Characters: Clark, Q (Star Trek: TNG crossover)
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW, DC Comics, and Paramount, not to me.
Warnings for bitterness. Posted to my LJ previously; never got posted over here.
Sequel to Off the Record 3.
"What the hell was that?"
Clark turned around, blinking, at an unexpected flash of light in the Daily Planet newsroom. He saw a middle-aged guy with a receding hairline, dressed in a navy blue suit and a dark red tie, and dark-rimmed glasses-- a reflection of the outfit he wore. There was a strange familiarity about the man, and yet Clark was certain he'd never seen him before.
"Um..." he said, a little taken aback. People didn't just pop into existence... well, except for him. He squinted at the guy. "Have we met?"
"Oh, right. I always forget that. Odd, considering I'm omniscient." He snapped his fingers, and there was another flash. Clark blinked again.
"Q," he said.
"That's right, kid. Your favorite god. Feel free to genuflect."
"Thanks, but no thanks. Why are you here? It's been years."
"Yeah, well, I've been watching you, kid. More to the point, I've been watching your life. And holy crap, what an amazing mess it turned out to be."
Clark frowned, looking around at the empty newsroom. It was the middle of the night, and no one was at the Planet except him... and now the annoying God guy. "I think it's pretty good, personally."
"Seriously? You're happy with this?"
"I mean, let's be honest, kid. If you were that much into Lois Lane, wouldn't you two have gotten married seven years ago, like you were supposed to?"
"Um... see, the thing is..."
"Yeah, the thing is you're just not that into her. I get it."
Clark sighed. "But at least I'm Superman," he muttered defensively.
"True enough. I have to give credit, the John Williams music was a nice touch. Cliched, but a nice touch."
Clark blinked, confused. Talking with Q was a lot like riding an amusement park ride-- his conversations seemed to spin around till they made you dizzy, but you never actually got anywhere. "Excuse me?"
"Never mind. Look, kid, I keep rewriting your life, and somehow it keeps winding up snarled in these awful messes anyway. It's like fanfiction doesn't count, or something."
"I don't even know why I'm having a conversation with you," Q said in disgust. "It's like talking to a monkey, only less interesting. Yeah, fanfiction. I rewrite to make things better, and the writers just ignore my vast improvements on their storylines, and keep blundering down the same stupid paths. I mean, honestly, who pays these people?"
Clark bristled slightly. "You keep talking about my life like it's..."
"Written by someone else. You should be flattered, kid. I've shared one of the great truths of the universe with you. Your life-- my life-- everyone's life-- we're all just someone else's story."
"Oh, come on."
"You doubt me?" Q snapped his fingers, and a fifty-two inch LCD television appeared on Clark's desk. "Here, I had to sit through this godawful finale, so I don't see why you should be exempt. Here you go, kid. This is your life."
Clark blinked, seeing himself on the television. He squinted suspiciously at Q. "How the hell did you do that?"
"It's the magic of the CW, kid. Coming to you straight from the Q Continuum. Now shut up and watch."
Two hours later, Clark was yawning cavernously.
"Bored?" Q inquired sweetly as he turned the TV off.
"Um..." Clark frowned. "Not bored, exactly... I wouldn't say bored, no. Just sort of..."
"Rendered unconscious from brain damage. Yeah, I think pretty much everyone who had the misfortune to watch that had the same reaction."
Clark squinted at the TV. "How come they didn't show me in the suit? I mean, it was kind of like I was a little tiny dot."
"They thought the suit made you look fat."
"I'm not fat!" Q raised an eyebrow, and Clark shifted uncomfortably in his chair. "I'm just, you know, well-muscled."
"Yeah, kid, keep telling yourself that."
"And how about Chloe? They made it look like she's a stay-at-home mom. It didn't even mention that she's a foreign correspondent for the Daily Planet. You know?"
"And taking care of your kid, I might add."
Clark blushed. "That was not my fault. It had to do with magic champagne and a lemur."
"I don't even want to think about that sentence."
"I'm just saying. Chloe is just a friend, but still, they shouldn't have treated her like that."
"Of course not. That was obvious to anyone who watched the show--"
"--all the way through. All three of us."
"Are you saying that my life... wasn't popular?"
"Are you kidding? You were about as popular as a Firefly-watching, World of Warcraft-playing guy is with sorority girls. The only thing that kept you going was the fact that as bad as you were, Hellcats was worse."
Clark refrained from asking what exactly Hellcats was. "And now?"
"And now it's over. Curtains. Fade to black."
Clark swallowed. "Um... what does that mean for me, exactly?"
Q gave an evil grin. "I told you before, kiddo. You really do not want to know."
"But I'm going to find out, aren't I?"
"Trust me, kid. It's better this way. For everyone."
Q snapped his fingers, and Clark poofed out of existence.
"Thank God that's over," Q muttered. "Oh, wait... I'm God. Well, thanks, Q."
He grinned gleefully. "You're welcome, Q."
He looked around at the empty room, shrugged, then disappeared in a flash of light. Two seconds later, he reappeared.
"I almost forgot," he said under his breath. "Hellcats is on."
He snapped his fingers, and the TV clicked on. Q materialized a bowl of popcorn in a flash of light, and picked it up, tossing a few kernels into his mouth.
"Pitiful," he said with a sigh, leaning back in the empty leather chair that had formerly been occupied by one mild-mannered superhero. "I am such a glutton for punishment..."