Hurt & Comfort

Book 8: Seeking Comfort

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Chapter 11: Cartoon Revelation II

"Hey Guys!" Andrew called as we entered the boathouse.

I smiled at the warm and genuine greeting. I couldn't imagine what it would be like to be somewhere without family and wouldn't want to find out.

"How did things go?" Logan asked with concern.

"Good." John said, his warm look conveying more meaning than his monosyllabic response.

Logan nodded and turned his attention back to the television.

"What are we watching?" I asked, looking at blobs of color moving on the television screen.

"We're not exactly sure. It's like each color is a different army. Some of the strategies are amazing. We've been watching it since classes let out." Xander said from the couch beside Remy.

"Are you guys hungry? Dad made stew and biscuits for dinner and it was really great. It's still on the stove if you want some." Alan said, holding a baby in his arms.

I thought about the question and decided that I'd like something to eat. I'd eaten dinner before we left for the meeting, but I was too nervous to eat very much.

Apparently John was the same because he nodded and walked to the kitchen with me.

Scott, Trey and Alex came in with us.

"I can't get enough of his stew. This will be my fourth bowl." Alex said happily.

"Stew is the perfect food on a cold night like this." Scott said as he dipped a bowl of stew for himself.

"There's tea in the fridge if you want some. Just don't get the tea in the yellow pitcher." Alex said as he picked up two biscuits.

"What's wrong with the yellow pitcher?" Scott asked as he carried his food to the kitchen table.

"It's Borg tea. You probably wouldn't like it." Alex said with a smile as he sat beside Scott.

Trey seemed to perk up at that and went to the refrigerator to get himself a glass of tea from the yellow pitcher.

"What have we missed around here?" Scott asked between spoons of stew.

"Not much. Alan told us what was accomplished on the construction today and we compared notes on our classes... that's about all. Spike and Chris went with Angel over to Julia's for dinner. Oh yeah, Lee is going to start his mutant power training with Andrew on Monday." Alex said in thought.

I looked at Alex curiously and he continued, "Lee's ability is like Andrew's but he hasn't learned to target. They're going to work on it after the holiday."

I nodded and took another spoon. The stew really was excellent.

"How about you? What happened with your appointment?" Alex asked John curiously.

"Me and dad came to an understanding I guess. We're gonna try and work things out." John said uncomfortably.

"John was great. I'm proud of him." I said as I gave John a quick hug from the side.

"I don't know what was said in there, but he walked out with their respect." Scott said in confirmation.

John ducked his head and focused on his stew.

"That's great. I hope it works out for you." Alex said quietly.

John met Alex's eyes and nodded.

"Clark, come here quick!" Xander's voice called from the living room.

I ran out of the kitchen and into the living room. On the television, I could see an image that I'd only ever seen in my dreams.

"It's about Krypton! Come on Clark, you don't want to miss this!" Andrew said with excitement.

I sat in the floor in front of the television, stunned.

The cartoon showed many people worrying about the red sun of their planet becoming unstable. Ja'reth, a leader of a group of people contacted some traders from the neighboring system of planets to arrange for his group to leave their home world.

The story continued to tell how the people were able to gather enough resources to get their own ship. They made way from their home system across the galaxy for nearly a hundred years before they settled on a new planet in a system with a red sun... just like Krypton. They named their colony 'New Krypton'.

I watched in wonder, in shock, as the story unfolded.

The cartoon told of survivors of my home planet... across the galaxy, but survivors. People like me. Living and growing, using their technology to create a sort of utopia. A perfect peaceful life for every person.

"What's wrong with the color?" Lee asked, squinting at the screen.

"That's what it looks like on a world with a red sun. The colors don't filter the same as with a yellow sun." I said as I watched the strangely familiar patterns of color.

The voice that had been in the background, describing the Krypton colony, was now coming from the mouth of one of the animated characters.

"Please, may we land and make repairs? Our ship has been damaged." The animated character asked in worry.

"New Krypton is a closed colony. You may land in an unpopulated area, make your repairs, then leave." A stern voice said from a speaker.

The animation showed the ship landing in a desert area, and clearly showed a large rip in the side of the ship's hull.

"Are you well?" A woman asked, running to the ship as the door opened.

"Yes, But I don't think we're supposed to be talking to anyone from the colony, they told us to land, make repairs and leave." the man said.

The woman nodded and said, "I am Venga... When you leave... may I go with you? The founders do not allow us to question them or participate in the decision making process. This colony is becoming stagnant and cannot survive." The woman said desperately.

The man smiled and said, "Come with me, I'll take you to a world where you can live and grow in freedom."

The scene skipped to show the ship leaving 'New Krypton' and going into space.

"In due time Venga became my wife and mother to my many children... We pass this story along so our children will know their heritage and be warned of the sin of hubris."

Then the cartoon showed the Borg coming and... scooping up... the colony. The fading image of the baron wasteland that was 'New Krypton' burned itself in my mind as the voice on the screen said, "Those who live their lives believing only in technology are destined to meet their end when superior technology arrives."

Silence fell over the room. My people, the last of my people... gone. Taken by the Borg.

"Clark? Are you okay?" Xander asked in a small, worried voice.

I snapped out of my shock and said, "Um, I don't know."

"This came from another dimension... it doesn't mean that the same thing happened here." Andrew said cautiously.

I nodded, not really understanding, but too shocked to really think about it.

I felt an arm come around my shoulders and looked to see Trey holding me with a fearful expression.

I hesitated, but finally leaned over and rested my head on Trey's shoulder.

"Clark, if you need to talk about anything, we're here for you." Andrew said with concern.

I nodded. My thoughts were racing and I couldn't focus on any one thought.

Then something occurred to me and made me jolt up out of Trey's embrace.

"How did you know?" I asked suddenly.

"What?" Andrew asked in puzzlement.

"I never told Trey or anyone the name of my home planet. How did you know?" I asked, feeling certain that they had lied to me somehow.

Andrew and Xander shared a look.

Alan was the one who finally spoke.

"Clark, those of us from other dimensions know about you. You're kind of a legend... or your counterpart is..." Alan trailed off and looked to Andrew for help.

I followed his gaze and looked at Andrew expectantly.

"Clark Kent is a fictional character in my world. In his secret identity... Superman... he fought crime and protected the Earth." Andrew said in thought.

"We didn't tell you because we didn't want to pressure you with all that." Xander said from the other couch.

I thought about what they said and finally asked, "So how much do you know about me?"

"You see, that's the thing. It isn't exactly about you. It's about someone else. We don't know how much of what we've learned is real and how much is made up." Andrew said with a helpless expression.

Lee got up off the couch and left the room.

"When were you going to tell me?" I asked in a small voice, feeling that I'd been betrayed.

"We wanted to be sure that you knew we were here for you. We didn't want you to feel that you were among strangers having to deal with this." Andrew said with a look of pain.

"But you are strangers. You pretended to not know me. You acted like you cared for me but you lied... a lie of omission." I said as tears welled up in my eyes.

Trey pulled me back into a hug.

"Did you know?" I asked Trey hesitantly.

"I knew that father knew of someone with your name from another dimension. That is all." Trey said fearfully, I could see that he was bracing himself for rejection.

"Why didn't you tell me?" I asked in a whisper.

"It never seemed topical." Trey said in a pained voice.

I nodded and pulled Trey close, letting him know that I wasn't angry at him.

Lee walked back into the room carrying a bag.

"Clark, after we met, I went back to my dimension to get my clothes and things... I picked this up while I was there." Lee said quietly as he handed me a plastic shopping bag.

I opened the bag and looked in wonder at the thick comic book compellation.

"This should tell you what you want to know. It's pretty much the origin of Superman and his early life." Lee said and walked back to the couch.

I looked at the book and then up at Andrew and Lee.

"Go ahead Clark. This will tell you what we know about you... or the other, fictional you." Andrew said with worry.

I nodded and opened the comic.

* * * * *

I had to laugh. Tights and a cape?

"What is it Clark?" Andrew asked at my reaction.

"Th... That outfit! Can you imagine... me... wearing that!" I said between chuckles.

Andrew laughed and even Trey smiled.

"Look... look at this. Lois Lane?" I said, as I laughed at the very thought.

Everyone was silent as they watched me leafing through the book.

"Wait..." I said as I found a name... a familiar name.

"Jimmy Olsen?" I said and looked at Jimmy.

"Yeah, funny coincidence isn't it? He was named after that fictional character." Andrew said weakly.

"Funny." I said uncertainly and flipped through a few more pages.

"We never considered we'd be meeting you back then. Alan and I thought Jimmy's personality was a perfect match for the fictional character we'd both read about... that's all.

"Clark, I would very much like to read that when you're finished, I would like to know more about my namesake." Jimmy said quietly.

I nodded and continued to page through the book.

I froze in place as I saw another familiar name.

"What is it?" Xander asked in concern.

"Lex." is all I could say.

"Oh... yeah." Andrew said shyly.

"One of my friends is a bad guy?" I asked uncertainly.

"In this story, yeah." Andrew said, sounding uncomfortable.

I closed the book and looked up. "I need some time to think... I'm going back to the mansion." I said as I stood.

Trey stood too and looked at me with concern.

"We're okay Trey, I'm not angry at you or anything. I just need some time." I whispered to Trey.

Some of the worry on his face lessened and I pulled him into a hug.

Trey pulled back and put his hands on the sides of my face then guided me into a full kiss.

Everything else faded as I focused on the sensation of Trey's passionate, loving kiss.

"Um... Guys?" Alan asked hesitantly.

Trey reluctantly broke the kiss and looked to his dad.

"It's okay if you kiss around us but... tone it down a little." Alan said carefully.

"Yes Dad." Trey said with a blush.

"I'll see you all tomorrow..." I said as I walked toward the door, diverting slightly to hand Jimmy the comic book.

"Clark, can I come with you?" John asked hopefully.

"Yeah." I said and continued to the door.

John hurried to follow.

* * * * *

"Did you know?" I asked as we walked in the chilly night air.

"No. Not at all." John said immediately.

I nodded and continued to walk.

"What's wrong? I mean, I sort of know, but I don't know what you're feeling." John said brokenly.

"Neither do I, not really. I'm feeling too many things all at once to be sure. I know I'm feeling betrayed. I trusted them and they lied to me... for whatever reason, it doesn't change the fact that it hurts." I said as I gazed ahead of us.

"I know. It'll be tough to trust them again... but you will, won't you?" John finished quietly.

"Yeah... I think... I don't know. I thought they really liked me, but now... what if it's the guy in the tights they really like and they want me to be him?" I asked as I stopped to look in John's eyes.

"I don't think they want you to be anything but yourself. What would you have done if they told you all this on Sunday?" John asked seriously.

I thought about that... I was scared... alone... didn't know anyone... If they told me this, I would have left, avoided everyone, wouldn't have been able to accept Trey... maybe not even John.

"Okay, I got that... in my head at least. But I still feel like I was betrayed." I said as I started to walk again.

"This is the bad thing about schools." John said distantly.

"What?" I asked in total confusion.

"They make you think that there's always a right answer. But in life, sometimes there's only wrong answers. You just have to pick the one that's least wrong." John said in thought.

I considered his words and continued in silence.

"Clark?" He asked hesitantly.


"Are you going to stay?" John asked quietly.

"Yeah, I am. I think I knew the first night, I just told myself that I wouldn't decide till Thursday." I said as we finally reached the back of the mansion.

* * * * *

As we walked into the bedroom, we both automatically shed our clothes.

"Clark?" John said quietly.

"Yeah?" I asked, devoting my attention to him.

"Wanna race?" John asked with a shy smile.

"No... I think I'd like another game." I said shyly.

"Like what?" John said as he took a step closer to me.

"I don't know, something that involves kissing, holding... and ends up with us both getting off." I said as I looked into his eyes.

"I think I like the sound of that game." John said with a smile.

"What about Trey?" I asked as I took a step toward John, bringing me within touching distance of him.

"I want to save sex... I mean real sex... until he can join us. But this... fun sex, where we get each other off. I think this is okay with just the two of us." John said as he gently let his fingertips drag from my shoulders, down my arms.

"I really wish he could be here with us." I said as I moved my hands behind John to rest on his butt.

"Yeah, maybe he can sleep over after Thanksgiving... when we don't have to be up early for school." John said as he moved one hand down between us to fondle both our growing erections at once.

"Love you." I whispered as I looked deeply into his eyes.

"Love you too." He whispered back.

John began pumping us both with his one hand as the other hand rested on my butt.

I held his butt firmly in both my hands and got lost in the sensation.

"Let's get into bed Clark, I want to get off by rubbing up against you." John whispered.

"Yeah." I whispered back, thinking that was the most erotic thing he could have suggested.

I moved away to turn off the light and crawled into bed with John.

"I love you Clark." John said as he moved on top of me. He positioned himself over me and gently came to rest on top of me with his erect cock lined up right next to mine.

"Move." he whispered.

I experimentally moved and felt the friction of my cock against his.

Slowly I began to grind my pelvis against his.

"Yeah." John gasped and began doing the same to me.

I brought my hands to his sides and gently dragged them down till they cupped his butt. Then I started pulling him in time with my thrusts.

"God Clark, that's good." John whispered in my ear with a hot breath.

I turned my head and kissed him while continuing to pull his butt in time with my own thrusts.

We moved in perfect synchronization as our bodies began to sweat.

The sweat provided lubrication and the new sensation took us to another level of pleasure.

"I'm close." John gasped as he continued to thrust.

"Me too." I rasped.

John continued to thrust and I could feel the tingle growing deep inside me.

I started pulling John's butt with more force, grinding him faster and harder against me as I felt his hot breath on my neck.

I felt John's arms wrap around me and he squeezed me tight against him as he thrust and held for a second.

The gush of John's warm seed spilled across my belly and the feeling and the tightness caused my own orgasm to begin.

John began to thrust in long sharp jabs as more spurts of semen filled the space between us.

I felt like every fluid in my body was being forced out through my cock. The release was more intense and satisfying than any I'd ever had before.

Silence fell.

I was acutely aware of John's breath against my neck and the sticky warmth on my belly.

"Clark?" John said quietly, but it seemed loud in the otherwise silent room.

Rather than further disturb the silence, I turned to place a kiss on John's neck.

John turned his head and we shared a long, comfortable kiss.

"I really love you Clark. I never imagined it would feel like this." John said as he looked in my eyes.

His expression surprised me. He seemed to be... depressed, lost in darkness.

"What's wrong John?" I asked with immediate concern.

"You deserve better than me." John said as tears began to well up in his eyes.

"John, tell me what's wrong. Why would you think something like that?" I asked as panic began to well up in me.

John shifted his weight and came to rest beside me.

"Ewww." I said, looking at the sticky mess on our stomachs, glittering in the moonlight.

"I guess we're going to need another shower." John said, not looking at me.

"John, please tell me..." I said, willing him to look at me again.

"Just a minute." John said quickly and jumped up out of the bed.

I waited with cooling semen on my stomach and worry in my eyes.

John came back a minute later with a damp hand towel. He gently cleaned me up, then let the hand towel drop to the floor beside the bed.

"Will you tell me?" I asked, begging with my eyes and voice.

John sat on the edge of the bed, looking away.

I sat up and moved beside John. I didn't know if he would accept a hug from me right now, so I carefully took hold of one of his hands and gripped it firmly.

John looked at me with fear and misery in his eyes.

"Please tell me." I said in my softest voice.

"Clark... I've done some things... I don't deserve you." John said, obviously trying to hold back his tears.

I didn't even think, I pulled him into a hug and held him, not pushing anymore.

We sat, holding each other in silence. Just giving and receiving comfort.

I don't know how much time passed, but finally he calmed and I had to say something.

"If you want to tell me, I'll listen. But if you don't I won't ask again, I promise." I said as I continued to hold him.

John pulled out of my arms and drew in a deep breath to brace himself.

I waited expectantly for whatever admission he was about to make, promising myself that I wouldn't let whatever it was change my feelings toward him.

"I killed some people." John mumbled.

I forced myself to not react and said, "Tell me what happened."

"The school was attacked, some of us got out. We went to Bobby's family's house, thinking it would be a safe place." John said, looking into a place of distant memory.

I remained silent, letting him go at his own pace.

"Ronny called the cops and told them we were mutant terrorists." John eventually said with pain in his voice.

I nodded slightly but said nothing.

"The cops came... one of them shot Logan in the head and I... I lost it." John said with a tremble in his voice.

"Go on." I whispered and took hold of his hand.

"I killed them... I lit my lighter and used my power full force against the cops."

The tears were streaming down his cheeks now, but I wanted to wait till he got it all out.

I waited as John sat there, looking off into space with tears falling.

Finally he turned his attention to me. I took this as my cue to speak.

"I love you." I said in a whisper.

"What?" John said in disbelief.

"I love you. I know what kind of person you are, and whatever happened before doesn't change how I think or feel about you now." I said firmly.

"Okay, but there's more." John said in a mumble and looked away from me again.

I took hold of his hand again and squeezed to let him know that I was paying attention.

"I... I..." He trailed off.

I pulled him to stand with our joined hands and into a hug and whispered, "Just tell me."

"I had sex for money... When I left the school... I didn't know what else to do... There were guys willing to pay me... I was so hungry..." He said in pain.

"I love you." I whispered. His admission was a surprise, but I put that aside to deal with the emotional pain before me.

"You do?" John whispered in surprise.

"Yeah. I really do. And all that stuff just makes me love you more. You went through all that and still turned out to be the wonderful guy I fell in love with." I said as I stroked his back in comfort.

I could actually feel John's muscles relax and the tension release from his body. He was really worried that I'd reject him because of all that.

"I have something to tell you too." I whispered to John.

John pulled back to look me in the eyes.

"I'm cold and I'm standing on the wet towel." I said as gravely and seriously as I could.

John smiled and pulled me into bed with him.

We laid there for a few minutes holding each other before he asked, "Are you really okay with everything?"

"Yeah. I really am. I haven't gone through anything like that, so I don't know how you feel, but I know how I feel. I love you... that's all I need to know." I said in thought.

"Ya know, I think I believe you." John said as he snuffled against my chest.

"Superman wouldn't tell a lie." I said with a smile as I enjoyed John's warmth against my side.

John chuckled. We both went silent, lost in our own thoughts until we drifted into sleep.

* * * * *

"JOHN! CLARK! COME QUICK!" Ronny screamed from our bedroom door, then ran away.

I bolted upright in bed at the sound of panic in his voice.

John was out of bed and grabbing clothes a heartbeat before me.

As soon as we both had pants on, we hurried out of the room and into chaos.

"What's wrong?" I asked as I noticed everyone looking around.

"Peter... something happened to him." Ronny said from outside his bedroom door.

"What happened?" John asked as Dr. McCoy ran down the hall and into Peter's room.

"I don't know." Ronny said helplessly, then continued, "Bobby got ready to go running with Peter and found him... he told me to call Dr. McCoy and went back to Peter's room."

Ronny was about to lose it. I looked at John and jerked my head in a 'come on' gesture and went to Ronny's side.

John went to Ronny's other side and we each put a casual arm around him to offer support.

Dr. McCoy ran out of Peter's bedroom carrying Peter followed closely by Bobby. Peter was dripping wet and wrapped in a sheet.

"I need Scott, Andrew and Tara. Call them to MedLab." Dr. McCoy said as he ran by.

"I'll get Tara." Marie said quickly.

"We'll get Scott." I said, looking at John.

"I'll call Andrew." Kitty called and ran to her own room.

John and I walked to Scott's door with Ronny between us.

John knocked forcefully and in a second, Scott was there.

"What's wrong?" Scott asked with full worry.

"Something happened to Peter. Dr. McCoy wants you in the MedLab." Ronny said in a surprisingly steady voice.

"On my way... will you guys try to keep everyone calm and away from MedLab?" Scott asked as he grabbed a sweatshirt from just inside the door and pulled it on.

"We're on it." John said firmly.

"Thanks guys." Scott said as he hurried down the hall in his bare feet.

To Be Continued...