Monday, September 07, 2009

The Last Day of Summer

Clark/Chloe futurefic, angst
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.

"It's a great day for a barbecue."

Clark stood in the velvet-green yard behind the old yellow house and gazed up at the sapphire sky, dotted with cottony wisps of clouds. His wife walked up and stood beside him, sliding her hand into his.

"It's a beautiful Labor Day," she agreed. "You'd better get started. Everyone will be here soon."

He smiled a little. "I can't wait to see Pete again. I really can't believe he and Lana wound up together."

"And thank goodness Lana was finally able to get her kryptonite infection removed, so she could come too."

"Yeah. And my mom. She's been so busy I hardly ever see her. This is going to be great, Chlo."

"Yes." She patted his arm. "It is. Now get moving on those burgers."

"I can always use my heat vision."

"It's not the same-- they don't get that char-broiled flavor. Come on, farmboy, fire up the grill."

He grinned, and obediently headed off to get cooking.

*****

"I want to thank you all for coming." Clark stood in front of his friends, smiling broadly. "I haven't seen some of you in years. It's great to see you all again."

He looked over the crowd. Lois and Ollie, Pete and Lana, his mom and the congressman she was dating, A.C. and Victor, Bart and Andrea. Everyone was all paired up, and that pleased him. There were so many happy endings here. So much happiness.

There was so much more that he wanted to say, so many words of affection and love, but he couldn't seem to form the words. His throat had tightened up, with joy and with sorrow. He blinked back tears, and managed to smile at his friends and family.

"Thank you," he repeated at last, gruffly. "Thank you for coming."

*****

"It was awesome to see everyone."

He lay in bed that night, Chloe beside him. She patted his chest.

"I know it was what you wanted most," she said softly. "Everyone was willing to work hard to make it happen."

He sighed. "It's hard to believe I'll never see another summer."

"Yes." Her voice cracked. He heard her steady it, heard her trying to be the strong one. "Who would have guessed Kryptonians could get cancer, too? But Jor-El seems pretty certain about it, and so does Dr. Emil."

He put an arm around her. "At least I made it to forty," he said softly.

"That's only half a life, Clark."

"It's all the life I have," he said philosophically. "I guess that makes it a whole life. Just a little shorter than most. Anyway, I lived to see most of my friends happy. And I had fifteen years married to you. I couldn't really ask for more."

"I could." Her voice was wry, and just a touch bitter. "But I don't suppose there's any sense in asking for what you can't have."

"No," he said softly. "Maybe it's just best to be grateful for what you do have."

She sniffled slightly. "Maybe it is."

He tightened his arms around her, because it was the only way he had of easing her pain. Eventually he heard her breathing steady and slow, and he knew she had drifted off to sleep. He lay in the darkness for a while, thinking of all the things he was grateful for.

Some days it wasn't easy to focus on the positive, to be grateful for what he had, rather than angry about what he was losing. But tonight... tonight it was strangely easy to focus on the positive. He'd spent a perfect summer day laughing and talking with his friends and family, and for the perfection and beauty of this day, he couldn't help but be grateful.

He fell into a contented sleep, thinking of the smiles of his friends, the warmth of his wife's hand in his, and the sunshine of the last day of summer.

-The End-

7 comments:

marikology said...

Geez, now I'm depressed. :( But I liked it!

on another note, are AC and Victor dating, lol?

BkWurm1 said...

In a perfect world, our loved ones would always be with us, but you're right, the time we have together means more than anything else. Very poignant, close enough to the one year aniversary of my father's death to leave me still blubbering, but along with the sorrow is a deep appreciation for the memories that never go away.

Oh and I guess Victor got stimulation from something other than conversations with AC. Snort. Who knew Cyborg could fall for pretty but dumb? Wet and ready, bro!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful story, so true, always be grateful for what you have. Sometimes we forget that. Amazing story. Keep up the great work!

Sue Denim said...

If this were to befall Clark, I can see him with this attitude. He's so appreciative of family and friends. I like know that there's no bitter in his heart and that he love Chloe yet (and forever.)

Anonymous said...

It's hard to believe I'll never see another summer.

That line hit me like a ton of bricks; I didn't see it coming. How sad, but how nice that he had the opportunity to see everybody and let them know how much it meant to him.

A wonderful day for such a great story. Thanks, Elly.

Sarah

Tracey L said...

Why do you love making us all cry?? XD

DeeDee said...

I agree with Tracey_L, I'm wiping my face here. This story was so, so touching. Well done, babes.

Oh, and I can't believe I missed AC and Victor on the first read! :-D

Thanks for sharing, Elly.