By Laura Johnsen <email@example.com>
Submitted: November 2001
Summary: Lois and Clark's daughter shows signs of being a chip off the old block, but will she be up to the responsibility of following in his footsteps?
"Happy Birthday, Dan—" Clark started, but was interrupted by the sight before his eyes. His daughter, Danielle, was floating 3 feet over her bed. *Oh, no,* he thought.
"Danielle," he whispered. It was worse than he thought. Hearing his tiniest voice woke her up, and when she did, she collapsed in a heap on her bed, making the bed break.
"Danielle!" He ran to the bed and picked her out of the tangled mess.
Feeling that she was lower to the ground than usual, she looked down and saw the frame broken.
"Dad, did I break the bed?" she asked skeptically.
"Uh. Yeah, you kinda did."
"Dad, what's happening to me?! What is going on?!" she inquired frantically.
"Danielle, these things have been happening to you a lot, haven't they?"
She pushed up her glasses on the brim of her nose. "Yeah, they have."
"What has happened? And list EVERYTHING."
"Well, first I accidentally melted my math book and had to pay $40 to repay the school and get a new one. Then, I froze my eyelashes and my eyebrows when I was blowing a strand of hair out of my eyes. Then, in P.E., I beat the fastest person on our team in the running race. I've heard screams in Japanese, for crying out loud. And last night I kinda saw you and Mom… you know."
"You mean you saw us when you passed our room?"
"No, I saw you when I was in my room. And then I wake up this morning, and I'm floating above my bed!"
"Danielle. There is a reason for all of this. It's because… I'm Superman."
The next few moments went a little fast. All Clark could really tell was that his daughter was NOT happy. She went into a slight fit and got so angry, she had started to float. She stopped when she noticed she wasn't on solid ground and got a little frightened.
"Dad! How do I get down?"
"Just relax and calm down," he advised. His advice worked, and she was soon on the ground.
"Danielle, I know you're angry, but you don't have anything to worry about. All you need to do is learn to get your powers under control. I'll even teach you some things about your heritage, including mind-reading. You won't have anything to do about being a super-hero, OK?"
"Well, okay, Daddy. I'm sorry. I love you."
"Love you too, sweetie."
3 years later
"I wouldn't be nervous, sweetie. Perry really is wonderful. He'll make you feel right at home," Lois encouraged.
"Yeah, Dani, he'll only whip you if you mess up big time!" Jimmy taunted.
"Oh yeah right, Jimmy!" Danielle snapped. This made Jimmy start cracking up like a teenager, besides the fact that he was in his 40's- slightly ancient for cracking up.
"Ignore him, honey. That's what I always do," Clark told her. His daughter smiled and gave Jimmy a light punch on the shoulder in return for the teasing.
The elevator reached the Daily Planet newsroom, and the quartet stepped out. Danielle gazed at the Editor-in- Chief's office with anxiety.
Her mother's words interrupted her thoughts. "Now, we'll all be here if Chief kicks you around. Your dad and I will be at our desks, and Jimmy will be…well, I don't suggest you go to him."
"Guys, I'll be fine! I'll come see you as soon as he tells me what he thinks." Turning to her mother, she gave her a kiss on the cheek, to her dad a tight hug, and to Jimmy, or "Jim-bob" as she would call him when she was in a bantering mood, a slap on the back and a smile. She jogged down the short flight of steps to the level of desks and reporters she had known all her life and stopped at Perry White's door. Her slightly trembling hand touched the knob and pushed open the door.
"Hey, Chief," she grinned. The editor, now in his late 60's, looked up from his work at the girl nearly 50 years younger than him at the doorway. She wore blue jeans and a shirt with Superman's symbol on it, who, by the way, was still going strong in protecting the citizens of Metropolis.
"Well hello Danielle! What are you doing here?" He stood to welcome his best reporters' daughter, whom he considered something like his granddaughter.
"Well, for my birthday tomorrow, Mom and Dad are giving me a couple of gifts and the chance for a job. I've decided to follow after my parents and become a reporter," she answered.
"Now, why would you want to waste your young teenage years by coming to work for a damned old fart like me?" he teased.
"Now Chief, you aren't old," she teased back.
"Ahhh, thank you Dani. You've livened my spirit. You're lucky you came in now because I have no urgent work to do, and I can interview you now. I've known you your whole life, but you know the policies."
"All right, then let's get started." He pulled a sheet of paper from his desk, a resume, and a pen to fill it out. "What's your name?"
"Danielle Raye Kent."
"How old are you?"
"I'll be 16 on June 15."
"Ahhh, sweet sixteen. What's your address?"
"348 Hyperion Avenue in Metropolis, New Troy."
"What's your phone number?"
"What are your parents' names?"
"Clark and Lois Kent."
"What are their professions? As if I didn't know."
Danielle laughed. "Both are reporters at the Daily Planet."
"What school do you go to?"
"Metropolis High School."
"Have you had any past jobs?"
"Except for volunteering, which isn't a job, at the Alzheimer's facility near Mervyn's, no."
"Can you drive?"
"I only have my learner's permit."
"Can you take good photos?"
"I've taken a photography class, and the instructor said I had talent."
"What about writing?"
"I have an A in English, and Mrs. Rhoton often compliments me on my work."
"Well, that's about it. The rest I can answer for you. Danielle, it sounds like you're already part of the team here at the Planet. I'll give my boss a ring, fax him your resume, and you should know if you're a reporter by 1400 hours."
"Thanks, Chief." She slipped out of her seat and back in to the news room. She immediately searched out her father, who was in black slacks, white work shirt, and a blue tie. She found him pouring coffee for himself. She sneaked up behind him, but before striking with a surprise attack, which from personal experience she knew could lead to disaster, she made sure the coffee cup was on the counter.
"Hello, my daughter. How did the interview go?" Clark said, surprising her instead.
"How'd you know I was behind you?" Danielle asked with mock pouting.
"I was born with a keen sense of hearing. That's why you could never sneak up on me." *Actually,* he thought, *I could hear you and see you through the walls, but let's not go into details.*
"Oh. Anyway, it went great! I think I got the job!"
"That's great, honey!" He picked her up and twisted her through the air in his arms, like he always did when he was happy for her. Dani had always wondered how he had managed to hold her, as she was 120 pounds, and he was in his 40's. She figured that he'd always be capable of holding her, even when he was 100.
"Let's go find your mom," he said, and they went off in search of a still slim figure in a blue dress suit. They found her at the printer, printing out a story for Perry. They were about to tell her what happened when Perry himself came out with good news.
"Listen up, everybody!" he shouted, to get everyone's attention. "Today, a young lady we have all known all her life submitted a form to join us. The Big Boss has just approved of it, and now the Daily Planet has a new researcher and photographer: Danielle Raye Kent!"
The news room exploded with applause and cheering as Danielle's father lifted her on his shoulders. But she wasn't up there for long. She looked down at her beloved parents, one by one, but the look on her dad's face wasn't shining. His head was cocked to one side slightly, as if he heard something faint. He quickly put her down and said, "I have to go. I left something in the car, and it's important that I get it now. I'll be right back." He ran off towards another part of the room, and didn't return for an elevator.
Clark felt so bad leaving his daughter, now of all times, but Metropolis needed him, and he couldn't ignore his responsibility. He loosened his tie, pulled his shirt apart and bared the red "S" on his chest. He bolted through the window and through the sky.
He surveyed the buzzing city, listening for cries for help. He finally heard, "Help me! Superman!" and followed the shouts to find a young man hanging out an apartment complex window. Citizens looked up in horror, hoping that their Man of Steel would arrive to save the day. In a flash of blue, the young man was safe on the ground, though in a state of shock. He told police that his father, who was again drunk, had pushed him out the window in anger. Superman quickly flew into the apartment and found the drunk man. He pulled him out to officers below and, testing him on blood alcohol level, found that he was extremely high above the national limit.
He was gone for an hour and a half, assisting police with the drunk father, who was far beyond insane. The man was stubborn and extremely drunk, which, when put together, are dangerous beyond belief. When he asked an officer the time, he told him 4 PM. *Oh no! Danielle!* he thought. He said good-bye to all and flew back to his family.
He came back to the Daily Planet with as much discretion as possible. It was simple. With all the moving around, nobody noticed that he came through the window.
Chief had spent no time setting up a workspace for the newest reporter. A desk was being assembled facing Lois' desk. He soon found Lois getting some water from the tank.
"Hey, I'm back," he said, surprising her.
"Clark, where have you been?!" she cried.
"Oh, you know," he replied, taking his hand and moving it in a slanted upward position, indicating his second identity.
"Clark, when you left you nearly broke Dani's heart!" his wife scolded.
"I'm sorry, Lois-"
"It isn't me you should be apologizing to," she interrupted, crossing her arms across her chest.
"Where is she?"
"I let her borrow the car to go get her things. She can't wait to move in and get started, so I figured I'd let her go now. She left an hour ago to get supplies and some personal items."
"Then I'll stay here and wait for her. Though I might give her some time to cool off first."
"There's no wait necessary," she responded, pointing at the elevator, which had just opened with Danielle and Jimmy carrying 2 boxes of stuff in each pair of arms.
It was amazing how strong Dani had been throughout her life. She worked out daily, but results were showing for the past 3 years. Sometimes, hours after the minty freshness of her toothpaste normally had worn out, her cool breath was still going strong. She sometimes complained of heat behind her black eyes, though she was used to it by now, and her physical education teacher and personal trainer were proud of how quickly she could run.
Danielle was a beautiful girl. She was tall and had well- toned muscles, like her father, and a nice, slim yet firm body build, like her mother. She wore her chest-long black hair loose and always made sure it was smooth and well cared for. She had glasses but looked pretty, unlike many of the girls in her school who looked dorky in glasses. She wore reasonable clothing but was sometimes daring with sleeveless, low-cut or midriff baring tops, but she didn't care for those as often. She had always been a good student, with straight A's her whole life. She had never drunk, taken drugs, had a tattoo, or anything beyond "the girl next door" level. She was much like her father in many ways: She had a heart of gold, though teasing never seemed a bother, she was a hard worker, independent at most times, brave, and could always bring cheer to a place. But she was like her mother as well. She could be extremely stubborn; nothing could stand in her way.
Now, at nearly 16, she remained a wonder as the youngest employee in the history of the Daily Planet.
She thanked Jimmy for his help and waited patiently as the janitors but the finishing touches on her desk. It was a nice desk, mahogany wood with black trimmings. Shelves could hold books, pictures and anything she wanted.
Clark let her finish her desk before he came to talk to her. The computer and chair were provided for all employees, so she didn't need to worry about that. She had slightly higher shelves, so she could fit many things inside. She had chosen a few little stuffed animals to put on one shelf, and on the shelf beside it were photographs. She had chosen a picture of her parents, one taken by a professional, one of her best friend Miya, one of her grandparents, Martha and Jonathan Kent, and one of her other best friend Logan, who she actually thought of as more than a friend. On one or two shelves were some books, most on history, the rest being entertainment for the Kents' teenage bookworm. Under the shelves, where there was some space, was her new computer with the keyboard and the mouse, which rested on a mouse-pad with the Superman "S" on either sides. There were drawers on one side, where Dani had decided to keep any important papers. The rest of the space was for work and writing.
"Danielle, I need to talk to you," Clark began.
"Dad! What a surprise! What are you doing here?" *Geez,* he thought, *she can be so much like her mother when she wants to be.*
"Honey, I'm so sorry I wasn't here for your big moment. I got called away-"
"No. You said you left something in the car. What did you leave?" she challenged.
"Sweetheart, you'd think my reason was completely… well… reasonable if I told you."
"What's your reason, then?"
"Well, you know…"
"Argh!" She started to walk away, but her father grabbed her arm.
"Don't you walk away from me, young lady."
"I'm sorry, Dad."
"Listen, how about we talk about this at home, where our co-workers aren't staring at us?" He looked at her and gave her his half-smile, which always won her over.
"OK Daddy. I'm sorry. I love you," she apologized.
"Oh, honey, I love you too." He pulled her in his arms and hugged her. This was something he loved about his girl. She was never embarrassed to say she loved her parents or to hug them or to kiss them in public.
Perry came out again with another announcement. "Listen up, everybody! Today we finished the paper exceptionally early, so today, you get to go home to your family!" For the second time that day, the room erupted with cheers and whistles.
"Also.!" Perry waited for the noise to subside. "Also, your new coworker's birthday is tomorrow, so there's another reason why you get the day off!" Danielle could feel herself blush as the entire Daily Planet staff sang her "Happy Birthday." Danielle happily went home with her family.
The Kent home was a beautiful, small brownstone with everything the family needed. It was located in a suburban neighbor hood, and the family had lived there for 18 years.
The house had a nice, homely touch, which made it feel like a comfy cabin in the woods. When you first walked in, there were stairs up to the upper level. But downstairs and to the right was the family room. The walls were covered with bamboo style wallpaper. The room had Clark's old furniture, and when you pulled on a lamp on the wall, it revealed a secret compartment with Clark's tights inside. Connected was the kitchen, which had things split between Lois and Clark. Next door was the dining room. Up the stairs were the bedrooms. Lois and Clark's bedroom was pretty large with space for their bed and dressers, workspaces and master bath. The workspaces had been added when Lois was pregnant but still wanted to work, so the two of them would work at home. The house was the family's getaway.
But things weren't so simple in the master bedroom. Clark sat on his bed, thinking hard on his next tactic, which is where his wife found him.
"Clark? What's the matter?" she asked, with a worried tone.
"What about her?"
"It's her birthday tomorrow."
"Ah, yes. Sweet Sixteen."
"That's not the only thing I'm worried about. You know how she's been exceptionally strong, her breath is cold, her eyes sting, and she's gotten quite fast for the past 3 or 4 years?"
"So?? Lois, do the math, as Danielle would say. All of those conditions are related to Superman in some form. His Super-strength, Ice-breath, Heat-vision and X-ray vision, and ability to fly.! She's becoming like me even more. I don't want that for her. I was hoping she'd live a normal life."
"Clark, honey, she will be normal. She'll be just like you when you were her age. Making excuses to save the day, keeping her identity a secret. it's all you. You did it so well; you kept me off for quite a while, you know."
"Yes, but it's not the Metropolis citizens I'm worried about. What if she can't handle the responsibility? What if—"
"Baby, stop worrying about the 'what ifs' and just tell her!"
"You aren't coming with me?"
"It's not my place. After all, I'm not the superhero in this household," she replied with a grin.
"Thanks a lot." He walked down the hall and past the small bathroom to his daughter's room. *Here it goes,* he thought.
"Danielle," he murmured as he walked into her room. Danielle had always considered her room her "little paradise." Her room was blue and had skylights since Danielle loved the sky. Her walls were painted a sky blue, the same color as her sheets and comforter, which had white clouds dotting each item. She had a desk, bedside table, closet, a computer, a phone, a CD player, a case full of CDs and a couple of bookshelves filled with books. On the wall were some posters of favorite stars, such as the Backstreet Boys, N`Sync, and some movie stars, as well as little shelves with pictures and stuffed animals. Her father had built her a skylight seat, where she would sit and do homework, and a comfy lounge chair, where Danielle would nestle in and read for hours.
Clark found her moving around the room, singing the song You're My Hero by Bette Midler. Clark had always loved her voice, which had such beautiful tone, verbratto, and made him think of angels. He listened intently as she began to sing:
*Ohhhh, oh, oh, ohhh.
It must have been cold there in my shadow,
To never have sunlight on your face.
You were content to let me shine, that's your way.
You always walked a step behind.*
(by now, Danielle had seen her father and was singing to him since this song was their special song)
*So I was the one with all the glory,
While you were the one with all the strain.
A beautiful face without a name for so long,
A beautiful smile to hide the pain.*
*Did you ever know that you're my hero
And everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle
For you are the wind beneath my wings*
"Dani." He stopped her by lightly placing his fingers on her lips. "I need to talk to you."
"You bet, Dad." She walked over to her deep, comfortable, deep blue lounge chair and threw herself into it. Her father sat on her skylight seat, and looked down at his hands.
"Dad. something's wrong, isn't there?"
"How could you tell?"
"Well, first of all, you haven't looked at me except when I was singing, and you had that look on your face. Second, you haven't said a word."
"Yeah, well I'm trying to think how I could start this." He looked out the window at the moon and the myriad of stars. He suddenly got an idea.
"Dani, honey, do you remember when you would fly through the stars when you were a baby?"
Of course she could. She could remember a man in red and blue, her dad, taking her out of her crib, and flying through the sky. The man would hold her as if she were his own child. He would sit on a cloud and rock her, using the stars as her night-light. He did this every night until she had been old enough to no longer need rocking and night- lights. On the very last night, when she was 6, he had taken her one last time and had given her a small shooting star. He had made it into a necklace. She never took it off.
"Of course I do." As she said it she pulled out the pendent, which sparkled like a diamond, and showed it to him.
Clark looked at it and images flew through his mind. He could see Danielle's young soft face smiling at him in the moonlight as he rocked her to sleep.
"Well, it's, uh, getting late. It's time for bed," he stuttered.
"Okay, but didn't you want to tell me something?" she asked.
"No it… it's nothing," he stuttered.
"Well, Dad. I just wanted to say I'm sorry for getting mad at you back at the Planet. I overreacted. I've known about you for 3 years, and I had no reason for getting angry. You couldn't help it."
"Oh, Dani, it's all right. You had a right to get angry." He gave her a hug, and they walked back to the master bedroom where she kissed both of them goodnight.
Clark knew it was wrong of him to do, but he couldn't help it. He listened to his daughter's conversation with Logan on the phone as she dialed his number.
"Hey Logan. It's Danielle."
"Hi Dani. You're calling pretty late. You're lucky my dad is at work."
"Yeah, I'm sorry for calling so late."
"Oh it's all right. Hey, you don't sound that good. Is something wrong?"
"I'm not sure. My dad walked in a couple minutes ago, and he was acting pretty weird."
"What do you mean?"
"He was asking about my necklace, and when that man" (she would make it sound like she didn't know who it was when she talked to her friends) "would take me flying."
"Maybe he's trying to tell you something."
"I'm not sure. I'll talk to you about it tomorrow. How about we meet at Johnny's for lunch at 1?"
"Sure, I'll see you there. 'Bye, Dani."
She hung up, and he heard her humming and softly singing to herself as she pulled down her bed and undressed. Then she walked to the bathroom, brushed her teeth, took off the little make-up she wore, and washed her face. Finally she took off her glasses, placed them in her holder, climbed into bed, and shut off the bed.
"Okay, now I'll just wait for her to fall asleep," he said to himself.
"What'd you say, Clark?" Lois asked, as she sat beside him and wrapped her arms around his neck.
"I've decided to take her flying again. That's when I'll tell her."
She smiled and said, "Clark, I'm sure you'll do a great job. I just hope she won't take it so hard on you like I did when I found out in 1966."
"I can only hope," he responded with his heart-winning half-smile.
Clark stood in the hallway, ready for action. He spun at Super-speed, revealing his red cape and blue suit. He walked into his daughter's room and watched her sleep. The moon, faint from her tinted skylights, shone on her face, making her even more beautiful. *She belongs in the sky,* he thought.
He quietly walked to her bed, bent down, and picked her up in his arms. Instantly, she wrapped her arms around his neck, recognizing the warmth, love and comfort, and placed her head on his shoulder. He smiled, realizing that no matter how strange she thought her family could be, she still loved them.
He opened one of the skylights and flew at lightening speed toward the heavens. He reached a point above the clouds and gently woke his daughter up.
"Huh?. what?. Superman! I mean, Dad! What are we doing up here?" she asked.
"We need to talk and it's really important that, if you scream, you don't alarm any neighbors."
She chuckled and said, "That's true."
"Danielle, we need to talk about your powers."
"Sure. Can you hold me that long, or do we need to go back down?"
"It's no problem."
"Well, Dad, what would you like to talk about?" Danielle asked as she eased back in his arms.
"Have you been feeling strange lately, Danielle?" Superman asked uneasily.
"Yeah I have! You know I've been feeling weird for nearly all of my life. But it's gotten even more powerful for the past 3 years."
"I can explain everything. Well, you have your powers because I am Superman and also because you are destined to be a super-hero as well." What he said gave her a look of shock, and she didn't say anything for a couple minutes, letting the news sink in. But she soon spoke.
"Wow." She looked down at her stomach, where she normally would have placed her hands.
"Dani, I can understand if you are angry at me for hiding this—"
"No, Dad. I'm not angry, and I realize that it's important. I've had my super powers all my life; I should have expected it. Besides, this may be a good opportunity. I can actually help you with this." She wrapped her arms tighter around her parent's arms, suddenly becoming closer than she ever had been with him, and looked him deep in the eyes. The two pairs of eyes, exactly the same, looked at each other. "When you can't be there, I'll be there. Any time you're troubled, I'll be there to understand. Whatever happens, we'll have each other, Mom, and Grandma and Grandpa. We're family; that's all that counts."
Clark smiled at his daughter's wisdom and courage. "So you realize that there will be extreme dangers?"
"I don't care. As long as you and the citizens of Metropolis are safe."
"What about school and Miya, Logan and your other friends?"
"Well, you're going to have to teach me some excuses." She smiled and gave her dad a hug. He hugged her back and was glad to have such a wonderful daughter.
Danielle woke up the next morning and thought, *What am I kidding?* That was all a dream. I'm no superhero, just Danielle Kent, 16 year old researcher who happens to have a super-hero dad and super powers.
She left her room, a little groggy, with glasses in hand, and into the bathroom. She looked at her face in the mirror. She looked a little warm, and for getting up only two minutes ago, she was smiling the wry half-smile she had inherited from her father. *Good God,* she thought, *what happened last night??*
She walked farther down the hall, and into the kitchen. Her mother was looking at something of Clark's. She knew it was Dad's cape, and Mom had left the iron on it again, for there was an iron-shaped hole smack in the middle.
"I'm sorry, Clark. I got distracted," Lois apologized.
"It's all right, Lois. Mom did it a couple times when I got my first cape." He looked at her after his little pun and was satisfied that she had a small grin. "Besides, I still have my spares."
"Dad, was last night a dream?" Danielle asked. Hearing his daughter's voice, Clark turned.
"Good morning, sweetie," he said.
"Happy Birthday, Danielle!" the two of them said in unison, making her smile.
"How'd you sleep?" Lois asked.
"Uh… pretty good, I guess," Danielle answered, "but I had the freakiest dream last night—"
"It wasn't a dream, Danielle," Clark interrupted, looking straight into his daughter's eyes. "Last night was real. You are Supergirl. We have your suit in our closet."
There was an awkward silence between the Kent family as Danielle let the truth, once thought a dream, sink in.
"So, I'm going to have to fly around the city and save lives?"
"Well, honey, you don't have to, if you feel you can't handle the responsibility," Lois started.
"But last night you seemed like you could take up the challenge. We're sure that you would do a wonderful job at this. We think you're very responsible, and you could handle it if you choose to do this," Clark finished.
Danielle let herself fall into the sofa, sinking deep into the cushions. She couldn't believe this was happening. It sounded pretty great, but her parents had seemed like such normal people. And should she keep this from her friends? Should she keep this from Logan? And what about school? How could she explain suddenly leaving class? She couldn't say, "May I be excused? I need to go change into Supergirl and save Metropolis from an evil madman."
Taking a deep breath, she said, "All right. I'll do it."
That made her parents smile. Lois stood up and walked into the master bedroom. A few minutes later she came back with a plastic suit envelope on a hanger, the kind the dry- cleaners put around the clothes they clean, and a shoe box. She unclasped the envelope and pulled the flap open.
The first thing Danielle saw was a large, bright red and yellow "S" on the blue suit. The long blue pants had changed to shorts. Lois opened the shoe box and lying inside were a pair of boots, just like her father's. But the thing that caught her eye the most was the red cape underneath the suit. She picked up the whole thing and placed it in her lap. She immediately loved it. She fingered the stitching along the chest and whispered, "Wow. I'm Supergirl."
She looked up at her parents and said, "How do I start?"
"Well, I'll be giving you your basic training as things happen. But we'll start today on how you should handle your new powers. You have to decide whether or not you want to tell people. People like Miya and Logan, and your other friends. I made that decision when I was 13; I decided to tell no one. But it's your decision," Clark replied.
Quickly, Danielle knew what she would do. "I trust Logan and Miya with all my soul, but if they knew, and someone found out that they knew, they would be targets. I can't let that happen. It would just kill me inside to see them get hurt." Danielle was quiet for a moment. "They can't know."
"You are just like your father, honey. He decided not to tell anyone, just for their safety. He broke up our personal relationship, just to keep me safe," Lois said, eyeing her husband with a smirk. Suddenly the sound of a beeper rang out. The two parents ran to the bedroom to see who it was for. Apparently it was for both since neither came back soon.
Danielle picked up the suit, the cape and the boots. Looking at them, she walked into her room to try them on. She took off the plaid bottoms and spaghetti strap top and looked at her body. She liked her body. Now she could see why she was a superhero. She had quite the muscles for a girl her age. Her body was shaped like a model's. Her waist had a nice curve; she could fit into a lot of fashion items. The latest fashion: the Superman "S."
She slipped into the blue suit, thinking about her grandma, and how well she had made the suit. She found small clasps inside of the suit, right on the shoulders, for the cape. She attached the cape to the suit and placed the boots on her feet. Once again she looked in the mirror. The reflection was so different. She looked stronger, smarter, and dependable. The suit was low cut and had short sleeves; apparently whoever made this had tried to make it easier for her to wear the suit under the clothes she wore. But something was missing; something needed to be changed.
She almost walked into her parents' room when she thought of something. She pushed her glasses down her nose with her fingers on the side hinge, as she thought, *God, I've waited to do this for years.* She strained to look through the wall and could see an image and on purpose too. Her parents were just hanging up the phones (her parents kept two phones in their room, just in case) and were heading back to the living room. Danielle interrupted their path and surprised them both with the suit.
"I could see you were leaving. What do you think?" she asked.
Lois smiled and Clark looked at his daughter with pride.
"You look wonderful, Dani. But there's something different," he said, studying her features. He snapped his fingers, "I know." He led her into the bathroom and took off her glasses.
"That's better," he said.
"But I'm blind as a bat without my glasses," she said, feeling around the counter.
"Don't worry, I can fix that." He lowered his glasses, just like he had ever since Danielle could remember. Two red lasers shot from his eyes, bounced off the mirror, and slammed into Danielle's pupils. Danielle stood, completely still, as if in a trance, as the beams were swallowed by her eyes. But as soon as Clark's lasers ended, she fell in a heap on the floor, quite stunned.
"Danielle!" her mother cried and fell to her knees to comfort her daughter. Clark joined them on the floor and cradled Danielle in his arms as Lois held her hands in her own.
"Honey, are you all right?" Lois asked, as she cupped her hand over Danielle's cheek.
"Yeah, I'm fine. I think that's gonna be the worst headache I'll have for the rest of my life!" she muttered, placing her hand to her head.
"It's gonna be the ONLY headache you'll have for the rest of your life," Lois muttered.
"Well, can you see okay?" Clark said, looking into her eyes, as if inspecting her slightly dilated pupils.
"Uh… yeah. Things are just a little fuzzy, and I feel a little dizzy, but I can see better than before."
"All right, I'll fix your glasses so they can be used just as a secret identity. Today, you should rest. You're lucky your party isn't until Friday; you can relax a little."
"But, we will have to make a statement."
"A statement??" Danielle and her father said in unison.
"Of course! Supergirl can't just come out and create tension. Superman and Supergirl will have to make a public statement."
Clark rolled his eyes, but agreed to his wife's suggestion. The two of them helped Danielle up, and she stumbled into her room to get unchanged. Danielle took 3 minutes in the bathroom, using Super-speed, and came out in her towel; Lois caught her in the hallway.
"Dani, why'd you take a shower? I thought you were staying home."
"Mom, we've got work today, and besides, I've got to be presentable when Dad makes his statement," she smiled and walked back into her room to get dressed.
She came back out in black jeans and a uniform-style top- one with gray plaid and a white collar. But there was a small problem with the outfit she had chosen.
"Dad, won't it be a little strange for someone to see regular sleeves from a tank top?" she remarked.
"Oh man, we knew this would happen," he said coming out from the master bedroom, buttoning his shirt and concealing the "S." "Your mother and I bought you little sweaters and jackets to put over your costume. They are made of heavy material but are light to the skin." He entered his closet again and came back with about 10 sweaters and denim jackets. "Should this do the trick?"
"Whoa!" She picked out a black sweater and slipped it on. "It really is light!"
"Are you feeling all right now?"
"Yeah, these glasses make no difference in my sight."
"That's what I had to do. I had never really needed glasses, but they help control the x-ray and heat vision. It's a good thing you really needed them; then people wouldn't wonder why you had glasses after 16 years without them. And how do you feel about this whole thing?"
"Pretty good, but the suit feels a little weird under my clothes."
"Don't worry, you'll get used to it. It took me a while, too. And your mother didn't have any time to get used to the suit."
"Yeah. Quite a couple years back, two sisters transferred my powers to Lois, and I was left without powers for three days while your mother was walking around with a tight suit underneath her dress suits."
"Ouch. You know, I don't think I'll get used to being without them."
"Don't worry, you won't." He smiled, as Lois came out, dressed in a brown skirt and work jacket with a white blouse underneath and a brown tie.
"Ready to go?" she asked, placing her handbag on her arm.
"You bet!" Danielle whooped, putting her bag across her chest.
As the Kent family drove the distance to the Daily Planet office building, Clark picked up his cell phone and called the Chief as Superman.
"Daily Planet, Perry White, editor-in-chief speaking," Perry answered.
"Perry, it's Superman," Clark said.
"Superman! Hello there! What can I do for you?"
"Perry, I have a statement to make, and it's important that the world, or at least Metropolis, hears it. I want the Daily Planet to cover the story."
"Oh that's great, Superman! What time is your statement? Do you want me to call some TV stations?"
"If you could, it would a whole lot easier. And the statement is at noon."
"That's only a half hour from now! Where will it be?"
"In front of the gates of Metropolis City Park."
"Thanks for telling us, Superman. We'll be there with our best reporters and photographer."
A podium was set up in the gates with at least half a dozen microphones poised on top. Superman and Supergirl floated above the park, out of sight, looking down among the bustle of reporters, Lois and Jimmy among them.
"Are you ready for this?" Supergirl asked.
"I am if you are," her father replied.
"Then let's go."
Supergirl stayed floating above while Superman landed on the podium stand. Immediately, camera flashes went off, and reporters stood to ask their questions.
"Please." Superman raised his hands, hoping the noise would die down. It soon did. "I have an important announcement to make. For a long time now, I have been hiding something, or someone, who is now ready to take her place in society. She's here for you today, and I want to introduce her to you now. I want Metropolis, America and all of planet Earth to welcome my daughter, Supergirl." He indicated to the sky, where every head turned, and saw Supergirl's figure in the distance.
As Dani descended towards the media of Metropolis, she thought, *Here it goes.* I hope they like me. She landed beside Superman and gave the cameras a smile.
"Hi, my name is Supergirl, and it's really great seeing you here."
It was quiet for a couple of moments, so Danielle decided to break the silence. "I know it's strange seeing me. It's pretty weird for me to have at least two dozen reporters standing here, staring at me. But I hope that we can get along more. I have an interview with the Daily Planet's newest reporter, Danielle Kent, so you can learn more about me—"
She stopped, hearing a cry for help. She looked at her father, who nodded.
"Everyone, I'd love to chat, but I… you know. Gotta go." She leaped into the air, flying off with her father toward the shouts. They didn't notice the reporters following them, hoping to catch a story. The duo scanned the city and found a car, actually a truck, losing control of its brakes, about to crash into an ongoing intersection. The superheroes immediately dove down and stood in front of the truck and thrust their hands out, getting slammed as the truck kept going. The two of them slid with the truck for a couple yards when the truck stopped. Superman ran to the driver side, while Supergirl rushed to the passenger side. She opened the door and was shocked to see who the passenger was. It was Logan!
"Oh my God!" she muttered under her breath as she pulled him out. He was unconscious. The force of her and Superman must have made him fall forward into the dashboard, for there was a trickle of blood coming from his Latin, brown scalp.
Reporters, amongst them her mother, began to gather at the crash sight. Photographers, like Jimmy, who, by the way, mostly wrote stories but took photos from time to time, began taking photos for the next day's news. But Supergirl took no notice of the publicity.
"Call an ambulance, now!" she ordered and her mother quickly flashed out her cell phone.
As the ambulance's siren could be heard, Logan began to regain consciousness. He looked at Supergirl and murmured, "Who? Who are you?"
"Supergirl. You've been in a car crash, and an ambulance—" she was cut off by the sirens, "is here." She smiled at him, and he closed his eyes again, losing consciousness again.
Some way to spend my birthday, Danielle thought, as she held Logan's right hand and Miya held his left. Lois and Clark stood behind Danielle, Lois leaning on his chest; Miya's mom sat in a chair beside the top of Logan's bed, and his dad sat at the bottom of the bed, his head held in his hands. He had hit his head against the steering wheel, but noting but a couple stitches had been needed. Logan lay on the bed, still unconscious with a small concussion, but expected to be fine. Logan was such a handsome boy. He was a head taller than Danielle and Miya and had deep chocolate-brown eyes and black hair. He had an Indian mother, who had died of cancer when Logan was ten, so he lived with his dad, a pure American. The death of his mother had turned him kind and gentle, though like most teen boys he roughed around with his friends. Among his many friends, Danielle, or Dani as he always called her, and Miya were among the best. It was strange for a teenage boy to be best friends with girls, but he didn't care. The guys had no problem hanging out with the girls; they considered them pretty cool for girls.
Logan soon woke up, fluttering his eyes, trying to wake up.
"Don't work yourself hard, boy," his father said to his son, not wanting him to strain himself.
"What happened?" He spoke quietly, not quite used to the light and environment around him.
"You were in a car crash," Danielle told him. "Supergirl and Superman stopped the truck; it had lost control of its brakes."
"Supergirl?? Oh yeah, I remember her. She told me I was going to be OK."
"And you will be, Logan," Miya replied. Miya was a pretty girl. She had strawberry-blonde hair, which was shoulder long, and was as tall as Danielle. Her eyes were a deep blue, and she was considered popular among the normal people, meaning she was friends with some of the "popular geeks" but was friends among the normal guys and girls of Metropolis High. She enjoyed the same things as Danielle: singing, writing, drawing, and swimming.
"Are you going to be all right? Lois, Danielle and I have work," Clark remarked. He wanted Danielle to stay here with her friend, but he knew Perry would have a fit if his newest reporter wasn't at work and if she missed her special surprise.
"Yeah, I'll be fine," Logan replied, taking Danielle's hand in his. "You go ahead. Besides, it's your birthday- the hospital is no place to spend your birthday."
"Well… all right," Danielle agreed reluctantly. She gave Logan a small kiss on the cheek, as did Miya. "We'll call and check in on you, OK?"
Logan chuckled and said, "OK, that's fine. See you soon."
"Hey, what about lunch?"
"Let's take a rain check."
Danielle was upset about Logan, Lois and Clark could see. As they walked back to the car, Lois gripped Danielle's hand and Clark put his arm around her waist.
"We're sure Logan will be fine," Lois reassured her.
"Danielle, honey, you just have to learn that, even though you will always be there to save the day, someone can get hurt," Clark told her.
"I know. I just wish it wasn't Logan. But I guess I should brighten up- today is my birthday, after all!" she said, smiling.
By that time, Danielle, Lois and Clark got into the car and drove the few blocks to the Daily Planet. They boarded the elevator and headed up to the office, where Danielle got the second surprise of the day.
"Happy Birthday, Danielle!" was written on a huge banner hanging from the ceiling. The entire staff shouted greetings of birthday wishes, and Jimmy pointed out her desk filled with presents. Danielle looked around the printing room with a look of pure shock on her face.
The day, until 2 PM, was spent as a birthday party for Danielle. She got gifts from just about everyone in that level of the building and had chocolate cake (her favorite). Finally, Chief got the birthday shivers from his spine and sent everyone back to work. Danielle sat at her desk, ready for her first assignment, if she only HAD one. She opened a desk drawer and found her final present of the day. It was from Logan and Miya!
She reached inside and pulled out a small jewelry box. It was felt with a pattern of the sky with clouds on it. On the top was her name stitched in gold, and underneath was her two best friends' names. She opened the box, and inside was a little gold ring, large enough to fit her ring finger. She picked it up and studied it and found on the inside an inscription, "Danielle, Logan and Miya- Best Friends Forever." She immediately placed it on her right ring finger, vowing with herself to never take it off.
Suddenly, she got her very first story idea. An interview with Supergirl.