Clark and wife futurefic angst
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Being bulletproof means nothing. There's no such thing as bulletproof. Anything that bounces off me hits something else. Could hit someone. The people in the most danger are those closest to me.
Imagine living with that every day.
-Superman, "Justice Volume 3" (Jim Krueger)
Nothing can hurt me.
I can stand in front of a firing squad armed with automatic weapons and not get a scratch. Put me in front of a freight train going sixty miles an hour, and you'll have a damned impressive collision. I'll walk away from it, but the train won't look so hot.
I can even fall through the atmosphere, from miles up, and survive the heat of reentry and the stress of hitting the Earth at God only knows how many miles an hour. I can survive anything.
Except maybe this.
The pastor stands next to the open grave, speaking solemnly about life after death. With part of my brain I hear phrases I've heard a thousand times before: Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. A time to be born, and a time to die. As for man, his days are as grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away...
But the words are drowned out by the sounds in my head, the memory of the awful, sickening sound of a body being struck by a bullet, all its bright, vivid life instantly extinguished as the bullet digs deeply into the heart and out again. The sound of blood spraying from a mortal wound. The sound of a body dropping lifelessly to the sidewalk.
All sounds that I heard with perfect clarity, even five hundred miles away.
The bullet didn't ricochet off me, not literally. I wasn't even there when she died. But she died because of me, because a villain figured out my secret identity and decided to kill Superman's wife, in retaliation for the fact that I put him behind bars.
She wasn't bulletproof. And she died because of me.
I took the risk of marrying her, so that we could be together for all time. I knew it could endanger her, but in the end, I opted to take that risk. Because I loved her so much I couldn't live without her.
And now she's gone. For all time.
And I have to live without her.
There is no sound in the world more terrible than the sound of a bullet sinking deeply into the flesh of someone you love. Unless it's the sound of empty words being intoned over her empty body. Or the hollow sound of dirt thudding onto a casket that's been lowered into the earth.
I listen instinctively for the sound of a heartbeat I've listened to for long years, the sound of a heartbeat I've gone to sleep by and awakened to for over a decade. But it isn't there. It will never be there again.
All I hear is the sound of silence.
It's the most terrible sound I've ever heard.