He didn't know why he did this, come here this way. All he knew was he couldn't stop himself. Like the stereotypical moth to a flame, he came here night after night. Flying through the dark, stopping only when he had no other choice, and landing on the ledge.
All anyone else would see, were they to stand here with him and look where he looked, was a brick wall.
But, as anyone knows, a brick wall is no obstacle for Superman's eyes.
He watched, silent, ignoring the longing that tugged at his heart, relentless in its insistence. It was better this way, safer this way, and he reminded himself of that with brisk sternness.
Chloe Sullivan had suffered enough because of him.
Beneath his intrusive gaze, the brick wall seemed to melt away to reveal her, standing by a window, adjusting the bandage wrapping on one hand. Her hair was longer, braided back, a few stray wisps around her cheeks which were flush with exertion. She'd been at it for hours, he knew, and would be at it for hours more. Preparing.
She was too thin, like always, but still beautiful. Her eyes were harder than he remembered when he pictured her in his mind's eye. Older. Angrier and more determined.
Still hell bent on vengeance.
He couldn't really blame her.
He watched as she began to move, her hands handling the weapons she now held with ease, her body moving through the forms with smooth grace and a familiarity of movement that testified to the amount of time she'd practiced. How much she was driven to practice, to master, to prepare.
Still so angry...
It was killing him to see her this way, to know he was a contributing factor to the pain and rage that now fueled her. After all, if he hadn't loved her, if she hadn't loved him back, if she hadn't come to mean everything to him...
Lionel Luthor wouldn't have seen her as a target - a conduit to get to him. A pawn on an ever-changing chessboard.
And if he hadn't then the unborn child she'd carried - his child - and her father, would still be alive. Chloe, herself, would still be alive. The vengeful spirit with the haunted eyes that now inhabited her body wasn't Chloe. Chloe would never handle such dangerous weapons with such confidence and ease. Chloe would never look as if she could throw one of them into the heart of a man without so much as a moment's hesitation.
The woman in the room...she looked as if she could...and would if the situation arose.
Something a part of him wished he could do. Let the rage take over and react. It would be so easy...so very, very easy...to just give in. Lash back.
But he couldn't. He was Superman. The very anthesis of that. He couldn't.
She burned with the rage. He could feel it, see it, filling the air around her like an aura, refining the natural beauty into something else entirely. She was a siren now. The anger in her called and beckoned him. Seduced him.
It was infectious, he knew that, tantalizing in its quiet seduction. It tugged at him, the memories of what she'd suffered because of him, the sure knowledge of who was responsible, the realization of how easy it would be to end all their problems. Who would believe Superman could kill?
He held no illusions that Lionel hadn't committed crimes deserving of just such retribution but...
He resisted. Pushed it away. He couldn't do it. Not for anything. That was the line that could not and would not be crossed.
He'd oft wondered if he didn't return night after night to find out if she'd crossed the line he wouldn't let himself, to maybe try and keep her from crossing the line, yet even as he wondered such, he dismissed it. To convince her to do otherwise, he would actually have to speak with her.
Chloe had no idea he was here. At least, none that he knew of and, he suspected, if she did, he would have heard about it by now. The last thing she wanted was his protection. She'd taken her safety into her own hands. Nobody's fool and nobody's victim.
Vengeance given life.
She was vengeance, he was something else and as long as both embraced what they had become, this was all they had. He couldn't be a part of what she'd become and both knew it. He was the epitome of truth, justice and the American way as it were. But, she...she defined truth in the harsh and brutal way that many other countries and societies knew it. The reality that life was not merciful, that dreams gave way into the nightmare of reality, and that love didn't conquer all. She knew truth in its rawest form.
Chloe had never been so tempting.
He knew it was because in experiencing and knowing that truth, she had a clarity of thought and purpose that few could ever achieve or hope to achieve and it called to him. She'd thrown off the self-imposed restrictions that he set for himself, that everyone set for themselves, anything to ensure her goal, her purpose.
Making Lionel pay for destroying her life. For killing her family.
Her angry cry filled his ears and he watched a sai fly through the air, embedding itself in the wall, the impact surprising but not unexpected. He watched as she crossed the room, removing it with a firm yank, before returning to her former position and beginning again.
Her routine was the same, every night, she would practice until her body simply no longer had the strength and then she would fight her way through a shower before falling into bed yet again.
He didn't know how long she could keep it up but he knew he would be there watching every night as he had been. Set apart, the distance between them growing with each night.
He bowing his head for a brief moment then, reluctantly, Superman raced away into the darkness.
Swallowed up by the night once more.
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