Submitted February 2001
Summary: This story is a touching vignette about a child's encounter with an important stranger.
Lois Lane-Kent hurried across the street. "Kimberly," she shouted, grabbing hold of a young girl. "Don't cross the street without me!"
Kimberly sighed. Although she was only ten, she felt her mother was a bit over protective. She had grown up without a father, and she had a sense this was why.
"Yes, Mom." Kim obediently took her mother's hand as they strolled towards the restaurant.
Lois glanced at her daughter. With her thick, dark hair and wry smile, she was a spitting image of…Clark. Lois choked back a sob. Ever since her husband Clark Kent (a.k.a. Superman) had left for New Krypton, she could barely even think his name. She still recalled his last words to her. "I'll be back, Lois. I promise."
"Mom!" Lois was jerked back to reality by an insistent tugging on her arm. We're at the restaurant, Mom."
Lois could only smile. "Thanks, sweetie."
As the two entered Ralph's Pagoda, Kim looked at her mom and said, "Were ya thinkin' of Dad?"
"How could ya tell?"
"You got that far away look on your face. The one you always get when you think of him." Guiding Kim through the door, Lois sighed.
"Table for two, ma'am?" The cheerful hostess smiled at then with a smile that could only be fake. Lois should know, she had used them before.
"Yes, please." They were escorted to a table in the corner, given menus, and left alone. Kimberly soon began chatting about her latest basketball game, at the same time super-speed reading over her menu.
Kimberly Kent already knew everything her mom and grandparents could tell her about her strange gifts. She, as a smart child, had understood the importance of keeping it all quiet. She rarely used her powers in public, but despised reading foreign languages at human speed.
Clark Kent strolled through the door to Ralph's Pagoda, and got into line. Looking out the window, Clark let everything sink into his memory. After ten long and frustrating years, he had finally defeated Lord Nor and had been allowed to return to Earth. Physically drained, Clark hoped the sun would strengthen his powers again. But he had been away from it for so long, only time would tell.
Kim looked up from her menu and watched the people go in and out the door. She had always liked all the different people in Metropolis. It was a lot different from when she visited Smallville.
Suddenly one man caught her eye. He was tall, with a strong build, and strangely familiar to Kim. Sort of like…herself. Instantly Kim's eyes bulged out. She was staring at her father, Clark Kent!
The man looked at Kimberly, and she ducked her head down. She peered over the menu as he was being seated at a table near the front.
Clark scrunched his face. That little girl had looked, strangely enough, like himself. And the woman who was seated across from her, her back toward him, seemed familiar also. <Clear your head Kent> Clark thought as he scanned the menu. <You must concentrate on finding Lois> Clark knew they had never officially ended their marriage, but he still couldn't be positive she was still available. <But I have to try!>
Kimberly watched the man until she was certain who he was. For once she was glad her mom was lost in her own world! It gave her a chance to watch him. But she really didn't have to. Kim was positive this man was her dad.
"Uh, Mom?" Kim's voice shook a little.
Lois snapped back to reality. "Yea, Kimmy?"
"Turn around, and look at the man with the glasses near the front. I'm pretty sure you know him."
Kim watched her mom turn in her chair and look over to Clark's table. Lois' whole face became expressionless and pale. "Oh my god," she breathed.
"That's my dad, isn't it, Mom?"
Lois nodded her head, still quite amazed at what she was actually seeing.
"Go on. Go say hello," Kim urged. "I'll be fine."
Lois grinned at her daughter, then rose slowly and wove her way towards his table.
Clark was still reading his menu, and didn't see Lois walking towards him. Kim watched them happily, sipping at her cola.
"Clark?" Lois asked, unsure of what she was really seeing.
Clark looked up at the sound of his name. Recognizing Lois immediately, his still handsome face lit into one of his 100- watt smiles.
"Oh my lord! Lois!" Clark jumped up and wrapped her into a hug. Lois sighed at how good it felt to finally put her arms around him.
She could have hugged him forever, but Lois pulled back to examine his face. Still the same, though tired looking.
"Wow, Clark. Are you back for good?"
"Yep. Lord Nor was defeated." He lowered his voice as he said the last part.
"Come, Clark. Come sit with me. There's someone I'd like ya to meet."
Kimberly sighed happily as she watched her mom and her dad greet each other. She was so happy finally to be able to meet him, after the many stories she had been told. Kim noticed her mom start to lead Clark her way, so she quickly smoothed her hair and sat up straight.
Clark totally froze when the realization of who he was seeing finally sunk in. <This was his daughter?> he thought.
Kimmy smiled at the shocked expression on her dad's face, one she herself used. She saw her mom out of the corner of her eye, standing and smiling to herself. Noticing Clark was not about to say anything, Kimberly put on her own 100-watt smile, and simply said, "Hi Dad."
His gaze turning to Lois, Clark whispered, "This is my daughter?" His eyes were hopeful, wanting the answer to be yes.
Lois's smile brightened as she looked deep into Clark's eyes. She simply nodded, not quite trusting her voice.
Kim just sat there, filled with extreme happiness. She understood she must have come at a great shock to Clark. His eyes looked into her face, and he grinned. Bending down, he wrapped her into a hug, which she gratefully returned. Clark looked at her again and said, "Hello, uh…?"
"Kimberly," she answered. "Or Kimmy, or Kim. Whatever comes to mind."
Clark chuckled. "Kimberly Lane, I like that." He noticed the confused expression on Kim's face, and finally Lois spoke up. "Well, actually Clark, it's Kimberly Kent."
His brows furrowed. "Kent? Really?"
Lois nodded. "We are still married Clark, according to the state anyway." Her sly grin told Clark she was teasing on that last part. "Sit down, Clark. Get to know your daughter." Clark heard Kimmy giggle. <Well> he thought to himself, <that's one thing she got from Lois>
The new family talked all through lunch. Clark was surprised at how well Kim knew about her, and his, heritage. As the meal progressed, there were a lot of things that surprised Clark about Kim. All you had to do was listen to her, and you would know she was a child of Lois and Clark Kent. A child, of a family united.