Discarding Super Man, Chapter 2

(by Clark Kant, 06 January 2008)


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Discarding Super Man, Chapter 2
by Clark Kant

Please leave your comments on my livejournal. -CK 
http://clarkkant.livejournal.com/ 

   Several months had passed since Clark had lost most of his super powers. 
In that time, he'd been fired from The Daily Planet, and was hired at the 
less reputable Daily Star. Any kind of respectability he'd built for 
himself at the Planet - the Pulitzer Prizes, the contacts, even his 
peerless proofreading skills were long gone. He would often sit at his 
desk, drink from a flask, and peck out disinteresting human interest 
stories. 

   Clark had become a regular at Lobo's, a bar that had curiously missed 
being reviewed in Zaggat's for three years running. It was dark, it was 
seedy, and it suited Clark's purposes perfectly. He would often wait for 
some customer to neglect his newspaper, and then read about the new Super 
Man and curse to himself under his breath. 

   Clark sat at his stool, watching the people as they milled about. He 
amused himself by peeking at the men who wore women's underwear. There was 
a lot more around than he had ever guessed. There were four in the bar 
tonight. 

   Suddenly, someone entered that caused quite the commotion amongst the 
customers. Clark couldn't see her, but did overhear her comments as she 
moved through the crowd. 

   "Move it." 

   "No, you can't buy me a drink." 

   "Outta my way, loser." 

   "Don't waste your breath, asshole." 

   Clark chortled. Whoever she was, she had what they used to call `moxy'. 
It was a trait he seldom found in women. The crowd parted, and a tall, 
athletic woman came into view. She wore a black leather jacket and jeans 
that were torn at the knees. Clark squinted. She had high cheek bones and 
raven black hair with the odd blonde streak in it. Even without the 
legendary fishnets, Clark would recognize her anyway. It was JLA member 
Dinah Lance, the Black Canary. 

   Her fierce eyes zeroed in on him. She approached him. 

   "Hello, Clark." 

   "Dinah. It's good to see you. Buy you a drink?" 

   She hesitated. 

   "I'd really like to talk to you in private, if you don't mind." 

   He raised a half full glass. 

   "Let me finish this first?" 

   She sighed And took a seat at the bar. Dinah sat a black leather purse 
in front of her, and proceeded to rummage through it. Clark thought about 
using his X-ray vision to peek inside, but thought better of it. A few 
seconds later, Diana retrieved a hard pack of Marlboro Reds and a black 
click-wheel lighter. 

   Clark was legitimately surprised. She placed a cigarette between her 
lips, and was about to light it when she noticed Clark's stare. 

   "What?" 

   The unlit cigarette bobbed. 

   "That's different." 

   She laughed, and lit up. She inhaled sharply and then exhaled slowly. 

   "I've been through a lot of changes lately, Clark." 

   "Me too." 

   She didn't hear him. She didn't have to. He passed a bowl of pretzels 
her way. She proceeded to use it as a makeshift ashtray. Clark took a 
swallow of beer. 

   "There's so much catching up to do. Tell me, how are the other JLA 
members?" 

   Dinah puffed tentatively. She blew her smoke from the side of her mouth 
before speaking. 

   "You probably already know about Super Man and Wonder Woman." 
   He nodded solemnly. 

   "Most of the League members are about where you left them. Flash, Green 
Lantern, and J'onn are all still at status Quo." 

   "And Bruce?" 

   More hesitation. 

   "Alfred died, actually." 

   "That I didn't know." 

   "Yeah. Bruce is pretty broken up about it." 

   "Understandably." 

   "How did that escape my attention? Was there an obituary?" 

   "No. He had a send off fit for a hero, though. Invitation only, private 
ceremony at the Bat Cave before his body was shipped back to England." 

   "Um. It wasn't the Joker, or The Penguin or somebody...?" 

   "Nono. Old age. He passed away in his sleep." 

   "That's good... That's how I want to die..." 

   Clark trailed off. He was slightly offended no one had told him about 
this. Offended that not a single costumed friend had come to check on him 
since his "dethroning". He was so close to Bruce that he thought of him as 
a brother. It seemed like the dark knight detective was clueless about how 
to go about contacting him. Yes, he'd changed jobs, addresses, but if a 
lightweight like Black Canary could find him... Batman would surely have no 
problem. 

   He made a mental note to send a sympathy card to Wayne Manor, and 
drifted back into the conversation. She double pumped her cigarette, and 
glared at him. 

   "Are you about ready?" she asked, impatiently. 

   Clark gulped his beer now. 

   "Yeah, yeah. Don't rush me." 

   She smiled. 

   "That's different. You're usually so polite." 

   "Things change." He laughed. 

   They then walked a few blocks to Clarks' apartment. It was small, dirty, 
and cheap. Surprisingly, all the remnants of his former life fit into 
several medium sized boxes. 

   Clark helped himself to another beer. He offered one to Dinah, but she 
declined. Clark bristled as she lit another cigarette. She smiled at him. 

   "Oliver and I had been fighting a lot lately. I decided to start smoking 
to piss him off." 

   Clark laughed. 

   "Did it work?" 

   It was Dinah's turn to laugh. 

   "Too well." 

   She cocked her wrist and held it close to her face, pausing before 
dragging. 

   "By the time I was done torturing him, I'd become a full blown addict. 
That wasn't part of the plan." 

   She dragged heavily on her cigarette. 

   He glanced inside. Her pink lungs looked like they'd been put into a 
toaster oven. They were the most memorable shade of brown he'd seen in 
awhile. 

   "I didn't come here to talk about Oliver, or about me. Or even about me 
and Oliver. I came here to talk about you. What happened to you, Clark?" 

   The re-telling of his fall took longer than he thought it would. It 
contained more bile, more expletives, and even more frustration than he had 
ever acknowledged before. Dinah was visibly moved. 

   "I still don't get it. I thought Jor-El was dead?" 

   "Make no mistake. He's dead." 

   "Then how...?" 

   Clark sighed. 

   "While I don't like to dwell on it, it seems the ghost of Jor-El has a 
strangle hold on me... I used my abilities selfishly... and here we are." 

   "The sanctimonious asshole." 

   Clark smiled. 

   "You're projecting. And there's something you're not telling me." 

   Dinah looked away. 

   "I've been kicked out of the Justice League." 

   "For smoking?" 

   She laughed. 

   "Yes and no. Allow me to demonstrate." 

   Dinah delicately balanced her cigarette on a nearby window sill. She 
focused all of her attention on an empty beer bottle sitting on the kitchen 
counter. She parted her lips, and instead of a piercing sonic scream, it 
was more like a low pitched sonic whimper. It jarred the bottle, but not 
enough to make it break, like it should have. Clark looked on in amazement. 


   "My smoking has diminished my super powers." 

   "Then why don't you stop?" 

   A sheepish look from her was all it took to make Clark understand. 

   "I thought I'd be alright, you know? The JLA kept me on before, when my 
vocal cords were cut. I'm still in great shape, and I'm proficient in 
hand-to-hand combat." 

   She picked her cigarette back up, and puffed on it to keep the amber 
from dying. Clark found himself staring, and abruptly looked away. When he 
returned his gaze to her, she was smiling. 

   "So, what is it you want from me? A recommendation? I'm not sure how 
much clout I still have with the JLA, but I can try..." 

   "That's not why I'm here." 

   He shot her an inquisitive glance. She started to speak, but failed to 
find the right words. She quietly lit a new cigarette with the butt of the 
spent one, while he watched. 

   "I've always been attracted to you, Superman... and don't correct me. 
You, Clark, are Superman. Not that other guy." 

   Clark smiled in spite of himself. 

   "But there was always Wonder Woman to contend with. The rest of the 
league knew it, even if the two of you wouldn't acknowledge it..." 

   She re-grouped her thoughts, dragged on her cigarette. 

   "Anyway. We've both been kicked out of paradise. Neither of us have any 
super powers anymore. We've been spurned by the ones we loved." 

   She laughed. 

   "This is so much more depressing than I intended it to be." 

   Clark reached for her hand. 

   "Dinah, I understand completely. It hurts, I know, but we're both very 
vulnerable. Maybe we ought to slow things down..." 

   She gripped his hand. They both sat there, in the fading sunlight of a 
late Metropolis afternoon. Clark bristled as he felt her cool smoke extend 
from her lips to his hand. A few minutes passed before Clark spoke again. 

   "I didn't lose all of my super powers, Dinah." 

   "Really? Can you still fly? Fly me to Paris for the night?" 

   "No, x-ray...vision." 

   She smiled at him, before raising the cigarette to her lips. 

   She started swaying her hips to a non-existent rhythm. His eyes bore 
into her as she puffed. The smoke inside her chest cavity rolled like a 
tidal wave. It curled into small crevices, and danced around inside before 
flowing gently out of her mouth. She beckoned him with a glance, and he 
moved closer. 

   He stripped her of her leather jacket. The rest of her clothes soon 
followed. Before he knew what was happening, Clark was thrusting deep 
inside of her. She was getting louder with every move. Clark could barely 
contain himself. 

   "I don't need The Justice League." He thought to himself. 

   "I don't need the Daily Planet." 

   He began to thrust faster. 

   "I don't need the Fortress of Solitude." 

   "I don't need Jor-El." 

   He was almost there, Diana was begging for it. 

   "I don't need Superman!" 

   He gritted his teeth. 

   "I don't need Lois!" 

   He rolled off Diana, and stubbed out her cigarette for her. 

   She smiled. This relationship was looking more and more promising by the 
minute. 


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