Fandom: Superman Returns
Word Count: 602 words
Summary: The sun rises on a day of endings.
Author’s Notes: A birthday ficlet for saavikam77. Her prompt: “Sunrise on the farm.” Creatively interfered with by van_el. ;) Thanks to mark_clark for the beta.
Far to the east, light was slowly creeping across the land – bringing green things to life, wakening the small animals, opening the eyes of children, reflecting off of the water and the chrome of the cars which were already cruising the roads. Dew collected and started to fizzle as the sun warmed the air, and flowers began to slowly turn their heads toward the life-bringing light...
Back in Kansas very early in morning, when even the nocturnal animals had not yet returned to their homes, Clark Kent sat on the roof of the barn facing east. He hadn’t been able to sleep, not that he physically needed to, but his mind was whirring too quickly to rest. But if he focused, he could hear the sounds of the world wakening ahead of him, feel the gradual increasing of temperature as the earth turned slowly to face the sun.
Closing his eyes, he could feel his cells tingle with anticipation in much the same way. It was usually a glorious feeling, the influx of energy, recharging the man who expended so much of it when protecting the world... but today... Today, his body’s expectancy for the coming sunrise was at odds with the melancholy of his soul.
Clark scanned the fields, lying fallow, remembering the time he had spent working the land with his father, Jonathan. He yearned to see cornstalks rising high, even though it wasn’t even the right time of year. He listened for the clucking of the chickens, the lowing of cattle, the horses turning over in their stalls...
But the barn was empty. Every animal had been sold or given away, the money put into a joint bank account. He closed his eyes for a moment and let his perfect recall take him back to his high school years, when his father was still alive, and the fields and barn were full. He could still hear his mother humming in the kitchen and his father talking gently to the mare which was foaling...
Some time later, he felt the infinitesimal touch of the rising sun, even before it broke the horizon. His eyes sprang open involuntarily and he drew in a deep breath.
“Good morning, Clark.”
Clark looked down at the ground, where Martha stood looking up at him. In her hands, she held a steaming cup of coffee. “Good morning, Ma.”
“You know,” she began, taking a sip of her coffee, “not all changes are bad.”
He looked out over the farmstead, feeling the emptiness wash over him. “I know, Ma.” She was right; not all changes were bad, his tousle-haired boy was an example. “But still, I needed to say goodbye.”
“I know...” she said quietly. And then in a louder voice, she added, “Come on down, you can have coffee with us and share a last breakfast here.”
“I’ll be down in a minute...” At her searching look, he added, “I promise.”
She nodded, turned and went into the house. Clark watched her go in, giving Ben a light kiss on the cheek before the two of them sat at the table. The house was empty save for the barest essentials, which Clark would help them with just before they left for Montana. At that moment, the first rays of the sun broke over the horizon. The light woke him from his inertia like a psychic alarm – he stood, and then floated gently to the ground. Goodbye, he sent out mentally. Then he went inside the kitchen for his coffee, just as the sun’s rays sparkled against the metal siding of the moving truck.
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