untitled right now

by ultragirl

Author's notes: This fic is based on the Superman: The Animated Series epidode, "Myxipixilated." The first one where we see Mxy. :p I'm not exactly sure how much like the episode this will actually be, however. Well, anyways, I hope you like it.

Disclaimers: Not mine, nope, nuh-uh. Just the words...most of them. Characters, blah, blah, blah...all belong to people with more money than I'll ever have.

//Thoughts.// *Emphasis.*

*****

"How am I supposed to be Superman if I keep flipping out?" It was a rhetorical question, really. Clark knew his parents couldn't really help him on this one. It was all really insane, wild, out of this world, beyond Clark's comprehension. And it was starting to make him nuts...

//But what if I really am going insane?// Clark thought. Being Superman- having two identities, dealing with super-villains, seeing so much pain, destruction...and death -well, it was enough to make almost anyone crazy after a while. What if this time, he had really lost it? How was he supposed to be Superman if he kept...well, acting really crazy?

*****

"Lois, are you finished ye...t...?" Clark had turned toward his partner and friend, Lois Lane, to inquire whether she was ready to go home yet. She had offered him a ride home earlier that day, and well, how was he to refuse her? However, what he saw before him was very unexpected.

There was no Lois at her desk; rather, there stood a horse. A tall, chestnut mare. In the newsroom. Instead of Lois. //O-kay...// Clark thought. For a minute, he just stood there in front of his desk and stared at the horse. Then, he looked around the rest of the newsroom. More animals...a bear, an ostrich, a lion, a walrus, a penguin, a pig...there were no people, only animals. He blinked, hard. Nope, there were still animals. He shook his head, as if to clear it. It didn't rid him of the sight before him, though. He closed his eyes again, only this time he kept them shut for a few minutes before opening them again.

Then he heard Lois' voice asking if he was okay, and felt her shaking him lightly. He peeked out from beneath his eyelids; there was Lois! He opened his eyes completely and scrutinized the newsroom; nope, definitely no more animals. He sighed in relief.

"Clark! Mothership to Clark! Helllooo?" Lois called at him as she waved her hand in front of him.

"Yeah, Lois?" he answered abstractly, still trying to make sense of what he had seen.

Lois examined him closely for a second, before asking him again, "Clark, are you sure you're okay?"

"Hunh? Oh, sure, fine, Lois. Thanks," he replied, this time almost focussing completely on her.

"'Thanks' for what?"

"Hmm?" Well, at least he had turned all his attention to her.

"I asked you if you were okay, you said 'sure,' then you said 'thanks.' I was just wondering why?"

"Uhh...for asking?"

"Oy. Nevermind. Now, are you ready to go?"

"Oh, sure. Ready if you are."

"Let's go then."

*****

That had been the first little "episode," as Clark had come to call them. He had figured that it had just been over-work or lack of sleep or maybe just an over-active imagination, even though he *knew* that he couldn't suffer from such things- after all, he was Superman. Then, a few days later, he had another experience like the first. Only, the second time was worse.

*****

He and Lois were covering the unveiling of a new statue at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He had been looking foward to the occasion for several days, ever the patron of art. He and Lois had arrived a little early, and he wandered away from the shrouded exhibit to inspect some other sculptures. He was just walking along, minding his own business, when it happened again.

The twisted pieces of metal which formed the abstract figure before him sprung to life all of the sudden. He jumped back as it attacked him; he figured that at least this time, the people around him hadn't somehow transformed into animals. Instead, they did what people usually do when they're taken by surprise and/or are struck by fear: they panicked. Screams emanated from various areas of the room and everyone scattered, fearing the monstrous beast which had been born from the metallic sculpture. Seeing that no one was left in that particular room, Clark grappled with the monster for a few minutes, before he managed to smash off one of its limbs.

Then everything returned to exactly the way they had been before the creature had appeared. Except now the abstract piece titled simply "Monster" lay in two pieces on the floor. Lois was at his side again, her hand resting gently on his forearm as he stared at the mess he had made.

"What happened, Clark? Are you okay?" she asked, concerned, both for him and the opinions of the museum owners, the artist, and the public, along with the work of art itself.

When he made no move to answer, but merely gazed at the room around him with a strange, disbelieving curiousity, she decided to maneuver him gently away from the scene of destruction and the small crowd that had gathered there. She guided him out of the museum in silence; he obeyed, simply because he couldn't comprehend exactly what had happened.

One minute, everything had been fine, then that statue had become animate and he fough it off, then everything had become normal again and he realized he had destroyed a work of art. He thought back to the animals he had seen, or thought he had seen in the newsroom a few days ago. It seemed similar to what had just happened.

He didn't understand what was going on; nothing like this had ever happened to him. Was he going insane? What was up here? What was happening to him?

"Clark? Hellooo? Clark!"

"Mmm... Lois, yeah, I'm sorry, what were you saying?" He shook himself out of the trance he had been in when he realized Lois was calling to him again.

Lois stared at him, then said, "I said, are you okay?"

"Yeah, fine. I'm..fine. Why?"

"'Why?'" Lois parroted. He nodded slightly. "Because, Clark, you just destroyed that art work in there! Because, this is the second time you just sort of blanked and looked, and now acted, weird! What's going on with you?" She narrowed her eyes at him, as if daring him *not* to answer truthfully.

"...I..." She quirked an eyebrow expectantly. Nothing was 'going on' with him! Everything was fine...wasn't it? //Of course it is!// he thought vehemently. //Of course it is.// Yeah, except that he had experienced two very strange vision-like things in an interim of a few days... "Nothing, Lois, nothing is going on; everything's fine." He started out strong, but the "...thing's fine" was so quiet Lois almost didn't hear him. She looked at him skeptically.

"Everything's *fine,* okay?" he insisted. He turned on his heel and stalked off in the direction of Lois' Jeep, which was parked over in the parking lot. Why should he have to defend himself against her? ...Why did he have to defend himself even in his own mind...? Nothing was wrong; he was just tired or something.

//Everything is *not* fine; how are you going to make up for that statue you ruined, Clark Kent?// his conscience chastised him. He stopped in his tracks; that inner voice was right- how was he supposed to make up for that? //Oh, damn. What am I gonna do now?// he thought, feeling frustrated and desperate. He didn't know. //Great, just great.//

He had heard Lois follow him and noticed that she had stopped just a foot or so behind him. He turned around; the expression painted on his face openly displaying his anguish. Lois had been frustrated with him just a second before; then she saw his face. He looked so troubled. All her frustration disipated; right now, she had to help her best friend.

"Lois..." he said in a strangled sort of voice. "Lois, I'm sorry. I didn't mean it, really. I...I don't know what happened; I didn't mean to cause any harm! Lois, what am I gonna do?" He looked so distraught... She went up to him and took his hands gently in hers.

"Well, first you're going to write them a formal letter of apology, to the museum, the artist, and the public. Then, you're going to offer to either pay for the damage you've done, or offer to make up for it some other way. Finally, you're going to tell me what's bothering you."

She watched his distress ease slightly; then he erased all of his emotions and replaced them with a calm exterior. "Okay," he said simply. Then he added, "Let's get going. I have to go write a letter."

She smiled slightly at him, trying to be encouraging, and not let her worry for him show too much. "All right then, let's go," she said.

They headed for her Jeep together.

*****

Clark had written the letter of apology, and the artist, museum, and its patrons had accepted it politely. He had made the offers Lois had suggested, and the museum and the artist had accepted a payment from him. He still didn't feel he had really made up for the pain he had caused, but there really wasn't much else he could do. Still, it ate away at him when he thought about what he had done.

However, the most recent episode had truly been, the worst.

*****

to be continued...

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