Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Screencap by writrgurl.
It's hard to explain how a few precious things
Seem to follow throughout all our lives
After all's said and done I was watching my son
Sleeping there with my bear by his side
So I tucked him in, I kissed him and as I was going
I swear that old bear whispered "Boy welcome home"
Believe me if you can
I've finally come back
To the house at Pooh Corner by one
What do you know
There's so much to be done
Count all the bees in the hive
Chase all the clouds from the sky
Back to the days of Christopher Robin
Back to the ways of Christopher Robin
Back to the days of Pooh
-Kenny Loggins, "Return to Pooh Corner"
He was afraid.
He had been trapped in the darkness for a long, long time, but the darkness had talked to him, showing him pictures, singing to him, telling him stories. He had grown to understand some of what the darkness said, had come to grasp at least some of the meaning of the stories.
But here he understood absolutely nothing.
The man and woman had spoken to him, in long, liquid sentences that made no sense to him. They had brought him here, given him food, dressed him in cloth, and smiled at him.
He liked them. He particularly liked the woman, whose hair shone red like the sun in the stories. He had enjoyed being with her, seeing her smiles, listening to the sound of her voice.
But when the darkness had fallen outside, she had placed him in this soft place and turned off the light that shone from above, and now he was all alone in the dark, with no voice to keep him company, no songs, and no pictures to light the darkness.
The room was very, very dark and very, very quiet, and he was frightened.
He called out the name of the other woman, whom he barely remembered. She'd had golden hair, like the sun on this world, and she had smiled at him too. He'd spent years calling for her, but she had never answered, and he had no reason to believe she would answer now.
But in his fear, it was her name that sprang to his lips.
A moment later, the door opened, and the woman with sun-red hair smiled in. Light flooded in around her, and he relaxed, just a little.
"It's all right, Clark," she whispered. "You need to go to sleep."
He looked back at her, his hands clutching the blanket anxiously. He wanted to tell her how much the dark frightened him, how much this whole strange world frightened him, but he didn't have the words. Even in the language of the storybooks, he couldn't have articulated his concerns.
So he simply gripped the blanket and stared at her.
Her gaze dropped to his hands, and she smiled a bit. "Just a minute," she said softly. She disappeared, somewhat to his terror, but a moment later she was back, something yellow and red in her hands. She walked across the room and held it out to him.
He reached out a trembling hand and took it. It was soft, and its face smiled at him, inanimate and unchanging, and yet strangely reassuring. Up close, he could see that it was an animal of some sort, but it bore no strong resemblance to any of the animals the storybooks had shown him.
But it smiled at him. It was a friend.
Slowly, he wrapped his arms around it and held it close to his chest. It was soft and cuddly, and he let his body curl around it.
She pulled the blanket over him again, whispering more words he couldn't understand, and then her voice began to sing him a lullaby. It didn't sound anything like the lullabies the darkness had sung to him, but it was gentle and sweet, and his eyelids grew heavy.
He clung to the soft animal and listened to her singing, and sleep fell over him like a warm blanket.
Twenty-five years later
He'd awakened with a start, the faint but unpleasant remnants of a nightmare filling his head. Mommy had tucked him in, but it wasn't Mommy he called for when he had a bad dream. He wanted Daddy. Daddy was big and strong, and it was Daddy he turned to when he was frightened.
There was a whoosh, a sound he'd grown to identify with Daddy, and then Daddy's dark head peered into the room.
"Hey, kiddo," he said softly. "It's late. You should be asleep."
"I'm sorry." Daddy came into the room and sat on the edge of the bed, stroking his hair and smiling down at him. One of his hands was held behind him. "It was only a dream, though."
He pouted. "Bad."
Daddy nodded in understanding. Sometimes Mommy got frustrated with him, got annoyed when he threw himself to the ground, kicking and screaming, or howled because she wouldn't let him watch another episode of SpongeBob Squarepants, but Daddy always understood.
"Sometimes dreams can be scary," he agreed.
He looked up at his big, strong father, and wondered. "You get scared, Daddy?"
"Of course I get scared, Jon." Daddy smiled down at him. "When I was just about your age, my parents adopted me and took me to their house. I was scared of my new bedroom for weeks. But do you know what my mom did?"
He shook his head, wordlessly intrigued by this glimpse back into the ancient past.
"She gave me... this." Daddy pulled out something from behind his back. It was yellow and red, and rather shabby, but he recognized it instantly.
"Pooh Bear!" he crowed, delighted.
Daddy smiled. "Pooh Bear was my friend when I was your age. He got me through a lot of bad dreams. I bet he can do the same for you... if you want him."
Of course he wanted him. Pooh's smiling face made all his fears drift away, forgotten. He reached for the bear and cradled it against his chest.
"Pooh Bear," he whispered, hugging Pooh to him.
Daddy smiled and pulled the blanket over him and Pooh, and then he began to sing a lullaby. It was a very special lullaby that no one else knew. Even Mommy couldn't sing it. It had strange words he didn't understand, but which were somehow very beautiful, and he knew instinctively that it belonged to no one else anywhere in the world. Just him and Daddy.
And now it belonged to Pooh Bear, too.
He clung to the stuffed bear, and Daddy's voice rolled over him like a comforting tide.
He drifted off to sleep, safe and sound, Pooh Bear clutched in his arms.