On itchy nights when he couldn't sleep, Clark Kent made his way down to the memorial.
No matter what time of day or night, there was always somebody there. Almost as if it were a planned 24-7 vigil.
A part of Clark wondered how long this would last. A part of him didn't want to ponder the answer to that question.
As Clark strode over to the memorial, he saw a man place several items at the base of the statue then take a seat at the bench in front of it. Curious, Clark looked to see what it was it wasn't the usual flowers or a teddy bear. A bottle of Soder Cola, a double cheeseburger, fries, and ... a small wooden sword and shield, beautifully carved and painted with the S.
Clark bit his lip thoughtfully for a few moments before taking a seat on the other end of the bench. Neither of them said anything for several moments, just gazed at the statue, until a deep, pensive sigh drew Clark's attention.
A large man, almost his height. Short, neatly cropped black hair. His almost preternatually blue eyes had an intensity that rivaled Batman's. But it was not that, nor the lightning bolt logo on his black polo shirt which caused Clark to start out of his seat. The man had pointed ears.
A heavy, disgusted, eye rolling sigh. "Would you please just sit down? I'm just here to ... to " he gestured at the memorial.
"I'm sorry," Clark replied, "it's just not every day that I sit down next to "
"The black sheep of the family?"
"Something like that," Clark laughed a bit nervously then extended his hand. "Clark Kent."
A firm, assured grip. "Teth Adam." He leaned back on the bench and said, "You are a renown investigative journalist. It is I who should fear you."
"Not at the moment." Clark gave a quirky smile. Then. "So, why are you here?"
A frown. "Isn't it obvious? To honor him."
Leaning forward, Clark said, "There's more to that story."
Black Adam crossed his arms and slouched down on the bench, his fixed gaze never leaving the statue of Kon. After a long pause he said, "I suppose there are many ways you could 'spin' this. His tragic death. My extreme frustration that the False Superboy is so resistant to magic, that I cannot rid the universe of him. The sheer bad luck of being knocked far enough off the tower that I blinked onto one of the earths, and so could do nothing to aid Superboy when he confronted the False Superboy. The irony that here I am leaving an offering to Superboy, who, had he lived, would doubtless regard me as a dangerous extremist."
Black Adam drew a deep breath and continued, "In a few minutes I shall rise and leave here and decide how I want to deal with a group of hardline fundamentalist Imams who are calling for Sharia law to be the law of the land in Kahndaq. The fact that one of them and the wife in question," and here Black Adam gave a vicious grin "were recently punished for the infibulation of their 9 year old daughter only adds to the tension."
Clark shuddered to think what that penalty entailed. From what he knew, Black Adam's ideas of justice tended towards "an eye for an eye". "I don't see where you're going with this," he interjected.
Black Adam sat up straight, looked him in the eye, and said, "There are many duties in life, Mr. Kent. Some of them are pleasant, some of them are anything but, and some of them are mixed. Respect must be paid to a true and valiant warrior, and though I admire his heroism and bravery more than I can adequately put into words, a pity it is that he died so young. I feel sorry for his parents and friends. I am thankful for his swift, decisive action. My people have another day because of him. We all have another day because of him. I hope he accepts my offerings in the spirit in which they were meant."
"He liked apple pie," Clark blurted before he could stop himself.
"Did he? You knew him?"
Too late to take the words back now. "Yes. I remember that he often had detention and loved to play hooky from school."
Black Adam laughed loudly at that. "I once had a son a few years younger than him. Hurut was often in trouble with his scribes and tutors, and loved to sneak off and spend the afternoon in the marshes with his friends, fishing or frogging. His mother and I " a look of intense pain flashed across his face. "Ah, though we are gods, we are still men," he murmured with a sad smile. Then he stood, his clothes morphing into the more usual form, and said, "Excuse me, I must be going." before flying off into the night.
Clark sat on the bench for another 15 minutes before he packed up the food which he ended up giving to a strung out runaway panhandling in front of an all night copy shop.
He might not be a god any more, but there was still a lot for a man to do.