clarkkentmanofsteel

The Vanished Life

At the innermost core of all loneliness is a deep and powerful yearning for union with one’s lost self.”
- Brendan Francis, Irish Poet

The desert wind caressed his face as J'onnJ'onzz, the last of his kind, stood alone in the Gobi Desert.  His adopted home world had a wide range of environments: lush forests, dense jungles, cool meadows, high mountains.  But the Martian always found himself drawn back to the deserts.  The deserts here felt most like home.

He bent down, gathered a handful or the coarse sand, and let it run through his fingers.  It danced on the wind before rejoining the earth.  The rough rocky formations all around him were pale reminders of a life and a love long gone.  They were poor substitutes for the rising towers of rock and plateau of his native land, but if he closed his eyes and made still his mind, he could connect to those lost memories, to those lost loved ones of his past.

When he remembered Ma'aleca'andra, J'onn always felt both a warming comfort and a terrible weight.  Being the last Martian in the universe was a heavy burden to carry.  He was so very, very lonely.

But he was not alone.  He was part of a team, a family.  And there was another like him in this family.  The last son of Mars opened his eyes and pulled out his League communicator.  He opened up his contact list, found Kal-El’s personal link, then typed in a simple request: “42.59°N, 103.43°E”

The Martian Manhunter may be alone in the universe, but he was not the only one…

His Father's Footsteps

It had been a routine shift in the monitor womb, albeit a short one, since he couldn’t begin until Tower School had let out for the day.  Diana, ever patient and satisfied Billy has finished his homework, allowed him to sit with her, and do the lion’s share of the work to further his training.

It seemed Clark Kent had to book off work early from the Daily Planet for a previously unmentioned dentist appointment, while an ocean away, British Airways Flight 196 has reported a hijacker with a bomb, and the on-board air marshal shot and unconscious.  Superman responded to the alert before the Watchtower could even dispatch him, but this wasn’t unusual, not with the Kryptonian’s super-hearing and telescopic vision at his disposal.

This meant, however, that Clark was as yet unaware just who was on duty in the monitor womb at the moment. Once the situation was under control, the air marshal flown to hospital and hijacker left with the authorities, it was time to surprise him.

With a grin at Diana that could be easily heard in his voice, Captain Marvel responded to his father’s sitrep to the Watchtower. “Acknowledged, Superman, good to hear.  Will you be coming up to the Watchtower for a debrief?” he asked hopefully.

Strayed

zacharythemagician:

He scanned over the heads of people he recognized and of-fucking-coursethis had something to do with the goddamn League! Jesus Christ! Why did he ever associate himself with them again? There was a commotion as people were starting to panic and call for help, and Zach started to move away from the disgusting water and looked around the bodies all beginning to show first signs of movement. 

“Zatanna!” Zach called when he spotted his cousin, he attempted to keep his voice level though he was sure it raised up an octave higher then normal. He did his best to move closer to her, Clark, and Billy while still not bothering to stand up. “Zatanna.” He said again through his now clenched teeth. “My magic isn’t working!“ His voice was more demanding to hide the fear that he felt. Though he knew Zatanna probably wouldn’t really know what to do about that.

Hearing a very familiar Backwards Speak, Zee left out a sigh she didn’t realize she’d been holding in. "Zach!” she called back, moving away from Clark and BIlly as she bent down by her cousin’s side. Her arms wrapping around him tightly.

She buried her face against his shoulder as she heard other’s crying out names. There was Lian, Ramsey…Roy, then Helen and Stephanie yelling over Kyle and she didn’t want to look about her. This was no dream, it was a nightmare. “Mine’s not working either.” she realized, finally placing that off balance feeling she’d had when she first awoke. She pushed back from Zach to scan his face, at least she could gauge one person’s reaction to all this, “We’ll figure it out. Ok?” tugging on his hand she tried to get him to stand, he looked better than the figures she couldn’t help but spot lying on their backs surrounded by others attending to them. They each looked so still, almost dead. There was nothing she could do for them.

Turning back to Clark and Billy she asked softly, “Are your powers not working too?”

I woke up today, and I wanted to run away.

The three of us were just squeezed up in the bed on the Watchtower, me between the boys and I felt like I couldn’t breath. My arms were pinned to my side, the air felt stale, and I had to get out. I moved slow enough that I didn’t wake Billy, but Clark being Clark was wide awake as soon as I moved a muscle. I just shook my head and pressed him back…or he let me press him back, I don’t know. I mimed out something, I don’t even remember now, but it kept him from worrying about me long enough for me to get changed and out of the room. 

I went home, fed Krypto, packed a bag and left a note. It wasn’t till I was standing in the entrance hallway mirror that I noticed how much I was shaking, and how wide my eyes were like… Mom’s

Was that what she looked like when she ran, was that what she felt like? Did Dad even know the day she left…did she reassure him like I did to Clark? And I drop the bag and I’m on the floor and Krypto’s licking my face like nothings wrong and I can’t do it. I tear up the first note, the scraps hidden inside my pocket as I write another one.

Off to a meeting in Paris. Back soon. All my Love. -Z

Not a complete lie. There was a last minute prop I’d used on a tour across Europe I’d wanted for my summer shows over in storage there with a bunch of other Europe tour things. I could’ve gotten my manager to handle it but, I just needed an 8+ hour flight then. Just solo like it had been before. 

I lock the house up, I take my bag and I fly. No super-husband, just a metal deathtrap and two screaming babies and it’s good. I land and someone must’ve twittered about me because there’s a small crowd asking for autographs and I can handle that. I can handle the starlet side because you don’t have to think when you’re signing your name. and that’s great

I can deal with this, and then I’ll go back. I have to go back. Because if I don’t I’ll just be like her.

Unexpected Visits

Clark knocks on the door of Wally’s apartment, standing outside with three piping hot pizzas (two-and-a-half for Wally, a few slices for himself) and a six-pack of root beers. “Hey, Wally. Mind if I come in?”

clarkkentmanofsteel

It wasn’t every day you open the door to seeSupermanwaiting for you. Wally gaped a moment (no matter what anyone said, the awe of him never wore off. ever), then cleared his throat and nodded.

“Yeah, sure, come on in,” he said, stepping back to let Clark in. The smell of the pizza caught and held his attention easily, and he had to concentrate on NOT salivating too much.

“Not that I’m against company,” he said, zipping around to pick up a few things before holding still again. “But uh..what brings you?”

Slipping

Zatanna woke up in a vaguely familiar bed, her arms clutching a throw pillow as if her life depended on it. Her entire body was now drenched in sweat, while her stomach felt as if it had been twisted into a knot. As her eyes adjusted to the room’s light Zee decided it must’ve been a nightmare, confirming this by turning over to find Clark still sleeping calmly next to her. Yet locating her slumbering  fiancé did nothing to relax her nerves, if anything it only made her feel sicker. The more she reminded herself it had only been a dream, the worse she felt. The despair over her visions shortly pulled her down deeper into the nightmare like state. 

Freeing herself from the clinging sheets and moving weakly to her feet, Zatanna felt her stomach lurch sharply in protest, “Oh fuck…” she whispered woefully, stumbling off to the nearest bathroom in her haze. In the dark hours of the night, Zee found her apartment was eerily quiet minus the small buzzing of a dim light down the hall. Shakily Zatanna’s hands fumble against the handle on the doorknob that leads to her hallway’s bathroom, yet eventually they manage to open the door. Smacking the light switch and tripping to her knees at the base of the toilet, she promptly vomited up whatever she had last eaten, probably something she’d had at the party.  

Curling up to the side of the base of the toilet, Zee allows her dark hair to obscure her face from the light that shocks her senses into the groggy awaken state she’s been thrust into. As she lies on the cool tiled floor, she can’t help but be drawn back to the faint memories of the dream she had awoken from. Her powers had been pulsing and pounding against her skin- as if her body was the only thing to hold her back from losing control of everything now. Her will was weak the voices in her head echoed, her father’s voice had been one of them she knew, right alongside what she had often imagined her mother’s voice to sound like. They knew how easy it would be for her to fall to her powers, and in her dream she already had. 

Silent tears trickled down her cheeks and mixed into her mess of hair that encircled her face. She curled her limbs closer to her body while her skin prickled as it had in the dream. She was losing control for real now- just like she had always feared, and there was nothing she could do to stop it now. Finally, Zatanna broke the silence with ragged sobs that echoed against the small bathroom’s floor. 

Eternal Sunshine

Steph felt raw inside. After her blow out with Cass yesterday -God, just thinking about it made her want to scream or cry or punch a tree or all of the above- she’d made no progress in figuring things out. Did she run after her? Did she even have a chance of finding her? Did she stay out of it like she’d been asked (more like screamed at)? Did she have a right to be as mad as she was? The stickiness of the situation made Steph’s head spin and she had neither the sleep not the frame of mind required to sort it out. She had spent the night picking up Cass’s patrol shift for her so as not to raise suspicion with the rest of the Bats. 

It had been a little over a day and the only thing she could think to do was reach out to Zee. She didn’t know exactly what she was hoping for, when she’d taken the zeta tube to Metropolis, but Steph knew that sitting idly by was not an option. She rang the doorbell to the apartment and started, “So, I know it’s the middle of the day and I didn’t call, but-” But she noticed she was speaking to a button down shirt and tie and only then noticed she hadn’t caught Zatanna like she’d hoped, but her super husband Clark. “Uh, I’m sorry! No biggie!” Steph felt her face color in embarrassment and turned to leave. 

A Magical Meal

It’d been a fairly busy day for Zatanna. Cleaning the apartment and prepping up a sleeping space for Zach (if he felt like spending the night), along with loads of cooking accompanied by her sous chef, Billy. Zach would be the first guest from her side of the family to be spending time in their apartment in Metropolis. Knowing how particular her cousin could be, Zee wanted things to be as perfect as possible, especially since Clark and Billy were so excited to meet him. “Not too much cheese on top.” She advised Billy as she bustled about their kitchen, “You don’t want it to melt over the sides of the dish.”

Things were running smoother than she’d anticipated they would be, even with her magic aiding her through the day. It was only a matter of time before there was a hiccup in her master plan. Zach was running half an hour late and counting.

Stripping off her apron, Zatanna glowered at the now cooling lasagna sitting on the counter as if this was the dish’s fault. “He’s late.” she sighed, already kicking herself for not telling Zach an earlier time so he’d be arriving on their schedule. Plopping down on the couch beside Clark she pulled out her phone, “Maybe I should text him and see what’s up…” she second guessed herself sending him a message. Zee had a bad habit of running behind too. Zach’s tardiness probably meant nothing more than choosing to be fashionably late.

Salvage

(continued from ’Discovery’)

Desaad’s laughter was cut short as his weapon exploded in his arms.  "There will be no deaths for Darkseid today, monster!“ J'onn J'onzz said as he entered the room through the boom tube, his eyes still glowing red from the blast.  

A large, flat, green piece of steel appeared and flattened Desaad against the floor.  The construct then morphed into an intricate mechanism designed to hold a prisoner captive and pinned the sadist to the ground in a position that could only be described as ‘uncomfortable’.  John Stewart, ever the architect, ever the perfectionist came flying through the boom tube behind his construct device and stood on top of it.  "J'onn!  Help Superman!”

“I’m fine!” Clark said, standing and rubbing his neck.  "He just caught me by surprise.“

"Kal-El, have you seen Guy?” J'onn asked him.  "John was able to send his hand to a nearby medical facility for safe keeping before we left.  Do you know they are holdi-“

"Look out!” Superman shouted.  

But it was too late for the Martian.  In a blur, Kalibak tackled him sending the pair in a tangle through one of the few undamaged walls and into a separate chamber next door.  J'onn was able to twist his head free enough to see his new surroundings.  And he could also see Superman  and Green Lantern following him through the opening he and Darkseid’s son had just created.  But J'onn was not happy or hopeful about this.  Still in the powerful grip of Kalibak, J'onn could see that they had broken through a wall directly into a Parademon training facility and armory, where Darkseid’s elite shock troops prepared for war.  

And the facility was both fully stocked… and fully occupied.