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Revelations- Chapter Twenty

March 9th, 2010 (04:33 pm)
anxious

I'm feeling: anxious

A/N: The second part of this chapter is bought to you by Keri Premium Orange Juice. Of which the author calculated she drinks over 2.4L per day. That's a lot of Vitamin C.

The lateness of this chapter is thanks to my boss. Why do we even have the holiday sheet if you never read it and insist on putting people on days they can't work so the rest of us have to work way more that week than we thought we were? Moron.

But moving on, yes this is chapter twenty but still part two of last chapter as well. Or else the upload page on FF.net would be out of sync with my file names and it would CONFUSE me.

Chapter Twenty: Get Back Up Again (Part Two)

--

Lois ignored the stares and whispers that started as soon as she walked out of Perry's office. Let them point, she had more important things to worry about.

Perry had finally agreed to publish her article about Fredrick Leier, a congressman who'd been using government funds to take a woman who most certainly wasn't his wife on extravagant holidays.

Before Monday it would have been a massive scandal, page one above the fold guaranteed. Now Perry couldn't promised her anything above the third page.

"Lois," someone called from behind her. She turned to find Erin Jones, another city beat reporter standing behind her, looking rather nervous. "Can I talk to you?"

Lois had a sharp retort on the tip of her tongue but the look on Erin's face made her hold it back. Unlike the rest of the bullpen who seemed to feel the revelation of Clark's double life had turned them into a laughing stock, Erin didn't look like she was angry. In fact she looked almost concerned.

"Sure." Lois lead the way to her desk, she only need get a few files from her desk before she could head back home.

"I don't know if you saw that article in the Inquisitor, about your kids' powers," Erin started cautiously.

Lois whipped around to fix her with a piercing glare. "What do you know?" she demanded.

"Andy Summers, he had that information first, he said his cousin gave it to him but Perry wouldn't publish it. Apparently she knows one of your kids."

"Andy Summers?" Lois repeated, the name sounding familiar but not registering as anything significant. "Where's his desk?"

Erin pointed towards a desk where a tall, blond man was talking on his phone before quickly, and wisely, hurrying away as Lois stood up and started towards the desk.

"- on Monday? Alright, I'll talk then. See ya."

Lois waited as patiently as possible for him to stop talking and hang up before leaning casually on the edge of his cubicle.

"Talking to your cousin?" she asked sweetly, smiling at him.

He looked up sharply, almost tipping his chair over. "Lois, fancy seeing you here." He recovered quickly, giving her an odd sort of smile. "Thought you'd be at home trying to take care of your little army of half-breeds."

It was only the fact it would probably just make things more complicated than they already were did Lois restrain herself from hitting him. "They are not half-breeds," she said in a low and dangerous voice, "they are my children and I am taking care of them right now." Andy still looked slightly thrown although he was trying to hide it. Lois pressed on while she had him off balance. "Who spoke to the Inquisitor, Andy? I know you know. Who is your cousin and how does she know my family?"

However, idiot that he was, one didn't get a job at the Planet without being able to hold their own. Andy had recovered from his initial surprise and simply shrugged in response. "Sorry, Lois, a reporter always protects their sources. You know all about that though, don't you?"

There was a murmur of agreement from the reporters who had stopped to watch the confrontation.

Andy continued, clearly feeling stronger now that the crowd was on his side. "I'm not going to tell you who spoke to the Inquisitor because I, unlike you, still have some journalistic integrity. Hey, tell me, how many times did you publicly deny, on the record, that you had no relationship with Superman?"

"Look," Lois snapped, getting tired of trying to explain this, "I married Clark Kent and that's the man I have a relationship with. Read Ralph's article if you want a full explanation, I'm sick of repeating myself."

"Well I'm not telling you who my source is," Andy said, glancing around to check that he did have the backing of the other reporters.

"Now, ignorance I could almost forgive," Lois told him, leaning forward on his desk and was pleased when he leaned away rather than holding his ground, "but I know you're smarter than that, Andrew. You know very well that your cousin is putting my seven year old son in danger by publicly telling the world he's the easiest target."

"How do we know your kids won't put the world in danger themselves?" Andy retorted, "You're only human like the rest of us Lois, what if one of your kids decided they didn't want to follow the law anymore?"

"And you think that makes things like a madman sending my daughter to hospital alright?" Lois asked, her voice rising, "My children do not deserve to be made targets just because their father tries everyday to make this world a safer place for people like you to live in."

"They're already targets," he shot back, "right from the moment Kent stepped in front of that rocket on Monday. It's hardly my fault if my cousin wanted to tell the public what you guys won't."

Another murmur went through the reporters but his one wasn't so positive, clearly Lois had swayed some to her side.

But not enough, she could see from the look on Andy's face that he wasn't going to give. Not right now anyway, not while he still had some support from the group. Lois never accepted defeat, but she was wise enough to know when to retreat. No further articles had appeared in the news with worryingly accurate information and if they talked to the kids about what not to tell people it would be alright for the moment.

Mr. Summers was in for a shock if he thought he won, she would need to get him alone, away from everyone else. Whoever Andy's cousin was, she was going to find out eventually.

Then she'd do whatever it took to protect her family.

--

Even with his memory, Clark couldn't recall the number of times he'd hovered above the farmhouse in which he'd grown up. Many times he'd held his children or wife, taking them to visit his mother and later Ben when they'd gotten married.

He couldn't ever remember hovering overhead for so long without descending, nor feeling so anxious or afraid. He wasn't looking forward to going down to try and explain to the Harrisons why their house was now surrounded by news vans and having things stolen from it.

He looked through the clouds and felt a jolt of anger as he saw the now empty chains dangling from the post that used to hold the 'Kent Farm' sign. Maybe if Jason was right and the thief had taken it for the money they could get it back when he tried to sell it.

There was a police car parked outside the driveway but only three news vans were there and no one was outside filming. There were only so many ways you could film a house he supposed, no matter who used to live there. Now they were probably just waiting for him to show up. He looked toward the farmhouse itself and was surprised to see quite a number of cars there.

He looked into the house and was pleased to see that the other residents of Smallville weren't leaving the Harrisons to deal with this alone. Lana and Pete were there with their sons, the oldest Clark, named for him, was frowning at a math problem in the kitchen and the youngest, Axel, was playing with the Harrison boys, Joseph and Kyle in one of the bedrooms.

Frank and Lynn Harrison, just a young couple with an infant when they'd bought the house, were sitting with Pete and Lana in the living room. Clark sighed as he saw Lynn place a hand on her swollen stomach. With their thrid child on the way, this kind of stress was the last thing they needed right now, he thought as he descended.

He went just fast enough that the reporters would miss him but slow enough he didn't make any noise as he landed softly on the back steps. He'd called Pete after he'd dropped Ella home and they were expecting him but he still felt nervous as he raised his fist and knocked on the door.

The voices inside suddenly stopped then he heard Pete say, "Oh, that'll probably be Clark."

"Oh, I hope he's doing alright," Lana said, getting up with her husband to answer the door.

"He can hear you," Pete reminded her.

"Only if he's listening," Lana replied, "which he shouldn't be because it's rude to eavesdrop."

Clark didn't quite hide his smile in time and Lana glared at him when the door swung open. "I know you heard that," she told him.

"You were talking loud enough for the vans at the gate to hear," Pete said, giving Clark an amused look as his wife slapped him on the arm.

"How are you though?" she asked, pulling him into the farmhouse, "How's Ella?"

"She's doing well," Clark told them as they walked into the living room. "She came home today actually."

He nodded at the Harrisons as he sat down, trying to ignore the way their eyes widened as they saw him without his glasses for the first time.

The was an awkward beat before Lynn broke it with a laugh. "You really do look different without you glasses, Clark," she said with a shake of her head, "everyone on the news can't really understand it but you do look really different," she repeated.

"That kind of was the point," Clark chuckled, touching his face for the fifth time in almost as many seconds. It was so strange not to have the reassuring weight of the frames on his face.

He felt naked. Even among friends, he was used to hiding behind the lenses.

"I'm sorry I couldn't come earlier," he apologised to Frank and Lynn.

"Oh, no you don't," Lynn told him sternly, surprising him with her forcefulness, "you should not feel bad in any way for staying in Metropolis while your daughter was in hospital. You are not allowed to apologise for being a concerned father."

"Lynn's right," her husband, Frank, agreed, "no one's going to accept that apology."

"Besides, we can handle things without you," Pete added, grinning at his friend.

"Oh, well, I'll just go then," Clark replied, holding his hands up in defence.

The five of them shared a laugh before Clark became serious again. "Is there anything I can do?" he asked Frank and Lynn, "Anything at all?"

"Well, it hasn't been exactly easy with the world dropping by to take photos of Superman's old house," Lynn admitted honestly. "But the sheriff sent a car as soon as the news broke and so far, apart from someone taking the sign, no one's trespassed or done anything illegal at all."

"We think they really are just interested," Frank added, "there have been quite a few random tourists drive past and take pictures but they haven't been bothering us at all."

They continued to talk for well over an hour, Frank, Lynn, Pete and Lana filled him in on what was happening in Smallville, soon to be officially 'Superman's home town'- and Clark in turn told them what was happening in Metropolis.

The kids wandered in at various points to see who the new arrival was. Clark Ross seemed thrilled that he really was named for Superman while Axel, Joseph and Kyle were interested until it was discovered that there was a fresh batch of cookies from this morning in the pantry.

Lynn had assured him had he been in the familiar red and blue with his cape they would have been utterly ecstatic to see him. Apparently Superman in jeans and T-shirt didn't instil the same awe as the iconic suit though.

He'd tried to leave once it became reassuringly apparent that the residents of Smallville could more than hold their own against he news invasion.

Lana and Pete were having none of it though and had dragged him outside to have a private talk with their old friend before he went back to the lions' den.

It was nice, Clark had to admit, being able to talk to the two people still on Earth that had known him, truly known him, before he was Superman. Lois had known Superman first, then discovered the real Clark.

"You don't owe the general public anything, Clark," Pete told him firmly when he told them about the press conference he wanted to have, "but you do owe it to your family to listen to them. If they don't think a press conference is a good idea now, maybe it's not."

"You could do one next week," Lana suggested, "that way you have the whole weekend to talk about what you're willing to discuss and what's off limits."

Clark nodded, Lois had told him much the same thing last night, although she knew, like him, that they would eventually have to face the public full-on and a press conference was the best way to do that. They could wait a bit, he supposed, and he was fine with spending the weekend at home with his family.

"So, I know I shouldn't be listening too much to the newspapers for accurate information," Pete started slowly, "but is it true Jason's engaged?"

"That's true," Clark confirmed, unable to help the grin that spread across his face as he thought of how happy his eldest son seemed every time he talked about his fiancée.

Lana hugged him, smiling with him. "That's something good to focus on then," she pointed out, "Jason must be so excited."

"Yeah, he went back to New York today," he said, less happily than before. "And Sophie's back at Harvard." He didn't like having his children so far away, especially after the attack.

His friends didn't miss the unspoken feelings behind his words. "Clark, you have to let them keep living their lives. You can't just lock them away forever in the apartment."

"But they're in danger now," he reminded them, "How many more people have kryptonite just waiting to be used on one of my children-"

"Or you, Clark!" Lana placed a hand on his shoulder, making him look at her. "Think about it," she told him, "your children are, in reality, much safer than other kids just because they're yours. And they can protect themselves as well as you can protect them, remember? The same thing that would hurt them would also hurt you."

"Yeah, Clark," Pete agreed, shaking his head, "I had to kiss Axel's paper-cut better this morning. Think about that, there's only one thing that can harm five out of the six of your children and that's pretty rare. I worry about paper hurting my kids."

"We're not saying you shouldn't worry," Lana told him, "all parents worry about our children no matter what, we can't help it. But you have to know when you're protecting them and when you're hurting them by locking them away."

"What about Chris?" Clark asked, "He's only seven, and thanks to the Inquisitor, people are going to know he's the easiest target."

Pete and Lana were silent after that, his friends apparently didn't have an argument for his youngest son.

"I just can't see how we're going to go on," he admitted quietly, voicing a fear he'd only told Lois before now. "Even though I know we have to. I just can't see how we're going to live like this and make it work."

"That's understandable," Lana said softly, earning odd looks from the men. "It is," she insisted, "think about how you feel when someone close dies, it's the same feelings but you always come through, don't you?"

"I don't really think it's the same, honey," Pete told her, shaking his head.

Lana gave him a sharp look before turning back to Clark. "It's not all that different when you think about it. You've lost something, Clark. Your secret was more than just a secret- it was a way of life for you and your family. Now it's gone things are going to be so different, just like any significant loss. But you'll carry on, you will find a way through this."

"How can you be so sure?" he asked, frowning at her.

Lana sighed and cross her arms in a frustrated manner. "Clark Kent, I've known you since kindergarten," she reminded him, "I've known you longer than anyone else except Pete and I know you. You're strong enough to get through this and it's hardly as if you have to do it alone."

"Yeah, you've always got us," Pete reminded him, giving him a manly, one armed hug.

"And you've got Lois," Lana added, "Not to mention your small army of children…"

"… your photographer friend," Pete jumped in with, "what-is-ma-handle-"

"Jimmy," Lana corrected her husband, before turning back to Clark, " and pretty much the whole of Smallville."

"- your next door neighbours said nice things about you in the Daily Planet," Pete added, "and of course Frank and Lynn are with you."

"Okay." Clark held up hands. "I get it, I'm not alone."

"And don't you forget it!" Lana ordered him.

Talking with his two oldest friends had helped, Clark realized as he sped back towards Metropolis. It wasn't enough to completely undo the tension in his muscles and the knot of worry in his chest but it had loosened them and that was a start.

Lana had ordered him to call them, night or day, if he need to talk to someone. Lynn and Frank had also told him he was more than welcome to visit the old farmhouse any time he wanted. Frank was even planning to make a new sign with his sons, to replace the stolen one and had invited Clark to help.

He didn't slow to savour the flight like he usually did, knowing he'd never properly enjoy it anyway. Instead he reached the apartment in almost record time, eager to get back to his family.

A corner of the tarpaulin they had taped over the window Sophie had smashed on her way to help Ella had come loose and was cracking in the wind, Clark slipped under it before quickly before securing it more tightly.

The apartment was quiet but far from empty, Richard was still asleep in the guest room, recovering from jet-lag, Chris was playing with Eric in his room, Ella was lying fully clothed and fast asleep on her bed and Lucy was in the study on the computer.

Lois hadn't called for him yet and Clark was afraid she might be trying to make her way home by herself. If anyone could brave the media horde outside it was her but the media wasn't all they had to worry about now.

Lois could take care of herself but it would only take one criminal with a grudge and a bullet to hurt her. She'd been targeted at times before, but now that it was a known fact taking her down would hurt Superman she was bound to be in more danger.

He honed in on her familiar heartbeat and was relived to find it still in the bullpen. She had promised him she'd go to the roof and call when she wanted to come home.

Clark didn't know what he'd do if Lois was hurt. When Ella had first been taken to hospital she'd been the one to take care of things, writing a statement for the press and making sure he was alright. Just being there for him to lean on.

Jason had also handled things amazingly and helped support them through it but Clark needed Lois. Especially at a time like this.

"Hey, Dad," Lucy greeted him, coming into the kitchen to get a glass of water. "Everything going alright in Smallville?"

"As well as can be expected," Clark replied, "with the town turning into a tourist hot-spot overnight."

"You know, all this media attention has me thinking," Lucy started, in the tone that said she had an idea she didn't think he'd like.

"About…?" Clark prompted her when she paused.

"I think we should get a PR person," she said, holding up her hand before he could say anything. "I know that doesn't sound like Superman, but now the world knows you're not just Superman. And PR firms aren't just to help people get publicity," she continued, "they help famous people handle it as well. And I'm pretty sure they'd be a great help to us. I mean, I know things aren't always going be this crazy but they're never going to be the same again, unless you stop saving people you're still going to be famous and having a PR person to filter things for you, and Jason, Sophie and Dean now, would be really helpful and-"

"Sounds like a good idea," Clark interrupted her. Lucy had inherited his lung capacity and if he didn't stop her rambles before they really got going there was no telling how long she could go for.

"You do?" she asked, bouncing excitedly, "Good, because I was looking at some on the computer and I'm pretty sure most of them would kill to have Superman on their client list."

"Yeah," Clark smiled back at his daughter, finding her excitement infectious. Superman had been approached by PR firms before but he always turned them down.

Superman could handle his fame and publicity himself. People always wanted to talk to him and ask him to support their charity r appear at their events but it was hard to find him when he didn't want to be found.

Clark Kent was a man with a job, a home and a family and most importantly, a lot easier to get a hold of than Superman. He could use a PR firm to help keep this under control.

"So do you want me to tell you about them?" Lucy asked, nodding toward the study.

"Maybe we should wait until Sunday dinner and talk about this as a family," Clark suggested, knowing he couldn't put it off forever but wanting not to rush so fast when they'd just got out of the hospital that morning. "We're all in this together and we should decide how to move through it together."

"Good idea," Lucy agreed, "I'll print of the info I've got and list pro and cons and all that, okay?" She hurried back to the computer and Clark could hear her muttering quietly to herself as she click through the different websites.

A faint thump on the balcony made him smile and he went out to find his son waiting for him. "How'd it go?" Dean asked, looking out over the city as the setting sun lit it a brilliant orange.

"In Smallville?" Clark shrugged. "As well as could be expected, the town's still overrun with news vans but they're losing interest."

"Well, I guess there's only so much to find out about someone's past, isn't there?" Dean said, "After that they'll have come back here because this is where the news is actually happening. Right?"

"Exactly." Clark nodded. "This isn't going to go away, you know?" he added after a moment. "We're famous now for the rest of our lives whether we like it or not."

"I know," Dean told him, "and so do the others. But you can't change what's happened."

"No," Clark sighed, "I can't."

"I could stay," Dean offered, as they watched the sun set together. "If you want me too."

Clark's first instinct was to say yes. Of course he wanted his son to stay with him, where he could see him and protect him if anyone else tried to hurt him. After what happened with Ella, Clark wanted nothing more than to keep all his children in the apartment, line it with lead, and never let them out into the real world where they could get hurt.

Instead he shook his head and said, "I can't let you do that." Dean had all his powers, he reminded himself, and half his weaknesses. He couldn't look after Dean anymore than the young man could already do himself. "You're eighteen, you should be out having fun, not worrying about your parents. We're supposed to worry about you."

"Are you sure?"

No, Clark's mind said but he forced his mouth to say, "Yes, I'm sure. Just… be careful."

"I will," Dean promised. "And it's not like I can't be back here in a second if you need me anyway. I'm still going to come back on Sundays."

"Yeah," Clark agreed, feeling only mildly better. Dean nodded and turned to leave but Clark pulled him back before he could take to the air and, without a word, pulled him into a hug.

Dean returned it immediately and just as tightly. Clark was only mildly surprised to find they were almost the exact same height now. He was reminded again how quickly they were all growing up.

Jason was getting married, Sophie was well on her way to becoming a successful lawyer and now Dean was just about outgrowing him.

That at least couldn't be allowed to stand. "Alright, shorty," Clark said with grin as he let go, "you'd better hurry before you miss breakfast over there."

"Oh, come on, Dad," Dean laughed, "I'm practically taller than you already."

"You are not," Clark protested, shaking his head at the absurdity, "Your shoes clearly have thicker soles."

"Whatever." Dean shook his head, still grinning. "I'd better go anyway, I'll just nip over to the Planet to say goodbye to Mom then I'll be off."

"Be careful, " Clark told him again, "and don't hesitate to come back or call if you need anything, okay?"

"I won't," Dean promised.

--

The apartment, which had been so crowded since Monday with everyone staying, now seemed oddly empty to Ella when she woke up from her nap in the early evening. Jason, Sophie and Dean had all gone back to where they were before this had happened, and probably trying to pretend it hadn't.

She stood up and stretched, enjoying the quiet and trying to get rid of the strange disorienting feeling she always got when sleeping during the day. She stood on her tip toes and stretched her arms right above her head, feeling only the tinniest tug of the scar tissue on her hip. It was surreal to think only three days ago the same injury had had her fighting for her life on the operating table.

She hated to admit it but she knew it was thanks to her mixed heritage she'd survived. It should have helped, she knew that too, if being half-alien had saved her life, shouldn't she be thankful for it?

But she wasn't. She still felt that weird wrongness when she thought about not being fully human. Not even fully alien. A half-breed.

Before she could dwell too much she shoved the thoughts to the back of her mind. Where they belonged, where she didn't have to face them and where they should have stayed if her Dad hadn't gone and blown the whole secret to hell.

She didn't blame him though. She had at first, but five days of watching the same footage played over and over on the TV had shown her there was no other way he could have acted. Even she would rather have the world know she was half-alien than know that her Dad had let innocent people die to protect his privacy. That wasn't her Dad and really, that would have been far worse than what he did do.

She stretched again, trying to wake up properly. As she did her eye was caught by a note on her desk that hadn't been there before. It was in Dean's handwriting and, judging by the spelling, had clearly been written quickly.

Ella

I still what to talk with you.

I'll be back on Sonday.

-Dean

"And what if I don't want to talk to you?" Ella muttered, tearing the note up and throwing it away.

She knew in her head that Dean was worried and just trying to help but the rest of her hated him for not letting her leave her feelings bottled up at the back of her mind. Where they belonged.

Her mouth tasted funny and felt all fuzzy so she decided to go brush her teeth. It probably wasn't too far 'till dinner but she didn't like walking around feeling like she had moss for teeth.

The apartment wasn't as empty as she'd thought he realised when she walked down the hall to the bathroom. Chris and Eric were playing in his room and someone, probably Lucy, was on the study computer.

It all seemed so normal, her brother and cousin playing together while her sister did homework in the study. Although she probably wasn't doing homework given that she hadn't been to school for a week because her sister had been put in hospital by a madman wanting revenge on their father.

Oh, yeah, that was normal.

She was wandering towards the kitchen to see if she couldn't find a small snack to have before dinner when she passed the master bedroom and stopped in her tracks.

The door was open and her Dad was sitting on the bed, bent over and looking at a pair of his glasses he was twirling in his hands. Ella was rather shaken by the sight, she couldn't remember ever having seen her Dad look so… lost.

It was startling and almost upsetting in an odd way. Her Dad wasn't supposed to look like that, he was supposed to be strong and composed.

He looked up suddenly, as if just noticing she was there and the lost look he'd had only a moment ago vanished, replaced by a confident smile which looked a lot more like her Dad to Ella.

"Are you okay?" he asked, concern evident in his voice, as if he hadn't been asking her the same question every five seconds since they'd come home.

"I'm fine Dad," she sighed, wondering if she'd imagined his lack of confidence before, "the doctor said it's like I've spent a year recovering instead of three days, remember?"

"I didn't mean that," her Dad said, smiling at her, "I mean are you okay? I know this has been hard on you kids and it's probably not going to get too much easier. You know you can talk to me and your mother about anything."

"I know," Ella lied, "I'm sorry about the way I've been this past week," she said more truthfully. "I was just a bit stressed, you know?"

"Yeah," Clark sighed, twirling his glasses in his hand. "I think we all are."

"So, how are you?" Ella asked.

"I'm fine," he replied but she could tell it was a lie, an automatic response to the question.

"Dad," she warned, frowning at him.

He laughed. "You sound so much like your mother when you do that," he told her.

"Don't avoid the question," she ordered him, which only made his grin wider.

"And that," he said, shaking his head, "don't worry about me Ella. It's my job to worry about you."

"Which you don't really need to do when I'm standing right here," she told him firmly.

"I suppose," he sighed, placing his glasses on the bedside table, "but I still will."

"What are you going to do with these?" Ella asked, picking the glasses up and sitting next to him on the bed.

"No idea," Clark muttered, shrugging. "I think it will look odd if I keep wearing them now."

"I think it'll be weird seeing you without them," Ella commented, slipping the thick frames onto her face and grinning at him.

It had the intended effect and he laughed, taking them off her and shaking his head. "Richard thinks I could sell them on eBay and then I'd have enough to retire."

"You probably would," she laughed with him, "Lucy was going to look up Kent-related items on the internet, probably seeing how much she can make from the stuff in her room."

"It wouldn't surprise me." Her father seemed amused at the idea. "I have a few pairs though." He held the glasses back up. "It's going to be strange not wearing them anymore."

"You'll get used to it," Ella told him, not really sure if she could ever imagine getting used to the way things were now.

"I guess we don't really have a choice now. I'm sorry for putting you kids through all this," he apologised.

"I don't blame you," she told him, "for us getting attacked." He was silent so she continued, "You wanna know who I do blame? I blame the guy that stabbed me and no one else."

Clark just nodded and twirled his glasses again. "What should we have for dinner?" he asked after a while, changing the subject.

Ella looked at the clock, shocked to see she had slept so long. "No press conference, then?" she asked, remembering the family meeting in her hospital room. "Or did I sleep through that as well?"

"No press conference," Clark told her. "Not today at least. You were right, I don't owe the world any more than what was in the Planet."

"But you might do one?"

"We're thinking next week, or maybe even not at all," Clark said with a shrug. "But there are more important things for me to think about right now," he said as he put his arm around her and pulled her close. "I love you, you know that?"

"I know," Ella sighed as she felt herself relaxing into her Dad's hug, "I love you too." A week ago she would have been rather embarrassed at the thought of letting her Dad hug her for so long but right now she felt so safe with him she didn't care.

She pushed away the tiny, niggling thought at the back of her mind about what her Dad might think of what she had told her brother. He'd never find out, she told that part of her brain, Dean swore not to tell and she certainly wasn't going to say anything.

"So," she said, louder than she'd intended, trying to drown out her fears, "what are we doing now then?"

"Now?" Clark smiled and stood up, helping her off the bed. "Now, we're going to have dinner."

"Sounds like a plan." Ella smiled as she followed her father to the kitchen. It almost felt like things were getting back to normal.

Except for the fact they'd never really be "normal" again.

--

A/N: Yes, there will be a press conference, just not this chapter, sorry.

Coming up (I hesitate to say 'next chapter' now that the muse is so fickle) : It's been a week and the Kents struggle to cope with the changes in their lives as they try to figure out how to live now. Clark goes back to the Planet and Ella, Lucy and Chris go back to school and find a few surprises waiting.

Comments

Posted by: januaried (januaried)
Posted at: March 9th, 2010 04:28 am (UTC)
fandom + superman + superman

Go Lois, show that guy what you're made of! XD

I liked the scene with Pete and Lana. YAY that they're married in this verse! I hate when people forget all about Pete. *snugs him* And I lol'd because Frank and Lynne are the names of my bf's parents. :D

Posted by: love_is_my_goal (love_is_my_goal)
Posted at: March 9th, 2010 09:31 pm (UTC)

I can't wait to see Lois give it to that guy! He deserves it! It's good to know that some people are siding with them though.

I feel so bad for Ella. I think if I were in the same position I'd be feeling much like Ella does...

Great chapter and I can't wait to read the next one! =D

Posted by: Grace (repmetsyrrah)
Posted at: March 11th, 2010 08:54 am (UTC)
SR; Lois; S top

Oh believe me, she's going to get him alone and when she does... A lot of people haven't forgotten what Superman's done for them but the ones who have are just louder :(

Ella's getting mixed reactions from the readers right now but she's one of my favorite characters. *hugs her*

You would? You're the first person to say that. I'm glad someone understands.

Thanks, it hopefully won't be too long!

Posted by: Grace (repmetsyrrah)
Posted at: March 11th, 2010 08:50 am (UTC)
Comic; Lois; Action shot

Lol, just you try and stop her!

I love Pete and Lana too, and it's canon! Of course I deviated a bit in the fact they're still married here but I'm glad you liked them! I never quite understand how people can just dismiss Clark's oldest friends like he's forgotten about them or something, it always seems very OOC of him.

Lol, weird!

Thanks for the review!

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