am currently resuming work on that, I just had to get this out. A/N#2 Follows final chapter.
three months after the events of Superman Returns....
It was coming up on 11:30 of a balmy July night when Clark landed on the roof of the Daily Planet. He'd done a fast scan of the building and found only a few lonely souls inside, none close enough to the roof to make him worry about slipping into the stairwell before changing from “Superman” to “Metropolis Clark”.
He'd found himself thinking that he really had two alter egos these days: The all powerful iconic Superman, and the bumbling shy Clark Kent. When he was in Smallville with Lana and Pete or with his....son....he allowed himself to be himself. The real
Clark Kent, if you will. Clark Kent who loved Chess and Go. Loved playing fetch with Shelby in Metropolis park (Ma had insisted that he take the dog- she'd felt that Clark was too lonely in the city). Enjoyed going for a morning run around the Met U. Gardens, and loved teaching his son all the constellations in the sky when he got to babysit Jason.
Jason. In the three short months that he'd known about his and Lois' son, Clark had been overpowered daily at the fierce bright joy that seeing the little boy brought him. While Jason didn't know that Clark was his biological father, the little five year old was very fond of Superman. As well as Clark, since about a week after Clark got out of the hospital, Jason had asked Clark why everybody was fooled by his glasses. Clark had been shocked, then couldn't help laughing so hard that tears ran down his cheeks at the boy's disdain for how the world seemed to just be blind to the secret.
He'd had a long talk with Jason over a big bowl of Tofutti ( Lois insisted that the boy was allergic to dairy, but Clark had his suspicions when he saw Jimmy slip the little boy a milkshake to no adverse effect ) about how important it was keeping the secret, well, secret. Jason had gotten as serious as a five year old on the cusp of six could be, and swore to Clark that he'd never tell anyone. Not even Mommy and Daddy. Clark had been unable to help taking Jason for a flight around the city when his son had made such a solemn promise.
Now, as it came up late in the evening, Clark wanted to finish his article on Superman's big fight with Metallo amid the reconstruction crews this morning and take his dog for a walk ( Ma had, of course, been right about Shelby being great company). Coming from the stairwell into the Planet's main press area Clark realized that he wasn't the only one on the floor.
Clark could see Richard White, alone in his office, staring out the window. Clark didn't know how to handle Richard these days. Most of the problem stemmed from the fact that he liked Richard. How do you deal with the fiancée of the mother of your child? Especially when you respect his journalism and his ethics in general? While Clark had laid off of the x-ray check ups at Riverside drive, he knew that Richard was everything that he wanted to be for Lois and Jason. How can you be hate a man like Richard and be honest with yourself? Clark always came up with the same painful answer.
You can't, of course.
“Richard?” Clark had shifted easily into his timid persona while knocking on the door frame of Richard's office. “Uh, say, you're here awfully late. Can I help you with something?”
Richard looked back at Clark from his view of Metropolis. The man had a look in his eyes, and Clark couldn't place it. On Richard's desk, Clark noted the presence of an unopened bottle of Oban and a heavy tumbler.
“Hey Clark, come on in.”
Clark pulled up a chair and wondered what had happened. He could have never seen what was coming next.
Richard, still looking out on night upon Metropolis, sighed. “What would you do if you were raising another man's child?”
Clark almost fell out of his chair.
“Honestly Clark. Could you do it?”
The stammering non-reply that came from Clark was largely unfeigned.
“It's not like i didn't know that Jason wasn't mine
,” Richard said sadly, “I'm not a fool. I can do math and even though Lois was showing slightly when we started seeing each other, I knew that I loved her. I thought my heart would burst the day Jason was born.”
“Holding him in my arms....I couldn't believe how perfect he was. I knew that I'd do anything to protect Lois and Jason, even if it meant my life.” Richard took another deep breath and clenched his hand.
“Lois and I never talked about his biological father. I didn't know him, didn't care- especially not after Jason was born. All I knew was that I would be his Dad and never looked back.”
Clark shifted uncomfortably. There wasn't anything to be said, not yet.
“Then Superman came back. Clark, I've watched Lois be distant and moody in the the last three months and I finally figured out why.”
“Oh?” Clark asked. Gods, he wished he could be anywhere else!
“Jason's father is back.”
Clark gulped, seeming trapped in this timid persona. His mind was racing as to why this was happening. What did Richard mean that Lois had been distant? He dare not hope....
Richard sighed, “I had some minor suspicions as to Lois' relationship with him right after he returned, but nothing concrete until this morning.”
Clark continued to let Richard unburden himself with a compassionate silence.
“Ever since Jason was on Luthor's boat, he's been getting....healthier
. At first I was simply glad to see him lose the inhaler, despite Lois protesting it. A month back I took Jason in for a full check up when he snuck some of my burger at lunch one day and was fine.”
Clark remembered well. Jason had lamented that “Daddy” had taken him to the doctor for the “pokey tests”. Clark had tried to think of a good explanation for why allergen tests were so arduous, but Jason had beaten him to the punch, expressing that “Anything that meant he could stop worrying Mommy was good.”
“Lois said that nothing strange had happened, outside of the thugs of course, but she failed to mention anything really bizarre. This morning I took Jason to the park and we started playing soccer. God Clark! He was so happy to be out and running around, no restrictions, no wheezing cough!”
Clark smiled at the image. Jason had been much better lately and Clark could only hope that his Kryptonian heritage was starting to be a benefit to the little boy. The wheels spun in Clark's mind about what could have caused the change though. Had Jason's exposure to Kryptonite somehow caused his alien half to activate? A kind of reboot?
Richard sighed, his shoulders slumping.
“Clark.....my son....Jason....he blurred away from me this morning
Clark snapped the antique fountain pen he'd been fidgeting with.
“We were running and suddenly Jason was across the field from me. Thank god we were alone, I don't know how I'd have explained it. He started zipping back and forth Clark! Blurring at the edges! I took me a full minute before I managed to get in his way and he stopped. He didn't even notice! He just said that he wanted to go faster and he suddenly was!”
Richard's voice cracked and Clark could see the man's shoulders shaking.
“Oh god...I'm going to lose them....Clark...what can I do? What can anyone do?”
Clark realized that this was cruel. He had never meant for this to happen. Richard White was a good man and deserved something, anything, that would relieve his pain and fear of something that would never happen.
This needs to stop, Clark thought to himself. Richard had slumped against the window in despair now and Clark realized that he was terrified of how Richard would react over the next few minutes.
Clark loosened his tie and dropped the top button of his shirt. As he reached for his glasses he could feel “Metropolis Clark” sloughing off and the real Clark Kent emerging.
“You know Richard, I was adopted,” Clark started casually, his voice finding the middle ground between geek and icon. “My parents found me and raised me with all the love in the world,”
Richard White felt physically weak as he turned at the sound of Clark's true voice.
“I asked my Dad about the very same question you're wrestling with,” Clark continued warmly, feeling more and more at ease as the conversation marched on. “He said that blood can be strong, but love, real love between families, is stronger than any biological ties.”
Richard looked Clark Kent in the face, seeing the reporter as if for the first time. It wasn't the face of a titan, it wasn't the face of a stumbling mild mannered reporter, but somehow it shared the same features as the other two.
Clark saw light flickering in Richard's eyes and continued on boldly. “I can tell you this Richard. This thing that you're afraid of? Put it away. No man will ever come between you and your family, not as long as I have anything to say about it.” Clark took a deep breath. He hadn't revealed himself to anyone in a decade and as terrified as he was, he also felt weight lifting from his heart. “I can only hope that you'll allow me to be part of the family someday.”
Clark stuck his hand out to Richard, searching Richard's face for any sign that he understood everything that Clark was offering.
Richard looked at Clark's outstretched hand and snorted in disbelief.
A moment passed and suddenly Clark found himself on the end of a handshake.
“I don't know about Superman, but I know that Clark Kent is a good person,” Richard said with a hint of a smile playing at his mouth. “Can I offer you some scotch, Clark?”