Flight Dreams

by Talya Firedancer

Jason wakes up when the sun floods his bedroom and he rubs at his eyes, stretching and trying to remember the shreds of a beautiful dream. All his favorite ones are flying. Not like when he was holding tight to his daddy's neck and Superman lowered them onto the seaplane; that was scary. In his flying dreams he's soaring through the air, not like a bird or plane but something free and boundless. He sits for a moment with his hands fisted in the bedclothes and soaks up the sun, wondering why no one's come to hustle him into clothes and down for breakfast before he remembers it's Saturday.

He wriggles out of bed and heads downstairs, where he hears two male voices low in conversation.

"--wanted to get Jason a Superman t-shirt because for a few months after, that's all he could talk about, you know. You should have seen some of the crap they were selling, it was unreal. Pillows, coffee mugs, underwear, night lights, lego sets - did you know there's a Superman lava lamp? My favorite was the Superman massage oil, actually."

"It's not like I get product approval, you know," Mr. Clark is saying, and he looks over through the living room straight at Jason though he knows he's been super-quiet. The big man starts to smile, pushes his glasses up his nose and looks away, then smiles in his direction again as if he just can't help himself.

"Sorry," his daddy says quickly, though there seems to be no reason to apologize. He strides around the kitchen island. "Hey, little guy, you slept in late today!"

"Morning," Jason says, padding over and holding his arms up. He likes the brief lurch when his feet leave the floor, the swooping but secure sensation of his daddy lifting him through the air then holding him snug against his side. He looks around, smiling back at Mr. Clark, frowning when he sees only two coffee mugs. "Where's Mommy?"

"She's off to Los Angeles," Richard says cheerfully, "but don't worry, she'll be back in a couple of days and if my name's not Ed, I'm sure she'll bring you a present, too."

"Your name isn't Ed!" Jason giggles, caught off-guard.

"Then, I'm sure she'll bring you a present." Richard presses a kiss to his cheek. "What do you want for breakfast? Clark here promised he'd make us something good."

Jason turns wide eyes on their grown-up visitor, and Mr. Clark solemnly returns the wide-eyed gaze, making him giggle again. "I want chocolate chip pancakes."

"Oh," Richard inhales, assuming that parent-tone that means Jason is about to be told 'no.'

"I'm sure that'll be fine," Mr. Clark says easily, and Jason looks up as he and his daddy exchange a glance.

"All right." Jason meets his daddy's eyes and wonders why Richard looks so serious, almost sad. "Don't tell your Mom, all right?"

"She's stopped giving me everything except vitamins," Jason says proudly. "I think I'm getting better!"

"Pancakes it is," Mr. Clark says, turning to rummage for a flat-bottomed skillet. "Are there chocolate chips, or should I go get some?"

"This is Lois's kitchen," Richard says, ruffling Jason's hair and they give one another conspiratorial grins. "There are chocolate chips somewhere."

"I'm glad you're back, daddy," Jason tells him, and his daddy squeezes him close for a moment, planting a kiss on the top of his head. "Mommy said she wasn't sure how long you were staying away and that you might move. Are we moving?"

There's silence in the kitchen as Mr. Clark sets out ingredients and bowls and measuring cups, moving around the kitchen as if he already knows where everything is. He's stayed there before but Jason doesn't remember him cooking, that time. Richard's arm tightens around him again and he hears his daddy sigh.

"I don't know, peanut," his daddy tells him, definitely sad now. "Your mom and I...well, I don't know what exactly she told you."

"She said mommies and daddies don't always stay together, but you'll both always love me," Jason says promptly, scrunching his face up.

"Mommy's right," Richard tells him, hugging him again and setting him on his feet. "You know that, right?"

As Jason nods and clings to his daddy's pantleg, watching Mr. Clark crack a series of eggs into a mixing bowl one-handed, he's aware that his question didn't get answered, not really.

"So what do you want to do today?" Richard asks with enthusiasm, and Jason scrunches his face up as he thinks.

"Go to the park," he decides. "Can we go fly kites?"

His dad's hand is on his head, steady, reassuring. "Of course we can."