Hey, everyone! Happy Birthday, Rurrlock! Sorry this is coming a little late, but 2020 has not been kind, and yet I am still pushing for positive change as we speak. Anyways, in case this is the last year Rurrlock is on the site (I know he said there is a chance he could return one day), I figured I'd do a fanfic about a character we've both appreciated since the day we became fanfic buddies; Superman. This story is a little scene I'd have liked to have seen at the end of the CW's Crisis on Infinite Earths which brought back Brandon Routh as Superman. Now, I know that Superman Returns is not fondly remembered due to recent revelations about certain crew and cast, but I feel that despite that, it was still a good Superman film and it seemed ridiculous when Man of Steel came out and everyone complained about Superman killing when A) Superman threw Zod down a chasm in Superman II and most likely killed him, and B) Everyone was already complaining about Superman being a goody-two-shoes which seems a wee bit hypocritical. But I digress. Anyways, I was glad to see Brandon Routh return as Superman even if it was briefly, but I feel I would have liked to have seen this as a little bonus in the epilogue which I have written in both Clark's POV and in the POV of another character. You'll see. Hope you enjoy! As always, I own NOTHING. This is for FAN-Purposes ONLY so PLEASE DON'T SUE! Other than that, enjoy!
I very rarely felt pain. But whatever was happening to me felt worse than being exposed to Kryptonite. The only other time I felt non-Kryptonite-related pain was when I had willingly turned myself human temporarily and had taken a pretty rough beating. But this was on a level I just couldn't describe. I wanted to scream and yet it felt like the oxygen in my body had left entirely to the point where I couldn't breathe.
Darkness consumed me for what felt like infinity.
Then I awoke. Somehow, I was back in my apartment. I frowned confused. Had I made it all up? The Crisis, The Anti-Monitor, The Death of the Multiverse? Had it all been fiction?
Shrugging, I went over to the closet and opened it. What I saw confused me. In the aftermath of The Joker's massacre of the Daily Planet, I had redesigned my costume to bear black in the place of yellow upon the House of El that stood on my chest. But somehow it had returned to yellow. Before I could question it, I heard a moaning sound. One familiar that couldn't possibly be there.
And yet when I looked back into my bedroom, there she was. Still alive and as beautiful as the first day I came to work at the Daily Planet.
"Morning, Smallville." Lois smiled, planting a kiss on me, "Had a good night sleep?"
"Lois?" I asked shocked.
"Yes, Clark." Lois grinned, "It is I, your loving wife. You were in a deep sleep, so I had to bring Jason back to school and then cover for you at the Planet."
"Lois?" I asked cautiously, "What happened ten years ago?"
Lois looked at me confused.
"Clark," She told me, "That was the day the Joker nearly killed me. Not to mention Perry, Jimmy, and everyone else. He'd made-up some false set-up to distract you from the Planet so he could gas the place since we weren't 'covering him enough.' Then Bruce showed up at the last second and kicked his ass. You sure you're feeling all right?"
I was speechless. I remembered the gas attack. Arriving too late and cradling Lois' dead body in my arms. The laughs of the Joker ringing in my ears. I remembered all of it.
"I'm fine, Lois." I assured, "I just need to go to work is all…"
A few minutes later I was back at the Planet Building. Reaching the offices, I saw that most of the staff that had died in the attack were now back. A few were missing, but they were replaced with some of the members that had been hired in the aftermath of The Joker's attack. The most noticeable difference was the fact that the Editor-In-Chief's Office now read 'Perry White' instead of my own name. Speaking of which, the doors at that second opened revealing Perry alive and well. He was older than he was when he died, his white hair now thinning, but his face still looked as strong as ever as he eyed me amazed.
"Great Caesar's Ghost, Kent! Where've you been?!"
"Sorry, Chief." I apologized.
"Don't call me 'Chief!'" Perry snapped, "Get in here. Olson's got something."
As I walked in, I found Jimmy there. He too looked slightly older with a few laugh lines beginning to show, but also had a look of maturity showing how far he had come since he began working for the Planet. A few seconds later, Jimmy showed me a photo he'd taken on his digital camera. A portal in the sky that seemed to pulsate in each shot. I recognized it instantly; one of the interdimensional portals that I'd recently encountered. So the Crisis wasn't a dream.
"I'll get right on it, Chief." I assured, running out of the room.
A quick costume change later, and I was flying towards the last place Jimmy had seen the portal. Soon enough, the portal opened and another Superman came flying out of there. The one I had worked with during the Crisis before I faded and woke up here. He came from the universe designated Earth-38. With him was Barry Allen; a speedster from a universe called Earth-1.
"Well, that's a relief." Barry exclaimed, turning to my counterpart, "See, I told you things would be all right with him."
"What's going on?!" I asked, worried, "Is the Crisis not over?!"
"Relax." The other Superman assured, putting a friendly hand on my shoulder, "The Crisis has passed. The Anti-Monitor won't be bothering us anymore. Turns out that Lex Luthor, that is MY Lex Luthor, used the Book of Destiny to replace you as the Paragon of Truth. Kara, Barry, Lex, and the others that survived ended up working with Oliver's spirit to restore the multiverse. As a result, Barry and my reality fused together. Some realities such as yours are still in existence. Others have been reborn but there are a few changes."
"I woke up and Lois, Jimmy, and Perry are all alive again." I explained, "According to Lois, the Joker's plan failed because Bruce was there to stop them. Yet, I remember everything that happened."
"The same thing happened when I woke up and realized Kara and I were on the same reality." Barry noted, "I guess those of us who were at Vanishing Point or at least close to the end of the Crisis remember what happened."
"I've been fighting for so long." I admitted, "I had lost everything and now… now it's all back."
"So what will you do now?" The Earth-38 Superman asked me.
I turned back and smiled.
"Oh, I think we both know." I assured, "My loved ones might be restored, but I still have a duty. That's to stand for Truth, Dignity, and Honor among others."
"Well, good luck." Barry assured, "And if you ever need us…"
"I'll find a way to let you know." I assured.
The two smiled and flew back into their portal. As soon as they were gone, I flew back into space to briefly look upon Earth. It was my home and would continue to be. Though my greatest failure had been undone, I would continue to work hard and assure that nothing like that happened to anyone again.
Smiling, I flew back down to get to work.
It is August 7th, 1945. My father is more worried about the future than my present. I inherit that from him.
It's November 1st, 1985. I am with Laurie on Mars watching her come to terms with the truth about her own father.
It's November 2nd, 1985. Adrian has killed millions of people. Half of New York City's Population. I decide to leave this world for one less complicated.
It is three hours ago. I feel a malevolence of a force not unlike my own power. I have felt this briefly in my travels throughout the omniverse. I wisely mask myself within a safe place outside of time and space.
It is now. This multiverse that I have discovered has been reborn along with countless other realities. Some altered, some changed. This reality designated Earth-96; this Superman has lost everything only to gain it once more. I wonder… is he worth my interference?
I look ahead. A year. A century. A millennium. I make my choice. It is perhaps not best to get involved with this Superman. But perhaps there is another. Yes, perhaps in this multiverse, there will be another worth studying.
After all, nothing ends. Nothing ever ends.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Rurrlock! Sorry I wasn't able to finish this sooner but better late than never!
So in case you were wondering, yes. That was Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen giving the closing narration. Given the recent events of Doomsday Clock (which I know a lot of people aren't accepting of having a sequel to Watchmen, but I felt it got the job done and was a great piece on the nature of heroism in real times of despair despite the delays) it kind of made sense. Especially since they snuck in that little Easter Egg of Watchmen in Part II of the Crisis Event. I was still satisfied that there's still some room for interpretation at the end of Doomsday Clock. And with the recent Emmy Wins by HBO's Watchmen (which I still need to watch), it seemed more than appropriate. Anyways, I hope this is a good birthday fic and that we see the rest of your stories in the near-future. Take care!