Submitted: December 2001
Summary: In this continuation of the fanfic "Lois' Surprise," Jon searches for an explanation for his apparent uniqueness. Most of the answers he comes up are either too terrible or impossible. However, there is one person who may hold the solution… Superman.
This is the continuation of my first story, Lois' Surprise. You might want to read it before reading this one, but it isn't really necessary to understand what's going on. I hope you enjoy it. All comments are welcome.
Lois and Clark lay snuggled together in bed in the master bedroom of their Brownstone. Next door to them two of their triplets, Lara and Mara, lay asleep and next to them their other triplet, Jon, was on his bed, fast asleep. "Clark," Lois suddenly blurted out. Clark opened his eyes and looked at her face. He couldn't help but smile every time he looked at her in bed, as only a few years ago this was a wish he didn't dare believe could be a reality.
"Yes honey?" he said slightly worried to see the look of concern written all across their face.
"Do you think it's time to tell them?" Clark didn't even need a second to understand what she was talking about. He and Lois had been having this conversation on and off for the past 6 months. Lois thought it was the right time to tell their children about their father and his unusual background. Clark, however, had a slightly different view.
"Look honey," he said as he gently sat up and clasped her hands in a reassuring way. "We've discussed this before and we both agreed that we should wait a couple of years before telling them. We need to let them have a normal childhood for as long as possible, and we also need to wait until we can be absolutely certain they can keep this information a secret. Right now we don't know whether they might let it slip."
As their kids were eleven years old Lois thought he was just being paranoid but thought it was best to humour him, and she did agree with him on the normal childhood argument. "Yeah I guess you're right." She gently kissed him and snuggled back down to get some sleep. Clark smiled to himself. Even after all these years of marriage and Lois' touch still made him tingle. He glanced at the wall and allowed himself to see his three sleeping treasures and then lay back down to go to sleep himself.
Jon strolled merrily to the back of the classroom to collect his games bag. Sports was his favourite lesson and he knew both he and his two sisters were exceptionally good at it. At eleven years old, all three Kent children were among the best, if not the best, athletes in their year. Jon particularly enjoyed basketball as he found he was a wiz at dribbling, and as his mother pointed out, he had been a wiz at the other type of dribbling when he was younger. He knew his father had played football and soccer in college, but he found neither type of football satisfying enough to be considered among his favourite sports. Today their whole double lesson was taken up with basketball, and he couldn't wait. Jon spotted his sisters laughing with three other girls in their class, and he knew, from their body language, they were plotting their victory, a victory he would not let them claim. In today's lesson, it was girls vs. boys, and contrary to the boy's claims, the girls often won hands down, thanks to the 'Troublesome Twins' as their friends had named them. Lara and Mara had picked up their mother's ability to find trouble wherever they went.
Out on the courts, the coach always played outdoors when he could. The sun was shining on Jon's back, and he felt enormous satisfaction; he was playing his favourite game and the weather couldn't be better. Most people disliked the sun when playing games, as it impeded their eyesight, but Jon never really noticed; if anything, Jon preferred the sun as it always gave him more energy, and he felt revived afterwards. He could spend long happy hours in the sun just relaxing, yet he never got sun burnt like a lot of his friends did when they went on holiday. Jon shrugged off those thoughts and centred his mind on basketball.
At half time Jon looked at the score sheet and saw that the boys were trailing by twelve points. He couldn't understand it. No matter how fast or how good he was, the combined strength of his sisters was overpowering him. His sisters, Lara and Mara, didn't look very much alike. Lara was a few centimetres taller with darker brown hair. Her eyes looked more like his mom's, whereas he and Mara had a slightly lighter shade of brown hair colour and his dad's eyes. Their personalities, however, couldn't have been more similar. They both were outgoing, witty and incredibly stubborn. He was quieter, more patient and had a great sense of humour. All three kids had remarkable intelligence.
Jon heard the whistle signalling the second half of the game. He tried his best and scored five more goals, but his team was unable to clinch the victory. Deflated, Jon walked slowly towards the changing rooms to get cleaned up, stopping on the way to congratulate his female colleagues. His father had always told him to be polite, even if he had to eat a little humble pie to do it.
It was lunchtime right after P.E., and he decided to work on his basketball skills alone in the gym. That was one of the things he loved about high school; you didn't have to stay in the playground after you had eaten until the lunch break was over. Slowly he peered round the gym of the larger gym and was pleased to see it was unoccupied. Taking a ball from the bag he started to dribble. He got faster and faster, and although he realised this was odd as he was only eleven and the ball seemed to be going too fast for his ability, he choose to ignore it. What he didn't know was if anyone else had walked in at that moment it would have been impossible to see the ball as it was bouncing so fast, but his father's special eye sight gave Jon eyes that were far quicker than the normal human eye.
He neared the basket, slowing the dribble down, and stared up at it. The basket was a few metres above him as it was a full sized basket for the older students to use. Suddenly, as Jon was staring at it, the net seemed to be right in front of his eyes. Startled for a second, he closed his eyes and the basket was in its original place. He shook his head and thought his imagination was running away from him. He was still dribbling the ball, however, so staring up at the hoop he leaped into the air and smashed the ball into the hoop. Smiling to himself he looked around for the ball. He found no ball but came face to face with the basket. Panicking, he realised he was somehow staying at the hoop level, three metres off the ground. He was about to scream when he found himself falling until he crashed to the floor. He felt no pain, which was odd in itself, but as he looked at his leg, he realised he had landed on his leg with it in a very uncomfortable position.
Jon picked himself off the ground and made his way to the changing room to get back into his normal clothes. He didn't think about what had happened; he didn't dare for fear he would lose his sanity. For the rest of the day, Jon walked round in a daze. He barely spoke to anyone and was very glad when school finally ended, and he was able to get home. He knew his sisters were worried about him, as he had said nothing to them since P.E. He knew they wouldn't ask but wait for him to open up to them. To some this may have seemed as if they couldn't care, but Jon knew it was a sign of respect and that they were unwilling to push him into anything. He was very grateful that this was the way he and his sisters acted because at the moment the last thing he wanted was to talk about it.
Jon had always envied his sisters. Although they were all triplets his sisters seemed to have a special bond, and they always seemed a tiny bit closer to each other than they were to him. He knew no one else thought this, and maybe it was just his over active imagination working overtime, as he had always been disappointed that he was the odd one out. They were both girls and had the same interests, but his interests differed from theirs as he was a boy. He also knew that although he and Mara were alike in appearance, his two sisters were far more like each other in character than either of them was to him. He had never told anyone this, and he was still very close to his sisters, closer than most siblings were, but he still felt slightly left out.
He went up to his room to finally think about what had happened today. Firstly he had been bouncing the ball a little too hard than he normally did. Then he had 'floated' in the air and afterwards had fallen and not even bruised himself. He knew these things were impossible, especially the floating, but he wasn't willing to entertain the possibility that he could be crazy either. So where did that leave him? Nowhere. He had too many questions and no answers.
Jon made his way into the den he and his sisters shared and bolted up the computer. After almost an hour he had come up with nothing. He had searched the Internet high and low and had found only five people to have ever had powers like he had. The first and most obvious was Metropolis' hero Superman. Since he was from Krypton that ruled him out as a possible connection. That also ruled out the second on the list, The New Kryptonians. They were also from Krypton and had gone home 13 years ago. The third was another superhero called Ultrawoman. There was little known about her. 14 years ago Superman disappeared and Ultrawoman took his place for a short time. Then later when Superman reappeared Ultrawoman vanished. At the time there was much speculation from Ultrawoman being Superman's wife to the more wilder theories that she had kidnapped Superman so she could take his place, but he had escaped and she left one way or another. He didn't think this could be of any help either as she had come even before the New Kryptonians had arrived. The fourth was a child called Jesse. His mother had claimed he was Superman's 'love' child and he had Superman's powers. This happened just after Ultrawoman left. Jon doubted this was true, as Superman did not have a reputation for 'fooling around' with women. When it was revealed that his powers were only temporary it was generally regarded to be false. How he got his powers was still a mystery to Jon, and he wondered if the same thing had happened to him. The fifth was a man called Resplendid Man. He arrived about 15 years ago. He had appeared one day and had charged people in exchange for rescuing them or their family or their pets etc. Jon found this disgraceful and couldn't imagine how someone could have abused his power like that. He soon lost his powers, but no one knew how he had been given them and once again thought that maybe the same thing that had given Jesse and Resplendid Man powers had also given him powers.
He was also surprised to find that before they were married his parents had been given more Superman exclusives than all the other reporters put together. But after they had been married they backed off and let the others take the exclusives. This surprised him, as his mom never seemed to back away from a story. He also learnt that his dad was Superman's best friend before he was married and that his mom and Superman had once been accused of having an affair. 'Maybe Superman had a thing for Mom and once she was married stayed away from her and Dad so they wouldn't find out?' he thought. His dad had even been accused of being the man himself on a few occasions but had always proven them wrong. 'Gosh,' he thought 'if it was true I would be Superman's son.' But he dismissed that quickly as he had seen a glimpse of the press conference his dad had held after Diana Stride had accused him of being Superman. It clearly showed his dad at the microphone and Superman in the air in the same photo.
He had never actually met Superman face to face despite the fact that his parents had been friends with the hero. He found that odd but more so was the fact they had never really spoken with him for anything more than an interview since Jon could remember. One surely couldn't be friends with someone for three years and then not speak again for no apparent reason, could they? He would have to ask his parents later, but for now, he needed to get in contact with Superman and ask if it was possible he could have been given his powers by accident and if they would go away.
Jon decided he first better check the powers out, just to be on the safe side, in case he dreamt the whole thing up. He went into his room and locked the door behind him. From the Internet he had compiled a list of Superman's powers. There was flying, x-ray vision, heat vision, cooling breath, great strength, invulnerability, he could see things from a great distance or magnify very small things and he had super speed. Jon tried each in turn. He found he was able to hover in the air but not actually fly; he could do things at about three times the normal human speed. He could easily lift his bed up, he could magnify a speck of dust to look the size of a tennis ball and he could see a street lamp closely from two blocks away. He could hear the cars on the freeway that was about a mile away, and he could see inside his closet without opening the door. He decided to put off the test for heat vision and cooling breath, as it was too dangerous. The last test was the hardest. Jon took a pin and gentle pressed it into his skin. Nothing happened. As he tried harder he still had no result so he finally stabbed the pin putting quite a bit of pressure on it. The pin, when it made contact, flew right out of his hand. Jon searched for it with his new acquired skills and found it lying in a corner. The pin was all distorted, and he wouldn't have recognized it if it hadn't had a bright red ball at the end.
Jon didn't even seem surprised at this outcome. He wasn't sure if it was because he was still so numb or if he just realised it was going to happen. In fact, he felt quite relieved that he wasn't going mad.
Jon took off on his bike and headed to the near by apartment building. He left his bike outside, and checking no one was watching, he levitated himself onto the roof. Luckily for him there was no one present on the roof, and as most people were still at work, the apartments were scarcely occupied. Jon built up the courage he needed and yelled "Help Superman" as loud as he could.
Clark was in the Planet's conference room with Lois. They were discussing how to proceed in gathering the necessary proof needed to back up their claim for their latest story. "Clark, what do you think." Lois turned to look at him and noticed that all too familiar expression on his face. Before she could say anything, he had proceeded to open the window and jump out, not bothering to change into his suit, all in a matter of about half a second. Lois stood there a little confused for a second but thought if it was that urgent it was unlikely Clark would return any time soon and so she may as well leave early as well. Packing up her desk, she left the building and headed home to see if she could see her husband on the news.
"Clark what do you …"
"Help Superman." Clark looked up as he heard his name being called. He would know that voice anywhere; it was Jon. Without even stopping to think, he dashed to the window and jumped out, changing on the way.
He travelled the rest of the way on autopilot, heading straight for the origin of his son's cries.
Hovering above the air, he looked down and saw him calmly sitting on the edge of an apartment building fiddling with his hands. He looked perfectly fine apart from the slight increase in his heart rate. Putting on a stern 'Superman' pose as best he could, he slowly drifted downwards to see what Jon was up to.
Jon turned around as he heard someone clear his throat behind him. He had been too busy running all the possibilities over again in his mind that he had failed to hear the sonic boom normally present at the arrival of the famous superhero. He clenched his fists, drawing in courage, and stood to face him. One of the possibilities he hadn't entertained before, but now that he thought about it, it seemed like the most probable one, would be that Superman and his mother did have an affair and he and his sisters were the result. He steeled himself and thought about the best way to ask the Man of Steel without accidentally offending him if he was incorrect. Now that he was looking at him, he realised how much he and Mara looked like Superman. They all had the same eyes, and it was the most reasonable way to explain the powers. 'I wonder if Lara and Mara will get them too,' he wondered. Directing his attention back to his current dilemma, he noticed Superman was standing there, in a very stern Superman pose, probably wondering what the heck this is all about, waiting for him to speak. While he was looking at the hero's face, he couldn't help but notice how forced his expression looked, as though he would never normally act so cold and rigid. It seemed to Jon he would look much more natural smiling and laughing, a lot like his own father. Yet at the same time Clark Kent could muster up a very stern, hard expression, a 'no nonsense' expression, one that no one ever disagreed with. Well, apart from Mom. She always was able to get Dad to do things her way; she was never taken in by that expression.
He looked Superman directly in the eye and opened his mouth to speak. Suddenly he just didn't know how to say this. Maybe he should have put a little more thought into how he was supposed to ask a man whether he had had an affair with his mother and were he and his two siblings the result of it. He knew he needed to say something, as he could see a hint of annoyance in his eyes, and was he mistaken but did he also see something else, concern? But then Superman was concerned about everyone, wasn't he? Anyway back to the speaking part. "I… um… needed to ask you a question." As he said this he couldn't bare to look directly at him, so afterwards he found himself staring down at his shoe as it scuffed the floor. He now looked at Superman and saw he was waiting for him to continue, so he braced himself for the hardest part. With a bit more confidence he had mustered up from somewhere, he continued. "I need to know."
Clark looked at his son as he spoke these words. He knew the day would come, but he had hoped he would have more time. How did Jon find out? He's only eleven, so he couldn't have super powers yet, could he? He braced himself for the question as to why he hadn't told him about his heritage. But why had he been so nervous before? Shouldn't he be angry?
"…if you had an affair with my mother." There. He had said it, and now it was Superman's turn to talk.
Superman stared at Jon aghast for a moment before composing himself. "What makes you say that?" he answered still trying to retain his cold exterior but realising that it was more than probable that the truth was going to come out.
"Well," Jon started, feeling very awkward at his explanation, "I started to see through walls and hear unusual things today, and I also floated and set things on fire with my eyes, and well… I thought that since you and my mother were said to have had an affair once that I could be your child, not my father's." Throughout this, Jon had looked at his feet and suddenly found his hands very interesting. Clark realised that the truth had to come out and so resigned himself to that outcome.
Feeling the need to reassure his son, he put his fears to rest. "Jon your mother and I didn't have an affair, and you are your father's child." At that Jon heaved a sigh of relief, but Superman went on. "But there is something special about you and your sisters. Go home and your parents will tell you and them everything when they get home." With that he took off into the air and headed for the Daily Planet.
Jon went back to the ground where he had left his bike and cycled home, wondering why he and his sisters were special when their parents seemed normal enough. 'Okay', he admitted, 'Lois and Clark Kent were not a normal couple, that is unless you call 'dangling over the jaws of death' at least once a month, sending villains to jail on a daily basis and being the 'hottest team in town' normal. But they didn't fly around the house or light candles with their eyes either.'
Clark flew over the Planet's building but as he was unable to see Lois anywhere, he surmised she had gone home to be with the kids. As Lois and Clark both worked late, Martha and Jonathon, who had moved to the city shortly after they were born, watched over them after school. He turned around and headed towards their Brownstone. Dropping down silently by the trees and making his way to the front door, Clark noticed that everyone was home. As he greeted everyone he gave Lois the look that told her they needed to have an urgent talk.
Ten minutes later, after Clark had told Lois what had happened, they agreed their kids needed to know the truth. Lois and Clark sat facing their three children in the living room. Lois held Clark's hand for support and let him begin. "Kids, your mother and I have something very important to tell you." Watching the triplets Lois could see that the girls were curious and Jon was quite nervous to hear this, yet at the same time, he could hardly contain himself in anticipation. Lois watched as Clark addressed the girls. "Lara, Mara, have either of you begun to do some rather strange things lately?" The two girls shifted uncomfortably on the couch. Clark gave them both a reassuring smile and encouraged them to go on and tell the family. After it had been established that both the girls had had similar experiences to Jon, Clark went on to tell them a story to explain them. "About forty years ago a couple called Jor-El and Lara realised that their planet, the planet Krypton, was going to explode. They desperately wanted their son, Kal-El, to be saved from the planet's fate so they built a spaceship just large enough to fit the infant and sent him hurtling through the galaxy until he reached the planet Earth. The ship landed in Smallville, Kansas and a couple that couldn't have kids themselves took this baby in and raised him as their own.
This boy grew up like everyone else, but when he was a bit older than you, he started to develop special powers. He thought he was going mad, but when he told his parents, they revealed how they had found him. The next few years were very hard for him as he had to hide his abilities from everyone and had only his parents to confide in. He didn't know whether he was a Russian experiment or an alien, and he felt like a freak.
After college he travelled round the world, meeting new people and learning about new cultures. He often heard cries for help and couldn't sit by and do nothing while others were in distress. So he used his abilities anonymously, but soon the people in that town grew suspicious of him so he would move on, never in the same place for more than a few months. He travelled like this for 5 years, looking for a place to fit in but finding only loneliness.
Then one day he went to Metropolis, got a job at the Daily Planet and met the woman of his dreams. He knew he had to stay and get to know her, so he invented Superman so he could use his powers to help without people getting suspicious.
After a while the man and woman were married and had three beautiful kids."
Clark looked at Lois for support and gave a silent plea for her to talk to them. "Now kids we know this is a lot to take in, and you know you must never tell anyone what was said in this room, but we hope you understand why we never told you. It was for your own protection, and we wanted you to have a normal childhood without constantly having to hold your tongue and watch what you say. Do you understand?"
Clark watched as all three of his children were staring at them in shocked silence. He would have found the situation funny, if it wasn't so serious, because all three of them had inherited Lois' babble gene and never stopped talking.
Jon was the first to break the silence. He looked at Clark as he spoke. "I can't believe I didn't recognise you."
"What?" Clark stared at his son in disbelief. Out of all the things he could have said that was not one Clark would have expected to be first. After all, he had been lying to him for eleven years, and of all the things to say he said that he didn't recognise Superman for who he really was. 'Well, if he's not angry about the deceit it must be a good thing. But that doesn't mean the girls will feel the same way,' Clark thought to himself.
"A few minutes ago, on the building, I didn't realise I was talking to my father. How could I have been so blind?"
"It wasn't just you," Lara started.
"Yeah," Mara continued, "we all didn't realise. How could we *all* have been so blind?"
Lara: "Ever since I can remember."
Mara: "…you've been disappearing."
Lara: "…running errands."
Mara: "…returning videos."
Lara: "…or books."
Mara: "…and you always seem to leave work at the Planet."
Clark, Lois and Jon watched as the girls continued their tirade, always finishing the other's sentence even more so than Lois and Clark did, like they were telepathic or something. Clark, realising that that possibility wasn't such a far out concept as some may think for this family, decided to have a talk with them later after they had calmed down.
After much talking and a bit more arguing, all three triplets decided to forgive their parents and were quite excited at the prospect of developing super powers. But there was one question that was annoying their parents. Why did they have powers at such an early age? They were only half Kryptonian and so it would seem logical for them to have developed them after Clark did, not before. After consulting Dr. Klein, whom they had told about the secret while Lois was pregnant, he had suggested that since they were conceived on Earth, the exposure to the yellow sun during pregnancy and shortly after they were born had given them a much greater supply because as fetuses and as newly born babies they would have taken in greater amounts of sun light.
Being satisfied with the results, the parents were looking forward, yet quite nervous at the same time, to the joy of training their offspring to use super powers. This also gave Clark the opportunity to use his powers at home more freely now that they knew, something he had been looking forward to for eleven years.