Clark futurefic, angst
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
"I saved Metropolis yesterday."
There was no answer. Not that he expected one. He went on. "This group of terrorists rigged up nuclear bombs all over the city. If they'd gone off, ten million people would have been killed, just like that. I managed to find all of the bombs and get them disarmed before they exploded. No one else could have done it in time."
He wasn't boasting or bragging, just making a simple statement of fact. He continued, "Last month I saved Gotham City. The Scarecrow released hallucinogens into the water supply, and people began to see enemies everywhere. Everyone was fighting hand-to-hand in the streets. Batman figured out heat would neutralize the drugs, so I used my heat vision on everyone in the city. It took a while, and I had to be careful not to hurt anyone. But I did it. Not a single person died."
Silence answered him. He spoke quietly. "In April I saved Bludhaven. This giant intelligent water creature planned to flood the city and drown everyone. I stopped him by using my freeze breath and turning him to ice. I saved everyone in the city."
The only answer was a chilly gust of October wind, rattling the bare branches. Dry, dead leaves scudded across the yellowing grass. He sighed, so heavily that the branches rattled again.
"I've saved an awful lot of people, but I keep thinking about the ones I didn't save. The ones I couldn't rescue in time, or who I didn't ever know were in danger, or who died of some disease I have no power over." The branches stirred again, whether with a sigh or the breeze he wasn't quite sure.
"I know I can't save everyone, Chlo. I wish I could. I've saved literally millions of lives now, and you'd think that would be enough. But somehow... it's not. It's just not enough. Because there are too many others. Too many others I couldn't save."
He looked down at the plain granite marker, engraved simply with her name, her date of birth, and her date of death. Tears of sorrow and regret stung his eyes, and his voice dropped to a hoarse whisper.
"Chloe," he said, very softly. "I wish I'd been able to save you."