By Dyann Vaccaro <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: April 2002
Summary: In the first part of the Supergirl Chronicles, the New Kryptonians are back seven years after their first visit, and Lois and Clark are introduced to a young girl who claims to be Clark's cousin.
Disclaimer — Thanks to D.C. Comics and all who worked on the show for providing me with the characters. The story is the only thing that is mine aside from Linda's characteristics and some changes I've made to the limitations of her powers. Supergirl is a trademark of D.C. Comics and I am grateful for the liberty to use the character. Thank you to my editors and all of you who read this. I hope you enjoy it and as always, comments are welcome and appreciated.
Just a few quick notes on the story. — This piece is set in 2002. I've changed the story a bit with the New Kryptonians but it is easy to follow. Let me know what you think.
"Lady Zara, we found it," a servant reported to the woman peering out the window of her imperial spaceship.
"Retrieve it carefully," the ruler ordered, not turning to instruct him directly. "It must not be damaged," the woman added as the servant exited. The man turned back toward her and bowed slightly at the finished order before exiting the room entirely.
"Do you think she's still alive?" Lady Zara's husband, Ching, inquired as he moved up behind her and rested his hands on her shoulders.
"Let's hope so," Zara answered wistfully as she continued to watch the stars.
Lois smiled as she finished typing up her current story. Clark, straightening his tie, moved up behind her and planted a kiss on her cheek as he whispered hello.
"Finished?" he added as he straightened.
"Yep," Lois said cheerfully.
"Good. Now I can ask Perry if we can go to lunch," Clark said while moving toward Perry White's office.
Lois laughed slightly as she began to gather her things together.
"Hello, Lois," Lady Zara's unmistakable, dominating voice rang out. Startled, Lois spun in her chair to search for the Kryptonian. "I'm not in the room," Zara called. "Calm down, please. I'm communicating with you telepathically."
"Why me?" Lois questioned silently.
"Because I need to see you," Zara answered simply.
"Yes. It concerns a Kryptonian from Clark's family."
"Family. He has relatives?"
"I'll answer all of your questions, but first, I must meet with you."
"Of course," Lois answered.
Zara concluded the discussion by setting up a meeting place before quickly terminating the connection.
The discussion had been quick and Lois had finished gathering her things before Clark was finished with his conversation with Perry. Lois was slinging her purse over her shoulder as Clark pulled the office door open.
"Ready to go, I see," Clark practically announced to the newsroom.
"Actually, I have to run," Lois said as she rushed up to her husband and delivered a quick kiss to his lips. "But we'll do dinner tonight, ok?" Lois finished, not waiting for a reply as she rushed towards the elevator. "Don't forget to pick Jonathan up from school," Lois added as the doors closed. Clark had been unable to move more than a few steps out of Perry's office and now, he strode quickly to his desk before dropping into his chair.
"Son, even after seven years of marriage, she still manages to surprise you. I don't know how you keep up with her," Perry said before moving toward Jimmy Olsen's desk.
"Sometimes, neither do I," Clark mumbled as he continued to stare at the elevator.
Lois waited patiently in the back alley behind the Daily Planet building. She hated to run off on Clark like that, but if Zara had found the time to come back after seven years, the reason had to be important.
"Thank you for coming so quickly, Lois."
Turning around, Lois caught sight of the dark-haired woman who had been kind enough to provide her and Clark with their son.
"It's good to see you, Zara," Lois greeted.
"And you, Lois," Zara answered. "The Imperial Cruiser waits just above us. Are you ready?"
"As ready as I'll ever be," Lois answered as she felt the teleportation beam already scrambling her molecules. A moment later, Lois found herself on a teleportation pad upon the spaceship.
"Come. We haven't much time," Zara said as she stepped off the pad and began to make her way out of the room and down a hallway.
"We'll be entering space soon," Zara added as Lois caught up with her. "We'll position ourselves at a distant orbit until it is time for your return."
"I see," Lois responded simply.
"Please understand, Lois, that Ching and I don't wish to keep you from Clark long."
"Then what's the show for? Why come and see me instead of Clark; especially if it has to do with someone in his family?"
"We felt that we should go to you first."
"But why?" Lois insisted.
"The girl we are bringing you to see is Clark's cousin. Her name is Kara Zor-El. She is from a place called Argo City. When Jor-El made his startling discovery about the upcoming destruction of Krypton, he told his brother, who alerted the Argo City High Council. The people erected a force field around the city that prevented their destruction, but only for a time. Kara survived on Argo City for seven years before it too began to break down. Zor-El, knowing that destruction was imminent, decided to place Kara in suspended animation and send her to us, but for years we were unable to find her."
"And now you have," Lois concluded.
"Yes. But the destruction of Krypton had some side effects on the people of Argo City that no one could have foreseen. Like all Kryptonians, Kara possesses the gift of telepathy. But she also possesses Clark's abilities as well as the ability to change her appearance, without the presence of a yellow sun."
"Wow. She's a handful."
"I agree. Which is why I'm concerned and why I've come to you," Zara said and paused as she looked at Lois hopefully.
"Zara, I want to help," Lois reassured her as they stopped in front of a door.
"These are the medical quarters," Zara said, locking her eyes with Lois once more.
"Zara, what is it?" Lois questioned.
"My next request is a difficult one, but before I make it, I want you to see her."
"I have a feeling I already know what that request is going to be," Lois mumbled as the door opened and she and Zara stepped into the room.
Lois's eyes darted around the spacious room as Zara moved to discuss something with one of the physicians. Like any medical quarters on a ship, the room was littered with sundry equipment: beds, blankets, boxes, bags, papers, files, cabinets, and the odds and ends of any office.
Moving her gaze to her right, Lois eyed the only occupied bed in the lot and moved to gaze down at the unconscious blonde-headed teenager. The girl's face was smooth and her skin was tender and soft to the look as well as the touch. Her cheeks held a tint of color, which made it clear that the suspended animation process was still wearing off. Lois smiled warmly as she fell in love with the twenty-one-year- old.
"She has piercing blue eyes," Zara commented as she moved across from Lois.
"That favor you want, it's to take her into our care, isn't it?" Lois questioned.
"I must admit, yes," Zara answered simply. "But before you make or reveal your decision, let's talk to her," Zara completed as she nodded to the same physician from earlier. The man moved to the bed and placed a small round object on Kara's forehead for a moment before removing it again and walking away.
"Kara? Kara, can you hear me?" Zara called.
Kara groaned softly as her eyelids fluttered open to reveal her sky-blue eyes.
"Lady Zara?" Kara groaned as she tried to push herself up.
"Let's stay lying down for a bit," Zara comforted as she gently pushed Kara back against the bed. "Now, Kara, do you remember what happened to Krypton and Argo City?"
"I think so. Yes, Krypton's orbit was shifted. It exploded. Everyone died."
"But not the people of Argo City?" Zara supplied.
"No. We placed a force field around us, but we couldn't survive for long either because of the radiation, so my father sent me here, to you."
"Yes," Zara answered. "But something went wrong, Kara. It's been many years since Argo City, and you've aged."
"The people… we developed abilities," Kara started as she tried to focus her memories.
"That's right," Zara confirmed.
"You don't have them, do you?" Kara concluded.
"No, but there is someone who does," Zara answered as she lifted her eyes to Lois, indicating that it was her turn to speak.
"Kara," Lois started, "my name is Lois. I'm from a planet called Earth."
"Earth, that's where… Kal-El. Kal-El was sent to Earth."
"That's right," Lois confirmed. "He has these special abilities too, and he is willing to help you learn to control them."
"Really?" "It's your choice, Kara," Zara interjected. "You must understand that once we leave, the Earth will be your home."
"May I see this place?"
Lois moved to help Kara rise to her feet as Zara led them to a space port window. She pressed a button, and the shield lifted to reveal the blackness of space and the spinning globe known as Earth.
"It's beautiful!" Kara exclaimed.
"That it is," Zara answered.
"And what of Kal-El? He is accepted on this 'Earth'?"
"He is. He lives there as two people. A human reporter named Clark Kent and a very Kryptonian Superman," Lois supplied.
"Kara, I've asked Lois here because we do not have the means to help you with your abilities. Kal-El understands these gifts that you have," Zara informed.
"I understand what you're trying to say, Zara, and I thank you. I thank you for giving me the choice and I know that with Kal-El to help me, I'll be fine."
"You won't be alone, Kara," Lois put in after she heard the hidden sadness in Kara's voice.
"Kara, do you think we're abandoning you?" Zara inquired.
"Of course not, Zara."
"Please understand that we would love to have you stay with us…"
"I know the danger I would be putting you all in. Besides, with these abilities, it appears that I can be of use to the people of Earth."
"Thank you, my dear," Zara concluded. "Let's get you ready, then."
"So this is Earth," Kara commented as she gazed at the busy street in front of the Daily Planet building.
"Well, a part of it," Lois commented as she laughed slightly. "Come on," Lois added as she directed Kara through the doors of the Daily Planet building before they moved into an elevator.
Kara's eyes widened as the elevator door opened to reveal the newsroom. Dozens of people were making their way around the room as they took care of their tasks and chores.
"Morning, Lois," Jimmy called from his desk near Perry's office. Over the last seven years, the computer-talented teenager had matured into the top photographer and computer expert at the Planet and was held in as high esteem as Lois, Clark, and Perry.
"Morning, Jimmy. Hey, listen, can you do me a favor?"
"Sure. What's up?" Jimmy answered as he moved to their position at the bottom of the stairs.
"This is… Linda Danvers. She's visiting Clark and me for the weekend. Can she hang out with you for a bit?" Lois requested.
"Sure," Jimmy answered simply.
"Jimmy, where's Clark?"
"Oh, in Perry's office."
"Thanks," Lois answered as she proceeded across the room.
"So, where are you from?" Jimmy inquired.
"Uh, Kansas," Kara answered after a moment of recalling an earlier statement of Lois's that Clark was from a place called Kansas.
"Oh, Clark's territory. How long have you know them?"
"A while," Kara answered nervously.
Kara continued to hold her own as Lois knocked on Perry's door before sticking her head into the office.
"Hey, Chief, can I borrow Clark for a minute?"
"Sure, honey. Get out of here, you two lovebirds," Perry answered as Lois moved into the room, gripped Clark's arm and began to pull him through the open doorway. Moving into a corner by the newsroom's darkroom, Lois locked eyes with her husband.
"Lois, where did you go earlier? I was worried."
"Clark, I'll explain later, but first we have to get to Smallville."
"Is it my parents?" Clark inquired quickly and worriedly.
"No, your parents are fine. But I have someone I need you to meet. Her name is Kara. Kara Zor-El."
"What!" Clark exclaimed loudly.
"Keep your voice down. When I left earlier, it was to meet with Zara."
"They went to you?"
"It's a long story and I'll explain later, but you need to know that Kara is your cousin and she has some powers that she needs help getting under control. I introduced her to Jimmy as Linda Danvers."
"Lois, the Danvers' have been dead for three years."
"I know. But it was the first name that popped into my head."
"Well, we'll figure out how to explain that later. Come on," Clark decided as he turned to look for Jimmy and Kara.
Meanwhile, Jimmy had led Kara over to the copy machine, where he was attempting to fix the gadget for the third time that week.
"He's so different," Kara thought to herself. "I wonder…" Kara started as she probed Jimmy's mind and absorbed his knowledge, while making a point of avoiding his memory and emotion information.
"I sensed that," Clark threw at Kara telepathically as he and Lois moved up behind them.
Kara turned to eye the Kryptonian who had survived life on this mysterious planet.
"Clark, you remember Linda," Lois started as Kara and Clark stared at each other.
"Yes. It's good to see you again, Linda. How are your parents?" Clark questioned aloud as he added the following mental suggestion. "Answer that they are fine and that they send their love."
"They're fine and, of course, send their love. They regret that they couldn't join me, but you know Dad; he always did prefer snow over Metropolis."
"Mountain climbing again?" Lois cut in as she covered Kara's mistake.
"Yes," Kara answered simply.
"Well, you must be tired after your plane ride, so what do you say we get some lunch and then get you unpacked," Lois put in.
"It was nice meeting you, Jimmy," Kara called as she, Lois, and Clark moved toward the elevator.
"What did you think you were doing?" Clark cried after the elevator doors closed.
"Clark!" Lois exclaimed.
"You penetrated Jimmy's mind!"
"I only took some information."
"It doesn't matter! You don't do that. It is very easy for you to get the temptation to probe their memories," Clark bellowed.
"All right! I understand!" Kara screamed. The elevator door opened and Kara rushed out. Kara pushed through the door exiting the lobby and ducked back into the alley where she bolted into the air.
Clark and Lois exited the elevator and began to make their way quickly to the door as Clark used his x-ray vision and watched Kara soar into the air.
"Man, she's in the air," Clark whispered. "I'll get her," he finished.
"Be nice!" Lois ordered before delivering a kiss to Clark's lips.
Kara felt the air slap against her face as she soared over the city.
"I thought they said he was going to help me. They lied," Kara cried to herself.
Tears began to stream down Kara's face as she descended to the roof of the Metropolis Trade Tower.
"You're wrong," Clark's rough voice floated through the air. "Zara and Lois didn't lie."
Ignoring Clark, Kara lowered herself to a sitting position with her legs dangling over the edge. Clark ignored Kara's behavior and moved to sit next to her.
"I mean it, Kara. They didn't lie when they said that I would help you," Clark tried.
"You didn't have to yell," Kara answered, sounding more like a child.
"Kara, it's obvious that you have an idea as to how to control your powers, but I would prefer that we take a trip to a place where we could work on perfecting your abilities without running the risk of injuring anyone or alerting anyone to your presence."
"I understand the risks our powers entail, but…"
"Kara, I wish I had answers for you, but I don't. All I can tell you is that Lois and I are here for you, ok?"
"Ok. I'll go with you for now, but don't yell, or I'm gone," Kara warned.
"I'll do my best," Clark answered.
"This is Smallville," Clark said as he, holding Lois in his arms, landed in the Kent family farm. Kara dropped to the ground a moment later.
"Clark!" Martha Kent cried as she rushed out of the house to hug her son.
"Hi, Mom," Clark answered as he returned the hug.
"Hi, Lois," Martha added and hugged her daughter next.
"Mom, please," Clark started, forcing Martha and Lois to break their hug.
"You must be Kara. Welcome," Martha offered.
"It's nice to meet you," Kara greeted.
"And you," Martha answered. "Well, let's not stand here, let's go inside," Martha added.
The party moved inside where hugs were distributed to Jonathan before the quintet took seats in the living room.
"Clark, Lois, who's watching little Jonathan?" Martha inquired.
"My mother," Lois answered simply.
"Oh, well, we'd better get you back to Metropolis soon," Martha joked.
Martha and Jonathan continued to barrage Lois and Clark with questions about their grandson, the Daily Planet, and Metropolis, and with each question, Kara felt more and more out of place. Kara let her mind wander as it had so many years before on Argo City, and she ended up losing all awareness of her surroundings. Martha's sweet but concerned voice ringing in Kara's ears brought the young woman out of her daydream and back to reality.
"I'm sorry, Mrs. Kent," Kara apologized.
"It's all right, my dear. And please, call me 'Martha'," the woman insisted.
"As you wish, ma'am," Kara replied formally as she let Jonathan lead her to a chair where she sat for a moment before rising to her feet again, fully alerted by her superhearing.
"What is it?" Lois questioned.
"Fire," came Kara's simple reply.
"I don't hear anything," Clark interjected.
"I can hear it. It's just starting, but it is near," Kara insisted.
"Fine. I'll take care of it."
"Let me go," Kara practically begged.
"No. You aren't ready and the people aren't ready," Clark stated before disappearing as he rushed out of the room.
"He doesn't trust me," Kara cried. "To him, I'm just another Kryptonian invading his space."
"No, Kara," Lois comforted.
"Lois is right, dear," Martha started. "Clark cares about you, but he doesn't want to see you hurt. Besides, he's right when he says that the people aren't ready. They need to get used to you first. If Linda Danvers and Supergirl were to arrive at the same time, it is very possible that people could become suspicious," Martha finished.
"Give it time. Let both you and Clark get used to the idea of working together," Jonathan added.
"This place is so different from home. In Argo City I was almost always alone. My father was a scientist so he never really had any time for me. I wasn't a very social girl. I was only seven but I loved reading and writing, so that's what I did. I often told myself that the characters I made up in my stories were the friends I hadn't met."
"Oh, you poor dear," Martha comforted as she scooped the girl into her arms for a close hug.
"Well, you have friends here," Jonathan offered and smiled warmly.
Kara, gazing into their loving eyes, smiled too.
"Now, Kara, concentrate. Focus on your power and just use it," Clark instructed as he watched Kara from behind while Lois sat a few feet away. Clark had set up a row of glass bottles some yards away and, at that moment, was instructing Kara on her use of heat vision.
There was a moment of silence as Kara focused on activating her powers, before two red beams shot from her eyes. The trio had flown to a nearby forest so that the trees could provide some cover. One of Kara's beams successfully hit the far left bottle while the second beam slid past the line of glass and impacted a nearby tree trunk. After a moment, both the bottle and the trunk were charred black. Amazingly, the glass bottle had not shattered.
"Well, that's an affirmative on the heat vision," Clark stated.
"Now where have I heard that before?" Lois mumbled as she recalled her own experience with her heat vision, a stump, and a row of bottles.
"Kal-El, I can't do this," Kara groaned.
"Kara, you're just trying too hard. Relax," Lois comforted.
"Lois is right. Relax. And call me Clark."
"All right. Let's try it again."
"Clark, what are we going to do?" Lois questioned a week later. "We have to get back. Kara knows how to control her powers but we can't release her to Metropolis yet."
"Maybe she could stay here with my parents?" Clark suggested.
"Do you really think she'd stay long?" Lois questioned skeptically.
"You're probably right."
"Well, I told Jimmy that she was visiting, perhaps we could extend her stay. We'll figure stuff out later," Lois concluded.
"I guess that's the best we can do for now," Clark agreed.
"I'll stay in Smallville if you like," Kara piped in from above. Neither Lois nor Clark had heard her arrive. "It'll be a good place for me to learn about your history and not have too many questions."
"Just as long as you don't think that we think you'll be a bother if you come," Lois said.
"You said it yourself, Lois, that I'm not ready for Metropolis. I agree with you. I barely know how to control my powers and I know nothing about your culture. So, here's my plan. Give me two weeks. We've already informed Jimmy that my non-existent parents like to go on mountain- climbing trips, so in two weeks, after I've learned all I can, I'll arrive broken-hearted and depressed because my parents have been killed in a freak accident and I didn't know where else to go since I have no other living relatives."
"Therefore, Clark and I take you in and provide you with the perfect cover," Lois finished.
"Exactly. Then, after a lot more practicing and subtle mentions from you,"Kara paused to indicate Clark, "we can introduce Supergirl to the mix."
The Daily Planet newsroom was busy with its normal hustle and bustle nearly a month later. Linda had decided to return to Kansas because her parents were returning from their trip, to Jimmy's utter disappointment. Though he had only seen Linda for those ten minutes that first day, Jimmy hadn't been able to stop thinking about her. Lois had cautioned him not to get too attached when he had inquired as to when she would be back for another visit. Her reason: Linda was one to stay close to familiar surroundings. Jimmy hadn't really listened to Lois's reasoning, however, because even while he had been asking the question, he had been picturing her dazzling brown eyes. When Jimmy had mumbled something about Linda's eyes out loud, Lois had picked up on it and whispered to Clark to phone Kara later that evening and remind her that in her human form she needed to have brown hair and brown eyes.
When Clark had telephoned that night, Kara had laughed slightly at the mentioned fact that she would have a greater advantage to a disguise than Clark. It had taken a moment for Clark to realize that it was a joke and Lois, who had been listening on the other line, had ended up filling the dead airtime with her laughter in order to reassure Kara of the humor.
That specific telephone call, however, had occurred three days prior to this one and both Clark and Lois were under the impression that Linda was still enjoying herself in Smallville, though she was allowed to take evening flights for relaxation and mapping if she wished (as long as she stayed high enough for her not to be seen by the human eye).
"Hey, C.K.! Here's the museum layouts," Jimmy called as he made his way to Clark's desk to hand the reporter a stack of papers.
"I don't remember the museum being this big," Clark commented as he gazed at the stack of papers.
"It's not. The first five pages are the schematics and the floor plan. The rest of it is the information on the pieces having to do with Africa."
"No problem," Jimmy answered as he strolled back to his desk. Despite his promotion three years ago, Jimmy had always loved helping Lois and Clark with their stories and so he often opted to pull all of their research out for them. Jimmy knew that even if he didn't volunteer the pair would ask him because one: he was the best, and two: he was the fastest. Despite everything Jimmy had tried, no one had ever been able to master the task as well as he. For this reason, Jimmy had decided that he would offer his services while he managed his own duties around the newsroom. Jimmy knew that he would be able to pull the double-duty job off, because he almost always covered stories with Lois and Clark when they needed a photographer, for Perry rarely ever assigned anyone else to his two best reporters. Jimmy's computer expertise was rarely called for nowadays, but it didn't matter. Jimmy was the best and everyone knew it.
Anyway, on that particular morning the newsroom was busy but relaxed, since nothing major was happening anywhere. Metropolis's violence status was at an all-time low, and to both Clark and Lois's surprise, Superman hadn't been called for in two straight days.
After a silent first day, Clark had made the stupid mistake of calling his parents and questioning Kara harshly about making any appearances, but had quickly apologized. Kara, of course, had become upset, but she soon calmed as well and the two instead began discussing the details of a reporter's job and what other positions were available at the Planet.
Lois had listened quietly for a bit on the other receiver before hanging up and leaving the two to their conversation in private. Lois couldn't help but notice that with each passing day, Clark was warming more and more to the idea of Kara coming to Metropolis, and he seemed to act as if his young cousin were actually his daughter who was away at college or off visiting family. Lois smiled at the thought of bringing young Kara into the family by the process of adoption. She hadn't thought about it before, but it was certainly an option since Kara had no family to speak of. Lois tucked the idea in the back of her mind for the future. Lois knew that they could discuss the idea at a later date. First, Kara needed to get used to the world and the world needed to get used to Kara.
Jimmy slumped down into his chair as he realized that it was ten in the morning and he had absolutely nothing to do. It wasn't new to him to be sitting around waiting for someone to ask him for a favor, but lately Jimmy had begun to grow tired of constant boredom. Sighing, Jimmy decided that if he had to do something it might as well occur outside, so he rose to his feet, retrieved his camera, strode over to Perry's office for a moment to inform him of his destination, and then headed for the elevators.
As he pressed his finger to the round button on the wall, the piece gleamed with a soft white light indicating it had the signal that the elevator had been called for. Jimmy, growing nervous for no apparent reason, tapped his fingers lightly on his camera as he waited ever so patiently. Just when it seemed that the elevator couldn't take any longer, the familiar unmelodic bell chimed the announcement that the lift had arrived. The right side elevator doors jolted for a second as they pulled themselves apart to reveal a hunched-over human figure.
Because of the person's position in the compartment, Jimmy was unable to move into the space and was forced to wait as the person slowly stumbled out. The figure didn't make it even a step before heading towards the ground and if it hadn't been for Jimmy's quick stride, the person's head would have collided with the floor and not too gracefully either.
"Are you all right?" Jimmy questioned as he helped the figure out of the compartment.
The person only stammered an incoherent answer; all the information Jimmy gained was that this was a woman, and a young one at that. The young woman's arrival had by now been noticed, and both Clark and Perry were moving toward the stairs on a chance that they might be helpful.
Clark's gaze as he got closer allowed him to see the face of the visitor and he immediately rushed forward as he nervously called out, "Linda!" Clark's cry alerted Lois, and she too rose to her feet and began to approach the stairs as Clark moved to scoop his cousin into his arms.
"Uh, Clark, bring her into my office and lay her down on the couch," Perry instructed as a crowd began to gather. "Now, people, we still have a newspaper to run. Get back to work," Perry added as he moved inside his office and shut the door. "Now, what's going on? Is she all right?" Perry finished.
"We don't know yet, Chief," Jimmy answered.
"Linda, what happened? What are you doing here?" Clark questioned solicitously.
"I didn't know where else to go," Kara stammered as tears began to form in her eyes.
"Why? What's going on?" Lois asked.
"They're dead!" Kara spat out.
"Who's dead, Linda?" Clark asked.
"They're dead. My… my parents, they… didn't come back and so I radioed… the mountain rescue patrol… and they…" Kara stuttered before her voice failed completely.
"Oh, honey," Lois cried as she wrapped the girl in her arms.
"Uh, Perry, Jimmy, can we have a minute?" Clark requested as both Lois and Kara sobbed uncontrollably.
"Uh, sure, son. Come on, Jimmy," Perry answered as he pushed Jimmy through the office door before shutting it behind him.
"Man. Poor thing," Jimmy offered.
"Yeah. It's a real shame," Perry answered.
"Wow. That was a performance," Clark commented.
"Well, the show can't end here," Kara added.
"Yeah, let's get you home and we can figure out what else to do," Lois said.
"Oh, I've already got a plan, if you don't mind. I was so grief-stricken that a neighbor, though we weren't incredibly close, decided that he and his wife would help me out and take care of the funeral ceremony. The service was two days ago. I didn't know of anywhere else to go and I knew that you would help me, so I came here," Kara supplied.
"Works for me. Clark?" Lois asked as she looked at her husband.
"Fine. But we should still get you home. You can 'visit' tomorrow when you're not so 'upset'," Clark said as he moved to help the two women up.
Kara wrapped her hands around her elbows in a self-hug as Lois wrapped one of her arms around Kara's shoulders. The pair moved out of the office and toward the elevators as Clark went to gather his and Lois's things.
Perry strode over to Clark as he worked to gather their things. Balancing everything in his arms, Clark quickly and quietly supplied the story Kara had just related to him, and Perry nodded his understanding, adding that he and Lois should take the rest of the day off. Clark thanked him for his patience before heading to join Kara and Lois in the elevator.
It was later that evening and Clark was preparing dinner in the kitchen. He and Lois were discussing the day's events while Kara played with Jonathan in the living room.
"Clark, the excuse is all well and good, but what is she going to do here?"
"Maybe Perry can give her a job. She seems to have a real interest in journalism."
"I do remember that she said she likes to write," Lois offered.
"We can't send her away, Lois. The newsroom believes that she has nowhere else to go."
"And she doesn't, except to your parents. Besides, I'm not saying we should send her anywhere, but there are going to be some problems. She doesn't have an official education, and Perry can't hire her without it. And what about a birth certificate and a social security card and number?"
"Those are all valid points, but I've already started taking care of it."
"Taking care of what?" Kara's voice sang from the doorway.
"Oh, just organizing your stay," Clark answered. "What did you need?"
"Jonathan is getting a little antsy. I wondered if I could give him a snack or something."
"Sure. He loves apples," Lois answered as she moved to the fridge and pulled a bag of apple slices out.
"Thanks," Kara said as she accepted the bag from Lois before disappearing through the kitchen door again.
"You see? She's going to be fine," Clark comforted.
The next morning came quickly and Clark and Lois decided to let Kara sleep. Clark removed one of the spare keys from the secret wall and left it with a note for Kara that included directions to the Planet; though he doubted that she would need them, since she had paid very close attention to the city on the ride home yesterday.
"Clark, we're ready," Lois called as she held Jonathan's hand at the doorway.
For a seven-year-old, Jonathan was an extremely well- behaved boy. He had accepted Kara's arrival with the dignity of a teenager but had quickly become a kid again when he had discovered that Kara would play with him. Lois had been surprised when later that evening, as she was tucking her son into bed, Jonathan informed his mother that he liked Kara and that he hoped she would be staying a long time.
"We like the same books," Jonathan had cried happily.
"That's wonderful, dear," Lois had answered as she smiled.
Lois was glad that Jonathan and Kara were getting along so well. Jonathan's happiness reminded Lois of her idea of adopting Kara but she pushed it to the back of her mind again as she decided to wait. She knew it would not be wise to pressure Kara into too much too quickly.
~ "Clark, come on," Lois called as she looked at her watch impatiently.
"Are you sure we shouldn't have woken her?" Clark asked.
"I'm sure. She's been busy these last few days. Let her get some rest."
"All right," Clark answered reluctantly as he moved out the door behind his wife and son.
"Uh, Lois, Clark, how's Linda doing?" Perry inquired of the pair as they moved to their desks some thirty minutes later.
"Better, Chief," Lois answered.
"We decided to let her sleep. We thought it might help her clear her mind and calm down a bit," Clark added.
"Good idea," Perry answered.
Kara's eyes pushed open as she forced her exhausted body to rise. Glancing at the clock, Kara determined it to be near twelve, for she was still half-asleep and the numbers were fading in and out of focus.
Pushing her feet to the floor, Kara pulled her robe around her shoulders and stumbled to the bathroom where she went about her morning routine of a hot shower and hygiene care. When she was done, it was closer to one o'clock and Kara knew that she should at least make an appearance at the Planet. Throwing on a simple pair of form-fitting jeans, a silver blouse, and comfortable but stylish walking shoes, Kara skimmed Clark's note before pocketing the house key and moving out of the house.
The day was beautiful and Kara found herself to be quite at home despite the unfamiliarity of her surroundings. Clark had written that the park was a few blocks away and so Kara decided she would make an appearance there first before making her way to the Planet.
Though Clark had reminded her to remember her hair and eye color, Kara decided that the change was unnecessary at the present moment and so her blonde locks flew gracefully in the wind.
Enjoying the soft breeze and the calm day, Kara began to walk lazily through the park as she took in this part of the city. Kara smiled as a group of first-graders played kickball a few yards from her. Her gentle happiness grew gray, however, as she realized that she had missed her own childhood while she had floated in space. The ball, getting past the children and heading towards her, brought Kara out of her melancholy state and forced her to smile a second time as she lifted the ball into her hands.
"Thank you, ma'am," A little girl offered politely as she accepted the ball from Kara.
"You're welcome, my dear," Kara answered, returning the politeness.
The little girl nodded her exit and skipped back to the group. Kara smiled warmly as she watched the girl move away.
"Such a charming girl. Perhaps my stay here won't be that bad," Kara thought to herself as she made her way out of the park and across the street where she decided to do some window shopping on her way to the Planet.
Kara was looking through a window at a red velvet dress when she was shoved forward by a running body. The body was male and by the time Kara moved her head to see what the commotion was all about, the man had taken a young lady hostage and was holding a gun to her head.
"Nobody try anything or she dies!" the man cried out as he glanced around nervously.
"Looks like Supergirl is going to be seen sooner than expected," Kara thought to herself as she straightened and took a step forward.
"Don't take another step!" the man cried nervously, as if he didn't know what he was doing. "I mean it," he added as he moved the gun to point at Kara.
"Look, you don't want to do this," Kara tried.
"Yes, I do. You don't know anything about me. You don't know my life," the man argued.
"You're right. I don't know you, and I don't know why you're doing this, but I do know that nothing is worth getting you or someone else killed over."
The man appeared to be in his early forties with quickly graying hair. His features weren't great but they accented his normally soft face. To Kara, this was a desperate family man having to resort to a terrible decision during a mid-life crisis.
With the fact yet to be proven, Kara determined that no matter what reason this man had for doing this, he was dangerous and held several lives in his hands. With the way he was rambling, Kara doubted that the man in front of her was capable of having a rational thought, and she knew that the best remedy before she tried anything else was to get the gun away. She could try talking to him after she got the reason but getting the gun needed to be her top priority.
With that determined, Kara decided that for everyone's sake, she would stop moving and listen to him. Perhaps he would slip up and give her an opportunity to get the gun away from him easily.
"My life's a mess. None of you can help me except by giving me your valuables. Money, jewelry, cell phones, everything. Hand it over," the man demanded. "You! Loud-mouth!" the man cried as he directed the statement at Kara. "Use this bag and collect their belongings."
Kara moved to accept the bag as she did as the man bid her. Without a word, Kara moved around the group as people dropped their items into the cloth satchel.
"Good," the man spat out as he took the bag from Kara and began to back up.
"Wait," Kara cried. "You have what you came for, now let the girl go," Kara begged.
"I need a get-away angle. She's it," the man answered.
"Then take me," Kara demanded.
"Please," Kara begged as she took a step closer.
"With every step, lady, you're closer to killing her and yourself," the man threatened.
"Just shut up, lady," the panicked hostage begged as tears filled her eyes.
"All right," Kara answered reluctantly as she let her gaze fall upon the gun. With a silent wish of hope, Kara released her heat vision and let out a sigh of relief when both beams hit the steel weapon and caused the man to release the hot metal as he cried in pain.
Releasing the grip on his hostage, the man held his scorched hand as he desperately blew on it to try and cool his skin. The frightened woman quickly moved away from the man while Kara used her speed to move to the man's side, preventing his escape.
"Are you all right?" Kara questioned the woman as Kara wrapped her hand around one of the man's arms.
"Yes, thank you," the frightened woman managed to answer.
At that moment, Superman dropped from the sky only to stare at Kara and her captive. After a moment, Clark's eyes fell to the still red gun lying on the ground and he knew immediately what had transpired.
"Superman, the police have already been called. Thank goodness this young girl was here," one of the male bystanders supplied.
"Uh, thank you, sir. Is everyone all right?" Clark asked.
"Everyone is fine, Superman," the same man answered as he moved to approach a parking police car. Two police officers jumped from the vehicle and moved to restrain Kara's captive while a third began to discuss the incident with the man who had supplied Clark with his information.
Releasing her hold on the gunman's arm, Kara nodded to the police officers as she moved away, only to be joined by Clark. The pair were quite a spectacle as they began to walk down the street.
"You used your powers," Clark challenged quietly.
"I had to. He would have killed her."
"You don't know that. What do you think those people are saying now?"
"I don't think any one really noticed that I used my powers," Kara answered back bitterly.
"You don't, do you?"
"No. I don't," Kara spat back.
"Kara," Clark called. "Kara!" Clark yelled causing heads to turn as she moved swiftly down the street.
"Oh, this is ridiculous!" Kara suddenly cried as she turned to face Clark. Her outcry managed to stop many who turned to watch the show. "Let them see it. Let them know who I am. It doesn't matter. They'll find out soon, anyway," Kara cried.
"Kara," Clark whispered worriedly as he tried to motion for her to quieten down.
"Look world, I can fly," Kara cried at the top of her lungs as she floated into the air.
"Kara!" Clark warned a little louder as he too drifted into the air.
"See me now, everyone!" Kara shouted. "Behold, Supergirl!"
"We told you to stay out of trouble! What are we supposed to do now?" Clark screamed at Kara while they waited for the Daily Planet elevator to reach their floor.
"Deal with it! They were going to know eventually."
"You've been here a day, Kara! A day! I can't believe you were so careless!"
"And I can't believe you're making such a big deal about all this. I came to you because I thought you could help me, but I guess I was wrong," Kara snapped before closing her eyes for a brief moment.
A moment later, the elevator doors slid open to reveal Clark and Supergirl. Kara's red cape lifted into the air as she stormed out of the elevator and floated over the banister. Clark and an astonished newsroom could only gawk at the sight of Kara floating across the room.
"Kara, come down here," Clark demanded.
"You're not my boss, Clark Kent. I'll do as I please," Kara responded harshly.
"Uh… Kara, please," Lois added calmly.
"Keep him away from me," Kara ordered.
"All right. We'll talk," Lois answered as she pointed to herself.
Kara nodded a reluctant 'ok' and floated to the ground directly in front of Lois's desk before stomping slightly over to Perry's office, where she waited for Lois to join her. Lois strode over to the office door, where she gently pushed Kara in and shut the door. Taking a moment, Lois locked the door before turning to Kara and locking eyes with her.
"Well, aren't you going to say something?" Kara demanded.
"Nope. I'm just going to wait," Lois answered as she moved to Perry's chair and sat.
"Please say something," Kara begged after another moment of silence.
"All right, what happened; as if I don't already have an idea?"
"They know," Kara supplied.
"Who knows what?"
"The people of Metropolis. They know."
"I gathered as much. So, what do you propose we do about it?"
"How should I know? You two are the masterminds here," Kara snapped.
"Watch it," Lois warned, her lips growing thin.
Angrily, Kara pressed her lips together and turned her gaze toward the wall.
"I don't appreciate being ignored, Kara," Lois growled as she pulled open Perry's door after a second of fumbling with the lock.
Clark, seeing Lois's exit, quickly strode to her side.
"Lois, I agreed to this as a favor to Superman, but I can't handle this," Clark said loudly.
"I don't want to hear it, Clark. She's right, you know. You are not her boss and as much as you want her to listen, you are going to have to realize that she is an extremely free- spirited girl."
"Lois, I don't know why we ever agreed to this. I can handle Linda coming to us, but now we have to deal with Kara, too? It's too much."
"You agreed to help Superman, so help him," Lois pushed.
"I'm sorry," Kara spoke softly from the office doorway, interrupting the argument.
"Kara," Clark said simply as he turned to make his way toward her.
"Wait, please. You're right. I was irresponsible, but it can't be changed. So, what do you say that the world's two top reporters get the biggest exclusive since Superman himself?" Kara offered, bringing smiles to both Clark and Lois's faces.
"I truly am sorry, Clark," Kara apologized for the hundredth time that day. It was dusk, and Clark and Kara were taking an evening flight over Metropolis.
"Kara, I understand that you felt you needed to do something, but please, try and lie low for a while. Perry's agreed that we should wait to run your exclusive until we hear something from 'Superman'."
"And I take it, 'Superman' doesn't plan on talking to Perry any time soon?"
"Indeed he doesn't."
"Just promise me that you'll let me help, please."
"I promise, but first, let's get you settled in your life as Linda, ok?"
"Speaking of 'Linda', Jimmy was asking about you."
"Yes, he apparently wanted to know if you were seeing anyone," Clark informed her as he smiled warmly.
Meanwhile, across town, two black-gloved hands were typing on a computer keyboard. After a moment of typing in apparent passwords, the words 'access denied' flashed across the computer screen and the typist growled in frustration.
"Take a break, darling," a female voice called from somewhere behind the typist. "We have plenty of time," the woman added.
"Yes, my love," the typist responded as he moved to join his love.
"He'll get his just reward, my love. I swear it," the woman assured him, as she pulled a cabinet door open to reveal newspaper clippings and pictures of Jimmy.
"Very soon, my love, James Bartholomew Olsen will die and you, my dear, will take his place," the woman sneered, as the man turned to face her. She smiled as she pressed her lips to an exact replica of Jimmy.
"So, how are you liking your first day?" Jimmy inquired of Kara.
"It's different," Kara admitted.
"Relax. You'll get used to it," Jimmy supplied as he moved to sit on the corner of Kara's desk. "It can get a little hectic around here but you should be fine," Jimmy comforted.
"Thanks. I wish I had your confidence."
"You will, in time," Jimmy answered as he moved to answer a ringing telephone.
"Daily Planet," Kara heard Jimmy's voice sing, as she turned her attention back to the article she was reading. Both Lois and Clark had suggested that Kara familiarize herself with all of their stories, and so that was what she was doing. Getting reabsorbed in the piece was easy, and Kara didn't hear Jimmy slam the phone down and rush over to Perry, who was getting coffee.
"Chief, fire at the orphanage," Jimmy reported loudly.
"Uh, ok, Lois, cover this. Jimmy, go with her. Oh, Jimmy, take Linda too. Show her the ropes. And from now on, she's your partner for everything Lois and Clark need. Got it?"
"Right, Chief," Jimmy called. Lois and Kara had already gathered their things and were heading towards the elevator. It took a moment for Jimmy to catch up with them.
"Hurry up, over there. We need that hose," an officer yelled, as firefighters, police officers, and paramedics rushed around the scene.
"Get that water trained on that room," another voice shouted.
"How many are still trapped inside?" a third voice yelled.
Lois, Jimmy, and Kara presented their press passes to a police officer and moved toward the burning building.
"Where's Clark?" Lois whispered to Kara.
"Japan. Earthquake," Kara answered reluctantly.
"Are they going to be able to get everyone?" Lois questioned.
"I don't know," Kara answered.
"Very well, then," Lois answered as she began to search through her bag and pulled out a pen and paper before scribbling something down.
Jimmy had moved a few steps away to take pictures and didn't hear Lois's directions to Kara. He only saw that Kara rushed off suddenly. Thinking that Lois needed something, Jimmy didn't think anything of it and turned his attention back to the building.
"Look, it's Superman," a voice in the crowd cried.
Lois looked up for a moment, actually expecting Kara, but found that she was indeed staring at her husband as he rushed into the burning building.
"The place is going fast," Jimmy commented to Lois after moving to her side.
Superman reappeared and delivered three children into the hands of waiting paramedics.
"How many more are still inside?" Clark inquired.
"We're still not sure, Superman," one of the paramedics answered.
Superman disappeared into the building once again, as the building began to shake.
"She's gonna collapse," a police officer yelled, as his men began to direct the crowd to move back.
"Look!" a female voice cried from the crowd, as she directed her gaze to one of the top floors. Two seven-year- old girls stood at the window, hot flames sneaking into the room behind them.
"Somebody do something," another voice from the crowd hollered.
"Sir, that floor's not going to hold," a firefighter reported quietly to his commander. Lois and Jimmy happened to be close enough to hear, and both looked at each other for a moment before turning their worried gazes back toward the stranded children.
Suddenly, the building began to shake as the fire ate through the wood. The bricks around the window began to separate and in a moment, the bricks, the window, and the two girls were plummeting toward the ground. The familiar red cape stretched over the air as Supergirl raced to catch the girls.
Scooping the girls into her arms, Kara turned her back to the approaching debris and pressed the girls firmly against her stomach as the debris slammed into her back. After a moment of jolting downward because of the sudden impact, Kara steadied herself and then descended softly to the ground.
Superman, holding three children himself, appeared as well and delivered his charges into the hands of the waiting paramedics before moving to Kara.
"I thought we agreed to keep a low profile," Clark growled quietly.
"Hey, this wasn't my idea. Besides, you needed the help."
"Kara, I'm really getting tired of this," Clark said, annoyed.
"There are still children inside, you know," Kara snapped. With a glare, Clark disappeared into the building once again as an outcry arose from the crowd. The fire was taking its final toll on the building and the entire structure was beginning to collapse.
Kara's eyes widened in horror as she realized that even with her and Clark working together, they wouldn't be able to stop all of the debris from showering down onto the curious crowd. Unless…
Kara closed her eyes for a moment as she drew up her telekinetic abilities. She knew that she was risking a lot, since she hadn't told Clark about their existence. Kara hadn't tried using them since their first development back on Argo City, but she knew it was the only way.
Kara's powers were already beginning to strain as she worked to keep the building in as much of one piece as possible. The weight of the building, fire or not, was taking its toll, and Kara realized that she had to focus on the building itself. She could do nothing about the debris, but that couldn't be helped. Right now, she needed to focus on keeping the building together until Clark returned.
"Where is he? I don't think she can hold it much longer," the Police Chief questioned one of his men as he nodded to Kara, who was now on her knees. Her eyes were clenched tightly together, and it was clear that her mind was engulfed in pain. In order to keep her target area, Kara now extended her hand toward the building. Her hand and arm shook as the weight of the building overpowered her telepathic abilities.
Unable to hold the building a second longer, Kara dropped her hand and collapsed to the pavement. The orphanage immediately crumbled, and as it crashed to the ground, Superman, holding two very frightened children, stormed from the debris.
Clark deposited his two charges into the care of paramedics, where one pointed to Kara, who was also surrounded by medical personnel. Clark bolted over and pushed his way through before kneeling beside the unconscious woman.
"Oh, Kara," Clark said softly as he scooped her up into his arms.
"Will she be all right, Superman?" one of the paramedics asked.
"She'll be fine. She's just exhausted," Clark supplied before disappearing into the air.
"Ah, Chief. It was awesome. You should have seen Superman's face," Jimmy rambled.
"I'm sure it was great, son," Perry responded as he stepped around some construction work in the middle of the newsroom. "Lois, Clark, get in here," Perry bellowed.
"I want everything you've got on her," Perry demanded after Lois and Clark had moved into the office behind him.
"Perry…" Lois started.
"Now don't start giving me the runaround. It's clear that you are both involved in this, so get me the story," Perry ordered. Clark and Lois knew a dismissal when they heard one and quickly left the Editor's office.
"Clark, what are we going to do?"
"Maybe it's time we ran that exclusive."
"Are you sure?"
"I don't think we have any choice. She's made a big appearance."
Kara stepped out of the elevator and into the newsroom. She eyed Lois and Clark discussing something with Perry. When she tried to activate her superhearing, Kara's head swam. Her powers were still tapped out after a week of rest. Turning her gaze to the room again, Kara let her eyes fall upon a tall ladder and three construction workers tearing at the ceiling and the air-conditioning unit.
"Morning, Linda," Jimmy called from his desk before rising to move across the room towards her.
"Morning," Kara answered softly as she rubbed her temple. "Headache?" Jimmy asked as he jumped up the stairs.
"Yeah," Kara answered simply before stepping down the stairs slowly.
"You want some water?" Jimmy offered.
"Sure, thanks," Kara answered as she moved over to her desk, while Jimmy crossed the room to the water jug and coffee makers.
Kara flipped through some files on her desk as she scrounged for the Advil. For some reason, Kara found that when she shapeshifted many of her powers went into a state of suspension. As Linda, Kara would be just as vulnerable as any other human with the exception of having her x-ray vision, superspeed, and her superhearing.
"Hey, guys, you want to watch the dust here?" Kara demanded of the workers, as dried paint, dust, ceiling, and wood fell onto both her and the desk.
"Just get finished, ok?" Kara demanded, annoyed, as she rose from her chair and moved to Lois's desk to search for any type of pain medication; the Advil was yet to be found.
"When do you guys think you'll be done?" Kara heard Jimmy ask as he stood under the construction.
Kara didn't hear an answer to the question and when she turned around, she saw why. Both the ladder and the man atop the ladder were plummeting to the floor as the entire air-conditioning unit fell from the ceiling.
The ladder and the construction worker fell onto Jimmy and pushed him directly into the path of the air conditioner. Kara, not thinking, rushed to her desk and shoved Jimmy out of the way just as the air conditioner and ceiling crashed down on top of her.
There was a scream from someone in the room as Kara was buried beneath the rubble. The crash and the scream brought Lois, Clark, and Perry bursting from the office. Kara was nowhere to be seen. Jimmy was already digging at the debris.
"Linda!" Lois cried as she moved to rush over.
"No, Lois," Clark cried as he grabbed her arm. "Wait here. Perry, Tom, Paul," Clark said as he motioned for the guys to join him at the desk.
Immediately, the men began to dig Kara out of the mess. It didn't take long before Kara herself was uncovered. The air conditioning unit and Kara's left leg were a different matter. The leg appeared to be crushed beneath it. Kara, who was very much awake, was whimpering in pain and gasping for breath as she tried to stay calm and not scream.
"Linda?" Clark called.
"I hear you," Kara answered since she was pressed to the ground on her stomach and unable to turn her head. "Clark, get Superman. The leg is crushed and the air conditioner is too heavy for you all to lift. Please, get him," Kara begged.
"All right. I'll be back," Clark answered as he looked at Perry who nodded. Rising, Clark rushed to the elevator.
Moments later, Superman dropped into the room. Moving, he motioned for Jimmy and Perry to hold Kara down as he went to lift the heavy metal piece.
Kara could stifle her scream no longer and as her flesh and crushed bone were pulled at, she cried out in agony. She gasped for breath as tears rolled down her cheeks as Clark leaned down and examined the leg.
"We can't move her," Clark announced.
"Why?" Lois questioned quickly.
"She'll lose the leg if we do."
"Can…you fix it?" Kara questioned between gasps.
"What?" Clark asked.
"Can you fix it?" Kara repeated.
"Please, do it," Kara begged.
"I've never done it at this magnitude, Linda."
"You told Clark once…that…it could be done. I understand the risks. Please."
"All right. Give me a minute," Clark answered before disappearing out of the room. A moment later, he was back with the globe from Krypton.
"Linda, I want to reinforce the fact that if this doesn't work, there's going to be nothing anyone can do," Clark warned.
"I know. I'm ready," Kara answered.
"Jimmy, Perry, hold her. Lois, get a blindfold."
Kara shut her eyes as Lois slipped a soft cloth over her eyes. She felt Lois move away before hearing Clark's gentle voice in her mind as he willed her to sleep.
Lois watched as Kara relaxed and drifted into a meditative sleep. Clark moved back to the damaged leg and placed the orb next to the crushed kneecap. Reciting the ancient Kryptonian healing spells, Clark placed his hands upon the leg and began to mold it back to its proper shape and size. Despite her sleep, Kara could still feel the pain and Jimmy and Perry had to struggle to keep her from moving too much during the procedure.
"You idiot! How could you mess that up? He was right there!" the woman screamed at the top of her lungs at the construction worker who had been on the ladder.
"I'm sorry, ma'am. It won't happen again," The man stammered.
"Indeed it won't," the lady said mischievously as she pulled a gun from her jacket and with one shot ended the man's life. "I guess I'll have to take care of Jimmy myself, and then, my darling, you can take his place," the woman commented to the Jimmy lookalike, who moved up behind her and wrapped his arms around her neck in an alluring hug.
Lois gazed down through bloodshot eyes at the young girl lying unconscious in the Metropolis hospital room. She'd been sitting up all night with Kara in the hopes that she would make some movement to say that she was all right.
The procedure had gone well, but that had been three days ago, and when Clark had finished healing the leg, he had gently airlifted Kara to Starlabs to see Dr. Klein. Clark had explained the situation to Dr. Klein and he and his team had immediately begun tests to see if there were going to be any side effects. The procedure was done, and except for the few movements at the beginning, Kara hadn't moved a muscle in the last three days.
Clark and Lois were constantly taking turns sitting watch, but they couldn't keep it up forever. Perry could give them only so much time off, and the way things were looking, Kara wasn't improving. Lois sighed as she stroked Kara's hand. Hearing a slight rap on the door, Lois lifted her eyes to see Clark entering the room.
"Lois, honey, do you want me to take over?" Clark offered gently as he moved to her side.
"No, I'm ok," she answered, her voice harsh.
"Here, here's some coffee," Clark said as he handed her a styrofoam cup filled with the hot liquid. Lois took it gratefully and sipped it twice while Clark turned his also bloodshot eyes to the bed. "It's so strange, Lois. I feel so connected to her now. I know this may not be the best time, but how would you feel if we officially adopted Kara?" Clark questioned as he moved to sit lightly on the edge of the bed.
"You know, I've wanted that all along."
"So, you're really ok with it?"
"Clark…" Lois started but was interrupted as Kara moaned quietly.
"Kara," Lois cried softly.
"Mom?" Kara whispered.
"No, Kara, it's Lois," Lois corrected.
"Oh, hi," Kara greeted weakly.
"Thank goodness you're all right," Clark said.
"It worked, didn't it?"
"Yeah, Kara, it worked."
"Kara, how do you feel?" Lois asked.
"Because we have something we want to tell you," Clark answered.
"What?" Kara asked.
"How would you like to become a permanent member of the family?" Lois questioned.
"What do you mean?"
"We'd like to adopt you, Kara," Clark explained.
"Adopt me? You mean it?" Kara asked a little more excitedly.
"If you'll let us," Lois answered.
"Of course, yes," Kara cried.
A week later, Kara, with the help of crutches, moved out of the elevator and into the newsroom to be greeted with a giant "Surprise!" from the newsroom staff. Kara laughed slightly as tears filled her eyes from reading a banner hanging over her desk that read: "Welcome back, Linda. We missed you."
"Here, let me help you," Jimmy said as he moved up the steps. Kara smiled as Jimmy effortlessly lifted her into his arms and carried her over to her desk.
"Would you like some coffee?" Jimmy asked after he had gently deposited Kara in her chair.
"Yes, thank you," Kara said and watched Jimmy scurry off.
"Wow. I've never seen him this excited," Kara whispered to Lois.
"You'll get used to it," she answered.
"I hope so," Kara answered as she smiled and nodded for Lois to tend to her work as Jimmy hustled over with the fresh coffee in his hands.
"Fresh milk and four sugars, right?"
"Right, how'd you know?"
"You had me get you coffee the other day, remember."
"Oh, yeah," Kara answered, knowing that this was the first time that she had gotten coffee at work. Normally she was fond of Starbucks, but she could make do with the Daily Planet's regular brew. It wasn't too bad when it was fresh, but most of the time, Kara preferred the expensive kind. She decided to stay silent, however, because of Jimmy's kindness, and instead thanked him again before turning to the stack of papers on her desk.
Kara was surprised at how quickly work had accumulated for her over the last week and a half. Perry wasn't kidding when he said that everyone pulled their own weight. Leaning over to the unoccupied desk behind her, she pulled the chair to her desk and propped her leg on the soft cushion before turning her attention to her stack of papers a second time.
An hour later, Kara had managed to sort through most of the papers and had finished two of the stories. Rubbing her eyes, Kara rose to her feet before bending over and pulling her crutches close to her body. Grabbing the piece of paper she wished to copy, Kara pushed her way to the copier across the room. Luckily, Lois and Clark were off at a press conference at the D.A.'s office, and Jimmy was in Perry's office, so there was no one to fuss over her.
Despite Clark's earlier warning that he had eyes throughout the office, Kara knew that no one but a select few of Clark's friends, namely Perry and Jimmy, would try and offer their help. The staff already knew that Kara, despite not being an actual blood relation, took after Lois and could be extremely feisty if pushed too far. The announcement that Clark and Lois were going to adopt Kara had made the staff even more nervous as they realized that with Kara living with Clark and Lois, Kara was going to get feistier than ever.
"Hey, Linda, can I talk to you for a second?" Jimmy called as he exited Perry's office.
"Sure, what's up?" Kara answered simply as she focused on her copies.
"I was wondering, uh…" Jimmy started.
"Jimmy, just spit it out," Kara demanded.
"I've got concert tickets and want to know if you want to go," Jimmy spat out, quickly. "There, I've said it."
"Um, let me think about it, ok," Kara answered quickly as she moved over to her desk as quickly as possible before gathering her things in one swoop and moving to the elevator, into which she quickly disappeared.
"Dad, I didn't know what to do," Kara stammered.
"We haven't even adopted you yet," Clark said, referring to the 'dad' statement.
"I… you don't mind, do you?"
"Of course not. Now, about Jimmy, do you like him?"
"Dad!" Kara cried. "Poor Jimmy, I left him standing there dumbfounded."
"Well, do you like him?" Lois repeated for Clark as she moved into the room with fresh tea.
Kara glared at her new parents for a moment.
"That's not important."
"What do you mean it's not important?" Lois intervened.
"Mom, Dad, I…"
"Honey, it's obvious that Jimmy likes you," Lois said.
Kara opened her mouth to speak, but a siren filled her ears.
"Go, Dad. We'll be fine."
"Only if you're sure."
"Go!" Kara demanded as she glared at him.
Clark nodded his understanding before he spun into his suit and disappeared in a blur.
"Lois, Mother, wait. My name is Linda now, let's stick with one."
"All right. Linda, do you like Jimmy?"
"He's sweet but… Mom, I can't start dating."
"Why not?" Lois questioned.
Linda scoffed as she realized that she didn't have an answer.
"Linda, you're as much a human as you are Kryptonian. It's all right to be nervous about relationships, but please realize that it is very difficult to be alone. I've know Jimmy for many years now and he's a bright young man."
"He's a good eight years older than me," Linda argued.
"He's only twenty-nine, Linda. Besides, in technical terms, you'll be twenty-two in a week. You're compatible, don't worry."
"So you think I should go, huh?"
"I don't think it could hurt. I happen to know that Jimmy is a big fan of classical music and the opera," Lois informed her.
"Perry dragged him along a few times and he just took a liking to it," Lois explained.
Linda laughed lightly as she thought of her and Jimmy enjoying a night at the opera. For some reason, the sight caused her giggles to turn to outright laughter and Linda ended up disappearing to her room as her laughter echoed through the house.
"So, she gonna do it?" Clark asked later that evening.
"I don't know. She didn't say," Lois answered.
"What do you think?" Clark asked his wife.
"I think a budding romance is going to blossom," Lois answered as she moved to press her lips to his.
Linda had tried not to listen in on Lois and Clark's conversation but temptation had gotten the better of her, and now she found that she was actually looking forward to the concert with Jimmy and she hadn't even told him yes yet. With work, her upcoming date, if her sudden flight hadn't canceled the offer, and at least a dozen other odds and ends swimming through Linda's head, she found she couldn't sleep and decided to peek in on Jonathan. Moving into the room, Linda eyed the sleeping seven-year-old.
"He's so precious," Linda remarked quietly.
"Yes, he is," Clark agreed quietly.
Gasping slightly, Linda peered at the doorway.
"Dad, you startled me."
"I didn't mean to. I'm sorry. I heard you get up so I thought I would see if there was something I could do."
"No. I'm all right," Linda assured her new father before glancing at Jonathan again and then pushing past Clark as she headed for her room.
Clark followed her using his super speed and managed to cut her off before she could retreat into the safe haven of her room.
"Linda, what's going on?" Clark demanded.
"Why do you assume that something is bothering me?"
"I've learned to read people. You can't hide your feelings, Linda."
"Why not? It worked on Krypton," Linda answered dryly.
"So that's what this is about. Linda, come with me. I want to show you something."
An hour later, Linda stood agape as she stared at the amazing snow- and ice-covered walls of the Fortress of Solitude. Some thirty feet ahead, Linda could see the crystal console and the Kryptonian orb that had saved her leg a few weeks before.
"Why did you bring me here?"
"Go to the orb," Clark instructed.
"Go to the orb and pick it up," Clark repeated.
With a look of uncertainty, Linda moved across the floor to the dark orb. Linda lifted her hand and reached cautiously for a moment before drawing her hand back partially. Gaining courage from her curiosity, Linda moved her hand and let her fingers impact the cold crystal. With the touch of a Kryptonian-blooded individual, the orb filled with a brilliant white light before casting Linda's consciousness to Krypton.
"Welcome, Child of Krypton." The male voice of Jor-El echoed in Linda's ears before his image appeared in front of her. "Ah, niece Kara, I see you and Kal-El have finally met."
"Uncle Jor-El. I miss you."
"And I you. Kara, why did Kal-El bring you to see me?"
"He thinks something is bothering me."
"And is there?"
Linda stared at Jor-El's transparent image as he waited patiently.
"Kara, your silence makes me wonder if Kal-El is right," Jor-El commented.
"I'm just not sure of what I'm supposed to do here."
"Kara, I don't know how you came to be on Earth, but I know that Kal-El will help you and guide you. Trust my son. He will not fail you," Jor-El reassured his niece as his image faded, and Linda found herself back in the crystal caves of the Fortress of Solitude. The orb silenced its humming and faded to black again. Linda let her eyes rest upon the orb for several long seconds before replacing the gentle crystal back on its stand.
"Linda, are you all right?" Clark called from his unmoved position.
Linda turned her stern face to meet Clark's eyes. After a moment, she smiled warmly as her eyes beamed with happiness and trust.
"What are we standing around for? Superman and Supergirl are needed," Linda directed tauntingly as a wide smile filled her face.
An hour later, Supergirl and Superman could be seen soaring over Metropolis as the sunlight filtered into the city. Lois walked to her bedroom window and lifted her eyes to the sky and smiled as her husband and new daughter took in their newfound partnership.
"Well, Jonathan, looks like it's going to be a beautiful day," Lois commented to her son as she took his hand and led him downstairs to the kitchen.
Linda rushed around the room as she picked up outfit after outfit and held them against herself and gazed in the mirror. Three weeks had passed and the night of the concert had arrived. Jimmy would be arriving any minute and she wasn't even dressed yet.
"Linda!" Linda heard Lois call through the door. "You're going to be late."
"I'll be right out," Linda called as she began rummaging through her closet for the thirtieth time.
"Wear the sky-blue dinner dress," Lois called, not letting the issue drop.
"Hurry," Lois called and left it at that.
Shoving the clothes aside, Linda looked at the dinner dress and bit her lip.
"Oh, just put it on," Linda snapped to herself as she pulled the frock out of the closet.
"She should be down in a minute, Jimmy," Lois said as Clark let him in.
"Thanks," Jimmy answered as a soft pounding on the stairs took their attention.
Linda smiled as she and Jimmy met eyes.
"Here, let me help," Jimmy said as he moved over to escort her down the stairs.
"Thanks," Linda said. "Night, Mom. Night, Dad."
"You two have fun," Clark said as Jimmy and Linda moved to the door.
"Thank you for such a great night," Linda said as she and Jimmy stood outside the door. "I must admit, I was a little surprised that you love opera so much."
"Perry got me into it."
"I'm glad. I love music, so you'll never be without someone you can go to if you have an extra ticket."
"I'll remember that," Jimmy answered.
"Jimmy, um…" Linda started.
"Linda, if I kissed you right now, would you let me?"
"Yes," Linda answered simply as both she and Jimmy leaned towards each other and closed their eyes before softly pressing their lips together. After a short pause they pressed their lips together a second time for a good many seconds before breaking apart again.
"Jimmy, would it be… presumptuous if I said I'm falling in love with you?"
"Only if… I wasn't feeling the same way," Jimmy answered before Linda practically jumped into Jimmy's arms.
Lois moved to the couch and noticed Clark staring at the door.
"Clark, what is it?"
"Oh, they're outside."
"Well, don't spy on them," Lois cried quietly.
"They're just so cute together."
"I'm sure they are, but they deserve just as much privacy as anyone."
"I know," Clark answered.
Linda smiled at Jimmy as she pushed the door open.
"See you in the morning," she called before disappearing into the house.
Lois and Clark watched as Linda absentmindedly glided up the staircase and into her room. Turning to look at each other, the pair smiled.
Jimmy pulled his apartment door closed a few mornings later and thrust the key into the lock. Engaging the lock quickly, Jimmy yanked the key from the lock and rushed down the hallway where he turned a corner and collapsed to the ground.
Two black-gloved hands wrapped around the unconscious man's waist and lifted Jimmy into the air before disappearing around the corner, out of the building, and into a waiting van.
Linda moved swiftly around the Daily Planet newsroom with a stack of papers bundled in her hands.
"Has anyone seen Jimmy?" Linda called to all in earshot.
"Hey, Linda," an eerie, annoying male voice called as the owner slithered over.
"Ralph, I'm busy," Linda snapped as she eyed Perry and quickly made her way toward him. "Perry, have you seen Jimmy?"
"Come to think of it, I haven't. It's not like him not to show up. Give him a call."
"You got it, Chief," Linda answered and immediately moved to her desk. Dropping the papers on her desk, Linda flipped through her rolodex with one hand as she lifted the phone from the receiver with the other. A moment later, after a dozen rings, Jimmy's voice finally broke the silence.
"Jimmy? Are you all right? Did something happen?" Linda spat out before Jimmy had a chance to utter another word.
"Who is this?"
"It's Linda. I was worried because you didn't come to work. Did you have a late night?"
"Uh, yeah. Listen, tell Mr. White that I'll be in in an hour. I just want to get ready."
"Sure, no problem," Linda answered as her face and voice filled with nervousness and confusion. "I'll see you soon," Linda added before replacing the phone and cutting the link.
The look of confusion continued to fill Linda's face as she glanced at her parents and locked eyes with Clark. Using only her eyes, Linda indicated that she wanted them to join her in the conference room.
"Linda, what's going on?" Clark asked a few minutes later.
"I'm worried about Jimmy."
"Why?" Lois inquired.
"Well, Perry and I were concerned that he was late to work, so I gave him a call."
"And?" Clark demanded.
"Well, Jimmy just told me to, and I quote, 'tell Mr. White that I'll be in in an hour.'"
"You're right. That's not Jimmy," Lois commented.
"Mom, do you have any idea what Jimmy's been working on over the last few days?"
"Not a clue," Lois answered.
"Try checking his computer," Clark suggested.
"Can I get away with that?"
"We'll talk to Perry. He'll be happy to help."
"Mom, I swear, if anything's happened to him…"
"Linda, calm yourself," Clark interjected. "It's all right to be worried about Jimmy but we can't jump to conclusions. Right now, we need to figure out what's happening," Clark added.
"I just don't want to see him hurt," Linda admitted.
"And neither do we, but as a reporter, you have an obligation to the story," Lois reminded.
"I know," Linda answered.
"Ok, you get started on Jimmy's computer, you don't have much time. We'll go talk to Perry," Clark instructed.
"Right," Linda responded as she exited the conference room.
"Hi there," Jimmy's voice rang out behind Linda. Startled, Linda let out a slight scream as she turned to face him.
"Jimmy, uh, hi," Linda stammered.
"Hey, don't mind me. Keep working."
"Um… aren't you even a little curious as to why I'm working on your computer?"
"No, Perry and Clark explained that your computer broke down and that you needed to use mine."
"Right. Well, thanks," Linda said as she turned away from him and through a 'help' glance at Clark.
"Jimmy," Clark called and Jimmy rushed off.
"How's it coming?" Lois inquired as she moved to block the view of Linda and the computer.
"Slowly. Do you think you can block the view a bit more?" Linda requested as she cracked her knuckles.
"You're just like Clark," Lois commented as she moved a step to the left as Linda's fingers flew over the keyboard.
"Still nothing," Linda said a moment later. "Mom, does Jimmy keep everything he's ever done on computer?"
"Most of it. But like any of us, we constantly update our files and save everything to disk," Lois answered.
"Think Perry would let me take a look at them?"
"You'll have to ask him on that one," Lois answered as Linda shut down the computer.
Later that evening, Linda still sat in front of her laptop with a batch of forty unopened disks in a container in front of her and thirty-some reviewed disks spread out on the coffee table, the floor, and the couch. For eight straight hours, Linda had pored over stories and pieces that Jimmy had covered alone and with Lois and Clark, and she was still nowhere. Leaning back, Linda sighed with exhaustion and frustration.
"And I thought I was the only one who got to do that," Lois remarked from the stairs.
"Mom, I don't get it. Something is definitely wrong, but there doesn't seem to be any connection."
"Honey, have you ever thought about the fact that perhaps Jimmy is just acting a little more his age?"
"Mom, being twenty or twenty-nine would make no difference to the fact that Jimmy hasn't called Perry 'Mr. White' in twelve years. Even Perry says that that's suspicious."
"True, but I think that you should just drop it. Or at least give it a few days. Let's see what Jimmy does. Maybe he'll say something or do something that will give us a clue as to what's going on. In the meantime, go to bed."
"All right. I'll give him two days, but if he's still acting strange, I'm gonna figure out why."
"We should have waited," the Jimmy Copy yelled.
"We couldn't afford to. Now, are you ready for the knowledge transfer?" the woman questioned.
"Yes," the Jimmy Copy answered.
"Good," the woman answered as she pulled a type of remote control out of her pocket and pressed a button. The far wall in the factory groaned as it turned on its hinges to reveal the real Jimmy tied to an operating table.
"Now, the electricity will transfer Jimmy's knowledge to you."
"What about his emotions and characteristics?"
"You'll get it all, don't worry. I've enhanced Lex Luthor's original design and I'm now able to copy the actual information and then transfer it to you."
"Will it kill him?"
"No. We'll take care of that when we don't need him anymore," the woman answered. "But first, let's get you out of hot water with the employees of the Daily Planet. I kept my eyes on specific people today and I know that that Linda girl is getting suspicious."
"What if she figures it out?"
"Then we'll just have to get rid of her too."
"Jimmy, how are you today?" Linda questioned as he moved by the next morning.
"Oh, you just seemed a little out of it yesterday."
"I was up late," Jimmy explained.
"Oh," Linda answered monotonously.
"Linda, are you ok?" Jimmy inquired.
"Yeah, yeah," Linda answered and smiled to help reassure him.
"We still on for lunch?" Jimmy checked, referring to the lunch date they had made during her stay in the hospital and had never gotten around to.
"Sure, yeah," Linda answered.
"Cool," Jimmy answered simply before moving to his desk.
Sighing, Linda watched as Jimmy poured himself into his work. She couldn't place it, but she knew something was different about him.
"No time to contemplate it, Linda, let's go," Clark stated, interrupting Linda's thoughts.
"What?" Linda said, startled.
"Alarms, Linda, at the chemical plant," Clark said.
"Oh, yes of course," Linda said as she opened her ears to the alarms.
"Hey, I heard the chemical plant kept you busy," Lois commented to her husband as she moved behind him and kissed his cheek.
"Yeah, it did. Especially since Linda wasn't helping much," Clark commented.
"She wasn't in it, Lois. It was like her mind was somewhere else," Clark explained.
"Did you talk to her?"
"No. When we were done, she rushed off to meet Jimmy for lunch."
"Well, she has to pick up Jonathan from school, maybe we should meet her," Lois suggested.
"She obviously has some things on her mind. Why don't we wait till tonight," Clark returned and Lois, after a moment of thought, agreed.
"Lois Lane," Lois said into the receiver of her desk telephone three hours later. "Yes," Lois added a moment later. "I understand, someone will be down to get him directly," Lois finished and replaced the receiver.
"What's up?" Clark asked as Lois began to gather her things.
"Linda didn't pick up Jonathan. One of his teachers found him a block from the school," Lois reported.
Clark sighed as he loosened his tie. "I'll find her," he said before kissing Lois's lips and heading off while Lois finished gathering her things and headed toward the elevator.
"She is beyond dead, Clark," Lois screamed as the clock clicked over to ten P.M. later that evening.
"Lois…" Clark started.
"Don't try and defend her, Clark. We trusted her with our son and she broke that trust. What if Jonathan had been hurt?" Lois screamed.
"Lois, honey, calm down. I'm upset too, but I couldn't find her from the skies, which to me says that there is something more to this. Why don't you go to bed and I'll wait up for her? Besides, it won't do to yell tonight."
"Fine. Knowing her, she's probably outside the window listening," Lois commented dryly.
"I would know," Clark commented as he pulled Lois into his arms. "Try and get some rest. We'll deal with this in the morning."
"Clark, I'll go to bed, but you have to promise me you'll ground her."
"She's twenty-one, Lois. I doubt a grounding will do any good."
"No, ground her. Forbid her the use of her powers."
"What if I need help?"
"She'll get special dispensation from one of us, if needed."
"Lois, you know we'd never be able to enforce it," Clark commented.
"Well, we have to do something."
"Yes, we do, but whatever we decide, we'll do it tomorrow."
"All right, all right, I'm going," Lois said as she stepped up the stairs.
Lois turned over sleepily in her bed as she reached for the alarm. As her arm reached over the bed, her hand fell upon Clark's unused pillow. Groaning lightly as she forced her eyes open, Lois turned the alarm off and propped herself on her pillow to look at the still fairly-made right side of the bed.
Lois sighed as she pulled herself to her feet and slipped her robe around her. A few moments later, Lois was walking down the stairs to meet the scene of Clark asleep on the couch. Lois smiled warmly and decided to let Clark sleep a little longer as she went to get Jonathan up.
Her hopes were short-lived, for her light stepping on the stairs had woken Clark, and when Lois made her way into the kitchen with Jonathan ten minutes later, Clark, in his robe, was fixing breakfast.
"Morning," Clark greeted.
"Morning," Lois answered while sending a glance that said not to mention Linda.
The pair refrained from discussing their AWOL daughter until after they had dropped Jonathan off at school.
"I wonder why she didn't come home," Lois commented calmly although her mind told her to scream.
"I don't know, but as soon as we check in to work, I'm going up to look for her," Clark answered.
"Good. All I can say is, she better have a good excuse."
"Morning, Lois, C.K." Jimmy called to the pair as they stepped out of the elevator. "Where's Linda? We were supposed to meet this morning to do some research on those Egyptian artifacts that were stolen, but she never showed."
"She didn't come home last night, either," Clark supplied. "Jimmy, when did you last see her?"
"Yesterday, around two. She said she had some errands to run before going back to the Planet. I said I'd meet her back here, but she never came."
Jimmy carefully unlocked his apartment door some hours later. Moving to his bedroom after shutting the door, Jimmy stared at Linda tied to a chair and successfully gagged.
Linda was struggling with her bonds as moans of frustration exited her throat. Moving ever so slowly, Jimmy gripped the piece of duck tape over Linda's mouth between his thumb and index finger, and pulled harshly. Linda screamed abruptly before silencing for a moment. Seconds later, vicious words flew from her lips.
"Where's Jimmy?" Linda demanded after she had exhausted her vulgarity.
"He's safe, for now," the Jimmy Copy answered.
"My father won't stand for this!" Linda snapped.
"I wouldn't worry your little head. They're not even that worried. They think you're hiding out because you forgot to pick up Jonathan yesterday," the Jimmy Copy remarked, having heard Lois's exclamation yesterday afternoon.
"Jonathan!" Linda whispered. "If you've hurt him…!"
"Relax, he's fine," The Jimmy Copy snapped.
"You know you won't get away with this. Superman will come looking for me. He's friends with my parents."
"Oh, he'll look. I'm counting on it, but he won't find you. You see, I've lined the apartment with lead. And, of course, they'll never suspect me because I'm the loving, adoring Jimmy. The next few days will insure that no one will think ill of me, for I'll be worried sick, all the while knowing exactly where you are."
"You're a rotten, sick bastard," Linda screamed.
"Yes, but I'm good at it. Oh, and one more thing. Don't try and yell for Superman or Supergirl, because neither can hear you. The room has been soundproofed, thanks to Jimmy's memories. Now, I have to get back to work but here, here's the remote. Might as well give you something to keep you busy," the Jimmy Copy remarked as he slipped the piece into Linda's bound hand.
"How generous of you," Linda commented sarcastically as she told herself that she was going to have to live this out. She knew she could easily activate her powers but if she did, Jimmy, wherever he was, could be put in even more danger and thanks to the lead-lined apartment, Linda's mental abilities were useless.
"Hey, C.K. Any news from Linda?" Jimmy questioned an hour later.
"Still no word, but if she calls, I want to know immediately," Clark answered.
"You got it," Jimmy answered. "Oh, C.K., those pictures you wanted are on your desk."
"Oh, thanks," Clark responded as Lois met him at his desk where he pulled the pictures from the case and began to flip through them. "Supergirl hasn't made any appearances," Clark commented as Lois glanced at the photos as well.
"Right now, I'm just trying to get through the day," Lois answered. "More artifacts from the museum?" Lois inquired.
"Yeah. Last night, the Mask of Anubis was stolen from the special Egyptian exhibit on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London," Clark supplied.
"Good. If you had said 'Druid' I would have slapped you," Lois commented, referring to the incident with her ex- boyfriend Patrick Sullivan and his quest to restore his Irish power.
"Never," Clark commented, holding his hands up in submission before continuing. "I'm hoping to link the robbery up with our old friend Russell Harrison."
"The guy we put in jail for auto theft two years ago?"
"That's the one."
"Pretty menial thief to pin it on."
"Don't you remember what the police said they found in his apartment?"
"Yeah, didn't he have some secret room dedicated to some god or something?"
"Yep. But here's the interesting part. At the time, no expert could give an accurate decision on who the god he was worshipping was."
"Let me guess, over the last few weeks, signs that the religion has spread have begun to appear in Metropolis."
"Yep. Here," Clark answered as he produced a photo from one of his desk drawers.
"Ouch. Looks like that would hurt," Lois commented.
"The brand is a symbol of your entrance into the club. According to an inside source, the trial to get in is different for each person, but always involves the person's deepest fear and most precious secret."
The black-gloved woman smiled as she stepped slowly down a set of dark stone stairs. Reaching the bottom quickly, she came to a door which she opened and walked through.
The room she entered was filled with light, but the room was empty except for her. Moving, the woman stepped across the room to a large Roman type column that rose to the ceiling. The woman peered at it for a second before moving a small console and pressing three buttons. Immediately, the gold, brown outer layer of the column began to lower into an opening in the floor and a water-filled tank was revealed. The woman smiled as she gazed at a young man who floated in the water. Various tubes were connected to the man, and a soft heartbeat monitor began to beep from somewhere in the room.
"Soon, my darling, the plan will be complete. Lex Luthor may be dead, but we can still use the cloning specifications you helped to create through Lexcorp to bring James Olsen and the Daily Planet down. Jimmy will pay for taking those incriminating photos of you. And don't worry. Lois and Clark, those two disgusting do-gooder reporters will pay as well. Did you hear, my love, that Lois and Clark adopted a daughter? She's in her early twenties and from Smallville, Clark's puny hometown. She's become close friends with Jimmy. If I can play my cards right, this little Linda will fall in love with the Jimmy clone and I'll have complete access to ruin their lives. I know, I know what you're thinking: 'Don't forget the clone.' And I won't. When Lois Lane, Clark Kent, Linda Kent, and James Olsen die, the Jimmy Copy will die with them. A horrible, disgusting, sinister death awaits them all. Soon, Russell, I will have the world and Starlabs can find a cure. I will bring you back to me. And once we have that meddlesome group out of our way, we can use the newly acquired Mask of Anubis to restore the ancient power of the gods."
The Jimmy Copy stood just outside of the door to the grand ceremonial hall listening to every word his 'love' said. His teeth clenched together, his eyes narrowed, his fingernails dug into his palms, and a scowl filled his face as he stepped lightly but quickly back up the steps.
Linda jumped as much as she could when she heard the apartment door slam and the Jimmy Copy stomp over to the bedroom.
"Rough day?" Linda taunted.
"Shut up!" Jimmy snapped as he moved over and snatched the remote away before shutting the TV off. Turning, he stared at Linda with hatred in his eyes.
"She thinks she's gonna get the best of me. She thinks she can turn on me so quickly," Jimmy stated to the air. "She wants you to love me and marry me so that she can kill us all. But she needs me because I'm Jimmy."
"You're not," Linda interrupted.
"Well, not completely, but I can learn."
"You can't learn to be Jimmy. No one can ever be Jimmy but Jimmy. You may hold his memories but you weren't there when he kissed me for the first time or when Perry took him to ball games."
"But I have those memories."
"Memories don't mean anything if you don't have feelings to go with them. I could never love you like I love Jimmy."
"You could teach love."
"You can't. The love I have for Jimmy goes beyond understanding. It's… one of kindness, compassion, and joy. You can't teach that. Look, I'm sorry for whatever you've been told, but though I could never love you like I love Jimmy, I can say that I would love to be your friend."
"Why?" the copy questioned, startled.
"Because you are so much like Jimmy, but so much your own personality too."
"I kidnapped you and hurt you by taking you from the man you love, and you're still nice to me. I don't get it."
"Listen, if I help you, could you help me?"
"I don't know," Linda answered.
"I know who's been committing those robberies your parents are working on."
"The ones at the museum?"
"Yeah. But in order to make sure she doesn't get suspicious, you're going to have to play along."
"You mean by pretending that you really are Jimmy?"
"Yes. Fair warning — you'd have to lie to your parents."
"I understand. What do you want to do?"
"Linda!" Lois cried as Linda and Jimmy exited the Daily Planet elevator.
"Hi, Mom. I'm sorry I worried you," Linda stated after she had gotten over to Lois's desk. Linda's smile dropped from her face as she was met with Lois's glare.
"Where were you?" Lois demanded.
"The crystal caves. I left a note but apparently, you didn't get it."
"That's not a good excuse, alter ego or not. Clark and I will deal with our anger later. Right now, you need to figure out what you are going to tell Perry."
"Relax. I've got it covered. See?" Linda said as she pulled a plastic bag of photos from her leather satchel. "These are pictures of several of Supergirl's rescues these last few weeks. He said he's wanted stuff on her. I've also got an interview with her tonight."
"I think that's stretching it a bit, but do what you want," Lois commented as she went back to her work and Linda moved to Jimmy's desk.
"I don't know about this, Jimmy. I don't think they're going to buy this. It might be easier if we let Lois and Clark in on our plan." "We can't risk one of them making a mistake."
"We're just as likely to make one," Linda argued.
"The fewer the people who know, the better."
"All right. For now."
"I'm worried. My parents are spending more and more time on that Egyptian Museum story and if what you say is true about your… 'love', my parents are going to be finding out about her fairly soon."
"What do we do?"
"Hmm. Could you get me a meeting with her?"
"What? Why would you want to meet with her?"
"Just trust me."
Linda moaned softly as she began to awaken. Blinking, she found herself tied in a chair in what seemed to be a large room, though it was difficult because the room was pitch black.
"What happened?" Linda asked herself silently as she tried to remember the events of the day. Her head throbbed and she realized that she had been hit over the head, most likely several hours earlier. As far as she could remember, being knocked unconscious had not been part of the plan, but being tied up seemed to be familiar, so Linda assumed that the Jimmy Copy must have wanted it to seem truly realistic if the plan of getting her down to wherever she was took longer than expected. Activating her powers, Linda used her X-ray vision to scan the room.
"Jimmy!" Linda cried as she broke the rope binding her hands and feet to the chair and rushed over to the blindfolded man where she pulled the tape from his mouth.
"Linda, is that you?"
"Yes, it's me," Linda answered.
"Where are we?"
"I don't know," Linda answered as she stroked his cheek. "I've missed you," Linda added as she pulled the blindfold from his eyes.
"I knew you'd find me," Jimmy said as Linda pulled at the rope to untie him. The moment Jimmy's hands and feet were free, Jimmy jumped to his feet and pulled Linda into his arms and pressed his lips eagerly and tightly to hers.
"I thought I'd lost you," Jimmy said after he broke the kiss and drew her into a tight hug.
"Never again," Linda answered.
"So, you managed to escape," a female voice cried through the darkness.
Linda gasped as she turned around, still partially holding Jimmy.
"Who are you? Jimmy demanded.
"Jimmy, no," Linda interjected.
"She's right, Jimmy. I'd shut up. Now, little Miss Linda, your parents are being a nuisance."
"So they figured it out," Linda deduced. "Look, I don't know how you know Russell Harrison or what you're doing with his… 'religion', but Jimmy isn't a part of this. Let him go."
"Jimmy is very much a part of this," the woman answered. "Lights!" the woman called out loudly. Immediately, gold light piled the room and the ceremonial hall was revealed to the captives.
"Now, find out why Jimmy is so important," the woman snarled as she strode over to the console by the tall column and typed in the code to release the cover.
Jimmy and Linda watched as the outer casing of the pillar disappeared into the floor, revealing Russell.
"Oh my God, that's…" Linda started.
"Yes. Meet my husband," the woman introduced.
"Yes. Russell was a genius. If it hadn't been for him, Lex Luthor would never have gotten the cloning specifications he used to create so much trouble for your parents. It was Jimmy, however, who snuck in to my husband's one-night operation in car theft because he needed fast cash. Jimmy took incriminating photos during the deed that allowed those two annoying reporters that you call parents to put Russell behind bars. That, my dear, is why your love is so important and also why your 'friendship' with the Jimmy Clone was completely and utterly planned. He led you right to me. I'm proud of you, my love," the woman finished as the Jimmy Copy moved into the light and joined the woman.
"You lied to me?" Linda questioned.
"Yes, well. What can I say?" the Copy said as he turned the woman toward him and kissed her passionately.
"Uh, I think I'm going to be sick," Linda commented quietly.
"Linda, do you think maybe you should do something?"
"What can I do?"
Jimmy lifted his eyelids as he nodded slightly towards the kissing couple and made a slight S symbol with his finger.
"Linda, I know."
"Know what, Jimmy?"
"Stop blabbering," the woman snapped. "Now, I was hoping to take care of everything at the same time, but I guess I can settle for this. Oh, don't worry, little Linda. You'll be seeing your parents, for they'll be dead soon enough."
"You're a sick, conniving…" Linda started.
"I'm a sick, conniving what?" the woman growled as she stared deeply into Linda's eyes, causing Linda to look away. "Tell me, between the two of you, who do you think it would hurt more to see the other one die first?"
"Jimmy, no!" Linda begged.
"You would give your life for her?"
"In a heartbeat."
"I see. Very well, in that case, she dies first. Say good- bye to your sweetheart," the woman sneered at Linda as she pulled a hidden gun from her belt and pointed it at Linda. A crack rang in the room as the pistol was fired and Linda fell to the floor. The woman lowered the weapon as she began to laugh wickedly.
"That was too easy. No wonder it was so much fun," the woman sneered as she returned the gun to the hidden holster and moved over to the body. "Wait a minute," she said and knelt. "No blood! I couldn't have missed!" the woman exclaimed.
"You didn't," Linda snarled as her eyes opened and her hand wrapped around the woman's collar.
"No, it's impossible."
"Say hello to Supergirl!" Linda growled.
"No, I won't go down like this. You won't take me, Supergirl," the woman cried.
"Enough!" a cry was exclaimed as a vase dropped on the woman's head.
The woman dropped to the floor and Linda released her grip. Reaching up, she clasped hands with the Jimmy Clone and allowed herself to be helped to her feet.
"I knew you wouldn't betray me," Linda stated.
"We have to get out of here," the Jimmy Copy said as he pulled at Linda's arm, moving her a good ten steps away.
"No. We're not leaving her here. Nor Harrison," Linda insisted.
"Members of the Clan will be arriving soon for the meeting. We have to get out of here," the Copy argued.
"Linda's right. We need to figure out a way to get them both into the custody of the police," the real Jimmy stated.
"I'm not… going down…" the woman whispered as she lifted her gun from her belt once more, trained it at her husband's suspended animation tank and fired.
The impact ignited the liquid inside the tank and as the liquid ignited, it spilled to the floor, spreading the flames throughout the room. The woman pushed herself to her feet and trained the gun on the real Jimmy.
"No!" the copy screamed as he rushed at the woman.
"You dare defy me!" the woman screamed and pulled the trigger as the pair struggled. The copy collapsed to the floor as the woman rushed to her fallen husband. "Oh, Russell, I'm so sorry. I wasn't thinking," the woman sobbed as Linda rushed to the Jimmy Copy.
"Get… him out of here."
"I won't leave you," Linda stated.
"I… paid my debt of evil… off. Thank you… for being my friend."
"I love you," Linda whispered as she bent down and kissed the copy's cheek.
"I… finally learned love," the copy breathed as his head slumped to the side.
"Linda, we have to get out of here. This whole place is going to go."
"I won't leave her here to die," Linda argued.
"I'm coming, my darling," Linda heard the woman say as she lifted the pistol to her head and pulled the trigger.
Linda clenched her eyelids together in pain at the suicide for a moment before opening them again.
"Let's get out of here," Linda said as she took Jimmy's hand.
Around one the next morning, Jimmy and Linda, in her Supergirl costume, floated above Metropolis.
"I didn't want you to learn this way. I wanted to tell you myself."
"In a way, you did."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, you didn't know it, but when we first met I felt you enter my mind somehow, and then when Supergirl used her abilities at the orphanage fire, I kind of just put two and two together."
"Thank you… for not telling my secret."
"Linda, I love you, and it's not because of your abilities. I love you for who you are as a person. You're kind, caring, understanding, and fun and that is what I fell in love with."
"Jimmy, you do realize that this changes everything?"
"For the better," Jimmy answered. "Now you and C.K. have one more person you can go and talk to. And you, especially, don't have to be alone."
"I'll never be alone as long as I have you," Linda answered.
"And I'm never leaving."
"Good. Because if you did, I'd kick your butt," Linda joked as she smiled and pulled Jimmy close to her. "Kiss me, Jimmy. Then hold me. Hold me forever."
"I plan to," Jimmy answered as the pair pressed their lips together and lifted higher into the sky.
"Clark?" Lois called as she moved out onto the terrace to see Clark staring at the sky. "You're not spying on them again, are you?"
"No," Clark answered.
"I thought you didn't lie," Lois joked.
"You caught me," Clark admitted. "They're just so cute," he added.
"Give them privacy, Clark. Focus on me. We have plenty of time to welcome our future son-in-law into the family," Lois said as she moved over to him.
"Ok," Clark answered simply before he pulled Lois into his arms and kissed her.
… For Now!
Look for Supergirl's continuing stories. If you have any ideas, please feel free to email me with them and any other comments. Thanks.
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