By Jen Miller (Gr3y27@aol.com)
Summary: After Clark is called away on a family emergency (and coincidentally, after Superman leaves for New Krypton), a long-lost relative turns up at the Daily Planet.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Phew! It's finally finished! This idea was rolling around in my head for a while, so I finally was prompted by all the fantastic fanfiction that I was reading to put the story down on paper. This is basically a way of putting myself into the show, but that doesn't mean I have the same feelings as Grey does for the characters in the story =^) I hope you enjoy. I welcome any comments, good or bad. Thanks to all writers of fanfiction for inspiring me to formulate this story. All characters belong to Warner Brothers and DC except, of course, for Grey, who is my own little creation. Enjoy!!!!!!!***
"Well, this is the best resume I have seen so far..." Perry was saying when Jimmy flew into his office.
"Perry, there's something goin' on outside. Lois is fighting with Colin for the last jelly doughnut and I thought..." he stopped when he realized that Perry was talking to someone. She turned to face him.
"Jimmy, meet Grey. Grey, this is Jimmy. He works here at the Planet, mostly at nominal things," he said in playful tone.
"I'm sorry to be so rude, but I thought it was important. Glad to meet you, Grey." She stood to shake his hand and he finally got a good look at her. What he saw took his breath away. She was a thin, lean, blond, with deep blue eyes. Her hair fell just onto her shoulders and accented her perfectly shaped face. He didn't realize he was staring until she grabbed his hand.
"Nice to meet you, Jimmy."
"Jimmy, I think we've found our summer help," Perry said more to Grey than to Jimmy.
"Then I have the job," she said, maybe a bit too eagerly.
"Yes," Perry said. "You are the most qualified and we do need the extra help until Clark comes back..."
"He'll be back any day now," Jimmy cut in fiercely. "He's only away on a family emergency."
"We need the extra help until Clark comes back," Perry said, staring so deeply into Jimmy's eyes that he had to turn away. He knew that's Clark's sudden absence was a soft spot to Jimmy. Clark had been like a brother to Jimmy.
An uncomfortable silence came over the room.
"Clark's not here?" Grey asked, trying to break the silence.
"He had a family emergency," Jimmy said softly. "We don't know when he'll be back."
"Oh. I guess I shouldn't mention him around Lois..."
"It's better you don't say anything about it," Perry said in a low voice because she was lurking right outside the door with half a jelly doughnut in her hands and the other half on her dress. "Aw, Jeez." Then more loudly, "Honey, what's wrong?"
Lois came storming through the door. "I clearly had my hand on the last jelly doughnut and the Colin tried to rip it out of my hands. I don't know what came over me. I just... I don't know," she said softly.
"It's okay. Would you like to get home to put on some clean clothes?" The concern in Perry's voice made her laugh.
"I'm okay, really. I just have to wash it off with a little water. What I really do want, though is a jelly doughnut."
"I think this could be a decent first errand for me," Grey interjected. Lois gave her a quizzical look then soon understood.
"You must be the hired help for the summer."
"Yes, I am. And I'll be happy to get a jelly doughnut for you. Which bakery would you like me to get one from?"
Lois smiled and said to Perry, "I like her already. There's Johnson's Bakery about two blocks from here. If you don't mind..."
"Of course not. I'm the scrub around here and I expect these kinds of jobs."
"Now, look," Perry said to Grey, "there are no scrubs here. We're all one big happy family. You just have to get through the 'trail period.'"
"Trial period?" Grey asked uncertainly.
"Yeah," Lois said. "It's the time when most summer help quits. They just can't stand the pressure of working for the most important paper in the world. Isn't that right, Jimmy?"
"Huh?" He had been staring at Grey's back again, and Lois had known it. He shot Lois a glance that read a sarcastic 'Ha. Ha. Very funny.'
"The trial period isn't that hard," Jimmy said kindly to Grey. "Oh. You don't have to look nice in here," he said, looking at her khaki pants and white blouse. "All of us non- reporters just run around, so we can wear what we want.
"I'm liking this job already," Grey said to everyone.
"We'll see..." Lois said skeptically.
"I'll go get the doughnut now," Grey said with a smile.
As she walked off, Lois caught Jimmy looking at her.
"You like her, Jimmy?" she asked.
"Who me? Nooooo." He replied.
Lois and Perry exchange 'yeah right' glances.
"Come on, you two. Back to work." Lois and Jimmy were about to exit Perry's office just as Grey came back with the doughnut.
"Well, that was fast," Lois said, a bit shocked. Grey just smiled. "Jimmy, show Grey around the office and you can take her on your jobs to get her situated."
"Sure," he said with a smile. They walked out. All Perry could give a little laugh.
"What's so funny?" Lois demanded.
"Well, they just remind me of when you met Clark. He fell head over heels for you." Perry continued to chuckle as Lois silently walked out. She didn't want Perry to see the pained expression on her face. Any time anyone said a thing about Clark, she just wanted to crawl into a little hole, away from everyone else. She hurt so much inside, yet couldn't show it.
Reluctantly, she returned to her desk with a jelly doughnut and picked up a file that Jimmy had gotten for her from Star Labs. She was digging up anything and everything on Superman because she was doing a series of reports on his history, life, etc. She figured that Perry had given this to her because it was easy to do and might help her deal with Superman's disappearance. By doing this, Perry had unknowingly cut off her escape route. She usually dove into her work to forget about troubles, but this time her work was her trouble. She sighed and started reading about the history of Krypton. She knew it all. Clark had told her all about it, but she had to look busy. She was reading about the destruction of Krypton when she was interrupted by Jimmy's voice.
"And I guess that's it. Well, what do you think of the Daily Planet office," he said, grinning at Grey.
"Well, as I told you, I've been here before, but you make it seem much more interesting than I could ever imagine." Lois had to roll her eyes. Before they got any more obvious with their flirting, she gave Grey her first real news job.
"Grey, could you run down to Star Labs and get all they have on Kryptonite?"
"Sure. Oh, wait. I need a press pass, and mine isn't finished being made yet.."
"Since it's your first job," Jimmy interrupted, "I'll come down with you. You get the files, and I'll make sure they give them to you."
"Okay, let's go," Grey said. As the two bounded off, Lois returned to her file. The hours slowly crept by. She wished she could be covering all the crime that had started in the city since Superman's disappearance, and had asked Perry if she could, but he refused. She didn't have the mental stability to fight him.
When she was almost done with her article of Kryptonian history that she had complied from old information drawn from the globe and new information about New Krypton from Zara and Ching, Perry called her into his office.
"Lois, honey, what's wrong?" Perry asked with concern.
"Why would anything be wrong?" Lois responded in her I-don't-know-what-you're-talking-about voice.
"Something's wrong, and you can't lie to me about it. You've moping around here ever since Clark left. You've lost your spunk. Is there something else going on rather than just a 'family emergency'?"
"Of course not! Clark wouldn't lie," Lois said, trying to act shocked.
"Listen, Lois. Go home. Call Clark and get some rest. Heck. Take tomorrow off."
"Perry, I couldn't. I have to work, and..."
"Lois. I'm ordering you to take the day off tomorrow. You can work from home. Your next piece isn't due for another three days." Again, she didn't feel like arguing. Actually, a day off did sound nice. She wouldn't have to worry about breaking down in the office.
"You're right, Perry. See ya tomorrow." He was obviously stunned at her response. She didn't even put up a fight. She really did need some time off.
Lois walked to her desk to gather her things, and saw Jimmy and Grey together yet again. They had been inseparable all morning. He claimed he was getting her "settled in," but he had never done this with any other new person before. Lois just happened to hear Jimmy asking Grey to dinner.
"Well, what do you say?" he asked with a dashing smile.
"If we leave as soon as we both get off, yeah, because I have some stuff to do later on."
"Great! I'll see you, well, in about an hour."
"Great." They were just staring at each other until Jimmy was called into Perry's office. Lois smiled at their budding romance, but then the smile turned into a frown. It just reminded her of Clark and how much she loved him. She briskly walked into the elevator just before the tears started to fall.
After Lois came home from work, she threw herself into a heap onto her bed and cried. She missed him so much. It had already been two months, but none of the pain of Clark's absence had even dulled the slightest bit. *What am I going to do?* She opened her eyes and she saw the bear that Clark had won her in Smallville so long ago. She grabbed it and squeezed it tight. After about an hour of crying, she changed into sweat pants and a tee shirt, then sat on her balcony. It was just starting to get dark, and the stars were beginning to shine. Lois sat there, hugging her legs to her, until she could see Clark's star. The tears started to flow again. The same questions started running through her mind. *When will he be back? Will he ever be back? Is he even alive?* She covered her face in her hands and sobbed into them.
When the night chill started to get to her after about an hour, she went inside and put on a warm flannel. It seemed cold for a May night. She aimlessly walked around her kitchen, looking for something to eat, not that she was hungry, but because she needed something to do. When she found nothing, she decided to go on a walk.
The night was crisp and she breathed in the fresh air and felt rejuvenated. She roamed aimlessly around Metropolis, thinking about anything and everything, mostly Clark. Even though her eyes were brimming with tears, she never let them fall. *I've got to stay strong.*
She turned down a dark alley and heard something swooshing in the air. *It can't be. He wouldn't be back so soon. And what is he doing here?* She hid behind a dumpster, not knowing what it was. She was about to give up, thinking that it was just her overcharged senses, when she saw something coming down from the sky. What she saw shocked her. Grey floated down, easily landed on the ground, and started walking nonchalantly towards the street. Lois was dumbfounded. She couldn't say anything. When she finally came out of her paralyzed state, Grey was gone. Lois went out of the alley and tired to find Grey, but she was nowhere in sight. In an utterly confused state, Lois walked back to her apartment.
That night, she couldn't sleep. She almost called the Kents numerous times, but decided that it was way too late, even for Kansas time, and she wouldn't want to say anything until she fully understood what was going on. All night, the same questions kept running through her mind: Is she from Krypton? What is she doing here? Is she from Lord Nor? What is it with newsroom girls having super powers?
Finally, at about 5am, Lois fell into a restless sleep. When the alarm sounded one hour later, Lois dragged herself up into a sitting position. *Was it a dream?* She realized it wasn't because it was too clearly stamped in her mind. She was about to get ready for work when she realized that Perry had given her the day off. *I need to confront her* Lois thought. She had to make up some excuse to get to the office or to get Grey to her apartment. Lois was about to go back to sleep when it hit her. *Well, I can't execute this little plan until later.* She set her alarm for 7:30am and went back to sleep.
"Daily Planet," Jimmy said as he picked up the phone.
"Hi, Jimmy. It's Lois."
"Hey, Lois. What's up?"
"Could you get Grey to run to Star Labs and get me anything they've got on Superman's powers," Lois said, "and then I need her to drop them off by my apartment."
"Lois, do you want me to do it? She's just starting and..."
"It'll be good experience for her," Lois cut in.
"Whatever you say, Lois. I'll tell her," Jimmy replied.
"Thanks, Jimmy." With that, Lois hung up the phone and smiled as she went to change out of her pajamas.
About twenty minutes later, there was a knock on Lois' door.
"Hey, Grey. Come on in," she said as she opened the door.
"Here's everything they had," Grey said as she placed two boxes full of papers on Lois' coffee table.
"Wow. That was fast. They must have really been cooperative," Lois said with a hint of mockery in her voice.
"Uh, yeah. They were very nice," Grey said. Lois noticed that Grey couldn't look her in the eye. Lois went to pick up the box.
"And these are heavy, too. I can barely pick them up. You carried it with ease," Lois said, staring directly at the younger girl. She just stared at the floor.
"I do lift some weights," Grey said in a hopeful tone.
"How much? Couple cars? I know you could probably handle that, being from another planet and all..."
A look of fear spread across Grey's face. "How did you...I can't believe...this is amazing...I don't..."
"I saw you last night, Grey. You landed in an alley," Lois offered. "I just happened to have seen you." They stood for a moment in uncomfortable silence.
"May I sit down?" Grey asked shakily.
"Sure. I guess you have some talking to do."
They both sat down, and Grey hung her head.
"I was going to tell," she said softly. *Just like Clark was going to when I accidentally found out* Lois thought to herself. "The reason I got a job at the Planet was because of you," she continued. "I knew that Clark was Superman, and I figured you knew, too."
"How did you know?" Lois asked, sounding surprised.
"On a school trip, we came to the Planet just to look around. Must have been about three years ago. Even though I love journalism dearly, I got a little bored. We were talking to that gossip columnist, Cat. By the way, what happened to her?"
"You know what? I really don't know," Lois said in a puzzled voice.
"Anyway," Grey said, turning back to the topic at hand, "I was bored and I started reading peopleís life signs. First Perry, then you. When I got to Clark, it was odd the way he was responding. His signs were nothing like anyone else's, but it was familiar. There were like mine. About a minute later, I heard someone calling for help, and then Clark made some kind of excuse. He bolted out of the Planet. Later that night, I saw that Superman had helped catch some robbers. I just put it all together."
"I wish I could have done the same," Lois mumbled.
"Well, you couldn't read his life signs," Grey said with a smile.
"Same life signs. Then you must be from New Krypton," Lois mumbled almost to herself.
"Not exactly. Before I say anymore, I think we should tell Clark's parents about this because I feel they can help me and answer some questions."
"I'll call them and tell them we're on our way."
"Lois, could you tell them what you know about me so far?" Grey asked.
"Sure," Lois said comfortingly as she got up to call the Kents. She dialed and got Martha. Lois calmly explained what had happened and what Grey had told her. After the shock wore off, Martha told them to come right away.
"I'll call the Planet and say that we're working on a story, and that you won't be in for the rest of the day."
"Thanks, Lois." After Lois finished talking to Perry, they were set to leave.
"All right, let's go." Lois said. After checking to see that no one was looking, Grey picked up Lois and headed for Smallville. As they flew, Lois remembered the numerous times she had flown with Clark and realized how much she missed it. *I guess that goes right along with missing Clark,* Lois painfully thought. Grey was quiet for the trip. Lois didn't say anything because she knew Grey was probably lost in thought and still surprised that she had to go through all this with Lois before she expected to.
Martha was waiting for them when they landed. Lois went and hugged Martha while Grey hung back. Martha noticed the shyness and gestured for Grey to come over.
"Welcome to Kansas." Martha said and gave Grey a hug, which was gratefully returned. Lois went over to Jonathan and gave him a hug.
"How you holding up?" she asked him.
"As best I can," he responded with a smile. They all walked into the farmhouse. Lois was surprised to see a full breakfast laid out on the kitchen table."
"Did you eat yet, Lois? I would ask you the same, Grey, but I know you don't necessarily have to eat. Am I right?"
"Yeah, but I still like to," Grey answered with a smile.
"I didn't eat much this morning," Lois said.
"I know it's 10am in Metropolis, but it's still breakfast time here, so I hope you haven't eaten," Martha said.
"Don't talk them to death. Let's just eat!" Jonathan said to the group.
"Is it okay if I answer your questions after we eat?" Grey asked.
"Of course. For now, eat up," Martha said kindly.
As they ate, Lois talked about what was going on at the Daily Planet, and they talked about Clark. Grey just silently observed and envied the closeness they all had.
As soon as Martha and Jonathan had finished cleaning up the dishes, they all moved into the living room, waiting for Grey to tell them the whole story of her existence.
"Well, here goes," Grey said, looking around at the kind people with her. Taking a deep breath, she began.
"I am not from New Krypton as you all might think. When the original planet Krypton was about to explode, Laura and Jor-El, as you know, set Clark in a ship and sent him off to earth. Well, there wasn't just one ship sent out. There were two. You see, Kal-El was not an only child. I am his sister." Everyone mouths dropped open, yet Grey continued. "I am, or was, eight years older than Clark. I remember what happened," she said in a shaky voice, close to crying, but she continued on. "My parents didn't want to send me to New Krypton. They figured I had a better chance by coming to earth. Clark and I were supposed to land together, and I was to look over him, take care of him. We werenít supposed to be separated. I knew about the powers we would both get, and I was to help him deal with them. It obviously didn't work that way. As you can see, Clark is much older than me, about 10 years, I think. When we were sent from Krypton, we were put in a state of suspended animation. It was only supposed to be temporary until we reached earth. He made it fine without a hitch. For some reason, I don't know what, my ship had trouble and I got caught in space for seventeen years. Since my ship had gone off course, I landed in a field out in near the border of New Troy on July 19, 1977. When I didn't see Kal- El's ship by my side, I assumed that he didn't make it or had landed somewhere else. I gathered whatever my parents had put into the ship, then buried the ship as I had been instructed to. When I was older, I destroyed it. At the time, I was just semi-strong, but strong enough to put it fifteen feet under. You see, I knew what was going to happen. Since I wasn't with Clark, I couldn't tell him. I assume that it took him time to develop his powers?" Martha just nodded. "Well, I went into the nearest town and got a newspaper and discovered that I was seventeen years late. I didn't know what to do. My job was to raise Kal-El, but now I didn't know if he was even alive. I went to the Metropolis Orphanage with all my possessions. I was so confused. It was almost definite that my whole family was dead. Everything my parents had told me about earth's social life was just history. Our original destination was in Kansas, but I was too confused and shocked to think to go there. I needed to go somewhere close. As soon as I got to the orphanage, I didn't really get the chance to get to Kansas. For the rest of my life, I researched newspaper articles to see if there was any sign of Kal-El's existence. For a while I though that bat guy in Gotham City was him, but he wasn't. Other than that, I found nothing. When I began to fly, I did go to Kansas and looked in town archives near where we were supposed to land, but found nothing. No mystery children, no super powers. Nothing. I was about to give up when Superman appeared. Then I discovered it was Clark. I came to work at the Daily Planet to see if I could get the guts to tell him, but then this whole Lord Nor thing came up and ruined everything." She looked around the room for everyone's reactions. They were all dumbfounded. "I know I should have said something sooner, but I was scared." They just kept staring at her.
"I never..." Martha sputtered.
"I don't believe..." Lois mumbled.
"I...this just...I can't..." Jonathan muttered. They all tried to speak to Grey, give some sort of reaction, but they were too numbed by shock to do anything. After about a minute, Martha moved over to where Grey was sitting and hugged her.
"I know that was hard, and you didn't have any reason to be scared. This must be so hard. You've been through so much, and thank you for telling us." As she hugged Martha, tears rolled down Grey's face.
"I've had to keep this inside for so long, and I had no one to tell. This is the first time I've been able to let it all out," Grey said in a shaky voice.
Lois, too, started to cry as she thought of Clark, and how it had been the same for him. Lois knew what it was like to be a loner, but she had never lived through as much as this young woman had to. They all sat in a loving silence as they thought over what was just said, and trying to make sense of it. While doing this, new questions sprung up in their minds. *This is going to be a long day,* Jonathan thought while observing the emotional women in his house.
When everyone had collected themselves, Grey resituated herself and prepared to answer questions.
"I know there's so much more you would like to know, especially with what has happened with New Krypton, and I don't know where to start, so just ask away."
"You know about Zara and Ching, right?" Lois asked.
"I faintly remember Ching, but I do remember Zara because of the betrothal ceremony. They, too, were babies when Krypton perished. I wasn't sure if she had survived, but I guess she has."
"They came back to get Clark to rule over New Krypton. Why didn't they come to get you? Did they not know about you?" Lois asked, her reporter instincts kicking in.
"They definitely knew about me. I was supposed to be her sister-in-law. When Clark and I were sent to Earth, I guess everyone on New Krypton assumed that we had died. My hypothesis is that Zara and Ching had come to Earth because they had heard about Superman while observing this planet. They knew it was Kal-El. The only thing was that they didn't hear anything about a super girl. There's nothing in any records about me because I kept my secret well hidden, only helping when I could. I didn't do anything like Clark did. They probably assumed that I died, and if they searched for me, they would search for a much older woman, not a nineteen year old girl. When I heard about Zara and Ching's appearance, it was too late. Clark had already left. I didn't know what to do. Clark clearly wasn't fit to rule New Krypton. It's not that he couldn't be a leader, but Kryptonians have a totally different world and society. It will be hard for him to adjust to their lifestyles and even harder to rule people. I'm assuming that the High Council will actually detest him because his parents really distrusted their ancestors by sending us away. He doesn't even know the language. My parents taught me English and Spanish when I was a little girl, because they knew that I would one day be sent to Earth, searching for a place to fit in. I also knew of his engagement to Lois. I knew he had a life here with people who cared. He had so much to lose. I, on the other hand, am still looking for a place on earth. I have had trouble adjusting to earth life. Humans are so compassionate, yet can be violent at the same time. Kryptonians don't really love, and are, I guess you could say, monotone with their feelings. I have learned to love and have feelings, but it's been hard. I don't really prefer any one culture, but I was used to Kryptonian lifestyle."
"It must have been so hard adjusting," Lois commented.
"Yes it was. I really didn't have any friends, even in the orphanage, but recently, I have opened up a little and fit more into society. I never felt better than when I started working at the Planet. They were so open and friendly. I never had friends until now."
"Why did you come to the Planet in the first place?" Lois asked, her curiosity peaked.
"To find you. I knew you were engaged to Clark and most likely knew who he was, and I assumed you knew Clark's parents really well." Jonathan nodded in agreement.
"We are very close," Martha said kindly.
"I somehow needed to have someone who could help me."
"Help you do what?" Lois asked.
"Contact Clark and take over his position as ruler of New Krypton so he can return home." Again, they were dumbfounded. Finally, some hope that Clark could come home, but it seemed to impossible to actually happen. "I also wanted to know if you had some of Clark's things from the ship."
"Yes, of course. Whatever you need," Martha said. "Come on. It's in here." They followed Martha in the master bedroom. She bent down and pulled a chest from under the bed.
"This is everything that was in his ship." She opened the chest and moved aside so Grey could look closer.
"Here's his blanket. I had one just the same, but his emblem's missing," Grey said with a puzzled look on her face.
"I used it on his first Superman costume." Grey nodded and continued to look through the chest, becoming more frustrated as she went along. Sensing this, Martha asked, "What's wrong?"
"Well, my parents realized that we could have been split up when traveling to Earth, and didn't want Clark to know about me if I had died. My job was to search him out if we got separated. If we got split up, they didn't want whoever found him to know about me, so I wouldn't be searched for. They put a globe which was a map of Krypton in his ship, and it would give out different information if I touched it or he did."
"Oh, how could we have overlooked that?" Jonathan asked. "It's in the Fortress of Solitude. It's a tree house, actually. Clark used to go there to be alone and practice his powers. I'll show you where it is." They all followed Jonathan out of the farmhouse and into the woods. When they got there, Grey flew up and retrieved the small box that held the globe.
"If I remember, all I have to do is touch this, right?"
"That's the way it worked for Clark," Martha informed her.
Grey opened the box and touched the globe. Immediately, an image of Jor-El and Laura appeared. Grey's eyes misted over when she saw her long deceased parents.
"Ah, Grey, my little one. I assume you made it to earth and have found Kal-El. Hopefully, you landed together. Now, take good care of him. He needs someone to guide him and tell him what's going to happen. Without you, his life will be confusing and frustrating." Jonathan squeezed Martha's shoulder because Jor-El's predictions had come true. Clark had been through so much growing up, and could have used Grey's guidance.
"Grey," the image of Laura said, "one day, if the New Krypton plan works, Kryptonians might come to Earth to find you. You must take over at New Krypton if they ask. We know that it would be traditionally Kal-El that would rule with his betrothed one, but he has no idea about Kryptonian culture and would not be a suitable leader. We didn't betroth you for a reason. We knew that, if the New Krypton colony survives, and if you survive, they will search for you. If you were betrothed, then you couldn't rule. Now you can. I know you will be a good leader." The world around Laura and Jor-El shook. Jor-El took Laura by the shoulders.
"It is time," Jor-El said to his wife.
"I wish she could see me," Laura said.
"She will, in time," Jor-El said to the now weeping Laura.
"Remember, little one, that we love you," Jor-El said. "Even though Kryptonian's don't show many feelings, don't doubt that we didn't love you. Good bye, little one. We will always be with you." With that, the image disappeared. As soon as they were gone, Grey collapsed. Lois, Martha, and Jonathan rushed by her side.
"I...love you, too...mom and...dad," Grey said in between heavy sobs. Martha held Grey close to her, but didn't say anything because there were no words that could comfort Grey's grief at the moment. Lois hugged Grey from behind, knowing that Grey was finally grieving over the death of her parents and needed to feel that she was there for her.
"Clark was always emotionally drained after contact with the globe," Martha said in a shaky voice because she, too, was crying.
"They told...me that...would...happen," Grey said, looking at Martha through teary eyes.
"This has obviously been harder on you," Lois whispered into Grey's ear. "Let's get you home and into a bed so you can rest." Grey nodded, thankful for the outpouring of love around her.
"I have...lost them," Grey said as Jonathan lifted her, "but I have...gained...you." With that, she fell asleep.
After the Kents had settled Grey in Clark's bed, they joined Lois in the living room.
"This is just so much to handle at once," Lois said.
"It must have been so hard on her, being all alone without the ones she loved. She was so young," Martha said, her eyes tearing up. Jonathan put his arm around her and gave her shoulder a supportive squeeze. "Even though I just met her, I feel so close to her because she went through many of the things Clark did."
"I know," Lois said. "They both went through a lot."
"The question is," Jonathan said, interrupting the womenís' sentimental feelings, "what are we going to do next? She brought up some good points as to why she should rule on New Krypton. Her parents even told her that she was to do it."
"I bet they didn't expect her to arrive seventeen years late, though," Lois offered.
"Yes," Martha said, "but she does know the way of the Kryptonians. It's hard to believe a world where people are basically emotionless. I know that world must have been hard for Clark to adjust to."
"How in the world are we going to get her to New Krypton?" Jonathan pondered aloud.
"It's not like we can just say 'Hey, Zara, we got someone here who would like to talk to you," Lois said, then her eyes went wide. Jonathan and Martha looked at each other. They knew that look. Lois had an idea.
"What's your idea, honey?" Martha asked.
"Well, Grey is Kryptonian, right?" The Kents nodded. "And I told you about Clark contacting me telepathically that one night, right?" They nodded again. "Do you think Grey could talk to them? I mean telepathically. She should be able to. If he can contact me, a human, I'm sure he could talk to another Kryptonian." Lois' eyes shined with excitement.
"Has Clark said anything since?" Martha asked tenderly.
"No," the shine went away from Lois' eyes, but it returned almost as soon as it had went. "But that doesn't mean that they can't talk. And even if..." Lois' voice started to shake, "Clark somehow got killed, she could still talk to someone else." The Kents looked at each other. Lois certainly did have a good plan.
"Well, it's probably not going to happen tonight," Jonathan said. "The contact with the globe took so much out of her. It never affected Clark that much, but he never grieved like that."
"She should sleep for a long time." Martha glanced at her watch. "My, it's 1 o'clock. How about some lunch. Then, after that, I think we should cook a nice big dinner in case Grey wakes up."
"Ah, home cooking," Jonathan and Lois both said at the same time. They all chucked. It was a bit of relief in a now tense and emotional time.
Grey promptly woke up at 6pm just as Martha was putting dinner on the table.
"How do you feel?" Martha asked as she saw the younger girl walk into the room.
"Okay. Still a little sleepy, but I'm always like that when I wake up," Grey responded.
"We cooked a nice big country dinner," Lois said. "I'm glad you woke up in time."
"So am I," Grey said with a smile. They all chowed down on fried chicken, apple dumplings, homemade applesauce, mashed potatoes, and anything else Martha and Lois had decided to make. They finished the perfect meal with hefty piece of homemade apple pie.
"Well," Jonathan said as he pushed his plate away, signaling that he was done, "that was delicious, thanks to our two wonderful cooks."
"Martha did most of it..." Lois began to say.
"But Lois helped with everything," Martha cut in.
"It was fantastic," Grey said, "and because it was so good and must have taken a long time to make, I'll do the dishes."
"Honey, you don't have to do that..." Martha said.
"Has Clark ever done the dishes?" Grey cut in.
"Yes. But why?" Martha asked with a confused look on her face.
"I'll do my best imitation," Grey said with a smile. She started whirling around the room in superspeed and was done the dished in two minutes.
"That was the best impression I've ever seen!" Lois exclaimed.
"I try," Grey replied. She joined everyone at the table. "So did you guys scheme away while I was sleeping?"
"Yes, and we have a plan," Lois said seriously.
"Can you still communicate telepathically?" Martha asked, leaning close to Grey.
"Yes, of course. I still hear people talking."
"Really?" the Kents and Lois asked at once.
"Yes, but I really don't pay any attention to it. It's just like when I lived on Krypton, part of the lifestyle. The telepathic ties of Kryptonians are very strong. It's just like background noise. It's really the only way that I knew the New Krypton settlement had succeeded. I could never really hear what they were saying, though. It's like trying to pick up on conversations in a stadium. There are just so many people. My name would have to be called for me to really listen."
"This is good," Lois said, starting to get excited. "What we thought is that you might communicate with Clark or Zara or Ching."
"I could try, but I would have to say something that would catch their attention. I'm sure many people are trying to contact Clark telepathically. It happens sometimes. You just learn to live with it and block out everything but certain people's 'voices.' I'm sure it's been hard for Clark to adjust."
"Well, I know how you could call his attention," Martha said, smiling. "Just call him by his earth name. Clark."
"I'm sure no one else calls him that on New Krypton," Jonathan added.
"Of course you are right," Grey said smiling.
"We were just worried that you might be too exhausted to communicate with them," Lois said.
"It's not an exhausting thing. It's just as easy as talking to you, although I might have to concentrate to get Clark's attention. I should be fine, though," Grey said, hope shining in her eyes. "I guess the best time to start is now."
Grey closed her eyes and started to concentrate. Martha held on to Jonathan and Lois' hands because so much was riding on this.
<Clark. Clark, can you hear me?> They all looked at Grey intently, hoping to get some answer. Lois' eyes started to water when Grey didn't get an answer immediately. <Clark. Clark. Come on, Clark.>
Far away on New Krypton, Kal-El was reading over reports, translated into English, about recent protests to his taking the throne when he heard someone calling him, not Kal- El, but Clark. <Who are you? How do you know my name?>
"I got him!" Grey exclaimed. They all cried out in joy. <Clark, I'm here in Smallville with your parents and Lois.>
<What have you done with them?> he asked sternly, becoming concerned.
"He wants to know what I've done with you," Grey said laughing.
"He always did care," Martha said.
<I haven't done anything with them. They are helping me to find you and to get you home.>
<I don't understand.> Clark 'said.' His concern became relief that they were all alive and well.
<It's a long story, but to put it shortly, I am your older sister. We were both sent from Krypton by our parents, Laura and Jor-El. You made it to earth safely, but I got somehow delayed for seventeen years. We were in suspended animation when sent from Krypton. I should be eight years older than you, but because of the delay, Iím ten years younger than you.>
<What? I don't believe this. A sister?>
<Yes. You can ask Zara about me.>
"What's going on now?" Lois asked.
"I just told him who I was and my story in a nutshell. He's shocked, naturally. I told him to ask Zara about it.
<Zara!> Clark called.
<What is it, Kal-El?> she asked.
<Did I have a sister?>
<Why, yes you did. We assumed she died.>
<Zara, I'm not dead,> Grey thought to her.
<GREY! You're alive!> Zara exclaimed.
<Alive and well. I assume that you tried to find me.>
<Of course we did, but we couldn't find you.>
<Did you look for a woman in her 30ís here on earth?> Grey asked.
<Yes. That's the age you should be.>
<Zara,> Grey said, <my ship got delayed somewhere in space for seventeen years and am actually only nineteen.>
<Oh, my gosh. I don't believe this,> Zara said.
<Neither can I,> Clark said.
"I just talked to Zara," Grey told the Kents and Lois. "She is also shocked."
"I think she would be," Lois said.
<Zara, my parents sent a globe in the ship with Clark, and I have connected with it...>
<You contacted the globe?> Clark asked.
<Yes. Your parents showed it to me. It gave a different message to me, Clark. Anyway, in it they said that if the New Krypton settlement was to survive, that Kal-El and I would be sought out to rule over the new planet.>
<Yes, that all happened,> Zara said.
<In it they also said that I would be the ruler, and not Kal-El because of my years on New Krypton.>
<Of course you are better suited, but we thought you were dead,> Zara said.
"I just told Zara about my parents wanting me to rule over New Krypton," Grey told the tense people waiting in the farmhouse.
<Acting on my parent's word, I am willing to come to New Krypton to take over as ruler,> Grey said.
<Of course, Grey. I don't think the high council would mind,> Zara said.
<They sure haven't taken too well to my taking over,> Clark said. <They hate me. We can get nothing done.>
<What has become of the Civil War?> Grey asked, already becoming the leader she was meant to be.
<We have won most of the battles since Kal-El has joined us, but I think this is far from over,> Zara said.
<I am willing to take on the challenge,> Grey said seriously.
<I am sure that we will win. Things will be easier when a native Kryptonian, someone who knows this society, takes over,> Clark said.
<I'm sure you have tried your best,> Grey said. <Zara, arrange for a ship to come to earth to get me. Also, I want the papers drawn up for an annulment of your marriage to Kal-El.>
<Yes, Grey,> Zara said obediently. <We will leave as soon as this news has been made public and talked over with the high council. I will make sure they agree to you becoming leader.>
<Bring Kal-El with you,> Grey said.
<Am I allowed to go home?> Clark asked.
<I am ordering you home,> Grey said, smiling.
"What are you smiling about?" Lois asked, hoping it would be good news.
"As the future ruler of New Krypton, I ordered Clark to come home!" Lois and Martha started crying with joy.
"He's coming home!" they both cried. Jonathan hugged Martha, then Lois.
<Grey,> Clark said.
"What is it?" Lois asked again, noticing that Grey had snapped back into concentration.
<Grey, could you relay some messages to my parents and Lois?>
"He wants me to relay some messages. Hold on," Grey said to everyone.
<Tell them all that I miss them very much, and I can't wait to get home.>
"He missed you all and can't wait to get home."
<And tell my mom, that if she feels like it, to have a meal ready for me because I really miss earth food.>
"Martha, he wants you to have a meal ready for him because he missed earth food."
"Of course I will," Martha said through tears of joy.
<She said she will,> Grey relayed to Clark.
<Tell Lois,> he said tenderly, <that I love her.>
"Lois, he say that he loves you," Grey said to Lois.
"Tell him that I love him too, and I never lost faith in him," Lois happily said through tears of her own.
Grey relayed the message and said goodbye. She turned to the overjoyed people around them.
"They should be here at the house tomorrow night with Clark and annulment papers for me to sign," Grey told them.
"I can't wait!" Lois said. She was so happy to finally have her Clark back. All the pain, all the suffering would soon be over. In her rejoicing, she had forgotten about Grey actually leaving. "But Grey, you'll be leaving," Lois said softly.
"It must be done. It is my destiny," Grey said, looking right at Lois.
"Won't you miss Earth and us and..." Martha asked gently.
"Yes, of course," Grey cut in, "but this isn't where I belong. This planet is so different than home. I'll just have to adjust again, but it won't be as hard as it was before. I would like to return to the Planet, though, to explain everything. I wouldn't mind the world knowing about it." Grey smiled. "Gee, I wonder who I'll give the exclusive to?"
"You better not wonder," Lois said, and gave Grey a hug. "Thank you so much."
As the two younger women embraced, Martha whispered to Jonathan, "They have so much in common."
"I think we all do," Jonathan whispered back.
"I don't believe it," Perry said as he leaned across his desk.
"It's true," Lois said to him.
"See?" Grey said. She stood and floated across the room. People from the newsroom started to stare at her.
"What is it with newsroom girls turning into aliens?" Perry said, but with a smile. "I'm sure we get the exclusive on this, right?"
"Of course. I did seek out Lois in the first place because of her friendliness with Superman. I think she deserved the story," Grey said.
"I've already got it finished. I sent it to the Planet this morning," Lois said to Perry.
"Now, uh, when will you be leaving. I'm assuming I won't get a two weeks' notice," Perry said jokingly.
"Tonight," Lois and Grey both replied.
"Where will Superman be returning to?" Perry asked.
"We're not telling," Lois said, smiling at Grey. "Superman requested that there not be much media there. Of course, I'll be there to cover the story, but he wanted to keep this out of the limelight. He will, though, have a press conference in Metropolis the next day. He wanted to know if he could hold it here."
"Of course! Anything he wants!"
"Thanks, Perry," Grey said.
"Grey," he said in his fatherly tone that he often used with Lois, "thanks. If this little thing didn't pop up, and you werenít going to become the leader of another planet, you would have made a great reporter here."
"Thanks, Perry," Grey said with a smile. Grey and Lois exited Perry's office with everyone staring at them.
"The story's on file," Lois said to all of them. A few thank you's were shouted, and everyone rushed for the nearest computer. Grey and Lois walked to Lois' desk. "There's really nothing to do here. What do you say we go to..."
"Grey, I..." Jimmy said as he came over. "Oh, sorry. I didn't mean to interrupt," he said softly.
"It's okay, Jimmy. I was just...uh...going to get some Clark bars," Lois said and hurried to the vending machine.
"Come on, Jimmy," Grey said. Let's go on a walk. I don't want to force Lois to keep making excuses to stay away from her desk." They walked out of the newsroom and out onto the Metropolis streets. "This way," Grey said as she led Jimmy down a back alley.
"There's nothing this way," Jimmy said. "It's just a dead end."
"Hmm. You've got to remember, Jimmy, you're dealing with someone from another planet," she said with a smile.
"Oh, yeah," he said sadly.
"Come on." She went over to him, scooped him into her arms, and shot skyward.
"Wow!" Jimmy exclaimed as they were over the city. "Where we going?"
"You'll find out," Grey said with a wink. In about ten minutes, they landed on a deserted beach in California. "Now," Grey said as she put Jimmy on the sand, "we can talk about this." The both sat down on the warm sand.
"I read the article and, well, I was shocked," Jimmy said.
"I guess you would be. It shocked Lois when she found out, too," Grey said.
"It must have been so hard for you to leave your family and friends. You lost so many people you love."
"And I'm going to lose more when I leave here," Grey said, looking at Jimmy. "I don't know if I'll be totally able to go back to Kryptonian ways with no emotion after what I have experienced here, especially since I've come to the Planet. First there was you, helping me so much, and you obviously cared about me."
"Yeah. We did have a great date," he said, taking her hand.
"Yeah. It was great. In a way, I don't want to leave, but I have to. It's what my parents wanted me to do."
"It sounds so much like what Superman had to do."
"Well," Grey said, laughing, "I am his sister. I guess we should be alike."
"I guess so." They sat in a comfortable silence. "I'll miss you, Grey. Even though it's only been a couple of days, I'll miss you."
"I'll miss you, too, Jimmy." They looked into each other's eyes and shared a tender kiss. As their lips parted, Grey said, "We better get back."
"Yeah," Jimmy said sadly.
"But not till after a little flying," Grey said, flashing a smile.
Grey was bombarded with questions the rest of the day. Lois had already returned to her apartment to get ready for leaving. Later, Grey and Jimmy strolled the short distance to Lois' apartment hand in hand.
"I guess this is goodbye," Grey said, turning to Jimmy.
"Yeah. I won't forget you."
"I won't forget, either. When this whole war is over, maybe I'll stop here."
"Yeah," Jimmy said softly.
"Thanks. For everything," Grey said, a tear running down her cheek. He kissed her softly.
"Bye," he said and walked down the street. He turned and looked back with tears in his eyes. She was there, looking at him. Finally, he turned the corner and was gone. Grey made her way up the stairs and to Lois' apartment. Lois opened the door before she had a chance to knock and gave Grey a hug.
"I saw the whole thing," she said. "I'm sorry."
"You have nothing to be sorry about. I let it happen, and I shouldn't have."
"Sometimes, there's nothing you can do." Lois pulled away and smiled. She closed the door to the apartment.
"They should be getting here in about a half hour. We should be leaving," Grey said, drying her eyes.
"Yes," Lois smiled. "I feel ashamed, but I'm excited."
"You shouldn't be. You're fiance is returning!"
"But you're leaving," Lois said quietly.
"Come on, Lois. Let's go," Grey said, smiling, erasing all of Lois' negative feeling. "We don't have much time." Lois grabbed her backpack that had a change of clothes. Grey picked her up and flew out to Smallville.
Lois, Grey and the Kents were anxiously waiting in the farmhouse kitchen.
"I guess you'll be leaving us soon," Martha said to Grey. She nodded a yes. "I would just like to tell you that we are so grateful. Thank you for letting our boy come home, and ..." Martha was cut off by a bright light through the window.
"They're in Shuster's Field," Grey said.
"How do you..." Lois started to ask, but realized that Grey could talk telepathically. They all left the farmhouse and hurried to the field. When they came upon the open land, they saw a spherical spaceship that hadn't yet been open.
"Before I go back, I'd like to say thanks. For everything," Grey said to the Kents and Lois. They all hugged her at once and told her how they would miss her. "As soon as that door opens, I am a Kryptonian, and I won't show any emotion anymore, so don't get scared or anything. It's just how I have to be, okay?" Her tears mixed with Martha and Lois' upon the ground. They heard a hissing noise. Immediately, Grey ended the embrace and wiped off her face. "Bye," she whispered. She stood tall and approached the ship with the Kents and Lois close behind.
The door opened and out stepped Ching and Zara.
"Hello, Grey," Zara said. She was speaking so that the Kents and Lois could understand what was going on.
"Hello, Zara. It's been a long time," Grey said in a monotone voice. "Has the high council approved my becoming the leader of New Krypton?"
"Yes, unanimously. The official ceremony will take place in New Krypton although you are officially the ruler of New Krypton."
"Yes. Bring the annulment papers to me," Grey said flatly. "You have brought Kal-El with you as I ordered?"
"Of course. He's just changing into earth clothes," Zara said as Ching brought out a scroll and what looked like an ink pad along with a cloth. Grey took the ink pad from Ching and put her finger in, signing the scroll that Ching held.
"Your betrothal is now null and void. You are free to marry as you wish," Grey said and caught the small glance that Zara threw to Ching.
"Thank you," Zara said. As soon as that was said, Clark appeared from the door wearing a charcoal gray suit.
"Kal-El, so we finally meet," Grey said flatly, but broke into a smile.
"I guess you're my big sister," he said to her.
"Well, technically, but not anymore," Grey said.
"Thank you so much," he went over and hugged his sister.
"You're welcome. It was what our parents wanted." Grey pulled back. "I think there's some people who want to see you," she said, motioning to Lois and the Kents.
"Yes," he said, smiling in their direction.
"We must be going," Zara said to Grey.
"Well, goodbye everyone," Grey said in a monotone voice, but smiled. With that, they returned to the ship and flew off into space.
"Oh, Clark," Martha said sobbingly and ran to Clark.
"Hi, mom. I've missed you," he said, hugging her with all his strength since he didn't have any of his powers restored yet. Jonathan came up and hugged the both. "You, too, dad. It's been too long. So much has happened. I'm so glad to be back," Clark said, tears running down his own cheeks. They embraced for a long time. Lois silently watched, her heart filled with love for her future family.
"There's someone else to see you," Martha said, letting go of her son. Jonathan understood and let go too. Clark turned to Lois. When their eyes met, she ran to him. He held onto her tightly.
"I never, ever want to lose you again," Clark said, letting his tears fall onto her hair.
"Don't worry. Iíll always be here for you," Lois said, sobbing into his chest.
After a week in Smallville full of love and wedding plans, Lois and Clark returned to the Planet.
"Welcome back, Kent. How's everything at home?" Perry asked.
"Fine. Just fine," Clark said and smiled at Lois who was on his arm. "We actually came to ask you a really big favor."
"Uh, oh. What's up now?" Perry asked with concern in his eyes.
"Don't look so grim, chief," Lois said. "We just need some time off."
"What? You've both been gone for so long that..." Perry started to rampage.
"For a wedding and honeymoon," Lois cut in.
"Oh," Perry said, smiling. "Of course. Why didn't you say so?" he asked jokingly. "Take all the time you want."
"Thanks, Perry," Clark said and went over to his desk as Lois went to hers. Clark started to get his desk back in order when Jimmy passed by.
"Hey, CK. Glad you're back," he said.
"Great to be back," Clark said, smiling. "Oh! I have something for you that Superman asked me to give to you." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a letter and handed it to Jimmy.
"What's this?" he asked, eyeing the letter suspiciously.
"Well, he was talking telepathically to Grey, and she relayed a letter for him to give you," Clark said. Jimmy took the letter and immediately went to the conference room to read it, throwing a 'thank you' back to Clark. Clark looked to Lois and smiled and she smiled back, not only at Jimmy and Grey's long distance love, but at the wonderful things to come.