By Mouserocks <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: May 2013
Summary: For Queenie’s Bizarro May EVIL challenge: Clark and Lois find themselves in a strange predicament with one of their descendants.
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A/N: For Queenie’s Bizarro May EVIL challenge. Also, the start of a whole other universe that I’ve been working on (Tales of Dystopia). Mostly, the evilness is just in the fact that I’m putting out a teaser for a story that won’t be ready to post for a long time, but I couldn’t resist. Clark and Lois find themselves in a strange predicament with one of their future descendants… How real could this threat be? Enjoy! (And PS: this little prelude has little bearing on the actual story to come, just something I figured I’d throw out there to introduce the character.)
Clark sighed as he took a seat across from Lois at the small coffee shop. He gave her a small smile. She smiled back at him and leaned forward in her seat across the table.
“So. Back to planning.”
Clark felt his smile widen into a grin. “Yeah. Hopefully we can get through it this time, without any bouts of amnesia or any otherwise… disruptive presence.”
Lois’ eyes darkened briefly as she ducked her head. She knew it wasn’t her fault that Lex had shown up and ruined everything. But still, she couldn’t help but wonder what there was about their impending marriage that seemed to invite trouble.
“Hey,” Clark chided, and she looked up brightly. He gave her a look. She slumped her shoulders in defeat. He knew exactly what she was thinking. They had been through this several times already. It wasn’t her fault, or his. They were just going to start fresh.
“I know,” she huffed in mild irritation, before brushing past the issue. “So. Wedding planning.”
“Yeah,” Clark felt his grin slowly sprawling its way across his features once more. She grinned right back.
A commotion outside suddenly drew their attention away. A tall man in plain, baggy clothing ran past the window, glancing in briefly. His eyes met Clark’s and he skidded to a stop, turning on a dime and flinging the coffee shop door open.
Clark tensed up, suspicious. There was something odd about this man, appearing to be in his very early twenties. He approached their table at a much slower, almost hesitant pace. Both Lois and Clark gasped as they saw his features more clearly.
Excepting his startling blue eyes, he had a striking resemblance to Clark himself.
“A-are you— Lois and Clark Kent?”
Lois had the presence of mind to close her mouth and respond, since Clark was struggling to put his thoughts together— he wasn’t making any sort of motion indicating he’d even heard the question. “Yes. Well, not quite yet. I’m Lois Lane, this is Clark Kent.”
A look of relief swept across his features and he carded a hand through his hair, much in the same manner Clark had in all the years Lois had known him. “And you are..?”
“Doesn’t matter. I don’t have much time.”
Clark suddenly seemed to gather his wits about him. “Who are you? Who are you running from?”
“Okay. Okay. So you two haven’t gotten married yet, and I’m assuming that you haven’t done anything… intimate yet, though I suppose I could very well be wrong—” A flush rose quickly over the couple’s cheeks. They hadn’t, but how were they supposed to tell a stranger that? “But I’m here to give you a word of advice. I don’t care if you get married, do whatever you want, it’s your lives, but I’m begging you, please. Do not have kids. Do you hear me? Don’t.”
“No, don’t be offended. I’m serious. Dr. Klein will tell you one day that you and Superman will be incapable of having children— do not try to find a cure, or give up on protection, get careless. Do not pursue any path which might lead to the two of you having any future offspring. Do you understand?”
“Who are you to tell either of us what we can and cannot do? Clark, can you believe this moron?”
Clark’s voice took on a steely tone. He didn’t know how this kid had figured out his secret, but he was about two seconds out from flying off with him and threatening to drop him off a high rise. Not that he would. But the threat would feel nice. “I’d suggest you leave before she takes any of your sentiments to heart and is no longer in control of her actions.”
“You don’t understand. I—” the young man’s eyes went wide and suddenly he ducked out of view of the window.
Clark frowned and looked up so as to assess what was outside, only he saw nothing. He tuned in his hearing and heard approaching footsteps and frantic sounding voices. “Um, look, Mister…”
“Kent,” he whispered. Clark felt his heart jump into his throat and his jaw open slightly. The other man seemed to realize his slip up at about the same instant, and he snapped wide, frightened blue eyes up to the man who would become his ancestor. “I, er, I mean Clarke. My name’s Nathaniel Clarke.”
It was too late. The damage was done. Clark knew in the bottom of his heart that what this stranger was telling him was the truth. He suddenly felt as if the whole world was spinning around him, and Clark struggled to right it all around him again. There had to be something else here. He couldn’t be telling the truth. Of course, Clark had no reason not to believe the man— he sure looked enough like him.
But if that were the case, then why—
“Why would you not want us to have any children if you’re a Kent? I’m guessing you’re one of our kids from the future? But wait, that doesn’t necessarily explain the blue eyes. Maybe a grandchild? Why have you come here? Who are you really? You couldn’t possibly be from the future—”
As usual, Lois was two steps ahead of him. But something in his eyes, some kind of desperation, begging them to believe, pulled on Clark’s heart strings. “Lois, I think we should believe him.”
“Believe the crazy guy crouched on the floor claiming to be from the future?” The look she whirled on him was appropriately incredulous.
“I never claimed to be from the future. You inferred that,” Nathaniel jumped in, almost instantly regretting the words as they tumbled out of his mouth.
“Oh, so you’re not?” Lois leveled him with a pointed stare.
Crap. He knew why Lois Lane was revered as one of the greatest investigative journalists now. She really knew how to fire back those questions at him.
“Well, uh, I guess. I mean, I am.”
Nathaniel’s temper flared up. “It’s the truth! Do I need to give you my entire lineage to prove it? I may not be a Kent in legal terms, but to be fair, who is? To be a Kent would be the equivalent of signing your own death warrant! I’d be killed, ostracized at the very least— and that’s assuming I could even escape with my life at all! I mean, maybe back in the People’s Republic of Kansas— but even there, things are tense. You’ve gotta give me some credit here.”
Clark felt an icy chill run through his bones. “What?” he rasped, throat suddenly hoarse. The spinning sensation was back.
Nathan looked at him in sympathy and apology. “Look, I’ve said too much. All you need to know is that yes, I am from the future, way in the future, as in a couple centuries. Yes, I am a direct descendent from you and Lois. And I am asking you to stop the madness before it begins. If you want to create your goddamn Utopia, don’t force it to happen through your kids. Let the people, the normal people have that control; let them follow in your footsteps. But for the love of all Krypton, don’t have any kids!”
Suddenly there was a loud noise as the door to the coffee shop swung open and several men poured in. Shouts of, “There he is!” and “Grab him, quick!” echoed through the small but empty space and Nathan backed up with his hands above his head, seemingly accepting his fate.
Clark felt nauseated and the world started to swirl around him again as they put handcuffs around Nathaniel’s wrists rather violently. “No! Wait! I have to talk to him!”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Kent, but I’m afraid we can’t let you do that.”
“Remember what I said, Clark! Remember—” Suddenly Nathaniel was cut off as a jolt of electricity flooded his body with pain and he gritted his teeth. Clark knew from the sickening green glow of the electricity and the queasy, slightly painful feeling in his gut that they had somehow warped Kryptonite into the weapon. Lois looked at him in confusion, but Clark couldn’t explain it to save his life. Or his future descendant’s, for that matter.
“Please! Let him go!” He reached out and touched the younger man’s shoulder, instantly feeling the shockwaves of Kryptonite roll through him and he jumped back with a grunt of pain and shock.
“Clark!” He heard Lois shouting in the back of his mind, but suddenly, he only had eyes for the man on the ground, struggling valiantly to get free, but ultimately not succeeding.
“Let him go!” Clark snarled, unable to explain the surge of protectiveness for the young man before him, his entreating blue eyes penetrating straight through his soul.
“Clark, stop it! You’re only hurting yourself!”
“You should listen to your wife, Mr. Kent,” the masked guard taunted him, but clearly knowing better than to get too involved.
Clark was shaking. He didn’t understand. He didn’t understand. How could this be happening? A few moments ago, he had been planning his wedding. Now he had to worry about his future descendants and what the heck went wrong with Utopia and how any of this was happening, on top of all that.
A hand landed on his shoulder and a familiar yet still strange British voice spoke behind him. “It’s all right, Clark. This has to happen. It’s for the good of Dystopia.”
Clark frowned in confusion, looking up into the face of a little man wearing 18th century British clothing and a bowler hat. “What did you say?”
“I said to relax. This is happening for the good of Utopia.”
Clark shook his head in confusion, turning back to watch in horror as the masked and unmasked guards began carrying off a now unconscious Nathaniel Kent. “No, no, no, no…” He struggled to his feet and started chasing after them, leaving Lois and the British stranger— which his mind had somehow dubbed as Herb— behind. “Wait! Stop! You bring him back here!”
His feet weren’t fast enough. He couldn’t catch up to them and they surely weren’t going to stop for him— it must have been his brief exposure to the Kryptonite.
And suddenly, they turned a corner and Clark couldn’t find them anywhere. Frantic and panicked, he spread his senses out as far as they could reach currently, heart pounding, drumming out his sense of hearing almost entirely. His vision began swimming as he saw Lois approaching him from the distance, calling his name. He slumped to his knees, ready to pass out any second now. The British man reached him only just after Lois did.
“For your own good, you won’t remember any of this ever happened.”
The last thing he remembered was the feeling of Lois’ fingers running through his hair as a scream of protest tore through his throat.
Suddenly he jolted upright in bed, having woken himself with his own screams.
“Clark! What’s the matter? What’s wrong! Clark?! Clark!”
Finally, after needing to draw for breath, his brain caught up with his surroundings and realized that he was at home, in bed with his wife. He took a few more deep breaths. They were safe and sound. No worries. Just breathe.
“Clark? What is it?”
He was eventually able to turn his eyes to his wife, sitting up in bed beside him, her chocolate brown eyes sparkling with concern. He took a moment to look over her entire body, checking to make sure she was all right, that it had indeed just been a dream and nothing was as it seemed. She looked okay, besides the obvious worry marring her features. And— yep— there it was. Two sets of heartbeats, one familiar and the other much faster but still already so familiar.
Clark sighed in relief and rested his head back against the headboard, shutting his eyes lightly.
“Clark?” Lois’ voice came across tentative, hesitant. “Are you all right?”
He nodded in avoidance of speech.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
He shook his head. “Just give me a minute.”
Lois frowned, her concern, not lifting in the slightest. Clark was prone to nightmares at times, but this one was different, she knew. Usually they centered around a recent rescue gone wrong, and in many cases, she was at the center of it. But usually, he woke up, got it off his chest and was done with it. Sometimes he floated in his sleep, occasionally he’d talk.
Never had he screamed like that before. That scared Lois. She rubbed a hand over her only slightly protruding belly, drawing comfort from the tiny life form inside.
Lois knew pressuring him was the wrong move in this scenario, so she clammed up and waited as patiently as she possibly could until he started talking.
“It was really weird,” he began, startling her from dozing off.
Lois nodded. “Dreams usually are.”
“We weren’t married yet, and we were meeting at that coffee shop after the debacle with Luthor.”
Lois stopped the rubbing motion on her belly. “Was it about Luthor?”
Clark shook his head firmly. “No. But there was this twenty year old kid who claimed to be a descendant of ours from the future and he told us… something about the future.” Clark edited himself off her reassuring expression. He had no doubts about what he wanted, of course, and Clark knew a family had always been pretty high on the list. He wasn’t doubting that. But for some reason, something in his subconscious was doubting it and he didn’t want to bother Lois with it if he didn’t have to.
“What about the future? Something bad?”
“Not necessarily. Just was talking about Utopia.”
Lois narrowed her eyes in suspicion. He wasn’t giving her everything, she knew. “Then why were you screaming?”
Clark wrapped his arms about his middle, suddenly very cold sitting up out of bed without a shirt on. Which was also weird— usually cold didn’t affect him. Though it could very likely be a reaction to the story. “Then… then some people came— guys in masks and such— and they came and took him away. They shot some kind of Kryptonite at him through an electrical pulse, and then he was suddenly on the ground and they were taking him away. I… I tried to chase after them, but I guess the Kryptonite had an impact on me too. I couldn’t catch them, Lois. I was panicking and running and I still couldn’t…”
Lois’ hand came up to rest on his shoulder and Clark took a shuddering breath before continuing. “Then H.G. Wells came up, and told us that for our own good, we wouldn’t remember any of this. Then I woke up screaming.”
Lois wrapped him up in her arms, trying to bring him some comfort. It must have been working, because he tightened his grip on her and seemed to release the last of his worries into the air with one last shuddering breath. When he finally seemed stable enough, Lois asked the question that was on her mind. “What did he say to you about Utopia?”
Clark tensed once more. He knew she would come back around to that. There was no use in hiding anything from his wife. “He… he said we shouldn’t have kids.”
Lois drew away from him slightly. “What?”
Clark kept his eyes down, staring at the comforter. “Something about them ruining Utopia.”
Lois didn’t speak for a long moment, and that made Clark nervous. He reached out and placed his fingers lightly on her growing stomach. “Hey, it doesn’t mean anything. You know that all I ever wanted was a normal life and a family to raise.”
“I know,” Lois nodded along rationally. “It was just a dream anyway.” She paused slightly before continuing. “You don’t think… I mean, it doesn’t mean anything, does it?”
Clark felt his mouth hang open. “Of course not. Sweetie, there’s nothing I want more on earth than for us to have kids— to have a family. After all that we’ve been through to get here— even if it were all real, I wouldn’t give it up. You and this baby mean way too much to me.”
Lois nodded again, knowing and accepting the truth behind those words, and settling back into his side at his reassurance.
“And besides, like you said, it was just a dream. Probably just played up on some of my fears about parenthood.”
Lois kissed his lips gently, and Clark knew everything was right in his world again as they settled back into a deep and peaceful slumber.
Nathaniel Clarke awoke with a dizzying sensation in his head and his mouth dry as could be. For a few disorienting moments, he wondered where he was before the familiar tug of metal pulled against his wrists. His sharp blue eyes shot back to the cold metal rings encircling his wrists. As he did every morning, he gave them a few sharp tugs with all his might. And as happened every morning, the only thing he got from his effort was some fresh bruising on his skin. With a sigh of frustration, he examined the marks that were there already— some a deep purple, others more yellowish in hue. There were even some cuts along the edge of the metal, the blood dried and cracked on his nearly translucent skin. Nathan ground his teeth in pain and anger.
He didn’t know how long he’d been there anymore. He’d quickly given up on keeping track of the days and nights, as they all seemed to blur into one, thanks to the steady pulses of Kryptonite running through his chains. He was dangerously close to giving up at times. All he would have to do was admit the truth— tell them who he was, what he knew. Then he would finally be free. Free, unchained, finally away from the deadly Kryptonite.
Of course, he’d also be dead.
No, his willpower and their thirst for information about the Resistance were the only things keeping him alive at this point. And the longer he held out on them, the more chance he’d have to escape.
Sometimes, he wished for death. Wished he had never been born, more like. He’d even dreamt about that last night— that he’d actually gone back in time to visit the original Clark Kent and Lois Lane and warned them to never have children. Bizarre, that. It had seemed so real, too, and yet so hazy.
The door to his tiny, dark cell suddenly swung open and Nathan tried his best to appear strong and not to shrink in on himself in the corner out of fear. He lifted his head high, ignoring the pain coursing through his veins, and met his captors eye to eye.
“Good morning, Kent,” General Lynnis spoke evenly, not betraying a hint of emotion, as usual. “How did you sleep last night?”
A glint arose in Nathaniel’s eyes, prompting him to only hold his head higher. They could torture him all they want, but they wouldn’t get a thing out of him. Not before Dystopia fell.
He settled in for another arduous day.