Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Clark/Bruce (Kal-El/The Angel Of Death), The Joker
Genres: AU, Drama
Rating (this chapter): R
Warnings: Not sure if warnings are necessary, but it’s quasi-religious imagery. Some violence in this chapter.
General Summary: Two Angels are sent on a Quest to find Pure Souls.
Chapter Summary: The Angels descend into Gotham.
Date Of Completion: February 27, 2008
Date Of Posting: May 12, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1059
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: asm613 requested "Clark and Bruce as angels on a mission to find pure souls" from my DCU GSB Fic Request Meme.
Unfortunately, my Muses simply refused to cooperate, and I was on the verge of giving up, when I got this idea. It’s not quite what the requester wanted, but close! So I hope you like it, asm613 ! :)
All chapters can be found here.
CITY OF DARKNESS
‘Round the city
Choking the life
Out of the Light.
Can this city
“City Of Darkness”
The journey had begun, skies of lemon-yellow, rose-pink, and tangerine-orange filigreed with cottony white. The Angel of Light flew side-by-side with the Angel of Death, great and terrible, until they reached a great city and alighted on a crumbling rooftop.
“This city is so dark.” Kal-El surveyed it with distaste.
“A good place to find the damned.”
Kal frowned but made no comment. He surveyed the dark streets then pointed. “There.”
Death held out a hand. “Let me.” A pause. “I can observe better.”
Kal frowned again, but nodded.
Death swooped down, melting into the shadows.
The petty crook pulled out a gun, nickel plating gleaming in the dull light of the streetlamp. He pointed it at a well-dressed man of about thirty.
“Wallet,” he rasped.
The victim’s hand shook as he reached into his jacket and pleaded, “Don’t shoot.”
The victim fumbled, the crook getting twitchy. His finger shook on the trigger.
Death knocked the gun out of the robber’s hand. The victim yelled and took off, the crook staring at the black-winged apparition with wide eyes.
“Why were you robbing that man?”
The man blanched. “I…I…” He swallowed. “I’m desperate! My wife’s sick and we don’t have health insurance. I’ve been out of work so long I can’t get a job. I…I’m sorry, I didn’t know what else to do!” He shook under Death’s stare from the depths of the hood, then he bowed his head. “I’m sorry,” he whispered.
Death held out his hand and the would-be robber put the gun into it. Gloved fingers curled up around the weapon and it disappeared into the folds of the black cloak.
“Go, and do not rob again.” As the man turned to go, the raspy voice stopped him. “Go to the Broad Street Clinic. Tell Dr. Leslie Thompkins that Death has spared you.”
Swallowing, the man nodded and ran off.
Kal descended from the roof. “This soul is not Pure, but may be someday.” Death said nothing and Kal continued, “Who is this Leslie Thompkins?”
“A saver of souls.” For an instant, Kal saw a gleam of teeth in the darkness. “And a provider of the damned to me.”
Kal frowned slightly. “When they die…?”
“Some are for your battalion, Kal-El. Some are rotted to the core and when Death comes for them, they have no choice.”
Kal nodded slowly, then ascended with Death’s dark wings billowing out as they whispered softly, the Dark Angel rising.
Soaring above the city, they scanned the dark streets, knowing whom they must accost when they saw him or her. Neither questioned how they knew it. It was just the way of things, as so much was in their service.
Kal turned and asked, “When you say their souls are rotted…you do not take only those?”
The hood shook back and forth. “No. Death comes to all, and on this Quest, I am allowed to take those who are…and are not…fit for the Light.” He paused. “Everyone has their Time, but this Mission seeks judgment of a different kind.”
Kal wondered what it was like, to continually dwell in the Darkness, and a trace of amusement entered Death’s voice.
“The Dark is not always evil, Kal-El.” His wings rustled in the wind. “Sometimes the Darkness is made up of pain and loss. It can be many things, and there are some souls that welcome Death after what they’ve suffered here on Earth.”
Kal considered that. “True,” he said slowly. “The Light is not always Pure itself. The souls we take…” His eyes were troubled. “They have committed wrong deeds, but it is the essence, the core, that we judge.”
Death nodded. “Circumstances can drive a soul to commit deeds that it would otherwise not, as we saw with that man back there.”
Kal refrained from commenting on his companion’s compassionate instructions to the desperate man. He was certain that Death would not appreciate it.
“There.” Death pointed and Kal saw the man in a purple-and-green suit. His lips thinned.
“A difficult case.”
“You mean the madness?”
“Madness is a worthy excuse at times, but we can see into his soul, Kal-El.”
Death swooped down. Was this the Clown Prince’s Time?
The maniacal clown looked up and began cackling. “So, Hell has come for me! What took you so long?”
Death alighted on the street. “Your Time has come, Joker.”
The clown danced delightedly.
It was a Battle Royal, the Joker laughing manically as he feinted and thrust. The Sword of Death glittered in the pale moonlight, amethysts sparkling dark and beautiful.
Kal watched with interest, the moves of the Dark Angel smooth and fluid. Kal’s hand rested lightly on his own Sword hilt, but he kept it sheathed.
“Why have you come for me tonight?” asked the Clown Prince.
“You deal in Death all the time, Joker. Why not face it head-on?”
Delighted cackle. “Good idea, Fallen Angel.”
There was tension in Death’s voice. “I am not a Fallen One.”
“Oh?” The Joker parried. “Is that what you tell yourself?”
“I need not inform myself of what I am, Joker. I know myself well.”
Kal wondered if that was true.
The Joker plunged into Darkness with his sword, but Death lunged back.
“Good move, Clown Prince, but a foolhardy one.”
Death thrust forward and the Joker laughed even as the light went out of his eyes. He crumpled to the ground.
“Claimed.” Death wiped his Sword with his cape. “Your rotting soul has gone to its just reward, Joker. All the souls you sent early on their journey can be at peace now.”
Kal drifted over, watching as Death sheathed his Sword.
“Will it be unexplained?”
“Heart attack.” A pause. “No plea for me to spare him? To see if he belongs to the Light?”
Kal shook his head. “This man was not destined for the Light.”
“But still, it troubles you?”
“He was insane. However, even if not, I saw no trace of the Light.”
“Do not trouble yourself with regret over this one.”
“I am not.” Still, Kal always hated losing a soul.
They were off again, and left the dark city by the sea.