Cry of the Silver Banshee

by ultragirl

This fic is based loosely on the graphic novel "Legends of the World's Finest" and the mini-series "Superman: Silver Banshee." It's been going really well so far, so hopefully I'll actually finish this eventually.

Legal mumbo-jumbo: Superman, Clark Kent, Lois Lane, etc. do not belong to me. No copyright infringement intended.

//These indicate thoughts.// *These denote emphasis.*

*****

The demon was there again. Silver and gleaming in the darkness, she- for it looked like a "she" -stood, or perhaps floated, in the recesses of the all-encompassing blackness. She was all he could see in the inky blackness; she seemed far away, so very far away. He could barely see her. At first, all he saw was a silvery shadow, but then she- or maybe he -got closer, and closer. As she grew steadily nearer, he could see that she seemed to be screaming- in anguish, perhaps -but no sound escaped her lips- or at least none he could hear.

Then he heard it; it was her scream. A terrible wailing sound emanated from her lips. The nearer he got, the louder and less bearable it became. Finally, she seemed almost on top of him. She was truly monstrous. Her long, flowing mane of hair was white, pure white, and glimmered in the darkness; her skin was silver- as though someone had painted her with a metallic paint all over; the clothes she wore looked...medieval, for this was the only way he could think to describe them. Then he was able to glimpse her face through the mass of white hair which seemed to want to wrap him up in itself- it was white...? Or silver, like the rest of her skin? Then it seemed to dawn on him all at one terrifying moment- there was no face there at all. Her head was merely a skull. Her eyes...they were black, cold, dark black, though they glinted like wet onyx. All the while her tortured scream resonated in his ears, louder and louder, threatening to make his head explode with its noise and ferocity.

Finally, he could bear it no more; completely encompassed in her glaring white hair, he closed his eyes. The last thing he could hear was her screaming, joined by his own.

*****

Clark Kent sat bolt upright in his bed. He glanced around the room fearfully. Panting heavily, he realized he felt oddly...freezing. He looked down at himself; his naked torso was slick with a cold sweat. That was extraordinarily strange; being Superman, he rarely perspired, and he had never, since he was a little boy, awakened in a cold sweat before.

Time, time...what time was it? It was still pitch black outside, he could tell that much, but what time was it actually? The brilliant idea of checking his alarm clock suddenly flung itself into his mind, and he whirled his eyes toward the night stand.

Midnight, exactly.

He was still breathing heavily, and he felt himself shaking. He wasn't sure what had awakened him; he felt it was a dream...no, a nightmare, that had disturbed his sleep. He tried to remember what it had been about, but the memory of it slipped away through his fingers like quicksilver as he tried to grasp it.

Deciding it was useless trying to remember the nightmare, he slid out of his bed and headed for his kitchen. He poured himself a cool glass of water, and gulped it down, not really because he was thirsty, but more because he felt so nervous, shaken by the dream. He downed the entire glass in a few seconds, then gasped hungrily for air.

He set the glass in the sink and turned to go back to bed. He had made it to his doorway when he saw his bed; he was suddenly seized by an unreasonable desire *not* to return to it. Turning away quickly, he headed instead for his couch; as he sat down, he grabbed the remote and turned on the tv. He flipped through the channels rapidly, then decided to not watch anything after all.

After a few moments of sitting staring into nothing, he decided that a few laps around the world at super-speed might calm him. He stood up, grabbed a Superman suit from his secret compartment, and spun into it. He then flew away into the dark night via his balcony.

*****

Clark stepped off the elevator the next morning feeling more tired than he had in a while- and that really wasn’t that tired. He couldn’t really get tired because he was Superman; however, he did feel a little worn out today. He had flown several laps around the world trying to ease the tension from his body after awakening from that horrible dream. Then he had returned to his apartment, but had experienced the same reluctance to return to his bed as he had earlier. So, instead, he had flown around some more, running patrols and stopping petty crooks in the early morning. Then he had returned home, showered, dressed, eaten breakfast, and headed out again for work.

Now he trudged sleepily into the newsroom and decided that coffee was definitely a good idea this morning, and not just for Lois. He poured two mugs of steaming black coffee while he scanned the room for Lois; there she was, sitting at her desk, furiously typing away at something. He smiled lazily; she could always bring a smile to his face.

He took the two mugs of coffee carefully in his hands and walked over to Lois' desk. He set the mug he had poured full of the steaming liquid on her desk, wished her a good morning, and waited. It was a moment before she looked up or even acknowledged him as she continued to type. He glanced over her shoulder; it looked like she had only another sentence or two to go.

"There," she said triumphantly as she hit the spell-check button on her computer. Then she turned towards him and smiled. "Thanks for the coffee, Clark."

"Hmm? Oh, sure, no problem," he replied. Boy, it was gonna be a long day if it took him (more than a few seconds??) that long to process a simple "thanks for the coffee, Clark."

"Hey, you look beat," Lois stated. "Rough night?"

"Yeah, I guess you could say that," he answered and sighed.

"'Yeah, I guess you could say that?' That doesn't sound very reassuring."

"Gee, thanks for the support, Lois."

She raised her eyebrows at him. He just stared at her in confusion. Then he suddenly realized what she had meant.

"Oh...you meant... I mean..." he stuttered.

"You really are tired, aren't you, Kent?"

"Oh...you meant... I mean..." he repeated. It was funny how he could repeat his words of just a second earlier so accurately.

Then she burst out laughing. He looked at her, puzzled. "Geez, you *really* didn't sleep much last night, did you?" she managed to get out between gasps for breath as her laughing ceased.

Then it dawned on him that she had been joking the entire time. He grinned.

"So... What were you writing?" he asked her as he indicated her computer screen.

"Oh, a letter of recommendation."

His eyebrows went up; Lois Lane, tenacious reporter, reduced to writing...*letters of recommendation*? "All right, who are you, and what have you done with Lois Lane?" he inquired, imitating the kind of FBI agent you would expect to find in some bad black-and-white alien movie from the 50s.

She just looked at him in disbelief. Then he smiled and puched her lightly in the shoulder- boxing-style. "C'mon, Lois, I was just kidding." She laughed again. He loved it when she did that...especially when he was the one to make her do it. He knew that she knew that he was just teasing; it was one of the things he loved about their friendship.

"No, seriously though. I met up with an old aquaintance a few days back. She just moved here from Scotland a few weeks ago. I knew her back when I was in college; she worked as a researcher for the local newspaper then, and she and I would get together sometimes. She taught me some of the ropes of life. She was pretty great, so I decided to return the favor by helping her get a job here."

Clark raised his eyebrows mock-sceptically. Then he grinned and said, "That's great, Lois. Good for you. I knew there was a caring person in there somewhere."

"Don't push me, Kent."

"Okay, Lois; I mean, you are 'top banana.'"

She rolled her eyes. "Ha, ha, very funny."

"Hm, I thought so," he replied as he turned away and ducked to avoid her hand. He walked over to his desk and sat down. He looked from his coffee, to Lois, to his computer screen, trying to figure where to start. "LOIS, CLARK, my office, NOW!" shouted Perry above the din of the newsroom. Yep, looong day.

*****

A young woman with long, flowing auburn hair and dark eyes stepped out of the taxi. She looked up at the immense silver globe before her; the Daily Planet globe. She breathed in the scent of the air around her; glanced at the people walking by her; listened to the sounds of bustling downtown Metropolis, absorbing the atmosphere.

The people here were busy, always preoccupied with something. They rush around, always going somewhere, be it to their jobs, their homes, wherever. They don’t care much about what goes on around them; only about what they must do. //No one will notice the penetration.//

*****

“C’mon, Clark, let’s go!” Lois insisted anxiously.

“Okay, okay, I’m right behind you, go,” answered Clark as he shut down his computer and grabbed his jacket. He then jogged over to Lois, who had by that time reached the elevators and had pressed the “down” button.

“Gee, think you’re in a rush today?” he asked sarcastically, but gently.

“Gee, think you’re a little slow today?” she parroted back at him.

“Well, excuse me for having a hard time sleeping last night.”

“Oh, you mean ‘a hard time sleeping,’” she joked as she made quotation marks in the air with her fingers.

“No, not ‘a hard time sleeping,’” he answered, mimicking her hand motion as they boarded the elevator, “Just a hard time.”

“Oh, yeah?”

“Yeah,” he replied quietly as his mind drifted back to the memory of the night.

Lois studied her partner for a minute. He was staring at the floor of the elevator. She could tell he was remembering something that he would have preferred to have forgotten. His face was drawn with the weariness that came with lack of sleep, and his eyes…his eyes were not seeing the floor he was staring at right then. He was far away, lost in some memory, or dream, or something; wherever he was, she could tell it wasn’t a very good place. His handsome brown eyes held a strange, haunted look in their depths…she rarely saw that look there. In fact, she only remembered a few times when she had seen it there, remembered wondering what caused it.

Her expression softened. He really hadn’t gotten much sleep last night, and she could tell he probably wasn’t really in the mood for her teasing.

“Wanna talk about it?” she asked quietly.

The elevator car was enveloped in silence for a little while as he seemed to contemplate her question. She didn’t really know what he might want to talk about, but she could see that he needed to talk.

“Not really,” he answered in a low voice.

“Okay,” she replied softly.

They walked outside slowly and headed for Lois' Jeep. As they fastened their seatbelts, Clark looked out the windshield of the car.

"It was a dream," he said abstractly.

"Say what?" she asked him as she turned to look at him.

"A dream," he confirmed. "A nightmare, actually."

Lois didn't say anything.

"I...I don't really remember what it was about...just that it wasn't good."

She nodded slightly in understanding.

"I've tried to remember it, I just *can't.* All I know is that it's terrifying…I wish I could remember it…" He stared at somewhere far away for a minute again. "Anyway, it woke me up last night. After that, I just didn't want..." He gestured vaguely with his hands, searching for the right words. "I just didn't want to be in my place."

"What do you mean, you 'didn't want to be in your place?'" she inquired.

"I just didn't want to go back to sleep, is all. So I went out for a walk. I just did that...well, all night," he answered, only half-truthfully.

"You walked around the city *all night*?" she asked increduously.

"Well, yeah, pretty much."

She looked at him.

"Well, okay, maybe not *all* night. But I really didn't sleep all night. I just...didn't want to go to bed again."

"Why?"

"Well, I dunno, because. It was just this weird feeling of reluctance to go to bed."

"Sounds to me like you were scared," she pointed out to him.

"...maybe..I was."

Lois waited a few more minutes to see if he had anything else to say. When he remained silent, she sighed quietly and turned to start the Jeep.

*****

to be continued...

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