By Cape Fetish <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted March 2007
Summary: Watching your son leave is never easy, as Martha Kent learns in this brief vignette.
Not even in the days directly after Clark had left for college could Martha remember this room feeling so empty. Now, standing in the remnants of his childhood, surrounded by reminders of the boy he had been and the man he had become, she felt herself begin to shake.
On unsteady legs she crossed the room, illuminated only by the dim light from the hall and a patch of moonlight filtering in from the window. The light fell across the top of the dresser as she bent to open the bottom drawer and withdraw her objective. It smiled up at her from its dark abode.
She lifted the ragged old stuffed rabbit to cradle it against her chest with all of the tenderness her son had once given it. The rabbit was missing one eye and many patches of fur due to years of adoration from a dark-haired, gentle-hearted little boy. Over time, footballs and baseball fields had taken over Clark's affections, and the rabbit had found a home in the bureau drawer, but he had never gotten rid of it. In this moment, she was so glad for that.
The worn-out old toy spoke to her of more simple days. Days when a Band-Aid, a kiss, and a glass of buttermilk could fix all of the problems in her son's world. Days before his powers had begun to form and no amount of band aids or kisses or buttermilk could convince him he fit in. Days before those differences would pry him away from them — from everything he ever knew and loved — to help a people he knew nothing about.
A creak in the floorboards announced her husband's presence. She tried to put on a brave smile, but when she turned to look at him, she found his image in the doorway blurred by the tears in her eyes.
"I don't know if I can be strong enough for him this time, Jonathan."
"You can," he answered. "What else can we do?"
She didn't have an answer for that. Instead, she went into the willing arms of the man she loved, letting his quiet strength comfort her, though they both knew his heart was hurting as much as hers.
She didn't know how long they stood there before he pulled away. He muttered something about needing to leave so they didn't miss their flight, and went to collect their luggage.
She tucked the once-beloved rabbit under the comforter of her son's bed, took a deep breath, and then followed after her husband with a new and fragile air of confidence.
They would go to Metropolis and watch their only child — their miracle son, in so many ways — fly out of their lives… possibly forever.
Against all odds, as a helpless infant, he had found his way home to them once. He would do it again. She had to believe that. What else could she do?