By Supergirl6512428 <Supergirl6512428@cs.com> and Chris Bauer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: August 2002
Summary: Nightmares have plagued the mind of the young Sara Kent. Lois and Clark struggle with the hard decision of telling Sara about where she really came from. Will this revelation pull them apart or bring them closer?
Author's notes: first off I would like to introduce a new fanfic writer to the L&C archive, Chris Bauer, who helped me write this story. Without him Unpleasant Memories would not get a chance to come to life in the L&C archive. And of course I have to thank my talented beta reader, Jen, who helped get this story off the ground even though my spelling can get pretty bad.
The night was still and quiet. The Kent house lay motionless in the dark. Like a sleeping beauty, Lois slept soundly on the bed; Clark was caught up in his wonderful dreams as he floated across the bed. But soon the silence was broken by a blood-curdling scream. Clark dropped to the floor and scrambled to his feet as he heard his daughter cry out, "No! Get away! Get Away!" Lois followed him to a door that had a huge poster of Dean Cain on it.
"Sara!" Clark called from the other side only to hear her scream again, "GET AWAY!"
Clark opened the door and saw only Sara, screaming at the darkness. Lois turned on the lights to see Sara was dreaming. They sighed with relief knowing that she wasn't in any real danger. Clark sat on the edge of the bed and gently tried to wake her up. "Sara, wake up, honey."
"No, get away!" Sara cried as her arms flailed about, missing Clark by inches.
"Sara, wake up!" Clark said, almost shouting as he caught one of her hands gently.
Suddenly Sara opened her eyes disoriented as to where she was, blinded by the bright lights. She fought for a second and then, realizing where she was, clung to Clark like a small child. "I had such an awful dream!" Sara sobbed on Clark's shoulder.
"Shhh. Shhh. It's okay-it was only a dream. It's gone now," Clark reassured as he hugged her.
"But it felt so real!" Sara sobbed again.
Lois handed Sara a tissue and said, "Maybe it will help if you tell us what it's about."
Sara wiped her tears and explained, "I'm in a dark, cold place, like almost a jail of some sort. Mom, you're with me; so are Superman, Grandpa Sam, and Grandma Ellen. I see Superman on the floor in pain, and I'm feeling the same pain. Then someone is taking me away from you, but I can't see his face."
Lois and Clark looked at each other. Sara was remembering almost every detail of the night that Lord Nor kidnapped her and tried to kill both her and Superman. Lois and Clark promised each other that they wouldn't say anything about Ching and Zara until she was old enough. Sara was only sixteen right now, and they thought it was still too young to find out that her real parents were…dead. Clark tucked her in and said, "It was a silly dream…harmless. Nothing will happen like that. Trust me." Clark and Lois kissed her good night and walked back to their room. Sara sat in the dark for a second… they were keeping something from her… it was in her gut that they knew more then they were saying.
Clark walked into the bedroom and saw Lois open a wooden jewelry box. She removed a velvet cloth to reveal a gold locket that was in the shape of angel wings. "We have to tell her," Lois said as she held the necklace gently in her hand.
"She's too young," Clark replied as he put his arms around her waist.
"Clark, I mean, she had a dream about it… no… a nightmare about it. I think we should tell her," Lois insisted as she put the necklace back in its place.
"Lois, no. I was twenty-seven before I knew anything about my parents," Clark pointed out as they got in bed.
"But, Clark, you saw the fear in her eyes. Is it healthy to keep this from her?" Lois asked as she placed her head on his bare chest.
Clark ran his fingers through Lois' dark brown hair. "I know, but… I don't want to tell her that I could have saved them but didn't."
Lois moved her head to look Clark straight in the eye and said, "Clark Kent, you couldn't have saved them. No one could have."
"I know," Clark whispered. "Fine, we'll tell her tomorrow, and that's only if she's not too stressed out from school." School-that was another migraine. Sara had been teased since she started school because she was a little smarter then the rest of the kids. It tore them apart to see Sara cry in the car about how some kids tried to beat her up; she had no super powers yet to fight back… But they would face that demon, tomorrow.
Clark drove down the main street to Sara's school hoping to god that she had a good day… if there was such a thing. He suddenly heard loud yells of kids; Clark turned down the radio and opened his window. "GET HER!" they cried out as he saw them run after a girl with a tan backpack. Clark then noticed that the kids were chasing Sara. Clark quickly turned the car around and catching up to Sara, he yelled, "Get in!"
Sara looked behind her to see the mob was getting closer and quickly got into the jeep as Clark sped away. "Are you okay?" he asked.
A tear slid down her cheek as she said, "Yeah, fine."
"Nothing. They hate me! Every last one of them hates me! No one loves me!" Sara cried.
Clark put his hand over Sara's and said, "Cupcake, I know what you're going through."
Sara pulled her hand away and said, "No, you don't. You don't even love me!"
Clark was shocked at her outburst. "Sara Lane Kent! Where did you get a crazy idea like that? You know that I love you with all my heart and so does your mother."
Sara shook her head. "Never mind. It doesn't matter. I'm sorry." Clark took it that Sara said that out of anger and the car fell silent again. Sara looked out the window. 'They don't love me,' she thought. Since she was five, she had known that Lois and Clark never really treated her as 'their' child; they had always kept something big from her… Sara closed her eyes. She was afraid the nightmare would come, but she felt safe for some reason. Two other people came to her last night-a woman with brown hair and hazel eyes and a man with black hair and blue eyes… With them she felt safe… Loved… She felt a connection between them. They had to mean something to her she could not realize…
"Hmm…" Several thoughts were now floating through Clark's head. Sometimes they were amazingly difficult and sometimes surprisingly simple. He thought of what was happening to Sara and about her dreams. He placed the end of his glasses in his mouth and was chewing on them softly, as he had seen in a few movies. The characters in those movies always had some sort of epiphany as they did so, but his only thoughts were 'this tastes like wax.' He couldn't help but snicker at the stupider thoughts in his head. Even the super- powered have their dumb days and their dog days; it just seemed that Sara had many, many more.
He took a hard turn, suddenly realizing he had gone down the wrong block. He opened his mouth to comment to Sara, but he heard a snoring sound and quieted down. 'No use waking her up… then again; bad idea, wake her up immediately. No, let her sleep, maybe because she's in the car she won't have that dream.' Clark drove into the parking lot of the Daily Planet and emerged from the front seat. Knowing the area for its extremely low crime rate, he left the car on with the air conditioner on so Sara wouldn't get too hot. He still locked the door, however, because he was prone to accidents like this. He entered the building, got into an elevator and rode it up to his floor. He emerged as Lois was about to leave.
"Hey, farm boy. Thought you were off today," Lois commented, smiling. She was thinking that he had come to surprise her; perhaps he had some flowers?
"Yes, I just picked up Sara. She was being chased again, by another group of kids and now she thinks nobody loves her. Sometimes I really worry about her," he said.
Her mood lessened a bit — no flowers for Lois. Her mood was darkened more, however, by what her daughter was going through.
Clark continued with, "So where were you going?"
"There was an attack by a dog on an old woman. Perry thinks it's news," she said sarcastically. Clark couldn't help but smile. She could be funny in a mean way when she wanted. He liked that.
"Oh, well, I'll walk you to your car," he said. They entered the elevator and pressed the button to go to the first floor. On the way down they kissed once, just for the heck of it. When the door opened and they stepped out of the building, though, neither of their thoughts had anything to do with that.
There was a large group of people surrounding Clark's car, all either gasping or staring, or both. Clark pushed his way through, being a little too physical with one man and knocking him to the ground. Lois followed behind him. When he got close enough to see what was happening, some small bit of fear left him. Sara was only having one of her dreams; nothing was incredibly wrong. Of course, this fear returned two-fold when he saw what she was doing.
She was flailing and yelling names he could remember only by default, two names that slipped his mind whenever he attempted to think directly about them. He also noticed the passenger side window was completely gone, but Sara looked fine. He approached from there and put his hand on her shoulder to calm her down.
"GET AWAY!" she screamed as she punched him. To his surprise, he was thrown backwards twenty feet. Clark realized it was time to go.
"Bye, Lois. Good luck with the dog and the old woman," he yelled as he jumped into the car and began driving. What a day.
She quieted down as soon as Clark began driving and seemed to be disoriented. He just wanted to get her into bed, at home, where he might be able to get a chance to think. Plus he was afraid of her power; the window could only be the beginning of what damage she could do. Ten minutes after he arrived home the phone rang. He picked it up hoping to get off quickly. But it turned out to be Lois, to his humble surprise.
"What happened, Clark?!" she asked desperately.
"I don't know Lois; she used her powers."
"Could this be bad?"
"No, no, it will be fine. Don't worry about it. She's sleeping now-"
"Calm down. You know she doesn't do that twice in a row."
"Still… I don't know."
"Well, I'll let you go back to your story; don't worry about us. We'll figure something out."
Lois walked to the car from the police station. She went to her pocket book to get her keys and remembered that their parents were coming into town today. "Oh shoot!" Lois grumbled. She didn't mind Martha or Jonathan. It was her parents, Sam and Ellen, who got to her…They always had to fight, always had something to say to Clark or Sara, and Lois hated every moment of it. She just prayed that she would get home before Sam and Ellen got to the house. Lois got into the car and saw it was already five, and she would hit traffic…meaning Clark would be hitting traffic that he couldn't avoid — her parents.
"Ellen, don't start!" Sam yelled in the taxi. His ex wife was already complaining about their relationship that failed years ago while Lois was a teenager and Lucy was only six or seven. *Now* she was complaining about Clark and Lois and how they failed to pick them up with Martha and Jonathan.
"I honestly don't get it, Sam. What is more important then us?" Ellen whined.
"I'm sure they have a good reason," Martha ventured. It was going to be a long weekend with Ellen and Sam. Jonathan held her hand and kissed it, assuring her that she would make it through the weekend okay. Suddenly there was silence in the taxi as they saw Clark's broken jeep window.
"Good heavens!" was all Martha could say. Jonathan and Sam paid the taxi driver. They got the bags and knocked on the door. There was no answer. Sam found the door unlocked and opened it.
They walked in to find an apparently house empty, "Clark!" Martha cried out and saw him rush down the stairs.
"Shhh!" he said putting his finger to his lip. "I just got Sara back to sleep."
"Oh sorry, honey. What happened? You were supposed to pick us up," Martha said.
Clark bit his lip; he thought Lois was going to pick them up, "I'm sorry, but Sara has been having nightmares and panic attacks…I totally forgot."
"Is she okay?" everyone asked at once.
"She's fine," Clark assured them and helped them with the bags. In a couple of minutes, Lois rushed into the house and saw the family was already there.
The aroma of chicken, potatoes, and a hint of red wine circled Sara's nose. Her stomach sent out a loud growl. Sara opened her eyes and mumbled, "I'm so hungry." Sara got up and went downstairs to see Sam, Ellen, Martha and Jonathan at the table-the one thing she didn't want. Sara was never too close to Ellen, due to the fact that Ellen always commented about how she needed to lose weight. She never really got close to Sam only because she had heard the endless stories of how he up and left Lois, Ellen and her Aunt Lucy. Martha and Jonathan she loved to death only because they were always there when someone in the family had a need. They all greeted Sara, and she sat down and started to eat. Everyone at the table felt uncomfortable and squirmed in their seats. Martha wanted to bring up a subject, but each one she thought of contained something that might upset Sara. Then Martha remembered Superman had saved a whole family from a house fire and commented, "We saw that house fire in the news; is the family okay?"
Clark smiled. His mother never failed to try to cheer up the moment. "Yeah, they're all fine. Scared-but fine."
"How did it start, son?" Jonathan asked, knowing Martha had brought up the perfect subject.
"Faulty wiring in the house," Clark said as he swallowed.
The table fell silent again.
Ellen then asked, "So, Sara, how is school?"
Lois was about to scold her mother but Sara just started to laugh. Lois and Clark looked at each other in surprise as Sara said, still laughing, "Oh it's a thrill! I get teased, pushed into lockers, beat up, chased, and now I'm having weird dreams and panic attacks. Life is great, Grandma Ellen." Sara settled down and then declared, "I'm going for a walk."
Lois nodded and said, "Don't go far."
Of course, going far was what she had in mind. Her mind had been a mess lately. So many thoughts swam through it that she had almost completely lost sight of everyone else. Something had to be wrong with her; she had something wrong with her head, and she knew it. She exited the house and saw Clark's jeep there with a hole through the window. She ran up to it, but as she was running, she tripped over her own feet and went careening into the shattered window. Her hands reached out and closed on the sill of the broken window, she immediately flinched and waited for the rush of pain, but it never came. The sound she heard was not her screams; it was the glass shattering against her perfectly fine hand. She looked at it in amazement, not a scratch or even a hint of an abrasion. Life was really getting weird now.
"What is happening?" she asked out loud to nobody in particular.
Clark, who was still inside with his family, heard everything due to his acute sense of hearing. What would become of those kids at her school if Sara figured out what was happening to her? Was she ready? The only way to tell if Sara was truly getting her powers would be to expose her to Kryptonite, but that was far too dangerous for him and her to handle. It would have to be when the powers presented themselves constantly.
Sara's thoughts jumped to what she had heard of in school about glass and puberty. Last time she checked puberty did not entail rock-hard skin; therefore she couldn't really blame these odd occurrences on herself. Then another thought entered her head-this is where she had fallen asleep in the car, the passenger-side front seat. She had broken this window! Not a scratch on her, either. Now she was sure something was seriously wrong. Without knowing why, she began running. She dashed down the road at full speed. Her eyes clenched tightly against tears that she could not realize the source of. She was so different; she was sure she was the only one with these problems.
For three years, John had driven his pickup on this dark road, never getting into even a minor accident. He always played songs by Shania Twain because he thought her voice and body were nice. Tonight the music was particularly loud as the song "Don't Be Stupid" played. His girlfriend had dumped him because life wasn't exciting enough. He didn't love her anyway. He closed his eyes and sang what normally would have been an embarrassing soprano note for a male.
Sara was running down the dark road toward John's truck. She was running unnaturally fast now, but she didn't know because tears of rage and confusion blinded her eyes. She had too many problems to deal with; they were driving her crazy.
John smiled; this song would open his girl's eyes. She was stupid for letting him go. He was one of the best guys in her life. It was definitely her loss. The chorus came on again; he banged the steering wheel and sang his heart out, again eyes closed.
FLASH! Sara's eyes popped open at the glare from the approaching headlights. She stopped dead in her tracks and screamed impressively.
John's eyes opened, and fear gripped him to the center of his being. He saw her eyes, and face contorted in a look of utter terror as his pickup went careening towards her.
Frozen in time, She could only scream. That pickup was going straight towards her; she was going to be flattened.
FLASH! A red cape and a blue shirt appeared. It was a sign that meant safety.
Clark, who had heard the unnaturally quick speed of Sara's feet, had come, as Superman, to keep her safe. He quickly darted toward the pickup.
John turned the wheel violently to the left and went flying towards a ditch. This crash would end his life; he had forgotten to buckle his seatbelt. He did not see Superman, but when the pickup suddenly began to float up and away from the near-miss accident, he thanked god and the heroic man in red and blue. He laughed as the pickup landed on the road, and Superman appeared next to him.
"You look tired. You shouldn't drive this late. It's not healthy," said Superman, sounding concerned. John was glad.
"Yeah… I broke up with my girlfriend, and- " Superman put his hand up.
"No need to explain; just drive slower, and don't get distracted by the music," he said. He reached into the car, popped out the cassette of Shania Twain and threw it into space. He then walked over to Sara, picked her up and jumped into the sky. Sara was happy to be saved by such a hero, but she did get worried as they climbed higher and higher. She couldn't breathe in space.
"Superman, I can't breathe air this high up!"
"Yes, you can, Sara," he said in amusement. Suddenly she thought of what he meant, why he was so quiet. She had super powers! She wanted to dance!
Life was suddenly coming clear to Sara. All her life she had never been hurt because she had super powers; she broke the window because she had superpowers! Oh if those bullies messed with her now… they would get it! A thin smile crossed her face at the thought. She looked up at Superman and saw depression and confusion on his face. "What is it, Dad?"
Superman smiled and said, "Maybe we should go home so your mom and I can explain this." Sara agreed and they headed for home. As they were in the air, Superman let go of Sara. Sara was filled with fear, but then she noticed she wasn't falling-she was flying! Sara started to play around going up and down, side-to-side and flying between buildings. Superman laughed remembering he was the same way when he first got his powers — scared but happy that he had powers so he could escape from the world. As they reached the house Sara tried to land but wound up in a bush "We'll work on the landing later," Superman chuckled.
Sara and Clark walked into the house to see everyone sitting in the living room and talking. Sara sat down and said, "Dad, you don't have to explain."
Clark looked at Lois and then at Sara, "You know?"
Sara smiled and said, "I just didn't think I could have any powers because I'm half human."
Clark sighed; it would have been too easy to have Sara already know about Ching and Zara, "That's not what we want to explain."
"Oh okay, so what is it?" Sara asked.
Martha suddenly stretched and yawned. "I'm so tired! Why don't we go to bed, Jonathan?" Immediately, Jonathan, Sam and Ellen got the point and they all said good night, leaving Lois and Clark alone to explain everything to Sara.
Lois watched Ellen disappear around the corner of the upstairs and said, "You're 100% Kryptonian, Sara."
"How is that possible? I mean, you're human, right? Then that would mean someone else was Kryptonian…" Sara stopped talking and looked up at Clark and Lois. "Wait, I'm not like a love child or anything, am I?"
Clark and Lois laughed and Clark assured her, "No you're not… it's just, well, we're not your real biological parents."
Sara stomach started to twist-she was right her whole life. She must not have been loved for someone to give her up. "Then what happened to them?"
A tear slide down Clark's cheek; it was so hard for him to relive that day. Lois placed her hand on his and said, "Your parents were good friends to your father and me. They sent you to Earth from Krypton, and that's when we found you in the corn fields of your grandparent's farm." "But why did they give me up?" Sara asked still calm.
"They sent you because they knew you would be safe with us. Their planet was being destroyed, and your dreams were memories of when Lord Nor tried to kill you like he did with your parents…" A distraught Clark was unable to go any further.
Sara's heart started pounding as she heard that her planet had been destroyed and that this Lord Nor had murdered her parents.. No! This couldn't be happening to her. "What were their names?" Sara wanted to know.
"Your father's name was Ching, and your mother was Zara; they named you Lara," Clark answered a bit more composed.
"They wanted us to give you this." Lois gave Sara a small box.
Sara's hands trembled as she opened the small box and removed a velvet cloth to reveal a gold shaped locket in the shape of angel wings. Sara opened the locket and was stunned to see the two people from her dreams. "Oh my god! These are the people from my dream!" A tear slide down her cheek.
"We wanted to tell you Sara but…"
"You wanted to keep me in the dark! And let me think that no one loved me! I had these dreams for so long; you knew what it was about and didn't tell me!" Sara said in anger.
"We thought you were too young to know," Lois said trying to justify their actions.
"I can't believe you kept this from me! All my life I wondered if I was adopted. I even asked you, and you denied it! I bet you could have saved them and didn't!" Sara yelled.
"Hang on, young lady! No one could have saved them!" Lois yelled back.
"Yeah, but Superman could have!" Sara yelled louder and ran out the door.
Lois was about to follow and yell at her, but Clark took her by the hand and said, "Let her go… She's right; I could have saved them."
Sara tried to fly away but was too drained to do so and decided to walk it off. 'Why would they keep this from me? Why would they put me through all this pain…For years I wondered about them and about the dreams, and they didn't tell me!' Sara was brought back to where she was walking and saw she was already in the part of Metropolis where the crime rate was the highest. She was going to turn back when some one pulled her into an alleyway. The man held her up against the wall and demanded, "Give me your money, kid."
"Let me go! I don't have any!" Sara yelled. She tried to get away, but using her powers before being hit by the truck drained her, so now she was just like any other human.
The man then saw Sara's necklace. "Ah, this will make up for it."
"Don't you dare," Sara said angrily as she slapped the man's hand from getting any closer to the necklace. Suddenly Sara couldn't see the robber's face. She started to feel as though she was in her nightmare again. The world was spinning and she was having a panic attack. she quickly yelled, "SUPERMAN HELP!"
Clark was drinking coffee with Martha and Jonathan and talking about Sara's reaction when he almost choked from Sara's blood curdling scream for help < SUPERMAN HELP! > Without an explanation to his family, he flew out the window to his daughter. Superman was astonished that Sara had made it to the other side of town in only two hours and wondered if it was due to her powers; she would be rather drained from flying, though. Superman landed and saw a man in black holding Sara against the alleyway wall. "Let her go now," Superman commanded.
The man pulled out a gun, and taking Sara by the arm, he threatened, "One more move and the girl gets it."
Superman put one hand up and said, "Okay, I'm backing off. Just don't do anything crazy."
Suddenly Sara stepped on the man's foot, and Sara heard the pop of his toes being broken. The man fell to the ground in pain, and Superman quickly tied the man up with a street sign. Then he looked back at Sara, "Are you okay?"
She played with the dirt as tears rolled down her cheeks. "Yeah."
When Superman knew that she was okay, he turned into the angry father. "What were you thinking going so far from home? You had Lois and Clark worried sick!"
"What right do you have being mad at me? They're the ones who told me they're not my real parents! They're the ones that ruined my life and made me so crazy! Why couldn't you save them! Why didn't you go save them when you know they were dying! It's your fault!" Sara screamed.
Superman put his head down like a little boy in trouble.
"No it's my fault," She whispered. "It's all my fault."
"No it's not; it's no one's fault," Superman said calmly trying not to cry himself.
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry for having those dreams; the panic attacks. I'm sorry for running away. I'm sorry for making my parents worry! I'm sorry for being such an awful child. Superman, I'm so sorry!" Sara cried putting her hands to her face and falling to her knees.
Superman quickly knelt down to her and embraced her in a hug. "Oh, Sara it's okay. And you're not an awful child; you're the greatest child that was ever born. You're a miracle to your parents."
"How can I be? I make so many mistakes and make their lives miserable!" Sara cried on the big 'S' on his chest.
"I'll tell you how you're a miracle. Your parents found out that they couldn't have children, but then they found you. To them, you're a blessing." Superman whispered.
"Sorry to cut short this Hallmark moment, but I'm losing circulation in my arms," the robber sarcastically pointed out from his corner.
Superman looked back at the man said, "I'll fly him to jail and you home." Sara nodded and in moments they took to the sky.
Superman flew through the night sky with Sara in his arms and said, "Sara we do love you. You know that don't you?" When Superman didn't get a response, he looked down to his arms to see his baby girl fast asleep. A smile crossed his face; tonight there were going to be no nightmares. No, they would sleep peacefully tonight.