By Classicalla <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: November 2008
Summary: One of our favorite couple has to face the death of the other one.
I've had the idea for this story for some time, but then it just insisted that it be written immediately. This story is wham so read it at your own risk. As always, my thanks go to my ever faithful beta, Lara Joelle Kent. I'd also like to thank my GE, LabRat, without whom this fandom wouldn't be what it is.
The usual disclaimer applies... I'm broke so you wouldn't get any money anyway. And none of these folks should be mistaken for anyone living or dead. The original characters are all mine. The others belong to DC comics, Warner Bros, Dec 3rd Productions, and anyone else who has a right to them.
Tired. I'm so tired. The last few days... I sit down on the bed and put my head in my hands for a moment. Then I slide my fingers through my hair. Nightmare. Yes, the last few days have been a nightmare. And I'm so, so very tired. I pull one shoe off then push the other off with my toes. I should be doing... something. But, instead, I lie down. And I sleep. Or was I already asleep? I hope -- oh, I sincerely hope -- that I was already asleep. Then this would be nothing more than a bad dream.
My second oldest comes in and throws a blanket over me. I barely open my eyes as he mumbles something.
"Forgot to take your clothes off," he speaks softly.
"Umm.. hmm... Tired. Love you, Jon."
"Love you..." His voice catches. "...too."
The sound of that tiny sob makes me realize this isn't a dream. I turn over and cry myself to sleep -- again.
I woke up early, as I usually do. I can't imagine how I've gotten through this day. I remember taking a shower. A very long shower. I vaguely remember eating something.
But now this. This is too much to bear. People I know and people I don't know are giving me their condolences. I close my eyes for a minute and rub my forehead.
I open my eyes when I hear laughter at the other end of the room. I frown briefly and swallow hard. How can they *laugh*? The world is over. Don't they understand? It's over!
I turn back and touch my beloved's face. It's cold to the touch. I very nearly crumble to the floor, but my oldest, Rome, keeps me upright.
"It's okay," he says. "It'll be okay." He doesn't believe that anymore than I do. He pushes me down in a chair. "You sit. You hear me? You sit."
I close my eyes again. Why? Why is this happening? Why can't this be over?
I open my eyes as another well wisher speaks to me. Superman. Superman? But how... I rise up to speak to him.
He speaks first. "I... Herb told me. And when I heard the news, I had to come. I'm so, so sorry." Then he embraces me.
Someone snaps a picture. A picture of another Superman from another world and me. Who takes pictures at a funeral... home? I sag at that thought and Superman helps me to sit.
"I'll be here for the next few days," he whispers. "If you need anything... anything at all, you just say my name."
I nod and turn as someone else says something to me. I try to focus on them through my haze of tears. It's Lucy and her husband. She doesn't know what to say and neither do I. So we just clasp hands for a moment.
I close my eyes again. I open them when my youngest, Lara, crawls up on my lap. She was our special little blessing that we weren't expecting. When Lara was born, we had one son in college and one ready to graduate from high school. Lara is a joy. But she hasn't spoken for three days. She doesn't understand all this. All she knows is that someone she loves is gone and she can't understand why they aren't coming back. I hold her tightly and whisper, "How's my angel this evening?"
She shrugs and nudges up against my shoulder. She still doesn't speak.
It's been a long day. Rome comes to me and insists that I go home even if people are still here. "You've spoken to all of them, and you are exhausted. Now come. I'll drive you home." I stand up with Lara in my arms. She has fallen asleep. He takes her from me to ease a bit of burden. She does feel heavier than usual.
Rome puts Lara in the back seat and straps her in. I just stand there and can't seem to remember what I'm supposed to do. Rome opens the door and prompts me to sit. He fastens my seatbelt. He gets in the driver seat of the jeep and the next thing I remember is being home.
Rome helps me inside. Lara turns to me. "I love you..." She opens her arms wide. "...this much." A tear runs down her cheek and she runs up the stairs towards her room.
Rome guides me to the bedroom. "Remember to get undressed tonight." He grins at me a second. "Okay?"
I nod my head. I pull off my clothes and throw them in a heap. I grab something to sleep in then I sit down on the bed and put my head in my hands. The last few days have been a nightmare. And I'm so very, very tired. I lie down and sleep. Or was I already asleep? I hope so fervently that I was already asleep. Then I'd know this had all been a bad dream.