Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Open Up Your Eyes

Clark/Chloe futurefic, angst
Character death warning
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Sequel to The Last Day of Summer.
The music is "Open Up Your Eyes," by Daughtry.

A single rose left to remember
As a single tear falls from her eye
Another cold day in December
A year from the day she said goodbye

Seems it's only been a moment
Since the angels took him from her arms
And she was left there holding on to their tomorrow
But as they laid him in the ground
Her heart would sing without a sound

For the first time you can open your eyes
And see the world without your sorrow
Where no one knows the pain you left behind
And all the peace you could never find
Is waiting there to hold and keep you
Welcome to the first day of your life
Just open up your eyes

She stood alone in the cemetery as the snow began to fall. The single rose she'd brought lay atop his gravestone, starkly crimson against the grayness of the day.

She remembered standing here a year ago. Then, she'd been surrounded by people. Lois had cried quietly while Ollie held her. AC and Victor had held hands, both looking stricken. Lana had sobbed into Pete's shoulder. And she herself had wept as the minister had said empty words over his grave.

But her tears hadn't been entirely tears of sorrow. She remembered the way he'd suffered at the end, the way he'd struggled for every breath, and she'd understood that death was his friend, a release from the suffering that otherwise would have been an endless torment.

On some level, she'd been glad that it was all over, that he'd never have to face that sort of pain again. On some level, she'd sung the hymns with real gratitude, thanking God that he was free of his agony at last.

Even so, she'd grieved. A year later, she grieved still.

She'd never stop grieving.

A single lifetime lays behind her
As she draws her final breath
Just beyond the door, he'll find her
Taking her hand, he softly says

For the first time you can open your eyes
And see the world without your sorrow
Where no one knows the pain you left behind
And all the peace you could never find
Is waiting there to hold and keep you
Welcome to the first day of your life

Forty years later

Her death had been more peaceful than his.

Her heart had simply stopped in her sleep. And just like that, a long, lonely life without him was over.

She stood in the dazzling light, confused, uncertain what had happened. She was fairly certain she was dead, because she couldn't seem to feel her body. But it had happened so quickly and easily she wasn't quite sure.

She studied her surroundings, which amounted to nothing more than a brilliant, unearthly light. This was not the world she'd lived in all her life. And somehow she felt different, as if her eyes had been opened, as if she no longer saw through a glass darkly. As if she could understand things she'd never been able to comprehend before.

Slowly, she began to accept the fact of her death.

She'd done her best to go on alone after his death. She'd written myriad stories, exposed myriad bad guys, helped the superhero community save the world in every way she could. She'd had a rich, full life.

And yet, without him... there had been a certain emptiness she could never fill.

Slowly, something began to coalesce out of the brilliance. She stared at it, and eventually it became visible as a door.

She understood that it wasn't really an ordinary wooden door, that the image of a door was simply something she'd grabbed on to in order to help her comprehend things she couldn't yet understand. But it seemed obvious that the image of a door meant that she was to go through it, to leave her old life behind and go on to the next.

She went toward it-- not walking, but gliding, in some way she couldn't have defined if she'd wanted to-- and reached out, not with a hand, but with her will. Slowly, she turned the knob.

And just behind the door, he was waiting for her. Just as she'd known he would be.

She smiled at him. Not in the physical sense, since she no longer possessed a body, but with her full being. He smiled back, radiating joy, and reached out to her.

She would have wept with happiness, had she had any tears to shed. But all she could do was touch him, in that indefinable way that was so much more than merely physical, and let him lead her to their destination.

He didn't speak, not exactly. But somehow she clearly understood what he was telling her. He'd missed her, and waited for her for a very long time.

She'd missed him just as much, and waited just as long, and she told him so.

But now there would be no more waiting, no more endless, hopeless pining for him, no more grief. There was only him holding her, leading her toward what awaited them... the peace she'd never found in life.

The peace she'd never found without him.

Just open up your eyes as I lay you down tonight
Safe on the other side, no more tears to cry

-The End-


MonicaOP said...

Why do always mange to move to tears with your sad stories??? This was deep and a lovely complement of your other story... beautiful work as always Elly, hugs!!

Tracey L said...

I knew this story would have a happy ending! AAAHH, still so sad!

DeeDee said...

So sad, yet with a happy ending. I had tears in my eyes the whole time. Chlark together in the afterlife...sweet.

Well done, Elly. :-)

Elly said...

Thanks, Dee! I'm glad to hear it put tears in your eyes; that was the idea:-).

Thanks to everyone for the kind feedback!