By SkipD (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summary: Wanting to learn more about his roots, Clark travels to Kansas and meets some long-lost relatives. A continuation of the author's elsewhere fanfic, "Brothers."
Author's note: Hi, this is a follow-up story to my first fanfic "Brothers". I would like to thank Barbara Scutt for reading this and giving me some feed back. If you haven't read Brothers yet, please read it first so this story will make some sense. Please feel free to write me with any comments or criticisms. Thanks, and enjoy. SkipD
Perry came out of his office and looked around. Everyone appeared to be there, so in his best editor-in-chief voice he bellowed, "Can I have everyone's attention? I just received the Kerth award nominations and I thought we should all congratulate the nominees from here at the Planet. For her coverage of Sylvester Stallone's upset win at the Academy Awards, Cat Grant has been nominated in the entertainment category. For his in-depth interview with Bill Gates, and the subsequent news of the merger of Microsoft and IBM, James Olsen for technical news. And finally, for their story on the corruption in Mayor Luthor's office, and his subsequent death, the team of Lane and Kent for best investigative story."
Everyone broke into applause and started congratulating the nominees. Clark glanced over at Lois at the same time that she had been looking his way. He gave her a quick wink, and she returned it with a smile that made him melt.
Perry noticed the look between his star reporters and wondered what was going on. Lois had always been a loner, but she was accepting Kent as an equal. As he thought about it, he realized that as long as they kept writing Kerth quality stories, he didn't care if they sung Hound Dog off tune.
Later that evening, at Lois' apartment, Clark was busy creating stir fry chicken while Lois sat on the couch.
"So partner, when are we going to do that Pulitzer Prize winning interview with Superman?"
Clark looked at Lois and smiled, "I'm still not sure that it's a good idea for me to go public yet. I'm still not sure about a lot of the details of my origins."
"Well," Lois said while playing with a strand of her hair, "we can just touch on the things that you do know about. You know, faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, that kind of stuff."
"I'd still like to find out a little more about where I came from before I share my secrets with the world, Lois." Clark was spooning the stir fry over white rice that he had put on their plates.
As they ate, Lois looked at Clark. "Didn't you say that you learned about how you came here from your mother's journals?".
"Yeah," Clark replied, "but she didn't know anything about where the rocket they found me in actually came from."
"So what, if there is a clue as to where that rocket came down, maybe we can trace it from there." Lois was starting to get excited. "All we have to do is go to Kansas and find that field where they found you."
Clark looked at Lois as if she had just lost her mind. "Lois, I'm not sure how to break this to you, but Kansas is a fairly large state, and besides, it's been over 30 years."
Lois wasn't about to give up. "Well, we know that your parents were moving from San Francisco to Metropolis. Back then, the most direct route through Kansas was Route 66. We can even narrow where they were down, by what she wrote down about the time of night that they found you, and where they stopped for the night."
Clark hadn't known Lois for long, but he knew once she made up her mind about something, there was no stopping her. Lois made her way over to Clark's computer and booted it up. She already knew his user id and password, so she dialed into his service provider and entered www.randmcnalley.com. Once she hit the map company's site she pulled up a road atlas for the state of Kansas from 30 years earlier.
"Now, if we figure that Alex Luthor was averaging 50 mph and they spent the night just outside of Topeka, we can narrow our search down to about a 50-mile stretch of road." As Lois spoke, she highlighted an area just to the west of Topeka and enlarged it so that that took up the whole screen. "Now, if we check this, there are only a couple of small towns in this section. It's pretty much all farm country."
At this point Clark broke in and pointed to a spot on the map. "Smallville, my dad had relatives there. I think their names were John and Martha."
"Well, maybe we can check with them. They might have heard of someone finding a flying saucer in their fields while plowing."
Clark decided that he could fly them to Topeka that evening and they could rent a car from there. With Lois bundled up in a dark pair of sweat pants and a lined wind breaker, Clark changed into his black uniform and lifted Lois and their suitcase and headed for Kansas.
For Lois' part, she adapted well. The initial shock of being lifted off the ground and going up without the benefit of some sort of aircraft had her nervous. But as they went along, she started to feel safe and secure in her partner's arms. She still wanted to know more about Clark and his ancestry, but she knew that no matter what they found, he was going to be a part of her life from now on.
Clark used his vision powers to find an area where they could land near the airport without being noticed. As they walked up to the car rental counter, the clerk was startled when he heard Clark 'cough'. "I'm sorry, I wasn't aware that any flights had arrived."
Clark just smiled. "We came in on a charter flight, and we need a rental car and directions to a local hotel." The clerk quickly had them fill out the forms to rent the Dodge Intrepid (it was the only car they had that wasn't reserved) and then gave them a map and directions to the local Holiday Inn. Apparently there was a basketball tournament going on right then, because there was only one room available.
"Maybe we should try another place, Clark." Lois was obviously frustrated.
"Miss Lane, I have already called all of the local places, and they are all booked solid. The only reason that this room is available is that we had a cancellation just before you came in."
Clark decided they would be better off if they waited until morning to head toward Smallville; they didn't know if there were any motels near there. "We'll take the room for tonight. We will be leaving early tomorrow morning."
Lois looked at Clark as if to say, "Who do you think you are, making decisions for me?"
When they walked into the room, they received another surprise — there was just one queen-size bed. "So, you want the bed or the bathtub, Clark?"
Clark smiled at Lois. "I won't need either one." And with that he spun into the black outfit.
"And where exactly do you think you're going?"
Clark opened the window and before he stepped out onto the terrace explained, "Superman is becoming a presence in Metropolis. I think it would be wise to be seen there once or twice while we are on the road."
Even though this made sense to Lois, she wouldn't admit it. "So if you happen to stop a bank robbery or something, how are you going to report it, when you're supposed to be here in Kansas."
"I guess we'll just have to leave the reporting on Superman's activities to Jimmy until we get back." And with that he rose into the air and streaked off in the direction of Metropolis.
The next morning, Lois awoke to see Clark floating in the air with the spare blanket over him. He had come in after she had gone to sleep, but she secretly hoped he had gotten into the bed with her. As she watched him sleeping, she couldn't help but notice how handsome he really was. His brown eyes and wavy brown hair reminded her of her first husband, Dan. He had always been off on some secret mission for the government, and they ended up separating. Since then it had been hard for Lois to let her feelings show.
Lois walked over to where Clark was floating and placed a light kiss on his cheek. Clark came awake suddenly, lost his concentration and crashed to the floor.
"I'm sorry, Clark, I just couldn't help myself. You looked so tempting." Lois was standing there laughing at Clark.
Clark picked himself off the floor, and Lois could see that he was wearing only boxer shorts. She could see his well-defined chest and muscular arms, and as she stared at him she stopped laughing. All of a sudden, Clark started spinning, and when he stopped, he was dressed in a pair of light brown Dockers, a black T-shirt and a pair of loafers with no socks. Clark smiled at her.
"You better get dressed, Lois. We can stop along the way and grab breakfast before we get to Smallville."
After Clark devoured a large stack of hotcakes and Lois had two cups of coffee and a croissant, they got into their rental car and headed west. "We should be able to reach Smallville in a little over an hour. I think once we get there, we should ask around town about you father's relatives. Are their last names Kent too?" Lois was rambling. Clark continued to look straight ahead as he drove down the two-lane road.
"Yeah, I think John Kent was my dad's brother. Actually I was surprised when they didn't show up at the funeral. Even though I never got a chance to meet them, my mom and Martha used to write each other quite a bit."
Just after 10 a.m. they pulled in to Mazie's Diner just outside of Smallville. "Morning," Mazie greeted them, "what can I get for you?"
"Coffee would be a good start." Lois was a little groggy from the car trip along the country roads.
"I was wondering," Clark asked Mazie, "do you happen to know where John and Martha Kent live?" Mazie pointed out the front window of the diner. "You see that dirt road across the street? That's the Kent's driveway. They and their son work the farm. They're real nice people. Are you related to them?"
Clark stared out the window. "Yes, John Kent was my dad's brother." "What you mean was, aren't they still brothers?" Mazie teased.
"My dad died about 10 years ago in an airplane accident."
"I'm really sorry to hear that," she said, and Clark believed that she really was.
"Well, thanks for the coffee." Clark laid three singles on the counter.
As they drove slowly down the dirt path that led to the Kent's farmhouse, Lois turned to Clark. "What are you going to do if they know something about the ship that brought you here?"
"I don't know, Lois, I guess I'll have to cross that bridge when we come to it."
They pulled up in front of the large white two-story house. Off to the left was a large red barn with a fence running out from it on either side, disappearing into the distance. This was Lois' first time on a real farm, and she was amazed at how expansive it felt. As she and Clark climbed the steps and went to knock on the screen door, it opened to them and a short gray-haired woman stepped out.
"I thought I heard someone pull up. Hi, my name is Martha." She stuck her hand out after wiping it on her apron.
Lois took her hand first "I'm Lois Lane, and this is my partner Clark — "
"Oh, my God, Clark Kent, Howard's little boy." Martha had Clark in a bear hug. "I have to go get Jonathan and your cousin." Lois and Clark watched as Martha rushed off to the barn.
"Well, that was certainly a warm welcome," Lois noted.
Martha came back with a rugged-looking man who appeared to be in his mid-fifties. They were followed by a tall and sturdily built man who appeared to be about Clark's age. "Jonathan, this is your late brother Howard's son, Clark," Martha said. "Clark, this is your stepfather's brother, Jonathan, and behind him is our son, Bruce."
Jonathan reached out and took Clark's hand in a firm shake. "It's really great to meet you, Clark. Howard wrote to me about you and your mom. He loved both of you very much."
Clark could feel the warmth and love that Jonathan had felt for his brother. He now knew that it was the upbringing that his father had that made him the man that he was. Suddenly, Jonathan's hand was replaced by another.
"I guess we're cousins. I'm Bruce. The Kents adopted me after my parents were killed by a gunman."
"Yes," Martha replied, "we were very good friends with Bruce's parents. Jonathan went to college with Thomas Wayne, and they stayed close up until the end."
"Anyway, dad, I finished putting up the bat houses liked you asked."
"Bat houses, you mean like bird houses?" Lois appeared shocked at the concept.
"Yes, bats come out at night and eat the insects that attack the crops. They're probably the best natural protection for farmers," Bruce told her. "I have to go back to Gotham, but I'll be back next weekend to help with that fence. Clark, I'm glad I was here to meet you. Miss Lane, I read your column every chance I get. The story you two did on Luthor was great. It was a pleasure to meet you both."
As Bruce walked away around behind the barn, Lois spoke up. "You know, I don't remember seeing another car here. I assume that the old pickup truck is yours, Mr. Kent."
"Please call me Jonathan, and Bruce didn't drive here." Suddenly from behind the barn where Bruce had gone, a large, sleek, black helicopter lifted off. What startled both Clark and Lois was that the chopper was practically noiseless. Even with his enhanced hearing, Clark hadn't heard the helicopter start up until it was over the top of the barn. "Bruce is the CEO of Wayne Industries. His father had it put into trust for him in his will, and when Bruce finished college, he started working there. Instead of taking right over, he worked as an intern so he could learn all about the company." Jonathan was obviously proud of his adopted son's accomplishments.
At that point Martha spoke up. "Why don't we all go inside? I have some lemonade in the fridge, and I baked an apple pie this morning. We can sit and catch up on old times."
As they sat around the large country kitchen table, Lois couldn't help but comment on Martha's cooking. "Martha, I wish I could bake like this — the apple pie is delicious. I can't remember the last time I had homemade pie."
"Well, dear, I'll be happy to give you the recipe." Martha got up and went over to a small tin box that held all of Jonathan and Bruce's favorite recipes.
"Even with Julia Child in my kitchen, I couldn't make a pie like this," Lois joked. "I happen to be one of those people that are culinarily challenged."
Suddenly Clark spoke up. "Jonathan and Martha, Lois and I really appreciate your kindness and generosity, but we had another reason for coming here, other than to catch up on the past. After doing some investigating, Lois and I believe that about 30 years ago, a small space craft may have crashed into a field somewhere in this area." Clark saw the reaction instantly on both of their faces.
"Why do you want to know about something that happened so long ago, Clark?" Jonathan quizzed.
Clark made a decision at that point that he would need to trust these people with his secret. "I have reason to believe that I may have been a passenger on that spacecraft." Lois was shocked that Clark had told these people something that he hadn't told anyone else other than her.
"Clark, maybe you better come out to the barn."
Everyone got up and headed out the back door. When they entered the barn, Jonathan took a pitchfork and cleared away what appeared to be a normal layer of hay, to reveal a large trap door. It seemed that it would be much too heavy for even two men to lift. Jonathan went over to a post and pressed a button that lowered a winch that was used to lift the hay into the lofts. At once Clark understood what was going on, and went over to Jonathan.
"If you don't mind, I would like to show you why this spacecraft is so important to me." With that, Clark walked over to the trapdoor and grabbed the ring that Jonathan was going to hook the winch to. He gently gave the door a tug, and it came open as if it had been the kitchen screen door.
"My God," said Martha, "that door weighs over half a ton. Even Jonathan and Bruce together couldn't lift that."
Jonathan threw a switch, and what was obviously a storm shelter, lit up. As they walked slowly down the stairs, Clark looked around until his eyes fell on what he had hoped to find. "We've had this down here since the night we found it," Jonathan explained. "We were coming home from a potluck supper at the Grange hall when we got a flat tire. Back then, Route 66 was a lonely stretch of road, and we were fortunate to have a spare tire with us. I do remember one car passing us, it was a station wagon with California plates. I remember it, because it was loaded down with luggage tied down on the roof, like they were moving."
At this point Martha picked up the story. "While Jonathan was changing the tire, I saw a streak of light across the sky, sort of like a shooting star. The only difference was that this one was really bright and appeared to land in our fields."
Jonathan picked up the story again. "I remember Martha yelling about a shooting star while I was tightening the lug nuts. I looked up, but the light had already gone. Martha swore that whatever it was, it had landed near our house. I had just finished tightening the last lug nuts, so I stowed the flat tire in the back of the truck, and I headed toward where Martha said the light fell. When we got there, we weren't quite sure what had happened. I saw a trench in the field, where I knew there shouldn't be a trench. When I followed it, I found the object that you see here."
At this point, Lois spoke up. "How come you didn't call the authorities to report what you had found?"
Martha quickly answered. "Lois, this farm is our life. If we had called the government, they might have shut everything down and not allowed us to work our land so we could make a living. It may not seem like much to you, but this farm is something that Jonathan and I have spent our lives working on. We weren't ready to call in some federal agency and have them tear it all apart."
Both Lois and Clark could sense the love that these folks had for their way of life. I can't imagine what my life would have been like if they had found me instead of the Luthors, Clark thought to himself.
"So," Lois continued, "you brought the ship here and hid it for all of these years?"
"Yes, that's essentially it," Jonathan answered. "Outside of the four of us, the only other person that knows it is here is Bruce.
Clark's curiosity got the better of him. He approached the ship. As he looked into it, a stabbing pain ran through his chest, and he collapsed. Jonathan ran to his side and lifted him back to his feet. He led Clark away from the ship, and the pain seemed to ease.
"Clark, what happened?" Lois was truly worried.
"I don't know." The color seemed to be returning to Clark's face. Lois went over to the ship and looked in.
"What's this?" she asked as brought the green glowing rock out of the small cockpit. Clark's face contorted in pain again. Lois noticed the effect and placed the rock back in the ship.
"I found that when I was plowing that section of field where that spaceship came down. I figured that they must be related somehow, so I kept the rock in with the ship." Jonathan was still supporting Clark.
Clark turned to Jonathan. "Is there anything else in there that might give me an idea as to where I came from?"
Martha gave Jonathan a quick glance. "There isn't anything in that ship, but I do have something in the house you might want to look at."
With Jonathan's help, Clark was able to negotiate the stairs. Once he was back out in the warm Kansas sunshine, he seemed to return to normal. "I don't know why, but being in the sun always seems to pick me up."
As they went through the screen door on the back porch, Martha turned to the right and took them into a part of the house that they hadn't seen yet. They went through a formal dining room and into a cozy country living room.
Martha went over to a knick-knack shelf and took down a crystal globe. "This was the only thing that was in the ship when we found it. I thought that it looked too nice to leave down in that storm cellar." She handed it to Clark, and the globe immediately started to glow. Suddenly, a holographic image of a stern man dressed in flowing robes appeared.
"Greetings, Kal-El, my son. I have placed this recording in your ship with you so that when you are ready, you may learn about your heritage, and why you were sent where you were. As I record this, our planet is dying. I have already instructed your mother, Lara, to prepare you for your journey. You were born on the planet Krypton, to the house of El. I am of course your father, Jor-El. Our planet is being destroyed from within by volcanic forces. I have tried to convince the science council that we need to evacuate as many of our people as we can, but to no avail. I have built a model of a ship that will be able to traverse space at speeds greater than that of light. I will be placing you in this ship and sending you to a small green planet known as Earth. If I am correct, the effect of this world's yellow sun will give you powers greater than those of the people that were born there. I hope that you will be able to adapt and live a normal life among these people.
"The tremors are starting to get stronger. I'm afraid that I will not have much longer. I see your mother coming with you now." A lovely woman, who had obviously been crying, appeared. "Come, Lara, it is time." At that point, the recording ended.
As the hologram faded away, Clark looked around and asked, "Did everyone else see and hear what I just did?" Lois took Clark's hand and felt it trembling. "We all saw it Clark, but we didn't hear anything."
At that point Clark realized he hadn't heard the message either. Rather, he sensed it, as if it had been in his head. "That was my father, I mean the man that gave me life. He must have been able to somehow cause that message to be telepathically sent only to me. He wasn't speaking in English, but I guess my brain was able to do the translation."
Jonathan spoke up, "So, son, what did your father tell you?" Clark got a blank look on his face, as if he wasn't sure what to tell them. When Lois squeezed his hand and placed her other on his shoulder, he straightened up and related the story.
"It appears that I truly am an orphan, that I will never have people to call my own."
Lois playfully slapped at him to try and lighten the mood. "You aren't getting rid of me that quickly, buster."
Martha piped up then. "Clark, honey, I know that we aren't your parents, but we know how proud Harold was of you, and how much he loved you and your mom. You will always have a family here. Look at Bruce — he was eight-and-a-half years old when he came to live with us."
"That's right," Jonathan added, "But we couldn't love him more if he were our own flesh and blood."
"You see," Lois encouraged Clark. "You will always have people that love you, no matter where you came from. Clark, you are one of the sweetest, gentlest people I have ever met. The fact that you can do all of the amazing things you can, and that you use them to help people, just makes you even more human."
Clark got up from his place on the sofa and turned to Jonathan and Martha. "Would you mind if I just took a walk around your farm? I would kind of like to see where I came to earth."
Jonathan walked him to the back door. "Just go around the barn and about a quarter of a mile straight back, and you'll come to the place."
As Clark walked, he heard the footsteps coming up behind him. "Feel like a little company, Clark?"
Clark didn't say anything. He just took her hand in his.
"You know, Clark, I'm a lot like you. I mean my parents and my sister are still alive, but for all of the contact that I have with them, they may as well be on another planet. Sometimes that may be even harder than losing them, because they are there, but they're not. You know what I mean?"
Clark stopped and looked at Lois. He then pulled her softly into his arms, and gently placed his lips on hers. Lois instinctively opened her mouth as the kiss turned passionate and Clark explored her mouth while trying to pull her body even closer. Clark finally broke the kiss, and he and Lois both seemed to catch their breaths.
"Lois, I don't know if it is because I have always been a little different, but I was never able to have a relationship with a woman before. This may surprise you, but at one point I even questioned if maybe it was because I was gay. Fortunately that thought only lasted about 30 seconds before I realized that I was attracted to women, I was just afraid of how they would react if they found out about my special powers."
Lois ran a hand across his cheek, "Clark, I don't know what it is that I'm feeling for you, but I do know that I am not afraid. Now what say we go find that site, and then get back to the house and start writing that Pulitzer Prize interview with Superman?"