Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Kryptonite (Alternate Ending)

Clark/Chloe futurefic
Rated PG
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
From a prompt by tobiwolf13. Based on my story Kryptonite.

You stumbled in and bumped your head, if
Not for me then you'd be dead
I picked you up and put you back
On solid ground...
I'll keep you by my side with my
Superhuman might
Kryptonite

-3 Doors Down, "Kryptonite"

She'd never gotten angry before.

Every day, she'd come to see him, and her heart had broken to see this strong, intelligent man reduced to the level of a five-year-old. The sight of his vacant eyes had filled her with nothing but grief.

Sure, she'd been angry with Lex Luthor, whose experiments with silver kryptonite had brought Clark to this state. She'd been angry with Martha Kent for having Clark put into Belle Reve, even though she'd understood that Martha had no real choice.

But when she'd been alone with Clark, here in this cell... she'd never let herself feel anything but pain and sorrow.

But today, seeing him smile his happy, empty smile while she read him a Superior comic, she couldn't hold back her churning, confused emotions any longer. Today, she felt more than grief.

She felt rage.

Rage for what had been taken from the world. Superman should have been out there for the past year, saving victims of crime, rescuing the weak and the defenseless, protecting the Earth.

Rage for what she herself had lost. Clark Kent had been her best friend since middle school. She wanted back the Clark who'd always been ready with a quip, who'd had a glimmer of humor in his eyes beneath his seriousness. The Clark who'd always been there for her, ready to rescue her or help her save the world or just chill out and watch movies with her.

She missed him, damn it.

The first fury she'd ever allowed herself to feel in his presence boiled up inside her, hot and potent, and a tear slid from her eye and splashed onto his hand. It shimmered, glowing silver, for a moment, then slowly sank into his skin.

She knew by now that her healing powers didn't work on him. She'd been trying for a year, shedding a single tear on him each day in a hopeless effort to heal him.

She knew it wouldn't work. And yet... her tears had never been absorbed into his skin before. Ordinarily they just rolled right off.

She stared at his hand in blank shock as a silvery light began to glow around them both. She reached out, holding his hand, clinging to him, and something dark and terrible began to fill her.

She had only an instant to comprehend that she was absorbing what was wrong with him, absorbing his dementia, absorbing the damage done to him by the silver kryptonite.

And then she collapsed to the floor, and the world went black.

*****

"That's it." The deep masculine voice spoke in her ear, very gently. "Breathe for me, Chloe. Breathe."

She felt strangely stiff, but at the sound of the familiar voice, she managed to force her eyes open. Clark was sitting next to her, very close, and as her eyes opened his face lit up in a wide smile.

"Chlo," he said, the single word filled with joy. "You're okay."

She blinked. The stiffness seemed to be ebbing. She managed to turn her head and look around. They weren't in Belle Reve, but in the familiar, warm confines of the old Kent farmhouse.

"They..." The word sounded like the creaking of rusty hinges. She swallowed and tried again. "They let you out."

He grinned. Not a vacant, childlike smile, but the brilliant grin she'd known since they were both fourteen. "That's because I'm okay. Thanks to you."

"I don't..." More rusty hinges. She coughed a little, and tried to sit up. The effort was a dismal failure. "I don't understand. I tried... for a year I tried. Every single day."

"I remember that." His big hand reached out and stroked her hair, very gently. "I don't remember too much, because my brain was pretty much fried, but that much, I do remember. You were there every day, and every day, you let a tear fall on me."

"And it... it never worked. So why...?"

"I don't know." He shrugged. "Maybe the planets were in alignment, or something. Was anything different about that day?"

She thought about it, and nodded. Slowly she managed to struggle into a sitting position. She looked into his eyes.

"I got mad," she said.

He cocked his head at her in a wordless question, and she explained. "I never let myself get angry around you. I didn't want to upset you. But that day, I was just so tired of seeing you that way. So angry about everything." She thought about it. "I guess maybe... maybe the force of my emotion triggered something new about my healing ability."

"I guess maybe." His hand reached down and took hers. "But it's not important how it happened. What matters is that you kept trying, that you never gave up on me. I wouldn't be here now if it wasn't for you." His voice fell to a whisper. "And I was worried you'd given up everything for me, Chlo. I was worried you weren't coming back."

"How long was I...?"

"You were dead for three days." He gazed at her solemnly. "I haven't left your side in all that time."

With only a bit of struggle, she managed to get her feet over the side of the bed. The stiffness was fading as her blood ran through her veins, warming her body. She made an effort at a teasing smile.

"I didn't heal you so you could sit around on your ass all day, Clark. The world needs its Superman."

"The world has made do without Superman for a year," he answered wryly. "I think it can get by for another three days."

She squeezed his hand. "The world has missed you. And so have I."

He looked at her, blinking hard, and suddenly his arms were around her, and she was pressed up against the broad wall of his chest. He held her in a tight hug, as he'd done so many times before, and muttered a single, gruff word into her hair.

"Thanks."

She buried her face against his chest in the familiar warmth of flannel, breathing in his familiar scent, and gratitude overwhelmed her. She'd healed him. Somehow, she'd managed to heal him. The world had its Superman back.

And so did she.

Tears slid down her cheeks, wetting his plaid shirt, but this time she wasn't trying to heal him.

This time, she was just crying.

-The End-

7 comments:

MonicaOP said...

Toby & Elly.. one of the best combinations the world could have.. thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This was amazing!!! I love it!!! Hugs!!!!!!!!

wwg said...

I'd never read the original story before until you posted the alternate ending. I loved the alternate ending! The idea that rage could amplify Chloe's healing ability is very clever.

Thanks, Elly (and Toby)! ;)

DeeDee said...

*applauds*

What a brilliant alternate ending to an already fab story!

Kryptonite is one of the most heartwrenching fics I've read, and it's great to have this little addition to it. At the same time, the original story can still stand on its own, so its a win-win from every perspective!

I like the spin that it was a different emotion that made the tears work. In fact, I love it. Chloe really needs to get angry more!

Greay work, Elly. And thanks to Tobiwolf13 for suggesting it!

Regards,
Dee.

chloista4ever said...

so beautiful <3

marikology said...

eee, I wish every fic author would rewrite all their sad stories into wonderful happy endings! I love the new ending!

BkWurm1 said...

I hadn't read the original either (somehow missed it). I love how both ended with the same line but thank you, thank you, thank you for giving us a happy ending. Lovely stories.

Anonymous said...

Aw! Both endings are beautiful and awesome!