Gone the Rainbow

By Catherine Bruce <vidgoddess@gmail.com>

Rated PG-13

Submitted June 2007

Summary: There are things you live for and then there are things you die for. And then there are things you would do both for.



Not even a "Thank you, Ma'am!"

Queen of the Capes came to me sometime in April with a song that's the same title of the story, and this could not have been written without her. I've never heard the song before, and I still haven't, but an idea began to form in my head after I read the lyrics (pasted below). Unfortunately, it wasn't until about now when the idea began to implant itself firmly. Fortunately, however, I was able to write this out pretty quickly.

And a thousand thanks to LaraMoon, who suffered through my multiple 'Ooh wanna read the next part?! *Puppy Dog Pout!!*' And also provided some kick-



As the WHAM implies, this is not a WAFFY fic. In fact, it is the exact opposite. It involves the death of a major character (well, technically two I suppose), but this time it is not Lois.

*NOTE: No Loises were harmed (physically, at least) in the making of this fic.


*In the last months before her daughter came, she would sit in the chair in the bedroom. It had been his chair, though not by any spoken rule; she used to wake up to find him in this same spot after a bad dream or even worse rescue. She would remember watching him in turn, or holding her hand out for him to come back to bed and even now sometimes she would wake up at night still expecting to see him there. When he wasn't, and the searing reality would force her awake, she would curl up in the cushions and cry until dawn. But during the day she would sit there and usually stared at nothing for hours. Sometimes she would speak, usually to him. On most days though, she would run a hand over her tummy and whisper softly, always beginning the same way.

"Let me tell you Daddy's story."*


The small room in the basement of STAR Labs seemed colder and more sterile than it usually was. Lois sat by the unconscious form of her husband, trying not to show all the emotions roiling just beneath the surface. This last bad guy had been amateurish at best, but what he lacked in experience he had made up for in Kryptonite.

*And to think, if he doesn't make it, the last thing he'll remember is that fight we had.* It had been a stupid fight, really, but one that had escalated to shouting and sleeping on couches. She wasn't even sure what the whole ordeal had been about.

Dr. Klein entered the small room with a stack of charts, feigning ignorance as Lois tried to discreetly wipe away the few errant tears that had managed to slip past. He gave her a brief but reassuring smile before checking the readouts on the monitors hooked up to the prone superhero.

"Well, Ms. Lane, the good news is that the big guy should make a full recovery." Lois let out the breath she had been holding, too relieved to correct the doctor on her name. One would think that after six years, he would remember that she was married.

The rest of his sentence filtered through her nerve-addled brain, and she turned sharply towards Klein. "Good news? What's the bad?"

"Well, it's not necessarily bad, but then it's not necessarily good, either. He was exposed to a great deal of Kryptonite, more so than he had been in years. It's going to take some time before his powers return this time."

"But he will make a full recovery, right?"

"Oh yes, he should. He's going to need plenty of rest and sunlight, though, and no wrestling any super-strength cyborgs or genetically enhanced kittens anytime soon." The object of their discussion groaned slightly as he began to wake up with his wife's name on his lips. "Hear that, big guy? No over doing it for awhile."

Superman made a feeble attempt to sit up, making it only as far as propping himself on an elbow before Lois helped him the rest of the way. "Sure thing, Doc. No wrestling… kittens?" He turned an inquisitive eye on his physician, who merely shrugged in an 'anything is possible' way.

"Don't worry, Dr. Klein. Clark and I will make sure he gets plenty of rest." She gently smoothed her fingers down her husband's shoulder as he smiled weakly at her.

Dr. Klein caught the tender exchange and smiled softly. "See that you guys do." After a brief examination to make sure Superman was fit to leave, he exited the room to give them the privacy that they were not aware he knew that they needed.

After the door was shut and they were alone, a very relieved Lois flung herself into her husband's arms, wrapping her own as tightly as she could around his chest. All the air was expelled from his lungs at the force of her embrace and his rib cage was being squeezed nearly to the breaking point, but he ignored the pain. Instead, he returned as much of the hug as he could while gently brushing her damp cheek.

"So I guess this means we're not fighting anymore?"

Lois let out a laugh that could have been a sob and shook her head, burrowing further into his arms.


*By the time she was six years old, Kaley Elaine and her mother had established a nightly ritual that would continue until she was ten. Her mother would ask what she wanted to hear for a bedtime story. The response was always the same, and even though her mother would resist at first, she would eventually relent.

"Tell me Daddy's story."*


The messages first started coming during the deep dreamless sleeps. At first, they were just shattered images of a world he instinctually knew but had never seen and a people he had met only once. They were so ambiguous that he paid no attention to them, figuring that they were just subconscious memories dancing around his cerebellum. He didn't realize that they were getting stronger until one morning he was awoken with a jolt by a shout that sounded suspiciously like his name.


He sat up in his bed for a long time, straining his hearing against the deafening silence. His powers were no closer to returning now than they had been two weeks ago, and he had gotten tired of cutting himself shaving thirteen days ago. There had been a mudslide in Colorado that he had not been able to prevent last week, a monsoon in Japan, and all he could do was sit helplessly as the news footage replayed on LNN. He didn't think he would have been able to survive the countless questions about Superman's whereabouts had it not been for his wife's hand brushing against the nape of his neck or her strong slender arms around his waist.

Eventually, he was able to relax his nerves enough to lie down again, but he wasn't able to return to sleep. Something kept urgently whispering in the back of his skull, but no matter how hard he tried, he wasn't able to hear what was being said. Giving up, he left the bed to sit in the chair under the window. The moonlight filtered through the gauzy curtains and softly illuminated the bed, casting his wife in a gentle glow. Her hand had fluttered to the spot he was just in and he could see her begin to stir from his absence.

*Something's going to happen soon.* He could feel it in his soul; something was coming, and it was huge, and there was nothing he could do to stop it.

Her eyes fluttered open and fell almost immediately on him, the soft sleepy smile she gave him nearly causing his knees to melt.

"Honey, what's wrong?" Her voice was thick with sleep, hair tousled by her pillow and there was a slight crease on her cheek where the seam had pressed against it. When she held out her hand to him and silently beckoned him back, he thought she had never looked more beautiful than she had at that moment and he fell hopelessly and completely in love with her all over again. Helpless against her, he rose out of the chair and could have sworn he floated back to her if it wasn't for the soft cushion of the carpeting against the soles of his feet.

A sudden sense of overwhelming urgency swept through him when his fingertips brushed against hers. There was something he had to do, something enormous, but he couldn't remember what it was. Instead, he leaned down and brushed his lips softly against hers before pulling back slightly. He brushed the tousled hair back before cupping her face in his palms, and for a moment all he could do was drink her in. The haze of sleep lifted from her eyes and was replaced with concern.

"Clark? Whatever it is, you can tell me."

*If I knew, I* would *tell you.* Instead of voicing these thoughts, he bent forward again with a kiss that left her breathless and him panting for air. The urgency was there, but he was helpless against it and all he could think to do was to lose himself in her; in her eyes, the touch of her hand, the softness of her body, and the sweet grip of her thighs wrapped tightly around his waist. It was enough and soon he was lost to all but the sound of her breathless cries and the sharp sting of fingernails in his back.

In the end, he was curled against her, head resting against her heartbeat. The urgency had left but was slowly sneaking back in and he could feel it slowly creep up his spine.

"You're shaking, and I don't think it's from what we just did." Her voice was soft and inquisitive, but he wasn't sure what to tell her. Loving fingers began to softly thread through his hair and mercifully the feeling began to ebb away once more. "Just… whatever it is, don't go through it alone. Please?"

He answered her with the only thing he was absolutely certain of. "I love you… so much."


Lois watched her husband as he typed up the rest of their story notes about the string of convenience store robberies. It had been two and a half weeks since he had woken up in STAR Labs and he was only just now getting his powers back, but they were still coming in even more slowly than either of them was used to. He could float a few feet off the ground but only for a few seconds. This morning in their kitchen, he had barely been able to lift the coffee pot and had almost immediately shattered the coffee mug in his hands.

There was something else that was bothering him more than the lack of powers, though. Ever since she had woken up to him sitting across the room in his chair, there was a sense of foreboding about him. Whenever she asked though, he would tell her that something was going to happen, he just didn't know what.

Suddenly his head shot up, and he seemed to be listening to something only he could hear.

Were his powers back? She could only hope, more for his own sanity than for the sake of the world. He had been taking the forced sabbatical from his Superman duties pretty hard. She half expected him to turn to her with that look in his eye that said he was needed, but he continued to sit there. Getting worried she moved towards his desk and placed a hand on his shoulder.

For a few long moments he seemed to be oblivious to her presence, which was in and of itself unusual, before he slowly turned to face her.

She hadn't seen him this frightened in years.

"Clark? What is it? Did you hear something?" She selfishly hoped that he had heard a cry for help that he couldn't respond to but somehow she knew that wasn't the case.

He grabbed her hand and headed for the conference room, almost dragging her in his haste. She was too shocked to protest and all thought to do so vanished when he closed the door and nearly started to hyperventilate. She was helpless to do anything for him and any attempt to help remained fruitless. Even when she led him to the chair and knelt before him, he didn't seem to see anything but what was in his head.

Finally his panic became her own. "Please tell me what's going on. You're starting to scare me."

His eyes snapped into focus and met hers in a look she had seen once in a deer's before she had rammed into it with her jeep last year. "He's coming."


"He's coming Lois, and I don't think I can stop him." His head began to shake back and forth as he fidgeted in his seat. "Even if my powers return on time, I don't think I can stop him. Zara showed me what he can do, what he did, and he's too strong and it's too much, and I just, I just can't and I-"

*"Clark!"* She pressed both of her hands to the sides of his face to get him to focus on her again. * "Who's* coming?"

He stared for a moment with that same desperate look he had given her the other night.



*At the age of fourteen, years after bedtime stories and fairytales were cool, Kaley became sick for the first time in her life.

It was the summer between her freshman and sophomore years of high school while she was visiting her grandparent's old Kansan farm. She had been playing in a field after a violent storm and tripped over a rock that reminded her of a cobra; beautiful, poisonous, hypnotic, and green.

Her mother flew in on the next available flight, more frightened than Kaley had ever remembered her being, flitting around her father's old room with cold damp washcloths and barely suppressed tears.

"Mamma?" She finally croaked out and the frantic woman stilled her movements. With a small voice she hadn't used in years, clutching a worn black and white teddy bear and tucked in her father's old bed, she asked for something that she hadn't asked for in a child's millennia.

"Tell me Daddy's story."*


"You can't face him, Clark! Your powers still aren't fully back!"

"I *have* to, Lois! I'm the only one who can!" He lowered his voice before imploring her, "Please honey, you've got to support me on this. I *need* you to support me on this."

Defeated, Lois sat at the edge of the couch. She crushed the piece of paper she had taken from her appointment earlier that morning, wringing it to near shreds between her fingers. She had expected to tell him the news that night at dinner, having momentarily brushed aside the thought of impending battle.

He knelt before her on the floor, softly brushing her cheek with the pad of his thumb. "Please," he begged softly. "You know I need you on this. Without you, I have no strength."

She grabbed his hand and held onto it tightly as she choked on her tears. "Can't Zara be wrong about this?" She implored him, desperation tingeing her words. "Can't he be heading somewhere else instead?" Lois knew even before he sadly shook his head that the answer would be no.

"Before Krypton was destroyed, Jor-El banished Zod to the Phantom Zone." Clark's voice was soft but steady as he told her about the crimes the Kryptonian had committed against his own people, crimes which had led to the eventual destruction of his homeworld.

"But how did he get free, then?"

Clark sadly shook his head before giving her a wavering smile. "There are radicals in even the best of governments. Apparently he still has some followers on New Krypton."

"But it was your father that did this." She began crying in earnest as she tried to cling to the last shreds of hope she had left. "Not you."

Unable to take her tears he immediately brought her to him, arms wrapping in a safe cocoon. "I know, I'm so sorry."

His voice sounded so lost. Up until today, she had tried to be the pillar of strength that she knew he needed ever since he got the message, a few weeks ago. When he would wake up from a nightmare, she would soothe him back to sleep or when he got to the point where even ding-dongs would lose their appeal, she would force him to talk. But it wasn't just the two of them that could suffer from the end of this anymore.

The way he clung to her, as though she alone could defeat anything, forced her to remember that he was right, that he was the only one who could stop this.

Lois clung to his neck, clutching at his jacket as a wadded piece of paper fell to the floor and rolled under the couch, forgotten.


*She got her first boyfriend at the age of sixteen. He was older than her and nicer to her than any boy had ever been.

After she stopped his too fast advances, he dumped her that night and the rumors started spreading the next day.

When she told her mother about it, after a week of locking herself in her room and barely eating, she was surprised to discover that her mother had been in the same situation.

"I don't see why I have to even bother with guys anymore."

"Kaley, I went through several bad eggs before I found your father. Most of them hurt me in one way or another, but none broke my heart."

"Why's that, Mamma?"

"Because the only one who could have was your father. He's the only one I've ever truly loved."

Kaley thought for a moment, deciding maybe she'd try the whole boy thing again one day. After this conclusion, she looked up at her mother and gave her a smile that would make anyone forget their name.

"Tell me Daddy's story."*


The ship came unannounced the following Tuesday. Not even NASA's best satellites had been able to detect it until it was already in orbit.

Clark had felt it coming, and Lois suspected that maybe she had as well. The night before Zod's ship announced itself, she had had a strange dream involving aliens trying to carve her heart out with sporks. She had woken up screaming that she didn't know how to make Flame Beast Pâté, and it had taken Clark a good ten minutes to calm her down.

When Zod announced his arrival, he made it known to Clark first.

When Zod announced he was claiming the planet for himself, his voice thundered through the heads of every single human being on the planet.


"I know you'll win this," she whispered to him softly after the press conference. His cape swirled around the both of them in the cool breeze, the red fabric grazing against her bare arms. The sun was shining and there were even birds singing.

If she had had her way it would have been raining, angry clouds swirling around their heads as thunder and lightning warred for dominance in the heavens.

"I will," he replied in a confident tone. She knew that tone though; it was the one he used when he was trying to be confident for her sake, even when he was a mess of nerves on the inside. She hated that tone.

"You'd better." She took a breath, realizing that this was it. She hadn't told him what the doctor had told her. A part of her feared that if she did, the news would jinx him. But looking at him now, she realized that she had to tell him. She didn't want to think about why. "Clark, you need to come back."

"Lois, I will do everything — *everything* — in my power to come back to you." He gently cupped her cheek and flashed a smile beautiful enough to nearly cause her to forget her own name. "You know I will."

"No, I don't need you to come back to me." She took a deep breath, once again wondering if this was the right thing to do. "I need you to come back to *us*."

Confusion marred his expression for several seconds before she gently rolled her eyes and brought their hands down to her stomach. "*We* need you back? Not in the royal sense, either."

His expression was blank for several seconds and she mentally kicked herself for giving him the news so suddenly and at the last second.

Then he gave her the biggest, happiest smile she had ever seen on anyone before he pulled her into a warm embrace.

He pulled back and was suddenly unsure what to do with his hands. They fluttered from her face to her arms and then down to her stomach. "Are you sure? Really? For real?"

Lois laughed before nodding. "Yep, pretty sure. So you'd better get my husband home safely, big guy."

He pulled her in again, but this time it was for a kiss that left her knees weak and toes curling.

"I'll have him back in time for dinner."


Clark stared at the massive ship before him before gathering his nerve and entering.

**Welcome, Kal-El. I have been waiting a very long time for this.**

Out of nowhere, his enemy struck, and he went down.


**You are weak. Just as your father was. Just as these pathetic mortals below us. **

Superman held his side as he struggled against the pain that tore through him. His strength hadn't fully returned, although now he wondered if it would truly have made a difference. They had been fighting for what had seemed like an eternity and Clark knew that the time Zod had spent in the Phantom Zone had not been used just sitting around.

**You're quiet, Kal-El. Do you admit defeat already? **

For a brief second, he felt like doing so. Just give in and allow the pain to finally stop.

*I need you to come back to us.* He heard her voice as though she were right there beside him. If he strained his hearing far enough he swore he could just make out the faint rhythm of her heart.

And maybe he was hallucinating, but he swore he could hear a second one just beneath it.

A surge of renewed strength flowed through him as he lifted his head. "My name is *Clark Kent,*" he growled before lunging forward again.



Everything hurt.

He barely had the strength to stand, let alone the strength to fight off his seemingly tireless foe.

**You're even more pathetic than your father. You've spent too much time with these beasts. ** The Kryptonian dragged Clark's nearly limp body to the opening of the ship. **It's time you die with them. **

Zod delivered another kick to Clark's stomach, sending him sprawling. On the floor, Clark reached down to his boot and unlatched the strap holding a blade in a lead sheath.

**What is this? You truly think that an earthen made weapon will destroy me? **

"No," Clark said, standing to face his enemy one last time. "But this will."

In one swift motion, he had the knife unsheathed and was running, crying out as the blade glowed a sickly green. With all of his strength, he plunged the blade deeply into the man's soft stomach. The cry of pain and fury ricocheted through his skull, causing him to lose control. And instead of letting go as he had originally planned, he clung to the body of his enemy.

The force of his momentum carried them both out of the ship, falling into the atmosphere.


He could feel Zod struggling to get free and could feel their momentum slowing. There was no way he could allow this maniac to survive this.

While Zod may have strength gained in the Phantom Zone, Clark still had the home field advantage.

"Welcome to *my* world, buddy." And with that, Clark focused all his strength and energy into accelerating them both downward.

*I'm so sorry, Lois.* He thought suddenly, as the world came rushing towards them. *I'm not coming home for dinner.*

As the ground got closer he could hear his name ringing out through the sky.

He squeezed his eyes shut and focused out everything else but what he was doing this for. As Zod's struggling diminished, he let his mind go out to them.

*I have my future to save.*


*"Clark!"* His name was torn from her throat as she watched him freefall at an impossible speed. Lois could hear his voice in her mind, telling her he couldn't make do on his promise.

She was too far away to see the impact, but when the ground beneath her feet trembled slightly, she knew. He knees gave way from under her as she tried to run towards the direction her husband had fallen. As she stumbled forward, she barely felt the arms holding her back.

"Lois, stop!" Jimmy's voice filtered in, but she wouldn't hear him. "You don't want to go over there now."

She struggled against the photographer, screaming. "*Clark!* Let me go I've got to get to him! I have to make sure he's all ri- *CLARK!"* She couldn't move then and could only slide to the ground.

It was over.


She screamed herself hoarse into Jimmy's shirt, who didn't bother with empty platitudes.


*The mirror reflected a woman Kaley almost didn't recognize as her mother took measurements and scribbled down notes with a fervor that was usually reserved for the most intriguing stories. The black fabric clung tightly to her like a second skin, while the blue wafted softly against her thighs. She really didn't think that the blonde wig would do much to hide who she was and when she had originally brought that up her mother had scoffed and said that simpler disguises had fooled the smartest people.

There was a flutter in her chest as she realized that this was it; this is what she was born to do. Apprehension and excitement warred with each other to create a delicious feeling that she couldn't begin to describe.

"Mamma?" she asked, so softly that she wasn't sure the other woman had heard until the movement against her side stilled. She kept her gaze steady on the pair of anxious eyes in the mirror as she swallowed. "Do you think he would be proud?"

A soft hand cupped her cheek and directed her gaze to a pair of similar brown eyes. "He's been proud of you since before I told him about you." The older woman gave her a soft watery smile. "You're his legacy."

Kaley tried to hold back the tears, but was betrayed by a loud sniffle.

"Tell me Daddy's story."*


Shule, shule, shule-a-roo,

Shule-a-rak-shak, shule-a-ba-ba-coo.

When I saw my Sally Babby Beal,

come bibble in the boo shy Lorey.

{*Here I sit on Buttermilk Hill;

who could blame me, cry my fill;

Every tear would turn a mill,

Johnny's gone for a soldier.*}

{*Shule, shule, shule-a-roo,

Shule-a-rak-shak, shule-a-ba-ba-coo.

When I saw my Sally Babby Beal,

come bibble in the boo shy Lorey.*}

{*I sold my flax, I sold my wheel,

to buy my love a sword of steel;

So it in battle he might wield,

Johnny's gone for a soldier.*}

{*Shule, shule, shule-a-roo,

Shule-a-rak-shak, shule-a-ba-ba-coo.

When I saw my Sally Babby Beal,

come bibble in the boo shy Lorey.*}

{*Oh my baby, oh, my love,

gone the rainbow, gone the dove.

Your father was my only love;

Johnny's gone for a soldier.*}

{*Shule, shule, shule-a-roo,

Shule-a-rak-shak, shule-a-ba-ba-coo.

When I saw my Sally Babby Beal,

come bibble in the boo shy Lorey.*}

*-Peter Paul and Mary*