Olethros

May. 2nd, 2011 10:49 pm
imasupermuteant: (its a goddamn kitty)
[personal profile] imasupermuteant
Title: Olethros
Fandom: Young Justice (Cartoon)
Pairing: Gen
Rating: Rated G for niceness
Word Count: 1022
Summary: Written for the yj_anon_meme prompt asking for Young Justice meeting the Endless. Superboy and Destruction.


After two accidentally-wrecked buildings and a stern not-quite-talking-to from Superman, Superboy knows only one place where he can recuperate and he heads there almost immediately.

The sun is setting over the Metropolis shipping district by the time Superboy arrives. The feeling of the dirt beneath his feet as he comes to a halt serves only to remind him that he isn't flying.

He sits on the edge of the pier, letting his feet dangle in the water as he looks out over the boats and tankers. The area is almost entirely enclosed in large shipping containers, like he might find on a train or an ocean liner. He heard somewhere that they had started building eco-friendly housing out of these things.

He can't really imagine living in a hideous tin box, but Superboy often has trouble imagining things he hasn't seen. He's spent the majority of his life in a tube, after all, so what does he know about building homes?

His hands, rough and big like a farmer's (which he isn't), are clutched tightly around the edge of the wooden surface he's sitting on. He reminds himself to carefully pull back his hands, finger by finger, so as not to rip off chunks.

Superboy wonders if he'll ever get the hang of not ripping things to pieces.

"Hey."

He looks up, startled. Surely his hearing would have picked up someone approaching? The pier itself is remote, no longer in use and cut off from the rest of the city.

"Mind if I sit?" The man standing next to him seems friendly. He's big (like Superman), broad in his shoulders and taller than anyone Superboy has met. His red hair is barely contained with a cheap drugstore elastic and he's wearing at least three contrasting plaids. Superboy wonders briefly if the man is homeless.

He shrugs. It's not as if the stranger can hurt him.

"Strange place for a superkid like you to be hanging out." The guy tells him, pulling something from his pocket and fiddling with it as he gazes out on the horizon.

It isn't a typically beautiful view, too polluted and cluttered to show off the majesty of nature and too neglected to be a testament to human ingenuity. This is where the big ships go to die.

Superboy likes it here because it is full of broken things that he didn't have a hand in breaking.

"You alright, Kid?" He says it like it's Superboy's name, and maybe it should be. It's not like he has another name to use.

"I guess." Superboy says finally, "It's been a hard day."

"Hard century." The man agrees with a snort, "But not the worst."

"Yeah. I--" Superboy doesn't know what to say. That his friends got mad at him for crushing the couch in the lounge? That he tried to write a letter to Superman but could finish it because he kept breaking pencils in a rage?

That he can't fly? If he could just fly, Superboy thinks, all the accidental breaking of things and people might be worth it. If he could fly maybe he wouldn't be so angry all the time.

It's the one difference between him and his... progenitor, after all. Superman is never angry the way he is.

"Here." The guy says, handing over a piece of tightly folded paper.

"Thanks." Super cradles it in his hands (almost as big as the stranger's), "What is it?"

"What is it?!" the man booms, "It's a crane! Can't you tell?"

It looks like a bubble-gum wrapper, "Sure." Superboy says, "There's the wing."

"That's the head." The man grumbles.

"Oh. Okay."

Silence falls again. But it's a nice silence.

"Do you know what I like about this place?" The guy asks after a while.

"The highly flammable oil in the water?"

"It's full of so much potential." He says without a blink.

"What?" Superboy looks over, "No it isn't. It's broken. Everything is rusty and old and left behind."

"No way." The man says with a grin, "It's just waiting for the right person to find it and make it into something awesome. Like these crates," He gestures with a hand the size of Superboy's head, "Did you know they make houses out of these?"

"So I hear."

"That's pretty awesome." The guy continues, "I mean, creating something useful out of something that was just going to waste, right?"

"I wouldn't know." It just pops out, Superboy isn't exactly sure why he's telling this (most likely) homeless guy anything.

"Oh?"

"I haven't made anything. Ever. I mostly just break stuff." He says finally, looking down at a tightly clenched fist. If he had been holding anything (a person) it would have been crushed to pieces.

"Nah." The guy says, "You've made stuff. You can't help but make stuff. It's part of you."

"What?" It makes no sense.

"Creation and destruction are two sides of the same coin. You can't have one without the other. I don't want to sound like The Lion King or anything, but there's no way you only break stuff, Kid."

Superboy grunts, "Well I'm only good at breaking stuff anyway." He mutters.

"Yeah, me too." The guy tells him with a grin, "But that's why my art is so much more important. If we only went around doing the stuff we were good at we'd be pretty boring. Here."

He hands over another piece of paper, this time it looks more shaped, but Superboy has no idea what the shape is supposed to be.

"A dog?"

"Orchid."

"Sure." He cradles the creation in his hands, it's almost precious.

"Oops." The guy says finally, standing and brushing off his pants. "Pressing business to attend to, got to go."

"Uh. Yeah." Superboy feels better, although he doesn't know how or why. The view is still nice, the air is as clean as it gets in this part of the city, and he's thinking about taking up origami.

"I'll see you later, Connor." The stranger says, and Superboy is saying "Sure, later." before he even registers the goodbye.

When he turns around to look, he's completely alone.





[Aponoia]

 
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